Today’s Phrase for Latin Lovers

Rem ipsam dic, mitte male loqui.

Translation:
Speak out the whole truth boldly, but use no bad language. -- John Adams, 1775

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Ancient History

|Campaign 2012 | Political Prudence

#JustABlogger Electoral Votes Contest Official Entries

Below are the officially registered entries for the #JustABlogger Electoral Votes Contest. (For information on how you can enter and win, please click here. UPDATE: The entry deadline has now passed.) The entries are presented in their official forms, in the order in which they were submitted. Check back for new entries as they are added, and for a new post coming soon, which will sort the entries into table form for your convenient viewing.

UPDATE: The final electoral vote total of 2012 (not counting faithless electors or unexpectedly discovered warehouses stuffed with ballots) is 332 for Barack Obama and 206 for Mitt Romney. The closest entry in the #JustABlogger Electoral Votes Contest was submitted by Alex Moff (@alexmoff) with 305 for Obama and 233 for Romney. Congratulations, Alex. You may pick your prize.

→ Continue reading “#JustABlogger Electoral Votes Contest Official Entries

|Campaign 2012 | Political Prudence

Announcing: #JustABlogger Electoral Vote Contest! (*No blog necessary to enter)

Many of mainstream media pundits have gone on the record with their predictions on how many electoral votes Barack Obama and Mitt Romney will receive. The only problem is that the vast majority are picking Obama to win. Their exaggerated turn-out models tells them so. This is what happens when we leave it to the #RealJournalists (in the words of Juan Williams) to tell us what is going on.

From the ground level, from the people that aren’t creating turn-out models but actually turning out, it looks a whole lot different. Professor Glenn Reynolds, aka @Instapundit, has dubbed this the Ground-Glass Election (as in, we will crawl across ground glass to vote to evict Obama from the White House).

So here’s the opportunity for the #JustABlogger population*, the hoi polloi, to go on record and show the elite how it should be done…and you can win a prize while you’re at it.

WHO CAN ENTER
Anyone but a #RealJournalist. Bloggers, tweeters, school kids, Walmart moms, Latinos with forks, cats with videos. Anyone!

WHAT TO DO

  1. Go to RealClearPolitics.com and use their map tool to create your Electoral Vote (EV) map. [You are welcome to use other sites' electoral map tools, if you prefer. I've just found this one easy.]
  2. Take a picture/screenshot of it and upload the picture to the photo service of your choice (such as Twitpic.com, Yfrog.com or Instagram.com).
  3. Tweet @PruPaine a link to the photo, along with your tie-breaker prediction of the Popular Vote (PV) percentages Obama and Romney will receive.

Example: My contest entry submission tweet to @PruPaine would say…

@PruPaine #JustABlogger Contest Entry: EV–O 225, R 313 http://twitpic.com/bade7l PV–O 47.57% R 52.16%

WHEN
All entries must be tweeted to @PruPaine by 9pm EST on Monday, November 5, 2012. The final tie-breaker is based on whichever entry is received first, so enter early…but not often! (See Fine Print.)

WHERE
All entries will be posted here at PrudencePaine.com, linked to your Twitter handle. If you also have a blog and/or a post about your prediction, I’ll be happy to link to it as well. (Just include the link in your tweet, or send it to me when your post is up.)

WHY?
Because of the fabulous prize! You can choose to receive one of the following (in either Kindle or print):

WINNER DETERMINATION
The winner will be the contestant whose prediction comes closest to the actual electoral vote (EV) outcome of the 2012 United States presidential election. If the winning EV total was submitted by more than one contestant, the winner will be the contestant who correctly predicted the outcome of the most states. A tie in the number of correctly predicted states will go to the contestant who comes closest to predicting the popular vote percentages for each candidate (to two decimal places). If a tie still exists, the earliest submitted tying entry will be the winner.

FINE PRINT
Void where prohibited by law. One entry per person. Not responsible for lost, spindled or mutilated entries. Entries will not be returned. Consumption may cause racing pulse and increased levels of optimism. No need to see your doctor if this condition persists.

UPDATE:
So far, nearly all the #JustABlogger entries are indicating a Romney win. A new post will be started soon to show the entries received.

When you submit your map, you’ll get a tweet letting you know you are officially entered, or that there is a missing component to your entry. Your entry hasn’t been registered in the contest until you get a “you’re entered” tweet. If you don’t receive a reply tweet within an hour or two, feel free to ask if it has been accepted.

Note: Retweets of other persons’ entries do not constitute a separate entry.

And thanks to @DanRiehl for the post.

UPDATE:
Thanks also to Smitty of TheOtherMcCain.com and RD Brewer of AceOfSpadesHQ for the write-ups of the contest on their sites.

And thanks to Stacy McCain for mentioning it in his posts at the AmericanSpectator and, of course, TheOtherMcCain.

Y’all have rocking readers. Thanks for sending them my way for the contest.

SUMMARY: Now that the deadline has passed, nearly 90 entries have been checked in and are being posted online here.

|Campaign 2012 | Political Prudence

The President Mocks Our Horse-Mounted Soldiers

In the final presidential debate of the 2012 campaign season, President Barack Obama tried to score points by lampooning Governor Mitt Romney’s criticism that under the Obama administration, our US Navy had fallen to levels not seen since 1916.

