Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Romney Campaign selectively edits great speeches from history

By now you probably know all about the Romney campaign’s creative editing of President Obama’s “You didn’t build that” quote, in which they changed the meaning of what Obama said by editing out the first part of the President’s sentence. It’s not the first time the Romney campaign has been caught splicing Obama quotes to change their meaning. We got to wondering, what if Romney’s crack editing team went to work editing some famous speeches from history? How could they change their meaning, just by cutting out some key parts of the speech? Let’s take a look…

Abe Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address:
“Four score and seven years ago, our fathers died in vain.”

Patrick Henry’s “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” speech:
“I beseech you, sir. Give me chains and slavery, not liberty or death.”

JFK’s Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You speech:  
 “Let the word go forth, from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that there is little we can do, for we dare not meet a powerful challenge.”
Ronald Reagan’s “Tear Down This Wall” speech:
“Mr. Gorbachev, I fear war and I pledge to you to tear down my country’s defenses.”

Lou Gehrig “Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth” speech:
“Fans, today I consider … I have never received anything from you fans. I would give my right arm to beat those boys in white coats.”

FDR’s “The Only Thing We Have to Fear is Fear Itself” speech:
“The only thing we have to fear is government, the dark, a plague of locusts, and me.”

Winston Churchill’s “This Was Their Finest Hour” speech:
“I spoke the other day of the colossal military disaster which occurred when the French High Command failed to withdraw the northern Armies from Belgium at the moment when they knew that the French front was decisively broken at Sedan and on the Meuse. This delay entailed the loss of fifteen or sixteen French divisions and the battle in France has been lost. They have suffered severely. This was their finest hour.”

MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech:
“I am happy to join with you today to cash a check our republic wrote. And so we’ve come to demand the riches and take the tranquilizing drug and blow off steam. We must degenerate into physical violence. Distrust all white people! We will not be satisfied until the hotels of the cities are free at last for black men only.”

Hamlet’s Soliloquy, by William Shakespeare:
“To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether ‘tis Nobler to suffer the whips with a bare bodkin? To grunt and sweat, rub that flesh?”

Jesus (Mark 8:34-38) “Gaining The World, Losing Your Soul”:
“Good News. If any of you wants to follow my selfish ways, my adulterous and sinful days with the holy angels, you benefit if you gain the whole world. Is anything worth more?”

Friday, July 20, 2012

Michele Bachmann links NASA officials to terrorists, says astronaut secretly married to “blonde genie” from Baghdad

WASHINGTON – Former GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann and four other conservative members of Congress are charging that an American astronaut, Air Force Captain Anthony “Tony” Nelson, may have ties to Muslim extremists through his wife, who Bachmann described as “a beautiful 2000-year-old magic genie, coincidentally named Jeannie, who lives in a bottle.”
“She’s blonde, but she’s an Iraqi,” says Bachmann, “from Baghdad. Though she speaks perfect English. She used to be in a harem, apparently.”

Bachmann and the four other representatives sent letters to top intelligence and security officials warning that they believe Jeannie is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, a global religious Islamic movement whose members have been linked to extremist groups in the past. The letter said they believe the group may have infiltrated the top levels of the nation’s space agency.

Besides Captain Nelson, they pointed the finger at Army Captain Roger Healey, who they described as Nelson’s best friend, Air Force psychiatrist Colonel Alfred Bellows and his wife, Amanda, and beloved cartoon rodent Mickey Mouse, whom Bachmann claims she saw plotting with another Disney character, the big, blue genie from “Aladdin,” while the congresswoman was at Disney World recently on a family vacation.

NASA released a statement denying any knowledge of the mysterious Jeannie, and said they have no record of a Captain Anthony Nelson serving in the agency.

Bachmann did not back down, however, saying she would “not be silent as this administration appeases our enemies,” and saying she wants a full investigation into the Muslim Brotherhood’s ties to NASA.

Bachmann said that she has uncovered proof that “after Obama wins a second term, this shadowy cabal plans to take all our guns and steal the moon.”

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Rominator: "I'll be back -- to retroactively retire!"

Mitt Romney campaign advisor Ed Gillespie now says that Romney “retired retroactively” from Bain Capital in 2002. That is, in 2002, he climbed into his hot tub time machine, went back to 1999, and retired from the company he had been President, CEO, Chairman of the Board and sole shareholder of all those years,  collecting a salary of at least $100,000 annually.

Welcome to the summer's biggest blockbuster: The Rominator.

