Speaker John Boehner delivered the commencement address at Catholic University this morning, shedding a few tears while telling the graduates they should embody three virtues.
“Humility, patience and faith, and always a few tears from me,” Boehner said.
Boehner teared up during a story about the morning of his leadership election in 2006, when he went to 7 a.m. mass and prayed for the Virgin Mary’s guidance. When he thought he received no sign, he got a call from his former high school football coach, Gerry Faust, who went on to coach at Notre Dame.
This is of course an old story about John’s alleged affair, but I just love the title of the article: “John Boehner Sex Probe”.
Speaker of the House John Boehner has made been very vocal about his desire to slash the Congressional budget and trim wasteful government programs. In the past year he’s made numerous public statements about reducing spending, and ThinkProgress recently included links to promises to reduce the budget:
“We need to cut spending. That’s what the American people want. That’s what the economy needs.” [12/17/10]
“Let’s be clear, if we actually want to help our economy get back on track and to begin creating jobs, we need to end the job-killing spending binge. We need to cut spending significantly.” [12/17/10]
“Our new majority will prepare to do things differently, to take a new approach that hasn’t been tried in Washington before by either party. It starts with cutting spending instead of increasing it.” [11/3/10]
“We will not solve our fiscal challenges until we cut spending.” [8/25/10]
“If we want to solve the budget problem, we’ve got to have a healthy economy and we have to get our arms around the runaway spending that’s going on in Washington, D.C.” [8/9/10]
“And if in fact we’re elected to the majority you’re going to see us cut spending. You’re going to see us revive the economy and reform the way Congress does it job.” [10/5/10]
“If the lame-duck Congress is unwilling to cut spending and permanently stop all the tax hikes, the new House majority will act in January.” [12/1/10]
“Republicans have been consistently focused on offering better solutions to cut spending now.” [6/21/10]
“We will never get our economy out of the ditch until we cut spending and have real economic growth.” [8/30/10]
Unfortunately, when Boehner was recently given an opportunity before a national television audience and asked by Brian Williams to name a program – one stinking program – he’d cut, he simply couldn’t remember any off of the top of his head…WTF? How are you not prepared for that question?
WILLIAMS: Name a program right now that we could do without.
BOEHNER: I don’t think I have one off the top of my head.
How about this response from the same interview:
BRIAN WILLIAMS: When you go home next, is there a sidewalk, a place, a person that’s kind of a talisman to grab onto? Again, talkin’ about strength and the new job?
JOHN BOEHNER: Well, I get strength every day just uh, going to my Facebook site.
Seriously. We couldn’t make this stuff up.
It appears the President was hell bent on making the Weeper of the House cry during his State of the Union speech.
He came close, but in the end he was able to hold it together. That a boy John!
At least Boehner can cry about the American Dream and his long-ago janitor job. These days, as we enter our third year of modern record of unemployment, a job sweeping floors sounds pretty darn good.
Merry Christmas to you, and a Boehner Christmas to all!
And remember, it’s never too early to begin preparing for next Christmas.
Next year, decorate your tree with the “I Love (heart) John Boehner” Christmas tree ornament.
And of course the “Speaker of the Sauce” John Boehner stocking:
And courtesy of Mad Liberal Poet:
Mista-Boehner (A Pre-Christmas Tale)Twas a night in November, and all through the House
John Boehner spent drinking,and got soused as a louse
As the votes trickled in, he chuckled and grinned
“Dumb sonsabitches, they’ll never know how we’ve sinned
The lobbyists were all partying it would be just as they said
As delusions of grandeur entered Boehner’s pickled head
And Mama in spandex and I in old shorts
Sat down gloomily awaiting the election reports
When there on my TV I saw not Brutus nor young Cassius
But a red tidal wave spreading hate weaving Fascist
The sight was so sickening I wished I could chuck it
Then proceeded to do so in a rusting waste bucket
The moon was a crescent, just a sliver of hope
Yet results streaming in favored the party of nope
As I looked back at the screen through dismay and cold fear
I saw the besotted Congressman all choked up with tears
He was a cagey K-Street driver with devices so slick
I knew in a moment he’d be up to old tricks
A well seasoned veteran well versed in the game
And as tears issued forth he called us by name
“Now Americans one, now Americans all
Your voice has been heard, let the Democrats fall
In your grandiose mansions to the Country Club hall
Stash away, stash away, stash the cash away all”
Then with reverent voice and a trembling chin
He basked in the moment in Coppertoned skin
As he stood at the podium denying existence of blue
He proclaimed virtues of red and the Tea Party too
And with no lack of conceit he now spoke for the nation
A plutocratic voice feigning faux lamentation
So I settled back in and turned up the sound
As “the voice of America” began to expound
He exclaimed that the country had been returned to the people
And spoke of his faith as if standing ‘neath steeple
He was dressed in the requisite Armani suit
With patent leather shoes… and a red schnazzola to boot
Along side him was resting an invisible sack
Stuffed full of corporate favors he’d have to pay back
His eyes were quite misty concealing a shrouded wrath
As he recalled his early days and his arduous path
With quivering mouth slurring words fast and slow
And by the moment’s conclusion, he’d put on quite a show
He held no smoking pipe between tax payer teeth
And his government health club kept his figure most sleek
I must admit now that his speech was quite smelly
But he laughed at the end shaking like jelly
He gave the impression of sincere, half baked loaf
But only yesterday’s fool is duped by corporate owned oaf
Then, as he dabbed at both eyes and upheld his head
I could see in that face we had something to dread
He strolled off the stage to thunderous claps
As my wife and I sat pondering fellow American saps
Before leaving the room he shook many hands
Nodding and winking to his monetized bands
And then in a flash something less than a wink
He was gone, presumably, to imbibe one more drink
Now, I still hear his voice and this be no jest
The elite can sleep tight…and to hell with the rest
Twas The Night Before Christmas with John Boehner
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were not hung by the chimney this year,
we had hopes that unemployment checks soon would be here.
