Many of us have tried to save and plan for retirement. We’ve read the books about how investing in mutual funds is one of the best ways to maximize your return and grow your nest egg over the long term. We’ve followed that advice, and many of us have stayed the course, through up years and down, trusting in the historical fact that the stock market will produce long-term gains that outstrip every other investment vehicle.
As I sit here tonight, amazed that President Obama and congressional leaders have taken us to the brink of apparent default, I wonder: If the debt ceiling is not increased, if the United States defaults, and if ratings agencies downgrade the investment value of United States government securities — with the likely negative ripple effect of those developments throughout the economy — does anyone doubt that the stock market will plunge and our carefully considered long-term investments are going to take a huge, unnecessary hit? And if that inevitable hit occurs, how long will it take for our retirement funds to recover from it — if ever?
I think the dumb brinksmanship we are seeing from every one of our political leaders right now is infuriating, but I cannot imagine how angered I would feel if I were on the eve of retirement and saw those leaders taking absurd risks with the value of my hard-earned, soon-to-be-needed retirement nest egg. It’s one thing to believe that our elected representatives are unconcerned about the average schmoe, it’s quite another to see that they are gambling with your money and your future solely to further their partisan political positions.
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Posted in Food, Humor, tagged Big Kahuna Donut Burger, Donuts, Doughnuts, Fair food, Food, Humor, New York, New York State Fair on July 28, 2011 |
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How serendipitous! Right after writing about fair food and America’s love of doughnuts, I see a news item that combines the two.
This year’s New York State Fair will be serving up the Big Kahuna Donut Burger. This quarter-pound burger is served between slices of a grilled glazed doughnut. With cheese, bacon, and the fixin’s, The Big Kahuna Donut Burger comes out to about 1,500 calories: a true, over-the-top gutbuster. What will they think of next? Couldn’t they have worked a deep-fried Snickers bar into the mix somehow?
I’d like to see someone slug down a Big Kahuna Donut Burger and then take a spin on the Tilt-a-Whirl — at least, I’d like to see it from a safe distance.
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Tonight all of the debt ceiling drama is in the House of Representatives, where Speaker John Boehner is hoping to round up enough bills to pass his proposal to increase the debt ceiling and avoid a default.
Meanwhile, what’s happening in the Senate? Nothing. The house that likes to call itself “The World’s Greatest Deliberative Body” has become the World’s Greatest Do-Nothing Body. They wait, criticize the House of Representatives, try to dodge any responsibility or avoid taking any position that might cause them any kind of political pain, and spend their time pondering political maneuvering at the expense of the good of the country. Although my inclinations are to favor budget-cutting to get us to fiscal sanity, I think you would be as disappointed in the performance of the majority-Democrat Senate if you were a hard-core progressive. Why haven’t they independently debated and passed the Senate solution to the problem? Because they don’t want to commit to anything.
Who knows what will happen with the Boehner plan, or whether our fractured, grossly dysfunctional and leaderless government will allow our country to suffer a needless, ruinous, and impoverishing default. One thing is clear, however: it is hard to imagine a more gutless, craven performance than we have seen from the Senate during this entire debt ceiling issue. They have been a pathetic embarrassment to the concept of responsible representative government.
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Posted in America, Food, Humor, tagged America, Donuts, Doughnuts, Dunkin' Brands Group, Dunkin' Donuts, Food, Humor on July 28, 2011 |
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Yesterday, America showed its love for doughnuts and put its money where its mouths want to be.
On a bleak day when the Dow Jones average plunged nearly 200 points on fears that the debt ceiling quandary will not be solved, Dunkin’ Brands Group — the parent company of Dunkin’ Donuts — was a lonely bright spot. Yesterday, Dunkin’ Brands had its initial public offering. It started the day’s trading at $19 per share and ended at $27.85 — up a robust 46.6 percent. Dunkin’ Brands has ambitious growth plans that seek to feed on America’s insatiable appetite for fried rings of dough and expand into new markets on the west coast and in Asia and South America.
Americans — and not just policemen, either — eat billions of doughnuts each year, although our per capita consumption apparently lags behind that of our Canadian neighbors to the north. We are addicted to consumption of those heavenly circles of doughy bliss, coated in glaze or honey or chocolate icing, filled with fruit jelly or whipped cream or custard, and topped with colorful sprinkles or coconut shavings or chopped nuts.
As for me, I can’t resist a basic glazed doughnut or a simple cake doughnut with dark chocolate icing. I therefore try to give all doughnut stores a wide berth, lest my waistline mirror Dunkin’ Brands rapid expansion.
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