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Dear Rod Blagojevich, how could you appoint someone to Senate seat?

Posted in Barack Obama, news, Politics, Ranting with tags , , , on December 31, 2008 by bloggingmom67

Could this really be true? Embattled Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich actually went ahead and tapped someone to fill President-elect Barack Obama’s Senate seat.

Sorry. I’m just confused. Blagojevich, do you realize you are under investigation on accusations that you tried to sell that seat to the highest bidder?(Which is against the law, by the way.) And that you’re facing federal charges? And that the Illinois House has begun impeachment proceedings?

I ask this because I’m just dumb-founded. Even if you’re innocent, even if you’ll eventually be cleared, why would you do this? Why would you pull such a stunt?

I realize that Blagojevich’s appointment — which was Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris by the way — may not stand. Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, who must certify the appointment, has told The Associated Press he won’t do so. (Although a HuffingtonPost post cites legal scholars who say the Burris appointment seems likely to be permanent.)

Reading about Blagojevich’s antics makes me sad. Sad for Illinois. Sad for our country. Sad that someone as sad as him could climb to power.

And it makes me sad if there is really nothing we can do to stop an appointment so tainted by, well, taint. (Nothing against Burris, per se, unless that $4,500 donation that HuffPost says you’re listed as giving to Blagojevich factored in the appointment.)

You ought to be ashamed of yourself, Blagojevich. I’m disgusted. I really am.

bitchy mommy

Caroline Kennedy refuses to answer reporters’ questions in Syracuse

Posted in Barack Obama, news, Politics, Ranting with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 18, 2008 by bloggingmom67
Caroline Kennedy

Caroline Kennedy

This morning I was really on the fence regarding what I thought of Caroline Kennedy’s pitch to become a U.S. senator in New York. She has told New York Gov. David Paterson, who gets to make the appointment, that she’d like the seat Hillary Clinton will vacate when she becomes President-elect Barack Obama‘s secretary of state.

Sure, Caroline Kennedy doesn’t have any elective office experience, but, for me, that wouldn’t necessarily rule her out. Other experience can prepare one to lead, I think.  I really felt I didn’t know enough about her to assess her. She’s been involved with a lot of nonprofits, but I’m not in that world. I don’t know if that is  experience that would prepare her to lead in our troubled state, or if her involvement was little more than lending her celebrity name to an agency’s letterhead.

Earlier today, I read a blog, which I found made compelling arguments to support her. I wasn’t sure if I bought it all, but it did make me think. I guess, though, in the back of my mind, I couldn’t help feeling that Caroline Kennedy was a woman seeking an office that’s she’s not quite ready to seek. Like Sarah Palin, she seems like a woman with an asterisk next to her. I thought: Gosh, there are qualified women; why not pick them. It seems to reinforce negative stereotypes about women’s lack ability when the ones who rise to the top aren’t really the cream of the crop.

Then Caroline Kennedy came to my hometown in Upstate New York, and how she behaved really influenced my opinion of her. She refused to answer reporters’ questions about her experience — or lack thereof — or even about where she was heading next. (She actually told a reporter, she was heading “to the car,” when obviously he was asking what city she might be traveling to.)

After I listened to her ignore the press, I knew I could never support her candidacy.  Admittedly, I’m biased. I believe those who govern us or seek public office should be transparent to the public, and, in our country, that’s still done mainly through the media.

To me, there’s only two reasons why someone who seeks to lead in our state would refuse to answer any questions: She’s so arrogant that questions from Upstatate hicks like us don’t really matter or  she doesn’t know what to say.

Either reason is a deal breaker for me. It reminds me too much of Sarah Palin and her inability to answer even the simplest question (like what newspaper she reads)  without being coached. If Kennedy can’t handle a  handful of reporters from Syracuse, N.Y., asking questions that Kennedy should have anticipated she’d be asked, what could she answer?

To me, I found the answer to the question that I started this day with:  Is Caroline Kennedy ready to be my senator. I think not.

 I realize I have no say in the matter. If Paterson taps her, she’ll serve until Clinton’s term is up, and then she’d have to run. But I hope she won’t be his pick.

bitchy mommy

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

Why did John McCain and Sarah Palin lose?

Posted in 1, Politics, Ranting with tags , , , , , , on November 6, 2008 by bloggingmom67

First, let me say, I’m thrilled that Barack Obama and Joe Biden won.

But I was troubled today when I saw a clip of Sarah Palin explaining that the loss wasn’t her fault. Her manner annoyed me. I don’t think the loss is all her fault, but I do think she played a role. And I thought the interview came across as arrogant.

Here’s my take on what happened. I really think McCain is to blame for the loss, in part because he picked Palin. McCain is a moderate Republican. Honestly, if I didn’t love the Democratic candidate, I may have been able to see myself voting for McCain — well, maybe not. But he’s really much more moderate than many Republicans.

