Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Vats of Rat Poison and other nonsense…

Before I write this weeks blog entries, let me get a few point out of the way with brief commentary on several things that are going on or have gone down in the last week.

First and foremost, Bill O’Reilly appeared on the Daily Show last night to promote his book The O’Reilly Factor for kids. He was met with as cool as reception as anyone I have ever seen on the show. At one point, after continuous heckling, O’Reilly threatened to go up into the crowd. OK, I know he is tall, but he has “Total Pansy” written all over him. Does he intimidate any of you? Jon Stewart definitely got the better of O’Reilly proving my point once and for all that when O’Reilly doesn’t control the microphone feed of his guests and the commercial breaks he isn’t really all that overwhelming.

There were a number of zingers that are worth mentioning. In a discussion about O’Reilly’s ongoing boycott of all thing French, O’Reilly defended the boycott stating: “There's a lot of bad people out there and it's our job to go after them.” Without even missing a beat Stewart retorted by asking: “So when are you going to start?”

He continually got under O’Reilly’s skin until old Billy-boy called Stewart a “pin-head”. It was not O’Reilly’s finest hour, by any stretch.

In other news, a warrant was issued today in Austin, Texas for Representative Tom Delay on state conspiracy and money laundering charges. Delay is expected to surrender in his home county outside Houston and be transferred to Austin where he will be booked, fingerprinted and photographed. (On a side note, I will be forever indebted to the first person to post a comment with a link to Delay’s mug shots.) Delay’s lawyer, Dick DeGuerin, is hoping to avoid the fingerprinting and photographing but referred to the whole affair as “a matter of routine.” A matter of routine??? Maybe if you are John Gotti! I must admit to having a smug smile on my face as I type this. Any true conservative who feel that this is a huge loss for the conservative revolution of 1994 needs to read George Will’s column in last weeks Newsweek about K Street Conservatism, it is a great read.

It seems to me that the Tommy “Rat Trapper” Delay is feeling the shoe on the other foot. I wonder if he is enjoying getting “hammered” for a change. And no, I am not referring to drinking too many tequila shots in Juarez!

I read an article last week regarding an American effort, undertaken to correspond with the high level meeting between the Chinese and U.S. government officials taking place this week in Beijing, to convince the Chinese to save less and spend more of their discretionary income. All this is in response to reports that our trade surplus with China is set to exceed $200 billion. This is up from $162 billion just last year.

While Americans save on average less than 1% of our income, the Chinese, on average, save circa 40% of their income. This gap is flabbergasting. It continues to grow. The Chinese are earning more but spending the same amounts on goods and services.

A great quote from the article: “After viewing slabs of fatty pork and nibbling on a fried pastry, Mr. Snow extolled the virtues of the average Chinese buying ‘more stuff,’ be it Chinese-made sofas or new ovens. ‘We see the growth of consumerism ... as going directly to what is most on our mind, which is the global imbalance’ in trade, he said.”

I understand the economic argument that goes into this asinine scheme, but I question the logic. Lets see if I can break it down: 1. Americans save almost none of their income. 2. Americans buy a lot of good from China, creating a trade deficit. 3. The ‘powers that be’ think this is bad for the U.S. economy in the long run (duh!). 4. The U.S. starts an official campaign to get the Chinese people to save less and spend more, instilling America’s consumerist plague on them.

Wouldn’t it simply be easier to promote savings in the United States? No, because then all the corporations that support politicians and make all the useless crap wouldn’t be as rich.

What a joke!

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