Archive for May, 2010

Memorial Day 2010–God bless our troops

Monday, May 31st, 2010

On this Memorial Day, I think of a commercial for the military that played man times when I was young.

“It wasn’t always easy…and it wasn’t always fair…when we were needed…we were there.”

Yes they were…and still are.

My father served in the Army. I never did. Yet I learned at a young age to respect our military.

I remember telling a Vietnam veteran in 1993 “thank you, and welcome home.” He started crying, saying that nobody had ever said that to him in the 20 years he had been home.

I remember meeting John McCain, and thinking what an honor it was just to shake his hand.

I remember meeting his cell mate at the Hanoi Hilton, Orson Swindle. I asked Mr. Swindle how he coped during the toughest of times. His response said it all.

“Ronald Reagan once said that ‘many Americans wonder if they made a difference. Marines don’t have to wonder.’ I’m a marine.”

I speak all around the country, and I run into so many young men either coming back from a hot spot, being deployed to one, or just getting ready to join the military.

While many people have political passions, these men and women keep their politics private out of respect for the uniform. They answer to the president, and he answers to us. They are fighting to keep this structure in place.

Too many have died way too young. Pat Tillman is a famous soldier, but the tomb of the unknown soldier is just as important.

Our soldiers did not die in vain. They defeated Nazism and Communism. They are on the front lines against Radical Islam.

All they ask from us is that we treat them with respect and dignity. This means making sure that they have solid medical care, enough money to live on, and leaders who understand and respect their culture.

Most importantly, they want civilians to love this country, whether singing songs of praise or engaging in vigorous dissent. Both of these actions are noble.

God bless our troops.

A peaceful Memorial Day to every living soldier and their families.

To those still with us, thank you and welcome home.


The 2014 Ice Bowl New York Super Bowl

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

In Indianapolis 500 auto racing news, Danica Patrick is hot. Now on to football.

In 2014, the Super Bowl will be held at the new Stadium in New York (not New Jersey, New York!) that hosts the Jets and Giants.

I am not sure how I feel about this, but it is an unprecedented break with football tradition.

This will be the first time the Super Bowl is played in a cold weather setting.

The NFL Championship used to be played in cold weather. The 1967 Ice Bowl between the Packers and Cowboys remains one of the all time great games. That game might be why the Super Bowl trophy is called the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Somewhere along the line the Super Bowl went from being a football game to an entertainment spectacle. Halftime shows and commercials brought in more viewers, to the consternation of leatherhead purists like myself.

The 1981 season ended with the 1982 Super Bowl in Detroit. Yet the game was played indoors in the Pontiac Silverdome. Domed stadiums such as the New Orleans Superdome alternated with tropical locations such as the Orange Bowl in Miami in terms of hosting.

The Canadian Football League plays its Grey Cup in a blizzard. Yet the NFL does not.

Ironically, the path to the Super Bowl often involves freezing weather. One week before the 1981 season ended with the 49ers and Bengals, Cincinnati defeated the San Diego Chargers in bitter cold conditions.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Oakland Raiders slugged it out in the 1975 season in the AFC Title Game on a frigid block of ice field at Three Rivers Stadium. The 2001 season saw those same Raiders play the New England Patriots in a winter wonderland.

(Yes, the Raiders got screwed in both games, but that is for another time.)

For television viewers, snow football is fantastic. Yet for fans who go to the Super Bowl, bad weather is a curse. People paying thousands of dollars want good weather.

Yet the 2006 season saw the Indianapolis Colts play the Chicago Bears in Miami in the big game. Rain came down. Peyton Manning and Tony Dungy did not mind the rain when they were holding the trophy.

Real football fans do not care about the weather. I took a Greyhound bus from Los Angeles to Denver in 1999 to see the Raiders take on the Broncos on Monday Night Football. In the first quarter the snow came down hard. The ground shook. Some Raider fans and I burned a Bronco flag in effigy. It was paradise. I still have that burnt flag with a hole in the horse’s head.

(The Raiders fell behind 15-0, went ahead 18-15, saw the game tied 21-21 and go to overtime, and saw the Raiders get screwed again.)

Football should be for football fans. If multimillionaires who know nothing about football go to the Super Bowl so they can brag about it, some ice and snow would do them good.

Part of me does not want to see the weather determine the Super Bowl, but the Super Bowl should not be different from any other game. The elements are part of most football games. If  team sees their game plan shredded due to weather, they have to be resourceful.

