What Is WRONG With These People??

I know, I know. I’ve been uttering that same, unanswerable question for a number of years now. And actually, the question isn’t “unanswerable” –it just requires a long list of answers, because there’s a lot wrong with them.

So what has set me off this time? Lots of things, actually, beginning with Iowa legislators’ effort to punish people for being poor. (Calling John Calvin…)

Republicans in the Iowa House introduced legislation this month that would impose a slew of fresh restrictions on the kinds of food people can purchase using SNAP benefits,

If the bill passes, needy Iowans will no longer be able to use their SNAP benefits to purchase a long list of items:meat, nuts, and seeds; flour, butter, cooking oil, soup, canned fruits, and vegetables; frozen prepared foods, snack foods, herbs, spices– even salt and pepper.

The bill will end up affecting fewer people, though–the legislature also wants to set new asset limits; those limits would make it much harder for families to even qualify for SNAP. (While SNAP is a federal program, the states administer it.).

Apparently, only two Iowa organizations support this mean-spirited bill: a rightwing group called Iowans for Tax Relief, and the Florida-based Opportunity Solutions Project. That group is part of a national organization of “conservative think tanks and bill mills bankrolled by rich donors who think if you just make poor people hungry and sick enough, they’ll utilize their bootstraps.”

Note for social Darwinists: it you’re going to pull yourself up by your bootstraps, it helps to have boots.

The fact that the referenced opportunity-to-starve project is based in Florida brings me to another jaw-dropping bit of news: DeSantis’ most recent constitutional travesty.

Florida’s Republican governor and presidential aspirant Ron DeSantis has made a name for himself by harassing Black voters, setting up a system to sue teachers for teaching race in ways that might offend Whites, singling out LGBTQ youth (while gagging teachers) and engaging in extreme gerrymandering to reduce the voting power of minorities.
Now he’s gone full-blown white supremacist, banning the College Board’s Advanced Placement for African American studies course from Florida’s schools.

The White House Press Secretary called the move “incomprehensible,” but I find it entirely comprehensible–DeSantis is continuing to pander to the racist base of the Republican Party in his methodical quest for the GOP’s Presidential nomination. I know what’s wrong with Ron DeSantis; what I want to know is: what’s wrong with the Republican base whose votes he is chasing?  (Okay, okay–I know what’s wrong with them, too.)

I’ve already reported on several of the Indiana legistature’s insanities, but Hoosiers do have company in the feverish race to become Mississippi. Eleven Red states have introduced bills to forbid transgender teens from accessing health care;  and several (including Indiana) are toying with measures to eliminate income taxes (funding teacher salaries and state services, paving streets and fixing bridges–those things are all socialism!) 

In North Dakota, Republicans have introduced a bill that would jail librarians for keeping books on their shelves that include images” depicting gender identity or sexual orientation,” and another bill would bar organizations in the state from using trans people’s pronouns.

A Wisconsin lawmaker wants to label single parenting “child abuse,” and Oklahoma  Sen. Ralph Shortey wants to ban “food or any product intended for human consumption which contains aborted human fetuses.”  (The article says there’s no word yet on whether he’s going to follow up with a ban on Soylent Green…)

Oklahoma also brought what has been called the “every sperm is sacred” bill, for the old Monty Python sketch, which, in the spirit of granting personhood at the moment of conception, would deem any waste of sperm (as in, for example, masturbation) “an action against an unborn child.” This month a local Delaware council approved a similar resolution. 

There is much, much more state-level insanity–and  I won’t even begin to list what Kevin McCarthy’s Keystone Kop majority has been up to (or perhaps “down to” is more appropriate) during the past week. Or what new revelations have emerged about George Santos–or whatever his real name is.

The available examples range from despicable to ludicrous–and most have absolutely nothing to do with actual governing. The one characteristic they all share is an autocratic belief that elected officials have the right to use their positions to impose their own beliefs on other Americans, including those who disagree–no matter how divorced from the desires of their constituents (or, for that matter, from reality) those beliefs may be.

