Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Narcissism 101: Political Fallout’s Top Posts of 2008

T.M.: Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who in this blogsphere is fairest of all?

Mirror: You, my creator, are the fairest of them all.

Ah yes, nothing smacks of narcissism more than an obedient mirror -- except of course anyone crazy enough to run for president of the U.S., because they think have what it takes to speak for the entire free world.

Or worse, someone crazy enough to start a blog because he or she thinks the entire world wants to hear what they have to say.

That said, I’ve compiled this year’s top posts on Political Fallout based on number of times viewed. Granted, due to my adventures in writing straight journalism this year, my satiric voice was less prolific than last year and suffered from comedic laryngitis. However, I have managed to resurrect Political Fallout this month and my satiric voice is slowly returning to the page.

Drum roll please…

Political Fallout’s Top Posts of 2008:

No. 1: Obama Plagiarizes Bob the Builder in NH Concession Speech

While watching his concession speech after the New Hampshire loss to Hillary Clinton, this was the first time Obama infused his catch-phrase: “Yes We Can!” Living in what has become a Bob the Builder household (which I declared to help offset the “War on the Wiggles”), I couldn’t help but give attribution where it belonged. Surprisingly, Obama’s catch-phrase has survived any Bob-the-Builder plagiarism allegations and has become a mainstay of the Obama phenomenon.

No. 2: How Will Clinton Spin Out of Potomac Spanking Machine?

After Hillary got handedly spanked by the Obama Campaign Machine in the Potomac states, two of her top-level campaigns stepped down, while the rest of us sat back and watched how she would spin her way out of these primary defeats. People keep coming back to this post for whatever reason, more than likely research-op interns gathering ammunition to tear down the Clinton Machine. (I wish Rove's mommy would take his computer away from him for once and for all.)

No. 3: GOP’s Trusty Invisible Hand Fist F*cks the Trickled Down…Again

I never bought into Adam Smith’s free-market myth resurrected in the 1980s by President Ronald Reagan. The theory doesn’t account for the greed factor, especially in today’s corporate context, wherein greed is a prerequisite and not an exception to the rule.

Given the current and ongoing economic meltdown, these big wigs are falling like dominoes.

Unfortunately the people on the bottom are breaking these fat cats’ fall.

No. 4: Dear American People: Please Excuse General Motors for Driving its Company into the Ground

Having been privy to several real-life excuse letters from today’s helicopter parents, I though it apropos to apply this medium to those folks who are supposed to be models of responsibility. General Motor’s economic crash is partly due to other market factors, but ultimately they were the source of their undoing, once again illustrating the the myth of the free market.

No. 5: Insourcing Rock ’n’ Roll: Guess Who Invades Coralville’s 4thFest

This was my video debut and the camera work looks more like something out of “The Blair Witch Project” than first-rate investigative journalism. Nonetheless, we need to expose washed-up bands from other countries, who come to America and take jobs away from hardworking garage bands looking for their next meal ticket to stardom.

Jib Jab’s 2008 Year in Review: The End of Democracy as We Know It?

Looking back, the year 2008 may earmark the end of Democracy’s Bronze Age in America. Politicians opened Pandora’s political box and unleashed a maelstrom of the Seven Deadly Sins on an unsuspecting electorate.

Unfortunately, the decline of democracy is no laughing matter – unless you’re Osama bin Laden, Lucifer and/or Dick Cheney – who are down below perfecting their sinister laughs around a bonfire while stoking its flames with Our Constitution.

However, the folks at Jib Jab did manage to capture this year’s decline of democracy in a short animated piece:

Jib Jab’s 2008 Year in Review:

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Despite capitalism and democracy’s fall this year, Pandora and President-elect Barack Obama did manage to shut HOPE in-a-box. Moreover, Obama managed to capitalize on HOPE during his campaign, which hopefully will help stop the bleeding and restore faith in our Democracy.

We can only HOPE: "Yes We Can!"

Saturday, December 27, 2008

GOP Political Satire Gone Bad: ‘Barack the Magic Negro’

The first sign of satire gone bad, and a catalogued precursor to the Apocalypse for that matter, is when your attempt at satire debuts on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show.

Please, please, please, dear reader, do NOT forward this post to Rush Limbaugh; I have a family to feed and unlike Rush, they cannot survive on barbiturates alone.

Worse, Tennessee Republican Chip Saltsman, who also managed Mike Huckabee’s failed presidential bid, resurrected the racist ditty in question, “Barack the Magic Negro” and sent the song among others recorded on a CD to the Republican National Committee to help get his foot in the door for the RNC chairman gig.

Smooth move Chip.

"Dammit, Jim! I'm not a racist; I'm a proliferator of bad satire."

The song, played to the tune of Peter, Paul and Mary’s “Puff the Magic Dragon” was first played on Limbaugh’s show in 2007. The feeble attempt at satire targets a Los Angeles Times column about white guilt and is sung through Al Sharpton’s parodied point of view.


Barack the Magic Negro
Lives in D.C.
The LA Times they call him that
Because he is not authentic like me

To get a full sense of the racism veiled in satire, feel free to listen to the clip below:

“Barack the Magic Negro” (played live on Rush the Magic Pill-Poppin’ & Ego Strokin’ One-Man Radio Show)

In response to the RNC’s distancing of Saltsman’s Christmas gesture, Chip defended the song: "I think most people recognize political satire when they see it," Saltsman told CNN. "I think RNC members understand that."

Apparently not, Chip. But what they do recognize, unlike Rush and his minions, is bad satire.

Speaking of bad satire/parody, let’s use Mr. Saltsman to help illustrate this, using the chorus to the same tune of “Puff the Magic Dragon.”

“Chip the Magic Hayseed”


Chip the Magic Hayseed
Lives under a rock in Tennessee
Where he frolics with the likes of Huckabee
And distributes racist song parodies…

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Santa Claus Turns to Congress for Bailout

It was only a matter of time before the collapse of the free-market hit home for everyone, including Santa Claus and his trusty employees the Elves. Santa took no chances with his top-level executives and made the trip to D.C. himself aboard his environmentaly friendly sleigh.

Santa Claus Bailout Hearings (National Lampoon)

Update: Although the House passed a bill that would help keep Santa afloat with a $25 billion bailout, chances of making it through the holiday season dimmed when the Senate denied Santa, Inc. a helping hand of taxpayer money.

Initially, the bill appeared as if it would sail through the Senate on a one horse open sleigh until the GOP found a suitable political scapegoat: The United Elves and Little Helpers Union (UELH). A few members of the Senate who, like the Winter Warlock from “Santa Clause is Coming to Town,” did not receive any presents as children, blamed Santa’s economic collapse on the unions.
The UELH refused to take wages equal to their top competitors’ workers -- pre-teen children in China.

Moreover, the Elves’ union argued they could barely live on their current wages -- given the exponential rise in the cost-of-living in the North Pole. Some union members have already been forced to live on and commute from the Island of Misfit Toys to help compensate for stagnant wages.

“The Republicans have been trying to bust us up ever since we unionized,” a spokesman for the UELH told Political Fallout in a phone interview. “Maybe they’ll think twice about messing with us when they wake up Christmas morning and find a lump of clean coal in their stockings.”

Monday, December 22, 2008

Last-Minute Christmas Wish List before the Impending Shopocalypse

After watching the classic “The Little Drummer Boy” for the umpteenth time with my boys this evening, I told them that, due to the economic downturn, I don’t have anything to give them this year for Christmas.

Needless to say this didn’t bode well, as tears welled up in their eyes.

“Don’t worry,” I reassured them, “I will give you a piece of my soul to fill the empty void under the Christmas tree and play my guitar for you on Christmas Day.”

Having heard me play before, this only made matters worse.

