Tuesday Reads: Clowns and Freaks on Parade and Other News


Good Morning!!

How low can they go? Only time will tell. We are still about four months away from the primaries, and it could get a whole lot worse. Recently passengers in the GOP clown car have been calling each other clowns and freaks, but none of them seem to see their own ridiculousness.

A few days ago, Donald Trump called Mario Rubio a “clown” at the Values Voters Summit, and got booed for it.

Donald Trump earned a round of boos when he attacked fellow Republican candidate Marco Rubio — calling him a “clown” — at an event Friday for conservative, faith-based voters.

“I’ve been so nice to him. I’ve been so — but he’s in favor of immigration,” Trump said at the Value Voters Summit, before quickly moving on.

The audience had heard Rubio speak just two hours earlier and gave him several rounds of enthusiastic applause.


Yesterday, Rubio told NPR he didn’t want any part of Donald Trump’s “freak show.” CNN reports:

The two candidates have battled through sound bites for the past week, after essentially staying muted on each other for most of the campaign. As Rubio has enjoyed a marked boost in the polls since his performance in the second debate, Trump has gone after Rubio with insults including calling him a “kid” and dinging his voting record this year.

The Florida senator has willingly dished it back at Trump, calling him unserious and “touchy.” That continued in an NPR interview on Monday.

“I’m not interested in the back and forth to be a member or part of his freak show,” Rubio told NPR.

But despite that statement, Rubio quickly ticked off a list of Trump’s recent foibles, including mentioning a speech in South Carolina that had many empty seats and Trump getting booed at Friday’s Value Voters Summit when he called Rubio a “clown.”

“He is a very sensitive person,” Rubio said. “He doesn’t like to be criticized. He responds to criticism very poorly. … His poll numbers have taken a beating, and he was embarrassed on national television at the debate by Carly Fiorina and others.”


Also yesterday on CNN, Rand Paul said of Trump, “How could anyone in my party think this clown is fit to be president?.” 

While out on the trail talking to reporters, the mogul picked Paul as one of the next candidates to drop out of the race, after two governors have left the race in recent weeks.

Paul called Trump a “clown” and said the attacks on his campaign were similar to the last presidential debate, when the mogul kicked off his first answer with a volley on Paul and a critique of his inclusion in the top-tier debate.

“It kind of reminds me of the funniest moment, I think, of the second debate, where out of nowhere, complete non sequitur, he starts going after me. And I guess it’s part of his bravado, his shtick,” Paul said. “I’m thinking, how did we get the race for the most important office in the free world to sink to such depths, and how could anyone in my party think that this clown is fit to be president?”

Paul said there’s no truth to Trump’s assertions that his campaign is having trouble fundraising. In fact, he said, his campaign is focused on organizing on the ground in key primary states and pleased with how that’s going.

As The National Memo notes, “A few years ago, that was the same stuff people used to say about Rand Paul.”

Bobby Jindal (Gov. R-L)

Of course Bobby Jindal and some of the other clowns have been attacking Trump as a clown for quite awhile. It’s the only way some of them can get any media attention. From The Guardian on September 10:

In a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, Jindal, the governor of Louisiana, followed Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, Lindsey Graham and Rick Perry in targeting Trump, who has become the clear frontrunner in polls concerning the 17-strong GOP presidential field despite a succession of controversies over his remarks and policy positions.

In his speech, Jindal called Trump a “narcissist and egomaniac”, whom he said was “unserious and unstable”.

“Donald Trump is for Donald Trump,” Jindal said, adding in reference to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan: “Donald Trump is not for making America great. Donald Trump is for making Donald Trump great.”

Jindal even dipped into some of Trump’s trademark insult comedy, saying: “You may have recently seen that after Trump said the Bible is his favorite book. He couldn’t name a single Bible verse or passage that meant something to him.

“And we all know why, because it’s all just a show, and he hasn’t ever read the Bible. But you know why he hasn’t read the Bible? Because he’s not in it.”

