Thanksgiving Draws Near

Round and bright,

A flash of ripe color

‘Midst the brittle, skittering pile.

Thanksgiving draws near.

Thanksgiving Draws Near (I)

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Checking In On “Occupy Columbus”

This morning I walked over to the Statehouse to check out the “Occupy” protest, Columbus version.  It’s changed a little since my first visit.  Big doings were planned today for the Occupy Wall Street folks in NYC, so I thought the Columbus chapter might also be kicking into gear.  That turned out not to be the case.

As the photo I took indicates, the Columbus encampment is small and shabby — a few tents, a few wooden pallets, a cooler or two, a few garbage cans, and some stray signage fastened to steel fencing on the sidewalk in front of the Ohio Statehouse.  At least one of the tents was occupied, but no one was out chanting or doing anything else.  It was cold, so maybe the Occupy protesters decided that tapping on their laptop keyboards inside the tents was the smarter course.  The people waiting at the nearby bus stop, who far outnumbered anybody huddled in the tents, were trying to stay warm in a brisk wind and weren’t paying much attention to the Occupy folks, anyway.

The whole point of the Occupy protests still seems pretty obscure to me.  The signage at the Columbus camp didn’t provide much clarification, either.  Here were the signs that were visible this morning:  “The finest democracy money can buy,” “Monopolies kill off competition,” “Kill your TV and Do Your Research,” “Integrate the Federal Reserve,” and “Commercialized Culture TV, Radio, Music, Art, Religion.”  Is there a common, articulable theme in those signs, other than reflexive opposition to whatever might attract their attention?

Calling To Update The Report On That GM Investment

Mr. Webner, this is your securities analyst from the Treasury Department.  I wanted to give you an update on your investments.

You again?

Yes, Mr. Webner.  We’re closing in on the end of another banner year, and we just wanted to share the good news with you.

Good news, eh?  Well, what is it?

We’re happy to report that we’ve only had to increase the estimate of our loss on our auto industry investment by $9 billion.

Wait . . . did you say you are increasing the estimate of our loss by $9 billion?

That’s correct.  Unfortunately, GM’s stock price has taken a beating lately.  But let’s not get mired in details, Mr. Webner!  What’s important is that we originally thought we would lose far more money than we now think we’ll lose — so you really can look at what we have done as a gain!

So you’re trying to take credit for a disastrous investment that just might not be as disastrous as many people expected?

That’s correct, Mr. Webner.  And in the meantime, you’ve supported the development of groundbreaking technology like the Chevy Volt!  How do you like the Volts you’ve seen on the streets?  Sweet, aren’t they?

Actually, I’ve never seen a Chevy Volt on the street.  I don’t know anyone who owns one.

Well, take my word for it, Mr. Webner.  That car is poised, in a state of cat-like readiness, to take the country by storm!  Now, can I take just a few more minutes of your time to talk about our terrific investments in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and Solyndra?

Click.

Calling To Report On That GM Investment