Thursday, October 30, 2008

Electoral Trick or Treaters

Friday night is Halloween and homeowners from coast to coast eagerly await the arrival of precious pint-sized trick or treaters. Except, of course, for adults in various swing states who may have to deal with these scary creatures at their door:

The Hockey Mom
She looks attractive in her $150,000 wardrobe but don’t be fooled. The Hockey Mom is one scary lady. With her lipstick-covered smile, she makes even a pit bull look like a pussycat. The Hockey Mom (also known as The Outsider or The Moose Hunter) can often be spotted trick or treating with Joe Six-Pack and his gang of average Americans.

Not Osama
His skin is dark and his name seems Middle Eastern but he sounds so very, very reasonable. He’s African; he’s American. But some say he’s not African-American. How can that be? Is he a terrorist or just a really nice guy from Illinois? Probably the latter but can voters really take the chance?

The Ancient Maverick
At first, you might think this character is a kindly, old gentleman. But as soon as he starts saying "My friends" over and over and calling himself a maverick, you know you’re in for a real scare. You can try pinning him down but just when you think you’ve got some straight talk, he’ll change his position once again.

Joe the Talker
Don’t be fooled by this pleasant, smooth-talking guy. He’ll ring your doorbell, offer his hand and give you a great, big smile. Seems like a hell of a nice guy. But if you look him in the eye and ask him even one simple question, you’re in for the scariest, non-stop, one-way conversation you’ve ever had. A word to the wise: Don’t ask him if he’s from Scranton.

The She Clinton
Some voters will still remember Halloween visits from a friendly guy named Bill Clinton. So when another Clinton comes calling, they may be in for a shock. The She Clinton is no warm and fuzzy "feel your pain" Halloween character. A full dose of her scary robotic laugh will send most voters screaming for the basement.

The Bushman of D. C.
Most trick or treaters travel in packs but not The Bushman of D. C. With poll numbers that would embarrass even the devil himself, it seems no one wants to go out on Halloween with this guy. The residents of Iraq, New Orleans and Middle America all agree on one thing: The Bushman is all trick and no treat.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Just Like Me

The 2008 Presidential campaign is more and more becoming a search for a candidate that voters can truly relate to. Ever since George W. Bush achieved victory by tapping into the American electorate’s desire for one of their own, candidates have tried to attain an ordinary-Joe kind of mediocrity. Most voters now seem to want "someone just like me."

"I don’t want some pointy-headed intellectual from Harvard," said Tyrone Buhler of Frankfort, Kentucky. "I want a leader who I can understand, someone who speaks my kind of language. There’s no need for all that fancy education. I’ve got my high school and that’s all I need in my President or Vice President. Once someone goes off to university and gets all them highfallutin ideas, they lose touch with what’s real."

"There’s way too much emphasis on foreign policy experience," said Norman Smith of Cupertino, California. "Heck, most of us have never been to all those foreign countries and we sure as heck haven’t met any foreign leaders and it hasn’t done us any harm. When it comes to dealing with foreigners, all it takes is the ability to speak English and some good old-fashioned common sense."

"All this talk about management experience and executive experience is highly overrated," said Evelyn Clough of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. "If you’ve run a household, raised kids or helped coach a hockey team, then you’re more qualified to run Washington than half of these jokers."

"I just don’t trust most of these politicians," said Warren Trout of Marietta, Georgia. "I want a regular guy like me that I can relate to. Someone who can hunt and fish, drink a fifth of Jack Daniels and then drive home in the middle of the night. That’s the leader for me."

"I reckon running a country is pretty much like running anything else," said Trout’s former wife Lurlene. "If you can run a general store or an exotic dance bar then you can deal with anything in government. I bet half of these candidates haven’t even cleaned a fish or field dressed a moose."

"I’m tired of all this complicated talk about options and plans and diplomacy," said Fred Packer of Roanoke, Virginia. "Someone attacks you, you nuke ‘em. Anything else is just a sign of weakness. A candidate who knows how to use a shotgun knows how to protect America."

"How come you need to travel everywhere?" said Sally Packer of Concord, New Hampshire. "I’ve been to Mexico twice on vacation and once we drove up to Canada for a weekend. I think that experience tells me all I need to know about the world. If you can speak Canadian or Mexican, I’m sure that would help if you’re President but I don’t think it’s necessary at all. After all, that’s why we’ve got all those foreign speakers in Washington to help the President out."

