The Brew: Senate Hearing Almost Becomes MMA Cage Fight

By Al Perrotta Published on November 15, 2023

Happy Wednesday!

The other day, I mentioned the Brew might taste a bit different this week due to big Stream meetings and travel. In fact, today’s Brew tastes more like punch.

U.S. Senator and Former MMA Fighter Challenges Teamster Boss to a Fight … During a Congressional Hearing

It’s not very often C-SPAN turns into The Jerry Springer Show. However, during a Senate hearing Tuesday, Oklahoma Senator and former MMA fighter Markwayne Mullins called out Teamster President Sean O’Brien. After battling in a previous hearing, O’Brien had insulted Mullin on Twitter and declared “You know where to find me. Any place, any time, cowboy.”

Mullin read the tweet aloud Tuesday to O’Brien’s face, and declared, “If you want to run your mouth … we can finish it here.”

“OK, that’s fine, perfect,” replied O’Brien.

Mullin rose, clearly ready to throw down … only to be restrained by Sen. Bernie Sanders, who scolded the pair of would-be pugilists like a crusty old school master.

CNN’s Jake Tapper later asked O’Brien what had been going through his mind.

What went through my mind was “You’re one of 100 of the most powerful people in the country and you’re acting like a 12-year-old in a schoolyard because you didn’t’ get your way.”

“Okay,” replied Tapper. “But can I say, you’re tweeting like a 12-year-old.”

“Am not!”

“Am too!”

“Am NOT times infinity!”

Yes, we did add the “Am not” bit.

That Wouldn’t Have Been the First Senate Smack Down

Fun history fact. We have actually seen punches thrown in the U.S. Senate. (Well, not personally.) On February 22, 1902, South Carolina’s junior Senator John McLaurin ran into the chamber and accused the state’s senior Senator Ben Tillman of a “willful, malicious, and deliberate lie.” According to, Tillman “spun around and punched McLaurin squarely in the jaw. The chamber exploded in pandemonium as members struggled to separate both members of the South Carolina delegation. In a long moment, it was over, but not without stinging bruises both to bystanders and to the Senate’s sense of decorum.”

Six days later, the two Senators were disciplined and several weeks after that the Senate added to its rules a provision that “No senator in debate shall, directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator.”

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Even more serious, in 1854 during the tense battle over whether Kansas should be a slave or free state, anti-slavery Republican Charles Sumner was beaten unconscious with a cane by a pro-slavery House member from South Carolina named Preston Brooks. It began when Sen. Sumner mocked South Carolina Sen. Andrew Butler.

The Caning of Sen. Charles Sumner

Brooks later confronted Sumner in the Senate chamber and according to Senate historians, “slammed his metal topped cane onto the unsuspecting Sumner’s head.” A few more whacks and Sumner would fall unconscious.

So what did Sumner say that would set Brooks off? He accused Butler of taking “a mistress . . . who, though ugly to others, is always lovely to him; though polluted in the sight of the world, is chaste in his sight — I mean,” concluded Sumner, “the harlot, Slavery.”

Senators don’t talk like that today. Well, perhaps with the possible exception of Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana.

300,000 Gather in Washington DC for Americans March for Israel

Nearly 300,000 pro-Israel demonstrators took part in Tuesday’s Americans March for Israel in Washington, DC. And nobody tried to tear down the White House gates. Instead, they peacefully gathered near the White House and heard, via video, from Israeli President Isaac Herzog.

The event, said Herzog was a “march for the babies, the boys and girls, women and men viciously held hostage by Hamas.” Added Herzog, “Once again in Jewish history we demand, ‘Let my people go!”

Go Woke, Go Broke, Beauty Pageant Style

Only days before this year’s competition, the Miss Universe Pageant has filed for bankruptcy. Thai business tycoon and transgender activist Anne Jakrajutatip of the JKN Global Group dropped $20,000,000 for the Miss Universe organization just last year. Jakrajutatip’s welcoming of transgender contestants has made a mockery of the once prestigious pageant. In fact, two nations will be represented Saturday by biological males: Portugal and Netherlands.

The Miss Universe organization pushed back against the trans blowback. “Trans women are women, full stop,” the organization said. We are here to celebrate women, full stop. This has been true for more than a decade, and we’re proud to have made this change very early on, compared to other programs.”

And while Saturday’s pageant will go on as planned in San Salvador, the bankruptcy may bring Miss Universe to a … let’s say it all together … full stop.

Along The Stream

Dr. Michael Brown returns with the sarcastically-titled “Evil Mike Johnson and the Nefarious Christian Takeover of America.”


Al Perrotta is the Managing Editor of The Stream, co-author, with John Zmirak, of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration and co-author of the counter-terrorism memoir Hostile Intent: Protecting Yourself Against Terrorism.

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