My Republican Haggadah: An oldie but goodie

Editor’s Note: This “Republican Haggadah” first appeared in the Huffington Post in 2012. However, except for the references to the 2012 Presidential election the humor is timeless. Enjoy!

— by Steve Sheffey

Jewish history is littered with sects, groups of people kind of like Jews who celebrate the same holidays and have many of the same customs, yet are somehow different.

Today’s sect is known as “Jewish Republicans,” few in number but very loud. Like most Jews, they celebrate Pesach, but they’ve got their own Haggadah. The differences between their Haggadah and ours are instructive.

After drinking the first cup of wine, most Jews wash their hands, but the Republicans stay seated and wait for the water to trickle down.

Most Jews then eat a green vegetable, but the Republican Haggadah follows the ruling of Rabbi Reagan that ketchup qualifies as a vegetable. Ketchup is not green, but green is the last thing any Republican would want to be. (Reagan does have this in common with Moses: Neither ever set foot in the land of Israel.)

More after the jump.
Next we break the middle of the three matzot. Most Jews break the middle matzah into two roughly equal pieces, replacing the smaller piece on the Seder plate and hiding the larger piece as the afikoman. The Republican Haggadah asks the leader (or in Republican parlance, the Seder CEO) to keep 99 percent of the matzah for himself and let the other participants share the remaining 1 percent.

The Torah speaks of four sons, but the Republican Haggadah speaks of four candidates: The simple candidate (Santorum), the wicked candidate (Paul), the candidate who does not know how to answer (Romney), and the simple candidate who thinks he’s the wise candidate (Gingrich). They have no wise candidates.

The highlight of the Republican Haggadah is its version of “Dayenu” — “it would have been enough.” The Republican motto when it comes to President Obama is “nothing is enough” — no matter how much President Obama does for Israel, it’s never enough for some of our Republican friends:

President Obama has called for the removal of Syrian President Assad.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama ordered the successful assassination of Osama bin Laden.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama has done more than any other president to stop Iran’s illicit nuclear program.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama restored Israel’s qualitative military edge after years of erosion under the Bush administration.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama increased security assistance to Israel to record levels.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama boycotted Durban II and Durban III.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama has taken U.S.-Israel military and intelligence cooperation to unprecedented levels.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama cast his only veto in the U.N. against the one-sided anti-Israel Security Council resolution.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama opposed the Goldstone Report.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama stood with Israel against the Gaza flotilla
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama organized a successful diplomatic crusade against the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama immediately intervened to rescue Israelis trapped in the Egyptian embassy.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama gave orders to give Israel “whatever it needs” to put out the Carmel fire.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama maintained the U.S. policy of ambiguity on Israel’s nuclear weapons.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama has repeatedly condemned Palestinian incitement against Israel and attempts to delegitimize Israel.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama pulled out of joint exercises with Turkey after Turkey excluded Israel.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

There’s probably nothing President Obama can do to convince some Republicans that he’s pro-Israel. If President Obama split the Sea of Reeds and walked through it dry-shod, they’d accuse him of not being able to swim. They made their mind up before he was elected that he could not be trusted and they ignore everything that contradicts their biases.

The ultimate message of the real Haggadah is hope (sound familiar?). Let’s hope that just as the vast majority of American Jews voted for Barack Obama in 2008, the vast majority of us will remember who we are and what we value and vote to re-elect President Obama in 2012.

Satire: Customer Service

Ring.

Hello, Romneytron 2012 Customer Service. “Believe in America.” How may I help you?

Hi, I just voted for the Romneytron 2012 but I am not sure its empathy circuit is acting right.

What do you mean?

It is saying all sorts of strange things like: “I like to fire people who provide services to me” and “I’m not concerned about the very poor.” It even strapped its dog to the roof of the car for a twelve-hour road trip and shows no sign of remorse.

More after the jump.

It sounds like it is stuck in “Tea Party mode”. Have you tried resetting it?

That’s what I thought. I called earlier when the Romneytron locked up the nomination and your colleague Eric Fehrnstrom said “It’s almost like an Etch-A-Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again.”


Did that help?

Not really. It turns out the Romneytron assaulted a student who he suspected of being gay, forced him to the ground and clipped his hair with a pair of scissors. And now he shows no regret for having committed a hate crime.

I don’t know what you customers want. You said the Romneytron 2001 was too French. You said the Romneytron 2002 was too pro-Choice. You said the Romneytron 2008 wasn’t conservative enough. There is no way to satisfy you people.

What ever happened to “The customer is always right?” I just want a leader who cares about my problems and will take my side.

Click.

I love being able to hang up on people.

The New Republican Hagaddah

Satire originally posted in the Huffington Post

— Steve Sheffey

Jewish history is littered with sects, groups of people kind of like Jews who celebrate the same holidays and have many of the same customs, yet are somehow different.

Today’s sect is known as “Jewish Republicans,” few in number but very loud. Like most Jews, they celebrate Pesach, but they’ve got their own Haggadah. The differences between their Haggadah and ours are instructive.

