April 1st, 2010

In defense of Hank Johnson

By now you may have heard of a recent episode involving Congressman Hank Johnson, who represents the Fourth District of Georgia in the House, one of the most Democratic Congressional districts in the US.

Johnson has received a certain amount of ridicule for expressing his concern about what one might call the geographic stability of Guam (at 1:16 to 1:35 in this video):

However, I would like to offer a spirited defense of the unjustly-maligned Representative Johnson. First of all, although this is a little-known fact, he and Admiral Willard, the man he is questioning in the video, are old friends. They met in 1986 on the set of the film “Top Gun.” Willard was a consultant and actor in the film (you can look it up), but the telegenic Johnson also played a bit role in the film as one of the other pilots.

Willard and Johnson struck up an acquaintance on the set, finding that they shared a remarkable gift for deadpan humor. They developed a number of routines that had the other “Top Gun” actors and extras in stitches, and were both known for keeping a straight face throughout the silliest exchanges, a skill that served them remarkably well during their recent encounter in Congress.

One of their old routines involved a bit about landing an airplane on the island of Guam. The joke was about how small and narrow the island was, so thin it couldn’t even hold a runway, and so any landing might cause the whole island to tip over. It may not sound so funny in print. But it was Johnson and Willard’s delivery that made it so special.

The exchange you see in the video has been much criticized. But it has actually been widely misunderstood. That portion of the question-and-answer merely represents an updating of their old routine, with both Johnson and Willard playing their familiar roles. Note how deftly Johnson sets Willard up with classic comic timing, drawing it all out with lengthy emphasis on just how tiny the island is. Then, after Johnson expresses his concern that Guam just might tip over and capsize (this time because of added people, rather than an airplane), Willard responds with perfect composure and the straightest of faces, “We don’t anticipate that.”

Some have wrongly suspected the two of staging an April Fools’ prank. But that cannot be true, since it happened last Friday, well in advance of that date. No, it was just a bit of welcome levity from two old buddies, designed to lend a certain amount of lightness to these heavy and troubled times. How sad that such well-intentioned efforts have been so universally misconstrued.

[NOTE: One other factor that has not been taken into consideration is that, between college and law school, Hank Johnson apprenticed as a patisier in several swank French restaurants. As part of his trade, he became expert in the creation of the marvelous dessert œufs à la neige, which in English is called “floating island.” Here’s a description:

Floating island is made of egg whites served floating on a milky custard sauce. Some variations uses a thicker sauce, served on top of the dumplings, but usually the milk mix is thin, almost liquid, and the dumplings “float” on top.

The egg whites are beaten with sugar and poured into a mould lined with a thin layer of caramel. Alternately, the whites can be shaped with spoons and allowed to cook gently in sweetened milk with vanilla flavoring. A custard is made using milk, sugar, vanilla, and egg yolks; the mix is cooked in a bain-marie for a few minutes, but must remain thin enough to pour. The custard is topped with the egg whites dumplings. The dish is served at room temperature or cold.

It is therefore even more understandable that the floating island theme has achieved such a prominent place in Johnson’s memory.

What’s more (as if any more vindication were needed), there actually are floating islands—although, sadly, Guam is not one of them.

Another interesting although highly unrelated and irrelevant fact is that Johnson is one of only two Buddhists in Congress. The other is Mazie Hirono of Hawaii—also not a floating island.]

[ADDENDUM and EXPLANATION: Okay folks. While it’s a wonderful thing to be linked by such blogosphere luminaries as Instapundit and Powerline (I welcome new readers and old), it’s also true that the best April Fools jokes are unexplained as such.

But an awful lot of readers (both new and old) thought I was being serious here, despite the date being April First, and despite my putting a reference to April Fools Day within the body of the piece in what I assumed would be a big hint. I really didn’t want to put a note in the post itself yesterday saying “ALERT: April Fools spoof!” (I thought that would ruin the joke) although such a message appears many times in the comments section. But people don’t always read the comments section, and many just didn’t remember that the date was April 1st..

I waited till today to write this explanation and place it within the body of the post, since April Fools Day is now over and now The Truth Can Be Told. So here it is: this is a spoof.

