Tuesday, March 24, 2009

March 24, 2009

These are tough times to write about. Things that were up, like the economy, are down. Things that were down, like Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, are up. He released his plan for the government to relieve banks of troubled assets, bad loans, and so on, and the Dow Jones Industrial average went up almost 500 points, so Geithner is now a hero, or a star, or something.
But respected columnist Eugene Robinson worries that taxpayers may suffer, noting that Geithner has "not been impressive as a performer." Respected columnist George Will writes of "recent lawlessness, situational constitutionalism and institutional derangement" on the part of the administration. Respected columnist Richard Cohen writes that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi "is off to one hell of a start" in this new administration, but "The President, alas, is a different story."
So who's up and who's down? It's hard to know. The various anti-recession programs are hard to follow unless you have a degree in economics. But the real blow to the American Way of Life was in another front-page story in Tuesday's Washington Post. Its headline "Daily Red Meat Raises Chances of Dying Early."
Now wait just a darn minute! When I was growing up, we all knew that red meat was good for us. Strong Americans, we knew, would chomp steak on a daily basis and go out and conquer the world. Red meat would make us strong, make us the good guys, maybe. Well, turns out that if you eat four ounces a day--that's a teensy hamburger--you are 30% more likely to die in the next ten years, mostly from heart disease and cancer.
Sheesh, what's left? Candy is. Turns out its dandy in a recession. Sales are up. The New York Times quotes a San Francisco salesman, Jamie Hallman, as saying, "All is well in candy land."
Trouble is, of course, I'd rather have a burger.

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