Monday, January 30, 2012

972 Presidential Tapes

972 Presidential Tapes

The new release of the last of the JFK tapes leads us to wonder when the tapes of other Presidents will be made public.

The Lincoln tapes won't be released until Raymond Massey is dead for 100 years.  But some transcripts have been leaked:
--My beard itches.
--YOU try sitting on an outdoor stone chair every damn day without looking dour.
--What's 'four score and seven' in regular numbers?
--I've never been to Nebraska.
--I'm tired.  Can't you give those theater tickets to someone, maybe the Secretary of Health and Human Services?
--Mary snores.  So I've never slept in the Lincoln Bedroom.
--Please let General Grant know that he has to switch from bourbon to rye for the duration.

The Harding tapes have been available for years, but no one has listened.  Here are some excerpts:

--Sure, I mess around with the ladies.  I can’t do this job very well, but they elected a businessman so I’m going to act like one.  Plus Flossie is an old bat.
--Tax cuts for the rich?  Sure, where do I sign?
--Hoover wants to own the oil rights in Iraq?  Sure.  Where do I sign?
--Flossie is going to tour the frontier.  She’ll show ‘em I am not a crook.
--I used to be against the League of Nations, but now I’m not so sure.

The Hoover tapes:

--The poorhouse is vanishing from among us.  See what happens when you let the market decide?
--Market crash?  What market crash?  It’s only a blip.  You’ll see.
--Forget gold.  The future lies in Burmese Silver.
--They think I can speak Mandarin, but I can’t.  Lou and I just pretend when we want to look mysterious to the White House staff.
--Depression?  Maybe you better not close up all those poorhouses.

The Dewey tapes:
--What do you MEAN I lost the election.  Can’t you read the papers?
--Bomb Japan?  Are you kidding?  We can’t do that.
--This town is even worse than Albany.
--Korea?  Where’s that?
--I’m NOT only 5’8” and these are NOT elevator shoes. You’re thinking of Van Buren.

The Carter Tapes:
--I am NOT an anti-Semite.  If you don’t believe me, just ask Billy Graham.
--This sweater was a gift from MisteRogers and I AM going to wear it on TV.
--I did SO see a giant rabbit.


Shrapnel:

--One time ”American Idol” winner Kelly Clarkson has endorsed Ron Paul for President, saying she agrees that “states should have rights.”  Out of the mouths of babes (especially blonde ones) oft come gems.  Someone tell her “States Rights” is code for slavery, unless, Texan that she is, she knows that and said it anyway.

--Twenty-seven thousand mourners passed Joe Paterno’s coffin last week and 12-thousand people attended his memorial service.  A lot of love, but a lot of anger at his brutal firing... and both were obvious.

Have You Noticed?  The latest ad fad is accents, mostly British, replacing or at least modifying the once ubiquitous Screaming Billy Mays and his legion of inferior imitators.

I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
© WJR 2012

Friday, January 27, 2012

971 Voting In Church

971 Voting in Church

We’re having a vigorous discussion about the local polling place, three of us.  It centers on whether it’s constitutional to hold voting in a church or whether that violates of the prohibition against establishing a state religion.

So far, two say no, one says yes.  The outvoted proposes two tests.  Let’s all go to the Board of Elections office and hold a prayer meeting.  Silent, if necessary.  Then let’s see what the population would think if the polling place were a mosque.

That second one is only icing on the cake.  And you know what an uproar that would cause.

But the first one has possibilities. No regalia.  No rings to kiss.  No confessional.  No music.  Just someone sitting there looking clerical, surrounded by devout looking people with their heads bowed.  

If the board people notice at all, their first move will be to come over and ask what’s going on.  “Oh, ma’am, we’re just here praying because our polling place is in a church and we have nowhere else to go right now.”

“You can’t hold religious services here, this is a Government Office!”  And maybe “You are trespassing.”

Maybe we should have a few boxes of neatly folded, clean but out of date clothing at hand in case someone with a need comes along.  Nice to be ready.  After all, what’s a church without a thrift shop or bazaar?

