Late Night Open Thread: Clowns All the Way Down

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Thank you, commentor Siubhan Duinne!

Also (just in time for Celebrate Invasion, Genocide & Despoilation Day, aka “Columbus Day”) Noreen Malone at TNR offers her nomination for “The Single Most Ridiculous Thing That’s Been Said During the Government Shutdown“:

On Sunday, Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz converged on Washington, D.C., to co-headline a protest against the federal government’s closure of the World War II Memorial. It is perhaps not surprising that one of the more cynical and patently ridiculous statements made by a politician during the shutdown emerged out of that occasion. (It IS mildly surprising that Sarah Palin didn’t say it.) Cruz, the junior senator from Texas asked the crowd “a simple question” that in fact included a very complex layer of sophisty. “Why is the federal government spending money to erect barricades to keep veterans out of this memorial?”

Let’s unpack that:

1) Ted Cruz, prom king of the Tea Party, is a major reason the government is shut down…

Read the whole thing for the capper.

75 replies
  1. 1
    scav says:

    See the protesters were out making friends with govt employees again chanting “You work for us”, requiring the immediate thought-bubble {Then pay you noisy deadbeats!}

  2. 2
    Ruckus says:

    Between the article and the tags of asshole republican stupidity what more is there to say?

    A solution? Any positive solution is illegal. Therefore no quick solution is possible.
    Suffering? Yeah we’re all going to be doing that to some degree if we aren’t already.
    Drinking? Not a good answer. But maybe the only one that gets us though the suffering. If you can afford it, monetarily and medically/addiction wise.

  3. 3
    srv says:

    I can’t wait for the blue screen of death.

  4. 4
    Amir Khalid says:

    And some news about an embarrassing controversy in my own country.

    Note this paragraph.

    The case has baffled Muslim scholars outside the country, where the use of the word Allah by Christians is not controversial, the BBC’s Jennifer Pak reports from outside the court in Putrajaya.

  5. 5
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @Amir Khalid: That is just, well, strange. Of course, I know next to nothing about Malaysia.

    Would the court bar Moslems from using the word “God” or “Yahweh” or “Jehovah”?

  6. 6

    To quote Jon Stewart, “Don’t fart and point at the dog.”

  7. 7
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @Mustang Bobby: and there’s the Simpsons episode where Homer farts, and tries to cover it up by turning up the volume on the radio.

  8. 8
    mai naem says:

    I caught a retweet of James Woods a couple of weeks ago. Anyhow, it’s James Woods the actor and he’s just turned out to be a real rightwing whackjob. If you read his tweets and didn’t know it was James Woods you would think it was your average teabagger.He’s been on this stupid Obama disrespecting the Vets story all day Sunday. Who would have thunk James Woods would have turned our to be such a whackjob?

  9. 9
    wasabi gasp says:

    …I’m hearing a totally rockin’ campaign tune. Please make it happen.

  10. 10
  11. 11
    Elizabelle says:

    The Tea Party protest/moving barricades at the WW2 vets memorial is your Brooks Brothers riot, circa 2013.

    It could work with low information types.

    Like the crew on ABC Overnight News, which ran the footage and did some more “both sides have to work to fix this” fappage.

    Without ever mentioning the “both sides” in this case are both in the Republican party. The Democrats want to reopen government.

    That’s a few too many syllables for TV, though.

  12. 12
    Sly says:

    @mai naem:
    James Woods suffers from Dennis Miller Syndrome, characterized by the repeated assertion: “I used to believe in (reproductive choice / a regulated market / gun control / organized labor / progressive taxation / racial equality / gay rights / all of the above), but 9/11 made me realize how wrong I truly was.”

  13. 13
    billgerat says:

    @wasabi gasp: A campaign tune for the GOP.

  14. 14
    The Dark God of Genuflection says:


    Is that as opposed to John Cole Syndrome on the Left, Sly?

  15. 15
    The Dark God of Porterville says:

    @Sly: Is that as opposed to John Cole Syndrome?

  16. 16
    Kay says:

    Here’s Sarah Palin’s former running mate:

    Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, warned on the CBS News program “Face the Nation” that the Democrats “better understand something.”
    “What goes around comes around,” he said, “and if they try to humiliate Republicans, things change in American politics.”

    Is there something worse in “American politics” than shutting down the government and threatening to tank the world economy?

