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12.21.15
CANDIDATE HOLIDAY TRADITIONS

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. And a large part of what makes it so goldarn fabulous is the festive array of idiosyncratic traditions each family imprints on their holiday gene map like a candy cane tattoo on the soft flesh behind your knee.

Every family has their own take on wreaths, ornaments, mistletoe, cookies, carols, cards, 30-foot inflatable snowman, sleds perched precariously on rooftops, stockings, red & green everything, poinsettias, yule logs, elves, nutcrackers, indoor lights, outdoor lights, lighted candles, lighted ornaments, lighted 30-foot inflatable snowmen, and musically co-ordinated, laser-lighted extravaganzas that can be seen from orbiting satellites.

There’s the foliage conundrum. Live tree or phony tree. Aluminum, plastic, flocked? Flocked aluminum? As long as it’s sincere. And the eternal question pondered by Western religious experts for centuries: tinsel or no tinsel?

My motley crew starts every gathering with generous amounts of adult amber beverages. We end them that way as well. And fill a large part of the middle. Because, as my lovely wife Debi Ann famously says, “every time a martini is shaken, an angel gets its wings.”

After a little investigative reportage, we here at Durstco have uncovered a few of the family traditions the presidential candidates plan on practicing this joyous season and present them here for your viewing pleasure.

2016 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE HOLIDAY TRADITIONS.

Carly Fiorina will watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” and root for Mr. Potter.
Ben Carson plans to hand out belts to the homeless that are 2 sizes too small to encourage them to diet.
Rick Santorum will trot out his annual “dangle the stuffed santa legs up the chimney” and encourage the kids shoot at them with shotguns to stress the importance of their 2nd Amendment rights.
Once again Bernie Sanders will hire a team of native Inuit caterers to roast an entire reindeer, which he then will refuse to eat.
The whole Donald Trump family will dress up in Santa Claus outfits and limo around New York City throwing lumps of coal at poor people.
Hillary Clinton annually commissions a local artist to create industrial strength tinsel, that in a pinch could be used to strangle members of the vast right wing conspiracy. Or husbands.
John Kasich spreads joy amongst yon round Ohio virgins.
Marco Rubio will travel back to his parents’ homeland of Cuba and try to dig up dirt on Ted Cruz’s father.
Ted Cruz will travel back to his father’s homeland of Cuba and try to dig up dirt on Marco Rubio’s family.
Jeb Bush plans to plaster a phony smile on his face and suffer through another family dinner where his father and brother tell fascinating stories about being Commander-in-Chief. Again.
Rand Paul and his father Ru revive an old Texas tradition by painstakingly separating their seasonal collection of fruitcakes into individual fruits, then throwing them at passing Volkswagen Vans.
Chris Christie’s holiday meal consists of low-calorie, Weight Watchers turkey dinners. 19 of them.
Mike Huckabee will organize a bus tour, dress as a vengeful god and scream holiday epithets outside entrances of Planned Parenthood.
God bless us everyone. Or as we say in politically correct San Francisco, “may the corpulent bearded one in the scarlet suit smile upon your chosen shrubbery.” Flock it.

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Visit willdurst.com for info about the documentary film, “3 Still Standing” and calendar listings that feature future appearances such as his new one-man show, “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG”.
 
12.14.15
Smite Might

Bullies love fear. And once they sniff its smoke, the real pros know how to fuel and exploit it. Always claiming to represent the greater good, when what they specialize in is looking out for #1. And flinging loads of #2 at the rest of us. Consequently, the people most susceptible to their reviled reveille are the weak, the ignorant, the powerless, other bullies and folks with neck tattoos.

Hitler, Stalin and Joe McCarthy all secured status in the Big Time Bully Hall of Fame by railing against imaginary enemies. Creating an “us versus them” story line where anybody who doesn’t look like us, is a THEM. Which can lead to an incestuous behavior typically endowing royal families with weak chins.

Quickly tiring of having sand kicked in their face by a series of invading hordes, Russia turned to bullies for self-preservation. One of the reasons the Russian people never really warmed up to Mikhail Gorbachev even though we thought he was the bees’ knees. Or the bear’s hair. Or kittens’ mittens. Whatever. We liked him. They didn’t.

The architect of Perestroika didn’t want to bury the West, he wanted to partner with it, to give his people Madonna CDs and Happy Meals. Bars of soap without splinters of bone in them. Can’t we all get along? But after the Soviet Union dissolved, they kicked him out. So, apparently, the answer is nyet, we can’t.

Vladimir Putin has since run his country by parading around as the guy you don’t want to mess with, compared to Obama, who is the guy you don’t want to play backgammon with. Putin is a dangerous bully and wants you to know it. That’s why he’s always pulling stunts like riding wolves bareback shirtless. Wrestling sharks. For crum’s sake, the guy is 5’ 7”. Barely taller than Tom Cruise. Maybe he should play Jack Reacher in the sequel.

President Obama suffers from Gorbachev Syndrome, with the world singing his praises, and the right castigating him for not being macho enough. The irony is, America is tired of fighting. We love that Obama has kept us out of war, the problem is, he refuses to swagger while doing it. That’s what we want; a bullying pacifist. Jimmy Carter’s policies with Ronald Reagan’s swashbuckle.

So give Donald Trump his due, the man knows how to swagger. He’s spent his whole life running bluffs in the highest stakes poker game on the planet: New York real estate. The man is to bluster what Switzerland is to cuckoo clocks.

And now as a candidate, he’s capitalizing on our anxiety over a invasion of terrorism. Massaging it like a trainer does Aaron Rodgers’ calf in the Green Bay Packer locker room during halftime of a playoff game against the Seahawks.  

His plan to register Muslims is not only unconstitutional, small-minded and xenophobic, but a bombastic opening ante smacking of fascism. In this post-nuclear world, the phrase “Might makes right” is wrong and it’s time we band together to smite might.

Not even Ronald Reagan in the depths of the Iranian hostage crisis, lowered himself to scapegoating an entire religion. Matter of fact, the only way Trump resembles Reagan is both are known for gravity-defying hair whose color falls slightly on the suspect side of reality. Meaning Trump is the worst of two worlds, Putin’s ugly rhetoric and Reagan’s hair

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Visit willdurst.com for info about the documentary film, “3 Still Standing” and calendar listings that feature future appearances such as his new one-man show, “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG”.
 
12.8.15
TOP TEN COMEDIC NEWS STORIES OF 2015

Be still your beating hearts, because the agonizing wait is over. Wake the kids. Rake the leaves. Fake speaking in tongues. Yes, it’s the most wonderful time of the year, when the eagerly awaited list of Top Ten Comedic News Stories of 2015 is finally, mercifully released. Yoke an ox. Toke some skunk. Poke Uncle Bud to make sure he’s still ambulatory.

Under no circumstances is this list to be confused with the Top Ten Legitimate News Stories of 2015. No. No. No. No. No. They are as different as back and forth. Like fireworks and 14-inch aluminum pipe wrenches. Yellow grape-tomatoes and marble Corinthian columns. Flaming hula-hoops dropped from CIA drones and the plastic to-go cups used by drive-through Margarita stands off highway 10 outside New Orleans. Feet and sleet.

These contents purposefully ignore the death, destruction and dastardly deeds of this past annum horribilis to focus on the delightfully diverting and droll. Herein, you will find no mention of Syrian refugees or Paris or San Bernadino or ISIS or FIFA or Boko Haram or Bill Cosby or Paris or even horrors of horrors, Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign.

Rest assured the 16th year of this new millennium garnered quite a few wacky and zany antics lending themselves to the tickling amusement of we, the American masses, and it’s time to take a fine-tooth comb to sift for the amusing bits so that we can mock and scoff and taunt and form a sort of mental scab. 

10. The hacking of the Ashley Madison website. Forcing Bill Clinton to spend 4 months trying to scrub his name off the client list. Probably got his people to copy and paste the damn thing as well.

x9. The Hollywooding of Bernie Sanders, who went from little-known Vermont Curmudgeon to leader of the Stop Hillary Movement. Then proving that while you can take the curmudgeon out of Vermont, you can’t take the pain-in-the-ass out of the curmudgeon. Or something like that.

8. Rachel Dolezal, the Caucasian head of the NAACP who claimed to be black but was exposed when investigators found a Justin Bieber poster on her office wall. Also, she can’t dance for crap.

7. Faulty airbags. The first inklings of this scandal caused many folks conclude the feds were going to recall Mitch McConnell.

6. Kim Davis, the Kentucky County clerk who apparently was told by god not only to deny gay couples marriage certificates but also get divorced three times then marry some guy who goes on national television wearing overalls.

5. Caitlyn Jenner who finally succumbed to the excessive levels of estrogen floating around the Kardashian household. But then demonstrated her independence by spelling Caitlyn with a C.

4. The Benghazi hearings where Republicans revealed their test for Hillary is- if she doesn’t float, she’s not a witch.

3. The Republican presidential debates, where the whole world witnessed the  fight over the party’s very soul. Alas, the soul lost.

2. Deflategate, precipitated by Tom Brady’s belief that the ball was way too heavy with all that air in it.

1. The hot-air, force of nature that is Donald Trump. The candidate for every voter who just couldn’t cozy up to the intellectual elitism of Sarah Palin

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Visit willdurst.com for info about the documentary film, “3 Still Standing” and calendar listings that feature future appearances such as his new one-man show, “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG”.
 
12.2.15
Wrecked Rectitude

Get out the big black Sharpie and pull down the official Presidential Campaign Manual because its time to redact the rules. Reality television star Donald Trump has altered the way politics is played to an extent that is game-changing. Judged on a scale of one to ten, think somewhere in the mid five figures.

First off, candidates no longer have to worry about looking ridiculous. Actual clowns are now allowed to emerge from the clown car. Opportunism is in, while rationality has been swept off the table, along with class, integrity, decorum, common human decency and hygiene.

Two, shooting from the hip requires way too much preparation. Today’s impromptu candidate says whatever pops into his or her little brain. With the emphasis on the adjective.

And number 3, the truth is moot. Veracity is for dummies. The creepily-coiffed developer hasn’t just lowered the credibility bar, he’s buried it with a front loader so deep you couldn’t find it with a diesel powered metal detector.

Since time immemorial, politicians have stretched the truth, but credit Trump for finally snapping every scintilla of elastic connection to reality. Bellowing and gesticulating across the country under a canopy of cluelessness, he’s single-handedly wrecked rectitude. The carnival-barking jester who would be King. Undisputed Master of the Cheap Shot.

Got a point you want to make but lack the facts to support your position, don’t worry. Just make stuff up. Doesn’t matter if it’s true or not, as long as it fits your narrative. Tell supporters what they want to hear. Even if what they want to hear is mean-spirited nonsense. Especially if what they want to hear is mean-spirited nonsense.

Invoke bogeymen. The swarthier, the better. Don’t bother answering questions, or responding to issues or events, just keep repeating dubious claims citing improbable sources: “I was told this by people who know. Smart people. Very successful important people. People who farm frogs.”

Mock disabilities. Insult prisoners of war. Disrespect women, Muslims, Mexicans, homosexuals, African-Americans, other Republicans and everyone who eats vinegar based coleslaw. And when folks take offence: laugh. Why did The Donald cross the road? To insult a minority on the other side.

Doesn’t matter how many times PolitiFact labels one of his statements  “Pants on Fire.” They’re part and parcel of the mainstream media, buddies of Dan Rather, Brian Williams and Lucifer, right?

Suck up to low information voters so accustomed to being lied to by Congressmen who sell themselves to the highest bidder and religious zealots who cheat on the wives and presidents who argue over the definition of the word “is,” that it feels almost refreshing when a candidate doesn’t care if you know he’s lying up front. Hell, even his hair is phony.

“81% of white people are murdered by blacks.” No they aren’t. “I saw thousands of Muslims celebrate 911 in New Jersey.” Then you were the only one. “Mexico is sending their undesirables across the border.” Statements not burdened with the weight of evidence. Who cares? What difference does it make? Birds do it. Bees do it. They all do it. Lie.

So, as the GOP gears up to head down the final lap of their nomination, bid a fond farewell to the party’s legendary figurehead, the Great Communicator, and make room for the Fabulous Fabricator.

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Visit willdurst.com for info about the documentary film, “3 Still Standing” and calendar listings that feature future appearances such as his new one-man show, “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG”.
 
11.24.15
HOW MANY TURKEYS DIED FOR YOUR DINNER

We’ve spent such a large portion of the past year cringing at the prospect of potential disasters crouching behind every bush: ISIS, Putin, Trump, Belicheck, lion-killing dentists, that a national holiday right about now is a blessed respite. For one 24-hour period, the whole country can focus on something benign. Unless, you’re a Black Friday shopper. But those are self-inflicted injuries.

It helps that Thanksgiving is the absolute best holiday of them all. Love its clarity. No loud noises or waving of the flag or hiding under religious robes. Purely about travel and gatherings; getting together with loved ones and giving thanks. With a little gluttony thrown in on the side.

We’re talking food, friends, family and football. 4 of the 5 Fs. So allow me to pay tribute to the proud perspicacity of the plucky pilgrims in this pacific paean to our peculiar propensity for plumpish poultry on the 4th Thursday of November.

Just one of the little things that makes life worth living. And here’s a list of other oddities that make this middle-aged round-headed political comic dance the Thankful Boogaloo.

Donald Trump who wants to run the country like a business which is worrisome, because he looks like the kind of guy who would burn it down for the insurance.

Bill Clinton who is probably commissioning a whole series of “First Dude” sashes.

Carly Fiorina, who was such a bad CEO at Hewlett Packard, they’re still laying people off 10 years after she left.

Dr. Ben Carson, for being as clueless as Sherlock Holmes after a Romulan memory wipe.

Chris Christie for single handedly disproving that whole “too big to fail” theory.

Bernie Sanders, who has elevated the art of New England Curmudgeon to where his website should be heyyoupunksgetoffmylawn.com.

Jeb Bush, whose presidential prospects rest entirely on how many voters he can convince that he was adopted. JEB!

The conservative immigration hard-liners who refuse to accept any refugees because “those people should have picked a better place to be born.”

Marco Rubio who voted against a bill that he co-sponsored, so it looks like he’s getting the hang of this whole leadership thing.

Ted Cruz who compared himself to Galileo, who died under house arrest. Be interesting to see if the analogy stays true.

Hillary Clinton for pretending to be a 68 year-old grandma befuddled by her email. “Where do I put the stamp?” When we all know in her spare time she writes encrypted codes for NSA drones to skirt no-fly zones.  

Pat Robertson who called the Republican presidential field too extreme. That’s like having your drug intervention hosted by Charley Sheen.

The 22nd Amendment to the United States Constitution, which, since 1947, has kept the American public from making the same mistake more than twice.

Martin O’Malley, who won’t have to worry about taking a urine test. No performance enhancing drugs will be found in his system.

The GOP, which is waging a war for it’s very soul. The GOP soul: a lot like the poetry wing of the Federal Reserve.

And finally to the Democratic Party, for it unblemished record of being almost as clueless as Ben Carson. Almost

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Visit willdurst.com for info about the documentary film, “3 Still Standing” and calendar listings that feature future appearances such as his new one-man show, “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG”.
 
11.16.15
ANCHOR BABY BATTLE

Prepare for earthshattering news. Immigration has become a key issue in the race for the Republican nomination. Yes. Again. It’s what folks in the garden industry call a perennial. Or rather, biennial, as it happens like clockwork every year ending in an even number. As predictable as fruit flies in the dumpster behind a produce store on garbage day.

Every election cycle, the GOP energizes its base by sounding the newcomer alarm. This proud honored American tradition dates back to the Iroquois, “Can’t let those damn Europeans in, they’ll ruin everything.”  

Donald Trump dominated the early rounds of the Xenophobic Grand Nationals, vowing to deport all 11,000,000 undocumented residents. Which, according to immigration officials, at a rate of 400,000 a year, would take 27 and a half years. Just in time for Sofia Vergara’s 71st birthday. Makes you think “Make America Great Again” is shorthand for “Make America White Again.”

