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The Top Ten Comedic News Stories Of 2007

Okay. Just so you know: the Top Ten Comedic News Stories of the Year are as different from the Top Ten Legitimate News Stories of the Year as Peppermint Mini Marshmallow Froot Loops are from porridge. For instance, the Pakistani government transition didn't make our list. Why? Because it has the humor quotient of cider vinegar foot baths. Except for President Musharaff's first name being Pervez. Short for Perv? Prez Perv. Nice alliteration there. But funny? Let me think. No. Subprime mortgage crisis? Yeah, right. Rusty nail through the bottom of your Reeboks funny. Myanmar, Virginia Tech, you see my point. So let's go my route. Here's the stories of 07 that were the most lampoonable.

10. Jimmy Carter called President Bush the "worst President ever." And by the very nature of that statement, that would have to include… Jimmy Carter. "Worst President ever" by Jimmy Carter. That can't be good. Like having your drug intervention hosted by Lindsay Lohan.

9. David Petreaus, the Surgin' General said Iraq looks more and more like America every day. Apparently they want us out of there too. Claims the government is paralyzed by petty partisan squabbling, so maybe they are getting the hang of a western style democracy.

8. Hillary Clinton asked the public to help pick her official campaign song. Here's some additional suggestions. "The Theme from Shaft." "Its Too Late Baby." "Devil with a Blue Dress." "She's Cold as Ice." "The Bitch is Back."

7. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad demonstrated the concept of free speech in America. Both he and Bush at the UN on the same day. Think of it: a religious fanatic who sponsors secret prisons and has antagonized the whole world and an Iranian, both addressing the General Assembly.

6. Rudy Giuliani tried to espouse traditional family values on the campaign trail. And the fact that he's had 3 wives just means he's extra traditional. The Christian Coalition threatened to form a third party if Rudy Giuliani becomes the Republican nominee. Wonder what they'll call it? Too bad "the Taliban" is already taken.

5. Karl Rove and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales both resigned. I'm thinking the only reason he kept supporting Gonzales is because "Attorney General" and "Alberto Gonzales" both start with AG, and it was the only way he could remember who was filling the position. Like a mnemonic device. Karl Rove: proof positive that the Devil and the Pillsbury Dough Boy had more than a passing acquaintance.

4. Mitt Romney's tried to run a perfect campaign. Looks like he's been dipped in a polyurethane bath. Flip- flopped so much he's in danger of triggering a Stage Four John Kerry Alert. His campaign ads should close with "I'm Mitt Romney, and I both approve and disapprove of this ad."

3. Paris Hilton was offered community service, but the community declined.
Q. What's the difference between Paris Hilton and Scooter Libby?
A. 23 days.

2. Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff Scooter Libby was fined a quarter million dollars which was paid for by the Scooter Libby Defense Fund, which you and I know as… Halliburton. His 30 month sentence was then commuted by President Bush, who apparently is not just the Decider, he's also the Commuter.

1. Idaho Republican Senator Larry Craig isn't gay and didn't quit. He may be homosexual, but he is so not gay. Like a Rorschach blot of not gay. Said he was entrapped. Cop must have worn some fetching footwear. Italian design, really shiny and the laces were perfect. Should have gone with the Restless Leg Syndrome defense.

Political comic, Will Durst, expects an even better list in 2008.
Not So Almighty Dollar

Talk about how the almighty have fallen. The dollar is headed downhill faster than Bode Johnson on a set of rocket skis. Think nose dive. Plummetville. Plunge City. Belly Floppo Rama. Recession is such an ugly word. Try walking down a New York City street these days without getting knocked off the sidewalk by a gaggle of foreigners brandishing a circumference of high end shopping bags like a cardboard armada. Can't be done.

I blame George Bush and his imbecilic economic chicanery for subjecting us to these indignities. Spending 2 trillion on an unnecessary war. Silly boy. Lowering taxes during that same unnecessary war. Sillier boy. Policies that have prompted OPEC to make noises about following Brazilian supermodel Giselle Bundchen's lead, in asking to be paid in Euros. Euros, hell, the lady should choose to be paid in clothes, because to look at her, she doesn't seem to own any. Somebody, throw this girl a jacket. She must be cold.

The dollar has sunk lower than a strip show flyer stuck to the undercarriage of a leased Lamborghini Murcielago. The pound is up to $2, levels not seen since the 50s. The Euro is at its highest level against the dollar… ever. When? Ever! French President Sarkozy spent his summer vacation in New Hampshire. "400 francs and that includes everything, including zee servants." Things have gotten so bad, Russian mob bosses are back to using 5000 Ruble bills to snort lines of cocaine off of hookers' chests. It's like the October Revolution all over again.

That obnoxious sound coming from north of the border: the non- stop laughter of millions of Canadians playing a little game they call payback, mocking the play money we call moolah, "Oh, so I guess you would be talking aboot AMERICAN dollars, eh? Oooh. I don't know there, eh." Our economy isn't in the doldrums. Our economy can't even see the doldrums. Our economy aspires to the doldrums. Dubyah has turned us into a third world banana republic. We're Costa Rica to the rest of the World. With lousier snorkeling.

Who can blame the hordes of Euro- trash from clogging the aisles of our Tiffany franchises like an extended family of hillbillies at a dollar store? Everything here is so incredibly cheap. We've turned into a discount playground for the world's trust fund babies. High- end restaurants, the good hotels, VIP sections of our most exclusive nightclubs, Saturday night movie tickets: pretty much off limits to anybody holding an American passport. We're the minimum wage security guards of a giant high- end outlet mall known as America just one cut rate Virgin flight away from true civilization.

And thank god we, the general public, never fell for that whole "you got to save your money" BS and are still proud holders of the "Least Personal Savings of any Country in the Industrialized World" award. Because you know what those dollars are worth now? Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Nothing! Maybe kicking the greenback dollar under the couch is just the neo- cons idea of how to squelch our looming Social Security crisis. Make the dollar worth so little, that in the future, any one of us will be able to cover the entire shortfall by digging into our own wallets. "$30 trillion? Is that all you're worried about? Why didn't you say so? Who here can break a quadrillion?"

Just like you, comic, writer, actor, talk show host, pedicab driver Will Durst, knows French President Sarkozy complained about the food.
Al Gore & The Blue Sky Theory

So Al Gore got the Nobel Peace Prize for his incessant blabbing about "global warming." Big deal. The committee that hands those things out is the most motley collection of Norwegian Marxists you ever did see. Previous peace prize nominees have included Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Benito Mussolini, Satan, Michael Moore and Mother Teresa. But the worst part is the encouragement this Scandinavian Cracker Jack prize has given the former crime confederate of Hillary Clinton's husband to proselytize other harebrained speculations.

Now the Global Gloomy Gus is going around trying to convince people the sky is blue. He doesn't call it an opinion. He neglects to cite scientific evidence linking other colors to the sky. Nope. The sky is blue. Because Al Gore says so. And we're supposed to take his word for it and shut the hell up. I don't think its any big secret why Tipper's old man wants the sky to be blue. Certainly can't have the sky being red, now can we, like Florida turned in 2000?

Exactly where does this guy get off? Who voted him mister science expert of the world guy? He's a failed politician who blew his last race and apparently can't get over being deprived of the limelight. What does he know about skies? Googled his bio: not surprisingly, there were no degrees in "Sky." Although, to be fair, there were no degrees in "Manure Spreader" either and I have to admit, he's one of the best.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the sky often full of CLOUDS? When he looks up, does he see blue clouds too? Makes sense when you consider all the hallucinogenics he must have swallowed at Harvard with his East Coast Ivy League, little- light- in- their- loafer buddies. All of whom, I'm sure, still see green pigs and polka dot trees under those liberal blue skies of theirs.

To hear the way Gore and his cabal of elite environmental extremists tell it, you'd think general scientific consensus has signed off on the whole "sky is blue" hypothesis, but they'd be dead wrong. What they don't want you to know is several highly respected Texas based scientists who haven't drunk from Gore's pitcher of socialist Kool – Aid vehemently dispute this contention, calling the theory just that: the "blue sky THEORY." According to them, there's not enough evidence either way. Jury is still out.

So what if, on occasion, the sky is bluish; who's to say that it isn't turning back to its original color of green or magenta or cerulean real soon? Has Hollywood's favorite mascot ever thought of that? Or is he too busy trying to divert billions of dollars to his good friend Osama bin Laden and the Islamo- Fascists by scuttling important domestic oil research trotting out his lame and spurious "blue sky" campaign?

By ramming these irrational beliefs down the throats of ordinary people, Al Gore and his goth band of America- haters, revel in their disdain for the hard working men and women of this country, while at the same time flagrantly endanger the safety of our brave freedom fighting troops in Iraq. I imagine the next piece of junk science propaganda nonsense this world class snake oil salesman will try peddling to a gullible public is that water is wet or war is bad. God help us all.

Former agricultural distributor, Will Durst, spent a lot of time sitting under polka dot trees.
Our Offspring Fontanelle

Oooh. He's clever. And obviously knows exactly what he's doing. This is all a set up, people. Has to be. Yes, I'm talking about George Bush's veto of the State Children's Health Insurance Program. Who, but a total stoned horned ogre would do that? Maybe an ogre with something up his sleeve, eh? Has anyone thought of that? I'm just waiting for him to drop the other shoe. Or throw it at a crippled puppy. Either way, there's a hidden agenda in there somewhere.

To intimate it didn't seem like his finest hour is akin to saying that sinking your IRA into tying live vampire bats to a horizontal stick and trying to sell them to the Fisher Price people as above- crib mobiles is probably not your best retirement strategy. As public relations go, this was on the order of handing out celebratory exploding cigars near the oxygen tents of an intensive care ward.

Does he seriously want us to believe he has no problem asking for another 190 billion for his oil war, but can't find 7 billion a year for children's health care? Are you kidding me? "No child left behind." More like "no child left standing." The man has opened himself up to charges of criminal child neglect. An Amber Alert featuring Air Force One should be triggered.

Crazy? Like a fox. He scuttled the S-CHIP hush- hush style. Like a cat burglar at night, in a closet, with the lights off, under a raincoat, wearing a ski mask and a fake ZZ Top beard. The legislation was intended to reduce the number of children without health insurance and extend coverage to several million more poor children. But the threat that some wrong kids might inadvertently receive coverage makes that totally unacceptable? Who believes that?

Oh, we know the President's public stance: he doesn't want to slide down the slippery slope toward socialized medicine by expanding the program to higher-income families. But he's not as dumb as he looks. Surely he knows when it comes to kids, America's got a collective soft spot right at the top of our heads. Call it our offspring fontanelle.

That's why this has to be a ruse. Accusing Democrats of authoring a plan that would hurt children… that doesn't even make sense. Here's the deal; since the Prez is not up for re- election ever again, he's in league with party leadership and they're using this dodge in a drastic attempt for the GOP to hang onto the White House. Painting the Bush Administration as so malevolent that in comparison all the 08 Republican candidates look like latter day saints of Jesus Christ. You know what I mean.

And we better hope this works, or the next public event is bound to be even more provocative. I can see it now: Bush emceeing an apple pie poisoning exhibition, right after a quick round of mom- slapping, held on the South Lawn by the light of a massive teddy bear bonfire with refreshments of barbecued pet parakeet skewers and goldfish shakes.

The vote to override the S-CHIP veto comes in a week or so, and it will be interesting to see if the Democrats can stir any movement from across the aisle using this issue as a crowbar the size of Idaho. Or if they'll just roll over on their bellies and dare the President to keep throwing shoes at them. The grey matter beneath the soft spot in my head makes me suspect the latter.

Former bike messenger, Will Durst, thinks he has a fontanelle near his liver, which can't be good.
Last chance to catch Durst performing his solo show "The All- American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing," Off Broadway at the New World Stages (340 West 50th Street, NY 10019) closing Sunday, October 14th. 1 800 telecharge or Telecharge.com for tickets. willdurst.com for more info.
God's Only Party

Earlier this week, a clandestine cadre of controlling conservative Christian captains, (bunch of right wing religious nut jobs is what I'm getting at,) threatened to run from the GOP like ducks from an alligator the size of a Buick if any infidel they don't anoint is nominated for president. And yes, specific former New York City Mayors were mentioned. Funny you should ask.

