Is this guy a prankster or just a real yo-yo?

Since George Bush left office, I haven’t focussed much on politics in this blog. It’s not that there isn’t a lot to write about — I mean, President Obama hasn’t exactly been a liberal’s delight — but I’m tired of it all and if the Democrats who control the White House and both houses of Congress can’t get things done… well, who else is there?

But every now and then something comes to my attention I just can’t ignore. Today on the NPR program Wait, Wait. Don’t Tell Me I heard about a quote from Republican Congressman Joe Barton that I just couldn’t believe was real, so I had to check it out online. Turns out, he really did say this:

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.

And it turns out, this guy actually has a greatest hits of stupid comments. See here, and here, for example. It got me wondering if anyone really can be this stupid and incompetent. The guy actually issued  an apology to BP chairman Tony Hayward over the tough treatment he’s received from the White House. (Excuse me while I unswallow my tongue.) Then I wondered if perhaps Joe Barton is really the world’s greatest performance artist, feigning his stupidity for his art, kind of like this prankster pretending to be a yo-yo artist.
Unfortunately, no. Barton is real, and he’s in the pockets of big oil to the tune of $1.6 million. So he’s just another conscientious Republican corporate lackey. Oh, and he might be the next chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee if the Republicans regain control of the House. Talk about sucking the wind out of our sails!


  1. Barton is a nut, indeed. I cannot believe he is on a congressional energy committee. Even more of a problem, is that at his core, what he said about the oil spill represents a fundamental conservative issue: government should not intervene with private business. Liberals and progressives argue that government must take responsibility– to protect and empower the people. Barton, like so many conservatives, representes a flawed logical that is very dangerous to social and political policy.

    1. Your point about him being on the energy committee is really good. This guy doesn’t even know how oil came into being. He doesn’t understand plate tectonics. He doesn’t know the first thing about the environment based on his theories of wind. How can they possibly put him on the energy committee? Isn’t there even just a little bit of a test of a person’s knowledge before they make these assignments? Probably not. Apparently, all the Republicans look at when making committee assignements is who their major campaign funders are.

      Thank you for commenting!

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