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, June 30, 2012

I Love Our Hateful Government

This post from Balloon Juice sums up the contradictory notions about government intrusion vs its largess in our daily lives.

Obamacare's an abomination
for it brings ruin on our nation
except for the VA
I think that it's OK.

The federal government should stay
out of our lives and go away,
but Social Security
is really fine by me.

I hate those socialistic schemes
engendered by left-wing regimes
except for Medicare -
I want to get my share.

Those Democrat economists
are just a bunch of communists
I thank them every day
for what they've brought my way.

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Truth about Fast and Furious!

As Steve M. of No More Mister Nice Blog recommended, everyone in the US who has any interest whatsoever in the Fast and Furious debacle should read Kathrine Eban's article in Fortune, which provides an entirely new viewpoint on the whole sorry matter.  Turns out there was no federal program for intentionally allowing guns to "walk" across the Mexican border.  It happened because in Arizona, purchasing guns (as many as you want) is perfectly legal and so is selling them or giving them to someone else after purchase.  Thus, there were no legal grounds for arresting the surrogates who purchased guns for the cartels, or for seizing the guns after purchase.  It's an amazing story of intrigue, incompetence, election-year politicking and crime, leavened by the toxic absence of meaningful gun control legislation in Arizona.  Now it's at least possible to understand why the ever-paranoid GOP could think that the whole Fast and Furious scheme was a Trojan horse for introducing gun control legislation.  Read the article. 

The Fast and Furious weapons mess
Had lots of cov'rage in the press
But things aren't what they seem:
There was no gov'ment scheme

For allowing guns to walk across
The border to the cartel's boss
And leave an agent dead;
What happened was instead

That agents were completely blocked
From nailing guys that they had stalked -
The agents' hands were tied
No matter what they tried -

And so the whole plan came to naught
And many guns these guys had bought
Could not be intercepted;
That had to be accepted

Because in Arizona guns
Are sacred objects so that none
Can ever be controlled
When they're bought and sold.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

News You Can (Usually) Trust

A major news calamity occurred at CNN today, when they jumped the gun and declared prematurely, and incorrectly, that the Supreme Court had overturned the individual mandate for the Affordable Care Act.  It took them 7 minutes to issue a correction.  They just blew it....badly. 

We all depend on CNN
To tell us who, what, where and when
It's news that you can trust
Except when it's a bust.

Justice Roberts' Big Surprise

Today the Supreme Court upheld the most of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), including the much debated individual mandate.  The majority opinion was written by Chief Justice John Roberts;  this was a big surprise since most observers had written him off as being opposed to the measure.  Justice Kennedy, thought be many to be the swing vote on this decision, had voted to declare the law unconstitutional, stating that “In our view, the entire Act before us is invalid in its entirety.”

Justice Roberts is the man,
He upheld Obama's plan
Joining those upon the left
Lending their debate some heft
Rounding out the final score:
Law upheld, 5 to 4.

After Citizens United
Most of us by then decided
Roberts was a right-wing hack.
Now we take those harsh words back.
Now he seems both fair and wise -
What a wonderful surprise!

Advanced Conspiracy Theory: Fast and Furious

Darrell Issa (R-CA), Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, has embraced the crazy conspiracy theory that the controversial Fast and Furious operation, in which federal ATF agents allowed guns to be shipped to Mexican cartels and then lost track of them, was designed to ultimately promote stronger gun control legislation

Darrell Issa thinks the order
To run guns across the border
Is just a plan to steal the soul
Of America - that's gun control.
But what's the evidence for this scheme?
There's none it seems, it's just a dream
Concocted by the GOP
With typical mendacity.

Floods and Fetuses

The flood insurance bill in the US Senate was heading smoothly toward passage when Dr. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) threw a spanner in the works.  He introduced an amendment to have a fetus declared to be a person, a move that would make abortion the legal equivalent of murder.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) called the move "ridiculous" and "outlandish" and declared "I am not going to put up with that on flood insurance."

The Senate's flood insurance bill
Was ready to be passed
But Dr. Paul's amendment will
Make everyone aghast.

What's made the situation worsen
Is the game he wants to play:
Define a fetus as a person,
He wants the law to say.

