The Watering Hole; Friday April 11 2014; Dumb or Dumbest SOTW?

Political stupidity is nothing new these days. It is, in fact, rather firmly embedded in the rapidly evolving GOP, and examples are manifest. Sarah Palin, Louie Gohmert, Steve King, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Darrell Issa, . . . the beat goes on in never-ending fashion. But I frankly can’t recall anyone saying anything as definably dimwitted as the words of the “leader” of the conservative so-called “Think” Tank — the Heritage Foundation’s Jim DeMint — who manages to make even Sarah Palin look like a historical and constitutional scholar by comparison. Check this out:

“Well the reason that the slaves were eventually freed was the Constitution, it was like the conscience of the American people. Unfortunately there were some court decisions like Dred Scott and others that defined some people as property, but the Constitution kept calling us back to ‘all men are created equal and we have inalienable rights’ in the minds of God. But a lot of the move to free the slaves came from the people, it did not come from the federal government. It came from a growing movement among the people, particularly people of faith, that this was wrong. People like Wilberforce who persisted for years because of his faith and because of his love for people. So no liberal is going to win a debate that big government freed the slaves. In fact, it was Abraham Lincoln, the very first Republican, who took this on as a cause and a lot of it was based on a love in his heart that comes from God.”

I particularly liked his quote from the Constitution, the “all men are created equal” part. Maybe it’s just me, but I’d have thought, for whatever reason, that a career politician might be able to differentiate between the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Too daunting a task, perhaps. Or maybe they simply believe they’re one in the same? And then there’s all that ‘analysis’ on the part of DeMint in which he attempts an error-filled “explanation” of the demise of slavery. I always assumed that DeMint was about as shallow and hollow as Wingnuts get, but he’s managed to outdo even himself.

Anyway, I found the DeMint quote in an April 9th Think Progress article by Ian Millhiser entitled Head Of Top Conservative Think Tank Makes Spectacularly Uninformed Statement About Slavery. Millhiser does a great job picking out and detailing each and every factual/historical error in DeMint’s statement, and it is truly fascinating to see just how MANY foolish errors can be embedded in a mere 167 words.

My bottom line is that I do herein and hereby award to Jim DeMint, head of the Heritage Foundation and former Republican Senator from the Great State of South Carolina, my clearly un-coveted Dumbest Shit of the Week award. I assume he’ll accept it with all the grace embedded in my presentation!



59 thoughts on “The Watering Hole; Friday April 11 2014; Dumb or Dumbest SOTW?

  1. Ignoramos, and that’s being polite.
    Wilberforce. Wilberforce? Is Jimmy now a MP to bring up Wilberforce? Who did that research for him? The same person who doesn’t know the difference between the Constitution and Declaration of Independence?
    Wonder why he didn’t mention Olaudah Equiano.
    You are so correct that Palin and Bachmann come across as genius compared to DeMint.

    • Well, Wilberforce did apparently believe that the slave trade was, according to an online biographical sketch, equivalent to “the rising tide of immorality,” and wanted prosecution of all who were guilty of “excessive drinking, blasphemy, profane swearing and cursing, lewdness, profanation of the Lord’s Day, and other dissolute, immoral, or disorderly practices”.

      I admit it’s just a wild guess, but I can imagine that the Christ-like DeMint would probably agree with most of that.

  2. Federal Plan To Save Prairie Chickens Ruffles State Feathers

    It’s prairie chicken mating season!

    Still, it’s tough being a lesser prairie chicken these days. This type of grouse once spanned an enormous area, though now they survive mainly in pockets of Oklahoma and Kansas. Their numbers are plummeting; in 2012, the population dropped by half.

    But after they were recently listed as a threatened species by the U.S. government, complaints of federal overreach and lawsuits have followed.

    Jim Pitman, with the Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks, calls it a “range-wide plan.” He says it covers the bird’s entire habitat: parts of Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

    “It’s unprecedented,” Pitman says. “It’s really difficult for state agencies to work across those political boundaries.”

    The plan will pay landowners to make their property more livable for prairie chickens, and companies that degrade habitat will have to compensate landowners to create more of it elsewhere. It could be profitable for farmers and ranchers — and it needs to be.

    Daniel Ashe, director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, says the birds are desperate for habitat.

    “They’ve lost 84 percent of the shortgrass prairie, which this bird depends on as its home,” Ashe says.

      • Most any ESA designation is despised by lots of people. Ask any one of the few surviving wolves in Idaho about the consequences of the invariably irrational FWS removal of ESA designation.

