The Follies-Awards, Outrages, and Oddities of the Week

The Follies-Awards, Outrages, and Oddities of the Week

- in Fitzsimon File

Maybe if he had turned off the television

This week's edition brings back an old tradition, the Friday Follies awards, citations for people in politics and the public policy world who have not so much distinguished themselves in this past week, as drawn attention to themselves for their statements or odd behavior.   

An obvious place to start is in South Carolina, where Rep. Joe Wilson wins the award for "Most likely to have watched an endless loop of Lou Dobbs" for shouting "you lie" during President Obama's health care address to Congress this week.

Wilson couldn't contain himself when Obama correctly pointed out that his health care reform proposal would not provide services to undocumented immigrants.  Wilson called the White House to apologize after his outburst was condemned by Democrats and Republicans alike, though his contrition didn't last very long, as he was soon using the incident to raise money for his reelection campaign.  

An appearance on Lou Dobbs for Wilson can't be far off.  Maybe they can also talk more about where they think Obama was really born or the one-world government just around the corner.

An odd definition of protection

Closer to home, Governor Beverly Perdue and legislative leaders deserve recognition for their reassurances that the state budget passed this summer protected public education, maybe the "That's a funny way to show you care" award for slashing the budgets of public schools.

The real effect of those cuts is now coming to light across the state, most recently in Robeson County where the school board received a budget briefing this week.  The Robesonian reports that board members were told that funding for literacy coaches, staff development, and student accountability programs was zeroed out. 

Money for substitute teachers, custodial staff, and clerical support was also sharply reduced. The system lost $22 million in state funding and 22 jobs. The school board delayed a decision about how to cope with cuts to transportation services, after discovering that cutting the number of bus stops won't come close to solving the problem.

This in the poorest county in North Carolina, a state whose leaders  always tell us that education is the key to reducing poverty.  And now they aren't sure they have enough money to even get all the kids to school, much less improve the education they receive when they get there.

The company you keep

One of the folks at the John Locke Foundation recently announced that he was headed to Washington for tomorrow's 912 taxpayer march, an event with a name that hardly does the protest justice. It is the brainchildren of embattled right-wing talk show extremist Glenn Beck.

If that's not enough to make you wonder why an employee of what seeks to be a reputable think tank would attend, consider some of the sponsors of the protest, like the National Association of Rural Landowners.

The group that has produced a video called "The Coming Civil War," in which its leader Ron Ewart talks about the federal government mandating socialism and one-world order in the schools, Americans declaring war on the "non-producers,"  small armed revolts springing up across county, violent attacks on "illegal aliens," and the coming martial law that will start a civil war.

Those are the folks the Locker will be marching alongside this weekend in Washington.  

Staying classy

Speaking of the Lockers, Jeff Taylor with the Charlotte branch is back with his vitriol, saying that anyone who goes to see Michael Moore's latest movie "should be disqualified from voting as a mental defective."

That's offensive on a lot of fronts, but not that surprising from someone who used the organization' blog to wish that a public official and his wide would die in a fire.  At least we know the Lockers are staying classy.

About the author

Chris Fitzsimon, Founder and Executive Director of N.C. Policy Watch, writes the Fitzsimon File, delivers a radio commentary broadcast on WRAL-FM and hosts "News and Views," a weekly radio news magazine that airs on multiple stations across North Carolina.