Archive for the ‘Current Events’ Category

Rush To Judgment

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

Michael Steele blew it. Not when he criticized Rush Limbaugh, but when he caved under pressure and back peddled on his remarks. Rush Limbaugh may be the self-appointed leader of the Republican Party, but it is going to take the Party’s hired leader, Michael Steele, to package the Party in a less extreme way so more voters can identify with and support Republican agendas.

I get that Limbaugh doesn’t want Obama’s policy ideas implemented. He’s unapologetic for saying he wants Obama to FAIL, because he ‘means’ he doesn’t want Obama to succeed in getting things passed. He knows very well his words are being received as if he wants our president to fail in office, as in doing such a poor job the country spirals further downward. Michael Steele was right to call him on his divisive rhetoric. It makes the Republican Party sound petty and unpatriotic. By backing down against Rush and not keeping the goal of gaining more support for the Party at the forefront, Steele has failed miserably in his first challenge. The 30-some percentage of voters who are Rush fans are going to vote Republican no matter what Steele says against him. Those who are not Rush fans and feel he sends the wrong message for the Party and for America aren’t going to be convinced otherwise by Steele if he doesn’t find a way to assert himself and be less of a pundit’s puppet.

Why do I care? The moderate in me hates to see our government so out of balance. Having one party with such overwhelming control is not comforting, no matter which party I may support. The Republican Party owes it to America to get its act together. Too bad it doesn’t look like they’ll accomplish that anytime soon.

Cry Me A River

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

As clear as our current financial fiasco has become, people still aren’t willing or able to connect the dots on what leads to these types of catastrophes. I’ve read a few articles in recent history about credit card companies lowering credit lines without any warning or cause. Supposedly it’s unfair and an outrage to take someone’s $15,000 credit limit down to $7,000 when they haven’t missed a payment. Of course, there was no outrage when the individual’s line of credit swelled beyond their means without warning and for no justifiable reason. No, we are only to be upset when the reverse happens. In my nearly 20 years as a credit card holder, I’ve consistently had credit available to me at amounts well beyond my repayment capabilities. As a poor college student I managed to ‘earn’ up to $8,000. Right after graduation, when I was struggling to make ends meet in the real world, my credit limit was around $11,000. Fast forward to now, as a stay-at-home mom with no reportable income, my credit line is $20,000! If I didn’t have the good sense not to spend what I don’t have, I’d probably have to consider selling a kidney or something.

Get with it people! Credit card debt is the next bubble waiting to burst and rain its debris all over our already soggy economy. Credit card companies have surely witnessed the demise of mortgage companies that extended credit beyond realistic means. Not acting and reducing their risk before more credit that can’t be repaid is gobbled up makes sense.

The average credit card debt of American citizens is already staggering and capable of being problematic. With so many Americans struggling right now, it stands to reason many will be tempted to use their credit cards as a social assistance program. Available credit will be used and if it needs to be written off in bankruptcy, so be it. I’ve actually lost sleep over the past few days processing this inevitability in my mind.

There isn’t much I can say about credit card companies that is positive. I despise them. I am relieved to see them taking some action to reduce the pending disaster.

Oh Come On!

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

Yet another Obama nominee is haunted by a substantial tax error.  Good grief.  Now it’s Daschle.  He made several errors that led to him underpaying by over $100K.  That’s some mistake.  Granted, the United States has a complicated tax code.  Legislators are largely to blame for that.  Still, when you have assets and reportable transactions that are significant enough where you managed to underpay 6 figures in taxes, you should have an expert working on your return.  And what about that “gee, turns out I owe much less than I expected” moment?  Come on!

Obama is standing by his nominees and saying the errors were not intentional.  Fine.  Don’t send them to jail for tax evasion.  It should affect their nominations though.  We need people with an eye for detail, a sense when something doesn’t look right and the smarts to call in more knowledgable people to handle things that may be over their heads.

Puhhhhleeeeeeez

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

The attorney of the disgraced Governor of Illinois is arguing the wiretaps that captured the esteemed Blagojevich’s finest moments were illegal.  Ah, okay.  So we now know the Governor is a corrupt idiot, but we aren’t supposed to know, so we should just play dumb and move forward?  You’d have to be a real winner to be comfortable remaining in office with the argument “I may really be an idiot, but since you didn’t prove it in a legal way, I am in the clear.”  Good grief.  He want’s the good people of Illinois to support him on a technicality?  Puhhhhleeeeeeez.  Face it Blagojevich, your political career is in the can.  Whether or not you can be held accountable for a crime, it’s time to bow out gracefully.  Have some dignity.  Start a new life in Vegas as a Travolta impersonator. You clearly like pretending to be someone important.

Being a Politician for Dummies

Friday, December 12th, 2008

The past few months have been a nauseating reminder of the caliber of individual who tends to seek out political office.  The sad part is, so many incidents of idiocy could be prevented with some basic cliff notes for politicians.  They rely on prepared speeches for addresses and public commentary.  That’s why they usually sound so intelligent, fair and upstanding.  It stands to reason they would require a resource for the do’s and don’t do’s of life as an elected official.  I think the publisher of those ‘Dummies’ books needs to get on the stick with this one.  They’ve already done “Politics for Dummies”, but that really just helps those of us who aren’t politicians figure out the process and get to the root of what candidates and our elected officials are about.  Politicians themselves have been neglected and there is apparently no greater dummy in this world in need of some instruction.

I have a few suggestions of what should be included in the book.

