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Bah humbug everybody. Consider that uttered in the spirit of those of us familiar with the soft dark underbelly of the happiest time of the year. The ones regularly washed over by the holiday faucet of red and green bile dreading the solstice celebration as it drips down the drain of melancholy revealing the regurgitated fruit of of our greed and gluttony.

But then again, what the hell. Pass me a cookie and another glass of nog and let's just enjoy the whole thing, shall we? And go easy on the nutmeg and heavy on the whiskey, mister. Because its time to just sit back and relax. Xmas is still with us, as we are repeatedly reminded by the television ads partially obscured by the coffee table high wrapping paper detritus.

So to honor all you brave and steadfast consumers who set new records this year in your patriotic quest to sink heavily into debt to honor the birth of that Jewish hippie kid, let me offer up to the least deserving of us my annual scathingly incisive yet perennially trenchant, WILL DURST'S 2006 XMA$ GIFT WI$H LI$T.

  • For the Iraqi people: an end to their civil war before the Bush Administration starts calling it that.
  • For Rush Limbaugh: mint flavored shoe laces for the next time he puts his foot in mouth.
  • For Mary Cheney's child: kindly faced, wise and sage other grandparents to neutralize Dick & Lynne.
  • For British Prime Minister Tony Blair: a gift certificate good for one operation to disconnect him from his co- joined twin George Bush.
  • For Donald Trump & Rosie O’Donnell: muzzles.
  • For George Bush: who said he was going to stay the course in Iraq even if only Barney and Laura were supporting him; some dog treats for Barney.
  • For prospective Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton: thicker skirts, so voters aren't distracted by the sight of her testicles when she speaks on a stage with back lighting.
  • For Princess Diana: on the tenth anniversary of her death, a moment's peace for crum's sake.
  • For OJ Simpson: a one way ticket to a deserted island populated predominantly by poisonous pampas grass.
  • For International Tyrannical Despot Saddam Hussein: a loophole. A big honking loophole.
  • For Michael Richards: now that his career in Hollywood is over; a gubernatorial bid from the great state of Idaho.
  • For Mel Gibson: many more in a continuing series of Michael Richards' like incidents.
  • For Britney Spears: a reciprocal arrangement with Victoria's Secret.
  • For Harry Whittington: trigger locks for all his friends.
  • For the once and future Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry: a flip flop from the overwhelming majority of Republicans who want him to run for the Presidency to an overwhelming majority of Democrats. And a first edition signed copy of Milton Berle's Joke File.
  • For Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman: some of Hillary Clinton's testosterone.
  • For Taco Bell: a new advertising campaign that drops the focus on "Run For The Border."
  • For Jason Alexander and Julia Louis- Dreyfus: a good agent to say no to whatever scheme the Seinfeld team comes up with to promote the next release of DVDs after Michael Richards' exploits resulted in higher than expected sales.
  • For Democratic New Orleans Congressional Representative William Jefferson: a home safe disguised as one of those mini refrigerators.
Comic, actor, writer, former radio talk show host and porno bookstore clerk, Will Durst, wonders why can't everyday be Xmas?
Catch Durst in stand- up mode at the 14th Annual Big Fat Year End Kiss Off Comedy Show. 6 counties. 6 days. willdurst.com or 415.820.9628.
Listen to his twice weekly commentaries @audible.com/willdurst.
Crocodile tears

The latest form of political theater descending on DC is the crying of crocodile tears. And this season's awards for biggest mock drops are destined to be swept by Beltway players in fake concern for South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson. Phony sanctimony has long been a staple of the American way of life. Each of us had an aunt whose major talent was feigning fawning sympathy. Usually she had a mole.
Right now our newspapers and televisions are witnessing such a flurry of fake solicitude they should be handing out snow blowers. Mostly I'm talking about the excruciating sympathy leaking out of the mouths of political pundits everywhere, expressing commiseration for Tim Johnson's medical situation in their most grave and sincere voice. For ten seconds. Then high pitched squeals as they excitedly speculate for the rest of the show on possible ramifications resulting from his imminent demise.

"Our prayers go out to him and his family. (Short pause -- turn to center camera) But if, God forbid, he does die, we trust Governor Mike Rounds will do the right thing. And appoint a Republican to fill his seat, bringing the Senate back to dead even. No pun intended. Then when Vice President Dick Cheney breaks the 50- 50 tie, the America-loving GOP will retain control of the senior branch of Congress and the sun will shine and birds will fly, but not a single George Bush directed subpoena will."

Of course, short of dying, which Senator Johnson undoubtedly prefers avoiding, it's unlikely he will abdicate his Senate seat. Historically, physical or mental incapacitation has never been a big handicap to the normal operating procedures of the Most Deliberative Body In The World. Let's not forget Senator Strom Thurmond, whose major accomplishment the last four years of his life was to keep the drool from pooling in his lap. C'mon, are you really serving the government when Willard Scott is wishing you happy birthday?

As to suspicions of some sort of hanky panky going on with the sudden onset of Senator Johnson's malady, I'm of the opinion that Republicans will do anything to hang on to power. Whatever it takes. And if similarities to the Vladimir Putin / Alexander Litvenenko scene do show up -- you know, the whole radioactive sushi deal -- I semi-seriously propose we zero in on a Republican Senator in a Democratic state and attempt to retrieve the status quo.

A twist on the old Sean Connery "Untouchable" philosophy. "If they pull polonium 210 on you, you pull Americium 241 on them. If they put one of yours under the knife of a neurosurgeon, you put one of theirs under the wheels of a Peterbilt. That's the Democratic Way, and that's how you get Trent Lott." This also applies to Independent Senators. From Connecticut. Who suddenly decide to become Republican. For any reason. At all. Mister "Joementum."

Comic, actor, writer, former radio talk show host and sod farmer Will Durst wonders who would eat South Dakota sushi anyway. Catch Durst in stand-up mode at 142 Throckmorton Theater in Mill Valley on Tuesday the 19th. And don't forget the 14th Annual Big Fat Year End Kiss Off Comedy Show: 6 counties. 6 days. Willdurst.com. And listen to his twice weekly commentaries @audible.com/willdurst.
Reading isn't fundamental

Right about now is when it could come in real handy to have a President who reads. A book learning wonk. A guy not allergic to the printed word. George W. Bush even admitted it himself. I think his exact quote was: "I don't read." And you know what, I believe him. Then this summer, something happened. I think it was part of that midterm campaign thing, when the President claimed his beach reading list included Camus' "The Stranger" and what he referred to as "3 Shakespeares." 3 Shakespeares? Sounds like a customer at Baskin- Robbins ordering up a triple scoop of smart. And very suspicious coming from a man famous for struggling through the same page of "My Pet Goat" for 10 minutes.

The whole reading deal is important here because he should have been tempted to give the Iraq Study Group Report a brief scan before repeating "The Study Group agrees with me." Unh. No. They don't. He said this during a joint press conference with Tony Blair that could have been a Tivo of any of his previous eighty gazillion press conferences with Tony Blair. Tony looks and sounds like a statesman, and George like an eighth grader trying to fake his way through a book report. Does the term "Cliffs Notes" have any meaning here?

At the risk of switching milieus, we're stuck in "Groundhog Day." Doesn't matter what happens, we wake up the next morning and instead of hearing the Turtles sing "Happy Together" we get the President playing the same lame game he has for three years: "Its a tough time. Going to take some hard work. We're working hard." His supporters say he's resolute. You know what, resolute isn't always a good thing. Butt cancer is resolute.

We won't even get into the ironic nature of his "hard work" mantra. How odd to be coming from a guy who, Pre-President, was the poster child for social promotion. But an exhortation to hard work isn't the only blunted arrow in his nebulous quiver. In response to what measures he might take based on the report, he gravely intoned, "We will take every proposal seriously and will act in a timely fashion," which is Presidential Dismissal Speak for, "yeah, whatever."

The Baker-Hamilton Group's report was not the chronicle of clarity itself. It came to the considered opinion that… Iraq is Messed Up and mostly, it's our fault. For this we spent a million dollars? Too bad they didn't have time to get into other blistering exposes like The Pacific Ocean is Moist. Wood is Not Your Foremost Option for Conducting Electricity. Wine- Peanut \Butter: Not a Match. The board goes back.

The President refused to comment on specifics in the report by dipping into his bottomless bag of vague generalities. "My message is this: I want to work with the Congress, I want to work with people in both parties." Yeah, sure he does, the same way a five-year-old with a magnifying glass wants to work with ants. The bi-partisan Study Group provided 79 recommendations for alleviating the chaos in Iraq. Unfortunately none of them involved the President and his entire Cabinet resigning, proving perhaps this study group should've studied more.

Comic, actor, writer, former radio talk show host and pedicab driver Will Durst thinks having George Bush married to a librarian is like having Britney Spears married to a priest.
Catch Durst in standup mode at the Bob Reitman Goodbye Party at the Riverside Theater in Milwaukee on Tuesday the 12th, and at the 50 Mason Theater in San Francisco on Wednesday the 13th. And listen to his twice-weekly commentaries at audible.com/willdurst.
And they're not off

I startled some guy in the next lane at a red light when I shouted at my radio today. A semi-famous network newscaster was opining how former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack could easily take the 2008 Iowa caucuses as a favorite son, resulting in a subsequent focus on South Carolina, which is John Edwards territory, and this might all work out to upset the Hillary Clinton Applecart Express. AAIIIIEEEE! The guy next to me barely missed a covey of walkers as he peeled out.

I mean, okay, I know, political projection is as predictable as a spilt glass of milk before naptime at a day care center for hyperactive four year olds. But for crum’s sake, a little common human decency, por favor. We’ve barely finished showering off the crap flung in the midterms, and need a moment or so to send our clothes and our souls out to the dry cleaner. Or burn and bury them, then buy new ones.

You’d think these pundits could use a bit of time off themselves. Enough slack to recycle a few lame sports analogies and plant a couple of specious rumors. At least until the New Direction Congress is inaugurated. The 110th doesn’t even start work for more than a month. Shouldn’t they be able to break the seal on their stack of monogrammed Post-It notes before we start talking about an event occurring at the very end of their term? I’ve seen jailhouse marriages with longer honeymoons. Just ask Duke Cunningham. Or Bob Ney. Or Mark Foley. No, second thought, best not to ask Mark Foley.

Is it too much to ask to wait until a mere 22 MONTHS BEFORE the election to start handicapping our next national foray into the depths of depravity, degradation, and accusations that make up a Presidential Sweepstakes? Apparently not. I bet even the Cartoon Network has a show speculating on the '08 frontrunners in the race to replace George Bush. Even though most of the supposed competitors haven’t even taken off their sweats yet.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. The extraordinarily ambitious have been running since November 3rd of 2004 (does the term Junior Senator from New York have any meaning here?) Who cares? Let them. Let them rot in the frozen fields of Iowa and New Hampshire in the middle of this winter. But let them do it alone. Because except the poor beleaguered citizens of Iowa and New Hampshire, it doesn’t matter. Speaking for the rest of us, I have one word for all you long term prognosticators: shut up!

I DON’T CARE. If Bill Frist or Russ Feingold have dropped out. If Clinton or McCain or Edwards or Romney or Guiliani has or hasn’t formed an exploratory committee. If Barack Obama pitches a tent on the South Lawn. Not only don’t I know who Duncan Hunter is, I don’t want to know. People, we’re talking two whole years down the road. A lot of crap could hit the fan in two years. And you know these guys. They have a history of not just finding and flinging crap, but splashing and soaking in it. Give them a wide berth. That’s all I’m saying.

Comic, actor, writer, former radio talk show host and cave tour guide Will Durst thinks anyone dropping out this early was running the same way he’s running for Pope.
Catch Durst in stand- up mode at the Death Penalty benefit at Cobb’s Comedy Club in San Francisco on Thursday the 7th. 415.928.4320. (it's anti-death penalty, by the way.) Or listen to his twice weekly commentaries @audible.com/willdurst.
Who's the comeback kid now?

Guess who the Republicans snuck in as Senate Minority Whip? Trent Lott. Yes, that Trent Lott. Welcome back, buddy! You're a breath of stale air. And just the shot of smack in the arm the GOP needs. A return to the good old high-flying junkie days of yore, when votes stayed counted and people had priorities. Winning. At all costs.

Don't worry about those silly racist slur charges. Hardly anybody remembers how or why Lott was unceremoniously bounced from your Majority leader position in the first place. That was four long years ago, which in politics is measured via carbon dating. It was so long ago we hadn't discovered the phantom nature of weapons of mass destruction yet. When President Bush had a higher approval rating than the puppy-eating-snake level he's at now. Back when he acted like he was better than you. Lott fumbled away his position of power like a running back wearing ham mittens. Bringing Lott back, right after getting crushed in the midterms... genius move. As was the secret ballot. Need more of those in the Senate.

As per Lott's controversial speechifying about how better off America would be if Strom Thurmond's Presidential bid on the Segregationist Dixiecrat Ticket had been successful: don't sweat it, people already forgot. Most Americans are hard pressed to recall anything before the last episode of "Lost." Lott's 25-24 vote margin in the Asleep At The Wheel Party Sweepstakes is especially delicious considering these are the same folks who insist they're doing all they can to reach out to minorities. Apparently they still don't realize Lott was arguing integration is bad. Besides, Lott did apologize, and if nobody could quite understand what he was saying because of the hood muffling his words -- tough.

Trust me, time heals all wounds. Lott's explanation of the Thurmond gaffe, i.e., he was just trying to make an elderly gentleman feel good and it was a mistake of the mouth not of the heart, was brilliant. Didn't matter if no one knew what he was talking about. It was so zen. A much hipper proposition today than back in 2002. And no, no, no, nobody recollects this incident was so serious, even President Bush felt compelled to weigh in: "There's no room in the Republican Party for racists." Gee, we knew there were a lot of them, just didn't think all the slots were full. Must be some sort of alternative affirmative action program going on somewhere. Don't let Scalia hear about this.

Then, last year, when Lott wondered aloud about the Sunnis and the Shiites and their penchant for killing each other: "How do they tell the difference? They all look alike to me," you know what that was? That was Lott channeling the American public. All those swarthy people do look alike! Just like all the Republican leadership looks alike. Overly groomed, mirthless, clueless and whiter than the inside of small bore cottage cheese.

The good news for the Republicans is, after less than two weeks wandering in the wilderness, there's a light at the end of the tunnel. The bad news for the American people is, the light might be coming from a burning cross.

Comic, actor, writer, former radio talk show host and busboy Will Durst can't wait for Senator Trent Lott to speak at Michael Jackson's birthday party. Catch Durst in stand-up mode at Rooster T Feathers Thursday the 16th through Sunday the 19th. 408.736.0921. And listen to his twice weekly commentaries @ audible.com/durst.
San Francisco Values

Hope you were hanging on to something solid Tuesday night because this country lurched so hard to the left, half of Washington woke up with a wicked case of whiplash on Wednesday. No, make that most of Washington. And all of K Street. And the Republicans should be grateful. Because if it weren't for Democratic persistence they wouldn't still be able to file for protection under the Endangered Species Act.

