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12.27.13
My 2013 Xma$ Gift Wi$h Li$t

It's the most wonderful time of the year. And finally over. Thank the maker. Because if "The Little Drummer Boy" was played within my immediate vicinity one more time, somebody was going to have a bacon-flavored candy cane crammed into an orifice that doesn't naturally accommodate candy canes. Bacon or otherwise.

Merchants are whining that more money could have been spent celebrating the anniversary of the birth of the Baby Jesus, but perhaps Christian consumers got hip to their little markdown games and are poised for the post holiday sales, which in the tradition of modern retailing creep were being pushed before Santa flew south. Thinking five years is the over/under before the sanctity of Christmas performs the same dark death dive Thanksgiving took this year.

But to insure that some traditions don't get inadvertently tossed out with the ribbons, wrapping paper and littlest nephew, let me offer up my annual scathingly incisive yet curiously refreshing, WILL DUR$T'$ XMA$ GIFT WI$H LI$T FOR 2013 for people who maybe didn't find the presents they truly deserved under the tree.

For Chris Christie: the cape and tights necessary to save the Republican Party from itself.
For Dennis Rodman: some sort of force field that prevents Kim Jong Un from referring to him as "My favorite uncle."
For Medical Science to study: Dick Cheney's heart. George Bush's brain. And Barack Obama's spine.
For the City of Toronto: a handshake with Lorne Michaels to star mayor Rob Ford in the Chris Farley Story.
For Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: a testosterone reduction.
For Vice President Joe Biden: the vial containing Hillary Clinton's excess testosterone. Or 5 gallon drum.
For the Vatican: another Pope. What the hell? Look at all the positive publicity they've produced with 2.
For the Republic of South Sudan: the discovery that there is no oil.
For Anthony Weiner: a one- way ticket to a deserted South Sea island populated solely by poisonous snakes and sword grasses.
For Vladimir Putin: a pogo stick for when he bounces around the truth.
For Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos: a deal with the US Postal Service to deliver the mail by drones. Eat that Fedex.
For Fox News: a cuddly little mascot named Ben Gazee.
For Lynn Cheney (whose political ambition caused her to threw her sister under the bus): A round trip ticket on the clue train.
For the NSA: a tracking chip in every American citizen. For our security.
For Republican moderates: a remote control muzzle for Ted Cruz.
For Jay Leno: another network late night show that will crush NBC in the ratings.
For Edward Snowden: a palate to appreciate borscht and vodka.
For Kanye West: one of those new gold iPhones with all the top divorce lawyers across the country preset into the contacts list.
For Miley Cyrus: an extreme makeover by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
For the NRA: enough .357 magnums with armor piercing explosive bullets to hand out to every school teacher in the country.
For American school children: Kevlar uniforms.
For Justin Bieber: well-deserved obscurity.
For President Barack Obama: Harry S Truman's desk sign -- "the buck stops here."
For the People of Texas: a state-wide timeout; to stop and think before executing people with IQs of 62. And stop electing them governor.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
12.20.13
Deep in the Bowels of Password Hell

As the new year approaches, many of us in the dimly lit brotherhood of computer clumsoids (and our number is legion) feel the sharp prod of IT experts who blow themselves blue encouraging we Luddites to change passwords once a year like smoke alarm batteries or high school girlfriends or underwear on Duck Dynasty. And you know what that means: time for one more slippery descent into the bowels of Password Hell.

Passwords have engulfed our lives like glitter at a fashion show. You need one to rent a car, view your water bill, turn on the microwave, get in or out of bed. Oh, wait. That's a safe word. Mine is "ouch." And don't get started on usernames, because it's increasingly difficult to keep track of who we even are anymore.

The gear-clanging, brain-racking to dredge up a unique password for 2014 has commenced. Altering the Es to 3s is trendy. 8s to Ss and versa visa. But will it be enough? Each of us knows the terror inherent in that little bar rating passwords according to strength. Green -- good. Red is weak. And don't you love being called weak by some snotty algorithm? And no matter how many times you snap back, "oh yeah, well, you're inert and lack sentience," it doesn't help.

And yeah, yeah, yeah, we all know the best passwords are a series of random symbols that look like Dagwood Bumstead's dialogue balloon after hitting his thumb with a hammer. Giving you the same chance of remembering them as Rob Ford has of winning the decathlon in Brazil two years hence.

On top of that, enough layers of rules are being added to qualify for croissant dough. Your password no longer can be your wife's birthday or 1234567 or the word "password" or eatpoo&die. Can't be any password that has ever been used before. In the history of humanity.

At least six characters long but no more than 12. Must contain capital letters and non- consecutive numbers, two punctuations, a Polynesian petroglyph and the closest representation of a squirrel hut your keyboard can muster. Oh yeah, well, hashtag this. How does Password1234 strike you?

Worst thing you can do is write the password down. And please refrain from using the same password for all your firewalls. So expect to have 30 or so strings of nonsense floating around your cerebellum. We may be thwarting hackers, but the first casualty is usually ourselves. Half our time is spent logging in.

There's password retrieval programs, but none of the questions appear the least bit familiar giving rise to the distinct possibility of drunken site registration. "What is the name of your favorite pet?" Who can make that kind of judgment? "Your son's middle name?" Negative sons in this family, thank you very much. "Favorite non-cruciferous vegetable." The hell does that even mean?

Password protection apps are popular. But the very idea seems a bit dodgy. Too many people wanting to manage my passwords. And willing do it for free. Eerily similar to those '80s subliminal tapes used during sleep cycles. Stop smoking. Manage stress. Pretty sure the subliminal message for most of those was "buy more tapes." Meanwhile, the boatman has been paid and is taking me across the RiverStyx19$#!T. And yes, the period counts.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
12.14.13
Enchant a Goblin Priest

Think we can all agree these are pretty exciting times. Matter of fact, might be more exciting than we had any inkling. Recent revelations indicate we've all become inadvertent assets in governmental spy operations. You may have thought the NSA was everywhere, but you didn't know the half of it. And no, there shouldn't be a humming red LED under your bed.

The New York Times says our friends at the Black Chamber are not only opening our mail and listening to our phone calls but are now lurking in and monitoring online game rooms like World of Warcraft and Second Life. Are those trolls or undercover spooks? Or both? Not just an operations chief but a night elf-hunter guild leader as well. James Bond's new assignment -- to enchant a goblin priest. Zelda -- a princess, sure, but where does she go at night?

The professional eavesdroppers out of Fort Meade claim their only goal is to thwart terrorism but that's pretty much their answer to everything these days, including lunch at Quizno's. "Why do you always get the Italian combo?" "National Security." "Please clean up the broken glass resulting from your idiot friends' juvenile beer tossing antics." "Can't. National Security." "What happened to your toe?" "National F%*$!#G Security."

Who knows why they're really creeping around? Could be checking out skill sets. Filling emergency requests from division commanders. "Major! Wander around Call of Duty: Black Ops II. We need an infantryman who can go to his left. If he could take out multiple drones with a single RPG, that wouldn't hurt. Then check Grand Theft Auto for someone who can steer with his knees while switching magazines on an Uzi. And requisition more mushrooms from Mario."

These data mining epiphanies do us the double dirt of giving gamers a too convenient excuse as well. "Mother, pleeeease get off my back. I will have you know I am not wasting time. I am gathering extremely critical counter-intelligence." Nerds are the future of war. The elite soldiers of tomorrow can be found climbing ladders and throwing beer kegs at gorillas today.

And we know the NSA is cheating. Think of the secret backdoor codes they can uncover using their megawatt super computers. Orcish hordes evaporating. And knowing gamers, being under constant surveillance probably acts as an added attraction. Having the NSA watch every foray into gem collection only adds layers. Leading to subterfugal feints and the dropping of phony bread crumbs. If you can't execute a quadruple cross, don't bother.

Seems like we got this all turned around. Its we people who should have the privacy with the government being transparent. Not to mention, the spectacle of federal employees spending whole days playing video games makes a man proud to pay his taxes, don't it? If they were smart, they'd give each of us a free PlayStation 4. If they were smart.

Get used to it people. There are no safe houses anymore. The new X Box has a camera and microphone that retain function while pointing at your couch even when the game is off. Someone is watching us watch television, and you know somebody else is watching them. We're all going to end up like Gene Hackman at the end of The Conversation. "Coming This Winter. Paranoia: The Gathering. Don't just play the game. Be the game."

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
12.6.13
The Top 10 Comedic News Stories of 2013

Be still your beating hearts. As we exultantly find ourselves in this festive place once again. The most wonderful time of the year. When squealing children race home from school to check and recheck their favorite news websites. Husbands and wives fight for possession of the living room tablet. Grandparents double up on their meds. Relax, everybody. It's finally here. Yes, you may consider the Top Ten Comedic News Stories of 2013 officially released.

Some years make it darn near impossible from which to strain a few meager laughs. As amusing as a broken crutch on the edge of a toxic waste dump. But enough about Detroit. Because in terms of funny comedy humor, this year was lush and fecund like a tropical rain forest. Horsemeat discovered to be a major component of IKEA's meatballs. And the teachable moment here could be not to look to Swedish furniture manufacturers for our nutritional needs.

It is pivotal to understand that the Top Ten Comedic News Stories of 2013 are in no way to be confused with the Top Ten Legitimate News Stories of 2013. No. No. No. They are as different as soy beans and lug nuts. Bluetooth and dental floss. Palm fronds and those weird cone- shaped collars that dogs wear to keep from chewing their butts.

These are the stories and events of the year thus far, that most lent themselves to mocking and scoffing and taunting as determined by the executive council of the Comics, Clowns, Jesters & Satirists Union. Which, as you probably have already guessed, is... me.

Number 10. The president becomes a lame duck four months into his second term. Beyond lame duck. More of a quadriplegic platypus. Barack Obama Leadership Skills. Like saying Fukushima sushi. Paula Deen at the Apollo.

9. Former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner attempts a comeback. And he proves once again that his name is also the source of most of his problems.

8. Pope Francis turns out to be a liberal Democrat while Pope Benedict stays busy updating his Christian Mingle profile.

7. To escape government persecution, world class leaker Edward Snowden runs first to China and then to Russia. Which is like joining the army because "you're tired of people telling you what to do."

6. Ted Cruz rallies fellow Tea Partiers by reading Green Eggs & Ham on the floor of the Senate, then misinterprets the moral of a book aimed at kindergarteners.

5. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford admits using crack during "one of his drunken stupors." Yes, plural. Subsequently sees his approval rating shoot up 5 points. Not saying Obama should replicate this strategy, but if the big fat shoe fits...

4. Spying revelations shock America. Turns out the only way to keep the NSA from following our every move, is by becoming one of their employees.

3. Dennis Rodman becomes a roving ambassador. Ambassador Worm. What's next -- Mike Tyson, Poet Laureate. Kim Kardashian, Molecular Chemistry Consultant. Tim Tebow, NFL QB.

2. Government shutdown. America comes excruciatingly close to defaulting. Again. And you know what happens then. We have to move back in with Britain.

1. Affordable Care Act website debacle. Most people decide it would be easier to let the NSA handle the whole thing. After all, they have all our information and probably know which plan best fits.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
11.27.13
Thanksgiving 2013

Ahh. Thanksgiving. Best Holiday Ever! Love it all. The fact that a national holiday falls not on a Monday but a Thursday. How wacky is that? A regular Thursday in dead solid center fall. Where the weather could be 80 and sunny or 20 and snowing. Or, in certain parts of the Midwest, both.

Love the fact that its all about food, family, friends and football. Four of the five Fs. Remain seriously amused by the winking obsessive conspiracy that binds an entire nation together concerning the specifics of the ritual burning of a large flightless bird. Free range. Brine. Air chill. To stuff or not to stuff. Seriously, is that the question?

You'd have to be a third stage tertiary Grinch not to love a parade featuring 80-foot helium filled balloons. Snoopy bouncing off a light pole. Ending with the season's first appearance of the corpulent bearded one in the scarlet suit.

Don't forget the silly creeping madness of Black Friday, which now begins early Thursday and threatens to encompass the entire week. People camping out for days. To save, what... six bucks? But for those tented hours, they are adventurous pioneers. Marvel Super Consumers.

And love the way that though this pageant of greed and gluttony lasts four whole days, when all is said and done, even amidst the drunken family brawling, sometimes moments for reflection can still be found. And you can bet that this round-headed political comic has much to be thankful for. Among them being:

The 113th Congress, which has the unique ability to make hysterical lunacy seem so ordinary.
Barack Obama for finally making the Presidency mock-worthy again.
Sarah Palin who refuses to shut up no matter how tightly irrelevancy embraces her.
Vice President Joe Biden for gaining immeasurable respect just by shutting up.
The Cheney family who apparently feel about each other the same way the rest of us do.
Ted Cruz for not only grabbing the national right-wing nut job baton from Michele Bachmann but waving it high.
Pope Benedict for his inability to hide a scowl whenever Pope Francis does... anything.
Chris Christie for so generously providing such a large target rich environment.
The Tea Party for waving their arms in the air like they just don't care.
Alec Baldwin for truly embodying the phrase... "he who lives by the sword, dies swallowing the sword."
Mitt Romney for disappearing so completely, we're left to wonder if he really ever existed at all.
John Boehner, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell for their strict adherence to the musical advice, "don't go changing."
Obamacare, because who can't appreciate a website rollout that "could have gone smoother." An anvil studded with titanium spikes could have rolled smoother.
Walter White for altering the calculus of what it means to go out on your own terms.
The NRA and the NSA for just being themselves.
Anthony Weiner for his series of continuing comebacks. May he experience many more.
Rob Ford for proving that California is not the source of all political wackiness in the world.
The GOP, waging an internal war for its very soul. GOP Soul. Short book. Put it on the shelf right next to Barack Obama Leadership Skills. Paula Deen at the Apollo.
Vladimir Putin for proving that Toronto is not the source of all political wackiness in the world.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
11.15.13
The Foggy Crystal Ball

The heck is going on here, people? Did someone drop the flag signaling the start of the 2016 presidential election race in secret? Was there a furtive whispered "go now" left on the voice mail of all the major players in the 202 area code? 36 months before the election? Is it possible to earn extra credit by skipping this one and moving right on to 2020?

The most recent media-consumed fever-dream boils down to Chris Christie versus Hillary Clinton. Although, two weeks ago, Ted Cruz was the presumptive GOP nominee. Didn't Hillary use up her inevitability card in 2008? When she was destined to face off against Rudy Giuliani? How'd that end up?

But a lack of consistency hasn't kept the talking heads from jabbering their HD faces off. Money is being raised. Polls conducted. Seriously? Can't we wait until the midterms are over? Winter Olympics? Thanksgiving?

Predicting the nominees right now is like betting on what the weather will be like in Wisconsin in April. Ten years from now. If everyone is so damn clairvoyant, why don't they throw some money down on lottery tickets? These modern day alchemists might be better off focusing their skills on spinning straw into gold.

A week in politics is a lifetime. A month is two eternities. But three years is like an afternoon at your great aunt's, while uncle Harry with the mole on his nose that 4 inch hairs grow out of, shows slides of their recent trip to the Azores.

We're not talking jumping the gun, this is more like jumping the application of the lane chalk. Think of all the stuff that could happen between now and 2016.

