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Imagining

BY BEAU ELLIOT | MARCH 3, 2009 7:20 AM

Imagine, if you can, a world in which financial guru Warren Buffett compares the financial markets to an STD.

Well, OK, that’s not exactly imagining the way John Lennon imagined imagining.

I’m just guessing, of course. (Imagine that.)

But that is the world we’re stuck with. And Buffett really did compare the financial mess to an STD — VD, to be exact.

So apparently, we’ve had all these money geniuses running around as if it were the financial Summer of Love. Whoopee, seems to have been the guiding motto.

Yeah, that makes me feel so much better, too. I mean, hadn’t any of these guys ever heard of condoms?

(Well, OK, Warren Buffett did — a few years back, he called those “exotic” financial instruments that everyone in the biz was so in love with financial weapons of mass destruction. That was one of the reasons I never got into any of the markets. The other being my landlord expects the rent to be paid each month. And John’s Grocery expects me to pay for the hummus I want. And MidAmerican, it turns out, doesn’t give away energy for free. If only I could bundle up all these expenses and sell them to — say — AIG. I, too, could achieve toxicity. Imagine.)

Dream on, little dreamer, as a friend of mine once wrote.

Oh, well. At least, we’ll always have Bobby Jindal.

Yes, the Republican governor of Louisiana last week managed to make himself such a laughingstock that even the adventures of Blago were pushed to the national sidelines. And interestingly enough, most of the critics of his response to President Obama’s national address on Feb. 24 were conservatives — not people like me, as you would expect.

So I’m not going to pile on. Too much. But what’s his beef with monitoring volcanoes?

I mean, just because Louisiana doesn’t have volcanoes (at least, not since Huey Long, anyway) doesn’t necessarily mean we shouldn’t keep an eye on them. I hear there’s one doing some rumbling in Alaska, for instance. I’ll bet Alaskans would kind of like to know if it’s going to go off.

And given that there’s no profit to be made from monitoring volcanoes — at least, none I can think of — you can’t expect the private sector to do the monitoring.

In any case, it’s a bit unseemly for the governor of a state that’s received billions of dollars of federal aid following Hurricane Katrina to pooh-pooh federal spending.

(Speaking of Blago, did you hear that he’s going to get a six-figure book deal? Yeah, I know — turns out he did hit a big payday off that Senate seat after all. As Yogi Berra said when he learned that Dublin, Ireland, had elected a Jewish mayor, Only in America.)

Of course, we don’t have to go to Louisiana to find Republicans with what you might call odd ideas.

Or imagination, depending on how you see it.

One of our own Johnson County Republicans has a novel idea for flood relief: Mac and Cheese.

Well, to be fair to Deborah Thornton, who was speaking against the local-option 1-cent sales-tax increase before the City Council last week, let’s quote her in full:

“Flood mitigation is admirable, but the city and the county need to do what the rest of us are doing. We’re tightening our belts and eating Mac and Cheese.”

So there you go, Arts Campus. Stop your whining. The road to flood recovery is paved with Mac and Cheese.

Not to poke any fun at Mac and Cheese, of course. So all you Mac and Cheese fanatics out there don’t need to write me extolling the benefits of Mac and Cheese in flood recovery and pointing out that’s exactly what Bobby Jindal used in the Katrina recovery.

And besides, somebody such as John Freyer could probably do something quite imaginative with Mac and Cheese.

Just imagine.


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