    I suppose they could attempt another trumped-up impeachment, but they’d have to actually move on it to get attention now that they’ve threatened impeachment over everything from the New Black Panther Party to the IRS reviewing tax exempt status.

  17. 17
    Keith P. says:

    Cruz also said something to the tune of “The Democrats shouldn’t be playing politics with our veterans.” Either a shocking lack of self-awareness or a brazen cynic.

  18. 18
    NotMax says:

    Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz.

    A match made in Bedlam.

  19. 19
    Kay says:

    There’s been a been a (further) breakdown in conservatism from just Palin to Cruz.

    Palin quit her government job before she went to a full time position fleecing the GOP base. Cruz didn’t even bother to quit first.

    I think Michele Bachmann was the transition figure. She’s stopped working at the government job completely but remains officially employed. She blurred the line enough for Cruz to emerge and complete the cycle in three weeks.

  20. 20
    Joey Maloney says:

    Has the government shutdown ended? Has someone cut out Ted Cruz’ tongue or sewn his lips shut? If the answer to both those questions is not “yes” then I’m sure something more ridiculous will be said before long.

  21. 21
    Joey Maloney says:

    @Amir Khalid: Well, I prefer to refer to my God as “Allahcansuckmyhairyballs”. So that would be ok, right?

  22. 22
    Elizabelle says:

    @Sly: Weird true story: James Woods noticed some of the 911 hijackers behaving oddly on an earlier “practice flight” and reported it to the airline. Nothing appears to have been done.


    McCain: “What goes around comes around,” — no, the GOP is circling the drain on this one, all by themselves.

  23. 23
    Baud says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    So now they have to refer to Allah as “You-Know-Who” and “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named”. The court really didn’t think this through, did they?

  24. 24
    Elizabelle says:

    One good outcome for Virginians: the shutdown has tanked Cuccinelli’s numbers, although they were heading south before it began.

    From the LA Times:

    RICHMOND, Va. — Ken Cuccinelli is running for governor, not Congress, but the Virginia Republican is struggling to dodge the political fallout from Capitol Hill.

    His campaign in this crucial battleground state is in danger of becoming the first political casualty of the federal government shutdown, which Americans largely blame on Republicans.

    With the election just weeks away, Cuccinelli’s poll numbers have tumbled since federal agencies were closed Oct. 1. The conservative state attorney general was already lagging, but he went from within striking distance of a vulnerable Democrat to trailing by 8 to 10 percentage points in three independent polls.

    For “balance”, this story slimes McAuliffe (“He’s been compared to a carnival barker and a used car salesman”) but makes it pretty clear Cuccinelli is himself extreme and ethically challenged.

  25. 25
    raven says:

    Calling McAuliffe a carnival barker and a used car salesman in not sliming him, it’s an accurate description.

  26. 26
    Elizabelle says:


    Yeah, I thought that might appeal to some.

    Although I was out canvassing for McAuliffe yesterday, and those voters who were home are enthused about voting against Cuccinelli.

    Cooch is going to win the election for McA.

  27. 27
    Kay says:


    McCain is sort of helpful because he’s obviously worried, and he says it.

    That’s the actual issue here, right? The central issue is the humiliation of Republicans. Democrats are using that as leverage on a substantive issue (the duration of sequester funding) but this entire thing has become ABOUT Congressional Republicans and their feelings.

    One really can’t overestimate the importance of their feelings. Conservatives gutted the voting rights act based on John Robert’s belief that STATES were being humiliated. Political subdivisions have feelings. Imagine real human beings!

  28. 28
    raven says:

    @Elizabelle: I hope McAuliffe wins but that doesn’t change who he is.

  29. 29
    Elizabelle says:

    Heard the clip of Palin and Cruz.

    Palin definitely said “Barrycades” in her sneering voice.

  30. 30
    Elizabelle says:


    Most people, you know, grow up.

    But not these guys and gals.

  31. 31
    Kay says:


    The thing is, Cooch really IS too far Right for that state.

    Didn’t he manipulate the primary process by taking it to a caucus or something? He shouldn’t be the candidate. He’s a far Right nut job, bottom line.

    It’s almost too bad he had the corruption of the current governor and the shutdown as a drag, because he would probably lose anyway, and now they’ll have an excuse.

  32. 32
    Baud says:


    They always have an excuse.

