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Tuesday, December 23, 2003 11:20 PM

Hey guys. I was just wondering: did this whole holiday bedlam deal sneak up on you like it did me? Well, I looked it up, and you know what: its not just us. Thanksgiving fell on the 27th this year: making it a mere 28 days between the Turkey and the Tree. Sure sure, I know the pace of our world is speeding up like a Bullet Train on a straightaway viewed in a strobe light, but next year the gap is bulked up by to 2 days to 30; the year after that 31. And way way in the future, Year of Our Lord 2007 we're talking maximum separation: 33 days. And I guarantee those extra 5 days will seem a blessed eternity to each and every one of us, especially those of us who happen to be internet retailing shipping clerks. But while I take this time to salute and honor you stalwart consumers sprinting through Demolition Derby parking lots in your patriotic quest of sinking heavily into debt to honor the birth of the Jewish hippie kid, let me also offer up to the least deserving of us my annual scathingly incisive yet perennially trenchant—

  • For International Tyrannic Despot Saddam Hussein: a guest appearance on one of Oprah's extreme make- over shows and a successful change of trial venue to the County of Los Angeles.
  • For King of Pop Michael Jackson: no more extreme make-overs but indeed a successful change of trial venue to the County of Los Angeles.
  • For Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry: the password to one of his wife's Swiss bank accounts.
  • For Glen Campbell: a CD of Johnny Cash's "Live From Folsom Prison" and a generous contract to remake it.
  • For Democratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich: a 4% spike in New Hampshire so when he peaks at 1% in polls with a plus or minus 5% margin of error, he doesn't have to stay and shovel snow.
  • For Democratic Presidential candidate Doctor Howard Dean: less chuckling from Karl Rove whenever reporters mention the former Governor of Vermont's name.
  • For the Haliburton Corporation: suspicious sealed bid Iraq reconstruction contract awards in lieu of their recent suspicious no bid Iraq reconstruction contract awards.
  • For Osama bin Laden: a series of Khyber Pass spider holes with a vew: cbl & util incl.
  • For President George W Bush: Howard Dean in July and Osama bin Laden in October.
  • For Fox News: hard evidence that the credit card used to pay for the shovel that dug Saddam Hussein's spider hole has been traced to a shell corporation run by Hillary Clinton.
  • For California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger: a translation program that can explain why what he said he would do before the election and what's he has done afterwards may seem totally different but they're not really.
  • For Attorney General John Ashcroft: the sudden deterioration in the health of at least 2 Supreme Court nominees.
  • For Jerry Falwell: see above.
  • For hotel heiress Paris Hilton: an extreme make- over by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
  • For movie star Ben Affleck: a severe case of cold feet.
  • For Princess Diana: a single moments peace for Christ's sake.
  • For all members of our Armed Forces currently involved in this mission to extricate our oil from under their sand: a safe return and yes, that does include our mine- sniffing dolphins.
  • For non-Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton: an incontrovertible reason for the Party to ask her and an equally compelling reason for her to say "yes."
Will Durst wonders if Bill Clinton becomes First Guy, will he change the china pattern?
Tuesday, December 16, 2003 11:32 AM
Survivor Tikrit: Kicked Out of the Rathole

As opposed to the two previous times we claimed to have secured the Iraqi Strongman, this time we're pretty sure WE GOT THE BASTARD, as the announcement of his unearthing was delayed until DNA results could be verified, which begs a couple of questions like: how the hell did they get his DNA in the first place? And do we also have Osama bin Laden's and/ or Mullah Omar's DNA? And how bout my DNA? Am I listed on some suspect reprobate data base as well? And if so, are we talking early perky undergraduate DNA or late post comedy club career liver infirmity DNA? And what's the difference if any?

Rubbing salt in the wound of the capture of the would be killer of his Dad, Bush scored a major coup diminishing the regality of the Iraqi strongman by okaying the release of the film of Saddam's medical examination. I don't care if you're Beelzebub, the Dark Prince himself, it's nigh near impossible to look the least bit menacing with a tongue depressor stuck down your throat and anonymous rubber gloved hands rooting around your scalp for head lice. And even if we didn't suspect he had head lice, wasn't it a perfect kick in his Ba'athist butt to check? I can't wait for the footage of probes checking his pubes for crabs to emerge on the web. Destined to overtake Paris Hilton's bootleg video on the web hit list within a week.

Only problem with the humiliation of the hated one is perhaps we went a little too far, causing an involuntary "Aww, those mean soldiers are beating up grandpa." Hard to imagine this guy being able to commandeer an abandoned shopping cart much less an imminent threat to destroy the peace of the planet. Never has a man more deserved having his picture inserted next to the word "disheveled" in the dictionary. Looked like someone was getting their jollies manhandling Henry David Thoreau.

Word is, the $25 million reward for the apprehension of the Uday's Dad won't be given out because we're broke. No, I mean because the crucial information concerning his location came from insurgents, which seems a mite convenient. To be perfectly honest, the money should go to me. Who kept saying Hussein was hiding out somewhere near Tikrit? That's right I did. And who further insisted he was ensconced underground? Once again, moi. Although, I can't lie to you, I had no idea as to the nature of the precision of my prediction. Still, I hit the nail on the proverbial head. Besides, think of the benefits: I would shoot through that $25 million in about a month, providing further pivotal momentum to a beleaguered Left Coast economy.

The administration says it’s too early to discuss where Hussein's trial will be held or under whose jurisdiction it will be held, but one can only assume the prosecution of the world's greatest villain will not be overseen by the LA county District Attorney's office. And what about his defense? Can Johnny Cochran resist this, the greatest challenge in the history of defense attorneys? "If Weapons of Mass Destruction can not be found, the Butcher of Baghdad must be unbound."

Not to sound unpatriotic, but Will Durst wonders why is this such a big fricking deal?
 Wednesday, December 10, 2003 11:32 AM
And now it's time to play "Who the Hell Said That?"

1. "With a healthy dose of fear and violence, and a lot of money for projects, I think we can convince these people that we are here to help them."

A. Tom Delay, revealing his secret strategy to keep Republican Members of Congress in line when they express concerns about the Bush administration's rampant deficit spending.
B. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, on his feud with Colin Powell and the State Department.
C. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger spokesman, H. D. Palmer, on cutting K-12 funding.
D. Lt. Colonel Nathan Sassaman, battalion commander of the forces occupying Abu Hishma, Iraq, explaining a plan to keep the village safe by encircling it in a wall of barbed wire.

2. "The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence."

A. Donald Rumsfeld, articulating his frustration at the Coalition's inability to find Hussein's fabled Weapons of Mass Destruction.
B. Spokesperson for the legal team of Michael Jackson's accuser speaking either on behalf of his client's case or the King of Pop's missing nose cartilage.
C. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's wife, Maria Shriver making a Freudian slip in defense of her husband's groping accusations.
D. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, disputing whether the West Bank wall Israeli soldiers are erecting exists because he's banned all photographs of it.

3. "Wal- Mart is the greatest thing that ever happened to low- income Americans."

A. W. Michael Cox, chief economist of the Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas.
B. W.Michael Cox, a man who obviously never tried to run a household paid minimum wage with little or no benefits.
C.W. Michael Cox, a man whose portfolio apparently includes absolutely no Kroger, Safeway, Jewel or Albertson's stock.
D. All of the above.

4."I think gay marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman."

A. Former Vice President J. Danforth Quayle.
B. President George W. Bush.
C. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
D. Reality Show Star Paris Hilton.

5. "We know there are known knowns: there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns: that is to say we know there are things we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns- the ones we don't know we don't know."

A. Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld during a briefing on Iraq.
B. My Uncle Bud after eight hours on a bar stool at Tony's Tavern watching an entire Sunday slate of NFL football.
C. AARP directors defending their decision to endorse Medicare reform even though it may end up costing seniors more money.
D. Iowa State Elections Chairman, Bob Roberts, explaining the state's arcane caucuses regulations.

6. "Death has a tendency to encourage a depressing view of war."

A. Actor Tom Cruise on the decision to portray little or no blood in the battle scenes of his new movie "The Last Samurai."
B. Condoleeza Rice, referring to the official White House policy of preventing journalists from documenting returning body bags.
C. Russell Crowe's character, Jack Aubrey, in the film adaption of Patrick O'Brian's "Master and Commander."
D. Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld, when questioned as to why the Pentagon refuses to provide kill figures for enemy combatants.

Answers are 1. D., 2. A., 3. D., 4. C., 5. A., 6. D.

Will Durst's 2003 Totally Full of Crap Award goes to Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld.
Tuesday, November 25, 2003 2:47 PM
A Cranky Giving of Thanks

First let me wish everyone the happiest of large fowl flesh roasting holidays. I realize my status as a middle aged middle class married childless political comic differs from your specific life experience, which will probably make my list of things for which I'm thankful semi- alien. But as they say in San Francisco, "only from the eensy teensy will the large humongous be revealed," or some such Yoda crap like that. Of course, you got to remember San Francisco is where you ask 40-year-old bachelors with roommates "what's up these days" and hear things like, "I'm learning to play the zither."

The further you advance into the nether reaches of middle age, the more you understand it's all about the little things. I mean yeah, sure, I'm in a constant state of giddy grins for the big critical things, like decent health, the undeserved love of a good woman, and a battalion of blessedly odd friends. Also, I am truly grateful to have grown up American, mostly because I worry less about being victimized by one of my country's many misguided democracy building programs.

So allow me to plunge into the suspiciously tepid aqueduct of journalistic cliche with my annual list of objects, sights and experiences that make life just a tiny bit more worthwhile for a creaky reprobate like me. Mostly I'm thankful for ...

  • Corporate marketers delaying their Christmas shopping campaigns until early August in an obvious patriotic refusal to infringe on the sanctity of the Fourth of July.

  • A wife who understands all decisions made before my third cup of coffee are not considered binding under law.

  • Karl Rove, Dick Cheney and John Ashcroft for their unceasing and continuing efforts to provide me with material.

  • Finally driving a car with a functioning cigarette lighter and an antenna requiring neither a wire hanger nor duct tape.

  • The full employment act for political comics that will be Governor Schwarzenegger's administration.

  • The people of California for proving Thomas Jefferson prescient when he stated, "America gets the leaders it deserves."

  • Youth, and its persistence of belief the system can be beat with nothing more than energy, desire and purity of heart. Pre-mortgage youths.

  • Anchor Steam Christmas Ale.

  • A President unable to pronounce our Governor's name and a Governor unable to pronounce our state's name.

  • A debris sandwich at Mother's in New Orleans.

  • The International edition of USA Today. Although if you breathe a word of this to anyone, I will call deny it.

  • Self-righteous conservative demagogues who empathize with the horrors of drug addiction after they're busted.

  • A White House whose Clear Skies Act promotes pollution and whose Healthy Forests Initiative encourages increased logging. Which makes a professional skeptic like me really look forward to this whole Medicare reform.

  • My home theater system with better sound than most multiplex screens and DVDs where lots of shit blows up real good.

  • That freshly discovered pair of clean underwear in an unzipped suitcase pocket after two weeks on the road.

  • Crass manipulations of revered holiday traditions by jaded columnists purely for purposes of personal gain and profit.

  • Michael Jackson, because if he didn't exist, we'd have to invent him. Oh wait. That's right, we did.

  • Diana Rigg in the original Avengers for unleashing a period in my life when certain senses became strangely heightened.

  • A perfectly turned 6-4-3 double play on a crisp April afternoon at San Francisco's Pac Bell Park with a Sheboygan brat in one hand and a New York Times in my lap.

  • Relaxed fit jeans.

  • Endlessly engagable snooze alarms. Then sleeping till noon.
For incomparable moistness, Will Durst recommends brining before roasting the large fowl.
Tuesday, November 4, 2003 11:08 AM
No Mission- Not Accomplished

Good day everyone. I'm here against my better interests primarily to address this minor misunderstanding that apparently has you all a-twitter. Now I know you people make your living by twisting facts and complicating everything, but the deal is, its very simple really. Any fourth grader could understand. Let me explain it again. Please try and listen closely this time.

When we said, "Mission Accomplished," we didn't actually mean "mission accomplished," if, in "mission," you assume we meant the act of subduing Iraq, and "accomplished" would refer to the event being over. If that's what you thought and that's what you wrote, then you were mistaken. Misled. Not by us. We would never do that. By the Navy perhaps. Or your expectations. Don't beat yourself up. There's nothing wrong with hope. No real crime there. Everyone is entitled to get excited once in a while. Jumped the gun is what you did. All we did was imply A mission was over. Some mission. Any old mission will do. At this point, no one knows whose mission is no longer residing in the present tense.

This unnamed mission may have had a definite laying off of activity or it may not have. Some things just aren't knowable. And who of us needs to know every little thing? You? Don't make me laugh. Certainly not us. The business we are in does not allow room for us to declare someone else's mission either accomplished or unaccomplished. You certainly wouldn't want that kind of presumption thrust on your mission were it yours and be honest, do you really want us to take on that kind of added responsibility right now? haven't we enough on our plate? And besides, what is "accomplished" anyhow? Who of you is qualified to determine at what level an event can be stamped concluded, done, complete? You're dismissing the fact that yesterday's tomorrow is actually today. And tomorrow's yesterday? Once again, today. Surely you see what I'm getting at.

"Accomplished" is such a messy word seeming to indicate a predetermined result, and we have repeatedly warned you people, you mustn’t anticipate an outcome. Just a lengthy ongoing. Folks, either you're helping or you're hindering here and what I'm sensing is a whole lot of the latter. Admittedly, instead of the "Mission Accomplished" banner flying from the bridge of the USS Abraham Lincoln on May 1st, it might have been more precise to hang a "Much Hard Work Yet to be Done" placard, or maybe a small poster that spoke of the Naval Academy's advancing leadership in the field of mobile orthodontics maintenance. So there you go.

Oh yes, one more thing. When we said "the stepped up guerilla attacks prove we are making progress," we didn't mean to say "the stepped up guerilla attacks prove we are making progress," we meant to say "my hair has so much more bounce and body since I switched to Suave." And no, I don't think I will take any follow up questions thank you very much. We're busy people here, folks, we got an election to win here, I mean a war to win, that is, a peace to enforce. I said good day. Will Durst says good morning.

Will Durst will be performing at the Wisconsin citizen action league benefit in Milwaukee on Thursday, the realtor information service convention on Friday and horizons bar and grill in Pacifica on Saturday.
Monday, October 27, 2003 11:27 PM
Us Good, Them Bad

Ladies and Gentlemen, America is at a crossroads. At this very moment we are under attack by an insidious enemy. An enemy masquerading as a friend, but whose sole intention is to service the special interests controlling them like a Sasquatch paw in a felt hand puppet. An enemy whose primary aim is to line the pockets of their corrupt cronies at the expense of ordinary taxpayers. An enemy dragging this country into the chasm of ruinous ruin, which is why, against my better instincts, I find myself compelled to speak to you on the subject at this time. Because, ladies and gentlemen, I love this country much too much to be able to sit by and let this betrayal of all the principles we stand for (the good ones), be subverted in such a base and dastardly manner by this group of domestic terrorists. And that enemy, my friends is the opposition party.

Let me assure you that when it comes to the other political party, I have always respected their opinion and welcomed their suggestions, no matter how ludicrous and hairbrained they may have been, for surely we are all involved in this great experiment of democracy together. And by refusing to work with each other, I guarantee you it will not be either of us that will suffer, but you, the citizens of our great country, who will pay the price. The citizens of our great country and maybe a few isolated incumbents in certain vulnerable districts. Targeted districts, ladies and gentlemen.

