Jon Stewart looks at the Freedom Summit, the Iowa event that brought together Republican presidential hopefuls.
By 98 to 1, the senate voted in favor of an amendment to a bill that declares that climate change is real (the one exception was Roger Wicker of Mississippi). Finally, you say, we can get something done. Wrong, I say. You should know better. The Republicans found a way to twist out of the implications.
In case you missed last night’s state of the union address, here it is (and here are a few departures from the script). It was…OK. It was largely focused on the economy (which is slowly getting better) and increasing opportunity for those who aren’t doing as well — so that was good. I’m not entirely convinced that Obama isn’t still in the pocket of Wall Street, but he talks a good game.
I would actually agree with Republicans on something: requiring a basic civics test, as Arizona has done, seems like a reasonable expectation. It helps that it really isn’t very difficult: here’s a set of sample questions, which most people have managed to get more than 90% right (60% is required to pass; I got 100%). I am suspicious of the Republican motives, though: they probably think they are putting up a barrier for immigrants, which seems to be the obsession among Arizona politicians.
Indeed, the outpouring of support for free speech in the aftermath of the Paris attack coincides with, and partially obscures, the degradation of speech rights in the West. Commencement last year was marked by universities’ revoking of appearances by speakers Condoleezza Rice and Ayaan Hirsi Ali for no other reason than that mobs disagreed with the speakers’ points of view. I do not recall liberals rallying behind Condi and Hirsi Ali then.
OMG! Condoleeza Rice and Ayaan Hirsi Ali were shot and killed? Then yes, we definitely should march in opposition to that criminal outrage…oh. They were just turned away from speaking engagements? Sorry, that isn’t the same thing at all.
Further evidence that the American political system is broken: Ted Cruz has been made chair of the committee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness (one of the things in that list of three does not belong…and why is “Space”, a small subset of science’s compass, given such a prominent spot?). Marco Rubio is chair of the subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard (another hodge-podge!). This is as insane as putting James Inhofe in charge of environmental policy.