Will Durst

Bizarre Similarities Between Trump and Clinton

Our quadrennial presidential sweepstakes regularly provides textbook studies in contrast. And 2016 raises the bar in disparity. Red and blue. Left and right. Hot and cold. Up and down. Good and bad. Boy and girl. Pro and con. Loud and soft. Rain or shine. Fish and fowl. Dumb and dumber.

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25 Essential and Hilarious Items to Pack for the Republican Convention in Cleveland

The national political conventions are a lot like professional wrestling. Sure, we know what's going to happen, but every four years, it's fun to see who’s throwing around chairs and getting slammed into the turnbuckle.

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13 Weird Ways Presidential Candidates Will Celebrate Holidays

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. And a large part of what makes it so goldarn fabulous is the festive array of idiosyncratic traditions each family imprints on their holiday gene map like a candy cane tattoo on the soft flesh behind your knee.

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Pope Francis: Tree-Hugger or Commie?

He gets under their skin like termites in a boathouse. Drives them crazier than Hillary Clinton and Yoko Ono dancing on a gay pride parade float. He’s the itch you can’t scratch. The thorn in the palm of their paw. The 3- inch scratch on their favorite Ted Nugent album. Talking about that hot new Catholic sensation, Pope Frankie.

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10 Pluses and Minuses of Being an Aging Baby Boomer

Population scientists describe the Baby Boom generation as anybody born between the years 1946 and 1964. Which means the youngest of the Baby Boomers turned 50 last year, and the oldest will turn 70 next year, which is just so wrong. We Boomers are the architects of the youth culture. We invented young people for crum’s sakes. We’re the Pepsi Generation... that had a minor fling with Coke.

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Can We Stomach It? Imagine Another Possible Bush vs. Clinton Showdown in 2016

Still recovering from the sonic bombshell dropped by Jeb Bush announcing he was officially upgrading his prospective candidate status from… considering the formation of an exploratory committee to investigate the feasibility of a possible run for the presidency to… actually authorizing the formation of an exploratory committee that will investigate the feasibility of a possible run for the presidency. Our little caterpillar is now one step closer to being a big bad beautiful butterfly.

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Top Ten Comedic News Stories Of 2014

Hey guys, Will Durst here with your eagerly awaited Top Ten Comedic News Stories of 2014. Now, here’s the deal: please do not confuse these amusing accounts with the Top Ten Legitimate News Stories of 2014. No. No. No. They are as different as silky and spiky. Banjos and bullfrogs. Strawberry daiquiris and Chinese made assault rifles. Earrings and peas. Oh sure, we saw plenty examples of super serious humor-resistant stuff that went down over the previous twelve months, including but not limited to: Ebola infested ISIS members flying into Ferguson, Missouri on Malaysian Airlines, carrying pictures of Bill Cosby ogling Janay Rice’s butt.
But fortunately, there were also quite a few events that lent themselves to massive humorosityness and for anyone looking for a column with the vision and courage to lampoon, satirize, mock, scoff, taunt, tease, rib, ridicule, josh, jibe and kid these episodes of entertaining elucidation, you’ve come to the right place. Because here they are: the Top Ten Comedic News Stories Of 2014 as determined by the executive council of the Comics, Clowns, Jesters & Satirists Union, which, as you probably are already aware, is… me. Read em and weep.
10. A new study by German scientists suggests that beer helps prevent prostate cancer. So let’s stop calling them bars, and start referring to them as what they really are: clinics. And we are self-administering patients.
9. Winter Olympics in Sochi. The entire world is relieved when Vladimir Putin doesn’t enter the triathlon by slapping on skis to shoot Ukrainian journalists. Shirtless.
8. Series of Ice Bucket Challenges sweep the country. Minor celebrities enjoy being seen as all wet. During the hazy days of summer. When the Polar Vortex comes calling, not so much.
7. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford runs for re- election, but due to ill health has to pull out and convinces his brother to run. Torontoans refuse to give the Fords another crack at it.
6. Pope Francis says his religious theology is not in opposition to evolution. This guy really does look determined to drag the Catholic Church kicking and screaming into the latter half of the 19th Century.
5. Alaska, Oregon and DC join Washington & Colorado in the legal marijuana club. Stock of Frito- Lay, the makers of Funyuns and Cheetos, skyrockets. 
4. Donald Sterling’s racist statements result in a lifetime ban from the NBA. And many folks hope he lives to be 105. And is forced to bunk with Cliven Bundy.
3. The Midterm elections. Mitch McConnell says he wants to work with the President. Yeah, the same way a 5 year old with a magnifying glass wants to work with ants. Only a matter of time before GM is forced to recall McConnell as a faulty airbag.
2. Arizona debates SB 1062, which would legalize bigotry based on religious beliefs. The return of Jim Crow with a cactus beat. The postal abbreviation AZ apparently stands for Angry Xenophobes. And yes, xenophobe starts with an “x” but they don’t know that.
1. ObamaCare rollout. The President said it could have gone smoother. You think? An anvil studded with titanium spikes could have rolled smoother.

21 Things to Be Grateful For This Thanksgiving From a Political Comic

You got to love Thanksgiving. You do. It’s the law. And be honest; doesn’t a little tryptophan poisoning amongst family and friends sound pretty comforting right about now? What with Ebola infested ISIS members slithering across the border carrying photos of Bill Cosby ogling Kim Kardashian’s butt? Besides, this holiday isn’t about greasing the wheels of capitalism with the fire hose of consumer debt like that other one just down the road. This one is about gluttony. Pure and simple. And the only attendant religiosity is praying the Cowboys lose. So allow me to express my gratitude for the 4th Thursday of November: it’s annual appearance being one of the little moments that makes life worth living. Right up until the 4th bottle of white Zin, when Aunt Hoogolah informs Uncle Bud how Grandpa characterized his turkey carving and all hell breaks loose. Nevertheless, here’s a few more blessed things that prompt this middle-aged, round-headed, political comic to get down on his knees and thank the maker.
  1. Barack Obama. Upcoming 3rd year of his 2nd term promises much bigger, knock- down, drag-out fights with the Republicans. Not to mention… the Democrats.
  2. Chris Christie for so generously providing the comedy community with such a target rich environment including his Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Float- the only one which is actual size.
  3. Anchor Steam Christmas Ale. Especially this year
  4. Hillary Clinton who since 1992, no matter how much effluvium gets thrown at her, just keeps on keeping on, like the Energizer Bunny on steroids.
  5. Ted Cruz for being crazier than Norman Bates after a dip in a psilocybin bath riddled with corn fungus.
  6. The International Panel on Climate Change for finally just throwing up its hands and playing darts while drinking beer on the patio.
  7. Sarah Palin, because she just can’t help herself.
  8. Bill Clinton, because he just can’t help himself.
  9. Fox News for incrementally ramping up the vitriol and hyperbole with the obvious goal of eventually featuring giant lizards spitting and clawing at each other.
  10. Kim Kardashian who determinedly refuses to allow any lack of discernible talent keep her from becoming famous.
  11. The entire Toronto Ford family including Rob and brother Doug for making American politicians feel better about themselves.
  12. The airline industry who have driven customers to stow away amongst the landing gear in their never- ending search for legroom.
  13. Donald Sterling who with his lifetime NBA ban should live to be 110.
  14. Black Friday Creep for providing the requisite distraction allowing we gluttons to cop extra portions of pie.
  15. For whoever is marrying Charles Manson. Just because.
  16. For the entire State of Florida. Just because.
  17. Harry Reid, for steadfastly refusing to be part of the solution.
  18. Pope Francis and Pope Benedict, because 2, two, too Popes are better than one.
  19. The 22nd Amendment: which, for 67 years, has proudly kept the American people from making the same mistake more than twice.
  20. The GOP, waging an internal war for it’s very soul. GOP Soul. Short book. Put it on the shelf right next to Barack Obama Leadership Skills.
  21. The Newly Elected 114th Congress. Because if you liked the 113th Congress, you’re going to love these guys. Exponential factor gridlock.