This is in addition to the Trump Wall, which is guaranteed to be “tremendous and beautiful.” But how the developer plans to build a 20 foot-high, 1952 mile-long wall on the Mexican border without using Mexican labor, remains a mystery. What’s the plan here? Draft housewives from San Diego? “Marilyn, hand me that masonry trowel would you? And grab some spiral shank nails, we need to buttress that stanchion.”

It took the Chinese multiple centuries to build the Great Wall, requiring the forced labor of millions of peasants. Is it just me, or does importing millions of Chinese peasants to build a wall to keep out Mexican immigrants seem counter-productive?  

But the big fat ugly dispute right now is between those rutting buck Senators, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. Rightly calculating there is only room for one establishment candidate not named Bush, the two are butting heads over past, present and future statements, each claiming the other is soft, softer, softest on illegals.

That’s right, two sons of Cuban immigrants are locking antlers over who is more anti-immigrant. You can't make stuff up like this. In the Republican version of West Side Story, the Sharks rumble the Sharks.

Back in 2013, as a founding member of the Gang of Eight, Rubio helped draft a bill that granted undocumented workers the right to remain in the country. Lambasted by hard liners as… “amnesty,” the Florida Senator immediately saw the error of his ways, and voted against the very bill he co-sponsored. So it seems he’s getting the hang of this whole leadership thing.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz is fixated like a dog with a chew toy on the loss of jobs and laughingly envisions immigrants crossing with journalism degrees, implying that journalism degrees are a pathway to jobs. Hah. Talk about out of touch. Nobody bothers to mention that if you’re losing your job to someone with a 5th grade education who doesn’t speak English, maybe immigration isn’t your biggest problem.

So the race for the nomination comes down to which of these two 44 year old anchor babies is best able to convince the American people that he can make this country great again by getting back all those fruit picking jobs we’ve dreamed of all our lives. “Working outdoors. Sleeping on the ground. Just like camping, only different.”

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Visit willdurst.com for info about the documentary film, “3 Still Standing” and calendar listings that feature future appearances such as his new one-man show, “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG”.
 
11.3.15
WHO WOULD WANT THIS JOB?

It’s like a train wreck. Fascinating, repellant, and loud: all at the same time. Talking about the American presidential sweepstakes. And, as ratings for the last few debates seem to indicate, very hard to look away. It was Winston Churchill who called our election process… “a circus wrapped in a game show covered in poisonous weasel glitter.” And if he didn’t, he should have.

Look at how we treat these poor people. Gang debates. Smug interrogators. Partisan witch hunts. Hostile examinations. Substandard lecterns. Marathon fund-raisers with cold congealed Swedish meatballs in a watery mustard sauce.

What we end up with is scarred, dehydrated, emotional wrecks confused by simple math and their shoes. And that’s another question. Who would want this job? What kind of crazy masochistic flippo-unit voluntarily undertakes this mission of barbarous self-flagellation? Not just jumping into the flaming crucible of brutish internecine combat, but dragging their families along with them? You would not be far off concluding that anybody who can be elected president, shouldn’t be.

Even the serious candidates quickly turn into bewildered patsies sentenced to months of trudging through Iowa and New Hampshire mud. Constantly dodging teams of opposition researchers looking for anything resembling dirt. And forced to eat gas station sushi.

There has got to be a better way to pick the leader of the free world. The system we have now is much too long, totally fractious, unseemly, indecorous, vicious and unbecoming. Put those all together and what do you get: Television.

If we’re going to run this like a reality show, let’s run it like a reality show. We already got them jumping through hoops, all we need are enough cameras to capture the action. It’s an award-winning, mini-series waiting for the right producer.

Auction off the rights to the highest bidding network and let them fold it into one of their signature franchises. “America’s Next Top Politician.” “Dancing With the Office-Seekers.” “Keeping up with the Roosevelts.” “So You Think You Can Negotiate with Putin?” “Hell’s Campaign Trail.” “America’s Got BS.” The Real Hypocrites of Washington D.C.” “Project Inauguration.” Just insert some loophole that keeps CNBC out of the running.

“Apprentice” morphed into “Celebrity Apprentice,” why not “Presidential Apprentice?” Let Donald Trump experience the joy of being fired from both ends. CBS could transform their hour each week to “The Amazing Race: Oval Office.” Only a few disgruntled campaign managers would quibble with calling it “The Biggest Loser.”

Many shows wouldn’t need any alteration. “Big Brother” sort of already tangentially fits. As does “The Real World,” in a vague ironic sense. “Shark Tank,” definitely. “American Idol,” yeah, right, dream on. “The Voice,” or more aptly, “The Lack of Voice.”

With the show’s emphasis on backstabbing and blindsiding, “Survivor: Foggy Bottom” is almost a perfect fit. We could even mimic the format and offer clues to help contestants find hidden immunity idols. “Congratulations. You may skip Nevada and South Carolina and go straight to Super Tuesday.”

A number of reality show conventions could be adopted and/ or adapted. The weekly weigh in when they strip down to their undies would immediately trigger Must See TV. And finally, forget the hand on the Bible, on January 21, 2017, Chief Justice Roberts offers up to the incoming president… one single red rose.

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Visit willdurst.com for info about the documentary film, “3 Still Standing” and calendar listings that feature future appearances such as his new one-man show, “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG”.
 
10.28.15
FAQ: BENGHAZI HEARINGS EDITION

Q. Isn’t Benghazi the guy who used to pal around with John Cassavetes back in the 60s?
A. No. That was Ben Gazzara.

Q. What’s all this then?
A. These Benghazi hearings were Republican lawmakers’ 8th attempt to blame Hillary Clinton for the death of 4 Americans during an attack on our compound in Libya back in 2012.

Q. How come when 3,000 people die on 911, and over 250 people in Beirut, George Bush and Ronald Reagan are heroes, but 4 people are killed in Benghazi and Hillary Clinton is responsible?
A. Good question.

Q. According to the Republicans, what else is Hillary’s fault?
A. The Challenger Space Shuttle explosion. Sinking of the Lusitania. Season Two of “True Detective,” and global warming, which by the way, doesn’t exist.

Q. Did the former New York Senator have reason to feel confident coming into this face-off?
A. Positively cocky. Biden just pulled out, and two other Democratic competitors quit following the first debate.

Q. 3 with one blow, eh. She’s a Brave Little Tailor. Weren’t there also some GOP political machinations in the preceding weeks?
A. Kevin McCarthy told a reporter the hearings were a political hatchet job, and was forced to give up his run for Speaker of the House.

Q. Ouch. So, what happened?
A. The goal to damage the former First Lady’s Presidential prospects had a hitch in the proceedings.

Q. Did Hillary seem in command?
A. Practically presidential. Her grasp of foreign policy was massive. Looked like a convention of field mice had invited a red tailed-hawk as their keynote speaker. She even managed not to smirk when the panel started arguing amongst themselves.

Q. Was there blowback?
A. Like when you spit into the wind, most of the effluvium landed on the ejaculators.

Q. Can we work clean?
A. It’s a scientific term.

Q. Unh-hunh. Who was responsible for the attack, Sidney Blumenthal?
A. Listening to head marsupial of this kangaroo court, you would think so.

Q. The chairman being… ?
A. South Carolina Congressman Harold Watson Gowdy III. AKA: Trey. Short for… the Three. If he has a son and calls him Harold Watson Gowdy IV, his nickname will either be Ivy or Quat.

Q. What’s the deal with the GOP obsession with Hillary?
A. Nobody knows why the former First Lady makes these guys short-circuit like a jerry-rigged space heater with a frayed cord during a power surge, but she does.

Q. Is it possible Bill’s wife may have overplayed her noble weary patience?
A. Perhaps just a tad. Especially the part where she pretends to be this 67 year old grandma befuddled by her email, when everybody knows in her spare time she’s knocking out encrypted navigation codes for NSA drones to skirt no-fly zones.

Q. Dumbest question?
A. Might have been the Congressman who asked if Ambassador Stevens ever visited Secretary of State Clinton at her home.

Q. What’s so dumb about that?
A. She lives in New York.The Libyan Ambassador lives in Libya.

Q. Can we mark this thing finally over?
A. Fraid not. Chairman Gowdy channeled the Chicago Cubs, saying, “wait till next round.”

Q. Oh boy. Holding my breath.
A. You and me and Joe Maddon.

Q. Who’s he?
A. Cubs’ manager. 

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Visit willdurst.com for info about the documentary film, “3 Still Standing” and calendar listings that feature future appearances such as his new one-man show, “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG”.
 
10.19.15
RED MEAT VS. Crème brûlée

If the disappointment of everyone expecting fireworks at the first Democratic debate exhibited itself as perspiration, we could declare the California drought over. A few soggy matches might have been lit but that was it. Heavy on the smoke: non-existent on the flame.

This initial gathering of liberal presidential wannabees did highlight the differing styles of the 2 parties. Both may be big on giving away government money, but Democrats prefer ladling it out to poor people, while the Republicans want to slip it to the rich. Republicans live in Potterville and the Dems call Bedford Falls home.

Even their debating styles are as different as rocket-propelled grenades and rainbow-streamer pinwheels. During their recent spate of infernal internal face-offs, the GOP demonstrated a penchant for biting off big chunks of red meat, which they spat into each other’s faces while Democrats barely summoned the energy to crack the crust of their crème brulee.

At Democratic family functions everybody sits at the kids’ table. With the adults, (Bernie & Hillary) on one side and the three other guys crammed together on the other. They sat up straight and affected nonchalance, but it was clear they were confused by their forks. Overall, civility reigned, with no one pointing out Lincoln Chafee’s eerie resemblance to Grandpa Munster.

Martin O’Malley, languishing in the low single digits in polls with margins of error of mid single digits, squandered his big chance to secure a passport to Legitimate Contender Ville, by putting the shill in shilly-shally. All the vision and energy of chilled molasses. Uncaptivating crowds by calling for the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall which sounds like a Vegas high roller knick-knack.

Jim Webb approached the whole thing as an audition for a Democratic John McCain tribute band, going so far as to creepily grin while recounting the killing of a Communist. Quick, get his opinion on Sarah Palin.

And no need to break out the drug tests for Lincoln Chafee. No performance-enhancing drugs to be found in his urine. And speaking of Glass-Steagall, this self-described “block of granite” might want to lay off informing people that his vote to repeal was due to the death of his dad. Doesn’t make much sense and loses points for lack of wit.

Focus groups and unrepentant hippies declared Bernie Sanders the winner for his lovable irascibility and corkscrew explanation of how to be a socialist and a good capitalist at the same time. He then inexplicably encouraged them to look to Denmark.

Hillary disagreed, “We are not Denmark,” which surprised a significant portion of the audience who had passed the Eiffel Tower on the way there. But the signature moment was when the Vermont Senator handed the former Secretary of State a political gift the size of Ted Cruz’s ego by saying “the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails.” His graciousness was trumped only by her insincere laughter.

xAlthough Bill’s wife’s command of the room and the facts made her look, dare we say… presidential, progressives feel the Bern. First a charismatic young black guy, now a charismatic old white guy. Throw in a beret wearing bimbo and Hamlet waiting in the wings and people are starting to misquote Shakespeare… “2nd Place, thy name is Hillary.”

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Visit willdurst.com for info about the documentary film, “3 Still Standing” and calendar listings that feature future appearances such as his new one-man show, “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG”.
 
10.12.15
Tp’ing the TPP

Awfully fun to watch the different branches of government quiver like Aspen trees in a force 5 tornado arguing the pros and cons of the Trans Pacific Partnership trade pact. The TPP is either an environmental travesty designed to set the union movement back 100 years or the spine of the Pacific Rim’s economic pushback against China. Depends on who you talk to. One or the other: nothing in between. It’s two cliffs and a gorge.

Problem is, despite all the blatant blaring blather, no one knows exactly what’s in the 30-chapter, 12-nation agreement, which has spent 10 years in gestation. The public being allowed to see the contents… no times. Zero. Zip. Nada. We’re talking Ultra-Hyper-Super Secret. More classified than Taylor Swift’s cell phone number. As transparent as diving for oil. In Arctic winter. At night.

You know the drill. “Comprehensive market access will eliminate tariffs and promote global job creation.” Blah. Blah. Blah. “Workers will experience increased affluence while consumers bask in the riches of less expensive imports.” The usual pie-in-the-sky promises from people whose connection to the real world mirrors that of a sultan’s sequestered eunuch’s knowledge of fantasy football.

Though 500 corporate lawyers have worked on the negotiations, not even members of Congress have gotten a copy. No sense riling up the kiddies prematurely. But, in the spirit of the deal itself, utilizing a series of clandestine bribes and extortion, not excluding threats, we here at Durstco are able to exclusively reveal some of the covenant clauses a full month before they are released to the public.

In an effort to decrease child labor abuses, Malaysia pledges to no longer treat anyone able to smoke cigarettes as an adult. From now on, they have to light them as well.

Brunei promises to quit pretending to be a real country until their population exceeds that of Milwaukee.

Canada doesn’t have to do anything at all, except be their cuddly selves, as long as they stay out of the way of the big boys.

Peru pledges to conceive of a new word for “currency manipulation” that can be utilized by member nations to placate local troublemakers.

New Zealand will give it a rest with that whole damn lamb thing.

The latest version of the TTP requires Vietnam to pay workers the minimum equivalent of 20 US cents per hour- without benefits. 10 cents with. 

The USA will compile a list of their most radical environmentalists who will be restricted from annoying other member nations with boring chants and slogans and emotional appeals based on… “workers’ rights.”

In an attempt to combat overfishing, Japan agrees to eliminate all drift nets that exceed a mile in length.

Singapore will be forced to legalize chewing gum and all hell will break loose.

Mexico will be in charge of the resolution tribunals that adjudicate intellectual property disputes. Based on the theory that an absent witness is an ineffective witness.

Chile will be encouraged to change its name to something that inspires fewer jokes.

Australia shall henceforth be required to stop living in the 70s and forever refrain from using the word barbie to describe grills. And Sheila is a woman’s name, not a pronoun.

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Visit willdurst.com for info about the documentary film, “3 Still Standing” and calendar listings that feature future appearances such as his new one-man show, “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG”.
 
9.28.15
Greed Not Good

Get this. And get it straight. Gordon Gekko was wrong. Greed is not good. Greed is bad. Greed eats away the core of society like a golden parasitic leech the size of Manitoba. Or Saskatchewan. One of those Provinces or Territories or Protectorates or whatever they use in Canada to keep their license plates distinct.

And practicing and/or defending greed makes you nothing but a blood-sucking tick no matter how fancy a suit you’re wearing. Or size of the diamonds around your wrist. Or how free-range the organic heirloom Chicken Florentine is on your plate.

The movie “Wall Street” came out in 1987. And after Vietnam and Watergate and an oil embargo and 4 years of scolding by Jimmy Carter, a little irrational exuberance may have seemed warranted. But that was 30 years ago. Too much is no longer not enough. Too much has gotten way out of hand. Today’s too much is much much too much.

In his UN address, the Pope said it best. “A selfish and boundless thirst for power and material prosperity leads both to the misuse of available natural resources and to the exclusion of the weak and disadvantaged.” You know what; he’s right. Got to love Papa Frankie. The guy is like a slightly older more lovable Argentinian Bernie Sanders. With the crank dialed down to a manageable hum.  

Let’s be honest; what we’re really talking about here is that idiot CEO, Martin Shkreli who raised the price of the life-saving drug, Daraprim, from $13.50 a pill to $750 each, because, and I quote, he “needs to start making a profit.” A 5,455% increase: which if produce distributors did to onions would make a side of rings about 3 grand.

This rapacious price gouge follows in the carnivorous footsteps of Gilead Sciences who developed a drug called Solvadi, a cure for Hepatitis C. The treatment regimen consists of 84 pills. Each one costing 1000 dollars. That’s right. 84 thousand dollars. But then you’re cured. And after all, how much is your life worth? Half of what you own? Everything? Your first born?