Unfortunately, too many people may have already gone away thinking I’m some sort of weirdo who spreads unsourced rumors on a daily basis. Nothing could be further from the way I usually operate (hey, did you hear about…?). Perhaps the problem is that the truths that actually did appear in this piece, (1) the video itself; (2) the fact that Willard had a role as consultant and actor in the movie “Top Gun;” and 3) the fact that Johnson is one of two Buddhists in Congress—were already sort of quirky. This was especially the case with the video, which should have been a joke but unfortunately was not (at least, not an intentional one).

Johnson has since said that he was offering a metaphor about Guam. I leave it to you to watch the video and judge whether that is true (I don’t think so). And another fact that came out is that Johnson has been suffering from Hepatitis C and its treatment, which can affect the mind. That is true, and I wish him well in fighting the disease. But if his mind is this affected, he needs to step down from his Congressional post.

And that’s no joke.]

118 Responses to “In defense of Hank Johnson”

  1. Richard Aubrey Says:

    That’s too bad. Tethered to the ocean bottom as it is, Guam could be flooded by rising sea levels resulting from global warming.
    If it floated, no problem.

  2. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    If meant as a bit of humor, it certainly didn’t quite make the grade for me. However, when seen in that light, this little “skit’ is funny. Certainly not as funny as Barbara Boxer demanding to be called Senator or Hillary Clinton questioning General Patraeus’s military acumen. Maybe Johnson and Willlard were well intentioned, but there is so much inane, unintentional low comedy going on in these hearings, the real thing seems – well, out of place.

  3. Tatyana Says:

    The exchange had happened before the April’s Fool day, but this post is right on!

  4. Tatyana Says:

    yep, and that’s what I said, too, in my comment above (hint)

  5. vanderleun Says:

    All I can say is “JJ, you ignorant slut!”

  6. neo-neocon Says:

    Tatyana: I withdrew my hint because you guys were doing it for me.

  7. Richard Aubrey Says:

    OTOH, here’s how Johnson explained it:

    “I wasn’t suggesting that the island of Guam would literally tip over I was using a metaphor to say that with the addition of 8,000 Marines and their dependents – an additional 80,000 people during peak construction on the tiny island with a population of 180,000 – could be a tipping point which could adversely affect the island’s fragile ecosystem and could overburden its stressed infrastructure. Having traveled to Guam last year, I saw firsthand how this beautiful – but vulnerable island – could easily become overburdened, and I was simply voicing my concerns that the addition of that many people could tip the delicate balance and do permanent harm to Guam.”

    Metaphor, not a joke.
    Neo, you having us on?

  8. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Now, Guam has some benefits. Pelosi, big-time investor in Starkist, exempted Guam from the last increase in minimum wage. This was to give her company with facilities on the island a competitive advantage over other fishing/packing firms.
    However, given how things are going, investors might find Guam the only place in the US they can make money and the jobs will go there.
    That will mess with your infrastructure, right there.

  9. neo-neocon Says:

    Richard Aubrey: read the other comments!!

  10. Scott Says:

    I wonder if Neo is playing an April Fool’s Day joke on her readers with this explanation?

  11. neo-neocon Says:

    Scott: you wonder?????

  12. I R A Darth Aggie Says:

    I have signed legislation outlawing Guam. Bombing begins in 5 minutes.

  13. Scott Says:

    Neo: You had me at the beginning. Your explanation of their relationship sounded convincing because you write so authoritatively.

    But once you started talking about Johnson once being a pastry chef who specialized in “floating island” desserts, I was not longer buying it.

    You deserve credit for creativity and constructing such an elaborate goof. 🙂

  14. neo-neocon Says:

    Scott: well, thank you! The funny thing about it is that:

    (1) Johnson actually made the preposterous remark; and

    (2) Willard really was a consultant on “Top Gun,” and appeared in the film as well.

    The inspiration for the post was the extraordinary deadpan delivery of Willard’s “We don’t anticipate that.” The man has iron self-control and exquisite politeness.

  15. YaHump Says:

    Guam=208 square miles population 176,000

    Queens together 174 square miles and 5.2 million people

    and hank johnson is worried about an additional 8000 people on the island?????

  16. Kae Gregory Says:

    So it’s true that no man is an island… unless he capsizes… or is wider than Guam. I’m happy you cleared that up.

