Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Tag: barack obama (page 1 of 4)

Hope, Pope

“Your Holiness.”

“Hey, Signore Presidente. How you doing?”

“Good, good. You, uhhhh, don’t need to do the handshake.”

“Is-a da soul brother handshake.”

“I recognized it. Unnecessary.”

“You give-a da dap?”

“Just a regular handshake is fine.”

“Okay. Up-a to you. Is-a nice place you got-a here.”

“The White House belongs to the people, Your Holiness. And, besides, it’s not much compared to where you live.”

“Si, si. Vatican make-a dis joint look like-a da dump. Where-a da frescoes?”

“No frescoes, Your Holiness.”

“Is-a da waste of-a da good ceiling! Put-a some naked bambinos with-a da wings up there!”

“I’ll look into it, Your Holiness.”

“Call-a me Jorge.”

“I, uhhhh, can’t do that.”

“Bueno. Was-a da trick. You call-a da Pope by-a his first name, you go straight-a to Hell.”

“Well, there’s no strictures against using a President’s first name. Please call me Barack.”

“Si, si. Barack.”

“That’s great.”


“Yes, Your Holiness?”

“Why you no love-a da Jesus?”

“Oh, not you, too.”

“Benedict says you a secret Muslim.”

“Former Pope Benedict says a lot of things.”

“Si, si. And he say you murder someone named-a Ben Gozzy.”

“Is the former Pope just watching Fox News all day?”

“You betcha. And he don’t-a speak English so good, so he gets-a da stories confused.”

“I’m sorry you have to put up with that.”

“Is-a no picnic with that guy.”

“Now, Your Holiness, I just need to warn you: Joe Biden is going to come in here in a minute, and he’s liable to do just about anything.”

“People freak out when I hit-a da spot.”

“He’s just Catholic as all-get-out, Your Holiness. Probably gonna cry a little. Might, uhhhh, be a bear hug. Just stay on the balls of your feet.”

“Si, si. Barack?”

“Your Holiness?”



“I got you. You-a da secret Muslim.”

“Don’t tell anyone.”

“Si, si. Popes can keep-a da secrets.”


What the fuck are you supposed to be?

“It’s, uhhh, art. Wouldn’t expect you to understand.”

You look like a woodland sprite.

“It’s symbolic.”

You’re like Tom Bombadil. You’re Obambadil.

“All right, settle down. Listen, we talking here just you and me?”

Yes, sir.

“I got no fucking idea what this is.”

Maybe it’s the outfield at Wrigley?

“I root for the Sox. Anyway, I got no clue. Rebirth, growth, life, something like that.”

You could’ve smiled.

“You are aware that this is not a photograph, right? I wasn’t actually present when it was created.”


“You thought I sat there in front of the easel for a couple days?”

A little.

“You’re not bright.”

No, sir. What are you up to lately?

“Interviewing lawyers. Apparently, I’m about to be indicted.”

I read that, too.

“Deep State, brother.”

So, are you still in charge of the Deep State?

“No, no, no. There’s layers upon layers on top of me. Queen Elizabeth I.”

I think you mean Elizabeth II, sir.

“I didn’t. Elizabeth the First. They put her brain in a robot.”


“There’s a coma patient in Plattsburgh, NY, whose bodily metrics perfectly mirror the stock market.”

Of course.

“The streetlights of Marseilles. Kind of a collective consciousness.”


“And, uhhh, George Soros.”

I was waiting for him.

“Deep State is everywhere. Look behind you.”

Shit! Leaves!


Barry, Crown

“Psst. Hanks.”

“Yes, sir?”

“Queen’s hammered.”

“You don’t mean ‘blitzed?'”

“Nice one.”

“Thank you, sir. You sure? She seems okay.”

“Positive. No one, uhhhh, holds their liquor like royalty. Watch this. Your Majesty, how are you?”

“I own India.”

“See? Out of it.”


“You got no idea how much these people drink.”

“Well, you know, sir: they don’t have jobs.”

“Oh, no. They have a ton of responsibilities. There’s, uhhh, the waving.”

“She accepts a lot of flowers.”

“Right. That’s a tough gig, man. Sometimes, there’s thorns.”

