Bimbo Banter


BIMBO Nominees for June 2013


  • Bimbo
  • June 1, 2013
  • by Spaeth Communications

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This may be the best BIMBO month ever. Catch additional BIMBOs from software developer John McAfee, a UK writer commenting on John Maynard Keynes’ sexuality, Al Gore, a torrent from those involved in the IRS scandal, software giants Ellison and Duffield’s mentees bent on revenge, the Benghazi controversy, a governor’s communication director (who should know better), an Alabama city council president, O.J. Simpson, several  lawyers who say way too much, Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn, golfer Sergio Garcia who missed the “no racial jokes” memo and a spoof on Mayor Bloomberg is too good to be true, but should be.

THE WINNING BIMBO

“I do not use crack cocaine, nor am I an addict of crack cocaine,” said Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. (Described as “embattled” – never a good word to have attached to your name — the controversy arose when two reporters for the Toronto Star claimed to have seen a video of the Mayor using the illegal drugs. The video is not public because the men wanted to sell it and the Star declined to pay. Gawker launched a campaign to raise $200,000 – the video’s asking price. The controversy dominated the local news with Ford counterattacking, calling reporters “a bunch of maggots.” An additional BIMBO comes from Ford’s brother and radio show co-host, who felt compelled to tell listeners, “I was not a dealer of hashish in the 1980s.” It does raise substantial questions. We’re with Mayor Ford’s lawyer, Dennis Morris, who argued quite reasonably, “I don’t know whether such a video exists, but I think it would be fair for the public to see such a video and make their own conclusions.”)

The Guardian, “Toronto mayor Rod Ford denies existence of crack-smoking video,” May 27, 2013

THE RUNNERS-UP

“I am not a mad man,” said John McAfee, developer of the eponymous software and a “person of interest” to the Belize government in the unsolved murder of Gregory Viant Faull. (The rambling, four hour interview isn’t likely to convince people he’s rational. He introduces his “live-in girlfriend” as “one of several women he says he’s seeing,” claims he hasn’t taken drugs since 1983 – that’s reassuring – and adds, “I am the master of sullying my name. What do you expect from a murderer, drug addict, pedophile and paranoid schizophrenic mad man?” He also said he “lied, faked a heart attack and put on disguises,” to get out of Belize. Mr. McAfee may be a genius but he needs a media advisor desperately. This is a case of saying too much. He should have said, “I acted rationally, and I have more to contribute to my chosen field.”)

USA Today, “I am not a mad man,” May 13, 2013

“We don’t depend on tax gimmicks” or “stash money on some Caribbean island,” Apple CEO Tim Cook told Congress at a hearing on the company’s multiple global locations and strategies to maximize shareholder returns by minimizing federal income taxes. (We’re on the CEO’s side, but he could have used a much more compelling argument and should have avoided the quotable BIMBO comment. While entirely legal and caused by Congress’ own inability to write a coherent tax code, Apple’s tax strategies are highly complex, and J. Richard Harvey, a tax expert at Villanova Law School said he “fell off my chair” at the statement disclaiming “tax gimmicks.” Cook also added he did not deem some of the strategies to “be a sham or an abuse in any way.” The “tax gimmick” line also became the cut line on USA Today’s photograph. Mr. Cook missed his chance to be a hero and make the case for tax simplification in a global economy. Few people know that the United States’ 35 percent corporate income tax is the highest in the world.)

USA Today, “Apple’s tax ingenuity a tough sell,” May 22, 2013

“I’m not lazy and I’m no bimbo,” Laura Fernee told a UK publication.  Ms. Fernee says she’s so pretty she had to quit her job. (This woman, who supplied numerous photos for the profile, complains, “They [the other women] assumed because I was pretty, I was stupid, so didn’t take me seriously at first and, because of their own insecurities, were jealous of my looks. Then when they realized I was very good at my job, possibly better than them, they hated me even more.” She may be a science graduate but she doesn’t have an ounce of common sense. Because of “their own insecurities?” And she was “better” at the job than the others? Calling Dale Carnegie! Send her a copy of “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” And the publication notes that her parents are picking up the tab for a pricy apartment, £1,500 a month for clothes and £1,000 a month on “socialising.” She should be spending some money on counseling and learning how to be empathic towards others.)

Daily Mail, ”The woman who claims she is too pretty to take a job,” May 27, 2013

“My disagreements with Keynes’ economic philosophy have never had anything to do with his sexual orientation,” wrote British writer, Niall Ferguson. (Not prepared for that? Neither were we. Who knew that John Maynard Keynes, who was married, was gay? Apparently Ferguson was riffing on Keynes’ famous comment, “In the long run, we are all dead,” and talking about how our children and grandchildren will have to deal with the consequences of economic actions taken – or not taken – today. Ferguson apparently commented that Keynes didn’t care about long term issues because he had no children and was gay. A furor erupted and Ferguson issued a prompt and appropriate apology. Proving that the messenger is the medium, he got Andrew Sullivan to go to bat for him, noting that he was godfather to one of Ferguson’s sons. Sullivan is gay and HIV positive.)

