Archive for December, 2008

Banks To Taxpayers: Drop Dead!

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

Rachel Maddow says “We should all become banks.” Why? Because all it takes for banks to get lots of taxpayer TARP money is a simple two page application. And the best part is that banks don’t have to account for the cash. (Bush’s Treasury Department requires no transparency or accountability.)

That calls for a limerick, don’t you think?

Banks To Taxpayers: Drop Dead!
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Where’s your money? You’ve no right to know.
Banks account for your dough? Ho! Ho! Ho!
We are rich and white collar —
Won’t help if you holler.
Go pester a unionized co!

Weblog Wonderland Revisited

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

Back in 2002 I wrote Weblog Wonderland, a Winter Wonderland song parody about political blogging and the Bush-inspired battle between lefty and right-wing bloggers.

I’d completely forgotten about it until this afternoon, when I received an email blast from the past: A fellow I knew a zillion years ago in my early oboe-playing days had stumbled onto my site while searching for a song parody of Winter Wonderland.

After re-reading it (and singing it) I realized that re-posting Weblog Wonderland would be a fun way to celebrate the waning days of the Bush administration. So here it is:

Weblog Wonderland (Inspired by Winter Wonderland by Smith & Bernard)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Bloggers zing, are you list’nin’?
Some are vain, some are bristlin’.
The left and the right
Are happy tonight.
Surfin’ in a weblog wonderland.

“Bombs away,” say the blog hawks.
“War’s insane,” other blogs balk.
Some sing Bush love songs.
Some shout that he’s wrong.
Surfin’ in a weblog wonderland.

Some right bloggers like to build up straw men.
Then they brag that they have knocked ‘em down.
Daring lefts to parry,
They’ll say, “No, man.”
“Your reasoning is flawed and you’re a clown.”

Later on, they’ll conspire,
Plannin’ posts packed with ire.
They face unafraid
The rantin’, the raves.
Surfin’ in a weblog wonderland.

In the middle few can be a showman,
While displayin’ balance, wit, and clout.
Strong opinions rule the day in blogland.
Until some other bloggers knock ‘em down.

Heated prose, ain’t it thrillin’
When it flows, when it’s chillin’?
Some post every day.
They must have their say.
Surfin’ in a weblog wonderland.

Some post every day.
They relish the fray.
Surfin’ in a weblog wonderland.

Why Caroline Kennedy?

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

I don’t have anything against Caroline Kennedy. By all accounts she’s bright, hard-working, a good education-related fundraiser, and knowledgeable about Constitutional law. And if she ran to represent New York in the U.S. Senate, I (a New York City resident) might very well vote for her.

Nonetheless, I share Ron Kuby’s antipathy towards legacy appointments. And like Kuby, I wonder why so few liberals and progressives are speaking out against New York Governor David Paterson’s potential Caroline Kennedy appointment.

I believe that a U.S. Senate appointment should go to someone who has more demonstrably earned it and whose positions on a wide array of topics important to New Yorkers are better known. And that brings me to my latest limerick:

There once was a Kennedy daughter
Whose dad was a victim of slaughter.
She sought an appointment —
A Senate anointment,
And few but Ron Kuby, Esq. fought her.

For Your Political Junkie Gift List: Dumbocracy

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

I’ve been meaning to recommend Marty Beckerman’s Dumbocracy for a few months now. But little things like presidential elections and a very sick mother have distracted me.

Beckerman has a well-developed distaste for extremists, as you tell from Dumbocracy’s subtitle: Adventures with the Loony Left, the Rabid Right and Other American Idiots. But he somehow managed to spend lots of time with a wide variety of political lunatics and has some very funny (and often obscene) things to say about his experiences.

This book isn’t for the prudish or the faint-hearted. (Hunter Thompson once described Beckerman as a “morbid little bastard.” And a couple of Dumbocracy passages did make me cringe.) Nonetheless, it’s a very entertaining, informative, and unusual political read.

Declaring War On The “War On Christmas” Whine

Friday, December 12th, 2008

I was heartened to read this column declaring war on the “war on Christmas” whine. Something tells me, however, that Bill O’Reilly won’t agree.

I don’t have time to write anything new about Bill O’Reilly’s war on the faux war on Christmas, because my mother’s been in the ICU for the last week. But a song parody I wrote three years ago remains surprisingly up to date:

Bill O’Reilly’s Faux War On Christmas — Song Parody (Sing to Get Me To The Church On Time)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Bill says we’re waging war on Christmas,
Spouting another Fox News lie.
Bill’s rarely proper.
Loves telling whoppers.
Ain’t nothing that his fans won’t buy.

Bill claims we’re screwing blessed Christmas.
We’re greeting people wrong, he cries.
Not saying merry,
Christmas is very,
Belligerent and most unwise.

O’Reilly’s nasty, and quite the bore.
Too bad that Fox won’t kick him out the door.

Store signs must twinkle “Merry Christmas.”
“Happy” and “holidays” won’t do.
Bill makes a rumpus,
With no moral compass.
He leaves truth in the lurch.
O’Reilly goes to church?
He fibs and fabricates and lies on cue.

Bill says we’re out to outlaw Christmas.
Some people call its tree a bush!
Bill’s not facetious.
Bill’s claims are specious.
His reasoning is packed with mush.

Bill says we’re out to kill off Christmas.
We’re harming symbols so sublime.
Bill’s got a vision.
Bill’s on a mission:
To battle his faux war prime time.

Is Bill a madman, or just perverse?
It’s hard to picture a talk show host who’s worse.

Shop lights must twinkle “Merry Christmas.”
“Seasons” and “greetings” just won’t do.
Bill likes inciting,
And people dividing.
He leaves truth in the lurch.
O’Reilly goes to church?
He fibs and fabricates and lies on cue.

Who Needs Oversight, When You’re Spending Money You Don’t Have?

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

According to the GAO, TARP (the gazillion dollar Troubled Asset Relief Program) is seriously lacking in oversight. Why? Because of a single Senator’s anonymous block on the program’s IG (Inspector General) nominee.

Sen. Max Baucus, the fellow who made sure the TARP bill provided for an IG, isn’t too pleased. And that brings me to my latest limerick:

I’m never a person to carp,
But nobody oversees TARP.
One anonymous “hold”
Stopped the process out cold
Of confirming an IG who’s sharp.

Ode To Ron Kuby (Limerick)

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

Ron Kuby is known on the street
As a lawyer who rarely is beat.
And his show Doing Time
Is quite simply sublime.
Now Ron Kuby has learned how to Tweet.

And speaking of Twitter, you can follow me on Twitter here.

Don Davis Presents: The Atheism Song

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

My good friend Don Davis has outdone himself with an Adam Sandler parody. So forget Sandler’s Hanukkah Song and watch the Atheism Song video here. Don’s young singing, guitar-playing collaborator, Louie Aronowitz, does an excellent Sandler parody and the Don’s spoof lyrics are great!