Thursday, November 30, 2006

Letter of Resignation

Recently retrieved from a wastebasket in the Oval Office of The White House:

Dear Mr. President:

It is with great regret that I offer my resignation. It has truly been an honor and a pleasure working under you these last six years.

No matter what people say, I think we can both be proud of the things we accomplished. I know I will always cherish the many near misses and our occasional brush with success.

Some observers will undoubtedly criticize me for rushing into projects unprepared. That is their right.

But if fools rush in where wise men fear to tread, then I’m proud to be labelled a fool. And I’m doubly proud that you, sir, were right there at my side.

I will always admire your abundance (some would say overabundance) of that quintessential American quality called sticktoitiveness. You were never afraid to declare "mission accomplished" even before the job was completed.

I am saddened that you have faced public criticism for some of my decisions. Just because the ultimate authority always rested with you should never detract from the fact that I and others were actually calling the shots.

Frankly, sir, it comes as somewhat of a relief to be done with my job. It is very frustrating to be criticized day after day by people who have no patience and measure success in completely different ways from you and me.

We know that any job worth doing is worth doing over the course of decades, not just years. Those who believe in the quick fix or the so-called slam dunk will never understand what real work means.

Let’s face it, sir, small minds cannot achieve greatness. They would have us explore all options and plan for every contingency before taking even the smallest of baby steps.

But to achieve true greatness, risks must be taken and rules must be broken. Not only did we think outside the box, we even questioned the box’s very existence.

We in our business know that it’s a dog eat dog, take no prisoners world out there and that our seat of the pants, anything goes attitude will, in the end, always come out on top. And if we were to take prisoners, we’d make them sorry they ever surrendered. Metaphorically speaking, of course.

Someone once said "A man’s reach should exceed his grasp or what’s a heaven for?" I don’t know what the heck that means but somehow I feel that that is just what we were doing.

I know that some of our competitors will take joy in my departure. But if they think my leaving will deplete our team’s ranks of single-minded, unilateral risk takers, they are sadly mistaken.

Some will no doubt speculate that you asked me to resign and will read all kinds of things into my decision. But you and I both know that you didn’t ask for my resignation, at least not directly.

Finally, let me just say how proud I am to have contributed to the success of your administration in whatever small, insignificant way that I could. Thank you for your almost unwavering support and good luck in pursuing whatever goals you have in mind. May freedom and democracy flourish wherever you go.

Please carry on your mission without me knowing that, whatever else happens in my life, I will always have a special place in my heart for the Iraq that might have been.



Tuesday, November 28, 2006

W's Blog - Summer 2005

1600 PA. AVE. - An occasional anonymous summertime weblog by "No. 43"

August 31

Had to cut my vacation short. Lots of folks flooded out in the Big Easy. Just as well since that Sheehan woman was wanting to see me again. Pretty hard to have a quiet rest clearing brush with all that shouting and cursing going on. (Note to self: Next year consider imposing a five-mile, liberal-free zone around the ranch.)

August 30
I was honored to help in the celebration of VJ Day. Apparently today was the 60th anniversary of this event. Frankly, I was surprised to find that out. I always thought that MTV didn’t have their first music video broadcast with a veejay until about 1981. It just goes to show you that you can learn something every day.

August 20
Whooeee! Got to go biking with Lance Armstrong. Boy, that guy is fit and he didn’t even fall off once. Lance told me not to worry about any charges of electoral wrongdoing. He says that by the time anyone finds out, I’ll be out of office and untouchable. Lance says that unless they follow proper protocol, you’re home safe.

August 2
Well it’s time to head to the ranch again. I can’t tell you where it’s located since that might blow my cover. Let’s just say it’s not in Washington. I sure am glad to get out of that town. After a year of fighting terrorism and cutting taxes, I’m dead tired and really need a rest. Five weeks should recharge the old batteries and help me get back to spreading freedom around the world.

August 1
That John Bolton’s one crazy guy. Did you hear what he said he’d do to the UN Building in New York? Hilarious. He cracks me up; he really does. But those wimps in the Senate didn’t want to let him work at the UN. I fooled them, though. Did you know you can appoint someone all on your own after Congress recesses? Me neither but apparently you can. Who knew? Hats off to Al Gonzales for spotting that one.