Andrewsullivan.com, “A Couple of words on Niall Ferguson,” May 4, 2013

“The scientists are not in a conspiracy to lie to us,” bellowed former Vice President Al Gore at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles. (We’re all in favor of reducing CO2 emissions, but we think the science it inconclusive on climate change – which we prefer to “global warming” since the metrics are hard to reconcile. Imagine our surprise when the VP continued that he didn’t see D.C. coming up with solutions “since the United States government is so neurotic and dysfunctional and pathetic and paralyzed.” Mr. Gore has been awarded an honorary Tea Party membership.)

Hollywood Reporter, “Milken Conference: Al Gore Rocks Crowd with Global Warming Speech,” April 30, 2013

The IRS admitted it was “targeting” conservative groups with words like “Tea Party” or “patriot” in their names. In addition to a torrent of outrage, the scandal has produced an outpouring of BIMBOs as well as “Wrong Thing to Say” examples. (Now-resigned acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller first insisted that the Service’s behavior “was not an act of partisanship” but were just trying to be “efficient in their workload selection.” This is false because scores of Tea Parties were besieged by lengthy requests for highly inappropriate and expensive material. For example, the Waco Tea Party had an hour long radio show for two years. The IRS demanded they transcribe every show. The cost would be over $20,000. Another Tea Party group that sponsored a book club was told they would have to list every book read and provide a book review. Compounding the attack on the Service’s credibility, in March 2012, then-Commissioner Douglas Schulman was asked about complaints from groups trying to organize and said, under oath, “There is absolutely no targeting.” When asked about that testimony, Miller squirmed around saying, “It was incorrect, but whether it was untruthful or not...” Of course it was untruthful. Since he was also asked by Members about the complaints, and kept up Schulman’s party lie, he was asked again, and said, “I did not mislead the committee.” Also drawn into controversy was Lois Lerner, the director of the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt groups, who originally tried to insist that the groups weren’t targeted, it was just a “shortcut.” Again, a “shortcut?” When agents were demanding detailed membership lists, a log of activities, and information about the groups’ intentions? When called to testify herself, Ms. Lerner said, “I have not done anything wrong. I have not broken any laws. I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations, and I have not provided any false information to this or any other congressional committee,” then she said, sorry, I’m taking the Fifth. I’m putting my counselor’s hat on. Memo to the IRS: all of the facts are going to come out. Get all the information out now and let the chips fall where they may.)

CBS News, “Ousted IRS chief: “I did not mislead” the American people,” May 17, 2013

“It would be a mistake to see this as a revenge play, though other people might see it that way,” said Ancel Bhusri talking about his company’s rivalry with Zachary Nelson’s NetSuite.  (And you can bet lots of people will see it as “revenge.” Bhusri works for David Duffield, the low-profile founder of PeopleSoft which was taken over in a bitter battle by Nelson’s mentor, Lawrence Ellison of Oracle. After Oracle gobbled up PeopleSoft, it laid off 5,000 of its 11,000 employees. Now NetSuite and Workday, Bhusri and Dufflield’s new company, are locked in a battle for cloud computing customers. Bhusri was almost certainly responding to a reporter asking, “Is this revenge?” He added that “PeopleSoft came in second or third. This time, we can be first.” That’s the wrong argument. He should have replied, “The issue is who can give customers great service. We have unparalleled experience in providing what our customers need.” Workday and NetSuite provide different services to customers via subscription and the internet. By taking the bait to continue the verbal battle with Mr. Ellison, who wisely declined to participate, they lost the opportunity to talk about their company.)

The New York Times, “Leaders of Two upstarts in Cloud Computing Carry on Mentors’ Battles,” May 27, 2013

Carrying on the long-running battle over who knew what, when about Benghazi, a State Department official insisted that spokesperson Victoria Nuland “did not change the drafts, she did not edit them,” a claim seemingly contradicted by a raft of emails “that show much more substantive revisions proposed by the State Department,” according to The New York Times. (This is going to end badly. Much of the media is covering the controversy as a “who won/who lost” political debate. It is much more. It is an issue of competence and trust inasmuch as it involves the consulate that asked for extra security. It involves common sense and truthfulness to the American public as Ambassador Susan Rice was sent out repeatedly to mouth talking points that the attack was a spontaneous demonstration related to a trailer for an amateur, anti-Muslim video.)

The New York Times, “Benghazi E-mails Put White House on the Defensive,” May 11, 2013    

There is “no transparency problem,” said communications director for North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory when dismissing criticism regarding the decision to no longer alert the media when the governor has nothing on his public schedule for the following day. (When campaigning against then-Governor Beverly Perdue, McCrory accused her of “secret trips.” The change seems reasonable, but we’re concerned that the head of communications fell into the BIMBO trap. She also said the change was procedural and would save time, again reasonable, but she should have quit while she was ahead.)

Associated Press,”McCrory press aide transfers to another NC agency,” May 14, 2013

“This is not to raise revenue,” insisted Center Point, Alabama, City Council President Roger Barlow when traffic cameras were installed. (This is a classic example of what we call “inverted speech.” Barlow also said, “It’s a safety issue,” which seems borne out by a 50 percent reduction in speeding where the cameras were used last year. It looks like the reporter asked about this being a revenue generator and Barlow repeated it back. He should have acknowledged it with one of our phrases, “on the contrary,” and then moved to the safety issue.)

