34 Congressmen Arrested In D.C. Cockfighting Crackdown

Top Headlines


Rand Paul Escorted Off Stage After Falling Below 2.5% In Middle Of Debate

MILWAUKEE—Interrupted midway through answering a question about how he would reform the nation’s tax code, Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul was reportedly escorted off stage roughly an hour into Tuesday’s GOP primary debate after falling below the minimum 2.5 percent polling threshold necessary for participating in the forum.

Fact-Checking Ben Carson’s Claims

GOP presidential frontrunner Ben Carson is currently under fire for claims he’s made about his past in books and interviews, many of which journalists have alleged are fabricated or skewed in the candidate’s favor. The Onion breaks down what’s truth and what’s fiction.

Republicans’ Demands For Upcoming Debates

Following last week’s contentious debate in Colorado, Republican presidential candidates are formulating demands for future debates in the effort to reduce perceived media bias and foster a more productive, policy-focused discussion. Here are the GOP’s demands for upcoming debates

Top Issues For Voters In The 2016 Election

With the presidential race well underway and the pool of candidates narrowing, Americans will soon have to choose their next leader based on how well they speak to the issues. Here are the top issues that matter for voters in the 2016 election

Winners And Losers Of Last Night’s Debate

The top 10 leading GOP presidential candidates met in Boulder, CO for their third debate last night, hosted by CNBC and featuring a number of contentious moments concerning alleged liberal media bias, frontrunners’ contradictory statements, and more. The Onion breaks down who won and who lost the debate

Ben Carson Tormented By Periodic Rational Thoughts

SAN ANTONIO—Calling the disturbing incidents a persistent source of anguish, GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson told reporters at a Monday campaign stop that he has been tormented by periodic rational thoughts for the past several years.

How Democrats Are Preparing For Their First Debate

The first Democratic presidential debate will be held Tuesday, and the candidates are expected to battle it out over issues as wide-ranging as gun control, climate change, and wealth inequality in America. Here’s how the candidates are preparing for the debate

Group Of Christie Campaign Deserters Found In Forest

SHAMONG, NJ—Huddling together around fires of burning yard signs while sipping small rations of soup from mugs adorned with the phrase “Telling It Like It Is,” a ragged encampment of advisers, pollsters, and volunteers who deserted Chris Christie’s presidential campaign was reportedly found living deep in a New Jersey forest Friday, authorities confirmed.

Sight Of 400 War Elephants On Horizon Marks Hillary Clinton’s Arrival In Swing State

WHEELING, OH—Feeling the earth shake beneath them as they watched the procession climb over the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains toward their village, sources along the Ohio border confirmed Thursday that the sight of 400 war elephants marching on the horizon marked Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s arrival to the critical swing state.

Unemployed Single Mother In Rubio Speech Told Candidate About Her Problems In Confidence

CEDAR FALLS, IA—Describing her shock and embarrassment upon learning that her personal struggles were shared with an entire campaign rally audience, 37-year-old Allison Kilpatrick, an unemployed single mother that Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio mentioned in a recent stump speech, informed reporters Thursday that she told the candidate about her problems in confidence.

Obama Scrambling Around White House Kitchen Before State Dinner

WASHINGTON—Darting back and forth from refrigerator to sink to prep table while hurriedly preparing 350 hand-carved radish rosettes, a visibly agitated President Obama reported Friday that everything must be absolutely perfect for tonight’s state dinner in honor of Chinese president Xi Jinping.

Voters Look On In Horror As 3 New Republican Candidates Appear In Place Of Scott Walker

MADISON, WI—Overcome by a profound feeling of dread and helplessness as the GOP field multiplied before their eyes, voters at Scott Walker’s press conference yesterday, in which the Wisconsin governor announced he was exiting the presidential race, reportedly looked on in horror as three new Republican contenders appeared on stage in place of the former candidate.

Top Snake Handler Leaves Sinking Huckabee Campaign

LITTLE ROCK, AR—Dealing yet another blow to the former Arkansas governor’s presidential hopes, Dalton Hobbs, one of Mike Huckabee’s top snake handlers, has decided to leave the sinking campaign, sources reported Thursday.

Aides Rush On Stage To Rotate Scott Walker Back To Direction Of Audience

SIMI VALLEY, CA—Upon noticing that the Wisconsin governor had become disoriented during one of the moderator’s questions and begun delivering his response while facing the set’s backdrop, several of his aides rushed on stage during Wednesday’s GOP primary debate to rotate Scott Walker back in the direction of the audience.

GOP Debate Stage Manager Pulls Ladies’ Podium Out Of Storage For Carly Fiorina

SIMI VALLEY, CA—Having rummaged through a cluttered backstage closet for nearly half an hour in an effort to locate its elegantly curved lavender form, stage manager Paul Guzman is said to have finally pulled the GOP’s official ladies’ podium out of storage for Carly Fiorina ahead of Wednesday night’s Republican primary debate.