Why Are People Going Nuts Over the Latest Smartphones?

Shake off the blues, put on your shoes, and tell grandma the news: the next generation iPhones are here. Cue the “woo- hoos.” And guess what: they’re huge. Or not. You choose. It’s like iGoldilocks. There’s a small, a medium and a large. And the best part- no bears.
The iPhone 6 is a little bigger than the previous models but the iPhone 6 Plus looks like they shrunk the Minipad. Or tiny iPad. Or whatever they call it. “Is that an iPhone 6 Plus in your pocket or are you just really really happy to see me?” All across America, Baby Boomers are raising 8 ounce glasses of prune juice in grateful toasts. They can finally see their buttons. These phablets are fabulous.
In other fruit computer news, the iWatch did not turn out to be the iWatch: it’s the Apple Watch. Even though the company filed for trademark protection in about 100 markets for the right to call it the iWatch. Of course, the wrist- bound marvel doesn’t become iAvailable until 2015. Or when iSwatch freezes over.
In response to the new releases, the Galaxy Android Samsung contingent (GAS) has ramped up their troll- like flame campaign to shame and defame Apple for belatedly matching the lame technology of their sacred superior smart phones. But in such a piercing stridency, one thinks- perhaps they doth protest too much. If whining were beer, these guys would be a frat party during Octoberfest. In Bavaria.
Can’t figure out what it is about these modern communication devices that makes people so crazy. You never hear Lexus owners bashing Acura drivers for finally acquiring contrasting leather stitching on their reclining heated leather seats. Brioni doesn’t claim that Kiton suits are seasons old knock- offs with materials drawn from substandard sheep. Wustof wouldn’t dream of accusing Henckels of stealing their edge design. They might think it.
People, settle down. For crum’s sake. Who cares? They’re phones. A few cosmetic differences but 99% exactly the same. Anyone depending that much on an accessory for their identity doesn’t need a new phone, they need a new life. Smart phones wielded by dumb users.
And next time, pick a feud that’s two- sided: Appleheads couldn’t care less about you Androidites, which probably heightens the frustration. Of course the Apple community is so myopically loyal they would line up to buy the next iteration of Jobsian progeny even if the only new feature was a rotary dial. “No battery? You got to plug it into an outlet? Will it still have the cute little Apple logo and be almost completely useless as a phone? Okay. Whatever.”
Used to be the hippest of phones kept getting smaller until it seemed you would need tweezers to make a call. But with streaming video such a big part of our lives, we’re headed towards a 19 inch model that requires iSaddlebags on an iPony to shepherd it across town. All optional, of course.
Then again, a few of us are still waiting for the phone that will dry the dishes and do the laundry. “Siri? Are you down there? Don’t forget to separate the colors. I swear. That girl would lose her head if it weren’t preinstalled.”

The Republicans in Congress Are the Biggest Bunch of Slackers Around

More fun than fourteen barrels of flunkies watching our elected officials exit Washington like scared rats streaming out of a sewer to escape Godzilla. And really, who can blame them. Anybody who’s ever spent a summer in DC can tell you the climate is real similar to Hell. With humidity. Then again, not sure even Hell has winged insects the size of footstools. It’s not called Foggy Bottom because that’s the first thing that springs to mind when Diane Feinstein walks away, you know.
Funny thing is, this is the same Congress that lies on the verge of breaking all previous records for complete and utter futility. The Zero Zip Zilch Crew. Who have ridden lethargy into the ground and taken loitering to bold new heights. Or is it depths? Folks who would need hydraulic mechanical assists to raise their attitudes from stuporous to torpid. From the lair of the drugged slugs. Debi Does Drowsy.
In essence, they’re taking a vacation from nothing. Which is a lot like waking up to take a nap. Topping breakfast off with a sleeping pill. Floating off to a loafing, lay- about layoff. Playing hide and seek with the mirror. And losing.
The 113th Congress is destined to go down in history as the most Do- Nothingest Congress of all time. Accomplishing less than all the other Do- Nothing Congresses combined. Which is saying something, because there were plenty.
“Proud to Put the Nothing in the Do- Nothing Congress.” Enshrined as the undisputed heavyweight champion of Indolence. The Friends of Inertia. Slouching towards SlouchVille. The Slacker Congress.
What we the public fail to understand is that nothing can be downright tiring. Yes, there’s the failure to pass a highway bill or any hint of immigration reform, but let’s focus on the positive. During the past 19 months, the Republican- controlled House has shut down the government and voted to defund or repeal Obama Care about a gazillion times and don’t forget the 2 dozen or so Benghazi hearings. They have definitely earned that approval rating lower than thumbtacks in your underwear while riding a motorcycle. Over railroad tracks.
And now these hordes of professional indolents have slipped the surly bonds of sloth and been released into their home districts to freely roam amongst we innocents as a 5 week recess begins. One question: how do you relax after suffering through the arduous routine of nothing? Slip into a coma? Binge watch The Leftovers? Will sunstroke play an integral part? And not just any vacation: a five- week paid vacation. Who told our esteemed representatives we were Europe?
The odd part is… they have to. It’s the law. The Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970 requires Congress to take off the entire month of August. Not sure, but perhaps it was in response to members of Congress wandering aimlessly en masse in our nation’s capital during peak tourist season; frightening small children and prompting plaintive cries from local merchants.
All we can do is hope our pooped populist politicos finally get some quality downtime, in order to come back tan and rested and ready for the tough task of remaining inactive and unable to pass any sort of worthwhile legislation when they return after Labor Day. Pretty obvious, that holiday sure weren’t named after these guys.
Copyright ©2014, Will Durst. Will Durst is an award- winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Go to willdurst.com to find about more about the new documentary film “3 Still Standing,” and a calendar guide to personal appearances including Aug 12- 17 at Zanies Downtown Chicago and his new one- man show “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG.”