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Not So Fast

With the latest polling results showing Barack Obama leading by as many as ten points, it’s starting to look like a potential landslide victory for the Democratic candidate on November 4th. But, surprisingly, it appears that Obama is not that thrilled with this new trend.

Campaign insiders report that the Illinois senator is starting to get cold feet. Even before the events of last week, Obama was less and less enamored of taking on the top job in the nation. And now with the economy in free fall, four years in The White House is looking more like a jail sentence than a promotion.

"You know, maybe John McCain is right," mused Obama. "After all he’s way older than I am and must have lots more experience. Heck, the guy was born in the 30s so he probably even has some personal knowledge about the Great Depression and what you need to do to get out of another one."

Faced with a trillion dollar Wall Street bailout, a trillion dollar war in Iraq and giant liabilities from health care to social security, Obama is reconsidering his decision to try for the Oval Office. It’s not that he doesn’t enjoy campaigning and the huge adoring crowds, it’s just that he’s no longer that keen on actually winning.

Ordinarily, such uncertainty would give the opponent’s campaign a big boost. But that is definitely not the case in this election. In fact, John McCain himself is reportedly also having some second thoughts about his current job search.

"Who am I kidding?" said the Republican nominee. "I’m old. In fact, I’m really old. Most of my friends are either dead or retired. Why would I want all the stress of being President? It’s tough enough keeping track of my seven houses and thirteen vehicles without having to also remember where Spain is, how to use e-mail and what to do with the nuclear codes."

Informal talks between the two campaigns have apparently centered around a possible mutual withdrawal from this year’s election. Friday’s debate could feature an interesting joint announcement.

"We just don’t think it’s a good time to be President," said an anonymous campaign spokesman. "Frankly, given the present dire situation, I don’t think anyone wants the job any more, not even Hillary Clinton."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Washington Fire Sale

Hurry! Hurry! Hurry! Come on down to Crazy George’s today. He’s selling everything in the store at fire sale prices. In fact, he’s cut prices so low that he’s almost giving things away for free.

Overextended on your loans? Lacking enough capital to cover all those flimsy investments? Don’t worry. At Crazy George’s, we know that it’s not always easy to get credit. But if you’re still breathing and have the word "bank" or "insurance" in your name, we’ll lend you whatever you need, no questions asked.

While you’re here, be sure to check out Crazy George’s specials on subprime mortgages. Stuck with a bunch of mortgages with principals bigger than the value of the underlying properties? Can’t unload the bundled investment due to escalating interest rates? No problem. Crazy George will buy those investments at market value and pay you the difference.

And don’t forget Crazy George’s "Deal of the Week." This week, if you’re a bank stuck with a bunch of seemingly worthless derivatives, come on down to our nearest store and ask for the special "banker’s deal." We’ll pay you the market value of the derivatives so long as you just promise to pay us back when you can. It’s crazy but it’s true.

Remember that Crazy George’s is also the home of the permanent tax cut. If you’re making over $250,000 a year, you’ll get a tax cut so big it’ll make your head spin. And that’s not all that will spin. With all that extra dough, you’ll be able to buy that fancy sports car you’ve had your eye on and spin those wheels right out of the dealer’s lot.

Whatever you need in the way of financial instruments or investment rescue vehicles, we’re your one-stop shopping experience. Teetering on the brink of bankruptcy? Failing to meet your obligations? Need more liquidity?

Then come on down to Crazy George’s. Whether you’re a failing bank, a desperate insurance company or a shaky multinational, we’ve got everything you need to keep you afloat. At Crazy George’s the prices are so low, they’re INSANE!!!

(Consumers with net incomes under $250,000 need not apply.)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Dear Mr. Paulson

The Honorable Henry M. Paulson, Jr.
Secretary of the Treasury
Washington, D. C.

Dear Mr. Paulson:

I apologize for writing to you directly but I have been unable to obtain any measure of satisfaction from your subordinates.

As you may or may not be aware, I have fallen on financial hard times. I just lost my job and the bank is about to foreclose on our mortgage. Neither of these events is my fault. It appears to be just one of those things.

When I spoke to those in your employ, they provided little in the way of assistance or sympathy. In fact, some of them have gone so far as to suggest that my financial predicament is entirely of my own making.