In doing so, Obama sneered that we don’t have many bayonets or horses in the military either because times change.

Yet, our Marines are indeed equipped with bayonets. And the soldiers serving in Afghanistan use military horses.

In fact, Vice President Joe Biden was in New York City at Ground Zero for the dedication ceremony for a statue heralding the proud service of our horse-mounted soldiers.

A NY1 story, “Horse Soldiers Statue Rededicated At WTC Site,” reports:

A statue honoring soldiers who served in Afghanistan on horseback was rededicated Friday at the World Trade Center site. The 16-foot-tall Special Operations Horse Soldiers statue, located on Greenwich Street near the Path Station, commemorates when U.S. Special Operations team members rode horses into combat during the American invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

Riding with and advising Northern Alliance warlords fighting the Taliban and al-Qaeda on steep terrain in Northern Afghanistan, it was the first time U.S. troops rode horses in a military operation since 1942.

“Having the terrorist attacks here, bringing this back home, it’s priceless, words can’t describe the pride and honor we all feel,” said U.S. Army “Horse Soldier” Master Sergeant Michael Elmore.

“Only one had ever been on a horse in his life. He is a no kidding cowboy. The other men had never been on a horse. In the spirit of great Special Forces guys they adapted and began to conduct a horse-mounted operation with their Afghan counterparts,” said Special Operations Deputy Commanding General Lieutenant General John Mulholland Jr.

The statue was made possible by private donations, with $750,000 raised in six weeks.

“Mulholland and his guys would never ask for anything and that’s the beauty of it. They’re the quiet professionals so we wanted to do something to recognize them and all those who went and served to fight the battle of 9/11,” said Constellations Group CEO Bill White.

“The message is that military service to your country is an honorable thing,” said Sculptor Douwe Blumberg.

Among those on hand for the ceremony was Johnny Spann, whose son Mike was the first American to die during the invasion while working with the CIA.

“Hopefully the dedication of this Horse Soldier Monument will make people more aware and maybe they will get interested in reading about it or whatever. It’s a part of our history, and it’s important people know exactly what took place,” Spann said.

The statue was first dedicated by Vice President Joe Biden on Veteran’s Day.

During the debate, Obama also noted that he’d been at Ground Zero. Apparently he paid no attention to the statue there. Or perhaps he walked by it and just laughed at how preposterous he thought it was—just like he did in the debate.

It’s even odder to know that celebrity-obsessed Obama didn’t know about the horse soldiers because Hollywood knows. According to a special report at the Daily Caller, “Secret Mission: The Horse Soldiers of 9/11,” “producer Jerry Bruckheimer is producing a future movie about America’s ‘Horse Soldiers.’”

The Daily Caller story begins:

It was the news the world breathlessly waited for immediately after the 9/11 terror attacks: a report of the first American troops on the ground in Afghanistan.

All at once the world’s attention focused on an iconic photo of those Special Operations Forces doing something no American military had done in nearly a century: They rode horses into combat.

Their secret mission: secure northern Afghanistan by advising the warring tribal factions that formed the Northern Alliance. During the 2011 Veterans Day Parade on November 11, a new monument to these men — and to all Americans in uniform — made its way down New York City’s famed Fifth Avenue on the way to its final home, a stone’s throw from Ground Zero.

What a fascinating, uplifting story. One that our President should never belittle with derision dripping from his lips to score political points. In trying to make Romney look small, he mocked our heroes.

And in doing so, he proved he is a very small man with a large ignorance of military equipment.

(hat tip to @LifeOnAHorse for alerting me to the statue story. Follow the retired Navy man. And thanks to @MissSaraEliza for alerting me to the Daily Caller story.)

UPDATE: @AnthonyBialy tweeted a story he found on the Fort Bragg, NC, training center for the horses. The HorseChannel.com post, “Military Mounts at Fort Bragg,” notes:

The rocky terrain found in remote areas of Afghanistan isn’t easy to traverse, even by jeep. Native horses become a mode of transportation. Pack animals, especially donkeys, also become familiar partners. For some of America’s elite troops, however, knowledge of horses and their four-legged relatives isn’t familiar territory. The first time they actually halter a horse, saddle it and ride it may be at Smith Lake Stables.

“That’s why the only horses we get, that the government buys, are what we call dead broke,” Rossignol says. “We can’t afford to have anyone get hurt.”

But there’s more to it than just learning about tacking up and riding a horse, Rossignol says. The troops also learn herd management and how to treat common equine health issues affecting equines.

“We teach them about anatomy and basic vet care,” he says. “That’s because many times these troops are working with the local people.”

That’s one side of the Special Forces that isn’t often seen by the Americans at home. In order to establish a good rapport with an agrarian or nomadic society, a Special Forces member might offer to help care for sick or injured animals owned by local peoples. It’s all part of spreading goodwill.

Yet despite the benefits of maintaining a select group of horses for military training, the horses associated with Fort Bragg have faced some budget cuts. Land originally used for pasture was deemed too valuable for grazing, and horses were moved from the actual military base to their current home at Smith Lake Stables, a few miles away.

|Campaign 2012 | Political Prudence

On Moderators and Fair Share Debate Timing

There the moderator sits. A member of the Gang of 500, the Washington journocrats, The Journocracy, appointed to their role by the Commission on Presidential Debates. Oh, the prestige, the honor, the gleeful stab at those who have held them in lesser esteem.

