Will 8,000 Sailors Sink Guam?

It is very rare occasion that I am rendered utterly and absolutely speechless—and in this case I mean it quite literally—but this clip of Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), picked up on by Washington Examiner editorial writer Mark Hemingway, might contain the dumbest statement ever uttered on the floor of Congress. And believe me, I understand that this is a bold claim, considering the long and distinguished history of Congressional sophistry. The context: Johnson is questioning Navy Admiral Robert Willard about plans to move 8,000 military personal to Guam.

I've watched this multiple times, hoping that I would catch a sly grin or a mischievous arch of the eyebrow. But as far as I can tell, Johnson, who recently compared Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) to a Klansman, is serious. Now, after writing this post I was informed that Johnson is in poor health—he is infected with Hepatitis C. As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported in December, "His speech is slower than ever, and he regularly gets lost in thought in the middle of a discussion. He is easily fatigued and often impatient and irritable." So full sympathy to Johnson, but if his condition is having such a negative effect on his thinking, perhaps he shouldn't be working on things like the health care bill.

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  • ||

    His speech is slower than ever, and he regularly gets lost in thought in the middle of a discussion. He is easily fatigued and often impatient and irritable.

    So he is the black Robert Byrd of the House?

  • ||

    This is still far from the dumbest thing ever said on the floor of the congress. It's not as dumb as Barney Frank's typical denial of the housing bubble, for instance.

    -jcr

  • ||

    "Imagine that you're an idiot. Now imagine that you're a member of Congress . . ." You know the rest.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    When Sheila Jackson Lee asked NASA if the Mars Pathfinder had found the flag our astronauts had put there... now THAT has to at least tie the Guam tip-over thingy.

  • What happens in vegas, stays..||

    Duh. The flag was in the same place. Don't you know that they faked the moon landing and Mars mission;-)

  • Jeffersonian||

    So has his staff explained away his Klansman remark with the HepC excuse?

  • wayne||

    The poor guy should probably retire from Congress, unless he plans to fill the Robert Byrd mausoleum, err seat.

  • ||

    no no . . . mausoleum is correct. And the sooner he fills one the better.

  • Doo Dah||

    Guam to run all night!
    Guam to run all day!

  • Camptown Ladies||

    Sinking Gaum,
    All the doo dah day.

  • ||

    "We don't anticipate that . . ."
    Well, thank God for Intelligence reports, then . . .

  • ||

    Poor Adm. Willard. You can see him trying to hold back the laughter. "We don't anticipate that happening". Poor had to try and give a serious answer to such a loony tunes questions.

    Also, the whole 1st minute was rather painful. Yes Congressman, the island is not very wide.

    I also love the he made the tipping motion with his hands...you know in case the Adm. didn't get what the fuck the Congressman was talking about.

  • wingnutx||

    Now you know what a Roman general looked like when he had to humor Caligula.

    I wonder if the congressman has a great friend in Rome named Biggus Dickus.

  • Jennifer||

    I can't watch videos at work ... what, did the guy actually suggest 8,000 extra people might make the island sink?

  • ||

    I believe his exact words were :

    "My fear is that the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize"

    and he makes a tipping over motion with his hands as he says it.

    It really is hard to believe

  • ||

    Holy fucking shit...no way.

    (I also can't WTFV at work.)

  • Michael||

    And a grand What The Fuck Video it is. You're really missing out.

    Amazing.

  • Ryback's Cook||

    Tip over and sink, to be precise.

  • Suki||

    He actually is a great replacement for Cynthia McKinney. I never knew how much until I saw the video this morning.

  • ||

  • BeesInTheBrain||

    April Fools???????????????

  • Evan!||

    That's what I assumed when I saw this earlier today. I still gotta believe that.

  • Some Guy||

    Racist.

  • Sergeant Major Dickerson||

    Guam?! Sir, there's nothing going on in Guam!

  • ||

    Is that guy stoned, or getting senile?

    -jcr

  • ||

    WTF??? He's right up there with Roman Hruska for the stupidest remark ever made in Congress.

  • dennis||

    I used to work with his nephew.

  • All aboard on the SS Guam.||

    It has to be an April Fools prank or Johnson was confused by the Admiral's uniform.

  • ||

    If only the tsunami created by the tipping could flip over McKinney's Palestinian supply ship. But gerrymandering is a good thing, right?

  • Suki||

    Gerrymandering is only good if it elects a Democrat.

  • hmm||

    That's Racist!

