Monday, February 22, 2010

Surprises at CPAC: Straw Poll and Glenn Beck’s Chalkboard

The annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) 2010 was anything but conservative. Whenever I hear the term “conservative,” I think of boring, old-fashioned, old school, and cautious; none of which are any fun. Viewer ratings would definitely be on a downslide. However, when you add something like a popular chalkboard into the mix, things begin to get exciting.

Glenn Beck was invited to speak at this year’s event and his chalkboard got a standing ovation. It makes a statement when people are so exasperated and frustrated with politics and the economy that they treat a chalkboard as if it should have its own footprint out in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre.

A whole new fan club got started on Facebook:
Can Glenn Beck's Chalkboard Get More Fans Than Ann Coulter?

The ad-hoc straw poll that was taken at CPAC 2010 showed Ron Paul commanding 32% of the popularity vote, while Ann Coulter got a chip off the old straw. The one on her shoulder kept bashing Obama and MSNBC during her speech. Of course, everybody just chalked that off as sour grapes; someone, who would probably love a job at the White House. I believe she might even become one of those "liberals" for a shot at Janet Napolitano’s job at Homeland Security. She has an impressive 6,000 fans on Facebook. Not a bad percentage considering America is 309 million strong, with about 131 million voters. The odds are good that Glenn Beck's chalkboard can beat that.

There were two other surprise speakers this year: former Vice President Dick Cheney and Senator Scott Brown (R-MA); Mushroom syndrome and Cosmo.

According to The Washington Times there were roughly 10,000 people registered for the event. About 2,400 of them voted in the straw poll. “more than half of those who voted were under the age of twenty-five," the Times said. I take that as a good indication that our next generation is developing an interest in something other than Coors and Corvettes.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Tea Bags Bridge the Generation Gap

Laugh a lot, and when you're older, all your wrinkles will be in the right places.”

“You know, Mel Brooks uttered the best political line I ever heard, ‘If Presidents can't do it to their wives, they do it to their country.’ That’s why we have political activists like teabaggers.” Uncle Harry said over a hot cup of tea.

Muffled giggles could be heard from the college students seated at the dinner table, but they laugh at everything, so we paid no attention.

At least four generations of our family were represented at the table: Aunt Millie, who is 85, too young to remember the original Boston Tea Party; Uncle Harry, who is in his late 70s; my husband and me; our oldest grandson, Johnny, who is just 19 years old, and his two college guests, Mike and Ben; and our straggler, Frack, who is only 12, and our notorious little prankster. Of course, the generation gap almost always causes communication chaos. Today, for some reason, it was worse.

You would think that communicating with the 12-year-old would be a challenge, but it isn’t. The 19-year-olds have their own language code. They still say things to each other like “Mahna Mahna” and sit there and laugh. Only they know what’s funny about that.

"Nanu nanu,” I said to my husband, “Pass the sodium chloride.”

He laughed; and the kids just sat there silently looking at each other.

“Labadt,” he said, as he handed me the salt shaker.

More silent stares from the kids.

“These teabaggers do have a point.” Harry said.

Giggles erupted from Johnny, Mike, and Ben. Frack was just grinning.

“What do you think, Millie?”

“Lookey here, Harry, I don’t want to be discussing politics. It ruins my appetite. Last year, they thought Obama was the cat’s pajamas, now they want to give him the 23 skiddoo. So, quit talk ‘in politics and pass the potatoes.”

“Well, this ain’t like the tea party you remember. Life was simpler back then, they just threw it overboard and that was the end of it. This is serious.”

“If you say one more thing to me about teabaggers, I’m going to have to hurt you.” She said.

The giggles were getting louder and Johnny’s face was all red.

“I think we should change the subject” my husband said. “Besides, that was taxation without representation; this tea party is about spending without any money. It’s a whole different concept. Why they use the term ‘teabagger’ is beyond me.”

Mike’s milk squirted out of his nose and the other boys were roaring. Frack was on the floor gasping for air.

“I don’t know what you're up to,” I said to them, “but if you keep it up you are eating the rest of your meal in the laundry room.”

“Tea, Aunt Millie?”

“Bruhahahaha” Johnny couldn’t control himself, and Frack was down for the count.

“That’s it! Get away from the table. I’m sorry this couldn’t have been a better time for you Mike and Ben; but obviously Johnny and Frack can’t behave today. All of you will have to eat in the other room.”

After dinner was over and the dishes were done, Millie and Harry left, and the boys turned on the TV in the family room. They had an extra day off from school, so I knew I wasn’t going to get any rest.

