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Who let this Dow Jones guy run things?

Sun., Oct. 12, 2008

So now comes this new and improved cockamamie plan to save the economy.

Treasury Secretary Henry J. Paulson Jr. has announced that the U.S. government would buy direct stakes in the nation’s troubled banks.

The last time we did anything this drastic was back in the Great Depression days, when men wore fedoras and called women “doll baby.”

This brings up some important questions.

Does this mean every taxpayer will be getting a free checking account?

Or, at the very least, a complimentary toaster?

Excuse me for being confused.

But I thought the $700 billion bailout was supposed to save the economy.

Remember way, way back in time, like, oh, about a week ago? Our elected officials were wrangling over whether to pass the biggest bailout in history to rescue our failed financial institutions.

Conservatives railed that such a massive bailout was contrary to the American free market system.

Others saw the bailout as the only way for us to avoid Great Depression, the sequel.

The vote on the measure failed. And it looked as if America was doomed until some of our craftier leaders added a few pet pork projects to the bailout, such as aid to the toy wooden arrow industry.

When I heard that, I felt so stupid.

Here I am, a working member of the mainstream media, and I had no idea the toy wooden arrow industry was in trouble.

Anyway, the bill was finally passed, and everybody cheered.

And the stock market continued to keel over like a herd of fainting goats.

Talk about bad news. The Dow Jones last week recorded its biggest weekly loss.

Once-desirable General Motors stock is now less attractive than a rust-bucket 1975 Chevy Vega.

I don’t know beans about how the stock market works. But it seems to me that the logical thing to do is to track down this Dow Jones character and stop him before he screws up the economy even worse.

The situation is so dire that even the local snake market has taken a disastrous downturn.

I’m referring to Hercules, the 8-foot boa constrictor who was found slithering in a Post Falls yard a while ago.

The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department put a $1,100 value on the snake.

Yet it fetched only 250 bucks, the department says, when the Coeur d’Alene couple who gave it a home put Hercules up for sale on Craigslist.

The couple are now facing a theft charge, because the cops claim the snake was never formally adopted.

I would have considered adopting Hercules, had I only known how far south the economy was going.

Think of all the jerky you could make out of an 8-foot boa constrictor. It could feed you all winter.

I know that sounds gruesome. Under normal conditions I would never consider turning such a beautiful creature into salty dried meat.

I’d be thinking about turning the beautiful creature into a new pair of really cool boa-skin boots.

We may all be eating critters if the economic collapse continues.

But even if that happens, I know my sweet 86-year-old mother will be OK.

She has been at war with a marauding gang of squirrels for months. The bushy-tailed thieves have been stealing the stuffing out of the cushions on her porch furniture.

Lucky for the squirrels, my mom has had both her knees and hips replaced.

Otherwise, she would have chased down each and every one of the bandits. And bad economy or not, she’d be having squirrel kabobs for dinner.

I hope somebody saves the economy soon. But if we do wind up in Great Depression II, I feel ready to face it.

My doll baby thinks I look real snazzy in a fedora.

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or


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