Thursday, December 20, 2007

“Santa” Cheney says naughty children could be waterboarded

At this year’s holiday party for Vice President Cheney’s staff, the VP himself donned the baggy red and white Santa suit and “Ho, ho, ho’d” his way around the room. After passing out presents to the children, Santa Cheney assembled the little ones and gave them some inspirational advice.

“You must be vigilant, children. Islamo-fascists can be anywhere, so be sure and check under your bed and in your closet before you go to sleep at night. And Santa hopes you will report any suspicious activity you see to Homeland Security, even if it’s Mommy or Daddy. Say your prayers, brush your teeth, and tell your parents that Santa wants them to vote Republican in November. Merry Christmas.”

An attempt was made to have children sit on Santa’s lap for photos, but this event had to be cut short as the panicked screams of the little ones brought Capital Security Guards rushing into the party with weapons drawn.

As he departed, Santa Cheney left the attendees with a final piece of holiday advice. “Be good, boys and girls, because if you’re naughty, Santa might rendition you to Syria for some “aggressive interrogation.” Ho, ho, ho. Merry Christmas everyone.”

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

President Bush to be a Space Case in Upcoming Bio

Washington, D.C. - Novelist Michael Crichton has been chosen to write the official biography of George Bush after the president steps down from office in January 2009. The author of the extremely popular Jurassic Park and co-creator of the long-running television show ER, Crichton was asked at the announcement ceremony why Bush chose a fiction writer over a well-known biographer.

“I’ve discussed this with the president, and he would like to take a slightly different approach to his biography. It’s going to be set on a mythical planet in the future.”

A reporter asked how the book could be called a biography if it is set in a fictional time and place.

“The essence of George Bush’s life and presidency will be retained, I assure you. It is simply a creative setting in which the story will unfold.”

“So he’ll be president on another planet?” a reporter asked.

“No. At his request, his title will be Supreme Eternal Overlord, and he will have mystical powers to see into peoples’ minds and never suffer from hangovers.”

Crichton also revealed that First Lady Laura Bush will be portrayed as a voluptuous green mute from the planet Sexomite and Vice President Dick Chaney will be represented as an evil black hole which consumes everything in its path.

“This is the creative challenge of a lifetime,” noted Crichton. “Portraying the president as an intergalactic superhero with god-like powers and still staying true to his life story won’t be a walk in the park, but I’ve had tougher assignments, like trying to disprove global warming.”

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

What's in a name? Ask Jesus Christ O'Reilly

Conservative talk show host, author, and defender of Christmas Bill O’Reilly announced today that he is legally changing his first name to Jesus Christ.

“I’m just sick and tired of all of the equivocation and trepidation when it comes to saying ‘Jesus’ out loud anywhere but a church. We’re a Christian nation with a Christian heritage and if Jesus came back today, there is no doubt in my mind he would stop in America first. He has an open invitation to be on my show, by the way. So my new moniker will force the weak and the timid to speak the Son of God’s name out loud.”

Christian leaders from around the nation expressed mixed reactions to O’Reilly’s new name. The Reverend Charles Griffin, who leads a congregation of thousands at the Our Savior Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, expressed the views of many protestant clergy.

“Blasphemy. The man has gone insane. There is only one Jesus Christ, and Bill O’Reilly ain’t him.”

However, televangelist Pat Robertson feels O’Reilly is advancing the cause of Christianity.

“Think how many people will now utter the name Jesus Christ and not be swearing. I would like to see more people change their names to Biblical ones. I’m seriously considering becoming Nebuchadnezzar Robertson.”

The Vatican minced no words in a memo condemning O’Reilly, calling him, “…a dangerous buffoon and a heretic.”

Callers to O’Reilly’s talk show, The O’Reilly Factor, have also been split. Although many callers used long strings of profanity, some, like Mildred from Omaha, applauded the change. “I know Jesus is pleased because we had breakfast together today and he told me how proud he was of Mr. O’Reilly.”

O’Reilly is also working on a new book entitled, “What Would I Do?”

Friday, December 14, 2007

Two names. One party.

The Democrats in congress are pitiful. All signs indicate that they are going to help pass Bush’s version of the FISA bill that will give telecommunications companies amnesty for past wrong doing, and Harry Reid is leading the way.

The cowardice and capitulation of the Dems in congress is well documented. Americans are told that they live under a two-party political system, but that is simply one more Washington-chopped-down-the-cherry-tree myth in a long line of American myths. Our country is governed by a single political party shackled to the money and influence of major corporations. The one-percenters who run corporate America decide which candidates get huge donations and which do not based on a rather simple formula: How compliant will the candidate be to the industries’ wishes (Clinton, very. Kucinich, not so much).

I think this could explain the FISA vote. Congressional leaders have decided that the 2008 election is the most important priority on the planet, and everything they do is weighed and balanced against this singular event. Obviously, holding the Telecomm giants responsible for their evil deeds would make them very unhappy, and much less likely to pull out the checkbook when a Democrat comes knocking.

George Bush is a dangerous idiot who has brought this country closer to implosion than any other president in our history, but he is also a beneficiary of the same corrupt system that lands Democrats in the White House from time to time. Sure, I’ll vote for a Democrat next November, but I view it as a choice not between competing ideologies, but between the flu and the Black Plague.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Talking Jesus Action Figure

The Talking Jesus Action Figure has sold out at Wal Mart. You still might be able to find a talking Mary or Moses. They’re poseable. Each action figure comes with Velcro so you can attach it to the dashboard of your car or tractor and commune with the holy ones while you drive.

The Jesus action figure comes with a long list of instructions about appropriate behavior with the doll. After all, it’s the Son of God. Here is a sample.

Never look under Jesus’ robe

Jesus does not need a bath

Do not dress Jesus in G.I. Joe or Barbie clothes

You must never decorate Jesus’ robe with Magic Markers or crayons

Jesus never wears make-up

Jesus walks where ever he goes. He does not ride a motorcycle or a skateboard or the family cat.

Do not involve Jesus in battles with other action figures. However, if you remember this rule too late and Jesus is locked in combat with Spiderman or the Hulk, the Son of God must always win.

Never allow your teenage brothers or sisters to play with Jesus. Or your parents, for that matter.

Do not put Jesus in the Gerbil cage.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Things I wish I could be thankful for this Thanksgiving

The impeachment and imprisonment of George Bush and Dick Cheney

The beginning of the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq

Progressives in control of Congress

A national initiative to fund the transition to clean, renewable energy

True campaign reform

Regulations that would break up the media ownership monopoly

Positive national goals (i.e., manned exploration of mars, reducing poverty and malnutrition, creating a service alternative to the military)

Universal healthcare

A new found respect in this country for intellectual accomplishments and learning in general

Big cuts in defense spending

Tax laws based on fairness

Gun control policies

An honest and reasoned approach to drug laws

The end of FOX News due to a lack of interest


Thursday, November 08, 2007 Creative Writing Competition

For whatever reason (kidney stones, laziness, Law & Order...) I've waited until now to post this. I won first place in the Creative Writing contest. You can find out more about the contest itself at, of course,, or at, but the gist of it is that you have to use words from a list they provide in your story, and use them correctly. So, below is my entry.

The Shrieking of the Monkeys

Savannah. August. A midsummer fug envelops the usual early afternoon crowd of reprobates taking up space in the Shark Tooth Bar. The air is stale, unhealthy. I’m here recovering from a two-day salted nut roll binge, the sugar still coursing through my veins, sitting alone at my usual table. Actually, this is my office. My name is Brock Holberman, private investigator.

A beautiful but nervous doll nearby keeps glancing my way. She has trouble written all over her, and a number of other odd tattoos, but I ignore her, stirring my gazpacho.

Then the raven-haired tomato sashays over to my table likes she’s walking down a fashion show runway.

“What’s the matter? Don’t you like gazpacho?” she asks.

“I’m waiting for it to cool.”

She leans down. I smell lavender and tuna salad. “It’s supposed to be cold,” she whispers.

“Do we know each other?”

“I know you by reputation, Mr. Holberman. The Opus murders?”

“I got lucky. The tenor sang.”

“But you were the star of the show.” She sits sans invitation. “Claire Robin. I have a case, if you have the time.”

I knock my cup of coffee into my lap and stifle a scream. “A…case. I’m listening.”

“My late husband William Robin was the Duke of Hemmels-on-Taddemshire. We were living in Britain two years ago when he was brutally murdered at Kew Gardens by a man known only as The Simian.”

The Simian. “I helped put that big ape in the Big House.

“He’s out and he’s here in Savannah. I need you to get the goods on him.” She scribbles on a piece of paper. “He’s living in a trailer down by the river. Here’s the address.”

I suddenly have a bad case of horripilation. Was I being set up?

“Is this on the level?” I ask.

“What do you think?”

“I think recycling is a good idea.”

She slips me an envelope and stands. “Your retainer. Finish your gazpacho before it gets warm.”

I thumb through the contents of the envelope: five hundred bucks and two tickets to Sesame Street on Ice. Not bad.

I find The Simian’s trailer and it reminds me of my own salad days living out of an Airstream making money hand over fist as a freelance sheepherder.

It doesn’t take long for The Simian to make an appearance. He slips out of his trailer at 10:05 a.m. wearing a banana suit. Strange, I think. Why 10:05? I follow my bright yellow suspect to the city zoo where he spends the next hour taunting the spider monkeys. That pervert’s going down, I promise myself.

