Friday, January 29, 2016

Ben Carson Wins Stupidest Comment Re 7th GOP Debate

No sooner does man discover intelligence than he tries to involve it in his own stupidity ~ Jacques Cousteau (6/11/1910 to 6/25/1997) a French naval officer, explorer, conservationist, filmmaker, innovator, scientist, photographer, author and researcher who studied the sea and all forms of life in water.

Note: This commentary concerns the 7th Republican Party presidential debate, which was held on 1/28/2016 in the Iowa Events Center in downtown Des Moines IA. This would be the debate that Donald Trump refused to attend because it was hosted by Fox Nooz and Megyn Kelly returned as one of the 3 moderators

Stupid comments during a GOP debate? Obviously there have been MANY (and there will be many more). But I'm speaking about extraordinarily stupid and not the normal stupidity intelligent people have come to expect from Republicans. Stupidity such as Cruz stating that Obama has "degraded" the military (when, according to the Mises Institute, a Libertarian source, the military has not withered away under Obama). Or even stupidity such Marco Rubio claiming that President Obama and Hillary Clinton wanting to let Syrian refugees into the US without vetting them.

But in regards to the truly stupid? People insist that Ben Carson is smart because he's a retired neurosurgeon, but I wonder if he's an idiot savant. During the 3rd GOP presidential debate, he made it clear that he did not understand what GDP means (DSB #27). And, as we all know, there have been many more stupid remarks from Carson.

GQ (AKA Gentlemen's Quarterly) with their article titled "What If Sarah Palin Were a Brain Surgeon?", is on the right track here, I think. When I heard this comment from Carson I had to rewind my DVR because I thought I must have misheard him.

Chris Wallace: Dr. Carson, I'd like to ask you about that issue (question just asked of Ted Cruz). Where are you on the mandatory ethanol standard? Should government be in the business of picking winners and losers, or should it be left to the marketplace?

Ben Carson: I'm very much against the government being involved in every aspect of our lives. ... we are blessed with tremendous energy in this nation. We need to be talking about new sources of energy. 70 percent of our population lives bicoastally. What about hydroelectric power? We can develop that...

Bicoastal means "occurring or existing on two coasts, or on both the east and west coasts of the US"... so Carson is talking about people who own more than one home and fly back and forth between them? Although it's more likely he meant to say "by the coast"... but this is also wrong. Not quite as absurd as the first interpretation, but still wrong. (the closed captioning, btw, read "bicoastally" and not "by the coast" or "by coast").

According to a 9/9/2015 Washington Post article "nearly 40 percent of Americans live near the coast". LiveScience says "half of US population lives in coastal areas". Both stats (obviously) fall far short of the 70 percent claim made by Carson. If that is what he meant. Perhaps he really does think that 70 percent of Americans own multiple homes (with at least one home located on each coast)?

I'm not the only one who heard this idiocy, btw. As I always do before authoring a commentary, I first check if anyone thought of it first. Turns out someone did. If you're saying "no, there is no way he could have said that"... check out Josh Barro on Scoopnest. WTF is Scoopnest? Damned if I know. Looks like some kind of Twitter competitor. Point is, I'm not the only one who heard this absurd claim from Carson.

Runner up for stupidest comment of the night goes to Jeb Bush for a "factoid" included in his response to a question by Bret Baier. (This comment, btw, took place earlier in the debate than the Carson one).

Bret Baier: It's hard for anyone with your pedigree to avoid being called establishment. Isn't that part of the problem in this race, that 3 others on this stage are splitting the mainstream Republican vote? And thereby possibly handing this nomination over to an anti-establishment candidate?

Jeb!: ... Look, I'm establishment because my dad, the greatest man alive, was president of the United States, and my brother, who I adore as well, is a fantastic brother, was president. Fine, I'll take it. And I guess I'm part of the establishment because Barbara Bush is my mom. I'll take that too.

Along these same lines, Randal Paul said that his dad was "the most honest man in politics that we've seen in a generation" (he said this after the claim from Jeb concerning his dad). OK, so I don't think I believe Ronald Paul is quite that honest, but (regarding to this obvious "dad off" between Jeb and Randal)... doesn't being the greatest man alive trump (no pun intended) being the most honest (even if it's "in a generation")? Although Randal only claimed that his daddy Ronald is the most honest man IN POLITICS. Some people (I think) would say that's a low bar.

