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November 1, 2014

If Ignorance is Bliss, Texas Rep. Joe Barton is One Happy Dude

This one is just mind-blowing. Joe Barton (the one who apologized to BP’s Tony Haward for the White House’s “shakedown”) actually asks Energy Secretery Dr. Steven Chu where all that oil in Alaska came from. Barton implies that because oil exists under the Arctic Ocean, then it must have been warmer there once.  Yessirree, the representative from Texas’ 6th district sure done schooled that Nobel Prize winner about “climate change.”

If you’re thinking to yourself, “I would have laughed out loud if he’d asked me that question,” you’re not alone. Chu actually did laugh.

We can give Mr. Barton one science point for actually knowing that oil comes from plant material, and another one for knowing that plants of the kind necessary to make oil do not naturally live under the Arctic Ocean, but he obviously missed the class when they talked about plate tectonics and continental drift.

Yes, Mr. Barton. Alaska did used to be warmer, because it was in a DIFFERENT PLACE!

Here’s a little home video someone made of how it works.  It was taken at a place where you can go to learn stuff – a “museum.”  And, it’s extra cool because this museum is called the Smithsonian, and you can actually see it from where you work!  It’s right there on the mall.  You should definitely go some time.

The only thing scarier than Mr. Barton’s stunning ignorance is what he plans to continue to do with it.

… Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, touted support from former GOP House chairmen to argue his case for assuming the chairmanship on Energy and Commerce Committee.

Barton, who has been waging an aggressive campaign to take the chairmanship of the Energy and Commerce Committee despite broad consensus that he would need a waiver from GOP leadership to exempt him from term limits, released a letter Thursday morning from former Republican chairmen saying he does not need a waiver.

Barton, who currently serves as the ranking member on Energy and Commerce, has argued that while GOP rules limit House members to three terms as chairman or ranking member on a full committee, Republicans who had served as ranking members when the GOP last won control of the House in 1994 were allowed to serve three full terms as chairmen.

“Joe has served one full two-year term in the chair at the Energy and Commerce Committee and is seeking a second term. He was denied the chairmanship when Democrats won the majority in 2006 and held on to it for four years,” Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, a former chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and former Reps. Bill Archer, R-Texas, and Bud Shuster, R-Pa., wrote to the GOP transition team. “We believe he deserves that second term now, and that neither the spirit nor the letter of the rule was ever intended to prevent it.”

At least he’s got fellow science buff Don Young in his corner pulling for him.

Comments

comments

Comments
97 Responses to “If Ignorance is Bliss, Texas Rep. Joe Barton is One Happy Dude”
  1. Just Me says:

    Chairman Barton???? I don’t think so. SHEEEESEEEEE.

  2. psminidivapa says:

    The intricacies of Plate Tectonics have apparently eluded Rep. Barton. If he lived in Pennsylvania, he would be tested in his knowledge of Plate Tectonics in fifth, eighth and eleventh grade, in order to comply with the requirements of NCLB. I still contend that our Senators and Representatives should be required to take their home state EIGHTH grade exam (I will even concede that they don’t have to take the 11th grade exam – just to make my point!!!) in order to keep their position. Require a test that shows proficiency in math, reading, science and writing – with no secretaries, aides, interns, etc. – and we’d soon find out who is able to lead our country.

  3. Henrietta says:

    I think this is the best Barton-ism ever.

    From a March 2009 House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the subject of wind power:

    “Wind is God’s way of balancing heat. Wind is the way you shift heat from areas where it’s hotter to areas where it’s cooler. That’s what wind is. Wouldn’t it be ironic if in the interest of global warming we mandated massive switches to energy, which is a finite resource, which slows the winds down, which causes the temperature to go up? Now, I’m not saying that’s going to happen, Mr. Chairman, but that is definitely something on the massive scale. I mean, it does make some sense. You stop something, you can’t transfer that heat, and the heat goes up. It’s just something to think about.”

  4. jwa says:

    Rachel Maddow has done a lot of work on the funding of the Tea Party Express. The money basically comes from Freedom Works which is a front organization for operatives like Rove, Dick Armey and the Koch brothers.

