Big news, everyone: The Senate did a thing! But wait, there's even bigger news than that. The Senate did a thing on climate change. Kind of. Sort of. In a way. A symbolic non-binding basically meaningless way. But still!

Are you confused? Confounded? Downright what-the-effed? Laughing so hard because this might some kind of, well, hoax? It is not a hoax. On Wednesday, the Senate voted on an amendment introduced by Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse, the purpose and full text of which is:

To express the sense of the Senate that climate change is real and not a hoax.

Ready for even bigger news? The amendment was co-sponsored by Republican James Inhofe. Yes, that James Inhofe. The senator from Oklahoma who is quite possibly the most anti-science member of his distinguished chamber, in an absurdly over-populated crowd of "I'm not a scientist" senators who are blatantly anti-science. The very same Inhofe who has given us such memorable insights as: ", Michael Moore, and George Soros are responsible for the global warming hoax," and "Climate alarmists see an opportunity here to tax the American people," and this greatest of classics, connecting the hoax that is climate change to the uselessness that is unemployment benefits (and also Obama sucks, because that's mandatory):

“It is a little bit humorous to me that we are talking about extending unemployment benefits in the midst of one of the most intense cold fronts in American history,” he said on the Senate floor. “I saw one newscaster yesterday who said: If you are under 40, you have not seen this stuff before. It has to make everyone question — and I am going to tie this together — whether global warming was ever real.” [...]

“That is what makes global warming so important to mention as we debate the extension of unemployment benefits. If we want to improve our employment figures, what we need to do is stop the onslaught of environmental regulations that have come out during this Obama presidency.”

Yes, children, that James Inhofe. And yet:

So is James Inhofe so stupid that he didn't understand the entire 16 words of the bill that one might understandably think was specifically intended to make fun of him? Well, yes, he is that stupid, generally speaking. But on this particular amendment, he knew what he was doing. Or at least he seems to think so:

When offered the chance to speak on the amendment, Inhofe -- did we detect a twinkle in his eye? -- explained his unexpected argument. The climate changes all the time, he said, citing both scientific and "Biblical evidence." There was a hoax: the idea that man was responsible. Such a position was "arrogant," in his formulation, the idea that people could affect the mechanisms that controlled the globe. With that distinction drawn -- the climate changes, and that change isn't a hoax, even if the role of humans is -- the vote was held.

Oh, zing, snap, gotcha, BURN! Inhofe tricked Democrats, and the rest of the Senate -- except for the lone "no" voter, Mississippi Republican Roger Wicker, who couldn't even go that far -- into acknowledging that climate change is a real thing, but from the Bible (but not really; it says so in the Bible), but it is NOT caused by human beings doing stuff, therefore Inhofe wins! A first-class two-week vacation to whatever beach isn't covered by God's rising sea levels for you, Jim. [contextly_sidebar id="sQVUQWi3wAVbsBfXllrID6OApF9kH7B9"]

There were other similar amendments, not co-sponsored by Inhofe, that failed to pass in the Senate. For example, Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz proposed an amendment that not only stated "climate change is real," but added "human activity significantly contributes to climate change." That did not receive near-unanimous consensus. Only five Republicans -- Lamar Alexander, Kelly Ayotte, Mark Kirk, Susan Collins, and Lindsey Graham -- were willing to join all of the Democrats on that one. Gee, wonder why.

The passage of the amendment means absolutely nothing, in case you were wondering. Though the new majority leader, not-a-scientist Mitch McConnell, might well pat himself on the back for the Senate Doing A Thing! under his brave leadership. But this amendment does not compel Congress to act on climate change, on account of how, as its co-sponsor Inhofe gleefully explained, it merely acknowledges the existence of climate change but not the cause.

So we can all go about our lives now, knowing that even non-scientist climate-denying Senate Republicans are willing to admit climate change is not a hoax. That's at least more than we can say for their Republican pals in the House, who maintain that so-called "climatologists" are just greedy bastards totally faking it to protect their get-rich-quick racket of publishing "studies" on "climate change" that is most definitely not real. Oh well. Baby steps.


