The poet William Stafford set himself the task of writing a poem a day. When someone asked him what he would do when his poem-of-the-day wasn't very good, he replied "I simply lower my standards." In order to increase output, the bar here is set at a low level - the point of this is to have some fun with current events and politics. I welcome contributions and comments. Now you can also follow Doggerelo on Twitter (@doggerelo). Because of continuing medical problems, I'm no longer able to post a poem-a-day. I'll continue to post poems, but at a reduced frequency, so please stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Support for Tea Party Declines

New polls indicate that public support for the Tea Party has dropped dramatically, even in Republican strongholds.  

The Tea Party once was so hip
But their stature’s now starting to slip.
Their rants and their raves
Made too many waves;
On the public they’re losing their grip.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Barney Frank Retires

Adapted from photograph
by Bryce Vickmar for NYT
Let’s bid adieu to Barney Frank
The right wing’s bête noire,
The congressman who knows the most
‘Bout banker’s pranks by far.
Fat cats are celebrating now
They’re drinking at the bar.
But they should not relax too much
No matter who they are,
‘Cause Barney’s sworn to give them hell
And fight them from afar.  

The Abyss

A world-wide credit squeeze seems inevitable as banks in Europe pull back on loans due to the on-going financial crisis.  

The banks are pulling back all over Europe.
Will we ever see them right again?
They’re at the end of their financial rope
and money’s not available to lend.
Throughout the world alarms and tocsins rang -
Economies are stalked by sturm und drang.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Newt Responds to his Endorsement.

The great Manchester Union Leader,
She’s for me now, just when I need her.
I trust you'll surely heed her
Words of wisdom, gentle Reader:
I'm the best Barack defeater!
Vote for Mitt and he’ll mislead or
Fool you - he's a special pleader
From the left - he'd be conceder
on election night.  So read her
well and trust your Union Leader.  

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Day After

     By the big white gravy ladle
Sits the plate of sliced-up turkey
Yesterday’s Thanksgiving turkey
Steaming on the silver platter,
platter that's been used forever- 
Grandpa's mother's silver platter-
Golden drumsticks rising skyward
Boldly carved by Uncle Willis
Served along with acorn squash and 
Massive mounds of mashed potatoes
Holding little lakes of gravy,
Grandma’s favorite oyster dressing,
Onions, brocc’li, mushroom stuffing -
Mom’s Shitake mushroom stuffing,
Mushroom stuffing that’s to die for -
Beans of green sautéed with shallots,
Cranb’ry sauce and bread with butter,
Cheddar cheese and pies of apple,
Quince or pumpkin, followed by some
coffee, scotch or port.

      Now the turkey’s cut to pieces,
White and dark meat’s on the platter,
laid out neatly on the platter,
Oyster dressing's nearly finished,
pies are sitting on the sideboard
Stuffing’s in the Rubbermaid and
Boiling on the stove’s the carcass -
turkey soup that’s now in progress.
Almost everyone agrees that
Yet to come’s the greatest treasure:
Soup or sandwich, what’s left over
Constitutes the highest pleasure. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Grover at the Helm

The Super Committee’s not so super -
it failed to reach a deal.
We know a certain pressure group or
lobby made of steel
that forced Republicans to pledge
that they would not raise taxes.
Grover Norquist’s on the leading edge
of this dark lobby -  he hatches
gruesome plans to “Starve The Beast”,
and rend the safety net
while leaving those who have the least,
the most unfortunate,
to fend alone for food and shelter.
At Grover's every word
Republicans run helter-skelter
as if he were their lord.

If you're not with him, it's all over -
the GOP's now run by Grover. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Where's Mitt?

Why don't we see much of Mitt?
It seems he will never submit
To televised questions
That lead to suggestions
That he’s flipped and he’s flopped quite a bit.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Breakthrough on the Super Committee (Not)

With time running out on the Super Committee, which is charged with finding $1.2 trillion in budgetary savings by November 24, attention's been focused on a plan put forth by Republican committee member Pat Toomey, which reflects the first instance of Committee Republicans proposing increases in tax revenue.   

