Take Five (Aw, Shut Up edition)

ONE: Family Circus of Horrors

Among the persistent annoyances of modern life, like “smart” phones, white kids desperate to make the world think they just came straight outta Compton, and those infuriating micro-commercials that have started to crop up between batters in televised ballgames, one stands out as especially irksome. His name is Dick Cheney.

Everybody’s favorite scabrous, loathsome heap of lurid hell-spawn crawled out of the anus of Satan into the daylight last Tuesday (which, not at all incidentally, was September the 11th) to vomit forth a few sulfurous lies about the President before disappearing back up the Great Deceiver’s bunghole.

Actually, it was a little less dramatic than that. The retired war criminal simply had a spokesperson send an e-mail on his behalf to Tucker Carlson’s scurrilous website The Daily Caller, in which Cheney fulminated:

“If President Obama were participating in his intelligence briefings on a regular basis then perhaps he would understand why people are so offended at his efforts to take sole credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden…

“Those who deserve the credit are the men and women in our military and intelligence communities who worked for many years to track him down. They are the ones who deserve the thanks of a grateful nation.”

The dusty old vampire obviously based this bogus accusation on a recent Washington Post screed by noted imbecile and former Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen, wherein the President was accused of “skipping more than half of his daily intelligence meetings.” (A day after Thiessen’s tripe ran, Jonathan Capehart, with reference to an earlier Post piece by Walter Pincus, calmly and thoroughly debunked it.)

Since President Obama has never made any effort to take “sole credit” for the killing of Osama bin Laden, it was difficult at first to understand why Cheney was so vigorously trash-talking him all of a sudden. Things became much clearer when I read Kurt Eichenwald’s New York Times article about the Bush Misadministration’s repeated failure to act on clear warnings throughout 2001 of an imminent terrorist attack. Turns out there was a hell of a lot more than just that infamous August 6th PDB that Cheney and friends turned a blind eye to. Imagine that. Better, then, to distract, deflect, and denounce Barack Obama rather than concede the obvious, which is that Cheney’s entire career in nominal public service has been obsessively devoted to damaging the nation he nominally served, along with as many others as expedience dictated.

For good measure, the bilious old fossil’s eldest daughter Liz weighed in with her own bullshit-based anti-Obama jeremiad in the benighted pages of the Wall Street Journal just a couple of days later. Its fifteen scandalously stupid paragraphs imply that the embassy attacks in Egypt and Libya were “the logical outcome of three-and-a-half years of Obama foreign policy,” and proffer the usual stale accusations of “apology” and “appeasement” and “rushing for the exits” in Iraq and Afghanistan and “leaking intelligence” and “slashing our military” and a whole bunch more aggressively offensive calumny and cant.

By the way, if you’re wondering what Ms. Cheney is doing with herself after serving as a wholly unqualified Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs back during daddy’s crime syndicate days, she’s chairing an organization called Keep America Safe, which also counts famed neocon nincompoop William Kristol as a board member. Feel the safety, America!

TWO: Starstruck

Republicans sure do love celebrities, except for all those really famous and talented ones who are Democrats, of course. And there’s nothing like an upcoming election to compel the Z-list, like freeze-dried action star Chuck Norris and clownish family embarrassment Hank Williams Jr., to add their voices to the national conversation.

Norris kicked off September bin Laden-style, with a video. With help from his granddaughter – sorry, wife, Gena, Norris wastes 2:15 of his and the viewer’s time, confiding earnestly:

“We know you love your family and your freedom as much as Gena and I do, and it is because of that we can no longer sit quietly or stand on the sidelines and watch our country go the way of socialism or something much worse.”

Gena urges us to register to vote. Chuck quotes Edmund Burke and Ronald Reagan. Gena ups the Reagan ante with that storied bit of Gipperspeak featuring, in the space of three portentous sentences, the clichés “rendezvous with destiny,” “last, best hope of man,” and “a thousand years of darkness.” The video was shot in what appears to be the cloakroom at a Klan meeting, albeit with the radiant light of God’s love, or maybe just the sun, streaming through an open doorway behind them. Old Glory stands watch over their left shoulders, presumably in case Obama and his fellow socialists try anything funny while the camera rolls, though we all know that Chuck would stop them in their tracks if they did.

The intent, as Gena makes clear elsewhere in the video, is to rouse evangelicals to get off their asses and vote out the President this November. Mitt Romney, a man many of those recalcitrant evangelicals consider a devil-worshipping cultist, is not mentioned.

Pretty thin soup, Mr. and Mrs. Norris. Next time, take a cue from Hank Williams Jr., who never lets his brain get between his mouth and a microphone. Williams enthralled a crowd at Fort Worth’s Stockyards Music Festival with an impromptu rant about, you guessed it, Barack Obama:

“We’ve got a Muslim for a President who hates cowboys, hates cowgirls, hates fishing, hates farming, loves gays, and we hate him!”

