The Shoe Leather Express

Writing and Comedy from James Harris

Category: Satire

America could switch to horseshit powered economy

Chicago, Illinois. Bertis Cresswell, Head of the Chicago Horseshit Alliance, has a vision. ‘Everyone knows we need to make the transition to a clean energy economy,’ he says at the Alliance’s Downtown headquarters, ‘and horseshit is the secret ingredient in that.’ Indicating a stack of newspapers and magazines in way of illustration, he states that no other developed nation produces as much horseshit as the U.S. ‘The media gassing, the airy gossip of our citizens, our self-inflating justifications for deadly military escapades: all rich sources of horseshit,’ says Cresswell. ‘In 2011, just the horseshit talked about President Barack Obama was enough to meet the energy needs of the entire Pacific Northwest.’ Particularly horseshit rich states include Arizona (horseshit about immigrants), California (horseshit about celebrities) and Texas (horseshit about climate change), not to mention Montana (horseshit from horses). ‘We reckon America could run entirely on horseshit by 2050,’ Cresswell goes on. Supporting horseshit in the energy mix would be bullshit and talked crap.

The ‘Not Obama’ Vote

Mitt Romney’s sashay to the Republican nomination continues unabated, despite him apparently being what we call in British English ‘something of an arse.’ Yet what is his election strategy? It appears that his main argument until now that he is not Barack Obama. And the argument is undeniable: he is indeed not Barack Obama. Look at the photographic evidence:

Photo by Jessica Rinaldi under a Creative Commons license

Photo by Pete Souza under a Creative Commons license










Nobody could look at these two photographs and say ‘the man on the left is Barack Obama.’ For one thing, Barack Obama is black and Mitt Romney is white, a small but, even in post-racial America, significant detail which will surely remain true even until the general election. Only if Mitt Romney begins dressing as and/or impersonating Barack Obama will this brilliant tactic become confusing for the average voter. What would complicate matters still further is if before the election, Mitt Romney changed his name to ‘Barack Obama.’ Faced by two identical names on the ballot paper, even the most-hardened ‘Nobama’-sayer might struggle to figure out which meant the real Obama (the one he hated) and which the other (the Barack Obama formerly known as Mitt Romney). A numbering system or some kind of acronym could perhaps make this more clear.
However, Romney has to be careful this tactic does not backfire on him, as it is also undeniably true that the majority of Republican candidates for the Presidential nomination can also say, and say confidently, that they are not Barack Obama. For example, what if Newt Gingrich hits him with a campaign ad with the slogan ‘I Too Am Also Not Barack Obama’? And surely Michelle Bachmann, now out of the race, could also have claimed to be, by dint of her gender, even less like Obama than all the ageing white men who surrounded her. Furthermore even the radical fringe of American politics could appropriate the slogan: surely, for the Occupy Wall Street movement, even better than ‘We are the 99%’ is ‘We are not Barack Obama’, true as it really is for all Americans – except one – rather than just 99% percent of them.
It’s time the non-Obama majority made their voices heard. Only in doing this can we achieve the solution to the ‘Cold Civil War’ now raging in America: all American citizens should run for office against Barack Obama, under the banner of what they each share, namely not being Barack Obama. Even though I myself am neither an American citizen, nor live in America, nor even know where America is, I can safely say that I am not, nor have ever been, Barack Obama.  Even to a displaced Anglo-German like me the slogan rings immediately true. I did not go to Harvard Law School, nor try to learn Spanish. And did the rest of the world? From the lowliest Chinese peasant farmer to the confused Welsh house-husband who has just lost all his worldly possessions in a fire, we can all unite as global citizens to say with great confidence: ‘We are not Barack Obama.’ Only one man is. Though some of us are slightly more like him than others.

No we’re not! (Image xedos4/Free Digital Images)

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.

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.