Oh, So He’s THAT Asshole

Speaking of Ted Cruz, here’s the Daily Beast trying to humanize Ted Cruz:

The senator is known as a Tea Party firebrand. What he’s not known as is a hidden geek who can’t get enough of ‘Candy Crush.’ He tells The Daily Beast why he can’t have a console.

Long before Ted Cruz became a senator from Texas, he was a gamer. He’s known for being pugilistic on the Senate floor, but sometimes he’d rather be fighting cartoon zombies on his iPhone.

It’s an uncommon lens through which to view Cruz, a controversial conservative figure who is now running for the highest political office in the country. Cruz’s video game habit fits into a largely hidden geek persona that lurks just behind his better-known public reputation as an obstinate Tea Party firebrand.

At the moment, Cruz is playing Plants vs. Zombies, a game where users collect sunlight points to feed plants who fight off waves of zombies; Candy Crush, the puzzle game where he claims he’s in the 217th level; and The Creeps!, a tower defense game.

A.) Those aren’t video games.
B.) On top of everything else wrong with him, he’s the asshole spamming you with Candy Crush notifications.

But he likes “video games,” so he’s JUST LIKE US and YOU WANT TO HAVE A BEER WITH HIM. Hell, even Hitler liked his dogs.

Godwin in one.

161 replies
  1. 1
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    if he ever played candy crash with a Democrat, David Broder will claw his way out of the box and up through six feet of dirt to volunteer for his campaign

  2. 2

    I guess he’s probably very worried about ethics in gaming journalism, then.

  3. 3
    jl says:

    Pride goeth before a fall, as the Good Book says. This will turn into a major scandal when some disgruntled staffer uncovers and releases the Cruz Tetris diaries.

  4. 4
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    As John said, those aren’t “video games.” They’re activities to pursue while on the toilet.

  5. 5
    Elizabelle says:

    Ted Cruz is undoubtedly industrial strength asshole.

    However: my mission is to let TCM fans know that La Jetee airs tonight from 11:45 p-12:30a Eastern. Short flick, but influential to later directors.

    It’s the movie Terry Gilliam’s 12 Monkeys is based on. Also allegedly inspired a bit of the Terminator.

  6. 6
    gf120581 says:

    The only way I’d ever share a beer with Teddy is if I could smack him on the head with it.

    After drinking it, of course. One doesn’t waste beer, especially not on the likes of Teddy.

  7. 7
    jl says:

    Does that jackass play even one computer game that even rates a Conan O’Brien game review? That;s what I want to know.

  8. 8
    Cheap Jim, formerly Cheap Jim says:

    @jl: Well actually it’s “pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall,” but there’s absolutely no way to ever humbly correct that.

  9. 9
    jl says:

    @gf120581: Damn, the video clip of the first Ted Cruz beer with an average voter might be a doozy. Everyone will forget those namby-pamby Obama beer meets.

  10. 10
    Iowa Old Lady says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford: That’s how you wind up having to fish your phone out. Or so I hear.

  11. 11
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    Have any of you seen the photos floating around of Ted from his college days? He looks almost normal. Not likable, just an arrogant young guy. But not too weird.

    When did he decide to model his appearance after a 1957 used car salesman?

  12. 12
    Elizabelle says:

    More on La Jetee. 92 and 93 rankings on Rotten Tomatoes. Not bad for a short B&W French film from 1962.

    I’d never heard of the movie until yesterday, when caught a bit of 12 Monkeys on cable and read up on Terry Gilliam.

  13. 13
    jl says:

    @Cheap Jim, formerly Cheap Jim: Thank you. the real version sounds better and I will try to correct myself henceforth.

  14. 14
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    I have nothing to say about Ted Cruz that others can’t say or haven’t said better and snarkier.

    However, since we haven’t had a true Open Thread in several hours, I’m going to go O/T and call to the attention of all NoVa fans of Notorious RBG and/or opera this event coming up in mid-July:


    I expect to be driving to New England later that week. I might just need to leave a couple of days early so I can catch this. What fun!

  15. 15
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @Elizabelle: I’ve never seen it! We don’t have cable, but I see someone put it up on youtube.

  16. 16
    trollhattan says:

    Make it a Corona and you can hit him with the full bottle, since it’s not beer you’d be wasting.

    Do they bottle it in 40s?

  17. 17
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Elizabelle: Heh. I heard of it yesterday while listening to Patton Oswald’s Silver Screen Fiend on audiobook, and how in a still-drunk-hungover state he tried to pitch a La Jetee inspired sketch to MadTV.