How about a pot luck lunch?  We’d have to break any silence to say grace.  But it would be over with before the clerk could awaken and waddle over to our little gathering.

Hymn singing, though, would be out.  After all, that would be inappropriate use of a government facility, and probably a constitutional violation.

On the other hand, taking over a municipal office isn’t such an evil idea.  After all, they do it to the church, even if the church volunteers its space.

It’s tough to vote your conscience with Jesus looking over your shoulder.

Shrapnel:

--If you put the four remaining Republican presidential wannabes together in one person, you’d get the perfect teenage girl.  There’s Newt, fighting a weight problem but trying to look feminine while wearing a tutu, the hormonal Mitt, the cruel bully Little Ricky and the “I want everything” Ron. Newt needs Weight Watchers, Mitt needs a “time-out” room, Little Ricky needs the crap beaten out of him and Ron needs a gift card from Macy’s or Bloomie’s.

--The “Republican response” to the State of the Union message brings up an old unanswered question.  When is an address by an officeholder informational and when is it a campaign appearance?  With the broadcasting of a “response,” the answer seems to be “all speeches are campaign speeches.”


Have you noticed?  There are almost as many ads for weight loss programs and products as there are for sleazy lawyers and car insurance companies on TV these days?


I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
© WJR 2012
Read only as directed.  Possible side effects include nausea, constipation and bloating.  Rare cases of liver disease, some fatal, have been reported.  

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

970 The Running

970  The Running and the Tweet

Back in ancient times, news types working for the wire services wrote what was called a “running.”  We sat down before a speech or a ball game and wrote stuff as it happened, and they sent it over the wire.  No one knows anyone on the receiving end who ever used  these.  But here they are again.

When everyone got cable and the wire services became fully computerized, there no longer was a need for this -- if there ever was one -- and they were unceremoniously dropped.  Unceremoniously and unannounced.  We just stopped doing them.

But they were fun to write, especially when something unexpected happened, especially if it was a close ball game or an unusual speech.

A favorite took place on Sunday, November 18th, 1973 when President Nixon went to Disney World in Orlando to address the Associated Press Managing Editors Association meeting.  An apt place for both the speaker and the audience, by the way.

Among the things he said as Watergate boiled around him was “...I have never obstructed justice...”  The phone rings.  It’s the main editor at what we called the “General Desk.”  “Did he really say that?”

“Yes, he really said that.”

Then he said “I am not a crook.”  A mild statement by today’s standards but shocking language from a sitting president in ‘73, especially from a stiff like Nixon.  

The phone rings.  

“C’mon, you made that up.  He couldn’t have said that!”

Yes he could and yes he did.

So from the everything old is new again department, comes the 21st century version of “the running,” which is Twitter.

For the three people in America who are not watching an event as it unfolds, reporters now “tweet” live from someplace... a court hearing or a speech or a space shot.

And does anyone actually read these things as they’re sent?  Or even afterwards when they’re aggregated and printed or posted?

Hard to tell.  There aren’t any known surveys.

The tweets, though, serve the same purpose as the runnings.  They show anyone who is interested that “we’re here, we’re live, we’re sending out stuff.  We’re better than the other guys.  Or faster.”

Sometimes, though, speed kills.


Shrapnel:


--So, do we have this straight?  Clinton’s philandering mattered, but Gingrich’s doesn’t? Explanation, anyone?

--Did you learn anything new from the State of the Union Address?  Or did it just reinforce your already well worn but true notion that in election years all of a sudden we get better economic figures than we had previously?  What a nice campaign speech.

--There are plenty of cooking shows and cooking channels on television, but there’s an important one missing, the Frozen Food Channel.  How else will we learn how and for how long celebrity chefs thaw frozen meat or how to boil water for your spinach in land that’s below sea level?  And while we’re at it, what about a Canned Food Channel?

Have You Noticed?  Fresh fruit is available all the time and no longer needs seasons but bath soap fragrances and gasoline formulas do?

