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.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Why Folks Suffer

For more informative charts like this, see The Daily Kos. 

"The chart shows real GDP in the U.S. and the level of total civilian employment from 2002-2011. The total output of the U.S. economy in Q3 of this year finally increased to a level above the output in the fourth quarter of 2007, when the recession started (blue line). In other words, the U.S. economy has now made a complete recovery from the 2007-2009 recession.  But the labor market is still struggling to recover. We have 6.6 million fewer jobs today in the U.S. than in December 2007 when the recession started (red line in chart), along with a 8.6% unemployment rate, and thus another "jobless recovery."
—Mark J. Perry, Ph.D., visiting fellow, American Enterprise Institute

The recession’s over, what great news!
But lots of folks still have the blues,
there’s no recov’ry yet in sight
for working people and their plight.

The bankers still are making money
For them the outlook’s pretty sunny.
But those who have to earn a wage
Can’t find a job in this new age.

The jobs are gone, they won’t be back
The whole job market’s out of whack.
So if employment’s what you seek,
I’m afraid you’re up shit’s creek. 

Friday, December 30, 2011

Iowa Caucus Sonnet

Michelle’s been having trouble lately
Her campaign chairman’s jumped the ship.
Rick Perry’s polls have fallen greatly -
His chances have begun to slip.
Now Romney’s in the lead position,
Although he looks like a mortician.
Ron Paul is closing, closing fast - 
He’s gaining now, but can it last?
And Rick Santorum’s also surging,
To faith and family he’s been wed.
Newt Gingrich fills them all with dread,
“Don’t vote for Newt!” the party’s urging.
It's been a most amusing fight,
We’ll all be watching Tuesday night. 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Michelle Bachman’s Iowa campaign chairman Kent Sorenson suddenly announced he was switching his support to Ron Paul’s compaign.  At a Paul rally, he declared "I adore Michele Bachmann, but the fact of the matter is I believe we have an opportunity to take Romney out here in Iowa and I believe that person is Ron Paul,"

Michelle had a terrible day
‘Cause her chairman was not going to stay
“I’m deserting my post
Though I love you the most
I’m now for Ron Paul all the way.

We’ve got to take Romney out
But Michelle, you haven’t the clout,
Your weight is too light
To do the job right
And that’s what’s it’s all about."

Michelle says her chairman was bought
It was money that Sorenson sought.
He’s got lots of gall
To go work for Paul
His soul will in hell surely rot.

Pinocchio for President

"President Obama sees American differently.  He believes in an entitlement society... President Obama believes that government should create equal outcomes. In an entitlement society, everyone receives the same or similar rewards, regardless of education, effort and willingness to take risk. That which is earned by some is redistributed to the others."   Mitt Romney, Dec. 20, Bedford, NH

This statement's false.  It's plain as day
Obama doesn't think this way
But what the hell
It's sure to sell
So Mitt will say it anyway.  

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Dr. Paul Regrets

A spokesman for the Paul campaign apologized on Friday for not doing more to prevent racist and homophobic remarks from appearing in a series of newsletters published over several years under Ron Paul's name.

Ron Paul put out many old newsletters
They were published under his name.
They’re nasty and racist and anti-gay;
His campaign feels remorse and great shame.

While he says he didn’t write any of them,
And didn’t know what they contained,
His name is on each of their covers
So he needs to have them explained

They say that he’s not at all racist
That he’s really OK on the gays,
But the things that you read in those letters
Are repulsive to most folks these days.

Ron Paul says he truly is sorry
That he never was able to read
The things that his writers were writing
That were never a part of his creed.

But the letters were published for years,
And each time they featured his name.
Do you really believe that he never checked in
Just to see what it was they’d proclaim?

There’s something real strange going on here
That’s tarnished Ron Paul’s whole campaign.
His image as stalwart truth-teller
Is about to be flushed down the drain. 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Break

It’s time to take a little break
For Christmas time is here
The family’s gathering all about
and bringing Christmas cheer
There's food and drink and news to share
And lots of presents everywhere
And most of all there is a child
Who’s still by Santa Claus beguiled.