Gilead Sciences is publicly traded, but Turing Pharmaceuticals has no stockholders to report to. Just Shkreli, the former hedge fund manager. A group known for having the same conscience as starving hyenas in heat. These guys make a safari of lion-killing dentists look cuddlesome.

Remember the traders who advised clients to buy stocks that they themselves were getting rid of? Them’s our boys. The mindset of a hedge funder is whatever it takes to make the most money: lie, cheat, steal and worse. They rewrote the book on worse.

And now that worse includes letting people die for profit. We’ve moved beyond taxing hedge fund managers at the same rate as real humans and moved into deciding how long the season should be for hedge fund manager hunting. Bows? Shotguns? Anti-tank guided weapons?

What’s to keep these guys from creating diseases for which their companies conveniently have the antidote? Ethics? How often have Republicans lectured us: there is no ethical consideration, only business.

Speaking of ethically challenged, even Donald Trump called the price hike a disgrace and said Shkreli should be ashamed of himself. And when a man who sucks up to bigots and racists calls you shameless, it’s definitely time to rethink your priorities.

 
9.21.15
THE ZANY SIDE OF THE GOP DEBATES

To the one thirteenth of all Americans who watched the latest GOP debate, congratulations on surviving the political equivalent of the 24 hours of Le Mans. You just climbed Campaign Everest. Strapped to a pair of debates. Or to be more precise; a pair of mind-numbing, marathon, 4 and a half hour, endurance test, butt-fall-asleep debates.

Not just for the 15 candidates and viewing public, but also the CNN correspondents, many who needed a shave by night’s end. It was the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Labor Day Telethon of debates, only later in September with the cause a mite less altruistic. All that we missed were guest appearances by Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme.

A few surprises: Jeb Bush wants Margaret Thatcher on the $10 bill. Marco Rubio has the sense of humor of an end table. George Pataki is tall. Carly Fiorina is tougher than a $2 steak. Rand Paul is a reluctant Republican and Donald Trump knows people who are very very impressed with Donald Trump.

Folks often ask comedians whom we want as president in terms of material. The thing is, we learn so much about these people there’s always some post to hang a joke onto. Or 2. Or 10. But these 14 guys and 1 gal, (plus Jim Gilmore when they let him play) are the best collection of humor producers in the history of presidential campaigns. Who knew the Reagan Library would host such a laugh riot? 

Let’s review the zanier moments of the GOP debates.

  • In a transparent overture to liquor lobbyists, Lindsey Graham said the first thing he plans to do as president is start drinking more.
  • Kudos to whoever thought of lining up the participants of the Kid’s Table Debate according to height.
  • Apparently, the party’s unified opposition to the concept of global warming also obviates the use of air-conditioning.
  • Jeb Bush and Donald Trump bonding. Two of the whitest humans on the face of the planet, low-fiving. And they wonder why Republicans have problems with minority voters.
  • From the way Donald Trump mugged while other people spoke, pretty obvious that in a former life he was a facial expression coach on Mack Sennett’s movie lot.
  • To call Carly Fiorina stone-faced is to diminish the impermeable density of rocks. And what was the deal with the eye fluttering? She looked like one of those dolls that blinks when it’s tilted and she was on a teeter-totter.
  • Graham warned America that unless we are willing to follow Strom Thurmond’s example of having 4 kids after the age of 67, our country may need immigration. A mental image nobody needed.
  • Bush apologized to his mom for smoking pot. Wish he could do the same to my mom.
  • Donald Trump telling Rand Paul that he never made fun of his looks and there was plenty of material there. Oh, snap.
  • Ben Carson’s slow deliberate manner of speaking makes you wonder if he’s dipping into his own prescription bag.
  • But the funniest thing that happened on Wednesday was pretty much all of the assembled consider the number one threat to America- Planned Parenthood.

Follow that, Democrats.

 
9.13.15
How they Spent Their Summer Vacations

Time to yodel a big old welcome back to the same old grind from our too brief summer respite. And yes, that does include the umpteen-gazillion presidential candidates returning from their home districts with batteries and bank accounts recharged. With an emphasis on the moolah.

Since the hot air dirigible that is Donald Trump is sucking all the oxygen out of the room like a warehouse full of vacuum cleaners the size of the Idaho, we here at Durstco figured folks might be interested in how the other White House wannabees spent their summer vacations.

So our board of directors authorized the commission of a series of hard-hitting, fact-finding, investigative reports utilizing every tool at the modern journalist’s disposal: Facebook, Tinder, straight up rumors, things overheard in line at the grocery store, bribes, threats, dirty laundry, stories reported by others with enough changes to slip past those pesky algorithms, just making stuff up. You know- the usual.

After gathering voluminous amounts of data, we sifted through the informational detritus to track down the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, with just a little room left over for stuff that we wanted to be true and are proud to reveal the results in this segment called How They Spent Their Summer Vacations. 

Chris Christie held a seminar on How To Survive A Scandal for which United CEO, Jeff Smisek, paid a lot of money not to attend.
John Kasich checked into a Swiss spa for a charisma implant, which alas, didn’t take.
In an attempt to trump Trump, Scott Walker called for a wall to be built on the Canadian border as well as the Mexican, and also wants a force field erected around the state of Wisconsin designed to repulse outside union agitators.
Marco Rubio held a series of mock debates on immigration with himself and actually came close to winning a few.
Gearing up for the big fall push, George Pataki, Rick Santorum, Jim Webb, Lincoln Chafee, Jim Gilmore, Lindsey Graham, Rand Paul and Bobby Jindal all took 3 month naps.
Hillary Clinton scrubbed several email servers on her back porch then used them to prop up various lawn umbrellas.
Hillary’s staff broke 18 federal laws hacking into Ashley Madison’s client list to keep from revealing Bill Clinton’s platinum member status.
Ben Carson spent his time being seen reading the Bible.
The corpse of Ronald Reagan spun in his grave so rapidly, if hooked up to a generator, he could power the entirety of Simi Valley.
Rick Perry went off his meds and no one noticed.
Joe Biden walked many beautiful beaches wearing nothing but shorts, a t-shirt and flip- flops.
Carly Fiorina binge-watched the entire first season of Madame Secretary.
Ted Cruz developed 34 more scenarios to repeal Obama Care.
Jeb Bush desperately probed different genealogy websites in a futile attempt to prove he was adopted.
Martin O’Malley looked coy.
Mike Huckabee embarked upon a Hug a Christian Hypocrite Tour, starting with a child molester and moving on to a bigot.
Responding to accusations of being an old crank with the sense of humor of an end table, Bernie Sanders changed his campaign website address to heyyoukidsgetoffofmylawn.com.

 
9.6.15
laborsome days

Labor Day. The last plastic souvenir sports bottle of lemonade on the dying coals of summer. Not so much a festive celebration as a beacon for the halfway point between 4th of July and Thanksgiving. The spot on the calendar where fireworks switch to Jack-O-Lanterns. Hot dog relish to cranberries. Sweaty bangs and frozen nostril hairs.

Because our biological clocks are still running on elementary school time, the first Monday of September is noted mostly for being a transition. A blackboard trigger rekindling memories of that desultory trudge back to whatever scholastic institution we were assigned; a return to numbers and objectives and lockers and reading lists and hiding from the assistant principal who roamed the halls like 2 Dobermans in heat.

Much more nose to the grindstone and a lot less lazing in the summer breeze categorizing clouds according to arbitrarily designated scales of fluffitude. Stop playing catch with the simple round white ball and start passing oblong ochre inflated bladders. Put down the squirt gun and pick up the #2 pencil. The solstice is dead. Long live the equinox.

Check the spark plug on the snow blower and roll up the garden hose. Pull out the galoshes and stash the flip-flops. Pumpkin displaces watermelon as the seasonal flavor. Storms vs. screens. Tailgating vs. picnics. Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Southern California Trojans as opposed to the Cincinnati Reds and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

For 120 years, Labor Day has been the runt of the holiday litter. Gets less respect than an usher at a Metallica concert. But red-headed stepchild or not, it is the most democratic of our celebratory respites. From New York’s mahogany paneled boardrooms to the green cement break rooms in warehouses of eastern Nevada; CEOs, marine biologists, mesmerists and forklift drivers, everyone connects on this one.

So, take advantage of this last chance to party in the long light. Wear a bathing suit and ice down a case of long necks while barbecuing a package of bratwurst. Because this ain’t no Chardonnay and Boeuf Bourguignon kind of day. As glamorous as the janitor with that special sawdust in the school cafeteria. The very definition of blue collar. To be perfectly honest, no collar required.

Just one day that we take off work to honor our jobs, which seems sort of oxymoronic, when you think about it. Like signing an ironclad pledge to be permanently flexible. Or parking in a bus lot. Honeymooning in the basement.

And for a depressingly increasing number of us, we’re celebrating having more than just one job. A month of Mondays might be more appropriate what with lean and mean being all the rage. Again.

But during this summer blowout, let’s not forget the real reason we take a labor holy day. To allow the real nine to five heroes to hang with their families for one extra shift before squaring their shoulders and getting back to the job of carving out this country’s future. The folks just trying to make ends meet, while raising 2.3 kids, juggling a mortgage, and hoping to cover the monthly cable bill with at least one premium channel thrown in. You know - me and you. Okay. Mostly you 

 
8.30.15
BRIGHTSIDES TO THE PERPETUAL CAMPAIGN

Easy to tell the end of summer the year before a presidential election is nigh, because that bothersome quadrennial buzzing noise is back. And no, we’re not talking about candidates riding the Tilt-A-Whirl at the Iowa State Fair after eating pork on a stick.

Every four years, the nation reverberates with a low drone whine about the American presidential election process being too long. Not to mention demeaning, tortuous and more boring than watching varnish harden.

You got to be kidding. This must be a crude attempt at jest. Surely you moonlight as a semi-professional leg puller. Quit asking: “Do we really have to pay attention for a whole year and a half?” The answer is, you betcha baby.

The 18 month 24/7 campaigning is illuminating, illustrative and lucrative. For comedians and the blogosphere. And pundits and pharmaceutical salesmen. Bumper sticker manufacturers. Character assassinators. Bartenders. East Chinese shrimp farmers. Pollsters and soothsayers.

Each and every day, we are witness to at least one of the 17 gazillion grasping GOPers tripping over their own open mouth, sprawling in a manner not unreminiscent of possum roadkill. And on the other side of the information highway, let’s all sit in the shade and watch another little piece of Hillary Clinton get stripped right off the bone.

This is reality TV at its finest. Has anybody ever complained that the Kardashian show has been running too long? Well, yeah. Okay. A little bit. Especially lately.

But for a long time, no, and why not? Because participants keep finding new and creative ways to highlight their positions. And also they live by the guidelines that any piece of spandex that they can squeeze into… fits.

Except for the spandex, pretty much the same is true with this motley political crew, only the negotiation for sponsorship deals with moisturizers are replaced with negotiations for nuclear non-proliferation. Other than that; eerie similarities.

So here it is: A list of the Brightsides of Enduring a Presidential Election Campaign That Greatly Exceeds the General Public’s Ability to Feign Interest.

  • Mike Huckabee could actually break the world record for non-stop cluelessness.
  • Plenty of time left for Joe Biden to make up his mind whether he’s running or not. Or not.
  • If Donald Trump hasn’t insulted your particular interest group yet, don’t worry, he’ll get around to you eventually.
  • George Pataki could decide he needs to spend more time annoying his family.
  • Every single day you can watch Bernie Sanders get crankier.
  • Plenty of time for Rick Perry to extend his “hey, I’m really smart” make-over by growing an Albert Einstein haircut.
  • Can count on at least 16 or 17 more Hillary email dumps before the first primary.
  • Jeb Bush can finally perfect an answer to that nagging question “what would you have done in Iraq?”
  • John Kasich could arrange for a charisma implant.
  • See Marco Rubio earn that touch of grey above the sideburns he so desperately desires.
  • Gives Chris Christie plenty of time to exercise and adopt a sensible diet to get down to his fighting weight of 320.
  • Ted Cruz can mount an entire season series of filibusters.
  • Gives Scott Walker the opportunity to scrub his name off the Ashley Madison client list.
  • More Benghazi hearings.
Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Visit willdurst.com for info about the documentary film, “3 Still Standing” and calendar listings that feature future appearances such as his new one-man show, “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG”.
 
8.22.15
MArble Poisoning

It’s a race to the outside. Avoid the middle like the plague. The goal is to not be one with the pack. Even the most conservative of Republicans knows that he/she/it has to move beyond rock-solid, standard-bearer of the party line. Anybody who wants the nomination today has to show some flash, be a rebel, an iconoclast, wear a puffy shirt. Wild and wacky is the new name of the electioneering game.

Maybe it was the proliferation of reality shows that convinced Americans that real life should be entertaining, but this country now has the same relationship to traditional politics that brass rain gutters have to beachwear.

Which is totally okay because plenty of candidates are willing to do whatever it takes: to go so far to the outside they can’t even be seen due to the curvature of the earth. This time around, the presidential wannabees aren’t just declaring themselves Outsiders, they’re tripping over each other to be anointed the Outsidiest.

Political neophytes and novices and fledglings and beginners and probies and interns and fry cooks are all fine. Actual experience need not apply. Major Bowes would be proud: The Amateur Hour rises again. Which was an olden timey version of America’s Got Talent, back in the days when whether it did or not was debatable.

The only prerequisite a prospective office-seeker needs is a resume that fails to include a previous work address inside a capitol dome. Especially that big one on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Like radiation, exposure to Inside the Beltway is cumulative, and just as malignant. The longer a person embeds within the 202 area code, the less recognizable they become as homo sapiens. A mutated form of Stockholm Syndrome.

Something happens to people in DC. The combination of exhibition and pageantry amongst historic edifices seems to cause an assimilation with these venerable institutions. A calcification. Until it’s difficult to tell the statuary from the elected representatives. The official diagnosis… Marble Poisoning.

The backlash to Marble Poisoning has been growing over time but recently has strengthened to a furious pace. Traditional politicians now have lower approval ratings than used car salesmen whose arms have been replaced with poisonous tentacles leaking green venom.

As evidenced by real estate developer and all around bombastic dude Donald Trump continuing to mesmerize the country with his patented brand of snake oil and bluster. The man is like a performing frog that sings off-key. A unique act perhaps, but how long before people get bored and move on to the ventriloquist cricket?  

Then again, he’s not the only rookie making his bones in the bigs this time around. According to polls, the major winners in the 1st republican debate a couple weeks ago were the 300,000,000 US citizens who neglected to watch. Hah.

Kidding. The big winners were non politicians- Doctor Ben Carson & CEO Carly Fiorina, hailed for their refreshing authenticity. Because they mouthed completely different clichés than what we’ve come to expect from the usual suspects. Yes, we’re seeing the rise of the authentic. With a commensurate loss of the competent. But hey, it’s a trade-off.

Just hope this passion for lack of experience doesn’t spread to other professions. Nobody wants to hear: “And now let’s meet your endocrinologist, who previously earned her living as a terrifically inventive pastry chef.”

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Visit willdurst.com for info about the documentary film, “3 Still Standing” and calendar listings that feature future appearances such as his new one-man show, “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG”.
 
8.19.15
HIPS, LIPS, TIPS, DRIPS, & SLIPS

Yeah, I hear what you’re saying. “For all you political comics, Donald Trump must be a dream come true. Manna from heaven. Slam-dunking from a step-ladder. Swimming in a sea of beer.”  

Oh sure, there are jokes.
1. Trump’s presidential campaign is like a baboon’s butt. The higher he climbs, the harder it is to look.
2. Not saying his message is confusing, but doubt he could convince a majority of the voices in his head to vote for him.
C. Trump doesn’t respect gay marriage because of tradition. And the fact that he’s been married 3 times just makes him… extra traditional.
54. Wants to run the country like a business. Which is worrisome. Because he seems exactly the kind of guy who would burn it down for the insurance.

