There is reason to believe that Todd Akin may still be laboring under the misconception that "if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."
He made that infamous offensive, and infamously dumb, remark in 2013, and it had two effects: 1. To reveal that the Republicans really are waging a war on women and, 2. To help derail Mitt Romney’s campaign.
Under duress and pressure from the party whose electoral prospects he had just diminished, Akin apologized. But now he has a new book out and is making the rounds to make it clear that he takes that whole apology thing back.
"By asking the public at large for forgiveness," Akin says in the book, "I was validating the willful misinterpretation of what I had said."
He goes on to prove that there really was no misinterpretation at all. His meaning was clear and intended, and just as ignorant as it seemed the first time.
In fact, he digs into the claim that there is some science behind his remark, because he was talking about stress and fertility, and how the first one affects the second one. “This is something fertility doctors debate and discuss. Doubt me? Google ‘stress and infertility,’ and you will find a library of research on the impact of stress on fertilization.”
See, he’s into knowledge and science. He googles things. And he sometimes talks to doctors. A little further research would reveal to him that 30,000 women who got pregnant from rape each year in the U.S., according to the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. I’m sure these rape victims would find Akin’s theory most instructive. Maybe next time they could try being more stressed out when they are raped as a method of birth control. Come to think of it, stress could be a method of birth control that Republicans and Hobby Lobby could really get behind.
Akin also doubles down on his notion of “legitimate rape."
“Legitimate,” he says, refers to a rape claim that can be proved by “evidence.” Here, he demonstrates his ignorance of rape altogether.
Akin is right. His apology was bogus. He is every bit as Neanderthal and anti-woman as his original comment made clear, and has the same endgame as right-wing Republicans everywhere: To deprive women of any agency over their body, their sex lives or when they have babies, of course. No abortions. No exceptions.
2. Very dopey Kentucky GOP Senator laughably tries to use climate on Mars to justify his climate denialism.
Climate change deniers will go to the ends of the earth to fight against reality. Sometimes beyond the ends of the earth. In a big embarrassing fail this week, Kentucky State Senator Brandon Smith cited Mars as the reason that earthlings do not have to worry about the planet’s man-made climate catastrophe. He apparently thinks that earth and Mars have the same climate, which would definitely disqualify him from being smarter than a fifth grader. During a hearing to discuss how Kentucky would implement the new EPA standards for coal emissions, which he clearly does not want to do, Smith said: “I think in academia we all agree that the temperature on Mars is exactly as it is here. Nobody will dispute that. Yet there are no coal mines on Mars. There are no factories on Mars that I’m aware of.”
He did. He said that.
Someone should probably inform Mr. Smith that Mars is 50 percent farther away from the sun than the earth is, and that the temperature is, at a minimum, 100 degrees colder on Mars than it is on earth.
Not that it would matter, or penetrate a mind seemingly impervious to facts.
3. Louie Gohmert’s aha moment: Children at the border are all part of Obama’s evil plot to take over Texas.
All those Central American children who’ve crossed the border are not fleeing violence and oppression. No, they have embarked on their sad, terrible and frightening journeys in order to vote for Obama when they grow up. That is genius Texas congressman Louis Gohmert’s theory: they’re flooding the border to secretly vote for Demmycrats.
Here’s Gohmert’s eureka! moment this week. Watch and wonder at the machinations of the Texas Republican’s deranged mind:
“In the end, they have said that they want to turn Texas blue, they want to turn America blue. And if you bring in hundreds of thousands or millions of people and give them the ability to vote and tell them — as Quico Canseco said, he had illegals in his district that were told, ‘If you want to keep getting the benefits, you have to vote, and President Obama’s lawyers are not going to allow them to ask for an ID, so go vote or you’re going to lose the benefits you’re getting now.’ That drives people to vote and it will ensure that Republicans don’t ever get elected again.”
It’s another one of those fiendishly brilliant Obama plots, even more devious than other plots various Republicans and right-wing pundits have read into the border crisis. Like it’s a sneaky way to get immigration reform passed. We’ll bet Obama wishes he could be as sneaky and devious as his accusers think he is.
There is a reason that DailyKos calls Gohmert "America's Dumbest Congressman," although there are certainly plenty of contenders.
