Monday, December 15, 2008

If the shoo fits...

A reporter, expressing his mood,
Made a gesture to Bush that was rude.
Though he took it in jest,
He has been such a pest
It seems fitting, somehow, he got "shoed."

All I can say, after reviewing the video, is "What a lame duck!"

Bush Trip To Iraq Has Sole, Reporter Throws Shoes
Morining Edition, NPR, 12/15/08

Friday, December 05, 2008

Would you buy a used car business plan from these men?

In Detroit, yes, the outlook's not sunny,
But the Big Three's solution seems funny.
Do they really expect
To survive the car wreck
By filling their airbags with money?

Automakers Take Plea for Bailout to House Committee
Hearing Comes Day After Senate Appearance Fails to Persuade Lawmakers
By Lori Montgomery and Kendra Marr
The Washington Post, 12/5/08

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

But who will make the coffee?

Look how far we have come in this nation
That a woman can rise to this station;
And in order to rate
Secretary of State
No one asked her, "Do you take dictation?"

Congratulations Hillary! Let's hope this isn't becoming the woman's job.

A Concession Wrapped in an Acceptance
By Alessandra Stanley, The New York Times, 12/1/08

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

"Thanks, but no thanks"

---Sarah Palin

'Tis the season we all should join ranks;
Remember good fortune; give thanks.
And though I concede
We must help those in need,
Do we need to give fortunes to banks?

Happy ThBanksgiving

Here is a turkey recipe that includes the use of popcorn as a stuffing. When I found this recipe, I thought it was perfect for people like me, who are not sure how to tell when poultry is thoroughly cooked, but not dried out.
Give this a try:

8 - 15 lb. turkey
1 cup melted butter
1 cup stuffing (Pepperidge Farm is good)
1 cup uncooked popcorn

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush turkey well with melted butter, salt, and pepper. Fill cavity with stuffing and popcorn. Place in baking pan with the neck end toward the back of the oven. Listen for the popping sounds. When the turkey's butt blows the oven door open and the bird flies across the room, it's done.

Restore TARP to Its First Purpose
By Peter Ackerman and John Vogelstein
The Washington Post, 11/26/08

Friday, November 21, 2008

World domination?

Well, not exactly.

A day I don’t listen is rare
So today didn’t seem very fair.
Just the luck Limerick has!
While Scott Brick reads White Jazz,
Marco Werman reads me on the air!

Figuring on cruel Clevetown commute this snowy evening. The Savant pops "White Jazz" CD into the mobile music box. Ellroy on a silver platter. To soothe jangled nerves. Typically Mullins and Werman and Bell ride shotgun. Better than a police scanner for taking the pulse of this crazy world.

Not tonight. Tonight it’s Scott "Solid As A" Brick. He’s laying down the staccato rhythms of L.A. dicks and hot chicks. Cool. Gritty. Solid as his name. "Lay it on me, Scottie boy. Lay. It. On."

Suddenly Ellroy's sweet beat is cut short. That familiar cellular buzz. It's Rene. What does she want? "Hello?"

"He's reading you!"


"Marco. He's reading your limerick! On the radio."


It's too late. Fingers fumble. Can't switch modes in time. He's gone! "Yeah, I…"

"I'm so excited!" She cuts me off, excited. "I was checking a kiln and I think I hear 'Limerick Savant.' It's Marco Werman on the radio. And then he repeats 'Limerick Savant' and he's reading your limerick! Right there on 'The World!' I couldn't believe it!"

"I sent them an email. I was listening yesterday. You know, the 'Global Hit.' They had on this violinist. Lisa Mullins interviewing this controversial guy. He's like a virtuoso. Plays like Mozart. But he does the cadenzas like 'Turkey in the Straw.' Or Bluegrass. Or Jazz. Whistling. But still Mozart. You know. Still his style. Notes. Gilles Apap. That's his name. So I compose this limerick while I'm driving home. And I send it to them. I do that sometimes. When a story inspires me on NPR I send them the limerick. They never even write back. This time it was PRI. I didn't expect anything. Remember? I sent them that one when they did their April Fools story. The 'exploding maples' story. They totally got me with that one! I thought my limerick was pretty clever. They never answered. But I'm usually listening. Not today. I can't believe it! Of all the times. I think, 'I'll listen to that book from the library.' The James Ellroy. What bitter irony!"