I tried to remind these people that your department has been generous in providing assistance to others. In fact, if I’m not mistaken, subsidies have been given to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and someone with the initials A.I.G.

When I look at my own balance sheets, I submit that they compare favorably with anyone who has received a bailout. For example, although I put no money down on our house purchase and was well aware that there was an escalator clause governing the interest rate, I had no way of knowing that the real estate market would go down. As my realtor often said: "Real estate is a great investment."

As for our financial position, again, I feel that we were as diligent as Freddie and Fannie if not more so. In fact, when I crunch the numbers, we were only leveraged at a ratio of 30:1 which compares favorably to their 60:1 ratio. Thus, it makes sense that if you’re going to rescue Freddie and Fannie that you’d want to rescue us, too.

My employment status is now obviously uncertain. I’m not complaining, mind you. I had a good run for seven years although not quite the run that those employed at various financial institutions had.

If I had been receiving annual bonuses of five to ten times my salary over that period, I doubt that I would even be writing to you. But, sadly, my employer was either unaware of such bonus mechanisms or, if so, was apparently unwilling to implement them.

Please consider this a request for financial assistance not to exceed two million dollars. Given the generous sums provided to others, I consider our request to be modest. In the event that you cannot approve this figure, we could likely manage with half that amount, at least for the short term. All we would ask is that you not use our income taxes to pay for the other bailouts. Somehow that just doesn’t seem fair.

Thanks for considering my letter and I look forward to receiving my share of the public largesse.

Equitably yours,

John Q. Public

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New Debate Options

So far, American voters have suffered through two debates between Barack Obama and John McCain. The first was the standard two podiums-one moderator debate and the second used a so-called Town Hall format. But regardless of the format, both were God-awful, boring affairs.

Which brings me to a modest suggestion for Wednesday’s third and final debate. Rather than revert to the standard format, why not change it entirely and liven up the proceedings? For example, it’s not too late to adopt one of the following structures:

No-holds barred format
Last Tuesday’s debate with John McCain wandering the platform gave an inkling of what might have been if this format had been chosen. Two candidates, two chairs, one microphone and no rules. As one candidate speaks, the other can circle the stage and do all in his power to confuse him. Catcalls, insults, hand gestures, funny faces. Nothing would be off-limits. The only rule? So long as you hold the microphone, the stage is yours.

Washington Cage Match
Madison Square Garden could be the site for the first Presidential cage match. Stripped down to their shorts, both candidates are free to use whatever rhetorical or physical moves they wish. All dirty tricks are allowed including wrestling choke holds, platform mis-characterizations and outright lies and falsehoods. Points would be won by take-downs and put-downs.

Debate Demolition Derby
Two worn out stock cars with two worn out candidates in a dirt-filled oval will make for one heck of an exciting debate. No more words; just well-aimed crashes at the other guy’s banged-up vehicle. The winner is the one with the still-moving car. The prize? Fifteen minutes of prime-time television to the winner to present his platform to the American viewing public. At that point, however, no one is obliged to keep watching.

Rock, paper, scissors
A moderator introduces a series of domestic and foreign policy topics. For each topic, the two candidates go one-on-one for a best-two-out-of-three games of rock, paper, scissors. At the end of the evening, the points are tallied and the winner declared.

Boxing match
Viewers and pundits who have been waiting years to see a debate "knock-out punch" may now get their way. Both candidates are suited up in silk boxing shorts and ten-ounce gloves in what will no doubt be dubbed "The Thrilla and Vanilla." McCain and Obama will literally go toe-to-toe for a twelve-round championship match. Make no mistake; this will be one debate format with a guaranteed winner.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Future Attack Ads

Republican ad: "Santa’s Pal"

VOICEOVER: "Barack Obama says he’s the candidate of change. Barack Obama says he’s the candidate of hope. But what Barack Obama really hopes is that you won’t notice that he hasn’t changed at all. Obama hasn’t been very careful about who he associates with including Rev. Wright and convicted felons like William Ayers and Tony Rezko. But there’s another associate of Obama’s who is even more dangerous."

Overhead shot follows man in red suit guiding reindeer-led sleigh into the night sky.

VOICEOVER: "That man is Santa Claus and Barack Obama is a known associate and fellow traveller. Just listen to this secret recording of Obama at a recent Democratic fundraiser at an undisclosed location."

