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.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Bibi's Lap Dog

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports that Romney canceled a meeting with the leader of the Labour Party, Shelly Yachimovich, a mere two hours before it was scheduled to begin.  This occurred after repeated confirmations of the meeting and its schedule between the Romney and Yachimovich staffs.  Yachimovich was dumbfounded by the abrupt cancellation and felt, according to Haaretz, that “Netanyahu, or his people, didn't approve of the Yachimovich meeting and pressured Romney to cancel it – and succeeded.”  Romney has previously expressed his intention to do Netanyahu’s bidding:  In one of the Republican primary debates, he stated that, as President, “ I’d get on the phone to my friend Bibi Netanyahu and say, ‘Would it help if I said this? What would you like me to do?’” before taking any action involving Israel. On moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, Romney said  “I would only want to do so and to select the timing in accordance with the government of Israel.” In a Romney administration, US policy toward Israel would be farmed out to Binyamin Netanyahu, a shocking abdication of leadership and responsibility.  I wonder what the right-wing press would say if Obama declared that he’d ask for approval from a foreign leader before undertaking a particular policy action.

Mitt Romney says that he will do
Whatever Bibi wants him to.
On Mitt Israelis can depend,
‘Cause Bibi is his closest friend.
When Bibi said “Don’t meet with Labour”
Mitt said, “Right” and didn’t waver.
If Bibi starts Iran’s attack
Then Mitt will say “I’ve got your back”
Our embassy Mitt’d move today
If Bibi says that it’s OK.
Before Mitt Romney makes a move
He’ll ask Bibi to approve.
A President's no longer ours
If foreigners have veto powers.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Mitt: I'll be Your Friend...

In Israel, Mitt Romney is scheduled to deliver a speech Sunday night in which he declares his support for Israel’s right to take military action against Iran, if necessary, to block its development of a nuclear weapons capability.

I’ve come to make it understood
That you and I agree
And it’s OK with me
To send some aircraft if you could
And stop Khamenei’s nukes for good.

I’m not supposed to criticize
Our president today
(At least while I’m away)
But I’ll support your enterprise:
Send those aircraft through the skies.

I’d really be your steadfast friend.
If I were Pres, you’d see
No wavering from me.
So if those aircraft you must send
I’ll stick with you until the end.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Not Ready for Prime Time

In an interview with NBC’s Brian Williams in England, Mitt Romney antagonized the British nation with his comments on the 2012 London Olympics

"You know, it's hard to know just how well it will turn out. There were a few things that were disconcerting - stories about the private security firm not having enough people, a supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials. That, obviously, is not something which is encouraging."

Later, Prime Minister David Cameron replied somewhat testily,

"We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active bustling cities anywhere in the world. I mean, of course it's easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere."

The “middle of nowhere” allusion is to Salt Lake City, the site of the winter Olympics which Romney directed.

This trip was intended to be Mitt’s soft-focus introduction to international diplomacy. Nice job, Mitt.

This trip was the first one of Mitt’s
To display savoir faire to the Brits
“Nice Olympics you got,
But security’s shot
And your strikers would give me the fits.”

The British PM then replied
“I’m afraid that you’ve damaged our pride.
Your games were OK
But it’s easy when they
In the middle of nowhere reside”

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Grover Norquist: Muslim Brotherhood Secret Agent?!

Frank Gaffney, an advisor to Michelle Bachmann, has charged that Grover Norquist, the well known right-wing,  anti- tax advocate, has also promoted the activities and goals of radical Islam and the Muslim Brotherhood. These charges have been circulating for some time, but I wan't aware of them until now. These allegations seem to stem initially from the fact Norquist is married to a Muslim woman, Huma Abedin, the deputy chief of staff for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Abedin is currently a major target of Michelle Bachmann’s call for an investigation of Muslim Brotherhood infiltration into the US Government.   Here are some excerpts from Gaffney’s key finding on the Muslim Brotherhood in America (consult Gaffney's full article for details). 

7        The Muslim Brotherhood was helped in its efforts to achieve information dominance over the George W. Bush administration, thanks to collaboration between a top Muslim Brotherhood operative, Abdurahman Alamoudi, and anti-tax activist Grover Norquist.

