How To Ruin a Perfectly Good Joke

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If you talk long enough, you can butcher the best joke in the world–even the one from Monty Python that the Allies used to win WWII.

Tuesday night at a Tea Party meeting, I managed to destroy a joke of my own, poor making, and insult a friend at the same time. That takes talent. Or . . . something.

So, first, let me apologize to Adam Sharp, the best indy video journalist alive, since he was the victim of my horrible comedic delivery. Also, I apologize to the 30 people I confused with the joke.

Now, for how to ruin a joke: talk.

Here’s the joke I intended: Adam Sharp committed the ultimate sin of journalism ethics–he asked a Democrat Congressman about the Constitution.


Thanks to Adam Sharp, we now know it’s unethical for a journalist to ask a Democrat about the Constitution.

Okay. Not fall on the floor, but you get it, right?

But that’s not the joke I told. Instead, I rambled on for a minute in set-up. I built it up for an ending that no punchline could deliver. And then I fumbled the punchline.

In 2010, Adam Sharp asked Phil Hare how he could square Obamacare with the US Constitution. Rep. Hare answered,  “I don’t worry about the Constitution.”

WHAMO!  Hare’s done as a member of Congress. The video went viral. It was a turning point (one of many) in the 2010 election.

But the drive-by media wanted to claim Sharp’s question was inappropriate, that he edited out key parts, etc. The usual nonsense. As you saw, Adam provided more context than was probably necessary.

I knew the audience was familiar with story, so I tried a little sarcastic humor. I still think it would have been funny if someone more capable had delivered it.

Sorry, Adam. I think you rock. And my delivery sucks.

H/T to Van Harvey for calling me out on this.

Don’t believe my joke bombed sucked? See for yourself:

Face palm. Cringe. Gag. Vomit.

If You Don’t Comment Today, You’ll Be Deleted From Hennessy’s View

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If you registered as a user but never commented AND you want to continue getting an email notification when new blogs are posted, all you have to do is COMMENT on this blog. Say anything, like “don’t delete me, bro.”

Here’s why: my blog has about 8,000 registered users. That sounds great, I know, but it’s not. Most of these registered users are zombies. They were created by a spam bot so the bot could post spam comments.

These zombie users slow down the sight for everyone, and they present a security risk. Plus, they prevent me from implementing a cool new newsletter feature I’ll tell you more about in the next couple of weeks.

I am going to delete every user who has never commented on this blog on Tuesday, July 29 at 6:00 pm.

So why aren’t there a bunch of spammy comments with all these zombies hanging around? Good question. I use Akismet spam blocker to block spam comments. But I require commenters to be registered users. While Akismet stops the comments, it doesn’t stop the registration spammers.

After I clean up the zombies, I’m going to install software to block new zombie users, but that won’t affect you.

Once again, if you want to remain on my email list and able to comment, you must comment by 6:00 pm CDT on Tuesday, July 28, 2014.

If you get deleted, just re-register. I hope you do.

And if you haven’t registered, I recommend making a note on your calendar to do so AFTER Tuesday.


I’m Glad I Sent a Text Last Night

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SMS Text might have been Chip Gerdes’s art form. Text chats with Chip, usually late at night, were always lively, argumentative, funny, irreverent, and delightful.

Chip and I texted back and forth until midnight last night. During that chat, I made a commitment to take a trip to Quincy and see him. We both looked forward to it.

Our reunion was delayed.

The first time I met Chip was in front of Rep. Russ Carnahan’s office on Manchester and Brentwood in August 2009. We were holding a Tea Party protest against Obamacare, and Chip led a large contingent of Quincy (Illinois) Tea Partiers to support the cause.

That’s what Chip did: support the cause.

At the I’d never seen a photo of Chip, but I recognized him immediately. Ball cap, sunglasses, flip-flops and a handful of T.E.A. Special Forces t-shirts.  He tossed me one, along with a big, boyish grin. We shook hands and hugged.

Over the next three and a half years, Chip became great friends with many St. Louisans in the fight for freedom. He helped create Tea Party stars from behind the scenes. He recognized voices that would resonate, and he got them a stage. Then it was up to them.

Chip was a remarkable, gracious host, a charming and entertaining guest, and a true hero in the fight for liberty, freedom, and good government.

Chip Gerdes passed away last night. He leaves a widow and daughter and a massive family of freedom activists. We miss him. We love him.

Eternal rest grant to Chip, Lord, and let the perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace.

What others are saying:

The Gateway Pundit

Dana Loesch

How 2012 Might Have Been

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Republican Presidential Primaries

The Republican Primary season was already well underway. Before a single caucus or vote, though, we pretty much knew that Mitt Romney would win the nomination. He had the entire Republican establishment behind him, including true conservatives who wanted a “safe” candidate.

We know how that worked out.


What might have been had a strong conservative emerged in 2011? What if someone without baggage had prepared years in advance for a run against the weakened, staggering Obama? Truthfully, no Republican candidate met those two simple requirements: acceptable and prepared. Not even the “safe” Romney.

For 2016, we don’t need a middle of the road gay Hispanic Millennial candidate. We need a conservative who can win. That doesn’t mean anyone with a perfect ACU or Heritage score; it means someone with a great record on freedom and fiscal responsibility and government restraint who can charm the (iron) pants of Rachel Maddow and win roof-raising ovations from the America Legion and CPAC.  A candidate who low-information voters feel they know personally, and a candidate who can raise $2 billion without promising anyone anything except to be the best damn leader America can ask for. In short, we need conservatives who people genuinely like:

The Gallup organization has examined the public perception of American presidential candidates since 1960, focusing on the impact of issues, party affiliation, and likeability. From these factors, only likeability has consistently predicted the winning candidate [emphasis added’].

