By Anonymous (not verified) on December 30, 2008

Okay. Other stuff might have had a bigger impact on America and the world, such as an African American guy whose middle name is Hussein winning the Presidency of the United States. But so far, Mister Agent of Change is about as funny as over the counter ear drops. Oh, he’s bound to loosen up after a few weeks getting kicked around on Pennsylvania Avenue, but until then, here are the stories from 08 that were most filled with humorosityness.

10. Proposition 8. Organized religion goes out of its way to guarantee that gays will not be burdened with the right to be as miserable as the rest of us.

9. New York Governor and Emperor’s Club member, Elliott Spitzer. Flies a hooker from New York to DC, because as we all know, there aren’t enough hookers in DC. (535 that I can think of offhand.) Gives her 4 grand and puts her up at the Mayflower Hotel. Now, that’s a liberal. A conservative will try to get it for free in an airport men’s room stall. Demonstrating fiscal responsibility.

8. Joe Biden. Has potential to fill gaffe gap being vacated by George Bush. Inserts foot in mouth so often, he should invest in mint- flavored shoelaces.

7. National Political Conventions. James Dobson’s Focus on the Family called for a storm of biblical proportions to disrupt outdoor acceptance speech of Barack Obama on last day of the Democratic Convention. Hurricane Gustav slammed into New Orleans canceling first day of Republican Convention. Proving that either God has a sense of humor or… be extremely careful what you ask for.

6. Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. Gives a bad name to people with bad names. Something about the Springfield Capitol makes it work like a halfway house in reverse. Economy is so bad, Hair Helmet probably offered free shipping with Barack’s Senate seat.

5. The Primaries. A: Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee raises hand at a New Hampshire Presidential Debate when asked, “Who doesn’t believe in evolution?” In May, he explains he is still campaigning because “at this point, its survival of the fittest.” B: In Philadelphia, Senator Hillary Clinton says, “In this race, I am Rocky Balboa.” Obviously forgetting that in first movie, Rocky loses.. To a black guy.

4. President George W. Bush. Lame duck, but a good ducker. International community furious at Muntadhar al Zaidi. Not for trying to hit the President with his size 10s, but because… A.) his aim was bad, and B.) he wasn’t a centipede.

3. Senator John McCain runs worst campaign ever. That includes New Coke, France in 39 and Cloris Leachman on Dancing with the Stars. Doesn’t know how many houses he has. Should do what I do. Every time I get 4 houses, I trade them in for a hotel.

2. The Economy. When everybody in America knows the name of the Secretary of the Treasury, that’s not good. Line of the year courtesy of an anonymous Wall Street broker: “This is worse than a divorce. I’m worth half what I was… and I’m still married.”

1. Governor Sarah Palin. For those destined to go cold turkey on Bush, she is like a dose of methadone. And she’s sticking around. How you going to keep them down in Juneau after they’ve seen Neiman- Marcus?

A Midwestern baby boomer with a media- induced identity crisis, Durst, according to the New York Times is “quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.”

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Editor's note: This contribution by the late journalist I.F. Stone first appeared in our January 1975 magazine.

On November 20 every year for the last fifteen years, transgender people gather for vigil ceremonies to acknowledge...

Yesterday the U.S. Senate narrowly defeated a bill that would approve construction on the Keystone XL pipeline.

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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