Shocking Turn of Events
By Dan | June 8, 2008 - 9:37 am - Posted in Politics & Policy, Best Of, Clinton

Well, you win some and you lose some. Apparently I overestimated Hillary Clinton’s capacity to endure ostracism and campaign debts. I was certain she would not bow out, and yet she did. I will say this, though: in her “concession speech” she referred to herself a total of 108 times. She referred to Barack Obama 19 times.

Is Hillary really really endorsing Barack Obama? It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.

Do you recall, back in the heady days of inevitability, Hillary deigned to allow the peasants to pick her campaign song? Perhaps her post-campaign theme should be the Beatles, “When I’m 64.” (Hillary Clinton will be 64 in 2012). To wit:

When I get older, I’m running again
Just four years from now
Will you still be voting for me then next time?
More campaigning with blue collar swine.

If the phone rings at quarter to three
Who should answer more?
Will you still need me
Will you elect me
When I’m sixty four?

I’ll be in Denver too
And if you say the word
I will stay in view

I could pretend, mending this feud
But when the results are in
You will hear me swearing that “I told you so”
On Sunday morning political shows

I’ll stay in the Senate,
Passing the years
I will wait four more
Will you still need me
Will you elect me
When I’m sixty four?

Over the summer, we’ll hear reportage
On his Reverend Wright, I won’t disappear

For him I will campaign
But under baited breath
I’ll root for John McCain

Send me a postcard drop me a line
Stating point of view
Indicate precisely what you mean to say
Yours sincerely wasting away

Give me an answer, fill in a form
Mine for evermore
Will you still need me
Will you elect me
When I’m sixty four

Never Forget
By Dan | June 6, 2008 - 9:26 am - Posted in Best Of, Foreign Affairs, Stars & Stripes, Today in History

Sixty-four years ago today, nearly one and a half million British, American and Canadian free men risked their lives to rid a continent and the world from Nazi oppression. These were the boys of Point du Hac, Omaha, Juno, Sword, Gold and Utah. These were the boys who jumped, for the first time, from perfectly good airplanes into combat with the most feared military force in history.

These young men had lived through the Great Depression, emerging just in time to see the world being swallowed by two brutally evil forces, spreading across Europe and Asia. They strapped on their boots and marched bravely into the face of an overwhelming, undefeated enemy. Their journey would take them through Normandy, Holland, Bastogne and, eventually, the horrors of Buchenwald and Dachau.

Having defeated Nazism in Europe, they turned, without flinching, to aid their comrades in the Pacific, ridding the world of Japanese imperial aggression. Only when a group of scientists harnessed the power of the atom, were they relieved of duty and able to return home.

On the backs of these heroes, America, and eventually the world, prospered. They took a society that was only one generation from horse-drawn carriages and the Wright Brothers, and they landed a man on the moon. Their contributions to our freedom, our economy and our history will never be forgotten.

The Obama Gaffe Machine Tally Sheet
By Dan | June 3, 2008 - 9:43 pm - Posted in Politics & Policy, Liberals, Op Ed, Best Of, Edukashun

I have decided to keep track of the Obama Gaffe Machine in its ever-expanding work to test the mainstream media’s limits of denial. It has turned out to be a bit more ambitious than I first thought, so it is not yet done. Given the frenzy today, I thought it appropriate to launch a bit early.

Please feel free to comment or suggest new gaffes on the permanent Obama Gaffe page.


Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama is fond of calling John McCain’s candidacy the “third term of George Bush.” John McCain lacks the flair necessary, but he would be far more justified in calling Barack Obama’s candidacy the second term of the Jimmy Carter failure. I would love to see a side-by-side comparison of Jimmy Carter’s and Barack Obama’s idiotic policies, but I just don’t have the time or emotional capacity to re-live the horrors of the 1970’s. Without doubt, however, the most obvious similarity between the two is their naked willingness to meet with dictators, fascists and terrorists.

Although the Obama campaign is now retreating from the dangerously naive policy set forth by Obama himself, the fact remains that Obama is open to meeting with Iran, without precondition. Preconditions, of course, are those “barriers to diplomacy,” such as “Before we meet with you, you have to stop killing U.S. soldiers and innocent civilians in Iraq,” or “Stop building your nuclear plants, or we won’t meet with you.” Obama now says that how would, of course, have “preparations” before meeting with a man who has called our ally a “rotting corpse” and promised its annihilation.

The term “preparation” is a wonderfully naive term. It makes it sound as if Obama has such a childish view of the world that he thinks McCain is criticizing him for not planning an itinerary. “Of course we’re going to have preparations. We’ve booked the flight, we have a suite of hotel rooms, and I even brought a pen and a notepad, so I can take dictation copious notes from my dear friend Mahmoud.”