Besides, the Pro Bowl is back in Honolulu, Hawaii. The players will still have their warm weather reward. Yet the Pro Bowl is not the Super Bowl. The Pro Bowl is a bonus vacation. Getting to the Super Bowl is not a reward. Winning it is. If that means snow, then play in the snow.

I played snow football as a kid. I loved it. Football is a game, first and foremost.

So get your parkas, gloves, and mittens out. It is time for New York to host the Super Bowl.

If the Raiders play in that game, I will be cheering them on…

From my warm, comfortable couch.


Gary Coleman–Farewell Arnold Jackson

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

Gary Coleman left us far too soon, dying yesterday of a brain aneurysm at age 42.

It all seems so arbitrary. Bret Michaels suffers a brain ailment and survives (thank God). Gary Coleman has one and does not.

I am genuinely saddened by this death. While I grew up watching “Different Strokes,” and did like it when Arnold Jackson said, “What chu talkin bout Willis,” my bond was with Gary Coleman, not his character.

As silly as this sounds, I admired him and Emmanuel Lewis of “Webster” fame for succeeding despite being very short. I was always one of the shortest kids in school, and it bothered me. Many women rejected in me in my younger years because of my height.

(Then I began making money, and shockingly enough they showed much more interest. They also stopped wearing underwear. It is funny how that works, but that is for another time.)

When I saw Gary Coleman succeeding in life despite his physical limitations, it inspired me. I always rooted for him.

Although television is not real life, Conrad Bain always seemed like a good guy. He played Mr. Drummond, and he seemed to have a genuine affection for all three child stars. He is now 87 years old, and two of his “children” have pre-deceased him. Mr. Coleman is gone at age 42, and Kimberly character Dana Plato died tragically at age 37. Ms. Plato’s son also died, a suicide at age 25. Todd Bridges went from Willis Jackson to a life of cocaine induced hell that included twice being charged with serious crimes involving death. He was acquitted on murder charges, and charges were dropped in another incident when the police accepted his explanation of self defense. He seems to have turned his life around.

Mr. Coleman had legal troubles of his own, but they were minor in comparison to that of Ms. Plato and Mr. Bridges. His issues were health related. His body was simply built with too many defects. It was not drugs or alcohol, but a bad body from birth that just rebelled one too many times.

Many people do not remember this, but in 2002 he was one of the many people running for governor of California during the recall election. As crazy as this sounds, he came across as very sensible. Given the state of California today, I doubt he could have done worse. He laughed on the campaign trail, admitting that he was not a serious candidate but enjoying having fun with it. Again, I was surprised at how logical some of his proposals seemed.

I hope that in heaven, the shortest star on television in the 1980s stands tall with his creator. I hope he ends up head and shoulders above the rest with happiness and health.

On Earth, I wish his family well.

What chu talkin bout Willis! Say it aint so!

Sadly, it is.

Goodbye Mr. Coleman. You left us way too soon.


My serious illegal immigration proposal

Friday, May 28th, 2010

I will not be covering anything involving Joe Sestak today or the president’s press conference yesterday. Let the media jackals pursue this. It may be something. It may be nothing. I prefer a highbrow conversation about policy.

One of the problems with people who analyze problems (including myself) is that anybody can carp from the sidelines. Those who criticize without offering solutions are useless.

While I have repeatedly stated that this blog deliberately shies away from the illegal immigration debate, I am going to gradually wade into the discussion.

Illegal immigration is not my issue. Passions run high on both sides, and activists often have an inability to understand that it is possible to just not spend every waking minute worrying about an issue because somebody else does.

Some say that the Mexican border is the biggest threat to our national security. No, not even close. Third world Arab Muslim genocidal lunatics who want to kill us all is far worse.

Others say that the people crossing the border are undocumented workers. No, stop being dishonest. They are illegal aliens.

They are lawbreakers, not innocent victims. However, they are not flying planes into towers. Perspective on both sides is needed.

With that, I am floating a trial balloon on the illegal immigration issue. I have absolutely no idea if it is feasible. However, with many others on both sides throwing bombs (in addition to many responsible people on both sides discussing the issue fairly), I am curious as to if my own proposal has a chance of becoming law. I want to make it clear that this is not the only solution or even a comprehensive one. It is meant to tackle one part of the problem.

I think that all illegal immigrants captured should be taken to the nearest military base. The conversation should be friendly, not hostile. An immigration lawyer can be present while the military personnel offer my proposal. Duress or threats cannot be part of this process.

