Saturday, March 29, 2014

Everything You Need To Know About the Watauga GOP, in One Convenient Package

The High Country Press got hold of the texts of the resolutions passed at the Watauga County Republican Convention last Saturday.

A fine collection of special interest plumping, self-congratulatory back-patting, revenge fantasy paybacks, and selective memory.

The resolution on education alone is jaw-dropping in its complete failure to recognize the destruction done to public education in North Carolina under two successive Republican state budgets. It actually praises Rep. Jonathan Jordan and Senator Dan Soucek for their votes on education, but in Republican World those votes don't seem to include making North Carolina 46th out of 50 states in teacher pay and the firing of hundreds of teachers and teacher assistants across the state.

But, wait! No praise therein for book-banning? There's an oversight!

Wonder if County Commission Chair Nathan Miller wrote the resolution praising the County Commission? Wonder if Virginia Foxx wrote the resolution praising Virginia Foxx? Wonder if some member of the Templeton family wrote the resolution condemning the steep slope regs in the town of Boone? Wonder if Four Eggers wrote the resolution praising the disenfranchisement of ASU student voters?

The document properties of the originals would possibly reveal much about who really runs that party.

North Carolina, First in Job Losses

So there was Governor Squishy yesterday, beside himself about North Carolina's supposedly improved unemployment rate, bragging that it was all his doing.

What The Guv ignores, naturally, is that unemployment numbers have improved partly because tens of thousands of the state's unemployed have simply stopped looking for work. As the Wall Street Journal helpfully pointed out, North Carolina led the nation in February in job losses, "a sign of stress for a state scaling back its support for its jobless residents." (Hattip: BlueNC)

That used car that our grinning Gladhander-in-Chief is peddling has no engine.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Sunlight Is the Best Disinfectant

A federal judge ordered NC state lawmakers yesterday to hand over emails and other documents related to the enactment of the controversial and comprehensive new ballot-access law passed last year which requires voters to show photo identification at the polls, limits early voting times, ends out-of-precinct voting and same-day registration, among other provisions. Republicans called this new law "the voter integrity act." We call it voter suppression.

Republicans in the General Assembly have been hiding their thinking behind this new law and refusing to turn over documents, claiming absolute legislative immunity from "discovery."

U.S. Magistrate Judge Joi Elizabeth Peake wrote in the decision that legislative immunity must be evaluated "under a flexible approach" that balances the public's right to know and the legislative process.

"The Court concludes that, while the judicially-created doctrine of 'legislative immunity' provides individual legislators with absolute immunity from liability for their legislative acts, that immunity does not preclude all discovery in the context of this case," Peake wrote.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Child Is Father of the Man

Without a serious course correction, many feared Catawba College was on the verge of becoming a hippie enclave. The college Republicans — pretty much everyone who wasn’t in the drama or music departments — were especially alarmed.
Who better to turn back the liberal tide than third-year poli-sci major Pat McCrory, the only arch-conservative serving on the student senate in 1977? As leading member of the Grievance Committee his focus had been on trying to get the literary magazine defunded and synchronizing the clocks on campus.
I became acquainted with Pat three years earlier, when we were both freshmen. Looking for a ride home for the weekend, he scoured the student directory for anyone from Greensboro who had a car. I guess I was the first to say yes, despite never having met the guy. I can’t recall what was discussed during that or the two or three subsequent trips down Interstate 85; we had practically nothing in common. In high school he was class president; I was class clown. He played tennis in the afternoons; I drew comic strips for the paper.
I had to admire his brash confidence and dead certainty, a natural politician if ever there was one, with that unnerving, used-car-salesman smile, like someone with the summer sun in their eyes unable to see past the glare and compensating for it, and a Cheshire grin highlighted by eyes that, depending on his mood, could flash bright or go dim in an instant: Elvis has left the building.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Opinions of the Rich and Pious

Franklin Graham is in the newspapers this morning, giving an interview in which he said that he's just been mouthing his father's opinions on gays and Vladimir Putin and that he's merely trying to help people get to heaven, that's all.

I knew preachermen like Franklin Graham all my life growing up in West Texas, slick hucksters who sold repentance while wearing tailored suits and driving great big new cars. None of them that I remember also had multiple private jets at their disposal, so Franklin Graham has shown 'em all up. What a role model!

