Tongue-In-Cheek: January 2008: Archives

January 31, 2008

John McCain: The GOP's Wizard Of Oz? genre: Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation & Tongue-In-Cheek

John McCain seems to be the GOP frontrunner...a position he has rarely held while aspiring to be the Republican presidential nominee. Following his victory in Florida, McCain and his campaign seem to have accepted the esteemed moniker. His apparent inevitability is troubling to many establishment conservatives and a number of evangelicals. As I watched the Senator in the GOP debate from the Ronald Reagan Library, I couldn't help but notice the emergence of what I would characterize as the leading edge of his desire to release a blend of pent-up bitterness and spiteful and surly bravado.

Let me be clear, I don't seek to disparage the Senator or his debate performance. I'm sure he and his fellow candidates must be tired. Nonetheless, McCain's temperament has long been a topic of discussion...and a reason for pause. Last evening, in my opinion, I observed a man who has longed for the authority and the opportunity to speak his mind without the filters politicians so often employ. It left me wondering if I was watching a man who, upon attaining the presidency, might shed his subtle sophistry in favor of an unbridled style of authoritarianism.

Stay with me for a moment. McCain has made a career of portraying himself as a "straight talking" politician who is amenable to reaching across the aisle. When he's done so, it's often been to the chagrin of his fellow Republicans. On the surface, that's an admirable trait and one that seems to have served the Senator well...especially with the mainstream media...the tool he often utilizes to assuage the animosity and skepticism his actions have generated amongst his peers. In my estimation, whether it's a demonstration of sincerity or a carefully executed strategy is open to debate.

Now consider the 2000 GOP primary and the character assassination and personal assaults John McCain endured at the hands of his adversary, George W. Bush. If one can believe the media reports, the attacks were understandably quite hurtful to the Senator...and they are thought to have played a significant role in derailing his presidential aspirations.

Next, think about a man who spent over five years in captivity...a man forced to hold his tongue and bide his time in the face of adversity. Such treatment can undoubtedly alter one's relational skills and interaction well as lead one to adopt a strategy that I would equate with treading water. Essentially, it's a recognition that survival is the fundamental objective...and that may mean saying what is expected or demanded in order to keep one's head above water...until one has the opportunity to do otherwise. As such, John McCain certainly understands what it means to tarry.

As I've watched the run up to the 2008 election, I've felt that McCain has made a number of strategic decisions intended to afford him another shot at the prize he seeks...the presidency. His campaigning for the reelection of George Bush struck me as an attempt to receive the party's presidential spite of his dislike of his former adversary. His subsequent forays into mending fences with the evangelicals he once assailed were more of the same. As best I can tell, in most instances, these mea culpa moments took place absent the dialogue one would expect to accompany a difficult reconciliation.

At the same time, my sense is his memory is akin to that attributed to an elephant. Hence he never forgets a slight, a fight, an insult, or a defeat. Like with his time as a prisoner of war, McCain has spent the last seven years plotting his escape from the subservience he resents and his ascendancy to the authority he craves. The phenomenon isn't unique to prisoners of war. The same often exists in spouses who stay in abusive relationships until they can envision and enact their escape and exact their revenge.

His occasional episodes of vitriolic derision directed at his primary opponents may offer a glimpse of what lies beneath the affable surface he labors to demonstrate. The measured and halting nature of his recent speeches...delivered with a structured and rhythmic cadence...suggest an alternative stream of thought is on the verge of surfacing...and ample energy must be diverted to keep it at bay until the opportune moment.

His palpable dislike of Mitt Romney prompts other concerns and considerations. One, McCain is apt to see Romney's flip-flopping campaign as a usurpation of the McCain "go along to get along" style. Two, the occasionally uncensored animosity aimed at Romney supports the psychological concept of projection...which essentially posits we're prone to recognize and resent in others that which we have failed to expunge from our own suspect identity.

John McCain may well win the GOP nomination...and that may occur as a function of voter's calculating he is best suited to defeat the nominee of the Democrats. If my hypothesis is correct, the more proximate McCain finds himself to his quintessential objective, the more difficult it will be to suppress the psychological scars that power his psyche. If this happens, the intervening months between his nomination and the November election may pull back the curtains and expose him as little more than the GOP's angry, though impotent, wizard.

The following graphic is a tongue-in-cheek summarization of the above observations.

John McCain - The GOP's Wizard?

