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Boehner Says the Kids Aren’t All Right

Posted on Apr 2, 2011
AP / J. David Ake

House Speaker John Boehner has aimed his venom at unions, health care reform, people in foreclosure, gay marriage and the usual Republican litany of concerns. Add to that his view that American kids are “too fat, too lazy, too addicted to TV, fast food, cheap credit and Facebook” to amount to anything. —JCL

Congressman John Boehner revealed his thoughts on the US unprecedented economic crisis in an interview with Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone.

Taibbi was granted access to Boehner while preparing to cover the 2 year anniversary of the angry town halls. Boehner stuck to Republican party talking points until Taibbi during a coffee break asked Boehner about today’s young people.

Boehner, apparently unaware he was still on record unleashed a speech straight out of Atlas Shrugged. What follow are the [excerpts] distributed by Rolling Stone

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zonth_zonth's avatar

By zonth_zonth, April 5, 2011 at 4:58 pm Link to this comment


well its too easy to discredit what he sais by character disparagments.  I certainly agree with you that Orange-Face is a despicable rascal.  A rascal can make some observations about simple cultural about addiction to Facebook, TV, and fastfood.

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, April 5, 2011 at 4:37 am Link to this comment


z_z: There are truths to what he sais

Can’t imagine where you saw those “truths”. 

There are gross exaggerations and outright mendacity mixed within a sauce of disguised hatred. The guy should get his head examined for his ability to speak off-record in a manner so totally inconsistent with his public utterances.

One must think that off-record he is being himself. On-record he seems to be a persona that he invented.

Of course, we can say that of a great deal of our political class, some will say. And that is the problem. We have people who are either “gaming” a Market Economy or our Political Governance for their own personal profit - whether that profit be monetary or simply ideology.

Such behaviour is rancid with immorality.

“Man speak with forked tongue.”

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zonth_zonth's avatar

By zonth_zonth, April 4, 2011 at 9:03 am Link to this comment

Firstly I have to question the veracity of the report.  Seems like something from The Onion.  Because of that, it does take on a comical irony.  There are truths to what he sais, but the irony is that he is sitting on top of of the steaming pile of mass culture of laziness, and prides himself of it.

He would smarmy up to any lazy mcdonalds eating bafoon and kiss their progeny for a grease smeared vote and later step on the backs of these same people.

It just seems incongruous for a politician like Orange-Man to come off as a social critic.  Seems to me most social critics, inately abhor the idea of being a politician.

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, April 4, 2011 at 4:08 am Link to this comment


jfo: too many Americans have been made as gullible as goldfish by the airwaves that have been sold out all around them, rarely to their benefit.

Well put! I call it the Dumbing Down of America. If it’s not a TV commercial, it is a political sound-bite of the same brainless format. (Unfortunately it is happening here in Europe as well.)

Throw that GD boob-tube out the window and get a life without it!

I’ve adopted the Firefox browser simply because it has an add-on that blocks all advertising. What peace of mind that can bring!

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, April 4, 2011 at 3:55 am Link to this comment


AAE: When does a person acquire a ‘social conscience’? i.e., a conscience of the type Bobby Kennedy mentioned in his remarks about his father’s love?

The attribute of a Social Conscience is societal. Yes, it can be and often is assimilated within the family, but for the most part it is a universal trait reinforced within the culture. It is born from a respect for certain overarching principles, whether they are exemplified as beliefs, norms or laws.

The American culture is categorized (“sterotyped”?) as an Individualist Culture. European cultures are categorized as Collective Cultures. Yes, there is some debate in the definition, but having lived in both cultures I find these categories to be fairly good.  This means European cultures have a honed sense of common identification and mutual responsibility. Whilst the American culture has a pronounced accent on individual achievement.

America’s is a highly competitive society. There is no meaning to coming in “second”. We value the predominance of the winner and to the victor go the spoils. Which is why sports is highly favored entertainment, since it depicts the Individualist Trait so quickly and to so many.

Furthermore, the individualist trait also is embedded in America’s willingness to reduce every matter or subject, however complex they may be, to their simplest form and as quickly as possible. Which means that rational thought in the US gives way far too quickly to simplistic reductions in order to appeal to the masses.