With less than 72 shopping hours before Jesus’ 2008th Birthday Party remaining and the impending Shopocalypse, I had my work cut out for me. And when staring in the face difficult times like these, I oftentimes turn to the birthday boy himself and ask: “What Would Jesus Buy?”

I know the question is inward, but it does help to channel through Jesus’ messenger Reverend Billy and his loyal flock, the Church of Stop Shopping, for an inspirational spiritual from the church’s choir (which ironically sells its “Shopocalypse” CD online for 15 And-God-We-Trust paper faith-slips each).

Here is a little ditty I always keep in the back of my head when out shopping for whatever reason:

The Church of Stop Shopping Gospel Choir: “Back Away from the Wal-Mart"

While working out the supply-side of the Christmas shopping equation and how to package my soul in anything but plastic, I turned my attention to the demand-side, thinking I could take Rev. Billy’s lead and ask for nothing. Just think, if everyone did this there would be no pressure to feel obligated to give what you don’t have – or charge what you don’t have (and may never have) on your credit card.

But knowing this will only prompt the obligatory “But surely you want something…?” response from those who want, or feel obligated to give me something on somebody else’s birthday, I’ve made a Christmas wish-list that includes items and/or requests that should not bore a hole in the ubiquitous empty pockets this holiday season.

Political Fallout’s 2008 Christmas Wish List (not in any particular order mind you):

1. All members of Iowa Congress to donate any campaign contribution over $2300 they received from an individual donor (which applies to federal elections but not Iowa’s – go figure) to Iowa’s rapidly depleting general fund

2. Iowa’s Democratic majority leadership to return the government to the people of Iowa

3. A backbone (metaphorically speaking of course, since real backbones in politics are rare and expensive) for those in #2 to make my second wish come true

4. Rep. Steve King to retire from Congress and turn his attention to writing his memoir, which, no doubt would be just as horrifying as anything the other Master of Horror Stephen King has penned to date (except maybe “The Shining”)

5. A freelance writing job for either “The Colbert Report” or “The Daily Show” (in the immortal words of DJay, the pimp turned musician in “Hustle and Flow”: “Everybody got to have a dream…”)

6. Sen. Joe Lieberman to come ALL the way out of the political closet and join the ranks of the GOP

7. Texas officially succeed from the United States and name George W. Bush its sitting president

8. President-elect Barack Obama name me, T.M. Lindsey, Blog Tsar (“Oh the Places I Will Go…)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Vilsack Trades in Sugar Mamma for Ag Secretary Gig

It looks like Iowa’s adopted son and former governor, Tom Vilsack, has a new benefactor. Vilsack, whose Sugar Mama, Hillary Clinton, was already tagged President-elect Barack Obama’s Secretary State, was named Secretary of Agriculture by Obama.

For those of you who live outside of Iowa or have been blessed with a short-term political memory, Vilsack was the second Democrat to drop out of the never-ending presidential race. He left a $400,000 campaign debt in his wake, which his democratic rival and soon-to-be Sugar Mama agreed to retire with no strings attached – assuming of course there was no under-the-table agreement to deliver Iowa to Hillary, Inc. in exchange for his hefty national co-chair stipend and Obama attack dog duties.

The highlight of Vilsack's failed presidential bid was his V-logo, which drew comparisons to "1984" and "V for Vendetta"

If so, Hillary should be demanding a refund after her third-place finish in the Iowa caucuses.

And now Obama, who is $30 billion in the black, has agreed to help Hillary retire her $7.5 million campaign debt.

Nobody said "The Team of Rivals" was going to be cheap.

Monday, December 15, 2008

March of the Gay Penguins: Penguinphobia Lands in Iowa

As temperatures dipped below zero in Iowa, one of the first Farmers’ Almanac indicators that hell is on its way to freezing over (Thank Man for exacerbating Global Warming), Penguinphobia finally hit the Heartland.

“Chicken Little, the Gay Penguins have landed. Run for your life before it’s too late…”

Despite arctic temperatures forecast this evening, the Ankeny school board plans on holding a public debate regarding a recent challenge of the children’s book “And Tango Makes Three.” The challenge was issued by Cindy and James Daucus after their kindergartner child checked the book out, completely unaware of the gay penguin subtext.

Exhibit A, or the children’s book in question written by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, is based on the true story of Roy and Silo, two male penguins in New York’s Central Park Zoo, who formed a couple for six years. Not that there is anything wrong with that; although the Zoo refused to recognize them as a couple.

The dynamic-penguin-duo, cursed by nature and penguinphobic onlookers, tried to hatch a rock resembling an egg, but to no avail. Eventually the zookeepers realized what the dirty birds were up to and gave them an egg from a heterosexual penguin couple. Roy and Silo were successful in their efforts and helped hatch a healthy young chick, a female named “Tango” by the zookeepers – despite the name’s sexually suggestive connotations (e.g. “Last Tango in Paris”).

(Warning: watching the video clip below may lead viewers to question thier own sexuality and/or species identification.)

Under the Pink Carpet and Gay Penuins

And now the Daucus’ are taking on the Ankeny school district for exposing children to the gay penguin agenda. They asked the school board last month to shelve the book in a the parents-only section of the East Elementary school library (these sections even exist in an elementary school?), claiming the book “normalizes” homosexuality to children too young to understand the “risky lifestyle.”
After all, everyone knows that gay penguin relationships, even asexual gay penguins like Roy and Silo, is a gateway lifestyle that leads to riskier lifestyles and sexual behaviors such as gay porcupine or gay crocodile sex.
If parents are truly concerned about schools and teachers slipping in literature that promotes the gay penguin agenda without a suitable foil, they should suggest piggybacking (metaphorically speaking of course) “And Tango Makes Three” with the film “Happy Feet,” which provides the audience with an alternative subtext of gay penguinphobia. Happy Feet, who was born different than the rest of the penguin community is ostracized and nearly killed for being “different.”

As far as the Daucus’ are concerned, I would suggest not reading your own agenda into a piece of literature and read the story as what it is supposed to be: a story. Unless it is too late and their child has already moved on to the homosexually repressed crocodile in “Peter Pan,” whose gay biological alarm keeps ticking in his hot pursuit for the never-aging lusty young chap Peter.

Truth be known, if you read into anything hard enough, you could probably read a gay subtext, penguin or otherwise, into just about any piece of literature, including the following classic texts adopted by several districts across the nation.

Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck: This is obviously an allegory about two closeted, homosexual men. Farmhands, George and Lenny, are trying to earn money to buy their own share of the American Dream, which consists of the two of them buying a house and living happily ever after – while George gets to “tend the rabbits.” While George is able to sweat his latent homosexual desires out through hard work, Lenny does not possess the self-actualization skills needed to deal with his inner-homosexuality, thus causing him to unknowingly act out in fits of heavy petting and violence against innocent puppies and young ladies. In the end, when George realizes he cannot save Lenny from himself, nor can he have Lenny for himself, he takes matters in his own hands during the novel’s climactic ending.

The Odyssey, by Homer: A story about a Greek man’s 10-year return to home (after a 10-year war in Troy mind you) aboard a ship with dozens of sexually repressed men? I will let you, dear reader, connect the dots here. Why else would Odysseus pass up immortality with Calypso, one of the most beautiful goddesses of mythology? On a Freudian level, it only makes sense that wise Odysseus, despite the plethora of prophecies handed to him on his journey home, would keep making stupid mistakes which caused him to lose all of his men. He had to somehow destroy the guilt his men personified for indulging in his homosexual desires while away from Penelope.

Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare: While most readers and audience members get caught up in the young-lust affair between Rome and Juliet, they miss out on the other characters, Mercutio and Balthasar, who yearn for young Romeo’s acquaintance. Meructio, who willingly took a sword and died for his good friend Romeo, clearly showed his affections for Romeo. Meanwhile, Romeo’s man, Balthasar’s desire for Romeo is more subtle. Not until he enters near the play’s end dressed in riding boots and perfunctorily announces Juliet’s death to her husband, that we see his loyalties to Romeo go beyond mere kinship.