As the debate begins, most moderators believe they will be fair and impartial. But as time rolls on, the moderator’s irrepressible bias slowly emerges.

See, speaking now is the candidate for whom the journalist has a natural affinity. It’s okay if they let the guy ramble on, they think. Using the “my primary duty is to be a facilitator” excuse, they can generously permit the guy to fully explain his position and make a few attacks on the opposition.

But then it’s the other guy’s turn. Ugh, thinks the moderator, some of his positions are just untenable. How can anyone fall for this baloney?

In a normal interview, the journalist would rake the guy over the coals with a passel of hard-nosed questions. But here on the debate stage, the journalist-as-moderator must foster an appearance of a balanced approach. So they begin tensing up, hoping the guy will shut up soon.

Just as we try to watch Sunday morning news shows with an open mind, the other side’s talking points are often like nails on a chalkboard, rife with so many lies, distortions, naivete and meaningless babble. We just want to scream at the stupidity, tell them a thing or two, or change the channel if it becomes too inane to handle.

But journalist-moderator is stuck there on stage, having to smile and listen to stuff they dislike. Sooner or later, they interrupt. They can’t help it. “All right, all right, I think we’ve got that. Now let’s hear the better side.”

Then when their secretly preferred guys speaks, it’s like a soothing balm. Ah, yes. There’s the logic that America needs to hear, they think as their guy goes over the time limit and beyond. The moderator thinks it would be impolite to interrupt while he is on such a roll. The moderator knows where the candidate’s rambling point is leading and will, with cheerful, hearty forbearance, give him a chance to get there—or perhaps sneak in a little prompting word or two to refocus him on the proper argument if he gets lost.

[Recall when Jim Lehrer rescued a momentarily stumped Obama with the key word "balanced," to which Obama looked grateful and spilled out his stump speech on "balanced approach."]

If the other guy attempts to break in or complain, they get the stink eye the first time and then the verbal rebuke the next.

When it’s finally wrong guy’s turn to speak, again with the grating wrong arguments, the moderator feels they are doing the audience a favor by ending such babble. Surely everyone else must feel the same need to cut him short. But to be generous, the moderator permits a few more seconds, endures it all just a tad more to show how reasonable and balanced they are. And then smack! “Let’s move on.”

Yet, there’s an inherent flaw that goes beyond the impatience the liberal journalist will have for the conservative candidate: The seasoned journalist covers politics daily and has heard much of this information before, but many in the television audience are just now tuning in, and most of it is rather new to them.

By not giving equal time, by constantly interrupting one but not the other, is to give the other side a clear advantage. Time is money. If a candidate were to buy four minutes of national wall-to-wall channel television ad time, just how much would it cost them? This may be the only shot a candidate gets to connect with the audience.

The moderators need to get back to benign moderating. If journalists feel incapable of doing it without putting their stamp on it, let’s have non-journalists do it. How about a business man? Or a housewife? Someone who will just moderate and get out of the way and be fair about it.

If the Commission on Presidential Debates had clocks running showing the audience and the candidates the amount of time they are getting, the moderators would have a much better guide than their internal tolerance clocks to ration out the critical time allotted to each candidate to make his case to the American public.

|Campaign 2012 | Political Prudence

Three Must-See Romney Testimonials

If you weren’t watching the 2012 Republican National Convention before it came on network television at 10pm on Thursday night, you missed some marvelous testimonials about Mitt Romney, the person. I hesitate to describe them because my words cannot do the content justice.

They are all relatively short, especially when considering your vote will last for four long years. It’s worth taking a moment to get to know Mitt Romney.

First, there’s the humbling tale of Pat and Ted Oparowski and their young son David’s terminal illness:

Second, there’s the moving testimonial of Pam Finlayson, a former member of Romney’s church:

Finally, there’s the video compilation of home movies and more testimonials to Romney’s life and career:

Pass the word. Share the videos with the ambivalent. Ask them to give Mitt Romney a chance.

|Campaign 2012 | Political Prudence

Huge Crowd Flocks to Romney-Ryan

A Prudence Paine wire service photographer managed to score a coveted ticket to see the new Romney-Ryan ticket up close and personal as their enthusiastic tour swings through the North Carolina Piedmont area.

Here the unexpectedly huge crowd queues up early in High Point, a city that was once the pinnacle of American furniture craftsmanship and other manufacturing industries. Today, many of its long-heralded companies, factories and stores are closed. The economy is decimated. The people are struggling to survive.

This is a crowd hungry for economic leadership, for a revival in American manufacturing, for simple pride in America.

The media likes to claim that Romney and Ryan are just for rich people. Look at all the rich people that poured into town to hear him speak:

 

The Absolute Style Furniture factory showroom could only hold 500 people (according to unofficial information given to our reporter), but thousands arrived, wanting to check out the new guy on the ticket…

 

A small gaggle of protesters turned up as well.

 

But the crowd was all smiles for the High Point police. No pepper spray was even needed on the protesters!

Once the crowd gets indoors, and into an overflow room, they discover it’s not much cooler indoors. But, as our reporter reports, everyone is feeling very patriotic being there.

 

NOTE: More pictures are coming in. Live-photo blogging it here.

As the heat inside built, so did the anticipation of seeing the candidates. Even the Secret Service guys were smiling.

