Take Five (Wieners Circle edition)

ONE: The Boy Can’t Help It

I’m convinced that the Republican Party is running some sort of “say the stupidest thing that pops into your head” contest for its membership. Maybe the reasoning, if there actually is any, is that it keeps their names in the news.

A case in point is Todd Akin. His Senate candidacy notwithstanding, I’m guessing few people had ever heard of Akin before August, when the six-term Congressman decided to share his decidedly pre-Renaissance views on rape and pregnancy with KTVI, a St. Louis television station. Ever since, it’s nearly impossible to get through a day without hearing something from or about him.

Amanda Marcotte, with an assist by the American Bridge 21st Century PAC, introduced another Akin Rhapsody in Ridiculousness recently when she shared C-SPAN video footage of Akin speaking on the House floor in 2008 about abortion providers:

Who wants to be at the very bottom of the food chain of the medical profession? And what sort of places do these bottom-of-the-food-chain doctors work in? Places that are really a pit. You find that along with the culture of death go all kinds of other law-breaking: not following good sanitary procedure, giving abortions to women who are not actually pregnant, cheating on taxes, all these kinds of things, misuse of anesthetics so that people die or almost die. All of these things are common practice, and all of that information is available for America.

Akin, like the rest of his party, despises the Affordable Care Act, but if he were the “reading various things and attempting to process them into a clear and cogent worldview” type, he might be delighted to hear about a new study which underscores the abortion-reducing potential of the ACA:

When more than 9,000 women ages 14 to 45 in the St. Louis area were given no-cost contraception for three years, abortion rates dropped from two-thirds to three-quarters lower than the national rate, according to a new report by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis researchers.

The report doesn’t mention what percentage of abortions still performed were on non-pregnant participants, women who presumably just enjoy the heck out of the process and don’t want to wait until they actually have a pregnancy they want ended. And don’t even get me started on all those “culture of death” doctors who devote themselves to aborting non-existent embryos, whooping all the while like the hopped-up teenagers who terrorized Dana Andrews and his family in Hot Rods to Hell.

Akin also made the news, not for the first time, for his finances. If only he didn’t spend so much time jawing obsessively about things he knows absolutely zilch about, perhaps he would do a more conscientious and thorough job with those pesky disclosure forms:

Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin on Thursday released a decade’s worth of federal financial reports he has updated with nearly $130,000 in state pension income that he received, but failed to disclose, over that time.

“This was an unintentional oversight and I regret any inconvenience this may cause,” the Missouri congressman wrote in a letter dated Tuesday to the chairman of the House Ethics Committee…

This marks the second time that Akin has amended a decade’s worth of personal financial disclosure reports while running for the Senate.

In July 2011, Akin amended his reports from 2001 through 2010 to show his stake in properties owned by family partnerships in the St. Louis and Cape Cod, Mass., areas.

Cape Cod? Could he be a – gasp! – closet liberal? Fear not, grasshopper; Akin’s odious opinions, misinformed views and general ignorance of the planet on which he lives recently earned him lavish praise from fellow rightwing doofus Pat Boone, and there’s no more cranium-emptying assurance of regressive bona fides than that. Akin was so goshdarn tickled about it that he featured the endorsement on his campaign site:

“I’m strongly supportive of Todd Akin for US Senator from Missouri. My ancestor Daniel Boone would be, too–he and Rebecca had 10 kids, definitely pro-life. Todd’s opponent is resolutely of the “pro abortion” camp which championed, just last year, the “termination” of over 600,000 baby girls. Todd Akin will represent the true values of Missouri families.”

Golly Moses. And if the legendary Pat Boone can’t put him over the top, Akin just got reinforcements in the form of America’s most beloved breeding pair, the Duggars. The continuously copulating conservative couple will hold rallies for Akin in Osage Beach, Farmington and Poplar Bluff on October 15 and 16.

Might as well pack your bags, Claire McCaskill, and book a ticket for some commie bastion like New York or Hollywood, or Cape Cod, where you can get yourself a post-menopausal abortion just for the hell of it at one of those unsanitary, tax-dodging pits you love so much.

