Monday, November 23, 2009

Maya Ingénue?

Is the doomsday prediction unfailin'
Or the year 2012 easy sailin'?
A potential world-ender
Not on the agenda:
Could the Mayans foresee Sarah Palin?

The approval gap silently shrinks to a few points

Thursday, July 30, 2009

"Less filling!" "Tastes great!!" "Less filling!!!" Tastes great!!!!"

The Savant proposes the following simple test to be administered to prospective candidates for the police academy; Harvard professorships; and President of the United States. [N.B. This should not apply to candidates for the Vice-Presidency, so Sarah and Joe can quit sweating. After all we still need some entertainment.]

Fill in the blank:

A rule of diplomacy states:
When engaging in ________ debates,
You better use tact.
If you overreact,
You are certain to open flood Gates.

Choose the best answer:

a. legal
b. racial
c. ethnic
d. classroom
e. White House
f. press corp
g. heated
h. beer-fueled
i. all of the above

The Audacity of Hops
By Jake Tapper, ABC News, 7/30/09

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Who sesso?

Said Prime Minister, S. Berlusconi,
"I'm insulted by all this Bologna
That implies I would pay;
When they line up to play,
Just for pleasure, with my cannelloni!"

Silvio Berlusconi’s age wins him support over alleged affairs
By Rosemary Righter, The Times, 7/22/09

Monday, July 20, 2009

You were there

He needn't rely on some buzz.
He was Cronkite! We watched him because.
When New Media rules
While forgetting the tools,
We'll remember the way that it was.

It seems fitting to honor this man on the anniversary of the moon landing. How can we forget the shared mix of excitement and relief we felt when "Uncle Walter" took off his glasses and said "Whew! Boy!"

Cronkite -- that's the way he was
Colleague Daniel Schorr says that legendary newsman
Walter Cronkite represented something deep
in the psyche of America, embodied in the word trust.
By Daniel Schorr, Los Angeles Times, 7/20/09

Friday, July 17, 2009

Gay Divorcee

Like the drunkard that drove mothers MADD,
Good can often arise from the bad;
Despite all of it's hype
Bruno's stereotype
Is why we're unhappy at GLAAD

'Bruno' doesn't help gays
The movie is intended to satirize homophobia,
but too often it misses the mark.
By Rashad Robinson, Los Angeles Times, 7/12/09

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Stiff opposition

You might think that the matter is silly.
In Chicago reaction's been chilly.
No one's shouting out "Cheers!"
That erection of Sears
Has simply become a Big Willie.

Chicago icon's new name may take time to stick
By Nick Carey,Reuters, 7/16/09

Monday, July 13, 2009

Equal time

The Savant received the following anonymous response that he cannot confirm as legitmate and may have come from one of those "fake" Sarah Palins that seem to have taken over the web world. He publishes it with the proviso that, like everything "Sarah Palin" these days, it should be taken with a grain of salt.

How dare you imply I'm a quitter!
I have reason enough to fell bitter.
If you'd been as maligned,
You might have resigned
In order to find a good sitter.

Monday, July 06, 2009

I don't know; Alaska!

Is she needin' to tend to her litter?
Does she think she's a heavier hitter?
So why is she bailin'?
It permits Sarah Palin
To become the prime twit with a Twitter?

Sarah Palin's exit as Alaska governor stuns, puzzles observers
By Mark Z. Barabak and Robin Abcarian
The Los Angeles Times, 7/4/09

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

A pilfer of his community

Cuyahoga County Commissioner, Jimmy Dimora
Not to be confused with

deceased fellow huckster, Billy Mays

Have you ever encountered a poorer
Excuse than of Jimmy Dimora?
The conspiracy claim
Is nearly as lame
As Sodom accusing Gomorrah!

