Monday, August 28, 2006

Jim Inhofe’s Back to School Lesson: Don’t Listen to Jim Inhofe

(From the Senate Majority Project)

As students were returning to school today around the country, Sen. James Inhofe did a little teaching of his own. On Friday, Inhofe conducted class during a breakfast meeting with Enid, OK community leaders. We should all be glad we weren’t in that classroom…

As usual, Sen. Exxon began his tirade by railing on all things pro-environment. According to the Enid News, he said that signing the Kyoto Protocol “would shut down agriculture, military, and oil production in Oklahoma.” The Protocol is an international agreement that sets mandatory targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Actually, catastrophic global warming is expected to have extremely adverse effects on the United States agriculture industry. According to a report done by the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, agriculture regions, particularly those in the south, will face significantly lower grain yields and livestock production. The report notes that if the proper precautions are taken, the industry may be able to overcome the effects. This would obviously require an acknowledgement of the existence of global warming, which it seems Inhofe is miraculously unable to do.

Inhofe also somehow came to the conclusion that the US should withdraw from the United Nations. “I’ve been a critic of the United Nations since 1998. I have a resolution that says we will withhold our dues. We will withdraw from the United Nations.” Wow, Senator, way to fight the good fight. So much for the global war on terror, not to mention the crisis in the Middle East or the millions of Americans without healthcare. No, the UN is definitely the nation’s biggest problem.

Never mind that this “lesson” came from a man who doesn’t exactly have the best educational record. Inhofe actually lied about when he graduated from college, by about 14 years. Senator Senile confirmed in 1994 that he received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Tulsa a full 14 years after he had originally claimed, in 1973, when he had already been elected to public office. Inhofe’s defense? He didn’t know anything about it until it was uncovered by the media. (Daily Oklahoman, 11/17/94)

Inhofe’s stop in Enid was part of a 30-county swing through his state. It’ll be interesting to see if he actually touches on the needs of his constituents, like the 20% of Oklahoma residents that are uninsured, or the environmental crisis that the state is facing, or if Inhofe will keep hammering on the issues most important to his corporate donors. After all, who has Inhofe ever really worked for? Oklahoma or oil?

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