Funny Business with Jane Wells

Compliments, Complaints, and the Obama T-Shirt Mystery

We got some emails about The Compliment Guys! Who are AWESOME! Handsome! Hard-working! Good for America!

Ed L. caught the compliment fever: "You are the best reporter on CNBC...the only reason I watch and log on. Keep up the great work..."

The Compliment Guys are both Purdue students, and Elizabeth T. writes: "The whole Purdue family is very proud of them!"

Roger B. says the idea isn't new: "The Compliment Guys are doing the same thing some Japanese guys did about 10 years ago Does that mean the US is in for a lost decade as well? Here's a story from 2000about the Japanese compliment guys." (note from Jane: the Japanese guys charged money for compliments, our guys do it for free! Ok, well, Kodak's paying them now.)

About California...

An email from Ryan S. regarding the upcoming state garage sale: "As the Twitter follower who said that Gov. Schwarzenegger could boost auction prices with autographs, I would like to thank you for covering this item. It is the irreverent little stories such as this that keep the often apolitical populace in touch with the men and women that make the big decisions. One might go so far as to say that internet tools such as Twitter could be the Fireside Chats of the 21st century."

Jim A. began thinking of potential mergers after I suggested selling California: "Bad Partners: Nevada close but too many problems. But they do have the gambling and hookers. Utah and Idaho just out of the question. Arizona bad drivers and more southern border 'no synergy' as the M&A consultants say. Colorado is out they already think you are just taking all their water. Good Partners: Western Washington and Western Oregon might work then they could divest of the eastside of the mountains hicks (where I grew up). North and South Dakota residents need a nice place to spend the winter and the have some oil there. Texas might work but then both sides would have to admit how similar they are and that would be a blow to the ego of some citizens in both states..."

Mike S. writes from New Jersey: "New Jersey has many of the same fiscal woes that California currently labors under. The difference is that our governor is especially ineffective in dealing with our problems. A few years ago, I proposed a rather unique solution... that Governor Corzine, a former investment banker, would easily understand, was to find a merger partner! I suggested Pennsylvania or Delaware, but also suggested that perhaps the Brits would have us back, or perhaps even the French!"

Retired parole officer Rich M. says the state could save more than $30k per prison bed if those beds were "contract beds", or private: "The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DC&R) has only 4% of permanent capacity in contract beds. Texas has 9% in contract beds and Florida has 6%. If DC&R added 8,505 contract beds, 9% of capacity, it would save $257.5 million in annual operating costs and avoid spending $2.6 billion for new prison bed construction...Such an action would be opposed by the correctional employee unions and will not even be considered despite a $26 billion deficit..."

When I blogged about radio hostsJohn and Ken as the "unofficial governors of California", Miles in Houston wrote: "We need people like John and Ken in every state, to jar the sleeping public into action..."

Mike took issue with the Governor's office pointing out that John and Ken don't always get people to vote their way, like when they supported the losing reform propositions of 2005: "Governor Benedict Arnold cowered away from any and all campaigning for those props when the heads of the teachers union, prison guard union, nurses union, and the state employees union chased him all over the state in opposition to those props. While John and Ken have a grip on the lower half of the state due to the signal strength that KFI puts out, they do not have the entire state within their listening area...This is not a slam on you, but a slam on the Governor's office."

Oops! We made a little mistake in a link on the Call of Shamewhich we fixed after FG pointed it out!: "How about the fact that the link in the Nike piece on Lebron James "Darren Rovell has been reporting" leads to a picture of Erin Andrews - NICE...Never knew that Jane was that type of person."

Finally, a few of you wrote nice emails after I blogged about my 17-year-old sonreturning from three months as an exchange student in Japan. Thank you. He is back and full of hilarious tales, but I have a funny story about him. I went to throw away some trash the other day and saw an "Obama Hope" T-shirt in the garbage, hidden under some papers. "Where did that come from?" I wondered. Before going to Japan, my son-ever one to swim against the tide-helped form a Young Republicans Club at his high school, just to be different from everyone else catching Obama fever. When I confronted him with the T-shirt, he admitted that he bought it in pick up girls. "It worked," he told me sheepishly. Glad to see he has his priorities straight! Girls, then politics. As a friend said, "Whatever his career path once he finishes school, he will be successful because he has a very important quality - he's resourceful."

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