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.

Friday, August 31, 2012

The Elephant's Graveyard

I’ll be taking a break for a couple of weeks, but while I’m gone, here are some of Doggerelo’s greatest hits, in case you missed them first time around. 


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. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Romney's Soliloquy

I’ll be taking a break for a couple of weeks, but while I’m gone, here are some of Doggerelo’s greatest hits, in case you missed them first time around. 

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. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Newt Reflects on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

I’ll be taking a break for a couple of weeks, but while I’m gone, here are some of Doggerelo’s greatest hits, in case you missed them first time around. 


G.O.P. Candidate Newt Gingrich has called for the abolition of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which hears cases from nine western states, calling it "consistently radical". 

Methinks this court doth far too leftish act.
It press upon the nation rulings foul
And pustulant, which forward secret plans
To steal the wealth from those who worketh hard
And handeth it to those who worketh not.
O, Robin Hood! O Marx and Engels! Thy shades
Doth sit at bench on this unruly court!
But I, if chosen to be President,
Will send this court to just oblivion.
My plan is but a simple one yet artful –
Withhold the funds that nourish this rogue court
And by doing so abolish it forever.
We needeth it not – the western cases may
Be heard by courts that rule by strict construction,
A form of law that ever pleaseth me.
Thus will I ensure the courts retain
Obeisance to the rule of law again.
The kinds of judges my support would'st be with
Are those who issue rulings I agree with.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Bishop Finn

I’ll be taking a break for a couple of weeks, but while I’m gone, here are some of Doggerelo’s greatest hits, in case you missed them first time around.

October 19, 2011

On October 14, the New York Times reported that Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City was indicted for failing to report an instance of child abuse by one of the priests in his diocese.  It is the first time an American Catholic church leader was held criminally liable for the behavior of a priest under his supervision.  

Forgive me, dear Bishop Finn.
I’ve committed a horrible sin.
I took some snap shots
Of a little girl’s crotch.
What terrible trouble I’m in!

Good gracious my dear Father Ratigan
We’ll have to inform the Vatican.
But the cops we’ll forgo
They just needn’t know,
If you’ll  promise not to do that again.

Bishop Finn, you failed to report
A crime of the most heinous sort
There’s lots of excitement
About your indictment.
It’s the first of its kind in this court.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Tampa Test

They start their convention today*
The Republicans in old Tampa Bay.
They’ll nominate Romney to be
Their choice for the Presidency,
And as for Mitt’s running mate
They’ll say Paul Ryan is great.
There’ll be lots and lots of speeches
Down by the Florida beaches,
And to give the folks there a treat
They’ll throw them lots of red meat.
Obama and Biden they’ll boo
And pray that next year they’ll be through.
Chris Christie gives the keynote address -
It’s sure to be a success -
He’s big in more ways than one
In 2016 he might run
If Romney should lose in this race
Ol’ Chris might be taking his place.
Sarah Palin won’t be there to speak
She’s probably well past her peak.
The Donald has said he’d be there
To give everybody a scare.
The big night belongs to Mitt
His speech is a chance to transmit
His plans and personal charm -
His doubters he’ll try to disarm.
We’ll see if he’s able rise to
The occasion, but when he tries to
He usually falls flat on his face:
In this case, he must show some grace.

The convention will surely be fun
It’s the GOP’s day in the sun.
But I will be taking a break
A vacation I’ve got to take.
The timing I know’s pretty bad
But stay tuned, don’t go away mad
‘Cause while I’m away
This blog will replay
The best poems that we’ve ever had.
* The start of the convention has been delayed by a day due to proximity of tropical storm Isaac.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Republican Alphabet

A is for Akin:
He says you’ll escape
Pregnancy if it's
A legitimate rape.

B is for Boehner
He’s the House Speaker
But to Tea Party types
He couldn’t be meeker.

C is for Cantor
He never relaxes
When it comes to our spending
Or raising our taxes

D’s for Demint
He’s a Tea Party guy
He’s as right as they come
He’s their natural ally.

E is for Ensign
He was well equipped
For a leadership slot
But his fly ‘came unzipped.

