Monday, December 31, 2012

Broadcast news came of age covering JFK assassination

Our book about reporters covering the JFK assassination is beginning to have legs. The book is now in its fifth printing. We wrote “When the News Went Live” with an eye toward history and journalism classes. That November, I was a wide-eyed 24-year-old cub reporter. The next month, I was a cynic.

Dink around on Amazon and you can find a used copy for a penny. Plus shipping. Click here.

Friday, December 28, 2012

A barbershop to rival Floyd's

You know what heaven is? Moving to a new town and finding an old fashion three-chair barbershop where they know how to taper.

That’s heaven.

My new-found barbershop was opened on Main Street in 1930 by a fellow named Levi. His family are community leaders in these parts to this day.

None of this franchise stuff where they run new cutters in by the month. No sirree. These boys are the kind who really get to know you. Hell, they’ll even come to your funeral.

Closed Mondays.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Cabella's and Dick's Sporting Goods -- Thanks

I am so proud of Dick’s Sporting Goods and Cabella’s for stopping sale of the Bushmaster assault rifle. It’s kinda like Webster eliminating exclamation points. We don't need them either.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

No guns in classrooms

Over lunch, I asked three retired school teachers if they would have wanted to carry a pistol during their 30 years in the elementary public school system.

Not only “no,” but a resounding “hell no.”

“Don’t put more guns around children.”
“It’s hard enough to teach, much less shoot.”
“Armed teachers would generate more and more home schooling.”

Those comments came within the first seconds of hearing the question. The teachers got so animated, I thought we were going to be asked to leave.

There’s more. Just ask the professional teachers organizations. Ask any teacher you might know. Ask the people on the front lines.

Yeah, sure. You’ll find some. But I’ll wager the overwhelming majority do not want guns in classrooms.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Growing up in the gun culture

I hadn't really thought about it until now, but five times in my life, I’ve been too close to the working end of guns.

Before I graduated high school, I was shot at twice. Once for stealing hubcaps and once by a jealous delivery driver. Nobody in Lubbock thought much about it.

Years later, in an Austin high rise office, an angry guy pointed a .45 at my face. He was a lobbyist. Brilliant but crazy?

Then there was the the guy who pulled a gun out of his boot in the Headliner’s Club, one of Austin’s fanciest. Did I mention he was an Episcopal priest? Brilliant but crazy describes him, too.

But Jack Ruby was dumb as a sack of rocks. Probably crazy, too. He was standing next to me as he lunged out, shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald in the basement of the Dallas Police Department.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

NRA has no honor

If the NRA had one ounce of honor, they would step up and lead a national push for better gun laws, better mental health laws, better safety for our children. Rather than trying to defend that which cannot be defended, the NRA should be part of the solutions. We will need help from everyone.

Mass shootings will happen again. Unfortunately, ours is a gun culture. But maybe we can slow the frequency.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Concealed carry legal nationwide? Soon.

You'll Now Be Able to Cary a Gun in Every State: Chicago Sun-Times: "In a huge win for gun-rights groups, a federal appeals court in Chicago Tuesday tossed the state's ban on carrying concealed weapons and gave Illinois' Legislature 180 days to craft a law legalizing concealed carry. 'The debate is over. We won. And there will be a statewide carry law in 2013,' said Todd Vandermyde, a lobbyist for the National Rifle Association. In a split opinion, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court ruling in two cases downstate that upheld the state's longstanding prohibition against carrying concealed weapons. Illinois is the only state with an outright prohibition on concealed carry." (Slate)

America is on the way to becoming an armed camp. Christ.

Friday, December 7, 2012

It was a good idea ...

For four and a half years in the 1780’s, the rogue State of Franklin existed along what became the Tennessee border with N. Carolina. An attempt was made to write a constitution but voters never ratified it.

Bit I like one provision:

They drafted a constitution that excluded lawyers, doctors and preachers as candidates for election to the legislature.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Extra--Journalists top lawyers

We're back, baby!

In a new Gallup poll, journalists had a lower rating than bankers, chiropractors and psychiatrists. On the other hand, journalists had a higher rating than lawyers, senators, members of Congress, and cars salespeople.

New Poll Reveals Dismally Low Rating For Journalists

Another poll released on Monday revealed the public's less-than-warm opinion of the press.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Show biz

I was paying out at our small, locally owned drug store when a blind guy and his dog came in.

“And who is at the cash register today?” he grinned.

“Hey, Tom,” the young woman replied with a knowing tone that soaked those two words. “Hey, Tom.”

As she counted my change, she asked, “Would you like one of our calendars? They’re free.”

Of course I would.

“Can I have a calendar?” Tom asked, still grinning.

“Now, Tom,” she said, “What in the hell are you going to do with a calendar?”

This was not a new routine for the two of them. He does the set up and she knocks it out of the park. They were still enjoying their joke as I left. Small town razzle dazzle.

And when was the last time your drug store gave you a free calendar? A real, genuine Norman Rockwell calendar.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Gonna need a bigger clown car

GOP SEES RECORD BENCH FOR 2016 -- Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen: "Upwards of 15 prominent Republicans are privately contemplating 2016 campaigns for the presidency ... [Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Marco Rubio] both will unveil new policy plans at an awards dinner of the Jack Kemp Foundation [on Dec. 4]: Ryan will begin a new push on a more modern approach to alleviating poverty, focused on education; Rubio will lift the curtain on an economic empowerment message, heavy on college affordability and workforce training. That upcoming duet is one of the clearest signs that this presidential race is beginning as early as any in history. ... Rick Santorum is telling friends he wants to run again. Texas Gov. Rick Perry has said publicly that he might, too, and has begun talking to donors ... like he means it. ...POLITICO

Monday, November 19, 2012

The mountains of Florida

The mountains of Florida? That’s where we are. Ocala is 37 feet above sea level at full moon. It’s a low-slung country.

And a strange beauty. Dangerous, maybe.

Spanish moss drapes everything outside. During the slightest breeze, the ghostly stuff sways with the rhythm of a macabre chorus line. Erie even in full sunlight.

Many houses look like the boyhood home of Jack Sparrow.

Or maybe one of Hemingway's cat houses.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The original Wild Thing

If you’ve ever been a kid, or had one, you know Maurice Sendak’s groundbreaking book “Where the Wild Things Are.”

If you happen to be in Ocala, FL, today drop by the Appleton Museum of Art. That’s where 33 artists are paying tribute to this grumpy old guy who influenced their own work. More than 160 pieces of picture book art will be on exhibit through Jan. 20.

Lyn Ellen is the guest curator. She’s studied these artists for decades and has written a book about their winning ways.

Check it out. This is how we stay young:

Thursday, November 8, 2012

We walk among you

I just realized I belong to what may be one of the smallest minorities in US politics: I'm an old white guy who voted for President Obama.

Billionaires versus the voters

The real election night heroes? The tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of people who stood in line to vote for hours and hours and hours.

They wanted the free stuff all right – the freedom to vote.

Fix it. This is a national election. And a national disgrace. Same rules should apply in every voting booth across the country.

As much as anybody did, the GOP billionaires fired up the democratic base. Too much money spent on too many lying ads. It seems to me the super rich are the people who feel entitled. They think they can buy the United States.

The billionaires are livid. Good. You are the mirror to our outrage at your secret Super PAC money. Needs fixing, too, for the long-term health of the American system.

Finally, you know who had the best business model for running a campaign in the 21st Century? Obama with his laser-guided ground game.

The irony. And now the joy.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Autumn in the Smokies -- welcome back

Over night, every night, another tree explodes with color midst the Blue Ridge Mountains. This morning, we woke up to a gorgeous crepe myrtle that's now all orange. Just a couple of weeks ago, it was so pink you wanted to eat it.

Here they come: dogwoods, sourwoods and maple are already turning color. Reds, whites, yellows, oranges. Ahh. Deep colors. How much longer will they hang? Depends on the wind that shimmers through the trees.

Yesterday, we went to a crafts show in the next burgh across the holler. At a show last weekend, the Mystery Woman spied a little carved bear she wanted but we hesitated and it was gone. The artist promised more. So we drove on two-lane mountain road that was overflowing with bicycle riders. With no shoulders, it was  too dangerous for my tastes. And too steep.

We stopped to buy firewood from a roadside pickup truck entrepreneur and a guy on a motorcycle stopped to complain (through a British accent) about the number of bikers. And -- lord, god -- did we stumble upon some mighty fine BBQ at the Green River.

This year, the acorns dropped all at once. Our street was covered. A sign, locals say, that there is some heavy winter a'coming.

Bring it on. We’ve got firewood, fleece, a warm dog – and each other.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

You never forget how to ride a bike--BS

Today, I decided to get the bike out after letting it hibernate for nearly three years. This being the mountains, there are hills in our neighborhood. Every street is a hill. A mini-mountain. After 100 yards, my legs began to squeal. The brakes squealed, too.

In the old days, I rode 10 miles every day with ease. My best was 70 miles in one day. Not today. Today, I managed only 10 blocks. The Mystery Woman said she could hear the squeals as I rounded every corner. Mine or the bike’s she didn’t say.

Riding a bike is a great way to see the neighborhood -- from the ground up. Several times, I almost lost it. Wobbly. Once, as I rounded a corner, a woman on the sidewalk ran for cover. She left the sidewalk and headed straight for a stranger's porch. At flank speed.

When I finally made it to our home turf, my legs were tuckered. I could barely climb the three steps up the porch where the Mystery Woman was in tears from laughing so hard.

Tomorrow, we’ve going to start over. I think we’ll pack a lunch and ride to the corner.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The beauty shop is open

This bulletin from the Times-News in the Blue Ridge Mountains of N. Carolina. Thanks to good summer rains and cooler temperatures, the stage is set for fall color.

Dogwoods, sourwoods and maple are already turning color. The maple, black gum and sourwood display a beautiful red while tulip, poplar, beech and ginko turn a pretty yellow.

Our little ginko just started yellow overnight. 

Trees in our county should really start turning next week. Higher elevations peak in mid-October. we are about 1,000 feet below and our burst should be about a week or so behind.

 Pictures soon.


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Smart talk from Craigslist

Next time you are bored, grumpy, worried about the elections…just open up the ads in Craigslist for a little low humor.

Earlier I told you about the Craigslist ad for a “round table, 48x48.” Well, I just found a companion piece: “square table, 25x25x25x25.”

“Pig-me goats for sale.” Same guy?

Maybe this was his car for sale: “The A/C compressor was taken off due to the loss of hoarse power.”