  5. Hope says:

    Doesn’t anyone question how the Tea Party was able to travel all over the United States? Takes a lot of money and middle income folks are busy working and don’t have time for tea. Things that make you wonder or was it a hijacked party???? Perhaps the President should reach out to the fiscally conservative tea party member or the true grass roots folks and get them to express their ideas on the budget.

    • ks sunflower says:

      I wondered that as well, Hope. I guess some people don’t care that the Koch brothers, Beck, Newt G., Rove, Murdoch and the US Chamber of Commerce are pouring tons of money into backing these loonies to benefit a very small portion of our population or even foreign corporations (and governments). You’d think with all the talk of patriotism, they’d be upset about being lied to and manipulated, but perhaps they are simply unaware.

  6. Lainey says:

    I know it’s been addressed before…but I can’t believe that 1)Americans vote for people like this…and 2)we put our country into the hands of ignorance!!! This should not be a beauty contest or personality contest…although nothing has been consistent, b/c they buy their way in also…too.

    • Hope says:

      I stopped watching a lot of the reg news and watch CSPAN. Filter out the rhetoric. Watch what they actually do. Yes, the rhetoric is there but they can’t hide behind it. We don’t walk around with our Dem versus Repub attitudes. People want intelligent people working with for them. Don’t confuse this election. People voted for a lot of different reasons. I have talked to some long time Dems that were just frustrated with things not getting done. Tired of empty promises. If we want change, we have to help the President instead of hoping for things to change. More Repubs and Dems should work together and fight the ignorance. The world might be a better place. One can only hope for change but realize change doesn’t happen by wishing for it.

  7. A Fan From Chicago says:

    I hate to tell you but it could be worse than Joe Barton. Check out the climate change denying logic of another Congressman who hopes to head the committee. You can’t make this stuff up.

    http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/888472–god-will-save-us-from-climate-change-u-s-representative

    • ks sunflower says:

      This is the guy I referred to in 8.3, but I couldn’t remember his name. Thanks for finding it: Rep. Skimkus.

      My goodness, both of them need to be kept away from this very crucial position. I cannot believe people voted for either of these numbskulls.

    • I’m a Christian who is constantly dismayed by the lack of logic of people like this guy. Why do they think God gave us a brain and the ability to learn and reason if we weren’t supposed to use it. God may save us from climate change but not from this kind of stupidity. We also have the ability to choose, and chosing to ignore what is going on around us is going to destroy us all.

      The other thing I don’t get – if they are so content to just let God do whatever, then why are they in politics at all. The whole point is that if you are elected to any governmental position you are supposed to make decisions, lead others, try to improve our lives. But they don’t seem to want to do anything. It would be better for all of us if they just stayed home and waited, for whatever they think is coming, and let the rest of us get on with trying to make our world a better place.

      • ks sunflower says:

        Your comment was a brilliant statement for the reasons someone should or should not go into public service (e.g., politics):

        “The whole point is that if you are elected to any governmental position you are supposed to make decisions, lead others, try to improve our lives.”

        Well said, Pat. I would simply add that the decisions made should be based on the best information available and be well-reasoned. I think the essence is “try to improve our lives.” If only these yahoos would embrace that!

        • Yes, and for most of us, basing those decisions on facts and sound reasoning goes without saying. It’s just a sad state of affairs that it’s not the way many who are in Washington, D.C., or headed there soon, operate.

    • Thomas Kent says:

      When I read of people like this, I’m reminded of this story:

      “The Big Flood
      It had been raining for days and days, and a terrible flood had come over the land. The waters rose so high that one man was forced to climb onto the roof of his house.

      As the waters rose higher and higher, a man in a rowboat appeared, and told him to get in. “No,” replied the man on the roof. “I have faith in the Lord; the Lord will save me.” So the man in the rowboat went away. The man on the roof prayed for God to save him.

      The waters rose higher and higher, and suddenly a speedboat appeared. “Climb in!” shouted a man in the boat. “No,” replied the man on the roof. “I have faith in the Lord; the Lord will save me.” So the man in the speedboat went away. The man on the roof prayed for God to save him.