Of course, his goal is not related
to flood relief at all
Its purpose very clearly stated:
Abortion to outlaw.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Waiting for the Court

Tomorrow, the Supreme Court will deliver it long-awaited decision on the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).   The court could declare the entire law unconstitutional or only the part of it dealing with the individual mandate, in which people are required to buy health insurance or pay a fine.  Of course, the court could also uphold the law in its entirety.  In any event, there are certain features of the law that are popular, such as maintaining children on their parent's health insurance up to age 26, or forbidding insurance companies to deny insurance on the basis of pre-existing conditions.  Republicans are starting to worry about how to retain the act's popular features if parts of the law are declared unconstitutional (see The Dog that Caught the Car).

Tomorrow the Court will tell us all
If Obamacare is truly law
Or if the whole thing must be junked
Or only parts of it have flunked.
The GOP is hoping that
The law will be rejected flat,
But there are parts most people like
And so they will have to strike
A deal to see what to retain
Although it goes against their grain.
But here is an amusing quirk:
Without the mandate it won't work.

Some Fruits of Citizens United

Super Pacs and wealthy individuals have spent at least $235 million in a disinformation campaign to frighten the public about the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).  There is no financially comparable effort on the part of the act's supporters.

SCOTUS has not yet decided
Obamacare’s fate’s in the air
But thanks to Citizens United
There’s disinformation out there.

They’ve spent several hundreds of millions
Promoting the new law’s demise
Their approach’s nothing short of reptilian
In spreading false rumors and lies.

There is no expense they will spare
No amount is too much to spend
For the gullible public to scare
And foster Obamacare’s end.

So how did they come by this power?
By SCOTUS they were invited
Their cash on elections to shower
Thanks to Citizens United.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Romney Takes a Stand, Sort Of

The Romney campaign was tiresomely ambivalent about the candidate's views on the Supreme Court decision on Monday regarding the controversial Arizona immigration law.  He finally expressed himself today, saying that he was disappointed with the decision, although he still did not provide a detailed statement about his views on the law itself. 

”[G]iven the failure of the immigration policy in this country, I would have preferred to see the Supreme Court give more latitude to the states, not less,” he said. “And there are states now under this decision have less authority, less latitude, to enforce immigration laws.” Because Obama hasn’t acted, he said, “it’s a muddle.”

He clearly doesn't want to talk about it.

The Supremes decided late yesterday
That Arizona's new law was probably OK
Well, just one part out of four
The rest was held to be poor.

But folks on all sides still say that they won
They're trying to be sure that everyone's spun
Mitt Romney says that he's sad
He thinks for the states that it's bad.

But finally he's voiced a personal position
Regarding the Court's controversial decision
But he dithered around for a day
He was hoping it'd just go away.

Michelle's Back!

Michelle Bachmann, everyone’s favorite conspiracy theorist, has declared in an interview with Sandy Rios, another conspiracy lover (see  Comrade Obama and the Space Program), that the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated several departments in the US government.  Here’s just part of the interview:

It appears that there has been deep penetration in the halls of our United States government by the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood has been found to be an unindicted co-conspirator on terrorism cases and yet it appears that there are individuals who are associated with the Muslim Brotherhood who have positions, very sensitive positions, in our Department of Justice, our Department of Homeland Security, potentially even in the National Intelligence Agency. I am calling upon the Justice Department and these various departments to investigate through the Inspector General to see who these people are and what access they have to our information.

Hooray for Michelle!  She’s an inexhaustible font of material.  Perhaps Herman Cain or Rick Perry will also return to the news – one can always hope…

Welcome back, my friend Michelle
I thought you’d bid us all farewell
Without you here, it has been hell

Coming up with things to write;
It’s been a poetaster’s plight,
But now you’re back and all is right.

I always feel so nice and cheery
When what you say is nice and eerie:
Conspiracy’s your favorite  theory.

So now the Muslim band of brothers
One department’s or another’s
Offices it stealth’ly  smothers

With anti-Christian deeds and thought
With foreign notions they are frought,
But due to you they’re finally caught

And now we’ll extirpate this scourge
The Muslim Brotherhood we’ll purge:
A Christian gov’ment will emerge. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Unions Compared to North Korea

A $10 million dollar ad campaign launched by an organization dubbed “Center for Union Facts” ,  compared the status of union workers in the US to the people of North Korea, who “don’t get real change”, the point being, according to the ad, that “fewer than 10% of employees in unions voted to join their union.”