4. Instead of using her column to actually be informative about the border crisis, Peggy Noonan takes the opportunity to spew a whole lot of nonsense about what she imagines to be how “Normal People” are reacting.
Unlike Louie Gohmert, Peggy Noonan is not a dope. The Wall Street Journal columnist knew exactly what she was doing when she deliberately, and bizarrely, misinformed her readers about the border crisis.
This week, Noonan wrote a lengthy piece of nonsense on the topic of, as Salon’s Jim Newell writes: “What is a day in the life like for a Normal Person near the border, with all these Guatemalan children just sort of chilling nearby?”
As Newell points out, Noonan is not anyone’s idea of a “Normal Person.” She lives a rather rarefied, wealthy, Upper East Side, Manhattan existence, and seldom, nay, never, goes down to interview Normal People in Southern Texas about what it’s like to live near the border, and near all those scary children. Still, her powers of projection enable her to imagine:
“All this gives normal people a feeling of besiegement and foreboding,” Noonan writes. “Is a nation without borders a nation?”
Nevermind that the children were in fact detained at the border, proving, it would seem, that there is indeed a border, and therefore, a nation. Much better to get all hysterical about it.
She then constructs a whole metaphor about America being similar to an rickety old house that needs fixing. It is also a house into which more and more children keep coming. And this is quite scary to the normal people living inside the rickety old America house.
“And then one morning you look outside and see . . . all these people standing on your property, looking at you, making some mute demand. Little children looking lost—no one’s taking care of them. Older ones settling in the garage, or working a window to the cellar. You call the cops. At first they don’t come. Then they come and shout through a bull horn and take some of the kids and put them in a shelter a few blocks away. But more kids keep coming! You call your alderman and he says there’s nothing he can do. Then he says wait, we’re going to pass a bill and get more money to handle the crisis. You ask, “Does that mean the kids will go home?” He says no, but it may make things feel more orderly. You call the local TV station and they come do a report on your stoop and then they’re gone, because really, what can they do, and after a few days it’s getting to be an old story.
“No one’s in charge! No one is taking responsibility. No one who wants to help has authority, and no one with authority is helping.”
Calm down Peggy! Don't worry. You'll never have to live in that rickety old, child-infested house.
Read Jim Newell’s whole smart takedown of the right-wing columnist here.
5. Pastor Robert Jeffress is pretty sure Jesus would have built a fence to keep out those kids at the border.
People often ask themselves “What would Jesus do?” for guidance on issues both big and small. Sometimes they ask themselves whether Jesus would have salad or French fries on the side. Right-wing ideologues ask if Jesus prefers AK-47s or some other assault rifle.
One such holy man, Texas megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress, has prayed mightily to the lord and searched his own conscience to find a humane solution to the problem of unaccompanied minors from Central America coming across the border. That’s how much he cares. And he has concluded that what Jesus would do is suggest we build a fence. Maybe this is because Jesus was for a carpenter, and he wants more work.
But it is also because, as Pastor Jeffress told Fox News on Thursday, building a fence is the truly compassionate thing to do.
“What we are doing by having these unsecured borders is we are enticing children and mothers to make this dangerous journey,” the Christian leader said on Fox News this week. “The most compassionate thing we can do is secure the borders.”
Oh, so the whole serving the poor thing, washing their feet, feeding the multitudes and forgiving people their sins, those weren’t the most compassionate things?
No, not according to Pastor Jeffress, who has previously expressed the very compassionate view that President Obama is preparing the U.S. for the Antichrist.
6. Bryan Fischer is really unhappy at the prospect of gay-pride Whopper.
Burger King is planning to sell an LGBT-pride-themed hamburger at one of its San Francisco locations. This seemingly rather innocuous marketing ploy has anti-gay activists in a tizzy, including right-wing radio bigot Bryan Fischer. On his radio program, Focal Point, the other day, Fischer said his homophobic American Family Association is thinking about issuing an "action alert" about the gay burger, because "if this isn't bottled up in San Francisco . . . then it's going to be spreading across the entire fruited plain and you're going to be going to your Burger King in Des Moines, Iowa and you're going to have a rainbow color wrapper for your Whopper."
No, not the rainbow-colored wrapper! This is not Bryan Fischer’s idea of having it your way, at all.