  • By the year 2016, Hillary Clinton could be on trial for domestic abuse.
  • By the year 2016, Chris Christie might have left politics for his one true love, the field of competitive eating.
  • By the year 2016, Joe Biden might have single- handedly pulled 6 Navy Seals out of a burning helicopter. And two puppies.
  • By the year 2016, the oceans could rise so high that California and Florida are totally taken out of the electoral equation.
  • By the year 2016, the Tea Party might be holding its annual convention in the banquet room of a Casper, Wyoming Applebee's.
  • By the year 2016, the primaries may come down to whoever looks best in a full-body containment suit.
  • By the year 2016, Mitt Romney could very well have had a new user-friendly operating system installed.
  • By the year 2016, Elizabeth Warren might have resigned the Senate and moved to China to organize Apple workers.
  • By the year 2016, John Edwards could have found Jesus and rehabilitated himself. Probably not.
  • By the year 2016, Rick Perry, in the midst of another execution frenzy, may have accidentally signed an order resulting in his own.
  • By the year 2016, Sarah Palin might have said something so monumentally silly that her head exploded.
  • By the year 2016. Democrats might be holding their annual convention in the banquet room of a Cambridge, Massachusetts Olive Garden.
  • By the year 2016, Jeb Bush might change his last name to something less polarizing, like Hitler. Or Nixon.
  • By the year 2016, the city of Chicago could still be in flames from the celebration that followed the Cubs winning the World Series. Probably not.
The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
11.8.13
Zero Hero

The perfect time to address disappointment is go to never and wait. Most of us would rather speak of inadvertent bowel movements in public. Especially when the person you're bummed with is a loved one. Whatever it takes not to look them in the eye: going so far as to hold your hands over your ears making woo-woo noises. Folks have been known to sleep in the garage.

It's the Democrats sleeping in the garage these days, because they cannot make eye contact with the leader of their own party. The liberal exodus off the presidential bandwagon has become so monumental, we're approaching klaxon fire-drill evacuation levels. AAUUUGUAH!

"Not really sure." "Didn't know." "So sorry." The last couple months witnessed a bout of administration policy blunders that made the rounds of disastrous to calamitous with a side trip to fiasco. To his compatriots, the phrase Barack Obama Leadership Skills, is similar to saying Paula Deen Apollo Theater bookings.

The situation has pretty much distilled down into three camps. The portion of the party a little to the left of Fidel that will never be happy until Barry twitches his nose and world peace and an end to planetary hunger simultaneously fall out. The centrists who don't quite understand what all the hubbub is about or why everyone is so mad at the president. After all, he hasn't done anything. And Joe Biden.

Not all the fault should be laid at the president's feet. He was hailed by progressives as a savior who would part the heavens and cause yoga pants to rain down on them like snowflakes. Which was understandable, because after all, he was, ostensibly a Democrat, and following eight years of George W. Bush, Cardinal Richelieu would have seemed progressive.

But in truth, Barack was always a middle of the road kind of guy. A facilitator who brought people together. Of course the only way to bring the squabbling children inside today's Beltway together is through the use of a wind tunnel, fire hose and 55 gallon drum of industrial strength glue.

Obama's strengths are inspiration, vision and focus. Turning him into a bipartisan baby sitter is like throwing a saddle on a fish. You don't send a Constitutional lawyer into the Wrangler National Rodeo Finals and expect him to end the night wearing a Champion Bullrider trophy buckle.

But confused dithering on Syria, followed by a government shutdown and then an Affordable Care Act rollout less nimble than a giraffe in a disco, Democrats are falling off the Presidential bus faster than milk sours in Mexico on an August afternoon. Fall off? Jumping off. Like Maui sunbathers at a stop sign next to a complimentary sand-out-of-your-butt plastic spatula stand.

Of course, this is the moment in a second term where this sort of thing goes down. Reagan had the Contras. Clinton had Monica. Bush had Katrina. And now Obama has Miasma.

But don't count him out. No matter what you think of Obama's policies, you got to admire his ability not to get involved in them. He's the opposite of a super hero. He's a Zero Hero. And if you're looking for a silver lining, we can all agree he's starting to make Joe Biden look presidential. Maybe that's the plan, man.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
11.1.13
Blown, Burnt, and Compromised

In here. Pssst. Don't look. Okay. Sit down. Pretend you're reading the International Herald Tribune. Order a coffee. Make it a decaf. Two Sweet and Lows. Pass them to me. Take this Splenda. Pay no attention to the man with the hearing aid. Give the waiter a five and leave through the kitchen. Don't forget an extra twenty for me.

Talking about spying. Apparently, we're doing quite a bit of it. And not just to ourselves, we're spying on foreigners as well. And like us, the foreigners are none too happy about it. Not because they don't spy on us, of course they do. Everybody spies on everybody. They're not happy because we do it so much better than they do. Hey. We're #1. USA! USA!

Sure they're jealous. Because we're such superior spyers. Longer cloaks. Sharper daggers. Bugging the Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel's cell phone. Are you kidding me? That's genius. Who does that? We do, that's who. The Vatican? No. No. No. THE VATICAN. But seriously, how's that supposed to help? Must be a training exercise. What kind of intel you going to mine out of 125 gossipy old men prancing around in red dresses?

It's a fact we have the best technology and the most money. We aren't the ones handing out teddy bears filled with surveillance devices to participants of G-20 meetings in St. Petersburg. Teddy bears personally shot, stuffed and bugged by Vladimir Putin outside some swampy camp in the Siberian forest while not wearing a shirt. Ex-KGB my big furry white butt. You're never ex-KGB. You know what they call ex-KGB? That's right. Dead.

Note the outcry with the gnashing and the keening and the wailing. Methinks our allies doth protest too much. "You betrayed our trust." You're playing the trust card? Show us the backs of your lily-white hands. Unh hunh. We'll know how serious the blowback is when they stop accepting our foreign aid.

Courtesy of Edward Snowden. One NSA whistle-blowing temp. Traffic analysis operations -- dead. Covers blown. Relationships burned. Compromises compromised. Covert becomes overt. Black ops now transparent. Whoever hired him has to be sweating bullets. Looking to experience extraordinary rendition up close and personal. Headed straight for the Oppenheim Memorial Park water board slide.

Or… this whole thing… is a ruse. Because in espionage, fog and smoke and mirrors are assets. These revelations could be part of a complicated disinformation campaign. Yeah. Sure. It's an old Gestapo trick. You sacrifice one of your own to gain the trust of the enemy. All's fair when rooting out the tangos.

Down the rabbit hole, maybe Snowden is in deep cover playing some counter-counter-intelligence game. And that alleged activity of his: bona fides to build up the legend. A provocative provocateur. Defective defector. Sanitized sleeper. Mole boy. Dry cleaned decoy. Triple cross. Lulling Putin into a false sense of security to get him alone. And then. Bam. Sodium pentothal.

Especially considering we've only lost a few obsolete tradecrafts. And the ability to appear offended when other countries are caught spying on us. But you can bet we'll still look and sound and act just as grievously upset as they do right now. More so. Because we're better at that too. Do you see what's going down? Good. Now leave through the kitchen. Don't forget the extra twenty for me.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
10.25.13
Crashing Glitching Bores

One thing you can say about Republicans. They are focused. Like lasers. Or a puppy with a chew toy. Obamacare? No, sir. They don't like it. They don't like it so much, they have become interested in the internet. They no longer refer to it as the interweb, riddled with tubes and tunnels and chutes and ladders.

As we speak, hearings are being held. And held and held and held. Because the initial website to Obamacare was buggier than the insect house at the London Zoo and someone has to eat their way to the bottom of the responsibility barrel. So now we're witness to an interminable tug of war between GOP and Democratic members of various committees who are providing the bulk of the talking during these hearings.

The sight of these grandfatherly types who couldn't tell a glitch from a sneetch pretending to speak conversantly about something they have the same familiarity with as a calico cat does with calculus makes keeping a straight face difficult. Especially considering their extreme remonstrations of concern, which sound similar to cobras worrying that the mouse door is often unlocked.

Thing is, they're perfectly right. The rollout went less smooth than a 40-foot square steel donut rumbling down a pressed tin bridge. Democrats agree the website technology for Obama Care is so outdated it looks like Health & Human Services rescued it from Compuserve's trash using a dial up modem. There are at least six or 17 areas of this country where a class of 5th graders could have constructed a more navigable site during study hall.

The ultimate techie nightmare. More crashes than Windows Vista through 27 stories of skylights. A health care portal with all the compassion and efficiency of the DMV. Coming soon: leeches. Although many claim that plenty of licensed barbers are already caucusing with the House majority. Face it, if the government created the Cloud, it would be called the Smog and leak antifreeze.

The administration seems flummoxed. Started suggesting folks with problems might want to try signing up by phone or fax or snail mail or Pony Express or skywriting or Morse Code on a telegraph wire or smoke signals or by slapping the ground and pounding their chests rhythmically. Hopefully Obamacare can spur lightning progress in telepathy.

Ted Cruz managed to get into the act, joking that the Nigerian e-mail scammers have been quiet lately because they were hired to run the Obamacare website. This created the double whammy of ticking off Nigerians and giving the administration very bad ideas.

But by focusing their attention on the website, the GOP seems to be signaling they've accepted Obamacare, at least in theory. After trying to repeal it 50 times then shutting down the government in an attempt to defund it, they finally, are reluctantly, onboard. And just want to straighten things out by letting the American people know this is the worst legislation in the history of ever.

In other words, they've graduated to complaining about the choice of the font on the menu and not the ingredients of the feast. Or whether anybody gets to eat. Although that $24 cheeseburger known as the Silver plan is surely going to draw attention down the line. And oh, by the way -- fries are extra. Way extra.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
10.18.13
RINOs and AINOS

Now we bore deep into the bunker that houses triumphant Tea Party headquarters where they are celebrating a tactical victory over the forces of complacency and complaining loudly about all the chicken-hearted Republicans In Name Only who bowed to the will of our Socialist president, and voted to reopen the government and avoid a global financial meltdown:

Wussies. Those RINOs don't represent real Americans. You know who they represent: AINOs. Americans In Name Only. Because only people who believe exactly what we believe deserve to be called real Americans. AINOs should be counted as 3/5ths of an American. We and only we are listening to the real heartbeat of this country. Nobody else has the same filter. Which is made out of tinfoil.

The media keeps asking, 'how does it feel to lose?' But we didn't lose. We won. We won by losing. All part of the plan. Because only in losing do real winners hone their skills at winning, whereas real losers just feel normal. Winners never quit. And quitters never win. And winning quitters are like quitting winners: just more banana slugs on the Great Salt Flat with a blown head gasket.

You know who lost? The so-called leaders of this party lost. The ones who flopped faster than a French Soccer Team that had been surgically deboned. Who abandoned the good fight in the name of expediency. Who slept with the enemy and will have their heads shaved and be thrown into the street someday. Because there is no negotiating when you're dealing with the terrorists calling themselves the Democratic Party.

Oh, don't get us wrong, we are all in favor of compromise. As long as it's the other side doing it. We have no intention of compromising because that would be abandoning our principles. They don't have principles so it's shouldn't be a problem.

Have we learned our lesson? Yes, we have. We have learned we must fight harder. And never give in. Because repeatedly banging our heads against the wall makes it feel so good when we stop. So we must learn not to stop.

We do not fight because we think we can win. We do not fight because of ideology. We fight because... we like to fight. As do our constituents. You should see our town hall meetings. They look like a trauma center emergency room on a Saturday night after a pool hall happy hour featuring $2 shots of Jagermeister.

Now? We're going to purge this party of poseurs and run with folks interested in representing the real America. You know, people exactly like us. You may accuse us of perfecting the circular firing squad. But the circular firing squad turns out to be very useful in eliminating marginal colleagues equipped with insufficient aim.

And yes, 'this is going to happen again!' It's going to happen every single time purity comes face to face with evil. And the evil shall be primaried. And anybody who shakes hands with John Boehner or has been photographed hugging John McCain is fair game.

We have even perfected a test to determine whether you are conservative enough to be an actual Republican. We hold you under water for four minutes and if you don't die, you are a RINO. Primitive and messy perhaps, but fits us to a Tea.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
10.11.13
Fukushima Sushi

Which is harder to believe? The ludicrous shenanigans going down in Washington or the fact that nobody seems particularly interested in doing anything about them? Good neighbors- it looks like we got ourselves one heck of a bumper crop of official dysfunction this year. Near as high as Manute Bol's eye

You'd think with national parks closed, veteran's benefits being withheld and a possible catastrophic debt ceiling crisis looming, folks would be atwitter like chicken inspectors on a rotisserie spit during a power surge. And you'd be as wrong as a Bergman film on Comedy Central

What the country seems to be seeking here is a little something called political responsibility. Which, in these dark days, is a wee bit of a tad of a total and complete oxymoron. Real similar to saying Fukushima sushi. Or elegant squalor. Comfortable rock.

Driving the point home: Weird normality. Spherical edge. Iron kite. Freedom shackle. Fresh detritus. Flammable sleet. Placid hammer. Colossal shrimp. Diminutive giant. Formal jeans. Sensitive linebacker. Salable autonomy. Veteran rookie. Vegetarian butcher. Pork tartare. Reality TV.

Keeping it real: Precarious certainty. Serene devastation. Bitter honey. Catholic condom. Heaven's basement. Gelatinous needle. Sadistic lover. Banker's compassion. Macabre solace. Chaste indiscretion. Temporary tax. Restorative annihilation. Healthy fries. Unhungry shark.

Taking it to the streets: San Francisco barbecue. Milwaukee modernity. Jersey nuance. Arizona mist. Los Angeles demure. Canadian innovation. Hawaiian urgency. Wyoming bouillabaisse. Utah jazz.

Ramping it up: Mandated choice. Balding hottie. Warranted wager. Terminal approach. Relaxing discomfiture. Killer dream. Exceptional banality. Underground satellite. Trendily baroque. Crystal ladder. Turbulent stillness. Frightening comfort. Gossamer fence. Environmental oilman. Amish website. Carnival cruise.

Airing it out: Whispering tank. Fortunate disaster. Frozen inferno. Iconoclastic tradition. Disposable resource. Panoramic void. Docile outburst. Gleeful shame. Submarine screendoor. Joint account. Apathetic detestation. Twisty arrow. Behemoth slice. Absentminded surgery. Tasty tofu. Clean coal. Aerobic couch. Marijuana initiative.

Running a bad metaphor into the ground like a Western Union pony after a third consecutive ride owing to a suspicious stable fire: Bustling furlough. Ingénue hag. Muzzled microphone. Bouncy spike. Chaotic seclusion. Meager extreme. Critical frivolity. Irrevocable contingency. Distinct oblivion. Collateral damage. Identical mutation. Blistering salve. Creepy rhapsody. Kamikaze reunion. Drowsy lightning. Garlic mouthwash. Nixonian charm. Understanding spouse.

Bringing it back home: Anarchist commander. Restrained oligarchy. Accountable economist. Municipal management. Sympathetic bureaucrat. Incumbent incumbent. Culpable legislator. Religious tolerance. Limited warfare. Guest worker. Creationist science. Guaranteed pension. Tea Party logic. Obamic strategy. Boehner endgame. Fox News.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
10.4.13
Showdown. Shutdown. Shakedown.

Government's closed, everybody! Go home. Except Congress, that is, whose members are still getting paid, classified as "essential workers." Although right now, neither one of those words seems very apt or ept. Unapt and inept is more like it. Inapt? Unept?

A minority of the majority of one House of Congress continues to hold the country hostage. "Down on the floor, America, and hands behind your back. Anybody moves, shoot 'em." And if we don't agree to their demented demands, we'll never see our families or Panda Cam again.

To say that the Tea Party really, really doesn't like the Affordable Care Act is like intimating spotted brown bananas make for substandard grouting material. That Mel Gibson is unlikely to receive a plethora of invitations to speak at JDL benefits. That the prognosis for a patient whose spleen transplant was performed with rusty garden tools -- is not good.

The fraying tassels on the GOP fringe appear to be willing to sacrifice everything to deny their constituents access to health care coverage. Two lambs. The recovery. Their reputation. The harvest. Nation's credit rating. A virgin. John Boehner's tan.

What they should be looking for is a time machine because this issue has already been settled. By the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the government. Which, according to all those Schoolhouse Rock videos, is pretty much all of them. Three out of three. Slam dunk. Total sweep. Full boat. Get a hammer and some planks to build a shelf for the freaking trophy, dude.

