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Politics

GREEN BEHIND THE EARS (Barack Obama)

Obama/McCain Debate #2  – Obama says McCain thinks he is green behind the ears when it comes to foreign policy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=qZDSJN7mVPo

SHOOT FROM THE LIP (Herman Cain)

I WANT TO HOLD MY POWDER

This malaphor was spoken by Congressman Paul Ryan (R – Wis) during his appearance on Morning Joe when asked for his “prebuttal” on Obama’s forthcoming budget.   It is a mash up of “hold one’s fire” (refrain from criticism) and “keep one’s powder dry” (ready to take action if necessary).   To “hold one’s tongue” also might be in the mix as it has a similar meaning and fits in the context.  Or maybe Rep. ryan is changing his mind on the current gun legislation proposals?   Many thanks to Mike Kovacs for spotting this one.

Official portrait of Congressman .

Official portrait of Congressman . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HIT THE GROUND FLYING (D.C. Council Member Marion Barry’s former communication director)

She discusses what qualities Mr. Barry seeks in a new communications director, including a person who has to hit the ground flying.  See link below:

Washington Post

HE WAS BORN WITH A SILVER FOOT IN HIS MOUTH (Ann Richards)

Ann Richards said this malaphor, referring to George H.W. Bush at the 1988 Democratic Convention.  While an intentional malaphor, it is one of the most famous ones and so must be included on this page.  Thanks to Kathy Diane Rulapaugh-Greilich for this one!

HE’S FEATHERING HIS OWN BED (Alex Jones from the AlexJonesChannel)

  A reaction to Rand Paul’s endorsement of Mitt Romney for President of the U.S.:

“He was an equivocator from the beginning. He does not have the same commitment to the Constitution. He’s feathering his own bed. Now, let him lie in it!”

IT DOESN’T EVEN MOVE THE RADAR (Huffington Post)

ron-johnson-mitt-romney-abortion_n_2032145.html?icid=hp_front_top_art

THE TIME IS TICKING (John Kerry)

In the recent confirmation hearings, Senator John Kerry noted that “the time is ticking” for Syrian President Bashar Assad:

”History caught up to us. That never happened. And it’s now moot, because he (Assad) has made a set of judgments that are inexcusable, that are reprehensible, and I think is not long for remaining as the head of state in Syria,” the senator said. “I think the time is ticking.”

http://news.yahoo.com/kerry-field-questions-panel-chairs-080523261.html

This is a mash up of “the clock is ticking” and “the time is coming” with maybe the clock on 60 minutes thrown in for good measure. Thanks to Yvonne for catching this one and passing it on!

THE KIDS DON’T HAVE TO BE ROCKET SURGEONS (Stacey Campfield)

Rocket scientist and brain surgeons, unite!

That’s what Tennessee State Senator Stacey Campfield apparently thinks when he was interviewed by Martin Bashir on CNN last week. In response to Bashir‘s question of why tying welfare benefits to children’s grades wouldn’t hurt the family overall, Sen. Campfield said, “the kids don’t have to be rocket surgeons.” This is a nice mash up of “brain surgeon” and “rocket scientist”. Thanks to Sam for finding this one replayed on the Jay Leno show!
http://www.nashvillescene.com/pitw/archives/2013/01/31/campfield-makes-jay-leno-show-as-punchline-of-dumb-joke

WE’LL BE HERE ‘TILL THE COWS COME HOME FROM CAPISTRANO (John Rogers)

This beauty was uttered by Alabama State Representative John Rogers, in response to questions about his protests outside a hospital that is about to be closed. This is a mash up of “until the cows come home” (for a very long time) and the song “when the Swallows come back to Capistrano”. Warning: when you visit San Juan Capistrano, be sure and watch out for cow droppings from the sky….

http://blog.al.com/archiblog/2012/11/why_not_give_rep_john_rogers_w.html

Thanks to David S. for sending this one to me all the way from Birmingham.

OFF ON A SOUR FOOT (Regarding Bill McBride)

The St. Petersburg Times Floridian on line dated 7/28/2012:

McBride rubbed some people the wrong way. “A lot of guys didn’t care for his style,” said Harry Rees, a corporal from Kansas. “He came in with these ideas that were probably textbook classroom stuff that don’t work, and it kind of started him off on a sour foot with a lot of the guys. When you try to say, ‘Sir, that won’t work out here,’ and he won’t listen, how would you feel about the guy?”

JEDI MIND-MELD (Barack Obama)

Al Kamen in the Washington Post noted this mash up by President Obama of Jedi mind tricks and Vulcan mind-melds:

President Obama might be urging cooperation between Democrats and Republicans on the sequester.

But the only things that seems to be mixing at the moment are metaphors.

During his news conference Friday, Obama said some people unfairly expected him to be able to force Republicans to accept his terms. “Even though most people agree… I’m presenting a fair deal, the fact that they don’t take it means that I should somehow do a Jedi mind-meld with these folks and convince them to do what’s right,” he said.

That phrase “Jedi mind meld,”which he uttered during extemporaneous (read: no prompter or script) remarks during the question-and-answer portion of the newser, appears to combine elements from two distinct sci-fi worlds.

A “Jedi mind trick” is a power exercised by Jedi Knights in “Star Wars,” usually accomplished by verbal ma­nipu­la­tion (Famous example: “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.”)

But “mind meld” is a phenomenon from “Star Trek.” It’s a method of communication used among Vulcans, like Spock.