At a meeting in Salt Lake City, (where else- you thought Vegas maybe?) Heaven's Soldiers, collectively decided they would rather support a burned- beyond- recognition, duck- billed- platypus with wire- coat- hanger hands than a certain Mr. Rudolph Giuliani. Apparently the Mayor of 9/11 is not the answer to their prayers.

Oh, they have their reasons. Mr Giuliani's serial inclination to appear at fundraisers in drag, resulting in his being photographed wearing a dress more often than Hillary Clinton, could be one. His brazen courting of the pro choice, pro gay rights, pro gun control wing of the Republican Party might be another. The fact that the Rudy clan, including both ex wives, (two too many) are campaigning for other people, doesn't help much either. A bit of a sticky wicket that: trying to swing Independents with your Family Value bonafides, when your own family hates you. With megaphones.

The zealot heads went so far as to talk out loud about forming their very own party if Giuliani does weasel his way to the top of the ticket. And since white Protestant Evangelicals make up a third of the electorate in the early primary states of Iowa and South Carolina, they believe the threat of mass defection is too big of a bluff for the GOP leadership to call. Because, as we all know, a Republican Party without Christian conservatives is like a snake handler with no snake. A scorpion minus the stinger. Hell without dental surgery.

You might think this is one of those cut off your nose to spite your face kind of deals, because, well, it is. But evangelicals are sick and tired of being taken for granted, and count on party bigwigs to remember how Ross Perot threw the 92 & 96 elections to Bill Clinton. Which in those kinds of Kool- Aid circle jerks is like handing the keys of your children's soul to Satan for a bucket of deep fried Twinkies. But let's leave Bush's fiscal policy out of this.

Not only are some dogmatic noses severely out of joint from having the door of implemented policy change slammed in their apostolistic faces, but they also have a few canonistic bones to pick with some of their recent higher profile disciples like Mark Foley, David Vitter, Larry Craig and the Creator's own personal mouthpiece, Ted Haggard. Guys whose newsreels feature more extra curricular sexual footage than you'd run into at the Moonlight Bunny Ranch during an after hours party for the Adult Video Awards.

Of course, if they do form a third party, the big question is what to call it? "The Holier Than Thou Party," is a bit put offish. "God's Only Party" would be confusing, especially if the media tried to acronym it. "The Everyone Has to Live Like We Think They Should Live Party" is probably too long. I did come up with the perfect name, but unfortunately, "The Taliban," is already taken.

Former oyster shucker, Will Durst, wonders which part of "separation of church and state" these orthodox oxen do not understand.
Free Speech Ain't Free. Oh, Wait A Minute. Yeah, It Is.

After all the brouhaha in New York this week, this seems like a good time to have us a little chat about free speech. Not restricted free speech. Not partial free speech. Not pseudo- semi- counterfeit- limited- free speech. Not free speech on Wednesdays between two and three pm EDT. Not free speech zones and not free speech reserved for the people we like and kept from the ones we don't. No, my friends, I'm talking about your total, unfettered, full throated, in your face, front row death metal rock concert, spitting in the wind, 24/ 7, every square inch of your big white furry butt, gushing like runoff from a rain gutter off a cantilevered roof during a Force Five hurricane in the tropics free speech.

There's no whining about who gets to speak at what college. We're supposed to be setting an example. Doesn't matter out of which holes the free speech is coming from. The mouths of an opposition politico or the biggest little two bit dictator in the world or the personification of Lucifer himself replete with red horns and forked tail and cloven hooves. But let's leave the Vice President out of this one.

Everybody gets to say their piece. That's the deal. Even if half the world considers that "piece" total BS. Face it, half of what WE believe usually turns out to be total BS. Beliefs have this nagging tendency to mutate over time. It wasn't long ago they burned people as witches for not thinking the world was flat. Wasn't it Cardinal Richelieu who said treason is just a matter of dates?
The same way it is better to let 100 guilty people go free rather than convict one innocent person, its better we let 100 cretinous, fool, toad, buttwipes reveal themselves as boneheads, just so a safe platform for the idealistic visionary is guaranteed. Given enough rope, idiots are notoriously susceptible to hanging themselves from the noose of their own ridiculousness.

And yes, Mr Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, I'm talking about you. Admittedly, you got a lousy intro at Colombia University, but when you agree to a Q & A, the general routine is to answer the questions you get asked. And yeah, okay, the crowd laughed at you and no, you can't execute them like the gays you say your country doesn't have. Our crowds enjoy free speech too. Democracy is a bitch isn't it? And next time, for crum's sake, wear a tie.

If free speech isn't what this country is all about, what the hell are we fighting for? Free speech ain't free. Oh wait a minute. Yeah, it is. As we witnessed at the UN when both Presidents Bush and Ahmadinejad got to exercise their rights on the same day. Think of it: on one hand you got a religious fanatic who sponsors secret prisons and has antagonized the entire world and on the other hand you got an Iranian. And you know why I get to say that? That's right. I think you're finally getting the hang of it.

Former beer smuggler Will Durst thinks confidential free speech sucks too.
Catch Durst performing his solo show The All- American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing Off Broadway at the New World Stages (340 West 50th Street, NY 10019) now extended through the end of October. 1 800 telecharge or Telecharge.com for tickets. willdurst.com for more info.
FAQ: Patraeus' Testimony

Frequently Asked Questions About General Patraeus' Congressional Testimony

Q. How did General Patraeus’ testimony in front of Congress go?
A. Pretty good. He emphasized that progress was being made in Iraq. The same way he talked about the progress being made in Iraq when he testified in the same room back in 2004. He might be using the same script.

Q. What’s the difference between then and now?
A. Back then, Baghdad still had electricity and water and the wheel.

Q. Did General Patraeus speak about what the future holds for our Iraqi involvement? A. He acknowledged the road ahead would be difficult. He also allowed that fire engines are often red.

Q. The General said we have raised the number of trained Iraqi security forces fighting alongside American troops. Is it a significant rise?
A. 60%. From 5 to 8.

Q. 5 to 8 brigades? Divisions?
A. No. Troops. Used to be 5 guys we could trust. Now it's 8.

Q. What happened to the Democrats holding the General's feet to the fire?
A. Everyone except Moveon.org scampered away like 12-year-old girls running from a big hairy spider.

Q. What did Moveon.org do?
A. They ran a full page ad in the New York Times spotlighting General Betray Us.

Q. Why? A. How often do you get a rhyme like that? Once in a lifetime shot; they took it.

Q.Doesn't the latest National Intelligence Estimate report Iraq's government is paralyzed by internal squabbling and petty personal differences?
A. Yes, so if you think about it, we have made strides in installing an American style democracy.

Q. Did the General really respond to whether our intervention in Iraq was making America safer, by saying, "Unh, I don't know, actually?"
A. Yeah. So?

Q. Nothing. Just curious.
A. Well, move on. I mean, keep going.

Q. What does the General mean when he says security gains since the surge have been "uneven."
A. "Uneven" is traditional Pentagon speak for "getting our butts handed to us on a paper plate."

Q. What about those benchmarks that were, oh, so important in January?
A. Turns out they weren't really all that important. What is important is other stuff. Stuff that looks good right now.

Q. The President called the insurgents in Iraq, Al Qaeda 12 times in his speech. What's up with that?
A. A small group calls itself Al Qaeda of Iraq, but its not the same Al Qaeda responsible for 9/11. Surfing off the credibility of the name. Kind of like a terrorism franchise.

Q. Does fighting one hurt the other?
A. There used to be two teams in the Canadian Football League called the Red Ryders. But if you beat one it didn't mean you got credit for two victories in the standings.

Q. What ever happened to "we'll step down when the Iraqis step up?”
A. Someone stole the steps.

Q. Was a timetable provided for reducing troops in Iraq?
A. Nothing clear cut. Something to do with snow and hell.

Q. And the upshot of the whole thing?
A. General Patraeus asked for more time. He's hoping to come back in March with a new report.

Q. So, they're just going to keep kicking the dead cat down the road. Until when, do you think?
A. Does November 4th, 2008 have any meaning here?

Q. Is that a question?
A. Sorry, no.

Comedian, actor, writer, former radio talk show host and fork lift driver, Will Durst, thinks Bush's model for Iraq was made in Korea and will break in less than a week.
Catch Durst performing his solo show The All- American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing, Off Broadway at the New World Stages (340 West 50th Street, NY 10019) now extended through the end of October. Yea. 1 800 telecharge or Telecharge.com for tickets. willdurst.com for more info.
Republicans Gone Wild 2!

If you're one of the millions still rolling on the floor in amazement at the greed and hypocrisy featured in last year's surprise hit: "REPUBLICANS GONE WILD," throw that DVD away. Because you're not going to believe the extreme and hilarious action we've compiled for you in the brand new "REPUBLICANS GONE WILD 2."

You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll kiss any chance of their recapturing Congress goodbye. But you'll never forget this brand new, never- before- seen footage featuring their patented wide stances and narrow minds. You've seen their breakdowns on television. You've read about their exploits in the newspapers. You've witnessed their Family Value blustering for years. Now relive their blathering and blubbering at your leisure.

Here it is… the ultimate collection of the most crazed and sexed up elected official footage ever accumulated on one DVD. "REPUBLICANS GONE WILD 2," has it all! At the malls, inside stalls, even in the halls of the Capitol. "REPUBLICANS GONE WILD 2," will have you saying "Jiminy."

You may think the Republican Party needs this the same way a three- legged armadillo needs a rabid badger gnawing at his last remaining front paw on the gravel shoulder of I- 95 in the dead of night. And you'd be right! Conduct unbecoming a senator? Conduct unbecoming a weasel.

All the hilarious escapades you loved in "REPUBLICANS GONE WILD" are back, only bigger and better and sleazier than ever in "REPUBLICANS GONE WILD 2." The crazy zany antics of Jack Abramoff, Mark Foley, Duke Cunningham and Bob Ney will PALE next to this madcap collection of weird and wacky wildness.

100% raw, real, and uncut! Wild solo gaffes. Congressman- on- congressman action. 08 Presidential candidates hiding their faces behind their hands mumbling for Idaho Republican Senator Larry Craig to "just go away. Please, go away." Plus much much more. See them lie, deny and just plain cry.

All your favorite 2007 moments are here.
• Gasp as chastised Louisiana Senator David Vitter, southern regional chair of the Giuliani campaign, admits to frequenting a house of prostitution, but avoids any further questions by saying the matter is between his family and God.
• Inhale as newly elected millionaire South Carolina Treasurer Thomas Ravenel, chair of the SC Giuliani campaign, is charged with conspiracy to distribute a quantity of cocaine, carrying a possible sentence of 20 years in prison.
• Guffaw as Robert W. Allen, co-chair of Sen. John McCain's Florida legislative leadership team, is arrested for soliciting prostitution from an undercover police officer posing as a transvestite in a public park restroom but says he was intimidated into it due to being the only white guy in the area.
• Thrill as Idaho Senator Larry Craig, Mitt Romney's 08 GOP Senate coordinator, announces to the world "I am not gay. I have never been gay." Then repeats it about 87 times and thanks those in attendance "for coming out today."

Become a member of the "REPUBLICANS GONE WILD Pioneers Club," and enjoy instant access to a special website and all the "REPUBLICANS GONE WILD" archives. 24/ 7. Republicans never sleep. Why should you? Get exclusive clips not available anywhere else. Updated daily.

NOTE: "REPUBLICANS GONE WILD 3," being compiled by assistant DAs all over America as we speak. Act within the next 48 hours and get a free "FOLEY/ CRAIG 08" bumper sticker!

