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Ode to 2012

And so we bid a not-so-fond farewell to the bow of another large unwieldy year as it sinks slowly over the horizon wobbling unsteadily towards the graveyard of memory. And cheers erupt from we folks on shore waving the double-handed "L for loser" sign above our heads. "So long. See ya. Don't let the door slam you in the butt on the way out. And if you got any brothers or sisters, don't give them this address."

Normally there's some small sense of nostalgia for a departing annum. An iota of regret for the calendar discarded. Not this one. Getting through the past 12 months was like navigating a Black Diamond ski run in roller skates with the wheels rusted shut. While wearing a crib. It was an oil soaked pelican of years. The Year of Living Stupidly. Had the same connection to constructive change that Vladimir Putin has to the editorial board of Crochet Monthly. The Chinese need a new Zodiac sign: Year of the Flatulent Weasel.

But in the interest of keeping this particular piece of puffery positive it might be best if we confine our remarks to reflecting on the good that emerged from 2012.

Okay. Well, that was quick. Wait... got one: at least the presidential election is over. Of course people are already running for 2016, so we got that to look forward to. Which is real similar to looking forward to having five-year twins playing in the back seat of a cross-country drive with a new set of drums and an unlimited supply of metallic sticks. And tambourines. Tons of tambourines. For four years.

You'd think even your average run-of-the-mill politician would possess the simple common human decency to wait till the current president was re-inaugurated, but nooo. These early birds are intent on stockpiling worms. You know what they say: Early money is like yeast. And very early money is like baking soda. And extremely early money is an egg wash brushed delicately across a pan full of hot cross buns.

When you think about it, the only thing that really went right with 2012 was we misread the Mayan Calendar. Everything else is either worse than we found it or the same. Middle East a mess? Check. Crazy people with guns? Check. Weather getting weird? Check. Congress unable to accomplish any sort of worthwhile task, including differentiating between their gluteus maximus and yellow paint? Double check.

Face it. These days, simple survival has become the goal. Continuing existence is the new victory dance. And then for a half a second you ruminate on how good we got it here. What kind of state the rest of the world is in. And most of our problems just kind of fade away, don't they?

Sure, with great potential comes great responsibility. But it's an exciting time. Fifteen years ago, the only people with GPS units were NASA. Now we got them in our cars and phones. We're also in the middle of a cheeseburger renaissance and pretty good coffee is available almost everywhere. Not half bad perks. So, what do you say? Shall we give another a year a shot? But just 365 this time around. Don't know about you but that extra day this year kicked my butt.

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."
Guns, Guns and Guns

It's only human nature to want to take action after such a harrowing traumatic event. To do something. Anything, to protect our kids. And make sure that Newtown never ever happens again. Here. There. Anywhere.

But while the rest of the nation grieves, familiar opponents on The Gun Issue are focused more on making sure their groups' message doesn't get trampled in the anticipated tsunami of sorrow. So they preemptively are trying to drown out each other with battalions of bellicose bullhorns and it doesn't matter they can't hear each other because neither side is listening anyway.

That's the crossroads at which we find ourselves. Again. The intersection of Guns, Guns and Guns. Too many. Too few. Too big. Too small. Too scary looking. Waiting periods. Background checks. Magazine sizes. Access. Transportation. Construction. Registration. Who decides and who abides.

All the old buzz phrases are dusted off. "When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns." "Increased gun control means aiming better." "Guns don't kill people, people kill people." Actually, it's those darn bullets that puncture the skin and bones creating holes for the blood to leak out of way too fast.

The NRA is busy pumping out press releases arguing that if the teachers had been armed, this tragedy could have been averted. Yeah, there you go. That's what we need. More guns in schools. The major problem with school shootings are schools. There's your answer, boys. Want to cut down on school shootings, get rid of the schools. A solution many states are busy implementing as we speak.

Besides, why just arm the teachers? Aren't we forgetting about our kids? Surely they have the right to defend themselves. The only question is where do you draw the line? Middle school? Fourth grade? Does the Second Amendment guarantee the rights of Toting Toddlers? Should kid- proof trigger guards be illegal? Maybe get Fisher Price to equip classrooms with plastic day-glo under-desk holsters.

The left is also once again questioning whether military-type assault weapons have a place in today's society. To which the right vehemently argues semantics. "Semi-automatic rifles aren't assault weapons and the left obviously has no experience with guns or they wouldn't mislabel them and their ignorance on the subject disqualifies them to comment or have any opinion whatsoever." Known in gun control circles as the "neener-neener" argument.

An argument that totally misses the point. Doesn't matter what you call them. Semi-automatic rifles. Military-type horizontal hand held ordnance. Futuristic flintlocks. Agitation resolvers. Magic wands. Disputatious caramelized pump-action fruit rolls. Stick a feather in their muzzle and call them macaroni if you want.

The basic problem is, the only reason to own a macaroni that can fire hundreds of pieces of lead faster than the speed of sound in mere seconds is to kill people. Yes, of course they can be used as legitimate hunting rifles. You can also use a flame thrower to light a cigarette. If you think about it, a hand grenade will signal the end of recess. Need to cut some butter, just pull out the trusty old chainsaw. Of course, be prepared for it to get a little messy around Muffin Time. And right now, we're smack in the middle of an especially messy Muffin Time.

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."
Quadriplegic Platypuses

And now let us speak of the current lame duck session of the 112th Congress. Daily we witness the death throes of the final assemblage of this particular group of elected representatives on Capitol Hill and of course they’re spending these last precious moments together marshaling all their skills to put the American ship in order. Hahahahahaha.

Yeah. Right. Dream on, big river. Mostly what’s happening is just your typical frantic running around with waving arms and high pitched wailing about an impending catastrophe. Looming doom. Again. Specifically, this time; the imminent approach of that dastardly dreaded fiscal cliff. Congress has turned into the Little Boys & Girls Who Cried Ruin.

Calm yourselves, kiddies, it’s not really a cliff. More of a slim slope or bit of a ditch. A minor incline. Slight slant. Not even close to a chasm. Nor a gorge. Shall we say a term berm. A shallow gully beribboned with a multitude of dirt walking paths. Unlike what they’ve led us to believe, it’s less a screaming plunge off a sheer precipice and more of a stroll on a knoll with a coal colored foal.

Do not be alarmed. America isn’t looking at a financial Thelma and Louise here. Although you can bet Grover Norquist would be willing to sit in the driver’s seat and steer straight for the bottom of the Grand Canyon as long as he could hold hands with his “no tax ever” pledgers. And all of America would bemoan the loss… of the 66 Thunderbird.

You got to hand it our representatives. The way they make every calamity seem fresh and new and calamitous. Everybody in DC has memorized their moves in the Washington Waltz. John Boehner complains the President won’t budge. The President counters that Boehner is beholden to a radical fringe. Liberals wait for conservatives to put entitlements on the table so they won’t be the bad guys. Republicans man the barricades to protect their donors. One step forward. One step back. Cha-cha-cha.

It’s an artificial crisis. Something our country’s politicians specialize in. If the Bush Tax Cuts do expire on December 31st, they can always be voted back in. Even if it takes till February, it can be done retroactively. For everybody. Or for those making less than 250k. Or a million. Whatever. Problem is, they’d rather be photographed slapping a baby than go on record voting for or against any sort of compromise and are more than happy out in the yard playing kick the can as long until it gets too dark to see. Preferably, kick it through the open portal of a time machine into the distant future.

These folks are as useless as a Viagra dispenser at a eunuchs convention. Lame duck doesn’t do them justice. Comatose vultures perhaps. Brain damaged geese. Biologically deformed Pterodactyl fossils encased in an amber pool of irrelevance, obsolescence and guilt. Whoa! OK. We’re done. Wait, one more. Quadriplegic platypuses.

Then, on January 3rd a new Congress will swagger into town, and before they’re finished redecorating their offices, it’ll become patently obvious the onus is on their anus to put the deficit can back in play. And if they need some ideas of where to place that can, we, their constituents, have more than a couple of choice locations in mind

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."
The Top Ten Comedic News Stories of 2012

First a disclaimer: The Top Ten Comedic News Stories of 2012 should not under any circumstances be confused with the Top Ten Legitimate News Stories of 2012. They are as different as red satin cummerbunds and Liar's Dice. Duck liver and Spanish moss. Matched pearl necklaces and motorcycle handlebars.

For those of you itching to point out that some stories, especially those involving death, destruction, devastation and disaster are not proper subjects for this sort of fanciful folderol; way ahead of you. Totally agree. Exactly why the Aurora, Colorado movie theater massacre, Hurricane Sandy, Jerry Sandusky and the movie John Carter failed to make the cut.

Also left off the list are a few of the fiendishly frivolous footprints despoiling the sands of this annum horribilis such as Lindsay Lohan's continuing struggles with sobriety, that curious craze called Gangnam Style, the introduction of the iPhone 5 and Facebook's roller coaster IPO.

That said; here they are, the key stories from the past year providing the purest opportunities for major mocking and scoffing and taunting as determined by the executive council of the Comics, Clowns, Jesters & Satirists Union. Me.

10. Donald Trump. Assumes figurehead post of Birther Movement. Then refuses to shut up all year long including several embarrassing tweets on Election Day. An ever-gushing political comedy material fountain with all the grace and elegance of tumbling dumpsters.

9. First Presidential Debate. Turned what was becoming a slam-dunk into a horse race. 70 million Americans tuned in. But for some unknown reason, President Obama was not among them.

8. The entire GOP primary campaign. Party plays Candidate Whack-A-Mole for five months. Everybody takes turns beating Romney like a red-headed stepchild, including some folks who aren't even running.

7. London Olympics. Ann Romney's horse Rafalca competes in Dressage. Event where the horse and the rider perform predetermined movements. Which you would think would be illegal in Utah. But horse fails to medal and probably gets shipped home strapped to the fuselage of a 747. McKayla Maroney remains unimpressed.

6. Vice Presidential Debate. Joe Biden goes all Malarkey on Paul Ryan. Two words -- decaf. Bold Choice Ryan blames Obama for GM plant closing in 08. Fails to implicate POTUS in fall of the Roman Empire. But just barely.

5. Barack Obama comes out in support of gay marriage. Emerges from his own personal policy closet like a butterfly emerging from a conflicted cocoon.

4. Mitt Romney vows to get rid of Big Bird losing him pivotal pre-adolescent vote.

3. Democratic National Convention. Specifically Bill Clinton laying out the precise reasons why America should re-elect as President... Bill Clinton.

2. Republican National Convention. Specifically Clint Eastwood upstaging the nominee's acceptance speech by getting into an argument with an empty chair. Which he proceeded to lose. Probably upset him so badly he rushed back to the hotel room where he got into a squabble with his armoire.

1. Mitt Romney. All the charisma of a plastic picnic fork with three of the tines snapped off. May have run the worst campaign ever. And that includes New Coke, McCain/ Palin and France in 39.

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."
Fiscal Cliff Traffic Report

"So, expect showers and gale force winds over the next couple of days and don't forget that high surf advisory is in effect throughout the weekend. We may even see some downed power lines and scattered looting. That's the weather here on Capitol Hill, now let's go to Brandon with your Congressional traffic report."

"Thanks Brandon. Well, it's gotten pretty ugly out there, people. My best advice is, stay in your homes. As expected, following the holiday recess, we're seeing a lot of bluster and bombast building up on the Beltway, and the obstructionist blather has managed to stall headway on nearly every budget deal ramp to a virtual crawl.

Three or four 18-wheelers jam packed with Election Day rancor have overturned and as you might imagine, rubber necking has resulted in hundreds of not-so-tender fender benders in both directions. It's gotten so bad that major media outlet trucks are stuck on the shoulder, filming each other.

It's not just the Beltway that's backed up. Main Street and Wall Street and the Path to Prosperity all report major slowdowns due to a multitude of partisan pile-ups. Some drivers seem to be purposefully ramming fellow travelers right off the road while others speed across median strips to dive into oncoming traffic seemingly with no thought to life or limb. Casualties continue to mount and officials worry about running out of tarps.

Sky Nine over the Bridge to the Future reports that progress remains hopelessly clogged with all visible movement being of the backwards variety and from their vantage all the right lanes look to be blocked as far as the eye can see. Left lanes: not much better. Center lanes: you don't want to know.

Many reasons have been offered up for Carmageddon spreading nationwide. Pure native stubbornness, leading to refusals to merge. Infrastructure deterioration. Widespread smoke screens creating low visibility. A plethora of misread signs due to intentionally misinterpreted polls. Death wishes. Insanity. Mad Cow.

Part of the problem can be attributed to the numerous turnarounds closed by committee chairmen to restrict desertion from party line movement and reports continue to stream in that a crazy person by the name of Grover Norquist, has been single-handedly impeding traffic by standing in the ditch and flagging motorists off the road straight into various freeway abutments. Although it must be said, some cars do now seem to be aiming right for him chasing the anti-cheerleader back to the safety of various rest stop bathroom stalls.

Due to the slick situation, eternal congestion and some inexplicable glitch that has turned all the surface street stop lights to red, further delays are expected to spread across the nation as the country experiences a massive impasse on all roads leading to the cutoff meant to avert the dreaded Fiscal Cliff.

Veteran observers claim this activity is expected due to the mostly poor driving skills possessed by the residents of our nation's capital. But the upshot is, we're back to stalls and jams and near total gridlock far into the foreseeable future. So remember to keep that dial here, where we bring you weather and traffic together on the eights, although to be perfectly honest, not much is expected to change any time soon. Back to you, Brandon."

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."
Thanksgiving Blessings 2012

Seriously? Both political parties talking preemptive smack barely a week after the election. Partisan politics? Again? So soon? Not even time to catch our breath? For crum's sakes, give it a rest, you guys. Besides, shouldn't you be out on recess? After all, it's Thanksgiving. Yes. Already. The earliest Thanksgiving possible. That's what happens when November first is on a Thursday. Merchants are dancing the happy dance. Shoppers too. Retail workers, not so much. Black Friday Creep seems destined to devour Halloween.

To be perfectly honest, a four-day weekend devoted to food, family and football might be the perfect prescription distraction to help us through these rebuking times. So here's a couple rough examples of what a middle-aged round-headed political comic counts as blessings over folded hands before performing a perfectly executed triple somersault into the gravy boat.

Barack Obama. Second term promises much bigger knock-down-drag-out fights with the Republican House. Not to mention the Democratic Senate.

General David Petraeus. Who knew Generals had groupies? Proves old high school adage: chicks dig stars. The larger the fruit salad, the more noxious the flies.

Karl Rove. Continues to lobby for a recount of the Florida and Ohio votes. From 2008.

The Newly Elected Congress. If you liked the 112th Congress, you're going to love the 113th Congress. Gridlock grown tentacles.

Bill Clinton. As Secretary of 'Splaining Stuff, he kicked Obama's ball over goal line. Can't wait to see what his touchdown celebration looks like. Probably a waltz with Hillary down the 2016 campaign trail.

Dick Cheney. Still feisty even after recovering from a heart transplant. Really, transplant? Mightn't "installation" be more apt?

State of Florida. Twelve years later, and they still can't count. Time to circumcise America. Cut Florida off and kick it into the Caribbean. Rename it North Cuba.

State of Texas. Threatening to secede again. But not seriously enough. Don't think their heart is really into it.

Mitt Romney. Good news is he won't have to splain to the whole family why they're moving into a smaller house.

Chris Christie. Love him or hate him, he's not going away and is much too big to fail.

