To the extent that she is capable of rational decision-making, Minn. Rep. Michele Bachmann decided this week might be a fitting time to remind the public that she is batshit crazy. During a radio interview, she spun out her theory that, A) President Obama is arming terrorists, generally, and Al Qaeda, specifically. And B) This is cause for rejoicing because it is a sign that the end times are near.
In the case of A., she was referring to Obama’s decision to provide small arms and anti-chemical weapons gear to certain Syrian rebels, or as Bachmann put it, “the United States is willingly, knowingly, intentionally sending arms to terrorists.”
Then the holy spirit must have filled her, or something, and she got all mystical. She said: “As I look at the End Times scripture, this says to me that the leaf is on the fig tree and we are to understand the signs of the times . . . we are to understand where we are in God’s end times history.”
Panic not, Christians, she continued. “Rather than seeing this as a negative, we need to rejoice, Maranatha Come Lord Jesus, His day is at hand. When we see up is down and right is called wrong, when this is happening, we were told this; these days would be as the days of Noah.”
Better get those arks ready.
2. Some of Antonin Scalia’s best friends are gay—and yeah, the devil exists.
As Bill Mahrer pointed out, people are certainly welcome to hold whatever crazy religious beliefs they choose. The trouble is when those people, like Bachmann, and say, a Supreme Court justice, are making decisions that impact the rest of us. In a different time, the high court’s glibbest right winger might have felt the need to be more circumspect about his religious beliefs, what with separation of church and state, and all. But Antonin Scalia let it all hang out in a recent interview with New York magazine’s Jennifer Senior, telling her, “I even believe in the devil.”
Not one to be plagued with pesky self-doubt, Scalia went even further on the topic of Lucifer: “He’s a real person. Hey, c’mon, that’s standard Catholic doctrine! Every Catholic believes that.” For those not following the recent exploits of Satan, he has evolved since biblical times, no longer making pigs run off cliffs, for instance. “What he’s doing now is getting people not to believe in him or in God.” Scalia explained. “He’s much more successful that way.”
The justice assured Senior that he, not she, was in step with the mainstream of America on this, and also in-line with Christ the lord our savior. “I mean, Jesus Christ believed in the Devil! It’s in the Gospels! You travel in circles that are so, so removed from mainstream America that you are appalled that anybody would believe in the Devil! Most of mankind has believed in the Devil, for all of history. Many more intelligent people than you or me have believed in the Devil.”
Also, and this is very reassuring, Scalia is pretty sure he knows some people who are gay, although he reckons that they are not sharing this fact with him, especially seeing as how he is the most outspokenly homophobic member of the high court, who made his displeasure known about the court’s landmark decisions in support of legalizing same-sex marriage last spring.
3. Arizona lawmaker: 'Obama is like Hitler.'
Ariz. State Rep. Brenda Barton added her voice to the list of right-wingers calling Obama, and Obamacare, absurdly hyperbolic names this week.
A brief review: Newt Gingrich has said Obama does not know how to be an American president, because he is inherently undemocratic, even though it is the right-wing of the Republican party that has shut down the government against the will of the majority of Americans. And it's the right-wing that refuses to accept a law that was passed through the democratic process.
Never mind that though—Obama’s 'behaving like a dictator,' because he won’t negotiate with lunatics. George Will, who some people used to think was smart even when they disagreed with him, echoed the absurd, and racially-tinged comparison of Obamacare to the Fugitive Slave Act.
And then this little-known wack-job state legislator from Arizona comes along and chimes in that Obama is like Adolf Hitler. She posted it on Facebook, while also calling for rogue sheriffs to arrest federal employees enforcing the government shutdown. Yeah, that’s right, the shutdown that House Republicans caused—the same one that the right-wing calls Obama’s shutdown because he won’t negotiate on that legislatively approved, Supreme Court-vetted affordable health-care law. Sounds Hitlerian to us, all right, trying to get more poor and sick people health care coverage. Hitler loved those poor sick people.
4. Ted Cruz lollapalooza.
Ted Cruz, it has become abundantly clear, is capable of spewing near record amounts of nonsense and demagoguery. The architect of the shutdown and inadvertent popularizer of Obamacare is still talking—this time at a right-wing echo chamber writ large, the Values Voters Summit.
So deluded is Cruz, that he is still acting as though he has won a great victory, and the crowd did nothing to disabuse him of that fantasy. Among his plethora of reality-denying assertions: Obama might kidnap him: “I’m going to be going to the White House. If I’m never seen again, please send a search and rescue team. I very much hope by tomorrow morning I don’t wake up amidst the Syrian rebels.” Also, the Obama administration might start quartering soldiers in people’s homes since they are “bound and determined to violate every single one of our bill of rights.” On the Cold War: “Our foreign policy is detente, which I’m pretty sure is French for surrender.”
(Note to Ted: it means permanent thaw in hostilities.)
5. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK): 'Defaulting on the debt doesn’t mean debt default.'
You might think that members of the party of the 1%, which also likes to think of itself as the party pushing individual and fiscal responsibility, would have at least a ten-year-old’s understanding of basic economics. But the looming debt crisis seems to have pushed many Republicans into a deep state of denial. Sen. Tom Coburn, a shining example of intellectual acuity, said early this week: "I would dispel the rumor that is going around that you hear on every newscast, that if we don’t raise the debt ceiling, we will default on our debt. We won’t. We’ll continue to pay our interest.”
He made this blatantly crazy statement with a straight face. As economist Robert Reich explained on his blog: “While the Treasury Department could prioritize interest payments after October 17 – the day the Treasury Department says it no longer has legal authority to pay the nation’s debts – and not pay Social Security and Medicare, this would buy a few days at most."