What I object to most is their attitude. The condescending "we know so much more than you do, its an effort to keep from snickering when you speak" attitude they perfected. Tucking away the will of "we, the people" into a discarded Kleenex they blow their nose on while busy auctioning illicit favors to the highest bidder. Not to mention their insufferably arrogant practice of resorting to finger pointing instead of engaging in the difficult job of exploring the achievable solutions we propose. But what really ticks me off is their transparent strategy of recklessly replacing reason with volume and logic with stridency. Their willingness to place party politics above the best interests of the American people. That and their alarming lack of any sort of recognizable personal hygiene regimen.

I can't count the number of times the leaders of our party went out of our way to extend a tentative olive branch only to recoil from the snapping jaws of obstinance attempting to clamp our hands off at the wrist. Its not simply the stubborn and intractable positions they hold on old fashioned and archaic philosophies causing this polarization but also their failed petty schemes fostering partisan strife over co- operation. I can't begin to relate the frustration we feel faced with their refusal to acknowledge their insignificance to the fair and right and true and just ideologies like those we have copyrighted.

Make no mistake, they are the bad guys. I know they say we are the bad guys, but they're wrong, they're the bad guys. They smile to your face, but never allow you to sneak a peek behind their back in fear you'll see their hands in a death grip around the neck of our freedoms. Now is the time to raise the level of public discourse above that of a shouting match, and for us to roll up our sleeves and get to work on the important job of pointing this country in the right direction again. Our direction. And the best way to insure that, nay, the only way to insure that, ladies and gentlemen, is to replace all of them with us. Thank you. And God bless America.

Will Durst is so good, he's bad.
Wednesday, October 15, 2003 10:26 AM
Pray for St Rush

In a revelation a little less expected than the Catholic Church leaking evidence Mother Teresa ruled with an iron fist as capo di capo of an international prostitution ring, right wing radio ranter Rush Limbaugh admitted to his audience that he is a drug addict and needs to take five weeks off to check into rehab. And this is no minor problem with the tokey- smokey. This is a major big time addiction to OxyContin. A time release synthetic opiate. Hillbilly heroin. Only marginally better than getting hooked on White Trash White Crosses or Compassionate Conservative Crack Cocaine.

Some of you smug critics may consider this fall from grace a failure of the man or the spirit, or even an ironic moment worthy of Jim Fix dying while jogging or Mark Furhman speaking at a Martin Luther King testimonial dinner, but let's face it, the fault for this descent into the depths of despair can not be laid at Rush's feet. Its as plain as the walls in the Honeymooners kitchen that the real reason the man "with talent on loan from God" has been sucked into the heart of this harrowing habit, is due to concerted efforts on behalf of his loathsome legion of liberal enemies. As Rush himself often says, "I may not have any proof, but, my friends, I know what I know."

Obviously, Limbaugh is just a victim. The real responsibility for his journey to the halls of junkie hell falls squarely onto the shoulders of the person at the center of all the evils currently existing in the world; the sinister soul brother of Saddam and Osama themselves, Bill Clinton, and the bride he enthusiastically shares with Satan, Hillary Rodham Clinton. It had to have been them and their constant frustration of the will of the people based on their commie pinko yellow rat bastard policies that drove our hero of the heartland into this depraved state.

Or perhaps the implications are cast with a darker tinge? Because you can't tell me this is solely the work of a policy wonk and his rod- up- the- butt spouse. An action this sinister and nefarious could only have been brought about with assistance from the Devil. Yes, my friends, I said the Devil. Who knows what demonic rituals must have been performed by Hillary and her coven of feminist witches naked under a full moon, to affect this abomination? Surely a few muttered black spells were not sufficient to cause Rush to take the fateful stumble that injured his back. In order to bend the will of so strong a life force, it must have taken a whole succession of sacrifices, and I ain't talking no chickens or sheep here. Human sacrifices.

It's impossible to estimate how many black masses must have been required to cloud the minds of men of medicine to rush Rush along the socialized path to this criminal regimen of illegal pain killers. One can only marvel at the fiendish and diabolical powers of darkness under Hillary's wicked command. And as a cautionary note, understand that success may embolden these maniacal crones. Trained in the art of unholy rituals, they may now be focusing their dark forces at innocent ditto heads all over the country. So, stay ever vigilant you Rush supporters. Don't let your guard down. This battle has been ratcheted up to a fight between darkness and light. Between good and evil itself. Between us and them. Pray for Saint Rush.

Will Durst is definitely on the side of good, whatever that is.
Monday, October 6, 2003 12:30 PM

Hello to you good people of Colliephonia. It is gratificating for me to see so many of you here in the Stockton part of the state who have come to see me in these times when it is so important that we are tossing out an evil governor who has terminated jobs so they move away to other states and is not able to attend to business here because he has been too busy taking these illegal handouts from these unions and these Indian tribes here. Let me tell you something, and listen to what I'm saying here, loud and clear, this is Total Recall and it’s time for us to say Hasta la Vista, Davis. You are Terminated.

Because when I come to this country, I have nothing, not even enough money to pay for a decent bikini wax. But through strength and discipline I build myself up to what I am today. A millionaire businessman that can afford the best spa treatments this great state can provide. I don't need to take these handouts from these special interests, these unions and these Indian tribes. No, I only accept contributions from these legitimate businesses and corporations who have come to me because they recognize my obvious leadership qualities.

And that's what I can bring to Colliephonia through my strict regimen of strength and discipline. Not like the blind loyalty my Father gave the Third Reich, because let me tell you something, those people telling you that I am a Nazi are telling you a big load of bullcrap. It is more of the disgusting puke politics we have come to expect from Davis and the Davis people. We are mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore. Please forgive me, I know this is not a line from one of my movies, but I can't figure out how to use "It’s not a tumor."

Let me tell you this; I despise everything that Hitler stands for and all that kind of stuff, except for his strength and discipline, which is something I try to learn from all tyrannical despots, and that includes Donald Rumsfeld. The LA Times, in their gutter journalism say they have tapes of me prancing around pretending I am the Hitler dancing the goofy Hitler dance using a comb as a mustache. If I did that, which I can not remember whether I did or not, I only mean it as a silly goofy Hitler dance and not anything else with respect.

If I am impressed with dictators, and I can't remember whether I am or not, but if I am, it is for one thing, and one thing only, and that is for the leadership. And that is what I want to bring to Colliephonia. Leadership, because we have none now with this Davis person and the miniature Davis person with his silly mustache which is this Cruz Bustamante person. These are not the droids you're looking for.

As for these ridiculous accusations that when I was on rowdy movie sets, I may have done things that were not right, which I thought were like playful things, you know, grabbing a little innocent ass here or there, I must tell you, I can not remember these things. But if these 6 or 11 or 15 women say I did this, as Maria says, it certainly sounds like me. And if I did do this groping, or anything that might affect whether I get elected to provide leadership to the people of Colliephonia, then I apologize for telling the truth, because let me tell you something, you can't handle the truth. Although why I should apologize for trying to bring leadership to the people, I can not figure this out. So, let me finish here up by quoting the President that was Bill Clinton: "I didn't do anything wrong and I promise not to do it again and stuff like that." Thank you people of Stockton and don't forget to do the voting.

Will Durst will make you a deal. He'll give you Governor Schwarzenegger but only if he can have President Bartlett.
Wednesday, October 1, 2003 12:56 AM
Governor Sponge Arnold Square Pecs

For the tens and tens of you Golden Staters curious as to why Gubernatorial candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger refuses to address specific issues, and were extremely busy during the last Presidential election, quit your head scratching, I think we got ourselves an answer. It’s good for the poll numbers.

Speaking at an "Ask Arnold" forum in San Diego, the Governator claimed, if elected, he would bring jobs back to the state. Which is important, because California has lost half of all jobs recently gone missing in the country. He said. When asked exactly how he plans to bring those jobs back, the Austrian Oak temporarily hypnotised the assembled with a blinding 4,000 kilowatt smile and got about as murky as the LA night sky seen through a dirty windshield during a stage 4 smog alert.

The only problem is, according to the California Employment Development Department, the Golden State accounted for a mere 8.1% of the nation's new unemployment last year while employing about 11% of the country's work force, so we're actually healthier than the country as a whole. Which means Davis has done a better job than all those incompetent governors who aren't being recalled, but of course, nobody besides Davis himself is going to point that out, and that probably won't work, since everything that comes out of his mouth is dismissed as self-serving crap. One of the minor pitfalls that tends to befall people in the aftermath of earning a national reputation as "the little Governor who cries self-serving crap not just often but pretty much all the time."

As opposed to the sitting Governor, who can't get away with anything, even telling the truth, Schwarzenegger gets away with everything, or more accurately, saying absolutely nothing. Maybe it’s the accent. Asked to specify three state regulations he'd dump as governor, Rrnold declined, admitting, "there's a lot to be learned. I'm hungry for information. I'm like a sponge."

Oh, terrific. Just what we need: Governor Sponge. Although you got to admit, it is a step up from Governor Jellyfish. Apparently, we're on a slow climb up the evolutionary ladder out of the Gubernatorial primordial ooze. I have a dream. I dream of a day when California is able to enlist the assistance of a Guber whose primary mailing address is not the Hall of Invertebrates. California's Capitol Rotunda; a foyer only a marine biologist could love.

After hearing numerous people claim they watched the debate and thought Arnold gave an exemplary performance, I was convinced they either had misunderstood the definition of the word "exemplary" or some of Arnold's special effects buddies had surreptitiously substituted a digitally altered replay. But then, people thought Dubyah won his first debate too. Which teaches us what? Set the bar low enough, and all that's required to be hailed the winner is to refrain from drooling.

Mispronouncing the name of the state you're running to govern apparently isn't enough for disqualification anymore. Neither is having failed to vote in 13 of the last 21 elections. 64% of all the elections in the last 9 years. Didn't vote. And he wants to be governor. Never got a license, now he's jumping behind the wheel of the 5th largest tandem axle big rig in the world as it plummets down a frozen mountain pass with faulty brakes. You know what we need here? A test. Lawyers got to pass a test. Pharmacists got to pass a test. For crum's sake, beauticians got to pass a test. Shouldn't Governors have to pass a test? I'm talking real answers. Multiple choice. No lame aphorisms to fuzzy essay questions allowed.

Such as: quizzed on the stump as to his opinion of California's Family Leave Program, the man who played a robot from the future rambled on about the present: "I'm very much for families, I'm very much for children and children's issues, and all that stuff." So there you have it; the man is pro families, in favor of children and pro stuff. Can't wait till all those anti-children's issues candidates get a load of this resolute manifesto. You can bet they'll be shivering in their stuff-hating boots.

San Francisco political comic Will Durst is shivering, but it’s probably just the fog.
Monday, September 22, 2003 2:08 PM
Recall Delay Winners and Losers

Like a giggling gang of nocturnal carnies, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals staked a renegade tent inside the grounds of the traveling freak show that is the California recall election by postponing it for five months until March. Throwing a counter spinning jet engine turbo into the vortex that is politics here in the Golden Plated State, a three person panel of judges agreed with lawyers from the ACLU, citing a precedent set by the US Supreme Court in Gore V. Bush, in which the highest of high courts decreed it unconstitutional to treat ballots in one county differently from other parts of the state. In other words, the very ruling that handed Bush the Presidency could cost the Republicans their left coast electoral mutiny. And if that doesn't tickle your irony bone, its time to scale back on the Prozac.

Will Rogers said "it's easy being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you" and he didn't even live in California. Conventional wisdom holds that these slow tracks to the recall will be pulled by either an 11 member big boy meeting of the 9th Circuit or by the US supreme Court itself, but conventional wisdom in this state is never all that conventional nor exceptionally wise. What remains undeniable is this judicial monkey wrench has produced a long list of affected parties not all of whom fall into the expected slots of winners and losers. You have questions? I have answers.

Winners and Losers in the California Recall Election Delay.

  • George W Bush. Loser.
    For any number of reasons: Rovian strategy set back on its ear, that stupid 3rd grade class picture haircut, and he's a big fat liar. But mostly because I just like saying it. Go ahead, try it yourself. "George W Bush. Loser." Got a nice ring to it, don't it?
  • The Democratic Presidential Candidates. Losers.
    Designation remains unchanged and appears to be edging dangerously close to permanent status. Stickers are being readied.
  • Cruz Bustamante. Winner.
    In attempt to compete with Arnold's charisma, our two stepping Lieutenant Governor now has time to put together a crack crew to surreptitiously train Hector Elizondo as campaign trail replacement.
  • Arianna Huffington. Winner.
    The Zsa Zsa Gabor of politics now able to effect another 180 degree philosophical turnaround. Maybe even a couple. Who knows, if the delay is upheld there could be enough time for a 540 degree turnaround.
  • Election campaign workers. Winners.
    Can you say triple holiday weekend overtime?
  • Network news crews. Winners.
    Spending the winter in San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles versus tromping around the semi- frozen farms of Iowa and New Hampshire. You figure it out.
  • Governor Gray Davis. Winner and yet still and always: Loser.
    Higher expected voter turnout of Democrats for California Presidential primary bodes well for defeating recall but affords Governor Dufus way way way too much time in which he will inevitably screw up yet again. Badly.
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger. Loser.
    Longer the campaign lasts the tougher it will be to avoid the normal news press, concentrating on entertainment press. I mean, how long can one maintain his political integrity ducking Tim Russert while making guest appearances on Sponge Bob Square Pants, I mean, Larry King?
  • Thomas McClintock. Loser.
    Called court decision "an outrageous decision by an outrageous court." Wound a bit tight. Destined to become so outraged by fellow Republicans telling him his best move is to quit, he's going to burst a blood vessel.
  • Mary Carey. Loser.
    Porn actress had taken a leave of absence to run for Governor but now is forced back to horizontal salt mine to fulfill her 6 picture a year contract.
  • Porn audiences. Winners.
    See above.
  • California voters. Winners.
    More time to figure out which of these 133 geeks gets bumped up to ringmaster of the Cirque de Sacramento.
Will Durst thinks five months isn't nearly enough time to figure this out. Another 3 years would probably do it though.
Tuesday, September 9, 2003 1:32 AM
Dear Secretary General Of The United Nations:

Hey Kofi. How's it going, bud? How's the missus? Hope you two had yourselves an excellent summer. One question; hot enough for you? Just kidding.

Say, about that whole "The UN is a quaint anachronism" and "the UN is a bunch of irrelevant wimps" and "the UN would rather sip chamomile tea than kick evil ass" stuff that went down last spring. Well, as you may or may not know, when a Texas boy swallows his pride, he's got to chug a 55 gallon drum of castor oil to prime the chute and that's what I'm doing. And believe it or not, I got some experience with 55 gallon drum chugging.

What I'm trying to say is, I'm sorry. Might have gotten a little carried away there pre- war. My only defense is it was the heat of the moment. Trying to rally the troops. You know, the whole leadership deal.

Well, as you probably read, the whole "shock and awe" thing went fairly well. For us. Not so good for the evildoers, if I do say so myself. Got ourselves the junior evil ones -- Uday and Qusay. But in the 8 hour standoff, they did manage to get a bit bruised up. Didn't look quite right to the Iraqi people, so we had some of our boys do a post- mortem make- over. Worked like the proverbial charm. Sort of a battlefield version of "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy." Have you seen that show. What a hoot!

Did find ourselves embroiled in a couple of minor internal squabbles. Happens in every family. Can't have an omelet without breaking a couple of huevos. Not going to blame the Rumster for getting a little cocky. That man's spirit is a thing to behold. Just got to make sure to slap him up once a month or so. And truth be told, we got ourselves a three page single spaced list of folks volunteering for that job.