Comedian, actor, writer, former radio talk show host and all- you- can- eat- pancake flipper, Will Durst, thinks while Senator Larry "Jiminy" Craig may indeed be a homosexual, he is certainly not gay.
Catch Durst performing his solo show The All- American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing Off Broadway at the New World Stages (340 West 50th Street,) now extended through the end of September, maybe October. Who knows? Telecharge.com for tickets. willdurst.com for more info.
Rove Bye Bye

Karl Rove, Bush's brain, quit last week. And no, he hasn't been replaced, so yes, you could say the cavity remains empty. To put it another way: Voldermort has left the building. Darth Vader took off his helmet. Proof positive that Satan had more than just a passing acquaintance with the Pillsbury Doughboy has exited stage right. This sudden shift of malodorous winds has caused liberals to shiver in separation anxiety knowing they're going to have to look elsewhere to assuage their demon jones, as they no longer have the pale pudgy strategist as target for their limp verbal projectiles.

Mr. Rove made his teary announcement at a joint press conference held on the South Lawn of the White House alongside the tenant whom he thrust into residency of that property with all the elegance and subtlety of an armor plated freight train run off its tracks into a third world flea market. The 43rd President of the US visibly choked up saying "so long" to the man he affectionately called "Turd Blossom," as his alter ego was pried away from him for the first time in 14 years.

Rove scoffed at reporters' questions about future subpoenas in the federal prosecutor firings investigation leading to his abrupt retirement, referring to the inquiry as "pure politics." And coming from the high grand master of pure politics, this should be considered the ultimate compliment. Then the man with the power to cloud men's minds shuffled off to Nowheresville City in what he labeled a desire to spend more time lying to his family.

But the furniture in his White House office had yet to be decontaminated when his family apparently grew tired of his company kicking him out to spend the bulk of his new free time on various television news shows tossing fistfuls of scathing barbs at potential Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, whom he described as "fatally flawed" but meant "colder than a witch's catcher's mitt hidden under a crate of four pound rump roasts in the rear of a walk- in freezer."

These mouthy jousts have caused more consternation in Democratic ranks than a turkey vulture circling at dawn during the annual Galapagos Island turtle hatchling race to the sea. Hillary's people are trumpeting Rove's blasts as kind of a Bad Housekeeping Seal of Disapproval. You hate him. He hates her. Ergo, she's your girl. While Barack Obama's people maintain that by attacking Hillary, Rove is attempting to rally Democratic voters to the more vulnerable candidate. The reasoning goes that Republicans are really scared of Barack and are attempting to scuttle his candidacy by attacking her opponent, because they realize these assaults will be construed as an endorsement. Its all so Machiavellian, its probably true. Although I have no idea what I just said.

If it does work, this could be the next big thing in political campaign strategy. Hiring public pariahs to pretend to support your enemy is so 2007. No more shots of a drunken Lindsay Lohan wearing an "I'm With Fred" t-shirt- obviously a ploy by either the Giuliani or Romney camp. The next tactic will mutate into a double triple switch where you hire someone really vile to attack yourself and then reveal that the attack was a co- operative effort between your opponent and his even eviler puppet master and there's a sex tape of the two which gets shown on YouTube. I'm still working out the details, but you get the drift. Practice on your friends. If Karl Rove has anything to say about it, the Republicans will.

Comic, writer, actor, former radio talk show host and door to door soap salesman, Will Durst, is relieved that "eviler" didn't trigger his spellcheck. Although spellcheck did.
Catch Durst performing his solo show The All- American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing Off Broadway at the New World Stages (340 West 50th Street) which has been extended through the end of September. At least. Telecharge.com for tickets or willdurst.com for more info.
Me. Me. Me. Me. Me.

You know what's wrong with America? I mean, besides a headache medicine that you apply to your forehead? Our national obsession with "me." Me. Me. Me. Me. Me. Nobody ever thinks about "us" anymore. It's all about "me". "You" are on your own. "We" is a convenient umbrella for a collection of like minded "me's," of which "I" better play a feature part and "they" and "them" are simply obstacles to be steered clear of at all costs and knocked down and run over with track cleats if unavoidable.

It's not totally our fault, as we are engaged in learned behavior. We, the people, or rather, me, the people, and you, the rabble, can legitimately claim to be magnificently obsessed with ourselves, because of the conduct we witness in our leaders. Dim luminaries observed daily giving less thought to what is good for the whole than an alligator gives to the mood of a brood of baby ducks before hungrily gobbling up both parents.

Take our Presidential primary process. Please. Over 20 states will declare their 08 party preferences on February 5th, foreshortening a six month winnowing process to less than four weeks of industrial strength filtering. Not front loaded enough apparently, since Florida decided to sneak ahead of the pack by a week, a move compelling South Carolina to leapfrog ahead to January 19th

Now we know New Hampshire is more likely to offer Fidel sanctuary than give up their First in the Nation status; besides, they have a state law that says they MUST be first, so they will precede South Carolina, probably on the 12th. And Iowa is certain to supercede that, because they got caucuses, a totally different animal than primaries. Don't ask.

Financial considerations are obviously at stake, but mostly its ego that is fueling this jumpstarting mania. The survival of the primary process itself, or whether it is good for the country or even the political leaders participating, is of little if any concern. Cutting in line used to be considered the action of a bully, now it's on legislative fast track. We don't just want our cake and eat it too, we want to have it, eat it, save it, hoard it, clone it, shrink it and freeze dry it so we can carry the frosting around in our pockets for later, making sure nobody else ever gets a taste.

Not only do we fail to see the big picture, nobody bothers faking the slight lateral movement of the head pretending to look for it anymore. People are either boarding up the big picture with the custom cut plywood of self-indulgence or they're staring just to the side of where the big picture used to be, at that more fascinating rectangle called the mirror.

We're just spoiled little kids who never learned to share our toys. And stay tuned. If one more self- centered ghost jumps through the primary machine, we could be looking at a Christmas Caucus in the Hawkeye State this year. And if the thought of Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul dressed in Santa Claus costumes doesn't scare the bejeesus out of you, some sort of headache remedy should be applied directly to your forehead. Like a mallet. But enough about the state of the nation, let's get back to me.

Catch Durst performing his solo show "The All- American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing" in Off Broadway at the New World Stages (340 West 50th Street) beginning August 15th until Labor Day at least. Telecharge.com for tickets or willdurst.com for more info.
Download Durst's twice weekly commentaries @audible.com/willdurst. Check out iTunes audiobooks for his new CD: Ring Toss for Aliens, $4.95 only for a limited time.
The Center Left, Right?

Does anybody know what happened to the center? I remember hearing about it in the old days, but it seems to have disappeared like a wisp of mist in a solar wind. All anybody talks about is the left and the right. We're so polarized these days, I'm surprised our compasses still work. They should be stuck on due daft. To paraphrase Ronald Reagan speaking about the Democratic Party: I didn't leave the center, the center left me. And you can blame Uncle Ron for triggering the seismic shift that shoved the center to the right.

For instance:
Q. What did they call the homeless before Reagan?
A. Patients.

Bush One wallowed in Ronnie's footsteps and kicked the center a bit more righter and even Bill Clinton nudged it not less than a little. Then Bush Two… Fugetaboutit. He attached a rocket booster to the edge of the center and shot it so far West of Texas you can't see it anymore due to the curvature of the earth. Now I grew up a moderate. A raging moderate perhaps, but a moderate nonetheless. These guys keep moving the center, I stay in the same place, and suddenly I'm a Marxist. Just because I believe a society should be based on how it treats its least fortunate not its most fortunate. And that makes me a commie pinko yellow rat bastard? How the hell did that happen?

Think about it; Nixon- civil rights, the Environmental Protection Agency. He'd have problems getting the Democratic nomination for Lieutenant Governor in Massachusetts. Goldwater: who said about gays in the military, "you don't have to be straight, to shoot straight," would be written off as an enemy of our troops and close personal friend of Nancy Pelosi's hairstylist, if you know what I mean.

20% of the country is, has been and always will be, far left. 20% is far right. The rest of us are in the middle. Between the fringes. You could say we are average, ordinary or even god forbid… normal. Me, I'm just a middle aged, middle class, Middle American of medium height, medium build who likes his steaks medium rare. And that's the only thing rare about me. Like a lot of us, I'm just a guy- a regular guy tired of having to pick either Anne Coulter or Sheryl Crowe as my spokesperson. These women have as much to do with me as a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach has to do with the United Auto Workers Pension Fund. Maybe it's Starbucks' fault for semantic size corruption. Selling America a medium sized coffee and calling it "grande." Everybody expects to be special. Everything has to be extreme. And the only thing I want extreme is the action of my laxative.

We're not just losing the middle, we're losing the middle class. And trust me, that is not a good thing. Cuz when the middle class disappears, you start to hear things like, "eat the rich," and trust me, nobody wants that. The rich are way too stringy. All that free time to exercise. The fat poor is where it's at. Mmm. The fat poor. Tastes just like chicken. So if you see the center or know what happened to it, please contact me ASAP. Reward on return.

Catch Durst performing previews of his solo show "The All- American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing" in New York at the New World Stages (340 West 50th Street) beginning Monday, August 6th unveiling an open ended run on August 15th. Telecharge.com for tickets or willdurst.com for more info.

Who can tell what motivates the President these days? Maybe the commutation of Scooter Libby is meant to demonstrate his latent in- chargity. That he's relevant dammit! That not only can he be the decider, he also has the skills to be the commuter as well. With an approval rating lower than a drunk IRS agent wearing pinstripes behind the Red Sox dugout at Fenway, he probably wouldn't mind commuting himself, to and from the comfort of Crawford, Texas, four or seven days a week. Could become the First Telecommuting Chief Executive. "I'm looking forward to Friday, that's 'No Pants Day.'" Bet Laura and the twins would prefer that. Dick too, just to clear the decks for some of the trickier bits.

Proving his pertinence required George Bush to set a convicted partisan felon free as the proverbial bird. Though the identity of what kind of bird that phrase is intended to signify has been shrouded by the mists of time; it is safe to say, it sure ain't no jail bird, because due to Dubyah's opportune intervention, Cheney's former chief of staff served less time than a spit- balling junior- high study- hall miscreant sent to honors detention in the cafeteria.

Q.What's the difference between Paris Hilton and Scooter Libby?<
A. 23 days.

The man whose defense was "I'm a busy man and can't be expected to keep track of all the lies I tell," didn't sing like a canary either; as Paulie Walnuts might say, "You did good time kid." So rest assured he has a bright future ahead of him on the Forbes Magazine "Tired Old Leadership Axioms in Return for the Big Bucks" speaking tour, jointly sponsored by the Homeland Security and the TV Guide Channel, now contemplating a midseason replacement called "Skooter Skates."

If Bush had explained that he wiped away the VP's right hand man's sentence of 30 months for perjury in federal court, because you can't send a man named Scooter to prison, I would have understood. But the excuse used was the sentence was "excessive." And we Americans who are just 19 months shy of serving our full 96 month sentence living under the fear mongering, torture outsourcing and middle class eradication efforts of this administration, can totally relate.

"Excessive." That's what he called it. This is the same guy who when running for governor of Texas actually said out loud in front of people with microphones sticking out of their hands that he wanted to "stiffen the death penalty." Stiffen the death penalty? The hell does that mean? Was he going to apply it twice? Were doctors mandated not to rub alcohol on the point of insertion before lethal injections? Did he empanel a blue ribbon committee to figure out a way of how to dump the electric chair and wire up some bleachers?

But when it came to punishing his string puller's best friend, the President's compassion predictably welled up like a zit the morning of picture day in 8th grade. He did keep intact the other part of Mr. Libby's sentence; the $250,000 fine, but that didn't seem to pose much of a hardship, as the skedaddling scofflaw simply wrote a personal check for it. Don't feel too bad for him. I'm sure he'll be reimbursed by the Scooter Libby Defense Fund or as we are used to calling it: Halliburton.

Comic, writer, actor, former radio talk show host and bellman at the Milwaukee Athletic Club, Will Durst, wonders if Mister Libby has an envelope in his safety deposit box with "in the event of my untimely death" scrawled on the outside.
Boss Dick

Alright, I got a message for the American public, and the message is this: leave Dick Cheney alone. He's not answerable to you. Get off his big white furry butt. You are not the boss of him. Nobody is the boss of him. Dick Cheney is the boss. Of you, me, Bush. Nouri Al- Maliki. Gitmo. All of us. He's Boss Dick. And the only reason you're out to get him is because when he smiles he looks like he swallowed a small black child. And that is just prejudiced people. Doesn't matter that he's keeping this country safe. And the only two ways to do it are his way and the highway. Well, actually, under the highway. Sometimes as part of the highway. Mixed in with the rebar.

