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12.31.11
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE IOWA CAUCUSES

Q. A little help here. Exactly what are the Iowa Caucuses?
A. The Iowa Caucuses is a method of choosing a presidential nominee. Held every 4 years. Usually in Iowa.

Q. Why is it so important?
A. Number one in the batting order. Opening stanza of an epic poem. The recorded preamble to the Republican Nomination Symphony is over, and the citizen orchestra is about to play.

Q. What?
A. Gentlemen, start your engines.

Q. What precisely happens?
A. Nobody knows. The process is sort of like musical chairs without the chairs. And no music.

Q. How did all this get started?
A. It began with early Iowans throwing small round ruinish stones into hollowed out stumps, which were placed atop huge cast iron kettles brimming with pig entrails- then the omens interpreted by a circle of community elders wearing ceremonial necklaces of hand- carved stringed chestnuts.

Q. And when did it transform into the current method?
A. Actually, its still pretty much the same.

Q. How is a caucus different than a primary?
A. People don’t vote in a caucus. They attend. Then huddle with like minded others in designated candidate corners, but if not enough people join your posse, your group is disbanded and everybody wanders around in search of a second or third choice. So supporters who corner the breath mint and deodorant market hold a huge advantage.

Q. Might there be worse ways in choosing a candidate than picking the one with the best smelling supporters?
A. Oh yes indeed. Look at North Korea.

Q. So, you are allowed to change your vote?
A. You are encouraged to; especially Jon Huntsman supporters.

Q. My good buddy Jon. How’s he doing these days?
A. Little green around the gills. Polling around 1% with a margin of error of 4%. So he could very well end up owing Iowa a couple delegates.

Q. How believable are the polls?
A. Don’t bet the farm. Iowans are a fierce stubborn people. They don’t call them Buckeyes or Hawkeyes or Hoosiers or whatever they call them for nothing you know.

Q. What are you saying?
A. That folks in Iowa love to confound conventional wisdom by throwing in with the underdog. Can we say Ron Paul in a squeaker?

Q. Why Iowa?
A. Why not Iowa?

Q. No, I mean why does a state that Minnesotans make fun of, get to go first?
A. Who do you want to go first: Louisiana? California? Texas? American Somoa?

Q. Your point being?
A. At least Iowa is representative.

Q. Of white people.
A. In the form of a question, please.

Q. Okay, how diverse is Iowa?
A. White, white, white, white, white, white, white. Whiter than a “Justin Bieber Christmas in Norway Special.” Mashed potatoes on paper plates with a side of cauliflower white.

Q. You call that representative?
A. It is a Republican affair.

Q. Point taken. Who can participate?
A. Anybody who pre- registers as a Republican. And brings snacks.

Q. Does it cost anything to participate?
A. Just the tiniest piece of your soul.

Q. How are caucuses better than primaries?
A. Well, they’re a whole lot more fun to say. Try it in a sentence: “I slipped on the ice and broke my caucuses.”

Q. What happens in Iowa on January 4th when the circus packs up and moves to New Hampshire?
A. Iowa radio stations will stop screaming about treason and hypocrisy and go back to hog futures and herbicidal ads; the way God intended.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.comto buy his book or find out about upcoming stand-up performances such as the finale of the XIXth annual Big Fat Year End Kiss Off Comedy Show, Jan 1. 142 Throckmorton Theatre - 142throckmortontheatre.com - Mill Valley, CA 415.383.9600
 
12.24.11
WILL DUR$T’$ 2011 XMA$ WI$H LI$T

Bah humbug everybody. And I imagine that sentiment is being echoed by more than a few of you overly familiar with the soft dark underbelly of this "happiest time of the year." Those of us who have been washed prone by the gushing holiday faucet of red and green greed and are dreading the repurposed solstice celebration as it drips down the gutter of melancholy revealing the regurgitated fruitcake of gloom and despair. Whoa. Wow. Sorry about that.

Then again; what the hell. Pass a cookie and another glass of nog and go easy on the nutmeg and heavy on the brandy, because this warm comforting holly jolly Xmas spirit needs be relit. And to honor all you brave and steadfast consumers setting new records in your patriotic quest to sink heavily into debt to honor the birth of that Jewish hippie kid; we hope to rectify the sins of omission perpetrated by the corpulent bearded one in the scarlet suit by offering up to the most deserving of us -- this annual scathingly incisive yet always trenchant, WILL DURST'S 2011 XMA$ GIFT WI$H LI$T.

For Newt Gingrich: who admits he says anything that flies into his head: a tiny rabid West African Hummingbird.
For Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker: the AFL-CIO's Organizer of the Year Award.
For the East Coast: who whimpered for weeks after both a small earthquake and a slight brushing from a near hurricane: a 12 month supply of chill pills.
For American Philatelists: some glue for their Barack Obama stamps that won't stick to anything, and glossy coating for the one honoring Mitt Romney, which inexplicably causes people to spit on the wrong side.
For Joe Biden: a satellite phone that works from the depths of whatever trench he's going to be sent for the next year.
For Speaker of the House John Boehner: a gift certificate to Kaiser Permanente, good for one surgical procedure to remove that unsightly Tea Party growth clinging to his back.
For the Penn State University Athletic Department: Harry Potter's invisibility cloak.
For President Obama: a continuing series of ill-timed principled stands by the Republican House.
For the Tea Party: a boatload of petards upon which they can hoist themselves.
For Barry Bonds: the pleasure of his own company for as long as he can stand it.
For the Mayans: one of those really cute "Baby Monkey Riding on a Pig" calendars for 2013.
For Sarah Palin: a series of hedges to lurk behind for the next ten months.
For Alec Baldwin: an unlimited refillable prescription for Xanax in a carrying case suitable for travel.
For Angela Merkel and the Euro Zone: a diet book explaining how to thrive without Greece.
For Tim Cook, the new CEO of Apple: a world wide epidemic of Jobs amnesia.
For Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Jon Huntsman, et al.: prestigious offers for deanships from various universities so they can retreat with a semblance of dignity.
For Herman Cain: his own hour-long network talk show with an all male production staff.
For Anthony Weiner: see above.
For Grover Norquist: a one-way ticket on the clue train. Tax-deductible, of course.
For Charlie Sheen: a personal anger counselor on 24-hour call.
For Donald Trump: a stainless steel muzzle and detailed instructions on how to install it. With rivets.
And for all the rest of us: a reality TV show called Celebrity Russian Roulette starring the Kardashians.
With the winner destined to become revered as... The Last Kardashian.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
12.17.11
WEASEL BOY VERSUS PLASTIC MAN

The mad mud tossing between Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, the last two Republicans still standing, is quickly ramping up to levels not seen since the Agincourt catapults. The candidates and their surrogates are busy dredging up dirt with fleets of front loaders, personally wetting it down with outraged spittle and other anatomical fluids and it’s getting ugly out there folks. Not to mention... moist.

The gloves are coming off and this battle of ironclads, unlike the Monitor and the Merrimack, is guaranteed to result in more self-inflicted harm than damage to the enemy. Sure, sure, other wannabees continue to circle the spotlight, but haphazardly, like September moths after repeated run-ins with a tricked-out bug zapper. Barring a second bout of primary puppy love, the race for the GOP Presidential nomination is down to Weasel Boy and Plastic Man.

Per as, it all started with money. Mitt Romney stepped in doo-doo deeper than Nietzsche’s private letters to Wittgenstein when he bet Rick Perry $10,000 in a recent debate, demonstrating the same kind of connection to the middle class that a ceramic Portuguese tie clip in the shape of a crouching gargoyle has to squid fishing. Ten grand. Apparently, to the GOP, that’s pocket change, except of course in DC, where it’s universally recognized as 2 1⁄2 hookers.

Newt seized on the former Massachusetts Governor’s faux pas tighter than an extra small t-shirt on a Sumo Wrestler, acting uncharacteristically all humble-like, which seemed so scarily disingenuous, he couldn’t help himself and actually blushed while laughing.

A bit of unexpected blowback almost knocked the former Speaker down when Mitt Man retaliated by referencing the third Mrs. Gingrich’s half a million dollar tab at Tiffany’s. Which, even amongst the fabled 1 percenters, is considered to be a heck of a lot of useless sparkly crap. Makes Elizabeth Taylor’s jewel box look like a Tupperware dish in a cabinet above the sink.

The GOP is rightfully worried about the spectacle of two very wealthy men accusing each other of being filthy rich. While trading accusations of flip flopping even though both have changed positions more often than hyperkinetic six year olds playing speed Twister halfway through their Halloween stash.

And there have been further charges. And further counter charges. And charges of countering the counting charges by charging counters. And back and forth it goes. “He’s zany.” “Not a real conservative.” “As trustworthy as a leaky dinghy in high seas.” “Waffles so much, syrup should be shooting our of his ears.” The byproduct being Iowa and New Hampshire television stations are raking it in while independent voters are alienated by the container ship full.

Party regulars are starting to freak out, with the dim throbbing realization sinking in that one of these guys is destined to be their standard bearer. Dark whispers are muttered behind closed doors about Newt’s viability and Mitt’s likeability, which can both be measured in the low single digits. Baseball scores, not even football, much less basketball numbers.

Not just the Presidency, we’re also beginning to hear phrases like “coat tails” and “down ballot” and other strategic buzz-words that are shorthand for “Aieieee!” Newt Romney or Mitt Gingrich. Like choosing between getting your finger caught in a car door or an elephant stepping on your foot. In this case: a couple of wild elephants. The same only different. And not in a good way.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
12.10.11
TOP TEN COMEDIC NEWS STORIES OF 2011

Okay. You can stop vibrating like a shaved poodle duct-taped to the foul pole at Wrigley during a night game in April. It's finally here. The 8th annual Top Ten Comedic News Stories of the Year. Veterans, please advise the newbies this list is NOT to be confused with the Top Ten Legitimate News Stories of the Year. They are as different as 3 bean chili and those flannel pajamas with the feets in them. Like strip mining slag heaps and the director's cut of Zookeeper. Wire-haired dwarf goats and metal flake stainless steel dinnerware.

Serious stuff? Oh my, yes, indeed, you betcha, there was plenty; truth be told -- too many -- grisly stories that impacted the US, the world and planet greater than these, but to be fair, no Kardashian references either. So, here we go with events that happened in the year of our Lord, 2011, that most lent themselves to mocking and scoffing and taunting. In amplish amounts.

10. Wisconsin State Senate Plays Hide and Seek with Governor Scott Walker. Indiana Democratic politicians eventually joined their Wisconsin colleagues seeking political asylum in Illinois. Yeah, like Illinois doesn't have enough problems with politicians sitting around doing nothing.

9. The Budget Battles. Had to admire the yearlong Republican negotiating stance: "No. No. No. No. No." What are you guys, four? Then Obama compromised. Yeah. The same way the Titanic compromised with that iceberg. The Obama Compromise. There's an App for that. It's called the iGiveup.

8. The Super Committee. Slower than a slug on Thorazine. Less powerful than a soggy Kleenex. Unable to compromise in a million years. As useless as a rope handle on a shovel.

7. Donald Trump flirts with Presidency. "I want to see Barack Obama's birth certificate." Yeah. We want to see your DNA. First you got to prove to us that you're a carbon based life form. Never had a president with a comb-over. Never will.

6. Rick Perry. The candidate for those of you who could never cozy up to George Bush due to all his intellectual elitism. George Bush Lite. Which should be redundant. "Debates aren't my strong suit." Strong suit. Weak suit. Space suit. Leisure suit. Birthday suit. Class action suit. Debates aren't your black socks with sandals.

5. Occupy Wall Street. Providing the entire country with the opportunity to experience Burning Man, only without any of that annoying Playa dust or art.

4. Herman Cain. His Presidential run fell victim to a classic case of He Said. She Said. She Said. She Said. She Said. She Said. She Said. Suspended his campaign but announced he is still accepting donations. Aren't we all.

3. Newt Gingrich vs. Mitt Romney. The Newtster versus Mittens. One has more baggage than the first flight out of O'Hare after a freak spring blizzard and the other has flip flopped so often his ads should end with "I'm Mitt Romney and I both approve and disapprove of this ad."

2. Death of Osama bin Laden. The guy collected porn, used herbal Viagra and if you believe the videos, hogged the remote. Hate Americans? Looks like he was practicing to be one.

1. Anthony Weiner. The whole thing was his own damn fault. If he hadn't pronounced his name like a euphemism for sausage, nobody would have cared. Could easily have gone with Whiner. Still a lousy name for a politician. Or he could have gone whole hog, "Yes, we spell it, W-E-I-N-E-R, but it's pronounced, Schultz."

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
12.03.11
WHACK-A-POL

Let’s take a peek behind the scenes of GOP headquarters to listen in on the coaching strategy for the little game Republicans are currently playing called, “Anybody but Romney.” Think “Whack-A-Mole” with media mallets.

“Well, here it is, boys, 2011. About time we scour the country and figure out exactly whom we should pick for our 2012 Presidential nominee. It’s got to be somebody with a legitimate shot to beat that socialist incumbent. Somebody we can trust to toe the party line. But most importantly, we need someone younger than that last guy. Which won’t be hard.

So, who do we got running? Okay, okay, thank you, Mitt Romney. You can put your hand down now. Ran the Olympics? That’s great. We’ll definitely keep you in mind. Who else we got? Sarah Palin! The Rogue Thing! She just can’t help herself. Loves going off reservation. Like she did in 08. And ever since. Unnh, then again, you know what? She’s probably busy. Somebody call Roger Ailes at Fox News and tell him to make sure she’s real busy.

Hey, how bout Donald Trump? The Donald. He’s perfect. Successful businessman. High name recognition. Aerodynamic hair. Well, let’s see what he can do. Oh my god, he’s really like that. I thought it was all an act. Nobody tells me anything.

Let’s see, who else is there? Thank you Mitt. No, no. We haven’t forgotten you. Got you right at the top of the list. Yes, we know your first name is Willard. And the Mormon thing. Won’t be a problem. Umm, where’s that Tea Party favorite, Michele Bachmann? There she is, in Iowa, celebrating the birthplace of John Wayne Gacy. Oh dear. With her husband Marcus. Whoa. Well, no wonder she’s so opposed to gay marriage. No. No. No. No. No. No. No.

Okay. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. I got an idea. Rick Perry. Governor of Texas. Worked out pretty good last time, didn’t it? He’s just like Bush with actual cattle. Let’s watch him debate. Oooh. Not going to work out this time. Umm. Umm. What about Chris Christie? Another governor. We like governors, right? Yes, Mitt. Massachusetts. Got it. Besides, Chris Christie is too big to fail. Hey, Chris! What? Oh yeah? Well, we don’t want you either!

Wait a minute. This is going to sound crazy. Crazy like a fox. You know what I’m thinking? Herman Cain. Yes. The Pizza Guy. I know, I know. He’s a, he’s a, he’s a... lobbyist, but boy, can he command a room. Look at him with that group of women over there. Holy cow, that’s my wife. Security!

