Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX-Tea Party caucus), in Congress since 1985, is Chair Emeritus on the Energy and Commerce Committee. This is from a 2010 hearing on wind turbines:
“Wind is God’s way of balancing heat. Wind is the way you shift heat from areas where it’s hotter to areas where it’s cooler. That’s what wind is. Wouldn’t it be ironic if in the interest of global warming we mandated massive switches to energy, which is a finite resource, which slows the winds down, which causes the temperature to go up? Now, I’m not saying that’s going to happen, Mr. Chairman, but that is definitely something on the massive scale. I mean, it does make some sense. You stop something, you can’t transfer that heat, and the heat goes up. It’s just something to think about.”
Maybe he only plays the fool. Quotes like that take up all the oxygen while:
The organization Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) put Congressman Barton on its CREW’s Most Corrupt Report 2011. The article states that on Barton’s 2008 financial disclosure statement, he inaccurately reported on the source of a natural gas interest that he bought into. The share was purchased through a longtime donor and supporter who later died. This was discovered by the Dallas Morning News in 2010. According to the Dallas Morning News article, Barton made over $100,000 on the investment. The article and CREW Report both point out how Barton buying this undervalued asset from an “advisor” on energy issues could be a conflict of interest to the Congressman’s position as the Chair of the House’s Energy Subcommittee.
The Congressman’s ethics have been noticed at home, so he’s had a few challengers lately. Nevertheless, he’s never been re-elected with less than 60% of the vote.
Because we all want smart capable people representing us in Congress, don’t we.
Dear Stuart Varney: You are an idiot and that’s probably why you’re a star at the Fox Business channel (the one no one watches). Asked if Federal workers are deserving of back pay when this is over, Varney said:
That is a loaded question isn’t it? You want my opinion? . . . No, I don’t think they should get their back pay, frankly, I really don’t. I’m sick and tired of a massive, bloated federal bureaucracy living on our backs, and taking money out of us, a lot more money than most of us earn in the private sector, then getting a furlough, and then getting their money back at the end of it. Sorry, I’m not for that. I want to punish these people. Sorry to say that, but that’s what I want to do.
(Why is he sorry to say that?) Stuart, the people you want to punish aren’t the ones who created the agencies, funded them, or made the rules. They are people, plain people who work in payroll or data processing. Maybe they’re engineers or safety inspectors or mathematicians or nurses. Perhaps they clean the offices. How about the folks who answer phones at IRS, CDC, Defense . . . they don’t carry weapons so they’re probably non-essential. I’m guessing that most departments have IT people – let’s hope nobody needs critical help on their computers or – Elvis forbid – servers.
As for those who are essential … they’re required to stay on the job (see Washington DC, Thursday, Capitol Police) but won’t see paychecks for the duration. And today is Friday – for most people, that’s payday.
Onion worthy: A top Republican in Georgia has sounded an ominous warning that legalization of same-sex marriage may also lead to fraud. (I know, it’s not worth our time to rubber neck at the legions of stupid, but sometimes . . . )
Sue Everhart, chairwoman of the Georgia Republican Party, told the Marietta Daily Journal in a story published Saturday that once gay nuptials are legally permitted, there will be nothing to stop a straight person from exploiting the system in order to claim marital benefits.
“You may be as straight as an arrow, and you may have a friend that is as straight as an arrow,” Everhart said. “Say you had a great job with the government where you had this wonderful health plan. I mean, what would prohibit you from saying that you’re gay, and y’all get married and still live as separate, but you get all the benefits? I just see so much abuse in this it’s unreal. I believe a husband and a wife should be a man and a woman, the benefits should be for a man and a woman. There is no way that this is about equality. To me, it’s all about a free ride.”
Straights have just been waiting for the opportunity to fake-come-out-gay so they could grab onto that gravy train, right?