And if memory serves correctly, wasn't last year's Presidential election a referendum on Obama Care? Every single Republican offered up as an alternative Commander-in-Chief railed against it with vein -- popping intensity. And none won. Not to mention this same crew of Cruz's crazies having made over 40 attempts to sink health care reform. All for naught. How many bites at the apple do you get before there is no apple?

So the government has totally ground to a halt paralyzed by petty partisan squabbling. Or as they say inside the Beltway these days; a typical Thursday. Republicans complain Obama is not negotiating. Garnering their begrudging respect for following Reagan's unbreakable dictum to refuse to negotiate with terrorists.

Besides, bills are negotiated, not settled law. If the Kamikaze Caucus gets their way on this, what's next? Another showdown, shutdown, shakedown demanding Democrats dismantle NPR? A single representative from Oklahoma threatening to hold his breath until he turns blue if an oil derrick doesn't replace George Washington on the $1 bill? Pre-school intimidation to spur the repeal of the laws of gravity?

The extreme Right Wing of the party of the Right is obviously convinced the public will regard this as one of those "a pox on both of their houses" deals. And they may be right. If Congress' approval rating goes any lower, they'll be able to look up to snake bellies. Losing ground on poisonous ticks. Pillow thorns.

And for a group ostensibly consumed with the deficit, these cry-cry-cry babies don't seem too upset by the 300 million dollars the shutdown is costing every day. Because, hey! 300 million here. 300 million there. As Everett Dirksen famously pointed out, pretty soon, you're talking real money.

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."
 
9.27.13
SENATOR AHAB IS A SNEETCH

There no longer lies any shame in obsession. Monomania reigns supreme in this country. Along with twerking. Once a month the local news features sports fans who have turned entire houses into shrines to their favorite team. We all know the conspiracy guy with his bootleg DVDs and liquid limber logic. Every neighborhood has at least one cat lady. And if you protest that your neighborhood doesn't, you may be her.

The U.S. Senate has its own cat lady, and his name is Ted Cruz. For the first nine months of his incumbency in the World's Greatest Deliberative Body, the man graduated from distressed to obsessed to a little shy of possessed. Recently we were held hostage to the focus of his idée fixe: an entire day devoted to his delirious struggle to kill the white whale; that is, repeal ObamaCare.

Speaking from the floor of the Senate for 21 hours and 19 minutes, Senator Ahab singlehandedly gave the American people another reason to look forward to a government shutdown. His long and loud faux filibuster seemed mostly a way to raise his profile and money for an inevitable presidential run. Another side effect of Obama lowering the qualification bar.

Inexplicably, in the midst of his impassioned C-SPAN salvo, the junior senator from Texas stopped speaking of Duck Dynasty, White Castle, Christmas pig roasts and Ashton Kutcher while regaling Obama as a socialist terrorist and his own party as Nazi appeasers to read a bedtime story directed at his children back home; Dr. Seuss's Green Eggs & Ham. Following which he made suppositions raising questions as to whether he fully understood the book's complicated ramifications.

Cruz took pains to differentiate himself from the recalcitrant protagonist of the book who wouldn't eat green eggs and ham in a house with a mouse in the dark on a boat with a goat in the rain here and there and everywhere by saying he himself had indeed tried green eggs and ham (read Obamacare) and didn't like it. And the American people didn't like it either. The problem is, Obamacare hasn't really kicked in yet.

Saying you tried it but didn't like it is real similar to saying you didn't enjoy Bruno Mars' halftime show at next year's Super Bowl. That you think Ben Affleck's portrayal of Batman fell far short of the exacting standards previously set by George Clooney. That you found the church basement covered-dish spread following your funeral service to be underwhelming.

But the media coverage was so intense and overwhelming, it would be a surprise on the order of cast iron Frisbees if he didn't try this tact again. Perhaps next he will favor us with the importance of proper potty training. One sequel we are definitely not destined to see is Teddy Hears a Who. Although he could adapt One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish to explain his food stamp elimination proposal.

Cruz has managed to prove he's confused by the space-time continuum, not to mention a book aimed at a kindergarten reading level, and he still wants to be president? Of course, knowing the Republican Party, Rafael Edward Cruz has a very good chance at securing the nomination, because after all, as Doctor Seuss himself famously said you can't teach a Sneetch.

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."
 
9.13.13
The World's Policeman Stops for a Donut

Well, this is odd. The heck with an exit strategy. We can't even work out an admittance maneuver. The automatic door-opener that proved so reliable for presidents past has short-circuited and keeps slamming shut whenever Barack Obama tries to enter the war store with his empty shopping cart.

Or maybe he's angling to be known as the architect of the modern war. A new kind with intermissions. So he augmented the fast lane with a flashing red. We got ourselves a Chief-Executive more comfortable hitting the pause button than fast-forward. The world's policeman stopped for a donut. And he might just linger at the counter to flirt with the waitress.

Intent on bringing experience as father of two young girls to the international stage, the president is punishing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by giving him a time-out. Yeah, that'll send a message. "Use chemical weapons on your own people and no more milk and cookies for you. And if I hear one more word about human shields, mister, you are grounded for eternity plus two weeks."

To all the people accusing the president of sending mixed messages, so sorry for the rain delay in your regularly scheduled war. Hope the postponement of the cessation of human life hasn't inconvenienced you. But you have a point. First he calls for targeted punitive strikes against the Assad government. Then, not so much. He zigs. He zags. Instead of shock and awe, we get talk and law. How dare Obama stop and think before he bombs? Clearly he's conflicted by the concept of conflict.

Must be what all those liberals refer to as... diplomacy. As alien as methane rain. Some sort of socialist stunt. Which we red blooded Americans find disconcerting. The Bushes were resolute. Once their minds were set, they stayed set. Like concrete. Even Clinton was rather lunkish. This guy, however, is limber and fluid. Much like a strawberry smoothie. Deliberation before liberation. Could set a troubling precedent.

Meanwhile, the public is confused. Exactly why are we sticking our noses up more Mideast skirts? Again. Don't we already have enough going on over here? And there? Of course, you think we're war weary, you should talk to the Syrians. The rebels aren't just fighting the government, they're forced to fend off other rebels as well. 3-D Civil war from both ends. Squared.

It doesn't help that everything we know is wrong. Dennis Rodman is flourishing as a Good Will Ambassador. And Vladimir Putin is now a Peace Advocate. What's next: Kim Kardashian, the Molecular Chemistry Consultant? Mike Tyson-Poet Laureate? Tim Tebow-NFL Quarterback?

Putin offering to help is as suspicious as the wet spot on a veterinary couch. But at least we can trust Russia to tell the rest of the world whether Assad is lying about the strength and size of his chemical weapons cache. After all, they sold him the stuff.

xMeanwhile, Congress slipped off the decision hook like a flippy floppy flounder. For one brief shining moment, they can stop worrying about being nailed down on "support a strike" or "not support a strike" and get back to the important business of this country... voting to repeal Obama Care. Again./p>

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."
 
9.06.13
Pied Piper of the Potomac

Got to forgive Presidential and Congressional staffers for covering their ears and singing "la la la" at the top of their lungs, as everyone pretends not to be knee deep in the icky tricky sticky Syria situation. You might say Washington is in a Semi-Syrious mode right now. And a Semi-Not-So-Syrious mode. Simultaneously.

Because this whole affair is riddled with enigmas and mysteries enough to make Winston Churchill spin his conundrums right off. And rumor has it, he harbored huge conundrums.

Demonstrating resolve in the face of chemical weapons, Barack Obama weaves through the media like Gumby's drunken brother in a wind tunnel. Unfamiliar territory for a Chief Executive who never learned how to play both sides against the middle. For four and a half years, he's been a facilitator with nothing and nobody to facilitate. All he needed was a facilitatee.

And now there's a war. Not a leftover war. His war. A new war. Good Obama. Bad Obama. Boots. No boots. Barefoot. 30 days. 300 days. 3000 days. He loves us. He loves us not. Yes. No. Maybe. Better be prepared to give that Nobel Peace Prize back.

The Pied Piper of the Potomac is blowing a patriotic tune, dancing figure eights up and down the MC Escher staircase that is Capitol Hill. Deadly determined to do the right thing; if only he knew what it was.

The intelligence is solid, but we can't put our sources at risk divulging it. We know what we need to know, but don't know everything. A red line in the sand has been crossed. Then again, sand is a lousy conductor of paint. Don't want to go to war but can't be seen as backing down. Must take military action to advance the cause of peace.

Made his decision but seeking Congressional approval. Doesn't need it. Wants it. Might use it. Then again, maybe not. Could very well follow their advice or just start bombing tomorrow. Or not. If Joe Biden agrees. Which he will. Probably.

Meanwhile, Republicans are torn between their innate hatred of Obama and eternal love of bombing the crap out of the Middle East. This is an important vote, but not enough to encourage anyone to come back from recess early. Boehner and Cantor approve a limited punitive strike, but other Republicans aren't obligated to follow their lead. Their smile says yes. But their eyes say no.

Internationally, the president prefers cooperation but is willing to go it alone. The Arab League is fine with it, but can't give permission. England is not in on this with us, but we might want to call back later. Obama has to punish Bashar Al Assad but doesn't trust the rebels as far as he could throw Portugal. Worried about rattling sabers but can't afford to look like a wuss. If he wants to hang with Putin.

And finally, what America really needs to understand; this is all about Syria crossing a line. Then again, it's mostly about Iran. And Hezbollah. Not to mention Russian and Chinese entanglements. And don't forget Israel. Or Saudi Arabia. Does the term Afghanistan ring a bell? Qatar? And just on a side note, does Qatar call their national airline -- Air Qatar? They should. Syriously.

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."
 
8.30.13
The Least Laboring of Days

Hey, it's Labor Day, everybody. Woo-hoo. Okay, we're partying now. Throw your arms in the air and wave them like you just don't care. Blow up some balloons. Tap a keg. Rip open a bag of chips. Because this isn't a champagne and caviar kind of thing. This is the very definition of blue collar. If collars be worn at all.

It was 1894 when Labor Day first punched into work. Grover Cleveland signed it into law six days after the end of the Pullman Strike during which federal troops killed more than 30 strikers. Cynics saw it as a kind of make-up sex between the government and the American worker. Well, flowers and candy anyhow.

The first Monday of September was specifically picked to bridge the long holiday gap between 4th of July and Thanksgiving and to get as far away from May Day as possible. In the late 19th century, labor unions were one thing, but Communists were a horse of a different color.

For 120 years, Labor Day has been the red-headed stepchild of holidays. As glamorous as the guy with a shovel following a mule in a parade. Something you roll out to get Child Protective Services off your butt. "Look, we gave you an entire day, now give it a rest, would you? What do you want, cake?"

Goldilocks would have loved Labor Day. Not too hot. Not too cold. Less incendiary than Easter and Christmas, but with a decidedly higher thermal print than the International Talk Like a Pirate Day; fast approaching on September 19. Hard to believe its time to dig out the eye patch, wooden leg and Jolly Roger. Again. Already.

Because of Labor Day's peculiar calendar placement, it has morphed into not so much a celebration as a seasonal signal flag. Here lies the tired, dried-up body of summer. Time to roll up the garden hose and recharge the snow blower. Bury the swimsuits and exhume the parkas. Watermelon smoothies give way to pumpkin lattes. Weenie roasts on the back deck — no. Tailgating in a dirt parking lot — yes.

The lazy hazy days are over and school and football have kicked off. And this holiday Monday is but one final chance to party in the long light. Meanwhile, the significance of what we're commemorating has gotten lost in a last gasp blast of beer, baseball and barbecue.

Labor Day is meant to be a day we set aside to honor not the dead, but the living. Our workforce. One single day off so the real nine to five heroes that keep this country humming can hang with their families and friends before squaring their shoulders and getting back to the job of earning a living and carving out the future. And maybe one day at a theme park on someone's 10th birthday without having to take out a second mortgage.

It's a day to catch our breath. To celebrate the contributions of all of America's working folk. From the floor of the stock exchange to the stockroom of Amazon. To recognize the pistons that keep the engine of this country pumping along. And no need to bring gifts, although that whole flowers and candy thing is never a bad idea. And maybe some chips and beer and what the hell… cake. Who doesn't like cake?

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."
 
8.23.13
Party Purity Pricks Pragmatism

And now, this week's freshly updated, highly speculative, oddly prescient, extremely long-range, totally indispensable, magically delicious, 2016 Presidential Campaign Alert. Pay no attention to that bilious sensation you are experiencing. It is simply sweet anticipation swelling into full bloat boogie as the race for the White House floats tantalizingly around the corner. Admittedly, a wide corner. Multiple lanes. Many laps to come. Think Talladega, baby.

Putatively premature perhaps, but hey, it's the only game in town. What else you got inked on your critical political calendar? The upcoming Arkansas Gubernatorial election? And come on, Arkansas guber? How redundant is that? Like saying Hollywood façade? Or New York attitude. North Dakota drowsy. Congressional disappointment.

Part of our fascination with the upcoming presidential replacement process is that a termed-out incumbent ensures competitive action on both sides of the aisle will be crazier than Norman Bates on peyote riddled with corn fungus. Exactly why for the next 38 months we can count on machinations wilder than a singles bar rest room during the zombie apocalypse. Motives more convoluted than press releases from Alex Rodriguez.

Democrats seem intent and content to hurtle headlong, arms akimbo, down the path of least resistance, envisioning some sort of loosely recollected Clintonian squishy soft landing. While over on the GOP side, the road promises to be just a tad rockier with immense and immovable internal obstacles to be negotiated. And no, we're not talking about Chris Christie.

At least a baker's dozen GOPers have had their names bandied about as prospective suitors for the top slot of their party's ticket. Rand Paul, Christie, Bobby Jindal, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Jeb Bush, Paul Ryan, Mike Beebe. Then don't forget the old standbys -- Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann. And it would be most unwise to write off a possible spontaneous Cheney incursion.

This particular nomination process is primed to probe identity: party purity pricking the pragmatists. The true believers versus the moderates. Ideologues taking up arms against those who do what ever it takes to assist their constituents, even if it means consorting with Democrats. You know, traitorous toads.

Threats of boycotts and arguments over government shutdowns and distractions involving dual citizenships have already filled the air like Syrian shrapnel, making it impossible for any individual candidate to gain traction.

Then you factor in further slippage on all the mud being tossed at each other by Christie and Paul, the party's version of the Battling Bickersons. Added onto the slippery slope created by absolutely everyone tarring absolutely everyone else as a RINO and it's a miracle any conservative is still standing.

Desperate to throw a positive spin onto things, Reince Priebus, chair of the RNC, said these "debates" are good for the Party. Yeah. "Good," which is national party chairman code for "you're killing us here." Also, to call these barbed attacks "debates" is like calling a sledge hammer- the finger massage.

So, put on your Kevlar aprons kiddies, because it's only going to get hotter in the GOP kitchen. This war is just beginning and looks destined to culminate in nothing less than a fight for the very heart and soul of the Republican Party. Although, many folks would be willing to debate whether either of those objects actually exist.

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."
 
8.16.13
Let the Pants Suit Dance

It's time to address the burning question singeing the lips of every American this summer: What will happen to Bryan Cranston's pork pie hat after Breaking Bad ends its run? Okay, maybe that's number two. The big one is who's going to be the Democratic Presidential candidate in November of 2016? 38 months and counting.

Having gone almost a year without the least meager of Presidential Race morsels to munch on, journos are doing whatever it takes to jump-start a tasty plate of appetizers. Also, it's August, which means politically, there's less going on in Washington than a vacuum in a crater at the southern most base of Neptune's thirteenth moon.

If you suspect this might all be a bit premature. YES. INDEED. YOU BET. Your instincts are correct sir. This sort of speculation normally doesn't kick into gear until a year and a half out; two years, tops, but the accelerated pace is today's norm. Rapid is the new sauntering. Welcome to Extreme Campaigning. 24/7.