What’s next for Williams? I have no idea, but if it turns out to be recording an “unplugged” set on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository, I for one won’t be shocked.

Barack Obama still has friends, though. One of them, the Most Interesting Man in the World, is hosting a fundraiser for the Obama campaign tomorrow.

THREE: Secession from Reality Narrowly Averted in Kansas

After all the ridicule, scorn and opprobrium directed at Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett over his brief public flirtation with birtherism in May, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach must have scratched his head and wondered: Hey, how do I get me some of that?

Courtesy of a guy named Joe Montgomery, Kobach’s wish has come true. The Secretary of State, a – surprise! – Republican, along with fellow State Objections Board members Lieutenant Governor Jeff Colyer and Attorney General Derek Schmidt, also – surprise! – Republicans, did Kansas proud on Thursday by deciding to request copies of the President’s birth records from Hawaii. Leaving no stone unturned, they also sent requests for information to Arizona for that state’s investigation results, to Mississippi for some birther litigation documents, and announced that they would defer a decision on whether to strike Barack Obama from the state’s ballot this fall until they had a chance to examine the requested documentation.

Montgomery, who works at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University, said Obama hadn’t provided valid documentary evidence to establish his birth in the United States.

In Montgomery’s written complaint, he declared “there is substantial evidence showing that much of Mr. Obama’s alleged birth certificates have been forged or doctored, and have not been confirmed as legally valid, true and accurate.”

Kobach, who is also – surprise! – an adviser to the Romney campaign, commented:

“I don’t think it’s a frivolous objection… I do think the factual record could be supplemented.”

The day after this momentous announcement, Montgomery had second “thoughts”:

The Manhattan Republican who posed a formal challenge to President Barack Obama’s place on the Kansas general election ballot Friday requested immediate withdrawal of the appeal due to an avalanche of criticism…

“There has been a great deal of animosity and intimidation directed not only at me, but at people around me,” Montgomery said in the formal request to Secretary of State Kris Kobach. ”I don’t wish to burden anyone with more of this negative reaction.”

Poor guy. Just what does a delusional closet racist have to do to get some respect these days? The board announced this morning that the Hawaii documents were found satisfactory and that Barack Obama will remain on this November’s ballot. Sounds pretty cut and dried, right? Wrong:

… a leading figure in the “birther” movement questioning Obama’s citizenship status demanded to be heard. Orly Taitz, of California, said dropping the complaint would amount to treason.

“You have evidence showing blatant forgery,” she said. “This is a matter of national security.”

… Taitz and Kobach engaged in a rapid exchange of opinion — repeatedly talking over each other — about Kansas law on ballot challenges.

The vote of state board members to adjourn the 10-minute meeting was unanimous, but Kobach was intercepted at the exit of an auditorium in Memorial Hall by T.J. Gaughan, of Topeka, who criticized the state board for investigating claims Obama didn’t have standing to run for president.

“You’re phony baloney Kobach. You’re full of it,” Gaughan said as the secretary of state walked from the room. “I’m an American, I can say that. You give validity to the issue by recognizing it and putting it in front of a meeting. It’s absolutely embarrassing.”

FOUR: Stand by Your Man

It was one thing for Senate hopeful Todd Akin to open his cake-hole last month and demonstrate his astonishing ignorance:

“It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, [pregnancy from rape is] really rare… If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

It’s another thing entirely for his spouse to open hers too. For reasons best left unexplored, Mrs. Akin recently decided it would be a swell idea to use a rape metaphor in a comment about Todd’s campaign:

Lulli Akin said that efforts to push her husband out of the race threaten to replace elections “by the people and for the people” with “tyranny, a top-down approach.” She added, “Party bosses dictating who is allowed to advance through the party and make all the decisions—it’s just like 1776 in that way.”

She cited colonists who “rose up and said, ‘Not in my home, you don’t come and rape my daughters and my … wife.’ But that is where we are again…”

Not for long, though, Lulli. Another 50 days and neither you nor your husband will need to concern yourselves with politics again. Nor politics with you.

FIVE: “Out of the mouths of boobs and sucklings…”

Every year, the Family Research Council holds a Values Voter Summit, where participants mostly whine about all us voters without values, i.e. Democrats. This year’s gala edition featured a gaudy embarrassment of regressive riches, from Jan Brewer to Jim DeMint to Kirk Cameron to Rand Paul to Frank Gaffney to Glenn Beck, but the brightest, whitest highlight was failed presidential candidate Rick Santorum, who expounded on his usual pre-Enlightenment political and social views before turning his attention to the sad plight of modern American conservatives.

Last word to you, Rick:

“We will never have the media on our side, ever, in this country,” Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator, told the audience at the Omni Shoreham hotel. “We will never have the elite, smart people on our side.”