Monday, November 2, 2009

Dangerously Dumb People in the World

A rare "stay-at-home" Friday this semester means I get to run an edition of "Dangerously Dumb People in the World".

3rd: Fox & Friends, for laughing at the thought of Nancy Pelosi "burning in hell" for introducing the House health care bill.

(At the link, there are videos of the incident and the Fox & Friends response.)

Hysterical, guys. Especially when you look at the incident in context:

Earlier this week, extreme anti-choice activist Randall Terry launched a contest to encourage people to make videos burning House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) in effigy. “Who Can make the best ‘Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid BURN IN HELL!‘ video?” said Terry’s press release.

Yep, funny stuff.

2nd: John Boehner (R-OH), for exposing the Republican opposition to health care for what it is.

Republicans have been insisting for months that Democrats are shoving a secret bill down the throats of the American public. The health reform legislation “should be posted online for 72 hours so members and the American people get a chance to see what’s in these bills,” House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) told Fox News. “But it seems to me that Democrat leaders want to rush these bills through Congress before anybody has a chance to read them.”

In fact, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) “has repeatedly pledged to Republicans that the health bill and any manager’s amendment would be posted online for at least 72 hours before the House votes,” and he promised again this week.

At a press conference this morning, a reporter turned the tables on Boehner and asked whether he’d post the GOP plan for 72 hours. Boehner declined to make such a pledge:

QUESTION: Will the Republicans put their alternative online for 72 hours as well?

BOEHNER: Uh, we’ll uh, we’ll have our ideas ready. Don’t worry.

Well, I'm convinced.

QUESTION: Is it your plan to have one Republican alternative that you all would get behind and endorse?

BOHNER [sic]: We have a number of ideas that we would like to proffer in this process, and we’re not quite sure how the majority intends to proceed. And so until we understand how they intend to proceed, it’s pretty difficult for us to have a solid plan.

I'm confused. Can't the Republicans have a plan to reform health care without knowing what the Democrats' plan is? Why is knowing what the Democratic plan is important in providing a different plan? Other than saying, "We don't like it..."

Earlier this month, Fox’s Greta van Susteren asked Boehner why House Republicans didn’t push for transparency when they were in power. “It was a different time,” Boehner said in response.

It sure was, Mr. Boehner.

1st: Lou Dobbs, for exaggerating an admittedly scary event to tarnish the image of his opponents.

A bullet ricocheted off his house while his wife was standing outside. Dobbs claims this was a scare tactic, or act of violence, because of his stance on illegal immigration. The police have a decidedly different theory:

Interviews with the New Jersey State Police yielded a rather different assessment of the events described by Dobbs. In a phone interview conducted yesterday, Sgt. Stephen Jones, a NJ State Police spokesperson, chuckled out loud after he heard about Dobbs' account of the gunfire incident. Jones commented that he "wouldn't classify it [the gunfire incident] as very unusual." He also confirmed that there are hunters in the area, and stated that, "at this time of year hunter [shooting] complaints go up."

So where did the bullet hit the house?

While Lou Dobbs' wife, Debi Lee Segura, was standing outside the house at the time of the gunfire, the bullet did not come close to her; it "struck at the apex of the house, near the roof," and thus considerably higher than a standing person, Jones observed.

Scary incident? Of course. But using the incident as a means of attacking your opponents when no evidence confirms that claim? Shameful. Lou Dobbs, this week's dangerously dumb person in the world.