Obama’s mash-up of the two is certain to provoke outcry among the fervent fans of each franchise. And no matter what happens in Washington, the president might find that bringing together Trekkies and Star Wars aficionados might be tougher than brokering a bipartisan compromise.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/in-the-loop/post/obamas-jedi-mind-meld-mixes-sci-fi-worlds/2013/03/01/749ca984-8291-11e2-a350-49866afab584_blog.html

THEY DUG THEIR OWN SNARE (Alan Simpson)

This conflation of “dug their own grave” and “caught in a snare” was spoken by former U.S. Senator Alan Simpson on the Today show last week, referring to Congress and the President not acting yet on the approaching fiscal cliff.  Thank you to my old friend Dave Thorp for spotting this one.

I’M NOT GOING TO BUY ANYTHING ON WHOLE CLOTH (Chris Christie)

This mash up of “buy into (something)” (to accept or believe in something) and “out of whole cloth” (without foundation or not based on fact) was heard by Mike Kovacs on the Today show recently.   Talking about scientists’ theories on whether Hurricane Sandy was caused by climate change, NJ Governor Chris Christie told Matt Lauer he was “not going to buy anything on whole cloth.”

I HAVE A PULSE TO THE GROUND (Donald Trump)

This timely malaphor was recently uttered by Donald Trump.  An article in the July 20, 2015 New York Times quotes The Donald:

“I have a pulse to the ground,” he added. “I think I know what’s wrong with the country, and I think I’ve been able to portray that in a way that people agree with.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/20/us/politics/trump-refuses-to-apologize-for-comments-on-mccains-service.html?_r=0

This is a conflation of “have my finger on the pulse” (to be familiar with the most recent developments) and “have my ear to the ground” (to watch and listen carefully to what is happening around you).  Lots going on with this one.  Fingers go into ears, etc.  This one is similar to the March 23, 2015 entry, “keep your finger on the ball”. https://malaphors.com/?s=pulse   A big thank you to Paula Garrety for seeing this one and passing it on!

(TRUMP) SHOOTS FROM THE CUFF

Megyn Kelly was talking about Trump’s encounter with Jorge Ramos:

KELLY: When he got up there, you know, in his speech, he was talking about how he thinks they should ban Teleprompters for these politicians.  These presidential candidates which I think, you know, the President actually uses a teleprompter pretty much in most places he goes. But I don’t know that the candidates have been. But the point is, there is a realness to Donald Trump that is missing from so many of these other candidates. They do tend to sound rehearsed and stilted. He is never rehearsed. Obviously he shoots from the cuff and he says everything that comes to his mind which has gotten him in some trouble but I think helps him more than it hurts him. And people are very much connecting to that.

I have posted this malaphor earlier (see March 2014 entry) but it bears repeating, considering the timeliness of this excellent mixed idiom.  Shoot from the cuff is a mash up of “shoot from the hip” and speaking “off the cuff”, both meaning to speak spontaneously and frankly.  (Also see “shoot from the lip” in my Politics section).  Thanks to Sandor Kovacs and Vicki Kovacs for both spotting this on

THIS CLEARLY TOPS THE CAKE (MARK KEAM)

This beauty was spotted by Mike Browning in a local news channel website.  The Virginia Delegate Mark Keam was discussing predatory towing and uttered this malaphor.  It is a mash up of “it takes the cake” (extreme example, usually bad) and “over the top” (extremely overdone).   A cake topping also comes to mind.  Here is the link to the quote:  http://www.wjla.com/articles/2015/04/predatory-towing-in-the-dmv-gone-in-60-seconds-113447.html.  Thanks Mike for this one!

HE IS SHOOTING FOR THE FENCES

I heard this gem on this morning’s Meet the Press.  Helene Cooper, a New York Times correspondent, was discussing President Obama’s proactive week, including his executive authority to issue an executive order regarding immigration.  I believe she was wanting to say  “swinging for the fences”, meaning to try and accomplish bold ideas, but mixed it with “shooting for (something)” meaning to aim for.

I WILL NOT YIELD TO A MONKEY COURT (FRANK PALLONE)

Frank Pallone, Jr.

Frank Pallone, Jr. (Photo credit: Freedom To Marry)

This was uttered by Frank Pallone (D-NJ) referring to the current health care law hearings.  This is a mash up of “kangaroo court” (bogus or illegal court) and “monkey business” (silly or dishonest behavior).  Thanks to Mike Kovacs for sharing this one!  Below is the link:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/10/24/pallone-house-health-care-hearing-a-monkey-court/

I DON’T WANT TO TOOT MY OWN HAT (JEAN QUAN)

This malaphor was spoken by Jean Quan, the mayor of Oakland, and appeared in the October 2012 issue of San Francisco Magazine.  She meant to say “toot my own horn” (brag), and I think mixed that up with “take my hat off” (pay respect to someone or brag on them), but it could be just a mix up of the visual at a birthday party with party hats and horns.  “Feather in one’s cap” also comes to mind, as well as “tip my hand”.   Any other suggestions out there would be welcome.  A tip of the toque to Mike Kovacs for spotting this one.

I’M NOT GOING TO BUY ANYTHING ON WHOLE CLOTH (CHRIS CHRISTIE)

This mash up of “buy into (something)” (to accept or believe in something) and “out of whole cloth” (without foundation or not based on fact) was heard by Mike Kovacs on the Today show recently.   Talking about scientists’ theories on whether Hurricane Sandy was caused by climate change, NJ Governor Chris Christie told Matt Lauer he was “not going to buy anything on whole cloth.”

Governor of New Jersey at a town hall in Hills...

Governor of New Jersey at a town hall in Hillsborough, NJ 3/2/11 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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