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Once upon a time there was a little boy named Michael. He was a very average boy living in an exceedingly average town. He was no way special from other kids his own age, except for this one thing:
He could imitate Popeye.
Yes, he could do it very well.
He watched the show as it appeared intermittently on his Grandmother’s TV set. Since its point of broadcast was New York’s WPIX (Channel 11) on weekday mornings – it was a long way away. Living far from New York City, and (horror!) his Grandmother’s not having cable, Michael would turn on the antenna-equipped Admiral TV fingers-crossed, hoping to see what mischief Bluto, Brutus, the Sea Hag, and Eugene (The Jeep) each had in store for his sailor man this morning.
The only thing he knew for sure is that regardless of the reception on this Grandmother’s black and white television set – the Sailor Man would triumph…
Or he imagined that Popeye did on those days the reception gave out.
Hope, they say, springs eternal…
It is with great sorrow therefore that I announce that Popeye’s ‘Cage Match’ with Sea Hag happened yesterday.
And I, the grown up Michael…
Yes, I was working a fundraiser for our local High School Marching Band, parking cars for the 28th Annual Spiedie Fest and Balloon Rally. Fundraising is something people do when they do not rely upon State and local government for EVERYTHING.
(Yes, I know you already knew this, but there are people out there who rely on EVERYTHING from the government. I needed to remind THEM, not YOU. Sorry, I’m writing this in 2012 after all, and 2012 is not like 1965 when I lay upon my Grandmother’s floor waiting for Popeye to show up…)
However, I can transport you back in time with a little help of a video link, a transcript, and a can of Spinach I’ve been saving for just such a special occasion. Come join me on the floor of my Grandmother’s living room on the area rug as we watch the epic battle re-match between two of our Nation’s cartoon characters, Sea Hag (Debbie Wasserman Schultz) and Popeye (Reince Prebius) in LIVING COLOR.
You can either watch the video clip in its entirety here, or check out the transcript below. In either case, keep one hand on your mouse, and your free hand on the spinach can (just in case Popeye (a.k.a.: Reince Prebius) needs help)…
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS as “Eugene”
DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ as “Sea Hag”
REINCE PREBIUS as “Popeye”
HARRY REID as “Wimpy”
CLINT EASTWOOD as “Bluto”
STEPHANOPOULOS: The Democratic Senate Leader, Harry Reid made a pretty explosive charge this week, he said Mitt Romney hasn’t paid taxes in 10 years. Here he was on the Senate floor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REID: The word is out that he hasn’t paid any taxes for 10 years. Let him prove that he has paid taxes. Because he hasn’t.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: Now, you know, Senator Reid’s only source there, according to him, is an anonymous Bain investor whose identity he won’t reveal. Is it appropriate for the Democratic leader in the Senate to make a charge like that with no more evidence than an anonymous source?
SCHULTZ: George, I don’t know who Harry Reid’s source is, but I do know that Mitt Romney could clear this up–
STEPHANOPOULOS: That’s the point, isn’t it?
SCHULTZ: — in 10 — I do know that Mitt Romney could clear this up in 10 seconds by releasing the 23 years of tax returns that he gave to John McCain when he was being vetted for vice president. Or even 12 years of tax returns that his own father said were what was appropriate. Because one year of tax returns, like he’s released, could just be for show. And let’s not forget–
STEPHANOPOULOS: But it’s one thing to say–
SCHULTZ: — that a week ago, hold on a second, George, a week ago, Mitt Romney said in response to a reporter’s question when asked if he had ever paid a rate below 13.9 percent, that he would check and get back to us. And you know, I’m glad I wasn’t holding my breath waiting for Mitt Romney to get back to us on answering that question, because he still hasn’t responded whether he’s paid a lower tax rate.
STEPHANOPOULOS: He hasn’t, but he has denied that he didn’t pay taxes for 10 years. And I take your point that it would be right to show more tax returns. At the same time, I don’t believe that you believe that it’s OK to make a charge like that, 10 years of not paying taxes, with no evidence.
SCHULTZ: Like I said, I don’t know whose Harry Reid’s source was, but I do know that this is a question that has swirled around Mitt Romney for this entire campaign. I do know that he could clear it up just like that, lickety-split, by releasing his tax returns, which every major candidate for president of the United States has done except for Mitt Romney. I do know that there are massive questions about why he has a Swiss bank account, why he has investments in the Cayman Islands and a Bermuda corporation that he has transferred to his wife’s name one day before he became governor of Massachusetts.
Those are questions that when you’re running for president of the United States, that the American people deserve answers to. Why is Mitt Romney refusing to answer them? Why is he refusing to show the American people what he was willing to show John McCain 23 years of information on? There’s got to be a reason.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I take it from your answer you’re not going to repudiate Senator Reid’s charge.
SCHULTZ: Everybody is responsible for saying the things that they have information on. Harry Reid says that he has a credible source. I know that this question is not just generated by Harry Reid. It’s been asked by countless reporters, by voters that want to know–
STEPHANOPOULOS: On that question, Congresswoman, do you stand by Harry Reid’s charge?