Tagged as: 2008 Election, California GOP Ronald Reagan Library Debate, Democrats, Domestic Violence, Florida Primary, GOP, John McCain, Mitt Romney, Prisoner of War, Super Tuesday, Wizard of Oz

Daniel DiRito | January 31, 2008 | 9:54 AM | link | Comments (0)
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January 24, 2008

Hillary's "Election": Can She Fill Tracy Flick's Shoes? genre: Polispeak & Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

Every now and then fiction and reality seem to merge. The following video suggests we're witnessing just that with the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. The premise is that Hillary's efforts to win the 2008 presidential election are reminiscent of Reese Witherspoon's hard work as Tracy Flick in the 1999 movie, Election.

It remains to be seen if the outcome will be the same. Feel free to share your opinion.

Tagged as: 2008 Election, Barack Obama, Election, Hillary Clinton, Humor, Movie, Reese Witherspoon

Daniel DiRito | January 24, 2008 | 4:52 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Lewis Black On Creation, Faith & Religion genre: Hip-Gnosis & Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

Lewis Black takes creationism to task with his typically dry wit. He goes on to share his thoughts on the assertion that fossils are "The Devil's Handiwork", those who think the Flintstones was a documentary, and how God transformed from his angry days in the Old Testament to his kinder, gentler self in the New Testament.

Tagged as: Creationism, Flintstones, Fossils, Humor, Judaism, Lewis Black, New Testament, Old Testament

Daniel DiRito | January 24, 2008 | 12:23 PM | link | Comments (0)
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January 22, 2008

Presidential Paintball genre: Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

In light of last evenings slugfest, I thought this game might be in order. Have fun.

Tagged as: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, John McCain, Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani

Daniel DiRito | January 22, 2008 | 2:52 PM | link | Comments (0)
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January 18, 2008

Samantha Bee: Those Poor Poor Lobbyists genre: Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

Samantha Bee wants to know why Congress thinks it's fair to require lobbyists to forego hiring surrogates to stand in line for them in order to assure them a seat in upcoming congressional hearings.

Bee heads to Congress to find out what's up with this latest attack on those poor misunderstood lepers of the political process. Samantha gets up close and personal with the odd characters who stand in line for hire...all the while waiting for the moment when "the lobbyists are coming, the lobbyists are coming".

She closes by enlisting Congressman Dennis Kucinich to stand in line and order her lunch.

Tagged as: Congress, Dennis Kucinich, Humor, Jon Stewart, Lobbyist, Samantha Bee, The Daily Show, Washington DC

Daniel DiRito | January 18, 2008 | 12:39 PM | link | Comments (0)
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January 16, 2008

George Bush: A Wishin' & Hopin' Energy Policy? genre: Econ-Recon & Polispeak & Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

Never let it be said that George Bush lacks a comprehensive energy policy. The President ended his Middle East tour by "asking" (think pretty please) Saudi Arabia to increase OPEC's oil production to lessen the impact of energy costs upon the world economy.

From ABC News:

One hour after his plea for more Saudi oil was publicly rejected by the kingdom's oil minister, President Bush made a private visit to Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah to again ask him to open the spigots.

The White House revealed Bush's private meeting with the Saudi monarch to reporters aboard Air Force One as the president flew to Egypt on the next leg of his Mideast trip.

The president went over the head of the oil minister and made his case to King Abdullah and White House Press Secretary Dana Perino said the private conversation may have yielded some daylight in the Saudis' hard-line stance.

"The king says that he understands the situation. He's worried about high oil prices and how they can negatively affect economies around the world," Perino said aboard the presidential jetliner. "The president said there's a hope that as a result of these conversations that OPEC would be encouraged to authorize an increase in production … to help deal with the tight supply problems in this time when we have growing economies across the world, especially in China."

Earlier, Bush told ABC News' Terry Moran how he would lobby the king.

"I will say to him that, 'If it's possible, your majesty, consider what high prices are doing to one of your largest customers,'" Bush said. "In other words, the worst thing that can happen to an oil-producing nation is that the price of oil causes the economy to slow down, because that will inevitably lead to fewer purchases [of oil]."

When Bush ran for the White House in 2000, he said he would "jawbone" America's Saudi allies to lower the price of oil. The price of oil has hit a record of $100 a barrel, but has slipped to a current price of $91 a barrel on fears that the U.S. economy is headed for a recession.


