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This Year In Crazy: A Fond Look Back At An Insane Year In Politics

Memo Pad Politics

This Year In Crazy: A Fond Look Back At An Insane Year In Politics



During his re-election campaign, President Barack Obama repeatedly speculated that the “partisan fever” in Washington, D.C. would break after the 2012 presidential election. One year into the president’s second term, it’s quite possible that his prediction was crazier than anything you’re about to read.

Every week, The National Memo compiles This Week In Crazy, an update on the wildest attacks, conspiracy theories, and other loony behavior from the increasingly unhinged right wing. Throughout the year there were countless individual examples that literally dropped our jaws — Pat Robertson’s special AIDS rings, Gordon Klingenschmitt’s warning that militant gays are going to have sex in your house, or any story containing the words “Steve Stockman” come immediately to mind — but a few especially certifiable characters repeatedly stole the dubious spotlight.

So as you prepare to ring in the new year, we invite you to take one last, head-shaking look at the craziest of the crazy in 2013… here they are, This Week In Crazy‘s most valuable players!

Photo: cometstarmoon via Flickr

Henry Decker

Henry Decker was formerly the Managing Editor of The National Memo. He is currently an Online Associate at MRCampaigns.

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  1. Michael Ross December 30, 2013

    Don’t forget Jim Garrow, Erik Rush and Alex Jones insisting that Obama wanted to nuke the U.S., wipe out 90% of the U.S. population with an EMP attack, and is now collaborating with aliens from outer space to wipe out the human race and replace it with a cyborg master race.

    1. docb December 31, 2013

      That is good but I do not follow wacko’s unless reported by reputable news! These people are on the fringe and crazy as loons! They take a grain of sand and pad around it with delusion just like fux channel!

      From what little I know I would agree that they are ugly fearful and crazy! Part of the rightwing deluded or feeding them.

  2. latebloomingrandma December 31, 2013

    I hope all these people will take advantage of Obamacare’s coverage of mental health care. These 5 alone may bankrupt the system!
    No one should worry about America’s “freedoms” as long as these kinds of people are free to spout their dangerous nonsense. Our Bill of Rights allows all kind of freak shows their space. I call this one of the side effects of a free country.
    The problem that arises to our modern civilization is how do we moderate the influence of these voices, as they seem to carry an inordinate amount of influence. The only thing I can think of is a fist rate education. That is the key to our country being great again, and that’s where we should be putting our money, rather than in more military hardware.

  3. howa4x December 31, 2013

    We can laugh all we want to but each one of these unhinged people has a following who believe every word of their divorced from reality theories. This is why gun sales nationally are going down but surging with followers of this kind of rhetoric. Everything they talk about is done to illicit paranoid visions among the followers. Every speech includes a reference that the federal government is secretly plotting to take something from you as if the federal government all stayed in a giant hovercraft space ship moving slowly around the country. All of these delusions find a home in faith based teachings and dark apocalyptical visions from the old testament, and a wiling audience to confirm their worst fears. Our only consolation is that the truly unhinged make up less than 14% of the electorate but have strength in certain legislative districts so we will have to put up with this lunacy for some time to come

    1. Allan Richardson January 2, 2014

      You shouldn’t have mentioned the spaceship! Now that they know, how can we keep it a secret from them?


      1. howa4x January 2, 2014

        I know Lucky they won’t believe me hehehehe

  4. plc97477 December 31, 2013

    It has been a banner year for the right-wing nuts and their crazy caucus.

    1. neeceoooo December 31, 2013

      And 2014 looks like it might more of the same from the GOP.

      1. BDC_57 January 1, 2014

        If only that statement was not true the idiots will make us laugh.

  5. Pamby50 December 31, 2013

    It has been a crazy year. I don’t know that I could have pared it down to just 5.

  6. exdemo55 December 31, 2013

    Global warming scientists forced to admit defeat… because of too much ice: Stranded Antarctic ship’s crew will be rescued by helicopter

    Chris Turney, a climate scientist and leader of the expedition, was going to document ‘environmental changes’ at the pole
    In an interview he said he expected melting ice to play a part in expedition
    MV Akademik Schokalskiy still stuck among thick ice sheet 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, the Tasmanian capital

    Called for help at 5am Christmas morning after becoming submerged in ice
    Australia’s back-up ship, Aurora Australis could not break through

    1. Allan Richardson January 2, 2014

      So the Dow isn’t going up because your pet stock lost a point one day?

      Global warming is about AVERAGES, and about GLOBAL temperatures. One result of unstable climate is that there will be more frequent extremes. That is just common sense. The data are there to show the average of the entire globe is going up over recent years.