It’s common to read about “break lights” but this one guy was up front about his problem with the “tell lights.”

One shop was taking “Koi Days” sale on the road and listed three locations over the next three days. It could be a bait and switch ploy. The last stop was at the “Hibach Buffet.”

Mountain humor: “Retro 1950’s yellow commode. Would look good in your bathroom – or your front yard.”

Handyman humor: “tape measure for sale, one end is dumber than the other.”

Drinking man’s humor: “24 can Budweiser bi-plane. What a super addition to any man's cave. Custom Made as a " One Of A Kind ". Precision cut and assembled from 24...possibly more cans.” Lost count, did you?

Items we could have used when we were younger: “Tart maker, $25.”

Friday, September 14, 2012

Three old guys walk into a Home Depot...

File this under: “Men do, Women don’t.” Amend that to read “old men” and “old women.”

The setting: they cater to retired people here in Mayberry (Hendersonville, N.C.). That’s great, for lots of reasons. Often, the Mystery Woman and I are the youngest couple in line at the pharmacy. And we’re cute in our matching outfits.

But I’ve begun to notice the ways men’s attitudes differ from women's as we slide into old age.

Men become comics. Women remain critics.

Here’s how. Just yesterday in the Lowe’s parking lot there was this brief exchange between me and a stranger about my age:

“I can use that cart if you’re through,” he said.

“It’s a one-owner driven only on Sundays,” I smiled.

The Mystery Woman, who had been waiting in the hot van, said, bemused: “Having a little chatter in the parking lot?”

Her advice: Never get behind an old guy in the check-out line, not even if he is in the Express Lane. Nope. He sees the cashier as a captive audience where he can sharpen his stand-up routines.

She may be right. In another parking lot yesterday, a new stranger held the door open for me as I struggled with a heavy, six-foot, thick plank of lumber.

“Thanks,” I wheezed.

“That’s OK,” he said. I can see you’re a little bored.”

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A day in the life of e-geezers

It went something like this:

First, a friend posts something on Facebook about how we can get around their damned tracking. I liked it and re-posted it on my FB page.

Big mistake. My nerd son-in-law says that binary dog won’t spark (reach a little – you’ll get the idea).

So I changed my alert-post but not before my daughter zings me with “I’m in love with that nerd.”

Meanwhile, the nerd in question says although he doesn't know what we are writing about, he is nevertheless VERY offended. I think it is his standing principle ever since Clint Eastwood.

Swift apologies to everyone, all the while hearing an electrical bark in the bkg. But it could have been a grackle.

To prove my e-prowess, I notify my nerd-in-law that I no longer require his help in “unfriending” camp followers on FB. Today, I learned how to do this myself. I crushed someone anonymously. Today I am an e-man (but not the Muslim kind).

My nerd, who is grudgingly proud of me, says, “Congratulations. The next step is forgetting how to talk to girls.”

Life. BWTFDIK. (My nerd said you would understand the initials.)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Would I lie to you?

This will be your only notice: The Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle Competition is the central event at the 32nd annual Heritage Weekend that takes place Saturday and Sept. 16, at the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville.

For sale on Craigslist: round table 42" x 42"

In 1940, the chance of an American being killed by lightning was about 1 in 400,000. Today it’s 1 in 11 million. More, if Obama is re-elected.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

We hold these truths to be self-evident

I think you are full of crap. And I can prove it. Yet I am astonished when you think the same of me.

How could you be so wrong? I get most of my information from the Internet. We have video of you guys dragging your knuckles whenever you venture out of the caves.

What do you mean the Net is where you get your information, too? No. We are not scum sucking pigs.

Hold it. See the problem? The Internet is the vehicle that is fertilizing the polarization of America. The philosophical divide is deeper and meaner than ever before. Most Americans read only what they want to believe – and they dismiss opposing views.

Lies are too easy. In this 24/7 news cycle, most everything burns off in a day or two.

Government is at a standstill. Congress feeds off setting Americans against Americans.

And our political class is getting rich selling hate and fear. They protect their benefactors. Did anybody on Wall Street go to jail after the trillion dollar scandal?

The problem is too entrenched for one president, no matter which political party.

The people need to help.

And one place to start would be to use the Internet as an instrument of good.

Friday, August 17, 2012

No answers. Just questions.

How does the old expression go: “That which does not kill me makes me stronger.” Or some-such.

Let me mangle that thought into this: “That which does not enlighten me makes me dumber.”

We’re talking the Internet and the slow gurgle from dying newspapers. I am becoming more and more convinced the Internet is aiding and abetting the polarization of America. Not “causing” but certainly “helping.”

Quick, easy test: check your browsers. How many liberal sites to you plumb on a daily basis? How many conservative? Full disclosure: I have six liberal and two conservative aggregates.

Seriously, how often do you read stuff from the other side that you dig up on your own?

Switch to newspapers and how we read them. I’m no longer active in sports, don’t have a favorite team and (heresy!) could give a damn whether the Longhorns win or lose. But I glance at the sports section every day just to keep my testosterone tank topped off. Lots of men pay the same cursory homage to the sports pages.

Now, switch back to the Net. Research shows that once you switch to online readership, you rarely – if ever – click through the sports news again. (Hat tip to Dr. Brad Wilson for that nugget.)

Same logic applies to politics. Once online, most of us get comfortable reading what our good guys have to say and nothing from those evil bastards across the divide.

Ergo, the Net isolates us. Entrenches us. Enrages us.

Is it worth it?

Sure, our nation has always entertained differing viewpoints. But this stuff is getting serious. The gunfire is both literal and figurative.

Really – is it worth it?

I don’t have the answers. Just questions.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Political spending a national shame

Raise your hand if you already know whom you are going to vote for. Now look around. Ninety-six percent of your friends also have made up their minds.

Me, too.

So, in the next 80+ days the hundreds of millions about to be spent on political advertising is aimed at only four percent of Americans.

Let that sink in.

The terrible waste of money, time and resources aside – this means I’m not going to change your mind and you sure as hell are not going to change mine.

Not only that, I think the aforementioned four percent is lying.

Want a beer?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Paul Ryan is Sarah Palin without the testosterone

“They are oligarchs and racists clad in the skins of dead elephants.” – That’s what writer George R.R, Martin calls  Republican who disenfranchise voters:

Finally, the Republicans have a woman on their presidential ticket: Ayn Rand. A sociopath.

And a blogger wants to know about Paul Ryan: “How does a 42-year-old who's been in congress for 13 years and worked in government since graduation have a net worth of between 2 and 7 million bucks?”

Another blogger writes: "I haven't recovered from the shock that Romney picked someone who "never had a real job" as his running mate. Now, to find out Mr. Small Government's family fortune was made by doing business with Uncle Sam is just too much!"

David Letterman: "How many of you have the Paul Ryan fever? They say that Paul Ryan, what he will do is humanize Romney. They say Paul Ryan will humanize Romney. And I thought, 'Well hell, an amoeba could humanize Romney.' Who are we kidding here?"

SIREN -- "GOP pros fret over Paul Ryan," by Alexander Burns, Maggie Haberman and Jonathan Martin : "Away from the cameras, ... there is an unmistakable consensus among Republican operatives in Washington: Romney has taken a risk with Ryan that has only a modest chance of going right - and a huge chance of going horribly wrong. In more than three dozen interviews with Republican strategists and campaign operatives - old hands and rising next-generation conservatives alike - the most common reactions to Ryan ranged from gnawing apprehension to hair-on-fire anger ... [The more pessimistic strategists] are worried that Ryan's vocal views about overhauling Medicare will be a millstone for other GOP candidates in critical House and Senate races. ... [GOP strategists are] worried about inviting Medicare - usually death for Republicans - into the campaign. They're worried it sidetracks the jobs issue. They're worried he'll expose the fact that Romney doesn't have a budget plan. ...Mike Allen, Politico.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Before Tweets there were Post Cards

Now that I am through with paying taxes, I’m doing my best to keep the Post Office afloat.

How? By sending postcards. Especially if I know you are sick. I can’t cook or crochet, so I send postcards to shut-ins.

Both magic and joy are easy to share if you’ve got a Forever Stamp. Do you still have a clothespin on your mailbox? Hardly a week goes by without using a clothespin to hold a postcard on the mailbox until the dog starts barking.

Spoiler alert: if you get a postcard from me, neither the picture on the front nor the message on the back has a damn thing to do with anything. Often, I wonder who I’m really trying to entertain – the patient or the postman.

Once I sent a postcard to a friend living in the reddest part of Florida that whispered: “Mr. Postman, did you know David was a Democrat?”

Sometimes I plagiarize from famous writers. My favorite is brief: “Use no hooks.” Followed closely by: “This side up.” Puzzles some people no end.

I try not to talk dirty but it is difficult to play straight when the picture on front is a bear in the woods. “Yes.” Before you even ask, “Yes.”

People ask where do I get such a variety of cards. The Mystery Woman had a treasure trove of old, old postcards in a cigar box. I am glad she no longer smokes cigars.

In summary, if you get a lot of post cards from me, maybe you should see a doctor.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Kharma -- the fifth season

Some of the more reputable polls show Obama trending toward losing the popular vote by a narrow margin but winning the electoral college vote by a good margin.

Kharma is coming.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Quote of the Day

"I do ride this horse, but not in competition," Ann Romney said. "People say, 'Well you can ride at that level,' and I say, "Well…" It's like being the country club pro in one place, and then going to Wimbledon. You don't understand how professional these riders are that are riding at this level. It's quite competitive."

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

To the whole world

Morning in the mountains. A sudden storm. Thunder and lightning, call and response.

Coffee on the porch. And a chocolate chip cookie.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

The new house needs work

Every afternoon around 2:30, the Mystery Woman’s hammer goes off. Since I am usually napping about that time, I think of it as my alarm clock. Besides, when she starts hammering, she’s armed.

Time for me to get up.

Her project today: to hang a floating shelf over the kitchen sink to display her whimsical collection of hand-made pottery shakers from around the country. First, she watched two videos on-line on how-to drill through the fragile ceramic tile already in place. Then she trundled off to the hardware store to buy the proper drill bit. She took it on faith that the job required hollow wall anchors. She still doesn’t know what that is but we have two of ‘em over the sink.

If the hammer had not awakened me, the drill would have.

Her tool box is bigger than mine. Did I mention she has her own drill? And hammer, and saw, and level, and…

In every place we’ve lived, she has been inducted as an honorary handyman by the guys at the local hardware.

In the Minnesota house, her daughter would point to the fireplace and proudly proclaim: “My mother laid that hearth.”

