Take Five (Thin Soup edition)

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ONE: Close to the Edge (and Beyond)

I don’t want to brag here, but I’m beginning to suspect that Take Five can count a certain big celebrity among its avid readership. I’m talking, of course, about the scintillating Victoria Jackson, internationally beloved for reciting poetry while doing handstands back during the ’86/’87 season of Saturday Night Live.

How can that be, you say? Just why would Victoria Jackson – the Victoria Jackson – waste her time on this obscure little column? Well, here’s my thinking. Last week, Take Five featured snippets of the preposterous ravings of WorldNutDaily contributor Mychal Massie. It was a whole heaping helping of wackadoodle wingnuttery, and – I modestly submit – it made a powerful case for Massie being the most out-there Obama critic in all the land.

Now, here’s where it gets interesting. Turns out Victoria Jackson – the Victoria Jackson – is also a regular contributor to WorldNutDaily! It’s true! And the very day after Take Five showcased Massie for the edification of our left-leaning audience here, who comes along and posts the single most ludicrous, paranoid, nitwitted, outright idiotic column ever posted at WorldNutDaily? Victoria Jackson! That’s right, the Victoria Jackson! Move over, Mychal. Victoria’s in the house, and she will not be upstaged.

She begins by listing the three scariest things about President Obama:

  1. private army (like Hitler)
  2. socialist (like Hitler)
  3. media control (like Hitler)

Just a hunch, but I’m guessing that these items could be boiled down to: black man (like Hitler). Yes, I know that doesn’t make any sense, but try to get into the WorldNut groove here. Jackson then gets all factish on us:

A clause hidden in the Obamacare bill, which is now law, gives Obama the right to form a private army…

Which clause, you say? Yeah, I figured you traitors would ask that. It’s hidden, people! Can’t you read? Jackson then compares Obama and Hitler in detail, and finds so many eerie similarities I’m beginning to wonder if they aren’t the same person. I mean, have you ever seen Obama and Hitler together? And why do you think that is?

Next up is something about the Muslim Brotherhood and President Obama’s shameless courting of same. Then, without warning, she segues (that’s entertainment lingo, suckaz) into a meditation on HR 973, that classic example of the sort of bilge Republicans spend their time on in lieu of actually, you know, governing and stuff.

What is H.R. 973? This is a bill designed to protect Americans from being forced to comply with foreign laws we did not enact. The motivation for this bill is to keep judges from using Shariah law, but it would apply to any foreign law judges might use to subvert the Constitution. Let’s call Congress about it: 202-224-3121. I can’t believe I’m even typing this! What’s going on?

I can’t believe you’re typing it either, Victoria! What’s going on?! Up next is something about Muslim books being sold at the President’s former Chicago church, then something else about Islam equating to Nazism. And then, at last, she gets to the point, I think: Barack Obama controls the media. Well, most of it, anyway:

We have one TV channel with glimpses of truth on it, Fox News. The government controls all the rest. NBC left “under God” out of the pledge. Harry Reid left “under God” out of the pledge. Last week, I was a citizen journalist and caught Park Rangers in D.C. on video lying about our national monuments. Now, the government wants to take over radio with fees and fines, and the Internet with a new creepy thing, “The National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace,” that will track our every move.

Remember, Cuba voted in Castro, and Germany voted in Hitler. If America votes in Obama for the second time, we deserve a dictator.

Whew! Hang it up, Mychal Massie. You simply cannot compete with that. If there’s a person in America who can, I just hope he or she has already been locked up.

TWO: “When fascism comes to America, its footsteps will be lit by CFLs…”

The Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act, proposed by Teabagger Empress Michele Bachmann, last shone in Take Five back in March, when it seemed poised to end those pesky energy efficiency standards signed into law by notorious nanny-stater George W. Bush as part of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

It now appears that Bachmann’s effort has sputtered out. The House GOP tried last week to fast-track the measure, but failed to get the two-thirds majority needed to advance the bill.

And why? A perfect storm of lousy Republican framing and outright betrayal by those ungrateful bastards in the private sector, that’s why:

The party cast the 2007 measure… as an outright ban on the familiar 100-watt bulb, and even an affront to its inventor Thomas Edison. In their view encouraging the adoption of curly light bulbs was yet another example of government overreach by Barack Obama.

The defence of the 100-watt bulb seemed in the Republican mind to be a winner until the run-up to the vote, when lighting manufacturers such as Philips and General Electric joined the White House, Democrats, and environmental organizations in opposing the Republican campaign.

Steven Chu, the Energy Secretary, told reporters last week the 2007 measure was actually aimed at raising efficiency standards for all new bulbs by more than 25% beginning in 2012.

The companies pointed out, meanwhile, that they were already shifting to newer LED and compact fluorescent bulbs.

Which, not surprisingly, leaves Republicans looking rather dim. And despite Bachmann’s high-profile involvement in all this silliness, the dimmest of the dim appears to be Michigan’s Fred Upton, who chairs the House Committee on Energy and Commerce:

The original 2007 bill had strong Republican support; it was even crafted in part by Fred Upton… Upton, anxious to reinforce his conservative credentials, has since recanted: he voted for the repeal of the measure.

