invented no-news primary day news

Tensions Low At Fake ‘Ham House’ Feud Between Romney, Gingrich

Double exposure of Newt Gingrich.Trouble was unfortunately not at all apparent early Saturday at a non-chain breakfast diner where national media could pick up some “local color” on a day when followers of political news are interested in reading new developments, but there are no new developments. Polls will not close until 7 p.m. Eastern time. What to do with the press corps during the boring lull when the southern state’s fringe-right Republican primary voters actually drive their GMC maxi-trucks four miles through the white exurbs looking for their polling place in a school builidng they’ve otherwise forgotten existed because they are all 75 years old and have probably already buried most of their own children, who succumbed to ham-biscuit diabetes? How about a manufactured “showdown at the local ham eatery,” maybe?

The AP reporter filed this forlorn thing:

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — So just where was the beef?

It turns out that the great ham house standoff had no sizzle, no matter how you sliced it.

GOP presidential rivals Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich were expected to cross paths at a campaign stop in Greenville as they rallied voters on primary day. But the much-hyped Republican run-in failed to materialize after Romney showed up at Tommy’s Ham House earlier than originally planned.

We don’t want to be mean, because Allah knows following state political races is a mind-numbing exercise in slow-motion masochism, but the reporter who wrote this is probably about 30 years old (we checked her LinkedIn profile). So, her single-sentence “fun feature” lede — which is not about ham, but “beef,” which is actually made from slaughtered cows and not slaughtered hogs — references the wooden, scripted debate moment in 1984 when dullard Walter Mondale recited the catchphrase from a then-current hamburger chain’s advertisement in reply to a question about his Democratic primary opponent, Gary Hart. This reporter would’ve probably been teething, at this point in American History.

And what on Earth does this have to do with a breakfast diner named “Tommy’s Ham House” in South Carolina, today? Nothing. It was another weird American Journalist reference to an unremembered past, because that’s how reporters “on the campaign trail” did it in the 1970s.

It’s not even the about the same kind of dead animal meat product.

Anyway, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich did not go to the non-chain diner for a folksy South Carolina confederate photo op at the same time. And America was denied another scripted moment of bogus lie-crammed argument between the Mormon kleptocrat and the amoral giant baby kleptocrat who wishes he was a Mormon, so he could have all those open marriages with fifteen wives and the hippies and the free love sex.

In other words, we’ll be back this evening with coverage of the South Carolina GOP primary results! Maybe Newt will blow a gasket and explode right on the teevee! [AP]

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About the author

A writer and editor of this website from 2006 to early 2012, Ken Layne is occassionally seen on Twitter and writes small books and is already haunting you from beyond (your) grave.

View all articles by Ken Layne

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330 comments

    1. flamingpdog

      I thought South Carolinians were kind of sensitive about the whole student bussing thingie. Bad move, Mint Rmoney!

    2. Biel_ze_Bubba

      I wonder it this counts toward their mandatory missionary service. "Hey, I got a missionary position in South Carolina! Hawt!"

        1. flamingpdog

          True fact: Mittens campaign has said it is NOT paying for the bus rental like the peeps on the bus said.

          1. SorosBot

            Maybe one of his SuperPACs with unlimited corporate donations that is totally not coordinating with his campaign is paying for it instead.

        1. Crank_Tango

          I don't think you are allowed to get Calista's face near synthetic fabrics…something about voiding the warranty.

      1. C_R_Eature

        Hard for me to tell, what with the squinting & retching and all, but that just might be an Intern.

          1. C_R_Eature

            I hereby award you the Thread-winning Gold Star medallion for the evening.

            In addition, Many Virtual Upfists.

      1. C_R_Eature

        Hey! I can't keep all my horrifying mental imagery to myself. Where's the fun in that?

        Besides, it was worth all the nausea to get to "rocktonsam" 's awe- inspiring picture of Newton wrestling with his conscience comment.

          1. C_R_Eature

            I'm sorry. last time, I promise. (Aside) You hear that , Brain! That's IT! Dammit! Go lay down. Down!

