Thursday, May 31, 2007

Polled Pork: Arkansas Showdown

Polled Pork is a new feature here at Barbecue & Politics where Gervais shares a recent poll, or a portion thereof. Your job as a reader/commenter is to impugn the reliability or significance of the specific poll, or polls in general, unless the poll shows your favorite candidate doing well – then, your comments should address how the poll indisputably shows that your candidate will win in a landslide victory. In other words, act just like the commenters on most political blogs. But worser.

This week is a hypothetical match-up between two candidates with roots in Arkansas (the Show-Me State) brought to us by our friends at Rasmussen Reports:

Hillary Clinton: 48%
Mike Huckabee: 43%

(Source: Clinton Holds Single-Digit Leads Over Huckabee, Brownback, 5/30/07)

I'll start: This poll clearly shows that Hillary is on her way to becoming the next president. And the picture clearly shows that Huckabee hasn't bought new dress shirts since he lost all that weight. Or else he's a really big fan of the Talking Heads.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Chavis Bar-B-Que: Get your Grove on

I was telling my co-workers how to get to Chavis Bar-B-Que last Friday, and it went something like this: Take Highway #1 past the old flea market, then make a right when you see the new flea market.”

Gervais says, any time you get to incorporate the words “flea market” or “Waffle House” into your driving directions, you get bonus Southerner points. But anyway, that’s where Chavis Bar-B-Que is – behind the Barnyard Flea Market, just past Skate Station USA, in Oak Grove. Factoid: Oak Grove is a “census designated place” in Lexington County with a population of 8,183 at the 2000 Census.

The buffet at Chavis doesn’t look big, but it packs a huge wallop. There’s chopped pork, fried chicken, lima beans, green beans, barbecue baked beans, hush puppies, macaroni and cheese, cole slaw, potato salad, pork rinds and even fried chicken livers. Chavis is in the buckle of the Mustard Belt, so don’t go in with any delusions of getting vinegar- tomato-, or ketchup-based pork. This here’s the real deal.

For dessert, I always get a piping hot helping of peach cobbler, with a little vanilla soft serve on top. But there’s also banana pudding, a favorite of Gervais Jr., with eight teeth in his whole head.

Chavis offers the barbecue buffet on Thursday and Friday from 11:00 AM to 2:30 PM, then again from 4:30 PM to 9:00 PM. On Saturdays, you can get your ‘cue fix from 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM. Also, on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings Chavis offers country cookin’ and seafood, respectively, but no barbecue. Talk about a diversified enterprise.

The folks at Chavis Bar-B-Que are real nice, but they don’t take sass or credit cards. So along with your appetite bring some cash. Maybe even a little extra – after all, there’s a flea market right down the road.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Weekend Trimmings

Here's Gervais' favorite morsels from this Memorial Day weekend:

The right attitude: Seneca Middle School eighth-grader Emmy Williams is off to the nation’s capitol for her second shot at becoming the Scripps National Spelling Bee champion. ... “If I make it into the third round I’ll be very, very happy, because that means I’ll be on T.V. and it will be something for the VCRs to tape,” Emmy said.

Off to see the Scripps spelling wizard, Anderson Independent-Mail.

One man's pork...: Sanford pointed to Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, who worked to get federal money for projects derided as the "Bridges to Nowhere." … The bridges, for which Stevens and Alaska's all-Republican delegation were trying to get $450 million federal dollars, would connect Anchorage to Point MacKenzie and would connect the city of Ketchikan to its airport on Gravina Island. "The argument of a 'Bridge to Nowhere' clearly does not apply," [Alaska GOP Chairman Randy] Ruedrich said.

Smash Mouth? There goes the youth vote: In a clear appeal to young voters, a YouTube video asks viewers to vote for Clinton's presidential campaign theme song on her Web site. The contest started May 16, and the number of songs was narrowed to 10 on Thursday - five initially suggested by the campaign and five write-in candidates. They include U2's Beautiful Day, Smash Mouth's version of I'm a Believer and Celine Dion's You and I.

Dobson/Nader '08: Conservative columnist Pat Buchanan wrote that Giuliani's nomination “would bring the culture war right down to the floor of the Republican convention.” And James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, wrote in an online column that he would either vote for a third-party candidate or not vote at all if Giuliani is the Republican nominee.

Two bits: Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee wants the $15 you would have spent on a shampoo and a trim. … The drive was sparked by a comment he made last week at a GOP debate in South Carolina.

