Of all the ugly consequences of the November elections, probably none of them are more unsettling than the loss of the House committee chairmanships. And the most disconcerting of these just may be the fight for the Energy and Commerce Committee, where the battle is between Barton, Upton, and Shimkus, all of whom want to use the committee to dismantle the health reform law.
One other small item that falls under their purview is the environment, and like most Republicans, all three are climate change deniers. However, Fred Upton, who is actually considered the 'environmental moderate' of the group, wants to have hearings... on Climategate scientists.
I can't imagine that Joe Barton or John Shimkus disagree, but it looks like Upton may never get the chance to chair those hearings. You see, Barton is spearheading a campaign to show that Upton isn't conservative enough to chair the committee. Chief amongst his crimes is his work on the 2007 legislation aimed at replacing incandescent light bulbs with more efficient ones. You might say that a light bulb went off above Barton's head, because like Rush Limbaugh said this week, "No Republican complicit in [this sort of] nannyism, statism, can be rewarded this way." Aside from Rush, Michele Bachmann is on board, and Barton is so simpatico that he's already introduced a bill to repeal the 'light bulb law'. So sorry, Fred, say hello to Big Brother on your way out the door.
But Joe has a problem. You see, the GOP has a rule that you can only be the lead Republican on a certain committee for two terms, which means Barton has to go. And while it would be possible to give him a waiver - such things have been known to happen - the sad fact is that his colleagues just don't like him much. I know, how can you not like the man who apologized to BP for the mean way Obama treated them, but these things happen. Which leaves John Shimkus, the man who last year posed the question "So if we decrease the use of carbon dioxide, are we not taking away plant food from the atmosphere?"
You know Shimkus, don't you? His video was all the rage early last year. In it, he explains his theory that the earth is starved for carbon dioxide, as well as revealing why he isn't worried about any man made climate disasters. You see, after God wiped out mankind with the Great Flood, he told Noah that He wouldn't do it again, and that as long as He was around "seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, will never cease." And since the word of God is infallible, ipso facto, if the Earth was ever destroyed, He'd be the one destroying it.
So there you go, Barton, Upton, and Shimkus, three great choices for leadership. And not one little thing to worry about.
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