  1. Fukui_sanYesOta

    Ah, the great Tommy's Ham House showdown. Romney's hamminess as he pretends to be a reg'lar Joe unemployed vs Newton's in-depth knowledge of porking.

  2. Texan_Bulldog

    Somebody please wake me up on November 6. Ten more months of this crap is going to make me jab a fork in my eye.

    1. starfanglednut

      Surely the next debate will be a reasoned, intelligent, conversation of substance about the very real issues our country faces, rather than a series of hostile, childish barbs employing long debunked conservative economic theory, racist dog whistles, and thinly veiled corporate brainwashing. Right?

      1. MittBorg

        *Slap* Star? Speak to me! (slaps the li'l nut again)

        C'mon, get on your feet. We can do this. Put your arm around my shoulders. We're gonna walk. C'mon, now. *slap*

  3. PuckStopsHere

    Best "on the campaign trail" photo of all time as Mittens and Newtie are indeed nothing if not a couple of fuck pigs.

  4. SorosBot

    So Romney changed his mind about porking Gingrich? He probably was afraid of Santorum coming up from behind.

  5. ProgressiveInga

    The only words I care to hear from the amoral giant baby kleptocrat: "Th-th-th-that's all folks!"

  6. C_R_Eature

    "Headlines We'd Like to See":
    Mitt Romney criticizes Industrial Pig farms at Ham House breakfast -

    "ROMNEY SLAMS HAM"

    1. ProgressiveInga

      Hey LL, totally hot Tamron Hall is on msnbc right now and has what looks like some serious bed-head. She just keeps getting hotter…….

      /brb

      1. Limeylizzie

        I saw her and that black dress is mighty form-fitting, I would totally do her and I am straight.

    1. Terry

      They can, but it was difficult to raise pigs out in the godforsaken desert that is most of Utah. The official Church approved cookbook that all proper Mormon women use leans more heavily toward the beef.

      1. Rotundo_

        Egad, a religion with an approved cookbook? For real? Lots of jello and fruit punch recipies in that one I would imagine. I have heard of church cookbooks but there is an official approved LDS cookbook? I suppose if they can spec underwear, how you fix dinner isn't much of a step.

      1. MittBorg

        Um, you know, I love you in my own way, and I dare say you might have misunderstood me, back when, oncet, when I described myself as "sociable"?

        This was not what I had in mind, no.

          1. MittBorg

            And most especially not if they're lying in a muddy sty. There's a word for this kind of fetish play. Fortunately, it escapes me at this moment.

          2. MittBorg

            It's in The Encyclopedia of Unusual Sexual Practices, downstairs, but I've had enough schlepping for one day. I'll look it up if I ever get around to it.

    1. Pres.VerminSupreme

      Most homoerotic primary ever. Surging, coming from behind, surprising, commanding leads, and of course lots and lots of Santorum. Next thing you know the Village People will play a Gingrich rally.

  7. EatsBabyDingos

    It would have been like the Sharks versus the Jets, except with sporks and Levitra/Bud Lime cocktails. Reminds me: What kind of wood doesn't float? Natalie wood. Today, we are all Natalie wood.

    1. Steverino247

      You have to be trusted
      By the people you lie to

      Nah, the R's are worshiped by the people they lie to.

          1. Loaded_Pants

            I must defend the ham biscuit. If you can find a good supplier of excellent ham & know someone who can make equally excellent biscuits, it's true awesome. Most of the shit that gets passed off as "ham biscuits" in fast food chains & other restaurants is truly awful.
            Grandmother Loaded Pants made awesome ham biscuits from scratch.

          2. MittBorg

            I've never et a ham biscuit, but I was hoping for something more spectacular than merely sliced ham on a sliced biscuit. However, I'm perfectly willing to learn more. Would Grandmother Loaded Pants' recipe be available, perhaps?

        1. V572 the Merciless

          You've obviously never enjoyed a breaded pork tenderloin on a Wonder Bread hamburger bun with catsup.

        2. MittBorg

          What are these hideous New Jersey pork rolls of which you speak?

          It wasn't too long ago that my good friend Bill, who was born and raised in NJ, introduced me to what he called his "dago sandwich." Fried onions and peppers and sausage on a roll. Mmmm, mmmeaty! I am willing to learn more about hideous New Jersey pork rolls.