RECORDING: (voice of Obama) "Sure, I believed in Santa Claus. In fact, in a way, I still kind of do. He symbolizes to me a spirit of caring and compassion and a noble sense of sharing with others. I guess I’ll always believe in Santa."

VOICEOVER: "Is that who Americans want as their next President, a known supporter of a red-suited, child-exploiting socialist? A partisan of someone who distributes free gifts to everyone? John McCain doesn’t believe in Santa Claus. John McCain believes that you work hard and get what you deserve. John McCain believes in America."

JOHN MCCAIN: "I’m John McCain and I approve this message."

Democratic ad: "The Old Man"

VOICEOVER: "John McCain says he’s ready to be President of the United States. John McCain says he’s healthy and mentally able. He says he’s never been more fit. But who are you going to believe, John McCain or the American Medical Association?"

DOCTOR: "Once you reach seventy years of age, many of your basic faculties start to decline sharply. First the short-term memory fades and then even long-term recollections are difficult to retrieve. Cognitive abilities drop off at an alarming rate."

VOICEOVER: "Is that who you want leading our country? Someone who loses the nuclear suitcase and can’t remember the codes? Someone who can’t even remember who Osama bin Laden is, much less move fast enough to catch him?"

DOCTOR: "Once a person reaches seventy, family members should be alert to signs that the person’s mental and physical abilities are declining. It may be necessary to take away the person’s driver’s license and, as the years advance, provide for 24-7 nursing care."

Camera shot shows white-haired, wheelchair-bound person who resembles McCain from behind looking out the window in the Oval Office.

VOICEOVER: "On August 29th, John McCain will turn 72. Would you want your 72-year old grandfather in The White House? Vote for Barack Obama. He just turned 47. He won’t forget about America."

BARACK OBAMA: "I’m Barack Obama and I approve this message."

Political Animal Stories

Barack Obama was recently in hot water over what he thought was a harmless animal analogy. But by likening John McCain’s Bush-like positions to putting lipstick on a pig, he incurred the wrath of Republicans who claimed it was a sexist sleight against McCain’s running mate, Sarah Palin, the self-described lipstick-wearing, Rottweiler-like hockey mom.

The Obama camp is up in arms about the Republican charges and is accusing the McCain camp of engaging in dirty tricks and avoiding the real issues in the campaign. But if Obama’s people had done a bit of research, they would have known that the use of animal analogies in politics is fraught with peril as evidenced by these examples:

John Kerry - October 15, 2004
"My opponent’s positions are more of the same. You can apply copious amounts of makeup products on a porcine creature but that creature will still be porcine in nature."

Richard Nixon - November 30, 1973
"You can lead a political operative to the Watergate Hotel but you can’t make the operative avoid screwing up what should be a routine break-in."

George W. Bush - September 8, 2003
"A war in Afghanistan is worth two in Iraq."

Al Gore - December 15, 2000
"Don’t count your hanging chads until you’ve hatched an appropriate judicial strategy."

Bill Clinton - March 3, 2006
"Even a fishy president wouldn’t get caught if his intern kept her mouth shut."

John McCain - March 31, 2000
"Every dog has his day."

Mitt Romney - June 18, 2008
"It does no good to beat a dead campaign."

Dick Cheney - January 4, 2004
"The early bird captures the oil."

Donald Rumsfeld - October 8, 2005
"When the cat is away, the military mice will play."

Jimmy Carter - September 15, 1980
"The sun doesn’t shine on the same dog’s back every day."

Ronald Reagan - November 22, 1985
"He who plays with a Nicaraguan cat must expect to be scratched."

John Edwards - August 31, 2008
"He who falls in puppy love leads a dog’s life."

Colin Powell - July 23, 2004
"If you lie down with dogs, you’ll end up with fleas."

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Poetry of Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin is a truly remarkable woman. Notwithstanding her many accomplishments, however, some small-minded critics have suggested that she is an unsophisticated rube and an anti-intellectual. But nothing could be further from the truth as evidenced by the Governor’s recent attempts at modern abstract poetry:

Blink - September 13, 2008
I ------- I answered him yes,
because I have the confidence in that readiness.
And knowing that you can’t blink,
you have to be wired in a way of being so committed,
to the mission, to the mission that we’re on.
Reform of this country and victory in the war.
You can’t blink. So I didn’t blink then,
even when asked to run.