It runs in the family. For decades, when her aging mother moved to a new city, she would haul a box of her favorite boards. I wrote about that years ago – but never told her.

I am convinced if she really wanted to, the Mystery Woman could build a house. From scratch. While wearing sensible shoes.

No job too big, no job too small. Just look at me. I’m her first successful re-model. And the job only took her six years.

So far.

Sometimes, she just lets me sleep. Like earlier this week when she painted the kitchen. Painting is quiet. But she’s never in a good mood painting. It’s because she looks for bargains and has yet to find a place where they sell used paint.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A mountain make-over might help

Somewhere just over the next mountain, a small airport snugs up in the valley. No passenger jets. Just cargo and private planes. From the porch, we can hear the piston engines practicing circles in the sky.

There’s something comforting about the drone of a prop job auguring it’s way through the air. Very different from the shrill whine of a 747 making screech marks all across America. They make awful sounds. Not a damn thing romantic at all. Not like it used to be.

Do you like airline travel? I hate it. Love to fly but hate the airplane and airport experience. Cattle trucks on wings and conveyor belts. No fun.

Here’s an idea: bring the airline big shots to N. Carolina, where flight began. Make ‘em sit down and shut up while they soak in the everyday pleasures, mountain-made. If anything can change the starch and the suits to smiles, it’s the Blue Ridge Mountains. And maybe a high lonesome song or two from Dr. Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys.

Bring ‘em. I'll even pick them up at the airport. The little one.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Firm young bodies, Warren Buffett, fast cars

We take it in stride. But ever since we moved to this part of N. Carolina, the Mystery Woman and I have become nearly famous.

A story in the Sunday newspaper says the local economy is based upon (1) retirees, (2) manufacturing, (3) tourism, and (4) agriculture.

Not only are we a Leading Economic Indicator – we’re a draw!

Because of us, they sell lots of fiber. And doctors who were smart enough to read “The Age Wave” when it first came out twenty years ago, well those doctors are driving better cars than their colleagues who like dealing with firm, young bodies.

Back to the point: As far back as the 1800’s, people have been coming to these mountains to retire. The amazing thing – they’ve been welcome.

Seniors are not invisible hereabouts. They are welcome. Like in the olden days. The result is one of the more vibrant small towns I’ve ever seen. This ain’t Archer City, Texas. Uh-uh.

Imagine the results if the rest of the country followed suit. If they did, that fellow Buffett could afford to live somewhere other than Omaha.

Friday, July 20, 2012

 Rain on the roof, every afternoon

Did I tell you? Our little cottage in N. Carolina has a porch. And life is good. Now, I’m just waiting for something to happen. Yesterday, there were three cars. Today, rumor has it that FedEx may stop by.

Most mornings, I’m on the porch with the dog, the morning paper and the laptop.

Most evenings, it’s me, the lightning bugs, and the Mystery Woman. Plus two glasses of wine. At minimum.

This little porch is just about the same size as the one we left behind in Minneapolis. But this one is not screened. And the uneven flagstones make wine drinking tricky if you’re old.

Up here, they say you can spot the Florida people because their porch is screened. N. Carolina people don’t deem screens necessary. So far, I tend to think we can do without. Mosquitoes are not that bad.

So we’re going commando. Uhh. I meant going native. You believe me, don’t you?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Mountains are the best medicine

This will have to be quick. It’s almost time for my first nap.

We love this place. It’s Mayberry -- on Xanax. Nice and slow and friendly. With every modern convenience you might need. Seniors welcome. Early bird special served all day long.

Rain for three days straight has broken the heat wave. Storm clouds still tease the mountains. The thunder that rumbles around is like your cranky uncle talking about his lumbago.

I’ve gotten lost on these mountain roads a couple of times. Remember, I grew up in Lubbock where the grain elevator was the only skyscraper. If you could see it, you could find your way around.

Lots of big banks and big churches. But there’s a liberal presence, too. From here to Asheville, there are several practicing Democrats. We hope to have them over for supper.

The street in front of our house is only one lane wide. Seriously. Very little traffic. Most people think it’s an alley. On a busy day, we may get five cars. One week, we heard a siren.

But the town has a symphony, two playhouses, and a library with a full parking lot. Fireworks every Friday night, street dances on Mondays. And the mountains to add a little glory to the sunrise, sunset.

Plus this: Krispy Kreme, Blue Bell ice cream, and lightning bugs.

What more do you need?

Two naps, maybe.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Living on mountain time

We are having difficulty getting wifi scheduled. Worst case, we may go dark until July 12.

Just didn't want anyone to fret.

The final pieces of the move to N. Carolina have apparently fallen into place. The POD arrives tomorrow morning and the two helpers show up around noon. We should be unloaded in about three hours.

The Mystery Woman and her daughter found the house. I got to see the little house for the first time today. It's neat. The former owners put in lots of upgrades. For example, they widened every window in the house and there's a great view of trees and plants out each window. No mountain views from our street but last night we drove up to Jump Off which is a mere five minutes from our house. That's only one sippy cup away.

Full disclosure: house may be too pretentious a word. Cottage is more apt.

Let me tell you, we are happy to be here. It's a long drive across Big America even when sponging off relatives along the way.

We'll be in touch later, when we are functional again.

The Smokey Mountains should fix that in no time. With a little help from the Blue Ridge skyline. And some white lightning.

Friday, June 8, 2012

So long, pal(s).

We are leaving Minneapolis Tuesday. Next stop in this real-time adventure -- North Carolina. But before we go, I want to say thanks to everybody and everything involved in the painting of my Minnesota memories.

After living up here for six years, I am convinced Norman Rockwell was a school crossing guard in South Minneapolis before he became an American icon. The people up here have a quiet sweetness. Ever helpful, ever friendly.

Admittedly, I wondered what was wrong with you people when Krispy Kreme failed.  And I never quite got used to taking my shoes off before entering your house.

A special thanks to the passing parade in front of our porch. The school children. And the squirrels. Angels and hellions all mixed together. Here’s a special shout-out to the evening thunderstorms viewed from the porch -- until the lightning gets too close. Good show.

The Moving Sale starts this morning. Gotta go. The Mystery Woman just got up. She’s my muse. Which, dare I say, she finds amusing. 

But she made it all possible. And fun.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Next month, we are moving to Blue Ridge mountains. More on that later. As part of my “get ready” I have been scouring Craigslist for treasures.

What I found surprised me. Sly mountain humor. Love it.

1989 Toyota Pickup 4x4 - $2000

It's not pretty, but it's made a good work truck for me. The back up lights and the parking break aren't hooked up. (I just use a piece of firewood and a flashlight.)

Large cast iron kettle - $35

This is a large old cast iron kettle that measures 24" in diameter. It has a chunk out of the bottom and has several holes drilled in it to let water out as it was used as a flower planter. Both handles are on it but one of the three legs is missing. We put a half brick under it and it sat fine.

Two chickens - $10

Have two pretty chickens, they are almost two years old.
They quit laying eggs for some reason.
One is cuckoo maran and one black cooper maran.
Don't know if they will lay again.

Cute Veggie Cabinet - $20

I have this cute "vegitables" cabinet, with two shelves, that I was going to refinish but my life is not letting me.

Space Ship. - $350

This is a 12 foot wide metal spaceship flying saucer with running lights, interior black light. It has hung on the wall of our youth room at our church.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Tim -- pleasant surprise. We would love to know more about your mom's place but I cannot figure out how to email you. If you see this, shoot me an email at

everybody else, please excuse this note. i'm a luddite and this is the only way i know how to contact the guy.

apologies all around.


The front porch is officially open

Listen. Can you hear it, the rain on the porch roof? I was napping on the wicker couch when the shower rolled in. Nice way to wake up.

We took a chance and put the porch up yesterday. Just a few days earlier than usual. And -- right on schedule – snow flurries are predicted overnight in the Twin Cities. We exist to amuse the weather gods.

Putting Up The Porch is an important marker. Neighbors know they can always get a glass of wine and a little opera on our side of the screen. It means the cold winter is over and we can wear shorts on white legs.

This time, the porch takes on a new meaning. Our Minnesota house is for sale and the porch adds good vibrations to the deal. Not to mention a little more three-season square footage.

One look and you know this is an old fashioned place where cares melt away. Pull up a chair. Feel the tug that takes you back to lightning bugs and chilled watermelon. It’s easy on the porch. Just let go.

For us, letting go is the hard part. Knowing this will be the last spring, the last summer we’ll get to enjoy this little space that has been such a sweet spot in our lives up here.

We may let go of the space, but the memories … never.

North Carolina. Hendersonville area. Where the Blue Ridge meet the Smokie Mountains. That's where we might move. I've already advised the realtor of our priorities: we want a porch with a house attached.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Coming round the mountain -- soon


That’s the sound of my body landing on the couch. For the 12th time in six years, we’ve made the trek between Austin and Minneapolis. Driving north this time of years gives us a second look at spring. Mighty nice.

At first, we took the straight shot – I-35 up and down the middle of America.

Then, we began to meander like the true second graders we are. To Durango in the west, to Asheville in the east. We’re nearly bicoastal.

And we’re not alone. This trip we had chance meetings with six other couples who enjoy the Texas/Minnesota weather reverses.

Most of the trips, we’ve been DWG (driving while grinning.) Amazing. More than 15,000 miles and two dogs later, we’re about to hang up our cleats. Once we sell the Minneapolis home, the wanderlust will take us where the Blue Ridge mountains meet the Smokies. There, midst a different kind of BBQ, we hope to settle down. Maybe learn a craft. And watch repeats of “Sergeant York.”

Grinning all the while. From the porch.

Come see us.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

We know who we are

This guy walks up to me at the urinal and says, “Minnesota, huh. You coming or going?”

“Beg pardon,” says I. “And it’s Texas.”

He saw my license plates at the gas pump and was just being Minnesota Nice. His van has Minnesota plates, too. And he just wanted to wish us safe travels. Admittedly, he could have picked a better spot.

Such are the rigors of the road for those of us tough enough to proudly call ourselves “Snowbirds.” We, who risk hip replacements by driving all day long in the confines of the damned old car, salute ourselves. For this is the time of year we trek to the north once again, leaving behind the good food and high humidity.

No joke, at the little motel in Cameron, MO., we ran into two more couples who go both north and south twice a year. It’s spring. That’s when we roll.

Somehow, without saying a word, we recognize one another in the cafeterias and the econo-lodges. Some say it the aura of adventure.

Others say it is the plaid shirts.

Monday, April 9, 2012

I invented The Facebook

Seriously, I think I may have invented The Facebook.