Of course, they do have a point. President Barack Obama's second term has already entered its 7th month. It is more than an eighth over. The guy is history. Spent. Taking up space. Got the "How Can We Miss You If You Won't Go Away" Blues. Way beyond lame duck, he's a differently-abled turducken. A quadriplegic platypus. His goose is undergoing severe cookage.

Barack could nip the suspense in the bud by stepping down and giving Joe Biden a leg up. Because the job will not be Biden's for the taking. He's going to need a crowbar the size of Idaho to pry the nomination from a certain someone who's already spent 8 years in the White House. Albeit, in the East Wing. And not baking cookies thank you very much.

Even the GOP considers that former tenant their major threat since they've launched a couple of preemptive strikes against the Clinton of Hillary. And isn't it refreshing to see them get past their internal squabbles to concentrate on what's really important to the Party?

They've threatened to boycott NBC and CNN if the networks run planned specials on the Former First Lady and have taken to calling her... too old. That's right. Republicans. The party of Reagan. Same guys that ran Bob Dole whose campaign slogan was "hey you punks, get off my lawn." Can't wait for them to charge her with being too white as well. And too rich.

Last time Hillary was the front-runner, it didn't turn out too well and other names being bandied about are: Andrew Cuomo, Rahm Emanuel and Cory Booker, who just locked up the Democratic slot for the New Jersey Senate special election to fill the seat vacated by the late Frank Lautenberg.

Booker may be the biggest wild card. Imagine Ms. Hill is sweating like a squad of Sumos in a sauna just thinking about a young charismatic fast-track black guy serving less than one full term in the Senate hijacking her coronation ceremony. Again.

His staff encouraged Bill Clinton to be Bill Clinton, with, "Let the Big Dawg Eat." This time, it's more of a "Let the Pants Suit Dance." And everyone better start paying attention or the handicapping of the 2020 race will begin as well. My money's on Chelsea.

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."
 
8.9.13
The Little Red Hen

Once upon a time, there was a little red hen who lived on a farm past the woods. She was friends with a bossy but politically connected pig, a groveling sheep who worked as a flunky for the village and a scared little mouse who specialized in running away and hiding. Hey. Sometimes your friends are whoever lives on the farm next to you.

One day the little red hen found some seeds. Since everyone was busy, she planted them and lo and behold, not long after, a large field of wheat lay right behind the back porch. A funny thought came into her head that she could use the wheat to bake some bread. Lots of bread. Enough bread that she and her buddies could retire comfortably by selling it to animals on the other farms in her village.

So she formed an LLC with her friends. After all the papers were signed, and paws and wings and hooves were shook a party was held and all the animals on the farm attended. The dog got drunk. Finally, it was time to gather the wheat and the little red hen went around to each of her friends to see who would help.

Citing confusion over stalled congressional action on the agricultural bill, the pig demurred, maintaining this was not a good time. It was a big farm. The sheep's lawyer, the duck, urged caution, not wanting to offend their good friend -- the pig. The mouse was unavailable for comment but the hen heard toenails on the floor of his hole like someone was scurrying away from grave danger. So the hen gathered the wheat by herself.

Needing help to grind the wheat, the little red hen once again approached the pig, who declined, not wishing to exacerbate the generally explosive union situation. The sheep couldn't possibly commit without first consulting his foreman, the horse, who was vacationing in Aruba. According to an informed source, the mouse was in conference with the duck and not to be disturbed. So, the hen ground the wheat.

Sadly, the grinding took so long, the hen lost the option on an industrial oven she had lined up in the valley. Warily, she went to the pig, but he had already leased his oven space to a Chinese bakery concern. The sheep was waiting for a similar yet intrinsically different offer and didn't dare tie himself up. An unnamed staff member intimated the mouse was compiling evidence to support a harassment charge against the cat. The hen eventually got a grant from the feds for an alternative production plant and baked many loaves of bread, keeping all the profits for herself.

The pig and the sheep sued for breach of promise, winning the entire baking operation as a settlement. The mouse never knew what was going on. The hen got revenge of sorts when the pig, who had sheared the sheep in a hostile takeover, was jailed by the mule who found moose pellets in the crust of the sourdough.

The dog scored big by selling a fictionalized script of the whole affair to Netflix as a 12-part miniseries in which the hen appeared in a cameo as a sexy yet conflicted FDA inspector possibly suffering from Asperger's Syndrome. The end.

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."
 
8.3.13
Totes Cray Cray

Due to recent massive chirpage from a group of wicked haters, now is the time for all good brahs and shorties to rally to the defense of California. It is so exceedingly inconceivable that everyone can't not see that Cali is so primo prime compared to every other state in the union, that it is not even close to being funny, right?

Not trying to get all up in your grill, just what happens when you're way so much more better than everyone else put together. We got the swag, so stick it, you derpy Darwin deniers.

One reason for the unquestionable preponderation of California's unrivaled dopeness is one: our awesome humility, duh, but also how all the beasts on the planet roll right here like they've been pulled by our magnetic force of sheer awesomeness. So, okay, maybe we're not all brain surgeons. But then, who is? Except brain surgeons. Double duh.

And two: we G Staters are so mellow to the max that no one cares about a person's sex or creed or color or any of that wack stuff. Although we do tend to eschew old people, who, let's face it, are mad creepy. Like, what's the deal with their skin? Its all blotchy and stuff. Moisturize, old dudes. But we still love them. And the Mexicans. They're tight too. But our absolute faves are old Mexicans.

We especially dig the fringes. Mainstream is hella lamestream. Totes cray cray is where it's at. In Cali, at least one new religion sprouts up every day. And the goddess blesses us with the best bookoo candy rays on the planet. Making us straight up the breadbasket of the world. Although to be honest, no one really eats bread anymore.

As a matter of fact, all my besties are vegetarians. And we don't just have milling- run vegetarians, we have organic heirloom artisanal vegetarians. Roving bands of militant vegans. Who will smack you upside the head. You won't feel a thing, but you got to pretend, otherwise you hurt their feelings. And nobody wants that, right? Awkward!

Of course, the people we love most are... ourselves. And why? Because of our totally awesome incredibleness! You want to know how totally legit we are? We tolerate anybody and anything. Except the intolerant. Those people we simply cannot abide. And hypebeasts.

And that's another great thing about us. We totally respect all cultures no matter how twisted but then we're also free to ridicule and dis them with the same mad enthusiasm. For real.

Because we know how you raggedy posers should live your lives. Came to us in a vision. We were just chillin in our $120 yoga pants, when bam! No, it wasn't a Le Creuset heritage cast iron frying pan, (although they're off the hook for ratatouille) it was enlightenment! And if you don't believe the same as we do, then you are just bugging and crusty and fizzle and should stay in whatever ratchet hellhole you live, which is anywhere that's not here.

But we love you anyway. Because in California everyone is free to love everyone else. That's the law. Which, admittedly, is kind of confusing, but that is so us, right? And now my head hurts. But got to bounce. Got a double bacon cheeseburger creeping me. YOLO.

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."
 
7.27.13
7 Rows of 7 Stars

That's it. Over. Finished. Done with Florida. Consider our long-distance love affair officially at an end. This is not just about the recent verdict by six Sunshine Staters sanctioning the death of a young man for possessing Skittles out of season, or for inventing the whole "stand your ground" law in the first place, allowing all this to go down. A tipping point has been reached. No more verticality to be had.

And why just 6 members on the jury? Because Florida can't count? No. The Sixth Amendment guarantees the right to an impartial jury of the State, but neglects to set a fixed number of jurors. 12 was pretty much the norm until 1970, when the Supreme Court ruled in Williams vs. Florida, that six is large enough for deliberation. There you go. Florida. Again. Sense the pattern?

For years California was the go-to state for the freaky, bizarre and weird. "The granola state. Full of fruits and nuts. Anything loose rolls west and perches on the Pacific." But in the 21st century, that roll has veered south like a migrating loon. Floriduh has locked up wacky tighter than a two- headed lizard on both ends at a roadside attraction.

Remember a little thing called hanging chads? Butterfly ballots? An entire community voting for Pat Buchanan by mistake. For crum's sakes, who votes for Pat Buchanan by mistake? Austrian ex-pats with postage stamp mustaches, maybe. Retired New Yorkers -- not so much.

Oh, that's right, they were confused. Of course they were confused. It's Florida. Confusion is their natural element. Which becomes apparent as soon as you hit the freeway in your rental and get stuck behind 8,000 Chryslers doing 30 in the fast lane with their left blinkers on, going to the early bird dinner.

Florida: whose major cultural contribution includes giant lumbering cartoon characters in day-glo fur terrorizing small children. Florida: where you can see the melanomas floating in the air right next to winged insects the size of footstools. Florida; home to wayward gators, bewildered elders, hurricanes, banana spiders, flying cockroaches, serial killers, the tomahawk chop, city of Orlando and Lebron James. Where sun-stroke is a constant companion. Not so much a state as a swamp with sidewalks.

Face it, Florida is America's penis. Not just talking about the shape either. Anyone who's been there can attest: It's hot. It's wet. It's wrinkled. We're 237 years old; isn't it about time America became a man? We should circumcise ourselves. Cut Florida off right at the Georgia border, kick it into Caribbean and rename it North Cuba.

Or put out some feelers; see if anyone's interested in acquiring it. Refloat that Fountain of Youth rumor. Drop hints about abandoned booty. Ixnay on the osquitosmay. Who knows, might even entice Spain into rekicking the tires. Sure, they're hurting, but 1350 miles of coastline is nothing to sneeze at.

Already figured out the new flag redesign. Seven rows of seven stars. And while we're busy revamping our nation's outline, perhaps this would be a good time for a serious conversation about Texas. What say we make a few discreet inquiries to Mexico -- see if they'd be interested in taking it back in a straight up trade for Baja?

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."
 
7.20.13
Yellow Roses and Pink Sneakers

Normally when the general public ponders Texas, a whole lot of big sky and rugged individualism and generosity of spirit springs to mind. The thought of progressive politics is probably farther away than Bedouin olive trays are to an armadillo. But that's exactly what's going on right now as the country's most heroic representatives try their darndest to protect the Lone Star State's most precious commodity. The lives of our precious yellow roses. Our lady folk.

Things have gotten hotter than a stolen load of chili peppers on I-10 during rush hour since a couple of Texas state troopers respectfully confiscated one or two tampons from female gallery members during a legislative debate on a bill that would guarantee the medical safety of prairie princesses in trouble who have lost their way. And now, a whole slew of crazy-with-the-heat Eastern busybody biddies have gone and made a big ole fuss over what was an itty-bitty little thing. You ask me, some of these gals are more confused than a flock of starving goats on AstroTurf.

Because, hooo weee, all hell broke loose three ways to Sunday. From the pitch of their yell, you'd have thunk the barn burned down, the creek dried up and the plow done broke. Hold your horses, little ladies. No sense making a mountain out of a molehill. Don't you get it? All we're doing is looking after your best interests here. Simmer the heck down before you bust a bustle.

Every decent god-fearing person across this grand land agrees that abortions are a crime against nature and we're just following the lead of you darn liberals so intent on protecting people from themselves. No need to get your petticoats in a bundle. If loving you is wrong, we don't want to be right.

You know what happened? Its funny, you're going to laugh like a mule in a whore house. What it was, was a big old misunderstanding. We were worried that a few no-good professional Yankee rabble-rousers might whip our meadow treasures into some hysterical frenzy that would cause those ranch jewels to start tossing feminine products from the balcony. And you and I and he and she all want that the same way turkeys want trousers.

Little darlings, you got to believe us, your welfare is our only concern. And that is why... we let the boys with the guns in. See, the whole dang thing was done with your protection in mind. Listen here. Don't get your dander up. This situation only marginally concerns you. This is politics, and it's complicated: a lot more going on than you need to know about. Don't you worry your pretty little heads, we got the situation under control like 40 pitchforks on a haystack.

You just sit back and let us men folk take care of everything. If you really want to help, why not bake us up a nice plate of those award-winning peanut butter cookies of yours? Honey, don't you pay those commie pinko lesbians no never good mind. They're more full of wind than a bean-eating horse. Some of those gals make hornets look cuddly. And you go right on wearing those pink sneakers if it suits you. All us good ol boys think they sure look cute.

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."
 
7.13.13
The Wrongest Side of History

This week's tale is a horror story about lessons learned by the GOP from the 2012 presidential election. And those teachable moments are… nothing. Zero. Zip. Nada. Empty voids. "Hear the hollow roar of the Pod People. See them lash out at the unknown. Feel their blind terror of a future they don't understand. It's Son of the Bride of the Attack of the Robot Amnesiacs! Part 6."

They say one sign of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. Which means it can't be long before the entire Republican Party is institutionalized for their own safety shuffling around in shabby bathrobes popping a daily regimen of psychotropic pills in miniature Dixie Cups. Falling asleep during games of checkers. Which, admittedly, is redundant.

The contraction of the party into a hard white stone nugget the size of a peach pit is almost complete. Inclusion? Heresy! Generosity? Hah, we spit on your generosity! And fie on your benevolence. Compassion? Grace? Sympathy? Tolerance? More liberal plots solely designed to destroy the lives of decent God-fearing people. Just like science and education and the EPA.

Fueled by the fiery core of Tea Party Irregulars, the GOP futilely pursues an agenda intended to replicate a simpler time gone past. An imaginary simpler time gone past. Right now, from Texas to Wisconsin to Florida to North Dakota, coordinated efforts are rolling back anything that smells like a societal advance. Voting rights. The control of women over their own bodies. The freedom to marry any person you love. Equal access to health care. The Republicans are undergoing an overhaul to remake themselves the Party of the '50s. The 1750s.

These guys have assumed multiple positions so far on the wrong side of history they probably see dinosaurs chewing on extinct ferns in their back yards. Going to end up with La Brea tar pit fossils as their only friends. Their theme song -- straight from the movie "Horsefeathers," by Groucho Marx: "Whatever it is, I'm against it." Should really adopt the Wooly Mammoth to replace the elephant as their mascot. Maybe the Dodo Bird.

Furthermore, the stated plans of John Boehner's House majority now involve slowing down immigration reform. Of course, "slowing down" is simply another euphemism for "getting rid of." "Termination with extreme prejudice." "Buried so deep in committee, you wouldn't be able to find it with a thousand Klieg Lights and a molecular microscope." Not hard to imagine the next order of business is to mandate American housewives wash their clothes in the creek.

One fact never addressed, their record -- not really one to write home about. Unless your home is on Failure Avenue. Stubborn Street. Contrary Court. Wayward Way. Think about it. Conservatives have opposed every, single, major advancement in human rights over the last 200 years. Freeing the slaves. Women getting the vote. Minimum wage. Child labor laws. Medicare. Social Security. ObamaCare. Miniskirts. Arugula. Jazz.

So that's their back to the future track. Morphing into the modern equivalent of the Whig Party. The sepia-toned, Sansabelt-slacks wearing, Tin Pan Alley listening, rabbit-ears adjusting, blacksmithing, coal-powered, buggy-whipped, daguerreotype party. Sitting all by themselves in an outhouse with a Sears catalogue and black and white dreams of separate but equal water fountains as only their companions.

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."
 
7.6.13
Fireworks in the Fog

Aaaah. 4th of July. The Great American Holiday. Dead solid center summer. Picnics, baseball, watermelon, fifth graders flying past with red, white and blue streamers flowing from their bicycle handlebars. And ice cream. In the street. From a truck. Blaring John Phillip Sousa. Where's the bad?

It's a party the whole country relishes celebrating. A day to forget what divides us and to concentrate on what binds us together. Hard to get bogged down in politics while watching a parade. Except for that whole making fun of the clownish numskulls waving at us from the backs of convertibles deal. This particular birthday festivity transcends partisanship. You don't have to live in a red state to charcoal red meat.

