Archive for the ‘Humor’ category


February 3, 2009

Sarah Palin LIED! And We All Feel Really Shocked and Betrayed.

2 /02 2009

Sarah Palin LIED.  It’s true.  I’m shocked, SHOCKED I say.  I know….(patting the back of your hand).  We all feel very betrayed, and stunned by this sudden change in character.  We thought we could trust her, but ooohhhhh we were so naive.  (shakes head and dabs eyes with hanky)
Here’s the whole sad story.
Seems like the RNC invited the Governor to attend their Winter Retreat in Washington, D.C. this past weekend.  Palin politely refused for a very good reason.  You see, the Alaska State Legislature meets for only 90 days a year.  That’s a mere 90 days to get a whole lot of work done.  It used to be that the session was 120 days long, but Alaska voters felt that this was allowing the Legislature too much time to accomplish the business of the state, so they cut out 30 days.
This means that noses go to the grindstone, shoulders go to the wheel, and other body parts go to the wall to get things accomplished in a very limited window of time.  So, Sarah Palin can’t just go traipsing all over the country for any old reason, even if it’s the RNC’s Winter Retreat.  It’s natural that they would want a nice inspirational speech from their recent Vice Presidential nominee, but they’re just going to have to understand that, and she told them so.  She does have her priorities.
Retreat organizers tell ABC News that Palin politely declined, giving a perfectly understandable reason.  According to the Congressional Institute, which hosted the conference, Palin said she simply could not make it to the retreat because pressing state business made it impossible for her to leave Alaska this weekend.
And what was this pressing business that kept her in the state?  Perhaps it was dealing with budget issues, or meeting with legislators, or mayors.  Perhaps she traveled to Emmonak, or another remote village whose residents are going cold and hungry this winter after the collapse of the Bristol Bay salmon fishery.  Perhaps she just wanted to be around in case the volcanic Mt. Redoubt blew its stack and dumped ash on Alaska’s biggest city.  There are just so many things….what could it be?
Waaaaait a minute,”  I hear you say as a little light bulb goes off over your head.  “I remember reading about her attending some swanky dinner party in Washington D.C. on Friday night at the home of a GOP fundraiser.  And she was filmed with Meghan Stapleton and that very same fundraiser, Fred Malek, arriving at the even swankier Alfalfa Club dinner on Saturday!”
Well, there’s no pulling one over on you, is there!  Apparently Palin assumed that the RNC just wouldn’t notice that their VP nominee was actually IN Washington D.C. when she told them she couldn’t possibly leave the state due to pressing business.  Ruh-roh. 
“She lied to us!” wailed one Republican at the retreat.
While this bald-faced lie apparently shocked and surprised some Republicans who obviously haven’t been paying very close attention to their adorable new “icon”, others were not particularly affected by Palin’s lie or by her  non-attendance at the event.
Quoth  House Republican Leader John Boehner, “Whatever.”


January 22, 2009


POSTED 1/22/2009

Obama Sends Biden on ‘Special Mission’ to Antarctica

High-level Trip Could Last Four Years, President Hints

In the first major initiative of his presidency, President Barack Obama today dispatched Vice President Joe Biden on what he called “an important and special mission” to Antarctica.

The news of Mr. Biden’s unexpected trip appeared to take the Vice President by surprise, as he was in the middle of making a joke about Chief Justice John Roberts to members of the press corps when the President interrupted him with the news.

“Here’s how John Roberts sings the National Anthem,” Mr. Biden was saying.  “’Oh see can you say…’”

Mr. Obama, yanking away Mr. Biden’s microphone, then informed him of the extraordinary journey to the South Pole he was about to undertake.

The President was vague about what the mission to Antarctica would entail, but he did indicate that it could take “up to four years.”

While some witnesses to the scene said that Mr. Biden seemed surprised by the news, his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, offered another version of events during an appearance later in the day on “Oprah.”

“Joe was given a choice of places to go and he picked Antarctica,” she said.  “President Obama said he could also go to the moon or Mars.”

Dr. Biden’s remarks were cut short when President Obama appeared on the set and unplugged her microphone.