I head back to his trailer for a little snoop work. The place is a mess and smells of wet fur. Books are strewn about. One catches my eye. The Fifth Column: And Four Stories of the Spanish Civil War by Ernest Hemmingway. Funny. “Hemmingway” doesn’t sound like a Spanish name.

Then I hit pay dirt. In an envelope taped under a table, I found photos of The Simian, dressed in his banana suit, holding hands with Lady Robin, who’s wearing a Mr. Peanut costume. Then it all falls into place.

I abscond with the photos and head back to the Shark Tooth. Fortunately, Claire is there enjoying a glass of Ovaltine at the bar. After ordering my regular, I pounce.

“Mrs. Robin. Or should I say, Mrs. Peanut?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

I slam the photos down on the bar. “That’s what I’m talking about.” The bartender is agog at the images, but I quickly get rid of him with an order for Yak milk. “You didn’t think I’d find out about your…appetites.”

Claire is squirming. “So I like to dress up like a peanut. That doesn’t prove anything.”

I hold up a piece of paper. “Ah, but this does. It’s a letter written and mailed by your husband only hours before his death. It names names”

Several of Savannah’s finest enter and join us at the bar. The ice woman finally cracks.

“That lousy…. He was going to expose us. Humiliate us in front of the entire world. All I wanted to do was hear the monkeys shriek.”

“And once banana boy was out of the picture, keep all the inheritance for yourself.” The cops cuff her. “Now you’re going to find out what it’s like on the other side of the bars, Peanut Butter. Take her away. My gazpacho’s getting cold.”

Monday, November 05, 2007

Done pissing in the wind

I have no more capacity for outrage.

Bush could soak a kitten in kerosene and set it ablaze in the Rose Garden and I’m not sure I could manage much more than a sigh. The Democrats would feign shock then vote to support the president’s bill weakening laws against animal cruelty. The press would unquestioningly accept the White House assertion that the kitty was in league with terrorists. The American people would be apoplectic for a day and then go back to sleep.

We handed over the reigns of power to a lunatic and his enablers with predictable results—America is in shambles. But with a year to go before Bush leaves office, things could get worse. Much worse. Pakistan is on the verge of exploding. Limp-dick Cheney wants yet again an opportunity to prove his manhood by blowing Iran off the map. Bush continues nominating imbeciles to the nation’s highest positions. Yet this past Sunday I gave the opinion page of my paper the same breezy fly-through that I usually reserve for the classifieds.

I just don’t care that much anymore. The president will continue to do as he pleases and congress will not stop him. The voices for justice are simply too weak to be heard. The Democratic candidate for president a year from now will most likely be Hillary Clinton, who, like her husband, knows how to speak “liberal” during campaigns, but votes conservative when the lever is actually pulled.

And I’m getting sick of writing letters to my representatives. It really is an exercise in futility. My Democratic senator seems to have no qualms about voting with Republicans on key issues, and my stream of embittered e-mails certainly hasn’t resulted in any epiphany on her part.

Resistance (even the quiet kind) requires energy and my batteries have been drained over the last seven years. I’m tired of pissing in the wind.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Dems Fold on FISA

The Democrats in congress continue to emulate the Keystone Cops as they fall all over themselves while the Republican juggernaut plows through the Constitution once again.

Apparently, after reading some classified documents, Democrats concluded the telecommunications behemoths were just being played for suckers by that wascally wabbit George Bush, and they deserve immunity from prosecution. That just happens to be what the Shrub wants, too. Funny how that works.

It seems that anytime Bush mispronounces the word “terrorism,” moderate congressional Democrats (and what the hell does that mean anymore? Why don’t they just drop the illusion and drag their knuckles on over to the dark side?) urinate all over themselves at the idea of being seen as soft on the flesh eating, baby-killing fanatical Islamists.

Pelosi and Reid are impotent. Reid had the temerity recently to respond to a question about impeaching the president by asking, “What impeachable offenses has he committed?” The Democratic leadership simply doesn’t have what it takes to circle the wagons and protect the Constitution. They’re full of tough talk, but when legislation is on the line they fold like cheap lawn chairs.

Bush and Cheney should be behind bars by now. Instead they’re still calling the shots, pushing around the Democrats and stealing their lunch money. The hope we felt after last November’s election has been replaced by cynicism and anger, and a palpable fear that America is falling into a black hole from which it will never escape.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Goring Gore

Here’s what prominent conservatives are saying today about Nobel Prize winner Al Gore.

“Look, here’s the guy who lost to Bush in 2000 and has some kind of liberal religious conversion, and then goes tooling around the country spouting pseudoscience about the environment. He’s a sore loser and this is his way of getting back at Bush. It’s pathetic and just shows what a bitter, mean-spirited whack-job Al Gore is.”

Rush Limbaugh

“Who’s on the selection committee? That’s what I want to know. Who’s getting a little something under the table? No one in their right mind would give Al Gore the time of day let alone a Nobel Prize if there wasn’t money or favors changing hands. I’m calling for an investigation of this travesty here and now. Let’s get INTERPOL on this, folks.”

Bill O’Reilly

“This means nothing. The Nobel Prize has no meaning to anyone anymore. They gave it to Jimmy Carter for crying out loud, the wimpiest, weakest president in U.S. history. It’s a joke. Who’s going to win next year? Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? Osama bin Laden? Hillary Clinton?”

Michelle Malkin

“You know, if Gore really believed in saving the environment, he’d stop eating so much and shed about a hundred pounds. He looks like the Pillsbury Dough Boy in an expensive suit, except when you poke Gore in the stomach, instead of laughing he gives a lecture on the melting ice cap. Come to think of it, baking up a batch of Gore cookies (without nuts, wink, wink) doesn’t sound like a bad idea.”

Ann Coulter

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Another successful frame-up by the Rethugs

How can people as inherently stupid as conservatives be so successful at framing issues? They’re doing it again with the military.

Although we don’t see ourselves in this way, America is a militaristic society. We love our weapons, violent games, and we tend to place men and women in uniform on a very high pedestal. I think part of the psychology around this is the guilt we feel when we (our government) send young Americans off to die in foreign lands and the rest of us go on comfortably with our lives. In other words, there is no equivalent sacrifice at home (not since World War II, anyway).

So we shield our military from criticism in the protective bubble of hyper patriotism. The irony, of course, is that those who never set foot on a battlefield (Bush, Limbaugh, O’Reilly, Cheney, et. al.) pound their war drums the loudest (uniform envy?).

The latest brouhaha allows the framers of the anti-Constitution the opportunity to cower the Dems with their overblown, hyperbolic indignation at anyone who would dare criticize a soldier. The frame? Critics of the military are unpatriotic and anti-American. For Limbaugh and others, this even extends to military personnel who don’t stand on the right side of the issue.

So, as usual, the cowardly Dems succumb to the bluster and condemn anyone who says bad things about our military leaders. Never mind if what they say is accurate or not.

I was in the Army for three years. Believe me, people in uniform can make mistakes. And they can also be disingenuous, hypocritical, deceptive, and conniving, just like the rest of us. Why should they be held above criticism? Westmorland and others lied to us about the situation in Vietnam. Patraeus and others have lied to us about the situation in Iraq. They should be held accountable.

There’s nothing wrong with having a healthy respect for Americans who are willing to put their lives on the line for their country. However, a uniform does not automatically transform a human being into a deity.

It seems that for Republicans and too many Democrats, it’s not okay to criticize a soldier, but it is okay to use that soldier as a pawn to obtain political advantage.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

What's the matter with Amy?

Once again, a vote by my senator Amy Klobuchar leaves me scratching my head in disbelief. She was one of a handful of Democrats to vote in favor of condemning for its Petraeus ad in the New York Times. What could her rationales be?

a) I never, ever, ever, ever, ever want anyone to accuse me of not supporting our troops.

b) I believed the hyperventilating Republicans that the ad was a vicious attack on the general and the troops.

c) I had a killer hangover.

Amy has raised the hackles of many Minnesotans in the blogoshpere and for good reason. Her vote is now part of a Norm Coleman ad bashing Al Franken for supporting The ad, of course, uses Amy’s vote as evidence that all right-thinking Minnesotan’s support the hysterical Republican blather about that anti-American group of lefties.

So what is Amy Klobuchar? An unwitting tool of conservatives? A Republican in Democrat’s clothing? A soulless, calculating political machine? A not very smart person? Nothing good on this list from which to choose. One thing we do know is that she’s turning out to be a Democrat in name only.

Friday, September 21, 2007

“Please, Mr. President. Not in public.”

Minnesota’s lovably loony congressperson Michele Bachmann is at it again. This time she claims that President Bush tried a little grope-a-dope at the site of the 35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis, and she rejected his gesture. According to the site Think Progress, Bachmann made these remarks during a local radio show:

The President and I enjoy a great relationship. When he and I were back visiting the collapsed bridge, he reached over because he wanted to give me a kiss when we were down at the site, and I had pulled back and he said, “What? You don’t want to embrace?” And I said, “The people of Minnesota love you Mr. President, but I think one kiss was enough.”

Where, oh where, to begin. First off, Michele’s assertion that Minnesotans love George Bush is itself a delusion. She might love the Shrub, but poll after poll tells us that the majority of Minnesotans (a group of which I am a member) detest George and his policies.