  17. Maggie's Farm Says:

    Some real Thursday links…

    Origin of April Fool’s Day. Related: U.S. Government To Save Billions By Cutting Wasteful Senator Program
    How to be a Good Wife, via Retriever’s Who Wants to be a Wife? via Vanderleun
    Uncle Dave Macon, and his recording of Way Down the Old Plank Ro…

  18. Mr. Frank Says:

    Hey, I’d rather have those folks in Congress making jokes rather than laws that turn out to be jokes.

  19. neo-neocon Says:

    YaHump: but Manhattan is anchored to the ocean floor by the foundations of all those skyscrapers, don’t you see?

  20. Sirius Says:

    I worked for ADM Willard a few years ago. it is no accident that he is the Commander of Pacific Command (PACOM), the Department’s largest Combatant Command. His response to the ludicrous “concern” of the fine Representative is a demonstration of his exceptional diplomatic skills. I can only imagine what he told in private to his staff and other Navy 4-stars. Priceless stuff.

  21. gs Says:

    I want to believe that politicians only act stupid in order to appeal to the lowest common denominator. I really do.

    Neo, that was a little bit cruel. ;-(

  22. neo-neocon Says:

    Sirius: As I wrote in my comment at 3:14 above, Willard showed “exceptional self-control and exquisite politeness.” I was very impressed.

  23. “Democrat Rep. Hank Johnson worries loading too many people onto Guam could capsize the island” and related posts | Socialinks Says:

    […] In defense of Hank Johnson – neo-neocon […]

  24. Surellin Says:

    Sister, you got me again! I was ready this year for the “I’m going back to being a liberal” April Fool’s joke, but you suckered me for at least a couple of paragraphs with this wily thing. Congrats and happy Poisson d’Avril!

  25. IgotBupkis Says:

    > So it’s true that no man is an island…

    But as others have noted, “Orson Welles came awfully close…”

  26. Jabadaw Says:

    Unless they are planning to move the island or its borders, I believe you mean geologic not geographic.

  27. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    Okay, I bought it hook line and sinker. Forgot what day it is. It’s not nice to fool old codgers, but it can be amusing.

  28. OlderandWheezier Says:

    You all may choose to laugh. But it’s a well known fact that a promising bowl matchup a couple of years ago between Kansas and Notre Dame never came off because of fears that if KU coach Mangino and ND coach Weis were to meet on either sideline, the stadium might tip over.

  29. Teresa Says:

    Beautifully done Neo – you nearly had me there. I don’t go in for April Fool’s pranks in general, but this has to be one of the best I’ve seen.

  30. val0r in Jax Says:

    A joke between old friends?
    The congressman doesn’t even know the dimensions of a place he is concerned about. Then, without skipping a beat moves to talk about the impacts to the ecosystem.

    No sale.
    Valiant attempt.

  31. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Sometimes, I swear, these are setups.
    Years ago, a Marine officer was testifying about some new piece of equipment they wanted.
    Down to what temperature is this thing operational?
    Forty below.
    Celsius or Fahrenheit.

    Outrage eruption. Don’t you know those are separate scales!?!?

    Presumably, the congressworm’s staff told him that C and F meet at forty below. But that was too late.

    Think that was an accident?

  32. Mercedes Says:

    Neo, I don’t buy your explanation for one minute…


  33. rickl Says:

    Well played, Neo!

  34. Harold Says:

    This is a perfect example of what’s wrong with our government now. Both of them fooling around with guns! If we could just outlaw guns there wouldn’t be any more violence in the world. Can’t we all just get along!

  35. Jim Sullivan Says:

    Two words:

    Onion Worthy.

  36. Sami Says:

    Contrary to your defense of the Congressman- I’ve heard this gentleman speak before and he was nearly incoherent.

    Powerline today reports that he has Hepatitis C that causes him to become confused and ramble.

    Regardless, someone whose thinking is so impaired should not be voting on important matters that affect every American. I’m sorry for his illness, but he should step down.

    That said, it’s hard to know if an ancient fossil like Robert Byrd, D.W.Va. knows what he’s doing either. Come to think of it, people like Barbara Boxer, Barney Frank, Nancy Pelosi, et. al. have all their faculties and look how poor their judgment is…

    What I said about Congressman Johnson–Never mind. 😉

  37. TheGuru Says:

    Nicely played!