Hired to protect a Michigan school following the Sandy Hook shootings, the new security guard, a retired firearms instructor, walked out of the school bathroom leaving his gum behind:
Just days after calling its newly hired armed security guard “a tremendous asset to the safety of our students,” a Michigan school released a statement saying the retired firearms instructor had caused a “breach in security protocol” by leaving his handgun unattended in the school’s bathroom. […]
The school, which serves grades K through 8, insists that no students were in danger, and vowed to “continue to work on improving school security.”
But of course, we do want to arm our students, don’t we?
UPDATE: The GOP wants this guy out, fast. From Karl Rove to Sean Hannity . . . Ann Coulter to The Weekly Standard and National Review – all demanding Aiken withdraw from the race. He says he won’t. I give him 24 hours.
ORIGINAL POST: At least Rep. Todd Aiken isn’t alone. It seems there’s a history to the rape doesn’t cause pregnancy meme, here.
Pennsylvania state Rep. Stephen Freind (R) was an ardent abortion opponent. . . He also looks to be the first legislator to make the argument that rape prevents pregnancy, arguing in the late 1980s that the odds of a pregnancy resulting from rape were “one in millions and millions and millions.”
Try saying that with the Friends, Michelle. Dare ya’!
NOTE: Rape results in pregnancy 4.8% of the time, which corresponds with plain old sex.
His explanation? The trauma of rape causes women to “secrete a certain secretion which has the tendency to kill sperm.” Reproductive health experts immediately denounced those remarks. One told the Philadelphia Inquirer, ”Boy, if I could find out what that [secretion] was, I’d use it as a contraceptive.”
It’s not inconceivable that this could cost the GOP a Senate seat. Even Michelle Malkin is disgusted. She does the partisan dance around it of course – don’t we all – but closes with this:
The question for Republicans in Missouri is whether sticking by self-inflicted-wounded Akin is more important than securing a U.S. Senate majority.
He did indeed. And he had a few things to say about that gorgeous nation – actually, I don’t think he noticed the gorgeous part – in an article on his website (forget trying to find it; the site is one of those Rush-style ‘premium membership’ places . There is, after all, money to be made.)
It seems O’Reilly isn’t impressed with Iceland. He did note, however, that “they dress neatly and speak English.” Which I think he considers a good thing. I’m reminded that a few years back O’Reilly wrote about his first time going out to dinner in Harlem. He was quite pleased to discover that in the restaurant people ‘acted normally’ and there were tablecloths. Or something.
Anyway, Icelanders are not thrilled. Some of them even wrote about it.
In my personal opinion Bill O’Reilly’s article is . . . nothing but a collection of unverified statements and foolish assumptions spiced up with arrogance and ignorance.
I’m tempted to assume Bill hasn’t done his research. . . Simply consulting Wikipedia . . . would have been better than nothing.
Thanks for nothing, Bill. Please don’t come back to Iceland.
Will the Rev. Sun Young Moon pull the plug on his hobby, or will the ‘venerable‘ Washington Times continue its vigorous reporting for another day? (NOTE: Washington Times daily circulation about 83,000; Washington Post daily circulation about one million.)
This story from that paper yesterday leaped into the conservative blogsphere, where vigorous re-blogging was soon underway.
The pro-choice Obama White House requires pregnant visitors to count their unborn child as a person for tours of the executive mansion.
Okay. Family of three wants to tour the WH when they make their future planned visit to DC. Now if they reasonably expect that they will be a family of four by the time they arrive, and since everyone is required to be ticketed, they are advised to apply for four tickets now and save any hassle when they get there. Let them know how many you will be.
Got it? White House policy is that everyone, no matter the age, is required to have a ticket. Four of you want to enter? That’ll be four tickets. Expecting twins before the date of the tour? Better order five tickets now. Like if you were going to Disney.
In Aurora, Colorado, D’Avonte Meadows, 6-year-old boy at Sable Elementary School was suspended for sexual harassment and disrupting other students. How can a six-year-old boy sexually harass someone? He told a girl “I’m sexy and I know it,” a line from a popular song.