The military person conducting the interview can explain that the normal process for illegal aliens is deportation. However, there is another option. If the illegal alien is willing to serve two years in the United States military, upon an honorable discharge after 24 months, they will be given complete amnesty, and citizenship.

That’s right. I said amnesty and citizenship.

Why not? Most Mexicans come to this country because they want a better life.

Look, I come down hard on those that wave the Mexican flags on American soil. It is bad enough they come here illegally. At least join the melting pot like the Irish and the Italians and everybody else did. Sneaking across the border is bad. Putting down the country you are sneaking into is like disrespecting someone doubly in their own home. It is worse.

The most honorable way somebody can show love of America is some form of service, and military service counts.

Some of the younger ones may get sent to Iraq and Afghanistan. The older ones often end up washing dishes or picking vegetables. Why not work in the mess hall serving chow?

They would have to complete basic training.

If somebody loves America so much that they want to serve, they should be given every protection America offers.

The military is all voluntary. We could always use more recruits.

Some will say that the illegal alien could agree to serve, and then disappear. This would make them AWOL, but they would be treated no differently than any other soldier who went AWOL. The penalty would be severe, but no greater than any other AWOL soldier.

My proposal will not solve every problem. Most 70 year old illegal immigrants are not up to basic training.

(Although Jack Palance of “City Slickers” did do one armed pushups at age 72.)

Yet many illegal aliens are young men. Serving in the American military will open up doors for them that they would never have living in fear of being caught every day.

Some may worry that they would be subversives, but that same argument can be made against anybody. They can be monitored.

Again, some will claim that if they say yes, it would be due to duress. However, the threat of deportation should not be a problem because anybody here illegally is already subjected to that.

My proposal may be completely unworkable, but at least I am proposing something.

We cannot continue to let millions of people illegally come here and violate our laws. We also cannot round them all up and deport them. It is not doable.

I  would even take it a step further. The military should immediately begin an ad campaign saying that any illegal alien that comes forward and voluntarily agrees to serve should be free to do so. Even if only one man showed up, that is one more potential loyal soldier.

This is not a reward to law breakers. Serving in the military is hard work. They would be earning their stay here, and honorably so. They could get college degrees, and not spend their entire lives living a low quality of life picking lettuce or scrubbing bathrooms.

It would give them what every human deserves…dignity.

Others will say that they might earn a good life here and then just send the money back to Mexico. I think that is a chance worth taking. Many foreigners come to American universities and then go back to their home countries to practice medicine or law. Many others do stay here.

They would learn English in the military.

(Bilingual education in the military is a non-starter, and absolutely not part of my proposal. Everything will be English only.)

Legal immigration makes us stronger. Military service makes most people love this country more.

Let’s give this a shot.

Two years of honorable service in the military, in a civilian or military role, followed by amnesty and citizenship.

Well America? What do you think?


Marriott Hotels guns for the NRA

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

The Marriott hotel chain has decided to forget that it is in the service industry and attack the National Rifle Association.

For those wondering what these two completely different industries have to do with each other, the answer was sadly found when the NRA recently held its annual convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The right to own a gun is different from state to state. Liberal states favor more gun control restrictions, while conservative states favor the rights of individuals to own guns. The standard Second Amendment debates have been offered ad nauseum, ad until the Supreme Court settles the issue, further rehashing is not necessary.

(I favor individual gun rights, and support the NRA position on the Second Amendment.)

The NRA held their convention in North Carolina, which makes sense. It is a fairly conservative state, especially on gun issues.

The law in North Carolina gives people the right to carry concealed weapons on their person. However, individual businesses can put up signs that say “no guns allowed.” Those signs overrule the right to conceal and carry.

NRA members booked reservations at the Marriott closest to the convention. It is perfectly reasonable to assume that they would pick a hotel that allowed guns.

A manager at the hotel decided in the middle of the convention…let me say this again, in the middle of the convention…to put up the signs banning guns from the premises.

All of a sudden, law abiding citizens were turned into criminals.

What the heck were these people supposed to do, find a new hotel in the middle of the convention?

Stunts like this are exactly why gun rights supporters don’t trust liberals. They truly believe, not unreasonably, that the goal of the left is to ban all guns.

Calls to the corporate headquarters resulted in a ridiculous response. Marriott claimed that they always had a policy banning guns at their hotels, but that when this particular hotel was being repainted, the signs were taken down. Not putting them back up was the mistake.

The convention attendees acted in good faith. They relied on an implied promise. Had police officers walked in to that hotel, the attendees carrying guns could have been arrested once the signs were up.

