Archive for the ‘Class Warfare’ Category

Fat Class Warfare

by Daniel Greenfield on Sunday, December 7th, 2014

This is article 72 of 72 in the topic Food/Natural Remedies

There was a time when fat was in and thin was out. Obesity was the privilege of wealth and being thin meant being poor. In simpler societies, before slumming became a romantic pose, there was nothing attractive about not having enough to eat.

To be fat was to be part of the leisure class. Thin meant you were on the road to the poorhouse or to consumption, which meant your body was being consumed, not that you were the one doing the consuming.

Then agriculture was revolutionized and the values flipped. No one in the West was starving to death and the poorest man could still grow fat. By the time the social programs kicked in, weight no longer meant leisure.

With packaged foods widely available and jobs shifting from the factory to the desk, it was entirely possible to work hard and get fat.

On the other side of the aisle, exercise meant leisure time. The standard was set by movie stars who struggled to meet unrealistic standards because they had the time and disposable income to do it.

Fat no longer meant upper class gentry. Instead it meant lower class peasant. As with art, the widespread availability turned minimalism, and eventually the worthless and overpriced, into class signifiers. Conspicuous consumption of that which was widely available was lower class.

The overflowing table made way for micro portions and exotic but barely edible foods. Thin was in on the plate and the waistline.

In many Third World countries where feudalism never ended, the values never flipped. Instead of anorexia, teenage girls suffer from being force fed to make them more marriageable. The wealthy are fat and the feasts at the top never end.

In the West, weight stands in for class, at a time when explicit classism has become politically incorrect. When Europeans sneer at how fat Americans are, and American coastal elites sneer at the rest of the country for being fat, it’s a class putdown.

And no one traffics in class putdowns like the left.

Liberalism has become an engine of class repression, with the super-rich pushing down the rich and the rich liberal undermining the middle class. Its regulatory regime limits social mobility and locks in class privileges even while spewing rhetoric about these and income inequality.

Obesity is a classic moral crusade whose real purpose is to inflate the sense of moral superiority of a particular elite. With the moral codes of sex and drugs having been dismantled by that same elite, obesity is one of the few remaining class signifiers, aside from cigarettes, that it’s safe to hold a moral crusade about.

The War on Fat echoes the same old obsessions of Prohibitionism, a paranoid concern about the inability of the lower classes to care for themselves that verges on bigotry, an imaginary crisis blown out of all proportion in order to justify abuses of power and the self-congratulatory superiority lurking behind the curtain.

Their obesity concern trolling is a combination of classism and nanny statism that brings to mind the days when their ideological forebears thought that the way to deal with the poor was to sterilize those who seemed less capable than the rest to improve the breed.

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Poor Little Rich Liberals

by Daniel Greenfield on Sunday, September 7th, 2014

This is article 195 of 199 in the topic Liberalism

No group has been hit harder by the Obama economy than American liberals. From Marin County, where bundlers have had to struggle to scrape together a few ten grand bills to attend Obama fundraisers, to Washington D.C. whose bedroom communities now have seven of the ten highest household incomes in the country, poverty is hitting poor rich little liberals really hard.

In 2006, Alaska had the highest household income. But voters chose Obama over Palin and these days it’s Maryland. Because six-figure consultants on sustainable development, diversity and transgender bathrooms also need McMansions to go home to after a long day of team building exercises, celebrating Pride Week and snorting small mountains of cocaine.

Despite numbers like these, liberals are barely making ends meet. Some are “dead broke” like Hillary Clinton. Forget about a dollar not buying what it used to. Not even a hundred million dollars does. And there’s poor Joe Biden who claimed not to have a savings account or any stocks and bonds. And he doesn’t. He has five savings accounts and eleven investment funds.

But wealth is relative. Despite earning $100 million, Hillary Clinton claims that she isn’t “truly well off”. And if a woman with a colonial mansion for every occasion is, in the words of her adviser, still just “trying to earn a living”, the economy must really be bad.

With income inequality such a hot topic and Washington D.C. hoovering up more of the country’s wealth than ever, the Democratic Party’s presidential frontrunners are taking a vow of poverty. They aren’t actually draping themselves in burlap sacks and begging for spare change, though they do make a point of being seen shopping at Target or Costco before being driven back in their limos to a pricey exclusive neighborhood, but they are working hard at pretending to be poor.

If Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden can’t convince Democrats that they’re just one step away from begging for spare change on street corners and truly understand the plight of the people who actually work for a living, Elizabeth Warren is always waiting in the wings. After all who better than a Harvard professor who made $429,981 in her last full year of teaching to understand how hard it is to barely get by under income inequality.