Face it: he's better than you. And if you had half a brain in your head, you'd get down on your bony knees, kiss his feet and thank God he's doing us the huge ginormous favor of running this country instead of letting Dyslexic Boy screw things up worse than a dumpster full of coat hangers made out of copper barbed wire. As for breaking the law, you could not empanel a jury that would find Dick Cheney guilty. Of anything. Because he has no peers. I'm not saying Dick Cheney is above the law. I'm saying Dick Cheney is the law and the least we can do is leave him and his buddies at Halliburton alone to do what they're good at. Making money and burying bodies.

So he's not part of the Executive Branch of the Government. So what? Hey, he doesn't want to belong to the Executive Branch of the Government, he shouldn't have to belong to the Executive Branch of the Government. You've seen the Executive Branch of our Government, would you want to belong to it? It's less effective than spitting tobacco juice at the moon from a skateboard on ice. I got your checks and balances right here. Well, right there, under Dick Cheney's foot, holding hands with individual liberties, writhing in their death throes.

If Dick Cheney wants to be his own branch of government, he's his own branch of government. What's wrong with that? It's his government. So we got an extra branch now. Four is better than three, right? And the Vice President should be able to call it whatever he wants to. The Cheneystative branch. Who's going to tell him he can't? You? Yeah, you and what Army? The Supreme Court? Ha. Don't make me laugh.

And get those Congressmen to stop bothering Dick Cheney with those silly subpoenas for crum's sake. He doesn't have to tell you who he's meeting with. You seriously do not want to know who he's meeting with. Or what they're planning. Or where they're planning on doing it. You'll find out soon enough. Can't you get it through your tiny little heads: if he wanted us to know, he'd tell us. He doesn't want to talk to you or Henry Waxman or Angelina Jolie. He doesn't want to talk to anybody. Why do you think he's always at an undisclosed location?

You want to know the truth. YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH. We need his lies. We cherish his lies. Because his lies are comforting; they allow us to believe what we want to believe. Not to mention being essential to a covert operation. And this whole administration is one big covert operation. And there's no real need for anyone to know what's going on. And that includes me and you and especially George W. Who doesn't want to be part of the Executive branch of our Government either.

Comic, writer, actor, former radio talk show host and mall janitor, Will Durst, knows he doesn't even know how much he doesn't know.
Darting Squirters

Four Star General David Petraeus spoke of George Bush's vaunted troop surge as having unintended consequences, i.e.; the squirts. And no, I'm not kidding. By putting pressure on targeted segments of the bad guys we have caused them to, and I quote, "squirt out of Baghdad." That's right. We squeeze. They squirt. Those darn squirters. Clever little squirters they. Wonder if they dart as well. Darting squirters; that would be something to see. Definitely worth a two drink minimum.

Army Captain Phillip Carter rather likened the surge to a water balloon. We push on one side, and the insurgents squish over to the other. Apparently, Iraq is a brimming bladder beset by the enlarged prostate of occupation. There may be no future in our Baghdadian misadventure, but there is an excess of liquid metaphors. For instance: some people see our involvement as a glass half full of democratic promise, some see it as half empty of morals and others see it as a heathen receptacle equally saturated with the toxic wastes of imperialism and the soul severing venoms of greed.

Doesn't matter what you call whatever it is we find ourselves stuck in: a quagmire, crapstorm, bloodbath, come hell or high water, Bush is not about to abandon ship since democracy is too important to let some silly civil war rain on any corporate earnings parade. Besides, the President has ice water in his veins, and wields the IV of free enterprise. He's got his hand on the nozzle that leaks pipeline profits. And you can't throw the revenue baby out with the insurgent bath water.

Our efforts to push back the tide of Islamic fanaticism are as successful as spitting into the wind- borne drizzle blowing off the Gulf of Oman. All we're doing is adding gelatin to the Kool- Aid and getting sprayed by the hose of dogmatism. The downpour of liberty can't feed the freedom irrigating rivulets of independence when the showers of democracy are doomed to be foiled by the ancient dams of religious fanaticism. And when it rains, it pours. Look at Arkansas.

We all know if a drowning man wants to learn to swim, someone is going to have to get wet. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it vote to share its oil revenue with the Kurds. And let's speak of the forgotten liquid… that black viscous stuff bubbling out of the ground in too great an abundance to ignore. Blood may be thicker than water, but oil is thicker than both. And whoever didn't see that coming doesn't have both oars in the lake, if you fathom my meaning.

We ignore the torrent of ill will spewing from the spigot of anarchy that our invasion turned on at our peril. Same with the boiling emanations of international outrage bubbling over the edge of the stew of chaos we've stirred up. Not to mention the geysers of fury caused by the steaming vapors of collapse. What I'm saying is… people are pissed. And no matter how soon Bush's scheme is deep sixed, we will be cleaning up the debris of this tsunami of sorrow tossed off the Tallahatchee Bridge over troubled waters and washed up on the shore of regret spoiling the broth of 2 dollar a gallon gasoline for a long time. Then again, that's just me. Being a wet blanket.

Comic, writer, actor, former radio talk show host and Amsterdam breakfast chef Will Durst, thinks we're just treading water.
Paris Hilton Pays for George Bush's Sins

Poor poor Paris. Okay. Admittedly, she's as likable as fingernails on a blackboard. Fingernails that have never been chipped in the normal pursuit of an actual day's work AND brandishing an exclusive not- for- sale Chanel sparkle enamel sheathing a recent and impeccable French manicure. But holy moley. People have jumped on the Kick Paris When She's Down train like there were free stacks of 100 dollar bills secreted in the seatback pockets.

Oh sure, I get the whole schadenfreude as a spectator sport. Our fascination with the train wreck of supercilious celebrity. Build them up to tear them down. It was cumulative. Year after year of exposure to her pirouetting down the runways of the world collecting obscene amounts of cash for supplying a face to smug. Perfecting the art of being famous for being famous. My theory is part of this gleeful piling on can be traced to our built up frustration with Dubyah. We've got blue balls for accountability and are kicking this poor poodle of a person as a Presidential proxy.

Last September she blew the illegal minimum of .08 after being caught driving erratically on what she described as a midnight burger run. Yeah. Right. Burger run. Redeeming her maxed out frequent burger card at the Fatburger on La Cienega I'm sure. She was fined fifteen hundred bucks, given 36 months probation and had her license suspended. Then in January, she was caught driving on that suspended license… twice. The second time clocked doing 70 in a 35. Should have been enough right there.

The 26 year old wannabee pop star or spoiled heiress or fledgling actress or whatever the hell she is pleaded ignorance about the whole driving with a suspended license being illegal, apparently unfamiliar with the definition of suspension or like Leona Helmsley, convinced the law only applies to we little people. Either she wasn't a good enough actress to sell the stupidity defense or ran into a judge who just didn't like her attitude. Probably not the first time, but quite possibly the first time anybody was in a position to do something about it.

45 days in prison. Reduced to 23 days which she surrendered to serve but then the sheriff released her after 3 days due to an undisclosed medical condition. Which remains undisclosed. General consensus is she suffers from an allergy to icky coupled with a severe aversion to yuck. Whereupon all kinds of Hollywood hell broke out. The judge flipped out. Sent her back to jail. And much doubling over with undisguised merriment ensued. News anchors couldn't hide their delight: "Ha ha, rich girl. Welcome to the real world." Which they are familiar with how? Oh that's right; by regularly reading stories based in it.

We're guilty as well, of pasting George Bush's face onto her emaciated frame. He is the Paris Hilton of Presidents. The two of them share the smirk and the obliviousness and the trust funders' undying belief in their eternal impunity from culpability. If you were asked who better fit the definition… "clueless upper class twit marinated in an overwhelming sense of entitlement and never held accountable for a single thing they ever did," would you pick Paris or George or both? Payback is a bitch. Especially proxy payback. Pardon Scooter Libby? Hell with that, Bush should pardon Paris. After all, she's paying for his sins.

Comic, writer, actor, former radio talk show host and clown shill, Will Durst, wonders if jail will alter her trademarked "I'm so bored, it's an effort to keep my right eye open" look.
Not Your Species Monkey Boy

In response to what hopefully is the final tail- slapping video of The Frenzied Errant Whale Saga: The Sequel, I have some advice for the people in charge that might come in handy the next time a couple of ocean going behemoths appear in waters in which you don't think they belong. LEAVE THEM ALONE. GET OUT OF THEIR WAY. DON'T EVEN LOOK AT THEM. Let the immense beasts go their own way without your questionable assistance. They are not your species monkey boy. You are helping the same way silverware helps a garbage disposal.

Especially when your idea of help consists of poking them with sticks, banging on pipes, spraying with fire hoses and piping underwater recordings of killer whale noises near where you think they might be. Pretty much the watery equivalent of throwing crap against a wall and seeing what sticks. You had no idea what you were doing. You had no idea if it helped. You had no idea if you made it worse. Why? Because, listen closely, You Are Not A Whale.

And I know you can't control the urge to anthropomorphize everything to cute and cuddly beanie baby status but come on: Delta & Dawn? Gag. You don't give solemn ancient behemoth creatures punny adorable names. Their real monikers are probably elegant mournful sounds like Errraauuuuuuuuuugh and Meeeeaaaraaauuuugh. How would you like it if a whale called your daughter Reeeuuuuubaaaaaaag on TV?

No, we don't know why they're here. Who cares? Maybe they had a telepathic message for Nancy Pelosi to get her act together or were changing the batteries on the delta's pollution monitors or fresh water annoys the barnacles on their dorsals. Then again, maybe their ancestors regaled them with heroic Humpback tales of the Delta and they were moseying around looking at the legendary sights; just really big tourists. Like the Germans at Yosemite. With blowholes. And yes, that is funny and no, it's not redundant.

Could be they're related to that whale who made the same trip about 20 years ago. Remember him? You named him Humphrey. He meandered around the Delta for a month and nothing you did deterred him. And you banged on the same pots and shot off the same fire hoses this time around. What, did you think using Teflon pots was going to make the difference? Or maybe this year's sticks were pointier. Wait, I got it: these recorded Orca sounds were HD CDs.

Here's another tip. YOU DON'T SPEAK HUMPBACK. Be careful of your communication attempts. For all you know, the sounds you were making got translated as "Anchovy Bar: Straight Ahead," or "Special Humpback discount on all things Krill!" Or, "Danger, danger. For the sake of the planet, swallow the entire boat in front of you NOW."

I have a theory as to why they returned to sea. Either they were distressed at all the diesel fuel you were wasting exhibiting your extreme concern or they were afraid your concern might turn taxidermic. Does the term "hunting for blubber" have any meaning here? Save the Whales, my ass. They're whales. Save yourself.

Wow, even comic, writer, actor, former radio talk show host and oyster shucker, Will Durst, is a bit taken aback at his vehemence.
Hill Songs

We members of the CCJU; the Comics, Clowns & Jesters Union, can currently be found moping around, wearing an excess of black, plunged into a state of funk that can only be called "pre- mourning" as we anticipate the end of what will surely be known as the Golden Era of political humor. The reign of George W Bush is nearing an end. Destined to go down in history as the worst President EVER, and that includes William Henry Harrison, the guy who gave a three hour Inaugural Speech in the rain, caught pneumonia and served 30 days prone in a sick bed until becoming the first President to die in office.

The Bush Administration would give its eyeteeth to be looked upon as possessing that kind of successful legacy. He was, is and shall be for 20 more months, the Full Employment Act for Political Comedy. Like if Reagan and Quayle had a kid. He's Quagan, and sharing the first four letters with quagmire only adds to the fun.

So the end is near and woe is we, and in three or four years our careers will mostly consist of inquiring, "You want lids on these?" But wait. There's a glimmer of hope flashing on the hill. And yes, I am talking about THE hill: Hillary Rodham Clinton. Who just offered up the choice of her official Presidential campaign song into the hands of we, the great unwashed. And if you don't think that's the comedic equivalent of a batting practice fastball lobbed right into our wheelhouse, you wouldn't know a comedy premise from roasted sesame paste.