He also avoided a commitment to supporting Trump if he were to secure the Republican nomination, saying “he cannot be our nominee”, and predicted that if Trump did become the Republican standard bearer in 2016, he would “implode” and “hand the election to Hillary Clinton.”

All very true, but much of it applies to Jindal as well. These guys are both horrifying and fascinating at the same time. I can hardly wait for the next GOP “debate.” Maybe the clowns will actually come to blows.


As Melissa McEwan writes, none of these fools running for the Republican nomination have any illusions about the voter base they are trying to appeal to–a bunch of poorly educated racists, nativists, gun nuts, and fetus fetishists who can be easily conned into voting for whatever the Koch brothers and Wall Street want. From Shakesville:

Rubio is merely the latest, and most brazen, of Republicans to talk about Trump as though he and his fetid campaign exist somehow outside the Republican mainstream, instead of being the uncensored id of their disgusting party that he really is.

As if Rubio doesn’t know the truth about his party. Of course he does. Every single time he dogwhistles “tradition” or “values” to his base, he’s evoking that truth. He, like Governor Bobby Jindal, is just mad that Trump has the spine and the indecency to be straightforward about what that truth really is.

If Rubio, Jindal, or any of their other fellow candidates for the US presidency are really operating under the misapprehension that their base isn’t voting for them because of fear, hatred, and bigotry, but because of smaller government and lower taxes, then they are too fucking ignorant to be trusted to tie their own shoes, no less elected to lead the nation.

Ben Carson Clown

Speaking of ignorant racists, George Zimmerman is back in the news. Isn’t he a perfect example of the kinds of people Republicans appeal to?

From The New York Daily News: George Zimmerman goes on depraved Twitter rant after retweeting picture of Trayvon Martin’s corpse.

George Zimmerman’s Twitter trolling has reached a new low.

Days after retweeting an image of Trayvon Martin’s corpse, Zimmerman went on a depraved Twitter tirade Monday afternoon, spewing racist rants and boasting about “mocking all you trolls.”

The man who shot and killed Martin three years ago also gave out an apparent stranger’s phone number, referring “all media inquiries” to the unsuspecting man.

“Gee..I sure hate offending people that have plotted and tried to kill me and my family…” Zimmerman wrote with one tweet, with a photo matching President Obama with Virginia murderer Vester Flanagan.

Zimmerman flew off the handle days after he seemed to boast about killing the 17-year-old Martin.

Over the weekend, an admirer tweeted him a photo of Martin’s body, which was used as evidence for Zimmerman’s trial. The user called Zimmerman a “one man army.”

Ugh. Why isn’t this disgusting man in prison?


I’m going to give you the rest of the news as headlines as links only, because I have to do some things for my mother this morning. Here we go:

CNN: Hillary Clinton knocks Jeb Bush over ‘free stuff’ remark.

Reuters via The National Memo: Biden Eligible For Democratic Primary Debate: If He Decides To Run.

Ezra Klein at Vox: A theory of how American politics is changing.

Politico: Bush camp moves to ease donor angst. Assessing the state of anxiety on a scale of one to 10, one donor puts the panic level at a ‘six or seven.’

Politico: Schumer in talks with Ryan on major tax, infrastructure deal (Count me as not looking forward to Schumer leading the Senate Democrats.

Salon: Donald Trump is the glib hero the right has been waiting for: What his “60 Minutes” interview revealed about his terrifying appeal.

Have I told you lately how much I hate Bill Maher?

Salon: Bill Maher lights into 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed again: “He didn’t invent anything!” “Liberals who have glommed on to him as some kind of mascots are ninnies,” Maher said.

Vanity Fair: A Terrifying Look at Our Eventual Trump Presidency.

David Weigel at The WaPo: Trump’s tax plan calms conservatives worried about a populist moment.

The Atlantic: When America Was ‘Great,’ Taxes Were High, Unions Were Strong, and Government Was Big.

