Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, resign already!

Posted in Barack Obama, news, Ranting with tags , , , on December 14, 2008 by bloggingmom67

Dear Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich:

I just don’t get why you still think you should be in public office. Do you get that you were arrested? Do you get your are accused of trying to “sell” a Senate seat, and you were captured on wiretaps in a pretty compromising way? So, resign already. Spare us all the drama. Just resign. It’s over for you. Even if you didn’t do this, which I — and likely millions of other people — doubt, it’s over for you.

A recent news report says you’re weighing your options. A defense lawyer from California speculates in an msnbc.com story that Blagojevich might be trying to make the same kind of deal for his resignation as he’s accused of trying to make for President-elect Barack Obama’s senate seat.

“I would be saying, ‘Let me see what I can get in exchange for you resigning. Don’t just give it up for nothing. Let me see if I can get you a better deal,'” said Steve Cron, a defense lawyer from Santa Monica, in the story.

Please. Don’t drag this on any more. It won’t help you, and it will hurt the nation and Obama.

bitchy mommy

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Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich charged with corruption

Posted in 1, Barack Obama, economy, news, Politics, Ranting with tags , , , , , , , on December 10, 2008 by bloggingmom67

Dear Illinois Gov.:

Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich

Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich

 

What were you thinking? Duh? I mean really. You’re accused of going on a corruption spree that included attempts to sell or trade the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by President-elect Barack Obama.

OK, what exactly were you thinking? Did you think you were Boss Tweed of the days when Tammany Hall controlled New York City politics with an iron hand (and a lot of corruption)?  Well, you missed that era by nearly 100 years.

I guess I understand greed, but I don’t understand why people who try to sell Senate seats think they won’t get caught. If you did this, I’m glad you were charged, and I hope you’re punished.

Rod — can I call you Rod? — do you see our nation is facing one of its largest challenges? The economy is in shambles. We are in the midst of a prolonged recession that’s likely to get worse before it improves, according to Obama.

And — if what you’re accused of is true — you were worried only about lining your own pockets? Shame on you. Really.

bitchy mommy

Dear New York state: Why spend $21,000 on a rug during a recession?

Posted in 1, economy, news, Politics, Ranting with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2008 by bloggingmom67

Here’s yet another example of stupid governmental decisions that piss me off. Someone in state government made the ill-advised decision to purchase a $21,000 custom-stitched, antique Turkish carpet for the Executive Mansion?

Now, granted, the rug was purchased in July, before all of us fully got that our economy was going down the toilet. But at that point, Gov. David Paterson was already making a round of cuts to the current budget — taking away money that was already promised.

Sure things got worse and worse and worse. (I’d like to hope the purchase wouldn’t be made now, but I can’t say I’m confident of that.)

Also, I’m sure the governor himself knew nothing of the purchase — or at least I hope not. But the thing with being in charge, you get blamed whether it’s your fault or not. (You also get credit for what your underlings do well, so it all evens out.)

Why does this rug thing bug me so much? Because, like the big three automakers swooping in a corporate jets asking for a handout from taxpayers, it belies the message we keep getting from politicians and corporate leaders. Sorry, we can’t fun programs for early education or schools because we don’t have the cash. Hey, we need money to keep our business afloat but we’re not willing to drop our standard of living one bit in the meantime. (Yes, I realize the big three changed their tune eventually but only after being publicly flogged.)

But we can go buy a rug that’s more expensive than me, you or most people we know would ever be able to spend. (And, yes, I get that in the state’s massive budget $21,000 is like a couple hundred bucks in mine.)

Since the economy got bumpy, my husband and I have really cut our spending. (I know that adds to the economic malaise, but we’re worried we might not have secure jobs.) We’ve stopped eating out, except very infrequently. I’ve cut back on buying coffee; I fired the cleaning lady and started dyeing my own hair. These are all small “nickel-and-dime” type of savings.

But the thing is: True savings comes from these nickel-and-dime savings. Sure, I could save lots of money if I stopped paying my biggest bill — my mortgage, but I’d also be out on the street. So the only way most people can really trim their own costs is by doing a lot of little things that add up. Somehow government doesn’t seem to get this, or at least it seems that way. Instead, they try to cut big chunks out of the budget, but that doesn’t work. The state still needs to function even as it trims costs.