Elizabeth Warren has a net worth of around $15 million, making her more working class than Hillary, but less working class than Joe Biden at around a cool million. Like Biden, Elizabeth Warren also isn’t big on investing.

“I realize there are some wealthy individuals – I’m not one of them, but some wealthy individuals who have a lot of stock portfolios,” Warren told an MSNBC host.

Like “Dead Broke” or “Truly Well Off”, “Wealthy Individuals” and “A Lot of Stock Portfolios” are relative terms. Warren only had $8 million in investments. It’s not a lot if you’re a millionaire who, like Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren, spends a lot of time around billionaires.

When you have twenty bucks in your wallet, a million seems like a lot. But when you have a million and hang around those who have fifty million, it doesn’t seem like so much anymore.

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The Problem Isn’t Inequality, It’s Subsidized Equality

by Daniel Greenfield on Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

This is article 251 of 259 in the topic Education

On Monday, two millionaires showed off their latest inequality talking points as Obama used Elizabeth Warren’s student loan bill to bash congressional Republicans.

“If you’re a big oil company, they’ll go to bat for you,” Obama sneered. “If you’re a student, good luck.”

Good luck indeed. Warren’s bill cynically piggybacks on a lower interest rate plan from last year that the House passed 392 to 31. The Republicans, who only care about oil companies, unlike Obama who doled out billions in Green Energy loans to the companies of his donors, voted for it almost en masse.

Unlike it, Warren’s bill isn’t really about student loans and isn’t meant to pass. Like her Bank on Students Loan Fairness Act, it’s political theater by a lifelong fraud who began her career as a fake Indian, was a fake Republican and is now a fake Socialist. It would be easier to find a garden spot on Mars than a single honest moment in the long career of Elizabeth Ann Herring.

Warren’s bill is cynical manufactured outrage trying to link two unconnected things, supposed tax breaks for the rich to student loans, so that her equally corrupt colleagues can hold on to their fiefdom in the Senate by dragging out the overexploited youth vote for the midterm elections.

Elizabeth Warren, a tenured celebrity professor who jumped into politics, and Barack Obama, an untenured law school instructor, who made it big in politics, know exactly why student loan debt is so high and why their measures do nothing to address its real causes.

Harvard Law paid Warren $350,000 to teach a single course. When Scott Brown brought it up during a debate about student loans, she protested. “I want to talk about the issues. Senator Brown wants to launch attacks.”

But Warren’s outrageous compensation is the issue. Harvard pays the adjuncts who teach many of its undergraduate classes an average of $11,037. Elizabeth Warren, who likes comparing the salary of a company’s employees to its CEO’s, isn’t comparing the $429,981 that Harvard paid her before she ran for office to an adjunct’s salary. And unlike a CEO, all Warren did was show up for a little bit and then go back to her real business as a lawyer and government consultant.

The untenured Obama was making a more modest $69,287 for teaching three courses. He was politically connected, but had yet to become a celebrity. After leaving the White House, he can expect to easily pull down a small fortune for showing up to teach a brief seminar at any college.

The price of celebrity professors is paid for by student loans. The successful celebrity professors go on to a career in politics condemning Republicans for not caring enough about student loans.

But while it’s easy to blame Warren’s ridiculous salary for the student loan problem, we didn’t get to a trillion in student loan debt because of her or Clinton’s former Labor Secretary turned inequality campaigner Robert Reich who pulls in $235,791 a year from a public university at UC-Berkeley to teach a course on “Wealth and Poverty” making him one of the highest paid state employees.

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Democrats’ immoral approach to minimum wage

by Lloyd Marcus on Sunday, May 11th, 2014

This is article 185 of 191 in the topic Government Regulations

Thank God Obama and the Democrats’ attempt to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour stalled in the Senate. http://onforb.es/1iAWgRd

Raising the minimum wage destroys jobs. http://fxn.ws/1u4R2R8 Democrats pushing for a higher minimum wage has nothing to do with improving peoples’ lives and everything to do with playing two cards, class envy and fairness, from their deck of hate inspiring cards to win votes.

How much can Mr Joe American grocery store owner afford to pay an unskilled worker just entering the work force? When government pulls an amount out of the air that it believes is a fair hourly wage and forces it on business owners, business owners are forced to make real world economic decisions.

