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January 9, 2008

ďThe Worst of TimesĒ

Tom McLaughlin

Letís start the New Year again. Roll back the clock to December 31 and kiss one another at the stroke of midnight.

First, the stock market. Down a lot, up a little, down a lot, up a little. Itís like a yo-yo on the last couple of spins. It seems to want to drop around 200 or more points each time.

The pundits blame Iraq, Hillary, Iran, Hillary, Afghanistan, Hillary, China, Hillary, the housing debacle, the low dollar, Hillary, credit cards, the Christmas shopping season and my dogís bowel movements. It used to be only one thing would trigger a drop, but it seems like any small (well, none of the above are small, really) ripple in any of the above caused a drop but now it takes a combo of everything.

Speaking of combos did you read where McDonalds is taking on Starbucks by putting a coffee bar in each restaurant with its own employee? Is nothing sacred?

Oh, by the way, that caused the market to drop also.

Then there was the Redskins. Such great hope! Such great dreams of a super bowl victory.

I sat with my hat and pennant in hand watching the television just waiting for the win. It started off badly.

They couldnít block. The receivers couldnít catch the ball. By mid-first quarter I knew. Oh, I knew. It wasnít going to happen.

The old ways came back. That sinking feeling. And it wasnít the burritos and bean dip. Brad Johnson and Clinton Portis (was he named for Hillary?) played their hearts; but three scores in six minutes! Oh, we were up by a touchdown for a little while but it was such a short time. I guess we should blame the loss on Hillary as well. Letís wind that ball back up in Times Square and try again!

Hillary! I donít know when you are going to read this, but she got slaughtered in Iowa and the polls have her sinking like the Titanic in New Hampshire.

As a cockeyed liberal optimist, we still have a long way to go through the primary season. I will continue to campaign for her because I believe experience counts. After all, she was co-president with Bill for eight years. And that was the best eight years the country has seen in a long, long time. Even Bill had fun. More fun than he should have!

Oil hits $100 a barrel. Everyone blames China for that.

Letís see. We export all of our manufacturing jobs to China and then are surprised when they need more energy to manufacture those goods which they put on a ship to sail to the United States. And then we need trucks to transport those manufactured products across the United States.

By the way, I had to fill out a form about lead paint to list the house. I then wondered where all that banned lead paint went. Yup! We sold it to China. And boy, did we get it back!

Okay, I know we canít rewind 2008 back to the beginning but we do have another chance. February 7 is Chinese New Year. We can start again!

But I am not getting my hopes up. It is the year of the Rat.

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