July 28
Phoned my pal Raphael Palmeiro to congratulate him on his 3,000th hit - of a baseball, that is. Boy that guy is fit and he sure has nice muscle tone. I asked him how he got to be so ripped and he laughed and said "Don’t ask; don’t tell." All he would say is that if I wanted to enhance my performance, give Barry Bonds a call.

July 19
That Alberto G. is a genius. I had to nominate someone for the Supreme Court and it was what we call a Goldilocks appointment - you know, just right but not too right. I don’t know where he came up with this guy John R. but he’s perfect. He’s about as pure as the driven snow and Al says he’ll do whatever Tony and Clarence tell him to do. Kind of like the relationship I have with Dick, Karl and Paul.

July 14
My buddy Karl seems to have gotten a woman into trouble. It’s not what you think, though. Cause if it was, I’m sure Karl would do the right thing and marry her. In the meantime, Karl says best to say nothing about all this if anyone asks. That’s fine by me. I’m as good at saying nothing as anybody. Except maybe for Scott McClellan.

July 4
Can you believe all the whining and complaining about Iraq from those Democratic wusses? Just because a few thousand National Guard troops get re-upped, they think this war is a disaster. Believe me, I was in the National Guard and I know those fellows don’t mind doing their part. I know I was ready to do my share back in 1972 or 73 or whenever it was that I served. If there had been a big war on then, you wouldn’t have seen me complaining about two or three tours of duty overseas.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Daily Market Analysis

Subscribers to "Dave’s Daily Market Analysis" received the recent daily in-depth stock market reports:

Monday: Dow @ 12,105 up 156 points; NASDAQ @ 2,316 up 28 points

Today’s uptick in the markets is not surprising given recent economic developments. The employment numbers came out showing a rise in the number of unemployed workers. This, of course, dampens inflationary trends thereby ensuring the Fed will not be raising interest rates any time soon. The markets took all this good news in stride with gains across the board.

Tuesday: Dow @ 11,910 down 195; NASDAQ @ 2,325 up 9

Entirely predictable action on the Dow given the international trade figures released today. The U. S. balance of payments deficit hit an all-time high for the year which negatively impacted both the manufacturing and industrial sectors. Rapid growth in the Asian economies of course increased demand for high tech support which easily explains the modest increase in the NASDAQ.

Wednesday: Dow @ 12,250 up 340; NASDAQ @ 2,230 down 90

No surprises here as market watchers were long expecting institutional fund managers sitting on unduly large cash holdings to jump back in to U. S. equities. Today’s "bandwagon" effect was initiated at the opening bell and predictably drove trading throughout the day. If anything, the increase was not quite as big as expected. Cash-to-equities transactions of course spelled trouble for the NASDAQ which not surprisingly dropped significantly.

Thursday: Dow @ 12,005 down 245; NASDAQ @ 2,300 up 70

Savvy investors saw this development coming a mile away. Profit taking combined with a full moon and the first appearance of Venus in the northern sky made today’s market moves obvious. That and the start of the new school year meant no one versed in market analysis was caught off guard by today’s drop. And where did all that profit taking money go? Why to the NASDAQ, of course! Hence, up 3% on a record volume.

Friday: Dow @ 12,105 up 100; NASDAQ @ 2,316 up 16

Always take the long view with the markets. Day-to-day fluctuations can always be explained. But the important thing is long term performance over an extended period of time like, say, a week. The markets for this week were flat which was easily foreseen by the uncertainty in the housing market and the fact that the current astrological sign is Libra. A balanced approach to a balanced portfolio always spells slow, steady growth.

Monday: Dow @ 11,805 down 300; NASDAQ @ 2,166 down 150

Stellar economic indicators and strong third quarter corporate profits may have fooled many investors. Those not alert to underlying market realities would have missed today’s drop. But those who realized that today is October 24th knew that Libra gives say to Scorpio and a market sting is invariably the result of late October trading.

Tuesday: Dow @ 12,005 up 200; NASDAQ @ 2,266 up 100

Of course those economic numbers from Monday weren’t meaningless. Often, analysts take a day or two to fully assess their impact and then make their move. Entirely predictable and completely foreseeable.

Wednesday: Dow @ 12,205 up 200; NASDAQ @ 2,366 up 100

As I said, analysts often take one or two days to analyse the latest economic stats. The real shocker would have been if the markets had not gone up today.