Who Is Kim Davis?

Rowan County, KY clerk Kim Davis returned to work Monday after being jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples on religious grounds. Here’s what you need to know about the defiant public servant:

Obamas Decide To Stay In White House Until Daughters Finish High School

‘We Don’t Want To Uproot Them Just For Our Jobs,’ Say Parents

WASHINGTON—Saying it wouldn’t be fair to disrupt their lives after seven years in the same school district, Barack and Michelle Obama this week announced their plans to stay in the White House until their daughters graduate high school.

Frenzied Trump Supporters Admit They’d Be Just As Happy Tearing Him To Pieces

‘We’re Just Mad And Want To Destroy Something,’ Say Candidate’s Backers

WASHINGTON—Saying they simply needed something to direct their anger toward, the nation’s frenzied Donald Trump supporters admitted Thursday that, if circumstances were different, they would be just as happy tearing the Republican frontrunner to pieces.

How Trump Continues To Lead The Polls

Recent polls indicate that, despite public outcry against his incendiary comments on women and minorities, Donald Trump is still the leading Republican candidate. Here are some reasons Trump stays so popular with his supporters:

Obama’s Post-Presidency Plans

With his two-term presidency drawing to a close, Barack Obama has been meeting with several high-profile public figures to determine the trajectory of his post–White House legacy. Here are some of the proposed plans

Details Of Donald Trump’s Immigration Plan

This week, Donald Trump unveiled his plan for addressing immigration as president, a series of core principles that specify his heretofore generalized statements about America’s relationship with immigrants. Here are the items detailed in Trump’s outline

Huckabee Campaign Suspended After Candidate Trapped In Briar Patch

HOPE, AR—Saying all public appearances would be canceled until they could find a way to free the former Arkansas governor, officials announced Friday that Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign had been suspended due to the Republican candidate becoming trapped in a briar patch.

What’s Been Found In Hillary’s Emails So Far

Hillary Clinton agreed to turn over her private email server to the FBI Wednesday after it was alleged that emails sent over her personal account could be compromised outside the possession of the government. Here are some of the contents of Clinton’s emails that have been inspected thus far

Biden Offers Government Post To Elvira, Mistress Of The Dark

WASHINGTON—Calling the late-night horror film host well-suited for the job “and then some,” Vice President Joe Biden offered Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, an entry-level position within the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, White House sources confirmed Thursday.

How The GOP Can Appeal To Women

In light of Donald Trump’s controversial comments about Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly and the Republican Party’s divisive views on Planned Parenthood, many are wondering how the party will win the female vote in next year’s presidential election.

Most Used Words In The GOP Debate

On Thursday night, the top 10 Republican presidential hopefuls gathered at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland to engage in the first primary debate. Below are the words and phrases used by the candidates, weighted by the frequency with which they appeared.

On Thursday night, the top 10 Republican presidential hopefuls gathered at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland to engage in the first primary debate. Here are the words and phrases used by the candidates, weighted by the frequency with which they appeared.

Trump Delivers Anecdote About Small Business Owner Who Isn’t Half The Man He Is

CLEVELAND—Noting that there are millions of entrepreneurs throughout the country who are in the same difficult position, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump responded to a question about the economy at Thursday night’s primary debate by sharing an anecdote about meeting a struggling small business owner who isn’t half the man he is.

What To Expect From Tonight’s GOP Debate

The first Republican primary debate will air Thursday evening on Fox News and will feature the top 10 polling candidates, with Donald Trump in a strong lead, as they field questions from moderators Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly, and Chris Wallace. Here’s what to expect during tonight’s debate:

How Campaigns Spend Their Money

The 2016 election cycle is shaping up to be the most expensive in American history, with most presidential candidates already having raised tens of millions of dollars for their respective campaigns. Here is a breakdown of just how that money is spent:

Details Of Obama’s Climate Change Plan

President Obama unveiled Monday a plan to increase the country’s clean power usage that many are calling the strongest action ever taken by a U.S. president to combat the effects of climate change. Here are some key details of Obama’s climate change plan

Revelations From Trump’s Financial Documents

Donald Trump made the financial disclosures this week required of all presidential candidates, divulging his job titles, assets, and other information in a 92-page report. Here are some things we learned about Trump in these documents

What’s Next For U.S.-Cuban Relations

After 54 years of closure, the U.S. embassy in Havana and the Cuban embassy in Washington, D.C. each began flying their flags once more this week, a symbol of the restored diplomatic ties between the two nations. Here is what we can expect from the relationship going forward

Candidate Profile: Scott Walker

Wisconsin governor Scott Walker formally announced Monday that he will run for the Republican nomination in the 2016 presidential election, bringing one of the frontrunners in early polls officially into the race. Here are some key facts to know about Walker
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Area Man

This Great Song, Bar Sources Report

TOMAH, WI—Pausing their conversations momentarily to call attention to the music playing on the establishment’s jukebox, sources at local bar Shepherd’s confirmed to reporters Friday that this is a great song.