Update: Roy (left) and Silo (right) were last seen leading a Gay Penguin Pride March across Antarctica, while their daughter Tango (not pictured) is currently pursuing a doctoral degree at Harvard University in English.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Lame-Duck Bush Ducks Not Once but Twice in Iraqi Shoe Attack

President Bush may be one of the biggest lame ducks in U.S. political history, but today he unveiled his uncanny ability to duck during a shoe attack by a disgruntled Iraqi reporter in the Iraqi prime minister’s office.

When it comes to ducking the issue Bush has been masterful, and such was the case during his final trip to Iraq.

Shoe and Awe: Fire Away

The president shrugged off the preemptive attack and said “I’m OK” after the incident in Baghdad today. “All I can report is it is a size 10,” Bush said afterwards.

On that note, I leave you with the words of Bush’s assailant: “This is the farewell kiss, you dog…”

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Day D.C. Stood Still: Auto-Bailout Crashes

The world premier of “The Day D.C. Stood Still” opened yesterday in the global market and the horrifying ending sent chills down the collective spines of the automotive industry. Meanwhile several accounts of an unidentified flying cloud of uncertainty (UFCO) looming over Wall Street (see pic) were reported by unsuspecting taxpayers just before Congress slammed the door on the Big-3.

(Spoiler Alert: The following synopsis of yesterday’s event not only reveals the plot’s climax, but also provides insights and hints about the end of planet earth in its current ozone-trapped form.)

The UFCO eventually landed on the front lawn of Corporate Hill as a human chain of curiosity gathered around the object and joined hands, as if preparing to pay homage to the residents of Whoville by singing Christmas carols or bracing themselves for their worst fears to emerge from the spaceship’s door.

No singing commenced nor did Vice President Cheney manifest from the UFCO; rather the crowd was greeted by the Big 3’s highest-paid lobbyist, Klaatu -- an alien messenger of peace and part-time freelance lobbyist for companies on the verge of apocalyptic doom. Klaatu was shadowed by GORT (see pic) – his robot sidekick, who by the way had a striking resemblance to Cheney.
At this point the capitol city’s remaining three National Guardsmen, who have not yet been sent over to Iraq or Afghanistan to protect our oil interests, pulled up in repossessed Army jeeps, panicked and opened fire on Klaatu. The bullets missed their mark but did destroy a gift of gratitude Klaatu had brought for Congress and the American people – a mechanism that would end all need for oil, thus forever ending America’s dependency on oil.

Klaatu, who is well versed in earthly scripture, forgave the guardsmen for shooting at him and -demanded to meet with both chambers of Corporate Hill, claiming that a failure to bail out the Big 3 would not only lead to the end of America, but to planet earth and the intergalactic community as well. Congressmen were suspicious of Klaatu’s message, not to mention messenger himself, and wanted a sampling of the monetary messiah’s powers.

Klaatu agreed to the request and used his powers to halt anything in D.C. that depended on electricity and/or gasoline extracted from oil – consequently stalling all cars and shutting down the power of all the buildings in the area. The gesture evoked pandemonium and sent the city into a panicked frenzy as D.C. bureaucrats began flipping over SUVs, luxury cars and anything that did not get over 30 miles per gallon.

The house heeded Klaatu’s warnings and passed a bailout bill, but the Senate, despite the ensuing chaos, rejected the final version of the bailout bill – the GOP scapegoating the United Auto Workers union members for the cause of the bill’s peril.

Meanwhile, the police put a bounty on Klaatu’s head, citing his intergalactic ties to Jabba the Hut – a notorious hedge-fund con-alien -- were responsible for the economic crisis, the Big 3’s executive decisions that drove their companies into the red, the failed bailout bill and the ensuing pandemonium created by the latter.

Klaatu, in an attempt to return to his hybrid UFCO, was gunned down by D.C.’s finest and pronounced D.O.S. (Dead on the Spot) by first responders. At this point, Klaatu’s sidekick GORT stepped into the scene, picked up the fallen Klaatu, and carried him back to the UFCO, where he was resurrected by the Almighty Spirit after GORT spoke the sacred command in his robotic voice:

GORT: “Klaatu barada nikto…”

Upon his resurrection and soon-to-be departure, Klaatu stood on the edge of his UFCO and left the gathering crowd, bloodied and tattered-clothed D.C. bureaucrats, congressmen, automotive executives, taxpayers, and media, with the following message:
I am leaving soon and you will forgive me if I speak bluntly. The Universe grows smaller every day and the threat of aggression and dependency on oil and ignorance can no longer be tolerated. There must be security for all – or no one is secure.
This does not mean giving up any freedom except the freedom to act irresponsibly. Your car companies have acted irresponsibly and so have your elected officials, despite being chosen by you. But you are not exempt from your irresponsibly, for it is you who have demanded the gas-guzzling cars, SUVs and Hummers that have nearly destroyed your planet.

Sure, I came here on behalf of the Big 3, but I am leaving on behalf of peace. I came here to give you the facts and a way to help end your addictions to oil, greed, and video games. Granted it is no concern of ours, the United Planets, how you run your own planet – but if you threaten to extend your ignorance and violence, this little planet of your will be reduced to a burned-out cinder.

(Producer’s Note: Although the first run of “The Day D.C. Stood Still” ran $14 billion in the red, producers are looking to tap funds from the previous $700 billion bailout appropriated for the banking industries. Stay tuned for the blockbuster sequel coming soon to a bankrupt theater near you.)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Dear American People: Please Excuse General Motors for Driving its Company into the Ground

Simply put: General Motors and Congress are in a bit of a political pickle. And by pickle I don’t mean the classic Vlasic Pickle, which was faced with the prospect of bankruptcy in 2001 until it was bought out by Heinz, Inc., rather the pickles you find glued with ketchup to the bathroom walls in McDonalds.

On the verge of bankruptcy, General Motors, along with the other two heads of the three-headed monster Ford and Chrysler, has thrown itself on the congressional floors, begging for mercy, forgiveness and a multi-billion dollar bailout --- or corporate subsidy? Your call, dear taxpayer:

Heads: Bridge loan

Tails: Corporate welfare*

*Current odds-on favorite in Vegas

As GM executives continue to beg Congress, dispensing empty but-this-time-will-be-different promises, it is hard for me to sympathize for GM’s man-made plight. Or in GM’s case, what they did make but did not put into mass production: electric cars.

After watching the documentary film “Who Killed the Electric Car?” last year, I couldn’t help but think that GM’s alleged role in sabotaging efforts to launch and market the line of EV1 electric cars would come back to bite them in their Hummers.

However, the film concludes that GM did not act alone in the assassination of the EV1. The documentary found all of the following guilty in helping bring down the electric car: consumers, oil companies, car companies, the California Air Resources Board, hydrogen fuel cell and the government – namely our beloved Congress, which is now taking the holier-than-thou pedestal because it holds the taxpayers’ purse-strings.

Who Killed the Electric Car?: Round up the Usual Suspects

In the meantime, GM is doing everything in its limited power to improve its public image including leaving their corporate jets double-parked at home and promising to forgo executive salaries. But they have yet to take full responsibility for their role in driving the company six feet under…

Stop the Press: GM took out a full-page advertisement out in Automotive News Monday, not only confessing to its blunders but apologizing to the American people as well?

Say it isn’t so, Taxpayer.

A letter entitled “GM's Commitment to the American People,” appeared in the ad and explains why GM needs $18 million and how it plans to turn the company around.