GOP Votes to Give Boehner Authority to Sue Obama ... and Screw Up Congress for the History of Eternity

In a move less surprising than hot dogs at a ballgame, the House of Representatives voted Speaker John Boehner the authority to sue the President of the United States. This isn’t like a divorce, or a civil suit for money, it’s more of a restraining order. They want Obama to quit trying to resuscitate the government they’ve been working so hard to render unconscious.
On one hand, it’s a brilliant tactical move. Nobody can call them a Do-Nothing Congress anymore. “Do nothing? What are you talking about? We sued the President.” Many see the action as a stopgap measure to quiet the crazies on the right, who continue to demand nothing less than impeachment. And this is Impeachment Lite.
Problem is, they did it immediately before scurrying home on a five- week summer recess, so its not like a multitude of other accomplishments are destined to overwhelm this freakish folly in the near future. This being an important upcoming break, in which Congress will engage in the pivotal business of meeting with constituents and squeezing money out of them for their re-election. Does the term, “every last dime” have any meaning here?
The excuse given for the lawsuit is Obama illegally delayed the implementation of Obama Care. Seriously. That’s what he claims to be mad at. Not just the very same Obama Care the Speaker and his buddies tried to scuttle over half a hundred times. But the very same delayed implementation to Obama Care the Speaker and his buddies tried to pass. If irony were bananas, Boehner would be Brazil.
Obviously something had to be done. Getting way too close to the midterms to try and repeal Obama care anymore. Turns out people like it. Even the Tea Party has moved on, which is like saying the train fell over. Immigration reform is their new chew toy, which also went down in flames due to internecine warfare. National political gridlock is old hat: internal party gridlock is the coming thing.
To be honest, Democrats love this kind of talk. Their fervent hope is Boehner continues to contract heat prostration working on his tan. Nothing opens the spigot on the donation hose faster than GOP intransigence. It may be nothing more than a fund raising stunt but it works for everybody. Seems like the crazier the Speaker and his buddies get, the more money for the November elections. For both sides.
Makes a person wonder what’s next: is Boehner going to sue Sarah Palin for being reluctant to say ridiculous things? Take Mitt Romney to court for refusing to dominate the headlines the last two years? Charge the Supreme Court with voting along party lines too often?
There are so many things wrong with this move, you need a rubber spread sheet and an accountant on Thorazine to work them all out. By suing the Chief Executive, you’re not just opening any box of worms; you’re opening Pandora’s box of worms. Worms with Greek teeth. And venomous talons.
This could very well work as a template to screw things up in Congress for the history of eternity. Of course if the case does persist and follows the average speed of your normal federal lawsuit, it won’t see the light of day until much, much later. Probably the middle of Hillary Clinton’s second term.

Thanks to the GOP, America Has Gotten Stuck...on Stuck

Just following the will of the people.” That’s been the GOP rationalization for accomplishing absolutely nothing for five and a half years. Doesn’t matter what the issue is. Immigration. Jobs. Infrastructure. Climate change. Banking reform. The proliferation of substandard dental schools in Nebraska. According to them, the people want… zip. Zero. Zilch. Nada. And to mask their inaction, Republicans have coordinated a feeding frenzy that would make rabid hyenas jealous. Something about Obama drives them crazier than chocolate banana fritters with raspberry sprinkles in a bento box. Maybe because he’s the smartest guy in the room and not the least bit shy about sharing that opinion. Maybe he’s the ultimate anti- Bush. Or there’s something about him that looks different. Extremely different. Could be the ears.

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How to Watch the World Cup

The refrain has echoed across the globe our entire lives. “The World Cup is the most exciting sporting event on the face of the planet. Bigger than the Super Bowl, Stanley Cup and World Series combined and go ahead, throw in the next Star Wars movie especially with Carrie Fischer and Harrison Ford dragging their walkers through it.”
We Americans should be congratulated for finally growing up and stopping with the mocking, “Oh, really. Soccer? So what’s the second most exciting sporting event on the planet then, the Norwegian Army Widows Seal Clubbing Tournament? Does the Desert Tricycle- Built- for- 2 Marathon Relay Seniors Tour come in third? ”
No. We’re sophisticated now. Look at the huge leaps Major League Soccer has made in the last couple years, easily propelling itself to 8th or 9th most popular team sport in the country: right behind football, basketball, baseball, hockey, bowling, beach volleyball, polo and lacrosse. And maybe badminton. Jai Alai. And in some regions, cow tipping and pie eating.
But whether you call it soccer, futbol or boring, Pele got it right when he called it: “O jogo bonito.”  The Beautiful Game. We occasional spectators from the Estados Unidos just need to learn how to watch the darn thing.
Choose a team to root for. Every match. Pick the land of your ancestors. Or the land next to the land of your ancestors. Teams from your own hemisphere. Orange is your favorite color. Been there. Always wanted to go there. But always root for the underdog, because that could include us.
Choose teams to root against. Hiss and boo the squads whose victory would impede your favorite’s progress or just root against overbearing bullying countries. Which again, could include us. Root against the country that invaded the land of your ancestors. Or go traditional, and root against the Axis powers. Or some of the more obstreperous Allies.
The World Cup should be watched with people. Preferably at a bar frequented by the countrymen of the team you’re rooting for. But do some research. You don’t want to show up at a French bar in Italian colors. As simple as wearing green instead of blue.  
If you must watch it at home, turn on Univision, not ESPN. The announcers are much more entertaining. You know the guy who goes “GOOOOOAAL” when someone scores? He screams like that all the time: at a penalty, when someone almost scores, even when players trip and fall, clutching their face like they were sliced by a machete. Which is not flopping. Its injury simulation.
You need a big ass TV. The bigger the better. 70 inches is a good start. Because soccer is fond of cameras fastened to the inside edge of the International Space Station.
Make your own red and yellow cards and hold them up when you need snacks or beer. Really makes non- watchers feel part the game.
Complain about the refereeing. Every knowledgeable fan does. These guys don’t speak the same language as the players. But they do have spray paint. Which is so cool. Something the NFL might want to consider.
And go USA. And anybody who plays the country that invaded the land of your ancestors. Which, once again, could be us.

Our Phone Obsession Is Turning Us Into Zombies

You see them staggering down our streets, heads bowed as if in prayer making the occasional grunting noise. Mindless drooling de-animated human husks walking blindly into fountains, crosswalks and lamp posts. Wake up People. We are in the middle of a science fiction movie here. Welcome to the Invasion of the Phone Zombies.
Yes, the Zombie Apocalypse has materialized and we are it. Everywhere you look you find the deathlike trance- frozen faces of we necromantic slaves with twitching fingers. Spending endless empty hours mesmerized by our tiny screens. An entire society that can’t remember its own phone number, much less that of any significant other. Of course, compared to our magical phones, there are no significant others.
Our smart phones are being manipulated by some very dumb people. Sure, amazing things can be accomplished: check the weather patterns in Outer Mongolia. Translate French past participles into Farsi. Order a chess set made out of imitation crab meat in the shape of the characters from 12 Years a Slave and have it delivered to our house before getting back from work. But in the meantime, we are developing the attention span of high- speed lint. And the personalities.
The contagion has spread everywhere. Stall zombies in public rest rooms that hog the enclosed sanctum to play a quick round of Fruit Ninja. Or two. Nightlife zombies who ignore the jokes onstage so they can respond with multiple LOLs on their electronic leash. Tangentially ambulatory zombies who get into their car but refuse to leave parking spots until checking in with High Command. Vacation zombies who spend thousands of dollars to stare at their phones in distant exotic lands.
And we zombies have proved desperate to swell our ranks. Zombifying others via slide presentations of cute cats cavorting. Even attempting to recruit potential zombie converts through such subhuman treatment as incessant shame and humiliation. “Seriously. That’s your phone? Who made it: Daewoo? Is that the fabled rotary cell phone? Must be neat to have Teddy Roosevelt on your speed dial. Bet your roaming charges are huge. Play much ‘snake’ lately?”
While our forefingers develop biceps and our thumbs evolve to the size of zucchini, society continues its deep deterioration. Groups of friends who have lost the will to converse, huddling together solely for warmth and light. Drivers staring into their laps, their faces reflecting an eerie glow. Entire families walking past each other hypnotized by their devices, going days without engaging in any major argument.
Dealing with the chronically anesthetized is exhausting. Who hasn’t tired of politely turning after being addressed only to find it’s some zombie in a suit on a Bluetooth talking to himself? But the worst are the suited Bluetoothed elevator zombies. Shut your piehole dirtwipe. Nobody here cares to know how many units need to be transferred to Topeka byWednesday; we would pay good money to see some Topeka stuffed up your unit today.
In order to contain this pandemic, the CDC should issue a directive that encourages the unzombified to punch Bluetoothed elevator zombies right in their ear. Hard. Multiple times. And when the stupefied ones wake from their narcoleptic slumber and turn with confused expressions, inform them that it was all in the interest of the greater good. A blow for the sake of civilization itself.
Will Durst is an award- winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Go to willdurst.com to find about more about his new one- man show “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG,” info about the documentary film “3 Still Standing,” and a calendar guide to personal appearances including June 13 & 14 in Arcata & Redway.