"Well maybe they record it. Can you get it online?"

"That's it! Thanks, doll. Sure. That's where I linked to that Frenchy fiddler story. I'm saved."

"You should write a limerick about THIS."


"You know. The whole 'missing it' thing."

"Yeah. Sure, babe."

So our savvy Savant is saved. Thanks to miracles of modern tech. He's got the whole story. Downloaded. On mp3. Suitable for play on his iPod. Where he can listen to Marco reciting his limerick over and over. That smooth cool voice. Selected and looped. Deleting the unneeded. A Global Hit. At least in his own mind.

And remember. You heard it here first. Off the record. On the Q.T. And very hush hush.

Beth Rowley PRI's The World
By Marco Werman, The World's Global Hit, 11/21/08

Posted using ShareThis

Gilles appeal

When Gilles Apap plays without fetter
The faces of stuffed shirts get redder.
As they rant and they rave
Mozart turns in his grave
In order to hear all the better!

Global Hit - Gilles Apap
By Lisa Mullins, The World, PRI, 11/20/08

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Overwhelmed by history

To those of you who have wondered
"Whence the Savant?":

Since Obama's success with the vote
The Savant sees no reason to gloat.
Might we still pan the man?
Not a doubt. Yes we can!
As soon as the lump leaves my throat.

How Obama Rewrote the Book
By Nancy Gibbs, Time, 11/5/08

Thursday, October 16, 2008

McCain plumbs the depths

First, the Market's a bummer, we know.
Then we get dumb and dumber, in tow!
From McCain's bag of tricks,
He now offers this fix
We can call on a "plumber" named Joe?

Joe in the Spotlight
By Larry Rohter and Liz Robbins
The Caucus, NYT Blog, 10/16/08

Friday, October 10, 2008

How now down Dow?

We’re wondering what they’ll try now
To halt the decline of the Dow.
The measures they take up
Are likely to make up
As Revlon applied to a sow.

Fear Drives Wild Trading Ahead Of G-7 Meeting
By Dina Temple-Raston, NPR, 10/10/08

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

I want that one

An in depth analysis of the second presidential debate

"That one" lent the evening some drama.
That one of the men remained calmer
While the other looked miffed;
That one was a gift
That won the debate for Obama.

No, I'm not so stupid to as to believe that that one single, rash, disrespectful comment on John McCain's part was the deciding factor in Debate No. 2 but it was representative of the unveiled contempt he seems to hold for Senator Obama and I think it was especially ill-advised in last night's forum. I will leave it to others to decide whether it was racist or not; or whether any person should address another in such a way in a civilized society.

It was clear, however, that last night's debate was about the economy and the American public's anxiety over the current crisis in the financial sector. I hold no misconceptions about either candidate's ability to bring about immediate change in this area. As the last "Zen" question of the night suggested, there is much that they don't know and that we don't know about where we are headed in the next four years. What is clear is that this is not only a financial crisis but also a crisis of confidence. That is what is causing the Stock Market to fluctuate so radically and for solid companies to be undervalued.

And what helps you when you are feeling anxious, fearful and unsure? Is it someone fretful and pacing and showing there own frustration; or is it someone who's demeanor is calm, confident and unruffled by attack. Normally, I would be the first on the "where's the substance?" bandwagon and truthfully I am tired of hearing stump speeches from both tickets at what are supposed to be debates. Yet in the vacuum created by the void of new, meaningful solutions to the current turmoil, I am much more likely to accept reassurance that comes in a cool peaceful tone than in an irritable and agitated voice. This was John McCain's mistake in losing his cool and why I believe Barack Obama will be "that one" I vote for.

Why Obama won debate No. 2
By Adam Lashinsky,, 10/8/08

Friday, October 03, 2008

Palin Comparison - Low expectations?

You betcha!

Folksy wisdom is kinda amusin';
But there isn't a chance we're excusin'
All the pale platitudes
About "kids," "moms" 'n "dudes;"
Or the notion "she won by not losin'."

Seems like the last time the American public allowed their low expectations of a candidate to influence their judgment in the debates, they got exactly what was expected; for eight long years! Let's hope we don't get fooled again.

