Category Archives: I’m not making this up

But can either Mitt or Newt match THIS?

Bob McAlister and other Republicans may be eager to see their particular candidate debate President Obama.

But I ask you, how would Newt Gingrich or any of the others answer the above?

Well, they couldn’t. I was pretty speechless myself. First Bill Clinton and the saxophone, now this.

All Newt could do under such circumstances would be to denounce the president as a blasphemer for imitating the Rev. Al…

Of course, this performance automatically makes my Top Five Soul Covers by a Sitting President list. I just don’t know where I’m going to find the other four to round it out…

I didn’t know they had a sense of humor

Maybe we can work something out with the Iranians after all:

Iran says it will send the U.S. government a toy model of the CIA drone the Islamic Republic captured last month. The announcement, made via state media, comes in response to the White House’s request for the return of the unmanned aircraft.

The U.S. drone, a RQ-170 Sentinel dubbed “the Beast of Kandahar,” is one of the most technologically advanced surveillance crafts in the world. The toy model, the Associated Press reports, will be 1/80 the size and retail for the equivalent of $4 in Iranian toy stores.

There’s still no conclusive explanation for how the drone got into Iranian hands in the first place. As the Slatest has previously noted, the U.S. and Iran have offered conflicting versions of pretty much every detail of the story. Iran claims to have noticed the drone in their airspace and then hacked it down electronically. The U.S. says it malfunctioned, but they’re not exactly sure how.

Where there is a sense of humor, there’s a chance for common sense — right? I thought it was quintessentially American, something we had a patent on, when Gen. McAuliffe answered a German demand for surrender by saying “Nuts.”

But this is like a page from our own book. So maybe we’re not so different…

Ayn Rand is alive and well in the Club for Growth

It’s been really interesting to see his rivals tear into Mitt Romney for being some sort of heartless capitalist. And it’s been equally interesting to see the Mark Sanford wing of the GOP defend him.

I didn’t have time this morning to finish reading the front-page piece in The Wall Street Journal (which unfortunately is hiding behind the pay wall) about this phenomenon, but I can share with you this release from the Club for Growth:

Statement On Newt Gingrich’s Attacks On Mitt Romney And Bain Capital
Club for Growth President Chris Chocola: “Newt Gingrich should stop his attacks on free markets and apologize to Governor Romney for them”

Washington, DC – The Club for Growth PAC issued the following statement today in reaction to Speaker Newt Gingrich’s attacks on Governor Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital. Yesterday, Gingrich said “Those of us who believe in free markets and those of us who believe that in fact the whole goal of investment is entrepreneurship and job creation…we find it pretty hard to justify rich people figuring out clever legal ways to loot a company, leaving behind 1,700 families without a job.” (Source: New York Times, 1/8/11) Gingrich’s attack was echoed that same day that by the Democratic National Committee, which also attacked Romney for his job creation record at Bain Capital. (Source: Democratic National Committee YouTube Page, 1/8/12)

“Newt Gingrich’s attacks on Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital are disgusting,” said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola. “There are a number of issues for Mitt Romney’s Republican opponents to attack him for, but attacking him for making investments in companies to create a profit for his investors is just wrong. Because of the efforts of Bain Capital, major companies like Staples, Domino’s Pizza, and the Sports Authority now employ thousands of people and have created billions in wealth in the private economy. Attacking Governor Romney for participating in free-market capitalism is just beyond the pale for any purported ‘Reagan Conservative.’ Newt Gingrich should stop his attacks on free markets and apologize to Governor Romney for them.”

Ayn Rand, high priestess of the cult of Self, may be technically dead, but who needs her when we have the Club?

No word, by the way, on whether Chris Chocola is related to the Count. Probably not, given the spelling difference.

So long, Michele Bachmann…

OK, now that she’s made her exit speech, we are reminded of two things:

  1. Just how useless the Iowa Straw Poll is — she mentioned having won it — as if we didn’t already know.
  2. That the country is probably better off without her leadership.

