Take Five (Conduct Unbecoming edition)

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+

ONE: Wings of Desire

The least surprising recent gun news was the shameful failure of expanded background checks legislation in the Senate. Least surprising because, after all, 42 of the 45 naysayers have been recipients of gun lobby largesse; the other three, evidently, are just dolts. A few other recent firearms stories, by contrast, were a little harder to anticipate.

If you’re ever in Memphis and thinking you could kill for some Jack Pirtle’s chicken wings, just don’t bring along an assault rifle. Antonius Hart Sr. and his creatively named son Antonius Hart Jr. made that mistake recently, and not only are they facing criminal charges, but they didn’t even get their wings.

After receiving the wrong order on their first visit to a Pirtle’s drive-thru, they returned for their wings but stubbornly insisted on getting some free chicken as compensation for being inconvenienced. When this demand was refused, Hart père allegedly brandished an AK-47. Jack Pirtle’s staff then called the cops, who arrested the Harts and confiscated the rifle and 24 rounds of ammunition.

In a gun incident with less obvious motivation, Seattle police were called to the Northgate Mall recently after security reported a man fondling a shotgun in the parking lot:

The man, who wore a cowboy hat, a white shirt and khaki pants, walked to his Ford Explorer with the shotgun and put it in the vehicle, police spokeswoman Renee Witt said. He then lingered outside the vehicle smoking a cigarette and at times handled the gun in the Explorer, police said…

“We’re now looking into whether he had a legitimate reason for having the shotgun – maybe he was transporting it,” Witt said.

Well, maybe. Or maybe it was transporting him, if you catch my drift, but it’s also possible that the man’s peculiar behavior was inspired by the Northgate Mall itself. A recent consumer review on Yelp suggests that it might be the shopping center of broken dreams:

This mall has nothing interesting, honestly. Everything seems run down and depressing which for some reason stresses me out.

So I normally have a few drinks before shopping and that helps take the edge off, but once the alcohol wears off I die…

In further malls’n’guns news, a woman waiting for a parking space on Thursday at a mall in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park had the bad fortune to cross paths with an armed jackass in a hurry:

Investigators said a woman decided to stop and wait for a person to leave a particular parking space when a man driving a car behind her grew impatient and started honking and yelling obscenities.

Authorities said the woman didn’t budge and the man in the car behind her drove up to her side of the vehicle, pulled a gun and started waving it at her, threatening to kill her if she didn’t move.

Background checks? We don’t need no stinkin’ background checks…

TWO: Say What?

Bismarck’s NBC affiliate KFYR (“Your News Leader”) proudly presented their new co-anchor the weekend before last, and then they fired him. AJ Clemente, thinking that his Evening Report debut wasn’t yet underway, uttered the words “fuckin’ shit” into a live mic. Clemente and co-anchor Van Tieu then went into this awkward back-and-forth:

TIEU: Good evening. I’m Van Tieu. You may have seen our newest – AJ on – in [inaudible] North Dakota news, and he’ll be joining the weekend news team as my co-anchor. Tell us a little bit about yourself, AJ.

CLEMENTE: Um… thanks, Van. I’m very excited. I graduated from West Virginia University, and I’m used to, um, you know, from being from the in – East Coast.

Clemente was canned the following day. Especially in view of his Cooperstown-ready surname, it’s a damn shame he doesn’t have a lifetime batting average of .286 with 403 home runs and 1,337 RBIs; he’d probably still have a job. Boston Red Sox DH David Ortiz, who actually owns these impressive stats, had this to say to a sold-out crowd during a televised ceremony before the first ballgame at Fenway following the Marathon bombing:

We want to thank you, Mayor Menino, Governor Patrick, the whole police department for the great job that they did this past week. This is our fucking city, and nobody’s going to dictate our freedom. Stay strong. Thank you.

A couple of hours later, FCC chair Julius Genachowski tweeted:

David Ortiz spoke from the heart at today’s Red Sox game. I stand with Big Papi and the people of Boston.