As the main room was filled to capacity and the overflow rooms were getting packed, the crowd kept streaming in. The invitations has noted that people could not bring liquids to the event. Unfortunately, that made everyone rather parched after waiting for several hours to get into an oven-hot room.

 

The crowd grew so large that the small building couldn’t hold them all in one location, so many are moved into the company’s showrooms where they can view the rally on television screens. Yet the crowd remains cheerful, and your PrudencePaine.com wire reporter reports that “Everyone is sweating like hell but happy laughing and don’t seem to care. Secret service guys are friendly!!!”

Our reporter reported that the crowd at the furniture factory rally was primarily middle-aged, about 35 years old and up mostly. LegalInsurrection readers report that many of the crowd were women. This couple was representing the younger set.

 

The crowd was filled with many people who are already Romney and Ryan fans, and convention hats are already coming out of the mothballs. Paul Ryan told a reporter that he had Nirvana on his iPod. This hat smells like campaign spirit.

When the Romney-Ryan campaign arrived at the Absolute Style Furniture factory, they came in two official tour buses, with a few other assorted buses for press and others.

It’s interesting that the buses have different emphases in their messaging. This must be the Populist bus: “The Romney Plan: For a Stronger Middle Class” and “More Jobs. More Take-Home Pay.”

And this must be the Patriotic bus: “Believe in America.”

Electricity runs through the crowd when the Secret Service escorts arrive to lead the candidates into the factory.

And then the candidates take time to pass by the crowds that haven’t made it inside. (Squint hard! They’re at the back of the police car in this shot.

And then they head inside, where they thrill the people in the two overflow rooms with a brief visit of three minutes or so before heading into the main room to start the rally.

Our reporter reports that by the time the rally began, the heat and dehydration had gotten to a few patriots, as word spread through the crowd that as many as four people had fainted. (Or perhaps they were simply overcome with tingling for a balanced budget.)

For that many people to turn out in the depressed town of High Point, North Carolina, on such short notice, shows that Mitt Romney has indeed injected his ticket with lots of hope for change. The right kind of change. Toward fiscal responsibility. Who knew such a thing would ever turn out a crowd like that?

 The Daily Caller is reporting that over 10,000 people turned out for the High Point rally, with 1,200 gaining entry to the event, and an estimated additional 10,000 crowding along the street outside the building. The AP (typically no friend to Republican candidates) seems to back that up, albeit with different numbers of people in the various locations:

Thousands came to see the GOP ticket at a furniture company in High Point, N.C., on Sunday near Greensboro. About 1,500 waited — some more than five hours — in a cavernous warehouse with struggling air conditioning, while 2,000 packed into a cleared-out furniture showroom where the air was sticky and heavy. Thousands more stood behind barriers erected on the street outside — Romney and Ryan stopped on their way in to give high fives to a few in the cheering crowd.

A bit about Absolute Style: It is a “minority-owned” business, in that its owner is a woman, Melanie McNamara. In May, the local Business Journal noted that it was adding five to six jobs to its 28-person workforce, and they had already received 200 applications. That illustrates the dire situation of the High Point furniture industry, and how small businesses willing to take chance are going to be the key to getting this economy back on track.

 
UPDATE:
The Greensboro News & Record put the crowd estimate even higher:

They drew an estimated crowd of 10,000 to 15,000 people in High Point, with only a limited number getting into the venue to hear the speeches.

 

|Nostalgia

The 2011 2nd Annual Sooper-Proodey Year In Review Awards

[Lights dim. Timpani drum roll. Baritone-voiced announcer booms throughout the auditorium.]

Ladies and gentlemen…welcome! to the 2011 Second Annual Sooper-Proodey Awards. Here are your hosts, SooperMexican and Prudence Paine.

[Curtains part. Sooper enters in a dashing black tuxedo and red cape, with Proodey in a matching evening gown, to uproarious applause. Soop smiles and motions for everyone to take their seats.]

Thank you, thank you. You are too kind. Gracias. Thank you. It’s such a pleasure to have you all join us once again as we take a moment on New Year’s Day to look over all the scandals, shenanigans, milestones and memories of the past year. As with our inaugural 2010 ceremony, we’ll mark our progress with comparisons to the previous year. Proodey?

Thank you, Soop. It’s such an exciting night! What a glamorous audience! So many glittering awards! Without further ado, let’s get the big show rolling with our first golden trophy:

[heralding trumpets]

THE FEDERAL BOOT ON OUR THROATS AWARD

In 2010, the Obama administration erected a federal caged wrestling ring and  demonstrated their cunning honey badger nature in carrying out their grudge match against Big Business. We all gasped at their audacity as Obama’s tag team threw the giant BP to the mat, cracked the Folding Chair of Due Process over its corporate corpus and placed their lead-filled boot on the company’s throat until it cried “uncle” and stuffed twenty billion dollars into the presidential unitard.

In 2011, the O-team has not let up on its full-scale assault on the engines of the US economy, breathing down Business’ back and picking its pockets, acting like they just don’t care as corporate America yelps for mercy. This year, the Obama crew has gone after private industry with a vengeance, smashing the beautifully inlaid neck of  Gibson Guitar with a piledriver maneuver and putting the Keystone Pipeline in a sleeper hold.

