Andy Stone: A Stone’s Throw |

Andy Stone: A Stone’s Throw

Andy Stone
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO Colorado

Just for fun – we all like a little fun, don’t we? – let’s start today with a quote from a highly respected conservative figure: Stephen Moore, editorial board member and senior economics writer at The Wall Street Journal. Serious enough? I would hope so.

Interviewed at last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference (better known as CPAC), Mr. Moore declared that, “Next to Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck is the most important conservative.”

OK. Got that? Wall Street Journal. Editorial board member. Senior economics writer. Glenn Beck, second-most-important conservative.

Next up, a quote or two from Mr. Beck himself. On his TV show, lecturing in his best faux professor (not Fox professor) pose – with blackboards, maps and charts galore – that second-most-important conservative declared, “Muslim extremists have gotten together with the hard left, the socialists and communists.”

Mr. Beck noted all this on his way to explaining how the Muslim uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia were about to spread to the entire Middle East and then head north into Europe, taking over Spain, France, England, Germany and all the rest. Soon, that whole region would be transformed into a new theocratic Muslim “Caliphate,” ruled by religious Sharia Law. (With the help, one must assume, of the God-less communist atheists.)

Meanwhile, just by the way, according to Mr. Beck, China would be taking over India and Afghanistan and most of Pakistan. And, somehow, Russia comes into it too, sweeping west – though Mr. Beck seems a little cloudy on the exact details of that part.

And all of this – and I have been quoting directly from video clips of the Glenn Beck Show – is the world-view of the second-most-important conservative.


You’ve all heard of the “insanity defense” – the last-ditch effort of too many murderers. Well, this is the “insanity offense.”

It’s insanity on the move, insanity marching down the field.

The insanity of trying to cram 10 pounds of stuff into a 5-pound Beck. And when the explosion comes, those with their noses pressed to the TV screen are going to wind up covered in it.

It’s the same brand of Crazy Like a Fox insanity that also shows up in this item: A majority of Republicans likely to vote in next year’s presidential primaries believe that Barack Obama was not born in the United States.

If that fact doesn’t amaze you – if you’re not staggered by the fact that a majority of the members of what is supposed to be a major, adult political party in this great nation of ours do not believe the well-proven fact that our president was born in this country – it’s only because you’ve heard it so often you’re inured to the burning stupidity it reveals.

Stop and think about that for a moment. And, while you’re at it, take a moment to remember that these are people who mostly believe that Adam and Eve rode dinosaurs in the Garden of Eden. (Yes, they do. And, yes, their vote counts every bit as much as yours.)

So, OK, Mr. Beck is ridiculous (but dangerous) and the so-called Birthers are loony (and not necessarily harmless).

But now consider this: The official proposed list of budget cuts from the Republicans in the House of Representatives includes slicing $647 million from the National Nuclear Security Administration’s funding for nuclear nonproliferation programs.

This is a program specifically set up to keep terrorists from getting their hands on nuclear weapons (or any other random weapons of mass destruction) that might be lying around loose.

Hey, I will cheerfully admit that the deficit is a serious problem. But – perhaps unlike some Republicans – I also think that losing a major U.S. city would be a serious problem.

And, in case you don’t remember (although I know you do), we went to war under a Republican administration because we (supposedly) believed that a certain dictator might have or someday develop weapons of mass destruction. And that war, needless to say, has cost a lot more than $647 million.

By the way, while they’re at it, those Republicans also want to cut a billion dollars or so from the budget of the Federal Emergency Management Agency – so if there is a nuclear attack (or, you know, something unimaginable, like a hurricane) we’ll be completely unprepared to deal with it.

Folks, we’re not talking about cutting funds for the National Bee-keeping Museum. This is serious stuff.

And, if you figure a nuclear attack is unthinkable – and you’re welcome to think that, if you so desire – please remember that it will most certainly get cold next winter. And the House Republicans also want to cut a slick $590 million from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. That’s the one that helps poor people pay their heating bills.

And they want to cut $2 billion from Head Start because why do low-income kids need any help with their education? Besides, without that Energy Assistance Program, they’ll be too busy freezing to do any real studying anyway.

And here’s the point: All that insanity, all the craziness about Muslims and Marxists establishing a Caliphate that rules Europe, while China takes over India – and the United States is governed by a Manchurian Candidate born in Kenya. All of that is a distraction.

Like a cheap magician’s hocus-pocus and his foxy assistant’s short skirt, it keeps us from paying any attention to what’s really going on, as this great nation of ours turns its back on its poor and weak and sick – and on its roads and bridges and even on its own nuclear security and emergency preparedness.

It’s the insanity offense, on the march.

Marching insanity going in for the score – touchdown! – as we demand lower taxes.

And refuse to consider any serious cutting for Medicare or the Department of Defense.

Because why, after all, should we pay our bills?

Paying for what we want would be, you know … insane.

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