Need I say that I was not impressed by Sarah Palin's bobbing and weaving to avoid answering questions? If you're going to employ a rope-a-dope strategy you better have the talent to deliver the knockout punch; and you better not be the dope. Joe Biden is certainly no dope. He presented authentic, thoughtful and articulate plans for how he and Barack Obama intend to bring about change and he clearly elucidated the differences between their ticket and the opposition. Sarah Palin's scripted performance, on the other hand, sounded like a broken record; stuck on "maverick, maverick, maverick" and offering assurances of change with no real substantive plan. She never delineated a difference between the McCain/Palin approach and that of the current Bush/Cheney administration.

After listening to Geraldine Ferraro comment on the debate last night, I remain surprised that talented, competent and experienced women are not showing more outrage at the Republican choice for VP. It's not that she is a woman but that she is a featherweight in a world of heavyweights. Why not choose Condoleeza Rice, for example, or any number of experienced conservative women who don't have a direct connection with the current administration? Are women so desperate for a female in the White House that they are willing to settle for less than the best they have to offer? Hillary must have been spittin' nails watching last night's bout. Eight years ago I said to a colleague that one would like to believe that their president is smarter than them, at least in the complex realm of world politics. I guess that holds true for my vice-presidential expectations as well.

In Debate, G.O.P. Ticket Survives a Test
News Analysis by Adam Nagourney
The New York Times, 10/30/8

Friday, September 19, 2008

A new campaign slogan?

What conservative thinking forbids
Could put Palin's campaign on the skids.
It's easy decidin'
On Obama and Biden
For the welfare of all of her kids.

**** Obama/Biden '08 ****
For the Sake of Sarah's Kids

[N.B. - I, for one, am not opposed to the McCain/Palin ticket for such a trite and sexist reason as her choice to be a working mom. It's that I can't imagine spending four years listening to that voice!]

A New Twist in the Debate on Mothers
By Jodi Kantor and Rachel L. Swarns
The New York Times, 9/1/08

I dislike Ike

Guess I've lived in an ivory tower
Because lately my mood has turned dour.
After spending four five nights
In a house without lights
I've lost faith in my hired [sic] power!

Crews struggling to repair damage,
47,000 residents still without power
By Terry Oblander, The Plain Dealer, 9/17/08

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sex and drugs and crude behavior

Republicans- Here’s a cheap thrill:
Think of MMS failing to bill,
Then let out a moan
In your breathiest tone
“Skip the royalties; drill, baby, drill!”

Thanks to Cowtown Pattie for inspiring me to write this one. And as long as we're on the topic of off-shore drilling, here's what Scientific American has to say about its dubious value.

Report Says Oil Agency Ran Amok
Interior Dept. Inquiry Finds Sex, Corruption
By Derek Kravitz and Mary Pat Flaherty
The Washington Post, 9/11/08

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bringing Nome the bacon?

Quite frankly we don't give a fig
About Palin's distress at "the dig,"
For it cannot compete
With her blatant deceit.
As she gussies up pork, save the pig!

And to all those who would call Obama sexist for using the lipstick/pig metaphor, keep in mind that McCain has used the same phrase before and it seems to be Dick Cheney's favorite analogy. Maybe the McCain camp should read the book by his former advisor, Torie Clarke, Lipstick on a Pig, in which she suggests that honesty, not spin, is the best policy in politics or business. How's that one for irony? Or maybe they've been reading Mein Kampf?
"Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it" --- Adolph Hitler

Record Contradicts Palin's 'Bridge' Claims
By Elizabeth Holmes and Laura Meckler
The Wall Street Journal, 9/9/08

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

As my old pappy use to say...

"A lie can travel halfway around the world
while the truth is still putting on it's shoes."
---(sometimes attributed to Mark Twain)

No limericks today; just a song to be sung to the tune of the
Maverick Theme music by David Buttolph and lyrics by Paul Francis Webster

Who is that gray-haired, stodgy guy?
Maverick is the name.
They call him that, we don't know why,
Palin's his compadre,
Politics his game.

Slick as a lobby in D.C.
Maverick, John McCain.
Out of touch with you and me;
Part of Bush's cadre.
How is that a change?