We live in a world of complexity, which renders life as a matter of making choices and deciding quickly. So, simplification in thought or expression of ideas is reduced in time. Often, however, this leads to “reductio ad asburdam” (reduction to the absurd). The need to let debates linger and enrich over time is avoided when such “ripening” is often the only way to arrive at worthwhile conclusions.

Moreover, by increasing the pace of living a culture can easily lose its landmarks and milestones thus getting quickly lost. The element of time is compressed, so history is what happened an hour ago and ancient history is yesterday.

The consequence of such a compression is that the lessons of history get lost in the process. A culture can easily make gross errors because it has not taken the pains of learning from the past and remembering. So it repeats its errors, each time differently.

The SubPrime Mess resulting in the Great Recession is such an example. Both happened due to a lapse of moral integrity within a generalized public frenzy to get-rich-quick in the realty and finance markets. What happened to the values of business ethics and morality? Why were the lessons of the Great Depression, learned by many, not explained to the public?

They got lost in the compression.

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By diamond, April 4, 2011 at 2:12 am Link to this comment

Unlike Boehner himself who has amounted to a lot of something: a big, stinking, steaming pile of bullshit poured into a suit and elected by morons.

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By Beth, April 4, 2011 at 2:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think this story is a hoax. I can’t find any
confirmation or any other source than RumorMiller. I’ve
submitted it to Snopes, but I’m 95% certain it’s bogus.

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By FRTothus, April 3, 2011 at 2:40 pm Link to this comment

Class warfare again shows its crocodile tear-stained
face.  It is the rich who are sloven and venal,
living as they do off the labor of others, not from
their own industry.  Our Congress is infested with
their boosters, their lackeys, their stooges. Snake-
oil salesmen peddling the corporate persons’ latest
manufactured crisis and marketing their “solutions”;
it would be a joke if it were not so deadly.  The
majority of the members of the Congress are as
bankrupt as their contempt for the majority of
Americans and what we want, as polls have shown for
decades and my very wide margins.  People such as
Boner are dangerous tools who, truth be told, hate
America as pointedly as they point the finger of
blame at the working man, while they, D’s and R’s,
oversee and reward the capital flight that has
hollowed out the nation. Such statements as his add
insult to the injuries to the nation and demonstrate
how plastic are their laws, and how malleable their
“morality” for quarterly profits.  This dishonorable
“man” is simply contemptible, and he deserves to be
scorned and censured, and immediately removed from

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By samosamo, April 3, 2011 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment


By frecklefever, April 3 at 5:34 pm

I agree. What he is covering or hiding is the ideological part of
the facade of ‘sustained economic growth’. Where upon profits
for corporate ventures from energy to big ag to milk duds, is to
increase profits quarter after quarter year after year.

Only trouble is that at the same time he and his henchmen of the
‘other party’, along with a perfect stooge as president, are doing
little or nothing and are even hindering citizens not of the gentry
to be involved other than raping them for taxes.

So where would that put the aristocracy when they can’t lean on
the citizenry to deliver for them. Hopefully sunk and with little or
no influence. But they do want it all.

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johnnyfarout's avatar

By johnnyfarout, April 3, 2011 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment

Several years ago, NPR had on a street side interviewer asking Chinese university students in a large industrialized city, what they thought Americans did during their day. This one student, who spoke remarkably good English, answered in such a manner that I swore he had been here. Of course, I’m paraphrasing here, “Americans wake up in the morning to a clock radio chattering away in a series of commercials. They perform their morning ablutions, go to the kitchen, and prepare coffee or some such stimulant, all the while listening to a radio or TV talk incessantly in commercials with jingles and music and fake excitement. Then they get in their cars and the radio starts right up with more commercials one after another. They drive out to a highway or smaller artery towards some work place all the while listening to commercials. Once at work they can hear a radio or TV somewhere in the back ground playing commercials. They then spend all day lying and cheating and scheming others, which is their jobs. They take a couple of breaks and one for lunch while listening to some more commercials. Then their shift is over and they get in their cars to drive home all the while listening to more commercials. On the way home, they stop at a pub or bar for a cocktail during happy hour and stand around with commercials playing in the background while they discuss sports or commercials or laugh jokingly about some of the lying and cheating and scheming they did during their work day. Then they get in their cars and drive home listening to commercials on the radio. Once home they prepare some food while their kids listen and watch commercials play on their TV’s or radios, and then they probably eat that meal in front of the TV listening to commercials. Then they prepare for their nightly rest while commercials play on the radio, and fall asleep with the TV on, playing more commercials. The next morning the radio pops on in the middle of a commercial and their day starts all over again and it never varies. They do this for 30 or 40 years and then their dead body is driven to the cemetery amid weeping and praying while the kids stand around with earphones on listening to commercials”. He certainly hit the mark with his description the interviewer even started laughing. Now it’s not as if Boehner doesn’t know this, he just thinks it’s the way God planned America to be, and he’s proud to do his part to make it so. Nevertheless, with this being closer to the truth than we’d like to admit, how can any of us possibly expect him to know anything other than what commercials tell him to think? He lives in such a special world that he evidently even thinks he looks acceptable in that strange tan he sports. We don’t have a chance in this cradle to grave commercial atmosphere we’re swimming in… too many Americans have been made as gullible as goldfish by the airwaves that have been sold out all around them, rarely to their benefit.

