Before being inducted into the sacred order of syndicated right wing columnists, aspirants must endure a grueling 12-week course during which he or she must prove to a panel of elders that they do not know any cultural references beyond 1990. Successful applicants will punctuate their logically fallacious, cliched work with phrases like "Where's the beef?" and "dy-no-MITE!" The general rule of thumb is, "If the crowd at a Yakov Smirnoff show won't get it, don't use it." John Ransom, heavyweight public intellectual and Finance Editor of TownHall Finance, finished the course in a mere 9 weeks. They quickly realized that this guy swings the goddamn Wonderbat of dated pop culture references and there was nothing more that the seasoned veterans of TownHall World Headquarters (pictured here) could teach him. That is how he is so seamlessly able to churn out masterwerks like "Obama Goes D'oh!-for-97, 98, 99, 100!" Pro Writer tip: if it's worth saying, you'd best believe it's worth following with an exclamation point. Let's go! (See?)

Mr. Irrelevant, the man formerly known as president,

The reigning Mr. Irrelevant is Rice University's Cheta Ozougwu. regrets the error. It is a lone mark on Mr. Ransom's otherwise ironclad reputation for journalistic excellence.

was in France when news came that the Senate unanimously rejected the Jerry Lewis gag budget that the administration submitted to Congress in February.

Jerry Lewis last had a leading role in a U.S. theatrical release in 1970.

The vote was 0-97 against, with three Senators voting “not present.” Can you blame them? If John Kerry’s misshapen theme was “Reporting for Duty,” Obama’s is: “I’m AWOL: Ha. Ha. Ha. You can’t catch me.”

Yes, "AWOL" on an official state visit to France. Can you believe that? A president. Visiting a foreign country. Get your ass back here, Johnny SkyMiles.

Wait, why does it matter if he's irrelevant? I'm confused, John.

If Kerry’s presidency was still-born, Obama’s died of crib-death.

First of all, nothin' like a good baby death analogy to get the ball rolling. But are you sure it was "crib-death", John? Maybe the vapors? The fan-tods? Bilious colic? Catarrh? Consumption?

Hey, wait. Didn't he accomplish some stuff in the two years before this budget vote? Eh, why let the facts get in the way of a good SIDS joke. The funny part was when the baby died!

Can you imagine any other president in history being satisfied with sending up a budget that couldn’t muster even one vote from his own party?

Jackson. Jackson wouldn't have given two flinty, cashew-laden shits.

It’s fitting that Obama got the news of the vote while in France, a country also well known for giving up without a fight.

Boy, nothing screams "I am a hack right-wing columnist" like immediate recourse to France Surrender Joke. But it's funny, right, because they always surrender without a fight!

Except in WWI, when four percent of France's entire fucking population died fending off a German invasion. That's 1,700,000 people. Maybe crack a history book sometime or google a thing called "Verdun". Or plan a nice family vacation to Douaumont, where they had to shovel 300,000 bodies worth of bones into a giant pit because the corpses were in too many pieces to allow identification. Yes, yes, I know, WWII was not France's finest hour. They took a mere 560,000 deaths in that conflict. You know, about 30% more than the U.S.

Incidentally, John, your biography doesn't list your dates of military service. Please update it. We're curious.

On the budget, the administration was hors de combat, to borrow the French term for being irrelevant, after being outflanked on the budget by the GOP and the mood of the people.

Where to begin. First of all, hors de combat means "out of the fight", like a wounded person or a downed pilot would be. So no, you nitwit, it doesn't mean "irrelevant". Second, you're not too up to date on the "mood of the people" if you think Paul Ryan's "Hey America, Fuck You!" budget constitutes a successful flanking maneuver. Gee, quite a bit of military jargon in here. I can only imagine the amount of Military Channel programming your pasty, chickenhawk ass has watched.

On the Right, the budget was panned for adding over a trillion-and-a-half to the deficit just next year; on the Left, the budget was ripped for reducing spending on community organizing.

Yeah, we're up in arms about Community Organizing. And ACORN, and the New Black Panthers, and Card Check, and every other right wing buzzword of the day for red-faced ranting idiots to post repeatedly in internet forums because they heard it on Glenn Beck.

