There is a storm brewing in Virginia because the top two officials in the state fell victim to a disease that seems to befall most elected officials: Vacationitis. Vacationitis is not what we, the plebeian masses experience, to wit, “I really need a vacation.” Nay, nay, vacationitis is a disease of the elected class. They want a vacation, but need to have someone else pay for it. Or they use someone else’s house. Or they ride on someone else’s jet to get there. And once there, they float on
someone else’s boat and have dinners at someone else’s house. The Clintons used a friend’s house at Martha ‘s Vineyard and had the late Walter Cronkite take them out on his boat. The Obamas also frequent the Vineyard in someone else’s house.
Enter Virginia’s attorney general and would-be governor, Ken Cuccinelli. Businessman and political donor, Jonnie R. Williams, let Mr. Cuccinelli use a vacation home on Smith Mountain Lake near Roanoke and paid for a $1,500 Thanksgiving dinner. Buy your own turkey! The information comes to us (more…)
Trust in government means that we all feel that we have a fair shake. That is, everyone lives by the rules. Some contractors are not exempt from permits, inspections, and fees while others slide through without that extra cost and the burdens of, oh, safety. Likewise, getting a license, corporate status, or tax approval is the same process for everyone. Some are not permitted to ease right through while others are subjected to rigorous and delaying reviews. Equal application of government processes, procedures, and regulations is what distinguishes countries with economic development from those that never seem to get the wheels turning.
The Barometer has heard this equality of application described as the bucket phenomenon in other countries. We are all together in the bottom of the bucket trying to rise to the top. The climb is difficult, but we all make it out the same way — through hard work and determination. However, in some countries, there who are those at the top of the bucket and those climbing ahead of us (more…)
An e-mail from a DLA Piper lawyer to colleagues about the firm’s billing pactices for Adam Victor’s Trans Gas Developmnet Systems. Mr. Victor has filed suit against the firm for overbilling. Rightfully so.
Ben Gilroy, living in an underwater mortgage property, who has not made a mortgage payment in two years. That’ll keep the social norm going! Has this man no money? Could he pay a little? Does he feel no obligation to pay? His glib description sums up our new world of, “Contract? What contract?”
Pope Francis. The quote holds all the more meaning when you realize it comes from a man who wears his old black walking shoes instead of the red papal shoes and called himself to cancel his newspaper back in Argentina, beginning the conversation with, “This is Jorge.” Oh, if we could get this kind of humility in business executives. What leaders they could be then.
Former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford on announcing that he is throwing his hat into the ring in order to win back the seat he once held in the House of Representatives. Yes, but if your plumber left the job he was working on at your house to have a fling even as he billed you for the work, you would want a little space before you trusted him again. Mr. Sanford disappeared while he was governor for an alleged Appalachian Trail retreat (more…)
The Barometer was strolling through the home section of a major department store. Tempted by Christmas potholders at 50% off, the Barometer stopped and soon planted feet firm to continue listening as three employees of this fine establishment conversed about their futures. The ring leader was explaining to the novice employees that after the new year begins, most of them would be going to part-time status because of slow sales, the economy, health care issues, etc. The two employees seemed crestfallen. But, their mentor would have none of it. “Don’t do it!” said he. “Get yourself fired because the money you make on unemployment will be better than part-time work here and you can get 99 weeks of unemployment. Plus, you are eligible for medical care through the government because you are unemployed. It’s a better deal. It is so not worth it to keep working.” This fine consigliore (more…)
Even the well seasoned Dillard’s manager was taken aback by this one. A customer brought in a pair of moderately expensive dress shoes, expressing a desire to return them because they just weren’t quite right. As the manager processed the order she checked inside the box to be sure that the shoes in the box were the shoes the matched the box – past experience dictated that follow-up on returns. The shoes were the correct ones for the box, but the customer had another issue. The shoes had masking tape on the bottom – masking tape that was dirty. When the manager returned to the customer (more…)
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