Betsy Ross needed both the red and the blue to make an American flag. And not just the white. But the brown and the yellow and the mustard and the black and all the other colors of the human rainbow. Even the LGBT and the Muslim colors. And Independence Day reminds us that we are all endowed with certain inalienable rights... among them, life, liberty and the pursuit of charring the flesh of large slow mammals while blowing stuff up real good.

Even here in San Francisco, the capital of Lefty Land, we do the patriotic barbecue/fireworks exacta so big and bad, wouldn't be surprised to see Nathan Hale high-fiving the whole damn town. The hard part is keeping the bean spouts from slipping through the grates of the grill. And yes, a lovely roasted, sun-dried, tomato, basil reduction was on the picnic table. Which some of you may know as ketchup.

When in the course of human events, some place has to be the bluest of the blue and it is here. San Francisco may be beyond blue. Post blue. We could very well be indigo. Eggplant. Aubergine. Cerulean. Periwinkle. And yes, we know the difference. But every annum on the fourth day of the seventh month, watching 4-year-olds delightedly wave their first sparkler, we share similar silly smiles with the reddest of reds. The crimson. Magenta. Cardinal. Ruby. Cherry. Puce. Dallas.

We hold these truths to be self evident, that all pyrotechnic displays are not created equal. Here in the Bay Area, our fireworks are normally shrouded in fog. The whole sky turns muted pastels, but you can't hear a thing, which is weird, because the day is designed to be loud. But this year the fog parked offshore and each and every ooh and ah of the crowd and blare of the horn in the traffic jam going home was crystal clear.

Happy 237th birthday, America. Just want to say that in the right light, you don't look a day over 195. Although sometimes you still act like you're 137. Have a great summer, everybody. Stay cool and dry and vertical. Or hot and wet and horizontal. Whichever works.

And you know that whole bipartisan celebration thing we talked about -- be nice to keep that going right through the summer into the fall and beyond, wouldn't it? Yeah, right. Nice fantasy, Tolkien. Whatever. Just throw a couple more free-range chicken mango pimento gouda dogs on the Weber and don't forget the sunblock, darling.

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."
 
6.29.13
Rainbow Babies

The U.S. Supreme Court must love the nightlife, because they just struck down the Defense of Marriage Act and invalidated California's Proposition 8, which set off parties in every major city in the America. They were dancing in the streets so long and hard it was raining men... and women. 10,000 kudos to all our friends in the LGBT community for finally upgrading out of societal steerage into economy.

You have survived. Your hearts must be so over the rainbow, both the hearts and the rainbows are having babies right now. Cakes are being baked and balloons blown in your honor as we speak. You are one notarized slip of paper away from joining the heterosexual world in holy matrimony. Congratulations. You now have the legal right to be as miserable as the rest of us.

So sorry you had to wait. The deal is, a lot of bitter old people had to die first. You know. Tiny-brained folks that went to their last dance still believing professional wrestling is legitimate. So maybe this time, the answer to your question "do you really want to hurt me" will be a resoundingly choral "no."

But that is nothing more than wet towels on the shower floor at the YMCA now, because you are within a hair's breadth of becoming intimate with the blessed institution of marriage. You are family -- almost. And many have shown interest in voluntary commitment to that institution. Good luck. But be careful what you wish for. Don't want to rain on your parade, but you've just entered the wild and wacky world of unintended consequences.

A quick and dirty primer for the wedding deprived:

#1. Bigamy is the crime of having one spouse too many. The same has often been said of monogamy.

#2. When you see a married couple holding hands, chances are it's to keep from strangling each other.

#3. In the beginning, marriage is a noun. Later on, it's a sentence.

#4. After a few years, the only thing most couples have in common is they were married on the same day.

#5. Marriage may be a blessed sacrament, but so are the last rites.

And don't forget, as beautiful and sacred as the start of a marriage can be, that's how ugly and grotesque the ending can get. The bad news is 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce. The good news is the other 50 percent end in death. There's truth in the old adage that the reason divorces are so expensive is because they're worth it.

Alimony. Child support. In-laws. Headaches. Jealousy, betrayal, money. Hair in the sink. Puce cabinets. All that to look forward to: plus, you are in imminent danger of experiencing direct contact with lawyers. The remakes of that 1934 Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire classic, The Gay Divorcee, will be legion. But you will make even divorce look fabulous.

So, right now, relax. Tell yourself, "I'm too sexy for any downer talk." Take a walk on the wild side because you're coming out to be Dancing Queens and Kings, Just wake me up before you go-go. Her name was Lola. She was a showgirl. Sorry. Couldn't figure out how to slip that in. And what the hell, join the Navy.

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."
 
6.22.13
Alien No More

Ear to the ground, everybody. Listen close. You can hear it coming. Could be a while. Might be a bit beat up. Probably won't look like it does now. But eventually those slight puffs of dust in the distance will slide right down Main Street and America will undergo another face- lift. And yes, after its over, the whole country will appear younger and more vital. We might even buy ourselves a red convertible.

Talking about the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act, which we, the general rabble have come to know as The Immigration Bill. Presently it can be found slogging its way through the Senate on a pace rivaling that of a snail nailed to a 2 x 4 with a railroad spike. Minus the alacrity.

Taking so long because the Senate has to vote on every proposed amendment. And there are hundreds. No, seriously. Hundreds. Jeff Sessions of Alabama wrote 49, but he's playing T- ball in short pants compared to Iowa's Chuck Grassley who offered up 77 amendments. And this past Wednesday the Senate managed to vote on... four. To say it's going take a while is like intimating that surgical decapitation tends to inhibit throwing a sinker on the inside of the plate to a left handed batter. And speaking of the House of Representatives... we kid.

Various amendments deal with border triggers, border fences and border security. Restrictions on access to guns and hospitals and schools and welfare. Back taxes. Same sex couples. Stripping responsibility from Homeland Security and giving it to Congress. Ostensibly, for reasons of expediency due to Congress' nimble bureaucracy. You can't make stuff up like this.

One amendment involves the library system and one calls for national voter ID. But plenty of obvious issues have been ignored by the Most Deliberative Body in the World. So, as a public service, we here at Durstco offer up a couple of fixes to issues that we citizens living in the real world would like to see addressed. Admittedly, few are crazy enough to make it through the House.

1. Before being accepted as a naturalized citizen: Applicants must give up all rights to consort with a Kardashian.

2. Anybody desiring to be an American must immediately stop referring to soccer as football.

3. Of course we welcome diversity, but weird foreign desserts have to be given American names so we know what we're getting into.

4. Prospective citizens must pledge to name every 4th child after a President or First Lady. Barack doesn't count. Michelle is okay.

5. When swimming, men are prohibited from wearing those skimpy Speedo bathing suits that make them look like they're smuggling plums. Women are exempt from this rule.

6. Prospective US citizens must publicly choose: Ginger or Mary Ann.

7. True Americans shake hands, we don't air kiss. Women are exempt from this rule.

8. The correct answer to "How many liters in a gallon?" is "who cares."

9. Under threat of expulsion, new citizens pledge to cheer for the USA as at least their second team during international competitions such as the Olympics.

10.Any US citizen who thinks Mexico and New Mexico are in the same country must immediately leave. Even if they've been here all their lives. Congratulations. And welcome to America where Budweiser is no longer an import.

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."
 
6.15.13
YOUR EVER-VIGILANT FRIENDS AT THE NSA

Dear US Citizen,

Please accept our most egregiously sincere apologies for the difficulties and inconveniences the secret monitoring of your phone records and email and GPS units and foreign travel and bank accounts and yes, even your snail mail has evidently caused.

We here at the NSA strive for the perfection of our services, which depend on the chronic obliviousness of you, our valued customers. Unfortunately, due to one disgruntled deadbeat (who escaped to China to avoid government persecution- which is like joining the Army because you're tired of people telling you what to do) you now know of our continuing efforts to keep you safe. That was never our intention.

When you are even tangentially aware of the absurd lengths the National Security Agency will go to keep you and your loved ones out of harm's way, our mission has failed. If you knew half the crap we have to slog through here, your hair would curl, but that's another story altogether.

Yes, we're pretty much keeping tabs on everything everyone says and does, all the time, which we understand upsets a few of you. Folks. Don't worry. Nobody's actually listening to any of this stuff. We're just used to collecting it. If it makes you feel any better, think of this whole enterprise as an exceedingly long, government-subsidized episode of "Hoarders." You can trust us.

And seriously, anybody who didn't suspect this kind of snooping was going on is not to be trusted with knives in the kitchen without a fencing mask. Privacy is soooo 20th Century. You share the regularity of your bowel movements on Facebook, but we check around to find out who's making coded phone calls to al Qaeda and suddenly everybody's nose is out of joint? You kidding me?

Unfortunately, one of our representatives testified in front of Congress, "no, we aren't collecting data on Americans," when what he meant to say is, "yes, we ARE collecting data on Americans." James Clapper simply gave the "least untruthful answer possible." Then again, Congress knows that getting a straight answer from us is harder than bending a wire coat hanger into a number representing pi to the sixth digit with your teeth. All for your protection.

See, the problem is, nobody knows who the enemy is anymore. Narrowing suspicion is much too time consuming. Lot easier to wiretap the entire nation than try to pick out the one or two most devious of you. Besides, what could be more democratic than spying on everybody?

We call the process data mining. And you, the soft quarry, are producing up to a billion records a day. Which is real similar to pulverizing Everest, then sifting through the rubble for a blue pebble. It ain't easy people. Lot of haystacks, not so many needles.

To ensure this glitch never occurs again, we are rectifying the glitcher in order to return our service to the high-level quality that you, the citizens of America, have come to expect. For the inconvenience we have caused, each household in America will receive 3 free months of HBO.

If you have any questions or comments regarding this matter, please contact your Congressperson. Thanks for your understanding, and please, don't bother looking for us. You can be sure, we'll be looking after you.

Sincerely,

Your ever-vigilant friends at the NSA

P.S. Don't forget to "like us" on Facebook.

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."
 
6.8.13
PARDON MY CANTONESE

Awfully odd to see the French getting their panties in a big bad bundle over gay marriage. Like watching a river otter work a crossword puzzle. In ink. Recently the entire country went completely bonkers with thousands taking to the streets to express concern over the level of free will leaking out of the same-sex end of their famously perforated hose of liberte´, egalite´and fraternite.

Its so counter-intuitive. We're talking about France here. Uptight is not normally their métier, milieu, mise-en-scene or oeuvre. Maybe it's the marriage part that's giving them major pause. Could be they're just that much more comfortable winging it laissez-faire style. Behind closed doors- one thing. Right there out in the open with everyone watching- quelle horreur!

This is a group of people who have an entire category of kissing named after them. The very enjoyably slippery kind of kissing in which the tongue invades the opposing mouth like a German army breaching a belipped Maginot Line. Quite a critical kissing category if you ask me. Talk about amuse-bouche.

Wouldn't you consider it de rigueur to query whether this is the same country that mercilessly mocked America during the Monica Lewinsky affair for our prim provincial prudishness? That goes out of its way to dismiss us petit bourgeoisie for our tres lack of savoir-faire? Well, monsieur, who's got the stick up their butts now? Bit of a déjà vu from the other side, isn't it?

The coup de grace is when you call someone "a French lover," it doesn't mean they're missionary-oriented, if you catch our drift. Have you ever heard somebody swear like a sailor, then ask you to pardon their Cantonese? No, it's "pardon my French" in honor of the nation that prides itself on riding jaded sophistication into new galactic orbits. Sang froid is their aperitif.

This proud land has honed and nurtured disdain for centuries. Raised scorn and derision to an art form. A nation that witnesses the funerals of heads of state attended by both wives and mistresses and collectively yawns. That worships fashion like nuns at a Vatican theme park while the kids are busy slugging down red wine for lunch. Voila.

And these avant-garde reprobates are concerned about same-sex marriage? Folks that eat snails and bark and moss and pretty much anything that grows on the sides of trees and the thought of two men kissing has the Romance Capitol of the World screaming in the streets? Cherchez le homme. Vive le similarite.

You would think France would be the bastion of tolerance, but apparently, au gratin or contraire. It doesn't make sense. It's like Greece begging to have further austerity measures imposed. Or the Irish requesting shorter drinking hours. Germany encouraging everybody to lighten up. America demanding international cooperation. Canadians asking to be put in charge of something. The Italians marching in unison. Sacre bleu.

France! Getting all uppity on us. The country you normally associate with the moral rectitude of a cat in heat on Mexican spring break during the Ecstasy harvest. Next they'll start blaming us for all the butter and cream in their diet. Hey garcon, du jour might be a good time to switch to margarine, skim milk and maybe a modicum of noblesse oblige, n'est ce pas?

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."
 
5.25.13
The Tangled Tango

As part of the brash rash of wire-brush scouring on the Teflon coating that routinely seals the Obama presidency, a large heavy-duty cast-iron deal has been made of the IRS conducting audits on Tea-Party affiliated organizations. But scratch the surface and it makes a sort of perverse sense.

Tea Party and Associates are what you might call... anti-tax. Like meringue is anti-diet. So much so, they eschew the easy road by denying their name was taken from the early tax rebellion, but rather claim it an acronym of "Taxed Enough Already." These guys are strict.

On the other hand, the IRS is, for lack of a better phrase, less anti-tax. You could go so far as to say the IRS is pro-tax. Although employees undoubtedly consider their task following the letter of the law rather than the grisly art of squeezing blood from 300 million turnips. Type AB Rh negative preferred please.

These ornery combatants are mortal enemies along the lines of the mongoose and the cobra. Sheep and wolf. Electric vehicles and Oklahoma. Sarah Palin and The Learning Channel. Irish skin and Equatorial Guinea. The guy from IT support and everybody else in the fricking office. Panty hose and coffee table corners. Cheese and cat hair.

Nobody wants the government targeting dissenters: that's way too Aleksander Solzhenitsyn. Uncomfortably reminiscent of Burma, and that doesn't mean the romantic Pindaya caves either. The 1984 Orwellian nightmare of Winston Smith revisited. But neither should we forget the Tea Party's stated goal is to shrink the government and get rid of the IRS. Then ostensibly teach the rest of us how to pave our own roads by making mud bricks in our ovens.

How difficult is it to understand that people whose philosophy preaches something is evil might garner a bit of extra scrutiny from the folks whose very jobs they are threatening? Just like a "Legalize Pot" bumper sticker might prompt a cop to sniff the air inside a car after he stops it. The same way you don't mock the stewardess's hairstyle within earshot, then expect extra peanuts.

That's not profiling, its human nature. A reflex. Common sense. Besides, this isn't two beloved groups we're talking about here. The Tea Party versus the IRS. It's a battle for the bottom. The disdained versus the detested. A fight between stinky and yucky. With anybody caught in the middle destined to emerge with a few of the sticky bits on their shoes.

Out of 296 applicants, not one Tea Party organization was denied non-profit status. Admittedly, some had to wait. And that's what the major charges boil down to: the IRS making things difficult. Imagine that. An inconvenient interaction with the government. Next thing you'll try to tell me that insurance companies employ delaying tactics. Can't wait for Obamacare to kick in, right?

But for now, the party has been put back into the Tea Party. They're waving their flag of victimization wild and high and are once again protesting like its August of 2009. A Reenergized Tea Party: the last thing the Obama administration needs. As a matter of fact the only people dreading it more would have to be the entire rest of the Republican 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."
 
5.18.13
Benghazi Smoke Screen

Up until about an hour ago, most Americans thought Benghazi was the guy who palled around with John Cassavetes back in the 60s, but now it's obvious we're talking about the foreign policy arm of a multi-ramped tar pit in which the president has found himself swimming up to his armpits. Yes, friends, it's pity time at the White House.

After flogging the issue nonstop since September 11, the Fox News team's persistence finally pushed the story of the Libyan Embassy riot that resulted in the death of four Americans over the cliff into the public consciousness. Space available only because both Survivor and Duck Dynasty are on hiatus.