F is for Fox
The news for the right
If there’s any truth there
It’s kept out of sight.

G is for Graham
Now Lindsay’s a gent
He speaks with an elegant
Southern accent.

H is for Hatch,
Ted Kennedy’s friend,
But this year his job
Has come to an end.

I is for Inhofe
He denies global warming
But rising sea levels
Should give him some warning.

 J is for John
McCain, that would be -
He ran once for Pres
With a knock-out VP.

K is for Kyl.
Jon’s quitting this year -
He’s had quite enough
Of the political sphere.

L is for Lieberman
Joe might as well be
Honor’y member
Of our own GOP.

M’s for McConnell,
From the land of crape myrtle,
He looks kinda funny
Like Yertle the Turtle.

N is for No!
That’s the House creed
For anything that would let
Obama succeed.

O’s for Obama
He’s our country’s tsar
He’s Muslim and socialist
He’s our bête noir.

P’s for Reince Priebus
Of the NRC
He’s not as much fun
As Mike Steele used to be.

Q is for queer
Never let it be said
That gays should be equal:
Gay marriage is dead

R is for Romney
He bears our standard
There’s nary a group
That he hasn’t pandered.

S is for Snowe
She’s decided to quit
‘Cause bipartisan ways
No one will permit.

T is for taxes
There never will be
An increase in taxes
With our GOP!

U is for useless
That’s what it would be
To expect compromise
From today’s GOP.

V is for victory
A win in the fall
Will get rid of Obama
And also Ron Paul.

W is for West -
Allen’s really quite raucous
He thinks there are Commies
In the Progressive Caucus.

X is for Xmas
As they say on TV.
We’ll put Jesus back
Right where he should be.

Y is for Yoder
It’s in a news clipping:
In the Galilee Sea
He went skinny dipping

Z is for zeitgeist
The soul of our age
There’s only one word for it
And that word is rage.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Republican Law and Order in New Hampshire

A Republican candidate for Sheriff (of all things) in New Hampshire reserved his right to use deadly force, if necessary, to stop abortions.  When it was pointed out that abortions are in fact legal (at least for now), he said “There’s a difference between legal and lawful” and pointed to slavery as an activity that was legal at one time in our history but was unlawful under our Constitution. 

Abortion is legal, it’s true
But it’s also unlawful to do.
What’s “lawful” the sheriff will decide
And he thinks it’s infanticide.
To be sure that the sheriff succeeds
He’ll do whatever he needs.
Here’s a warning to the accused:
Deadly force might have to be used!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Civil War in Lubbuck?

The first paragraph of this post from ThinkProgress, about Judge Tom Head of Lubbock, TX, deserves to be quoted in full:

Earlier today, ThinkProgress reported that Texas Judge Tom Head told a local television station that President Obama would turn over American “sovereignty” to the United Nations if reelected, that Obama’s actions would potentially trigger “civil unrest, civil disobedience, civil war,” and that such a conflict would culminate with “UN troops” led by President Obama invading Lubbock, Texas. We swear we are not making this up. There is video.

There’s a judge in Texas that said
Obama will be at the head
Of a UN invasion force -
Invading Lubbock, of course.
If Obama wins in the fall,
A civil war will befall
The nation and we’ll have to fight
The UN and Obama’s blight.

I think that we’ve heard enough.
How can people believe this stuff?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Science, Schmience...

Unbelievable!  Todd Akin was selected to serve on the House Science and Technology Committee.  This is the guy who is so famously ignorant of basic reproductive physiology that he thinks a  woman who is “legitimately” raped will be unlikely to become pregnant because “…the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”  His views are climate science are no more sophisticated, since he seems to understand climate change in terms of seasonal weather changes.  This is a bit like assigning Sarah Palin to the Foreign Relations Committee. 

Todd Akin’s got really strange views
Although now that is hardly news
But to forge an alliance
On the Committee of Science
This is the guy that they choose?