It’s time for politics to go away
There’s nothing happ'ning anyway
The politocos have naught to say
They’ll all come back another day.
So Rick and Mitt and Rick (there’s two)
And Jon and Ron, Newt and Michelle,
And long departed Hermann too,
Let’s not forget Barack as well -
Take a well-deservéd rest
We’ve had some fun at your expense.
You’ll be back within a day or two
And then the fun will start anew.

There’s just one more thing I’d like to say
My Christmas wish for every day:
“Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men”
How unctuously these words get spoken
I wish they weren't an empty slogan.
Let’s reflect on them again
And pray…
                 That men could really live this way.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Christmas Story

image from
‘Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the House
The Republican members were starting to grouse -
The Senate has sent them a bill that’s so bad
They just went beserk it made them so mad.

The Senators wanted the tax cut extended
But couldn’t agree on how to amend it
To pay for the revenue that would be lost
So they said for two months, we’ll cover the cost.

The House said they'd just kicked the can down the road
They told them to get back to work and reload,
Get back to the Senate and come up with a plan
That will last for a year - no more kicking the can.

But the Senate was closed for the holiday,
So Republicans rose up as a body to say
"We won’t let the Senate tell us what to do,
So we shot their bill down, we showed them who's who!'

A lot of folks say that the House has gone mad
That John Boehner's leadership skills are so bad
he can only watch from the sidelines and pray - 
the inmates are running the asylum today.

For the tail wags the dog, it’s abundantly clear
The Tea Party’s running the show this year.
There’s nothing gets done without imprimatur
From the Tea Party priests and desiderata.

The Democrats look at all this with delight
They love to see the Republicans fight.
There's one point that finds the Dems unified:
The GOP’s flirting with mass suicide.

The Democrat’s slogan you’ll see on their posters
“Republicans Raise Taxes on Middle-class Voters!”
The Democrats cackle and cheer in the night,
“Merry Christmas to us from the Republican right”. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Republicans Refuse to Cut Taxes!

Conservative Republicans in the House voted down a compromise measure from the Senate that would cut the payroll tax, extend unemployment benefits and maintain Medicare reimbursement fees for physicians for a period of two months.  The two-month duration of the measure would have provided time to  negotiate a longer-lasting agreement. 

The House gave a bill the axe
That would cut back the payroll tax
Though folks are in need
The tea party decreed
“It ain’t no skin off our backs”

They said it was time to get tough
Two months just isn’t enough
Why not for a year?
They said with a sneer
And then they flew home in a huff.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Piñata

There's been an extraordinary barrage of criticism by pundits and other candidates, and negative ads sponsored by various interest groups, directed against Newt Gingrich in Iowa. Meanwhile, Republican officials in Iowa are concerned that a caucus victory by Ron Paul, who is thought not to have a chance of winning the nomination, would lead to the impression that the Iowa caucuses are irrelevant.

source images from,
Pundits, spokesmen, super Pacs
all line up to take their whacks.
Getting Gingrich is the game,
he must be stopped, they all proclaim.
If our voters vote him in,
Obama will be set to win.
We’re starting now to get success,
His lead is growing less and less.
He’ll be rejected soon by all
And then who’s next – Ron Paul?

Alone with the Morning Paper

Each morning I read the paper
with my cup of coffee next to me,
where through the window I can see
whether the weather is OK,
or people on their way to work,
or songbirds sometimes on a branch
so close that I can see their little throats

                 Well anyway, I peek first
at the headlines in case some news
sneaked in last night after I turned off
CNN to end the day, and sent thoughts
of politics to whatever portions of the brain
imprison thoughts while sleeping. 
But what exactly is the difference
between consciousness and dreams?
Now there's a question that’s not been answered
despite much study....
                                         But as I say,
on most days, after that cursory crack
at the front page, I move on back
through many pages to the Opinion Buffet.

The Opinion/Editorial/Op-Ed page
where left and right contend for me,
the left for my continued approbation,
to nod agreeably or chuckle at some sally
against the right, while right wing forces
rally, intending to rattle my confidence
with inconvenient facts and insidious arguments.
As with walruses eructating on the rocks
with their inflated pharyngeal muscles,
the frothy calls of urgent pundits ride the page,
calling urgently to me...
                                              Now here’s a fact 
that's little known, the walrus penis bone
can be nearly two feet long…the logistics of
carrying that around are boggling.