Our unions are like Kim Jong Il
‘Cause our workers are lacking free will
But we must proclaim
It’s not quite the same
Since we have no license to kill.

Mitt's Cold War Campaign Strategy

Romney’s strategy in the Presidential campaign appears to be to spend Obama to death.  It’s been dubbed “The Cold War Strategy” after Reagan’s perceived success in forcing the Soviet Union into bankruptcy in trying to respond to Reagan’s military build-up.  [Actually, the end of the cold war was much more complicated than this Republican mythology suggests.  Gorbachev’s policies of glasnost and perestroika probably did a lot more to bring about the dissolution of the Soviet Union than anything Reagan did.]

Mitt Romney has a foolproof plan
To beat Obama in the fall
He’ll purchase all the ads he can
And force Obama to play ball.

But Mitt has got a lot more cash
With all his many Super Pacs
He’ll make Obama spend his stash:
He must respond to those attacks.

We’ll just outspend him, Romney smirks
He can’t compete with our bankroll
Reagan showed just how it works:
He put the Soviets in a hole.

This strategy could never be
If the Court had not invited
The rich to start a spending spree
Thanks to Citizens United. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Furious, Yes - Fast, No.

The story so far…

Now Fast and Furious is the name
of agents’ plans to track some guns;
T’was thought to be a sting-like game

but they lost track of all the ones
they sent across the Rio Grande
to find out who it was that runs

the guns to mobsters in that land
But now one gun was used to kill
A border agent in the sand.

Congressional demands are shrill -
No document should be exempt -
And Holder must produce or we’ll

Hold the AG in contempt.
But Holder says he’s tried to be
Cooperative in each attempt

To reach a point where all agree
On what was needed and to try
To give them what they’d need to see

But he’d withhold things that imply
Identities of agents and
Might pose a danger to those guys.

And so we’re really at a stand-
Off and no one knows quite what to do;
Rancor reigns across the land

And now Obama has come through-
Exec’tive privilege he evokes.
This just proves Obama knew

Says Boehner, what it was those folks
Had done and hides it from our sight:
There’s fire in there where the smoke’s.

It’s hard to tell just who is right -
It’s become a test of wills –
But it’s a most unsavory fight

That shows our politician’s ills,
And the bitterness that it instills.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Karl, Mitt and the Super Pac Law

Karl Rove and Mitt Romney will both be attending a weekend meeting of campaign donors and activists, optimistically named the “First National Romney Victory Retreat”.  This creates the appearance of legal problem, since Karl Rove heads a Romney Super Pac,  American Crossroads, and such organizations are forbidden by law from coordinating their activities with the candidates they support.  As Mitt Romney himself put it, “Super PACs have to be entirely separate from a campaign and a candidate. I’m not allowed to communicate with a super PAC in any way, shape or form… If we coordinate in any way whatsoever, we go to the big house.”  So Karl and Mitt will have to be extremely careful in their conversations to avoid any appearance of breaking the law.  I’m sure that the cynical Karl Rove will not be too terribly constrained by these legal niceties.

At the strategy session Karl Rove will attend
There’ll be lots of plans laid on how to contend
In this year’s election, with so much at stake,
For the office of President they want to retake,
And the House and the Senate too.
It was time to think big, Karl knew.

The Pac run by Karl has great dollops of dough
American Crossroads’s the name that we know
But there’s one little problem for his candidate
With Mitt he’s forbidden to coordinate
Do you think he’ll be able to say
“Come on, Mitt, let’s do it this way”?

The law’s pretty clear that they can’t talk like this
If they try, someone’s sure to think something’s amiss
So they’ll be pretty straight in their public relations
They’ll try to stay legal in their conversations
They’ll practice what they think is best
And hold their cards close to their chest.

Some think that these two are mocking the law
But that kind of thinking sticks in Karl’s craw -
You’ve got to take chances to win an election
Just try to be sure there’s no chance of detection
For the law is no problem for Rove
And his fabulous treasure trove.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Mitt Romney: Foodie

Campaigning in Frankenmuth, MI, on Tuesday, Mitt Ronmey paused to offer a critique of the local food.   Referring to being in Frankenmuth as a teenager, he said

"… I sure remember being here in Frankenmuth. ... And the wonderful chicken. You have a lot of chicken here in Frankenmuth. Oh yeah, chicken and, you know, noodles.  It's good German food right here. What a wonderful place."  He later added: "This is so much fun. It's so much fun running for president. This is kind of historic, you know that? To all be together on a morning like this and to be in the bright sunshine and in a beautiful place and to be running for president with your help."