Don’t forget the aerodynamic coif. But getting an actual handle on the Big El Nino is as difficult as Klingon calculus. How do you parody a parody? Most candidates cling to talking points the way deep sea divers do air hoses, but to a real estate developer, points apparently are to be avoided at all costs.

He’s all over the place: an anachronistic hybrid, tweeting from the Old West. No notes. No Tele-Prompter. No handlers. The focus of a feather. Shooting straight from the hip and the lip. “Mexicans are rapists.” “John McCain is a poseur.” “Megyn Kelly got hormonal.”

Donald Trump vs. Megyn Kelly: now there’s a sequel worthy of Buckley vs. Vidal. Do you get the feeling America doesn't care who wins this skirmish as long as one of them loses. Hey, just doing good journalism.

Despite more slip-ups than 3rd graders playing Bombardment in stocking feet on a freshly polished gym floor, the New York developer’s approval rating continues to rise like a pastry factory with a leaky yeast valve. If Reagan were Teflon, the Donald is some sort of space age polymer.

But to say that not all is happy-rama in the GOP theme park is similar to intimating that salted caramel cream puffs make inadequate shock absorbers. The exploits of Walker, Cruz, Rubio and Bush are a PBS after-thought to the daily TMZ shenanigans of Mr. Celebrity Apprentice Presidente

A finite amount of light is available in a primary campaign, and the brighter it shines on a single spoiled trust fund baby, the less luminosity available for the incredible array of governors and former governors running nearby. With the odd senator thrown in. “Odd” being the operative word.

Then consider that each of the semi-normal politicians is being bankrolled by a totally different collection of billionaires and you can see the problem. The obscenely affluent don’t encourage their kind to run for president. Tends to eliminate the middle-men. The rich prefer their office holders beholden. Puppets with strings are easier to control. As the Donald says, “the system’s broken,” and the people agree.

So here’s a tip for all you professional scoffers sneering at Trump’s chances of winning the nomination, and should he pull that off, disparage as laughable the thought of a victory in the general. Just remember… they said the same thing about Ronald Reagan. And we all know how that turned out. Wonder if another Bush could be talked into the VP slot. There’s synchronicity for you. 

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Visit willdurst.com for info about the documentary film, “3 Still Standing” and calendar listings that feature future appearances such as his new one-man show, “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG”.
 
8.5.15
NOT SO SWEET SIXTEEN PLUS ONE

Get to high ground everybody. Our nation is in danger of being inundated by a candidate tsunami of 17 Republicans. The Sweet Sixteen and Never Been Kissed Plus One. Seventeen Shades of Grey. If they used a designated pitcher they could split up into two teams and play softball against each other. No hardball allowed. 

In an attempt to winnow the enormous aggregate down to a manageable number, Fox News, host of the big first GOP presidential nomination debate, has declared only the top ten in an average of recent polls will be allowed to participate. Welcome to the Big Boys Table.

They also announced another earlier debate with everybody else. The little kids table. The consolation debate. The also-rans. The B-sides. Most at 3% or less in polls with margin of errors of plus or minus 3%.

Accustomed to their constant whining about the media treating elections as horse races, we think this is the perfect time to fuel their paranoia by handicapping the voluminous number of contending plugs. So here’s the Morning Line on the 17 Dark Horses of the Apocalypse. And Down The Stretch They Come!

PROBABLY MAKES THE BIG BOYS DEBATE
Jeb Bush. 4-1. Deserving favorite. Best chance is to convince America he’s adopted. Donald Trump. 6-1. Race would be over if his feet ran half as fast as his mouth.
Scott Walker. 8-1. Strong finisher but may be carrying too much weight with both Koch Brothers clinging to his saddle.
Marco Rubio. 10-1. The guy voted against a bill he co-sponsored. Could be own worst enemy.
Ted Cruz. 12-1. Likes to lead. Likes to lead loud. Also likes to box other horses right into rail.
Rand Paul. 30-1. Keeps spitting out bit in order to bite other horses. Comes from stable comfortable with losing.
Chris Christie. 40-1. Enjoys the run but does it with all the grace of a tumbling dumpster.
Rick Perry. 80-1. Lost some zip after donning blinders. New shoes don’t seem to help either.
Mike Huckabee. 100-1.  Tends to sag the more we see of him.
Ben Carson. 300-1. A black guy running for GOP nomination. Has about the same chance as a black guy would of running for the GOP nomination.

PROBABLY AT THE KIDS TABLE
Rick Santorum. 500-1. Not old fashioned as much as he is Old Testament. His idea of progress is smelting a lighter alloy for the buckle on his hat.
Piyush Bobby Jindal. 500-1. Tends to shy away when bright lights switch on. Needs at least 3 pile-ups on early turns to become a leader.
John Kasich. 500-1. Late entrant may have timed it perfectly. Or won’t make it onto track for post time. One or the other.
Lindsey Graham. 500-1. Always runs risk of disqualification for barking at officials. Still uses an abacus.
Carly Fiorina. 1000-1. Only filly GOP interested in is Barbara Bush. Not as a contestant, as a brood mare.
George Pataki. 1000-1. This grisly warhorse was put out to stud years ago. If he wins, be prepared for a stewards’ inquiry.
Jim Gilmore. 6000-1. Longest shot in a field of longish long shots. If he wins, be prepared for stewards to be shot.

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Visit willdurst.com for info about the documentary film, “3 Still Standing” and calendar listings that feature future appearances such as his new one-man show, “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG”.
 
7.28.15
More the Merrier

Got to congratulate Donald Trump for how fast he’s become more annoying to the Republican Party than a mouse in an air conditioning unit. Like that popcorn husk that gets stuck in the back of your molars and you can’t pry it out with a cord of toothpicks. Almost as grating as the Kars for Kids commercial.

The aerodynamically coiffed real estate developer recently announced that if the GOP Big Boys don’t stop saying mean things about him he might run as a third party candidate. “Be nice or I’ll poop on your parade” is pretty much the bombastic billionaire’s blackmail. And the way he looks when he purses his lips in concentration, you kind of get the feeling he ain’t speaking figuratively.

In other professions, behavior like this is commonly called extortion, but with these guys, its just politics. And effective politics as it rekindles memories of 1992, when Ross Perot deprived Jeb’s daddy of a 2nd term. Or so GOP party stalwarts would have you believe. Of course, they also would have you believe that Ronald Reagan never raised taxes and George W was a wartime genius.

Trump is sucking up so much oxygen from the airwaves that his rivals have resorted to shooting of verbal flares trying to climb into the top ten of any poll and be considered FoxWorthy come debate time.

Ted Cruz accused his own majority leader of lying to his face. Lindsey Graham destroyed his cell phone on video because Trump gave out his private number. But the major takeaway by most viewers was that Lindsey Graham still uses a flip phone. Way to appeal to the young, Mr. Modem.

Scott Walker said if elected, he’s willing to start bombing Iran on Inauguration Day. And that’s if he’s in a good mood. God have mercy should he have a flashback and think he’s dealing with a Wisconsin teachers’ union. Jeb Bush talked about phasing out Medicare and moving on to some sort of coupon plan. Because old people love coupons.

So far, Republicans have managed to frighten minorities and seniors, and it’s 16 months before the election. Figure the over/under on a “legitimate rape” comment to be 8 weeks.

On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders vowed never to run as a third party candidate but that was before he started drawing stadium crowds like a rock star. A 73 year-old socialist rock star, but a rock star nonetheless. Without the leather pants. Thank god.

But say he does get rolled by the machine known as Hillary; Senator Sanders could easily return to his lovably independent ways and run on the Vermont Loon ticket. Besides, by then, he might not be a 3rd party candidate, but a 4th party candidate.

Then you consider Ralph Nader is only 8 years older than Bernie, so maybe he could be convinced to return to the fray. And Pat Buchanan obviously has things left to say. The Green and Tea Parties both get into the act, and pretty soon we’re a 3rd world country with upwards of 20 legitimate candidates on the ballot and the winner has to form a coalition with some of the also-rans and then they’re forced to actually compromise. Naw. You’re right. Could never happen here. 

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Visit willdurst.com for info about the documentary film, “3 Still Standing” and calendar listings that feature future appearances such as his new one-man show, “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG”.
 
7.21.15
RUMPUS TRUMPUS CHUMPUS

For all those bemoaning the lack of noise in the Republican presidential sweepstakes it’s time to get down on our knees and give thanks to Donald Trump because whatever that man touches turns to loud. He’s the gift that keeps on blaring. Has all the delicate innuendo of concrete curtain rods. Not just a loose cannon, more like a loose aircraft carrier.

To say the campaign of the self-appointed captain of the S.S. Birther got off to a rocky start is like intimating that transatlantic telecommunications cables make substandard dental floss. Critics derided the guy who tried to trademark the phrase “you’re fired!” for hiring extras to pretend to be supporters at his announcement, but another way of looking at it is… he’s already creating jobs.

At the beginning of a diatribe where the word “I,” or “I’ve” or “I’m” was used 244 times and that doesn’t include “me,” or “we” or “us,” the billionaire real estate developer trotted out some bizarre illegal immigrant harangue, accusing the Mexican government of sending drug-crazed rapists across the border. Demonstrating why veteran politicians often employ scriptwriters and utilize teleprompters: so they don’t stick their foot so deep into their mouths they can tickle their spleen with their shoelaces.

And the price The Donald paid for his bout of verbal incontinence was shooting straight to the top of Republican polls. Sure, he and some of his brands were dropped by a couple of lily-livered corporations like Univision, Farouk Systems, NASCAR, Serta, the PGA, Televisa, NBC Universal & Macy’s. But not all is lost; rumors abound that both Animal Planet and SyFy are interested in producing a mini-series about his hair.

Conservative conspiracy theorists accuse Trump of being a Democratic mole whose subversive goal is to make them look like intolerant cretins. But they’re the ones who spent the last 45 years crocheting the ass hat; can’t be surprised when some idiot picks it off the shelf and waltzes around in it.

Trump not only refused to apologize, he doubled down and stands behind his bigoted assault and that’s part of the problem. “People stop me on the street and tell me I’m right.” Donny. Baby. You live in New York City. People there say crazy stuff all the time. “My clothes hamper has wings and is made out of aluminum.” “Alex Rodriguez is acting like a real human.”

Trump is to presidential politics what hot dog eating is to the Olympics. Makes Sarah Palin look like a sober distinguished parliamentarian. And what if he does win the nomination? Who could he possibly pick as vice president to make him look presidential? Dick Cheney? Joe Biden? Urkel was a fictional character. Adam Sandler is dead. Well, his career. Mr. Bean was born on foreign soil.

You almost get the feeling that Trump isn’t as excited about becoming Commander-in-Chief as he is with forcing a black family with 2 young daughters out of their Washington DC home.

But love him or hate him, you got to admit, it’s pretty exciting to finally be able to answer that plaintive query: “How long before America proves itself a world class power by fielding a presidential candidate with a cologne named after him?” That time, my friends, at last has come.

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Visit willdurst.com for info about the documentary film, “3 Still Standing” and calendar listings that feature future appearances such as his new one-man show, “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG”.
 
7.5.15
Dead Solid Summer

It is with a gleeful relief we embrace Independence Day. Because this marks the beginning of dead solid summer. The Fourth of July is a red white and blue arrow to the bulls-eye of patriotism when we celebrate the anniversary of the birth of our country by packing together in crowds, drinking a lot of beer and blowing stuff up real good.

That’s the thing about summer; it’s loud. Fireworks and motorcycles and outdoor concerts and lifeguards on bullhorns and calliopes. Marching bands for crum’s sake. The siren song of the ice cream truck interrupting the high-pitched shrieks of kids in pools and families at the gates of overbooked flights.

Summer heightens the other senses as well. Lemonade so tart it makes your tonsils pucker. The flash of the Stars and Stripes woven through spokes of fleets of bicycles passing a beauty queen waving a rhinestone wand from the back of a convertible. Eating corn on the cob and letting the butter slide right down your arm to drip off your elbow. Having sand caught in the pasty-colored folds of flesh that winter clothing has concealed for 8 months.

Summer is the tinny mantra of a baseball game squawking out of a speaker of an AM radio while barefoot at a barbecue eating potato salad that’s been left out in the sun all day. Sweating like a stuck pig and waving brooms at mosquitoes the size of footstools. Ducking stray Frisbees while setting picnic tables with plastic utensils. The benign tyranny of a new swimsuit.

And summer is supposed to be fun. Which can cause a kind of forced march frenzy of anxiety as we become so determined to have a good time we need a vacation to recover from our vacation. How many times have you heard… “Damn it, we’re going to have a good time if it kills us.”

All the meteorologists claim that summer begins at the solstice, which is defined by when the sun takes its most northerly path across the sky. From the Latin for “stand still.” The point at which the days neither lengthen nor shorten. In other words, when time stands still.

That may be the astronomical beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, but it is much less of a fixed date, and more of a state of mind. One that begins when the bell rings for the last class on the final day of incarceration and continues until the sun sets the night before the fall semester begins.

Between now and the MLB All Star Game (The Midsummer Classic); this is the heart of the season. When trips to distant attractions are driven and family reunions attended and sunburns acquired and roller coasters ridden. And then before you know it, in the blink of an eye, Christmas songs are playing on the radio.

So, savor this brief respite we call summer. Relax. Saunter. Ramble. Gallivant. Meander. For no apparent reason drag a stick along the ground as you walk. Skip stones and fly pinwheels and stay cool and dry and vertical. Or hot and wet and horizontal. Whichever works. Happy 239th birthday America. And you know what; in the right light you don’t look a day over 225.

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Visit willdurst.com for info about the documentary film, “3 Still Standing” and calendar listings that feature future appearances such as his new one-man show, “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG”.
 
6.30.15
Dixie Macaroni

Since reintroduced on the grounds of the South Carolina Capitol in 1961 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, the Confederate Flag has been the source of controversy with a regularity approaching that of a Madonna comeback album. Sadly, it has been thrust into the news once more because some kid who loved it went crazy and committed an atrocity. A racially charged atrocity. Yes. Again.

Proponents of the flag fiercely insist it is not a racist symbol of slavery but a banner illustriously heralding their culture, heritage and independence. The same way a skull and crossbones is a symbol of rebirth. And the swastika- just an emblem of Caucasian pride.

Anything can represent anything if one is familiar with the code. A red bandana sticking out of a back pocket invokes a certain meaning, yet when tied around the neck of a yellow lab is decidedly less prurient. It’s all context. Yankee Doodle stuck a feather in his cap and called it macaroni. That doesn’t mean restaurants will start serving feathers and cheese as a side dish to barbecue dinners anytime soon.

But it is disingenuous to the extreme to suggest that when the Rebel Flag is worn or brandished in the first state to secede from the Union, that it isn’t meant as a wink-wink, nudge-nudge, knowing and shared racist commentary with no need to be verbalized. The ultimate dog whistle in the key of Dixie.

Besides, it’s not really THE Confederate Flag; just a Confederate Flag. Not even one of 3 official flags used during the war. The original Stars and Bars looked too much like the Star Spangled Banner and confused troops on both sides. The 2nd flag had much too much white in it and was often mistaken for a flag of surrender. And the third was like the 2nd only with a big red stripe at the end. And then the war was over. Except it wasn’t. And in some places still isn’t.

The recent resurgence of General Lee’s Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia, gives proof that though the War of Northern Aggression has been over for 150 years, the flame of bigotry remains alive. Why? Because old times there are not forgotten. The South never quit fighting; they just took an intermission. The pause that refreshes.

And their protestations of innocence might be a tad more believable if the states that insist on flying the flag over state-sponsored Confederate monuments weren’t the same ones that defied integration way past the bitter end, using everything at their disposal including police batons, dogs and fire hoses.