Say, I’m a bit parched; Mitt, could you run get us some Red Bulls? Here’s a twenty. Oh, right, you’re loaded. And an MBA from Harvard. Terrific. Is he gone? Thank god. Hey, who’s that hiding under that rock? Why, it’s Newt! Newt Gingrich. Of course. An oldie but a goodie. Rescued the party from Clinton’s shadow in the early 90s. The good news is, everybody knows him: the bad news is, yeah, everybody knows him.

Geez, he loves to hear himself talk, doesn’t he? Well, look at it this way, if the Newtster doesn’t pan out, we can always fall back on Mister Stalwart Standby Romney. Yeah. That’s what we’ll do. Its Newt or Mitt. Or Ron Paul. No. No. No. Definitely Romney or Gingrich. Or Santorum. Say, has anybody seen Mike Huckabee lately?”

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
11.19.11
TURKEY HOLOCAUST DAY 2011

Let me be among the first 40-foot helium-filled balloons to kick-start our national parade of giving thanks. That’s right, we’re just about to butt heads with Turkey Holocaust Day, and to be perfectly honest, its about time. A little tryptophan poisoning might be the perfect prescription for these trying times.

Doubly comforting because this particular holiday isn’t about greasing the wheels of capitalism with the fire-hose of consumer debt like that other holiday about a month down the road, which shall remain nameless. And this one doesn’t hide under any religious robes either. It’s purely about the journey to Comfort City through the Gluttonous Woods. Food, family, friends and football. 4 of the 5 Fs.

So, allow me to express my gratitude for the 4th Thursday of November. One of the little things that goes a long, long way to making life worth living. And here’s a couple other examples of what a middle-aged round-headed political pundit bows his head and gives thanks for.

Barack Obama. Because no matter what you think of his policies, you got to admire his ability not to get involved in them.

Dick Cheney. 6 Heart attacks and the man still manages to go on a book tour. How does a guy without a heart, have 6 heart attacks? It would be like Rick Perry contracting a brain tumor.

Rick Perry suffered a 53 second brain freeze during a national debate. 53 seconds. It only took the San Francisco Forty Niners 8 seconds longer to score 2 touchdowns last Sunday. The Niners

Former Democratic New York Congressman Anthony Weiner who escaped the press by entering sexual rehab. “I’m a sexual addict.” Yeah. There’s another name for that. We call it- Male. The man is simply suffering from a not so atypical case of Y chromosome poisoning.

Newt Gingrich for refusing to go gently into that good night. Even Brett Favre is saying “give it up, old man.”

Herman Cain, whose long-form, cross-country, Fox News audition has exceeded all expectations. Roger Ailes must be so proud.

The Occupy Wall Streeters. The 1% dismiss the Occupiers due to questionable hygiene. Just because you smell odd doesn’t mean your message is any less true. The fact they can’t afford Chanel No. 5 may be part of the point.

Bill Clinton who refuses to go away. God bless him. Although, President Obama might harbor another opinion.

Michele Bachmann. Her Newsweek cover photo made her look spooky so supporters complained they cherry-picked a creepy looking photo on purpose. Then the magazine put the entire photo shoot up online, asking, “which one would you have picked?” And everybody shut up.

The entire Democratic Party, for failing to realize they’re in the middle of a war. Republicans attack them with torches and pitchforks and the Democratic response is to introduce legislation to reform pitchfork safety standards.

The entire GOP, which is waging an internal war for it’s very soul. The GOP Soul. Short book. Put it on the shelf right next to Great Democratic Leadership Battles.

Sarah Palin. Who refuses to go away. God bless her. Although, Mitt Romney might harbor another opinion. Or two. Diametrically opposed to each other.

Pat Robertson who called the Republican presidential field too extreme. Pat Robertson blasting his party for extremism. That’s like having your drug intervention hosted by Lindsay Lohan. And Charley Sheen is driving the van.

You can't make stuff up like this. See, I’m telling you. Life is good. Thankfully yours.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
11.12.11
GROPE AND CHANGE

And now, another installment in the continuing saga that is The Herman Cain Sexual Harassment Soap Opera. When last we left him, the candidate was praising his main backers: "The Koch Brothers are my brothers from another mother." Guess we should be grateful he hasn't dismissed his accusers with an offhand: "Bros before hoes."

You could say the situation is fluid, or more precisely glutinous. It's hard to tell who or what to believe. Conservative talk shows pound home the theory this is all a put-up job while the liberal media remains incredulous the Cain Train hasn't derailed into a fiery pileup. Right now it all boils down to a classic case of He Said. She Said. She Said. She Said. She Said. She Said. She Said.

The good news for the first-ever, serious black Republican Presidential candidate is a new CBS poll reveals 61% of potential GOP primary participants don't consider the charges serious. Apparently there's a large contingent of voters who either believe girls lie or boys will be boys. In three short years this country has gone from Hope and Change to Grope and Change. Ain't life odd?

In his defense, Cain maintains he's never engaged in any inappropriate behavior. Ever. Really? Ever? Hell, if this Presidency thing doesn't work out, the guy should run for Pope. Or maybe he's better equipped to replace Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Of course, the term "inappropriate" is subjective. Fashionistas might call his cowboy hat highly inappropriate.

Cain's staff went so far as to say the sexual harassment allegations have actually helped the campaign. Helped! Wow. All he needs is a false imprisonment charge, he could sew this thing right up.

Cain has changed his story almost as often as Mitt Romney changes positions. And his memory problems draw right up to Rick Perry's Energy Department. Again, almost. First he couldn't remember anything, then admitted a charge may have been investigated, but there was no settlement, then maybe there was An Agreement, but now he refuses to comment on any of the cases, relentlessly retreating to his stuttering German "nein, nein, nein."

The oddly self-proclaimed anti-Washington corporate lobbyist declines any responsibility for keeping this narrative alive, first blaming the Perry campaign, then the Democratic Machine (?); and that old standby, the media, not yet getting around to the evil dominion that is Pizza Hut, but soon. Makes you wonder who's in charge of his damage control team? Lindsay Lohan? Anthony Weiner? Charley Sheen? Erica Kane?

He might be better off remembering the very advice he gave the Occupy Movement, "don't blame Wall Street, blame yourself." Yourself, Herman. Yourself. Besides, in most Democratic quarters, the prospect of a Barack Obama/Herman Cain match-up in the general election has elicited so much salivation, drool bibs and phlegm gutters are standard issue.

Another problem is the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza has demonstrated the sensitivity of a drunken bear. In a recent Detroit debate, he called House Minority Leader Pelosi, "Princess Nancy," which for a guy ensnared in sexual harassment assertions is like trying to light a cigar by sticking your face in a Tiki torch on a windy beach.

We're entering Daytime Emmy Award territory here, featuring a plot with more twists than a 300 foot telephone cord stuffed into a cardboard box and a cast of characters changing faster than a chameleon on a plaid tablecloth. Surprised neither Procter & Gamble or the makers of Slinky have jumped on the bandwagon offering to sponsor this candidacy, but stay tuned.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
11.05.11
THE DELTA OF DENIAL

Slamming DC. It may be the singular most popular political game around today. Everybody does it. Even incumbents go out of their way to blame Washington for everything that's wrong with the country. A lot like a baseball manager complaining that his team suffers from a crippling lack of quality coaching.

You've heard all the buzz phrases: "Washington is not the answer, it is the problem." "The devil made both Washington and hell, but chooses to live in hell." "Washington is a cesspool." Sure, that's what they say, but once elected, they treat it like a hot tub.

Hard to tell what disturbs the critics most: the culture, the people or the traffic on the Beltway. Don't hate the player, hate the game. The residents of our nation's capital are absolutely normal. Okay, absolutely semi-normal. Or as normal as can be, considering the 202 area code is hive mind to some of the largest egos in the world. At least now we know what happens when the inmates take over the asylum. And the most venally ambitious of the criminally insane manage to scramble to the top.

Nobody could ever mistake DC for the real world. It's an encapsulated bubble. A yuppie terrarium. The Florence of Malfeasance. Meta Wonk Central. A work free drug zone. The largest Superfund site in America. Where double sided red tape originated and they throw it around like its going out of style.

Don't forget though, Washington is unique. The capitals of other nations are also media and entertainment centers. The only reason to venture into DC is business. It's a company town solely designed to support the federal government. A whale of a city, with schools of subsidiary occupation pilot fish swimming and feeding alongside. And the lobbyists and campaign managers, barnacles sticking to the side, regularly messing with the air intake valves.

It is also happens to be the single worst place on the planet to have a conversation, because all anyone wants to talk about is themselves. And don't ask for directions. Nobody has a clue about anything, yet fervently believe they possess all the answers. And some folks will go miles out of their way to confuse you, just to keep their muscles toned.

JFK said DC combined all the charm of the North with the efficiency of the South. Not to mention the scruples of a turkey vulture overlooking a yard full of wounded bunnies. It's a town where you always have to worry that your best friend is wearing a wire. Where "cynical" has been raised to an art form. Imagine the Kardashians as elderly white guys with double the sense of entitlement.

Washington is the Delta of Denial. Routinely demonstrated by politicians who never understand why the rest of the country holds them in such low esteem. Even though they spend millions of dollars on ads every election cycle to convince us what despicable crooks their opponents are, and it goes both ways. They remain blithely oblivious that the only time we trust them is when they tell us the other guy is lying.

And like The Hotel California, once you check in, you can never leave. Because after spending a couple of quickly aging years in DC, you're ruint, and can never go back to living with normal people. But hey, a person has to sleep somewhere, right? Even lobbyists. Besides, most of them can't go home again because the rocks they used to live under are gone. Hey, the Smithsonian is nice.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
10.29.11
I DON'T KNOW NOTHING

Easier than duck fat in muffin tins to figure out why Americans are so darn freaked out and polarized these days. It's because we're afraid. Afraid we've lost our way. Afraid of not being #1. Afraid of what may be in store. Of all that we don't know. Because, face it, there's so much we don't know. We don't even know... how much we don't know.

Seriously. When it comes down to it, I am prepared to not know 80% of what's going on. But what if what I don't know is more than I know it to be. Hunh? What then? What if what I don't know is more like 90%? Or 99%? I'm continually amazed I keep from impaling myself on forks at mealtimes considering how little I know.

Not just the future. Screw the future. There's tons of basic stuff, little stuff, we don't know. Like, when you're looking for your glasses and they're on the top of your head, how come doesn't the extra weight doesn't tip you off? Where are all the baby pigeons? What's that groove between your nose and your mouth for? Mucous gutter?

We sure as heck do not have clue one about any of the big stuff. How old is the universe? You know, where we live. Smartest brains in the history of our civilization guess the universe started around 13 billion years ago, plus or minus 7 billion years. Nice margin of error there. Hell, they'd have given me that, I could have passed algebra. "2X plus 3Y equals 6xy plus or minus 7 billion." "Got to give it to him, he's in the ballpark."

And exactly how did all those dinosaurs die? Last major life form on the planet. Wiped out, en masse, instantaneously. How come? That kind of knowledge could come in handy down the line. Guess what? Nobody knows. Best hypotheses: weather got weird. So, what's happening now? Weather's getting weird. Mostly from the fumes from our cars which are run on fossil fuels. Ain't life odd?

We still don't know why aspirin works.
We don't know why they still make Strawberry Quick. Come on. Nobody buys it twice.
We don't know why macramé has competing trade journals.
We don't know why CSI: Miami is still on the air.
We don't know why John Boehner is so orange.
We don't know why the birth of the Son of God is represented by a fat bearded guy in a red suit.
We don't know why people think any piece of clothing they can squeeze into, fits.
We don't know why Celebrity Russian Roulette hasn't been turned into a reality show. (with the first season devoted to slowly winnowing the Kardashians)
We don't know why headcheese is so dreadful when its individual components are so luscious.
We don't know why Keith Richards is still alive.
We don't know nothing.

Hell, I don't know so much, I honestly can't figure out why, if the earth is round, how come the penguins don't fall off the bottom. Sure, sure, you can talk about gravity till you're blue in the face, but somebody somewhere is always upside down. How does that work? Even in North America, shouldn't we be at a severe slant? Don't ask. Don't tell. Don't worry. I don't know nothing. And if we're going to be perfectly honest here, neither do you.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
10.22.11
WEARING MY DEBATE FATIGUES

Time to sound the alarm on an ominous political epidemic sweeping the nation today. A feverish America finds itself larynx deep in the throes of a severe case of debate fatigue. As evidenced by the most recent gathering of GOP candidates in Nevada, which by any unofficial tally should count as the 367th debate in the past four months with about 519 to go before an actual nominee is grudgingly settled upon.

Nowhere are the symptoms of this malaise more apparent than amongst the participants themselves, who have slowly shifted from irritable to ornery to downright cantankerous. And it’s going to take more than a short regimen of low-grade antibiotics to kick this virulent bug.

You could say the last debate got a bit testy. You could also say that girl scouts make ineffective NFL middle linebackers. In nickel coverage. Against Aaron Rodgers. Mirroring the emotions of their constituents, the candidates are starting to get on each other’s nerves like somebody else’s disco music pinning the red in a bathroom with stainless steel walls.

After Rick Perry accused Mitt Romney of hiring illegal aliens to work on his lawn, the former Governor of Massachusetts put a condescending hand on the Texas Governor’s shoulder and received a look that would liquefy granite. Fortunately, Mitt is made of stiffer stuff. But only the presence of TV cameras kept the two from making a date to meet under the bleachers right after school.

Perry’s frustration is evident. The shine on his campaign has faded to root cellar dim partly due to an inability to form a complete sentence in public. Himself admitting, “debates aren’t my strong suit.” No. Not your strong suit. Weak suit. Leisure suit. Bathing suit. Or birthday suit. Face it, debates aren’t your Bermuda shorts. And neither is foreign policy Herman Cain’s black socks with sandals.

Michele Bachmann was confused by Libya being part of Africa, and Newt Gingrich may have scuttled his entire campaign by vowing, as nominee, to engage President Obama in a series of seven three-hour long debates. Smooth move. Like telling a man with heartburn you plan on serving nothing but jalapeno burritos for dinner the next two weeks. And the sour cream has curdled. Plenty of Tabasco, though.

The seven nominees in attendance spent the evening snapping at one another like hyenas over the last piece of zebra calf muscle. When the subject of immigration arose, they climbed across their podiums playing king of the hill on who would implement the strictest enforcement. Variously promising to utilize the National Guard, electric fences, predator drones and I think somebody mentioned alligator pits. Domestic alligators, of course.

The experts claim these things are designed to build better candidates. “His new found confidence is a direct result of being hardened in the primary debates.” But where does “battle tested” end and Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome begin? Could John McCain’s punch drunk staggering be attributed to the head blows he sustained over six months of these internecine conflicts four years ago?

Luckily for everybody, the next debate is more than three weeks hence. Plenty of time to grab some air and arrange a few photo-ops in stately poses such as handing out Halloween candy and voting. Not forgetting the most important presidential business of all, begging for more money. Power ties off. Knee pads on.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
10.15.11
A SCOOP OF NON-VANILLA

Q. Why is the GOP like a Baskin-Robbins franchise?
A. Because they’re both suckers for the flavor of the week.
Scientists have yet to uncover what causes Republicans to recoil from their own candidates like a tomboy from frilly underwear. Perhaps they’re commitment phobic. Or channeling the Christmas morning four year old in all of us, ignoring gifts already opened, only interested in the next package stacked in the pile. Maybe they need to switch to decaf.