Kadeish קדש
Urchatz ורחץ
After drinking the first cup of wine, most Jews wash their hands, but the Republicans stay seated and wait for the water to trickle down.

Karpas כרפס
Most Jews then eat a green vegetable, but the Republican Haggadah follows the ruling of Rabbi Reagan that ketchup qualifies as a vegetable. Ketchup is not green, but green is the last thing any Republican would want to be. (Reagan does have this in common with Moses: Neither ever set foot in the land of Israel.)

Yachatz יחץ
Next, we break the middle of the three matzot. Most Jews break the middle matzah into two roughly equal pieces, replacing the smaller piece on the Seder plate and hiding the larger piece as the afikoman. The Republican Haggadah asks the leader (or in Republican parlance, the Seder CEO) to keep 99 percent of the matzah for himself and let the other participants share the remaining 1 percent.

Maggid מגיד
The Torah speaks of four sons, but the Republican Haggadah speaks of four candidates:

  • The simple candidate (Santorum),
  • the wicked candidate (Paul),
  • the candidate who does not know how to answer (Romney), and
  • the simple candidate who thinks he’s the wise candidate (Gingrich).

They have no wise candidates.

The highlight of the Republican Haggadah is its version of “Dayenu” — “it would have been enough.” The Republican motto when it comes to President Obama is “nothing is enough” — no matter how much President Obama does for Israel, it’s never enough for some of our Republican friends:

President Obama has called for the removal of Syrian President Assad.

But that’s not enough.

President Obama ordered the successful assassination of Osama bin Laden.

But that’s not enough.

President Obama has done more than any other president to stop Iran’s illicit nuclear program.

But that’s not enough.

President Obama restored Israel’s qualitative military edge after years of erosion under the Bush administration.

But that’s not enough.

President Obama increased security assistance to Israel to record levels.

But that’s not enough.

President Obama boycotted Durban II and Durban III.

But that’s not enough.

President Obama has taken U.S.-Israel military and intelligence cooperation to unprecedented levels.

But that’s not enough.

President Obama cast his only veto in the U.N. against the one-sided anti-Israel Security Council resolution.

But that’s not enough.

President Obama opposed the Goldstone Report.

But that’s not enough.

President Obama stood with Israel against the Gaza flotilla.

But that’s not enough.

President Obama organized a successful diplomatic crusade against the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state.

But that’s not enough.

President Obama immediately intervened to rescue Israelis trapped in the Egyptian embassy.

But that’s not enough.

President Obama gave orders to give Israel “whatever it needs” to put out the Carmel fire.

But that’s not enough.

President Obama maintained the U.S. policy of ambiguity on Israel’s nuclear weapons.

But that’s not enough.

President Obama has repeatedly condemned Palestinian incitement against Israel and attempts to delegitimize Israel.

But that’s not enough.

President Obama pulled out of joint exercises with Turkey after Turkey excluded Israel.

But that’s not enough.

There’s probably nothing President Obama can do to convince some Republicans that he’s pro-Israel. If President Obama split the Sea of Reeds and walked through it dry-shod, they’d accuse him of not being able to swim. They made their mind up before he was elected that he could not be trusted and they ignore everything that contradicts their biases.

The ultimate message of the real Haggadah is hope (sound familiar?). Let’s hope that just as the vast majority of American Jews voted for Barack Obama in 2008, the vast majority of us will remember who we are and what we value and vote to re-elect President Obama in 2012.

Regional Premiere of Microcrisis at Interact Theatre

Global Financial Crisis

If the bid for the Republican nomination has got you down, if spring time in February makes you wonder about global warming, if robo-calls during dinner time exasperate you, you might want to head to InterAct Theatre’s lively production of Microcrisis, a new satire written by Michael Lew and directed by Seth Rozin.   The play takes you from a Monaco casino to a Washington D.C racquetball court in a fast-paced 80 minute romp that follows characters through a corrupt microcredit investment scheme not unfamiliar to most Americans.    

More after the jump.
Microcrisis imagines a global lending scheme run amok when a hard-partying financial entrepreneur bites off more than he can chew.  Playwright Lew says,

When the financial first hit, I was shocked to see the global economy evaporating, and I wanted to look at the root causes of a quickly-evolving , complex manmade disaster.  While global finance might not seem like rife ground for comedy, the more I researched, the more the bankers’ behavior and government complicity struck me as being absurd.

Rozin’s direction is superb as is the acting and the sets, designed by Caitlin Lainoff. As the corrupt investment banker, Bennett, played by Kevin Bergen, is a character you love to hate.  The actor Frank X plays Acquah, a man in Ghana running a tiny mobile-phone leasing business – as well as Frankfurt, Bennett’s corrupt insider boss, who now has a cushy Washington job.  

Rozin says,

I knew when I first read Microcrisis that I wanted to produce and direct it.  The play was so funny, so smart, so theatrical and so incredibly timely.  We had no idea, however, that several months later the play would be so much timelier in the midst of Occupy Wall Street movement.  Current events have put Microcrisis in a whole new light.