“It’s about states’ rights.” Yeah, especially those rights that include owning your labor force. They may call it macaroni, but it’s really white supremacy. In Dixieland, I’ll take my stand and live and die in Dixie. And Republicans wonder why they can’t attract black voters.

Come on, you guys. It’s the sixth year of the 2nd decade of the 21st century. Pull your confederate flags off of government lands. Let folks fly or paint or tattoo them on their own property, which as you may or may not have noticed, no longer includes people. As George W Bush famously said, “the past is over.” Look away. Look away. Look away Dixieland.

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Visit willdurst.com for info about the documentary film, “3 Still Standing” and calendar listings that feature future appearances such as his new one-man show, “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG”.
 
6.22.15
RED POPE GREEN POPE

He gets under their skin like termites in a boathouse. Drives them crazier than Hillary Clinton and Yoko Ono dancing on a gay pride parade float. He’s the itch you can’t scratch. The thorn in the palm of their paw. The 3-inch scratch on their favorite Ted Nugent album. Talking about that hot new Catholic sensation, Pope Frankie.

At first it was his general commie pink yellow rat bastard predilection for focusing on the poor. “The poor. The poor. Why is it with him, always got to be about the goldarn poor.” But now the former Jorge Mario Bergoglio has issued an encyclical that claims humans are responsible for global warming. Did he not get the memo? Listen close and you can hear Mitch McConnell echo Henry II, “Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?”

An encyclical sounds like half an encyclopedia or what happens when a bicycle pushes the edge of the envelope, but in reality, it’s the farthest a Pope can go without playing the infallibility card. A distinct possibility when the Head of the Catholic Church is intent on making a stink. Being infallible is the Vatican’s superpower. But something the smart Big Miters save for when they really really need it. Infallibility is not something you whip out in line at the grocery store. Like truffles, a little bit goes a long way.

In his 180-page “Laudato Si,” or “Be Praised,” the 267th Bishop of Rome’s (give or take a few) initial solo effort at a treatise, Francis calls on Catholics to make safeguarding the environment and battling climate change a top priority and couches saving the planet in moral terms. Which the GOP sees as a threat to everything they stand for and akin to waving a red flag in front of bull, papal or otherwise.

This move into environmentalism has prompted some supporters to call him the Green Pope, but conservatives increasingly refer to him as Comrade Francis, the Red Pope. But hey, wasn’t there another Christian guy who focused on the problems of the poor? What was his name, oh yeah, Christ. Whatever happened to him?

The big dilemma is how to respond. You can’t dismiss the Pope as a tree-hugging hippie liberal. He’s the Pope. Difficult to attack a man that 16% of the planet considers the vocal chords of the Big Angry Daddy in the Sky. A lobbyist for Arch Coal did rebuke him for not endorsing fossil fuels as a solution to poverty. Seriously. You can't make stuff up like this.

Catholic Rick Santorum objected to the papal paper, saying “we should leave the science to the scientists.” Unh-hunh. And then what, ignore them? Santorum is guy who doesn’t believe in evolution, and ironically, he is his own best argument. Then remember the Argentinian Pontiff is a chemist by trade and Santorum’s argument grows weaker than a lovesick songbird in Beijing.

But the Pope needs to be careful. If he doesn’t cool it with the focus on the least fortunate, the party that conducts rigorous experiments to guide camels through the eyes of needles will declare him Public Enemy #1. Easy to imagine Fox News blaming the Vatican for everything from illegal immigration, the death of Vince Foster and Benghazi. 

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Visit willdurst.com for info about the documentary film, “3 Still Standing” and calendar listings that feature future appearances such as his new one-man show, “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG”.
 
6.15.15
LEECHES AND NOZZLES

Rich people with too much time and money on their hands often seem to get bored with the hum and drum of their gold-filigreed existences. And in response turn to egalitarian enterprises, such as feudal kings commissioning alchemists to turn base metals into gold, because a lot of stuff back then needed to be filigreed.

Today’s Billionaire Princes of Silicon Valley don’t care so much for filigree as they’ve already figured out how to turn base metal into gold. So they’ve taken to funding molecular biologists and biogerontologists, our modern day alchemists, to conduct experiments to seek out an elixir of life. A liquid or pill that will restore youth and grant longevity. After all, what good is being rich, if you can’t live forever?

Of course, immortality is a relative thing. Compared to our ancestors we already live to be antiques. Wasn’t long ago, folks just up and died. At 35. Of old age. Or were victims of accidents involving livestock. Not to mention plagues, pitchforks and blue meat. Or the village would band together and get rid of you for the “greater good.” Of course, back then, like today, the “greater good” was always a sort of a fluid measurement.

Didn’t help that the villagers were notoriously twitchy back in the Dark Ages. With vivid imaginations. Look at all they derived from gazing at the stars. “Seriously, Larry? You got Gemini the Twins from nine points of light? It’s not even an even number. They’re supposed to be twins. Shouldn’t it be symmetrical? Oh, fraternal twins. You know what I get from that same set of stars? A spigot full of dachshunds. See the floppy ears? Lip of the nozzle? 3rd sign of the Zodiac should be Dog Spout.”

Most modern diseases existed during olden timey days. Just badly diagnosed. This was when every medical treatment boiled down to two possibilities. Put leeches on it or stake through the heart. That was it. One or the other. Medieval doctors carried two things in their bags- leeches and stakes.

Suffering from epilepsy? Possessed by the devil. Stake through the heart. Dissociative Identity Disorder? Possessed by the devil. Stake through the heart. Bipolar? Parkinsons? Alzheimer’s? You guessed it. Not leeches.

Even something as simple as allergies. “He sneezes fealty to the devil. Stake through the heart.” “Whoa. Whoa. Dude. It’s spring. Lot of pollen in the air. Could we at least try the leeches?”

You can understand why people tried to be as conventional as possible. Nobody wanted to be known for anything out of the ordinary. People got stakes through the heart because their tomatoes grew too big. And if you had a birthmark in the shape of a trident, forget about it.  “No. No. No. That’s not a trident, it’s a spigot full of dachshunds. Look, look, see the nozzle? Where’s Larry?”

Fact is: the government has given up on funding scientific research. And it’s only because of the Google Gods that a lot of the maladies that confound us today are just a couple of research projects away from being identified and eradicated. 40 years in the future, Dr. Siri from Apple Health is going to sound like Bones from Star Trek. “Can you believe these idiots? Using radiation on live human tissue? The barbarians.”

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Visit willdurst.com for info about the documentary film, “3 Still Standing” and calendar listings that feature future appearances such as his new one-man show, “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG”.
 
6.8.15
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE USA FREEDOM ACT

Q. What’s the darn deal with the USA Freedom Act?
A. It is sort of a Patriot Act Lite. They removed the razor coil that was strangling the 4th Amendment
and replaced it with barbed wire.

Q. Why was Congress in such a hurry to pass it?
A. Several surveillance provisions of the Patriot Act were about to expire. The desperation was so acute they held a session on Sunday.

Q. So they came right after church?
A. Politics is their only religion.

Q. Does the USA Freedom Act end bulk collection or not?
A. Yes. And No.

Q. Why is it called the “USA Freedom Act?”
A. Apparently the “Mom & Apple Pie & Cute Little Kittens Chasing Yarn Through the Legs of Toddlers Act” was already taken.

Q. Don’t you just love our bulk collection of elected prawns?
A. The best that money can buy.

Q. What remains the same?
A. Pretty much everything. The NSA is still able to collect data and conduct surveillance on all the numbers and people that contact anybody on their list of suspected bad guys. And collect data on the numbers that contact those numbers and the numbers contacting those numbers, etc.

Q. Sort of like a super secret Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon?
A. Exactly. By now, Kevin Bacon has definitely been placed on a “Do Not Act” list.

Q. That guy always had a sneaky look. Never really trusted him.
A. Not since before “Animal House.”

Q. Anything else the same?
A. The bill reinstates the Roving Wiretap Provision, which allows the CIA to monitor sneaky guys who cleverly use throw-away cell phones. And the Lone Wolf Provision, which reputedly has never been used.

Q. Yeah, right. And hippopotamus teeth make dandy soup tureens. What’s different?
A. Records will be kept by the communications industry instead of the government and businesses have a little more leeway to report information requests, and since they could be prosecuted for acknowledging requests before, that part is a big deal.

Q. How much more leeway?
A. Aye, there’s the rub. On a 1 to a 100 scale, probably 1.

Q. So, not much change at all, eh?
A. Its baby steps. A Band-Aid on a sucking chest wound, sure. But one of those flesh colored Band-Aids that can be worn to work and hardly anybody notices.

Q. Winners & Losers?
A. Rand Paul & Barack Obama are winners. Senator Paul for calling attention to his stubborn libertarianism and the president for getting something, anything passed. And Mitch McConnell is a big loser.

Q. Why? Because he invested so much political capital in renewing the Patriot Act intact and lost through a series of procedural moves, which he, as the Majority Leader should have anticipated?
A. No. He’s just a big loser.

Q. If this were a video game, what would it be called?
A.  Metadata Duty.

Q. After this all shakes out, who ends up the bigger threat to the loss of our personal privacy and freedom, the CIA, NSA or FBI?
A. Facebook.

Q. So, what we really need is for Julian Assange to go after Mark Zuckerberg.
A. You said it. Not me.

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Visit willdurst.com for info about the documentary film, “3 Still Standing” and calendar listings that feature future appearances such as his new one-man show, “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG”.
 
6.3.15
THE 10 MAJOR ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES
OF BEING AN AGING BABY BOOMER

Population scientists describe the Baby Boom generation as anybody born between the years 1946 and 1964. Which means the youngest of the Baby Boomers turned 50 last year, and the oldest will turn 70 next year. Which is just so wrong. We Boomers are the architects of the youth culture. We invented young people for crum’s sakes. We’re the Pepsi Generation… that had a minor fling with Coke.

But fear not. As we evidenced throughout the entirety of our flower-powered history, this autumn of our lives will be charged into with unwavering optimism, a firm commitment to affect positive change and pockets full of drugs.

The first item of business that needs to be put in order is the nomenclature. Is it really necessary to refer to us as elderly seniors winding down our golden years? We’re vintage. Classic. Enduring. Seasoned. Steadfast. Resilient. Ripe. And accumulating ripagosity every day.

But all you kids out there shouldn’t think that growing old is all gloom and doom. No. No. No. There’s an equal amount of marvelous traveling hand in hand with the gruesome. Compare for yourself, the 10 major advantages and disadvantages of being an aging baby boomer.

The 10 Major Disadvantages to Being an Aging Baby Boomer.

  1. Exorbitant cost of replacement parts.
  2. Sex and drugs and rock and roll and now naps.
  3. When acid flashbacks meet dementia. On Prozac.
  4. Really difficult to work up any nostalgia for rotary phones.
  5. Turns out that old adage was right: the good DO die young. Which explains why we’re still here.
  6. Your children are no longer reliable sources when it comes to tech support and all the grandchildren have lost the ability to pick up a phone.
  7. Grandma’s field of butterflies tattoo is now a flock of pterodactyls.
  8. Looking at Harold & Maude from Ruth Gordon’s point of view- not Bud Cort’s.
  9. Rumors abound that despite the name, sexagenarians, alas, don’t really engage in a lot of sex.
  10. If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different outcome, getting old means doing the same things you always did, with constantly varying results.
  11. No jet packs.

The 10 Major Advantages to Being an Aging Baby Boomer.

  1. Fewer peers means less peer pressure and it diminishes every day.
  2. The phrase: “lifetime supply” becomes a much more imaginable concept.
  3. Always one ear hair so long and thick you can cut cheese with it.
  4. In hostage situations, chances are you’ll be among the first released.
  5. No longer have to worry about being the fresh young thing in prison. Sweet.
  6. Knees are better at predicting the weather than that guy on TV.
  7. Just saying “irritable bowel syndrome” creeps young people out so much they go away.
  8. Can always tell people the battery in your hearing aid is shorting out, even when you’re not wearing a hearing aid.
  9. Totally lack the energy and often forget to keep lifelong grudges active.
  10. The Rolling Stones can be heard in elevators.
  11. Going to the bathroom 3 times a night turns out to be a highly effective means of home security.
Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Visit willdurst.com for info about the documentary film, “3 Still Standing” and calendar listings that feature future appearances such as his new one-man show, “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG”.
 
5.26.15
This Week in Poly Ticks

And now for your weekly update in the world of poly ticks.

Run for your lives, people, because it’s complete chaos out there. In the pre-summer rush to wrangle positive press; current presidential candidates, potential presidential candidates, former presidential candidates, former presidents, and current presidents are viciously competing for track space in a freakish spectacle of careening into walls and spinning out of control like souped-up bumper cars during a power surge. To say it is not a pretty sight is similar to intimating that encountering hot oily transmission parts in the bowels of your sleeping bag is not an optimal proposition.

Here’s a sampling of the carnage that occurred over the past week.

• Jeb Bush managed to give 5 different answers to the single question, “if you knew what you know now, would you have invaded Iraq?” The former governor of Florida ran the gamut from “indeedie do” to “didn’t understand the question” to “is Iraq the one with the Pyramids?” to “not by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin,” which was criticized by family members as a thoughtless slur aimed at Barbara Bush, especially so close to Mother’s Day.

• Rick Perry answered the same question with a resounding “no” even though it has yet to be determined whether anybody asked.

• That other Bush boy, George W, gave a commencement address at SMU wherein he exhorted C students to not despair, because they too could lead a country into two useless wars and the brink of bankruptcy. Laughter and applause ensued.

• Mike Huckabee defended a member of the extremely fertile Duggar family for the youthful indiscretion of child molestation because apparently the Bible says all white male heterosexual Christians deserve a second chance. Gays and women, not so much.

• Chris Christie was hailed for finally disproving that whole “too big to fail” theory.

• Hillary Clinton deigned to speak to the press after not taking questions for almost a month. Highly unusual for a non-incumbent to run a Rose Garden Strategy, but she does know where it is.

• The questions were in response to the State Department releasing a load of her emails, but it is generally acknowledged that as far as Benghazi is concerned, there were no smoking guns. Not even a slightly tepid fireplace poker. A sultry cat-o’ nine-tails, maybe. But that could be left over from a conjugal visit with Bill.

• Lindsay Graham told CBS’s “Good Morning” he will announce whether he’ll run for President on June 1st then said “I’m running because I think the world is falling apart.” Sort of ruining the surprise.

• Graham will become the 7th Republican to announce his candidacy, which means the GOP is that much closer to achieving its goal of matching each voter with his or her own individual candidate.

• In a charity boxing match that raised over a million dollars, Mitt Romney went 2 rounds with Evander Holyfield making some psychologists suggest his predilection for getting beaten by African American men borders on the pathological.

• President Obama posted on his new Twitter account. His profile reads, “Dad, husband and President of the United States.” A disconcerting indication of where we stand.

And with 70 weeks before the election, you might want to fasten your seat belts. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Visit willdurst.com for info about the documentary film, “3 Still Standing” and calendar listings that feature future appearances such as his new one-man show, “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG”.
 
5.16.15
TOP 11 REASONS BEING POTUS IS SO DARN COOL

As it appears we’re smack dab in the middle of the 2016 presidential campaign announcement season, this might be the perfect time to ask the question on every American’s lips: what kind of twisted psychopath chooses to do this? Who are these people that are so all fired up to enter this soul-sucking fray just to sit in an Office that is Oval? Masochists? Sadists? Sadomasochists? Masosadochists? Folks who didn’t pay attention during any previous election?

As we ravenous hounds of the media descend like quadrennial locusts on the plucky pioneers making their early intentions known, the public is entitled to know what kind of flippo-unit willingly volunteers to sell their soul and ditch their family for the chance to become a human sound byte and eat crap food for 18 months. Who in their right mind would desire to be President? Aye, there’s the rub. The right mind part. Reinforcing a belief that anybody who wants to be president- shouldn’t be.

