Items of Interest

Recently, in writing an article in which I was bemoaning all the tax dollars Obama blew on Solyndra, I typed $500 “billion” before I realized I had meant to type $500 “million.” Fortunately, I corrected it before the article was posted. The reason I’m mentioning it is to acknowledge that we are all prone to error, and in this case I wasn’t even under any pressure. So I can certainly empathize with people running for president when they suffer a brain freeze, the way Cain did when asked how he felt about the way Obama had handled Libya, and Gov. Perry did when asked which three departments of government he would cut.

I can even empathize with Cain’s asking how to say “delicious” in Cuban. In fact, it reminded me of Obama’s referring to the Austrian language, known to the rest of us as German. That, in turn, reminded me of his referring to 57 states, which in turn reminded me that he recently placed Hawaii in Asia, which inevitably reminded me that he had mentioned an intercontinental railroad as one of the things he hoped to build if only Congress would pass a second stimulus bill.

In short, we all make mistakes, but it’s only when a Republican makes a gaffe that the MSM feels it’s worth mentioning and that the pathetic likes of David Letterman, Jon Stewart and Rachel Maddow, insist on beating into the ground.

With all the recent evidence of insider trading going on in Washington, I found myself wondering if I could resist the temptation if I were Nancy Pelosi, John Boehner or John Kerry. I decided that I probably couldn’t. I’d like to think that I’d be as strong and moral as a Christian martyr, but I don’t see canonization anywhere in my future. I’m afraid there won’t be any little Saint Burts bobbing around on anyone’s dashboard.

Bill O'Reilly

Bill O’Reilly

What is needed is a law that makes it just as illegal for members of Congress to engage in insider stock trading as it was for Martha Stewart. Unfortunately, as with term limits, the folks in a position to do something about it are the very same creeps who have a rooting interest in maintaining the status quo.

I heard recently that in 1790, there were only 20 different federal crimes on the books. Today, there are 4,500. I don’t think it’s asking too much that there be 4,501.

In case any Republican intends to stay home on November 6 if his pet candidate doesn’t get the GOP nomination, I’d like to remind them that in just three years Obama placed Sotomayor and Kagan on the Supreme Court. If, God forbid, Scalia or Thomas had died or retired during that time, there’s no question that ObamaCare would be ruled constitutional next year. So when you’re sitting home pouting because Herman Cain or Michele Bachmann, Jon Huntsman or Ron Paul, doesn’t win the nomination, ask yourself who you want to see selecting the next justices, Barack Obama or somebody with an (R) after his name.

I’m sure there were some boneheads who were offended when Mrs. Obama was booed at the last NASCAR event of the year. There are always going to be those who are easily offended by almost anything. The fact is she deserved to be booed. Those who showed their displeasure were letting her know that they knew this was just a clumsy P.R. stunt to garner a few votes for her husband. I have no way of knowing whether it was NASCAR or the White House that decided it would be a great idea to give the First Lady the honor of saying “Start your engines,” but there’s more than enough blame to go around.

This is the woman, as NASCAR’s patriotic fans surely remembered, who said that she had never had reason to be proud of America until her husband deigned to run for president. For his part, her husband was the schmuck who went to San Francisco and curried favor with a bunch of rich liberals by referring to the very people who comprise the majority of the NASCAR faithful as “those folks who cling to their guns and their religion.”

Bill O’Reilly, ever the high school instructor, likes to teach his audience a new word just about every day. The only problem is that he insists on introducing arcane words that everyone forgets five seconds after he goes off the air. I mean, how often are you going to sneak “bulkateer,” meaning a person who overlooks meritorious behavior, into your conversation? Try it even once and you’re going to get weird looks and just maybe a punch in the nose.

Instead, judging by the email I often receive, he should focus on teaching people the difference between “your” and “you’re,” “its” and “it’s,” and “there,” “their” and “they’re.”

It really makes you wonder what they’re teaching in public schools these days besides how to keep a banana from getting another banana pregnant.

©2011 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write!

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Author Bio:

Burt Prelutsky, a very nice person once you get to know him, has been a humor columnist for the L.A. Times and a movie critic for Los Angeles magazine. As a freelancer, he has written for the New York Times, Washington Times, TV Guide, Modern Maturity, Emmy, Holiday, American Film, and Sports Illustrated. For television, he has written for Dragnet, McMillan & Wife, MASH, Mary Tyler Moore, Rhoda, Bob Newhart, Family Ties, Dr. Quinn and Diagnosis Murder. In addition, he has written a batch of terrific TV movies. View Burt’s IMDB profile. Talk about being well-rounded, he plays tennis and poker... and rarely cheats at either. He lives in the San Fernando Valley, where he takes his marching orders from a wife named Yvonne and a dog named Angel.
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  • Burt Prelutsky

    The DA: That’s one cryptic message. Mom would have only herself to blame if her daughter got impregnated. It could even occur while the young woman was distracted, trying to figure out what the heck refrigerators had to do with sex.


  • the DA

    Your banana reference reminded me of a story a woman once told about how her mother explained the facts of life to her. Just before she was to go out on her very first date, her mom pulled her aside and solemnly advised, “I want you to always remember,….never put bananas in the refrigerator.”




  • Burt Prelutsky

    lklwa: I’m not moving anywhere, unless instead of burning something in my front yard, they burn down my house. Otherwise, I’d never survive the packing. Pack rats show up at our front door to learn my wife’s secrets.

    Congratulations, by the way, on mastering “your” and “you’re.”