If You Thought Oligarchy and Aristocracy Were Bad, You'll Really Hate Kochocracy

In the bad old days, medieval German Lords figured out how to pocket some quick coin by charging a toll on the primitive paths meandering across their lands. The money wasn’t used to improve the roads or better the lives of the peasants or clean the rivers their pigs pooped in but rather heighten the piles in their treasury. Even back then, you just couldn’t have enough pewter candlesticks.
These were the first robber barons. Literally. Rich people whose sole pursuit was to survive to become richer people. A criminal aristocracy. A term history has proved redundant.
During the Gilded Age, the flushest one percent of the country held one-third of the national income. In the 1920s, this figure ramped up to two-fifths. Molehills compared to today’s mountainous wealth, where the richest 400 American families control more money than the poorest 165 million of their fellow citizens put together. And if all 165 million were knelt end to end, those 400 families would have footrests from any compass point.
Six members of the Walton Family have accrued as much money as the bottom 41 percent of all Americans. Now, how hard would it be for them to cover the health care of Walmart employees? They’d still be worth as much as the bottom 34 percent. How many pewter candlesticks does one family need? You’d think they could get them wholesale. 
In decision after decision, the Supreme Court has equated money with free speech. Which would be great if it meant the more we spoke, the more we’re worth. But, alas, no. That’s not the deal. Pretty much the opposite, come to think of it.
Rich people have exploited these high court rulings like foxes given skeleton keys to the Tyson chicken empire. Any politician who espouses lowering taxes on the rich and blunting the powers of the poor gets backed. With unlimited sums. Of course the poor have free speech too, but we might as well be whispering downstage at a Metallica concert.
A plutocracy is a society where the rich make the rules — quickly becoming our norm. The ninth richest man in the world, Sheldon Adelson, focuses on politicians whose Israeli policies most closely mirror his. That’s it. One issue. In 2012, he gave 90 million to various GOP presidential candidates. And in the next election cycle, he is reportedly ready to triple that number, recently holding auditions in Las Vegas for his own personal presidential candidate American Idol. Once again: not Clay Aiken.
The most Darth-like of the new Robber Barons are the Koch brothers, David and Charles, each richer than Adelson. These self-made inheritors of a vast oil empire are responsible for jumpstarting the Tea Party and ALEC, and are now hand picking candidates all over the country — pouring in vast amounts of money to get them and their skewed legacies elected. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is one of the first generation Kochbots. And a bit glitchy.
If so desired, the Koch family could spend a billion dollars a year for the next 85 years buying politicians. Bankrupting the rest of us through Kochbot legislated tolls on the primitive paths meandering across Koch owned lands. Especially egregious when ALL lands are Koch owned. Get ready for the American Kochocracy.

The Govt. Could Be Using Drano Flavored Jell-o for All We Know to Execute Inmates

You’d think that we Americans would have enough stuff to worry about. Severe drought desiccating a third of the country. A political system whose major talent is demonstrating stasis in action. The rich using the poor as fleshy paving stones for the road to mansions on the hill. Ben Affleck as Batman.

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50 Shades of Cool - Obama's Mercurial Political Persona

It was more amusing than piano-playing kittens to see Barack Obama plug the Affordable Care Act on Zach Galifianakis’ internet comedy show. Not late night. Not basic cable. An internet show: “Between 2 Ferns.” Even funnier was the president trotting out the same expression he normally reserves for Bill O’Reilly interviews.
The Chief Executive is apparently working his way down the marketing food chain. Next it’ll be ObamaCare coupons under windshield wipers in the parking lots of flea markets. Then a series of laminated ads posted above urinals. Won’t be long before Joe Biden is wearing a giant syringe costume twirling a sign on Pennsylvania Ave.
The president is not new to the humor game. He’s proven his comedy chops o’plenty at previous functions, but even professional comedians have problems holding their own with the bearded Hangover franchise comic’s trademark condescending snark. 44, however, traded disdainful barbs like a Catskills trained tummler. Looks like the ordeal of dealing with Hillary’s State Department staff finally paid off. Can’t wait for him speak to Putin with the same sort of Borscht Belt pushback.
This was Comedy Obama at his finest. Just one of the many guises we’ve seen Honolulu’s favorite son adopt. There’s Diplomatic Obama. Arrogant Obama. Tolerant Obama. Supercilious Obama. Hollywood Obama. Mississippi Obama. New Boss Obama. And Same as the Old Boss Obama.
Might explain why the country is thisclose to contracting a serious case of Multiple Presidential Personality Disorder. He’s President Sybil. Playing more roles than the tall kid who shaves at a summer Shakespeare camp.
Doctors say the onset of Dissociative Identity Disorder can be traced to trauma and its entirely possible the Republican Party is responsible for these many faces of Eve, er, Barack. For 5 years the President has been hit in the head more often than an armless soccer goalie in a World Cup shootout. Of course, he could be setting himself up for an insanity defense. Mitch McConnell would be well advised to hire extra security.
The Oval Office Shapeshifter’s pre POTUS resume was pretty tame. Kenyan. Kansan. Hawaiian. Community organizer. Constitutional law professor. State Senator. US Senator. Marijuana advocate. Audacity encourager.
It’s only since 2009 that we’ve been treated to a kaleidoscope of eccentric facets. He’s a jock. A nerd. Cheerleader. Teacher’s pet. Motorcycle riding bad boy. Probably a closet band geek. Party standard bearer. Good will ambassador. Policy enforcer. Al Green impersonator.
He’s half black. He’s half white. Ramrod. Contortionist. Healer. Divider. Defender of transparency. Master spy. Outlaw. Sheriff. Muslim. Christian. Politician. Citizen. Figurehead. Hood ornament. White hatted hero. Melodramatic villain. A puppet, a poet, a pawn and a king.
Even the GOP can’t decide if he’s a hopeless novice or a demagoguing dictator. The right wing paints him as a radical jihadist while left wing progressives whine he’s a cowering conciliator. Making him a little bit Malcolm X and a little bit Urkel.
Barack Obama is harder to pin down than an eel in a butter sculpture. A Nobel Peace Prize winner or the Manchurian Candidate. He’s either the classiest of cats or Captain Clueless. Relentless shark or a spineless jellyfish. Power mad knight errant or lute strumming eunuch. Or maybe he’s all of them. 50 shades of cool. Or drool. Perspective is everything.

