Friday, October 31, 2008

Barack Houdini Obama

It was Halloween 1926 … 82 years ago this very day that the world’s most famous magician, Harry Houdini, died right here in Detroit, Michigan. Some say Houdini’s ghost appears annually, on the site of the old Grace Hospital, within the Detroit Medical Center complex in downtown Detroit. Maybe this year he'll pay former Detroit Mayor Kwame "Now Ya See It, Now Ya Don't" Kilpatrick a visit, in his nearby cell, at the Wayne County Jail.

It was Friday, October 22, 1926, when Houdini was boasting about his great muscle strength, that he asked a few people to feel his muscles, which they did. Among the few was a young college student. He asked if it was true that punches in the stomach did not, and could not, hurt him. Jack Price, one of the few present, recalled: “Thereupon he gave Houdini some very hammer-like blows below the belt, first securing Houdini’s permission to strike him. Yet before Houdini, who was in a reclining position at the time, had the opportunity to prepare himself and his muscles for the blows, the student would strike him suddenly and with tremendous force.

Houdini was able to conceal his internal injuries and suffering until the next day. When they reached Detroit, where he was scheduled to perform, his wife Bess summoned a doctor immediately. As Houdini dressed for his performance, the doctor diagnosed him with acute appendicitis and said that an ambulance should be called at once. But Houdini decided to suffer through two of his three acts on stage.

Finally he said, “Drop the curtain, Collins, I can’t go any further.” He still refused to be taken to a hospital. It was sometime after 3 in the morning of the next day, doctors were able to convince him that his condition was critical and that he needed to have his appendix removed. After the surgery, the doctor said that Houdini might live 24 hours at the most. He somehow managed to survive another four days, when on Sunday, October 31, 1926, Houdini died in his wife’s arms at 1:26 p.m. It was Halloween, in room 401 at Grace Hospital, Detroit, where Harry Houdini performed his final disappearing act.

But has he suddenly reappeared these 82 years later in the form of Barack Obama? Three weeks ago, at Real Clear, Kimberley Strassel put it all so fabulously in perspective ...

October 10, 2008
Obama's Magic

By Kimberley Strassel
And now, America, we introduce the Great Obama! The world's most gifted political magician! A thing of wonder. A thing of awe. Just watch him defy politics, economics, even gravity!
(And hold your applause until the end, please).

To kick off our show tonight, Mr. Obama will give 95% of American working families a tax cut, even though 40% of Americans today don't pay income taxes! How can our star enact such mathemagic? How can he "cut" zero? Abracadabra! It's called a "refundable tax credit." It involves the federal government taking money from those who do pay taxes, and writing checks to those who don't. Yes, yes, in the real world this is known as "welfare," but please try not to ruin the show.

For his next trick, the Great Obama will jumpstart the economy, and he'll do it by raising taxes on the very businesses that are today adrift in a financial tsunami! That will include all those among the top 1% of taxpayers who are in fact small-business owners, and the nation's biggest employers who currently pay some of the highest corporate tax rates in the developed world. Mr. Obama will, with a flick of his fingers, show them how to create more jobs with less money. It's simple, really ... he has a magic wand.

Next up, Mr. Obama will re-regulate the economy, with no ill effects whatsoever! You may have heard that for the past 40 years most politicians believed deregulation was good for the U.S. economy. You might have even heard that much of today's financial mess tracks to loose money policy, or Fannie and Freddie excesses. Our magician will show the fault was instead with our failure to clamp down on innovation and risk-taking. He will fix this with new all-encompassing rules. Presto!

Did someone in the audience just shout "Sarbanes Oxley?" Usher, can you remove that man? Thank you. Mr. Obama will now demonstrate how he gives Americans the "choice" of a "voluntary" government health plan, designed in such a way as to crowd out the private market and eliminate all other choice! Don't worry people: You won't have to join, until you do. Mr. Obama will follow this with a demonstration of how his plan will differ from our failing Medicare program.

Oops, sorry, folks. The Great Obama just reminded me it is time for an intermission. Maybe we'll get to that marvel later.

We're back now. And just watch the Great Obama perform a feat never yet managed in all history. He will create that enormous new government health program, spend billions to transform our energy economy, provide financial assistance to former Soviet satellites, invest in infrastructure, increase education spending, provide job training assistance, and give 95% of Americans a tax (ahem) cut -- all without raising the deficit a single penny! And he'll do it in the middle of a financial crisis. And with falling tax revenues! Voila!

Moving along to a little ventriloquism. Study his mouth carefully, folks: It looks like he's saying "I'll stop the special interests," when in fact the words coming out are "Welcome to Washington, friends!" Wind and solar companies, ethanol makers, tort lawyers, unions, community organizers -- all are welcome to feed at the public trough and to request special favors. From now on "special interests" will only refer to universally despised, if utterly crucial, economic players. Say, oil companies ... Hocus Pocus!