I also knew pharisees, men who liked to stand in the center of church and proclaim their own knowledge of God's will. They wafted their own righteousness among the pews like over-cologned car salesmen. They pointed their fingers at sinners in their midst and always said they weren't criticizing, just trying to insure that those sinners made it to heaven (along with them, naturally!).

Franklin Graham is such a one. That he would now lay his hateful utterances at the feet of his dying father is not only cowardly. It's also reminiscent of the religious leaders that Jesus preached against: "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness."

If Franklin Graham was not directly responsible for the recent uproar over banning books at Watauga High School, he certainly was standing by holding the coats for those who were fanning those flames. Rather than the Gospel, he preaches division. Rather than love, he inspires resentment and back-biting. He seems far more interested in building a center of power for himself in Republican circles than in advancing the Kingdom of Heaven.

Franklin Graham has a form of godliness all too popular these days, from Pakistan to Deer Valley. St. Paul advised, "From such, turn away."

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

NC State Board of Elections: Fine By Us If You Want to Suppress the Votes of College Students!

Andrew Cox, in The Appalachian
The Republican-dominated State Board of Elections (SBOE) totally gets it: Their job is to enable and rubber-stamp whatever the Republican-dominated local boards of elections in all 100 counties do to block ballot-access, because they all understand that their electeds don't continue to stay in office without voter suppression.

One of the groups targeted for suppression: college students, of which Watauga County has a bunch.

The campus of Appalachian State University has had an Early Voting station in the Student Union since 2008 for every election cycle -- up until last fall. Thousands of voters, including voters registered in every precinct in the county have voted there. Faculty and staff, who live all over the county, have found it very convenient to vote where they work. But not any more.

Yesterday, at the Embassy Suites in Cary, the majority members of the State Board of Elections brushed aside all the arguments against Republican Bill Aceto's plan to put one Early Voting station at the county admin bldg in downtown Boone, to serve over 60% of the voters, and to place several other sites remote from Boone. The SBOE interrupted Kathleen Campbell's presentation repeatedly and would not let her finish. All they wanted her to talk about were the hours of operation for Early Voting. It was as clear as a Carolina blue sky that the fix was already in before the meeting started: the SBOE intended to change Aceto's plan only so far as the hours of operation. And they even messed that up.

Aceto wanted all sites -- both in Boone and the remote sites -- to open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day for the entire Early Voting period. What was decided yesterday extended evening hours -- good! -- but mucked up the starting hours: For the first two weekdays of early voting, one-stop sites will now be open from 8 to 4 in the county and 8 to 5 in downtown Boone. The following week, all sites will be open from 11 am to 7 pm Monday through Friday, and 8 am to 1pm on the final Saturday. That means, if you're loitering around the Courthouse during early morning in the second week of Early Voting, you'll have to wait until 11 a.m. to cast that ballot. Early birds need not show up!

Where was Luke Eggers?
Chair of the Watauga County Board of Elections has become a disappeared person. He didn't bother to show up in Cary yesterday, and he's become a virtually invisible public official. He's ceded everything to BOE Secretary Bill Aceto.

Aceto said yesterday that he wouldn't consider a polling site in the ASU Student Union because it was impossible to control electioneering. He mentioned the "intimidation" of voters. He actually said that. Handing out voter guides and candidate material is now officially "intimidation." Wonder if he intended to include former Republican candidate Tommy Adams in that smear? Adams was running in 2012 for County Commission and was in the hallways of the Student Union every day and virtually every hour of Early Voting, and he was not shy about button-holing students. Other Republican candidates were also working those halls. If the students weren't buying what Adams et al. were peddling, I think we've found the real reason Aceto won't consider Early Voting in the Student Union. College voters actually can recognize creepiness when they encounter it, and they don't like the Republican vision of "All for Me, None for You!"

For the record, Bill Aceto himself voted at the Early Voting site in the Student Union well before he began "fighting on the front lines" of voter suppression, as Watauga Republican Party Chair Anne Marie Yates memorably praised him at the Republican County Convention on Saturday.