Of course, the Hillster has attempted to limit our selections to certain pre screened songs. "BEAUTIFUL DAY" by U2. "GET READY" by the Temptations. "I'LL TAKE YOU THERE" by Staple Singers. Smash Mouth's remake of "I'M A BELIEVER." Five others. Bunch of typical lame ass options if you ask me. Little creativity and not much of a window for laughs. But that's why we get paid the big bucks. To open that window wide enough for all of our fat lazy humor butts to squeeze through. Brace yourself. Open wide. Here goes.

A few optional tunes that might goose the Junior Senator of New York's campaign not to mention help with the whole perception that she has a rod up her butt the size of the John Hancock Building.

ALTERNATIVE OFFICIAL HILLARY CLINTON PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN SONGS. Why does Justin Timberlake have to be the only who's bringing SEXYBACK?" Hunh? Go for it Hill. Or how bout "YOU CAN'T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT" by the Stones? Let your contributors down gently. Want to rekindle the past while still grasping for the future? Alter Bill's old song into "DON'T STOP THINKING ABOUT YESTERDAY." Need an anthem? What better anthem is there than Gloria Gaynor's "I WILL SURVIVE?" For some comic relief: "I GOT FRIENDS IN LOW PLACES," or "IT'S TOO LATE BABY." But no, better save that last one in case Al Gore decides to jump in. I got it: "THE THEME FROM SHAFT." Maybe too candid, as might be Elton John's "THE BITCH IS BACK." But if Senator Clinton wants a little payback with her pomp and circumstance, imagine the look on Bill's face every time he's stuck on stage while the orchestra introduces she, the candidate, by kicking out Mitch Ryder's "DEVIL WITH A BLUE DRESS." Heh heh heh. Thanks Hillary. This looks to be the start of a beautiful relationship.

Comic, writer, actor, former radio talk show host and audience wrangler, Will Durst, thinks Ms Clinton could also acknowledge the obvious; "FAT BOTTOMED GIRLS" by Queen. After all, they make the rocking world go round.
You Got to Love Dick

You got to love Dick. Vice President Cheney that is. He made another unannounced visit to Iraq in his unofficial capacity as heavy schtarker foreign policy hit man for that Halliburton subsidy, the Bush White House. "So, Mr. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, you're planning on letting the Iraqi Parliament go on vacation for two months while our troops keep on protecting your sorry asses. Well, perhaps a few minutes alone with the ENFORCER will set you straight." CUE DARTH VADER THEME.

To me, the biggest shocker is he entered a battle zone under his own free will. Must have burned through all his deferments back in the 60s. Then again, maybe wars, just like kids, are different when they're your own. Yes they are! They're special. A gift from God. Landing at an undisclosed base near Baghdad, he descended the airplane steps wearing a flak jacket under his suit coat, which seems to indicate his bullet repelling powers are diminishing.

But his powers of polarization remain intact. When Hugo Chavez called President Bush the devil at the UN, he was way out of line. Everybody knows Bush isn't the devil. Cheney is. Bush is just his little helper monkey. I can prove Cheney is the devil. Who else but the devil could shoot a guy in the face with a gun and get the victim to apologize? "I wish to beg forgiveness for placing my bulbous head between the gun and the bird thereby ruining the shot of my dark lord. I must now slither away to remove the scuff marks from his cloven hooves."

I got to say, there is something about Dick Cheney that I admire. His single mindedness for instance. The man will say or do whatever it takes to get what he wants. Probably explains why he's so dismissive of Democrats. He legitimately does not understand them. He will do anything: lie, cheat, steal, eat bugs, sell out his daughter; whatever he deems necessary to achieve his goal. While with Democrats, it's often a struggle to get them to actually take their own side in an argument. "Well, that's true… but then again, my point is valid too. Oh for crum's sake, you're probably right." With the Vice President, there's no artifice. I'm not saying he doesn't lie. He does. Often. Without regard to any facts. He just doesn't give a good rat's ass if you know he's lying.

Besides, who else can look evil wearing a short sleeved shirt? Who else can get laughs by drinking a glass of water while George Bush talks? Who else could sell the country on the concept of compassionate torture? He's a shark with glasses. Which might be the basis of his heart problems. His native species is not totally familiar with the function of that particular organ. What's he have, a cardiovascular event every three weeks? Got a pacemaker the size of a garage door opener. And I'm going to miss him when he leaves the public eye in 20 months. Too bad he can't run for President, but the Secret Service would never abide a Chief Executive susceptible to assassination by microwave oven.

Comic, writer, actor, former radio talk show host and audience wrangler, Will Durst, knows that during the Anthrax scare, they had George Bush opening Dick Cheney's mail.
George & Attila

When a ton of crap is dumped from way high above into the lake of our lives, we rarely worry about the tiny arcing droplets splashing on our face mainly because we're too busy keeping our boats afloat and our breathing apparatuses above water, but I would like to spotlight a seemingly insignificant drop of moisture pooling at the end of our nose that is destined to affect us for the rest of our natural born days. Namely: the name George. Which is getting such a bad rap these days, it will soon qualify for 12 step status. "Hi, my name's George and I'm a George." "Hi George."

Even though this honorable moniker stands as a symbol of our country's birthing struggle due to the father of our nation wrestling its honor from the crazed clutches of King George III, parents must be having second, third and no thoughts whatsoever about naming their kids George lest it be seen as a tacit approval of the ways and means of the current administration. Hell, I bet the names Mothra, Dweezil and Philomena get better placement in the baby name books than George and/ or Georgette do over the next couple of decades. Wouldn't be surprised to hear Prince George, British Columbia attempts to change its handle to Margaritaville.

Like the demise of free buffalo chicken wings during happy hour, all it takes is one or two little snortie pigs stuffing the plastic bag- lined pockets of their overcoats to ruin it for everybody. Well, in this case, everybody named George. No, scratch that, I was right the first time: ruin it for everybody. And for lowering the bar on this whole Jorge thing so deep you'd have to dig about six feet under ground just to get a sonar detection on it the responsibility lies with the usual suspects; Presidents number 41 & 43. But god knows, they are not alone.

Earlier this month, the alleged Boy George was busted for allegedly imprisoning an alleged male prostitute and triple extra credit for anybody who can hold that image in their head for more than fifteen seconds, and now… NOW… along comes Medal of Freedom winning (hack) former head of the CIA, George Tenet, who writes a book saying he was never that big of a fan of the Iraqi war, and was a reluctant player, simply going along to get along and now he's not sure if it was a good idea or not and enh, enhhhh enhh, weh weh weh weh weh, all the way home, and hey! What's that noise? Oh, it's the sound of the final nails being hammered into the George coffin. Dearly beloved, it is my sad duty to inform you, that George, as we know it, is over. Exists no more. It's history. In the archives. Elapsed. Expired. It's gone. Say bye.

This might even prove to be fatal blow. A death knell for the venerable name of George. Kind of like what happened to Attila and Adolf and Dick and Maynard. Of course, pets will still be called George, based on the modern children's classics: George of the Jungle and Curious George. While we grown ups can only fantasize about how truly marvelous this world would be, if only we were blessed with a President whose mind had a predilection towards the latter rather than the geography of the former.

Comic, writer, actor, former radio talk show host and brief holder of the Guinness Book or World Records for continuous joke telling at 16 hours and 44 minutes, Will Durst wonders if Gorgar is a derivative of George?
The Curious Case Of The Amnesiac Attorney General

I'm afraid it is my duty to impart some bad news, people and I advise you all to sit down before you fall down. The Attorney General of the United States apparently is suffering from a horrible disease. Best case scenario is we're talking a tertiary case of situational amnesia here. And for a lawyer, that can't be good. In his recent appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Alberto Gonzales was unable to recall anything… 45 times. And that was before lunch. Maybe it's simply a case of hypoglycemia, since after lunch, he only couldn't recollect 29 times. I don't mean to minimize the critical nature of this crisis but the solution seems obvious to me: between meal snacks.

The scary part is, as head of the Justice Department, Gonzales is ostensibly the country's top lawyer, although after this performance, I doubt if he's destined to be the top lawyer on the Greyhound he'll soon be riding back to Texas. Hey, he's the guy who said "the moment I believe I can no longer be effective, I will resign as Attorney General," and right about now even his staunchest supporters have to be ordering mylar balloons delivered to the D of J with "don't let the door hit you in the butt on the way out" stenciled on them.

When asked about the decision to fire 8 federal prosecutors, Gonzales insisted he wasn't involved, then after e-mails about meetings he attended were released, okay, maybe he was involved. But just a little. Microscopically. An eensy teensy teeny wee bit of a tad. He did admit to making the decision to fire the US Attorneys but couldn't remember when he made the decision. Seems to be a perennial theme with this Administration. "Had absolutely nothing to do with it. Oh, you have evidence? Nope. Sorry. Can't remember. It's all a blur."

At the hearing, Senators accused Bush's torture champion of being dishonest, deceitful, incompetent, evasive, inept, underhanded, misleading, smelling like rancid olive loaf and looking like he's wearing his father's burial suit. Not to mention scaring small children with a high squeaky voice that over broadcast airwaves has been known to activate smoke alarms, lawn sprinklers and TIVO recordings of Gladiator movies. And those were the Republicans. With friends like these, who needs Democrats?

In a show of solidarity the President assured the country that the Attorney General had his full confidence. "Doing a heckuva job, Alberto." Actually talked about how pleased he was with Gonzales's performance even though a staffer conceded he had not seen any of the testimony. I'm thinking the main reason he's supporting him is because "Attorney General" and "Alberto Gonzales" have the same initials and it's the only way he can remember who's filling the position.

The low point may have been when Gonzales attempted to explain away the personnel changes as sometimes coming down to just not the right people at the right time, and South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham asked "If I applied that standard to you, what would you say?" And the entire room erupted into laughter. And you know what, that can't be good either. For him or for us.

Comic, writer, actor, former radio talk show host and oyster shucker, Will Durst has oil slicks in his memory as well.
Staking The Hypocritical Oafs

I'm a little worried about the Republicans. I am. My job is to mock and scoff and taunt and these days it's almost too easy. I was taught you don't kick people when they're down. Which probably qualifies me as a weenie or a wuss in their book. Hence the famous retractable 8 penny serrated hobnails in the toes of Karl Rove's boots. But lately to imply they're a tad disorganized is like musing Don Imus might not be first choice to play Santa at the 2007 CBS Christmas Party. Not only isn't this your father's Republican Party. It's not even George Bush's father's Republican Party any more. You could go so far as to say that this Republican Party is mighty disconnected from the Republic and it sure ain't no party.

Over at the White House, the President's head is in danger of snapping right off as he swivels to and fro explaining why he won't sign the $120 billion supplemental war funding bill about to be sent to him by the Democratic Congress. Initially he claimed his threatened veto was due to the bill's surfeit of Democratic earmarks. Then his earmarks were found stapled to it, not to mention hundreds of Republican legislative post- it notes attached to the $94 billion supplemental war funding bill he did sign last June. Causing him to switch tactics faster than a fifth year art school undergrad disrobes at Burning Man. Now says he won't sign the bill because of its artificial timetable for Iraqi troop withdrawal. Apparently he's interested in an organic timetable. An heirloom tomato and tofu timetable.

Meanwhile, in another part of town, Republicans jumped all over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her speaking to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad- totally ignoring the fact that three Republican Congressman made the exact same trip and spoke to the very same Syrian President in Damascus on April 1. I'm sure it was written it off as an April Fool's Day prank. Next I suppose they'll complain Pelosi traveled on a bigger plane than the Republicans. Or she usurped frequent flyer miles that rightfully belong to Condoleezza Rice.

On Capitol Hill you got Connecticut Senator, Joe Lieberman. And don't bother with the Independent stuff. The man is such a lapdog of the Administration, if you listen real close to C-SPAN, you can hear his toenails echo off the marble floors of the Rotunda. Referring to Moqtada al- Sadar's rally where hundreds of thousands burned American flags and chanted "Americans Leave Now," Lieberman called it a good thing. "He's striking a nationalist chord… acknowledging that the surge is working," going a long way to convince sane persons that somebody has negatives of him, naked with a goat and turkey baster.

