Thursday, March 31, 2011

Budget Pharmacology

Way over in the corner,
Beset by fits and starts,
The trouble-makers loiter
And practice their black arts.

They just don’t keep their focus,
At least like you and I.
Their minds begin to wander;
Their thoughts go all awry.

When jolted by a crisis
They go into a state,
Unable to face problems
That make them concentrate.

Just take a look at Durbin
Whose thoughts have gone askew,
Ignoring our debt crisis
And lecturing on chew.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Senator Charles Schumer: God of War

With apologies to Percy Bysshe Shelley, author of Ozymandias

Article link: Schumer's tactics revealed on open line

I met a well-known pundit in D.C.
Who said: Within the Senate leadership
There is against us and our liberty,
One man who carries in his iron grip
The life and death of legislative acts
And temper to destroy, instead of lose,
All those whose voice and vote he feels he lacks
Or those who would his dark demands refuse.
And on his ornate Senate office door
In Latin script of longhand does appear:
“My name is Charles Schumer, God of War:
My bidding do, or I your name will smear.”
And so has he defamed the GOP
With calumny discharged both night and day,
As those uncompromising and extreme:
For they would budget what we can repay.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Harvard Men At War

From up upon the podium in tailored suit and tie,
Between the flags of freedom crossed, and in the public eye,
The Harvard man made his address to critics, in reply,
And laid out for the audience his modern battle cry.

Recall that other Harvard man, who at the San Juan Hill,
Did call ‘Rough Riders, follow me!’ and led the charge until
The foot soldiers and cavalry were summoned by his will,
And overcame the enemy with valor and with skill.

Not for our modern Crimson man do words like those resound,
For in their stark grave melody is heroism found.
Instead we hear of diplomats who finally come around,
And handing off the fighting with no boots upon the ground.

So rally ’round the UN flag: we fight for powder blue!
Leave well behind the stars and stripes, and patriotic hue.
We’ll fight for days or weeks for sure, and then we’ll say adieu,
And hope our allies have resolve and heart to follow through.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Communication Breakdown

Our Christian duty calls us
To say a little prayer,
For those who have bad fortune
Or need the good Lord’s care.

So bow your heads a moment
And say a prayer sincere,
For Biden’s lowly staffer
Who’s ruined his career.

The VP threw a party
(For five C-notes a head)
At Alan Ginsburg’s mansion,
Inviting those well bred.

But prior to his entrance
From D.C. word came down,
To separate the VP
From media in town.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I Am the Very Model of a Democratic President

With apologies to Gilbert & Sullivan, authors of I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General

I am the very model of a Democratic president,
Who stumbled into office on a wave of massive discontent.
I’ve organized communities and burdened our state governments,
With help from union activists and other roguish elements.
I’ve found a way to give you unemployment at plus ten percent,
And rammed through legislation that the population does resent,
With stimulus and bailouts that our politicians should prevent,
Increasing sovereign debt to cover all the cash that I have spent.

I’ve made my mark with policies 
          where spending transcends revenue,
And finding businesses that government can stick its mitts into.
In matters that ensure the currency is on a fast descent,
I am the very model of a Democratic president.

I’m very good at hiding in the White House from the fawning press,
Who might ask questions relative to budget or the HHS;
And lacking teleprompter it is darned hard for me to express,
Coherent ways to show our actions have resulted in success.
The Democratic Congress voters all came out to dispossess,
And left me with a GOP Tea Party out in battle dress.
Which puts me in an awkward situation that I must redress,
By threatening to shutter government to rescue PBS.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Mayor Suttle's VAT

We tax your land and tax your home,
All you possess, from crypt to dome.
We tax three ways the daily wage
Of young and old and middle age.

We tax your cigarettes, and more,
We tax the alcohol you pour.
Your restaurant has a special rate
As does your bygone dad’s estate.

We tax your car and we impose
A tax on household goods and clothes.
Your haircuts, pedicures and nails
Are taxed as services or sales.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Goose and the Gander

Article link: Where is the anti-war movement?

What’s good for the goose,
Should likewise prevail –  
Barring some excuse –  
For the goose’s male.

The peaceniks all decried
The Iraqi war zone,
With protests worldwide
In loud, lusty tone.

Where are you, Code Pink?
Come out, Dixie Chicks!
Don’t from protest shrink;
Wade into the mix!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Planned Parenthood

With apologies to Joyce Kilmer, author of Trees

I thought that I would never see
A program sacred as P.P.

A program that Barack will back
Against the GOP attack.

A program Biden will defend
Against the budget cutting trend.

A program for which Nancy fights
Beneath the flag of women's rights.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Stopping by Rio ’Midst World Upheaval

With apologies to Robert Frost, author of Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Article link: Obama takes trip to Brazil amidst world turmoil

The world is hard, you must agree.
Who could the news of late foresee?
But I can act above it all,
And show I’m not Bush Forty-Three.

With those we counted as allies,
My focus comes as a surprise.
But who are they to lecture me,
The man who won the Nobel Prize?
With fallout wafting from Japan,
Revolts from Cairo to Iran,
I’ll chat it up with the U.N.
And late adopt Sarkozy’s plan.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Battle of Lansing

With apologies to Jimmie Driftwood, songwriter of The Battle of New Orleans

Well in twenty-eleven, we took a little trip,
Along with Michael Moore, the captain of our ship.
Who organized our bus trip and paid the whole darn thing,
So we could quit Wisconsin and skedaddle to Lansing.

