Another Family-Values Republican Gone Down

David Humphreys, who lives in Joplin and owns Tamko Building Products, has given a lot of money to Republicans over the years.  He and his family are nationally-known donors to conservative candidates and causes, including the Republican aspirant for Missouri governor, Peter Kinder.

According to FiredUp!Missouri, the Humphreys family has given Peter Kinder $766,903 since 2008. Man, what I could do with that kind of money. I bet I could talk and write like a teapartier for that kind of dough.

Anyway, Kinder, in case you forgot, is currently our state’s Lt. Governor.  I have largely avoided writing about him because a) I don’t like him, and b) I never thought he had much chance of defeating Democrat Jay Nixon, for a lot of reasons that pale in comparison to the one that currently has him in deep, family-values doo-doo.

It seems that Mr. Kinder, with his family values in tow, has, shall we say, parked his Winnebago in the wrong campground a time or two or, well, we don’t know how many times, really.  The campground was a bar-place in St. Louis called Verlin’s, a hot spot famous for—I am told—”pantless parties.” 

Now, if you are a family-values Republican, you sort of don’t want your name and “pantless parties” in the same sentence, let alone have a photograph of you and a hottie floating around for all to see.

Anyhow, pantless entertainment is not that prevalent around these parts, but then this part of the country isn’t exactly sexy Las Vegas.  Just about the most exciting pantless time around here for a guy is in the change-rooms at Wal-Mart, just after the latest shipment of Genuine Dickies comes in.

But despite its lack of excitement, this is where David Humphreys lives and this is how Politico reported what the GOP donor had to say about Mr. Kinder:

David Humphreys, a southwest Missouri businessman and major GOP donor who has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the party, is abandoning his support for Peter Kinder’s gubernatorial bid and calling on him to resign.

Humphreys tells POLITICO in an email that he has asked the lieutenant governor to forego a 2012 campaign, requested his donations be returned and warned he will support Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon if Kinder is the GOP nominee.

Humphreys’ move is a devastating blow to Kinder and the strongest signal to date that the lieutenant governor’s support is beginning to erode in light of a story that detailed his interactions with a former Penthouse Pet.

“If I had known this about him I would not have supported him in the past,” Humphreys told POLITICO.

Humphreys, a deeply conservative and private man, also conveyed he believes Kinder should step down from his current post immediately as a matter of principle and “so that he is not a liability to other Republicans in the upcoming elections.”

That pretty much ends Mr. Kinder’s political career, but before he goes, if you want all the details of what led up to Mr. Humphrey’s statement, Sean at FiredUp! has thoroughly documented the saga, so start here and ENJOY!

The Most Revealing Question Of All: How Old Is The Earth?

Last year, the Joplin Globe had a pre-election feature it called the 100 Words Project.  It presented questions to the candidates for our 7th District congressional seat—eventually won by Ozark Billy Long—and they were all required to answer with 100 words or less.

I suggested at the time that one of the questions should have been:

How old is the earth?

A nice discussion ensued and I endured some criticism for wanting to ask such a question, but my point was that the answer to it would be quite revealing.

Now comes news that during a campaign stop in New Hampshire on Thursday Governor Rick Perry was actually asked my question by nine-year-old Sam Beane, who was (unfortunately) prodded by his mother:

SAM BEANE: How old do you think the earth is?

PERRY:  How old do I think the earth is? You know what? I don’t have any idea. I know it’s pretty old, so it goes back a long, long way. I’m not sure anybody actually knows completely and absolutely how long, how old the earth is. I hear your mom was asking about evolution. You know, it’s a theory that’s out there. It’s got some gaps in it, but in Texas we teach both creationism and evolution in our public schools, because I figured you’re smart enough to figure out which one is right.

Now, there is a lot of ignorance woven into that statement, but the ignorance is willful, not accidental. 

Of course we know how old the earth is, although it would be technically correct to say we don’t know with absolute certainty, that is, to the minute, how old it is.