Other than the Biden news, Mr. Obama’s day went as planed, meeting with senior staff, drawing up a budget, and being sworn in as President for the third time


January 19, 2009

The Day Few Thought Would Come

Frank Rich: “I cannot testify to what black Americans feel as our nation celebrates the inauguration of our first African-American president. But I can speak for myself, as a white American who grew up in the segregated nation’s capital of the 1960s. Barack Obama’s day is one that I never thought would come, and one that I still can’t quite believe is here.”

Quote of the Day

“To all of us who are liberals…”

—  Incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, quoted by Ben Smith, who notes it’s once again safe to use the “L word.”

Presidential Command

Power, Leadership, and the Making of Foreign Policy from Richard Nixon to George W. BushJust published: Presidential Command by Peter Rodman.

Gary Hart: “For those who find comfort in believing their nation’s role in the world is being guided by sober, thoughtful, wise and judicious men and women, this book is not to be recommended. Indeed, its look at behind- the-scenes policy-making may give America’s enemies considerable comfort.”

Americans Expect Long Haul

CBS News/New York Times poll: “Most Americans said they did not expect real progress in improving the economy, reforming the health care system or ending the war in Iraq — three of the central promises of Mr. Obama’s campaign — for at least two years. The poll found that two-thirds of respondents think the recession will last two years or longer.”

No Surprises in Obama’s Speech

Obama adviser David Axelrod suggested on This Week that there would be few surprises in the new President’s inaugural speech.

Said Axelrod: “One thing about Barack Obama, his themes have been consistent not just through this campaign, but through his public life. From his convention speech in 2004 through today. So I don’t think you’re going to be surprised by what you hear. I think he’s going to talk about where we are as a country, but also who we are as a people. And what responsibilities accrue to us as a result of that. And what we have to do to move forward. I’m not going to handicap whether it’s going to be a great speech, a good speech or — but I have confidence in the message that he wants to deliver and I don’t think you’ll be surprised by it.”


March 3, 2008

New York Times  

Is Obama a Mac and Clinton a PC?

Illustration by the New York TIMES


Published: February 4, 2008
STYLES make fights — or so goes the boxing cliché. In 2008, they make presidential campaigns, too.

This is especially true for the two remaining Democrats, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Reporters covering the candidates have already resorted to traditional analysis of style — fashion choices, manner of speaking, even the way they laugh. Yet, according to design experts, the candidates have left a clear blueprint of their personal style — perhaps even a window into their souls — through the Web sites they have created to raise money, recruit volunteers and generally meet-and-greet online.

On one thing, the experts seem to agree. The differences between can be summed up this way: Barack Obama is a Mac, and Hillary Clinton is a PC.

That is, Mr. Obama’s site is more harmonious, with plenty of white space and a soft blue palette. Its task bar is reminiscent of the one used at Apple’s iTunes site. It signals in myriad ways that it was designed with a younger, more tech-savvy audience in mind — using branding techniques similar to the ones that have made the iPod so popular.

“With Obama’s site, all the features and elements are seamlessly integrated, just like the experience of using a program on a Macintosh computer,” said Alice Twemlow, chairwoman of the M.F.A. program in design criticism at the School of Visual Arts (who is a Mac user).

It is designed, she said, even down to the playful logos that illustrate choices like, Volunteer or Register to Vote. She likened those touches to the elaborate, painstaking packaging Apple uses to woo its customers.

The linking of Mr. Obama with Mac and Mrs. Clinton with PCs has already become something of a theme during the primary. Early in the campaign, a popular YouTube parody of Apple’s “1984” Super Bowl ad made Mrs. Clinton the face of oppression. This week on The Huffington Post, Douglas T. Kendall, the founder of the Community Rights Counsel, a public interest law firm, made the connection more explicit.

But the designers believe the comparisons — but not perhaps the Orwellian overtones — are apt. In contrast to, Mrs. Clinton’s site uses a more traditional color scheme of dark blue, has sharper lines dividing content and employs cookie-cutter icons next to its buttons for volunteering, and the like.

“Hillary’s is way more hectic, it’s got all these, what look like parody ads,” said Ms. Twemlow, who is not a citizen and cannot vote in the election.

Jason Santa Maria, creative director of Happy Cog Studios, which designs Web sites, detected a basic breach of netiquette. “Hillary’s text is all caps, like shouting,” he said. There are “many messages vying for attention,” he said, adding, “Candidates are building a brand and it should be consistent.”