Then there’s the kiss thing. Her use of the word “kiss” is interesting. How exactly did she know he wanted to kiss her and wasn’t simply offering her a comforting hug? Was his tongue hanging out? His reaction, according to Bachmann, “What? You don’t want to embrace?” simply doesn’t sound like anything Bush would actually say. He might mutter, “Huh?” or “What’s wrong?” but “You don’t want to embrace?” rings false.

Michele has a unique world-view that begs you to question virtually anything she says, and she seems to have a difficult time distinguishing between what’s appropriate what’s not. Hiding behind bushes to watch people: Not appropriate. Grabbing and holding on to the President of the United States at his State of the Union Address: Not appropriate. Accepting a comforting embrace from the president at the site of a terrible disaster: Probably appropriate.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A few 9/11-anniversary questions

Why do a number of prominent progressives, some of whom have made careers out of questioning the U.S. government’s motives and methods, continue to vigorously defend the government’s findings around the events of 9/11?

World Trade Center building 7 was not hit by an airplane, yet it collapsed into it’s own footprint. I’ve read various attempts to explain this, but none of them make sense, not because they are too technical, but because they simply defy logic.

I’m certainly not an engineer, but I can understand the concept of the heat from the plane’s burning fuel weakening the metal supports in the Towers enough to cause a collapse. What I don’t understand is how hot liquid pouring through a building would weaken the metal beams at the same points around the circumference of the building in order to cause the buildings to fall straight down. Logic tells me that the intensity of the heat from the fuel would affect the metal beams at different areas up and down the building, which would cause the upper section of a tower to fall to one side or another, not straight down.

Why did Bush sit on his ass in a Florida classroom for seven minutes after being informed that America was under attack?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Bat Boy Retires to Florida

The print version of the Weekly World News has been abducted by aliens and will no longer be found in the checkout lane of your favorite grocery store. In reality, the sensationalist tabloid succumbed to overwhelming financial problems, but who cares about reality? Certainly not the writers and editors of WWN, who entertained millions of bored shoppers in check-out lines with stories of secret meetings between presidents and aliens, Elvis sightings, and, of course, the most widely recognized icon of trash tabloid news, Bat Boy, a pre-Photoshop masterpiece of image manipulation.

What can we learn (or unlearn) from the demise of WWN, which dubbed itself, “The World’s Only Reliable Newspaper”? Of course, like others, I’ve always wondered how many readers of WWN took it seriously. Nothing in its placement in the tabloid rack next to the National Enquirer, Cosmopolitan, and Better Homes and Gardens gave perusers a clue to the rags subversive nature. Sure, the headlines and photos were always over the top, but, like a Venus Fly Trap in a garden, it blended in with its environment extremely well.

You never saw MAD magazine or National Lampoon in the impulse aisle, but the tacky, design-challenged WWN was our checkout buddy for nearly thirty years, screaming apocalyptic warnings in the midst of Hollywood break ups and home improvement tips.

Is there a segment of the population out there who believes a 500-foot tall Jesus visited the U.N.? I wish it weren’t so (especially with an election year approaching), but the irony is, with more channels of communications and information than ever before in history, the lines between fact, fiction, news and opinion have been growing less and less distinguishable. Perhaps it’s not ironic but inevitable that we cling to an uncomplicated reality (or non-reality) in a sea of conflicting messages.

Don’t get me wrong. I love (and also write) satire and I think we need more publications like WWN, not fewer. I’m sorry to see the world’s only reliable newspaper fold. The one thing I wonder about is whether we were laughing at it or it was laughing at us. I’m sure it was probably a little of both.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Zombie Fisherman

Welcome to the inaugural column of The Zombie Fisherman, a weekly reflection on the elegant sport of fishing. Why a fishing column for zombies? Let’s start by being honest. Feeding on human flesh—every zombie’s meal of choice—often has unpleasant repercussions. The enraged living routinely attack us, hack us up, set us on fire, and shoot at us. Who hasn’t lost a limb from a close-range shotgun blast?

So if not human flesh, whither comest our sustenance? Being the slow, plodding creatures we are, catching animals such as deer or rabbits is virtually impossible. Farm animals are an occasional treat, but are too often enclosed in pens or by fences, which, alas, we cannot climb. There is an alternative, however: The multitude of water creatures in the world’s lakes, rivers and oceans.

Fishing is an ideal activity for zombies. The pace is glacial; it is an activity that does not require a partner (let’s face it, we are not team players); it is not necessary to be around the living; and, if the fishing isn’t good, you can eat the bait.

Tip #1: If you run out of bait on a good day, a small bit of your rotting flesh is an excellent substitute.

So in future columns of Zombie Fisherman we will discuss all things fishing related: Lures, bait, tackle, local hot spots, and for the truly motivated, fly fishing techniques.

Sure, you’re dead, but you still need to feed. A raw carp may not be as tasty as a fat woman, but it’s a whole lot easier, and safer, to catch. Remember, when the fish are biting, so are you. See you next week.

The Zombie Fisherman.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

An open letter to all Democratic senators and representatives

We asked you for results. We get words in return.

We asked you for courage. We get timidity.

We asked you for leadership. We get capitulation.

We asked you to fight for us. We get cowards who hide behind procedure and protocol.

We asked you to save the Constitution. We get a President who continues to savage it.

We asked you to do the bidding of the majority of Americans. We get excuses.

We asked you to represent us. We get nothing.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Who are these people?

We exist on the same planet, but we live in different worlds. Even though Bush, Cheney, Rove, et. al, grew up in the same country as I did, watched the same TV shows, learned basically the same things in school, our world views turned out to be as different as night and day. How did that happen?

Like an anthropologist struggling to fathom the culture of a “lost tribe,” my mind is continuously trying to find points of connection between the world I know and the behavior of those individuals who make up the Bush administration.

What is it like to live in a culture where lying to yourself and others is as normal as breathing? How does one’s head not explode when facts constantly refute your belief system? How much willpower must it take to deny the reality that stands directly in front of you?

Like a tribe cut off from the rest of society for centuries, Bushites missed some evolutionary steps along the path to humanness. They definitely played hooky the day empathy was discussed. Governor Bush mocked a woman soon to be executed. Rove surrogates attacked a paraplegic war veteran during an election. The whole gang supports economic policies that reward the wealthy at the expense of the poor.

And Bush and his boys must have been lurking in some alley pulling the wings off of flies or mugging kids for lunch money during the lessons of the Enlightenment, the New Deal, the Civil Rights movement, the 1960’s, and every other progressive event in modern history, because they missed them all. The “good old days” for these guys is the Inquisition.

Their God is punitive and angry, their rules are for everyone except themselves, and their convictions are for sale to the highest bidder. Some will say they represent the values of the wealthy elite, which is true to an extent, but there are too many rabid believers who came from humble backgrounds to blame it all on the caste system.

All I can say is that I feel like this country has been taken over by ugly, inbred distant relatives who come for a visit, trash your house, and complain about what a lousy host you are.

Monday, July 09, 2007

A day at the water park

I took my eleven year-old son and a friend of his to an indoor water park this past weekend. The outside temperature was in the mid-nineties and I was initially enthusiastic about lying in a tube and meandering around the lazy river. That lasted about ten minutes.

After securing a second mortgage on my condo, we had the financial resources to enter the men’s changing room where we nudged and jostled our way to one of two available lockers. The boys were in no mood for orderly processes so we jammed our shoes and clothes into the mailbox-sized hole and sloshed out into the slimy, tattooed, chlorine-soaked nightmare of the indoor water park.

It is a cavernous enclosed facility where the humidity is at a constant 150 percent and nothing ever dries. Ever. The warm puddle of water you’re standing in as you search in vain for your children has been there a growing bacterium since 1998 when the building first opened its doors. The screams of hundreds of children and over-stimulated teen-age girls are amplified ten-fold in the mostly metal structure, and I felt like I had tiny policemen in my auditory canals unmercifully tasering my eardrums.

We find a plastic chair and table that aren’t draped with layers of wet towels and set down our own towels, which seem to absorb moisture from the air and instantly become wet. Before I can utter a single warning or plea, the boys disappear into the madness. With a shrug, I make sure the locker key is securely fastened to my suit and move out.

You don’t rent tubes at this particular water park, I quickly learned. Instead you prowl around the kiddie pool or the lazy river for abandoned tubes that you then quickly snap up like the first crow to discover a juicy road kill. Tube hunting is a free-for-all. Parents mill around the departure point of the lazy river carefully reading body language and scanning eye motion in their efforts to be the first to spot a tuber who might be ready to give up the prize.

I eventually get a tube without making a child cry and head off down the lazy river. It’s only then that I realize the place is packed. My tube is bumped and spun in collisions with kids wanting to pass or older people in front of me whose tubes have stalled. Instead of the relaxing ride I had hoped for, I feel more like I’m commuting to work, except my tube doesn’t have a horn.

Amid the screams and splashing, I have a second realization. The place is teaming with monstrous, obese humans. They are everywhere. Men with guts that hang like garbage sacks filled with Jell-O. Women with roll upon roll of cellulite escaping out of every crack in their suits (and where do they get suits that big?). Hippo families lumber in herds from one attraction to the next. There are white hippos covered in blue varicose veins and hairy hippos who need their backs shaved and baby hippos who look like they are wearing kid-sized blubber suits.