It could have something to do with the party’s penchant for treating its stars like mushrooms, relegated to the shadows and fed a steady diet of compost, so when they do emerge into the light, the media glare reveals warts the size of Buicks previously indiscernible. That darn HD TV.

The newest fresh faced front-runner in the little contest the GOP likes to call, “Anybody But Romney” is a rare Republican scoop of non-vanilla, Herman Cain. That’s right. An African American is leading the Party of Lincoln’s Presidential polls and no, we’re not sure if frost warnings have been posted in hell yet but gloves and parkas are on the way.

Yes, we know the jokes. The term “Black Republican” is like saying guaranteed pension. Saudi Arabian delicatessen. KKK Diversity Scholarship. Dick Cheney’s Drum Circle Retreat. The Barack Obama Dynamic Leadership Seminar. You could hold the GOP Black Caucus convention in a phone booth.

Well, they don’t make phone booths anymore and the former CEO of Godfather Pizza is currently captivating crowds and being hailed as the Party’s new savior. Just like Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Chris Christie, Sarah Palin and Donald Trump before him. You get the feeling Michael Moore could announce and assume top spot in the polls.

Cain says he wants to do for America what he did for pizza. The hell does that mean? Reduce us by half the way he did Godfather Pizza stores when he took over for Pillsbury? Make the country crispy crusty and covered in cheese? Maybe he’ll recycle that old marketing motto “Pakistan will sleep with the fishes.”

Cain is a straight talking businessman whose boiled down economic policy is a catchy: “999.” Targeted straight to the cerebral cortex of the average American voter. Three syllables. 9% income tax, 9% corporate tax and 9% national sales tax. But he’s got to be careful, because a national sales tax not only puts him square in Tea Party crosshairs, it opens him up to charges of appearing European. Of course, in Germany “Nein, nein, nein,” takes on a whole new meaning.

He brags he’s the only candidate never to have held elective office, inferring that the Oval Office should be an entry- level position. Conveniently neglecting to mention he ran for President in 2000 and for a US Senate seat in Georgia in 2004 and lost both races. So, it’s not like he hasn’t tried politics before, he’s just not that good at it.

This is still Romney’s race to lose. Chances of a neophyte wresting the nomination from the human dial tone are longer than the third act of a bad opera, but it would be interesting to see Herman Cain win. Can you imagine racists going to the polls next November, having to choose between two black guys? Their little heads would pop right off.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
10.08.11
IT’S MY MONEY!!

Ah. October. Patio umbrellas down. Storm windows up. The turning of the leaves. The crisping of our ears. Playoff baseball. Halloween just a few weeks off. We’ll get back to the most bracing month of the year a bit later, but first a few words about the recent decision by major banks to charge customers 5 bucks a month to use ATM cards for routine purchases. And those few words are “You greedy stinking ravenous money-grubbing avaricious pigs.”

How much dough do you have to make? I mean I get it. You are not non-profit organizations. Few of us are. Advertently. Your task is to find new ways to make more moolah. Same here. You just happen to be a whole lot better at it than the rest of us. And with the scratch to rewrite the rules, the skids get greased in your favor. Good for you. But do you really need all the greenbacks? Every single dime? Really?

What were your profits last year? Like a bazilliondy dollars? Shouldn’t that be enough? Do stockholders require double-digit returns every quarter? Incredibly foolish to expect hubris after causing the worst financial crisis in 80 years, but wouldn’t it be wiser to leave behind a couple of bucks for the rest of us? You know, so we can do business with you. Commerce. Otherwise you’ll have all the capital, no customers and be forced to restrict all your interactions to other banks, and trust me, you’re not going to like that.

Or is that the ultimate goal? To gather together all the money in the world, becoming a money museum? Then we pony up pretty colored stones just to look at the money we no longer have. And you know what happens then. You make it your mission to control the world’s supply of pretty colored stones. Go ahead. We’ll switch to smooth pointy sticks.

This is not your money we’re talking about. This is my money. You supposed to pay me for your use of my money. That’s the deal. What’s the interest rate on savings accounts now, .02%? Oh right, the fed is maintaining artificially low interest rates to boost economic climes. But shouldn’t that mean the interest rate on my credit cards goes down too? I’m paying 20%. In some states that’s known as usury and is illegal. For crum’s sake, you can strike a better deal on the street with Vinnie.

Nickel and diming us to death? Hah! Those were the good old days. Now you’re squeezing every penny so hard Lincoln’s head is starting to squirt liquid copper. There’s a charge for using a teller. A charge for not using a teller. A charge for telling the teller where to stick the charge. “Convenience fees” from our friendly neighborhood financial institutions. Use a rival bank and the charges get doubled or tripled or whatever “ed” you call times 36. What are those? Infidelity fees?

Don’t you get it? It’s My Money. We’re not talking about credit cards where I pay you to lend me some quick cash. These are automatic deductions from an account into which I have already placed ample coin of the realm. MY MONEY! Keep your stinking paws off my money, you damn stinking apes. Wow. Sorry. As you can see, I’m a bit ambivalent on this one. Oh yeah. October. October sucks.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
10.01.11
PROM QUEEN ANGUISH

It’s human nature. We mostly want what we can’t have. Grass is greener. The romantic lure of the unattainable. Knowledge that high school girls have long-since weaponized. Nothing entices a hormonally imbalanced freshman like flouncing down a crowded hall laughing through a gaggle of friends with a flip of the pony- tail and nary a backwards glance. Of course, a short skirt doesn’t hurt.

Same holds true in politics. A short skirt doesn’t hurt. No matter how many dance partners the Republicans convince to attend their courtship gala, you’d swear their head was on ball bearings the way they keep swiveling to the door to see who might be lurking outside. Waiting for the bad boy rock stars to finish their smokes in the parking lot and make a grand entrance. Or spin out to the highway spitting a rooster-tail of gravel.

Can’t blame them. The Right is just getting over its relationship with an older man, which ended badly, and hungering for some excitement. The reason they can’t get it up for the geeks and dorks and stalwarts like Huntsman and Paul and Santorum and Cain. Oh sure, they’re tolerated and marginally encouraged but with an enthusiasm one normally associates with favorite dish- towels and serviceable oil filters. Library boys. Not the smooching kind.

But to the GOP’s dismay, all the heartthrobs have left the building. Donald Trump flirted extensively this spring, but then ran away with his true love, reality television, that tramp. Ms. Popular Transfer Student, Sarah Palin, dragged out her coquettish tease so long, even the most bewitched of beaus lost interest. On the rebound, blushing and gushing, Michele Bachmann accepted a corsage, but shortly after was discovered cheating with a corn dog, and jittery suitors fell out of love faster than a middle school girl vis-a-vis Justin Beiber.

After extended entreaties, Rick Perry triumphantly waltzed in to the fanfare of a conquering quarterback, and was immediately voted Homecoming King. No more calls, we have a winner. For about a week. Then, the Texas Governor unraveled like a badly knitted letter sweater caught in a threshing machine. A series of threshing machines. Seven to ten.

Even he admits he may have stumbled in debate class. Yeah. Stumbled being a polite way of saying “dug a hole deep enough to hide at least half of those very threshers of which earlier we spoke.” The more the cheerleaders saw of Captain Haircut, the more the bloom vamoosed the rose. Zero to 60 in 5.6.

With the dance but a couple months away, conservatives are franticly whining and pining for a savior to rise from these streets, turning their attention east to woo another Governor, Chris Christie of New Jersey. They’re Crazy for Christie. The right Mr. Right. Too big to fail. Flattered, Christie toned down his persistent “Not interested” to a titillating “let’s wait and see.” Oooh. Shivers.

Christie clearly relishes the role of vamping vixen, but continues to dither, aware that his date is a bit fickle, having tossed prospective partners like Kleenex in the midst of a bad cold. Meanwhile, Mitt Romney patiently waits dressed in his gown standing at the door. Wondering when the GOP will settle down, come to their senses and get their philandering over with. Might want to change out of those heels, and while you’re at it, a short skirt doesn’t hurt.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
09.24.11
TRICKLE UP ECONOMICS

It’s all a dance, really. A Democratic president summons the gumption to call for higher taxes on the rich and Republicans cry like third graders having their ice cream taken away and given to the neighbor’s dog. Invoking the hoariest of chestnuts; that oldie but goodie; as predictable as mushy green grapes in a fruit salad: The Class War Boogie.

For some reason, it’s always a war with these guys. The War on Christmas. Culture Wars. War on Terror. The Crusades. Then they accuse Democrats of being emotionally unequipped for battle. Well, which is it? You can’t have it both ways. Actually, you can. It just makes choosing which one to cruelly abandon to the wolves of winter that much more difficult. Or not.

When taxes are raised on the rich, that’s class warfare, but when subsidies are handed out to giant corporations who siphon jobs offshore so that rich people can have more money, that’s Trickle-Down Economics. What Barack should do is rename his efforts to balance the playing field, “Trickle-Up Economics.” That would at least confuse them. Although after watching the last couple of debates, confusion does not seem to be in short supply.

We’re not even allowed to call them rich anymore. They’re “job creators” now. And yes, jobs are being created. In Mexico. And Vietnam. And China. The American Dream is alive and well, just not here. It’s our own damn fault, really. American workers have ruined everything with their irrational demands for safe working conditions and a living wage. Who do we think we are? Stockholders?

Republicans have been as strident as a looped siren in a stainless steel silo in their opposition to a specific Obama proposal called the Buffett Rule, which calls for billionaires like Warren Buffett to pay the same tax rate as their secretaries. The GOP prefers the Jimmy Buffett Rule, which postulates that anybody worried about next month’s rent money- start drinking Margaritas until they pass out.

You know what, they’re right. It is a class war. The rich started it and their side is winning. They’ve bombed the middle class into submission burying jobs and pensions, playing chicken at the precipice with default to protect their precious aristocracy from paying one puny penny more in taxes. Cheap. Cheap. Cheap.

40% of all income gains in the last decade have trickled up to the wealthiest 1%. The richest 400 families in this country control more money than the bottom 150 million people put together. We’re moving from Depression levels of income inequality into French Revolution territory. Isn’t that Madame LaFarge over there in the corner knitting?

What is it with the rich? How much money do they need? How many cars can one person drive? How many beluga caviar cream cheese canapés can they consume at a single cocktail party? How many silk pajamas with platinum threads can you spill your Dom Perignon White Gold Mimosa on at a time? Okay, three. That’s what Hilda is for. One of the things.

And these are the people complaining about a class war? You want rules, how bout the Rolex Tourbillon Rule? Mandating that any job creator wearing a watch worth more than a house who ever mentions class warfare, gets a hose shoved down his throat and goose liver pumped in until pate leaks from their ears. Less war-like. More food-fighty.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
09.17.11
HOT DOG TIME

Okay, so we’re broke. Not “have to stretch to next payday” broke. Really broke. Our accounts are overdrawn, the credit cards are maxed out and if that’s China on the phone, tell them we just stepped out. Yes, again.

We’re in an economic hole so deep we’re bumping elbows with blind moles. Can feel the heat from the core of the earth on the soles of our feet. Need a co-signer to play pinball. We’re so broke, Greece won’t play backgammon with us anymore.

And its no use pretending we’re not broker than a television set in Elvis’ bedroom either. That’ll just make it worse. First thing, we have to stop acting like we’re still rolling in the green. Can’t keep ordering the prix fixe menu anymore. Got to learn to lay off the foie gras. Its hot dog time in America again.

What this country needs right now is tough love to get through these rough times. Common- sense solutions. I’m not talking about the futile recommendations Super Congress is busy formulating. Those won’t be remedies. Those will be more mere election year platitudes. As inevitable as gratuitous gore in a Danny Trejo movie. Like cookies in day care. Erasers on golf pencils.

When this sort of thing happens to families, they find ways to tighten their belts. Come up with plans to cut back on expenses and bring in extra money. Exactly what we should be doing now. So allow me to offer up a few modest proposals to help get this country back on its feet.

  • Do we really need 9 Supreme Court Judges? Couldn’t we slide by with 7? Considering recent decisions, I’d hazard to say a junior grade Justice Department law clerk could flip a coin and handle the job as well.
  • There’s no reason why the feds should continue to fund expensive Congressional elections in the Bible Belt. What we do is give the candidates an IQ test and the one with the lowest science score wins. A cheap alternative for the same result.
  • Pretty apparent we can’t afford to indulge in high priced fossil fuels anymore. Time to shift into bio- fuels. Ethanol, sure, but a better bet would be methane, especially with the incredibly abundant supply being regularly emitted out of our representatives in DC.
  • As far as revenue is concerned, what about renting out our armed forces to the highest bidder? We could use them to thwart or promote revolutions. Oh wait, we already do that. Well, we should charge more.
  • Check out at all the wasted white space on the side of the Washington Monument. Perfect spot for a skinny vertical billboard wouldn’t you say? Don’t worry; we’ll just advertise one tall latte at a time. Or two. The exclusivity makes it worth more.
  • Institute a $25 cover at all borders. If we can’t stop the people from streaming over, let’s at least make a couple of bucks off of them. Once that’s established, we add on a two- drink minimum.
  • Instead of working surreptitiously to influence foreign elections, we could offer up our official endorsement for a hefty charge. Or, if it would better assist our client’s needs, we’d announce our uncompromising support for their opponent. I’m thinking that option would be the more popular. And command a premium fee.
The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
09.10.11
RED MEAT SLAM DANCE

A full complement of Republican presidential candidates gathered for the battle royale at the Ronald Reagan Library in Seamy (Simi) Valley, California. And though he was only there in spirit, the Great Communicator could easily have supplied the power for the entire proceedings had the networks harnessed him spinning in his grave like a rotisserie chicken in the middle of a power surge.

The 8 challengers for his mantle didn’t just break the Gipper’s 11th Commandment, “Thou shall not speak ill of other Republicans,” they stomped on it with football cleats and shoved it down a sewer grate with a broken rake handle. It was a red meat, power-tie slam dance with operatic overtones.

Anticipation ran higher than Charlie Sheen on New Year’s Eve that a hockey match would break out and the blood thirsty audience was not going to be satisfied until lecterns dripped with copious spillage. Before Rick Perry could answer Brian Williams’ question about the execution of 234 inmates on his watch, they erupted into applause like an emeritus alumni crowd at Assassins State University during homecoming. Creeping the moderator out more than pinworms in the bottom of his footie pajamas.

Eyes on the prize, Newt Gingrich cautioned panel mates to keep the attacks focused on Obama, while castigating the media for trapping them in this internecine warfare. The rest of the contingent affectionately dismissed his admonition the way a group of Oakland Raider tailgaters would an elderly aunt wandering into a discussion on blitz protection. Newt Gingrich- the soul of reason. Something has gone horribly awry.