The electoral semi tsunami means new Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi is next in line after Dick Cheney in Presidential succession. In other words, she's only two chicken bones away from the Presidency. And Bush does not look like a picky eater. Does the term unchewed pretzel have any meaning here? Not to mention one loud noise takes Cheney out like that, leading to… President Pelosi. And to conservatives, that's got to be scarier than a raw meat bathing suit in a shark tank.

Since she's the human embodiment of what right wing talk show hosts refer to as (cue theme music from Psycho) the extreme agenda of San Francisco values, people all over the country have to be curious as to exactly what are these alarming values? Glad you asked. Pull up a chair, plop the kids in front of "CSI: Topeka" and let me tell you about Ms Pelosi and the den of iniquity she represents and passes as the city named after Saint Francis of Assisi.

For those who can't wait to get Nancy Pelosi down on the ground to shave her head and expose her horns, I regret to inform you, they aren't there. She's a kindly old grandma now, and although she does smile like some fiend is twisting a knobby pole inserted up her butt, the ironic part is, in San Francisco, this supposedly frighteningly extreme liberal is considered a moderate and is often protested by leftist factions claiming she's too deep in the mainstream and has sold out. And yeah, there are factions here that believe the same is true of Fidel.

The best way to analyze The City, as we call ourselves, is to look to the movies. Like in "The Wizard of Oz," when Dorothy says, "we're not in Kansas anymore," that's our motto. Then, at the end of "Peter Pan," where Tinkerbell almost dies and the only thing that can save her is audience applause. Well, that's us too. We're not Kansas and we clap for fairies. So what? Big deal. Who cares?

What we believe in are the rights of the individual. Our biggest moral flaw is we hate judgmental people, a bit of an internal fallacy, I'll admit. We do go out of our way not to place restrictions on people or their actions or religions or appearances. When you think about it, what they're really afraid of is the freedoms that citizens of San Francisco enjoy. That's right, they hate us for our freedoms.

We may be part of America, but we're the exception that proves the rule. You've heard of "thinking outside the box?" Well, we outlawed corners. We're as far beyond that whole red/ blue thing as a sperm whale is beyond a toothpick. We're not blue. We're indigo. Eggplant. Plum. Aubergine. Periwinkle. And yes, a large percentage of us do know the difference between aubergine and periwinkle. And recent revelations seem to suggest that a large percentage of Americans do know the difference between hope and hopeless. And we are no longer the last pocket of resistance.

Comic, actor, writer, occasional radio talk show host Will Durst believes it's important the world knows, that in San Francisco, Halloween is redundant.
Catch Durst in stand- up mode at Rooster T Feathers Thursday the 16th through Sunday the 19th, 408.736.0921. And listen to his twice weekly commentaries @ audible.com/durst.
The Demagogic Whistle Stop

Oh for crum's sake, people. It was a joke! "If you don't study in school you'll end up getting stuck in Iraq." Get it? LIKE THE PRESIDENT! He can't get out of Iraq. He didn't study. He's stuck. John Kerry was talking about George Bush. He wasn't talking about our troops. John Kerry was a troop. Anybody who can't figure that out is either a cynical oaf hiding their scurrilous ass behind the troops or pretending they're dumber than they already are, and from all appearances, the President falls into one of those categories, and if it's the latter, that's a very scary proposition indeed.

Right before Senator John Kerry blew the joke about how dumb people get stuck in Iraq, he blew another about how President Bush comes from the state of Texas but now lives in the state of denial. See, it's a pattern. That's ostensibly a joke too. Didn't get much of a laugh on that one either. In the "stuck in Iraq" joke, he left out the word "us." it was supposed to be "you'll end up getting US stuck in Iraq," which is funnier on paper especially if you read the "us" as "U.S." making it work on a couple of different levels. Both of which are way beyond the cognitive range of most college students in Pasadena. Which is why only dogs think John Kerry is funny.

Granted. He has the timing of an end table. Part of the problem is even when he tells a joke with all the words intact, it still doesn't sound like a joke. He's just not good at talking. He's good at thinking. Probably reads too. I even bet he studied. But talking; not his strong suit, which, be honest, we've known for some time now. So he botched a joke. The President botched a war. Nobody ended up dead because of Kerry's botch. Except for a few Democratic Congressional campaign managers in Indiana, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Where is a modern Edward R. Murrow to ask: "at long last Mr Bush, have you no shame?" Because this grasping for the discarded shoe of a verbal slip on the campaign shoulder with election day looming like a stalled 18 wheeler in the fast lane of the voters' windshield is nothing but a cheap expedient political ploy. Earlier on the campaign trail, the President called a vote for the Democrats a vote for the terrorists. Why didn't the fabled liberal media focus on that demagoguery? Because he does it all the time. Not what you call your new news. Kerry, however, was fresh meat so the media voraciously jumped so far down his throat, all you could see coming out of his mouth was the cuffs of their pants and the soles of their shoes, being the only souls they possess. A joke that doesn't work on paper.

And even though he's being attacked for something he didn't mean to do, I'm still pissed at Kerry for falling into the trap. For proving to the whole world the ultimate Democrat is able to screw up an election they're not even running in. I just hope and pray this thing comes back to bite Bush in the butt bad. That the American people studied. And by keeping Iraq in the spotlight, those same plenty smart Americans will be reminded how this administration lied and spied and stole and sold and cheated and tortured and killed and ignored intelligence and promoted incompetence and defied international cooperation and incited religious intolerance and eschewed bipartisanship and exploited the very same troops they pretend to be offended on behalf of and that, my friends, is no joke. Go vote.

Comic, writer, actor, commentator, apprentice pundit, Will Durst, thinks it's amusing that both parties are running from their 04 nominees with equal alacrity.
Listen to Durst's bi- weekly commentaries @ audible.com.
Don't not stay the course

If you need more proof that President George Bush is as clueless as a goldfish on a leash in a space shuttle, you obviously didn't see him in all his counter- intuitive glory this week adamantly refuting the slogan of "staying the course" while keeping its policy EXACTLY THE SAME. That's right, George Bush is cutting and running from "stay the course." This doesn't mean he's a Defeatlican, though. Because "we are winning in Iraq and will continue to win." And you'd better hope we do, because if this is winning, you really REALLY don't want to see what losing looks like.

He went on to speak of the differences between "a timetable" and "benchmarks," declaring one to be the way of the winner and the other the path to Loserville City. Now, as to which is which, your guess is as good as anybody's. And that probably includes his own staff. It definitely includes Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al- Maliki who either has or hasn't agreed to benchmarks or timetables or touchstones or yardsticks, although a Donald Rumsfeld yard sign looks to be entirely out of the question.

Straight lines. Stark choices. Bold differences. Say what you will about Mister Bush, that's what he's always stood for. "Us versus them." "Good versus evil." "Black versus white." Now, that may be a great world view for an eighth grader, but hey, in the last six years of fighting for the hearts and minds of American voters, it's worked. Nuance is for sissies. Shades of grey: the way of the girly man. The White House is a place where the "b" in subtlety is not necessarily silent.

Of course, now that polls reflect we midterm electors are evidencing a wee bit of reluctance continuing in the President's lemming footsteps marching lockstep over the Iraqi cliff of doom, Mr. Bush is determined to prove himself… flexible. Yes, the giant clanking Oval Office robot is intent on demonstrating he has morphed into one of those pliable 14 year old female Olympic gymnasts with that rubberizing agent still in their bones. President Iron Giant is no more. Long live President Olga Korbut.

The President did admit that he may be dissatisfied, but he's not disillusioned. He's patient, but his patience is not unlimited. Flexible but not spongy. A little bit country. And a little bit rock and roll. You say goodbye, I say hello. The war is going according to plan, but it's a limber plan. Not a stay the concrete course plan, but an elastic sort of course plan that we're either staying or not. Kind of like one of those road races where you can cut across to the other side between the bales of hay.

So even the President has agreed that the phrase "stay the course" is a dirty word. And to all the Republicans candidates whom he seduced into repeating that phrase often enough to be used for opposition election ads, it won't be long before the phrase "George Bush" is also a dirty word. And I envision a day not too far in the future when just mentioning the President's name on the radio will result in getting hit by the FCC with a $350,000 fine… for obscenity.

Comic, writer, actor, former radio show host, FCC baiter, Will Durst, finds it ironic you can't even try to pronounce the word "FCC" on the radio.
Listen bi weekly to Durst commentaries at audible.com.
Bring Back Saddam

WINSTON CHURCHILL: "Democracy may be the worst form of government known to man, with the possible exception of every other form."

I don't know if you got your head screwed on tight right now, but if not, you might want to pull out some eight penny nails and a claw hammer and place them in the ready position. Because chances are, after you hear this, you're going to want to nail your skull onto your spine before it spins off into the ether like a runaway flesh colored helium balloon. A bi- partisan commission, headed by James Baker, is investigating options to George Bush's strategy of "staying the course" in Iraq. And it seems pretty apparent that, as soon as possible, (ie: hours after the midterm election,) wholesale changes are in store. Although it's yet to be determined whether any of the strategic plans call for the President to step down and accept the position of greeter/ shoveler at the official stables of the Arabian Horse Association as is my suggestion.

One of the options being bandied about is the slow withdrawal of our armed forces, known as "cut and run" when proposed by Democrats, but I'm sure Mr Baker will trot out something a bit more circumspect like: "shave and split," "slice and sprint" or "sever and saunter." Another possibility includes what is being referred to as "alternatives to our effort to establish a democracy." Let me repeat that; alternatives to democracy. Let's see, which alternatives to democracy are available for consideration? Communism? Unh, probably not. A Theocracy? No, we tend to spend a lot of money to avoid that very sort of thing. Fascism? Doubt it. Can't impose an impossible burden on the nascent infrastructure by demanding the trains run on time.

They might want to give a ruling monarchy a try. We seem to like it. Another possibility is tyrannical despotism. Or as it would be known to the Iraqis, the good old days. When you think about it, an oppressive dictatorship holds the benefit of both being familiar to the citizens and having recently been demonstrably successful in the area. Oh, sure a benevolent dictator would be preferable, but it's never been a real deal breaker to our foreign policy. And I know this may sound a bit wacky but instead of holding another big round of purple fingered elections where candidates and their relatives get knocked off at levels that would make the folks in Deadwood blanch, why not Saddam?

He's tan. He's rested. He knows the territory. Not doing much right now. Still has huge name recognition. Wouldn't have to re- introduce him to the populace. And be honest, how much worse could his re- reign be than what's going on right now? Hell, we don't need some big time fancy commission to tell us what to do. Henry Kissinger is on board; ask him. Just resurrect his thirty two year old plan for Nixon. We declare victory, and leave. Reinstall a chastened reformed Hussein and appoint someone to watch over him. How bout Dick Cheney? Kills three birds with one stone. Gets the Vice President and his approval rating lower than anchovy milkshakes out of Washington AND in place to provide hands- on control over his Halliburton operation, AND Bush gets to appoint a successor for '08. Besides, if Cheney can't instill the fear of Allah in Hussein, nobody can. And most importantly, it gives us someone to blame. Two someones. Two Dicks.

Comic, writer, actor, former radio show host, malevolent lurker, Will Durst, wonders if killing three birds with one stone is how we got Turduckens.
The Boogeyman

"If you don't watch out, the Boogeyman is going to get you." When we were young, every one of us suffered a grandparent or a creepy weird uncle or a fat pimply faced cousin who planted similar irrational fears in us. A psycho adult who got his jollies off by gleefully magnifying the shapeless dread of monsters lurking in the dark to susceptible children. Monsters who waited to gobble us up and skulked everywhere. Under the bed, in the back of the closet and pretty much the whole of the entire basement especially behind the furnace. And still, that creepy weird uncle continues to frighten us with tales of the Boogeyman. And that psycho adult's name is George Walker Bush.

For the last five years he has run his Administration on the frightening fuel of the fear of monsters. "If we don't watch out, the Boogeyman is going to get us." And who is the Boogeyman to the President? Anybody different than him. Saddam Hussein was a Boogeyman. That President of Iran whose name he can't pronounce is a Boogeyman. Scientists are the Oogie Boogeymen. And the Democrats are the Boogiest of all men. In a full term and a half, the President's major accomplishment has been to plant amorphous nightmares in our national subconscious and to fertilize them with nightly doses of BS.

Due to its cross cultural prevalence in almost every country on the planet, scientists theorize the concept of the Boogeyman has been handed down from our stoop backed hairy foreheaded ancestors who used such scare tactics to encourage their subanthropoidal tots to hang around the relative protection of the cave, semi- safe in the warmth of the tribe from the sirenic call of possible predators. And no, I'm not talking about Fox News and their obsession with Hillary Clinton, but if the monosyllabic snarls fit, grunt em.

This, however, is the 21st Century. We're supposed to be smarter now. Yes, terrorism exists. But in Great Britain and Israel and a lot of other civilized countries, they reconcile themselves to that fact and manage to expend their energies trying to solve it like a criminal activity and not obsess about it full time, curled in a fetal position shivering like a shaved poodle on an ice rink, fearful of the unknown. Of course, I am talking about countries where the term "intelligence agency" is not an oxymoron. Where staffs are manned by actual professionals, and not the buddies of ex girlfriends' roommates' cousins.

America is tired of hiding from the Boogeyman. We're tired of being being grounded for asking questions about him. "Why? Because I said so. That's why" is not a good enough answer anymore. We're tired of being kept in a dark so complete, not even the flickering glow of the truth can pierce it. Maybe, finally, this is the election where we climb out from under the covers, open the closet door and look under the bed and sweep a broom handle behind the back of the furnace. And start snapping the suspenders and poking the chests of the creepy old men scaring us with exaggerated tales about the Boogeyman. Fee Fi Fo Fum. I smell the blood of some Republicans.

Comic, writer, actor, former radio show host, Will Durst, always imagined green- gilled, goat- breathed, mutant ogres poised to munch the bones of children. Then he shook hands with Tom DeLay and reformed his mental image.
Dennis Hastert's Crow Plate Special

Hubris. (hyoo-bris)–noun. Excessive pride or self-confidence. Arrogance.

That's the dry dictionary definition. But if you want to see hubris in all its gooey partisan glory, check out the machinations Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, is going through as he twists and turns like a Chinese acrobat in zero gravity reacting to the Congressional page scandal. His first vault into the Olympics of sleaze was picking up the phone. Why? To express his outrage at Florida Republican Mark Foley's inappropriate overtures to young boys? Unh, no. Okay, to console the families of the children ensnared in these lurid imprecations? Well, no, not precisely that either. Then, to demand an investigation into why the report on Foley's behavior was buried by his office? Well, unh, no, no, not really, no. Wait! Wait! Let me think. Unh, no. No. Fraid not.

