Take Five (Miserable Bastards edition)

ONE: And your money back if the birth certificate turns out to be valid!

Last week Take Five presented “highlights” from the press conference announcing the results of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s cold case posse investigation into President Obama’s eligibility to hold the office he’s held for 38 months. A brief appearance at the press conference by Jerome Corsi puzzled me, since he added nothing material to the proceedings and actually spent most of his time talking about what a peach Andrew Breitbart was.

I’m frankly ashamed to say I completely missed the obvious. Jerome Corsi is a grifter, so what was he doing at the press conference? Why, grifting, of course. Only a tad more surprisingly, so was Mike Zullo, the posse’s lead investigator. Cinch up your hip waders! For only $9.99, you can buy the “book” the two have collaborated on:

Mike Zullo, a retired detective and volunteer Maricopa County Sheriff Posse member, is listed as the co-author of “A Question of Eligibility,” an e-book for sale on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The book is a copy of the investigation findings presented to the press on Thursday.

Zullo’s co-author is Jerome Corsi, a well-known political conspiracy writer who started the Swift-boat case against Sen. John Kerry.  More recently, Corsi, who writes for World Net Daily, has spent the last few years driving the birther movement.

Sufferin’ succotash, Arpaio must be furious! Or, um, not:

Corsi denied using the MCSO as a promotional tool to sell his books and theories…

Corsi said he informed Arpaio of his plans to sell the investigation’s findings six months ago, at the start of the investigation.

“He approved,” Corsi said, since neither he nor Zullo are paid members of the MCSO.

At least one county official isn’t so sanguine:

“I’m shocked to learn about this book,” said Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox.

Well, Ms. Wilcox, as I confessed above, I didn’t see the grifter aspect of this coming, but at least the only shock I experienced when I found out about it was in being reminded how naïve I am. Thanks for making me feel a bit better.

Here’s hoping the ongoing federal investigation of the sheriff’s misconduct in office leads to Arpaio himself no longer being a paid member of the MCSO. Now, there’s a press conference I’d love to see.

TWO: One Million Moms Circle the Drain

I also mentioned last week that I couldn’t wait to find out what One Million Moms would get all irate about next. Turns out I didn’t have to wait at all. Even as the organization (an appendage of the American Family Association) was busy calling for Toys ‘R’ Us to be boycotted for daring to sell the gay wedding edition of Life with Archie, they were also urging citizens to demand that Clorox pull its new Liquid Plumr ad.

Why would they want to do that? Over to you, Moms:

The commercial starts off with a woman in a supermarket daydreaming about what this new Liquid-Plumr product has to offer. She says, “Double impact,” twice as she reads the bottle. In her dream she is at home and answers the door to find a sexy plumber. The plumber is nice looking with huge biceps and a tight shirt. He says, “I’m here to snake your drain.” She says come on in and he walks upstairs. The doorbell rings again and it is a second sexy plumber. He says, “I’m here to flush your pipe.” She answers with an okay and while he walks on upstairs she lets out a squeal and moan while letting down her hair. Then she wakes up to reality to find the two men in the supermarket. She flirts by giving sexy eyes to the one man in the deli slicing meat and the other in produce holding two melons. These two men are the same as in her dream.

Pretty racy indeed. And there’s more:

It may be coincidence, but the man in produce is standing beside cucumbers with a price sign behind him reading 69 cents.

To summarize, an advertising agency hits on the not-at-all-novel idea to use sex (something most people enjoy) to promote a product that clears disgusting gunk out of clogged drains (something most people find revolting), and One Million Moms swoop in to spoil the fun. And rest assured they’re always soliciting new ideas for more fun to spoil:

NOTE: If you see a commercial or program which is offensive, email us the information. Many of you have done this, and it is very helpful.

THREE: Joehio

Speaking of clogged drains, Joe the Plumber (who is not a plumber and not really a Joe) finally has himself a vocation. Samuel Wurzelbacher is now the official Republican candidate in Ohio’s newly redrawn 9th Congressional District. He’ll be running, quite pointlessly, against Marcy Kaptur, who defeated Dennis Kucinich in the Democratic primary on Tuesday. That he’s headed for an electoral drubbing is almost a shame, since his winning the seat would be a vivid milestone on the drunken Republican march toward Idiocracy, although it sure as hell wouldn’t do the Ohio 9th or the United States House of Representatives any good.

