A Roundup of the Ridiculous
The IRS investigated several 501(c)4 organizations. We grant these businesses tax exempt status because they, “. . . operate exclusively for social welfare.” That’s great, except the outfits in question were spending nearly all of their money for political attack advertising. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Chairman of the House Mandate On Reproducing Obviously Nuitty ScandalMania (“MORONS”) Committee, thinks there is a problem because the IRS was doing its job. More, his own investigation has completely exonerated the White House, but he has refused to release those testimonies and he has continued to implicate the Administration in this scandal that does not actually exist.
On the other hand, the IRS got caught spending taxpayer money in what can reasonably be described as irresponsible, stunningly stupid ways. Good that the fools got caught. Great that Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) reamed them publicly on the deeply personal implications of their actions.
Antony Weiner is running for mayor of New York. This is political comedy at its finest.
Speaker of the House John Boehner wants officials jailed and the Attorney General impeached over the AP cell phone records issue. He demanded that even before anything had happened other than wild accusations. How do you suppose he would define “due process?”
Benghazi is still in the news, as Obama opponents struggle to alchemize nothing into horrific political scandal.
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has announced that she won’t be running for re-election. She declared in no uncertain terms that her decision has nothing to do with her having just squeaked out a win in 2012 (by 0.8%), her being behind in polling in her district for the 2014 race or that she and her election campaign are under federal investigation for fiddling with funds and other no-no stuff.
Sen. Saxby Chamliss (R-GA), a member of the Senate Armed Services committee, explained away a big problem in the military by saying to the top brass testifying before his committee, “The young folks coming in to each of your services are anywhere from 17 to 22 or 23. Gee whiz, the hormone level created by nature sets in place the possibility for these types of things [rapes] to occur.” So, according to Senator Explain-Away-Rape, the assault that is rape is just a youthful hormone thing, not the brutal, demeaning and destructive act of aggression that people who actually have information about such things know it to be. Bear in mind that Chambliss, who was of draft age during the Vietnam War but who never served in the military, is the same guy who won his senate seat by questioning the patriotism of Max Cleland, his senate seat opponent and a Vietnam War triple amputee.
Rahm Emanuel is closing 49 public schools in Chicago, this being a gift, in that he won’t be closing five more. This was done in the face of clear and consistent data that shows that the single most powerful driver of academic success and its follow-on, life success, is student preparedness created during pre-K, kindergarten, first and second grades.
The gun bill failed in congress due to Republican manipulation of the process and a bunch of legislators who lack the starch in their spines to stand up to the NRA, but that’s old news. The new news is that we’ve killed over 30 people per day with guns since then. News flash for tough, “cold, dead hands” guys: Those people who were shot dead are all still dead and will remain dead, including those little kids murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School. There is nothing theoretical about gun violence and failing to take action assures a continuation of the killing of our children.
“Safety is at the heart of everything we do,” says the British Petroleum spokesperson wearing a hardhat and narrating the currently running, feel-good PR commercial. Actually, the record clearly shows that not to be true. From 2007 – 2010 two of BP’s refineries accounted for 97% of all flagrant refinery violations. BP has been convicted of three environmental crimes, including felonies in both Alaska and Texas. There were dozens of safety violations at the Deepwater Horizon oil platform, including disabling emergency alarms just weeks before the rig exploded, killing eleven men (no bodies recovered) and dumping four million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Then they dumped hundreds of thousands of gallons of toxic, potentially carcinogenic dispersant onto the oil so that we wouldn’t be able to see the mess they had made. After all, out of sight is out of mind and maybe they would be able to limit the cost of their irresponsibility through such chicanery. Which they did. “Safety at the heart of everything they do?” Really? It is short term profit that is at the heart of everything BP does, safety be damned. Oh, and how about some gulf shrimp for dinner tonight?
Mitt and Ann Romney announced they are planning to rejoin the national dialog, perhaps as “severely conservative” voices or possibly to give a progress report on the construction of their car elevator. Surely, they can’t think that after all the gaffs, the 47% elitist attitude and the rest that they have something to offer Americans or even Republican candidates. Oh, wait, they probably do think that.
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), America’s most unpopular senator, tells us that it was wrong when Richard Nixon used the IRS to target his political opponents and it is just as wrong for Barack Obama to do that. Of course, he conveniently fails to give any specifics and instead damns with that vague accusation. It is reminiscent of half-governor Sarah Palin during her “Obama is un-American” campaign following her 2008 election loss that she screeched, “It isn’t wrong to love your country.” Damning by vague accusation. Here is a heads up for Sen. Flake: Unlike President Obama, Richard Nixon was guilty of multiple felony violations of law. Are you able to understand that distinction? (Am I now damning Flake by vague accusation?)
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), who voted against the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, as well as the Paycheck Fairness Act, said that women, “. . . don’t want” equal pay laws. Surely, that will come as a surprise to the millions of women who are paid a fraction of what their male co-workers are paid for doing the same job.
It is just a couple of ordinary political weeks in America. Our problems expand and our elected officials make sure that they don’t get solved. But we do get continuous political posturing and accusations, manipulation of facts and a never ending string of stupid stuff that, strangely, we voted for.
Nothing to see here. Move along.
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Copyright 2019 by Jack Altschuler
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