So, let me cut to the chase. The reason I'm writing: well, it seems we're losing some boys. About one a day. And its having some nasty repercussions, militarily, financially and politically. Not the best of timing what with an election coming up and all, and I was just wondering. Well, we were wondering. Okay, Colin Powell wonders if you guys might agree to send some of your people over to assume DOMINANT roles, taking a bit of the heat off us? A multinational force led by US, but with blue helmets totally visible on the front lines with real ammunition and everything.

You know my public stance. "Either you're with us or you're against us." But hey, I love you guys. Don't forget, when my Dad was ambassador to your hallowed halls, the VIP bar off the Security Council was my second home for about a year and a half. By the way, if you get a chance to say hello to Roger, the bartender with the perpetual cold, tell him "the check is in the mail."

Oh yeah, one more thing, could you get someone to speak to France and let them know if they expect to have a seat at the decision making table, they'd better call me. I spent the entire month of August trying to get in touch with anybody. And nothing.

George W Bush

Oddly enough, Will Durst tried calling France the entire month of August with a similar result.

They say the planet Mars is closer to Earth than it's been in 60,000 years. Although for some reason, it'll be this close again on August 28, 2287. Don't bother asking me how the hell that stuff works. Just another one of those 59,716 year perihelial discrepancies you hear guys whispering about in 8th grade gym class. Of course, holding crap like that close to their vest is what enables our big time scientists to pull down the really serious bucks. For the briefest period of time its only 34,646,418 million miles away, spitting distance in solar system terms, and in honor of our mutual stroll, we're shooting stuff over at the Angry Red Planet like its an abandoned house across the street and we're trying to smash one of the few remaining unbroken windows.

NASA has already sent two Mars Exploration Rovers, the "Spirit" and "Opportunity," while the European Space Agency has dispatched something called the "Mars Express" carrying "Beagle 2" presumably in honor of Charles Schulz. Even the Japanese floated over a ship named "Hope" designed to study the upper atmosphere of the 4th planet from the sun. The orbit around Mars is about to resemble the approach to a shopping mall the weekend before Christmas. And the hot new must- have item this year is soil.

Of course, no one here in the Bay Area has been able to snatch a glimpse of this once in a lifetime celestial marvel, since our summer fog materialized just in the nick of time obscuring not just the skies above but also the street lamps in front and often the shoes below. Its so foggy, I can barely make out my lovely wife, Debi Ann, standing on the sidewalk with her bags packed, waiting to be picked up by one of her her home planet emissaries from her marooning on this watery hell.

She is convinced her people are flying down right now to bring her back and in preparation she's dropped a homing beacon and packed artifacts and the voluminous notes she's taken of our civilization. The good news is apparently I'm in line for a decent reward for having taken halfway decent care of her. But I did worry exactly what she's going to tell her fellow Martians when she reports back to base camp and explains how life works here on the Third Rock From the Sun, so I snuck a peak. The synopsis is not pretty.

Notes From Our Neighbors, the Really Noisy Blue Planet
One Spot Closer to the Sun
by Debi Ann Durst nee Dutch 13
  • In many ways, Earth's inhabitants are like children. They pee in their water supply, then wonder where all the fish are disappearing to.
  • Still wage war with each other based on which 2,000 year old guy's teachings of peace should be followed.
  • Drive giant fuel gulping Sport Utility Vehicles that curiously do not come equipped with turn signals.
  • Refer to our planet as Mars, after an ancient God of War. What's up with that? One of those pot with the kettle and the color black deals (will explain later.) We also share this name with an extremely tasty candy bar.
  • They eat other animals! I found the fried sliced pig belly to be exceptionally scrumptious. See recipe book, "Cooking with Bacon."
  • The winner of most Earthbound quarrels is not the person with the more persuasive argument, but he who expresses his position the loudest.
  • For some reason, Earthling leaders are not required to tell their people the truth. Do not let knowledge of this ghastly practice leak up to our governing officers. Kidding. It's a joke.
  • A human trait whereby a person says one thing while meaning another. Again, like our leaders.
  • At the rate they're poking holes in their ozone, they'll be looking to colonize some other poor planet within a couple of weeks. Keep those canals covered.
  • One last note: they have an excellently refreshing adult amber beverage called beer. Bringing home samples.
Will Durst hopes his only reward is her imminent return
Wednesday, August 20, 2003 11:11 PM
Goosing Gray

In a desperate attempt to save what's left of his chewed up political hide, Governor Gray Davis went to UCLA to give an impassioned speech broadcast statewide. And for him, it was passionate, which is lot like saying "handles really well for a dump truck full of fresh cement."

Shocking Sacramento regulars, Davis came within a hair's breath of betraying an actual emotion. And with a recent poll showing 56% of potential voters in favor of his recall, that emotion is undoubtedly the fear of re- entering California's housing market. But Gray Davis is a survivor, and if anybody can get through the next six weeks, he's just the politician with a shoebox full of negatives who can do it. In order to blunt the attacks of 135 potential replacement candidates, Mr. Davis needs an extreme makeover and I think it's only fair to try and level the playing field by giving our beleaguered Gov a couple of hints.

Ten Suggestions to Help Gray Davis Survive The Recall.

1. Fall into a well.
People love the suspense and can be counted on to follow the story of the "Little Governor Who Fell Into A Well" for weeks. Then after being rescued on October 6th, he can prove what a brave big boy he is by not crying. Some lip quivering and wiping his eyes with the back of his sleeve is fine.

2. Walk length of entire state naked.
Hey, a guy in Britain is doing it and everybody thinks he's delightfully eccentric. Promote local industries by wearing floppy hat and fine pair of boots fashioned by local artisans.

3. Fire an entire agency within the state government.
Cite made up figures blaming one department for the entire budget mess, and can the whole division. Preferably pick bureau low on public awareness totem pole, something semi-superfluous like Capital motor pool. Who cares if Supreme Court says you don't have authority to get rid of them. Makes bold statement.

4. Speak in tongues.
Claim spiritual rebirth, daring skeptics to prove it didn't happen. Start talking in unintelligible but rhyming phrases. Blame deficit on "God's Will." Nehru jacket fills out the package.

5. Eliminate car registration fees altogether.
Davis didn't raise car registration costs. The fees reverted back to 1998 levels after the time limit on the bill that lowered them expired. So, to avoid the wrath of everyone not paying attention, get rid of tax totally and pretend we don't need any money at all. Whenever reporters ask, "what about the budget," adopt Teutonic accent and laughingly rejoin, "I will blow it up."

6. Free candy.
Self-explanatory. Give candy away to every taxpayer. I know George W did the same thing with a tax cut, but candy is better. That way, nobody is even tempted to waste it on something silly like rent. It's candy!

7. Cruz Bustamante's head on a pike.
Don't really have to do it, just keep saying it a lot. "I want Cruz Bustamante's head on a pike." Like a mantra. Hold press conference to commemorate building of the pike. Makes you look decisive, determined and a little mean.

8. Contract monkey pox.
Or one of the lesser-known poxes. Photo-ops featuring Gov knocking on death's door resolutely waving, chin held high, might provide extra boost necessary. Weekend before the election, undergoes miracle recovery because of the power of the state's residents' belief in him. "Everybody clap if you want the Governor to live."

9. Start saber-rattling at Texas.
For no apparent reason, blame Texas for state's budget deficit. Face it, the Lone Star State gives off a vaguely untrustworthy air. Nobody understands how actual humans can survive that close to Oklahoma. Definitely guilty of Bush.

10. Giant Tattoo of California on chest.
Demonstrate how hip and with it by getting tattooed live on television. Outline of state, grizzly bear, Hollywood sign, Golden Gate Bridge or even John Muir to help with Sierra Club vote. Could hold a lottery to see which design gets picked and moneys go to general fund.

Political comedian Will Durst thinks a nice Native American design featuring a rattlesnake tossing craps with his tail would work.
August 13, 2003 8:10 PM

Q. The recall process in California has been called a circus, total chaos and a carnival. Which is it?
A. More of a geek show populated by ventriloquists on a rusty roller coaster.

Q. How will the political reputation of the state suffer in the wake of this electoral madness?
A. Reputation? California? Politics? Sorry. I don't understand the question.

Q. I see Darrell Issa, the man who started this whole ugly rat ball rolling, ran home. Did he quit under coercion from the Republican party?
A. Walks after spending a million and a half of his own dough. Yeah, you might say he withdrew under pressure. You might also say the choice of reggae stations in Northern Idaho is somewhat limited.

Q. Then at the press conference, he cried like a baby. The hell was that?
A. You're right. There's no crying in politics. Ask Ed Muskie. Besides, that wasn't simple crying, it was Harding-esque weeping. And we're talking Tonya not Warren G. He bawled like a nine-year-old mugged on a playground for his lunch money, and Arnold Schwarzenegger is the sixth grader who took it.

Q. What about Schwarzenegger? Will he end up splitting the Republican vote with Tom McClintock, Bill Simon, and Peter Ueberroth?
A. Sure, sure, the same way Hussein split the vote with the other Ba'ath Party candidates in his last election.

Q. How come all those talk show hosts who spent months tearing down celebrities for speaking out against the war aren't doing the same for an action hero daring to be taken seriously as a candidate?
A. Simple. Those liberal loonies were trying to tear America down while conservative Arnold is focused on blowing the deficit up. Left=bad, right=good. Write that down. It'll come in handy later.

Q. Is it just me, or does the Terminator seem a little light on specifics?
A. Oooh, a politician avoiding specifics. Yeah, that's bound to come back to haunt him. You got to remember we're talking about replacing a political robot. The cyborg looks human next to him.

Q. What's behind the marriage to Maria Shriver?
A. Probably phase one in a genetic experiment to breed a bullet proof Kennedy.

Q. With approximately 160 people on the ballot, who's the most outrageous?
A. It’s a cornucopia of delights. You get to pick between a billboard queen, a porn king, a porn star, a phony priest, a 100-year-old sponsored by a 99¢ store, a serial fruit abuser and an engineered midget. And believe it or not, none of them even comes close to Gray Davis' negatives.

Q. Can Davis beat the recall?
A. Hard to say. His numbers sink every time he speaks and the man won't shut up. His best chance may be to slip into a coma for the next seven weeks.

Q. What about the Lieutenant Governor? Does he have a shot?
A. You mean Cruz "et tu" Bustamante. As the only high profile Democrat on the ballot, of course. Especially if Schwarzenegger screws up horribly somehow like leaking plans to film a sequel to "Jingle All the Way."

Q. How soon before we see a recall of the recall winner?
A. The election is Tuesday, October 7th. I would say expect petitions to start being circulated some time on the morning of Wednesday, October 8th.

Q. Governor Davis dismissed Schwarzenegger by saying "recycling old lines from movies will only get him so far." How far?
A. According to Mapquest, highway mileage from Brentwood to Sacramento is 369 miles.

Political comedian Will Durst considered running, but it was either the $3500 filing fee or paint the house.
the rainbow menace

You know what, I think it's time for each and every one of us to get down on our scrawny unemployed knees and thank god for George Bush. The man has just gone and rescued the fragile moral fiber of this country once again. Can I get a Hallelujah? Only through the grace of Dubyah's faith have we finally been able to identify the fresh cancer poised to eat through the intestines of the American belly. And that toxic threat is gay marriage.

It's hard to imagine anything more subversive than two people of the same sex hugging and kissing and cooking and sleeping together, which unfortunately they are now allowed to do. But apparently that's not enough. Now, they want the same social benefits decent God-fearing people possess AND protections under the law as well. As Justice Scalia says, the radical agenda of these sodomites will not end until they have permeated society disguised as ordinary human beings.

The only way to avert this danger and save ourselves from the seditious spread of the heathen spawn represented by those so-called loving people claiming they only wish to be with each other is to prevent them from holding partnership rights under the law, at all, ever. See, if we can only do that, we'll be perfectly fine. And we won't have to worry about those nasty horrible terrorists anymore, or where Saddam and Osama are or why the economy is flatter than a Kansas wheat field after harvest. And that's why we got to clamp down on these poisonous perverts burrowing into the midsection of our heartland with their blasphemous ceremonies.

This choir has sung before. It's the same standard hymn 37 states have already hummed passing the "Defense of Marriage Act" which defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman ONLY and bars recognition of same sex marriages from other states, in case one of the Sneaky Godless ones like Oregon or California or Vermont tries to pull something tricky. Smart move, actually, since same sex marriages are now legal in Canada, Belgium and the Netherlands. You know, the Sneaky Godless countries who also refuse to treat marijuana smokers like the heinous criminals they are.

This pendulum swing to wrong side of the rainbow must be nipped in the tulip bud immediately. Television networks have recently discovered that niche marketing focusing on gays can translate into fat ratings. And though networks are run by huge conglomerates headed up by conservative CEOs, we all know what can happen when a good and decent ideologue is forced to choose between his beliefs and a big pile of green.

Even the Catholic Church has weighed in on the matter with the Pope threatening to ex-communicate any priest officiating at a gay union, although to perfectly honest, having the Catholic Church on our side in this one is like using Mike Tyson as an expert witness in Anger Management. Like having oil companies write our national environmental standards. Oh, sorry, bad analogy there.

The specter of gay dominance over our culture looms on the horizon like a size gazillion black three button Gianni Versace suit with contrast piping and a silk crew t. How long before the streets of every small American town are transformed into idyllic playgrounds for men and women strolling unashamed, holding hands flaunting their "normalcy" in front of our children?

It's an imminent peril and not merely a desperate distraction like the loony left insists. I repeat: this is not a distraction. Just like the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq weren't a distraction. No, this is even more of not a distraction than the weapons in Iraq weren't a mass distraction. What I mean is, this is even less destruction than that. In other words, no distraction at all. You know what I mean.

Sorry, the political comedian, Will Durst, kind of zoned out there. Think he was distracted.
Recalling Slappy

Well, it's about time. After playing second fiddle to Florida for years, California has risen to the top of the heap once more. Thanks to car- alarm king Darrell Issa's deep and noisy pockets, we, the Golden- plated state have recaptured the zenith of zany. The mantle of madcap. We are once again the captains of crackpot. The wardens of wacky. Well, you get the idea. The whole world is watching our silly exercise in political hari-kari. Sure, they're giggling so hard they can't hold their martini glasses steady enough to drink out of, but at least they're talking. And as they say in Hollywood, there is no such thing as bad publicity.

The proponents of the recall of Gray Davis are trying a mite too hard to convince everyone their actions are the will of the people and not a coup. I don't know much about coups but when one party can't win a single state wide seat in the general election, then ghosts one of their rich right wing weasel nuts to single handedly finance a recall of the Governor, that sounds like as good a coup as any. As my daddy always used to say: "If it looks like a coup, sounds like a coup, walks like a coup, smells like a coup and has coup written all over it with day-glo orange and green spray paint, then the whole coup thing might be the way you want to lean."

One thing you got to say about the Republicans, they don't give up easily. Impeach Clinton, steal Florida, redistrict Texas, recall Davis. You know what, these guys had better watch out or they're going to get slapped with the reputation of being extremely sore losers. Wouldn't be surprised if their next tactic were to have John Ashcroft suspend the 2004 Presidential election to spare the country a severe bout of divisiveness.

The Democrats are confused on how to deal with the recall. Of course, the Democrats are also confused on how to deal with Iraq, the economy, stem cell research and rum soaked cinnamon pudding. It doesn't help that Governor Gray Davis is as beloved as a rabid flatulent wolverine juggling chain saws at a day care center. I'm not saying this guy has alienated as many people as Uday AND Qusay Hussein... alright, I am saying it.

