Tuesday, April 28, 2009

John McCain, the first hundred days

January 20
Watch on TV as that young punk Obama gets sworn in. They call me senile but he can’t even get the oath right. Throw my glass of Metamucil at the screen.

January 26
Al Gore called again wanting to commiserate over election loss. Boy, I sure hope I’m not that bitter eight years from now. Ask Cindy to order caller ID for our phone.

February 14
Place a call to Sarah Palin to wish her Happy Valentine’s Day. Figure that’s the least I can do for all her hard work on my campaign. Get recorded message asking for donations for Palin for President in 2012 and saying that the next Republican campaign will be run right. Bitch.

February 23
Cindy issues ultimatum: either I stop moping around the house in bathrobe all day or she’ll cut off my weekly allowance. Her words hit me like a cold splash of water. Stop watching C-SPAN in hopes of finding ongoing election recounts.

March 13
John Kerry calls to provide emotional support but instead gives thirty-minute monologue on why he should have won in 2004. Afterwards, give Cindy hell for not ordering caller ID yet.

March 23
Bored silly. To pass time, make prank call to Queen Elizabeth and ask if she’s got Prince Charles in a can. When she replies curtly "Who is this?", I tell her she better let him out and quickly hang up. Consider calling back and asking for Harry Butz.

March 30
Return home to find message from President Obama on my voicemail asking for my support in getting passage of his legislative agenda. Feel energized and ready to dive into the political fray once more until I hear the message ending with: "Thank you, Joe; I know I can always count on your support."

April 1
Cindy brings me my morning copy of The Washington Post. Delighted to see front page story suggesting two-thirds of voters would now choose me over Obama. About to call RNC headquarters to explore possible 2012 run when Cindy yells: "April Fool’s!" and informs me she downloaded mock front page from the Internet. We share a laugh and I retire to my room to cry.

April 10
Thank God for caller ID. George Bush called but no way I was going to talk to that bozo. He left a message inviting me to Dallas and saying he hoped there were no hard feelings. Idiot.

April 20
Days turn into weeks; weeks turn into months. Cindy shows me how to access e-mail and "surf the Web" but I’m already tired of visiting the AARP site. On the bright side, I seem to be catching on to Minesweeper and Bookworm.

April 30
Start phoning potential 2012 presidential candidates to see if they’d like my advice and support. No one answers. Cindy says everyone has caller ID these days. Darn.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Advice From Barney


TO: Bo, the Portuguese Water Dog
The First Puppy

FROM: Barney, the Scottish Terrier
Former First Dog

Congratulations, kid, on your selection as the First Pup. Well done. I think you’re going to enjoy your four-year stint in The White House. Who knows? It might even be an eight-year stay. Believe me; if my boss can get reelected, anyone can!

First things first. Don’t let them stick you in the basement. It’s cold down there and not at all comfortable. Remember, you’re the First Dog. So check out the whole building and find a spot that YOU like. Might I recommend either the Green Room or the Lincoln Bedroom. Just don’t pee on the carpet. That really seems to tick everybody off.

Now you’re going to have a lot of humans trying to lead you around and tell you what to do. But unless it’s the President or the First Lady giving you orders, you can pretty much tell them to take a hike. If any of those Secret Service guys get a little too pushy, a bite or two on the ankle will let them know who’s boss, if you get my drift.

I’m sure your nose has already helped you discover where the White House kitchen is. If you’re like me, you’ll be spending a lot of time there begging for scraps. Thanks to all the banquets they have, the pickings are prime. One small word of advice. If they’re entertaining the Premier of China or the Prime Minister of South Korea, best to make yourself scarce unless you want to end up on the menu.

I see you’re going to belong to the president’s daughters Malia and Sasha. It’s great to have kids to play with and all. But if you really want to secure your place in the White House hierarchy, best to spend some time in the Oval Office with the president. After all, he’s the alpha male and if you’re in tight with him, you’ll be on easy street.

When I was First Dog, I always found that the big boss appreciated it if I did some of his dirty work for him. Like the time that French president came to visit and I peed on his leg. My owner shook his finger at me and said "Bad dog!" over and over. But we both knew that was just an act. After the French guy left, I got sirloin steak every day for the next two weeks.

One word of caution. That football-shaped thing that the president is always carting around with him? Well, it’s not really a football. Don’t make the mistake I made and go running off with it thinking your owner wants to play catch. I’m not sure what’s inside that thing but the bullet scar on my left ear still reminds me that it’s not worth finding out. Trust me, kid, stick to playing with a frisbee.