    If I had not looked at Johnson’s bio earlier today, I would have bought it all hook, line and sinker.

    The funny part is that even at the same time thinking you were putting us on, I was beginning to feel some compassion for the two old buddies having a private joke between themselves.

    Well done!

  38. Bookworm Room » Hank Johnson’s geography and the cost of private sector employment Says:

    […] II:  Neo-neocon says that what we’re actually seeing is a long-running gag between two old friends.  If that is the case, I would suggest that in Congress, before television, in front of an […]

  39. mark Says:

    I don’t believe this for a micro-second. I call bullshiite.

  40. Charles Says:

    Congressman Johnson also maintains that he has “No idea!” how he contracted Hepatitis C.

    He is telling the truth.

  41. Daryn Says:

    Although this was a silly statement, I will forever be grateful to him for ousting Cynthia McKinney in 2006.

  42. betsybounds Says:

    Rush talked about this exchange today, and I was impressed with his handling of it. He said that he was being bombarded with requests to run the Johnson tape, so he was going to do it, but was careful to note that the guy has hepatitis C, and described the symptoms. Then he ran the tape, and said again that we couldn’t read too much into it because of the hepatitis C. Then he let it drop. He was very classy, I thought.

    I’ve noticed often that Rush is class act in some very basic ways. This Johnson tape is one example. Others include being very careful about pronunciations of strange names, especially of political foes. It may seem a small thing, but it is respectful nevertheless. He doesn’t have much respect for the Left’s views, but he shows plenty of respect for people.

    BTW, I read this post of Neo’s when I got home from work today, before there were many comments, and nearly swallowed it hook, line, and sinker. I did wonder why she hadn’t mentioned the hepatitis C, but otherwise I’m very credulous about stuff like that, just take most things at face value–maybe that’s why April Fool’s Day is pretty much lost on me. Anyway, now that I get it, I compliment her on the wonderful sense of humor and creativity!

  43. LisaM Says:

    My ex’s name for me was “Guppy” and I fell for this one hook, line, and sinker!

  44. betsybounds Says:

    I should add that I understand completely that there are people for whom Rush has no respect whatever. They include the Leftists whose entire careers are based on running scam operations, and who know what they are doing and don’t care–people like the Justice Brothers (Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson).

  45. MikeLL Says:

    Well, I’ll be darned. You had me going.

    LOL. I guess that just shows how much I trust you.

    I shall not be fooled again!

    Maybe . . .

  46. Bill West Says:

    Bought it. Well done, Neo.

  47. Sector 001 Says:

    Neo…You said “look it up”….so I did. You are correct about the Admiral being in “Top Gun”, but I can find NO reference to Henry C. Johnson, credited or uncredited in “Top Gun”. Also “Top Gun” was filmed in 1985. Congressman Johnson was busy being a lawyer. How could he have time, and why would he be involved in a movie? If you have a source on the Congressman and “Top Gun”, please cite it. Otherwise, it sounds like you’re going back to your Democrat roots by defending this guy.

  48. OBloodyhell Says:

    Sector 001… please return to Sector 000, your leg is still there.

  49. jimbrock Says:

    This made a fun read; well done Neo. But HepC is a serious disease and it does mess with your mind. There is now going on in Houston a pharmaceutical test for a new drug from Roche which, used with the existing drugs (interferon and something else) has shown some promise.

    I wonder what effect Obamacare will have on the availability of these new drugs.

  50. Iman Azol Says:

    jimbrock: not to worry. As a Congressman, he’s exempt from 0bamacare. This is a good thing for the country. While everyone is equal, it is necessary that our leaders be given additional benefits to ensure they can do their jobs unhindered.

  51. Bruce Says:

    Well played, Neo. As a first time visitor here (you can thank Instapundit for that) I am unfamiliar with your thinking. You had me – completely – until I started reading the comments.

  52. jgreene Says:

    This was neither amusing nor pertinent. What exactly the point of this nonsensical exchange. A total waste of time for the Admiral.

    The Congressman, of course, looked perfect as a buffoon. It’s a shame that the members of the black caucus reside in Districts that are either gerrymandered as in NC or are in the inner cities where the Congressman’s buffoonery perhaps is better appreciated.

