Steve King Strikes Again!

Back when I was still doing my Idiot of the Week posts, in March 2017 to be exact, I awarded Filosofa’s Idiot of the Week award to a member of Congress named Steve King of Iowa.  Mr. King apparently appreciated the award so much that he keeps flitting across my radar, begging to be given some additional recognition, it would seem.  All I can say is that he’s lucky I don’t live in his home state of Iowa!

Let’s face it … any representative that earns a score of zero from the Humane Society, but an ‘A’ rating from the NRA is not somebody you’re really going to look up to!  Now, King has a reputation, well-earned, of being a racist and a bigot.  He is firmly against LGBT rights, has spoken cruelly against Mexicans in general, against Muslims, was against President Obama because of his ethnicity, loves Donald Trump, supports racial profiling, is a climate-change denier and … need I go on?  There is a word for people of his ilk … it starts with a ‘J’, ends with another word for a donkey, and if I have to tell you what it is, then you are in the wrong blog!

So, what has King done now, you ask, to ruffle the Filosofa’s feathers? Back in 2005, when Hurricane Katrina hit both the Florida and Louisiana coasts and nearly devastated much of New Orleans, as parts of the levee system were breached, King was one of 11 members of Congress who voted against a federal aid package for New Orleans.  On Thursday, 14 years after the devastating hurricane that took the lives of at least 1,500 in Louisiana alone, King spoke at a Town Hall meeting in his district.

“Here’s what FEMA tells me. We go to a place like New Orleans, and everybody’s looking around saying, ‘Who’s going to help me? Who’s going to help me?’ We go to a place like Iowa, and we go, we go see, knock on the door at, say, I’ll make up a name, John’s place, and say, ‘John, you got water in your basement, we can write you a check, we can help you.’ And John will say, ‘Well, wait a minute, let me get my boots. It’s Joe that needs help. Let’s go down to his place and help him.'”

What. A. Jerk.  FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), by the way, denies his claim. It should be noted that King’s state, Iowa, is predominantly white, whereas New Orleans is 60% African-American.  If New Orleans were predominantly white, King would almost certainly not have made such a ridiculous statement.

Once again, as has happened multiple times in the past year, his fellow republicans took him to task.  Representative Steve Scalise, whose district includes parts of New Orleans, said …

“His comments about Katrina victims are absurd and offensive, and are a complete contradiction to the strength and resilience the people of New Orleans demonstrated to the entire nation in the wake of the total devastation they experienced.”

Last weekend, King came under fire for this Facebook post …Steve-King-fb-post

Nice, huh?  And in January he was stripped of his committee assignments in the House for white supremacist remarks he made.  When asked about an apology for his remarks, he refused to apologize.  Even Mitch McConnell condemned King’s remarks …

“There is no place in the Republican Party, the Congress or the country for an ideology of racial supremacy of any kind. I have no tolerance for such positions and those who espouse these views are not supporters of American ideals and freedoms. Representative King’s statements are unwelcome and unworthy of his elected position. If he doesn’t understand why ‘white supremacy’ is offensive, he should find another line of work.”

The late night hosts didn’t miss the opportunity …

The people of Iowa have elected this doofus nine times now!  This nation is undergoing a very tense, divisive time and the very last thing we need is an obnoxious white supremacist with a loud mouth in Congress, for we already have one in the White House.  Iowans … PLEASE remove your heads from your patooties, wake up, and vote Mr. King out of Congress next year!!!

A Few Bits ‘N Pieces of Humour …

There are a few compensations for having to live in the era of Donald Trump, and the most important one … perhaps the only one … is humour.  Today, I had a few good chuckles when I began my daily perusal of news and found this …

empire-state-drawingThe photo on the left, of course, is the iconic Empire State Building in New York City, and the crude sketch on the right was done in 1995 by none other than … {drumroll 🥁 } … Donald J. Trump.  The sketch is 12” by 9”, and he originally created it for a charity auction in Florida when he opened his Mar-a-Lago estate as a private club.  The sketch sold for less than $100.

But now, all of a sudden, its estimated value is between $8,000 and $12,000.  Must be inflation, for the piece still looks like some of the kindergarten art I used to have on my refrigerator.  The sketch is scheduled to be auctioned on October 19th in Los Angeles by Julien’s Auctions.  Here is the truly delightful irony … any proceeds will go to National Public Radio (NPR), from whom Trump’s budget plan removes all federal funding.  Personally, I wouldn’t part with a $5 bill for the sketch, but I am happy to know that if somebody has more cash than brains and is willing to actually pay thousands for this crude sketch, NPR will benefit.


