Will Durst (56)
Strap on your seat belts and nuke some popcorn because we got ourselves a Battle Royale between the two gnarliest branches of government that a tree has ever seen. In the left hand corner, back from wandering in the wilderness, the Democrats are just itching to exercise their rediscovered clout. Over in the right hand corner, after six years of unchallenged rule, the Executive branch is not taking kindly having to answer to mere mortals. It's Countdown to a Crisis! The stoppable force versus the movable object.
For those of you who enjoyed the devastation that the Bush Administration unloaded on America through the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the K Street Project, you're going to love the Extreme Makeover going on over at your new Department of Justice. Where justice stems from the eye of The Decider.
Due to a spate of recent negative publicity, the airline industry has embarked on a public relations blitz aimed at reversing the public's perception that flight service has sunk to the level of a winged Greyhound with holes in the floorboards. Good luck. I can't believe it took this long for people to finally flip out because over the last couple of years, we frequent flyers have become so accustomed to being treated like fleshy baggage, some of us have spontaneously sprouted handles.
Better strap a hair spray filter over your mouth, because it's red carpet season everybody. That blessed time of the year when mere mortals like us derive major entertainment value from watching famous singers, actors, starlets, athletes, has-beens and other celebrity wannabes strut and pout and smirk and flaunt and blandish blatant attempts at replicating sincerity during that tiny window of their career that occurs between hiring a big league publicist and having had so much plastic surgery, they start to frighten small children and weasels, by which I mean their agents.
In a stunning announcement that shook capitals and media centers around the globe, White House press Secretary Tony Snow read a simple statement at an extraordinary 2 a.m. press conference last night revealing that George W Bush, the 43rd President of the United States, has entered an undisclosed medical facility for therapy. No further information was forthcoming as to whether the treatment was for emotional distress, drug or alcohol abuse or just an "executive timeout" but an eyewitness claims the decision for the President to enter rehab was anything but voluntary.
Usually you make it to January 1, take a deep breath, look back on the old year and realize there was a fairly equal balance of what you call your good and your bad. The last couple of years (6- to be exact) have tilted a bit towards the latter. But 2006? Holy moley catfish. Subtract the single sublime 24 hour period of time that was November 7th from the other 8,736 hours we slogged through, and you got yourself a awfully grisly swamp of an annum. 2006 was to years what OJ Simpson is to manners and propriety seminars. Like Paris Hilton and advanced trigonometry texts. Michael Richards and Martin Luther King Dinner Keynote Speeches. I could go on.
Bah humbug everybody. Consider that uttered in the spirit of those of us familiar with the soft dark underbelly of the happiest time of the year. The ones regularly washed over by the holiday faucet of red and green bile dreading the solstice celebration as it drips down the drain of melancholy revealing the regurgitated fruit of of our greed and gluttony. But then again, what the hell. Pass me a cookie and another glass of nog and let's just enjoy the whole thing, shall we? And go easy on the nutmeg and heavy on the whiskey, mister. Because its time to just sit back and relax. Xmas is still with us, as we are repeatedly reminded by the television ads partially obscured by the coffee table high wrapping paper detritus. So to honor all you brave and steadfast consumers who set new records this year in your patriotic quest to sink heavily into debt to honor the birth of that Jewish hippie kid, let me offer up to the least deserving of us my annual scathingly incisive yet perennially trenchant ...
The latest form of political theater descending on DC is the crying of crocodile tears. And this season's nominations for biggest mock drops are destined to be swept by Beltway players in their demonstration of their fake concern for South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson. Phony sanctimony has long been a staple of the American way of life. Each of us had an aunt whose major talent was feigning fawning sympathy. Usually she had a mole.
Right about now is when it could come in real handy to have a President who reads. A book learning wonk. A guy not allergic to the printed word. George W Bush even admitted it himself. I think his exact quote was: "I don't read." And you know what, I believe him. Then this summer, something happened. I think it was part of that midterm campaign thing, when the President claimed his beach reading list included Camus' "The Stranger" and what he referred to as "3 Shakespeares." 3 Shakespeares? Sounds like a customer at Baskin-Robbins ordering up a triple scoop of smart. And very suspicious coming from a man famous for struggling through the same page of "The Pet Goat" for 10 minutes.
I startled some guy in the next lane at a red light when I shouted at my radio today. A semi-famous network newscaster had come on opining how former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack could easily take the 2008 Iowa caucuses as a favorite son, resulting in a subsequent focus on South Carolina, which is John Edwards territory and this might all work out to upset the Hillary Clinton Applecart Express. AAIIIIEEEE! The guy next to me barely missed a covey of walkers as he peeled out.
Guess who the Republicans snuck in as Senate Minority Whip? Trent Lott. Yes, that Trent Lott. Welcome back buddy! You're a breath of stale air. And just the shot of smack in the arm the GOP needs. A return to the good old high flying junkie days of yore when votes stayed counted and people had priorities. Winning. At all costs.
Hope you were hanging on to something solid last week because this country lurched so hard to the left, half of Washington woke up with a wicked case of whiplash. No, make that most of Washington. And all of K Street. And the Republicans should be grateful. Because if it weren't for Democratic persistence they wouldn't still be able to file for protection under the Endangered Species Act.