    We waved our signs and the Democrats went running,
    They’re hiding out in Illinois and won’t come back to vote.
    We yelled once more but the GOP was cunning:
    They passed another bill and they sunk our union’s boat.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Budget: Act III, Scene II

With apologies to William Shakespeare, author of Julius Caesar

Friends, Members, Senators, lend me your ears;
I come to praise Obama, not harm him.
The deficits men leave live on for years,
The life of surpluses is very slim;
So it is with Barack too. The noble Reid
Hath told you that Barack’s a budget hawk:
If it were so, we should in truth pay heed,
And frequently we all have heard that talk.
Here, under leave of Harry and the rest –
For Harry is an honorable man;
So are they all, as I can sure attest –
Come I to ask for a new master plan.
Obama gave us all Obamacare,
But Harry said he is a budget hawk;
And Harry is a gentleman foursquare.
And have we not all heard Barack’s sweet-talk?
Did he not say that we should spread the wealth?
Does this Obama seem to penny-pinch?
When everyone receives free care for health?
I think the fists of thrift should have more clinch.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pelosi at the Mike

With apologies to Ernest Lawrence Thayer, author of Casey at the Bat

The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Democrats that day:
The House’s freshmen members had put budget cuts in play.
The CR was expiring, and though HR1 was dead,
Pelosi’s shrunken conference was enraged and seeing red.

With senators retiring and the President gone mute,
Joe Biden leading budget talks, McConnell in pursuit,
And unemployment figures tearing ’part her union base,
The former speaker headed to the mike to state her case.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Dear Harry,

To the Senate's sole protector of the noble rhyming set,
The patron of our poems, the bard's own baronet:
In hand I take my laptop, to pen a piffling plea
For your assistance, Harry, in making my Art free.

I know I have a talent. I know I have a gift.
But how am I to versify amidst the graveyard shift?
My foreman is a hater, who’s never heard a rhyme.
He cares but for production, and works me double-time.

My wife has found a lawyer, my income to divest;
I’ll soon be old and single, alone and dispossessed.
I haven’t slept a wink at night for nigh on thirteen years,
My writing surely suffers; I’m shunned by all my peers.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Voter Number Sixty

(Article links: Senator Nelson opposes spending bills; wants 50 billion in 'rational cuts')

If one is seeking laughter
Or one is seeking sport,
I’d make a guess the Senate floor
Will fall a little short.
Exceptions prove the rule,
And on this Ash Wednesday,
The senior Husker on the floor
Put on a fine display.

The man who late invented
The Husker kickback clause,
Was lecturing his colleagues
On passing budget laws.
Old Ben, who’d seen his standings
In all the polls descend,
Declared the bills from both parties
Would meet a bitter end.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

In the Lenten Season (a parody)

With apologies to Eugene Field, author of Jest ‘fore Christmas

When I go to heaven I won’t be wait’n in line,
I’ll pass on by St. Peter; I’ll take what’s rightly mine.
Ain’t no use denyin’, sometimes throughout the year,
The laws get sorta broken: the ones I think severe.
Not afraid a-sayin I’m not the prayin’ sort,
And sometimes on the weekends my habits don’t comport.
Threaten if you want to but I ain’t ‘fraid you see,
‘Cause in the Lenten season I’m as good as I need be.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Lady from CA

With apologies to Alfred, Lord Tennyson, author of The Lady of Shalott

On either side the aisle lie
The wooden benches, coarse and dry
Where sit the members, or nearby,
To wait their turn so they may try
The press to lead astray.
And each in turn will rise to speak
In words they've crafted for a week,
To be immune from all critique
And thus are dull and gray.

But then there rose from midst the pack,
From on the left and further back,
With piercing eyes and hair jet black
One who would take the crowd aback
With what she had to say:
"Cut from defense or cut the dole.
Cut grants in aid for every soul.
But not one cent from birth control!"
Said the Lady from CA.

"The Highway fund is there to drain.
Gut NASA and the high speed train.
The Peace Corps can share in the pain;
Job Training and aid to Bahrain,
Or Head Start you can slay.
But let me be well understood:
You've got to fund Planned Parenthood!
Their finances must be made good."
Said the Lady from CA.

"I think it plain that all should see
That if we stand for liberty
Or in this world there justice be,
Planned Parenthood must be kept free
From cuts made here this day.
For in that magic sacred pill
And each successive month's refill
The truth of life we do distill."
Said the Lady from CA.

And in the House where had amassed
The members, standing now aghast,
Dumbfounded from the first to last
At she who had herself unmasked
With what she had to say,
A silence fell as dark as night,
Through which could pierce no ray of light,
Which served the purpose to indict
The said Lady from CA.

Friday, March 4, 2011

The JoeBidewonky

With apologies to Lewis Carroll, author of The Jabberwocky

’Twas springtime, and the budget talks
Did seize and stalemate in D.C.
All tumult were the Democrats
With the dour Tea Party.

“Beware the GOP, my son,
Their laws that lop, their rules that clip!
Beware the freshmen reps, and shun
The malefic party whip!”

He put his V.P. in the fore;
Long time the faux pas king, who talks,
And summons love from the press core:
He’ll slay those budget hawks!

And as in nimble thought Joe stood,
The gaffe machine, amid the throng,
And promised that he likely would
Ensure it comes out wrong!

Spend more! Spend more! And tax ’til poor!
The V.P.’s plan went just like that!
He long droned on, and then he donned
His union campaign hat.

“And hast thou slain the Tea Party?
You have failed me? O heavy crown!
O mournful day! What foul play!”
The guv’ment must shut down.

’Twas springtime, and the budget talks
Did seize and stalemate in D.C.
All tumult were the Democrats
With the dour Tea Party.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Buyer's Guide to San Francisco Real Estate

Part I

All those who reside by the Bay
And low-flush decrees must obey,
     Try hard to acquire
     Houses up higher,
Much to their neighbors’ dismay.

Part II

There once was a man, name of Joe
Who bought a new toilet, low-flow,
     A word of direction
     In low-flow projection:
’Tis best Joe live high and not low.