"Start a War or Build a Community"
The lone Democrat on the SBOE, Maya Kricker, was the member who asked Aceto why he wouldn't consider Early Voting in the Student Union, after having it there for so many election cycles and after Boone residents and ASU employees had grown accustomed to having it there.  "I don't see a compelling public interest in eliminating an early voting site that has served so many voters. The perception of fairness cannot be overstated .... We can create a war zone or we can build a community."

Zing! A war zone is exactly what Bill Aceto and Four Luke Eggers began to create in August 2013, when they rammed through a series of new resolutions written by the Republican County Attorney Four Eggers to block ballot-access for college students and incidentally try to force Elections Director Jane Anne Hodges out of her job. Citizens rose up against this agenda. With this new regime in control, Republicans thought they'd have a cake-walk taking over Boone Town Council last fall. Didn't work because voters got super-angry at the obvious, corrupt manipulation.

Bill Aceto is still ironically bragging that he and Four Luke have increased voter turnout since they took over the local BOE. He said that same line again yesterday in Cary. People from Boone laughed.

"The Lone Democrat on the SBOE"
Maya Kricker was the only member of the SBOE to show any interest in the constitutional problems of fencing off a class of voters and imposing undue ballot-access burdens on them.

SBOE members Foley (R), Amoroso (R), Howard (R),
Kricker (D), and Malcolm (?)
There is another nominal Democrat on the SBOE -- Joshua Malcolm -- but he's settled comfortably into his role as Klingon warrior for the dark empire. At one point yesterday, Malcolm held up a 3-inch-high stack of communications from Watauga County voters asking for an Early Voting site in the Student Union. Malcolm actually asked Kathleen Campbell, "These are from citizens and not students?"

"Citizens, not students." Last any of us checked, college students are also citizens of the Republic, Mr. Malcolm. That brand of thinking will get memorialized in a federal lawsuit near you one day, as it certainly got you appointed to the SBOE by the Dark Empire.

One very interesting side note about "maps with circles": The previous bedazzlement expressed by SBOE members for county maps with big, equal-sized circles on them totally evaporated yesterday (because none of those circles established any data on population density). Malcolm could not let it go, however, without defensively claiming that it was never just circles on maps that had motivated his preference for majority Republican Early Voting plans all across the state.

No, perhaps it was oxygen deprivation, living in the Republican pocket.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Headline of the Week

This will become iconic:

Thom Tillis says where he went to college shouldn’t matter

Read more here:

Only matters when you lie about it, repeatedly, in print and in interviews.

The Threat, Duly Noted

NC House Speaker and faker of educational credentials Thom Tillis, running in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, told the Henderson County Republican Convention on Saturday that, should the Republicans win a majority in the U.S. Senate, "it would enable the party to do for the country what it has done for North Carolina."

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Good Hands People

Governor McCrory's former boss and current Sugar Daddy, Duke Energy, deliberately pumped, over several months, 61 million gallons of coal ash water into a tributary of the Cape Fear River, an intentional "spill" which is more than twice the size of the Feb. 2 Dan River accidental spill.

McCrory's Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), which absolutely no one with at least two working brain cells trusts any more, notified Duke yesterday -- several days after DENR became aware of the pumping -- that putting 61 million gallons of coal ash toxins into the Cape Fear River, uh, violates the law (cough).

DENR also thoughtfully notified officials down-river of the pumping, in Sanford, Dunn, and Fayetteville, to be on alert for carcinogens in their drinking water. Gee, thanks!

With Duke Energy and DENR in charge of our future, what possibly could ever go wrong?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Thom Tillis, Faking His College Degree

That slickster Thom Tillis! He got his college degree from one of those on-line institutions (with a graduation rate of 4%!), but on multiple websites -- until this minute, after this bit of bogus biography became public -- tried to claim that he graduated from the University of Maryland. He didn't.

The on-line school is named "University of Maryland University College," which actually began as part of the Continuing Studies program at the University of Maryland in 1947 but completely separated from UMaryland in the 1970s. Completely separated but manages to benefit from a justifiable confusion among the higher-education-consuming public.

Just as Thom Tillis was trying to benefit from fudging his biography that he could -- and just did -- claim was a purely inadvertent error brought about by the similarity in names.

