Welcome to Amateur Hour at the White House.  Our clowns on staff will be with you shortly…

My ancestors were hunting native Americans before Tennessee was a state.  We’re not afraid to defend our country against the excesses of a government out of control.

Until more heads roll, let’s see how many scandals we can cause after these first rounds have had their full impact.

Dad, you shall be avenged!

Humpity Dumpity stuck his finger in the pie after pulling it out of the dyke…err, I mean dike

I admit I’m getting confused.  With every new story coming out about the bumbling government’s overreach, I ask myself, will the real POTUS please stand up?:

Give me liberty or give me a dearth of bad comedy timing.

More precious presidential precedental presentiments

Once, when U.S. President Martin Van Buren was receiving guests at a White House levee, Henry Clay sidled up to him and whispered that it must be pleasant to be surrounded by so many friends.

“Well,” said Van Buren cautiously, “the weather is very fine.”

— from The American Talleyrand: The Career and Contemporaries of Martin Van Buren, by Holmes Alexander (New York, 1935), p. 406.

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When Congress was discussing independence, according to a story Thomas Jefferson told a friend in his old age, meetings were held near a livery-stable, and the meeting hall was besieged by flies.

The delegates wore short breeches and silk stockings; while they talked they also busily lashed the flies from their legs with their handkerchiefs.

The flies were so vexatious, Jefferson said, that the delegates finally decided to sign the Declaration of Independence at once and get away from the place as quickly as possible.

Jefferson told the story “with much glee,” said the friend; he was amused by “the influence of the flies” on so momentous an event.

— from The Domestic Life of Thomas Jefferson by Sarah N. Robinson (New York, 1871), page 421 n.

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Ronald Reagan turned seventy in February 1981 and joked about his age in a speech at a Washington Press Club dinner.

“I know your organisation was founded by six Washington newspaperwomen in 1919,” he remarked; then, after a slight pause, added: “It seems like only yesterday.”

Middle age, he went on to say, “is when you’re faced with two temptations and you choose the one that will get you home at 9 o’clock.”

And, after quoting Thomas Jefferson’s advice not to worry about one’s age, he exclaimed: “And ever since he told me that, I stopped worrying.”

— “Reagan’s One-Liners,” New York Times, February 6, 1981, page A13.

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President Reagan was famous for his one-liners.  Even in emergencies he preserved his good humour and toss off quip after quip to reassure those around him.  An attempt on his life early in his Presidency left him as calm and unruffled as Theodore Roosevelt had been after a similar attack many years before.

Early in the afternoon of March 30, 1981, a deranged young loner pumped a fusillade of explosive bullets into the President, his press secretary and two law enforcement officers as they were coming out of the Washington-Hilton Hotel.

Reagan was rushed to the hospital with a serious chest wound, but when he was wheeled into the operating room he grinned and told the surgeon: “Please assure me that you are all Republicans!”

“Today,” responded one of the doctors, “we’re all good Republicans, Mr. President.”

A few hours after surgery the President wrote his doctors a note which parodied comedian W.C. Fields: “All in all, I’d rather be in Philadelphia.”

A little later hie sent another note from the intensive-care section to White House aides waiting outside: “Winston Churchill said ‘There’s no more exhilarating feeling than being shot at without result.'”

Two hours later came a third note: “If I had had this much attention in Hollywood, I’d have stayed there.”

— “Reagan Out of Surgery,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, March 31, 1981, page 2a; “Cooler Reagan Visits with Agent,” ibid., April 5, 1981.

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By spring 1979, when Jimmy Carter visited New Hampshire, his administration was beginning to come under heavy criticism.  When a newswoman in Portsmouth asked him whether his daughter Amy ever bragged about her father’s being President, Carter said, “No, she probably apologizes.”

— “He Can Catch Fire,” Time, CXIII (May 7, 1979), page 19.

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One time while Calvin Coolidge was president of the Massachusetts senate, two Senators got into an angry debate during which one told the other to go to hell.  Furious, the latter called on Coolidge to do something about it.

“I’ve looked up the law, Senator,” Coolidge told him, “and you don’t have to go there.”

— from Meet Calvin Coolidge by Edward C. Lathem (Brattleboro, Vt., 1960), page 7.

Mayberry RFD, the next generation

So, word on the street in Hollywood is a remake of the Andy Griffith Show, with Opie returning to his hometown, OR…

A live version of the Archie comic series, because…

we’ve already re/made these:

So many more to read at my leisure before digging gold in Canada.

Did somebody mention the Gold Diggers?

The older I get…

Seems like the confusion just gets worse, the older I get and the longer I’m retired.

Just the other day, I went to see the movie “Moonrise Kingdom” with my wife.

Boy, was I disappointed!

I mean, I saw that a guy named Wes and a gal named Coppola had cowritten the film, Wes had directed it.

So, I assume it’s going to be another Wes Craven story, something along the likes of a gangster horror film.

I don’t know, maybe zombie gangsters, or gangsters that know what you did last summer and haunt your dreams.

Not a single gangster!!

And the closest there was to any real horror was a leftie scissors stabbing, a dead dog, a hurricane, a flood and two lightning strikes!!!

Is that the best they could do to try to scare us?

No scarab beetles stabbed on fishing hooks, coming alive and eating their way into kids’ brains?  No fog rolling in off the sea and stealing souls?  No talking snakes or revengeful Indians on the warpath?

Instead, we get cute, cuddly, fun-to-watch, coming-of-age story about two misfit 12-year olds on an island off the northeast coast of the U.S., shades of “Blue Lagoon” hanging in the air not far from “Lord of the Flies” and [pick your favourite summer camp story on celluloid]?

With a soundtrack based primarily on the scores of Benjamin Britten?

Not a single reference to “Apocalypse Now” or ‘”The Godfather”?

Does Wes or Sofia hope to have a successful film director/writer career based on these facts?

Will the actors in the film survive this debacle?  Has anyone ever heard of Bruce Willis or Harvey Keitel in anything but a good, mindless, testosterone-filled action flick?

Why, when I was a kid, these guys would’ve sliced off an ear or yelled, “Yippie-kai-yea, [Mister Falcon]!,” while machinegunning the bad guys, and then spoken a few clever lines to give us the mere whiff, a subliminal suggestion, of a plot to tie the bloodshed together.

Now they’re sleeping in tents, popping pills and snoring in fifth-wheel campers that aren’t part of the portable dressing room sets that belong to major studios.

I guess we all get old, left to reminisce about our first loves, the perplexity of so-called adults and our invincible belief of being in charge of our lives as soon as we started thinking for ourselves…

If someone recommends I see “Brave,” forget it.  I’m going to watch a marathon run of “Braveheart” ten times in a row to earn back my mancard!!!

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Thanks to Josh, JoNathan, Cathy, Coldwater Creek cougars, Justin, Robbie, Mr. Thigpen, Spencer and others.

Gems and Nuggets — Part Two

More in what-reading-the-local-news-makes-for-entertainment department:

And last but not least, a kid’s perspective (which reminds me, my wife liked the film “John Carter” better than the film “Hunger Games”; at the least the first one was quasioriginal, as opposed to the hackjob hodgepodge of the second (“Running Man” meets “The Truman Show” meets “Survivor” meets…)):