So here’s hoping you have a great time in The White House. It really is a lot of fun. One final word of advice. Steer clear of the Vice President’s office unless that scary guy Cheney is gone.
(for more Portuguese Water Dog-related humor, check out www.livingwithoreo.blogspot.com)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Ronnie Reagan Redux

Harry Stonebraker was re-elected mayor of the small northeastern Missouri town of Winfield on Tuesday - about a month after his death....."I figured he'd win because he seemed to get even more popular after he died, just like Carnahan," [Lincoln County Clerk Elaine] Luck said.

- Associated Press - April 7. 2009


TO: All Republican Party members

FROM: Michael Steele
Republican National Committee

RE: Next presidential candidate

I’m sure everyone knows that Missouri is the "Show-Me" state. And I don’t think we’re going to need a third example from Missourians to educate us about the future of the Republican Party.

As you’ll probably recall, Missouri Democrat Mel Carnahan won the 2000 Senate race despite having died in a plane crash weeks before the election. Now Missouri Mayor Harry Stonebraker has pulled off the same spectacular feat albeit at a somewhat lower electoral level.

Nevertheless, I think the good people of Missouri are trying to tell us something, namely that if you’ve got a popular incumbent, don’t let something as trivial as death get in the way of a surefire electoral win. The message is clear: popularity trumps viability.

Given our party’s current moribund condition, I think it behooves us to start thinking outside the box or, in this particular case, perhaps inside the box. Let’s face it; we’ve got a pretty weak lineup of potential candidates for The White House in 2012. Even with the economy tanking and two wars still raging, I don’t think we’re going to get too far with a nominee like Sarah Palin, Bobby Jindal or Rush Limbaugh.

Now some of you are probably saying to yourselves: "Michael’s right; let’s get George W. Bush to run again." Right idea; wrong guy. Despite being out of office almost three months, he’s still about as popular as ants at a picnic.

But you know which Republican still is popular? Ronald Reagan, that’s who. Yes, I know he’s dead. But Missouri has shown us that death is not necessarily a game stopper when it comes to elections.

So let’s give this proposal some serious consideration. After all, what have we got to lose? Let’s look at the advantages of a Reagan candidacy in 2012.

We can do away with a lengthy and expensive primary campaign. We won’t have to worry about dividing the party. Heck, we may even be able to use all those old campaign posters and buttons from the 1980s, especially if George Bush, Sr. agrees to be the Vice Presidential candidate again.

Frankly, I don’t see a downside to this proposal. Thanks to Reagan’s deceased status, we don’t have to fret about such things as the candidate’s personal appearance. Nor do we have to be concerned about a platform, debate preparation or campaign screw-ups. That’s one thing about the dead; they seldom misspeak.

I’m sure some of you are worried that this plan could easily be derailed by the 22nd Amendment that limits a sitting president to two terms. Not to worry. I’ve had our lawyers check into this and, according to them, it only applies to living individuals.

So, what do you say? Let’s bring back the Gipper. Not literally, of course. But I guarantee you if we put him back on the ballot, it’ll be morning in America once again.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Abraham Obama

It seems that those who tried to draw parallels between Barack Obama and Abraham Lincoln may have got their wish. Both were Illinois politicians who won the presidency. Both took office in the midst of a huge national crisis. And Obama even used Lincoln’s Bible when taking the oath of office.

But now the comparisons may be complete with the latest news out of West Palm Beach, Florida. It turns out that the much-used "red state-blue state" national divide was more than just a handy political metaphor. Right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh has apparently led a revolt that has launched America’s second civil war.

Calling on all red states to join the new Confederacy of Conservative States of America, Limbaugh pointed to recent decisions by Barack Obama that have irremediably divided the nation. Blaming the ills of America on the socialist maneuverings of the Democrats, the rotund conservative urged all "right-thinking" and "right-leaning" Americans to join the CCSA.

"I simply can no longer abide the liberal nonsense coming out of places like Los Angeles and New York," said Limbaugh. "If those east coast and west coast crazies want to destroy the nation, they’re not going to take us down with them."

Within days, red states from Montana to Georgia declared their independence and quickly joined the new confederacy. Just about every state from the Rockies to the Gulf of Mexico has joined up and others are threatening to do likewise.

President Obama has placed National Guard troops on alert all along the red state-blue state border which has quickly become known as the Olbermann-Hannity Line. As most of America’s arsenal is owned by breakaway conservatives, The White House is reportedly under siege and could fall into rebel hands at any time.

