Fit to Serve?

by Henry I. Miller

{city-journal.org} ~ Congress continues to rank dead-last in the most recent Gallup poll of public confidence in institutions. It’s no surprise: when representatives and senators aren’t squabbling, posturing, and at one another’s throats, such as during Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings, they’re saying and doing things that strain credulity. It’s no coincidence that insulting the intelligence of members of Congress is such a staple of American folk wisdom. “Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself,” quipped Mark Twain. “When Congress makes a joke it’s a law, and when they make a law, it’s a joke,” said Will Rogers.

Too often, though, the joke is on us. A friend of mine was seated at a banquet table with the family of a then-congressman from Kansas. Family members expressed relief at the congressman’s career in politics because none of them thought that he was smart enough to enter the family business—processing scrap metal. “When I was debating what became the 2008 Farm Bill,” said Colorado congressman John Salazar, “I had a member of the Agriculture Committee actually ask me if chocolate milk really comes from brown cows. I asked if he was joking and he assured me he wasn’t.” That’s in the same category as the concern of Representative Hank Johnson that stationing 8,000 U.S. military personnel on Guam would cause the island to “become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize.”

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas once proclaimed that the U.S. Constitution was 400 years old. And as a member of the House Science Committee, Lee, during a visit to the Mars Pathfinder Operations Center, askeda NASA scientist whether the Pathfinder probe had photographed the flag that astronaut Neil Armstrong left behind in 1969. Armstrong had, of course, left the flag on the moon. In 2010, Lee proclaimed on the House floor that “victory had been achieved” by the United States in the Vietnam War and that “today, we have two Vietnams: side-by-side, north and south, exchanging and working.” Lee was a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee when she made that statement.

I once attended a conference at which Representative Tom Bliley of Virginia— then-chairman of the powerful House Commerce Committee—spoke by teleconference. As he read from a prepared statement, he included the instructions—such as “pause for emphasis”—that had been inserted by his speechwriter. Where one line had been inadvertently duplicated, Bliley read it a second time. Carelessness? Intoxication? Senility? Don’t voters have a right to know?

Former senator Pete Domenici of New Mexico was sufficiently forthright to reveal in 2007 that he had been diagnosed with frontotemporal lobar degeneration—an inexorably progressive, incurable disease characterized by the wasting away of the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. Because of the behavioral changes and dementia that accompany this condition, Domenici announced that he would not seek reelection the following year. I had great sympathy for Domenici, but he should have resigned at the time his illness was diagnosed; his constituents deserved that.

Speaking of brain pathology and dementia, House Minority Leader Nancy Pulosi has been slurring her speech and having difficulty pronouncing words. It was especially evident during a press briefing in June but has been noticeable since at least April of last year. This is not normal. As a voter and taxpayer, but also as a physician, I worry about whether people in such condition are fit to serve.

Perhaps we should ask candidates and incumbents, including the president and vice president, to volunteer for periodic testing of intelligence, mental status, and psychopathology. After all, we often demand to know whether a candidate has recovered from open-heart surgery, cancer, or strokes, and many states require elderly drivers to get relicensed. Testing could answer speculations about mental fitness, one way or the other.

A mental-status exam offers an assessment of cognitive abilities, memory, and thought processes. It includes assessments of alertness, speech, behavior, awareness of environment, mood, affect, rationality of thought processes, appropriateness of thought content presence of delusions, hallucinations, or phobias, memory, ability to perform simple calculations, judgment “If you found a letter on the ground in front of a mailbox, what would you do with it?”, and higher reasoning, such as the ability to interpret proverbs such as “a stitch in time saves nine”. A useful adjunct would be the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, or MMPI, a standardized test of personality traits and psychopathology commonly used by psychologists.

An intelligence test measures various parameters thought to correlate with academic or financial achievement. Every politician need not be a genius, but I’d like the ones who represent me to know that islands don’t capsize with the arrival of a few thousand military personnel.

“Congress consists of one-third, more or less, scoundrels; two-thirds, more or less, idiots; and three-thirds, more or less, poltroons,” H.L. Mencken observed. Testing might help us weed out a few idiots. Getting rid of the scoundrels and poltroons will have to wait.