OK, back to what I was saying
about contending forces braying
in the nation’s papers ..well, yes
like donkeys.  Did you know that a donkey,
with its great ears, can hear another donkey bray
from as far as seven miles away?
Look it up in “Caring for your Donkey”
at Donkeys don't like
dogs or coyotes very much and so they're
very popular for guarding cows
and sheep and such.  I believe that we
can all agree that pundits can be jackasses....
On the Opinion page the high-flying
opinionators screech about the nation's state
like a cartload of chimpanzees. I've seen
wild chimps on TV swinging through the trees -
technically it's called brachiation,
a process that enables chimp translation
through the arboreal canopy with little cost in energy....

But wait, do you see that cardinal
hanging out there in the tree?
I think he sings for me.
I'll just put away the paper for today,
and listen to that cardinal's song - congenial, guileless,
without a point of view.  

Monday, December 19, 2011

Nikki's Deal

Mitt Romney agreed to grant South Carolina a waiver to opt out of Obama's health care plan as the price for Governor Nikki Haley's much sought-after endorsement of him for President. Neither of them apparently realized that he could not possibly deliver on that promise for both legal and temporal reasons. 

Governor Haley talked with Mitt
About what it’d take for him to git
Her full support for his campaign.
She said that she’d be glad to name
Him as her choice, but only if
He’d meet demands that were quite stiff:
He had to promise that he’d favor
Granting her a presidential waiver
From Obama’s health plan if elected.
And that’s why Mitt’s the one selected.
But the joke’s on both of them it seems -
The law forbids such crazy schemes. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Austerity, Inc.

In Europe the problem is sovereign debt
The nations all owe too much and yet
There’s always a need to borrow more,
A situation banks deplore.

The folks at Merkel and Sarkozy say
Austerity’s the only way:
Increase your taxes and cut your spending
The markets’ll see the message you’re sending
And buy up your bonds quite willingly
If you stick to the path of austerity.

But any hopes for this plan sank
As all economies began to tank
And any gains were soon offset
By a further increase in the debt. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Elephant's Graveyard

source image from

They lumber off without a word
They’ve been rejected by the herd.
Though once they held the reins of power
Now is not their hour.

They were the voice of moderation,
They served both party and the nation.
But now the party's rearranged -
Everything has changed

Today the party speaks as one;
They trumpet loud in unison.
The moderates are all despised,
Group-think now is prized.

The moderates have gone away.
Where they've gone no one can say.
The herd is happy if they split,
They don't give a shit. 

So they wander off alone to die
Beneath an unforgiving sky.
Their hopes for a more genial land
Buried in the sand. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tax Cuts and Pipelines

The Republican-controlled House passed a bill that, despite threats of a Presidential veto, ties extending the payroll tax cut to accelerating the construction of an oil pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.  

The GOP leader John Boehner
Says things just couldn’t be plainer
Your tax cut we’ll extend
But we’ll add an amend-
Ment for a very long oil container.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Null and Void

The GOP blocked the nomination of Richard Cordray, seen by all sides as eminently qualified, to be director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, citing defects in the organization and oversight of the agency.  But since the organization of the agency is already written into law, the GOP's action amounts to  nullifying an existing law by a minority in the Senate.  

The GOP rose to the occasion
And blocked Mr. Cordray’s nomination
Though it’s already a law
They don't like it at all
So they decided on nullification.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Capitol Carol

To be sung to the tune of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

source images from,
God rest ye right-wing Congressmen
You’ve done enough today
You’ve forestalled any tax increase
That might the debt allay
You've stopped Obama in his tracks
His power's slipped away
    O obstruction’s your comfort and joy
    Comfort and joy
    O obstruction is your comfort and joy

In Washington our Senators
Have lost all their goodwill                 
The filibuster once was rare -
It’s now used for each bill
The vote for cloture’s ne’er approved
So they accomplish nil
    O obstruction’s the right wing’s strategy
    O obstruction is the right wing’s strategy

God help our weary President
Beset from left and right
He called for peace and compromise
And tried to be polite
But Mitch McConnell and his friends
Were spoiling for a fight
    O obstruction’s their comfort and joy
    Comfort and joy
    O obstruction is their comfort and joy

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Gunning for Gingrich

The GOP's establishment intellectuals have launched an all-out assault on Newt Gingrich, in an effort to derail his candidacy.  

