Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Cornering the market on stupid

      Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has filed a suit in federal court to prevent federal regulation of greenhouse gases because it’s bad for Big Oil in particular and business in general and therefore bad for you and me, and besides, global warming is a hoax perpetrated by screwball scientists — Lex Luthor, perhaps — who are hell-bent on world domination. The whole global warming conspiracy is riddled with “cover-ups and the suppression and destruction of scientific evidence,” Abbott contends.
      Moreso, EPA mandates are “draconian,” splurted Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who knows more than a little about the subject, inasmuch as he presides over a state that executed 24 people in 2009. Second place Alabama executed a measly six, which takes some of the sting out of the Longhorn’s loss to the Crimson Tide in the 2010 BCS national championship game, I suppose.Of course, Texas is no stranger to diddling with scientific and historical fact. By and large, Texans tout abstinence-only and creation science for teens, insist that the Founding Fathers were Bible-thumpers, and believe being gay is a lifestyle choice best alleviated by prayer and football and weekend excursions to Cabela's.Dumb and dumber.
      Then, there’s Debra Medina and the Tea Party rabble who think Texas has drifted left of Denmark, and that Rick and Kay Bailey and most GOP incumbents except Warren Chisum and Dan Patrick aren't conservative enough and are, in fact, playing footsie with tax-and-spend liberals like Barney Frank — figuratively if not literally. They are convinced that Obama is a foreign-born socialist Hitler-wannabe who is botching both the U.S. economy and the "War on Terror" that were otherwise humming along sweetly under Bush and Cheney. They believe the only way to interpret the Constitution is to determine how the original framers, some of whom owned slaves, might have thought about balancing free speech rights in a digital medium.
      In other words, what might Alexander Hamilton have thought about sexting?
      And they almost choke on their own lather at the thought of government-run health care — except Medicare and Medicaid, which they or their parents couldn't live without. Long story short and facts bedamned, they believe Obama is personally responsible for the murders at Fort Hood, personally responsible for the failed underwear airline bombing attempt, personally responsible for the loss of China to the communists, and personally responsible for swine flu, Flavor Flav and Battlefield Earth.
      Even now, they fear he's plotting with Hillary and Biden and Rahm Emanuel to euthanize your grandmother, or at least see that your grandmother is euthanized if she so much as develops a mild urinary infection.You can only get away with silliness on this scale in a state like Texas, where wacko Michael Savage gets air-time two or three hours a day, five days a week — even in Austin, the only dot of blue in a state as red as a baboon's ass.
      Imagine the idiocy being broadcast non-stop in Texarkana and Midland and Victoria and parts in-between. It’s a level of lunacy that makes you wistful for Joe McCarthy. Syndicated columnist Leonard Pitts calls it "stupidification," and Texans seem determined to corner the market.
      Houston, we have a problem with hypocrisy Sen. John Cornyn and Round Rock Rep. Michael McCaul and Gov. Rick and a host of other Texas pols who rail against federal pork while brushing their teeth are all bunched-panties over plans to cancel NASA’s $108 billion back-to-the-moon program and the Army’s decision to save almost a half-billion dollars by building combat trucks in Wisconsin rather than in Sealy, just west of Houston.
      Gov. Rick is particularly incensed. It “serves as yet another example of the Obama administration’s plans to wreck havoc on the Texas economy,” he hissed. The Obama administration is so determined to wreck Texas’ economy that it sent the state $17 billion in stimulus dollars, thus allowing Gov. Rick to claim he balanced the state budget.
      Up against the likes of Perry and Medina and their minions, Lex Luthor has to be feeling pretty damn good.