The hue and cry from the right is demanding many questions be answered. Was the protest planned or spontaneous? Did the group that initiated the attack have any affiliation with Arab terrorists? Who altered the talking points; the CIA or the State Department? Where were the drones? Queens? Wasps? Chigger mites? How many angels can dance on the head of a bent and broken Romney/Ryan pin? What would Cheney do?

Having taken all this in, the American people responded with what can only be characterized as even more penetrating questions such as: "Who cares? What difference does it make? Aren't we stuffed to the gills with enough partisan gobbledy goop already? Does anyone really give an albino rat's ass? Isn't there a seafood buffet around here somewhere?"

The revelations have been as startling as mint jelly on lamb. Tragic violent events occurring in the Middle East? Oh no! Not that. Perpetual infighting amongst government agencies? That couldn't happen here, could it? Republicans accusing a Democratic administration of not being patriotic enough? What are the odds?

Next you'll tell me the Justice Department investigation of the Justice Department's seizure of AP reporters' phone records will lead to the Justice Department concluding that the Justice Department did nothing wrong. The public's eyes are glazing over like a fifth grader lectured on the nutritional aspects of broccoli rabe.

Haven't we been told for the last 20, 30 years that Libya is a godless pit of iniquity and now they want us to heap truckloads of blame onto our own guys because someone got killed over there? After they themselves voted down additional money for embassy security? Another example of that whole "dynamite the front steps then complain what a pain it is to climb into the house on a rope ladder" school of logic.

But the GOP remains convinced they have the administration on the run, and is calling for all sorts of investigative committees and dedicated inquiry boards and pretty soon it will be special prosecutors and court rooms full of hopping kangaroos and then pointy sticks and barbed wire and dungeon doors with keys specifically designed to be thrown away. Just in time for the midterms.

And if everything goes according to plan, Hillary Clinton and her nascent 2016 presidential run will wither and rot behind the same Benghazi charges. But the Republicans must know how tricky this sort of maneuver can be. As with all smoke screens, you have to pay real close attention to which way the wind blows, or you could easily end up choking on the same stuff you're spreading.

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."
 
5.11.13
The Batty Battalion

You do realize that Washington, D.C. is not the real world, don't you? It's a state of mind. An altered state of mind. Where you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. Slammed when you stand and rammed when you run. Berated if you lie and lambasted for the truth. Where even the slightest of breeze can carry the pollen of disaster. And the pack on top knows the best way to avoid getting a face full of disaster pollen is to spread the dried residue of other exquisite catastrophes first. Ream or be reamed.

And as far as D.C. stories go, a lack of misfortunes is no good reason not to speak of them. So now the Washington punditry has banded together to float the notion that President Obama's second term agenda has stalled. That he's such a lame duck the presidential limousine should be sporting a blue placard hanging from the rearview mirror. Best thing to do is to burrow deep and lie low. Give up and crawl into the overhead compartment of Air Force One and eat marzipan in the dark.

Now. Already. Four months in, with 44 left to go. Holey moley, guys. You left the movie before the opening credits rolled. More stuff happens after the overture, you know. Have you ever made it through an entire entrée? Would hate to be your date at a baseball game; you sound like the kind of people who leave between the top and bottom halves of the second inning. Must be Dodger fans.

It takes a special kind of degenerative myopia to craft these precocious accusations. First off, you need to be blind as an Oedipal bat to ignore the exhaustingly recalcitrant House Majority, including leader John Boehner, who would rather be seen washing skid mark undies in a Congressional hallway water fountain, than work with the president.

To fail to witness the GOP defy the will of 90 percent of America while appeasing their NRA overlords, your sunglasses must be cut from slabs of granite. Wearing your hoodie on backwards to not be aware that both sides of the aisle are concerned with one thing and one thing only: re-election. Suffer from tertiary retinal jam not to notice you're jumping on a bandwagon so flimsy a lighting moth would crash through the floorboards.

Let's say the cuckoo-for-Cocoa-Puffs commentators are correct. That the Kenyan Kid has wasted the tiny political capital his November election earned. What's he supposed to do now? Take up hydroponic gardening to supply dispensaries in Colorado and Washington? Wink-wink. Nudge-nudge.

Engage in a lengthy bout of Hawaiian location scouting for potential Presidential Library sites? Establish residency in some backwater state so Michelle can run for Senator? Canvas talent agencies for potential 2017 speaking engagements? Spend an inordinate amount of time in the basement White House bowling alley to get his average up for the Ex-Presidents League?

And since we've agreed his presidency is over, why stop there? Since the number one GOP strategy since January of 93 has been to deny any Democratic president even the tiniest of victories, this might be an unimpeachable time to preemptively besmirch Hillary Clinton's upcoming first term as an unmitigated calamity and complete and utter failure. Unless you're into self-fulfilling prophecies.

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."
 
5.3.13
DRONING ON

Put on your tinfoil hats everybody. Or didn't you get the memo? Its paranoia time in America again. Maybe it's the spring that brings out the crazy in our legislators. Of course, that would assume a semblance of sanity the other three seasons, and nobody wants to bet anything more than lunch money on that proposition.

The deal is, some maladjusted California state senator who obviously didn't get enough hugs from his mommy has singlehandedly set out to shackle another of our nation's emerging industries to the cement block of job-killing restriction. Apparently, we don't have enough problems, this guy has to make stuff up.

Alex (D-Pacoima) Padilla's bill would make civilian spy drones illegal and require law enforcement to obtain a warrant before deployment. Doesn't he get it? You can't hold back the future. The drones are coming. Probably wants to require air bags and wheelchair ramps installed for potential disabled mouse pilots as well.

This loony leftist has targeted an embryonic market, which unfettered, would have the potential to boost this country's economy to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars. Not to mention destroying any possibility of world-wide drone domination. Ground floor dronage is what we're giving up here.

Just what we don't need. Another namby-pamby California socialist with his knickers all in a wad over more silly liberal concepts like invasion of privacy. Who's he kidding? What privacy? Like we got any left. Must live in a cave. Besides, if you're not doing anything wrong, you got nothing to worry about. Although, the definition of wrong does tend to be somewhat elastic these days according to who's on the critiquing end. But as long as god-fearing people are in charge, we can sleep easy. Fearing the right god, that is.

It is estimated by the year 2020, 10,000 drones will be scampering around U.S. airspace. Municipal drones. Federal drones. Personal drones. Pocket drones. Big drones with baby drones flying out of their bellies. Lexus drones. Pinto drones. Security drones. Billboard drones. Drones with eyes and ears and wings and feet and... arms. Imagine every household functioning as its own defense department with a flying bazooka under remote control. It's a patriot's dream come true.

Now think of the jobs the drone industry could create. Drone traffic controllers. Drone valets. Drone charging stations. After-market drone turbo conversion shops. Replacement drone dome light factories. And in response, the brave new world of technology designed to thwart and stymie drones. Drone sensors. Rooftop detection radar. Heat emitting decoys. Drone clones. Huge umbrella hats and lightweight overcoats with enormous shoulder pads to foil recognition software. Harry Potter brand invisibility cloaks.

The day will come when entire law firms specialize in drone issues. Representing plaintiffs and manufacturers in cases involving drone accidents, drone crashes and folks rained down upon with drone debris leading to... drone insurance. And the listening capabilities of drones will inevitably lead to a proliferation in the use of American Sign Language.

But, if people like Alex Padilla get their way, this legislation will set off a veritable avalanche of meddling regulation. Next will come neighborhood no-fly zones. And then the Seagulls' Bill of Rights. So, write your representatives today and tell them to say yes to America. Say yes to drones. Say yes to... little deaf children.

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."
 
4.27.13
TAIL-SUCKING MOBIUS LOOP

F. Scott Fitzgerald famously uttered "there are no second acts in American lives" but bless his heart, the besotted scribe seems blissfully unaware of the loophole large enough to taxi a C-130 through that exists for American politicians. These people are as indomitable as a mule falling off a bridge. More oblivious than a blind tortoise humping a rock. Limber like a deboned eel.

Behavior best exemplified by their insect like ability to manufacture a sort of shame resistant exoskeleton. When scandalized, your ordinary citizen will retreat, burrowing deep into a hidey-hole and pulling the hole back in on him. Not the politician. They will hold a press conference to declare all accusations baseless, then publicly resign to spend more time with their family. Of course, nobody gets to ask the family how they feel. Sometimes the smiles are so tight you can hear enamel cracking.

Following an imprecise length of penitence, depending on the transgression, they publicly declare their self-imposed sabbaticals to be complete, and head up the comeback trail spouting enough platitudes to chagrin an evangelist. Cue the red, white and blue gospel music. All is forgiven and the practiced hypocrisy reels back out in a tail-sucking mobius loop.

Recently, a veritable gaggle of disgraced politicians have serpentined their way back into the spotlight. Surely you remember the unfortunately named Anthony Weiner, New York Congressman, caught knee-deep in doo-doo for sexting six women, including a porn star. Even tried to get her to lie about the relationship, but she refused. Might be Weiner's lasting legacy; proving porn possesses more integrity than politics.

Currently running for mayor of New York City, Weiner recently announced a 64 part plan to keep New York vibrant. And used Twitter to do it. Seriously. Dude. Do you really want to remind people of the source of your crotch shots? Verdict: unsure whether his atonement has fully ripened.

Former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford's return involves reclaiming his 1st District Congressional seat. The man who turned "Hike the Appalachian Trail" into a euphemism for a quick canoodle with someone not your wife, already bested a GOP primary field of 17 and faces off with Stephen Colbert's sister, Elizabeth Colbert Busch, in a special election May 7.

The National Republican Congressional Committee pulled all support after Sanford's wife accused him of defying divorce settlement terms. Prompting the philanderer to take out a full-page 1,200 word ad explaining why he trespassed on his wife's property during the Super Bowl. A candidate treatise subtitled: "Why I Trespassed." Never good. Verdict: once again, more time in penalty box seems unavoidable.

Former CIA Director David Petraeus just nabbed a gig as visiting professor at City College of New York, presumably speaking on the dangers of having an affair with someone reasonably positioned to finagle a book deal. Verdict: commonly referred to as a soft entrance. Expect larger leap to more prestigious lily pad in not too distant future.

The results of these post-intermission silk spinning runs are undoubtedly being studied by the teeming hordes of other sideline lurkers-John Edwards, Herman Cain, Mark Foley, Gary Condit and their lugubrious ilk. Meanwhile, Larry Craig skulks, still battling that pesky restless leg syndrome. Simply seeking the solace of some anonymous airport men's room stall.

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."
 
4.20.13
Yellow Bellied Cowards

And now for a few choice words about the recent Senate vote which scuttled universal background checks on gun purchases. And the first three of those words are... Yellow- Bellied Cowards. Here's a couple more. Gutless Craven Chicken-Hearted Invertebrates. Dastardly Lily- Livered Spineless Jellyfish with the moral compunction of inbred Piranhas crowded into a too- small tank filled with liquid meth.

That giant arrogant pimp known as the NRA should be laughing hysterically after its lackeys trashed the ephemeral spirit of compromise that had settled over Washington like a soft dawn mist. Ninety percent of Republicans voted against an issue 90 percent of the American people support. A bipartisan bill that was so watered down, it was translucent. Leaked moisture all through the Senate chamber to a depth of a half-inch. Would have easily supported two schools of guppies.

The senators that deigned to speak before scurrying down their greasy little wormholes to bunk in the nether regions of hell, whined that pro-gun forces punish politicians for votes, while pro gun-control forces don't. Nobody mentioned the right thing to do or keeping automatic weapons out of the hands of felons or making the country or our schools safer. You know, their job.

The NRA, itself worried about being primaried from the right by other gun associations, encouraged its well-compensated hookers to compete among themselves to see who could lie most outrageously. Numerous senators claimed the bill would lead to a national gun registry even though the very bill they spoke of included provisions to specifically prohibit such a thing. Perhaps it needs to be spelled out in simpler language like: "Gun Registry -- Bad. Not Good. No- Go. Not Going to Happen."

Besides, exactly what is wrong with a national gun registry? You have to register a car. Most cities mandate bicycles be licensed. You need a card to take a book out of a library for crum's sakes. Proving that some people are much more comfortable with guns than they are books. Which is part of the problem.

In what was surely meant as an inside joke, Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn complained the bill would raise taxes. Why stop there? And child pornographers will camp in your back yard practicing Shariah law with uncircumcised goats riddled with Chinese bird flu.

This time the NRA may have overreached. Perpetrated an outrage too far. A revulsion too great. Could very well have created its own Frankenstein monster. Ninety percent is a big figure. You'd think even the most casual of voters might tend to remember when someone turns their back on the country, jumps up and down on a litter of new born puppies then parties. And it would only take a committed few to throw their allegiance to candidates who pledge loyalty to the nation rather than a lobby that focuses on weapons of mass destruction.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal wasn't kidding. The GOP's path is clear. It is doomed to be the rich, white guy, anti-science, pro-gun, stupid Party. Destined to slowly strangle on its own gurgling incoherencies until it is no longer comprehensible or relevant. Couldn't happen soon enough to a nicer bunch of rich white guys. And their grinning gun-toting treacherous minions.

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."
 
4.6.13
Play Ball 2013

Forget the robin. Ignore the tulips. Do not let the Easter Bunny, hummingbirds or awakening bears hoodwink you. The first baseball thrown in anger is the true harbinger of spring and calendar alarm for the lazy discard of the heavy encumbrances of winter. Ditch the parka and pull out the windbreaker. Stash the boots and burn the long underwear. Trust me. Burn the long underwear.

Civilization dodged another bullet. The dragon once again neglected to eat the sun; the light is returning and summer has embarked on its lollygaggingly capricious path. Barbecue grills are getting a good scrubbing. Complicated intra-family schedules are being examined through molecular microscopes for reunion potentialities. Carnies are accidentally shearing the heads off of retaining bolts to the Whip-A-Whirl. All activities destined to be accompanied by the mantra of summer; a play-by-play broadcast on AM radio.

Opening Day is the true American holiday of renewal, showcasing that memorably mortal moment when anything's possible. This is next year. Second chances are real. Welcome to zero when every team has the same theoretic opportunity to make a run. Win a pennant. Stuff the 30 Flags trophy in a display case. Or just beat the Dodgers like a red-headed stepchild. Hope. Springs. Eternal. Not even the Cubbies have been mathematically eliminated yet. The Astros and Royals, maybe.

Baseball's long-haul season is another of its peculiar charms. A hundred and sixty-two games. An eight-month-long soap opera in cleats. Plenty time enough for spectacular feats of athleticism, mythic comebacks, grandiose stumbles, the heroic shattering of records and an occasional ball bouncing off of a head over the fence. They call it the National Pastime, not the National Surgical Strike. And those who pay attention will see something every day that has never happened before. #snowflakes.

Baseball players are also easier to relate to as humans than other athletes. They are not augmented in outline by layers of armor plating. Nor are they freaks of nature towering above the populace like redwoods in a forest of pussy willows. Their job is to run and throw and swing a stick and catch a ball. "Hey. I can do that." Just not as well.

Encounter one of the Boys of Summer on the street and you could mistake them for plumbers or lawyers or corporate event planners. Very buff plumbers and lawyers and corporate event planners, with forearms the size of telephone poles -- but still.

Sure, some make fabulous money, but they seem more like blue-collar workers at heart. Golfers require absolute quiet while approaching a teed ball with a metal club, but in baseball, the batter is assaulted by shouts and jeers and the heckling of tiered multitudes in his quest to swing a wooden bat at a white sphere approaching 100 mph thrown not too distant from the vicinity of his head.

You can smell it in the air. The musty team T-shirts pulled from the backs of closets and bottoms of wardrobes. The roasting of foot-long bratwursts on an open grill behind third base. The toasting of the half-naked fans in the center field bleachers. That odd pungent odor emanating from the men's room. Baseball is back and all is right with the world. "Play ball!" And go Giants!