Happy Memorial Day!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Friday Re-Hash

What a fun week in in the SC political blogosphere…

It all started Saturday when the Body Politic Joshua Gross posted a video by Conservatives in Action—a video which appears to have the kid from Jerry Maguire in it. The point of the video was to smear Judge Donald Beatty, now the newest member of the SC Supreme Court. Seems like it worked out pretty well. The best part was this, a comment by Gross:

[Y]ou think there were hardball tactics used here? Wow. As Yogi Berra would say, "You ain't seen nothing yet".

You ain’t seen nothin’ yet? Oh, brother. Gervais says, talking smack about judicial elections is bad in itself - talking smack like Bachman Turner Overdrive has been stuck in your 8-track player for the last thirty years, that’s a whole 'nother level of wack. Next.

Not Very Bright was covering the election of Beatty to the SC Supreme Court in real time, in one of the funniest posts I’ve read in a while:

1:00 - Somebody makes a motion “to allow the bodies to talk to one another.” What the heck does that mean? There’s a voice vote, and folks seem to be arguing about whether the aye’s or nay’s won. Somebody says into the mic “What did it sound like to you?” Sounds like the same voice that make the Viagra joke earlier. I wonder if the bodies are going to talk to each other. It would be more fun if they sang to each other like the boy’s cabin and the girl’s cabin used to do at summer camp.

Good stuff, NVB. Also chiming in on the Conservatives In Action attack ad and Beatty’s election were Brad Warthen, FitsNews, and Seeding Spartanburg.

A pretty good new site is TPS, “The Palmetto Scoop.” TPS finds a recent poll by Insider Advantage a little suspect:

Insider Advantage today released its 871,358,943rd of the 2008 South Carolina presidential primary. And for the 871,358,942nd time, it showed Newt Gingrich MIRACULOUSLY polling atop the field - only one point behind the frontrunner at 17 percent. That’s interesting given that we have seen few non-Insider Advantage S.C. polls showing Gingrich in double-digits, much less at the top.

If you want to know TPS’s theory on Newt’s anomalous success in SC, you’ll have to go to that site.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Polled Pork: Obama over Rudy McRomney in latest Zogby survey

BO 47%, McCain 43%
BO 52%, Romney 35%
BO 48%, Giuliani 42%
See the full report here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Grills Gone Wild: good catered 'cue

Last year, over a decade after Fairweather Johnson was released, the Rosewood Crawfish Festival was born. What, you ask, does a crustacean-based street festival have to do with Hootie and the Blowfish’s triple-platinum sophomore album? Nothing whatsoever. Which is exactly what crawfish have to do with Rosewood. Which is exactly why it’s so brilliant.

The Bridges Family loaded up the wagon last weekend to make our second annual pilgrimage to the RCF. And a bon temp was had by all, if you know what I’m saying. There were big inflatable bouncy rooms, slides & rides, and face-painting... not to mention stuff for kids. Plenty of beer and wine was available, and musical acts included SC blues legend Drink Small and the venerable rockers Drivin' n' Cryin'. All in all, it was a very successful event with a large crowd, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they have to extend it by a block or so next year to accommodate the success.

Only thing was, when I got to the front of the crawfish line, I noticed that the caterer, Grills Gone Wild, offered a barbecue sandwich for half the cost of a plate of crawfish. Let’s see - a nice smoked barbecue sandwich for $5, or something I could catch myself with a Cool Whip container for twice as much...

The sandwiches were pretty good. I’d be lyin’ if I said they were on par with Maurice’s or Hite’s or Shealy’s, but it was good for catered, festival food and it went down nicely with a vanilla shake from the Rosewood Dairy Bar. Also, it was a good alternative for folks who don’t want to pay ten bucks for a bunch of mudbugs.

At the end of the day, the ‘cue from Grills Gone Wild earned a solid thumbs up from the Bridges family, as did the Rosewood Crawfish Festival. Gervais says, I can’t wait to get my claws on some more good eating there next year.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Weekend Trimmings

Here's the "trimmin's" from this weekend's political news. Enjoy!

Government, mules: "Rep. Ken Kennedy, D-Greeleyville, said if the marsh tacky was going to be recognized as part of the state's heritage, then the mule should also be noted. He proposed an amendment to recognize the mule as the official work animal of South Carolina."