  • Iklwa

    You’re right, I doubt canonization is in your future (See, I used both correctly!); however, don’t be surprised if some misty morning you arise to find a burnt emblem of some leftist description in your front yard. I haven’t decided whether it will be a capital “L” for liberal, “C” for communist or “S” for socialist but whatever it turns out to be, eventually, you will succeed in antagonizing the Left enough to produce the results of which I speak.

    When that happens, you will know your martyrdom is not far off.

    In order to keep your posts coming and before that happens, I suggest you move to someplace less…hazardous…like wilderness Alaska.

  • Dave O’Connor

    “It really makes you wonder what they’re teaching in public schools these days besides how to keep a banana from getting another banana pregnant.”
    Just project ahead to the moment when a kid gets sent home from school for sensuously peeling a banana.

  • The Obama Timeline author

    Spot-on, Burt:

    “Instead, judging by the email I often receive, he should focus on teaching people the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re,’ ‘its’ and ‘it’s,’ and ‘there,’ ‘their’ and ‘they’re.'”

    There are also a lot of people who incorrectly insert an apostrophe into plural words. It is NOT, “I have two cat’s” but “I have two cats.”

    And when will journalists stop using “podium” when they mean “lectern?” You stand ON the podium but BEHIND the lectern.

    Years ago, during the “toxic shock syndrome” scare, one newscaster said. “As a result of the health concerns, tampon use among women has dropped.” (Men apparently continued to use tampons at their previous pace!)

  • Burt Prelutsky

    Shirl & Clarence: Well-said!

  • Shirl

    Our country is in dire trouble due to the present occupants of the wh. All Republicans have a duty to vote for whom ever wins the primany. We have a duty to reverse the liberal-socialist onslaught that’s been tainting and corrupting American culture for too long. Everyone’s vote counts; that’s what it is all about.

  • Clarence De Barrows

    Glen: With all due respect, she may be married to the President, but that doesn’t make her a “lady”. That is a title which is earned in this exceptional Country of ours, not bestowed as it is in less exceptional ones.

    • The Obama Timeline author

      I’m not sure she is a lady. She may be a transgender, though.

      • CCNV

        Great comment!

  • Burt Prelutsky

    Glen: I have to disagree with you. The fans at NASCAR had every right to boo Mrs. Obama for the reasons I gave. Not booing her would not have been classy, it would have been gutless. After all, she and her husband have spent the past three years appearing only at events where they are greeted with wild applause. It’s time they got a dose of reality, letting them know that not everyone in America is in a union, going to a left-wing college or collecting welfare from the nanny state.


  • Jeannette

    Burt: The truth is that most of those in Congress can’t tell the difference between “million” and “billion” unless it’s something that may wind up in their own pockets. It’s six of one and half-dozen of another.

    I just wrote my Congressmen with my definition of “Supercommittee”: “Stuporcommittee”

    I also told them that nobody had asked any of the members of the great unwashed (the voters) about ways to cut spending, and that if I were invited to D.C. and presented with a list of expenses for which taxpayers are responsible, I could slash and cut to the extent that even I would be surprised. And then I said: “Just ask me.” I’m not holding my breath.

    As you said, those in a position actually to do anything about some of these problems are the ones who pass the laws applicable to the problems.

    Fox, get out there and guard that hen-house!

  • Richard Hilger

    We could add “to” and “too” to the list if their misuse is not too self-evident.

    • The Obama Timeline author

      …and misuse of “lose” and “loose.” One does not “loose” an election.

  • sam

    Just great.i think u’ll b saying things as they really are til ur end just now sir!good 4 u,it’s da least we all cud do til our end.

  • Paul Bopko

    If anybody thinks that the Mrs. Obama presence at the NASCAR event wasn’t a suck up to the crowd that Mr. Obama distains, then they are clueless. Booing is a form of free speech and better people than Mrs. Obama have been booed by folks who diagree which the booee.

  • Glen Stambaugh

    The NASCAR crowd could have demonstrated more class than the libs holding them in complete disdain by respecting her as “first lady”. It’s understandable that they didn’t, but still too bad. I agree they saw through the whole event and responded accordingly. Burt, thanks for another interesting opinion.

  • Bill Hurdle

    I hope (pray?) that the little pearls of “wisdom” uttered by Letterman, Stewart and Maddow fall only on the ears of the hard core liberals who are looking for reinforcement of their biases – I can envision the emphatic bobing of heads to indicate agreement. The ones that worry me are the likes of Brian Williams whose self righteous liberalism is passed off as “journalism” preaching to the 30% of our population that is double digit IQ intellectuals not bright enough to tell feces from shinola.

    • Jeannette

      Bill Hurdle: I haven’t watched Letterman since the time he made rather tawdry fun of shoes being flung at then-President Bush. I wouldn’t watch Letterman if there were not another thing on the tube. I never watch any of the others, either, unless they wind up as clips on a Fox news show.

      • Drew Page

        Neither Letterman nor Leno will ever come close to the king of late night TV, Johnny Carson. They are both talentless and tasteless pretenders to the throne.

        The fact that these two characters have each made a lot of money from the TV networks, is not so much a reflection of their ‘talent’ as it is a sad commentary on the people who watch their attempts at entertainment. More than likely, those who enjoy watching Letterman, Leno and Maher are the same who enjoy Jerry Springer, Maury Povich, Mob Wives and Jersey Shore.

  • CCNV

    Just mentioning ‘banana on banana’ action might be considered a hate crime by the ACLU…

    (Thanks for the great column this morning, Burt!)

  • Norm

    Didn’t know bananas had that problem.
    Now, bananas and a warm apple pie……..
    (Hope I got the apostrophe correct)