Views: 45

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Fit to serve what??? She needs to kiss up to Bush and Obama's Wife..enjoy the picture.

LOL Tif

I'm starting to dislike bush....

 Rudy can you explain this, it would clear up some of your need to know why your having editing issues: http://teapartyorg.ning.com/forum/topics/system-error-at-tpcc-syste...

  I was puzzled why most Dems are a half a bubble off plum, then I am even more puzzled why so many Republicans are in their hip pockets.

Hank
yes I did see that error message...so far I've been able to edit.

I would have to guess money is the key to having some of those but not many Republicans in their pockets.

 From our home to California, is a 4000 ??? mile round trip, into enemy territory. And Tif told me you emailed her around 20 different times on the edit issue, so blog on man, glad someone is helping out.

Hank

Not sure if it was 20 times but I did report the ability of not editing.
Like now, Rudy, there is no reply buttons, and I have a new computer, placing this site in Ning Servers in California is BS.

Like I said blog on...
Hank

Tif told me that she was having the same issues as I was and she got a new computer and the issue was solved maybe you need to get ahold of her.
I ahve a new laptop, and now I have the same issues. Tif lives 1 mile down the road from me, we connect through the same server.
Rudy, blog on man,
the issue with internet connections will be resolved.
Like now the typo of the word have, can't fix it...
blog on Rudy I have to go.
Hank
Ok

 I was going to buy you a nice Dell, desktop, it would be refurbished but they are very good systems.

 So I am glad your computer is working, so I will take the 100 shopping...:)

Tif

RSS

LIGHTER SIDE

 

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

Political Cartoons by Tom Stiglich

ALERT ALERT

CRIME!! -> Clinton Nightmare! Chief Financial Officer Of Clinton Foundation Turns Government Informant On Crime Family

Donations to the Clinton Foundation plummeted by 90% over a three-year period since Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election to President Donald Trump.

But that may be the least of the her worries.

John Solomon from The Hill dropped another bombshell that will keep the Clintons up at night.

The former Chief Financial Officer of the Clinton Foundation has turned on the crime family and is now working as a government informant.

This could spell doom for the Clinton Crime Family.

American Thinker reported:

John Solomon of The Hill reveals the story that has been percolating for a long time but kept tightly under wraps – because that is what serious prosecutors do, especially when grand juries are poring over evidence and issuing indictments that remain sealed until the right moment comes. The trigger for the story coming out now probably is a House subcommittee hearing scheduled next week by Mark Meadows, chair of the House Freedom Caucus, while the GOP still can set the agenda of House hearings.

[A] GOP-led congressional subcommittee, led by Rep. Mark Meadows (N.C.), is planning to hold a hearing next week to review the work of John Huber, the special U.S attorney named a year ago to investigate all things Clinton.

It turns out that whistleblowers inside and outside the Clinton Foundation have amassed “6,000 pages of evidence attached to a whistleblower submission filed secretly more than a year ago with the IRS and FBI.” Among that evidence can be found:

Those reviews flagged serious concerns about legal compliance, improper commingling of personal and charity business and “quid pro quo” promises made to donors while Hillary Clinton was secretary of State.

The submission also cites an interview its investigators conducted with Andrew Kessel that quotes the foundation’s longtime chief financial officer as saying he was unable to stop former President Clinton from “commingling” personal business and charitable activities inside the foundation and that he “knows where all the bodies are buried.”

Their own investigation! That’s hard to put down as politically motivated.

Having the chief financial officer of the Clinton Foundation turn informant is a nightmare for the Clintons. The CFO has to process all the cash, and because that person usually is on the hook for any criminal violations, there is ample incentive to turn state’s evidence.

That evidence was assembled by a private firm called MDA Analytics LLC, run by accomplished ex-federal criminal investigators, who alleged the Clinton Foundation engaged in illegal activities and may be liable for millions of dollars in delinquent taxes and penalties.

In addition to the IRS, the firm’s partners have had contact with prosecutors in the main Justice Department in Washington and FBI agents in Little Rock, Ark.

© 2018   Created by Steve - Ning Creator.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service