The play premiered in New York City at the Ma-Yi Theater in Fall 2012.  

Following the second and third Tuesday and Wednesday performances of every production, patrons are invited to stay for Coffee Conversations, informal discussion with company artists.  During Microcrisis, Coffee Conversations are scheduled for Tuesday, February 7 and Wednesday, February 8.   A thought provoking play like Microcrisis would seem to welcome a some smart post-performance coffee talk.  

Individual Tickets for Microcrisis are on sale now.  Subscriptions and tickets may be purchased by calling InterAct’s box office at 215-568-8079 or by dropping by the theatre at The Adrienne, 2030 Sansom Street, Philadelphia or by visiting InterAct’s website.

Satirical Videos: Working for Romney & Taglit-Birthright


The one man in America you probably don’t want to work for.
Having said “I like being able to fire people”, Gov. Mitt Romney (played by Justin Long) is cast in the roll of The Office‘s Michael Scott.

This is Taglit
Israeli comedy show Eretz-Nehederet premiered its 7th season (Jan. 23, 2012) with this satire of the Taglit-Birthright Israel trips. Every year tens of thousands of American, European, and South American Jews get free trips to come on a two-week guided tour of Israel. For many this is a chance to see historical sites like Masada, practice whatever Hebrew they learned, and party with Israeli soldiers.

Let’s Privatize the Legislature

— PA State Rep. Daylin Leach (D-17)

Governor Corbett really likes Commissions. In his short tenure he has appointed several to deal with issues such as Transportation, Marcellus Shale, and the role of Government.

Commissions can be very useful, particularly if you, like Governor Corbett, stack them with people who are already committed to recommending what you have already decided to do. For example, the Marcellus Shale Commission was composed largely of administration officials, energy executives and advocates from groups like “People for a More Noxious Tomorrow”.

I adopted a similar strategy recently when I had a dispute with my friend Walter. We were having a fight over which one of us is the bigger Dufus (it is a fight we frequently have). So I appointed a Commission to explore the matter composed of me, my mom, and 3 dudes who owe me money. Oddly, the Commission still found that I was the bigger Dufus (the evidence was compelling).

I am particularly intrigued by his new commission on privatization. The purpose of this commission is to find the “core functions” of government and to privatize everything else. I worry that the Commission will find that there are no core functions of government, particularly since the Chair of the Commission is also the President of the “There Are No Core Functions of Government” Foundation.

But I always try to be a “when-in-Rome” kind of guy. So I have a suggestion for the new Commission on something we can privatize, Let’s privatize the legislature!!!

More after the jump.
I know what some of you are thinking; Isn’t making laws a core function of government? Well that’s the sort of loathsome Socialist monkey-crap I’ve come to expect from your type (howdy mom!). Since the private sector does everything better, wouldn’t it obviously do a better job at making laws? Here’s how it would work:

We could keep the same number of seats we currently have in both the House and the Senate. But instead of electing people to fill those seats, we’d sell them, to the highest bidders. To be fair, the poor would have the same chance as corporate CEOs to bid for these seats.

This would have two huge advantages over the current system. First, we could then use the money raised by selling the seats to plough back into tax-breaks for the corporations that bought the seats in the first place. See, its Win-Win (a big “win” for the corporation. I’m still working on who the other “winner” is). Second, if we know that a particular seat was bought by Conoco Energy, it would save lobbyists time in unnecessary persuasion.

We could also make money selling naming rights. Think of the added cache our legislative chambers would have with the right branding. I think we all agree that the term “House of Representatives” is a bit stuffy. But the tourists would flock to, say “Keebler’s Law-a-Pallooza”. The Senate could be ‘Exxon-Ville” and the decor could be changed slightly from a Roman theme to more of a Fossil-Fuel Extraction motiff.

Think of the money we could raise (and give away to billionaires) if we could name the capitol building itself the “Cialis Center”. We could install adjacent bathtubs in the rotunda with sculptures of Ben Franklin and William Penn sitting in tubs next to each other looking pleased that their state was thriving, and that their genitals were working as intended.

In fact, our tax-pledge friend Grover Nordquist once said he wanted to “shrink government to the size where he could drown it in a bathrub”. He could use one of our Cialis tubs to do that, although he would have to work around a pharmacalogically aroused Ben Franklin.

Look, some people say our government is for sale already as big campaign contributions beget even bigger tax-breaks and subsidies to people who don’t actually need them. Why not just embrace that? What has democracy given us other than a social safety-net, clean air and some really annoying regulations about sending 6 year olds into sulfer mines?

A private legislature, on the other hand, could give us what Pennsylvania really needs. Blue-light specials on school funding, 2-1 deals on tax cuts, Instead of passing resolutions about Diabetes Week or recognizing some soft-ball team, we could pass resolutions honoring “The People who Own Us”. And to think, people claim I don’t do enough to support the private sector.