Tag Archives: The Freak Show

Republican Hostage Taking Update

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.


Posted by on February 5, 2014 in Current Events, Politics, The Freak Show


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Another SOTU, Another Republican Implosion

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…”

[[cross talk]]

Grimm: “If you ever do that to me again…”

Scotto: “Why? Why? It’s a valid question.”

[[cross talk]]

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.


Posted by on January 29, 2014 in Current Events, Politics, The Freak Show


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Tweet Of The Day

Randy Weber of Texas, a United States congressman. I get having a difference of opinion, but really?


Posted by on January 28, 2014 in Current Events, The Freak Show


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Ron Paul and Ted Cruz: A Freak Show Update

It’s been a while since we’ve devoted a post to the Freak Show, but a couple of items this week were too, um, freaky to pass up.

First, Ron Paul. Kevin Drum writes, “Way back in 2012, when he was running for president, Ron Paul seemed to some people like a breath of fresh air. Sure, maybe he was a bit of a crank, but at least he didn’t sanitize his beliefs in order to avoid offending people. He said what he meant, and he meant what he said.”

Well, maybe not. Earlier this week we got the unfiltered Ron Paul stumping on behalf of Ken Cuccinelli’s failed campaign for governor of Virginia. From Drum’s article:

“Jefferson obviously was a clear leader on the principle of nullification,” the former Texas congressman said of the third president. “I’ve been working on the assumption that nullification is going to come. It’s going to be a de facto nullification. It’s ugly, but pretty soon things are going to get so bad that we’re just going to ignore the feds and live our own lives in our own states.”

….He tore into the Constitution’s 17th Amendment. Ratified in 1913, it’s the one that allows for the direct election of U.S. senators by popular vote. “That undermined the principle importance of the states,” said Paul.

He criticized the 16th Amendment, which allowed the federal income tax. After the crowd chanted “End the Fed,” Paul decried the printing of more money by the Federal Reserve.“We need someone to stand up to the authoritarians,” he said. “They’re dictators.”

….He stressed that the constitutional “right to keep and bear arms” was not for hunting, but to allow rebellion against tyrannical governments. “The Second Amendment was not there so you could shoot rabbits,” he said. “Right now today, we have a great threat to our liberties internally.”

To sane Americans, this Ron Paul does indeed sound like a kook. As Drum says, “[T]he most remarkable part of all this is that the rest of us–centrists, liberals, non-insane Republicans, the press, etc.–are expected to shrug off this kind of thing as nothing more than a sort of boys-will-be-boys stemwinder, not to be taken seriously. Remarkable indeed.” Ed Kilgore asks, “can you imagine a statewide Democratic candidate anywhere, much less in a ‘purple state,’ associating himself or herself so conspicuously with such ravings? No, you can’t.” Exactly.

Now on to Ted Cruz. Andrew Sullivan had a post yesterday that was perfectly titled: Ted Cruz’s Jeremiah Wright. Who’s that? Why, it’s Ted’s father, Rafael Cruz. David Corns has a rundown of many of the incendiary things the elder Cruz has said, including the videos. In response to Corn’s reporting, Ted dismisses his father’s rants as “a joke”. Good luck with that! Corns followed up his original reporting by asking, “Does Ted Cruz Believe His Critics Will be Condemned by God?”

There might be a much bigger issue regarding Ted Cruz’s response to the article about his father. In July, the senator, with his father by his side, accepted the blessings of fundamentalist pastors in Iowa (see above) who are adherents of Christian Reconstructionism, a view that holds that God anoints individuals to be “kings” who strive to influence or control key institutions of society (say, the government) as a prelude to the second coming of Christ. The blessing of Ted Cruz contained this line: “Father, we believe that no weapon formed against [Cruz] will prosper and every tongue that rises up against him in judgment will be condemned.”

This blessing seems to suggest that the pastors believe that those who criticize Ted Cruz will be condemned by God. This certainly seems in sync with Rafael Cruz’s remarks and his preaching at religious gatherings of fellow evangelicals. But a serious question is raised: does Ted Cruz himself see his detractors as being on the wrong side of God? Can those who raise inconvenient questions about him or his father expect to receive a mighty smiting from above?

This is no joke. Such a mindset—my detractors are destined for hell—could certainly affect how Cruz would govern, should he reach the pinnacle of power. Given that he willingly accepted this blessing, it would hardly be inappropriate to ask Cruz what he thought of it. Actually, I did. Along with those queries noted above, I asked his office whether Senator Cruz believes that his critics will be condemned by God? No answer yet on that, either. I suppose those who report unflattering facts about the senator may have to wait until Judgment Day to see if those Cruz-courted pastors have it right.

This is the kind of mindset I was thinking of back when I said anyone who truly believes we are in the Biblical End Times is not fit to hold public office. I’m not against religion or Christianity per se; I just don’t think people who believe they are about to usher in the End Times should be running the country for the rest of us.

And lest you think the two Cruz’s don’t have much of relationship, let’s remember that unlike Barack Obama and Jeremiah Wright, Ted Cruz routinely trots out his father as his spokesman. As Corns points out, “According to campaign disclosure records, Cruz’s Senate campaign paid Rafael Cruz about $10,000 in traveling expenses in 2012 and 2013. And in August the conservative National Review noted that the father-son duo had forged a ‘political partnership,’ reporting: ‘Cruz has kept his father, a 74-year-old pastor, involved with his political shop, using him not merely as a confidant and stand-in, but as a special envoy. He is Cruz’s preferred introductory speaker, his best messenger with evangelicals, and his favorite on-air sidekick.’ Put it this way: Rafael Cruz is far closer to Ted Cruz and his political endeavors than Jeremiah Wright was to Obama and his campaigns.”