Part of the problem is every time he opens his mouth, his poll numbers plummet and he refuses to shut up. The man has the personality of a human speed bump. The charisma of kelp. Another part of the problem is his name: Gray. Has ever a man been more appropriately named? What he needs is a nickname. Something like Slappy. Slappy Davis. Who's going to sign a recall petition for Slappy Davis?

The motivations for the removing him do seem a bit contrived. He said there was going to be a deficit and there was... albeit larger than he announced. And he's the villain. Bush said there was going to be a surplus and there was a $400 billion federal deficit and he's the hero. I guess Davis missed the page where he invades Oregon after accusing them of harboring phantom weapons of mass destruction.

At first the Democrat's strategy was to concentrate on fighting the recall in an attempt to keep all their candidates off the ballot, but now some party regulars are running scared threatening to break ranks, and trust me, rank is the operative word here. Aspirants are streaming out of the woodwork like water from the radiator of a cop car in any Schwarzenegger movie. Before the filing deadline for inclusion on the ballot passes, over 100 candidates could be listed, including Issa, Bill Simon, Timothy McClintock, Richard Riordan, Angelyne, the billboard queen of LA, and possibly both Michael and Arrianna, the battling Huffingtons. As a matter of fact, with so many names and rules declaring the winner needing only a plurality, California's next governor could be a candidate whoever receives as little as 10%. That's 10% of the 20% of California residents estimated to show up at the polls. Won't that be a wonderful era in Sacramento? Governing the 7th largest economy in the world with a mandate of 2% of the people. Of course that's probably twice what Gray has now.

The best route for the Democrats is to sponsor me as stalking horse. Backing a comedian emphasizes the ludicrosity of this midterm recall, and if elected, I promise to resign after one day letting Cruz Bustamante appoint my successor. But I do want that one day. Mostly for the pension and health care benefits, but mostly because I want to pass a single bill declaring all car alarms in the state of California to be illegal.

Will Durst is accepting donations for the filing fee. Oh yes he is.
The Teflon Goose

After gliding through the clouds of popular acclaim like a Teflon goose, President Bush has seen his poll numbers drop faster than a beer keg falling out of the loading bay of an airborne C- 130. And it's all due to those 16 little words. "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." Tucked right in the middle of the State of the Union Address in an attempt to gild the lily of his case for war to the American public and the rest of the world.

Only a few small problems: the British government hadn't learned anything, the quantities of uranium spoken about were neither significant, recently sought, nor in existence and Hussein was probably busy digging a bunker near hell at the time. The statement's sole point of accuracy is Africa does indeed mine uranium, which as the focus bass beat in a drumbeat to war, needed a little sexing up. The only difference between Iraq's Minister of Misinformation's daily briefing and Bush's State of the Union Address was a beret.

This allegation comes straight from one of the many mouths the C.I.A. Hydra is speaking out of these days. They also claim having informed British Intelligence of the "dubious" nature of the charge. Then, fearing they'd be left holding the hot uranium potato, the State Department chimed in to say, oh yeah, they TOO had severe misgivings about the report. As a matter of fact you'd have an easier time finding a teenager enjoying a Kenny Rogers concert than anyone willing to go on record having believed or ever seen the report. "Report, what report? Oh, that report. Nope, never heard of it."

Nobody knows nothing. Which is odd for an administration that spent the last two and a half years cock- sure of every steel rivet in every seam of every smart bomb built by every defense contractor who also happened to hold the top spots of every major campaign contributor list. After this extended "Father Knows Best" routine, it seems kinda weird to have them suddenly go all mum and sulky on us.

Wait, wait. Breaking News Flash! What's that, Ms. Rice? You have semi- positive proof somebody somewhere tried to buy something sometime, but you don't know who or what or where or when? Well, why didn't you say so in the first place; close only counts in horseshoes and nuclear warfare but this definitely almost qualifies as the latter. Sure, we were going to war anyhow, but the nuclear threat was the point that pushed support at home over the top. A threat that turned out to be as vacant as Dick Cheney's conscience.

Now the Bushies are complaining about "this compulsive picking at a singular tiny blemish in a long litany of charges detailing our reasons for attacking Iraq." Well, let's see. Was it a singular tiny blemish? No weapons of mass destruction. No Iraq- Al Qaeda link. No attempt to purchase uranium from Niger. No mobile chemical weapon labs able to strike America in 45 minutes. Little if any imperical evidence of soy based Whopper with Cheese substitute tasting as good as the real thing no matter what the experts say. So what are we left with? Oil, a mid term election and the guy tried to kill Bush's dad, with an emphasis on the extreme former. Yeah, Saddam is a bad guy. So's George Steinbrenner. So when we going to liberate the Yankees?

Personally the whole thing has been worth it to me just to see Bush going public with the admission that perhaps he mispoke, but if he did, it was simply because he lacked the proper intelligence. Finally. Admitting what we've been going on about for years. The Teflon goose ain't quite cooked yet, but he definitely needs to divert our attention while he gets one of our intelligence agencies to turn down the thermostat. And soon.

Political comedian Will Durst is a big fan of cooked goose. He likes the skin crispy and the meat well done.
Tuesday, 15 July 2003, 8:45 AM
The Verge of Worst

I love the Green Party. Let me clarify that. I love the idea of the Green Party. They're against corruption and in favor of the environment. They prefer people over corporations and encourage the rich to assume responsibility for society's less fortunate. They listen to NPR, bathe often, drive Volvos and force neighborhood groceries to stock free range chicken liver pate. When it comes right down to it, the Green Party is Pro- Good, Anti- Bad. Bearing malice to them is like making fun of the 5 year old flower girl walking down the aisle at your buddy's second wedding. It's disparaging innocence cubed. You might as well hate goldfish. Go with me on this. Both fun to have around. Neither requires devoted attention and when confronted with their inevitable demise, it's not a big deal, because nobody, not even the flower girl has become overly attached.

Here's my problem with the Green Party. Ralph Nader, single- handedly responsible for throwing the millennial election to Bush, has never apologized. No "Whoa, who knew that was going to happen?" Or, "Got to be honest people, not what I was aiming for." Not even a "My bad. Terribly sorry. Won't happen again."

During the campaign, Nader's mantra was America can't get better until it gets worse. Let me think. Year 2000. Peace. Prosperity. No federal judges jockeying to out nazi each other in order to be shortlisted for the next Supreme Court nomination. No Attorney- General wrapping himself in the same flag whose rights he's shredding. Thousands and thousands of foreign innocents unincinerated because they wear funny hats, believe in a different Comic Book hero than we do and live above much dead dinosaur doo.

You know what, America's worse! It's as worse as it's ever been. And in the next 20 months I expect it to get worser. So that's what I need from the Green Party. An explanation as to what exactly is their Worser Threshold? Where lies their Verge of Worst? At what point do they hold a press conference and force some hackey sack playing protein deprived balding grey haired pony tailed ex-hippie wearing jeans and a leather vest over a bare chest announce "you know what, this whole 'killing everybody who looks at us funny' situation has gotten out of hand and it is imperative we bond together to defeat this dancing corporate lackey monkey boy." And I'm betting it's not going to happen at their national convention in DC at the Mayflower Hotel this weekend.

No, my friends, we got a better chance of witnessing Dick Cheney whistle blowing Haliburton for illegal influence peddling and stripping them of all government contracts. That's the problem with the left. Up against the wall their turn all zombie on you and eat their own. At least you can always trust Conservatives to find common ground. "Sir, you are totally out line with that ridiculous proposal." "You know, quite a tidy profit could be made on this. And I know the project manager personally." "Mr Chairman, the Honorable Gentleman has managed to persuade me with his sensibly reasoned argument."

Liberals on the other hand are cursed to be true believers. So intent on articulating their own version of the vision, they refuse to accommodate other viewpoints or consider mediating their strategy with proposals from their philosophical brethren no matter how similar. To the point of dooming their own cause. Why? Because THEY ARE RIGHT, dammit. Right and true and fair and just, and the truth is a beautiful thing that is to be cherished and not compromised. Their belief in honor and justice and integrity and virtue and purity blinds them and they end up having as much effect on today's society as a Bookmobile in the parking lot of a Tractor Pull.

You know what, they're right. The Democrats are almost as bad as the Republicans. But as we've seen in the last two and a half years, a lot of lives fit in the margins of that "almost." I don't know if any of the Democrats running have a chance next November. I'm not sure any of the Democrats running could escape from a stalled escalator. But 12 years ago, Clinton captured the holy Oval flag only because all their big time schtarkers were hiding behind the refreshment stand. All I know is last time around, Pat Buchanan destroyed the Reform Party; the same Reform Party that swung 1992 away from Bush I. And if Nader runs again about the only way the Democrats could possibly win in 2004 is if Bush runs out of small unarmed countries to invade and declares war on Canada. And even then, he'd still carry the border states.

Will Durst is running for governor and needs campaign volunteers. No pay. Few benefits. Long hours. Hopeless cause.
Thursday, July 3, 2003 9:50 AM
The Buggy Whip Of Politics

Ending the 02-03 Major League Judicial Season on a decidedly quirky note, the Supreme Court left the building by blowing liberals a big fat wet sloppy farewell kiss. Managing to skewer two dinosaurs with a single spear, they struck down a Texas anti-sodomy law, effectively legalizing homosexuality nationwide, and killing Strom Thurmond in the process. Oh come on, it was hours afterwards. You know that's why he kicked. He couldn't continue to live in a world where tolerance was mandated, and man-dating was tolerated.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I saw his funeral. I heard the 7 brave Senators from extremely safe seats able to clear their busy July calendar, raise their stentorian voices intoning revisionist history eulogies: "The great man had abandoned his segregationist roots, becoming the first Southern politician to hire a black aid." The important word in that phrase is "politician," which means a person willing to carve up dehydrated strips of his mother's butt if it held the hint of a whisper of a glimmer of hope of getting him an extra vote. Expedience trumps philosophy every time.

Courting a paranoid white electorate in 1954, six years after capturing four states in his run for the Presidency on the Dixiecrat ticket, he won the only write-in Senatorial campaign EVER by cutting the eyeholes in his pillowcases a little larger than most. In 64, he left the Democratic Party in response to the Civil Rights Act. Of course, once blacks started voting in sufficient numbers, he morphed into this paragon of acceptance. Yeah, right.

What do you think spurred him to set a record for longest speech in Senate history by speaking for 24 hours and 18 minutes straight? The relative merits of shiny varnish versus a flat coat on the woodwork fronting the Senate Gallery's balustrades? Whether children should first be muzzled and then struck or struck and then muzzled? A Paean to Spring in extended iambic pentameter? No, little buddy. It was a filibuster against a civil rights bill. He became famous for equating integration with communism, the 50's version of "Weapons of Mass Destruction."

Because large groups of homosexuals failed to flock to the major metropolitan centers of South Carolina, (quel surprise) Thurmond held no fear of alienating voters when he replaced homosexuals to stand in for blacks as the new improved breed of boogey men out to get hardworking decent normal folks with their unnatural customs, immoral habits, overdeveloped Musical Theater lore and unsolicited redecorating tips concerning finishing glazes.

After the Republican purge in 94, Thurmond chaired the Committee responsible for confirmation of Roberta Achtenberg for an appointment at HUD, Strom instructed her to: "Speak into the machine, please." The machine. For crum's sake, it's been called a microphone since 1908. Dismissing her qualifications, he blurted, "No decent heterosexual has ever engaged in sodomy," which, to their credit, caused the Senate to break into laughter. At the time Thurmond was 94. Probably engaged in sodomy by mistake.

Ironically, Thurmond's death was announced to the Senate by Majority Leader Bill Frist. Not Majority Leader Trent Lott, who was consumed by the firestorm he personally stoked toasting Strom's 100th birthday. "I voted for him and if the rest of the country had done the same, we wouldn't be having all these problems over all these years." He never specified what years, which problems, or who was having them, but the coded message was deciphered as a knowing wink to the assembled true believers. Mourning Strom Thurmond is like mourning the demise of the slave auction poster. Museum pieces both that this country would have been immensely better off without.

Will Durst is a political comedian on his way to Liberia—but before that, he will be at the Improv in Lake Tahoe, July 8 - 13. What the hell, it would be fun.
Saturday, June 28, 2003 2:09 AM
Whither Saddam?

Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead. Oh, Wait, No, He's Not. Sorry. Soon Though. Promise. And Repeat.

Every generation has its seminal memory. That indelible instant that defines us Americans and the change about to affect our times in one solitary frozen moment. 0911, of course, is the ultimate. For my parents, the big one was "where were you when Pearl Harbor was attacked?" For us Baby Boomers it was the moon landing and, "where were you when Kennedy was shot?" To which the correct response is "which Kennedy?" For Gen- Xers, it's "when Michael Jackson's hair caught on fire and he screamed 'Tito, Tito' like a castrated lamb?" And in these ever increasing days of chaos, I'm confident I will experience many more.

For instance, I'll never forget where I was when I heard the US had killed Saddam Hussein. March 20th, headed south on a country road on the way to a gig in Charlottesville, Virginia. The newscaster proudly chirps, "Pentagon officials confirm: Saddam Hussein is dead." That was the first time I heard the US had killed Saddam Hussein. The second time I heard the US had killed Saddam Hussein was April 7th. I was watching CNN over a plate of Penne Pollo Carbonara at the Daily Grill on 16th and M streets in D.C.. Memories I will cherish the rest of my life, and the best part is: I'm not done. No, not even close. It's going to happen again, and again and again. Maybe a couple dozen times. I envision it as one of the greatest running memories of my life. "Ding Dong, the witch is dead. Oh, wait, no, he's not. Sorry. Soon though. Promise." And repeat.

According to evidence recently obtained by American Intelligence Agencies, (and hasn't that turned into a deliciously ridiculous phrase recently?) Saddam is still alive and bouncing around the borders of Syria and Iraq like a flesh covered pinball. Uday and Qusay too. Torn between hiding and clandestinely sizing up unsuspecting soccer teams to manage and torture, I'm sure. One source of this new information is Abid Hamad Mahmoud al- Tikriti, who was Saddam's top aid and ranked behind only Saddam and his sons in regime importance. Ranked. Makes it sound like these guys are seeded and about to take Center Court to face each other in the International Bad Guys Open Senior Doubles Tournament.

Mahmoud's information is considered credible even though I wouldn't trust him as far as I could throw him mainly because he favors Hussein physically, albeit younger and smilier. And I'm sure this isn't what you call your politically correct, but has anybody else noticed, every male in that entire country looks exactly like Saddam, not to mention a few of the women. Now call me naive, but that's something I would assume might prove to make him that much harder to detect. Like being in Memphis on Elvis' Birthday, when everyone in the entire 901 area code resembles the King. Early, late, skinny, fat. Including his famous "Sideburns down to his knees and pregnant wearing a tank top" period.

As it turns out, it's the same deal with Chemical Ali. Apparently he's not dead either. You heard of the Gang that Couldn't Shoot Straight? We got the Military that Couldn't Program Their Smart Bombs to Fall Straight. And forgive me for sidetracking here, but how the hell do these people get these nicknames? Chemical Ali. Dr. Germ. Velvet Fog. The Butcher of Baghdad. Surely these aren't holdovers from playground days. "I'll tell you one thing, that little Assboil of Akaba is going to grow up to be quite a handful." And are they aware of the nickname? Or do they stumble upon it by accident. You know, reading the Sunday Times in bed with coffee, Danish and your sweetie. Come across this article about this heinous excuse for a human "Ali Hassan Al- Magid hey, wait a minute. That's me! I'm Chemical Ali? Cool. Honey, look." Cuz everybody knows, the ladies love the nicknames. From now on, just call me, Will "The Hammer of Doubt" Durst.