It makes me wish that Marjorie Taylor Green had been right. If I had that space laser, I know just where I’d use it… 


  1. I would caution people from looking at bills that are introduced as reflecting the views of an entire political party. Any legislator can introduce a bill. Doesn’t mean it has support. There are plenty of crazy bills introduced by Republicans AND Demcorats. Very few bills that are introduced go anywhere. Most don’t even get a hearing.

  2. Wow; this is mind boggling, where to begin! First, what would Iowans be allowed to buy with food stamps with basic foods disallowed in that bill? DeSantis wants to remove teaching “race” (boy, that covers a myriad of issues); they would have to remove all references to Native Americans and the Civil War. Can Oklahoma Senator Shortey identify foods containing aborted human fetuses? I have long believed the movie “Soylent Green” should be used as a teaching point in science classes as we move closer and closer to the depiction of population dealing with the total destruction of the planet via Global Warming. This brings me to a comment I have made in the past; the average person, especially children in school, do not understand the term “Global Warming”. Years ago when awareness of changing conditions in our environment began, people did understand “We are destroying the environment.” Of course, we continued destroying the environment and here we are, with Sen. Shortey fearing people will be eating aborted human fetuses, Iowans unable to purchase food with their food stamps and every sperm is sacred and masturbation is an act against an unborn child. At least that is finally taking aim at men being part of the birth control war against women. Forbidding health care for transgenders will begin with women to strengthen the anti-abortion movement but…from female to male or male to female being targeted?

    How far will the Freedom Caucus get via Speaker McCarthy with their solution to ending IRS and replacing it was a 30% sales tax? The real question is how far will they get with McCarthy as Speaker before they remove him and replace him with Matt Gaetz or Marjorie Taylor Greene?

  3. Welcome to the states that will make up the new nation of Gilead. Ladies, don’t bother learning to read, it will be illegal for women to know how to read or write in Gilead, and your dress color will be assigned based on your station: red, hooded, habit for breeders, blue dresses for the wives of commanders ( or government “leaders”) grey for servants/slaves. Look for gallows to be built on public squares with the first people to be hung those who participated in any fashion with abortion or dispensing birth control.

  4. Paul, I get your point. Are you able to reinforce it by citing some “crazy” bills introduced this year by Democrats? I try to stay aware of these things and I can’t think of any that are remotely as crazy as those described by Sheila.

  5. I think Matthew Dowd explained this backwardness to nowhere behavior of these folks. He said – again – that the people like DeSantis simply are not intellectually equipped to accept a multi-cultural society. They are forever inculcated to white, male, straight, Christian culture of the preceding 200 years, and anything or anybody looking to do other than what they have defined as those values are simply not acceptable.

    So this is what you get when intellectual dwarfism runs government at any level. They are scared spitless of losing power, or at least their interpretation of it – as intellectual dwarfs seem to do regularly. Sure, it’s idiotic, disgusting and backward. But THAT is what fear of the “other” brings to the table.

    People like Paul “O” can apologize all they want, but this backwardness isn’t going anywhere as long as Republicans keep fanning those flames of fear and stupidity.

    It’s going to take another 200 years before this scourge of institutionalized ignorance is ferreted out of our society – if we last that long.

  6. Paul I appreciate your quest for balance but the Republicans have gone full-Monty crazy. They are showing their junk in every state in the country. I for one would welcome the same level of insanity in the Republicans as shown by the Democrats.
    I was a Republican since Ford, I hated Nixon as he was a serial liar, same as Trump. After Trump I no longer identify as a Republican. Today I identify as a fallible human being first and foremost.

  7. What I would like to know is, does Governor DeMentis understand that, after he wins the primary, he will face a general public that does not like his proposals? How far to the right can one veer for that elusive primary victory and still course correct for a general election?

  8. This is all part of a perfect plan – the extremely wealthy and powerful citizens and corporate sponsored think tanks keep conjuring up new social wars for the far right media to feed their followers 24/7. While the voters are up in arms and focused on those fake social issues, their bought and paid for members of Congress and state legislatures can quietly pass legislation that cuts regulations, increases subsidies or gives them new tax breaks that will enrich them even more.