We did learn that Michele Bachmann believes in $2 a gallon gasoline and “a strong bold leader who will lead,” and that she spent the last three weekends going to restaurants and thinks drilling for oil in the Everglades is a good idea. So, apparently she’s planning an electoral strategy that disincludes Florida’s mighty 27.

Rick Perry hates cancer and called Social Security “a Ponzi scheme,” not once, but three times, so Florida is obviously not on his front burner either. Arch-enemy to all things science, Perry supported his “climate change, what climate change” philosophy by comparing himself to Galileo. You can’t make stuff up like this.

Ron Paul has been mauled by the TSA and is not happy about it or much of anything else. Second time through, it is virtually impossible for Willard Mitt Romney to be out-smugged by anybody, even an unctuous Texan. Hermann Cain likes Chile. The country, not the food. And the major difference between Elvis Presley and Rick Santorum’s candidacy is… there is none, they’re both rock salt, shaved-dust, dead.

Jon Huntsman may be running for the wrong party’s nomination. Trying to steer the group from the edge of various abysses, he and Newt shared the big boy babysitter role, while Bachmann lost more momentum than a dark matter anvil hitting a freeway sound wall. Big winner… Sarah Palin. For being prescient enough to not to have made up her mind yet.

But there’s plenty of time. This was just the premier stop for the traveling abattoir. There are dozens of chances for continued bloodletting until either Perry or Romney drops from the death of 1000 cuts, or they take each other out in a murder-suicide pact. While Team Obama roots for Perry from the sidelines the same way Jimmy Carter cheered on Bonzo’s sidekick back in 80. Be careful what you wish for.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
09.03.11
GOP PLEDGE DRIVE

I pledge. You pledge. We all pledge. Pledge allegiance to the flag. Pledge to stop smoking and drinking. As much. In front of the kids. NPR and PBS are ridiculous with their annoying pledge drives. Our leaders pledge and pledge and pledge to stop ignoring the past. Then they don’t. And in every second living room in America you can smell Lemon Pledge. These are the pledges of our lives.

But this campaign season, the whole pledging thing has rocketed out of control with broken O-rings. To where anybody who plans on getting up close and personal with a Republican candidate in the near future might want to carry an oath-repelling umbrella because pledges are raining down like frog parts after a methane gas explosion in the amphibian wing of an aquarium.

The pledges have become longitudinally rampant, running all over the map from gay marriage to abortion to Shariah law to the teaching of intelligent design. Which we can all agree is neither. Keep waiting for the American Association of Apple Growers to issue its demand that potential nominees publicly vow to avoid blueberry pies while running for president. “Communists eat cherry pie.” “Meringue is so French.” “Rhubarb is for Wussies.”

Rick Perry recently signed the Anti-Gay Marriage Pledge, which counteracts his previous pledge to leave the question up to the states. So, according to him, pandering homophobia trumps states rights. Of course Rick Perry not so long ago pledged not to run for President, so he seems to have a rather fluid attitude as far as these pledges go. This good ol’ boy needs to be careful lest he get labeled a pledging contradicter.

Righter than right conservatives first gained success with the Susan B Anthony Pledge in which anybody running for president promises to appoint antiabortion cabinet members. Then out flew the Cut, Cap and Balance Pledge, which cuts, caps and balances the budget, focusing on giving rich people more money.

And now, the Marriage Vow, which is similar to, yet different from the Anti-Gay Marriage Pledge. In this, candidates oppose same sex marriage, reject Shariah Law and pledge personal fidelity to their spouse. Which you’d think they’d have done during their wedding, but you never know with these kids and their crazy vows these days.

Haven’t heard anything about the Paris Hilton pledge to wear underwear while getting out of cars. Or the Foot-Long Corn Dog Pledge: never to allow photography while eating at the State Fair. And let’s not forget the Charlie Sheen Career Management Pledge, in which people take an intractable oath not to embarrass everyone they’ve ever met. Then again, these are politicians.

The Marriage Vow is the one that said black children born into slavery were more likely to be raised by a two-parent family than African-American children today, which some people pointed out kind of, almost, nearly, endorsed slavery. Little bit. Although Michele Bachmann admitted signing it, she later recanted, claiming not to have read it.

Oh, there you go. Signed it but didn’t read it. You know what we need? I’ll tell you what we need. We need candidates willing to sign a pledge not to sign any pledges they haven’t read. And bearing in mind the state of illiteracy currently in evidence, that in itself should cut down on this widespread pledging, considerably.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
08.27.11
MISTER MUZZLE & NUZZLE

The Republican strategy for 2012 seems simple enough. It’s a numbers game. They plan to flood the market. Set up an all-you-can-eat candidate buffet. If you don’t like the potential nominee in front of you, try the next steam table. An appetizing aspirant is bound to bubble up. Or not. But at least you’re moving around and getting some exercise.

The latest and greatest Great White GOP Hope to throw his hat into the ring is Rick Perry, and its no ordinary hat either; we’re talking ten gallon here, folks. It appears we got ourselves another governor from Texas looking to be president. Yep, that’s just what this country needs. And species-jumping hookworms. More of those too.

To Texas Democrats, he’s “Captain Haircut,” and to watch the high ranked coiffure campaign is déjà vu all over again. He’s George Bush Lite. And yes, the redundant heights of that phrase are indeed vertigo inducing. Similar to saying… uncomfortable bus seat. Or… disingenuous oil industry spokesperson. Perry is the candidate for those of you who couldn’t cozy up to Dubyah due to his intellectual elitism.

Governor Rick himself highlighted this distinction, crowing to supporters that he went to Texas A&M while Bush went to Yale. Ain’t that just like a Texan? Bragging about attending a less prestigious school. See, he’d be better for the nation because he’s not so smart. And already leading the polls. The Pied Piper of lowered expectations.

Perry claims he only entered the fray because God told him to. Of course, Michele Bachmann says God called on HER to run for President. So, either someone is fibbing, God is off his meds again, or we’re talking about two entirely different deities. Begging the question: which god hates America that much? Kali? Pele? The Mighty Thor? Eric Clapton?

The longest serving Governor in Texas history possesses a mouth big enough to match his hat, having accused Fed Head Ben Bernanke of treason and calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme. Not to worry: staffers are proving their mettle with some nifty major league hemming and hawing and harrumphing and walking back that statement faster than a toddler can spit milk through his nose.

Demonstrating his Lone Star kick-buttedness, Perry vetoed a bill banning the execution of mentally retarded inmates, so he doesn’t just embrace the death penalty, he nuzzles it. 234 on his watch. Probably can’t go to sleep until sneaking a peek at his dog-eared lethal injection technical manual stuck between the mattress and box spring. One of those humane proponents of electric bleachers.

James Richard Perry also gained a bit of notoriety last year when he shot a coyote while jogging. Hate to play tennis with this guy. If he carries a .380 Ruger with hollow points while jogging, you’d always give him the net worried his racket handle had a built-in bayonet. And what does he pack on hunting trips, a Howitzer?

Be interesting to see if Perry can sell himself nationally while still maintaining Texas has a deal with the federal government allowing the state to secede at anytime. Should investigate whether that option is mutual. In the meantime, they’re sliding another dish under the sneeze guard. It’s smooth and chunky and piping hot. Hey! Is that Chris Christie?

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
08.20.11
SUPER DUPER CONGRESS

Oh sure, they made a big show of signing the debt ceiling agreement, with official photo-ops and fancy commemorative pens all accompanied by great racking sighs of relief. But now both Congress and the President are having second thoughts; treating the deal like a dead horsefly floating in their cut-glass tumbler of 25 year-old Scotch. You’d find more enthusiasm from the contestants of a beach volleyball tournament surveying a sand court littered with scorpions scurrying under a sea of broken beer bottles.

Speaking of scorpions, included in the agreement was a provision forming a committee responsible for future deficit reduction. 12 members appointed by party leaders from both the House and Senate. Whose mission, should they accept it, is to find 1.5 trillion dollars over a ten year period digging past the bare bones, down into the marrow.

Charged to construct a plan by Thanksgiving Eve or risk triggering automatic cuts. Doomsday cuts. Cuts designed to frighten politicians from the most stable of districts. That’s right: cuts to the military.

A majority of the committee, equally split between Republicans and Democrats, must agree on the proposal to send it to the whole of Congress who will vote either up or down with no amendments or filibusters allowed: meaning one member has to cross party lines, which is about as likely as pimento flavored Velveeta taking first place in the 2012 World Championship Artisan Cheese Contest.

Even though the American public and pretty much every economist on the face of the planet agrees we need a balance between entitlement cuts and revenue enhancement, the Democrats already snapped that entitlement cuts are off the table and the Republicans are shouting no new revenue will be accepted, so really, what they did was not so much kick the can down the road, but throw it onto the back of a passing flatbed truck where it disappeared over the asphalt horizon.

Now, this group has been called many things. Useless. The Supercommittee. Business as Usual. The Twerpy Twelve. A Dozen Punters. The Craven Caucus. Esteemed Assembly of the Ill-Advisable. League of the Unexceptionally Pontificating Pool of Party Hacks. But most commonly, it is referred to as: “Super Congress.”

“Slower than a slug on Thorazine; less powerful than a soggy Kleenex; unable to compromise in a million years. Look! Up in that swiveling leather club seat of that private jet. It’s a ruse, it’s a sham, it’s… Super Congress.

Yes, Super Congress. Strange hybrid from another reality, come to Capitol Hill with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal members.

Super Congress. Who can change the course of appropriations, bend ethics regulations in the wink of an eye and who, disguised as… the United States Congress Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, mild mannered functionary of the Hall of Invertebrates, fights the never ending battle against Truth, Justice and the American Way.”

And when their capes are discarded and utility belts back in storage, we can move onto the next level of logical suspension and form the Super Duper Congress. Then… Son of Super Duper Congress. And call in Batman or maybe the Justice League or reconvene the Watchmen or that little guy who talks backwards and doesn’t make any sense. Mr. Mxyztplk. You may know him as: Ron Paul. More scorpions, please.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing "or to find out more about upcoming stand-up performances such as next Thursday in North Lake Tahoe, or Friday and Saturday in Reno.
 
08.06.11
THE GREAT CONCESSIONAIRE

Sorry if you settled into your recliner ready to enjoy the blessed silence destined to descend on the political playing field in the aftermath of the Debt Ceiling Death Match. Lasted as long as the life cycle of an adult mayfly. That momentary blissful peace was rudely broken by a cacophony of squeaks and grunts and shouts as each camp tried to out blame the other for the thudding crash Wall Street made falling down a well. Quick, go find Lassie.

It appears the Market is not impressed with the two-step deal Congress agreed to kicking and screaming. Look close and you can see the bones of the middle class sticking out of the confetti left over from the banking and oil industry celebrations. Spending cuts during a recession. There you go. Starve a fever and feed a cold, or the other way around? What the hell, starve them both. We’ll eat when we’re dead.

Hard to understand why Progressives are so mad at Obama. After all, he didn’t do anything. Besides cave faster than an overused supply tunnel in a Chilean coal mine. The difference is, nobody’s rushing out to organize any rescue parties. Happy Birthday Mister President. Sorry we couldn’t get Marilyn to sing. Doubt if Pelosi hummed it either.

The Tea Baggers won, confusing both Democrats and Republicans, by refusing to act like politicians eschewing all the usual motivations such as their own self-interest or party affinity or even the general welfare of the country. You can’t negotiate with cement. Giving proof to the old adage: “never get in a fight with an ugly person, they got nothing to lose.

One fascinating thing to come out of the debt debacle was watching the only adult in the room turn from Great Facilitator into Great Enabler before our very eyes. Obama is so determined to govern from the middle, there should be a double yellow line down the center of his forehead. Democrats may desert him, but he remains king of the Road Kill Party. Would hate to get stuck behind Barack in a grocery line after he was asked “Paper or plastic?” Your ice cream would liquefy waiting for him to convince the clerk he wanted “plaper” or “pastic.”

The Tea Party held the government hostage, and the President fell victim to a wicked case of Stockholm Syndrome, bonding with his captors, until at last, he was able to successfully convince the kidnappers to accept more than they originally asked for.

The administration called the deal a compromise. The same kind of compromise the Titanic arranged with that iceberg. Like how Nagasaki and Hiroshima compromised with Fat Man and Little Boy. Brokered as many concessions as New Orleans got from Katrina. The financial equivalent of handing over Czechoslovakia after extracting a vague promise to possibly leave Poland alone. Trust he got a rolled up umbrella for his birthday.

At this point, you can’t even accuse the Democrats of being afraid of their own shadow because they don’t cast one. Besides, it’s hard to see your shadow when your head is so far up your butt you can tickle your spleen with your elbow. And if they expect any chance at all in 2012, they’d be wise to invest heavily in stem cell research in hopes of regenerating their spine.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
07.30.11
GIBBERISH & MANURE

The situation on Capitol Hill has become so confusing, we’re going to need a nuclear physicist with a googleplex of serially connected molecular microscopes to precisely explain what is happening. Instead, you got me. This whole debt ceiling debate has made rush hour gridlock on the 405 look like a romantic excursion in Central Park on a bicycle built for two. Nonetheless, I take it upon myself to sort out what’s going on. No need for thanks. Part of my court-ordered community service.

Right now, you could say we find ourselves philosophically constipated and at a bit of a standstill. You could also say that molten lava is hot. Here’s what we know so far: The conservative wing of the Republican Party has stopped talking to Speaker of the House John Boehner. Boehner walked out on President Barack Obama. Probably weeping. Obama finds it impossible to even look at House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi puts her hands over her ears and makes “la-la-la” noises whenever she sees House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

Cantor challenged Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to a pugil stick match in the gold stacks at Fort Knox. Reid can barely stand erect. The Tea Party won’t stop shouting long enough to hear the sound of the oncoming financial train wreck bearing down on us. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has advised Obama not to negotiate with terrorists. Boehner can’t talk to the Tea Party until he finds someone on his staff who speaks gibberish. Calling the situation “bizarro,” Arizona Senator John McCain wandered down the hall looking for a wormhole to Mordor. And finally, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has taken to leaping out from under the hangers in the Senate Cloak Room trying to scare the media.

Tea Party members have evidenced their ideological purity by not only refusing to consider any bill that features revenue enhancement, but also shunning anyone who has ever been in a room where revenue enhancement might once have been mentioned. Their mantra is cuts, cuts, cuts. Then sell the blood, blood, blood. They claim to be practicing tough love, with emphasis on the adjective and a void near the noun.

Their enigmatic intransigence has escalated even though they are aware their plan to eviscerate Medicare has less chance of passing a Democratically controlled Senate than a poison dart frog has of co-starring with Angelina Jolie in a Jim Henson produced remake of “Spartacus.” Democrats need to avoid the slippery slope of entitlement slashing, due to the alarming frequency with which old people vote.

The Righter than Right’s message is an update on the old “My way or the highway,” coming more from the asphalt contractor’s view. “My way or become part of the highway.” The attack dogs are so wound up they’re turning on their own leaders. Boehner had to scold his party to “get your a** in line.” Of course, internal fears are they will then inadvertently form a tunnel.