That and the $14.5 million Ortiz is making this season will be a great comfort to the slugger, no doubt. If you really want to see something wrong done right, leave it to Republicans. Steve Kush is the executive director and Bob Cornelius the former executive director of the Bernalillo County Republican Party in New Mexico, and they really dislike women who want to see a higher minimum wage. Cornelius and Kush attended a hearing on the topic and had some choice social media comments about a couple of female members of the activist group Working America. As one member of the group spoke, Kush tweeted:

Nice hat Working America chick but damn you are a radical bitch

Before moving on to Facebook to comment on Working America’s executive director:

Uh oh another Working America chick…nice boots…I know she makes more than min wage

Cornelius soon chimed in:

Maybe she uses those shoes to walk Central [Avenue]…even in this economy she can exchange bumper cables for boots

Kush then posted:

… she was hot enough to almost make me register democrat

After being suspended indefinitely without pay, Kush has expressed remorse for what he calls an “ill-fated attempt at humor.”

THREE: Many Crappy Returns

Ever notice how washed-up Republican politicians never seem to go away? No matter the magnitude of their defeats and disgraces, no matter the fervid desire of the general public never to hear or see them again, no matter the outrageousness or flat-out irrelevance of their opinions, they just will not go away. Exhibit A? Joe Walsh.

The former Congressman, a lazy and stupid man, made headlines in March when he informed a rally full of rapt Teabaggers that Americans are lazy and stupid. Now America’s highest-profile deadbeat dad is using the Boston Marathon bombing as a springboard to more headlines, as he calls for, essentially, a law enforcement jihad:

“We’re at war, and this country got a stark reminder last week again that we’re at war,” Walsh said to host Martin Bashir during an appearance on MSNBC. “And not only should we take a pause, Martin, when it comes to immigration, we need to begin profiling who our enemy is in this war: young Muslim men.”

Walsh has repeatedly hinted at another run for office, but with any luck voters will begin profiling white, middle-aged, Islamophobic scofflaw candidates and stop the little buttmunch before the sleeper cell of his political aspirations can be activated.

Todd Akin, the rank misogynist whom Walsh was quick to defend, has also been trying to get a foot back in the door of relevance. In an interview with KSDK in St. Louis, he responded ominously to a question about returning to politics:

“It’s one of those things that depends on the circumstances really.  I don’t rule anything out. I consider it a bright new future and I’m interested to see what the possibilities are.”

Personally, I’m hoping that the body politic has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. Continue reading Take Five (Conduct Unbecoming edition)

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+

Take Five (Fresh Hell edition)

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+

ONE: California Knows How to Party

Since I’ll probably find out soon enough, the precise nature of eternal damnation isn’t something I spend much time wondering about. I’m inclined to think it’ll resemble being stuck in an elevator with an endless loop of Adele songs blaring from unseen speakers, but for all I know it could be even worse. One thing I’m sure of is that sharing this mortal coil with the rabid right is an excellent warm-up for it.

Let’s begin with Harmeet Dhillon, clearly a young woman on the rise. A founding partner of the San Francisco “boutique business law” firm Dhillon & Smith LLP, the Indian-born graduate of Dartmouth and the University of Virginia is an accomplished, respected member of her profession. Unfortunately, she’s also a Republican.

After an unsuccessful 2012 run for a California state senate seat, she has just become vice-chair of the California Republican Party, the first woman ever to hold the position. But Dhillon is also a devout Sikh, so her ascension to the post was marred by her party’s famous disinclination to rid itself of racists and other assorted scum.

Enter Vera Eyzedooren, president of the San Bernardino County Federation of Republican Women. Desperate to short-circuit Dhillon’s vice-chair bid, Eyzedooren took to Facebook with this little punctuation-challenged screed:

I was told by one of Harmeets friends that because of her religion her loyalty is to the Muslim religion. So she will defend a muslim beheading 2 men without any hesitation. The person who told me that on Facebook private message, erased it. But I copied the screen and saved it in case. She is not Republican….

Eyzedooren then linked to a blog reposting of an Examiner.com piece entitled: “Muslim who beheaded two men arraigned in New Jersey.”

The Facebook page where she posted this (“AlwaysRightUSA”!) now returns a “link you followed may be broken, or the page may have been removed” message, but the San Bernardino County Federation of Republican Women site still features this uplifting message from Eyzedooren herself:

Our goals are to promote an informed public through political education, communications and use persuasive tools on issues that matter to us the most, registering Republicans, and spreading the word of Republican values and principles.

I think you can safely consider the word spread and the public informed now, ma’am. Thanks much.