8         In addition to al Qaeda financier Alamoudi, Norquist helped mainstream in the Bush campaign and/or administration five other Muslims with extensive ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.  …
11.        Norquist has worked for years to “create relations with top political leaders and Muslims.”  …

12.        Norquist continues to support Islamist agenda items and to work to counter initiatives opposed by the Brothers.  In the process, he has collaborated with radical leftists and Islamists in Red-Green Coalitions, the latter include Iranian influence operations.

13.        The precedents, personnel and policies promoted by Norquist and his friends during the George W. Bush administration have metastasized dramatically under that of President Obama.



Grover, Grover, surely we never knew

The Muslin Brotherhood has got to you.

If Gaffney says so then it must be true.

He says you’ve let the Brotherhood into

Our Government in order to pursue

Islamic goals and their Jihad worldview.


O Grover, please, tell us it’s not true

Why weren’t the tax debates enough for you?

What’s a Christian boy like you to do

Around the Muslims and the lies they spew.

Oh, Sorry – You mean your wife’s a Muslim too?

Well, that explains your current point of view.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Mitt Campaign: Obama Will Cave In to Tehran

Republicans are trying to sell an image of Obama as a military weakling, despite all the evidence to the contrary.  In this exchange on the PBS NewsHour between host Margaret Warner and Rich Williamson, a foreign policy advisor for the Romney campaign, Williams predicts that if Obama is re-elected, he will cut a deal with Iran allowing them to continue to enrich uranium.  While Williams wouldn’t be specific as to Romney’s military position with respect to Iran, the threat of military force would clearly be left on the table, much like the position of ... you guessed it,  Barack Obama.  Here’s the text of part of their conversation:

MARGARET WARNER: So, if I'm a voter trying to decide how different Iran policy would be under Mitt Romney...
MARGARET WARNER: ... would I assume that he'd be quicker to use military force?
RICH WILLIAMSON: I -- he would have credible military force.
No one in Tehran, no one in Israel, no one in the region believes that Barack Obama will use military force. And the result is, Tehran listened to that open mike between the president and Medvedev and said, OK, let's wait until after the election, when he has more flexibility and he is going to cut a deal allowing us to have enrichment, and that is what going to happen if we reelect Obama, and that will result in a much more dangerous region, not only for Israel, but for the United States.
MARGARET WARNER: And would he be more encouraging to Israel to take military action?
RICH WILLIAMSON: Well, I'll tell you what he'd do. He'd be talking to them to get a coordinated approach, as opposed to only publicly castigating them. We should work with our allies, not try to
corner them and browbeat them.

Mitt Romney thinks Obama’s weak -
He’ll wait until the election’s done
Then to Khamenie he will speak
And let'im enrich uranium.

Mitt thinks Obama won’t use force
This verdict’s near unanimous
But what'd bin Laden say of course:
Barack’s not pusillanimous.

They've got Obama pegged all wrong -
His balls are made of steel.
Tehran knows that Obama's strong,
Eventually they’ll cave and deal.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mitt Slashes Obama at VFW

Mitt Romney’s speech to the VFW on Tuesday was filled with sharp attacks on Obama, but short on substance and specificity, as can be seen in the reviews posted here, here and here


Mitt Romney gave a speech yesterday

   To the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

He went on the attack in a frightful way

   With Obama he settled some scores.

There were times when he got carried away,

   And the Vets approved with loud roars:


I believe that America’s really great

  The best in the world is she.

American power I will not berate

 And I know you all would agree

When I say that it is America’s  fate

   To rule over land and sea.


Obama is weak and apologetic,

   He simply don’t understand

The Ayatollah’s been real energetic

   In building the nukes they have planned.

His response to Iran is simply pathetic

   Things will change when I take command.


Obama’s been cutting the funds for defense -

   He’ll leave us perilously weak.

The damage he’ll do to our troops is immense

   The outlook is mighty bleak.

But when I am the Pres, I’ll spare no expense

   Our generals will get all they seek.


Obama’s been leaking select information

   To make himself appear strong.

But “classified” are these files’ designation

   So releasing them is all wrong.

We need a meticulous investigation

    To assess where the blame will belong.


What will I do that’s different, you ask?

    I’ll be better, just wait and see.