Light up something and drift back with me. It’s 1957 (year of the Chevy), my first year at Texas Tech, when freshmen still wore beanies. Men and women.

Adding weight to this solemn passage, the Greeks decreed that women who wanted to pledge a sorority were sentenced to two weeks of silence. No talking with the guys. Except me.

As luck would have it, I worked at one of the two downtown department stores where the frosh beanies were sold. Hemphill Wells was the Neiman Marcus of the south plains.

And all those young lovelies were coming to downtown Lubbock just to see me. It was heaven; I was the only male they could talk to without risking social ruin. Besides, I had to measure them for a hat size (I never told anyone the beanies were made in but one size).

I had convinced my bosses to let me sell the beanies – and sign up the coeds in my own personal, private, double secret log book. For later use in a direct mail campaign, or so I told my bosses. Thus, as I logged each young thing into my notebook, I also entered a “hotness” code beside each name.

And hat measurements.

Next, I set out to sell my logbook to the fraternity studs. Ten bucks a book.

Think about it. It’s The Facebook Point One. Hell, I may be Zuckerberg’s daddy.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Westphalia -- geezervagen?

The incoming email caught me by surprise. But the short note touched my deepest yearnings. It was from Cousin Libby in Atlanta. She wants a VW vanagon.

Libby is from the Mystery Woman’s side of the family.

I admire her even more now that she has revealed she want a Westphalia – I want a vanagon, too. I’ve been whining to get one for five years. What are the odds? Synchronicity. Or Synchromesh transmission (lame car joke).

The Mystery Woman demurs. Over and over again. In her past, and that was a long time ago, she drove a regular VW van. Until the sliding door fell off into a snow bank. She sure holds a grudge.

The Westys are still around because they are hard to kill. Owners are adamant their vans will run forever. I have a friend in Palm Springs who claims 245,000 miles on hers. Of course, it's sitting on blocks. Your mileage may vary.

You want one? Check Craigslist to get a feel for what's out there. Notice how many ads feature "extra spare parts."

They ain't cheap. But any big city probably has a reputable VW restoration shop. Expect to pay anywhere from $9,000 to $16,000 or more. If you’re lucky. Go for a Subaru engine with a matched transmission.

Most are stick shift but you can find automatic transmissions -- both go from zero to 60 in eleven minutes flat.

Buy a gun and get a concealed carry license. You'll wish you had one even at the best camping sites. And I hate guns.

The main thing is to have fun looking. Don't buy the first one you see although you will be tempted. Take your time. There are Westphalia sites online, clubs, vacation exchanges with Europeans, a whole culture built up around a fun little bread loaf.

And every damn one of them has a name! That says a lot.

If I ever get a Westy, mine will have a last name, too. I’ll name her Sylvia Plath.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

GOP focus on pink balls, pink slime, pink slips

Newt. Newt. When your money man Sheldon Adelson gives up on you, then you know the book tour is over.

Rick Perry says he really supports pink slime products. I’ll believe it when I see him eat some.

At a bowling alley this week, Rick Santorum told a boy who reached for a pink bowling ball: “You’re not gonna use the pink ball. We're not gonna let you do that. Not on camera.” Santorum went on to say “Friends don’t let friends use pink balls.” For chrissake, Rick, you give new meaning to gutter ball.

Mitt Romney joked about his father's decision to close a Detroit plant in the mid-1950s, fire the workers and shift the jobs to Wisconsin. Not funny. Not to the families who lost paychecks.

Ask Noam Chomsky how far have the Republicans gone to the right: “Today Nixon would be a flaming radical and Dwight D. Eisenhower would be off the spectrum. Even Ronald Reagan would be on the left somewhere.” That’s right, all right.

Know what these intellectual giants -- Stephen Baldwin, Dave Mustaine, Kirk Cameron, Ted Nugent, Chuck Norris, Victoria Jackson -- have in common? They support right wing candidate and causes. Extra points if you actually know who Dave Mustaine is. Or was. And well-known racist jerk-off is not a complete answer.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

We hold these truths to be self-evident

Around DC, the cherry blossoms are blooming early. Not to be upstaged, so are the idiots in the GOP primaries.

However, the bloom is off the Newt. His spittle is drying out. Just a mean old tailwind.

Mitt Romney wants permission to build an elevator for his car at his California mansion. Yet when he was governor, he vetoed two Democrat-backed items that would have provided elevators for disabled Americans. Cars are people, too, my friend. Priorities!

Santorum cusses out a NYT reporter and brags about it on Fox. Tough guy. I wouldn’t mess with him. God’s on his side. I don’t want to get smitted.

Ron Paul: It’s past your naptime.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Low mileage on Dick Cheney's heart

As an on-going heart patient, I wish Dick Cheney a full, speedy recovery. But I think the press got his heart transplant exactly backwards. The docs wanted Cheney’s heart to transplant into another patient because it had been used so rarely.

Mark Shields says former Texas Governor Rick Perry achieved "career redemption" with his deftly delivery remarks at the Gridiron show in DC. Well that was easy.

President Obama to Russian President Dmitri Medvedev: “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.” He was talking about missile defense. And it was a damned stupid remark.

Old saying: Comedy equals tragedy plus time.

Point of personal privilege: we will soon leave the land of milk and tundra. Tuesday, we’ll leave Austin for the long drive true north. We sold the house in Minneapolis and have to pack up and get out. Sure going to miss some sweet people up there. The mountains of N. Carolina are calling us. We’re getting closer to the heavens in more ways than one.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

GOP: gimme re-write

These little gems were lifted from various comments sections on the www:

Just so I am clear: teleprompters are forbidden, Etch a Sketches OK?

The Christian iPhone will prevent your wife and children from visiting websites that might be morally harmful to them.

It's not looking good for that moon-base and $2.50 gas.

Reminds me of the joke from (?) 1988... "in order to win, Sam Nunn is changing his name to Sam Nunn Of The Above"

Here’s the deal – Obama is a man well worth knowing. The Republican candidates? Not so sure.

Jay Leno about Romney: He is so rich, the last time he went hunting; he shot Dick Cheney in the face. Okay, that is rich. He is so rich, in his fantasy football league, he drafts owners. That's how rich."

Does the moth remember its life as a caterpillar?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

GOP, March Madness, Repeat

These thoughts were lifted from the www without apology.

G.O.P. voters still favor 'None of the above' by considerable margins. – Blogger.

I accept the fact that Santorum is genuine in his beliefs. That is what scares the bejibbers out of me. He is from a different time. His views would be very compatible with 50's. – Blogger.

It’s Romney’s bad luck that fate has dictated his only path to the presidency lies in being a huge liar. – Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine.

I'm not "interested" in Newt as a candidate, but I'm fascinated in Newt as a pompous egomaniac and arrogant blowhard who puts his own selfish interests before his party's and his nation's. This guy is all id. – Blogger.

Ron Paul is getting to be more annoying than Ralph Nader. – Blogger.

This week, Garry Trudeau’s Doonesbury will be running a week long series of strips on the abortion. However, some newspapers are considering pulling the series and running repeats because of the content. Clearly, this will be the most controversial abortion-related comic strip since Marmaduke got neutered. (Apologies – I forgot the source.)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Memo to GOP -- thanks

Little nuggets mined from the tangled www:

I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for Congressman Ron Paul. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s his grandfatherly anti-charisma. – U. of Illinois student.

Jay Leno: And more and more Republicans are calling on Newt Gingrich to drop out of the campaign. Well, I don't want the say things look bad for Newt, but his ex-wives now are starting to outnumber his supporters.

Right now, wherever he is, Maurice Chevalier is thinking: okay, most little girls. – Blogger reacting to Ann Coulter picking a fight with Sarah Palin.

Early last week, Team Obama announced it had decided to "release the Biden": The pugnacious, filter-free VP would be returning to the campaign trail. – Mother Jones.

Andrew Breitbart in death is morphing into the next John Galt, a fictional character. Or maybe Prometheus.

Text books used at Rick Santorum’s Home Schooling Seminary:

Everything I need to know I learned from Jerry Falwell
When Bad Things Happen to Straight People
Mean times never last but mean people do
Men are from Mars, Women are from their ribs

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Game Change tout, Tea Party book tout

The more candidates I meet, the more I like my dog! – Blogger.

"When you watch footage of Mitt Romney on the campaign trail in Mississippi and Alabama, he looks like Prince Charles on a royal tour of New Guinea." -- Chris Matthews.

Never thought I would say this. The movie “Game Change” was so well done that I actually felt sympathy pangs for Sarah Palin and her inability to endure what she was going through. One reviewer said different audiences had vastly different viewpoints: in NY, the film was seen as entertainment; in DC, it’s a documentary. You can watch it online here.

Is it too early for a beach book? Try “The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism.” Here’s a nugget: "in general, Tea Party members like Medicare and Social Security, which they think they have earned through their work, but don’t like perceived freeloaders who live off of other peoples’ work.” Obviously, irony is not in their realm of understanding.

Reaction to nasty Goldman Sachs op-ed: “I was a broker for 39 days. I was hauled into the GM's office for failing to put a 75 year old man's life savings into the penny stock flavor of the week. I suggested he perform an anatomical impossibility and quit.” More!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The morning after -- still laughing

These little nuggets were found mostly in the comments on the www:

Stephen Colbert, on Mitt Romney's statement that "You can't drive a car with a windmill on it": "He's right. ... If you put a windmill on top of your car, where does the dog go?"

David Axelrod tweaks: “You know what they say: as America Samoa goes, so goes the nation!"

NBC has pulled their reporter from covering Ron Paul full time. The last embed is gone. With good reason – Dr. Paul has only 47 delegates to date and not a single primary or caucus victory. Septuagenarians still think before they vote.

Jimmy Kimmel : "Rick Santorum yesterday spoke at what they call the Gulf Coast Energy Summit, in Biloxi, Mississippi. And he said, he believes global warming is bogus. And when Rick Santorum speaks about climate science, you listen. Because as you can see here, he looks a lot like a local weather man. Thanks, Rick. Now, here's Newt with sports."

Be sure to read Kathleen Parker‘s Washington Post column, asking whether Mitt Romney would attempt to connect to a Jewish crowd by proclaiming “Oy vey, did I ever enjoy my loxies and bagels this morning!”

Cheesy grits, anyone?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Republicans -- get thee to a closet

The Republican right needs a tune-up. Litmus is leaking everywhere.

And their religious gyroscope tilts way too far to chart a dependable course for victory this November.

But that's the new GOP. Mindless. And shameless.