In a world where the Etch-a-Sketch isn’t enough, send The Rominator!

The Rominator: A human-looking, apparently unstoppable cyborg named Mitt Romney, or The Rominator, is sent from the future to fix all of Mitt Romney's past mistakes before he can ruin Mitt’s chances to become President in 2012.

It’s a brilliant strategy. So brilliant, in fact, that the Romney campaign has announced that, as of today, he has also traveled back in time to 2006 and retroactively vetoed Romneycare, the Massachusetts health reform law Romney created and signed as governor of the state in 2006. Hasta la vista, Romneycare!
In addition, the Romney campaign has announced that The Rominator has taken the following retroactive steps:

* Traveled back in time to retroactively change his early positions on abortion, stem cell research, gay rights, immigration, gun policy and climate change to comport with the new, “severely conservative” Romney positions.

* Traveled back in time to 1983 and retroactively took Seamus, the family dog, off the roof of the car.

* Traveled back in time and retroactively closed his bank accounts in the Caymans, Bermuda, Luxembourg and Switzerland.

* Traveled back in time to March 12, 1947, and retroactively convinced his parents not to name him Willard.

* Traveled back in time to March, 1975, and retroactively founded Apple Computer and Microsoft, making him the richest man in the world and King of the Internet.

* Traveled back in time to May, 1997, and retroactively wrote the first Harry Potter novel.

* Traveled back in time to 1912 and retroactively steered the Titanic around the iceberg.

* Traveled back in time to 1952 and retroactively developed the polio vaccine.

* Traveled back in time to 1879 and retroactively invented electricity.

* Traveled back in time to 1776 and retroactively signed the Declaration of Independence.

* Traveled back in time to 1491 and retroactively discovered America.

* Traveled back in time to the Stone Age and retroactively discovered fire.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Bain Curse: A Sam Stain Caper -- Chapter 1: The Romney Ringer

He walked into my office like Frankenstein, stiff-legged in his old man jeans, and flashed what he must have thought was a winning smile. He was blandly handsome, like he’d just climbed off the cover of the Just For Men box, but not before dumping the goop all over his head. His hair was black, too black for his 60-some-odd years. Except for the sideburns, which had apparently seen a ghost.

“Are you Stain?” he asked. “Sam Stain, Private Investigator?”

I looked up from the cig I was rolling at my desk. “That’s what it says on the door,” I said, nodding at the flaking sign on the frosted glass window, right above the bullet hole a client had put there a few years back, just after she’d seen my bill. I really needed to get that fixed. 

I licked the rolling paper, rolled it together and stuck the blunt in my mouth. It tasted like a dead toe, but at least it was cheap. I lit it, inhaled and blew the smoke up at the bland man hovering over me.

The smile faded away from Just For Men’s tanned, garden-variety face, and he said, “I’m W. Mitt Romney. I’d like to hire you, Mr. Stain.”

“What for?” I said.

“It’s kind of hard to explain,” he said, running a hand through that too-black hair. He pulled my other chair out and sat down across from me. “It all started back in ’94, when I ran for office for the first time. Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat.”

“I remember,” I said. “You ran as a lefty. And not just slightly liberal, either – you were like Kucinich on crack.”

A smile creased the corner of the Mormon milquetoast’s lips. “I was for abortion, gay marriage, the whole shebang. Why, I even passed universal health care – Romneycare, if you will – when I was governor. Or so they tell me…”

“Yeah, right,” I said, puffing a smoke ring in the shape of an S with two lines through it – a perfect dollar sign. “Like you don’t remember. That’s a good one, Mr. Romney. I’ll have to remember to use it the next time the cops find me naked on the Subway handcuffed to a goat with a ball gag in my mouth.”   

The robotic Republican leaned forward at me over the desk, his eyes wide, desperation flashing his vanilla features. “That’s just it, my friend. I don’t remember! Any of it! Everywhere I go, people call me a flip-flopper. A two-face. And it’s always confused me.”

I belched out a guffaw. “A flip flopper? Brother, you’re like a landed salmon.”

Mr. Mundane wasn’t laughing. “You remember the story that came out a while ago, about how, when I was at Cranbrook, I supposedly bullied that gay student?”

“Yeah. Jon Lauber,” I said. “You didn’t like the way he wore his hair, so you and your prep school posse pinned him down and you cut his hair while he cried and screamed for help. He ended up killing himself, years later.”