“Joe” was pitted against Steve Kraus – an actual auctioneer and real estate agent, as opposed to someone who just calls himself Steve the Auctioneer and Real Estate Agent – who was significantly outspent and ultimately unable to find a sufficient number of rational Republicans in the district to stave off defeat.

So that’s one more Congressional race to watch closely. I’m hoping for a debate between Kaptur and Wurzelbacher; it would be fascinating to hear his thoughts about, for example, small business tax policy.

Apart from Wurzelbacher’s win and Kucinich’s loss, the most noteworthy Super Tuesday event in Ohio was the delightful primary defeat of Jean Schmidt, one of the nastiest human beings ever to plant buttocks on a Congressional seat. It’s an extremely overdue exit; her most storied career moment is already fading into history:

In November of 2005, she gained fame (and infamy) for her floor remarks attacking Rep. Jack Murtha (D-PA), a Vietnam veteran who had recently called for an orderly U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. On the House floor, she declared in a message to Murtha, “that cowards cut and run, Marines never do.”

So it was gratifying that she lost her primary to Brad Wenstrup, an Iraq veteran. Maybe with all her new free time she can go to Afghanistan; the Marines there could use some help.

FOUR: Poor in Spirit

George Cleveland, a Republican state legislator in North Carolina, recently claimed that there is “no extreme poverty” in his state. The near-criminal ignorance evinced by that contention is self-evident. What’s harder to understand is why no Democrat will be on the ballot against this clue-deprived poltroon in November. He’ll be running unopposed.

Maybe potential candidates in Onslow County are just too malnourished to contemplate a campaign, or too poor to come up with the filing fee. The Progressive Pulse checked census data and a report by the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina and, quite unlike George Cleveland, they found all kinds of hunger and want:

In fact, in Rep. Cleveland’s own home county, 13.8% of the residents are living below the poverty level… More than 10,000 children in that county receive free or reduced lunch… just over ten percent (10.1%) of the children in Onslow County are members of families living in deep poverty – defined as earning less than $11,157 a year for a family of four.

Of course there are also politicians out there who are compassionate, informed and dedicated to helping people. They’re called Democrats.

One such politician, New Jersey’s Richard Codey, recently decided to investigate the plight of mentally ill homeless people, first-hand:

Democratic state Sen. Richard Codey, who briefly took over as governor after Jim McGreevey (D) resigned in 2004, began calling homeless shelters last November only to find out that they were hesitant to take “crazy people,” required ID or that the person be on welfare.

“To find some place to take you if you were homeless was impossible, essentially, unless you were on some government entitlement program,” he explained to NBC New York.

After spending an hour with a makeup artist to make him unrecognizable, Codey took on the fictional identity of Jimmy Peters, a mentally ill man who had been recently released from a local hospital’s psychiatric ward.

Case worker Ross Croesmann was able to get the former governor into Goodwill Rescue Mission in downtown Newark for one night. Other shelters refused to take him at all.

FIVE: Signing Statements

Other than abusing the filibuster, Senate Republicans don’t have anything to keep themselves occupied, so they’re obsessing over the rarity of President Obama’s bill-signing ceremonies. The wily Kenyan’s ceremony aversion is apparently designed to make Republicans look bad.

A Roll Call article this week featured Tom Coburn, Lamar Alexander and Lindsey Graham vying for most hyperbolic accusation about this supposed White House gamesmanship. I’d have to say Coburn wins:

Coburn called it a “shame” that the White House would take the approach that “‘the only way I can win is to make someone else look bad, rather than win on my accomplishments and my leadership.’ That is a tragedy.”

Actually, what’s tragic is that Tom Coburn gets $174,000 a year from the public trough to stand around, scratch his ass and say stupid things like this. And this:

“I think that’s his strategy,” [Coburn] said, adding that Senate Democratic leaders are helping President Barack Obama by focusing on partisan legislation that they know Republicans won’t support.

Coburn didn’t mention what sort of legislation Republicans would support. That’s probably because there isn’t any. The 112th Congress wraps up next January 3rd. I’m going to go ahead and wish them “good riddance” right now.