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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Welcome to “This Week In Crazy,” The National Memo’s weekly update on the wildest attacks, conspiracy theories, and other loony behavior from the increasingly unhinged right wing. Starting with number five:

5: Steve Stockman

Genuinely crazy congressman Steve Stockman (R-TX) has been on a roll recently. First, the man whom Mother Jones’ Tim Murphy once described as “the closest his state ever came to electing a gun” added to the reform debate by tweeting this:


Then on Monday, Stockman appeared on right-wing activist Steve Deace’s radio show to share his loony theory that immigration reform is really a backdoor plot for President Obama to “destroy America.”

During the same interview, Stockman accused NPR of referring to undocumented immigrants as “unregistered citizens,” — a charge for which there doesn’t appear to be any evidence — and said it would be like calling drug dealers “unregistered pharmacists.”

At least that is finally a topic about which Stockman — who was charged with felony drug possession in 1977 — actually knows something.

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Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • People like Texas Rep. Stockman are the best thing that could happen to Democrats running for office. The crazier they are the better. In spite of the out of control violence that dominates the news and project an impression of utter insanity and chaos, most Americans are sane and determined to live in peace with a modicum of decency. Statements like the ones made routinely by some right wing extremists are so bizarre that they are not worth attention or even comment. Just consider the source.

    • turtlewoman1039

      And yet they are elected, and in many cases re-elected…

    • angelsinca

      Makes one wonder why The Nat’l Memo routinely avoids exposing similar bizarre statements from the far left. Extreme is extreme, regardless of where it hails from.

  • The sorry thing is that a lot Americans believe these guys! What does that say about us! They better quit cutting education budgets because there are obviously a LOT of drop outs out there!

    • wesley rasmussen

      I guess if you can’t qualify for a diploma, and are unhireable (sp?) at WalMart or McD’s, then the only option with no diploma is diplomacy? ( or Congress).

      • tobyspeeks

        Those who can, do. Those who can’t run for political office.

        • july860


        • CPAinNewYork

          Many, if not most, of our politicians are just failed lawyers. They go into politics because they’re incapable of earning a decent livings by being in private or in-house practice.

    • plc97477

      We just need to get rid of faux news.

  • JDavidS

    “This Week in Crazy” or as I like to call it… “Beck, Limbaugh and Associates”.

  • How do these people get on the news?

    • doninsd

      It gives us something to laugh at until SNL.

    • plc97477

      I like to think the media is letting us know who the crazies are.

  • just consider if he is correct? always listen to both sides of an arguement, then give it some thought.. for me, I do happen to think he is correct about some of it

    • Sand_Cat

      What a surprise!

  • gun owners of america will stand with anyone who is fighting for the second amendment equally and always. Bad things happen when good people do nothing, and giving our government this much control is nothing but bad news for freedom and liberty. the constitution was written to protect the people from an overbearing, tryranicle govt bent on control of the people. We must never allow this to happen. The supreme court is going to try to pick the second amendment apart and make it piece meal by hand picked judges to suit those with the most power, like Obama. Almost any law written can be picked apart by several different lawyers to mean any given set of things they each want it to mean. Any small concession to gun laws will eventually lead to no gun rights at all, to total confiscation, we gun owners know this and thus refuse any new laws on the legal law abiding citizens. Go ahead and make all the stricter laws you want for criminals who buy guns, who use guns in a crime, to lock up the crazy people, those who lie on the background checks. We would support that..but no registration for the govt to come take our guns

    • Dana Es

      Where on earth did you get the idea that there was going to be a gun register? I think you need to expand the number of sources you’re using for news and also decide to research any statements made by the NRA, along with their request for money to stop the latest of their imaginary government plots.

      There are several guns in my home and I’m not a bit concerned about any kind of government takeover.

      • july860

        Yes-the legislation that just tanked did have a clause prohibiting any type of gun registry….

        • Sand_Cat

          It also was about background checks. Kind of hard to lie on a background check when you don’t get one, but I guess expecting coherence from the trolls here is just too much.

    • CPAinNewYork


      You are truly a jerk. Why do you need the right to buy an assault weapon?

      You must be a gun dealer.

  • Pamby50

    Every week Rep. Gohmert could make this list. All he has to do is open his mouth. The 2 suspects were not hispanic looking. Rep. Hansen thinks all women are “vaginas”. I can see how that republican outreach program is working. I thought you were trying to expand your base. We wouldn’t even have to make ads. We just have to play these clips. No other words are necessary.

  • exdemo55

    Now this is crazy. Individual healthcare costs to rise 80% under Obamacare.

    Few aspects of the Affordable Care Act are more critical to its success than affordability, but in recent weeks experts have predicted costs for some health plans could soar next year.

    Now health law supporters are pushing back, noting close ties between the actuaries making the forecasts and an insurance industry that has been complaining about taxes and other factors it says will lead to rate shock for consumers.