(Perhaps I’ll be too harsh here – today’s parents may think so . . .)
Among my many weaknesses is a tendency to read the awful sob sister columns in the newspaper. I like to think it signals an eclectic nature. I am perfectly happy in a single day to go from that sob sister stuff in my morning paper to a few hours at the movies loving the latest action hero movie to a few hours with a dense history of the American Revolutionary period. I like the silly and the serious.
So, on to the idiot sighting: in one of today’s ‘advice’ columns, a mother writes in to say she’s in ‘absolute shock’ and has lost a lifelong friendship after her babysitter (17-year-old daughter of the now-former friend) took her 9 and 11-year-old children IN A CAR to the ice cream parlor . This was – qeulle horror! – unscheduled and unapproved.
According to the Weekly Standard (I know, sometimes too rapid linky-linky lands me in strange places), this is the architectural rendering of a pair of residential towers proposed for Seoul with what they’re calling a ‘cloud feature’ connecting the buildings. I’m speechless.
The Algonquin Hotel in New York is a venerated establishment. In the 1920’s it was home to the celebrated Algonquin Round Table, where literary luminaries, critics and wits of the day held forth over champagne and ice-cold martinis, and came to define a style and an era. Every blues singer of note had to play the Algonquin Oak Room to earn real stripes. A place of history and New York lore.
A charming part of that history began in 1932 and has continued for the 80 years since: the Algonquin has a pet, an honored feline – has had ten of them to date. Like today’s resident, Matilda, they’ve always had free run of the place.
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (!?) has stepped in and thrown a leash on Matilda, tradition be damned. Food is served at the Algonquin, and we can’t have animals roaming around, they say. Officialdom has nothing else to do it seems.
Anti-choice Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) just filed an anti-choice amendment to a bill related to agriculture, transportation, housing, and other programs. The DeMint amendment could bar discussion of abortion over the Internet and through videoconferencing, even if a woman’s health is at risk and if this kind of communication with her doctor is her best option to receive care.
Under this amendment, women would need a separate, segregated Internet just for talking about abortion care with their doctors.
Yesterday was the deadline for Michele Bachmann to accept University of Pennsylvania bioethicist Arthur Caplan’s challenge to produce a single person who’s developed “mental retardation” from Gardasil. Caplan offered to donate $10,000 to a charity of her choice if she could just locate the mystery woman whose daughter became disabled after being vaccinated for HPV. Bachmann never responded, probably because she’s been plugging her ears and humming to herself to prevent scientific facts from seeping in. Caplan says he’s still glad he made the bet because, “Politicians shouldn’t get away with hearsay. We need to hold candidates responsible for their sources.”
Over the last few years, we’ve seen periodic outbreaks of hysteria amongst our right wing brethren as they keep identifying secret Muslim messaging hidden inside logos and building shapes. Usually these subversive graphics are connected to our Muslim Kenyan president. Like here from the intellectual giants at Free Republic.
Here we go again. The Weekly Standard (how ya’ doin’ Fred Barnes? Cut back on the caffeine yet?) has found an anti-Israel ‘message’ within a graphic on the home page of the Palestinian Observer Mission, where a small square on a map of the world serves to outline the entire Middle East. That provoked this headline.
Palestinian Logo Suggests Elimination of Israel
This graphic, according to them, doesn’t acknowledge that Israel is not Arab. Or something. Scared yet?
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. – A western Pennsylvania school district has decided not to stage a Tony Award-winning musical about a Muslim street poet after members of the community complained about the play on the heels of the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
The Tribune Democrat of Johnstown reports Richland School District had planned to stage “Kismet” in February but Superintendent Thomas Fleming says it was scrapped to avoid controversy.
Fleming tells the newspaper that sensitivity is understandable in part because one of the hijacked planes crashed in nearby Shanksville.
Music director Scott Miller tells The Tribune-Democrat the district last performed “Kismet” in 1983.
Miller says the play has no inappropriate content but he and other members of the performing arts committee decided to switch to “Oklahoma!” after hearing complaints.