  9. An NPR story about what it means to be conservative, concluded that the current definition of “conservative” is just being against liberals. With no real platform, it’s no wonder that so many “conservative” Republicans are off into crazy land.

  10. I support this every sperm is sacred legislation. For once a lunatic plan that dictates what a person can do with his own body and doesn’t have any effect on females as eggs do not get involved in masturbation. However I suspect this has more to do with homosexual sex than masturbation. They really really want in our bedrooms. Bunch of depraved voyeurs!

  11. Best description yet of the “Right Ecosystem” – “conservative think tanks and bill mills bankrolled by rich donors.” Too bad the rest of us, DEMs and Uncommitted, are too busy: arguing philosophy, entertaining ourselves and giving up (IGIO). So they have an open field to do their thing and their sheep followers are empowered by it – especially to vote.

  12. It’s nice that someone can always be relied upon to break out the ol’ false equivalency and what-aboutism. It wouldn’t be the internet without it. Thanks Paul, for holding up the tradition.

  13. I may have posted this before, but the expression, “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps,” originally meant to do the impossible. Anyone who attempts such an act is invariably going to land on their butts.

  14. Do ND Rs realize that sanctioning “images depicting gender identity or sexual orientation” would literally eliminate every book with a human being on the cover?

  15. Where to begin?
    Maybe where jill took us.
    The GOP has nothing, nothing but an empty sack of empty!
    DeMentis (I like that one!) seems to have the personal appeal of a scorpion with a
    sexual disease, so I think that his hoped for ascendency to the WH will wither, and die.
    Can his presumed campaign bring the GOP further to the right? Could they go full fascist?
    Don’t be surprised if they try…harder.
    But, to answer the title question, one must recognize that this is not the 1200’s, and that
    these folks can not adjust to that. As times change, which they inexorably do, one must
    either adapt, adjust, or disappear. A quote I recently came across seems very pertinent:
    “If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.”–Guiseppe Thomasi
    di Lampedusa…”The Leopard” (1957)
    Sadly, disappearing takes time

  16. Who is your brother’s keeper?

    Or maybe who is our brothers keeper?

    The answer is simple, we all are our brothers keeper. It’s basic human rights!

    Civil rights come and go, but, civil rights are largely based on human rights at least in what we would consider free societies.

    Unfortunately those things that we consider civil rights vary from country to country. Based on their fundamental politics, their religious practices, and specific cultural leanings. Many of these issues can directly conflict with human rights. One example would be slavery. Another would be to force religious beliefs on those who don’t have the same.

    To ease one’s conscience, it’s easy to demonize the poor by claiming that it’s mostly specific ethnicities and races of individuals that are gaming the system to be on the public dole.

    Kiplingism would be an appropriate descriptor of the white superiority complex.

    Basically the color of one’s skin which makes up way less than 1% of our genetics, identifies superiority? This really was something that was promoted by the church in modern times. In other words, from approximately 300 AD to the present.

    The Roman Catholic Church in particular used to tell their parishioners to impregnate prostitutes rather than spilling your seed on the ground. Another example, individuals of color, usually of African descent, were descendants of Canaan! They were supposedly cursed to be slaves! None of this is scriptural! Canaan was actually the progenitor of some of the lighter-skinned races! The Church of England, and the Angelicans promoted the superiority and holiness of the white race to dominate everyone else!

    Again, none of this is in scripture. Especially when one would consider that the Bible is mostly an Asian book. Jesus Christ was not white, many of Christ’s disciples were Asian. Christ apostles were Jewish! Jesus Christ was Jewish! Scripture says Job was the greatest of all Orientals (which means from the east).

    The spilling seed issue was concerning Onan and the brother-in-law marriage which he failed to perform by practicing coitus interruptus with his dead brother’s wife. Thereby failing his obligation to give his sister-in-law an heir. He violated the law and lost his life for it. It had nothing to do with the sacredness of his seed, it had everything to do with the law and him violating it.

    So, forcing individuals of different beliefs to accept and inculcate those beliefs not their own, is not scriptural, and, it is not civil. That’s why we have separation between church and state.