          1. MittBorg

            I think Bill calls it that because he's Eye-tie-lian. Snarky sensayuma. It is delish.

            Yes, this one not so much the delish, I think. Looks like pigs' heads got ground up to make it. Ew.

  8. BarackMyWorld

    You don't suppose just leaving the stupid food metaphors out of the story completely was considered as a viable writing option, do you?

  9. flamingpdog

    Gingrich counted on a strong performance Saturday in South Carolina's GOP primary to catapult him back into the top tier of White House hopefuls.

    I wish someone would catapult Newt up over Fort Sumter and out into the sea with the rest of the overfed sharks.

  10. Chichikovovich

    Ken, this is quite unfair. The young woman has really done a fine job with a challenging task. First begin with the opening:

    "So just where was the beef?"

    As you note, this came from Mondale's campaign, but you dismiss the allusion. And why is that? Because it is a cliché? True, but that is just a testament to it's rhetorical power. Apart from the electoral bloodbath that ended it, and Reagan's dopey, old, but apparently effective "youth and inexperience" joke, what else do we remember about the Mondale candidacy? That's right: "Where's the beef". It belongs with other such classic lines from unsuccessful Presidential runs, like Wendell Willkie's stirring "No man has the right to use the great powers of the Presidency to lead the people, indirectly, into war." Adlai Stevenson's rousing "Let's talk sense to the American people!" and Bob Dole's immortal “We know smoking tobacco is not good for kids, but a lot of other things aren't good. Drinking's not good. Some would say milk's not good.”

    And consider the body:

    "It turns out that the great ham house standoff had no sizzle, no matter how you sliced it.
    … But the much-hyped Republican run-in failed to materialize…"

    See how cleverly this incorporates meat-related words? "Sizzle" and "slice", invoking thoughts of the preparation of ham and other wholesome meat products, or "materialize", alluding to the well-known fact that pigs are material things rather than abstractions like numbers or dreams.

    I, for one, believe that this piece is evidence of of a future Chuck Todd in the making.

    1. ShaveTheWhales

      Sadly, she elected not to invoke the Wonkette Variation, suitable for Newt-n-Mitt: "Where's the queef?"

      1. Chichikovovich

        I didn't know about that variation, thanx – it absolutely fits the standards of class and sophistication that Wonkette demands.

        Myself, everytime I think of watching one of those debates, I ask "Where's the spleef?"

      1. MittBorg

        Not me, thanks, I'll be running away at high speed.

        I just got done chewing out some ninnyhammer on another site for his egregious abuse of the English language. I'll rest and watch Ken slice for now.

        1. Chichikovovich

          Good 4 u. Tho if I was you I wouldn't of even tried. For all intensive purposes its a waist of thyme, and you can not argue with them and keep your sanity in tact.

          1. Chichikovovich

            Oh, and when I wrote "your sanity in tact", I meant (of course) to write "you're sanity in tact",

            Sorry about that.

  11. flamingpdog

    OT, but they have a couple of semi-cute young chicks working at the Winconsin petition site right about now. Nice rack on gray sweater.

    1. MilwaukeeKent

      Somewhere in North Carolina, maybe Virginia, I saw a restaurant named "Ribs N' Things". I wanted to stop and order a bucket of "things" to go. Whate are those things? Oh, you know, things…

  12. paris biltong

    Scary alt-text.
    Glad someone's reporting on the failure of non-events to materialize during the course of an event of marginal significance.

  13. rocktonsam

    AAAAAAAAnd on this day in history ,in 1997, Newton Gingrich was reprimanded and fined as the House voted for the first time in history to discipline its leader for ethical misconduct.

    Cripes, Merika

    1. ShaveTheWhales

      Hey, he said he's gonna make history, and here he's already done it.*

      *This is distinct from making up history, which he does every time he opens his porcine slophole.

    2. Fukui_sanYesOta

      Speaker Manteca looks like he's going to win in SC today.

      Truly amazing. This nouveau-papist serial adulterer is playing well in the Baptist heartland despite the hatchet job from his previous wife. What on earth are these Republican voters playing at? It's not so much the candidates Flip Flopneying as the electorate.