Donald Trump. The man just cannot shut the hell up. He's the gift that keeps on giving. Should team up with Sarah Palin in a double act and take it on the road.

Paul Ryan. Reins of the GOP are his if he can hold onto them. Has a lean and hungry look. Bobby Jindal would be wise to beware the Ides of March.

The Climate. Don't know if anybody's noticed, but it ain't getting more placid out there.

Joe Biden. Less of a loose cannon and more of a loose aircraft carrier.

Michele Bachmann. Because every comedian needs a good right wing nut job every now and then.

The Justin Bieber -- Selena Gomez breakup. It's not over. Oh, you may think it's over, but it's not over.

And finally, The Fiscal Cliff. And our nation turns its lonely eyes to those fabled Fiscal Cliff Divers, the Tea Party. All right everybody, who's jumping first?

Thanks to everyone for all your hard work throughout the year for the likes of political animals such as I. And good health to us all.

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."
Ten Females Who Cost Mitt Romney the Presidency

Holey moley catfish. Well, thank god that's finally over. Further thanks that the climax was quick and clean. Almost surgical. Not as long a night as many first thought it might be. Except for Karl Rove that is, who for all we know is still scribbling numbers to prove the call on Clinton's reelection win in 1996 was premature. And as usual, Florida did all it could to gum things up, but was eventually rendered irrelevant. And long may it remain so.

In the end, President Barack Obama trounced, er, battered, um, eeked out a victory, or to be more precise, Mitt Romney lost. Or shall we say, found a thousand ways to lose. Except for one brief shining moment in the first debate, virtually carrying with him a defeat diviner.

And each and every one of his failures can be traced directly to females. The distaff of life. Single women. Married women. Old women. Young women. Ladies and divas and flappers and baby mamas; duchesses, priestesses, shorties and floozies. So here they are, the top 10 females who cost Mitt Romney the presidency, each of them representing one of the myriad factors that helped construct the unelectable mosaic that became Bain's Captain of Industry.

  • Michele Bachmann. Mitt had to draft on her right-wing to win the primary battle and when he tried to tack back to the center appeared not to be the Washington Outsider he claimed, but a typical politician with the core values of a hollowed out chocolate Easter Bunny. With really good hair.
  • Newly elected U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts. A state the former Governor lost by 23 points. Proof positive the man arouses the enduring passion of a broken garden rake.
  • Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who took foreign policy off the table, making the entire election about the economy which kept getting better, gol darn it. And who can forget her husband. He certainly won't let us.
  • Sandra Fluke who gave a face to the GOP's Paleolithic Bronze Age attitudes towards women, further exacerbated by the fact that no man in the party could seemingly shut up about it.
  • Michelle Obama who is just darn likable. As is her husband. A stark contrast to Romney's cyborg demeanor and obvious discomfort around members of the human species.
  • Superstorm Sandy for providing the opportunity for the president to look presidential and for he and Chris Christie to French kiss on Atlantic City's Boardwalk, crystalizing the concept that bipartisanship is not the saddest word. That's "goodbye."
  • Ann Romney who would have made a simply terrific first lady. For Dwight D. Eisenhower.
  • Candy Crowley who single-handedly halted Romney's momentum in the second debate by speaking way above her pay grade. Don't you hate it when the help speaks out of turn?
  • All the Wal-Mart Moms, who never really understood that whole Cayman Islands bank account thing marking him not as the poster child for the 1 percent, but as the poster child for the .0001 percent of the 1 percent.
  • And the last female responsible for Romney's loss; Rafalca the 15-year old mare who, while wearing the Romney silks in Olympic Dressage, failed to make the medal round and was probably shipped home strapped to the fuselage of a 747. Seriously, Mitt. Dressage?
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."
Who Wins and Why

Looking for the dead solid skinny on the upcoming presidential election? You've come to the right place. As a public service, we're going to tell you right here and now who wins this thing and why.

Mitt Romney will win because of Hurricane Sandy.
Barack Obama will win because of Hurricane Sandy.

Obama will win because his name isn't Willard.
Romney will win because his name isn't Hussein.

Romney will win because the economy sucks.
Obama will win because the economy doesn't suck as bad as it did.

Obama will win because he's credible.
Romney will win because he's confident.

Romney will win because he has the momentum.
Obama will win because its fauxmentum.

Obama will win because he never strapped a dog to the roof of his car.
Romney will win because he never ate a dog.

Romney will win because he wasn't born in Kenya.
Obama will win because he wasn't born in Kenya.

Obama will win because he's taller.
Romney will win because he smiles more.

Romney will win because NASCAR Dads want to be in charge again.
Obama will win because Wal-Mart Moms need to call Planned Parenthood.

Obama will win because he knows the people.
Romney will win because he knows the business.

Romney will win because Obama will run out of money.
Obama will win because Romney's batteries will run down.

Obama will win by perfecting his ground game.
Romney will win by carpet-bombing the airwaves.

Romney will win because we all want to be rich.
Obama will win because we all believe we're smooth.

Obama will win because of Paul Ryan.
Romney will win because of Joe Biden.

Romney will win because of all the right people.
Obama will win because of all the other people.

Obama will win because he isn't Romney.
Romney will win because he isn't Obama.

Romney will win because dark forces will gather behind him.
Obama will win because the Force will be with him. Always.

Obama will win because Michelle and the girls will make it happen.
Romney will win because Ann and the boys won't let him lose.

Romney will win because he is a Latter-day Saint.
Obama will win because he wears a halo.

Obama will win because he's not Mormon.
Romney will win because he's not black.

Romney will win because his GOP compatriots will do whatever it takes.
Obama will win because his Democratic compatriots will stop beating each other up.

Obama will win because he makes us feel compassionate.
Romney will win because he makes us feel affluent.

Romney will win because people with money can count on him.
Obama will win because people without money can count on him.

Obama will win because his super PACs will pummel Romney in swing states.
Romney will win because his super PACs will slam Obama in swing states.

Romney will win because of Obamacare.
Obama will win because of Romneycare.

Obama will win because he'll eke out Ohio.
Romney will win because he'll slip by in Florida.

Romney will win because he'll get more popular votes.
Obama will win because he'll get more electoral votes.

So there you have it. The winner and the next President of the United States will be... one of those two guys.

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."

Got to relish the sidesplitting spectacle of millions of Democrats wiping their collective brows after watching the 2nd presidential debate through splayed fingers covering their eyes. MSNBC's Chris Matthews was so euphorically relieved he nearly broke down and cried. Although, truth be told, he probably cries during Coke commercials. Especially the cute ones with the polar bears.

It became immediately apparent, this time around, that President Obama spent the time at debate camp doing more than practicing lanyard weaving. Aides report he devoted three days to prepare for the Hofstra University showdown, as opposed to the couple hours he took off last time. Of course that doesn't include the 90 minutes of the first debate.

Nobody cares how he did it. The main thing is: Obama got his mojo back. He remojoed. The Major Mojo Mofo no longer runs in Slo-Mo. He was focused, energized and seemed determined to not let the challenger go all Joe Frazier on his butt again.

GOP candidate Mitt Romney stuck to the game plan that worked so well in Denver. Float like a butterfly, sting like a jellyfish. A style he surely perfected storming the sidewalks of Paris' 16th arrondissement during his missionary days. Shoot first -- evade questions later. Although, in retrospect, he just may have drunk too deeply from Joe Biden's bottomless flask of Red Bull.

He blustered and filibustered and at times seemed almost flustered. Demonstrating the same respect a busy boss might show in the presence of underlings, cautioning the president to "Hold on, I'm talking." And pushing Jim Lehrer around is one thing, but bullying Candy Crowley, quite another. Mind the gender gap.

Perhaps Romney's people forgot to update his operating system because America's prospective CEO also committed some unforced errors. First the binder blunder, where he awkwardly dodged a question about equal pay for women to segue into a story about "binders full of women." Pretty sure we can trust Bill Clinton to get to the bottom of this. Then again, maybe it's some sort of super secret magic Mormon thing.

The biggest snare was the Benghazi tiger trap, where Romney accused the President of not calling the death of our Libyan ambassador a terrorist attack. He should have sensed something was up when the President sweetly encouraged him to "please proceed, Governor," but nonetheless walked right onto the straw covering the staked hole.

Candy Crowley, who was in the Rose Garden for the very press conference in question, confirmed Obama's words. "No, no, he said it." Romney got so upset, the Secret Service might be wise to move to Def-Con 4 for the final mano-a-mano at Lynn University in Boca Raton, which could escalate from more mere malarkey to full body contact.

The Right became positively unglued, calling Ms. Crowley a communist, a terrorist and an assassin. Suffice it to say that if Romney wins, she will be encouraged to accompany Big Bird job hunting. The rich and the righteous are never happy when the "help" talks out of turn.

The irony is, Romney's self-inflicted wound stemmed from a flagrant violation of the rules agreed to by both candidates not to ask each other direct questions. But that's something we've seen time and time again from the 1 percent. The rules don't apply to them. The only rule they adhere to is the Golden Rule: he who has the gold makes the rules. Buy this.

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."
Ringside at the Undercard

Needed three towels to wipe down my living room after the vice presidential wrestling match, er, debate yesterday. The sweat flung off both the bottom names of the campaign bumper stickers was so thick on the Centre College stage, it shot right through television screens onto viewers at home.

In this highly anticipated undercard bout, Joe Biden and Paul Ryan took off the gloves, put on their red, white and blue Lucha Libre masks and went at each other hammer and tongs for 90 minutes with straight policy jabs and sweeping rhetorical hooks. Most whiffed, but it's the thought that counts.

No knockdowns were recorded in this no-holds-barred event, but the majority of ringside judges gave the decision to Biden on points, mainly for stopping his base's bleeding and blocking his opponent's momentum. And doing it all without suffering a stroke on national TV. Although it was close.

Kudos were also tossed Martha Raddatz's way, as she refereed the event with a command and aplomb that had veteran observers refer to her as the anti-Jim Lehrer. She actually seemed to listen to the responses and called candidates out when they tried to weasel away. A recurring theme.

Paul Ryan's intensive training regimen paid off as he punched and counter-punched, all evening while smiling so hard you could almost hear the enamel cracking inside his mouth. The duplicitous platform he was forced to defend seemed to suck all the moisture out of his body as he kept downing glass after glass of water, which fortunately was replenished regularly, or the GOP budget guru might have spontaneously combusted. And who wants to die in Kentucky?

Meanwhile Joe Biden showed great restraint in checking his normal penchant for dismantling the shared desk and chewing it into pieces. Like an aging chihuahua let outside after a long weekend locked in the basement, he yapped and barked and laughed maniacally, frequently exposing expensive dental work to all, frightening many children in the audience.

Seemed like the former senator from Delaware had downed a couple quarts of caffeinated Ensure. Then again, after viewing the results the White House might want to insure a case of Ensure is ready for President Obama next Tuesday at Hofstra University in New York.

Both Catholic combatants, the 69-year-old vice president and the 42-year-old Wisconsin congressman, waltzed delicately around the ring of malarkey when the question of abortion was raised, and a no-smirking zone was briefly established on both sides. And finally, not a single word about Big Bird. Obviously these two pugilists don't have their finger on the pulse of the American people.

On the style versus substance front, the GOP rep accused the Vice President of being loud, overbearing and rude. The very same qualities they called bold and commanding when Romney wore them last week. Hey, you guys: make up your mind. Pot-kettle-black much?

The Democratic ticket needs a visa to get out of Goldilocks Land: one half too cold, the other, too hot. But this reeking heap of steaming veep meet between pseudo-friends was entertaining, if not informative, and we could easily sell a rematch on pay-per-view, but only if the two fighters promise not to wear spandex. Maybe in 2016?

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."
The Audacity of Mendacity

A surprisingly large segment of America tuned into the first Presidential debate, but for some odd reason, President Obama did not appear among them. Who was in charge of his debate prep, Clint Eastwood? Even an empty chair would have provided a sturdier obstinacy.

The Committee to Re-Elect the President will obviously try to convince us that, like the economy, the Commander-in-Chief’s sub-par debate performance can be traced back to the Bush Administration, but darker forces may be at work here. The Ghosts of Debaters Past.

We learned Mitt Romney wants to kill Big Bird, but that was about it as far as fireworks go. No word on the Cookie Monster. But it doesn’t look good. Mr. Romney always seemed more of a Masterpiece Theater sort of guy anyway.

Perhaps the President was suffering from altitude poisoning, or distracted by missing his 20th wedding anniversary, or maybe the duties of Leader of the Free World are more exhausting than one thinks, because he fumbled and rambled, and gave the overall impression he was told the winner would be determined by time of possession.

And what was so interesting on the podium that compelled him to keep looking down at it? Was he taking one last longing look at his iPad with the pretty embossed Presidential seal or focused on a particularly frustrating sequence in Angry Birds?

With an aggressive energy reminiscent of a well-groomed rescue Terrier, the Republican challenger immediately charged into the Oval ringship steamrolling both the President and the moderator. He didn’t just dominate the debate, he twisted it into a logical Mobius strip.

Contradicting almost every one of his previously stated core beliefs, the former Governor of Massachusetts claimed to have no plan for tax cuts, said good things about portions of Obama Care and demonstrated concern over the bailout of big banks. Don’t know whom it was that blitzed onstage in Denver, but that guy could have done pretty well in Democratic primaries.

In the 38 minutes Romney spoke, he put on a verbal gymnastics exhibition worthy of an Olympics final. Obscuring. Dissembling. Whitewashing. Changing positions. Twisting facts. Denying assertions. Just making stuff up. Doubling down on his own personal Etch-A-Sketch. Candidate Gumby. Only less green. Marginally. Let the bendy shaking begin. Next thing you know he’ll deny his 47% statement. What? Already? Wow.

One possible excuse for Obama’s shocking passivity is he was stunned by the audacity of Romney’s mendacity. There were traces of “I can’t believe he just said that in front of people” smirks. It seemed all he could to keep from falling into the much-warned eye-rolling Al Gore Sigh Trap.

Maybe watching Obama sleepwalking was responsible for time slowing down, but the debate went on forever. At least way past Jim Lehrer’s bedtime, who morphed from deferential to obsequious to invisible. Made the NFL replacement refs look effective.

There’s plenty of time for both sides to retool messages for the next two confrontations. The White House can be expected to encourage the President to more energetically nail Romney to his own words. And despite renewed confidence, Romney will surely run intensive rehearsals to practice a different listening face that doesn’t reflect an annoyed patience, slight smugness and just a disconcerting pinch of Sling Blade.

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."
October Surprises

When the end draws near and prospects darken, and polls solidify in the wrong direction, and the base sinks lower than the toenail clippings of a Galapagos turtle, does the practiced political operative give up? No sir, they whip out their secret weapon. Not the candidate’s spouse. The real ace up the sleeve - The October Surprise.

Every campaign has one. Or more. It’s a piece of opposition research stashed away for a rainy day. For safe-keeping, behind glass, like a fire axe: “Open in the event of impending doom.” Something so incendiary it’s concealed in an asbestos-lined box buried deep in the back of the campaign manager’s underwear drawer.

A last minute revelation guaranteed to rip the skin off the opponent’s slick exterior and expose him or her to be the morally bereft fire-breathing extremist everyone was secretly afraid they were. Then again, it could be a tax cut or lavish promise or a grandstanding self-inflating shot of adrenaline. “You never suspected I was this good, did you?”

