October 21, 2008

YABB a-dabba doo

I'm back from Florida.

It's 6:05 AM and I'm at my desk in Trumbull, having quickly skimmed my mail for anything important, and the news, in case anyone has flown planes into any buildings. It's a bit early for that, but one never knows.

I remembered my " badge" this morning, and it still worked, so I'm in the building! It should have worked, but in these times, it's a good feeling when it does. Sort of like successfully getting through the puffer at the Palm Beach International Airport. I've never had to do that before. I stood still in an almost noiseless box, and then was suddenly "puffed" with a few short bursts of air. Then I waited. And waited. After a while I started wondering if I might be standing on a trap door, but I was eventually released, and I was free to fly!

So I've been cleared by The Authorities, my badge still works, and I'm all excited about the start of this new working day! Think of it. I get the chance to help out some poor hapless CEOs.

I hear that Bush and Bernanke want Yet Another Bailout Bill. YABB. We're accustomed to this now. Who's going to stop them? Dennis Kucinich?

I hear that he's directing his staff to begin contacting Wall Street firms who got bailout money. He's authorized his staffers to wag their fingers under the noses of any executives who are taking bonuses from it, and to speak very sternly to them.

I'm sure that'll work. Kucinich has raised $24,504,927 since he was first elected in 1996, and he's up for reelection this cycle. Historically, he's done noticeably less fundraising than average, compared to his colleagues, but the flow of cash to his campaign has really taken off in the last two years, soaring to about 1.75 times the median.

I'm not saying that's bad, but he's been a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee since 1998, and I haven't seen much oversight, and there's been even less reform. One might even suggest that there's been negative reform of Congress, and the entaties it's supposed to oversee and regulate, if you catch my drift.

Oh, did I mention that the Guardian of London reports that 10 PERCENT of the bailout will be spent on pay packages and bonuses for the top executives of the six major firms being bailed out?

Did you get that? Ten percent, 10%, fully 10 percent of the bailout money is going to go for salaries and bonuses to the already rich Wall Street top CEOs.

What'cha gonna do about it, Dennis?

What are you going to do about it, dear reader?

How about public financing of elections?

Socialism? Bad idea? Really? Do you have a better idea? Or do you like the system the way it is?

No, but you're too busy, or you don't know what to do? Maybe you should wait until you're a 98-year-old grandparent and then maybe there'll be time. Let me know how that works out, OK? I'm sure that things will be just fine until then.

Things were fine in Florida. In fact, they went unexpectedly well. Our flights were smooth and there were no delays. My mom was 90 years old on Sunday, and we celebrated it at the ACLF with cake and balloons and champagne for the residents and staff. She walked several miles a day up until about two years ago, but I think I have seen my mom ambulatory for the very last time.

My freeloading brother informed us all that he's voting for John McCain because, among other reasons, he believes in personal responsibility. We visited a cigar factory and watched the manufacturing process for a bit. If I ever come back, and have the time, I want to get a short lesson in cigar-rolling. I think it would be fun. I probably wouldn't want to do it for a living, but heck, it's always nice to have another skill. Connecticut is world-famous for its wrapper leaves. Ironically, the current owner informed me, Connecticut growers ship their leaves to Honduras and it's cheaper for a company based in the United States to buy their Connecticut wrappers from Central America than it is for them to get fresh leaves domestically. Former U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull once said: "When goods cross borders, armies don't." but I'm having almost as much trouble believing that the global trade system is working to my advantage as I am believing that the global financial system is.

I'm an omnivore, with generally diverse eating habits. My flexibility and sense of experimentation came to a screeching halt when I sat down in a booth in a Florida diner and saw dolphin on the menu. Blackened or broiled. Dolphins are way too high up on the intelligence chain for me to look at that offering without shuddering. The offering turned out to be dolphin fish, otherwise known as mahi-mahi which sounds a whole lot better than Pan Fried Flipper Flank.

So things worked out. My mom didn't give me too much grief. In fact, she seemed downright grateful, an unusual event that I plan to cherish. My brother didn't cause any trouble. The weather was perfect. I ate some great Cuban chicken and had the best double espresso of my life.

Now it's time to get to work, and start generating some taxable revenue in the hopes that someday, if I need a loan, some spinoff of The Slimy Six will loan my money back to me at a reasonable interest rate.

The election is in exactly two weeks. I plan to vote. Both candidates are promising change.

I'm not holding my breath.