Joker 08


Everyone has a plan.

The commissioner has a plan.

Batman has a plan.

The district attorney had a plan.

Obama’s plan comes from the folks who did such good work running Fannie and Freddie.

McCain’s plan is to stay out of the home and the grave, but his plan B (B-abe Palin) was really an unplanned political pregnancy . . . who now sweetly reads plans off of 3×5 cards.

Me, I have no plan.  I can’t compete with these circus act clowns.

– Joker for President

It’s not the subprime loans, stupid . . .


. . . to modify a phrase from a previous presidential election, “it’s the economy, stupid”.  Virginia Postrel blogs here with money quote:  “The commercial paper crunch, not bad mortgages, is the biggest threat to the overall health of the economy.”  That is the real issue, not particular types of loans (stated income, subprime, neg am, etc.).  Or as I like to say on stage, “I’m a recovering mortgage broker . . . yes, I was there the day the capital markets died.”  I still don’t get how in the 21st century one can’t even make a slightly educated guess as to the value of a portfolio with the motley brew of various “tranches” of mortage loans.  Of course, during my ten years in the mortgage industry, I remember being appalled at how low-tech the industry was.  What we need is more innovation and “exotic” loan products to drag finance out of the 19th century.  But what we are demanding from Washington is a “managed” financial market with all the sophistication of suicide bombers and cave-dwellers.  Who needs terrorists to destroy the world when the alleged civilized among us are in such a hurry to endorse, encourage, aid and abett the work ourselves in the enterprise only the deceitful or cynical can call “capitalism”?  Bartender, make that a double.

Paul Newman the Gentleman


I turn 37 later this year, but I’ve certainly felt my mortality with all the losses this year (Tim, George, Bernie), of which Paul Newman is the latest.  GQ considered him one of the top 50 gentlemen of the 20th century, and for good reason.  I’ve got a page from that issue of GQ on my wall, with nine of those top gents, and Paul is there next to Pacino and above Jack.  His Newman’s Own line was a fantastic example of a celebrity committing a significant and lasting act of charity . . . in the private sector.  I grew up watching Butch & Sundance.  This year I’ve finally embraced the journalist/entertainer in my soul.  So I feel like I’ve lost not just a portion of my childhood, but a mentor and hero in Paul Newman.  Others spoke, even screamed.  He simply and elegantly acted.  The results were his quiet eloquence.

Bailout debate is over how, not why


Obama is smart enough to manage it and he wants to post the plan details on MySpace.

McCain is experienced enough to get to the bottom of it and he wants to write out the plan details in longhand, ’cause he don’t trust them machines.

If Obama is for the little guy and McCain is for free enterprise, why are they both holding hands as they steal from taxpayers and give to those of the wealthy that failed at the game of capitalism?

Not only are the potential emperors wearing no clothes, they are both heading our way with erections and patronizing smiles.  I’m not even holding my breath for FEMA to show up in the nick of time with federally-approved lube.

Mark’s Pen Returns


As Mike Peters (early in the movie Swingers) boasts voicemail more pregnant than mine, certainly my legion of fans have awaited the return of my blog posts with more baited breath than the season premiere of Entourage.  Nevertheless, with apologies to Mark Twain, the reports of my literary death have been greatly exaggerated.  I did not get kicked out of college and earn a spot on the FBI’s subversive list for publishing a newspaper . . . for nothing.

Silly me, I’ve spent my life attempting to sell when I should have been writing, publishing and performing.  Greater joy has no man than this, to lay down his new comedy material for a surly and distracted audience.  I’m getting a better handle on the tension between my writing and my desire to improvise in the moment on stage.  Towards that end, I am delighted to be writing with more matter AND art, endeavoring to better capture and share the fardels and such small wares that stalk my mind.  Towards that end, this blog hopes to aid and abet the mischief.