I started making certain connections in my head that took me to a bad place. I knew that I would never want to take a bath with any of these people, even in a really, really big bathtub. Even though I had no idea where the boys were, I made tracks for the locker room. I desperately wanted a shower and dry clothes.

My son and his friend had a great time, of course. And that’s what’s important. Right?

But I’m still having nightmares.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Baby on board

They’ve been around for years, but I still shake my head in bewilderment when I see one of those yellow “Baby on board” signs in a car window. What does that mean to me as we pass down the road together in close proximity? I’m already distracted reading the sign, which is not a good thing. Maybe in the name of caution I should slow down suddenly, surprising the driver behind me who’s been sitting on my bumper for the past few miles. I could allow for more space as I pass them, thus taking the chance that my tires will get hooked on the shoulder and my car will be thrown into a deadly spin that will endanger the lives of others. Possibly they just want me to turn down my radio.

At any rate, accidents by their very nature are…well, accidental. No one plans to have an accident (unless you’re committing suicide), conversely no one can plan not to have an accident with a “Baby on board” car. It might help if the signs were more specific. “Baby on board. Slow down, asshole.” Or “Baby on board. If you can read this, you’re too close.”

Of course, I could be totally wrong and the signs may actually promote more cautious driving. If so, I would recommend a few other window signs be created, such as: “Relatives from New Jersey on board.” “IKEA purchases on board.” “Born-again on board.” In other words, let me know why I shouldn’t have an accident with you…or should.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Lieberman says bomb Vatican City

Senator Joseph Lieberman has called on the Bush administration to begin a military assault on Vatican City immediately. Lieberman told reporters he was apoplectic with anger over Pope Benedict’s discussion of the “worrying situation in Iraq” with the president during Bush’s recent visit to Italy.

“There is no ‘worrying situation in Iraq.’ That’s a bunch of Papal bull. These kinds of statements can create doubt and consternation in the susceptible mind of the president, and that’s the last thing we need.”

Lieberman is calling for an immediate apology from the Pontiff. If that is not forthcoming, said the senator, the United States should use the full force of its military might to destroy Vatican City. “It would be a much better use of the land to turn it into a sports complex,” noted the senator.

The Vatican reacted swiftly, calling Lieberman “…a cocaine-addicted lunatic Satin lover who compensates for his tiny penis by trying to start a global war.”

In the past week, Lieberman has called on the United States to bomb Iran, Venezuela, and Hillary Clinton.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Publicity stunts gone bad

Who looks more ridiculous? You be the judge.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Democrats cave

The Democrats have deleted any timetable for withdrawal from the current Iraq supplemental spending bill. Bush has won again.

My question is this: How can a large group of educated, experienced Democratic politicians in Congress be consistently outsmarted and outfoxed by a mental midget like George Bush? Is there no Democrat in Congress who’s smarter than George? He continues to make the Dems look foolish and ineffective.

This isn’t what we voted for last November.

Bush names new Blame Czar

President Bush announced today that he has appointed former Congressman Newt Gingrich to be the nation’s first Blame Czar. According to the White House, the primary function of the new position will be to assess blame for the administrations failures over the past six years.

“For the good of our country,” said Bush in his brief remarks, “blame cannot be concentrated on the executive. By it’s very nature, the presidency is beyond blame, hence blame must be doled out to others. Mr. Gingrich is no stranger to vociferous accusations of wrongdoing, and he is not afraid to heap blame on everyone and anyone who disagrees with him. These are the qualities we were looking for in a Blame Czar.”

In accepting the position, Gingrich said he would work tirelessly to implicate others in the mistakes of this administration. “The Democrats have blood on their hands, as do Americans who voted for George Bush,” said Gingrich. “They should have known better. And they did it twice. Now, whose fault is that?”

Gingrich went on to wag an accusatory finger at everyone from the ACLU to Colin Powell for allowing this administration to make misstep after misstep in foreign and domestic policy. Gingrich argued, “George Bush is obviously an emotionally and mentally imbalanced individual, yet time and time again, advisors allowed him to make the final decision on matters of life and death. This is gross negligence of the highest order.”

Gingrich said his first act will be to hurl blame at U.S. military forces for not having the will to win the Iraq war, despite the president’s insistence on victory. “I know I won’t be a popular figure in my new role,” said Gingrich, “but I never have been popular, or even liked, so whoopdeedoo. I don’t care. Rewriting history is never well received, but it must be done in order to salvage the Bush legacy. And be honest. What could be more important than that?”

Friday, May 04, 2007

Republican candidates spar in first debate

The recent MSNBC Republican debate among presidential hopefuls lacked any fireworks between the leading contenders, but it allowed those farther back in the pack an opportunity to set themselves apart.

Sam Brownback, Mike Huckabee and Tom Tancredo sparred vigorously in an attempt to emphasize their conservative credentials. It began when the moderator asked the group, “Who here does not believe in evolution.” Brownback, Huckabee and Tancredo raised their hands. Each of the three candidates was then allowed to explain their position.

“Evolution is a hoax,” began Brownback. “It is hubris of the highest degree for scientists to think they know more than God.”

“You’re right,” continued Huckabee, “But let me add that I believe gravity and electricity are also demonic ideas intended to blind humans to the glory of the Almighty.”

Tancredo added his voice. “So true, gentlemen. We have lost our way, and I for one, yearn for that bygone era when religion was respected and permeated every aspect of society. I’m not talking about the 1950s. I’m talking about the 1050s. The Middle Ages, when the natural order of society was in balance.”

“Let me say for the record, that I was for a feudal society before I was against it,” said Brownback.

“I wrote about “The New Feudalism” in an editorial recently,” remarked Huckabee, “Where I outlined my four point plan that will herald in an era of religious obedience, barbaric behavior and unsanitary conditions…minus the Catholics. It’s what America needs.”

Tancredo rose to his feet, and in a fit of passion declared, “These are half measures, my friends. What America truly needs is an Inquisition, a cleansing effort to reclaim our lost society for God. My platform calls for the arrest and imprisonment of Jews, Catholics, atheists, homosexuals, liberals, feminists and every other anti-American element we can weed out. We must smite them all!”

A chorus of amens throughout the studio followed the comments of Trancedo.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Bush reassures troops: You’ll be in Iraq until hell freezes over

Washington, D.C. - Concerned about the morale of troops fighting in Iraq after Congresses’ failed attempt to set a timetable for withdrawal, President Bush sent a message to American servicemen and women assuring them that the fight against terrorism would continue.

“I know that many of you are rightly concerned that you will be sent home to families and loved ones before we have conquered the enemy. Well, let me tell you, that will not happen on my watch. In fact, it will never happen.

“We will not surrender. If you have to stay in Iraq for the next 50 years, by God, that’s what you’ll do. You are right to wonder what the defeatists are thinking when they cry, ‘Bring home the troops. Bring home the troops.’ Do they want us to fail? Do they care more about your safety and will to live then they do about the never-ending pursuit of terrorists?

“You can count on me, as your Commander and Chief, to keep you in harms way for as long as it takes. Remember, you’re fighting so my daughters don’t have to.

God Bless America

George W. Bush

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A little braggin' time

Last winter I entered my script "The Devil's in the Details" in the “screenplay” category in two film festivals. Much to my surprise and delight I received recognition in both festivals. It was selected for “Honorable Mention” (2nd place) in the Buffalo Niagara Film Festival, and I just returned from the California Independent Film Festival where it was chosen best screenplay for 2007.

The Devil's in the Details

Logline: A modern twist on the Faust legend. Advertising executive Danny Laws is on the verge of losing his agency's biggest client and his reputation as New York's hottest ad man. When things look bleakest, he's offered success for his eternal soul, but Danny turns the tables when he convinces Satan hell needs his help more than it need his soul--with an ad campaign.

Francis, Martin, Cameron, Quentin...listen, I know you guys are regular readers of my blog, so let's not get into a pissing match about this. It'll be first come first serve. Love ya.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Bush Administration to revise the Constitution

In a bold move that has incensed Democrats, the Bush Administration announced today that it was going to “edit” the United States Constitution to bring it up-to-date.

“The Constitution is 231 years old,” the White House memo argued. “The language is arcane and the sentiments, while worthy in the abstract, do not represent this country’s role in a dangerous world.”

According to the memo, President Bush will be the first to edit or revise the Constitution. He’ll be given a black magic marker and a copy of the document to make his changes. It will then be routed to others in the White House and the Justice Department for their input. “The President is eager to put his “brand” on the historic document,” continues the announcement, “and he has been pouring over historical documents and Tom Clancy novels in preparation.”

A high-level White House advisor, who asked not to be identified, said the effort is merely a logical evolutionary process. “No one drives a car that’s 231 years old. The Constitution is a living document that requires a new lease on life every couple of centuries. It’s not like we’re tossing it in the garbage and starting from scratch.”

On receiving the White House memo, Congressional Democrats were observed tearing at their clothes and shrieking uncontrollably throughout the halls of the Capital Building. Harry Reid, his face a brilliant shade of purple, stammered, “Impeachment…horse crap…lightning bolt…rain fire from heaven….” Comments from other Democrats could not be deciphered or repeated in a family newspaper.

