Taft Punk

Chevy Chases Ugly Brother MaybeApparently, there's more going on in Ohio besides fixed elections. We read today about Governor Bob Taft, who this morning pleaded "no contest" to four misdemeanor counts involving breaking the state's ethics laws. He failed to report gifts, most of which were rounds of golf. Reading up on the case, we saw a familiar name among the golf partners: John Snow, a.k.a. The Secretary of the Treasury. That's right: Taft is a Republican. We asked Fred Becker what gives.

Dear Wonkleupagus,


I am sorry you didn't get that Reliable Source position. However, I'm always in need of a ready laugh and take comfort in still being able to make people chuckle by saying: "If the Post Style section were alive today..."

Anyway: Bob Taft. He always seemed like a Chevy Chase character playing a governor to me, but that's not why I write. He's in a pickle and he sure could use a hand from someone like George Bush. The party could use the help, too, what with Taft being living proof that Republicans don't play by the rules. Neither do the Dems, but they didn't get caught this time. Or the last. Have I mentioned Jack Ambramoff?

Look, Bush knows how to support a guy when he's down. Look what he did for Raphael Palmero. The President, who was once tough on steroid use in baseball, waved the hand of absolution over the Orioles slugger. Palmero played for the Texas Rangers when Bush owned part of the team. Though Bush was never really in a position to assess his character, Palmero's talent on the field gave Bush the opportunity to use his special "heart vision" and declare it "good." This blessing is irrevocable. (See Rove, Cheney, Rummy.)

So Taft could use some of that blind love now. Maybe Bush doesn't know Taft's heart. Though the President had to spend dozens of days in the crucial swing state of Ohio, he never really took to the Guv. Bob spent a lot of time complaining in the cabin of Air Force One about unemployment and high Medicaide costs. That he couldn't help provide a more comfortable victory margin for Bush in Ohio didn't' help either. So will Bush come out and make some extraordinary blanket statement of absolution? He's more likely to cross the road to bring Cindy Sheehan sunrise canapés.


Until another indictment,

I remain your faithful servant,


Ohio governor pleads no contest to ethics charges [AP/USAT]

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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

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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