Somebody needs to commission a study on how many of these panhandlers there are from one year to the next.
And if the numbers ever dwindle, we should bring a bunch of experts on to the morning 6 o'clock news or the evening 10 o'clock news to wring their hands and give us some helpful advice about everyday things we can do to bring 'em back again. Perhaps we could establish a new government program to educate people about how a career in panhandling might be right for them. Some outreach to draw more panhandlers to certain street corners where they're in short supply.
Maybe we could offer the prospective panhandlers some tax brea-- oh, wait, nevermind on that one.
The always perspicacious, but pseudonymous Spengler dissects Ms. Obama in this weeks column.
"Sing, O Muse, the Wrath of Michelle" by Spengler at ATimes.com on Mar 4, 2008:
The wrath of swift-footed Achilles, of which Homer called his muse to sing, nearly lost the Trojan War for the Greeks. The wrath of swift-tongued Michelle Obama well might lose the White House for her husband. ...
Barack Obama, I argued, evinces a preternatural sangfroid, for he is in America but not of it, a Third World anthropologist profiling Americans. But his wife's anger at America will out, for it is a profound rage amplified by guilt.
* * *
Princeton both humiliated her and corrupted her, Michelle Vaughn Robinson complains in an undergraduate prose that is all the more touching for its clumsiness. By condescending to the young black woman from a Chicago working-class family, the liberal university made Michelle feel like an outsider. Worse, by giving her a ticket to financial success, Princeton caused her to feel that she was selling out to the institutions she most despised.
Michelle's ambivalence towards Princeton, and by extension towards America, has the makings of a tragedy of the sort found in the novels of Theodore Dreiser or F Scott Fitzgerald, a fatal compromise in pursuit of status. Young Michelle felt she was betraying "lower class Blacks" by assimilating: ... Nonetheless, she was drawn moth-like to the flame of success ...
* * *
To the young Michelle's sense of hopelessness about the prospects for the black lower class, Princeton added something even worse, namely guilt over "striving for many of the same goals as my White classmates - acceptance to a prestigious graduate or professional school or a high paying position in a successful corporation". Despite her black separatist sympathies, Michelle Vaughn Robinson succumbed to the temptations of which she wrote in her thesis and got a law degree from Harvard, earning around $400,000 a year in salary and corporate director fees by 2005.
Her "hopelessness", "frustration" and "disappointment" remain, exacerbated by guilt over her own success. That is not speculation, but a precis of her own account. One might speculate that the guilt became all the more poignant to the extent her success was unearned. Michelle Obama's employer, The University of Chicago Hospitals, paid her $121,910, a reasonable sum for the skill level evident in her thesis, but raised this to $316,952 shortly after her husband was elected US senator.
Unlike her husband, whose focus on his audience is unwavering, Michelle Obama remains at the mercy of the same internal conflict that she reported in her senior thesis. She is too bitter at the hopelessness of lower-class blacks to assimilate, but too attracted to money and privilege to reject white society. She hates the white institutions that made her prosperous, not only because they cannot solve the problems of the black lower class, but even more so because they made her feel guilty about her own success. ...
Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Lady Macbeth?
I am accepting reparations from the descendants of those who oppressed my ancestors in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
I remember that woman on Park Street! I worked at the State House at the time. Was walking up Park back to work after lunch. She asked me if I had a quarter. I told her I only had bills. Her classic response? "I can make change." I had to admire that kind of entrepreneurship - gave her 4 bits.
So, folks are complaining about Hillary? Are they sick enough of the Clintons to want the Obamas?
Many are apparently, but wait until they get a load of the Missus. Michelle Obama is going to make us want to canonize Hillary:
Oh, golly, she and hubby had to pay back loans for going to Harvard and Princeton (or wherever)? How sad. Also how sad that our I-pod/cable TV/multiple-car family/McMansion lives have been so MISERABLE for decades now! Can't we please, PLEASE go back to the golden age of Levittown, black & white TVs and rotary phones? At least back then we had jobs for life and a pension . . . OOOPS! Unless you were "colored" that is. Heaven forfend if in the mystical, mythical golden age of "fairness" that a Michelle Obama, a woman -- and a black one at that -- should even dream of being a hospital administrator.
Can I puke now?
Oh, and by the way, Senator Obama DOES have one legislative accomplishment: a bill that commits .07 percent of U.S. GNP to "foreign aid." Supposedly, the imbeciles in both House passed it. Do the math: we have a $14 Trillion GNP, how much is .07 percent (as in seven tenths of one percent)? How many palaces, armored cars and Swiss bank accounts does that buy the likely (and often sole) recipients of that enormous largesse?
Can I puke again?