I base the latter on her hyperbolic explanation of why she ran. She explained that Obamacare “endangered the very survival of the United States of America.”

So, in our lifetime, that makes two existential threats to our country: The Soviet Union, and a health care plan that is a timid, pale shadow of that provided in practically every other advanced nation in the world.

You know, I’m thinking it would be great if the GOP would now concentrate on finding a nominee who knows what a real threat is. Because the most critical part of the job description is, after all, commander in chief. Maybe that process began in Iowa last night.

The painting to which the ex-candidate referred: "Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States," by Howard Chandler Christy.

‘The country Solynda': I say we should invade it, take over, and let Rick Perry be its new president

Rick Perry has outdone himself this time:

Hours after Saturday’s presidential debate in Des Moines, Iowa, GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry continued his string of memorable campaign gaffes.

CNN Political Ticker reports that Perry campaignedin the Hawkeye State, stopping in Ames. He focused on energy, taking shots at the Obama administration’s handling of government spending.

“No greater example of it than this administration sending millions of dollars into the solar industry, and we lost that money,” Perry said. “I want to say it was over $500 million that went to the country Solynda.”

You know that country, don’t you? It’s one of the three in the Axis of Doh!

No, we can’t ship you that item, Mr. Yossarian…

Maj. Major: Sergeant, from now on, I don’t want anyone to come in and see me while I’m in my office. Is that clear?
First Sgt. Towser: Yes, sir? What do I say to people who want to come in and see you while you’re gone?
Maj. Major: Tell them I’m in and ask them to wait.
First Sgt. Towser: For how long?
Maj. Major: Until I’ve left.
First Sgt. Towser: And then what do I do with them?
Maj. Major: I don’t care.
First Sgt. Towser: May I send people in to see you after you’ve left?
Maj. Major: Yes.
First Sgt. Towser: You won’t be here then, will you?
Maj. Major: No.
First Sgt. Towser: I see, sir. Will that be all?
— Catch-22

To begin with, I tried to do it the old-fashioned way. I asked my Dad if he’d like to ride out to Harbison with me, and he said sure, so I picked him up in the truck and we went out there. We went into the store with me clutching the ad that showed the item on sale. After my usual thing — wandering about the store looking for it without asking for help — didn’t work, my Dad asked someone.

This led, indirectly (I’m giving you the short version here) to someone going to the back and searching for about 20 minutes before informing me that they were out of the item. They offered to order one for me, but I said, don’t bother, I’ll order it online from home. I thought I’d read that shipping was free, and I figured I’d save myself another trip to the store.

So I got home, and I went online, and there was the item, so I put one in my cart, and went to check out. Where I found that instead of $69.99, it would cost me $111.40. Turns out I would have to order another 40 bucks worth of merchandise from that store to get the free shipping.

OK, so I clicked on the “store pickup” radio button, and presto!, the shipping charges disappeared. Seemed fair enough to me… they put it on a truck that would be going there anyway, and I drive a few miles out of my way, and I pick up the item. Fine.

One more step, though: I had to click on the link that said “select a store.” Fine. I went there, and filled in my zip code, and was shown the two stores in my area.

Then came trouble: I couldn’t click on either store. They were grayed out, because the item was “Out of stock (or not carried) at this store.”

Well, duh. Otherwise I would not be placing an order from it and opting for “store pickup.”

Well, obviously there was a malfunction in the software, so I called the store to go back to Option A, which was to get them to order it for me.

I just needed to deal with a human being, thereby placing me back in the land of sweet reason.

So I called, and after listening to some singularly bad muzak (it was country, and I think it was intended to be patriotic, but it was extremely off-putting), a man came on the line.

Of course, sir, I’ll be happy to help you sir. What’s the item you were trying to order? I give him the stock number, and he keeps me waiting a brief while before politely informing me that they couldn’t order that particular item for me, because it wasn’t in the store already. If it were in the store, I could have store pickup, but not if it wasn’t already in stock.

But… they had offered to order it from me when I was there, I insisted, my voice rising a bit.