He’s out of his league by a lot
But they thought he should give it a shot.
He’s since become famous
As a daft ignoramus
About science he doesn’t know squat.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Fertilization Personalization

Paul Ryan and Todd Akin were among the co-sponsors of a House bill called the Sanctity of Human Life Act of 2009, which declared that

…the life of each human being begins with fertilization, cloning, or its functional equivalent, irrespective of sex, health, function or disability, defect, stage of biological development, or condition of dependency, at which time every human being shall have all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood.

This bill would obviously make abortion, and birth control measures that block implantation of a fertilized egg, the legal equivalent of murder.

A fertilized egg is a person
A formulation that’s worse than
Repealing Roe v Wade
As part of the right-wing crusade
Because it would in the end
Certain birth control measures suspend.

So who would sponsor a bill
That most women’s rights would kill?
Why none other than Romney’s VP
And that is not all, you see,
Another guy with a big stake in
This bill was our friend, Todd Akin. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Out, Out Damn Todd!

Republicans are hoping, and no doubt pushing hard behind the scenes, that Todd Akin will just go away quietly and quit the race for Senate in Missouri. 

Drew Sheneman,
Akin’s got to go
He’s defiant even so.
But the GOP has ways
Of making those who stray
Listen and obey.
He’ll be gone today
No matter what he says
Because I’m sure you know
They control the dough. 

Even Republicans Sometimes Get Embarrassed

The GOP was rocked over the weekend by two flagrant examples of bad taste.  Todd Akin made his stupefying remarks about rape and pregnancy, whereas Kansas Republican freshman Representative Kevin Yoder went skinny-dipping in the Sea of Galilee after a late-night party.   

The Republican Party’s been shaken
By mistakes various pols have been makin’
For one, there’s the screwball Todd Akin
Who said pregnancy’s not usually been taken
In girls who are victims of rapin’
As long as ‘bout that they’re not fakin’.
In this he was greatly mistaken,
And said “folks, please give me a break an’
Don’t leave me forgot and forsaken”

Kev Yoder said he was takin’
A break in a trip he was makin’
So he took a jump in the lake an’
Next day when he was awakened
His head was all fuzzy and achin’
But he remembered the rule he’d been breakin’
Since his clothing all off he had taken -
He’s embarrassed and visibly shaken. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Romney Takin' Akin to the Woodshed

Mitt Romney today, for the first time, spoke out against rampant stupidity and revolting language within his own party. It took someone especially stupid and revolting, namely Todd Akin, Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Missouri, to get him to do it.  In an interview with National Review, he said "Congressman Akin's comments on rape are insulting, inexcusable and, frankly, wrong. Like millions of other Americans, we found them to be offensive."

Mitt Romney’s come out of his shell
He really gave Todd Akin hell
His words were quite strong
He said Todd was “wrong”
And “offensive”, “insulting” as well.

Akin Strikes Again...and Again, and Again, and...

Todd Akin, Republican candidate for Senate in Misssouri,  has made several outrageous statements over the last several days: he’d like to block federal funding of the school lunch program, he thinks the voting rights act should be overturned, he’d like a total ban on the “morning-after” pill,  and now he claims that the body has mechanisms to shut down pregnancy if a “legitimate rape” has occurred. 

“First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare,” Akin told KTVI-TV in an interview posted Sunday. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” Akin said that even in the worst-case scenario — when the supposed natural protections against unwanted pregnancy fail — abortion should still not be a legal option for the rape victim. “Let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work, or something,” Akin said. “I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.”

I’m not making this up, folks.  The truly unbelievable aspect of this is that Akin has a substantial lead in the polls over his Democratic opponent, Senator Claire McCaskill. Akin later issued a statement saying that he had "misspoken", which is politispeak for "I was dead wrong and I'm an idiot!"

Todd Akin’s really over the top
He can’t get his mouth to stop
He gets into a scrape
When he talks about rape
Where does he come up with this slop?

He brought on this latest affair
With a statement made out of thin air
He’s started to intimate
If rape is “legitimate”
Pregnancy’d be very rare.

The good folks out in Missouri
Have a chance to be judge and jury
Don’t take a pass
Get rid of this ass
Vote him out with “legitimate” fury.

Let Them Eat Cake!