Riverboat, blow off steam,
Don't buy into their scheme!
Liberty's the lady they will test!

From Natchez to Duluth
It's time to tell the truth
This "maverick's" the same as all the rest.

His campaign's blowin' smoke,
The concept is a joke!
He's claiming change; oh, surely he must jest!

From Natchez to Duluth
It's time to tell the truth
A maverick is no maverick, self-professed,
And John McCain's no maverick, hope you guessed.

For those of us who remember the 60's TV series, the "original Maverick" was James Garner (no, not Tom Cruise!) and there's no contest when it comes to who we'd rather be swindled by. So, when you get ready to vote this year, remember what my old pappy used to say,
"Always drink upstream from the herd."

McCain relies on his image, avoids issues
By Cynthia Tucker
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 9/7/08

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The seX Files

An addiction (not mastered) abated
By going to rehab. So stated
Duchovny to Press.
Can it be a success
As long as his Files are X-rated?

[this one should be good for lots of hits on the search engines]

Duchovny: Sex Addict Onscreen and Off
By Luchina Fisher, ABC News, 8/29/08

Thursday, July 10, 2008

It's about f**king time!

Seems al-Maliki sides with Barack
With regard to our troops in Iraq.
That for Bush and his war,
Like a pimp with his whore,
Withdrawal should be on the clock!

Iraq Wants Withdrawal Timetable In U.S. Pact
By Ernesto LondoƱo and Dan Eggen
The Washington Post, 7/8/08

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Obamacize me!

For Hil, it's too little, too late.
Could she yet be Barack's running mate?
It isn't a mystery
This race will make history;
Her story will just have to wait.

Tell me what you think. Add your vote to the poll at the right.

Clinton to Suspend Campaign Saturday
By Jonathan Weisman and Dan Balz
The Washington Post, 6/5/08

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Not to worry

The word from the Clinton Campaign

What we hear from the daily fear monger,
Is "this battle can't last any longer."
To quote from Fred Nietzsche,
"The outlook is pietzsche.
'Twon't kill us, but make us much stronger!"

Clinton's Faltering Case for Staying In
By Amy Sullivan, Time, 5/8/08

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Is it eight bells for Hilary?

Indiana: a derby's in town.
And the fav'rite to win aint "Big Brown"
But the mare in this race,
Is afraid second place
Means they're apt to be putting her down.

Eight Questions About Today's Primaries
By Dan Balz, The Washington Post, 5/6/08

Thursday, May 01, 2008

The Wright stuff?

Barack's pastor (who's no Dr. King)
Has been adding more mud to the sling;
But each new Jeremiad
Doesn't mean they're a dyad
Nor Obama will do the Wright thing.

Excuse me but when are the media going to start asking tough questions about the issues and quit focusing on the politics of personality and guilt by association? I'm tired of hearing about the Wright stuff! I care about who has the right stuff!

Where Wright Goes Wrong
By Eugene Robinson, The Washington Post, 4/29/08

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Recycle this limerick

Then give your computer a rest

Every breath you have taken since birth
Is the price conservation is worth.
We must stop the abuse
In our energy use
Or someday we will pay with the Earth.

Happy Earth Day
Reduce you carbon footprint today by actually making some footprints. If you live in PA, try walking to the polls to vote for the environmentally friendly candidate of your choice.

[N.B.: This limerick was composed totally of recycled material. Yup! No new ideas, just enduring ones that I hope will outlast the plastic and toxins in your landfill.]

Earth Day 2008
The Boston Globe, 4/22/08

Friday, April 11, 2008

Cleveland Rocks Over Sox Pox

It's the worst kind of curse, all agree.
Who'll be jinxed? We will just have to see.
Whether BoSox or Yanks,
Cleveland fans will give thanks.
The result suits the Tribe to a Tee!

-----The Tee we hope will be

Red Sox fan adds high-jinx to Yankees rivalry
by John Doyle and Chuck Bennett , New York Post, 4/11/08

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Public Service Announcement

from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health

At POPLINE, someone on our staff
Must believe they're a gifted empath.
Intent was distorted,
So searches aborted
And babies thrown out with the bath.