Now, we know that Trump talks about voter fraud a lot, claiming that the reason Hillary Clinton actually won the 2016 election, in terms of the popular vote … the people’s vote … is because millions of people somehow voted illegally.  This has been disproven more than once, but he keeps on.  Well, turns out there may be some voter fraud within his own ranks, for his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is improperly registered!  Yes, you see … either Jared Kushner is unable to read well or to understand the instructions on a simple voter registration form, or … Kushner has a problem with his own gender identity.  In 2009, Kushner filled out the voter registration form saying that his gender was ‘female’.

voter-formNow, when it was discovered that Kushner had failed to make note of many foreign contacts on his security clearance form, he immediately said it was an error of omission by his staff.  I wonder how he will spin this one, for I hardly think he can blame it on his staff.  Perhaps on the day he registered to vote, he was having one of those days where he was “in touch with his feminine side”?

My question is this:  Kushner is a very high level advisor within the Trump administration, having input on important, sometimes even life-and-death decisions.  If he cannot do something as simple as understanding the difference between ‘male’ and ‘female’ on a form, is he really qualified to advise anybody, let alone the prez?  And his security clearance???


And a bit of good news today … Representative Steve Scalise returned to Congress for the first time since being shot in mid-June and nearly dying.  Scalise suffered broken bones and damage to internal organs and his life was on the line for several weeks.  When he walked into the capitol today, he was greeted with a standing ovation by all.


And on that note, I shall leave you with a wish that you have a happy day and find something to smile about today.

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Beyond Bad Manners …

Given the abysmal hate speech that is so frequently engaged in by Donald Trump, I should not be surprised to see that others in the Republican Party are following suit.  Values, kindness, tolerance are all principles that few in the party have managed to maintain in this Trump-era.  But the latest, to me, qualifies as an all-time low.

 

That, folks, was U.S. Representative Mo Brooks from Alabama. And yes, he stooped so low as to attempt to profit by using the tragic shooting of his fellow congressman, Representative Steve Scalise, in his political advertisement.  When I heard he had done this, my jaw dropped and my first thought was, “are there no limits?  Is there no shame?”  And the answer to those questions, of course, is “no”. Wondering if perhaps I was simply being overly sensitive, I went in search of the reactions of others.

“The day of the shooting, while waiting at the hospital, I avoided the news/audio/video as much as possible. This makes my stomach turn.” – Brett Horton, Scalise’s chief of staff

“I guess some people have their own ideas about what’s appropriate.” – Chris Bond, spokesman for Scalise

I expected outrage from some of Brooks’ fellow members of Congress, but I found none.  I guess I should not be surprised at this point, to find them all either completely lacking a conscience or else too lacking cojones to say what they think.  But the outrage from the public was what I expected …

 

When asked if he would consider removing the ad, in light of the criticism, Brooks responded …

“The truth is always appropriate. It’s one thing to talk about defense of the Second Amendment, it’s another thing to have lived through an assassination attempt and to reaffirm your commitment to the Second Amendment right to bear arms.”

Brooks is currently running to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions.

Let us also remember that Mo Brooks was the one who, earlier this month, said of the Senate health care bill, “My understanding is that it will allow insurance companies to require people who have higher health care costs to contribute more to the insurance pool. That helps offset all these costs, thereby reducing the cost to those people who lead good lives, they’re healthy, they’ve done the things to keep their bodies healthy.”

You know … Trump & Co., along with some number of republicans have eschewed ‘political correctness’ and Trump himself has said, “I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct. I’ve been challenged by so many people and I don’t, frankly, have time for total political correctness. And to be honest with you, this country doesn’t have time, either.”  I see political correctness as nothing more or less than politeness.  We are all well aware that Trump has neither the inclination nor, I believe, the ability to speak rationally, to speak with kindness and compassion.  His supporters have chosen to not only accept that character flaw, but to embrace it.  But why does that mean that the rest of the GOP must follow suit?

In my opinion, every member of Congress needs to speak out against Mr. Brooks’ terribly poor taste, poor judgment, his downright cruelty.  If they do not, then they are as guilty as he.  And to the good people of Alabama:  If you do not stand against this man, if you elect him to the Senate, then you get what you deserve.  Sadly, you also subject the rest of the nation to it.