Religion has become a war cry, no longer a sweetness for the heart nor solace for the soul.

“I’m religious, goddammit. More religious than you.” Is this the blueprint for Babel’s tower?

It was not always thus.

In the Beginning, the Big Guy spoke to Gerald Ford, who said faith "is a personal thing. It's not something one shouts from the housetops or wears on his sleeve."

In the GOP Good Book, Dwight Eisenhower said that while he believed that "our government should be founded in a deeply felt religious belief" he didn't care what the belief was.

George H. W. Bush, The Heretic, said: "I believe strongly in the separation of church and state. I don't believe a president should be advocating a particular denomination, or particular religion."

Before he started burning in Hell, Richard Nixon said he no longer accepted as fact many of the miracles mentioned in the Bible, but expressed admiration for Jesus' message.

But Ronald Reagan did try to re-write the Bible in his own image with that unworkable idea for an Eleventh Commandment.

Lucky for the rest of us – they haven’t got a prayer.

Hat tip to Meredity Bagby, Huffington Post, for digging up the quotes.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Lordy, Lordy, Lordy

Some of these items came from comments spinning on the web. And some are products of my own particular warp.

The Tea Party would rather seethe in the dark than change the light bulb, because undeserving people would also benefit from the light.

Glenn Beck crawled out from under his rock to complain that “We're turning our guns on each other,” in the Republican primary. There is no word yet on whether he is still using chalk boards on his radio show.

Newt Gingrich says, “Romney is probably the weakest Republican front runner since Leonard Wood in 1920.” Indeed. But Newt, he’s beating you.

No. It is not true that Calista is married to Caligula no matter how good it feels in your mouth when you say it.

Romney claims to be a newborn son of the south. He says he even likes grits. And he has learned to say “Y’all” in perfect kudzu.

Ron Paul? LOL. Ibid.

But – that leaves us with Rick Santorum. Want some of that?

Lordy, Lordy, Lordy.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

GOP winners -- still an oxymoron

Nuggets found while mining the comments section on the tangled www:

“Running for president is a very powerful drug.” – Buzzfeed

“We're spending down our savings, not necessarily the best thing to do when you have three kids entering into college in the next couple years.” – Rick Santorum, snob.

Michael Moore quote re GOP elections: "This is a group of clowns. WHO was it that decided to come out against birth control ? Something like 99% of all Americans use it. They would have been better off coming out against meat. At least there are 3 % of Americans who are vegetarian..."

MSNBC's Richard Wolfe on The Ed Show about Sarah Palin and her influence at the GOP convention…"She's in strange relationship with reality.”

GOP humor. Buzzfeed lists these titles that conservatives have suggested for the upcoming Obama documentary:

When Barry Met Sauly
The Lyin' King
Up in the Ayers
You've Got Fail
It Could Have Been Worse

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

GOP jewels of denial

These nuggets were found while mining the comments section where people react to posts on the tangled www:

"Not all Republicans are rich, dress in three-piece suits, and have $200 haircuts.” – Joe the Plumber, now a GOP congressional candidate.

"We're winning. We might not end up with the most votes, but we're winning.” – Rick Santorum

"Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich do not have a path to 1,145 delegates. They would have to win with an enormous percentage of the vote to get anywhere near enough delegates. It is mathematically impossible for either Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich to get the nomination, no matter what they say.” – Romney staffers

“Those are my principles. If you don't like them, I have others." – Grouch Marx speaking about politicians.

"Trust me... have I ever lied to you... I mean, recently?... I mean, in the past 5 minutes... OK, the past two... 30 seconds? Work with me here!" – Blogger

“It won’t be over, even when it's over." – Forbes


Monday, March 5, 2012

Political tartare, satire and capers

These nuggets were found while mining the comments section where people react to posts on the tangled www:

“Freedom is the exact distance between church and state.” -- Blogger

“Keep your rosary off of my ovary.” -- Blogger

“Boehner comes out and says, Rush's (slut) language was inappropriate. Using a salad fork for your entree, that's inappropriate… Republican leaders are afraid of Rush Limbaugh. They want to bomb Iran, but they're afraid of Rush Limbaugh.” – George Will

“Bin Laden is dead. General Motors is alive.” -- Blogger

While listening to UP with Cris Hayes on MSNBC, Cris asked who was winning the Republican primaries. The answer from his panelists in unison said "Barack Obama".

“The only race that matters in the long run is the human race.” -- Blogger

Sunday, March 4, 2012

It's your fault -- no, it's your fault

The body count had barely begun before the nasty stuff on-line got started.

I was reading news accounts of the deadly tornado outbreak in the mid-west when, as is my custom, I began reading the comments. By the third post, the reactions had pivoted from concern for the survivors to whether we should hate and blame the left or the right for the storms. Seriously.

Weather tragedy is not political.

We are in trouble as a nation when every goddamn thing becomes political.
Deep trouble.

Try this three-step program:
(1) step back
(2) take a deep breath
(3) now shut up and quit typing

Time for me to follow my own advice.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

GOP tropes through the weeds

Tales from the tangled www:

“Let's get serious. Republicans don't know what a rhetorical trope or an existential predicament is.” – Blogger

"Time to make a choice. Which loser will it be?" -- Blogger.

"This is the way the world ends, not with a bang, but a whimper." -- T.S.Eliot.

“Purity is obscurity.” – Ogden Nash.

Remember this and repeat it often: “No one should ever “underestimate the ability of President Obama to rally conservatives to vote against him.” Richard Land.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

GOP going away party

Tales from the tangled www:

Republicans believe that "conception begins at Last Call.” Thanks, SNL.

Joe Klein types with tongue-in-cheek: “Republicans are doing good job of winning over the young voters who are adamantly opposed to contraception.”

You know you have a problem when George Will writes: “Romney is right about the futility of many current policies, but being offended by irrationality is insufficient. Santorum is right to be alarmed by many cultural trends, but implies that religion must be the nexus between politics and cultural reform. Romney is not attracting people who want rationality leavened by romance. Santorum is repelling people who want politics unmediated by theology. Neither Romney nor Santorum looks like a formidable candidate for November.”

Lawrence O’Donnell: “George Will may have the only functioning brain in the Republican party.”

Romney/Santorum. “One's Hazelnut and the other is a Filbert. How can you tell the difference?”

Recommended reading: “The Lost Party: The strangest primary season in memory reveals a GOP that’s tearing itself apart,” by John Heilmann in The New York Magazine.

Remember this and repeat it often: “No one should ever “underestimate the ability of President Obama to rally conservatives to vote against him.” Richard Land.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

GOP set to take down Santorum next

At last night’s debates, the candidates fought over smaller and smaller patch of dirt. Dull is too shiny to describe the two hours of slow talk and slower thoughts. Mostly they just peeved on one another.

They’ve lost their balance. Republicans need new candidates with new gyroscopes.


Romney attempted a George Costanza joke during the debate and that prompted this response from a blogger:

Romney as Costanza
Ron Paul as Kramer
Gingrich as the postman
Santorum as Ellen (obsessed with birth control)
Obama as Seinfield - he runs the show and the other players are based around him; he will also be the only successful one the walk away.

Earn bonus points: “He doesn't light the flame on her Christmas pudding.” That’s Sir Richard and Lady Mary from Downton Abby.

Seen on the web: "Nostalgia isn't what it used to be."

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

President Santorum's Cabinet

Twisted tales from the tangled www:

President Rick Santorum
Vice President Michele Bachmann
Secretary of State Sarah Palin
Secretary of Defense Ron Paul
Secretary of Education Hermann Cain
Secretary of the Treasury Mitt Romney
Secretary of Commerce Newt Gingrich
Secretary of Health Chris Christie

It is official. Rick is a nut. Mitt is a stiff nut. Newt is a round nut, and the Republican Party is a whole batch of unwanted nuts.

The media keeps talking about Rick being authentic. Well a hurricane and a dog bite are real to. You do not see anybody rushing to experience either one of those realities, do you?

Stockpile condoms before they're outlawed.

Republicans. They make you believe there is a God.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Would two strong parties help?

More tales from the tangled www:

“I want a more robust Republican Party,” said professor Melissa Harris-Perry as she began her new MSNBC weekend program. “Two healthy parties challenge each other to come up with better ideas," she argued, "and both parties are hurt by one of them deteriorating.” If only.

Book title that makes you think: Indispensable Enemies by Walter Karp.

As long as you are up, think about this: Not everything that comes out of the mouths of politicians is in quotation marks.

"The old Catholic coots don't play the game…shouldn't try to make the rules. Bet if 12 year-old-boys could get pregnant, they'd change the rules." – Blogger.

Sure he (Romney) has a core philosophy, it can be simply stated, too: "I want to be President. – Blogger.

Romney is about as graceful as an elephant on a unicycle. Forward, back, pivot, turn, crash. – Blogger.

Amazing. He (Gingrich) stokes people's hate and then scolds them for hating. – Blogger.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A brokered or contested GOP convention?

POLITICO Playbook by Mike Allen

THE CONVERSATION: A tippy-top Republican, unprompted, yesterday sketched the germ of a plan for a new candidate if Rick Santorum upsets Mitt Romney in the Michigan primary on Feb. 28. Our friend brought visual aids: chicken-scratched versions of prosaic documents that are circulating among GOP insiders like nuclear-code sheets: In case of mayhem, break glass!

Most reporters still think Romney "will find a way to win Michigan." Nevertheless, some of the nation's most powerful Republicans are poring over filing deadlines and pondering worst-case scenarios.

Our friend handed us a printout of FEC deadlines for ballot access, with five of them circled and starred: California (March 23), Montana (March 12), New Jersey (April 2), New Mexico (March 16) and South Dakota (March 27). The point: Even after Feb. 28, it might be possible to assemble a Hail Mary candidacy that could garner enough delegates to force a CONTESTED convention (a different nuance than BROKERED, which implies that someone is in charge).
Under RNC rules, the delegate count builds slowly: just 15% before Super Tuesday, March 6; 19% through Super Tuesday (brings you to 34%); 17% in the rest of March (brings you to 51%); with 48% in April, May and June (21%, 12%, 15%).

Our friend said: "If somebody came on the scene that week after Super Tuesday with, 'I'm coming in. I'm taking a look at this,' there are enough delegates. He would suck all the oxygen out of the race. People wouldn't even give a shit who won on these other dates in March that are after Super Tuesday. I mean, seriously, who would care? It would all be about a new savior."