Can’t be the power. Buffeted by the winds of domestic, foreign and intergalactic fate, a president is as effective as a weatherman in an outhouse hit by a tornado. Running for POTUS is an exercise in doomed futility. Like applying for the job of lion tamer knowing they’re going to take away your clothes, whip and chair, paint dashes around your neck, and hang a sign that says, “bite here.”

It’s got to be the perks. In order to compensate for all this dismal malarkey, the fringe benefits must be pretty darn sweet. After intensive investigation, we here at Durstco have discovered the Top Eleven Reasons Why Being President is So Darn Cool. Why 11? Because it’s 10% funnier than 10, that’s why.

11. Not only are your driving days over, but you’ll never sweat a red light again. Don’t want to wear a seat belt? Don’t.
10. A cool $400,000 a year salary. About the same as a mid-level porn producer. Although, if Carly Fiorina or Hillary Clinton wins, we only have to pay them 77%, or $308,000.
  9. From out of nowhere, mothers will hand you their babies. To do with what you will.
8. Your own 747. With in-flight refueling connections, ballistic missiles, evasive action capabilities and 19 televisions. 
7. Everywhere you go, someone close will be carrying a football.
6. People pay attention to what you say. Your every syllable will be raked over like a beach near the crash site of a jet carrying the world’s largest shipment of blue diamonds.
5. Got a minor phobia about being late? Nothing will ever start without you again.
4. You want lobster thermidor at 3 am? You can have lobster thermidor at 3am.
3. Guaranteed to age into a stylish head of distinguished grey hair. Every president gets it. Obama looks like a snow-capped mountain pass. Thank God John McCain didn’t win in 2008. The guy started out a sarcophagus. By the end of his first term, he would have looked like a rubber Yoda hand-puppet shriveled in the Arizona summer sun.
2. Extremely attentive health care. You don’t just have a doctor on call. He’s in the bullet-proof car behind you.
1. Your post presidential speaking fee just crossed into 7 figures.

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Visit willdurst.com for info about the documentary film, “3 Still Standing” and calendar listings that feature future appearances such as his new one-man show, “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG”.
 
5.2.15
Tab A into Slot B

For many, it was an apocryphal moment. One which will be remembered for a lifetime. Exactly where we were and what we were doing when Bruce Jenner shocked the world by going on television to announce that he is… a Republican. And oh yeah, the transgender thing was sort of a big deal too.

A Republican. Can’t wait until Bruce tries to use the bathroom at the GOP National Convention next year and encounters a series of shoulders so cold, the resulting steam coming out of his ears freezes and tinkles onto the tile like glass icicles. Because he has made a lifestyle choice that most members of his chosen party liken to some sort of religious gender treason.

Yet, the outrage over the decision to transition is not as widespread as it would have been just a few years ago. Proof that the future is a tsunami of change sweeping away yesterday’s static perceptions of community, relationships, sexuality and even granite kitchen countertop splash backs.

First it was the Gay Pride Parade. Then the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Parade. Won’t be long before Disney pays big bucks to sponsor the AWHPWTWTAISB Parade: Anybody Who Has Problems With the Whole Tab A Into Slot B Parade. And that, my friends, is a parade we can all walk in.

Facebook now offers 51 categories under the heading of “gender choice” and it could easily be 51,000, but that would mean filling out forms would become our national pastime. 7.1 billion may be the world’s population but the real number of sexual preferences is probably north of 9 billion, because face it, some of us are little piggies and would demand more than one.

Sex is complicated like a tangled spaghetti fuse, with desire and romance all intertwined. Or not. And it doesn’t matter if you think it’s trite or cliché, it is true- each and every one of us is a PRECIOUS FRICKIN SNOWFLAKE. Your needs are yours alone. Doesn’t matter if you identify as FTM or MTF or GBH or LSMFT or WYSIWYG or MGM. Ars Gratia Artis.

To be accurate, secondary filters need to separate prudes from exhibitionists and the squeamish and the gross and tentatives and precisionists and leapers and crawlers and the noisy and the mute. And don’t forget the short, taut and distracted. And the plush who require air-conditioning to keep from making their own gravy.

Individual appeal has as much to do with chromosomes as ballet slippers have to do with transmission repair. Nobody can explain attraction. Although throughout history, rich and good-looking has never hurt. More evolved folks keep a constant prowl for a glimmer of generosity. A soupcon of compassion. And whether the prospective mate sufficiently hates the Dodgers.

No more can we assume that sex and gender and physical sexual characteristics are the same thing. Once you’ve seen the rainbow, you can never go back to black and white. We’re not in Kansas anymore, Dot. Tomorrow is going to be broadcast in a million colors. A lot of them nicely puce.

But for those of you desperately seeking labels, here’s a goodie. If the object of your affection picks you up in a car, and reaches over to unlock the passenger door before you try the handle, slap a sticker on their forehead that says…”Certified Keeper.”

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Visit willdurst.com for info about the documentary film, “3 Still Standing” and calendar listings that feature future appearances such as his new one-man show, “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG”.
 
4.26.15
The Heartbreak of Oversharing

While the nation sleeps, a virulent epidemic snakes across our width and breadth like a twisting toxic tornado. Everyday, the tragic sufferers of this dread disease stagger dazedly down streets walking into poles and Armenians and through glass doors, oblivious to all around them. Often wandering into the path of oncoming traffic. Many times, they are the traffic that is oncoming.

Of course we’re talking about the virulent pestilence that is… oversharing. A communicable condition commonly mischaracterized as communication. These pitiable self-absorbed social media casualties are easy to spot with their bowed heads and marked tendency to stare fixedly into their laps; faces bathed in an eerie glow, furiously twitching their thumbs. At least we hope that’s what’s going on.

The harrowing evidence of the heartbreak of oversharing has become all too familiar. Scattered blooms of brilliance in darkened theaters. Blurry photos of a runny portabella mushroom parmesan risotto. Noble pets forced to pose in demeaning holiday themed costumes.

Indiscriminate poking. Inane formulas designed to derive stripper names. Overly detailed records of various body fluid eliminations. The online community is a voracious beast that requires constant feeding and that gorging has created a chorus of cries for validation the rest of us neither need to know about nor care to witness.

Socrates opined that “an unexamined life is not worth living” but the Greek philosopher may be forgiven for living 24 centuries before our mass migration to Twitterville and Facebooklandia; blissfully unaware of the grisly possibilities of the far end of the examination stick. Hashtag egomania.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Lines to new movie openings are long and slow. That revelation does not rate any kind of a thumb-up or down. You spotted a Canadian squirrel- terrific. We will alert Ottawa. Riding on buses during morning rush hour can get crowded. What next? Blue sky? Sand on a beach? Oh, goodie. A picture of sand on a beach below a blue sky. Yes, that looks like an awesome Southern Comfort Old Fashioned Sweet. But unless you’re bringing back a sip, no one is going to like it or share it or retweet it. Deal with it.

And why is it the same folks who complain about NSA surveillance insist on chronicling their every nose pick for the whole world to see? Quit talking about going to get some milk at the corner store and do it and then shut up about it, dumbass.

And you should be aware that if you hit me with that selfie stick one more time, your upwards-of-70 followers are going to be treated to a dedicated stream of an extreme close up of your large intestine. Friends don’t let friends post confirmation of them acting like idiots. 

We haven’t even addressed the issue of drunk posting, a cutting-edge form of social and career sabotage. Future employers don’t want to be able to access highlights of the bachelor party that went awry. Good rule of thumb–no nighttime photos.

So, please, people. Only you can stamp out oversharing, a self- inflicted social disease that no antibiotic can cure. Perhaps someday, a solar flare or electromagnetic pulse will come and wash away all our juvenile posts and we will be forced to actually talk to one another. Again. Perish the thought.

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Visit willdurst.com for info about the documentary film, “3 Still Standing” and calendar listings that feature future appearances such as his new one-man show, “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG”.
 
4.21.15
Bolting Colts and Wagging Nags

“And They’re Almost Off.” Yes, the entrance to the 2016 Presidential Derby has officially been flung open wider than the gap between George Bernard Shaw and Pee Wee Herman. Backstage at the Bolshoi Ballet and the snack bar adjacent to the Professional Bowlers Association Hall of Fame gift shop. Horseshoes and mirrors.

At the Republican Leadership Summit in New Hampshire, various contenders staggered out to the starting gate testing the footing of the track with cries of trainers still ringing in their ears: “the race may be many things, but it is not a sprint. A marathon. A steeplechase. A twisted cross- country endurance run on a course designed by masochists, fueled by obscene amounts of cash and overseen by clowns and contortionists. But not a sprint.”

Establishing position on the far outside rail, Doctor Senator Indian Chief Rand Paul, followed in the hoof prints of Ted Cruz by announcing his candidacy for the GOP nomination wearing the red, white and blue silks of the Tea Party. And visually, the race promises to get awfully giddy with those colors.

Paul tied his campaign to defeating Congress. Which is odd, since he is a member. Track touts might describe this attack as a patriotic form of self-loathing. But in his stable, this is referred to as expedient positioning. AKA: sucking up to the punters.

Rand Paul, son of Ron Paul, not RuPaul, has chosen the slogan, “Defeat the Washington Machine. Unleash the American Dream;” at least 11 syllables too long for your typical spectator’s attention span. Might as well be a racing form printed in Greek.

From a barn in the deep wrinkled shadows of America’s dangling appendage comes Florida Senator Marco Rubio who claims to be running as the young whippersnapping colt come to steal the reins of government back from those old nags who refuse to throw off the saddle. No names. (Jeb and Hillary)

The 43 year- old son of Cuban immigrants is camera- ready but untested with the gravitas of dandelion fuzz. And viewed as vulnerable from his right after suggesting an immigration compromise, which ticked off hardliners in the Party-of-No so badly, they nearly dropped a wreath of burning crosses. The good news for Rubio is he doesn’t have to worry about peaking too early.

Nosing around the paddock contemplating a stretch run are almost 20 more potential entrants including a gaggle of governors, a female CEO and some guy with aerodynamic hair. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, whose both sire and mare are first time breeders, the Koch Brothers, is not only chomping at the bit but also taking nips at field favorites.

Donald Trump has officially announced plans to form an exploratory committee that will investigate the possibility of him considering a run. Why? Because America needs decisive leadership, that’s why. The publicity-seeking dandy donkey vows to make a decision in June or July, or whenever NBC decides to premiere the new edition of his silly reality show.

In the other closely watched contest, the Democratic Sweepstakes, the only entree so far is that old warhorse, Hillary Clinton, who could very well win in a walk. But don’t lose track of long shot Bernie Sanders who looks to be setting up a table near the final stretch, piled high with monkey wrenches and whips.

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Visit willdurst.com for info about the documentary film, “3 Still Standing” and calendar listings that feature future appearances such as his new one-man show, “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG”.
 
4.12.15
Some Simple Solutions

Modern life can get awfully complicated. And in our continuing quest to navigate these state-of-the-art raging rapids while keeping body and mind upright, we should be forgiven the occasional tendency to overthink things. (like the previous sentence) Often, making it worse. What America really needs right now are some simple common-sense solutions. And we here at Durstco are honored to offer up a couple of modest proposals.

The California Drought. It is estimated there are over 1100 golf courses in the Golden State. How hard would it be to replace all the fairways with green colored cement? Quick and easy way to save thousands of gallons of water a day. On the plus side, golfers get true bounces and double distance on drives; resulting in lower scores, precipitating a rise in self-esteem. It’s the ultimate California win-win.

Homeless Problem. Give the indigent all across the country free bus tickets to New Orleans. They’d fit right in with all the Phish fans who never left after the band’s various Jazz Fest appearances.

Gay Marriages. All gay wedding planners in states that discriminate should order double wedding cakes with 2 grooms and 2 brides on top and then when the magic moment arrives, toss the superfluous genders away. Or let the new spouses eat them.

Keeping Iran From Getting The Nuclear Bomb. Hand Israel a map to all Iranian nuclear production sites. Oh wait, they probably already have it. Never mind.

Traffic Congestion. Any moving violation or parking ticket results in a driver’s license being taken away for 30 days. Of course, Uber drivers will rule the world. As long as they don’t get a ticket.

Education. More nuns.

Rising Income Inequality. Take a little money from all the really rich people and give it to really poor people to kind of even things out. Novel idea, but bet it would work.

Obesity. 3rd story kitchens.

Drugs. All drugs are legalized, but can only be purchased from state government outlets. Then merge operations with Department of Motor Vehicles.

Climate Change. Just ignore it. It will go away. Or we will.

Corrupt Politicians. Whenever a politician is caught lying, cheating or stealing, they are legally bound to participate in an aversion therapy program and forced to watch recordings of Joe McCarthy while riding a stationary bike next to Lance Armstrong who exhorts them to “move it, Chubby” through a bullhorn. 

Voter Turnout. Free pizzas. But only one to a customer. Even in Chicago.

Federal Debt. Just ignore it. It will go away. Or we will.

Greed-Centric Corporations. More nuns.

Economic Growth. Inveigle Starbucks to increase caffeine content of drinks by 10%. Prompting people to stay up longer, leading to a corresponding leap in consumer purchasing.

Racism. Once a year, each registered voter receives a one night’s stay in a 5 star hotel with all expenses paid, and after an extended trip to the hosted bar, is encouraged to enter a darkened ballroom with mattresses covering the floor and everyone hooks up with members of the opposite sex with total legal impunity. Within 3 generations, the whole country will be the exact same color. Tawny.

So there you have it. Some simple common sense solutions to save this country stress. No need to thank us, we’re only here to help.

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Visit willdurst.com for info about the documentary film, “3 Still Standing” and calendar listings that feature future appearances such as his new one-man show, “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG”.
 
4.5.15
FAQ: Religious Freedom Restoration Act

Q. Governor of Indiana, Mike Pence, signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. What’s the big deal?
A. Two years ago, the US Supreme Court mandated that Indiana had to recognize same-sex marriages, essentially saying “Like it or lump it.” This is them lumping it.

Q. Would Senate Bill 101 really allow Christians to discriminate against homosexuals?
A. Critics maintain the law protects religions from being sued for actions related to their beliefs. The problem is not everyone in Indiana is a Christian. This legislation could also provide Quakers the right to refuse to sell furniture to anyone wearing a zipper. Muslim ice cream shop owners would not be required to serve waffle cones to women.

Q. Well, that doesn’t sound so bad. Where’s the problem?
A. Hoosier Wiccans also praised the law claiming it allows them to marry horses.

Q. Like to see that wedding cake. What exactly is a Hoosier?
A. Nobody knows; but in the early 1800s it was generally used to describe a bunch of yokels. Meant as an insult, it was taken on by native Indianans as a form of mocking self-tribute until it lost its negative connotations. Kind of like Oklahomans with Okies. Or Wisconsinites and Cheeseheads.

Q. And now?
A. Negative connotations – back with a bullet.

Q. Didn’t Clinton sign a Religious Freedom Restoration Act on the federal level in 1993?
A. Yes. And it passed the House and the Senate almost unanimously. But that bill was written to prevent governments from interfering with religious practices and focused on freedoms, not discrimination. It’s a new reality show on Fox: “When Good Bills Go Bad.”

Q. What has the response been?
A. To say there’s been a backlash is like inferring that gravel does not top the list of requested desert toppings. Many artists including Miley Cyrus threatened to cancel concerts.  

Q. Not too big of a deal, as Ms. Cyrus pulled out of half her dates last year. Anything else?
A. Angie’s List canceled an expansion. A groundswell of boycotts. The president of the NCAA even said nasty things and when the NCAA assumes the moral high ground you know you’re in deep doo-doo.

Q. Didn’t Arizona try something similar last year?
A. Yes. But AZ Governor Jan Brewer vetoed the bill after the NFL threatened to pull the Super Bowl out of Phoenix. The postal abbreviation AZ seems to stand for Angry Xenophobes. And yes, xenophobe starts with an X. But they don’t know that.

