The Shoe Leather Express

Writing and Comedy from James Harris

Month: January, 2012

Project for yet another American century

Washington, D.C. Speaking of Obama, yesterday the President took the opportunity while praising the Pentagon décor (‘It’s a pretty nice room’) to announce a rethink of U.S. military operations , and hopefully the end to the U.S. habit of declaring war on the notoriously hard to defeat ‘abstract concept’ (drugs, terror, feeling a bit peaky), and perhaps a reduction in the Pentagon’s astronomical photocopying bill. A more radical change still might yet be in order: how about replacing the very idea of a vast military industrial complex with a system of having American girls go to hostile territories and pretending to be lost. What hard-hearted Jihadist could stand firm in face of a lovely young lady from Connecticut standing in the street in Tehran and saying, with a smile, ‘Gosh sir! All these buildings look so similar! Could you take me to the famous ancient mosque?’ Which vengeful America-hater could remain hard of heart as she moves closer to him giggling as he tries to keep hold of her map. American girls are America’s greatest resource, and it’s time to make better use of them.

Obama’s narrative

Opinion. There’s a lot of talk by pundits that Obama needs to get his ‘narrative‘ back. Bill Clinton, who knew something about telling stories, says: ‘He seems to have lost his narrative.’ But does this exactly mean? Presumably Obama is, at a press conference, to lean towards the camera and say, ‘You know, a lot of Republicans say this election is going to be about the deficit. I don’t think that. I think it’s about – The Quest for the Golden Acorn.’ This signals the beginning of an epic fantastical battle, in which long-retired Democratic politicians are brought back for one last struggle for the future of civillisation and Amtrak.  It’s bad enough for Obama having to preside over a people of gun-owners, god-followers and gay lovers – the U.S. Congress – without having to tell tales too.

Iowa as they finished


Des Moines, Iowa. Those Iowa Republican caucus candidates again, in order of finishing:

  1. Mitt Romney. Looks like a man doing an impression of Ronald Reagan at a party, an impression greeted by elaborate, patronizing applause on the behalf of the assembled liberal guests. ‘Oh Mitt – you’re just so like him!’
  2. Rick Santorum. A man who once said: ‘I have no problem with homosexuality. I have a problem with homosexual acts.’ As such is presumably a big fan of simmering Edwardian costume drama. Hence fondness for the sweater vest, which is exactly what people in such serials wear when they come back from ‘Ahmerica’, terribly changed.
  3. Ron Paul. Like your crazy uncle, occasionally says something so utterly surprising and right-on you start listening to him again, at which point you remember why you didn’t initially.
  4. Newt Gringrich. Looks like the boss at the end of the fourth level of a computer game, beaten by repeatedly punching them in the same part of their skull until his lumbering collapse.
  5. Rick Perry. The thinking man’s cactus.
  6. Michelle Bachmann. Too crazy for the Republicans.
  7. John Huntsman. He is the 1%!

And in the blue corner, their Democratic opponent:


Barack Obama, a man whose main achievement until now is shooting an unarmed man in the face at point-blank range, presumably inspired in this action by his Nobel Peace Prize.

Incidentally, pizza baron and motivational speaker Herman Cain still received 58 votes yesterday, despite not actually running anymore. You can also still donate to his campaign – nice one, Herman!

ImageHerman Cain – an offer 58 people still can’t refuse.

Harris’ Political Dictionary

Libertarianism. A political philosophy based on the idea that society would much improve if, like a teenage boy in his bedroom, it were just left alone for a while. Human nature would sort out the rest, with health care being supplied via charity and bankers, after another day of energetic market speculation, lifting their heads to say ‘I have earnt enough money now. I am going home to my family.’ Plus nobody would pay tax. Popular with teenage boys, gun-fearing Americans, and hipsters averse to reading the small print of Ron ‘The Groovy Grandpa’ Paul, a 77-year old libertarian Congressman, military isolationist, and sworn enemy of airport security. Not to be confused with libertinism, a philosophy of always having a glass of wine and sexual partner within easy reach.

The helicopter project

London. – The helicopter project received the green light today, business sources indicated. “We’re all very happy to have the required funding,” said Dave Witless, project leader. The 747 billion project will lift the British mainland up by helicopter and relocate it at a mid-Atlantic standpoint safely away from its continental neighbours and closer to the USA. ‘We’re think it’ll be better this way – lots of space for us, and no more accidentally picking up French radio,” said J Bull, the project’s initial architect. Protests have been raised from Scotland that the highland country should be detached first, or at least deposited somewhere with better weather.