Things are always a little slower in the summer months, unless you're a GOP member of the House of Representatives, in which case you spend your time spouting nonsense and voting to destroy anything that benefits the poor or middle class, but slightly reduces the size of corporate profits. For details supporting my assertions, see below.
First, the nonsense. Not surprisingly, Allen West and Michelle Bachmann have been leading the charge.
What Would Lincoln Do: West asserted that Social Security Disability benefits were like slavery. No, really. Yes, it sounds like an SNL spoof of the Tea Party. But West apparently believes that such benefits create a 'culture od dependency' that is just like slavery. I suppose if West were President, he would issue a Proclamation "liberating" all the disabled Americans who receive this money from the burden of those checks, so they could experience the Randian joy of 100% self-sufficiency in an economy eager to offer well-paying jobs with good benefits to the long-term disabled. Wait, you say the American economy DOESN'T do that? Well, that'ds probably because (also accroding to West) there are so many Communists in Congress - but that's another story.
As pointed out in the link, there are hundreds of thousands of West's fellow veterans who receive just such benefits. I wonder what they think of West's assertion that they are just like slaves for taking this money, after the lifelong disabilities they received while serving their country.
Crescent Loon: Michelle Bachmann did her one-woman best to re-invigorate anti-muslim hysteria by claiming - wait for it - that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's aide, Huma Abedin, was some kind of Muslim Brotherhood sleeper agent, and then repeatedly defended her assertions. And how did Michelle know this? Apparently by playing Six Degrees of Separation, in which Abedin's father founded an organization that was supported by a man who was part of another organization that was associated with the Muslim Bortherhood in Europe in the 1970s to the 90s. Got that?
While some GOPers (such as John McCain) denounced this witch-hunt nuttiness, others - like Rep. Mike Rogers, chair of the House Intelligence Committee - labeled it 'very important.' No word yet on how many Degrees of Separation there are between Kevin Bacon and the Muslim Brotherhood...
Solar Derangement Syndrome (SODS): The GOP is so relentlessly hostile to alternative (non-carbon-based) energy, it's probably time to create a new diagnosis for this particular affliction. And the Solyndra non-scandal is the essence of this new kind of craziness. Now it's Rep. Stearns who appears to have learned all the wrong lessons from the Solyndra episode. With his "No more Solyndras" act, he seeks to basically wreck a successful program. After failing to simpy end the program - which in fact was a success, unlocking billions in provate capital to support dozens of projects with tens of thousands of jobs, all costing LESS in failed loans then was projected - Stearns is trying to use arbitrary deadlines and more bureaucracy to throw up roadblocks for any mor eloans. And you thought Republicans didn't like extra layers of bureaucracy!
Let Them Eat Cake - on second thought, just don't let them eat: The GOP hatred of the poor (and the almost poor, whom they apparently want to force into the ranks of the poor) is a sometimes-surprising but always-ugly thing to behold. Now it's billions cut from food stamps, a program that directly prevents hunger and even malnutrition in millions of kids. But hey, the money to pump up those defense budgets and cut taxes further for the 'job creators' has to come from somewhere.
Next, the destruction. Not surprisingly, much of it comes back to GOP determination to destroy the world as we know it by undermining alternative energy at every turn while increasing the use of fossil fuels. Because if one thing is abundantly clear, it is that the GOP will literally do anything to increase the profits of fossil fuel companies - at a time when Big Oil is already making the largest profits of any companies in the history of the world, and Big Coal is trying (really) to kill more of its workers through neglect of health and safety standards.
GOP for Black Lung: Perhaps the single worst recent act in this category was the GOP's effort to literally block ALL funding for enhanced black lung prevention regulations for miners. With Black Lung deaths increasing in recent years, and years of ineffective enforcement of existing safety standards (as always, due to GOP efforts to minimize funding for inspection and enforcement), new standards were created - and the GOP immediately proclaimed that it would cost too much (e.g., slightly decrease corporate profits). Such an action would literally guarantee thousands of deaths over years to come - but then, it has been quite clear for decades how little value the Republican party places on the lives of average workers.
Windbags: There is one thing the GOP hates more than coal miners, though: wind power. Lately the House GOP has been refusing to extend the production tax credit for wind power, in turn jeopardizing thousands of jobs as investors put plans for more wind farms on hold due to the uncertainty. Further, this is happening as a number of U.S. states are seeing large and increasing economic benefit from wind power (as in this report on Illinois). This seems an odd thing to do, given the House GOP's supposed focus on 'jobs, jobs, jobs." Who knew they meant destroying them?
Fossil(ized) energy policy: Meanwhile, the GOP refuses to touch special subsidies and tax breaks for Big Oil, as it pursues an oil first, oil second, oil third energy policy. But perhaps this mania for special treatment for fossil fuel is simply due to the GOP's apparent desire to make the air we breathe dirtier.
In our next installment: The strange GOP obsession with Lady Parts and their Magical Secretions!