Saturday, September 28, 2013

Cruz Control

Fresh from his triumph of talking to himself on the Senate floor for a non record-setting 21 hours (thereby giving new meaning to the phrase, “Capital punishment”), Sen. Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz (R-TX) got into the weeds by venturing that he wouldn’t be willing to give up his paycheck should the GOP force a government shutdown.

That quote became politically toxic when Pentagon sources disclosed that the Armed Forces would have to forego getting paid for the interregnum should the GOP persist in its suicidal efforts to defund a bill that –- according to a CNBC poll -- 40% of the public does not want to see defunded and another 30% might well support if only they could understand it.

Had he not been enervated by his self- aggrandizing fauxlibuster, the Senator might have recalled that U.S. Senators are statutorily exempt from any such payroll cutbacks, so he could better have said (however cynically) “of course I’d be happy to give up my paycheck if our brave service-members are also to be so penalized”.

I suggest that the senator is capable of such irony in view of his assertion, some 17 hours into his self-absorbed monolog, that he would be perfectly happy if his speech got no press coverage whatsoever.

One is therefore led to speculate that, should Boehner & Co. succeed in gutting Obamacare, and a new, GOP-written chimera were to rise phoenix-like from its ashes, the Senator would be perfectly happy to see it tagged, CruzCare.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Hail, Britannia!

In an exceptionally long, 1200-word, tweet, our London correspondent (@oldblighty) has broken the exclusive story that  Buckingham Palace has dispatched the 74-gun ironclad, HMS Thatcher, a frigate of the Queen’s Own Royal Household Naval Squadron, on a punitive expedition to Syria.

The Palace announced that, by January, if the wind and tides are favorable, the ship will be in position to blockade Tripoli, which is quite near to Syria.

England’s notoriously contrarian Queen Elizabeth has outmaneuvered Parliament by citing a heretofore obscure clause of the Magna Carta, known as “Catch-1215”, which stipulates that “The Royal Navy can go wherever it f***ing well wants, whenever it “f***ing well wants to.

French president Hollande welcomed the news, saying, “The rosbifs have pulled off a tour de force* as rare as it is well done. Vache sacrée!**”

The White House, in a state of barely-contained glee, issued a press release that read, in part: “We will reserve comment until the ship passes the Red Line”.

The U.N. Security Council was in turmoil, issuing the following statement: “We are in turmoil; so what else is new?”

Follow #operationsaveface for further developments.
*English: tour de force
**English: Holy cow!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Barnstable Beat

Ran into my friend the Old Curmudgeon last week at at Jim Ellis’ blacksmith shop in Barnstable where he was having his edge honed.

The Ellis family have been forgers for a century or so, whereas  the curmudgeon has been crabbing full-time only since he retired, back at the turn of the century.

The mudge (as we call him when his hearing aids are turned off), likes to keep his edge keen, lest he be out-kvetched by one of the legions of arriviste curmudgeons being minted as the population ages.

“Those whippersnappers”, he fulminated, “where were they when the country started going to H-E-double toothpicks back in ‘63? …in pantywaists, that’s where!”

World-class curmudgeons like my friend know that there are guidelines for virtuoso grousing. First off, it helps to be a bit mossy; those who agree with you will think you a canny old geezer, while those who disagree will be unlikely to resort to actual mayhem lest they run afoul of Elder Abuse statutes.

Furthermore, old curmudgeon decidedly out trumps young curmudgeon, an oxymoron connoting mere peevishness and an annoying tendency to whine about nits**t.

I usually like to stick around to hear the Mudge’s gripe-du-jour, but when I realized that the sun had gone over the yardarm and the siren call of a frosty Beach Blonde reached my ears from the Dolphin down the street, I beat a hasty retreat to more convivial surroundings.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Protest-Coverage Guidelines

Our managing editor has issued the following guidelines for reporters regarding interviews conducted in connection with this publication’s dedicated, 24/7, non-partisan coverage of newsworthy (or not) protest marches:

Remember to have your iPhone, iPad and (if female) your iLiner with you at all times.

Refrain from undertaking interviews with prospects manifestly unlikely to advance the dialog; for example:

  • Anyone whose response starts off with OMG or who pantomimes an “L” on their forehead with  thumb and index finger.
  • Anyone wearing more than one nose ring.
  • Anyone who is following Fox News tweets of the demonstration.
  • Rep. Peter King.
  • Anyone named after a constellation or other celestial body.
  • Any adorable children (or animals) in costume, whether or not accompanied by an adult.
  • Anyone wearing camo.
  • Keith Olbermann
  • Anyone wearing an aluminum-foil hat.
  • Anyone au naturel.
  • Wayne LaPierre

In sum, just exercise your usual discerning reportorial chops which, while having failed so far to garner us any distinguished journalism awards or attract any advertisers, have nevertheless won us a lasting place in the Pantheon of the terminally facetious.