Our friend Mitt is having fun
On his Presidential run.
Frankenmuth’s the place to be
If you’re hungry – Come and see.
Chicken…say, you’ve got a lot
Noodles too, almost forgot.
German food is so delicious,
Full of gravy and nutritious,
But it’s very high caloric.
Mitt says that his run’s historic.
I must say I don’t know why;
Seems to me he’s just a guy
Spouting off the GOP’s
Typical mendacious sleaze.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Seat Mitt

A new Bloomberg national poll has Obama leading Romney by 53 to 40 % among likely voters.  Among the interesting statistics in the poll was the following: Only 31 percent of likely voters say they’d want to sit next to Romney on a long airplane flight, compared with 57 percent who prefer Obama as a seat mate.

Hi, my name’s Mitt. Do you travel to Cleveland often?  No? Well I do…ha, ha, ha.  It’s part of my job these days, although technically – ha, ha - I’m unemployed.  Are you employed?  In the private sector?  Oh, marvelous. I know lots of people in the private sector. Well, I’m running for President of the United States.   Nothing like the private sector – doesn’t pay well and people ask you a lot of questions.  I hate questions.  I hate answers too, you can get into trouble with the wrong answer…….. so I try to come up with answers that people will like.  Doesn’t always work, though.   There are always some people that don’t like my answer, no matter what it is.   So it’s best not to answer any questions at all, that’s what I’ve found.

I really love Ohio, it’s one of my favorite states.  Trees are really great in Ohio. And cars!  I love American cars!  There are lots of really nice American cars in Ohio. And people here are so friendly…unless they belong to one of those unions.  I hate unions.  Unions really screw up the private sector, pardon my French…ha, ha.  Oh, I do hope I get to be President, because then I’ll make those union members want to self-deport.

We really live in an amazing world.  Things have just gotten so amazing, it’s amazing…and marvelous.   I went to a place called Wawas today, you ever been there? … it’s really amazing.  Like if you want a sandwich, you press a little touchtone keypad, you touch this, touch this, go pay the cashier, there’s your sandwich.  It’s amazing -- people in the private sector learn how to compete.  It’s time to bring some competition to the federal government and to get it smaller and get it to respond to the customers -- which are you. Yes, you are the federal government’s customers.  Did you know that?  You know what I think?  I’d like to fire everyone in the federal  government  - I like being able to fire people who provide services to me – and replace them all with little touchtone keypads that everyone would carry around, so that you, the customer, could order up your sandwiches, or your highways, or your healthcare just by touching this or touching that.  That would be marvelous, don’t you think?

You know, I like to pull a little prank from time to time. Humor can be very refreshing after a long day of campaigning.  Watch this!  Oh, flight attendant person – it seems my seat-mate here has smoke coming out of his pants!  He might be another one of those underwear bombers. …. 

Ha, ha, ha, ha... Did you see her face when I said that?  Sorry that they over-reacted a bit – I didn’t really think they’d tie your hands up like that.  My staff people will explain it all to security after we make that emergency landing in Akron, so don’t worry about a thing.  Well, it was really nice talking with someone like you who’s employed in the private sector.  You’re just the right height, too.  

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

McCain on Citizens United Decision

John McCain, in an interview on Meet the Press, characterized the Citizens United decision, granting corporations and private citizens the ability to make unlimited contributions to Super Pacs, as “ the worst decision of the United States Supreme Court in the 21st century….Uninformed, arrogant, naive.  I just wish one of [the justices] had run for county sheriff.”  He said he was "worried" that guys like Sheldon Adelson, who might contribute as much as $100 million to Mitt Romney, could have an outsized influence on the campaign and predicted that there would be scandals.

Although many times he’s a pain
In this case, he’s right to complain
While some are delighted
About Citizens United
“It’s scandalous” declares John McCain.

The Supremes are being naïve
“Money is speech” they believe
If they’d run once for mayor
Black and white would be grayer
And how money corrupts they’d perceive.