  18. 18
    jl says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:

    ” When did he decide to model his appearance after a 1957 used car salesman? ”

    HRC might have a little bit of Nixon problem when it comes to warmth, humanity and spontaneity in public.

    But, wow, compared to Cruz, HRC aint got no problems. Cruz has a Nixon, Joe McCarthy, and Mitt problem all rolled into one and squared. His campaign might get desperate and put out commercials that just explain the issue flat out, and ask for sympathy.

  19. 19
    benw says:

    @gf120581: my feelings exactly! Having a beer with Cruz and W would be like being stuck at the Arrogant Prick Olympics.

  20. 20
    cbear says:

    That’s all very interesting, and Ted seems like such a nice man, but I’d be more intrigued if the reporter had questioned him as to his purported sexual relationship with the Duggars.
    It’s irresponsible not to ask the tough questions.

  21. 21
    shell says:

    Daily Beast? For sure I thought you meant the Daily Caller

  22. 22
    Schlemazel says:

    A lite beer in a very heavy bottle – thats not wasting beer, the heavy bottle would just be a bonus

  23. 23
    Ryan says:

    Still working on Skyrim. I had a lot more time for games in grad school, should have stayed a professional TA.

  24. 24
    srv says:

    John, I always thought your gaming humanized you too, except instead of killing limp wristed zombies or childish candy, you were shooting representations of humans with virtual combat weapons.

    I know who I’d rather have answering those 3am phone calls.

  25. 25

    Those are video games, but they’re the kind of video games that have nothing to do with being a “hidden geek.”

    I guess they’re video games, not Video Games. #NoTrueGamer

  26. 26
    Botsplainer says:

    At the moment, Cruz is playing Plants vs. Zombies, a game where users collect sunlight points to feed plants who fight off waves of zombies; Candy Crush, the puzzle game where he claims he’s in the 217th level; and The Creeps!, a tower defense game.

    Plants vs Zombies?

    2011 called, Ted. It wants its iPad2 back.

  27. 27
    Gravenstone says:

    @gf120581: I’ve got a 2 liter mug that was purchased during my college drinking days. Thing weighs a good 5 pounds. I’d gladly offer it to you if you chose it as your implement to smite the Cruz. After draining its contents, of course.

  28. 28
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @jl: Introducing Hillary, 1969

  29. 29

    @benw: I totally agree. I never wanted to have a beer with W. He strikes me as the kind of guy who turns into a bully jock after a pint or two.

  30. 30

    @Botsplainer: Plants vs Zombies?

    2011 called, Ted. It wants its iPad2 back.

    Somebody tell Cruz about this cool new game where you shoot birds at pigs

  31. 31
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @Cris (without an H): He’d probably give you a nickname, and then mock you all night with it.

    Although, I have to admire his creation of “Turd Blossom” for Karl Rove. Sheer genius.

  32. 32
    boatboy_srq says:

    … So, Cruz is a closet objectivist libertarian dudebro with an XBOX/PS3 fetish. What a shock.


  33. 33
    Botsplainer says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    if he ever played candy crash with a Democrat, David Broder will claw his way out of the box and up through six feet of dirt to volunteer for his campaign

    While wearing a traffic cone or a bucket for a hat.

  34. 34
    John says:

    If Cruz played WoW he’d a ninja-looting huntard who sits on the mailbox with his cash-store mount after spending the day ganking lowbies instead of raiding. And he’d spend most of his time trying to tell you how to play your class while wearing cloth and finishing behind the healer in Recount.

  35. 35
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Cris (without an H): W turned into a bully jock before the first pint. No interest in seeing what he’d be like after that.

  36. 36
    Botsplainer says:


    Speaking on behalf of all bully jocks, we do get better with age, and some of us recognize that we were less than nice people.

    We simply find better targets for our ire, like Ted Cruz, Tom Friedman, Rick Santorum….

    I see those three as the guys who stood behind and giggled like girls when swirlies were delivered – and they deserve nothing less than swirlies as adults.

  37. 37
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:

    When did he decide to model his appearance after a 1957 used car salesman?

    Probably about the time he decided 1957 was the year he wanted to timewarp the US back to.

  38. 38

    These days ‘gamer’ tells you about as much about a person as does ‘bilaterally symmetrical’. It was never very useful in the first place, as it didn’t and doesn’t differentiate any of the roughly bazillion different gaming subcultures. “Butters” who’s into Hello Kitty’s Island Adventure isn’t going to have a lot in common with some frat brother who spends a couple dozen hours a week screaming racial slurs into their Call of Duty headset. These days just about the only people who non-ironically self identifies as a gamer needs to seriously examined for reddit-reading fedora-wearing gamer-gate style misogynist bullshit.