The whole noisy lot of them continue to run around like chickens with their heads cut off and that choice of fowl is anything but accidental. This is less the tail wagging the dog than the flea on the tip of the last hair on the tail wagging the whole Iditarod Kennel. And I hope that clear things up better than a dump truck full of fertilizing manure in a children’s inflatable pool. But I doubt it.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
07.23.11
BACK IN THE FOLD

Give Congress the benefit of the doubt and say they do work out a compromise on the debt ceiling extension. This country could still slip into default, leading to the worst possible scenario imaginable - We have to move back in with England. Who’s going to be happy then? Nobody. You think it’s embarrassing slinking home after graduating college, try waiting 235 years.

Already dreading the dressing down we’ll be forced to patiently endure should we make it through the front door. “Well, well, well, look who’s back. Seems someone couldn’t hack it out on our own, could they, Mister I’m Ready for Independence? How’s it feel to be labeled a fading superpower? Not much bloody fun being mocked by the neighbors, is it boyo?

Notice you didn’t rush right over to your good friend China’s house. What’s the matter, did you have a fight with your new BFF? Or are they wanting their loans back? What about Egypt? Don’t they owe you a bit of something? Or did you squander it away like your post 911 goodwill? Typical.

So. Here you are. I suppose you’ll be wanting your old room back. Well, you can forget it. Pakistan has been renting that room for almost three decades. Very tidy people. And quiet. Too quiet, if you ask me. But they cook. Nice break for your mother. Stinks up the kitchen a bit with all those spices, but quite tasty really.

What in Hades is wrong with you? Why couldn’t you manage your money better like your younger brother Canada? Yes, they’re a bit boring, but solid as Gibraltar. You never see Canada in the foyer with their bags around their feet like a homeless person. Nose to the grindstone, that’s Canada in a nutshell. Still respect their Royals. Nothing like you or that drunken lout Australia, but don’t get me started.

Okay. Now this is totally against my better judgment but your mother says you can crash on the basement couch. Just for a couple of weeks, mind you. But this isn’t the Ritz. While you live in this house, you will live by our rules, mister. That means the TV shuts off at 10pm. Sharp. And yes, there’s only 4 channels. Stop whingeing.

No more making fun of the Queen. You hear me? And not a single smirking word about Rupert Murdoch. Can’t say your hands are altogether clean on that one, now can we? Look at me when I’m talking to you. And get this through your thick skull, health care is free. For everybody. The stitches may be a mite larger than you’re accustomed from your fancy Beverly Hills surgeons, but I dare say you’ll get used to it.

One last thing, no more wars. If I hear of one more scrape you’ve gotten yourself into, you’ll be back on the street so fast it’ll make David Cameron’s head spin. Faster. Nobody wants you mucking about with your sticky little fingers in their business anymore. Do we understand each other? Good.

Now get yourself downstairs. Unpack and wash up. Put on a tie. Supper’s at 5. By the looks of you, I’d wager you haven’t missed many meals. And straighten up while you’re down there. Make sure there’s a clean spot under the stairwell; we’re setting up a cot. Ireland just called. They’re on their way over.”

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
07.16.11
CROUCHING LURKERS

Run for the hills everybody! Armageddon is imminent! The sky is beyond falling; it’s anvil plummeting! Onto our heads so fast the clouds are whistling the love theme from the movie “2012.” The US economy is about to meltdown like a popsicle left on a Palm Springs picnic table and it’s only a matter of time before this country liquefies into Greece’s financial twin without the pleasant distraction of all that melodious zither music.

Seniors and sick people and soldiers are destined to be tossed into the streets to battle mutant rats for food. The 3 branches of the government will inevitably be deemed too expensive and we’ll be forced to let one go. All hell is about to break loose. Don’t you get it? We’re doomed! Doomed!! Then again, maybe not.

What is clear, is, well, nothing. We kind of, almost, pretty much, but might not really know for sure: Unless Congress agrees to raise the Debt Ceiling by August 2nd, America’s authority to borrow money will expire and the government may or mayn’t shut down. What that means, nobody knows. Could be not so good or it could be really really bad or it could be stick your head between your knees and kiss your butt goodbye bad.

And yes, I can hear you whispering, “hey, schmucko, shutting down the government doesn’t sound half bad to me. About time we kicked those freakin’ freeloaders off of the dole.” Point well taken. But understand - the responsibility for those big red “Freeloader” stickers you’re so anxious to plaster on parasitic foreheads will not be given to you. It will be handed from one government bureaucrat to another government bureaucrat, which means your forehead could easily end up sporting a big red sticker. Got to remember - one man’s pork is another man’s hickory smoked bacon bits.

Both parties are now striding histrionically across the stage pronouncing in loud mellifluous tones how determined and proud they are to stick to their core principles while demanding that the other side be the first to compromise. The theory being the other side is more likely to abandon their core principles because, let’s be honest, they aren’t really core principles at all, so much as they are re-election talking points. And you know what, they’re right. Who? Yes.

The Republicans are demanding cuts in entitlement programs, which the President said he’d consider. The Democrats have in their own inimitable roundabout way brought up the possibility of maybe raising taxes on a few rich people, which Eric Cantor, the Under Speaker of the House, says he won’t consider.

And that, my friends, is pretty much where we stand right now. Although the word “stand” might be affording the participants a wee bit too much credit. Squirm. Slink. Skulk. Dodge. Creep. Crouch. Lurk. Loiter. Weasel. Cower. Any of these might be more apropos.

Unfortunately, this is, was, and forever shall be, the way of things in Congress. Much hollow bluster and empty fury in a noisy gamble to appease the base until it becomes crystal clear whom the general populace (Independents) blames for the gridlock, then everyone quickly signs something nobody likes and both parties walk off declaring victory. Think of it as the New Vietnamization of Congressional negotiation. No peace at all and very little honor.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up and television performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
07.10.11
PITY THE POOR RICH

Allow me to offer up a few words in defense of one of the most maligned groups in America today. Citizens, who through a simple twist of fate, are routinely subjected to some of the most scathing condemnation and slanderous stereotyping in the annals of recorded history. Of course I’m talking about those unsung heroes of capitalism, the highly lubed pistons in the engine of our economy: the rich.

Isn’t it time we stopped demonizing the wealthy simply because they have a couple more bucks? You’ve heard all the scurrilous charges: Greedy. Selfish. Thieving. Insatiable. Rapacious. Grasping. Hog-like. Power-mad. Heartless. Wear a lot of pink. And what’s the deal with the no socks thing? Like they can’t afford them?

People, settle down. The rich are just like the rest of us, only with access to a better class of orthodontists. They put their Egyptian silk trousers on one leg at a time, same as you and me. Besides, wasn’t it God, in the Bible, who said money can’t buy happiness? Although admittedly, it can be used as barter for a lot of stuff that might make you happy: like prescription drugs and bus fare and rent and ramen.

Being rich isn’t all a bed of roses, you know. Its not easy having green. You can’t trust anybody. That includes but is not limited to- perfect strangers, casual acquaintances, prospective suitors, family members, non-profit organizations, banks, shysters, crooks and lawyers, but I repeat myself, not to mention the most dangerous threat of all, other rich people. Do the names Bernie Madoff, Warren Buffett and the Kardashians have any meaning here?

Off-shore accounts can be sooooooo confusing. The cost of private jet fuel is legalized extortion. And good housekeeping help is impossible to find. Scoundrels constantly plot to make your money, their money. Hence, rich people are forced to cower in a continual state of paranoia. But like buttery soft vicuna sport coats, it comes with the territory. Nobody robs poor people. Well, actually, rich people rob poor people, but that’s different. That’s business.

The main problem with being rich is never having enough money. And while liberals gripe and snipe that the rich and their corporations are sitting on trillions (no, really, trillions) of dollars waiting for the “correct political climate” to rehire workers, the fact that they employ thousands and thousands of lawyers to ferret out loopholes to keep from paying taxes goes criminally unreported. It’s all about jobs.

I know what you’re saying, “how can you defend these avaricious squeezebags? These scabrous zits on the forehead of egalitarianism? These predatory pus wads with the principles of diseased weasels in heat.” Well, self-preservation mostly; because someday, like everybody else in this great land of ours, I intend to be rich. A major reason why Democrats find it impossible to wage a class war.

The difference is, I’d be a really good rich person. Would cheerfully pay my fair share of taxes and regularly engage little people in sparkling small talk and never stiff waiters or prostitutes no matter how lousy the service received. How rich? Filthy rich. Rich enough not to stuff the Kleenex box in my suitcase when I check out of hotel rooms. I’d leave it right there on the bathroom sink for the next guy. Hey, it’s a goal.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances like his performance at 142 Throckmorton in Mill Valley on Saturday July 16.
 
06.25.11
KILLER CARNIVOROUS SNAILS FROM FRANCE

You don’t need me to tell you that this country is broke. Not just broke. Flat busted. Unflush. Tapped to the max. No bread or cabbage or scratch to speak of. Moolahless. Holes in our pockets. Fresh out of chump change. Sans simoleons. Hands sparkling clean of any filthy lucre. Moths flying out of our wallets. Lot of red numbers. Flinching from the whistle of the wind over our empty piggy banks. Got us a dearth of dead presidents is what we got.

So it’s high time we start acting like it. As has been pointed out by pundits and politicians o’plenty, the guvmint needs to do what normal Merican families do when they run into desperate straits: pretend nothing is going on while we watch reality TV shows and drink lots of beer. No, no, no. Tried that. Didn’t work.

First off, we got to stop handing over money to rogue nations that simply use it to buy guns they then turn on us. If we insist on helping these toads out, we should eliminate the middleman and furnish the guns direct. We can buy in much bigger bulk than they, procuring them cheaper, saving bundles of cash. And we taxpayers keep the kickbacks instead of the politicians. Win-win.

Secondly, we should take advantage of this Arab Spring democracy movement. Provides the perfect cover to lay off some of our under performing dictators. Isn’t it about time we co-opted a new generation of despots? Since they’d be junior journeymen oppressors, they should cost less. Like major corporations lay off expensive senior executives, we’ll replace our pricey aging tyrants.

But we all know it’s not enough to make a few minor cuts in the budget, we also have to work on increasing revenue. And I don’t mean selling off ancient public institutions like various national monuments or Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Their resale values ain’t what they used to be. Although it might help to seasonally adjust the bottom line.

We need to think outside the box. Direct Research and Development to produce and sell something that every American needs. Like an anti SARS serum. The deal is, we engineer and market the antidote now, then fashion a huge penicillin-resistant SARS scare later, and have the FDA approved shot or salve or cream or clear or whatever available at your local pharmacy in time for cold and flu season? Tie-Ming. Not just a city in China.

Doesn’t have to be SARS. Could be anything. If SARS is too scary for the squeamish, lay down a few well-placed rumors of rampaging mutant Killer Carnivorous Snails from France and change the product to Fast Acting Snail Repellent. Same formula. Different packaging. Then ratchet up the panic with a bunch of infomercials. You know: news stories. Fox. CNN. Bloomberg. Create an imaginary vacuum and fill it. Worked for the Tea Party.

Even if it does eventually come out the whole event was manufactured, the residual damage would be minimal. What’s the worst that could happen? People lose faith in their elected leaders? Oh no. Not that. The government is already lying to us on a regular basis, the least we can do is figure out how to make some money off of it. Got to ask ourselves: What would Microsoft do?

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up and television performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
06.19.11
DARK WIZARDS CONVENE

CNN hosted the first GOP debate of the year that involved actual candidates and some clear winners did emerge. The 99.99% of the American people who neglected to watch it. But for the sixteen of us who did, the strategy of the combatants was more obvious than a wooly mammoth skeleton in a stairwell. Bash Obama. Take a breath, bash again. And repeat.

Every time the frontrunner, Mitt Romney, spoke, he circumvented the actual question and relentlessly whipped into a monotonous “failure of leadership” mantra like a broken hand puppet. To the point where he needs be careful to keep a respectful distance from the phrase or distracted voters might think it reflects him. “Romney? Yeah, he’s the failure guy.”

You could say that Obama’s Failure has been the chosen Republican tactic. You could also say that water is an effective medium for whale migrations. Repeatedly claiming his abject non-success to be their number one priority, the Party of Lincoln facilitated much executive stumbling by tripping the President at every step of every way since day one. If Obstructionism were an Olympic Sport, these guys would have more gold around their necks than Mr. T.

The purpose of the loyal opposition is to oppose, but lately Republicans act like they’d rather the economy sink like a diesel engine in a swimming pool than Obama be given credit for a scintilla of its comeback.

The contestants then proved their bona fides by competing to see who most disliked the president. “Oh yeah, well, I really really hate him.” “I hate him worse than chigger mites.” “Responsible for all evil worldwide throughout history and into perpetuity.”

Amongst themselves however, it was a veritable love fest as the dais genuflected at Ronald Reagan’s altar, strictly honoring his 11th commandment, “Thou shall not speak ill of other Republicans.” Mouths were clamped shut tighter than Bernie Madoff’s credit line in Vegas.

Tim Pawlenty failed to modify his “boring as porridge” reputation, shrinking from repeating his previous day’s charge that the President patterned his health care overhaul on Romney’s Massachusetts plan. To which the Mittmeister responded “The President is going to eat those words.” Whoa, dude. Tough talk. Obviously trying to nail down those NASCAR Dads early.

We did learn that Herman Cain, the only black guy in New Hampshire, doesn’t believe Sharia law belongs in American courtrooms. Good. Neither do poisonous blowfish darts. Newt Gingrich’s upbeat approach was to fix the word “depression” in people’s minds while boasting he’d save 100 billion dollars by not paying crooks. So apparently, he opposes oil and ethanol subsidies and plans to suspend Congressional salaries.

Michele Bachmann might have said something other than Obama Care! Obama Care! Obama Care! But if she did it was unintelligible. Rick Santorum continues to be all about the zygotes. And Ron Paul has something to say about the Federal Reserve, darn it, but nobody, not even his fellow panelists, is interested. Conspicuously absent were solution-based ideas. The shortage approached Soviet bread line standards.

The nomination seekers all dazedly echoed the Reagan hive mind calling for more tax cuts and further deregulation, which back in the day was characterized by George Herbert Walker Bush as Voodoo Economics. In the depths of the crises we find ourselves, doubling down on what got us here seems to go way beyond Voodoo. These wizards are practicing sorcery. More dark magic from yesteryear. Where’s Dumbledore when you need him?

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up and television performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
06.11.11
WEINERGATE

Trust me. I really wanted to avoid the groin tweeting thing altogether but you might as well try to avert your eyes from a bullfight in a bowling alley. To the average civilian, the subject must seem riper than a three-week old banana for major mocking and scoffing and taunting. Slam-dunking from a step-ladder. The problem is: how do you parody a parody?

Unfortunately, the unfortunately named Anthony Weiner is the only game in town, sucking all the oxygen out of the newsroom. For instance, it’s almost impossible to discover the subject of Sarah Palin’s newest Revisionist History Lesson. Did Abraham Lincoln declare war on the French to sabotage tort reform? Even the resignation of Newt Gingrich’s entire campaign staff went relatively unnoticed. Apparently their love of their country is just too strong.