TWO: The Doctor Is Sick

If Todd Akin really wants to find the very bottom of the food chain of the medical profession, he should start with his colleague Paul Broun, who has represented Georgia’s 10th District since 2007. Broun is a homophobe, an Islamophobe, a religious fanatic, a climate change denier and such a vigorous “traditional marriage” champion that he’s been hitched four times. He’s also a medical doctor and has a degree in chemistry. Broun recently appeared at the Liberty Baptist Church Sportsman’s Banquet and horked up this:

“All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the Big Bang Theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of Hell,” Broun said. “And it’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior…

“You see, there are a lot of scientific data that I’ve found out as a scientist that actually show that this is really a young Earth,” he said. “I don’t believe that the Earth’s but about 9,000 years old. I believe it was created in six days as we know them. That’s what the Bible says.”

But wait, there’s more!

“What I’ve come to learn is that it’s the manufacturer’s handbook, is what I call it,” he said. “It teaches us how to run our lives individually, how to run our families, how to run our churches. But it teaches us how to run all of public policy and everything in society. And that’s the reason as your congressman I hold the holy Bible as being the major directions to me of how I vote in Washington, D.C., and I’ll continue to do that.”

The Congressman didn’t explain precisely where in the Good Book he received the guidance that induced him to vote against, among other things, mandatory troop rest periods between deployments to Iraq (August 2007), SCHIP reauthorization (September 2007), the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund (October 2007), funding to combat AIDS, malaria and TB (April 2008), requiring OSHA to establish combustible dust safety standards (April 2008), GI Bill expansion (May 2008), FDA regulation of tobacco (July 2008), the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (January 2009), financial regulation (December 2009 and June 2010), expansion of unemployment benefits (April, July and November 2010), the Mine Safety Act (December 2010), income tax deductions for small businesses (April 2012), and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2012 (May 2012).

I guess you just have to read between the lines.

THREE: Some Incumbents Defeat Easy

And the GOP’s “say the stupidest thing that pops into your head” creepstakes isn’t confined to national politics. There are plenty of offensive jerks and jackwagons at the state and local level, as well. One of them, Roger Rivard, has represented the 75th Assembly District of Wisconsin since 2010. Last December, in an interview with the Chetek Alert, Rivard was quoted as saying “some girls rape easy” in reference to consensual sex later being claimed by women to be non-consensual. While the remark wasn’t widely circulated at the time, it resurfaced recently during Rivard’s reelection campaign, and this time ignited a firestorm. A panicked Rivard attempted damage control:

On Wednesday, Rivard told the Journal Sentinel that the article did not provide full context of his comments and that his father’s exact words had been slightly different from how they appeared in the Chetek Alert…

“What the whole genesis of it was, it was advice to me, telling me, ‘If you’re going to go down that road, you may have consensual sex that night and then the next morning it may be rape.’ So the way he said it was, ‘Just remember, Roger, some girls, they rape so easy. It may be rape the next morning.’

Perhaps sensing that he had only dug his hole deeper, Rivard soon had another go at digging himself out:

About three hours after speaking to the Journal Sentinel, Rivard issued a written statement that he said was meant to further clarify his points.

“Sexual assault is a crime that unfortunately is misunderstood and my comments have the potential to be misunderstood as well,” his statement said. “Rape is a horrible act of violence. Sexual assault unfortunately often goes unreported to police. I have four daughters and three granddaughters and I understand the importance of making sure that awareness of this crime is taken very seriously.”

Whether because they misunderstood Rivard’s comments or because they understood them completely, some powerful now-former friends risked serious injury in their haste to jump off the bandwagon:

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan and Gov. Scott Walker have dropped their endorsements of a Wisconsin lawmaker who said that his father had told him “some girls, they rape so easy” as a way to warn him that women could consent to sex but then later claim they hadn’t.

In a further blow to state Rep. Roger Rivard’s re-election bid, the operation committed to maintaining a Republican majority in the state Assembly on Thursday ended its financial support for Rivard.

