I read recently that there’s some group or organization or something that’s named “SWLA Socialite.” I’d say that’s tantamount to a group of old, wealthy New Yorkers on Madison Avenue getting together and calling themselves the Manhattan Nutria Skinners.
By the way, I’m starting a new group called International Jet Set. Anyone can join for the initiation fee of $1,000. Cash only. Send payment to “English” Billy Boynton c/o General Delivery, Wagon Rut, TX.
Hey, What Happened?
I stepped out of the office the other day to go to the drugstore. And it was hot! I mean really, really, exceptionally hot. It was like a steam bath.
Is it like this a lot here? If so, why didn’t somebody warn me before I moved down? How do people stay cool when they’re walking in these conditions? I noticed that by the time I made it to the store, my brow was sweaty. Is this sort of appearance acceptable in Southwest Louisiana culture?
Even though I’ve lived here 13 years, I can see I still have a lot to learn about the place.
Throw Me A Bone. I’ll Eat It.
I saw in the store that a large bag of M&Ms is now $6.29. A canister of nuts is $8 — and that’s the sale price. I’d gone to the store thinking, “Man, I have 25 bucks in my pocket. I’m going to eat for a week!” I left with a marked down mini-tube of Pringles and a brand new case of PTSD.
Readers, I’m going to ask you for some guidance. Those of you who still buy food, how do you buy it? Can you give me a few tips? I realize you must have to take out a loan. But how does that work? When the loan officer asks me, “What is the purpose of the loan?” do I answer, “To buy some M&Ms”? What about all those cash for gold signs I see? If I could manage to get my hands on some gold, could I exchange it for some M&Ms? Could I get something cheaper, like a Charleston Chew, for some silver? Any advice would be appreciated.
Get It While It’s Hot
So far I’ve gotten several emails — all of them positive — about my July 4 edition of “File 13,” which was titled “On the Use of the Term ‘Liberal.’” Since I’ve never gotten three emails of any kind about anything else I’ve written, I think this column may have hit a nerve or struck a chord or struck a nerve or done whatever it is a column should do.
If you want to read or reread it, we have limited copies left in the office. You can also read an electronic version on my blog “Frontier Hippy” at bradgoins.blogspot.com.
The Louisiana Legislature was recently praised (I think) in the least likely of places — the liberal-leaning Huffington Post.
The story bore the flattering headline “Louisiana Can Make Difficult Decisions, Why Can’t Washington?”
The story stated that while the Louisiana Legislature’s budget negotiations “yielded a less-than-perfect final product,” they were nonetheless “forged on the backs of bipartisan compromise.”
While I’m not crazy about the forged on the backs of compromise metaphor, I think it’s real good publicity for Louisiana. The story also shows that someone covers state news closely at Huffington, which has frequently been criticized not just for its political leanings but also for the quality of its journalism.
OK, You Twisted My Arm
If you haven’t yet heard the response Gov. Bobby Jindal made when an Associated Press reporter asked him if he’d run for U.S. Senate, you might want to. You might get a chuckle out of it.
Here’s the remarkable little speech:
“Absolutely not, emphatically no. There is no caveat, no wiggle room. I’m not trying to give myself any outs. I have absolutely no interest in running for the United States Senate. I’m not a candidate for the United States Senate. I will not be a candidate for the United States Senate. You can film that. You can write that down. Absolutely not.”
Jindal showed once again that he has a knack for colorful language. It’s not always the colorful language that people like to hear. But he doesn’t give up trying … to be colorful. That shows he has backbone.
I guess Louisiana’s political prognosticators are taking Jindal’s extremely emphatic denial as strong evidence he’s not running. But to do so is to violate Goins’ Axiom of Politics No. 16: Politicians always say the opposite of what they mean.
I’ll also note that in the Goins Lexicon of American Politics, the phrases “I have absolutely no interest … I’m not a candidate … I will not be a candidate …” are all politicianese for “Yes.”
If Jindal really doesn’t want to run for Senate, he must be determined to sacrifice all to run for president (and, alternatively, hope for a VP nod) in 2016. If he did that, and managed to get a few delegates, he might also have a shot in 2020.
Failing that, the only option I can see is that he already has a cushy D.C. lobbying job waiting for him, which would mean he could quit spending his weekends raising money and start spending his weekends counting money.