      The waters continued to rise. A helicopter appeared and over the loudspeaker, the pilot announced he would lower a rope to the man on the roof. “No,” replied the man on the roof. “I have faith in the Lord; the Lord will save me.” So the helicopter went away. The man on the roof prayed for God to save him.

      The waters rose higher and higher, and eventually they rose so high that the man on the roof was washed away, and alas, the poor man drowned.

      Upon arriving in heaven, the man marched straight over to God. “Heavenly Father,” he said, “I had faith in you, I prayed to you to save me, and yet you did nothing. Why?” God gave him a puzzled look, and replied “I sent you two boats and a helicopter, what more did you expect?””

      We have eaten from the tree of knowledge and have intelligence. Methinks that God expects US to clean up our messes.

  8. ks sunflower says:

    You know, when G.W. Bush’s book came out after this election, I was dismayed to see various people trotted out to commend him on his insight and intellect because I knew they must be living in an alternate universe.

    Barton has so much in common with Bush that I could not contemplate a literary world where G.W. could be touted as being an insightful, thoughtful and literate man. Nope, just couldn’t bear it.

    However, if you click over to HuffPo, you will find an article that is restoring my sense of sanity. I had not read Decision Points but every time I heard an excerpt or one of his fans gush, I knew something must be up.

    Well, it is. Seems that dear Dubya plagiarized much of his book. Now, I can’t wait to order it from my local library to confirm it. I am doing my happy dance right now because my faith in my own memory and opinion of Bush’s two terms is no longer shaken. This news is so much in keeping with my long-held opinion of his lack of curiosity and his superficiality. Whew.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/12/george-bush-book-decision-points_n_782731.html#s180908

    This seems to be the Republican way: lie, steal, pretend to be something you aren’t, and never feel the slightest remorse or embarrassment with how baseline stupid you really are.

    Barton, Bush and many more – the poster kids for the Republican Party,

  9. Lacy Lady says:

    It is people like Barton, Palin, Beck, Rush L, Hannity and other nut jobs—-they make stuff up and people believe them. UGH!!
    People who don’t do their homework. People who drink the KOOL-AID!!
    I see where Palin will not promote her new book in the large cities, but to people in States like Iowa.
    Does she think that Iowans are stupid??????

  10. Lynnrockets says:

    As the saying goes, “Stupid is as stupid does”.

  11. paul novak says:

    Republicans love money. Republicans love to help rich people who give them money to get more money.

    Dealing with climate change will cost the rich people who give the republicans money, money.

    Republicans deny climate change.

    They aren’t stupid. They know exactly what they are doing. Which makes it all the worse.

  12. dreamgirl says:

    Mudpups, please take 5-10 minutes and contact your republican representatives. (google your state, congress contact; e.g. “Illinois congress contact”) Let them know your concerns about the representative from Texas– Joe Barton. Ask for a better candidate for Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee. It’s an important position and we need a smart and capable person in it… as my representative, I hope you agree.

  13. Moose Pucky says:

    Yes, sir. Global warming isn’t so bad, because y’all know if it warms up in Alaska, then sooner or later all the good folks and critters up there will eventually turn to oil, and sometime in the next millennium or hundred, some new species will PROFIT from that. Y’all know that capitalism rules. Y’here?

  14. Winski says:

    Take another quick peep at the red counties of the map.. That’s mostly south Dallas where all the money is.. SO, they hired a repeat token for their amusement… You can bet your last 30 cents that bribes play a HUGE party in Barton’s life – both politically and personally…If you’ve even been to the south of Dallas you’d know what I mean.

    • Hope says:

      Dear Mr. President,
      Would you please take a page out of Ross Perot’s book? Time to pull out the graphs and jump into that Professor label that not so smarts gave you. Show us the money!!! Reality check, time to call their bluff and time to show us where are tax dollars are going. Who has benefited, that what inquiring minds want to know.

      While I don’t believe that one party is fault for the mess that we are in, I am ready for both parties to start digging us out! Some of these folks did not get the message.

  15. Hope says:

    Oh light bulb boy!!!