TWO: He Said, She Said

That wasn’t the only foul odor emanating from the California GOP spring convention. Celeste Greig, a high-profile attendee who heads the California Republican Assembly, a volunteer organization, was asked the other day to comment on Todd Akin’s offensive musings on rape and pregnancy from last August. Greig was happy to oblige, first by decrying Akin:

“That was an insensitive remark… I’m sure he regretted it. He should have come back and apologized.”

And then by, essentially, agreeing with him:

“Granted, the percentage of pregnancies due to rape is small because it’s an act of violence, because the body is traumatized.”

And then by more or less admitting that she doesn’t know what the hell she’s talking about:

“I don’t know what percentage of pregnancies are due to the violence of rape. Because of the trauma the body goes through, I don’t know what percentage of pregnancy results from the act.”

Greig’s organization proudly notes on its website:

President Ronald Reagan called the California Republican Assembly, “the conscience of the Republican Party.”

I never thought I’d say this, but I have to agree with Reagan.

THREE: Ignoble Gases

California Republicans don’t have a monopoly on stupid, of course. Up the coast, there’s Ed Orcutt, a representative who is the ranking Republican on Washington’s State Transportation Committee. Orcutt is bucking the GOP’s beloved no-tax ideology and expressing willingness to support a Democratic proposal that consumers who spend more than $500 on a bicycle in the state be subject to a new $25 tax. Orcutt explained his position in an e-mail to Dale Carlson, a Tacoma bicycle store owner:

… you claim that it is environmentally friendly to ride a bike. But if I am not mistaken, a cyclists [sic] has an increased heart rate and respiration. That means that the act of riding a bike results in greater emissions of carbon dioxide from the rider.  Since CO2 is deemed to be a greenhouse gas and a pollutant, bicyclists are actually polluting when they ride.

In fairness to Orcutt, he soon issued a retraction:

… let me apologize for the carbon emissions line of an e-mail which has caused so much concern within the bicycle community. It was over the top and I admit is not one which should enter into the conversation regarding bicycles.

Although I have always recognized that bicycling emits less carbon than cars, I see I did a poor job of indicating that within my e-mail. My point was that by not driving a car, a cyclist was not necessarily having a zero-carbon footprint. In looking back, it was not a point worthy of even mentioning so, again, I apologize – both for bringing it up and for the wording of the e-mail.

Hmm. Orcutt better watch that contrition thing; I’d bet money that it contravenes one or more planks in the official Republican platform. Another Republican state representative, Jim Sacia of Illinois, is in no such danger. Sacia is miffed because Chicago’s daunting level of gun violence might prompt firearms control measures that would also affect – gasp! – non-Chicago Illinoisans. Continue reading Take Five (Fresh Hell edition)

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+

Take Five (Wieners Circle edition)

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+

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. Continue reading Take Five (Wieners Circle edition)

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+

Take Five (Did You Hear His Middle Name's Hussein edition)

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+

ONE: Q – What’s the difference between the Republican Party and a flat earth society? A – It’s a trick question. There is no difference.

With a second Obama term looking more and more assured, Republicans across the nation are hurrying to make complete dicks of themselves about it, blathering shrilly about everything from the ascendancy of an Obama-nurtured caliphate, to fraudulent electronic birth and Selective Service records, to everybody’s guns being confiscated, to conservatives being thrown into FEMA concentration camps, to Michelle Obama destroying America’s youth with healthy food, to Stalinist death panels for granny, to [insert dimwitted, hysterical conspiracy theory here].

In other words, all the same stale crap we’ve been hearing for four years, just louder and more urgent than usual.

Take Alabama Republican Party chair Bill Armistead, for example. Armistead, eager to avoid talking about, you know, policy and stuff, put on his film critic hat for a gathering of the Eastern Shore Republican Women last week:

Armistead suggested that audience members see the movie ‘2016: Obama’s America,’ a documentary by conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza that is critical of the president.

“If you haven’t seen it, you should,” he said. “But I’m going to tell you about another movie. The name of it is ‘Dreams From My Real Father.’ That is absolutely frightening. I’ve seen it. I verified that it is factual, all of it. People can determine.”

The movie… claims that Obama’s real father is Frank Marshall Davis, an American labor activist and organizer for the Communist Party USA.

Understandably, Armistead didn’t detail how he went about his verification. In the courtly Deep South, it’s still considered bad manners to mention rummaging around in your own ass to a roomful of ladies, especially Republican ones.