Even front-runners need to be prepared. After all, one good October Surprise deserves another. “They pull a knife. You pull a gun. He sends one of yours in the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That’s the Chicago Way. And that’s how you get Romney.”

The October Surprise is the joker in the American electoral deck of cards. Dealt under the table and below the belt. After minds have been made up and money spent, a well-played OS can turn a game around quicker than three crews of NFL replacement refs. Here’s a sample of the sort of shenanigans we can expect in the coming month.

Barack Obama announces a deal with Jamba Juice to place coupons for free fruit smoothies on the backs of all 1040 forms. 

Immediately after Vice Presidential debate, Joe Biden disappears for rest of campaign. Nobody, including family and personal staff, notices. The police don’t suspect foul play. Then again, they don’t rule it out either.

Mitt Romney vows, if elected, to write a $250 personal check to every man, woman & child in America. Fox News calls this a game changer.

Donald Trump unveils a cave painting in Provence, France that portrays a figure that looks eerily like Barack Obama descending from what appears to be a space ship.

On way to a rally in Langley, Virginia, Barack Obama stops motorcade to run into burning building, saving 3 year-old twins.

Inspired by Larry Ellison’s purchase of the Hawaiian Island of Lanai, the Koch Brothers offer 200 billion for Ohio. As is.

On the way to church, Romney personally beats off masked bullies who are attempting to impale a litter of puppies with nail guns. Shar pei puppies. The cutest kind.

Blurry YouTube video surfaces showing Barack Obama chain smoking cigarettes in the loading bay of a Toledo convention center before a fund raiser.

The State Comptroller of Ohio announces the Koch Brothers sale cannot go through due to the fact that George Soros has already acquired 60% of the state.

The LA Times releases grainy time-lapse photographic evidence of Mitt Romney at a Portsmouth, New Hampshire coffee shop downing 3 triple espressos.

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."
Worst Campaign Ever?

It’s time to start worrying about Mitt Romney. Seriously. The guy may just be running the worst campaign ever. And yes, that includes the McDLT, print ads for organic hemp underwear and France in 39. Not to mention McCain/Palin in 08. Which currently holds the gold standard for lousy campaigns. Sure to be a Hall of Fame inductee in a couple years.

Willard has taken bad to a whole new level. Bad like a dumpster behind a fish market during a garbage strike bad. Bad like a 3 dollar Dark Knight Rises DVD bought off a Times Square cardboard table with Albanian subtitles bad. Bad like Todd Akin at a NARAL benefit bad. Bad doubled down. Beyond breaking bad to the point of broken bad.

And every time the former Governor of Massachusetts opens his mouth, it gets worse. He's tone deaf, tongue tied, logically challenged and as approachable as a near- sighted porcupine in heat. The Anti Ray Romano-Nobody Loves Mitt.

So uncomfortable around real people, you can practically hear him whisper "icky, icky, icky," under his breath while shaking hands at rallies. You know there's an aide with a bottle of Purell hand sanitizer waiting for him on the bus. Maybe even a 55-gallon drum connected to a shower head.

Got caught on a secret video calling 47% of those real people-moochers and malingerers. Shirking entitled victims dependent on the government for food. Food. Mmmm. That's us. Just can't get enough of that Government cheese. You know what this country needs? A good 5¢ Government cracker.

The impression is that, 1: he was pandering to his rich donor buddies or, 2: the poster child for the 1% really believes what he said. Either way- awkward! And that massive pounding sound you hear is a herd of stampeding elephants running away from what they fear might be contagious.

Said he wouldn't concern himself with that 47%, which depresses his most ardent supporters, because "hell, that's more than half!" One major problem with insulting 47% of the American public is that at least 58% of them worry that you think they're part of that 47% and you know 112% of America believes that. They do. Bet you $10,000.

The video's release obscured the Romney campaign's much ballyhooed new design to sharpen its message. Would have been interesting to see how many truckloads of flint they were going to use to try and put an edge on that much smoke. Honing fog.

His own staffer warned us. The Etch-a-Sketch has been turned upside down. Prepare to be shaken. Problem is, you keep rebooting something as stiff as Mitt and it starts short-circuiting all over the place. Romney 8.0. Better than Romney 7.0. Now with Desperation.

Maybe it's the extra large silver spoon in his mouth that keeps him from seeing the view from the middle class. Can't understand why they don't pull themselves up by the bootstraps like he did when his daddy loaned him his first million.

With the debates still to come, there's time to turn this race around. But this far in, its like turning the Titanic. After hitting the iceberg. And the helm is underwater. Face it, if Bain Capital were running Mitt's campaign right now, they'd close it down, fire him and hire some Chinese guy to do it better and cheaper.

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."
The Spinning Bounce

Let's speak about The Bounce, shall we? The Bounce being the jump that a three-day, red-white-and-blue infomercial is expected to produce on a candidate's polling. The idea is to use The Bounce as a slingshot of momentum to whip you down the campaign straightaway directly into the swivel seat behind the desk of the Oval Office. Or close enough to let the Supreme Court appoint you. One or the other.

What usually happens, after both conventions have drop-kicked their last balloon, is an equilibrium is struck. One side goes up four to six points, then the other side goes up four to six points and you're pretty much back to where you started. The Bounce evens out. Not very exciting. Like sugar-free cookies. Or kissing Andrea Mitchell. Knocking back a shot of non-alcoholic wine. Otherwise known as grape juice.

This time around, the net result of two weeks in the Southeast in the dead of summer is President Barack Obama got a cumulative bump of between three and five points. Hard to say which event was more responsible for his ascension: his own Democratic National Convention, the Republican National Convention or Hurricane Akin.

Governor Mitt Romney got the same kind of Bounce you'd expect from an anvil dropped onto a swamp. Even his own staff called it "not large." Yeah. Not large being a euphemism for non-existent. It was not large in the same way that August in Charlotte does not feature a cluster of destination luge runs. Similar to how Kim Kardashian is not a Nobel Prize-winning nuclear physicist. Banana fritters aren't magnetic. An echoing abyss of whistling emptiness.

Some polls actually suggested the GOP ticket received less than Zero Bounce from their Convention. Less than zero. On the wrong side of the ledger. Red ink. A negative Bounce; which could be referred to as a Plunge. Might need to christen a new buzzword: the Convention Dip. But that would involve stripping Chris Christie of his own personal Tampa catalog description.

When a campaign finds itself Sans Bounce, its important to replace it with The Spin. As Republicans are feverishly attempting this year. Spinning like an aging hippie in a peasant dress dead stage left at a Grateful Dead tribute band concert. Twirling left. Spinning right. Spinning righter. Pay no attention to that man behind the fact-checking curtain.

The Spin should be fluid and flexible and is not required to be rooted in the real world. Its only purpose is to distract. "The Not So Large of a Bounce was due to Mr. Romney having already consolidated his base." "The Governor doesn't really need a Bounce because of the spring in his step." "All The Bounce this candidate needs can be found in his hair."

Not only do the Bounceless have to convince supporters and the base and most especially prospective donors that the candidate still has a shot, it is incumbent to also soft pedal and ridicule the other guy's visible Bounce. Phantom bounce.

Romney's pollster Neil Newhouse called the Obama Bounce "a sugar high." That may be so, but you got to remember, in tough times like these, a lot of we normal Americans got ourselves a heavy hankering for anything sweet. Even one of those sugar-free cookies.

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."
High Atop the Deep Bench

And now a few words on the Democratic National Convention, which was ALSO interrupted by bad weather and from this we can deduce that God is not overly fond of politicians. Proving that he/she indeed has something in common with a majority of the American public. We are special.

The Dems opened their quadrennial confab headlining Michelle Obama and the president’s wife loud wowed the crowd. Authentic and classy and inspiring, people immediately started examining the 25th Amendment for loopholes that would allow the First Lady to jump to the top of the line of succession. At least leapfrog Boehner. If not Biden.

The next day, Elvis re-entered the building. The Obama folks buried their 08 bones of resentment in yesterday’s backyard to let the Big Dog off leash and the whole house howled at the moon. For 48 minutes, Bill Clinton barked it out old school. Some naysayers scoff the only reason he was in North Carolina was confusion over whether Charlotte was host city or a dinner date set up by e-harmony.com.

No matter the motive compelling the 42nd POTUS to attend, it became obvious from the get-go that whatever it was that Hillary’s husband at one time had, he’s still got it. In spades.

While thunder rumbled just outside the Time Warner Cable Arena the real electricity was on the inside. Single-handedly he systematically laid out the most persuasive argument yet to re-elect President Bill Clinton.… er, unh, Barack Obama.

Delegates swooned. MSNBC collectively spilled coffee on their laps wetting themselves. Even Michelle couldn’t hide a secret grin. Wouldn’t be surprised to find out Ann Romney had one too. Perhaps even he with the lean and hungry look, Paul Ryan.

And when you think about it, wasn’t really fair. Trotting out a former president to rally the troops. After all, Republicans don’t really have a former president to… oh wait. Yeah they do. Never mind. On a side note, Clinton said more nice things about George Dubyah than were heard from the entire GOP convention. Two.

After smashing his guitar on the floor of the podium you could almost hear the Man from Hope whisper to Mister Hope and Change as the two embraced, “Follow that Mofo.” And on the closing night, he did, proceeding to give the 3rd or 4th best speech of the convention.

While Tampa may have been bereft of Bushes, Charlotte curiously featured a distinct lack of former Democratic Vice Presidential candidates. Not a Gore or a Lieberman or a home state Edwards to be seen. Ain’t life odd.

On the final night, Edward’s ticket mate, John Kerry gave a rousing speech that had delegates wondering where this funny self-deprecating guy was hiding in 2004. Jennifer Granholm assumed Ann Richards’ mantle getting in the best lines of the week; “Romney loves our cars so much they have their own elevator.” 

Finally Joe Biden teared up, and Barack Obama tore it up. Not soaring to the golden-throated suburb that is Bubba Heights, but dignified, hopeful and focused. Dare we say, Presidential.

Spending two weeks watching the best our political parties have to offer, it’s apparent the Democrats have a deep bench, while the Republicans seem to focus on an empty chair and two empty suits. But to be fair, they’re very nice suits. And they have balloons.

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."
The Stealth Convention

And now a few words about the Republican National Convention (AKA the convention for women with big hair and the men in white shoes who love them). And white certainly was the operable word in Tampa. Mashed potatoes on paper plates with a side of leeks white.

I had to feel bad for the one black guy the networks kept cutting to during the speeches. They tried everything to make him look like a crowd. Different camera angles. He probably had his own wardrobe assistant: "Now put on the cowboy hat. OK. OK. Let's try a handlebar mustache." Must have been someone's driver.

The first day of this GOP quadrennial confab got canceled for the second consecutive conference, due to a hurricane bearing down on them. It went on to become one of only two tropical storms to threaten the Crescent City since Katrina. Hey, guys, want some crow sprinkles on that karma cone?

But any worry about the optics of unrestrained celebration while parts of the country drowned faded fairly quickly: "Oh, quit your bellyaching. At least your pesky drought is over." And with that, the convention shifted into stealth mode.

The festive conservatives were so successful at concealing their core convictions that at times it was difficult to discern which party was nominating whom: "We're saving Medicare"; "the party of diversity"; "our platform may say no abortions, no exceptions, but we haven't even read it"; "Dubyah who?"; "Mitt what?"

The only speaker to mention Mitt's name out loud on purpose was Ann Romney, in a gracious and endearing turn. Facing the tall task of climbing the plateau of humanizing her spousal cyborg, this mother of five boys constructed an entire flight of stairs by herself. But with a husband stiffer than Rick Santorum on a gay pride parade float, it was the basement stairwell of what needs to be skyscraper scaffolding. Baby steps.

Paul Ryan growled the requisite veep nominee pit-bull snarl, then gave 40 minutes' worth of credence to the Romney pollster who proclaimed earlier in the week, "We're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers." The Janesville congressman trotted out more bad lies than Employees Day at St. Andrews. The Old Course.

Chris Christie solidly wedged himself into a failsafe slot for the next round in the event of a Romney/Ryan November stumble, as did Condoleezza Rice, albeit more elegantly. But Marco Rubio stole the show, positioning himself as a possible impediment to Christie's and Condi's scrambles for 2016's money. If there is any money by then.

Normally these gatherings are to spontaneity what Richard Simmons is to mule skinning. Lots of shiny, smooth, seamless spandex. A three-day holiday in a hall full of Ken dolls. But in a dubious celebrity stretch, some soon-to-be ex-staffer woke Clint Eastwood from a nap to upstage the nominee's acceptance speech by losing an argument with an empty chair.

Following Dirty Harry speaking to an imaginary president, Romney spoke of his phantom agenda. The general consensus was that he needed to give the "speech of his life," and the good news is he did. The bad news: That was it. Great for the base, "meh" for everybody else.

So now it's on to Charlotte, where the Democrats will throw a counter spin to their mirror image of this carefully orchestrated boogie down. Charlotte and Tampa in the dead of summer. And these are our great political minds at work? Something indeed is horribly awry.

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."

Mining humor out of Missouri Senate hopeful Todd Akin's barrage of claptrap is tougher than eating frozen jerky in a rowboat on the eyewall of Hurricane Isaac. Normally, rape and funny live in two different solar systems, whose orbits rarely if ever intersect with significantly different trajectories and fields of gravity, if you catch our drift.

But this guy's historic and colossally moronic remark is the very exception that proves the rule winning him in one fell brimming swoop, the Joe Biden "Foot So Deep In His Mouth He's Probably Tickling His Spleen with His Shoelaces" Lifetime Achievement Award.

During an interview with St. Louis television station KTVI, the Republican Congressman told a reporter, that from what he understands from doctors, women who are legitimately raped don't get pregnant. And the plopping noise across the country from mouths dropping open was loud enough to wake every student at Gallaudet University.

Now, we expect our anthropoidal troglodytes to believe stupid stuff; we're just not used to hearing their inane anthropoidal troglodytic beliefs articulated out loud. Refreshing and depressing at the same time.

Wow. Where do you start? Legitimately raped? Suffice it to say that no qualifying adverb is ever necessary in front of that particular noun. Especially from a man. And what does he mean by "legitimate"? It seems to infer something exists that could be known as "illegitimate" rape but, oh no, we're not going there. As redundant as Halloween in San Francisco. Boring in Burlington. Hot in hell.

Next to the abstracted nonsense of his feeble-minded opinion, it's the casual attribution that rankles. Here's a man running for the US Senate using medieval wives' tales as philosophical justification. And he's a member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology? Let's hope his concentration is on space and technology. Notwithstanding the space between his ears.

Also makes one worry about the state of the medical profession in Missouri. Is the Show Me State overrun with puritanical shamans? 13th century barbers? Filipino psychic surgeons? Physician bags stuffed with snake oil and leeches? Do their white jackets have long long sleeves that wrap around the back where they're buckled real tight?

The inundation was so overwhelming it came close to rendering Chris Matthews speechless. Almost. While an oblivious Akin tried to walk back his clueless comments, the GOP brought out the industrial strength cattle prods to walk him back over a cliff. Steep drop. Sharp rocks. Big waves.

Republicans needed to reignite a War on Women right before their national convention the same way a fireworks factory needs a grease fire on July 3rd and the entire party rented jet skis to rooster tail away from the eye of stupidity as far and fast as possible.