The Be All, End All - October 3, 2008
Nuclear weaponry, of course,
would be the be all, end all
of just too many people
in too many parts of our planet,
so those dangerous regimes, again,
cannot be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons,

My Alaska - September 25, 2008
That Alaska has
a very narrow maritime border
between a foreign country, Russia,
and, on our other side, the land-boundary
that we have with Canada.
It's funny that a comment like that
was kinda made to …… I don't know,
you know …… reporters.

Putin’s Head - September 25, 2008
It’s very important when you consider
even national security issues
with Russia
as Putin rears his head
and comes into the air space of the United States of America,
where ------- where do they go?
It’s Alaska.
It’s just right over the border.

Never Again - October 3, 2008
One thing that Americans do
at this time, also, though,
is let's commit ourselves
just everyday American people,
Joe Six-pack, hockey moms across the nation,
I think we need to band together and say never again.

The Middle Class of America - October 3, 2008
Now you said recently
that higher taxes
or asking for higher taxes
or paying higher taxes is patriotic.
In the middle class of America
which is where Todd and I have been
all of our lives,
that's not patriotic.
Patriotic is saying, government, you know,
you're not always the solution.
In fact, too often you're the problem.

Hey, Joe - October 3, 2008
Hey, can I call you Joe?
Say it ain't so, Joe,
there you go again
pointing backwards again
Now doggone it, let's look ahead

The Maverick - October 3, 2008
He has been the maverick.
He has ruffled feathers.
I think that's why we need
to send the maverick from the Senate
and put him in the White House.

Friday, October 10, 2008


TO: All Members
FROM: The Senior Executive Committee of NASCAH
(The National Association of Satirists, Cartoonists and Humorists)
RE: 2008 Election

This is an urgent appeal to all members of NASCAH to do whatever you can to assist in the election of the McCain-Palin ticket on November 4th.

For those members who may be unaware of the seriousness of the current situation, please be advised that George W. Bush will NOT, we repeat NOT, be serving as President for a third term. The easy satirical times that we have enjoyed for the past eight years may therefore be quickly coming to an end.

It appears that many of you did not consider the immediate effect Mr. Bush’s departure would have on your livelihood. Some of you assumed that despite the brief electoral scare in 2004, the good times would last forever and the satirical well would never run dry.

Luckily, we on the Senior Executive Committee have lived through several political humor cycles and are cognizant of the ups and downs in satirical material that can occur. For example, those of us who feasted on Dan Quayle in the late 80s and early 90s know what it is like to ride a bull humor market only to see it nosedive into a not-so-funny humor recession.

For those who suffered through the early Clinton years, you are well aware what can happen to our industry during a lean, markedly unfunny period. Mockable items are dramatically down, foibles and peccadillos can hit all-time lows and scandals are few and far between. Luckily for those who survived that era, it turned out that good times were just around the corner. As you’ll recall, our members were eventually blessed with a lampoonable trifecta in the form of Whitewater, Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky.

Although it must seem to our younger members that the current satirical bull market will never end, it can. That is why we are asking you to support John McCain and Sarah Palin in this year’s election.

It doesn’t take a genius to know that an Obama-Biden victory would be disastrous for the humor market in general and comedic futures in particular. Two intelligent, articulate officeholders in The White House would surely spell disaster for our organization and quickly lead not just to a satirical recession, but possibly to a political humor depression like that of the 1930s under Franklin Roosevelt.

That is why we must marshal our forces against Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Tempting as it may be to continue to satirize John McCain and Sarah Palin, you must resist for the short term. If you can hold off for just a few short weeks and help elect the Republicans, we can enjoy at least four more (and possibly eight more!) profitable years.

If you want to guarantee a future replete with mavericks, hockey moms, Joe Six-packs, fractured syntax and old geezer jokes, please join us in supporting McCain-Palin. As Sarah Palin herself might say: "Doggone it, it’s the right thing to do."

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Joe Six-pack

Since the Vice Presidential debate, millions of Americans have decided to speak out. First up among those choosing to voice their opinion are the nation’s hockey moms.

"Yeah, it was cute at first," said Louise Elliot, current President of Hockey Moms of America. "But after the fiftieth time hearing that Sarah Palin is standing up for us, I just couldn’t take it anymore."