While Armistead dips a toe into irrationality, David Howard, a Republican member of the Montana Legislature, is pretty near up to his uvula in it. Kudos to Don Pogreba’s superb blog Intelligent Discontent for shining a cold light on Howard’s Monday Facebook post:

If we lose this election the Secular Socialist Democrats will place two more secular anti-American Justices on the Supreme Court and kill America from within…

This could force American Patriots into a Civil war to regain our freedoms. Where we won’t be able to worry about being offended by what some people in a political party do or don’t do!

Yeah, don’t you just hate it when that happens? And if an impending Civil War doesn’t scare you, no problem. Howard, who calls himself a “principled conservative,” has plenty more kindling to set his hair – and, he no doubt hopes, yours – on fire. It’s a veritable Bonfire of the Inanities. Herewith, some verbatim excerpts from his recent posts:

September 12:

In the Islamic world, if you are not Muslim, and if they don’t fear you, they can justify killing you through their Religion of Hate!

They killed our Ambassador because they don’t respect or fear America. The reason, we have a bend over President, who hates Americas imposing excellence and wants America to be a weak secondary Country.

Obama’s intolerance for America’s excellence is weakening America, and has enabled the hate monger Muslims to kill our Ambassador.

We live in a dangerous world, an eye, for an eye world. Therefore, we have to be both the most benevolent Country but when attacked, we have to be the Country that will take no shit off of anyone.

September 14:

Planned Parenthood should be called Planned Infanticide! This is the culture of death, supported by the secular socialist Democrats, run by President Obama!

September 19:

The Press is the marketing arm of the secular socialist democRATs. The SSD’s

September 22:

The definition of Madness is Extreme folly! That describes the Obama’s “Sorry they had to kill Americans ad on Pakistani television”. I would call it an anti-American Insanity!

September 23:

The question begs to be asked, are Christian Pastor’s today speaking Christ’s truth in the Public Square or have they played into the hands of Satan and rationalized themselves into committing the sin of silence that God warned Ezekiel against…

Yes pastor’s do your God given duty: Speak the truth from the pulpit.

September 26:

This morning the Muslim Brotherhood warned the United States that if the United States continued meddling in Egypt , Libya , and other potential hot spots in the Middle East, they intend to cut off America’s supply of 7-11 and Motel 6 managers. If this action does not yield sufficient results, cab drivers will be next, followed by Dell, AT&T and AOL customer service reps.

Finally, if all else fails, they have threatened not to send us anymore presidents either. It’s gonna get ugly, people

September 26:

MONTANA’S GOVERNMENT IS LIKE A KILLERING AND EATING IT’S HARD WORKING CITIZENS!

You don’t even want to know what some of the comments on these posts are like, although you can probably guess. Howard has all kinds of support in Stillwater County and in the broader wrongosphere, people who actually cheer for his loathsome opinions and revolting bigotry. Pogreba somberly notes that Howard is:

… a leader of the Stillwater County Republicans, and the Chair of the House Human Services Committee. He’s also a member of the Judiciary, Agriculture, and Ethics Committee.

TWO: Hungry for Knowledge

David Howard wasn’t the only politician active on Facebook recently. Mayor Greg Stanton of Phoenix was too, and deserves great praise:

This week I’ll join staff and board members from the Arizona Community Action Association (ACAA), the Valley of the Sun United Way and others in the community in the weeklong SNAP Experience when we’ll limit total food purchases to the weekly budget of a typical SNAP participant:  $4.16 a day.  That’s about $29 a week for one person and $97 a week for a family of four…

I’ll be adding to this post daily with a diary entry of my experience…

Day 1

In thinking about this exercise, I did some homework.  In July of this year, there were 1.1 million Arizonans on SNAP, about twice as many as there were before the downturn in 2007… 1 in 4 Arizona kids are food insecure, and 1 in 5 households in Arizona struggled to put food on the table last year. The Phoenix metro area is ranked the 34th worst, in terms of hunger- out of the 100 largest metro areas.  We’ve got a lot of families fighting to get by here…

Day 3

I wonder how folks with health problems get by on SNAP.  An individual with diabetes has got to stay away from too many simple carbs, and have protein at every meal to maintain level blood sugar.  By far the cheapest food items are potatoes, noodles, tortillas and white bread…