    What do you all think of his idea to attack the energy efficient light bulbs or “curly pig tail” bulbs as I think he calls them?
    http://unearthed.earthjustice.org/blog/2010-september/joe-barton-phasing-out-common-sense-congress

    Sorry Joe six-pack, I love love those sweet tails in my house and they last a long time!!! Some of these people are going to make the former Gov look like Einstein. When she becomes their Rep candidate, she can thank all these guys personally. His arguement was that “Al Gore could afford the over $1 plus for the curly light bulbs while most people could afford 4 bulbs for $1 (of the less efficient bulb). What I didn’t hear is how long they last? Hence, actually costing much less in the end. We need to have the quality versus quantity discussion???

    • jwa says:

      Not only do they last longer, but the bigger advantage is that they save many, many times their cost in reduced energy usage. So we don’t have to burn so much of that fossil fuel God put under the ground, lo, these many 8000 years ago.

      It’s an apt symbol for our society’s short sightedness. We complain about the cost of light bulbs and spend 10 times that cost on increased electricity usage. We complain about the cost of universal health insurance while bankrupting our society on the real cost of health care. I could go on…..

      • Jen says:

        I am pretty certain he is of the repub type whose only business model is consume consume consume! I keep thinking back to George Bush after 9/11 telling us to go shop. When will we come up with the new model that acknowledges we are running out of resources that are used to make all this shit we are told we need to buy?

    • dreamgirl says:

      Mine last for 3 or more years.

      • Hope says:

        I am buying my new t-shirt today. I actually miss moderate Republicans and I am a Dem!!!

        I (repudiate) the new Republican Congress!!!

        below it reads

        “Which one of these are not like the others?”

        Joe Barton appears by Olympia Snow smiling

      • Alaska Pi says:

        dontcha know those bulbs deprive service sector jobs to folks who have to climb up and down ladders to change em in all buildings public and private…?
        it is a commie plot to steal jobs is what it is… :-)

      • Zyxomma says:

        You’re buying the wrong brand! Mine last more than seven years, and they’re full-spectrum!

    • fawnskin mudpuppy says:

      can’t agree on the new bulbs.
      studies have come out in europe about the relationship between the “flickering” of the bulbs and migraines/immune disease onset, etc.
      when i have the time i’ll post some links.
      suffice it to say we haven’t done our homework on the long term health effects of these new bulbs.
      and i am one of those who suffer from their use.

      • Alaska Pi says:

        what about LEDs ?
        do they bother you as well?
        that is the direction which has more promise for energy efficiency, long life, and no flicker…
        are more and more out there…

      • bubbles says:

        oh goodness. i was just feeling bad about not having got the new bulbs. thanks for posting that and i am glad to see you. i will be looking for the links.

      • leenie17 says:

        I also have concerns about the health risks when they break, releasing the mercury inside. I’ve read that the room in which they break should be emptied of all people and animals and ventilated with an open window for at least 15 minutes before the bulb is cleaned up. Central forced air heating and/or AC should be turned off to prevent the gas from being spread throughout the other rooms. The remains of the bulb need to be handled in a specific way in order to reduce the danger of contamination, including never using a vacuum to clean up the fragments. For this reason, they should not be used in any lamps that are likely to be knocked over. They also should not be discarded with regular garbage and are considered hazardous waste.

        They don’t work with dimmer switches and the one I have over my kitchen sink takes time to warm up and reach maximum brightness, which is still far less bright than incandescent bulbs.

        I’m hoping that enough progress can be made on LED bulbs to make them them the standard replacement for incandescents before they are taken off the market.

        • dreamgirl says:

          True. When i knocked over a lamp and the bulb broke… I was a bit nervous. Waited a day then went in with gloves and a brush and it’s sweepy thingy, then vacuumed later. Not really a big deal, but yes, I was concerned.