    Great we have infirm stupid people running the government. I'm my most out of mind fucked up delusional drug induced (legal drugs) infirm state, of all the stupid shit I've been told I said, this pales in comparison.

  • ¢||

    Idiocy isn't a symptom of hepatitis. No matter how bad it gets, it doesn't have any cognitive effects. It makes you slow, physically, not like a super-baked baby.

    He got the brain AIDS.

  • Anomalous||

    Treatment for Hep C (interferon-alfa) can cause mental problems, though. Usually depression.

  • hmm||

    if it is a fools joke that is awesome, if it isn't that is awesome.

    win/win

  • Craig||

    Can't wait for Jon Stewart and his 20 white writers to make fun of this guy!

  • Tomcat1066||

    I still wish the Admiral had answered "No sir, that can't happen. We have specially trained dolphins holding the island up. They are equipped with mapping software so they know where they need to be in order to maintain an even keel on the island."

    To which Johnson would have said "OK".

    I would have laughed my ass off.

  • Almanian||

    The thing on Bee's back BAD. Fah stop Bee!

  • Suki||

    That was great earlier today! Made me giggle.

  • Frank Lapidus from LOST||

    We're not goin' to Guam, are we?

  • ||

    I'm so sad that this is the second dumbest comment on this page...

  • Hurley||

    Dude

  • ||

    What you haven't heard, the ATF is invading it next month.

    The head of the ATF mumbled something about WMD's, Hutterite militias, and straw sales at gun shows...

  • LarryA||

    BATFE interest in Guam isn't as unlikely as you might think. There are quite a few shooting ranges on the island, and they generally have rather exotic collections of firearms.

    They cater to the 8,000 Japanese tourists that arrive every week or so.

  • Colin||

    Keep in mind whom he replaced -- Cynthia Mckinney.

    Perhaps the problem isn't with the representatives, but with constituents.

  • ||

    When you create a district by adding together a dependency constituency with the social justice types around Emory, you are going to get some whackjobs to represent you.

  • Tomcat1066||

    That's actually a significant part of the problem. They raise 'em dumb in Dekalb County.

  • ||

    We have a fully representative Congress.

    Unfortunately.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    +LOL

  • ||

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/blo.....54531.html

    Any reason editors care to comment on this allegation?

  • Thread Jack #2||

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Double linkfail.

  • Rich||

    Congress has reached the tipping point.

  • PIRS||

    "Now, after writing this post I was informed that Johnson is in poor health—he is infected with Hepatitis C. "

    OK, I am not a medical doctor. Nor do I play one on TV. But so far as I know Hepititis C does not impact mental capacity. Am I wrong? If you are a microbiologist or medical doctor I am willing to stand corrected. Am I wrong? Any doctors or microbiologists in the house?

  • wingnutx||

    Apparently he has a liver where his brain should be.

  • skr||

    again its the treatment not the disease

  • PIRS||

    OK, So does interferon-alfa simply lead to depression or other disorders? Are there treatments that are safer than interferon-alfa?

  • ||

    Treatments with measured efficacy? Not really. I haven't seen any herbal remedy studies that confirm effective treatment and elevating serum ALT levels and rendering the Hep C RNA levels discernably lower.

    It should also be noted that peginterferon/ribivarin co-commintant therapy is inappropriate for patients with advanced Hep C. Especially those with advanced cirrhosis and other present neuropathologies, such as severe depression.

    Neuropathologies like depression are a possible side effect of peg/Rib therapy, but in my opinion, and keep in mind I haven't examined Mr. Johnson or know his personal health HX, his manifested signs of dementia as per the video would lead me to suspect he is exhibiting a neuropathology independent of such a treatment. Since HCV3 is an suto-immune disorder, systemic and progressive, one would have to condsider a secondary, progressive infection.

  • Chris||

    Can we nullify the healthcare vote now that we see that someone that voted on it was not in his right mind? Seriously, is that possible?

  • Syd Henderson||

    No, because some of the people on the other side aren't either.

  • Syd Henderson||

    No, because some of the people on the other side aren't either.

  • Mo||

    If that was a requirement, than pretty much the entire US Code would have to be overturned.

    Actually, that's not too shabby an outcome.

  • ||

    It has to be an April Fools prank

    Maybe he thought he was addressing Captain Peter "Wrong Way" Peachfuzz.

  • PIRS||

    One way of dealing with gerrymandering is to elect all members of Congress from a state in an at-large manner. There is nothing in the Constitution to prevent this.