  39. 39
    jl says:

    @John: Maybe Cruz does play WoW, but would rather not mention it. Reporter will ask how many grunts he has working for him coining the money they use for that game (If I understand the economic power-relations structure of WoW correctly, which I learned from comments on this blog).

  40. 40
    jl says:

    @Helmut Monotreme:

    ” These days just about the only people who non-ironically self identifies as a gamer needs to seriously examined for reddit-reading fedora-wearing gamer-gate style misogynist bullshit. ”

    Or, has a clueless PR staff who thinks it is a cool hep way to reach out to these damn kids these days, and can get the resulting mess into a political gossip blog.

  41. 41
    Amir Khalid says:

    Being mostly water, 2 litres of beer weighs about that many kilos, or 4lb 6oz. I’m no drinker, but that sounds like a hell of a lot.

  42. 42
    Schlemazel says:

    @Cris (without an H):
    did anyone catch the clip of dumbellu giving a commencement address? No idea where but the line was “to all you C students keep your hope, you could be President one day” then he got that shit eating grin on his face that would have gotten his ass kicked at any normal school but he got away with all his life because of who his daddy was.

  43. 43
    boatboy_srq says:


    Plants vs. Zombies, a game where users collect sunlight points to feed plants who fight off waves of zombies

    Explain to me how it is that players of this particular game are not solar power advocates and/or environmentalists. Oh, right: zombies are stand-ins for Those Other People…

  44. 44
    goblue72 says:

    Ted Cruz is a sideshow. U.S. Senator is the highest elective Federal office he will ever hold. I could see him running for Governor of Texas, but only if it involves less work and more grift.

    This whole Republican shyte-show is going to come down to Zombie-eyed Granny Starver vs. El Heb. I am assuming its El Heb, as once the rest of the American electorate gets a good look at Walker, he’s going to pratfall all over himself. And running against Hilz is El Heb’s only shot at being able to run against a candidate that insulated him from the nepotism / dynasty type criticisms.

    We’re gonna have a WWF Smackdown of two political dynasties. One born with a silver spoon up their arses, and the other born on a cracker pile.

  45. 45
    Schlemazel says:


  46. 46
    burnspbesq says:

    It’s not even a little bit difficult to imagine Cruz, under some pseudonym, being a major player in Gamergate. That kind of reflexive misogyny seems right up his alley.

  47. 47
    fuckwit says:

    Easy target.

    I’m starting to get bored of reading about these clowns. I’ve reached clown fatigue early.

  48. 48
    RandomMonster says:

    Mobile games are video games.

  49. 49
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    Op-ed in PA paper. Readers complain, paper apologizes.

    EDIT: whoops, looks like it was a letter to the editor.

  50. 50
    Valdivia says:

    Wait, liking Candy Crush makes you a geek?

  51. 51
    geg6 says:

    So he plays all the stupid phone games that all my middle-aged friends who do such things play.

    And that makes him a “nerd” how, exactly? Other than in the Urkel sense, that is. He’s not a gamer nerd. My gamer nerd friends would die laughing at the idea that Candy Crush is some kind of marker for a gamer.

  52. 52
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Schlemazel: 857; but then he’d be stuck in Old Europe (and probably tucked away copying the OT for the monsignor).

  53. 53
    Greg says:

    Now I hate him more than ever. The only reason to have a beer with him would be to dash it in his face.

  54. 54
    Valdivia says:


    wow that looks amazing.

    never seen it either, thanks for the heads up.

  55. 55

    @goblue72: Walker isn’t ZEGS, that nickname goes to Mitt’s co-loser.

  56. 56
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:

    When did he decide to model his appearance after a 1957 used car salesman?

    My friend who was Cruz’s freshman roommate lastingly described 1988-vintage Rafael “Ted” as leaving a greasy film on everything he touched. I think he’s literally and figuratively unctuous, which is part of the overall look, and then he’s doing an anticipatory combover thing with his hair.

  57. 57

    @Valdivia: Wait, liking Candy Crush makes you a geek?

    geek, dork, whatever

  58. 58
    Amir Khalid says:

    I wonder if Ted Cruz is planning on a long career in the US Senate if he should somehow not manage to become President. His tendency there is to attack anything from the right, even his own party’s initiatives. I don’t imagine that will make the Senate a welcoming place for him in the long term.