So, rather than Mr Joe American grocery store owner hiring 5 kids for the summer to stack boxes and gather shopping carts in the parking lot, he only hires two kids or none and gathers the carts himself. Traditionally, as one’s knowledge, skills and value to a business increases, so does their pay.

Liberals argue that a family can not survive on minimum wage. News flash, a family is not suppose to survive on minimum wage.

My pet peeve with liberal’s and Democrats’ vision for America is that they always appeal to our lower nature. They gin-up hatred for people who have more than you. As a matter of fact, you have too little because others have too much. Therefore, it is only fair that we empower government to take their stuff and redistribute it to you.

Democrats and liberals say, hey, you want to kill your baby in the final month before birth, no problem. Shame on hateful Republicans and conservatives for trying to change your mind.

Democrats say do not be a sucker like those immigrants who follow the process, assimilate and become U.S. Citizens legally. Just sneak across our borders and we will roll out the red carpet for you.

In their tradition of lowered expectations and standards of behavior, Democrats are not concerned with encouraging employees to better themselves to increase their value to the business beyond minimum wage pay. Instead, with main stream media support, Dems sell the message that employers are mean greedy SOBs. Dems vow to force them to pay employees more money simply for showing up. After all, it is only fair.

Do you see the pattern? Democrats and liberals always encourage a lower behavioral standard and gin-up class envy, division and hate.

Democrats have the audacity to frame the minimum wage as a moral issue. I submit that the Democrats’ approach to minimum wage is immoral; totally based on a “gimme” mindset without giving a hoot about the employer or the business.

Remember the biblical tale of the talents (money)? Before leaving on a business trip, a master gave various amounts of money to three servants to invest. To one servant he gave 5 talents. The second he gave 2 and to the third he gave one talent. Both servants with 5 and 2 talents invested their master’s money, made a profit and were rewarded. The third servant who chose to remain at “minimum wage level,” buried his master’s money for safe keeping, earning nothing for his master. The master was extremely angry with him.

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The War Within the GOP

by Alan Caruba on Sunday, April 13th, 2014

This is article 91 of 94 in the topic Republican Party
I started out a Democrat because my parents were Democrats. When I was old enough to conclude that the Democratic Party was so socialist I could not remain one, I became a Republican. In her nineties, even my Mother registered as a Republican. Times change and people change. Now I am considering registering as an independent. I am waiting for the outcome of the November midterm elections.
My decision will depend on how many Tea Party movement candidates are elected and my hope is that it will be a wave election that rejects so many Democratic candidates that power in the Congress–particularly the Senate–returns to the GOP. Then I will watch to see how much action they take to reverse the damage of Obamacare and other programs in much need of reform, replacement and rejection.
According to Gallup, currently an estimated 42 percent of voters today self-identify as independents Those who identify themselves as Republicans fell to 25 percent.  In 2013 Gallup reported that 41 percent regarded themselves to be conservative or very conservative, but that was the lowest since Obama took office in 2009.
A recent Rasmussen poll found that 59% of GOP voters say that Republicans in Congress are out of touch with the Party’s base. I suspect that’s because the base is more conservative than its elected representatives. Conversely, Democrats are quite happy with theirs.
The emergence of the Tea Party movement has dramatically demonstrated the unhappiness of voters with the direction the nation has taken since Obama was elected in 2008. At the heart of their displeasure are the dreadful state of the economy and the growing fear of a Big Government that extends more and more control over all aspects of their lives.
The internal debate within the GOP is showing up in commentaries among its pundits. It reflects to some degree the fears of its establishment elites who have managed to serve up John McCain and Mitt Romney, both of whom lost because they waged campaigns devoid of any serious criticism or confrontation with liberalism. The Party has lost the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections.
They suffered as well from an incessant Democratic Party campaign to define Republicans as indifferent to the poor, aligned with large corporations, and hostile to illegal immigrants, homosexuals and women.
With the help of the mainstream media, these themes are constantly repeated. Meanwhile, cities and states run by Democrats are going bankrupt thanks to their devotion to spending and alliance with public service unions. You could line up the agendas of the Democratic Party and the Communist Party USA side by side and find very little difference.
Unfortunately, there are voices in the GOP that sound more like Democrats than Republicans. The most visible to emerge is Jeb Bush, a former Florida Governor, whose informal recent remarks sound like Democrat-light. He could have better articulated the need for immigration reform, but he did not. This is a common problem among too many Republicans in office or running for one, no matter what the issue may be.
Jeb Bush favors Common Core, a federal program of education standards that represent why education in America is failing and has been for a very long time. Regrettably, his brother, George W. Bush advocated “Leave No Child Behind” with its comparable standards.