“Boy, howdy. Can’t have the Queen prick her finger.”

“No. That’s how fairy tales start.”

“Every time. Whose job is better, sir, yours or hers?”

“You kidding? Hers. Not even a close call. You know what she does in the morning?”


“The woman gets up at nine, takes an hour-long bath, and then looks at her messages until lunch. Meanwhile, I gotta talk to Rahm Emmanuel before the sun comes up. If you’re given the choice between being President and being Queen, choose ‘Queen.'”

“Toddies! Toddies or off with all your heads!”

“Yes, Your Majesty. Steward? Steward?”

“Yes, Mr. President?”

“Bring the table a round of toddies.”


“Just heat up some booze and put it in a glass mug.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Toddies are coming, Your Majesty.”

“We must crush the Irish.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Psst, Mr. President.”

“Yeah, Tom?”

“If you can slip out for five minutes, I brought you a present.”

“Can you smoke it?”

“Yes, sir.”

“I’m not asking any more questions. Let’s go, Forrest.”

“Don’t call me that.”

“Gotcha. Hey, Tom. Let’s, uhhh, not sexually harass anyone on the way out.”

“Oh, no. That would break everyone’s hearts.”

Technically, She Does Outrank Them

“Hey, Dubbs.”

“Yeah, BO?”

“Don’t call me that. Your dad okay?”

“Honestly? Not in the slightest. It’s pretty much a Weekend at Bernie’s-type situation now.”

“He’s, uhhhh, a great American. Fought for his country in the war. A lifetime of public service. A great man.”

“Yeah, I love my dad.”

“Can he, uhhhh, hear us?”

“His hearing comes and goes. Lemme see. DADDY! DADDY!”

“Nope, nothin’.”

“Pity. Rather talk to him than Preachasaurus over here.”

“We should stop invitin’ Carter to these things, man. Brings the whole ambulance of the room down.”

“The what?”

“You know: how everything’s feeling. The mood. The ambulance.”

“Never change, Dubbs.”

“Know what I just noticed, Barry?”

“Don’t call me that either.”

“Look at all o’ us sittin’ here. Straight backs. Smilin’. You imagine if You-Know-Who was here?”

“Yup. Man sits like he’s a gargoyle taking a shit.”

“It’s the posture I picture Elvis assuming in the hours before he checked into the Heartbreak Hotel. Readin’ one o’ his astrology books.”

“Sure, sure. I see him as the Elephant Man trying to blow himself.”

“No, they fired the guy who was tryin’ to do that.”


“Seriously, Dubbs, what the hell are we gonna do?”

“I gave a hard-hitting speech the other day.”

“Heard that. Very good. Direct. Sober. To the point without being personal. Quality speech.”

“You think it’ll help?”


“Dang. What if I get on Twitter? Roast him up a l’il bit?”

“Jesus, Dubbs, we’re trying to save the country from chaos and embarrassment. How does an ex-president and the current president getting into a Twitter beef help in any way?”



“I’m gonna memes him. Memes the crap out o’ him. He’s gonna see my memes and be like, ‘Whaaaa?’ an’ then I’m jus’ gonna throw more memes at him.”



“Holy shit, do not call me that. What is a meme?”

“Memes. Ends in a ‘S.'”

“You have no idea what memes are, do you?”

“Is it an acronym?”

“Hey! You boys talkin’ pussy over there?”

“No, Bill.”

“No, Bill.”

“Okay. Tell me when that’s the topic.”

“Sure, Bill.”

“Sure, Bill.”

“That, uhhh, man has run out of fucks.”

“Hillary losin’ the election freed him. He’s more viagra than president now. You hear about the fuck-planes?”

“Yup. And the fuck-boats.”

“Uh-huh. You name the terrain, Billy’s fuckin’ on it. I heard he’s gettin’ hisself a fuck-snowcat.”

“Like one of those research vehicles with treads that they use in Antartica?”



“Wants to fuck in it.”

“He’s enjoying his golden years.”

“Different strokes f’r different folks. I like painting. He likes fuck-planes.”

“God bless America.”

“You said it.”