Jerry's kids: "Despite the somber tone of the day, graduates who covered the football field chanted "Jerry! Jerry!" in tribute to Falwell."

Immigration got booed?: "
The crowd at South Carolina’s Republican convention cheered Saturday when former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney criticized a new immigration proposal and booed U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham when he defended it. … “Immigration got booed,” Graham said afterward."

Maybe he should've checked that out first: "Conservatives in Action, a Greenville-based organization, has produced a television commercial opposing [State Appeals Court Judge Don] Beatty's selection … When asked Saturday whether Beatty had made any rulings that concerned his group, [Conservatives in Action spokesman] Matney said he would have to look at the group's research to see whether any of his decisions raised a red flag."

- Beatty awaits decision, Spartanburg Herald-Journal

Eet mor donkee: "At the South Carolina Republican Party State Convention Saturday, Gov. Mark Sanford likened the party candidates to Chick-fil-A franchisees….He stressed unity and the absence of conflicting signals, the same principles that allow a Chick-fil-A sandwich to taste the same in Texas as it does in South Carolina."

- Sanford urges 'franchise' unity, Charleston Post & Courier

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Obama visit, new Top Ten

As you may have heard, prospective First Lady Michelle Obama will be visiting the bustling metropolis of West Columbia this weekend, to speak at the Women’s Day Luncheon at Brookland Baptist Church. Factoid: West Columbia used to be named "Brookland" but changed because there was already another town by the same name. Go figure!

Anyway, in honor of Mrs. O.’s visit, here’s a good old-fashioned Barbecue & Politics Top Ten list... Enjoy!

Top Ten Signs Barack Obama’s popularity is getting out of control

10. New mini-wheat cereal from Kellogg’s purports to have a wheat side, a frosting side, and an “Obama” side

9. Welcomed by fellow patrons with hearty “Barack!” when he enters neighborhood bar and takes stool next to mailman

8. Obnoxious concertgoers starting to yell “2004 Democratic National Convention Keynote Address” instead of “Freebird”

7. New Obama Jibbitz® allow wearers to put some “Barack in their Crocs”

6. Magic 8-Ball novelty toy now features standard responses “All signs point to Obama” and “Ask again during Obama presidency”

5. After stubbing toe, Rudy Giuliani overheard shouting “Son of a Kenyan goat herder!”

4. When Obama won Grammy, taunted arch-rival Peter Frampton with, “Who’s coming alive now, bitch?”

3. Each successive Obama clone built to meet public demand is slightly inferior to the prior one, causing endless shenanigans at the home and office

2. On par with David Hasselhoff for popularity among Germans, but without being a complete douche-bag here in the U.S.

1. Top Google search results include “Barack Obama” “Obama president” and “shaved hot moms,” which must be one of his campaign slogans or something

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Jerry Falwell (1933-2007)

"He had many collaborators and many rivals, but Mr. Falwell’s charisma and relish for publicity made him the movement’s icon." NY Times

Pictured: Falwell braves the "Typhoon" at Heritage USA in Fort Mill, SC circa 1987.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Hog Heaven: JD's Pig & Chicken

Every once in a while, a collection of scumbags and villains descends upon the Palmetto State, causing an epidemic of noise and a cloud of noxious vapors. But enough about the GOP Presidential debate on Tuesday... It's also Bike Week at the Grand Strand!

In the thick of all the chrome and leather of Bike Week stands JD's Pig and Chicken in Garden City. Garden City is neither a "garden" nor a "city" - kind of like Mount Pleasant in that regard. It's a "census designated place," however, and a helluva place to take a family vacation.

In the same vein, JD's isn't a "barbecue restaurant," but is rather a "righteous designated place" - also a great place to take the fam. There's no buffet, and the 'cue is vinegar based, but these are forgivable transgressions. The pork is superb, and JD's offers two sauces: the tomato-based "Texas" sauce and the vinegar-based "Hogg" sauce.

I ordered the "Bike Week Special," which was a sandwich, coleslaw and a bellywasher for $6 and tax. Somehow, the actual bikers a few tables over didn't seem impressed. Maybe the pastels gave me away, but what can I say -- my sleeveless "If you can read this, the bitch fell off" t-shirt is at the cleaners.

Gervais says, if you're on your hog at the Strand, and you could stand to get some hog, put down your kickstand at the Pig 'n' Chicken. Right across from Maze Mania on Highway 17 Business.