Todd Akin, the Missouri Republican Senate candidate running against the Democratic incumbent  Claire McCaskill, said that the federal government should not be paying for school lunches for hungry children.  “Why not do it at the state level?” he asked, while the answer is staring him in the face – the states don’t have the money!  

If you are hungry nearly every day
And lunch at school provides the only way
That you can ever have a decent meal -
Your school’s lunch money Akin’s going to steal.

He says the gov’ment of our great nation
Shouldn’t be involved with education
For him, the issue is a state’s rights deal -
Your school’s lunch money Akin’s going to steal

It doesn’t matter if poor kids are starving
Todd Akin doesn’t really give a farthing
‘Cause hungry kids to him have no appeal -
Your school’s lunch money Akin’s going to steal.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Ballad and Romney and Ryan

Mitt Romney’s new sidekick, Paul Ryan’s his name,
Is just like his boss, they’re almost the same,
On most every point, they’re sure to agree
They’re campaigning hard for Pres and VP.

Romney-O, Romney-O, Ryan-O-Too
To Republican talking points they will be true
            Romney-O, Romney-O, Ryan-O-Dee
            They’ll hammer the Democrats, just wait and see.

Mitt goes with the weather, he’s hard to pin down,
He just wants to please whoever’s around,
But Ryan’s a rock, he knows that he’s right,
If folks disagree, he’s happy to fight.

Romney-O, Romney-O, Ryan-O-Too
They travel the country for voters to woo
            Romney-O, Romney-O, Ryan-O-Dine
            The two men together have only one spine.      

Now Romney’s a Mormon, and that is OK
But he won’t discuss it, there’s simply no way;
Paul Ryan’s a Catholic, a regular brand,
At least that’s a faith we can all understand.

Romney-O, Romney-O, Ryan-O-Too
You Democrats better watch out for these two
Romney-O, Romney-O, Ryan-O-Dike
           ‘Though their faiths may be different, it’s Jesus they like.

Mitt Romney is rich, he’s got lots of dough
What he pays in taxes, we’ll never know;
Paul Ryan’s not wealthy but he’s done OK
Let’s tax the rich less, he’s likely to say.

Romney-O, Romney-O, Ryan-O-Too
            Their contributors come from the wealthiest few
Romney-O, Romney-O, Ryan-O-Door
            They don’t give a damn about folks who are poor.

Mitt Romney looks sharp, he’s handsome of face
He’s just the right height and his hair’s all in place
Paul Ryan is hot and he’s also quite young
He’s just the right age to be Romney’s son.

Romney-O, Romney-O, Ryan-O-Too
            They’re good-looking dudes, it’s certainly true
            Romney-O, Romney-O, Ryan-O-Ded
            So why do most women like ‘Bama instead?

They both agree that the Right way’s the best
They’ll lower taxes and spending arrest,
The safety net shred and Medicare spike,
But the generals and admirals will get what they like.

Romney-O, Romney-O, Ryan-O-Too
The GOP program is what they’ll push through
Romney-O, Romney-O, Ryan-O-Dōne
Government spending they’ll cut to the bone.

The election is coming, they’ll hold it this fall,
With Romney and Ryan it will be a close call
Obama and Biden must win in this race
Or Romney and Ryan will be taking their place.
Romney-O, Romney-O, Ryan-O-Too
            They’re very conservative in their world view.
Romney-O, Romney-O, Ryan-O-Dade
            If they get elected, be very afraid.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Paul Ryan - Big Spender

Despite Paul Ryan’s reputation as a deficit hawk, he voted during the Bush years for all the measures that gave rise the bulk of our current yearly budget deficits, as shown on the accompanying diagram (from Informed Comment). 

Paul Ryan’s a deficit hawk
At federal spending he’ll balk
But in the Bush years
He voted with peers
For programs that put us in hock.

