Whenever I drive to the City, about once a week; twice if I must, I tune the car radio to WABC "Talk Radio" 770. Now, mind you, this is no advertisement for that station. The programming tends to feature individuals who discuss politics; some from the right, some from the far right, some from the outer limits of the right, and some from right out of space.

For a long time I was so unintelligenced and naive I thought that Rush Limbaugh was the strangest, most blathering blowhard on right-wing radio. Made me ashamed to call myself a "fiscal conservative with a social conscience." Yes, Virginia, there are such things as liberal Republicans. Abraham Lincoln was one. Sadly, too few of his party these days have spent any time at all reflecting on Lincoln's ideals for the party.

He's a Nutjob But You Gotta Love Him

Then I listened to Mark Levin. Levin is a former Beltway insider and speech writer who now is a spokesperson for the most righteous of the political right. I will give him credit, though, for having a sensitive side. He's written many books which delve into politics far deeper than my level of comprehension of the subject. His latest book, however, is about a dog. His dog, Sprite, fell ill and had to be put to sleep. He'd found Sprite in a pound, brought the sickly animal home and had a few fine years with the dog before illness and age took its toll. I've read the book and was moved to tears by it. The book is called "Rescuing Sprite" and is an amazing read. It's available all over the place. But be forewarned, stop at Wal-Mart and buy a jumbo-sized box of Kleenex to accompany the book.

Well, back to the political side of Mr. Levin. I had a ball listening today to his (literal) screaming and howling about the debate featuring the nation's Republican candidates for President, held in Iowa.

After watching the tape I must say that this was almost as fun as hearing Ronald Reagan say to Jimmy Carter, "there you go again."  Now, if you're wondering whether or not this "tape" thing is a Republican tradition, no, it's not. It's just that I don't have TiVo; the debate was lovingly recorded for me by a friend of mine who's so far to the right he makes Dick Cheney look like a Socialist.

Where's Lorne Michaels When You Need Him?

The writers at Saturday Night Live (when not on strike) could not have, in their wildest dreams, come up with a better straight-man (no, let's be politically correct, "straight-person") than Ms. Carolyn Washburn, the moderator of this afternoon's antics. Ms. Washburn is the editor of the Des Moines Register. Her questions, her achingly boring monotonous voice, even her mode of dress, all contributed to her being a caricature of a humorless left-winger making an attempt to sound impartial. The fun starts when she's suddenly dropped into the deep side of the Republican swimming pool and she discovers she can't swim.

Radio right-winger Levin had a field day with one of the single most embarrassing moments in the history of a Presidential campaign since the notorious photograph of Michael Dukakis hanging out of a tank, wearing full army garb, was published. Ms. Washburn actually asked the distinguished panel of former state- and Federal-level leaders for a "show of hands." In what seemed like a statement written by the Fearmonger-General of Global Warming himself, Ms. Washburn announced she was going to change the topic. "I want to take on a new issue, do you believe that global climate change is a serious threat and is caused by human activity? I want a show of hands." Her tone of voice was that of a grade-school teacher asking her students whether or not they'd like to go outside for recess or go to the gym instead.

"I'm not doing hand shows today. You wanna give me a minute to answer that?" said former Senator Fred Thompson from Tennessee. His acting-coach-trained good-ole-boy drawl couldn't have made for a more perfect delivery.

Ms. Washburn immediately responded, in a tone now not unlike a school principal admonishing an errant student, "so you're not gonna give me a show of hands," and while she tried to explain that she wanted a yes or no answer Senator Thompson talked over her, insisting, "Then I'm not gonna answer it." The crowd erupted in laughter and then applause. I am certain that, if Senator Thompson was not indeed channeling the spirit of Ronald Reagan, at least the Gipper was looking down on the festivities and grinning broadly. Governor Mitt "Mormon Mitt" Romney added to the hilarity by asking if Ms. Washburn would give him not a minute, but a mere thirty seconds.

Poor Rudy Giuliani, my candidate of choice, frankly made a poor showing today. His delivery was too crisp, too businesslike. In contrast to actor and Reagan-mentee Thompson, Giuliani looked really stiff and at times insecure.

Now, I recently poked a little fun at Mr. Giuliani in a writeup that also poked a whole lot of fun at Mrs. Clinton. While I was at it I also took a stab at Condoleezza Rice and Maya Angelou. A noder whom I hold in the highest esteem took me to task, explaining that I smeared Hillary more than I smeared Rudy. I answered back that downvoting my writeup because it criticized Hillary was no more wrong than if I were to downvote a writeup that said noder had recently written which was critical of Republican candidates.

To put it bluntly, (that's what I like about this fine guy), he explained that it was a low blow to resort to R-rated humor (in this case, I mentioned Mrs. Clinton's vagina not once, but I do believe several times, and indicated that were it not for a certain set of hypothetical circumstances, it would emit a foul odor.)

Well, today's writeup will contain no references to anybody's vagina. Although I must admit that I had an idea for a cartoon involving certain members of the debate panel masturbating furiously to official photographs of Ronald Reagan.

It's so Hard to Stay Away From Drugs When You're an Impressionable Teen

In other news, someone should smack Barack Obama upside his head. Although it is sage wisdom in many cases, when it comes to politics, the phrase "The truth will set you free" doesn't apply. I admire his candor regarding drug experimentation, but in the name of all that's Holy, Mr. Obama, don't forget you're a young, liberal black man running for the very highest office in a country controlled by old, conservative guys, most of whom are not black.

Barack, you should have written in your book that you didn't inhale.

Man, I love school holidays.

Mind you, my holidays this year are going to be a little shorter than usual, even though I got two weeks longer than the little suckers in the lower year levels.

Three weeks of my time, starting from (coincidentally) my birthday are going to be devoted to doing the touristy type things in L.A, San Diego, San Fransisco and other American cities.

That's right. Icefire is coming to the U.S of A.

I'm freaking out about it though. It'll be the single longest trip away from friends, family and home I'll ever have been on. I've managed a week before, and by the time that was over I was low on clean clothes and counting down the seconds until I got picked up.

So multiply that by three and I'm pretty screwed.

Luckily though, a few of my friends are coming on the trip with me, so I'll have someone to get sick of while I'm there.

Maybe while I'm gone, the whole of my year level will forget the debating incident.

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