I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
© WJR 2012

Sunday, January 22, 2012

969 Joe Paterno

Sunday, 1/22/12
969 Joe Paterno

(STATE COLLEGE Pa.) -- Listen to the cheap buffoons and hypocrites with their handwringing tributes to the man they killed.  Joe Paterno died this weekend.  He was 85 and until recently, considered the great man around here.  The winningest this and the longest serving that.  Win games, but win ‘em with honor.  More of his boys graduated than those of any other coach in college football history.  Blah blah blah.

Then, all of a sudden comes along a little boy sex scandal centered on one of his former underlings and Joe is forced into a corner.  He did the legal thing, reporting what little he knew to his boss. (His boss?  Who are you kidding!  He had no boss.)  But, said the people who killed him, he hadn’t done the “moral” thing.  What do these people know about morals?  So they fired him and he died.  And they not only fired him with a phone call, but they forced him to place the call.  Cowards.

Now come the tributes.  Four hundred nine wins.  Thirty seven bowl games.  Two national championships.  Success with sportsmanship. His fans have been outraged all along, and they should have been.  In 2012, you don’t can a guy who has been on your payroll since 1950, who has made your low rent little Ag school into a national academic and athletic center of gravity while you went ahead and turned it into a national joke.

The tributes are like saying “Okay, Joe... all is forgiven” when there was little or nothing to forgive.  Sure “JoePa” as they called him overstayed his prime.  That can happen anywhere.  And sure, he might have had too much power.  But you don’t pay tributes like those being so glibly spouted now when you wronged the guy in the first place and he’s not around to hear them.  Like so much else about this town, it’s all about salving and saving oneself.

The JoePa statue outside the huge and ugly stadium here is the only tribute worth remembering: “Educator, Coach, Humanitarian” says the accompanying wall.  The statue was put up in 2001.  It weighs 900 pounds and was sculpted by Angelo DiMaria.  You can drop him a thank you note at box 4071, Reading PA 19606.  A thank you note?  Yes, because it’s set in bronze and even the guys running the show at Penn State wouldn’t dare tear it down when their inner glee and outer hypocrisy reached full force.  And they certainly won’t now.

And probably they’ll re-name the place Paterno Stadium, something he always said he didn’t want.

Fond hope:  that the funeral will be small and private.   And the inevitable memorial service will be huge and that no one named Paterno will attend. Would serve them right.

Joe’s immediate cause of death was lung cancer.  But this was a homicide.


I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
© WJR 2012

Friday, January 20, 2012

968 Cruisin'

S968  Cruisin’

First off, those cruise ships are not ships, they’re gaudy floating amusement parks with motors.  Second, why would anyone get on one when you can join 4,000 of your closest friends anywhere on dry land at a huge saving?

You can overeat at Burger King for three percent of the price of the cruise and no one’s ever gotten e-coli there.  Plus no worries about dirty silverware or leering waiters or chintzy lounge acts that can’t make it in Vegas or Atlantic City.

You can inhale industrial waste in Detroit and not have to worry about Legionnaire's disease.  Better yet, you can smoke and chances are your health insurance will cover most of the cost of treatment and you won’t risk drowning.

Can you imagine the captain of the Titanic or the Lusitania or the General Slocum or the Edmund Fitzgerald saying “I tripped and fell 17 stories right into a lifeboat and am directing the evacuation of the Costa Concordia from there”? Half the lifeboats didn’t deploy, but the captain and his lifeboat did.

Can you imagine the Coast Guard having to shout down the Captain of the Andrea Doria or the Dona Paz having to be told not to leave his ship until everyone else was off?

At this writing, we don’t yet know how many people died because a waiter asked the captain to turn off the autopilot and cruise closer to his on-shore home.  And we don’t know what passes for “Captain” on some of these amusement floats.

