Take Five (Looking Down on Creation edition)

Take-FiveONE: Big Bung Theory

Creation Museum founder Ken Ham brought tidings of great joy to creationists and non-creationists alike when he announced that on February 4 at the “museum,” he and Bill Nye will debate the question: “Is creation a viable model of origins?” Ham thinks the event will be a chance to “show Mr. Nye and our debate audience that observational science confirms the scientific accuracy of the Genesis account of origins, not evolution.” Personally, I think it will be a chance for Ham to make a fool of himself, though that would hardly be novel.

Ham – who, ironically, kind of resembles the Neanderthal from the Geico commercials, not that there’s anything wrong with that – describes the event as “an important debate to have.” Well, for the Creation Museum, that’s no doubt true; it will put desperately needed asses in the 900 seats of “Legacy Hall” at 25 bucks a pop. Tickets purportedly sold out within minutes, which sounds impressive until you consider that a recent Pew poll finds only 43% of Republicans currently believe in evolution, down from 54% in 2013.

On the brighter side, if $29 million in municipal bonds aren’t purchased by February 6, the Creation Museum’s long-delayed sister project, the Ark Encounter, might run aground. Which is in itself a more convincing suggestion of the existence of God than any of the Ark Encounter’s proposed exhibits could ever be.

TWO: Diet Hard

For all their efforts to stake a claim to the bottom of the political barrel, Republicans invariably find that the territory has already been surveyed and subdivided, by folks like Trestin Meacham. The former political candidate for something called the Constitution Party recently staged a hunger strike to protest Utah’s same-sex marriage prohibition being found unconstitutional.

I’d never heard of Meacham’s party before. And now that I have, I wish I hadn’t. The Constitution Party’s official platform is an eerily calm manifesto of addled extremism, equal parts libertarian gobbledygook and white-picket-fence fascism. The Constitutionists (Constitutionals? Constitutionics?) would ban abortion, even in cases of rape or incest. They want to repeal the 17th Amendment and turn the business of electing the Senate over to state legislatures. They want the Voting Rights Act and McCain-Feingold repealed, and the FEC abolished. They would eliminate the Departments of Energy and Education. They deny global warming and want the Endangered Species Act overturned. And they oppose “any legal recognition of homosexual or civil unions,” which is where Meacham’s little stunt comes in.

Meacham announced his fast with the solemn self-importance of a five-year-old declaring that he’s running away from home. Minus the cuteness:

“I cannot stand by and do nothing while this evil takes root in my home. Some things in life are worth sacrificing one’s heath and even life if necessary. I am but a man, and do not have the money and power to make any noticeable influence in our corrupt system. Never the less, I can do something that people in power cannot ignore.”

Well, “not with standing” his confidence, the people in power “never the less” ignored him for over two weeks, long enough for him to shed 26 pounds. When the Supreme Court conveniently ordered a stay on same-sex marriages in Utah pending a review by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, Meacham was understandably quick to break his fast with a bowl of yogurt. But be assured that whatever his weight, he’s still a fathead, as he’s happy to prove over and over again on his Facebook page:

“The homosexual movement is less tolerant than the Nazis and if they had the power of the Nazis, I have no doubt they would not hesitate to march people of faith into ovens.”

Oh, please just go eat it, Mr. Meacham.

THREE: A Star Is Sworn?

In about a year, Arizona will be rid of the term-limited Jan Brewer. The bad news? Her successor might be even worse. For starters, Ken Bennett, Arizona’s current Secretary of State, has made no secret of his interest in the office. Among his many liabilities, if elected he would be the first known birther to inhabit a governor’s mansion.

It gets worse. Oafish action star and non-credentialed law enforcement officer Steven Seagal now says he’s maybe, kinda, sorta considering a run. The idea appears to have originated with Seagal’s crime-bustin’ compadre Joe Arpaio. At least that’s one Arpaio brainstorm that won’t cost Maricopa County taxpayers astonishing sums of money.

From a population of 6,553,255, is Steven Seagal – who probably doesn’t even fulfill the state’s residency requirement – really the best Arizona can do? No, but better alternatives have been slow to present themselves so far. Brewer has even hinted on several occasions that she might challenge the term limit statute. Absent a Democrat winning the office, which is far from assured, it’s more than a little pathetic that the best possible follow-up to Jan Brewer could be Jan Brewer herself.