Politico: Boehner unloads on GOP’s ‘false prophets.’

Raw Story: Gay couple tricks anti-LGBT Indiana pizzeria into catering their wedding celebration.

What else is happening? Let us know in the comment thread, and have a great Tuesday!


32 Comments on “Tuesday Reads: Clowns and Freaks on Parade and Other News”

  1. Pat Johnson says:

    Am sick to death about reading and listening about the “faith” of these candidates. Who is more “pious” than who. Who reads the bible. Who is more “inspired” by god and who is fighting for
    “our religious beliefs. Give it a rest! already!

    They could not care less in Europe about the “faith” of their candidates. Outside of the mideast countries who join faith and politics – which should act as a warning to us – nobody cares. Here, like it or not, candidates are encouraged to announce their “relationship with the lord” or face ostracism by the voters. Absurd.

    If you wish to “worship” a cow or an unseen deity it is fine by me but do not “impose” your beliefs on everybody else who do not agree.

    Has Donald Trump actually read the bible? Is Ben Carson “special” because he clings to his faith? Who cares how Rick Santorum or Mike Huckabee spend their Sundays on their knees? Who cares? None of these people seem to care very much about the sick, the poor, or the homeless, nor do they seem to practice very much what they preach.

    And why oh why are we commencing our quest to choose a viable candidate from a group of “fundies” in the state of Iowa of all places? Surely in a nation as large as ours can find a better primary solution than focusing on one state that “clings” to the way of the bible as a starting point.

    • NW Luna says:

      Of course they have never read the parts in the bible about “do unto others” and “care for the poor and the sick.”

    • roofingbird says:

      Au contraire, NWL, I think Carson is deeply religious. He took his young man’s rage and stuffed into the mighty rod that is Seventh Day Adventism. He gained his low affect in his ongoing heroic effort to turn that coal heart into the diamond of power he strives to keep pure. Did you read the Alternet on him?


      Think on Boehner’s comment on “false prophets”.

      Some themes to SDA include:

      Belief in end times, (That’s why climate change is irrelevant.)

      The Pope as the sign of the Beast, (Especially when our government gets together with him in Congress-More End Times.),

      Disparagement of the Big Bang Theory, (It’s too orderly to be random so it has to be God.),

      War on women’s insides, (Vague, but we wimmins have a pretty good idea.),

      Racism, Where? Well of course, if you, child, just try a little harder, you could do what he has done. Really it’s all about education.(The SDA is 32% black. SPLG had him listed as an extremist, but took him off after pressure about the report stats. They still think he exhibits elements, report on it, and I wouldn’t surprised if they put him back on.)

      Neurosurgeons deal with insurance every day. That he hates insurance companies ( I get it.) and wants you directly, with your medical saving account, to trust him to slice up your head (Nooo!) because he is saved is the height of power mania.


      Look up Seventh Day Adventism for yourself.

  2. janicen says:

    I wish someone would ask fools like Bill Maher why, if school officials thought the device looked like a bomb, they didn’t immediately evacuate the school and call the bomb squad? Instead they chose to put cuffs on a muslim student and march him out of the school so we’d all be safe.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Janice, you always come up with the best questions!

    • elliesmom says:

      Because he wasn’t marched out of school for bringing a bomb to school. He was questioned about creating a bomb hoax. Like kids who bring toy guns to school are suspended, too. No one thinks the toy gun is a real, but it’s still not OK to bring one to most schools. Taking a clock apart and putting it in a pencil case so it resembles a bomb to people who only see bombs in TV crime shows and bringing it to school is something the school had a right to question him about. There was no school project due so his motives were questionable at best. His sister had been involved in a similar incident, which the school would most likely have been aware of. His parents should have been there for the questioning, no doubt.