  • ||

    Travel may detract from at large seats. But slicing districts vertically should usually put some divergent interests into each district.

  • PIRS||

    That would be a good option as well. A law that requires all disctrits to be "sliced vertically" or in the case of states like Florida and California you could say "Sliced horizontally".

  • ||

    That's could work, because a horizontal slice of those states would incorporate agricultural interests with city interests pretty good.

  • ||

    That post definitely looks like it came from the agricultural side of the spectrum.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Still a good post.

  • PIRS||

    Thanks :)

    For the record I have never lived on a farm or owned one. I do not have any stock in agribusiness companies. I did have a small garden once though back when I lived in the suburbs around Columbus, Ohio.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Oh, yeah? I'm from Reynoldsburg, if you didn't know.

  • PIRS||

    So am I. I lived a stone's throw from Licking County. I lived in a neighborhood off of Wagoner Road near broad street. I am told there is now a Meijers near where I used to live though it was not there at the time.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    I'm not sure if that Meijer's is even still there. I know they were building a Target and some other stuff out there. I know the general area you're talking about, but I seldom go that far east on Broad. I live near Main Street really close to City Hall and all that.

  • ||

    We are so fucking doomed.

  • Mister_R||

    This is another fool in Congress. Corrine Brown of Florida is a marginally literate fool.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgbBP9Em00A

  • ||

    Wow! I'm not sure who's worse. These two idiots were part of the 219 who voted for the healthcare bill. Can you believe we are now all subject to this horrible bill because of these two sub-75-IQ representatives? What other monstrosities will they vote for?

  • EBC||

    More trivial than stupid, but the video is annoying, criticizing her for her accent and not the silliness of her statement.

  • Robert||

    It's not even close. She just has a strong accent and her statement near the end is just a matter of homer hype, i.e. that they've had what satisfies her as a playoff.

  • Whoa||

    Wow.....this guy may actually be right about Guam.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guam

  • ||

    Wonder how long that fact will stay in Wikipedia.

  • ||

    It's been edited out. Wikipedia lists the page as "semi-protected due to excessive vandalism."

    Don't know how relevant Johnson's comments are to the article on Guam, but the "capsize" comment is still in the Wikipedia article on Hank Johnson.

  • Hacha Cha||

    I know a lot of people with hep c and none of them have had their mental faculties impaired, at least that I've noticed. I don't think he can blame it on hep c, thats just plain old ignorant stupidity.

  • Suki||

    They didn't blame it on hep C, they blamed it on the medication for it. Evil drug companies making a profit off the poor Black man soon to follow.

  • Hacha Cha||

    even so, I don't recall noticing friends on interferon/pegasys losing their intelligence. they might have felt like total shit but they didn't turn into a drooling retard.

  • Suki||

    "You are a heartless capitalist" they shall say of you.

  • Spartacus||

    Having gone through the treatment, I can safely say that it doesn't cause retardation. Even in my worst anemia-induced fatigue and depression, I would never have considered saying anything as dumb as this.

  • Dwight Schrute||

    Dunder Mifflin is in need of a dynamic, blackish, somewhat impaired management type to seize and overwhelm our regional colony. Text me.

  • ||

    These are our overseers folks. This guy is among those who are the first to be saved to ensure "continuity of government". Thank good God almighty for that!

  • Mayor Adam West||

    I really don't see what's so funny about what he asked. We'll see who's laughing when that island capsizes and 8,000 of our sailors drown. You all sicken me.

  • ||

    Yeah, like that's going to happen. I read somewhere that the Navy has specially trained commando dolphins with mapping software, nuclear engines and, and, freaking laser beams on their heads that will keep the island from capsizing.
    If they all swim counter-clockwise they can reverse time and make Guam go back to yesterday.

  • LarryA||

    If they all swim counter-clockwise they can reverse time and make Guam go back to yesterday.

    Guam's on the other side of the International Date Line. It's already tomorrow.

  • Suki||

    Hah! Some super brilliant mammals dolphins are. They swam the wrong way!

  • hmm||

    He was one of the leading people for the "You lie guy" resolution saying it was racist.

    His stupidity is asymptotic on the positive side.

  • ||

    I edited the Wikipedia entry for Guam by adding the following (this may have been revised by the time you read this):

    "Guam, according to Congressman Hank Johnson (D-GA) on 4-1-2010, may be in danger of tipping over and sinking from the extensive presence of military personnel on the island, though the military command responsible for this island discounts that possibility."

  • Sudden||

    what section?