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."
 
3.30.13
Equal is as Equal Does

The nation held its collective breath and turned not just blue but a veritable rainbow of colors as the Supreme Court spent a goodly part of two days hearing oral arguments on gay marriage. Well, at least they were in the same room as arguments about gay marriage were oralled. In a position to eavesdrop on a series of gay marriage arguments; if they were of a mind to.

You can never really pin down which of the 9 Phat Ebony Robes is hearing what. Court watchers long have presumed Justice Scalia underwent a powdered-wig strict constructionist-filter installation years back that insures nothing post-18th Century funnels through to his cognitive cells. And if Antonin can't hear it, as far as Clarence Thomas is concerned, it doesn't exist. The others hear what they want to hear. Proving they do indeed represent America.

The Supremes will weigh in on the Defense of Marriage Act and the legality of California's Proposition 8 sometime in June. Until then the suspense is killing us -- thrillingly. Although the fact they're using "opposite-sex marriage" to describe heterosexuality should already be counted as a victory. And like every thing else that comes before the court, final disposition probably depends on which side of the bed Justice Kennedy wakes up.

Don't tell the Berobed Ones, (musn't allow deeper insecurity complexes to develop) but it doesn't really matter how they rule, because gay marriage is on the fast track to be permanently woven into the fabric of our national diversity quilt. The handwriting is on the wall. And the penmanship is stunning.

Across the country, same-sex marriage polls have risen faster than property taxes in a tulip bubble. Pollster Nate Silver, of the NYT, the nation's soothsayer, expects national support to increase 1½ percentage points each year. And let us lay thanks at the remote of the one-eyed HD beast, television.

Familiarity breeds tolerance. Gay celebs such as Ellen DeGeneres and Anderson Cooper have encouraged kids of today to live their lives openly. Allowing middle America enough interactive glances to realize the gay community doesn't devote most of its waking hours attempting to engorge the Armies of Sodom brandishing pitchforks and sporting horns. Like we were told. Over and over.

When you say gay people, the emphasis is on the people and the only real difference between gay and straight is which way your head faces during sex. That's it. And an uncanny ability to assemble amazing appetizer trays. Grilled asparagus wrapped in goat cheese and prosciutto? Yes! Fist bump. Blow it up. Now talk about it.

And forget the malevolent clowns of the Westboro Baptist Church, who make God laugh so hard he spits milk through his nose. Casual bigotry is dying off. Literally. Old people and their parents with a life radius of 30 miles. Oh sure, there will always be prejudice, stupidity and fear but society is rapidly realizing that "gay" is just another adjective; like blonde or buff or stinky.

Whether it's generational shifts, enlightened minds or disco going mainstream, the tide of tolerance is proving inexorable. Only a matter of time before gay marriage is universally accepted, and then it will seem perfectly routine until eventually it becomes mandatory. Dibs on Clooney!

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."
 
3.23.13
The GOP Autopsy

Normally you don't expect to see the words "Republicans" and "introspection" right next to each other. Like supermodel and barbecue. Physicist and polka. Gazelle and ophthalmology. You catch my drift.

But that's exactly what happened last week, when the Republican Party released a 100-page report detailing why their last presidential campaign skidded into the emergency room Dead on Arrival.

The findings were compiled through analysis, interviews and feedback from campaign managers, focus groups, and most likely augmented by clandestine hanging out at bars during happy hour in the proximity of graveyards and funeral parlors. Some paint it as a comprehensive post- election review. Others argue it's incomprehensible. The media calls it an autopsy. A self- addressed post-mortem love letter in the spirit of Poe.

Hogwash and flummery could also be thrown into the descriptive mix as the dispatch's theme finds nothing wrong with the party message; the problem is all in the delivery. No need to demonstrate more compassion, the trick is to seem more compassionate. Got to learn how to win Ohio without ticking off Arkansas. In other words, all they need to do is to bleach the leopard's spots.

The study was commissioned by members of the party's hierarchy and given the official title -- Growth and Opportunity Project. A GOP for the GOP. Although Grossly Obvious Poppycock fits as well. Claiming party purity trumps electoral victory, there is already heavy pushback from the right. "What good is it to win earthly spoils when you lose your immortal soul and your breath still smells like embalming fluid?"

What this really calls for is an independent perspective. You want an autopsy, we'll give you an autopsy.

Summary Report of Autopsy concerning the corpse of the 2012 Republican campaign.

External Examination. Close inspection of the body, an old white billionaire, reveals a serrated knife approximately 9 inches long with the initials, Grover Norquist, engraved on the handle, protruding from under the right side between the 4th & 5th ribs.

Gunshot residue found covering the right hand in excess of ½ inch depth, which considering the holes in the right temple exhibiting upward trajectories, is consistent with what can only be described as a series of self- inflicted gunshot wounds. DNA tests reveal skin samples found under the broken nails of both hands are indicative of numerous encounters between the victim and an unknown woman or perhaps group of women.

The nose is missing which corresponds to the victim's recent recurring publicized bout of TeaPartyitis, a disease which causes the sufferer to cut off his nose to spite his face. In the rectum, what appears to be a wooden stick 6 inches long and ¾ inch in diameter, has been lodged for quite some time causing a critical backup of feces.

Pending toxicology results from the lab, internal examination reveals organs in a state consistent with the victim's age, with two conspicuous anomalies. A steady diet of bunk and bamboozle has dulled the senses creating a milky film that covers the retinas. Most exceptional was the astonishing discovery of the total absence of a heart.

It is the opinion of this office the cause of death was this myocardial void along with the aforementioned complications from various acute traumas. In other words, the victim was probably dead for a long time, just didn't know it.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
3.15.13
The Charmingly Offensive Road Tour

Thankfully the current revival of President Obama's charm offensive is not a theatrical production because the reviews are decidedly mixed. Seeing him furiously pirouette around Washington for the last two weeks like a carnival contortionist makes you wonder if he might be secretly setting up a post-presidential career in a Cirque de Soleil spin-off in Vegas.

POTUS is reportedly reaching across the aisle in a last ditch attempt to revive his budgetary grand bargain but chances still remain stuck in the Potomac Triangle of slim, none and get the heck out of here you silly silly man. The triangle is that undefined swamp in D.C. where compromise is a four letter word and serious discussion mysteriously disappears amid the scuttled rubble of naïve politicians.

Right now the gulf between House Republicans and the Oval Office is so wide they can't even see each other due to the curvature of the earth. The polar ice caps may be melting but only in direct inverse proportion to the polarization occurring in American politics.

Some folks question the very existence of the Obama Charm School. But its over in the same wing as the George W Bush Think Tank. Just a couple doors down from the William Jefferson Clinton Marriage Counseling Service. One floor up from the Mitch McConnell Touchy Feely Workshop.

To say Republicans are skeptical is like implying the surface of the sun is toasty. Or suggesting old white men have an edge in papal elections. Finding horsemeat in Swedish meatballs might indicate avoiding furniture wholesalers when addressing nutritional needs.

Paul Ryan lunched with the president last week, then immediately turned around and introduced a budget that calls for the repeal of ObamaCare and replaces Medicare with vouchers. Again. Of course, Senate Democrats countered with a budget that actually adds spending over 10 years. Both sides are stuck in a loop larger than the London Eye. Lessons learned from the 2012 election: none.

Obama's staff claims this offensive charm of his is not new, but part of a long- standing operation. Five Republicans even admitted to being invited to the White House to watch the movie Lincoln but all declined. Of course, you know what they were thinking: Black guy-Lincoln-"it's a trap!" If only he had screened Life of Pi. Everybody loves man-eating tigers. Especially Southern Republicans.

In the immortal words of Rodney King. Can't we all just get along? Pretty obvious, the answer is "No!" We don't do olive branches. This is more about thorny rose stems.

The president doesn't seem to get it. You can buy them lunch, let em sleep on your couch, wash their poo-poo undies in the sink, throw surprise birthday parties complete with pony rides and Bouncy Houses, co-sign a loan for their summer home on Chesapeake Bay, but in the end it don't mean a thing if you ain't got that swing. Vote, that is.

Doesn't matter how much you schmooze, unless you find a way to muzzle the home district pit bulls on their right, you might as well blow those flirty kisses at a brick wall. Save those chocolates and flowers for Michelle. Could come in handy, especially after you break the news about moving to Vegas.

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."
 
3.9.13
The Brightsides of Xtreme Maturity

Some fancy-dancy public-policy think-tank just released a brand new study that speculates the legion of aging Baby Boomers will permanently redefine retirement. Mainly because so few of us will be able to afford to retire. "Uh, lady, you want lids on these?" Fast food break rooms equipped with CPR paddles. A forest of tennis ball-footed walkers leaning against the brooms and mops by the back door. Intragenerational minimum wage squabbles: "Hey you punks, get your greasy hot apple pie holes off my oxygen tank."

One of the optimum ways our demographic bulge can beneficently alter old age is by changing what we call it. Getting rid of some of the odious appellations for senior citizenry would take a huge amount of the quease out of approaching antiquity. What we need is a calamari for the squid. Everybody loves extreme, how bout from now we refer to the ever-encroaching condition as Extreme Maturity?

No sense belaboring the negative aspects of the path. We are all too cognizant of its passage being one way and ever darkening. Just as easy to focus on the upside. We are not old. We are vintage. Classic. Enduring. Established. Persistent. Time-tested. Seasoned. Steadfast. Stable. Durable. Reputable. Reliable. Rare. Repositories of uber experience. Acute ambulatory aggregates of accomplishment. And laughing in the face of it all, we adamantly continue to buy green bananas and timeshares.

Our motor skills may have declined through oxidation and perhaps we're not as quick to dodge trouble as we once were; but on the other hand, we've gained the hard-won ability to recognize trouble's approach and can most times, steer clear of it well in advance. And since we're on a mini roll here, what say we trot out a couple more examples of the BRIGHTSIDES OF EXTREME MATURITY.

  • Can always claim the batteries in your hearing aid are shorting out. Even when you're not wearing a hearing aid.
  • Those creaks in your bones tend to keep you alert while driving.
  • You don't really EVER expect anybody to tell you the actual truth anymore.
  • Much less peer pressure. And it diminishes every day.
  • On spy missions, those liver spots provide perfect cover to hide microdots.
  • Just saying "irritable bowel syndrome" annoys young people so much that they go away. With alacrity.
  • Who on earth wouldn't want to have their living assisted?
  • Only need nine books in your library. Read them in order alphabetically then start over.
  • Pretty much any cane you wield can be set on "stun."
  • Getting up to pee three times a night turns out to be a very effective means of home security.
  • ObamaCare totally covers Alzheimer's, dude.
  • Always at least one ear hair so long and thick you can cut cheese with it.
  • Still doing drugs only now there's a co-pay.
  • When properly positioned, chronic flatulence can be used as a booster rocket to rectify inertia.
  • Much easier to dress for funerals than for weddings. And they're usually shorter too.
  • The mantra "Don't trust anybody over 30" still applies and now includes your kids.
  • ObamaCare totally covers Alzheimer's, dude.
  • And finally, a last example of one of the Bright sides of Extreme Maturity: in a pinch, those nipple rings can double as belt loops.
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."
 
3.2.13
FAQ: Electing a New Pope

Q. Can you please explain what the heck is going on in Rome?
A. Well, Pope Benedict XVI retired and now Catholic Cardinals from around the world are congregating to elect a new one.

Q. When was the last time a pope retired?
A. Thursday.

Q. No, before that.
A. July 4, 1415. Gregory XII stepped down to head off on a hot weekend with his brother- in- law's sister's seamstress' pool boy in Sardinia.

Q. Seriously?
A. Rumor has it.

Q. Which makes Benedict the first man in 600 years able to say he used to be pope?
A. Don't care who you are, that's always got to be the cherry on top your resume.

Q. Does the former pope still get to call himself Benedict XVI?
A. Nope, he's plain old Joseph Ratzinger again. But he's always been Ratzy to his friends. He was bestowed a new title: Pontiff Emeritus. And still gets to kick off his red loafers in a Vatican villa.

Q. You think that might prove to be a bit embarrassing should the former Vicar of Christ ever decide to step out on a date?
A. Tell me about it. It's one thing for your parents to hang around while you watch television, but a couple of thousand folks praying 24 hours a day? As romantic as a tornado watch in a trailer court.

Q. Still...?
A. Exactly. "Want to come back to my place?" takes on a whole new meaning. Could take some of the sting out of being fallible again.

Q. What does he do now? Write a book? A little consulting for some downtrodden cult?
A. Maybe, but knowing the Catholic Church, he probably had to sign at least a three year non-compete.

Q. How many popes have there been total?
A. The numbers get a little sketchy around the Dark Ages, but best estimates have the next pontiff being the 266th Bishop of Rome.

Q. Is it true the Catholic Church is fast tracking the election process?
A. Yes, they've thrown themselves into a frenzy of hyperactivity. Which means accelerating all the way past erosion right up to snail's pace. For instance they have yet to meet to decide when to convene.

Q. Who gets to vote for the new Pope?
A. All Cardinals under the age of 80 not currently under indictment are allowed to vote.

Q. Which leaves how many?
A. About 8, 9. No, actually, it's around 115.

Q. How does this vote work?
A. For the first seven rounds, a two-thirds majority if required, after that just 50 percent plus one. In the past, the College of Cardinals have been deadlocked for up to three years. which would make a great mini-- series. NBC should jump on this.

Q. What's the deal with the smoke?
A. After each vote, the ballots are burned. If no winner is picked, a chemical is added to make the smoke black. If there is a winner, no chemical added-smoke remains white. Green smoke is just some priest encouraging Romans to recycle.

Q. What kind of shot do Americans have?
A. None. Zip. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Nothing. Really, does it always have to be about us?

Q. I'll ask the questions here. Any idea who will be elected?
A. Most likely a guy. Probably some cardinal. Brazil? Stay tuned.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
2.16.13
The Red Rebs

Relax. It's not necessarily the flu making you confused and feverish. Could be spatter from that big, thick, juicy, new, improved Civil War infecting the Republican Party. Yes, again. The Rebs inside the Reds are rebooting themselves for the umpteenth time over the past few election cycles. Have to assume these self-proclaimed frugal guys purchased their huge caches of defibrillators and CPR paddles in bulk. "CLEAR!"

Change may emanate from the top, but in a blast from nearer the rump of the totem, Karl Rove announced the formation of a brand new Super PAC. It's the first of what might be called the Super Duper PACs. And a mere foreshadow of the Holey Moley The Hell is That Super Duper PAC to be unveiled immediately following the midterms. Initial reports have the man known affectionately as Turd Blossom and Bush's Brain calling his Frankenstein fund-raising monster the "Conservative Victory Party."

Sounds like a natural response coming from the guy who famously threw an Election Night Hissy Fit on Fox News because Mitt Romney wasn't being properly victorious enough. "Wait, wait, wait. No, I'm telling you, it's not over. There's a cul-de-sac in a suburb on the outskirts of Shaker Heights that hasn't checked in yet. Hey, oww. Let go. My arm doesn't bend that way."

Rove plans to siphon big money from donors and use it to support moderates in primary elections so Republicans no longer have to enter the generals defending some bat guano crazy candidate like Christine "I am Not a Witch" O'Donnell or Todd "Magic Fallopian Tube" Akin. Of course the Tea Party has taken great offense to this move, seeing it as incredibly counter productive to the chances of their bat guano crazy candidates.

So, you got those two blocs going at it. And with looming demographic flips in mind (Texas turning blue because rich white folks are not having enough babies while other folks are having plenty) there's a move afoot to make the party more attractive to Hispanics. This undertaking has fallen into two camps: those arguing to temper policies opposing immigration reform and those favoring more cosmetic solutions like wearing sombreros.