I have secret plans that I won’t unmask,

   And I’m confident you would agree

That it wouldn’t be prudent to detail each task

   I’ll just do it - you can trust me.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Deja Vu All Over Again

Now that Bashar al Assad has threatened Western powers with chemical and biological weapons if they should attack Syria, Fox News’ Sean Hannity wondered where they came from and suggested that they were “donated” by Saddam Hussein.  So THAT’S where the WMD went!!  Guest Lynn Cheney lent her support to this idea and also wondered  “what happened to the Libyan weapons of mass destruction.” She concluded that “it’s clearly time for more action” but didn’t specify what form that action should take.  How about another mid-Eastern war, folks?  I had thought this kind of thinking was thoroughly discredited by now, but apparently there’s enough vicarious testosterone at Fox News to keep it going.  Cheney redux!


Let’s have another little war,

Liz Cheney’s all pumped up for more.

Old WMD’s from Sad Hussein

Did Bashar al Assad obtain.

Those weapons are a casus belli -

More shock and awe for our home telly.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Romney Blasts Obama for Defense Cuts Republicans Agreed To

In excerpts released from an address to be delivered today to the VFW, Mitt Romney castigated the President for automatic cuts to the Defense Department that were part of the sequestration deal that Congress, including Republicans, agreed to in an effort to resolve the debt ceiling crisis last year.   

How dare he cut defense!
It doesn’t make much sense.
Although Republicans took part
It’s still Obama’s fault!

More "Otherism"

The Obama campaign released a pretty tough ad last week featuring a voice-over of Mitt Romney singing "America the Beautiful" while showing images of shuttered factories and text about shipping jobs overseas.  The Romney campaign cried foul and released its own ad suggesting that Obama only cares about his campaign contributors and featuring Obama singing a line from the old Al Green it, "Let's Stay Together".  It's a curious choice, because Obama comes off looking pretty good, but Suzy Welch, former editor of the Harvard Business Review, had an explanation:


“It’s the difference between the songs that they’re singing,” Mrs Welch said. “Mitt Romney didn’t exactly do a beautiful job on that song, but think about what he’s singing, OK? I mean it’s that patriotic song and he goes all the way through it. Then you’ve got the very cool Barack Obama singing Al Green. That is the two different Americas. Isn’t it?”


It's still a curious choice since the only thing "different" or "otherly" about the song, now such an established part of the American mainstream, is that it was sung by a black man, but maybe that's the point. See also Obama, the Other and America the Bountiful


Mitt Romney sings a little song

His voice is not so very strong

But it's a patriotic tune,

One he tries his best to croon.


Obama sings a different tune

"Let's Stay Together" and commune.

Obama's from the Al Green school

He's really being very cool. 


Two different nations isn't it?

One for 'Bama, one for Mitt,

One's ironic, one's sincere

One's so cool, it sports a sneer.


One is dark and socialistic

The other's bright and optimistic.

Government paternity

Or Land of opportunity.


The GOP is on another

Kick to make the Pres "the Other"

But scaring us with Al Green's song?

That's been mainstream for so long


Even white folks like it, Mitt,

You really must be out of it.

We are one nation after all -

Mitt, you shouldn't act so small.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Obama, "the Other"

Mitt Romney is chiming in on the scurrilous Republican mantra that Barack Obama is something less than a full American.  From the crazy "birther" issue to the more subtle claim that Obama wants to make America  more like Europe, the theme is the same:  Obama's views are foreign, un-American and dangerous.  Here Mitt Romney says that "Obama attacks success", that he is "changing the nature of America" and that "his course is extraordinarily foreign".  It's a bit ironic that a guy who has lots of his money stashed in overseas banks would deride Obama's course as "foreign".  As for changing the nature of America, the Ryan budget, which Romney supports, would certainly accomplish that by throwing even more money to the rich while taking it away from the poor and the middle class. And finally, attacking success undoubtedly refers to the lasting resentment that Bain's, and Romney's, success came at the expense of the workers who lost their jobs at the companies that Bain took over.


Republicans have got a theme

That they will push to make it seem

Obama's just not one of us


He'll change the nature of our land

Our life he doesn't understand

Obama's just not one of us


He thinks success is something bad

It seems to make him really mad

Obama's just not one of us


He wants our freedoms to be cropped

And European ways adopt

Obama's just not one of us


He spent his youthful years abroad

It's no wonder he's so odd

Obama's just not one of us


So what's the cause for this attack?