My husband was outside putting something away in the tool shed, when Frack tip-toed into the kitchen. I was sitting there with a glass of Chardonnay.

“What do you have to say for yourself?” I asked.

“I’m sorry,” he said. “It wasn’t all our fault, though. I can’t tell you why, but if you look at my laptop, you’ll understand. Just wait till I go in the other room, OK?”

Sincerity was written all over his face; but, for some strange reason I got the feeling I was getting punked.

“OK” I said, half expecting to find a dead mouse on the keyboard.

Frack joined the others, and I got up and walked over to his laptop, which was on a small table in the nook, just off the kitchen.

In big yellow letters I saw “Urban Dictionary – teabagging.”

“OMG!” I blurted.

My husband walked in, took one look at the expression of horror on my face, and asked “What’s wrong?”

I pointed to the laptop saying almost incoherently “Mahna Mahna.”

How is it that we live in America, speak English, and can’t agree over the real definition of a simple tea bag?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Big Bertha Teaches BlackJack

There is no place for age discrimination in the American workforce, as instructors at the Philadelphia Police Academy recently found out.

“Big Bertha” Spinelli told friends and family that she wanted to be a police instructor. She felt qualified as the mother of six sons, five of whom have gotten into altercations with police officers and are serving time for various felonies. Friends laughed, as the Spinelli’s are rumored to be related to the NY Gambino crime family. Their arrests have made South Philadelphia history.

However, Big Bertha has police procedure down to a science and she herself has a clean record.

When her first born, Sammy “the slip” got arrested, police clubbed him right outside Big Bertha’s house. She took notes.

When the second oldest got caught assaulting a surveillance officer. She noted backup procedure, as well as the proper use of the infamous cosh, paddy whacker, billy stick.

This went on for several years, until she mastered the art of positive thinking and figured out a way to turn her sad progeny situation into a positive. She had a three-ring binder full of police procedures. She also broke into Officer Miller’s house one night and stole all his Police Directives.

“My sons dey maka me mad,” she said. “Why dey don’t be good boys? When dey were smalla, I give dem da knuckle sandwich. Dey still don’ta behave. Now, I getta da job. I show dem! Da nexta time dey screw-up dey are dead meat.”

She proved her ability to wield an iron hand, when she was shopping in a local convenience store, while visiting family in Massachusetts, and a guy came in with a gun to rob the place. Big Bertha let him have it and the robber fled the scene. Security cameras caught the entire incident. The robber was apprehended, when a police sector car saw him holding his bleeding forehead as he was running down the street.

Big Bertha packs a wallop.

She just got hired to teach blackjack classes at the Philadelphia Police Academy. Big Bertha is 77 years old.

Never mess with old ladies.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Beppe Bigazzi: ‘Garfield is on My Fork’

The 2010 season of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern is scheduled to start on Monday, April 26th. Andrew is the famous food writer and TV personality, who can scoff down scorpions, sushi, and cockroaches better than your cat.

The show has received rave reviews from major publications like The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA TODAY, Outside Magazine and others. He has made guest appearances on NBC’s Today Show, The Tonight Show, and the Food Network’s Best Of. They don’t care if he dines on wild goat and raw fish.

Yesterday, Bizarre Foods producers got a resume from Beppe Bigazzi, the host of an Italian cooking show called La Prova del cuoco (the test of the chef).

Beppe is 77 years old and just got suspended for saying that ”cat stew is a Tuscan delicacy” that he has cooked and enjoyed many times. They don’t have First Amendment rights in Italy.

"Who's not fat, kills the cat," he said during a broadcast with co-host, Elisa Isoardi, touting the dish’s nourishing qualities. He said that many people enjoyed the delicacy in the area where he grew up near the Arno River Valley.

"Cat, soaked for three days in the running water of a Tuscan stream, comes out with its meat white.” He said. "Why, people maybe don't eat rabbit, chicken, pigeon?"

Italian Health Ministry Undersecretary Francesca Martini, didn’t see it that way, stating that the idea of eating cat stew "hurts sensibility, which is fortunately steadily growing, of citizens toward animals."

The Italian broadcasting network agreed and skewered Beppe. Then, he discovered that Zimmern has a palate for weird things such as raw horse mane, saying it tastes "like bacon fat."

I’m not sure, but I suspect that Zimmern is not above trying cat stew. In the second video below, he tackles pig’s windpipe and some other gross delicacies.

