Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Fight for Your Right

Speaker Boehner
is a firm believer

in Louisiana Republican Representative Steve Scalise's
ability to quell

the racially-charged controversy
he has found himself in

after revealing that
in 2002
he gave a speech

to the European-American Unity
and Rights Organization

headed by prominent
former-KKK member David Duke.

Scalise has defended himself
by saying

“One of the many groups

that I spoke to
regarding this critical legislation

was a group whose views
I wholeheartedly condemn."

Black Democrat Representative
Cedric L. Richmond of Louisiana

has also given him
the benefit of the doubt
by saying

“He’s got a chance
to write his own history
going forward now”

though the Louisiana Democrats
requested that he apologize.

As for Obama

he surely deserves
some of the blame

that Scalise did not
come forward sooner

as he has time and time again
set an example

by working with people
whose views he wholeheartedly condemns.

This poem © 2014 Emily Cooper.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Enduring the Operation

The war in Afghanistan

(or at least 'Murica's
participation in it)

is now officially over.

The event was marked with
a quiet flag-lowering ceremony
in Kabul.

The country's own security forces
will be left in charge

with 13,500 US troops
hanging on
for peacekeeping purposes.

Afghanis themselves
have mixed feelings

with 42-year-old shopkeeper
Gul Mohammad saying

"At least
in the past 13 years

we have seen improvements
in our way of life"

citing "freedom of speech

and "the people generally
better off financially" as examples.

Not to make light of
the violence and upheaval
the country has experienced

at our hands

and otherwise

(or the "improvements" that may still
to first-worlders

look plenty dire)

but those three things
would be pretty nice to have
in our country too.

This poem © 2014 Emily Cooper.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

X-Mas War is Over

Hey Fox News

don't you think
it shows a less-than-total dedication

to preserving
the primacy of Christmas

over other religions
and especially over godlessness

if you only advocate for it
once a year?

"And remember

it's 'Merry Christmas'
not 'Happy Holidays'"

needs to become
a perpetually-scrolling
yellow-on-red-and-green marquee

even during the commercials

and a sign-on and sign-off
for all your anchors.

Lest your viewers forget.

(And maybe every so often
mention the color
of Santa too.

Couldn't hurt.)

This poem © 2014 Emily Cooper.

Monday, December 22, 2014

"On High" with a Little Help

With no offense intended
towards the Pontiff

he probably doesn't sing
like Joe Cocker did

but when he diagnoses the Church

with the "disease of feeling immortal"
and a "pathology of power"

that leads to the delusion
of feeling that "they are superior

to others
and not here 
for the service to others"

he certainly knows how to say
that we only get by

with a little help
from our friends.

This poem © 2014 Emily Cooper.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Pressing Issues

Yesterday President Obama
during his last press conference
of the year

made history
by fielding questions
from eight women reporters

and none from men.

GOP people might be tempted
to call this out

as a mere tokenist stunt.

But sometimes

in the case
of one's own party's track record

maybe it's wiser instead

to avoid that temptation.

(Or the temptation
to notice

that the North Korean
hacking group who intimidated Sony

not to release The Interview
on Christmas Day

is called Guardians of Peace

and has the initials GOP.)

This poem © 2014 Emily Cooper.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Mambo Number 2014

After 55 long years
of Cubans being subjected

to America's golden age
in vehicle craftsmanship

(lovingly and proudly
sacrificing safety
for awesomeness)

Obama has finally declared
that the two countries
will resume diplomatic relations.

And apparently Pope Francis
had something to do with it

when he was part of 18 months
of mostly Canadian-led
secret talks

and then hosted a meeting
at the Vatican

with President Obama
and President Raul Castro

where they agreed
in a phone call
to put aside their differences

(after all
communism and capitalism
are just like
the two pieces of bread
lovingly smushed together

to encompass an overflowing Cuban sandwich
with ham
roasted pork

Swiss cheese
pickles and mustard).

So a pretty nice
78th birthday present
for the Pope

(along with establishing
a bright and shiny
new child abuse panel)

and as for the President

well at least
Congress isn't in session

(on second thought
that is a pretty big deal).

This poem © 2014 Emily Cooper.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Pre-Existing Conniptions

Hey all you stragglers
tomorrow's your last day
to apply for Obamacare

unless your income's too low

and your state
chose to opt out of
the federal government's free Medicaid expansion

in which case
you may be able
to rent a paddle

for the proverbial creek

but only during the hours
you'd rather be sleeping
before going to work

and only
with seven voter IDs

and a local Republican congressperson eyewitness
who can vouch
for your non-moochiness

(who tend to like
to sleep late).

And you might
want to do that

before Republican governors
decide these rules
are too nice.

This poem © 2014 Emily Cooper.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Common Fight Against Terror

Happy 71st birthday
Secretary of State John Kerry.

Your position
is a thankless one
but at least

unlike previous Secretary
Condoleezza Rice

you don't have to wrestle
with your conscience

over how much of a role you played
in authorizing

interrogation tactics.