And of course evolution is a theory, but it is a theory in the scientific sense: it accurately describes and explains a large set of observations of nature and makes falsifiable predictions about future observations.  Such scientific theories can never be ultimately proven, only ultimately disproven. 

Science doesn’t make God-like pronouncements about the nature of the universe; it only offers theories that can be tested over time, and when they have been tested over time and found reliable, they become more probable as reliable explanations of how things work.

Evolution theory is thus the foundation—rock solid—of modern biology.  There simply is no dispute about it among biologists.

Which leads to Perry’s phony claim that “we teach both creationism and evolution in our public schools.”  Even in God-crazed Texas they don’t teach creationism in government schools, particularly since the Supreme Court—before it was controlled by conservatives—put the kibosh on such nonsense in 1987.

But  the most dishonest thing Governor Perry said was what he said last, looking nine-year-old Sam Beane in the eye:

I figured you’re smart enough to figure out which one is right.

No, Governor, he doesn’t know what’s right at the age of nine.  He needs to be taught what is right. In this case he needs to be taught what science understands about the universe.  And he needs to be taught it no matter how much it conflicts with fundamentalist religion, no matter how much it might shake up Iron Age conceptions of the nature of life.

Sam Beane did ask a damned important question and he got a damned disturbing answer from a damned disturbing presidential candidate.

Which is why the question should be asked of all candidates who want to represent us. It tells us something about each one’s state of mind and the quality of analysis each will bring to the table in order to find solutions to our nation’s problems.

Remarks And Asides, Part II

Tom Coburn, our U.S. Senator neighbor, called his congressional colleagues “cowards,” and said:

It’s just a good thing I can’t pack a gun on the Senate floor.

You see?  The conservative solution to nearly every problem in America is to cut spending and kill people.  While it’s not clear what the extremist Mr. Coburn would do with the gun on the Senate floor,  if he’s pining for suggestions on where to start, I have a couple.

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Speaking of Tom Coburn, who is supposed to be a great friend of President Obama, the Tulsa World reported that while in Pryor the extremist said this about his friend:

Responding to a man in Langley who asked if Obama “wants to destroy America,” Coburn said the president is “very bright” and loves his country but has a political philosophy that is “goofy and wrong.”

Obama’s “intent is not to destroy, his intent is to create dependency because it worked so well for him,” he said.

“As an African-American male,” Coburn said, Obama received “tremendous advantage from a lot of these programs.”

Man, with friends like that, who needs the Tea Party and the Taliban?

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Speaking of African-American males and taking the easy road of dependency, as amnesia-laden conservatives grumble over The Lazy Negro’s vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, we learn from CBS News that President Obama, compared to Republican presidents, actually needs to take more time off:

George W. Bush, after 31 months in office:  180 days of vacation

Ronald Reagan, after 31 months in office: 112 days of vacation

Barack Obama, after 31 months in office: 61 days of vacation

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In today’s Jesus Is Weeping section, Huff Po informs us that Rick Perry, who in his book “Fed Up!” attacked Washington types who get their jollies from spending other people’s money, actually hired Washington types to get other Washington types to spend other people’s money in Texas.

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Speaking of hypocrisy, a Texas Republican and Ron Paul supporter has taken out the following ad in a weekly newspaper, the Austin Chronicle:

Now, the man who took out the ad, Robert Morrow, is clearly nuts. Among other things, he believes that Bush The Older was involved in killing JFK and tried to kill Ross Perot; he also believes that Barack Obama is CIA and gay. 

Apparently, though, he doesn’t think Obama hates America, which is progress for Tea Party types.

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Speaking of Ron Paul and Rick Perry, when Ron Paul thinks you’re an extremist, maybe it’s time to go back to Houston and do some more prayin’. 

This time, Rick, ask for a little modesty.