The worst recorded shipwreck was the Dona Paz (the “n” in Dona should have a “tilde” over it, making it pronounced “DON-ya.”) Four thousand people died.  The Titanic: 1517 lives.  The Slocum: 1021.  The Andrea Doria: 43 right away, a few more soon after and 14 trying to salvage the wreck.  The Edmund Fitzgerald:  29.

Perspective:  Even if the death toll reaches 50, this is far from the worst in history, unless, of course, it’s your loved ones who died.  But it could be one of the stupidest.

Shrapnel:

--Betty White was really pretty as a young woman.  And now, at 90, she’s still pretty.  And talented.

--Newt Gingrich came out of the closet in South Carolina.  If ever you doubted he was a racist, you now have your proof.  The other guys are better at keeping secrets like that.

--If Romney wins in SC and in FL, the rest of the dwarfs should give up, because they don’t have a chance.  And Mitt will likely win the election.  A good thing, since America has had such good luck with businessman presidents -- like G.W. Bush and H. Hoover.

Have You Noticed?  The world didn’t collapse when Wikipedia blacked itself out for a day in protest against proposed legislation to put much of the internet in private corporate hands, but a second day of that might have done the trick.

I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
© WJR 2012

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

967 Martin and Ludwig

967 Martin and Ludwig

(Note to readers:  Since Monday, 1/16/12, I have received a pound and a half of e-mails asking where my annual Martin Luther King rant was this year.  Most said my Shrapnel reference and link to a four year old post was inadequate.  So here’s what I have to say this year, reluctantly.)

Martin Luther King, Jr. has been fossilized by a culture which doesn’t know him and doesn’t understand him.  This space regularly and annually makes two points about Dr. King:

1.  You can’t put words in his mouth or thoughts in his head and therefore anything anyone says about what “Martin would think” today is guesswork, if not wrong by definition.

2.  Dr. King preached thousands of sermons and gave thousands of speeches in his lifetime and we remember only four words of one syllable each.

That said, those are four mighty words.  Four sounds in a particular order that resonates as widely and with as many are the opening notes of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.

“I have a dream” and “da da da daaaa.” have the same rhythm.  Yet they’re just about all that’s remembered.

The Fifth is not generally considered Beethoven’s best.  But when you get past the corny and over used da da da daaa... there’s some mighty good music there.  

And when you get past the over used “I have a dream...”  there’s some mighty good vision and insight and advocacy there.

So, some day when you have the time, listen to the whole of each all the way through.  But also, you can find plenty else that Martin said.  And most of it is as timely today and as powerful as it was when he said it.


Shrapnel:

--Here’s something to remember, especially if you’re in the supermarket without your glasses:  there’s a difference between “Benefiber” and “Beneful.”  The former is a food additive and the latter is a dog food.  (What happens to your dog if you combine them in one bowl -- or to you?)

--Shame on you, GEICO, for crossing over and running what may be the most annoying  ad in television history.  This company’s advertising is usually top notch... funny, entertaining and informative.  But the one with the little piggy squealing “wee wee wee” all the way home makes you want to go out, find a Gecko and stomp on it.

--Careful what you say and believe.  There is no truth to the rumor that in the interest of transparency and clarity, Bain Capital is going to change its name to Bane Capital.  Did the guys who founded Cerberus Capital know that Cerberus is the three headed dog who stands guard (and presumably admits new comers or at least checks invitations) at the gates of hell?

Have You Noticed?  Guys who commit two murders and get two life sentences never have to serve the second one.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
© WJR 2012

Monday, January 16, 2012

966 Death Knell for the Clicker

966 Death Knell for the Clicker

The bloated Pennsylvania legislature has finally gotten around to outlawing directional signals, joining 23 other states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam. But some law breaking Pennsylvanians haven’t gotten the message and continue to use them, probably out of habit.  That said, these criminal drivers have to be brought to heel. Or justice.  Or something.

We salute the law abiding and alert citizens who obey and we urge everyone else to join.  After all, using signals takes all of the mystery out of driving, leaving it just another mundane chore.  