     The GOP’s put forth a plan
That they believe is better than
The Dem’s idea to tax the rich.
Some tax breaks they’ll be glad to ditch
But in exchange, they’ve built in healthy
Rate reductions for the wealthy.
Their plan, they say, will “bring in billions
And help reduce our debt of trillions.
We’re showing flexibility
So here’s an opportunity
To come together and agree -
Both Democrats and GOP."

     The Democrats aren’t buying it.
They think it’s just a load of shit –
The numbers don’t add up, they say,
Their plan is just another way
To sneak in tax cuts for the rich,
A simple case of bait-and-switch.
"We compromised and called their bluff
But then they told us just to stuff
It, ‘cause we put in tax increases
And that just frightens the bejesus
Out of them.  So it's a scam,
It's not a breakthrough but a sham.
Their plan for us would just engender
Our complete abject surrender."

     So once again it's deja vu.
How many times can we go through
This gambling with the nation's welfare
Staked on tax cuts or our healthcare?
It's not unlike a live grenade
That's passed along a fire brigade
That can't extinguish any blazes -
And then it blows up in our faces!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Newt's Advice

Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich earned between $1.6 and $1.8 million during his tenure as a consultant for the giant mortgage company Freddie Mac, according to a report from Bloomberg News.  

Candidate Newt gave some advice
To the bank called Freddie Mac
He told them he said, you shouldn’t give loans
To folks who can’t pay them back.
Now this advice was worth more than a million
‘cause Newt’s not just any old hack.

O Freddie Mac, O Freddie Mac
Would you like some advice from me?
I could have told you just what he said
But I’d charge a much lower fee.

They wanted me as historian
Newt did his best to explain.
I offer novel strategic advice
To companies that have much to gain
From the nuanced and brilliant analyses
That come from my giant brain.

O Freddie Mac, O Freddie Mac
Would you like some advice from me?
My brain’s not so big, but still it works well
And I’d charge a much lower fee.

Now Newt’s got some credit at Tiffany’s
That amounts to a half mil or so.
To many that’s grossly excessive
When our economy’s growth is so slow.
But advice from Newt Gingrich doesn’t come cheap
So his bank account’s sure to grow.

O Freddie Mac, O Freddie Mac
Would you like some advice from me?
I’d counsel you just like he did
But I’d charge a much lower fee.

Newt's fees might seem a little peculiar
'cause his party hates Freddie Mac.
And now so does Newt, it appears,
since his retainer has finally gone slack.
But as for the money he took from them
he's not gonna give it back.  

O Freddie Mac, O Freddie Mac
Would you like some advice from me?
I’m more loyal than Newt - I've got your back,
And I charge a much lower fee.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Torture Candidates

 In last Saturday's debate, Herman Cain and Michelle Bachmann stated that they would approve the use of waterboarding and other "enhanced interrogation techniques" on suspects suspected of terrorism.  Mitt Romney said nothing at the debate itself but his campaign later issued a statement stating that he did not consider waterboarding to be torture.  For more on this, see Frank Bruni's op-ed article.  

Bring back the waterboard they plead -
A splash of water on the face
Is not so bad and might succeed
In showing where a bomb’s in place. 

No way it’s torture, they object
It just enhances our requests
For information we collect
and use for terrorists’ arrests.

You’re wrong, Obama says to them,
It makes a man believe he’s drowned
And all authorities condemn
Its use as torture. We’ll be bound

By long-held precepts that have made
Our nation great; we’ll not descend
To practices our foes displayed
But keep our standards 'til the end.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Newt's Hour

Now is Newt’s time in the sun.
Though he’s not quite yet number one
It’s clear that his time has come.

He’s so darn good in debates,
He’s terrific with numbers and dates,
He’s one of the GOP’s greats.

