A Peek Under the Christmas Tree 2008

By Rhonda Chriss Lokeman

December 28, 2008 5 min read

—Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, the subject of a federal investigation, is accused of selling the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama. The embattled governor said, "I will fight, I will fight, I will fight," the allegations. He said he has the most powerful ally at his disposal: "the truth." Santa gives him the board game "Clue" and a pair of O.J. Simpson leather driving gloves.

—To convicted criminal O.J. Simpson: a comfy bunk and a new best friend.

—For Caroline Kennedy, constitutional lawyer, author and daughter of JFK and Jackie O.: Everyone but the Manhattan doorman and the Broadway usher wants the seat soon to be vacated by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. This is prime real estate. Santa is sentimental and gives Kennedy this rent-controlled space.

—Bernard Madoff will long be forgotten for his New York Stock Exchange days but long remembered for stealing from the Palm Beach, Fla., rich and giving to the Palm Beach rich, the latter being himself. Madoff made pension funds disappear faster than you could say "presto." Santa gives Madoff the runoff from the clean coal industry and hard time in a cell wallpapered with the names of his victims.

—To Muntadhar al-Zeidi, the Iraqi journalist who threw both shoes at The Decider when Bush addressed the press during a surprise trip to Iraq: some shoelaces and a Fox News reporter's handbook with the phrase "fair and balanced" underlined.

—To the U.S. Department of Interior, where officials manipulated science to limit or avoid protections for species at risk of extinction: free admission to DarwinLand.

—To the Securities and Exchange Commission, which insists it was caught unawares by Madoff and other Wall Street investment schemes and profiteers: a pirate flag and a guide dog.

—To the execs at AIG, the international firm that kept spending as if there was no tomorrow, even after the feds bailed it out at the dawning of the current financial mess: enough rope to hang themselves.

—To Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, picked by Sen. John McCain to be the GOP vice presidential nominee: a nanny plus four more years! Four more years!

—To losing GOP presidential candidate John McCain: anger management and lifetime membership in the Pat Buchanan book-of-the-month club.

—To MSNBC's new anchor Rachel Maddow: a plasma TV, higher ratings for her show, and gratitude for proving that PBS needn't be the only network offering intelligent TV news without blowhards and bellicosity.

—To workers in America's suffering auto industry: the audacity of hope.

—To first daughters Sasha and Malia Obama: a new home and a new puppy.

—To U.S. troops: finally all the body and vehicular armor they were promised to carry out their missions in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

—To writer, activist and Democratic candidate Al Franken, locked in a postelection tug of war with Republican Sen. Norm Coleman over the rights to claim victory: a photo finish.

—Big Tobacco, makers of "light" cigarettes and other substances that stunt your growth and give you emphysema and cancer, recently lost a case before the Supreme Court. In the 5-4 decision by the high court, justices said federal regulation of cigarette labels was no shield from state claims of deceptive advertising. Santa gives them the last testament of the Marlboro Man and a bootleg case of Cambridge Lights.

—To untold millions expected to converge on Washington, D.C., for the historic inauguration of President Barack Obama: an endless supply of vacant port-a-potties.

—To American homeowners facing foreclosures: roofs over their heads and all the promises of the American dream.

—To outgoing Vice President Dick Cheney: a good criminal lawyer and a trip down memory lane, in this case Arlington National Cemetery.

—To incoming President Barack Obama: a horse of a different color.

—To outgoing President George W. Bush: the horse he rode in on and a Decider decoder ring.

—To the world: a new American president.

Rhonda Chriss Lokeman ([email protected]) is a contributing editor to The Kansas City Star. To find out more about Rhonda Chriss Lokeman and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

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