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Columns

December 2, 2008

Travels with Uncle Chet: AIG isn't the only needy one

NEW BERLIN _ ``Can you believe the government would rather save AIG than the American auto industry?'' Uncle Chet asked me while serving some stuffing.

``It's crazy,'' I said, sitting across from him as we celebrated Thanksgiving at his and Alice's house. ``But maybe that'll change when the new Congress is seated.''

``Republicans say we need car insurance more than cars,'' he said. ``They think it's more important to push paper from file cabinet to file cabinet than to make tomorrow's transportation systems.''

``AIG insures more than cars,'' I noted.

``Sure they do. They're up to their necks in this Wall Street shell game, and now we've rewarded them with $87 billion,'' he said. ``But we won't come up with $25 billion for General Motors, Ford and Chrysler?''

``This looks wonderful,'' Hon told Alice, stabbing some white meat with a fork.

``May I have the cranberry sauce?'' asked the little miscreant, our 15-year-old.

``It has whole berries in it,'' Alice cautioned.

``Oh,'' said the girl, as if she'd been told it were moldy.

``It's berry good for you,'' Uncle Chet cajoled.

``I'll pass,'' she said.

``Me, too,'' said Buddy, who'll soon be 8.

``I guess it's an acquired taste,'' said Hon, helping herself. ``And I've acquired it.''

``The turkey's great,'' said Buddy.

``Your uncle cooked it,'' said Alice.

``While she made the potatoes, squash, stuffing, fruit salad and apple crisp for dessert,'' said Uncle Chet.

``Well, you've outdone yourselves,'' I said, ``and all we've brought are empty stomachs.''

``At least you didn't come by corporate jet,'' said Uncle Chet. ``Talk about being dense. GM goes to Congress, crying poor, and has to show up in a Cadillac.''

``And that's what the media have focused on,'' said Hon.

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