Mister Adelson can give twenty mil
To a candidate out of goodwill
But if he gets elected
He’ll do what’s expected
When Adelson tenders his bill.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Green Eggs and Taxes

Sunday on Face the Nation, Mitt Romney reiterated his determination not to increase taxes, even if the increase were linked to a 10-fold reduction in spending. With apologies to Dr. Suess and Green Eggs and Ham.

Do you like new taxes, Mitt?

I do not like them
not a bit.

Would you like them
Linked to cuts?

I would not like them
Linked to cuts,
We’re in the midst
Of spending gluts
I do not like new taxes, see?
No matter what they’re off’ring me
I do not like them,
No siree.

Would you like them
If you’re Pres?

As President there’ll never be
Increased taxes under me
I do not like them
Can’t you see?
I do not like them
No siree.

Would you,
Could you
If I swore
Without new taxes
Debt would soar?

Don’t be a bore
I said before
I do not like them
Here’s the score:
We’ll just cut more.
As President there’ll never be
Increased taxes under me
I do not like them
Can’t you see?
I do not like them
No siree.

You do not like them.
SO you say.
Try them! Try them!
And you may.
Try them and you may I say.

There’s just no way
Now you should hear just what I say
Please don’t ask me to betray
My pledge to Norquist - I won’t stray!
I do not like new taxes, see?
No matter what they’re off’ring me
As President there’ll never be
Increased taxes under me
I do not like them
Let me be!
I do not like them
No siree!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Pee Plea

The party of the Left Party in the Sörmland County Council in central Sweden are making the case that males should sit, rather than stand, while urinating. 

One reason has to do with hygiene and a desire to ensure that no one who uses the toilets at the county council's offices will be required to walk through puddles or residue left by stray urine which happens to splash out of the bowl and onto the floor when male employees pee standing up.

The Left Party also cites medical research it claims shows that men empty their bladders more efficiently when they are seated.

The improved bladder evacuation not only reduces the risk for prostate problems, according to the party, but also helps men who sit rather than stand achieve a longer and healthier sex life, the local Folket newspaper reported.

The party is pushing for “genderless” toilets, i.e. sit down only, but also proposes labeling some toilets for men who insist on standing while urinating.  A party spokesman belittled the notion that the proposal represented political meddling in the bathroom.  "That's not what we're doing. We want to give men the option of going into a clean toilet.”

Hans Bernard; Wikipedia file
A party in Sweden agree
That men should sit while they pee
Although you may quibble
It will cut down on dribble
There’ll be less pee on thee and on me.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Vote in Greece

They vote in Greece today
To decide if she will stay
Within the euro zone
Or make her way alone.
With euros she would quit,
And to drachmas she’d commit.
And if she breaks away
Will she default or pay
Her debt to other nations
And fulfill their expectations?
If Greece selects default
The bankers would be fraught
With fear and consternation
That would spread among the nations
and would spook economies
Including those far overseas
Like ours, that heavily depends
On our European friends.
If Europe falls apart
Who knows what that would start?
It would change our own direction
By affecting our election.
Doubtless Mitt would claim
That Obama was to blame
So he would be rejected
and Mitt would be elected,
And pretty soon we’d see
Home-grown austerity
And jobs would disappear
And hope replaced by fear.
So over here we’re prayerful
That Greek voters will be careful.
We’ll watch the choice Greeks make
‘Cause our futures are at stake.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

No Questions, Please.

Reporters were invited to hear Mitt Romney’s  speech to a group of business leaders in Washington, DC.  After the talk, when it was time for Mitt to respond to questions from the floor, the reporters were politely asked to leave.  While this is a typical Romney press avoidance procedure, it is ironic that the speech was held in the Newseum, a museum devoted to the news and American journalism. 

No reporters please,
They make me ill at ease
They’re full of base suggestions,
That I can’t handle questions
And my thoughts would simply freeze.
So no reporters please.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Drill, Baby, Drill!

A new bill sponsored by Republican members of the House would open up much more federal land to oil exploration and drilling.

The bill, called the Strategic Energy Production Act, combines a variety of proposals to roll back EPA safeguards, require more drilling on public lands, and speed up leasing for oil and gas extraction. It’s part of a legislative drumbeat in support of fossil fuels that House Republicans are trying to maintain through the beginning of the summer.

