Thursday, September 04, 2014


I see that the rise of ISIS has finally persuaded House Republicans to put country over party. I'm kidding, of course:
House Republicans are laying groundwork to capitalize on widespread discontent with President Obama's handling of ISIS, scheduling a series of hearings and meetings aimed at drafting a plan to defeat the jihadist group....

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy criticized Obama's response to ISIS' rapid gains, saying it revealed misplaced priorities of the government bureaucracy. As an example, he seized on an article on a U.S. Forest Service blog providing safety tips for making s'mores....
Right -- it's terrible that that blog post appeared, because all functions of the federal government unrelated to national defense are supposed to cease immediately whenever there's been a terrorist attack, on personal orders of the president.

Yes, that post does discuss ways campers can make s'mores safely in the woods. If it's unseemly for the Forest Service to do public outreach on fire safety, then I suppose it's been a mistake all these years to talk about Smokey the Bear, who's been talking about fire prevention for the Forest Service since 1944. (Somehow we beat Hitler and won the Cold War despite all that wasteful government spending on Smokey.)

And yes, the post talks about s'mores in the context of nutrition. The USDA (of which the Forest Service is a part) has been publishing nutrition guides since 1894, and published its first Recommended Daily Allowances for nutrients in 1941 -- yup, the year Pearl Harbor was bombed, though somehow the publication of those guidelines didn't cause us to lose the war.

I see that on September 14, 2001 -- yes, the very day President George W. Bush spoke through that bullhorn about the 9/11 attacks -- the USDA website was publishing a news release describing a potentially nutritious mutant legume similar to alfalfa ("Udderly Fantastic: Mutant Plants a High Source of Calcium"). The USDA site noted that a few days later President Bush issued a proclamation for National Farm and Ranch Safety and Health Week -- the date of the proclamation was September 17, 2001. And here's the seemingly self-evident title of another USDA press release from that period: "Low-Fat Foods Can Help Lower Fat Intake." That one was dated October 1, 2001. Ground Zero was still smoldering! The U.S. attack on Afghanistan hadn't even been launched yet! What was President Bush doing?

Of course, no one attacked Bush this way in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. No one suggested that the federal government should cease functioning if terrorist groups that had killed Americans were still at large, nor did anyone suggest that the president is personally responsible for every small thing the federal government does.

But these are Republicans we're talking about. Cheap shots are all they know.


Yastreblyansky said...

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, discoverer of the s'more scandal, last appeared in the news on August 29, when he presented 90-year-old veteran Lee Neukirchner with the the Army Good Conduct Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with three bronze service stars, World War II victory Medal, The Honorable Service Lapel Button, and a Sharpshooter Badge with Rifle Bar for his service between 1943 and 1946. He's really letting those terrorists know how serious America is.

Victor said...

The Republicans are like a singer who can only hit one note, or a comic who only knows one joke.

They have no ideas, no suggestions.
Beyond, of course, whatever Obama's doing is wrong - until he does something else, and that's wrong too.
Whatever he's doing is wrong.

And yet, our MSM keeps putting them on, as if they have something valuable to say.