Thursday, March 26, 2009

How About Some Standards Here?

As a child I was fascinated by the sweepstakes offers that came in the mail. Not knowing any better, I once read the fine print which stated that employees and family members of employees were not eligible to enter. As I grew up I found it to be the standard for sweepstakes.

I'm reminded of that because in the midst of the economic and political upheaval, I am most aghast at the rampant cronyism and corruption that has surfaced in one context or another. There's the Republican member of congress who conveniently invested in property that became part of a government-backed development. Bankers with special relationships; sweetheart mortgages; sons, daughters, husbands, wives associated with firms bailed out; forget campaign contributors. The situation is rank and smells to heaven.

So it strikes me that the least we can do is apply Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes Standards to our elected officials.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Thanks, but No Thanks!

A Democratic senator has proposed a bill to help ailing newspapers. In a separate news account, I read where they would be non profit and would not be able to make endorsements. Not that I'm a skeptic or anything but doesn't that ostensibly describe PBS? We all know how apolitical they are. There is more than one way to endorse a political position.

They Say It's Paved With Good Intentions

That's the road to you-know-where. It's the road that the Czech head of the European Union sees the US taking. Perhaps it's because they've been down that road before, the Czech Prime Minister, who has his own difficulties, had some harsh words for the US plan to spend its way out of recession.

It says something that Russia, China, Mexico, and the Czech Republic have lately felt the need to instruct us on free market capitalism.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sentence of the Day Winner

A $14 trillion economy hangs by a thread composed of (a) a comically cynical, pitchfork-wielding Congress, (b) a hopelessly understaffed, stumbling Obama administration, and (c) $165 million.

-from the aforecited Krauthammer column.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sunday Evening and Some Questionable Duos

Strum und Drang? Over at Townhall, Charles Krauthammer takes on the topic du jour of the AIG bonuses, putting into perspective the over-the-top political response. Something in the situation evokes the figurative. Krauthammer envisions a pitchfork wielding congressional mob wielding confiscatory taxes. NRO's Mark Steyn characterizes it as "Outrage Kabuki." In any case, it is obfuscating the real and vital issues

Sawdust and Greasepaint? Also over at Townhall, Kevin McCullough presents a notion that has occurred to me, namely that Mr. Obama seems to be in over his head. Of all of the things I worried he would do, bumbling was not one. Most interesting stat here is that 83% of those polled don't have much confidence that Mr. Obama's policies are going to work.

Baked or Fried? Try this one over at Fox as to the effects of the recession on buying habits. Up are shoemakers and barbers; down, not surprisingly, is Vegas. In a separate Reuters article over at MSNBC, the discussion is about a recession-fueled bump in fishing.

Animal or Vegetable? The big drama this week was the discovery of "The World's Deadliest Spider" at a Tulsa Whole Foods, only maybe it wasn't the world's deadliest spider after all. In other food-related news, the NY Times advises sugar is coming back into vogue, replacing corn syrup. A welcome development as far as I am concerned.