  • ||

    It was gone shortly after posting. I'm guessing the Congressman's staff is monitoring entries ...

  • ||

    Why did they revise it I wonder? It was a true entry.

  • SIV||

    That's MY Congressman. He replaced Cynthia McKinney.

  • ||

    So it's your fault then?

  • ||

    From the current Wikipedia entry for Hank Johnson:

    Guam "capsizing" comments

    During a House Armed Services Committee hearing in March 2010, Johnson asked several questions of Admiral Robert F. Willard of the United States Pacific Command concerning the U.S. military installation on the island of Guam. The questions eventually led to Johnson telling Admiral Willard "My fear is that the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize."[20][21] This line of questioning prompted Atlanta political pundit, Jim Galloway, to say, "Unfortunately, we can’t say [this] is an April Fool’s Day prank."

    In response to criticism of his remark, Johnson clarified, “I wasn’t suggesting that the island of Guam would literally tip over. I was using a metaphor to say that with the addition of 8,000 Marines and their dependents – an additional 80,000 people during peak construction to the port on the tiny island with a population of 180,000 – could be a tipping point which would adversely affect the island’s fragile ecosystem and over burden its already overstressed infrastructure.

    “Having traveled to Guam last year, I saw firsthand how this beautiful – but vulnerable - island is already overburdened, and I was simply voicing my concerns that the addition of that many people could tip the delicate balance and do harm to Guam.

    Wonder if he read that out loud from a prepared statement, or winged it?

  • PIRS||

    These concerns are the reason that skyscrapers were invented. Or perhaps he has never heard of skyscrapers.

  • Suki||

    He issued another statement of his concern that skyscrapers could damage the fragile sky and the vacuum of space would engulf the earth.

  • Tomcat1066||

    Then he probably shouldn't have done the whole hand gesture thing.

    He could have phrased it so much better if that's what he meant, but he didn't. After all he included "capsize" in his assessment of the potential hazard. Tipping the balance of a fragile ecosystem doesn't "capsize" shit.

  • MJ||

    A staffer probably fed him the "tipping point" metaphor and he most likely misunderstood and ran with it...off a cliff.

  • Entitled Slacker||

    Comedy gold. He probably has holes in his head from learning how to eat with a fork.

  • Guam||

    Ahh, ya doesn't has to call me, Johnson!

  • FreeView Documentaries||

    Great SITE for Documentaries check it out

  • ed||

    There are no birds on Guam. Snakes ate 'em all. The end.

  • Spartacus||

    Adm Willard should have just said that they will pile 10 million coconuts on the other side of the island to level it out, which will also create or save 50,000 jobs in the coconut-growing industry.

  • ||

    Absent the ability to elect representatives who support a libertarian agenda, maybe a good interim strategy is to try to unseat idiots like Johnson.

    I can see a "Voice of Reason" (the philosophy, not the foundation) campaign that simply hammers Johnson's statement over and over. Now possible after Citizens United.

    Sure, that would get tarred as racist, but then doesn't everything?

  • ||

    He's wryly smiling when he makes the hand gesture, but it's hard to see, because his right hand is in front of his face. But look at his right cheek.

    I dislike being in the position of congressional apologist.

    But I'm pretty certain the guy is speaking humorously and metaphorically. When I'm not at my best, my attempts at clever humor often turn out a bit like this.

  • ||

    Sorry, Larry, I don't buy it. Even if he was making a joke, he did so at an inappropriate time and place. He knew that the admiral had to respond as if the question were serious, so the net effect is a member of congress punking a military officer -- really bad form. Johnson also knew that this would be recorded and analyzed.

  • Drake||

    Always took it for granted that the US govt was populated by people like this, hence Vietnam, Korea, Afghanistan, and Iraq to name just a few.

  • Steve-Co||

    Poor man should retire; he's clearly suffering cognitive impairment, even judging by his comments leading up to that comedically science-ignorant part, would make you think that. Kudos to the Adm for his poker face. -- and I'm a Democrat by the way.

  • ||

    All you people think this is funny. Imagine if the 8,000 marines and their families are placed on the starboard side of Guam at the same time...It might not necessarily tip over (like the Congressman's hands described), but it could "lean" a bit and small children and snimals could slide into the water.

  • ||

    This is an elected official?? His statements and questions are absolutely
    and truly absurd. Volcano, major underwater quake, tsunami perhaps. Marines and sailors, certainly not. Was he even sober when this was made?

  • selena gamboa||

    is guam actually gonna sink im from guam and this story does seem rite..

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