And this year’s winner…or more appropriately, this year’s loser of the Federal Boot on the Throat Award is…

[pops envelope flap open]

Boeing! [approving applause]

Obama’s union minions dizzied this behemoth with a lengthy airplane spin, until it begged to be allowed to use union labor forevermore. Congratulations, fellas! For caving in to the National Labor Relations Board‘s demands, your planes will being weighted down with a fat and nappy workforce for years to come. Come on up and claim your award, Boeing!

[The still punch-drunk Boeing staggers toward the stage but stumbles and falls into some starlet's lap. Audience gasps, giggles and guffaws.]

Ooof! Boeing’s gonna have one major hangover tomorrow! That’s okay, boys. We’ll send your award over to you, with an icepack and some bloody mary mix. Take it away, Soop! What’s up next?

[Sooper takes the microphone.] Thank you, Proodence.

On a more somber note, every year we see capricious mother Gaia strike down our fellow man for our sins against our emotional global mother. In 2010, Haiti experienced one of the worst nature-caused disasters, and 2011 had its own share of anguish and misery. A massive earthquake struck off the coast of Japan, which triggered a disastrous tsunami. Storms hit Alabama with terrible results, flooding enveloped Thailand, and a 7.2 earthquake caused many deaths in Turkey.

In order to recognize that life has many trials and tribulations, we offer the following acknowledgement:

THE WORST GAIA-CURSED DISASTER TO BEFALL MAN FOR 2011

…and the winnah is…

[bongo beats]

The 2012 GOP Presidential Candidates!!!

[wild applause]

Yes, yes, even the most positive Pollyannaish pro-Republican ideologue could not but grimace at the stumbling and bumbling events of the 2012 GOP run to replace Obama. From Cain’s numerous “indiscretions,” which were obviously trumped up by pizza-hating conspirators, and Rick Perry’s marble-mouthed rhetorical skills, to Michele Bachmann’s flapping eyelashes, Ron Paul’s Paulophrenia, and Mitt Romney’s placid smile programmed and poll-tested by his Wall Street puppeteers, no one seems pleased by the debates. No one, that is, except the Democrats, as the venerable Thomas Sowell points out.

Let’s not forget whiny Rick Santorum, demanding attention like a petulant teacher’s pet, or Jon Huntsman, the only one running for European president of the United States, with his not-so-subtle condescension and clumsy attempts at edgy humor. There was the awful effort by Donald Trump’s toupee to moderate a debate in order to promote his show and advocate the bombing of China and the forced extraction of Iraqi children’s vital fluids.

Today the feeding frenzy will be consummated by the first caucus, in Iowa, and the circular firing squad will arm itself with automatic weaponry to take more victims on this bloody, weary road to challenge Obama. More and more, we, the conservative public, are seized with the boring dread of impending election acceptance. Perhaps this campaign season has done to us what 40 years of Europeanized social engineering could not do: afflicted us with existential ennui!

[Prudence emerges from the curtain and briskly joins SooperMexican at the microphone. Smiling she says:] *ahem* Excuse me, ladies and gentlemen. I need just a quick word with my cohost here…

[With a clenched smile, she whispers into Soop's ear. The audience hushes to strain to listen to her barely audible words over the PA.] Mexy! While I can tolerate some gentle jabbing at MY Michele and the two Ricks, I did not know that you were going to protect one candidate from any lambasting. And how convenient that unmentioned candidate just happens to be YOUR candidate, the Noot!!!!

[Soop gently shoves Proodey behind curtain]

As I was saying… Not even Paul Krugman could see an upside to this disaster, and he’s a Keynesian! I need a tequila shot or three. Proodey, take away the next award!

 

Thank you, NewtperMexican.

[Proodey slips a mickey into Soop's drink while he's distracted by her dress.]

Last year, the Tea Party changed the face of Congress and put fear in the pants of big spenders. Did Time magazine make the Tea Party the Man of the Year, acknowledge that they had made the greatest impact on the events of 2010? Silly question, I know. Of course it did not. Because Time does not agree with the Tea Party’s objectives.

Yet Time had the brazenness to name a bunch of rock-throwing, raping, cop-car-defecating, lice-infested hipsters as its 2011 Man of the Year. It raised on to its liberal pedestal people who have no mission other than to provoke local police forces and municipal governments that have no means to resolve their unstated concerns even if they agreed with them.

Therefore, in honor of Time‘s glorification of civic inanity and hippie nostalgia, we present…

TIME’S SCAM OF THE YEAR AWARD!

We searched through all the Occupy Wall Street videos to find the one that best captures their purpose, their intelligence, their method of communicating to shine the light on Time’s vaunted Man of the Year.

And the winner is…..

Nightmare on Occupy Wall Street! [audience gives twinkles]

Ecce the prime example of what Time (the measure, not the magazine) will soon forget, if it ever took notice in the first place:

[applause]

Take it away, el Sooper! Not that I’m implying that you steal stuff. By the way, I’d like my hubcaps back, please….

They have been appropriated for the glorious Reconquista.

This year has seen the coming-of-age of that venerable social media microblogging platform that I like to call… el Twitter. We saw celebrities, sports figures, politicians, pundits all make headlines because of their inane and often incredibly stupid gaffes on twitter! In addition, we saw many bloggers and citizen journalists use this media to seize fifteen minutes of fame, and beyond!