Speaking of Iraq, that's where Representative Mike Pence put his foot in his mouth so deep , his Kevlar loafer got wrapped in his own lower intestine, when he talked about a heavily fortified trip to a market in Baghdad as "a normal outdoor market in Indiana in the summertime." Funny, I grew up in the Midwest. Totally missed the whole armored humvee, sharpshooters on roofs, bulletproof vest market shopping deal.

And then there's the candidates. John McCain echoing yet distancing himself from his buddy Pence. Rudy Giuliani telling Alabama he sees nothing wrong with flying the Confederate Flag. And those hotel pillowcases with the eye holes cut in them… snazzy! Mitt Romney bragging about being a lifelong hunter then admitting he's only been hunting twice. Those wacky Republicans and their fuzzy math. That kind of thinking could qualify George Bush as a lifelong reader but definitely continues the GOP tradition of being lifelong targets of my sophomoric sniping. Long may they hypocrize.

Comic, writer, actor, former radio talk show host and advertising copy writer Will Durst, wants to be the first to wear the jolly old elf's suit and walk up to Imus bellowing "ho ho ho."
Presidential Spring Training

The World Series of Presidential politics may be 19 months down the road, but the players are already lacing up their cleats and playing pepper with fungo bats on the sandlots of Iowa and New Hampshire. Yes, my friends, it's spring training for the Presidency. A spring training where fund raising takes the place of calisthenics. And batting clinics are supplanted by fund raising. And the closet full of Ace Bandages is now packed with envelopes earmarked for… you got it, fund raising.

With no sitting President or Vice President running for the first time in 80 years, the 08 field promises to be more crowded than a trainer's table after the first day of wind sprints for pitchers and Molinas. Besides, this is America. Where any Dominican can become a shortstop and any American can become President, although when they coined that phrase, I'm not sure they had George Bush in mind.

So here is our scouting report on some of the announced and presumed contenders for the upcoming political season in which everybody has faith that if just a few breaks fall their way, and a couple of opposing teams' managers get caught peddling steroids to preschoolers or bogus opposition research to the Washington Post, they got a shot. Except the Marlins and Dennis Kucinich, that is.


7 to 2. New York Senator Hillary Clinton.
Like the Yankees she's a converted fan of, acts miffed nomination isn't just handed to her and instead has to actually compete for it.

4 to 1. Illinois Senator Barack Obama.
Might not be ready for hardball practiced at this level. Already got into a pimp slapping contest with Hillary and lost.

7 to 1. Former North Carolina Senator John Edwards.
Clinging to trademark "Two Americas" pitch. Extra 4 years of Bush might help public catch up to message.

15 to 1. Former VP Al Gore.
Lurking on deck ready to bop someone on head with his Oscar until Florida Supreme Court takes it away.

50 to 1. Delaware Senator Joe Biden.
Back on disabled list with persistent foot in the mouth disease. A little too comfortable flossing with own shoelaces.

500 to 1. The Field.
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson. In it for the Vice Presidency.
Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd. In it for the parties.
Former Alaska Governor Mike Gravel. Who? Gravel? Alaska? Cool. In it for Secretary of the Interior.

8,000,000 to 1. Former Ohio Senator Dennis Kucinich.
Could lose Iowa straw poll to the straw.


3 to 1. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Highlighting commitment to traditional family values. Having had 3 wives just means he's extra traditional. Better chance to win Series than to get there.

9 to 2. Arizona Senator John McCain. Wily veteran. Lost a few miles on his fast ball. Doubts persist as to whether he is up for long grueling season.

6 to 1. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Wearing Al Gore's oversized flip flops. Also has Mormon thing to get past. Might be a positive. Public gets bored with 1st Lady, can always move on to 2nd Lady, then 3rd Lady and so on.

15 to 1. Fred Thompson. Warming up in bullpen, if needed to relieve. Of course America would never accept an actor as President. Oh.

200 to 1. Former Governor of New York, George Pataki. Bad timing. Country not ready for another President named George. Severe 3rd Degree George fatigue.

400 to 1. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. Bad timing. Country not ready for another Governor of Arkansas as President. Arkansas fatigue.

5000 to 1. The Field.
California Congressman Duncan Hunter. In it for 2012.
Texas Congressman Ron Paul. In it for Texas.
Kansas Senator Sam Brownback. In it for the babies.
Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo. In it to get the illegals.
Former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson. In it for the cheese.

Comic, writer, actor, former radio talk show host and sod farmer, Will Durst, picks the Giants and the Yankees to meet in the World Series.
Partisan Witch Hunts on YouTube

Strap on your seat belts and nuke some popcorn because we got ourselves a Battle Royale between the two gnarliest branches of government that a tree has ever seen. In the left hand corner, back from wandering in the wilderness, the Democrats are just itching to exercise their rediscovered clout. Over in the right hand corner, after six years of unchallenged rule, the Executive branch is not taking kindly to having to answer to mere mortals. It's Countdown to a Crisis! The stoppable force versus the movable object.

Watch Executive Privilege do battle with the People's Right to Know! Thrill as Attorney General Alberto Gonzales takes on Senator Charles Schumer in a steel cage match. Both in loincloths. Tremble as March Madness calls for a time out from the hardwood floors and takes a spin on polished marble aisles. C-SPAN meets the WWE in a contest of Constitutional Chicken. Who wins? The American people, that's who. And the lawyers, of course.

This holy mess stems from Congress' determination to talk to Harriet Miers and Karl Rove to ascertain possible political motivation in the firings of 8 US Attorneys. President Bush, however, is being steadfast, which is a nice way of saying stubborn as a Texas mule. He maintains that if his staff is compelled to testify, they might become reluctant to give him advice. Reviewing the advice they've been giving him lately, maybe that's not such a bad thing. Maybe he should be reluctant to accept it.

Reprising his award winning East Wing talent show impression of Howie Mandel, the President issued Congress an ultimatum: you want talk, okay, they'll talk; but only off the record in private under a cone of silence or not at all. Deal or no deal. The Democrats took about 9 nanoseconds before hitting the "no deal" button. Responding to their vow to uncover the wolf in the Administration, the President says if subpoenas are issued he'll huff and he'll puff and he'll blow their house down.

The Justice Department did as the Justice Department does, exacerbating the situation by doling out more explanations than Will Ferrell has facial tics. Initially, the lay offs were performance related. Then the federal prosecutors were let go due to incompetence. Theirs, not the DOJ. Other excuses started leaking out like Monterey Jack from an overstuffed quesadilla: low departmental morale. Insubordination. Pockets full of fish hooks. Double knit pants. Substandard dinner table manners. Grey shoes. Cooties.

Why would anybody think the President's men would mislead us? Oh yeah, that's right; Enron. Middle class tax cuts. Social Security. Stem cells. Prescription Drug Plan. WMDs. Valerie Plame. And what was Scooter Libby convicted of? Why, it was perjury wasn't it? Speaking of which, Karl Rove has called this brouhaha a partisan witch hunt and claims it's a case of "pure politics." Which, coming from the Hall of Fame grandmaster of partisan witch hunts, the Democrats should consider a compliment.

I think the President is on the wrong track here public relations wise, with the whole behind- closed- doors, untranscripted non deposition thing. This is America, George. We're not secret testimony people. We're out- in- the- open people. We're air- it- in- the- public- forum people. You should throw it up on Youtube. Besides, whenever our rights are being stripped from us to keep us free, aren't you the one who's always saying that the innocent have nothing to hide? Hmmm?

Comic, writer, actor, former radio talk show host and stationary store stock boy in Hollywood, Will Durst, can't wait for the director's cut.
The Department Of Just Us

For those of you who enjoyed the devastation that the Bush Administration unloaded on America through the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the K Street Project, you're going to love the Extreme Makeover going on over at your new Department of Justice. Where justice stems from the eye of The Decider.

You might think that dragging around an approval rating lower than that of a flatulent weasel crashing a preschool prophylactic pageant, President Bush would be handicapped in accumulating another stash of clueless roommates, obscure toadies and party hacks to fill important government posts, but you my friend, would have another think coming. Even in his position as the lamest of ducks, the Prez remains steadfast in his two term mission to replace experienced professionals with the wretched excesses of party flackery, or more precisely- a reflection of him.

The story so far: say you're a good Republican afflicted with a problem US Attorney who has not demonstrated proper exuberance whilst prosecuting Democratics near election time or one who refuses to apologize for stepping on a few big contributor toes, well don't you worry your pretty little head, because a single call to the Attorney Weasel, Alberto Gonzalez, and you got yourself a slack jawed partisan lackey waiting to fill the offending prosecutor's shoes. With Kleenex.

8 US Attorneys have been fired without explanation despite positive internal performance reviews. And most have been or are on track to be replaced with candidates whose major qualifications is knowing the correct response to the Republican Party's "Jump!" command is to inquire "How high?" Head Toady Karl Rove undoubtedly has an basement assembly line stamping out a series of clones learning his sinister brand of myopic kowtowing as we speak.

Apparently the fact that these guys have less experience with the law than your average IHOP early bird shift manager is a good thing. Can't teach an old dog new suck ups. Although many potential replacements must have gained valuable experience from being called as character witnesses for the defense in Scooter Libby's recent trial.

Some of those fired, I'm sorry, let go, or rather, victims of partisan duty management were warned not to talk to the press or risk retaliation such as the further trashing of their reputation. Who knows what diabolical measures these fiendish minds might conceive? Possible links to Joseph Biden? Or having Robert Novack disclose connections to such anti- American movements as law school?

In the old days, before the threat of terrorism loomed over everything in this country like a rain gutter over an ant farm during monsoon season, the administration needed Senate approval for appointing new US attorneys, but snuck a provision into the Patriot Act allowing the Attorney General to appoint new federal prosecutors at his discretion. "Checks and balances? We don't need no stinking checks and balances."

You'd think if anybody, the Department of Justice would be immune from politics. You know… justice- moral integrity. Rightness. I'm thinking someone became fixated on the left hand part of that word. Totally forgot about the people's Justice. By, for and of the people. But these are the new days. When even an Easter Egg Hunt can be politicized. And the Department of Justice can become the Department of Just Us. And that us, don't include you or me.

Comic, writer, actor, former radio talk show host and bus boy in the Grand Canyon, Will Durst, wants to know where Jimmy Stewart is when we need him?
Passenger Bill Of Rights

Due to a spate of recent negative publicity, the airline industry has embarked on a public relations blitz aimed at reversing the public's perception that flight service has sunk to the level of a winged Greyhound with holes in the floorboards. Good luck. I can't believe it took this long for people to finally flip out because over the last couple of years, we frequent flyers have become so accustomed to being treated like fleshy baggage, some of us have spontaneously sprouted handles.

Jetblue blamed their meltdowns on weather and overtaxed computers but its problems are endemic of an industry that routinely treats its customers like mushrooms; kept in the dark and fed an especially fertile form of compost (in lieu of in- flight meals.) And it takes a threat by Congress to pass a legislated passenger bill of rights, to goose the industry into running around promoting a series of noncompulsory and voluntary programs whose implementation will last about as long as an igloo concession in the Gobi Desert. They've pulled this penitentiary wool over our eyes before and will continue to just as long as they can convince us that they are concerned about anything but their bottom line.

You know the dance. An in house publicist strides purposely to a podium and solemnly announces the airline is "really really sorry and promises to try harder and will do everything in their power to make sure something like this or that or whatever happened never happens again. Ever. Honest." And if it does, tough. Just stay out of their face mister, and don't try complaining to a gate agent or they'll summon security so fast it'll make your head swim. Shockingly, they're a bit vague about specifics, but this I can assure you: the changes will be cosmetic and about as effective as a rope handle on a shovel or a colander constructed out of 2 by 4s or a parka with the pockets filled with pudding. Here's a few of the rumored service improvements members of the 7 mile club can expect to see coming to a jetway near you.