The storm surge of Hurricane Akin washed a bit of the shine off Golden Boy, Paul Ryan, as well. He and Akin have a history of introducing bills to redefine rape and both oppose a woman's right to choose following one. Not a problem for Romney though. Who thinks completely different. Or doesn't. No one's quite sure.

Thus far, the Tea Party favorite is determined to stay in and go full term. And Democrats across the nation are shouting themselves hoarse fanning the waves of this deluge, while whispering words of encouragement hoping this testament of dark bewilderment exercises his god-given right to remain consummately cretinous in public. To election day! And beyond!

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."
The Bold Choice

With the election slipping away like a handful of mercury on a turbocharged merry-go-round, Mitt Romney managed to change the conversation from unreleased tax returns and foreign misadventures by plucking Paul Ryan out of the Wisconsin wilds to be his running mate. "Romney-Ryan." Short, alliterative and one syllable more conservative than "Obama-Biden."

The situation appeared so desperate, the choice couldn't wait until after closing ceremonies of the Olympics, forcing the House Budget Committee Chairman to share the weekend spotlight with enough English pop stars to clear out the hairspray aisle at 7 Boots' drug stores. The Republican Congressman may be famous for his P90x work -- out regimen, but the Spice Girls have much better legs. And they're way older.

Ryan was universally hailed as a bold choice. Yeah, well, maybe, but bold is not always synonymous with good. Whiskey for breakfast is a bold choice. Spun glass underwear is bold. Forehead dragon tattoos. Passing an 18 wheeler on a blind curve doing 80 in the rain. Incredibly bold. Not necessarily smart.

Another white male Christian conservative. That is bold. But only when compared to absolutely anything else. It's been speculated a major reason for awarding the Wisconsin congressman prize spot at the bottom of the bumper sticker was to energize the base. And total slam dunk there. The question is: which base?

Republicans are shaking like a Brazilian supermodel on a Lake Superior beach shoot in January. Only, happier. Haven't seen them this excited since John McCain hooked up with some governor of Alaska. Meanwhile, Democrats are salivating so uncontrollably, they'd be advised to invest in bibs to keep from soiling their five thousand dollar Man-of-the-People suits.

A coordinated attack was immediately launched to trash Ryan's Path to Prosperity budget bill, which replaces Medicare with vouchers. Health care coupons. Why? Because old people love coupons. "I got a coupon. Only four more, we can book an anesthesiologist."

The Romney campaign instantly countered, accused the President of gutting Medicare to the tune of $700 billion for ObamaCare. So we got that to look forward to: 11 more weeks of the echoing refrain of "You're killing Medicare," "No, you're killing Medicare." Rinse and repeat. And repeat again. Continue rinsing.

Ryan, a self-professed Ayn Rand acolyte, was forced to denounce his objectivism hero when somebody on his staff who reads discovered Ms. Rand rejected all forms of religion, which some might infer meant she did not believe in Jesus. You can love one or the other, but not both. Like with Wham!

Allegations also arose that while Ryan ladled scorn onto the stimulus bill, he wrote four letters to the Secretary of Energy praising programs and requesting funds for his district. Could this be a fount of flip for Mitt's famed flop?

Ryan doesn't do much to help with Romney's Richie rich problem either. Wealthy son of a Janesville, Wisconsin highway contractor, he amended his financial disclosure statement in March, having forgotten to include a $5 million trust account. Then again, who among us hasn't forgotten a multi-million dollar trust account? "Now where did I put that pesky Five Mil? Must be in my other pants pockets."

Difficult to discern whether the GOP Boy Wonder is helping or hindering Willard's ticket. But if the campaign arc doesn't start levitating real soon, he might be forced to release some tax returns just to change the conversation. Again.

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."
The Barack Hussein Obama Election Year Decathlon

Planetary props to the city of London for a monumentally memorable 30th Olympiad. It was obvious from The Opening Ceremonies that these would be Games nobody would soon forget. From the Queen jumping out of a helicopter to Charles Dickens wearing a top hat at Stonehenge contracting black lung disease during the Industrial Revolution or whatever was going on there. Beautiful, is what it was. And odd.

Then for two weeks, the world's greatest athletes captivated global attention by setting records and shedding tears and pulling hamstrings in familiar events and sports we didn't even know existed. Men's rhythmic marathon gymnastic BMX diving?

It continues to amaze how every four years, humans continue to incrementally evolve to be faster and stronger and higher and longer and as far as synchronized swimming is concerned, creepier.

The weather was oh so British; mercurial, unpredictable and tipsy by dark. And added kudos must be laid at the feet of England's capital city for keeping the contests pretty much controversy-free. Except, of course, the momentary ugliness that was the women's semifinal field hockey match between Great Britain and Argentina. Aka: The Falklands War II. This time it's personal! Utilizing less lethal sticks.

One can never entirely keep politics out of games or games out of politics. The two have too much in common. For instance, we cheer for our team no matter what opponents they line up against. And if a player switches sides, that's fine too. As long as they wear our uniform. So essentially, what we root for is laundry.

Score is kept and grudges held for generations. Contestants blindly resort to any strategy within the law to win, often finding themselves on the wrong side of strictly legal. And invariably one over-caffeinated idiot will try to psych out the other side with smack talk about somebody's mama.

Every once in a while some underused substitute will buzz a high tight one under the chin of an opposing superstar and both benches will clear. And then... not much of anything happens. Participants talk of sportsmanship being the paramount goal but it's plain to see everything is all about the gold.

Even our notoriously equanimitous to the point of semi-somnambulant President occasionally is forced to engage in various sporty contortions. We're used to seeing him body surfing and on the basketball court, but the Complying Hawaiian has been showing off some pretty impressive election year moves as well. As a little something we like to call the Barack Obama Election Year Decathlon will elucidate.

#1. The Individual Medley Multiple Issue- Straddle.

#2. The Debt Ceiling Crisis Crunch Clean And Jerk. With an emphasis on the jerks.

#3. Global Goodwill High Nuclear Hurdle Tour.

#4. Extreme Middle of the Road Straightline Walk- Run.

#5. Single Weekend 10 State Promise Them Anything Fundraising Marathon.

#6. Last Minute Digging Up a Democrat with a Backbone Desperation Relay.

#7. The Incredible Disappearing Successful Solar Energy Photo- Op Sprint.

#8. The 800 Pound Gorilla that is the Economy Greco- Roman Wrestle.

#9. Biting His Tongue While in the Presence of John Boehner Freestyle.

And the final event:

#10. The Joe Biden Advanced Obstacle Course. Now with Landmines!

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."
A Staggeringly Stumbling Trip

Mitt Romney has to be more relieved than an Iowa corn farmer in the middle of a thunderstorm to be back on home soil. Arms wide. Head back. Wet face. Smile. Podium steps. National Anthem.

The American electorate may harbor an ambivalent attitude towards the former governor of Massachusetts, but the reaction to his European vacation from folks across the big pond could only be described as decisively derisive. If diplomacy were a hurdling sport, the guy stumbled over the lane chalk.

The plan was for the GOP nominee to embark on a low- risk, three- country jaunt to raise his suspect foreign policy bona fides, but the seven-day charm offensive proved to be light on charm and heavy on offense. Good will hunting transformed into ill will gathering.

The first stop was Great Britain, where the Wee Bairn of Bain managed to pretty much insult the whole country. Romney told an interviewer that security problems surrounding the Olympics were disconcerting. And the gates of Hades opened and all sorts of evil tabloid creatures sprung forth.

He only said the same exact thing they had been saying for weeks in Merry Olde, but you know family. Siblings are allowed to call their father a harebrained lovable loser: cousins, not so much.

David Cameron snapped that London was a busy, world-class city, and "not in the middle of nowhere" which some interpreted as a snub targeting the man who famously saved the 2002 Winter Olympics. But the Prime Minister only demonstrated his own geographic ineptitude. Salt Lake City isn't in the middle of nowhere; it's in Utah.

Ann Romney traipsed along to offer moral support to her horse Rafalca, competing in Olympic dressage. Dressage being a French word describing an event where horse and rider perform predetermined movements. Like inter-species dancing. Which has to be illegal in at least half of the states Willard leads.

The Overseas Gaffe Express moved to the Middle East where Mr. Romney stuck a prayer in the Wailing Wall, presumably pleading to be struck dumb. Retroactively. Later he gave a speech saying Israel's financial acumen and culture provided it with a major advantage over Palestine. Sort of ticking off the Palestinians. Not to mention a couple of Israelis who thought he called them thrifty.

The trip landed for a final stop in Poland and everyone held their breath. But all that happened on the outskirts of the evil continent of Europe was an aide cautioned a reporter to stop peppering the candidate with questions because they were in a holy site for Poles. And to emphasize the sanctity of the joint, he told the reporter to kiss his butt. Only he didn't say butt, rather the word that rhymes with class. A quality of which he is obviously bereft.

The campaign was hoping to use this journey abroad to muffle the outcry over tax returns and set up the Vice Presidential pick, but now even the most partisan Republican has to wonder how many consecutive blows to the head their candidate can take without visible bruising. Need to line up a platoon of make up artists for Tampa.

Britain, Israel and Poland. Not what you call the Group of Death. Those aren't the tough ones, Mitt. Got to rate their collective degree of difficulty in diplomatic terms at about a negative 2 But one thing you got to give him -- at least he stuck his dismount.

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."

Who knows why Mitt Romney doesn't release his old tax records. Maybe he's stubborn. Nobody likes being told what to do. Could be an incredibly simple explanation like he lost them and is embarrassed. For all we know the accordion file of old returns fell off a shelf in the garage and is buried under a pile of old bikes and unopened anniversary gifts.

Promised to release his 2011 tax records when he files on or around October 15th. Wrong way, Mitt. We don't care about the five years you've been running for president. We want to know what you did before the national spotlights were trained on you. Who are you in the dark? Do you change into tights and a cape? Or is the King of Bain really Bane? You're so Bane, you probably think this column is about you.

Desperate to change the conversation, the presumptive tax dodger slipped out of the country and ran away to the Olympics. Because that's where the cameras are pointed. And apparently he's determined to get in front of them in order to make verbal gaffes on subjects other than his taxes. Making people cogitate even furiouser, what nuggets of deliciousness could possibly be lurking unseen?

Romney has the best lawyers and accountants money could buy, so probably nothing overtly illegal. Perhaps some solid investments that might pin the red on the dodgy side on the moral- ometer. You know. High stakes Monaco baccarat winnings. Heroin spatulas. Far Eastern white slavery futures. Not here to judge. We're talking different cultures.

Problem is, in a void, one's imagination naturally runs wild about any Unobtanium. Accordingly, please allow me to wildly offer up a couple of conjectures on possible skeletons buried in the Mitt Romney tax crypts.

  • Doesn't just have a bank account in the Cayman Islands; owns 2 of the three Cayman Islands.
  • Tithes 10% of income every year to Scientology.
  • Claims 9 kids as dependents.
  • Adjusted net worth after taxes is a bazilliondy dollars.
  • Collects royalties from Kraft for the copyrighted term "Preppy Dip."
  • Turns out Mitt really IS short for Mittens.
  • In 2004, he wrote off $60,000 in Chinese made hair products.
  • Currently holds 60% of Greece's debt.
  • Never checks the donation box at the bottom of his 1040.
  • Back in the late 80s, his closest business associate was Pablo Escobar.
  • Top three charitable donations were to Greenpeace, Planned Parenthood & Code Pink.
  • His Swiss bank account number is 666.
  • Served 18 months in prison for tax evasion while governor of Massachusetts and nobody noticed.
  • Known in the yard as Shifty.
  • Holds the lease on a 120,000 square foot warehouse in Nevada filled to the rafters with sex toys.
  • Yearly health care deductions include three pages for nickel- metal- hydride batteries.
  • Entire estate has been placed under the control of Rafalca, the Olympic horse.
  • Was the brains behind Bernie Madoff.
  • Claims Newt Gingrich books-on-tape as therapeutic deductions.
  • Has the state of South Dakota placed in his IRA.
  • Not only paid no taxes for the years 1990- 2002 but it turns out we owe him $400,000,000.
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."

You might say it was a turbulent week for Mitt Romney. You could also say a light lemon sugar wash makes for ineffective mosquito repellent. He claims to have totally left Bain Capital to run the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics even though his company handed the government multiple signed documents stating otherwise and now financial questions plague his campaign like a swarm of dive-bombing bees in a bathroom stall.

The presumptive GOP nominee finds himself in the uncomfortable position of having to convince skeptical voters someone can serve as a firm’s President, Chairman of the Board, chief executive officer, sole stockholder, junior janitor, cafeteria server in a plastic hairnet and still have absolutely nothing to do with the direction of the company or anything that’s going on. You might say he’s invoking a modified Wall Street bankers’ defense.

It boils down to whether he played any active role after leaving in 1999 and his subsequent retroactive retirement. Whatever that means. He says no, dividends be damned. And all those SEC filings listing him as boss were simply corporate publicity moves like Donald Trump putting his name on various hotels and statuesque fashion models. Which many psychologists define as an edifice complex.

Adding to the confusion, in 2002, Willard successfully disputed tax records listing him as an inhabitant of Utah because he was required to have 7 year residency in Massachusetts for gubernatorial eligibility. Then again, who would quarrel with having a president who could live in two places at the same time.

Also, during the period in question, Romney sat on the board of a corporation called LifeLike, which co-incidentally seems to be his campaign slogan. But we’re pretty sure they had nothing to do with his construction. They make dolls, not puppets.

The reason this is all so important is because Romney declares his qualifications stem from his recognized business acumen. And if it’s proven he either lied under oath or to the American people, it would go a long way into establishing he truly does deserve national office.

Romney maintains he is totally within the law not releasing any more tax records than required. Yeah, well, in certain states gambling and prostitution and foie gras are within the law as well. Is this guy running for the presidency or trying to avoid the constabulary?

The former Governor from Massachusetts rationalizes he’s only following in Teresa Heinz’s 04 footsteps. But Teresa Heinz wasn’t running for President. Her husband, John Kerry was, and he released 20 years of taxes. So, maybe Romney is subliminally letting us know the post he’s really angling for is… First Lady.

Speaking of which, presumptuous presumptive Marie Antoinette understudy, Ann Romney, addressed the subject with “we’ve given all you people need to know.” Wow. Now, we’re “you people.” Might be taking that Mormon Royalty thing a bit too far. Fortunately, her husband was able to refrain from using the term when addressing the NAACP.

Come on Mitt. In the biggest of all poker games, you're at the final table and it's time to go all in. Like the police always tell us when they start ramping up surveillance, "The innocent have nothing to fear." You're squeaky clean, right? Or is this just another example of that age old Golden Rule: "He who has the gold, makes the rules."

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."

All of America should drop to its knees and thank the GOP for attempting to provide us with replacement fireworks. As you undoubtedly know, cities all over the country this year were forced to cancel Fourth of July festivities due to fear of fire, glitchy computers and twitchy bureaucrats. Like there's another kind.

The Republican House took great pains to salve our sensory deprived souls by trying to set off enough indoor fireworks to make the San Diego Big Bay Bust look like a fluttering votive candle. It was designed to be a spectacular explosion fueled by ego, obstinacy and behavior so self-absorbed, the casual bystander might assume we were in the middle of an election year.

For the 33rd time, all House business slammed to a grinding halt to accommodate another vote to repeal Obama Care. Again. 33 times. Let's look at that, shall we? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33.

You got to give the majority party credit for being able to flog this dead horse without getting any flying bits on them. 33 times is at least 32 times more than the administration ever tried to sell this bill to a public overwhelming in favor of its component parts.

