1. Ninong says

    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 7×12.

  2. naiset says

    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!

  3. Doug says

    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.

  4. MICHAEL says

    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?

  5. Doug says

    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.

  6. says

    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.

  7. Tinolineep says

    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.”

  8. GUil2 says

    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.

  9. Wes says

    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.

  10. niles says

    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.

  11. TANK says

    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.

  12. Karl says

    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.

  13. says

    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.

  14. Drew says

    @ 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)

  15. konrad says

    @Drew: My point is that Guam has been a United States territory since 1898. They have a non-voting member of Congress. They even have their own quarter. Asking Japan for permission to have a military base there would be somewhat like asking Spain for permission to have military base in Puerto Rico (which is also part of the US).

  16. John says

    There was a gubernatorial election in Okinawa and the candidate who wants the “western occupiers” to leave won. The relationship between U.S. troops and Okinawans have always been tense. And it has gotten markedly nastier in recent years.

    Under the terms of the Status of Forces Agreement, American soldiers have the right to extra territoriality on Okinawa. They are not subject to Japanese law and are effectively immune from criminal prosecution. When one of them commits a crime, the local police are basically powerless. Japanese nationalists regard this treaty as an affront to the country’s sovereignty and a national humiliation. While Okinawans are deeply resentful of the fact that Americans can get away with stuff that would otherwise land them in jail.

    That’s why they are talking about relocating some of these soldiers to Guam. The hope is a troop reduction will appease the nationalists in Japan and still allow the U.S. military to maintain some sort of presence on the island.

  17. Jimmy says

    @ Konrad

    I think the point was begging *Japan* to continue to allow the US to have military bases in Okinawa (part of Japan), not asking Japanese permission for American bases in Guam (which is American territory).

  18. Anon says

    Ok, I could totally be wrong on this, in which case I’ll be in the same doofus boat as Rep. Johnson. But since he’s a GLBT ally, I’ll try a weak defense. My question is whether it’s possible that he’s confusing Guam with Bermuda? If I remember right, Bermuda is the very top of a rock formation which resembles a toadstool of sorts, with very deep water on all sides of the coasts, and if you go deep enough, you can actually swim under much of the island. I think I saw a documentary which said that a large enough earthquake could potentially knock it off its perch. So if he was confusing Guam with Bermuda, it’s still a ridiculous question (a few extra thousand people and infrastructure won’t be enough weight to disrupt things), but it’s just a tad more understandable.

  19. Mike says

    My first thought is the Congressman is ill and this is just sad. It’s like watching someone with dementia try to be coherent.

    But, if a bunch of Marines got on top of me, I would tip over and capsize also.

  20. Ted says

    This man was actually elected to Congress and then re-elected? He is the sad example of people making the decisions running this county or should I say ruining?

  21. Jay Croce says

    This is almost too sad to be comical. And it says a great deal about how Washington works. If you manage to get elected, no matter how incompetent you are, there isn’t much anyone can do to remove you from office (assuming your constituents are as stupid as you are!).

    I’m sorry to hear this man has been sick. But how is it that someone who is so obviously mentally impaired remains in office, representing the will of the people? Either he’s sick, or just an idiot. Either way, he should be promptly removed from public office.

  22. John says

    He’s heading for an easy win in November.

    Rep. Johnson represents a district in Atlanta that went 80% for Obama in 2008. The Republicans didn’t even bother to field a candidate against him that year. And the third party no names didn’t even get 5%. It is unlikely they’ll find anyone credible to challenge him this year.

    For the sake of comparison, House Speaker Pelosi was re-elected with only 70% of the vote last time around.

  23. TxMikeB says

    Too bad Hank wasn’t around during WW2. He could have saved so many American lives by just “tipping over” Gaum, Midway, Guadal canal/Solomon Islands and just dunked the Japanese army into the Pacific Ocean…kinda like the Titanic!…..No wonder this guy is proud to have voted for Obamacare.

  24. pampermyass says

    I, at least, appreciate his concern for the environment of Guam. They are adding 25,000 people to an island that only has 175,000 right now. There is certainly an impact on the island’s infrastructure too.

  25. Danny says

    Hank was doing his Max Baucus imitation. Seriously, get rid of both. And get rid of all their defenders. Demand all politicians at local, state, and federal level must take regular random lie and drug tests. And require annual mental competency exams. And job qualification exams every 4 years. Post the results on internet for public to see.

    Back to Hank specifically. There’s no way Hank was joking. The proof is captured. If a joke, the floor leader should have asked him to explain the joke. They didn’t because they were stunned and didn’t know how a good leader should handle such a stunning remark, from a near incoherent Hank, joke or not. All that defend Hank should be fired.

    Joke or not, the wimp Admiral should have been very offended by the remark and objected. Fire his big ole butt, too. For not taking charge and demanding Hank be removed from the debate (battle) for the luny tunes analogy, joke or not.

    It obviously wasn’t a joke, but will be forever now. Hank will no doubt fess up and say it’s because he is addicted to cartoons. And taxpayers will pay for his rehab.

  26. Elijah says

    AIPAC got Hank Johnson elected to replace Representative Cynthia McKinney because she was deemed anti-Israel.

    We get the best government money can buy!

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