Suddenly last winter — from Ben’s monthly Diary.
Here I am in my apartment at the Watergate. I flew in this evening after giving a speech this morning to an absolutely great, great group of real estate people from a company called Edina Realty in St. Paul, Minnesota. Really smart, alert, good-natured people. By total coincidence, it’s a small part of my beloved Berkshire Hathaway.
I told them that there was no such thing as a real estate correction that never stopped. There was no such thing as a down part of the cycle without an up part of the cycle. Naturally, I told them I was their best friend because I love real estate so much, and that real estate was the most tax-favored investment there is, mostly because the imputed rent home-owners receive is tax free. That’s not to mention the deduction for mortgage interest and great plays on capital gains on sale, which all go to make real estate a super buy over long periods.
I also let them know that if you find a great house you love and you can afford it, you should not try to wait until the very bottom of the market: you should just snap it up right away, because one rarely finds houses one falls in love with. In 20 years, as I told them, they won’t even remember what they paid for the house, but they will have had 20 years of extremely great pleasure living in the home.
We had a fabulous time, and then I went back to my hotel to nurse my horrible toothache. This toothache came upon me quite suddenly two days ago just as I was about to leave town on a flying tour. The dentist looked at it and a periodontist looked at it and they said that someone had done something wrong with a root canal repair two years ago and I would need to have it extracted. I cannot do this for a few days and meanwhile the pain is hideous. Like no other pain I have ever felt. I have taken so much aspirin for it today I think I must have poisoned myself. I could take Percodan, and that would surely kill the pain dead. But I don’t want to turn into a drug fiend. I guess no one wants to be a drug fiend.
So, I am suffering and I don’t like it. I hate this. There is a reason it’s called “pain.” I cannot do a darned thing about it for a good five days and it is extremely upsetting.
Well, on the other hand, Scott Brown won in Massachusetts. And won big. Over that witch, Martha Coakley. That tormenting witch from outer space. Pour water on her and see if she melts.
I wonder if Mr. Obama gets what’s going on here. To lose Massachusetts? To lose Ted Kennedy’s seat? I wonder if he gets that voters don’t really trust him or his grandiose schemes. I wonder if he thinks maybe he tried to do too much too fast. Or does he think it’s all racism? It is astonishing how fast the rubber band snapped back on Mr. Obama. He is obviously a likeable guy. But he’s starting to remind me of those Third World dictators who take office and try a million huge schemes at once and really what they’re doing is enriching their friends. I guess I am thinking this because some kind soul sent me aerial photos of some of the housing in Illinois that Mr. Obama and his slumlord pals are involved in. It sure looks as if he was just getting public money for his unscrupulous pals and then getting some of it kicked back to him in campaign contributions.
This reminds me of just why we elected him in the first place…Well, I think I know but I won’t say. You are not allowed to tell non-PC truths in this country nowadays.
Now that I think of it, is Barack Obama really that likeable? I mean, all politicians are pretty likeable. That’s their job. And he is certainly a politician. But maybe he has made himself a little less likeable by appearing on TV so much.
Maybe there is such a thing as overexposure, even for Barack Obama. I keep remembering my beloved late aunt from a small town in Arkansas. She expired just as the election was raging and the last conversation we had was about Mr. Obama. “I don’t like him,” she said. “He’s arrogant.”
Possibly that’s the way other people see him, too. Anyway, he should have taken it slow and easy for his first year and worked only on fighting the terrorists and the recession. I guess he should know that now but he doesn’t, because he’s already preparing a new assault on Wall Street. I agree Wall Street is highly blameworthy, but will attacking them right now end the recession?
What a day. I spent the afternoon at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. I met a man who had been shot by a Taliban hidden in the Afghan Army. He had been shot while urinating at an outside latrine. The bullets had, among other things, killed his pancreas. By a medical miracle, doctors at WRAMC transplanted cells from his pancreas to his liver — and now, in a true feat of genius and God’s gifts, the soldier is doing well. Apparently this is a major medical first.
I met another man who had been shot in his bunk by a careless, stupid fellow soldier who was cleaning his machine gun. The man was playing with the charging lever and did not notice that there were three rounds somehow left in his M-249, all of which hit this poor brave soldier I met today. He will likely always walk with a severe limp at the very least. How could anyone be that idiotic?
The amazing thing is that the man who did this is not even in prison. He is still serving in the field. He may be prosecuted later, but the story gets worse. The Army mistakenly told the victim’s family that he was dead of self-inflicted wounds and this part is inexcusable.
Someone should be held accountable for this tragedy and for terrifying the family.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online