  59. 59
    Valdivia says:

    @Cris (without an H):

    this article is defining geek way way way down.
    If they were trying to make him cool they totally failed.

  60. 60
    benw says:


  61. 61
    SatanicPanic says:

    Dude, it’s 2015, pretty much every human in America plays some video game or another. This is like publishing an article saying how relatable he is because he can make microwave popcorn

  62. 62
    Ruckus says:

    Arrogant Prick Olympics.

    That’s a show I do not want to see. But it would be a real reality show. Which of course would have to have professional and amateur classes.

  63. 63
    canuckistani says:

    @Roger Moore: Well played, sir!

  64. 64
    benw says:

    @boatboy_srq: After the first beer he starts getting all weepy about how “Daddy didn’t love me!” And he keeps ordering rounds on your tab while “forgetting” to offer to pay you back.

  65. 65
    benw says:

    @SatanicPanic: stop giving them ideas!!!

  66. 66
    boatboy_srq says:

    @benw: Bar tabs don’t matter!

  67. 67
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Amir Khalid: I think there are starting to be more and more of these symbolic Senators, who like the limelight and have no intention of accomplishing anything. Robert Byrd wanted to do things. Mitch McConnell wants to do things. Bad things, negative things, things that wreck what Democrats want, but… things. I think that even crazypants Rand Paul wants to do things. But Ted Cruz doesn’t want to accomplish anything. Joni Ernst doesn’t want to accomplish anything. Cory Gardner doesn’t want to accomplish anything.

  68. 68
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    If he had like an orc shaman on the Garrosh server, he might be an actual geek gamer.

    But he doesn’t, so he’s not, even though he’s a Garrosh wannabe in real life.

  69. 69
    muddy says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: He just kept making that douchey smirk and his face stuck that way.

  70. 70
    GregB says:

    I wouldn’t use the greasy adjective that his roommate used. It has distinct racial connotations.

    That being said, that heartless shitheel is going to demand federal dollars get into the hands of Texas folks even after doing everything he could to keep people in New Jersey from doing the same.

  71. 71
    Ruckus says:

    Lite beer(an oxymoron if there ever was one) will never come in a heavy bottle. They didn’t waste any ingredients/flavor/effort making that watered down piss so why would they take any consideration into putting it into a nice bottle?

  72. 72
    Tree With Water says:

    I have serious doubts that the congress of the United States will rebuild whatever part of California it is that will be leveled by the next massive earthquake; help will be extended in half-ass fashion, and grudgingly. The Hayward Fault is due to move relatively soon, or so I’ve long believed. I do not expect the people of the United States to rally to California’s side when that catastrophe occurs.

  73. 73
    NotMax says:

    Teddy Suxspin.

  74. 74
    SatanicPanic says:

    @benw: I won’t then. Unless they pay me, in which case I will pitch them my stories. “Ted Cruz Sometimes Takes Oreos Apart Before Eating Them”, etc.

  75. 75
    trollhattan says:

    “Oleaginous” seems too high-falutin’ for Rafael, but he’d at least remember the word from his debating days so would understand the cut. I wonder whether all the Cruz furniture is fitted with antimacassars?

  76. 76
    Ruckus says:

    Or iron his own jeans in a hotel laundry room.

  77. 77
    RandomMonster says:

    @SatanicPanic: Well said. Even my wife, who has never been nor wants to be any kind of ‘gamer’ (despite being married to a guy who made his living in that industry), is hundreds of levels into Farm Heroes Saga. If she’s playing games, just about everyone is.

  78. 78
    RaflW says:

    Playing Candy Crush does absolutely zero to raise Cruz’s stature for me. Hell, if I found out Obama played Candy Craphammer I’d surely think less of him.

    (I do hope Obama pads into the Oval kitchenette and zapps him some popcorn from time to time, however).

  79. 79
    Seanly says:



    Do a story that he’s already 40 hours into Witcher 3 & doing Level 34 PoE in Destiny and then he can be called a gamer. And then I’d wonder how he has enough time to waste while being a member of Senate and running for Prez.

    Me – I’ve got the free time after work to work on those games (plus some Pathfinder & AD&D), but am not an ambitious asshole.

  80. 80
    RandomMonster says:


    Ted Cruz Sometimes Takes Oreos Apart Before Eating Them


  81. 81
    muddy says:

    @Ruckus: They could say lifting the heavy bottle means even less calories ingested!

  82. 82
    muddy says:

    @Ryan: I was so proud the day my son showed me on Skyrim how he had organized all the dresser drawers in his various houses. He’s over 30. We talked about how it would have been great if he did that sort of thing back when he was making a mess all over my house.