Wiseman, Richard (2009-12-15). 59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lot (Borzoi Books) (p. 51). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Had such a candidate emerged in 2012, it would have been a very good year.


Raise your hand if you remember that brutally hot day in June when over-eager tweeters jubilantly declared the Supreme Court found Obamacare unconstitutional? As soon as I saw the first such tweet, I though, “better hold on.” 

Imagine if John Roberts didn’t need so badly to be invited to the A-List parties in Washington and New York. Imagine if he’d put the country and his oath of office ahead of his social life.

America might never recover from the damage to liberty done by Obama, the Democrats, and Chief Justice Roberts. And I really mourn for that party that never was.

Odds are that Obama and a Democrat Senate will get to fill two vacancies on the Supreme Court before January 20, 2017. That’s how monumental the 2012 election was.

The Tea Party

The tea party had a very rough year. While it’s easy to blame outside forces, let’s not. Let’s look internally.

I know this won’t be popular with some of you, but I have to be honest here. We lost our focus on three core principles of the movement’s founding: Constitutionally limited government, fiscal responsibility, and federalism. Instead, we let the media, the left, and the religious right take us into territory where the tea prty didn’t belong.  There are plenty of organizations whose primary mission involves social issues. Many of us tea partiers belong to such groups. Fewer grassroots groups focus on preserving idea that governments are formed and animated by the consent of those they govern.

Beyond social issues, too often we gave into the temptation to speak our minds, to get immediate emotional gratification, without thinking about the long term. Too often, me included, we chose to show how smart and how right we were, instead of winning first, then turning our right thinking into right policy.

That lack of discipline cost us dearly. Not only is the tea party movement in danger, but the whole American Experiment is in trouble.

And, while I don’t think rallies will help advance our cause, not having rallies sure as hell didn’t win, either. I think I was wrong about that, and I’ll look at fixing it in 2013.

If tea partiers don’t commit to winning, though, instead of just being right, there’s really not much point in continuing. Had we focused maniacally on winning throughout 2011 and 2012, our memories of 2012 would be a lot brighter, and our hopes for 2013 more possible.

The Republican Party

The tea party’s 2012 was a Super Bowl victory compared to the Republican Party’s epic collapse. Lacking leaders, mission, purpose, goals, strategy, character, and charm, the GOP might not be national party come 2016. The Republican Party tries to win elections using Richard Viguerie’s brilliant direct mail method—send to a list, send again only to those who respond, repeat until you have a short list of people who donate every time you mail them. That’s a genius system for raising money, but it’s a death-trap for elections. The GOP has perfected the art of getting 100% turnout from a shrinking base of aging voters, and it shows no signs of willingness to change.

With establishment squishes running the party from top to bottom, I expect Obama to get just about anything he wants for the next four years. Because the establishment fears the tea party far more than it fears Democrats, getting their attention will be difficult. The Party neither wants nor accepts grassroots support, and I have a hard time asking myself and others to help them, anyway. If there was every a time in which a new party could seize power, it’s right now.

Bill Hennessy

Everything that went wrong in 2012 you can blame on me. I did not have a very good year. I am sorry. I will try to do better in 2013. If I cannot, I will say “thank you” and move onto to something else. I’m not big into losing on principle when I know we can win on principles, as well.

I won’t make a lot of promises, but I will try to get better about one thing: speaking up when I see our movement going astray.  For the past two years, I bit my tongue. A lot. I was afraid that speaking my mind might create fissures we didn’t need.

Well, the fissures came anyway, and we got our asses kicked all over the country.

So I’ll say things that some people won’t like. I hope you will, too. But I’ll also do things that I have less faith in than others. And I’ll be thrilled to be proven wrong.

That’s all for 2012. Tune in tomorrow—it’s a brand new year.

Changes at Hennessy’s View

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Looks different, doesn’t it?

After hosting my own web sites forever, I’m trying to simplify my server admin life. I’m moving Hennessy’s View to another service from my own servers.

The difference you should see is the theme.  (I’m tired of the minimalism.) Also, some archives from before 2010 might be missing for a while. They’ll catch up soon enough.


**UPDATE** In addition to the changes above, a couple of comments posted during the upgrade have been lost.  I apologize for that.  If your comment is missing, please repeat it.  Otherwise, I’ll try to recover them tonight.

Call Me “Apologist”

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Washington Post’s headline writer made a common mistake on Sunday.


He confused “one who apologizes” with “apologist.”

An easy mistake, no doubt, for most of us. Professional headline writers should know better. So should Glenn Kessler, the author of the WP story.

The claim that Obama is an apologist for the nation began to take shape shortly after he became president.

An apologist is “one who speaks or writes in defense of someone or something.” describes an apologist as:

any of the Christian writers, primarily in the 2nd century, who attempted to provide a defense of Christianity and criticisms of Greco-Roman culture.

Romney does not accuse Obama of being an apologist for the United States; he accuses the president, accurately, of apologizing for the United States.

To anyone who knows the meaning of the words, Kessler’s story reads like a farce.  Kessler attempts to demonstrate that Obama does not apologize the U.S., but, in fact, he defends his country.  But Kessler uses the wrong words.

Making Kessler’s sin even more egregious, he writes at the Post’s fact checker—a fact checker who failed to look up the meaning of “apologist,” the central word of his story.

Yesterday I wrote about the importance of precise words. Lord knows I’m as guilty of letting my precision wane as is Kessler or anyone else.

Still, I will accept the title of “American Apologist” proudly.  And, while I disagree with Kessler’s intended meaning, I do agree with the literal assertion of his story: Barack Obama is no apologist for the United States.