Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Thoughts While Shaving: Once So Cool for Big Business Moguls to Plunk for Obama—but Not Anymore.

   Feast of St. Giles, Patron of Cripples*
                   Cool Obama in 2008; Jug-Eared Dope in 2010.  
         Ah, it is so cool as a Chicago hedge fund tycoon in 2008 …to demonstrate how liberal you are and be shown raising  money to Barack Obama!  Like Sidney Poitier he is not just any black man but an Occidental College, Columbia University and Harvard Law version of Sidney Poitier so savvy and cool I feel we are in the vanguard of a New Era of Racial Awakening…not like those redneck dinosaur Republican pals, very un-trendy, figuratively scratching their bellies, wearing bib overalls like Junior Gilliam and hanging out with the Great Unwashed.  But not me.  
        I’ve had a corporate staffer (black, Harvard `01) slap an Obama `08 bumper sticker on each of our cars—(a) the office limousine, the 2008 Cadillac CTS-V limousine which buzzes me to business destinations and to luncheon at the cavernous, musty but still fashionable Chicago Club; (b) my   own personal Porsche Cayence for Lake Forest runs; (c) my 28-year-old ex-Southwest Air stewardess trophy wife Ashley’s Mercedes Benz SLR when she goes for luncheon at the Casino Club to gab girl talk with her Smith classmates and (keep it quiet) ex-flight attendant buddies; and (d) , my 18-year-old Wellesley undergrad daughter’s (sired with my first wife, Murial, now age 60 like me) McLaron Roadster. I’d give one to Murial (we’re still remotely friendly) but no use: she’s for McCain. 
          Yep, this is the least I can do to demonstrate my interracial toleration! Let those chalky small-timers take up with…ugh!...John McCain!  I’ve got the real candidate here and when I hit 65 I should be able to get an ambassadorship or cabinet post which necessitates no heavy lifting but lordly presti8ge (going to all the Georgetown parties)…a comfy post like Commerce, that’s it!  Secretary of Commerce in Obama’s second term or maybe Valerie Jarrett’s first. The way Phil Klutznik ended up with Carter.    
          Let those wanna-be competitors who like to look so elite, broad-minded and tolerant raising money in their townhouses for… who? …Jesse Jackson, Jr. for God’s sake! How gauche. .  What fun is that? Remember the dinner I just hosted at the Mid America Club with his election in the bag,, Barack Obama drew me close as he shared what he would do in his first hundred days!  The intimacy of it encouraged me to go later to report to your friends at the Avenue M bar, crook your finger to your friends and let them in on the know with barely audible whispers as they strain to hear…the closer they get to me the softer my voice got (an old trick) so at conclusion of the “inside” they’re almost lying atop the bar or in my lap to catch my invaluable insights. I took the office limousine with driver home (had a little too much to drink and who wants to be stuck in a train car all the way to Lake Forest?),  Can’t wait to tell Ashley how this gang crouched over me to hear the latest dope at Avenue M.  
                                     That Was Then: Not Now! 
         I tell you it’s been rough and this guy Obama hasn’t done a damn thing to halt the recession. In fact they’re talking double-dip which will  complete the job of wiping me out. With the “stimulus” which hasn’t stimulated, ObamaCare which has added a ton of deficit spending, he’s accelerated it. Those tough regulations on the financial industry threaten to turn me into a pauper! Worse than Bush. Far worse.  
         Unemployment continues upward, home-buyer tax credits have had to be extended; they’ve moved to limit fees credit cards levy.  The dollar is looking downtrodden because foreign banks to please rich countries have hiked interest rates (Norway once, Australia twice). India’s just made a massive purchase of gold—about $7.5 billion.  And still that teleprompter-reading fool is putting out the platitudes.  What a mistake I made.   
        Look at the New York Times yesterday. Danny Loeb, my former hedge fund buddy from New York who got me into this Obama fund-raising stuff,  sent out a letter that sounded like he had just signed up with Glenn Beck. This is what he wrote to me and others: “As every student of American history knows, this country’s core founding principles included non-punitive taxation, constitutionally guaranteed protections against persecution of the minorities and an inexorable right of self-determination.  Washington has taken actions over the past months like the Goldman suit that seemed designed to fracture the populace by pulling capital and power from the hands of some and putting it in the hands of others.” 
           My God, Danny Loeb sounds just like the RNC!  Yet he’s right. Then I find out about Steve Cohen the founder of SAC Capital Advisers hosting a fund-raiser for Republican candidates in his Greenwich home. He also got me in this Obama mess two years ago! Danny Loeb was in Obama’s Occidental class of `83 for God’s sake!  He’s the head of Third Point Partners, handling $3.4 billion for his firm.  He sold Third Point’s investments in big banks because of “regulatory headwinds.”  The bad news is circulating…just like the curt letter sent to me: “It’s time for you to step down from CEO and go to Lake Forest full-time, playing tennis and enjoying quality time with your wife.”   Hah!  What quality time? Ashley and I will formalize our divorce next month.  
             Well, it’s time for me to catch the train for Lake Forest now that the limo and driver are gone.  Danny Loeb’s words in The Times yesterday stay with me.  God that man can write! “Perhaps our leaders will awaken to the fact that free market capitalism is the best system to allocate resources and create innovation, growth and jobs. Perhaps too a cloven-hoofed bristly haired mammal will become airborne and the rosette-like marking of a certain breed of ferocious feline will become altered. In other words, we’re not holding our breath.” 
            One more thought. John Canning, Jr. of  Madison-Dearborn Partners.  He was a big Obama booster.  Wonder if he’s ready to take on more money-raising for him this year…or has he, like so many others of us, gone south? Bet he has.  Funny nobody in the two major papers or Crain’s has written about the rest of us who’ve left the Obama boat!  Guess I know why. They all endorsed him two years ago and are still playing protection for him now..  Wouldn’t reflect well on their judgment. Guess that’s why we won’t hear.  
       *: St. Giles, Patron of Cripples [circa 710]. This Greek Catholic hermit from Athens first lived like a hermit near the mouth of the Rhone and by the River Gard.  He had only one companion, a deer but the king’s hunters pursued him to the lair where the deer and Giles were camped. An arrow short at the deer wounded Giles instead.  He became a permanent cripple and hence the patron of cripples. Informed of the accidental wounding, the king became contrite and took him under his wing. Once associated with Giles, the king became a fan and very interested. This led to the king’s building a monastery for Giles and all the novices he could attract. Giles attracted many and the monastery, Saint Giles du Gard, he placed under the Benedictine rule.  In medieval art he is depicted with his symbol, the deer and an emblem an arrow. 


  1. Not to be a cynic, or anything, but the timing of these events forces one to ask the question.

    Polls showed that the (D) gang was going to be out of power, and those polls have been around for at least 6 months.

    NOW the plutocracy is "helping" (R) folks?

    Connect the dots, Tom. It's called "purchasing favors."

  2. Very funny and authentic, except for one thing.

    If Muriel the ex-wife is also 60, there's no way the daughter is 18.

    If a couple have a child at 42, they're seriously committed to the marriage at a mature age, and it's unlikely that he would bail out for a trophy bimbo.

    (The counter-case of John and Elizabeth Edwards notwithstanding...)

    Muriel is maybe 54, and daughter is maybe 24.

  3. Chinese adoption, Rich. It was the cutting edge 18 years ago. Muriel's clock was ticking but the stretch marks were unacceptable.