I wasn't the only person who heard (and decided to comment on) Jeb's assertion that his father is "the greatest man alive". Although, this apparently is not the fist time he's made this claim. Headline Politics notes that "Jeb was speaking at the Detroit Economic Club" when he replied (in response to a question implying his last name was a negative) that "George W. Bush has been a great president and that... George H.W. Bush is the greatest man alive".

Right. I think we all would acknowledge (even many Republicans) that the last name "bush" is a negative. BTW, I'd be willing to overlook Carson's statement as him misspeaking. President Obama misspoke when he stated that he had visited 57 states on the campaign trail (Beaverton OR 5/9/2008) and Republicans have been citing his "stupidity" on that issue for his entire presidency.

Snopes: The actual intent behind Senator Obama's misstatement is easy to discern... He was trying to express the thought that in all the time he had spent on the campaign trail so far in 2007-08, he had visited all (48) of the states in the continental U.S. save for one (i.e., "one left to go", excluding Alaska and Hawaii), but in his weariness he slipped up and started off with "fifty" instead of "forty". (Note the long pause in the video clip between the words "fifty" and "seven".)

But is there a logical explanation for Carson's claim that "70 percent of our population lives bicoastally"? He probably was referring to how many people live near one of our two coasts, but, as I already pointed out, 70 percent is way off. I don't expect any clarification on this statement, however. Remember that that there hasn't been any explanation regarding his historically inaccurate (and totally absurd) claim that the biblical Joseph built the pyramids to store grain (which is, apparently, his "personal theory"). Fact is, he stands by it.

And, what about his assertion that homosexuality is a choice "because a lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight - and when they come out, they're gay"? Or how about the doozie about ObamaCare being worse than slavery? I mean, even if you're not a fan of the ACA, you've got to admit that it falls far short of being that bad (Source: Ben Carson is plain nuts: The 7 most stupefying statements by the GOP's favorite neurosurgeon).

But all this stupidity is not surprising if you believe (as I do) that Conservatism is a mental illness. And there is also the fact that "having a low IQ score makes you more likely to vote conservative" (5 Scientific Studies That Prove Republicans Are Plain Stupid).

I do not, of course, believe ALL Republicans are stupid. Some who vote Republican do so because they're rich and don't want to pay higher taxes. And Republican politicians, while they may not be stupid themselves, have GOT to realize that they're pandering to low-intelligence voters. This, I am convinced, is the likely explanation for Donald Trump (who, as many on the Conservative side have pointed out, has tended more toward the Democratic side in the past).

But Carson? Sure, he might be "smart" as far as neurosurgery goes. But he's very clearly not that smart in other areas. Or qualified to be president. Not that there is any chance of him ending up in the White House (given the fact that that article I referenced earlier concerning the scientific studies that link low IQ and Conservatism also link low IQ and racism).

SWTD #319

Friday, January 08, 2016

John Fugelsang On The GOP Ronald Reagan Myths (Via The Stephanie Miller Show's Fridays with Fugelsang)

Hypocrisy is a value that I think has been embraced by the Republican Party. We get lectured by people all day long about moral values by people who have their own moral shortcomings ~ Howard Dean (dob 11/17/1948) The 79th Governor of Vermont (1991-2003) and Chairman of DNC (2005-2009).

The following (selected) quotes from the Friday 1/8/2016 airing of The Stephanie Miller Show by John Fugelsang concerning Ronald Reagan (plus one concerning the NRA and one last one concerning Donald Trump).

->[Republicans] are for the things Reagan said he was for. Reagan said he was for smaller government, but grew by 60 odd thousand jobs. Reagan said he was not for negotiating with terrorists, but armed the same Iranians who helped kill our marines in Beirut. They like Reagan the myth, they don't like Reagan the fact.

->Ronald Reagan gave amnesty to every undocumented immigrant in the country, which makes him to the Left [on this issue] of Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Sylvester Stallone.