      1. ShaveTheWhales

        I never drive through Manteca without giving brief thanks for the wonder of a city that could have been named by Wonkette. And, of course, that just down the road you can get off the freeway at Salida.

        Speaka Manteca FTW!

        1. Fukui_sanYesOta

          I always get a chuckle out of Manteca, especially the ads for the RV showroom where the olds yell "MAAAAAN-TECA!"

          Vacaville is aptly named also too.

    3. bikerlaureate

      That was before he repented.

      No, wait – that was because he loves America so much, and was working too hard.

      Um…

  14. coolhandnuke

    Swooning: A portmanteau of swine and spooning. Example; when Gingrich slumps over on Calista after she has performed her carnal duties outlined in the marital contract. See picture above.

    1. Loaded_Pants

      I imagine it's more like Calista has to climb up him the way the Fremen did with the sand worms in "Dune".

  15. ShaveTheWhales

    Re the recallcam: didn't we have a discussion not too long ago about the old "extra-credit-for-writing-down-all-the-numbers between 1 and a million" trick?

    These folks are planning to verify two million signatures. No wonder we see the occasional sigh.

  16. flamingpdog

    I'm pretty sure that's Rush on the left hand side of the photo. Check out the pilonidal cyst on his ass.

  17. 4TheTurnstiles

    This means, of course, that NEWT FUCKING GINGRICH could be the Republican nominee. Think of this: comedy just diddled her skittle for joy. This will be hilarious.

    Of course, running against Obamar Is a Terrist, Gingrich is still projected to win Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, and some other rectangle states. America, how is your trial going?

    1. MittBorg

      Well, he can't, really, because he can't win too many states, unlike RMONEY. But he can make RMONEY's life, and the lives of the Repuglyklan power elite exceedingly uncomfortable over the next few months.

      I wonder what he's playing at.

  18. Tundra Grifter

    Mittens and Ole Newt did make an appointment for dawn tomorrow at the nearest Waffle House – where real Southern gentlemen go to scuffle (and where Kid Rock had a $40,000 breakfast a few years ago).

  19. coron4

    Isn't it wonderful that a Google search delivers results for the exact phrase "ham-biscuit diabetes"?

  20. starfanglednut

    To be fair to to the republican people of South Carolina, pigs and cows look exactly alike when you're standing behind them, drunk, with your pants around your ankles.

  21. Oblios_Cap

    Another BYU student, who asked not to be named, said he traveled to South Carolina on a bus with several other Mormons and non-Mormons from Virginia, home to the small Mormon liberal arts school, Southern Virginia University. He said as far as he knew, the Romney campaign would be reimbursing the cost of the charter bus, and that volunteer coordinators suggested the out-of-towners show up at Tommy's.

    Well, I guess you just gotta have faith, brother!

  22. Oblios_Cap

    UPDATE: Andrea Saul, a spokesperson for Romney, told BuzzFeed it was "not true" that the campaign would be paying for the charter bus students took to South Carolina.

    BWAHAHAHA! I knew it! What a fucking jerk.

    1. Biff

      Most likely, his superPAC that he in no way communicates or coordinates with under fear of going to the "Big House".

    1. ShaveTheWhales

      I love the picture — it doesn't completely sell the ironic reference to the Boss, but who the fuck wants to look at Willard's ass?

        1. MittBorg

          I've been driving wingnuts crazy all week by telling them that God is speaking through Haley and McCain (who also raved on about how President Obama was going to save the country).

      1. Biel_ze_Bubba

        "What's the gut on the ground feeling out there?"

        I can't imagine you feel well at all, if your guts are on the ground. Then again, maybe that's how GOP voters do feel, when they look at the ballot.

  23. V572 the Merciless

    So just where was the beef? It turns out that the great ham house standoff had no sizzle, no matter how you sliced it.

    And that, my friends is the difference between a professional high-quality, J-school-trained Journalist® and some ordinary hack who might have only gotten two clichés in as many sentences.