Romney shook his head. “I …”

“You don’t remember,” I smiled. “That’s what you said, when the press asked you about it. Even though everyone else they interviewed for the story remembered every detail, you didn’t recall. Pretty slick, Mitt. That gag’ll get you out of just about anything, if the jury box is full of suckers.”

“But it’s true,” he said, his face reset to a blank slate, like a shaken Etch-a-Sketch. “I don’t remember it, my friend. It’s just like my Senate campaign, or when I was governor and created Romneycare. Or all those investments at Bain, being a corporate raider. A vulture capitalist. Sucking companies dry, laying off workers, outsourcing their jobs to China and India. All this time I’ve been saying, I wasn’t there at the time. It wasn’t me. I left Bain in 1999 to save the Olympics. But now this new story’s come out in The Boston Globe. They’ve found paperwork – SEC documents with my name on them, certifying that I was the President, CEO and sole stockholder at Bain all those years, all the way up to 2002. I even collected an executive paycheck of at least $100,000…”

I hooted out another belly-laugh. “Yeah, right.  It was probably more like ten million…”

“Then there’s the matter of my offshore accounts. The Obama campaign keeps demanding that I release my tax returns.”

“So why don’t you?” I said, puffing out another smoke ring.

Romney stifled a cough. “Why should I?” he said. “I paid my 15 percent, my friend. Who do they think I am? Mother Theresa? Besides, like I keep telling them, I have no idea what my money’s doing. It’s all handled by my personal lawyer, R. Bradford Malt. I don’t know anything about these Swiss accounts, or what’s in my IRA from my days at Bain. A shell corporation? What’s that? They say I’ve got millions in the Caymans and Luxembourg, Bermuda and a few other places. But I don’t know anything about it, my friend. Not a thing!”

I gave him a knowing wink. “Like I said, Mitt, it’s a great gag, if you can put it over.”

“But don’t you see, Stain? It’s not a gag! I’m not kidding – I don’t remember any of that stuff.” He sat back and fixed me with his humdrum gaze. Like he was staring down a three-foot putt on the back nine at Augusta National. “There’s only one explanation. A double. A … a clone or a secret twin. Something, I don’t know exactly how they did it, but somehow there’s a second me running around out there. Another Mitt…”

It hit me like one of Katie Couric’s gotcha questions socking Sarah Palin in the lipsticked kisser. “Mother of Newt! A doppelgovernor!”

“Exactly! There’s two Romneys! One – the fake one, of course -- a flaming liberal, the other: a severe conservative.”

Sweet hopping Herman Cains! My head was spinning faster than Mitt’s position on the individual mandate. “Of course! A ringer! It explains everything --- why you have two completely opposite positions on every issue! Abortion, gay marriage…”

He was excited now, like an insurance salesman moving in for the closing pitch. “Immigration!” he shouted. “Stem cell research!”

I chimed back in. “Gun policy. Global warming.”

“Health care!” he yelled, practically jumping out of his chair. “I created it, now I hate it!”

I sat back in my squeaky office chair, letting the pure brilliant madness of it wash over me. Sure, it explained everything. Why hadn’t I thought of it before? No one person could have that many positions. The guy was a walking Romney Sutra of political contortions. Figure 1: The Flying Potus. I let out a whistle. “Two Romneys,” I said. “It’s genius! They can’t tease you about your wealth because you don’t know anything about it. Not the taxes, the offshore accounts, the car elevator, the mansions in La Jolla, Belmont, Mass., Park City, Utah … none of it…”

His pupils flared, like he’d just seen a wad of cash at a million-dollar fundraiser. “You forgot my mansion on Lake Winnipesaukee. Yes, my friend. I know about that stuff. The Cadillacs, private jets, the yacht clubs. The material wealth -- all the tangible luxury items. And Rafalca, of course.”

I raised an eyebrow. “Rafalca? What’s that? Another dummy offshore corporation?” I winced, thinking maybe I’d offended him by calling his corporation a dummy. After all, it was Mitt who’d said that “corporations are people, my friend.” Or, was it?

The Mittster smiled through thin, bloodless lips. “No. Rafalca’s my wife’s Dressage horse. She’s going to the Olympics, you know. She’d better bring home the gold, too, after what I spent on her, or it’s off to the glue factory for that nag.”    

So he knew about the wealth, but not where it came from. Interesting. I leaned back, propping my chin on a finger pyramid, thinking it through.

“Someone’s out to get me,” said Mitt. “You can see that, can’t you? I can’t have an evil twin running around, taking all these liberal positions. I’m runnin’ for office, for Pete’s sake!”