But not Negative Nellie. I'm sure we'll eventually find the Hussein Boys, the same way we eventually found bin Laden. Oh, wait, bad analogy. And I understand it's got to be awfully hard on our troops with them already focused on finding those darned elusive Weapons of Mass Destruction. Hey, there's an idea, maybe when we dig up those WMDs, we'll dig up Saddam & Sons at the same time. 4 birds under one rock. Quick, somebody call Haliburton, and tell them we're amending Plan B.

The Hammer of Doubt is appearing at Summerfest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on July 1st
Hating Hill

After selling 400,000 copies of her autobiography in its initial week on the shelves, Hillary Clinton is hotter than a load of habanero peppers stuck on the shoulder of a Phoenix freeway in August. Not the best of news for the Democrats running for their party's nomination for President. They need this as much a boogie board needs a diesel converter. There's even a "draft Hillary" movement gaining momentum for 2004 and if you don't think that's not causing ripples of worry to move out amongst contenders and the administration alike, you really should watch "West Wing" more often.

Since starting her tour in support of Living History, the Junior Senator from New York's approval rating has risen 15 points while her disapproval rating has budged not a smidgeon, remaining static at 38 percent. Barring her imminent rescue of a baby from a well using nothing but her teeth and a Malibu Barbie scrunchie nobody expects it to shift drastically. Apparently 38% of America would rather stroll through a pen of starving wolverines wearing meat thongs than suffer through Hillary Clinton's re- ascendence. And I would wager that 37.5% of them are red-state males.

There, I've said it, if she ever does run for President, she can write off Wyoming. I don't know what the deal is, but Hillary invites passionate feelings in white males. Maybe, it's the pheremones she gives off. Maybe it's because she's edukated. Keep calling her a radical feminist, which means what, she has a job? Hey, Laura Bush had a job too, she just quit it to stay home and raise her husband. You just know Jerry Farwell and his bunch have a test for Hillary: if she doesn't float, she's not a witch.

Because the Republicans and their designated AM blow holes hate the former First Lady so much, they lose all vestige of reason. Which to be honest, is fun to watch. Their blood pressures rises dangerously, eyes all bugging out like nuclear radiated mutated toads. They get so worked up, they can't even keep their accusations straight. I remember a couple of years ago, if you listened to the talk shows, you would be told not only was she having an affair with Vince Foster, she was also a lesbian. She's not qualified and she micromanages. She should divorce Bill and she's abandoned him.

It may be they hate Hill even more than Bill. After all, Bill has less friction than rayon pajamas on silk sheets in zero gravity. Pinning him down is like trying to throttle a shadow. She's more of a stand up and punch it out gal. But because her visibility is on the rise, the Hill Haters are back at full throttle, screaming uncontrollably; drooling, spitting, blood sweating from their eyes, and it seems like old times.

So do I hope the Hillmeister runs? YES! This time, next time, every time. The main reason I hope she runs is because she rattles the right so badly you can actually hear their arteries clog. Oh, there's other reasons.

  • Because I think she can win? Yeah, sure, that's it, because I think she can win.
  • Because it would be great to see "Bush- Clinton- Bush- Clinton" in all the almanacs.
  • Because who better to lay down precedents for First Husband than Bill?
  • Because Chelsea only needs 3,000 more Air Force One Frequent Flyer Miles to qualify for a free mug.
  • Because of the economy, stupid. Hasn't anyone else noticed? Or is it just me? Bush-bad. Clinton-good. Bush-bad. Clinton-? Hey, it's worth a shot.
  • Because Roger Clinton's agent isn't returning his calls anymore.
  • Because with another couple of investigating committees, I'm sure Kenneth Starr can finally nail down this whole Whitewater thing.
  • Because once they struggled through the first 40 Presidents, every fifth grade social studies class would breeze through numbers 41 through 44.
  • Because it would be worth it just to see Dubyah tremble mid-debate in an effort to keep from referring to her as "little lady".
  • Because the Bushies have gotten a bit complacent over the last couple of months and Karl Rove needs another pumice-stone chew-toy to sharpen his teeth on.
Will Durst is a political comic who would say "You go girl" if it weren't so demeaning.
The Guru Of Ganga

Straight off, I got to tell you, I don't smoke pot. Used to. Used to deal it. Bad midwestern weed. Indiana gold. $95 a pound. We'd roll skinny little toothpick joints and smoke all day long. Right around 8 at night, we'd start to wonder, "Hey, am I actually getting high?" The answer of course, was no, you had just spent the entire day hyper-ventilating. I quit smoking around 1978 when the heathen devil weed got too good.

Every couple years I give it another go. Not for me. One hit and I turn into chattering paranoid monkey drool. But you know what, I miss it. Not for the high. For all the wrong reasons. I miss rolling a joint one handed while driving. I miss being illegal. I miss being a rebel. Fortunately, for folks like me, it seems the US government is determined to maintain that rebel status for its estimated 80 million pot smokers.

You wouldn't be accused of being one toke over the line if after US District Judge Charles Breyer refused to sentence Ed Rosenthal on federal charges of growing over 100 plants if you assumed it was a victory for the pro-pot movement. After all, the Bay Area's 58 year old guru of ganja faced 60 years behind bars. So his suspended one day sentence and $1000 fine seems like a winking slap on the wrist.

Rosenthal may leave court a folk hero but he's still a convicted felon no longer eligible to vote. Not that it seems to do any good. After all, Californians already passed a proposition that legalized medical marijuana and the city of Oakland gave him a license to grow the pot as part of a city-sponsored medical marijuana program but because the Feds were the prosecuting party, the jury wasn't allowed to hear any of that evidence.

And if you think this action will cause the Bush administration to slow down their feverish crackdown on medical marijuana, you might want to hold off on investing all your money in rolling paper manufacturers. Richard Meyer, spokesman for the San Francisco division of the DEA, said the sentencing would have no effect on the agency's work. "The so-called medical marijuana initiative was a smoke screen. The real agenda of these people was to legalize not only marijuana but all drugs." Speaking of marijauna advocates, Meyer said, "We are not listening to them. We will continue to protect the public from the dangers of all illegal drugs."

Can you believe these guys? After spending billions to make Afghanistan safe for your local neighborhood opium lord, our government continues its ludicrous domestic drug policy of lumping all drugs together. A third grader can tell you that crack is to pot like an Uzi is to a banana. Crack kills, pot giggles. Say you do run into a crazed pothead, what's the worst thing that's going to happen? You might get fleas, that's about it. Okay, there's Twinkie creme on your shirt, wipe it off. Can't get the song "Stairway to Heaven" out of your head? Deal with it.

Right now, it's nine states with some form of medical marijuana legislation on the books. But what happens when another seven or eight get wiggy with it? You telling me our government is willing to spend the Gross National Product of Bolivia to yearly equip thousands of SWAT teams to ram through lines of wheelchairs just to bust a couple of grey ponytails filling baggies full of righteous herb?

Don't these people get it? It's called "grass" because it GROWS IN THE GROUND LIKE A WEED. You don't need to refine it or distill it or brew it. You pick it, dry it and smoke it. And it's illegal. That's crazy bad stupid. You talk about gateways. It's not like you can walk out to your backyard a pull a cocktail off the Daiquiri bush. Although that stuff is legal. And heavily taxed.

See, there's your answer right there. All we need is one state financially desperate enough, they decide to legalize it and throw a state tax on it. Now I ask myself, who would be willing to piss off the Bush administration that bad? Which state with Democratic majorities would want to incur the continuing wrath of the Feds just to pull themselves out of a money hole? Hmmm. Davis, can you hear me?

Will Durst can still roll a joint, he just won't smoke it
Wednesday, May 21, 2003 2:25 PM
Weapons Of Individual Destruction

You got to hand it to the Bush administration: they refuse to quit. They're as indomitable as that dried milk scum at the dead center inside bottom of your kid's empty breakfast glass left out in the sun.

First they counter the UN weapons inspectors' inability to find the merest hint of a whisper of a scintilla of any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq as positive proof they were right: "See, we told you he was hiding them." Then, when queried as to why the Butcher of Baghdad failed to use any of this incredibly frightening arsenal to thwart our attack, the administration snapped back: "He hid them so good, even he couldn't find them."

Now we're in charge, still can't find nothing, and the conjecture to their ghostly whereabouts is. "The looters got to 'em first." Yeah, sure, I think we all buy that. Can just imagine blue-collar Baghdad Bob coming home from a busy day of street looting: "Hey, honey, remember that 200 cc of pure industrial grade Anthrax we were scrimping and saving hoping one day to raise a stake big enough to buy? Well, toss that shelf of Humus Helper, our prayers have been answered!"

Of course, if Hans Blix and the boys ever wandered over to the US of A to seek weapons of individual destruction, they'd best be advised to wait till September 13th of next year, when it'll be like picking blueberries out of rock salt. That's the date our national assault weapons ban expires and it looks like, even though the President campaigned on extending the ban, he's running away from his pledge so fast you can see skid marks.

Attorney General John Ashcroft, the administration's designated pit bull, already signaled his change of heart on the matter. In January 2001, during his Senate confirmation hearings, he said, "It is my understanding the President-Elect of the United States has indicated his clear support for extending this assault weapons ban. I would be prepared to move forward that position."

Yeah, sure, that's confusing cover-your-ass-mumble-speak, but pretty much what he said was, "if he's for it, then so am I." Now, however, it seems Ashcroft changed his mind, and as for Congress, getting an NRA lapdog Republican House to instigate a new assault weapons bill will be real similar to trying to pull the claws out of an amphetamine-poisoned coyote.

Not that the ban worked all that well. Gun manufacturers immediately figured out how to skirt the ban making minor design modifications to their bullet hoses. You know, changing trigger guard positions, adding racing stripes, applying Pokemon decals. But the NRA still strenuously opposes the reinstitution of the ban. It's like disco; same beat ten years later: "Assault weapons can be used as legitimate hunting rifles."

You know what, I can buy that argument. I mean, you can also use a chainsaw to cut butter. Just going to get a little messy around muffin time is all I'm saying. And, if you think about it, a hand grenade will signal the end of recess. They got a point. Guns don't kill people, it's those darn bullets that create the holes that the blood leaks out of way too quick.

The problem here, though, is according to a recent poll, 73 percent of the American people favor restrictions on assault weapons. But because this sunset law will kill the ban automatically, Bush can say he's in favor of it, and still encourage his buddies in the house to kill it, so he doesn't get his hands dirty. George W. Bush may not be the first Stealth President, but he is turning out to be the best.

Will Durst thinks most presidents are figureheads, Bush is a hood ornament.
Tuesday, May 13, 2003 9:21 AM
One Of Those Rare
Win-Win-Win-Win-Win-Win-Win-Win-Win-Win Situations.

Hey everybody, get out the party hats and pop the corks, it's tax-cut time. And everyone in Washington loves tax-cut time better than big fat manilla envelopes stuffed full of cash. Well, almost. And I'm talking everyone. Interns. Hot dog vendors. Mylar balloon blower uppers. Cadaver dogs. Everyone. But nobody goes as wicked crazy as our House of Representatives. Our Capitol-dwelling boys and girls are so excited they're quivering like a pet store full of Chihuahua puppies waiting for the dry food chutes to be filled. If you listen real close you can almost hear the toenails on the linoleum. We should hire out camera crews and shoot them in the halls, then sell the tapes on late night television infomercials: "Congress Gone Wild."

The House is celebrating ramming through their version totaling $550 billion in tax cuts and now it's the Senate's turn to do the "Reverse Robin Hood" dance. However the Senior Circuit's celebrations are a bit more subdued. Expected to ratify a smaller measure including an increase in some fees, (yes, tax boosts) so that the final cuts average out to $350 billion, they'll probably commemorate their triumph by shaking the powder out of their wigs. Don't bother asking why they're raising some taxes in order to cut others. That's why they're members of the Most Deliberative Body in the World and we're not. Afterwards we can expect to be treated to months of partisan splooey while the two differing bills merge in committee eventually getting handed up to the President who will sign what will inevitably be called his "Showdown on Joblessness." Oooh, maybe we'll get to see him wear his flight suit again.

Because this DC pas de deux is expected to hold something for everyone, this could very well prove to be one of those rare win-win-win-win-win-win-win-win-win-win-win situations. Let's look at a few of the potential winners.

  • Senator Charles Grassley (R- Iowa), chair of the Senate Finance Committee: Wins. Vowed to restrict vote to $350 billion in real money. Maintains his word and integrity. Risks getting kicked out of the Senate Republican Who Cares What I Said Then, I'm Saying This Now Club.
  • Haliburton: Wins. I don't know why, but they're going to get something out of this. Trust me.
  • Incumbents: Win. Already filming next year's campaign commercials. "Combating the evildoers, your Congressperson went to the wall to return your money to where it would do the most good: back in your wallet."
  • Senate Challengers: Win. Senate version actually raises some taxes. Already filming next year's campaign commercials. "Succumbing to the will of the evildoers, your Senator removed money from the most important program of all: your wallet."
  • Rich people: Win. Rich people always win.
  • Republicans: Win. See rich people.
  • Democrats: Win. Minority status mean they are unable to stop this freight train and if economy doesn't rebound they can go "See! Told you so." Not that they would actually root for the economy to tank. Right?
  • President Bush: Wins. He's on a roll. Kicking economic ass just as sweet as kicking Iraqi ass. Except there's more looting.
  • Dick Cheney: Wins. See Haliburton, rich people, Republicans, and President Bush.
  • Deficits. Win. Approaching brand new record setting levels. USA. #1.
  • Me: Win exponential factor three. Opportunity to do work out material like, "Can someone tell me how giving tax cuts to rich folks right at the roll out of new yacht season is supposed to create jobs outside of the burgeoning deck swabbing industry?"

And speaking of "Win," perhaps now might be a wise moment to harken back to the ancient days of Gerald Ford. Forced to deal with his contrary financial vortex, Ford began a national campaign called WIN, short for "Whip Inflation Now," going so far as to distributing WIN buttons all over the country. However, because the buttons were printed in big block letters, they also were readable upside down- "NIM," which nattering nabobs of negativism declared stood for "No Immediate Miracles." And as most economists (also winners) will tell you, when you you think you win by cutting taxes, expect no immediate miracles. But I'm sure Bush and his folks know that. Right?

Will Durst can pop corks with the best of them.
Monday, May 5, 2003 11:07 AM
the warrior moth


So George "Top Gun" Bush hits the deck of an aircraft carrier in full battle attire, and leaves in a suit. GET IT?! The warrior caterpillar matures into the diplomat moth. Genius public relations move. Simple. Uncomplicated. Obvious.

Next week, maybe he can do a reversal on "The Little Mermaid" and grow a tail. Then he flew to a defense plant in Santa Clara, California and said the unemployment rise to 6% is the very reason Congress should pass his tax cut because it will create jobs.

In the space of one day, he's morphed from the Potentate of Symbolism into Captain Segue. Tax cuts creating jobs. Yeah, right, and corporate bonuses fund school hot lunch programs. Hasn't anybody noticed in terms of creating jobs, the last tax cut tanked like a double wide in a free fall off a hairpin turn on the way up to Pike's Peak.

That's the typical agenda: connect two totally disparate cause and effect links then get increasingly strident about it. And presto: instant policy.

It does make one wonder: what other spurious couplings can we next expect to be trumpeted by Fox News anchors and other administration flunkies?

