Notebook

October 19, 2011 8:14 pm

All Cain’s saying is give pizza a chance

With Herman Cain’s surprise ascent to the top of some polls in the Republican primary race it was only a matter of time before an embarrassing video of the former chief executive of the Godfather’s Pizza chain went viral on the web.

This week one did and it did not disappoint. Clad in flowing white robes and with a band behind him, Mr Cain can be seen singing an unusual version of John Lennon’s Imagine – only his ode is to pizza, rather than world peace.

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“Imagine there’s no pizza . . . I couldn’t if I tried,” he croons. “Eating only tacos . . . and Kentucky Fried . . . Imagine only burgers . . . it’s frightening and sad.”

The gaffe-prone Mr Cain has also been defending controversial comments he made about installing an electrified fence at the US-Mexico border “with a sign that says it can kill you”. Mr Cain told reporters that he was joking and that “America needs to get a sense of humour.” But in an earlier speech Mr Cain raised the prospect of building an alligator-filled moat along the border – presumably to repel invading forces armed with battering rams – while last December he wrote that Jesus was “the perfect conservative” who was killed “by a liberal court”.

None of this has thwarted the momentum of Mr Cain’s campaign. In fact, his 9-9-9 plan – an across the board 9 per cent tax on income, sales and business transactions – has been widely derided by economists but has clearly struck a chord with Republican voters. Still, most pundits believe his chances of victory against the better-financed and more moderate Mitt Romney are pretty slim, which is why Mr Cain should act now to make the most of his moment in the spotlight. A coast-to-coast arena tour would be a no-brainer: he could sing pizza-themed numbers while inviting the likes of conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh onstage for vigorous debate about immigration and the evils of government spending. As he sings in the YouTube video: “All we are saying . . . is give pizza a chance”.

Buffett in motion

Fresh from ruffling Republican feathers with his views on the unfairness of the US tax system, Warren Buffett has moved on to his next project: educating children about finance. Secret Millionaire’s Club, an animated TV programme, debuts this Sunday in the US on The Hub channel with narration provided by the Sage of Omaha himself.

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The show, which has been airing online since 2009, aims to teach children the basics of saving and investing, as well as the importance of ethics and reputation. Stocks can be traded on the Secret Millionaire’s Club website – using “Buffett Bucks”, naturally – and there is a question and answer section with queries from young investors that include: “Mr Buffett, if I invest in a stock and the stock market crashes, will I lose all my money?”

The animated series will be accompanied by a “Learn and Earn” promotional push in schools across the US and a “Grow Your Own Business” initiative, which offers a cash prize and a lunch with Mr Buffett to the child with the best entrepreneurial idea. Mr Buffett has also assembled a high-powered roster of guest entrepreneurs – the first episode will feature an appearance from that other noted investor, hip-hop star Jay-Z.

Arnie’s back

Arnold Schwarzenegger has kept a low profile since the break-up of his marriage to Maria Shriver following revelations claiming he fathered a child with his former housekeeper. This week the former California governor once dubbed “the Austrian oak” broke cover, announcing his return to the big screen in a small art-house film that will no doubt showcase his emotional range.

Not really. A breathless press release from the Lionsgate studio says The Last Stand will be a “high octane chase story” in which Arnie stars as Sheriff Owens, a “man who has resigned himself to a life of fighting what little crime takes place in the sleepy border town, Sommerton Junction”.

Mr Schwarzenegger will then do battle with “the most notorious, wanted drug kingpin in the hemisphere”, a gangster who is “hurtling toward the border at 200 mph in a specially outfitted car with a hostage and a fierce army of gang members”. Mr Schwarzenegger’s more mundane wrangles with California’s Democrats over the state’s billion dollar budget deficits must be a distant memory.

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