The media he holds in disdain.
Their questions are simply inane.
They just can’t keep up with his brain

So he answers their queries with sneers
As if they were children, not peers,
While the right wing responds with their cheers.

He's a man of Olympian mien,
an intellectual machine
with the heart of a wolverine.

House Speaker he was in the past
But his reign was so filled with bombast
that his colleagues were often aghast.

His predisposition to whine
has often crossed over the line
and led to his stature's decline.

There's a problem for candidate Newt
and his family values repute -
turns out he's a horny old coot:

While Clinton he was attacking
his own sense of shame was lacking
'cause then he too was up-shacking

with a blonde he'd soon wed for life
as soon as he ditched his old wife -
his life with scandal's been rife.

But it's cheers on the right for old Newt
he's pudgy and cute and astute
and of course he's not Romney to boot.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Italy and the Euro Zone

The European debt crisis deepens as investor fears drove yields on Italian bonds above the 7% level.  

It’s Italy’s turn on the block
The yields on its bonds are a shock
Its too big to fail,
Too big to out-bail
The zone’s ‘tween a hard place and rock.

Perry Forgets

In last night's debate, Rick Perry was unable to remember the name of the Department of Energy, one of the Federal Departments he said he would abolish.  

When I get to be President Perry
There’s three bureaus I’m going to bury
There’s Commerce, that’s one
And there’s  Edu-ca-tion
And the third’s, I dunno,…EPAry?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cain Raps Instructions to His Staff

Herman Cain's campaign is no longer answering questions about possible sexual improprieties allegedly occurring during his tenure as head of the National Restaurant Association.

Y'all,  when they wanna know
somethin’ ‘bout them accusations,
those temptations, complications from 15
years ago - just say no, just lie low
don’t show ‘em no info' that’ll slow me up.
Those dough-faced Joes wanna mow me down,
 slow me down, blow me out of the water,
throw me out of the race, stow me somewhere
where I won’t be in their face,
it’s such a damn disgrace
they wanna take my place -
replace me ,displace me, erase me -
‘cause they can’t keep up the pace.
But I got more than one ace up my sleeve
just in case the goin’ gets rough
they’ll know soon enough who’s tough  –
I got lots of stuff on them, ya know –
so when they wanna know
just say no, just lie low
don’t show ‘em no info' that’ll slow me up.

Stay on message, stay on message
Say 9-9-9 and we’ll be fine
Stay on message, stay on message
Say 9-9-9 and we’ll be fine…

So I’m stayin’ on message
but I got a mess o’ rage in me
 ‘cause they’re  pressin’ me, messin’
with me, and you can guess what the press
is comin’ to, all that baggage
from the ‘90s was an age ago
some crazy girls tryin’ to wage
war on me with those out-sized lies,
 despising me, devising ways
 to keep me from the prize.
It’s all politicized
by those guys, Perry’s allies
in disguise, sneakin' around
and leakin' freakin' lies 
 from those girls who'd be speakin' out in public
(if I'd let 'em) 'bout them them accusations,
those temptations, complications from many years ago.
So just say no, just lie low
Don’t show ‘em no info' that’ll slow me up.

Stay on message, stay on message
Say 9-9-9 and we’ll be fine
Stay on message, stay on message
Say 9-9-9 and we’ll be fine…

If you’re in doubt,
you'll be fine if you just say 9-9-9
Over and out.  

Monday, November 7, 2011

Why Senator Lieberman Voted Against the Democrats' Jobs Bill

Our senator from Connecticut
Says jobs won’t rise until we cut

Our debt dramatically.
He says this so emphatically

He must not be aware
That nearly everywhere

They did it,
Employment skidded.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Herman Cain on Foreign Affairs

Herman Cain the other day
Said China’s on the way

To getting its own  A-
Bomb which they'll send away

to Cuba, a place that may
go Commie any day.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Storm

early snow gathers on leaves
     and branches - my nerves crack
with the trees

my house snaps into darkness
and grows slowly cold