At the same time, GOP house members have introduced legislation that would gut 13 different clean energy programs, some of which have been on the books for decades. 

Drill, baby, drill!
Don’t worry ‘bout that spill
It’s our collective will
To drill, baby, drill.

It makes tree-huggers ill
And gives them all a chill
But our message we’ll instill
To drill, baby, drill.

Our oil is needed still
For our gas tanks to refill
Our oil-men have the skill
To drill, baby, drill.

To make it clear that we’ll
Our destiny fulfill
Let’s pass the House’s bill
To drill, baby, drill.

And though we might be shrill
It sure gives us a thrill
To shout from dale and hill:
Drill, baby, drill!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Grover's Hissy Fit

Jeb Bush recently came out strongly against “the Norquist pledge”, which commits signers to oppose any tax increases or other mechanisms for increasing federal revenues.  Bush said,  "I ran for office three times….The pledge was presented to me three times. I never signed the pledge. I cut taxes every year I was governor. I don't believe you outsource your principles and convictions to people." 

In response, Grover got pretty nasty:  "There's a guy who watched his father throw away his presidency on a 2:1 (ratio of spending cuts to tax increases) promise. ... And he thinks he's sophisticated by saying that he'd take a 10:1 promise. He doesn't understand -- he's just agreed to walk down the same alley his dad did with the same gang. And he thinks he's smart. You walk down that alley, you don't come out."

Bush is not the only prominent Republican who is “coming out” against the idea that tax revenues can never, ever be increased.  Even Allen West has called Grover Norquist “a little misguided” and indicated that increases in tax revenues might be needed to reduce the deficit. (see also It’s Over, Grover).

The fight’s playing out on the web.
I’m putting my money on Jeb.
Jeb tartly alleged,
“I’ll never be pledged.”
Grover’s power is starting to ebb.

Now Grover really got pissed.
“He’s just like his dad”, he hissed.
He got kinda mean
As he vented his spleen.
Norquist will never be missed.

‘Though once he was really in clover
His day in the sun is now over.
He’ll be really annoyed
At our schadenfreude,
Let’s all say good riddance to Grover.

A Kinder, Gentler Glenn Beck

Since leaving Fox News last year, Glenn Beck has started an on-line television show and signed a $100 million contract for his radio show.  He is hosting a 3-day rally in Dallas billed as “Restoring Love”, which sold out its 40,000 tickets in two days.

The goal, he said, is to seize control of pop culture from the left by producing patriotic, uplifting art — and use that new megaphone to promote a message of enlightenment and love. … The conservative movement needs a Dick Clark," Beck told BuzzFeed in a recent interview. "And I hope to fill some of that vacuum."
Glenn Beck from Fox News did depart
His lunacy drove them apart
Now he’s making his mark
As the right-wing Dick Clark
Fighting lefties with love, music and art.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

It's All Obama's Fault ... Once Again.

Bay Buchanan, an adviser to the Romney campaign, puts responsibility for public sector job losses (700,000 in the last 3 years) on President Obama.  Why?

"He's the president of the United States, the most powerful man in the world," Bay Buchanan told CNN's Soledad O'Brien. "He had to take some responsibility for the economy that his policies have created after three and a half years. Take a little responsibility. Show a little leadership."

He may be President, but there’s little he can do to create jobs without the help of Congress and, as we all know, action in the House on the President’s job bills has been stymied by the GOP’s intransigence.  And then Buchanan added, "If Barack Obama could just do half the kind of job that Mitt Romney did [as governor of] Massachusetts, this country would be thriving". Um, Bay,  take a look at Mitt's Mass Mess.

Obama is to blame again
For losses in the public sphere
Just hear the news on CNN
The loss of jobs has been severe.

But tell me why is it his fault?
Because, says Bay, he’s President!
He should bring this downturn to a halt
The loss of jobs he should prevent.