Thursday: Dow @ 11,805 down 400; NASDAQ @ 2,166 down 200

Those not expecting profit taking after two straight days of sizable gains are not being realistic. And those in the know long ago spotted that today was a triple-witching day on Wall Street namely, a high tide, a lunar eclipse and the giant end-of-season sales at Brooks Brothers and Marc Jacobs.

Friday: Dow @ 12,000 up 195; NASDAQ @ 2,300 up 134

If you took yesterday’s 10% increase in the price of oil as a sign to cut your losses, you haven’t been paying attention. Oil’s up and that means the resource sector will drive the market for the next 24 hours. After that, it’s anybody’s guess.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Good Times, Bad Times

This piece is returning to my blog after an appearance on the humor site Yankee Pot Roast:

New to me but apparently familiar to many local readers is a daily newspaper called "The New York Times."

Although I am generally not a fan of the so-called broadsheet format, I was willing to give this publication a try. Sadly, it failed to meet my basic journalistic standards on almost every count.

First, the front page is, in a word, boring. From its baroque masthead to its six-column overindulgence in the printed word, the Times (as it apparently is colloquially known) simply appears not to be trying.

Some might excuse the rather tedious layout due to the broadsheet format. But I don’t buy it. If "USA Today" can manage to pack a rainbow of color on its front page, there’s no reason "The New York Times" can’t do so as well.

If it were only its front page that was deficient, perhaps I could give this paper a passing grade. Unfortunately, the front page sets the tone for what’s inside.

A quick perusal of the sports section, for example, leaves one wondering why they bothered at all. Where there should be a plethora of exciting color pictures of the games of the day, there is instead an ongoing parade of needlessly lengthy reports interspersed with something called analysis.

Alas, photographs are few and far between. The only good thing I can say about this sad section is that if you’re a fan of cricket, rugby or international soccer, there’s something in there for you. But, in my view, the extra space devoted to such arcane exotica could be put to better use with more photos.

Believe it or not, "The N. Y. Times" does not carry an editorial cartoon. At least the edition I reviewed didn’t have one. Unless you count the inclusion of a caption-less line drawing bearing no relation to the events of the day. Which I don’t.

I’ve never been sure why newspapers devote space to political columnists, op-eds and editorials. But if a paper insists on foisting such features on its readers, the least it can do is make them interesting.

A grave oversight is the lack of a point-counterpoint opinion feature. Although "The Times" doesn’t stint on the number of columnists (another failing, I submit), how is the reader to know the columnists’ political leanings unless they are arrayed against one another in the traditional pro-con format?

It may be that such featured scriveners as Dowd, Friedman, Krugman and Brooks actually have something of note to say. But to expect the reader to forage through two or three columns, several editorials and an equal number of op-ed pieces is pure arrogant fantasy.

A review of the rest of the paper suggests that its pretentious masthead slogan might better read "All the news that fits we print." Report after endless report about all manner of inconsequential happenings sadly evidences the lack of a practised editorial hand. Far fewer so-called news reports and more snappy lifestyle features and color graphics would greatly enhance this stodgy daily.

Another shortcoming of this colorless journal is its relentless New York-centered coverage of the news. Yes, it’s "The New York Times" but it’s not necessary to hammer the reader over the head with that fact. From a Broadway-dominated Arts section to a Wall Street-centric Business section to a New York-jammed section called "New York/Region", it’s as if the world beyond Manhattan Island doesn’t exist. Such a provincial approach to the news is certain to doom this paper to a regional audience at best.

To ensure a fair and balanced approach to my review, I decided not to base it solely on one daily edition. In the spirit of good journalism, I reserved judgment until I had viewed a sample Sunday edition.

In retrospect, I wish I had not vowed to be so thorough. My faithful readers will know that I am not a big fan of Sunday editions. If you can’t say what needs to be said in six days, you’re not going to make up for that deficiency with an extra paper.

Although Sunday editions tend to be bigger than their weekday counterparts, "The New York Times" far exceeds any reasonable limit. The issue I purchased was over two inches thick and weighed in at a wrist-spraining three pounds. It made most magazines look anorexic by comparison and, in fact, even contained within its endless folds its own magazine.