    The Roman Catholic Church, or Church of Rome, the Church of England, the Angelicans, The current evangelicals, do not represent any scriptural teachings at all. But they do expose the hypocrisy and power grabbing through self-aggrandized dogma. Nowhere in all the years I’ve been reading scripture, have I run across anything that talked about certain individuals being 3/5 human, but, our civil laws allowed that for a long time. And, it’s identical to the slavery issue.

    Knowledge is power, that’s why it was illegal to teach slaves how to read and write. Even though, there were some who absolutely educated certain slaves. Education is dangerous for deceivers. Education is dangerous for supremacy.

    Human rights are meant for every human on this planet. That’s why so many cockeyed leaders attempt to dehumanize large swaths of humanity.

    The right to life, the right to peace, the right to security, the right to food, the right to water, the right to shelter, the right to marry, the right to worship, the right to bear children, the right to give and receive love, the right to be covered by equality under law, the right to be protected under law. The right to not be persecuted, and the right to take recourse against the persecutors. The right to medical care, the right to medicine, the right to be fairly represented without prejudice. The right to be free moral agents!

    Those that deny human rights are the ones who deserve to have their rights revoked. They’re the ones that need to be called to account for their transgression.

    But alas, that would be a Panacea, a Shangri-La, There is no upside or upshot to the present path of humanity. The will to do anything about it is sorely lacking, because there are forces behind the scene who prefer anarchy and misery rather than compassion and empathy towards one’s neighbor. Divide and conquer has been practiced for many millennia, humanity be damned.

    Humanity is the apex of life on this planet? Well, The Apex life form is incapable of righteous and compassionate conduct. Trillions upon trillions of dollars being spent on military weapons, somehow, humanity will kill its way to compassion? Kill its way to peace? More like kill its way to extinction.

    When has humankind actually come together? Even when we consider the World wars which supposedly fought great evil, and after the war or wars, allies that fought together, turned on each other! It’s the way of men.

  17. It is not difficult to take apart the crazy ideas. What is difficult is understanding why anyone wants to jump on the bandwagon.

    How does denying poor people food advance the cause for anyone else? While the misspent sperm intrigues me a bit, why should anyone want to live that way?

    Ah, maybe it’s not a way of life that is being promoted but a glossed up way to hate and wage war on others, because these are not lifestyles being adopted by the promoters themselves.

  18. The main question is more than “What is WRONG with these people?” It is “What is WRONG with these voters”.
    I constantly read that the majority of Americans believe in “X (Abortion rights, Social Security, Medicare, gay marriage, no book banning, etc.) Yet a majority of that majority continues to vote against such things.
    There must be more to this than just gerrymandering.
    When it comes to the stupid bills, there are no gatekeepers. A bill may be introduced by one wacko, but it must go through a committee and given a thumbs up or down by the Speaker before it gets to the floor for a vote (and we know how effective the current Speaker is). Many of the wackos don’t really expect their bills to get through. They just want to “shake things up”, “own the libs”, etc. As much as they hate the media, getting attention FROM the media is their raison d’etre. Republicans clearly have a monopoly of crazy bills.
    Democrats are scared to death of being branded as Socialists. They’re afraid to call out the fascists and authoritarians who dominate the Republican party.
    You either want to play games or govern. Which is it?

