Texas congressional candidate Larry Smith (left) with Republican gubernatorial nominee Greg Abbott
Iraq War vet Larry Smith is the Republican nominee to take on Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Texas) in November. He's also, it turns out, an armchair psychiatrist. According to Smith, Barack Obama's handling of the child refugee crisis along the Mexican border suggests the president is suffering from Münchausen syndrome by proxy, a rare psychological condition that causes caretakers to abuse kids.
"Today, we hear of reports that children are being abused, being used by drug cartels, and even dying," Smith said in a statement on his website last Thursday. "If a high school administrator prompted such mass abuse, that person would quickly be without a job and perhaps even found behind bars. The mental stability of the school administrator would be in question. Is a President of the United States who does such horrific acts deserving of less scrutiny and accountability?…People who intentionally hurt children for attention can be accused of Münchausen Syndrome by Proxy."
Münchausen syndrome by proxy is often tabloid fodder and often deadly. In June, a New York mother believed to be suffering from the affliction was charged with second-degree depraved murder and first-degree manslaughter after feeding her son so much salt he became brain-dead. In another Münchausen case in 2011, an Arizona mother was charged with child abuse for deliberately poisoning her daughter.
Conservatives have found a new line of attack on the ongoing refugee crisis along the southern border: The children who are migrating en masse from Central America and crowding into detention centers are not children.
"I realize that in Barack Obama's America we now classify anyone under the age of 26 as a child eligible for their parent's healthcare insurance," writesRed State's Erick Erickson. "But I'm pretty sure a normal person would not classify these men as children." He links to this tweet:
Erickson's analysis is correct—the people in this photo are not children. The way immigration detention works is that children are separated from adults and then sorted by age and gender. This is noted in nearly everysinglestoryonthesubject. Just because more than 48,000 minors have been detained crossing the border in 2014 doesn't mean adults have simply stopped coming over.
Lest you think that the administration is inventing this influx of young migrants, here is a photo of migrant children crowded into a single room. I found it on Breitbart:
If you want to make it as a snitch in the fast-growing sport of muggle quidditch, there are a few simple rules to live by. Keep the two people with yellow headbands in your sight at all times. Call fouls when you see them. Don’t let your showboating get in the way of your performance. And keep your booty shaking. "You gotta do a little duck waddle—stick your butt out," advises Austin Nuckols, a lanky University of Richmond student with curly hair in a Spiderman-inspired quidditch jersey. "That's right, get a little twerk going," he says. "Work on your twerk!"
Nuckols in offering a tutorial in snitching in a back room at a convention center in downtown DC for the second day of the third annual QuidCon, the only convention focused on the nuts and bolts of starting or managing a quidditch team. Conceived eight years ago by a small group of students at Middlebury College in Vermont, the International Quidditch Association now boasts 225 official teams in at least 13 countries, in addition to wheelchair quidditch and several varieties of "kidditch." Even as the Harry Potter books and movies that first popularized it fade from view, the sport has begun to find its legs.
But like angsty, teenage Harry Potter in book five, competitive quidditch is finding that its new powers come with some growing pains—in the most literal sense. Muggle quidditch has a concussion problem.
Colorado Republicans thought they'd dodged a bullet last month when primary voters chose former GOP Rep. Bob Beauprez as their gubernatorial nominee over Tom Tancredo, a former congressman and notorious anti-immigration activist. Not so much. On Wednesday, Democrats circulated a little-noticed 2010 video in which Beauprez rails against the 47 percent of the American population who he claims are dependent on government. Sound familiar?
"I see something that frankly doesn't surprise me, having been on Ways and Means Committee: 47 percent of all Americans pay no federal income tax," Beauprez said in the video. "I'm guessing that most of you in this room are not in that 47 percent—God bless you—but what that tells me is that we've got almost half the population perfectly happy that somebody else is paying the bill, and most of that half is you all."
"I submit to you that there is a political strategy to get slightly over half and have a permanent ruling majority by keeping over half of the population dependent on the largesse of government that somebody else is paying for," Beauprez said.
Beauprez's comments, which came in an address to a local rotary club, bear an uncanny resemblance to the infamous remarks, first reported by Mother Jones, that Mitt Romney made to donors during his presidential campaign. (Romney's final tally: 47 percent of the vote.) A survey released by Rasmussen on Wednesday showed Beauprez running even with incumbent Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper.
Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) is facing a serious primary challenge from businessman Brian Ellis over the second-term congressman's frequent clashes with the Republican establishment. Amash lost his spot on the budget committee after voting against the Ryan budget, opposed John Boehner's bid for speaker, and led his party's far-right faction in forcing a government shutdown last fall. But it's Amash's opposition to the expansive national security and surveillance state that has drawn the fiercest backlash so far.
The latest example: this new ad from Ellis, featuring an ex-Marine calling Amash "Al Qaeda's best friend in Congress":
The quote originally came from Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), whose beef with Amash is longstanding. Ellis has received big bucks from his party's establishment donors, and Amash's Republican colleagues in the Michigan delegation have left him out to dry. But Amash, a charismatic disciple of former Rep. Ron Paul, has access to a rich grassroots fundraising network of his own, as well the generous support of the Club for Growth and the DeVos family, one of Michigan's most powerful political families.
Attack ads notwithstanding, Amash's efforts to build a bipartisan coalition to curtail the NSA appears to be working: Last week, the House voted—by a 170-vote margin—to rein warrantless "backdoor searches" of American citizens. And it doesn't appear to be hurting him in Southwest Michigan: A poll of the race from the Detroit Newsgave Amash a 55–35 lead.