Ryan pulled his support for Rivard, of Rice Lake, just hours after the Journal Sentinel reported on his rape comments Wednesday, and by Thursday afternoon Walker, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson and U.S. Senate candidate Tommy Thompson also condemned Rivard’s statements. U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy of Weston said he was donating money he received from Rivard to a sexual abuse shelter.

Wow! When Scott Walker and Paul Ryan don’t like you, you’re a cretin in a class all by yourself.

FOUR: Mauching Democracy

Arkansas Republicans, meanwhile, are backing away from not one of their candidates, but three:

After Arkansas Republicans disavowed a book by state representative Jon Hubbard (R-AR) claiming slavery was “a blessing in disguise” for African Americans, Hubbard’s colleague, state Rep. Loy Mauch (R-AR) has been outed by the Arkansas Times for his pro-slavery, pro-Confederacy letters to the editor over the past decade…

Now, the state GOP is pulling all funds from Mauch, Hubbard and another state legislative candidate, Charlie Fuqua, who wants to expel all Muslims from the country and thinks rebellious children should receive the death penalty.

Article 3, Section 5 of the Arkansas Constitution clearly states “No idiot or insane person shall be entitled to the privileges of an elector” but makes no such stipulation for actually being elected to office. As Arkansas Blog’s excerpts from his letters to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette demonstrate, Loy Mauch is a man who really, really loves his country, even if it ceased to exist in 1865:

I’m very proud my ancestors stood up to Northern aggression. The Confederate flag to me is not only a symbol of our brief period of independence and our loyalty to the 1789 Constitution, but also a symbol of Christian liberty vs. the new world order.

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Nowhere in the Holy Bible have I found a word of condemnation for the operation of slavery, Old or New Testament. If slavery was so bad, why didn’t Jesus, Paul or the prophets say something?

This country already lionizes Wehrmacht leaders. They go by the names of Lincoln, Grant, Sherman, Sheridan, Custer, etc. These Marxists not only destroyed the Constitution they were sworn to uphold, but apostatized the word of God. Either these depraved infidels or the Constitution and Scriptures are in error. I’m more persuaded by the word of God.

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The 14th Amendment completely destroyed the Founders’ concept of limited government and was coerced on this nation by radical people and in my opinion was never legally ratified as required by Article V of the Constitution. It was essentially a Karl Marx concept and would have never come from the pen of Madison or any of the patriots from Virginia.

FIVE: For God’s Sake, Don’t Leave It to Bever

The official website of Costa Mesa, California devotes a page to the accomplishments of Eric Bever, whose mayoral term draws to a term-limited close at the end of the year:

As a councilman, Bever developed the reputation as a fiscal conservative… in 2005 initiated the ongoing effort to solve the traffic issues created by Costa Mesa Freeway… Eric earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Cal State Fullerton, and credits his background in the problem-solving discipline of design as contributing to his approach to municipal issues and opportunities… An avid skateboarder in his youth, Bever worked as a graphic designer for Costa Mesa and Orange County based surf/skate companies…

In the context of this gaudy, and only partial, list of achievements, Bever’s insight into the problem of homelessness in his community comes as no surprise. Nor does his bold proposed solution, which can be pretty well summarized in three words: starve the homeless.

The mayor of Costa Mesa proposed to get rid of soup kitchens to deal with the area’s homeless problem at a city council meeting on Tuesday.

Bever is especially suspicious of a couple of local nonprofits:

Bever singled out Share Our Selves and Someone Cares Soup Kitchen, two nonprofits that give food and medical care to the poor and homeless.

“These businesses—nonprofit, profit, whatever—are creating tremendous impacts on our community,” said Bever, who compared the nonprofits to nightclubs that bother neighbors.

It would go a long way to solving the problem of homeless people coming to Costa Mesa, he added, “If we managed to put the soup kitchen out of business.”

That assertion is off-base, said Shannon Santos, the executive director of Someone Cares.

A survey the soup kitchen conducted in 2011 found that 86% of its guests said they were from Costa Mesa, and about 40% were low-income seniors, many of whom live in the nearby Bethel Towers apartments, she said.

Maybe Santos and company should have kept quiet about Bethel Towers. After all, Bever has a few more weeks to try and get the complex condemned.