"While we're still the U.S. sales leader, we acknowledge we have disappointed you," GM said in the magazine ad. "At times we violated your trust by letting our quality fall below industry standards and our designs become lackluster. We have proliferated our brands and dealer network to the point where we lost adequate focus on our core U.S. market. We also biased our product mix toward pick-up trucks and SUVs. And, we made commitments to compensation plans that have proven to be unsustainable in today's globally competitive industry."

Well, that should take care of everything. I’m sold. I wonder how much that full-paged apology cost them?

However, some lawmakers, including Sen. Chuck Grassley, R – Iowa, want the Wall Street executives to serve up some Japanese-style apologies to the American people.

“I am talking about scenes I've seen on television where in belly-up corporations the CEOs go before the board of directors, before the public, before the stockholders and bow deeply and apologize for their mismanagement,” he said in a statement in October. “Something like that happening among Wall Street executives would go a long way toward satisfying my constituents and many Americans that help might be needed and would more gracefully be given by the taxpayers of this county.”

I say take it one step further and turn their public apologies into a marketable game show, say a season of “The Running Executive” (an offshoot of Stephen King’s novel “The Running Man”). All of the executives from the Big-3 will be unleashed in D.C., which is filled with anyone who has lost their job from these companies and the object is to make it to Capitol Hill – alive. The first one to make it alive will receive the lions’ share of the profit generated from the television show.

However, we at Political Fallout –- a no-profit organization – are a little more civilized than this. That said, we would like to resurrect “Please Excuse the Excuses: The War on Excuses”:

Dear American People,

Please excuse the executives at General Motors for, among many other unfortunate mishaps, driving our automobile company into the ground. We really did have your best intention in mind when we killed the electric car, the EV1, and put all of the shareholders eggs in the Hummer basket. At the time, we had hoped the visibility of the military Humvees in Iraq would increase the demand for our civilian version back home.

We thought the Hummer would be synonymous with the American Dream, wherein every child would grow up wanting to be behind the wheel of a vehicle the size of a mobile home. Besides, our constituents, the United States Congress, assured us the war in Iraq would end quickly, thus freeing up the vast oil reserves bubbling beneath the Iraqi soil and yearning to feed a customized Hummer.

Blessed with hindsight and a new awareness that the intelligence procured by our marketing division was faulty, we now realize the EV1 could have been the wave of the future. Our minds must have been muddled, which is only natural given the quickening of global warming back in the day. Boy, that came out of left field, huh?

We admit that we are not perfect, nor are our line of automobiles, which is why most Americans prefer to buy foreign cars, but we do want to somehow make it up to you.

If you just give us another chance, say to the tune of $18 billion for starters, we promise to turn our company around and close the gap on our foreign competitors.

This letter was not easy for us to write, that is why we paid an entry-level employee in our public relations department to do it -- who by the way will be unemployed if we don’t get the bailout.

Finally, please don’t let Congress know we sent you this letter. We have already had to do a lot of groveling in front of these folks, not to mention we had to carpool in a hybrid all the way to D.C. as part of our penance for being so greedy and ungrateful.

Sincerely (we really do mean it this time),

General Motors Executives

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

How Much for that Vacant Illinois Senate Seat in the Window?

Foiled by the FBI, my big chance to break into politics the old-fashioned way – buy a seat outright as opposed to the current one-lobbyist-at-a-time method – swiftly came to an end with the arrest of Democratic Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich – who attempted "to sell the U.S. Senate seat" that President-elect Barack Obama recently vacated.

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich caught on camera upon emerging from underground Chicago garage after "shooting the breeze" with "Deepthroat II".

Looks like politics-as-usual in Chi-town, eh?

I was waiting to bid on Obama’s abandoned seat on eBay. Maybe, to help appease potential bidders, the Feds will put the wiretap taps of Blagojevich dropping an f-bomb on the president-elect?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Register, Inc. Downsizes Soul: Throws Cartoonist Duffy under the Bus

Brian Duffy, the former staff editorial cartoonist for the Des Moines Register, helped me fall in love with irony while growing up in Des Moines.

In grade school, Amelia Bedelia, a fictitious maid for a well-to-do family, introduced me to the power of word-play through her literal interpretations of idioms. (It wasn’t until later that I learned that some folks who read certain texts literally can be very dangerous when unleashed on the campaign trail: “Woof, woof. Who let the literalists out?”)

The evil Mrs. Dann introduced me to irony the hard way in junior high when she confiscated my personal copy of Jim Morrison’s biography, “No One Here Gets Out Alive,” in the middle of our “Fahrenheit 451” unit. She seized the book in front of the entire class, noting that it was pure filth because of an explicit masturbation scene early on in the book. (Thank Mr. Mojo Risin she didn’t skim ahead any further.) Needless to say I failed the exam, because I couldn’t quite grasp the underlying mixed-messages of censorship. That, or a hormonal malotav cocktail exploded in my brain during the exam. (Hmmm…if only I had learned of an alternative outlet beforehand.)

My tough-love initiation into the world in irony was all it took. I had become an irony addict at age 15 and it was editorial cartoonists, namely Duffy, who helped stoke my addiction. I couldn’t go 24 hours without an irony fix , and I knew I could depend on Duffy’s daily cartoon in the Register to keep me from jonesin’. Believe me you, irony withdrawals are not a pretty sight.

Duffy is synonymous with the Register, and now, after 25 years of creating cartoons for the Gannett-owned corporate news dispensary, the Register fired Duffy, along with 70 other employees.

I realize the economy is on the verge of bottoming out and the newsprint industry is facing possible extinction with the recent boon of online news, but this does not excuse flushing one’s sense of dignity down with it.

It’s bad enough that Duffy was fired, but what is worse is how he was fired, which Duffy laments upon in an interview with WHO-TV:

Brian Duffy on WHO-TV

I’ve been told that this is the modus operandi regarding protocol for firing people in some corporations. I find this disturbing and reminiscent of Willy Loman in “Death of a Salesman,” who, after 34 years of sales service was stripped of his salary, reduced to working on commission only and inevitably fired for “lack of profit.”

Upon his firing, Willy says, “You can't eat the orange and throw the peel away, a man is not a piece of fruit.”

Unfortunately, in the corporate takeover of the Register, Gannett had no qualms with squeezing the juice out of the orange before tossing the peel aside – or at least escorting it out of the building to preempt any possible pen-wielding altercations.

Fortunately for Duffy, he is a top-notch cartoonist and the Register cannot take that away from him He is syndicated in 400 newspapers and should have no problem peddling his artistic wares elsewhere.

I, for one, will always remember Duffy’s satiric insight, his influence on me during my irony formative years and hope all the best for him.

In the meantime, Duffy left us with his final cartoon under the Register’s corporate thumb, which pretty much says it all – without saying it all of course.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

SNL resurrects Hillary Clinton: “Secretary of State is better than being governor of Alaska”

Just when you thought it was safe to watch Saturday Night Live again…

(Jaws theme here)


No: the Clintons.

With Hillary’s Secretary of State nomination, the Clintons, much to the joy of SNL and satirists alike, will be around for another eight years or so.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Political News Haikus: Obama, Franken & GM Bailout

Obama Campaign Contributions

Merchandising HOPE:
Thirty million in the black,
Fear still in the red.

Al Franken Recount

Two + two = 5.
What Would Stuart Smalley Say?
Al won, dog-gone it.

GM Bailout

General Motors,
Who killed the electric car,
Wants more seed money.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Breaking: Economy experts finally state obvious and pronounce R-word

After 12 months -- during which time the U.S. economy has been on life support, tanked, bottomed out, took a nose dive, crashed, plummeted, or whatever adjective and/or descriptive word(s) you have been using around the house or can still afford to use – the National Bureau of Economic Research has finally overcome its speech impediment and declared that we are indeed in a Recession.

I wonder how many man hours, speech therapy sessions, and how much money it took these crack researchers to figure out the obvious?

Whatever the cost, I would have done it for half in six months: “Our economy is screwed.”