Apparently the Marriott company was flooded with about 10,000 calls and emails. One attendee called up the rival Hilton chain and asked if Marriott points could be converted to Hilton points in exchange for becoming a Hilton customer. Hilton quickly said yes.

I would not be surprised if Marriott begins to “reevaluate” their policy.

Some will say that since economic pressure was applied and Hilton stepped up, that this is no big deal.

It is a very big deal.

Either the people running Marriott are malevolent or stupid. How could somebody running that hotel branch in Charlotte not expect that guns would be brought into a hotel from people attending…what a shock…a gun convention!

Did none of these people know the policy?

I have no problem with Marriott deciding not to have guns in their hotels. Just don’t decide this in the middle of the d@mn NRA convention!

At some point…some way, somehow…intelligence has to rear its head.

Customer service has to matter.

The 2 to 4 million NRA members will most likely not do business with Marriott in the future if they can help it. If anybody was harassed, they should sue the hotel. Liberals have been filing lawsuits for decades. Conservatives need to fight back using the same tactics.

(Provided that individuals had their weapons confiscated or were harassed.)

Nice job Marriott. Supporting the Constitution can be good business sense, and you did neither.


Barack Obama and the oil spill

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

The explosion aboard an oil rig is now in its 36th day. This has the potential to be the worst ecological disaster in American history.

Despite having his typical cool as a cucumber facade, President Obama is terrified that this oil spill will not get solved. He saw what Hurricane Katrina (totally unfairly) did to the reputation of his predecessor, and he does not want to be seen as impotent in the face of disaster.

The problem is, he is.

The administration repeatedly made the point that British Petroleum caused the problem, not the Obama administration. This straw man argument (by definition alone) is phony because nobody disputed this. BP immediately admitted fault. It seemed that the president, in his typical fashion, was more interested in absolving himself and attacking a disliked opponent than working on a solution.

We still do not know what caused the explosion that snuffed out the lives of 11 BP employees (The media seems disinterested in that tragic part of the story, because “big oil” employees are not humans. Their lives are expendable.).

We will at some point have to figure out what went wrong. BP could turn out to be innocent of causing the problem. Right now the only thing that matters is that the spill gets contained.

This is where the Obama administration goes off the rails. They are getting impatient with the slow pace of the cleanup. Mr. Obama is threatening to have the government take over the operation.

No, no, no, no, no. This cannot be allowed to happen under any circumstances.

BP is trying its best, and the government is responding that their best is not good enough. This fits in perfectly with Mr. Obama speaking authoritatively on a topic he knows nothing about.

Liberals treated Barack Obama like he was God. Some still do. Can we finally admit that the man is mortal? He cannot part the seas, open up the heavens, or make the oceans recede. He cannot even bring in Al Gore to lecture the oil or John Kerry to bore it into submission. The oil is not concerned with Mr. Obama’s grand ambitions.

He is an academic. He was a teacher. There is no shame in this. My parents were teachers. On education matters, they are experts. Yet don’t ask them to understand the stock market as well as I do. Conversely, I am nowhere near as qualified to understand educational issues as they are.

Barack Obama is not qualified to put on a hardhat, board an oil rig, and solve this problem. It is not his background.

I know liberals love to swoon and croon over how “smart” he is. They then contrast it with George W. Bush, who they see as “dumb.” Well sorry to burst their bubble, but having abilities in one skill set has nothing to do with every other skill set. Michael Jordan was a phenomenal basketball player and a lousy baseball player.

Some will argue that Barack Obama has access to the best and brightest. He can just talk to the people who understand the issue best, and follow their lead.

Those people are the people at British Petroleum.

The company has every incentive under the sun to solve this oil spill. They gain absolutely nothing by delay. After they solve it, the Obama administration will put them out of business in a manner that makes Vladimir Putin and Yukos Oil seem compassionate. Mr. Obama needs them at the moment, and the moment he doesn’t, he will tie BP to the Republican Party in his next election campaign. He will end the company, and Republicans will surrender and allow it.

The government should shut up, and ask the BP executives what help they need. If that means Mr. Obama should send Joe Biden to fetch lunch sandwiches for the BP workers, then do it.

Some will say that if BP was so smart they would have solved the problem. They are trying new approaches, and if one of them works, this innovation will help out in the future.

When the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded in 1986, we did not give up space exploration. We figured out what went wrong and made improvements.

When Chernobyl happened, some nations like America chose to give up on nuclear power. This has us at a competitive disadvantage, but why let fact intervene. France continued with nuclear power.

