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Watch: Congressman Worried About Guam Tipping Over, Capsizing


Questioning testimony about the transfer of thousands of U.S. troops to Guam because of Japanese unease at their presence in Okinawa, Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) last week expressed concern that the weight of the additional people on the island would cause it to tip over and possibly capsize.


Johnson later released a statement claiming he was using a metaphor about its "overstressed infrastructure."

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  1. wow. just wow. democracy in action.

    Posted by: Rob | Apr 1, 2010 1:37:34 PM

  2. Good god. How do people like this get elected much less function in society?

    Posted by: Geoff | Apr 1, 2010 1:38:21 PM

  3. america the beautiful hahaha and they don't want to increase pell grants and student loans and co? ridiculous lol

    Posted by: daftpunkydavid | Apr 1, 2010 1:41:12 PM

  4. Poor thing. You can actually see the gears grinding.

    Posted by: Christopher | Apr 1, 2010 1:42:27 PM

  5. What a complete douche bag, how did he make it out of school, let alone get elected?

    Posted by: patrick nyc | Apr 1, 2010 1:47:04 PM

  6. Is he related to Miss Teen South Carolina and such?

    Posted by: REYnoldo | Apr 1, 2010 1:50:25 PM

  7. He's from Georgia... what do you expect.

    Posted by: dc-20008 | Apr 1, 2010 1:53:06 PM

  8. Not only did he seriously suggest that the island would "tip over and capsize," he also stated that it's 7 miles by 12 miles but he didn't know "how many square miles is that." Damn! He can't even multiply 7x12.

    Posted by: Ninong | Apr 1, 2010 1:57:28 PM

  9. Now I like metaphors just as much as the next guy, but really, he should try to stay off them before showing up for committee. Good god man, start with similes and work up!

    Posted by: naiset | Apr 1, 2010 1:58:18 PM

  10. It's like watching Mariah Carey....

    Posted by: Jiff | Apr 1, 2010 2:06:31 PM

  11. While I don't want to appear to condone mediocrity, readers should know that Rep. Johnson is a strong friend of the LGBT community. He has recently come out as having Hepatitis C, and is now being challenged by less-LGBT friendly Democrats in the strongly Democratic (GA-4) district on that basis. Rep. Johnson defeated Cynthia McKinney to get this seat, so we need to choose our poison here.

    Posted by: Doug | Apr 1, 2010 2:08:54 PM

  12. He thinks Guam floats on the ocean. He must have graduated from a Federally funded public high-school to be able to demonstrate such a high level of concern for the local inhabitants. Maybe he ought to consider a Government program to construct concrete supports to keep the island more stable?

    Posted by: MICHAEL | Apr 1, 2010 2:12:05 PM

  13. One more point: Rep. Johnson's political less-LGBT friendly opponents are probably the ones responsible for pushing this out over the internet, so picking it up is doing them a favor, IMHO.

    Posted by: Doug | Apr 1, 2010 2:12:26 PM

  14. he seems stoned ... good for him

    Posted by: micheal | Apr 1, 2010 2:18:07 PM

  15. I'm surprised to see this posted on this website; there aren't many progressive, liberal, or even centerists left representing Georgia in Congress and Johnson is one of them. This is metaphorical speaking, he's not a stupid person who believes islands float on the ocean. Jeeze.

    Posted by: Donald Baxter, Iowa City | Apr 1, 2010 2:21:03 PM

  16. Or, he could just have gaffed on saying,"We can't afford to move 8,000 troups and their families to Guam. It's overpopulated. The island can't handle 25,000 more people without being destroyed."

    Posted by: Tinolineep | Apr 1, 2010 2:37:20 PM

  17. I think he just misspoke, and wanted to say, "Guam is too small to handle 25,000 more people (8,000 troops and families). The island is overpopulated and moving troops from Okinawa will be a disaster, as well as for the Chamorro people"

    I'm writing a dissertation on military buildup in Guam, and I'm disappointed that when some Congressman gets the guts to grill Pacific Command, he is the one who is punished instead.

    Posted by: GUil2 | Apr 1, 2010 2:43:49 PM

  18. For months, speculation has swirled in both Atlanta and Washington about U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson's health.

    The Lithonia Democrat's already-thin frame has shed 30 pounds in the past year. His speech is slower than ever, and he regularly gets lost in thought in the middle of a discussion. He is easily fatigued and often impatient and irritable.

    Monday, he revealed why.

    In an exclusive interview with the AJC, Johnson disclosed he has been battling hepatitis C, an incurable, blood-borne liver disease, for more than a decade.

    He was officially declared free of the virus in January, but it has ravaged his liver, resulted in thyroid problems and other health issues, including depression, for which he's also being treated. To keep the disease in remission, Johnson is going through an experimental treatment that he said has been the worst part so far.

    "I am weaker than I ever have been," Johnson, 55, said in his Capitol Hill office.

    Posted by: Wes | Apr 1, 2010 2:47:26 PM

  19. The General deserves a medal for keeping a staight face. Somebody was snoozin or stoned during geography class. Ahh the beauty of the world of entitlements.

    Posted by: niles | Apr 1, 2010 2:52:34 PM

  20. Ya know, when it gets hit by a big wave or sea monster people have to run back and forth on the island to make sure it doesn't capsize. Godzilla doesn't like overcrowding, either...well, truth be told, tokyo real estate developers pay godzilla off to clear the way for new projects. Less red tape.

    Posted by: TANK | Apr 1, 2010 2:57:29 PM

  21. The important point is, why are we constantly BEGGING other countries to let us stay on their land to protect them? This is really getting old! If the Japanese think that they don't need us there, then let's get out.

    Posted by: Karl | Apr 1, 2010 2:58:17 PM

  22. Mr. Johnson clearly spoke, even using his hands as a visual cue to represent the "tipping over" and "capsizing" of the island. There was very little room for misunderstanding here.

    He may be a strong GLBT ally, and that's to be commended in the strongest terms. However, this kind of ignorance rightly deserves criticism. Doesn't mean he's not a great friend of our tribe... it just means he's not exactly a Rhodes scholar.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Apr 1, 2010 2:58:55 PM

  23. Karl--you're kidding, right?

    Posted by: konrad | Apr 1, 2010 3:15:40 PM

  24. @ Konrad: Karl is right, so your point is...?

    As for the distinguished congressman, dude's fucking high! (I can only hope it's that and not a medical or mental issue)

    Posted by: Drew | Apr 1, 2010 3:30:36 PM

  25. @Drew....Karl is not right at all. Look it up.

    Posted by: Geoff | Apr 1, 2010 3:43:00 PM

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