But Emily Chang, the cofounder of Ideacodes, a Web designing and consulting firm, detected consistent messages, and summed them up: “His site is more youthful and hers more regal.”

Mr. Obama’s site is almost universally praised. Even Martin Avila, the general manager of the company responsible for the Republican Ron Paul’s Web site, said simply, “Barack’s site is amazing.”

But the compliments are clearly double-edged.

While Apple’s ad campaign maligns the PC by using an annoying man in a plain suit as its personification, it is not clear that aligning with the trendy Mac aesthetic is good politics. The iPod may be a dominant music player, but the Mac is still a niche computer. PC, no doubt, would win the Electoral College by historic proportions (with Mac perhaps carrying Vermont).

While Mr. Santa Maria praised for having “this welcoming quality,” he added that it was “ethereal, vaporous and someone could construe it as nebulous.” He said there was a bit of the “Lifetime channel effect, you know, vasoline on the lens” to create a softer effect on the viewer. The “hectic” site that the Clinton campaign is offering could actually be quite strategic, exactly in step with her branding. After all, Mrs. Clinton repeatedly emphasizes how hard she will work for the average American “starting on Day 1.” If she comes across as energetic online, that may simply be her intention. If she shouts a bit more, typographically speaking, that may be the better to be heard.

Unlike the Republicans, the Democratic contenders have incorporated social-networking tools to their sites — allowing supporters to create their own groups, for example, though Mr. Obama is considered the pacesetter in that regard.

“Obama’s campaign gained attention here in the Bay area tech community early on when he launched the portal that allowed for personal blogging from the public, messaging with other supporters, and a host of other tools,” Ms. Chang wrote in an e-mail message.

On the big Internet issues like copyright, Lawrence Lessig, a Stanford law professor who is supporting Mr. Obama, said there was “not a big difference on paper” between the two Democrats. Both tend to favor the users of the Internet over those who “own the pipes.” He is impressed by Mr. Obama’s proposal to “make all public government data available to everybody to use as they wish.”

In the long run, however, Mr. Lessig believes that it is the ability to motivate the electorate that matters, not simple matters of style. And he’s a Mac user from way back.


January 12, 2008

Barron's Online  
Monday, January 14, 2008


Let’s not beat around the bush: Who told the president that the economy isn’t great?

Someone sure did, because last Monday in Chicago, Dubya came right out and informed an audience of business brass that in contrast to what he has been saying loud and clear for lo! these many months now, the economy isn’t going gangbusters; in fact, it’s looking a tad peaked.

Why, he even went so far as to admit that jobs, which he had consistently exulted that, thanks to his tax cuts, were growing in glorious profusion, are drying up like over-the-hill peonies left out in an unforgiving sun.

Just to show how thoroughly clued in Mr. Bush has suddenly become, he disclosed in muted fashion that housing had fallen off a cliff, that a lot of mortgages weren’t worth the paper they’re written on, that oil prices have gone through the roof and that ordinary folk, as they are wont to do, are worried. Golly.

We’re happy to report that after reciting his modest litany of woe, the president, in an attempt to cheer up the audience, not to mention the rest of the country, which happens to have a large contingent of those worried ordinary folk, declared he was optimistic. Of course, that’s easy for him to say: After all, he knows, come what may, his job — and the perks and paychecks that go with it — are 100%-guaranteed for the next 11½ months.

We, personally, couldn’t help feeling a heck of a lot better when we learned that Mr. Bush, now that he’s alert to the sad facts that the economy may be slowing and homeowners especially are hurting, isn’t content with a do-nothing policy. The inside poop is that to keep the feral forces of recession at bay he is determined to push hard as he can to extend his tax cuts, rather than letting them become history.

An admirable plan, whose only tiny hitch is that said tax cuts are not slated to expire for three years. Perhaps it’s some genetic incapacity on our part, but we don’t quite understand how extending the lower rates beyond 2010 will do all that much to dispel those masses of dark clouds hovering over today’s economy, much less what ordinary folk do in the meantime — except get a bicycle to counter runaway gasoline prices, munch leaves and finger nails to avoid the upward spiral in the cost of food and pitch a tent in the nearest vacant lot (and please don’t forget the sleeping bags for the wife and kiddies) after foreclosure…………………………….