How would you like to see Andrew and Beppe with a cat in the kettle at the Peiking Moon?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Biden and Cheney Get Cheesed Off

The highlight of President’s Day weekend was watching Vice President Joe Biden and former Vice President Dick Cheney go at it on Meet The Press, This Week, and Face The Nation.

Biden and Cheney disagreed on four major points:

1. Handling of the Christmas Day Bomber
2. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed’s trial
3. Waterboarding
4. Credit for winding down the war in Iraq

In the case of the Christmas Day bomber and Shaikh Mohammed, Cheney said they should not be tried in civilian court, but rather by a military commission, so they can get their asses kicked appropriately. He is also a strong advocate of “waterboarding” as a form of interrogation.

Cheney also noted that the current administration should thank the Bush administration for taking the initiative in winding down the war in Iraq.

Biden thinks Cheney is out of touch with reality and almost asked what he was smoking regarding waterboarding. He said that that form of torture is “not effective.”

Biden noted all the hard work and great strides the new administration has achieved in Iraq. It started to sound like a Tommy and Dickie Smothers routine.

Biden is probably right, however, you know how it is when you miss few days of work and you go back into the office to find out that there were several crucial staff meetings in your absence. Everything you learn is second-hand information and unreliable.

Cheney has been out of the loop for over a year. Before that, they kept absconding with him to secret undisclosed locations. So, what does he know?

Meanwhile, Shaikh Mohammed’s defense team has been trying to drum up sympathy for the bugger at Guantanamo, but no one is buying his sob story. In the photo below, the military had just played Motor City 5’s "Up Against the Wall" in his cell at high decibels, rather than waterboarding and he was getting a bit punchy:

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed posing for holy pictures at Guantanamo. Photo credit: AP

This is probably the only point Cheney actually won in his foray against Joe Biden.

What good did all this negative publicity do for the American people aside from feeding the dueling VP's personal agendas and egos?

Why these politicians insist on sharing their hissy fits in the media is beyond me.

In the famous words of Will Rogers “Never miss a good chance to shut up.”

See "Biden and Cheney Duke it Out" courtesy of

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Valentine From Jenny

It all started when a UFO from the Planet Tequila landed along the Appalachian Trail last Father’s Day weekend. It held Governor Sanford hostage for four days…

There once was a promising career.
Shot to hell with a fib and cold beer.
The story? Appalachian Trail.
But really? Buenos Aires quail,
campaign staffers: “save old buccaneer!”

Media insiders are speculating that ABC’s Lost will be replaced with a modern version of Dinosaurs based on a true southern story and newly released book that should have been titled “Not the Hoochie Mama.”

The actual story is explained in painful detail by Jenny Sanford herself in “Staying True.” The book is ironically released just in time to wish her estranged husband, Governor Mark Sanford, a Happy Valentine’s Day. He can buy a copy at, if he is willing to spring for the $25.00. Of course, used copies will be available as early as next week.

Jenny was interviewed by Jon Stewart on the The Daily Show. He asked her what she missed most about living in the Governor’s Mansion in South Carolina, and she responded “The inmates washing my dogs.”

In South Carolina, the Department of Corrections has a work program for minimum security prisoners, guaranteeing the Governor free slaves. I can’t wait to hear the comments from the NAACP, CORE, COFO, SNCC, SCLC, MFDP, Glenn Beck, and Bill O’Reilly. However, that is another story about the presidency, budget, and Abraham Lincoln.

As Jenny describes it, the marriage between Mark and Jenny was doomed from the start. She should have seen it coming when they were dating. Apparently, just after they met, Mark invited her to spend a weekend at the family farm. He left a car with a standard transmission at the airport for her. It contained a road atlas on the passenger seat, and driving directions.

She did not know how to drive a stick shift, but he made no effort to pick her up. So she burned out the bushing in the car and bucked her way out to the farm. This set the mood for a great romantic weekend, right?

Next came the nuptials, where Mark inked out all references to “fidelity” in the marriage vows, just before the ceremony.

Then, the children started to come along and he refused to attend Lamaze classes. He told Jenny that he equated his son’s births to birthing cows. What a jerk, right?

She had a Congressional aide always remind him when it was her birthday and Mark began sending her paper images of gifts, replacing them later with cheap used goods. He also returned a diamond necklace because it cost too much.

After he dropped the bomb on national and international news about his affair in Argentina, he phoned home and actually asked her “How did I do?”

Jenny resisted using profanity, so she left, and summarized all of her feelings in this book.

Maybe she should have titled it “Cad to the End”?

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Jenny Sanford
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis