Change you can believe in

A FUNNY STORY FROM THE SNOW STORM, that was some big snow in Washington, huh?
Government shut down, roads impassable, Mother Nature on the rampage. And tons and tons of snow.
So much snow that many buildings simply caved in.
Including one at the airport. Washington Dulles. It was a big hangar, looked like it was pretty new.
But it was also pretty wide. Lots and lots of roof, with nary a pillar. And the snow piled up on its expansive roof. A few inches, a foot, another foot.
And then what must have been a heck of a noise. From the pictures, it looks like the big beam just gave way. It snapped. And down came the roof.
Right on top of a couple of airplanes.
Very expensive airplanes. Corporate jets bigger than some commuter airliners.
Both got bunged up pretty good. The roof landed on its tail and its nose lurched skyward. News reports say both jets are probably totaled.
One of them belonged to Kodak.
Kodak is the name of the theater where they stage “American Idol” and the Academy Awards. Surprisingly, it also used to be a company. An important company. One of the Dow Jones industrials, one of the storied and golden American companies.
But recently a story in the “Wall Street Journal” speculated that Kodak could be gone or bought by the end of this year.
And now the company’s lost its big jet.
Its big beautiful jet.
It is a victim of the Washington snow.
Which, if you think about it, is kind of odd. Because the Kodak headquarters is in Rochester, New York. And the Kodak jet is usually parked at the airport in Rochester, New York.
So why, with every weatherman in the country screaming about giant storms on the way, was the Kodak jet under an aluminum roof in Washington?
Don’t ships put to sea when there’s a hurricane on the way, and don’t planes fly away, to stay out of the path of historic blizzards?
Apparently not at Kodak.
Which raises the question: Why was the Kodak jet far from its home airport as a killer blizzard was bearing down on it?
Turns out that the company’s CEO – Antonio Perez – flew it down there. Him and his wife and a lot of empty seats.
Which raises the question: What company business did they have down there?
Turns out they didn’t have any down there. Not business. It was a pleasure trip.
It was a Super Bowl trip.
That’s right. The CEO of Kodak flew a multi-million dollar jet into the worst blizzard in Washington history so that he could watch the Super Bowl.
On TV.
In the White House.
That’s right. Antonio Perez was Barack Obama’s date for the Super Bowl. They watched it together at the White House. Let’s hope they had plenty of Doritos.
Maybe it was a beer summit.
So let’s think this through.
Antonio Perez flew the company jet to Washington for a purely personal and purely recreational purpose. No Kodak business involved at all. Just a personal junket.
Which must make Kodak shareholders happy.
Because if there’s something they’d like to see more than a dividend, it’s a self-absorbed narcissistic CEO.
I wonder how much that cost?
And I wonder if Antonio Perez will declare it on his taxes?
And I wonder if the president felt the slightest little bit of hypocrisy for absolutely skewering automobile executives for flying in to testify before Congress, and then having his buddy fly in on a bigger plane for nothing more than a TV date.
It seems like this same president has been on a Marxist anti-fat cat rampage in recent months. He has decried Wall Street bonuses and condemned banking and investment companies. He has painted them worthy of society’s loathing and condemnation.
And his boyfriend flies in on the shareholders’ dime to laugh at the Bud Lite commercials with the president.
I wonder what kind of carbon footprint that jet has?
And I wonder what kind of soul Antonio Perez has that he can lay off tens of thousands of people, gut retirees’ health insurance coverage and eliminate their dental and life insurance – in the name of economic hard times – and then use the big jet to wing himself around to pajama parties with the president.
To the people who worked for Kodak all their lives, and made it successful in the modern era – the people whose retirements Antonio Perez has robbed – this narcissistic excess is immoral and wrong.
It is not capitalism, it is thievery. It is not the free market, it is the arrogance of greed.
Antonio Perez has ridden Kodak into the ground. Its very survival is in question. He has nearly killed it.
And he’s making the company pay for his Super Bowl weekend.
And now he has cost the company its jet.
All so he could play footsie with Obama.

  • by Bob Lonsberry © 2010