The United States is quickly becoming unravelled. Those few remaining liberals in states like Texas and South Carolina are fleeing for northern destinations. Likewise, the handful of conservative residents of states such as Oregon and Massachusetts are already on the highways headed for points south.

President Obama addressed what is left of the United States and urged citizens to remain calm. "A house divided against itself cannot stand," said Obama. "And those conservatives are just downright crazy."

"Who you calling crazy?" said an incensed CCSA President Limbaugh. "Those Yankee liberals are going to destroy what’s left of America. Real Americans will join with us to create a new land of freedom, opportunity and opportunistic freedom."

As sporadic fighting broke out along the Ohio River and the Minnesota-North Dakota border, it became clear that a full-blown civil war was imminent.

"Well, it’s not the worst thing that could happen," said President Obama. "At least now no one will be bitching about Iraq and the economy."

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Bjork Bails Out Iceland

Noted Icelandic warbler Björk has now become famous for something more than her singing after bailing out her homeland. Having become the world’s first nation to effectively declare bankruptcy, Iceland now can thank their most famous citizen for saving it from complete annihilation.

"We are eternally grateful to Björk for saving our herring, so to speak," said recently appointed lesbian Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir. "I don’t know where we’d be without her."
For her part, the once-be-swanned crooner said she was happy to help her native land escape what appeared to be a trustee sale to the highest international bidder.

"I love my country too much to allow it to fall into foreign hands," said the plaintive songstress. "Especially after I heard that Donald Trump had put in a bid."

The isolated island nation previously known only for fish and geothermal heating had enjoyed a five-year ride as a high-risk player in the field of international finance. But all that success came crashing down in the wake of the current world recession.

Former President Olafur Ragnar Grímsson stated that there was plenty of blame to go around for Iceland’s spectacular failure.

"I think part of it had to do with bad timing and irrational exuberance," said Grímsson. "But you can’t discount the fact that maybe herring fisherman becoming bankers might have played a part."

Whatever the reason, Iceland is now surprisingly poised to make a comeback. thanks to the generosity of Björk.

"I would have liked to have helped," said Iceland’s first billionaire Björgólfur Thor Björgólfsson. "But my money went the way of the dodo. So I’m glad that Björk was able to step in."

Former editor Gunnar Smári Egilsson and history professor Gudmunder Hálfdánarson agree that Björk’s bailout was a Hail Mary move that saved the day.

"She’s a saint," said Egilsson. "That’s right," concurred Hálfdánarson. "Let’s face it; she was our last fungible resource."

Given Björk’s amazing resurrection of Iceland, President Barack Obama has made some tentative enquiries to see if the Nordic warbler could work her magic on the United States.

"I’m sure she’d love to help if she could," said grocery store magnate Jön Asgeir Jóhannesson. "But as far as I know, she can only work miracles for people with normal names that have at least three S’s, two accents and one umlaut."

No word yet on whether Björk will be able to bail out Denmark, Russia or Turkey.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Secretary O

In a surprising turn of events, President Obama today announced the expansion of his Cabinet to include a whole new raft of Secretary-level appointments.

First up was the appointment of Al Gore to the new position of King of Global Warming and Gaseous Emissions. "I just thought he was the right man for the job," said Obama. "After all, who better than Al to talk about hot air?"

Also new to the Cabinet table is Dick Cheney who will become America’s first Lord of the Dark Side. "I don’t know about you," said the President. "But when it comes to deceit, torture and the dark arts, I want the best and Dick is definitely at the top of his game."

On the financial side, Obama has reinstated Alan Greenspan to a position of importance. "He’s going to be our new Baron of Bankruptcy," said the President. "Next to Ayn Rand and Ronald Reagan, he’s most responsible for the economic mess we’re in so he oughta know how to get us out of it, right?"

To help in the diplomatic sphere, the President has tapped Bill Clinton for the position of Ambassador-at-Large. "Who better than Bill to take on whatever international crisis is at hand?" said Obama. "Plus, when it comes to Ambassador-at-Large, he fits the bill and then some."

Surprisingly, former GM CEO Rick "Station" Wagoner has been anointed American’s first Car Czar. "I know some of you are surprised at my choice," said President Obama. "But, again, who better to help us learn from our mistakes than the guy who made more of them than anyone else? Plus, after the lucrative buyout he received when I made him walk the plank, he’s willing to work for a dollar a year plus free use of a Toyota Prius."

Finally, President Obama found a position for America’s most powerful woman - Oprah Winfrey. "The electronic media are arguably the most important resources in America today," said Obama. "And daytime television is clearly suffering the most. So I’ve appointed Ms. Winfrey as the Queen of Daytime Television to help restore the glory of quiz shows, soaps and talk shows that once made America the envy of the midday televised world."