Dimora Alleges Republican Conspiracy,
Seeks Federal Investigation
Bill Rice, WCPN, 6/29/09

Monday, June 29, 2009

But wait, there's more

What a week! Along with Michael Jackson's untimely death, Farrah Fawcett earned her angel's wings after a long battle with cancer, and Ed McMahon may team up again with Johnny Carson in the afterlife. But as I think about who had the most profound effect on my life, with his ready-made solutions to all of life's problems, sometimes one's I didn't even know I had...

As I ponder, comparatively,
Who I'll miss to the highest degree;
Amid choice upon choice,
Sounds his singular voice:
"Billy Mays here!" "as seen on TV."

Billy Mays dies at 50; boisterous TV pitchman
By Richard Fausset , Los Angeles Times, 6/29/09

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Bad news

The news of his death seemed a killer
Like a 510 lb. gorilla.
In his own Neverland,
Michael seldom was bland;
And we'll likely not see such a thriller.

Michael Jackson's death catches
entertainment journalists unprepared
By Tina Susman, Los Angeles Times, 6/27/09

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The trail not taken

Advice for Governor Mark Sanford

If you ever expect to avert
Being soiled by adulterous dirt
Then don’t' let 'em catcha,
Not in Appalachia,
But hiking up somebody's skirt.

S.C. Gov. Sanford Admits to an Affair
He Was Visiting Woman in Argentina
By Philip Rucker and Manuel Roig-Franzia
The Washington Post, 6/24/09

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

More tortuous rhetoric

Mr. Cheney's the spokesman we'd pick
Claiming "charges of torture won't stick."
Some think it a goof.
We say it's the proof
That conservatives didn't know Dick!

read more | digg story
The Old Faithful of Nonsense
By Eugene Robinson, The Washington Post, 5/12/09

Friday, April 10, 2009


Have we ever been further apart
Than we are on the Medical Mart?
Its critics have railed
That the County has failed
In transparency right from the start!

Earlier drafts of medical mart deal had
Cuyahoga County paying overruns, kept dealings private
By Joe Guillen, The Plain Dealer, 4/10/09

Depp-lorable acts

The Hollywood vision is narrow.
True crime gives a chill to the marrow.
Real pirates aren't dashing.
Their acts should be smashing
Your image of Captain Jack Sparrow.

Pirates hold captain hostage as U.S. ship sails away
By Edmund Sanders and Julian E. Barnes
The Los Angeles Times, 4/10/09

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

A 21, [uh] 18,[uh] 15 gun salute!

We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence,
whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.
--------– Dwight D. Eisenhower

The Pentagon: Gates tries to nudge it.
His figures don't lie; didn't fudge it.
Will Congress comply?
If they don't, you know why.
Their pork barrel spending: can't budget!

OK so it's "put up or shut up" time for all those fiscal conservatives that have been saying they don't want to burden our children or our childrens' children with with the cost of universal healthcare or alternative energy development or education reform. Let's see how many of them are still eager to ante up for antiquated aircraft carriers, obsolete fighters, and outmoded weapons systems just to fill the pockets of fat cat constituents. Anyone taking bets?

Pentagon chief takes aim at big weapons programs
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates wants to spend
less on elaborate systems and
more on boosting troops and intelligence.
By Julian E. Barnes, Los Angeles Times, 4/7/09

Friday, March 27, 2009

Star blight

With corruption enough to appall,
The sheriff's not flustered at all.
Which proves that this guy
Can tell the big lie;
And the bigger, the harder McFaul.

A little local news today and a bone to the opposition. I've never been a big fan of Gerald McFaul, a former pipe fitter who has managed to lock up the office of Cuyahoga County Sheriff for over 30 years through old fashioned political clout and plenty of under the table dealings. He's the longest tenured on a list of shady sheriffs in this county and I hope his resignation marks a new era of responsible and respectable law enforcement in the area. But I aint holdin' my breath!