  • Condoms are responsible for teenage sex.
  • Faith based charities are an effective replacement for government social programs. Got to be the right faiths, of course.
  • Pre-emptive strikes encourage pro- Americanism around the world.
  • The liberal myth of corporate greed is what is really causing the recession.
  • Once Country & Western radio stations are convinced another nation's leader is a bad guy, we got policy.
  • Anti- war dissent is the reason Saddam is still alive.
  • Anti- administration dissent is the reason Osama bin Laden is still alive.
  • Homeless people are the result of failed 1960's policies.
  • Medical Marijuana causes junkies to kick and rob old people.
  • Looting Social Security means money will always be available from social security.
  • The class warfare of criticizing tax cuts as favoring the rich is deepening the rift between America's benevolent bosses and its little people.
  • Democrats are the friends of our enemies.
  • Allowing more pollution results in cleaner air.
  • Susan Sarandon was always an uppity bitch.
  • Fuck the poor.
Will Durst is not a friend of the enemy but our enemies' enemy thinks he is. Okay, he's poor. Happy?
Thursday, May 1, 2003 11:33 AM
rummy to the three


Three press conferences by Donald Rumsfeld

Early February.
It is incumbent on us to go in hard and go in now, because Saddam has weapons of mass destruction with which he could strike at any moment. Don't you understand? We're talking big old monstrous huge ugly weapons of mass destruction. Does the term "mushroom cloud" have any meaning here? Big Badda Boom. Not just America but the whole coalition, and yes, it definitely is a coalition.

The Solomon Islands signed on today. Of course, Hussein claims he doesn't have any weapons of mass destruction. Hell, I'd do the same thing. What do you expect him to say? "Oh yeah, I got em, and here they are and you better watch out?" No, Korea did that, and look what happened there. What do I make of the inspectors not being able to find anything? Hey, didn't we tell you he was hiding the stuff? And personally, may I interject, I don't see how any of these questions are helping America. Gotta go.

Middle March.
What are you talking about? The Iraqi people are celebrating the toppling of the dictator Saddam Hussein. They're simply not doing it in public; instead they're doing it in the newly found luxuriant privacy of their own homes. Don't ask me, it's a different culture. Resistance? What resistance? They're joyfully shooting their guns in the air except some guys are clumsy and trip.

No, I can't tell you why he hasn't used his weapons of mass destruction on the coalition forces. Probably saving them for later, or, hell, maybe he forgot where he hid them. Like I'm supposed to know how a madman thinks? That's not funny. This guy stuffed people in prisons under the most inhumane of conditions on the merest hint of a suspicion never allowing them to contact anybody. No, no, no, totally different situation from Guantanamo. The difference between terrorists and liberators. Anybody asking those questions is just jeopardizing the troops. I'm outta here.

Late April.
Of course we can't find any weapons of mass destruction, we told you, he hid them. And we think we know where: Syria. But you know, that's not really the important thing. The really important thing is the brave Iraqi people. The newly liberated brave Iraqi people who have been falsely accused of looting. That's ridiculous: they're just getting the hang of shopping, that's all.

Nevertheless, isn't it worth it just to see the look at the faces of every brave Iraqi citizen as they celebrate their new found freedoms. After 25 long years, there are finally hookers back on the streets of Baghdad again. That's progress. And we're going to take care of these people. Provide the whole country with universal health care. No, not America, you idiot, Iraq. Please, now is not the time for that kind of question. Now, I got to catch a plane to Damascus.

Will Durst doesn't have time for those kinds of questions either.
Monday, April 28, 2003 2:20 AM
red white and blue tax cut


Speaking in front of the Orlando Chamber of Commerce on the necessity of passing the President's proposed tax cut, Treasury Secretary John Snow said: "We can not afford to fail the American people, especially our troops overseas."

That's right, it's no longer a job-creating tax cut necessary to jump start the economy; now, it's the red white and blue tax cut and the only people lined up against it are Un- American Saddam- loving Commie pinko yellow rat bastards.

You know who opposes this tax cut? The Dixie Chicks and Michael Moore and Robert Blake and the French oppose this tax cut. Nuff said." Now, I know it's politics. And I know posturing is part of the game, and I even know you run with your strengths, and obviously the President's strength right now is waving Old Glory and shooting flares into munitions sheds, but for crum's sake, how freaking devious, not to mention obvious, can you get?

A tax cut for the troops? Who's buying this? 90% of the benefits of this tax cut are going to the top 10% of American wage earners. It's like trying to sell an extra boardroom bathroom by citing it as a major benefit to the janitors. Yeah, sure, some guys in uniform might get to trod the marble floors, but only to clean up executive crap.

What other issues are destined to balance on the fulcrum of our patriotism? Stem cell research? Third term abortions? Perhaps an edict declaring the Democratic Party to be an elite mob of saboteurs obstructing the goal of democracy with hidden caches of weapons of mass destruction? Proclaiming the purchase of the New York Times to be illegal?

And you know what, if the teats in this cow run dry, I'm sure other compelling arguments will surface advancing the same kind of legitimate claims showing up in my emails recently: "This tax cut is guaranteed to increase your bust and your penis by at least 4 inches." "This only thing to rival this tax cut is the Pasta Pot Pro." Until finally: "Voting for this tax cut will effect the release of my uncle and the $18 million locked in my Nigerian bank account."

Will Durst doesn't need this tax cut.
Thursday, April 24, 2003 10:28 AM
You Can't Make Stuff Up Like This


You Can't Make Stuff Up Like This.
  • "Thank you America for freeing us from the cruel yoke of Saddam. Now we are free to rule ourselves through the merciful hand of Islam. Praise Allah." "Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a minute there Haji. We were thinking more of an independent sort of government might be a better fit for you. Something, like, I don't know Florida. Here, let me give you a little tip. Buy Haliburton."
  • A lot of reporters are coming home from the war to return to their regular beats. I just hope they remember to change out of their cheerleading skirts. "Nice stand- up Tom, but let's do it again, and this time, drop the pom poms please."
  • Shock and Awe. Like a hippopotamus in a thong. Shock that anybody could imagine such a thing, and awe just thinking about all that elastic in one place.
  • Jerry Springer is talking about running for the Senate. Leaving TV for Congress; and with a single bold stroke, one man threatens to raise the level of discourse in both institutions.
  • They say Saddam was trying to recruit soldiers from other Arabic countries. Would have liked to have seen that recruiting poster: "We oppress more basic human rights before 8 am than most other barbaric fanatical regimes do all day. Non smokers preferred. No benefits."
  • When asked about kill figures from both sides, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld declined, claiming, "Death has a tendency to encourage a depressing view of war." Oh really? Isn't that the whole point? "Happy War. Happy War."
  • Our troops keep finding larger and larger stashes of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of cash. And they haven't even looked in the secret squirrel super hidey places. Sounds like the slush fund at the Republican National Committee Headquarters. Maybe the postman got their address mixed up with the Republican Guard.
  • The State Department announced they are beaming a version of Coalition Television at the Iraqis. Right now it's mostly news, weather and financial reports, but you know it won't be long: "Iraqi Idol," and Rumsfeld plays the Simon character.
Will Durst wonders if our troops could dig around his backyard.
Sunday, April 20, 2003 10:17 PM
talk show hosts


Let me get this straight. Talk show hosts are running around criticizing actors for expressing anti-war opinions? Talk show hosts? Disc jockeys without discs flacking Double Acting Medicated Gold Bond Powder? Future infomercial hosts using the same make up people as the moving mannequins they're disparaging?

They call artists Anti- American for speaking out on the war because of a lack of expertise. And they themselves are qualified how? Masters degrees from San Francisco State in International Relations? A lifetime of experience in diplomacy and government service? Or just some blow dried teeth who hired above average agents and excelled in freedom kissing Roger Ailes' butt deeper and more often than the other guy?

You tell me, what is more Anti- American than polarizing citizens into "us" and "them" conveniently avoiding the fact that most of America lies in the middle? Oh, you don't want I should change the subject to Anti- Constitution here.

You know why there are no liberal talk show hosts? Forget the big corporations. That's another column. I'll tell you why there are no liberal talk show ÎX@ minded.
The American Heritage Dictionary defines liberal as:

"1.a. Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.

b. Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded."

Does that sound like the enemy to you? No, but it does mean you have to consider an opinion other than yours before you start ranting and bullying and labeling dissenters betrayers of your version of patriotism. And in the electronic media, being tolerant enough to consider opposing opinions takes time and means sometimes saying "I don't know" or "you have a point there" which causes our national treasure, the zombie legion of soul dead media consultants to cry and wail about a perceived ratings drop.

Contemplation doesn't sell. Ask Phil Donahue. No, wait, he was boring. The problem is fancy millionaire artists are a red meat hot button to fancy millionaire talk show hosts. Can't wait to see how they denigrate the elite Robbins and Sarandon in their next 7-figure book deal.

I'll tell you another reason why there aren't any liberal talk show hosts. Because as soon as a liberal talk show host would start gaining a little bit of traction, some right wing nut job would shoot him. I'm not saying left wing nut jobs wouldn't do the same thing. Except they smoke too much pot. But that's another another column.

Will Durst says "I don't know" and "you have a point there" a lot.
Thu, 17 Apr 2003 13:35:44 -0400
good cop/crazy cop


In answer to the burning question as to whether or not the US is planning a strike on Syria, Colin Powell says no, declaring the administration does not have a hit list. The Secretary of State's actual words were, "There is no war plan right now to go attack someone else."

Ooh, I don't know about you, but if I were Syria I wouldn't want any part of that whole "right now" crap. What you call your "Not-Good!" Especially when at the very same time at a different press conference, you got President Bush accusing Syria of possessing weapons of mass destruction, which to my way of thinking is a second "Not-Good!"

Meanwhile, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld holds a press conference illustrating how US forces shut down a pipeline carrying oil between Iraq and Syria. Which if you're keeping score, is a big "Not-Good!" times three.

Rummy then went on to say "Whether it's the only one I can not tell you. We do not have perfect knowledge." No perfect knowledge. America? What's that you say? "Not-Good!" exponential factor four? Yes! We have a winner. Setting up the inevitable "Oops, made a horrible mistake. Terribly terribly terribly sorry." From the old, "easier to ask forgiveness than permission" School of Liberation.

Does the term "Chinese Embassy" have any meaning here? You throw in an administration official calling Syria, "the junior varsity of the axis of evil," and who could blame residents of Damascus for hoarding duct tape, plastic sheeting and digging bunkers somewhere near hell? Not me.

The hell is going on here? Maybe it's like in the movie "Bull Durham" when Nuke Laloosh hits the mascot and Crash, the catcher, cautions the next batter, "I wouldn't dig in, I have no idea where the next one is going." Not so much a good cop- bad cop scenario as good cop- crazy flippo-unit cop. Think Samuel L. Jackson as Secretary of Defense. "I"m going to get medieval on your ass." I know, it was Ving Rhames, but you get the idea.

Of course, the whole point here is that Syria gets the idea. I'm not saying we've gone round the bend, but even Israel is telling us maybe it's time to settle down. That's like having a restraining order slapped on your ass by Mike Tyson.

Will Durst has many restraining orders. And "spank me" is one of them.
Mon, 14 Apr 2003 15:17:03 -0400
You Can't Make Stuff Up Like This


You Can't Make Stuff Up Like This
  • We've turned into "the little boy who cried chemical weapons." Two weeks ago, troops find strange stuff. "Hey everybody, likely possible potential chemical weapons: right here." Two days later, fifth column, page 12, below the fold: "Oh, that stuff? Insecticide. Not an FDA approved insecticide. Raising serious Geneva Convention ramifications." Later on, a Marine contracts a mystery rash. Pentagon goes large, "Ugly skin rash. Lookit, lookit, lookit. Guy has a rash. Not a good rash either. We're talking bad rash. No idea what it is." Couple days pass; turns out the soldier's suffering from, are you ready for this prickly heat. Seriously: prickly heat. If the Koreans really intend to be taken seriously, they need to develop a drastically virulent strain of athlete's foot.
  • The guy I'm going to miss most is the Iraqi Minister of Misinformation. "Saddam's loyal forces have repelled the Coalition Forces miles outside of Baghdad's city limits. The American scourge is on verge of surrender." Meanwhile, you could see the advancing troops in the reflection of his glasses. This guy has a future as a press agent for "Lord of the Dance."
  • Commenting on the epidemic looting in Baghdad, Secretary Rumsfeld allowed that democracy is untidy. Untidy? Making capitalism what? Scruffy? Unkempt? Free market policies? Fuzzy flotsam in search of bedraggled trickle down theories supporting haphazard quarterly dividend reports. Our two party system: just another grimy faced tousled haired waif clad in the hand-me-downs of a rumpled Magna Carta. Parliamentary orts.
  • Ahmed Chalabi, founder and leader of the Iraqi National Congress, a much better name than Opposition Thugs, is the expatriate leader hand-picked by President Wolfowitz to head up an interim government. And currently dodging a multi-million dollar bank embezzlement conviction in Jordan. Who says this administration avoids appointments encumbered with paper trails? Of course, if Chulabi's political career flames out, he could always open up an Arthur Anderson Baghdad division. His first move should be to import a six burner double-oven Wolfe range because the books of Cheney's Haliburton buddies are going to require some extremely creative cooking.
  • You would have thought Bush would have the common human decency to wait and try to hide the Haliburton contract. You know, slide it onto the second page of the middle of a thick list. But no. First grant down the pike: $9 billion worth of pipeline repair, construction and maintenance. Say what you will about Dubyah, he ain't reluctant to be obvious. The Liberace of patronage.
  • Ridding the Mideast of tyranny. Not what you call a weekend project. More like a kitchen remodeling. Just when you think you're done, unforeseen forces demand plumbing upgrades and drywall replacements. Not to mention a minimum of 4 more permits.
Will Durst needs a kitchen remodeling. And is accepting donations.
Thu, 10 Apr 2003 13:34:39 -0400
I read the news today, oh boy


I watched the War Channel today, and guess what: War is over. The problem is, the ratings were so good that network executives picked up the show for another 13 weeks, so they're busy trying to develop another plotline.

We know who won. We did. The swarthy guy's giant bronze head was dragged down the street and ridden by young boys like a dead mechanical bull. Of course you know that this means 40 years from now, we're all going to be driving Iraqi made automobiles. "Dude, you got a new Fedayeen. Sweet."

Still, you'd think the intensity of the political rancor would diminish. But no: both the pro- and anti-war camps have drawn their lines as sharp as the glance of a substitute teacher towards a tardy cheerleader after the bell has rung for remedial Penmanship class.

And yeah, I've seen the polls, but I still think the vast majority of us fit somewhere in between the rabid swings of the pendulum. One side screams, "If you don't favor saving Iraq by reducing it to rubble the size of coffee grounds you're inviting Saddam to rape my mother," while the other group maintains, "If you don't think George W. Bush should dismantle the military and sell the pieces off to feed the poor you're a blood-drenched killing machine flossing with the intestines of tiny tubercular babies."

People, it's time to stop whining about whether the war was moral or not and time to start whining about whether the reconstruction of Iraq will be moral or not. Bush has promised the UN will have a vital role in rebuilding Iraq. Can't you just imagine the UN's vital role? "Hey, why don't you guys use your blue helmets to collect some rain water and wash the blood off the tracks of that tank?"

I somehow feel the UN's promised role will be as vital as that promised White House probe of Enron was vigorous. All I know is some sort of police presence needs to be exhibited now, unless you prefer the next predominate profession in Iraq to be professional looter. And after all, that's Halliburton's job.

Watching the recent footage of Iraqi citizens experiencing looter fatigue, Will Durst is now thankful Oakland didn't win the Super Bowl.
Mon, 7 Apr 2003 02:24:39 -0400
bye bye geraldo rivera


Let me make something perfectly clear. I support our troops. I'm not precisely sure exactly what that means, but hey, if it's good, I'm in. If supporting our troops means hoping they all come home safe, then I surely do that.