Here’s my message for the state (and federal) government: Take a cue from the Kit Kittredge movie, a film based on an American Girl doll character that is set during the Great Depression: Use it up; wear it out; do without. That’s what I’m trying to do.

bitchy mommy

Big three automakers want bigger bailout

Posted in 1, news, Politics, Ranting with tags , , , , , , , on December 3, 2008 by bloggingmom67

Dear Big Three automakers:

I’m not sure what to think. First I was mad at you; then happy; then mad again.

It angered me when you swooped in on your corporate jets and ask for a $25 billion bailout of taxpayers’ money. You came with no plan on how this bailout will help your industry prevent itself from falling into this financial mess again. And you just looked greedy, as you stayed mum when an elected official asked if you’d be willing to give up your corporate jets.

To me, you acted as if the government were good ol’ mom and dad.

Big three: “Hey, I need some money?”

Congress: “What for?”

Big three: “Stuff.”

Except, the money isn’t your parents’ money. It’s money that belongs to taxpayers like me, and OK, like you. These taxpayers are facing the same recession as you that got you into a “cash-flow” problem. In fact, many of them probably have their own “cash-flow” problems.

So Congress wisely sends you back, empty-handed. Come up with a plan, you’re told. And stop acting so arrogant.

You come back to Congress. And you’ve made some progress. Ford and GM’s CEOs agree to get just $1 pay for next year if a government loan comes through. (Chrysler’s CEO is apparently only paid a $1 already.) Ford and GM agree to sell their corporate jets. They’d all cut salaries for executives.

But then you come back to Congress and ask for more money.  You say $25 billion isn’t enough; now you need $34 billion.

Honestly, it’s hard for me to understand that you need nearly $10 billion more, and it has only been about two weeks since last visit to Congress. Is that your final answer?

Yes, I get that it’s a bad thing for our economy and all your workers if you three companies go bankrupt. But do you also get that this bailout is on the back of folks who have been laid off, who aren’t getting bonuses (or never did), who aren’t getting raises this year (or ever did). Do you realize some of the taxpayers paying for this largesse can’t even stay home from work one day for illness for fear they’ll get fired.

That’s it. You can go now. I really don’t want to look at you right now.

bitchy mommy

Wal-Mart worker trampled to death on Black Friday

Posted in 1, Family, Ranting with tags , , , , on November 28, 2008 by bloggingmom67

Black Friday has gotten out of hand. It’s sick. It’s insane. An Associated Press report says that a Wal-Mart employee was trampled to death by throngs of frantic shoppers. Yes, I said trampled to death. A person actually lost his or her life because people were too eager, too greedy, too thoughtless.

The same report says that a Wal-Mart in Arkansas had to be closed because of a stampede, although the store wouldn’t confirm that. Another news report I read interviewed a woman who says she usually spends $2,000 for her two kids — ages 3 and 6 — but she’s cutting back this year to half that.

Does anyone else see something wrong with this excess? I’m no Scrooge. I love to holiday shop for my loved ones, and I get into the spirit of it all, too. It’s fun to see my little ones’ delighted faces on Christmas morning when they get a toy they really wanted.

But Black Friday and its sidekick, Thanksgiving Day, have turned into a zoo.  People wait all night for a store to open to get bargain. They get up in the middle of the night. They shop before the sun is up. And, yes, there are some good bargains to be had. But much of the merchandise isn’t even on sale. And certainly nothing is cheap enough to warrant stampeding and shopping so frantically that you cause another’s death.

Here’s my solution for Black Friday shoppers: Buy less. You’ll save money that way. Don’t spend $1,000 per kid; spend $100 or $50, depending on the age of the kid. I’m not even sure how that mom who usually spends $1,000 on a 3-year-old does it. Toddler toys are pretty inexpensive, so that kid must get a truckload. A bonus: You won’t start the new year in debt.

I don’t mean to pick on anyone. I realize most Black Friday shoppers aren’t involved in stampedes. But I do object to the commercialization of Christmas and the perpetuation of excess that Black Friday represents. Does it really help your kids to get a mountain of toys at Christmas? Does that really mean they are more loved than the kids who get a handful?

Maybe people wouldn’t be in a such a frenzy to get bargains if they were spending within their means. If you really can’t afford a big-screen TV, don’t buy one. Then you won’t have to beat another shopper to get the last one that’s half off, but still more than you can really afford.