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Speaking of extremists, not only has Congress’ disapproval rating soared to new heights (82%), the Tea Party is finally getting only part of its due. The latest New York Times/CBS News poll shows that :

The public’s opinion of the Tea Party movement has soured in the wake of the debt-ceiling debate. The Tea Party is now viewed unfavorably by 40 percent of the public and favorably by just 20 percent…

I won’t rest easy until 99.9% of Americans view the Tea Party unfavorably.  I have little hope, however, that Anson Burlingame will ever see the light.

Remarks And Asides

Like President Obama, who cut Rick Perry some slack for “almost” rhetorically executing Ben Bernanke for treason, I am willing to cut Michelle Bachmann some slack for getting all mixed up about Elvis. 

After all, it’s hard for some folks to tell the difference between being born and being dead, just as it’s hard for some folks to tell the difference between God telling you to run for president and God telling Rick Perry to run for president.

It’s all very confusing sometimes.

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Speaking of Michele Bachmann, she will never, ever be president. Not even in 2102:

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Governor Chris Christie has once again found it necessary to beat back rumors that he is considering running for president next year.  Among others, Karl Rove hinted on Monday that Home Depot co-founder and Obama-hater Ken Langone told Christie that he needed “to think seriously” about a run.

I have it on good authority, though, that Christie told Langone this:

Look, I appreciate the nice orange Home Depot apron you gave me, Ken, but I’m not running.  And since I’ve already missed the deep-fried butter on a stick at the Iowa State Fair, nothing could get me to run now.

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Fox Bidness Network’s Lou Dobbs—who has a hit-and-miss relationship with reality—learned from Texas congressman Louis Gohmert—who has a miss-and-miss relationship with reality—that President Obama was “out there acting like the evil emperor” in his “Darth Vader bus.”

The evil emperor, of course, was Palpatine, who as a Galactic Republic politician rose to Chancellor and began to reveal his true identity as Darth Sidious, a Dark Lord of the evil Sith.

Now, you can tell by looking at Darth Sidious that Obama is no Darth Sidious. He doesn’t have the complexion or the temperament.  But Louis Gohmert does.  Let’s compare (hint: Gohmert is on the right):

You can see now that Gohmert, in a clear case of deflection, was trying to hide his true identity.

Meanwhile, far from a Dark Lord, Obama has the complexion and temperament of a Jedi Master, perhaps Mace Windu:

By the way, anyone remember how Star Wars ended?

Heads Perry Wins, Tails Obama Loses

Responding to critics of his dumb remarks about a potentially treasonous Ben Bernanke, Republican Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Rick Perry said this today:

Yesterday, the president said I needed to watch what I say. I just want to respond back to say, ‘Mr. President, actions speak louder than words.’  My actions helped create jobs in Texas. The president’s actions are killing jobs in America.

Okay, let me see here.  Rick Perry, whose campaign mantra appears to be,  I’m-the-most-pro-business-politician-in-the-history-of-the-universe, says his actions “helped create jobs in Texas,” while Mr. Obama’s “are killing jobs in America.”

How can this be?  Either the President is responsible for the economy or he isn’t.  Republicans need to make up their minds.  They can’t credit one state’s job creation, however ambiguous the claim, to their economic and political philosophy—as Rick Perry does every day—and then credit unemployment elsewhere to Mr. Obama. 

In other words, if Mr. Obama is “killing jobs in America,” then he is killing jobs in Texas, too.  And if he is not killing jobs in Texas, then he is not killing jobs in America.

The truth, of course, is that under President Obama’s watch, almost two and a half million new private sector jobs have been created—17 straight months of private-sector job growth—a stunning reversal of the hemorrhaging of jobs caused by the other Texas governor’s Great Recession.  And this is not to mention the millions of jobs saved by the stimulus bill and the auto rescue.

So, the fact that Rick Perry has helped Texas, along with Republican Haley Barbour’s Mississippi,  become the minimum-wage job capital of the United States is not all that much to brag about, especially since not too many minimum wage jobs come with benefits.