"Less than two months after signing tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans into law," reported the Huffington Post in February, "President Barack Obama proposed a spending plan to Congress that cuts funding to programs that assist the working poor, help the needy heat their homes, and expand access to graduate-level education, undermining the kind of community-based organizations that helped Obama launch his political career in Chicago."

One can almost feel filmmaker, author and all-around socialist, Michael Moo- re, adding exclamation points to the HuffPost’s story!!!

Michael Moo-re? Get it? HE'S FAT!!!!!111!!!on!e

God, it was already funny, but the exclamation points sold it. Hey, if you have a minute, can anyone tell me what in the name of christ this column is about? I think John Ransom's weekly feature should be entitled "Whiskey Screams from a Guy With No Short-Term Memory" because this reads like little more than random, free-associative bitching without the stabilizing benefit of being able to remember what he said twenty words ago.

During Mr. Irrelevant’s European tour,

With Odd Future opening! That tour is gonna be cray-cray.

three others added their vote of no confidence to Obama’s absentee, slum-lord presidency.

I'm baffled by these allusions to him being an "absentee" president…because he went on a foreign visit. I mean, he hasn't gone on half as many "vacations" as W, George I, or Reagan. Aim higher, BO! (see? That really sells it.)

The Queen, who knows something about dealing with celebrity, finally got some payback on Obama after a series of very public snubs of the UK- our mightiest, best ally- during Mr. Irrelevant’s term of office.

The Queen voted “not present” by having her band play God Save the Queen over Obama’s toast to her, which the Washington Post reported under the headline Burnt Toast. No one knows how to do an understated snub as well as the Royal Family.

Wingnuts have been banging this "OMG he hates Britain!" thing since quite literally the first week of his presidency. First of all, yeah, they clearly hate him. Second, only a person who stopped time in 1980 thinks the UK is our mightiest, best ally. Seriously, in what Anglo-centric fantasy universe is that close to true? If we had to choose one and only one country to be allied with in Europe, which would it be? Germany. Without a second though every single person in the Pentagon, State Dept., and Treasury would say Germany. Worldwide? Japan. Maybe Korea. Maybe Saudi Arabia. Maybe Israel. Maybe India. Maybe Mexico. I think the UK's only real strength as an ally at this point is its blind willingness to play "Blow Up the Brown People" whenever a Republican president gets bored.

Jesus. How much longer is this piece of…oh, come on.

Even ABC News called the moment "awkward."

It took a little gloss off another sequel to National Lampoon’s Obama Vacation, just like that "awkward" Japanese tsunami did when he traveled to Brazil.

National Lampoon's Vacation was released in 1983. And can you believe this guy doesn't even control the weather? Amirite people?

Out-going defense secretary Robert Gates then took his turn, warning that Obama’s budget would cut the military to levels that could encourage more violence against the US.

Yes, let's hear what Bush appointee Robert Gates has to say about defense spending. The Defense Department is a good, objective analyst of defense spending needs, today and in the future. Right? In other news, I've empaneled a team of meth addicts to recommend a safe level of meth consumption and to give Americans advice on what we should do with our old car batteries and half-empty cans of paint thinner.

"But make no mistake,” Gates said at Notre Dame, according to the Wall Street Journal, “the ultimate guarantee against the success of aggressors, dictators and terrorists in the 21st century, as in the 20th, is hard power—the size, strength and global reach of the United States military."

"If you cut the defense budget by 10%, which would be catastrophic in terms of force structure, that's $55 billion out of a $1.4 trillion deficit," Gates told the Journal last year. "We are not the problem," he concluded about America’s budget problems, in direct contradiction to the commander-in-chief.

No, the problem is that the Pentagon budget, with constant supplementals for George and Dick's Middle East Adventures (see? I found a movie from, like, 1990!), is over three quarters of a trillion dollars. Or, you know, half of the goddamn deficit. Plus $250,000,000,000 annually for defense-related interest on the debt. Plus nuclear, which is booked under the Department of Energy. Plus Veterans Affairs. Plus Homeland Security. Plus defense-related NASA projects. When we add it up, the 2012 budget includes more than a trillion dollars for defense, the majority of all global defense spending.