And the whole brouhaha is the New York Democrat’s own damn fault. There wouldn’t have been half the outcry if his name wasn’t a synonym for sausage. After all, the choice of pronunciation is his. Could have taken a page out of John Boehner’s playbook. Of course, boner-baner is way different than wiener-whiner. Whiner is still a lousy name for a politician. Appropriate perhaps, especially for a Democrat, but lousy nonetheless. Its one of those rock and a hard place deals. But he could have gone bold: “Yes, its spelled W-E-I-N-E-R, but we pronounce it… Schultz.”

His singular consolation has to be his parents didn’t add to his misery by christening him Richard. Or Harry. It’s Anthony. Tony Weiner. Which sounds like a high-class hot dog. Or, the cartoon mascot in that animated short we saw in 5th grade health class about the reproductive system. “Hi Kids! I’m Tony Wiener. Ready for a fast ride down the fallopian tube? Okay! Hard hats on? Let’s go.”

Congressman Weiner, and boy, isn’t that turning out to be generically redundant, first lied about his unique approach to junk mail, but after allegations piled up like parking tickets on an abandoned VW Van in a white zone, he broke down and was frank about his franking. At long last, he finally could say with certitude that the crotch in question was indeed his.

The Brett Favre wannabe admitted sexting six different women he met online, including a porn star, who reported that he tried to get her to lie about their relationship, but she refused. Pretty sad when the porn industry exhibits higher standards of integrity than Congress. But that’s old news.

So far, Weiner has resisted all calls to step down, which ironically has the Democratic leadership muttering unprintable imprecations under their breath. But the guy didn’t break any laws. He’s just a lout. And you can’t force members of Congress to resign for being an oaf or you’d never be able to assemble a quorum. Besides, I’d be surprised if Harry Reid knows what a Twitter is.

To say that expressions of party support have been scarce is similar to noting that few Episcopal ministers sport flamboyantly inked dragon neck tattoos. Not even good friend Bill Clinton has spoken out in defense of his fellow serial womanizer. Bill Clinton, who officiated at Weiner’s wedding. And doesn’t that explain a lot. Amongst other accomplishments we can now add to the former President’s resume-carrier. Typhoid Bubba.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website willdurst.com to find out more about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, “The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing.”
 
06.04.11
CORRODED CLOCKWORK

Like corroded clockwork, the Republicans once again find themselves in the middle of a public relations disaster the size of Jupiter’s largest moon, Ganymede. Specifically, their plan to reform Medicare, which some folks say is akin to a tornado’s plan to reform trailer courts. Of course I’m talking about Paul Ryan’s Roadmap for America’s Future in which utilizes a rusty chain saw to perform major surgery on Medicare without benefit of anesthetic. And don’t even think of staying overnight: this is an outpatient procedure.

The scheme involves replacing blanket care for elders with fixed-value vouchers. You know, like coupons. That’s right, he’s going to hand out health care coupons. Why? Because it would save lots of money, which then could be given to wealthy people through increased tax cuts and besides, everybody knows, old people love coupons.

Perhaps a Schedule Two Roadmap Fix will enlist Groupon to move into the health care field. “Designer Colonoscopies. $2250. ($5,000 Value) Save 55%. Today Only! Need to pre-sell 2500 by 4 pm.” Then we phase in Early-Bird Organ Transplants. And make discounted cardio defibrillators available at your local neighborhood Everything for a Dollar Store.

Cognizant of seniors tendency to mislay important objexts, Ryan thoughtfully unburdens them with having to actually handle the grubby little coupons physically: those will be given directly to the insurance providers for safekeeping. And when people run out of coupon value, banks could be enlisted to suck out account funds for a nominal transaction fee. You know, for our convenience.

Not everyone is toeing the bright red line down the hall. Newt Gingrich, in an unguarded moment on Meet the Press, called the idea right-wing social engineering, no better than left wing social engineering. And less aerodynamic than single wing engineering. Although gliding remains his preferred means of transportation.

However, after a spin transfusion in the bowels of a GOP reeducation camp, the Newt recanted, going on to warn that any ad Democrats air using his TV quote is a lie. Which is redundant, because pretty much every ad using any of his quotes is a lie. After all, he is a known politician.

What has the GOP running scared is a recent special election where Democrats hammered the Medicare issue to win a New York Congressional seat that had been in Republican hands since Ichabod Crane ran on the Whig ticket. Guaranteeing that in the next election, every Democrat in every district all across the country will revive the NY script right down to the placement of the colons.

In an attempt to preempt these anticipated attacks, Republicans are demagoguing Democrats for demagoguing them with “Mediscare” tactics. From the same people who accused Obama of creating death panels last year. If the hypocrisy coming out of their mouths could be bottled and sold to Los Angeles as a studio lubricant we could pay off the national debt in a week with enough left over for a down payment on Beijing.

Obviously the American voters have the attention span of high-speed lint and it’s a long way to the 2012 elections. But you might want to install a protective filter on your TV for the impending tsunami of ads featuring parades of elders being attacked by Paul Ryan’s Tax Cut Zombies from the Planet NO! Excuse me while I slip months into the fetal position behind the couch under a blanket of coupons for the next 17 months.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out willdurst.com to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or buy his most recent CD, “Raging Moderate” or his book, “The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing.”
 
05.28.11
SUMMER: DAY ONE

Forget the almanac. And the calendar. Forget whatever the weatherman or the newspaper or the next-door neighbor with the hair growing out of a mole shaped like the state of Delaware on his nose told you. The true worm-hole opening to summer is not the upcoming solstice on June 21st; it’s the last Monday of May, Memorial Day.

Memorial Day: when the world alters unalterably for every kid and teacher across the land. By now, the cages have either sprung open or the locks are being picked and the imprinted DNA of every true blooded American tingles in anticipation of the ten to twelve weeks of school-free adventures looming ahead like a sun kissed valley below a fog enshrouded summit. Even if we don’t get to stop in the valley, we can recall when we did and grin wistfully.

Officially, the last Monday of May was carved out as a peaceful moment to lay a wreath at the tomb of all the young men and women who sacrificed their lives for the security of this nation not to mention the multitude of valiant drivers tragically lost in midwestern automobile races.

Unofficially, it’s a time for the whole of America to stop in the headlong momentum of the year to lean on a freshly painted picnic table and catch our breath. Summer? Already? How the heck did that happen? Wasn’t it just the other day we were taking down our Xmas cards? Of course some of us still have our Xmas cards up. And just exactly what is wrong with that?

Most importantly, Memorial Day marks the beginning of the flesh-charring season. Our own at the beach eating al fresco for the first time all year and those many brave slow mammals on a freshly scrubbed Weber who gave their lives in order for us to raise our cholesterol levels to heights where sherpas fear to tread.

This is a time for fireworks and pie and tires swinging on ropes over rivers and roasted marshmallows and ice cream on sticks that melt down your hand all the way to the elbow. And golf and corn and hiking and lemonade and thunderstorms and baseball broadcasts on am radio and spending a week in the middle of August jammed in the back of a station wagon with no air conditioning, an incontinent 18 year old basset hound and a leaking Coleman cooler.

Some people even find camping relaxing. Good for them. For me, the outdoors is where the car is. Roughing it means cable TV without Turner Classic Movies. You say Wilderness: I think spotty cell phone reception.

My vacation plans comprise of room service, Perry Mason marathons on hulu.com and the crazed midnight looting of many hotel mini bars. Forgive me folks, but my idea of a good time does not involve sleeping on rocks, going potty behind trees and dodging mosquitoes the size of Lazy Boy recliners. Think more along the lines of waitresses shepherding sweaty bottles of cold beer poolside.

Our season of frenzied leisure will too shortly end on Labor Day, so hurry out there and have one terrific summer full of languid days and untroubled nights. May you frolic and cavort and gambol and caper in a madcap series of wacky zany antics that are fondly remembered always. All while keeping the sand off of your hot dog.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out willdurst.com to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, “The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing.”
 
05.21.11
YES, VIRGINIA, SOME MEN ARE PIGS

The hell is the deal with male politicians these days? Have they lost their minds? Guys, they’re giving all us men a bad name. And with Charlie Sheen still on the loose, we need the negative publicity the way a platypus needs another spiny knob at the end of its tail. Maybe the reptilian core at the base of our brains senses mortality causing caution to be thrown to the wind spiraling into Bacchanalian chaos while there’s still time. Or maybe we’re just stupider and getting caught more.

Specifically speaking about Dominique Strauss-Kahn: the French former managing director of the International Monetary Fund, accused of assaulting a maid in his Manhattan hotel room. Then petitioned for bail claiming not to be a flight risk, even though he was apprehended trying to fly back to Paris on a plane. Which, if you ask me, is the definition of a flight risk. Dude, you were on a flight. And are a hell of a risk.

This isn’t DSK’s first trip down Abuse of Power Alley. So many women (not afraid anymore) are coming forward, French officials might start requiring parade permits. Easy to see why his friends are upset about him being photographed in handcuffs on a perp walk; the guy looks guiltier than a priest roaming the halls of a boys school with a pocket full of condoms at 3am. Of course, most successful 60 plus year old men share that guilty gleam. Nobody with that kind of power is ever truly innocent.

Strauss-Kahn comes out of the Berlusconi mold with force and intimidation supplanting money and influence but the transgressions remain the same. Something creepy about these sneaky silky smooth suave European pols who can’t stop loving the ladies. You know them. The guys who force you to avoid your eyes at the pool while they strut around in those tight bikini-bottom bathing suits like plum smuggling peacocks.

I get it that power is an aphrodisiac but how and where do all these mens acquire this “your-silly-laws-don’t-apply-to-me” attitude? Is there a secret society that escorts the newly elected to a cave, bends them over, and administers a series of ceremonial entitlement shots? Then again, most politicians don’t need the shots. More like a prerequisite. All those rallies and sycophants and phony smiles and eventually just like mom warned, your face does freeze that way

There’s too many miscreants for it to be a coincidence. In the last couple years and I’m only listing big profile guys: Clinton. Edwards. Livingston. Gingrich. Vitter. Villaraigosa. Gibbons. Foley. Hutchinson. Sherwood. Allen. McGreevy. Ensign. Craig. Sanford. Spitzer. And now former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has admitted infidelity. Shocker, hunh. Who knew? What’s next: clam chowder at Denny’s in Boston on a Friday?

Arnold fathered a son with his housekeeper who continued to work for the family for the next 10-14 years. Talk about work ethic. And think of the nerve it took not telling your wife while your illegitimate kid is wandering around the house for more than a decade. That’s chutzpah. The Governator may have taken that whole “acting like a member of the Kennedy clan” thing just a little too far. Of course he may end up hailed as a family hero anyhow. By making JFK look good in comparison.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out willdurst.com to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, “The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing.”
 
05.14.11
RUN, NEWT, RUN!

Out of elective politics for over a decade, dithering on the sidelines like a moody Southern fried Hamlet, Newt Gingrich jumped back into the ring announcing plans to run for the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination. And for every analyst and every pundit and every satirist everywhere, allow me to say: Hooray! Thank you, kind sir, may I have another?

His re-entrance onto center stage is welcome on many fronts. First off, the guy’s name is Newt. Never in the annals of political mockery have we had the chance to make herpetological jokes before or after. And rest assured we will avail ourselves of the opportunity. Expect the phrase Lizard-Boy to reassume a central role in the national lexicon soon.

Then there’s his penchant for routinely ratcheting the rhetoric up past eleven. Hundred. Our recent precipitous plunge into polarization can easily be traced to Gingrich’s scorched earth ascension in the early 90s. There are no honorable opponents in Newt World, only despicable traitors. Each disagreement, a nuclear war. And anybody who isn’t a white male Christian poses a major threat to democracy as we know it and should be vaporized only after having his knees broken as an example.

“Obama is the most radical president in American history and views the citizenry through a Post-Colonial Kenyan perspective.” “The gay fascist movement wants to overthrow the government and destroy religion through violence.” He’s a trash-talking intellectual poseur with the subtlety of a hippo in a tutu.

The good news for Gingrich is that he ranks very high in recognition polls. The bad news for Gingrich is that he ranks very high in recognition polls. The founder and spokesman of Renewing American Leadership comes equipped with more baggage than a Carnival Cruise liner taking on the contents of two stranded sister ships. Might be three people tops in the country whose opinions of the former Speaker of the House haven’t solidified like frozen chicken grease.

Love him or hate him, there’s no in-between; and that includes his own party. To some Republicans, he’s Moses who led them out of the desert to the promised land of taking back the House in 94, for the first time in 40 years. To others he’s Voldermort. Sparking an ill-fated government shutdown then resigning under a cloud of ethics violations: some still refer to him as “He Who Must Not Be Named.”

Dr. Newton Leroy Gingrich is generally considered an ideas man. Not good ideas necessarily, but big ideas. Accusing enemies of being socialist Nazis. That’s new. Also odd ideas, like claiming his adulterous behavior stemmed from loving his country too darn much. So essentially, he did to two mistresses what he wanted to do to us. Thanks ladies. And yet, he attracts evangelical followers with his traditional family values platform. And having three wives just proves he’s Extra Traditional.

Gingrich can’t win and if he’s half as smart as he thinks he is, he has to know that. So, why is he running? To what end? Increased face-time to sell more of his twenty plus books? Can’t get enough of the sound of his own voice? Or is his responsibility simply to throw bombs at all the major edifices and let Mitt Romney waltz through the smoldering ruins unscathed? The only problem is, like sweaty nitroglycerine, Mr. Gingrich is highly charged and unpredictable. A human IED. Run. Newt. Run.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out willdurst.com to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, “The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing.”
 
05.07.11
OBAMA GETS OSAMA

Pull the banner out of storage and string it back across the aircraft carrier. Because this time, Mission Really Accomplished. Barack bested bin Laden. Obama got Osama. Or as the right wing talk shows probably reported it, “Alien President Murders Muslim Brother.” Though not a big fan of the whole killing thing, it would take a stupendously bloodless American to decline the pleasure of hammering a couple of nails into this particular coffin.

The most wanted man on the planet. Found. And you had to admire the way it was done; members of Navy Seal Team Six firing two warning shots into the head. One for each tower. The target was totally unarmed and never had a chance. That’s known as synchronicity. Live by the sneak attack, die by the sneak attack.

President George W Bush famously said: “He can run, but he can’t hide,” and finally was proved right. Although you got to admit, bin Laden gave it a good run: 9 years, 230 days. Think he might have earned Hide and Seek Grand Master Championship status. An award that alas, must be presented posthumously.

Buried at sea, but that’s just a polite way of saying the carcass was kicked overboard. An extreme act of pollution, upon which the Arabian Sea EPA surely frowned. Hopefully, the architect of Ground Zero won’t float across to the Sea of Japan into all that radiation- could spawn a training school of three eyed mutant terrorists.

In a way, it’s too bad we ditched him so soon. Mucho bucks could have been raised by touring the country giving ordinary folks a chance to pose with the corpse like they used to do in the Old West. “Get your picture taken with the Butcher of 911. 10 bucks.” Could have carted the remains around in a refrigerated casket shoved onto the bed of a Ford F-250 traveling to County Fairs and Tractor Pulls. Like what happened with the World Series trophy only with more punching. Eventually the cadaver would end up in Vegas with its own Cirque du Soleil show, or as one of the stiffer stiffs on “Dancing With the Stars.”