In a speech on Sunday, however, Obama betrayed the depth of his naiveté.

(You should watch the video, as Obama’s “come on” demeanor speaks volumes of his attitude). Three things jumped out of his speech:

  1. Negotiations brought down the Berlin wall. This is a fundamental misstatement of history. President Reagan’s unflinching anti-Communism, aggressive expansion of our military capabilities and his refusal to talk with Soviet hardliners like Chernenko lead to the internal and external reforms. And, not to be too dramatic, but Reagan’s demand to Gorbachev that he “tear down this wall”, was not made over an ornate conference table in a quiet Swiss hotel. It was made in front of the damn wall to a cheering crowd of Germans.
  2. “Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, these countries are tiny compared to the Soviet Union. They don’t pose a serious threat to us the way the Soviet Union did.” This is absurd. During the Cold War, the USSR could annihilate the United States and its allies, and vice versa. This stalemate, known as mutually assured destruction, only works with rational people. The Soviets were horribly brutal, but they were not about to cause the extinction of mankind to prove a point. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on the other hand, has never been successfully accused of being a rational person. While it is true that the Iranian military poses no serious threat to the United States military, the Enola Gay, similarly posed little or no threat to the Hiroshima police force. It was the nuclear device it carried that did all that damage. Obama’s idiotic assertion that these “tiny” countries “don’t pose a serious threat to us” begs the question, how many Israeli, European or U.S. cities would have to be sacrificed in nuclear holocausts before Obama realized that one man with a bomb is a serious threat to us?
  3. “Iran spends 1/100th of what we spend on their military. If they ever tried to pose a serious threat to us, they would’nt stand a chance.”I have to admit, this took me all of three minutes to debunk, most of which was spent looking for my calculator. According to publicly available data on the CIA website, Iran’s military expenditure in 2008 will be (2.5% of GDP) $21.3 billion (not sure if this includes their “peaceful nuclear program”). The U.S. military expenditure in 2008 (including fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and deployments on every continent) will be (4.05% of GDP) $561.3 billion. No matter how you cut it, Iran spends way more than 1/100th of what America spends on their military. In real dollars, Iran spends 1/25th of what the U.S. does on it’s military (four times what Obama implies). In terms of percentage of GDP, Iran spends more than half of what the U.S. spends. Per capita, Iran spends 1/6th what the United States spends. Anyway you look at the numbers 1/100th isn’t even close.

Obama has proven himself, again and again, to be naive on foreign policy (even suggesting we invade an ally and nuclear power, Pakistan). Although he seems to be backing off of his ridiculous policy now, who will be the voice of reason when, God forbid, President Obama’s ridiculous and dangerous ideas are not reigned in by an opposing nominee?

Stop and smell the Roses
By Dan | May 5, 2008 - 12:26 pm - Posted in Op Ed, Best Of, Personals

Spring is a beautiful time of year. The birds return, the trees bloom and you remember why it is you kept going through the depressing winter months. You suddenly remember the smell of fresh cut grass and the wonderful magic that takes you back to the first time you played baseball or rode a bike. The ice cream truck’s melody draws you back to summers spent with friends, trying to cobble together enough quarters for a chocolate with sprinkles. You remember when family barbecues were about swimming and playing baseball, not politics, or work.

I have to confess, I never used to notice spring. I missed–ignored, really–the cherry blossoms and the magnolia trees. I was always so busy. In high school it was football, or chess club or mathletes (don’t laugh, I have the medals to prove it). In college, well, you never notice anything in college, I’ve come to understand that to be the point. Graduate school and law school held their own distractions. When I finally joined the working world, 80 hour work weeks at a law firm and constant pressure to bill my time blended days, weeks, months and seasons into a continual blur of mahogany and beige.

Last year, though, I noticed. This year I realized how ridiculous it was that I hadn’t before. A year ago Friday, in the midst of my personal and professional distractions: searching for a new job, reviewing proxy statements, layering more gold on more golden parachutes; my father taught me his last lesson. His sudden death came as a stark and painful reminder of how fleeting life is. In death, he made clear the point he had tried to make with me for half of his life: our time here is short, make the most out of it.

I had called the night before, accidentally interrupting dinner. The quick call, with my brother, reminded me that Dad was driving him to the airport in the morning. I could hear my father joking in the background, as he always did. The next morning, my father, my best man, was gone. It was a random Wednesday in May. There was no warning, there was no time to say goodbye. His heart, the greatest and most admired part of him, had given out.