Meanwhile, interest rates will soar, stock prices will plummet, the global economy will begin spiraling downward, and millions of Americans wouldn’t receive their Social Security and Medicare.”
Reich concludes inescapably and perhaps charitably: “Sounding crazy is part of the Republican bargaining strategy.”
6. Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling: 'We don’t have to fund laws we didn’t pass.'
If and when the current crisis passes, perhaps the people will rise up and demand that their representatives be familiar with, at least, the rudiments of governance. Lonestar Congressman Jeb Hensarling revealed he could use a remedial course in it this week in his response to Andrea Mitchell’s point that lifting the debt ceiling meant simply that we would be paying the bills for bills and programs that Congress already agreed to pay for. Hensarling retorted that "this House" didn't vote for the stimulus, and that "this House' didn't vote for Obamacare.” This is novel in the history of American democracy: the notion that Congress is not obligated to pay the bills for programs passed by a previous Congress. We don’t want to give them ideas—although the right-wing fringe already has this one, but according to this argument they could refuse to pay for Social Security as a pre-condition for "negotiations" since "this House" didn't vote for the Social Security Act.
They could refuse to pay for everything, except of course, their own salaries, benefits and gym facilities.
7. Bryan Fischer: 'Good on Vladimir Putin for those anti-homosexual laws.'
Moving away from the lunatics in the House to the bullies in the pulpit, the fundamentalist American Family Association loudmouth Bryan Fischer expressed admiration for virulently homophobic Russian President Vladimir Putin for his country’s law criminalizing homosexual “propaganda,” because it is, they both agree “propaganda of pedophilia.”
Russia’s crackdown on the rights of gay people includes barring them from the Olympics, and new laws that would allow for the state to steal children from homes with same-sex parents. Vigilante groups are kidnapping and torturing teenagers suspected of being gay, and videotaping these horrific acts with impunity.
But it’s all good to Fischer and other haters, because the brave Russian leader is a great Christian, a “lion of Christianity, the defender of Christian values,” in contrast to, say, our leader.
“Just a bizarre day,” Fischer ranted maniacally on. “To ever think we would get to the day that Russia would be more advanced spiritually than the United States.”
Think he has even a passing acquaintance with what Jesus had to say?
8. Elisabeth Hasselbeck and John Stossel agree: welfare queens should not have air conditioning
Fox Business libertarian clown John Stossel has been yammering on forever about welfare cheats and the culture of dependency. He found his female doppelganger in Elisabeth Hasselbeck this week when she pointed out that welfare recipients who had air conditioning and cell phones were part of the “ugly side of entitlements.”
Stossel was plugging his special on the topic in which he asks supposed welfare recipients on the street whether they have TVs and air conditioning. “Do these folks really need to be on welfare?” Hasselbeck asks, as if Stossel might say yes.
But it’s okay, because Stossel and Hasselbeck really care about welfare recipients. “Is welfare creating more victims than it’s actually helping?” she later wondered. “The motivation to go get a job is almost non-existent in 35 states.”
So apparently, the free government stuff that libertarian, anti-government Stossel admits he gets, like Medicare, is different. Welfare, with its life of ease and keeping cool, encourages people “not to look for work.”
9. Glenn Beck on parenting: 'Push your children into walls.'
No one knows exactly how Beck landed on the topic of bringing up children, when he was ranting, as usual, about atheist liberals trying to destroy the Bill of Rights. But somehow, he got to it the other day. Following the unfathomable detours in his circuitous brain, he imagined a family dinner conversation.
“Ask your kids tonight at dinner, ‘What gives you the right?’" the too-crazy for Fox right-winger railed. “Challenge them. Get in their face.” When your kids insist they have rights, here’s what Beck says you should do. “Teach 'em a lesson. Push 'em! Well, they're gonna cry, it's gonna hurt their feelings. Well, push 'em!”
You’d be doing them a favor, he says.
“If you don't do it now, it's going to be much worse when they're pushed and they're shoved and they're shot. ... Push them! Teach them! The need to know the truth and they need to be pushed up against the wall once in awhile so they know they can defend themselves. They know they can survive! They don't run around like little girls crying at the drop of a hat! Push 'em!”
And just in case you are confused about the point of this abuse, because you had the misfortune of not being treated in this manner by your own parents, say, the point is that rights come from God. And strength comes from being yelled at and shoved. And not crying comes from being yelled at until you cry.
10. Fox’s Ben Carson: 'Women need to be re-educated so they don’t get all riled up about abortion.'
In another highlight from the Value Voters Summit, newly hired Fox News contributor Dr. Ben Carson said on Friday that the country may need to “re-educate the women” so that they stop having abortions.
OK, that sounds really creepy—not to mention reminiscent of Mao, Pol Pot, and a Margaret Atwood novel to us. Re-education camps. For women. So that they have babies.
Carson, a retired neurosurgeon apparently, just really cares about us women. “Your health should be controlled by you and not by the government. But when we’re talking about things that are important, life is important. And that includes the life of the unborn.
“You know, there are those of us in this society who have told women that there’s a war on them because of that cute little baby inside of them they may want to get rid of it, and there are people that are keeping you from doing that. And women say, ‘No, no, they’re not doing that to me! No!’ And they get all riled up.”
Women . . . always getting all riled up about their right to control their own destiny, bodies and motherhood.
You know how he knows that there is no such thing as the (Republican) war on women? Because "men give up their seats to pregnant women."
And people say conservative men don’t get it.