Monday, January 4, 2016

DECEMBER 2015 BONEHEAD ABSURDITY OF THE MONTH


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1. Colorado State Republican Representative JoAnn Windholz. Windholz issued a statement on the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood attack that left 3 dead and 9 wounded last week. The Colorado Independent published her jaw-dropping statement:​
 
“The freedoms we enjoy in the United States include those that were made up to fit the audience and unsubstantiated numerical support, specifically the right to an abortion. When a violent act happens at a Planned Parenthood (pph) facility (most recent in Colorado Springs) the left goes on “auto-pilot” blaming everyone in sight when they should be looking in a mirror. Free Speech has brought to light the insidious selling of baby body parts (PPH has no shame). These facts and overall mission of the abortion industry would easily send anyone over the hill who wasn’t rational.”
 
Oh, but wait—there’s more. Rep. Windholz was just getting started:
 
“Violence is never the answer, but we must start pointing out who is the real culprit. The true instigator of this violence and all violence at any Planned Parenthood facility is Planned Parenthood themselves. Violence begets violence. So Planned Parenthood: YOU STOP THE VIOLENCE INSIDE YOUR WALLS.”
 
Blaming an organization that provides vital legal and medical services to women, including abortions (3 % of its funding), and circulating false information about what PPH does, has become the stock in trade for far-right conservatives. They have no qualms about making up facts to push their sick notions. Worse, though, are the gullible people who believe their lies.
 
Windholz won her seat in 2014 by only 106 votes. Let us hope her outrageous statement will seal her electoral doom.  The full statement from Rep. Windholz can be read at the Colorado Independent.
 

2. Republican Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz chimes in on the PPH shooting. Cruz is saddened by murders in Colorado Springs, even though they were committed by a terrorist citing the precise conspiracy theory against Planned Parenthood that Ted Cruz has personally been blasting from the campaign trail at every opportunity. But he, like Carly Fiorina and Mike Huckabee, is very cross that the man murdering people at Planned Parenthood while referencing the Republican Party's current omnipresent conspiracy theory against the organization is being associated with people like himself who made that specific conspiracy theory a cornerstone of current Republican rhetoric.
 
How does Cruz deflect the finger of blame-- predictably by labeling the murderer a gay-boy lefty. The Senator condemned the fatal shooting, but aggressively pushed back on suggestions the shooter was part of the anti-abortion movement, saying the shooter had "also been reported that he was registered as an independent and a woman and a transgendered leftist activist." Conservatives have since run with the claim that Dear is transgender. Of course there is no evidence to suggest that Dear is transgender, nor a “leftist,” nor any kind of activist; in fact, all of the available information suggests he was none of those things. No evidence? Who cares!? Make shit up.
 
Speaking to reporters Cruz rejected a potential connection between anti-abortion activism and the shooting, instead taking issue with "some vicious rhetoric on the left blaming those who are pro-life.” Re-directing blame has become a favorite right-wing pastime. The motto is: never back down, even in the face of universal fact-checking. How did we get so many sociopaths running for President in one year?
 
Domestic terrorism is on the rise in America. It seems obvious to me that much of it is fueled by extremist rhetoric. Violence-prone extremists seem to come out from under their rocks in difficult times when hate-rhetoric drives them to despise government and fear “the other.” Religion-driven terrorists seem to think they are carrying out God’s will and will thus be absolved of their sins. What kind of God do they worship?
 
3. More Ted Cruz. It's getting increasingly difficult for anyone to argue that the current Republican field is anything but a collection of maniacs pandering to a collection of lunatics. Cruz can usually be counted on the double-down on the last outrageous candidate utterance. At the Rising Tide summit in Cedar Rapids, Cruz told his audience what he’d like to do to ISIS.

"We will carpet bomb [ISIS] into oblivion. I don’t know if sand can glow in the dark, but we’re going to find out."
 
As scary as it is to think of Cruz, or any of the other GOP contenders, as commander-in-chief with a finger on the nuclear trigger, it’s scarier to think that Republican voters lap up the batshit absurd, militant, racist, bigoted, ignorant things these presidential hopefuls are saying. A special bonehead award should probably be given to Republican voters.
 
4. Indiana Governor Mike Pence. The fear-mongering Pence has a real problem. In his tireless efforts to keep his seat safe, he is now attempting to browbeat the Indianapolis Archbishop who had the audacity to sponsor one Syrian refugee family admission to his state. God only knows what perils America would face if the family is allowed sanctuary in Indiana.
 
"We had a good conversation today with Catholic Charities and I'm hopeful that they'll respect our wishes," Pence told The Associated Press after the meeting, adding he was "grateful" for the meeting.
 
[Archbishop] Tobin said the meeting focused on "issues of compassion and security," but would not say whether the archdiocese will still try to locate the family in the Indianapolis area like he previously called for.
 
Imagine you're a family fleeing your town in the midst of a very, very bloody civil war. You make it to the refugee camps, you wait two years for "vetting" to prove your family isn't a menace—and as you get final approvals to resettle in some American state, you hear that your possible arrival has mustered the top elected official in that state into efforts to move heaven and earth to prevent your family, specifically, from entering.
 
