Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Inaugural Droppings – III

This is Change?

As shocking as it was that Ronald Reagan’s first purely social outing in Washington was to attend a Georgetown dinner party hosted by Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham, Barack Obama has topped that by a mile. Well by about eight miles. He went to dinner the other night at the Chevy Chase, Md., home of George Will.

Barack Obama eating at George Will’s house? That pompous blustering proto-fascist (economically speaking, of course) blowhard who hasn’t had an original idea since Obama was in grade school? Yes, that one. Apparently his only attraction to Obama was that he hated the Bushes, pere et fils.

I have read and listened to George Will for about 35 years and I have observed him up close, and there is not a single iota of virtue that I can detect in the man. His writing about baseball has made me come close to giving up that passion of mine.

I am not sure how close Will’s mansion is to, or if it is the same house as, the abode where he came home one night to find his clothes on the front lawn, courtesy of his then-wife. Current wifey is much younger and much more conservative than No. 1. I knew her when she was a campaign gofer, and I suppose working for Strom Thurmond qualified her as a marital partner.

I do know from the Internet that Will’s house has 3,400 square feet of living space on property of more than 12,000 square feet and was recently re-assessed – thanks to the Depression – from $2,145,000 to 2,044,000.

Maybe I am being too harsh on Obama. He only paid about $600 million for his new digs.

Keep the Change

I know we are all supposed to detest the political pettiness – the “gotcha” politics that results in things you wrote, smoked or dated in college making you suddenly ineligible for high office.

But I think some things are important. Like would-be Attornies General (Kimba Wood) paying nanny taxes, like would-be labor secretaries hiring illegal help, and, yes, would-be treasury secretaries not paying taxes.

Tim Geithner has to go. His problem isn’t that he made an arithmetic error or didn’t understand the law. He had accountants, he was a consultant to the International Monetary Fund and he was chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of New York. Yet he did not know that as a consultant he had to pay self-employment taxes? EVEN I KNOW THAT from my consulting days (okay, last year.)

Come on! This man, however brilliant he might be, however critical our nation’s economic situation is, Obama ought to find someone to run a department that oversees tax collections who has paid his taxes.

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