Could it be because he's black?

Obama's just not one of us. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Retroactive Reality

GOP spokesperson  Ed Gillespie tried to clear up the confusion about Mitt Romney's position at Bain between the years 1999 and 2002.  Romney claims he retired from Bain to organize the Olympic Games at Salt Lake City, although he was still listed as the company's CEO until 2002.  Gilllespie said, "He actually retired retroactively at that point. He ended up not going back to the firm after his time in Salt Lake City. So he was actually retired from Bain."  Everything clear now?


Some nasty things were done at Bain

And they are hurting my campaign

And though I don't mean to complain

It's not my fault - let me explain:

                I retired from it all



I really won in every debate

The points I made were really great

My opponent's egos did deflate

My arguments were all first rate

                I made them all



Of course I'd give the go-ahead

To kill Osama bin Laden dead

E'en if some advisors said

There's other ways to go instead

                If I could do it all


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Just When You Thought It Was Safe...

The great white shark of American foreign policy, Dick Cheney, is back.  He's advising the Romney campaign on its foreign policy positions (what positions, you might well ask), as well as meeting with House Republicans to provide them with talking points, etc. enabling them to oppose the automatic military budget cuts (sequestration) that they agreed to last year.  As Joan McCarter puts it in this post from the Daily Kos,


Interesting that the Republicans leading the least popular Congress ever would turn to the guy who's even more unpopular than they are and is the most loathed face of the most loathed presidency since Nixon to help them make a case to the public.


The GOP's loathsome Great White

Packs a snarling and fearsome bite

Dick Cheney's his name

Of "the dark side" fame

He's full of poison and spite.


So why would they turn to Dick?

It's a really mysterious pick

They want someone tough

And he's sure tough enough

But mainly he's known as a prick.


They say Dick's a policy master

But a public relations disaster

He's a rightist wing nut

And a pain in the gut

He's a lot like oil of castor. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Sununu New Views

John Sununu, former governor of "Live Free or Die" New Hampshire, is not known for the subtlety of his rhetoric.  But he's surpassed himself in recent days, saying of Obama "I wish this President would learn how to be an American" and


“He has no idea how the American system functions...And we shouldn’t be surprised about that, because he spent his early years in Hawaii smoking something, spent … another set of years in Indonesia.”


Asked later about his "learn how to be an American" remark, Sununu claimed he was referring to the American formula for creating business, which (he apparently thinks) does not involve government. Still, it all fits with the far right-wing's obsession that Obama is somehow less than fully American. 


O, I wish our President could be

As American as you and me.

He needs to take some time and study

How to be our US buddy.

Hawaii was his youthful range

But he was smoking something strange,

And then he went to Indonesia

A Muslim country where they seize ya

And fill you full of information

That's just plain wrong about our nation,

And that is why he has no clue

'Bout what America can really do.


This is what Sununu says

About our Democratic Pres,

But most folks know they must eschew new

Weird remarks from John Sununu.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Mitt's Secret Tax Returns

Mitt Romney refuses to release more than two years of his tax returns, despite intense pressure from Democrats, and some Republicans, to release more.  His dad famously released 12 years of his returns when he was running for President.  Undoubtedly, there's some info in there that would prove an embarrassment to the Romney campaign.  When Mitt was being considered as a possible vice-presidential candidate for John McCain, he provided the McCain campaign with 23 years of his tax returns.  Rahm Emmanuel put it best, "And when he gave them 23 years, John McCain's people looked at it and said, 'Let's go with Sarah Palin.' So whatever's in there is far worse than just the first year." Finally, Mitt said in his defense, in what has to be the non sequitur of the year, “John Kerry ran for president. You know, his wife, who has hundreds of millions of dollars, she never released her tax returns. Somehow this wasn’t an issue.”  Yes Mitt, but Kerry himself had actually released over 20 years of his own returns by the time he ran for President in 2004. 

Mitt Romney's got a lot of dough
"I'll pay all the tax I owe,
But not a dollar more",  he said.
But tax returns fill him with dread
Because they'll surely show that he
Paid much less tax than you or me.
I'll bet for some years he paid none
so those returns won't see the sun.
He's stashed his cash in banks offshore
And so we'll never really know the score.
Two years' returns he'll let us see
But John McCain saw twenty-three
and said, "For Veep it won't be Mitt
I'll go with Sarah, she'll be a hit."

