Dave Ruthenberg

A former co-worker of mine had a saying that went "he don't know and he don't know that he don't know." We have all come across folks that could fit that description.

That also could describe many of our current elected officials or self-appointed pundits.

The year is not even two weeks old and we already seemingly have a year's worth of blithering inanity. Many of my friends were disconsolate after the Democrats retook the U.S. House of Representatives, but my advice was to buck up. Why? Because we were about to be provided a wealth of entertainment. The Dems already are proving they are the gift that keeps on giving.

The big brouhaha right now, of course, has to do with the federal government shutdown while the Democrats in the House stomp their feet over funding for a border wall. Again, as we have pointed out, these same pols supported similar border security just a few scant years ago, but of course, that was before Trump was president.

Recently, Homeland Security Secretary Kristjen Nielsen attempted to lay out some cold harsh reality to Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D.-Calif., about why border security is necessary. According to the Wall Street Journal, as Nielsen was citing the number of illegal immigrants that attempted to enter the U.S. illegally, Pelosi said.

"I reject your facts," Pelosi said.

"These aren't my facts, these are the facts," Nielsen responded.

Pelosi didn't offer any alternative facts. Which is part and parcel of the way she, newly imbued again with the power of the gavel she so covets, operates.

Maybe if Pelosi could offer a cogent counter, instead of being the face of pure obstinance, she may win a few converts.

Nielsen took to Twitter in response.

“I am disappointed that Dems did not want to hear from @DHSgov about the security & humanitarian crisis we are facing at the border,” Nielsen posted. “They didn’t want to hear about criminal aliens, drug smugglers, smuggled & abused children or violent caravans trying to breach the border wall.”

She followed that up with another tweet:

"The crisis is not going away-it is getting worse. The status quo in funding & authorities for #DHS is irresponsible & makes our country less secure. Kicking the can down the road is not the answer. I look forward to engaging w Members who want to listen & be part of the solution."

No sign of that happening.

But it's not just relating to the border that Dems play fast and loose with facts and refuse to acknowledge when they were clearly wrong.

Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, D.-Texas, was at the forefront of calling the tragic Houston drive-by shooting death of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes a "hate crime" when initial reports said the assailant was a white male in a pickup.

Jackson-Lee, who has produced maybe more laughable quotes per capita than anybody in the long history of U.S. politics — gems like asking if the Mars Pathfinder took a photo of the American flag that was planted there by Neil Armstrong — did not for one second feel she was wrong to jump to the conclusion of little Jazmine's death being a racial hate crime even after two black males were arrested for the shooting death.

Reporter: “Do you feel it was irresponsible at all to suggest that this was a hate crime when we didn’t have all the facts?”

Jackson-Lee: “Absolutely not, nothing is irresponsible when it comes to the loss of a precious 7 or 8 year old."

So, stoking racial tensions and fear is fine.

But, in fairness, she wasn't the only one.

Virulently anti-Trump YouTubers "The Young Turks," led by Cenk Uygur, posted inflammatory, race-baiting videos demanding the arrest of the non-existent white assailant, and of course, accusing Trump of ignoring the murder because the little girl was black. They have since removed the videos.

Finally, we may have the ultimate gift that keeps giving.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D.-N.Y., has become the face of the far left socialist faction that has been gaining ground in the Democratic Party. The 29 year-old has been all over the media and we should all be grateful. She is never at a loss to offer up a never-ending passel of bemusing quotes.

She even landed on "60 Minutes." When confronted about her statements supporting socialist programs and the untenable costs that would be associated with such programs, she offered it is more important to be "morally right" than factually correct.

It is not surprising she would feel that way. Socialism, of course, is all based on feelings, not tangible outcomes. See: Venezuela.

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez also is upset with fact-checkers for for daring to call her out, insisting their criticism is only directed at her because of bias against her.

The best part is we are going to hear much more from her in the future.

Me? I am going to enjoy the show.

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Ruthenberg is a multiple award-winning columnist and writer for the News & Eagle. Contact him at daver@enidnews.com.