I don’t care how blindly liberal and partisan many Obama supporters are. If I want this oil spill cleaned up, and I do, I will go with the oil executives fighting to keep their company intact.

BP is trying to save it reputation. Mr. Obama is trying to preserve his. They are worried about decades of lawsuits and going out of business. He is worried about polls.

The government cannot, should not, and must not take over this cleanup operation. They need to let BP handle it.

The president created unrealistic expectations of himself because he enjoyed the adulation. Now he is confronted with a situation that he does not know how to solve.

Some people will say that the president is not doing enough. Ultra-liberal columnist Bob Beckel asked “What would you have him do?”

That is a fair point. I am not going to criticize him for failing to work miracles. That would be unfair. Critics cannot have it both ways.

(George W. Bush was never given this fair treatment with Katrina.)

I am not going to criticize him for not fixing a problem after spending weeks saying he is not qualified to fix it. My criticism of him has been consistent, that he campaigned on being able to fix everything, bashed his opponents in an undignified manner, and acts like he knows everything. He should not try to “fix this.” He should defer to those who can, up to a certain point.

(The buck does stop with him, so if and only if BP can’t do it, he should intervene if he has better solutions. He won’t, so he shouldn’t.)

Perhaps one good thing that will come out of this situation is that President Obama will develop some humility and drop his God complex. Perhaps he will stop raking his predecessor over the coals.

That predecessor was ridiculed in a 2004 debate for saying that being president was “hard work.”

Yes, it is hard work.

Nobody is blaming Mr. Obama for causing this mess.

Yet he needs to stop blistering the people he needs…yes, needs…to fix the problem. Language such as putting a “boot on the throat” of BP is counterproductive.

Mr. Obama needs to convene with the best and brightest. They are the “big oil” people he has vilified.

They need to put aside their frustration at his grandstanding and posturing and give him honest, timely, and complete updates. However, if they do not have time to hold a press conference because they are actually working, this should be understood.

Barack Obama cannot solve this oil spill. He can interfere and make matters worse.

To avoid the perception that he is doing nothing, he can hold a press conference. Not one of his press conference where he rambles and blathers, but a real joint press conference.

He holds joint pres conferences with foreign leaders. He could hold one with a BP executive. He could state that when he spoke of bipartisanship, he meant it. He and a BP executive could both field questions about what is being done.

They might wish to consult with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, who is screaming out loud what he needs to no avail.

Or the left could do what they always do. Financial criminal Christopher Dodd blamed George W. Bush and Sarah Palin, just as I predicted the left would. The public will not buy it.

EPA zealot Carol Browner insisted that the government is now “in charge.” Oh really? Does this mean they get the blame when a bunch of governmental greeniacs fail to solve a problem beyond their capabilities?

So they are in charge when it suits them but will deflect blame when it suits them.

Unlike some situations where the private sector has an incentive to engage in bad behavior, this particular incident (so nobody thinks I am advocating a blanket policy) involves the private sector desperately wanting to make things right.

This is an oil problem. Let the oil experts fix it.

This is not a time for Harvard academics to offer theories. This is a time for people with real world experience dealing with oil issues to roll up their sleeves and get the job done.

If they fail, they will be held accountable. Heck, they already will be.

Just don’t make it worse by sending white collar bean counters to do blue collar roughneck work.

Carol Browner is not in charge, unless the president says she is. He didn’t.

Mr. President, there will be a time to engage in your hobbies of hurling blame and bashing big business and Republicans. Feel free to blame George W. Bush and Sarah Palin for this crisis. You know you love that.

Just not now.

Now is a time to, dare I say it in Obamaspeak (not that he ever meant it), “come together.”

Find out what the oil executives need, and get it to them.

(Insert remark about General McChrystal and Afghanistan troops here.)

You don’t know everything sir. You don’t know the oil business.

Listen to the people who do.


Lying Cr@pweasel Tuesday

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

At Noon I am speaking to the Sandpiper GOP ladies in Galveston, Texas. At dinner I am speaking to the North Shore GOP ladies in Houston.

Ok, enough pleasantness.

Today is Lying Cr@pweasel Tuesday. This holiday is being celebrated in honor of Connecticut Attorney General and senatorial candidate Richard Blumenthal.

For those who need a real military officer to yell “you can’t handle the truth!” to everyone else, the truth is that Blumenthal lied about serving in Vietnam.

This was not Al Gore telling a tall tale like inventing the internet. This was not John Kerry having Cambodia seared into his memory. He was never in Cambodia, but he did serve in Vietnam. His post-war actions were abominable, but the man served his country.

