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Chip Shots


One Solitary Life

I have heard this powerful piece of poetry many times over the years — from a simple, solemn reading in a country church to the majestic pronouncement at the conclusion of the Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas show — and I have never failed to be deeply moved by it.

Presidential Disrespect, Ambassadorial Pat-Down, Spending And Charity

*They said WHAT about their leader? Seems a whole bunch of Democrats in Congress are upset with President Barack Obama about his compromise with Republicans over extending the Bush tax cuts. Heck, even Obama seems upset with Obama! But not to the extent of some Dems in the House, who chanted “Just Say No!” when […]

Bankruptcy, Memorabilia, Regulatory Hurdles And A Hearty Appetite

*One heck of a payday. Have you seen how much money the lawyers handling the liquidation of Bernard Madoff’s firm are being paid? The Manhattan Bankruptcy Court has approved payment of $5,010 a day for trustee Irving Picard. That sounds like a lot — until you learn that his law firm, Baker & Hostetler LLP, is receiving $283,179.45 a day for the work the rest of the staff is doing. Wonder if that includes Sundays and holidays?

A Generous Boss, Lehman Brothers, Psephology And Obama’s Jobs

*Now here’s a generous boss. It seems appropriate to follow up this week’s Straight Talk with an item about Clive Palmer. The Australian mining magnate has had a very good year: a nickel refinery he bought for $10 million earned him $200 million in profits. So he decided to throw one heck of a “thank you” party for his 750 employees. The festivities included an all-expenses-paid holiday trip to Fiji. His top 50 employees also got a brand-new Mercedes sedan. “These people have made a lot of money for me this year,” he said, “and I thought I’d give some of it back.” As our friends Down Under would say, “Good O!”

Thanksgiving Advice From Benjamin Franklin

*Benjamin Franklin on Thanksgiving. My friend Mark Skousen finished a labor of love recently when he helped a distant relative complete his autobiography. When Benjamin Franklin died in 1757, he was only halfway through writing about his life. Mark and his wife finished the job for Mark’s many-times-great-grandfather.

Lame Ducks, Marco Rubio, Illiterates And Lindsey Graham

*Why they’re called lame ducks. The phrase “lame duck” was first used in the 18th century on the London Stock Exchange. It referred to a broker who defaulted on his debts. The first written mention occurred in 1761, when Horace Walpole wrote Sir Horace Mann and asked, “Do you know what a Bull and Bear and a Lame Duck are?” It was not until the 19th century that the term came to refer to a politician who had been defeated for re-election but had not yet been replaced in office.

Voight Is Unafraid

*One actor is not afraid to speak out. Did you hear about the open letter actor Jon Voight sent President Barack Obama a few weeks ago? Most Hollywood actors would never dare buck the liberal line; it’s usually a death sentence for a career.

So a tip of the hat to Voight, who spoke “truth to power” like few of his colleagues would dare. Here’s part of that letter; you can go to Google to read the whole thing.

New Orders From The PC Police

*Political correctness has gone too far. I just got a memo from the PC police, ordering me to make the following changes in anything I say for public consumption. I assume other writers have received the same notice, so be prepared for some interesting changes. For example: You are no longer allowed to refer to […]

Halloween, NPR, Saluting Veterans And The Nanny State

*If Obama made the rules for Halloween. The funniest cartoon I’ve seen in a while featured three little tykes, dressed in their Halloween costumes, knocking on someone’s door. A guy opens it and says, “Look how much candy you have! I’m going to take half and give it to the kids too lazy to go […]

The Unveiling Of Lady Liberty

Tens of thousands of New Yorkers crowded into the southern tip of Manhattan 124 years ago tomorrow — Oct. 28, 1886. The cold rain did little to dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd, which stared expectantly across the water to a patch of land called Bedloe’s Island. They were there to watch the unveiling of an unusual […]

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