Inside the System
September 24, 2004 | Page 4
YOU CAN'T be poor and run for president. If you didn't already know that, one look at the recent VH-1 cable television special The Fabulous Life: Bush vs. Kerry Bling-Off should be enough to convince anybody.
Matching the two presidential hopefuls in a bare-knuckle showdown to see who would claim the title of "The King of Bling," the show examined which candidate has the best homes, the "blingier" bride and can boast the best ride.
The findings? Kerry has a home worth an estimated $7.1 million and is the proud owner of five custom-made bicycles priced at $12,000 each. His famously "better" hair costs $1,000 a cut, and his tie collection alone is worth a reported $26,000.
Meanwhile, Bush owns 25 pairs of custom-designed cowboy boots--worth up to $40,000 a pair. He also plays golf at a private club on an island in Florida called Gasparilla, where membership alone is $135,000 a year. When it comes to rolling in money, both Bush and Kerry are doing just fine.
You better be thankful for George Bush
LYNNE GOBBELL didn't think that there was anything wrong with the Kerry-Edwards bumper sticker on her car. But the Moulton, Ala., woman got a shock when it cost her her job.
Until recently, Gobbell was employed by at Environmate, a cellulose installation company owned by Phil Gaddis. One day, "[w]e were going back to work from break, and my manager told me that Phil said to remove the sticker off my car, or I was fired," she said. "I told him that Phil couldn't tell me who to vote for. He said, 'Go tell him.'"
She went to Gaddis' office. "Phil and another man who works there were there," she said. "I asked him if he said to remove the sticker, and he said, 'Yes, I did.' I told him he couldn't tell me who to vote for. When I told him that, he told me, 'I own this place.' I told him he still couldn't tell me who to vote for."
Gobbell said Gaddis told her to "get out of here." "I asked him if I was fired, and he told me he was thinking about it," she said. "I said, 'Well, am I fired?' He hollered and said, 'Get out of here and shut the door.'"
When Gobbell asked her manager if that meant for her to go back to work or go home, the manager told her to go back to work--but came back a few minutes later and said, "I reckon you're fired. You could either work for him, or John Kerry."
While Gaddis has a problem with his employees expressing their political opinions, he certainly had no problems shoving his down their throats. Recently, he placed a flyer in employee pay envelopes to remind them of the "positive" impact that President Bush's policies have had on them. "Just so you will know, because of the Bush tax (cut)...I was able to give you a job," it said. "You got the benefit of the Bush tax cut. Everyone did."
Heard it through the grapevine
"TOO MANY good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB-GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country."
"HAD WE to do it over again, we would look at the consequences of catastrophic success, being so successful so fast that an enemy that should have surrendered or been done in escaped and lived to fight another day."
"I HOPE you leave here and walk out and say, 'What did he say?'"
"SO COMMUNITY colleges are accessible, they're available, they're affordable, and their curriculums don't get stuck. In other words, if there's a need for a certain kind of worker, I presume your curriculums evolved over time."
"LET ME put it to you bluntly. In a changing world, we want more people to have control over your own life."
"AS YOU know, we don't have relationships with Iran. I mean, that's--ever since the late '70s, we have no contacts with them, and we've totally sanctioned them. In other words, there's no sanctions--you can't--we're out of sanctions."
"I ALWAYS remember two types of students. One is the very excellent student, the type as a professor you feel honored to be working with. Someone with strong social values, compassion and intellect--the very rare person you never forget. And then you remember students like George Bush, those who are totally the opposite."
"[PEOPLE] THINK that if you have money you have no feelings or conscience. But when people get to know me, if I was any of that, they wouldn't dare hug me, kiss me or speak to me in personal terms."