  19. circa 1970 calif, when I relocated to calif from the northeast metro area, my socio economic person was to associate with like minded kids at school. it was my first in your face reality to the commodity surplus food/welfare genre. driving down with friends families to pick up alotments of goverment food. there was money and other needs offered. what iowa,(idiots out wandering around) (trucker slang) has reinvented is a authroitarian style food program. and it seems to direct its scam to the junk food side of edibles. the idea is a misplaced mean spriited slap on the working person who may have needs to such a program as snap. todays work force doesnt go to work nearby,instead its many times the cost over what a take home is to retain a job status and remain employed for such programs.assets/ taking away the transport for the working class seems stupid. big deal if you own two cars in a working family,im sure those republicans in the state legis, have two cars or more,and two or more guns also,and full shelves of food provided by the tax payer.. their intent is to minimize the person,and not to provide in a working world that has shit wages,..many legislature barons gather their profits from investments from the working class wages and pocket them,without regard to anyone elses human needs. do they have a plan to increase wages to allow a living wage enviroment? if thier portfolio has any wage based employment in its
    investment, do the numbers. its the one item no one regards as relivent or needs to be exposed.
    thanks to domestic commercial news,and the past run of rush dirtball,we have a country of kickem to the curb richassholes who want the whole game,and they dont care how they get it.iowas legislature is not the only one,any red state has kicked again the people they dont support for jobs and economical growth to their states. i dont do buisness with my truck in iowa,its a highway death trap when driving thru it. overall this style of oppression
    has gone past a small silent conversation,its time to follow the money,and get it back into the economy and the people who do the work.. did i see chuck em grassleys kid in that photo?

  20. Paul:
    read the artical theres 32 legislators in iowa that put thier name on it..its still a republican slap on the working class.

  21. I propose a simple income tax–5% for everyone above poverty level. No exceptions, no deductions.
    Oh, wait, the millionaires who pass our laws might not vote to pay taxes themselves.

  22. The “mainstream” media loves “them”; gives them attention; gets “eyeballs” from it and “they” feel great and a special “team”…and they “vote team”.

  23. Some German Catholic Bishops have started a program to secularize the Church, some thing named Synodalism, which wants a list of progressive items: women priests, basing morality on social liberal values, like that…

    A Denver Bishop wrote a long scathing response, quoting dozens of Bible verses, essentially saying “We stole the church fair and square!”

    I’m much amused. Everything repeats itself, often as farce.

    I became aware of politics in the (Joe) McCarthy era, I might die during the (Kevin) McCarthy era!

    In between? The Summer of Love. The fall of USSR. Teslas, solar and wind power.

    We coulda been contenders…

  24. https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2021/06/24/german-synodal-path-way-explainer-240919

    Of course, there will be pressure on the bishops from the lay faithful to enact the changes after such a long consultative process. As Dr. Juliane Eckstein, a researcher at the Sankt Georgen Graduate School of Philosophy and Theology in Frankfurt, Germany, and a participant in the forum on women’s roles in the church, said pithily: “Legally, it is not binding; morally, it is.””

  25. Iowa is pushing DeSantis bills as fast as she can through the state legislature in Iowa. They’re both vying for the top job, but I’m pretty sure Kimmy definitely expect to get herself to the VP position. With the trifecta, she still had to have the house speaker suspend all the rules to pass her last legislation for vouchers, because have they gone through appropriations or ways, and means they probably would not have gone through. That’s an addition to running out 12 or more of her own people in primaries this past year because they refused to push her agenda in the law. She is flexing her muscles and threatened her people and the 12 of them stood firm and voted against Vouchers. There were others who were strong armed. Republicans made their bed… They thought that she would listen to them once they voted for her they found out otherwise and this is just the start. I hope they fix their wrong in ‘24 and vote for representatives and senators out because that is the only way to stop her now.

  26. And while the crazy bills are introduced to distract the masses, the rich people as very sad. They haven’t had a tax cut in sooooo long. They need their fix. I guess they will have to wait for a new President.

    Perhaps we should ban the bible from libraries under DeSantis rules. Rape, incest, murder, and “seed-spilling” (although John is 100% correct about that act) — and that is just the first chapter. Just saying.

  27. as usual Paul Ogden has to share his own personal right wing Republicon point of view, if not for hateful “christain” Republicons like Paul we could have had a pretty nice country to live in…sadly there is no chance of that nowso my wife and I decided last year to buy a lovely little casita in the mountains of Costa Rica where we will watch the collapse of the US government and society from afar (and far away from the insane right wing gun nuts!) We’ll be living in Costa Rica full time before the 2024 elections, the fascists are relentless and they have billionaires funding their hateful campaign to destroy America!

  28. If the Feds make the laws and policies that govern SNAP, then what can States do to change that? How can they reduce what is already allowed? Won’t they be sued and lose?

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