Friday, November 28, 2008

Banks, Cars, Appointments, Coulter and Wars - Making Up for Lost Time

My apologies for being under the radar for the last two weeks. Tweenie was having some back spasms, and there's nothing worse than seeing your kiddos in pain. Things are looking better, but boy-oh-boy, I hate battling the HMO's for a referral...ah, but that's another blog for another time...

You'll recall, Dear Readers, that many moons ago I blogged about my concern over the banking crisis. And, sadly, my prediction that more and more banks will continue to go under has come to pass. It is a phenomenon that has yet to stop. Next in line, the auto industry: will they get a bailout? Should they get a bailout? Y'know, I'm honestly not sure. Rachel Maddow said it best, and I loosely quote, "So, if you take a shower before you go to work, you get a bailout, and if you need a shower after you get home from work, you don't???" We're still doling out the cash to banks, no questions asked...look at Citicorp. But there seems to be huge debate over whether to fund a Motor City bailout. Are we having buyer's remorse over the banking mess? It absolutely amazes me that all the intelligent minds in Congress thought that if we gave the bank execs more money, that they would change their ways (put an end to the spa days, grossly obscene exec salaries, etc.)...is it just me, or could we have told them this would happen???

So now we have another industry, one that’s solidly an American institution, and it's in trouble. The auto industry isn’t a white collar industry, but a blue collar field that employs many middle-class families, has strong unions and has not been able, on recent years, to compete with the rest of the world. I get that this is partly due to tarriffs and partly due to lack of investment in new alternative fuel technology. I get that good union jobs cost more than cheap labor overseas. But it's a complex issue. Our new President talks about having strings attached. That's a good start, but car companies can't keep taking private jets to lobby Washington, only to tell us that they can't afford the new technology due to the high-paying union jobs. I don’t want to see union busting as a result, here. And some serious research and development has to happen, tariffs have to be higher on foreign automakers, and lower on our products. But all that won't happen overnight. Too much has to happen too fast to rectify this mess. Simply said, something's gotta give, because we’re crippling the working class. You know I always have an opinion, usually a strongly liberal one. But this time, in looking at all these bailouts, I almost find myself sounding like a fiscal conservative: should we let the banks and car companies fail and let the market correct itself?

Speaking of the market, I am encouraged by the recent numbers on Wall Street. Every time President Elect Obama speaks, the green arrow rises! I am finding it fascinating to see how easily he has been able to direct the economy without yet being in office! (Also fascinating is the little set they’ve mocked up, complete with “Office of The President Elect” sign…looks a little like a Saturday Night Live takeoff, but, hey, it’s apparently quite effective, so more power to ‘em!) Daily press conferences and appointments make way to economic recovery - imagine what can be done once he's actually in the Oval Office...He's a smart man making smart choices: surrounding himself with some of the best minds in the business, from Joe to Hillary to Rahm…many Clinton advisors, the best at making economic recovery happen. Most surprising of all is that the rhetoric of bipartisanship isn't just rhetoric! How refreshing! Appointing folks from both parties! What a concept. (I do take issue with keeping Gates on, but it seems a short-term appointment at this point. I'll give 'em the benefit of the doubt for now...)

Meanwhile here in Sunny So. Cal, Proposition 8 has passed in California. Yes, a slight majority of ignorant Californians have stripped a minority of their civil rights. I heard a disturbing statistic today, stating that 15% of the people who voted for 8 now know more about it and wish they'd voted differently, which would have put the No vote out in front. Okay, who let these idiots into the booth in the first place? These are the same people who put Ah-nuld in office...did they not get the same big, think voter information booklet that I got in the mail? Were they intimidated by the small type? The big words? Did they suddenly lose their bigotry in a blinding epiphany ??? I do wish the No on 8 campaign had gotten in front of this issue sooner, educating the populace, as I think it would have made a difference of at least 15%. But man-oh-man, who goes into the voting booth that uninformed? (Apparently, 15% of voters in California do. Will wonders never cease???)

On a lighter note, word on the street has it that my arch-enemy, Ann Coulter, has broken her jaw and it is wired shut. That would explain the sudden sucking void of silence from the conservative right! Now, you know I would never wish that sort of pain on anyone (short of abusive husbands/boyfriends and child molesters), but it surely couldn't have happened to a nicer gal. What a terrific early Christmas present! Can anyone confirm the rumor that this vitriolic witch is now using a whiteboard to spew her evil thoughts??? Let me know if you have any reliable sources...

Well, Kids, those are my random thoughts for the night. Thanks for listening to my mind ramble on…that’s what happens when you don’t blog often enough! What are your thoughts on bailouts, tariffs, appointments, the market and the possible jaw-wiring of my nemesis? Come on down and post your thoughts! Would love to hear what’s rambling around in your mind, too!