Given today’s polar vortex political climate, this column is by no means intended to influence, change, alter, support, bolster or conflict with anyone else’s predetermined opinion on this – or any other – topic.

In fact, if most of us are honest, personal opinions are often formed early – by say, age 25 – and rarely change, regardless of the facts. “Facts,” of course, in 2019, are subjective.

It used to be said that we are entitled to our own opinions, but not to our own facts. Welcome to 2019.

With that editorial preface out of the way, let’s take a look at one of the nuttiest politicians ever elected to the U.S. House of Representatives (not counting hundreds of other nuts in Congress).

Less than a year ago, I was happily unfamiliar with the name of New York Democrat House Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Today, she is known simply as AOC. And a simple moniker does seem appropriate.

One of the first things I recall reading about “AOC” was in the Jan. 28 edition of National Review. Columnist Daniel Foster wrote: “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a half-baked cake. Nobody knows what she will be or what she will do with a House seat that could very well stay hermetically sealed from competition for the next 50 years.”

Well, with all due respect to Mr. Foster, we know a little bit more today about AOC than we did a month ago.

Last week, she rolled out a socialistic “Green New Deal” proposal that appears more naive than Homer Simpson at a black-tie reception. (And, please, don’t send me any such references from “The Simpsons.” One expert in the family is more than enough on that show that won’t go away. They were way ahead of the voting curve on the Trump presidency, though.)

According to reports, the AOC proposal is “non-binding” and intended to serve as an alarming message and set of talking points.

Early reports suggest the congresswoman has hinted at ending all airline travel within 10 years and eliminating bovine flatulence. Given the lunacy of such ideas, let’s ignore those early reports and their dubious veracity.

Instead, let’s go to the text of the proposal itself, as posted by that trusted medium NPR at

The proposal states:

“It is the duty of the federal government to create a Green New Deal: (A) to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions through a fair and just transition for all communities and workers; (B) to create millions of good, high-wage jobs and ensure prosperity and economic security for all people of the United States; (C) to invest in the infrastructure and industry of the United States to sustainably meet the challenges of the 21st century; (D) to secure for all people of the United States for generations to come, clean air and water; climate and community resiliency; healthy food; access to nature; and a sustainable environment.”

It continues:

“The resolution as the ‘Green New Deal goals’ should be accomplished through a 10-year national mobilization (referred to in this resolution as the ‘Green New Deal mobilization’) that will require the following goals and projects – building resiliency against climate change-related weather, including by leveraging funding and providing investments for community-defined projects and strategies, such as extreme repairing and upgrading the infrastructure in the United States, including by eliminating pollution and greenhouse gas emissions as much as technologically feasible.”

Pardon me for asking, but where in the Constitution is it “The duty of the federal government to create a Green New Deal?”

In spite of the Green New Deal being widely reported on television, in print, on radio news, legitimate online media and the social media silliness, when asked about it, House Speaker Nancy D’Alesandro Pelosi answered the way she usually answers when she doesn’t like a question.

"Quite frankly I haven’t seen it, but I do know that it’s enthusiastic, and we welcome all the enthusiams that are out there," Pelosi said.

Pelosi’s quote was altered on some left-leaning websites to: “I haven’t seen it, but I do know it’s enthusiastic, and I welcome all the enthusiasm.”

Yeah, that sounds better than all the “enthusiams” out there. All 30 or 40 of them.

Truth be told, Pelosi knows the AOC plan is an absolute farce, but she’s afraid to admit it because her youthful House colleague is attracting a lot of positive reaction from a widely clueless media. This also might explain why the original Green New Deal document reportedly was removed from AOC’s website.

That’s too bad. Because with a good strong conservative Republican to cosponsor the Green New Deal (hello, Congressman Wenstrup?) this plan could really go places. Politicians love the word “bipartisan” almost as much as they love cash from lobbyists.

Let’s draft an Ohio Republican to join AOC on the GND. Think of the possibilities.

Instead of just banning cow farts, they could add equine, swine and poultry (my ESP moment) to the list of a gas-free nation. Our coastal waters, Great Lakes, inland waterways and lakes could be included, too. We could mandate flatulence-free fish (assuming fish do make waves or bubbles) in all these bodies of water. And by sharing this GND revelation with countries around the planet, the possibilities are endless. Without all the fish gas, the polar icecaps could be restored virtually overnight.

Instead of a federal minimum wage of $15 an hour, how about a guaranteed minimum wage of $100 an hour? I’m all for it. But why stop there? Why not $500 an hour? Do I hear $1,000 an hour?

Instead of eliminating air travel in 10 years, why not end it today? Let’s end all automobile travel as well. That would surely save the planet. Not only that, think of how much healthier we would be with all that exercise from walking and bicycling.

This Green New Deal will be withered and old long before Rep. Brad Wenstrup or any other sensible member of Congress signs on.

In her column at (, Kira Davis summed up AOC as follows: “She’s been thrust onto the national stage, but hasn’t lived long enough or had enough experience yet to shape her into a mature thinker. Life hasn’t yet imposed its cold, brutal reality. She still has hopes and dreams. Like every other child in the nation, she thinks history began the day she was born. She’s pretty sure the grown-ups in the room are too old to know much about anything cool or worthwhile. She’s like a 5-year-old when it comes to money, but like a sullen teenager when it comes to learning.”

That sounds about right. Once upon a time people like AOC would pop up on college campuses and rail against the machine. Today, we send too many of them to Congress.

Oh, well, my medium-rare New York strip steak is just about ready. I hope it doesn’t give me gas and get me on a political watch-list.

Rory Ryan is publisher and owner of The Highland County Press, Highland County’s only locally owned and operated newspaper.