Adapted from photo
They’re going all out to bring down Newt Gingrich,
To stop him before it’s too late
He’d be a walking disaster, they say,
About that there’s just no debate.
He’s unstable, crazy, reckless and vain,
And morally witless to boot.
As our leader, he’d be an embarrassment -
Even Romney’d be better than Newt.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Ron Paul - An Appreciation

Adapted from image by Oven's Album
The GOP candidate Paul
Has been largely ignored by all
But he’s the real deal
He’s got balls of steel
And he can’t stand Newt Gingrich’s gall.

Ron Paul says that Newt is a hypocrite
Whereas Ron is himself just the opposite
He says what he means
He’s so full of beans
He scares us all more than a little bit.

Ron Paul's a bit loopey for sure
But his ideas are decidedly pure
So give him some credit
He won’t deign to edit
His views for the pollster du jour.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Gingrich Proposes John Bolton as Secretary of State

Newt Gingrich, speaking at the  Republican Jewish Coalition meeting yesterday, promised to appoint the controversial former UN ambassador John Bolton as Secretary of State if he were elected president.

source image by

For Secretary of State
John Bolton’d be put on the plate.
He’d soon bomb Iran,
He don’t give a damn
If a major world crisis he’d detonate.

A Colloquy

We need some jobs, cried ninety-nine.
We're the ones that create them, said the one.
Why don’t you then? asked ninety-nine.
The time’s not right, replied the one.
Why are you waiting? asked ninety-nine.
We need more certainty, declared the one.
And tax breaks, too?  asked ninety-nine.
Well that’d be nice, replied the one.
How ‘bout demand? asked ninety-nine.
Yeah - go out and buy stuff, said the one.
Don’t have the money, said ninety-nine.
Well, we’re doing our part, declared the one.

It’s just not fair, said ninety-nine,
That you’re so rich and we’re so poor.
Some can’t find work anymore.
Some can’t buy food, some’ve lost their home
Some poor kids’ll be skin and bone
While you sit purring like a cat.
Where’s the justice in all that?

That’s just how it is, replied the one
The game of life is zero sum
There’s winners and there’s losers, mate
You might as well accept your fate.

There’s more of us than you, said ninety-nine.
Let's raise taxes on the rich!
We’ve got the vote, let’s use it now
To redistribute wealth somehow.

Good luck with that, declared the one
We’ve bought congress, you see.
They work for us and won’t agree
To endanger the funds that they need.
When all's said and done, it's simply their greed
That makes them so pliable-
They’re deferential, so reliable.
You haven’t got a chance, my friend,
The system’s gamed from start to end.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Romney's Soliloquy

adapted from images from and
To flip or not to flip – that is the question.
Whether ‘tis nobler to maintain conviction
Or take polls amidst a sea of voters
And by flipping, send a message that
I’m on their side. Thus pollsters do make
Cowards of us all. And thus the native
Hue of resolution is sicklied o’er
With blind amibition’s yellow cast and fear
Doth make us but whinging, bloodless things.   
For what would it profit a man if, by ever holding
To conviction’s  core, it bringeth only slings
And arrows of outraged pundits, opprobrium
Of voters and contumely from the rich,
Who'd send their money elsewhere?  'Tis not a path
For one who wants to win. Ah, sweet victory!
Perchance a dream, but of such dreams are noble
Actions made that change the world. The need
Is great and I am ready. The nation hath borne
Too long the foul Obama’s brazen wrongs
And insolence of office. For he would
Of our fair land a Europe make and spurn
The patient merit of our enterprise
To grant boons undue to those who lose
The economic race. O voters wise
And true, what doth it matter what I really
Think if by supporting me we grasp the chance
To free us all from socialism’s threat?
There is no other one that can this task
Accomplish.   Newt Gingrich wouldst make me laugh,
Were not his spectral rise so maddening - 
And they calleth me a flip-flopper!  He hath
On every issue set his standard square
On every side and hath received for this
No single punishment.  His tongue hath not
The discipline to keep a message straight -
He giveth cause to fear his unhinged words
Would turn away those independent minds
Who are the key to our success.  But soft –
The press doth now approach with pointed questions
And from this place I must myself away
To photo ops where I control the day. 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Donald Trump to Moderate GOP Debate

