Friday, December 24, 2010

Another Idaho politico’s groaner


Idaho seems doomed to dispatching politicians to Washington with a weakness for saying and doing the improbable and the embarrassing.

When the late Helen Chenoweth served in Congress, she famously expressed alarms about "black helicopters" flying over Idaho, suggesting a United Nations plot.

She was followed by U.S. Rep. Bill Sali, who left his mark with fears about "multiculturalism" threatening the United States, plus his feeble humor with proposed legislation ("Obesity Reduction and Health Promotion Act") to reduce the force of gravity by 10 percent.

Nothing tops the joke-spawning behavior of now-former U.S. Sen. Larry Craig, who claimed his "wide stance" foot tapping was mistaken for propositioning an undercover police officer in an adjoining men's room stall.

Add now the posturing of U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, a Republican like the others, who tried to derail the New START nuclear arms treaty with Russia because five U.S. Humvees used in military exercises reportedly were stolen by Russian troops.

Taking to the floor of the U.S. Senate, Risch thundered, "They (Russians) cheat. They are serial cheaters. Give us back our stolen military equipment!"

Without comment, colleagues hurriedly ignored Risch's call to stall the nuclear missile treaty, which will reduce Russian and U.S. nuclear missile stockpiles, until Russians returned the Humvees, valued at about $140,000 each. They handily ratified the pact on a 71-26 vote.

What a relief. At least Sen. Risch didn't demand that President Obama launch an attack on Moscow to retrieve the Humvees.




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