“So, listen: I love Lady Gaga an’ all, but–”

“She won’t return my calls.”

“–we couldn’t get Beyoncé?”

“Leave it alone, man.”

“Gotcha, hoss.”

We Got Lucky

Presented without comment.

A Tale Of Two Speeches

“What a crowd, what a turnout.”

Donald Trump’s remarks on Hurricane Harvey in Corpus Christi, TX , 8/29/17

Today we gather to celebrate the lives of those we’ve lost to the storms here in Joplin and across the Midwest, to keep in our prayers those still missing, to mourn with their families, to stand together during this time of pain and trial.

And as Reverend Brown alluded to, the question that weighs on us at a time like this is:  Why?  Why our town?  Why our home?  Why my son, or husband, or wife, or sister, or friend?  Why?

We do not have the capacity to answer.  We can’t know when a terrible storm will strike, or where, or the severity of the devastation that it may cause.  We can’t know why we’re tested with the loss of a loved one, or the loss of a home where we’ve lived a lifetime.

These things are beyond our power to control.  But that does not mean we are powerless in the face of adversity.  How we respond when the storm strikes is up to us.  How we live in the aftermath of tragedy and heartache, that’s within our control.  And it’s in these moments, through our actions, that we often see the glimpse of what makes life worth living in the first place.

In the last week, that’s what Joplin has not just taught Missouri, not just taught America, but has taught the world.  I was overseas in the aftermath of the storm, and had world leaders coming up to me saying, let the people of Joplin know we are with them; we’re thinking about them; we love them.  (Applause.)

Because the world saw how Joplin responded.  A university turned itself into a makeshift hospital.  (Applause.)  Some of you used your pickup trucks as ambulances, carrying the injured — (applause) — on doors that served as stretchers.  Your restaurants have rushed food to people in need.  Businesses have filled trucks with donations.  You’ve waited in line for hours to donate blood to people you know, but also to people you’ve never met.  And in all this, you have lived the words of Scripture:

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed;
we are perplexed, but not in despair;
Persecuted, but not forsaken;
cast down, but not destroyed;

As the governor said, you have shown the world what it means to love thy neighbor.  You’ve banded together.  You’ve come to each other’s aid.  You’ve demonstrated a simple truth:  that amid heartbreak and tragedy, no one is a stranger.  Everybody is a brother.  Everybody is a sister.  (Applause.)  We can all love one another.

As you move forward in the days ahead, I know that rebuilding what you’ve lost won’t be easy.  I just walked through some of the neighborhoods that have been affected, and you look out at the landscape, and there have to be moments where you just say, where to begin?  How to start?  There are going to be moments where after the shock has worn off, you feel alone.  But there’s no doubt in my mind what the people of this community can do.  There’s no doubt in my mind that Joplin will rebuild.  And as President, I can promise you your country will be there with you every single step of the way.  (Applause.)  We will be with you every step of the way.  We’re not going anywhere.  (Applause.)  The cameras may leave.  The spotlight may shift.  But we will be with you every step of the way until Joplin is restored and this community is back on its feet.  We’re not going anywhere.  (Applause.)

That is not just my promise; that’s America’s promise.  It’s a promise I make here in Joplin; it’s a promise I made down in Tuscaloosa, or in any of the communities that have been hit by these devastating storms over the last few weeks.

Now, there have been countless acts of kindness and selflessness in recent days.  We’ve already heard the record of some of that.  But perhaps none are as inspiring as what took place when the storm was bearing down on Joplin, threatening an entire community with utter destruction.  And in the face of winds that showed no mercy, no regard for human life, that did not discriminate by race or faith or background, it was ordinary people, swiftly tested, who said, “I’m willing to die right now so that someone else might live.”

It was the husband who threw himself over his wife as their house came apart around them.  It was the mother who shielded her young son.

It was Dean Wells, a husband and father who loved to sing and whistle in his church choir.  Dean was working a shift at the Home Depot, managing the electrical department, when the siren rang out.  He sprang into action, moving people to safety.  Over and over again, he went back for others, until a wall came down on top of him.  In the end, most of the building was destroyed, but not where Dean had directed his coworkers and his customers.