In the weeks and months since, I have tried to make sense of the senseless. Is there a plan for each of us laid out by a higher power? Are we wandering aimlessly, the victims and benefactors of cosmic chance? Or are we all just meat-powered machines that come and go like insects? I cannot pretend to answer any of these questions, but my father’s passing has reminded me that ancient wisdom is wisdom for a reason. There is a simple elegance in why tradition and values maintain, when fads come and go. We may not always understand it, and as thinking people, we are bound to question it. Although it may be a platitude or cliché, there is a reason that people still remind those they love to stop and smell the roses. Even if it’s on a random Wednesday in May.

The Holy Bible, Nancy Pelosi Version
By Dan | April 25, 2008 - 10:05 am - Posted in Politics & Policy, Liberals, Best Of, Weather, Edukashun

Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D-Ranged) is fond of quoting her own personal bible to underscore her belief in high gas prices, government mandated largesse and greener and greener policies, no matter the cost. In particular, Pelosi is fond of saying, “The Bible tells us in the Old Testament, ‘To minister to the needs of God’s creation is an act of worship. To ignore those needs is to dishonor the God who made us.’” The problem, of course, is that this verse appears nowhere in any known translation of the Holy Bible.

Speaker Pelosi has acknowledged that the verse is not easily found, as it appears only in her own apocryphal copy of the Bible, given to her personally by God (here taking multiple Earthly forms, including AFL-CIO President John Sweeney and Internet pioneer Al Gore). Among the lost Pelosi passages of the Holy Bible are:

  • “Woe betide the man who, having money, giveth not to thine most progressive party.”
  • The Greenest Commandment: “And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? And Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is Global Warming. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy wallet, and with all thy tax revenue, and with all thy Hollywood special effects: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt tax thy neighbor unlike thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”
  • “And on the recess of the 10th Day, God cast out the evil spirits of the kingdom of Beegoil, the Chloroflorenes, the Carbonites, the Antiozonites and the Essyouveans. And God saw that the world contained no commerce, and it was good.”
  • “Blessed are the elected officials, for thine is the kingdom of taxation and spendation.”
  • “And He sayeth unto the congregation of nonbelievers, ‘I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you and drinketh your Royal Crown and eateth thine waffles?’”
  • “And God said unto Moses, ‘Let not my people’s carbonite footprint exceed that of thine cattle. For to do so would cause me to warmeth the Earth.”
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What America Means
By Dan | April 2, 2008 - 2:06 pm - Posted in Politics & Policy, Op Ed, Best Of, Reagan

For over 200 years, America has been a shining city on a hill. A place where people from all cultures, races and creeds have come to find their own way, free from the political or economic tyranny of their homeland. Some have come involuntarily, forced into labor by an abhorrent practice that ended 140 years ago. Today, for the moment at least, we all live free.

We are descendants of free men and slaves. We are the heirs of peasants and kings; royalty and commoner. Our families have, long ago, suffered potato famine and rice famine; holocaust and ethnic cleansing; prejudice and persecution. We are bound though, not by our disparate suffering, but by our ability to overcome the misfortunes of our individual histories. The best part of each of us relies on our combined history as a tutorial, not a prelude.

We are not a nation that is divided by race, we are a nation defined by our ideas. We can now travel the world on the wings of an idea conceived in South Carolina by two brothers from Ohio. We share information in the blink of an eye on devices evolved over decades from one built in a garage in California. For many of us, our retirement money is connected to the collective rise and fall of the stocks and mutual funds we choose. Individual responsibility for your own future is a hallmark of the American Dream.

Ideas empower us. They put food on the table. Ideas connect us with distant relatives and build better mouse traps. Ideas give us hope, and they set us free. But not all ideas are created equal.

Hatred is an idea, and its preachers and followers inevitably find their home in the ash heap of history. Socialism and communism are ideas, and their practitioners bear scars and empty stomachs as proof that government does not know best. Universal health care is a well-intentioned idea, but its victims the world over bear those same scars, as lines get longer, paperwork becomes insurmountable and medical innovation ceases.

Converting legitimate questions about anti-American rhetoric into a reflexive argument about racism is an idea, but it is as abhorrent as the comments it defends. Blaming an unpopular president for an ailing economy that is still the envy of the world is an idea, but it’s not original. It comes out every four years. Calling profits illegal while pocketing those profits through campaign contributions is an idea. But it too, is not new, nor is it confined by party lines.

Ideas are powerful. The right ideas can lead a nation from the brink of economic disaster into the longest period of American prosperity ever seen. The wrong ideas can lead to gas lines, record unemployment and food shortages in a country with surplus. The right ideas can tear down walls and collapse an evil empire without firing a single shot. The wrong ideas can legitimize dictators and embolden our enemies.