As far as I’m aware, the only announced Democrat in the running so far is former Bruce Babbitt protégé Fred DuVal, who went on to work in the Clinton White House.  He seems like a bright guy, but one who has spent an excessive amount of time and energy pursuing the chimera of meaningful bipartisan cooperation. He also has a clutch of tediously moderate positions and disconcerting ties to that old snake oil merchant T. Boone Pickens.

Arizona deserves better, so I’m just going to go ahead and nominate my sister-in-law Arlene for the position. She’s liberal as all get-out, she meets the residency requirement, and I’ll bet she could snap Steven Seagal’s neck like a twig. Continue reading Take Five (Looking Down on Creation edition)

Take Five (Asshats en Regalia edition)

ONE: Hateful Twitch

Apparently it’s just not good enough for Michelle Malkin that Trayvon Martin is dead; she wants him vilified, as well.

Last Sunday afternoon, Malkin’s new “Twitter curation” site Twitchy posted a graphic featuring two photographs, one of a smiling George Zimmerman in jacket and tie, looking every inch the fine, respectable young man his rap sheet suggests he’s not, and the other of a shirtless, droopy-trousered African American kid flipping double birds at the camera.

In a crude attempt at sarcasm, some text below the photos reads:

MEDIA BIAS

Because nothing says fair like putting a mugshot looking photo in “county orange” next to a 5 year old picture of the victim as a child. But hey, two can play that game.

Here’s Twitchy’s considered wisdom on this, as it now appears:

Recognize these two people? If you don’t, we’ll help you out. The man on the left is George Zimmerman, the man accused of murdering the boy on the right, Trayvon Martin. The mainstream media won’t show you these two photos because they convey a message that no one else wants to take into consideration.

Why the strike-throughs? Because the person in the second photograph is not Trayvon Martin. The photo was quickly exposed as a fake, one that might have originated at the infamous neo-Nazi site Stormfront. Twitchy accordingly struck through its assertions and added this flaccid “apology” Sunday evening:

Correction, 8:56 pm ET March 25, 2012: We made a mistake. The photo on the right is not of the Trayvon Martin who was shot by Zimmerman. We apologize to our readers and to the Martin family.

Oh, hey, no sweat! After all, Twitchy wasn’t the only site to run the graphic and end up exposed as a purulent sleazepit; the right-hand side of the web is full of bigoted, deceptive, hate-mongering little shitholes. Although few seem to be quite as unjustifiably smug about themselves as Twitchy:

If it’s news, we’re on it. If it should be news, we’re ahead of it.

And if it’s rank horseshit deliberately intended to imply that Trayvon Martin might have deserved being shot to death, they’re fingerpainting with it.

Since I’m being generous, though, I’ll admit I have no idea whether Malkin herself had any involvement in posting this reprehensible trash, or whether one of her “kinetic staff of social media junkies” was the (ir)responsible party. But since Twitchy is just another monument to her gargantuan ego and she’s its “Owner, Founder, and Chief Executive Officer” I’m just going to go ahead and assume the worst about Michelle Malkin personally.

Twitchy has since moved on to fretting about why a Twitter account advocating the assassination of George Zimmerman is still up. I’m not going to link to her site; you can Google it, or simply follow its virtual stench.

(And to the cretin who came up with the graphic in the first place, the reason that ubiquitous Zimmerman pic you refer to is “a mugshot looking photo in ‘county orange’” is because he was wearing county orange and it is a mugshot. It was taken in 2005 after Zimmerman was arrested for battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting an officer with violence. If you’re going to “play that game” you might want to make sure you can do so without making a goddamned fool of yourself.)

TWO: “This is a real hate crime…”

As morally impoverished and ideologically imbecilic as Malkin and her “kinetic staff of social media junkies” might be, they’re pikers compared to the freak show over at WorldNutDaily, where the likes of John Stossel, Pamela Geller, Jack Abramoff, Jerome Corsi, Herman Cain, Pat Buchanan, Chuck Norris, Dennis Prager, Phyllis Schlafly, Ann Coulter, Alan Keyes, Pat Boone and Mychal Massie, among others, work tirelessly to make the nation suck.