I presume we can dispense with all this talk of family values and what would Jesus do and all the other hokum that drools out of the mouths of people like Mike Pence during election-time. The same groups that believe a Jesus-dropping county clerk ought to have veto power over the Supreme Court are quite eager to stop Christian groups from doing their Christian charity work, by force of law if necessary, all the while moaning at how the government keeps oppressing them. The hypocrisy is sickening.
 
5. Democrat Orange County Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez. Sanchez, who is running for Barbara Boxer’s Senate seat in 2016, has a history of racially insensitive remarks. In an interview she did this month with CNN’s Larry King regarding the threat of terrorism, she added another one:
 
“We know that there is a small group, and we don’t know how big that is—it can be anywhere between 5 and 20%, from the people that I speak to—that Islam is their religion and who have a desire for a caliphate and to institute that in any way possible.
 
I don’t know who the people Loretta Sanchez “speaks to” are, but five to 20 percent of Muslims would mean anywhere from 80 to 400 million terrorists.
 
Any knowledgeable person surely knows supporters of ISIS constitute only a small fraction of Islamic worshipers. And we thought only Republicans were prone to fear-mongering.
 
6. Evangelist Pat Robertson. We’re used to Robertson’s mouthing of ignorance and hatred, but this week’s utterance was so vile and rancid it deserves strong pushback.  On his Christian Broadcasting Network Program, the 700 Club, Robertson's toady sidekick, Terry Meeuwsen read a question from a viewer wondering if it was wrong for her church not to inform her that a man she was driving to worship services is dying of AIDS. Robertson responded:
 
“Don’t have sex with them; unless there’s a cut or some bodily fluid transmission, I think you’re not going to catch it.”
 
That was ugly enough, but what came next will go down as one of the ugliest charges he has ever made against gay people, and that is saying something.
 
“There are laws now, I think the homosexual community has put these draconian laws on the books that prohibit people from discussing this particular affliction, you can tell somebody you had a heart attack, you can tell them they’ve got high blood pressure, but you can’t tell anybody you’ve got AIDS. . . You know what they do in San Francisco, some in the gay community there they want to get people so if they got the stuff they’ll have a ring, you shake hands, and the ring’s got a little thing where you cut your finger. Really. It’s that kind of vicious stuff, which would be the equivalent of murder.”
 
This absurdity moved the CBN to remove Robertson’s video, citing copyright considerations. It must have forgotten about the internet. What does this dangerous bigot have to say that would finally get him fired from the network? From his track record, a doubt there is any line which they won't let him cross, so long as they think they can just edit it out and pretend it never existed.
 
7. Governor Chris Christie. Christie showed his extensive knowledge and toughness to stand up for America when he said in a recent presidential debate:
 
"When I stand across from King Hussein of Jordan and I say to him, 'You have a friend again sir, who will stand with you to fight this fight,' he'll change his mind."
 
Sorry, Chris, King Hussein has been dead since 1999.
 
8. Donald Trump. You’ve heard enough from Donald Trump to last a lifetime. If you never hear another word out of this man’s mouth, it’ll be too soon. Believe me, I agree with you. But it’s important that we keep listening to what this man is saying, and that we keep calling it out for what it is: hateful, vicious, vile rhetoric that is morally reprehensible and has no place in American political discourse. We cannot allow it to pass unchallenged.
 
Case in point: Donald Trump has spoken several times about how he would bring back waterboarding if elected president. However, at an Ohio rally last month, he went much further than merely endorsing waterboarding.
 
"Would I approve waterboarding? You bet your ass I would — in a heartbeat," Trump said to loud cheers during a rally at a convention center here Monday night that attracted thousands. "And I would approve more than that. Don't kid yourself, folks. It works, okay? It works. Only a stupid person would say it doesn't work."
 
Not only is Trump saying that he would bring back waterboarding (to the cheers of his supporters, mind you), he’s also saying he’d approve “more than that.” He wasn’t specific about what other kinds of torture he’d institute, but one doesn’t need a very active imagination for that statement to scare the crap out of them.
 
And then, as if that wasn’t enough, he went on (emphasis mine):
 
"It works," Trump said over and over again. "Believe me, it works. And you know what? If it doesn't work, they deserve it anyway, for what they're doing. It works."
 
So Trump doesn’t even care if it yields any useful information because the people being tortured deserve to be tortured.
 
Those are the words of a sadist, pure and simple. This is a man who looks forward to inflicting pain and suffering on others because he believes they deserve it. And he boldly admits this, to the cheers of his supporters. And what’s also very disturbing to me is that this has largely flown under the media radar. Go figure.
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And this month’s winner is:

I couldn’t decide between Colorado State Republican Representative JoAnn Windholz and Evangelist Pat Robertson, so I decided to declare a tie and give this month’s award to both absurdists.

1 comment:

  1. The comments made by these bonehead nominies seem to be getting more and more outrageous thanks to the ignorance and yes stupidity of the American people who support them. Why would they change rehtoic as long as they have the support of a right wing media and a populous that shuts out the idea that facts, evidence, and truth are important.

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