There was a young man named Christopher Lucas who was 26 years old.  Father of two daughters; third daughter on the way.  Just like any other night, Christopher was doing his job as manager on duty at Pizza Hut.  And then he heard the storm coming.

It was then when this former sailor quickly ushered everybody into the walk-in freezer.  The only problem was, the freezer door wouldn’t stay closed from the inside.  So as the tornado bore down on this small storefront on Range Line Road, Christopher left the freezer to find a rope or a cord or anything to hold the door shut.  He made it back just in time, tying a piece of bungee cord to the handle outside, wrapping the other end around his arm, holding the door closed with all his might.

And Christopher held it as long as he could, until he was pulled away by the incredible force of the storm.  He died saving more than a dozen people in that freezer.  (Applause.)

You see, there are heroes all around us, all the time.  They walk by us on the sidewalk, and they sit next to us in class.  They pass us in the aisle wearing an orange apron.  They come to our table at a restaurant and ask us what we’d like to order.

Just as we can’t know why tragedy strikes in the first place, we may never fully understand where these men and women find the courage and strength to do what they did.  What we do know is that in a split-second moment where there’s little time for internal reflection or debate, the actions of these individuals were driven by love — love for a family member, love for a friend, or just love for a fellow human being.

That’s good to know.  In a world that can be cruel and selfish, it’s this knowledge — the knowledge that we are inclined to love one another, that we’re inclined to do good, to be good — that causes us to take heart.  We see with fresh eyes what’s precious and so fragile and so important to us.  We put aside our petty grievances and our minor disagreements.  We see ourselves in the hopes and hardships of others.  And in the stories of people like Dean and people like Christopher, we remember that each us contains reserves of resolve and compassion.  There are heroes all around us, all the time.

And so, in the wake of this tragedy, let us live up to their example — to make each day count — (applause) — to live with the sense of mutual regard — to live with that same compassion that they demonstrated in their final hours.  We are called by them to do everything we can to be worthy of the chance that we’ve been given to carry on.

I understand that at a memorial yesterday for Dean, his wife decided to play a recording of Dean whistling a song he loved — Amazing Grace.  The lyrics are a fitting tribute to what Joplin has been through.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home… 


Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

May those we’ve lost know peace, and may Grace guide the people of Joplin home.  God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.  Thank you.

Barack Obama’s remarks on the Joplin tornado, Joplin, MO, 5/29/11


“C’mon, Justy, punch me in the stomach.”

“I don’t want to.”

“55 years old. C’mon, best shot.”

“Mr. President, I can throw a punch.”

“And I can take one. Let’s go.”

“I sense some tension, Mr. President.”

“Call me Mahmoud.”


“My original Muslim name.”

“I’d really prefer to keep calling you Mr. President.”

“Join the club. America misses me like a drowning man misses air.”

“It’s a mess right now.”

“He’s King Midas, but with shit instead of gold. Man, I wish this was happening to you guys.”

“It did. We called him Rob Ford.”

“True, true. You didn’t turn over the military to him, though.”

“But, hasn’t he turned the military over to itself?”

“He has. He has, indeed. This should end well.”

“You’re always welcome in Canada, Mr. President.”

“I know, like, every billionaire on the planet. I have spots to bug out to much nicer than Calgary.”

“But then you’ll miss the Rodeo.”

“I’ll be okay.”

Rising From The Depths

Remember when there were stone-cold foxes in the front row?

“Uh, actually, the front row has always looked like this. Just, you know: younger.”

This looks like a fire hazard.

“It’s perfectly safe. Just as long as there’s no fire.”

Sure. Phil?


Did you see Putin’s corpse?

“His what?”

His corpse. When he drowned, did you fish him out of the canal and make sure he was dead?

“No, it was time for the second set.”


“Elvis killed him. Don’t worry about it.”

“You should vorry. Putin alive.”

Dammit. How?

“KGB dolphins.”


“Putin name them Kodo and Podo.”

Don’t name them that.

“Putin is Beastmaster now.”

You are not the Beastmaster! Marc Singer is the Beastmaster! I was on a plane with him once.

“How he look?”

Great. Real tall. No carry-on, just had a copy of Shakespeare’s sonnets in his hand.