  33. 33
    JPL says:

    @Elizabelle: Sarah is still upset that McCain wouldn’t allow her to call then Candidate Obama, a terrorist. She is a hateful, mean person, who thinks she was qualified to be veep.

    So I adopted this mutt yesterday but decided beforehand that mutts don’t belong on furniture. haha The other thing I decided to do is crate him at bedtime. Wow! He didn’t make a peep and slept through the night.
    He’s a good boy, that Mr. Finch is a good boy.

  34. 34

    The markets are holding so far. I can only wonder why. I think we’re in a Wile E. Coyote moment. The feeling of living in a Chuck Jones script and not being Bugs Bunny is not a comfortable one.

    “This is the final, the – the very, very last straw! Who’s responsible for this? This… I demand that you show yourself!”

  35. 35

    So Il Dunce is back, huh? So be it. Let Cruz be marked by the (lipstick) kiss of death. He’s earned it.

  36. 36
    JPL says:

    I’m a tad concerned about Booker in New Jersey. Lonegan took his cues from Sarah.

  37. 37
    Elizabelle says:


    Yeah. Cooch and the rightwing of the Virginia GOP insisted on a state convention, which draws Republican “activists” (ie. loons among the loons).

    The GOP lt. governor, Bill Bolling, would be a much tougher candidate against McAuliffe. Bolling is seen as a moderate, and not embroiled in the Star Scientific gifts scandal involving Governor McDonnell and Cooch. He would have won the GOP primary, if the rightwing hadn’t hijacked the process.

    And Cuccinelli is too extreme for Virginia, certainly Northern Virginia.

    He crusaded against a UVa climate change researcher, and led the charge against Obamacare.

  38. 38
    Elizabelle says:


    Describe this mutt. Picture? Congrats!

    RE: Booker v Lonegan: that might be tighter than expected. Candidating while black.

    But I don’t see New Jersey selecting a Tea Partier, and especially not a Palin pick.

    That said, comes down to turnout.

  39. 39
    Kay says:


    A moderate Republican, Bolling opted not to run for governor when the party decided to choose its candidate with a convention, not an election, at the behest of activists seeking to ensure the nominee would be loyal to the base.

    I really loathe Cuccinelli, so it’s great that (the truth is) he set this fall up himself. I can’t stand the sanctimony in that particular brand of conservative lawyer. I encounter them all the time. I actually prefer a raving teabagger to a judgmental social issues type Right wing lawyer.

    The Tea Party may cost them the governorship, and it probably would have cost them the governorship with or without the shutdown because they were allowed to manipulate the process at the outset.

  40. 40
  41. 41
    JPL says:

    @Elizabelle: Finch is almost five, quite tubby and recovering from heartworm but has already won me over.

  42. 42
    Elizabelle says:


    What a cutie. He looks happy to be there.

  43. 43
    Linda Featheringill says:

    Happy Monday Morning. Bleh.

    I was reading the posts from last night. Professor Krugman Went There. Good for him!

    The shutdown continues and we are rolling straight into default. Sigh.

    Financially, this household is stable at the moment but if default is present for an extended period of time, we’ll be in trouble. Moochers that we are, using old age and various disabilities to exploit the Hardworking Makers. The fact that we actually do work is totally beside the point.

    Damn good thing that we’re white.

  44. 44
    Linda Featheringill says:


    Oh, he’s a cutie!

  45. 45
    WereBear says:

    @Keith P.: Either a shocking lack of self-awareness or a brazen cynic.

    He could be both. Cruz is supposed to be the Tea Party’s brightest light.

  46. 46
  47. 47
    bjacques says:

    Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz…now there’s a portrait only Charles Addams could draw.

  48. 48
    Honus says:

    @Elizabelle: For the record, Bolling is from the Ohio Valley, born in Sistersville West Virginia.

  49. 49
    Ash Can says:

    Don’t think of it as Columbus Day. Think of it as Thanksgiving Day in Canada, and we’re just helping the Canucks celebrate.

    @JPL: What a nice doggie!

  50. 50
    Elizabelle says:

    With the governor’s race slipping away, it will be important for Virginia to elect Democrat Mark Herring as Attorney General. That race could be close.

    GOP AG candidate Mark Obenshain is Cuccinelli Jr., not Cuccinelli lite.