      1. exdemo55 January 2, 2014

        A group of climate change scientists were rescued by helicopter Jan. 2, after being stranded in the ice since Christmas morning. But the majority of the broadcast networks’ reports about the ice-locked climate researchers never mentioned climate change.

        The Russian ship, Akademic Shokalskiy, was stranded in the ice while on a climate change research expedition, yet nearly 98 percent of network news reports about the stranded researchers failed to mention their mission at all. Forty out of 41 stories (97.5 percent) on the network morning and evening news shows since Dec. 25 failed to mention climate change had anything to do with the expedition.

        In fact, rather than point out the mission was to find evidence of climate change, the networks often referred to the stranded people as “passengers,” “trackers” and even “tourists,” without a word about climate change or global warming.

        Chris Turney, the expedition’s leader, is a professor of climate change at the University of South Wales. According to Turney’s personal website, the purpose of the expedition is to “discover and communicate the environmental changes taking place in the south.”

        Twenty-two crew members stayed with the ship for the time being, as the scientists and researchers were rescued. According to CNN, the ship has enough supplies for “a very long time.”

        Three rescue attempts had been thwarted by growing levels of sea ice and weather conditions.

        “Outside, blizzard conditions packing an abnormal amount of ice in to the area for this time of the year, summer in the Antarctic,” ABC News Correspondent Gio Benitez reported on “Good Morning America” Dec. 31.

        On Jan. 2, all 52 passengers were airlifted to a nearby Australian icebreaker ship which had tried, and failed, to plow through the ice and free the Akademic Shokalskiy, on Dec. 30. “Good Morning America” said on Dec. 30, that “the ice could be as thick as 13 feet.”

        According to Fox News, Turney admitted “we’re stuck in our own experiment.” They reported on Dec. 30, that a statement from the Australasian Antarctic Expedition said, “Sea ice is disappearing due to climate change, but here ice is building up.”

        There was only one news story out of 41 that mentioned climate change. That was CBS “This Morning” Dec. 30. “Despite being frozen at a standstill, the team’s research on climate change and Antarctic wildlife is moving forward,” CBS News Correspondent Don Dahler said. That night, all three evening news programs still failed to make any mention of the group’s climate change research.

        The MRC’s Business and Media Institute was unable to view a copy of CBS “Sunday Morning” for Dec. 29, so that broadcast had to be excluded from the tally.

        Before their ship got stuck in ice, the researchers were following the trail of the explorer Douglas Mawson, who was stranded in Antarctica for more than a year, beginning in December 1912, according to the website about the expedition.

        Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/mike-ciandella/2014/01/02/frozen-out-98-stories-ignore-ice-bound-ship-was-global-warming-missi#ixzz2pHnlVpAA

      2. exdemo55 January 3, 2014

        Scientists at the British Antarctic Survey say that the melting of the Pine Island Glacier ice shelf in Antarctica has suddenly slowed right down in the last few years, confirming earlier research which suggested that the shelf’s melt does not result from human-driven global warming.

        The Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica and its associated sea ice shelf is closely watched: this is because unlike most of the sea ice around the austral continent, its melt rate has seemed to be accelerating quickly since scientists first began seriously studying it in the 1990s.

        Many researchers had suggested that this was due to human-driven global warming, which appeared to be taking place rapidly at that time (though it has since gone on hold for 15 years or so, a circumstance which science is still assimilating).

        However back in 2009 the British Antarctic Survey sent its Autosub robot probe under the shelf (famously powered by some 5,000 ordinary alkaline D-cell batteries on each trip beneath the ice, getting through no less than four tonnes of them during the research). The Autosub survey revealed that a previously unknown marine ridge lay below the shelf, over which the icepack had for millennia been forced to grind its way en route to the ocean. However in relatively recent times the ice had finally so ground down the ridge that the sea could flow in between shelf and ridge, freeing the ice to move much faster and warming it too.

        As we reported at the time, this caused BAS boffins to suggest that the observed accelerating ice flow and melt seen since the ’90s was actually a result of the ridge’s erosion and sea ingress, rather than global warming.

        Now, the latest BAS research has revealed that rather than accelerating, “oceanic melting of the ice shelf into which the glacier flows decreased by 50 per cent between 2010 and 2012”.

        The BAS goes on to explain:

        Observations made in January 2012, and reported now in [hefty boffinry mag] Science, show that ocean melting of the glacier was the lowest ever recorded. The top of the thermocline (the layer separating cold surface water and warm deep waters) was found to be about 250 metres deeper compared with any other year for which measurements exist.

        This lowered thermocline reduces the amount of heat flowing over the ridge. High resolution simulations of the ocean circulation in the ice shelf cavity demonstrate that the ridge blocks the deepest ocean waters from reaching the thickest ice …

        In January 2012 the dramatic cooling of the ocean around the glacier is believed to be due to an increase in easterly winds caused by a strong La Ninã event in the tropical Pacific Ocean.