AT THAT VERY MOMENT, ABC'S JONATHAN KARL was at the Capitol, having a conversation that resulted in this Richter-rattler: "A prominent Republican senator just told me that if Romney can't win in Michigan, the Republican Party needs to go back to the drawing board and convince somebody new to get into the race. 'If Romney cannot win Michigan, we need a new candidate,' said the senator, who has not endorsed anyone ...

"The senator believes Romney will ultimately win in Michigan but says he will publicly call for the party to find a new candidate if he does not. 'We'd get killed,' the senator said if Romney manages to win the nomination after he failed to win the state in which he grew up. 'He'd be too damaged' ... Santorum? 'He'd lose 35 states,' the senator said, predicting the same fate for Newt Gingrich. It would have to be somebody else, the senator said. Who? 'Jeb Bush.'"

THE NARRATIVE -- AP's Steve Peoples, in Mason Ohio: "Santorum is raising the stakes in the GOP nomination race in Ohio, declaring the state 'ground zero' as he ... campaigns for one of Super Tuesday's [March 6] biggest prizes. ... Questions about whether Santorum can sustain his rise in the polls come amid signs of stress within his campaign, mainly disorganization. Romney's mammoth political machine -- coupled with new scrutiny for Santorum's view of social issues as well as governmental policies -- will give Santorum little margin for error."

GOP Tales from the tangled www:

Romney gushed that the trees in Michigan were “just the right height.” That sparked murmurs that his dendrophilia may have returned.

The billionaire who has given Newt Gingrich $10 million is ready to send him a Pay Pal for $10 million more, thus giving a richer meaning to “one trick pony.”

A woman running for congress as a Republican in Arizona said: “when I heard this (Santorum’s women in combat position) I really just wanted to go kick him in the Jimmy.” Her name is Martha McSally. She is a retired Air Force colonel and a combat veteran. And Jimmy’s last name is Johnson.

The GOP is reaping the whirlwind they sowed by relying so heavily on the extreme right wing for votes. Call it what it is – DEFCON 1.

Evangelical Christians 60+ may be a solid and dependable voting bloc, but they do have a weakness - namely, the fact that they're dying.

Friday, February 17, 2012

GOP candidates -- comedy central

Tales from the tangled www:

Rick Santorum’s sugar daddy, millionaire conservative Foster Friess, said on MSNBC that women should use aspirin for birth control: "In my day,” he said, “the gals put it between their knees and it wasn't that costly." That prompted this tweet: "Should pregnant women be allowed to wear shoes in the kitchen?"

And this: “At long last, single-Bayer health care!"

In the same vicinity, a GOP congresswoman said women’s use of The Pill causes prostate cancer in men. – Must … resist … temptation.

Romney has outspent Santorum by a factor of 62 to 1, and his top 25 contributors are banks. No joke.

Mormons believe that they get their own planet when they die. Is that Christian? -- Blogger.

Rush Limbaugh, Christopher Ruddy, Ann Coulter and Charles Krauthammer. Four of the finest minds of the 16th century. -- Blogger.

Reaction to The Colbert Report suddenly going dark: “This is certainly not the time to be without Mr Colbert. We need all the truthiness we can get.” -- Blogger.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The GOP snapshot, hold still

From the tangled www:

He (Newt) will get by on nothing more than roaring ego and implacable rage… He looks like a man in a full ski-mask and a chainsaw in his hand. -- GOP strategist.

He feasts on your fear. Also on your muffins. -- Same guy.

Evil never dies! -- Different guy.

If you compare Newt to a random sample of axe murderers, he comes out way ahead. – Blogger.

Hurt me, beat me, be mean to me ... Cheney/Gingrich 2012. – Blogger.

When did conservatism become a religion? – Blogger.

Is there any straightforward way to get your name on the Mormons’ “Do Not Baptize” list? No. – Forrest Wickman. Slate.

Matthew 7:16. "By their fruit you will recognize them." Blogger. “Then Rick Santorum is bananas.” – next Blogger.

So, Rick has how many children? 5 or 6, so that means he's only had intercourse with his wife six times? Vote for Rick, our ticket to the 11th century! – Blogger.

On Romney claiming to be a “severe conservative.” Could be, he was thinking “extreme conservative” but his internal editor kicked in and changed it to “severe.” He just needs a better Thesaurus. And a spine. – Ed.

If you want to get a handle on their popularity from a national viewpoint, look at the number of their tweeter followers. Gingrich has 1,433, 216 followers. Romney has 313,463 followers as of today, Obama has 12, 276, 318 followers. – Blogger.

OK everyone, let's all pay attention to Sarah Palin, she's thinking of running again. Liberals, let's get angry. Conservatives, attack the lamestream media. On three. One, two... – Blogger.

America is Saved. – Blogger.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

SUPERPAC dark money

From the tangled www:

“It’s hard to imagine that Santorum would actually beat Romney here (in Michigan),” said a GOP strategist. “If he does, the canary in the coal mine has died.” – Politico.

Surely a Muslim socialist can't be beating a mucho macho Mormon mensch.

The (SUPER) PACs are rotten and unfair. In the words of Democracy Now producers, the PAC money comes from a “secretive coterie” of donors. In the terrific coinage of Mother Jones editors, it’s “dark money,” a Lovecraftian monster that moves from state to state, dissolving the foundations of the republic. – David Weigel. Slate.

We don't have to worry, because these sums aren't donations! The donors expect something for the money, so it's more of a contract. – Blogger.

Calling Fox 'news' is like calling professional wrestling a 'sport.'

Valentine's Day. We celebrate this day when Saint Valentine was beaten to death with clubs and his head was cut off. This may or may not have something to do with love and chocolate. Johnny Hughes. Lubbock sage who is ever the romantic.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

GOP going to the dogs (sorry, sorry, sorry)

“All we have to do is replace Obama. ... We are not auditioning for fearless leader.” – Grover Norquist at CPAC.

Want more? “Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the United States.” – Same Guy.

”Dogs against Romney” plan to protest outside the Westminster dog show at Madison Square Garden tomorrow. Dog owners will never forget that Romney strapped his dog in a carrier on the roof of his car for a 12-hour trip. Bad Mitt. Join the Super Pack. Click here.

Jimmy Fallon: "Get this, in a new interview, Rick Santorum said women might not be suited for military action because their emotions aren't suited for combat. Which would mean only one thing. He has never seen an episode of 'The View.'"

Wind shear. Always a problem when Newt speaks on the tarmac. -- Blogger.

I've just discovered a vast Libertarian conspiracy. They're going to take over the Government and then leave us alone. -- Blogger.

Monday, February 13, 2012

CPAC wit and wisdom

From the tangled web:

"If Mitt Romney has to throw a 'Hail Mary' pass, what does he call it?" – Chris Matthews, MSNBC.

When I think of the quintessential voice of the conservative movement, the scholarly leader and beacon of the future of our way of life.....I think of the half-gov Sarah!!! Give me a break!

First Blogger about Sarah Palin at CPAC: “Talk about ‘Forbidden Planet.’ She sounds just like one of the Krell phantasms conjured up from the id of the antagonist in that move, clawing at its supposed enemies. As we learn in that classic movie from the 1950s, those enemies basically meant every other sentient being on the planet, because paranoia was being unleashed on all and everyone.”

Second Blogger: So if we can get Walter Pidgeon to throw himself at Sarah Palin, all this stuff will end?

CPAC member: "Ideally we would combine [Santorum's] strength with the infrastructure of Romney with the debating ability of Newt."

Blogger translation: "Behold this fearsome creature, with the strength of a possum, the endurance of a lizard, and the cunning and wile of a wildebeest!"

Sunday, February 12, 2012

CPAC -- clarity?

From the tangled web:

The CPAC Scotch and Cigars party got shut down. It was a no-smoking hotel.

CPAC - where truth goes to die.

CPAC – where white nationalists come to play.

Befitting the Straw Man won the Straw Poll.

This is tepid support, at best, for a Republican who's been running for the presidency since he was governor of Massachusetts. Romney might have scored a victory with this straw poll, but it's hardly a ringing endorsement for his candidacy. Clearly, Republicans are still wishing that there were someone else, almost anyone else....

They had the choices of Shep, Moe and Curly ... Huey, Dewey and Louie ... The Three Blind Mice ... Hear, See, Speak No Evil ... Goofy, Daffy and Wiley Coyote. They opted for Goofy ...

Ron Paul, always a bridesmaid, never a bride.

Gingrich was a footnote at CPAC.

What a difference a couple of years make, eh? The Tea Party morphs into the Light Brown Water Party.

Friday, February 10, 2012

The problem with CPAC -- hate

Quotes from the internet…

I might not agree with Clint Eastwood's politics but this is a REAL cowboy. Rick Perry is a fake cowboy. Clint would pimp-slap Rick in a bar fight.

CPAC - a hate festival! The gathering of 10,000 angst holes.

I thought good Christians weren't supposed to hate. They need to go back and read their owner's manual.

"The one thing that unites everybody is a hatred of Barack Obama," said Craig Shirley, a CPAC veteran and one of Reagan's newest and best biographers. "But hatred of the president is not a governing philosophy."

The next person that uses 'surge' in a headline I'm going to drive to their house and kick their dog.

Gingrich is colorful, quotable, unpredictable and utterly vicious.

Santorum is just Palin without the Naughty Monkey pumps.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

CPAC causes aluminum foil shortage

Political reporters make for lousy gravediggers. – David Weigel, Slate.

The GOP nominating race has become a clash of vampires and zombies. Candidates like Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich appear to die only to rise again, while Mitt Romney walks around not quite alive. – John Dickerson, Slate.

Mitt has more faces than a yearbook. – Blogger.

Politics has begun to seem like having the same conversation over and over again with only minor variations. You know, the kind of fights married people have where nothing is ever resolved. – Blogger.

I just want to know whether there will be enough Paul delegates for me to make money selling tinfoil hats in Tampa. – Blogger.

Take a knee: The ultra right wing 2012 Conservative Political Action Conference opens today. Ten thousand angels are expected to attend. Already, a Tebow jersey has been spotted levitating in the crowd.

Keep track of GOP delegate count at this CBS site.

Relax: In filling out an application, where it says, ‘In case of emergency, notify:’ you should write ‘DOCTOR.’

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wacky GOP picks wacky Santorum -- thrice!

Ahhh. I love the smell of burnt Mitt in the morning! – Blogger.

Romney reminds me of an undertaker. – Blogger.

At least Santorum is not another silver spoon, just an intolerant bigot. – Blogger.

If last night was a movie it would be called: "The Night of the Evangelicals" – Blogger.