This progressive move to put more of the unexpected, the intrigue and excitement into driving started in Northern California and has moved slowly east like a weather system.  It is the good citizens of San Francisco who first realized that directional signals were an annoyance, a distraction and no one believed them, anyway.

The Sacramento legislature acted quickly and long ago to get rid of those annoying clicker things.  In fact, California has the strictest laws in the nation against the use of signals and cars built to California’s emission standards don’t even have signals any longer.  A few old fashioned drivers have re-learned hand signals or purchased after-market directional signal add-ons, which also are illegal in California.

Now, once again, Pennsylvania is dragged kicking and screaming into the present day.  What a disgrace!  You’re on the turnpike or maybe Route 80 doing a good clip and some schmuck is parallel pacing you... you know he’s trying to move into your lane, so you slow a bit and let him in.  What’s wrong with that?  The guy has to flash his blinker at you before you’ll show him how courteous you can be?  Nonsense!  

Progress at last.  Putting the mystery back into the romance of vehicular transportation.

Plus outlawing blinker signals makes you more alert.   You never know what the guy in the next lane or approaching the next corner is going to do until he does it.  But what fun it is to guess!

Shrapnel:

--Say it isn’t so!  The maker of Hostess Twinkies and Wonder Bread has declared Ch. 11 bankruptcy, blaming -- who else -- the unions.  But can you imagine a world without this stuff?

Today is Martin Luther King Day, and usually, we devote a full post to cautioning against trying to co-opt Dr. King’s mind and putting words in his mouth, trying to second guess what he would have said about anything.  There’s nothing new to say about the subject.  But since this is a presidential election year, you might want to see what was said in the previous presidential election year, 2008.

Have You Noticed...? When TV promotes a program that isn’t a repeat it’s described as “all new” as opposed to... what... a partially new Law & Order SVU … or a mostly or somewhat new... or sort-of new Dateline?

I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
© WJR 2012

Friday, January 13, 2012

965 Bulb Hunt

965 Bulb Hunt

This is good training.  It’s getting a small number of people ready for the onset of the vanishing lightbulb.  

The small number of people in mind here have antique floor lamps.  Many of these use what’s called a “mogul” base bulb.  A mogul base is just like an ordinary base, only bigger.  Much bigger.  And, yes, they still make these bulbs.  But just try to find one!

Generally, these are energy gulping three-ways -- usually 100-200-300 watts.  They run hot.  And usually when you put in a new one, one of the elements burns out immediately.  They are hard to come by.  Yes, you can get them on the internet.  But shipping something this fragile is risky.  Could be, when you screw it in it’ll be DOA.

And yes, some specialty lighting stores sell them.  At a price as big as a mogul base.  Often on special order.

Inspection of three local big box stores brought comments like “A mogul bulb?  What’s that?”  Or “I haven’t seen one of those since my great grandmother died.”  Or “Not only do we not carry those, but we don’t carry the little adapters so you can use regular bulbs in your mogul lamp.”

So those of us with mogul floor lamps have a distinct advantage over you poor peasants who have ordinary bulbs.  We have gotten early training in not being able to get what we need.  When you go out scouring the stores for ordinary 60s and 75s and 100s, we will look at you with benevolence, sympathy and knowing nods.

We are pioneers in privation.  And we hope that our effort, our searching serves future generations of light bulb hunters.  Learn from our sacrifices!

Some days, it just doesn’t pay to be a mogul.

Shrapnel:
--The Romneys: like father like son.  George was “brainwashed” and Willard “likes to fire people.”  When these guys make a public mistake, it’s a MISTAKE.

--Your tax dollars at work:  the TSA confiscated a Massachusetts woman’s cupcake as she went through the screening at Las Vegas.  It was in a jar partly filled with extra icing, which is considered a gel and therefore prohibited.  Gotta watch those cupcake wielding New England terrorists.

