Public esteem of the House of Representatives is historically low, say new polls, but Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) might just have nudged it even lower. During a House Armed Services Committee hearing last week, Johnson appeared to suggest that the presence of a large number of American soldiers might upend the island of Guam, a U.S. territory in the Pacific. While questioning Adm. Robert Willard, head of the Navy's Pacific fleet, Johnson said: "My fear is that the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize." Seemingly trying to hide a smile, the admiral replied: "We don't anticipate that." Johnson's spokesperson claimed he was speaking figuratively, but that didn't stop conservatives from mocking him. "Call it a new low, a new 'tipping point'—even in the halls of Congress," said Left Coast Rebel at his blog. Others pointed out that Johnson suffers from hepatitis C, which may have impaired his mental faculties. Johnson hasn't used it as an excuse, says Kate Dailey at Newsweek. "But we do think it's worth noting."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- 10 things you need to know today: September 1, 2014
- Scottish independence is another financial crisis waiting to happen
- Hey, grammar nerds! Stop freaking out about 'alot.'
- Fall movie guide: All the films you should see in September
- 11 scientific studies that will restore your faith in humanity
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- Why the West should let Russia have eastern Ukraine
- The elusive 'It factor' in presidential politics
Subscribe to the Week