Day 5

Identifying, in a concrete way, with struggling families is an important exercise for any leader. By walking in the shoes of those who depend on the SNAP program, I certainly feel like I’ve gained critical perspective as a policymaker.  From a broader perspective, I’m starting to think about all the other challenges families on food stamps (SNAP) must face at the same time they are stretching their food benefit. Census data in 2010 showed Arizona had the second highest poverty rate in the nation with 21.2% of its citizens living in poverty. The national figure was 14.3 percent. We’ve improved since then, but we’re still in the 10-poorest states category.  Worse, women raising children alone here aren’t doing well.  More than 45% of mothers raising children by themselves are in poverty…

Stanton, you won’t be surprised to learn, is a Democrat, and despite the tough times Democrats have been experiencing in Arizona for, well, forever, I’m sensing that the tide could finally be turning. The Obama campaign might be thinking the same thing:

Signaling confidence, Obama’s team is considering competing in Arizona.

Obama looked at competing in Arizona in 2008, but decided against it because of the support there for home state Sen. John McCain, the GOP nominee. Obama still won 45 percent of the vote.

This year, Obama’s team talked early on about running in Arizona, which offers 11 electoral votes, but it never did. Now, with an internal Democratic poll showing Obama narrowly leading Romney, Obama’s team might make a play for the state that has seen a 160,000 increase in voter registrations by Democratic-leaning Hispanics over the past four years.

THREE: Not Lovin’ It

I don’t mind admitting that the plastic-headed Burger King from the Burger King commercials always scared the hell out of me, and the fast food chain’s decision last year to retire the character was a great relief. Imagine my horror, then, when I learned that the polyethylene potentate has been spotted again, skulking around Rome, Georgia:

Police were called to a local McDonald’s in relation to a disturbance caused by a man dressed as the Burger King…

Police stated that, upon his arrival, the Burger King mascot reportedly began to hand out free hamburgers to customers, and stopped to take pictures with several children.

Officers were additionally told that one child ran away from the man in fear…

I sympathize, kid. So just what prompted the maleficent monarch’s appearance at the Golden Arches? Old scores to be settled? Territorial conquest? Hatred of clowns? Apparently none of the above:

The McDonald’s manager told authorities she had approached the unidentified man before calling police. When asked what he was doing, the man allegedly told the manager he was collecting money for charity…

Before leaving in his white Acura, the man removed his mask in view of the manager, the paper learned. She then described him as a white, middle-aged man with dark hair, according to the report.

That wasn’t the only peculiar incident in what was a non-banner week for McDonald’s. A patron in Oregon took the “problem customer” archetype to a whole new, scary level:

A Gresham man was arrested Sunday afternoon after allegedly throwing soda in a McDonald’s manager’s face and smashing a cash register after a dispute over onions on his quarter pounder burger…

According to Gresham Police reports, [Jayme John] Leon went to the McDonald’s at 2231 N.E. 181st Ave. late Sunday afternoon and ordered a quarter pounder without onions, then left the restaurant. When he got home he said he found onions on the burger. He called McDonald’s, where an employee said the restaurant would refund his money and give him a new burger.

However, when he arrived at the McDonald’s at 4:48 p.m., he didn’t have the burger, only the drink he ordered.

“Since he ate the quarter pounder, McDonald’s would not refund his money, sending Mr. Leon into a McFury,” said Sgt. Claudio Grandjean, Gresham Police spokesman.

Sarge, if your law enforcement gig doesn’t work out, you might think about a career in McMarketing. The Jayme John Leons out there need to be brought back into the fold somehow, lest they end up at Burger King or, worse, having Burger King come to them. Continue reading Take Five (Did You Hear His Middle Name’s Hussein edition)

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+

Take Five (Aw, Shut Up edition)

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+

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: Continue reading Take Five (Aw, Shut Up edition)

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+

A Faith Lesson for Todd Akin

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+

Sometimes, truth is besides the point. In today’s politics, its relevancy is certainly diminished. Its purpose is abandoned, standing as empty and eerie as the giant hollow factory shells of Detroit.  We  are taught to think of truth as solid and firm, but its integrity sways like the vine bridges built deep in rain forest interiors hidden from view. Truth is adaptable and timeless, which makes it easy to overrun. But in the heat of the moment, the property of truth Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. cited is often forgotten: “Truth crushed to earth will rise again.”

Its role in this season’s Presidential campaigns is over- and underrated, as one is about fear, the other about feel good. It is true that systems in conflict or competition create a set of their own norms intended to gain advantage and defeat the other, and this determines their options and handicaps their outcomes. Yet one campaign has based its entire strategy on betting against truth’s rise, believing truth’s adaptivity can be twisted and crushed by fear. The truth of truth is that truth expands; it is indispensable, not disposable.

