Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), whose net worth of at least $350 million puts him at the top of Congress, said that the United States has made “our poor somewhat the envy of the world.” I know who pays for Issa, but I’d like to know who consistently votes for him.
Undeclared presidential candidate Jeb Bush, who declaimed “I am my own man” when confronted by influence from his former president brother, has named the same brother, George W. Bush, as his most influential counselor. That was after he picked a foreign policy team who almost uniformly worked for Jeb’s father, brother, or both. If Jeb is trying to point out that he’s the same strong supporter of Israel as his brother, he missed Bush II’s work in favor of a Palestinian state, his refusal to bomb Syria in 2007 which forced Israel to attack the country by itself, and his lack of support for the 2008 Israeli airstrike on Iran.
Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX), one of 38 people representing the state of Stupid in the U.S. Congress, is claiming that President Obama is at fault for the sweeping conspiracy theory surrounding the military training operation called Jade Helm 15. People wouldn’t believe that the U.S. military is invading Texas if the president didn’t sue a “saintly nun” for helping the helpless, according to Gohmert. He continues by complaining that “the United States president is not doing enough to explain why they consider part of the United States hostile.” Blogger Sarah wrote, “I swear, Republicans would vote in a sack of potatoes if someone printed ‘Freedom’ on the side of the bag.”
Rep. David Brat (R-VA), who replaced House Majority Whip Eric Cantor last year, goes farther than Gohmert. He believes a report that the terrorist group ISIL has a base south of El Paso (TX) to impose martial law and take away people’s guns. Brat also warned of “2,000 un-vetted people coming across the border from Syria, the home of ISIS” in response to the U.S. plan to vet refugees for resettlement in the U.S. His delusions shouldn’t come as a surprise because he has previously said that he believes that God controls the economy and free market capitalism is His Will. Brat has managed to go farther off the edge that the conspiracy theorists who claim that President Obama is attacking Texas. [AP photo by Kevin Morely]
Florida Gov. Rick Scott told a TV audience in 2013 that his mother’s death had led him to stop opposition to expanding health care coverage to almost one million people in his state through the Affordable Care Act. Now he says that he lied in a calculated move to get the Obama administration to give control of Medicaid to private insurance companies. He again opposes Medicaid expansion and is suing the federal government for forcing him to take it. Then he asked the federal government $1 billion for hospitals treating low-income and Medicaid people who can’t afford insurance because Scott won’t accept ACA. Rick Scott’s “Obamacare alternative,”costing his taxpayers over one million dollars, has signed up only 49 people. Happy Mother’s Day, Gov. Scott.
Texas Republican Rick Miller has filed an anti-LGBT bill that repeals local ordinances protecting LGBT individuals in several Texas cities, including Houston. Miller also has a 40-year-old HIV-positive openly gay son, Beau, who has had a serious relationship with another man for the past four years. Last Christmas, Miller invited the two men to spend Christmas at his home which made Beau think his father was become more accepting of him. You can contact Rick Miller here.
Santae Tribble, 17, was sentenced of robbing and murdering a cab driver in 1978. After 28 years, the FBI discovered the hair used by expert hair analysts to prove he was at the crime scene was actually dog hair. Recently, the FBI admitted that “nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000.” Tribble was exonerated of the crime after being released from prison, but the FBI still has another 1200 cases to investigate. Of 268 trials thus far analyzed, 257—over 95 percent—contained flawed testimony. These included 32 defendants sentenced to death, 14 of whom either died in prison or were executed. Despite the horror of these facts, a few stories made a blip on the news surface and have since disappeared.
Lee County (FL) Deputy Sheriff Yvan Fernandez was eating a pizza when he acknowledged a 911 call from a Gwendolyn Minnis, 48, who reported having a heart attack. He wasn’t on an official meal break and said that he was on his way, but he finished the pizza before responding. Another deputy found Minnis lying dead in a neighbor’s yard almost an hour later. Fernandez, who reached the site later after traveling the 15-minute journey from his pizza, has been fired, but he is appealing.
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) told an audience of his constituents his plan to destroy President Obama’s legacy: pass a lot of bad bills that the president will then veto, forcing him to become the president who “vetoed the most bills.” Thus far President Obama has vetoed four bills, 631 bills short of Franklin D. Roosevelt. George H.W. Bush vetoed 44 bills in his one term, and Ronald Reagan nixed 78 bills. Gosar ignored the bad bills that the last three Congresses have passed. The representative’s plan doesn’t sound very innovative: Congress has been passing bad bills for the past three Congresses.
Two government actions vie for the worst of the past month. In the first one, 225 House Republicans voted to overturn a local D.C. law last night that would make using employer-based health insurance for in vitro fertilization or birth control pills a fireable offense in Washington, D.C. The chamber debate was so controlled that an observer who attended to write a story was prevented from any electronic devices and stopped from taking notes by hand. The bill moves on to the Senate. With a population larger than either Vermont of Wyoming, the city has limited presidential voting rights, no vote in Congress, and the inability to raise local revenues or pass local laws without Congressional permission.
Colorado has refused to re-fund a program that helped reduce the state’s teen birth rate by 40 percent over the past five years. Since 2009, Colorado has provided thousands of IUDs and implants to low-income teenage girls, but Republicans claim that they are subsidizing teenagers’ sex lives and causing abortions—which these forms of birth control don’t do. According to the highly respected WebMD:
“There are two types of IUDs available in the United States. One type releases the hormone progestin, which causes the cervical mucus to become thicker so the sperm cannot reach the egg. The hormone also changes the lining of the uterus, so implantation of a fertilized egg cannot occur…The other type doesn’t use hormones. It contains copper, which is slowly released into the uterine cavity. The copper stops the sperm from making it through the vagina and uterus to reach the egg, thus preventing fertilization.”
One GOP lawmaker, Rep. Don Coram, who failed to explain to his party that funding the Colorado Family Planning Initiative is fiscally responsible, even wore an IUD pin on his lapel. He cited a state study that Colorado’s Medicaid program saves $5.85 for every $1.00 put into the program. Coram explained that a teenage unintended pregnancy “sets them up in a cycle of poverty. Eighty percent of them will be on welfare within a year. Many will drop out of school.” The rest of his party ignored him and continues its war on women.
Thus the U.S. proceeds on its race to the bottom.