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Terrorists Lose

Stephen Harper today proudly announced that the War on Terror is officially over and that the terrorists have lost. The Canadian prime minister noted that recent events in Canada have definitively closed this chapter in world history.

"Think back to before 9/11," said Mr. Harper. "What were our biggest concerns? That’s right; Paris Hilton’s home video and Congressman Gary Condit’s dalliance with murdered intern Chandra Levy."

Since then, however, Canadians, Americans and Europeans have been obsessed with Osama bin Laden and international terrorism. What was once important to western culture seemed to have been lost in the midst of an ongoing clash of civilizations.

"If there was any doubt that things have changed," said the prime minister. "Two recent incidents have confirmed that it’s time to declare ‘Mission Accomplished’ and get on with what we do best."

Mr. Harper went on to detail those recent incidents which have restored western culture to its rightful place in the world.

"I think there can be little doubt that the media’s obsession with Billy Bob Thornton’s interview with Gian Ghomeshi on CBC Radio is a healthy sign that international terrorism is of little concern anymore," said Harper. "And, if there was any doubt, the extensive coverage of Britney Spears’s mediocre concert performance in Vancouver clearly makes the case."

Noting that both of these events took place in Canada, the prime minister was quick to acknowledge his country’s leading role in ending the War on Terror.

"Some people have criticized us for not pulling our weight in this conflict," said Harper. "But I think these recent events will silence those critics. Canada has clearly provided a welcoming milieu to rekindle the media’s obsession with celebrity, an obsession that underscores our great victory."

When asked to comment on Prime Minster Harper’s announcement, U. S. President Barack Obama was reluctant to declare an end to hostilities in the War on Terror. He did, however, acknowledge that the recent happenings on Canadian soil may well signal the end of what he called the Overseas Contingency Operation.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Obama Outs Himself

In a surprise move, President Obama publicly announced that he is a liberal. Apparently he had known for a long time about his true political orientation but chose to hide it from everyone including his own family.

"Yes, I am a liberal," said Obama. "I know this may come as a shock to many people but I felt that it was time to be true to myself and finally come out of the closet."

The newly elected president admitted that he had known for many years that he was a liberal.
"Even when I was a young boy," said Obama. "I knew I wasn’t like most of my friends. While they all seemed quite happy with the status quo, I often got strange stirrings whenever I engaged in so-called progressive discussions or read the editorial page of The N. Y. Times."

Some observers say that Obama’s coming out was not unexpected given the historical signs. Although he always professed to be a moderate and sometimes even a fiscal conservative, it was clear to close friends that he had an affinity for left-of-center politics. Former school chum Marty Flickstein wasn’t surprised by the President’s recent revelation.

"We all knew Barry was a little different," said Flickstein. "We’d all be stealing copies of our dads’ Playboys and he’d be filching back issues of The New Republic. He said it was just to look at the pictures but we all knew he was actually reading the articles."

Back in the eighties, Obama was known to frequent so-called "liberal" clubs where regulars could talk about Keynsian economics and huge government social spending without fear of exposure.

"It wasn’t easy being a liberal during the Reagan years," said a longtime free-thinking comrade of Obama’s. "Just saying the word could destroy any electoral hopes you might have had. We all knew Barry wanted to be mainstream and hold an actual elected office but if his taste for things liberal had ever gotten out, his political career would have been finished."

During the nineties, Obama chose to keep his liberalism a secret from almost everyone, including his wife Michelle.

"I’m ashamed to admit it," said America’s 44th president. "But I didn’t even tell the person closest to me that I had these strange yearnings. I guess she always suspected when she found all those Galbraith books in the basement but she never confronted me with them."

Now that Obama is out of the closet, it appears that he is going to let his true political colors show.

"I feel so free," said the President. "I can finally be my true self and act in accordance with my real political feelings."

Asked how this will affect his governance of the country, Obama said that he didn’t think it would make that much of a difference.

"After all," said the President. "I’m not one of those leather bar, tax-and-spend liberals. I’m just a regular guy who happens to like social programs. One thing I will do, however, is implement a new policy for my cabinet regarding individual political orientations, something I call: ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’."

I'm In No Rush

In a recent L. A. Times op-ed piece, Andrew Klavan challenged me to actually listen to Rush Limbaugh before condemning him. I considered Mr. Klavan’s dare but, sadly, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

It wasn’t because the idea of being forced to sign up on Rush’s web site to hear audio clips made my skin crawl. And it wasn’t just because I had better things to do.