Yet the power of truth is rare as a social or political force; it has always been tied to a sense of shame, a feeling of inner pain, a self-imposed humility, an emptiness and brokenness that rained on a soul telling a lie. Truth, celebrated as a virtue, carried with it a sense of embarrassment that made it hard to look people in the eye. Despair–agony–waited on those who bent or violated its moral faith. All day demons reigned in the lost hearts that told lies, a separation that left these hearts disturbed in out-of-body drift. Truth is the comfort of wholeness. Truth is foremost an inner quality, a force that builds a fabric of trust.

Akin and the ensuing political arguments badly miss this point. His one sentence/word/day violated a larger, higher trust. One New York Times commenter observed: Continue reading A Faith Lesson for Todd Akin

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+

GOP: FYI

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+

If you are a Republican who has wondered from time to time why we Democrats don’t take you seriously, let me explain it for you. (And please feel free to ask for assistance when you get to the big words.)

Part of it is your politicians’ penchant for hypocrisy, corruption, and blatant lying. Part of it is your collective attitude towards the poor, the homeless, the disabled and the uninsured, which is basically to ignore their plight. Part of it is your utter selfishness and greed as you demonstrate your outrage when you think someone somewhere – regardless of how dire their need may be – might benefit from a penny of your tax dollars. And a big part of it is the fact that you do all of the above while claiming to be good Christians, following the path of The Nazarene who taught love, tolerance and a clear responsibility to one’s fellow man.

But the biggest reason we have for not taking you seriously is the fact that you are, to put it bluntly, so unspeakably fuckin’ stupid.

Todd Akin’s recent remarks about a woman’s body being able to block an unwanted pregnancy while being raped is, as many have pointed out, a despicable excuse for denying access to abortion, even in such circumstances. What is even more disturbing is the fact that Akin, a sixty-five year old man with a college degree and no small amount of life experience, can be that ignorant about simple biology. And proudly so. There is only one reason for anyone of his age and education to be that ill-informed: he is fuckin’ stupid.

A quick perusal of the current crop of Republican politicians is rife with displays of unending fuckin’ stupidity. Sarah Palin was too stupid to come up with the name of a single newspaper she read while campaigning. Worse, she was too stupid to even fake it by naming any newspaper (even if she had to resort to lying, which is considered a virtue among you), rather than look like what she was: too fuckin’ stupid to handle the responsibilities of local dog-catcher, no less those of the vice presidency.

Mitt Romney’s current campaign for the presidency is rife with stupidity. Once caught in the glare of the “where are the tax returns” headlights, instead of hoping the story dies down and disappears, Mitt has continued to bring the topic up himself repeatedly. That’s because he’s too fuckin’ stupid to do otherwise.

Michele Bachmann. There’s a reason why she’s known as Michele “Batshit Crazy” Bachmann throughout the blogosphere. The woman believes that Muslim terrorists are infiltrating the US government. She also believes her husband is “straight”. Like I said, too fuckin’ stupid. And yet you people vote for her, time and again.

These are just a few paltry examples of fuckin’ stupidity within your party’s ranks. The list goes on far beyond that – but you’re probably too fuckin’ stupid to retain any more information than can be communicated beyond a few short sentences.

Aside from the stupidity of your politicians, one need not go far afield to determine just how stupid the average GOP voter is. A few hours watching Fox News leaves no doubt.

My favorite demonstration thereof was their showing footage of what was allegedly a Teabagger event held in D.C., allegedly attended by hundreds of thousands of people. The only problem being that the footage was from Obama’s inauguration in January, while the Teabagger gathering was held in the summer. How’d they get away with that? Well, it probably has a lot to do with knowing their viewing audience is too fuckin’ stupid to realize that people don’t parade around in winter coats under bare trees in the middle of June.

Over the past few years, we have heard from Republicans that the earth is 6,000 years old, that dinosaurs cavorted with humans on Noah’s ark like a below-decks scene from Titanic, that global warming is a hoax, that evolution is an unsubstantiated theory – and now we learn that not only is there such a thing as “legitimate rape” but that women can simply block the process of impregnation via some kind of automated mindset clicking in at the moment of what could have been conception. Continue reading GOP: FYI

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+