Never thought I'd say this but: I missed crapping out the Crappy Hour. Amateur hack punditry is an addiction, an addiction that will eventually kill us all, and let me tell you, not being able to glibly offer congratz to the Clintons for earning more than $100 million in the past seven years, or new Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain for making $84 million in one year alone, or shadowy greasy haired newly-ousted Clinton pollster Mark Penn for squeezing $10 million out of the Clinton campaign and only three hundred grand from the Colombians — someone's getting paid by the wrong Colombians, Mark! — it was tough. I actually found myself reading...books! (Short ones, don't worry!) Megan Carpentier of Glamocracy fills me in on the really important memes I missed, briefly eulogizes Charlton Heston and tells me the most awesome wonk pollster pun of Campaign 2008 after the jump.
MOE: So you feel guilty cheating on me? I gotta confess, I didn't read Crappy Hour. Well, I didn't read the site actually. But I avoided Crappy Hour in particular because the last time I brought Spencer into it, it ended up being 337 lines long or something. That's why I had to bait everyone with the "date" thing, because I figured that even the die-hard CH readers would give up around line 54.
MEGAN: I think we successfully kept it short, though we got kind of tanget-y, which you and I naturally know nothing about,
MEGAN: But can we maybe have a moment of silence for Mark Penn, who jeopardized the $10 million he took off of Hillary's campaign for a $300,000 1 year contract to push for the Colombian FTA? F'idiot.
MOE: Okay yeah I just want to lay it all out there. Mark Penn has extraordinarily bad hair. Then there is the exciting news that Condi Rice has been actively pursuing Dick Cheney's job, which is wonderful news for all Americans. And then there is that crazy polygamist shit and a think piece in the NYT Mag about Levittown, Pennsylvania that I sorta read and a think piece on Guantanamo Bay in the New Yorker that I sort of didn't read, but you brought up the $10 million dollar thing which is I think a good segue into the Clintons' centimillion dollar tax returns and the inspiring news that being a CEO is as ludicrously lucrative as it has ever been despite the credit crisis, wait, no, scratch that, it is more lucrative than it has ever been.
MEGAN: Well, naturally, it's more lucrative than it's ever been! We obviously need to pay the best and the brightest as much as we can afford to keep it from happening again!
MOE: OH fuck, but you know what my favorite part of the fucking
weekend was? Reading the Wall Street Journal edit page slam Obama for not being sufficiently invested our ponzi scheme of a stock market.
MEGAN: Capital gains is also what you pay if you sell your house and don't reinvest all the proceeds in your next house, but trust the rent-babies at the WSJ to ignore that detail.
MEGAN: Also, you don't pay cap gains on your 401K or IRA if you don't withdraw early, which you might need to do if you make less than $50,000 a year and that's in effect your entire savings.
MOE: I love this slight:
With apologies to economists Buffett and Obama, the history of this tax isn't on their side. The capital gains rate is crucial to investment decisions; higher rates make capital more expensive, dampening incentives to invest and reducing economic growth.
Yeah, and economic growth = CEO paycheck growth. Unfortunately I didn't see the NYT do one of those fun things where they add up the salaries of the top 200 paid CEOs in America and figure out what country's GDP they could buy with that. But whatever, use your imaginatino.
MEGAN: Gah, everything in there pisses me off. Not that I want the cap gains rate to go up, but, still, it's like citing statistics without really explaining it.
MEGAN: I'm guessing like, Poland or something. Not the Czech Republic, but maybe the Slovak?
MOE: I think the cap gains rate should go up, not just because I have no stock market holdings, except this 401K from my last job I don't know what happened to. It just sort of disappeared. Maybe it's there for me somewhere. Hm. Whatever. I bought a Swiss army knife over the weekend and read books. I've decided to join this new survivalist movement I've been hearing so much about. Also, commenters who would like to recommend aggressive accountants: email@example.com.
MOE: Yeah, the Slovaks, we're the slackers. The slacker-ovaks.
MOE: My people know the farce that is this myopic focus on incremental economic growth.
MEGAN: Well, your 401K isn't subject to cap gains, but if it's lost track of you they have to hold onto it forever, it's awesome like that.
MEGAN: Figure out where it was and call and make them track it down.
MOE: Okay but seriously we should probably discuss Mark Penn right?
MEGAN: Oh, hells yeah.
MOE: If you'd taken SinsisterRouge's advice six months ago, Hills, we might not be in this spot.
MEGAN: Except that Hunter Walker just sent me this link in which Hillary asks for credit because it takes her longer to do her hair and make-up. If this is what Maggie Williams hath wrought, I sorta want Mark Penn back.
MOE: Oh Jesus, HILLARY. You know what is so annoying about that? Michael Kinsley wrote that first. And like, it was cool of Kinsley to point that out; hey, give the lady some credit, being a woman is tough because you need to apply all sorts of consumer products to your face and hair and match your clothes to your eyeshadow and stuff and as a result, get less sleep than men. Right. So it's stating an obvious feminine truth, which is cool if you're Michael Kinsley, but you're Hillary Clinton and your campaign is — let's face it guys — really in its final hours, being read its last rites...is that what you want your last words to be? Actually never mind, I take that all back.