He called to demand an investigation into who leaked the report. In the face of overwhelmingly lurid evidence, his major priority was to cover his ass. This guy is so transparent I'm surprised he hasn't leased himself out during winter recess as a storm window. By refusing to investigate, he allowed a sexual predator to remain chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children, which would be funny in a sad and degrading way if only it weren't. But it does give a whole new meaning to "no child left behind."

After receiving a quick pep talk from Team Bush about the best defense being a ludicrous offense, Hastert next began to lash out at the liberal press and claimed the scandal was a plot engineered by Democrats. His proof: with just a month before the election, the timing is too pat, AND it's the perfect political strategy. Let me see. Good timing, perfect political strategy. Naw, doesn't sound like any Democrat I know. This charge is especially amusing when you realize what he's saying is "hey, it's how we would have done it."

The sticky questions facing the Speaker now are threefold. What did he know, when did he know it and has he ever eaten a meal with less than a pound of red meat covered in bearnaise sauce on the plate? I'm not saying he's guilty simply because he bloated up like a poisoned toad, but dude, have you ever heard of vegetables? Carrots: supposed to be good for the eyes and might help you see the story you've been peddling is slipperier than the sweat on a wire wearing lobbyist's palm. First your office knew about Foley's hinky emails a few weeks ago. Then it was earlier this year. Or was it last spring? Early 2005? Just answer this: first or second season of "Lost?"

Now a former aide to the Prince of Pages himself says he warned the Speaker's Offive three years ago that odd behavior was afoot. Did the House office supply clerk deliver defective calendars? We all know why Foley got a pass. Hard to rally the base when the Family Values Party morphs into the North American Man Boy Love Association Party. Especially during an election year. And since the Speaker is destined to spend an inordinate amount of time in front of cameras explaining his calenderic malfunctions, I'd suggest he'd lose a couple of pounds and try a salad with that hubris pie and side of crow he's about to get stuffed down his throat. Maybe a raw Spinach salad.

Comic, writer, actor, former page boy haircut wearer, Will Durst, wonders how soon before they try to lay all this on Clinton. Wait! Too late. They already tried.
Too late to catch Durst in radio talk show mode on Keeping it Real with Will & Willie on KQKE The station decided to go in a different direction. The good news is sleeping until 10. The bad news is no negotiations with other radio stations until February 2nd.
The compassionate torturer

I always tremble like a hamster duct taped to a roto-tiller when George Bush struts into the world spotlight, as he did this week when addressing the UN. The same feeling I get when San Francisco Giants closer Armando Benitez takes the mound in a save situation. It's a cover-your-eyes and peek-through-your-fingers sort of thing. A breath-holding whispered-prayers kind of time. Exciting, but not in what you call your good way. In a sweaty way.

Especially now, after six years of being a reluctant part of the studio audience laugh track for the Bush sitcom: we've seen his work, we know too much. So many things could get screwed up. What if the teleprompter goes awry and he tries to exercise his ad lib skills? Could he drag us into a war by mistake? Again? Suppose the first ADHD POTUS succumbs to the urge to wander around the General Assembly and begins to apply unrequested backrubs to female heads of state? Can a country be prosecuted for sexual harassment?

What if a second Red Bull encourages him to attempt to pronounce Iranian President Achmadinejad's name? In front of people? And what about his safety: aren't we exposing him to unnecessary risk? Say he gets the munchies, pops some pretzels and starts choking. Again. Mightn't the UN EMTs remember previously forgotten appointments once they discover the identity of their prone blue patient?

Or, god forbid, he'll start to lecture the international community on the subtle intricacies of the "moral high ground" which apparently means speaking from the taller pile of dead enemy bodies. Or even worse, fleshes out his "compassionate torture" concept. Explains how America would never torture people, we just don't want to rule it out. How what we utilize is properly called "enhanced interrogation techniques." So those car battery cables attached to that man's nipples... isn't torture, just "portable energy amplification."

I'm sure getting branded "the devil" by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in New York was easy duty compared to a week of being branded "torture king" by renegade conservatives in DC. Besides, we all know the President isn't the devil. Cheney is. The President is one of his eager little helpers. Like Renfield to Dracula. Kevin J O'Connor in "The Mummy." The Nazi-helping monkey in "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

It's obvious the President assumed his retroactive military tribunal reform bill was going to be a slam dunk from a step ladder. But he was confronted, not by obstructionist Democrats who quiver in their frilly underwear when not sitting down to pee, but by three Republican Senators, who claim that if this bill passes, wait for it... our troops will be endangered.

You got to love the irony of the President having that phrase batted back into his face. And waving the oversized racquet is John McCain himself, whose graduate degree in the subject trumps the President's skimming of the course description in the syllabus. We're talking about someone who's whose lived through torture. And no, I'm not talking about the 2000 Republican primary in South Carolina. Mister President, please leave the torture business to people with some experience in it: Karl Rove, Howie Mandel and the UN translators of Hugo Chavez's speech.

Comic, writer, actor, radio talk show host, moral high ground casualty, Will Durst, in answer to the question "Deal, or No Deal," says "no deal."
Catch Durst in radio talk show host mode on Keeping it Real With Will & Willie. Monday through Friday. 7-10am. PDT. On KQKE. 960 AM. The QUAKE. San Francisco. Or listen long distance @ quakeradio.com.
The victims of 9/12

With Labor Day over, it took stores about 14 seconds to get rid of their "back-to-school" displays and replace them with shelves of Halloween regalia. Never missing a beat, Karl Rove had George W. Bush get an early start on the pagan celebration: Donning the most frightening disguise available, Bush headed out to spook the countryside in a weeklong variation on the old "trick and treat" trek. This "fear and smear" tour featured the President digging deep into the pockets of his Pumpkin King costume, tossing seeds of dread and horror to all who watched the media deluge of mourning in America on the 5th anniversary of 9/11.

I know I cowered. But I can't figure out if my reflex recoil was caused by the sight of the super-serious mask Bush uses to hide his condescending smirk; the sheer gall of his distorted reasoning; or the threat that Cheney was going to detach his jaw and swallow Tim Russert whole. Maybe these guys really do believe the BS that oozes out of their mouths. Or maybe they're just testing the limits of the whole Joseph Goebbels Big Lie propaganda theory. Wouldn't that explain a lot, if this were all just a failed senior thesis? Just take the incomplete and get it over with.

"The lessons of 9/11." "The horrors of 9/11." "The victims of 9/11." It's all become... "The dial tone of 9/11." They chanted it like an airplane hangar full of Buddhist initiates. Mr. Solemn and Mr. Sober. Pouring their hearts out for the families of the victims of 9/11. Yeah, right. Apparently, Messrs. Bush & Cheney have so much respect for the victims of 9/11 that they molded their ashes into a football and kicked them around the country for a week of electioneering photo ops. "The hardest part of my job is linking Iraq with the war on terror." Well, yeah. Rumpelstiltskin's hardest job was spinning gold out of straw.

You aren't honoring the victims of September 11th. You're dishonoring them by kicking their remains around for petty partisan purposes. Why don't you honor the survivors of 9/11 by telling the truth for once? Iraq was a mistake. And when I say survivors of 9/11, I mean us. The victims of 9/12. This is an election year, and we know your scary overture was just the beginning of a five act opera. It's time to get out our BS umbrellas, and keep them upraised for seven more weeks. Hopefully enough time for we victims of 9/12 to band together and kick you heartless, greedy, sanctimonious thugs out of office. Nothing personal, I mean that in a good way.

I hope the point of diminishing returns has been reached. That these guys have gone to the well one too many times and there's a hole at the bottom of their bucket. That the boys who cried Wolfowitz will finally get their comeuppance and the 110th Congress will wreak holy nonsecular havoc. That the people have had it with their load of Iraq BS and ain't buying it no more. That the message we will hear rain down from the purple mountain's majesty will be, "Stop it, Mr Bush, and get thee away from us now. And take that hideous Cheney thing with you."

Comic, writer, actor, radio talk show host, and Wookie fan Will Durst thinks the scariest costume this Halloween will be a Vice Presidential mask.
Catch Durst in radio talk show host mode on Keeping it Real With Will & Willie. Monday through Friday. 7-10am. PDT. On KQKE. 960 AM. The QUAKE. San Francisco. Or listen long distance @ quakeradio.com.
9/11 plus 5

Monday is the fifth anniversary of IX-XI, and President Bush has apparently decided to prepare us for our national day of mourning by delivering a weeklong series of seminars on fear-mongering. Okay, okay, maybe "fear-mongering" is a bit much. Perhaps a better phrase would be "PR campaign of cheap political calculation," or "systematic exploitative pandering" or "a typical sleazy example from the Karl Rove electioneering handbook." Or as we have to come know it during the last six years: "business as usual."

First Dubyah played the Nazi card, comparing Democratic plans for a phased withdrawal of our forces from Iraq to Chamberlain's appeasement of Hitler in '39. I'm surprised he didn't unveil secret footage of Nancy Pelosi brandishing a rolled-up umbrella. Then he played the Red Menace card, invoking Lenin and intimating a hammer and sickle tattoo on Howard Dean's forehead -- invisible only due to a thickly slapped-on layer of Dark Egyptian Number 4 make up.

And if these two jackbooted images don't do the trick, expect to hear him summon up other, more ancient scourges -- the Huns and the Mongols and the Visigoths -- in his never ending quest to keep Americans all aquiver so we run and hide behind his urban camouflaged pants right up until the clock strikes 8 pm PST, November 7, 2006. Screw Hawaii.

Uncharacteristically, Democrats refused to curl up in their customary fetal position at the sound of the President's big bad rhetoric. Dems ratcheted up their criticism of his war policies, calling for the institutionalized bitch-slapping of Donald Rumsfeld in a transparently futile attempt to get the Secretary of Defense to join 10,000 Intel workers in next month's unemployment line. Predictable as a papier mache roof in a Category 3 Hurricane? Yes. But as they say about fire, it take politics to fight politics.

White House spokesman Tony Snow knee-slapped and guffawed and scoffed at the Democrats' proposal, stating that portraying Rumsfeld as a bogeyman "may make for good politics but makes for lousy strategy." And one can't immediately discount that opinion, because if anybody has experience with lousy strategies, it's this White House.

An administration that strategized the best way to stem terrorist activity was to invade a country that had none. An administration that stragetized that applying car battery contacts to a prisoner's nipples was not torture because it wasn't life threatening. An administration that stragetized that causing the death of over 100,000 noncombatant Iraqis was going to win over the hearts and minds of their countrymen. An administration that considers the best strategist to be the one who finds the biggest stick. Do the names Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and John Bolton have any meaning here?

In just one of his series of deep tissue massages of fear and loathing, Bush mentioned Osama bin Laden by name 18 times, conveniently neglecting to mention it was BUSH HIMSELF who DISBANDED the CIA division devoted to FINDING the six-foot seven-inch Arabian guy traipsing around the Kyhber Pass dragging behind him a solar-powered kidney dialysis machine from the Islamabad Sharper Image Catalogue.

A long long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, the President spoke to the country of bin Laden: "He can run but he can't hide." You know what, it's been five years. I think they're both hiding. One behind the billowing skirts of the other.

Comic, writer, actor, radio talk show host, burden to his family Will Durst, after his vacation, doesn't need Dark Egyptian Number 4.
Catch Durst in standup form at 142 Thockmorton in Mill Valley on Thursday, September 7, @ 8 pm, and at the Last Day Saloon in Santa Rosa, on Saturday, September 9, @ 8 pm. And in radio talk show host mode on Keeping it Real With Will & Willie. Monday through Friday. 7-10 am. PDT. On KQKE. 960 AM. The QUAKE. San Francisco. Or listen long distance @ quakeradio.com.
The terrorists follow us home

A lot of trees died in vain for newsprint this week, reporting details of President Bush's desperate attempt to float a new trial balloon in his tortured six-year war against logic, reason, gravity and physics. Apparently he's in need of a new sack of gas to tie his failed Iraqi war plan to. His most recent bag of verbal helium, "stay the course," has been tossed onto the same discarded pile of shriveled rubber as "dead or alive," "smoking gun as a mushroom cloud" and "welcomed with flowers and candy."

He held an hour-long press conference, attempting to sound reasonable, having about as much success as a rabid, flatulent weasel trying to hide in a half-empty spinach fettuccini bin at Whole Foods. Trotting out a series of experimental mantras, the President tried appealing to average Americans – who, recent polls say, still retain their admiration for the man's stick-to-itiveness, though they remain a bit skeptical of his synaptic activity. (Much like a man intent on breaking through a brick wall using only his forehead: While you've got to admire his persistence, you probably don't want him doing math.)

Experimenting with the calibrated residue of Karl Rove's extensive hot-air polling of focus groups, Dubyah introduced the new official buzzphrase of the Iraqi occupation: the word "wrong." Cutting and running is "wrong." The Democrats are patriotic but "wrong." Spandex on NFL linemen. Screw Kappa Napa. It's all just "wrong." He went on to say if we don't finish the job in Iraq, the world will see us as quitters and you know what they say about quitters. "Winners never evacuate, quitters bruise their shins, and are destined to bloat up like poisoned toads." Or something like that. He wasn't really clear. As usual.

"There's a lot of people -- good, decent people -- saying, 'Withdraw now.' They're wrong," Bush said. "There are a lot of people in the Democrat Party who believe that the best course of action is to leave Iraq before the job is done, period. And they're wrong." Unfortunately, he steadfastly refuses to tell us exactly what job he is talking about. I'm thinking it has to do with developing a falafel-based oil substitute.

He further explained if we leave, the terrorists will follow us home. And if they follow us home, we'll have to walk them twice a day and feed them and brush them and they'll need shots and let me tell you right now, they're sleeping outside, mister. Oh sure, they're cute when they're young, but when terrorists grow up, they're just like animals. Constantly begging for scraps and whimpering because they're afraid to be left alone. "Allah is watching." Chewing shoes. Peeing on their prayer rug.

At the end, he waxed weirdly poetic and at the same time loopy. "Sometimes I'm frustrated. Rarely surprised. Sometimes I'm happy, you know. But war is not a time of joy. These aren't joyous times. These are challenging times... and they're straining the psyche of our country." And as one who's had my psyche strained, I got to admit, he's right. "We're not leaving so long as I'm the President." Okay, Mr. President, whatever it takes.

Comic, writer, actor, radio talk show host, social outcast Will Durst is willing to help out the President any way he can.
Catch Durst in radio talk show host mode on Keeping it Real With Will & Willie. Monday through Friday. 7- 10am. PDT. On KQKE. 960 AM. The QUAKE. San Francisco. Or listen long distance @ quakeradio.com.
The sissy box

What a surprise: Republicans feverishly exploiting their echo chamber, pounding out the familiar drumbeat that Democrats are weenie girly men who can't be trusted to keep their frilly underwear unsoiled, much less protect this country from terrorists.

