Just Riffing Along

By kevin | Random Walk

Jan 15

Throwbacks, cranks, and fans of great sports names everywhere rejoice that there is a guy named Rob Gronkowski kicking butt and taking names playing tight end for a team called the Patriots.  What could be more 1950s than that?

Okay let’s see.  Uncle Mittens works in the private sector from 1976 to 1994 and runs for office from 1994 to 2012.  Unless I’m wrong, that’s 18 years pillaging American businesses and another 18 years campaigning on why that makes him the right guy to be the next Senator / Governor / President.  How ’bout we call it a tie.

Phone call for Captain Joe Hazelwood, there’s an Italian cruise company looking for a new ship captain.

You know, now that I think of it, a career of loading up companies with unsupportable amounts of debt in order to enrich a small group of already rich people while bankrupting the company and throwing working stiffs out of work really does sound like a perfect qualification for President.

And let’s not let the passing of Judge Joel Tyler go unnoticed.  Thanks to his ruling, not to mention his brilliant rhetorical flourishes  like “this feast of carrion and squalor,” “a nadir of decadence” and “a Sodom and Gomorrah gone wild before the fire,” that masterpiece of cinematic excellence, the movie classic Deep Throat, went from a crummy 49th street theater to a cultural touchstone.

It’s kind of weird to think that even today, the most qualified person on the national stage to be President of the United States is probably Hillary Clinton.

Speaking of the wreck of the Edmund Fitz Costa Concordia, Coast Guard Commander Nicastro now says  “The captain probably sailed too close to the shore, but we need to wait for the results of the investigation.”   Ummm, errrr, ya think? Have you looked at the pictures?

And can we have a warm round of populist applause for the beloved and now former governor Haley Barbour who on the way out the door to resume his man-of-the-people career as a highly paid lobbyist, speaker, and SuperPac board member “granted clemency to 215 convicts in his last few days in office, among them more than two dozen who had been convicted of murder or manslaughter.” Way to go dude!

Tim Tebow resurrected his career, carried the hopes of believers everywhere, and thrilled/appalled football fans everywhere with his gutty performances across nine games.  Tom Brady put on a clinic.  What does it mean?

Okay, I’ll bite.  If being a former captain of industry (even if it was 18 years ago) is such a brilliant qualification for being President, who was the last office holder to claim the same credential? Give up?  George W. Bush.  And before him?  Warren G. Harding (Hoover was an engineer, not the same thing). While reasonable people can disagree, I don’t think either of those guys, or Hoover either for that matter, score highly on anyone’s list of best Presidents.  In a US News survey we find that . . .

Franklin D. Roosevelt has held his title as top president since 1982 with the same four following to round out the consistent top five: Theodore Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson.

Joining Bush in the bottom five this year are Franklin Pierce, Warren G. Harding, James Buchanan, and Andrew Johnson, who is at the very bottom for the second year in a row.

The survey, which ranks presidents using 20 different factors, shows Jefferson was the most intelligent president, Richard Nixon was the worst at integrity and avoiding crucial mistakes, Lincoln had the best overall ability, and Washington was the best leader. Here’s the full list: 

1. Franklin D. Roosevelt

2. Theodore Roosevelt

3. Abraham Lincoln

4. George Washington

5. Thomas Jefferson

6. James Madison

7. James Monroe

8. Woodrow Wilson

9. Harry Truman

10. Dwight D. Eisenhower

11. John F. Kennedy

12. James K. Polk

13. William Clinton

14. Andrew Jackson

15. Barack Obama

16. Lyndon B. Johnson

17. John Adams

18. Ronald Reagan

19. John Quincy Adams

 20. Grover Cleveland

21. William McKinley

22. George H. W. Bush

23. Martin Van Buren

24. William Howard Taft

25. Chester Arthur

26. Ulysses S. Grant

27. James Garfield

28. Gerald Ford

29. Calvin Coolidge

30. Richard Nixon

31. Rutherford B. Hayes

32. James Carter

33. Zachary Taylor

34. Benjamin Harrison

35. William Henry Harrison

36. Herbert Hoover

37. John Tyler

38. Millard Fillmore

39. George W. Bush

40. Franklin Pierce

 41. Warren G. Harding

 42. James Buchanan

43. Andrew Johnson

In defense of the Captain and Crew of the Costitanic, Cristiano de Musso, a cruise company spokesman, said the ship had not deviated from the course it follows “52 times a year.” You know, now that I think of it, that’s exactly what I would say too!

Phone call for Haley Barbour, it’s Willie Horton.  He says “way to go dude!”

Just spitballing here, but I think it’s safe to say that all those ardent Reagan fans competing to follow in his footsteps as the next GOP President of these United States have firmly put aside his famous 11th Commandment . . .

The personal attacks against me during the primary finally became so heavy that the state Republican chairman, Gaylord Parkinson, postulated what he called the Eleventh Commandment: Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican. It’s a rule I followed during that campaign and have ever since.

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