Happy birthday, Dub.
The Presidency, you flubbed.
Back to Crawford, bub!
And yes, I know that, technically, haiku isn't supposed to rhyme. But you don't expect me to let a little thing like a poetry rule stand in my way, do you? Okay, just to prove I too can be obedient on occasion (but please don't tell hubby Mark), here's my non-winning entry:
"Let freedom reign," George?
We know that you meant "wane," George.
You are freedom's bane.
Last week, when Dick Cheney inspired me to write him my Ode to the F-Word poem, I never expected to revisit the topic. But then I started noticing a new trend among lefty bloggers: verbing Cheney and turning his name into a delightful new curse word. So I couldn't resist writing yet another poem, which I hereby dedicate to the "Dump Bush/Expletive Deleted" campaign:
Cheney 'Em All! By Madeleine Begun Kane
The "F word" and the "C word" and the "S word" and the rest
Must make some room for "Cheney."
As a curse word, it's the best.
Instead of saying "f**k you," just say "Cheney you" next time.
You'll like it, I assure you.
As a curse word, it's sublime.
And when perchance you want to tell some bastard where he stands,
Explain that he has "Cheney'd up,"
If "f**ked up" seems too bland.
An alleged writer, whose reading skills clearly rival George Dubya's,
published a post that implies I'm anti-poor. Now I don't know whether to be P-O'd or amused, because any literate person who spends even two minutes reading my blog, knows that I'm a devout liberal who's spent the last three-plus years satirizing Bush and his cronies.
Ms. Writer linked to my obviously anti-Bush Rename the Food Stamps Program Contest, cited a contest entry which offended her tender sensibilities, and didn't even inform her readers that it was a comment authored by somebody else and listed among a slew of satirical anti-Bush contest entries. Here's her post:
//bitter// Make fun of poor people, ha ha ha. "Lard Cards," nice. Back when we got "food stamps" in 1993 in New Mexico, we just called it the EBT card -- more convenient, less likely to get traded/bought/stolen, a lot less paperwork, less shame for the, uh, POOR people because it looks like a debit card -- what's not to like? But poor people ("trailer trash") are always funny, I keep forgetting that. //bitter// But in terms of actual language use, I'll bet they get colloquially called something like "food stamp cards."
June 28, 2004 (And The Winner Is -- Results of the Rename the Food Stamps Program Contest)
Dear President Bush:
Last week, the New York Times reported that you were renaming the Food Stamps Program and soliciting name suggestions from the general public.
I didn't believe the story at first, figuring it was yet another example of media rumormongering. But when I found out it was true, I felt duty-bound to help. After all, I know how busy you must be, what with PlameGate, TortureGate, HalliburtonGate, and the rotten economy you inherited from Bill Clinton.
So I sponsored a contest which yielded nearly 200 creative suggestions from well over 100 people, submitted via comments, message board, and email.
Here's the Winners' List, which you are free to use as you see fit, provided you comply with Trademark Law, Copyright Law, Contract Law, and any other law those pesky trial lawyers may come up with:
The "Ronald Reagan Supplemental User Card Kiosk System" - or simply "Reagan SUCKS" program. The cards can soon be known as "Ron Cards" or simply "Reagans", as America's poor and hungry think about our greatest President (after Van Buren, Harding and McKinley) when they go to the supermarket. (TheTalkingDog)
Needless to say, I couldn't resist the challenge, and the new name I've come up with is "Leave No Stomach Behind."
But I think it's important to give Dubya a wide selection of creative names. So, as a public service, I challenge my readers to come up with some good names and post them in my comments. If I get suggestions from ten or more people, I'll even award a prize -- $10 in PayPal cash.
UPDATE: Thanks for the many creative contest entries, and please keep them coming. I'll continue to accept entries throughout the weekend and I'll post the contest results Monday afternoon.
The Bush administration has been forced to issue a terror report do-over with spanking new numbers showing a rise in terror. Of course, the no longer operative numbers were merely errors that "crept in," with no political motivation whatsoever. Uh-huh. Just like all those other error-laden reports about racial disparities in health care, Medicare prescription drug bill estimates, and the EPA's proposed mercury emissions rules had absolutely nothing to do with ideology and were innocent mistakes. Sorry, but I'm not buying. Here's the real Bush policy on number fudging:
Number Fudging A La Bush By Madeleine Begun Kane
We've won the anti-terror fight,
As you can plainly see.
For numbers never lie unless
We change them sneakily.