This was not Bill Clinton or John Edwards. This was much worse. Clinton dodged the draft, but never denied that. Edwards committed personal violations of his family.

Blumenthal is now the worst guy to have that name. Somewhere Sidney Blumenthal is no longer the poster child for terrible Blumenthals.

Richard Blumenthal lied about serving in Vietnam.

This was not a mistake. The man lied. Yes he served in the marine corps. So what? He claimed that he served in Vietnam, and he didn’t. No amount of liberal hostility toward every Republican on Earth will change that fact.

While the liberal media remains disinterested in any scandal not involving a Republican, former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson gave straight talk. Others were soft-pedaling the criticism. Thompson assessed the situation succinctly and perfectly.

“He’s a lying weasel.”

I will take it one step further, using a word coined by Michelle Malkin.

The man is a cr@pweasel.

There is no sugarcoating this. There are no mitigating circumstances. This man is a disgrace.

This is an affront to every man that ever saw combat.

Making matters worse, this was a pointless lie.

The man was trying to replace Christopher Dodd. The bar for ethics was set very low. A lack of corruption would have been a reward in Connecticut, rather than the expected norm.

What could possibly have made this man think the truth would not come out?

Some will praise the Jayson Blair Times for not burying the story. You don’t get praise for doing what you are supposed to do. For once they didn’t suppress a story. My prediction is when everybody is done praising that rag of a paper, they will then decide that the story is old news, and we should move on.

(George W. Bush and Dan Quayle never got such latitude, and they did nothing wrong.)

Why is Blumenthal still running?

Can Connecticut not do any better?

This story must not go away until Blumenthal drops his senate bid. This man cannot and must not serve.

This is not resume padding. This is fraud.

Republican Wes Cooley of Oregon faced the same exact lie. He resigned. his closest friend, the man who retired and recommended Cooley to succeed him in Congress, was the first to tell him to leave.

How many Democrats want Blumenthal to leave?

The man is an attorney general. Between him and Eliot Spitzer, do any top law enforcement officials obey the law?

I disagree with liberalism. Yet I don’t impugn the integrity of all liberals. Plenty of liberals from Hubert Humphrey to Walter Mondale to Russ Feingold have served honorably. I question their policies but not their souls.

Politicians have to be leaders. This man cannot lead. Nobody will follow him. Nobody should follow him.

In New Jersey a lying liberal criminal named Robert Torricelli was replaced by an equally liberal but honest Frank Lautenberg.

Decent liberals exist.

Mr. Blumenthal has no shame or decency. His half-hearted, defiant non-apology apologies ring hollow.

This lying cr@pweasel needs to go.

Congressmen Massa and Souder are bipartisan sources of shame. Congress is better off without them.

We get the government we deserve. We deserve better than Richard Blumenthal.

Our president promised change we can believe in.

Well I want to believe in my government again.

I want principled men in and lying cr@pweasels out.

Get lost Mr. Blumenthal.


Political Hawaiian Tsunami

Monday, May 24th, 2010

A political Tsunami has just swept across Hawaii.

Republican Charles Djou won the special mail in election for the congressional seat of Neil Abercrombie, who retired to run for Governor.

Hawaii is a state dominated by Democrats. They do have a Republican Governor in Linda Lingle (who is also retiring), but overall the state is reliably left of center. Senators Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka have both served for decades. Congressman Abercrombie had a safe seat. This should have been an easy Democratic victory.

Several factors worked to elect Mr. Djou. The naysayers will use these factors to disavow the loss, but that is what naysayers do.

The Democrats had two candidates that tore each other’s eyes out. Neither one would back down. With those two splitting the vote, Djou was able to win with only 39% of the vote.

The two Democrats combined for 58%, so had the state required a majority, the Democrats would have been favored to retain it. Woulda, coulda should…a plurality was required, and Djou won within the rules.

In 6 months the candidates will have to do it again, but Djou showed a ton of credibility by winning.

Djou was very likable, and he had diverse groups helping him that normally would not put a ton of energy into a Hawaii race. The Republican Jewish Coalition went all out to help him. I know this because I received a blitzkrieg of emails.

(If not for my preset schedule, I would have been on a plane to Hawaii. Others did go. The dedication, mobilization, and energy of conservatives in this race was palpable.)

2010 could be like 1994. Democrats will point to a win in Pennsylvania. They were supposed to win that seat. They retained it. Hawaii was a Republican pickup that was every bit as important as winning the New Jersey Governorship.

