Congressman Bill Long MO7 (R) sure wishes he had a reset button, and we're not talking about his vote to Kill Medicare (How's that vote workin' for you, Billy?)
Today Billy Long made the Daily Kos: Joplin Congressman Bill Long (R) Made Fun of Tornado Test Warnings, Wanted to Sell HAM Frequencies
I hate to politicize tragedies, but sometimes they shed light on the irresponsibility of those who are responsible for the well-being of our nation.135 comments!
Take Billy Long for example. He is the classic wise-ass cowboy Republican Congressman who once said "Get out the crying towel" to people who don't have health insurance. Ironically, David Catanese, now a reporter for Politico, made a prescient prediction in that article:
...throughout his humorous and off-the-cuff repertoire, Long has a tendency to make some statements that could come back to haunt him.
Well, here comes the haunting...
Last year, Billy Long tweeted another one of his wise-ass comments, making fun of Joplin's preparedness drills for tornadoes:
In fact, he even irked "Bungalow Bill" a conservative blogger from the area who proudly touts that he has been featured by the likes of Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh.
Actually I have to agree with Bungalow Bill on both his major points here:
"War of the Worlds Part Duex, a F4 tornado, which some claim was a multi-vortex tornado, has taken out a large section of homes and businesses in Long’s own home district. How many lives were saved all because the state of Missouri has a day to remind people of procedures that may save their lives. This was no time for inspiration from Bozo (Billy Long).
"Last night’s storm also reminds of the importance of first responders on HAM radios, mobilizing injury prevention and first response before and after the storm. Long’s co-sponsorship of HR607, the federal emergency broadband bill, weakens this first responder network by removing valuable HAM frequencies that were used yesterday to spot tornadoes, get people to take shelter, and mobilize emergency efforts, but Long’s bill he co-sponsored would make it harder for these HAM radio operators to perform this valuable service."
Bungalow Bill's full article is here. It's pretty good...and damning to Billy Long.
Oh snap, did he just say Billy Long co-sponsored a bill to sell off the frequencies used by HAM radio operators to help protect the public? Yes he did. Later in the article, he apparently tried to pawn it off on Peter King, who "asked him to co-sponsor the bill". So...does that mean Mr. Long didn't even care enough to know what the bill was about, let alone the details of it? Not surprising.
So, Billy Long makes fun of Tornado Warnings, then sponsors a bill to cut the HAM radio networks which help provide the National Weather Service and local authorities spotter reports on what is going on. I have to wonder if he will ever be held accountable for this irresponsibility... seems like he's already pissed off some of his base.
This all just goes to show that yet again, these wise-ass Republicans can be counted on for either dishonesty, incompetence, or both.
p.s. Hey Billy, it's Deux...not Duex buddy. But I'm sure you pronounce either "duh".
Update... Wow, I get back home after grabbing lunch and I find out I've made my first trip to the rec list! Thank you everyone, I'm honored and humbled...especially knowing the crowd of great writers here on dKos.
Update 2 (3:21pm PDT)...just saw a live interview between him and Wolf Blitzer. He seems to have lost a little of his swagger and is now eager to accept any "big government" help available to his district. It's great to see how Republicans are against "big government" until they need it.h
Update 3 (5:34pm PDT)...Looks like there are quite a few HAMs on dKos, who knew? I am not licensed myself (yet), but I have a few good HAM friends. If you're interested, check out www.arrl.org for info on amateur radio and how to get licensed as a HAM operator
I have referenced that David Catanese report on Billy Long before. It was at Fassnight Park, at a rally. Long was wise-cracking there:
In a similar vein, KY3's David Catanese reports that Billy "Long has a tendency to make some statements that could come back to haunt him. He mocked the plight of the uninsured ("Get out the crying towel") and claimed that 26 million people under 35 probably don't want health insurance anyway. Claiming that President Obama's healthcare plan might have taken his mother's life back in March of 2008 is also quite a strong charge. It's all done in the loving-aw-shucks Long way.." but these statements need to be fact checked also.