Arizona's Absurd Legislation: It's Not the Hate, It's the Stupidity

Alright. Woo-hoo. We’re partying now. With the kind of enthusiasm normally reserved for sorting Phillips head screws from flat head screws, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer publicly vetoed SB 1062, legislation that would provide legal cover to businesses denying services based on the operator’s religious beliefs. The return of Jim Crow with a cactus beat.
Yes, the finger jabbing governess banged down the brakes of the bigot bill. And the disappointment rumbling through the evangelical community caused snakes to be mishandled all the way to Eastern Tennessee.
Give the lady credit. She hemmed. She hawed. She deliberated. Took her time like a molasses coated snail slogging up Everest against the wind in the dead of winter. The right thing was done; for the wrong reasons. The same way deciding not to drink that 8th beer was a smart move whether the cause was self- restraint or misplacing the bottle opener under the front seat.
Mostly it was the threat of another state-wide economic boycott including the possibility of losing a second Super Bowl that did the trick. Once again, the NFL trumps religion. Of course, if those darn liberals hadn't put up such a stink, she would have signed it so fast it would make a roadrunner's head spin, mid beep- beep. 
Ironically, Brewer’s painstakingly lackadaisical response was responsible for ratcheting up the backlash that inflamed the country. She inadvertently gave the press time to trumpet the story. And the resulting uproar bodes as well for the umpteen other states considering similar legislation as a dead gila monster- head in your Frosted Flakes.
This is what happens when the tourist industry, the business community, the state’s 2 GOP US Senators and even some of the bill’s co- sponsors turn against it. With friends like these, who needs enemas?
You’d think that vetoing a bill that sanctioned discrimination would be a no- brainer, but no- brainers aren’t quite the sure thing in Arizona. This is the state famous for voting against recognizing Martin Luther King’s Birthday as a holiday and encouraging local police to stop anybody with a tan on both their arms. Not to mention Alice Cooper.
Perhaps Arizona legislators are unaware that religions other than Christianity exist, because depending on the faith of the business owner, this bill would have allowed folks to refuse service not just for sexual orientation but for sporting nail polish, fastening pants with zippers or eating shellfish. The burning hunger for desert shellfish having been dealt with many millennia ago.
Not wearing a hat offends some gods. While the wearing of hats offends others. The gods, they are sartorially conflicted. Suspected of engaging in premarital sex, no ice cream for you. Divorced patrons can purchase their organic rutabagas somewhere else, thank you very much. Wear a turban? Don’t need a couch. Customers would need to take a urine test every time they dropped something off at the dry cleaners.
With every piece of ludicrous legislation, it becomes increasingly apparent that AZ- the postal abbreviation for the Grand Canyon State- stands for Angry Zenophobes. And yes, xenophobe is actually spelled with an X, but the insensible and intolerant denizens of Arizona are probably unaware of that. Arizona: the American Uganda. It’s not the hate, it’s the stupidity.

Subway, Eat Fresh... Plastic

No matter who you are or where you live or what you drive or whether you thought The English Patient or Anchorman 2 the funnier movie, it is time to take a stand on plastic bread. Here’s a hint: most of us are against it. Formaldehyde rinsed coffee beans? Not big fans. Flame retardants in our cupcakes? That’s a big old negativo, Breaker One. And pink slime should be featured in horror films, not meat.  
These heartfelt proclamations result from the wake of recent revelations that the Subway sandwich chain uses the chemical, azodicarbonamide, in its bread. Azodicarbonamide is an additive whose principle use lies in the production of plastic foam products like yoga mats and sneaker soles. Not quite what you’d expect from the company that grew to 41,000 stores by being the healthy alternative. Hey Jared, when did you guys change the motto to “Eat Fresh Plastic?”
This culinary confession has prompted reactions just a wee tad less hysterical than a carload of pre- school Catholic girls flying off a roller coaster into the pigpens of the Nevada State Fair. “SUBWAY BREAD IS SNEAKERS, PEOPLE. YOU’RE EATING SNEAKERS.”
Settle down folks. You can find all sorts of stuff in our food. Cellulose, which is wood fiber. Hormones. Rodent hairs. Metal shavings. Dwarf goat beard trimmings. What part of the chicken you think the McNugget comes from? And don’t forget that most omnipresent chemical of them all: the dreaded dihydrogen monoxide, often nicknamed… H2O.
There’s a chemical known as castoreum that is used in raspberry and vanilla flavorings. The way castoreum is harvested is by extracting the juice from the anal glands of beavers. Nope. Not kidding. And you think your job sucks.
Now, who first discovered that the juice of the anal glands of beavers tastes like raspberries has been lost in the sands of time- probably a good thing. But it does lead one to suspect the trappers of yesteryear were a whole lot braver and infinitely more curious than first imagined and apparently had a huge amount of time on their hands. Not to mention a thin patina of something vaguely vanilla- ish.
Thing is, you take all the chemicals out of food, they’d be the wrong color, rot in 6 hours and that quarter pounder would have to be marketed as a 2.5 ouncer. There’s only 2 ways to ensure your digestive tract is unsullied by tainted food. Grow your own or stop eating. The beauty of the latter is being able to fit into fashionably thin clothes. During that brief pre-dead period.
Both castoreum and azodicarbonamide are classified by the FDA as GRAS. Generally Recognized as Safe. Which seems a rather unexacting measurement where our children’s food is concerned. For years Rock Hudson was GR as straight. Pluto - GR as being a planet. Trickle down economics- GRABS.
This public relations nightmare couldn’t come at a worse time for Subway, whose foot long sandwiches were recently measured at 11 inches. Absent one angry inch. Or maybe the foot they’re referring to relates to the sneaker soles.
Rather than running away from the controversy, the sandwich maker needs to double down, by selling the American public (because they can’t use it in the bread of foreign countries) azodicarbonamide as a low- fat, self- cleansing miracle additive. “Subway: Home of the Shiny Clean Colon.”
Will Durst is an award- winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Go to willdurst.com to find about more about his new CD, “Elect to Laugh” and calendar of personal appearances including his highly lauded one man show-  "BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG."  

