State Rep. Dennis Johnson, R-Okla., was talking about small businesses during a floor debate, and said that sometimes customers will “try to Jew me down on a price, that’s fine. You know what? That’s free market as well.”Johnson, also the co-majority leader of the House, continued speaking on for a minute, apparently not noticing that he had made the remark. When someone off-camera interrupted him and pointed it out, Johnson replied, “Did I?” He then jokingly added, to laughter from the room: “I apologize to the Jews. They’re good small businessmen as well.”The Tulsa World reports that a spokesman for Speaker of the House T.W. Shannon, also a Republican, said Johnson “is not the first person to make a comment they regret. The chamber accepted his apology and has moved on.”Watch:Continue Reading… …
Former D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty got booted from
his sweet gig as the big boss of D.C. thanks (at least in part) to
his staunch support of education reformist superintendent Michelle
Rhee. These days Fenty runs a traveling ed reform roadshow, which
brought him to Scottsdale, Arizona, today, where he is chatting up
education tech entrepreneurs at the Education Innovation
On a panel this morning with Gov. Jeb Bush (R-Fla.) education
henchman and former chairman of the Florida State Board of
Education ;Phil Handy, he dropped this line:
Fenty: “I’m a Democrat. I say this every time someone hands me a
microphone. My party is on the wrong side of education reform.”
Handy: “So is mine.”
And then there was laughter from the crowd. Sad, sad,
And they’re right. Neither party is taking education reform
seriously. Obama’s Race to the Top is a drop
in the ed spending bucket, and while Republicans sometimes have
better rhetoric, they mostly only
pick the fight when there are partisan points to be scored.
Asked how he knew it was time to get serious about education
reform, Fenty offered this depressing bit ‘o self-deprecation:
I’ve got about as much common sense and intelligence as most
politicians. But when I got elected in early 2007, DC schools were
ranked at the bottom of the entire country. Even I could figure out
that we had to do something different. ;
NEW YORK (AP) — Beginning work a few years ago on her latest book, an anthology of poems for young people, Caroline Kennedy found herself looking through one of her mother’s scrapbooks. She burst into laughter, she says, as she came across a poem that her brother John, as a youngster, had picked out and copied as a gift to their poetry-loving mom.”Willie with a thirst for gore, Nailed his sister to the door,” went the poem, by an unknown author. “Mother said with humor quaint, `Careful, Willie, don’t scratch the paint!’”The poem “brought back memories of our relationship,” Kennedy told a bookstore audience this week. “I laughed so hard.”But for Kennedy, now 55 and a mother of three grown children, there’s a deeper meaning to that irreverent ditty. Poetry was a central part of her home life growing up. She and John regularly copied out and illustrated poems for their mother, Jackie, upon birthdays and Mother’s Days. Sometimes, they’d recite them too, “if we were feeling competitive.” And at family gatherings with their grandmother, there were frequent challenges to recite Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s famous (and famously lengthy) “Paul Revere’s Ride.” Only Uncle Ted, it seems, was able to recite it in its entirety.Continue Reading… …
The Supreme Court ruling on Proposition 8 is serious business, but that doesn’t mean the justices can’t get cheeky while deciding the fate of California’s same-sex couples.There were several laugh breaks during Tuesday morning’s oral arguments, which lasted just over an hour.Let us yuk along with them:Justice Elena Kagan gives Charles Cooper, the lawyer arguing in favor of Proposition 8, some real talk about having babies over age 55 JUSTICE KAGAN: Well, suppose a State said, Mr. Cooper, suppose a State said that, Because we think that the focus of marriage really should be on procreation, we are not going to give marriage licenses anymore to any couple where both people are over the age of 55. Would that be constitutional? MR. COOPER: No, Your Honor, it would not be constitutional. JUSTICE KAGAN: Because that’s the same State interest, I would think, you know. If you are over the age of 55, you don’t help us serve the Government’s interest in regulating procreation through marriage. So why is that different? MR. COOPER: Your honor, even with respect to couples over the age off 55, it’s very rare that both couples — both parties to the couple are infertile and the traditional - (Laughter.) JUSTICE KAGAN: No, really, because if the couple — I can just assure you, if both the woman and the man are over the age of, there are not a lot of children coming out of that marriage. (Laughter.) Meanwhile, Justice Antonin Scalia ponders the efficacy of fertility pop quizzes JUSTICE SCALIA: I suppose we could have a questionnaire at the marriage desk when people come in to get the marriage — you know, Are you fertile or are you not fertile? (Laughter.) Continue Reading… …
President Obama appeared as the entertainment at last night’s Gridiron Dinner. The roaster-in-chief walks a fine line at these drunken Beltway confabs. Too often jokes in Washington are too inside baseball or not inside enough, viz. this groaner he launched from the podium:As you know, I last attended the Gridiron dinner two years ago. Back then, I addressed a number of topics — a dysfunctional Congress, a looming budget crisis, complaints that I don’t spend enough time with the press. It’s funny, it seems like it was just yesterday. (Laughter.)The transcript, when read sober, was hardly more inspiring. Parentheticals asserting laughter and applause appeared on the official White House transcript and could not be independently verified:Continue Reading… …
When Detroit Mayor Dave Bing delivered his State of the City address Wednesday night, his self-congratulatory lines were greeted with tepid applause. His jokes, including one off-script asie directed at Oakland County Executive L Brooks Patterson, even drew out some light laughter from the crowd.
But the response was a lot less congenial — and way funnier — on Twitter.
Those following along with the speech, whether watching at home or in person at the Detroit School of Arts (we salute you, dexterous smart phone Tweeters) shared commentary and quips, as well as heartfelt frustration with the real state of the city.