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Worst Week Ever!: July 10-16

By Danny Cross · July 17th, 2013 · Worst Week Ever!

Billionaire businessman Charles Koch has a pretty good understanding of what people say about him on social media for an old guy who probably doesn’t use Twitter (and sucks). During an interview with the Wichita Eagle today, Koch described how critics called him names after he spent millions of dollars during the 2012 presidential campaign opposing Barack Obama and progressive causes; he specifically recalls being called “evil Koch brother” and “greedy and stuff.” The Eagle was speaking to Koch because he forced them to he is launching a $200,000 campaign in Kansas to promote something called “economic freedom,” which involves complaining about government overreach and other things that presumably keep him from being worth $32 billion instead of $31 billion. Among Koch’s ideas for helping poor people via a freer market is eliminating the minimum wage, which he says will inspire impoverished people to think of innovative new ways to create food or generate electricity as a means for trying to stay alive.


Know what makes Cincinnati conservatives angrier than Barack Obama stealing their wallets and giving their money to poor people? Cincinnati Public Schools wasting money trying to educate poor kids. These folks today were probably at least mildly angered when they saw the Enquirer headline: “More misspent school money.” Should they have pointed and clicked, however, they would have realized that the school wasting the shit out of taxpayer money is actually the city’s largest private charter school, where administrators are accused of using public funds on steakhouses, concerts, zip line adventures, spas and Bengals crap. Despite Cincinnati College Preparatory Academy spending more than $500,000 on such things, the school is still set to receive $6 million in state dollars next year because Gov. John Kasich believes this type of thing improves the morale of private businesses, which trickles happiness and profits down to the middle class via the jobs they create. 


Most people don’t think about the country of Finland very often — maybe recognize its flag during the Olympics or use it as a joke about cold weather, etc. Well, today some dude who works at The Atlantic — probably an anarchist or something — wrote an essay about how his cousin’s family is, like, way better off than anyone in America just because they live in Finland.

Among the things better in Finland than the U.S.: infant mortality rate, school scores, poverty rate; and it’s the second-happiest country on Earth (the U.S. doesn’t break the top 10 but only because we’re pissed about the criteria failing to include World Series championships, of which we have them all). Finland is apparently a self-proclaimed “welfare state,” partially because it was the second country in the world to allow women to vote and women were a part of parliament when the government built a state system concerned with everyone’s needs instead of just white men and the things they’re afraid of.

EDITOR'S NOTE: An extremely polite and NOT-AT-ALL-SARCASTIC reader pointed out that the Toronto Blue Jays won two World Series titles, in 1992 and 1993, thus America does not own them all. We'll see who's laughing when Major League Baseball moves the franchise to Las Vegas!


There are only so many ways to hurt somebody with a tampon (see "Five Ways to Hurt Somebody with a Tampon" below), but Texas state troopers today made sure that society would see none of them during the Texas State Senate’s vote to restrict late-term abortions. The GOP banned any and all feminine hygiene products from the Senate floor while it passed Republican-backed legislation that, much like regulations in Ohio’s recently passed budget, will pretty much ban abortions and includes a roundabout way of defunding abortion clinics, also like in Ohio (maybe UT and OSU should play a football game to determine which state hates women more; winner gets to repeal the 19th Amendment). The final vote came amid protesters inside and outside the Senate gallery, though they were unable to break any windows or light police cars on fire because they were all out of maxi-pads.



Laws are complicated — that’s why lawyers have to go to special schools and judges have to get influential people to donate to their campaigns and then convince voters that they’ll make great decisions once they take the bench (we don’t bestow a giant black robe and wooden hammer on just anybody). The world last week saw just how complicated the American legal system is when George Zimmerman was acquitted of the murder of 17-year-old black kid Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman’s innocence was determined by an interpretation of Florida’s terrifying self-defense laws, which state that any asshole may shoot and kill another person even if the asshole in question started a fight and then got his ass kicked, so long as he feared for his life. A NAACP petition calling for a federal prosecution of Zimmerman collected more than 200,000 signatures during the hours after the verdict, temporarily crashing the organization’s website but likely not making many people feel better about the possibility of being followed in the dark by a paranoid racist who sucks at fighting but has a gun. 


According to the theoretical concept of America, people who do good work are rewarded and then probably keep working hard, thus pulling themselves up by their bootstraps and living the dream. According to The Enquirer’s annual examination of executive salaries, this concept is alive and well in the corporate world, as area executives saw their compensation rise by an average of 6.6 percent last year. All was not great at the country club, however, as several high-profile executives lost pay, including Terry Lundgren of Macy’s (bro only got $11.3 million) and P&G CEO Bob McDonald, whose $15.2 million was mostly awarded in stock options (how do you buy a Range Rover with that?!?). All told, half of the 18 local CEOs who have been in charge for two years received raises, with Vantiv’s Charles Drucker getting the biggest one for inventing a new type of gift card that decomposes inside a leather wallet if the purchaser forgets about it for more than 60 days. 

CONTACT DANNY CROSS: dcross@citybeat.com



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