        • Thomas Kent says:

          The “hazard” of mercury in CFLs is highly overrated:

          http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/05/070518-cfls-bulbs.html

        • benlomond2 says:

          I used to work for a LED start-up company , that now has track type lighting for residential use.. their price is down to $20 each, which is much better than the $50 a pop from other companies.. They’re trying to get local and state gov’s to buy so they can build a 2nd factory here in the States… otherwise they are off to China, because the gov there will buy from factories in their country.. insuring a baseline market..
          Can you imagine the benefit to Green type companies if OUR goverments, local, state and fed did that?

      • dreamgirl says:

        fawnskin mudpuppy, mine don’t flicker. But just remember every artificial light, (regardless of what kind) as well as microwaves, T.V.s , computers, cell phones etc. — they all throw off radiation. We absorb bits here and there. We need to pick and choose our poisons, (I don’t own a microwave anymore… only takes a few minutes on or in stove.. ) and eat well to counteract those thingys.

  16. Diane says:

    I hate to refudiate all of you, but Dr. Chu cannot be right!!!!

    The earth is only about 6,000 years old, so how can Alaska “move” over 100 million years ago?
    I know this to be true, because the bible tells me so!!!!

    Good God, these people will destroy our USA with their willful obstructive ignorance. And they will be supported by those who”know” God is on the side of teabaggers and conservative religious right type of folks.

  17. dreamgirl says:

    Barton– (idiotic question to Mr. Chu, scientist) “…now your our scientist (condescending bored drawl).
    I have one “simple” question for you in the last 6 seconds (6 SECONDS?!) — How did all the
    oil and gas git to Alaska and under the Artic Ocean?”

    This guy is the poster boy for Maroons. Can only hope this Texas rep. and human ringworm enjoys lot’s of bacon and cheese grits (heavy on the cheese and butter) and Gulf shrimp cooked in BP oil, sauteed to perfection. Eat up … and after a second or third helping, try the pecan pie slathered in rich butter and cream sauce topped with Grandma Palin’s “concern cookies” and fried twinkies. Bon Appetite.

  18. Zyxomma says:

    When I was six, I looked at the world map on the classroom wall, and realized that the world had been broken apart like a jigsaw puzzle. Plate tectonics was not yet science.

    We all must write our congressional reps, and urge them to keep that idiot Joe Barton far away from the chairmanship. He might be more stupid than $arah, and that’s not easy.

  19. Just one thought “Are you smarter than a fifth grader?”

  20. Jan Beers says:

    What an extreme DUFUS Mr. Barton is. My four year old daughter learned about tetonic plate movement this morning on “Bill Nye the Science Guy”! This is some pretty scary stuff, watching these idiots trying to conduct “The Peoples Business” when they havn’t a clue in the world.

    • Hope says:

      There are a lot of people that have strong faith and still believe in scientists, great minds, and that the occupants of the planet are here to assist in taking care of the (earth). My creator is brillant!!! Makes me wonder if he is scratching his head and saying, “they have brains, they just don’t use them.”

      We have to stand up for education!!! Evidently there are those that want to see people uneducated and lacking the sense to investigate things for themselves. I want people to make money but this is not the wild west.

  21. Juneaudream says:

    With a..one third ‘lump’..of kindly but ..horribly undereducated as to the scientific world/informations..over time, that would be a ..full-on..segment of my family tree. Those people..(for each of you educated, and continually ..seeking incoming ..testable informations types)..it starts..back about 55 years..with a family member..who gets bent out of shape by being told they are ..taking a ..Very wrong direction. At that point..unable to deal with ..disapproval..they will seek out those who will have a ..lock-step..way of living, saving them from having to think/evaluate..and..hunker down..for the rest of their life. When they are gone..their children..and grandchildren..are following the same paths..and are usually..homeschooled..and so..look out around you..they..are many..and it will take a few generations..to break that ‘hide out under a rock’..mental/emotional set. I esp. find the term used by the above post ..proudly ignorant..as so..onpoint. Lastly..I made a random comment about a rock item being checked out as to the age of the artifact..which looks to be between 10,000 and 13,000 years..and the neighborhood woman..left our conversation..with her face all..scruntched up..trying to..understand something..OVER..6,000 years….sigh..and primal scream…

    • Man_from_Unk says:

      The sad thing about these ignorant people is that they are taking over the decision making platforms in every nook and cranny in the country.