In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll admit that we I mean Santa are buying our two kids, ages 8 and 6, a Wii this Christmas. We thought about it lot, we budgeted for it, and that will be pretty much all they’ll get, along with some games to go with it and stocking stuffers. So I understand that sometimes holidays are worth a splurge. (We bought it last week, by the way, and we got it for the same price that Black Friday shoppers are getting it today.)

And I understand it’s fun to open presents. I understand some love the thrill of the chase. But wouldn’t it make more sense to spread the so-called “Black Friday” sales out over a week, so people weren’t going nuts? I bet that Wal-Mart employee  who died would have wished that’s the way it was.

What do you think?

bitchy mommy

Barack Obama: Auto execs are ‘a little tone deaf’

Posted in 1, Politics, Ranting with tags , , , , , , , , on November 27, 2008 by bloggingmom67

I watched a clip of part of Barbara Walters interview with Barack Obama, and as I watched him, I knew I was right to support him. She asked about one of my favorite topics: auto executive flying on private jets to ask for a $25 million bailout of taxpayers’ money.

Obama responded just how I hoped he would: “Well, I thought maybe they’re a little tone deaf to what’s happening in America right now. … I think it’s been a problem for the captains of industry, generally. When people are pulling down hundred-million-dollar bonuses on Wall Street, and taking enormous risks with other people’s money, that indicates a sense that you don’t have any perspective on what’s happening to ordinary Americans,” he responded, according to ABC News.

Oh, he get it. After eight years of a president whose main goal in his tax policies seemed to be to reward his wealthy cronies, we have a president who gets what it’s like to be a regular person in America today.

Later, Obama explains that he thinks bank executives should forgo their Christmas bonuses, considering the $700 billion bailout and the financial crisis our nation is in. Again, he answers with a resounding yes.

His words, according to ABC, say it best: “I think that if you are already worth tens of millions of dollars, and you are having to lay off workers, the least you can do is say, ‘I’m willing to make some sacrifice as well, because I recognize that there are people who are a lot less well off, who are going through some pretty tough times.’ “

By the way, the blodface in both quotes is mind. I added it to emphasize what I feel are key points in what Obama said.

Anyway, I’m thrilled. I’m confident Obama has a tough road ahead of him. But he gets it; he’s the real deal; we’re going to be OK eventually!

bitchy mommy

I think I’m going to like Michelle Obama

Posted in 1, Family, Politics, relationships with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 26, 2008 by bloggingmom67
Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

Obviously, I don’t know Michelle Obama, and I never will. But from what I read and see of her in the media, I continue to be impressed.

What impresses me? I like her comfort level with Barack Obama. They appear connected and, quite frankly, like they know each other very well and love each other. I hope that’s true. It’s good to see it in a married couple. I saw an interview with them after the election, and I just loved how Michelle gently jumped in when she felt Barack wasn’t quite making his point as well as he could. They came across as a team, a real partnership, and she didn’t come across as subservient to him, as so many wives of the powerful do.

I love how she is trying to raise her children as normally as possible. It must be an impossible situation to try to be a good mom in the midst of a media frenzy, but I think she’s up to the challenge. I think she’ll be a good role model for American moms because she has balanced work and family firsthand. She’s been a mom who works outside the home and one who doesn’t. Granted, her income level is higher than most Americans, and she has access to help in a way most working moms don’t. But I think she gets it. Deep down inside, she gets it. 

I know she got criticized during the campaign for complaining about Barack’s smelly morning breath. Some felt it was too personal. Perhaps. It didn’t bother me. I’ve been know to complain about my own husband’s morning breath. To me, it humanized her. It made her seem like one of us. And it made me think their relationship is real — not a candied version of a marriage — but a real one.

I think she’s smart, and I admire her for not hiding her intelligence as so many women do to not get labeled a know-it-all fit in.

I love that while she’s healthy and in shape, she doesn’t try to hide the fact that she’s got curves. Good for her!

And I like how she dresses, despite all the controversy about her red-and-black dress on Election Night. I like that she wears form-fitting clothing that’s feminine. She doesn’t try to turn herself into a man in a power suit. I like that she wears vivid colors. I think they match her bold personality, which I can’t wait to see more of.

You go girl!

bitchy mommy

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