    Suck it, William Blake:

    O Rose, thou art sick!
    The invisible Worm
    That flies in the night
    In the howling storm

    Has found out thy bed
    Of crimson joy,
    And his dark secret love
    Does thy life destroy.

      1. V572 the Merciless

        Ol’Bill would be insulted to be considered merely “kinda” weird.

        Ah! sunflower, weary of time,
        Who countest the steps of the sun,
        Seeking after that sweet golden clime
        Where the traveler’s journey is done;

        Where the youth pined away with desire,
        And the pale virgin shrouded in snow,
        Arise from their graves and aspire;
        Where my sunflower wishes to go.

      2. starfanglednut

        At a poetry reading at my school, I saw Allen Ginsburg sing the Tiger, tiger poem to an accompaniment of bongos, and I was propositioned on the elevator by a shitfaced Gregory Corso. My closest brush with fame. Talk about weird.

        1. MilwaukeeKent

          Way OT from Tommy's Ham House, but a Corso story. After a reading at the Jazz Gallery bar in Milwaukee in the early 1980s, he bummed a cigarette from me and then asked the immediate crowd around him, "Now, who's going to get me high?". A friend we called Father Mike yanked out a half ounce of pot and waved it in the air. Corso and I told him in no uncertain terms to put it away. "Now where can we go?" said Corso. I suggested his dressing room, which turned out to be cinderblock utility closet 5 feet wide and 20 feet long. There was no way to lock the door from inside. In twos and threes people who saw us go in followed, hauling out baggies and pipes, until there were about 30 people packed in there. Corso had enough, "F*ck this! This is crazy!" and stomped out.

  24. ttommyunger

    "Tommy's Ham House"- No relation, in any way. I haven't been able to indulge in Ham or Biscuits in years. As Audrey Hepburn once famously said: "Growing old isn't for sissies.", and as Lindsay "Sweet-cheeks" Graham once said: "How 'bout I blow you for a Ham Biscuit?".

  25. BarackMyWorld

    Fox News has started their coverage…doesn't look like they have a reporter at Ron Paul's HQ, but there's one at the others. LIBRUL METEYUH BYUS!

    1. Chichikovovich

      And in a gesture of good faith, the Gingrich Campaign sends out a couple of dozen large canisters of coffee and 40 cases of Coca-cola to the Romney post-vote shindig.

  26. Dashboard Buddha

    You know what's worse about that picture? It's not the Newt/Callista et al jokes. No…it the almost guaranteed fact that the hillbilly who took that picture returned to his hut to masturbate away the remainder of the day.

  27. horsedreamer_1

    Blind squirrel, acorn dept.? America's least progressive state hosts all non-federal elections on the weekend. It's positively international.

    & smart of the Black Copters UN crew to insinuate itself into the US where we would least expect. I mean, South Cack? No way. But, then, he Boys in Powder Blue are smart, & know a transnationalist Bilderberger insertion into The People's Republic of Portland or Sticky Green Mountain State would be sniffed out & snuffed so easily.

    1. ShaveTheWhales

      Um, you're in/from Wiskey, ain'a? Where'd you get the mushrooms in midwinter? Can I haz some?

    1. ShaveTheWhales

      There's no doubt that Warren won the Southern Man – Sweet Home fight even though he wasn't initially on the card.

      1. C_R_Eature

        Warren has that effect on people and that was a pretty Hot Set.

        Some have been known to burst into flame.

        1. MittBorg

          I've always loved what-all of his stuff I ever heard, but it is clear that I have not heard enough. Srsly. I keep having momentary lapses of consciousness where I just hear part of one riff from that incredible playing.

          1. C_R_Eature

            Glad to hear it!
            He was a top of the line singer songwriter and what HST used to refer to as a "King-Hell" performer. Wild man, lived hard, worked hard gone too soon.

            Music is The Best, my friend. Believe it.

          2. ShaveTheWhales

            Warren never got as much appreciation as he deserved because his strength was words. And he would give you just as many of them as needed to get the point across. He didn't give a lot of thought to hooks, so few of his tunes were ever big sellers, and — IMO — even his live shows (I saw a few) were not all that musically exciting.

            But his lyrics are fucking awesome.