Perhaps I'm ignorant, but if I were the President, I don't think I would run around telling reporters my strategy if all it involved was sweet-talking his majesty. Further, if I'm the Saudi's, Bush's notion that higher prices will "lead to fewer purchases [of oil]" does little more than provide a good laugh to the members of OPEC at their next meeting. It seems pretty simple to me - without an alternative to oil, who are we kidding in thinking OPEC can be pressured?

Little did we know that the meaning of "jawboning" would ultimately culminate in George Bush kissing up to the Saudi's in hopes they would increase oil production. Yes, it sure looks like the President had an effective plan in place. After all, look at the results...record oil prices! Oh, and don't forget all the oil we're getting from know...the oil that was going to pay for the war effort.

OK, with that said, I decided to offer my own "pulled from thin air" version of the President's comprehensive energy policy. I suspect it has as much potential to succeed as the one being followed by George Bush. So here it is...

The President will soon unveil a new that is sure to touch a soft spot with the Saudi's and OPEC. After much consideration, he has decided to reach back into the annals of musical history (think Dusty Springfield) to create his "Wishin' & Hopin'" tour. Say what you will about the President's intellect, but his plan to use his charms to woo OPEC into handing over more oil is sheer genius.

Hence, the following graphic shall serve to launch the President's "Wishin' & Hopin'" strategic energy policy. Let the oil flow!

George W. Bush - Wishin' & Hopin'

The President's Wishin' & Hopin' Energy Policy

Dusty Springfield & Martha Reeves - Wishin' & Hopin'

Tagged as: Dusty Springfield, Energy Policy, Energy Shortage, George W. Bush, Humor, Iraq, King Abdullah, Martha Reeves, Middle East, Oil, Opec, Saudi Arabia

Daniel DiRito | January 16, 2008 | 12:15 PM | link | Comments (1)
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January 11, 2008

Mo Rocca Asks: Mitt Or Mittens? genre: Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

Another installment of Mo Rocca 180. In this man-on-the-street report, Mo posits the question of whether Mitt Romney should use his alleged full name, "Mittens" or continue to use the shortened version Mitt. To spice things up a bit, Mo tosses out a few alternatives while keeping with the cat whiskers of fluffy.

Romney's first name is actually adding to Rocca's ruse, one might argue that Willard Mitt Romney's propensity to change his positions is consistent with his two dichotomous names. On the one hand, Willard clearly harkens back to the 1971 movie of the same name...a tale of a troubled loner who enlists his pet rats to exact revenge on his antagonizers; on the other hand, Mittens is a clear reference to cats. Given that cats and rats are akin to water and oil, is it any wonder that Willard Mitt can't make up his mind?

Expanding on the critters theme, I've also included a video of The Unicorn Song by The Irish Rovers (adapted from the Shel Silverstein poem, The Unicorn)...which includes the lyrics, "there were cats and rats and elephants (think GOP), but lord I'm so forlorn, I just can't see no unicorn". Perhaps Willard Mitt's message is as ethereal as a unicorn? Feel free to expand on the theme from there.

About Mo Rocca:

I've always felt Mo Rocca was one of the most underrated comics in the business. Perhaps that's a function of my interest in politics and the fact that Rocca is as knowledgeable as most of the news reporters we see on television. Even better, his skill at deadpan comedy in a political setting is unmatched.

Rocca has covered a lot of territory in is career; having worked as a correspondent on The Daily Show, worked on Larry King Live as a consultant/political historian, and now as a feature player on The Tonight Show. He also appears on PBS, VH1, The Food Network, and has a regular show on Sirius Satellite Radio.

His work during the 2004 Democratic and Republican conventions is some of his best. Besides being quite funny, his knowledge of U.S. presidents is extensive and the fact that he wrote a book on the pets of the presidents titled, All the Presidents' Pets: The Inside Story of One Reporter Who Refused to Roll Over, only adds to his comic depth.

Mo Rocca - Mitt Or Mittens?

The Irish Rovers - The Unicorn Song

Tagged as: 2008 Election, Humor, Mitt Romney, Mo Rocca 180, Shel Silverstein, The Irish Rovers, The Unicorn Song

Daniel DiRito | January 11, 2008 | 9:43 AM | link | Comments (2)
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January 10, 2008

Top 10: Convincing Pundits Your Emotions Are Real genre: Polispeak & Tongue-In-Cheek

Genuine Tears?

I find it difficult to watch and read any further coverage on the validity or sincerity of Senator Clinton's verklempt moment in a diner in New Hampshire. Frankly, the time and energy being spent on the subject is a testament to the belief that the media is more than willing to manufacture news out of minutiae.