Last year, we awarded this honor named for Meghan McCain to Keith Olbermann, the worst tweeter in the world; this year, we have many, many worthy nominees competing for the coveted:

MEGHAN McCAIN BOOBY PRIZE!

And the winner is… [breaks pinata… kids grab all the candies. Soop waltzes into the mexi-throng, grabs an envelope and opens it…]

The winner is Alec Baldwin!!

[the crowd goes wild, laughing and clapping and tweeting insults to the #AlecBaldwin hashtag]

Because he’s been committed to a sanatorium, to accept his prize is his interlocutor and twitter nemesis, SooperMexican!! [hands award to himself]

Only Alec Baldwin could carry the moron torch that hath been passed on by Keith Olbermann with his liberal twitter rant spurtings. He began his lonely drunken march into insanity by tussling with a very handsome and witty Sooper Mexican on twitter once, and then once again. He insulted America’s moms, and tried to mock conservatives on twitter by comparing his follower and tweet counts! Now there’s a man who’s secure with himself.

To add insult to his own mental injury, he caused a scene on an airplane, had to be tossed off by the captain, and tweeted arrogantly about it. He then shamelessly portrayed the pilot apologizing to Baldwin on Saturday Night Live, showing the entire world his smug vainglory cannot be quelled! Thankfully, the ridicule he received made him recede from the twittersphere at least

Finally, as a Christmas gift to America, Alec sadly announced that his dream had died of rising above a bit character on a sitcom with poor ratings and running for mayor of New York City.

As the writer of the twitter pebble that got the big idiotic elitist rock rolling towards the abyss, I’d like to say, “Thank you, Alec. Thank you so much.”

[Sooper bows to a standing ovation, breaks the award over his knee, and motions to Prudence.]

That was quite a sooper smackdown! And the bad behavior continued all over the world all year long—and not just by celebrities. Politicians competed to see who could crash and burn in the most dazzling sex scandal. In honor of 2010′s most bizarre sex scandal leading to the resignation of a political figure, we present…

[tambourine shake, shake, shake, thump]

THE ERIC MASSA “TICKLE ME” AWARD!

And our nominees are…

[chorus of bleating vuvuzela horns]

Arnold Schwarzenegger! He admitted to his mistress and his 13-year-old love child. Since he waited until after his term as a liberal Republican governor of California ran out before he revealed this teenage tidbit, he didn’t lose his job—-but he did lose a wife…maybe.

Then there’s John Edwards. Fortunately for us, he never made it into the Pennsylvania Avenue job for which he tried to sell his soul on Ebay, so it wasn’t his to lose. Yet there was enough proof that an old woman (and others) bought him, so he could pass her money on to hush up his pregnant honey. After years of his running from the law and paparazzi, a grand jury handed down an indictment earlier this year, leaving him to insinuate that he was contemplating suicide and begging his mistress to marry him or move in so that she can’t testify against him.

Across the pond, there was Silvio Berlusconi losing his long-held job as Italy’s Prime Minister for his hosting teenage prostitutes at his “bunga bunga” sex dinners. (Guess even Italians that elect a porn star and a pre-op transgender communist to their parliament have their limits for political propriety.)

Straddling the pond, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the International Monetary Fund, got accused of rape by a hotel maid, only to have the New York district attorney drop the charges against him when the woman’s accusations seemed to fall apart, but not before DSK resigned from his job and a French journalist claimed he tried to rape her during an interview in 2002.

Businessman Herman Cain’s train to the White House was quickly derailed once decade-old charges of sexual harassment turned into the revelation of a 13-year mistress. (Wonder if a numerologist would connect him and Arnold on that?)

And last but not least, we have the Three Lustkateers: Chris Lee (R-NY), he of the bare chested Craigslist ad that turns out of have been seeking transgendered hookups; David Wu (D-OR), happily insane he of the footie tiger suit and affair with the underage daughter of a supporter; and Anthony Weiner (D-NY), he of the underwear tweets who apparently was also trying to arrange a male-dominated menage a trois with women he was sexting around the country.

Trannies and tigers and trios, oh my!

Out of all of these philanderers, the one that tickles us the most, and therefore the winner, is….may I have the envelope please…

[Andrew Breitbart moseys out and over to the microphone, carrying the award envelope. He addresses the surprised audience, as their bewilderment turns to excited cheers of recognition.]

I’m here coincidentally. I just arrived at LaGuardia and at the media’s request, I came on over. I didn’t know they were going to be announcing this. I’m staying at a hotel about three blocks away, so I decided to come on by and see who the winner was. [Audience murmurs. Breitbart rips open the envelope]

And the winner of the Tickle Me Massa Award is…

…for perpetuating a false malicious meme in blaming the messenger, blowing up his own job while still keeping his Twitter open (unlike Alec Baldwin doing the reverse)

WeinerGate!

[Thunderous audience applause]

Thank you, Andrew Breitbart for stopping by. [Audience applauds and stands, as he walks off the stage]

Let’s use this moment to present our new…

LIGHTNING AWWWWWWWAAAARRRRDDDDD!

This special prize goes to our favorite RedEye correspondent on the Fox News late night show. We completely neglected this prestigious award last year, so this fella will be forever known as our first recipient. [audience shifts nervously in their seats]

And the winner is… [maracas shake]

Flamenco Chihuahua!!!!!

[Audience erupts into cheers and begins a conga line through the auditorium to Juanlu Montoya's "Ana Maria"!]