State agents raid McFaul's office, seize records
By Mark Puente, The Plain Dealer, 3/27/09

Friday, March 20, 2009

The medium is the massage

For the acting award in a drama
This year's Webby should go to Obama.
His appeal on Nowruz
Demonstrates he makes use
Of a YouTube as well as Osama.

Kudos to our president for recognizing that the same medium used with great effect by bin Laden to foment anti-American sentiment could also be used to massage attitudes in the Middle East. No mater the official response from the Ayatollahs, the video will be ubiquitous. Hooray for YouTube diplomacy!

Obama Reaches Out to Iran With Holiday Video Message
By Debbi Wilgoren and Thomas Erdbrink
The Washington Post, 3/20/09

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

School is not out yet on this plan

Don't you think it's time someone learned their lesson?

AIG has a novel invention.
It's the bonus that's paid for retention
Of delinquents, not there.
Do you think that is fair?
Or, instead, should we give them detention?

An Outpouring of Anger From Lawmakers at A.I.G. Hearing
By David Stout, the New York Times, 3/18/09

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Body of lies

Thanks to Mattel (and Hugh Hefner) for
fifty years of unrealistic expectations.

What psychic could possibly gauge
How this freak would become all the rage?
With plenty of plastic
She's looking fantastic
So Barbie's not telling her age.

Barbie doll gets a splashy 50th birthday bash
By Booth Moore, The Los Angeles Times, 2/17/09

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

A Titanic mistake

As Limbaugh shouts "I'm king of the conservatives!"
it's no time to be quibbling over which side of the boat you're on.

To those who support Rush's quip:
You chose to embark on this trip,
And refusal to bail
Means the captain could fail;
But you're bound to go down with the ship!

GOP Seeks Balance With Conservative Icon Limbaugh
By Perry Bacon Jr., The Washington Post, 3/4/09

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Some dog, millionaire?

Michelle says the family agrees
On a Water Dog, type: Portuguese;
Cuz they're easy to train.
Hubby wishes in vain
That Republicans were such a breeze.

Obama Vows, ‘We Will Rebuild’ and ‘Recover’
Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times, 2/25/09

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Octomom vs. Dr. Mindbender

This self-absorbed mother is still
Being run through the media mill?
With all this exposure
We think, Heaven knows, you're
Just giving her ego its Phil.

Suleman says hospital wants proof she can care for octuplets
She tells TV host 'Dr. Phil' McGraw she fears that they
may not be released until she has a better living arrangement.

She and her six other children live at her mother's house
By Jessica Garrison and Kimi Yoshino
The Los Angeles Times, 2/25/09

Monday, February 23, 2009

Who wants to be a m...

Movie of the Year?

We endure what seems endless and numbing
Just to view what we knew would be coming.
The predictable plot?
When you're hot, you are hot;
And Oscar was hot to go Slumming.

Golden Statuettes, Leaden Television
By Tom Shales, The Washington Post, 2/23/09

Friday, February 20, 2009

The real Travis-ty

For the people unwisely beguiled
By the notion a chimp is a child,
It's time to replace it.
You really must face it;
This primate's primarily wild!

Cleveland Clinic Gets Victim of Chimp Attack
By Lawrence K. Altman and Anahad O'Connor
The New York Times, 2/19/09

Thursday, February 12, 2009

No Jif's brands or butters

All because of this arrogant putz
Salmonella's infecting our guts.
It sticks in the craw
And we hope that the law
Strings him up by his poisonous nuts.

Peanut-borne salmonella is subject of outrage in Congress
By Rebecca Cole, The Los Angeles Times, 2/12/09

Monday, February 09, 2009

Heroes by any other name...

would tell us "geese."

Few fumble through life without blame.
Fewer ride their descent into fame.
But this pilot with skill
Has both given a thrill
And new meaning to "Sully" one's name.

