Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Election 2012: Focusing on a Few Feckless Fools – Congressmen John Fleming, Trent Franks, and Patrick McHenry

by Sunnyjane

Feckless is a wonderful adjective that is rarely used these days, but one that accurately describes the woeful state of the 112th  Congress:  useless, incompetent, hopeless, spineless, weak, worthless, ineffective…  

There have always been a few political oddballs who somehow make it to Capitol Hill with their peculiarly opinionated agendas, but usually they are sized up very quickly and neutralized by their own party leaders.  However, paralyzed by their inability to think and act for themselves, the current congress is rife with cranks who have taken over the House, and leaders who are now in charge of their union, Congressional Crazies  Local 112.  It is a strange and dangerous coalition that worships at the throne of Koch Industries in order to Take Back America  – to somewhere around the Seventeenth Century.

John Boehner confirmed this, telling the Wall Street Journal recently, We got some of the smartest people in the country who serve here, and some of the dumbest. We got some of the best people you'd ever meet, and some of the raunchiest. We've got 'em all.

It’s way past time to change that.

Model Members of the Congressional Crude Crew

John Fleming of Louisiana is a Jack-of-all-trades extraordinaire: Congressman, physician, and owner of Subway shops and UPS stores.  But the man has serious money problems.  No, no, he isn’t losing money on his businesses, he’s not in debt, and he’s not fighting with the IRS.  His financial predicament is right up there with the kind many Americans would like to have these days: he’s got lots of money.   A card-carrying member of Grover Norquist's anti-tax mob, Fleming is seriously against any dadgum socialist tax hikes that would take away a smidgen of it.

At millionaire status (we’re talking $6.3 million here, folks), Fleming whines fretfully that after he gets $600,000 from his businesses, he only has $200,000 left on which to “feed my family.”  (Note: his four children are all grown, so feed my family obviously refers to “me and the little wife.”)  I'm no financial wizard, but it appears there’s some serious fiscal figure-finoodling going on here that’s never really been explained by the good doctor/congressman/sandwich maker/mail shipper. 

In typical far-right religionist-speak, Fleming warned a group of Republican women that the 2010 elections would be a choice between godlessness and Christianity: We have two competing world views here and there is no way that we can reach across the aisle -- one is going to have to winWe are either going to go down the socialist road and become like western Europe and create, I guess really, a godless society, an atheist society. Or we're going to continue down the other pathway where we believe in freedom of speech, individual liberties and that we remain a Christian nation. 

There is so much wrong with this kind of uninformed anti-American rhetoric from an elected representative that it almost takes your breath away.  

From the If They Weren't So Pathetic, They Would Be Funny department: In February of this year, radically pro-life Fleming (or one of his ignorant staff members) actually believed a May 2011 story from The Onion that announced that Planned Parenthood had opened an $8 billion "abortionplex" in a Topeka, Kansas mall that offers quick, easy, in-and-out abortions to all women, and represents a bold reinvention of the group's long-standing mission and values.   (So enraged by this...this obscenity  were the congressman's staff that they put it on his Facebook page for all his constituents to see.   DUH.)

Since 2003, Trent Franks of Arizona has been a major contributor to the toxic atmosphere in the House of Representatives.  A little background: Before being elected to add his far-right muck in the U.S. Congress, Franks was appointed in 1987 by then-Gov. Evan Mecham to head the Arizona Governor's Office for Children. We can assume that this meant white children only, because Mecham once indignantly defended his right to refer to African American children as pickaninnies. (Mecham was later removed from office following conviction in his impeachment trial of charges of obstruction of justice and the misuse of government funds.)

A strong advocate of a man's right to tell a woman what to do with her own body, Franks is, of course, an adamant and unapologetic pro-lifer.  In 2010, he said in an interview that, Half of all black children are aborted. Far more of the African American community is being devastated by the policies of today than were being devastated by the policies of slavery.   If this statement sounds just a tad familiar, it's because Franks was the co-chairman of Michele Bachmann's 2012 presidential campaign, which explains her astonishingly dim-witted sense of history and her offensive verbal dysentery.  Further, while defending a bill introduced in the House in late 2011 to ban abortions based on the sex or race of the fetus, Franks admitted that the real intent was a ploy to criminalize abortion overall.

In essence, Trent Franks is a pro-guns, anti-abortion, anti-affordable healthcare, anti-Muslim, anti-tax hikes on the wealthy,  anti-same-sex marriage, pro-James Dobson's Focus on the Family, pro-impeach the President for his stand on DOMA, obstructionist who needs to be as far away from Capitol Hill as possible!

Proving himself to be no Southern Gentleman, Patrick McHenry of North Carolina is a little man with a big ego who possesses a trait that we true Southerners refer to negatively as having a real mouth on him. This ugly characteristic took center stage the day he called Elizabeth a liar, not a wise idea in light of Ms. Warren's reputation as one of the most intelligent, experienced, and honorable people in the public arena today.

Briefly, in May 2011, McHenry invited Warren to attend a sub-committee hearing he was chairing because, according to reportshe felt she had given misleading testimony during another hearing. Earlier that day, McHenry had appeared on CNBC and accused Warren of lying to Congress about her involvement in government inquiries into mortgage servicing. The meeting had several late and last minute changes, so Warren altered her schedule to accommodate the chair's request. Around 2:15 pm, McHenry called for a temporary recess to partake in a floor vote. In response, Warren indicated that McHenry's staff had agreed to the 2:15 pm closing time to allow her ample time to attend another meeting.  McHenry replied, "You had no agreement. ... You're making this up, Ms. Warren. This is not the case." As Warren and some in the audience reacted with surprise, Rep. Elijah Cummings  interjected, "Mr. Chairman ... I'm trying to be cordial here, but you just accused the lady of lying. I think you need to clear this up with your staff."  Even after proving that Warren was correct, McHenry refused to apologize, and was roundly denounced by the media, including his home district's newspaper, the Hickory Record, (not, I understand, a newspaper that could ever be called liberal) and the more widely read Charlotte Observerto apologize for his brutish behavior.

A darling of the Tea Party and Hero of the Tax Payer, McHenry is a soul-selling anti-American Grover Norquist puppet and a money-grabbing Kochhead.  He's accepted money from Countrywide Financial and was embroiled in voter-fraud scheme committed by a former aide. On top of all these less-than-savory activities, McHenry proposed a bill in 2010 to put Ronald Reagan on the $50 bill.   

Your tax dollars at work, fellow Americans!



Bonus - by Patrick:

How about adding an amazing new video to Sunnyjane's excellent post?

Well, it's a bit off topic, but as many, if not most of us are "celebrating Game Change" these days, here'as wonderful video which went viral today: Compare Julianne Moore to the real Sarah Palin - and be amazed!

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