The members of congress were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of corporate welfare danced in their heads.
Mamma Pelosi in her Victoria’s Secret Gown, had just settled her brain with a stiff shot of Royal Crown.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the toilet to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
a little bit stoned and spilling my stash.
The moon on Nancy’s breasts like the new-fallen snow
gave the luster of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature John Boehner with a six pack of beer!
With a drunken blond by his side, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment she was gonna be sick.
More rapid than IRS agents his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!
“Now McConnell! now, Cantor! now, Wilcox and Harris!
On, Garret! On, Flake! On, McHenry and Poe!
To the top of the Hill! To the top of congress we go!
Now steal the money! Take away all!”
They were so drunk I saw one of them fall.
Only dry leaves remained before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, they mount to the sky.
So up to the house the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Bush Tax Cuts and Lobby cash too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little goof.
As I scratched my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney John Boehner came with a bound.
He was dressed all in leather, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes wreaked of liquor and were tarnished with soot.
Ten Kilos of earmarks he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, selling his sack.
His eyes-how they twinkled! His nipples so hairy!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
He votes like a crook and he cries like a Mary!
His drooling little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
His moustache was white from Columbian blow.
The stump of a crack pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had an orange face and a fat man’s belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly orange elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
With a tear in his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me the creeps and filled me with dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
Republicans love him but he’s really a jerk.
He fills corporate pockets, buys votes on the floor
When it comes to tobacco he will throw in a whore.
While digging his finger inside of his nose,
he snorted hard liquor, then up the chimney he rose!
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like Prom Queens in a tissle.
I heard him cry, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Unemployment to all, I am such an ass bite!”
Bring back smoking in the House lobby!
Back in January 2007, just as Nancy Pelosi had taken over as House Majority Leader, one of her first actions was to ban smoking in the House Speaker’s Lobby. As the Washington Post reported:
One of the heaviest smokers, Rep. John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), who is partial to Barclays, was resigned to the new reality yesterday. As majority leader in the last Congress, Boehner ignored calls to ban smoking from the Speaker’s Lobby. But now, as minority leader, he has little choice but to abide by Pelosi’s wishes and told reporters he was fine with the ban.
For generations, the Speaker’s Lobby has been the most visible space where smokers gather inside the Capitol. It is an ornate space dotted with fireplaces, leather armchairs and chandeliers. Lawmakers relax there between votes and debates, often meeting with staff members, reporters or the public and huddling in informal groups. Cigarette smokers tended to dominate the daytime hours there; at night, the cigar smokers took over.
Pelosi said she was banning smoking from the area to protect the health of the staff, reporters and public who spend time in the lobby. “Medical science has unquestionably established the dangerous effects of secondhand smoke, including an increased risk of cancer and respiratory diseases. I am a firm believer that Congress should lead by example,” Pelosi said in a statement. “The days of smoke-filled rooms in the United States Capitol are over.”
Not quite Madame Speaker. In one month, the smoke-filled room, good ol’ boy Country-club lovin’ days are back. And Boehner, who has seen more money from the tobacco lobby pour into his campaign coffers than from any other contributor over the years ($340,000 in total), is unashamed of his habit.
In an exchange with Bob Schieffer, the host of “Face the Nation” on CBS, Mr. Boehner conceded that cigarettes were a “bad habit” but expressed no willingness to give them up.
And Mr. Boehner said he and other Americans should have the right to decide for themselves.
Mr. Schieffer raised the issue by recounting his own past addiction. “Mr. Boehner, I’m going to ask you this question because I’m not objective about this,” he said. “I’m a cancer survivor. I used to be a heavy smoker. Do you still smoke?”
Mr. Boehner: “I do.”
Mr. Schieffer: “You have taken $340,000 from the tobacco industry. They’ve been the largest contributor to your political campaigns over the years. How do you square that with the fact that cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths in this country – 435,000 people, their deaths are linked to cancer. That’s one in five. How do you – how do you justify that in your own mind.”
“Bob, tobacco is a legal product in America,” Mr. Boehner replied. “And the American people have the right to decide for themselves whether they want to partake or not.” Noting that many things are bad for a person’s health, he added, “The American people ought to have the right to make those decisions on their own.”
Mr. Schieffer was not persuaded. “Well, I mean they have a right to shoot themselves if they choose to, but I mean shouldn’t we do something to try to encourage them not to?”
Mr. Boehner then took a more conciliatory tack. “Well, listen. I wish I didn’t have this bad habit and it is a bad habit. You’ve had it. You’ve dealt with it. But it’s something that I choose to do. And, you know, at some point, maybe I’ll decide I’ve had enough of it.”
Maybe the President will be more likely to visit the Speaker’s office now that the smoking ban has been lifted. Should Obama and Boehner quit smoking? Who cares? But Tom Brokaw seems to thing so.
Regardless, you have to respect Boehner’s uncompromising response to Schieffer’s ridiculous line of questioning.
Why does Boehner enjoy smoking so much? Maybe because there’s a direct correlation between alcohol consumption and cigarettes. Turns out alcohol magnifies the rewarding effects of smoking, even for light smokers.
“Data from epidemiological studies have shown that people who drink alcohol are more likely to smoke, and the heavier the drinking pattern, the heavier the smoking”
Perhaps the drinking / cigarette correlation is a chicken vs. egg type question, but one theory for why some people smoke when they drink is that nicotine may offset the sedative effects of alcohol. At a pack a day for the past 30 years, we’re walking about a lot of alcohol.