The Pakistanis aren’t happy. First they claimed to be an integral partner in the operation. Unh-hunh. “Thanks for your assistance. Here’s a broom. Got to go.” Now they’re whining it made them look bad. You know, our role in making you look bad is superfluous. Head Honcho Al Qaeda himself living for 5 years behind your version of West Point and nobody notices? Right. Like Lady Gaga hiding out at the Vatican. Either you’re complicit, stupid, incompetent, or both.

The safe house was not equipped with internet or phone connection and they burned their trash inside the compound. So, if you think of it, he pretty much was living in hell. All we did was change the location.

We also managed to retrieve a sizable cache of computer disks, which hopefully will reveal a vast network of terrorist contacts and sleeper cell structures, but we all know what’s really on them. Porn. Hot stuff. Muslim women wearing see-through burkas. Beard on veil action.

But now, thank god, this whole thing is over and our troops can come home and we won’t have to take off our shoes at the airport anymore and can turn our attention to hunting down the next biggest threat to democracy: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, “The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing.”
 
04.30.11
BIRTHER BOZOS NEED A NEW NOSE

Goaded into action by a nattering of numbskulls, Barack Obama finally released the long form of his Certificate of Live Birth from the state of Hawaii, and hopefully threw the last shovel of dirt onto this inception nonsense, but the suspicion is, no, probably not. As we speak, vanquished Birther Bozos are crawling out of the crypt searching for a new nose to wear. First the short form, now the long form, soon they’ll want to see the director’s cut. Then, on a television near you, the mini-series.

Anything to reinforce the strangeness of the first African American president. “Different than you and me.” “Not a real American.” Explains those silly cries of “We’re taking our country back.” Yeah. From the black guy. What they really want is the 1950s and the front of their buses back.

Don’t think this is over. This is not over. Not by a long shot. People believe what they want to believe. Facts be damned. 30% of the GOP still believes Saddam Hussein was responsible for 911 and weapons of mass destruction are currently cruising the streets of Fallujah disguised as ice cream trucks. Driven by men wearing tinfoil hats.

Obama’s actions spurred some on the Right to charge him with orchestrating this whole distraction to keep the country from the real issues. Wow. The perfect somersault of blaming the hit and run victim for walking alone on a sidewalk late at night. “He attacked my bumper with his chest.”

Others, like Newt Gingrich, refuse to be convinced. “There are still questions.” Yeah, and besides, Obama’s citizenship is due to a technicality, because on August 4th, 1961, Hawaii had been a state for less than two years. Maybe the flippo-units will switch tactics and demand proof he’s not a Muslim. And won’t be satisfied until they see a signed and dated parchment from Allah.

The disgrace is, the President was forced to hold a press conference, not to address the reshuffling of his national security team: but rather… where he was born. His exact quote was: “not going to be able to do our jobs if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers.” In response, the main carnival barker, Donald Trump, claimed to be honored for making the president jump through hoops like a trained Pomeranian. Who also would not be eligible to be president.

The Donald is that kid in high school oblivious to the whole class making fun of him, including the teacher. Faced with the very concrete evidence he insisted on viewing, you’d think he’d find a gracious way to back off, but you’d be as wrong as blaze orange camo. Buffalo chip cookies. Cheesecloth mittens.

The Aerodynamic Coif instead upped the ante to question how a guy named Barack Hussein Obama got into Harvard Law and wants to see his college transcripts, which is a really, really sly way of throwing out the “n” word. Surprised he didn’t use “shiftless.”

We need Trump to provide samples of his DNA to prove he’s actually a carbon-based life form. Show us your hairline Captain Carnival Barker. What’s next: a mole count? Will a committee be empanelled to investigate the number of moles on the president’s body? “Where are they and why is he hiding them? And exactly how many of them are shaped like his socialist supervisor, Cuba?”

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, “The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing.”
 
04.23.11
HICCUPING VOLCANOES

You got to love The Right. Every single study and poll, every one, shows independents turned off by cultural-values wars; the same way chalk sidewalk drawings dissolve in a thunderstorm. And they try and they try and they try but they just can’t help themselves. Like active moral volcanoes with a bad case of the hiccups, conservatives erupt and spew and god help any innocent bystander that gets in the way of their lava of virtuousness. That includes themselves.

Upon waking, bright pink Post-It notes have got to be stuck to the bathroom mirror: “It’s the economy, stupid.” And for a fleeting moment, folks stick to the script. But all it takes is the merest hint of a whisper of a rumor of suspected aberrant behavior and Boom! All hell breaks loose. Banding together they rain down with exalted anger to smite evildoers. Never mind the deficit, the wages of sin must first be paid.

Oh, they talk about getting the government out of people’s business. But when its bedroom business or women’s body businesses, an infatuation with perceived iniquity overcomes them. Especially businesses into which tab A is not destined for slot B; which could possibly offend some busybody. That’s when their business becomes the business of judging other people’s business. And business is good.

I imagine all 23 potential Republican presidential candidates-cowering at the side of the candidate pool in their red white and blue bathing suits, waiting for spring to turn to summer and the nominating waters to warm up-would rather juggle a dozen flaming marshmallows over a broken crate of alligators on stilts than be nailed down on abortion or gay marriage right now. But deep down, this enforced silence is eating away their innards, because their hungry desire for rapturous conduct burns hot inside as well.

Like junkies fresh out of rehab, the self-righteously righter than right can smell mendacity three states away and being good god-fearing people, go ballistic when the rest of society refuses to twitch into the same twisted noble contortions as they. Then as avenging angels they swoop, sometimes in packs, sometimes plunging solo.

Knowing better, but unable to control his compulsion, Speaker John Boehner (R-$$$) swoopingly interrupted his budget putsch, hiring a law firm to argue on behalf of the Defense of Marriage Act. President Obama declared it unconstitutional and indefensible, so the Speaker is taking it unto himself to ensure equal rights are denied to same sex relationships. Apparently, certain people’s happiness makes him miserable.

Previously, the GOP tried lathering their moral superiority onto the budget bill. That’s when Jon Kyl (R-Wackyville) went on the floor of the Senate to say abortions “are well over 90% of what Planned Parenthood does.” And he was close. Off by 87%. Just a bit outside. Later, Kyl’s office recanted saying “his remark was not intended to be a factual statement.” Of course. Who would ever think it was? After all, he is a known politician.

With no innards left, leaping onto the anti-abortion bandwagon with talons extended, Michele Bachmann called Planned Parenthood the Lenscrafters of abortion, which by all rights allows you to call the Heritage Foundation the Orange Julius of the death penalty. Congressman Bachmann, the Home Depot of ridiculously overwrought indignation. Making the Republican Party itself, the Luigi’s Shoe Repair of self inflicted gunshot wounds to the chest.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, “The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing.”
 
04.16.11
ARMAGEDDON AT THE DC CORRAL

It’s way too early to sort out the winners and the losers in the big budget showdown on Capitol Hill the last couple weeks. They’re still extricating bodies from behind the hay bales of the Gunfight at the DC Corral and will be for months. It’ll take even longer to identify the white-hatted good guys from the no-good-rustlers-of-the-public trust. All depends on your point of view. Everybody thinks he’s Wyatt Earp.

Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats got exactly what they wanted which normally indicates a win for the country, but the Tea Party is still madder than hell. The word compromise is not in their vocabulary. Then consider their plans to finance further tax cuts for the rich by laying off Head Start teachers, and apparently neither are the words “community,” “compatible” or “unanimity.”

This ideological strife did prove the perfect opportunity for President Obama to show off his abilities to accommodate, negotiate, placate and facilitate. He’s smoother than a baby’s butt dipped in a polyurethane bath. Like phlegm on Teflon. Flexibility, never his Achilles Heel. Gumption, however, was. The question had less to do with the existence of a backbone, and more with the rigid ingredients in its makeup. The boniness, so to speak. What level of bonacity in his spine. How petrified the vertebrae.

Was it the consistency of a Tupperware dish full of lime Jell-O with carrot shreds forgotten in the back seat of a station wagon in New Mexico on an August afternoon, or made of sterner stuff? The question cries out for the NSF to develop a scale of bone and organ density. On one end you’d have Charlie Sheen’s liver and on the other, Rand Paul’s skull.

Above and astride the fray, the president exhibited unambiguous signs of calcium augmentation signing a bill that calls for budget cuts of 38 billion, 62% less than the symbolic ground of 100 billion the Tea Party staked their tent posts of revolution on last fall. Nevertheless, a figure significantly larger than the progressive wing of his party desired, which can best be measured in multiples of zero..

But if you think the passage of this legislation signals a respite from these budget battles, you’re more misguided than the poor sap trying to finance a new wing of Vegas condos with adjustable mortgages and no money down. The confrontations intensify from here on out. Just like the Broadway production of “Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark,” this struggle was but a preview.

Oh sure, choreography will be tinkered with and some higher-flying rigging secured, and a few minor plot points might change but underneath it’ll be the same old cast mouthing the same tired dialogue. “We are good and right and true and just while they are attempting to destroy the country by killing the elderly with red hot forks to the eyes and blah, blah, blah.”

Next up: raising the national debt ceiling, then a long term budget deal, both of which promise to make this encounter look like a slap fight in a Catholic School girl’s locker room. Got to remember, approaching an election year, any war of words inevitably escalates from conventional into the nuclear exchange variety. Say hello to our old friend, Mutually Assured Destruction; back and tan and rested. As Doc Holliday exits left, Dr. Strangelove moves down stage front.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out willdurst.com to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, “The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing.”
 
04.02.11
AMERICA: YOU'RE FIRED!

I want to know. You want to know. The whole world wants to know. What’s the deal with the surprising retiring Republicans? Not age-related retiring as in shawl on the lap watching the 3rd DVD of the 5th season of Matlock with a glass of tepid tea on the side table. Retiring as in coy, reticent, withdrawn. Obviously, we are not speaking of those pesky majority members of the House- demure as an over-caffeinated grizzly on roller skates gallivanting down a fashion runway and yes, that means you Kate Moss.

This discussion specifically concerns the 2012 GOP presidential candidates or more precisely, lack thereof. That is not to say they aren’t busy. Like the haunted topiary maze in “The Shining” the usual suspects can occasionally be spied skulking on the edge of your peripheral vision. Floating trial balloons with fingers in the air to see which way the wind blows. Dipping toes in the water to ascertain the temperature of shark-infested waters. Running position papers up flagpoles to determine which focus groups salute. Waiting for the other shoe to drop while creeping around barefoot playing the Crying Game.

Normally by this time in an election cycle, running against a vulnerable incumbent in a sluggish economy, you’d have about 80 gazillion candidates and their brothers scrambling down and dirty in the mud biting each other’s knees for supremacy in the all important money scrum. This year, not so much. A variation on the old 60s bumper sticker: “What if they threw an election and nobody came?”

The situation has become so dire, NBC canceled a May 2nd GOP Presidential debate due to lack of interest. Not by the viewing audience. That’s a given. The network’s predicament was a lack of participants. A game of political chicken with everybody waiting for someone else to cluck first. And these are some mean mother cluckers.

As if in a recurring bad dream, Newt Gingrich replicated a dodgy feint from yesteryear, calling a press conference to officially announce he may or may not be looking to set up an exploratory committee to talk to some people who might investigate the possibility of him perhaps considering making a run for the Presidency, later on, maybe. Some day. Why? Because America deserves decisive leadership, that’s why.

ABC News compiled a list of 23 potential Republicans who have either talked about or are expected to take a flying leap at the brass monkey ring. 23. That’s two entire football teams with room left over for Mike Huckabee to encourage them from the sidelines strumming “Pardon Me” on the guitar. But not one of the 23 has declared. So, since nature and billionaire blowhards abhor a vacuum, along comes Donald Trump vowing to spend 600 million of his own money seeking the Presidency. Which to you and me would be a nickel.

His plans predictably include running the country the way he would a business. Great. “America: You’re Fired!” Then recruit underpaid immigrants to replace us as citizens. Accelerating the pace. As far as loose cannons go, Trump is a broken pallet of greased wheels on thin ice. The fount of many imponderables. Such as, having proven HE was born in America, what about that thing on his head? And does it require an antidote for when it stings? With armed forces at his disposal how soon before the pre-emptive strike on Rosie O’Donnell?

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out more about appearances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing" and newest CD "Raging Moderate."
 
03.26.11
NO FLY GUY

No one said being President was going to be easy. And no one was right. You get yelled at for doing things and you get yelled at for not doing things. Often both times by the same people. Which is kind of like saying, "even when you agree with us, you’re wrong." That’s a tough hill to climb.

Take Libya. Please. After it became apparent the native uprising against Qaddafi was not going to replicate the successes of Egypt, President Obama got lambasted by Republicans for not immediately leaping tall buildings to help them freedom loving Libyans, like some guy from Texas would have done. Then, from the other end of the same street, the Rip Van Winkle Republican Anti-Interventionists awoke from hibernation and objected to any involvement. Ever. Anywhere. If these folks had their way, they’d take away his passport.

Through a series of delicate negotiations, Barack managed to cobble together an International alliance to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya. Good timing, eh? We finally get most of our boys out of Iraq and boom, up jumps another crisis where we get to carry the democratic load. Superman should have warned us; this superhero thing can get a wee bit tiresome. I guess the deal is, you get used to running two wars, it’s not easy trying to get by on just one. Going to have to face it, we’re addicted to war. Oops. Don’t call it war.

This endeavor, altercation, conflict, campaign, enmity, friendly fracas, (not a crusade) is shaking out differently. At least we don’t have to worry about being accused of ulterior motives since there obviously isn’t any oil in Libya, oh… uh, scratch that. Wait, I got it. One big difference is we have actual allies this time around instead of imaginary friends. And the coup de gras is the Arab League throwing in with us. An inspired consideration when you insist on invading Arab countries.

Of course this skirmish, dispute, clash, carnage, quarrel, grapple in the sand has nothing to do with Islam or oil, its about, um, promoting democracy and getting rid of a bad guy. So if I were Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, I’d watch my back. The man is obviously harboring weapons of mass seduction. Then again, maybe we’ll wait until they find oil in Tuscany.

The oddest thing about this onslaught, strife, contention, assault, incursion, discordant havoc is discovering the biggest problem with having allies is having to work with the allies. Who knew? Not an overly large worry for cowboys with a penchant for going it alone. Should be okay though, since history has shown the French and the English are both easy-going, low-maintenance types. Wonder whatever happened to those shy, retiring Germans? After all, they know North Africa like the back of their hand.

We’re calling it Operation Odyssey Dawn, after the girlfriend of some Marine who hung out too long in bars along the shores of Tripoli, I guess. But even with a name like a ship out of the Carnival Line, getting rid of Qaddafi will be no cruise. The guy is nuttier than a U-Top-It Sundae from Dairy Queen. Gave himself a military rank and chose Colonel. Uses his own people as human shields. His name begins with a Q, its not followed by a U, he plays by rules we don’t even understand. If that don’t spell crazy, time to get a new dictionary.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up and television performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing" and newest CD "Raging Moderate."
 