Not only did the Sunday paper feature all the excesses of its weekday cousin, it also contained entire bloated sections devoted to everything from books to cars to fashion. Each of those sections kept to the paper’s apparent formula of "more is less" in what is surely the world’s most egregious misuse of newsprint.
All I can say is that if you need a functional doorstop, your four dollars would be better spent on a decorative brick than this poor excuse for arboricide.

I am sad to report that, as a daily newspaper, "The New York Times" is an outright failure. I suspect its owners will find it difficult to achieve six-figure circulation numbers even in a city as big as New York. Don’t be surprised if they pull the plug on this stillborn gazette sooner rather than later.

Next week, I’ll review what appears to be a more promising paper from the Big Apple - a terrific, tightly-edited tabloid called "The New York Post."

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Name's Bush, George W. Bush

"With ‘Casino Royale’, we’ve not only got a new Bond, we’ve also got a new approach to the genre. It’s revisionist. It’s going back to the roots of Bond’s character."
- James Chapman, author of "License to Thrill"

All of Washington, D. C. is abuzz with excitement. This January marks the opening of a new political season with a new George Bush. And once again that signature phrase will echo across the nation’s capital: "The name’s Bush, George W. Bush."

Bush watchers have long been waiting to see which role the man would adopt in light of the recent midterm election results. Some, of course, are fans of his early work, such pre-9/11 performances as the compassionate conservative Bush and the "I’m a uniter, not a divider" Bush.

Many more, however, are partial to the post-9/11 actor. These are the folks who cherish those great Bush roles like the fighter pilot in "Mission Accomplished", the ardent unilateralist in "Weapons of Mass Destruction" or the lone gunslinger in "Bring It On" and again in "Wanted Dead or Alive."

Some of these post-9/11 fans have been disappointed by more recent works. A number of critics would likewise agree that such productions as "Democracy in Iraq", "Katrina" and "I’m the Decider" are not the strongest entries in the Bush canon.

Most fans also have their favorite Bush villain. Longtime Bush followers point to the pompous Gore in 2000 while others are partial to Saddam and Kerry. But most will agree that the nastiest of the lot is the yet-to-be-defeated Osama.

It appears that Mr. Bush may finally have met his match against the criminal organization DNC, the Democratic National Committee. Despite years of success against this band of terrorists, dozens of Bush compatriots recently fell to an onslaught of Democratic bad guys. But Bush has been counted out before and survived to live another day. Guided by the masterful K and the all-powerful Dick, he always seems to be able to grab victory from the jaws of defeat.

Although we won’t know for sure until January which Bush we’ll see this time, there have been some hints. At a recent sneak preview, some fans heard a new Bush sounding much like the original Bush with a liberal use of words like "cooperation", "compromise" and "bipartisanship."
But all that may be just the latest Washington teaser designed simply to put bums in the seats. When it comes to George W. Bush, the only sure thing is that he will be shaken, not stirred.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Washington Weather

And now here’s tonight’s weather forecast for Washington and surrounding areas:

After six years of a generally overheated conservative weather pattern, look for some dramatic changes as liberal cold fronts from the northeast and mid-west move rapidly into the D. C. area.

If you look at our Doppler radar screen, you can see a dramatic cooling trend. The demarcation line between the existing high pressure area and the new low pressure system appears to bisect Pennsylvania Avenue. Houses to the east of that line will experience a dramatic temperature change while at least one white house to the west is strongly advised to prepare for strong winds and rapid reversals.

Over the next 100 hours, we can expect a number of significant weather events of a type not seen in Washington since the last century. First among those will likely be a new record high minimum in the wage sector. Look, too, for the new unstable weather pattern in the D. C. region to have dramatic effects as far east as Maryland, Delaware and Iraq.

Viewers are advised to be on the alert for false signs of impending calm weather. Intermittent calls for "common ground" and "bipartisanship" will be short-lived and will likely give way to more turbulence and a marked increase in retribution and presidential vetoes.

The instability of our local weather may also be affected by unsettled conditions to our immediate south in Virginia. Preliminary indications are that prevailing southerly winds will dramatically alter the makeup of at least one Capitol chamber in the city. However, a recount of primary meteorological statistics might forestall such an event. Our best estimate, at present, is a 51-49 chance of significant change.

Stormy weather is definitely on the horizon. At least one local defense barrier has already fallen and more may be at risk. Expect to see tax cuts rolled back and an increased likelihood of rain, wind and possibly even impeachment. Not great conditions for smooth sailing but perfect weather for lame ducks.