The Birmingham News, “Traffic Camera Bill passes,” May 15, 2013

LAWYERS AND BIMBOs

“I didn’t break into anybody’s room,” said former NFL star O.J. Simpson at a hearing to determine if he deserves a new trial on armed robbery charges. He added, “There was no talk of guns at all.” (Note that the BIMBO denial made the headline. This is an interesting story because O.J. is arguing that his lawyer mishandled the first trial, but his lawyer was the famous Yale Galanter. His current lawyer didn’t know enough to advise him not to deny negatives. )

Associated Press, “O.J. testifies: ‘I didn’t break into anybody’s room,’” May 16, 2013

“There are no changes in this indictment that in any way implicate Sen. Sampson’s conduct in the performance of his duties as state senator,” said defense attorney, Zachary Carter. “This is an ordinary case that has been an official corruption coat of paint.” (State Sen. Sampson (D-Brooklyn, NY) was charged with self-dealing and corruption and stealing $440,000 from escrow accounts connected to the sales of foreclosed properties. In addition, allegations include borrowing money to pay back some of the accounts but not recording the loan on his financial disclosure forms. He was recorded telling others that he could arrange to take witnesses “out.” The Senator’s lawyer has a limited view of what New Yorkers expect from their elected officials – like integrity?)

The Wall Street Journal, “Charges tell of lies, Theft and Politics,” May 6, 2013

“I made a misstatement. My client wasn’t dressed in Nebraska gear. I don’t know where I got that from. I’ve been bombarded by the press with so much innuendo. I get confused,” was the comment from Donald Brenner, attorney for former University of Colorado football player Alex Lewis who was arrested for assaulting an Air Force Academy cadet. (Brenner’s original story to the press was, you guessed it, that Lewis had been wearing Cornhusker gear and that had so infuriated the cadet that he started a fight. And, who wants an attorney who gets so confused? All he had to do was say “I need to correct an incorrect statement about my client’s attire.”)

Daily Camera, “Lawyer: Ex-Buff charged in assault not wearing Nebraska gear after all,” May 15, 2013

KNOW WHEN TO FOLD ‘EM

“If it makes me a media lackey or tail-wagging lap dog for President Barack Obama to hold out for, you know, actual evidence that he had anything to do with the various and glaring misbehavior, blundering and butt-covering in the governmental ranks before I begin invoking Watergate and floating the possibility of impeachment, then so be it,” began Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn, arguing that it was premature to compare the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups or the Justice Department’s seizure of a Fox News Reporter’s phone records to the Watergate scandal.  James Taranto of The Wall Street Journal, picked up this delicious paragraph, put it on his own blog and noted, “There’s been a lot of talk about Watergate lately, most of it unintentional apophasis (or “Bimbo,” to use the technical term.)” Taranto reprinted the paragraph and added, “Do go on Eric. What was that you were saying about Watergate and impeachment?”  Zorn apparently doesn’t know about BIMBOs, because he took the bait and returned to the subject, “No, no, after you James,” and continued “There was nothing unintentional about my allusion to the frequency with which impeachment and Watergate have been invoked by Republicans,” and adding, “This will be a scandal like Watergate if it turns out that the IRS was acting under orders from Barack Obama or Valerie Jarrett.”   (Of course, the memorable word is “Watergate,” and people might remember that President Nixon didn’t order the Watergate break-in. He just tolerated its cover-up, as did senior White House aides. If the standard has to be “acting under orders,” it will be a very high benchmark. If it’s tolerating the targeting and phone record seizures, well, that seems to already be partially confirmed. And we didn’t know we gave “apophasis” awards. Please clue in Mr. Zorn. Should we send him one of our coveted orange ribbons?)

Change of Subject / Chicago Tribune, “Umbrage-gate: The scandalously premature diagnosis of a cancer on the presidency,” May 19, 2013

WRONG THING TO SAY

“We will have him round every night. We will serve fried chicken,” quipped golfer Sergio Garcia when asked if he’d be entertaining Tiger Woods at the U.S. Open. (Oops. He didn’t get the memo about making racially insensitive jokes. Worse, Garcia made the joke while on stage at an awards dinner. Doesn’t he know you should rehearse for those public occasions? And if it hasn’t been rehearsed, don’t say it. Note the line made the headline. The rest of his remarks are lost. He had to apologize. Tiger responded with a series of tweets including the gracious, “I’m confident that there is real regret that the remark was made.” (Just another example of how things travel today.)

Associated Press, “Sergio sorry for ‘fried chicken’ line,” May 22, 2013         

GOING VIRAL

We have to admit, we wish this story were true. The Daily Currant reported that Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York was refused a second slice of pizza by the owners of Collegno’s Pizzeria who told him, “You’ve reached your personal slice limit.” It turned out to be a spoof, but not before it went viral, we guess because it sounded as if it could be true.

U.S. News & World Report, “Bloomberg Pizza Satire Hits Too Close to Home,” May 3, 2013


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