03.20.11
PITCHFORKS AND RAINBOWS

America dodged the immediate damage of the killer tsunami but a potentially more dangerous phenomenon threatens to wash across our nation. The new political paradigm- concrete intransigency. No quarter asked for- no quarter given. Us versus Them, and Us is me. And whoever likes me at the time. The Colosseum relocated to the Senate. I’m so right and you’re so wrong that anybody who agrees with you should be ambushed, assaulted and abused.

Say what you will about the Liberals, for the most part, they actually believe deep down in their hearts that impoverished kids enrolled in Head Start programs can contribute to society and make the world a better place to live. For all of us. And rich people should pay for that. Conservatives wonder why these kids don’t pull themselves up by their bootstraps the way they did when daddy bequeathed them their first oil well. Life is a race and anybody with a Head Start is cheating. Anybody not part of their family, that is.

These basic attitudes stem from deep-rooted philosophical differences. The Liberal idea is by helping the greater good, it will eventually come back and benefit everyone. While Conservatives believe exactly the opposite. By helping themselves, it will eventually come back and benefit themselves.

And now that politics is a 24/7 media proposition, those positions are calcifying. Conservative voices dominating center stage today can be divided into three groups. The Greedy. The Mean. And the Stupid. They live in a black and white land where compromise equals defeat and discussion means you taking notes while they talk. Liberals can be distilled into three groups as well. The Pompous. The Weak. And the Stupid. Their world is a rainbow of colors where the government provides everyone with that big box of 64 crayons encouraging them to write on the walls. Anybody’s walls.

Liberals want to nurture the brotherhood of man while Conservatives deem this mythical brotherhood just another left wing conspiracy trying to separate them from their money. Conservatives are sincerely of the opinion that they stole all their stuff fair and square, while Liberals think people with too much stuff should give some of their stuff to people who don’t have any stuff. The problem is nobody considers their collection of stuff to be too much.

Liberals want to reform prisoners. Conservatives don’t believe in taking any. Liberals would rather lose honorably than be accused of acting unfairly. As a matter of fact, Liberals are more comfortable losing than they are winning. Conservatives will do whatever it takes to win, including painting their kids’ teachers as the enemy. Not only are they bad losers, they’re bad winners as well.

Another odd thing is the two sides continue to play the game under entirely different narratives. Liberals act like associate producers at a folk fair trying to choreograph the welcoming dance of converging cultures failing to notice the ragged band of Conservatives lighting torches and running headlong towards them up the castle hill armed with pitchforks.

There’s a war going on but only one side seems aware of it. You’d think the mugging that went down in Wisconsin would be the sharp poke in the side necessary to wake Liberals up. But knowing them, they’ll probably be more concerned with strengthening the guardrails on the castle hill road and introducing legislation to reform pitchfork safety standards.

The New York times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst "is quite possible the best political satirist working in the country today," and the Chicago Tribune calls him a "hysterical hybrid of Hunter S. Thompson and Charles Osgood." He also tells jokes. Go to willdurst.com to find out when.
 
03.13.11
MADNESS IN MADTOWN

Best be vigilant for an inadvertent head butt as the eyes of the world recoil from that crazed leader, besieged in his own Capital, defying reality while obstinately holding onto a tenuous power and attacking his citizenry through a conflicted security force. Of course I’m talking about Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Think a slightly less swarthy Midwestern version of Colonel Qaadafi.

The locals call Madison, Mad Town, and hardly has it ever lived up to that reputation as heartily as in the past month. Following the November sweep of both houses of the legislature, Walker, Lexus Ranger, declared the Badger State’s deficit was due to those dastardly public unions and his so-called "Budget Repair Bill" sought money from their pockets, an end to collective bargaining, placed obstacles in the way of continued accreditation and advocated public spanking as a punishment.

This proposal came the very week after he ushered in $137 million in corporate tax cuts for the state, which is a lot like paying for your quarterly investors luncheon by garnishing the wages of the waiters. Money for the rich, from the middle class, again. Robin Hood’s evil twin must be exhausted.

Dashing rumors of an imminent compromise, Walker, ran an end-around his state’s Democratic Senate exiles, ramming the bill through a tricky parliamentary procedure in a closed-door session, isolating the issues into non-fiscal elements. So, first it was all about the money, but then, about the money- not so much. Unless you count the big national bucks that lie in union busting.

Like a spreading alien virus, this Republican war on workers is waging and raging across the nation. 11 states have pending legislation to strip unions of various rights. Indiana Democratic politicians joined their Wisconsin colleagues seeking political asylum in Illinois. Poor Illinois. Like they don’t have enough politicians sitting around doing nothing.

Wisconsin is the birthplace of the Progressive movement with a long proud history of activism. So, this naked power grab runs the risk of offending ordinary Wisconsinites like a New York Cheddar winning the blue medal at the State Fair. And whose legality is more suspect than heroin in a holding cell.

More paranoid people might smell a conspiracy. Wealthy Wall Street bankers cause an economic meltdown, make obscene profits in the ensuing recession, then convince the populace that everything can simply be fixed through more tax cuts. So they can create jobs. Of course with $5 a gallon gasoline that two-way commute to China is going to be a bitch.

But if you think The Walker Coup means this issue is dead, you’ve obviously been spending too much time toasting the sunset while eating watercress sandwiches on the bridge of your yacht. As is their way, the GOP might once again have overreached and awakened a sleeping giant. Today, we are all Cheeseheads. Or as JFK might have said "Ich bin ein kaasekopf."

All heck is about to break loose. While sanctions and a no-fly zone may be off the table, recalls, retribution and recriminations definitely are. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear the poo-bahs in the upper echelon of the AFL-CIO decide to bestow Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker with its Organizer of the Year Award. Richy Richly deserved.

Will Durst is an award winning San Francisco political comedian who often writes. Such as the previous frivolity.
Coming soon from Ulysses Press: “Where the Rogue Things Go!” Pre-order your copy at Amazon. Now. Go on. 
02.06.11
DENIAL ON DE NILE

The whole world holds its breath as we view through splayed fingers the unrest that is the Egyptian uprising. Or as Hosni Mubarak sees it: ten or twenty rabble rousing unemployed slacker agents of the West with too much time on their hands up to no good.

That’s the problem with entrenched dictators: they interact with their people less often than they enter Sinai Peninsula sheep shearing competitions disguised as shepherds’ assistant. The man is so far behind the insurgency curve he probably sees his own running feet in front of him and even that has failed to fill him with any discernible alacrity.

Typically, these ingrained despots try to apply 30 year-old answers to modern problems. With denial being a major arrow in their ancient quiver. Denial on de Nile. Mubarak keeps asking what the pesky agitators want.
"Well, sir, they want you out."
"How about if I replace the Cabinet with different cronies?"
"Sir, sorry, but you don't get it. The people want you gone. A memory. In the archives. Flying down Abdication Street. Walk like an Egyptian, only really really fast. Don't let the door knob hit you in the butt on the way out- gone."
"Wait, I know. A Vice President. We've never had one before. Maybe our former head of intelligence."
"No, sir, seriously, you don't have to stop being President of every country, you just have to stop being President of THIS country. The only time theywant to see your face again is on a coin, with a four digit number to the right of the dash after your birth year."

Along with scary implications for touring mummy exhibits and world energy prices, this incipient revolution raises fears over the future of Facebook.How does a government shut down the entire Internet? Falling into the wrong hands, this information holds the chilling prospect of huge numbers of young people forced to spend much of their free time watching syndicated episodes of Two and a Half Men. The one piece of good news: this summer's Nile River Cruise packages- going for a song.

Further demonstrating a cluelessness best measured in Jersey Shore degrees, the Egyptian President screwed up the order of the Unofficial Despot Rebellion Response Handbook, unleashing a mob of pro-regime protesters before blaming the press for all his problems. Every second year Egyptian Military School cadet knows the first thing you do is blame the media. One thing I've always been curious about, what do pro-regime protesters chant? "Up with Repression!" "Jobs Aren't for Everybody!" "We want Better Torture!"

Pro-regime protesters: a polite way of saying government thugs whose sole purpose is to crack heads at peaceful demonstrations. Or as they're known around here, the FBI. Speaking of us, around whom the whole world revolves, American outcry has been remarkably muted, even though we witnessed the unspeakable horror of seeing Anderson Cooper punched and Katie Couric jostled.

Diplomatically, of course, Obama needs to be careful. His task is to encourage the demonstrators while allowing the Egyptian leader to save face. Fortunately, equivocation is one of our President's strong suits. This guy has straddled so many fences he could build a tree house in a redwood from the splinters inhis butt. A skill Mubarak must now regret, he never bothered to learn.

San Francisco based political comedian, Will Durst, often writes: this is an example.
Coming soon from Ulysses Press: “Where the Rogue Things Go!” Pre-order your copy at Amazon. Now. Go on. 
 
01.30.11
BOFFO SMASH OR MISERABLE FLOP?

Once again, in terms of political theater, the President has managed to flummox both critics and angels alike. Reviews of his State of the Union Address have been more mixed than a Kansas Cuisinart stuck in a tornado on puree. Notwithstanding the ritualistic 79 applause breaks by his Geek Chorus, the production could best be described as a work-in-progress. Nowhere near Pulitzer Prize Luncheon territory; but not destined for a trip to Joe Allen’s flop wall either. Think “Tony & Tina’s Wedding” with added intellectual posturing.

Producers of the rival big show in town, “Burning Down the House” immediately dismissed Obama’s script as more radical agit-prop dramaturgy, but most independent scribes saw it as an old-fashioned sports melodrama featuring a beleaguered coach giving a locker room halftime speech invoking the spirit of his old friend Sputnik while exhorting the team to pull together and defeat the villainous adversary, Doctor Deficit. Lesson being, if you’re going to borrow, steal from the classics.

Production values remained high with costumes and sets ably handled, but the choreography was listless and hackneyed. After the huge pre-show publicity push, the cast opening-seat scramble staging seemed silly and superfluous, and as the night wore on, the ensemble’s dance steps deteriorated into a space best described as clumsy and clichéd. “Us good. Him bad.” Yeah. Yeah. Been there. Seen that.

There were fleeting moments of mad genius as the President flashed his trademark Messianic zeal but all momentum visibly fizzled whenever he tap-danced around specifics in wooden numbers that reeked of the fuzzy and familiar:  “The State of the Union is Strong but Could be Stronger,” “Investment is Like Spending Only Better,” and what was surely intended to be the rousing curtain closer, “Win the Future.” Didn’t exactly bring down the house but backers have to be encouraged by the large percentage of audience members humming the tune on the way out and in the days since.

Only registered ogres could deny the overall vaguely uplifting feel of the creaky vehicle. And they did. The FOO, Friends of Ogres, (Republican Party) responded to the blurry optimism with not one but two overly scripted political procedurals, as their rising stars, Paul Ryan and Michele Bachmann, stared variously into and nearby cameras spewing enough doom and gloom to make Arthur Miller look like Neil Simon. Commedia Dell’ Arte with a scythe. King Lear without the happy ending.

On reflection, Obama’s subtextual message still remains more elusive than opening night tickets to “Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark.” A shame to see all that good pre-show buzz so extravagantly wasted. Ultimately, it’s a wash, buddy. Neither a boffo smash, nor a miserable dud or pandering tear-jerker, although one could be spotted sitting behind the President. The whole experience was like kissing your sister or a rainstorm in Hawaii or doing yard work on a good hair day.

It is doubtful in these quarters the show will be able to sprout legs and spawn any road company action. And spin offs and sequels: out of the question, right now. Then again, the Tonys are lurking and prospects for an extended run could hinge on whether that “Win the Future” theme is catchy enough to snatch the show an Original Score nomination. Considering the olden-timey Reaganesque/ Clintonian vibe given off by the whole thing, it’s a virtual lock for Best Revival.

San Francisco based political comedian, Will Durst, writes sometimes: this is one of them.
Coming soon from Ulysses Press: “Where the Rogue Things Go!” Pre-order your copy at Amazon.
 
01.01.11
WILL DURST'S PREDICTIONS FOR THE YEAR 2011

Yes, we did. Survived 2010. 365 tumultuous days of what my good friend Elizabeth (Betty) Windsor, is wont to call an annus horribilis. And our reward for enduring that annoying annum is this clean slate of a new year where potentially anything can happen. A position we find ourselves now; looking flush front blunt at an empty unscrawled calendar embodying hope and optimism and aspiration and promise. So now is the time for all good men to sweep away the debris of yesterday and build on the solid foundation of tomorrow. This sentiment guaranteed to last at least a week before we screw it up and all hell breaks loose. And with that thought in mind, here is: WILL DURST’S PREDICTIONS FOR THE YEAR 2011.
Incoming Speaker of the House John Boehner
opens his first joint session of Congress with “Alright, who wants a piece of me?”
North Korean President Kim Jong Il
keeps lobbing bombs into South Korea until someone on his team develops a formula to spin turkey pot pies out of grass.
Sarah Palin
tapes a second season of her reality show and accidentally shoots a Mama Grizzly from a helicopter.
The women on The View
walk out during an appearance by Keith Olbermann, just to balance the books.
Former BP CEO Tony Hayward
gets his life back and is not that crazy about it.
Lady Gaga
wears a tinfoil dress to an NBA Playoff Game and spontaneously combusts during the pre-game laser show.
Oprah
buys Rhode Island and turns it into a gay theme park.
Governor Jerry Brown
promises to focus less on the vast spaceship that is Earth and more on the long-term parking shuttle that is California.
The Airline Industry
attempts to rid the skies of the most dangerous security threat known to man: passengers.
The 112th Congress
resolves not to fall prey to the same mistakes the 111th Congress made by actually accomplishing anything.
Pope Benedict XVI
undergoes Lasik surgery to repair the Catholic Church’s hindsight.
The state of South Dakota
sells Mount Rushmore to Fox News who recarves the monument to resemble Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Mike Huckabee and Bill O’Reilly. Brit Hume and Chris Wallace leave the network in a huff. Carl Cameron chuckles.
Jimmy McMillan
disbands “The Rent is Too Damn High” Party after subletting a rent stabilized co-op in TriBeCa.
Julian Assange
demonstrates his total commitment to a “no secrets” philosophy by leaking the damning testimony that leads to his own conviction.
Steve Jobs
introduces the iPud for male Baby Boomer retirees.
Nancy Pelosi
does not rest until she earns a colorful nickname like “Slappy.”
Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell
does not rest until the hole in the back of his neck is enlarged to accommodate Grover Norquist’s hand.
Officials at the Tour de France
throw up their arms and invite cyclists to take whatever performance enhancing drugs they want.
New York Senator Chuck Schumer
becomes the go- to guy in the Democratic Caucus after it is discovered Harry Reid died years ago.
May your 2011 be twice as good as 2010 and only half as wonderfully exciting as 2012.

San Francisco based political comedian, Will Durst, writes sometimes: this being a fundamentally curious example.

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