Gates, who has presided over defense reductions already, is speaking out about further budget cuts while engaged in his farewell tour as secretary of defense.

How can we ask them to cut anything when the budget has grown by a mere 150% since 2001?

Then the guy who is still the de facto Democrat President of the United States, Bill Clinton, did the job Obama is supposed to be doing. Obama thus far has outsourced budget negotiations to his rent collector and vice president, Joe Biden.

Yes, Bill Clinton is still secretly behind everything. Whitewater! Vince Foster! Travelgate! Filegate! Gennifer Flowers! It's 1995, right guys? Whoomp, there it is!

Also, can you believe Obama delegated to Joe Biden? Let me check if Bush ever delegated to Dick Chene…oh. Oh I see. Oh dear. Well.

So Clinton spoke up forcefully last week for a compromise on Social Security and Medicare reform, warning that Democrats should resist the urge to gain short term points with seniors by using scare tactics. Instead, Clinton took a novel approach, suggesting that Democrats stop playing politics and get those two entitlements under control.

Yes, how I miss the "novel" Bill Clinton approach, suggesting that the Democrats do exactly what the Republicans want and spend time "working the message" to make it sound like they didn't turn around in front of Eric Cantor, grab their ankles, and yell "Just leave us enough blood to get home!" Ah, where's that New Democrat magic when we need it?

At a forum on the national debt, Clinton even told House GOP Budget Chair Paul Ryan to give him a call if he wanted talk about fixing Medicare. Mr. Irrelevant has become so irrelevant that he doesn’t even seem to know that he’s being disrespected.

Does John realize that this is not pro wrestling? That Obama doesn't particularly care if the Queen or Bill Clinton or the Pope or Big John Studd and Hacksaw Jim Duggan have "dissed" him? That his response is not to film a promo next to Mr. Fuji and Miss Elizabeth wherein he wildly gestures at the camera and promises to get revenge this year at SummerSlam? Other than the Democratic donor pool, who really cares what Bill Clinton says or does at some piss-ant academic cluster wank conference on "bipartisan deficit reduction"? He collects his speaking fee and goes home. Big deal.

While Obama toured Europe, stumping for the electoral votes of Irish counties Cork and Offaly, along with the all-important endorsement from the head of the IMF, there’s been a quiet bipartisan effort to make the presidency relevant again.

Shush, though.

Let’s no one tell him until after Hillary’s in the race.

I still can't believe a U.S. President went to Europe. None of the Founding Fatherstm ever went to fruity Europe!

Also, John Ransom is a genius. Clearly Hillary Clinton is going to quit her job, throw together a campaign in a month (I hope it's as well-organized and effective as her 2008 team!!!!exclama!!!tion!) and challenge the sitting president in a primary. Is this the depth of implausibility to which conservatives are sinking to create a positive scenario for whatever stiff they nominate in 2012?

Counting the headline ("d'oh!" being a vintage Simpsons reference originally dating back to 1989) I'd say John did a solid job of limiting his cultural references – and his understanding of history, politics, and world affairs for that matter – to those that would be meaningful and relevant to the average long-term nursing home resident. You do your Order proud, Lion Hearted one.



  • I always enjoy it when pundits politicians use the term "playing politics." It is only used when the other side is doing something they don't like. About 90% of a politician's job is "playing politics," folks.

  • I love FJMs to embarrassing distraction (when Ed eventually publishes his webpost-compilation book, I expect a substantial portion of it to be dedicated thereto–saving room, of course, for the dick jokes.) But I worry about the cost of writing them–we here at G&T get to experience columns like Mr. Ransom's in their modified, palatable, post-FJMed format. But I think of Ed, reading an unbroken block of Ransom, word after word, phrase after phrase, and I get that sense of nausea and dread that a viral researcher must feel when the slide under the microscope reveals that he's sitting the middle of a Hot Zone. It's God's work, the FJM, but this column…holy shit, we're talking a Doug-Giles-ish level of verbal trainwreckage–must they try to be funny? Must they? Well done, Ed, but for God's sake, pace yourself.