          3. MittBorg

            I loved Lawyers, Guns, & Money and pretty much all of Excitable Boy, but I think I only have two albums of his on the Pod, and neither of them include that very very impressive track. That was some good guitar (not Warren's — he's great, but I just don't think he makes the list of "All-Time Great Guitar Players").

  28. C_R_Eature

    Zounds! The S. C. Primary has just been called for … GINGRICH!

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

    1. Chichikovovich

      Let it include the phrase "You won't have Mitt Romney to kick around anymore…" That always makes concession speeches 100 times better.

  29. Limeylizzie

    Welcome the new potential First Lady, a hatchet-faced giver of hummers to a married man, elegance personified.

    1. C_R_Eature

      Think of the appalling Acts the putative First Lady will be force d to preform tonight.

      In addition to Smiling, Waving, Speaking Happy Words at the Podium, etc.

      1. Chichikovovich

        Fortunately for the Mars Attacks Lady, one thing Newt loves more than bj's is talking about himself. With the number of cameras and microphones around him in that ballroom, he may not stop talking for days. (No doubt he has evolved a mechanism for breathing through the skin so as not to interrupt the flow of – um – eloquence. Or effluvium, I always get those mixed up.)

        I have a feeling Callista's sleep tonight will be solitary and undisturbed.

    2. ShaveTheWhales

      Somewhere, I've seen a photo of the First Salamanderic Spouse-to-be when she was but a wee intern, and she actually looked like a regular person. This supports my theory that she has engaged in this plastic-encapsulation campaign in order to conceal herself from those that may have known her before.

  30. chascates

    Drudge Siren:
    IT'S NEWT!

    Hede leads to a 5:35 pm article talking about the Romney-Gingrich face-off that ends in an hour. But maybe Matt is providing the answer to another question.

  31. chascates

    CNN: Exit polls show Newt Gingrich leading Mitt Romney, 38% to 29% among voters who spoke with network exit poll interviewers.

  32. Pres.Beeblebrox

    Hahahahahahahahaha! Who would have thought in the height of the Clinton Administration and all the Republican-caused misery that fucking Newt would be a serious contender for the Presidency? This is fucking comedy gold.

  33. flamingpdog

    I decided earlier this afternoon that if Mittens won, the only thing I could do was DRINK! And if the Neuter won, the only appropriate response would be to DRINK!!

    It's wine-wine situation.

  34. C_R_Eature

    Rince Priebus in sucking on a Jameson's bottle in his office right now, wimpering and fondling his Blankie.

    His wife is surreptitiously unloading the S&W 686.

    1. horsedreamer_1

      Another Saturday Nite… Ain't got nobody. Go some money 'cause my SuperPAC check just cleared….

  35. chascates

    Hell, it took over a week for Iowa to claim Santorum won. South Carolinians decide things in a second. Whether that's choosing a political candidate or to secede from the Union.

    1. Steverino247

      Act in haste, repeat at leisure.

      Assuming you're smart enough to figure out you fucked up, that is.

  36. chascates

    HuffPo reports:
    Newt Gingrich, the night's big winner, will appear on "Face The Nation" (CBS) and "Meet The Press," (NBC) while Mitt Romney will be on "Fox News Sunday" at 9 a.m.
    Rick Santorum was not among the state's top finishers, but will have a full morning that includes interviews on ABC's "This Week" and CNN's "State of the Union."

    Man, Jason Linkins is going to have a busy morning.

  37. SorosBot

    I'm so sad that I don't have cable to watch the 24 hour news networks' breathless coverage of the SC results.

    Oh wait, aside from Maddow and O'Donnel they are all shit; no I'm not. Instead I'm watching coverage on France 24, which for some reason I get on my digital antenna and manages to destroy any news produced in the United States.

  38. chascates

    Associated Press:
    "I don't care who is doing the speech – the more the merrier. People are not stupid. If they don't like it, they'll shut it off." – Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, defending a 2010 court decision that led to the rise of Super PACs and a deluge of political ads on TV.

  39. fuflans

    you know, i really like pigs – and i mean as animals. and i do not eat them.

    i think this is all very unfair and as i said earlier, newt more resembles larvae IMO.

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