  53. Jane Says:

    The Ship of State is capsizing because Congressmen who need to retire are still at the helm.

  54. Blacque Jacques Shellacque Says:

    …which could adversely affect the island’s fragile ecosystem and could overburden its stressed infrastructure.

    I’m kinda wondering just what Guam possesses that the thousands of other Pacific islands don’t that we need to so concerned about its well being?

  55. Koblog Says:

    You know the scariest part of this?

    Johnson is a lawyer and was a judge.

  56. comatus Says:

    My uncle contracted a blood-borne disease on Guam in 1945, and died of it 58 years later. I don’t like Guam jokes.

    But, leaving Johnson and his hepatitis out of it, we now know that you can be in Top Gun and end up with four stars. Folks, we are living in bizarro world. Top Gun should be in the not asking, not telling category.

  57. neo-neocon Says:

    Bruce: welcome, and I’m glad that you managed to get to the comments and realized I was making an April Fools joke. A lot of people seem to think I was serious—and some have gotten quite upset at me for making excuses for Johnson.

    As I said after one of my earlier April Fools jokes, now I know how Orson Welles felt (albeit on a smaller scale).

  58. Guam-In danger of Capsizing! | The Shanks Dimension Says:

    […]  OK, its a private joke between the two gentleman.  I’ll leave it at that.       (http://neoneocon.com/2010/04/01/in-defense-of-hank-johnson/). ___ Ref. Boortz.com April 1, 2010. […]

  59. Montjoie Says:

    Exceptionally well done

  60. anonymess Says:

    If Rep. Johnson is truly concerned and worried about the relatively narrow island of Guam tipping over, why doesn’t he champion legislation to have it towed to shallower waters or possibly to have it beached somewhere? That way, there could be a military buildup while safeguarding the lives of the island’s growing (and heavier, in the aggregate) population.

  61. Clovis Merovech Says:

    I posted the video of that amazing exchange on YouTube this morning. This evening, I was alerted to this article, which I found rather convincing. So, I added this article’s url to the video description, and then posted a comment alerting viewers to this article. If you are right, and this was just an inside joke between two old buddies, I would be greatly relieved. But I do have a question: How do you know this? Where did your information come from?

  62. Geronimo's Enchilada Says:

    comatus, why such antipathy for Top Gun? The Mig scenes alone were worth the price of admission. Meg Ryan, Anthony Edwards, and Tom Skerritt were also great.

  63. neo-neocon Says:

    Clovis Merovech: It is April Fools Day!! This is a joke!!!!

    I’d hate to have to put a disclaimer in the body of the post (it ruins the joke). But a lot of people just aren’t getting the joke, it seems (sigh).

  64. Clovis Merovech Says:

    Oh for crying out loud! I just read the rest of the comments. YOU GOT ME.

    Well, now I have to go to my YouTube upload and edit out all those excuses I felt honor-bound to enter for Rep.Johnson.

    I’ll get you my pretty. And your little dog too !

  65. F Says:

    Nice job, Neo but just a little over the top. I guess April 1 is the day for over-the-top stories, though, so you timed it right. Thanks for the entertainment. F

  66. Oblio Says:

    Got me, Neo. Well done.

  67. neo-neocon Says:

    Clovis Merovech: well, at least April Fools Day is now officially over (on the east coast, that is). And not a moment too soon!

  68. Clovis Merovech Says:

    Well, at least I discovered an interesting blog. I’ve started reading some more of your articles. I’ll have to bookmark this site so I can come back and read the rest. Oh, and hold that apple just where it is. You look like Jennifer Grey. I like that.

  69. SamA Says:

    Got me!

    I wonder whether there is tape of this Congressman criticizing Sarah Palin’s intelligence or qualifications?

  70. Amused Observer Says:

    Well done, I bought it. I’ve seen nothing better on the net all day.

  71. vanderleun Says:

    Next year we’re doing April 1 on March 31 so we can really sift out the stupid.

  72. Jerry King Says:

    Do you believe your own bullsh@%??? Really he is not that good of an actor.

    Just like that retard on the view thought the earth was flat. These people are running our country? Give me a break.