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You Say You Want a Revolution

by Dr. Robert Owens on Saturday, April 5th, 2014

This is article 426 of 469 in the topic Government Corruption

Our revolution changed the world. Our Declaration of Independence proclaims self-evident truths. That all men are created equal, they’re endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights, among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These words shook a world held in the vise-grip of hereditary privilege inspiring people around the globe. Our Constitution established a representative republic with a limited government of the people, by the people and for the people.

We’ve watched as our constitutionally limited government grew until today it’s a leviathan running amok like Godzilla in Tokyo smashing things and scaring boy scouts. Today the Federal government is the largest employer in America, states are the largest employers in the states and counties are among the largest employers in the counties get the picture? Government is on a rampage and unless Mothra is going to fly in to save the day we’ll have to deal with Frankenstein-on-the-Potomac ourselves.

Such brazen power-plays as the Executive branch issuing the Legislature an ultimatum, either pass Cap-N-Trade or we’ll impose it administratively through command-and-control make the dramatic changes in our political culture shockingly apparent. Has our balance of powers melted away under the glare of executive orders, signing statements and now ultimatums? Some people say this is evolution. To others it’s devolution. Our hard-won and dearly-paid-for Republic is devolving into a command-and-control all-encompassing central-state.

With political dynasties bequeathing congressional seats like hereditary fiefdoms it’s becoming hard to explain why we left the British Empire. Today we not only have taxation without representation as congressional party-line voters ignore their constituents we also have representation without taxation as the perpetually re-elected Lords and Ladies represent the illegal immigrants and the professional welfare hammock-riders.

These big government social planners may believe they’ve achieved their community organizing goals fulfilling Historian Will Durant paraphrase of Lincoln’s famous quote, “It may be true that you can’t fool all the people all the time, but you can fool enough of them to rule a large country.” They may believe their revolutionary administration will fundamentally change America however, if they’d step 20 miles outside the Beltway obviously there’s a counter-revolution brewing. The Tea Party is overtaking the Republican Party in popularity. It has already supplanted them at the grassroots of the conservative movement. By 2010 an avalanche of voters thronged the polling places demanding their country back.

Following the tactics of Saul Alinsky brought the Obama-Acorn-SEIU coalition control of the Democratic Party and the country but following the Cloward/Piven Strategy for overwhelming the system to impose an alternative system is going to lead to a complete repudiation of this radical departure from traditional American politics and economics. We aren’t Venezuela. Even after decades of legislative efforts to progressively create a permanent underclass of government dependents who’ll follow the leader to the next looting of productive members of society the majority in this country still want freedom and opportunity not cradle-to-grave mediocrity.

We can and should stage a counter-revolution against this growing tyranny. A peaceful, lawful revolution at the ballot box and if you’re talking about destruction, you can count me out. The last thing we need in this crowded theater full of combustible emotions is either a match or someone shouting fire. Any incident right now would trigger a massive response.

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Amnesty for All, Jobs for None

by Daniel Greenfield on Monday, March 10th, 2014

This is article 421 of 468 in the topic Immigration

Like a married man preparing to cheat on his wife, the Republican Party is circling around amnesty while pretending not to, making excuses, professing love for its base and then when it thinks no one is looking, it makes a run for the open border.

Amnesty is a cheap date for Democrats and Republicans. For Democrats, it puts a lot of cheap votes on the table. The Democrats have been using immigrants as cheap votes before the invention of the telephone. And the Republicans justify their betrayal by convincing themselves that they can begin scoring 39 percent of the Hispanic vote in all their elections again without considering what 11 percent of 11 million will do to their margins in even the reddest red states.

Paul Ryan, who can do the math for everything else, loses his calculator when it comes to counting the impact of a population that is already a disproportionate drain on social services and enthusiastically supports big government spending,

But big business has always supported cheap labor, which is why the Republican establishment may spend 5 minutes at home with its base before heading back to D.C. for a lecture on how illegal alien amnesty will turn the economy around. Illegal alien amnesty is even more damaging to the voting base of the Democrats than of the Republicans, but that hasn’t stopped the AFL-CIO and the NAACP, organizations whose members will take a severe beating from an illegal alien amnesty, from selling out the people they claim to speak for and joining the amnesty parade.

Democratic and Republican Amnesty supporters, obsessed with feudal dreams of cheap nannies and field hands, despise their base. Democratic feudalists use the language of civil rights and Republican feudalists use the language of the free market, but both are just looking for excuses to cheat on their base with cheap labor and cheap votes.

