by John Grooms
Heres some news, followed by two bits of bad news, some unbelievable news, and then sorta good news:
The News: As the 112th Congress settles in for the next couple of years, North Carolinas own Rep. Virginia Foxx (NC-5th district) will take over as chair of a subcommittee which focuses on higher education. The subcommittee, part of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, oversees federal policy on U.S. colleges and universities.
Bad News 1: Here is how Virginia Foxx voted during the past 16 months on several bills that either allotted more funds to federal student aid or increased access to higher education:
12/08/2010 DREAM Act -- NO
08/10/2010 Aid To States for Medicaid and Teacher Employment -- NO
07/01/2010 Fiscal Year 2009-2010 Supplemental Appropriations -- NO
03/25/2010 Health Care Reconciliation Act -- NO
03/21/2010 Health Care Reconciliation Act -- NO
09/17/2009 Student Aid Program Modifications -- NO
Bad News 2: An important education subcommittee will now be chaired by an ongoing Goofball Show. Foxx is so deep into the far, loony right, she makes Sue Myrick look like Nancy Pelosi. Shes one of the only legislators honored to be in a late-night Jimmy Fallon slow-jam, and has served her constituents by repeatedly making a fool of herself with outlandish rhetoric right out of the 1950s McCarthy era. Foxx's reaction to the economic downturn? It's the Democrats' fault, of course, but those who are "right with God" have nothing to worry about. She also accused Democrats of supporting "anti-American" policies; has routinely denied saying things that were captured on film.; was one of only 11 members of Congress to vote against the aid package to victims of Hurricane Katrina; and even voted against extending the Voting Rights Act. So far, her biggest accomplishment in Congress has been to successfully maneuver a joint resolution praising the Christmas tree industry through the House, although the resolution died in the Senate. She became a national laughing-stock when she declared that health care reform plans would "put seniors in a position of being put to death by their government," and that we have more to fear from (health care reform) than we do from any terrorist right now in any country." And who can forget when she claimed on the House floor that the thoroughly documented, homophobia-fueled murder of Matthew Shepherd was "a hoax," and that Shepherd had been caught committing a robbery? Foxx had to retract the statement almost immediately.
Unbelievable News: Foxx is a former president of Mayland Community College in Spruce Pine, N.C.
Good News: For journalists and fans of humor based on rightwing lunacy, the next two years should be rich, particularly with Foxx attempting to chair subcommittee meetings related to education. Because, have no fear, Virginia Foxxs weirdness just keeps on keeping on. Her latest foray into delusion is to claim, apparently after tuning in to Glenn Beck, that Jared Loughner, the Arizona shooter, couldnt have been influenced by rightwing hate speech because this guy appears to be a communist. His beliefs are the liberal of the liberals. Thats because Loughner says he read The Communist Manifesto. Never mind that he also read Mein Kampf by Hitler who was the King Hell Commie Hater of all time, and We The Living by Ayn Rand, the far-right, pseudo-philosopher and writer who is revered by many conservatives. So Foxx turns out to be not only uninformed, but also easily misled. Should be an, umm, interesting two years, full of dark humor aplenty.