        Dr Pierre Dutrieux of the BAS adds, bluntly:

        “We found ocean melting of the glacier was the lowest ever recorded, and less than half of that observed in 2010. This enormous, and unexpected, variability contradicts the widespread view that a simple and steady ocean warming in the region is eroding the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.”

        The Science paper can be read by subscribers to the journal here. The BAS announcement of the results can be read here. Readers unfamiliar with the rules of the climate game should note that the term “climate variability” as used in those documents means for this purpose “climate effects not caused by humans”.

      3. exdemo55 January 4, 2014

        (CNSNews.com) – American taxpayers spent $7.45 billion to help developing countries cope with climate change in fiscal years 2010 through 2012, according to a federal government report submitted to the United Nations on a subject that Secretary of State John Kerry described as “a truly life-and-death challenge.”

        That sum of $7.45 billion, which reached more than 120 countries through bilateral and multilateral channels, met President Obama’s “commitment to provide our fair share” of a collective pledge by developed nations to provide a total of nearly $30 billion in “fast start finance” (FSF), the report stated.

        The pledge was made at a Dec. 2009 U.N. climate conference in Copenhagen, and the FSF funding aims to support developing countries adapt to and cope with phenomena blamed on climate change, such as droughts and rising sea levels.

        “International assistance for climate change continues to be a major priority for the United States,” the administration said in its “Climate Action Report,” submitted to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on Wednesday.

        It noted that since the U.S. ratified the convention in 1992, its international climate funding had increased from “virtually zero” to an average of $2.5 billion each year in the 2010-2012 FSF period.

        “During the period, average annual appropriated climate assistance increased fourfold compared with 2009 funding levels,” the report said. “U.S. climate assistance has increased in the context of an overall increasing foreign assistance budget.”

        According to UNFCCC data, of the $7.45 billion in U.S. funding, $4.7 billion was congressionally-appropriated assistance while development finance and export credit support accounted for a further $2.7 billion of public money.

        It’s time to ‘do what our faiths require of us’

        In a cover letter accompanying the report, Kerry underlined the high priority the administration – and himself personally – accords to the issue.

        “Climate change is one of the most urgent and profoundly complex challenges we face,” he wrote. “That’s why, everywhere I travel as Secretary of State – in every meeting, here at home and across the more than 280,000 miles I’ve traveled since I raised my hand and took the oath to serve in this office – I have made this issue a top priority.”

        Without directly mentioning those scientists and others who question the “consensus” on climate change, Kerry reiterated his view that the science is incontrovertible and implied that anyone arguing otherwise lacked “conscience or common sense.”

        “Today, all the scientific evidence is telling us that we cannot afford to delay the reckoning with climate change,” he said. “With each passing day, the case grows more compelling and the costs of inaction grow beyond anything that anyone with conscience or common sense should be willing to contemplate.”

        Kerry pointed to the most report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), released last September, and summed it up as follows: “Bottom line: Climate change is real, it’s happening now, and human beings are the cause.”

        (The report’s actual wording was, “It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.” The language was somewhat stronger than the previous IPCC report, in 2007, which asserted that global warming was “very likely” man-made.)

        “In the face of these risks and these warnings, it is time for all of us to do what the science tells us we must, to do what our faiths require of us, and to do what our fragile planet demands of us: It’s time to take strong action to combat a truly life-and-death challenge,” Kerry stated.

        Much more to come

        FSF programs funded by the U.S. cover a wide range, including helping Peru and Nepal to deal with glacier-related risks, working on making Mozambique’s coastal cities more resilient to “sea level rise and other climate change stresses,” and assisting Pakistan to address its power shortage, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and its reliance on fossil fuel.

        The funding directed to the FSF channel in 2010-2012 is a drop in the bucket compared to what is to come. At that same 2009 conference in Copenhagen the U.S. and other developed nations in a longer-term commitment undertook to set up a $100 billion-a-year Green Climate Fund by 2020. The money is meant to come from public and private sources.

        “The United States is prepared to work with other countries toward a goal of jointly mobilizing $100 billion a year by 2020 to address the climate change needs of developing countries,” then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said at Copenhagen. “We expect this funding will come from a wide variety of sources, public and private, bilateral and multilateral, including alternative sources of finance.”

        Since the GCF was launched in 2011 few nations have begun to direct money to its coffers (as of June 30, 2013 it had received just $7.5 million, from seven European countries plus South Korea, Japan and Australia.)

        But officials want that to change this year, as UNFCCC executive secretary Christiana Figueres made clear while speaking at the opening of the GCF’s new headquarters in South Korea on Dec. 4.

