Sunday, October 14, 2007

Debatable Intelligence

The only thing Fred Thompson accomplished in his first Republican debate was to make Rudy Giuliani look really short, and to make himself come across as inarticulate and uninterested. Just the kind of candidate George W. Bush can relate to.

And someone should tell Thompson that "Law and Order" isn't a big enough credit to be President of the United States. Every actor in New York(except me) has appeared on one of the 12 Law and Order shows and spinoffs. So it's not really a big deal. Now if he was on "American Idol", that would be different.

Calling Mitt Romney “an empty suit” is disrespectful to the suit. Romney dresses well and is enthusiastic, but so is a real estate broker. That doesn’t make you qualified to be President. And these days, it doesn’t help you sell houses either. Mitt just likes to run a lot in parades, and chides business journalists for having a “doom and gloom” attitude.

If you’re a good business journalist who knows where our economy is heading, you should have a “doom and gloom” attitude. If Romney is elected, there’ll be plenty of doom and gloom to go around. And why is saying you're going to be just like Ronald Reagan considered a good thing?

When my favorite Republican Ron Paul said the US has never been attacked by another country, Giuliani glossed over the fact that no country was responsible for September 11, when he shot back, ”What about 9/11?” Which is Rudy’s answer for everything.
“What would you do about health care?”

Turkey angrily criticized Congress for calling the mass killings of 1.5 million Armenians in Turkey “genocide”. What would Turkey rather call it? “Notanicethingocide”, or “Iwasabsentthatdayocide” or “I don’tknowwhatyou’retalkingaboutocide”.

The New York Times today reported that Israel’s raid in Syria recently was on a nuclear facility. They cited American and Israeli intelligence officials. Why should this intelligence be any more intelligent that the false intelligence on Iraq? And if the intelligence was really intelligent, why does the US and Israel refuse to comment on the intelligence? And will the American people be as dumb about this intelligence as they were about the discredited Iraq intelligence?

And why is it OK for some countries to have nuclear weapons, but not others? Are the countries who can have them more responsible and considerate when it comes to destroying a country in a nuclear attack? The US and Russia recently agreed to reduce their nuclear warheads to about 4000 each. I don't know about you, but that lets me rest easy at night. And the US has recently talked about winning a "limited nuclear war". I think they're all going to be limited. Not too many nuclear wars are going to drag on for days. And when it's over, no one will be around for the victory celebrations.

Ann Coulter said that “Jews needed to be perfected” and that they should all become Christians. After hearing that, Mel Gibson hired her to write his next film. When asked to clarify her remarks, Coulter denied that they ever happened.

Comedians always like to go out on a laugh, but this week I want to pay tribute to two people who helped pave the way for the political comedy you read here and that I perform onstage.

“If I hadn’t met him, I’d be washing cars today,” legendary political satirist Mort Sahl told the New York Times about Enrico Banducci who died on Tuesday. “It took me a long time to catch on, but he gave me the time to find my voice.” Banducci, who owned the Hungry I nightclub in San Francisco, helped start the careers of Sahl, Woody Allen, Shelley Berman(who I will be performing with December 22-25 in San Francisco) and countless others. Brad Rosenstein, who was curator of a 2007 exhibition on Mr. Banducci and the club for the San Francisco Public Arts Library and Museum, said this week that satirical political comedy was “unknown before the Hungry I”. Banducci believed in giving comedians complete artistic freedom, and piano player Don Asher was quoted on as saying, “I must have played for a thousand club and restaurant owners," "He was the only owner who put performers and musicians ahead of the cash register." We could certainly use some club owners like that today, who value political comedy, and who place artistic expression above the almighty dollar.

And Ned Sherrin, who created “That Was The Week That Was”, the British and later American satirical TV show, died recently as well. What Banducci did for live satirical comedy, Sherrin did for television, as TW3 was the first TV show to satirize the political establishment. Except for The Daily Show, The Colbert Report and Real Time with Bill Maher, that kind of satirical humor is sorely missing from American television today.

Next week, this blog comes to you from Warsaw, Poland where my wife Ruth and I are beginning a two week Jewish Heritage Tour. See you next Sunday.