It was time to get down to cases. The $64,000 question. I asked it. “So what is it you want me to do, Mr. Romney?”

“Simple, my friend. I want you to find my double. The dupli-Mitt. Find him and report back to me, Stain. Then I’ll deal with him myself, the Romney way.”

“Fill his pants full of gold doubloons and push him off a yacht?”

He smiled vapidly. “No,” he said. “Too easy.”

I snapped my fingers. “I got it! You’ll take him hunting on your secret island – for the most dangerous prey -- humans!”

Mitt looked at me with the blank expression of a soulless cyborg. “No,” he said. “I’m not a big game hunter. Rodents and rabbits – small varmints, if you will. That’s more my speed. No, my friend, I’ll just outsource him. Send him to China, or the Marianas. They’ll know what to do with him there. Put him to work in one of their prison factories, churning out cheap Wal-Mart goods for pennies a day. No windows, no weekends, no freedom. Just good old American manufacturing, my friend. Free enterprise. No regulations.”

He took a thick envelope out of his breast pocket and dropped it on my desk. I could see it was stuffed with cash. Then he stood up, flashing his pleasant plastic  smile, all gleaming white teeth and no soul. “Find the other Mitt, Stain. I’m counting on you.”

And just like that he was gone, moving stiffly out the door in his iron jeans.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Presidential Badasses -- or Look What You Started, Abe Lincoln, Vampire Hunter!

We just got back from seeing the summer blockbuster, “Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter,” and, hoo-boy, are we mad! We spent almost 12 years in college, and not once did any of those professors ever tell us this stuff!

So, naturally, we started wondering about some of the other presidents and their secret side jobs. After minutes of exhaustive research, we’ve come up with a list of other movies that need to be made. Observe:

Woodrow Wilson, Werewolf Wrangler: Geoffrey Rush sheds his accent to play the 28th  president of the United States, who eventually decides to involve America in World War I. World War I, of course, being the war against werewolves. Things are gonna get hairy!

Jimmy Carter, Zombie Crusher: Kindly peanut farmer, no more! Greg Kinnear’s sweet face will turn deadly serious when he turns the 48th president into a full-on zombie crushing hero. If you’ve got brains, you’ll see this movie!

Richard Nixon vs. the Mummies: The 46th president – played once again by Sir Anthony Hopkins – is desperate to keep something under wraps … a legion of mummies, of course! Tagline: “I am not a crook – I’m a mummy masher!”

William Howard Taft, Ninja Warrior: Philip Seymour Hoffman packs on the pounds to play the role of our most portly POTUS, who slips into the black robes of the ninja and swings across the rooftops of Washington, hurling ninja stars at opponents of his attempts to lower tariff rates. Tagline: “Taft: This time he’s gonna break more than the bathtub!”

Martin Van Buren, Mall Cop: Starring Colin Firth as the mutton-chopped menace. Don’t cross  the Dutchman, or he’ll kick your cinnabons clear to Crabtree & Evelyn. Bad guys will leave a trail of tears to Bed, Bath and Beyond.

FDR, Smokey Blocker: Matthew McConaughey takes off in a black Trans Am as Franklin Delano “Bandit” Roosevelt, driving “Blocker” for long haul trucker sidekick Harry S. Truman (a pitch-perfect Ben Kingsley) in a madcap, cross-country race. Tagline: “Breaker, breaker, there is nothing to fear but a bear in the air!” 

Chester A. Arthur, Malibu Lifeguard: Gene Hackman as our 21st president springs into action to keep the beaches of Southern California safe from hungry sharks, dangerous riptides and excise taxes.
Tagline: “This summer, get wet with Chet!”   

Millard Fillmore, Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Man: Prepare to cough up some Oscars, Hollywood! Alec Baldwin brings the 13th president to the big screen, unveiling Fillmore’s secret life as an otolaryngologist. Tagline: “This summer, Whig out with Millard!”

George Washington, Iron Chef: Tagline: “I cannot tell a lie. These pancakes are delicious!”

William Henry Harrison and Benjamin Harrison, Pawn Stars: Robert Downey Jr. takes on the role of our 11th president, William Henry Harrison, patriarch and owner of the World Famous Tippecanoe Pawn Shop, which he runs with his grandson, our 23rd president, Benjamin “Big Hoss” Harrison, played  by Zach Galafianakis.  

 (Woodrow Wilson, Werewolf Wrangler, Jimmie Carter, Zombie Crusher and Richard Nixon vs. the Mummies courtesy of Aly Semigran of Hollywood.com)