They must have meant they would order it for home delivery, he said, beginning to sound a bit put out with me.

But… if we did that, the cost of the item to me would almost double.

Yes, sir. Unfortunately, however, the store could not place the order for me unless the store already had it. Unless I’d like to have it delivered to my house for $50 more, a transaction I could easily have managed without involving him at all.

I was beginning to feel a bit panicky, like Yossarian in the nose of his B-26, surrounded by glass, with flak exploding around him so thick it looked like you could walk on it…

And as he sensed my disorder, the man tried to placate me a bit by admitting that yes, perhaps, the way it is worded, as “store pickup,” implying an item being ordered from elsewhere when it was already there, was a bit misleading, nevertheless…

Fortunately, I calmed down enough to ask him whether… by any chance… this item, which had just been advertised as being at his store today… might be coming in on a subsequent shipment without my having to place an order.

He said that was possible. And he had a truck coming in tonight. Perhaps, if I called first thing in the morning, the item would be there and I could place my order.

So I resolved to do that. But I must confess, there’s this paranoid little voice at the back of my head that tells me that by that time tomorrow morning, Colonel Cathcart will have raised the number of missions on me once again…

Yossarian, screaming: "But why would they have to ship you one if you already HAVE one?!?!"

Finally, my important discovery is recognized

For a second there, I almost deleted the comment and reported it as spam. Usually, when someone comments on a really old post, that’s what it is.

But I hesitated, and followed the link provided, and was happy to find that finally, an authoritative source had confirmed the validity of my important discovery of the actual site of the fictional Championship Vinyl.

You have to read High Fidelity to fully understand the importance of my discovery. Watching the movie is OK, but since it transports the shop to Chicago, no serious Hornbyologist would give it the time of day as a source of valid information.

I’m the one who crossed the ocean, left my wife asleep at our hotel in Swiss Cottage, crossed London in the Underground and searched the vast reaches of Islington alone, without a guide beyond the cryptic words of the novel itself, and found the hallowed spot.

And no one has fully recognized me until now, as DellaMirandola writes:

Thank you for this important discovery. I’ve just written about it here:http://thehornseyroad.blogspot.com/2011/11/championship-vinyl.html

Yes, there’s a bit of tail-chasing solipsism or some other fancy word going on here, in that the site in question is citing me as the source of truth without reference to the external world, and I’m citing him in return as the confirmation, but let’s leave that to the nitpickers. The bottom line is, what could be more expert on the validity of a find on the Hornsey Road than a website called The Hornsey Road? I ask you…

And that worthy author could hardly have been more definite:

In High Fidelity, Rob Fleming’s record shop is just off the Seven Sisters Road
This proves conclusively that it’s on the southern stretch of the Hornsey Road.

I am covered in glory. I don’t even care if there’s any money attached.

So now, I have another thing to be thankful for today.

We are the 10 percent! The tyranny of a minority

I do not profess to be some sort of expert on the internal politics of Occupy Columbia, but I did hear something last night that startled me a bit.

I had wondered how on Earth they decided to do anything without acknowledged leaders. So after the “We Dare You to Arrest Us” rally was over last night, I moseyed over to eavesdrop a bit on their “general assembly.” And I heard what you can hear on the clip above.

I thought at the time maybe I had heard it out of context. As you can hear on the video, someone was saying hi to me at the beginning of this, which distracted me (you can hear me mumbling, “Hey. Hey, how are ya?”). But as I listen again, it seems pretty open and shut — any minority over 10 percent can block any decision.

As a guy who has for years fought efforts in our Legislature to make ordinary decisions subject to a supermajority of two-thirds — meaning one-third plus one is in charge — I was rather taken aback by this.

Walk me through this, please… This is a group that is indignant that, according to its legend, 1 percent controls things and 99 percent are victims, right? Yet this group lets 10 percent (plus one) make decisions for the 90 percent?

So it’s 1 percent good, 10 percent bad? Or what?