      • janicen says:

        He was more than questioned, he was marched out of school in cuffs. His sister’s actions have absolutely no bearing on how Ahmed should be treated. This account by the Dallas Morning News describes a very bright, very young person whom it seems the school is ill equipped to handle. His pranks involved blowing bubbles in the restroom and interfering with the remote function on a projector. To be honest, he sounds a lot like my cousin who did very well and is now an engineer at one of the top universities in the country.

        Some of his middle school teachers were surprised to hear that MacArthur High staff called police this month after Ahmed brought a homemade clock to class. He had dragged far more elaborate gizmos into Sam Houston all the time.


      • bostonboomer says:

        ellie’s mom,

        Why do you assume that Ahmed only took a clock apart and put it in a pencil box? That’s not what the stories I read said. Bill Maher doesn’t know and he’s an islamophobe, so why trust him? Furthermore, why should a creative child’s motives be questioned because they want to show something they made to a teacher?

  3. William says:

    Years ago, when I was just learning about politics, my father told me that while the Democrats had to choose good candidates, the Republicans could run virtually anyone, and still have a good chance to win. That was because they have so much money to try to sell someone, that they could make a barfly sound like a serious candidate.

    All of these Republicans are equally horrifying. None of them is in the slightest degree acceptable. If it weren’t so frightening, it would be humorous to watch them all try to maneuver into contending position by attacking Trump, or in the case of Fiorina, attacking Trump and calling Hillary a liar. In terms of policy, the triumvirate of a right-wing Republican president, a right-wing Congress, and a right-wing Supreme Court, would be as bad as this country has ever seen. That it has gotten to this point is a serious indictment of not only the foolishness of many Democrats and their leaders, but also the increasingly corrupt and corporate-bought media.

    There is really only one person in America who can effectively deal with the Republicans in Congress, and revive the Democratic Party, and that is Hillary Clinton. Anyone who wastes a second of time supporting or voting for any other Democratic candidate is unfortunately helping the bad people in their quest for an oligopolist theocratic social darwinist state. This is the most obvious choice I have ever seen, and everyone should be doing whatever they can to get Hillary the nomination and the presidency. Whomever she runs against from the Republican side will just be a different looking variation of the exact same entity.

  4. dakinikat says:

    Watching the Republican Party implode is like horrifying and very rewarding at the same time. Trump just doesn’t use their approved dog whistles and weasel words. They should stop the pearl clutching. Their strategy since the damned Reagan coalition has been to whip the dangerously crazy into a frenzy. I can’t believe they didn’t know they’d eventually lose control of them.

  5. NW Luna says:

    Evidence for flowing water on Mars: this opens up the possibility of life, of wonders we cannot begin to imagine. Its discovery is an astonishing achievement. Meanwhile, Martian scientists continue their search for intelligent life on Earth.

    We may be captivated by the thought of organisms on another planet, but we seem to have lost interest in our own. The Oxford Junior Dictionary has been excising the waymarks of the living world. Adders, blackberries, bluebells, conkers, holly, magpies, minnows, otters, primroses, thrushes, weasels and wrens are now surplus to requirements.

    In the past four decades, the world has lost 50% of its vertebrate wildlife. But across the latter half of this period, there has been a steep decline in media coverage.

  6. Carissa says:

    I stopped watching Real Time several months ago. Haven’t missed it for a minute.

  7. Beata says:

    OT escapism for JJ and anyone else who loves classic movies:

    Tomorrow ( Wednesday ) at 11:30 am ET, TCM will be showing “I Know Where I’m Going!”, a beautiful 1945 film by British filmmakers Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger ( the team best known for their classic “The Red Shoes” ). “I Know Where I’m Going!” stars the lovely Wendy Hiller as an Englishwoman who travels to the Hebrides to be married but events don’t go exactly as planned. It’s one of my favorite films.

    From TCM:


    • bostonboomer says:

      Hahahahahaha! Along with his humiliation on his House committee yesterday, that should make him really mad.

  8. TheRealKim says:

    Totally off topic but does anyone keep up with Afrocity? It appears she attempted suicide