A shrewd person not guided by principles, especially a politician
Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), taking the stage after brief remarks from a meteorologist and several Heartland officials, kicked things off with a wild rant about how nearly every environmental scandal of the last three decades has turned out to be a hoax.
"The ozone hole is sort of like global warming, and was sort of an exaggerated position on some readings," Rohrabacher mused. "Remember acid rain?" asked the congressman. That too "became a non-issue" after a report claimed that human activity had little relation to the problem. The liberals, Rohrabacher said, never apologized to President Ronald Reagan for lambasting his refusal to act on it in the 1980s.
In between these remarks came another whopper. “I don’t know whether or not fluoridating the water helps people’s teeth become better or not,” said Rohrabacher, invoking his childhood memories. “I don’t know that,” he continued, “But I do know that in this country, we should be the ones who should be deciding what we put into our bodies one way or the other, not the federal government or the local government putting fluoride into our water!”
The water fluoridation screed elicited support from the crowd. But I noticed the gentleman sitting next to me, a corporate attorney named Larry Kogan seeking to overturn the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s endangerment finding on climate science—which paved the way for the regulation of carbon emissions—with a grimace on his face. He had clapped for every other applause line, but sat on his hands for this one.
None of Rohrabacher’s claims, of course, resemble anything close to reality. The ozone depletion problem, which is well documented, was addressed effectively through regulations to curb chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) from certain products. The 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act, which passed with bipartisan support, back when the Koch brothers held less sway over the GOP and pro-environment Republicans could still get elected to Congress, largely solved the problem of acid rain by creating a cap and trade program to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx).
The evils of water fluoridation have been a favorite conspiracy theory that took root in the American psyche thanks to the efforts of the John Birch Society, the right-wing precursor to the Tea Party. Fringe activists have claimed that fluoridation lowers IQ and causes cancer—but there is no evidence to support either theory. Decades of research show that adding fluoride to drinking water is indeed one of the most effective strategies for reducing tooth decay.
Dana Rohrabacher, of course, is a member of the House Science Committee.(via jenn2d2)
It’s just, I think, sad when a political party — my political party — has so lost faith in its ideas that it’s pouring all of its energy into election mechanics. And again, I’m a guy who understands and appreciates what we should be doing in order to make sure every vote counts, every vote is legitimate. But that fact is, it ought to be abundantly clear to everybody in this state that there is no massive voter fraud. The only thing that we do have in this state is we have long lines of people who want to vote. And it seems to me that we should be doing everything we can to make it easier, to help these people get their votes counted. And that we should be pitching as political parties our ideas for improving things in the future, rather than mucking around in the mechanics and making it more confrontational at the voting sites and trying to suppress the vote.
Sen. Dale Schultz (R) who called out Wisconsin GOP politician for supporting voter suppression efforts (via Think Progress)
Schultz added that the suppression was “just plain wrong,” adding, “It is all predicated on some belief there is a massive fraud or irregularities, something my colleagues have been hot on the trail for three years and have failed miserably at demonstrating.” The GOP-controlled Assembly has already passed a similar bill.
It is amazing that Congress often worries about waste or fraud in programs benefiting the public such as Food Stamps, but seems totally unconcerned about the fraud and waste in the Pentagon budget. In fact, the Government Accountability Office cannot even audit the Pentagon budget because of severe management problems at the Pentagon.
The Republican Party is a cult worthy of Jim Jones, and all across America, it’s killing off its followers, just like Jim Jones did. For reasons that typically have to do with god, gays or guns, low-income people across America frequently vote Republican, thus becoming Republican cultist followers. And then, just like the followers at Jonestown, they let their leaders in the Republican Party pass out “policy Kool-aid” that actually kills some of them.
It’s just flatly wrong. We could make modest adjustments and make the system financially stable for a century, and we could make somewhat larger adjustments and make the system pay more for seniors who rely on it … The conversation for too long has been about whether to cut Social Security benefits a little bit or a lot. And that is flatly the wrong debate to have in mind. The Social Security system is not adding to the debt at all. More importantly, if we made no changes at all, Social Security would pay out at its current level for about 20 years, at which point it would drop by about 25 percent and pay out forever into the future.