But it is fair to say that some well-paying jobs have been added in Texas, even some that are not associated with the drain-Americans-of-every-last-cent energy bidness.  But many of those jobs have been added by subtracting them from other states. Is it fair to say you “created” a job when you stole it from another state because of the short-sighted economic ideology of weak government regulation and low or no taxes?  Is it fair to brag about that kind of job creation?

Nope. But if Perry wants to brag, perhaps he can brag about the fact that Texas is NUMBER ONE in the number of folks without health insurance (1 in 4).  It is also NUMBER ONE in the number of children without health insurance (1.5 million kids*).  And if one compares the June unemployment rate in health care-challenged Texas with Massachusetts, where ObamneyCare lives on, one finds this:

MASSACHUSETTS: 7.6%           TEXAS: 8.2%

Hmm.

And by the way, there does seem to be plenty of jobs for executioners in Texas. The state kills more criminals than any other state, and some of them are even guilty of their crimes.

Congratulations, guv’nor.

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* According to a faith-based Texas group, “Texas Impact,”

About 750,000 Texas children, half of our uninsured youth, are eligible for—but not enrolled in—the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or Children’s Medicaid. Our strained enrollment system cannot support the task of connecting these children with the insurance they need and that the state has promised them.

In other words, stingy Texas government won’t hire enough staff and purchase up-to-date computer systems to process the high number of claims for the uninsured kids.  That is what small government means to some vulnerable folks.

I’m Rooting For Radical Rick

Republicans are giddy over Rick Perry.

Me, too.

While most liberals and Democrats are upset with the intemperate Texan, I am excited. Remember during the 2008 campaign when that crazy lady in Minnesota stood up at a McCain rally and said, “Obama is an Arab“?

And remember when McCain grabbed the microphone from her and sort of tried to de-Arab Obama?  McCain said,

No ma’am.  He’s a decent family man, citizen, that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues.

Well, if that same thing happened during the 2012 election with Rick Perry as the nominee, we might have this happen:

WOMAN AT PERRY RALLY: Obama is an Arab.

PERRY: No ma’am. He’s not in love with America, that’s for sure. But an Arab? No ma’am.  Now, he is a socialist the troops don’t respect, and you can count on it when I’m president that the military will respect me, a white guy from the great state of Texas.  There won’t be a black cloud hanging over the country.

You see?  That could happen.  Wait.  It already has happened, sort of.

Perry has already—just a couple days into the primary campaign—questioned Obama’s love for America and his bona fides as Commander-in-chief.  And the underlying, as of yet unspoken, foundation for such things is this:

WE JUST CAN’T TRUST THIS STRANGE NEGRO TO RUN THE COUNTRY

And to top it all off, Perry said this about Ben Bernanke, Fed chairman:

If this guy prints more money between now and the election, I don’t know what y’all would do to him in Iowa, but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas. Printing more money to play politics at this particular time in American history is almost treasonous in my opinion.

Treasonous?  What could he mean by that?

He told reporters, who ask him if he thought the Fed was playing politics on behalf of Obama:

If they print more money between now and this election I would suggest that’s exactly what’s going on.

Now, think about it.  If Bernanke’s actions help Obama, Bernanke is “almost” committing treason.  That must mean that Obama is an enemy to the country, right?  Helping The Scary Negro remain president is tantamount, or “almost” tantamount, to betraying the country.

Perry is merely saying out loud what a lot of Republicans say among themselves.

Thus, as the truth trickles out about Rick Perry’s dubious job record in Texas (by the way, why is Obama responsible for all the unemployment in the rest of the country, but not responsible for the employment in Texas?);

As the truth trickles out about Rick Perry’s constitutional hostility toward Social Security and Medicare;

As the truth trickles out about Rick Perry’s fondness for trickle-down economics, which has miserably failed Texas and the country;

I am rooting for Radical Rick to become the GOP nominee because he represents an embarrassingly large swath of the Republican Party these days, and the American people will have no clearer choice of visions for our country. 

If Americans want George Bush on Rovian steroids, if they want Sarah Palin with a Texas twang, if they want a pale-faced zealot who is dangerously certain of God’s calling and purpose, Rick Perry is their man.

