A Confederacy of Dunces
Some readers may remember the title of this Blast as the name of the 1980 (hideously overwritten) novel by John Kennedy Toole --- a book that somehow won the 1981 Pulitzer Prize because Walker Percy persisted in getting it published and the author had committed suicide in 1969 (and, after writing this book, it’s understandable!). The title is taken from “Jonathan Swift's essay, Thoughts on Various Subjects, Moral and Diverting: ‘When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.’” (Wikipedia) While we may not be geniuses, we are certainly wise enough and smart enough to recognize that yesterday’s news cycle presented us with what certainly could be perceived as a confederacy of dunces.
Exhibit A. Dunce A
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson attended a Congressional hearing on proposed budget cuts --- of around $6 Billion. Texas Representative Al Green (D) attempted to get Carson to relate how much would be cut from specific programs. The Secretary was clearly out of his depth. Rather than relate the exchange as a transcript, here’s a 5 and one half-minute video clip (courtesy of YouTube, of course) Please watch, so can see Exhibit A’s Dunce in action.
If you somehow missed the New York Times front-page story about Bill O’Reilly’s sixth (known) sexual harassment settlement for a whopping $32 Million --- just before he signed a $25 million/year contract renewal with Fox News --- where have you been? We know Gretchen Carlson received a $20 million settlement from Fox News because of Roger Ailes’s harassment but O’Reilly’s settlement is more than his outrageously high annual salary! According to the Times, the charges “included allegations of repeated harassment, a nonconsensual sexual relationship and the sending of gay pornography and other sexually explicit material to Liz Wiehl, a former Fox News legal analyst.” Mr. O’Reilly’s response to this is extremely Dunce-worthy. Who is he mad at? Well, no one less than God the Father, himself.
"You know, am I mad at God? Yeah, I'm mad at him," O'Reilly said on the latest episode of his web series, "No Spin News." "I wish I had more protection. I wish this stuff didn't happen. I can't explain it to you. Yeah, I'm mad at him." CNN Media 10/24
Apparently O’Reilly, who constantly accused “liberals” of shirking “personal responsibility” on his “No Spin Zone,” is incapable of applying that precept to himself. O’Reilly, who continually attacked anyone disagreeing with him, had the nerve to say, “I truly believe that these people at The New York Times are out to hurt people with whom they disagree. They don't want me in the marketplace. That's what this is all about. If they could literally kill me, they would. " Really? In continuing his attack on the Times, O’Reilly said:
"Why don't you be human beings for once? This is horrible. It's horrible what I went through. Horrible what my family went through. I urge you to think about what you put in your newspaper. Eric Bolling's son is dead. He's dead because of allegations made — in my opinion and I know this to be true — against Mr. Bolling." CNNMedia Oct. 24, 2017
Eric Bolling, another Fox commentator who lost his job because of sexual harassment, lost his 19-year-old son after he left Fox News, but “In a statement Monday afternoon, Bolling chastised O'Reilly for having said that. ‘I believe it is beyond inappropriate for anyone to bring in the tragic death of my son Eric Chase Bolling. Just as Bill O'Reilly had wanted to shield his children from the allegations against him, I hope he will honor my request and avoid any future mentions of my son.’” But O’Reilly, of course, somehow perceives himself as the victim in this scenario! Callum Borchers, in the October 24th Washington Post noted that O’Reilly claims to be a practicing Catholic. As such, Borchers noted:
Keep in mind that the core tenet of Christianity is that God allowed his perfect son to endure excruciating pain and death to secure the forgiveness of others' sins. Yet O'Reilly is mad that God would allow him to endure the far-milder pain of an embarrassing job loss — dulled further by that $25 million severance — because of his own alleged indiscretions. It's nice to know that the past six months haven't diminished O'Reilly's sense of self worth.
And that’s our Exhibit B Dunce.
It’s almost not fair to pile on to Devin Nunes, but it’s so easy. Here’s his latest cockamamie scheme that might waste huge amounts of citizen tax dollars. As announced in the October 24, 2017 Washington Times:
House Republicans flexed their investigative muscle Tuesday, announcing two investigations into Obama administration dealings, including a 2010 uranium deal and the FBI’s handling of the probe of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails.
Apparently Nunes thinks Clinton won the election and he’s looking to impeach her. After Trey Gowdy wasted $7 million chasing Clinton for two years to no affect, Nunes now wants to re-open the case, apparently hoping to impeach her? Devin Nunes: DUNCE C.
Two other stories to keep an eye on: The Whitefish Energy scam in Puerto Rico and the attempt at eliminating the Estate (Death) Tax during the Republican “tax reform” proposals.