    I also liked in the game how you can put a basket over a storekeeper’s head and take all their stuff while they stumble about clumsily. Then you can sell the items right back to them and they are happy and grateful because their stocks are really low.

  83. 83
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @GregB: Point taken, but habitually leaving the dorm phone covered in gunk isn’t part of any ethnic stereotype I’m aware of.

  84. 84
    RaflW says:

    Twitter tells me that hapless, warbling former Speaker (and current lobbyist) Denny Hastert has been indicted on federal charges.

    Another quality GOP pol, folks. Yessir. Honest as the day is long.
    Just don’t ask them what the do at night.

  85. 85
    trollhattan says:

    “Whether whole or disassembled, Ted Cruz always yells at his Oreos before eating them.”

  86. 86
    Valdivia says:

    Dennis Hastert apparently going down for lying to the FBI and other money related charges.

  87. 87
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @trollhattan: “Oleaginous” is a great word for the guy.

  88. 88
    trollhattan says:

    “Prior bad acts.” Awesome band name.

  89. 89
    Ruckus says:

    Considering how much effort, etc they put into the product and how little they got out of it I’d say they would never spend the extra 1/2 cent per bottle. Of course if they could justify it from a sales point of view….. that might sell, it sure isn’t the quality/taste of the crap inside the bottle.

  90. 90
    Bill says:

    Anyone else read this and immediately think: “The guy’s Frank Underwood without the charm?”

  91. 91
    srv says:

    A true government of the peoples:

    AUSTIN, TX. The Texas Legislature has approved fines for governmental entities that post signs prohibiting the carrying of concealed handguns in areas where licensed Texans are allowed to carry them.

    Authored by tea party-backed Republican Sen. Donna Campbell, the plan passed both chambers with little debate, despite opposition from some municipal groups.

    Saturday’s House approval 116-23 sends it to Gov. Greg Abbott to be signed into law.

    Ted isn’t afraid of his constituents.

  92. 92
    dedc79 says:

    I hear Ted Cruz is also very big into sports, just like the typical American. He likes all the major sports – polo, luge, and pegging poor people with tennis balls.

  93. 93
    qwerty42 says:

    “But he likes “video games,” so he’s JUST LIKE US and YOU WANT TO HAVE A BEER WITH HIM.”

    When can we expect the Noonan article talking about Ted and the volunteer fire department and whether Sally got out and whatever else she imagines?

  94. 94
    Hungry Joe says:

    @SatanicPanic: Hey — I take Oreos apart. If done just right, one half will have no filling on it (still very good) and the other half will have double filling (fantastic). Plus, it gives you the illusion of eating two cookies instead of one. If you want to Oreo-slam Cruz — and who doesn’t? — please don’t give him credit for such an ingenious (if I do say so) adaptation. Thank you.

  95. 95
    Brachiator says:

    @Elizabelle: You’re right, a wonderful film, and very little dialog, so people don’t have to worry about reading subtitles. Also, it may still be available on YouTube.

  96. 96


    “La Jetee” is one of those movies they always show in film school, and with good reason. Terry Gilliam brought it out of the classroom and made it much more famous — I think one of the DVD releases of “12 Monkeys” included it.

  97. 97
    Gimlet says:


    Perhaps the military booboo of mailing anthrax was inspired by “12 Monkeys”

  98. 98
    Tree With Water says:

    Charles Pierce at Esquire.com wrote about Detroit and water today. It serves to illustrate why I believe California will be the right wing whipping boy when the next catastrophic earthquake does hit, with any and all monies to rebuild extended only grudgingly. The era of big government being over, and all that jazz.

    “Last summer, the city of Detroit cut off the water to several thousand basically poor residents who had fallen behind on their bills. This was the cause of national and international concern. There were protests. It appears now that the dry season has come upon the city again.

    The department, under the leadership of Mayor Mike Duggan, is proceeding with shutoffs against the wishes of the City Council..”.

  99. 99
    MomSense says:

    @Hungry Joe:

    I’ve been modifying Oreos and enjoying quadruple stuffs since I was a kid.

  100. 100
    Valdivia says:

    That Hasert indictment is something.

    FBI seems to be having a busy week.

  101. 101
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I may have to take a break from Words With Friends and check out this Planet vs. Zombies thing.

  102. 102
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Valdivia: Our new AG is bucking for impeachment even quicker than the last one did.

  103. 103
    Valdivia says:


    I know, I am enjoying seeing her in action.