SCHULTZ: — about — more about Mitt Romney’s finances. What is he hiding? I stand by the fact — George, I stand by the fact that I believe, like the overwhelming majority of voters believe, because the polls all show, that Mitt Romney owes us more than one year of tax returns.
That WAS painful, wasn’t it? Sorry, the reading was hard, but least you didn’t have to watch the Sea Hag live while she was spouting off,
“I believe, like the overwhelming majority of voters believe, because the polls all show, that Mitt Romney owes us more than one year of tax returns.”
LOGIC ‘TIME-OUT’ BEGINS: Based upon the above comment, Debbie Wasserman Schultz belives that your debt obligation to the IRS is determined by public opinion polling? Wait till Bill Gates, George Clooney, and Brad Pitt get their next tax bills…
I’d like to be a fly on ANY of those walls.
LOGIC ‘TIME-OUT’ ENDS…
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let’s get a response now from Republican National Committee. Thank you, Congresswoman. Reince Priebus, the chairman of the RNC.
SCHULTZ: Thank you, George.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Will join us right now. Good to see you, Mr. Chairman.
PRIEBUS: Good morning. Good morning, George.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let’s get a response right away to what you just heard from the congresswoman.
PRIEBUS:Do we want to continue down the direction of unemployment above 8 percent for countless months, a president that hasn’t lived the mission, hasn’t fulfilled the promises. People aren’t better off today than they were three or four years ago. Do we want to continue in that direction? Heck no.
And as far as Harry Reid is concerned, listen, I know you might want to go down that road, I’m not going to respond to a dirty liar who hasn’t filed a single page of tax returns himself.
Complains about people with money but lives in the Ritz Carlton here down the street. So if that’s on the agenda, I’m not going to go there. This is just a made-up issue. And the fact that we’re going to spend any time talking about it is ridiculous.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You say you are not going to respond, but you just called him a dirty liar.
You stand by that, you think Harry Reid is a dirty liar?
PRIEBUS: I just said it.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So, what do you want from him right now?
PRIEBUS:Listen, this president has a job to do. And Harry Reid has a job to do. We have an opportunity in this country to save the very idea of America. To bring back the days of liberty, freedom, the American dream.
And the fact is, we’re just — we’re not doing well right now, as an economy. And this president, is the head of this country. And he has not fulfilled the mission and he hasn’t lived up to the promises that he made to the people of this country.
And it’s hard to believe that the president of 2008, when he campaigned and said he was going to bring America together, that he would trot out Harry Reid and try to divide this country and spread this division and hatred. It’s ridiculous, it’s wrong, it’s untrue. And it’s just going to hurt the president.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Setting aside Harry Reid’s charges, a lot of Republicans, as you know, a lot of major figures in your party, have come forward and said that Mitt Romney should just release more of his tax returns. Wouldn’t that make a lot of these questions go away?
PRIEBUS: George, here’s what I think. I think this president has got a problem with the American dream. You know, when I grew up — and I know that both Republicans and Democrats listening to this right now agree with this — when I grew up, in a great place called Kenosha, Wisconsin, my dad was a union electrician, my mom was a realtor.
We drove around town, and when my parents and we drove past a beautiful house on the corner, my parents didn’t point at the house and say, hey, look at this lousy people in this beautiful house. Look at this guy and his new Corvette.
My dad did probably the same thing your dad did and a lot of dads out there. He turned around, and he said, listen, pal, if you work hard and you go to school, mom and dad, we hope you live in that house. We hope it’s two times bigger than that house. That’s the American dream.
And this idea that we’re spending all of our time just killing people because they live the American dream and made something out of nothing and made money — I mean, this is crazy talk. And I just think we need to get back to the issues.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So the short answer is, you don’t believe it’s hurting him, you don’t think he has to do anything more on the tax returns?
PRIEBUS: I think it’s hurting the president — I think it’s hurting the president because people know that the job to do in this country and the job that this president claimed that he was going to do was, what did he say? Jobs one. He hasn’t met with his jobs council.
The entire philosophy of Bill Clinton — excuse me, of Barack Obama — can be summarized in one word, and that’s Solyndra. That’s Barack Obama’s philosophy.
STEPHANOPOULOS: We will see you at the convention. Mr. Chairman, thanks very much.
PRIEBUS: Thank you, George.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Coming up, our powerhouse roundtable weighs in all of the week’s politics.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINT EASTWOOD: It’s halftime, America. And the second half is about to begin.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: Clint makes Mitt’s day.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: Chick-fil-a appreciation day. Victory for free speech or celebration of discrimination?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
The wind blows, the picture fades, and the television clicks off…
In reviewing the above, it occurs to me that the People of this Nation need to eat a whole lot more spinach.
Reince ate his this past Sunday morning. It’s about time someone representing the Republican Party grew a spine and stood up for something.
Perhaps other members of Congress should have a nice can of Popeye’s Spinach waiting for them in their office following their five-week summer vacation?
Yes, yes we ‘Can’ send a can of spinach to members of Congress. They won’t know what it’s for, but maybe if enough folks join in, they’ll get it?
It’s a dream I have.
The dream of a six year-old kid laying flat bellied on his Grandmother’s floor wanting to see the good guys win, just one more time…