Given the upcoming meteorological uncertainties, it will no longer be possible for certain D. C. residents to stay the course. However, don’t look for those folks to cut and run any time soon. As was the case with Katrina, they may take a thumpin’ from this latest storm, but expect them to ride out the conditions for at least another two years.

Depending on which Washington house you reside in, tomorrow’s short term forecast is either sunny and optimistic or gloomy and overcast with occasional frost.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Dear Dick

Dear Dick,

OK, enough is enough. You and Karl wanted me to run in 2000 and I said "Yes." But I didn’t figure six years later I’d still be stuck in The White House. Heck, I was as surprised as anyone that I won.

All I wanted to do was serve out the four years and then get back to my ranch. But then 9/11 happened and you guys were all "Let’s get Saddam! Let’s get Saddam!"

I never knew what the heck Saddam had to do with 9/11. But Rummy kept saying we had to invade Iraq and you were all cheering him on.

Everyone was telling me it was a slam dunk and the next thing I know I’m on an aircraft carrier in a flight suit in front of a "Mission Accomplished" sign. You can tell Karl again, "Thanks for nothing."

Well, surprise, surprise; Iraq’s a big mess. Thanks to that, I was sure I’d be done in 2004 but, I’ve gotta admit, that Swift Boat stuff was amazing. Trouble is, instead of getting back to Crawford, I end up winning a second term.

Look, Dick, this is just not working out. Everything we touch turns to crap. You guys told me to cut taxes, so I cut taxes. You told me to go to war, so I went to war. You told me not to worry about Katrina, so I didn’t worry about Katrina. Now even those nice folks in New Orleans hate me.

You know, I’m getting a bit gun shy here. It’s not like I think you guys don’t know what you’re doing. But maybe it’s time you took the heat for all these decisions yourselves.

Now I’m not going to walk away on you tomorrow. But I’m sure as shoot not going to serve two more whole years. This is one lame duck who ain’t gonna fly, if you know what I mean.

As I recall, the deal was that I run for President. Nobody said anything about winning or serving two terms. I’ve already put in six years and I gotta tell you, Dick, I’m tired. And now that we lost the House and maybe even the Senate, I’m really losing my enthusiasm. After all, how long can I keep using the same lines?

So here’s the deal. I’m going to step aside and let you take over. Heck, you’re doing most of the work as it is. You might as well get the credit for it, too.

Now I know it wouldn’t look good if I resigned. But I’ve gotta do something. I can’t take any more of those daily briefings and, if I have to try and stay awake through one more Cabinet meeting, I’m going to scream or maybe even launch a missile or two.

So hows about I step down and say it’s for personal reasons? You know, I want to spend more time with my family or some nonsense like that. I’ve heard other guys say that kind of stuff all the time and get away with it. How come I can’t do it, too?

Or maybe I could just go missing. You know, like Amelia Erhardt or D. B. Cooper. I could just sneak back to the ranch and no one would even have to know.

But I’m telling you, Dick, if you don’t come up with a plan real soon I’m going to think of one all by myself. And you know what happened the last time I did that. From what they tell me, folks are still trying to sort out that prescription drug benefit for seniors.

So let me resign or step down or just go home. I don’t care what you call it or how you do it. So long as I’m gone.

Because if you don’t figure out a way for me to leave, I swear I’ll do something crazy like get impeached. Or maybe I’ll get really wild and start making all my own decisions. Like maybe I’ll invade France or I’ll tax all the oil companies. How’d you like them apples?

Last chance, Dick. This time I’m not kidding. Two more years of this nonsense? No way. I’m outta hear.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Oops! My Bad

It’s funny how failure softens the heart and focuses the mind. First we have a gallows-bound Saddam Hussein urging Iraqis to "forgive, reconcile and make up." Then we have a contrite George W. Bush urging cooperation and bipartisanship for the first time in six years. What’s next? Rush Limbaugh mournfully asking "Why can’t we all just get along?"

Despite President Bush’s about face on the issue of political civility, he still remains a bully. And bullies must be dealt with in a systematic way. Here are some handy tips that the newly-empowered Democrats might want to review:

1. Bullies often call people names or use unkind words like "evil" or "traitors." Respond by telling the bully that he doesn’t have to be friends with the person but there’s no need to use cruel, hurtful language.