Late in the day, the White House issued a follow-up memo amid the uproar, clarifying that the President would make his changes with a red magic marker, and not a black one.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

It lives! Phyllis Schlafly haunts Bates College

Phyllis Schlafly has reared her ugly head again. The octogenarian antifeminist spoke to an overflow audience (why?) at Bates College recently, fanning the flames of sexual bigotry and demonizing women who refuse to prostrate themselves before their husbands.

An old school version of Ann Coulter, Schlafly’s stock and trade is attacking modern women with zingers drawn from seventeenth century advice columns.

Dear Phyllis,
My husband attempteth to ravage me against my will. I protested heartily, but he would not stop. Is this not rape?

Dear Meg,
By getting married, the woman has consented to sex, and I don't think you can call it rape.

This cruel and uncaring response wasn’t from 1607 but 2007. Apparently, Schlafly believes that marriage nullifies a woman’s humanity. In other words, her husband owns her.

Schlafly also said that women are “inherently physically inferior” to men and shouldn’t hold jobs like firefighter, construction worker or, of course, soldier. This, despite the fact there are tens of thousands of women working successfully in all three categories.

Like Coulter, Schlafly relies on over-heated, over the top rhetoric to maintain her celebrity status in conservative circles. Her sentiments are shocking to the reality-based world, but apparently that’s what keeps her packing ‘em in on the speaking circuit. Hers was a name I hoped I’d heard the last of decades ago, but she continues to rise from the grave and haunt the rational world.

Hopefully, when the stake is finally driven into the heart of the Reagan-Bush political era and the darkness lifts, Schlafly and her brain-dead peers will scramble back into their holes and stay there.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Working for George

Working for George Bush sure would be sweet. No matter how much you fuck up, you’ve got a job. All you have to do is lie to him a little (No, man, you’re really smart.) and not bad-mouth him to others and you could murder somebody and not get fired. In fact, if you are extremely good at kissing his ass, you can screw up royally and get promoted or be awarded the Medal of Freedom. How awesome is that?

If Bush likes you, you can do no wrong. He believes that every single decision he makes is the right decision, so if you’re hired by Bush, you must be the best person for the job, despite any contradictory evidence. You can lie, cheat, steal, and break a dozen laws, no matter. Bush will keep you safe and on the payroll.

Congress? I can’t hear you.

Department of Justice? You know where you can stick your subpoena.

Special prosecutor? You’re fired!

Once a friend of Bush, always a friend of Bush. If Jeffrey Daumer had been a friend of Bush’s, he’d be alive and running the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. Heckuva job, Jeff. Is it any wonder to anyone why Bush was such a lousy businessman?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Laura left behind

Washington D.C. – An embarrassed White House admitted today that First Lady Laura Bush had been inadvertently left behind in the Guatemalan village of Iximche while touring Mayan ruins during the President’s Latin American visit.

A White House spokesperson said the incident was unfortunate, but not unprecedented. “Other members of the Presidential party have been left behind in the past. During a 2004 visit to Europe, we lost a senior NSA member for two weeks in Greece.”

Asked how Mrs. Bush’s absence could go undetected for three days, White House press secretary Tony Snow defended the President, saying, “This is the leader of the free world, ladies and gentlemen. A man with that amount of responsibility can be excused for misplacing his wife from time to time. Laura is a quiet, dignified woman who, on occasion, can make herself invisible. It’s a Texas thing.”

A spokesperson for the First Lady said that she is fine and in good spirits. “There was no panic on Laura’s part. She was well taken care of by the lovely Guatemalan villagers, and wrote this ‘thank you’ note to her new Latin American friends: I want to thank everyone in the village of Iximche for your hospitality and kindness. You made my stay in your lovely country one to remember. I want to extend a special ‘thank you’ to the Dutch soccer team sightseeing at the ruins. Players entertained me for hours on end with their amazing ball handling skills and…glistening, finely chiseled athletic bodies. Franz, I’ll never forget you…”

President Bush did not comment on the incident itself, but did thank the Mayan descendants who later purified the ruins for not ripping out Laura’s heart on a stone altar.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Rite of Exorcism of Conservatives

Exorcism of a Conservative Entity is a dangerous and difficult procedure, and can only be performed by a House or Senate Democrat who has at least a 90 percent progressive voting record.

It is essential that the Democrat who is performing the ritual prepare adequately for the event. There may be no contact with lobbyists 36 hours prior to the ceremony. The mind must be purified through readings of the New Yorker, Harper’s, The Nation, and select liberal blogs. An exercise regimen is recommended as the ritual can be physically draining.

Once preparations are complete, one must assemble the materials needed for the actual exorcism.

Copy of Darwin’s The Origin of Species.

Bottle of expensive French champagne to sprinkle on the body

Peace symbol necklace to be worn at all times during the ceremony

CDs to be played during the ritual: Acid Rock, Death Metal, Jazz, Philip Glass, John Cage, anything in French (NO country, pop or accordion music)

The Ritual

Prepare the room with Patchouli incense. Make sure the subject is securely restrained on the bed. When confronted with reality, the Conservative Entity will become violent. Adhere to the following procedure:

Start the music

Sprinkle Champagne on the subject

Drink a glass of Champagne

Call forth the demon with the following phrases: I will raiseth taxes. Church and state will be separate. Global warming is real. The Japanese buildeth better cars. Al Gore in 2008.

Sprinkle Champagne

Drink a glass of Champagne

Once the demon acknowledges you, read passages from The Origin of Species, interspersed with liberal slogans (Make love, not war. Give peace a chance. Hate is not a family value, etc.)

At this point, the Conservative Entity typically lashes out with epithets like “Commie,” “Pervert sicko,” “Faggot,” or “Jew lover.” You must not become engaged with the entity in a debate. The subject is speaking from a world of unreality and cannot argue reasonably. Attempts to use logic or facts will lead to extreme levels of frustration and anger, which can jeopardize the success of the ritual.

Be strong. Continue the above steps until the Conservative Entity is cast out and the subject can think rationally and coherently. It will take time, so do not be discouraged. Through your efforts, a mind will be saved and the world will be made better through one person’s redemption.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Another McSweeney's reject

Rejected ideas for children’s toys:

Stumbling Blocks

Sorry My Ass

The Glue Factory

Victoria’s Little Secret

Easy Bake Gas Oven

Thursday, March 01, 2007

You know you're getting old when...

Every sigh is audible and can be heard up to two rooms away

You change your underwear twice a day

Your children laugh at you, not with you

The only stand-up comics you can name are dead

Putting on your socks requires concentration

Rock music isn’t loud enough

You haven’t seen your back in ten years

You use words you never used before, like “blotches,” “naps,” and “stents.”

You pull a muscle at the dinner table

AARP finds you

You can’t beat your grandkids at arm wrestling

After 40 years you’ve regained a taste for Jell-O

People mistake you for Keith Richards

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Why is Bush stirring the hornet's nest?

A disturbing thought crossed my mind today as I considered the speculation around a U.S. attack on Iran. The top military leaders at the Pentagon are against any preemptive action, and there are resignations predicted if Bush starts dropping bombs. Of course, the American people do not support an attack on Iran and the world community is also opposed. There are many possible motives behind Bush’s eagerness to attack yet another sovereign nation, but this is one I hadn’t thought of before. It is horrible to contemplate, but, because we are dealing with madmen in Washington, not too horrible to dismiss.

Is George Bush trying to provoke another 9/11?

The crowning moment of his presidency was standing on top of the World Trade Center rubble with his megaphone surrounded by honest-to-goodness heroes. His polls were up in the 90s. World leaders expressed their unanimous support. It was a point in time when America and the world looked for guidance to the man who had failed miserably at virtually everything else he had done in his life.

The moment would be intoxicating for anyone, but for Bush, it was like winning the lottery and hitting the winning home run in the World Series all wrapped into one. And, because George is George, it all went downhill from there. Today the President faces quagmires in Afghanistan and Iraq, hostile world leaders, a Democratic Congress, polls dipping into the 20s, and more and more criticism from people who once supported him. What to do?

One might desire to quickly and dramatically change the topic. Another 9/11 might do it. A terrorist attack causing massive deaths in America would suddenly put George back in the world spotlight and divert attention from his ongoing blunders. Like him or hate him, he’d be the face of the government.

A large-scale eruption of terrorist violence would also open the door to an option that sends chills up and down the spine of any rational American—martial law. Even those of us who are critical of the administration continually underestimate Bush’s stupidity and Cheney’s malevolence. Declaring martial law would give GW the ultimate control for which he yearns. Bush and company would then have an excuse to round up the liberals, the gays, the unfriendly journalists, and the college professors and provide them all with free housing at gated “resorts” in the Nevada desert.

And then there’s the matter of the 2008 elections. Terrorists have struck again. The United States is in a heightened state of security. The world is in turmoil. The wise thing to do, Glorious Leader tells the American people, is to “postpone” the elections until the situation becomes more stable. Yes, there are soldiers on the streets of Dallas and Boston and Portland, but that is for our own safety and security. There will be national elections again, sometime in the distant future.

George Bush is sticking a twig into the hornet’s nest of the Middle East. Why? The answer may be worse than you ever imagined.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Bachmann Update: Still crazy

That wacky Michele Bachmann is at it again. In a recent interview, she described in detail a SECRET plan by Iran to divide up Iraq and create a “terrorist safe haven zone” called “The Iraq State of Islam.” Of course when questioned later, her office said there actually is no secret plan.

