Sultan of Swatch?

Babe's shirt goes in the cards

His Cup Runneth Over

Syndicated business columnist Scott Burns recently informed Houston Chronicle readers that companies could provide workers with a dignified retirement by raising prices for their goods by only pennies.

As an example, his column noted that Starbucks could increase its company match ninefold for retirement plans by merely adding three cents to the $3.50 cost of a grande latte.

But it was more than the fundamentals of supply and demand that led reader Jack Olson to question the premise in that September 16 Burns column. Just one day earlier, the columnist told readers of a way to make $800,000 over 40 years (with interest and inflation factored in). All they had to do, Burns advised, was to invest the savings they'd make from not buying that daily $3.50 latte from Starbucks. -- George Flynn

Enron? What Enron?

Local boy Joe Householder, who started out as a reporter for KTRH-AM before turning to political consulting, has landed a big-time job: He's become the communications director for New York Senator (and future presidential candidate?) Hillary Clinton.

The New York Daily News, ever eager to fan discussion of "Hillary in 2004," saw great import in Householder's hiring, observing that he had served as spokesman for Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack's successful 2002 campaign (Iowa's caucuses being the opening round of the Democratic primary season).

Householder's Iowa stint was noted on the September 12 press release in which Clinton's office announced his hiring, as was his more recent job with the Houston political-consulting firm of Varoga, Rice & Shalett.

The release also mentioned that "Joe spent two years as Media Relations Manager for an international law firm."

Somehow the law firm's name was omitted. It was Vinson & Elkins, which earned a ton of headlines it would rather forget when the firm got heavily entangled in the Enron scandal.

We're sure the omission was just an oversight. -- R.C.

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