I’ll bet every single Maricopa County AZ taxpayer is just thrilled with how old Sheriff J0e spends his time (and their money).
Infamous Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio . . . announced a five-person “Cold Case Posse” that will delve into the issue of President Obama’s birth certificate. The posse follows a request by the Surprise, Arizona Tea Party, who. . . believe that the long-form birth certificate released by President Obama in April – which put the issue to rest for pretty much everyone – could be a forgery . . . “If a complaint is legitimate, I don’t dump it into the wastebasket,” Arpaio said.
It’s my own belief that Governor Goodhair’s campaign will self-immolate and it will happen sooner rather than later. Even if he holds on until a primary and, further, even if he manages to place, he’ll have to drop out before the primary season runs its course.
Here’s something for your entertainment. Don’t you think it deserve to be viewed far and wide? Yeah, me too.
“My daughter and I went through the McDonald’s take-out. I gave the clerk a $5.00 bill and since our bill was $4.25, I also handed her a quarter. She said ‘you gave me too much money’. I said ‘yes, but now you can just give me a dollar bill back’. She signed and went to her manager who asked me to repeat the request. I did so and he handed me back the quarter and said “we’re sorry but we don’t do that sort of thing’. The clerk then proceeded to give me back $1 and 75 cents in change. “
(from one of those normally irritating mass emails, a few of which I occasionally open.)
A spokesman for the Iraqi president has said that the congressional delegation chaired by US Rep. Dana Rohrbacher (R-CA) is no longer welcome in the country. Here’s what Rohrbacher said:
“Once Iraq becomes a very rich and prosperous country… we would hope that some consideration be given to repaying the United States some of the mega-dollars that we have spent here in the last eight years,” Rohrabacher told journalists at the US embassy in Baghdad.
“We were hoping that there would be a consideration of a payback because the United States right now is in close to a very serious economic crisis and we could certainly use some people to care about our situation as we have cared about theirs.”
He said he raised the issue in a meeting with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. Rohrabacher, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the US House of Representatives, declined to give specifics on how much should be paid back, or over what timeframe.
“Is there some thought being given to subsidizing the clearing of rainforests in order for some countries to eliminate that production of greenhouse gases? … Or would people be supportive of cutting down older trees in order to plant younger trees as a means to prevent this disaster from happening?”
Andrew Sullivan on where Sarah Palin got her Paul-Revere-rode-in-a-ringin-them-bells-to-warn-the-British riff:
The vicar who gave the Palins a guided tour of Old North Church explains how she got muddled up:
I gave them our standard talk about Paul Revere and the two men who hung the lanterns in the steeple, Robert Newman and John Pulling.
I added a bit about the debate between John Hancock and Sam Adams after they received the warning from Revere (Hancock: “Staying and fighting will look good on my resume when I run for president.” Adams: “You are too rich to fight. Let’s get out of here.” Adams ultimately won that debate.) I did mention that Revere was arrested by British troops and led back to Lexington, warning those British troops that the minutemen had been alerted.
After the introductory talk, we climbed up to the bell ringing chamber, where I talked about how Paul Revere how founded our bell ringing guild in 1750 as a teenager. Governor Palin was particularly interested to see a copy of the original bell ringing contract between Paul Revere and his friends and the rector of Old North, Dr. Cutler. The contract portrays a group of teenagers using democratic principles to organize their bell ringing guild. We did not have the time to get to the top of the steeple to see the lanterns.
He thinks the whole kerfuffle was ridiculously inflated. But he does note:
I knew where all the factoids she cited came from and take responsibility for putting them in her head. I will not take the blame for the odd order those factoids came out. Perhaps it was too much information in too short a period of time to digest properly. Maybe if we climbed to the top of the steeple and viewed the lanterns, the governor wouldn’t have focused on the bells. Who knows?
Who knows indeed? But would anyone want a president who could misread a briefing that badly so quickly?