Another rift surfaced when Kentucky Senator Rand Paul insisted on giving a blood thirsty unofficial response to the official State of the Union Response by the agua thirsty Florida Senator Marco Rubio. This, right after Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal gave a speech pleading for the GOP to stop being the "stupid party." And the fact that he said it out loud was... well, stupid.

The GOP remains so obstinate and unwilling to give the White House even the tiniest of victories they filibustered a Cabinet appointment... from their own party. Causing Democrats, usually known for eating their own, to salivate like perched vultures watching a field of hyenas tear each other apart for the last antelope thigh.

The situation sort of resembles those old Cage Battles Royale put on by the World Wrestling Federation back in the early '80s. Where 15 guys got into the ring with a chair, beat each other up and last one standing wins. Maybe that's what the GOP needs: a Hulk Hogan to pummel everyone back into place. Although that said, Karl Rove has always seemed more like the Rowdy Roddy Piper type. "CLEAR!"

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."
 
2.9.13
Barack Hussein Obama
2013 State of the Union Drinking Game

Four taxpayers of any sex: one rich white banker-type wearing a suit. Cuff links would be nice. One person in a blue work shirt, another in a white shirt and one wearing rags that in a former life might have been an integral part of a frantic escape through the sewers of Paris. At high tide. The four group around a coffee table directly in front of a television with newspapers laid on table and floor.

One shot glass per person. Everybody brings own and places on table. Suit gets first pick for use during game. White Shirt picks next, then Blue Shirt. Suit pockets last glass as well, and Rags either rents it, borrows a replacement from kitchen or drinks out of own cupped hands.

20 buck ante for White & Blue Shirt. Suit throws in a quarter while Rags can write an IOU.

Fondue pot on table with two packages of Li'l Smokies stewing in Hawaiian barbecue sauce, surrounded by 100 cocktail toothpicks. The kind with the little American flags wrapped around the top.

A large stash of canned beer. Rags gets the cheapest stuff that can be found, like Old Milwaukee Ice Dry Light; Suit gets to drink whatever import he requests; Shirts get to pick favorite domestic, but are required to pay for beer, Li'l Smokies and accouterments.

RULES OF THE GAME.

1. Whenever Barack H. Obama mentions bipartisanship or working across the aisle, everybody drinks a shot of beer.

2. Everybody drinks two shots of beer if Speaker Boehner starts to cry. An entire can if he breaks down sobbing or disappears from view.

3. If Barack H. Obama ever says "Democratic leadership," everybody must drink a whole beer then throw empty can at television. Anybody who hits Harry Reid is exempt from drinking three more shots of beer.

4. If he tells a folksy tale with a deeper meaning about not leaving before the job is done, the last person to throw their arms in the air, fall to their knees and shout "Hallelujah!" has to drink an entire beer.

5. Whenever president mentions liberty or freedom of the proud Afghani people, stand up, salute with your right hand and drink shot of beer with left. If he talks about the liberty or freedom of the American people, stand up, salute with left hand and drink shot of beer with right. First person to mess up has to drink two more shots.

6. If president says the State of the Union is good, but could be better, first person to stop laughing is exempt from drinking one shot of beer and gets to pummel Suit with empty shot glass. No head shots.

7. If Obama mentions the word "drone" everybody immediately makes continuous droning noises. First person to run out of breath has to drink two shots of beer.

8. Every time Barack Obama mentions immigration, last person to eat two Li'l Smokies has to drink two shots of beer. Use toothpicks.

9. If Vice President Joe Biden is caught nodding off, last person to start singing "Wake Up, Little Susie" has to drink three shots of beer.

10. Whenever the president talks about his resolve and adopts a frowny look with his brow all furrowed and stuff, everybody throws Li'l Smokies at the television. The first person to hit Nancy Pelosi in the head is exempt from having to drink two shots of beer. Toothpick use optional.

11. If Barack tells heartfelt story of banker with heart of gold, Suit gets to kick everyone else once. Twice if subject is in the audience. If sitting next to a general, the number of times equal to the amount of stars.

EXTRAS:

Anybody who can identify person giving Republican response doesn't have to watch it. Suit takes home cash discarding the IOU.

Whoever comes closest to guessing number of standing Os takes home leftover beer after Rags finishes cleaning up.

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."
 
2.2.13
The Will Durst Annual 2013 Political Animal Awards

Hey! You! Yes, you. Sorry. Just trying to get your attention to impart an important warning here. For the next couple weeks, it's imperative all you good folks out there stay alert and keep your wits about you. Remove the earbuds, no texting while walking and you'd be well advised to brandish a stainless steel umbrella on the street because its awards season and golden-plated statuettes are being tossed about like manhole covers during an underground methane explosion. We've made it through the Golden Globes and the Screen Actor Guild Awards, with the Grammys and Oscars right around the corner, so this seems the perfect time to weigh in with the barnacle on the belly of the awards ship: The 15th Annual Will Durst Political Animal Awards.

THE BEST IMPRESSION OF REANIMATED HALLOWEEN PUMPKIN AWARD. And the winner is... oh, forgive me, that's right, we're all winners here. The award goes to Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell.

BEST DIRECTION OF A COMEDY. To Mitt Romney's campaign manager, Matt Rhoades.

THE HE SHOULD SWITCH TO DECAF AND REALLY SOON AWARD: Vice President Joe Biden.

COLLATERAL DAMAGE AWARD: Still picking shrapnel out of his widow's peak, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan.

THE CLOCK IS TICKING LOUD ENOUGH TO PIERCE EARDRUMS ON A COUPLE DIFFERENT CONTINENTS AWARD. Three way tie! Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro & Bashar Al-Assad.

THE YOU CAN GO HOME AGAIN AWARD. To former Governor Sarah Palin, Fox News' gain is Alaska's loss.

HEART OF A PLUCKED CHICKEN AWARD. To Nevada Senator Harry Reid for avoiding the alteration of Senate filibuster rules given the opportunity.

THE IT'S BETTER TO BE LUCKY THAN GOOD AWARD. For the second year in a row, POTUS Barack Obama.

THE YOUR 15 MINUTES WERE UP 30MINUTES AGO AWARD. It's a tie: Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Lindsay Lohan.

THE WHY DOESN'T ANYBODY RETURN MY CALLS ANYMORE AWARD: Karl Rove, and it couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

THE YOU CAN KEEP A GOOD MAN DOWN AWARD. Former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown.

THE TAKING SIBLING RIVALRY TO A BRAND NEW LEVEL AWARD. The Harbaugh boys.

THE H.G. WELLS DATING SERVICE AWARD. Manti Te'o.

THE HEAD IN THE SAND LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD. The coveted Ostrich goes to executive vice president of the NRA, Wayne LaPierre.

THE BEAT A DEAD HORSE UNTIL WE'RE ALL COVERED IN A FINE RED MIST AWARD. Another tie: Senators Lindsey Graham & John McCain who remain determined to get to the bottom of Chuck Hagel's role in Benghazi.

THE GEORGE HAMILTON TANNING AWARD. For the 4th consecutive year, Speaker of the House John Boehner.

POP GOES THE WEASEL AWARD. Lance Armstrong.

THE SISYPHUS AWARD. Marco Rubio, who has been handed sole responsibility for dragging the entire Republican Party across the immigration reform line.

THE OUT OF THE MOUTH OF BABES AWARD. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal for suggesting the GOP "stop being the stupid party."

THE RIP VAN WINKLE AWARD. To Hillary Clinton for the well deserved two-year nap she's about to take.

And finally, THE CONTINENT OF ATLANTIS AWARD. For the fastest most complete disappearance in political history, Mitt Romney. They must have powered him down, folded him up and placed him back into the original packaging.

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."
 
1.26.13
Obama's Parallax Inaugural

Astronomers have a name for the phenomena of an object appearing to be in different places, depending on the perspective from which it is viewed. It's known as the parallax view, and could be seen on display for the second Inauguration of the 44th President of the United States. Speaking of it, folks described events occurring on different planets. Some called it a disaster, some a triumph. Crime scene in a cave versus ascension on a mountain top. White knight to the rescue -- Darth Vader choking off a windpipe.

No one denies it was an auspicious ceremony, with Beyonce lip syncing and Michelle Obama resurrecting a 25-year-old haircut, but Barack H. Obama's last Oval Office induction ceremony was totally defined according to which side of the aisle you watched it from. Seen through the blue lens was one thing but through the red lens, something semi- similar only inside out, upside down and backwards. With poopy on it.

For Democrats, the January weekend of celebration was even more momentous than the first time around. Proving indubitably that America is the land of opportunity, where hope never dies and lots of little money for campaign coffers never hurts either. And if you ever get the chance to give a bunch of old people rides to the polls on fleets of rented buses, go for it.

For Republicans it was a three-day salt in the wound reminder of wasted opportunity. Exactly how bad a candidate Mitt Romney actually was. Think of it; in a lousy economy the guy managed to lose to a black incumbent, whose middle name is Hussein. The incumbent, not the economy. Permanent bruise; right above the knee, where the fist automatically slams down. At least twice a day.

Nobody could deny the emotional depth precipitated by the occasion of oath-taking on the Capitol's west side in front of freezing multitudes. So much so, that even John Boehner seemed moved to tears. Which, admittedly, isn't all that unusual. And kind of creepily, they were orange tears. Who sheds tears of Tang?

And while the event itself may have been polarizing, it paled like the cover of Sue Grafton's A is for Alibi in the front window of a west-facing bookstore in Equatorial Guinea -- compared to the speech. The president waxed eloquent about a pursuit of progressive ideals; mentioning marriage equality, climate change and even slamming Paul Ryan's claim that society is being ruined by the takers. So as you can imagine, right after the president was sworn in, he was sworn at.

Oh my. The hew and the cry. He was called a socialist. A banana head. A foreign-born evildoer attempting to destroy the country. Unveiling a left-wing manifesto that finally reveals his true colors as a socialist usurper of all that is good and right and true and just. So... looks like, everything's back to normal.

We the people, were given the impression that this time around the rebooted Obama 2.0 will be less likely to roll over on his back begging Mitch McConnell to rub his belly. After getting poked with a sharp stick for four years, this dog may have grown some teeth. But that's where the parallax view kicks in again. Some see them as incisors and some vampire canines that enable him to suck the souls right out of our skulls.

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."
 
1.19.13
Knee Deep in a Tattoo Boom

We may have witnessed a generational sea change the other night at the Golden Globe Awards. Talking about when creator, writer and breakthrough star of HBO's Girls, Lena Dunham, teetered up to the stage on what appeared to be hockey skates sporting a minor array of tattoos leaking out of her ball gown in front of a worldwide audience. Fortunately her dress had been color-designed to coordinate with copious amounts of blue ink.

And these weren't discreet little ankle hearts or some Chinese character supposedly representing "peace" but actually translating to "screw you round-eye" either. These were big bold tats. Peek-a-boo with the emphasis on the boo. One looked to be a two-house homage to the children's book heroine Eloise spanning the width of the actress' back. And on her upper right arm -- Ferdinand the Bull in his field of flowers. And those were just the visibles.

Now, my generation dabbled with tattoos but generally considered them the mark of sailors, rock stars, Maori Tribesmen and Dennis Rodman. Hell, most baby boomers are loathe to put stickers on their laptops. But every generation yearns to physically differentiate itself from their forebears and long hair and baggy pants and ironically retro t-shirts were already taken. Thus, the kids use piercings and tats as their ticket to Hipster City. Which remains to this day a gated community.

And also why we find ourselves knee deep in a tattoo boom. Tattoos in quantities and places previously unimagined. Wander into a club at night and you'll swear you're attending a carny convention. Complicated sleeves and full-body tats. Prodding carnies and cons to up the ante. Leading to a proliferation of neck and face tattoos. "Society is against me." Dude, you got 666 tattooed on your forehead. You might be leading the charge.

Neither can we be sure youth is prepared for possible complications. Whenever permanently displaying an impromptu decision made in a questionable state of sobriety at the age of 18, problems inevitably arise. For instance, is youth aware their extravagantly illustrated canvases have a tendency to deteriorate over time? Change shape? That cute little butterfly may someday grow up to be a pterodactyl. The unicorn prancing on a rainbow: a rhino entombed in a bog. And in 30 years, the houses on Lena's back could very well be hit by a Salvador Dali melting bomb.

Also, not everyone is going to spend the rest of their life in jeans and a hoodie. So we got that to look forward to. On formal occasions through eternity we'll be treated to three-color dragon heads rising out of the small of backs. Laughing skulls popping wheelies on motorcycles made out of marijuana smoke bisected by satin straps. Mushroom cloud cleavage. We're already seeing grandmas with Whitesnake tattoos. It's only going to get better.

And who can dismiss the eternal difficulty of memorializing a lover's name. Would need two arm sleeves to catalog half my former girlfriends. An entire forearm devoted to those with names starting with MAR... Marci, Mary & Marni. And that was all before college. Makes you wonder if Angelina Jolie's first husband, Billy Bob Thornton ever sees Brad Pitt and asks, "Hey buddy, how's my name holding up?"

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."
 
1.12.13
2013 Shoulda Coulda Woulda Resolutions

Okay. Bent over. Hands on knees. Breathing hard. Whew. Made it. "Pant. Pant." For a while there, didn't seem like it'd ever happen, but somehow we mercifully staggered across the annum finish line finally placing 2012 irrevocably in the rear view mirror. Make no mistake, the political climate is still volatile. Rash. Mad. Loud. Pulsating forehead vein above arcing spray of spittle loud. And the double-crossing chicanery hasn't mellowed a bit of a spot of an iota from the fever pitch of last year's quadrennial heights.

But now we're deep enough into the new year that a few of us have occasionally remembered to scribble "2013" on our checks. Yeah, checks. Aren't we the digital ones? Mostly zeroes. And as a public service we here at Durstco have offered to assist with a couple of resolutions that should have been made for this, the 4th year of the second decade of the 21st century. But probably weren't.

  • Donald Trump commits himself, sometime during the coming year, against his better judgment; to somehow stumble onto the semblance of a clue.
  • Joe Biden takes an oath to learn how to laugh without frightening children.
  • Epitomizing the height of lowered expectations, the 113th Congress resolves to do more than the 112th Congress.
  • Rick Perry guarantees to someday be the president of some darn country even if he has to secede to do it.
  • President Obama pledges to outline a plan to fix the Social Security problem once and for all that doesn't include raising the retirement age to 83.
  • General David Patraeus vows to eat more meals at home. Alone. In the garage.
  • Chris Christie swears to do all he can to avoid snickering every time he runs into Mitt Romney.
  • Greece aspires to become much more like Portugal.
  • Hillary Clinton swears to do all she can to avoid snickering every time she runs into Joe Biden.
  • Stung by NFL violence, Nike vows to never again tie its star to overpaid athletes and considers featuring school teachers in its ads. Lasts about an hour.
  • Governor Jerry Brown promises to focus less on the vast spaceship that is Earth and more on the run down long- term parking shuttle that is California.
  • Tim Pawlenty vows to utilize the latest strobe technology to at least give the appearance of movement. Clint Eastwood vows to practice, practice, practice.
  • PBS determines not to do anything to rile Congress and makes plans to transform itself into the 24 hour Antiques Roadshow Network. Minus all that disreputable controversy.
  • The Airline Industry makes every effort to finally rid the skies of the most dangerous security element known to man: those pesky passengers.
  • The European Financial crisis promises to fade into the wings.
  • The Asian Financial crisis promises to take center stage.
  • John Boehner pledges to find a foundation color that reads less pumpkin and more summer squash.
  • Harry Reid makes a determined effort to focus more on the slightly wacky and less on the plumb crazy.
  • The Supreme Court steadfastly avers to put the fun back in dysfunctional.
  • Sheldon Adelson vows to spend the rest of his fortune on less risky bets than preposterous presidential candidates. He proceeds to blow it all on Nigerian lottery tickets.
  • Lindsay Lohan makes a concerted effort to get back to the thing she's really good at. And equally determined to remember exactly what that is.
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."


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