April 1, 2011 | Today we bring you this recap of top mockable news stories in March:
Kansas state legislator Virgil Peck (Rep) suggested during a hearing on spending for controlling feral swine (wild pigs) by shooting them from helicopters that the same method be used to control illegal immigration. "It looks like to me," said Peck, "if shooting these immigrating feral hogs works maybe we have found a [solution] to our illegal immigration problem." (Lawrence Journal World, 14 Mar 2011) Peck later said he was "just speaking like a southeast Kansas person." Some claimed Peck was joking, but if you listen to his comment (available at LJW), it didn't sound like a joke and nobody laughed.
Something really is wrong with Kansas! Since two states separate Kansas from the Mexican border, it's hard to imagine that Kansas even has much of a problem with illegal immigration.
Kentucky state representative Mike Harmon (Rep) offered two amendments to an anti-bullying bill that had been approved unanimously in committee. The first would make an exception for Christian students who condemn gays because "we don't want them, certainly don't want them to be labeled a bully just because they have that particular belief" (WHAS 11 News, 2 Mar 2011). Harmon's second amendment would allow gun owners with concealed weapons permits to carry guns on public campuses.
No, we want them labeled a bully because they think they have the right to go around imposing their religiosity on everybody else, calling those who don't happen to share their beliefs "sinners" doomed to eternal damnation.
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (Rep) has taken up the cause of the incandescent light bulb. In New Hampshire recently, Bachmann channeled Sarah Palin, "I think Thomas Edison did a pretty patriotic thing for this country by inventing the light bulb, and I think darn well, you New Hampshirites, if you want to buy Thomas Edison's wonderful invention, you should be able to!" (Philadelphia Inquirer, 31 Mar 2011). "The government has no business telling an individual what kind of light bulb to buy," says Bachmann, implying that the law requiring more-efficient light bulbs is another example of the "nanny-state" foisted on us by nefarious, unpatriotic Democrats.
Never mind that Edison didn't invent the light bulb.
And never mind that the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 was passed with bipartisan support and signed into law by none other than George W. But we must at least give Bachmann credit for consistency: she was one of the 159 Republicans who voted against the act when it passed the House (GovTrack.us).
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Rep) claimed yesterday that if the Senate does not act on the budget passed earlier by the House, then the House version will become the "law of the land" (Washington Post, 30 Mar 2011).
It will be quite interesting to see what the Republicans cite as the Constitutional authority for such blatantly unconstitutional posturing.
General Electric pays $0 taxes for 2010. Although GE reported profits of $14.2 billion for 2010 — that's billion, with a b — $5.1B of which came from operations in the US, the company claims not only that it owes $0 in US taxes, but also that the US Treasury owes it a tax credit of $3.2B (NY Times, 24 Mar 2011). The beauty of this crime is that it is all perfectly legal, thanks to the diligent work of a tax department larded with former Treasury and IRS officials and staffers from virtually all the tax-writing committees in Congress. And that's what makes it a crime.
On the other hand, Paul's tax bill for 2010 is $47,165 due to having withdrawn money from his retirement IRA to buy a house, money taxed as ordinary income, not as capital gains.
And now the former chairman of GE, Jeffrey Immelt, heads the White House Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.
This being April Fool's Day, you might think that all these foolish news items are fake, but you'd be wrong! The joke's on you — they're all true.