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  • New Hampshire Legislators Compete for Most Embarrassing Legislative Proposal

    With the Iowa Caucuses behind us, attention now turns to the other handful of white people who will choose Barack Obama's general election opponent — the citizens of New Hampshire. Just who are these gatekeepers of retail democracy?

    As luck would have it, New Hampshire's constitutional makeup offers unique insight into the id of its citizenry. With 400 severely underpaid Members of the House representing 1.3 million residents, the state relies on citizen legislators rather than professional politicians for much of its policy-making. Unfortunately, some of these citizen legislators are crazier than a Statehouse rat

    New Hampshire House Bill 1148 would "require evolution to be taught in the public schools of this state as a theory, including the theorists' political and ideological viewpoints and their position on the concept of atheism." [...]

    Jerry Bergevin, a Republican who introduced HB 1148, went further, telling the Concord Monitor that atheism was linked to Nazism and the 1999 Columbine school shooting.

    "I want the full portrait of evolution and the people who came up with the idea to be presented," Bergevin said. "It's a worldview and it's godless."

    Bonus points for strict adherence to Godwin's law. Plus, the legislation itself is prima facie evidence against evolution. But it gets a few demerits for unoriginality.  You can do better, New Hampshire

    House Bill 1580…requires legislation to find its origin in an English document crafted in 1215.

    "All members of the general court proposing bills and resolutions addressing individual rights or liberties shall include a direct quote from the Magna Carta which sets forth the article from which the individual right or liberty is derived," is the bill's one sentence.

    King Obama wants to shove another infrastructure spending bill down our throats? Lay down some Clause 23 learning on his royal behind: "No town or person shall be forced to build bridges over rivers except those with an ancient obligation to do so."

    Thinking of making some modifications to the criminal justice system? Let Clause 54 guide the way: "No one shall be arrested or imprisoned on the appeal of a woman for the death of any person except her husband."

    But why stop at the 13th century? Where in Hammurabi's Code does it say New Hampshire has to participate in a health insurance exchange? Checkmate, Obama.

    Photo by Brendan Thorne/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: Constitution, Evolution, New Hampshire, Republicans, Science & Technology, State Legislature
  • Could Science Tear the Republican Party in Two?

    With all signs at the moment showing that Republicans may very well just take back the White House and the Senate while holding onto the House and possibly even taking control of the DNC and winning the rights to Harry Reid's prize Mustang next year, is it at all possible that conservatives could find their movement torn asunder, not by a centuries-old political rival, but by their millenia-old arch nemesis, Science!

    The collision between Jon Huntsman and Rick Perry over climate change and the evolution of human life threatens to widen the central rift in the Republican electoral coalition even as it helps each man sharpen his image in the party's crowded 2012 presidential field.

    Lo these many years, the dastardly Science — and its nefarious twin brother Reason — have dogged conservatives noble struggle to stop all advancement of learning and understanding and make everything go back to the way it was when they were little kids.

    Every step of the way, as Science tightened its death-like grip on civilization — from the reason it rains to the shape and position of the Earth — conservativism has fought heroically to beat back the tide of understanding seek refuge in the gentle comforting arms of mythology.

    But will this battle come to its ultimate head here on the pitch of the 2012 GOP presidential primaries as Jon Huntsman do battle over climate and evolutionary science? Could this be the end of the Republican Party as we know it?

    The confrontation represents more of a gamble for Huntsman, the former Utah governor lagging in the polls, than it does for Texas Gov. Perry, who immediately catapulted into the race's top tier after entering it in mid-August. Although an overwhelming majority of scientists agree that carbon pollution is contributing to global climate change, and virtually all accept that an evolutionary process of natural selection explains the emergence of human life, polls show that most Republican voters second Perry's rejection of both beliefs…

    On the specifics of the argument, polls leave no doubt that most Republican voters side with Perry.

    Oh, so, I guess the answer is no.

    Carry on, then.

    Photo by Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call Group/Getty Images

    Tags: Climate Change, Evolution, Jon Huntsman, Republicans, Rick Perry, Science & Technology
  • Jon Huntsman Signs Campaign's Death Warrant, Admits Belief in Science

    And you thought Jon Huntsman's chances couldn't get any lower

    "To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy," tweeted Huntsman, the former ambassador to China…

    Huntsman’s tweet will raise questions about whether he has the conservative bona fides to win the Republican presidential nomination. Huntsman has carved out a niche in the primary fight as a centrist, but it is unclear whether GOP voters are looking for that in a candidate this year.

    This year.

    Now, to be fair to Huntsman, he didn't just admit this bizarre extremist belief system of his — that he shares with the vast vast majority of educated people on the planet — for no good reason. He did it in response to Rick Perry's earlier dismissals of climate science and evolutionary theory.

    I'm sure that Huntsman saw this as his way out of the sand pit. He was probably thinking, "Now that Perry's zigged right, I'll zag left and pick up all the moderate rational conservative voters out there."

    Unfortunately, he was apparently unaware that that particular species of conservative voter went extinct a long time ago.

    Photo by Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call Group/Getty Images

    Tags: Climate Change, Evolution, Jon Huntsman, Primaries, Republicans, Rick Perry, Science & Technology, Twitter
  • Quote Unquote: Evolutionary War

    Christian historian David Barton on how much the Founding Fathers hated the theory of evolution

    "The Founding Fathers… already had the entire debate on creation/evolution… and you've got Thomas Paine, the least religious of the Founding Fathers, saying you got to teach creation science in the public school classroom. The scientific method demands it!"

    Wow! Those Founding Fathers, they really had it all together didn't they? Not only did they create the greatest nation that has ever existed in the universe, but they also invented the theory of evolution by means of natural selection decades before Charles Darwin just so they could tell it to go fuck itself!

    You've got to admire that kind of proactive demagoguery.

    Tags: Christianity, David Barton, Education, Evolution, Founding Fathers, Quote Unquote, Religion, Science & Technology, Thomas Paine
  • Quote Unquote: This Guy Really Gets Science

    Florida Sen. Stephen Wise — chair of the state's Senate Education Committee — asks a question

    "Why do we still have apes if we came from them?"

    Very good question! And so original. Definitely not one that's been addressed at least a thousand times and answered with a 30-second Google check. Really shows that this is the guy to head up an education committee.

    That guy's gonna do such a good job pushing his creationist bill through the state's legislature. Congratulations, Florida students! You're finally gonna learn real science!

    Tags: Education, Evolution, Florida, Quote Unquote, Religion, Science & Technology