• “I’m going to need your help to find a way out of this definitional problem of rape,” said Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. The full context doesn’t improve that any. I’m not sure I could invent a full context that could improve that any.
• “Yoga pants should be illegal in public anyway.” — Republican state Rep. David Moore of Montana.
• “I’m going to punt on that one,” Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said when asked if he believed in evolution. Presumably Walker does, since as governor he has not tried to defund biology, geology, astronomy or archaeology in the University of Wisconsin system. But he has a Republican primary campaign to run, and he’s aware that GOP primary voters don’t look kindly toward candidates who affirm biology, geology, astronomy or archaeology.
• “The emissions that are being put in the air by that volcano are a thousand years’ worth of emissions that would come from all of the vehicles, all of the manufacturing in Europe.” — Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska
• “The Right to Rise PAC accepted Ethan Czahor’s resignation today,” said officials of the group supporting former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign. This is how Republican candidates declare they’re running nowadays. First you line up speaking engagements in Iowa and New Hampshire, then you form an exploratory committee, then you start firing all the aides who signed their name to racist, sexist and homophobic rants on social media. (Sometimes this happens even before a Republican runs for president, as with Rep. Aaron Schock of Illinois.)
• “The only problem with Guantanamo Bay is that there are too many empty cells.” — Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas
• “If your labor is an unskilled person just entering the workforce is worth say $7 an hour at a job and the minimum wage is $10, you have just been made permanently unemployable,” said California Republican Rep. Tom McClintock. This theory of labor markets is not supported by data, but McClintock wasn’t done. Raising the minimum wage above $7 an hour, he said, would “rip the first rung in the ladder of opportunity for teenagers, for minorities, for people who are trying to get into the job market for their first job.”
Did he mean minors instead of minorities? It doesn’t seem so, since “teenagers and minorities” would seem redundant, but let’s just hope Rep. McClintock was being redundant and not, as it otherwise seems, horribly racist — suggesting that the labor of “minorities” is not “worth” more than $7 an hour.
• “Our great half-breed leader,” is just one of many racist posts — many enthusiastically, if incoherently, repeating this “half-breed” slogan — on the blog of Republican Nebraska Board of Education member Pat McPherson. (Nebraska’s Republican governor, Pete Ricketts, has condemned McPherson.)
• “My whole concern is potential federal overreach,” said Republican Idaho state Rep. Don Cheatham. That’s why he helped to defeat a bill proposed by schoolchildren to make the Idaho giant salamander the state’s official amphibian. He fears the Idaho giant salamander is a Trojan horse.
• “I wish that the movie weren’t necessary, but I think that I can do everything to make sure it’s shown,” said Republican Florida state Sen. Alan Hayes, who has introduced a bill in the state legislature that would require all high school students in the state to watch Dinesh D’Souza’s movie America: Imagine the World Without Her before being allowed to graduate.
Actually, the bill would require every student to watch the film twice. D’Souza, a felon, is currently in community confinement.
• “Somebody gets fired, you never can tell how they’re going to take it,” said Texas Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold, in response to a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a former staffer.
The suit alleges that “the congressman regularly made comments about her appearance or made other remarks that she thought were designed to gauge whether she was interested in a sexual relationship.” The former staffer also says Farenthold’s staff “joked that they had to be on ‘redhead patrol’ to keep him out of trouble.”
• “Stopping a small child from implanting.” That’s Republican state Sen. Kevin Lundberg, of Colorado, attempting to explain how he imagines an IUD works. (Note: That is not how an IUD works. That is not how human reproduction works. At all. And, also, gaaah!)