They persevered even though everyone knows there's a better chance of flamingos flying out of monkey butts than the Senate ever signing on. And getting past a presidential veto, substitute polka dotted pterodactyls for the flamingos.

As political theater goes, this sad summer stock production fizzled with tired choreography and a script duller than Shakespeare in modern dress performed by 3rd graders in Mandarin. No wonder they keep trying to cut funding for the Arts; they're deathly afraid of the competition.

They rationalized this particular Theater of the Absurd production by claiming the necessity to make a statement. And indeed a statement has been made. That Congress is broken and impotent and hopelessly in need of adult supervision. Even as we speak, you can hear their eight person approval rating clanking down the basement steps to unimagined depths.

It has been estimated this extended season of Cirque de Folly has taken up two cumulative weeks of business at a cost of $24 million a week. That's what it takes to keep the congressional gears oiled and moving. Nearly $50 million to hammer home a point more tedious than slogging through the instruction booklet for an Egyptian made solar generator.

We're not even talking about more millions wasted to appease the base by blatantly restricting women's rights. This is all perfectly good money that could have been spent on further tax cuts for the rich. Even with inflation, 50 million dollars worth of oil subsidies could go a long way. Any idea how many car elevators you could buy with that kind of money?

The official Party Line on Obama Care is Repeal and Replace but there is absolutely nobody that has anything to replace it with. Ask for specifics and Republicans mumble and fidget and get as vague as Donald Trump talking about the importance of ethics while closing the deal.

First there was Romney Care, and now we got Obama Care, but if the hard line conservatives get their way, this country is going to end up with We Don't Care. Less Care For You. Couldn't Care Less. Just might have to rename these fiscally responsible charlatans as... The Care Less Party.

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."

And now, your report from the front lines of the G-20 summit, recently concluded in Los Cabos, Mexico. And the good news is... no knife fights. Very little broken furniture and for the very first time in recent memory, the proceedings were judged to be more boring than watching varnish harden, which is considered a huge coup for the host country. So, viva Mexico!

The G-20 meets once a year and is made up of 15 or 16 of the top 20 countries with the largest economies in the world, excluding Norway, the Netherlands, Spain and a couple others, but including the European Union and some other countries with special ties to the organizers. You know, like in high school. If you help decorate prom, you know who's compiling the guest list.

Of course, Spain is allowed to crash the festivities every year even though they're not actually members. Like the quarterback who gets suspended for the food fight in the cafeteria, everybody loves Spain and is willing to sneak them through the back door of the party. Besides, they always bring the sangria. And come on: they're Spain!

An important thing to remember are the huge, intractable distinctions between competing governmental conventions. The G-20 has absolutely nothing to do with the G-8, which is made up of 8 of the world's top 10 economies, excluding China and Brazil. And once in a while, the European Union wanders by, but that's about it. Don't even think of letting Spain in. We have our own sangria, thank you very much. And we call it gin.

Like the G-20, the G-8 also meets once a year and was originally known as the G-6, and then G-7. So it would not take that great of a leap to put a couple of euros down on another eventual name change to G-9. G-Double Digits, right around the corner.

And, as everybody knows, the G-20 replaced the G-33, which itself superceded the G-22, leading to speculation that the G-8 and the G-20 will someday merge and produce a mutant love child to be known as the GG-28, which will meet twice a year and hopefully be as boring as Day 3 of hospital pudding.

This was the seventh meeting of the G-20 and the politics involved were breathtaking in a stupendously vapid way. Then nothing happened. And for nothing to happen on a global scale, with markets around the world as precarious as a glass sculpture above a nuclear test site located on an earthquake fault in a sandstorm, is exactly what everyone was praying for.

An official declaration recognized that agreements may very well be forthcoming but not until a framework can be forged to accommodate international justifications to absolve interested parties of any blame and/ or responsibility. And Greece and Spain were never mentioned by name. But we all know who they are.

Internally, it was heartily agreed that decisive action will definitely be required. Someday. By someone. But not now. And definitely not by anybody here. Then Asia and Latin America quietly bailed out Europe and nobody commented on the ignominy of it all, and they all retired to the big balcony overlooking the sea to dance and smoke and drink sangria.

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."

From out of the green mist enveloping the campaign doldrums they come. Relentlessly. Doggedly. Cattedly. Trudging blank-faced and soulless. Armies of cash hungry zombies brandishing partisan pickaxes, shovels and crowbars, with only one goal rattling around their feverish brains. Campaign booty. Pieces of 8. Entire 8s. Eight figured 8s.

We're in that lazy seam that marks the home stretch to the National Conventions, with little else to occupy opposing squads than raising moolah to prepare for the epic upcoming battle. Negative ads don't grow on trees you know.

The peripatetic participants are as frenzied as reef sharks in shallow tuna-rich waters trying to raise a little bit of money here, some more money there, how about all that money everywhere. At this point, the staffs are so laser-focused you'd think they were being pursued by the hounds of fund-raising hell. Maybe they are. Or the ghost of John McCain's 08 late October.

In May, President Obama picked up a measly 60 million dollars versus 76 for the Presumptive Republican nominee and those figures were considered by most experts to be a drop in the Suck-It bucket. Slack City. Chump change. Must have been distracted. Weren't really trying. Had their minds on other things. It was Sweeps Week.

But with the election less than five months away, the time for random tips and digging under couch cushions is over. Right now, the collection plate is being passed with both congregations weighing and judging from behind praying hands. And the candidates have tuned their industrial strength choir operations to sing en masse in the key of Thee. Except for Cory Booker.

The two campaigns expect to raise a billion dollars each by September, and that doesn't count the capital being sucked up by the super PAC vacuums either. They laughingly call this speed dating, money-grab a "listening tour" but the only folks being heard are the ones speaking with big fat wide-open wallets.

The country is being strip-mined for campaign gold. Keel hauled for buried treasure. Huge looting machines are dangling potential donors by the heels to shake large bills, blank checks and loose change out of pockets. Then they get a sucker and are encouraged to go away. But stick next to the phone. There might be another call. Might, as in, will. Repeatedly.

Can't blame the politicians; it was the Supreme Court that fired the pistol starting this Amazing Race for Wampum when it decreed money to be free speech. The campaigns are simply searching for the most strident voices. Human shrieking megaphones. We're in the audition stage of American Idol where loudest equals bestest. Only problem is, one air raid siren sounds an awful lot like another.

Don't bother asking what these big time donors get for their greenbacks; you don't want to know. That's the dark side of Democracy: those that give, get. Currency gets you access. Access gets you influence. And influence is just a small step away from being appointed to head a panel to write your own arsenic loophole into tap water regulation.

Face it people: in America today, the major difference between a campaign contribution and a bribe is five syllables. The cynical among us might say we no longer bother engaging in elections, we conduct auctions. But like everything else in this country, at least they're big. And loud. And expensive.

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."

Permanently capitalizing the P in Presumptive Nominee, the Texas primary shoved Mitt Romney right over the delegate precipice, and now with the nomination locked up tighter than a rusted pickle jar 20,000 leagues beneath the sea, the campaign has taken a sudden turn towards the nebulous. Ambiguousville. Candidates don't make mistakes in the murky bog of summer. Even when they do, the atmosphere is too hazy to notice.

One advantage to this smoky shapeless strategy is it plays directly to the man's strengths. The former governor of Massachusetts doesn't have what you might call an actual distinct personality. He's more of a virgin canvas. A good-looking blank slate onto which any number of convictions and philosophies can be believably projected. He's the coloring book and we voters, the crayons. And no fighting over who gets to be burnt sienna.

One of the major pitfalls inherent to this kind of approach is the strong-jawed father of five strapping boys just might play the part too well and come to epitomize what Gertrude Stein said about Oakland: "There's no there there." The guy makes a void look cluttered.

Nobody in the GOP wants to be associated in any way with Oakland, much less have the top of the ticket become a patron saint. The Potemkin Candidate needs to project a quality more substantial than some shape shifter with a supernatural ability to assume the identity of whoever or whatever they plant next to him. Probably why you don't see many Romney rallies held at zoos. Too afraid he'll pose next to the chameleon cage and turn all green.

Another potential mine in the Road to Tampa is the struggle to keep Willard from hanging out with the wrong crowd. You know, other Republicans. Especially distressing to see him palling around with Donald Trump... again, like being photographed at a clown convention. No matter how hard you try, some of that white face is bound to wipe off on the shoulders of even the most ghostly of political shadows.

Donald Trump: a man who is to sober judgment what chocolate-covered marshmallows are to quantum physics. Fueling more fickle furnaces that suspect he'll say or do anything to get to 50.1%, Romney refuses to criticize The Donald, even when the reality show host spouts further Birther nonsense. "Obama was born in Kenya." No, he wasn't. He was born in Honolulu. In a manger. Everybody knows that.

When asked why he continues to press on with this discredited charge, Trump said: "People on the street tell me not to give up on the issue." Donald, for crum's sake, you live in New York City. People on the street also say, "My tricycle sprouted wings and is made out of plutonium."

Although when you think about it, the Oxymormon needs to pick a vice president who makes him look presidential, and The Donald might be the perfect choice. Next to him, Lou Ferrigno looks presidential. Manny Ramirez. Some random guy in a banana suit twirling a sign.

Of course, featuring these two titans of industry, people would either flock to or flee from the Vulture Capitalist Ticket. You've heard of Dumb & Dumber? Welcome to Rich & Richer. Even George Will would admit, it's a pairing that would go a long way into nailing down the bloviating ignoramus vote. Start cranking out the bumper stickers: "Romney/ Trump 2012. We like to fire people!"

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."

Disregard the almanac. And the calendar. Forget whatever the meteorologist or the astrology charts or your 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 Wednesday, June 20; it is, has been, and forever shall be the last Monday of May, Memorial Day.

Memorial Day: When the world alters unalterably for every kid and teacher and parent and water park operator 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 10 to 12 weeks of school-free adventures looming ahead like a sun-kissed valley below a fog enshrouded summit. Even those of us who don't get to stop and romp in the valley any more are able to recall extended days when we did and grin wistfully.

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

Unofficially, it's the 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 collective breath. Summer? Seriously? Already? How the hell 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 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 on a freshly scrubbed grill -- those many brave sluggish mammals who gave their lives in order for us to raise our cholesterol levels to heights where sherpas fear to tread. Thank the pig.

Now is the time for fireworks and lemonade 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 hiking and roasted corn and lemonade and thunderstorms and baseball broadcasts on an am radio and spending a week in the middle of August jammed in the back of a station wagon with no air conditioning, an 18-year-old incontinent basset hound and a leaking Coleman cooler.

Some people even find camping relaxing. Good for you. To 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 coverage.

Our season of frenzied leisure is too shortly destined to end on Labor Day, so hurry on out there and have one terrific summer full of long languid days and soft warm breezy nights. Go frolic and cavort and gambol and caper in a madcap series of wacky zany antics that you remember fondly. Always. And try to keep the sand off your hot dog. If you know what I mean. Gentlemen: Start your Webers.

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."
AND Lukewarm Was His Name-O

You don't need a psychoanalyst to detect the latent theme running through the endorsements currently showering Mitt Romney like broken rain gutters pouring down on a concrete toadstool. And that premise is ennui. "Mitt? Really? Yeah. OK. Whatever." Makes tepid sound like a crazed bellow. With wild enthusiasm as MIA as World Series trophies in the Wrigley Field display case. Within the last 104 years, that is.

Someone should warn NASA because we are approaching stratospheric heights of apathy here. The only thing these highly solicited testimonials have accomplished is given a face to listless. The guy needs industrial strength hip waders to slog through the thigh high lethargy.

George W. Bush carved a precious three seconds out of his busy schedule to make a momentous announcement from the inside of an elevator telling an ABC news crew, "I'm for Mitt Romney" as the doors closed on him. Not that the candidate-in-waiting was particularly lusting after 44's imprimatur, which some might call the Kiss of Campaign Death. But it effectively does nail down the eminently sought- after spoiled rich kid vote.

Rick Santorum got around to his ringing endorsement 13 paragraphs into a 16 paragraph email sent out to supporters after midnight. The only subterfuge he neglected to employ was to disguise it in semaphoric code. And these are Romney's big- time Republican buddies. You'd think they were having their teeth pulled with families held at gunpoint on a listing catwalk yawning over an erupting caldera.

It's been like that ever since the nominee became presumptive. Politicians oozing from the woodwork with the same kind of energetic frenzy fifth grade school girls normally reserve for haggis-flavored ice cream studded with garlic pickle chips.

You got to know this is just the beginning of a series of sluggishly recalcitrant pledges of approbation. Here's some other passion-challenged tributes we can expect over the coming weeks.

"Mitt Romney. Had to go with somebody, right?"
"Not the brainwashed Romney. That was his dad."
"Only two of Mitt Romney's five sons think he's a soulless Cyborg."
"May be out of touch with the mainstream but looks pretty good tanning on the embankment."
"Mitt Romney. Hey, it could be worse."
"Not the kind of guy who would hold you down and cut your hair, unless you really were asking for it."
"Pretty down to earth for someone building a 57 room mansion with a car elevator."
"Will do for America what he did for Bain Capital."
"Survived the mean streets of Bloomfield Hills."
"Hardly ever sneaks out at night to kick homeless guys. Anymore."
"A man who stands by his previous statements, no matter what they are."
"Mormons are just like Christians, aren't they?"
"Mitt Romney. Not that bad, when you consider the alternatives."
"He's no John McCain."
"Going to make the world safe for rich people."
"Mitt Romney. When good things happen to bland people."
"He's Oxymormonic!"
"Hasn't strapped a dog to the roof of his car in over 28 years."
"Mitt Romney. He's got gas money."
"Never ridden a bus in his entire life."
"Looks more like Gordon Gekko than Michael Douglas ever did."
"Mitt Romney. A man who feels strongly about both sides of many issues."

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."

A thousand rainbows of congratulations to Barack Obama for bursting out of his own personal policy closet and fabulously proclaiming he believes "same sex couples should be able to get married." Sir! Welcome to the third year of the second decade of the 21st century! You also might want to check out some of the strides we've been making in communications.

The President went on to explain he was slow in using his powers for good because it had taken a while for those thoughts to go Darwinian. Sadly, he stopped short of endorsing transmutation and neglected to hail Hugh Jackman as the best entertainer on the face of the planet!

What we witnessed was no eon- eating, natural selection type evolution; this native political animal spontaneously grew flippers and walked on dry land prodded only by a nudge from the Biden fossil. Come to think of it, maybe flippers aren't the only body parts BHO grew.

You might even call it a chrysalis, with a caterpillar emerging from its cautious cocoon to sprout wings and fly to a lonely position atop the moral high ground previously inhabited by such disparate denizens as Tammy Baldwin, Barney Frank and unaccountably, Dick Cheney. Facing extinction.

As predictable as a brush-back pitch following a grand slam, Republicans began to howl from eight different vantages. One right-wing rag claimed he "Buckled" on the issue. Others called him the First Waffler. Might be difficult to hide Mitt Romney's eight thousand waffles behind this big one of Obama's, but they'll give it the old prep school try.

Besides, isn't a waffle when you expediently move to a more popular position to curry votes? Meaning this swing state polarizer is the exact opposite of a waffle. More of an elffaw. Which is waffle backwards. A polf-pilf. Or a yrrek.