Party It Up On Labor Day - Because Your Summer Fun Is About to End

Hey, it’s Labor Day, everybody. Woo- hoo. Okay, we’re partying now. Throw your arms in the air and wave them like you just don’t care. Blow up some balloons. Tap a keg. Rip open a bag of chips. Because this isn’t a champagne and caviar kind of thing. This is the very definition of blue collar. If collars be worn at all.
It was 1894 when Labor Day first punched into work. Grover Cleveland signed it into law 6 days after the end of the Pullman Strike during which federal troops killed more than 30 strikers. Cynics saw it as a kind of make- up sex between the government and the American worker. Well, flowers and candy anyhow.
The first Monday of September was specifically picked to bridge the long holiday gap between 4th of July and Thanksgiving and to get as far away from May Day as possible. In the late 19th Century, labor unions were one thing, but Communists were a horse of a different color.
For 120 years, Labor Day has been the red-headed stepchild of holidays. As glamorous as the guy with a shovel following a mule in a parade. Something you roll out to get Child Protective Services off your butt. “Look, we gave you an entire day, now give it a rest, would you? What do you want, cake?”
Goldilocks would have loved Labor Day. Not too hot. Not too cold. Less incendiary than Easter and Christmas, but with a decidedly higher thermal print than the International Talk Like a Pirate Day; fast approaching on September 19. Hard to believe its time to dig out the eye patch, wooden leg and Jolly Roger. Again. Already.
Because of Labor Day’s peculiar calendar placement, it has morphed into not so much a celebration as a seasonal signal flag. Here lies the tired, dried- up body of summer. Time to roll up the garden hose and recharge the snow blower. Bury the swimsuits and exhume the parkas. Watermelon smoothies give way to pumpkin lattes. Weenie roasts on the back deck- no. Tailgating in a dirt parking lot- yes.
The lazy hazy days are over and school and football have kicked off. And this holiday Monday is but one final chance to party in the long light. Meanwhile, the significance of what we’re commemorating has gotten lost in a last gasp blast of beer, baseball and barbecue.
Labor Day is meant to be a day we set aside to honor not the dead, but the living. Our workforce. One single day off so the real nine to five heroes that keep this country humming can hang with their families and friends before squaring their shoulders and getting back to the job of earning a living and carving out the future. And maybe one day at a theme park on someone’s 10thbirthday without having to take out a second mortgage.
It’s a day to catch our breath. To celebrate the contributions of all of America’s working folk. From the floor of the stock exchange to the stockroom of Amazon. To recognize the pistons that keep the engine of this country pumping along. And no need to bring gifts, although that whole flowers and candy thing is never a bad idea. And maybe some chips and beer and what the hell… cake. Who doesn’t like cake?
Catch 5 time Emmy nominee, Will Durst’s new one- man show “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG” every Tuesday until November, at the Marsh, San Francisco. Go to… themarsh.org for more info. Or willdurst.com.

Will Durst's 2013 Political Animal Awards

Hey! You! Yes, you. Sorry. Just trying to get your attention to impart an important warning here. For the next couple weeks, it’s imperative all you good folks out there stay alert and keep your wits about you. Remove the earbuds, no texting while walking and you’d be well advised to brandish a stainless steel umbrella on the street because its awards season and golden-plated statuettes are being tossed about like manhole covers during an underground methane explosion. We’ve made it through the Golden Globes and the Screen Actor Guild Awards, with the Grammies and Oscars right around the corner, so this seems the perfect time to weigh in with the barnacle on the belly of the awards ship: the 15th annual Will Durst Political Animal Awards.

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Top Ten News Stories of 2012 That Turned into Jokes

First a disclaimer: the Top Ten Comedic News Stories of 2012 should not under any circumstances be confused with the Top Ten Legitimate News Stories of 2012. They are as different as red satin cummerbunds and Liar’s Dice. Duck liver and Spanish moss. Matched pearl necklaces and motorcycle handlebars

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The Ten Females Who Cost Mitt Romney The Presidency

Holey moley catfish. Well, thank god that’s finally over. Further thanks that the climax was quick and clean. Almost surgical. Not as long a night as many first thought it might be. Except for Karl Rove that is, who for all we know is still scribbling numbers to prove the call on Clinton’s re- election win in 1996 was premature. And as usual, Florida did all it could to gum things up, but was eventually rendered irrelevant. And long may it remain so. 

In the end, President Barack Obama trounced, er, battered, um, eeked out a victory, or to be more precise, Mitt Romney lost. Or shall we say, found a thousand ways to lose. Except for one brief shining moment in the first debate, virtually carrying with him a defeat diviner.

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BP Has Failed at Everything Except for Lying

The President may have wrestled Afghanistan and Iraq to shaky standoffs but the newest skirmish in the heads- up display of Air Force One shows him losing the third Gulf war and losing bad. Taking shots from both sides -- from both sides. Republicans are yelling at Obama for holding BP responsible for the Deepwater Horizon disaster AND for not doing enough to clean it up. That man sure is a geographic oddity. On two wrong sides of the same issue. Which ain’t easy.

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Top 10 Comedic News Stories of 2009

Okay. Here’s the deal: the Top Ten Comedic News Stories of 2009 are not to be confused with the Top Ten Legitimate News Stories of 2009. They are as different as night and day. Fire and frogs. Popeye’s chicken and ballet fundraisers. High rise condo balconies and balsa wood furniture. Southern Baptist 4th of July church picnics and snow tires. There were all sorts of heavy-duty stories that impacted the country and the planet. Can’t think of any right now, but trust me, there was a bunch.

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Welcome to the Nomination Race That Will Not Die

Order another bag of peanuts, pass the cotton candy and get used to the smell of sawdust, because the circus tour has been extended. Yes, my friends, welcome to the primary that will not die. You'd think that after 6 thrill-filled weeks of hosting this sideshow competition of rival ring-masters outdoing each other in the Like A Normal Human Animal Act, the State of Pennsylvania would selflessly provide the rest of the country with a semblance of closure by permanently pulling up the stakes of this traveling Big Top. But no. They got addicted to the sound of calliope music and don't want the spectacle to end.

Selfish bastards.

While we watched over their shoulders, the residents of the Keystone State had a front row bench seat view of the wacky zany antics of two of America's finest moral contortionists variously indulging in comedic bowling, throwing back shots with beers (performed a little too expertly, if you ask me) imaginary sniper fire dodging and way more information about spiritual advisors than we needed. All the while we oohed and aaahed and shoveled handfuls of funnel cake into our mouths, then stood up to put on our coats ready to head home and pore over the handbill for the Circus Maximus about to parade into town, but while we were digging for our keys, Pennsylvania wiped some peanut shells off the bench and sat back down.

All that was left was to light the ceremonial fuse to fire the shot that announced the ending of this historic freak show media encampment. But something happened. The human cannonball got stuck. Or the sword swallower sneezed. Or the clowns got lost in the basement of the car. Or they needed to reduce their inventory of corn dogs. Or maybe the problem was Hill and Bare themselves. Perhaps their prop masters didn't trust them to execute the tightrope shootout which explains why instead of exploding, their guns just popped out sticks that said "Bang."

Hillary Clinton didn't win Pennsylvania, she survived. Long enough for another attempt to nail that elusive quadruple on the flying trapeze. But the net is gone and the clock is ticking. The Junior Senator from New York may have bested the Junior Senator from Illinois by nearly ten percentage points but at the rate she cut into his delegate lead, she's on pace to overtake him sometime during the middle of his second term.

To the elders of the Democratic Party, this is Worst-Case Scenario City: harmless carnival attraction twists into a grisly horror movie in the middle of the final reel. The political variation of Saw V. Two people. Locked inside of a single country. Each with a war chest of souped up power tools. And this time, the electricity is on.