After a decade, illegal alien amnesty that leads to citizenship and family reunification will kill the ability of the Republican Party to win national elections. But it will also kill the ability of black men under thirty to find a job. Black unemployment is already staggeringly high and throwing in millions of new low-skilled workers will make urban centers more blighted and dangerous than they are now.

But nobody in D.C. cares about that, even though many of the blighted neighborhoods are not all that far away from the gilded centers of power. Blight means cheaper votes for the Democrats and more fear among Republicans translating into political dividends for both parties whose rulers will stay behind their heavily policed islands of mansions and museums while the rest of the country burns.

Big government needs cheap voters. Big business needs cheap labor. Big government wants big business to pick up the tab for their cheap votes through higher taxes. Big business wants cheap labor without having to pay for their social welfare benefits. After the obligatory tug of war, like a man forcing his wife to pay the hotel bill for his mistress, the tab for the cheap votes and cheap labor will be dumped on the middle class which is being forced to fund its own destruction.

Cheap labor can lower the cost of production, but raises the cost of government.

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The Inequality of Access

by Daniel Greenfield on Saturday, February 15th, 2014

This is article 78 of 83 in the topic Redistribution of wealth/socialism

A day after Bill de Blasio’s Tale of Two Cities address in which the wealthy Park Slope resident once again made inequality his focus, the radical pol intervened to spring one of his biggest supporters from prison. The New York Post, a tabloid that unlike the Daily News is much less enamored with the lefty dreamboat of the moment, responded with a cover page reading, “A Jail of Two Cities.”

Aside from being the commonplace corruption that one ought to expect from a politician trying to ban horses in Central Park because a wealthy real estate magnate wants to seize their stables, the Jail of Two Cities also reveals the fallacy of government wars against inequality.

When government is big, then true inequality is not of wealth, but of political access. Money can buy you access, or as the recently released Orlando Findlayter discovered, so can being an activist who bets on the right horse-hating politician. The rich can write a check, but the poor can vote early and often. Access isn’t about money; it’s about becoming useful to those in power.

There are two cities and two countries in America; the land of the politically connected who are part of a network that can score anything from millions in cash to open door prisons and the land of the politically unconnected who don’t understand why the government won’t leave them alone. It won’t leave them alone because in a corrupt system, being left alone is a special political favor.

Government should not be concerned with the inequality of income, which isn’t in its purview, but with the inequality of access, which is. It’s not the job of government to even out how much money everyone makes, but it is its job to ensure that everyone has equal access to government.

In a city or a country run by income inequality campaigners like Barack Obama or Bill de Blasio, the inequality of wealth takes a back seat to the inequality of access. Pledges of income equality put the equalizers in charge of moving huge amounts of money around and determining who gets to wet his beak and who doesn’t.

Battling income inequality leads directly to inequality of access by putting the equalizers in charge of picking winners and losers through the agency of an expanding government that promises to fill in the gaps in income while instead creating gaps in access. The equalizers promise to fix the unfairness of the marketplace and replace it with the ideologically determined unfairness of government.

The bigger government gets, the less sense it makes to invest in business and the more sense it makes to invest in politicians. Powerful politicians are a much less riskier investment than millions of customers whose behavior is hard to predict. The unpredictability of the public makes competition possible and reduces income inequality while the predictability of politicians is a monopoly that increases income inequality as political monopolies become economic monopolies.

Obama handed out hundreds of millions to the Green Energy tycoons who supported him and dispenses ambassadorships to unqualified bundlers who barely know the name of the major country they have been assigned to. Voters who came out in collective groups for Obama got wealth redistribution paydays. Everyone else got taxed.

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Obama, Dems and media: no jobs and poverty are good for you!

by Sher Zieve on Thursday, February 13th, 2014

This is article 411 of 469 in the topic Government Corruption

While Obama’s personal US Attorney General Eric Holder continues with his latest assault on US States’ laws and Constitutional rights – he’s decided gay marriages must be recognized in all States…regardless of what States’ laws contain – his partner in multiple crimes, Obama and his syndicate, has come up with the new Democrat talking points which extol poverty and lack of work and/or work hours; but, only for the “masses.”

