Saturday, February 28, 2009

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Thank you, Bobby Jindal

Okay, this is almost too easy. Child's play. Speaking of child, I felt like a first grader being read to, listening to Jindal's speech last night. The man was downright creepy in his delivery and even more disturbing in the points he was trying to make. Once again, he marched out the tired and now irrelevant lines about government waste and corruption. He implied that the Gulf coast would be better off without government assitance, instead of accurately stating that it was one party's particular incompetence and insensitivity that led to the Katrina disaster. Thank God he's learned his lesson about all that government aid and is turning down the next dollars intended for his state's poor and needy.

This is the Republican smartboy. He's a Rhodes scholar. He's the future of the Republican party, by all accounts. Can't you just see it in 2012--Jindal/Palin, Palin/Jindal or as Paul Krugman referred in a related context: Beavis and Butthead.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Rick Santelli's Rant

Yesterday on CNBC, reporter Rick Santelli went off on a tyrade about the housing bailout plan. As he stood on the floor of the CBOE in Chicago, he managed to yell loud enough to attract the attention and vocal support of the people working around him. He had nothing positive to say about Obama's plan, and compared the US to Cuba on the cusp of the communist revolution. What was most interesting to me was his proclamation at the end that the poeple behind him represented "a statistical cross section of America".

Who works at the CBOE? Who were the people standing behind him hooting their support? You got it--white guys in their mid-30s. No person of color, no women, no person over 40. This is Rick's "cross section". These are people who are extremely well paid. They get benefits and perks that most of us can only imagine. The point is not whether they deserve what they get, but whether they have a clue as to what the rest of America's workers are up against. All they know is that they don't want someone else getting a hand from the government for signing on to a mortgage they now can't afford.

I've no doubt some people just plain overspent and some never had the funds or the discipline or experience to pay a monthly mortgage. Do I want to bail them out, when I have been very disciplined and played by the rules? Not exactly. But I didn't want to bail out the banks and wealthy CEOs either, and I did. We all did. We have come to a place in this country where we allow the expressions of contempt for the common man to stand without challenge. We talk about pay cuts for the auto workers, but say nothing about the pay for the average worker on Wall Street. Those who benefit from this mindset (the banks, traders, financial advisors, and yes, the CNBC reporters) cry "Communism!" "Socialism!" in an effort to scare us all from seeing the truth. "Pay no attention to that rich white guy behind the curtain. Let's kick the common man while he's down!" What is fair for one should be fair for all. I don't like bailouts at all, and wish none of them had happened. But now that we've taken this road, we can't use it to continue the Bush policies of benefiting the rich at the expense of the poor. The election was a referendum on that policy.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Recession By The Numbers

The green line is the current recession. Perhaps the Limbaugh Republicans didn't get this memo. They have been too busy in the Senate chambers arguing that their way, the way they've managed the economy for the last 8 years, is the best way to proceed. Uh huh.
Who won the election on what issue?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Worst Start Ever??

On Morning Joe this morning, Joe Scarborough called on Peggy Noonan to confirm his conclusion that Obama's start as President is "the worst ever". Peggy paused, turned her head to the side to suggest she was deep in thought, and then pronounced that William Henry Harrison had a worse start--he died! She then added, "its pretty bad."

Did we all really think Democrats and Republicans were going to join hands and sing "Kumbaya" in the Oval Office? Did we really think President Obama could tame this self serving rabble in a matter of two weeks, much less two terms?

I don't think of this as a bad start, or the "worst start". I think of it as the Presidential version of the New Hampshire primary. President Obama is taking his lumps and taking notes at the same time. He was not damaged by losing New Hampshire, he got stronger and smarter. What makes him different is that he learns from his mistakes!! I'll take wisdom and growth any day over arrogance and contempt for knowledge.