      • ks sunflower says:

        Yes, they are. It’s been a concentrated effort for many years. Started at the local level and worked themselves up (maybe not the same candidates but those with the same attitudes). Many of them are dominionists (see the blog God’s Own Party by Leah Burton for her insightful and well-supported essays and her forthcoming book as well as links to other sites that document the Seven Mountain strategy that the Tea Party and far-right Republicans have followed). Their fundamentalist, science-be-damned convictions are undermining everything from local school boards to country commissions, state legislatures and agencies to the federal level. Remember, many of the Republicans we discuss most have been or are still affiliated with The Family.

        I am not a conspiracy-oriented person, but there is now enough documentation by reputable investigative journalists to make the pattern of this strategy believable.

        • ks sunflower says:

          I should also add that many of these folks have tried to undermine mainstream Christian churches, with varying success. Mostly, mainstream believers resist the extreme views.

  22. Alaska Pi says:

    http://energycommerce.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=162&Itemid=86

    please read this
    please contact your Representative(s) about keeping Mr Barton away from this Committee

    I can laugh at this post but I cannot laugh at the idea that this proudly ignorant fool might be in the driver’s seat on any of these issues…

    • bubbles says:

      Alaska Pi i have done as you asked. it was not hard to do. i hope other pups will join us in writing to their politicians..here is what i said:

      dear Sir, i am writing to ask you to stand firm on not allowing Texas Rep. Joseph Barton or any other ignorant, no information politician to head up such an important committee as Energy and Commerce, the level of willful stupidity in our congress must be addressed. we can no longer accept mentally challenged individuals being allowed to destroy our society. yesterday we celebrated Memorial Day. those who served. those who gave their all deserve better. i deserve better. all of us deserve better. please sir i know you are a nice man but nice won’t save us from teabags and their ilk.

    • dreamgirl says:

      Will do. Thanks for a great link. (gave my shudders to think this idiot might be in charge) (of anything I might add)

      • dreamgirl says:

        Well, I just googled “Illinois congress contact”, got their D.C. phone #’s. You can only contact the Republican rep.s. I contacted 6 Illinois R reps and said something like..

        “I’m calling about my concerns regarding a rep. in Texas– Joe Barton. He is running for the chairmanship of the Energy and commerce Committee. I don’t think he is qualified for such an important position. For example.. I watched a clip of him asking the Energy Secretary Dr. Steven Chu, who is also a Nobel Prize winner –‘ I have one simple question for you in the last 6 seconds — how did all the oil and gas get to Alaska and under the Artic Circle?’

        I also mentioned we need smart and capable people in important positions, not willfully ignorant ones. As one of my rep.s I hope you agree.”

        • Alaska Pi says:

          Thank you!!
          You too bubbles!
          We’ll see what my own Rep says to my similar email…
          being that he doesn’t recognize Alaskans who don’t vote for him/disagree with him/in any way stray from an R dialogue/ think science is other than something to agree or disgree with…

    • ks sunflower says:

      Yeah, but have you heard about the other guy in the running for the job? I can’t decide who’s worse. Honestly, it isn’t even a case of Dumb or Dumber – they both are pathetic and very, very scary.

      • Alaska Pi says:

        It doesn’t reduce the need to speak out.
        And it sure increases the need to pay attention…
        I might get scared later but right now I’m just flat ticked off that internal party patronage, including my stoopid Rep in that remark , revolves around just about everything except getting the best person for the job.
        If Americans want to be upset about government, let’s show what parts of the process are feeding the machine that bites em…

        • ks sunflower says:

          I agree. Please do not mistake my comments regarding the frustration about both candidates. I’ve already written emails about both. I usually take action first before commenting to ensure I get it done. I absolutely agree we cannot sit around and complain or throw up our hands in disgust. Like so many (actually, probably most mudpups) I am very active with calls, emails, and letters. Well – one disclaimer, I no longer call Senator Roberts because his office staff hangs up as soon as they get the idea you do not agree with him – at least that’s been my experience in northeastern Kansas. I still send emails to him, but calling him is just a waste of time.