Flight 1549: A Routine Takeoff Turns Ugly
Captain Sullenberger Recalls The Bird Strike
And The Tense And Crucial Minutes That Followed

Interview by Katie Couric, CBS 60 Minutes, 2/8/09

Friday, February 06, 2009

Short by design

But long on creativity

In four hundred seconds duration
You'll receive the complete presentation.
Tonight is Pecha Kucha*.
We hope that we gotcha
Intrigued by this brief conversation.

*pronounced in three syllables like "peh-chak-cha"
From the Japanese for sound of conversation or chit-chat

Come join us tonight at the House of Blues for what looks to be an interesting and inventive evening.

Pecha Kucha version 2.0
-- speed-dating for creatives and their audiences -- comes to Cleveland
Posted by Steven Litt/Plain Dealer Architecture Critic, 2/4/09

Monday, February 02, 2009

Playing Crazy Eights with ethics

Fertility drugs are a fix,
Not a means for this mom to get kicks.
Were her docs in a trance?
When it comes to implants,
Don't they think that "enough" might mean six?

Octuplets Fallout:
Should Fertility Specialists Set Limits?
By Bonnie Rochman, Time, 2/2/09

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Snow time like the present

Will Congress stay frozen in ice
Or take the Obamas advice?
To a Midwestern child,
The higher it's piled,
The more we just work and play nice.

As to Ice, Chicago Still Obama's Kind of Town
D.C. Needs 'Toughness,' President Says
By Daniel de Vise and Michael Birnbaum
The Washington Post, 1/28/09

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Coming soon...

To a theater (of the absurd) near you.

Blagojevich, feeling the sting,
Thinks he's Gandhi, Mandela, and King!
What's next? He'll evoke
Those Middle-earth folk
And be Frodo protecting the Ring?

Blagojevich in NBC interview compares himself
to Gandhi, King and Mandela
By Lynn Sweet, Chicago Sun-Times, 1/25/09

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Culture clash

As a simple appeal to our hearts
We support a Department of Arts;
But a Government role
Oft reduces the whole
To a sum of much less than its parts.

I submit the above as the Savant's addendum to the online petition in support Quincy Jones' proposal for a new department. Though I see enormous potential for promotion of the arts and enhancing their influence, I am wary when the political culture mixes with the artistic one. Giving government bureaucracy a role in the fragile creative process scares the willies out of me. Remember that the camel was a horse, created by committee. Imagine what they might do to a horse's ass like yours truly!

Weigh in on where you stand in The Savant's latest useless poll to the right. =>

and click on the link to sign the petition if you're so inclined.

Quincy Jones Leads Chorus Urging a Cabinet-Level Arts Czar
By Jacqueline Trescott, The Washington Post, 1/14/09

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

And so we would know it was real...

Guess who was singing?

If the voice went a little bit flat,
You're Aretha! We know you're "all that!"
For your power to wow
You can still take a bow;
And, what's more, take a bow for that hat!

[OK, Mark. This one was for you]

A little prayer from the Queen of Soul
By Richard Morrison, Times Online, 1/21/09

A dream fulfilled

Now work to be done.

We have witnessed the arduous climb
Just to savor this moment, sublime.
Let the message ring out;
Can there be any doubt
That, at last, change has come to our time?

New President, 'New Era Of Responsibility'
by Mara Liasson, NPR, 1/21/09

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Hawk like an Egyptian?

Speaking of "bail-outs," look who's out on bail.

His investors aren't feeling so sunny
To discover the tar in the honey.
The deals of their dreams
Were mere pyramid schemes
Where the dealer Madoff with the money!

[N.B. The unfortunate fact is that you or I may be one of his unwitting investors by proxy!]

Bernie Madoff's Victims:
Why Some Have No Recourse
By Robert Chew, Time, 1/12/09

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Word of the Year 2008: "Bailout"

So "bail-out" was Word of the Year?
As a verb, we expected to hear
It used one of the times
When, for myriad crimes,
Those crooks went to court to appear!

Oh yeah. That didn't happen, did it?

About Auto Bailout
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost