The Widdershins

A dangerous infection…

Posted on: September 28, 2015

For those of you tuning in expecting MB, she can’t be here today.  Here’s what I have to offer.

dog with rabies

It always starts out innocent enough.  There are subtle changes in behavior.  There might be changes in tone, maybe there’s an elevated temperature and things are a bit warmer than normal, and there is the constant irritation – always irritated about any and everything.

The next phase of the infection manifests itself in wantonness craving – craving to eat anything, even inedible objects.  This craving gives way to incessant growling and grousing.  There is a general disorientation to the world as it exists.  Nothing goes right – can’t go right – won’t go right – the whole world is wrong since it fails to listen to the copious amounts of advice so freely offered.

Then the erratic behavior begins.  There are episodes of aggressive behavior toward others.  The erratic behavior is unexplainable since it often goes against convention and the world as it presents itself.

Those suffering from the condition show visible signs of anxiety and alertness to even the slightest provocation.  The irritability is palpable.  There is constant restlessness and episodic outbursts of irrationality.

When it gets to this point, time has drawn short for those suffering from the “Furious Phase of Mad Dog Syndrome”.  I could have just as easily been describing the cabal of U.S. Representatives who are celebrating the resignation of John Boehner as Speaker last Friday.  Simply put, John Boehner didn’t have a prayer.

If the analogy holds, for rabid dogs the next phase is paralysis and total incapacitation.  We can only hope this group of the fringiest of the fringe holds true to the symptomatology they have exhibited so far.

Who are these mad dogs of the House?  They are a group of about thirty-seven members of Congress (36 testosterone-based and 1 estrogen-based).   They call themselves the Freedom Caucus.  They are new members mostly having been elected in 2010.  They are Tea Party swilling ideologues who detest gubmint in all its forms especially the gubmint presently headed by a commie Afro-Kenyan named Obama.

These caucusteers suffer from Mad Dog Syndrome and banded together after the House Republican Study Caucus (RSC) became too liberal or better said, not severely conservative enough for them.  Lest you get the wrong idea, the RSC was headed at the time by Steve Scalise, the guy who claimed to have all the good points of David Duke, but none of the baggage.

A few of the Freedom Caucus...

A few of the Freedom Caucus…

Emblematic of the membership is a cast of characters who are, according to Republican sources, the “craziest of the crazies.”  There are the usual suspects like Steve King of “cantaloupe calves” fame and Raul Labrador of Idaho, who himself is of immigrant heritage and is an immigration attorney, but who has fought immigration reform at every turn.

There are those who are not as well-known like Gary Palmer of Alabama who is “set his hair on fire” angry about Planned Parenthood funding even though the tapes that have him so upset were doctored and edited with stock images.

There’s Mark Meadows of North Carolina, one of the founders of the group, who submitted the resolution in August declaring the office of the speaker vacant.  One of his seven reasons:  The Speaker uses the power of the office to punish Members who vote according to their conscience instead of the will of the Speaker.  Well Mark, welcome to two-hundred years of House of Representatives history.

Another member is Justin Amash of Michigan.  Amash was profiled by the NY Times as the most contrarian member of Congress.  What an honorific!  One of his brilliant policy points is that he isn’t sure Planned Parenthood will stay dead after Congress kills it because it can just change its name to something else.  He’s frightened of zombie health care workers.

Then there’s Cynthia Lummis, who represents the entire state of Wyoming.  What is it about Wyoming?  Her most eloquent statement is this:  I wouldn’t trust Obama with a clod of dirt, let alone international trade deals.Markwayne Mullin

Then there’s my new personal favorite from Oklahoma, Rep. Markwayne Mullin (one name, no space) who is a former competitor in mixed martial arts cage matches.  (See, rabid dog explanation earlier in this post.)  Markwayne runs a workout session in the mornings in the Congressional Gym and is stealing members from Paul Ryan’s P90X workout because Markwayne’s sessions create prettier abs or at least that is what the Tulsa World surmised.

BoehnerHere’s what we know about this sordid little uprising:

  • Gerrymandering has been very, very good to these crazies. Their districts vote 14% more Republican than the average district and there are very few minorities in their districts.
  • Most came to power during the 2010 midterms. They came promising to pull Obamacare out by root and branch.  They proclaimed Obamacare the end of civilization as we know it.
  • If you only have a hammer, everything begins to look like a nail. This group of representatives only knows two gears – anger and fear.  They know nothing else; therefore, the apocalypse is an event happening on the half-hour according to their timekeeping.
  • Not only are these folk science-deniers, as Republican Rep. Tom Cole said, “These people deny simple mathematics. Either they can’t count or they won’t count. Unless you have 60 in the Senate, your agenda is going nowhere.”Pagliacci
  • This is a group who represent a constantly moving target. The kiss of death of any proposal is an Obama thumbs-up even if it is a policy proposal they have supported in the past.
  • Finally, policy doesn’t mean diddlely squat to this caucus outside of refusing to compromise. Their positions are pathological for the most part.  Hurting people and even hurting the country by downgrading the credit of the U.S. is acceptable to their philosophy of scorched earth politics.

John Boehner is happily getting out.  The cigarettes will burn brightly, the Merlot will flow, and tee times await him.  For him, just like in Pagliacci, it is curtain time with the closing line:  La commedia è finita! – “The comedy is finished!”  Unfortunately, for the rest of us, it is just beginning.

Take the conversation in any direction you might like.


40 Responses to "A dangerous infection…"


Just a fun fact: Kevin McCarthy has announced his bid to become the next Speaker of the House and two heartbeats away from the Presidency.

He is also an avid student of Rep. Markwayne Mullin’s MME training each morning in the congressional gym.

The more you know, just so you know…

@1, Kim, great to see you, I hope the “speechless” is the good kind of speechless of having made a good point rather than a “speechless” of having written something offensive.

That’s a scary group. Are there more teapubs in congress besides the ones in this group?

@4, yes, considerably more, but this group is by invitation only. You have to be eye-rolling crazy and have an IQ no larger than your shoe size. One member has quit the group because they were too crazy for him. I’m not sure if he’s been short-sheeted since he quit.

Lucky me, where I’m at now is in Mr. Palmer’s district. At least I’m still registered in La, and not Al. However, not sure that’s much of an improvement because my congress critter there is…wait for it…Scalise. At least he’s not a member of the batsh!t crazy group.

@2: He is also an avid student of Rep. Markwayne Mullin’s MME training each morning in the congressional gym.

To borrow a line from an old move, the most athletic thing I’ve done was jump to conclusions. 😉

@6, the reason he’s not a member of the bat crazy, upside down, crap-dribbling club is that his personal ambition outweighed his superficial lip service to the RWNJs. In essence, Scalise figured it up and could get more $20s at the RSC versus the Freedom Caucus. He’s most likely going to move up a rung on the Republican ladder to the water slide to hell.

@8: Oh geez. First of all he doesn’t deserve to be in the leadership of anything except maybe a concerned citizens council and second, he’s just dumb.

How on earth do you figure out who is lesser of the candidates?

I fear that I might actually miss John Boehner, Dear God, did I just say that??????

@9, Fredster said, How on earth do you figure out who is lesser of the candidates?

Answer: Look for an “R” after their name. If there are more than one with an “R” after their name, look at all the names. If any of them contain the name “Bubba”, vote for the other one.

Scalise is on a slippery slope because he is a traitor to the cause of wash and wear K-Mart 200 thread count sheets and self-igniting citronella torches.

@10, missing John Boehner is like buying a used Crayola box without burnt umber and orange, you can get used to it.

This is a reply to the WaPo article on why Boenher left. I hope you don’t mind if I wax pr.. uh, eloquent?

In a very typical under-the-radar WaPo conservative slant, that whole article was about how the congresscritters whom enraged Republican voters put in office in 2010 and 2012 weren’t conservative *enough*.

There was nothing at all on what I saw on the ground and what in fact affected my voting: the non-conservatives elected in 2008, the so-called liberals were not only not liberal enough, they seemed to be barely breathing. NC had a turnover from an historically balanced legislature and a Democratic governor to all parts of the government going to Republican control, with all its attendant national headline making lunacy.

Among other knowledgeable folks, GaryChapelHill attributed the first wave of attrition to the betrayal of Clinton voters by this state’s and the national Democratic party’s fixing of the primaries. I ran a graph of voter registrations during and after the primaries: there was a sharp upward curve in NC Democratic voter registrations in 2007-2008 that went flat like a patient’s heart monitor after June, 2008. The graph of NC independent voters showed the corresponding upward slant after that.

The staff of the woman senator (and Obama supporter) in my state, Kay Hagen, was absolutely clueless as to issues affecting working women. A local on-line environmental and worker’s rights-leaning journal described her as tentative and hesitant on the issues they cared about (and that women cared about too), but said we should vote for her anyway. Her opponent and his supporters knew what they stood for, who they were and what they wanted. The outcome was foreseeable, Tillis got in.

Mark Meadows is safe in his gerrymandered district with its hook into one of the most liberal of western NC counties. Even though he led the shutdown of two of the most beloved national parks in this country, the Blue Ridge Parkway and Smoky Mountains National Park, during the peak in their season, with all of the local financial impact this caused, his people in the county south of the disasters he helped create knew what they wanted. The Tea Party has been described as the party of Local Notables. Meadows personifies this.

The conservative national media pumping air into the anyone-but-Clinton candidates are keeping Democratic and Independent voters from anything like a similar choice.

What to do about this?

Prolix@11: Oh I wasn’t clear…my bad. In looking at who might get Maj. Leader who is the lesser of the evils; Scalise or the others? Apparently some guy from Ga got the endorsement of…wait for it…Paul Ryan. 😯

Check the comments there:

House floor will open with the lighting of the kerosene drenched wooden cross.

*knock* *knock*

Helloooo mods! Lemme out!

All taken care of! For whatever reason Pat, your comment was *pending*, whatever that means.

I’m noticing that your gravatar is different. Have you changed anything? That could be why your comment went to the mysterious pending category.


Now that’s a blast from the past!!

And geez, Mark Meadows even looks like one of the Koch Bros. Eek!

@17 init, though? What staunch Hilliards they were (probably still are, but given the wave of bigotry that swept NC post election, they went subscription-only and I can sure see that)

Meadows is representative of the undertow in all this Republican lunacy: he does look respectable, he has the generations-long confidence of the farming family next door, and he’s gerrymandered his way into a district that abhors him and his ilk.

What to do about these non-lunatics? How do we get folks to actually look at what they’re costing them and us?

@13, so many good observations, I don’t know where to begin. First, I’d just suggest NC is in flux, in between red and blue and uncomfortable with purple. As with any state in flux, it really begins and ends with turn out.

In states that are in flux, it is difficult to definitively poll issues especially if the issues aren’t drivers to the polls. If the issues are somewhat malleable, meaning important, but not motivating, then coming down on one side or the other is problematic. Kay Hagen was a good candidate. She was caught like a lot of Democrats are. She became a hostage to her consultants.

I’ve long thought, on issues that are close, forget the polls and just go with your gut. Acknowledge the other side as legitimate, but stand where you heart tells you. Kay Hagen didn’t and that is a shame because she was, and is, an excellent public servant.

On what to do: I’d just say this — push candidates toward their personal truth. Support those who seem to be following their philosophy. Understand perfection isn’t possible in politics or barbecuing, but one can get pretty damn close.

Just a personal note here, I’m so glad you have been stopping by of late. You make this place better — so thanks Pat.

@14, I have no idea because most of the dullards aren’t back in D.C. until tomorrow, or today. I expect there will be a major shakeout today because a bunch of the newly elected are chomping at the bits because they believe they are destined for greatness. Little do they know that their acidic tongues aren’t going to cut new profiles in Mt. Rushmore.

@19 Well, thank -you- Prolix. I do wax uh, eloquent, don’t I?!

I have to differ with you on Hagen, though. Probably because I was one of her corest of constituencies, a woman. Like NPR, she sold us out first and worst. The rest followed after. But Tillis was in no way a consolation prize.

And you are absolutely right about congresscritters and their supporters of any ilk should do. (But perfection in barbequeing is possible, once you shed the red! Forget the Mason-Dixon or Sweet-Tea line – NC’s vineger sauce is on the right side of the tectonic barbeque plate)

@20: Oh very well said!!!

Just a personal note here, I’m so glad you have been stopping by of late. You make this place better — so thanks Pat.

Oh yes definitely; it’s great to have you around Pat! 🙂

@16 Fredster, nothing’s different but I got my strawberry gravitar back.

I think maybe that one post was a bit over the limit. Everything’s fine now.

@23 Thank you too, Fredster.

I’m trying to get organized for a good-bye to this lovely season trip to the tip of the Parkway and back down again, so if you don’t hear from me in the near future, it means I made it and am out of range amongst the leaves, squirrels, waterfalls and bears (yay!).

Thanks to you, Chatblu and Prolix, I can check up on national goings-on when I get back (Madamab, too, of course, but gainful employment unreasonably interferes with her posting, dangit)

@24: Hmmm…one of those weird wordpress things then. And yep I see you’re back to your old self!

Oh well, I’ve got to get ready for a doc’s appt. tomorrow.

See y’all later.

Today the Planned Parenthood hearing was an example of this Freedom Caucus at work. It is nothing more than a freewheeling exercise in muckraking Karl Rovian politics.

Jim Jordan of Ohio is one of the main actors in the Freedom Caucus. He, at times, has been the chairman, but at all times he is a gold-plated, certified a$$hole. The sanctimonious way in which he conducts himself is par for the course of these hypocrites.

Here’s a link to a story and a video:

I saw one article about it and just knew it was going to be a dog and pony show.

Doesn’t that just give you a hint as to what Trey Gowdy has planned for Hillary?

No self-respecting dog – or pony, for that matter………………………………

Well, I’m sure Trey Gowdy is going to try. If he starts yelling at her though the GOP might as well fold up their tent.

@Ga6th: Oh I’m sure he’ll be more civil than Mr. Jordan was, but they are just gonna keep bringing up the same ole tired…stuff.

@30 and 31: Here’s a good article demonstrating Trey Gowdy’s world and that of these other 2010 doorknob suckers. This bunch of naval lint calling itself the Freedom Caucus is this generation’s #deadintern.

Oh noes! You don’t mean that those nice folks at Liberty Council actually lied about something do you? Well…that would be unchristian like wouldn’t it?

@34, and how does someone with a straight face say something like this:

“Make no mistake, however, that there is widespread support for Kim Davis. Last week she was recognized by many people as she walked through the Philadelphia, New York LaGuardia, and Washington, D.C. Reagan airports. People gave her a thumbs up sign or verbally expressed support for Kim Davis. While she has obvious detractors, Kim Davis also has wide support.”

Wide support as proven by the rigorous scientific discipline of walking through an airport concourse. Was she more popular the closer she got to Cinnabon? I wonder what it was that gave her away? Maybe her head lice farm? Or was it that howdy-dowdy lookin’ muffin-fluffer who is the current Mr. Kim Davis No. 4?

@35: Mysteries, mysteries Prolix. The mind boggles!

I had not tweeted this post. I just did — oopsie.

Hi Guys! Love that Frankie Ford song. I don’t want to be a downer, but I will be in and out for a while also, as my sis-in-law (the one with cancer) is doing badly right now.

We saw the inquisition of the Planned Parenthood president on the news. I don’t know how a reasonable person could endure that without exploding. So horribly rude. I would explode if I had to sit there and take that crap.

Did anyone see Trevor Noah on the Daily Show yet? We caught the last two nights and it was pretty good.

Hey annie! I think I’m on late shift tonight. Yeah, Frankie was somethin’. I had some family in one time from Cali and they always had to make a trip to Bourbon Street so I took them to see him at one of the clubs there. If you read the article you saw that he had a vanity plate, Ooh-Wee for his Town Car! LOL!

Sorry to hear about your sis-in-law and I’m sending good thoughts your way for her.

I haven’t seen Trevor Noah yet but I’ll have to give him a view or two.

On the P.P. Hearings, Rachel had a few pretty good clips on it. Chaffetz used a phony anti-abortion chart to imply P.P. wasn’t doing as much life saving as they previously had. He said it was a P.P. chart, except it wasn’t. 😆

Audio is kind of loud on this. The embarrassing part for Chaffetz starts at about 30 seconds in.

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