Donald Trump, the high-profile real estate mogul and former presidential candidate, will moderate a Republican presidential debate, sponsored by Newsmax, a conservative magazine, on Dec. 27. 

Adapted from images from and

The ratings will bump when a showman like Trump
    is put in charge of the questions.
But the problem will be, it’s easy to see,
    that he can’t help making suggestions.
He’s got opinions of course and he’ll talk himself hoarse.
                With one question he’s liable to score:
"At the birth of Obama, just where was his mama,
                in the US or somewhere offshore?"
To Newt Gingrich he’ll say, “I do like the way
                that you sneer at the men of the press.
They wrote you off once, and they called me a dunce,
                but they’ll stop it all now, I would guess.”
To Mitt he’ll declare, “By God, that’s nice hair,
                it’s almost as pretty as mine.”
Cain's loss is a blow, "Why did he go??
                I sure liked his plan 9-9-9.”
As for Michelle, he likes her as well - 
                they had pizza one day in New York,
But to Jon Stewart's chagrin, he committed a sin:
                he ate his pie with a fork!
To Rick Perry, the Texan, he’ll ask if the Mex’can
                migrants can really be stopped
And Rick’ll say “Sure, that’s no problem anymore,
                on Mitt’s lawn I’ll have them all dropped."
Regarding Santorum - Don thinks he's borin',
                "But at least you mean what you say.
and I've got to admit, you don't ever quit
                  though you haven't a chance in this play."
Ron Paul’s a bit strange, and out of the range
                of the normal Republican vision
Trump doesn't abhor him, "I’ll just ignore him -
                that’s been everyone else’s decision."
To Jon Huntsman he’ll say,”You’ve got a nice way
                of making your views very clear.
You’re so classy and elegant, very intelligent.
                What the hell are you doing here?”

Friday, December 2, 2011

Citizen Gingrich Refers to Himself in the Third Person

In an interview with Sean Hannity on Faux News the other day, Newt Gingrich repeatedly referred to himself in the third person.  Statements in quotation marks are taken directly from the interview, with minor alterations for purposes of rhyme and rhythm.  

“Gosh, now why would a Newt Gingrich do that?”
Adapted from photo
He asked of himself on the air.
He was talking ‘bout how he and Hillary
Came together one time to share
Their efforts in promoting a cause
That’d be a great boon to health care.

“The answer is simple”, said he.
“Put Gingrich and Hillary together
And huge would the press coverage be.”

Now Newt had his business clients
Who’d make lots of money if they
Could sell their wares to officials
that they’d meet with that very same day.

But Newt says this wasn’t lobbying,
Contradicting  the media’s minions.
“No, it's called being a citizen”, he said
“I’m allowed to have my opinions.” 

“If Newt Gingrich believes that,
And the companies I work with just
Happen to believe that as well,
There’s nothing that’s wrong, I trust,
If I talk with some friends of mine
About the issues we’ve just discussed.”

“They’re responding to what
Newt Gingrich believes, and I
Don’t go out and say ‘Tell me
What you believe in’” and then try

To fit my views to their wishes,
My views are my own - nothing amiss is.
To Newt, it appears, a thought that is his is
Pretty damn good for business.  

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Sheriff Joe Endorses Rick Perry

Joe Arpaio, the controversial sheriff of Maricopa County, AZ, endorsed Gov. Rick Perry's candidacy for President.  The two appeared together in New Hampshire on Tuesday where Governor Perry mispronounced his last name.

There once was a sheriff named Joe
He’s endorsing Rick Perry you know.
Despite the man’s fame
Rick messed up his name.
Hey Rick, it’s pronounced ARE-PIE-OH.