Mr. Djou has only 3 months to develop a record before the Summer recess and 2010 campaigning goes full throttle. It will be interesting to see what he can do in such a short amount of time.

There is plenty of time before November for the Republicans to find a way to screw up. Wild cards are by definition unexpected. Yet right now the Democrats are reeling. If I were a liberal thug, I would advocate that we keep our boot on their throats.

We will know soon if this Hawaii victory was a blip on the radar or the beginning of a political tsunami.

For now, Republicans should briefly enjoy this sweet win, and then quickly get back to work.

Congratulations Mr. Djou…excuse me, make that Congressman Djou.

Welcome to congress, and good luck.

Time to roll up our sleeves.

On to the next task.


Poison Sunday–Rock Solid Bret Michaels

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

I have always been a big fan of rock group Poison. Lead singer Bret Michaels is one of my favorite singers of all time.

Lately he has been in and out of hospitals. He has had life threatening maladies.

The man is only 47 years old, and for as of now unexplained reasons, his body is just having a tough time.

Yes, rock stars have died young due to the “lifestyle.” Yet Mr. Michaels is a father to a couple of young girls, and he seems to be living a relatively clean lifestyle. He definitely wants to live.

Tonight he is one of two finalists along with Holly Robinson Peete to be the next Celebrity Apprentice. Ms. Peete, wife of retired NFL star Rodney Peete, is formidable. Yet I hope Bret wins.

I still remember the 1988 video for the song “Fallen Angel.” It was about somebody trying to live their dream in the entertainment industry, only to see it eventually go downhill.

“Just a step away, from the edge of the fall…caught between heaven and hell, where’s the girl I knew a year ago…Win big, Mama’s Fallen Angel…lose big, living out her lies…wants it all, Mama’s Fallen Angel…lose big, rolling the dice of her life.”

Bret Michaels made it not just as a musician in a rock band but as a businessman. He combines creativity with smart business savvy.

He also has used his fame for good.

He was caught backstage once sticking himself with a needle. Everyone who knew thought it was a typical rocker doing drugs. It wasn’t. Bret is diabetic. He was giving himself insulin. He went public and became a spokesperson for juvenile diabetes.

During the Celebrity Apprentice, he found out that his young daughter is diabetic as well.

In the last few weeks he has been hospitalized with a brain ailment, and a ministroke. Somehow, miraculously, he is still alive.

Bret has given so much to so many in the form of great music. While many 1980s rockers faded away, Poison continued. Many people do not know that Poison put out albums in 2000 and 2002, which were every bit as good as their 1980s heyday.

Poison even repeated the failed Hollywood dream with the song “Wishful thinking.”

“Mr. Smiley” is hilarious. It is about staying optimistic with all the chaos going around.

Sexually explicit songs were common, and well written. One had guitarist CC Deville singing, on the song “I hate every bone in your body…but mine.”

Their biggest hit was their love ballad.

“Every rose has its thorn…every night has its dawn…every cowboy sings a sad sad song…every rose has its thorn.”

The name of Bret’s team on Celebrity Apprentice was “Rock Solid,” which he came up with.

He has been rock solid through everything.

This should not be a sympathy choice. He has done the job. He won his task as project manager, and was often the de facto leder as other contestants turned to him to take the lead.

He is a special person, and I will always thank him for his contributions to my coming of age. When I was a broke guy in college, taking a girl out on a date meant taking her to the rooftop of my building and slow dancing under the stars to 1980s rock ballads. Between the night sky, the rooftop jacuzzi, and the music of Poison, I managed to have some great nights that broke guys often don’t have.

Bret is ill now, but every thorn also has its rose. He will get better, and continue to provide joy for millions while raising money for his charity.

Donald Trump has an easy decision tonight. Bret Michaels should be the next Celebrity Apprentice. Bret is Rock Solid, and deserves it.

Get well Bret, and thank you for everything you have brought this world. May God bless you always.

As you say in your song “Life Goes On,” “this last mile…I travel with you.”

We are all traveling on this road with you Bret.

Be well.


Update: Donald Trump chose Bret Michaels as the Celebrity Apprentice.

Trump had a very difficult decision this time, and I was curious to see how he would handle it.

On a cold, logical, business level devoid of emotion (which I often advocate), Holly Robinson Peete raised the most money in the history of the show.

On an emotional level, which I have repeatedly stated should have nothing to do with the decision, Bret Michaels nearly dying and coming back to fight for his charity does matter.

Emotion normally should not be a deciding factor, but this case was a rare and appropriate exception.