    Reading through the indictment makes me very curious as to what it was that Hastert did to Individual A that warranted over a million in hush money.

    Any guesses of what it could be?

  104. 104
    kc says:

    I’m a gamer, too. I play WordsWithFriends.

  105. 105
    RaflW says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: That’ll be swell for GOP outreach to non-white voters!

  106. 106
    kc says:

    He’s known for being pugilistic on the Senate floor, but sometimes he’d rather be fighting cartoon zombies on his iPhone

    I think we’d ALL rather Ted Cruz was fighting cartoon zombies on his phone.

  107. 107
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Amir Khalid: 2 liters/litres is a bit over four pints of beer. A moderate evening for those so inclined.

  108. 108
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Hungry Joe: Of course not, because I assume pretty much everyone eats Oreos that way. It’s objectively the best way to do it. I was just making a joke, but then again, I wouldn’t put it past Cruz to be a horrible eat-em-all-at-once Oreo eater.

  109. 109
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cris (without an H): Turns into?

  110. 110
    Valdivia says:

    Just to correct the record: the Hasert payout was $3.5 million not a million.

  111. 111
    Hungry Joe says:

    @SatanicPanic: Yeah, Cruz strikes me as an eat-’em-all-at-once Oreo type. Probably talks with his mouth full, too.

  112. 112
    Brachiator says:

    But he likes “video games,” so he’s JUST LIKE US and YOU WANT TO HAVE A BEER WITH HIM.

    With Ted Cruz, you have a new political litmus test. He’s the guy you want to throw a beer bottle at.

  113. 113
    tones says:

    @goblue72: Actually that is Paul Ryan, I think you meant “Wall-eyed Git”, right?

  114. 114
    catclub says:


    Any guesses of what it could be?

    Was Dennis a Catholic Priest in a former life? Sure sounds to me like that.

  115. 115
    JPL says:

    @Brachiator: I’d donate to the charity of Chuck Hagel’s choice, if he sat down to have a beer with Cruz.

  116. 116
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @Valdivia: Hastert used to be my rep when I lived in IL.

    (PSA: If a Federal agent flashes a badge at you and starts to ask you questions, keep your fucking mouth shut! That’s some of the charges they got Hastert with.) .

  117. 117
    Valdivia says:


    my first guess was that he had a child outside of his marriage, I am seeing speculation that it might more along your line of thinking.

    @Howard Beale IV: yeah they got him for lying about what the money was for, and how he took the money out. Not for the payoffs to Individual A.

  118. 118
    RaflW says:


    From 2010 to 2014, Hastert withdrew about $1.7 million in cash from various bank accounts and provided it to the individual, according to the indictment. From June 2010 to April 2012, he made about 15 withdrawals of $50,000 each from accounts he controlled at three banks.

    In April 2012, bank representatives questioned Hastert about one of those $50,000 withdrawals. After that, in July 2012, Hastert allegedly started taking out cash withdrawals in increments of less than $10,000 to evade the filing of what are called Currency Transaction Reports or CTRs. Banks have to file those reports for withdrawals in excess of $10,000.

  119. 119
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Tom Delay’s meat puppet has been indicted and IANM Delay himself got all his charges dismissed? I did see he popped up the other day to urge the GOP to stand firm in homophobia

    @catclub: high school teacher and football coach

  120. 120
    Calouste says:

    @Howard Beale IV: Hastert probably started to the FBI Agent with “Do you know who I am!?”.

  121. 121
    srv says:

    The Clinton War Room Goes Full Nuclear:

    This is a real essay that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) wrote in 1972 for the Vermont Freeman, a long-since-defunct alt paper:

    A man goes home and masturbates his typical fantasy. A woman on her knees, a woman tied up, a woman abused.

    A woman enjoys intercourse with her man — as she fantasizes being raped by 3 men simultaneously.

    The man and woman get dressed up on Sunday — and go to Church, or maybe to their “revolutionary” political meeting.

    Man, she will stop at nothing.

  122. 122
    Schlemazel says:

    you’re probably right, I was trying to be nice.

  123. 123
    JPL says:

    @catclub: I seem to remember that he was a wrestling coach.

  124. 124
    Valdivia says:

    @catclub: @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Not that it means anything and grain of salt given it’s all speculation but the twitter consensus now seems to be it’s abuse related.

  125. 125
    JPL says:

    This is from a review on Amazon about his book
    Lessons from 30 Years of Coaching and Politics, Denny Hastert breaks his silence to tell a remarkable American story: of how he grew up among the fields of Northern Illinois, made a name for himself as a high school and collegiate wrestler, became a high school wrestling and football coach and civics teacher…and eventually found himself teaching, and learning about, civics in the most important forum in the world: in the United States Congress as Speaker of the House, the third most powerful man in government.

