"Nobody remembers who won second place." — Walter Hagen
That tweet came from Donald Trump a few weeks back. It returned to haunt him Monday night, when The Donald came in second to Ted Cruz in the Iowa caucuses. And once again, America was left asking the question: Why do we start this whole process in Iowa? A white, rural, fundamentalist state that was won by Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum in the previous two election cycles? It makes no sense.
But it was a weird week for everybody: An internet argument raged for days between Atlanta rapper B.o.B. and scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson over whether the earth is flat. Seriously. Apparently, the flat-earth movement is not dead, and B.o.B. isn't buying this "the earth is round" nonsense. Actually, I suspect that if the GOP presidential candidates learned that a significant number of potential voters were flat-earthers, they'd whip out their "I'm not a scientist" line when confronted with the question.
Speaking of questionable science ... Trump did the near-impossible and turned Fox News' Megyn Kelly into a paragon of tough-minded journalism by skipping the most recent GOP debate, in which we learned that no matter the question, the answer is always: Get rid of Obamacare, kill ISIS, stop immigration, and Hillary Clinton will be a horrible president.
For example, when asked a question about Kim Davis, Chris Christie went full-9/11 and then promised he would destroy ISIS. To prevent gay marriage, I suppose? I don't know.
We learned that soon-to-be-former-candidate Ben Carson can memorize the opening lines of the Constitution and that he stacks words like Jenga sticks. My favorite quote: "Putin is a one-horse country."
Ted Cruz tried to make a joke about Trump, but it fell flat, and Bette Midler tweeted that he couldn't improvise a fart at a baked bean dinner. Which was much funnier than Ted's line. Also, Ted likes mandates. A lot.
John Kasich tried hard to bring some sense to the occasion, but he will likely soon return to his role as the other brother Daryll on Newhart.
Oh yeah, Facebook deaths this week included Joe Cocker (again), Pete Seeger (again), and Yanni, who is still alive, to the disappointment of many.
In local news, it was the week that the Grizzlies found themselves and the Tigers stayed lost. Overton Park advocates and the Memphis Zoo remained entangled in a battle over the Greensward parking issue, with the zoo showing all the grace of a tranquilized elephant running the high hurdles. Or Jeb Bush in a debate. Your call.
And Flyer reporter Toby Sells broke the story that District Attorney Amy Weirich and her assistant Stephen Jones were being hit with a censure by the Tennessee Supreme Court's Board of Professional Responsibility for their actions in the trial of Noura Jackson. This led to an epic comment battle on the Flyer website, with one fellow suggesting that the DA's office was a "powder cake" ready to implode.
Which reminds me of the time a Flyer intern once wrote, "It's a doggy dog world out there."
And indeed it is.
So, Memphis has a new mayor-elect. While many people were surprised at last week's election results, those with access to various local political insiders were not. Polling numbers had been bandied about sotto voce for weeks, numbers that suggested Jim Strickland had a substantial lead over two-term incumbent A C Wharton. But none of the polling numbers I heard suggested a result in which Strickland would basically double Wharton's percentage of the total vote ...