  • If you require an unusually wide stance for ‘going #2’, opt for the handicapped stall in the airport restroom as it is easier to explain a rectal disability than your foot dancing up a possible gigolos ankle.
  • If relations with a hooker are essential to your well being, be sure your booty call fee includes partial rights to the book and screen play that will eventually be written about you.
  • If you are only concerned about giving taxpayers the impression you are being responsible with their money and not handing it out willy-nilly part of the time, do it with the $800 billion bailouts and not the $15 billion.
  • If you are corrupt, teach your cronies to speak in Pig Latin so at least it’s not so obvious when you are rying-tay to ell-say a enate-Say eat-say.
  • If you find a young Senate page attractive and are inspired to text him telling him so, be sure to throw in an inquiry if his dad is by chance single.  The page got his looks from somewhere.  Maybe you’ll get lucky and someone your own age will fit the bill.
  • When sharing with the American people how the House of Representatives is working tirelessly to solve a mounting crisis of catastrophic proportions, refrain from wearing a giant pearl choker.  It just looks like you are grinning twice.
  • If a microphone is within 100 yards of you, assume it is on and save any asinine remarks that may be begging for release for the next time you are alone in the shower.

Well, that’s what I have for now.  Anyone who wishes to add to the list is welcome to do so.

Pitiful

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

It takes me forever to finish a health or beauty product.  Usually by the time I get to the end, the stuff I was using is no longer available.  Often a new formula has been developed or the product has been discontinued.

Last week I ran out of my Soft & Dry deodorant and ventured to the store for a replacement.  True to form, the formula I was accustomed to had been improved.  Lucky me.  I purchased the ‘improvement’ and headed for home.  The next day I took the new version for a spin.  Holy satin surprise, was it strong!  My pits raged with fragrance.  Every time I exerted myself it was as if a flower shop had opened for business under my shirt.  I couldn’t sleep that night because I couldn’t find a position where my nose and eyes weren’t itching from the onslaught.

Now that a week has passed I notice my pits a lot less.  I’m no dummy though.  I know the smell is still there.  My body is evolving and tuning out the smell so I can cope and go on with my life.  That doesn’t save the poor unfortunate souls who are in my company during a strenuous or tense moment.  Their noses won’t have the benefit of adaptation.  I’m a bit weirded out over the thought of people being so accutely aware of my underarms.  Don’t get me wrong, I totally prefer a floral explosion over funk.  I just don’t understand what Soft & Dry was trying to accomplish.  Perhaps they’ve been working on a secret project with the Department of Homeland Security to develop a less expensive and more mainstream human lie detector test that could be used on an unsuspecting public?  Lord knows they’ve found a good one.  I suspect if I tell a lie a swarm of bees and butterflies will be making tracks in my direction.  Pitiful.

Motor City

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

This morning I woke up to the hum of a motor.  My tired mind was slow to guess the source.  After a few attempts at grinding my ear into my pillow, ‘snow blower’ popped into my head.  My neighbor was up and doing his noble best to clear the massive load of wintery bliss we must have been dealt last night.  Visions of my husband laboring for hours with our tiny shovel danced in my head.  Poor guy.  That’s what we get for moving to Michigan, right?  I crept out of bed to survey the damage.  Parting the blinds I could see my neighbor’s mighty machine having its way with what must have been a 1/2 inch of snow.  A 1/2 inch!!!  He got up at the crack of dawn, piled on tons of clothing and fired up the beast to clear snow I could have blown a way with the breath from an excited conversation.

I have a feeling I’m going to be waking up to the hum of a motor for a good chunk of this winter.  Just as I spent many an afternoon in the fall listening to the motor of a blower any time a leaf dared to fall off a tree.  Detroit isn’t the only Motor City in Michigan.

Commercials Kill Me

Sunday, November 2nd, 2008

It’s so obvious when commercials are created by or written for people who never are in the situation actually being described.  Have you seen the one with the woman who is faced with a giant rolling ball of laundry?  Apparently it is 6 months worth of dirty clothes.  Normally the task of doing that much laundry would be daunting.  Not in this case though.  She has a front loading washing machine that can store up to 6 months worth of detergent.  She need not worry about pouring soap to get the job done.  Suddenly her life is easier and that massive ball of laundry isn’t so intimidating.  The end of the commercial shows her happy with a mountain of clean and neatly folded laundry beside her.  I believe the machine runs about $1,500.  Dare I say it’s a rip off?  Unless I’m unique, in the overall scheme of things the pouring of the soap is hardly noticeable.  If the washing machine industry really wants to make that giant rolling garment ball less of a chore, invent a machine that sorts, empties pockets, treats stains and folds.  Just saying.

DOW-ner

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

Did you hear?  The Dow dropped today on news of sluggish retail sales and growing fears we are indeed in a recession.  Huh?  I call baloney.  No one expected a strong sales report and everyone has known for sometime we are in a recession.  You’d have to be under a rock not to know and those who live under a rock typically don’t influence the Dow.  Methinks it is more about profit takers who are making the decision to sell when the Dow manages a spike.  I think it will happen over and over again for some time.  The Dow will likely look more like an EKG than a kite string to heaven.  To expect otherwise would be silly at this point.  Blaming a downturn on news that really isn’t news doesn’t make sense.

How Not To Drown

Friday, October 10th, 2008

One of the most important nuggets of wisdom when you find yourself in over your head and unsure of your ability to swim is not to panic.  Panicking burns energy needed for survival and distracts your mind from seeing a path to safety.  Even though we know this, when we find ourselves in life or death situations staying calm takes work.  Add to the mix a crowd chanting doom and gloom messages and I’d say it’s impossible.  It’s really strange when that crowd was supposed to be in the same boat as you, the one that sank and left you doing the dog paddle.  Somehow they are walking on water and have more time to focus on whose fault it is the boat sank versus how to get to shore.