And speaking of lawyers, from time to time people ask me why I walked away from practicing law. So I decided to post a piece I wrote 10 years ago on that very subject. Diary of a Bashed Attorney, which was first published in Pacific Magazine and Funny Times, begins:
March 5, 1993
Why did I go to law school? Work is unbearable, I have no free time, and I'm expected to "make rain" at parties. To somehow extract legal fees from revelers who sidle up, drinks in one hand, hors d'oeuvres in the other, looking for free advice. My reward? Lawyer jokes:
Question: What's the difference between a lawyer and a snake?
Answer: You don't know, either?
I can't believe I fell for that one.
I wonder if killing the managing partner would be justifiable homicide. He actually asked me why I'm not billing clients for time I spend in the john. And he meant it. So I said "You're right. I always think about clients while relieving myself. In fact, I find the process quite stimulating."
The legal-hotshot, who apparently slept through Sarcasm 101, said "Good. I'll expect to find it reflected on your bills." Then he told me if I don't become more productive, I'll never make partner. Of course, what he really meant was more "creative."
I wonder what weapon I should use.
W.... doesn't want to pay his bill. He asked me how a simple will could cost $6,500. I was tempted to tell him nothing costs less than $6,500 after it's been drafted by a paralegal and reviewed by three attorneys. Particularly, when one of the lawyers -- me -- knows nothing about wills, having been loaned out by Acquisitions...
Am I being petty? Am I overreacting? I don't think so, but here's the deal:
In addition to my Regular Reads Blog Roll, my site has a large categorized links section which I call MadPicks. And from time to time, I get emails from sites that fit into one of the MadPicks categories, asking me to exchange links. So it was with a Gandhi-centric site which emailed me on April 9 to propose a link exchange. (I won't link to them or even name them, for reasons that will become apparent.)
I was impressed with the site, so I agreed to the exchange, posted their link and site description on the appropriate page, and gave them a temporary extra link in my new links section.
When I notified the Gandhi site contact person that their links were posted, I got a response saying that another site took care of their links, and that he'd forward my info.
Anyway, to make a long story short I waited patiently, but my link never appeared. And when I wrote a follow-up note to the person who initiated our alleged link exchange, politely asking about my linkless state, this was his response:
The decision whether your website is getting listed or not is entirely with www.betterworldlinks.org. Please respect their criteria, attitude and decision.
Now I know that a single link is unimportant in the scheme of things. But this obnoxious treatment by the Gandhi guy got me roiled enough to dump the Gandhi site links and send this email:
Let me get this straight. You approach me for a link exchange, and when I agree and link to you, you tell me a different site will be handling your part of the bargain. And when they don't, you tell me I should "respect their criteria, attitude and decision."
I suggest that you stop making offers that you have no intention of fulfilling. I'll be removing your link. Thanks so much for wasting my time.
I guess that wasn't very Gandhi-like of me, but I feel much better now.
I'm looking forward to your comments. And yes, I do finally have Haloscan comments, thanks to some generous and patient help from the savvy and witty Steve Bates.
Sorry for my lack of posts. I've been traveling and was hoping to be able to post updates while I was away. But as you can see, things didn't quite work out that way. And speaking of traveling, have I ever mentioned the travel humor I've written for publications like the Chicago Tribune, the Baltimore Sun, Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine, The Car Connection, EBusiness, and other pubs? If you're in the mood for some travel laughs, you might enjoy it.
So, what are my thoughts on the subject? As you might expect, I've put them into song. Feel free to sing my "Daily Kos Song" to "Mister Ed," by Ray Evans and Jay Livingston, using this midi link which opens a second window.
Daily Kos Song (to be sung to "Mr. Ed")
By Madeleine Begun Kane
The Kos was "The Source,"
Of course, of course.
That powerful blog was a force, of course.
That is, of course,
Until the Kos made a
Famous blog misstep.
The right hit the Kos
With mighty force.
They piled on the libel, till they were hoarse.
Retraction mattered not of course.
Costly blog misstep!
Yakked a streak
And scared Kos ads away.
Then Kerry yanked
His Kos-bound link,
As right wingers cheered, "Hooray!"
Now the left knows the force
Of blog discourse.
The right wing may rue what they've wrought, of course.
Will they be next with an
Well, listen to this:
We'll catch their missteps.
Fact-Free Bush (to be sung to "She'll Be Coming Round The Mountain")
By Madeleine Begun Kane
When the facts get in the way you change the facts,
And when facts get in the way, give facts the ax.
When the facts get in the way,
When the facts get in the way,
When the facts get in the way you change the facts.
When Iraq is not as threat'ning as you claimed,
Say you never said it was, play language games.
When Iraq is not as threat'ning,
When Iraq is not as threat'ning,
When Iraq is not as threat'ning as you claimed.