  • Well gee whiz, this guy makes Coulter sound clever by comparison. Also, like Dryden, I can't imagine reading jerks like Ransom without instant rebuttal.

  • @Dryden

    Nobody, NOBODY, can be worse than Doug Giles. Doug Giles combines all this bad humor and wannabe masculinity, shakes it up, and adds a thick syrup of smug self-satisfaction infused with contempt.

  • Nicely done. But Townhall columnists are a little too much like fish in a barrel. Dead fish, nailed to the bottom of a very short barrel with targets painted on them.

  • Nothing wrong with shooting fish in a barrel. It's almost as fun as putting the gun right up against the TV screen while playing Duck Hunt. Besides, some of those fish (and ducks) got it comin'.

  • I love FJM, mostly because it reminds me of endless flame wars I used to get into when I was younger(nope, none of that now). The line-by-line approach allows you to break down the opponent's idiocy into small digestible morsels of idiocy so that they can fully comprehend what a complete fucking imbecile they are.

    FJM has another great benefit, in that it highlights the fact that virtually anybody can be a conservative pundit. Yes, it takes some talent in the arts of bullshit, charisma, and acting if you want to make it big like Glenn Beck, but in the conservative world pretty much anything that touches the right points and speaks to the aimless, pants-shitting rage is going to get favorable reviews from conservative readers. Since a lot of this writing is so unbelievably terrible, it means that even a small amount of writing talent along with a good understanding of the conservative mind(and a lot of prior experience with right-wing propaganda) can launch one's career as a pundit.

  • anotherbozo says:

    Ed could spin off this blog and do an FJM every day, for my money. I'd never heard of Ransom but by the fifth paragraph I didn't care. There's so much lameness out there it would be an endless binge.

    So two blogs, a teaching gig and occasional standup? And a marriage? Why not? I'd be entertained, which is all that matters.

  • asphaltardvaark says:

    The thing that depresses me about FJM's is that the people that could benefit the most from reading them are the people that will NEVER read them.

    Instead they go on pretending that John Ransom is a talented columnist and Townhall is a legitimate website.

  • See… this guy? I mean… I go flying past "wanting to correct his mistakes and point out his logical errors" right into the heart of "I want to fucking punch him in the fucking face" land so fast that there's not even time to enjoy the ride. I dislike the feeling that logic and reason so clearly would have no effect that only pure violence could serve as a remedy. Yet, here we are.

  • Not to get all Francophile, but people we'd now call French also kinda "saved" European society from the Mooslims. Oh, yes, and that little part they played in a certain North American revolution…

  • Basilisc: Nicely done. But Townhall columnists are a little too much like fish in a barrel. Dead fish, nailed to the bottom of a very short barrel with targets painted on them.

    Also, I believe they removed the water from the barrel to get rid of that annoying light refraction effect.

    And Sarah Palin still manages to miss with her first seven shots…

    Brian: Not to get all Francophile, but people we'd now call French also kinda "saved" European society from the Mooslims. Oh, yes, and that little part they played in a certain North American revolution…

    Not to mention it was French refusal to give up in Vietnam that brought America in.

    Also, they were one of the major participants in this thing called the Hundred Years War. Which actually lasted, like, 115 years.

    But, y'know, details…

  • Monkey Smashes Heaven says:

    Ah, you forget the UK has a seat on the Security council, and is the only one who will reliably side with the US on contentious issues. Of course that may be changing now, I was pleasantly surprised when they (especially under Cameron's government) voted with everyone else to declare the Israeli settlements illegal. Of course then the US had to go and veto it.

    Germany's got a great economy but is far too busy propping up the rest of Europe to be all that useful to the US. And to be honest the US isn't all that useful to Germany either. Germany's got better reason to be friends with Russia (source of fuel) and China (export market).

  • Remember that this column was meant as humor. To be funny. With the hoped-for goal being out-loud laughter.

    So sad.