And for tonight's finale, the Great Obama will uphold America's "moral" obligation to "stop genocide" by abandoning Iraq! While teleported to the region, he will simultaneously convince Iranian leaders to peacefully abandon their nuclear pursuits (even as he does not sit down with them), fix Afghanistan with a strategy that does not resemble the Iraqi surge, and ... (Drumroll) ... pull Osama bin Laden out of his hat!


You can clap now. (Applause. Cheers.) We'd like to thank a few people in the audience. Namely, Republican presidential nominee John McCain, who has so admirably restrained himself from running up on stage to debunk any of these illusions and spoil everyone's fun. We know he's in a bit of a box, having initially blamed today's financial crisis on corporate "greed," and thus made it that much harder to call for a corporate tax cut, or warn against excessive regulation. Still, there were some pretty big openings up here this evening, and he let them alone! We'd also like to thank Mr. McCain for keeping all the focus on himself this past week. It's helped the Great Obama to just get on with the show.

As for that show, we'd love to invite you all back for next week's performance, when the Great Obama will thrill with new, amazing exploits. He will respect your Second Amendment rights even as he regulates firearms! He will renegotiate Nafta, even as he supports free trade!

Wow … how does he do that?!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Prelude to Devil's Night ...

Tonight, October 30th, has often been referred to as ‘Devil’s Night’ … a long-standing tradition predating World War II, with anecdotal incidents occurring as early as the 1930s.

As kids growing up in the sixties, Devil’s Night meant nothing more to us than, a harmless evening with a few of your pals, ringing doorbells and decorating a couple houses with rolls of Charmin Toilet Paper (chosen more often because of it’s ease of flight and smoother distribution of an ornamental like display).

Somehow, throughout the eighties and well into the nineties, these innocent shenanigans of the sixties, and early seventies, turned into a nationally publicized nightmare for the City of Detroit. Devil’s Night and Detroit would become eternally linked with widespread arson and destruction. That is until both city officials and its citizens decided enough was enough.

Out of the ashes of Devil’s Night was born a concerted effort, on behalf of the Detroit Police Department, as well as, citizens to patrol the streets and tidy up their once proud city’s tarnished image. This incredible group effort would forever ascribe October 30th in Detroit as ‘Angel’s Night’.

Not to change the subject … however to highlight my thoughts on this Devil's Night … I’ve said all of that as a prelude to the following:

Last night, while awaiting the resumption of the 2008 World Series, I listened to Barack Obama deliver what was referred to by some as nothing more than an ‘Infomercial’ (or as I like to call it … an Obamamerical). And as he spoke I suddenly recalled a provocative fictional anecdote from my selling days in Corporate America … which went something like this:

One day Joe the Human dies and finds himself, outside the Pearly Gates, in a side room that looks much like an exhibitor hall at some convention or conference. There are two separate display booths set up, each with it’s own computer, video screen, sound system, and of course the freebies (always loved the hundreds of pens, key chains and mouse pads that carry some technology company’s mission statement that clutter up my basement). Joe the Human had lived a very respectable life, but unfortunately he had made some bad choices along the way. It was explained to him that he was going to be given the unique opportunity, to choose for himself, whether he would spend eternity in heaven or hell.

At the first booth, Joe is enthusiastically met by St. Peter and led over to the computer, where he is given his own Holy Card. St. Peter then explains that he would be providing him with a five minute video overview of what life, after death, would be like for him in heaven. The video opened with the most beautiful classical music, he’d ever heard, played on harps and strings. Just watching the clouds float by on the screen made Joe feel as if he had was actually achieved flight. He immediately felt inner harmony. There was a room, amongst the clouds, where everyone was either sitting quietly reading or resting peacefully. The tranquil video ended with the tag line “Welcome Home Joe.”

As he walked up to the second booth, Satan met him half way, threw his arm around Joe, and handed him a beer mug that read: “Having One Hell of a Time!” As the video began, Joe felt the incredible sensation of tropical breezes and an inner glow of excitement. He watched as ocean waves crashed into the most beautiful sandy pristine beach he’d ever seen. Everyone was sipping on margaritas, playing volley ball or surfing. The next scene highlighted an evening of drinking and gambling. Everyone was enjoying themselves beyond their wildest dreams. This stimulating video ended with the tag line “Party on Joe!”