->They [The NRA] don't care. They want more gun violence. More violence means more profit. How many guns have Obama confiscated? That's right, none. Every time there's a massacre the NRA sends out this mailing list. I encourage all your listeners to subscribe to the NRA mailing lists online and they'll see [what a] racket [this is]. They'll tell you Obama is coming for your guns, and then people go out and buy more guns because the Skeeters believe this. The gun manufacturers make more money the more massacres.

->Between Kim Jong Un, Donald Trump, Rand Paul, Jeb Bush and Jaden Smith, [it's] not a good year for nepotism so far.

->[Sarcastically] Can you believe that Barack Obama has done nothing about this [North Korea testing an H-Bomb]? You know what a man would do? A man would pour billions and billions of dollars into a missile defense system that doesn't work. Obama has even spent 2 billion on a non functional missile defense system [whereas Reagan spend more than 209 billion].

->Whatever they [Republicans] want to throw at you, you just have to throw back Reagan. I'm sure you've seen it - they're trying to smear Hillary Clinton with Bill Cosby. And with Bill Clinton. [The] Juanita Broaddrick [allegation] has been exhumed, and now, of course, Hillary Clinton is a rape apologist. They can't beat her on the issues, so they're going to try to smear a woman... [Sarcastically] By the way, if you're a political party looking to get more female voters, blame women for their husband's cheating [not that rape is cheating... Bill Clinton has been accused of both].

->They're going to come out and say Juanita Broaddrick was raped by Bill Clinton. There's no way to prove it one way or the other. It's he said, she said. But, by this logic, Selene Walters, the woman who claimed that Ronald Reagan raped her when he was president of the Screen Actor's Guild. Kitty Kelly documented it thoroughly in her book, and, at the time, she told several people that Reagan... forced himself on her. So, anyone who says you have to believe Juanita Broaddrick has to believe Selene Walters.

->There is one group that Trump hasn't attacked - that's ignorant White guys with small penises. If he began doing that... [then he'd drop in the polls, given the fact that angry White guys constitute his base].

[End John Fugelsang Quotes Via Stephanie Miller 1/8/2016]

Speaking of Donald Trump, he has also been accused of rape... by his ex-wife ex-wife Ivana Trump, who "once used [the word] rape to describe an incident between them in 1989. She later said she felt violated by the experience" (Ex-Wife: Donald Trump Made Me Feel Violated During Sex.

So, as a Democrat, do I believe that Juanita Broaddrick is a liar, while Selene Walters and Ivana Trump told the truth? I don't know. The point (that John Fugelsang was making) is that Trump (and the other Reagan idolizing GOP potus hopefuls) attacking HRC over what her husband may or may not have done smacks of hypocrisy. (May or may not = rape. WJC definitely cheated with a number of consensual affairs).

And the Reagan idolizers and mythologizers are hypocrites when they attack Barack Obama and/or Hillary Clinton for doing/being guilty of of things Ronald Reagan did/is guilty of (10 Things Conservatives Don't Want You To Know About Ronald Reagan).

Also, let us not forget that when Repubs attack Bill Clinton, they're attack a very popular ex-president (Bill Clinton is incredibly popular. How much will that help Hillary's 2016 campaign?) and (more importantly) Bill Clinton isn't running for anything - it's his wife who is seeking the presidency. Which isn't to say that I believe Bill Clinton's sex life (or, rather his sex life back in the 80s and 90s) should be "off limits". Just keep the hypocrisy in mind. And the fact that Bill isn't running.

And there is also the fact (as evidenced by WJC's popularity) that people don't care too much about rehashing a decades old debate. So I doubt these attacks will have much of an effect on HRC's campaign or the enthusiaism of her voters. (And, for th record here, I don't include myself in this group, as I will be voting for Bernie Sanders in the primary. Provided his name is on the ballot and he hasn't "suspended" his campaign prior to the primary in my state. If he has? Then I will be voting for HRC. And my "enthusiasm" - such as it is - won't be impacted. Not by any attacks on HRC by way of attacking her husband).

Image: Hal Sparks, Stephanie Miller and John Fugelsang arrive at the 10/21/2011 Sexy Liberal Tour.

SWTD #318