"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing."


Glenn Reynolds:

Barack Obama:
"Impossible to transcend."

Albert A. Gore, Jr.:
"An incontinent brute."

Rev. Jeremiah Wright:
"God damn the Gentleman Farmer."

Friends of GF's Sons:
"Is that really your dad?"

Kickball Girl:
"Keeping 'em alive until 7:45."

Hired Hand:
"I think . . . we forgot the pheasant."

I'm an
Alcoholic Yeti
in the
TTLB Ecosystem

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Family With the Pool

If you want to have a pile of friends, then just install a swimming pool. Granted, this only works if you live in a standard, middle-class neighborhood. It doesn't work in Beverly Hills (where everyone who's anyone already has a pool), but it works amongst normal people. I mean, really! Who doesn't want to have a friend who has a pool? Added child-rearing bonus: bullies would rather swim than fight.

There are other things that inspire spontaneous friendliness: snow blowers, hot tubs, four-wheel-drive trucks. You get the point. So long as you have something other people want, you'll have a load of "friends." Just ask any High School kid why the popular girls are so popular.

Which brings us to Barney Frank. Barney has a fabulous pool: he's a senior Congressman from the majority party and chairman of the House Banking Committee. Given the choice of being friendly with Barney or, say, your next-door-neighbor who sells insurance and volunteers to teach catechism classes, who wouldn't pick good ol' Barney? Let's be serious.

And if you're Barney, how cool is it to have so many good-hearted friendly friends? Way cool! Barney, for example, has a friend who is a hedge-fund manager who owns a $25 million private jet. Being friends, Barney's friend flew the Congressman and his partner to the Virgin Islands for a vacation. As reported by the Boston Herald:
The Herald reported this week that Frank and his partner, Jim Ready, made the tropical getaway just before Christmas 2009 on a jet owned by financier S. Donald Sussman, fiance of U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine). In addition to flying from Maine to the Virgin Islands with Sussman and Pingree, Frank and Ready stayed in Sussman’s mansion on the island, an aide told the Herald.

Frank reported the jet ride as a gift in required House financial disclosures - claiming the cost of the flight was $1,500 - but reported no other expenses related to the vacation. Aviation experts say the cost of flying a private jet between Maine and the Virgin Islands would cost as much as $30,000 each way.
We think it's particularly great that since Barney's Congressional committee oversees banking and the economy, and his friend is a hedge-fund manager, they'll have stuff in common to talk about while hitting the beach. How boring would it be if the Barnster were stuck in a tropical paradise with a gunsmith or a plumber?

Barney is frankly troubled that the little people think that there's something wrong with this. He's explained:
“They’re friends. Are you not supposed to have friends if they’re wealthy?” Frank spokesman Harry Gural said of the Newton Democrat’s relationship with S. Donald Sussman.


Frank . . . told the Herald the trip was “personal,” saying he and his partner, Jim Ready, are friends of Sussman and his fiancee, U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine). Gural said all four stayed at Sussman’s St. Thomas manse.
One would have to be a career politician -- with that class's invincible sense of entitlement -- to have accepted the bribe in the first place, and then to defend it. There's nothing wrong with having rich friends, just as there's nothing wrong with being friends with a powerful politician, just as there's nothing wrong with being friends with the guy down the street who just happens to have a swimming pool.

We have some practical advice for Congressman Frank respecting "friends": next time you have one of those really, really nasty intestinal viruses -- you know the kind we're talking about -- call your hedge-fund friend and see if he races over to hold your head and change your sheets. Sending the jet to take you to the Mayo Clinic doesn't count.


Comments on "The Family With the Pool"


Blogger Charlene said ... (12:09 PM) : 

When I got a hot tub lots of people suddenly told me they love getting in a hot tub. When I told them I only allow it to be used when I'm in the tub with them, and clothing was not allowed, several stopped nagging me about it!

Friends let friends use their stuff and everyone has rules of use. I look forward to your investigation of all elected "career" politicians and their friends.


Blogger Gentleman Farmer said ... (1:21 PM) : 

No need for an investigation. I begin with the proposition that all politicians are corrupt. In what other circumstances does such a blanket assumption make you right 95% of the time?

It's a safety rule, like "all guns are loaded."


Anonymous Uncle M said ... (2:46 PM) : 

Charlene - GF and I would be happy to share a bottle of Barolo with you in your hot tub. Your rules for its use are acceptable.


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