Tuesday, March 8, 2016

FEBRUARY 2016 BONEHEAD ABSURDITY OF THE MONTH

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1. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. After the US Supreme Court struck down Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, Abbott wasted little time in filing a brief to re-institute the state’s discriminatory redistricting plan, the same plan the Supreme Court had ruled as unconstitutional. When US Attorney General Eric Holder denied Abbott’s request, Texas filed a lawsuit under Section 2 basing its claim on the following arguments. Give Texas credit for honesty. From the filed brief:
 
DOJ’s accusations of racial discrimination are baseless. In 2011, both houses of the Texas Legislature were controlled by large Republican majorities, and their redistricting decisions were designed to increase the Republican Party’s electoral prospects at the expense of the Democrats....The redistricting decisions of which DOJ complains were motivated by partisan rather than racial considerations, and the plaintiffs and DOJ have zero evidence to prove the contrary. It is perfectly constitutional for a Republican-controlled legislature to make partisan districting decisions, even if there are incidental effects on minority voters who support Democratic candidates.
 
You know, having them actually come right out and say it--that they wanted to restrict potential Democratic voters--is long overdue. But wait!  There's more. To address the actual accusations of racial bias and discrimination, Texas is using the argument that "Yeah, there may be an isolated incident or two, but it's NOTHING like it was in 1965".  
 
Texas claims that even if it did discriminate, and it stresses that it did not, it was nothing as bad as “the ‘pervasive,’ ‘flagrant,’ ‘widespread,’ and ‘rampant’ discrimination that originally justified preclearance in 1965.”
 
So as long as Texas skies aren’t alight with flames from burning crosses, what’s the big whoop? So, Texas is arguing that Section 2, and in fact the entire reasons for preclearance are all based on conditions in 1965.  And that since "things are better than in 1965" then Section 2 is null and void. Better than 1965? With Texas strict registration rules disenfranchising an estimated nearly one million voters in the 2014 election, this assertion is highly questionable. The only thing lacking is a literacy test.
 

2. Maine Governor Paul LePage. It’s in fashion for Republicans to claim they’re “tough on crime,” but Gov. LePage has trumped them all with a very worthy absurdity proposal. In a radio interview Tuesday on WVOM, LePage said legislative proposals to increase prison sentences for drug traffickers do not do enough.
 
“What we ought to do is bring the guillotine back,” he said, interrupting the hosts.
 
Huh. Don't think anyone expected him to pipe up with that. Of course, technically you can't bring it "back" when Maine never had the guillotine to begin with, but never mind, he was on a roll.
 
“We could have public executions and we could even have which hole it falls in.”
 
All right, so the executions would be public ... and I'm not quite sure what we're supposed to make of the last part of it. Which hole it falls in? Is LePage envisioning a combination of the guillotine and a miniature golf course? Or is it more billiards, or pachinko? Do onlookers win a prize if it lands in the right hole?
 
So then. This is the part where we all are supposed to remind ourselves that this man is the sitting governor of an American state. And his idea for how to govern is that we'll have guillotines and publicly cut off criminals' heads in public. This guy would fit in well with the current crop of GOP presidential contenders.
 
3. Donald Trump. Where would a Bonehead month be without a Trump contribution? The Donald recently lamented that Detroit autoworkers were making too much money. Talking about U.S. vehicle manufacturers moving production to Mexico in an interview with The Detroit News, Trump said that US 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. The article goes on to say, "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."
 
Damn those unions!  And we thought Mitt Romney was out of touch...
 
4. Mary Lou Bruner is a retired teacher who lives in northern Texas. She’s running for the State Board of Education in northeast Texas. Before Bruner announced she would run for the state Board of Ed, she offered this absurdity on her facebook page:
 
Obama has a soft spot for homosexuals because of the years he spend as a male prostitute in his twenties. That is how he paid for his drugs. He has admitted he was addicted to drugs when he was young, and he is sympathetic with homosexuals; but he hasn’t come out of the closet about his own homosexual/bisexual background. He hasn’t quite evolved that much! Since he supports gay marriage, he should be proud of his background as a homosexual/bisexual. He is against everything else Christians stand for, he might as well be for infidelity.
 
Holy crap, that’s some crazy made-up type of stuff—and from a teacher and possible overseer of teachers. Did she just somehow misspeak? Well, later, when speaking with the San Antonio Current, she had this to say:
 
“I’m not ashamed of anything that I have ever said …. If I’m on the State Board of Education, I’m going to speak up for the things that I believe because I have a First Amendment right.”
 
That’s exactly the problem. You don’t know things and what you believe is made up of lies and fears and anger. The saddest thing is that she could get elected in Ted Cruz country.
 
5. Former Fox News Host Glenn Beck. Beck continues to be a crazy person. His entry into the Scalia conspiracy sweepstakes is that God knocked off the 79-year-old conservative Supreme Court justice in order to help Constitution-loving Ted Cruz become president. On Feb. 23rd the conservative radio host and Cruz supporter assumed the voice of God to explain to listeners how Scalia's death was a divine wake up call for conservatives. [...] Beck then took on the voice of the Lord:
 
"I just woke the American people up. I took them out of the game show moment and woke enough of them up to say, 'Look how close your liberty is to being lost,'" he said. "The Constitution is hanging by a thread. That thread has just been cut. And the only way that we survive now is if we have a true constitutionalist (as president)."
 
Meaning of course, Ted Cruz. Only Cruz can save us now. Beck, who has endorsed Cruz, often invokes God during speeches at the Texas senator's campaign rallies, and has even claimed that Cruz's birth was brought about by "the hand of divine providence."
 
I’ve heard a lot of “God’s will” explanations from the right wing—like climate change is in his hands--, but this one tops them all.
 
6. Marco Rubio. The man who acquired a gun as the “last line of defense between ISIS and his family,” insists that when he becomes president:
 
“The most powerful intelligence agency in the world is going to tell us where [ISIS militants] are; the most powerful military in the world is going to destroy them; and if we capture any of them live, they are getting a one-way ticket to Guantanamo Bay.”
 
I don’ know if this comment reveals more about Rubio’s ignorance or his insanity--probably both. Imagine this kook as president.
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And the winner is:
 
Because so many people view Marco Rubio as presidential material, I have no choice but to give the February Bonehead Absurdity award to him. What an idiot! However, if Mary Lou Bruner was a bit more politically prominent, she would have been the front-runner.

In a perfect world, monthly Bonehead winners would face some appropriate consequence for their absurdity.  Antonin Scalia passed away the month after receiving his award.  Let's hope that Rubio's only consequence is not winning the GOP nomination.

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3 comments:

  1. Pretty competitive field for the bonehead award. LePage first endorsed Christy and no surprise he now embraces Trump. They can compare racist views.
    Trump just says whatever comes out of his mouth knowing that his followers will eat up everything he says.
    Glen Beck now lives on another planet so the reality that he lives in is always at odds with what is happening on Earth.
    I would chose the ex teacher Mary Lou. Someone who is striving to sit on a school board where decisions are made on what children will be taught and who will teach them and makes those statements against the President of the United States is scary.

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  2. I am with you Vito. All of them were bad but Mary Lou takes the cake for February IMO.
    March should be very interesting....already have some great whoppers from the nuts running for President.

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  3. Ron, As always an entertaining read. You bring up a good point about winners facing some sort of "appropriate consequence." I think any consequence should be left to Beck since he has the direct line to God. However, these folks should be informed they won. How about a certificate that could be mailed to them?

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