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By frecklefever, April 3, 2011 at 1:34 pm Link to this comment


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By ribbie149, April 3, 2011 at 12:12 pm Link to this comment

American kids are “too fat, too lazy, too addicted to
TV, fast food, cheap credit and Facebook” to amount to
anything?  Sounds to me like they would make perfect

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By Baghdad bluesman, April 3, 2011 at 8:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Maani has it right. Just watch as the myopic right pulls in just enough rope to hang themselves next year.

I hope there is no rebirth after that.

As far as the comments (complaining) about the Boomers, I see thousands of your younger generation over here sucking up the big bucks so that they can pay down all the high priced mortgages they are floating under. Frankly, most of the 40 somethings are as bad or worse in their excesses than any of the Boomers.

Back in the 60s, we knew how to have a good time and not put ourselves in a bank-owned 4000 square foot house to get them. Life was much simpler in the 60s and 70s, and I’m way tired of hearing the bitchin from the ones who say they can’t find a job. Do you think this is the first time we have gone on hard times? WAKE UP! I, for one, would never have you back at home. Xers and other complainers, you can’t go home anymore, so, pay off your debts yourself and shut up.

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By RayLan, April 3, 2011 at 8:25 am Link to this comment

The kids are a product of this culture- consumerist infantilized and passive - just the way the Big Corporations want them. Selling de-natured junk food - overpriced sportsware- for the obese.
Childhood obesity is a pandemic and not about being lazy - it is what the children were taught by their environment - Coke ads - MacDonalds Happy Meals etc…
iPods - texting - Facebook click.
Unfortunately the parents have failed to exercise any control because they are mesmerized by the same mindless commercialization of the American dream - but heaven forbid (and the GOP) that we should regulate what children are given in school lunches. Let’s not limit agribusiness from producing unhealthy products, hormone-filled meat, genetically altered chickens - that not only degrade our health but keep our children in this ‘fat lazy’ state.
Boener has to break free from his Archie Bunker archaic world view. That’s lazy thinking.

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By AnAlienEarthling, April 3, 2011 at 8:09 am Link to this comment

When does a person acquire a ‘social conscience’,
i.e., a conscience of the type Bobby Kennedy
mentioned in his remarks about his father’s love?
He remarked that his father’s love engendered in him a social conscience, one that allowed a profound and compassionate understanding of what it means to have been born in America within a comfortable standard of living, i.e., one that allowed him to conclude that we, “therefore, have a responsibility to others who are less well off.”
It was this social conscience that Kennedy
appropriated, i.e., “there were wrongs which needed attention. There were people who were poor and needed help. And we have a responsibility to them and to this country.”
Is it my “false consciousness” to believe that a
majority of us Americans were once reared with this kind of love, this kind of compassion for our
fellows, that a majority of us shared this conscience - indeed, even those who were absolutely NOT reared in such conditions of comfort shared this social conscience (those of our brothers and sisters reared on reservations, in slums and ghettos, in poverty, within walls of oppression and prejudice, etc!!)?
Within what kinds of moral comportment was this man Boehner reared? His positions - and all those who share them - seem filled with resentment against, rancor (of the type Nietzsche mentions so often), and jealousy of those who have enjoyed a level of comfort that he Boehner now enjoys, of the type that he speciously holds against Obama, one witnessing a silver-spoon upbringing (certainly not Obama’s).
Would this man Boehner, therefore, deny to his own
children, for example, the comforts that his hard
work has afforded him? Does he - and those who share
his views - think that we should NOT bring up our
children to feel about our society the same
compassion that Kennedy felt?
If we assume for argument that he (and his political
brethren) are correct, what bodes for America? When
there are wrongs with our society, it will not be our
government’s responsibility to right them; the poor
will not be the responsibility of the government to
help; social problems need not be accorded any
governmental attention. Rather, these areas of
American society will presumably be the
responsibility of some service industry in the
private sector. What, then, will it mean to be
American except, for example, being a customer of
these or those industries? What will ground our sense
of decency, our respect for human life, our moral
convictions as articulated in the Declaration or the
Clearly, the fact that Boehner and his ilk have come to occupy the halls of our democracy forces one to think that the script of our denouement as a society has now been written.

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, April 3, 2011 at 4:09 am Link to this comment


The mean (or average) salary for all Americans is $43,460.

And since another thread is about bashing the teacher’s unions, their mean salary is:
25-0000 Education, Training, and Library Occupations - $49,530

But, of course, Health Care is so very, very much more important (irony intended) than Education, which is why the average management salary of this profession is:
11-9111 Medical and Health Services Managers - $90,970 (Tah Dahhhhhhhh! ;^)

Ever wonder why Health Care in America costs 100% more than elsewhere for the same quality of service? Well, it ain’t because the profession is under-paid ...

Ever wonder why teachers are under- and not over-paid?

Stop wondering. Act. Vote the Replicant simpletons and millionaires out of Congress. They could not care a fig about the “average salary”.

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, April 3, 2011 at 1:16 am Link to this comment


From transcript - Boehner:

Don’t get me started on health care - doctors study their entire lives and they barely make enough to live and yet Obama, who had his entire life handed to him on a silver plate wants to cut their pay.

From the Bureau of Labor Statistics (see here); by BLS category number, 2009 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates:

29-1063 Internists, General - $183,990
29-1065 Pediatricians, General - $161,410
29-1067 Surgeons -  $219,770
29-1069 Physicians and Surgeons, All Other –  $173,860
29-1021 Dentists, General - $156,850
29-1062 Family and General Practitioners - $168,550

[And, by comparison :
29-1111 Registered Nurses - $66,530
31-1012 Nursing Aides, Orderlies, and Attendants - $24,980]

Yep, them doctors are really ‘n truly hurting ...

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, April 3, 2011 at 12:42 am Link to this comment


Add to (all) that his view that American kids are “too fat, too lazy, too addicted to TV, fast food, cheap credit, and Facebook” to amount to anything. 

Well, at least he got that one right!

Does he know where HIS kids are tonight?

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By errrs, April 2, 2011 at 11:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Um, this is almost certainly fake. I can’t find any
original source and everyone reporting on it is linking
back to rumormiller. Probably just a bad/late April
fools joke.

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By samosamo, April 2, 2011 at 10:44 pm Link to this comment


Typical political hypocrisy. Here’s turd that helped to
‘unfettered’ the corporate world so jobs WOULD leave america
and he is degrading people for not working. And of course he
pompous ass cheers the owner of facebook as if that were
essential to life in america. Hell people have enough phones,
ipads, iphones and the rest of it to communicate with their
friends over meaningless conversation about how many toe
nails I had to clip today and that I am putting the garbage on
the back steps so that I might empty it later.

No, this guy should be doing hard time and have all his worldly
possessions confiscated to keep him from effecting the world

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By Maani, April 2, 2011 at 10:39 pm Link to this comment

As long as the Senate does not follow suit re the House, most of this is symbolic.  And frankly, I welcome as much of this absurd extremism as possible, because it is very quickly turning people against the TP and the extremist wing of the GOP: and not just independents, but also many conservatives.  Their strategy is backfiring, but they are too myopic to notice.

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By Don Alano, April 2, 2011 at 9:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sounds like most other fat, old, lazy golfers I know.

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By PatrickHenry, April 2, 2011 at 8:41 pm Link to this comment

I always thought Boehner was a fool, this Rolling Stone interview proves it.

I just didn’t know how dangerous a fool he was.

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By aacme88, April 2, 2011 at 8:37 pm Link to this comment

There is little hope for a country in which someone this ignorant could gain such a position of power, 3rd in line to the presidency.
The only possible outcome, maybe the only hope, is what he said would never happen: an Egypt-style uprising.

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