Many Dems (including New York Democrats Sen. Charles Schumer and Minnesota Muslim Rep. Keith Ellison) are spinning Obama’s plan of successfully destroying and eliminating America’s middle class with ObamaCare’s elimination of – per the Obama CBO – at least 2.3 million jobs as a “good” thing. On Sunday’s Meet the Press, Schumer said “The single mom, who’s raising three kids (and) has to keep a job because of healthcare, can now spend some time raising those kids. That’s a family value.” Question: Do Schumer’s “family values” extend to said families living in a cardboard box when the money runs out? However, Chuck didn’t bother to say how difficult it will be to raise “those kids” with far less money or no job at all. If few-to-none are working and producing anymore (the program Obama is now implementing), the money dries up for the masses and Obama will have accomplished his goal of making everyone in the country – except the elite – “equally” poor. Rep Ellison simply said: “This is a good thing.”

ObamaCare was and is designed to impoverish everyone, as well as ensuring the end of the middle class…as Obama’s mentor Saul Alinsky wanted and taught. From his beginning tenure as our illegal POTUS, Obama has been working toward killing the middle class in America, in order to ensure that only those he and his political elites choose to become nouveau riche will become so. He is, also, ending any chance of wealth for his opposition. Maybe, in addition, he’s also eliminating any possibility for their long lives?

In his infamous work “Rules for Radicals,” Alinsky wrote of destroying the American middle class “Our rebels have contemptuously rejected the values and the way of life of the middle class. They have stigmatized it as materialistic, decadent, bourgeois, degenerate, imperialistic, war-mongering, brutalized and corrupt. They are right; but we must begin from where we are if we are to build power for change, and the power and the people are in the middle class majority.” In the 1970s, Alinsky commented that it would be difficult to coerce and destroy the American middle class as it was “too well-educated” and too wealthy. At that time, the Marxist Democrats were already well underway in their implementation of the dumbing-down of American students in the public (government) school system. Today, we are reaping those seeds that were sown with the lack of any real education and a population that is grossly undereducated; or – with the drop-out rate continuing to grow – not educated at all.

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VEXATIONS

by Burt Prelutsky on Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

by Burt Prelutsky

Income inequality is very much in the wind because Obama keeps whining about it, convinced that resentment over the likes of Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Ted Turner and their billions will lead people to vote for Democrats in November.

This is sloppy thinking for several reasons. One, even if those guys didn’t exist, I’d be no richer than I am today. Two, this administration has done nothing to diminish the inequality; in fact, during the past few years, wealthy people have seen their fortunes increase enormously, while the poor and the middle class have fallen even further back than they were when the Obamas moved into the White House. And, finally, Gates, Buffet and Turner, along with billionaires Oprah Winfrey, David Geffen, Russell Simmons and the Weinstein brothers, are all card-carrying Democrats.

For that matter, the Obamas are worth roughly $11 million and I’m betting that between 2017 and 2024, they will out-distance the Clintons, who piled up $100 million between 2001 and 2007.

The former governor of Virginia, Bob McDonnell, and his wife are up to their heinies in sewage because they received $124,000 in cash and gifts from Jonnie Williams, the owner of a diet supplementary company called Star Scientific. Let it be said that used car salesmen look down on those involved in the diet supplementary business. Especially if he’s the sort of slippery operator who spells his name Jonnie.

The ex-governor claims he did nothing unseemly to garner such lavish symbols of affection as Rolex watches and a top of the line wardrobe for Mrs. O’Donnell. For her part, when their troubles began coming to light, the missus told her staff that she and the governor were broke, and therefore needed all the gifts they could get their mitts on. What nobody has been able to explain is how, once the couple felt the hot breath of the investigators on their necks, the weasels were suddenly able to re-pay the $124,000. If you’re anything like me, you can’t help wondering who bailed them out.

What is it with the Olympic Committee? It’s one thing for the U.N. to throw its doors open to the most corrupt nations on earth, but why allow Vladimir Putin to host a major event on the world stage? I think we’d all agree that 78 years is a long time. Surely, it’s more than enough time for the Olympians to have learned that handing the torch over to Adolf Hitler in 1936 was a lousy idea.

The latest stat that’s been floating around insists that the 85 richest people in the world have as much money as the poorest 3.5 billion people. I don’t know if it’s even true, but so what? It’s not as if wealthy people bury their money in the backyard. If those 85 people are starting companies, hiring people, building hospitals, financing medical research and supporting the arts, how is that not better than dividing their money so that each of those 3.5 billion people can have an extra fifty bucks to blow on Twinkies, cigarettes and lottery tickets?

Because I’m a fan of the New York Yankees, a few people have asked me what I thought of the teams’ offseason acquisitions.

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