This is just wrong. I mean, Missouri is a "beauty contest" and MITT is easily the most beautiful candidate in the race. He should have walked away with it, leaving Santorum with "Miss Congeniality.” – Blogger.

It is indeed a very strange year in which I find myself rooting for Gingrich and Santorum to win any elections, but Romney is such a creepy evil SOB that I'm actually rooting away for those crazy guys! – Blogger.

Mitt is losing the only thing his money can't buy - the narrative. – Blogger.

This just in: If an ethically-challenged, bloviating, philandering, egotistical, delusional Washington insider is your cup of tea, Newt's your man! -- Blogger.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Downers -- from the GOP

“Yesterday's conservative is considered today's anarchist, yesterday's rino is today's conservative! Thank you Fox news you have successfully neutered your sheep, I mean viewers!” – Blogger.

About Mitt Romney, “He’s a man who walks across a snowy field and leaves no footprints.” -- Gingrich biographer Craig Shirley.

“As a package you're repugnant, Newt. Can't say I'll miss those pope-like hand/arm gestures, but do stick around as long as possible.” – Blogger.

“Romney has a 98 % chance of winning Colorado & a 70 % chance of coming in a close 2nd to Santorum in Minnesota today. Gingrich is in last place in the next seven races.” – Blogger.

“Conservatives: Send Newt Gingrich ALL your money NOW!” – Blogger.

“Demography is destiny.” – Blogger.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The GOP -- for your entertainment pleasure

Speculating why Calista never takes her eyes off Newt: “When a man marries his mistress, he creates a job opening.” – Maureen Dowd, NYT.

“Newt’s going to be the Black Knight shouting, ‘Come back here. I'll bite your legs off.’" – Blogger.

After Newt’s Nevada presser, Steve Hayes observed: "That's what flailing looks like."

“The way Mitt Romney sounds, I don’t want to be anywhere near his fruited plain!” -- Goldie Taylor's reaction to his singing.

About LDS members tipping the election: “Mormons are two percent of the population. Seriously, this issue has the same world-shaking impact as the number of comic book collectors who will vote for Romney.” – Blogger.

“Where are the suicide Mormon bombers????” – Blogger.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

It's a two-man race all right -- Obama and Romney

“Newt Gingrich, Freddy Krueger – separated at birth.” -- Ed.

“Gingrich is better suited teaching at one of the many junior colleges that can tolerate him.” – Blogger.

“Newt was hamburger in the Romney meat-grinder in Florida.” – Blogger.

“Outspending Gingrich 5 to 1 a ham sandwich could have beat Newt.” – Blogger.

“Didn't Newt get the all important Hispanic illegal alien grandmother vote?” – Blogger.

“Fresh off his big win in Florida Tuesday night, Mitt Romney made the most stunningly stupid remark of his campaign: ‘I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there.’” – The Weekly Standard

“Romney goes into full Ralph Kramden-mode when he gets shook.” – Blogger.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Romney -- attack of the giant green wad

“Did Mitt Romney improve as a candidate after his South Carolina shellacking — or did he just buy Florida?” -- Talking Points Memo.

First Blogger: “The ‘best’ president money can buy, to go along with our paid for congress.”

Second Blogger: “I think our current one is a better value for the money, to be honest.”

"’...we will be in Tampa as the nominee in August.’" Newt used the royal plural. I am so pleased.” – Blogger.

“If Newt drops out, the show goes from surreal to banal.” – Blogger.

To Newt: “We love your feigned umbrage and your wild superlatives.” -- Dana Milbank, Washington Post.

Instead of going directly to campaigning in Nevada, Mitt Romney flew to Minnesota for the big get -- Michele Bachmann’s endorsement. No matter if she is pretty, tomorrow morning he’s going to wish he had gnawed his arm off. -- Ed.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fun with Newt and Mitt

Women are still favoring Romney. But men are moving in droves to Gingrich and away from Romney. Delusions of gender, some say.

One pundit described Gingrich as suffering from clinical adverbitis. Prognosis? Terminal.

“Newt Gingrich is the intellectual among Republicans the way that Moe is the intellectual among the Stooges.” – Blogger.

Don’t count Newt out. He’s been caught practicing political necrophilia twice before in this campaign.

“Today’s politics are the art of the sinister in the country, not of service, nor of hope.” – Blogger.

”This is not presidential behavior.” – Blogger.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Quotes with a liberal bias

“This is like a bullfight in which there are 2 pre-wounded bulls.” – Blogger.

“The Republican party is broken ... the Democrat Party is doing nicely.” – Blogger.

“A marriage is between a man and a woman and a woman and a woman. And here I thought that it was Mitt who was the Mormon.” – Blogger.

“File this under “Duh” -- Obama is going to run on the ‘I'm not a rich fat cat white guy’ platform.” – Blogger.

“Don't blame us because your (Republican) party is circling the drain.” – Blogger.

“Newt fights back by accusing his opponent of being exactly what he is. Of course, Newt is the one who lacks character. Newt is the chronic liar. Newt repeats phony history. Newt was found guilty of ethics violations by the House, both Dems and Repubs, had to pay the stiffest penalty in history, admitted to lying to the ethics committee, and was forced to resign in disgrace.” – Blogger.

“Romney only looks good to Republicans right now because he's standing on a stage opposite some of the worst candidates ever fielded by a national party. Who wouldn't look good facing off against a Gingrich, a Perry, a Cain or a Bachmann? Let him go toe-to-toe with the president and he's going to sound like the pandering, say-anything-to-get-elected Monopoly Man that he really is.” – Blogger.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

All Newt, all the time

“Reeling in the polls and seemingly punch-drunk after the debate shellacking he suffered at the hands of Mitt Romney on Thursday night, Gingrich’s speeches Friday had all the uplift of a hospital waiting room.” -- Alex Altman, Time.

“Newt is beginning to look like a dead pear.” -- Ed.

“Newt sounded bad, he looked bad, and generally came across like a weasel who had finally been cornered by Animal Control.” -- Ed Kilgore, Washington Monthly.

“He’s got about as much chance getting elected president as Wednesday has becoming Sunday.” – Blogger.

About Newt’s grand idea for a permanent colony on the moon, Michelle Herbeck rolled her eyes, "Anybody can run for president and promise a lot of crap."

About Herman Cain endorsing Gingrich, “Now here comes Moonie and Beki Beki." – Blogger.

About the irony, “What’s next for these two, wife swapping?” – Blogger.

About the impact, “Is Herman Cain Newt’s Hail Mary? Or Hey Baby?” – Blogger.

Dumb. For such a smart guy. Dumb.

Maybe he is crazy.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Isn't that a good looking hat?

Like I told you, I’ve been losing weight by walking the dog. Today, I weighed as I stepped out of the shower. Just checking.

“Guess what, honey,” I hollered to the Mystery Woman, “when I’m bare-assed naked, I weigh only 179 pounds.”

“That’s nice,” she murmured without looking up from her reading.

“Did you hear what I said?” I said. “Without clothes, I weigh 179 pounds.”

“If you went outside,” she said, “I’ll bet all the neighbors would notice your svelteness. ‘My, isn’t he svelte,’ the would say.”

As that notion built momentum in her head, the Mystery Woman’s voice took on an edge I had not heard before: “I’ll bet they would all have something to say about you walking in the front yard bare-assed naked. I bet they would at that.”

Sometimes the Mystery Woman vexes me. This isn't all peaches and honey. This is one of the times she vexes me.

“They would probably think you changed your haircut,” she said.

And went back to her Kindle.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Newt Gingrich, the jerk

Bob Dole said it best: "Why do people take such an instant dislike to me?" asked Gingrich, to whom Dole replied "Because it saves them time."

"Newt Gingrich is an idiot... hopelessly gross and vile." – Maurice Sendak.

Ann Coulter says “Hotheaded arrogance is neither conservative nor attractive to voters.”

“If Newt gets elected he might leave us for a younger country.” -- Jon Stewart.

“Every time a republican attacks one of their own, an angel gets his wings.” – Blogger.

He actually said: "If we can get 13,000 people to colonize the moon, we can make it the next state of the United States!" He also wrote in one of his books in 1996 that he often fantasizes what it would be like to have sex on the moon!

“In Space...there are no marriage vows.” – Blogger.

“Newtus Augustus Maximus.....The greatest emperor since Caligula.” Blogger.

“Nothing ‘August’ about Newt. I would suggest ‘Sordidus Bombasticus Mendacius’ as more fitting names for our historical transformational ‘Locutor Maximus’ of the House.” – Blogger.

“Robotic vulture capitalist vs. Repackaged rabid lobbyist....boy, cage matches sure aren't what they used to be.” – Blogger.

“Do you think Newt was a pug in a previous life?”

Thursday, January 26, 2012

How much $$$ Romney makes every day

Mitt is making money off money at a fabulous rate – like $57,000 per day. If you wonder how long it would take him to earn your paltry annual salary (can you spell chicken feed), there’s an app for that. Click here.

Our richest president was our first. Adjusted for inflation, George Washington was worth $500 million. His money came from Mt. Vernon and, sadly, from slaves. Hat tip, Dan Check, at Slate.

"It's not that Romney makes a lot of money. It's HOW he makes it." -- Blogger.

“Be sure and let me know the next time Romney crosses the Delaware to fight somebody, rather than crossing the Caribbean to make an offshore deposit.” – Blogger.

“Governor, I knew George Washington. George Washington was a Founding Father of mine. You are no George Washington.” Blogger.

“Has any President in history ever had Swiss bank accounts and offshore investments designed to minimize taxes?” – Blogger.

“We need Mitt - he likes to fire people, and there are millions of lazy Americans who need firing.” – Blogger.

“If newt wins the nomination -which is still unlikely in my mind- he'll be the first GOP or democratic nominee that I can remember that literally got nominated as a direct result of throwing red meat to the base and watching them act like wild dogs with a chew toy.” – Blogger.

“Not to worry, he ain't gonna be a President. (Nor will the Salamander.)” – Blogger.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

GOP candidates are boring

“Half of all candidates lose elections. At least.” – Vodkapundit.

”The problem isn't with 'wealthy' candidates. The problem is with shifty ones.” – Blogger.

"$25,000 a month to be a historian isn't going to fly." -- Hugh Hewitt, National Review.

“Will they ‘commit to putting an American on Mars?’ No problem. Half the time, Ron Paul is already there.” Dick Polman, political columnist.

“As for the current GOP field, it's like confronting a terminal diagnosis. There may be an apparent range of treatments: conventional (Romney), experimental (Gingrich), homeopathic (Paul) or prayerful (Santorum). But none will avail you in the end. Just try to exit laughing.” Bret Stephenis, WSJ.