Mitts tax returns will stay hidden,
To show us more is forbidden.
"I just won't release
More than two years' apiece,
John Kerry's wife also didn't."

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Voter ID/Suppression

Many states dominated by Republicans have passed "Voter ID" laws requiring a state-authorized picture identification card to vote in upcoming elections.  Obtaining these ID's can bevery burdensome for some voters, especially the poor, people of color, older voters or students, who tend to vote Democratic.  So it's pretty clear that the motive behind the new laws is not to suppress fraud, as the GOP claims, but to suppress Democratic votes.  In Pennsylvania, the House Majority (GOP) leader was recently overtaken by a temporary fit of honesty when he said that their voter ID law was "gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania."


A lot of states have Voter ID,

They want a picture of you or me.

Before they'll let our vote to be cast.

They will insist that we have passed

The tests that they have put in place

To keep false voters from the race.


But as the election's drawing near, we are

Disturbed that there might be ulterior

Concerns for these restrictive laws

That might discourage some because

It's hard to get the documents

Despite some voter's best intents.


And the voters that it's hardest for,

Latinos, students, blacks and more

Are those who don't vote GOP -

They'll keep them off the rolls, you see -

And as you might by now have guessed

They'll keep the Democrats suppressed.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Fox Thinks $250 K is a Middle Class Salary

Fox Business Network commentators Neil Cavuto and Charles Payne think that a salary of $250,000 a year qualifies one to be solidly middle class but not really rich.  They claim that at $250 K, " they have the same fears as someone making 50, a household making 50 grand, they really do - particularly if they live in a place like New York or Los Angeles."  Actually Neil and Charles, there's a big, big difference between $250 K and the median income of $50 K;  you guys should try living on $50 K, and see whether an extra $200 K wouldn't make you a lot more comfortable.


At Fox they think you are just middle class

If the salary you earn's only two-fifty K

'Though you're doing all right, lots of bills you amass;

You're not really rich, they're trying to say.


It's far better than most, you must admit.

It's five times the median; that's quite a bit.

So if for your taxes you pay a bit more,

It's not going to kill you - it won't make you poor.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Is Mitt Too Soft on Obama?

A host of right-wing commentators has been pretty critical of Mitt Romney's campaign lately, as documented in this post of Media Matters for America.  Apparently, they think Mitt's campaign should focus more on their vision of Barack Obama as the Anti-Christ.  But Mitt's trying to win over independent voters, who are the key to winning the election and who are repelled by the kind of vituperative campaign the right wingers really want.  It's enough to make you feel a little bit sorry for Mitt as a victim of unjustified abuse.  But not really.


The right's a bit upset with Mitt,

His talk of jobs is not their bit.

They'd like it more if he would shout

"Obama's a socialistic lout!"

But Mitt's not worried about his base:

The independents'll win this race

And they don't think Obama's Satan,

They just want th'economy to straighten.

So Mitt is trying to play it cool

But right-wing howlers think he's a fool. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Donald Trump, Statesman??

In Sarasota , FL, Donald Trump is being honored a "Statesman of the Year" by the local GOP organization.  A GOP spokesman explained,  “He’s a sage, skillful and respected leader” who is doing “all he can to take our country back.” To take our country back to the Gilded Age perhaps.


A local GOP board

Gave the  Donald a "statesman" award

He talks quite a lot

but a "statesman" he's not

It's an award that leaves most of us floored.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Rick Opts Out

Despite being ranked worst  in the nation for health care delivery, Texans will not be receiving any benefits from the Affordable Care Act if Governor Rick Perry has his way.  He announced that Texas would not set up insurance exchanges nor accept increased Medicaid funds as set forth in the Affordable Care Act.  He declared, “Neither a ‘state’ exchange nor the expansion of Medicaid under this program would result in better ‘patient protection’ or in more ‘affordable care.’”  That's just wrong, but Perry's ideological blinders won't permit him to admit it.


Rick Perry says Obamacare

is not for Texans. He don't care

if health care in his state is worst,

He simply will not be coerced

into doing something that is right

although it'd help relieve the plight

of Texans who are uninsured

because of costs they can't afford.