Is Rick Perry trying to get rid of nuclear weapons?

Running for the Republican nomination for president, Rick Perry has been prone to flubs that raise questions about his suitability for the office. (Hey, at least they draw attention away from the truly epic scale of his corruption, as chronicled by Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone.) His worst may have occurred at the November 9th debate, when he expressed his wish to eliminate three federal agencies.

Apparently, though, he failed to write them down on the palm of his hand a la Sarah Palin and was only able to remember two. Fifteen minutes later, after referring to his notes, he informed those in attendance that the third federal agency he would target was the Department of Energy. In fact, he calls for its abolition on a regular basis.

Aside from strangling government in general, why is the DOE high on the list of agencies condemned by Republicans? First, it exists to advance energy technology and innovation, which includes wind and solar, of little use to a party dependent on the funding of legacy energy like oil and gas. Also, Republicans can’t resist kicking the dead horse of Solyndra, described by the Washington Post as “the now-shuttered California company [which] had been a poster child of President Obama’s initiative to invest in clean energies and received the administration’s first energy loan of $535 million.”

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