Rush Limbaugh jumped into the fray accusing Obama of waging a "War on Marriage." Everything's a "war" with this guy. Bet he calls breakfast a War on Pancakes. Not to mention being a tad disingenuous coming from a multi-millionaire who hired Elton John to sing at his fourth wedding.

The President's supporters worry he offended the black church-going community, one of his inviolate bases. But come on, really? Don't you suspect he could be caught naked in a dumpster with a goat and a Portuguese seamstress and still carry the black church-going community? Just the goat? Male seamstress?

Opening a conspiratorial can of mutating worms, it has been suggested someone at the Washington Post leaked the Mitt Romney high school gay pranking story and Obama knew he had to poop or get off the pot before it hit. Adding to Romney's image problems: do we really want him tackling Belgium and cutting off its hair because he didn't like the way it looked?

Michelle Obama's husband disavowed any desire to legalize gay marriage on a federal level, maintaining it should be a states rights issue. Of course, inter-racial marriage was illegal in 16 states until a Supreme Court decision in 1967 and some people still consider that an abomination. Guess who's whining about this? Same marine invertebrates.

Fine. Let all gay people move to California. We'll take 'em. Then just try to get your hair cut in Mississippi. Or take ballet lessons in Montana. Or raise money in DC. And that right there might be the origin of the species.

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."

Since Governor Romney has sewed up the nomination tighter than one of Chris Christie’s old suits, the only remaining Republican election drama is which name the Bairn of Bain Capital intends to place on the bottom of his bumper sticker. Yes, friends, it’s once again time to play that quadrennial game sensation sweeping the nation: Let’s Guess Mitt’s Vice Presidential Pick!

Usually the question of the presumptive nominee’s prom date doesn’t play out until June or July, but this year, the mushrooming punditocracy has chewed on the fat tasty rancorous primary for so long, they bloated up like a poisoned toad. And are hungry. Which is why “running mate” is currently chalked atop the media blackboard menu. “Feed Me!”

The Vice Presidency is an odd job interview. Best way to apply is to deny desiring the position. Saying exemplary things about the candidate never hurts. Neither does fund-raising. Disguising any interest in 2016- all good. But the choice ultimately depends on whether Willard decides to excite his base, gravitate towards the middle, or make a game change. Here’s a couple contenders.

Texas Congressman Doctor Ron Paul- 1,000 to 1. Less chance than a snail hauling a piano has of qualifying for the 100 meter dash at the London Summer Olympics.

Texas Governor Rick Perry. 10,000 to 1. Same thing, only the snail is dead.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Pizza CEO Herman Cain former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, & Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. 100,000 to 1. The snail is dead and the piano is made of uranium, heaviest element on Earth.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. 100 to 1. Spends much time bringing many things to the table but alas, New Jersey is not among them.

Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty. 10 to 1. Only problem is, two guys so white, might become known as the Albino Ticket.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. 25 to 1. President Barack. Vice President Piyush. Totally possible.

Former Governor of Florida Jeb Bush. 50 to 1. Too soon. People need more time to recover from Bush Fatigue. Another two decades should do it.

New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte. 50 to 1. Would help nail down that crucial Northeast vote.

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels. 25 to 1. Bland and boring. A victory party guaranteed to cure insomniacs.

Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan. 30 to 1. More polarizing than a linear accelerator. Makes Romney look liberal.

Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman. 200 to 1. Two Mormons? That’s a Broadway musical, not a presidential ticket.

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. 80 to 1. Hybrid of Sarah Palin and Bobby Jindal with associative perks and potholes.

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. 10 to 1. Good Christian mudder. Especially helpful should Mitt need Old Testament righteousness to counter squishy-conservative charges.

Ohio Senator Rob Portman. 100 to 1. Dubyah’s old budget director could make Romney’s economic argument fuzzier than peach season in Georgia.

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. 1,000 to 1. More dead snails and immensely heavy pianos.

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. 60 to 1. Fading fast. Broke unwritten “don’t speak of wanting it” rule. Blatantly airing image ads even though he’s not running for office.

Florida Senator Mario Rubio. 3 to 1. Catholic Hispanic AND state of Florida. Fits together like seashores, lemonade and halter tops.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney. 300 to 1. Relieved to leave DC, but could be convinced to work on behalf of country again. After all, he’s already had one recent change of heart.

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."
Precisely Pivoting Polls

Now the general election has unofficially begun, you and I and pretty much everyone dear to us, except of course, beleaguered Kansas City Royal fans who eat BBQ at least twice a week, are about to be buried under such a blizzard of polls -- we'll be lucky to evade frostbite burns.

The two campaigns are poised to pivot like a fat kid on roller skates clutching an expiring candy store coupon based on whatever data they receive from their intensely studied focus groups of potential voters. Because of ongoing leaps in technology and research, this time around, the polling community has gravitated towards something called micro-demographics.

Small nimble groups have replaced the old lumbering matrices of yesteryear. No longer does America have to duck while designations of soccer moms and NASCAR dads are thrown our way (having become hopelessly outdated and appallingly unwieldy due to their exceptionally large sampling). These are tinier tastes, which can be more easily targeted like lasers taking out flies on Wisconsin barn roofs a mile and a half away.

For instance, according to 2008 exit polls, unmarried men unable to program their own DVRs, were 3 percent of the electorate: a group Barack Obama won by 56 percent to 51 percent. But among tall red-headed women who wore green on purpose, he lost by a daunting 59 percent to 40 percent. Obviously, you can see the trend, one that does not seem to have abated during this election cycle.

Much has been made, and rightfully so, of President Barack Obama's commanding lead over Mitt Romney amongst men whose elder brothers entered the military after getting remarried in June, but what must be even more distressing to the challenger is the amount of single divorcees over 50 who Dutch-dated men named Henry and never touched a bite of their entrée that prefer the President over the former Governor of Massachusetts.

Interestingly, the widest gap between those who view Obama favorably and those who don't, lay in the seam populated by shoe salesmen driving 10-plus year old Chevy Impalas with rebuilt engines, a figure almost identical to the numbers reflected by Mississippi hairdressers who have taken out restraining orders against bus drivers who are predominantly bald. That these two groups share a margin of error has to be both intimidating and disheartening for the President.

As a point of curiosity, one of the few demographic groups in which Romney's approval rating is higher than his favorability rating is among seniors living at home who have lost significantly more of their hearing than their teeth. By comparison, 66 percent of seniors in care facilities who suffer from shingles and a history of plantar fasciitis harbor diametrically opposed opinions. Pollsters are still trying to figure out what to make of that.

A seemingly insurmountable hill the president needs to climb lies amongst crotchety old Wyoming heart-transplant recipients with daughters who could bite your head off in a minute. Similar obstacles appear in the numbers of home gardeners whose corn crop has been decimated in the last five years by rootworm beetles, and left-handed tax accountants who refuse to drive in the dark. So, as you can see, it is becoming increasingly apparent which campaign has the upper hand right now. But whether or not they can keep this momentum churning is anybody's guess.

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."

Remember way back when his own staffer said Mitt Romney had the convictions of an Etch A Sketch? Well, stand back, because as we speak, the former governor of Massachusetts is being flipped over and shaken so hard the fillings in the back teeth of his whole family are starting to rattle and cascade like some great crumbling Utah butte.

Fear not the rubble, little ones. This simply means we're entering general election territory, so anything Mitt Romney might have said up during the primary... no longer applies. We're beginning anew. Reshuffling the deck. The winter of our discontent has been made glorious summer by this Son of Dork.

We're not even playing the same ballgame anymore. Fast pitch hardball has morphed into beach volleyball before our very eyes. And the sand's been replaced with money. Unlike the previous six months, the object is no longer about how hard you hit the ball, rather how long it stays in the air. On your side of the net. You may recall this from pre-video game childhood as Keep Away.

A Republican primary is consumed with hard right angles. No quarter asked for, no quarter given. The general election is much more soft focus. Nice round spongy contours. Less muscular retorts, more sly evasions. Gauze is being spread over the lens and next comes the two fingers of Vaseline. Best keep a towel handy.

Already the severely conservative former governor has turned into a moderate kind of a regular guy. Mr. Hyde sunk behind the lab island and Doctor Jekyll rose to walk forward with an outreached hand. Mister "It's okay to call Sandra Fluke a slut" is now the soul of chivalry.

And the "War on Women" was instigated by Obama. Never mind the hundreds of bills written and enacted across the country restricting the rights of women, wholeheartedly endorsed by the candidate. Never mind his previous statements on Planned Parenthood and birth control. Never mind he thinks Lilly Ledbetter is an affliction of his youth successfully repressed.

All that silly suffragette bashing has been offset by a single Democrat suggesting Ann Romney might not be qualified to be her husband's economic strategist since she spent her working life running a tycoon's household. Maybe Alice from The Brady Bunch shouldn't be Secretary of the Treasury.

The outcry was so loud a million apple pies shook off of shelves and the President of the United States got tangled in a War on Moms web. Was this an exceptionally sticky birthday gift to a two Cadillacked woman or what?

Apparently the presumptive nominee is taking a page straight out of the Karl Rove Handbook and plans to run one of those "I know you are, but what am I" campaigns. Later to be partnered with the auspicious "I am rubber, you are glue" ploy.

Republicans love this third grade playground strategy. You indict the other guy for exactly what you're guilty of. Go back to 2004, when a borderline deserter successfully accused a war hero of being a traitor. The theory being: if you can't convince the people, confuse them. As the right is so fond of preaching: there's a fine line between educated and confused.

It's only a matter of time before the challenger accuses the incumbent of being a fat cat tool of Wall Street. Totally out of touch with normal people. Belongs to a funny religion. With a long history of extreme insensitivity to dogs. And he has cooties.

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."

Some small-minded pundits are guaranteed to grouchily opine this is neither the time nor the place to be re-circulating unfounded conspiracy theories. Then again, mightn’t it be more imprudent to ignore the latest rumors and dark mutterings concerning something as important as the nomination of a presidential candidate? Of course we’re talking about the uncanny similarities between the 2012 Republican primary race and a game of Angry Birds.

The skeptical amongst you will be tempted to dismiss this subject as the lunatic ravings of a recently returned passenger from an extended trans-Canadian vacation on the bourbon train, but there is more here than meets the eye. First off: you’d have to be a hermit living in the darkest recesses of a Sonoran desert zinc mine not to be aware of the popular multi platform phenomenon that is Angry Birds. And the 2012 Republican primary race? Well, perhaps not as many, but still way up there.

The two activities share several basic characteristics: both are infuriatingly frustrating, defy physics and logic as we know them and can instantly turn into terminally addictive pastimes that many experts consider a leading cause to loss of both sanity and productivity in America today.

The object of Angry Birds is to use a slingshot to fling various flightless birds at flimsy houses built by egg-thieving green pigs. The object of the 2012 Republican primary race is, well, pretty much the same thing: to toss accusations and blame at the White House in order to steal independents from the Democrats. All while emitting unintelligible screeches, squeals and shrieks.

Each angry bird possesses unique powers and skills. As do the Republican candidates. The weakest bird is a little red one that squawks a lot but doesn’t affect much of anything. That, of course, would be Ron Paul. Another bird in your arsenal is the yellow one that can break through load bearing walls. Obviously, Herman Cain. There’s the weird green bird that has sort of a boomerang action, aping almost perfectly the parabolic arc that is Donald Trump’s coif.

Can’t forget the big lumpy white bird that drops exploding eggs, which would be, who else, Michele Bachmann. And the little blue bird that splits into three little blue birds at the touch of the screen; got to be the Texas king of multiple personalities, known for disintegrating on television, Rick Perry.

There’s a big red bird with all the subtlety of a of a broken rock formation whose only ability is to knock down everything unlucky enough to be in its path. Newt Gingrich, right? Bet you had that one. And the bird that is not a bird at all, but more of a bomb with an extremely short fuse, which could not be confused with anybody other than Rick Santorum.

And finally, in both instances, when you can’t win using strategy and skill, you’re allowed to cheat, legally. In the game Angry Birds, for the right price you can utilize a feature called Mighty Eagle. This special order bird pummels your intended target to bits, But you have to pay a little extra. Exactly like how Mitt Romney won Florida and Michigan and Wisconsin. Next week, we’ll investigate the eerie resemblance between the Supreme Court and Doodle Jump.

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."

Let us talk of many things, of Cabbages and Kings. Of Ultimate Arbiters. The Court of Last Resort. SCOTUS. The judicial graveyard where appealers go to die. The Supreme Court of the United States, which reluctantly deigned to hear testimony on a subject so obviously beneath them, it was an effort to keep their left eyes open: Obamacare.

Due to the rarified air of the highest court in the land, the arguments were solemn, dignified and incisive. "Obamacare Sucks!" "Does not." "Does So." "Does Not." Like that, only in elevated lawyer language.

The Supremes, made up of 6 Catholics and 3 Jews, and doesn't that sound like the dance card at a KKK Lawn Burning Jamboree, agreed to stoop from their lofty perch to consider the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. And to that purpose they carved 6 whole hours from their busy docket. The equivalent of 8 episodes of American Idol, without commercials. And no Steven Tyler, so they got that going for them.

Justice Antonin Scalia was frustrated: "Do you expect us to go through each part of this law?" Of course not. That's why they call them briefs. The Act, as rammed through a Democratic Congress, is 2400 pages long. Or 2700. They're still not sure. Shouldn't they be sure? By now? A lot of stuff can happen in 300 pages. We've all read Harry Potter.

For some odd reason, vegetables were referenced. Repeatedly. Scalia facetiously asked: "Everybody has to buy food... therefore you can make people buy broccoli?" Hmm. Seems to possess an unhealthy fixation with broccoli, a member of the cabbage family, mentioning it 8 times. The traumatic result of a pre-adolescent dinner revolt?

The thing is, Tony, if you don't buy broccoli, my grocery bill doesn't go up. Stores don't offer differing prices for rich people broccoli and poor people broccoli. And you won't ever be prevented from buying broccoli because you got a weird looking oyster in your cart.

Needless to say, everybody on the Court has health care. As well they should. As well we all should. They are going to need it, because anybody trying to slog through this much congressional gobbledygook better have a large supply of prescription drugs on hand. Perhaps a raid on your pig with wings' Oxycontin stash is in the cards?

Meanwhile, the nation waits on surgical pins and sealing wax needles for the conclusion of these 9 cranky, berobed millionaires. And just exactly how does a judge become a millionaire -- speaking fees? Wouldn't that disqualify Scalia's ventriloquist dummy, Clarence Thomas?

Say the courtly immortals do strike down the individual mandate. Do they leave managed crumbs and pieces intact? Including the elimination of denial of coverage and pre- existing conditions? Or do we call it a wash and head back to Go and start all over? Do not collect $200. And put that IUD down, right now, missy.

Most expect the ruling to fall into the traditional liberal-conservative 4- 4 split, with a single swing vote adjudicating. In other words, the future of American health care depends which side of the bed Justice Anthony Kennedy wakes up, on Decision Day in June. We might want to get this guy a date. Anything to put him in a good mood. Something healthy to raise his metabolism: like a nice roasted vegetable plate. A little bit of cabbage and lots of broccoli.

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."

No. It's not over. Well, okay, it's kind of over. But the Republican nomination is not totally-otally over. As it very well should be. How over? So over, the fat lady not only sang, she should be back in her hotel room kicking off her shoes easing into a recliner with the remote in one hand and digging deep into a three pound box of marzipan with the other. Yes, that over.

