Saturday, May 28, 2005

Loose Change
Yesterday I put a dollar in the soda machine where I work and received 12 ounces of carbonated refreshment, but I did not get back the forty cents I was expecting from my investment.

Well, it seems that I'm not the only one having trouble with the coin return. At least I'm not Ohio.

Real estate and the stock market are two of the oft-touted favorites among longterm investments because, historically, both have trended higher over time. I'd have thought that something collectible like, say, rare coins would likewise have been a safe investment, but there's a catch--you have to retain possession in order to expect any return on your investment. And you absolutely shouldn't entrust them to someone just because he gave you a big, fat campaign contribution.

Enter Tom Noe, Republican donor and newly-investigaged coin misplacer. It seems that Ohio invested part of its holdings in rare coins and other collectibles with a combined value of some $50 million. While under the vigiliant and, I'm certain, well-qualified care of Mr. Noe, a sizable fraction of the collectibles has gone missing. I wouldn't dream of accusing Noe of wrong-doing, but if I entrusted a friend with $50 and he gave back only $12, I'd want to investigate the matter a little further (and it would be more serious that a Post-It note on the vending machine.)

Kos hits the nail on the head, noting that
It's a good thing (for the rest of you) that this is confined to the State of Ohio. I mean, what if President Bush hired someone like Tom Noe to run the IRS, or (shudder) privatized Social Security? But then again, this is the price the government pays when it hires someone whose personal gain outweighs the gain of the state...
I don't know about you, but if I'm putting $50M worth of my eggs in one basket, I'd want something more secure than a box in an apparently unsupervised warehouse.

In other news, Tom "There Will Come A Reckoning" Delay is upset that he's the butt of a joke on one of Law and Order's myriad incarnations. In the wake of a judge's murder, an investigator opines that the suspect might be wearing a Tom DeLay T-shirt (one of these, perhaps?

The ethically-challenged Leader quickly fired off a letter of calculated outrage to NBC, but the episode has already aired, so I'm not sure what kind of action DeLay expects in response.

Is the joke funny? Well, who can say? But is it outrageous? Compared to calling for actual retribution against non-lockstep judges? I'd say not.

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