If there had been one purely inadvertent error, we might buy it. But the claim that Tillis graduated from the University of Maryland at College Park has occurred on his LinkedIn profile and then again on his biography page on his NC House Speaker website.



More About Those Circles on Maps

Josh Howard, Chair,
Is it only coincidence that Watauga Board of Elections member Bill Aceto produced circles on the map of Watauga County (see last post, down-column) that are virtually identical to circles on the map of Forsyth County that the majority Republicans down there used to ram through their own Early Voting Plan that established one polling station for the entire city of Winston-Salem?

At the hearing (via tele-conference) on March 6 of the State Board of Elections to determine which Early Voting plan would be adopted for Forsyth -- the majority Republican plan based on circles that ignored population density or the minority Democratic plan that acknowledged the greater population of Winston-Salem -- State Board of Elections Chair Joshua Howard said -- twice -- according to the transcript, that he found the Republican map with circles "striking."

Put a circle on a map and SBOE Chair Howard is simply dazzled.

Is that why Aceto put circles on a map?

Joshua Howard is a lawyer and may be excused, we guess, for being incompetent when it comes to geographical and demographical facts about the landscape (even though NC statutes mandate that the Board of Elections shall consider those factors in locating polling sites for the convenience of voters). His previous claims to fame are that he assisted the pit bulls in prosecuting Bill Clinton over Monica Lewinsky and he worked behind the scenes on the confirmations of John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Partisanship counts for more than mere statistics relating to ballot access.

Oh Look! Circles on Maps (And Other Shiny Objects)

Watauga Board of Elections honcho Bill Aceto had a map of Watauga County with yellow circles on it at the March 5 meeting of the board, which passed 2-1 the Republican plan for Early Voting in the May 6 primary, a plan based on those circles.

The five equally sized circles, radiating out from Aceto's five proposed Early Voting sites, were meant to prove that Aceto had considered "geography" in his proposal.

But Mr. Aceto's yellow circles are the illusion of geographical consideration, since they do not show roads, which voters actually travel on to vote, nor do they show population density ("demography"). The circle emanating from the Watauga County Admin Bldg in downtown Boone encompasses roughly 60% or more of Watauga County voters. How many voters are inside the circle centered on the Deep Gap Fire Department? Since that Deep Gap circle also takes in a nice chunk of Wilkes County, are we counting those voters too? (The Blowing Rock circle includes an even larger piece of Caldwell County.)

Simply drawing a 5-mile radius around a location and expecting every voter in that circle to use that location is laughable at best. It ignores completely the fact that voters use roads to access sites, and those voters will cast their ballots at the most convenient location. The evidence of that is clear in the 2012 and 2008 one-stop statistics. Some 30-40% of voters who lived within a mile of a one-stop location in Cove Creek and Foscoe chose instead to drive PAST those locations and cast their ballots in the Town of Boone, many of them in the Appalachian State University Student Union. (This fact is made abundantly clear in Kathleen Campbell's alternative Early Voting plan filed with the StateBoard of Elections.)

In this mountainous county, Mr. Aceto's yellow circles also disregard that all areas within one of his radiuses do not enjoy "inter-connectivity." The shortest distances between points in Watauga County are rarely feasible for travel. You have to follow existing roads, and Mr. Aceto's maps show no existing roads. His circles are meaningless fantasies.

Aceto is required by statute to consider geography. He's also required to consider demography, where people actually live. His map does no such thing. His map wants to assume that every radius contains the same density of population, which is preposterous.

And what about the significant slices of Watauga County that aren't within the radius of any of Mr. Aceto's circles? How are we to regard their role in the scheme of magic circles?

A man can stick a compass on a map and draw circles all day. It's not going to conceal the real purpose of why he stuck his compass where he did … to make it more difficult for one class of voters to get to the polls and to advantage his own party in upcoming elections.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Challenge To Bill Aceto's Early Voting Plan Will Be Heard Monday in Cary

Kathleen Campbell, the lone Democrat on the Watauga County Board of Elections, has submitted her complaint about the majority Republican plan for Early Voting in Watauga County, along with her own alternative plan. Her argument is supported by many exhibits, including maps and demographic information about the county. A hearing to determine which plan will prevail will be held before the State Board of Elections this coming Monday in Cary, 4 p.m., at the Cary Embassy Suites.