So he picks Palin to appease the ultra-right, who thinks McCain is too moderate. But it backfires. Yes, the ultra-right likes her, but too many other Republicans don’t. And she’s so conservative that middle-of-the-road Democrats can’t stomach voting for her, even those who would love the chance — as I would — to vote for a woman.

Then there is Palin’s whole no experience thing. And add to that the fact that McCain is on the older side, so the worry that he could die in office is heightened.

Then the economy plummets and, right or wrong, much of the country blames President George W. Bush because even if it wasn’t his fault, he’s in charge. That tarnishes all Republicans in a way, and McCain, as much as he tried, can’t really distance himself from Bush.

So you end up with this situation where Palin attracts only the far right and pretty much pisses everyone else off. And the moderates of both parties who might vote for McCain are too scared — scared he might die or scared he’ll continue our economic decline.

And then Obama, who is calm and collected to McCain’s red-faced agitation, seems like a knight in shining armor, swooping in to save the day.

Now that is not to say that I think Obama won because people were afraid to elect McCain. I believe Obama has a true mandate. He secured both the popular and electoral vote. He even won kids’ elections. And he won the vote of many Republicans. I live in a small Democratic city in a sea of Republican towns. Obama won almost all the towns in my community, which is no small feat. Most of these don’t even run a Democratic candidate for town offices, ever, because there are so few Democrats who live there.

So I think McCain/Palin lost because the country wanted change, needed change and trusted Obama/Biden to bring that change. But I do think that McCain hurt his chances by picking Palin.

Then again, maybe they lost just because Palin said “maverick” so many darn times.

What do you think?

PTO does prepare you for U.S. vice presidency — Not!

Posted in Politics, Ranting with tags , , , on October 15, 2008 by bloggingmom67

When Sarah Palin was named John McCain’s running mate, she pointed to her tenure as a PTA president as part of her qualifications for the U.S. vice presidency.

That got me thinking. I’m PTO president at my kids’ 900-student school in a district of about 25,000 children in a city of roughly 150,000 people. What have I learned as PTO leader that might prepare one to be second in command to the leader of the free world?

  • Fund-raising: I spend much of my PTO time organizing and executing fundraisers. So far this fall, I’ve organized a fundraiser where the kids get catalogs full of candles, candy, wrapping paper and whatnot to sell to their family and friends. We’re thinking we’ll raise about $3,000. In the spring, we’ll sell Gertrude Hawk candy, just in time for Easter. Perhaps, as VP this knowledge could come in handy — especially if the economy doesn’t revive. The VP may be in charge of fund raising to keep our way of life from collapsing even more than it already has.
  • Making important decisions: So far this year, as president, I’ve made key executive decisions such as: to send a thank you note to the art teacher who helped with a project and a parent who donated $100. Also, I decided that we need to have a budget report at each meeting, and that we need to ask two parents to help with fund raising and after-school activities. Under my leadership, we’ve started sending our meeting agendas to the officers before the meeting, so they can review them.  This experience making split-second important decisions could help me as I help the president decide such things as whether to attack another country where weapons of mass destruction have not been found.
  • Negotiating to reach a resolution: There’s quite a bit of politics in the PTO, you know. There’s the principal, who has her own agenda and would probably prefer to squash me like a bug. There’s my co-president, whose main focus is setting up after-school programs such as Karate and Soccer, so she doesn’t really care about my main bugaboo, fund raising. One member likes to bring up complicated projects, but not offer to lead them. Then there’s the secretary, who sometimes is just a pain in the caboose. Working with them, however, has taught me how to deal with people I don’t always agree with. Could come in handy in the area of foreign policy.
  • Organizing events: One of our main goals as PTO is to throw the teachers a “welcome back to school breakfast” and an “end of year lunch.” Both are complicated projects, especially when the person who organized the event the previous didn’t keep copious notes of such things as how much lunch meat, rolls, bagels, coffee to buy. That happened last year, and what a bitch it was. We had to start from scratch and figure out how much 125 teachers would really eat. (Who knew, they loved mayonnaise so much.) We just made it, with a few hard rolls to spare at the luncheon. But at this year’s back-to-school breakfast we faced a major calamity. We didn’t realize we had to ask the janitor to set up the huge coffee maker hours before the event, so it would have time to brew. What a mess. We had to make coffee quickly in small pots and carry it into the cafeteria. People actually had to wait for their coffee. It was almost as bad as the previous year when we forgot the cream and sugar, and I made the executive decision to send a PTO member to the store to get some. This kind of training of thinking on my feet will make me aptly ready to handle a confusing crisis, such as a cataclysmic hurricane or other natural disaster.

So there you have it. Being PTO president really is a great preparation for the vice presidency of the United States. Palin really doesn’t even need that experience as Wasilla mayor and Alaska governor, does she?

What do you think? Post a comment.

By they way, I am being very sarcastic here, folks.

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