Miffed at the comparison made between hockey moms and pit bulls, the ice hockey-loving matriarchs have apparently had enough of Sarah Palin’s antics.

"Frankly, I’m embarrassed to be associated with the Alaskan governor," said Ms. Elliot. "After all, unlike Ms. Palin, many of us know who the leader of U. S. forces in Afghanistan is and most of us have a far more nuanced policy position on the Middle East than her."

But hockey moms weren’t the only demographic ticked off at Sarah Palin’s exploitation of them. Many self-identified Joe Six-Packs have also decided to publicly disassociate themselves from her.

"It’s tough enough to make a go of things as a beer-loving American male," said Bob ‘Rooster’ Cockburn. "Without Sarah Palin claiming that she knows what’s best for us."

The Alaskan governor’s celebrated gun-toting, moose-shooting ways were initially embraced by many Joe Six-Packs. But her continued references to those of the beer-drinking persuasion have alienated even the most dedicated fans of the hops.

"I was on her side right up until the debate," said Mr. Cockburn. "But when she failed to itemize budgetary line-items that she and John McCain would forego given the current economic crisis, frankly, I was disappointed. I don’t expect her to be fully conversant with all the workings of the Office of Management and Budget but we feel that she should have at least a rudimentary knowledge of the functioning of the financial bureaucracy."

Self-described cattle rustlers were also reticent about giving their support to the Republican Vice Presidential nominee.

"It used to be that the term ‘maverick’ meant something in this country," said longtime renegade cowboy Bart Bryson. "But thanks to Sarah Palin, I don’t know what it means anymore. Frankly, I’m now ashamed to call myself a maverick."

Not long ago, the word maverick labelled someone as an independent-minded, free-thinking rebel. But now mavericks have become the laughingstock of the nation.

"After these two lockstep-thinking politicos claimed the moniker," said Mr. Bryson. "The term ‘maverick’ lost all respect. Next to calling someone a ‘liberal’, I can’t think of a worse insult."
Finally, the League of Average Americans has come out squarely against Sarah Palin’s candidacy.

"Sure, it was initially flattering that John McCain chose one of us to be his running mate," said League President Marcia Moore. "But the more we thought about it, the more we couldn’t support this crazy idea. What’s next? Paris Hilton for Secretary of State?"

No word yet from the residents of Main Street and Middle America or the members of the National Association of Lovers of Winks, Folksiness and Facile Expressions.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Setting Palin Straight

Sarah Palin’s been getting a rough ride lately. After her cringe-worthy interviews with Charlie Gibson of ABC and CBS’s Katie Couric, some people are beginning to question her suitability for the nation’s second highest office.

The problem, however, is not with Sarah Palin’s answers from those interviews. The problem is aligning those answers with the right questions. Here’s how things might have gone if her previous answers to Gibson and Couric were used at the proper time in reply to appropriately-worded questions:

What is the nature of Alaska’s relationship with Iceland?
We have trade missions back and forth.

Those are lovely glasses you’re wearing. Do they help your eyesight or are they just decorative?
I am....I am up to the task, of course, of focusing on the challenges that face America.

We’ve heard great things about Alaska smoked salmon. Where can we get some?
I’ll try to find you some and I’ll bring them to you.

What words do you expect to hear your daughter Bristol say to her young groom at their upcoming wedding?
I do, Charlie.

If Israel had to issue security notes to assist its economy, how would you react to that?
I don’t think we can second guess what Israel has to do to secure its nation.

When President Bush instructs American troops to help rebuild hurricane-damaged churches abroad, how do you view that action?
Our national leaders are sending U. S. soldiers on a task that is from God.

As Governor of Alaska, what have you done to promote tourism given that Russia is so close?
They’re our next-door neighbors and you actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.

If Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin were to head east, where would he likely end up?
It’s very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where ------- where do they go? It’s Alaska. It’s just right over the border.

I understand that you are quite the accomplished modern poet. Could you give us an example of your stream-of-consciousness poetry, possibly something from your recent work entitled "Blink"?
I ------- I answered him yes,
because I have the confidence in that readiness.
And knowing that you can’t blink,
you have to be wired in a way of being so committed,
to the mission, the mission that we’re on.
Reform of this country and victory in the war.
You can’t blink.
So I didn’t blink then,
even when asked to run.