I repeat: “Our economy is screwed.”

Although signs of the R-word have been bantered about over the past year, the NBER had to wait a year to make sure we were in a recession, despite all the tell-tale signs including:

1. Depression-era survivors started referring to the 1930s as “the salad days”

2. Golden parachutes have been replaced by aluminum parachutes

3. The dollar fell below wampum in exchange currencies abroad

4. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are household names in households that could not procure mortgages from either one of these behemoths

5. People all over the country willingly invested nearly $750 million in HOPE

6. The Man filed for bankruptcy

To get a real sense of the NBER’s surprise announcement, Political Fallout turned to the Caped Crusaders for their reactions to the breaking news that we are officially in a recession:

Robin: Holy falling stock market indexes, Batman! Did you hear we’re in a recession? Whatever will we do?

Batman: No worries, Robin. This is no time to panic. Besides, I have my trusty multi-billion dollar bailout lever to help protect the Bruce Wayne fortune.

Robin: I hope you didn’t put all of your eggs into one basket and had enough sense to diversify your portfolio.

Batman: Clever pun, Robin. But you really should leave the puns to the wordsmiths and keep focused on fighting green-collar crimes.

Robin: You’re right, Batman. It’s just that this whole recession thing has me worried that our investments will ebb while crime flows at an unprecedented rate. This puts a damper on my retirement plans.

Batman: That’s no excuse for taking liberties with our language, Robin. It may help to know that while we have been simultaneously protecting the citizens of Gotham, I’ve managed to exploit the local economy by outsourcing “good” to other communities in exchange for stock options in “evil.”

Robin: Genius, Batman. Absolutely genius.

Batman: No, Robin; inventing Corporate Welfare in my lab was absolute genius.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

There are reasons to be thankful this year: Just ask Tina Sherman, Joe Lieberman, and Sarah Palin

Despite our involvement in the Pentagon’s pocketbuster hits The Neverending Wars: Parts I (Terror), II (Afghanistan), and III (Iraq); the exponential rise in health care costs and premiums, a schizophrenic lame-duck presidency, and the economy bottoming out, there’s a lot to be thankful for these days.

You just have to poke around…

For example. I’m thankful:

1. For all of the technological advancements such as free blog sites and YouTube, which have helped level Democracy’s playing field – unless of course you have a predilection for illegal dumping or leaving your cell phone (with nude pics of your wife on it) behind at McDonalds.

Tina Serman, whose husband left his cell phone with explicit photos of her behind at McDonalds, plans on suing the fast-food chain for $3 million after the pictures were posted all over the Internet.

2. That I’m not Sen. Joe Lieberman, whose plans to lay the groundwork for war on Iran were throttled by President-elect Obama’s victory. However, I’m willing to bet 30 pieces of gold that we have not heard the last of The Lone Jew of the Apocalypse and his plans to launch WW III in the Middle East. No wonder the Dems left Joe the Warmonger at the head of the Homeland Security table in the Senate. The reason, however, I’m most thankful that I’m not Joe Lieberman is that I could not bare knowing that my voice was the prototype for Alf’s dad. The horror, the horror…

3. That my 6th-grade elementary teacher taught me during our introduction into sex education to abstain from drunk, adulterous sex in bathroom stalls with alleged strangers at UI Hawkeye Football games – either home or away. This mini-lesson helped me navigate my way through six seasons of football as a season-ticket holder unfettered.

4. Sara Palin plans on making a presidential run in 2012. Satirists rejoice!

The Sarah Palin Turkey Massacre

(Note: I’m thankful I’m not the turkey in the background, who was fed to the turkey chipper. Great backdrop for political theater, eh?)

5. For the 22nd amendment to the Constitution (That’s the one, Sarah, that limits the president to two terms (wink)).

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Obama vs. McCain: Video killed the grumpy ol’ political star

Sen. John SYDNEY McCain has taken several lumps from the media for his inability to keep up with the latest trends in technology. Last night’s non-debate illustrated this point, literally, as McCain showed the world that he has yet to adapt to the technological advancement born during his formative years. Not the club, silly, rather: the television. In particular, the split-screen that simultaneously captured both candidates’ facial expressions for the American viewers — half of which just may vote.

I caught the first part of the debate on the radio and both candidates sounded presidential — whatever that means. However, when I caught the rest of it on the tube, I knew within five minutes that McCain’s last pitch to the American people had failed. Voters, especially the undecided and independent, were not buying McCain’s Howard Beale-Grouch Marx impersonation.

McCain: Why so angry?

For McCain, pundits have argued that he needed a game-changer — not a channel-changer.

I suspect his strategists knew this going into the final non-debate and turned to desperate measures: hypnotism. McCain’s R.E.M. like blinking failed to entrance and/or hypnotize me, or Obama. We were not swayed by McCain’s Svengalian attempt to lure us into submission:

“Must vote McCain/Must vote McCain …”

Nor were those polled by the mainstream pollsters afterward.

McCain touts himself as a reformer, yet he keeps sticking to failed tactics in his campaign as evidenced in the debate (e.g. playing the Bill Ayers card). Whenever he is called out on why he has resorted to negative campaigning, McCain’s resorts to his patented “If … then” logical fallacy:

“As I have said before, my friends, if Senator Obama would have agreed to the series of town hall debates I proposed earlier, I would not have to resort to negative campaigning, character assassination, and hypnosis.”

When the election is over, I imagine McCain will use this line of defense to try to reconcile his reputation, or what is left of it at that point. I’m sure he will continue to blame the media as well — that is, when he’s not eternally damning ALL bloggers to hell (several blinks into submission here).

Sunday, September 28, 2008

SNL Skewers Palin, Serves Up Another Moose-Inspired Appetizer

Secretly, satirists are hoping for the worst: a McCain/Palin victory come November.

Why, you ask?

Answer: Job Security

Tina Fey delivers another spot-on impersonation of Sarah Palin. Fey’s first Palin bit convinced her daughter, so much so that she said at last week’s Emmy’s that she didn’t want to play Palin anymore.


“Gov. Palin and Katie Couric get real and adorable”

Friday, September 26, 2008

Will McCain’s ‘Campaign to Nowhere’ Cut-and-Run from Tonight’s Debate?

Sen. McCain, far left, prays that President Bush, or anyone else for that matter calls on him to repsond to any questions regarding the economic crisis and/or how to fix it: "Please, please, please, God ... don't let them call on me. I sware I will never approve another lie or half-truth in an ad against my opponent, Sen. Obama, again."

Enquiring minds:

A. Could care less

B. Are preoccupied with more pressing issues such as global warming and. or whether or not Lindsay Lohan is really a lesbian

C. Are still trying to figure out why McCain picked Palin

D. Have subleased their bodies to America and moved their minds to Canada

But the Campaign to Nowhere, although suspended*, is playing up the dramatic, made-for-television pilot show that is destined to be canceled by the Producers Nov. 4.

*In an attempt to hold Congress hostage by threatening to cancel his appearance at the debate (“Ooooooooooooooooooo…”), McCain suspended his Campaign to Nowhere to return to D.C. and help fix the sound economy. Although suspended, McCain is still allowed to make appearances on shows that will loft soft-ball questions, but any media outlets that ask questions that merit responses to complex issues (e.g. “Late Night with David Letterman”) will be off limits.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Triumph: “Is Ralph Nader Good Enough to Poop On?”

On the night of this year’s Democratic Primary in Indiana, I officially boycotted watching mainstream punditry after CNN’s absurd lambasting of the mayor of Gary, Indiana. I thought punditry had bottomed out, but my sources who still watch the Talking Heads tell me the MSM is still scraping the bottom, hoping to discover a juicy geyser of minutia to fill up its around-the-clock coverage.

Question: What is longer than this year’s presidential election?