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Republicans are devouring each other's carcasses, and we are here for it! Especially when one of those Republicans is King Kris of the Kansas Votefucker Klan ... errr, Clan! It's been a week since Kansans cast their votes in the gubernatorial primary, and the GOP looks to be rolling up its sleeves for a slugfest.

As we type, Kobach leads by 298 votes out of more than 314,000 cast -- a whopping 0.00095 percent, if you round up! The Kansas GOP begged Donald Trump to stay out of the race and leave the field clear for sitting governor Jeff Colyer, who took over when Sam Brownback wandered off to bring Jesus to the Hottentots on behalf of the US government. Safe bet that Colyer would be gearing up for the general election now if President Twitterthumbs hadn't flapped his yap. So thanks for that, Donny!

No, really, THANKS!

Remember the hanging chad debacle in Florida? Now picture it in a landlocked state with more cows than people. It's like fantasy island for Devin Nunes, ALLEGEDLY.

Oh, but we are to kid!

After first insisting he wasn't going to recuse from the counting, Secretary of State Kris Kobach (one and the same!) wrote Colyer a fabulously bitchy letter agreeing to hand off the tabulation to his deputy, Eric Rucker. Colyer had made the shocking suggestion that Kobach delegate responsibility to the Kansas attorney general, rather than his own political appointee, and Kobach was stretched out on the settee with a fit of the vapors at the gross impropriety of it all!

I will not breach the public trust and arbitrarily assign my responsibilities to another office that is not granted such authority by the laws of Kansas.

After several anguished paragraphs, Kobach closed by remonstrating that Colyer was betraying his office by destroying the faith of Kansans in the sacred integrity of their electoral process.

As governor of Kansas, your unrestrained rhetoric has the potential to undermine the public's confidence in the election process. May I suggest that you trust the people of Kansas have made the right decision at the polls and that our election officials will properly determine the result as they do in every election.

Said the guy whose entire adult life has been dedicated to whipping up panic about millions of imaginary illegal alien voters.

So now these two princes can kick the crap out of each other WITH VOTES, specifically, provisional ballots cast by unaffiliated voters under the supervision of poorly trained poll workers. Kansas holds closed primaries, meaning only registered Republicans can vote to select the GOP candidate, BUT an unaffiliated voter can cast a vote by checking a box identifying as a Democrat or a Republican at the polling place. This was news to some poll workers, who mistakenly directed over one thousand unaffiliated voters to use provisional ballots without checking the box indicating party preference. Whoops!

So, will those provisional ballots be counted based on voter intent? Or tossed based on strict interpretation of the statute? And does Kansas law mandate tossing mail-in ballots that arrive without a postmark on Wednesday, since there's no forensic proof that they were mailed before midnight on Tuesday? And how disgusted will the Kansas electorate be when one of these assholes emerges from the melée holding the other one's scalp? And how many millions of dollars are going to be spent on litigating the Republican primary while this nice lady Laura Kelly, the Democratic minority whip of the Kansas Senate, is out campaigning for November?

Even before this debacle, Kobach looked significantly weaker against Kelly than Colyer, with self-funded Libertarian Jeff Orman threatening to throw a wrench in the works. The Wichita Eagle reports on a Remington Research Poll conducted in July:

In a Kelly-Orman-Kobach race, the poll puts Kelly and Kobach effectively in a dead heat — 36 percent for Kelly and 35 percent for Kobach, with Kelly's lead within the margin of error. Orman has 12 percent.

Colyer leads in a three-way race with Kelly and Orman, according to the poll. In that scenario, Colyer receives 38 percent of the vote, while Kelly gets 28 percent and Orman receives 10 percent.

Which is ONE POLL, in a deeply red state, but ... Kobach is a crap candidate who's likely to emerge from this fight with two black eyes and a pissed off base. If there's anyone who can blow this election, it's Kris Kobach.

Keep fighting, Kris! You can do it! (And now we need a shower.)

And YOU need an OPEN THREAD!

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Money us, PLEASE! Throw a tip in the jar, or click here to keep your Wonkette snarking forever.

[Kobach letter / Wichita Eagle / Mother Jones / Kansas City Star]

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While most people spent this weekend telling Nazi punks to fuck off, a couple 11-year-olds were in Las Vegas hacking into voting machines. Why? BECAUSE IT'S FUN!

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