Maybe there’s a logical explanation. I’ll try to remember to ask next time I see some of these folks. They were kind of scarce around the State House when I looked today…

It could only happen in South Carolina

Since we had a good discussion on the Intel ad, I thought I’d share something else from our Monday Riley Institute session in Charleston.

Our facilitator, Juan Johnson, decided to add something new, something experimental, in Monday’s session: humor as it relates to diversity. He didn’t get into any of my favorites, such as:

Q: How  many feminists does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A: THAT’S NOT FUNNY!!!

He set up a scenario: He said, suppose you’re at a party with a diverse bunch of co-workers, and somebody starts showing some videos he thinks are funny. In each one, the humor derived from differences of gender or race or religion or regional background.

We didn’t have much of a discussion, because no one thought any of the videos were offensive or would make us uncomfortable in a group. We all just laughed our heads off. (He should have tried something a little edgier, like this. OK, maybe without the language…)

The closest anyone came to discomfort was watching the one above. I said I always feel a little bad when someone is being made fun of for being eccentric when they can’t help it. But I laughed anyway. And someone else said she wouldn’t want to watch it with friends from Boston because it might reinforce their disdain for Southerners, but she was fine watching it with fellow South Carolinians.

But that’s not why I’m telling you this story. I’m telling you because, after we’d all watched it and laughed (I’d seen it before, but still found it funny), someone called over to Jack Bass to say, “Jack, you’re from North, aren’t you?”

Jack Bass is the author, professor and ex-journalist who wrote, among other books, “The Orangeburg Massacre.” I’d known him for a bunch of years before we were in this class together. But neither I nor anyone else in the room knew what he was about to say:

“I’m the brother in Oxford she’s talking about. That’s my sister.”

Suddenly, some of us did feel a little awkward for the first time in the discussion. But it rolled right off Jack; he had seen the video loads of times over the years. In a very Southern summation, he said of his sister, “That’s just Marsha being Marsha.”

Couple of things you have to know if you come to South Carolina from elsewhere. One, each and every one of us has a tendency to be… colorful.

And two: Always, always, ALWAYS assume, when you say something about a South Carolinian, that someone else in the room is a close relative.

Yeah, maybe a little TMI from my main man Joe

Speaking of serious matters of faith intersecting with politics in disturbing ways…

I was all prepared to stick up for my main man Joe Lieberman today when I saw that Taegan Goddard of Political Wire had said, “Joe Lieberman talks about what he was doing all those Saturdays… probably too much information.” I was like, Hey, I like to hear Joe talk

But then I saw what he was referring to:

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) talks to NY1 about his new book, The Gift of Rest: Rediscovering the Beauty of the Sabbath, and gives this surprising bit of detail:

“If I may come close to the edge, as I say in the book, the rabbis, in all their brilliance, did create, oh, a couple of thousand years ago, one of the things that should happen on the sabbath is that husbands and wives are to be together, sexually, just in case you missed that during the week.”

Yeah, OK. More than I needed to know.

Ricky Bobby gonna pray to the Jesus HE likes

This kind of cracked me up, even though I remain puzzled. Corey Hutchins Tweeted this out about 20 minutes ago:

Favorite scene from this week: @BradWarthen puzzled by a blank-faced John Rainey when his ‘Ricky Bobby reference’ went thud at Starbucks.

Corey always gets a kick out of me being confused and disconcerted.

But here’s what happened. I was at the Gervais Street Starbucks a couple of days ago (see that, Starbucks? yet another product placement, and y’all still haven’t bought an ad from me!), and they were done with the bold for the day and had to do me a pourover, so I went to the end of the counter to wait for it, and there I saw Corey and John. John was apparently filling in Corey on deep, dark political secrets or something.

Somehow we got on the subject of Rick Perry and his idiosyncracies, and someone (John? Corey?) said something about Perry praying to the Baby Jesus. I had not heard about that. My reaction was, “What? You mean, like Ricky Bobby?” Corey laughed, but as soon as I said it, I realized that John Stringer Rainey, sitting there in his pink-and-white seersucker suit looking every bit the Old Line South Carolina patrician that he is, probably did not go to see “Talladega Nights.” And you know, you feel kind of stupid even trying to explain something as dumb as Ricky Bobby to someone who isn’t interested, because it makes you look kinda lowbrow. So we moved on to another topic.

