Yet Nichols, who had every incentive to throw blame elsewhere, admitted there was no conspiracy.

A year later, Rohrabacher stumbled into a new black hole, this one involving the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy.

On the night in 1968 when Kennedy was murdered by Sirhan Sirhan, the congressman was attending a different election party at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. He claims he saw "another Arab" tackled and arrested by police in the lobby.

Naturally, the spotting of two Arabs in a single L.A. hotel could not be coincidence. To Rohrabacher, it could only mean one thing: a vast Palestinian conspiracy!

Fast-forward to the day in 2007 that Sirhan, an inmate at the California State Prison in Corcoran was told by guards that someone named "Diana" had arrived to see him. Instead of a woman visitor, however, Sirhan found himself face-to-face with Rohrabacher and two aides. He assured the congressman there was no conspiracy.

"I think [Rohrabacher's] kookiness is part of what's kept him in Washington," says Debbie Cook, the former mayor of Huntington Beach, who came closest to unseating the 13-term representative. "The more he keeps his name in the press, the better he does."

Even without the support of convicted killers, Rohrabacher's conspiracy theories soldier on. His latest emerged after the slayings of Libyan ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi. The congressman took to Twitter to suggest that President Obama had left the men to die to ensure his re-election.

It was a bizarre assertion, given that dead ambassadors rarely make for effective campaign commercials.

5. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas)

Loud, Proud and Brainless

In January, Republican leaders convened in Charlotte to lick their wounds from the last election. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal got straight to the point: "We must stop being the stupid party."

No one better exemplifies Jindal's lament than the man whose district shares Louisiana's border, Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert. Or, as the spokesperson for Texas' Democratic Party calls him, "our go-to guy when we want a crazy quote."

Gohmert's apparent strategy: The louder and crazier he talks, the less anyone will notice his lack of a functioning cerebral cortex.

Take the February 2012 hearing at which Gohmert claimed the trans-Alaska pipeline was responsible for a booming caribou population. Flowing oil warmed the ground, he explained, serving as an aphrodisiac for the antlered set.

"So when they want to go on a date, they invite each other to head over to the pipeline," claimed the Carrie Bradshaw of imaginary science.

Less amusing were comments in the wake of two high-profile shootings. After the Sandy Hook massacre, he said of the school's murdered principal: "I wish to God she had an M-4 in her office."

Following the movie-theater slaughter in Aurora, Colorado, he bemoaned the fact that no one had pulled a gun, an oversight that allowed for "ongoing attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs" — as if deranged killer James Holmes had somehow struck a blow for atheism.

Gohmert tried to remedy this perceived cowardice in his own workplace, introducing legislation that would allow politicians to carry pistols in the Capitol. (Like nearly all legislation he proposes, it went nowhere.)

But Gohmert's weirdness reaches beyond guns and caribou. Any conservative congressman worth his American-flag lapel pin must have a Muslim conspiracy theory. So Gohmert fabricated one more lacking in evidence than all the rest.

His latest outcry is the "terror babies" conspiracy, a scenario in which scores of pregnant Muslim women fly to the States solely to give birth and the children citizens then return to the Middle East to undergo decades of anti-American indoctrination. Once the kids reach maturity, they fly back to blow up a small chunk of the country, thus completing their mission.

Unfortunately for Gohmert, the FBI gives no credence to his theory. And when told by CNN's Anderson Cooper that the notion was ridiculous, Gohmert offered no evidence to the contrary.

Instead, he compared himself to Winston Churchill, telling Cooper that "the explosions will not happen for 10 or 15 or 20 years, and then you will be one of those blips."

It doesn't quite sound like the new, intellectual Republican Party Jindal is aiming for.

4. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas)

The Queen of Mean in the Nation's Capital

Houston's Sheila Jackson Lee arrived in Congress in 1995. It took just 11 days for the first of Lee's staff members to quit, and the congresswoman has shown no sign of slowing down since.

Every year, Washingtonian magazine runs a survey of the "meanest" bosses on Capitol Hill. Lee has never finished outside of the top three. According to employees, she often refers to them as "morons," "idiots" and the always-endearing "stupid motherfuckers."

"I am a queen, and I demand to be treated like a queen," she once told an aide, according to the Houston Press.

When she flies home for visits, she demands that a staffer be waiting with a car to whisk her from the gate. And when she goes abroad, while the rest of the congressional delegation usually travels by military bus, nothing less than a black Mercedes will do to squire her around town.

Although government employees are banned from performing personal services for elected officials, Roll Call magazine discovered Lee was ordering low-paid workers to run errands during off-hours. Some chauffeured her to the hairdresser. Others picked up her laundry. One was summoned from bed after midnight to fetch a bottle of garlic supplements.

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My Voice Nation Help

I'm just amazed that Michael Burgess, congressman from Texas 26th district, wasn't mentioned.


Sheila Jackson Lee.  You left out her most famous Q,  asking at a Hearing on the NASA budget ...

"Can the Hubble Telescope see the US flag the Apollo astronauts left on the Moon?"


Hank Johnson for President.......

Marvin Remmers
Marvin Remmers

People like their own congressmen. Ted Cruz was elected by over 50% of the people and he's done a good job already. I would guess that his approval rating is pretty high here in Texas.

holmantx topcommenter

Rep. Maxine Waters of California, a 22-year House veteran and ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee, this week warned of "over 170 million jobs that could be lost."

Uh, that is more than all the jobs in America.

We're in real trouble.

Sotiredofitall topcommenter

Congress has always contained its fair share of pinheads and egomaniacs 


Between this article and Schutze's about Dallas City Hall, I just want to run away! Somewhere far away -- New Zealand maybe.  It's like the entire country has lost it!

TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

That caricature of Cruz looks a lot more like Al Gore.  


The scariest thing about Paul Broun is that he's a DOCTOR.  If I had ever been one of his patients, I would be SO out of there.


Cruz is most definitely #1 weirdo and Commie chaser. What an embarassment!

How he got elected along with Gohmert, Cornyn Grayson and a couple more just shows you why Texas is the laughing stock of the country/world.