When your job projection numbers are quite wrong,
Blithely claim you never bought them all along.
When your job projection numbers,
When your job projection numbers,
When your job projection numbers are quite wrong.
That was always my position, is your line.
Doesn't matter if you've really changed your mind...
UPDATE: I'm now listening to Rhandi Rhodes, whose show comes on right after The O'Franken Factor. She's brilliant -- entertaining, ascerbic, and well informed. What else could you ask for?
UPDATE 2:Rhandi Rhodes is on fire. She did a phone interview with Ralph Nader which consisted mostly of her berating him for screwing up Election 2000 and trying to do the same thing to Election 2004. Nader didn't know what hit him and, after lots of back and forth yelling, he hung up on her. It was just great!
As you can see from Big Bush Lies' front and back covers, it features twenty original essays by academics, activists, legal experts, financial leaders, and journalists. The essays document Bush lies and inconsistencies about Iraq and WMD's, foreign policy, the environment, energy, health and science, religion, education, women and minority policies, national security, 9/11, campaign lies, and other topics.
For years I've been flooded with emails challenging the accuracy of MadKane.com. At first I did what most publications do -- I ignored them. But as time went by, I realized that something had to be done. So in keeping with recent trends and in the interest of sound journalism, I've appointed an ombudsman who'd like to be known only as "Bud." Here is Bud's first report:
The poem entitled Dubya's Poetic Injustice states that during George W. Bush's Election 2000 campaign, Bush promised to be a "compassionate conservative" and to have a "humble foreign policy." After this poem was published, we learned that Bush was "crossing his fingers" whenever he made those promises, so "they didn't really count." We regret this error.
According to a State of Disunion crossword puzzle clue, President Bush believes that raising twins is even harder than waging war. While Bush did in fact make that statement, he has since changed his mind and now acknowledges that waging war is "an itsy-bitsy bit harder than raising twins." We are sorry for failing to keep up to date on this issue.
In Dubya's Don't Blame Me Song the lyricist itemizes several things as not being George W. Bush's fault, including the jobless rate, 9/11, the mission accomplished banner, and the lack of WMD's. We have since learned that many more things weren't the President's fault and we regret our lack of comprehensiveness.
It has come to our attention that the author of Dubya's Dayly Diary may possibly be an impostor. Further reports will be forthcoming as our investigation develops.
According to an email from Karl Rove to Ralph Nader urging Nader to run for President (published in a column called Ralph & Rove), Mr. Rove referred to President Bush as "Texas Souffle." As far as we can determine, Rove has never called Bush "Texas Souffle," although he says it sounds "delicious." Additionally, Mr. Rove claims that he did not actually send this email. Rove admits, however, that on hearing the Ralph Nader run announcement, he did several celebratory sommersaults.
A song entitled Oh, What A Mis'rable Failure repeatedly refers to President George W. Bush as a "mis'rable failure." As it turns out, George W. Bush is a fabulous success. We apologize for this error and have terminated the songwriter.
A Jan 31, 2004 interview with Vice President Cheney quotes Cheney as claiming (1) to have created more jobs than any prior administration and (2) to have never heard of Justice Antonin Scalia. The Vice President asserts that he was "just kidding around with the interviewer" when he made both statements and that "the interview never took place." After a lengthy interrogation, our interviewer finally admitted that the interview "was only a dream." We would make her apologize, but she's currently in therapy.
The Spinning Song asserts that the Bush administration uses spinmeisters. However, Bush spinmeisters advise us that the Bush administration never uses spinmeisters. We are really, really, really, really sorry.
Please send all questions, comments and complaints to our ombudsman by email to MadKane@MadKane.com with "Dear Bud" in the subject line.
And please stay tuned for Bud's next report.
Subject: What will it take?
Hey Ralphie. How ya doing? Long time no talk.
I didn't think we'd need you in '04, but things aren't going as well as I expected.
So, are you in? As always, we'll make it worth your while. Advise ASAP.
PS Let me know what it'll take to get you on board. Everything's on the table.
PPS Don't forget to destroy on receipt.
PPPS I'm just brainstorming, but maybe EPA Director? Secy of Commerce? Whatever rings your chimes.
I refuse to comment on "you know what" or link to "you know who." I also refuse to comment on "you know what" or link to "you know who" program-related activities. However, if you simply must know what "you know who" is up to, skip the "you know who" website and visit this one instead. You'll thank me in the morning.
