"Rep. Bill Sali (R-ID), who is participating in the GOP’s ongoing “Drill Now” energy stunt, has a unique idea about how to bring down gas prices: extracting oil from trees. In a meeting in his Capitol Hill office, Sali reportedly told a candidate for Idaho’s House of Representatives, Byron Yankey, that there “‘could be up to 40 barrels of oil‘ in a single tree.”"
Apparently, this isn't the first time he's said this:
"Forty percent of the mass of every tree in the forest is crude oil," he said. Going after that, he said, "could put Idaho in the oil business for the first time."
If only he hadn't said 'crude oil', I might be sympathetic and think: maybe he was talking about date palms, or olive trees, or tung oil trees, or something. Not that any of those trees grows in Idaho anyways.
"His confrontational style alienates even fellow Republican legislators. During the 2006 session, he angered Democrats so much during a debate about abortion that they walked out. Afterward, Newcomb said: "That idiot (Sali) is just an absolute idiot. He doesn't have one ounce of empathy in his whole fricking body. And you can put that in the paper."
Sali triggered the unusual response from a party leader with a dubious statement linking abortion with breast cancer. But that isn't all. When Republican Congressman Mike Simpson was speaker of the Idaho House, he once threatened to throw Sali out of a window in the state Capitol. If this is how friends react to Sali, including one whom he would serve with in Congress, how is he going to build consensus for issues and policies important to the state?"
[UPDATE: the reason "a dubious statement linking abortion with breast cancer" made Newcomb so angry was that Sali insisted on going on and on about that link, even though it had been discredited, to the point where the Idaho House Democratic Leader, who was a breast cancer survivor, left the room in tears. That's in an article I quoted in the post of mine linked above; alas, the link to that article seems to have died. END UPDATE.]
"We have not only a Hindu prayer being offered in the Senate, we have a Muslim member of the House of Representatives now, Keith Ellison from Minnesota. Those are changes — and they are not what was envisioned by the Founding Fathers."
He later tried to clarify his comments in this op-ed, which really doesn't help to inspire confidence in his knowledge of the Constitution:
"Yet the debate over my comments boils down to this: Should the future of our country rest upon the Judeo-Christian convictions of our Founding Fathers or the religious diversity advocated by the Left? I choose the Founding Fathers. (...)
The Judeo-Christian principles on which our republic was founded can be embraced, defended and practiced by people of any faith. Anyone doing so will find an ally in me. But when principles outside of the Judeo-Christian tradition begin to be promoted within Congress, we should all recognize that the government given to us by the Founding Fathers will be at risk. That should give every American serious pause."