Then again

maybe she doesn't either.

This poem © 2014 Emily Cooper.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Bump Danced 'round the World

Now that Obama
has finally

late in his career

gotten the Colbert Bump
he so desperately needed

in order to get Republicans
to do anything he says
from now on

all that's left to do
is for Colbert
to make the aforementioned Bump

into the first dance move
invented by a fake right-wing

cable TV pundit.

What the world needs now
is dance

sweet dance.

(Or something like that.)

This poem © 2014 Emily Cooper.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Born Under a Bad Sign

Thamsanqa Jantjie
the fake sign language interpreter

who premiered his performance art
to a less-than-appreciative crowd
at Nelson Mandela's memorial service

is now looking
for acting work
but is having trouble finding gigs

due to the negative publicity
surrounding the incident.

Jantjie has put out a showreel
in which he pledges

to "make up to the whole world"
for his shenanigans.

If movie or TV studios
will not grant this man a position

in which making stuff up
is part of the job

who will?

Certainly no one
in American politics.

(They're still too upset
that they got lied to.)

This poem © 2014 Emily Cooper.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Skating Through Hell

Even though
North Carolina Republican Thom Tillis

has won re-election
to the US Senate

with 48.8 percent of the vote
over Kay Hagan's 47.2

(a sliver of a victory
thanks not to better policy

but to changes in voting rules

such as elimination
of same-day registration)

the Reverend
William J. Barber II

is not going down
without an ice-skating competition

for issues such as
Medicaid expansion

(and civil rights expansion
and labor rights expansion
and environmental policy expansion
and women's health care expansion

you know
little things like that).

He says
"We will fight
until hell freezes over

and then
we will fight on the ice." 

McCrory rolls his eyes
into the back of a head

which charitably contains a brain.

But whether the ice can survive
a mass of 25,000 people

for another Moral Monday
on February 14th of 2015

remains to be seen.

This poem © 2014 Emily Cooper.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Everybody Is a Star

After the holiday
of gratitude and giving thanks
for one's blessings

comes the joyous season
of You're-Not-Welcome-Take-Backs

(which may or may not
be a separate and distinct holiday

from that of hurling invective
at beloved
but politically-inflexible relatives)

where civil liberties
that went un-exercised
throughout the year

can be flaunted
as though
they were going out of style.

Because one never knows.

(And yes
it's okay to do

even if all the hipsters
are doing it too.)

This poem © 2014 Emily Cooper.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Mirages of Peace

Undoubtedly there are always people
who see Jesus' face
in the mashed potatoes

but soon Pope Francis
will be seen in Turkey

where he has been invited
by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople
Bartholomew I

to celebrate the feast of St. Andrew.

While there
the Pope will be tackling

(with his bare hands
and in full holy battle regalia)

the issue
of strained Christian-Muslim relations

as the 99 percent Islamic country
awaits an acknowledgement
of their persecution

along with Iraqi and Syrian Christians
who have fled ISIS
in their home countries

and are living as refugees.

As if dialogue 
could do anything
that a well-placed drone couldn't

he commented
on his perseverance.

“I never count anything
as lost. Never. 

Never close the door."

This poem © 2014 Emily Cooper.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Give Them Nothing To Talk About

GQ Magazine
has ranked
the outgoing Texas Governor Rick Perry

number 13
on their "30 Least Influential
People of 2014".

Though the author
told readers
of the unweighted list

"you'll probably assume
we ranked them anyway"

Obama nonetheless came in
at number 2

after "Bono and U2"
and their
"$100 million marketing campaign"
with Apple

to forcefully put their 
initially non-removable new album
of "socially-conscious dad rock"

Songs of Innocence

on every iOS 8-updated phone

including the new iPhone 6
and iPhone 6 Plus.

Maybe that non-noteworthy
"clickbait-y" article
in the entertainment section

of a men's lifestyle magazine
has a point.

Obama could probably
be even more less-influential

if he passed more-than-fewer-the-number
of executive orders
that any president has passed
in over 100 years.

Would the rate
of Republicans in Congress
complaining that Obama is simultaneously

taking not enough action
and taking too much
remain the same?

More or less.

This poem © 2014 Emily Cooper.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

A Doom of One's Own

A five-part series
in the medical journal
The Lancet

has come to the conclusion
that violence against women

is a "global public health
and clinical problem

of epidemic proportions."

The study found
that the key driver of violence

(kind of ironically
as women can't drive)

in low-
or-middle-income countries

is gender inequality

and that
although spreading awareness

was one important first step

nations must also
make it a priority
to allocate resources for victims

change discriminatory structures
and policies

promote support for survivors

strengthen health and education sectors
that both respond to
and prevent violence

and invest in more research

for finding solutions
to gender inequality.

But next to each of these proposals
was an asterisk
pointing to a footnote

which read
"As an alternative solution
for nations that cannot
implement these steps

this publication recommends

asking women

'Why did you let yourselves
get so oppressed
in the first place?'"

This poem © 2014 Emily Cooper.