GOP mole Joseph Lieberman parroted the same crass, cross-party line when he nasally whined that Ned Lamont's win over him was a victory for the kind of people involved in the British Pakistani airline bomb plot. One news anchor on Fox News called Democrats "the Al Qaeda Party." And in response, Democrats have vowed to mount a vigorous defense. Soon. Maybe. Once they rinse out their underwear.

What is wrong with these guys? They've got to get out there. Now. No. Now is too late. They've got to build a time machine. Go back to Friday the 11th. Issue pre-dated press releases. Drag everyone along with them. Dig up a couple dead, three-initialed Dems like JFK and FDR and LBJ and send them out on tour. Do whatever it takes to keep the GOP from locking them into the sissy box. Again. Get Al Gore to put together a Powerpoint presentation to display exactly which party is at fault for America being less safe now. And convince him to regrow his beard.

It's time to fight back. Time to start slamming Bush and his toadies for diverting the money for research to screen for liquid bombs to fight a war against the wrong people. We got to remember 60 percent of us aren't happy about INVADING THE WRONG COUNTRY. And it's time to lambaste the whole do-nothing Beltway for not implementing the 9/11 Commission's recommendations on airport security. Not to mention the futility of busting passengers for possession of toothpaste.

With only 12 weeks left before the midterms, Dems need to trot out their history of proposing security legislation that the Republican majority has routinely scuttled. Have every single Democratic Congressman go out and tell those same silly people who still believe Iraq possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction why we don't have adequate bomb detection technology: because Bush wasted all our money on his rich buddies. Is Paris Hilton going to buy DC's Dulles Airport a liquid bomb scanner? I don't think so. I doubt if she can spell "DC."

Point out that we still haven't caught the six-foot-seven Arabian guy traipsing around the Khyber Pass, dragging behind him a solar-powered kidney dialysis machine from the Islamabad Sharper Image catalogue. Point out that Mr. Bush has created more terrorists than he's killed, with an emphasis on how odd it is that nobody in this Mickey Mouse administration is familiar with "The Sorcerer's Apprentice."

And then have our bravest, most charismatic Congressman (from the safest district in the country) reel off all of the Democratic plans to secure our borders that have been trashed by Bush's Congress and hoist these squeezebags on their own petard by warning Americans that "Every vote for a Republican is a vote for another 9/11." And when they come at him with teeth bared, waving sharpened flagpoles -- and they will -- just blow up the paragraph from the Washington Times where Tony Snow and Dick Cheney and Joe Lieberman said the same damn thing in reverse. And still brace yourselves for an October ad campaign featuring Hillary Clinton in a burka.

Comic, writer, actor, radio talk show host, famed Howard Dean imitator Will Durst thinks Hillary would look good in a burka.
Catch Durst in radio talk show host mode on Keeping it Real With Will & Willie. Monday through Friday. 7- 10am. PDT. On KQKE. 960 AM. The QUAKE. San Francisco. Or listen long distance @ quakeradio.com.
Scarlet service threat

It's my duty as a patriotic American to send up this warning flare to the Republican Congress. Their very lives are in peril. THIS IS NOT A TEST! They have unknowingly stumbled into a dangerous situation that threatens them to a degree of which they are blissfully unaware. The fact that none of them will heed my advice saddens me a little, but not as much as it makes me giggle.

Let me explain. The GOP-dominated Congress just barely missed pushing through a bogus minimum wage bill that also would have finally accomplished their thickheaded goal of eliminating the estate tax... making sure that Paris Hilton gets every damn penny she deserves. Well, perhaps that's imprecise phrasing.

Anyway, that's not the scariest part. As part of the bill, the majority passed, on straight party lines, an amendment to the bill mandating a DROP in the minimum wage for workers that live in the seven states with a higher minimum wage for tipped employees, meaning in California, the pay for bartenders, waitresses, bellmen, and valets would have fallen from 6.75 an hour to 2.65. In other words the minimum wage hike would have cut the yearly pay of tipped employees by about $9,600. Besides being more cynical than dyeing oval shaped rocks and passing them off as easter eggs to contestants in the Special Olympics, this situation would put thousands of Americans at risk. Especially members of our distinguished Congress.

Now, it goes without saying that these privileged lords and ladies have the same working relationship with the service industry that a giant cephalopod has with the gear ratio of Toyota Camry, but my question is: are they out of their Mother freaking minds? Do they harbor a secret death wish? What, exactly, is their long term plan, to never eat in a restaurant or drink in a bar or park their car again? Back in Milwaukee, at a classy joint known as Century Hall, I was Will the Cosmic Waiter for a year and a half, and remain eminently knowledgeable of how very very very long that journey between the kitchen and the table actually is. Many a twixt between cup and lip doesn't even begin to cover the circuitous trip that appetizers may be subject to. Quick and dirty detours are always available. What lies at the bottom of the murky depths of your soup? You don't want to know.

I'm not just talking about ptomaine and salmonella and e coli and Hepatitis C, I'm talking about foreign objects such as grated pencil shavings and excess saliva in the béarnaise sauce. How many of our distinguished representatives are prepared to wear diapers full time to guard against the surreptitious drop of Visine in their Vodka Cran? And good luck getting the bathroom attendant to hand you more paper. You might want to ask the Senator in the next stall for change for a five.

A Republican leader said the bill may be scuttled for now, but plans are to revisit it as soon as possible. Someone, please, for the sake of humanity, warn these simpletons that a minimum wage bill is supposed to RAISE the wages of our neediest. And they do not want to put themselves in jeopardy by even CONSIDERING such a regressive measure. I am only thinking of their welfare at this point. To root out every possible sabotage would be like picking out a pubic hair in a sprout sandwich. Does a dead fish under the passenger seat of your Town Car have any meaning here?

Comic, writer, actor, radio talk show host, former busboy Will Durst carries a bottle of Visine just on the off chance he will meet Senator Doctor Indian Chief Bill Frist.
Catch Durst in radio talk show host mode on Keeping it Real With Will & Willie. Monday through Friday. 7- 10am. PDT. On KQKE. 960 AM. The QUAKE. San Francisco. Or listen long distance @ quakeradio.com.
Scientist Suspects Bush Has Syphilis

President Bush is a stone crazed loon suffering from a deterioration of his brain due to a tertiary case of syphilis and liable to become incapacitated at any time and accidentally start WW III according to a noted Baltimore based psychotherapist. Or he could die. Or both.

In a shocking revelation, famed Johns Hopkins scientist Dr. Robert Musckovitz has diagnosed George W Bush as suffering from stage 3 syphilis, after examining the President's increasingly erratic behavior. Dr. Musckovitz and his team of physicians, who have not seen or treated Mr. Bush, have identified telling characteristics of the dreaded sexually transmitted disease in the President by closely studying tapes of his mannerisms, speech patterns and eating habits. Candidly, the doctor cautioned "he's really starting to creep me out."

Specifically, the doctor, a graduate of the University of Michigan-Escanaba Medical School, detailed incidents of the President's peculiar behavior such as his frozen indecision on 9/11, his inability to escape a Chinese press conference, the weird growth on his back during the first debate with John Kerry, and his trademark smirk which could be a symptomatic rictus disguising telltale muscle contractions.

Citing the STD's devious ability to hide undetected for many years, the doctor refused to speculate on where or when Dubyah, constant companion of Condoleezza Rice, may have become syphilitic. He did rule out contracting it by performing a back rub, clearing German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and avoiding a potentially nasty international incident. An intern working in Dr. Musckovitz's reception room did hazard a guess the former Yale cheerleader may have carried it for years. "I bet he picked it up at Stumpy's Bar in New Haven from a waitress. Hell, that's where I got it."

Various experts selling plasma at local free clinics in the District of Colombia maintain syphilis is a disease contracted through sexual contact, although rare instances of spontaneous contraction have been reported as ascertained in the hospital logs of numerous Catholic seminaries.

A really respected medical book with pretty gold leaf on the cover says the late stages of syphilis can damage internal organs, including the brain, nerves, eyes, heart, blood vessels, liver, bones, and joints. Signs and symptoms of the late stage of syphilis include difficulty coordinating muscle movements, paralysis, numbness, blindness, dementia, and pronouncing nuclear as "nukular." This damage may be serious enough to cause death and/or trying to speak with your mouth full.

A high level White House source, requesting anonymity for fear of physical recrimination from what he considers an increasingly unstable Commander-in-Chief, also spoke of bizarre conduct, ie: the President cupping his hand under his armpit making flatulent noises during intelligence briefings and dancing on the South Lawn in triple digit heat wearing heavy winter clothing. "He was rocking out like he was listening to an Ipod, but he had ear muffs on at the time. The day glo blaze orange kind. He even tied a string around them that went into his parka pocket but wasn't connected to anything. I'm not even going to talk about the squirrel, the spatula and the candle wax."

Asked to estimate how long the country has before its President descends permanently into the depths of dementia, Dr. Musckovitz muttered "it may already be too late." Responding to a query as to whether he thinks Mr. Bush is still capable of handling the responsibility of having his finger on the nuclear button, the doctor shook his head and said: "at this point, I wouldn't trust him with a garage door opener."

Comic, writer, actor, radio talk show host, peanut eating Will Durst is barred from possession of the cable remote.
Catch Durst in radio talk show host mode on Keeping it Real With Will & Willie. Monday through Friday. 7-10am. PDT. On KQKE. 960 AM. The QUAKE. San Francisco. Or listen long distance @ quakeradio.com.
The Fratlomat

It was quite a performance the President put on at the G-8 Summit in Saint Petersburg, Russia this year. If you, like me, understand the phrase "quite a performance" to mean "whoa, dude, chill." Maybe a switch to decaffeinated is in order. "Yo, Blair." That's how he hailed the Prime Minister of Great Britain at a photo op at the closing of the conference. "Yo Blair." Sounds like how I might greet one of my friends, but you know what, I'm not the President of the United States of America at a major world summit. Which, as Martha Stewart says, is a good thing.

Bush then proceeded to mumble some spurious advice to Tony Blair with a mouth full of partially masticated roll, answering once and for all why his staff goes to such lengths to keep him corraled like a roping calf in Crawford, Texas, where chewing with your mouth open is considered an art form as well as a compliment to the chef. We got some spoiled fruit running the country and he's loose and playing frat boy diplomat with the big kids and everything is going horribly awry people!

As bored with the whole concept of diplomacy as a five year old stuck in the quantum physics section of a Jamaican library, and obviously distressed at not finding Premier Putin to gaze soul searchingly into the eyes of, Bush wandered around the big conference table finally lighting upon German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Distractedly, he began to give her a back rub prompting a typical Tuetonic reaction, in which Ms Merkel tensed up tighter than a retaining wire on the mast of a sailing ship in a force five gale. She hunched her shoulders, grimaced, and threw up her hands in an apparent plea for the World Court to augment Bush's future war crimes trial with a sexual harassment charge.

What did he expect? For her to turn around and whisper seductively, "I'll give you a week to cut that out?" She's German for crum's sake. East German. Everyone knows the East Germans are as cuddly as a stainless steel teddy bear. I imagine we should consider ourselves lucky he didn't grab her butt and make "honk-honk" noises. Or pulled a "gotcha" where he pokes her in the chest and then tweaks her nose after she looks down. And you know the cupped hand under the armpit thing is definitely in his arsenal.

We haven't even talked about the word that rhymes with spit and would cost me $325,000 if I accidentally blurted it out during my day job on the radio. The hypocrisy of him signing that sanctimonious bill is so thick you can scrape the excess mendacity off the top like froth off a cappuccino. THEN, without missing a beat, he asks President Hu of China, "how long does it take you to get home? 8 hours? Wow. Russia's a big country. So is China, isn't it?" Yes, George, China is a big country. Got a lot of people in it too. And Mexico. Great Mexican food. And full of Mexicans. But you already know that, because you speak Mexican, don't you?

Can you imagine Roosevelt giving the Reichs Fuhrer a back rub? Well, actually, I guess Neville Chamberlain kind of did, but that's not the point. Instead of grandstanding for its election year base, it is incumbent upon Congress to save our nation further embarrassments by passing a law immediately prohibiting all of the members of the Bush family from any televised meeting with a foreign leader where food is being served. And mittens. They should be required to wear mittens.

Comic, writer, actor, radio talk show host, and expert back rub giver Will Durst, is typing with mittens and his mouth full of food right now.
Catch Durst in radio talk show host mode on Keeping it Real With Will & Willie. Monday through Friday. 7-10am. PDT. On KQKE. 960 AM. The QUAKE. San Francisco. Or listen long distance @ quakeradio.com.
He's Back!

Hey guys, guess what: he's Back! Yes, dear friends, Tom DeLay has crawled out from under the rock he's been hiding for the last couple of months apparently prematurely completing all those important pieces of personal business he needed to attend to, like the filing of scuff marks off his cloven hooves and the sucking of hundreds of pints of virgin Mormon blood so he's refreshed and ready to jump back into electoral politics. Whether he wants to or not. Inflicted with a tertiary case of the Michael Corleones: every time he tries to get out, they pull him back in. And if the "they" in question have a lick of common sense, they're wearing sterile gloves while they're doing it.

Right now, a dilemma is facing down the Republican Party like a stampeding bull in a dead end alley of Pamplona. This is trickier than than a magician's junk drawer, so follow close. Because the King of K Street retired from public service after winning the GOP primary for Congress in Texas's 22nd district last spring, unless the decision to keep his name on the ballot is overturned on appeal, he's going to have to mount a campaign to run for the same seat he resigned and if he gets elected, he'll have to resign again, then let the Governor of Texas call a special election to name his replacement. The upshot is, he's either going to run or he's going to run. And I'm putting my money on the former.

Or the Republicans could decide to put together a write-in campaign. Which might prove to be a mite ticklish, especially when you consider voters in Texas 22 are about as bright as a buried 15 watt bulb to begin with, which can be verified by their perpetual requited love affair with Mr DeLay. So, teaching an entire district to learn how to write is going to be about as easy as untying the shoes of a greased up centipede while wearing oven mitts.

If he's really serious about keeping us from having Tom DeLay to kick around anymore, there are a variety of directions he could pursue. For instance, he could become a conductor on that new Beijing to Tibet railway, contract a severe case of elevation sickness causing his head to bloat up to the size of an overinflated soccer ball and escape detection that way. Or maybe he'll just pull a Ken Lay, fake a heart attack, fly to some uncharted deserted isle and play a quick 18 in a foursome with William Casey, Tupac Shakur and EIvis.

In any case, this has got to be good news for the Democrats, putting Mr DeLay, symbol of Congressional corruption not to mention poster child of smug self satisfaction, flush front blunt back in the cross hairs of the national spotlight. Again. Maybe this time, that negative of him and Jack Abramoff and Karl Rove naked under a goat at a Junkie Hookers for Satan convention will finally surface. Of course with the Democrats' luck, Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson will be bent over in the background pulling out a couple of cold ones from the refrigerator. And I ain't talking about brewskies.