And if fifty-percent-plus-one of the country want that kind of America, the rest of us will just have to suffer.  But it’s time we find out what kind of country we will have.

Jesus Christ Supersocialist

A commenter on my post, “The Socialist Capital Of Missouri: Joplin,” wrote:

I would submit the idea that Christ would be in favor of socialism!

It so happens that Gregory Paul, who knows a little something about sociological research, wrote a piece for The Washington Post a few days ago that addressed the Jesus-as-socialist idea.

In fact, Paul went further and questioned “a set of profound contradictions” that “have developed within modern conservative Christianity.” If that critique sounds familiar to readers of this blog, it is because I, a former conservative, evangelical Christian, have offered the same criticisms.

Paul wrote:

Many conservative Christians, mostly Protestant but also a number of Catholics, have come to believe and proudly proclaim that the creator of the universe favors free wheeling, deregulated, union busting, minimal taxes especially for wealthy investors, plutocrat-boosting capitalism as the ideal earthly scheme for his human creations. And many of these Christian capitalists are ardent followers of Ayn Rand, who was one of – and many of whose followers are — the most hard-line anti-Christian atheist/s you can get. Meanwhile many Christians who support the capitalist policies associated with social Darwinistic strenuously denounce Darwin’s evolutionary science because it supposedly leads to, well, social Darwinism!

He then goes on to discuss chapters 2 and 4 of the book of Acts in the New Testament, especially:

All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.

Paul comments:

Now folks, that’s outright socialism of the type described millennia later by Marx—who likely got the general idea from the gospels.

The pro-capitalist Christians who are aware of these passages wave them away even though it is the only explicit description of Christian economics in the Bible.

Mr. Paul also comments on the odd affection that a lot of Bible-toting evangelicals and fundamentalists have for the rabid atheist Ayn Rand:

…many influential conservative Christians have embraced her expressly atheistic theory of Objectivism that in her books such as The Virtue of Selfishness, they propose that government must be shrunk to a bare minimum so socially Darwinist that it dances with anarchy. Only then can entrepreneurial greed have the free run that liberty demands…

In the Randian hyper-materialistic world those who are on the financial make are the exalted makers, the impoverished that accept tax payer assistance are parasitic takers who need to fend for themselves. A radical modernist ideology in greater antithesis to the traditional scriptural favoring of the poor over the rich can hardly be imagined. Yet the economics of the plutocratic Republican Party that embraces the Christian, anti-Darwinist creationist right are essentially those of the uberatheist, anti-creationist, Darwin-adoring Christianity-loathing Ayn Rand. So we have Christian creationists like Jay Richards writing books titled Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem. Can a stranger amalgam of opposing opinions be devised?

Can a stranger amalgam of opposing opinions be devised?” No.  And I experienced that strange amalgam first-hand here in Joplin at the April Tea Party rally.  A state legislator from Springfield, Eric Burlison, spoke to those gathered and mentioned his enthusiasm for Ayn Rand. I wrote at the time:

I can’t be the only one who finds irony in the fact that a man like Eric Burlison—a “pro-life” Christian who advertises that he gives back to the community by “serving” and “volunteering“—is behind a podium at a Tea Party event extolling the philosophy of a godless “baby-killer,” who would openly ridicule and scorn Mr. Burlison’s work on behalf of Big Brothers and Big Sisters and the Ronald McDonald House.

I can’t be the only one.”  No, as it turns out.

And thank God for that.

Message To A “Billionaire-Friendly Congress”

Warren Buffett, appearing in The New York Times, made his point again that rich folks like him are undertaxed:

I know well many of the mega-rich and, by and large, they are very decent people. They love America and appreciate the opportunity this country has given them. Many have joined the Giving Pledge, promising to give most of their wealth to philanthropy. Most wouldn’t mind being told to pay more in taxes as well, particularly when so many of their fellow citizens are truly suffering.

