Here are 5 of the most ridiculous right-wing moments this week
- Rep. Michael Burgess claims Trump is only asking for a loan to build the wall until Mexico pays for it.
President Donald Trump's federal government shutdown over funding for his border wall would appear to put an end to his signature campaign promise that Mexico would pay. But Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) has rationalized this disconnect in a truly creative way: Mexico is still going to pay, Trump is just asking Congress for a loan!
"This is not the final act in this drama," Burgess told MSNBC's Chris Hayes on Thursday. "The wall is the first step, the pay-for part may well come later. I'd be perfectly in favor of taxing remittances back to Mexico and Central America to pay back the American taxpayer for this exercise."
The notion that Mexico was going to pay for the wall was ridiculous in the first place — even his own officials admit Trump has no way of making them do so — but for a sitting Congressman to claim that an appropriation is just a loan is downright insane.
- Rep. Louie Gohmert says the government should stay closed "until hell freezes over."
But Burgess' take on the shutdown looks almost reasonable compared to that of Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX).
On Friday, when asked on Fox & Friends how long the shutdown should last without a deal to secure a border wall, Gohmert replied, "Because we keep seeing people losing their lives without [a wall], you do it till hell freezes over."
There is zero evidence that a border wall would save anyone's life. But a government shutdown threatens to ruin many lives — thousands of furloughed federal workers likely live paycheck to paycheck, and could be unable to afford rent or utilities.
- Rep. Peter King doesn't think two kids dying in ICE custody is enough to get worked up over.
This month, two Guatemalan migrant children — 7-year-old Jakelin Caal and 8-year-old Felipe Alonzo Gomez — died in immigration custody. It is unclear exactly what happened or whether their deaths were preventable. But Rep. Peter King (R-NY) has already decided these deaths are not a big deal.
"I mean, [ICE] had hundreds of thousands of people that they've had custody of over the years, and I think these are the only two children that have died, certainly in recent memory," King said on Fox News on Friday. "So considering all of that, certainly what happens in housing projects across the country, I think ICE has an excellent record."
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- National Review publishes, then retracts, vigorous defense of a college stalker.
The National Review, a magazine long considered the vanguard of the more intellectual elements of the conservative movement, completely humiliated themselves with an article titled "Being Bigger Than the Person You’re Asking Out Deemed Title IX Violation."
The article, written by Katherine Timpf, asserted that "A student at the University of Missouri was found to be in violation of Title IX because he asked another student out on a date and is physically larger than she is." All of this is wrong. In fact, documents filed by the lawyer of the student accused of harassment admit that he stalked this student, pursued her at her dance classes, and made repeated advances despite the young woman's every attempt to remove herself from the situation.
The National Review heavily edited this piece and, on Friday, retracted it altogether, admitting that even the man's lawsuit against the university "does not contest the fact pattern left out of this article." Oops!
- Pro-Trump activist claims NYC power plant explosion proves Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wrong on climate change
Few people have managed to rack up as impressive a career of poorly-conceived schemes at such an early age as Trump supporter Jacob Wohl. He was banned for life from the hedge fund industry at age 20 by the National Futures Association for conning clients, and drew attention earlier this year by founding a fake intelligence company to pay women to falsely accuse special counsel Robert Mueller of sexual misconduct. So it is not at all surprising that his attack on Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wasn't well thought out.
After a power plant accident in Astoria on Thursday that caused a giant arc of electricity to make the sky over New York City glow an unearthly blue, Wohl took to Twitter to explain how this incident proves Ocasio-Cortez is wrong on climate change:
What Wohl is talking about is anyone's guess. Ocasio-Cortez's proposal for a "Green New Deal" does include modernizing the electric grid. But as best anyone can tell, "battery grid" is a term Wohl just made up on the spot, and not anything Ocasio-Cortez has proposed. Moreover, the accident was caused by the failure of an electrical transformer, which has nothing to do with of the kind of energy driving the power plants. Above all, it's unclear why Wohl thinks a failure of our current power grid proves that changing our power grid wouldn't work.
There is apparently no end to the depths of tortured logic in today's political discourse.