Monday, February 23, 2009

Profanity Saves a Life

Sharp-elbowed White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, for whom the f-word serves as a punctuation mark, went out to the movies on Saturday (specifically to see The Wrestler, go figure). While there, the gentleman sitting next to him apparently had a seizure. The movie theater's employees wanted to move the poor man out of the theater right away, so that they could re-start the movie. Emanuel gave them a firm talking-to, insisting that they leave him where he was until the EMTs arrived.
(h/t Wonkette)

I am sure that, with the recent Congressional fights over the stimulus bill and embarrassments over Cabinet appointments, Rahm Emanuel has had plenty of opportunity to use his powers of profanity. It must have been a real thrill to use them for what was indisputably the greater good.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Is Russ Darrow Recession-Proof?

The job fair held by Wisconsin car dealership The Russ Darrow Group made national news this week. It seemed amazing, with the auto industry in a downward spiral and the overall economy shedding jobs, that a car dealership would be hiring. The Russ Darrow Group's management painted an optimistic picture of having plenty of cars to sell and money to lend, and of never laying off a successful salesperson.

It's a brilliant marketing strategy. Salespeople are paid mostly on commission. Most companies have a 30-day waiting period before employees become eligible for benefits like health insurance. By that time, those new salespeople will have guilted any friends and relatives who might be thinking of buying a car into buying one from Russ Darrow. Once they've exhausted their own personal sales prospects, most of those new employees will not be successful salespeople, and Russ Darrow will have to regretfully let them go. The additional short-term sales they bring in will more than cover the costs of their brief employment.

If their business is really booming, why is Russ Darrow trying to sell the real estate that currently hosts its Wauwatosa Kia/Misubishi dealership?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Migrating Geese

I saw a flock of geese land in a field near Token Creek and graze among the stubble as the sun went down today.

I hope that means they are optimistic that Spring is just around the corner.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Modern-Day Tantalus?

If the U.S. were more like China, Stewart Parnell would be executed by firing squad.

In Greek myth, Tantalus offended the gods by serving them a stew made from human flesh (to test their omniscience). He was punished in Hades with eternal thirst and starvation. He was surrounded by food and water that always receded when he reached for it.

I think Stewart Parnell should be locked in a room with nothing to eat but recalled products that were made at his company's vermin-infested plants (and plenty of water to wash it down and keep him hydrated when the salmonella catches up with him).

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Coraline May Be the Year's Best Horror Movie

It's well-made, creepy and dark, like a Brothers Grimm fairy tale for the Internet age. The PG rating definitely stands for parental guidance -- don't take young children to this movie. One would think that, in these days of South Park and Robot Chicken, parents would not assume that anything animated is meant for all ages, but one would be wrong. In the theater last night, I heard a young tyke loudly bawling that it was too scary. Fortunately, the parents were sufficiently responsible to leave with the child at that point. Older kids will probably be fine. If the idea of an animated elderly burlesque queen putting on a show in pasties offends your sensibilities, however, keep your kids at home.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Banks Finding Their Bootstraps

Two days ago, President Obama proposed limiting the CEO compensation of banks who receive government bail-out money to no more than $500K. Today, Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis announced that his bank will need no additional money from the government.

Well done, Mr. President. At this rate, you'll be able to use leftover TARP funds to help pay for that bloated stimulus bill.