The reason I didn’t listen to Rush is because I don’t have to. Because we won, Mr. Klavan. And by "we", I mean liberals, moderates, Democrats, left-of-center humanists and even vegetable-eating, animal-loving, planet-hugging, Birkenstock-wearing, self-hating femi-Nazis.

I used to listen to Limbaugh during the deep, dark Bush years. Not for more than a few minutes, mind you. Just enough time to fire me up once again to keep fighting in the war against sanity that had gripped the nation.

Maybe it was unfair of me not to give Rush a "full" chance. After all, that’s what he always does, right? Perhaps I should have sat there quietly taking in his sophistry without interrupting or shouting at the radio.

But then I remembered the golden rule of shallow political commentating: WWRD - i.e. - "What would Rush do?" And from my brief exposures to Mr. Limbaugh, I learned the rules well. Oversimplify, pontificate, shout, interrupt and attack, attack, attack.

But back to my main point and, believe me, I do have one. I.....DON’T.....HAVE.....TO.....LISTEN .....TO....RUSH LIMBAUGH......ANYMORE!

Rush’s simplistic, superficial, misleading analyses don’t anger me now. They simply amuse. It’s like watching a child who has been given a timeout throw a tantrum. So long as it’s not my kid, it’s fun to watch since it’s no longer my problem.

President Obama urges everyone to take a new, non-partisan approach to politics. I’m not sure even he believes that’s possible given the bitter intransigence of the Republican members of Congress.

But never mind. Obama can be Mr. Nice Guy all he wants. After enduring eight years of lies, deceits, ad hominen attacks and outright criminality, I’m in no mood to play nice and politely listen to the other side, especially that female-bashing, Michael Fox-trashing, race-baiting, Oxycontin-taking radio blowhard named Limbaugh.

But guess what? I don’t have to bother because - that’s right - WE WON! Now I no longer have to be fair and balanced. I, too, can superficially dismiss arguments, engage in ad hominen attacks and generally be an insensitive jerk.

See? I’ve learned from the best. Where once I spent hours reading lengthy, thoughtful analyses from both the right and the left, now I don’t waste my time. And where I used to earnestly strive to be diligent, thorough and fair, now I tend to just shout my opponents down.

Like Minnesota’s almost-Senator Al Franken, I think Rush Limbaugh is a big, fat idiot and I don’t care who knows it. Unlike the lineup of hypocritical Republicans who criticize Mr. Limbaugh for his crude, hurtful attacks and then come crawling back for redemption, I have no intention of apologizing. And I definitely have no intention of listening. I’ll leave that task to Mr. Klavan and his fellow dittoeheads and wish them a happy eight years in the political wilderness.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Bush Files for Unemployment

Apparently the current economic downturn is worse than expected. As evidence of how bad things have gotten, George W. Bush was seen last week filing a claim at his local Dallas unemployment office.

"It's been tough finding work," admitted the former president. "Every time I apply for a new job, they don't seem that impressed with my record. I guess two foreign wars and a screwed up economy don't help."

Mr. Bush said he finally gave up looking for work after being turned down for a position as a Walmart greeter. "I definitely met the age requirement," said Bush. "But they said they just didn't find me believable when I said 'Welcome to Walmart. Can I help you?'."

Although the former president's resume includes a lengthy detailing of his experience and employment history, it seems that his job strengths are not in high demand in today's tight market.

"I looked for work at Home Depot, too," said Mr. Bush. "But they said that they didn't have any positions involving brush clearing or constitutional demolition. Plus, they didn't seem that impressedwith my building skills, particularly those involving renovating democracies."

Asked why he would even be seeking employment given his generous pension, Mr. Bush demurred.

"Sure I get a pension," said the ex-president. "But it's hardly enough to live on. Remember, I've got this fancy house here in Dallas and a ranch in Crawford. If I can't bring in some extra cash, we're going to have to cut back on luxuries like books and pork rinds."

While Mr. Bush has had to cut back to make ends meet, he says that he and Laura are still able to manage and get by.

"Luckily I'm over sixty," said Bush. "So I can get a great deal for breakfast at Denny's and I can ride the bus for free on Wednesdays. In fact, once I turn 65, there are so many savings out there, I'll be laughing."

Fortunately, the ex-president seems to be the only member of his administration that hasn't been able to find work.

"I just don't understand it," said Bush. "Dick Cheney's got a job with the mob and even Donnie Rumsfeld found work at his local Dairy Queen."