Yet the problem is that since the winning charity gets $250,000, allowing sympathy for Bret Michaels to reign supreme would cheat innocent children that Holly Peete is fighting for.

Trump got this one perfectly right. I have admired him in the past, but this time he really showed the wisdom of Solomon.

He got the Snapple executives to match his $250,000, so both contestants saw their charities win. Once that was taken care of, the winner of Celebrity Apprentice was more symbolic.

Symbols do matter. Bret Michaels showed more character than many people in this world these last few weeks.

He was one of my music heroes as a teenager, but these past few weeks I have admired him as an adult even more than as a young rocker wannabe.

Holly is the best fundraiser in the history of the show. Bret is one of the best people in the history of the show. His heart shone through from day one.

Trump has been called heartless, but if he was, he would have picked Holly. Some will say that he would have faced a torrent of media criticism, but Trump has never shied away from making unpopular decisions.

I think that even though he has made his life engaging in projects to make money, he was genuinely moved by Bret Michaels.

I know I was.

I can’t wait to meet Bret Michaels one day and thank him. He has no idea what his music did for me as a kid.

I have said many prayers for him.

Trump got it right, and Bret Michaels will hopefully rock on for years to come.

The tears flowed from many, but as Bret reminded us in Poison’s first song, you gotta “Cry Tough.”

Nice job Mr, Trump.

Very classy Holly.

Rock on always Bret. God bless.


The Illegal Immigration Mexican Conundrum

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

Illegal immigration from Mexico has been in the news lately. At least I think it has. I was busy watching sports when somebody may or may not have been talking about it.

Yet one issue is never brought up. It is the reason why I am hesitant to take tough action, especially regarding the border fence.

In twenty years (or less), when Americans are fleeing to Mexico for a better quality of life, what if they don’t let us in?

Let’s be honest. America is flushing itself down the potty machine. Our inevitable loss in some worthless soccer tournament that nobody of consequence cares about will be touted as proof of our decline.

If we build the border fence, how will we escape into Mexico to find work?

If we are not nice to them now, they will not let us in when we need a place to sleep, and of course, a delicious authentic taco salad.

We are not going to take over Canada. There is nothing there. Also, it is too d@ng cold.

Besides, it is not like Mexico can do anything to make matters worse that we have not done already.

The Mexican government has never raised my taxes, not once.

In theory I think we should crack down on illegal immigration. In practice I think that we will be looking at things differently once we need a new place to live.

Mexico does not have Hollywood or San Francisco. In that sense they are much smarter than we are.

Plus, their leader is named Calderone, who was a great bad guy on Miami Vice. Calderone was a drug dealer. Drugs come from Mexico into America. Forget stopping the flow of the drugs North. The drug addicts can just migrate South and we can save money on shipping containers and treatment clinics.

Further proof of the impending financial wealth of Mexico comes in the form of an anagram. Rearrange the letters in the word Mexico, and one gets ” I Comex” Comex is the world’s most well known gold exchange. Mexico is code for “I have gold.”

Gold enriched California, so Mexico is about to get wealthy.

Mexico, you are on notice. Turnabout is fair play. 300 million Americans will be coming to your country and demanding American flags. We will demand signs in English. To be more clear, English will be when people press 1, not 2. We are going to flood your country. Then we will kick your @ss at soccer, even though we still won’t care.

To really add insult to injury, all of Arizona will be coming, and you can’t stop us.

As for New Mexico, I have always suspected that they were part of your nation to begin with. We will return it to its rightful owner.

Texas will most likely stay independent, as it always does.

The conundrum has now been solved. It is time for the United States to take over Mexico. We will not use guns. We will just drain your nation of services.

Then when we are done building the nation up, your people will start sneaking South again, and we will start sneaking North again. It will be a relay race minus the batons. Actually there will be one Baton, the Rouge located in what used to be Louisiana.

Time to migrate South everyone. We better do it before our economy collapses and they seal off the area.

Hawaii will stay put because Japan has nothing to do with this conflict. Maybe we can give Hawaii statehood, despite their insistence they already are a state.

We can declare victory and surrender at the same time.

Mexico, if you think you can keep us Americans out, bring it on. We are ready for you.

Then when we are done screwing up Mexico, we will flee to Cuba.

We will fail our way to world domination.

Our plan is working perfectly. Just try keeping us out Fidel. Castro is an anagram for Castor, which is a type of oil, which is what runs the world.

So open your borders and let us run wild like Baywatch Babes on Spring break.

You asked for it.

Vive America!