          • Alaska Pi says:

            Boy- do I know that hang-up thingy !
            I did not get the idea you weren’t concerned about both.
            I was simply speaking about the need to hop right on THIS one.

            I am deeply frustrated with the games which parties play when handing out committee assignments.
            It is one of the most obnoxious parts of a 2 party system to me as it seems to have more to do with internal politicking than fitness for the assignment. Divvying up the spoils more than anything else…
            Where is the so-called tired-of-same-o-same-o American public ?
            This fruitloop (see 27 below) shouldn’t even be in charge of flipping a light switch let alone a committee which has such an effect on legislation which we have to live by.

  23. bubbles says:

    Joe Barton is in a state of bliss. how nice for him. he wants to be in charge of energy and commerce policy. how wonderful for us.

    i think Scott McAdams can roll up Don Young’s rear end like cheap rug next election.

  24. benlomond2 says:

    Methinks Mr. Barton would be a better candidate to serve on whichever committee covers Education, as his vast knowledge of Science appears to be a step above the rest of the herd of Re-Biblicans that have been elected to Congress.

  25. barbara says:

    here’s the same video with a more appropriate title, and the comments are not disabled:

    “Energy Secretary puzzled by stupid question from Rep. Joe Barton”

  26. barbara says:

    it’s too funny. and yet, an elected official? we are in such big trouble. i half expected him to say, “hundreds of millions of years? that’s not possible since the earth was just created six thousand years ago!”
    wow. we are in some big trouble with doofuses such as barton running the country. thank you for bringing this to my attention.

  27. I know Barton thinks he scored some points with that question, but honestly, he just looked so stupid. I’m further amazed that Dr. Chu even answered him – and did so without telling him he’s an idiot.

    Are we really going to survive the complete lack of education of this upcoming Congress? I’m not so sure.

    • thatcrowwoman says:

      I think the best we can do, Pat, is to keep “schooling” them with persistent phone calls and letters and e-mails and face to face visits. If they hear a message often enough, cognitive dissonance may eventually force them to accept the intelligent side…or at least the possibility that they might not have the Whole Story.

      Off to the library to do my part in refudiating teh stoopid…we have to guide and have hope for our little brothers and sisters preparing to make their way in this world…

    • lilybart says:

      No, we will not survive!!

      I know the GOP doesn’t care because all the nutters will vote to lower taxes on the rich, and that is all they care about, but then these MORANS will be making other policy, based on NO education and religious fantasies like the one who said that Global Warming is NOT threat because God promised Noah he would not destroy the world again.

      • dreamgirl says:

        Maroons too and also…

      • Gramiam says:

        Methinks the Diety meant that He would allow us to destroy ourselves this next time! Sort of like when I said to my kids, “I’m tired of talking! Next time, go ahead and run in the house and fall and kill yourself!”

        • ks sunflower says:

          Your comment needs to be sent to Rep. Barton. He still may not understand, but I bet someone on his staff will get a kick out of it because you know anyone that fundamentally stupid must treat other people rather badly, and that staff member will need a good laugh.

          I am going to enjoy thinking about this from time to time whenever Barton’s comment gets aired. Thank you!

      • dowl says:

        Not by water, but fire next time.

    • Man_from_Unk says:

      The dumb guys stick their foot in their mouth everytime. It’s a dumb guy characteristic. LHU when they are in positions of political influence.

    • jwa says:

      I read a report recently about how 700 climatologists are coming out to publicly fight the climate deniers. In a reader comment it was stated that – “Just because several hundred scientists say it’s true, I’m supposed to believe it?”

      Uuuummmmm – yeees, that’s how it works. People who have studied the issue ( and KNOW MORE THAN YOU DO ) say that in their best judgment, this is what they think is happening. That is not to say we know “100%, revealed word of God, Joe Barton told me” that it’s true. But it’s certainly better than asking the F**ing Tooth Fairy, or whoever you are getting your information from.

      This guy was quite comfortable ignoring the opinion of 700 of the world’s foremost climate experts in favor of whoever is feeding him an opinion that more closely matches his preferred answer.