Bottomline: Campbell's Early Voting plan restores Early Voting on the campus of Appalachian State University and also places Early Voting polls at the Board of Elections, Boone Town Hall, Meat Camp VFD, Blowing Rock Town Hall, and the Western Watauga Community Center. Campbell's plan also does away with the sheer stupidity of closing all Early Voting at 4 p.m. each day, extending the hours into the evening for the convenience of working people. Plus Campbell presents ample evidence that her plan will actually cost less than the Aceto plan. Campbell's argument accuses the Aceto Plan of voter suppression against young voters, non-white voters, urban/suburban voters, and Democratic and Unaffiliated voters.

In making the argument for a polling place on the ASU campus, Campbell maintains that the Republican/Aceto plan deliberately discriminates against 18- to 21-year-olds, which you cannot do, according to the U.S. Supreme Court. In United States v. State of Texas (1978, which was upheld by the Supreme Court in the landmark Symm v. U.S., 1979), this crucial point was made about "fencing" off young voters from the opportunity to vote:
 …forcing young voters to undertake special burdens -- obtaining absentee ballots, or traveling to one centralized location in each city, for example -- in order to exercise their right to vote might well serve to dissuade them from participating in the election. This result and the election procedures that create it, are at least inconsistent with the purpose of the Voting Rights Act, which sought to encourage greater political participation on the part of the young, such segregation might even amount to a denial of their 14th Amendment right to equal protection of the laws.
There is not one sentient being in Watauga County who does not understand that the Republican agenda since last August has been the active discouragement of voting by ASU students. Campbell's argument to the State Board of Elections exposes that discrimination with great clarity and convincing detail.

There's a great deal more in Campbell's Early Voting submission, which we'll continue to unpack as we approach next Monday's hearing. The full document and all the exhibits are linked above for your own leisure reading.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Soucek & Jordan Voted for This Travesty

Champions of the public good,
Sen. Dan Soucek and
Rep. Jonathan Jordan
"Regulatory Reform" -- ha!

Duke Energy led the new Republican majority in the North Carolina General Assembly by their noses to insert 330 little words into a bill regulating water quality (among other things), altering "a provision that had been on the books for decades, requiring Duke to halt the source of contamination if its subterranean plumes of pollution crept more than 500 feet from its ash dumps."

But even before Duke's lobbyists began whispering in legislators' ears, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) had not been enforcing the law (under either Democratic or Republican administrations)
A "compliance boundary" is like an early warning system. If groundwater contamination inside the line exceeds state environmental standards, a company is supposed to take corrective action. The goal is to stop the spread of pollution to neighboring properties, as well as rivers and streams.
But that wasn’t happening. Instead of enforcing the limit, state officials were letting Duke continue to pollute groundwater inside its compliance boundaries around old ash pits without taking any action to stop the contamination. At some plants, regulators even let Duke redraw its compliance boundaries when it looked like contamination might cross the line — a stalling tactic to avoid the cost of cleanup.
After environmental groups began attempting to sue DENR and Duke Energy to enforce water pollution laws, Duke's lobbyists and their blank checks went into action in 2013:
Working closely with lawmakers, the lobbyists helped craft a provision to conform to the way state regulators had been interpreting the law. The change would allow Duke to contaminate groundwater until it crossed onto a neighbor’s property.
The fact that the general public is just now learning how corrupted state government has become via the largest and most powerful corporate bully in the state does not lessen the outrage. Don't forget either that Gov. Squishy, a 29-year employee of Duke Energy, signed that abomination into law.

This Show's Gonna Get Even Better

Convicted swindler and U.S. Senate candidate Greg Brannon sez rival U.S. Senate candidate and slick-as-a-greased-eel Speaker of the NC House Thom Tillis is an exemplar of "a culture of corruption."

It's popcorn time!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Franklin Graham: I Never Met a Gay-Hating Tyrant I Didn't Like

Franklin Graham now hearts Vladimir Putin as much as he disdains Barack Obama, because ole Vlad the Impaler is inciting violence against gay people in Russia, while Obama preaches sissified tolerance.