Paul Ryan is thought to be fiscally tight
He doesn’t support any new spending frills
He brags that his votes are fiscally right

But in the Bush years there were several bills
That needed his vote for them to get passed
So like a good soldier he bent to their wills

And voted for them, like the Bushies had asked.
But now we’re bemired with terrible debt
‘Cause the costs of those bills have piled up fast

And Ryan no doubt views those votes with regret
‘Cause now he doesn’t seem fiscally bright
And our nation is under a financial threat.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Joe the Plumber on Illegal Immigration

Samuel Wurzlbacher, aka Joe the Plumber, is running for Congress in Ohio.  He was in Arizona plugging for Republican state senate candidate Lori Klein, and offered his personal solution to the illegal immigration problem: 

“I’m running for Congress. How many congressmen or people running for Congress have you heard, put a fence up and start shooting?  None?  Well you heard it here first. Put troops on the border and start shooting, I bet that solves our immigration problem real quick.”

The guy called Joe the Pumber
Came out with a plan this summer:
Put troops on the border
To shoot’d be the order.
You really can’t get much dumber.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Ryan Reservations

Republican political professionals have been publicly enthusiastic about the choice of Paul Ryan for Mitt Romney’s running mate, but privately they have serious reservations, as this post from Politico makes clear.

Paul Ryan’s our pick for VP?
What a mess this could turn out to be
Older voters will pan
Ryan’s Medicare plan
A disaster is what we foresee.

We’re trying to act really cheery
But on Ryan we’re just a bit leery
Without any doubt
He’s really far out
Election day could be dreary

Now Ryan’s a really smart guy
His ideas, though, many don’t buy
The voters he’ll scare
We don’t have a prayer
Mitt chose him but we wonder why.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Paul Ryan Acrostic

Paul Ryan’s Mitt’s choice for his ticket's VP
A handsomer dude there just couldn’t be.
Up early each day, he does exercises;
Loves P90-X:  his muscles win prizes.

Ryan’s got little or no body fat;
You’ll have to admit, he’s good to look at.
All the right-wingers think he is first rate
Needless to say, he’s a great running mate.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Joe Biden and Y'all's Chains.

Joe Biden today made reference to the Romney campaign’s desire to “unchain” Wall Street, by freeing them from various onerous regulations.  He then added “They gonna put y'all back in chains,” to the general amusement of the audience.  Republicans have fairly fainted from shock at this use of racial “code words” and have called Biden’s remark a “new low” in American politics. Pretty sensitive bunch, these Republicans, unless it’s one of their own doing the talking (think Rush Limbaugh, Ted Nugent, Allen West, Michelle Bachmann, etc.)

Joe Biden mixed “chains” with “y’all”
And it looks like he’s started a brawl
Mitt’s folks are just shocked
At the language he talked
“A new low” is their horrified call.

GOP Lies about Obama's Medicare "Cuts"

Over the weekend, Republicans have tried to position themselves as the saviors of Medicare who will protect us against Obama’s plans to cut $700 billion dollars from the program.  For instance, Mitt Romney himself said,

Unlike the current President, who’s cut Medicare funding by 700 billion dollars, we will preserve and protect Medicare and Social Security and keep them there for future generations.

And, on Meet the Press, RNC Chairman Reince Preibus said,

This president stole — he didn’t cut Medicare — he stole $700 billion from Medicare to fund Obamacare.  If any person in this entire debate has blood on their hands in regard to Medicare, it’s Barack Obama. He’s the one that’s destroying Medicare.

As PolitiFact has repeatedly pointed out, this charge is false.  The Affordable Care Act does not cut any benefits from Medicare subscribers, but seeks to reduce the growth of Medicare expenses by various policy changes, including modifying payments to healthcare providers, increasing premiums for well-off beneficiaries, and various administrative changes.  The irony underlying the Republican charges - which highlights their abject cynicism - is that these same changes in the Medicare system were incorporated into the Republican budget passed by the House, with overwhelming Republican approval. 

Obama will be cutting Medicare –
The GOP is saying that to scare
Us older folks for whom, when we fall ill,
It pays our hospital or doctor’s bill.

It’s just another scurrilous attack -
Our benefits won’t be contracted back
Obama will reduce the growth of costs
With schemes that try to save on money lost.

Republicans are doing all this lyin’
To camouflage the plans of Paul D. Ryan
Who wants to do away with Medicare.
The irony of this bizarre affair:

The “cuts” in Medicare, as they misjudge it,
Were ones they voted for in Ryan’s budget!