  73. Jerry King Says:

    One other thing. If what you were saying is even remotely true, then why did his official spokesman say he was merely making an anology to the eco system can’t handle the addition of the marines. (which is even a more rediculous statement)

  74. Perfected democrat Says:

    Could’ve fooled me, after all, the guy is a Democrat; they aren’t called the lame left for no reason….

  75. ic Says:

    You are being propagandized. Don’t you think, by now, his people would have dished out their press release to explain the “joke”?

    Johnson himself never brought up the “joke”, but explained his worry as a metaphor.

    Willard’s name was listed in Top Gun, but not Hank Johnson’s. If he were there, he must have used another name.

    It would be helpful if you could direct us to some links to prove Hank Johnson was in Top Gun.


    Their list of crew which was “believed to be complete” did not list Johnson.

  76. NeoConScum Says:

    Sheeesssh…I’m reading your post at 2:30am on April 2nd and thinking,”OMG..How do I make my amends for my remarks at Townhall Blog re-this exchange?”

    Got me, Babycakes. Your Deadpan was equal to the Admiral’s. Bravo!

  77. LaFi Says:

    The Admiral and me are old buddies. We had a beer after the session

  78. West Says:

    Best April Fool’s joke i’ve seen this year! Bravo!

    I could not agree with you more, the Admiral deserves a medal for his performance under fire. The only better response would have been if he had said:

    “We are issuing strict traffic regulations to avoid people congregating all on one side of the island, so we do not anticipate that happening”.

  79. ic Says:

    West: How about we will tether our Pacific fleet around the island to keep it afloat?

  80. Tom Grey Says:

    Thanks so much, again, Neo! What fantastic research you’ve done on this.

    How you could find out so much of this on 1 April, (aka April Fool’s) is beyond me…

    But I do really smile.

  81. Jim Sullivan Says:

    I don’t know what’s funnier, the joke itself or the rubes that keep posting in outrage that Neo could defend this guy.

    Keep it up guys, so that we know who the morons are.

  82. Zoe Brain Says:

    Let me guess… the next comment from NeoNeoCon will be that it was the comments that were the joke, the story is real.

    The only fact I was able to check was that Willard was in Top Gun. And that NeoNeoCon had a reputation for veracity.

    “Had” being the operative word.

    The problem is that considering the other Primary candidate was Cynthia McK, and given the insane claims and counter-claims about (for example) Susan Palin’s grandchild. I was hoping that this was a breath of sanity in the otherwise psychotic partisanship that infests US politics. No such luck. You really are that thick, to vote in these duds.

    What is it, something like 40% of US people believe the Earth was created in 6 days? I hate to ask how many think it’s flat.

  83. Richard Aubrey Says:

    I took my kids to see Top Gun. Wanted them to see how it was for guys who went to work sitting down. And sometimes even sweated.
    Lousy movie, great photography.
    Unlike the odyssey of Sidd Finch (that had a LOT of people going), this wonderful joke of neo’s might actually end up as one of those wiki possibilities, diffusing the actual fact that our political class–and their supporters–are dumber than a box of rocks.

  84. grace powers Says:

    Islands can absolutely capsize. Try playing G.I. Joe (jungle edition) in the bathtub. Rep. Johnson understands this intuitively. He obviously plays with himself.

  85. BarbB Says:

    Gee, I wish it had been true.

  86. Kim Priestap Says:

    As someone noted earlier, Rush played the Congressman Johnson clip with the note that Johnson is ill with Hepatitis C, has been for 10 years or so.

    Here’s the link to the transcript for anyone who’s interested:


  87. Jon Jewett Says:

    Thanks for the inside information. I thought it was because he went to public schools.


    Steamboat Jack

  88. NeoConScum Says:

    Zoe…Focus, Focus, F*O*C*U*S..! Gooood. Now, study Jim’s 7:03am comment. Study it some more. Goooooooooooooood.

    That’s it.

  89. mikemcdaniel Says:

    Humorous, yet exquisitely tragic. Even in the current political climate, let’s recall that Johnson’s constituents elected the vile Cynthia McKinney, which speaks to their firm grounding in the unreality-based community.

