Ben Carson's hogwash stories of a violent youth

It seems obvious that the presidential candidate's stories of youthful violence are fables, but why? It's not just because he keeps changing the events to account for inconsistencies and incredibilities—it's because no-one can find the people he describes.

But nine friends, classmates and neighbors who grew up with Carson told CNN they have no memory of the anger or violence the candidate has described. That person is unrecognizable to those whom CNN interviewed, who knew him during those formative years.

All of the people interviewed expressed surprise about the incidents Carson has described. No one challenged the stories directly. Some of those interviewed expressed skepticism, but noted that they could not know what had happened behind closed doors. CNN was unable to independently confirm any of the incidents, which Carson said occurred when he was a juvenile.

I keep imagining Ben Carson at the lectern, calmly and blandly insisting that he was the driver of the headlights-off car that brutally murdered someone who flashed them.

But that Mittyesque character doesn't really exist, does it? He just overdid the self-mythology in an early autobiography, and didn't have a plan for squaring it with the scrutiny that running for president would bring decades later. The irony, the entertainment value, comes from realizing that he's still a habitual bullshitter who can't take advice.

I think the day is won, though, by Gabrielle Bluestone, who offers a great line on the mangled absurdity of this candidate's boasts: "If Ben Carson didn't attack his own mother with a hammer, what else isn't he capable of?"