In retrospect, what should have been your response when offered the vice presidential slot on the Republican ticket?
As when Congress offered us that Bridge to Nowhere: "Thanks, but no thanks."

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Bankers' Relief Fund

A recent televised charitable appeal on behalf of The Bankers’ Relief Fund:

Scott has to fly business class. He no longer has access to a corporate jet. Gone are the days when he was picked up at home by a chauffeur-driven limousine. Now he’s forced to drive himself to work in a two-year old Lexus. Lunch is in a two-star restaurant only and not on the company expense account.

Scott is just one of the hundreds of victims of the latest banking crisis. Once a noble Wall St. banker who tirelessly helped to provide residential mortgages to those who couldn’t afford them, now Scott himself has to try to cope with less, much less.

Unlike you and me, corporate bankers can’t put aside money for a rainy day. They have to keep up appearances. And that means millions spent on everything from suburban mansions to downtown condos to country getaways. Not to mention expensive vehicles and mandatory made-to-measure suits.

Some unfortunate bankers have already fallen on hard times. Stories abound of financial executives being forced to exercise long-held stock options. In a few tragic cases, some sadly had to go so far as to dip into family trust funds.

So please look into your heart and give what you can to help Scott and those like him. Whether it’s a million, a hundred thousand or even just ten thousand dollars, whatever you can afford to give will help.

For example, for a donation of only a thousand dollars a week, you’ll be able to ensure that Scott’s children can still attend private school. Two thousand a week lets Scott and his family continue to vacation in southern France rather than be forced to rent a cottage on the Maine coast.

Time is running out for Scott and his hard-hit colleagues. Seven-figure severance packages and annual, six-figure bonuses only go so far. Having to defer that new car purchase an extra year or switching from Russian caviar to domestic can be hard on any family.

So please act now and give generously to The Bankers’ Relief Fund. Remember, the banker you save may be your own.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Nightmare On Elm Street

The events of the last few weeks have centered the nation’s attention on America’s two favorite streets: Wall Street and Main Street. But what of the hundreds of other deserving thoroughfares? How are they coping with the current financial crisis?

Reached at his home in suburbia, Elm Street expressed both dismay and anger. "It’s been a real nightmare," said the horrified avenue. "All I hear is Wall Street, Main Street, Wall Street, Main Street. You know, I have my needs as well."

Elm’s friends were also perturbed by all the economic upheaval. Oak, Maple, Birch, Pine, Spruce and Cedar Streets could not be reached for comment but they have reportedly put aside their longstanding deciduous-coniferous rivalry to fight the Wall Street-Main Street alliance.

Perhaps the roadway hardest hit by recent events is Easy Street. "Sure, everyone thinks I’ve got it made," said the once-prosperous byway. "But now that all those fat cat bankers are out of work, people are moving out like crazy."

Lost in all the hubbub about Wall Street is the effect the downturn has had on Market Street. "Yes, it’s true, I don’t have all those big fancy highrise towers," said the downtown thoroughfare. "But with all my vendors and retail storefronts, I’m just as important to the economy. But no one seems to care about me."

Despite the devastating effects of the financial turmoil on most, one roadway seems to be almost completely unaffected. Contacted earlier today, Tin Pan Alley couldn’t have been happier.

"Whatever the state of the economy, people gotta sing," said the song writing street. "In fact, when times are bad, that’s when things look up for me. Think of all those fabulous ditties that came out of the Great Depression."

Some avenues are unsure about how the financial troubles will affect them. Electric Avenue, for one, is a little shaky.

"At first blush, I didn’t think this mess would change me," said the brightly lit boulevard. "But the more I think of it, the more I worry. If the price of oil goes up then the price of electricity goes up and then there’s a risk I go dark and lose my boogaloo."

Penny Lane, too, is on shaky ground. "All this talk of recession gets to me," said Ms. Lane. "It’s in my ears and in my eyes. I get so upset, I sometimes even forget about my blue suburban skies."

For some highways and byways, the banking crisis will make little, if any, difference. "Man, it just doesn’t matter," said Desolation Row. "I’ve been down so long it looks like up to me."
"Let’s face it; if it wasn’t for bad luck," said Mr. Row. "I wouldn’t have no luck at all."

Thursday, October 02, 2008


It’s official. George W. Bush will be President for at least four more years.

