But my favorite character remains California's own Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale). At the May 15 hearing, he embarked on a lengthy discourse about the Bible, the church, godliness, and Congress' responsibility for the poor.
But it's worth quoting at length. Short version: Congress doesn't owe the poor nothin'. "We should be doing this as individuals, helping the poor, helping these individuals. Or through the church if we can't do it ourselves. And a heck of a lot more accountability comes from individuals or the church doing it than the government, that signs off on helping people at 5 o'clock, because it comes from the heart, not from a badge or a mandate."
He continued: "I think we're all pretty loving people here, that want to help the poor," he said. "But government has not provided those solutions. It's failing. And to think that we can't retract just a little bit of the spending [on food stamps] over something that's grown exponentially in the last three or four years to try to get this reform in place." He called the $20-billion cut a "modest" change.
LaMalfa's take from farm subsidies, by Miller's reckoning: $1.7 million. The number of recipients of food stamps in Butte County, where LaMalfa resides, is 27,457. That's 11% of his neighbors who would go without, thanks to LaMalfa's vote to eliminate benefits. Hope he eats well at dinnertime.
It seems that the Los Angeles Times is paying quite a bit of attention to Cowboy LaMalfa. Why? Because you can always count on LaMalfa to say something stupid. He has no filter. The You Tube recording above certainly gets that harsh point across.
LaMalfa has some Libertarian tendencies as long as it doesn't involve him. When a proposition is on the table that lines his pocket, he suddenly becomes a big spending Liberal.
One other vote was interesting last week. The Amash amendment to the Defense Authorization bill would have eliminated the NSA from spying on phone records of most Americans. The Amendment had the support of the most Liberal of Democrats and the Tea Party Republicans. Of course, the two extremes agree for some very different reasons. The Tea Party Republicans are paranoid that Obama is planning some sort of coup, hence they are trying to limit his power. The Liberal Democrats voted for the Amendment because of 1st Amendment loyalties and as a challenge to the National Security State. There was some suspense where LaMalfa would vote. He surprised me by voting with the Liberals. He voted for the Amendment that went down on a very close vote of 217 to 205.
LaMalfa, when he isn't lining his own pockets, is looking a whole lot more like Rand Paul than Chris Christie at this point. I guess passing a few M and M's to Rand Paul when Rand did his filibuster had an influence on our Cowboy Congressman. At this point, LaMalfa looks to be quite radical. I wonder if he sleeps with a copy of Atlas Shrugged under his pillow?