Really. He thinks rich and famous people – when charged with a crime – should not, repeat not, be treated like the rest of us.
Here are a few small jewels from his very odd piece in The American Spectator, wherein Mr. Stein, famous failed economist, is outraged that one of his own [Dominique Strauss-Kahn] has been charged/arrested/incarcerated. This column – or whatever it is – is destined for viral greatness.
He is one of the most recognizable people on the planet. Did he really have to be put in Riker’s Island? Couldn’t he have been given home detention with a guard?
A man pays $3,000 a night for a hotel room? He’s got to be guilty of something. Bring out the guillotine.
If he’s found guilty, there will be plenty of time to criticize him and imprison him.
That last is my favorite. Since Riker’s is populated by those charged with crime but not yet found guilty, why don’t we let them all go?
Chris Hedges has a long post at Truthdig describing the Muslim Menace industry, a group of right-wing organizations that bill themselves as “counterterrorism specialists and experts on the Muslim world”, and make big bucks indoctrinating US law enforcement and security agencies in the evils of Islam.
The indoctrination is done through seminars paid for with public funds and “preach that Islam is a terrorist religion, that an Islamic “fifth column” or “stealth jihad” is subverting the United States from within, that mainstream American Muslims have ties to terrorist groups, that Muslims use litigation, free speech and other legal means (something the trainers have nicknamed “Lawfare”) to advance the subversive Muslim agenda and that the goal of Muslims in the United States is to replace the Constitution with Islamic or Shariah law.”
Below is a sample of modern-day witch hunter and Christian fundamentalist Walid Shoebat, whose presentation is titled “The Jihad Mindset and How to Defeat It: Why We Want to Kill You.” According to Hedges, “Shoebat, who bills himself as a reformed terrorist and who speaks to law enforcement officials around the country, tells his listeners that mainstream Muslim organizations such as the Islamic Society of North America and the Council on American-Islamic Relations are terrorist fronts and that Islamists are by nature violent extremists and pedophiles.”
Here Shoebat explains to a group of extremely gullible Christians why the Mark of the Beast, usually referred to as 666, really means Muslims, who owe allegiance only to the Antichrist. The part that gets me is when he says “It’s so clear! The reverse of what you believe is what they believe. The antithesis of the Bible is what they believe in.” And Shoebat and his colleagues are spewing their racist garbage at taxpayer expense.
When those tornadoes devastated the American South, I wondered where Pat Robertson had been and why his prayers didn’t stop the tornadoes. Like he can usually do . . .
He credited his prayers for steering the course of Hurricane Gloria in 1985, which caused billions of dollars of destruction in many states along the U.S. east coast. He made a similar claim about another destructive storm, Hurricane Felix, in 1995.
Well here’s our answer – this is why his God went after Tuscaloosa.
ROBERTSON: And I believe that the anointing of the Lord has been here to fulfill the desire of those early settlers, to take the gospel from America throughout the world, and that’s what we’ve been here to do. But let me tell you, ladies and gentlemen, it doesn’t take a great scholar to tell you the United States has lost its moorings.
When you think that courts have denied children the right to pray in schools, that there’s a vendetta against religious belief, that now homosexuality has been made a constitutional right, that abortion has been made a constitutional right, the courts and judges have trampled on the early origins of our nation, they have distorted the meaning of the First Amendment. It’s all been done, and we’ve let it happen.
But I was reading today about a place called Sodom and Gomorrah, and a man named Abraham stood before God, and he says, “God, there’re righteous people in that city, would you kill them along with the wicked, must not the judge of all the earth do right?” And God finally promised, “If I can find ten righteous in that city, I will spare it,” just ten. Well the time came he could only find six, so they destroyed Sodom and Gomorra. But there’re many righteous here in America, and we need to band together and pray that God Almighty will spare this great land and reestablish in our hearts the vision of the pioneers.
Sherry noticed too. As usual, she notices a lot of stuff. I think I need to get up earlier – else she scoops me every time!