Thursday, February 5, 2009

aux barricades!


Aux barricades, cries Maureen Dowd:
it’s time for revolution.
Obama, make the people proud
by finding a solution
to problems caused by spendthrifts who
are profligately selfish,
and rash as a reaction to
an allergen in shellfish.

Mon dieu, it now to us appears
that even the elite
must pay their taxes like their peers
who’re working on Wall Street.
Today a politician’s lot
is being scrutinized
by journalistic sans-culottes,
KGB Putinized.

The problem is not one I feel
that we can cure by storming
the Capitol, like the Bastille––
it’s far too habit-forming.
We should bring back, it must be said,
the guillotine. Aux armes
o citoyens! Write an Op-Ed,
but pitch it underarm.

Inspired by an Op-Ed in the NYT, February 4, 2009, by Maureen Dowd (“Well, That Certainly Didn’t Take Long”):

On 9/11, President Bush learned of disaster while reading “The Pet Goat” to grade-school kids. On Tuesday, President Obama escaped from disaster by reading “The Moon Over Star” to grade-school kids. “We were just tired of being in the White House,” the two-week-old president, with Michelle at his side, explained to students at a public charter school near the White House. Even as he told the children his favorite superheroes were Batman and Spider-Man, his own dream of being the superhero who swoops in to swiftly save America was going SPLAT! It just ain’t that easy. Unlike W. and Dick Cheney, who heroically resisted acknowledging their historically boneheaded mistakes, President Obama summoned a conga line of Anderson, Katie, Brian, Chris and Charlie to the Oval Office to do penance, over and over. “I think I messed up. I screwed up,” he confessed to Couric. He told the anchors that the man who helped make him president, Tom Daschle, had made “a serious mistake” by not paying taxes on a car and driver. (It should have been a harbinger of doom when Daschle began sporting those determined-to-be-hip round red glasses.) Mr. Obama admitted that “ultimately it’s important for this administration to send a message that there aren’t two sets of rules. You know, one for prominent people and one for ordinary folks who have to pay their taxes.”…
Companies that have gotten bailouts continue to make a mockery of taxpayers. Until it came to light Tuesday, Wells Fargo, which received $25 billion in federal funds, was blithely planning a series of “employee recognition outings” to Las Vegas luxury hotels this month. As ABC reported, Bank of America took its $45 billion in bailout funds and sponsored a five-day carnival outside the Super Bowl stadium, and Morgan Stanley took its $10 billion in bailout money and held a three-day conference at the Breakers in Palm Beach. (Morgan Stanley had also still planned to send top employees to Monte Carlo and the Bahamas, events just canceled.) The New York Post revealed that Sandy Weill, former chief executive of Citigroup, took a company jet to fly his family for a Christmas holiday to a $12,000-a-night luxury resort in San José del Cabo, Mexico. No matter that the company just got a $50 billion federal bailout and laid off 53,000 worldwide. The interior of the 18-seat jet, as described by The Post, is posh, with a full bar, fine-wine selection, $13,000 carpets, Baccarat crystal glasses, Cristofle sterling silver flatware and — my personal favorite — pillows made from Hermès scarves. Aux barricades!

© 2009 Gershon Hepner 2/4/09


  1. Tu m'inspires, Maureen Down m'inspire, tu me fais ramasser le tricolore!
    Aux underarmes, citoyens!

  2. You write Maureen Down. Do you mean, wittily: A bas, Ms. Dowd?