The answer to the double billing conundrum is obvious; Unfortunately, there are only two Democrats in America who aren't salivating like trained dogs at the idea of the Obama and Clinton Dream Ticket and those two Democrats are Obama and Clinton. Meanwhile, John McCain is free to stumble around the country frightening children.

So, go ahead, re-inflate those mylar balloons, but keep them out of reach of the candidates because at this point, their first inclination will be to strangle each other with them. And someone warn Indiana and North Carolina that the circus is coming to town, and the acrobats are brandishing chain saws.

President Whatshisname

I think its time you and I had us a talk about President Whatshisname. Certainly time somebody spoke of him. Because I'm not sure anybody's noticed, but he seems to have disappeared lately. And don't go all blank on me: You know who I'm talking about. The guy in charge. Supposedly. The Decider. Mr. Mission-Not-Quite-Accomplished. The scaly dragon the Democrats forged the armor of their entire campaign to fight against has turned into the Incredible Shrinking Man and he just can't stop. As forgotten as the stitching contractor for the 54 DeSoto Diplomat seat vendor. And while the Democrats ignore him, the Republicans have implemented a policy barring any reference to him under penalty of severe twingeing.

He went somewhere recently. Overseas I think. And met up with this other guy who could have been Russian and who may or may not be leaving his job soon just like our guy and the two of them together were as useless as a Powerpoint presentation on Viagra at a Eunuchs convention. Lame duck doesn't even come close here. A meeting of clipped winged hawks with 20 pound weights tied to their talons. A comatose vulture summit. Crippled geese. Biologically deformed Pterodactyl fossils encased in the amber pool of irrelevance, obsolescence and guilt. Whoa. OK. I'm done.

Then a few days ago, our guy, whatshisname, Bush, held a press conference to admonish Congress about something really important. OK, something kind of important. It was importantish. He said. The problem is, no one paid any attention at all to what he was saying. According to the people who actually claimed to have listened, (being paid quite handsomely to do so) it had something to do with Colombia. The country, not the District. And it concerned free trade. Or maybe it didn't. Perhaps it was Columbus, Ohio and trade fairs. Or the Colombia River Valley and fir trees. Or he quite possibly might have been expressing his admiration for 50s singing sensation Teresa Brewer and her unheralded, yet pivotal role in promoting the Tennessee Valley Authority's capacity to produce power from hydroelectric dams. Who knows? It's all a blur.

Like everyone else, most Americans were too busy watching the angry white woman and the serene black guy going at it with claw hammers. I'm sorry. I mean they were busy watching the surrogates of the angry white woman and the serene black guy go at it with claw hammers. And the surrogates are running out of claw hammers. And the candidates are running out of surrogates. And John McCain is floating through with the look that he has absolutely no idea what a bush is unless you're talking about defoliated shrubbery that can be used for political cover. Which any military man can understand.

Reputedly, there was yelling. As there often is. And the upshot is, Congress had better get their butts in gear and do exactly what he says or all kinds of holy hell is going to break loose and don't get him mad because you're not going to like him when he's mad. And Congress's response was along the lines of "Hunh? What? Who's mumbling? Oh. Yeah, I guess. Whatever. And if we don't do what you want us to do, then you're going to do what? Not assist us with our re- election campaigns? Oh gosh. That would be disastrous."

Stop Treating the Candidates Like Newborn Puppies

Poor Hillary. Everybody wants her to quit. Nancy Pelosi wants her to quit. Michelle Obama wants her to quit. Wouldn't be surprised to hear Fidel Castro thinks she's been hanging on too long. Even pundits who don't really want her to quit are calling for her to quit because the next vote isn't for three weeks and they're caught in the Primary Dead Zone Vortex and like an excited terrier piddling in the stairwell at the sound of the key in the door, just can't help themselves.

The media chorus is as insistent as a 3am car alarm: "Its time to go. Leave now while you have a shred of dignity intact. You're ruining it for everyone. How can we hug and kiss Barack when you're still wrestling with him, you sweaty old hag?" She, in turn, has put a brave face on her acknowledged uphill battle, comparing herself to Rocky Balboa, but seems to have forgotten, that in the first movie, Rocky loses. To a black guy.

The Left has long held a deep-seated need to fall in love with their candidate and while people may respect Hillary, she's as cuddly as a stainless steel teddy bear. Dora the Diaspora. A burlap banky. Besides, like her beloved Chicago Cubs, there is always next year. Say the GOP does bury Obama like a bone in the backyard of the 2008 election; she can run in 2012 on the "I told you so" ticket.

The Democrats have only themselves to blame for getting locked into this steel cage death match of theirs. Due to an inability to stifle an insatiable urge to comfort and coddle. Like everything they touch, they insist on treating primary participants like a litter of newborn puppies with learning disabilities. Shar-Pei puppies. The cutest kind. As opposed to the Republicans, who have more of a warrior slash and burn kind of philosophy. You win a state. You get the delegates. All the delegates. No wimpering. Shut up and sit down Mitt.

The Nanny Party, however, rewrote the rules to make sure nobody accidentally gets their feelings hurt. Because every one of us is special. You win a state, you get SOME of the delegates. And if you come in second, you get some too. Third? You bet. Have a couple delegates. Take one of the short ones. Fourth. Fifth. Sure, what the hell. And counseling is available. Everybody's a winner here. Because this isn't about electing a President, this is about sharing and caring and nurturing. Nobody goes away feeling like a loser in the Democratic Party. Except during the general election that is.

Hell, the Dems even figured out how to defy math. In the Nevada caucuses, Hillary received 51% of the vote compared to Obama's 45%, but Obama won more delegates. Well, there's your problem people. Simple arithmetic. Apparently, not one of your strong suits. And they still wonder why they lost in 2000 and 2004.

Why is it such a bad thing that this might not get sorted out till August in Denver? After all, isn't that what the conventions are for? And we haven't even addressed the whole super delegate mess. Of course if the super delegates had any sense of theater, they'd enter the convention at the Pepsi Center wearing tights and capes. But then the pledged delegates might feel less special. And require therapy.

32 Short Thoughts About Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader. Officially threw his hat in the ring for president. Again. His fourth attempt. Shouldn't three strikes apply here?

Ralph Nader. The Doctor Kevorkian of presidential politics.

Ralph Nader. Like a lefter Dennis Kucinich minus the hot wife and massive groundswell of public support.

Ralph Nader. Liberal response: Good message. Bad delivery. Awful timing.

Ralph Nader. Conservative response: If you need any help with ballot access, let us know.

Ralph Nader. A retired two term ex President if hippies ruled the world.

Ralph Nader. Still serving life without parole if General Motors ruled the world.

Ralph Nader. First name is colloquial synonym for the rapid expulsion of stomach contents as a result of a series of involuntary muscle spasms whose appearance generally signals the host is sick or drunk. Not that that means anything.

Ralph Nader. Surname is homonym of nadir: which means lowest point possible. The opposite of zenith. Not that that means anything.

Ralph Nader. Makes Barack Hussein Obama look like a centrist.

Ralph Nader. Makes John Sidney McCain look vivacious.

Ralph Nader. Middle name is Moral Victory.