But it takes two to tango, Bay.
Obama’s got a thoughtful plan
To increase jobs, but there’s no way
The GOP will lift their ban

On doing anything that might
Allow Obama’s bill to pass.
The blame falls squarely on the right
For this Congressional impasse.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Mitt: We Don't Need More Cops, Teachers or Firemen

Mitt Romney suggested on the campaign trail last week that President Obama neglected the “message of Wisconsin” in calling for more firefighters, teachers and policemen.   He added, “It’s time to cut back on government and help the American people.”  By cutting back on firefighters, teachers and cops??  That’s not going to play well with most Americans.   The Obama campaign quickly came out with a statement: “ In Iowa today, Mitt Romney shockingly promised to cut jobs for firefighters, police, and teachers if elected. … Mitt Romney has decided we need less jobs for middle class Americans, not more.”  Also, Romney surrogate Chris Christie, governor of NJ, stated that the huge loss of public sector jobs during the last several years (e.g. teachers, cops, firemen) means that the country is “moving in the right direction”.

Mitt Romney thinks Obama’s wrong
to send more money to the states
to make the public sector strong
Although right now they’re in bad straits.

We don’t need public employees
Like cops or teachers, firemen
We’ve got enough to meet our needs
We can’t increase our debt again.

Mitt Romney says that it’s just fine,
He’s not concerned with your protection
The public payroll’s in decline
We’re headed in the right direction.

In towns and cities ‘cross the land
Our basic services have withered
No more money is at hand
Because our pols have dithered

Mitt Romney doesn’t really care
If pain his policy evokes
‘Cause he’s a multi-millionaire
He’s out of touch with normal folks.

Kristol Ball

Bill Kristol, the conservative, pundit, declared on Fox News last week that Bill Clinton regarded Obama as “clueless” with respect to the economy and predicted he would vote for Romney in the fall.

Bill Kristol thinks Clinton’s concluded
That Obama is simply deluded
That Barack doesn’t know
How to make our jobs grow
So Bill will with Mitt be included.

But Kristol hasn’t a clue
He says this stuff out of the blue
It’s a crazy suggestion
There’s simply no question
To the Democrats Bill will be true.

Mr.  Kristol’s record’s not good
For the war in Iraq he stood
And another big failin’:
He loved Sarah Palin
His head must be made out of wood.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Romney Adviser Undermines Obama European Policy

President Obama has been talking with European leaders about the necessity of incorporating growth-promoting policies into their response to the financial crisis afflicting the Eurozone nations.  Mitt Romney’s chief economic adviser, Glenn Hubbard, sees it differently and spelled it all out in an article in the German business  journal  Handelsblatt.  

Mr. Hubbard proposed a classic conservative pro-austerity, anti-Keynesian approach, arguing that cutting government spending will restore public confidence, encourage growth and avert future tax increases.

It used to be that candidates shied away from interfering with American foreign policy.  Not any more, I guess. 

Obama has been offering advices
To European nations ‘bout their crisis
Promote some growth, says he
Tone down austerity
But Mitt’s advisor, Hubbard is his name,
Says cutting back your budget, that’s the game.
Growth will come, says he
Through more austerity.
But that’s the policy that’s been in place
So where’s the growth?  In Europe, not a trace.
That’s quite enough, say we
Of this austerity.

Etch-A-Sketching the Stimulus

Back in the days of the Bush Presidency, Mitt Romney expressed support for what can only be seen as a stimulus plan for the economy.  Here are a few quotes:  “On the spending front, infrastructure projects should be a high priority….We should also invest to free us from our dependence on foreign oil, not by playing venture capitalist, but by funding basic research in renewables, material science, combustion, nuclear reprocessing, and the like.”  More in the post from Ben Cohen.  That Mitt Romney is now nowhere in evidence through the magic of Etch-A-Sketch. 

Mitt is against the stimulus of course
It’s bad, it’s dreadful, it made matters worse
But way back before Obama was Pres
Mitt’s words were quite different from what he now says.
Let’s spend money on bridges and roads
So that they can hold up to the heaviest loads
We’ll also support new research on fuel -
We’ll no longer depend on regimes that misrule.
Now all of this sounds like a stimulus plan
But he came out against it once Obama began
To do what Mitt said, to carry it out,
To help our economy, to turn it about.
The reason, I think, that Mitt changed his tune:
With the GOP’s wing-nuts he’d have to commune. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Ode to Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman, the Nobel Prize winner in economics from Princeton University, has been laboring mightily on the left for many years, refuting Republican economic nonsense in books and articles and on TV.  His status as a liberal hero is emphasized in this post by billj1 from the Daily Kos.  Watch Krugman’s style in a debate with two British Tories.