    Now comes Rep. Johnson, who, if the suggestion that he is suffering from Hepatitis C can be believed, is at best, seriously impaired, and probably completely unfit for his position. Yet, I see little or no hue and cry for his removal from anyone, and certainly not the Dems. That a man such as this is in a position of great power is a terribly eloquent commentary on the nature of Congress and on the cesspit in which we currently find ourselves increasingly submerged.

  90. Nicole Says:

    Excuse me, but this was a Congressional hearing! It is unacceptably unprofessional for two officials to be making a spoof at a serious meeting determining the placement of military personnel. As a voter and a taxpayer, I do not want deadpan levity to be entered into the historical records. This defense that they were just joking around is worse than the allegation that Johnson has a room-temperature IQ or is cognitively impaired. You imply that an admiral and a Congressman don’t take Congressional hearings seriously enough to keep their inside jokes off the public record.

  91. Nacho Says:

    I suppose If we have to vacate the Okinawa Marine bases the next best place to station them, afloat or not, is Guam.
    BTW, during his Top Gun tour Adm Willard’s call sign was “RAT” as in the movie ‘Willard’.
    Right now on Guam the greatest Eco hazard is the Brown Tree Snake which has been devastating the indiginous birds and invertibrates (rats).

  92. Okay, fess up! Which one of you helped put this Einstein in congress - Politics and Other Controversies -Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Conservatives, Liberals, Third Parties, Left-Wing, Right-Wing, Congress, President - Page 8 - City-Data Forum Says:

    […] defense of the old coot, I did read this… […]

  93. JDYeagerMeister Says:

    I suppose I could go along with your “Top Gun theory” if it only involved Adm. Willard. In support of the Admirals’ involvement in the motion picture, you linked to Wikipedia and sure enough there was a reference to his input. However, you make no similar reference for “Hank”, nor does his Wikipedia page makes any mention of his being involved with Top Gun. Hmm…
    Once again, words of reason from the quotable Hank “…the addition of 8,000 Marines and their dependents —an additional 80,000 people…” this would mean that each Marine would have at least 10 (TEN) dependents! Yes, I’m sure that Marines populate like rabbits. I think the more Rep Johnson talks the more he displays his lack of marbles. Keep up the good work, Hank
    Another politician voted in based on the color of his skin and not the content of his character.

  94. Lginsc Says:

    If you look at this man’s eyes and mannerisms when he is stopped and interviewed in the hall, he looks impaired. His eyes aren’t focussed and he closes them for an abnormally long time. If he is that ill, he needs to step down.

    We don’t need people like that voting on national policy.

  95. Karl Bierbauch Says:

    If this guy intended his comment about the island flipping over as humor, he should be aware that a majority of liberals/progressives don’t have a sense of humor. They most likely took this guy’s words as a statement of truth. Before long the progressives will be lobbying for everyone to lose weight before America capsizes.

  96. JDYeagerMeister Says:

    Common, if this was a Top Gun leftover thing, why isn’t Adm Willard weighing in on the ruse?

  97. Pat Patterson Says:

    “No man is an island…he’s a peninsula.” Jefferson Airplane.

  98. Beth Says:

    I’m waiting to see how many democrat shills take this seriously and run with it.

  99. Maggie M. Thornton Says:

    Top Gun – hilarious and very clever! Best April Fools ever (well maybe not ever, but close:-)

  100. Phil Poynter Says:

    I agree with Jim Sullivan. Very Onion worthy. Wished I could have read on 1 April. One thing I find somewhat disturbing is not one person, that bought into the ruse, tried to attack you on a lack of WWII history. I guess alot of people have no knowledge of the events in the Pacific Theatre in WWII. With all the digging in that both, US and Japanese, forces did and with the destructive bombardment unleashed on that island would have shown that from the outset your defense was a ruse. Umm the very thought of not mentioning WWII events allowed the ruse to work so well. Very well played. You know a little of how Orson Welles felt, because you channeled him quit well.

  101. billsv Says:

    Maybe Hank Johnson with his dry sense of humor could script a scifi movie where the Guam tips over and everyone falls into the Mariana Trench. All ends well as the people adapt and become deep sea creatures.

  102. Joseph L Says:

    I do not find this so called prank as humor unless it turns out that what Obama signed last week into law also turns out to be a colossal prank on the country. Congressmen should not be pulling so called pranks on the taxpayers expense anyway. Just reading what was signed into law last week under Obama care would be hilarious if it were not so serious. I hope to be laughing in November when these idiots are voted out office.