Ralph Nader. In '00, saw no difference between Al Gore and George Bush. Still denies missing repeated optometrist appointments.

Ralph Nader. Fervently believes the truth can affect change. Has yet to learn the American electorate would rather drink unfiltered haggis juice straight from the tap with their hands tied behind their backs with live copperhead snakes than confront the truth.

Ralph Nader. A Pisces.

Ralph Nader. Born in a Year of the Dog.

Ralph Nader. Not a Socialist. But not unlike one either.

Ralph Nader. Older than John McCain. Whiter than Barack Obama. More Y chromosomes than Hillary Clinton. But all three were close.

Ralph Nader. Three time recipient of the "Tony Orlando Coasting on Your Decades Old Reputation" Award.

Ralph Nader. Michael Moore -- 19 years and 10 months hence.

Ralph Nader. When Bad Things Happen to Good People in Sears and Roebuck Suits.

Ralph Nader. Made the cars we drive safer and George Bush president. That's what you call your trade-off.

Ralph Nader. Yet to hold electoral office. Apparently not complicit with that whole "presidency should not be an entry level position" cabal.

Ralph Nader. Like a scowling Ross Perot with a Harvard Law degree.

Ralph Nader. A saint, a visionary and a genius.

Ralph Nader. A fool with the same common sense that god gave a bucket of claw hammers.

Ralph Nader. Harold Stassen for the MTV generation.

Ralph Nader. Unsafe at Any Speed is now him in a crosswalk.

Ralph Nader. Possesses the sense of humor of an end table.

Ralph Nader. Would rather be right in public than left at home.

Ralph Nader. People's lobbyist or Judas Goat?

Ralph Nader. Dramatically intones that if America is to become better, it first has to get worse. NEWS FLASH. It's worse! We don't want worser. This is worsest we can stand.

Will the Democratic Candidates Please Shut Up?

Shut up. Please shut up. No. Really. Shut up. Shut Up. Shut UP. I know you think I'm kidding here, but I'm not. Pretty please. Shut the hell up. Honest to god, it's not funny anymore. Would you two kindly have the simple common human decency to close your pie holes and be quiet for a half of a minute? Is that too much to ask? The hell is wrong with you people anyway? The horse is dead. He's starting to smell. Put the bats down.

Yes, I'm talking about the two remaining Democratic candidates, who just participated in their 20th debate but it seems more like their 8,000th. And if you made it through the latest wearisome exercise in drudgery (appropriately held in Cleveland,) you know what I'm talking about; but if you didn't, you should immediately fall to your knees and thank your lucky stars along with every big rig accident or burnt pot roast or sorting of your sock drawer that kept you from sinking into a hole of depression deeper than a vertical zinc mine once you came to the realization that you will never ever ever have that 90 minutes of your life back.

90 minutes. 5400 seconds. 3/ 48ths of a day. Time enough to cook a four pound chicken and eat it. To listen to Green Day's American Idiot twice. Read an entire Robert Parker book. Roundtrip from San Francisco to San Jose in the fast lane of I- 280. One and a half episodes of The Wire. Three consecutive pizza deliveries from Dominos. 22 and a half, four- minute miles. 551 hot dogs at the rate that Joey Chestnut set the world record last July 4th on Coney Island.

Oh my living god, it was riveting. Like listening to golf on the radio in Mandarin. Made you pine for one of those mid 50's Soviet television documentaries on hydroponic farming in the Ukraine. You know that feeling you get when you've been driving fourteen hours straight and are starting to nod off because its 4:30 am and you haven't seen a car in three hours and you figure you'll just rest one eye a little bit and then open it again real quick? Well, it was a lot like that only with tedium.

Here's a news flash. We don't care anymore. You've broken us. Spending 18 minutes on two health care plans that don't have a gnat's pubic hair's worth of difference between them. Not just a discussion, but an actual altercation over the distinction between the words "reject" and "denounce"? You got to be kidding me. The two of you share similar opinions on every single policy issue of import and spend each of these interminable evenings sucking up to the same special interest groups agreeing with one another. That is not a debate. That's a swimsuit competition with pants.

Somebody, anybody, put an end to this misery. I'm begging you. Before one of us snaps and rushes the stage brandishing a turkey baster full of muscle relaxers. Save us. Please. Texas. Pennsylvania. If you have the tiniest scintilla of humanity hidden in the marrow of your bones you will stop this now. No. More. Debates. Until after Labor Day. And then, I'll personally furnish the bats. And the horse.

Is Huckabee Waiting for God to Smite John McCain?

Just when you thought the Republican primary was all over but the shouting, along comes The New York Times with a potential bombshell about possible indiscretions that may or may not have involved John McCain and a woman who does not necessarily look unlike his wife. But don't let that fool you, the charges aren't that solid. Murkier than 8 mm footage of Sasquatch grilling on a Cayman Islands condo balcony filmed from a boat across the harbor on a foggy night. The only certainty is the Gray Lady managed to unite the Conservative Right to fight the reviled shared enemy they represent. Isn't that just like the liberal media elite? Throwing synthetic dirt on the hill to make Obama's comeback climb even more impressive.

McCain's response to the suppositious expose about ostensible malfeasance did provide his wife, Cindy, with serious face time to demonstrate that she was more than just the blonde lady who looks like the head stewardess for Republican Air. And the fact that the lobbyist in question, Vicki Iseman, is her doppelganger, simply means John has really good taste in Stepford Wives.

Over at the Mike Huckabee camp, the shouting is tinged in desperation. But still this Energizer Razorback Bunny refuses to give up. As the former portly former governor from Arkansas says, we've entered the "survival of the fittest" phase of the election. Strange talk from a man who doesn't believe in evolution. From my perspective it seems more like a "gnawing off one of your legs to escape from the coyote trap" phase of the election.

The GOP is down to a man who believes humans and dinosaurs walked the earth together and another who can refute that since he was there. Huckabee explains away his Sisyphean perseverance by saying he doesn't believe in numbers, he believes in miracles. The hell does that mean? He's waiting for God to smite John McCain dead? Don't laugh. It could be working. I got to tell you, I'm worried about the good Senator from Arizona. He don't look so good.

Not just the deer in the headlights grimace at his recent entanglement-denial press conference. I don't know if you noticed but the lump in his face that he had surgically removed a couple years ago is back, and it brought its big brother with it. Looks like he's hoarding nuts for the winter. That can't be good. Generally, I find people are rather disinclined to vote for a president who resembles a marsupial.

This is particularly distressing because, let's face it, Lumpy is not a young man. At 72, he'd be the oldest white man to ascend to the Presidency. What does it say about a country when the president's motorcade continually holds up traffic doing 30 in the fast lane with their left blinkers on? State Dinners held at Denny's on Wednesdays to take advantage of the senior discount? His campaign slogan: "Hey, you punks, get off my lawn."

The allegation by the Times could be a speed bump or a spike strip to the front wheels of the Straight Talk Express. After all, McCain's major attraction to independents is his credibility. And his steadfastness, best exemplified by his early support of the Iraqi surge and his expectation for us to be there for 100 years. No big surprise. We still have a base in Cuba: a residue from the Spanish American War, which ended in 1898. Ask John McCain. He was there too.

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