2. Often bullies will form exclusionary cliques or clubs to shut others out and make them feel unwanted. They will form alliances and try to coerce others to join. Alternately, they will isolate others as unpatriotic or cut-and-runners. Be forceful and explain to the bully that he doesn’t have to play with everyone or even like everyone but he can’t be cruel about excluding others.

3. One tactic commonly used by bullies is to make false accusations against those weaker than them. A bully might accuse a playmate of having hidden weapons or of conspiring with others. Be firm and insist that the bully provide credible evidence to back up his allegations.

4. A common underlying cause of bullying is that the other child has something the bully wants. A baseball glove, say, or a highly productive oilfield. Stress to the bully that the concept of private property applies to everyone and help him learn how to share.

5. Sometimes it’s necessary to encourage others to speak up on behalf of the one being bullied as in: "Stop picking on him!", "That’s not nice!" or "Stop carpet bombing his homeland!" Encourage them to stress to the bully that they should find a parent or teacher or large multinational organization to help solve the problem.

6. Specify concretely the consequences if the aggression or bullying continues. Point out how past bullying behavior led to lost friends, withdrawn privileges and Vietnam.

7. Remember, bullies generally pick on the weak and defenseless. If you stand up to them (for example, by threatening nuclear annihilation), they will usually back down and opt for negotiation instead of confrontation.

8. Even if the bully is behaving aggressively, remember that this behavior is probably coming from his feelings of vulnerability. It may be a fear of rejection, a lack of love or a series of international misadventures. Get the bully to talk about his feelings at home or in an international forum.

9. If all else fails, remember just to walk away. In some cases, run.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Why I Wear the Eye Mask

I’ve been asked: "Why do I wear the eye mask?"

For me, it was an easy decision. My faith teaches me that God made man in his own image and that there is nothing shameful about the uncovered body. By living my life unclothed, I am providing a daily testament to His glorious creation.

But why the eye mask? If I am otherwise naked, why shouldn’t I leave my eyes uncovered, too?

Again, the answer is easy and straightforward. Although God has created me in his unadorned image, there are many people who have broken His laws. They adorn themselves with all manner of garish coverings and, by forgetting God’s directions, they have created ugliness everywhere. Until the time comes when all people have seen the light and shed their raiment, it is my duty to shield my eyes from such abominations.

Living my life of faith is not easy. When I am in public with my pure innocent unclothed body and black eye mask, I hear the comments people make.

"That’s disgusting; put some clothes on!"

"You pervert! Go live in the woods with the other wild animals."

"Someone call the police!"

Even with the mask on, I can almost see the anger in their faces. And I can feel the fingers pointing and hear the insults and laughter.

Their words are hurtful. They are spoken in anger by people who do not understand. If they, too, would shed their clothing and adopt the mask, they would feel empowered and free.

"But why don’t you at least cover your private parts?" some people say.

For some of my faith, that is acceptable. I know men who choose to not use the mask and wear a simple pair of shorts or sometimes only a codpiece.

For them, it is not necessary to fully comply with God’s laws. But I cannot debase my faith in that manner. When I am in the privacy of my own home, I may wear the codpiece for practical reasons of safety. But in public, I feel shameful if anything but my eyes is covered.

I am tired of the humiliations I face on almost a daily basis. It is not as if I am asking you to shed your clothing and join me in celebrating the Lord (although that would be the right thing to do). All I ask is a little tolerance and understanding. Especially in the middle of winter.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Stay the Course


FROM: K. Rove
RE: New slogan

Mr. President, we have a linguistic crisis. I’m not sure who’s to blame but I think we’ve lost "stay the course." And if "stay the course" is gone then "cut and run" is not long for this world.

I’m really sad to see "stay the course" go. It was probably our strongest and most ambiguous slogan. But there’s no time to "cry over spilled milk" so to speak. We need a new phrase and fast. Please consider these potential candidates:

We did it our way
By drawing on the legacy of that great American hero Frank Sinatra, this one connotes strength and single-minded determination. At the same time, it is suitably vague so that no one can pin you down as to what it actually means. Good for bashing Democrats, too, as in "We did it our way, not the Democrats’ way."