Q. Does this mean the NFL trumps the NCAA?
A. By a ratio of approximately umpteen gazillion to one.

Q. Didn’t Governor Pence write an editorial in the Washington Post blaming Obama Care for this law?
A. Yes. According to Republicans, it turns out Obama Care is responsible for a variety of maladies, including an abundance of retina detachment in Angus steers, the substandard maple syrup crop in Vermont and blue mold.

Q. And what about the so-called “fix”? 
A. Proponents of the law consider the legislative “fix” exactly like how a veterinarian fixes a dog.

Q. So, what is Indiana really trying to say?
A. “We have the God-given right to be intolerant of people who do not believe in our God-given right to be intolerant.” 

Q. And who can argue with that?
A. Indeed.

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Visit willdurst.com for info about the documentary film, “3 Still Standing” and calendar listings that feature future appearances such as his new one-man show, “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG”.
 
4.1.15
Crazy Cruzy

Winter is over! Winter is over! Excuse the jubilation, but we ink-stained wretches love the ritual excitement that occurs every spring-before-the Big Quadrennial with the first sighting of a red nose popping out of the presidential wannabe clown car.

This seasonal harbinger is Ted Cruz who announced his candidacy for the highest office of the land. Throwing his 10 gallon hat into the ring at Liberty University, Cruz spoke to an assembly of students whose attendance was required. Mandatory attendance at Liberty University. Sounds like definition of the word “freedom” is fairly fluid for the matriculators of the Jerry Falwell founded University.

As a metaphor though, it’s perfect for Crazy Cruzy’s candidateship. Rafael Edward Cruz is The Contradiction Man. The Canadian born Senator of Cuban ancestry is virulently anti-immigrant and an elected representative who hates compromise. A politician who brags of shutting down the government.

He’s a graduate of Princeton and Harvard Law and a Dominionist who surfs the crest of his constituency’s ignorance. As demonstrated by his 21-hour filibuster in September, 2013, which included the reading of Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham on the floor of the Senate. And then in front of the whole country he proceeded to misinterpret the moral of a book aimed at kindergartners.

Recently, Cruz compared himself to Galileo, claiming to be similarly attacked for his belief that global warming doesn’t exist. And it’s an apt comparison. Except Galileo was a scientist refuting the teachings of the Church and Cruz is a religious man denying the teachings of science. Other than that- spot on.

Cruz also mentioned Galileo was attacked by Flat Earthers, but that issue was settled 1800 years previously. Galileo was persecuted for positing the earth revolved around the sun, an opinion that landed him in prison for 10 years. Perhaps fate plans on extending Mr. Cruz’s analogy.

It’s odd that the 100% Tea Party Approved junior Senator from Texas adopted the 16th Century astronomer as his soul mate, since he doesn’t believe in climate change, evolution or in very much science at all. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him spearhead a movement to repeal the law of gravity.

This former editor of the Harvard Law Review offered up as proof that global warming is a myth the fact that it snowed in New Hampshire this year, which is like saying there is no sin in Las Vegas because Mother Teresa once flew over it on a flight back home to India.

Later, Cruz railed in a Twitter post that the federal government has no business in education and he would repeal every word of Common Core. But Common Core is a set of standards agreed to by 43 states, not a federal program. So he’s attacking a bill that doesn’t actually exist. Ted Cruz: avowed enemy of imaginary legislation everywhere.

But if the heavens are to align for the chairman of the Science, Space and Competitiveness Senate Subcommittee, some dark clouds will need to be dealt with. Congressman Peter King, (R-NY) called him a joke and a carnival barker, and since Donald Trump is seriously (hah) considering another Oval Office run, it is assumed he will demand to see a birth certificate. The hell with that, someone dig up the results from his most recent psych exam.

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Visit willdurst.com for info about the documentary film, “3 Still Standing” and calendar listings that feature future appearances such as his new one-man show, “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG”.
 
3.24.15
Proxy Rematch

Might want to stuff your pants pockets with sand and hang onto the rail as the ship of state lurches towards the distinct possibility that the election to next command the helm will be between Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton. The brother versus the wife. Sounds like a probate lawsuit.

This promises to be a fabulous development for comedians everywhere, precipitating the resurrection of all our 1992 Bush/Clinton material. It’s the green thing to do. Recycling meets nostalgia. Together again for the very first time. A rematch by proxy. Now, if only we could coax Ross Perot back into the fray.

If Jeb does win his party’s nomination it would mean a Bush has been on their presidential ticket 7 out of the last 10 elections, which is way past dynasty; now we’re talking anti-trust legislation. If Democrats aren’t investigating the possibility of indicting the Bush Family as a monopolistic cartel infringing on the Sherman Act, they’re more clueless than we first thought. Which was considerable.

Meanwhile, the GOP is trying to nip all this dynastic chatter in the bud by pointing out that Hillary would be a sequel as well. But a sequel is not a dynasty. She’s only the 2nd Clinton to run. Different than three candidates from the same family by one. Doubt if a third Roosevelt could get elected.

Besides, Hillary is a woman. A concept Republicans aren’t overly hip to. The only woman the Tea Party would nominate is Barbara Bush. Not as a candidate, as a production facility. They fail to grasp how the first person with a y-chromosome deficiency to top a ticket is a big deal. Nor do they understand how disparate the nature is between the 3rd Bush and the 1st woman.

The problem is, Jeb has excited both donors and party regulars. More so than in eight years. You keep hearing, “no, no, you don’t understand, this is the smart one! He takes after mom.” And isn’t that typical? Finally trotting out the smart one the third time around. At least the Dems had the good sense to send up their smart Clinton the 2nd time at bat.

Jeb is the guy who famously said he disagreed with nothing his brother ever did in the White House. Of course, when Hillary was Senator of New York, she stated she could not believe a sitting president of the United States would ever lie to her. Arguments can be made that neither one of them pays close attention.

The GOP doesn’t realize how off-putting this whole dynasty thing is to ordinary Americans. Our whole system of government is based on not being a monarchy. As much as the Bush Family likes to hold hands with them, we aren’t Saudi Arabia.

"But Jeb is his own man." Yeah, sure. An aide to the Right to Rise PAC said 21 members advising Jeb used to work in the Bush I or Bush 2 administrations. Who’s he going to pick as VP, Dick Cheney?

One consolation about this whole sovereign ascendancy matchup is whoever wins isn’t going to need much of an orientation when it comes to figuring out the lay of the land at the White House. Look at that, we’re saving money already.

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Visit willdurst.com for info about the documentary film, “3 Still Standing” and calendar listings that feature future appearances such as his new one-man show, “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG”.
 
3.14.15
email Troubles

The country breathed a collective sigh of relief following Hillary Clinton’s masterful press conference held in response to the controversy surrounding her email troubles. “It’s all fine. Don’t worry about it. We got it covered. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.”

It appears she might have used a personal email address while conducting government business, but only because she didn’t want to carry two Blackberrys after losing all that weight running around repeatedly saving the world as Secretary of State, thank you very much; and was simply making an attempt to maintain her newly acquired slim profile. Did everybody catch the part about saving the world? Repeatedly?

The former Hillary Diane Rodham also insists that all the deleted private messages were silly and trivial and concerned mostly with the planning of her daughter’s wedding, mother’s funeral and/or yoga routines. All 30,000 of them. Which either means she was organizing the world’s most complicated wedding and/or funeral or was extremely determined to advance past Mountain Pose and Downward Dog.

Another question is why aren’t all the fiscal hawks applauding the former junior Senator from the State of New York for saving the government gobs of money by running her own server? A server that was never hacked; more than can be said for just about any other government agency including the Atomic Energy Commission, which is reputedly leakier than large bore sieves used as target practice for surface to air missiles.

 

Feeding further flabbergasting fuel to the fire was the source responsible for bringing these records discrepancies into open discussion, the hitherto unsuspected leader of that vast right-wing conspiracy: The New York Times. With friends like these, who needs the Koch Brothers?

Oh for crum’s sake, stop whining, people. If we’ve learned anything during the age of the interwebs, it’s that nothing ever disappears. So if certain parties do decide to appoint certain Congressional committees that are Benghazi-obsessed to discover the emails’ content, they can go ask their good buddies Julian Assange, Edward Snowden or the NSA to dig deep and all will be revealed. Well, most. Some?

And, as it turns out, the former First Lady is not the only potential 2016 candidate to play these little reindeer games: Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Jeb Bush, not to mention Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice; all have admitted trying to slip the gnarly knob of government oversight by conducting business through private email accounts. It’s become such a boring predictable dance, Lady Gaga will probably write a song about it soon.

It’s always something with Billary: female or email. But no matter how often they’re attacked- Whitewater, Travelgate, Filegate, Vince Foster or a line of bimbos longer than Act 3 in Troilus and Cressida- they have a knack for survival not unlike political cockroaches. And that’s meant in a good way.

This could be one of those teachable moments we’ve heard so much about. As former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown is wont to say “the ‘e’ in email stands for evidence.” Maybe we, the American public, can wrangle a compromise out of this. After elected President, we allow the present Mrs. Clinton to switch to an iPhone and in return the NSA guarantees that all photos of her in yoga pants will be suppressed in the interest of national security.

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Visit willdurst.com for info about the documentary film, “3 Still Standing” and calendar listings that feature future appearances such as his new one-man show, “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG”.
 
2.28.14
Message Received

Don’t look now, but the Democratic Party is undergoing an identity crisis of such monumental proportions, the Dissociative Identity Disorder people have called and are requesting artifacts for their Hall of Fame. Going to put Obama’s basketball hoop right next to Sally Field’s purple crayon.

In the realm of improbabilities, it’s hard to beat… Democrats and their message. A lot like saying the Eskimos and their convertibles. The Mormons and their all-night dance marathons. ISIS and their art appreciation seminars.

In the wake of suffering what can only be described as the most gruesome drubbing in the history of midterm elections, and yes, that includes the Republican sweep following The Panic of 1893, the Democrats commissioned a report to investigate what the hell went wrong and how to get their mojo back. Although, Harry Reid using the word “mojo” is probably not something you want to be ruminating upon right before bedtime.

Ironically, this was the same self-analysis Republicans turned to after losing the presidency in 2012 to a black guy named Hussein in the middle of a lousy economy. There’s a word for contemplating your navel as a form of meditation: omphaloskepsis. And who can dispute that Democrats are the most naturally omphaloskeptic of the major parties? With Tea Partiers suffering from sesquipedalophobia- fear of long words. And Libertarians most likely to be ablutophobic- which is fear of bathing.

This election post-mortem was based on interviews and studies and surveys and astrological forecasts and ratings on IMDB of the first two Hobbit movies and some random notes found on the backs of spindled lunch receipts and fortune cookie messages but only from indigenously correct restaurants in the Chinatown sections of 4 large metropolitan areas on the west coast.

Though the official report isn’t scheduled to come out until May, preliminary findings of the soul-searching have been released, and the Dems have come to the considered opinion that it isn’t their message keeping them from a humongous pile of electoral victories, but the delivery of it. This time they really do blame the messenger. And it’s them.

Yeah, and Domino’s would be renowned for terrific pizza if only they could figure out how to keep it from arriving cold and mealy with congealed cheese stuck the inside top of the box. And they used quality ingredients. Oh yeah, there’s that.

Amazingly, this is the same exact conclusion the GOP reached in their post-Romney autopsy. You have to wonder if these guys use the same consultants. And guess what, they do.

Former Democratic National Chairman and Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, blamed his party’s inability to get their point across because “our message is reasonable and intelligent, and almost inherently nuanced.” Well, there’s your problem right there. Inherently nuanced? Yeah, that floats down the middle of Main Street like a buzzard on a zephyr.

Hey guys, the answer is pretty simple. You want to be the smart party, stop doing stupid stuff. You want to be known as a party with a winning message, quit being such losers. Want the middle class to turn to you for opportunity, provide some middle class opportunity. For crum’s sake, stand for something. Anything. Besides the national anthem, that is.

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Visit willdurst.com for info about the documentary film, “3 Still Standing” and calendar listings that feature future appearances such as his new one-man show, “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG”.
 
2.21.15
Up is Down

Best be advised to sit down, pour yourself a beer and take a deep breath. Because you’re about to hear something that will change your life. Forever. Are you relaxed? Good, because everything you know is wrong. Ain't that always the way. Just when we think we have it all figured out, somebody comes along with information suggesting we’re so off the mark, we might have taken the neighbor’s car to work, slept with our cousin and brushed our teeth with kitchen cleanser.

You know who’s holding back the middle class? It’s those darn Democrats. Yes! And all this time we thought it was the Republicans. But, no! According to GOP leaders, they are the great defender of the common man, and the fact that they suck up to the rich like 1000 giant squid on the body of a beached whale is simply to infiltrate the belly of the beast. Conducting surveillance. What’s the price of liberty? Eternal vigilance. That’s right.

You see, like the Vichy Government, the Party of Lincoln is only pretending to be sycophantic leeches. Actually, every member of their caucus is a brave resistance fighter. Whose sole mission is to siphon the wealth from the top 1% and spread it to the rest of us currently hunkered down in the 99% trenches.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recently regaled his troops with the urgent need to refocus on “the stagnant middle class.” Prompting the paranoid to worry that he may be after those last scraps mistakenly left for us to fight over. Could be a diversion whose real goal is to suck the bones clean. Like that Twilight Zone episode where the aliens arrive with a sacred tome called “To Serve Man” which is later revealed to be a cookbook.

But this change is not just one or two stalwarts who decided their future lies in middle class hands; it seems to be a retooling of the whole party. You’d think a memo had been passed up and down the rank ranks meant to blunt the Democrats’ major upcoming campaign issue. One can assume the memo was printed on Koch (rhymes with sock) Brothers stationery.

Before pulling out of his unannounced presidential run, even Mormon gazillionaire Mitt Romney claimed he was determined to help the working class. And when he called 47% of Americans “moochers and malingerers” back in 2012, he meant that in a good way.

New dynastic hope Jeb Bush says the recession still rages on for 60% of America because Obama hasn’t done enough for the middle class. Totally neglecting to mention the very recession he’s referring to is the one created out of thin air by a close family member.

This whole “I know you are, but what am I” form of campaigning may prove to be the next big thing. Perhaps Scott Walker will morph into a friend of the unions. Mike Huckabee goes to the mat defending the rights of Muslims, and Chris Christie announces he’s on a quest to end the scourge of type 2 diabetes, forever.

And since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, nobody should be surprised when Joe Biden champions tort reform, Elizabeth Warren authors a revolutionary relaxation on banking regulations and Hillary Clinton refers to the National Organization of Women as “a scrum of harpies.”  

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Visit willdurst.com for info about the documentary film, “3 Still Standing” and calendar listings that feature future appearances such as his new one-man show, “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG”.
 
2.14.15
The New Tar Pits

Kind of sad being forced to watch the death struggle of these modern-day dinosaurs. Responsible parents should keep their kids from peering over the Plexiglas railing into the tar pits below to see the huge lumbering antediluvian beasts frenziedly dig themselves deeper into the sticky morass that is gay marriage. Not a sight for the queasy or squeamish.

For some unfathomable reason, the thought of other people having sex makes certain folks crazier than a three-legged, drunken squirrel on a telephone wire covered in ice. Judge Roy Moore, the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, is one of those; and frankly, his obsession is becoming more than a mite suspicious.

Last week, Moore ordered probate judges in the Yellowhammer State to ignore a federal court order and refuse to issue marriage certificates to gay couples. Like the Civil War, these guys are programmed to never give up. Hey, South! Get over it. Unless you have compromising photos of US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy with a baby brontosaurus, gay marriage is a done deal. And guess what, you lost. Again. Deal with it.

This happens to be the very same Chief Justice Roy Moore who was kicked out of the very same office 12 years ago after ignoring another federal court order to remove a two and a half-ton granite block inscribed with the 10 Commandments from the rotunda of the Alabama Judicial Building. Guy’s caught in a loop. The Mobius Judge.

You could say he’s not big on federal court orders. You could also say that Alabama is so far on the wrong side of history, they have a better chance of running into a herd of Stegosaurus than a fleet of Prius. Which they would call, one of their states’ rights.