        • The ESA is a tool that needs to be applied correctly to be effective.
          At one point in time, alligators were on the ESA and removed in 1987.
          We now have alligators out the wazoo, and I mean lots of them.
          We call them stink lizards because they smell awful.
          The program worked, they rebounded but, now the population has nothing to keep it in check.
          Rednecks hunt them but they only want the “trophy” sized dinosaurs.
          The medium sized ones are the ones to be concerned with.
          Fast, agile, a head made of solid bone and tougher than a steel belted radial tire.
          They are prolific breeders.
          We’re not talking about something that has a fragile and small reproduction cycle.
          They lay a lot of eggs and most of them hatch.
          If they can make it past their first year they are likely to survive to adulthood.
          All of those “logs” you see floating in the lakes aren’t logs.
          They’re big gators and they’re getting bigger.
          Idiots feed them and they get big.
          You can tell when they are being fed. Normally they will swim away from you when they are spotted.
          When they start to swim over to where you are it’s a sign that some dumbshit is feeding them.
          They are routinely starting to show up in my pond in the backyard.
          It has spawned a cottage industry of nuisance gator removal.
          I’m not allowed to touch them, I’ll go to jail.
          If they could be set loose on Burmese pythons I’d be cool with that but the pendulum has swung the other way and now we have an abundance of gators.
          The unwritten rule here is you don’t swim in fresh water.

          Habitat loss is the big issue with most all of the bird life.
          Bald Eagles nest here in the winter and huge tracts of land are going under the bulldozer for strip malls and cattle grazing.
          Don’t get started on the cattle issue. They can ruin land faster than a Caterpillar.

  3. In Mr. DeMint’s constitution:

    “The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.”

    “Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.”

    Yes, the constitution kept calling us to tax the slaves and not count them as full people.

    And of all those races that were enslaved by that wonderful first Reuplican Lincoln, how many are in the Republican party now?

    • Went camping with bunch of dads and kids the other week – had the one comment about “Sarah Palin tells it like it is” and “The greatest modern-day American president, Ronald Reagan” (which I countered with “what about Richard Nixon” and not spotting the irony got the reply, “Well sure, he opened up China” to which I answered “Founded the EPA and OHSA, got out of Vietnam, implemented wage & price controls to help people in economic crises, the Roe v Wade judges were his” – *crickets chirping*),_he_would_be_far_too_liberal_to_get_even_the_democratic_nomination

      Oh yes, the other tea-bagger dad is actually an elected GOP rep in the county – he was showing me his new two-man tent, “Only weighs 2.9 lbs!”.

      “Ah that’s the GOP ‘Big Tent’ you have been telling us about then?” says El Tel

  4. ” it happened because Lincoln led the nation in a massive big government program known as the “Civil War“.

    – I don’t care who ye are, that’s funny right thar!

  5. Send in the (Pro-GMO) Clowns

    Oops. Don’t bother. They’re here. As promised, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), the Congressman from Koch Industries, has introduced a federal bill to keep labels off GMO-contaminated foods. And he’s recruited a few fellow clowns, um, colleagues to stick out their necks along with him.
    They’re calling it the “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014.” Of course, it’s anything but.

    • He had to bend over so far to make his narrative take him away from being a neo-Confederate arse-wipe , that he disappeared up his own arsehole – that’s quite a stunt!

  6. Crap! (And other, more harsh, swear words.)

    I did something I had not done in at least 35 years. I stuck one of my fingers into the spinning prop of a model airplane. It’s nothing that 3 stitches and some schnapps won’t heal up but I feel like a complete idiot and might lose a nail.

    Why do i feel like a complete idiot? I feel like a complete idiot because I tell everyone I know to remove their propeller if they are going to screw around with their radio’s programming. What did I do? I left the prop, a brand new one that’s very sharp, on while screwing around with my radio’s programming.

    What’s the second thing I tell everyone I know? I tell them that, in the unlikely event a motor starts up unexpectedly, to let the plane go and turn off the motor with the radio. What did I do? I reached for the plane instead of the radio.

    Oh well. As long as I wait another 35 years before doing such a stupid thing I should be in the clear since I can hardly imagine being alive, much less playing with “toy” airplanes, for more than about 34 years!

      • Indeed! The throbbing is subsiding already and, at the very least, I don’t think I will have to rig up a rope from the ceiling, to keep my hand well above my heart, in order to fall asleep. Of course; I didn’t elaborate on why I turned down a prescription for pain killers. The schnapps is cheaper than the co-pay.

    • Damn Pete! Safety is something that has to be on anyone’s mind while doing just about anything.

      My dad, who farmed, was a lumberjack, worked in a brewery (back when they allowed workers to have 3 beer at lunch),etc. was always on about doing things safely. I am always aware but was shocked some 20 years ago when I talked to my mom and she said that dad had cut off the tip of his index finger because he went to remove some piece of paper from under the lawnmower WHILE IT WAS RUNNNG!!!! I was stunned. They sewed it back on and thankfully for him we is still able to play his fiddle.