Would the last Republican with even a shred of honor please turn off the energy-inefficient lights? Party’s over.

THREE: Meet the new broth…

Campell’s Soup has a new CEO. Effective August 1, Denise Morrison, the current COO, will officially take the reins of a company suffering from “weak soup sales” in a marketplace grown weary of worrying about sodium intake.

Morrison rolled out her new vision at Campbell’s annual investor meeting:

Campbell is now raising sodium levels in all 31 of its Select Harvest soups to 650 milligrams per serving, from about 480 milligrams. They originally ranged from 700 to 800 milligrams.

The company still offers a range of Healthy Request soups that have lower sodium, including some under the Select Harvest brand. But Morrison said the reduction in the overall Select Harvest soups was too much, and that now Campbell wants to give consumers more choices.

Now, I’m no soup expert – though I’ve been eating Campbell’s products all my life – but I would think the new CEO would want to have a word or two with the soup nazi who overdid the sodium reduction.

Before becoming COO in October, Morrison was head of the North American soup, sauces and beverage business. She helped spearhead the company’s efforts in recent years to lower sodium in its soups — a move that failed to pass consumers’ taste test.

Oh, dear. Well, in any case, at least one rating agency is enthused about the changes:

“We look for future results to benefit from an increased emphasis on bolstering sales with tasty soup products,” said Standard & Poor’s equity analyst Tom Graves.

Me too, Tom! JPMorgan’s soup specialist, by contrast, was more measured, and maybe even a bit confused:

“We view the news as neutral to mildly positive given market expectations for a rebase,” JPMorgan analyst Terry Bivens wrote in a research note. “The proof, of course, will be in the pudding as the soup season progresses.”

Um, okay. But there’s more to Morrison’s strategy than mere soup. Watch for:

Dozens of new products… Prego alfredo pasta sauce… V8 energy shots… Pepperidge Farm Goldfish sandwich bread…

Pepperidge Farm Goldfish sandwich bread? I am so there! In fact, I haven’t been this giddy about a new food product since Baconnaise, which will be a fine complement to Goldfish bread, come to think of it.

FOUR: And save some room for…

In other soup-related news, an exhibition at the National Archives entitled What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam? focuses on “the government’s effect on the American diet.”

What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam? covers a lot of ground. We learn that Richard Nixon’s last meal in the White House was a glass of milk, some pineapple slices and cottage cheese, that carp were introduced into American waters in 1877, and that “Charles Wille was sent to Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary in 1915 for breaking the oleomargarine laws.”

Best of all, among the items on display are some presidential recipes, including:

John F. Kennedy’s New England Fish Chowder: (Serves 6)

Haddock – 2 pounds

Salt Pork (diced) – 2 ounces

Onions (sliced) – 2

Potatoes (diced) – 4

Celery (chopped) – 1 cup

Bay leaf (crumbled) – 1

Milk – 1 quart

Butter – 2 tablespoons

Salt – 1 teaspoon

Freshly ground black pepper

1. Simmer haddock in 2 cups of water for 15 minutes, drain and reserve broth.

2. Remove bones from fish.

3. Saute diced pork until crisp, remove and set aside.

4. Saute onions in pork fat until golden brown.

5. Add fish, potatoes, celery, bay leaf, salt and pepper.

6. Pour in fish broth plus enough boiling water to make 3 cups of liquid.

7. Simmer for 30 minutes.

8. Add milk and butter and simmer for 5 minutes.

9. Serve chowder sprinkled over pork dice.

The exhibition runs until January 3, so you have plenty of time to eat your peas, as the President has requested, and still catch it. Oh, and if corporate influence in Washington bothers you, be warned. What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam? received financial support from Mars, Incorporated and Mars Food.

FIVE: And on the third day, He rolled back prices.

WYFF out of Greenville, South Carolina reported last week on an Anderson County couple who found Jesus… on a Walmart receipt. Yep, the Son of God appeared to the couple on a receipt for some pictures they had purchased three days earlier:

Jacob Simmons and his fiancee, Gentry Lee Sutherland, said they bought some pictures from Walmart on Sunday, June 12.

The following Wednesday, the couple had just come home from a church service when Simmons spotted the receipt on the floor of Sutherland’s apartment. He says the receipt had changed.

“I was leaving the kitchen and I just looked on the floor, and it was like it was looking at me,” Simmons said.

Well, I should think so, Mr. Simmons. He was probably wondering why you slobs had left Him on the floor for days.

What’s truly miraculous about this little paper Shroud of Anderson is that the “face” actually resembles a bearded Ayn Rand with a nose like a barn owl’s beak. Why anyone would find that combination Christ-like is beyond me, but I’ve only ever been in a Walmart once, so perhaps I just don’t get it. I also don’t get why Sutherland and Simmons do their shopping on Sunday and their churchgoing on Wednesday.

“We just feel like it’s a blessing that God showed it to us and opened our eyes. And we just feel like we should share the blessing God gave to us to everybody else,” Sutherland said.

The story failed to note whether Sutherland and Simmons have picked Jesus up off the floor yet.