--This space has long hated Buffalo NY radio station WWKB (Nee WKBW) for bigfooting the signal of the much smaller WTHE (Nee WFYI and WKIT, Mineola and WKBS, Oyster Bay) and preventing people from hearing it.  But now, “KB” has started broadcasting a progressive/liberal talk format.  And after almost 50 years, Buffalonians, all is forgiven (and yes, the signal reaches central Pennsylvania.)

Have you noticed...? When the TV says “we’ll be back after these messages,” some people get actual messages ranging from “your prescription is ready for pickup” to “forget the meds, go out and kill random strangers because they’re evil and out to get you.”

I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
© WJR 2012

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

964 An Open Letter to Keith Olbermann

964 An Open Letter to Keith Olbermann

Dear Keith,
C’mon, buddy, give it a rest.  Sit down and do the show that no one watches and everyone should.  You are giving the rest of us cranky, childish and entitled commentators a bad name.

We who worked at NBC understand how tough things were for you at MSNBC (twice)...  and at Fox and at CNN and at ESPN.  But enough, already.  How long did it take before you started acting up at Current TV?  Three months?  Four?  Those of us who once worked with its new president, David Bohrman generally have trouble feeling sorry for him under any circumstances.  But you’re changing that with your churlishness and expectations that a shoestring operation will look as slick as the big boys after only a few months.

You are probably the best and funniest and most insightful of the current pack of television’s politically liberal analysts and that’s a high compliment with Rachel Maddow, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert in the stew.  But stop with the foot stomp, already.

The papers report you don’t talk to your own company except through your agent or your lawyer.  That’s crazy.  They’re paying you a fortune to do stuff you’d probably do for free, given the opportunity.  Complaints about little crap that plague start up networks without big corporate parents are part of the game.  Refusing to participate in primary election coverage is nuts.  Throwing a hissy fit when your show is preempted for that coverage is equally nuts.  And we understand the New York building you picked for your studio and headquarters is a dog.  So do what any New Yorker would do under the circumstances, break the lease and move or put the rent in an escrow account until they fix the place up.

In an era dominated by the likes of Ron Paul and Rick Santorum and Willard Romney, a guy like you is more than necessary.  Get with the program, Keith.




Shrapnel:

--A move in Greece maybe raises the hopes of the Penn State crowd.  Greece has added pedophilia, exhibitionism and kleptomania to the list of official disabilities and is offering pedophiles, exhibitionists and kleptomaniacs disability pay.  The only question is this: if you have all three “disabilities,” do you get paid triple?

--Home schooling -- often home indoctrination -- denies the student social interaction by experience, reinforces dependence on the teaching parent and implicitly tells the kid others are not important.  It limits the child to one authoritative source of information and opinion and leaves many of them unprepared for life.  And as the fad expands, you can figure it’ll soon spread to higher education, where potential employers are likely to be unimpressed by that sheepskin from the University of Mommy.

Have You Noticed... The merchants of America were almost as quick and early in removing holiday decoration items as they were in putting them up and that if you were looking for a bargain artificial tree or decorations and waited until the first week of January, you couldn’t find any?


I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
© WJR 2012

Monday, January 09, 2012

963 Reunion Fatigue

963 Reunion Fatigue

The seed was planted in 1958.   Since then it has spread like kudzu or Zoysia Grass, covering everything in its path and choking out all other forms of life.  

‘58 was when they announced plans for the following year’s 20th high school reunion.  Then they started reuning every couple of years, but somehow skipped the 50th.  Maybe they had reunion fatigue.  Maybe the organizers decided that if they didn’t like us then, why would they like us now? Maybe there just weren’t enough of us still alive to make renting a hall worthwhile -- or possible.  

But fear not.  There are plenty of other reunions.  Defunct or moribund radio stations, networks and other companies have them all the time.  ALL the time.  At any given moment, there’s a reunion going on somewhere.

Even if you liked your classmates or your co-workers, it gets tiresome.  You’ve heard all the stories before and have become an authority on them.  Or maybe you lived them.  Either way, it’s education-through-immersion.  And it’s a glorification of days that didn’t seem terribly glorious at the time.