      I always wear pants and steel toed boots when cutting the lawn. Neighbour laughs and I laugh with him while I still have all my toes! I even remove my wedding ring when doing any work inside or outside the house as fingers have been ripped off because a ring gets caught on something.

      I am glad you are ok Pete and will live to fly for many more days.

      • Yep. It only takes a second.

        Back when I was still managing a restaurant I would always harp on my three rules for employees.

        1. No injuries!
        2. If you say “it’s not my job” I will probably fire you.
        3. No injuries!

        It really worked well. In all my time as a manager only two people went to the hospital. One of those was a gal who went into premature labor and the other was an idiot who dropped a knife and managed to, intentionally, catch it with his foot. He never came back so i didn’t have to fire him either. I think that’s a pretty good record.

        Heck! When I was working at the plastic plant I was the union safety officer and a big part of my job was making sure that proper “lock out, tag out” procedures were followed. During my 7 years in that job no one ever got an injury requiring emergency care on my watch. Mind you; this was a job that utilized things like pneumatic presses, nail guns, pneumatic staplers, radial arm saws, and required tossing 100 pound boxes around.

        I think you can see why violating my own safety rule is really pissing me off!

        • Sounds like you’re going to have to sue yourself!

          Need a good attorney?


    • I’d have thought that dipping a recently-stitched wounded finger into a glass of Schnapps would sting a LOT. I’ve never tried it, but, well, I still remember what it was like when my mom used rubbing alcohol on my childhood scrapes and wounds.

      So, Pete, BE CAREFUL with the Schnapps! 😆

      • I think my schnapps is labeled; “only to be taken internally”. I would check the label but it’s in really tiny print and things are starting to get a bit blurry for some reason.

        Dad was a big fan of Merthiolate. It was usually used for things like the wounds from fish spines and fish hooks. It hurt but it wasn’t too bad and I never suffered an infected puncture so I assume it worked. Then there was the time that I was raking leaves, as punishment for some forgotten infraction, and I developed a blister that covered the entire palm of my right hand that broke and got a whole bunch of crap ground into it. I should not have bitched about it.

        When I went to Dad for treatment he tucked my arm under his armpit and POURED Merthiolate into the open wound! I figure he was still pissed at me.

        Well, after all these years, I think I got the last laugh. When the puddle of Merthiolate had its effect I managed to jerk my hand away and sprayed Merthiolate all over the bathroom tiles. Dad refinished the bathroom and didn’t make me help!

          • We’d make Mom or Dad PROMISE/swear to blow, on the wound, as they applied Merthiolate or Mercurochrome (although that didn’t seem to sting as badly).

            • I think Merthiolate works on the same principle as smashing a finger with a rock, releasing endorphins, so you don’t bitch about a little cut. I have to admit that whatever pain a wound would cause later paled in comparison. Mercurochrome was for pussies.

              Can you even buy either one after the whole mercury scare? They were undeniably effective but, as an adult, I realized that some combination of rubbing alcohol and peroxide, or even hot soapy water, was just as effective at a fraction of the price without the pure sadism/masochism.

            • I’ve found Reiki a lot less painful than Merthiolate or Mercurichrome.

    • Helping a fraternal people defend their rights.

      Russians version of the TeaPottiers!

    • Send Larry to Ghana, no – make that Somalia:
      وقتا طويلا، لاري. (So long, Larry. Arabic)
      Sidaas dheer, Larry. (So long, Larry. Somali)

      • I don’t pretend to be up to date on the gun laws of most countries but I would be willing to send Larry to any country that beheads people caught with guns they are not supposed to have.

        I also think we should make it much, much, harder for people to own guns but I would rather send violators to countries that behead people rather than behead them ourselves.

  7. Sigh… This one goes out to Ebb.

    I can live with Ozzie being number one but Dio should be, at least, a close second. But? I think that leaving Robert Plant out of the mix is a travesty. Heck! I would consider Paul McCartney above some of the pop sensations in this list.

    • These are wild (urban) Peregrines.
      The falcon (female – Clara) is in the scrape (nest) with the babes.
      Tiercel (male – Fernando) is the one sitting back of the scrape.

      This time of year the adults take turns ‘shopping’/hunting. It is truly a wonder to watch them catch (usually a pigeon, sometimes avocets, stilts, etc) mid air! then they fly it to the scrape. Or to the ‘refrigerator’ – deposited on shady the side of a building to be retrieved later!

  8. Turtles heading south for Spring Break …… way on south…… una cervesa por favor…..

    Thinking of you, Johnette…

  9. The flag of Ukraine is a sky blue bar atop a gold yellow ground….. my friend’s FB background was a field of barley under an azure sky a few week’s ago….. this one’s for the people of Ukraine who just want to live, love and raise their kids in peace…

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