I’ve been trying to figure it out for years.

“This is vild story. Now I vill get revenge on Elvis America.”

Aren’t you a little busy getting your revenge on the actual America?

“Putin kicking your ass.”

Y’know? In an entirely “don’t hate the player, hate the game” kind of way: I salute you, you murderous fuck. You are killing 2017.

“Putin having good year.”

Sure. But here’s the thing: can’t you have a good year without everyone else having a bad year?”

“Nyet. How could Putin be happy if vorld is not suffer?”


“Except for Kodo and Podo. They vill never suffer. Be avarded Order of Lenin. Give them pension, dacha by Black Sea.”

Great. Could you play with your dolphins for a second?

“They vork their blowholes to the bone for Mother Russia.”

Sure. Gimme a sec.



“Whaaaat? Jesus, you’re a pest.”

Putin’s alive.


I just talked to him.


Where’s Elvis?

“At the bar showing people his award.”

Why does he have an award?


Great. Elvis, listen–”


Sure, but–


Oh, fine.


Is that a joke?




Such as?








That was the name of the category?


Okay. Excuse me one second.




Did you rig Trivia Night so Elvis could win?

“Seemed like the nice thing to do.”

Is that one of your gold records?

“I don’t know whose it is. Might be mine. One of the busboys found it in the walk-in.”

That was nice of you, Phil. Elvis loves being presented with shiny things.

“Yeah, sure. Honestly, I just wanted to distract him for a couple minutes. Son of a bitch has gone through nine entrees already. Then he wanted a grilled cheese sandwich.”

I would imagine you could whip that up for him.

“Not his version. A deep-fried wheel of cheese with bagels stapled to it.”


“Can’t eat that way for long. No idea how he’s still alive.”

He’s not, Phil.

“You know what I mean.”

Sort of, but not really.

“Hey, is Putin still outsi–”


“The bocce courts!”

Putin! Goddammit, did you blow up the bocce courts?

“Me? Noooooooo.”

I don’t believe you.

“Vhy not?”

The pistol you’re holding, for one.

“Putin love Second Amendment.”

You don’t have any amendments.

“Putin have all the amendments.

Why won’t you leave Terrapin Crossroads alone, Putin?

“Hitting metaphor on head a little hard.”

You think?



“Putin invade playground next. Then take gazebo. No more storytime with Phil Grateful.”


“Finally. Elvis America vill fight Putin man to man.”


“Putin does not understand ‘fink.'”


“Fight Putin.”





“Is shame readers can nyet have our fight described to them.”


“Da. But makes reader use imagination. Like radio play.”





“Ve are too evenly matched. Perhaps ve should join forces and rule Americ–”




You blowdart him again?





Did you blowdart Putin?


Okay. So, who did?

“You never saw me.”

Yes, sir. Where’d you learn how to use a blowdart?



President’s Day Trivia

  • It is a good bet that no president has shaved his testicles; if anyone was going to, it would have been JFK, but it wasn’t the style back then.
  • Franklin Pierce was terrified of railroads, the French, and the number six-and-a-half.
  • The eight presidents that owned slaves weren’t racist, just economically anxious.
  • As I mentioned in the little song parody, Millard Fillmore once ate an entire badger in one sitting to win a bet with his Secretary of State, Daniel Webster.
  • In a drunken stupor late one night, Richard Nixon issued an Executive Order declaring that the Finger Lakes didn’t exist.
  • Only one president could dunk a basketball, and holy shit are you a racist for thinking it’s Obama. (Obama couldn’t dunk with a ladder; he shoots old-man fadeaway jumpers and throws elbows. It’s Lincoln; he was known as freakishly strong athlete, and he had hands the size of Cadillacs. Lincoln could absolutely dunk a basketball, but the game had not been invented yet.)
  • When Teddy Roosevelt said that the presidency was a “bully pulpit,” he didn’t mean a position with which to force action with; to TR, “bully” meant “”outstanding”
  • This means that if Teddy Roosevelt was a millennial he would have said the presidency was a “lit pulpit.”
  • The “S” in Harry S Truman stands for “Suck My Balls, Hirohito.”
  • Blaming it on the previous administrations was more complicated for Grover Cleveland than for other presidents.
  • Thomas Jefferson owned the first Koran in America.
  • His opponents were all, “Tommy’s a Musselman.”
  • And he was like, “Nuh-uh.”
  • So the opponents went, “Let’s see your birth certificate.”
  • And Jefferson goes, “Birth certificate? It’s the year 1800. Those don’t exist.”
  • The conversation went on in that fashion for quite some time.
  • In addition to being president, Calvin Coolidge founded the company that sells Friskies cat food.
  • Richard Nixon has been haunting the White House since his death in 1994; he and Ghost Lincoln do not get along.
  • Maybe–maybe–five of them have been decent, thoughtful human beings; the rest: monsters, criminals, fools, drunks, and the current thing.
  • If FDR were alive today, he would be 137 and deeply disappointed in us.
  • George Washington didn’t have children because he wished to sever the werewolf bloodline. (George Washington was a werewolf.)
  • Gerald Ford liked to be called “Jerry,” unless you were his dominatrix, in which case he liked to be called “Shit Boy.”