Thank you, fellow Minnesotans of the 6th District, for sending a mentally imbalanced person to Washington who will provide the rest of the country with yuks at our expense for years to come.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Congress must make media concentration a priority

In a totalitarian regime, the government decides what is news—what is true and what is false. They disseminate their “news” through the government-controlled media. In a democracy, there is a middleman known as the free press. The role of the press is to stand between those in power and the people to discern the truth, as best as possible. They have the training, resources, and networks to separate the egg yolk from the white, truth from propaganda, which is what separates us from totalitarian governments around the world.

What we have today is a different model. For a variety of reasons, the balance has shifted and the press no longer serves as the honest broker. Media concentration has resulted in the very large pie being shared by a mere handful of owners. This small group of generally conservative capitalists decides what is news—what is true and what is false—for most Americans. They decide which viewpoints will be heard, which experts to choose, which angle to pursue. As a result, voices that do not mesh with the owners’ capitalist agenda—socialists, gays, feminists, minorities, progressives and liberals—are ignored or attacked.

The “liberal press” is a myth. There may be liberal reporters, but those who own and run the media are anything but liberal. They are businesspeople first, citizens second, and greedy above all. They give the government what it wants through propaganda and friendly press, and the government returns the favor with deregulation and policies that allow owners to enlarge their monopolies. The American people—those whose sole source of news is the mainstream media—get the pleasure of being brainwashed. It’s a win/win/lose situation.

Breaking up the media monopoly needs to be a top agenda item of Congress, and they should start working on this soon. It may be too late for the 2008 elections, which is frightening. Another Republican in the White House for four years will surely mark the end of the American experiment. Unfortunately, the MSM must be forced to incorporate alternative voices and points of view by government. It will not move in this direction on its own.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

George Bush: Smirking towards Armageddon

Did you think George Bush couldn’t make things any worse? Reports from the British press are indicating that a strike on Iran could happen within days. Days. How wrong is this?

Striking Iran will set the Middle East on fire. It will increase America’s susceptibility to terrorist attacks a hundred fold. It will drive the price of oil sky high. Bombs are indiscriminant and will kill tens of thousands of Iranians. It will galvanize the Iranian people against us, even those who oppose their own government. It will accelerate the recruitment of more terrorists around the world. It will result in many U.S. casualties because Iran has a far stronger and better-equipped military than Iraq.

How can this be happening, you ask? Don’t ask me, ask your representatives in Congress and the Senate. Ask them how they will end this madness. Tell them that the President and Vice President are completely out of touch with reality and must be restrained. ASAP.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Why conservatives can't do satire

There have been a number of negative reviews of the new FOX show “The ½ Hour News Hour.” An attempt by Conservatives to copy the success of The Daily Show, the HHNH tries political satire from a far right perspective, and, as one might guess, fails miserably. I forced myself to watch segments of the show on uTube, and it was as painful as I had imagined it would be.

For all the panning of the show in the media, I have failed to read one critique that accurately explains what the problem is, so I will. Conservatives do not understand irony. Irony is the foundation of satire. If you don’t understand irony, you can never do satire.

The University of Victoria Department of English Writer’s Guide explains it this way: The term irony is derived from the Greek eiron (dissembler), and denotes that the appearance of things differs from their reality, whether in terms of meaning, situation, or action. That is, it is ironical when there is a difference between what is spoken and what is meant, what is thought about a situation and what is actually the case; or what is intended by actions and what is their actual outcome.

Conservatives are not wired to appreciate subtle humor. Conservative comedy is when people slip on banana peels or get hit in the face with a pie. Drawing subtle inferences is simply beyond their abilities.

There are no jabs or barbs directed at Bush or Cheney or anyone in the administration in the first installment of HHNH. All the venom is directed at liberals and liberal ideas. Because they don’t understand irony, they don’t see (or refuse to see) the irony in any of Bush’s actions in office. No surge jokes. No one-liners about the inability of the President of the United States to utter a coherent sentence. It’s all about dissing Dems.

What’s clear to all is that the object of HHNH is not humor but revenge. What lies beneath the Obama hits and Hillary swipes is anger, not irony. Irony is part of the human experience. It is not divided down political lines and it is not intended to be used as a bludgeon to smite one’s enemies. If FOX wants to go funny, it should really consider shows more in tune with it’s audience, like remakes of The Beverly Hillbillies or Gilligan’s Island. Big guffaws. Light on irony.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Oh, that helpless feeling

There are millions of Americans out there who feel like I do. They feel as if they are a passenger in a car that has gone out of control on a highway. The car is skidding toward oncoming traffic, and it’s happening in slow motion. Most frightening of all is that the driver seems to be enjoying it.

We are the people who have called and written our representatives, signed petitions, and let it be known to anyone who will listen that Bush and his crew are running this country into the ground. Yet for all we’ve done, America remains on a crash course toward expanded war and mayhem. It seems all we can do now is hold on and wait for the impact.

It’s a horrible feeling of helplessness. Our destiny, perhaps our very lives, is in the hands of madmen who rule just beyond the reach of civilized society, hiding from justice in a haze of lies, obfuscation and deceit. We hoped the people we elected to Congress would stop America’s village idiot from further tearing apart the Constitution, but alas, they sit on the sidelines yapping like Chihuahuas as the burglars ransack the house.

In an emergency situation such as a runaway car, there is only one possible life-saving option, and that is to take the steering wheel from the driver and try and regain control of the vehicle. That means either impeaching Bush and Cheney or forcing them to resign. There really are no other options if we are to avoid more death and destruction.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Please pay me for being stupid

I want to be a conservative pundit.

It’s one of only two jobs in America where you can gain fame and fortune and be wrong about everything. The other is politician.

I can say or write that black is white, up is down, and someone will give me enough money to buy a house in Scarsdale. And a pony.

It has to be a great job because it doesn’t require any thought. In fact, you run the risk of making sense if you think about something for more than a few seconds, and that is a death sentence for a conservative pundit.

Basically, the only job requirement is to say the first thing that comes into your head. Ten times out of ten it’s wrong and stupid, and people will love it.

In fact, the more wrong and stupid it is, the better. Angry white men, your target audience, also love it when you say cruel and hateful things. They enjoy it when you pick on the poor, women, minorities and the Clintons. The more hateful the attack the better. Cruelty towards others makes angry white guys laugh. How hard can that be?

I’m tired of just getting by month after month. It’s time to jump on the stupid train and take the short ride to Hatesville. There’s a pot of gold at the end of that rainbow and it’s mine. ALL MINE.

Friday, February 09, 2007

How D.A.R.E. you!

I attended my 10-year old son’s graduation from D.A.R.E. last night. He was proud of his accomplishment and I congratulated him enthusiastically. It was an hour-and-a-half long event—a very long time to ask a hundred fifth-graders and one fifty-four year old father to sit still—but the kids seemed very into it and were full of D.A.R.E.-loving energy.

A remnant from the early years of the war on drugs, D.A.R.E. is still a mainstay in many U.S. schools despite the fact that a number of studies have shown the program is not effective in reducing drug use. Knowing this put the graduation ceremony in disturbing perspective for me.

The master-of-ceremonies was uniformed Officer Schuveiller, an affable, easy-to-like man who obviously believed in the program. During the course of the evening, Officer Schuveiller mentioned at least three times that he had never smoked, had a beer or taken an illegal drug in his life. Good for him, I thought. He was certainly a better role model than 90 percent of the parents in the audience.

The theme of the evening was abstinence. Students read essays that were all only slight variations on the “I will never, ever, ever, ever…take drugs in my life” theme. Their insistence on this matter was passionate. Drugs kill people. Drugs ruin families. Drugs make you stupid. I will never touch drugs in my life.

You can’t blame the kids. The fact that they are fanatical about something they have no experience with is not their fault. Providing fifth-graders with a six-week abstinence-only sex education course conducted by the local Baptist church would produce similar results.

D.A.R.E. is not education but indoctrination. The program deals in absolutes and sets up standards of behavior that most students can never hope to meet. When they don’t measure up to the perfect Officer Schuveiller, when they behave like the fallible human beings they are, we all are, then the guilt sets in.

The program makes a distinction between good drugs and bad drugs, but it is laughably arbitrary, and as the children age, they will all understand this. “My Dad has a drink every night, and he’s the CEO of huge company.” “My brother smokes cigarettes, and he’s a lawyer.” The hypocrisy of the “touch drugs and your life is ruined” approach does not go unnoticed by kids, even at this young age.

And let’s not forget the aura of militarism surrounding the program. The course is run by policemen, not sociologists or drug therapists. Officer Schuveiller showed a video he created that was a collage of photos showing the kids in different settings during the program. One long stretch of shots involved a military helicopter landing in a field next to the school and all the kids lining up to see it and talk to the pilot. What possible connection is there between a military helicopter and an anti-drug program for kids?

None of this is to say that we should encourage children to take drugs. However, drugs are a part of our society and need to be dealt with realistically, not through the filter of a political or religious agenda. When we are hypocritical about drugs and drug use or rely on propaganda and cherry-picked science, as the D.A.R.E. program does, kids get very mixed messages.

D.A.R.E. has always been a band aid over the drug problem championed by reactionary politicians who care more about looking like they’re doing something than actually tackling a very complicated societal issue. Trying to brainwash kids into abstinence will never be successful, and D.A.R.E. should be scraped for a much more realistic, honest approach to drugs.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Troop Throb in Iraq, Says Snow

WASHINGTON DC – At this morning’s briefing, White House press secretary Tony Snow introduced new administration terminology related to the President’s troop surge in Iraq.