  126. 126
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @Calouste: Getting found guilty of 18 USC 1001 is usually a guaranteed ticket for spending some quality time at Club Fed-hence the commandment to STFU when a Federal Special Agent flashes his credentials.

  127. 127
    johnnybuck says:

    @trollhattan: This site needs a like button…

  128. 128
    Bill says:

    @Valdivia: I read the Hastert indictment. It’s interesting in that he’s being prosecuted for evading currency rules and lying to the FBI about bank withdrawals. It looks like he was withdrawing the money to pay off a blackmailer though.

    Hastert deserves everything he gets, but prosecuting a guy who was being blackmailed is hard core. Ms. Lynch is not to be fucked with.

    Whatever he did to warrant millions in blackmail payments, I can’t wait to hear about it.

  129. 129
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @Valdivia: Had he actually declared the payouts on his 1040 and let the banks did their normal CTR functions he actually would have been in the clear-I shit you not. If you declared illegal income to the IRS, the IRS can’t come after you because you reported it.

  130. 130
    JPL says:

    @Bill: I just streamed cbsn for a few minutes and they used the term blackmail.

  131. 131
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Bill: $3.5 million! I know the guy is wealthy, but he can’t be so wealthy that 3.5 m isn’t a fairly big deal. Musta been something real bad

  132. 132
    Valdivia says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    which of course leads to the conclusion that what he is trying to hide must be pretty damn bad

    or what @SatanicPanic: just said.

  133. 133
    Dave C says:


    IANAL, but I would assume that any indict was probably in the works before Lynch showed up. I mean, these things take a while to put together, right?

  134. 134
    Valdivia says:


    I am sure we will be in the know soon. Journalists are going to be on this one like white on rice.

  135. 135
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @JPL: Blackmail…Maybe Jim Oberweis?

  136. 136
    Helen says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    Yeah – but he would be required to report to whom it paid it; the IRS would have paid that party a visit and Hastert’s secret, whatever it is, would have been out.

    Either way he was screwed. BWA HA HA

  137. 137
    Mike J says:


    “Prior bad acts.” Awesome band name.

    I think we were called that by the headliners when I was in an opening act.

  138. 138
    RaflW says:

    @Dave C: I think so. She deserves credit for giving the go-ahead to arrest & press charges. Holder shares credit for being at the helm to OK the initial investigation. I don’t think A.G.s ok each peekaboo into a pol but the former US House Speaker? Yeah, those were top-level decisions.

  139. 139
    Dave C says:


    Yeah, you are probably right.

  140. 140
    Arclite says:

    I hang out on some game websites, and post often. There are always wingnut assholes with whom you can have perfectly reasonable gaming discussions, that turn into douchecanoes as soon as Obama is brought up. Luckily, the vast majority of gamers are smart and aren’t Tea Partiers, so it’s usually a pile-on whenever the Wingnut brings up his stupid talking point (yes, it’s invariably a dude).

  141. 141
    guachi says:

    I hear the Plants donated money to the Clinton Foundation and got a huge weapons deal approved by the State Department (that Hillary headed!!!) to fight the Zombies.

  142. 142


    Trying to evade the federal laws about transfers was stupid, especially since he was warned about it by his bank.

    As Louie Anderson can tell you, the only option with blackmailers is to go to the cops and cooperate in a sting operation to catch them. Yes, it sucks to have your dark secret exposed, but it’s better than going to jail yourself.

    (Of course, Anderson’s dark secret seemed to be a pretty run-of-the-mill secret gay life, so he had less to lose than someone with a genuinely dark secret.)

  143. 143
    Andrey says:

    Candy Crush is just as much a “real game” as Skyrim, World of Warcraft or Witcher 3. Calling people “not real gamers” because they play a different style of game is pointless and even harmful exclusion. Gaming isn’t a club that we get to kick people out of, or that you have to pass some kind of test to participate in. Being a gamer just means you play video games. Yes, this means the vast majority of the population qualifies. That’s a good thing.

    There are plenty of perfectly good reasons to hate on Cruz that don’t simultaneously reinforce exclusionary culture. “Ted Cruz isn’t a real gamer” is no better than “Chris Christie is fat”, “Sarah Palin’s a bitch”, etc.

