Who’s Looking After Momma?
He was caught by “questionable transactions”—moving suspiciously large amounts of money out of his bank account into a shell corporation. When the story broke last week that he had patronized a high-priced hooker in Washington, D.C., champagne flowed in boardrooms and brokerage houses all over New York. “I’ve never known anyone who was more self-righteous and unforgiving than Eliot Spitzer,” said Republican Congressman Peter King of Long Island.
Spitzer, who went after people using this very technique of following questionable transactions, no doubt believed he was just as immune from detection as the poor suckers who parked their money in Liechtenstein.
Instead of concentrating on his core business, he took his eye off the ball and got careless.
Also, Spitzer failed to remember the old adages: “If you live by the sword …” and “What’s sauce for the goose …”
The Starbucks Conundrum
I have always liked Starbucks. With 15,700 stores worldwide, wherever we traveled it used to be comforting to know Starbucks was nearby—our assurance that we could get a world-class cup of coffee and fine hunk of pastry for a lot less than the €20 (US$30) breakfast in the hotel dining room.
But Starbucks lost its way. It started using preground coffees instead of filling the store with the heady aromas of fresh-ground. The place started smelling of breakfast sandwiches—ham and eggs. What’s more, it turned itself into an uppity variety store, trying to shovel down my throat CDs, such as Pearl Jam, The Little Willies, Prince, Sly and the Family Stone, and off-the-wall books such as “Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction” and “Her Last Death: A Memoir.”
Not only did this stuff get in the way of what I was in the store for—good coffee and a snack—but by screaming, “LOOK HOW IN TOUCH WE ARE AND YOU CAN BE TOO!” I got the feeling Starbucks did not really want Bach, American Songbook and Patrick O’Brian fans as customers.