Comic, writer, actor, radio talk show host, volleyball head Will Durst is fond of reaching for a few cold ones. And no, he ain't talking about bank wrapped bundles of cash.
Catch Durst in radio talk show host mode on Keeping it Real With Will & Willie. Monday through Friday. 7-10am. PDT. On KQKE. 960 AM. The QUAKE. San Francisco. Or listen long distance @ quakeradio.com.
The Pork Barrel Protection Act

So the Flag Desecration Amendment fell a single vote short of passing in the Senate. And all the liberals are celebrating way too long into the night if you ask me. I imagine the Republicans are laughing so hard right now, their drool guards are spilling over capacity. Because now, they get to bring it up again and again and accuse Democrats of dooming old glory to an ignominious fate over and over. The only problem is flags are so the-day-before-yesterday. Might as well be wearing patchouli scented elephant bells. There's a whole plethora of American icons in danger of being bespoilt that Republicans can exploit. Let's take a look, shall we?

  • Operation: Baseball Preservation. I don’t want to hear another word about these commie pinko soccer moms. If they can’t learn how to be good old American baseball moms, maybe they should turn in their mini-vans and consider adoption.
  • The Thanksgiving Turkey Protection Act. No ham. No Beef Wellington. No turkey shaped tofu loaf. It's Thanksgiving. You’ll eat turkey and you’ll damn well like it. And the Detroit Lions game better be on every television.
  • Cheeseburger Anti Desecration Crusade. The only proper cheese on a cheeseburger is yellow. Either Wisconsin Cheddar or good ol American. That's it. You can take your Mexican Pepper Jack and your Baby Swiss and your French Gorgonzola and shred them where the sun never shines. Like on a salad. And it's a butter grilled sesame seed bun, not sun dried tomato focaccia bread.
  • Chocolate Simplification Act. It's chocolate for crum's sake. It don't get more basic than a Hershey Chocolate Bar. If it was good enough to for our brave boys in WW 2, it should be good enough for those attention deficit rug rats of yours.
  • Katie Couric: America's Sweetheart Proclamation. There's absolutely no reason why anybody should be watching Brian Williams or Charlie Gibson to begin with. None. It's Katie's world, we just live in it.
  • The Mandatory Rose Bowl Parade Viewing Order. Everyone should start the year off by watching the Rose Bowl Parade. And if it takes closing all the bars on New Year's Eve to make sure it gets done, that's what we'll do.
  • Apple Pie Protection Bill. It's apple pie. Nuff said. Ordering any other kind is like throwing mud in your mother's face. Can you imagine Jimmy Stewart ordering a slice of Turkish Coffee Chiffon Raspberry Torte? I thought not."
  • Superman is the only Superhero Acceptance Act. Did you ever hear the X-Men talk about either Truth, Justice and the American Way? Of course not.
  • Holiday Fruitcake Proliferation Compact. I don't care whether you like it or not. This is generational thing and a lot bigger than just you or me. Eat it or pass it on and shut up.
  • The Official Veneration of Snowboarding as a Winter Sport. In America, we don't give a real rat's ass about the four man luge or whether some 14 year old nailed her triple lutz. If HBO were smart, they'd get Johnny Mosely to interview that girl who celebrated too early and lost the gold for a six part mini series.
  • Pork Barrel Politics Protection Bill. "Pork is bad." "Pork is bad." How else you supposed to pay back contributors from your district? Bridge builders got to work too, you know. Who cares if there's no river to cross?
  • Pabst Blue Ribbon Celebration Act. Screw Heineken. Pabst Blue Ribbon. Beer comes in brown bottles. Shampoo comes in green bottles.
Comic, writer, actor, radio talk show host, MacMan, Will Durst promises to watch the Rose Bowl Parade and hopes it doesn't come to that whole closing all bars deal.
Catch Durst in radio talk show host mode on Keeping it Real With Will & Willie. Monday through Friday. 7-10am. PDT. On KQKE. 960 AM. The QUAKE. San Francisco. Or listen long distance @ quakeradio.com.
The Party Of No Ideas Vs. The Party Of Bad Ideas

The Republicans are fond of accusing the Democrats of being a party without ideas. Well, after watching the GOP trot out the trite tripe it passes off as ideas for the last couple of years, I'll tell you, no idea seems like a pretty damn good idea at this point. Estate taxes and gay bashing and flag burning seem to be their front burner issues. Which if you think about it is pretty cynical on their part. Bashing gays while spending most of their time down on their knees blowing the...rich.

Since the beginning of the year, the best idea President Bush has come up with was a secret mission to capitalize on the death of Abu Musab Al Zarkawi. Think of it as the less hyped and budgeted straight to DVD sequel to "Mission Accomplished." A midnight run into the Green Zone startling President Nouri Al Maliki like the honoree at a surprise 110th birthday party in a fireworks factory. All Dubyah ended up doing on this absurd surreptitious secret agent strike was cutting the Iraqi leader's autonomy off at the knees. That and racking up about 24,000 Air Force One Frequent Flyer Miles. Which means on his next trip the President gets a free movie. Maybe he'll finally get to see "An Inconvenient Truth."

Instead of belying fears that the new Iraqi government is just a collection of American puppets, Bush's trip drew marionette strings above their heads with one of those four inch wide black magic markers. The industrial strength kind with the indelible ink. And with the ultimate puppet master, Karl Rove, convinced that the only way for Republicans to win the mid terms in November is to focus on the war and portray Democrats as congenital cut and runners, we can expect to see a lot more of these cynical surgical strikes into the heart of pseudo reality. When the going gets tough, the tough arrange photo ops.

Recently, GOP Congressional candidates were given a 74 page briefing book to provide ammunition for a focused attack against Democrats for the midterms. One of whose main tenets is withdrawal means thousands of troops died for nothing, conveniently laying a perpetual base for eternal occupation. Like refusing to throw a vine to a guy halfway stuck in quicksand because his pants are already wet.

Right now the metabolisms of the Pro War Boys' are fluttering on high speed alert heartened by the spectacle of a semi non fierce battle raging amongst the Democrats over when to bring the troops home, now, later or subsequently. But maybe, just maybe, Mister Unindicted Co-Conspirator has gone to the well of fear one too many times. Let's face it, Democrats arguing amongst themselves is about as unusual as finding sand in the waistband of your shorts after a day at the beach.

And speaking of sand, one thing you can say now, is there is a line drawn in the hot Iraqi Weapons-Of- Mass-Destruction free sand for the voters. If you're looking for a party whose big bad idea is to call anyone who disagrees with them sending our boys to die for nothing: cowards, who you going to call? The Republicans. But if you just want to be entertained by people who have no idea of how to stop fighting with each other, it's those wacky peace loving Democrats you want.

Comic, writer, actor, radio talk show host, air conditioning aficionada Will Durst foolishly believes melting should not be part of the human condition.
Catch Durst in stand up mode Saturday June 24th at the Kuumbwa in Santa Cruz, California. 8 pm. 320 Cedar st. 831- something.
And in radio talk show host mode on Keeping it Real With Will & Willie. Monday through Friday. 7-10am. PDT. On KQKE. 960 AM. The QUAKE. San Francisco. Or listen long distance @ quakeradio.com.
Good News/Bad News

It's almost dead solid meteorological summer and the crossing of the solstice seems to have inaugurated a season of good news/bad news for George W Bush, the Democrats, Iraq, you, me, pretty much everybody. Allow me to illustrate.

  • The good news is George W Bush pulled off a secret mission and flew to Baghdad in the dead of night. The bad news is he only stayed five hours and then came right home.
  • The good news is Ben Roethlisberger is going to be okay. The bad news is that diagnosis is based on the Gary Busey scale.
  • The good news is oil prices are going down. The bad news is they're taking stock prices with them.
  • The good news is Iraq's future is in its own hands. The bad news is Iraq's future is in its own hands.
  • The good news is Karl Rove is not going to be indicted in the Valerie Plame case. The bad news is Joe Wilson got his hands on some curare.
  • The good news is the Republican Pary won the special election for Duke Cunningham's 50th Congressional District in San Diego. The bad news is they had to spend the GNP of Estonia to do it.
  • The good news is Bill Frist's gay marriage amendment went down in flames. The bad news is the flames are being put out by the drool dripping out of his mouth just thinking of the flag burning amendment in his back pocket.
  • The good news is we've uncovered a new tactic of Al Qaeda: asymmetrical warfare. The bad news is the three guys at Guantanamo Bay who introduced it aren't able to tell us where to send the royalty checks.
  • The good news is Abu Musag Al Zarkawi is dead. The bad news is 72 virgins in heaven just filed a restraining order.
  • The good news is Senate Democrats have scuttled a Republican attempt to eliminate the estate tax. The bad news is their kids are really pissed off.
  • The good news is Michael Chertoff has determined New York City is without any national monuments and therefore safe from terrorism. The bad news is Michael Chertoff gets to determine anything.
  • The good news is US President Bush has resolved to stop taunting the world at large with his tough guy he man posturing. The bad news is Iranian President Ahmadinejad is taunting the world at large with his tough guy he man posturing.
  • The good news is failure is not an option. The bad news is it's a factory installed standard feature.
  • The good news is the President got a Zarkawi bounce. The bad news is it's not as high as Zarkawi's body actually bounced.
  • The good news is President Bush got to look Nouri Al Maliki eye to eye. The bad news is Nouri Al Maliki has to sleep with a chicken foot under his pillow to counter the curse of the evil eye.
  • The good news is Tiger Woods is back on the PGA Tour. The bad news is he's playing like me.
  • The good news is US air carriers are expected to be more crowded this summer than any time since 911. The bad news is one more cut in service and they'll have to tear out the seats.
Comic, writer, actor, radio talk show host, sun worshiper Will Durst thinks he could fit in the overhead compartment.
Catch Durst in stand up mode Sunday June 18th as part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters benefit at COPIA.
And in radio talk show host mode on Keeping it Real With Will & Willie. Monday through Friday. 7-10am. PDT. On KQKE. 960 AM. The QUAKE. San Francisco. Or listen long distance @ quakeradio.com.
The Bright Side of Global Warming

Oh, you're going to love this. It's the latest tripe being ground out of the ever busy Bush Administration sausage factory of spin. Now that the evidence about global warming is pretty much nailed down, meaning every scientist on the face of the planet agrees that not only are we neck deep in the middle of it, the bottom of our earlobes are starting to tickle; turns out, no worries. It's really good for us. Yes. "Glaciers are actually growing." Well, at least one is. In spots. Some scientists say this is also due to global warming, but hey, why work yourself into a lather You can't deny shipping will benefit due to the opening of a Northwest Passage. It's the fast tracking of Armageddon. So what if other parts of the world are destined to suffer eternal droughts or total submersion or disappearing fauna and flora and coastline. That's just what you call your collateral damage. Can't have an omelet without breaking a few eggs. Just think of the future as a 12 ton boulder on a hen house.

According to Al Gore's new movie, "An Inconvenient Truth," we got a window of about 10 years before we hit the point of no return, and let's face it: Americans are the lead dog in this Iditarod to hell. And we got less chance of altering our gas guzzling ways in time as a pack of Chihuahuas have of pulling a sled carrying the 101st Airborne. Wouldn't you say it's just about time we weenie liberals accept the fate that God and Exxon-Mobil have mapped out for us and search for the silver lining in living on a planet speedily replicating the atmosphere of Mercury? I would. It's the point of this column. So let us take a couple of moments to band together, spray ourselves down with SPF 450 and look at the upside of overheating.

The Bright Side of Global Warning

  • Casual Friday becomes clothing optional Friday.
  • Not nearly as many frog species to catalogue.
  • MTV's Jose Cuervo Spring Break Brought to You Live From the World Famous Beaches of Nova Scotia.
  • History Channel specials on picnics.
  • Dive the ruins of Bangladesh.
  • Extreme Siberian Summers. In December.
  • Less glaciers, more salt flats.
  • Wyoming coconuts.
  • Deteriorating ozone makes air travel too dangerous for politicians to make trips back to home districts.
  • Louis Vuitton full body containment suits.
  • A flourishing alligator sightseeing industry on Lake Michigan.
  • Dune buggies everywhere dude.
  • Monkey wranglers; a north American growth industry.
  • A perfect all round tan in less than 30 seconds.
  • Aged Duluth Coffee beans.
  • Worried about unprovoked polar bear attacks? Don't be. Ever again.
  • Ocean front property in Missouri.
  • Antarctic pinot noir.
  • Real black panthers in Oakland.
  • Surfing + Sweden = nirvana.
  • So many hurricanes, your name guaranteed to cycle through the list much more often.
  • Backyard dwarf banana trees.
  • No need to retire to Arizona; Arizona will come to you.
Comic, writer, actor, radio talk show host, beer drinker, Will Durst is looking forward to that whole clothing optional Friday deal.
Catch Durst in stand up mode Saturday June 3rd as part of Laughing Liberally at the Wadsworth Theater in Westwood.
And in radio talk show host mode on Keeping it Real With Will & Willie. Monday through Friday. 7-10am. PDT. On KQKE. 960 AM. The QUAKE. San Francisco. Or listen long distance @ quakeradio.com.
Mister Majestic

Well, the good news is the President has finally come up with an immigration policy. The bad news is nobody can figure out what it is yet, but hey, give the man his props; he gave it a shot. Sensing what could be called a somewhat dissatisfied electorate in the same way a 13 acre glacier might be referred to as an ice cube, he delivered his long awaited speech on immigration and uncharacteristically revealed an actual plan. A magnanimous five part plan but not one that included amnesty. This was an amnesty free plan. A plan that had something to do with increasing border guards and utilizing the national guard in an unnamed amorphous manner, and there was a provision about going home, not President Bush unfortunately, but there was nothing, I repeat, nothing, in there about amnesty, even the thing he called "earned citizenship." A concept that is totally different than amnesty. Somehow. No matter what those confused Republicans are saying.

This is a big deal because his conservative base does not like the idea of letting illegal aliens stay without suffering some sort of penalty. A fine is fine, but there is a large portion of the right that wants to see raised welts. Some sort of Biblical retribution. A big long line of Mexicans bent over with their pants down by their ankles and Senator Doctor Reverend Indian Chief Bill Frist holding up a big wooden paddle to the cameras while he's long distance diagnosing rutabagas in the Palm Springs Safeway produce section. There's an example God's righteous justice for you. "Why do you think they call them illegal aliens?" Unhhhh, because "poor people seduced to cross a desert border by large corporations whose goal is to underpay an entire industry" takes too long to say?

Although doubts remain concerning the plan's workability, most members of Congress are interested in only one very important answer to this internationally vexing question, how does this affect their re-election campaign? The way you can tell Bush's idea is not that bad is both sides of the aisle are pissed off at him, which if you remember, Clinton used to do all the time. Especially both sides of Hillary. That's what struck me: how grey it was. No good guys. No bad guys. Strange territory for George, whose world is normally cut and dried like a third grade Sunday School Primer. "With us or against us." "Good versus evil." "Sesame egg twist versus foccacia bread." But as most of us who graduated past third grade figured out, life ain't like that.