But now, back to our regularly scheduled programming, and here’s SooperMexy with another major award!

[Sooper saunters out, margarita in hand, as a mariachi band plays a peppy tune.]

I’m not sure what’s in this drink. Or what’s going on at this awards show.

As we peer glassy-eyed through the hazy margarita glass of news stories past, we’re reminded of the domestic terror attack way back in February 2010 on the IRS building in Austin, Texas. The media took no small measure of glee in quickly connecting it to every conservative they could think of, short of claiming it was an inside job organized by Abe Lincoln. 2011 saw its own share of some of the worst knee-jerk media reactions to underdeveloped stories. But with the emergence of New Media, the common person has been able to define for himself the context of the news he reads, and even craft his own headlines! In fact, pinko commie media has gotten so bad, conservatives have gotten tired of hearing about it; it’s the same old story, over and over.

In that spirit, let’s delve into boredom once more, and see the worst…

KNEE-JERK MEDIA REACTION of 2011!

[tweets out to the prize committee from his iPhone. Receives a direct message… reads:]

And the winner is.. whoah! This unprecedented!!! A Three-Way tie!!! [confused applause]

The winners are… the pathetic media coverage of the Arab Spring in Egypt, the tragic shooting of Gabby Giffords, and the Oslo shooter!

The supposed Arab Spring in Egypt was lauded by media pundits as a democratic uprising against a Middle Eastern tyrant, Hosni Mubarak. As the coverage continued, as much as news outlets wanted to assign credit to their saint and savior Barack Obama, he would not speak out in favor of the revolution, nor would he send any support. The days ticked by as his bony, gangly finger stuck stubbornly in the air, trying to sense what wind of fortune would direct his vague and ill-conceived foreign policy. Meanwhile, the media, and later, the Occupy protestors, gladly embraced the overthrow, with not a thought to the chance that maybe this pro-Western despot might be the only thing keeping the extremist Islamo-fascists from power.

Now, in an incredible effort to backpedal, the Left is trying to rebrand the Muslim Brotherhood as moderates, since even more extreme Islamists seized power in recent elections. It’s tough to stay intellectually honest while justifying your discredited biases!

Second, just to be fair, is the knee-jerk reaction of conservatives, including myself, when the horrible news of the Oslo shootings came out. Immediately, and I think reasonably, many conservatives posited that this was an Islamist attack. As the details came out, we realized that this was the shooter the media was waiting for: Caucasian, supposedly Christian, easily labeled as a right-wing extremist. Then, surprisingly, as more details came out, he seemed to end up being some weird mix of European nationalism and Nietzschean power-of-the-will atheist existentialism.

Finally, the terrible shooting of Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) provided us with the worst and most maddening of knee-jerk reactions by the media. Before the victims’ blood could dry, the media had already gleefully pinned this on Sarah Palin and other conservatives. Markos of the Daily Kos broke the speed of sound while running to type this accusation: “Mission Accomplished, Sarah Palin.” They voraciously reported on any tidbit of insinuation that the insane shooter, Jared Loughner, was a Tea Partier (he wasn’t), a Rush Limbaugh enthusiast (nope, not that either), or a rabid conservative (wrong again). As it turns out, he was obsessed with a grammatical conspiracy that brainwashes Americans.

Far from admitting his insanity, and their culpability, the media will allow the occasional vague attribution of guilt to Sarah Palin, the lightning rod of liberal criticism. This was so egregious that it occasioned an famous opinion column by Jonah Goldberg entitled “To Hell With You People,” wherein he documents instance after instance of Democrats calling conservatives terrorists, and then claiming the high ground when accusing us of violent hate-speech that supposedly led to the Giffords’ shooting.

So to you, the gutless, idiotic, double-faced media, we give you this award. We’re sure there will be many more to come!

Ahhh, what a show! *hic* As this ceremony and what’s left of my sobriety come to a close, I’d like to thank everyone for such a great year in twitter politics! Oh the hashtag games, and snarky political commentaritweets that we had! And a great big thanks to guest bloggerette Prudence Paine!!

And thank you to my debonair guest blogger, SooperMexican. What a night it’s been! Your chariot awaits, Mexy. [loads him into a wheelbarrow and starts rolling him out]

[SooperMexy calls out over his shoulder:] But before you go, vote on the last GringOpinion poll of 2011: which one of the awardees should win the grand prize? Write-ins welcome!

 

[curtain closes. orchestra begins the recessional music. audience meanders out in a daze...AFTER casting their poll vote!]

|Campaign 2012 | Political Prudence

Chris Farley Does Newt

Back when Newt Gingrich was Speaker of the House, to celebrate the first 100 days of the Republican-controlled Congress and the Contract With America, the House Republicans had a surprise visit from Saturday Night Live comedian Chris Farley, who did a great Newt impression on the show.

The performance he gave to the meeting is hilarious. The late Farley was so respectful of Newt and seemed genuinely honored to perform for them.

See the young, but still tan John Boehner. Dick ArmyArmey. (oops! as someone likes to say.) Sonny Bono. Tom Delay.

This gem was recovered thanks to a commenter on Jonah Goldberg’s essay on the bad Bret Baier–Mitt Romney interview. Govicide wrote:

Maybe Mitt would be happier if we brought Chris Farley back from the dead and Mitt could do Chris’ show on SNL? I can see it now:

Chris: You . . . uh . . . (slaps himself) . . . you remember Romneycare?