Could have nailed this puppy to the headboard a month ago, but after every sledgehammer-type primary door slam, Team Romney somehow manages to stumble in bright media glare on dead flat asphalt, ripping knees out of focus group-approved perfectly faded jeans, to lay bleeding on the tarmac.

First it was "likes to be able to fire people," then "not concerned about the very poor." Yeah, we kind of knew that. But now all those allusions to the front runner being a distant android or impassive cyborg or corporatized zombie have been shelved because one of his own staffers offered up a more perfect crystallization: the Etch-A-Sketch candidate. The major difference being, the child's toy works via magnetism, a concept that continues to elude the former Governor of Massachusetts.

Hard to imagine a worse, more apt analogy. Gumby, perhaps. Yo-Yo Man. Slip and Slide. Speak and Spell. Silly String. Chutes and Ladders. Mister Potato Head. No, wait. That's Newt. Funny thing is, Bain Capital owns Toys R Us, so Mitt will actually make money off his opponents' frenzied press conference accessorizings. Never let a little thing like fraudulence get in the way of profit, eh Mitt? Truly, you are a malleably nimble free marketeer.

Due to his chronic electile dysfunctionalism, Romney must accept responsibility for imbuing this race with its semblance of contest. In Fits and Spurts, and other proud Southern states. Every time a new contender pops up, however, the Super PAC country club types at Romney Inc. immediately conspire to pummel Candidate X with such a tsunami of negative ads that before long, Candidate X's own family harbors misgivings about lunching with the kids. "If uncle touches you in a bad place, use the whistle."

Outspent 11 to 1 in Florida, Newt Gingrich provided the initial target of a patented Romney Inc. Airwave Carpet-Bombing™. Now, fast forward, first to Michigan, and again to Illinois, with the victim named Rick Santorum; who continues to ooze from self-inflicted palm wounds, vainly praying that devout outrage can surmount pockets deeper than the Marianas Trench.

Mitt hasn't lost this nomination. Yet. But neither is he winning. His Super PAC is buying it for him like a dented TV console at an Everything For A Dollar Store year-end sale. This is all about money. Recent election results and pure motivation of his cadre of corporate cronies. Romney Inc. realizes fortunes can be exponentially multiplied if the government gets out of the taxation and regulation business. So, that's the plan, man.

And, as we all know, it takes money to make money. Money talks and other stuff walks. Money makes the world go round, and maybe money can't buy you happiness, but it looks more and more like it can buy Romney Inc. top slot on the 2012 Republican presidential ticket. And once that happens, the Etch-A-Sketch will be turned over and severely shaken with a dizzy base profoundly unstirred.

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."

Not easy being a Muppet. Referring to Greg Smith, formerly of Goldman Sachs, who wrote an op-ed in the New York Times about getting the hell out of Dodge, due to his company's relentlessly spiraling moral depravity. According to Smith, associates are encouraged to pursue profit above all else, and that includes ripping out the eyeballs of their own billion-dollar clients at the same time they mockingly scorn them as Muppets.

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. A complete shocker-big time brokerage firm with little or no conscience. My God. What next? High school prom parties where beer is served? Charley Sheen coming to, on the floor of a Vegas hotel after noon? Drive-through food that tastes like hot damp glued-together bar coasters? Mitt Romney making his own Robo-calls?

Romney loves to hype his history as a private equity investment banker, so it's not difficult to imagine him as another of the sucking pods on a waving tentacle of the vampire squid. Wrapped so tightly in the "Me First," and "Success at any Cost" culture that he squeaks money when he moves. A sound that surely acts as a predatory mating call.

We're all Muppets to him. On a daily basis Mr. Bain Capital will say or do whatever he thinks might possibly help on the campaign trail. "Pro-choice, I got your pro-choice. Oh wait, not pro-choice, well, then neither am I." "What happens in the sanctity of one's own bedroom is nobody's business. Oh, Yes It Is!" Surprised every time he's not photographed wearing one of those whiplash neck braces from the twisting and turning necessary to cover his wide panoply of paradoxical convictions.

Recently, this shape-shifter comically sucked up to the South pretending to like cheesy grits. Mitt, nothing personal, but if ever there were a non-cheesy grits eating kind of a dude, it's you. Even while referring to your NASCAR and NFL owner buddies, you still don't have a song in your heart. Probably consider them nothing more than slightly better constructed sock puppets. More realistic button eyes.

That's it, isn't it? We're all annoying obstacles to be overcome in order to better provide for your family. Who would be well advised not to get too comfortable, if there is anything to be learned from the fate of your valiant Irish Setter, Seamus. Is that going to be your solution to everything: hose us down?

The Politicrats even have a name for our particular kind of Muppetism, They call us Low Information Voters. People not paying too close attention. The ones that pretty much believe every ounce of slop our leaders shovel at us while greedy fingers fiddle at our orbital sockets.

Consider the 50% of Republicans in Mississippi and 45% in Alabama who still believe President Obama is a Muslim. While the hard of hearing think he's muslin, a loosely woven cotton fabric.

Maybe that's the ultimate goal of Republican Kingmakers like the Koch Brothers. Get rid of the messy unpredictable human element and create their own Muppet mouthpiece. Fold a spool of muslin into a head shaped ball, stick a hand up it and have it say exactly what they think we Low Information Voters, LIVers, want to hear. Or did they already do that and call it... Rush Limbaugh.

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."

And now your eagerly awaited Super Tuesday Report. Named for the quantity of contests and not the quality of participants. Perhaps it would be more apt to say Not So Super Tuesday Report. More of a Frenetic and Confusing but Ultimately Unsatisfying with a Slight Aftertaste of Desperation Tuesday Report.

The biggest complaint is lack of resolution. No dragons slain. No damsels rescued. Not even a castle breached. Although there was that bit of swordplay in Ohio. And you can never discount the romantic poetry that is a Rick Santorum victory celebration in Steubenville.

The night reverberated with echoes of a Democratic affair rather than a Republican one because there was something for everyone. Tres egalitarian. "We're all winners here." Mitt Romney took six states, Rick Santorum three and that Energizer Bunny, Newt Gingrich, won his home stomping grounds of Georgia.

Ron Paul reportedly is still running, but nobody is sure how or why. The Texan doctor just quietly rolls along racking up his regular 15 percent clogging up the bottom of the pack. This time around in the four-man race, it was three seconds, three thirds and four fourth-place finishes. If he were a horse, vets would be whispering about euthanasia.

Santorum would love to see Gingrich drop out in order to isolate Romney, but Newt refuses to wilt. It's that old sports aphorism: "You can't stop him, all you can do is hope to contain him." And the Newtster seems to be contained. In the Southeast. Perhaps the Center for Disease Control had something to do with it.

Meanwhile, Team Romney's frustration is bubbling up like a 3 a.m. street burrito. They've resorted to trumpeting their candidate's inevitability. Wow. Inevitability. What's that? Some Borg thing? "Resistance is Futile." Sounds like the fifth and final stage of grief. "Oh, all right. I guess. Why not? Go Mitt." Let's see. Who was the last candidate that flaunted an air of inevitability? Oh, that's right, Hillary Clinton. Who, you got to admit, ended up with a halfway decent job.

Some folks maintain this extended process is making the Mittmeister a better candidate. But the more he has to back pedal to catch the spiraling nomination, the less time there is to build momentum for the general sprint downfield. Not good news for a candidate with few blockers and his propensity for fumbling.

All Mitt Romney has been doing for five years is training to run for President. How much better can he get at this? Pretty sure his learning curve has used up all its bendy parts. During his victory speech in Boston, Romney promised "real change." And you got to admit, the man has a huge amount of experience, particularly considering his own policies.

So the stretch run to 1,144 continues, and the track moves on to Mississippi and Alabama where Newt's half price gas message is expected to resonate with what are now being euphemistically called- "Low Information Voters." Says so right there in the Constitution: Life, Liberty, the Pursuit of Happiness and Cheap Unleaded.

They don't call it Super Tuesday for nothing. No more shall we see that multitude of races in this edition of the Political Breeder's Cup. And while Mitt Romney has his hands looped in momentum's reins, he's down to one last home state flower blanket to drape across his withers.

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."

Odd week for Mitt Romney. The roller coaster candidate was on the receiving end of more mixed messages than a basement bulletin board at the United Nations on Take Your Schizophrenic to Work Day. While cruising to an easy victory in the Arizona primary he barely eked out a squeaker in Michigan. That's the problem with running around 12 different home states, eventually you're bound to trip and stumble up some familiar front steps.

Rick Santorum was on track to pull off a stunning upset but couldn't keep his self-righteous self from shooting from the lip, further fueling the contraception wars. What's the strategy here? Get women so riled up, you can make a case to repeal the 19th Amendment? Birth Control? Really? What next: you going to play the "radio is the devil's handiwork" card?

Ayatollah Rick inelegantly stated that one of JFK's speeches made him want to throw up. Sounds like a man not placing all his Super Tuesday eggs in the great state of Massachusetts basket. I remember seeing JFK when I was a kid. On more than one occasion I heard JFK speak. JFK had an affair with Marilyn Monroe. And you, the hurling Mr. Santorum, are no JFK.

Romney complains the media makes him sound like an out of touch rich guy. Where ever could they have gotten that idea? Maybe when he said he likes to fire people? Or went to the Daytona 500 and ridiculed spectators for wearing cheap rain ponchos? Or admitted he's not a big NASCAR fan, but is friends with a couple team owners. You, sir, are beyond clueless. The anti-Sherlock Holmes. Arthur Conan Doyle has to be spinning in his grave

Romney has the hair, the money, the staff, the family, the teeth, the cheekbones, the money, the Super PACs, the perfectly faded jeans AND the money; yet, it would be hard to imagine a candidate who has engendered less enthusiasm without first contracting a tertiary case of infectious flesh-eating psoriasis.

Undoubtedly, a significant portion of the ennui he induces has to do with the irregular emergence of his alter ego, Flipper Mitt. When asked about a Senate amendment to be welded onto a transportation bill that would allow employers to pick and choose which health care mandates they wish to follow, Mitt said he was against it and went on to explain why.

An hour later though, he came back to announce he had been confused by the question and what he really meant to say was he was all in favor of the Blunt Amendment. This guy would need extra pages added to the Kama Sutra to keep track of his multitude of favored positions.

Speaking of which, Mrs. Ann Romney, who may also be known as Lovey, kiddingly seconded the notion of strangling the press going so far as suggesting Mitt sit down for the rest of the campaign and let her do the talking. And the pants- wearing, a move that should surely vex Mr. Santorum's holy wrath.

Note to sister wife: It's not just the press that doesn't like your husband. In case you haven't noticed, a whole bunch of Republicans aren't all that into him either. Might want to skip this one and let sleeping dogs lie. Either that or strap them to the roof of one of your couple of Caddies where they belong.

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."

Once again, the wacky wheel of destiny takes a mighty spin and the big red pointer lands smack on the name of the next Great White Republican Hope -- Rick Santorum. The seventh or eighth candidate to vault into the lead of the GOP sweepstakes primarily because he is not Mitt Romney.

A similar phenomenon has lifted President Obama in the polls for cleverly positioning himself as not a Republican. Poor Mitt Romney, the more people see of him, the less they like him. His best chance to win this thing might be to slip into a coma for a couple months and emerge this August rested and refreshed.

Santorum, however, is determined to make the road to Tampa a fight for the soul of America. Unlike some of his fallen compatriots, he doesn't claim God told him to run for President. Rather, God is running with him for President. And you should know, neither of them is happy.

You could say Santorum is Old Fashioned. But it might be more precise to say he's Old Testament. Women don't have rights, they're baby tunnels for Christ. Birth control is immoral, prenatal testing is depraved and gay marriage is an abomination. And anybody who campaigns in a sweater vest obviously knows a thing or two about abominations. The Ayatollah of Pennsylvania is on a mission to drag this country kicking and screaming back into the 50s. The 1850s.

Doesn't believe in global warming, evolution or even public education. Actually said out loud in front of people with microphones, "For the first 150 years, Presidents home schooled their kids." Yeah? So what? For the first 150 years, indoor plumbing was science fiction. For the first 150 years, Presidents were operated on by barbers whose instrument bags consisted mostly of leeches. For the first 150 years, the sheep barn and the living room were the same place. What's your point?

Addressing contraception on CNN, Santorum's biggest backer, Foster Friess, said back in his day, girls used aspirin as birth control. Huh? "Yeah, they stuck it between their knees and tried to keep it there." A bad 50s joke. And so is Rick Santorum. Mister Rogers with rabies.

He's so conservative, his globe is flat. To him, erosion is a radical concept endorsed by extreme environmentalists whose phony theology is not based on the Bible. He's so old school, his idea of progress is smelting a lighter alloy for the buckle on his hat. Wants to return America to its traditional values of burning people as witches because their tomatoes grew too big.

Reciting verbatim from Chapter Four of the conservative playbook, Santorum castigated the press for picking on GOP candidates. What these guys fail to understand is Democrats don't waste nearly as much political capital challenging science and logic. Don't get me wrong, Democrats still say plenty of ludiculous stuff. But not with such vehemence and regularity. Besides, they only got one Joe Biden, Republicans have at least nine.

After the last Republican primary debate, more and more people are beginning to suspect the GOP isn't just scraping the bottom of the barrel, they're squeezing the goo from between the staves that leaked out of the bottom of the barrel. Yeah, right. The last debate. Promises. Promises.

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."

Don't mean to overreact and risk boosting everybody's blood pressure higher than opening offers on Facebook's upcoming IPO, but this might be a halfway decent time to seek out a nice safe steel bunker to hunker down in or behind, because it's awards season and heavy metal statuettes are being tossed around like dimes at a county fair. Like the flurry of resumes from the outer office of Michele Bachmann's inner circle. As plentiful as the doubts currently circling Mitt Romney's super PAC. We've already been treated to the golden plated spectacle of the Grammies, BAFTAs, Golden Globes, People's Choice Awards, Machine Tool Diamond Awards, Screen Actor Guild Awards and what with the Emmys, Oscars and CMAs right around the corner, this might be the perfect opportunity to weigh in with the most consequential of them all: the 2012 Political Animal Awards. Note: No tuxes have been bruised in the creation of these awards.

BEST COSTUME: Rick Santorum for that winning period look -- subtly harkening back to a young Mr. Rogers with rabies.

BAD TIMING AWARD: Tim Pawlenty, for deserting the Presidential line-up before getting his own shot at leading the pack. Runner-Up. Mitch Daniels.

UNCLEAR ON THE CONCEPT AWARD: Herman Cain, for continuing to blame the media for finding his fan full of feces.

THE DUMBER THAN HE ALREADY LOOKS AWARD: In an extremely competitive field, Rick Perry.

THE NOT AS DUMB AS HIS HAIR LOOKS AWARD: For the sixth consecutive year, Donald Trump.


BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: In a thankless role, Calista Gingrich.

THE WE CAN'T FIND A MUZZLE BIG ENOUGH AWARD: Joe Biden. May have to retire this award in his name.

BEST SCORE: Whoever bought Apple at 8.



BEST SPECIAL EFFECTS: Industrial Light & Magic for making Mitt Romney appear so lifelike.

BEST MAKE UP: Newt Gingrich for his very convincing Walking Dead grimace.


THE "OH MY GOD, NOT YOU AGAIN" AWARD: Whoever decided contraception made for a good election year wedge issue.

BEST BOY: Marcus Bachmann.

BEST ANIMATION: Chris Christie.