Then the President, dressed as Charles Bronson on a dusty trip to the border, called America "a lawful society, and a welcoming society," but alas not an amnesty granting society. In a stroke of existential irony, he listed speaking English as one of the qualifications for "earned citizenship," his un amnesty-like proposal and pretty much endorsed the moderate bill being debated in the Senate right now as opposed to the extreme House bill which calls for illegals to be ear tagged and used in rodeos as replacements for roping calves. A proposal the President disagrees with mostly because that sort of steady employment could be seen as a form of amnesty. Which he's against.

Writer, comic, actor, radio talk show host, manual transmission driver, Will Durst is very much in favor of amnesty. For pretty much everything.
Catch Durst in stand up mode Friday, May 19th as part of Laughing Liberally at the Town Hall in New York City and Saturday, May 20th at COPIA in Napa.
And in radio talk show host mode on Keeping it Real With Will & Willie. Monday through Friday. 7-10am. PDT. On KQKE. 960 AM. The QUAKE. San Francisco. Or listen long distance @ quakeradio.com.
The Wireless Cable Man

Speaking of his new appointment to head up the Central Intelligence Agency, President George Bush called four star General Michael Hayden, "the right man to lead the CIA at this critical moment in our nation 's history." Let 's hope Hayden isn't too much of a student of history. Otherwise, he might read the President's statements about Porter Goss, the man whose position he is filling, when Goss was appointed to head the CIA, 18 months ago. "He's the right man to lead the CIA at this critical moment in our nation's history." Or perhaps Hayden has been assured of all the right men, he's the rightest man for the job. And you can take that any which way you want.

Uncanny how Bush was able to find these two right men for the CIA at these various critical moments in our nation's history. Have you noticed that every point in time for this guy is a critical moment in our nation's history? He even claims to have special powers because of this critical moment in our nation's history. Apparently mixing up the script is not one of them. But I'll tell you why every point in time in his administration is a critical moment in our nation's history: it's not the terrorists, it's not the price of gas, it's not the illegal immigrants or the domestic spying, IT'S BECAUSE HE'S THE PRESIDENT. THAT'S WHY.

George W Bush possesses the unique ability of turning nap time at a pre-school into a critical moment in our nation's history. Because even attention deficit five year olds are bright enough to toss and turn on pins and needles dreading whatever blunder President Fossil Fuels has up his sleeve for the future. Have you ever smelled a classroom full of interiorly stained GrrAnimals? Ooooh. Not a good thing. Neither is Sponge Bob Squarepants geting the contact shakes. And let's get real here: turning the CIA over to Pentagon authority is not the lullaby to lay these kids down to sleep. As far as soundtracks go, this is more Bernard Hermann from "Psycho!"

You want an example of putting the military in charge of intelligence? How bout the SS or the KGB? Besides the fact the term "military intelligence" takes us deep into the heart of Oxymoronia, that mythical land in the Middle West where the Bush Presidency first sprouted its logic defying genetically modified seeds. Saying "military intelligence" is like requesting wireless cable. Or a Donald Rumsfeld mix tape. Or the Wall Street Journal Presents Dick Cheney's Executive Guide to Getting Along by Going Along.

Then again, with Bush's poll numbers descending into Nixonian if not Stalinistic sublevels, we can only surmise that each and every day more and more Americans are able to acknowledge that piercing wake up call telling them George Bush is the wrong man to lead the country in this critical moment in our nation's history. And I predict our nationwide insomnia will reach its peak in November of 07, when a Democratically controlled Congress convenes the first of a series of impeachment trials. Maybe we should embark on a national project to erect huge statues of the President all over the country just for the cathartic release that will consume us when we attach wireless cables to tear them down.

Writer, comic, actor, radio talk show host, bridge burner, Will Durst has a wireless cable modem but no idea what it does.
Catch Durst in stand up mode May 19th as part of Laughing Liberally at the Towne Hall in New York City and May 20th at COPIA in Napa.
And in radio talk show host on Keeping it Real With Will & Willie. Monday through Friday. 7-10am. PDT. On KQKE. 960 AM. The QUAKE. San Francisco. Or listen long distance @ quakeradio.com.
Gouging? What Gouging?

HHHHHHHHHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEYYYYYYYYYYYY! Sorry. Didn't mean to startle you. I'm just tired of talking to myself here. Worried about shredding my vocal cords shouting into a vacuum. Apparently some of you have been nodding off. And don't give me that "who, me?" crap. You know who you are. Yes you. The ones who are waiting for the President to do something about this gas price thing. The ones who mistook that lame BS oozing out of his "gosh, gas prices are getting high, aren't they?" press conference as sincere. When are you going to get it through your tiny little heads? He's not here to help.

Let me go through this one more time. Stay with me. It's not that complicated. The President is a Texas oilman. His father is a Texas oilman. His vice president is an oilman who shoots Texas lawyers. All the rich people he knows, his father knows and Dick Cheney knows have 30 weight running through their veins. ALL THE PEOPLE WHO GAVE HIM MONEY THAT PUT HIM IN THE WHITE HOUSE ARE OILMEN. Does this clear anything up? Maybe a little? His major priority is to pay them back in spades, then they tell him what a good job he's doing and give him MORE MONEY.

So if you're waiting for him to grow a spine or learn to read or ever ever ever go so far as erecting a single solitary obstacle in the way of folks making obscene profits on fossil fuels...you'd best be advised not to hold your breath unless you enjoy that certain bluish look most often associated with people no longer eligible for social security benefits due to the fact that they've become altogether much too skinny and dead. Get it? Got it. Good.

The President says "there's no magic wands." No kidding. Neither are there talking fish or fairy wings or giant toadstools upon which Donald Rumsfeld can perch naked eating flies with his bifurcated tongue. What's your point? Bush plans to investigate possible collusion or price fixing and the good news is, the report is already finished and it turns out everything is okey dokey folks. Nope, everything's on the up and up and George knows because his buddies assured him it is.

He also plans to relax environmental rules which you could see coming like an 18 wheeler full of concrete blocks rolling off a 45 degree ramp straight up the driveway towards your front door. He wants to boost domestic supply, which is code for ARCTIC NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE BABY and he's delaying deposits into our strategic petroleum reserve, which might save a thimble's worth. Measure's destined to be about as effective as cleats on a duck.

I've come up a few other things the President could do that would be as effective to cut gas prices.
• Run around in circles until he gets dizzy and falls down.
• Bang a walking stick on the ground real hard like Nanny McPhee.
• Get the entire House of Representatives to sing "Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog" in the key of off.
• Lay a wreath of 80 dollar gas receipts at the tomb of the unknown SUV driver.
• Shoot a 78 year old Texas lawyer in the face with a gun.
• Propose a bill that gives more tax incentives to oil companies.
• And the last thing the President can do that will be as effective as what he's doing now in cutting gas prices...mandate the oil companies change their accounting practices to base 12 so those profits don't sound so big.

Writer, comic, actor, radio talk show host, ne'er do well, Will Durst wants green stamps with his fillups.
Oh yeah, this Friday night. A Benefit. For the Progressive Magazine at 142 Throckmorton in Mill Valley. Be there. I will be.
Don't forget Keeping it Real With Will & Willie. Monday through Friday. 7-10am. PDT. On KQKE. 960 AM. The QUAKE. San Francisco. Or listen long distance @ quakeradio.com.
Changing Of The Guard

As part one of President Bush's long awaited second term midseason staff purge-athon, Scott McClellan abandoned his plum position as White House Press Secretary. The rumor is he wants to follow in his predecessor, Ari Fleischer's footsteps, and spend more personal time lying to his family. This follows Chief of Staff Andrew Card's resignation and signals a desperate attempt by the Bush Administration to give the perception of a change of direction that could most accurately be presently described as sub basement directed. Does the term "rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic" have any meaning here? Even Karl Rove has seen his role diminished. I imagine he needs more personal time to file the scuff marks off of his cloven hooves. That's right. Bush's brain has been laid off. And yes, that is redundant.

In an attempt to reverse poll numbers which are falling faster than an Acme Company cartoon anvil catapulted off the roof of the Empire State Building with a confused coyote clinging to it, the President is looking to a changing of the guard as his approval rating equivalent of an animated trampoline. Reportedly, nobody's position is safe, which means even the twins are worried about being supplanted by a couple of good Mormon girls. And although Dick Cheney's head is reputedly on the chopping block, the conventional wisdom inside the Beltway is whoever actually acts as pink slip messenger to the Vice President better be wearing a full body containment suit that is impervious to both birdshot and political fallout of the nuclear variety.

Unfortunately, the person the President refuses to replace is the one whose head everyone keeps calling for: Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. If this were "White House Survivor," Jeff Prost would be snuffing out Rummy's torch while fellow castaways snickered on wooden benches huddling together for warmth. The dapper and verbally flatulent Secretary, however, remains a man who doesn't know the meaning of the word "quit." As it turns out, he seems unfamiliar with a few other words as well: like "strategy," "consensus" and "diplomatic." The recent call by between six and eight hundred generals for his dumpstering has met with stubborn resistance from his boss. When asked, the President said, yes, he hears the voices for Rumsfeld to be returned horizontally to the private sector, but it would be HE who decided, because HE is the chief decider. He's not a divider or a uniter, he's a decider. Who hears the voices. Hmmmmm.

Speaking of Rumsfeld's prize quagmire, Iraq, President Bush said "failure is not an option." So, apparently, it's a factory installed standard equipment feature. Thank the maker. Not sure the tentative low level alterations Dubyah instituted are quite the infusion of new blood his election bound Republican brethren were calling for. Not even sure these guys qualify as old blood. More like sickle cell anemia blood from badger roadkill. Apparently, for the GOP, a changing of the guard is similar to a game of political Volleyball. Every two years, someone yells "Rotate!" and players switch positions. I'll be honest, I can't wait for the photo-op of this entire corrupt cursed imperial ruling class standing in line at the unemployment office or better yet chained together while wearing orange jumpsuits. After all, doesn't real regime change start at home?

Writer, comic, actor, radio talk show host, political liability Will Durst is all for nation building. Especially when the nation is his.
Don't forget Keeping it Real With Will & Willie. Monday through Friday. 7–10am. PDT. On KQKE. 960 AM. The QUAKE. San Francisco. Or listen long distance @ quakeradio.com.
He's The Leakingest

This is in-leaking-credible. According to leaked grand jury testimony, it turns out the person who instructed Scooter Libby to leak classified information about pre-Iraq war intelligence was the President himself. Can't wait for them play "Hail to the Leaker," as he enters the Capitol next January for his State of the Union Leakage. "Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome the First Leaker of the United States of America, George Leaky Bush." I always suspected the President was a sneaky leaker. And now it turns out, he's the Chief Leaker. The Chief Executive Officer of Leakwell Incorporated. Chicken Leaker.

Let's welcome today's guest: the headliner of the 3rd annual Leakapalooza: lead singer, Leaky Leakman of Leaky Leakman and the Leakers. That crafty veteran manager of the five time defending champions, the Texas Leakers. And no, that's not redundant. And because news of his leakage has been leaked, the Leaker-in-Chief is seriously involved in heavy duty leakage control. Trusted in that old adage, "Leak and Learn," so he leaked his ass off. Fortunately, they have adult garments for that now. I think they're called "Leakenders" or "Leakaways." "Wear Leakaways and you won't leak a ways."

Leak is such an ugly word, isn't it? Leaker is even worse. Like a loser with the dribbles. Leak leak bo beak, banana fana fo feak. Fee fie fo feak. LEAKY! When the going gets tough, the tough leak like chronic diarrhea. Leakers unite! And form a trickle. Voted least leakly to succeed. Through the leaking glass. Going to have to face it: he's addicted to leaks. He's going to leak, leak, leak, around the clock. And this ain't the first time. Ever since college there have been rumors he had a leaky beak. The man is positively leakalicious.

He doesn't have to answer to us. He's the leaker of the free world. From the party of Lincoln to the party of Leakin. A lesson learned from Nixon: stonewall and you stonewall alone. Leak and the world leaks with you. Leaking like the confidence of the forward shooters in a Dick Cheney hunting party. As leaky as the roof on the last duplex standing in the 9th Ward. Leakier than a condom on the 50 yard line after an Oakland Raiders double overtime playoff game. The human personification of a rusted rain gutter in Seattle during January. Leaky. As the Vice President told Patrick Leahy on the floor of the Senate: "Go leak yourself!" Leak me? Leak you! This leaking leaker's leaked.

Who knows why he leaked. Plausible leakability perhaps. Might have been an involuntary muscle spasm, or maybe it's just the leak of love. One explanation is he didn't mean to leak, he was just being leaksadasical. Morphed into Dr. Kevorkaleaker before our very eyes. Just wanted to assure himself of a major role in the newest production of "Around the Truth in 80 Leaks." Filmed in Leak- O-Rama. Wasn't really his fault, he and Captain Hazlewood were playing a quick game of "Leak, leak, splash," when all hell broke loose and his pie hole began to leak partisan ooze. Reminiscing about his days as star point guard for the Los Angeles Leakers. Or maybe it's a simple case of living out his childhood dream of finally becoming one of the lesser known Knights of the Round Table: Sir Leaksalot.

Comic, actor, writer, radio talk show host, cheeseburger aficionado Will Durst will never be able to eat potato leak soup again.
And oh yeah. Acme Comedy Club. Minneapolis. Minnesota. Thursday through Sunday. April 13-April 16. 612.338.6393. Be there.
Don't forget the Will & Willie Show. Monday through Friday. 7-10am. PDT. On KQKE. 960 AM. The QUAKE. San Francisco. Or listen long distance @ quakeradio.com.
Welcome! Kneel!

Like a Doberman with a chew toy, the Republican Party loves to wave their bloody new divisive social issues in front of the electorate accomplishing the dual mission of energizing their base and placing Democrats on the defensive. And they got themselves a doozy this time. An issue guaranteed to drive a stake deeper into the American consciousness than a six state wide red white and green backhoe. The only problem is this particular division is so effective it's starting to get stuck in the hearts of fellow Republicans as well. It's called immigration. And to witness the wailing and the flailing, it has reached a state of crisis. A situation building since 1492. "Can't let those damn immigrants in, they'll ruin everything." A popular modern refrain taken from the original Iroquois. And as it turns out, the Iroquois were right.

Counting the President, who is trying to shepherd through his own plan, there are approximately 536 separate immigration bills running around Capitol Hill these days. Bush's plan includes a provision for "guest workers" which is political shorthand for: "Think of it as a five year slumber party, and when it's over, everybody calls their parents and gets a ride home in their jammies." You ask me, the term "guest worker" is a bit of an oxymoron. Another way of saying: "Welcome! Kneel!"