Answer: Coverage of this year’s presidential election

Other Possible Answers: Number of days it took politicians to figure out something was amiss on Wall Street or Donald Rumsfeld has been in the former Bush Employee Relocation Program

Fortunately there is still one mainstream political pundit out there who is still committed to quality, fair-and-balanced coverage and reporting: Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.

If you didn’t get a chance to catch his coverage of the Republican National Convention, check out the trilogy here and here and here.

While in the twin Cities, Triumph managed to scoop up sloppy seconds, collaring an exclusive interview with presidential candidate Ralph Nader.

Why Nader agreed to the interview, other than a desperate need for media attention, is beyond me.

Worse, Nader genuinely thought it would be able to outwit an insulting comic dog. There’s a reason the Political Campaign Constitution calls for a “separation between politicians and comedians.”

Triumph the Insult Comic Interviews Presidential Candidate Ralph Nader

Thursday, September 18, 2008

GOP’s Trusty Invisible Hand Fist F*cks the Trickled-Down…Again

When the late artist Robert Mapplethorpe portrayed photographs of fist-f*cking in his 1988 retrospective show, “Robert Mapplethorpe: the Perfect Moment,” opened in a D.C. gallery (after being canceled in Philadelphia), Republicans denounced the exhibit as obscene and tasteless and demanded that Congress strip (pun intended) funding to the National Endowment of the Arts.
When the Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, Congress wasted no time crafting a bill that would bail these guys out with an $85 billion loan, essentially bilking the taxpayer for the company’s free-market f*ck up.
This begs the proverbial question: Who’s fist-f*cking whom?

Better yet, what is more obscene in D.C.: Mapplethorpe or the D.C. fat cats and Republican politicians who cling to the free market when they are afraid?

Artist's rendition of the Invisible Hand

If you have ever heard a Republican on the stump fielding unscreened questions, you know what I am talking about.

GOP Stump Speech Script Responses:

Voter: How will you solve the economic crisis that has recently plagued financial institutions?

Candidate: Nothing. The Free Market will eventually help our economy rebound.

Voter: What is your exit plan for the war in Iraq?

Candidate: The Free Market

Voter: How will you help insure the 47 million uninsured Americans and prevent the bottom rung from dropping coverage -- because they can no longer afford the monthly payments?

Candidate: The Free Market may be unhealthy right now, but left alone, the invisible hand will heal our health care woes?

Voter: What are your thoughts on pre-marital sex?

Candidate: Who am I to argue with the Free Market?

Voter: Sex outside of marriage?

Candidate: Again, who am I to argue with the Free Market? Let it takes it natural course.

Voter: Sex outside species?

Candidate: Free Market

Voter: If news surfaced that you fathered a child out of your marriage, what would you name your bastard child?

Candidate: Free Market

Voter: Are you, or have you ever been diagnosed with Free Market Tourettes Syndrome?

Candidate: What the f*ck “Free Market” are you f*cking “Free Market” talking about? Who let this Commie “Free Market” liberal “Free Market” in here “Free Market”?

I think it’s time to revisit Witsend Here and resurrect “Talk to the Invisible Hand” (April 20, 2006).

(Note: This post was sponsored by the Free Market and written by an Invisible Hand, thus relinquishing the blog’s Creator T.M. Lindsey of any responsibility or libel suits filed on behalf of Adam Smith and/or Robert Mapplethorpe)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

What do Sarah Palin, a Moose, Castration, and this Year’s Election Have in Common?

Nothing, if you had asked Iowa Lt. Gov. Patty Judge, who delivered some stinging laugh lines at today’s annual Harkin Steak Fry.

The Iowa Independent’s Jason Hancock serves up his account off Judge’s bit:

Iowa Lt. Gov. Patty Judge is getting tired of the comparisons some are drawing between herself and Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

The two female politicians differ on almost every major issue of the day, Judge said, but the differences between them don’t stop there.

“Sarah knows how to field dress a moose,” Judge told a crowd of about 1,000 at Sen. Tom Harkin’s annual steak fry. “I know how to castrate a calf. The thing is, neither of those things have anything to do with this election.”

Judge said it would be stupid for Republican presidential nominee John McCain to think simply putting a woman on the ticket will mean women will support his candidacy.

“Just because you wear a pantsuit doesn’t qualify you to be in the sisterhood,” she said.

On the issues that really matter to female voters, Palin is out of touch, Judge said.

“Sarah does not believe a woman has the right to reproductive choice,” Judge said. “She does not believe in science-based education as the foundation to truth and learning. And the fact that she could be a heartbeat away from the presidency of the United States scares me to death.”

She also called into question Palin’s resume, which includes serving as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, and governor of Alaska for less than 2 years.

“I was elected twice to the state senate, twice as Iowa’s secretary of agriculture and now as the state’s lieutenant governor,” she said.

Then she added, jokingly, “but here’s the rub: [Sen. Barack] Obama never called.”

Palin & Clinton Flaunt Nonpartisan Baggage on Saturday Night Live

When I first saw Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, I thought she looked like Tina Fey and imagined the elitist late-night sketch comedy show, Saturday Night Live, would have a field day with Palin.

SNL wasted no time satirizing Palin last night with its opening sketch:

“A Nonpartisan Message from Gov. Sarah Palin and Sen. Hillary Clinton”

Best Juxtaposed Lines:

Clinton: “I believe that diplomacy should be the cornerstone of any foreign policy."

Palin: “I can see Russia from my house.”

Best Straight Talk:

Clinton: “I invite the media to grow a pair and if you can’t, I will lend you mine.”

This line especially hit home after Team McCain and the GOP Machine called for a jihad on the press at its widely covered Republican National Commercial.

The latter may be "The Campaign to Nowhere's" undoing, for it may work on the GOP base, but it is likely to push the Independents into Obama’s camp.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Republican National Commercial: Fallout and Other Observations

The Republicans’ four-day Infomercial ended Thursday in Minnesota’s fraternal Twin Cities, and despite the fact no literal casualties were reported (although crews have yet to clear all of the balloons from ground zero), it is safe to say that politics will never be the same.

McCain shows off the largest of his seven homes, bragging his eighth, The White House, will be his biggest achievement of all

Regarding the latter allusion, I felt like the target audience inside the arena was upper middle class folks who have been duped by the powers that be that such a distinction exists and those prone to sporadic bouts of amnesia or Nationalistic-induced Tourette’s Syndrome outbursts:

“U.S.A…U.S.A…U.S.A…!” (shouted to drown out dissenters)

“Drill, baby, drill…! (chant for collective lobotomy to help end dependence on foreign thinking)

I realize the GOP wants the voting electorate to whitewash the past eight years in their minds, but I couldn’t help but feel I was watching an Amnesia Convention. Or was it a gun show? It seems I have forgotten.

Everyone, including McCain, knows that John SYDNEY McCain was a P.O.W. in the Vietnam War, and was shot down and tortured by his captors. But did every speaker need to remind us of this?

Everyone, including McCain, knows that former New York Mayor Rudy Guliani was on the ground during the Sept. 11 attacks, but just in case, the RNC displayed a video of the New York City skyline at sunset as it reflected off the harbor and Rudy’s receding skyline.

Before mocking Obama and community organizing, Rudy Giuliani read Allen Ginsberg's poem, "America," with the NYC sunset falling on the harbor in the backdrop

Speaking of which, most voters are Baldists, so whether voters are ready for another bald president remains to be seen come November.

Romney/Romney ‘12

Romney used the platform to deliver his 2012 speech, filled with liberal bashing and an allusion to “Romeo & Juliet” with an attempt at poetry and the sun rising in the east. Somebody forgot to tell Romney that Romeo and Juliet die in the end of the play – not an optimistic outlook for the former Eastern Governor.