Posted by on November 6, 2013 in Current Events, Politics, The Freak Show


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“We ARE Hypocrites”

Here’s something you don’t expect to find from the we-hate-Obama crowd: introspection.

For five years we’ve been subjected to a non-stop barrage of innuendo, conspiracy theories and hatred directed at Barack Obama from what Steve Schmidt recently dubbed “the freak show.” The website Blogs For Victory has been a breeding ground for this kind of nonsense ever since President Obama became a serious presidential candidate in early 2008.

So it was with great surprise to read this morning the musings of B4V regular, Amazona, who finally admits that their behavior has been driven by a desire to, in her words, “bring [Obama] down even if it meant inventing something to do so.” Of course, the only reason she’s compelled to fess up now is that she fears that it could all be thrown back in their faces.

Here’s Amazona:

There was a lot of fuss, regarding Obama, for a long time—–something which still rises to the surface every now and then. For years I dismissed it as tinfoil-hat stuff, but some of the blog posters sent me enough links to enough compelling information to make me realize that they not only had a valid point they were probably right. And this is the definition of Natural Born Citizen.

Now, whether or not this IS a valid point, whether or not the definition IS one of a person born to citizens or at least whose father was a citizen at the time of birth, that is only one aspect of this. The other, and the one that will bring down Jindal, or Rubio, or Cruz, is that we made a big fuss about it, tried to use it to disqualify Obama, AND ARE NOW PRETENDING THAT IT NEVER EXISTED.

I think the Left is so eager to have us nominate one of these guys they are tingling with anticipation, because we would be handing them the entirely accurate claim that we are not only just a bunch of hypocrites, we were so biased against Obama all we wanted to do was bring him down even if it meant inventing something to do so. The nomination and support of any of these fine men would solidify the image of Obama as victim of racism and hatred, and would be based on the ugly truth that we ARE hypocrites.

She goes on to say that “Congress or SCOTUS or whatever legal authority is appropriate” should decide this issue now, once and for all, though she adds, “I don’t care which way the ruling would go.”

She doesn’t care? About a clause in the United States Constitution? In the document about which she once said the authors “agonized over every word, every phrase, every implication in every statement they included”? Over an issue in which she admits she has “come to see the wisdom in what I believe was the intent of the Founders”? After years of carrying on about how she’s a strict constitutional conservative?

Isn’t it amusing to observe the ease with which so-called constitutional conservatives pick and choose which parts of the Constitution matter to them and which ones don’t.

Now Amazona worries that by nominating Bobby Jindel, Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz, “we are going to repeat history and make a colossal blunder that will undermine our candidacy and add to the perception, created and advanced by the Left, that the Right is dishonest.” No Amazona. The perception will have been created and advanced by the right all by itself, courtesy your pals at The Freak Show.

You had it right the first time. Being a hypocrite is indeed an “ugly truth.”


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The Freak Show

Steve Schmidt, senior advisor to the 2008 John McCain presidential campaign, was on “Hardball” yesterday, responding to Sarah Palin’s Breitbart op-ed supporting Senator Rafael Edward Cruz, in which she announced, “it’s time for the Senate to put itself on Cruz Control!” She’s soooo clever! Do you think she thought of that one all on her own?!

Schmidt seems pretty disgusted with his own party, particular the clownish behavior unleashed with the selection of Palin as McCain’s 2008 running mate.

“Hardball” host Chris Matthews asked Schmidt what he thought of the “Frankenstein monster” he created in Palin and Cruz. “You finally you saw it with Ted Cruz. Maybe he was the one that who’s got a bridge too far,” Schmidt said. “Maybe we’ll start seeing our elected leaders stop being intimidated by this nonsense, have the nerve, have the guts to stand up and … to fight to take conservatism’s good name back from the freak show that’s been running wild for four years and that I have deep regret in my part, certainly, in initiating.”

The Freak Show. What an apt description. Yes, it was initiated by Sarah, but she’s had plenty of company determined to take their place on the show’s center stage. Republicans like Christine “I am not a witch!” O’Donnell, Sharon Angle (“it won’t be my job as a US senator to develop jobs in my state”), and Todd “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways of shutting that whole thing down” Akin. I was once a registered Republican, but good grief… What an embarrassment to be one now.

Now Sarah wants to start a third political party, The Good Guys party.  I am not making this up.

“I dare say we already have a third party. We have the liberal party, the GOP machine, and then we’ve got the good guys,” she told Neil Cavuto on Tuesday on Fox News, while Cruz was crossing the hour and a half mark of speaking on the Senate floor. “That is the third party. Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Rand Paul … Those are the players in the party whom I will support.”

Naturally, only “real Americans” would be allowed in (although they’d take money from anyone). And what would the mascot of The Good Guys party be? The moose, of course. Because, you know, Sarah kills them with her bare hands before going for her morning run. And she has a timely warning for those damnable Rinos: “Oh, and a little reminder to Republican senators up for re-election in 2014: Moose season ends soon, allowing more time on one’s hands. So, we’ll be watching your votes very carefully this week.”

Meanwhile, Rafael Edward Cruz took center stage this afternoon to carry out his fake filibuster. It only took him a few minutes to invoke Hitler, a reliable applause-getter at the Freak Show, right along with Communists, Marxists, Fascists, and the Anti-Christ.

But then Cruz had the audacity to read aloud on the Senate floor the book Green Eggs And Ham. Rafael, we know you’re in love with your own oratory skills, but you’ve got a ways to go to top the reading by Jesse Jackson years ago on “Saturday Night Live.” Here, let a pro show you how to read Seuss.

The complete version can be heard here: Jesse Jackson Reads Green Eggs And Ham, but it can’t be embedded, so here’s the first half.


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