    “Most actuaries in this country — what percentage are employed by insurance companies?” Sen. Al Franken, a Minnesota Democrat, asked an actuary last week at a hearing of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

    The committee was discussing a study published last month by the Society of Actuaries (SOA) predicting that, thanks to sicker patients joining the coverage pool, medical claims per member will rise 32 percent in the individual plans expected to dominate the ACA exchanges next year. In some states costs will rise as much as 80 percent, the report said.

    The witness was unable to answer Franken’s question, but the senator made his point. Insurance is why actuaries exist. The industry and the profession are hard to separate.

    Using predictive math, actuaries try to make sure insurers of all kinds don’t run out of money to pay claims. Many actuaries also work for consultants whose clients include insurance companies.

    Undisclosed in the SOA report was the fact that about half the people who oversaw it work for the health insurance industry that is warning about rate shock. The chairman of society committee supervising the project was Kenny Kan, chief actuary at Maryland-based CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield.

    Others on the committee work for firms with insurer clients. The report included committee members’ names but not their affiliations.

    The SOA “portray themselves as this nonpartisan think tank when in fact everything about the study is by people who have a vested interest in the outcome of the study,” said Birny Birnbaum, executive director of the Center for Economic Justice, a Texas group that advocates on behalf of financial and utility consumers.

    To perform the research, the society hired Optum, sister company of UnitedHealthcare, the country’s biggest private health insurer.

    Society spokeswoman Kim McKeown said the project was overseen by credentialed actuaries “from a cross-section of industry organizations” and was “exposed for review and comment to the broad health care actuarial community.”

    Even supporters of the health act worry about premium increases next year, when many of its provisions take effect. But the debate fits into a larger discussion about actuaries’ public role. Actuaries are self-regulated, which some say makes them unaccountable.

    Their associations set conduct standards and investigate malpractice in confidential proceedings. During the previous two decades the Actuarial Board for Counseling and Discipline, which works with the Society of Actuaries, has recommended public disciplinary measures for fewer than two people a year, according to its annual report.

    Yet actuaries play many public roles. By calculating the adequacy of employer pension contributions they affect the retirement of millions. And they’ll act as virtual referees for important aspects of implementing the health act.

    “I have a great deal of respect for actuaries,” said Timothy Jost, a law professor at Washington and Lee University and health law expert. “But I do think they often end up in … situations where the interests of the public and of their employers might be in conflict.”

    While the Obama administration has developed a calculator plans must use for determining whether insurance plans meet the health act’s standards for benefits and value, recently finalized regulations give insurer-employed actuaries the power to override it by substituting one benefit for another.

    Insurance company actuaries calculate rates when plans file with states, which act as the industry’s primary regulators. Charged with making sure the prices are justified, state insurance departments often have far less actuarial expertise at their disposal than the insurers.

    The Vermont Department of Financial regulation “does not have actuaries on staff,” a spokeswoman said. “We outsource our review of rate filings.”

    The situation in 2011 was the same in a dozen other states, according to information compiled by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

    Health-act supporters complained that that the actuary society’s study predicting a 32 percent increase in claims didn’t account for key factors, including the potential for competition to lower prices, the subsidies people will receive to buy the coverage and the fact that next year’s plans will be more generous than this year’s.

    Often actuaries’ predictions are not significantly better than, say, those of the Weather Channel. Recent premium increases of 50 percent and higher for nursing home insurance reflect a previous under-calculation of costs by actuaries. Actuarial models didn’t work especially well at calculating subprime mortgage risk a few years ago, either.

    A settlement in New York last month revealed cases in which actuaries overestimated liabilities and a mortgage insurer paid out as little as 20 percent of collected premiums in claims.

    Jost and Birnbaum want representatives of consumers and state insurance departments to be included on the actuaries’ discipline board. In proceedings at the insurance commissioners’ group, consumer advocates also want the board to state that actuaries’ first duty is to the public whenever they furnish calculations to state or federal regulators and to tighten conflict-of-interest standards for firms producing work relied on by both insurers and regulators.

    “There is always room for improvement in everything,” said Karen Terry, an actuary for State Farm and the vice president of professionalism at the American Academy of Actuaries, an umbrella group that works with the discipline board and groups such as the SOA that represent professional subspecialties such as health or pension actuaries. “We’re open to that dialogue.”

  • Mikey7a

    Off topic sort of, we were watching the live news of the impending capture of the 2nd Boston Marathon Bomber. To gain differing perspectives, every 10 to 20 minutes, I’d switch to another station. My wife says to me “you’re always carrying on about Fox News, so put it on,and let me see why that is so.” After THREE minutes, she says “wow, those guys are mean, rude, ignorant, assholes!” Isn’t wonderful when another American becomes Aware?

    • plc97477

      Smart wife you got there.