“What we’re doing in Iraq is really better described as a throb rather than a full-fledged surge. We want to keep expectations at the throb level, which is only slightly less aggressive than a surge. Our goals remain the same.”

A reporter asked Snow why the latest strategy wasn’t a swell or gush of troops.

“No, we’re not swelling,” asserted Snow. “And we are absolutely not gushing or, I might add, undulating. Let me make that clear. This is a troop throb to secure Baghdad and assist the fledgling government with security.”

Caroline Matthers from the Washington Post asked Snow to clarify exactly how many troops would be inserted as part of the throb.

“That’s one of the reasons why our terminology has shifted slightly. Instead of the 20,000 number previously stated, we will be sending closer to 500 additional troops.”

One reporter asked if that was a strong enough throb to achieve success.

“We believe that the thrust of our throb will be sufficient to fill the security void and help propagate peace in that war torn city.”

Monday, February 05, 2007

Murdoch admits the obvious: We peddle propaganda

It’s come to this. In a recent interview at an economic forum in Switzerland, media mogul Darth Sidious, otherwise known as Rupert Murdoch, was asked if News Corp. had managed to shape the agenda on the war in Iraq. His answer?

“No, I don’t think so. We tried.” Asked to elaborate, he said: “We basically supported the Bush policy in the Middle East…but we have been very critical of his execution.”

Okay, can we now relegate the term “liberal media” to the dustbin of history? We’ve known all along that FOX News was neither fair nor balanced, but now it is revealed that it is part of what can only be described as a worldwide propaganda machine for the conservative agenda.

Is there an outcry from “legitimate” news organizations about this? I haven’t heard it. Maybe that’s because there are no legitimate news organizations left. The deafening silence surrounding Murdock’s remarks among the major media outlets suggest complicity. It’s now generally accepted that the old school of journalism—the search for truth—has been closed, and the new school—infotainment and government cheerleading—has taken its place.

The run-up to the Iraq war is one of the most egregious examples of the new journalism, and it wasn’t just FOX stoking the war engines. All of the network news organizations eagerly hoped on the Bush/Cheney Baghdad express. They all supported the Bush policy in the Middle East, ignoring anyone who dared to criticize the inevitable.

Murdoch spoke the truth for once, but nobody cared. Who needs Pravda when the capitalist propaganda machine operates so smoothly and efficiently?

Thursday, February 01, 2007

George is the reason the wheels are coming off the wagon

What is it about Bush and things with wheels? GW is one of three people in the world who have managed to fall off a Segway. He’s had numerous bicycle accidents on the ranch’s back 40. And now, we hear he nearly ran over a host of reporters when he took the controls of a DC-10 tractor while touring a Caterpillar facility. Some have suggested that it was clearly his intention to run over the press corps, but I think that’s giving him more credit for driving ability than is due.

Does he have some type of inner ear problem? Does he make it a point to drink and drive?

It’s more than a little upsetting to know that we have to keep the presidential car keys hidden from the leader of the free world.

I don’t recall hearing anything about Bush crashing a jet fighter during his National Guard days (although, who knows if he really flew anything by himself), so it doesn’t appear that planes are a problem.

Wheels seem to be the trouble here. Perhaps the lack of wheels turning upstairs translates into an inability to make them work downstairs.

I say, “George. You wanna ride? Here’s your safety helmet and an adult 3-wheeler. Have a blast.” But that’s just me.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Today's questions

Has anyone ever seen Dick Cheney in direct sunlight?

Where is Laura Bush?

Is it still a man’s world?

Has anyone in America actually read an Ann Coulter book?

Why haven’t aliens ever tried to abduct me? Am I not good enough for them?

Why doesn’t time ever sit still?

Who would win in a fistfight between George Bush and Hillary Clinton?

Why did my generation get stuck with the worst President in American history?

Friday, January 26, 2007

Decider or decision maker? Americans want answers

Okay. Let’s try and sort this out. First Bush says he’s the decider. Now he tells us he’s the decision maker. So which is it? Decider or decision maker?

If Bush is the decision maker, who’s the decider now?

Is Bush deciding things or making decisions? What if he’s brought a problem that requires a decider, but he’s the decision maker? Does he pass it on to Cheney?

The implications are far reaching. Does he need to get Congressional approval to hire a decider? What would that person’s title be? Decider to the President? Chief Decider?

Who will make the decision whether the White House needs to call in the decider? Will it be case by case or are there going to be strict criteria?

Can the White House out source deciding? Will Americans tolerate a foreign decider?

I call on Bush to clarify these duties and make a firm commitment to being either a decider or a decision maker. The country deserves to know.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Michele Bachmann puts the squeeze on Bush

I’ve blogged before that I suspect our new House member from Minnesota Michele Bachmann is mentally imbalanced based on her bizarre comments during last year’s campaign. My suspicions were further strengthened after her performance at the end of last night’s State of the Union address.

You can see the incident in all its weirdness on YouTube.

Bush has finished his speech and is leaving the chambers, stopping momentarily to shake hands and sign autographs for House members. As he makes his way down the corridor, Bachmann, looking like Mary Tyler Moore hepped up on giddy pills, grabs the President’s shoulder. He gives her a quick autograph and turns his attention to others, but SHE DOESN”T LET GO. She keeps a firm grip on the Prez as he talks to others and gives another woman a peck on the cheek.

Bachmann keeps squeezing the President until he turns back to her and gives her a hug and kiss. Even then, she continues touching his back for several more seconds. The news people at Channel 5 estimated her WWF hold on the Smirking One lasted a full 30 seconds.

I’m surprised Secret Service agents didn’t step in and pull the obviously over-stimulated Bachmann off of Bush.

Evidently, lies and hollow rhetoric turn her on. Sure makes a Minnesotan proud.

The SOTU: An in-depth critique

Everybody in the blogoverse is putting in their two cents about Bush’s SOTU address last night. Here is my analysis:

It sucked.
Bush is a moron.
Our country is sinking deeper into the doo doo.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Crossing the great divide

Americans live in a divided country. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as red versus blue or north versus south. It is a large chasm, a great divide between Americans who understand the concept of democracy and embrace it, and those who either don’t understand the concept or understand it, but reject it.

At one extreme, you have religious conservatives who are more honest than most about their disdain for democracy. They want to live by their interpretation of the bible, and that interpretation is dramatically non-democratic. There are ongoing attempts by some in the movement to create communities around America that are governed solely by biblical teachings, and not secular law (think the Amish in suburbia). Like their counterparts from Somalia to Tehran, they make no bones about preferring theocracy to democracy.

A second group, however, is far more disingenuous about their contempt for the American experiment. They are today’s far-right conservatives who love to prostrate themselves before the flag and publicly espouse their love of all things American, but who have no allegiance to democratic principles. This group is reflected in Weekly Standard editor William Kristol. On a recent Sunday talk show, Kristol attacked opponents of Iraq escalation in Congress, saying, “It’s just unbelievable. … It’s so irresponsible that they can’t be quiet for six or nine months.”

This is the, “I-like-democracy-as-long-as-everyone-agrees-with-me” camp, which, of course, is inherently anti-democratic. Bush and Cheney are poster boys for ILDALAEAWM. For Bush, democracy is what he says it is. Cheney is just an evil bastard who would have risen to power in any totalitarian regime of the twentieth century. But they and other standard bearers like George Will, Bill Bennett, Coulter, Limbaugh, O’Reilly, Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, David Brooks, and D’Nesh DeSouza, among many others both more or less extreme, yearn for an America that is a different animal than the one brought into existence by Jefferson and company.

Under the banner of “Super Patriotism,” the anti-democracy crowd and its big-business sugar daddies have taken over the media to spew their repressive ideology. Every idea they support is wrong. Every principle they stand for is bogus. Yet no one seems to care. Bill Kristol has a remarkable record of championing the losing side of every issue from Iraq to immigration. Instead of being shamed out of Washington, however, Kristol is rewarded for his ignorance with a regular column in Time magazine.

With Bush stealing two elections, the “I-hate-democracy” crowd bought and bullied its way into the White House, and once there, didn’t waste any time taking a jackhammer to the country’s democratic foundation. Fortunately, through sheer stupidity, they brought the temple down on themselves, and their hubris and opportunism has become obvious to even the dullest American.

The great divide remains, however, and, despite the descent of Bush into the black hole of popularity, the corporate media continues to push its anti-democracy agenda. It’s going to take a lot of political courage on the part of the Democrats to reign back in the many-headed media monster, but it is absolutely necessary if we hope to resurrect true democracy and begin closing the political chasm that separates this fractured country.

United we stand. Divided we fall.

WANTED: Speechwriter

Can you turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse with words? Temporary position at undisclosed Washington D.C. location. Work with top political insiders on critical national speech. Qualifications: Ability to write fiction essential. Must be able to turn incoherent, delusional babble into inspiring, uplifting message of hope for a nation. Ability to check conscience at the door. Criminal record not necessary, but a plus. Experience working with special needs adults also advantageous. Pay beyond your wildest dreams. Prospective applicants should contact the man wearing a black fedora sitting on the bench at the east entrance to the Smithsonian at 1:30 a.m. Tuesday. Code words: “Operation Moron Rescue.”