Friday, March 14, 2014

When Jon Stewart's Good...

...he's brilliant!

He's especially brilliant when unpacking the smug hypocrisy of Fox News, or when he's angry, and he was both last night.

Does Buncombe Have More Drama Than Watauga?

You be the judge.

This could supply a full season's scenario for "The House of Cards."

You've got a dewy-eyed and reportedly naive Democratic challenger and a shiv-wielding Republican incumbent by the name of Tim Moffitt, who's angling to replace Thom Tillis as Speaker of the NC House.

You've got the back room of an Italian eatery.

You've got a third-party witness who's also a Republican office-holder and hardly to be credited as an unbiased commentator.

Every bad thing that happened legislatively to Asheville in 2013 can be traced straight back to Tim Moffitt.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

This Man Simply MUST Win the Republican Primary for US Senate!

OB/GYN Doc Greg Brannon, who's also now a convicted swindler and a notable plagiarist, knows why women abort. It's because they believe in evolution! No kidding! Believing in evolution will totally screw up your mothering. And you know what else? Planned Parenthood wants you to be able to murderize your children up through three months of age.

All of which is the Gospel Truth and the reason why I believe this man simply must be the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate from North Carolina!

Thom Tillis who?

The Preacherman Confining His US Senate Campaign to Baptist Pulpits

Apparently, he's just more "comfortable" in Baptist churches.

My! Godless, homosexual, socialist Washington DeeCee is gonna absolutely creep him out!

Kevin Siers, Charlotte Observer, 12 March 2014.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

NC DENR Disappears Climate Change Science

Mr. John Skvarla (bless his heart!) can't seem to scrub anything clean except the website of his Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), which has recently been washed of any scientific evidence of climate change.

Maybe Gov. Squishy told him to do it. McCrory too has become a national laughingstock on whether the science of climate change has anything to do with anything other than God's will.

Was it perhaps also God's will for Duke Energy to defy environmental laws and pollute our state's water supply at every last one of their dozen + coal ash dumps?

Dan-Boy and Preacher, Sittin' in a Tree...

Sen. Dan Soucek has endorsed preacher Mark Harris in the Republican senatorial primary, in which NC House Speaker Thom Tillis is considered the front-runner and Tea Party swindler Greg Brannon is considered the runner-up.

Why Reverend Harris isn't doing better in polling in this race is something of a puzzlement, but it didn't stop Sen. Soucek from embracing his candidacy.

Both Soucek and Harris were major pushers of the anti-gay marriage Amendment One in 2012.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Empty Suit Loses More Buttons

Gov. Squishy got pinned by a classroom full of private school fourth graders yesterday in Raleigh, proving that he isn't even up to the challenge of facing questions from 10-year-olds.

The cost of cleaning up Duke Energy's coal ash spill into the Dan River is "the big issue," McCrory said but wouldn't take a position on whether Duke should get away with passing the costs on to the consumers. He passed the buck to the NC Utilities Commission, a majority of whom are now Squishy's appointees. Are they prepared to carry the governor's waffling into action and allow the corporation to stick the public with the costs?

Did you know, O my brethren, that "all forms of energy have a downside"? That's what McCrory told the students. Coal ash is just a "downside." No big thang!

"McCrory seemed miffed that he is receiving a good bit of the scrutiny because of his three-decade tenure at Duke Energy."

That's our governor ... always "miffed" because people notice that he's a paper tiger, a complete cypher, a creature of smarter and tougher minds, someone who can't even look strong to a bunch of fourth graders.

Big Boob(s) in Ashvegas

The District 3 County Commissioner race in Buncombe County is an all-Republican circus, with two extremely conservative challengers (until yesterday) trying to oust a Republican incumbent. Whoever wins the primary takes the seat.

Until yesterday, a prime Tea Party candidate, Lewis Clay, was in the race to win, but then it came to light that Mr. Clay had "likes" on his Facebook page of "Bored and Available" and "Big Boobs."


The "Big Boobs" site is apparently not a tribute page for extremely conservative politicians who can't keep their appetites under wraps, though that would be appropriate.