Senator Doctor Indian Chief Bill Frist has floated the most draconian proposal; his is the moral equivalent of corralling immigrants onto meat farms to be ground up and served as frozen enchilada filling. Never mind the fact that US undercover agents announced they were able to use fake documents to sneak in the makings of a dirty bomb across our border. All we can talk about is the wanton lawlessness of the people picking our vegetables and vacuuming our office cubicles. Besides, how exactly do you plan to build a 2,000 mile long, 15 high fence along the Mexican border without using Mexican labor? What's the plan here? To draft housewives from La Jolla?

I got to be honest. I fail to understand the fear here. "You let all these Mexicans in, they're going to take all those fruit picking jobs I've dreamed of all my life. Working outdoors, sleeping in my car, fighting with dogs for food. Just like camping, only different." I do understand this is an emotional subject, not always rooted in what you call your logic. A couple of years ago, I was in Billings, Montana, and actually saw rednecks hassle some Native Americans: "Go back to where you came from." Talk about unclear on the concept.

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free." That's not just an archaic inscription on a big green lady, that's a philosophical summons to heroism. The United States of America that we know and love. A country in which we're all immigrants. And when you look at the big picture, with California as a former part of Mexico, in essence, they are going back to where they came from. Maybe it's we anglos who should be carrying the green cards. Who wouldn't just love to take a bullhorn into the Capitol Rotunda, yell "Migra," and watch Congress scatter? Okay. Just me.

Will Durst is a political comic/syndicated columnist/AM radio talk show host/defense liability.
And oh yeah. Rooster T Feathers. Sunnyvale. California. Thursday through Sunday. March 30–April 2. 408.736.0921. Be there.
Don't forget the Will & Willie Show. Monday through Friday. 7–10am. PST and PDT. On KQKE. 960 AM. The QUAKE. San Francisco. Or listen long distance @ quakeradio.com.
Iraqi Good Stuff

On the third anniversary of his misadventure into Iraq, President George Bush strove to sell his invasion and occupancy policy by holding a press conference and announced that getting US troops out of Iraq is not his problem. Instead it's going to be the problem of future US presidents and Iraqi governments. In other words, there's no light at the end of this tunnel, just a secular guerilla holding a flashlight, and we're backing out as fast as our little cowboy boots can carry us. Civil war: the gift that keeps on giving. To say he was a bit testy is like saying gravel is not as nutritious as it looks. He even snapped at Helen Thomas. For crum's sake, who snaps at Helen Thomas? It's like biting the head off a smurf. He also proceeded to duck questions asked of him and to answer unasked questions his handlers had prepared him for and overall had the look of a guy who was trying to fake his way through not having done his homework...for the last thirteen semesters. He did his best to reassure America that it's not as bad as it looks over there. Which is good, cuz to be honest, it looks pretty freaking bad over there. He was adamant that progress is being made but when asked to explain where and how, ran into a couple of minor roadblocks. Like examples of exactly where and how we're making progress. But if you believe Dubyah, which I'm not even sure Laura and the twins do anymore; except for the prison assaults and the assassinations and the suicide bombings and the boots on the ground getting buried, things are actually pretty good. It's that darn media that's screwing everything up. By showing stuff. Showing bad stuff. If only that rascally American press could report some of the Good Stuff coming out of the Mideast, everyone would settle down and birds would sing and gay people would drink beer and have babies and all would be right with the world. So, being the patriot that I am, I've gone out, not far; but I've done the research and collected a bunch of the good stuff coming out of Iraq in a little something I like to call...


• Baghdad University fraternity expulsions way down.
• Six billion a month we won't be wasting on pork barrel politics.
• Advances in battlefield medical procedures destined to benefit all of mankind.
• Due to their renewed dedication to killing each other, the Sunnis and Shiites seem much less interested in targeting Americans these days.
• VFW membership rolls are a bull market.
• Grisly footage of dead in Iraq diverting attention from that whole Jack Abramoff thing.
• Every single car bomb explosion means another opportunity for Detroit fleet sales.
• Where tomorrow's stars of the Cadaver Dog World get first class training today.
• Senseless secular violence has obviously intensified the hold of the truce in Northern Ireland.
• There's a Burning Man Festival every day of the week.
• When you're thinking organ donor heaven, we're talking Iraq.
• Hey, it could be worse. There could be leeches.
• And the final piece of good news coming out of the Iraq...spring has sprung.

Will Durst is a political comic/syndicated columnist/AM radio talk show host/burden to his family.
Don't forget the Will & Willie Show. Monday through Friday. 7–10am. PST. On KQKE. 960 AM. The QUAKE. San Francisco. Or listen long distance @ quakeradio.com.
Impeachment? Hell, no. Impalement.

I don't know about you guys, but I am so sick and tired of these lying, thieving, holier-than-thou, right-wing, cruel, crude, rude, gauche, coarse, crass, cocky, corrupt, dishonest, debauched, degenerate, dissolute, swaggering, lawyer shooting, bullhorn shouting, infrastructure destroying, hysterical, history defying, finger-pointing, puppy stomping, roommate appointing, pretzel choking, collateral damaging, aspersion casting, wedding party bombing, clear cutting, torturing, jobs outsourcing, torture outsourcing, "so-called" compassionate-conservative, women's rights eradicating, Medicare cutting, uncouth, spiteful, boorish, vengeful, noxious, homophobic, xenophobic, xylophonic, racist, sexist, ageist, fascist, cashist, audaciously stupid, brazenly selfish, lethally ignorant, journalist purchasing, genocide ignoring, corporation kissing, poverty inducing, crooked, coercive, autocratic, primitive, uppity, high-handed, domineering, arrogant, inhuman, inhumane, insolent, know-it-all, snotty, pompous, contemptuous, supercilious, gutless, spineless, shameless, avaricious, poisonous, imperious, merciless, graceless, tactless, brutish, brutal, Karl Roving, backward thinking, persistent vegetative state grandstanding, nuclear option threatening, evolution denying, irony deprived, depraved, insincere, conceited, perverted, pre-emptory invading of a country that had absolutely nothing to do with 911, 35 day vacation taking, bribe soliciting, incapable, inbred, hellish, proud for no apparent reason, smarty pants, loudmouth, bullying, swell headed, ethnic cleansing, ethics eluding, domestic spying, medical marijuana busting, kick backing, Halliburtoning, New Deal disintegrating, narcissistic, undiplomatic, blustering, malevolent, demonizing, baby seal clubbing, Duke Cunninghamming, hectoring, verbally flatulent, pro-bad- anti-good, Moslem baiting, photo-op arranging, hurricane disregarding, oil company hugging, judge packing, science disputing, faith based mathematics advocating, armament selling, nonsense spewing, education ravaging, whiny, unscrupulous, greedy exponential factor fifteen, fraudulent, CIA outing, redistricting, anybody who disagrees with them slandering, fact twisting, ally alienating, betraying, god and flag waving, scare mongering, Cindy Sheehan libeling, phony question asking, just won't get off the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge drilling, two-faced, inept, callous, menacing, your hand under a rock-the maggoty remains of a marsupial, oppressive, vulgar, antagonistic, brush clearing suck-up, showboating, tyrannizing, peace hating, water and air and ground and media polluting which is pretty much all the polluting you can get, deadly, illegal, pernicious, lethal, haughty, venomous, virulent, ineffectual, mephitic, egotistic, bloodthirsty, incompetent, hypocritical, did I say evil, I'm not sure if I said evil, because I want to make sure I say evil...EVIL, cretinous, fool, toad, buttwipe, lizardstick, cowardly, lackey imperialistic tool slime buckets in the Bush Administration that I could just spit. Impeachment, hell no. Impalement. Upon the sharp and righteous sword of the people's justice.

Don't forget the Will & Willie Show. Monday through Friday. 7–10am. PST. On KQKE. 960 AM. The QUAKE. San Francisco. Or listen long distance @ quakeradio.com.
The 13th Annual Will Durst "Thank God For These Liquid Squeezebags Because I'm A Comic" Awards

As you have probably figured out by the alarming lack of hairspray, stretch limousines and $30,000 designer gowns available in your area, awards season is upon us, and while we don't have any red carpets to roll out we do promise that Joan Rivers will have as much to do with this column as Dick Cheney has to do with the truth. Yes, it's that time of the year again when vast groups of entertainment professionals pat themselves on the back to the point where they run the risk of spraining a delicate wrist or two. Millions of people ostensibly watch these oozing moody egos toss cast golden plated statuettes at each other in order to live vicariously through them but we all know it's really to ridicule fashion choices. And here at Worst of Durst Comedy Ltd., having never spied a bandwagon we weren't willing to jump on, it is giddy with self congratulation that we settle in for the most serious and consequential of all the awards ceremonies: the Will Durst "Thank God For These Liquid Squeezebags Because I'm a Comic" Awards. Set yourself down in a comfortable chair and relax folks. We got your back. And be assured, not a single Brokeback Mountain joke in the bunch.

• BEST MAKE UP: Harry Whittington.
• THE MAKING A BAD SITUATION WORSE AWARD: In a crowded field, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin.
• BEST PERFORMANCE BY STRANGE BEDFELLOWS: George Herbert Walker Bush and William Jefferson Clinton.
• BEST IMPRESSION OF A SLEEPY LIZARD IN SEARCH OF A WARM ROCK AWARD: Once again, Dick Cheney narrowly edging out Robert Novack and Sam Donaldson.
• THE UNCLEAR ON ALL THE WORDS IN THEIR NAME AWARD: The Federal Emergency Management Administration.
• THE MOST IMPORTANT MAN IN AMERICA AWARD: For the 6th year in a row, Supreme Court Justice John Paul Steven's doctor.
• THE HELL WAS THAT? AWARD: San Francisco slugger and Paula Abdul impersonator, Barry Bonds.
• THE LET'S SETTLE ALL GLOBAL DISPUTES BY HOLDING HANDS AND SINGING KUMBAYA AWARD: San Francisco Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval for suggesting America doesn't need a military.
• THE NOT AS DUMB AS HIS HAIR LOOKS AWARD: It's a tie! Reverend Al Sharpton and Donald Trump split this honor.
• THE UNCLEAR ON THE CONCEPT AWARD: Former head of FEMA, Michael Brown, for announcing he's opening a new Crisis Management Consultancy.
• THE SHUT MY MOUTH AWARD: Another tie! Pat Robertson and Harriet Miers.
• THE SELF CONTROL AWARD: To George Bush for visiting India and not asking where all the teepees were.
• BEST SCORE: Halliburton for not just beating a gouging charge but finagling a bonus out of it.

The only prize political comic Will Durst needs is your kind readership. Thank you people. Thank you so so very much. Now where's my gift bag?
Don't forget the Will & Willie Show. Monday through Friday. 7–10am. PST. On KQKE. 960 AM. The QUAKE. San Francisco. Or listen long distance @ quakeradio.com.
And next week March 8–12 at Sacramento Punch Line. 916 925 5500.
FAQ: Vice President Cheney Shooting
A Guy In The Fact With A Gun

Q. Harry Whittingon, the man the Vice President accidentally shot, suffered a minor heart attack. What exactly is a minor heart attack?
A. Any one where the patient (who isn't you) doesn't die.
Q. Didn't the official statement explain the 17 hour delay before anybody told anybody anything was because they wanted to make sure the statement released to the media was accurate?
A. He shot the guy. In the face. With a gun. How many more facts were needed? The barometric pressure at the time wasn't all that necessary.
Q. Isn't this event illustrative of why they invented the word "accident?"
A. This and the Bush Presidency, yes. Besides, who hasn't mistaken a six foot lawyer wearing a blaze orange vest for a quail?
Q. How many pellets of bird shot did Mr. Whittington get hit with?
A. Doctors estimated between 5 and 200. Nice margin of error there. That's 102 plus or minus 97.
Q. Didn't Cheney call the day of the shooting "one of the worst days of my life?
A. Yes, he did, although we're pretty sure it's not way up there on Whittington's list either.
Q. Let's straighten this out: did Cheney drink a beer at lunch or didn't he drink a beer?
A. According to different reports: yes. And no.
Q. Didn't he also say "you never go hunting with someone who drinks.
A. Apparently he's never been deer hunting in Northern Wisconsin.
Q. Isn't it true he retired to the Armstrong lodge and ate a "somber roast beef dinner.
A. Still probably tastier than the hospital food Whittington got during an equally solemn pellet face picking.
Q. Why did the Vice President pick Fox News to give his interview to?
A. A simple desire for the interview to be fair and balanced. And to pay off Britt Hume on a Super Bowl bet.
Q. Who was to blame for the accident?
A. According to Mr. Cheney's staff, Mr. Whittington foolishly planted his face between the gun and the bird.
Q. What are some of the more popular conspiracy theories attached to all this?
A. That Cheney was sending a message to the terrorists, and the message is: "look what we do to our FRIENDS.
Q. Anything else?
A. That these guys are really really serious about tort reform.
Q. If the lawyer happens to die because of the wounds inflicted by the VP, he could be charged with involuntary manslaughter, right?
A. That's true, but because it is Texas, we're most likely looking at a ten dollar fine for shooting a lawyer out of season.
Q. Where's the upside?
A. Our veterans win. The people who are most thankful that Cheney did receive 5 deferments to Vietnam are our troops especially considering his penchant for shooting his own men.
Q. Any other ramifications?
A. Outside of George Bush noticeably wearing more Kevlar, no.
Q. Don't you think it's time for the liberals to lay off this and move on to more important affairs of state?
A. Point well taken. They should promise not to give Dick Cheney's lack of moral judgement a single second more attention than was given to Bill Clinton's.

The political comic Will Durst has turned into a cheerleader for the vice president. Go. Dick. Go.
Don't forget the Will & Willie Show. Monday through Friday. 7–10am. PST. On KQKE. 960 AM. The QUAKE. San Francisco. Or listen long distance @ quakeradio.com.
And catch Durst @ the San Francisco Punch Line tonight through Saturday. 415.397.4337.
Simple Is As Simple Does

Your calls are important to us. For quality control and training purposes the rest of your life will be monitored.

While we were all distracted by Scooter and the Shooter, big time Conservatives tried to sweep this whole warrantless wiretapping thing under a rug of complications. First they claimed it's a matter of the President's prerogative. "He wants to bug somebody. He bugs them. That's what a Commander-In-Chief does." Then they applied a legal paint job. "Congress said he could when they authorized his use of force against terrorism." Then they hammered it down with the big gun. The golden oldie. Their game saving Hail Mary. National security. "If you disagree with listening in on Al Qaeda, you're endangering the troops and giving the terrorists a back rub." Next they'll tell us he was just assuaging Democratic concerns that he never listens to them.

It's not complicated at all. He broke the law. Peed on the Constitution. Flipped off the Founding Fathers. Nobody knows why. All he had to do was notify the FISA court within 3 days of when he started eavesdropping. In previous trips to the court, 18,000 wiretaps were okayed and five turned down. Eighteen thousand out of eighteen thousand and five. Not a bad return. We're talking a .999 batting average here. As an old baseball man he should know they keep you in the bigs with that.

