Sunday, July 13, 2014

The GOP in Unfriendly Territory

Once around the news cycle:

Republicans Select Cleveland for Their 2016 Convention: 
Who else was on the list? El Paso? Detroit? Camden, N.J.? Actually, the second place finisher was Dallas. I’m sure the residents of Big D are being good sports about losing out to the “Mistake by the Lake.”
This, of course, is old hat for Cleveland. They hosted the Republican convention in 1936. You remember that one: Alf Landon was selected to run again President Franklin Roosevelt who was in the middle of a four-term beat-down of the GOP.
More recently, according to The Cleveland Plain Dealer, nine precincts in Cleveland returned zero votes for Mitt Romney in 2012. That's right, Zero. And President Obama carried the state of Ohio in both of the last two elections.
You have to hand it to the Republicans for not holding a grudge. Maybe they figure Ohioans will like them a lot better if they see them up close and personal.
In the interest of fair play, the Democrats are deciding between Birmingham, Ala., Cleveland, Columbus, New York (Brooklyn), Philadelphia and Phoenix.
Not exactly garden spots but a midsummer convention in Phoenix? Really? Figure on an average high of around 105 degrees with a chance of scattered sandstorms interspersed with monsoonal rains.
I’m not sure the Bedouin would want to meet in Phoenix in the summer.

Madonna Reports for Jury Duty in New York:
Yup, just like the rest of us, the Material Girl showed up to do her civic duty although she was fashionably late (by 30 minutes).
So did she sit in a stuffy jury assembly room with hundreds of her fellow citizens to wait for hours to see if she would be impaneled? Not on your bejeweled bodice. According to the New York Daily News, she was ushered into a first-floor clerk’s office. Then she got sprung after an hour and a half.
A court official said the decision was made to let her go early because her presence was a distraction.
I’ll remember that next time I’m called. I just might show up dressed as Jabba the Hutt.

Fast as in Last: 
A new survey of fast food chains by Consumer Results turned up some startling results.
Finishing dead last in their respective categories were McDonald’s (burgers), Taco Bell (burritos) and KFC (chicken sandwich). Add to that Subway, which finished near the bottom of the sandwich list, and Panda Express, which brought up the rear in the Asian food category.
Why, it’s almost un-American. Next thing you’ll be telling me is that GM has recalled almost every Chevy ever made. What’s that? They have?
According to Consumer Reports, they asked subscribers this direct question: On a scale of 1 to 10, from least delicious to most delicious you’ve ever eaten, how would you rate the taste? We heard about 53,745 burger chains’ burgers, chicken chains’ fried or roasted chicken, Mexican chains’ burritos, and sandwich chains’ subs — or heroes, hoagies, grinders, or wedges, depending on where you call home.
For the record, In-N-Out won the burger competition, Chick-fil-A was the favorite chicken and Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill captured the Golden Burrito award.
What does it all mean? “Our readers told us that quality of the food has become more important in their dining decisions, and convenience of location is less so than in our 2011 report. They could be reasons the traditional fast-food chains are losing their edge: Diners, especially younger adults in the millennial generation, may be more willing go out of their way to get a tasty meal.”
First, a bump up in minimum wage. Now the customers want quality. It’s tough to be a burger flipper.

Holy Writ: 
When an employee at Gino’s Restaurant in Baton Rouge, La., cut into an eggplant Monday, he found “GOD.”
Chef Jermarcus Brady couldn’t believe what he was seeing. “I saw a miraculous image formed by the seeds,” he said. “It spelled out the word God!”
This is hardly breaking news. Religious icons have been appearing on food for years and the media religiously reports on it. Just in case it’s the real deal.
We’ve seen tortillas, pizzas, coffee cups, burnt sauce pans, Cheetos, you name it. Most involved likenesses of Jesus or the Virgin Mary.
I’m no theologian but the skeptic in me wonders why God, creator of the universe, the all seeing, all knowing, all powerful deity, would reveal himself in an eggplant in Baton Rouge. And spell his name out in English.
I guess the Lord does move in mysterious ways. Or maybe he just has a great sense of humor.

Robert Rector is a veteran of 50 years in print journalism. He has worked at the San Francisco Examiner, Los Angeles Herald Examiner, Valley News, Los Angeles Times and Pasadena Star-News. He can be reached at Nulede@Aol.Com.

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