You likely noticed that Green Party candidate Jill Stein, and her running mate Cheri Honkala, were arrested Tuesday evening outside of the second presidential debate at Hofstra University.

You probably also saw Stein, Constitution Party nominee Virgil Goode, and Justice Party candidate Rocky Anderson take part in Democracy Now!'s third-party debate.

And you, dear Progressive reader, no doubt watched the zingers fly between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney at the annual Al Smith Catholic charity dinner because you're obviously very well-informed. And incredibly smart. And shockingly good-looking. And phenomenal in bed. And, when necessary, adequate in a tree.

But did you catch Stein and Goode take to the third-party stand-up stage at the septennial Wavy Gravy memorial taco truck munchies and ukelele jamboree? I didn't think so. Well, don't feel bad, you beautiful bastards, because The Progressive was there.

For my first assignment with this illustrious publication, I was dispatched to Reno, Nevada—just in back of the Walmart—to score an exclusive scoop at this lesser-known tradition of American political levity. No other media outlet was present.

What follows is a rushed transcript of the candidates' routines.


Stein: Thank you. Thank you very much. It's such a pleasure to be here tonight, under the stars, behind this Walmart super-center, next to this nasty, little food truck. The smell of democracy, tacos, and the sweat of undocumented workers chained-up in a back room filling the air like so much carbon dioxide that's killing the planet. It's really touching. Like an XL Pipeline straight to my heart.

Earlier tonight, the two corporate candidates, President Obama and his challenger Willard Mittens Romney, took the stage at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. Though I haven't seen it yet, I hear Barack Obama totally killed it. A drone strike, no doubt. Good for him. He needed something after that first debate. Am I right? His poll numbers were falling faster than Felix Baumgartner.

And, apparently, Romney took the stage and died up there. Yeah. You can tell because his return address is now planet Kolob. I kid the Mormons! I kid! They're good people. I'm considering being baptized at the Salt Lake City Temple some day. You know, after I'm dead.

But, seriously, I ran for Governor of Massachusetts against Mittens, so I know he's not the funniest guy. Fifty-three percent of the audience had to laugh hard enough for the whole crowd. That joke involved rudimentary mathematics, so I don't expect Paul Ryan or undecided voters to get it. If you ask nice, maybe Bill Clinton can explain it to you. It'll take him four hours, but Ryan will hear it in three.

The Congressman from Wisconsin and I actually have something in common: When lifting weights, we both look like off-brand 1980's Muppets. It's OK, I'm allowed mess with Paul. As a woman, a feminist, and a citizen approaching retirement, it comes from a place of absolute horror.

To be honest, I trust that Romney was pretty funny. It's a blind trust, but still. I'm almost positive, however, that Mitt forced a professional to write his material. I just called Bruce Vilanch backstage—behind the taco truck. He wouldn't say what happened, but was crying about some bruises on his chest and a bad haircut.

I'm not saying Mitt Romney's a bully, but he did make Jim Lehrer look like Stallone in Rocky 2. Wait. He always looks like that? Get that man the number of Ann Romney's plastic surgeon: He built it!

But Ann's a decent woman—the type who'd sacrifice her husband's father's stocks in tough times. A good woman, who, when the menfolk go out, raise hell, and down a few pints of milk, stays home and sits quietly in her binder.

I see Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode is in the audience. Hey, Virgil, how're you doing? Great. Like most of you here tonight, I didn't know who Mr. Goode was until five minutes ago. And now I wish it was ten minutes ago. I kid Virgil. He's a good guy, a former Congressman from Virginia. He says he got into this race because today's Republicans, like Paul Ryan and Todd Akin, are too professorial.

Unfortunately, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson couldn't be with us tonight. He had a prior engagement scheduled with Rand Paul and Water Buddha. I'm not saying Gary's a stoner, but he thinks the Green Party's health care plank makes scientific sense. I mean, homeopathy? Jesus—sorry, I didn't mean you, sir. Continue making those tacos, por favor. But seriously, homeopathic remedies are officially endorsed in the Green Party platform. Did I mention that I'm a medical doctor? Is this thing on? Is this thing a microphone?

If you're unaware, homeopathy supposedly “works” by watering down real medicine to the point that it no longer has any active ingredients. In that respect, it's a lot like Dodd-Frank, or Barack Obama's 2008 campaign promises.

Speaking of Guantanamo Bay, what a thrill it is to come back to Reno. You know, the hookers are the right height. True story: I actually bumped into Sheldon Adelson coming out of a whorehouse just outside of town. It was weird; I had no idea that Mitt had a home in Nevada. I should have known by the size of the elevator.

I got to say, watching Romney and Lesser Evil go at it in these debates is a bit like watching Abby and Brittany Hensley bicker about their budget—when you know damn-well that they both intend to spend half of their money on F-16s and Apache helicopters. But, really, our foreign policy is so violent by default you'd think it was designed by Tagg Romney.

You see that? Mitt's son said he wanted to “take a swing” at Obama during the last debate. White on black violence hasn't gotten this much attention since Rodney King. From the outrage-veins bulging in Lawrence O'Donnell's giant, Irish melon-head, you'd have thought Obama'd been stopped n' frisked without due cause, and was now starring in MSNBC's “Lockup.”

On a serious note, it's been an honor to be a part of this grand tradition. Tacos are a noble cause, and unlike Catholic charities, Wavy Gravy was never guilty of systemic pedophilia, and an institutional coverup.

Thank you.

And, now, enjoy the comedy stylings of the Constitution Party's Virgil Goode!

Goode: Thank you. Thank you. Before I get started here, I'd like to give a special thanks to Jesus. As far as ethnic food goes, these tacos are certainly edible, and not entirely offensive.

My opponent from the Green Party, Dr. Gill Stein, mentioned illegals, but he failed to mention how they're destroying our economy, heritage, and freedom.

Take my Mexicans, please.

Hold your applause until the end. Thank you.

But in all seriousness, I dislike immigrants, I dislike all comedy save for the dulcet tones of Garrison Keillor, I'm fairly certain that Wavy Gravy was a registered Communist and drug addict, and I'm going to leave now before one of these brown people steals my wallet.

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Trump's politics are not the problem.

The fiery Milwaukee Sheriff is on the shortlist to head the Department of Homeland Security.

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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