I still don’t know where the Baby Jesus reference came from. Google hasn’t shown it to me…

But whatever. Shake ‘n’ Bake!

We don’t know what the baby is, but we know what the parents are

Here’s a weirdie to end your Friday with:

Couple’s gender secret for baby touches off debate

By LEANNE ITALIE
Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Ridiculous or ultra-enlightened? A Toronto couple’s decision to keep the gender of their 4-month-old baby a secret has touched off a sometimes nasty debate over how far parents should go in protecting young ones from society’s boy-girl biases.

Kathy Witterick and David Stocker recently landed on the front page of the Toronto Star, explaining that they hope their third child, Storm, can remain untouched by the connotations of pink versus blue, male versus female, long enough to make up his or her own mind.

The decision has online haters and supporters of the family on hyperdrive. Child development experts, meanwhile, question the impact on the cherubic infant later in life and whether the couple has gone too far in their quest for gender neutrality….

Make up his or her mind about WHAT? I mean, that should be a fairly simple process. The baby is in the bathtub or being changed, looks down, and the mystery is solved. Mind made up. Then the baby can turn his/her full attention to pursuing a legal name change…

No excuses: White House should release bin Laden’s porn stash immediately!

Sorry. Couldn’t resist that after reading this:

(Reuters) – A stash of pornography was found in the hideout of Osama bin Laden by the U.S. commandos who killed him, current and former U.S. officials said on Friday.

The pornography recovered in bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad,Pakistan, consists of modern, electronically recorded video and is fairly extensive, according to the officials, who discussed the discovery with Reuters on condition of anonymity….

Three other U.S. officials familiar with evidence gathered during investigations of other Islamic militants said the discovery of pornography is not uncommon in such cases.

Earlier today, Mark Knoller of the White House press corps said this on Twitter: “How about bin-Laden corpse photo exhibit at CIA. Don’t release the photo, but let us all get a look?” Could we not try such a common-sense approach on this other critical material?

OK, I’ll go away now…

How many SC lawmakers does it take to screw up light bulbs?

You thought that SC lawmakers had already done everything they could possibly do to emphasize to the world that, if given the slightest excuse, they would secede all over again? Well, you were wrong.

These boys are creative, and they never miss a new way to celebrate the spirit of Nullification. This just in:

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – South Carolina legislators are throwing a lifeline to traditional incandescent light bulbs as they try to trump federal energy standards.

The House on Thursday approved legislation with a 76-20 vote that would allow companies to manufacture the bulbs in South Carolina and sell them here.

The measure needs routine final approval next week before heading to the Senate.

Federal energy standards have manufacturers turning to compact fluorescent, halogen and LED bulbs. Manufacturers phase out traditional 100-watt incandescent bulbs next year.

Proponents say more efficient bulbs cost too much and they don’t like the light they provide.

The Incandescent Light Bulb Freedom Act allows manufacturers to make the traditional bulbs and stamp them as “Made in South Carolina.” They could only be sold in the Palmetto State.

Someone who doesn’t understand South Carolina — someone who thinks the sesquicentennial of secession is a commemoration of the way we were, rather than a celebration of who we ARE — might think that this is just a particularly moronic way of rejecting any kind of concern for the planet as “liberal,” and therefore beyond the pale.

But if you really do understand South Carolina, you realize that yes, it’s that, but it’s also a chance to relive the heady days of 1860, and cock a snook at the federal gummint. Especially that Obama.

So that’s, what? Three birds with one stone? Environmentalism. The Union. And Obama.

These guys aren’t dummies, no matter what you think. They are geniuses at what they do.

They’re going to keep trying until they provoke that Obama enough that he tries to resupply Fort Sumter. They’ll be ready for him, too.