October 14, 2007

October 14, 2007 The NY Times


A Mock Columnist, Amok

I was in my office, writing a column on the injustice of relative marginal tax rates for hedge fund managers, when I saw Stephen Colbert on TV.

He was sneering that Times columns make good “kindling.” He was ranting that after you throw away the paper, “it takes over a hundred years for the lies to biodegrade.” He was observing, approvingly, that “Dick Cheney’s fondest pipe dream is driving a bulldozer into The New York Times while drinking crude oil out of Keith Olbermann’s skull.”

I called Colbert with a dare: if he thought it was so easy to be a Times Op-Ed pundit, he should try it. He came right over. In a moment of weakness, I had staged a coup d’moi. I just hope he leaves at some point. He’s typing and drinking and threatening to “shave Paul Krugman with a broken bottle.”

I Am an Op-Ed Columnist (And So Can You!)

Surprised to see my byline here, aren’t you? I would be too, if I read The New York Times. But I don’t. So I’ll just have to take your word that this was published. Frankly, I prefer emoticons to the written word, and if you disagree 😦

I’d like to thank Maureen Dowd for permitting/begging me to write her column today. As I type this, she’s watching from an overstuffed divan, petting her prize Abyssinian and sipping a Dirty Cosmotinijito. Which reminds me: Before I get started, I have to take care of one other bit of business:

Bad things are happening in countries you shouldn’t have to think about. It’s all George Bush’s fault, the vice president is Satan, and God is gay.

There. Now I’ve written Frank Rich’s column too.

So why I am writing Miss Dowd’s column today? Simple. Because I believe the 2008 election, unlike all previous elections, is important. And a lot of Americans feel confused about the current crop of presidential candidates.

For instance, Hillary Clinton. I can’t remember if I’m supposed to be scared of her so Democrats will think they should nominate her when she’s actually easy to beat, or if I’m supposed to be scared of her because she’s legitimately scary.

Or Rudy Giuliani. I can’t remember if I’m supposed to support him because he’s the one who can beat Hillary if she gets nominated, or if I’m supposed to support him because he’s legitimately scary.

And Fred Thompson. In my opinion “Law & Order” never sufficiently explained why the Manhattan D.A. had an accent like an Appalachian catfish wrestler.

Well, suddenly an option is looming on the horizon. And I don’t mean Al Gore (though he’s a world-class loomer). First of all, I don’t think Nobel Prizes should go to people I was seated next to at the Emmys. Second, winning the Nobel Prize does not automatically qualify you to be commander in chief. I think George Bush has proved definitively that to be president, you don’t need to care about science, literature or peace.

While my hat is not presently in the ring, I should also point out that it is not on my head. So where’s that hat? (Hint: John McCain was seen passing one at a gas station to fuel up the Straight Talk Express.)

Others point to my new bestseller, “I Am America (And So Can You!)” noting that many candidates test the waters with a book first. Just look at Barack Obama, John Edwards or O. J. Simpson.

Look at the moral guidance I offer. On faith: “After Jesus was born, the Old Testament basically became a way for Bible publishers to keep their word count up.” On gender: “The sooner we accept the basic differences between men and women, the sooner we can stop arguing about it and start having sex.” On race: “While skin and race are often synonymous, skin cleansing is good, race cleansing is bad.” On the elderly: “They look like lizards.”

Our nation is at a Fork in the Road. Some say we should go Left; some say go Right. I say, “Doesn’t this thing have a reverse gear?” Let’s back this country up to a time before there were forks in the road — or even roads. Or forks, for that matter. I want to return to a simpler America where we ate our meat off the end of a sharpened stick.

Let me regurgitate: I know why you want me to run, and I hear your clamor. I share Americans’ nostalgia for an era when you not only could tell a man by the cut of his jib, but the jib industry hadn’t yet fled to Guangdong. And I don’t intend to tease you for weeks the way Newt Gingrich did, saying that if his supporters raised $30 million, he would run for president. I would run for 15 million. Cash.

Nevertheless, I am not ready to announce yet — even though it’s clear that the voters are desperate for a white, male, middle-aged, Jesus-trumpeting alternative.

What do I offer? Hope for the common man. Because I am not the Anointed or the Inevitable. I am just an Average Joe like you — if you have a TV show.