3. The bronze to Georgia Rep. Paul Broun. This venerable Republican was speaking on the House floor against the American Clean Energy and Security Act. There are indeed reasonable criticisms of the bill that could have been offered. Unfortunately, Broun chose not to make such a criticism. He instead questioned the existence of global warming. Here's a transcript of Broun's tirade:
"Scientists all over this world say that the idea of human induced global climate change is one of the greatest hoaxes perpetrated out of the scientific community. It is a hoax. There is no scientific consensus. … And who’s going to be hurt most [by ACES] the poor, the people on limited income…the people who can least afford to have their energy taxes raised by MIT says $3100 per family. … This bill must be defeated. We need to be good stewards of our environment, but this is not it, it’s a hoax! …"
I don't know what the worst part of this quote is. There's the fact that many of his Republican colleagues applauded. There's the part where he says that there's no scientific consensus, when according to the International Panel on Climate Change, there most certainly is. I have to say though, the dubious award for worst part of this quote goes to the part about the MIT study. Republicans had used the study as a talking point in the past, and were told, by the author of the study, that they were completely misrepresenting it. Sometimes I'm amazed at how many lies you can put in one paragraph.
2. The silver goes to the one and only Minnesota Republican Rep. Michelle Bachmann, who has been saying some pretty nutty things about the Census. This rant pretty much captures it:
"Now ACORN has been named one of the national partners, which will be a recipient again of federal money," Bachmann said. "And they will be in charge of going door-to-door and collecting data from the American public. This is very concerning because the motherload of all data information will be from the census. And, of course, we think of the census as just counting how many people live in your home. Unfortunately, the census data has become very intricate, very personal (with) a lot of the questions that are asked.
"And I know for my family the only question that we will be answering is how many people are in our home. We won't be answering any information beyond that, because the Constitution doesn't require any information beyond that."Alright, where to start? The constitution says absolutely nothing about the census accepts that it should be administered in a manner to be proscribed by law. Not filling out parts of the census, according to federal law, is illegal. Second of all, ACORN has absolutely no real connection with the census whatsoever. The tiny shred of truth in Bachmann's statement is that the census does indeed partner with various groups to help with outreach in different communities. ACORN happens to be one of 30,000. ACORN doesn't even do outreach itself, it just spreads the word about temporary census jobs. There are no payments involved in any of these steps. I don't know why Bachmann is picking on ACORN, other than the fact that she's insane. Political fact checking websites have had their workload double since Bachmann took office.
1. The winner this week, of course, goes to South Carolina Mark Sanford. Mr. Sanford, of course, was forced to admit that his bizarre disappearance this week was a jaunt to Argentina to visit his mistress. One of the best parts of this whole affair (so to speak) were the original explanations for Sanford's absences. When the media first noticed Sanford's absence, his staff said that he was "taking care of some projects that have fallen by the wayside." His staff then said he was "hiking the Appalachian trail." Those, as The Big Picture first pointed out, will make for some fantastic euphemisms. "Guys, I can't hang out with you tonight. Lucy's coming over, and we're gonna take care of some projects that have gone by the wayside. If I get lucky, we might hike the old Appalachian trail."