“There is only one explanation for this debate: NBC News wanted to show off the GOP contenders as the world’s Most Boring and Irrelevant White Guys. On Tuesday night’s NBC News prime time program, the second coming of Black Jesus.” – Blogger.

“It’s Boring White Guys versus Black Jesus.” Stephen Green, Drunkblogging, Pjmedia.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

GOP quotes too good to pass up

“I’d rather take a shower with Jerry Sandusky than go through another month of this.” -- Perry campaign adviser, Texas Tribune.

“Gingrich is about as much a Washington "outsider" as the maitre d' at Cafe Milano…The person most deluded by Gingrich's politics of cultural division has always been Gingrich himself.” – David Frum, GOP pundit.

“Ptomaine debating trichinosis.” – Blogger.

“If there is or ever was a God, he gave up on the ignorance that permeates this country.” – Blogger

“Ron Paul will not win a single state.” – Blogger.

“Geez, why is Warren Buffet so jealous of rich people?” – Blogger.

“I bet Romney $10,000. He gave me his couch and told me to shake out the change.” – Blogger.

Best headline after Sen. Rand Paul had a dust up with TSA: “Don't Scan Me, Bro.” – Talking Points Memo.

Monday, January 23, 2012

GOP hammers GOP

“Basically, today’s (S. Carolina) vote is about Republican grassroots giving the Washington Republican establishment the finger.” Erick Erickson, Red State.

“Newt is the GOP’s Bill Clinton, and I’m not voting for an immoral grandiose windbag.” – Blogger.

“I hope Newt stays spiteful and stays in for a long, long time.” – Blogger.

“I think Romney will lose and the nuttiest of the nuts are going to leave the party, and form a third party, because they lost again by nominating a moderate.” Blogger.

“Teabaggers hate blacks more than they hate rich Mormons. Every time they see Obama's face on the television, it's the face of someone different than them. You can't see ‘Mormon.’ Well, not at least without their street clothes off.” – Blogger.

“Good God... picture Nixon with Fox News carrying his water.... Of course, Nixon is to the left of everyone they have now.” – Blogger.

"Actually, there's a mini scandal going on in Disney World in Florida right now. Seems that when Newt Gingrich was down there, he was seeing both Snow White and Cinderella at the same time." – Jay Leno.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Newt! Newt! Newt!

“You've got a first-class disaster on your hands.” -- James Carville to Republicans.

Charles Krauthammer, on Fox News: "If Newt Gingrich wins the presidency, John King is going to have a gilded seat in the White House briefing room. It's going to be an endowed chair."

“When we go up against Newt, it helps us in the general election,” says a Romney aide. It's all about the Gestalt. (Ed note: What the hell are you talking about?)

“I like the fact that these voters support Newt because they hate people who have jobs in television. It just about sums up how smart and dedicated the GOP voters are. Why do we even have to pretend that they have ideas or are "thinking"? It's laughable.” – Blogger.

“In the kingdom of the blind, a one-eyed man is king. In the party of stupid, Newt Gingrich is a genius.” – Blogger.

“Who better than to represent the Republican Party... a pseudo-intellectual, thrice married imbecile... who preaches all day about family values.” – Blogger.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

GOP candidates merely punch lines

“Stephen Colbert is a comedian and the other Republican candidates are bad jokes.” – Blogger.

“What could be more fun than a candidate who upon high school graduation married his geometry teacher? How many of us even liked our geometry teachers? This is precisely what we have needed ever since Monty Python went off the air.” – Blogger.

“A man who would cheat on his wife is worse than a man who would hide his income in the Cayman Islands to avoid paying American taxes.” – Blogger.

“Newt is crazy but at least he means his crazy. He truly believes every wacky thing he says. I prefer a sincere lunatic to a disingenuous one.” -- Judd Apatow.

“Mitt is showing his true a rudderless windsock.” Blogger

“Brittle.” – that’s how some Republican heavies are describing Romney.

“Just something about him has Phony written all over it!” – Blogger.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Hold me, kiss me, vote for me

What was she thinking? Marianne Gingrich said no when Newt asked for an open marriage. If I were wed to that guy, I would certainly want an open marriage. He’s not exactly a poster child for Viagra.

Perry the Pius threw his support to Newt “Big Bang” Gingrich. Political experts think the ensuing five supporters will be next among Newt’s brides. Watch for the surge.

Imagine a bully (Newt) with the temperament of a two year old in the White House. – Blogger.

Romney campaign release: "I Think Grandiose Thoughts," contains quotes with Newt comparing himself to Pericles, Henry Clay, Vince Lombardi, "a Viking," Vince Lombardi and the Wright Brothers.

“It's turning into a clown motorbike.” – Blogger.

Ironically, yesterday was confederate heroes day.

The Inauguration is a year from today.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

We could use the money

Well, if you are reading this, I must still be alive.

Careful readers might argue that I am prone to exaggeration, but yesterday I nearly bought the farm. Exercising.

I’ve lost 15 pounds since I started running with our mini-Dachshund. We run every time I take her out to answer nature’s call. There I go – exaggerating again. What I do could not be called running. More like loping. You know, that funny get-along like the dog trainers do at the Westminister AKC shows.

We lope about 50 yards three times a day. I was beginning to feel 54 rather than 74 and got cocky about the return of my athletic abilities.

Revenge is more like it.

Yesterday, as we loped down the middle of the drive, a car came around the blind side of a poorly-planned curve. The dog zigged as I tried to zag.

Nothing worked right. As I cartwheeled out of control through the parking lot, the possibilities were not good. I worried about releasing the dog, busting my hip on the pavement or busting my head on the curb. Or, alternatively, just getting run over.

I longed for flight. Instead, I lurched like a toddler. Or like when I was younger and drunker.

Somehow, I fell to earth with nothing broken. Not even any serious bruises. But enough dirt and grass stains on my back to do the NFL proud. My pride was the only thing hurt.

Upon hearing my lament, the Mystery Woman began searching for the video camera. She said if I would do it again, she’s sure she could get it on America’s Funniest Videos.

Or Geezers Gone Wild.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Out of the mouths of babes

“Adios, mofo.” – The chant from high school students when Rick Perry mounted the podium at a S. Carolina religious forum.

“There are people out there who are sexually attracted to, as one wag put it, women who look like bald eagles.” -- Blogger responding to Calista Gingrich profile.

“Nasty people marry nasty people.” – Blogger writing about Newt and Calista.

Best headline in Talking Points Memo: “End of Days? Rick Santorum Agrees With The ACLU?”

"At last night's Republican debate, Mitt Romney talked about his love of hunting. Yeah. In fact, Romney said on his last hunting trip, he shot three deer and fired two elk." – Conan O’Brien.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

GOP debate -- scary

Last night’s debate was fierce but still not enough red meat to tame the lions at the GOP circus. And not enough to satisfy the Republican clowns. They kept talking and the crowd kept cheering. In my view, the blood lust was frightening. And I’m not the only viewer with that reaction.

Reactions herewith from today’s blogs:

“The lack of basic humanity, of human feeling, is, quite frankly, chilling.” – Blogger.

“Utterly ashamed to be an American tonight.” – Blogger.

“One can't be a serious political journalist without outraging the Ron Paul fantasists.” – Blogger.

“Romney reminds me of a bright kid in school who knows all the answers but doesn't really understand why they're correct.” – Blogger.

“Capital Punishment: It was Good Enough for Jesus Christ.” -- Blogger.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Huntsman out of here

“Conservatives cling to the comforting moral illusion that there is a sharp distinction between allowing people to suffer and making people suffer.” – Blogger.

SC GOP chairman said, "Stephen Colbert has about as much a chance at being elected president in South Carolina as he does of being elected Pope. Zero. It didn't work four years ago, and it won't work now. The gag is worn out." Uhhh. He was polling higher than Huntsman.

Two Mormons? Do the math. – Blogger.

Comedian Bill Maher describes Rick Santorum as "The guy who's obsessed with gay sex!" He then talked about Santorum making public appearances in sweater vests, "which is proof he does not have one gay friend."

"Can we check and see where the speaker is?" – Gingrich was a no-show at a S. Carolina barbecue and the moderator was puzzled.

“Ron Paul only likes questions that he can answer with one word: liberty.” – Blogger.

Saddest Jon Huntsman quote ever: “I’m not the moderate you’ve heard I am.”

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Prayer, politics, and poop

This is a second effort to load this post. First was goofy. Apologies.

“Watching New England dissect the Broncos. As a displaced Browns fan, I love to watch the Broncos lose. As a displaced Browns fan, I know never to count the Broncos out. They may have Tebow pointing skyward, but any Browns fan can tell you, Elway made a bargain with Satan long ago.” – Blogger.

When 150 evangelical leaders came to Texas -- they voted to support Santorum. Everybody but Perry knows he doesn’t have a prayer.

Disclaimer: when it comes to television news, I am biased. I like MSNBC the best. Having said that, I wish they were not so partisan. Doesn't help a nation heal. Straight news is tough enough for conservatives to digest. They prefer cheerleaders. Damn. I'm a guilty partisan, too. Habit is hard to break.

Even casual readers must marvel at my new, demanding regimen to lose weight and get in shape. You will recall I lope at top speed for 50 yards three times daily with our mini-Dachshund when I take her out to answer nature’s call. The Mystery Woman says that’s gotta be a mile in dog years.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

GOP -- talk to me

You know what’s wrong – the next GOP debate is too far away.

Recently Mormons have won both Dancing With the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance. – Slate. (You can see why some Baptist think them to be a cult.)
When Ron Paul sauntered on stage in New Hampshire, the music that blared was the Darth Vader theme, the Imperial March from Star Wars. – Huffington Post. (Yep. He’s dangerous.)

“The majority has not yet coalesced around one,” Sarah Palin.
CNN host Piers Morgan called right-wing attack hound Andrew Breitbart “notoriously evil about almost everybody.”

“A huge pendulum attached to a small clock.” – Ivan Panin on Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
In Vino Veritas. – Blogger.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Best headline out of New Hampshire: “The GOP rallies around vulture capitalism” – Salon.

Second best: “Who voted for Rick Perry?” – aww hell, I forgot where I saw this one. But I like it.

“Candidates can’t know everything,” so saith Angelina Jolie. But Herman Cain said it first.

“For all the talk about Newt Gingrich wanting to be the Anti-Romney, he has now become the Anti-Republican.” – Blogger.

This is important. Which candidate has the best chants? According to Talking Points Memo, it’s Ron Paul.

I’m going back to bed.

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