    Obenshain might have more name recognition statewide. His sister, Kate Obenshain, is a Fox News commentator and was state GOP chair from 2002-06. Per wiki, one of her speaking topics is “The New Face of Feminism: It’s wearing lipstick.” (WTF?) She’s VP of the Young America’s Foundation (you know, the one that does not include us Americans).

    Obenshain’s father, Dick, won the 1978 GOP Senate nomination, but died in a plane crash before the election.

    In 1978, Virginia elected John Warner (then Mr. Elizabeth Taylor VI) to the US Senate.

    John Warner was truly a moderate — he attracted a lot of Democratic crossover votes after standing up to the state party when it wanted to put Oliver North up as a candidate for US Senate in 1996.

    Warner supported gun control, embryonic stem cell research, was prochoice, opposed Robert Bork. Very good senator. (Checking to see if he’s had anything to say about state politics this year.)

  51. 51
    TS says:


    I’m a tad concerned about Booker in New Jersey. Lonegan took his cues from Sarah.

    If Booker does not win in New Jersey, the US as we used to know it, is gone for all time. There is no coming back from putting more RWNJs in the Senate – or for that matter – the house. The senate is currently rescuing the country from insanity.

  52. 52
    TAPX486 says:

    The depressing thing is the GOP has succeed in defining moderate down. They have made crisis government seem normal. No matter how this plays out in the next 3-4 days it will be a short term fix and CNN will be running its countdown clock again in late November. The D’s have already accepted the current sequester number so that will become the topline number for any budget negotiations. The question isn’t whither the GOP will get more spending cuts but simply how much more.
    There is an article on the daily beast that what we are seeing is impeachment on the cheap. If you can’t beat Obama then render his presidency null and void.

  53. 53
    Ash Can says:

    @Arclite: That’s really well done. A Happy Bartolome Day to all!

  54. 54
    debbie says:


    What goes around, huh? Like those times Republicans called Democrats traitors if they didn’t support Bush II’s policies?

  55. 55
    Elizabelle says:

    GOP AG candidate Mark Obenshain’s voting record, per Project Vote Smart. He’s been a state senator since 2003.


    100% approval by American Conservative Union and the Family Foundation of Virginia, 92% approval by NRA (no idea what their beef is), zero% approval by NARAL and the Virginia Education Association.

    Voted for drug testing state welfare recipients if a local official feels there’s probable cause, but not more than once every 6 months.

    Also for voter ID; against revealing holders of concealed weapons permits.

  56. 56
    IowaOldLady says:

    @JPL: What a sweet looking dog.

    What a smug, destructive couple Palin and Cruz make. IMHO, the meme about the closed monuments is doing them more harm than good. I mentioned a few days ago hearing four middle-aged white women in Panera Bread talking indignantly about the congressman who scolded the woman park ranger for doing her job and closing the WWII monument.

  57. 57
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    Political subdivisions have feelings. Imagine real human beings!

    Not me. I had my feelings surgically removed years ago.

  58. 58
    Elizabelle says:

    Virginia AG candidate Mark Obenshain voted to repeal Virginia’s 19-year old limit on handgun purchases, previously one handgun per month for non-dealers.

    Get this: Obenshain is a graduate of Virginia Tech, site of our very own massacre. 33 dead students and professors in 2007.

    Background on Virginia’s 1994 handgun law, repealed in 2012. Limit had been proposed (successfully) by then-governor L. Douglas Wilder, a Democrat, who was concerned that Virginia had become the arsenal of illegally obtained guns.

    Times Dispatch:

    “This year, with conservatives fully controlling the House, state Senate and governor’s office, they killed it, arguing that it had outlived its usefulness.”

  59. 59
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JPL: How do you keep that hat on him? Woofie hates it when I dress him up for Halloween.

  60. 60
    liberal says:

    @mai naem:

    Anyhow, it’s James Woods the actor and he’s just turned out to be a real rightwing whackjob.

    I thought this has been known for at least a few years.

  61. 61
    gene108 says:


    Is there something worse in “American politics” than shutting down the government and threatening to tank the world economy?

    Well it has been awhile since members of Congress beat a colleague nearly to death on the floor of the Capitol building. So there is precedence to escalate hostilities.