• After a plane is stranded for a minimum of 6 hours of tarmac delay, First Class male passengers allowed to use coach class bulkheads as urinals.
• From this day on, corporate policy mandates gate personnel will respond to questions about departure delays with an indecisive shrug instead of a condescending sneer.
• Flight attendants will no longer shriek at passengers "suck sand and die" without first flashing trademark friendly sky smile.
• Gravel used to fill headrests to be pounded into pea sized fragments instead of marble sized fragments.
• Once departure delay passes 4 hour mark, liquor to be poured directly into passengers' mouths at a 10% discount.
• Airsick bags now double lined and minty fresh.
• Emergency exit information cards soon to feature 4 color illustrations of Cajun artist Rodrigue's lovable Blue Dog.
• Seatbacks to recline a full 13/16 of an inch instead of previous 3/4 of an inch.
• Crying children under age of 4 to be sequestered in overhead compartments.
• Luggage certified to no longer arrive late and at a destination other than yours. Now you're guaranteed one or the other.
• Reading lamps will be repositioned to focus on your seat partner's knees rather than your seat partner's feet.

Comic, writer, actor, former radio talk show host and sod farmer, Will Durst, is a 1k flyer on United.
The 14th Annual “TGFTLSBIAC” Awards

Better strap a hair spray filter over your mouth, because it's red carpet season everybody. That blessed time of the year when mere mortals like us derive major entertainment value from watching famous singers, actors, starlets, athletes, has beens and other celebrity wannabees strut and pout and smirk and flaunt and blandish blatant attempts at replicating sincerity during that tiny window of their career that occurs between hiring a big league publicist and having had so much plastic surgery they start to frighten small children and weasels, by which I mean their agents.

Inside the Beltway they call politics show business for ugly people, but absolutely no awards are given out to our hardworking representatives. Unless you call the honor of serving we, the unwashed hoi polloi scurrying about their districts, a just award. "Being elected to serve to good people of (insert place name here) is all the award I need." Gag. But some of these guys and gals have gone the extra mile and deserve to be recognized for their unstinting effort in making my job as a political humorist as easy as slam dunking from a step ladder.

And although attempts to secure a television deal for the awards ceremony this year were less than successful, our salivating expectations of extreme schadenfruede will not be absorbed by the bib of lamentation, as we hand out for the 14th time, the prestigious TGFTLSBIAC awards. The "Thank God For These Liquid Squeezebags Because I'm a Comic" Awards. Your gift bag is in the mail.

• THE BEST IMPRESSION OF A SLEEPY LIZARD IN SEARCH OF A WARM ROCK AWARD: and the winner is… I'm sorry, we're all winners. The award goes to Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell edging out 6 time winner Vice President Dick Cheney.
• THE COLLATERAL DAMAGE AWARD: goes to Rhode Island Senator Lincoln Chafee. Sorry buddy. Nothing personal.
• THE CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR AWARD: newcomer Connecticut Senate Candidate Ned Lamont.
• THE IF HE WERE A HORSE, WE'D HAVE TO SHOOT HIM AWARD: a repeat recipient, Delaware Senator Joseph Biden.
• THE "JOHN KERRY" WORST CAMPAIGN EVER AWARD: although California Gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides gave her a run for her money, this year's award goes to Congresswoman Katherine Harris for her Florida Senate campaign which to call faulty from the get go would be generous.
• THE SMILE SO TIGHT YOU CAN HEAR THE ENAMEL CRACKING AWARD: she's been working for this for years, how bout a hand for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in an upset over defending champ Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
• THE YOU CAN'T KEEP A GRASPING RAVENOUSLY AMBITIOUS MAN DOWN AWARD: and the winner is… Alf's dad, Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman.
• THE NOBODY RETURNS MY CALLS ANYMORE AWARD: In a runaway, former Congressman Mark Foley overtakes early favorites former Congressmen Bob Ney and Duke Cunningham.
• THE MOST IMPORTANT MAN IN AMERICA AWARD: For the 7th year in a row, Supreme Court Justice John Paul Steven's doctor. • THE LET'S SETTLE GLOBAL DISPUTES BY HOLDING HANDS AND SINGING KUMBAYA AWARD: holding steady at 1% in polls that sport a 4% margin of error: Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich.
• THE COMEDIC TIMING OF AN END TABLE AWARD: It's a tie! Hugo Chavez and John Kerry.
• THE PROOF THAT LAWYERS EAT THEIR YOUNG AWARD: sweeping the field with multiple nominations is Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
• THE CLOCK IS TICKING AWARD: finds Iraqi President Nouri Al- Maliki narrowly defeating last year's winner Scooter Libby.
• POP GOES THE WEASEL HEAD AWARD: sadly, this award posthumously goes to Saddam Hussein's brother.
• THE UNCLEAR ON THE CONCEPT OF PAYBACK AWARD: is given to the entire Republican Party Congressional Caucus for whining about the Democrat Party cutting them out of the legislative process.
• THE REALITY TRUMPS FICTION AWARD: in a crowded field, the clear winner is Mister Cash in the Freezer himself, Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson.
• THE "HOIST ON YOUR OWN PETARD" LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: goes to, and he couldn't be more deserving, Tom Delay.

Comic, writer, actor, former radio talk show host and oyster shucker, Will Durst, is talking to the makers of "Head-On" to become sponsor of next year's awards.
Executive Time Out Or Phuket?

In a stunning announcement that shook Capitals and media centers around the globe, White House press Secretary Tony Snow read a simple statement at an extraordinary 2 am press conference last night revealing that George W Bush, the 43rd President of the United States, has entered an undisclosed medical facility for therapy. No further information was forthcoming as to whether the treatment was for emotional distress, drug or alcohol abuse or just an "executive timeout" but an eyewitness claims the decision for the President to enter rehab was anything but voluntary.

According to a pedestrian taking a late night stroll past the White House on the way back to her hotel, "he was putting up an awful fuss." The middle aged government employee from Joliet, Illinois who prefers to remain anonymous, went on to describe an unidentified white male screaming "I don't want to go to sleep away camp. I'm the decider. I'm the decider," before a blue blanket was thrown over his head and he was hustled down the front steps into an unmarked emergency vehicle which sped away from the White House grounds in a westerly direction. Speculation centers on whether the President's final destination was Bethesda Naval Hospital or the refrigerated hold of a Fed Ex cargo plane bound for the Thai island of Phuket.

Avoiding the subject of his Commander- in- Chief's absence completely, Vice President Dick Cheney addressed a hastily assembled joint session of Congress to reassure the country and the world that America's ship of state would stay the course and little if anything would change. On both sides of the aisle, several shoulders were seen to slump at the news. After the Acting President's speech, in a secure ladies' room inside the Capitol, a high level source claims to have observed Betty Ford pat First Lady Laura Bush's hand in a "there, there" gesture while Condoleezza Rice weeped uncontrollably behind a locked stall. Because of the hour, most foreign leaders were unavailable for comment but Prime Minister Tony Blair of the United Kingdom was reported to have muttered, "Thank God," after receiving the news at 10 Downing Street.

Some experts call this unprecedented action an attempt by the Administration to elicit sympathy in the face of a botched war and plummeting poll numbers. University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee sociologist Dr. Deborah Camp called the move "as repellent and transparent as cellophane shoes." She went on to elaborate. "It's a dance of repentance, but they seemed to have skipped the step where the luminary publicly admits to bad behavior then disappears. Maybe this is a reverse strategy, which has been their standard procedure."

Her colleague, Dr. Robert Bielefeld theorized the President was subject of an intervention, but doesn't hold out hope for a lasting cure. "Most celebrities, especially politicians, aren't serious about changing their behavior. Certainly not those who disappear for a few weeks to vaguely defined, unsupervised counseling programs complete with open pharmacies, HBO and stripper poles planted around the pool."

The President follows in the fresh footsteps of a slew of renown rehab patients such as boxer Mike Tyson, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, the Reverend Ted Haggard, Congressman Mark Foley, Miss USA Tara Connor, who- knows- what- the- hell- he- does Michael Richards, actors Mel Gibson, Lindsay Lohan, Robin Williams, Isaiah Washington, Robert Downey Jr, nine Cincinnati Bengals, 4 entire NBA teams, Panama and about three quarters of the Kennedy clan. Internet rumors to the effect that the President is sharing Courtney Love's old room with actor Crispin Glover have not been confirmed.

Comic, writer, actor, former radio talk show host and bartender, Will Durst, speculates the blue blanket was a childhood favorite from the ranch in Crawford.

The two minute warning has sounded and you can almost smell relief approaching like a cheese pretzel from two sections of drunken Raider fans away. They always string it out, but this year our "get it over with already" meter is pinning deep in the red as the NFL season mercifully comes to an end on Sunday. When the Indianapolis Colts take the field as 7 point favorites against the Chicago Bears, in what is being called the I- 65 Showdown, named for the 160 miles of freeway that separates the two cities and not the average IQ of anybody who still gives a rat's ass after two long weeks of empty hype. Do we really need to analyze the coaches' horoscopes down to the moon signs? Throw in 6 and a half hours of pre game coverage yet to come, and we're talking PR OD.

Super Bowl XLI, fancy roman numeral language for forty one, is being held in Miami, the same city planning to host a "Hooray, Fidel Castro has Assumed Room Temperature" Party, as soon as the khaki clad Cuban shuffles off his mortal coil, which could be any day now, but I, like CBS, pray the bearded one will have the good grace to hang on until Monday, sparing South Floridians from having to decide which supreme sporting event to celebrate. Personally, I'm rooting for Fidel to dodge the reaper's summons and to continue to afflict US Presidents with his mere presence for another II or III decades.

The Colts are fronted by Peyton Manning, VII time Pro Bowler, who finally shot the "can't make it to the big game" monkey off his back with the same rifle arm he used to knock down the New England Patriots way back II weeks ago when people still cared. The Bears are led by the lieutenant of lackluster, Quarterback Rex Grossman, an ineffectual leader who has lucked out being associated with a finely tuned defensive machine. An athlete the White House can relate to.

But whatever you do, don't you dare go calling it the Super Bowl. Only the NFL and carefully chosen advertisers (anybody silly enough to pony up $II.VI million for XXX seconds of airtime) get to call it that. You and me and other mere mortals trying to sell TVs or corn chips or attract customers to a bar to watch the game have to use euphemisms like "the Big Game" or "the You- Know- What- Bowl" or "the deal with those guys at that place with the thing" or risk having our butts sued off by lawyers with really expensive tassels on their loafers and MMM kilowatt smiles that scare sharks.

So, yeah, I'll watch, mostly for the commercials, and will probably fix up a bowl of guacamole and some quesadillas, because to me, Mexican food shouts Super Bowl. And since neither the Packers nor the IXers are involved, I'll root for the Colts, as their fair city has never won… anything… ever, except the record for auto accidents over Memorial Day weekend. Also because even though they're the favorites, they're still the underdogs, if you know what I mean. But the best part about Sunday is right after Jim Nance and Prince put away their makeup and some VIIth of a ton, no neck, piece of premium beef walks off the field raising a finger to the sky talking about Disneyland, only X days remain before pitchers and catchers report. And baseball season starts. And all will be right with the world.

Comic, writer, actor, former radio talk show host and XXI foot step van driver, Will Durst, already has reservations for spring training.
George W Bush State of the Union 2007 Drinking Game

What you Need to Play:

4 taxpayers: One rich white guy wearing a Suit. Cuff links are nice. Two people wearing jeans, one in a blue work shirt, the other in a white shirt. One person wearing clothes rejected by the Salvation Army. (Belt and shoelaces removed.)

1 shot glass per person. Everybody brings their own from home and places it on table. Suit gets first pick for use during game. White shirt picks next, then Blue shirt. Suit takes last shot glass as well, and Rags has to beg a glass from other players when necessary, or drink out of own cupped hands.

20 buck ante for everybody, except Suit who tosses in a quarter.

1 pot of Texas chili and one bowl of guacamole, in middle of coffee table with tortilla chips nearby. Rags has to prepare and serve the chili and guacamole.