  144. 144
    J R in WV says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:

    If I worked with a guy and he called me “turd blossom” I would be fired and in jail, and he would be all bruised with a broken nose and hopefully a concussion. Well, maybe I would just call him names and quit to go work for the opponents of my previous employer.

    The fact that Rove took that for years says something about both of them. Imagine the internal mentation of someone who calls a friend, or at least a co-worker employee, something like that!!!!!

    What an arrogant prick of a horrible asshole he is. And Karl for taking it for all those years!! Dawg!

  145. 145
    EthylEster says:



    yes. i have been trying to think of a word that captures his repelling (to me) appearance. He is unctuous.

    Merriam Webster: used to describe someone who speaks and behaves in a way that is meant to seem friendly and polite but that is unpleasant because it is obviously not sincere

  146. 146
    Gravenstone says:

    @Amir Khalid: Quite. My friends and I (who all bought matching mugs) called them the “Tankards of Liver Slaying”. Yes, we were also into RPGs at the time, so it even ties into the Ted Cruz, Gamer oeuvre.

  147. 147
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    Hell, even Hitler liked his dogs.

    Yes, but did Hitler play Candy Crush?

  148. 148
    catclub says:

    @Howard Beale IV: I was figuring that. since I have never withdrawn large amounts of cash, I do not know what they can do if you say. “I want to pay a person who prefers cash.”
    Also, Hastert does not report it as income. The payee does.

  149. 149
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @catclub: I read the indictment. At worst, they can nab him for 18 USC 1001 (which is his own fucking fault for not having counsel present when the badges got presented).

    Now indeed, the payee’s gonna be in the world of hurt once they’re exposed-the IRS will be all over them for filing bogus tax returns (unless they declared the illegal income, but I doubt these bulbs are all that bright.)

  150. 150
    Greg says:

    @Andrey: Nope. I play Second Life type stuff. I play on line Boggle and Scrabble and Text Twist. I might even try some Sims someday. I am NOT and never will be a gamer. To claim that would make me sound as stupid as Ted Cruz. Candy Crush is an on line game. It is not on line gaming and playing it does not make you a gamer. See the difference?

  151. 151
    burnspbesq says:


    That Hasert indictment is something.

    Smurfing and lying to the FBI about it. What an idiot.

  152. 152
    Andrey says:

    @Greg: No, there’s no difference. If you don’t want to be called a gamer, that’s fine, but it’s simply a matter of your preference trumping the categories. Online gamers are people who play games online. That’s it. That’s the only criterion.

    From your description, you’re not an RPG gamer. You’re not an FPS gamer. You’re not a console gamer. But, if you didn’t have the preference to not be called a gamer, you would certainly fit in that category.

  153. 153
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    As far as the Hastert indictment is concerned…

    I wonder if it’s somehow related to how he left Congress when he did… resigning abruptly and going home early?

    There were rumors about the Turkish govt paying SOMEONE to derail any recognition on the US’ part of the Armenian genocide…

    There were also raised eyebrows about a land deal Denny was involved in back home… something about okaying Federal funding for a freeway that would run right by his new property…

    And it could always be related to something we know nothing about… like mebbe he was boffing an underage male page who decided to screw Denny back…

    It would irresponsible to NOT speculate, wouldn’t it?

  154. 154
    The Lodger says:

    @catclub: IIRC he was a wrestling coach. I have absolutely no comment about what that might imply.

  155. 155
    Bjacques says:

    The closest association Ted has with video games is that he looks (and grifts) like a Mooninite.

  156. 156
    Zinsky says:

    I am reminded of Shakespeare when I think of Cruz – “The fires of Hell are fed by the souls of ambitious men”.

  157. 157
    daveNYC says:

    @Andrey: Online gaming usually means that you’re playing something in the MMORPG space. You can stretch it to include any game that’s connected (like say Words With Friends) but that makes it almost meaningless, since pretty much every phone or tablet game has some sort of social media type stuff.

  158. 158
    sukabi says:

    @Tree With Water: considering that Calif. Has the 5th largest economy in the world, refusing help would be the equivalent of placing the US behind China, India, etc…kinda hard to tout world supremacy if that were to happen…

  159. 159
    sukabi says:

    @The Republic of Stupidity: high school wrestling coach, and sexual abuse are the winners of the indictment speculation lottery. Josh Marshalls place for info

  160. 160
    Zinsky says:

    @JPL: Hastert then began buggering the shit out of young boys…..(There, I finished his biography!)

  161. 161
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    @sukabi: Well, I was close…

    I didn’t think the incident would be so far back in his past…

    Sure took a long time for that boil to work its way to the surface…

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