Sunday, May 3, 2015

APRIL 2015 BONEHEAD ABSURDITY OF THE MONTH

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1. Texas State Senator Donna Campbell. The Tea Party Republican from Pluto startled even her far-right colleagues by introducing a bill to ban any foreign ownership of the Alamo. Campbell is not worried about a possible take-over by the Mexican government, but from the ferocious invading forces of the United Nations.

Campbell’s rush to the barricades was spurred by a news item that UNESCO is considering including the Alamo as a World Heritage Site, where it would share company with the Statue of Liberty, The Grand Canyon, and other historic sites. When a colleague gently asked her what kind of a problem she was trying to solve, Campbell responded:

“Anything that starts with the UN gives me cause for concern.”

I’m sure all you history buffs, preservationists, and aficionados of the absurd are pleased to know Senator Campbell has the Alamo’s back.


2. Republican Political Strategist Ron Christie. Echoing Republican talking points, Christie equated the tentative nuclear weapons agreement with Iran with Chamberlain’s capitulation at Munich. On Chris Mathew’s Hardball, Christie told Mathews:

“Well Chris, for me it's starting to feel a lot more like September of 1938 where Neville Chamberlain, the Prime Minister of Great Britain, said the deal he concluded with Hitler was akin to peace in our time.

Mathews hit back at Christie, neocons,, and Republicans for comparing Obama to Hitler. He spared few words:

Like you guys ought to have been embarrassed about the Iraq war. And never apologized for that. You are wrong, wrong, wrong, over and over again and you never get ashamed of it. And you keep making the most outrageous things. Comparing this president to being in bed with Hitler is disgusting."

Kudos to Chris Mathews! Too bad journalists didn’t speak out like this before the build-up to the war in Iraq.

3. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ar). Fresh from his treasonous open letter to Iran, Cotton is now pledging to do everything he can to block the deal that would lengthen the time it would take Iran to produce a bomb from just a few months to a year. Extending that breakout timeline, though, is not what Cotton wants to see:

"I'm going to do everything I can to stop these terms from becoming a final deal," Cotton said Friday on CNN's The Lead, noting it is unclear when the deal would attempt to lift international sanctions. [...]

"It was not a framework, it was just a detailed list of American concessions that is going to put Iran on the path to a nuclear weapon, whether they followed the terms...or they violate the terms," Cotton said.

Wait, I thought we undertook negotiations because Iran was already on a path to a nuclear weapon. That’s why we negotiated the deal: to short-circuit their time table. Cotton later showed his true colors when he offered the following “solution” as a better approach to preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons than negotiating a verifiable agreement in conjunction with our allies.

“Several days [of] air and naval bombing against Iran’s weapons of mass destruction facilities” should do the trick.

Can he really be so stupid or is he just delusional? If Republican fanatics are successful in scuttling the nuclear deal with Iran, pressure to bomb could become irresistible. This is probably what right-wing Republicans and their fellow ideological travelers have in mind. This neocon fantasy is not just absurd; it’s reckless and terrifyingly dangerous. Do we want another war in the Middle East? More instability and chaos? Apparently Cotton and his flock do.

4. Conservative Pundit Bill Kristol. When asked on ABC’s This Week who is the most promising Republican candidate not in the race yet? Kristol said:

“If they get to nominate Hillary Clinton, why don't we get to nominate Dick Cheney? I mean, he has a much—he has a much better record...”

Cheney a much better record? For what, getting into wars? Lying? Bullying? It’s absolutely amazing how quickly the Right forgets the past. It's a learned skill.

5. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). Cruz took his pro-gun advocacy to a new level when he told supporters in a fundraising email:

"The 2nd Amendment to the Constitution isn't for just protecting hunting rights, and it's not only to safeguard your right to target practice. It is a Constitutional right to protect your children, your family, your home, our lives, and to serve as the ultimate check against governmental tyranny -- for the protection of liberty."

While this "insurrectionist" argument is popular among lunatics, like Ted Nugent, far-right militias, and some in the Tea Party movement, you would think that a presidential candidate would shun being associated with such a check on “government tyranny.” What would this check entail, shooting a government regulator or an IRS agent? I can’t imagine other GOP contenders would want to be linked with the insurrectionist rationale. One wonders where the wisdom lies in pitching to crazed government-hating gun addicts, but whoever said Cruz was wise.

6. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wi). Ryan proudly told CPAC recently that Republicans completely understand the American people, in stark contrast to how "the left" is offering people "a full stomach and an empty soul." He was offering this tidbit as a criticism of the federal free lunch program.

Ryan cited a story he heard from Eloise Anderson, who "serves in the cabinet of my buddy Scott Walker." Anderson told Ryan of an encounter with:

... a young boy from a very poor family, and every day at school he would get a free lunch from a government program. He told Eloise he didn’t want a free lunch. He wanted his own lunch, one in a brown paper bag, just like the other kids. He wanted one, he said, because he knew a kid with a brown paper bag had someone who cared for him. This is what the left does not understand.

Apparently what the left doesn't understand is that this child should go hungry because it's been made clear to him that being poor means his parents somehow love him less. Trust Ryan to miss the pathos of a child having been taught this. Maybe if we take that kid's free school lunch away, his parents will be able to scrounge up a brown paper bag to send him to school with every day with nothing in it. And what about kids whose parents send them to school with lunch money, not brown paper bags, because both of their parents work and do not have time to be packing a lunch every day? What else might Ryan require for a family to qualify as loving—mothers driving their children to and from school every day, or taking them to golf lessons?

7. Former Governor of Alaska and VP Candidate Sarah Palin. Asked on Greta Van Susteren’s show earlier this month about what she thought of President Obama’s reference to America’s “Sputnik moment” during his state of the union address, Palin showed her gross ignorance of history.

Unaware that the Soviet launching of Sputnik spurred the U.S. to ramp up scientific exploration of space, ultimately reaching to the moon and beyond, Palin claimed the Sputnik moment was a bad thing for America and the fact that President Obama “would aspire Americans to celebrate it” represents a “WTF moment. “Why? Because, she said, Sputnik “resulted in the inevitable collapse of the Soviet Union.”

If Ignorance about Sputnik and the causes of the Soviet breakup are not absurd enough for a national politician, Palin’s claim that the breakup was “a bad thing” is mind-boggling. She may be the stupidest politician in American history, and that’s saying a lot. What’s most astonishing, though, is that millions of Americans take this moron seriously.

8. Former Rep. and Conservative Darling of the Right, Michele Bachmann. Bachmann believes things are so bad on earth, with gay marriage, abortions, illegal immigration, Obama, and Iran getting the bomb, that it is just a matter of time until Jesus returns to take only good Christians into heaven. She said:

“We get to be living in the most exciting time in history,” so “rejoice.” “Jesus Christ is coming back. We, in our lifetimes potentially, would see Jesus Christ returning to earth, the Rapture of the Church.” . . . We need to realize how close this clock is to getting towards the midnight hour. Barack Obama is intent, it is his number one goal, to ensure that Iran has a nuclear weapon.”

Bachmann considers good Christians to be members of her delusional death cult. And we thought Jim Jones and David Koresh were kooks.

9. The Koch Brothers-funded, Climate Change-denying, Heartland Institute sent some of its crackpot scientists to Rome to correct Pope Francis’ ideas about global warming. The Heartland Institute has been a key financial backer of the climate science denial campaign, much like it did when it worked alongside cigarette manufacturers to question the dangers of second-hand smoke. On the eve of the Vatican summit on the environment, the Institute hosted a workshop featuring two “real scientists” who told those in attendance that there is “abundant data showing human greenhouse gas emissions are not causing climate change.”

Institute president Joseph Bast said:

“The Holy Father is being misled by ‘experts’ at the United Nations who have proven unworthy of his trust. Humans are not causing a climate crisis on God’s Green Earth – in fact, they are fulfilling their Biblical duty to protect and use it for the benefit of humanity..."

The Kochs are doing the Lord's work! They embody human prosperity! Apparently Pope Francis did not listen.

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And the winner is:

Even though I'm used to Palin absurdities, her empty-headed Sputnik comment is extreme even for her.  It earns Palin this month's Bonehead Absurdity Award.  Texas Senator Donna Campbell was a close runner-up.



































1 comment:

  1. Good choice, Ron, but I'm waiting for the "All of the above" winner.

    ReplyDelete

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