Jewish World Review Jan 4, 2012/ 9 Teves, 5772
A star is born, or: Truth-in-jest dept.
By Paul Greenberg
Who is this
He's the 66-year-old CEO of
In his ever-loquacious way, Mr. Kinder was talking about the merger between his company and
His response? "And I said, 'Wait a minute. What about that Russian company called Gazprom?' We are not as big as (Prime Minister Vladimir) Putin's Gazprom, but then we don't break people's kneecaps, either. We just have to rely on ordinary persuasion, you know."
The laughter that line evoked was tinged with a certain bitter recognition of how an old KGB agent operates. Once again, truth had been served up as jest.
Mr. Kinder went on to talk about American leaders, and in just as candid a vein.
When he met with the president of
Have you noticed how sharply America's dependence on foreign oil has dropped as the shale revolution continues? Government hasn't. It's still back there promoting green energy even though it never seems to take off. While last year America became a net exporter of petroleum-based fuels.
Mr. Kinder called natural gas a "game changer," doubtless referring to how new ways to extract and transport it are affecting the market. See the Fayetteville Shale Play here in
Not that the current administration has noticed. The president and his secretary of energy, said Mr. Kinder, "still like bicycles and wind." At that point, he couldn't resist noting that "they loaned a lot of money for solar panels."
Mr. Kinder's punch line was a not-so-subtle reference to the Solyndra scandal -- and doubtless others to come. Consider the problems the administration has run into with EnerDel, another federally funded outfit (to the tune of
There's no doubt solar panels have been a boon for the economy -- the Chinese economy. The Chinese can make them cheaper thanks to their cheap/slave labor. Here at home, that green economy
When his remarks made the
Not publicly, anyway. After all this president's miscalls when it comes to economic policy, he's in no position to show his irritation when he's called on them.
As for those investment bankers eager to get in on the purely private deal
When it comes to the targets of his stand-up comedy,
Or, better yet, to just let the PR people handle all the company's communication, lest the truth out. After all, you never know when you might need a government bailout. Maybe that's why
A tactful spokesman for
That's the nature of humor and truth. Both are transcendent qualities. And what they transcend is the natural tendency to hold them in check lest we all be honest with one another.
But for at least one golden moment in 2011,
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