If it isn't the Senator's "tears" or the amount of cleavage her blouse reveals or whether she prefers diamonds or pearls, it's John Edwards $400.00 haircut or any other number of irrelevant items. In the media's never ending effort to drive ratings and attract advertisers, nothing seems to be off limits.

Even worse is the propensity of ill-mannered media pundits to offer their own biased interpretations on the emotions of each candidate...a virulent form of armchair psychoanalysis proffered as if it were not only profoundly perceptive; but with the intent to indelibly influence the impressions of the voting public. Enough already!

Rather than embarking upon a further recitation of critical commentary, I decided I could best express my frustration through a facetious top ten list. With that in mind, I offer the following list to those politicians who feel the need to change the pungent perceptions of the punditocracy.

Top Ten Ways To Convince The Pundits That Your Emotions Are Genuine:

Number Ten:

While on the campaign stump, pull out your guitar and break into the Joan Baez song, “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" and finish by tearfully dedicating the song to the people of New Orleans.

Number Nine:

The next time you attend a funeral, jump into the grave while blathering, “It’s over, bring in the backhoe and bury me now."

Number Eight:

During a college appearance, wipe away tears while announcing you’re opening an on-campus clinic to treat “sauced and lost" souls because you can’t bear the thought of students falling victim to the same allure of whiskey and godless living that befell George Bush. With your voice cracking, tell the crowd that the clinic’s slogan is “Drink Jesus, He’s The Only Spirit You Need".

Number Seven:

During a debate, watch for moments when another candidate tells a touching life story and race from your podium shouting, “You need a hug, you need a big hug."

Number Six:

While riding in your motorcade to your next appearance, have the driver come to a screeching stop as you pass a cemetery…then dash out of the car while yelling, “Uncle Bill, Uncle Bill, I know you’re in here"…turn back and scream to your secret service entourage, “Damn it, help me find my Uncle Bill…we’re not leaving until I pay my respects at his grave."

Number Five:

Instead of a moment of misty-eyed reflection during a meeting with voters in a diner, run out the door in hysterics while screaming, “I want my mommy."

Number Four:

Appear totally disheveled at a press conference and when asked what happened, breakdown while recounting the story of spending the evening trying to convince Britney Spears to put her panties back on and check into rehab.

Number Three:

While giving a speech, the moment you hear a baby cry, dash into the audience and upon reaching the child, turn to the parent and state, “I’m sorry, my maternal instincts just kicked in…is everything alright here?"

Number Two:

Arrange a series of soirées with the upper crust of the MSM complete with free food, all the booze they can drink, and a door prize for everyone that includes a prepaid phone programmed with your home and cell phone numbers.

Number One:

Arrange an audience with Maureen Dowd during which you marvel at her intellect and erudition, you fawn over her humor and wit, and you close by telling her how much you envy her classic beauty.

Bonus Way To Convince Pundits That Your Emotions Are Genuine:

Call Chris Matthews and ask him his favorite color lipstick so you can get it right when you kiss his ass in order to convince him to forego trashing you and your campaign.

Tagged as: 2008 Election, Britney Spears, Campaign, Chris Matthews, Hillary Clinton, Joan Baez, John Edwards, Maureen Dowd, Media, MSM, New Hampshire, Propaganda Catapulting, Pundits

Daniel DiRito | January 10, 2008 | 3:43 PM | link | Comments (0)
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January 7, 2008

Britney Exits The Nut House - Chris Crocker Returns genre: Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

It looks like Chris Crocker and Britney Spears are karmically connected in some bizarre way. Most likely it stems from Chris's obsession with all things Britney.

I doubt the timing of Chris's latest video (a "cover" of Britney's song "Piece Of Me") was planned to coincide with Britney's latest episode...but it's rather amusing that Chris is back on the scene just as Britney is literally and figuratively "out of it".

While I prefer Chris's hysterical crying to his singing...because it's much funnier...I felt compelled to post his latest YouTube offering. Perhaps it's just me, but his "studio mic" set up is a hoot...ya gotta love his determination to be just like his idol.

Warning: While the video doesn't contain nudity, some may find portions to be offensive. It isn't to me, but I thought it better to include the caution than not.

Tagged as: Britney Spears, Chris Crocker, Humor, Piece Of Me

Daniel DiRito | January 7, 2008 | 11:31 PM | link | Comments (0)
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The Sludge Report - When Drudge Just Won't Do genre: Polispeak & Tongue-In-Cheek

I rarely read The Drudge Report but his posting that the Clinton campaign is considering when she should withdraw from the race for the Democratic nomination caught my attention.