Paul Krugman knows just how to fight
Misleading info from the right
His column in The New York Times
Lambastes the economic crimes
Of many in the GOP
Who still promote austerity.
And in his blog he often starts
With figures and some wonky charts.
A fierce debator on TV,
He boosts the left’s de corps esprit.
His economic books are stellar
Some of them become best sellers.
Although some think he’s not so wise,
It seems he won the Nobel Prize.
Progressives have been on the ropes
But Krugman’s views fulfill our hopes,
He’s the best there is by far,
He’s our liberal superstar. 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The President of Deception

Mitt Romney on the campaign trail last week pledged that he would not be a “president of doubt and deception”, like President Obama.  He’s not off to a great start, since his campaign statements have been larded with fabrication and falsehood (see Pants on Fire)

Mitt Romney says confidently
Here’s one thing that I’ll never be -
The Pres of deception,
But I’ll make an exception
If the facts and I don’t agree.

Another False Accusation from the Romney Camp

Noam Scheiber, the author of a book, The Escape Artists, on Obama’s policy strategies, accused Mitt Romney of misrepresenting Obama’s actions in pushing for the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”). As detailed in the TPM post

On Wednesday Romney claimed that President Obama and his aides believed the health care reform law would harm the recovery but pushed for it anyway, and sourced the argument to Scheiber’s book. But the claim is not true.

Noam Scheiber said “That is false, in a variety of ways… it’s not something that they [the Obama team] felt, and it’s not something I argue in the book.”

Mitt Romney quotes a book to say
Obama pushed the ACA
While knowing that it would derail
Th’economy that was so frail.
But the claim he makes will likely fall flat
‘Cause the book he quotes had never said that. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Mitt Romney: Faux Cop

Several former classmates and friends of college-aged Mitt Romney have said that Mitt used to brag that as a prank, he’d put on a policeman’s uniform, put a red flashing light on his white Rambler and pull people over on the road.  He said he got the uniform from his dad, George Romney, when he was governor of Michigan. Impersonating a police officer is a crime in many states, and a felony if repeated.  If it were Obama instead of Romney, one can imagine that Fox would be apoplectic with rage;  but since it’s Mitt, I’ll bet it doesn’t merit a word except perhaps to decry those who are unfairly picking on Romney’s youthful indiscretions. 

Mitt Romney played a little prank
But if you’d ask, he’d draw a blank
He used to dress up like a cop
And pull folks over, make them stop
He even had a flashing light
Placed on his Rambler, looked just right.
It’s just for fun, he’d prob’ly say
Didn’t mean no harm, so it’s OK.
But in some places, that’s a crime
A felony; could do some time.
What are the media going to say,
That this was just a boy at play?
But Mitt was young, give him some breaks
Anyone can make mistakes.
But just imagine if ‘twere Obama
Then you’d see some right wing drama.
Fox’d scream and yell and screech,
They’d demand he be impeached.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Bill Clinton Goes Rogue

Bill Clinton made news again today by suggesting, in an interview on CNBC, that all the Bush tax cuts should be extended temporarily “to avoid doing anything that would contract the economy now”. This statement is decidedly off-message with respect to the Obama campaign, since President Obama has vowed not to extend the Bush tax cuts for the very wealthy when they expire in January.  In another off-message gaffe last week, Bill Clinton praised Mitt Romney’s business career at Bain Capital as “sterling”, just when the Obama campaign was running a series of negative ads depicting Romney as a heartless, job-destroying takeover specialist.

Bill Clinton’s a surrogate for the Pres
But he should be careful ‘bout what he says
Obama said let’s let the tax cuts expire
At least for the rich, that’s what I require.
But Bill ventures forth and says maybe not,
Or wait until later when th’economy’s hot.
This ain’t the first time that he has gone rogue;
Talking off message for Bill is in vogue.
You wonder what kind of team player he is:
He’s all for the team that is Hill’ry’s and his.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Scott Walker: Still Governor of Wisconsin

Scott Walker held on to his job yesterday,
The voters have now had the ultimate say.
The Democrats are morose;
The final results weren’t close

Much money was poured into last night’s election.
The unions were funding a bold insurrection.
But the effort has come down to naught;
Union members are really distraught.

Conservatives surely are highly elated
For this is a victory that they’ve long awaited.
Progressives are feeling ground down:
Scott Walker is sticking around!