Friday, January 19, 2007

Fredo Corleone as The Godfather

My favorite movie is The Godfather. My worst nightmare is the Bush administration. The two have intersected with some significant alterations to the script. In today’s rewrite, a series of improbable events has resulted in Fredo heading the Corleone family. Fredo, you’ll remember, is the mentally challenged oldest son of Don Corleone. Unable to handle more important family business, Fredo is relegated to showing politicians and judges a good time in Vegas.

George Bush is our Fredo, an inept, intellectually challenged son of an accomplished father thrust into a position of great power. One can imagine Fredo barking orders to his lieutenants, and everyone in the room rolling their eyes in disbelief. It must happen to George several times a day.

And, like the Corleone family, the Bush administration is a criminal enterprise. Think Progress notes, “As many as eight U.S. Attorneys are leaving or being pushed out of their positions by the Bush administration. Several of these prosecutors are working on high-profile cases, such as Carol Lam, who ran the investigation into the corruption of former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham (R-CA).”

The Fredo/Bush response to judges who won’t play ball? “Whack the S.O.B’s.” Justice? That’s for suckers. The administration’s blatant strong-arm tactics are lifted right out of the Mafia Handbook.

But who has the guts to go up against the mob? Even one ruled over by Fredo?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Conservatism. There is hope.

Jack, the neurological tests are back and I’m afraid it’s not good news.

What…what is it?

Well, I’m not going to sugar-coat this. You’re conservative, Jack.

Oh God. No.

I’m afraid the evidence is overwhelming. The pathological lying to yourself and others. The anger and tendency toward violence. Lack of empathy. It’s all there.

I thought it was the flu.

It’s not always easy to diagnose. Conservatives can seem quite normal under many circumstances, but once they engage in discussions on politics or religion, the illness becomes quite apparent.

I was so certain I was right.

That’s what the illness does to people, Jack. It acts as a filter to the brain, blocking logic and reason. Lacking the ability to think critically and objectively, you’re left to fall back on superstition and more primitive reactionary thought patterns.

Is there a cure?

It’s difficult but not impossible to cure. What makes it so damned hard, Jack, is that because of your inability to reason objectively, it becomes extremely hard to bring you back to health using logic. All of the perfectly rationale arguments, all of the objective evidence, they really amount to a hill of beans if I can’t somehow break through the filter.

That filter again.

Don’t give up all hope. There are cases of conservatives regaining their mental health and living fulfilling lives.

But…how do I start? What do I do?

Here, Jack. It’s a book. Read it. Think about it. Discuss it with others. Then read another book and another. Opening your mind and rerouting your thought patterns will start you on the road to recovery. Now, I’ll have to excuse myself. I have a serious case of religious fundamentalism to deal with.

Thank you, Doctor.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Does anyone in the Bush administration have a conscience?

I don’t know why you would, but if you ever did entertain the notion that there was a shred of honesty or decency to be found in the Bush administration, this will knock that silly idea right out of your pointy little head. Check out today’s diary at Daily Kos titled: “The True face of this Administration Revealed.”

Unless you were recently thawed from an ice block after a several thousand years nap, you will find the administration’s attempts to use American soldiers as hostages to get money from Congress sickening.

The latest blogosphere diagnosis of Bush is that he is a sociopath, which I won’t argue with, but he can’t be the only one. It seems as if the President as drawn similarly afflicted people around him. The Daily Kos diary quotes National Security Advisor Stephen J. Hadley, who seems quite satisfied with putting the lives of Americans in danger in order to help the President get the money he wants.

If Hadley has a conscience, its whereabouts is unknown.

Now we know. The inmates are running the asylum. Who will stop them?

Saturday, January 13, 2007

In case of emergency, break glass

Living in America is a surreal nightmare. It’s the plot of a 1960s bargain bin novel written by some hack who tried to come up with a modern day version of 1984, only it’s worse than he ever imagined.

In his weekly radio address, Bush railed at the Democratic congress to either put up an alternative plan for Iraq or shut up. Is the President channeling Ronald Reagan? What about the Iraq Study Group plan? Or John Murtha’s proposals? Or probably a dozen other alternatives out there to sending in additional troops? Bush doesn’t want another plan unless it involves nuclear weapons and a fancy new uniform. Even his plan isn’t a plan. It’s a delaying tactic to try and prolong the madness just long enough to pack up and catch the first plane to Crawford in 2008.

And then there’s this. On an upcoming 60 minutes, Bush will tell correspondent Scott Pelley that he doesn’t care what the Democratic Congress tries to do; he’ll send the troops anyway. The boy has gone crazy. Either he doesn’t know this is a democracy, he doesn’t know what a democracy is, or he doesn’t give a shit. It’s probably a combination of the three.

WHY CAN'T SOMEBODY STOP HIM? George Bush is mentally impaired and he is pulling this country into the abyss with him. Is there no recourse for stopping a madman in the Oval Office? I’m not even talking about long, drawn out impeachment hearings, but an emergency button behind the Speaker of the House’s desk that says, “In case the President is insane, break glass”?

I always thought our system of checks and balances was a work of political art, a nearly flawless balancing act that would always keep everyone honest. How naïve could I be? What we know now is that it only works if everyone plays by the same rules. If the President or Congress or the judicial branch decide to ignore precedent and even the law, all bets are off. The soft underbelly of our system has been exposed and exploited.

I’m sure there were many people out there who, after the November elections, thought, “Whew. Now we have a Democratic Congress and Bush only has two years left. How much damage can he do?” Well, let me tell you, it’s more than any of us can imagine.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The Ballad of the Crawford Kid

Six years ago, George Bush walked into a Las Vegas casino wearing a ten-gallon hat and shiny new boots. He had huge wads of cash in every pocket and was accompanied by a posse of true believers. The Crawford Kid was a glittery rhinestone cowboy ready to show Vegas what a real Texas bettin’ man could do.

Stepping across the threshold, he paused for a few beats and cased the joint, unsure about where to go or what to do. Then, miraculously, a seat opened up at the ultra-high stakes blackjack table. This was the opportunity of a lifetime for the Kid and he swaggered up to the stool and climbed on like he was hopping into the saddle to break a wild mustang.

Problem is, the dealer was no fool, and he immediately spotted the Kid for what he was—a big-talking rube. All hat and no cattle. In his career Mr. dealer had seen scores of rich kids like George all drunk on money and power coming into the casino thinking they actually controlled the universe, when in reality it was the other way around.

King of the world on his leather throne, the Crawford Kid started playing. Of course, Mr. Dealer started playing as well; playing the rube like a violin. George won some of the first few hands and was ecstatic. “Look,” he said. “I know what I’m doing.” The posse cheered, blinded by the piles of chips next to the kid’s hand that they hoped he would share with them when it was over.

A few more winning hands emboldened the Kid. He wasn’t into card counting or theories of probability. George relied on his instincts, those gut feelings he had about when to hit or hold, and they were working beautifully. He started betting more with each hand.

Soon, the winning and losing started evening out. A more mature gambler might look at his stack of chips, see that he was comfortably ahead, and leave the table to play another day. But, as the dealer well new, Bush was not mature, and the cowBOY became agitated that he was losing hands.

After a few more losses, the Kid’s thinking went something like this: I’m bound to win one of the next few hands, so I’ll increase my bet even more to recoup what I've lost. This is a fatal mistake for gamblers and one of the reasons why the house always wins. The good dealer, like the matador toying with an increasingly angry bull, knows that the weak gambler eventually loses his ability to play rationally the more he goes in the hole.

The other players at the table sensed that the Kid was growing testier the faster his chips disappeared, and they quietly withdrew from the game. George didn’t understand why they were quitting when he knew for a certainty that things would start turning around for him any hand now. Even many in his entourage took their leave, which angered the Kid even more.

Now he was losing consistently. He blamed the dealer. He blamed his closest friends. He blamed the casino. But he never blamed himself. Nor did he stop playing. He kept betting and borrowing money from people, feverish with the need to win some hands and regain his money and his pride. The losing continued.

Finally the Kid was flat broke, but he wouldn’t leave the table. He became belligerent and threatening. There was discussion among management about how to handle the situation. They new George was from a wealthy, politically powerful family and were not enthusiastic about the publicity that would be generated by throwing him out. But soon complaints from other gamblers grew loud enough to spur the managers to action, and they finally tossed the Crawford Kid out of the casino.

The Kid works on a ranch now, clearing brush for a living. He is a bitter and angry man these days, and he blames that Vegas casino for all his troubles. If you’re around him, you’ll hear him muttering to himself, “One more hand.” “Just one more hand.”

Thursday, January 04, 2007

A new holiday from Glorious Leader

Washington, DC - In a Rose Garden ceremony today, President Bush and a number of cabinet members danced on the lawn and sang Christian hymns after declaring January 4, “Day of the Decider.”

In his brief speech before friends and family, Bush said the day would be a national holiday and would allow Americans to “…celebrate my presidency in prayer and joyful skits illustrating my many courageous moments as the ultimate decider.”

Reporters were asked to join the dance by the barefoot Secretary of State Rice. The FOX News team was the only group that chose to participate.

Most Democrats responded to the announcement with comments similar to those made by Senator Ted Kennedy: “He’s gone fucking nuts.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, “Impeachment is definitely back on the table, as is involuntary commitment.”