Magazine Led to Database's 'Abortion' Search Block
by Brenda Wilson, NPR, 4/9/08

Friday, April 04, 2008

Ad nauseum

An invasive political hack
Is infecting your PC and Mac.
The malevolent geek
Gives the coding a tweak
And it’s Hillary vs. Barack!

Though an avid Mac fan and a user for years, the Savant finds this latest comparison to be an insult that both trivializes and fails to illuminate the value of both candidates. And it doesn’t do much for the Clinton or Obama campaigns either. A more apt comparison might be:

McCain: The candidate of the future, straight from the past

[NB: For those to young to remember the PET 2001. We assume you get the reference to Bush's pet and the year 2001.]

Is Obama a Mac and Clinton a PC?
By Noam Cohen, The New York Times, 2/4/08

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

4K? Not OK!

It’s exactly five years, 1st of May,
I recall hearing Dubbaya say
That our mission was done
With the war shortly won.
Now we’re mourning the loss of 4K.

So it isn’t the billions we pay,
Lack of victory, or the delay;
But the breach of our trust.
When a war is unjust
Even one death is never OK.

U.S. toll in Iraq reaches 4,000
By Alexandra Zavis, Los Angeles Times, 3/24/08

Friday, March 21, 2008

Caveat exemptor

When you run with the bulls, no one cares
'Til the bottom falls out of your shares
And the lesson one learns,
In the case of Bear Stearns,
Is you're victim to very stern bears!

Bear Stearns' Fall Ripple Effect Felt
by Adam Davidson, NPR News, 3/20/08

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Slipping on the "Second Banana Appeal"

Hil, you can't be surprised at the fuss
Over choosing this time to discuss
Obama as Veep.
It's like saying you'll keep
His seat at the back of the bus!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

In Memorium

You're never 2 Down, we're assured;
4 Across 80 years you've endured
With a clear optimism
That defies cynicism
And truly transcends the cross word.

The above limerick was written in honor of Eileen's 80th birthday. She was no celebrity, but just a remarkably kind and loving woman who inspired the Savant's love of words and worplay.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Who needs a presidency?

You have watched as her empire has grown.
Now, a network that's hers all alone?
For serious bettors,
You know the call letters
Mean there's nothing that O. won't soon...
Oprah Winfrey and Discovery to Create New Cable Network
By Edward Wyatt, The New York Times, 1/16/08

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to

Are you staging a comeback, like Bill,
Showing more than political skill?
Being human, it seems,
Is the greatest of schemes
For raising your capital, Hil.

Clinton's Historic Surprise
Political prediction markets,
polls and pundits may never have got it so wrong

By Justin Wolfers, The Wall Street Journal, 1/9/08

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Blackeyes for Buckeyes

Jim Tressel might say of the Bucks,
"They were honored to play here." Aw Shucks!
But you don't get to choose
You must earn it, or lose,
And losing again really sucks!

Jim Tressel might need to change his ways for Ohio State to get back on top
by Bill Livingston, The Plain Dealer, 1/8/08

Monday, January 07, 2008

A word to the wise

I guess it's a sign of our time
When the linguists are partners in crime
With Chief Monger of Fear.
Yes, their "Word of the Year,"
Just like President Bush, is subprime.

'Subprime' Is Linguists' Word of Year
By Sophia Tareen, Associated Press, 1/5/08

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Cold realities

Mr. Bush has a plan, that is bold,
To halt global warming, we're told.
The Kyoto accord
Is completely ignored
To insure that the plan leaves us cold!

[NB: This is a reworking of a post published about 5 years ago which, because of the U.S.'s singular stance on greenhouse gasses among developed nations, remains relevant today. How appropriate that I recycled it. BTW, meant to post it in December.]

Waiting for America
The Guardian, 12/15/07

Thursday, January 03, 2008

First things first

I don't think that you ever will talk us
Into faith in an Iowa caucus;
For, as months come to pass,
He who's first may be lass
In a process, primarily raucous.

More importantly-
Happy Birthday, Mom!

You've got our vote

Does Iowa Matter?
By Kathy Frankovic, CBS News, 1/2/08

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

So it ends and begins

Those who seek to be leaders of state
Often meet with a violent fate.
Now, as proof of that fear,
The beloved Benazir
Fell victim to militant hate.

Two Benazir Bhuttos
By Anne Applebaum, The Washington Post, 1/1/2008