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Thursdays with Tina: The I Know a Little About Politics Edition

Our regular Thursday feature. We note this is the first column (since we started paying attention) to give any indication that Tina writes her column for a Washington newspaper.


Tina saysWhat she means
Paul O'Neill has chosen to tell his story about his two unhappy years in the Bush Cabinet in a form that's as weird as he is. . .I am blind to the obvious parallel in my own life.
It's another example of the chronic disconnect I think of as mad CEO disease. I create the appearance of topicality by randomly stringing together trendy buzzwords. [Variation: I model myself on Maureen Dowd.]
He was a product of old-fashioned, ore-smelting, smoke-puffing manufacturing . . . O'Neill was dark satanic mills, not pixels and PowerPoints. Physical labor frightens me. Also, I've read Blake.
Paul O'Neill was always an odd duck, a man, as one colleague puts it, who is a "stranger to his unconscious."I impress even myself with my ability to ignore obvious occasions for introspection.
When he was reviving Alcoa, no one cared much about his tendency to drone on. . . "If the CEO wants to hold forth about his policy views it doesn't matter much to the company that he heads."Hey, do you remember how I used to run a magazine once? Everyone did exactly as I said. It was fun.
Bush the younger is about as interested in rational political discourse as Paul O'Neill is in the Hip-Hop Music Awards.My knowledge of popular culture is one of the many, many differences between Mr. O'Neill and myself.

Paul O'Neill, Odd Duck Out of Water [WashPost]


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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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