How Did I Miss Perfection?
Recently President Barack Obama invited former president George H.W. Bush [the first President Bush] to a publicly viewed meeting at the White House. Certainly it was a kind gesture. But I wondered whether it was all on the up and up.
For instance, in his speech about G.H.W. Bush, Obama said the former president sparked a “national movement” to advance volunteerism and community service.
There was no national movement to advance volunteerism and community service. And if there had been such a movement, it wouldn’t have had anything to do with George H.W. Bush.
Obama continued to slather it on: “You’ve described for us those thousand points of light — all the people and organizations spread out all across the country who are like stars brightening the lives of those around them.” Of course, we never needed G.H.W. Bush to inform us that thousands of individuals and organizations in the U.S. do volunteer work.
There comes a point when polite flattery turns into ignoble sycophancy. Here is that point: Obama said to Bush, “But given the humility that’s defined your life, I suspect it’s harder for you to see something that’s clear to everybody else around you, and that’s how bright a light you shine … We are surely a kinder and gentler nation because of you.”
“The humility that’s defined your life?” He’s a former Texas oil man, CIA head, and president and vice president. How humble can he be? “How bright a light you shine?” Is he an ex-president or a carbon arc searchlight? “We are surely a kinder and gentler nation because of you.” Saints a-mighty! What’s the evidence for that claim?
Bush is probably not long for this world, and Obama may just be trying to get a jump on the inevitable media rush to canonize a dead president. Obama is blatant and clumsy in the way he does it. But I’m not sure it’s a clumsiness anyone will notice.
NBC News political reporter Michael O’Brien also tried to get in on the coming media blitz when he nonchalantly wrote that the White House meeting “recognized [G.H.W. Bush’s] legacy of charity and altruism.”
I’m not trying to dump on the first ex-president Bush, who I believe was above-average for a president (in stark contrast to his son). I’m just wondering what sort of “political reporter” thinks he’s in a position to pronounce that a particular presidency was one of “charity and altruism.” How long would a great historian hesitate before he put such a mighty pronouncement into print? Detractors take note — there’s at least one journalist who’s sillier than I am.
Embrace Your Fetish
Let’s have three big Up Fronter cheers for U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann for demonstrating that just because the presidential election is over, the crazy doesn’t have to stop.
On July 15, the Washington Post’s Rachel Weiner reported that Bachmann told WorldNetDaily that President Obama “has a perpetual magic wand and nobody’s given him a spanking yet and taken it out of his hand. That’s what Congress needs to do, give the president a major wake-up call. And the way we spank the president, we do it through the checkbook.”
Translator! Translator! You’re Wanted On The 5th Floor! Translator!
While I can’t help but commend anybody who comes out about the whole spanking thing, I also feel strongly inclined to remind readers that there’s no substitute for research. Bachmann told WorldNetDaily that Obama had issued an executive order than enables “anyone who was here as a Latino under age 30” to vote in federal elections. That may be the case in the alternative world Bachmann inhabits. But in the United States, only U.S. citizens can vote in federal elections. Obama’s executive order postposed deportation for some Latino students.
As for people who have magic wands, I assume they can vote as long as they’re U.S. citizens.
Credit where credit’s due, though. The idea of spanking with a checkbook is a novel and kinky twist on what has, admittedly, become a mundane fetish.
As I was preparing my File 13 on nonsense dialogues (for the July 18 issue), it bothered me a little that I could remember only a few of them. And I was sure I’d seen quite a few more than I remembered.
As chance would have it, I ran across the following gem the very night before we went to press. Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller are working it all out in the movie Dodgeball. Here’s the dialogue:
Vaughn: I’ll take my chances in the tournament.
Stiller: Yeah, you will take your chances.
Vaughn: I know. I just said that.
Stiller: I know you just said that.
Vaughn: OK, I’m not sure where you’re going with this.
Stiller: Well, I’m not sure where “you’re” going with this.
Vaughn: That’s what I said.
Stiller: That’s what I’m saying to you.
Vaughn: All right.
Stiller: [after a long pause] Touché.
Rather than burden you with any analysis of that, I’ll just leave you with another great line from the movie, this one from Rip Torn:
“If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a dodgeball.”