A large stash of beer. Rags gets the cheapest stuff available. Suit gets whatever import he likes. White and Blue Jeans get any domestic brand as long as it's no more expensive than Bud. Jeans pay for all the beer, the chips and the ingredients for the chili and guacamole.

Rules of the Game:

1. Whenever George W uses the phrases "defending liberty," "enormous progress" or "challenges ahead," last person to knock wood has to drink 2 shots of beer. If he actually says "there are those who envy our freedoms and seek to destroy us," everybody drinks a whole beer.

2. The first time George W mentions the tragic events of 9/11, the last person to eat one dollop of chili off a tortilla chip must drink three shots of beer. The second time George W mentions the tragic events of 9/11, the last person to eat one dollop of guacamole off a tortilla chip must drink three shots of beer. Continue to alternate. If you mischip, drink two extra shots of beer.

3. If George W mispronounces Iraqi President Al- Maliki's name, drink two shots of beer. If he even attempts to pronounce the name of Iranian President Mahmoud Amadinejad, first person to stop laughing is exempt from drinking three shots of beer.

4. If George W makes up a word like "9/11ers or "deterrencism," last person to yell out "Strategerie!" drinks two shots of beer.

5. Every time senators Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama are shown in the audience, Suit drinks one shot of beer.

6. The first time George W talks about immigration, last person to finish three chips of guacamole has to drink three shots of beer.

7. If either the Vice President, Secretary of State or First Lady are caught napping, last person to make snoring noises drinks two shots of beer. If Senator Robert Byrd is shown awake, Blue and White drink two shots of beer.

8. Everybody drinks two shots of beer if President Bush mentions Scooter Libby. Three shots of beer if he mentions Jack Abramoff. Four shots of beer if he mentions Osama bin Laden.

9. Whenever George W quotes the Bible, last person to sing the first eight bars of "Amazing Grace" has to drink two shots of beer.

10. If George W smirks during a standing ovation, take turns throwing chips of chili and guacamole at TV. First person to hit Bush's head exempt from drinking three shots of beer.

11. If George W tells a folksy Texas tale with a deeper meaning about not leaving before the job is done, Suit has to drink out of beer-filled hands of Rags, who gets to dry his hands on Suit's jacket.

12. Predict the number of applause breaks. After the speech, drink number of shots of beer equal to the difference between your estimate and the real number.

EXTRAS:Anybody who can identify the person giving the Democratic Response doesn't have to watch it.

If George W uses a heartfelt story about one of our brave troops, White gets to kick everybody once. Twice if the brave troop is a woman. Rags gets to kick Suit if Bush reveals the subject of the anecdote is in the audience. Twice if the brave troop is sitting next to an astronaut.

Suit takes home the $60.25.

Leftover beer, chili and guacamole go home with Rags, after he/she is finished washing the dishes.

Political Comic Will Durst is going to try and sneak into the event disguised as an astronaut. Listen to Durst's twice weekly commentaries at audible.com/willdurst.
Spanking the Diaper

I don't know if you've heard about this, but it's exactly the kind of news that compels perfectly sane people to throw their arms up in the air, bang their foreheads against brick walls, and devote the rest of their lives to eating raw cookie dough out of plastic tubs in the basement while watching Jessica Fletcher overturn police incompetence on the Biography Channel. And what the hell is "Murder, She Wrote" doing on the Biography Channel in the first place? But that diatribe is best left for another day.

Today's harangue concerns Democratic California Assemblywoman Sally Lieber and her plan to introduce a bill to the legislature ("hello bill," "hello legislature") that will make parental spanking a crime if the child is three years or younger, labeling it misdemeanor child abuse. That's right, "spank your offspring, go to jail," is about to become law. "Neglect to stroke a pony, pay a fine" is on the docket for next year. And the "Polyester Banky Ban?" Still stuck in conference.

Now don't get me wrong, I understand Ms. Lieber's motivation. As a card carrying member of the Mommy Party, she is unable to control her insatiable urge to protect us from ourselves. And she's seriously anti- child abuse. But then again, aren't we all? And that's a good thing. But come on. Do we really need a law here? Aren't most slaps to the bottom more of a Pavolovian response training exercise anyway? Throw a tantrum, get a smack. Repeat until salivation occurs. Besides, unless it's full, spanking a diaper is like dropping a dime on a pillow. And when full, it's an exercise neither the spanker or spankee is likely to forget. Or more importantly, anxious to duplicate.

I'm curious as to exactly how the honorable Assemblywoman proposes parents discipline their darling nippers in the event they toss the toaster into the tropical fish tank. Perhaps a squirt gun to the back of the head like you use to keep cats off of furniture? Or temporary exile to a terrarium upholstered in a fetching array of bubble wrap? Or replacing "Teletubbies" with tapes of the last season's "The Apprentice?" If Donald Trump doesn't constitute cruel and unusual, I don't know what does.

Mostly though, what worries me is misdemeanor rug rat abuse creep. How soon before the legislature is asked to outlaw stern looks, unseemly scents and substandard nose nuzzling? All very traumatizing to our miniature progeny. Isn't the simple act of an adult walking past a crawling moppet sheer intimidation through sizism? Passing a toddler? Get down on all fours mister. And put that beer in a sippy cup. "A pacifier for all my friends." Not to mention the booming adult voice has to be a terrifying thing, so infractions of the decibel meter will be financially penalized via a complex geometric formula involving frequency and frequency.

Once you cross the cherub protection threshold, a gibberish translator to protect the little angel's fragile sense of self esteem, easily compromised by formalized language seems to be a logical leap. And picking up a wee bairn and thrusting them up towards the ceiling with extended arms or riding them on one's shoulders? Flagrant reinforcement of an overwhelming sense of powerlessness. All I'm saying here is, it's a slippery slope, Ms Lieber. One that involves hunching way over and whispering and squirt guns and rampant sheep shearing and grown men sucking on nipples. And who wants that?

Comic, writer, actor, former radio talk show host and tour guide in a cave, Will Durst, is co- author of the "Polyester Banky Ban."
The world of wrongevity

George Bush is as wrong as Wyoming sushi. And he seems stubbornly determined to continue to be wrong in a no brakes, in a tank, down a hill, headed for a boy scout camp before the break of dawn sort of way.

He was wrong about Saddam's weapons of mass destruction. He was wrong about Iraq's ties to Al Qaeda. He was wrong when he told the UN a mobile weather van was a chemical lab on wheels. He was wrong to call an invasion of a country that had nothing to do with 9/11 part of his war on terrorism. He was wrong to squander our national goodwill on a neo-comical ideological misadventure. He was wrong about us being greeted with flowers and candy, unless by flowers and candy he meant suicide bombers and improvised explosive devices. He was wrong about how long it would take, how much it would cost, how many troops would be needed, the kind of armor required and eating a pretzel without dunking it in beer first.

Firing the Iraqi Army and allowing the looting of an ancient civilization's artifacts while protecting the Oil Ministry... ill-advised. "Mission Accomplished"? Misguided. "Bring it on"? Wrongo exponential factor 13. When Omar Bradley talked about fighting the wrong war, at the wrong place, at the wrong time, and with the wrong enemy, he was predicting Bush. Expecting a Democracy to spring up from soil drenched with the blood of ancient sectarian hatreds: critical goof. "The insurgency in its last throes." Erroneous. The rest of the world supporting us. Inaccurate. Creating more terrorists than he's killing. Iniquitous. Which means wicked wrong.

Counting on Iraqi President Al- Maliki to exhibit the will to succeed: delusional. "They hate us for our freedoms." Nope, sorry, that's counterfactual: they hate us for our guns and our bombs and the fact we act like our God hid our oil under their sand. Declaring anybody who disagreed with him is working for the enemy: not right. He was mistaken about Iraq falling into sectarian strife. Then denied it's a civil war and said we are actually winning: ooh, buddy, that's so, what do you call it, imprecise. The only thing he's gotten right is being born a Bush and declining to hunt with Cheney.

He was dead wrong when he okayed torture, stupid wrong spying on Americans, and just plain wrong declaring wartime gave him special powers -- unless he's been bitten by a radioactive spider and hasn't exhibited any detectable symptoms yet. He was wrong with "stay the course" and wronger when he argued he was never a big fan of "stay the course." He was disingenuous to ignore the November 7th wakeup call that could have rolled Pete Townsend right out of bed. And incorrect to reject the suggestions of the Iraq Study Group so completely you wonder if he even read them or had anybody read them to him with his chin under the covers.

But now he speaks to the nation to announce his next plan -- The New Way Forward -- which involves... sending more troops. Are you kidding me? That's how he gets out of a hole? More shovels? Some therapists maintain the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result. Describing exactly what we can expect for the next two years living in the President's wild and wacky not so wonderful world of wrongevity.

Comic, writer, actor, former radio talk show host and bus boy at the Bright Angel Lodge, Will Durst, is pretty darn sure 837 wrongs don't make a right.
2007 Resolutions

Usually you make it to January 1, take a deep breath, look back on the old year and realize there was a fairly equal balance of what you call your "good" and your "bad." The last couple of years (6-plus, to be exact) have tilted a bit toward the latter. But 2006? Holy moley catfish. Subtract the single sublime 24-hour period of time that was November 7th from the other 8,736 hours we slogged through, and you got yourself a awfully grisly swamp of an annum. 2006 was to years what OJ Simpson is to manners and propriety seminars. Paris Hilton and advanced trigonometry texts. Michael Richards and Martin Luther King Dinner Keynote Speeches. I could go on.

It was the year the President put his hands over his ears and made "la la la" noises whenever confronted with any sort of discouraging word concerning Iraq, whether it came from the citizens of Iraq, the citizens of America, his own Intelligence Estimates, bi-partisan Study Groups, his wife Laura, or Barney, his dog. The year that Americans found out they were being spied on by their own government and their collective response was a yawn wide enough to erect a gift shop and start offering donkey tours of the bottom. The year that Dick Cheney shot a guy in the face and the victim apologized.

But this year: 2007. Aha! This one's going to be different. Why? Because we said so. Yeah. Unh hunh. Everybody uses the posting of a new calendar to make plans to change their nefarious ways. You know. Diet. Quit smoking. More exercise. Stop invading countries. Less killing of innocent people. Boring do-gooder stuff, mostly. Meant for the furthering of the self. What they never think of is you and me: the rest of us. And because they don't, here's a list of what resolutions should be made by people for the 7th year of the first decade of the 21st century (but probably won't).

  • George Bush's staff pledges to make sure that all reports sent to him come with broadly drawn cartoons and a new pack of crayons.
  • Democrats pledge to work out their differences with the hard line partisan hacks who refuse to compromise on their side of the aisle before yelling at Republicans.
  • Tony Snow takes an oath to never open another White House press conference with "Who wants a piece of me?"
  • Dennis Kucinich vows that in this year's Iowa Straw Poll, he will not lose to the straw.
  • Kate Moss resolves to eat a hamburger every time she even thinks of snorting a line of coke.
  • Illinois Senator Barack Hussein Obama vows he will now be known as Barry.
  • Bill O'Reilly vows to defy that Al Qaeda death list, whether it exists or not.
  • Britney Spears and underwear: a match.
  • The Airline Industry is adamant about making every effort to rid the skies of the most dangerous security element known to man: the half empty bottle of hand lotion.
  • Congress resolves to do absolutely nothing. Just like last year. (oh, if only)
  • Trent Lott commits himself, sometime, during the year, against his better wishes, to stumble onto the boarding platform of the Clue Train.
  • Vladimir Putin makes an internal oath to do everything in his power from ever having to assassinate another journalist. Oh wait, sorry, that's get caught assassinating another journalist. Or ex-KGB agent. Or Moscow businessman. Etcetera. Etcetera. Etcetera.
  • The Iraq Study Group vows to try and capture the President's attention by re-releasing its report under the name "Iraq Recess Group."
  • Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton pledges to outline a plan to fix the Social Security problem once and for all that does not involve raising the retirement age to 83.
  • The Long Distance Giants affirm their commitment to continue merging and merging and merging until they eventually coalesce into one single entity which they will rename Ma Bell.
Comic, actor, writer, former radio talk show host and pedicab chauffeur Will Durst wonders if Bill O'Reilly goes into death list chat rooms.

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