Peace with honor
Apparently this slogan has been used before although my staff couldn’t find out when and where. But I like it. It’s kind of like "As the Iraqis stand up, we’ll stand down" but with a nobler sentiment. Of course "peace with honor" is not in the cards. But by the time folks discover that, your term is over and we’re outta here.

Let them eat cake
I found this one on the Internet but I think it has possibilities. At first blush, I figured it might come across as too haughty and elitist. But if used properly against the Democrats, it may just have enough panache to keep them off balance. We’re still researching the phrase’s origins to make sure it has no negative connotations.

Are you or have you ever been a member of the Baathist Party?
As they say in football, the best defense is a good offense. Quick and repeated use of this one will knock the Democrats back on their heels. Of course they haven’t been members of the Baathist Party but their denials will make them sound like Saddam’s fellow travellers.

Apr├Ęs moi, le deluge
I don’t know what this one means but it’s foreign and that gives it a certain sophisticated "je ne sais quoi." I think it’s the French equivalent of "stay the course" which means that we can get our old favorite back without anyone even knowing.

We’re between Iraq and a hard place
It’s always good to inject a touch of humor into a desperate situation and this might be just the ticket. A little self-deprecation and a couple of laughs can go a long way. You could even combine it with "beat around the Bush" or "It’s all over but the shooting" for some really big yuks. Just remember not to overdo this one.

Mission accomplished
I know, I know. You’re probably saying to yourself: "Been there, done that." But there’s nothing wrong with a little recycling. Declare our mission in Iraq accomplished, fold up the tent and get the hell out.

Yours truly,

Boy Genius

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Dog House of Commons

Ruff-ruff. Woof, woof, woof.

Hi, I’m Oreo. I’m a Portuguese Water Dog and my so-called master has agreed to translate my remarks for this piece.

I’ve never written an op-ed essay before. Heck, I’ve never even written a letter to the editor. But this latest kerfuffle about what somebody named Peter MacKay apparently said has really got me steamed.

The other day I was lying in front of the TV licking myself while watching Question Period on CPAC. I heard some guy say to this Peter fellow: "What about your dog?" Peter replied: "You already have her" and then pointed to an empty seat where his ex-girlfriend usually sits.

Well, everyone’s in an uproar saying how it’s so cruel and demeaning that this guy should compare his ex-girlfriend to a dog. The ex-girlfriend is named Belinda and she’s all upset and demanding an apology. Peter denies saying what he said and refuses to apologize.

Frankly, if anyone deserves an apology, it’s me. I am really, really ticked off. What is wrong with being compared to a dog, I ask you?

Personally, I can attest to the fact that some of the nicest animals on earth are dogs. Now I’m not saying humans are ugly but without their clothes on, they look pretty funny.

And while some of my best friends are human, their race as a whole is not a model for good behavior. I’m not going to start pointing paws but I don’t recall dogs starting any wars. And when it comes to pollution, the odd poop in the park is nothing compared to what humans have done to this planet.

This Peter guy should own up to what he said. Heck, he should take pride in what he said. In my view, there is no greater compliment than being compared to a dog. As you know, we are loyal and friendly and, if I do say so myself, some of us are very attractive.

And where does this human Belinda get off being offended? Peter pays her one of the highest compliments there is and she’s all "He’s rude, boorish and sexist."

You’d think that somebody called her ugly or something. Instead she was compared to the best looking animal around.

Now I’m not a big fan of most humans but I have to admit this Belinda woman is not bad looking. In fact, she kind of reminds me of a certain Afghan Hound named Misty who I’ve been checking out lately at the local dog run.

I think both Peter and Belinda are acting like real dog haters, caninists if you will. Peter should openly and honestly say that he genuinely thinks Belinda is a dog, a real bitch if you will. And for her part, Belinda should graciously accept the compliment and tell Peter that she thinks he would look great naked on all fours with his tongue hanging out. Then they could sniff each other’s butt and put this nasty episode behind them. After all, it’s not like anyone hurled a real insult and compared someone to a cat.

Monday, November 06, 2006

The G.O.P. Daily Gleaner

If the following ads from the classifieds section of "The G.O.P. Daily Gleaner" are any indication, some Congressional incumbents may soon be out of a job:

Employment Wanted
Professional legislator looking to make a lateral move into the field of government lobbying. Specializes in serving single terms as House Representative, Governor and Senator. Will consider White House positions. Only serious offers. No macacas, please. Contact: G. Allen, Box KKK.

