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Ron Johnson & The Clown Show that Was the Senate Iran Hearing

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
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on Friday, 24 July 2015 in Wisconsin

ron-johnson-speaksWisconsin's senior Senator Ron Johnson lectures a top-of-his-field nuclear physicist on the nonsense science fiction EMP "threat" at the Foreign Relations Committee. His antics should be of interest to those of us who are really tired of the backwater image he continues to paint on our state.


WASHINGTON - According to a blog by Max Fisher in VOX, our Senator Ron Johnson really distinguished himself with his "scientific" knowledge at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this week.

Top administration officials were at Congress Thursday for a hearing before the Committee on the Iran nuclear deal, a subject that has always brought out the crazy in American politicians. No one expected this hearing to be anything other than a circus. The deal is politically contentious, and Republicans are trying to out-hawk one another for the coming presidential primaries.

At one point, a tweet from New York Times economics policy reporter Jonathan Weisman captured the scene nicely, "Now Sen. Ron Johnson is lecturing MIT physicist Ernest Moniz on electro-magnetic pulse weapons".

As we all know here in Wisconsin, Johnson is our current senior senator and a Republican. Ernest Moniz is the secretary of energy and one of the lead US negotiators on the Iran deal. Electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapons are a nonsense science fiction "threat" and a longtime point of obsession among certain conservatives, such as Newt Gingrich and Ron Johnson.

According to Fisher, "Johnson's line of questioning, to a top-of-his-field nuclear physicist, is a little like asking Neil Armstrong if he thinks the moon landing might have been faked".

Moniz, as is the obligation of administration officials at congressional hearings, did his best to entertain the senator's message. According to a tweet by Laura Rozen, a Washington reporter, "Energy Secretary Moniz told Sen. Johnson he was not familiar with the EMP commission's findings. Johnson said he'd forward him some stuff".

According to Fisher, there were other clown show moments. GOP Sen. Jim Risch said anyone who supports the nuclear deal "really joins the ranks of the most naive people on the face of the earth." Risch added that Moniz and Secretary of State John Kerry had been "bamboozled" by Iran, but did not clarify whether they had also been run amok, led astray, or hoodwinked.

But Ron Johnson's antics should be of greatest interest to those of us in Wisconsin who are really tired of the backwater image he continues to paint on our state for the rest of the nation.

Fisher concludes "Sometimes congressional hearings can be productive. But almost always they will include a not-insignificant amount of circus time, particularly if it's on a politically loaded issue or if it's getting lots of TV coverage. This hearing is so far no exception."

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Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive. Before moving to Green Bay in 2008, he was the Assistant Director of Human Resources for Milwaukee County. A graduate of UWM in 1971, he moved to Madison, where he was Executive Personnel Officer and Technology Manager for the State Department of Employment Relations. He is a former Vice Chair of the Democratic Party of Brown County, Director at the Human Resources Management Association of S.E. Wisconsin (now SHRM), and Technology Commission Chair for the City of Franklin. Bob is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force (1965-1971).

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