Most Effective Speech: President Bush

Although the party faithful oohed and ahhed over Palin’s speech, the most effective speech was the one not delivered, thanks to Hurricane Gustav. Not being seen with Bush trumps being seen with Palin in any hand, unless you are playing with Karl Rove’s loaded deck. Can’t wait for the next two months of 52-card pick up, now that the GOP has officially declared a Jihad on the MEDIA (sparing only the fair-and-balanced FOX News, so somebody will be left to tell the story to future neo-cons). Tsk, Tsk, GOP; I suggest giving Gary Hart his presidential playbook back.

Best Chant: “Four More Years…Four More Years…!”

Republican National Commercial Political Fallout Index:

Ratio of Protestors to GOP Delegates: 9 to 1

Ratio of Corporate Lobbyists to GOP Delegates: 17 to 1

Number of protesters arrested outside of convention center: 400

Number of Delegates who fell asleep during McCain’s speech: 400

Number of times speakers said “executive experience”: no total (abacas ran out of beads)

Number of times speakers talked about health care: 0

Number of times Republicans played P.O.W. card: no total (again, abacas ran out of beads)

Number of times McCain addressed Veterans Care: 0

Thursday, September 4, 2008

LiveBloggin’ Da Maverick Wannabe: John SYDNEY McCain

Late start on live blog...

McCain wants to reach out to every willing patriot and find peace and prosperity through Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Russia, and Alaska.

Enter Willing Patriot: “Come on down, you are the next contestant on the RNC’s ‘The Price is Right’”

Code Pink is in the House and she is pissed as she rushes the stage and appears to be shedding her clothes for America, unveiling a hot pink silk negligee that may have aroused Johnny Mac at one point in his life.

We take a moment to interrupt this live blog to introduce this Infomercials official buzz words:


Can you say executive experience? I knew you could, neighbor.

Sydney plays the Maverick Card.

Two mavericks minus one Cowboy and one Darth Vader = the end of the world as we know it.

Mac does a little Republican bashing, throwing in some Dems. D.C. bashing in the Twin Cities is contagious, folks. The bashing my friend is blowing in the wind… Nice homage to Minnesota’s very own, Bob Dylan.

Johnny Mac: Don’t legislate from the bench inspires crowd to rise from genuflecting stance and applause, nodding their heads, thinking that it’s better to legislate from the Oval Office, not the bench.

Look out those of you on the dole, Mac is going to send you packin’ to another country where you will be able to get your job back that put you on the government’s dime.

I wish the teleprompter wasn’t by the camera, I feel that the Maverick is looking right at me, right through me and the gateway to my soul: okay, I confess, Johnny, I’ve had sinful thoughts about Cindy.

Dear John, How will poor kids get to these other non-failing public and charter schools you speak of?

Can you say project? McCain just officially made it three syllables. If vouchers had only been around when he was a kid. He could have buggy-jacked a buggy and whipped his way to the nearest non-failing school down the unpaved highway.

Did they have public speaking in public schools back then? If so, I imagine Bam-Bam would have eventually improved his monosyllabic vocabulary.

Johnny’s not afraid of those Damn Ruskies. He know evil, especially Commie Evil.

Did you see how he handled that Code Pinko Commie sympathizer? Huh, did you? You want some of that Russia?

WTF: Sydney hates War? Who needs war when you can have surges and conflicts and the franchising of Democracy, eh?

I have the scars to prove it? Was Mac speaking metaphorically?

Interesting strategy: Bash Obama, then let’s bring it together and work together. Political Shock and Awe. This may just work.

Hat tip to GOD. You the Diety, God!

McCain admits service was all about him, not anything bigger than him?

Breaking News: John McCain was a P.O.W. during the Vietnam War.

Audience has inappropriately displayed USA flag and sign that says “John Mavrick.” Was that intentionally misspelled. How did that kid get by security? Clearly a byproduct of the NCLB movement.

McCain points out misspelled sign, "John Mavrick," and says "Hey, that's not how you spell Maverick. Maverick has two 'r's"

MSNBC apologizes for footage of Code Pink protestor, washing their hands of any responsibility, noting that the camerapersons are part of a consortium.

Stand up and fight ending sends GOP into writhing frenzy.

61 political-shopping days until the election...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Will Hillary be the next Nader?

Recent history indicates that the Democrats have been successful at one thing: losing presidential elections.

As Americans face the prospects of never-ending wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, an economy that has tanked, the foreclosure crisis, health care costs still growing exponentially in relation to inflation, and myriad other indicators that spell out political D-O-O-M for the incumbent’s party, this year’s presidential election is the Democrat’s to lose.

But don’t underestimate the Democratic Party, which has been saddled with the historic curse of losing the presidency to George W. Bush not once, but twice.

When in doubt, leave it to the Democrats to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Besides handing over presidential elections, the only enterprise Democrats have been more successful at the past eight years is blaming everyone but themselves. They have cornered the market on political scapegoats.

In 2000, the poster boy for Al Gore’s failure was the Green Party candidate Ralph Nader, who has been demonized by party loyalists. Nader’s spoiler status spilled over into the 2004 election but was deemed less of a threat by the Democratic Party. Nonetheless, under the direction of Terry McAuliffe, who served as Hillary Clinton’s national campaign chairman during her failed presidential bid, the Democratic National Committee took no chances and tied Nader up in court and drained his resources with lawsuits challenging his ballot access in several states.

This doesn’t sound very democratic, now does it?

However, Nader’s reigning scapegoat status was challenged and inevitably pushed aside by the new scapegoat on the block: The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, who helped sabotage fellow Vietnam veteran Sen. John Kerry’s bid with its book, “Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry.” The 527 group managed to effectively smear Kerry’s name, thus supplanting Nader for the reason why he lost.

This week as the Democrats gather for the Democratic National Convention in Denver to coronate their new presidential nominee, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, a subtext is brooding underneath the unity narrative the Democrats are trying to spin as the general election revs into full gear.

Three words: Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Clinton, who was narrowly defeated by Obama in the Democratic primaries, has helped cultivate a loyal following, which is not ready to let go of their mentor’s monumental run that fell just short of victory a few months ago. Although Clinton has endorsed Obama, her most fervent supporters have yet to be won over by him. Moreover, some of these voters have vowed to vote for the presumptive Republican nominee, John McCain of Arizona. The most recent Zogby poll indicates that only 56 percent of Clinton-backers would vote for Obama, while 21 percent intend to vote for McCain.

The general election campaign is still young and there is time for some political wounds to heal, but to throw support from Hillary to McCain, who resides on the other end of the political spectrum, or I had assumed, doesn’t make a great deal of sense. I could understand harboring some differences with Obama regarding policy, but jumping on board with McCain suggests a few things.

For these voters, McCain’s ideology is more aligned with Clinton than Obama, which would point to a possible reason as to why the majority of Democratic voters didn’t vote for Clinton.

If these voters are upset and bitter about the outcomes and want to seek revenge against Obama, why not throw support behind third-party candidates such as Ralph Nader or the Green Party’s Cynthia McKinney?

Unlike the faulty logic of the past two elections, when Democrats’ power of persuasion was reduced to “A vote for Nader is a vote for Bush,” there is no logical breakdown with: “A vote for McCain is a vote for McCain.”

What remains unclear is what exactly the Clinton faithful want from the Obama campaign, or what will appease them, thus enticing them back to voting for their party’s nominee. Some of these Hillraisers feel that Obama’s campaign did not reach out to them enough or disrespected them through the campaign’s treatment of their candidate in the post-primary fallout.

Some were holding out for a possible vice presidential slot for Clinton, but these hopes were officially dashed at 3 a.m. Saturday, when Obama text-messaged his choice for VP: Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware.

