Monday, August 31, 2015

AUGUST 2015 BONEHEAD ABSURDITY OF THE MONTH

 
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1. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Donald Trump isn’t the only one saying outrageous things in a quest for headlines. In an apparent attempt to differentiate himself from Jeb Bush and the other GOP hopefuls, Walker said he would be prepared to bomb Iran on his first day in the Oval Office.
 
Speaking to reporters [in Iowa] this month after an appearance at the Family Leader Summit, Walker said the next president will need to be prepared to take aggressive action against Iran, "very possibly" including military strikes, on the day he or she is inaugurated. He went on to say he would not be comfortable with a commander- in-chief unwilling to act aggressively on day one of a new presidency.
 
With our recent war disasters, the Republican thirst for more war is mind-boggling. As absurd as is Walker’s boast, I expect other GOP hopefuls to up his anti. Who will be the first to call for a nuclear strike?
 
2. Presidential Hopeful Jeb Bush. Bush thinks he can avoid being tarred with the stain of his brother's failed presidency by shifting the blame for the chaos Dubya unleashed in Iraq.

“That premature withdrawal was the fatal error, creating the void that ISIS moved in to fill. Where was the secretary of state, Secretary of State Clinton, in all of this? Like the president himself, she had opposed the surge, then joined in claiming credit for its success, then stood by as that hard-won victory by American and allied forces was thrown away.”
 
Like me, haven’t you had your fill of Republican attempts to rewrite history and reassign responsibility for our foolish and disastrous invasion of Iraq? The decision alone to go to war in Iraq, an unnecessary and pointless conflict based on dubious intelligence and hyped threats of nuclear, biological attacks, has to be among the most catastrophic decisions in American history. Yet there is so much more. In launching a war against Iraq, Dubya ran roughshod over the international legal system that the U.S. helped form, angered and undermined key allies, soiled U.S. image in the world, and drained our economy. A failure to prioritize post-war planning ensured a long-term and ruinous occupation that weakened America even further.

3. Conservative Columnist George Will. You can count on Will to jump on every conservative bandwagon. Now it’s the right’s vitriol against funding Planned Parenthood. He said:
 
“We are wallowing in this moral swamp because the Supreme Court accelerated the desensitization of the nation by using words and categories about abortion the way infants use knives and forks -- with gusto, but sloppily. Because Planned Parenthood's snout is deep in the federal trough, decent taxpayers find themselves complicit in the organization's vileness. What kind of a government disdains the deepest convictions of citizens by forcing them to finance what they see in videos -- Planned Parenthood operatives chattering about bloody human fragments? "Taxes," said Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., "are what we pay for civilized society." Today they finance barbarism.”
 
Finance barbarism?” Someone needs to point out to Will that Planned Parenthood does not use any federal money for abortion procedures -- it's been unlawful for nearly 40 years. This is the typical right wing method of attack. Base your own lies on a deceptive series of faked and falsified video reports. No matter what the reality actually is, ignore it. The Washington Post’s running of this fallacious opinion speaks volumes.

4. GOP Presidential Contender Mike Huckabee. The guy who blasted Democrats for claiming conservatives are engaging in a “war on women” said that if elected, he wouldn’t rule out employing federal troops or the Federal Bureau of Investigation to stop abortion from taking place in the United States.
 
Reminded that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled against bans on abortion, Huckabee said past presidents have defied Supreme Court rulings, saying “Supreme Court and laws of the land be damned.”
 
And I thought he was a strict constructionist. Instead, he’s just an absurd bonehead.

5. Donald Trump. A Bonehead month wouldn’t be complete without a Donald Trump zinger. Talking to the Detroit News about U.S. auto manufacturers moving production to Mexico, Trump provided the reason: Detroit autoworkers make too much money. Trump’s said U.S. automakers should shift production away from Michigan to communities where autoworkers would make less.
 
“You can go to different parts of the United States and then ultimately you’d do full-circle — you’ll come back to Michigan because those guys are going to want their jobs back even if it is less,” Trump said. “We can do the rotation in the United States — it doesn’t have to be in Mexico.” He said that after Michigan “loses a couple of plants — all of sudden you’ll make good deals in your own area.”
 
See? The problem we have is that Michigan autoworkers are getting paid too much. We need to destroy their jobs and starve them until they are willing to go back to work at a lower wage. Trump is, of course, dead wrong about this. Although wages are lower at non-union U.S. plants owned by foreign automakers, hourly employees for Detroit’s Big Three are paid the same no matter what state they’re in, under the terms of United Auto Workers contracts.
 
On top of being an arrogant, insensitive, mean-spirited shithead, Trump is also severely out of touch with reality.

6. Presidential Hopeful Rand Paul. A Senate subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging, chaired by Bernie Sanders, held hearings on August 11 on the human toll and consequences” of senior hunger. Panelists shared tales of the woes of older Americans unable to get enough food and noted that poor nutrition resulted in significant increases in medical care costs for seniors (expected to reach $54.9 billion by 2020. They urged that the $2 billion per year nutrition programs under the Older Americans Act of 1965 be substantially increased.
 
This might have been non-controversial a few years ago, but not with the Tea Party in town. The hearing produced a fierce debate between Sanders and Sen. Paul about whether the government should even perform simple tasks like feeding hungry senior citizens. Paul explicitly rejected extensive evidence that more spending for better nutrition would save money in the long run, saying:
 
“It’s curious that only in Washington can you spend $2 billion and claim that you’re saving money. The idea or notion that spending money in Washington somehow is saving money really flies past most of the taxpayers.”
 
Instead, Paul touted the “nobility of private charity” as opposed to government-funded “transfer programs.” He suggested privatizing Meals on Wheels and other government assistance for hungry seniors.
 
What drives free-market worshipers? Are they blind to facts or simply callous to the needs of the elderly and the poor? Privatization of food programs is no solution; for many, it’s a death sentence.
 
7. Former Vice President Dick Cheney. Leave it to Cheney to top all the previous pack of lies he has spewed out. In an excerpt from his forthcoming book “written” with his puppet daughter Liz, published in the August 8 Wall Street Journal, the Cheneys boldly asserted that the Iran nuclear deal would lead to the first use of nuclear weapons since 1945.
 
"Nearly everything the president has told us about his Iranian agreement is false. He has said it will prevent the Iranians from acquiring nuclear weapons, but it will actually facilitate and legitimize an Iranian nuclear arsenal," they wrote. "The Obama agreement will lead to a nuclear-armed Iran, a nuclear-arms race in the Middle East and, more than likely, the first use of a nuclear weapon since Hiroshima and Nagasaki."
 
In previous posts, I referred to Cheney as delusional (Dick Cheney is a Dangerous Delusional Ideologue) and a sociopath (I was Wrong: Dick Cheney is a Sociopath); now I must add “ignorant alarmist.” Whom would Iran be nuking?  ISIS?  Maybe the Cheneys are just itching for the U.S. to nuke Iran.   The saddest thing is that so many of his right-wing brethren believe his shit. Go figure.

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And the winner is:

While factual errors fit the classification of a bonehead absurdity, when they’re committed and repeated over and over again by the same people, they can no longer be seen as examples of ignorance, looseness with facts, or the inevitable misstatements tired candidates make on the campaign trail. The blatant lies speak volumes about the bankruptcy of American journalism, which consistently fails to expose falsehoods and the utter contempt many politicians have for the truth-- as well as the American public.

This said, I’ve decided to choose Jeb Bush as the August Bonehead Absurdity winner. I’ve simply had my fill of right-wing efforts to rewrite the histories of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the rise of ISIS, among other things.  The JEB selection commemorates conservative historical revisionism.






















































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