I also support the minesweeping dolphins and I support the collateral damage known as Iraqi civilians and I support poolside banana daiquiris and double cheeseburgers with ketchup, pickles and onions only.

And while we're at it, it's only fair I also reveal what I don't support. I do not support brown recluse spiders. I do not support "Draft Crispin Glover For President" movements. I do not support reclassifying anti-war protestors as terrorists. I do not support the wearing of national blinders in order to prove one's blood is the proper shades of red, white and blue.

I also don't support those who don't support those who support the truth. Like Rumsfeld telling the networks' military experts that by criticizing his little war plan they are endangering our troops. Hey, back off Rummy. Truth is good. Remember. Oppression: bad.

Isn't it enough Peter Arnett had his sword broken and branded a traitor for going on Iraqi TV and criticizing our war effort? When it really comes down to it, he didn't say anything different than Retired General Wesley Clark and those other 4 star blowhards.

The Pentagon even went so far as to throw Geraldo Rivera out of Iraq because he drew a map in the sand with his finger. Come on people, a map in the sand with his finger? Might our military officials have over-reacted just a tad? I mean announcing locations with GPS co- ordinates is one thing. Tossing flash cards of imminent attack plans another, but a finger drawn map in the sand: not quite to scale, I'm thinking.

First off, If the Iraqi generals are monitoring Fox News they're in much deeper trouble than we thought. But suppose they are, I sincerely doubt the cry: "Geraldo Rivera and the entire 101st Airborne are right outside that giant flat rock with the bird poop on it" was heard resounding down bunker corridors.

Of course, the exponential factor on the upper right hand corner of the irony is, since Iraq kicked out Al Jazeera, it looks like this whole "say as I say you say" deal cuts both ways. War is heck.

Will Durst senses something is very amiss with that giant flat rock with the bird poop on it.
Thu, 3 Apr 2003 01:38:47 -0500
what they say/ what they mean


What They Say/What They Mean: Iraqi War Edition.

WTS: Liberation.
WTM: Overthrow.

WTS: The actions of the anti-war protestors are giving solace to the enemy.
WTM: The price of freedom is freedom.

WTS: The Coalition of the Willing.
WTM: The Coalition of the English Speaking. Except for Canada.

WTS: Our intelligence communities are confused civilians didn't welcome the invasion.
WTM: What do you mean we're not fighting the French? What's the deal with all the berets then?

WTS: We don't even believe Saddam is alive, since he hasn't been seen in over two weeks.
WTM: Come out, come out, wherever you are.

WTS: I'd like to see the face of the elite Republican Guard after they witness our "Shock and Awe" campaign.
WTM: I'd like to see the face of the elite Republican Guard after they witness our continuing series of "Shock and Awe" campaigns.

WTS: We will find and destroy Saddam's weapons of mass destruction.
WTM:We will find them, even if we don't find them, if you know what I mean.

WTS: Don't worry Shiites; we won't abandon you.
WTM: This time we really mean it. Really. Why would we lie? Again?

WTS: We're going to need billions in humanitarian aid in order to rebuild the Iraqi state.
WTM: And we're going to finance it with a huge tax cut.

WTS: We will never forget the people of Iraq.
WTM: The same way we never forgot the people of umm, what's their name, you know, next to Pakistan, oh yeah, Afghanistan.

WTS: The vast majority of Saddam's oppressed army will raise their arms in surrender.
WTM: Well, they raised their arms. About as high as their shoulders.

WTS: We will hunt Saddam Hussein down like the rat he is.
WTM: Just like the rat Osama bin Laden still is.

WTS: President Bush does not possess a love of detail.
WTM: Like if Reagan and Quayle had a kid.

WTS: This war is not about religion.
WTM: Unless your religious leaders lay pipeline.

WTS: Our incursion will resemble a surgical strike.
WTM: Courtesy of an HMO near you.

WTS: We are bringing freedom to the Iraqi people.
WTM: Whether they want it or not.

Will Durst doesn't possess a love of the tiny detail either. He does possess a love of the big general. General Phyllis. She's a babe.
Mon, 24 Mar 2003 04:33:24 -0500
FAQ Iraq


Frequently Asked Questions About the War on Iraq

Q. So what's the deal with Saddam? He still alive?
A. Apparently the Iraqi Strongman escaped with his life from a Coalition attack two hours before his 48 hours to get out of Dodge were up. Kind of a pre-empting of the pre emptive thing going on here.

Q. Isn't that cheating?
A. All's fair in love and war. A Texas twist on the old Godfather Conundrum: is it better to be feared than loved? "Who cares. String 'em up."

Q. So how come in his exclusive interview, Dan Rather didn't take Saddam out?
A. When you're right, you're right. Dan is what, 80 years old now? Time to take one for the team, old man. Should have shot yourself up with some anthrax and breathed on the Butcher of Baghdad. Talk about an exclusive interview.

Q. Does the State Department suspect the photo of Saddam meeting with his command staff was pre-recorded?
A. No one is really sure, but spectral computer analysis seems to indicate he's wearing a "Members Only" jacket with an Alf patch on the right sleeve.

Q. The networks didn't even wait the normal three day mourning period before interrupting the war for commercials. What's up with that?
A. I think the feeling is, "Hey, patriotism and solemnity are all fine and good and all, but we got to make some money here."

Q. Is CBS's decision to continue showing the NCAA Basketball Tournament having any effect on the other networks?
A. All the coverage seems designed to specifically look like a playoff game, with logos and theme songs and game plans. "You're looking live at downtown Basra, Iraq, where the coalition forces are squaring off against the upset minded Hordes of Hussein. There's the coin toss and Hussein elects to receive. And receive. And receive."

Q. Don't you keep expecting John Madden to show up with his video chalk stick?
A.Yeah, I'm surprised ABC hasn't trotted him out as an expert analyst. "See, here's where the Republican Guard has to plug the line. Bam. Bam. Bam. Wait a minute, Hussein punts on first down, he is a madman."

Q. What do you make of the reports that certain administration staffers are talking about continuing this Mideast liberation campaign in Iran?
A. George W Bush needs an intern.

Will Durst needs an intern.
Wed, 12 Mar 2003 02:04:51 -0500
scraping colin


Yeah, yeah, I know. I shouldn't be surprised. Always a lot of unintended consequences when you go to war. If you want an omelet you're going to have to break a couple of eggs. Can't have yourself any cole slaw without slicing that head of cabbage into ribbons. No rashers of bacon will be eaten until someone rips the flesh off the belly of a pig.

Yeah, okay, you get the point. Well, it is becoming more and more evident that one of the weird repercussions of this whole Desert Storm II action is we may actually get ourselves a regime change, except the regime we seem destined to change is the one in London rather than the one in Baghdad. Right now, Tony Blair is about as popular as a termite infestation at a balsa wood factory although less stable.

And over on this side of the big pond, Karl Rove's major focus seems to be wearing out the Secretary of State like a 14-year-old toothbrush used to clean steel wool. He's managed to dry up what previously seemed to be Colin Powell's unlimited store of credibility. The problem is, the American public believes General Powell. As much as it doesn't believe the President, whose personal credibility meter is running on empty. Perhaps having something to do with Saddam trying to kill his Daddy and all.

So Rove keeps having to shove Powell up to the podium for damage control every time George Bush fails to make his point on multi-lateralism and its nascent international charms. Which lately has been often. Bush's recent Press Conference performance was like a recalcitrant child determined to do an awful job to prove to the adults that it was a bad idea all along and he was right in the first place, so there. Which meant, the next day, Colin Powell smiled at the camera and talked like a grown up scraping the residue from the corners of the credibility barrel. This war better start quick, Colin Powell is running out of barrels.

Will Durst thinks this war is like the first round of a Mike Tyson fight. The economy blows because nobody wants to be at the refrigerator when the fight starts, because it's only going to last 49 seconds.
And he'll see you at Spring Training where he'll watch our boys of summer in the orange scented sun at his annual beer beef and baseball bash.
Wed, 5 Mar 2003 20:00:41 -0500
to war to war


To war. To war. It's time we go to war. And as Johnny goes marching off again, we here at home must fulfill our patriotic charge by preparing ourselves for survival in the unlikely event of an unlikely event. Tom Ridge said so. Or something like that.

After his semi-lucid disastrous duct tape and plastic sheeting ramblings, the head of Homeland Security let the big secret out of the bag that the government has plan zero for our safety and we're pretty much on our own like those poor orphan kids in that Lemony Snicket series, "A Series of Unfortunate Events," which sounds suspiciously like the last two years and forty days doesn't it?

According to government higher ups, our future survival might well depend on putting together an emergency kit unique to the individuality of our family. The basics, we know: batteries, extra bottles of water and if any living being in the house lacks a Y chromosome, reams and reams of spare toilet paper. But one family might just bottle their own tap water, while another may stockpile specially distilled Icelandic reserve glacier water drawn specifically from pre 1987 calvings. And both would be right.

By taking my moral obligation as role model to entire generations seriously, I offer up this list as a kind of blueprint for others to follow if they desire to survive with a modicum of style.

Will Durst's Partial List of Things to Make Sure Are Only a Quick Run Downstairs On Top Of The Dryer Away in Case of Unctuously Extreme Emergency. (You're Going To Need a Big Dryer)
  • 4 cases Anchor Steam Ale.
  • 6 bottle openers.
  • 2 Industrial Strength E-Z Bake Ovens.
  • 20 pounds Peet's Aged Sumatra Coffee Grind #5.
  • 1 Solar Powered Jerky Hydrator with the Optional Brown Squirrel Attachment.
  • Tinfoil.
  • 1 Hand Crank Wind- Up DVD Player. And A Copy Of 2002 World Series That Ends After 51 Innings.
  • 1 Complete Raymond Chandler Reader.
  • 200 Freeze Dried In-N-Out Burger Double Doubles With Ketchup, Pickles And Onions.
  • 1 Box Raisin Bran. The Big Box. Lasts Months. With or Without Dried Milk.
  • 1 .308 Caliber Army M4A1 With Tripod Mount, Laser Sight And A Couple Dozen Clips.
  • Lots And Lots of Campbell's Tomato Soup. And Garlic Croutons to soak in it.
  • MacGyver's Handbook to Making Electric Eye Door Openers with Rubber Bands and Toothpicks and Other Neat Stuff.
Will Durst does not mean to intimate he is looking forward to this crisis, but he figures a comfortable crisis is better than a inconvenient crisis.
Tue, 25 Feb 2003 13:47:08 -0500
the great debate


Well, we weren't sure when it was going to happen, but our impending war with Iraq has finally risen to the noble heights of a reality TV show on Fox hosted by Playboy twins. Seizing the public relations initiative like the neck of a Kurdish bell boy, Saddam Hussein challenged George W Bush to a steel cage match with the two of them naked hurling sharpened shards of blue UN helmets at each other. No, I'm sorry, that's Tonya Harding and Peggy Noonan on the WB or something.

All Hussein wants is a face-to-face debate. Him and the Buhman. Mano a mano. (Cue Mohammed Ali's voice: "I want Joe Frazier.") With one simple stroke, the Iraqi Strongman has pried the pre-eminent propaganda position away from the President. But I think they might be misunderstimating our Commander- in - Chief again.

Don't forget, this is the same trap Ann Richards and Al Gore eagerly climbed into and couldn't get out of. And even though the Bush camp is chomping at the bit so hard you can hear the saliva splashing on the embroidered arrows in the eagle's claw on the Oval Office rug, knowing they'd wipe the semantic mat with the Butcher of Baghdad, the administration has respectfully declined. It's your typical incumbent Tyrannical Despot move. Never debate the challenging Tyrannical Despot while you're still ahead in the polls.

I expect the rest of the action from both sides will be straight out of the Tyrannical Despot Election Manual authored by Lee Atwater. Lies. Gross exaggerations of the other guy's record. Then some shambling shirtsleeve weapons destruction. Followed by attack ads.

Although it does say in Chapter 4 that when your opponent ducks a debate, standard operating procedure dictates you hire somebody to dress up in a giant chicken costume and follow him around. And knowing Hussein, he'll rub it in, and have the guy in the chicken costume squawk in a French accent.

Will Durst can't wait for the season ending finale of this series: "I'm aTyrannical Despot: Get Me the Hell Out of Here!"
Tue, 18 Feb 2003 01:15:10 -0500
can't have the war


Can't have the war during the Hajj.
Can't have the war during Easter.
Can't have the war during Passover (Purim, not such a big deal).
Can't have the war during the February sweeps.
Can't have the war when the moon is high.
Can't have the war while the light is long.
Can't have the war when it's hot out.
Can't have the war in the middle of a dust storm.
Can't have the war during the rainy season (not applicable).
Can't have the war on the Christian Sabbath.
Can't have the war on the Jewish Sabbath.
Can't have the war on the Muslim Sabbath.
Can't have the war listening to Black Sabbath.
Can't have the war until Hans Blix laughs out loud.
Can't have the war during most of the NCAA playoffs (the Finals nobody really cares about).
Can't have the war while George W Bush's approval rating is too low.
Can't have the war until the free fall of Tony Blair's approval rating stabilizes (negotiable).
Can't have the war until the Florida orange crop is in.
Can't have the war until after the Academy Awards.
Can't have the war until Kim Jong Il starts taking his meds.
Can't have the war interfere with the third repeat of ABC's three hour special, "Michael Jackson: The Man Behind The Nose."
Can't have the war shut down the filming of "Girls Gone Wild III" on Padre Island featuring the Bush twins during spring break.
Can't have the war too close to the opening of "Matrix Reloaded." Whoa.
Can't have the war between a window of two weeks before and two weeks after Osama bin Laden's birthday.
Can't have the war until France and Germany have kissed and made up.
Can't have the war until Turkey accepts our $6 billion bribe, I mean financial aid package, and lets us play our little G. I. Joe games on their own turf.
Can't have the war until after the Texas Rangers land safely at DFW returning from spring training.
Can't have the war until somebody from the Security Council speaks out on behalf of our little pre- emptive strike besides Spain and Bulgaria.
Can't have the war too close to Tax Day reminding all Americans exactly where their money is going.

Based on these precise scientific calculations, I predict Desert Storm II will commence at 9pm EST, Monday, March 31st and last through Thursday April 3rd. Schedule your appointments accordingly.
Thu, 13 Feb 2003 02:51:54 -0500
duct tape and plastic sheeting


Plastic sheeting and duct tape.
That's how the Office of Homeland Security says we can make our homes safe in the event of a biological, chemical or radiological agent attack. Wrap ourselves up like leftover pieces of Chicken Breast a la King stuck on the top shelf of the perishables section of a Korean bodega. Just another example of George W Bush telling us: "Go about your ordinary everyday business, but be very afraid."

Just a couple of questions here:

1. Wouldn't a better use of the duct tape and plastic sheets be to slap a couple pieces across the Donald Rumsfeld's mouth? I'm just asking.

2. If we do seal our houses up, mightn't we run the risk of suffocating like forgotten dime store goldfish?

3. Could this whole plastic sheeting and duct tape crap be a stealth attempt by the administration to kick start the economy by getting consumers back into hardware stores?

It seems to be working. For crum's sake, the entire state of Georgia is out of the stuff. They've managed to panic us poor little sheep into trampling each other like Norwalk Virus victims on the sun deck dispensary of a Carnival Cruise Lines ship.

I don't know about you, but I am less than soothed after being provided with this comprehensive anti-terrorist plan of self-defense. I do not feel as snug as a bug in a hermetically sealed rug. In other words, no, I have not been comforted.