      I am in absolute despair over this wave of willful ignorance that is sweeping our society. And I say this as a Ph.D. (in genetics) who currently teaches high school math and science. I see it every day. Sigh…..

      • ks sunflower says:

        Thank you for your service as a teacher. Teachers rock. (Of course, full disclosure, I am married to a teacher and have been one myself, but still, that doesn’t exclude me from being objective, hehe).

      • Jen says:

        I see it in my library as home-schooled children are taught by their very learning challenged parents. Nearly every day I worry about the world my own children will have to work harder to make whole. There is a serious disconnect going on regarding understanding of the scientific method and a population that seems increasingly unable to reason. My whole being thanks you for being a science and math teacher.

        • Linda says:

          You shouldn’t cast a negative blanket over all home-schooled children. I know some who are pretty damn smart! Guess it depends on what the “learning challenged parents” actually teach their children.

          • That’s always been my complaint about parents who decide to home school. I have a friend who home schools her daughter in South Carolina because, well, she’s getting a better education and she is certainly safer than she would have been in an elementary school where a 1st grader brought a large knife to school. They’ve been home schooling for 7 or 8 years now. I’ve met the girl and she’s great – intelligent, thoughtful, well-adjusted and well-informed. But her mom works hard to make sure they are following a good curriculum.

            However, the first home schoolers I met, and many in my area, do it for religious reasons. Their goal is to shield their child from the outside world or from anyone who thinks differently. AND one woman told me she was home schooling because she hated school and didn’t do very well – she and her husband did graduate from high school, but that was it. People like that should not be allowed to be the primary educator of their children.

      • leenie17 says:

        ONLY 700 climatologists??? I bet there are at least 6 people who REALLY know what’s going with that silly global warming hoaxy stuff. And I bet they’re all on Fox News ’cause that’s where you really get the truth!!

        Oy!!! These are the same clueless people who look up to Michele Bachmann who is putting together a group of RWNJ ‘experts’ to teach members of Congress about the Constitution.

        Her ‘faculty’ includes Sean Hannity who dropped out of college, David Barton who claims that the separation of church and state is a myth and the federal highway system is unconstitutional, and Fox’s Andrew Napolitano who believes that Social Security and the census are both unconstitutional.

        Clearly, education, documented research and expertise are foreign concepts to these people. After all, you don’t want to listen to any of them east coast librul eleets, do ya???

    • Hope says:

      Can the government require a General Equivalency Exam for the incoming candidates? I want to know that our congress has in fact read the Constitution that they swear to uphold and or protect. I want to know what their knowledge of history and various topics are as it relates to doing their job. I want to know if they can comprehend the legislation that they are agreeing or disagreeing with…

      If there was ever an arguement to be made about the hyperbaric chamber. One could conclude, that some of these folks are visiting from the late 1700s. We better get into the game. Just read about China zoning in on a touch screen imaging system that will determine how to advertise to a person based on the way they look. We are being surpassed by others countries abilities to create things and Palin is preaching about American Exceptionalism in her America. Holy cow, we need our bright minds to stand up. We need Bill Nye, School House Rock, and evidently a lot more. We need to start calling “bluff” on these people to explain their reasoning a lot more or we are going to go backwards instead of forward folks.

      • ks sunflower says:

        Exactly, Hope. You are so right – we need to stop laughing at them and start demanding proof of their foolish claims. All they will be able to do is huff and puff and blow themselves down ’cause they won’t realize the air needs to go out, not in.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Oil was formed before his time frame….6,000 years ago. God just zapped it in place.

  28. sunnyjane says:

    Gosh, Alaska was once warmer? Say not so! Well, gee, that must have been during the time that Sarah Palin walked with dinosaurs, huh?

  29. Pinwheel says:

    It was only a matter of time before Don Young raised his old white head for the majority in the House of Representatives. Me thinks that he thinks he’s exonerated. Alaska can’t exist without the old guard. His staff now wants leniency (sp?) for the Abramanoff scam. WTF!!!

    We can watch and wait to see if older and perhaps wiser heads can prevail. This may be Don Young’s last run.

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