In a CNN poll conducted after this announcement:
Sixty-six percent of Clinton supporters -- registered Democrats who want Clinton as the nominee -- are now backing Obama. That's down from 75 percent in the end of June. Twenty-seven percent of them now say they'll support McCain, up from 16 percent in late June.
As the Democratic National Convention gets under way, it will be interesting to see how this subtext plays out as the Democratic Party attempts to build a unified front before taking on the Republicans in the final leg of the election.

Feeling disenfranchised by Obama and the DNC, one group, Political Unity My A.. (PUMA) refuses to give up the fight for Hillary. Although I’m not sure what they are still fighting for at this point, rather, it is what they are fighting against that appears to be behind their vow to make their voices heard at the convention.

The underlying threat that if their demands aren’t met, there will be hell to pay come November threads it way throughout the P.U.M.A. manifesto found on the group’s website:

But what our adversaries fail to realize is that it is not just we the people with PUMA affiliations that will make the difference in November.

It is all of us, all across this great country who feel disenfranchised, betrayed and hoodwinked by Obama and the DNC.

It is all of us who see through Obama’s persona.

It is all of us who believe that the measure of a man is his character. That people should be judged by the company they keep, the truths they live by and the lies they tell. Judged by whether they pander to the popular line, or take a hard stance, accepting the consequences of their actions and having the courage of their convictions.
Sensing the discord among the Clinton supporters who feel disenfranchised, the McCain campaign attempted to woo these voters by releasing some new ads after Obama picked Biden as his running mate.

McCain Ad: Clinton Supporters Can Come to Me

McCain’s ad, featuring former Clinton delegate and PUMA Debra Bartoshevich of Wisconsin, attempts to simultaneously woo Clinton supporters and appease any guilt about switching sides, but his ad may prove to backfire. The new poll numbers were already in his favor, not to mention, the Democrats were already lined up in a circular firing squad.

Exploiting Clinton and her supporters may only serve as the perfect opportunity to bring the two factions together and turn on the external enemy.

Either way, there’s a great deal at stake for Clinton’s future aspirations, should Obama lose in November. The Democrats will be out for blood and the Hillary Democrats who voted for McCain will offer a perfect target. However, they won’t blame Clinton’s supporters, because they’ll need a face to put on the scapegoat, and that is where Hillary Rodham Clinton comes in to play.

However, Clinton will be the headliner at the convention Tuesday, thus providing her an opportunity to assuage her supporters and convince them to get behind Obama, before she unleashes her delegates on Wednesday.

This will be the first step in the healing process, but the polls suggest Clinton may have more work cut out for her over the coming months. Granted, Clinton is not alone in this enterprise. Obama needs to reach out to these supporters as well and work to convince any undecided voters he should be the next president. But he can only throw the rope so far, and it may be up to Clinton to convince her loyal following to let go and move on.

For Clinton, the difference between them letting and not letting go may be the difference between her being a hero or a goat – a scapegoat that is.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

McCain Spokesman: Obama Hasn’t Visited Heaven, Hell, or Purgatory (Maine)

While Obama wrapped up his World Tour and media love-fest, McCain’s campaign took time out from its County Fair Tour to issue some “Oh yeah, but…” statements to whomever would listen or had some dead-air to fill before deadline.

“In fact, [Obama's] never met with President Uribe in Colombia, as John McCain has,” McCain’s spokesman Tucker Bounds said on CNN today. “Obama has still yet to take a trip to Mexico City to have those meetings there and his relationship with Canada, I think, took a turbulent roll through the primaries.”

So na-na-na-boo-boo, Mr. Fancy Pants Obama.

When reporters pushed Bounds to elaborate, he added, “Oh yeah, and Obama has never been to heaven, hell, or Purgatory, Maine,” implying that McCain has vited all of these places.

Inspired by the battle of the Oh-the-Place-We-Will-Go Empty-Rhetoric War, the Political Fallout Fact-Check Team did some of its own digging into the past and unearthed, literally, some other places that John McCain has visited BUT Obama has NOT:

Atlantis (below): McCain reportedly visited the island before it sank below the sea. Reports indicate that McCain intended to inspect the island’s powerful naval academy to brush up on naval domination, but got sidetracked by his “Go Atlantis Guidebook.” McCain spent the majority of his goodwill trip to Atlantis snorkeling and looking for King Titan and his restless band of mermaids under the sea.

Hades: Upon returning from the underworld, seemingly unscathed by shades of the past, McCain promptly checked into the Betty Ford Clinic, where it’s reported that he underwent a fervent detoxication program to help flush sacrificial goats’ blood from his system.

Ithaca: Although Homer did not mention or footnote McCain’s visit to Ithaca and meeting with King Odysseus, McCain distinctly remembers having a cordial conversation with the King and his wife, Penelope. “I truly felt Odysseus’ pain after his 20 years away from home, 10 of which were lost in a grueling battle with the Trojans,” McCain told Political Fallout. “I felt like I really connected to Odysseus, especially when comparing my experiences as a prisoner-of-war and Odysseus’ seven-year captivity by Calypso. I can’t begin to imagine what Odysseus must have suffered at the hands of a beautiful goddess, whose only promise for being her boy-toy was immortality. The horror…the horror…”

Mesopotamia: During a 6th-century visit, upon the arrival of the Archaemenid Empire, McCain warned leaders that if they didn’t implement a surge of troops, Mesopotamia would lose its independence to foreign powers wanting to colonize their land. McCain’s prophecy, ignored by leaders at the time, came true with the arrival of the Islamic Caliphates, which paved the way for modern-day Iraq. Ignoring McCain’s 6th-century prophecy once again, Iraq fell to yet another takeover, which McCain has prophesized will last another 100 years.

Sodom & Gomorrah: After escaping the brimstone and firestorms of these cities, McCain’s only comment to the press was “What happens in Sodom and Gomorrah, stays in Sodom and Gomorrah.”

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Iowa Chops Hockey Takeover Spurs Punslinging

Not since the Muppets have we seen Pigs on Skates. Move over Miss Piggy, the Iowa Chops, the newest American Hockey League team, are coming to town.

Don’t worry, I’m sure that Iowans and the minor-league hockey community outside of Iowa, assuming such a thing even exists, will be hamming up the Chops new name with a plethora of pig puns and other piguendos.

The Iowa Chops, which is a farm team for the Anaheim Ducks (What the puck were they thinking when they named their franchise?), partnered with the Iowa Pork Producers Association and the co-owner Kirby Schlegel wanted a name that nobody else had (e.g. The Bitch-Slapstix).

"Something that got the community excited and most of all ties into Iowa,” Schlegal openly confessed to the Des Moines Register.

I don’t know about you, but nothing gets me more excited than pork; whether it be the film “Porkys” (which was the first R-rated movie I snuck into), traipsing in the meadow with my butterfly chop net, or hearing Mr. Pork Chop’s famous “Porrrrrrrrrrrrrrrk Chop” call while riding my bike on RAGBRAI.

Tragically, Mr. Pork Chop, who I assumed would be the poster boy for the Iowa Chops was ham hocked in the merger by a corporate logo. Das Pigs!!! Fearing a blitzkrieg of puns that would only serve up an affront to the Chop’s manliness and play on the insecurities of its players, the team was rebranded with a corporate logo that showcases a mean-looking boar’s head.

As Mr. Pork Chop gears up for RAGBRAI, fine tuning his pork-pink bus and warming up his chops to decry his famous pig call (see video below), I can’t help but think he feels slighted by the new Chops logo. (Note: RAGBRAI is famous for being the only week-long bike ride across a state, in which riders actually gain weight before plummeting into the Mississippi and floating downriver: Soueeeeeeeeuy!))

Mr. Pork Chop Serves Up a Taste of Pork Chop Fever

In the stuttering words of the most famous pigs of all, Porky Pig (why the redundancy here; this can’t be good for his self esteem, not to mention the all the pork spent on speech therapy), I leave you with:

"Tha-tha-tha-that's all folks!" ...