But you go ahead, be a good American, go down and try to pick up your fair share of duct tape and plastic sheeting. Turn your house into a giant Zip Lock Baggie and your neighborhood into the crisper bin of a shared refrigerator in the kitchen of a 200-employee insurance agency.

And if the shelves are all empty, don't you fret, dear friend, there are plenty of other ordinary household items you can purchase to insure the protection of your family in much the same way. Only different.

  • Tinfoil and nailguns. Brown wrapping paper and super glue. Screen doors and pitchforks. Replacement materials in lieu of no grey tape or saran wrap.
  • Shovels and pick axes. Might find yourself some spare time to work on a bit of basement remodeling. I'm thinking guest room, shelter bunker.
  • Yellow legal pads. Last words, final thoughts. That sort of thing.
  • Caulking guns and Tabasco sauce. Improvise your own weapons.
  • Refrigerator magnet poetry kits. You know, for the kids.
  • Rain gutters, tile grout and a sampler of glossy paints. Try your hand at home sculpture!
  • Lots of string and clean tin cans. High tech communications devices could become useless. Time to return to the time tested.
Will Durst tried that Tabasco sauce thing. Wear eye protection.
Thu, 6 Feb 2003 05:32:18 -0500
you can't make stuff up like this


You Can't Make Stuff Up Like This!
  • The Who's Pete Townsend got nailed in London on allegations of pedophilia. Does this mean "Fiddlin All About" was both autobiographical and a predetermined game plan?
  • I'm dredging grey matter depths to come up with an analogy equivalent to Al Sharpton's chances of winning the Democratic nomination for President in 2004. "Snowball in hell" smacks not only of cliche but seems a bit generous as well. How bout "more likely to see a film with a credible plot starring Eric Roberts?"
  • North Korean President Kim Jong Il declared a holy war on America. Wait a minute, isn't North Korea a communist country? Bush is good. Bringing the fear of god to the godless since 2001.
  • The other day, at a staged photo- op, a reporter asked Dubyah if he was about declare war. And the President wondered "On which country?" You know what, that's not funny.
  • Libya has just been selected to chair this year's UN human rights commission. Libya human rights. I suppose the next item of business is to appoint Henry Kissinger as head of a fact finding commission. Oh.
  • Nancy Pelosi refused to answer any questions about whether the party would have been better off if James Traficant had been available. Pretty convenient if you ask me.
  • Turns out the weed killer, Roundup, is creating a super weed impervious to its poison. Call me paranoid but I see the long sticky fingers of our State Department at work here.
  • Bush keeps saying it's a good time to buy a house. And when you think of it, he's right. It's also a good time to buy an airline, and K- Mart and AOL- Time Warner.
  • Because of local hysteria, the government of the East African nation of Malawi has been forced to issue official press releases to citizens and potential tourists that the country is not infested with vampires. Of course, the people discount the statements because they're so used to their government lying to them. Malawi sounds a lot like Berkeley. Without T-1 lines.
  • United Airlines has decided to do away with food service on most of their flights. How long before the toilet paper and the inflight magazine are one and the same.
  • Insiders claim the current levels of DC corruption is unprecedented. They have a name in Washington for someone who misuses the public trust, and betrays all manners of civilized behavior. Senator.
Will Durst thinks he might have found a loophole in this whole invasion business. A way to avoid war totally. What if we surrender? Let them keep all their stinky oil. Hah, bet nobody's thought of that.
Tue, 4 Feb 2003 03:23:36 -0500
no smoking knife


Colin Powell is addressing the UN this week and the prevailing buzz is the General is poised to stun the world with some triple super secret evidence that Saddam Hussein is not just a bad guy, but a horrendously horrid bad guy who doesn't even bother to pretend he's not wiping his nose on his camouflage sleeve while decent people are looking. Furthermore, he is a man who eats garlic and whole raw onions before he plays tonsil hockey with his mistresses and then he sticks them with an outrageously inflated bar tab he gets kickbacks on. A guy who if he were wiped off the face of the planet, maybe 2 people would complain but not very loudly and neither of them would be members of the National Soccer team.

In an attempt to lower the speech's high expectations, the Administration has cautioned the public to expect the General to reveal no smoking gun. Probably not a smoking knife either. I doubt we'll see anything resembling an extremely warm letter opener. Maybe if we're lucky, a fairly cool broken pyrex dish that's been left in an industrial strength dishwasher overnight. Or satellite photos of bent twigs exhibited as lethal pointy sticks.

But you can bet your bottom petro dollar we're going to be treated to an honest to goodness thoroughly unsubstantiated third party rumor or two. And a fine crop of juicy unattributed innuendo. And surely we'll see the wet spot of some vague ghostly connections to other tall bad guys with kidney disease who we still can't find.

Hopefully, Saddam will take up our mumbled half-hearted offer of safe passage to exile and this whole ugly mess can be averted and we can enjoy the NBA All Star Game the way it should be. Prone. On the couch. With the sound turned off. Of course I have no idea where such a America- hating, uses poison- gas- on- his- own- people, crazed maniacal despot would feel at home. And then it hit me: Idaho.

Will Durst thinks he would feel right at home in Idaho. Well, flying over it at least.
Tue, 28 Jan 2003 04:39:17 -0500
the french and the blix


The French are not the happiest of campers. Quite understandable really, with the epithet "old" rained upon their oily hides by none other than our distinguished Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld. To intimate they are a bit miffed is like saying Raider fans might have been unpleased by the results of this year's Super Bowl. Apparently, you can call the French many things. Rude, cowardly, hirsute, arrogant, allergic to cleaning solutions, people with a propensity to poop in holes, gastronomically fixated on fungus and sauces, but old, quel horreur!

The amazing thing here is we've been hurling invective at the French for years, and nothing. The only guaranteed response was another derisive snort of cigarette smoke blown through flared nostrils punctuated by the tossing back of a glass of house red with theatrical disdain. But to insinuate as to how their hair might be rinsing a bit blue, and they go all ballistic on us.

Or not go all ballistic on us, which in this case might be more apropos, since Rummy was chastising them for their stubborn reluctance to join up in our soon to be realized glorious march on Baghdad to free the oil, er, the Iraqis or something. After the verbal sucker punch, French Finance Minister claimed in true Gallic fashion to be "profoundly vexed." And don't forget Germany; Rumsfeld included them in his textbook definition of "old Europe."

But after sixty years of the whole world castigating Germany as complacent pavers of the on ramp for the Anti- Christ, prospective membership in International AARP is probably not the sorest of spots. Besides, where is the new Europe? He won't say. Estonia? Liechtenstein? Monaco? Of course, when he tells us, don't let France know, you know the first thing they'll do is send Paris over and seduce the poor kids.<

Will Durst wants to go on record as being perfectly willing to be seduced by Paris. Or Nice. Or Marseilles. Hell, even Montreal looks pretty damn good in her advancing years.


The Bush Administration has had it up to HERE with Hans Blix (yeah, like that's his real name) for reporting to the UN that his wacky band of weapons inspectors have found no evidence of any Weapons of Mass Destruction while inspecting for weapons in Iraq. Which to the administration's way of thinking, is proof positive weapons are being hidden over there. Based on the logic that if Hussein wasn't hiding weapons, weapons would be laying right out in there on the Baghdad International Airport tarmac for everyone to see.

Poor Saddam is in one of those rare lose-lose-lose situations. Damned if the UN Weapons Inspectors find weapons, damned if they don't find weapons and damned if Dubyah's approval rating falls below 50%. Thinly disguising his disgust for the commie pinko yellow rat bastard concept of International coalition building, Bush implied the UN blue hats were a "pussy blue," airlifted Blix a case of Dr. Dean Edell's prescription eyeglasses, then whined in front of the cameras, "this is like the rerun of a bad movie and I don't feel like watching it again."

Boy, has he finally inadvertently placed his finger on the faltering pulse of America, or what? See, the deal is, Bush KNOWS Saddam's got weapons over there. Feels it deep down in his bones. How can he so sure? Because his Daddy sold the weapons to him, that's why. It's like when your Aunt Hoogolah gave you that nice red sweater with the green snowmen appliques on it for Christmas and you neglected to wear it at the next holiday get-together.

That's what this is all about. "Hey, where's the sweater my dad gave you, you ungrateful creep? What, did you drop it off at Goodwill, you no good SOB." Bush just wants to see the red sweater. Of course, maybe Saddam re-gifted it. If I were the weapons inspectors inspecting for weapons, I would march right across the border and check the bottom shelf of Syria's hall closet behind the spare tablecloths.

Will Durst had one of those red sweaters and yes, it ended up in the Goodwill box and yes, his mom said it was okay. (She and Aunt Hoogolah didn't get along that well).
Tue, 21 Jan 2003 04:53:08 -0500
you can't make stuff up like this


You Can't Make Stuff Up Like This!
  • The Who's Pete Townsend got nailed in London on allegations of pedophilia. Does this mean "Fiddlin All About" was both autobiographical and a predetermined game plan?
  • I'm dredging grey matter depths to come up with an analogy equivalent to Al Sharpton's chances of winning the Democratic nomination for President in 2004. "Snowball in hell" smacks not only of cliche but seems a bit generous as well. How bout "more likely to see a film with a credible plot starring Eric Roberts?"
  • North Korean President Kim Jong Il declared a holy war on America. Wait ÛÿPDubyah if he was about declare war. And the President wondered "On which country?" You know what, that's not funny.
  • Libya has just been selected to chair this year's UN human rights commission. Libya human rights. I suppose the next item of business is to appoint Henry Kissinger as head of a fact finding commission. Oh.
  • Nancy Pelosi passed over black lawmaker William Jefferson from Louisiana to pick Robert Matsui from California to head up the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Then she refused to answer any questions about whether the party would have been better off if James Traficant had been available. Pretty convenient if you ask me.
  • Turns out the weed killer, Roundup, is creating a super weed impervious to its poison. Call me paranoid but I see the long sticky fingers of our State Department at work here.
  • Bush keeps saying it's a good time to buy a house. And when you think of it, he's right. It's also a good time to buy an airline, and K- Mart and AOL- Time Warner.
  • Because of local hysteria, the government of the East African nation of Malawi has been forced to issue official press releases to citizens and potential tourists that the country is not infested with vampires. Of course, the people discount the statements because they're so used to their government lying to them. Malawi sounds a lot like Berkeley. Without T-1 lines.
  • United Airlines has decided to do away with food service on most of their flights. How long before the toilet paper and the inflight magazine are one and the same.
  • Insiders claim the current levels of DC corruption is unprecedented. They have a name in Washington for someone who misuses the public trust, and betrays all manners of civilized behavior. Senator.
Will Durst thinks he might have found a loophole in this whole invasion business. A way to avoid war totally. What if we surrender? Let them keep all their stinky oil. Hah, bet nobody's thought of that.
Tue, 14 Jan 2003
rich stimulus

05:02:06 -0500:0212PDT

Class warfare. Bush owns it and the Democrats want it. Democrats love class wars. They understand class wars. To them a class war is getting back to basics. Like the pitcher covering first in spring training. And the President has got his his part down perfectly: claiming they're the naughty ones who started the whole mess by attacking his tax stimulus package with the scurrilous charge that it neglects to provide any of what you might call your stimulus.

On top of that the thoroughly ungrateful minority party has specifically attacked Bush's attempt to eliminate the tax on stock dividends, which mostly helps the wealthy. The GOP's response is "the wealthy pay most of the taxes, so of course they're going to get some of the breaks." The Democrats came back with "but this ain't no some, Chuck. This is huge honking most. This is a Costco fork lift pallet of bulk. Besides, you're the one who declared the class war. You can't blame us; all we did was point it out."

But let me let you in on a little secret here. What really drives the Dems nuts, is the public couldn't care less. As a matter of fact Americans are all in favor of more perks for the rich because the American people only think of the gajillion tax breaks they'll be raking in when they become rich. Which will be any minute now. So when the Administration announces "in order to help out the economy, we have to stimulate the rich," we just nod our heads and go, "unh- hunh, that's me, someday."

Now, don't get me wrong, I have no problem with stimulating the rich. I just think there's a whole mess of other cheaper ways you could accomplish the same sort of thing. So let me do what I can to help out here.

Will Durst's Modest Proposal for Alternative Methods to Stimulate the Rich.

  • Subdermal cayenne pepper time-release implants.
  • Reception lines where the rich receive bracing slaps in the face from the homeless.
  • Amphetamine patches. What the hell, entire amphetamine quilts.
  • Coffee grounds replaced with Pop Rocks.
  • Remote controlled cattle prod suppositories.
  • Electronic GPS infrared geo- stationary ankle bracelets with retractable skin piercing spikes.
  • Torches, pitchforks and crowbars.
  • CEO Head butts. Lots of CEO head butts. For no apparent reason. At unexpected times. In elevators.
  • Bananas. Just plain old bananas. Plain old bananas with pieces of rotary saw blades imbedded in them.
  • Leg- tethered rabies infested Norwegian rats.
Will Durst plans to be rich someday. No, not Sunday. Someday.
Tue, 7 Jan 2003 10:43:00 -0500


Alright, I'm tired, you're tired. Let's just forget the whole post modern deconstruction crap of why we're doing a resolutions column. Yes, we're doing a resolutions column. What's the matter with you guys? It's the beginning of the year. That's what you do. A resolutions column. It's a tradition. C'mon people, what am I, flying solo here? Deal with it. Or don't. Here they are:

Resolutions Other People Need To Make For The Year 2003.

US President George W Bush: Resolves not to make the same mistakes his daddy made, so he takes steps to insure his war with Iraq will last until the year 2008, just like Dick Cheney told him to.

New York Senator Hillary Clinton: Resolves not to make the same mistakes her hubby made, prompting her refusal to speak before any Congressional Committee, which is tough since she's a member of Congress.

Former President Bill Clinton: Resolves to make many more mistakes but not get caught so many times and since he's not in public service anymore, who really gives a rats ass? Okay, maybe Bill O'Reilly.

UN Weapons Inspector Hans Blix: Resolves to find something for Christ's Sake. Tainted baby formula. Suspicious shellfish. A radioactive spatula. Something.

Law & Order Producer Dick Wolf: Resolves to leave NBC and form his own network so he can fill each and every prime time slot with Law & Order spinoffs.

Golfer Tiger Woods: Resolves to contract a nagging ear infection until second weekend of April allowing him to ignore any and all questions about Augusta National Women's policy.

Augusta National President Hootie Johnson: Resolves to allow women into Augusta National Golf Club under certain conditions. The conditions include a drastic drop in the temperature and an icy buildup in and around hell.

North Korean President Kim Jong Il: Resolves to keep building nuclear bombs until someone on his team can figure out how to spin turkey sandwiches out of grass.

The National Press Corps: Resolve to treat George W Bush's stimulus package with the same circumspection they did the Raelian claim that aliens from outer space renamed their leader and convinced him to start a religion where all women members have to have sex with him.

Movie Actor Charlie Sheen: Resolves to check out the whole Raelian clergy vacancy situation.

Global Freako Unit Michael Jackson: Also resolves to contact Clonaid. You know for the kids.

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein: Resolves to keep hiring look-alikes until every man east of the Sinai Peninsula is an exact double.

Russian President Vladimir Putin: Resolves to make nice with all the folks America is pissing off right now, which seems to include everybody except Britain.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair: Resolves to find a better go-to guy than George W Bush.

Senate Majority Leader Dr. Bill Frist: Resolves to treat America just like a North Carolina highway where he can pull over and give succor to the injured and attend to our massive internal injuries.

Former Vice President Al Gore: Resolves to continue cultivating his high profile until asked to become permanent cast member of Saturday Night Live.

Will Durst resolves to engage in more original thought

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