88 Lines About 44 Presidents

Georgie was a general;
He had bad teeth and lots of slaves.
Adams built the White House;
Once, he killed a deejay at a rave.

Jefferson, a brainy sort:
He liked to read and write and drink.
Madison (don’t call him Jim);
Invented scissors and the sink.

Madison, in 1812;
He got his ass kicked in a war.*
Monroe, well he joined the coasts.
And as for slavery, he was “for.”

Quincy was John Adams’ son,
He didn’t really do a lot;
Andrew Jackson did too much;
Forget about the guy he shot.

Van Buren had a funny name,
And he once ate a badger whole.
Harrison, poor Harrison.
He wore no coat and caught a cold.

Johnny Tyler, you did something;
I’m sure there are books on you.
James K. Polk was polkarific;
I don’t really know these two.

Taylor, Zach, who was a mutant;
He had far too many toes.
Millard Fillmore was a duck;
He dressed in fancy human clothes.

Franklin Pierce, you did a shit job;
All the lists have judged you poor.
James Buchanan never married;
Couldn’t stop the Civil War.

Honest Abe was tall and skinny;
Wore a hat and went to plays.
Andy Johnson was a shitbag;
Didn’t mind the olden ways.

U.S. Grant, man, what a soldier;
Not a real good president.
Rutherford, he had a big beard;
Brushed his teeth with Pepsodent.

James A. Garfield loved lasagna;
Hated Mondays and the dog.
Chester Arthur was a singer;
They called him the Velvet Fog.

Grover Cleveland is a rest stop;
Drivers stop to pee and poo.
Then Harrison for just four years;
And Grover Cleveland made it two.

McKinley, he died while in office;
All the details are banal.
Roosevelt couldn’t get the smell out;
So he built a big canal.

William Taft, well he was heavy.
Weighed a quarter-ton they say.
Woodrow Wilson had no earlobes;
Doesn’t to this very day.

Warren Harding from Ohio;
He sold off the Teapot Dome;
Calvin Coolidge didn’t say much;
Never cared for Sly Stallone.

Herbert Hoover had bad timing;
Six months in and then the end.
FDR was in a wheelchair;
Churchill was his special friend.

Dropped the bomb, did Harry S;
That put an end to that right quick.
Eisenhower built our highways;
His VP was a man named Dick.

JFK was young and handsome;
Liked fast women and made men.
LBJ was not as pretty;
So he didn’t run again.

Nixon was a crook and viper;
Crazy as a shithouse rat.
Gerald Ford, he pardoned Nixon
And that was the end of that.

Jimmy Carter was from Georgia;
Had a brother and big hair.
Ronald Reagan, people loved him;
He was not completely there.

Georgie Bush, the first and elder
He gave us a teevee war.
Billy Clinton was a doozy;
Nearly impeached from the floor.

W, the next in line;
He looked as though he’d seen a ghost.
Barry O, the last elected;
You’re the one I’ll miss the most.

*I realize I repeated Madison, but changing it would require rewriting the whole thing; the error remains. In fact: I meant to do it.

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