Sunday, November 30, 2014



This month’s bonehead absurdities offer a glimpse of the wing-nuts voters elected in November. Go figure.  

1. What would you think if the writer of the book, The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future, became head of the most important Senate committee on the environment? Well, get ready. In what may prove the most disastrous consequence of the November election, leading climate change denier, James Inhofe (R-Ok.) will be replacing Barbara Boxer as chair of the Committee on Environment and Public Works. This is like having an arsonist as the local fire chief.  

The hyper-religious Inhofe prefers to let our climate future rest with God. As he said in his book: “My point is, God’s still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing with the climate is to me outrageous.  

His response to the IPCC Synthesis Report released two weeks ago:  

“The idea that our advanced industrialized economy would ever have zero carbon emissions is beyond extreme and further proof that the IPCC is nothing more than a front for the environmental left. It comes as no surprise that the IPCC is again advocating for the implementation of extreme climate change regulations that will cripple the global economy and send energy prices skyrocketing. The United States is in the midst of an energy renaissance that has the potential to bring about American energy independence, which would strengthen our national security and energy reliability for generations into the future. At a time of economic instability and increased threats to American interests, the IPCC’s report is little more than high hopes from the environmental left.”  

2. Jody Hice (R-GA). Another beneficiary of a hard-right conservative district, Hice is a Tea Party Republican straight out of central casting. He’s a preacher, conservative radio host, gun-toter, and the district's worthy successor to Paul Broun, who famously called "Evolution and embryology and the big bang theory ….lies from the pit of Hell."

Hice's most recent hit has been the assertion that Muslim-Americans are not protected by the First Amendment because Islam is not a true religion. He also is viciously anti-gay and is for women entering politics only if it is "within the authority of her husband."  

Jody Hice probably shouldn’t be considered a bonehead of the absurd; he’s just plain mean.
3. Gordon Klengenschmidt (R-Colorado Springs). We still haven't found the lowest denominator on how crazy you can be and still get elected to office in modern America. One of the GOP candidates recently swept into office in Colorado was a former Navy chaplain who believes gays are "unhuman" and once performed an on-air exorcism of President Barack Obama. Klingenschmitt won just under 70 percent of the vote in the state's 15th House district.  

Klengenschmitt thinks "Obamacare causes cancer," that the Bible commands people to own guns in order to "defend themselves against left wing crazies," that ISIS is a sign of the End Times, and that the FCC is allowing demonic spirits to "molest and visually rape your children."  

Take a bow Colorado Springs district for electing this idiot.  

4. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis), firm believer in a drill-baby-drill energy future, once again revealed his cluelessness when he recommended approval of the Keystone XL pipeline because it would reduce our dependence on foreign oil:  

“Republicans in Congress should also enact a comprehensive energy policy that makes the United States less dependent on foreign oil—including approving the Keystone XL pipeline.”  

I hate to be the bearer of bad news for Gov. Walker, but the whole point of the Keystone XL pipeline is to import Canadian oil into the U.S. Of course he failed to mention, if he was even aware, that foreign oil imports are down by about 25 percent since President Obama took office.  

5. More Governor Scott Walker. Walker is a worthy candidate, along with Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh, for the Bonehead Absurdity Hall-of-Fame. God bless him! Defending his fellow Republican governors’ decision to block Medicaid expansion in their states, Walker (R) on November 14 suggested that denying health coverage to additional low-income Americans helps more people “live the American Dream” because they won’t be “dependent on the American government.” He explained:  

“Beyond that, I just ask the basic question: Why is more people on Medicaid a good thing?” he said. “I’d rather find a way, particularly for able-bodied adults without children. I’d like to find a way to get them into the workforce. [...] I think ideologically, that’s a better approach, not just as a conservative, but as an American. Have more people live the American dream if they’re not dependent on the American government.”  

This is the American Dream? I must have been missed something growing up. I didn’t know that denying health coverage to low income Americans was something we should strive for. Given that such a denial will likely result in the deaths of thousands of people, maybe the dream aspect is that with a reduced population there will be more goodies to go around. I guess the poor should just follow the old Nancy Reagan adage on the drug problem: just say no to sickness. That’ll work.  

6. Mike Pence (Governor, Indiana): Shades of Wisconsin governor Scott Walker who claimed that preventing poor people in his state from obtaining Federal Government-subsidized health insurance will help them ”live the American Dream,” now Indiana governor Mike Pence wants to "ennoble" state residents by cutting off their food stamps.  

The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration announced last month that beginning in 2015, it would no longer request a waiver to the federal work requirement for certain people who use the SNAP program. Up to 65,000 single Hoosiers could lose food stamp benefits unless they are working 20 hours a week or attending job training.  

Speaking to Fox News (of course) on Tuesday, Pence argued that 50,000 people had joined the Indiana workforce since 2008 so it was time to return to a "core principle" of welfare reform. [...] "I'm someone that believes there's nothing more ennobling to a person than a job," Pence insisted.  

Pence must have forgotten that there are vastly more unemployed people in the Midwest than there are available jobs and that Walker’s love of austerity and union-busting has harmed the job market. Or, maybe he just thinks scrounging through a trash can for food is ennobling.  

7. Michele Bachmann (R-Min) put her racist credentials clearly on display in commenting on President Obama’s action on immigration. Moving beyond the usual Republican claims about executive overreach, Bachmann said:  

“The social cost will be profound on the U.S. taxpayer — millions of unskilled, illiterate, foreign nationals coming into the United States who can’t speak the English language,” Bachmann told reporters at the Capitol. “Even though the president says they won’t be able to vote, we all know that many, in all likelihood, will vote.” She added: “The president has a very single-minded vision. He’s looking at new voters for 2016.... People do vote without being a citizen. It’s a wink and a nod. We all know it’s going to happen."  

As any informed person knows, the plan is not about new arrivals; it’s about allowing people who have already been in the United States for years to avoid deportation. Bachmann’s point about new non-citizens voting, however, is consistent with the right-wing myth about extensive voting fraud, which it uses to justify voter restriction that have been imposed in nearly half of our states.  

What’s the evidence for her absurd claims? Typical Bachmannian:  

"... I spent four days at the border and spoke to American Hispanics on the border. That’s what they told me. Those are not Michele Bachmann’s words, those words came from Hispanics who live on the border…. I’m not using a pejorative term against people who are non-American citizens. I’m only repeating what I heard from Hispanic Americans down at the border. That’s what they told me."


8. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa). The new senator-elect, who professes to believe in the fringe constitutional theory called “nullification” (where states have the right to nullify federal law) told audiences she’s ready to take up arms against the government, and thinks the UN’s Agenda 21 is “a threat to the American way of life.”

Ready to take up arms against the government? In my day this was called treason. Agenda 21 is a non-binding, voluntarily implemented action plan of the UN to promote sustainable development. Ernst thinks this is a threat to our way of life. Maybe she’s right; our unsustainable way of living is part of the problem. As a senator, Ernst will no doubt help us continue to gobble up a grossly disproportionate share of the world’s resources.  

9. Tom Cotton (R-Ark). Cotton defeated Mark Pryor to become senator. Deploying the oft-used right-wing tactic of manipulating fear, he said in a telephone town hall:  

“Groups like the Islamic State collaborate with drug cartels in Mexico, who have clearly shown they’re willing to expand outside the drug trade into human trafficking and potentially even terrorism. They could infiltrate our defenseless border and attack us right here in places like Arkansas.  

And the winner is:  

Cotton, Ernst, Hice, Klengenschmidt, Pence, Bachmann—a worthy group of boneheads, indeed--but for this month’s winner, I have to go with the eminently absurd Scott Walker.

1 comment:

  1. I don't know, they are all scary as hell. I sort of like the theology of Senator Inhofe, though. After all, it seems that he can read the mind of God, and he is the incoming chair of just the right committee for him. We're screwed.


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