Here's a fun pair of posts for anyone who enjoys music: Matt Langdon over at Rashomon polled numerous bloggers, writers, and online pals for their top 10 desert island/ burning house CD choices. Part 1 is posted here and Part 2 is posted here. (You'll find my own eclectic choices at the top of Part 2.) It's fun to match up bloggers with their musical tastes. Plus, chances are, you'll discover some great music and rediscover music you've long forgotten.
It's time for another batch of humor that's made me laugh lately. Enjoy!
I'm a bit late in celebrating the Beatles' Ed Sullivan appearance anniversary. On a personal note, thanks to the Beatles for making these four song parodies possible:
Bush Misleads (To be sung to "Let It Be")
"We must drive ourselves in times of trouble.
Mustn't tarry, must be free.
We shall work to oust him. Bush misleads..."
I Read The News Each Day, Oh Boy (To be sung to the tune of "A Day In The Life")
"I read the news each day, oh boy
About a President who got poor grades.
Of course the news is mostly sad
Though one thing made me laugh
The chewing gum photograph..."
Hey Hughes (To be sung to the tune of "Hey Jude")
"Hey Hughes, don't leave DC.
Take a sad Bush and make me better.
Remember I need you cause you're so smart,
Then you can start to make me better..."
Secret To Hide (To be sung to "Ticket To Ride")
"The nation's gonna be had.
I think it's today, yeah.
That Bush he's driving me mad
With Henry the K..."
Tomorrow's a big day. No, I'm not talking about the State of the Union address. I'm referring to the 3rd anniversary of
Dubya's Dayly Diary. Yes, I launched it on the very black day that George Dubya Bush took office: January 20, 2001. I thought I'd celebrate -- okay celebrate's not exactly the right word -- with a poem. I hope you'll enjoy Dubya's Poetic Injustice.
Dubya's Poetic Injustice
By Madeleine Begun Kane
A humble foreign policy,
Bush promised way back when.
Then wages war preemptively.
For bloodshed Dubya yens.
Bush said that's what he'd be.
Then saves all his compassion for
Big biz and industry.
Dub pushes No Child Left Behind
To help improve our schools.
Then traps them in a money bind,
Cash drained and strapped by rules.
Bush said he'd cut our Fed tax bill,
So we could keep our cash.
Then slashes taxes for the rich,
So they can grow their stash.
Bush praises Martin Luther King,
The king of civil rights.
Then elevates Charles Pickering,
Who'd give our rights last rites.
Environmental care he takes
Throughout his Crawford land.
While giving bz polluting pals
A crackdown on big business thieves
Bush promised on Wall Street.
Then undermines the SEC,
Leaves cronies free to cheat.
Bush says jobs are a major goal
For our economy.
Alas, they're in a deep black hole
With our democracy.
The Dallas Morning News named George Dubya Bush Texan of the Year, noting with just a bit of understatement that Bush is "not a man of rhetorical gifts" and asserting, absurdly, that he has the "courage of the wildcatter." Libel class action on behalf of wildcatters, anyone?
It's time for my Second Annual Dubya Quote Quiz. (You'll find my First Annual Dubya Quote Quiz here.) As I said last year, Dubya's use of the English language is so ... uh ... creative, that it's often hard to tell a made-up quote from the real enchilada. So once again, as a public service, I offer a Dubya Quote Quiz, this one based exclusively on quotes from 2003.
Each question consists of four quotes -- three of which George Dubya really said last year and one of which is a fictitious quote straight out of my satirical Dubya's Dayly Diary. So have a good time testing your Bush quote knowledge. You'll find a link to the answers at the end. No cheating now!
1 (a) "I recently met with the finance minister of the Palestinian Authority, was very impressed by his grasp of finances."
(b) "First, let me make it very clear, poor people aren't necessarily killers. Just because you happen to be not rich doesn't mean you're willing to kill."
(c) "Next time the liberal press'll think twice before pesterin me fer a press conference. Cause I sprung one on em Wednesday, and I was fabulous! Those reporters were on the hunt, but they sure as hell didn't have me on the run!"
(d) "There's what they call 'actionable intelligence,' to which our military has responded on a quick basis is improving."
2 (a) "I think war is a dangerous place."
(b) "Laura's freakin cause it leaked out that she had someone buy a kiddy's book fer some TV appearance & then returned the used book fer credit. I don't see what the problem is -- she's just settin a good frugal example fer the American people."
(c) "We've had a great weekend here in the Land of the Enchanted."
(d) "When you hear about war all the time on your TV screens, the speculation of war and the discussion of war, it's not conducive to a confident tomorrow."
3 (a) "The media likes to dwell on death. It gets them viewers, gets them read. They live to publish lies and leaks. They're just a bunch of sniv'ling sneaks."
