Sunday, October 05, 2003

CRACKHEAD OF THE DAY AWARD: Representative Cass Ballenger (R-NC) says: "Muslims in hoods across the street and Congress doesn't allow bribes. How could this marriage last any longer?!"

U.S. Rep. Cass Ballenger blames the breakup of his 50-year marriage partly on the stress of living near a leading American Muslim advocacy group that he and his wife worried was so close to the U.S. Capitol that "they could blow the place up." Another stress on their marriage: the decision by "we holier-than-thou Republicans" in the House, Ballenger said, to ban gifts -- including meals and theater tickets from lobbyists -- that once meant "a social life for (congressional) wives."

Ballenger, a Republican from Hickory, called the Council on American-Islamic Relations -- whose headquarters are across the street from his Capitol Hill home -- a "fund-raising arm" for terrorist groups and said he reported CAIR to the FBI and CIA. Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the group, which looks out for Muslims' civil rights and sponsors interfaith gatherings, said Friday that Ballenger's unsubstantiated remarks were bigoted.

The nine-term Republican made the comments during a Wednesday evening phone interview with The Observer, in which he discussed his legal separation from his wife, Donna. It was the couple's proximity to CAIR after Sept. 11, 2001,"bugged the hell" out of his wife, he said. "Diagonally across from my house, up goes a sign -- CAIR ... the fund-raising arm for Hezbollah," said Ballenger, 76, referring to a Lebanese militia group the United States has labeled a terrorist organization. "I reported them to the FBI and CIA." Ballenger said in the post 9-11 environment in Washington, his wife, a homemaker, was anxious about all the activity at CAIR, including people unloading boxes and women "wearing hoods," or headscarves, going in and out of the office building on New Jersey Avenue. "That's 2 1/2 blocks from the Capitol," he added, "and they could blow it up."

"This is out-and-out bigotry," Hooper said. "It's unworthy of an elected official at the national level. ... You wonder what he's been doing in Congress if this is the kind of analysis he does: `You're a Muslim, so you're guilty.' " This isn't the first time Ballenger has been criticized for comments some consider insensitive. Last December, in another interview with The Observer, he said that then-Rep. Cynthia McKinney, an African American from Georgia known for her abrasive style, had stirred in him "a little bit of a segregationist feeling. I mean, she was such a bitch." He later apologized for what he called "pretty stupid remarks" even as an aide was painting white the black lawn jockey -- a symbol of racial insensitivity to many -- in Ballenger's front yard.

[S]he echoed Ballenger's comments on CAIR and on her feelings about living across the street from the group's headquarters. "It's a very good location if you really wanted to raise trouble," she said.

Ballenger's wife also agreed with him that the GOP-controlled House's 1995 decision to restrict the money spent on members of Congress and their spouses had helped turn Washington into "a lousy place to live. ...It used to be you'd get invitations to the symphony or the theater ... I don't think you should get $1,000 trips to the Bahamas (from lobbyists). But I don't see where a dinner or a theater ticket is that bad. We had friends who are lobbyists."
Is he supporting the War on Terror Muslim Environmentalists, already? Now please sing along:
Times have changed,
Our kids are getting worse,
They won't obey their parents,
they just wan't to fart and curse

Should we blame the government?
Or blame society?
Or should we blame the images on TV?

No! Blame Canada! Blame Canada!

With all thier beedy little eyes,
have packed thier heads so full of lies,

No! Blame Canada! Blame Canada!

We need to form a full assault,
It's canadas fault,

Don't blame me for my son Stan,
He saw the darn cartoon and now hes of to join the klan,
And my boy Eric once had my picture on his shelf,
But now when I see him he tells me to fuck myself,

Well? Blame Canada! Blame Canada!

It seems that everythings gone wrong,
Since Canada came along

Blame Canada! Blame Canada!

They're not even a real country anyway,

My son could have been a doctor or a lawyer rich and true,
Instead he burned up like a piggy on a barbeque,
Should we blame the matches? Should we blame the fire?
Or the doctors who allowed him to expire,

Heck no! Blame Canada! Blame Canada!
With all their hockey hollabaloo,
And that bitch Ann Murray too

Blame Canada! Shame on Cana-da!

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