I don't know why he didn't go to the court. Maybe he worried they wouldn't buy these specific warrants. Maybe he stretched the definition of terrorist to include Michael Moore's dog walker. Maybe he suspects David Gregory has a mole in the Justice Department. Or maybe he just really believes he is above the law. I know he claims during wartime to possess special powers. Special powers: I love that. He can't even ride a bicycle without falling off. I don't want a president with special powers, I want a President to uphold the laws he swore to protect. I never knew King George the Third. I only read about King George the Third, but you sir, are no King George the Third.

He's starting to make less sense than a polar bear sipping a sloe gin fizz on an escalator. Said he didn't want any interval standing in the way of fighting terrorism. Hello! George! Tutor Time! Go ask Condoleezza; she went to school and actually studied. Have her tell you about the whole space-time continuum deal. How what happens afterwards doesn't affect the speed of what went on before. In other words if you kill a chicken, it does not alter how many eggs it has laid in its lifetime. Might put a slight crimp in the number to be laid in the future but the past tense is finite. Hell, you said it yourself. "The past is over." It's a reality thing. They may not have lived in the real world at Yale, but I'm pretty sure they talked about it.

And stop with the silly charge that the person who told the press about the program is the real bad guy. That they brought the plan to the attention of Al Qaeda. Any terrorist who doesn't know that talking on an open unencrypted line is on a fast track to 72 perfumed virgins and probably not trusted by the big turbans to do anything more important than run out to get the scorched coffee and day old baklava. Kind of what you'd be doing if your dad hadn't make his bones with Reagan. Besides, we're never going to understand the mind of Al Qaeda. These guys spell their name with a "Q," it's not followed by a "U;" they play by rules we don't even understand. That's a grammar thing.

Political Comic Will Durst thinks they probably talked about that at Yale too.
Don't forget the Will & Willie Show. Monday through Friday. 7–10am. PST. On KQKE. 960 AM. The QUAKE. San Francisco. Or listen long distance @ quakeradio.com.
And oh yeah. Catch Durst at 142 Throckmorton in Mill Valley on Saturday February 18th. And all next week at the Punch Line in San Francisco. 415 397 4337.
The George W Bush 2006 State Of The Union Drinking Game

What you need:
• A group of four taxpayers: including 1 white guy wearing a Suit. 2 people wearing jeans, one in a Work Shirt, the other in a Dark Shirt, and 1 person wearing Rags. Stitched together wash cloths are nice. Four are grouped around cocktail table within sight of television. Newspapers on floor in front of television.
• A shot glass per person. Everyone brings their own and places on table. Suit picks one first. Then Work Shirt. Then Dark Shirt. Suit takes last one as well, and Rags gets a Dixie Cup with the top scissored off.
• 5 bucks apiece. Everybody antes.
• Fondue pot with 2 packages of Li'l Smokies stewing in barbecue sauce on table. Preferably a sauce from Texas.

Surrounded by:
• 100 cocktail toothpicks. The kind with the little American flags wrapped around the top.
• A large stash of beer. Rags gets the cheapest stuff you can find, like Old Milwaukee Light; Suit gets to drink whatever import he asks for; while the jeans get to pick their favorite domestic brand, but they are required to pay for all the beer and the Li'l Smokies.

Rules of the Game.
1. Whenever George W uses the phrases: national security, tax relief, activist judges or affordable health care, drink two shots of beer.
2. Whenever George W mentions the tragic events of 911, last person to grab a toothpick, stand and salute must drink three shots of beer. If you stab yourself in forehead with the toothpick, drink two more shots.
3. If George W actually says, "If Al Qaeda is calling you, we want to know why." First person to finish a whole beer gets to toss Li'l Smokies at any of the others until they finish their beer. Use the toothpicks.
4. If George W makes up a word like "strategerie" or "deteriorize," drink four shots of beer.
5. If George W speaks of Hamas and repeats his earlier statement that "it's good to see people are demanding honest leadership," the first person to stop laughing gets to drink one shot of beer then pummel Suit with empty shot glass. No head shots.
6. Whenever George W talks about bi-partisanship, the last person to grab his throat in a choking motion has to eat 4 Li'l Smokies.
7. If either the Vice President Dick Cheney or First Lady Laura Bush are caught napping, last person to sing "Wake Up Little Susie, Wake Up," has to drink three shots of beer.
8. Predict the number of applause breaks. Person closest to correct number may then force the other three to drink that number of shots of beer in whatever ratio they wish.
9. Three shots of beer if he mentions New Orleans. Five shots of beer if he mentions Brownie. Two full beers if he mentions Abramoff.
10. Every time Tom DeLay is shown in the audience, take turns throwing Li'l Smokies at the tv. Suit sits out. First face hit doesn't have to drink two shots of beer. Every time Hillary Clinton is shown in the audience, Suit throws Li'l Smokies at the tv. If he hits her face, everyone else drinks two shots of beer. Use the toothpicks.
11. Whenever George W quotes the Bible, last person to fall to their knees and cry "Hallelujah!" drinks two shots of beer.
12. Whenever George W smirks during a standing ovation, take turns drinking shots of beer until the audience sits down. Do it double time if his shoulders shake with silent laughter.

• Whoever can correctly identify in advance the person giving the Democratic Response doesn't have to watch it.
• Suit gets to kick Rags hard, once if George W uses a heartfelt story of a pulling yourself up by your bootstraps to illustrate a point. Twice if the regulation of large cardboard boxes is mentioned as a security precaution. Rags gets 15 seconds to kick the Suit if Bush reveals the subject of the anecdote is in the audience. 30 seconds if he or she is sitting next to Harriet Miers. 1 full minute if she's sitting next to an astronaut.
• Suit takes home $20.
• Leftover beer, Li'l Smokies and fondue pot go home with Rags.

Political Comic Will Durst needs a volunteer to wear the suit.
Don't forget the Will & Willie Show. Monday through Friday. 7–10am. KQKE. 960 AM. The QUAKE. San Francisco. Or quakeradio.com.
And oh yeah. Catch Durst as part of the Barbarians of Truth tour at the Tempe Improv, Thursday through Sunday, February 2–5. 480 921 9877.
That Mythical Ethical High Ground

In an effort to regain the ethical high ground in Washington DC, which admittedly is lower than a parasite on the belly of a flounder on the floor of the Marianas Trench in the Pacific Ocean, Republican Party leaders announced a series of lobbying reforms to counteract the publicity they've received due to the Jack Abramoff expose (scandal is such an ugly word.) This is kind of like a skulk of foxes calling for a new collection of locks be placed on the hen house. Which they get to install. And reference their brother- in- law as vendor. Shockingly, the prospective reforms don't really reform much. One of them is a bill that calls for a cap on gifts. Or is it a bill calling for a cap on gift caps? Or does it cap the bill length of gift caps? No matter. Another calls for filing more disclosure reports. Like there's anybody in place to read the ones that aren't being filed now. As in most grand standing Congressional efforts, these policy changes are so mostly for show, they make the Golden Globes look like Nobel Laureate biochemical research. You have to understand, inside the Beltway it is much more imperative to give the appearance of doing something than actually doing anything. Outside of massive and continuous fund raising that's pretty much their job description. So, in the spirit of appearing as if I'm helping, I've come up with some further reforms that don't do much but look good set in embossed type and will serve to pad out their list.

• Footrests in all chauffeur driven limousines to be reconfigured from leather to naugahyde.
• Lobbyists required to keep their jackets on when assisting with writing legislation in committee meetings. Ties may still be loosened.
• Oil companies no longer to receive extra special treatment. From now on they are to only get special treatment.
• In order to lessen the appearance of ethics violations in Congress, the Congressional Ethics Committee is to be disbanded.
• Campaign contributions no longer allowed to be direct deposited to off shore accounts. Must be deposited in on shore banking institutions. Pseudonyms are discouraged.
• A frivolity tax to be levied on all tasseled loafers sold in the 202 area code.
• Persons or organizations revealing instances of Congressional Ethics Violations will be prosecuted under the full penalty of the law. And you can be sure a law will be written to punish them.
• All Congressional shredders to be upgraded to units employing motors of at least 8 horsepower.
• Ex lawmakers hereby prohibited from making cameo appearances on The OC and The Gilmore Girls. Skating with Celebrities is OK.
• Six drink maximum to be strictly enforced when flying on corporate jets during travel of less than 1,000 air miles.
• When procuring the services of an escort, American born men and women will be given the right of first refusal.
• Henceforth all no bid contracts to Halliburton will be delivered through the US Postal Service instead of being Fed-Exed.

Political comic Will Durst doesn't have the right of first refusal.
Don't forget the Will & Willie Show. Monday through Friday. 7–10am. KQKE. 960 AM. The QUAKE. San Francisco. Or quakeradio.com.
And oh yeah. Catch Will Durst as part of the Barbarians of Truth tour at the Tempe Improv, Thursday through Sunday, January 26–29. And then again February 2–5. 480 921 9877.
The Shameless And The Spineless

This Is CNN. We now return to the Supreme Court Justice Confirmation Hearings live from the Senate. While we were away, the Judge's wife was placed on a stretcher and whisked out of the Committee room after bursting into tears during the questioning of her husband. She will also be tested for rabies after accidentally brushing the arm of Democratic Senator Joe Biden. The Republican Chairman of the Judicial Committee is about to reconvene the proceedings by asking a question of Justice Samuel Alito.

"Order. Order. First off, Justice Alito, let me just say that I've already made up my mind that you're a fine fine man and will make an exemplary justice, and nothing you say is going to change my mind, outside of calling for the overthrow of the country by Michael Moore. And even that is just a maybe. (Laughter) I also want to say I think you've handled yourself with an aplomb that any reasonable person would expect of a justice of your extreme moderate temperament, even in the face of mean, rotten, radical out-of-the-mainstream liberal questions. Biased partisan questions from extremist jackals who have sunk to the level of trying to take you to task for belonging to a harmless fraternity group in college which you don't even remember joining not to mention making your wife cry for which I assure you, they will burn in the fires of hell. Now I will ask some necessary questions I'm sure the American people want to hear. And I warn you sir, these will not be softballs. I intend to ask some tough ones. Are you ready?"

"Yes sir, I think I am. Ask away."

"All right then. Justice Alito: do you think the American Justice system is a good system?"

"Why yes Senator, I think it is the best system in the world."

"And are you basically a good person?"

"Well Senator, I certainly hope so."

"And the flag?"

"It's a grand old flag."

"You're not a bigot are you Justice Alito?"

"No sir, I'm not."

"No, you certainly aren't, and if you had to describe yourself, would you say you are predominantly pro-good and anti-bad, or pro-bad and anti-good?" "Well, sir, I would describe myself as mostly being pro-bad and anti-good."


"Excuse me?"

"I'm sorry, I mean the other way around. I'm just a little nervous here."

"Totally understandable. I think we all would be a little nervous in your position. Especially with so many partisan jackals lined up to nip at your distinguished heels. Well, I must say, you've answered all my questions with deference and clarity. I haven't heard anything here that's going to change my mind. And may I say sir, I'm sure I speak not just for myself but for all the people of my great state that many prayers will be said for your wife to recover from her tragic experience."

"Thank you Senator."

"This meeting is adjourned."

Well, there's a surprise. It seems the Democrats have given up their right to ask Justice Alito any further questions and they are now all lying slumped over the Committee table like their spines have been literally torn from their bodies. Hmm. Well, that's it from here. Let's go back to the studio where Anderson Cooper will be interviewing Angelina Jolie's ex-housekeeper to find out what Brad Pitt likes to put on his cornflakes, and it's not what you think. This is CNN.

Political Comedian Will Durst also wonders what Brad Pitt puts on his cornflakes.
Don't forget the Will & Willie Show. Monday through Friday. 7–10am. KQKE. 960 AM. The QUAKE. San Francisco. Or quakeradio.com.
06 Predictions

It is the beginning of the new year, and typically the time for we average ink stained wretches to trot out the tried but true ye olde predictions piece. The wretches that don't resort to trotting out the trite but true ye olde resolutions piece that is. Being the average traditionalist wretch with great respect for heritage that I am, (especially lacking any other fertile ideas whatsoever) I am proud to honor this revered journalistic practice. Hence, I got your predictions for the new year right here. Resolutions will show up the next time I get stuck for other fresh and bright ideas. In other words, soon. Happy 2006 everybody.


• I predict George W Bush will continue to cut programs to the poor and the old so that rich people can have more money. I also predict that through a series of tragic financial reversals, the 43rd President will die both poor and old. Because that's the way god would want it.

• I predict Tom Delay will lose his Houston Congressional race to Conservative Democrat Nick Lampson who lost his seat in 04 due to DeLay's redistricting scheme, because that's also the way god would want it.

• I predict this administration will break more laws, then conduct investigations into who told the press about the broke laws instead of investigating crimes being broken. Like blaming Toto for the Wizard of Oz's incompetence.

• I predict Paris Hilton will hold a press conference to which no one will show up and she will wither away like autumn leaves crushed by the tires of an 18 wheeler blown away in a brisk breeze.

• I predict Dick Cheney's face will freeze like that.

• I predict technology will become so user friendly, geeks will go back to being nerds.

• I predict air travel will become less user friendly to the point that certain discount seats will require pedaling.

• I predict the San Francisco Giants will win the World Series, but in lieu of going to Disneyland afterwards, Barry Bonds, the MVP, will instead be whisked straight away to a retirement village for a series of recuperative salt baths.

• I predict Bill Gates will develop a donor recipient software program that makes himself obsolete.

• I predict that Iraq will have so many elections this year, voter turnout will drop to levels normally seen in North Dakota during force five blizzards.

• I predict Tom Cruise will lose another debate on the Today Show, this time to Katie Couric's assistant make up artist.

• I predict that during a stump speech in upstate New York, Gubernatorial candidate Donald Trump's hair will be wind whipped into the shape of a sail whisking him airborne into a mall parking lot in suburban Vermont.

• I predict that lobbyist Jack Abramoff's squealings will bring down so many members of Congress, the 2007 Freshman Congressional House class will be known as The Abramoff Babies.

• I predict governor Arnold Schwarzeneger will move so far to the left in his attempt to mend fences with California voters that Fidel Castro will denounce him as a Socialist tool.

• I predict that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld will engage in a bout of such verbal gobbeldy gook he will confuse himself and finally be forced to give a straight answer.

Political Comic Will Durst wants to buy Donald Rumsfeld's verbal gymnastics workout plan.
Don't forget the Will & Willie Show. Monday through Friday. 7–10am. KQKE. 960 AM. The QUAKE. San Francisco. Or quakeradio.com.
And live at the Point Arena Theater with Deb & Mike, Sunday the 8th at 8pm in yes, Point Arena. I don't know either. North somewhere.

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