        “Governments now have a crucial tool at their disposal to leverage billions in finance for developing counties to green their economies and increase their resilience to the inevitable effects of climate change,” she said.

        “As soon as the final modalities are clarified in 2014, governments must capitalize the fund. This is essential so that developing countries know that the developed world will deliver on its promise to help the poor and vulnerable gain access to the finance and technology they need.”

        In the report sent to the UNFCCC this week the administration outlined its commitment in mobilizing public and private funding in working towards the GCF goal.

        “Maintaining a strong core of public climate finance is essential, and the United States intends to maintain its commitment to climate change as an important component in the U.S. assistance budget,” it said.

        “Private investment will inevitably play an increasingly important role as developing countries put mitigation and adaptation policies and actions into place. The nation is working to combine its significant, but finite, public resources with targeted, smart policies to mobilize maximum private investment into climate-friendly activities.”

        – See more at: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/patrick-goodenough/americans-spent-745b-3-years-helping-other-countries-deal-climate#sthash.6GzvUXtr.HTbaYRzf.dpuf

  7. old_blu December 31, 2013

    Happy new year to all my Liberal friends on the NM we’ve had a good 2013 and I think we are on the road to a good 2014 as well.

    1. BDC_57 January 1, 2014

      Happy new year it is starting to look like it is getting better.

  8. Sand_Cat January 1, 2014

    Well, at least one thing Beck should know about: the Nazis are coming.

  9. exdemo55 January 2, 2014

    Mark Obama Ndesandjo said he was surprised to hear his half-brother President Barack Obama say they had only recently met for the first time.

    “I was floored by it — I don’t know why he said it,” Ndesandjo said to Laura Ingraham, adding that he had met the president several times over the years and still isn’t sure what his motivation was for making the claim. “I think he was being president and was not being my brother,” Ndesandjo said.

    From their first meeting, which took place in the 1980s in Kenya, where he lived as an American ex-pat, Ndesandjo​ said both he and the president had different views: Ndesandjo was trying to distance himself from his father and his father’s name, while Obama was looking to further embrace his father’s roots.

    When Ingraham pointed out that Obama doesn’t spend very much time with his extended family and seems to prefer the company of celebrities such as Jay-Z and Beyoncé, Ndesandjo said she “had a point.” Ndesandjo, who has a book coming out in February, said ultimately that he isn’t very political and tends to focus on “the art side.”

  10. exdemo55 January 2, 2014

    Obamacare may have promised health insurance for the masses. But on its first day, it’s left more Americans without coverage than before the law was passed.

    More than 4.7 million Americans had their health insurance canceled as a result of any of the thousand-plus-page law’s new rules, The Associated Press reports, but the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) confirmed Tuesday that between federal and state exchanges, just two million Americans have signed up for Obamacare coverage. (RELATED: Obama administration announces net loss of at least 3 million insurance plans)

    The Obama administration has yet to announce the final tally of full enrollments, which are only confirmed once customers have made their first payment, but Cato Institute health policy expert Michael Cannon warns that not all those who signed up will complete their purchases, potentially leaving the White House with an even lower bottom line.

    Even without the full number of enrollments, Obamacare’s current net effect is clearly in favor of cancellations. Millions are already seeing Obamacare’s adverse effects — largely due to more mandates for more services.

    The health-care law requires that all insurance plans cover 10 “essential benefits,” eliminating millions of plans that don’t fit the bill and boosting costs for consumers that have to purchase coverage for services they may not want or need.

    All plans must include maternity coverage, for example — including plans for men and post-menopausal women. Even customers without children must purchase plans that cover pediatric services. Other newly established essential benefits include hospitalization, mental-health services and preventive and wellness services.

    While a grandfather clause allowed plans purchased before Obamacare passed in 2010 to continue, HHS estimated that 40-67 percent of plans would eventually lose their status and cost millions of Americans their insurance plans.

    The Obama administration eventually admitted Obamacare’s role in crushing many Americans’ coverage and has scrambled to belatedly make up for it. President Barack Obama first attempted to reinstate the canceled coverage for just one more year, but many insurers chose not to restart already-canceled plans.

    The latest stopgap, announced just before the deadline to purchase exchange coverage, is to allow those with canceled plans a one-year “hardship exemption” from the individual mandate to have medical coverage, but insurance companies didn’t see this as an adequate solution either.

    “This type of last-minute change will cause tremendous instability in the marketplace and lead to further confusion and disruption for consumers,” Robert Zirkelbach, a spokesman for the trade group America’s Health Insurance Plans, told reporters.

  11. Bozeman January 3, 2014

    Marxism failed, in part, because it deprived natural human aggression of an outlet toward the internal channel of private property.


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