Mitt: Yes, yes, I do, Chris.

Chris: That was awesome.

If you’ve forgotten Farley’s nervous interviewer, here’s a bit of that with Jeff Daniels:

..and with Paul McCartney

Oh, yes, Mitt would have loved Farley as his interviewer instead of Baier. (In case you missed the Baier interview, Conservative Daily News has a clip of it.)

That comment caused comedian and New York Post editorialist Rob George to tweet how Farley used to do a great Newt. Isn’t Twitter great? (Thanks also to SooperMexican, whose tweet alerted me to the Jonah essay.)

Here’s just a bit more of Farley’s Newt for your enjoyment:

|Campaign 2012 | Political Prudence

The Candidates All Get Prettier at Closing Time

Ah. What a relief that the presidential candidacy announcement season is over. I’ve been acting like one of those guys who sits at a table with a bevy of beautiful women but still can’t help scanning the room to check out all the other tables.

As one of those who has been finicky in looking over the crop of GOP candidates, I’ve felt something, someone, has been missing, but I couldn’t say specifically what or who.

I’ve anxiously watched Chris Christie being wined and dined out of the corner of my eye. I say anxious, because no matter how much I adore his no-nonsense approach to combating naysayers, I have little faith that a Republican governor of New Jersey can be anything other than a centrist. (His endorsement today of Mitt Romney rather proves my point.)

Christie’s lurking presence distracted me not because I hoped he would saunter over and take a seat at my table, but because I worried he would. So I breathed a sigh of relief when Christie gave his final “no” and walked out of the room.

I’ve also watched people trying to drag Marco Rubio into the room by his arm. The Tea Party managed to select and elect a stalwart group of young conservatives that can form a powerful core to lead the legislative branch back to sanity. I do find Rubio a very attractive presidential possibility, but we can’t have our true conservatives abandon the Senate before we even gain a majority there.

Fortunately, the freshman Florida Senator put the kibosh on that, eloquently declaring last week that he wouldn’t even accept a VP offer for 2012. Bless him for that.

And then, there was the one I had been awaiting. As my dining companions have jostled for my attention, I kept rudely craning my neck every time Sarah Palin walked by. Here she comes! Maybe she’ll take a seat this time. Aw, there she goes. But she did wink as she passed! Here she comes again. Aw, there she goes. And so on.

The poor candidates already at the table vying for my affection could do little more than talk a little bit louder, be a little bit quippier, move a little bit righter, to try to get me to focus on them.

Therefore, it surprised me that I wasn’t as disappointed as I thought I would be by Palin’s announcement that she would not run this time. She would make a superb president. But oh, what a battle that would have been.

The frenzy that the media would have gone into immediately to rip her to shreds would have been massive and passionate. The internecine war between the Tea Party and the Establishment GOP would have gone nuclear.

The 13-month fight to get Palin over the finish line would have been exhausting, and it would have sucked much of the oxygen out of the down-ticket races. Yet, with Palin now in the midst of the crowd with us instead of up on the debate stage, we have an exciting, unpredictable weapon in her to push for electing true conservatives.

All three, Christie, Rubio and Palin, seem to have found the right path for themselves and for us. With their announcements, they cleared the room of all the stragglers and re-considerers.

Now it’s just me and my table. The night is growing late. There’s no one left to distract me from giving my dining companions my full attention. It’s finally time to pit them against one another and choose my favorite from among them. They’re not all beautiful, but each does have attractive qualities.

With the 2012 election deciding the fate of our country, I don’t want to make a mistake and pick the wrong candidate. Therefore, I’m going to give them all a chance again, even those I’d previously knocked out of consideration (hint, hint, Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul and Gary Johnson).

Herman Cain and Rick Perry will be under extra scrutiny now, because if they stay at the top of the pack, there’s no one new that can swoop in and bump them off the hill. I do hope that Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann can make a strong showing in the debate and move up in the set field. I think they got dismissed too early. It didn’t matter so much before because I was still hoping the perfect candidate would enter the race. But in the post-Christie, post-Rubio, post-Palin world, they might hold the best balance of qualities those candidates would have brought.

And if my wandering eye gets to itching, it turns out I can give a once-over to a bunch more declared GOP presidential candidates I’ve never heard of or have forgotten: Fred Karger, Andy Martin, Jimmy “The Rent Is Too Damn High” McMillan, Tom Miller, Buddy Roemer (yes, the former Democrat Governor of Louisiana) and Vern Wuensche.

So the Dartmouth debate will be a very important date. Each candidate has another chance to woo me. I’m looking to avoid the “dud” from the old board game Mystery Date.

I want a long-term plan, not some short-term stimulating fling. I’m not interested in someone who will beguile me with gifts and flattery or whisper sweet nothings in my ear. That’s how we got to where we are. I want a commitment to honesty and straight talk. No gamblers need apply. Baby does need a new pair of shoes, but rolling the taxpayer dice isn’t the way to get them.

All right, candidates, sweep me off my feet. I’m ready to be taken off the candi-date market. Let’s hear your best proposal.

Bonus: If the website links and debate performances still leave doubt on who is the best candidate, Reason Magazine has just hung out a matchmaker shingle to act as e-Harmony for the GOP with its Find Your True Love quiz.