Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sen. Ron Johnson May Know What Google Is, But Not What It's For, How It's Used, and What Results Mean

From the "You Can't Make This Crap Up" department at Madison's VOICES newspaper, Wisconsin's freshman Sen. Ron Johnson (R) proclaims that he knows how to enter a search string into Google's search box, but proved that (1) he does not know how to create an effective search  (2) does not know how to interpret the results that Google returns (3) is unwilling or incapable of actually reading what Google has found to see if it suits his information needs (4) apparently believes that whatever you want will magically materialize from your computer after an Internet search.

Who knew that "the google" and "tubes" were so powerful?

When asked in Milwaukee today the advice he would have for women that can’t afford the cost of contraception, he proclaimed “You can get it. Go online, type it in. It’s easy to get.”

Perhaps realizing that he was in-over his head and was talking out of his butt about things he had no real understanding of nor experience with, Johnson claimed it was actually his wife that was the information and technology specialist in the house:
My wife actually went online here in Wisconsin and typed in, “what if I can’t afford birth control?” Came up, bam. If you can’t afford it, you can get birth control in this country. That’s a straw-dog argument. There’s no conservative who’s trying to deny women health care or contraceptives. We’re just saying this is an issue of religious freedom.
To fact-check Johnson's claim, VOICES did a some quick Google searches (Tuesday, March 27, 2012, at 4:45 pm central time).  The first used the search string Johnson claims his wife used and included the string in quotes.  Unfortunately, by this time, the story had gone viral and 9 out of the top 10 search results were directly mocking the Senator for making such a stoooopid claim.

The 9th "hit" was a downloadable printable pdf.  Free or low cost contraception did not magically appear from our computer.  This downloadable document does not tell how to find affordable health care of any sort, but did question whether a woman that could not afford contraception could "...afford a baby right now?" and followed this with a warm-fuzzy statement that you could probably find help somewhere in the county you live.

Obviously, we did not find anything useful there, so we assumed that Mrs. Johnson did not use the quotes in her search string, we removed them, and tried again.  For the second time, no free or low cost contraception magically appeared from our computer. This time, only 5 out of 10 results directly mocked Johnson for being stoooopid.  The 4th "hit" mocked Rush Limbaugh and others for fully-misrepresenting the situation, stating among other things "No, You Can't Always Get Birth Control Pills for $9"

The fifth "hit" identified the costs for birth control as follows:  initial exam can "cost $45-$125", follow-up between $30-$60" and "the cost of the pill is about $15-$25 or so a month".  For those that can't afford this, the site suggested Planned Parenthood or other unidentified "low cost" options.

This website doesn't actually bolster the Senator's claims that anyone can find birth control because Ron Johnson has voted twice to de-fund Planned Parenthood and Title X which provides funding for some of the unnamed sources for "low cost" birth control.  This site did suggest hitting your sex-partner up for some of the cost.

Another site proclaimed not to have sex if you can't afford birth control and the other 2 "hits" (HERE and HERE) from the top ten were wingnut blogs that directly attacked and slandered Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown Law student that was brave enough to testify at congressional hearings on the manner.

Senator Ron Johnson, who lies about being a self-made millionaire, has repeatedly shown himself to be one of the "duller tools in the shed" or perhaps just a moron (HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE).

Johnson's total ignorance of the issues at hand and today's startling revelations that he has no information and technology literacy skills appears to assure that the Senator from Wisconsin will continue to be featured in reports from VOICES' "You Can't Make This Crap Up" department at least through 2016 when Johnson will face his next "accountability moment" with his electorate.

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