BEST NEWCOMER: Paul Ryan for his highly controversial script, "Roadmap for America's Future."

THE LUCKY IT WASN'T BITTEN OFF AWARD: Arizona Governor Jan Brewer.

MENSA'S SMARTEST MOVE OF THE YEAR: In a huge upset, Sarah Palin picks this one up for refusing to accept another supporting role.


BEST ENSEMBLE IN A MUSICAL OR COMEDY: The entire Republican Party Presidential Nomination cast.

BEST ACTOR: Body of work award goes to Speaker of the House John Boehner for various portrayals as outraged defender of fiscal responsibility, obstinate party stalwart and sophisticated gentleman to whom gracious cooperation is of the highest priority and doing it all while orange.

BEST DIRECTION: The Koch Brothers.

MISDIRECTION AWARD: Newt Gingrich for his moon base proposal. Always knew his full ambitions could never be contained by Planet Earth.



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."

There's something about Mitt. And whatever it is, a few folks are definitely allergic. Maybe they sense he has the same connection to humanity that a drive shaft has to bouillabaisse. Could be he's worth more than most small Balkan nations. Might be the Mormon thing or perhaps he just smells odd.

It's almost funny. After crushing Newt Gingrich in Florida, the nomination for the Republican primary race was written off as a done deal with Romney all but handed the crown and the beaucoup bouquets reserved for winners. And by his post election strut, you could tell the candidate thought along similar lines. Not measuring the drapes or anything, but definitely photo shopping names for inclusion on the bottom line of a bumper sticker.

But the express train to the Tampa printers derailed on the winter plains of the Midwestern states of Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri with Rick Santorum somehow swooping down to sweep all three. Having had to slap up a different wannabe front-runner every week, Romney must feel like he's playing Whack a Mole with a mallet made out of yogurt-soaked cat hair clippings.

Whatever that something about Mitt is, it causes conservatives to contract the dreaded "Itchy I-Don't-Knows," every time they get close to walking down the aisle with the former governor from Massachusetts. It's a rash that erupts only when Willard's name tops the national polls. A serious knee-buckling case of Buyer's Remorse. Of course the clueless plastic smile of an aged Ken doll hasn't acted as a sufficient antidote either.

The tone deaf man with the tin ear grinning-ly claimed he was not concerned about "the very poor." As Randy Jackson might say, "A bit pitchy, dawg." The problem is, most normal humans suspect Romney's definition of "very poor" consists of anybody without a pastry chef permanently on call. The very next day, apparently concerned that his post elitist message wasn't being taken seriously he hugged Donald Trump. Which would be terrific if he were running for Poster Child of the 1%.

Someone on his staff has to tell the guy he already resembles a police sketch artist rendering of a white-collar criminal. The MBA voted "Most Likely to be Perp -- Walked up a Courthouse Steps with a Trench Coat Draped over his Handcuffs." Looks more like Gordon Gekko than Michael Douglas does. Go on, Mitt. Say it."Greed is good." Feel better now?

The only people who can relate to this guy are country club chaps with a penchant for calling their wives "lovey." He wasn't groomed, he was assembled out of an Ikea box. "One White Male Politician; Standard."

Romney won Florida by airing 12,000 ads compared to Gingrich's 300, and doing the same to Rick Santorum should be easier than pudding on a stick, since the former Pennsylvania senator is financing his campaign mostly through bake sales and scrounging under couch cushions.

Santorum actually brags about running such a low-key campaign he flies middle seats on United. We're supposed to entrust the presidency to a guy who can't snag a decent travel agent?

Something else about Mitt is he's an absolute blooming chameleon. And over the next couple of weeks, expect to be treated to the Borg Candidate assimilating Santorum's passion for fighting the culture wars with the megaphone turned up to LOUD. Who knows, Mitt could well decide to go all in. And start wearing sweater vests.

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."

It's been more exciting than a zip-line over crocodile infested streams watching the Republican Reality TV show currently playing across the nation. Specifically talking about their grueling marathon gladiator contest where the last person voted off the island becomes Red American Idol and wins the opportunity to oppose Barack Obama in the grudge match this fall not to mention grab all the money they can from the Koch Brothers secret PAC account money machine. Let's Make a Deal.

This entertaining miniseries has proven to be a huge ratings blockbuster. But like a typical JJ Abrams production, murky and confusing. What with Osama bin Laden dead and the steady improvement of the economy, the GOP plot line has meandered more than a scampering toddler in the horse barns of the North Dakota State Fair. Think third year of Twin Peaks. And make it foggy.

Another stumbling block has been the format. What exactly is this thing? It sure ain't the Super Bowl. A game show, a mockumentary or a sitcom sponsored by Planters to capitalize on all the mixed nuts involved? Perhaps Proctor & Gamble should throw their name onto the proceedings because of how deep we've entered soap opera territory.

Think about it. Lot of talk. Not much action. Consider the story threads so we've been treated to so far. Accusations of sexual harassment. Money hidden in off- shore accounts. Extramarital affairs. Closeted husbands. Open Marriages. Gaffes and feuds and quarrels and family discord. Keep waiting for an evil twin to show up. Although, you could say Rick Perry was George Bush's evil twin. Okay, eviler twin.

Michele Bachmann provided some comic relief, always just a bit off. Went to Concord New Hampshire and talked about how excited she was to be where the Shot Heard Round the World was fired, but that was Concord Massachusetts, 60 miles away. Close but no cigar. Then in Iowa she said "It's great to be here in the birthplace of John Wayne," but the town in which she was speaking was the birthplace of John Wayne Gacy, the serial killer. Demonstrating how sometimes- close, can be so very far away.

In flashbacks, we've seen Newt Gingrich present his first wife with divorce papers while recovering from cervical cancer surgery: then leaving his second wife after she was diagnosed with MS. Makes you wonder how sick America has to get before he leaves us alone? Cough. Cough.

Mitt Romney has locked down the billionaire matriarch villain role, announcing he is not concerned about "the very poor." Problem is, the rest of the cast suspect his definition of "the very poor" consists of anybody without a permanent pastry chef on staff. Then to drive the point home, the very next day he publicly hugged Donald Trump. Perhaps a bromance subplot spinoff?

One thing about Mitt, he's definitely thrown a whole Upstairs, Downstairs spin onto the proceedings. Which presumably puts Ron Paul in the kitchen as the muttering maid. And Rick Santorum as the sneaky chauffer out by the garage pretending to wash one of the Bentleys. Watch out Mrs. Romney!

Unfortunately, we've already lost a lot of really good characters but then again, in soap operas, simply because you're dead doesn't mean you can't rejoin the narrative. Maybe at the convention in August, Mike Huckabee will emerge from his Tampa hotel shower and like the 8th season of Dallas, we'll realize this whole last year was nothing but a dream.

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."

As rare and mythical as the unicorn, it too cavorts amongst the clouds with double rainbows birthing from its unfathomable depths. But instead of worshipful 12 year- old girls, it is conservative politicians who tack drawings of this inamorata on walls above their beds. We're talking about the legendary... Mainstream.

The message is relatively straightforward. Inside the Mainstream, you will rub elbows with everything that is good and right and true and just about America. Families have 2.4 children, none of whom sport barbed wire piercings or dragon neck tattoos or ever talk smack back. Lawns are broad and green and crabgrass free. And children are cheerfully shuttled to school in orderly processions of grey and beige Minivans. The place to be.

Outside the Mainstream, red turbo hybrids prowl discordantly with hip hop infused rock and roll blasting from after market Korean stereo systems. Uncomfortable shoe choices are flaunted by pregnant teenage girls, while Steve Jobs' subversive acolytes encourage impressionable minds to "think differently," actively disrupting the carefully nurtured herd mentality. The place to flee.

Dedication to Mainstream purity extends to within the holy liquid circle as well. Newton Leroy Gingrich castigated Ron Paul for being "totally outside the Mainstream of every decent American." And Ron Paul is a medical doctor. Apparently the Coast Guard patrolling the Mainstream is ever vigilant.

Then Willard Mitt Romney went and said pretty much exactly the same thing about Newt, which must mean he considers poor Dr. Paul dying of thirst two counties away in some desert of his own moistureless making. And President Obama? Forget about it. He can't even see the hint of a whisper of a shadow of dampness due to the curvature of the earth.

The obvious intention of Team Romney is to plant Mitt in the soft squishy loam as the sole candidate an ordinary person could expect to meet up with in the middle of the flood plains of normalcy. Preserving the Mainstream as a very exclusive territory. A restricted tributary complete with velvet rope and a couple of hulking bouncers protecting it from the dinghies of the hoi polloi. Sort of a watery gated community. Behind which the Governor seems plenty comfortable.

Only proper God- fearing decent Americans are allowed to soak in the aqueous chestnut that is the Mainstream. The rest of us boundary crossing reprobates are prohibited from enjoying the divine waters and directed to spend summer afternoons splashing each other in shallow muddy puddles.

Of course, even to those who can afford the initiation fee, recent responses from Republican debate audiences indicate that voyaging down the Mainstream is a very expensive way to travel. Exacting heavy- duty psychic dues.

First, crowds booed a gay soldier, then cheered the death of an unfortunate who couldn't afford health insurance, and finally leapt to their feet to applaud one of the grandstanding creekside tide surfers who ridiculed food stamp recipients.

If loss of your moral compass is a necessary qualification for luxuriating in the surging current of the Mainstream, more than a few of us will be happy to view the entire proceedings lounging high on the embankment. Besides, we have better picnic spreads.

And for those who do decide to soak in the narrow- minded current, you might want to invest in a heated wetsuit because that menacing red tide torrent of the Mainstream looks to be mighty cold.

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."


  • 4 taxpayers: 1 white Wall Street type in full suit and yellow power tie, (MBA Guy) 2 ordinary folks sporting jeans, 1 in blue work shirt, other in white shirt, (the Jeans) and 1 person wearing clothes that look like they were used for floor covering at a tire changing shop for a minimum of three months. Belt, shoelaces, socks and underwear confiscated. (Rags) Except for MBA Guy, game is non-gender or race specific.
  • 1 large screen HDTV tuned to speech. 42” or larger. Game played behind coffee table 3’ away.
  • 1 regulation shot glass per person. Everybody brings own, placing it on coffee table. MBA Guy gets first choice among assembled. White shirt picks next, then blue shirt. MBA Guy takes last shot glass as well, and Rags either rents it from him, finds a replacement or drinks out of own cupped hands. Everybody antes up 20 bucks. Cash. Except MBA Guy, who tosses in hand made voucher. Preferably crayon.
  • 2 packages Lit’l Smokies in bowl with favorite BBQ sauce.
  • 1 package round toothpicks.
  • 1 bottle small batch Kentucky bourbon.
  • 2 six packs beer apiece. Rags gets whatever is on sale, ie; Heileman’s Old Style Ice Dry Light. MBA Guy gets choice of import. The Jeans get domestic, and must go to store to purchase and carry provisions.


  1. As soon as President says State of the Union is good, but could be better, last person to eat three Lit’l Smokies on toothpicks has to drink 3 shots of beer.
  2. Every time Barack H Obama says “compromise,” first person to stop laughing is exempt from drinking 2 shot glasses of beer.
  3. If either Vice President Biden or House Speaker Boehner gets caught napping on camera, last person to sing “Wake Up, Little Susie” drinks 4 shots of beer.
  4. Whenever Mister Obama says word “jobs”, everybody drinks shot of beer. If he hits 10, throw used toothpicks at TV and first to stick one within outline of his face doesn’t have to drink 2 shots of bourbon.
  5. If Chief Executive winks and/ or points at Michelle, all four players blow kisses. Drink shot of beer for every general’s star sitting within two seats of First Lady.
  6. When Obama speaks about sacrifices made by our brave troops, last one to leap to attention and salute must drink shots of beer for entire duration of standing ovation.
  7. Every time Barack uses phrase “offshore banking accounts,” clasp a Lit’l Smokie between the teeth and swordfight others. Losers drink 3 shots of beer and eat sausages. Winner can spit his out.
  8. Whenever Obama makes reference to faith getting him through tough times, last person to fall to knees and shout “Hallelujah!” drinks shot of bourbon.
  9. If President relates touching heartfelt story of somebody denied health care, Rags gets to kick everybody else once. Twice, if subject of anecdote is in audience. Three times, if he/ she is sitting next to astronaut.
  10. When Barack H Obama mentions bipartisanship, last person to pretend to faint drinks 3 shots of beer.


  • Before speech, everyone writes down who they think is giving Republican Response. Anybody who correctly identifies person doesn’t have to watch.
  • MBA Guy takes home all the money and the Jeans pay off voucher..
  • Leftover bourbon, beer and Lit’l Smokies go home with Rags after he/ she washes dishes and front of TV.
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."

Surely you’re longing to hear some scathingly humorous remarks concerning the New Hampshire Primary. And it would be our honor to relate a few pithily amusing jibes about 2012’s primary Primary. Only, sorry. Not going to happen. Can’t be done. NH is so… over and done with. Day before yesterday. Such archaic news, you probably read about it in some ancient medium like a broadsheet gazette with sepia toned daguerreotypes.

Oh sure, in the distant future, historians may well remark upon Willard Mitt Romney’s romp. And what a righteous romp it was. With the grimacing refugee from Madame Tussaud’s Wax Works avenging his 2008 defeat to John McCain by beating the rest of the field like a 4 year old with a dime store drum on Christmas morning to become the first Republican non- incumbent to sweep both the Iowa Caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. And that plus 2 and a half bucks gets you a cup of coffee.

Alas, the political circus has long since moved on. Some of the camps were gone pre-already. Didn’t even bother to hang around Manchester for the actual count and amount, so intent were they to seek their second wind in the warmth of the southern embrace primary action in South Carolina on the 21st and Florida 10 days later.

Hustling down, over their shoulders, the back of the pack halfheartedly tried to dismiss the former Massachusetts Governor’s triumph in the Granite State as a “Isn’t it Nice to See the Boy Next Door Doing so Well” kind of neighborly thing. But that proved a minor distraction and everyone knows the stakes for the final Anybody But Mitt tent need to pitched now. Today. If not sooner. Deep into the fertile soil of the Palmetto State.

This Southern Fried Maginot Line is the last best chance to jump on the Mittmeister and the whole B- Team is lacing up their steel- toed boots and pounding nails into their soles as we speak. South Carolina is where Bush derailed McCain in 2000: and to say the above the belt tactics were outnumbered by those below the belt is both accurate and lame.

To buttress his own personal Alamo, Newt Gingrich picked up 5 million dollars from a single donor, to be funneled directly into ads to do to Romney what Romney did to him in Iowa. Cover your eyes kids: this won’t be pretty. The guy who famously bragged, “I like to fire people,” Mr. Bain Capital, is about to bump up against an entire slate of candidates not to mention a state, that feels the same way.

Not Newt himself, but Newt’s Super PAC which has absolutely no connection to Newt. None. Whatsoever. At all. Totally separate entity. Super PAC. Such a guy thing. “My Super PAC is bigger than your Super PAC.” Super PAC envy. And the candidate with the biggest Super PAC gets the girl.

Rick Perry has joined Gingrich in running a series of grisly ads assailing the front- runner as a vulture capitalist; guaranteed to rile Willard up so bad his talons will be itching for more carrion. And no, I’m not talking about Rick Santorum. The ads are so vicious that if the Barack Obama Re- election Campaign possessed an ounce of common human decency, they’d chip in a couple bucks. Then again, maybe they are.

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." Whatever.

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