  • Three things about John Ransom:

    1. He proves the truth of the saying "Empty vessels make the most noise."

    2. Arthur Balfour once said of two members of Parliament, "If you put them both together, they'd still be a half-wit." Well, if you put two John Ransoms together, he'd still be a…..

    3. He apparently opens his mouth only to change feet.

    In short, he's a jive turkey…

  • Not to nitpick, but Jerry Lewis' last US theatrical release as star was Hardly Working made in 1979 but so bad it sat on the shelf for 2 years before being released.

  • Need to keep reading, but I only made it to the Odd Future reference. Was pretty fucking pumped about it. Enough to stop reading and make this comment and even include in the comment how I stopped reading in order to write it.

  • French soldiers also continued to fight in WWII while the British were throwing down their guns and running to the boats at Dunkirk. They continued to fight through the rest of the war including at D-Day. On the flip side, French fascists fought on the Eastern Front and a handful of them were among the last defenders of the Reichstag.

    Anyone who calls French surrender-monkeys is an ignorant moron.

    Also, if that original article were meant to be humorous, it fails on every level.

  • I'm reminded of that adage: Never wrestle with a pig. The pig enjoys it, and you only end up covered in mud.

    That said ando extend Brian's comment, I would have thought he'd like the CheESMo's*. What with their anti-hijab laws and all.

    *Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys @Arslan ;)

  • So, you worked in the French "surrender monkey" shit and the "community organizer" shit but didn't get in a "teleprompter" reference? WTF, Ransom??? That's Basic Wingnut Hackery 101. You should have mastered that by week 2 at the latest. Major #fail there, I'm afraid. Back to the Institute for some much needed summer schooling, sonny boy.

  • It's a point system Mark, give him a little credit. Here's the score card:

    George Soros = 5 points

    ACORN = 2 points, 1 additional point for every analogy you can make between ACORN and some paramilitary wing of the NSDAP. Additional points can be added by chaining references in the same work. E.g. "ACORN = SA, ACORN = SS, ACORN = Gestapo, ACORN = Ordnungpolizei, ACORN = 2nd Waffen SS Panzer division 'Das Reich'")

    Teleprompter = 1 point. Can be used multiple times only in reference to separate speeches. For example, 'Teleprompter-in-chief' can be used in any context once, but additional uses must refer to another speaking engagement.

    La Raza and the New BPP = 2 points each, 2 point bonus if they are somehow linked with ACORN.

    Love for Islam = 3-5 points at judges' discretion. To be a respectable conservative pundit you cannot actually call the President a Muslim. You can get around this by doing things like highlighting his middle name, or suggesting that he just REALLY loves Islam, paying homage to Muslims, and so on. The idiot readers and listeners will fill in the blanks.

    Socialist = 1 point per use up to a maximum of 5 points. After that no points are awarded so another term must be used. Such as….

    Marxist = 1 point, also up to a maximum of 5.

  • "I think the UK's only real strength as an ally at this point is its blind willingness to play "Blow Up the Brown People" whenever a Republican president gets bored."

    I think the UK's only real strength as an ally at this point is it's the only country in Europe we can talk to the people without having to shout.

  • concordo, i miglioramenti griafci sono notevoli ! l'unico tallone di achille il design, che a parer mio non buono .uffi che peccato !Fermo restando che il lavoro svolto in fase di programmazione dai ragazzi di high voltage ammirevole, guardando i video di the conduit si nota che cio che offre questo motore grafico di sopra pure a metroid corruption, ma il problema che con il design da loro scelto non si riesce a vedere tanto; che al di sopra degli standard ( di tutti almeno per ora )lo si nota soprattutto quando mostra i colpi di luci e texture su mani.Sarebbe bello poter vedere questo motore grafico all'opera in un gioco come call of duty; in quel caso vedremmo davvero il gap tecnico che c' tra questo motore grafico e tutti gli altri giochi che fino ad ora sono usciti su wii. E pensare che non ancora il max che puo dare su questa console, perche evidentemente possiede ancori molti margini di miglioramento ..e questa la dice lunga . mario galaxy,metroid corruption, smash brawl e call of duty world at war son l'aperitivo, the conduit solo l'antipasto quindi .

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