I guess I'm wondering how the media's inevitable winner for months has suddenly been forced to consider how soon she needs to pack it in. I find it rather remarkable that 230,000 Iowans can elicit a virtual about face on the part of the media and the Clinton campaign in a matter of days. In all fairness to Drudge, I'm sure the topic has been discussed by the Clinton folks. I'm just not sure it's all that newsworthy

With that in mind, and on the heels of the Drudge "scoop", I decided it was time to offer my own tongue-in-cheek version of The Drudge Report.

Without further adieu, I present The Sludge Report.

The Sludge Report

Top Ten 2008 Campaign Scoops Missed By The Drudge Report:

Number Ten:

In a surprise encounter in New Hampshire, Hillary pulled Monica Lewinsky’s hair and called her a bitch, at which point Bill intervened in time to block the haymaker the Senator was about to launch.

Number Nine:

In an effort to rework her campaign strategy, Hillary contacted a plastic surgeon regarding a quick makeover to shed fifteen years so she could go toe to toe with the more youthful Barack Obama.

Number Eight:

Hillary dispatched an envoy to Kenya to enlist Barack Obama’s grandmother in convincing her grandson to withdraw from the race.

Number Seven:

Chelsea Clinton will disclose an affair with Mitt Romney and admit she revealed critical campaign strategies to cajole the ex-governor out of his holy undergarments.

Number Six:

It will soon be revealed that Dr. Phil’s surprise decision to forego a show dealing with Britney Spears illness was made to allow him to join Hillary on the campaign trail. Reports indicate that Dr. Phil will expose the fact that Oprah is secretly dating Condoleezza Rice.

Number Five:

Sources in Arkansas will soon disclose that Mike Huckabee is the illegitimate brother of Bill Clinton. The investigation was launched following the realization that both grew up in Hope, Arkansas and that both men are musically inclined.

Number Four:

The Clinton campaign is set to disclose that the $400.00 paid by John Edwards for a haircut was actually hush money to prevent the disclosure that his lustrous hair is actually a weave.

Number Three:

The Romney campaign will disclose that Rudy Giuliani actually withdrew from the New York Senate race because his secretive trips to the Hampton’s were actually clandestine meetings with his then girlfriend, the recently jilted Mrs. Clinton.

Number Two:

Bill Richardson will reveal that his lighthearted comment during the recent New Hampshire debate in which he stated...“I’ve been in hostage negotiations that are a lot more civil than this"...was actually a reference to his time in the Clinton administration when he called the Oval Office and pleaded with the President to put down his cigar and allow an unidentified White House staffer to come out from under the President’s desk.

Number One:

Dennis Kucinich will reveal that he and Senator Clinton were abducted by an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) in Washington DC and probed for several hours by aliens whose leaders looked strangely similar to Alberto Gonzales and Dick Cheney.

Tagged as: Alberto Gonzales, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Bill Richardson, Chelsea Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, Dennis Kucinich, Dick Cheney, Dr. Phil, Hillary Clinton, Humor, John Edwards, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Monica Lewinsky, Oprah, Rudy Giuliani

Daniel DiRito | January 7, 2008 | 6:38 PM | link | Comments (2)
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January 3, 2008

Presidential Politics: Picture Prognostications genre: Polispeak & Snapshot Thoughts & Tongue-In-Cheek

Given my own level of ambivalence at this particular juncture in the Presidential campaign (aside from supporting the eventual Democratic nominee), I decided to offer my own commentary on the Iowa primary in pictures.

Feel free to offer your own observations.

The Prince Of Prayer Nails One

Mike Huckabee Nails One

The Diva Comes Out On Top

Barack Obama Diva Power

Hair Today - Gone Tomorrow

John Edwards & Mitt Romney: Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Not The Last Leg For Hillary

Not Enough Support For Hillary

Iowa Dishes Rudy, Rudy...Far Too Fruity

Rudy Giuliani: Far Too Fruity

Tagged as: 2008 Election, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Gone With The Wind, Hair, Hillary Clinton, IHOP, Iowa Primary, John Edwards, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Oprah Winfrey, Piano Legs, Prince, Rudy Giuliani, Super Bowl

Daniel DiRito | January 3, 2008 | 5:01 PM | link | Comments (0)
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