In case you missed it — Ben’s Diary from the September issue.
(Page 2 of 3)
UP AT 6:30 A.M. EDT, WHICH IS 3:30 A.M. my time, to speak to a fabulous bunch of people in the office supply business. They are grouped together under the name S.P. Richards. They may be the best audience I ever had. There is no pleasure quite like having an audience who gets all of my jokes and uplifting patriotic comments. How I love a standing ovation! It’s the ham in me, but it’s a big part of me.
Then, off to our apartments at the Watergate for a long nap… a very long nap.
Afterward, our lovable driver, Bob Noah, took us over to Oxford, Maryland, my favorite town on the East Coast, for a walk, and then to the Tidewater Inn in Easton for crab cakes.
They were delicious, but I was too tired and should have just stayed home and rested. I have a fine view out of my bedroom window, and that should have been enough.
I am getting run down from all of this travel.
NOW, THIS IS MORE LIKE IT. Alex and I have been lying low, just resting in our dwellings at the Watergate. Occasionally, I venture out to be on Fox or CNN, but mostly, I stay home and we just eat eggs or hot dogs.
One afternoon, some documentarists came over to interview me about the 40th anniversary of Watergate. The interviewer asked me if it had dawned on me that I am one of the last people connected with Watergate still living (marginally) at the Watergate. I told him I was not even in D.C. during the first year of Watergate, but I was tangentially connected.
The question and my answer made me feel old. I guess I am old.
I did come up with one bon mot on Wolf Blitzer on CNN. Someone, maybe Paul Begala, was going on about how evil Bain Capital was. I said that no one was taking into account that most of the investors in private Equity were college and university endowments and union pension funds. When Bain hit a home run in terms of investor returns, the main beneficiaries were not vampire capitalists but eleemosynary (nonprofit, doing good) entities. No one ever mentioned that on Mr. Romney’s behalf. Paul asked me after the show why the Romney people had not brought that up. Good question.
However, on a more immediate matter… on Sunday, we dragged ourselves out of the Watergate and went off to Dulles to catch our United flight back to LAX. Madness. They had no ticket for my wife, although the reservations were made and ticket bought long since. After a long struggle, a polite woman named Mrs. Jovita at United said she had a seat for my wife. We went on that cursed bus to the gate. It was a mob scene: hot, humid, awful.
Worse, the gate agent laughingly told us that no matter what Mrs. Jovita might have said, they had no seat at all on the plane for my wife. She actually laughed as she held up her fingers to show a zero…as in zero seats for my wife. Madness.
We went back to the Watergate to lick our wounds and make a rez for a flight back on Virgin America the next day. Why would United do that to us, very frequent travelers? Apparently it had to do with a ticketing error when we boarded in SFO a few days ago to come to IAD. But what incompetence! My mother used to say that she had been taught in economics that the customer was king. But now (she said it in the ’70s) the customer was “the lowest dog.” Does United really feel that way? Certainly some don’t, but obviously, some do.
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.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online