Vice President and Master of the Universe Dick Cheney has once again used his Machiavellian skills to continue his understudy’s plutocratic reign. And all it took was four hours in The White House elevator.

Cheney cleverly precipitated the latest financial crisis by shooting one of the Lehman brothers in the face and accusing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac of incestuously mixing their derivative portfolios. After that, the rest was easy.

As the markets nosedived and the financial sector teetered on the brink of collapse, all President Bush had to do was invite John McCain and Barack Obama to The White House for an urgent conference. Like flies to honey, the two presidential wannabes headed straight to Washington.

Once there, the expected meeting did, in fact, take place. However, in the eyes of most, it was nothing more than a glorified photo op. But the real action occurred after the meeting.

Once Bush adjourned the meeting, Cheney escorted both Obama and McCain out of the room and onto the elevator. What should have been a thirty-second ride turned into a four-hour nightmare for the unsuspecting senators.

"It was horrible," Obama said afterwards from his hospital bed. "He pushed the emergency stop button and he pulled a shotgun on us."

"That’s right," said McCain from the adjoining bed. "I thought he was going to kill us both."

"He just looked at us," said Obama. "And smiled that crazy bent smile of his. I didn’t think we’d make it out alive."

"I’ve never been so scared in my life," said McCain. "And I did five-and-a-half years in a North Vietnamese prison."

Both candidates have withdrawn from the race but neither will give a specific reason. All that either man will say is that his decision was completely voluntary and absolutely, positively had nothing to do with Dick Cheney.

In order to avoid a Constitutional crisis, the Supreme Court has approved a Congressional plan to extend George W. Bush’s presidency another four years.

"I’m not sure that what we did is exactly kosher," said Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. "But after spending eight hours in a Finnish sauna with the rest of the Court and Dick Cheney, I’d have voted for practically anything."

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Two Debates In One

On Thursday night, Canadian voters will be conflicted. Not only will they have the opportunity to watch the English language leaders’ debate, they can also view the U. S. Vice Presidential debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin. Chances are that some viewers are going to be switching back and forth between the two debates which may result in interesting exchanges like these:

Steve Paikin (Canadian moderator): "How do you see Canada’s place in today’s world?"

Stephen Harper: "I see Canada playing a vital role in providing military support in America’s War on Terror."

St├ęphane Dion: "I can see Canada being careful to set its own international course."


Sarah Palin: "I can see Canada from my house."

Joe Biden: "We Democrats believe that NAFTA must be renegotiated to ensure fair trade as well as free trade."

Sarah Palin: "As I said, I can see Canada from my house but not Mexico."


Jack Layton: "And that is how, by working with our neighbours, we can ensure that our economy will grow and that neighbours will continue to be spelled with a ‘u’."

Stephen Harper: "That is the type of narrowminded Marxist thinking that will keep Canada stuck in the past."


Sarah Palin: "Thank you for that question. I’m not sure what you mean when you call Cuba a Marxist state. As far as I know, the Marx brothers always performed in English and thus I would be surprised if either Fidel Castro or his brother Raul are big fans."

Joe Biden: "I think the question relates to Cuba’s political philosophy. And if you go back to the Cuban Revolution in 1959, Fidel Castro immediately went on the Internet and proclaimed his support for all Marx brothers including, I believe, Groucho and Karl."

Gwen Ifill (U. S. moderator): "Changing pace a bit, what would you do to deal with global warming?"


Gilles Duceppe: "The Bloc Quebecois will look at every issue from a Quebec perspective. If it’s good for Quebec, then we will support it."


Sarah Palin: "I can also see Russia from my house and it’s pretty darn cold in Russia. I don’t think it’s that warm there at all."


Elizabeth May: "And that’s why the Green Party supports not only a carbon tax but also a green shift, a blue shift and whatever other shift is required."


Joe Biden: "Even back in 1929, Democrats were concerned about global warming. I remember seeing Franklin Roosevelt on TV telling the American people that we needed new agencies to deal with the problem like the NRA, the CO2 and the H2O. That’s the kind of bold thinking we need today."


Steve Paikin: "Do you have any words of encouragement for the Canadian people during these troubled economic times?"


Joe Biden: "I would ensure that every American continues to have the right to have as many firearms as he or she wants."

Sarah Palin: "As I said, I can see Canada from my house and I have a shotgun. Did I mention that I can field dress what I kill?"