(b) "I don't bring God into my life to - to, you know, kind of be a political person."
(c) "As you notice, when there's a hole in the ground and a person is able to crawl into it in a country the size of California, it means we're on a scavenger hunt for terror, and find these terrorists who hide in holes is to get people coming forth to describe the location of the hole, is to give clues and data. And we're on it."
(d) "We said loud and clear [to corporate wrongdoers], if you cheat the shareholder and your employees, you will be held responsible for those decisions. The world is now more peaceful because we acted.
4 (a) "All up and down the different aspects of our society, we had meaningful discussions. Not only in the Cabinet Room, but prior to this and after this day, our secretaries, respective secretaries, will continue to interact to create the conditions necessary for prosperity to reign."
(b) "It's money that -- that will recognize that power is best when it's disbursed to the people we're trying to help."
(c) "We've got hundreds of sites to exploit, looking for the chemical and biological weapons that we know Saddam Hussein had prior to our entrance into Iraq."
(d) "I really like honorin our Vets, especially the dead ones. Just so long as nobody makes me hug their relatives!"
Arianna Huffington has had it up to here with the "Dean is unelectable" crapola. She says, "Personally, I could never trust a man who does not occasionally get hot under the collar." Huffington also observes: "Dean is electable precisely because he's making a decisive break with the spinelessness and pussyfooting that have become the hallmark of the Democratic Party."
Yesterday a dignified sounding man, who identified himself as Merrill Strassberg (sp?), left what I can only assume was a prank message on my answering machine. To summarize, he complimented me on my work, invited me to join "Poets In Support of President Bush," and urged me to call back, although he neglected to leave a phone number. Now anyone with a 3 digit IQ who's read my political poetry or my other political humor, would surely know that I'd no sooner join "Poets In Support of Bush" than I'd join, say, "Zombies For Cheney."
In Election 2000 the "Al Gore's a liar" myth (and the U.S. Supreme Court) propelled George W. Bush into the Presidency. Well, we have a new myth for Election 2004 -- the "HowardDean is unelectable" myth. And if Karl Rove has his way, that myth may garner Dubya a second term.
I think it's time for Liberals, Democrats, and the media to sing a new tune, and so does Bob Fertik (co-founder of the terrific Democrats.com), who suggested that I write this song. Thanks Bob! So let's all sing "Dean's Electable" to "Unforgettable," by Irving Gordon, using this midi link.
Dean's Electable (to be sung to "Unforgettable'")
By Madeleine Begun Kane
Dean's electable. Dean worries Karl.
So electable, Rove's nails are gnarled.
It's the fear of Rove that Bush he'll beat,
That he'll send George Dub a huge defeat.
Never before has someone been more
Dubya beatable, in every way.
Dean was right on war, to Karl's dismay.
Stop your quar'ling. It's incredible
That someone that's so electable,
Isn't seen as Dubya's credible foe.
(Long Instrumental Break)
(Time enough to grab a snack or write a check to your favorite candidate)
Dean's electable, in every way.
And forever more, Dean's here to stay.
Stop your quar'ling. Dean's electable.
Brainy, gutsy, so delectable.
Dean can surely be elected by you.
Happy Blogiversary to Steve Bates, the King Of Political Doggerel. Steve credits me with being his blogmother, which is giving me far more credit than I deserve. But I'll proudly take it anyway. I'd be hard pressed to think of anyone who mixes serious commentary with humor better than Steve does. So what are you waiting for? Check out his After All, What's 2004?
I'm very pleased to report that I'm a nominee in two categories in this year's About.com Political Dot-Comedy Awards competition. My political humor as a whole is nominated in the Best Parodies (Overall Achievement) category and my Dubya's Dayly Diary is a nominee in the Best Bush Humor category. So if you have time, I'd really appreciate your voting for me in one or both categories here. Thanks!
And even if you're not in a voting mood, I'll bet you enjoy visiting the terrific nominees in categories including Best Web Cartoons, Best Satirical News, Most Entertaining Left-Wing News & Commentary, Most Entertaining Right-Wing News & Commentary, Best Print Comic Strip, and Best Late-Night TV Comedy. You may even find some new (to you) humor sites to help you survive 2004.
Uh-oh! It looks like Bush's marriage is on the rocks. No, I don't mean Bush and Laura -- I'm talking about Bush and Blair. And from the sound of this news story, I may have to give my Bush & Tony song a rewrite.
Thanks to Rhino's Blog for this priceless Quote of the Day: "The White House has always attracted the mentally ill." -- Secret Service Agent Vincent Charles (explaining heightened security around the White House)