Based on Satan’s words, along with the extraordinary video, Joe chose Hell. After the official paperwork was filed, Joe was led down a path to a gold plated door with a sign which read: “Welcome to Hell!” Once inside, Joe was strapped to a very hot wall ... which began to heat up even more quickly by the minute. His clothes were then ripped from his body as he was brutally whipped to the sounds of, what could only be described as a cross between Arabic Music and Gangster Rap. With the flames rising, just as Satan was heading out the door, a stunned and staggered Joe cried out: “This is not what you had sold me!"

Satan looked back, with that devilish look in his eye, and simply stated: "Oh, I'm sorry ... that was just our demo!"

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

No Qualms For Kwame

Jail Today - Congress Tomorrow

There's not much humor in Motown these days ...

Dressed in a dark suit (no stripes at this point) and a liberal blue tie, former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick entered the courtroom yesterday afternoon, as confident as ever. The 38-year-old Kilpatrick grinned, almost defiantly, as he embraced friends and family members, including his father Bernard, his sister Ayanna, and his aunt Marsha Cheeks, a state representative from Detroit. He sat between his wife Carlita and his preacher, Drew Sheard, as the proceedings that would send him away to jail for 120 days began.

Wayne County Circuit Court Judge David Groner did not hold back in expressing feelings shared by the majority of the hard working citizens of this troubled city. "You were sometimes arrogant and often accusatory," said Groner referring to Kilpatrick's original denials he did anything wrong when he encouraged the city to accept a costly wrongful dismissal payout. "The legal settlement ultimately cost the people of Detroit $8.4 million ... all in an attempt to protect your political career. You exhibited hubris and privilege at the expense of the city."

Kilpatrick will spend four months in jail as part of a plea deal he accepted back in September in which he plead guilty to two felonies and no contest to a felony assault charge. Kilpatrick denied under oath having an affair with his then chief of staff Christine Beatty, though text messages on city-owned pagers ... some of which have since been publicly released ... indicate they were romantically involved. The wrongful dismissal suit was brought by three city police officers who were looking into the affair.

As much as Detroiters are relieved to be rid of their lubricious, dissembling mayor, Barack Obama has to be even more relieved, as traces and links to radicalism and corruption continue to follow him out of the past.

In 2008, with the economy in recession ... in free fall for Governor Granholm's Michigan ... this bluish-purple state, which hasn't gone for a Republican presidential candidate since 1988, should be Obama's for the taking. With Kilpatrick's misbehavior dominating the local news on every TV station in a metro area that holds nearly half Michigan's population, he's barely leading: A recent Detroit News poll has him beating McCain 46-43.

Ever since the 1967 riot sent hundreds of thousands of whites in a great migration across 8 Mile Road ... the city limit, and the symbolic border between black and white Detroit ... the city and its suburbs have coexisted as uncomfortably as Soweto and Johannesburg.

It was pollster Stanley Greenberg who discovered Detroit's white exiles resettled, but still seething, in Macomb County, and gave them the Linnaean name "Reagan Democrats." The original Reagan Democrat, circa 1980, was a blue-collar voter who abandoned his native party over antiwar protests, busing, affirmative action and welfare queens. Some Reagan Democrats were from an Appalachian background, their forebears having moved north for auto factory jobs. Many were ethnics, white Catholics whose ancestors had come to America long after slavery was abolished. Neither strain had much patience with white guilt, many were stung by Michigan's industrial implosion, as those factory jobs disappeared, and all were outraged by a court decision ordering cross-district busing to integrate their children's schools. (It was overturned by the Supreme Court.) They were also horrified at Detroit's transformation into the original New Jack City. Thanks to drug outfits like the Chambers Brothers and Young Boys Inc., the city had the highest murder rate in the nation.

During Greenberg's first trip to Macomb County, at the height of the Reagan years, he found that whites "expressed a profound distaste for black America, a sentiment that pervaded almost everything they thought about government and politics. Blacks constituted the explanation for their vulnerability and for almost everything that had gone wrong in their lives." And now, for the last eight months, the local news emanating every day from this black city to its white suburbs has featured the legal, sexual and administrative misadventures of a black mayor who doesn't just play the race card, he is the race card.

Kilpatrick is an odious politician, but he's only a symptom of Detroit's problems ... a monster created by the racial estrangement between urban blacks and suburban whites. Kilpatrick kept himself in office by exploiting Detroit's tensions, cleverly maneuvering on a political landscape that was in place before he was born. After the scandal broke, Kilpatrick used his final State of the City address to drop the N-bomb. "In the past thirty days, I've been called a n****r more than any time in my entire life," he claimed. It didn't work. The City Council asked him to resign.

Kilpatrick refused to go, so the council asked Gov. Jennifer Granholm to step in. As governor, Granholm has the power to remove shady officials from their posts. As a white Democrat, Granholm was reluctant to yank the black mayor of a city whose voters provide her party's margin of victory. But she was even more reluctant to allow Kilpatrick's shenanigans to inflict more bruises on downtrodden Detroit ... and possibly scuttle Obama's campaign in Michigan.

