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Daily Briefing: Bitterness Is For The Bitter

Bush to declare support of "strong Europe" and desire for political-economic alliance. Bush: "I don't feel bitter, personally, and so it's easy to have a conversation with somebody to overcome bitterness if you don't feel bitter." [NYT, WP, USAT, WT]


Swift Boat Vet consultants are back, baby! Hired by conservative lobbyist group USA Next to attack those nasty old people at AARP with a $10m ad budget: "They are the boulder in the middle of the highway to personal savings accounts. We will be the dynamite that removes them." [NYT]

GAO cautions agencies not to cross line with public relations efforts. Too late? [WP]

Doug Wead on releasing taped conversations with Bush: "If I released all the tapes, it would be an act of betrayal. Most of them have never seen the light of day and never will." Yeah, because just releasings *some* isn't a betrayal at all. [WP, USAT]

Ambassador to Belgium describes Bush trip: "It's a very big deal. Advance people have been looking and measuring and walking and testing lights and moving chairs for the last two weeks." [NYT]

Specter fighting conservatives and disease: It's been "the toughest week of my life." [USAT, USAT]

Edwards has not ruled out '08 run, even if Kerry tries again: "I'll decide what's the right thing to do based on what's going on with my own family." [LAT]

Brownstein sees civil war over judicial nominations because "neither side sees political gain in compromise." [LAT]

Kennedy fundraising across country in hopes of running for reelection without an opponent. [BG]

Voinovich rips government waste. [WP]

Following the shrimp is more accurate than following the money, writes Birnbaum. [WP]

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Image: Marriott Hotels

Great GOP wordsmith Frank Luntz, the guy who gave us the "death tax" and who urged the George W. Bush administration to talk about "climate change" since it was less politically motivating than "global warming," did some more of his characteristic word magic today! While staying at the Hotel Imperial in Vienna, Austria, Luntz offered this cautionary tale about the evils of socialism, as illustrated by the shoddy conditions in a 5-star luxury hotel owned by Dubai's "Al Habtoor" conglomerate and operated by Marriott:

Talk about your grim hellholes! Apparently, there's only one elevator in the entire building, and it's been broken for three days, proving that European-style socialism is a failure that should never be imported to the USA, where -- damn it! -- all buildings work!

As some smartass pointed out, now Luntz may have to take the STAIRS, like a common Bolshevik!

We're still trying to get our heads around how a delay in getting an elevator fixed in a luxury hotel owned by the United Arab Emirati proprietors of Dubai's

  • Habtoor Grand Resort
  • Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah
  • Habtoor Palace, LXR Hotels & Resorts
  • V Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton
  • Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City
  • Metropolitan Hotel Dubai
  • Al Habtoor Polo Resort

as well as

  • Imperial Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Vienna (Austria)
  • Hilton London Wembley (United Kingdom)
  • Hilton Beirut Habtoor Grand (Lebanon)
  • Hilton Beirut Metropolitan Palace (Lebanon)
  • President Abraham Lincoln Springfield – a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel (United States)
  • InterContinental Budapest (Hungary)
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest (Hungary)

is an example of the horrors of socialism, but then, we don't earn the big bucks like Luntz does. Austria is among the 14 richest countries in the world, so we're fairly certain it's not a commie hellhole. Then again, there is a very strong social safety net, so maybe people in subsidized housing stole all the elevator parts. Or perhaps the elevator would have been fixed sooner if only Austria didn't have such strong unions. It's a mystery.

Or maybe it's that NATIONAL socialism that's the problem, seeing as it has socialism RIGHT IN THE NAME!

Adolf Hitler, once a day labourer outside the Hotel Imperial Vienna, returned as the Führer and "delivered a speech to a rapturous crowd from [the hotel] suite's balcony, on 14 March 1938", according to www.famoushotels.org.

We suppose it's worth noting that the Imperial is decidedly not owned or operated by the Austrian government, where a far-Right coalition has recently imploded -- although maybe Luntz is confused about that, since official state guests are traditionally housed there. In any case, the elevator's busted, it's in Europe, Europe is socialist, and Frank Luntz is homesick for America, where no elevator ever goes unrepaired for an entire weekend. It simply has never happened because of our efficient free market!

Still, Luntz's tweet inspired some valuable reflections on how economic theory shapes the reality of everyday life. This is the kind of Austrian economics we can support.



In conclusion, capitalism always allocates resources efficiently and fairly, although that still doesn't explain why Frank Luntz has a job. And now it would be your DOKTOR ZOOM'S BIRTHDAY PARTY OPEN THREAD, if only the socialists would fix the elevator, the end.

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