  103. james woods Says:

    this whole administration is a joke. laugh at those census requests, the people that you pay your taxes to aren’t sure what skin color you are so get those forms in.

    also, might we just laugh at the tax deadline? will the irs be laughing when they are at your door with their new shotguns?

    still hopin for all that change, all I see is more of the same, and little too much of the left.

  104. Ed Fix Says:

    Good joke.

    About Rep. Johnson, I refuse that even a Congressman could be that stupid and ignorant. And yes, the Hep-C treatment does mess with your mind, but not that much. I think the capsizing island “metaphor” was an attempt at humor. His delivery certainly sucks, and that could be a result of the Hep-C treatment.

  105. budilov Says:

    Bull Feathers! The guy is an idiot and no amount of spin will clear that up. He should resign! A Congressional hearing is no place for that kind of stupidity! The Demorats keep him around because of his stupidity and their ability to manipulate him.

  106. gsh Says:

    I love the “ostrich” mentality that says, “No member of Congress could possibly be that stupid… therefore there must be some other explanation.” Stick head in sand, ignore facts.

    The guy is really that stupid.

  107. Uncle Sam Says:

    Be very weary of the silence of the Guam Islanders…VeitNam was also a buildup…..*
    It was just the Locals and the Military that stayed every one else ran for cover…..
    Keep making jokes about Guam and the people will choose to become Australians.

  108. Edward Cline Says:

    Frankly, I don’t give a damn whether it’s an old buddy routine between the admiral and Johnson, or if Johnson is suffering from hepatitis. People watching this episode would believe Johnson is not dealing with a full deck, and the admiral behaving civilly beyond the call of duty. This is how taxpayer dollars are being spent, so two guys can pull the legs of Americans? Haven’t we already been screwed by Obama, Pelosi and Reid? Sorry, but this just doesn’t get a chuckle from me. If Johnson wants to josh audiences, then he can resign his seat, surrender his retirement pension, all the perks (including medical attention most of us won’t be able to afford before too long), go back to Atlanta, and start his own comedy club, and see how hard it will be to make a living under the health care bill he voted for.

  109. Jim Sullivan Says:

    Still reeling them in! Holy crap…

  110. neo-neocon Says:

    Jim Sullivan: yes. I had to put a new disclaimer up there in order to try to throw them back in the water, unharmed.

  111. Art Says:

    I don’t think this was jest or April’s joke….the man needs to move over and let someone else represent the people.

  112. Art Says:

    Oops….. “April fool’s” joke.

  113. dennis sculimbrene Says:

    Haven’t read all the comments, but as a Viet-Nam era pilot who made frequent landings on Anderson, I recall one of the longest, widest runways in the Air Force. They had to be, because the B-52’s took off full load fuel and bombs. What struck me about the comments made before and after were that they seemed to be made by an old man, who could, and should have known how large Guam is. When I landed for the first time in 1967, a Japanesse soldier from WWII had surrendered. And contrary to all opinions, another two surrendered afterwards. They had a joke about England sinking into the Atlantic during the WWII American buildup. But there wasn’t any doubt that it was a joke. The danger to the Island’s ecosystem also seemed like febble attempts of a green who didn’t know his topic. Furthermore, as someone who has known friends in court, a Congressional Hearing is not the place for “funny business”.

  114. Jim Sullivan Says:

    And that is why you’re a beter person than I’ll ever be. I’d go on catching them all…

  115. Neo-N | Little Miss Attila Says:

    […] . . . ran a badass April Fool’s Day joke. […]

  116. James A. Says:

    This is nothing unusal from a community that does not believe a man landed on the moon,that 9/11 was an inside job and that the CIA imports cocaine into the black community. They wont open borders and are looking forward to another Waco.

  117. Merlin C Says:

    Maybe you should have defined the “IT” embedded in “It was an April Fool’s joke” as the readers apparently are confused as to whether ‘it’ means your article or the video.

  118. E.M. Crotchet Says:

    A gift which keeps on giving: this defence was used today by a commenter on a blog in Oz: http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/meet_a_us_lawmaker/.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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