The more secure that both state and federal GOP legislators become, the dumber they look. For example, North Carolina’s “state ethics act” allows lobbyists to provide prostitutes to state legislators because it doesn’t constitute a “reportable expenditure” or “things of value.” These “relationships” also don’t trigger the “goodwill lobbying” registration requirements.
That’s a law. If the GOP has its way, there will be far more idiotic ones.
Kansas state Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook wants to put teachers who use approved materials in prison. Her bill would criminalize displaying “harmful” material to minors. Kansas already has a law protecting minors from “harmful” material, but this bill doubles down to include books such as Huckleberry Finn, anatomy lessons in biology, and art history classes. Previously, Pilcher-Cook had introduced a bill that would to criminalize surrogate parenting.
Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore (R) wants to loosen regulations for end-of-life medical care because she believes that cancer is a “fungus” and can be washed out by baking soda. She thinks that approving treatments like this for people with terminal illness will be “very inexpensive, cost-effective” and by doing this, Nevada can become “the medical capital of the world.” She also asserted that “young, hot little girls on campus” need to be armed with guns to prevent themselves from being raped. Fiore was removed from her position as Republican Majority Leader because she might owe over $1 million in tax liens.
During a debate about abortion in the Idaho House, state Rep. Vito Barbieri asked a doctor if a woman could have a gynecological exam just as people can have an inspection of their colons by swallowing a small camera. Dr. Julie Madsen had to explain to him that swallowed items don’t go to the vagina. House members were discussing a ban on telemedicine abortion bans although no clinic in the state performs them.
After the Department of Homeland Security circulated an intelligence assessment focusing on “the domestic terror threat from right-wing sovereign citizen extremists,” Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) determined that it was referring to conservatives who disagreed with the president. He couldn’t grasp the definition of radical extremists and fringe anti-government groups. He ratcheted up his rhetoric by wanting a hearing for DHS officials to find out why the Obama administration is “more aggressive toward Americans, Republicans, conservatives, Christians, and concerned about them being threats to the country, which they’re not, than they are about the real threats to our country.”
Spinning off Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s accusation about “no-go zones” where people are supposedly afraid to visit because of large intimidating Muslim populations, Tennessee state Rep. Susan Lynn has introduced a bill to ask the state attorney general to report these “no-go zones” and work to eliminate them. The GOP wants to add laws about a made-up problems instead of existing issues.
About the death of Leonard Nimoy, who played Dr. Spock in Star Trek, Oregon state Rep. Bill Post (R) said on the state House floor that “the greatest Republican in the history of the galaxy, passed away. He was a legal alien who believed in prosperity.” What Post missed: the pro-science Star Trek was about a socialist big government in search of a utopian society with themes of equality, peace, and all basic needs, including health care, provided. One of Spock’s famous quotes: “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” Leonard Nimoy was also a lifelong Democrat.
From GOP members of the U.S. Congress:
Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) proved to his personal satisfaction that climate warming doesn’t exist: he made a snowball from a snowfall in Washington, D.C. and threw it on the Senate floor. He added that it was very cold outside. The leading climate denier in Congress, he chairs the Environment and Public Works Committee.
One hundred GOP members of Congress have signed a letter to the Bureau of Alcohol and Firearms (BATF) Director Todd Jones protesting an executive order banning ammunition for “sporting and other legitimate purposes.” There is no executive order: BATF has proposed a reclassification of “green-tip” bullets, popular with AR-15 users, from “sporting purposes” to “armor piercing ammunition.” Because that’s what they do. Originally built for the U.S. Armed Services, AR-15s are used to fatally shoot police and military personnel wearing body armor.
At his first town hall meeting, Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) told the audience that he doesn’t immunize his children and said, “They’re very healthy.” After chairing the state Senate Science and Technology committee, he moved up to chair the U.S. House Subcommittee on Oversight in the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. Loudermilk is considering an investigation into “cover-up” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even GOP media strategist Rick Wilson called for his resignation.
Last week, the GOP proved that they are incapable of governing by failing to deal with funding for the Department of Homeland Security. Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) couldn’t even get a GOP majority to support a clean bill to fund DHS for only three weeks; 52 ultra-conservatives stood their ground to shoot down the idea. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi had to save him by persuading the Democrats to vote for a one-week extension.
The conservative media is disgusted. The conservative USA Today editorial board wrote that Congress is “carelessly using federal employees as pawns in their war with the president.” The editorial also “propose[s] that any time Congress deliberately shuts down the government and throws people out of work (or makes them work without paychecks), Congress should automatically lose its pay as well. There’s nothing like a little skin in the game to make members realize their cavalier gamesmanship has real costs.”
Even the Rupert Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal smacked down House Republicans. Its editorial questions whether the GOP really wants to govern or just oppose compromise. (Easy question!) Conservative Republicans prefers to risk national security even after a delay in the president’s immigration executive orders, determined two weeks ago, by a ruling from a hand-picked right-wing judge in Texas.
The WSJ editorial also stated that the president “wanted to goad an overreaction that made the GOP look both anti-immigrant and intemperate enough to shut down the government.” Whether that’s what the president wanted, that’s what he got.
Today Boehner finally put out a clean bill to fund the DHS until September 30 with no immigration restrictions. It passed by a vote of 257-167 with the support of 75 Republicans. Boehner excused himself by saying that the situation would be better dealt with in the courts. The court decision did not declare the content of the president’s executive order was illegal; it just ruled that the process was flawed because the Administrative Procedure Act requires a longer notification and comment period before taking action.
As Scott Wong wrote for The Hill: “The opening weeks of the 114th Congress have been nothing short of a disaster for Republicans.” He called last Friday “the low point” when over 50 GOP members of the House revolted against the speaker. At least three times in the past two months, bills had to be pulled because of too few GOP votes, including the overhaul of No Child Left Behind. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said it best: “We’ve got to remember we weren’t hired because of our value set. We were hired because [the Democrats] got fired.”
After the 2012 presidential loss, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus claimed he would stop the “traveling circus” in 2016. He may be able to control the number of GOP debates, but he hasn’t been able to handle the stupidity coming out of the GOP, even after the GOP took over the majority of Congress. Is the president Christian? Should parents have their children vaccinated? How can GOP presidential wannabes go to England without saying something dumb? What can be done about a presidential candidate, in this case Ben Carson, who supports war crimes? And now, how can the GOP deal with the apparent vitriolic hatred for immigrants as demonstrated by a failure to continue funding for the DHS. Rational Republicans are increasingly disgusted.