After pointing out the need to “pare down some future promises that even a rich America can’t fulfill,” Buffett presented his tax proposal to “a billionaire-friendly Congress“:

I would leave rates for 99.7 percent of taxpayers unchanged and continue the current 2-percentage-point reduction in the employee contribution to the payroll tax. This cut helps the poor and the middle class, who need every break they can get.

But for those making more than $1 million — there were 236,883 such households in 2009 — I would raise rates immediately on taxable income in excess of $1 million, including, of course, dividends and capital gains. And for those who make $10 million or more — there were 8,274 in 2009 — I would suggest an additional increase in rate.

And should anyone—and by anyone I mostly mean tax-cut theologians in Congress and on the GOP presidential campaign trail—preach the usual butt-numbing sermon on “Thou Shalt Not Tax The Job Creators,” Buffett points out that his effective tax rate last year was 17.4% of his income—”a lower percentage than was paid by any of the other 20 people in our office“—and then countered the right-wing falsehoods on the relationship between jobs and taxes with this:

Back in the 1980s and 1990s, tax rates for the rich were far higher, and my percentage rate was in the middle of the pack. According to a theory I sometimes hear, I should have thrown a fit and refused to invest because of the elevated tax rates on capital gains and dividends.

I didn’t refuse, nor did others. I have worked with investors for 60 years and I have yet to see anyone — not even when capital gains rates were 39.9 percent in 1976-77 — shy away from a sensible investment because of the tax rate on the potential gain. People invest to make money, and potential taxes have never scared them off. And to those who argue that higher rates hurt job creation, I would note that a net of nearly 40 million jobs were added between 1980 and 2000. You know what’s happened since then: lower tax rates and far lower job creation.

All that coming from a man who paid—who paid!—$6,938,744 in federal taxes last year.

The Socialist Capital Of Missouri: Joplin

As I have mentioned before, the EF-5 tornado that blew through Joplin on May 22, killing 160 people and destroying or damaging more than 7000 homes and businesses, also seems to have destroyed or damaged the anti-government sentiments of a lot of folks around here. 

At least until it’s time to elect more anti-government politicians to office.

In the wake of the deadly storm has come a tsunami of socialism to this notoriously fed-up-with-gubmint part of the country.

Consider just the last two days of reporting in the Joplin Globe.  On Friday, the above-the-fold news was:

In that article we learn:

JOPLIN, Mo. — Gov. Jay Nixon at a news conference Thursday afternoon announced state funding of up to $1.5 million for the Joplin School District to offset a projected drop in property tax revenue as a result of the damage wreaked by the May 22 tornado.

And:

Without the state funding, state and local officials said, the district would have had to contemplate raising the local operating and debt-service levies to meet financial needs for fiscal year 2012.

Think about that, all you anti-government types in Joplin.  In order to keep from raising local property taxes, our school district needs the help of other Missourians.  That’s called democratic socialism, my friends.

Or consider Saturday’s Joplin Globe:

In the first story we learn:

JOPLIN, Mo. — Joplin’s city administration will ask the City Council at its meeting Monday night to allow the city to make application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for individual storm shelter funding.

Assistant City Manager Sam Anselm said that if the council authorized submission of the application and it was eventually approved, residents could build storm shelters or safe rooms and be reimbursed for 75 percent of the cost.

In the second story we learn how eager some other area communities are in getting in on the federal program that would help with storm shelter funding.

Now, you can call this stuff anything you want, but when other Americans are helping Joplinites purchase and install storm shelters, I call it democratic socialism.

Finally, Saturday’s Globe also brought us this headline:

Contracts total $31 million for temporary schools

FEMA to pick up most of the cost.

In that story we find out many details about to whom this particular FEMA money—courtesy of democratic socialism in America—will go.  The money, only part of what FEMA has done for Joplin, is designated for contracts to establish temporary schools to replace those that were destroyed in the tornado. 

