Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Doctor Pyramid article and commentary

Ben Carson in Baltimore
Detroit native Ben Carson, seen here in Baltimore on March 1, announced that he will not attend the Republican debate in his old home town.
Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images
Ben Carson not attending Detroit debate, sees no 'political path forward'
Thursday's Republican debate in Detroit will be missing the one candidate from Detroit.  In a statement on his Facebook page posted Wednesday afternoon, neurosurgeon and University of Michigan Medical School alumnus Ben Carson announced that he would not be attending the event.

"I have decided not to attend the Fox News GOP Presidential Debate tomorrow night in Detroit" Carson wrote.  "Even though I will not be in my hometown of Detroit on Thursday, I remain deeply committed to my home nation, America. I do not see a political path forward in light of last evening’s Super Tuesday primary results."

Carson stopped short of suspending his campaign in his statement.  "However, this grassroots movement on behalf of “We the People” will continue" Carson reassured his Facebook followers.  "Along with millions of patriots who have supported my campaign for President, I remain committed to Saving America for Future Generations. We must not depart from our goals to restore what God and our Founders intended for this exceptional nation."
More, including a Wochit video of the story, at the link; my readers will have to click on the link in the headline to view it.  However, the article also cites a poll EPIC-MRA did for WXYZ and the Detroit Free Press and the WXYZ video is here: EXCLUSIVE POLL: Trump leads among Michigan Republican voters, many support his proposed Muslim ban.

I'll blog about the second part of the poll's findings later.  Right now, I'll treat Carson as if he's suspending his campaign.  He may not be doing so just yet, but I'm sure he will when he addresses CPAC on Friday.  Follow over the jump.

Carson was great fun to cover, much like Herman Cain.  I first found that out when I wrote Doctor Carson and his Amazing Technicolor Labcoat, which earned him the nickname "Doctor Pyramid."  The next fun post was Ben Carson sings "One Wittle Wee Wee."  Even then, I knew his days were numbered.  On the one hand, he's lasted a surprisingly long time.  On the other, I figured he'd be like Jeb Bush and leave after the Florida primary.  Both Carson and Bush surprised me by leaving the contest earlier than that.  It's not like I'll miss him now.  I haven't used his label since December and Trump is providing more than enough entertainment to make up for him.

I'll feature three other perspectives on Carson before I make a farewell toast.  Beginning with the positive, FiveThiryEight wrote Republicans Liked Ben Carson To The End (But Not Enough To Vote For Him).
We checked in on the GOP candidates’ net favorability ratings among Republicans — the percentage who approve of a candidate minus the percentage who disapprove — before each of the 10 Republican debates so far. Each time, Carson ranked among the top three candidates, though his numbers declined as voters got to know him better. (He also led all candidates, Democrats and Republicans, in Facebook likes.)

Carson found out that while nice guys may not always finish last, they usually don’t finish first.
Vox was less favorable to Carson, writing Ben Carson is essentially ending his campaign. Here's how it all went wrong.  It chronicled all the blunders make by Carson and the people around him, concluding on this down note.
Unsurprisingly, a campaign this dysfunctional did not reach the early states with anywhere near the support or organization to finish well. Ultimately, Carson's campaign resembled Michele Bachmann's in 2012: a sudden unexpected rise, followed by a sharp fall when it became clear they were not ready for the big leagues.
Charles Pierce of Esquire outdid Vox for downers.
[P]olitics is a hard jones to kick, especially when you and everyone around you is making a better than nice living at the job of being a candidate, and I fear that what comes next will be certain government agencies looking carefully for signs of grift in what was the Carson campaign.

If that's the case, it will be ugly and the doctor's reputation will take a far more serious hit than it took when he was simply a losing presidential candidate. Just because you know your way around other people's brains doesn't mean you know how to use your own.
Oh, my.  It looks like Doctor Pyramid will need two drinks.  Here they are from Drinks for the candidates in tonight's debate.
Carson is a surgeon from Detroit, Michigan, so I could go with either his career or his hometown.  I'll start with his career and share Drinksmixer's recipe for the Bleeding Surgeon.
1 shot dark rum
1 slice orange
1/2 glasscold Mountain Dew® citrus soda
1/2 glass cranberry juice

Pour Shot of Rum over slice of orange. Fill the remaining space in glass half way full of surge or similar drink. Finish off glass with cranberry juice. Be carefull, warm surge may foam over the glass.
As for Detroit, I'll save that for last.
And now, The Last Word, a drink from Detroit in honor of Ben Carson.
Equal parts gin, chartreuse, maraschino liqueur, and fresh lime juice, this is an old-fashioned cocktail that feels awfully modern. Its equally-portioned ingredients make for easy scaling: mix up a triple or quadruple batch to serve several drinkers at once.
makes One Cocktail
3/4 oz. gin
3/4 oz. green Chartreuse
3/4 oz. maraschino liqueur, like Luxardo
3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
Twist of lime for garnish
Vigorously shake all ingredients together with ice. Strain into a martini glass or a coupe and garnish with lime twist.
So long, Doctor Pyramid and your pyramid schemes!


  1. Boy, I go missing at a professional librarian conference in Daytona Beach for a few days...

    By the by, never have a librarian conference in town the same weekend as Biker Week. It won't end well.

    1. Hey, Paul, that's why I'm here. Keep reading. I'll probably have something to say about Michigan politics every day between now and Wednesday.

      I figured as much. You made an aside about the unfortunate coincidence on your political blog.