Saturday, June 4, 2016



NOTE: I’ve been in Italy for the month of May, so this month’s absurdities are being posted a bit late.  Despite my Italian preoccupation, I was still able to find some worthy candidates.
1. GOP Representative Louie Gohmert. America's Dumbest Congressman is still alive. We hadn't heard from him in a while, so I was worried we were going to find his corpse in a snowy parking lot somewhere, his tongue still firmly frozen to a lamppost.
Last month on “Washington Watch,” Gohmert railed against “the hate crimes by this administration” against conservative Christians, such as the nuns of the Little Sisters of the Poor. "Washington Watch" is a program of the Tony Perkins hate group Family Research Council, and yes Republicans still continue to genuflect to the hate group leader because it's the right kind of hate group. The kind that will host America's Dumbest Congressman to fret about how this administration is rounding up Christians and, hell if I know, taking their good Christian ammo. He's not exactly the most coherent of our legislators.
The two also blasted an Obama administration's effort to fight hate crimes directed at Muslim-Americans. Gohmert dismissed concerns about such hate crimes while saying that the White House is ignoring crimes against Christians and Jews throughout the world because “we have a United States leadership that will not protect Christians [and] puts a real prize on protecting Muslims.”
For those of you who don't remember, our primary purpose in highlighting the stylings of America's Dumbest Congressman is to point out that this person is actually in charge of writing our nation's laws. And he, like a great many of his compatriots, is a stone-cold moron. A lunatic. A crackpot. A man who in any other country would likely have to be content holding up badly spelled rants on cardboard signs--but in America we elect these people to Congress, apparently because states like Texas think it’s funny.
The congressman then quoted from the book of Hosea to suggest that America is facing God’s wrath because “nations are made to account when they put leaders in place that persecute those who are trying to follow the words of God.”
It’s always fun to look in on Rep. Louie Gohmert from time to time to make sure he is not sticking forks in wall outlets or trying to swallow one of his own socks. Phronesis will continue to watch over him as best we can, at least until the eventual Republican nominee declares him their vice presidential pick. After that, he's their problem.

2. Idaho Governor Butch Otter. Otter just can't be convinced that not having health insurance is any kind of big deal. The Gov said he was disappointed the Idaho legislature didn’t go forward on closing the health care gap that leaves low-income people without coverage, but added that he did not totally agree with the claim some have made that Idahoans are dying because they fall in the gap.
“I see plenty of people that die every day in hospitals and they have insurance,” Otter said. “And they’re in the hospital. But they still die.”
Otter said multiple times that people without insurance have healthcare options such as the Terry Reilly clinics. He said he is not considering calling a special legislative session to address the health coverage gap.
That's the kind of thinking that most Republicans got over voicing out loud years ago. "They can always go to the emergency room" has fallen by the wayside as a Republican argument for leaving millions uninsured. It just doesn't work anymore, not when Obamacare has proven successful not just at providing coverage, but also at saving lives
But out here in Idaho, Republicans are slow on the uptake, and they have the advantage of what’s essentially a one-party government. But if you could secretly survey Republicans everywhere on what they think about poor people and health insurance, this is what you'd hear back: They're all going to die anyway—might as well be sooner as later.
3. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.). During a panel discussion at an American Bankers Association Luetkemeyer said people needed to “find a way to neuter” Senator Elizabeth Warren, whom he called the "Darth Vader of the financial services world."
Latching on to the Star Wars reference, Warren responded:
"My first thought was Really? I've always seen myself more as a Princess Leia-type (as a senator and Resistance general who, unlike the guys, is never even remotely tempted by the dark side). Clearly the Force is not strong with Congressman Luetkemeyer (maybe he's a Trekkie)."
4. Television Personality Pat Sajak. Sajak’s extreme right-wing credentials are well known, including his certainty that global warming is a big hoax. He took his ignorance and bigotry a step further recently when he said:
“I now believe global warming alarmists are unpatriotic racists knowingly misleading for their own ends.”

I'd like to think Sajak is pursuing his own "knowingly misleading" campaign, but it's abundantly clear that this maniac is just plain dumb.
5. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Whether it’s destroying his state’s economy with right to work legislation or crushing the spirit of democracy by suppressing voting, Walker has yet to meet a terrible idea he wasn’t willing to sign into law. Gov. Scott Walker has signed a bill that hinders Milwaukee's efforts to provide local photo IDs to the homeless, immigrants in the country illegally and others who have difficulty obtaining state IDs.
The Republican-backed bill prohibits towns and counties from spending money on or issuing photo IDs. It also prohibits using city or village IDs to vote or obtain public benefits, like food stamps. Besides being a blow to the democratic process of Wisconsin, this is also a pretty racist bill that will stymie attempts of progressives to help the homeless and newly immigrated to obtain prescriptions and open bank accounts—you know, have the foundation in our society for a decent standard of living.
6. Ohio State Senator Bill Seitz. Seitz is tired of activists and hippies and groups who try to petition judges to keep polls open later during elections. It’s frivolous, says Seitz! He wants it to be required that if you are petitioning the court for a vote past deadline, you gotta pay! It’s overtime democracy rates!
Seitz, who already has nine Republican co-sponsors for his bill, said the goal is to prevent what he considers frivolous, last-minute court challenges that keep polls open late and create additional costs for taxpayers. The law also would set a higher standard for proving the need for longer hours and would allow for the immediate appeal of any ruling that extends poll hours.
"There will always be some excuse that some activist judge can seize upon," said Seitz, of Green Township. "Is this intended to retard these last-minute interventions? Yes, it is."
Why is this a bad idea? The cash bond requirement means anyone who sues in such a case would post a bond sufficient to cover all election expenses, including wages for every poll worker, up to $22.50 an hour. In Hamilton County, which had 2,600 poll workers in November, it would come to $58,500. The money would be forfeited if an appeals court later determines polls should not have been kept open longer.
Gotcha. So, you “save” the citizens money by making citizens pay money. That doesn’t sounds like a scam at all.
7. Oklahoma Lawmakers. Leave it to Oklahoma to outdo all other states in suppressing a woman’s right to choose. This month it passed Senate Bill 1552 to make abortion a felony.  And, the bill offers no exceptions for cases of rape, incest or when fetal anomalies makes survival outside the womb impossible. The vote was 33-12, with one Democrat  voting for it and five Republicans voting against it. One of those five was Ervin Yen, the senate’s only physician, who labeled the bill “insane.”
He might also have called it flat-out unconstitutional. Despite what the nation’s forced-birthers have done to undermine it over the past 43 years, the Roe v. Wade ruling establishing the right to abortion remains the law of the land.
If the bill is overturned as unconstitutional, as is likely, it wouldn’t be the first time for the Sooner state. Three abortion laws passed in recent years by Oklahoma lawmakers have been overturned by the courts. The Oklahoma Supreme Court in March rejected a ballot initiative for an amendment to the state constitution that would, if voters approved, have made abortion a felony. The OSC ruled that the initiative violated U.S. Supreme Court rulings and that the state court "is not free to impose its own view of the law."
As representatives in the Oklahoma House deliberated the bill April 21, Republican Rep. Dave Brumbaugh, the chairman of the Republican majority caucus, sneered at objections the bill would mean more expensive litigation just as in previous abortion cases the state has lost. He said: "If we take care of morality. God will take care of the economy." 

And the winner is:

Because Gohmert is a certified bonehead, guaranteed to be a regular monthly candidate, this month I have to go with Idaho Governor Butch Otter.

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