I found Mort Sahl again today……too many of you have no idea who he is. In the 50s and 60s he did his best to get us to realize what was happening in America. He would get a newspaper in the morning, make some markings, and in the evening he would perform at the Hungry I in San Francisco and in other clubs across America. We saw him as often as we could. He did not do stand up: there were no jokes, per se, but some very ironic and funny situations. He would take you around hills and valleys and to your amazement tie everything in at some point……His “comedy” would be considered liberal and very American. Ironically, the last time I saw him perform in a club was at Jeff Pollack’s Old Waldorf in San Francisco. Jeff owed me a favor and had Sascha and Yuri open for Mort. Mort went nuts, said he never had an opening act, but still did a great show.
Then came Steve Martin and Lily Tomlin and Robin Williams and Kevin Pollock and all the new and flashy comics and Mort kind of disappeared for me. And then today I discovered he has started up on twitter (mortsahlsays). Two tweets from today: Our President hasn’t sold out, he has sold in……..When you die you get to meet your maker, but first you have to meet your banker….. Pick up on him.
I am discouraged about Obama. Ever since I started voting in 1956, I only voted for a Republican once, and that was Eisenhower. Many or most of my contemporaries who are great friends are Republicans, but I just cannot be for the policies which I consider selfish. Even when I was making a lot of money I believed it was important to pay my fair share in taxes to keep our country strong and take care of our own.
Original version of this image by Pop Catalin (stock.xchng.com).
We were very excited when Obama was voted in. His speech was brilliant, he said all the things we wanted to hear, set an agenda which he is trying to get done, but there is something missing. Is he so professorial and such a lawyer that he thinks giving in and compromising is the only way to achieve his goals? To bring two combatants on the opposite side of a racial dispute to the White House and solve it by having beers in the garden?
The Republicans are united and if they lag behind, the Tea Party is right there to whip their ass. Every where in the country they are trying to take bargaining rights away from the unions, women’s rights from women, cut pensions and health care for people making $50,000 a year who teach our children, fight fires, police the streets and more.
I have lived through about 14 Presidents so far. And boy you knew the ones that used the Bully Pulpit of the Presidency. Would Harry Truman sit in the Oval Office if had promised to march with the workers? FDR knew how to squeeze his opponents in submission. And LBJ, he would just pick up the phone and scare the bejesus out of anyone who was against what he was doing or summon them to his office.
So many of my friends have lost jobs, or are just at that level where it could turn tragic. The economy has definitely turned positive, the private sector has more jobs, and if Obama and the Democrats allow the Republicans to make cuts which will only benefit the rich, then the country continues to suffer and the confidence to go out and buy which drives our economy does not appear.
There are so many lies: Obama socialized GM; goddamnit he saved it and a lot of jobs for Americans. The Democrats control the Senate and the Presidency and are running scared. Can’t Obama stop being so cool and show us some real passion and anger and go after the bastards. That’s why we voted for him after what Bush and his gang did to the country. The Financial institutions stole our money, created much of the pension funds depletion, so the Republican Governors take it out on the middle class….no tax hikes for the rich. And if Obama and the Dems would push for the restitution of the 2% raise in taxes for the rich, that would be equivalent to the rate they paid when Reagan was president.
Why are the Democrats such pussies? Someone fight to save our country. And prosecute Karl Rove, the heads of Goldman Sachs and the other companies which stole from everyone and are doing better than ever, and prohibit BP from drilling in our waters….they are the ones that pressured the Brits to release the man who murdered the 183 on the plane from Lockerbie. Stop letting everyone get away with these horrible crimes.