  62. 62
    nemesis says:

    @mai naem:

    I caught a retweet of James Woods a couple of weeks ago. Anyhow, it’s James Woods the actor and he’s just turned out to be a real rightwing whackjob. If you read his tweets and didn’t know it was James Woods you would think it was your average teabagger.He’s been on this stupid Obama disrespecting the Vets story all day Sunday. Who would have thunk James Woods would have turned our to be such a whackjob?

    Seems the arc of this shutdown/default disagreement is taking a well-worn path. The gop cant deal with the reality-the reality that they shutdown the government and are responsible for our default. Since they cant manage reality, they downshift in hot-button social issues to provide air cover and rouse the base. Its a major job of redirecting the debate. gopers are famous for this and the nedia simply follows suit.

    The shutdown is not about a fucking war memorial. How about covering individuals, like my son, who are out of work due to gop desire to punish our nation for electing a blah guy twice?

  63. 63
    nemesis says:

    Paylin/Cruz 2016!!

  64. 64
    Amir Khalid says:

    Non-Muslims in Malaysia may call Him God, Yahweh, Clapton, Wotan, or whatever the hell else they want — anything except Allah, which is the Arabic word for God regardless of your belief system, and which happens to be what Arabic-speaking Christians (and all other Arabic speakers) call Him.

    Some Muslims in this part of the world have a misguided reverence for Arab culture in general (and in this particular case the Arabic language) to which they ascribe special magical Islamic powers. It can be surprising and disconcerting, especially to Arabs who encounter this attitude, since they obviously know better.

  65. 65
    sparrow says:

    @gene108: That was fascinating reading. The southerners wearing bits of the cane used to beat Sumner (an abolitionist) as a kind of talisman is sooo in keeping with the modern day southern teapublicans displays of viciousness. Also, too, the reason he gave for beating him rather than dueling: they weren’t of the same social standing any more because of his speech. Just like voting democrat makes you not a real americun!

  66. 66
    balconesfault says:

    Great moment in the debates for Texas Lt. Governor last weekend … when other GOP candidates objected to an ad one Republican had been running, citing that Politifact had called it a lie, he responded Politifact says 67% of what Ted Cruz says is untrue..

    Trump card!

  67. 67

    @TAPX486: I blame the media for that. Not Fox but the so called liberal MSM, their both sides do it rhetoric is responsible for normalizing the crazy.

  68. 68

    @Amir Khalid:

    Some Muslims in this part of the world have a misguided reverence for Arab culture

    Reminds me of Pakistan disowning their pre-Islamic history and embracing history that is not their own.

  69. 69
    Cervantes says:

    @Amir Khalid: Oh, come on, Amir. That story about Malaysia is nowhere near as embarrassing — or horrible — as this one.

  70. 70
    Steeplejack says:


    Mark Obenshain is awful. And his campaign ad has the classic ultra-right “tell”: no mention at all that he is a Republican.

  71. 71
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:


    He’s been compared to a carnival barker and a used car salesman

    That’s a disservice to carnival barkers and used car salesmen.

  72. 72
    optional says:

    Question for those assembled: why are the open air, usually staff-less parks like the WWII Memorial actually barricaded?

    Understand, I agree the ultimate answer is “because the government, which includes the national park service, is shut down, you moron”, and I agree that in the grand scheme of things the whole monument issue is just stupidly beside the point as the shutdown is causing much, much more serious damage elsewhere, and I even can think of a couple of reasons why it might have been done.

    I’ve just been looking for the more or less official reasoning behind the barricades, and all I can find is story after story after story about how “vets have stormed the memorial!!1!!11!!!”.

    So, help?

  73. 73
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:


    They are not staffless.

  74. 74
    chopper says:


    “and if they try to humiliate Republicans, things change in American politics.”

    well, duh, walnuts. because now the GOP will be the ones being pushed into the mud. your own medicine doesn’t taste very good, does it?

  75. 75
    Anne Laurie says:


    Question for those assembled: why are the open air, usually staff-less parks like the WWII Memorial actually barricaded?

    Short answer, insurance liability. Real Government can’t pick & choose which “parks” ought to be staffed, and that means no differentiating between the monuments on the DC Mall and places like Yellowstone Park where it’s easy to get yourself in harm’s way. An unstaffed WWII Memorial is in more danger of vandalism (possibly from outraged art critics) than of causing injury, but that’s not how the liability laws are written…

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