Bad food doesn’t negate good company.  But there are limits.

Recently, a card arrived from a well known but quirky institution of higher education.  It said “we missed you at the reunion!”  And then it prattled on about how a wonderful time “was had by all.”  WHAT reunion?

The invitation, evidently, got lost in the mail.  A letter to the alumni liaison person drew a response along these lines:  Yeah, we missed telling quite a few people.  But lucky you, you’re now on our mailing list (again) and we already are planning another one for this year.  Oh, goodie!

How about we hold some of these via video conference?  These days, everyone has a web cam.

Shrapnel:

--The far right’s current slur against journalism that doesn’t toe the party line is “mainstream media,” (as opposed to what, ex-treme media?)  So if they’re against the mainstream media, are they therefore against the main stream where most of us live?  Yeah, guess so.

--Still more on Lipitor:  Pfizer has sent that precious discount coupon that they said they would and then said they couldn't.  Anyone who thinks corporations are more efficient than government is just plain wrong.  PS: the co-payment for the new generic version is five times smaller than the co-payment for the original.

--The smart phone is getting dumber.  It tracks down your location.  And then it gives you a weather forecast for someplace you’re not.

Have You Noticed... Sometimes, your anti-virus program jams up your computer and you have to do a “hard restart” and when it restarts it asks you if you want safe mode and you don’t know what the hell safe mode is but once you’re in it you can’t get out of it and everything you need is behind some electronic condom?

I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
© WJR 2012

Friday, January 06, 2012

962 There Is No Sanity Clause (With apologies to Groucho Marx

962  There Is No Sanity Clause (With apologies to Groucho Marx)

The title is a line from “A Night at the Opera.”  And Groucho wasn’t talking about our present soap opera, the run-up to a presidential election.  Groucho also said “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.”

The cast of the soap opera should be required to sign a sanity pledge if not a clause.  In which case, the only candidate for the nomination now would be … no one.

It’s nearly a given that Obama will be the Democratic Party’s nominee unless he pulls an LBJ and quits the race.  The Republican contest is a fun gathering of refugees from the padded rooms of Bellevue. And anyone who takes any of them seriously should join them back at the padding, where surely they will land after the white-coated men with the armored trucks and the huge butterfly nets track them down.

We’ve had crazies in office.  We HAVE crazies in office, and not just the president.   But this year’s crop is exceptional... a vintage year.

Let’s see if we can break them down...

1. The delusional:  Gingrich, who plays the part of The Smartest Guy in the Room.  Paul, who is living in a dream world and wants you to join him.

2. The goofy: Huntsman, who seems to think he’s Peter Pan.  Perry, who doesn’t think anything and is always striking poses along the old Chisholm Trail.

3. The Kleptomaniac:  Normally a guy who steals your clothes from the dorm room you two share.  Romney steals (and discards) ideas, personalities and hair-dos.  And his plastic sincerity is fake.

4.  The Just Plain Nuts: Santorum.

Lock ‘em back up and this time, make sure the straitjackets fit better.

Shrapnel:

--Here’s why Bachmann dropped out of the Republican presidential primaries after the drubbing in Iowa and Perry didn’t.  His campaign has a few million to fritter away yet and hers doesn’t.  Obviously, her lack of support is an anti-woman thing and has nothing to do with her standing in on the sanity scale, because what would Iowans know about that?

--Happy Birthday, Stephen Hawking, the British physicist who will turn 70 on Sunday, January 8th.  Seventy isn’t considered very old these days, but for a guy who has had Lou Gehrig’s disease for about 50 years, he’s amazing.

--Sunday is also the 198th anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans, which took place two weeks after the end of the war of 1812.  Word hadn’t gotten down to either side, so they fought... believing the war was still on.  Where were Twitter and Facebook when you needed them?

Song for this coming Sunday


Have You Noticed... ATT charges a 15% “recharge fee” if you add minutes to your calling card by calling them, and they don’t disclose this anywhere in the reams of fine print on the back of the card?

I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
© WJR 2012