  • How Theaters Are Trying To Win Back Moviegoers

    The number of Americans who went to the movies hit a 20-year low in 2014, leaving theaters scrambling to find ways to incentivize the public to see new releases on the big screen rather than watch films at home or on the internet. Here are some methods theaters are using to win back audiences and increase box office sales:

34 Congressmen Arrested In D.C. Cockfighting Crackdown

WASHINGTON, DC—Washington police seized 22 members of the House of Representatives, 12 members of the Senate, and more than 100 fighting cocks Monday night, in the latest crackdown on blood sports at the highest levels of the U.S. government.

Congressmen Don Nickles (R-OK), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Dick Gephardt (D-MO), and John Lewis (D-GA) minutes before their arrest.

"At 1 o'clock this morning, uniformed officers, acting on tips from undercover operatives, staged simultaneous raids on four known beltway pits, arresting a large bipartisan coalition of legislative cockfighting enthusiasts," D.C. police chief Charles H. Ramsey told reporters Tuesday. "Of course, we were aware of the longstanding cockfighting problem, but we were shocked to catch so many highly placed lawmakers in the act of betting on, training, and selling fighting birds—or, in the case of [Rep.] Tammy Baldwin [D-WI], operating back-alley clubs."

A full report of evidence gathered in the raids will be issued later this week, but police have released certain facts, including details about a breeding network for elite fighting cocks—prized for their extreme aggressiveness and high pain threshold—run by members of the House Judiciary Committee. Undercover officers said they witnessed committee members selling birds to other congressmen for hundreds of dollars apiece.

Evidence also included photos of congressional motor-pool limousines that had been converted into "crating trucks" to transport cocks from venue to venue. Perhaps most stunning of all were the firsthand sightings of cocks, their crests and wattles surgically removed, being trained to fight with blades tied to their natural spurs in a 400-bird "hardening pen" in the basement of the Old Executive Office Building, just blocks away from the White House.

Detective William Gargano of the D.C. vice squad was present for the previous evening's raid on El Pollo Diablo, a cockfighting pit located among several blocks of abandoned warehouses in southeast D.C.

"I was there shooting undercover video when detectives and animal-control operatives, working in a combined task force, busted down all the doors to the place at once," Gargano said. "It had already been shaping up to be one hell of a night. [Sen. Dick] Lugar [R-IN] was a few hundred dollars ahead in the pit. His famous Stag Hammer just couldn't lose. Well, that didn't sit well with [Sen.] Hillary Clinton [D-NY], who accused him of giving his bird ginger and amphetamine suppositories to make it fight harder."

Continued Gargano: "Then [Sen. Dianne] Feinstein [D-CA] tried to suck her rooster's punctured lung clear so it could last a whole match, but she swallowed too much blood and puked everywhere. [Supreme Court Justice David] Souter had just broken up a fight between [Rep.] Mark Kennedy [R-MN] and [Rep. Jim] Oberstar [D-MN], after they knocked the damn carcass barrel all over the floor. When the raid happened, I was relieved. It was getting pretty dicey in there."

The raids themselves were carried out with minimal resistance. Only Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) needed to be restrained and charged with resisting arrest.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) inspects fighting birds during a cock-buying trip to Tibet.

Ramsey said that, though formal charges have yet to be filed, the congressmen taken into custody will most likely be charged with illegal gambling, animal cruelty, and collusion. Nearly all of the arrested cockfighting enthusiasts are out of jail after posting bail. However, not one of the arrested parties, even those who were not elected officials, has agreed to speak openly to reporters.

One legislator who asked not to be identified said the charges were "petty," and that the indicted members of Congress were victims of a "witch-hunt."

"Although violent, cockfighting is a traditional part of the American lawmaker's way of life," the legislator said. "It's a sport, with a code of conduct the uninitiated simply wouldn't understand. I'm sure many of the good people of Oklahoma, hypothetically speaking, would agree that there's a place for different people's tastes in this great country. As far as the cruelty charges go, that's ludicrous. I love my fighting cocks—my wife likes to say I treat my champion red-eyes better than I treat her—and I'm sure my fellow Congressmen would say much the same."

As troubling as the mere existence of a legislative cockfighting ring may be, lawmakers who were not implicated in the scandal say they are more disturbed by evidence that legislation has been derailed, altered, or passed based on successes and failures in the cockfighting pit.

"One week, the Civic Funding for Secondary Education Act is dead in the water, with no compromise on the horizon," Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said. "The very next week, 12 Democrats turn over on their votes. I heard strange rumors that some hefty debt to the Senate Republicans was just erased—something involving '10-to-1 odds on a one-eyed Rhode Island Red.' It didn't make sense until this morning, when I flipped on the news and saw all these same senators getting cuffed at the rooster pit in a basement off Constitution."

"Now that I think about it, this may explain why the Chicken Feed Price Stabilization Act passed through the House so quickly last month," McCain added.