House for Sale
White, two-storey colonial in Georgetown available immediately. Features include two-car garage, completely drug-free environment and full heterosexual master bedroom. Vendor motivated. Must sell soon in view of pending move back to Pennsylvania. No queers, perverts or Democrats, please. Contact: R. Santorum, Box 666.

TV Doctor
Longtime Senate MD looking to put his special medical skills to work in a new field. Extensive experience in propping up ailing Republican presidents and conducting video diagnoses of severely brain-damaged, comatose patients. Hoping to start own medical cable network for miracle video cures and political resurrections. Contact: B. Frist, Box 041.

Will Run, Will Travel
Political veteran looking for new opportunities in any branch of government. Not restricted by ideology or party affiliation. Well-versed in singing from any political songbook. Willing to run in any jurisdiction even when not chosen. Independent type open to all kinds of races including three-ways. No bondage, please. Wire: Lieberman, Connecticut.

‘99 Lincoln for Sale
Low-mileage, well-maintained Republican-owned automobile with liberal extras. Capable of driving on either side of the road. $8,000 or best offer. Will drive vehicle home to Rhode Island if buyer wishes. Contact: L. Chafee Box 321.

Will Work for Room and Board
Longtime Washington, D. C. resident looking to return to his native Montana. Will work as farmhand or ranch hand. No forest firefighting please. For references, write J. Abramoff c/o the federal correctional facility in Cumberland, Maryland. Contact: C. Burns Box ZZZ.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Sweat the Small Stuff

Occasionally I'll post a non-politcal humor piece like this one:

A recent visit to my local bookstore revealed a little volume entitled "Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff." Filled with enough homilies, platitudes and meditations to choke a horse, the basic message of this perennial bestseller is that obsessing about everyday problems is counterproductive.

Nice as that sentiment is, I simply can’t let it stand unchallenged. As a lifetime member of the anal-retentive school of neurotic skeptics, I thrive on the small stuff. And with good reason. If you don’t sweat the small stuff, you often end up getting killed by the ensuing big stuff.

I could write a book on this topic but that would take a lot of work and that truly would be counterproductive. So, for now, here are a few of my "prescriptions for living" that require you to, indeed, sweat the small stuff:

1. Go outside, turn around and look at your roof. See those shingles curling at the ends? That’s small stuff but if you don’t get your roof replaced in short order, you’ll soon have more problems than George W. Bush nation building in Baghdad.

2. All things being equal, place the toilet roll with the paper hanging over, not under. Common sense dictates that this provides a shorter distance to reach the paper. No sense in risking undue injury while on the john.

3. Obsess about the nighttime placement of your keys, watch and wallet. The older you get, the less you remember. Put essential things in the same place every night and chances are they’ll be there in the morning.

4. Brush and floss your teeth regularly and religiously. It’s a small thing but it beats root canal hands down. If it’s too late for you, place your teeth in the same spot as your keys, watch and wallet (see item # 3).

5. Always take the same route to work. It gets you there on time and you don’t have to think about it. Risking the "adventure" of change can only lead to disorientation, tardiness and possible multiple traffic violations.

6. Don’t stop and smell the roses. Rose bushes have thorns and you’re probably allergic to roses anyway.

7. Buy your car new and have regular maintenance performed. Overlooking the small stuff can lead to never ending automotive frustration and the unintended financing of the orthodontic work of your auto mechanic’s daughter.

8. Read the expiry dates on food products. Together with mold growth and unusual odors, they are handy reminders as to when to throw out items hiding in the back of your fridge. N.B. - Canned goods with a "19" anywhere in the year are iffy, at best.

9. Avoid computer use. Between computer viruses, e-mail worms and software bugs, every additional minute you spend on-line exponentially increases your chances of being reduced to an incoherent, babbling idiot vainly trying to fix some insoluble computer snafu.

10. Don’t buy more gizmos than you can plug into a standard, two-socket outlet. Each item purchased beyond two doubles your chances of not being able to hook everything up and triples your chances of frying the circuits on at least one device.

11. And finally, resist the urge to buy quick-fix, self-help books filled with aphorisms and daily prescriptions for living. Sure, you can sometimes turn lemons into lemonade. But remember; when someone hands you gators, it’s darn near impossible to make Gatorade.