Here is a partial list of some of the local direct monetary beneficiaries of democratic socialism around the area:

Crossland Construction of Columbus, Ks.: $9,456,774

R.E. Smith Construction of Joplin: $5,786,104

Intelligent Investments of Neosho: $2,485,498

KIR Joplin, which owns the space in Northpark Mall that will house half of Joplin High School: $1,000,000 per year

Northpark Mall‘s management company: $134,250 per year

Joplin Business and Industrial Corporation for leasing space for East Middle School students: $432,000 per year

Bentley Investments, owned by Joplin resident Gary Hall: $420,000 per year

Joplin Memorial Hall, owned by the city: $400,000 per year

There you have it.  Socialism is alive and well in our fair city, but few dare call it that. 

Onward Christian Governor

Mark Halperin, who plays a journalist on TV and off, got a scoop when he interviewed Christian zealot and Texas governor and now GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry.

Now, I don’t know if Halperin’s attendance at Rick Perry’s prayer event in Houston had anything to do with getting the scoop, or whether Governor Perry just couldn’t resist being a part of perhaps the worst example of journalism in the history of pen and paper.

But whatever it was, Time magazine will not win any Pulitzer’s for hard-hitting news reporting this year.

The only softball question left out of the sycophantic interview was,

If you were a Texas tree, what kind of Texas tree would you be?

It really was that bad, and it not only exposed Mark Halperin as a powder-puff interviewer, it exposed him as a Pillsbury Doughboy class of powder-puff interviewer.

In any case, there was something in the interview that confirmed what we already knew about Rick Perry and confirmed just why he should scare the bejesus out of everyone this side of Pat Robertson, himself once a God-told-me-to-run presidential candidate:

HALPERIN: Does any aspect of running for President intimidate you?

PERRY: No.

HALPERIN: Does any aspect of it excite you or enthuse you?

PERRY: Yeah, I’m kind of getting to the all-in point and the idea that, this is what I’m supposed to be doing. I mean, this is starting to get to that comfort level and I’ve got the calmness in my heart. I think that was a bit of a hurdle initially but I’m very calm in my heart that this is what I’m supposed to be doing.

Anyone who has spent five minutes with a zealous evangelical knows what the phrases, “this is what I’m supposed to be doing,” and, “calmness in my heart,” mean.  Those are definite claims that the Almighty has endorsed Rick Perry for president because the Almighty has a special job for Rick Perry to do.

All of which seems to confirm what Forrest Wilder, writing for the Texas Observer, suggested, as the header and subheader of his frightening article summarized it:

That little-known movement is called the New Apostolic Reformation, members of which were prominently involved in Perry’s August 6 event in Houston that drew a reported 30,000 folks, including Mark Halperin.

Here’s how Wilder described the movement:

If they simply professed unusual beliefs, movement leaders wouldn’t be remarkable. But what makes the New Apostolic Reformation movement so potent is its growing fascination with infiltrating politics and government. The new prophets and apostles believe Christians—certain Christians—are destined to not just take “dominion” over government, but stealthily climb to the commanding heights of what they term the “Seven Mountains” of society, including the media and the arts and entertainment world. They believe they’re intended to lord over it all. As a first step, they’re leading an “army of God” to commandeer civilian government.

In Rick Perry, they may have found their vessel. And the interest appears to be mutual.

Look, I don’t think Rick Perry can become president of the United States, but the idea that he is being taken seriously by lots of Republicans and lots of journalists is, well, terrifying.

And instead of asking him about this stuff, Mark Halperin—fresh off his MSNBC suspension for calling President Obama a Dick Cheney without the Cheney—asked Governor Perry this faith-question:

HALPERIN: How does your faith inform your interest in being in public office?

PERRY: Yeah, no different than it would a doctor or a lawyer or anyone else who does their job and that is a faithful individual. You know, my faith sustains me. I’m quite comfortable with my faith, but it is very much a foundation of my life and has been since my mid-20s.

Apparently, Halperin is comfortable with Perry’s faith, too, since he asked no follow-up questions about those strange folks in the New Apostolic Reformation movement.

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