But even as Kilpatrick wakes up this morning, in a cell that was once occupied by Doctor Death himself, the rumor is that in a few years after he is released from prison, Kilpatrick will find new life and run for his mother, Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick's Congressional seat. It appears that the Nation of Islam is preparing to back one of its future stars in Congress, who will probably follow in his mother's corrupt footsteps of being one of the most anti-Israel, anti-American, and anti-Semitic Members of Congress. This rumor stems from the prominent courtside appearance by Rasul Muhammad, the son of Nation of Islam founder Elijah Muhammad and a devout Muslim.

Never mind the past, former associates and ties to radicalism ... in the words of Barack Obama, all Kilpatrick need do is focus on "change."

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Official Launching of the "Rouge Revival"

28 October 08: Today, I launch the Rouge Revival Blog in an attempt to share my insight, wit and wisdom, as a hard working, fun loving, family oriented, contemporary music inspired lyricist and composer, humorist, satirist, conservative and proud American!

I'd like to ... first and foremost ... thank my wife Andrea for her unconditional love, understanding, and acceptance toward my love of music, politics, and the need to sing and play my instruments, play hockey, research, write, parody and lampoon for hours on end. I love you Andy!!!

I'd like to also thank my children for providing me with so much joy and laughter (yes, yes, some frustration as well, but I love em) over the years. I'd especially like to recognize my son Luke, a veteran of the United States Air Force, who nearly lost his life while serving our country.

In addition I would like to thank all of those, in my lifetime, that have called me friend. I've met so many incredible people. I'd also like to thank of all those bloggers that have been such a huge support in my daily research. I would especially like to acknowledge my good friend Tina Hemond (please check out her blog "Ordinary - Degrees of Moderation and Sanity - Massachusetts Conservative Feminist" at: for inspiring me to actually get involved and do this blog.

My inspirations are many, but especially include the following:

All of the Framers (our Founding Fathers) of the United States of America, All of the Brave Men and Women that have served this country proudly, Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, Newt Gingrich, Rudyard Kipling, John Lennon (and the Beatles), Bob Dylan, Tom Lehrer, Randy Newman, Weird Al" Yankovic, Steve Allen, George Burns, Red Skelton, Mel Brooks, most of the cast members from the first 20 years of Saturday Night Live, Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Seth MacFarlane, plus many many others.

And finally, to the most important influence of my life ... my father ... Herbert H. Lewis. Although he's been gone for 23 years, he lives on in my heart and through my children. His hard working example, strict guidance, unconditional love, undying patriotism and never to have said a bad word about anyone, lives with me to this very day. Well, that is, all of those except for that last one. But I'm never really mean dad!

I trust that one and all will take my blog, parodies, and what nots with a grain of salt. I still believe that most people have an excellent sense of humor ... and those that don't reside mainly on the left anyway. I will never intend, purposely, to hurt anyone's feelings or to write anything that I'll regret later.

My intent is to share a point of view ... food for thought if you will ... and perhaps, maybe to even get a chuckle or two out of you in the process.

One of our country's greatest, Abraham Lincoln, unbeknownst to many, made excellent use of his humorous stories. His long time political opponent Stephen A. Douglas complained often that Lincoln's jokes were "like a slap across my back. Nothing else ... not any of his arguments or any of his replies to my questions disturbs me like that, and suddenly I am to be overmatched."

One cannot truly appreciate Lincoln without understanding his humorous side. Lincoln certainly deserves the credit he's received for what he accomplished in the way of preservation of the Union and freeing the slaves. But Lincoln had a lighter side and he used his jokes and stories both for the purpose of winning over his audience and releaving the tremendous pressure he experienced as President during the terrible Civil War.

And with that, I leave you the following, in hopes that you will return often and comment back every once in awhile.

Top Ten Obama Excuses on November 5th:
#10. "Must have used too much lipstick"
# 9. "No teleprompters in the voting booth"
# 8. "Guess it came down to Right vs. Wright"
# 7. "Should have told Joe to share the plunger"
# 6. "In hindsight, concentrating on winning the junior high vote probably not such a good idea"
# 5. "After campaigning in 50 states, I ran out of time to make it to them other seven"
#4. "Like a bad fielding shortstop, I just made too many Ayers"
#3. "Why didn't they tell me that nobody reads newspapers anymore! … Wait a minute, you're telling me they're all watching Fox? F#%&ing Hannity!!!"
#2. "Apparently them liberal chickens forgot to vote when they came home to roost"

And the #1 Obama Scapegoat Excuse on Nov. 5th:
"Voters got tired of me and wanted a change!"