See, it’s not the law that’s important, it’s what Judge Moore thinks Jesus wants that’s important. Mohammed, Buddha, Krishna, Zoroaster, Confucius, Joe Smith, not so much. That the top adjudicator of the state is unable to figure out that displaying the Ten Commandments promotes one religion over others and is in direct opposition to the US Constitution does not bode well. The fossilized remains of George Wallace are alive and well and walking around in Alabama.

They seem to be doing okay in Kansas as well; where Governor Sam Brownback issued an executive order rolling back rules that prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation. The Friends of Dorothy are not welcome in Kansas. Anymore.

 

Experts see the governor’s move a transparent attempt to distract Kansans from his tax policies, which cut education and taxes on the rich at the same time. And the citizens of Kansas are beginning to suspect Brownbackian roots as the reason why their economy sucks. So now the state is morally and financially bankrupt at the same time.

The United Dixie White Knights branch of the KKK released a statement on their website supporting Judge Moore, complete with more than a few spelling errors. Couple pieces of advice. One: if you want to be taken seriously, hire a 12 year old familiar with spellcheck to run your website. And two: If any one of your positions is ever supported by the KKK, you might want to think again. Or risk extinction. Like those dinosaurs.

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Visit willdurst.com for info about the documentary film, “3 Still Standing” and calendar listings that feature future appearances such as his new one-man show, “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG”.
 
2.7.15
Misremembering

Big bad brouhaha over at NBC with anchor Brian Williams misremembering being shot down in a helicopter on a trip to Iraq, when the facts seem to indicate that although he did fly in a helicopter, and was over Iraq, he was not shot down. Well, come on; the guy was close. Got 2 out of 3. They keep you in the bigs with a .667 batting average, right? Well, this time around… maybe not.

Easy to see how this could happen, though. Self-aggrandizement is a tool centermost in the desk drawer of every show business aspirant. Especially pretty boy anchors with a tendency to read every story in a patented stentorian melodramatic “crisis averted, but barely” voice.

In Hollywood, resumes are so routinely full of baloney, they should be printed on the back of old deli menus. But even in the real world, who hasn’t fudged the particulars of an exciting incident to make oneself a more central character? The only difference here is he did it on television. In front of the entire world. For 12 consecutive years.

The Hellcat that was former president Ronald Regan used to regale the press with exciting stories from his Navy days. At least he thought he did. What he really was sharing were exciting stories from when he was making a movie about being in the Navy. At least Brian Williams was referring to something that happened in real life. Albeit to someone else. Making him only semi-delusional. Which in the news industry is considered downright stable.

And be honest, don’t you just love that term… “misremembered.” Sounds so much nicer than “lied” or “engaged in a prolonged period of willful deceitfulness” or “so full of hogwash he probably smells like bacon when he gets up in the morning and can’t look at himself in the mirror.”

Besides, the events of that day seem fairly impervious to pinning down; the flight engineer and the pilot of the Chinook have totally different recollections as to whether the chopper did or didn’t take fire. This whole misremembering thing seems to be contagious. Making the situation more complicated than the assembly instructions for a combination wine-rack/ bookcase/ dog bed, on wheels, from IKEA.

One minor problem is you could say that Brian’s job as lead personality of a network’s news division kind of, sort of, in some ways, depends on just an eensy teensy tiny bit of credibility. While it seems with this prevarication, he’s managed to reinforce Sarah Palin’s “the lamestream media always lies” claim. And legitimizing Sarah Palin, that’s never good. 

Furthermore, it raises the ugly specter of what happens when Mr. Williams is forced to report on an entirely different RPG attack on a helicopter? Or a case of stolen honor? Might it not appear ironic, on air? Be like Tiger Woods giving a speech on marital fidelity. Bill Cosby holding forth on family values. Tom Brady interviewing Lance Armstrong. Or Kim Kardashian filming a commercial about shameless hucksterism.

To atone for his gaffe, Brian Williams should be encouraged to do the right thing, which would be to travel to Disneyland to contract the measles, then infiltrate the Kremlin and infest Putin. Of course he could always quit and move over to Fox News. Would fit right in.

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Visit willdurst.com for info about the documentary film, “3 Still Standing” and calendar listings that feature future appearances such as his new one-man show, “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG”.
 
2.2.15
Red Velvet Ropage

And now for a few choice words concerning my recent demotion to the status of second-class citizen. The amazing thing is how quickly my metamorphosis into Cockroachlandia occurred. One minute, I’m walking around like an ordinary human; the next minute, I’m an insect, an unwanted stiff, a bum, a vagabond, a jamoke. About as popular as feet in a punchbowl.

It seems America is splitting into two different categories: first class and… wherever I am. Which is as far from prosperous as Kathmandu is to Kansas. Tiffany’s and the Dollar Store. A 3 star Michelin restaurant on the banks of the Seine and a Fresno Jack in the Box.

And, on the off-chance I might contract amnesia about my proper position in the big picture, a conspiracy of swells has assumed responsibility to remind me of my new station. And found a primitive but effective tool to keep my in my place. Talking about the ubiquitous red velvet rope used to separate the VIPs from the hoi polloi. The universal symbol for exclusion.

Sometimes the rope is a single scarlet supine snake protecting a door or an entranceway from the intrusion of loathsome louts such as me. But often there are whole armies of chrome stanchions connecting miles of crimson strands to keep me from traversing into tantalizingly unknown opulence. Sometimes, just a bathroom.

You see them everywhere. In nightclubs, restaurants, theme parks, casinos; wherever they congregate, the wealthy have demanded the option to pay more not to have to rub elbows with the likes of me. And businesses are only too happy to provide the room. Usually excising it from spaces the general public formerly roamed freely. Such as bathrooms.

These days, everything and everyone are subject to affluence apartheid. Resorts reserve their best poolside locations for the exclusive use of those who can pony up for cabanas. Members-only skyboxes grow larger and larger at sports venues where the elite can meet, greet, eat, bleat and escape the heat.

Want to skip to the head of the reservation line at the hottest restaurant in town? There’s an app for that. But it’s going to cost you. Private clubs and restricted lounges come with monthly dues that approximate mortgage payments for some of us. San Francisco and Manhattan are becoming velvet-roped cities. Only the loaded and bloated need apply.

Toll roads allowing the rich to whiz by are multiplying like candy peeps at Easter while the rest of us eat each other’s exhaust at a snail’s pace. The rich are also able to purchase special perks. Apparently, BMW drivers aren’t even required to use turn signals.

On airlines, back in steerage, I’m crammed into a seat that an emaciated 12 year old would find confining, regularly slamming my chin into my knees, while the upscale folks up front sleep flat on 600 thread-count Egyptian cotton. It’s the 21st Century segregation-rich versus the rest of us. The country clubbing of America.

Ironically, once access is gained, the rewards are usually disappointing. Bad lighting. Spotty wifi. Weak coffee. Canned canapés. And lousy company.

It’s only a matter of time before the well-heeled band together to protect their divisive ways by creating a political party that focuses on the proliferation of these red velvet ropes. Oh yeah. That’s right. They already have.

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Visit willdurst.com for info about the documentary film, “3 Still Standing” and calendar listings that feature future appearances such as his new one-man show, “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG”.
 
1.29.15
The New Ice Age

“And that’s it for sports.”

“Thank you Robert for the fascinating premier of your exclusive in-depth Channel 7, twelve-part series on underinflated balls, Can’t wait to see what balls you have for us tomorrow. And now, here’s Wayne with our exclusive Channel 7 Eyewitness Weather and your new up-to-the-minute national weather report, brought to you by Easy -the drug that will make you never wonder why. Ever again.”

“Well, thanks Padma. Hello Foggy Bottom. Batten down the hatches people, because it’s about to get chilly out there. Not just cold. Long Island Ice Tea on a Vermont porch in January cold. Nostril hair cracking cold. Ice cube tray down your pants cold. Tongue stuck to the flagpole cold. Beyonce’s sister talking to Jay-Z cold.

Due to a stubborn high-pressure system emanating from the bases of both the left and the right, the immediate political forecast is for a long hard freeze to descend upon Washington DC and stay there. After that, arctic relations are expected to crystalize, until all political activity grinds to a halt in the same kind of gridlock that sang the Wooly Mammoths to their rest.

The long-term outlook isn’t any rosier. Expect increasing rhetoric with gusts of empty blather to result in virtual legislative permafrost. Storm clouds are gathering and the Doppler Radar indicates the Capital climate will become so incredibly frigid, the entire country is at risk of freezing solid over the next two years. And maybe longer, as the tropical winds of compromise appear to have been eaten by El Nino.

On one side, you have a decidedly frosty GOP Congress promising that anything and everything the President sends is DOA. The issue could be the Republican dream of tort reform but if it comes from the desk of the Chief Executive- color it El Morte.

While a distinctly icy Barack Obama has announced he’s prepared to unleash a blizzard of VETOs on any legislation that threatens his legacy. Which theoretically is anything. These two clashing icebox fronts could rival in intensity the cyclonic activity that has engulfed the great red spot on Jupiter for over 300 years.

The two sides are so far apart they can’t see each other due to the curvature of the earth. And the lack of even glacial progress insures that snowy drifts of abandoned bills will accumulate on Congressional desks. So, like normal; only more so.

Folks out there in our viewing area might want to make a quick trip into town for provisions, because the biting winds and refrigerated relationships are going to make a hundred polar vortexes look downright balmy.

With bitterly biting ideological winds, heavy rains of disregard and no relief in sight, the 114th Congress looks destined to earn the nickname of… The New Ice Age. As they say in Game of Thrones: “Winter is Coming!” And not just any winter: nuclear winter.

So there you have it. The new up-to-the-minute exclusive Channel 7 national weather report, brought to you by Easy- the drug that will make you never wonder why. Ever again. Stay tuned as Heather unveils exclusive footage of how a rescue of baby kittens from a discarded piano makes for beautiful music. And cute too.”  

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Visit willdurst.com for info about the documentary film, “3 Still Standing” and calendar listings that feature future appearances such as his new one-man show, “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG”.
 
1.18.15
Je Suis Hebdo

Decades after being dismissed by George S. Kaufman as a genre that “closes on Saturday night,” satire, like the measles and mumps, is making a comeback. And in many quarters, remains the most feared of the three conditions. Some experts hold to a strict definition: “satire portrays a viewpoint, while intending something different.” The most famous example being Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal,” the essay in which he advised Ireland’s poor to alleviate their poverty by selling their babies as food for the rich. At least we assume he was kidding. Hopefully no besotted chefs replicated his ingredients list.

Another example is the CIA’s assertion that “we don’t torture anybody,” when obviously what they meant was “yeah, we’ve been torturing people since way before we assured you we weren’t. And we’ve gotten pretty good at it.” You could say the CIA is America’s only straight up satirical organization. Proof that satire can exist without laughs.

Modern satiricality has loosened up to embrace many forms of humor: sarcasm, cynicism, scorn, contempt, bile, ridicule and recently, an endless fascination with body parts and fluids. Anything to spotlight perceived injustice. Tweak the nose of pomposity. Kick arrogance in the groin.

Seth Rogen and his stoner buddy, that darn Franco guy, first thrust funny onto the front pages with their movie, “The Interview;” a farce about assassinating the President of North Korea. Which you could say, the President of North Korea did not find amusing. You could also say armadillo snouts make inferior shot glasses.

Despots and extremists have the sense of humor of asphalt. With the emphasis on the first syllable. And yes, that’s an example of using a body part as humor. So, in response, North Korea orchestrated a monumental hack of the studio releasing the film. Doing damage to the economy and scaring the bejesus out of Wall Street. We know this happened because the CIA said it didn’t.

The fracas was exacerbated when Hollywood celebrities went to the mats defending free speech while imploring the public to boycott websites exhibiting their pilfered emails, revealing them to be petty snarks. This is known as irony, a brother to satire.

A greater tragedy is the thousands of Americans tricked into watching this cinematic opus under the guise of nationalistic pride. “Laugh, or the terrorists win.” Then in January, the world witnessed the ghastly murders of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo staffers by lunatic Muslim assassins. Who claimed to be offended by a cartoon. Which confused many US citizens. France has satirical magazines. America has Spongebob. It’s a trade-off.

It’s sad. Call yourself a satirist in America today and folks think you have goat legs. And play the pan flute. Especially when you consider the grand tradition of American political humorists- Twain, Bierce, Mencken, Rogers, Bruce, Krassner, Trudeau, Carlin, Hannity and the Cheneys.

The teachable moment here is how imperative it is we encourage artists to stay on the offensive. To mock and scoff and taunt for the sake of democracy. They should be stopped on the street and thanked for their service. Laugh, or the terrorists win.

Patriots on both sides of the political spectrum need to rally and support our brave perpetrators of mockage and scoffsome taunterating. And to do it even after the CIA says it’s okay to stop. Especially then. Je Suis Charlie. Je Suis Hebdo.

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Visit willdurst.com for info about the documentary film, “3 Still Standing” and calendar listings that feature future appearances such as his new one-man show, “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG”.
 
1.11.15
2015 Resolutions

Usually over the period of 12 months, you get an equal balance to your good days and your bad days. On the playground of the cosmos, the scales tend to balance out. But holey moley catfish, seems like last year the good days spent the bulk of recess time hiding behind the equipment shed next to the monkey bars, and the teeter totter hardly moved what with that fat punk-bad days, grounded on his end of the board throwing rocks at squirrels.

2014 was to years what Boko Haram is to religious tolerance. Think Donald Sterling and Martin Luther King keynote speakers. Utah and jazz. Rob Ford and all you can eat buffets. Oh wait, that does go together. But you catch my drift. 2014 was the year when Facebook offered to freeze employees’ eggs, and everyone responded, “eeewwww.” That saw Gary Busey made a comeback, and everyone responded, “eeewwww.”

But this year will be different. You watch. Typically, folks use the changing of the calendar to make plans to change their nefarious ways. Quit smoking. More exercise. Cut down on the bacon maple donuts. Stop killing innocent people. Boring do-gooder stuff, mostly. So they can look in the mirror. What never crosses their mind is you and me. We got to look at them all the time. So, because of that, here are a list of Resolutions that should be made by people for the 6th year of the second decade of the 21st century but probably won’t. 

Barack Obama vows to never be further than an arm’s length away from his veto pen.
The 114th Congress resolves to supersede the 113th Congress’ successes by accomplishing even less. Or as its known in layman’s terms- absolutely nothing. Say it again.
Scott Brown is hell bent on establishing residency in some lucky state that desires a good- looking, truck-driving man as its next Senator.
The Executive Council that runs Hong Kong will find some way to make umbrellas illegal.
Elizabeth Warren will ask everyone to call her Betty.
Stung by the specter of NFL violence, the CEO of Nike avers the company will never again associate with spoiled overpaid athletes and instead feature school teachers in all its ads. He is immediately fired.
Sony Pictures vows that every single villain in movies released this year will be fictional.
Liberia aspires to become more like Portugal.
Mike Huckabee vows that in this year’s Iowa Straw Poll, he will not be beaten by the straw.
Portugal aspires to become more like Greece.
John Boehner pledges to find a foundation color that reads less pumpkin and more summer squash.
North Korean President Kim Jong Un resolves to put his country’s nuclear bomb production on hold until someone on his team can figure out a delivery system that provides more loft than a yak.
Kim Kardashian makes a concerted effort to get back what she’s really good at. And hopes that it is something other than showing off her butt.
The US State Department vows to stop threatening to bomb Al Qaeda back to the Stone Age, as they seem to prefer the Stone Age. Like threatening to send Tea Partyers back to the 50s.
Republicans pledge to work out their differences with the hard line partisan hacks on their side of the aisle before yelling at Democrats.
And versa visa.

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Visit willdurst.com for info about the documentary film, “3 Still Standing” and calendar listings that feature future appearances such as his new one-man show, “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG”.


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