It’s de rigueur for WND to look at reality through the wrong end of the telescope, but site founder Joseph Farah ditched the telescope completely with his comments on the killing of Trayvon Martin:

… when the race hustlers like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and race hustler-in-chief Barack Obama started exploiting the incident, I began to think we were being conned once, again, by the vicious, biased, America-hating, leftist-controlled press….

… the national news media are a hopelessly broken cultural institution.

They were ready to lynch George Zimmerman, who now appears to be no more than an upright Hispanic gentleman concerned about suspicious activity in his neighborhood – someone who probably did what he had to do in a very trying circumstance.

Farah goes on to regale the reader with the story of Allen Coon, a white 13-year-old in Kansas City who was purportedly chased and set on fire by two 16-year-old African Americans, one of whom allegedly said, “This is what you deserve. You get what you deserve, white boy.”

Notwithstanding a number of questionable aspects to the story, it has quickly become a popular touchstone for the right, a handy way of excusing Trayvon Martin’s death, because, golly, “Black people are bigots too!” You can even find videos of television news coverage of the attack posted on YouTube under titles like “Discrimination Against White People in America Exposed part 3.”

And Farah’s delight over the Kansas City attack is palpable: “This is a real hate crime…” Having arbitrarily drawn in the dots, Farah then goes on to connect them, equally arbitrarily (this is how it’s done, Michele Malkin):

By the way, it is entirely plausible, though it is too early to assume, that the perpetrators in this hideous attack were actually inspired by the media’s drummed up hysterics about racism in the case of Trayvon Martin.

If only the Kansas City incident hadn’t occurred a mere two days after the “upright Hispanic gentleman” killed Trayvon Martin and long before the national media picked up on the story, sure, it’s entirely plausible.

THREE: Birth, Wind and Liar

Happily, WND also has its lighter moments, one being its foundationless fixation with Barack Obama’s supposed ineligibility for the presidency. For no other reason than sheer devotion to America, and the ability to make a few bucks from this scam, WND contributor Jerome Corsi has tirelessly covered Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s cold case posse investigation into the President’s birth certificate.

WND’s first live-streaming video event was its coverage of the posse’s press conference on March 1. The site claims the stream drew “72,076 unique viewers” which is tough to believe; I’ve commented previously that the stream was so wretched I had to switch over to an ABC Phoenix live stream to watch the press conference. Joseph Farah, however, is just tickled:

“I expected this to be a big event,” said Joseph Farah, founder of WND. “But the final numbers surprised even me…”

Farah said he is encouraged with the experiment and plans to seek out other opportunities for live-streaming little-covered news events…

Oh, great.

Elsewhere on the birther beat, WND has been reporting diligently on one Adam Eugene Cox of Tennessee, who made some pretty nasty threats against Arpaio in what was ostensibly intended to be a defense of the President from the birth certificate posse. While a more obscure rightwing trash site describes Cox as an “Obamunist,” WND is content to simply call him an “Obama fanatic” and giddily quote the man’s threats multiple times:

“I plan to kill Arpaio first. He will be filled with a thousand bullet holes before the year is out. I promise you this. He won’t f**k with Obama. He will be buried 10 feet under and his whole family will be murdered along with him.”

On March 14, justice caught up with the “Obama fanatic”:

Cox pleaded guilty to harassment of Arpaio, and was immediately sentenced to serve nearly a year in a “bootcamp”-style program similar to probation, as well as ordered to pay court costs.

In any case, Arpaio still has his loyalists. One of them is Donald Trump, who printed out an AP report about the March 1 press conference and scribbled a quick mash note to the sheriff on it:

“Joe – Great going – You are the only one with the ‘guts’ to do this – Keep up the good fight – Donald Trump.”

Buoyed by this outpouring of billionaire support, Arpaio averred to the Arizona Republic that he’s in this for the long haul:

“I’m not going to drop this,” he said. “You don’t think I did a press conference and let it die? I’ll make a decision real quick where to send the evidence we have. There are not many options. You do know this is complex. Many conflicts of interest from the White House to the Attorney General. I can go on and on.”

Yes, you can, Sheriff, and even the National Review – of all organs – is getting a little sick of it:

Republicans who have chosen to associate with the birthers have done their party and their country a disservice. And as Sheriff Arpaio settles comfortably into that political mental ward, the same must be said of those Republicans who choose to associate themselves with him more broadly.

Ouch. Continue reading Take Five (Asshats en Regalia edition)