Category Archives: The Freak Show
This entire post was written by Jim Wright of http://www.stonekettle.com/. He was nice enough to allow me to republish it. Legislating religious beliefs is dangerous. Invoking the name of God as an excuse to hate others is even worse. But as Cluster said, the free market is deterministic. If this passes, I hope the law is used against those who wrote it. As Leon of Curb Your Enthusiasm once said: “turn the topsy turvy on their ass.”
You really have to wonder if Republican congressmen have any clue how idiotic they look. They’ve been huddled up for the past several days trying to agree on something–anything!–to hold hostage in exchange for voting to increase the debt ceiling. On Monday they appeared to have narrowed their choices to either demanding approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, or demanding a repeal of the Affordable Care Act risk corridors, which they ignorantly label insurance industry “bail outs.”
Yesterday, they were still mired in indecision, and cracks were beginning to show. Rep. Raúl R. Labrador (R-Idaho) complained, “We should bring up a clean debt ceiling, let the Democrats pass it and just move on. Our constituents are fed up with the political theater. If we’re not going to fight for something specific, we might as well let the Democrats own it.” Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) also referred to the charade as “theater,” noting, “It’s going to end up being clean anyway. I don’t see anything they can put on the table that I would support as some sort of trade-off.”
You see, this is all about political theater, trying to make Republicans look responsible… or something. Instead, they look more craven by the day, with Treasury Secretary Jack Lew warning that the temporary suspension of the debt limit passed by Congress last year expires this Friday.
But have no fear! Another hostage was proposed today. Speaker John Boehner has floated the idea of demanding the restoration of recently cut military benefits in exchange for a one-year extension of the debt ceiling. According to reports, he hasn’t actually endorsed the idea himself, because that would require him to take a stand without knowing whether he’d have the support of his fellow Republicans. And if we’ve learned anything about John Boehner since the Republicans regained control of the house in 2010, it’s that he won’t take a stand on anything unless he already knows he’ll be on safe ground.
The quotes coming out of the capital today are classic. Patrick J. Tiberi (R-Ohio) told reporters, “Right now, Jesus himself couldn’t be the speaker and get 218 Republicans behind something, so I think Speaker Boehner is trying his best to come up with a plan that can get close to that. Whatever we move, there will be critics everywhere, but at the end of the day we still have to govern.” At least he acknowledges that they need to govern. I’m not sure the rest of the bunch understand that.
And Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) chimed in, “I’d support [restoration of military cuts] in a heartbeat. We need to figure this thing out, and that’s a way to do it.” Yup, anything to “figure this thing out.” You get the idea that the specific hostage is secondary to the need to simply have a hostage.
It’s becoming an annual tradition: President Obama delivers his state of the union speech, and some Republican or other implodes on camera. Usually it occurs during the delivery of the Republican response. You know, Marco Rubio clumsily grabbing for his water bottle, or Bobby Jindal–the previous Republican wunderkind, remember?!–giving an awful speech that was painful to watch. I’m not saying that one of this year’s responders didn’t have their awkward TV moment, but there were just so many responses to keep track of this year. Who knows what happened in them, since nobody was watching.
No, I’m talking about Michael Grimm, Republican congressman from the state of New York. Following last night’s SOTU speech, Grimm went on NY1 TV for a brief interview. After eliciting a few comments about the speech–it was “divisive,” don’t you know–the reporter, Michael Scotto, had the audacity to ask the congressman about the ongoing federal investigation of his 2010 campaign fundraising. Rep. Grimm didn’t like that, not at all. His response?
“I’m not speaking to you off-topic, this is only about the president,” said Grimm, before walking off camera.
“So Congressman Michael Grimm does not want to talk about some of the allegations concerning his campaign finances,” Scotto said before tossing back to the station. But as the camera continued to roll, Grimm walked back up to Scotto and began speaking to him in a low voice.
“What?” Scotto responded. “I just wanted to ask you…”
Grimm: “Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again I’ll throw you off this f—–g balcony.”
Scotto: “Why? I just wanted to ask you…”
Grimm: “If you ever do that to me again…”
Scotto: “Why? Why? It’s a valid question.”
Grimm: “No, no, you’re not man enough, you’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half. Like a boy.”
It kinda makes you wonder if he has previously broken boys in half, doesn’t it?
After the incident–and after Grimm realized that maybe he shouldn’t be physically threatening television reporters while their cameramen are recording the threat–Grimm issued the following statement:
I was extremely annoyed because I was doing NY1 a favor by rushing to do their interview first in lieu of several other requests. The reporter knew that I was in a hurry and was only there to comment on the State of the Union, but insisted on taking a disrespectful and cheap shot at the end of the interview, because I did not have time to speak off-topic. I verbally took the reporter to task and told him off, because I expect a certain level of professionalism and respect, especially when I go out of my way to do that reporter a favor. I doubt that I am the first Member of Congress to tell off a reporter, and I am sure I won’t be the last.
Rep. Grimm expects “a certain level of professionalism and respect?” One might say the same about our congressmen.
P.S. As soon as Cluster reads this post, he’ll no doubt start scouring the Internets looking for a similar incident involving a Democrat. It could be from the twentieth century, or the nineteenth century, or colonial times. I’m sure I speak for all of us in saying that I can hardly wait to see what he comes up with.
Randy Weber of Texas, a United States congressman. I get having a difference of opinion, but really?
Which piss ant righty will have apoplexy first? Limbaugh? Hannity? Bueller? This proves he’s a communist, Marxist alien space creature. Look!!! Video evidence! He’s socializing!! I knew he was one of them damn socializers. Right up there with them High-why-an’s.