In a few short months, we will head to our local schools and churches to decide whose ideas will take us where we want to go. There will be slanders and libels. There will be mischaracterizations and lies. There will be promises and denials, spin and straight talk. In the end, we will either have a president that will lead us into four years of financial and bodily insecurity, or one who will lead us back to the greatness that lives in all of us. Wouldn’t that be a nice idea?

President Obama Regrets “Boneheaded” Move of Invading Pakistan, Causing Global Nuclear War
By Dan | March 4, 2008 - 3:09 pm - Posted in Politics & Policy, Best Of, Media & Marketing, Foreign Affairs, Stars & Stripes

June 8, 2009

President Barack Obama, speaking at a press conference in the Presidential underground bunker, recently expressed regret over invading Pakistan and generally causing the nuclear exchange last week that eradicated 95% of human civilization.   “Let me, let me, let me, let me just be absolutely clear what happened,” Obama answered, “it was a boneheaded move.”  The President was responding to questions from the three remaining journalists, several military personnel and a handful of the civilians that were spared the nuclear holocaust.

President Obama was clearly irritated by the prolonged questioning regarding the escalation of military exchanges that lead to the devastation.  “These requests, I think, could just go on forever,” the president said, before rushing off the broken crate serving as a podium.  “Come on! I just answered, like, eight questions.”

Barack to the Future: Obama Pledges Research Funds for Flux Capacitor
By Dan | March 1, 2008 - 11:53 am - Posted in Politics & Policy, Best Of, Foreign Affairs, 9/11, Stars & Stripes, Science, Today in History, Edukashun

Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama has made his name by promising “change” and to “look forward” on controversial issues like healthcare, Iraq and the economy. Specifically on the global war on terror in Iraq, Senator Obama has criticized Senator McCain’s plan for continuing the surge in Iraq as being “stuck in the past.”  Senator Obama’s plan would be to withdraw all troops, undoing the entire war, and only return if al Qaeda were found in Iraq.  Senator Obama has also noted that he would never have gone to war with Iraq. Critics have claimed that this is not a solution of the current situation, but merely bemoaning the current facts.

Today, Senator Obama clarified the inconsistency. “This campaign has been about change. Changing the way we work in Washington. Changing the way we think as a nation and changing the way the world sees us. Today, I pledge, that as President, I would change the past to bring us a brighter tomorrow.” Senator Obama’s “Change the Past” program includes $4 Trillion for research into a “flux capacitor” and $100,000 for a 1981 DMC-12 De Lorean. “With this technology, which will be built here in America by companies that hire only union workers and pay at least 60% of worker’s healthcare costs, we can change yesterday for a better tomorrow!”

Former Vice President Al Gore has raised issues about the plan, saying that he is “concerned about the carbon footprint of a 1.21 gigaWatt device.”

Senator Obama’s Change the Past platform would also:

  • Unelect president Bush;
  • Destroy the internal combustion machine (regardless of cost) before it begins its long history of polluting the environment;
  • Prevent himself and his wife from going to law school and making all that money; and
  • Ensure Reagan loses/lost to Obama’s personal inspiration, Jimmy Carter.
Words That Have Impact
By Dan | February 20, 2008 - 12:32 pm - Posted in Politics & Policy, Best Of, Clinton

Hillary Clinton has been on the offensive against Senator Barack Obama. In an effort to bolster her argument that words have had little or no effect on national and international affairs, Mrs. Clinton has managed to explain away much of what her ideological opposites have said over the course of history:

  • Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” According to Mrs. Clinton, this was merely a neighborly request, aimed at increasing “curb appeal” in central Europe. After all, rising house prices benefit the whole neighborhood!
  • There is nothing to fear, but fear itself.” This, according to Mrs. Clinton, was nothing more than a tautology meant to rationalize a hurt and shocked public.
  • I have a dream today. That one day, men will be judged by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin.” This was merely a call for psychoanalysis and dream interpretation. People are clearly meant to be judge by their propensity for shady real estate dealings and their ability to profit from cattle futures.
  • I hear you. The rest of the world hears you. And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.” Nothing more than a mic check.
  • I know not course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.” Nothing more than a statement of preference.
  • I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast; for I intend to go in harm’s way.” An admission of guilt to the crime of speeding.

No quote-a-thon would be complete, of course, without a historic quote appropriately referring to a modern politician. In this case, Abraham Lincoln referring to Barack Obama: “He can compress the most words into the smallest ideas of any man I ever met.”