December 12, 2008

Friday morning stuff

I have a few things going for the weekend. Need to finish some stuff for school today, and am smoking some pork shoulder for a little shindig tonight. Bought the materials to make a lovely Anchor style Porter.


The news this week was dominated by the Blogojevich scandal, and somewhat rightly so. Certainly his corruption is ridiculous and truly scandalous, and I, for one, hope that he is punished for it. This is not even close to what good government should look like.

But Blago (as the blogs are shortening him) wasn't the only news. As I am sure you all saw, Republican Senators (including the Oklahoma delegation) killed a possible bailout for the auto-industry yesterday. On one hand, I am quite sympathetic to their concerns. I heard Tom Coburn say that the money would not solve the problem, and I am not sure he is wrong.

But on the other hand, this appears to be a strong push by conservatives to kill the unions, and that bothers me tremendously. What is more vexing, I think, is the double standard (or triple) regarding oversight and spending. Here, Republicans are raising a stink about $14 billion for the auto industry because they want the unions to push through wage cuts for workers. Where was that for the banking industry? Did I miss that? Did I miss them calling on wage reductions for investment brokers?

What is more, the amazing gall of Republicans complaining about $14 billion dollars here, when they completely looked the other way as Bush sunk nearly a trillion dollars in Iraq and helped the administration fight oversight and accountability efforts. 9 billion of that money just disappeared. Republicans fought efforts to oversee Haliburton on every front. So please don't lecture me on fiscal responsibility, ok?

What is more, it is becoming increasingly impossible to suggest that Republicans care about anything beyond protecting those already wealthy Americans.


Finally, during my drive to my guitar lesson yesterday (double-stops in G and D), I heard the tail end of a story on American composer Elliott Carter, who, at 100 years old, is still writing new and original music. Unbelievable. But I loved most this comment about how his work and self have changed over the years:
"'You know, the different pieces at different times of my life,' Carter says, 'you know we're all different people at different times. We change a good deal. And that's the way you have to accept it and think of it.'"
"We are all different people at different times." I like that. I certainly feel like a different person than the 20 year old version.

Have a great weekend.


steves said...

This article in the Detroit Free Press outlines several myths about the Big 3 and shows that Congress is just as ignorant about the auto industry as they are about a lot of other stuff.

I am very biased, as I am from Michigan and know some people that whose jobs depend on the auto industry. This loan to the auto industry would have helped them continue to make the changes they started a while ago. I am appalled at the people that voted against this.

ubub said...

Ed Schultz nailed the situation this morning. In describing the contrast with Wall Street, he said that they were completely willing to help those who shower before they go to work, not those who shower after they get home. Pretty pithy way to capture it.

Streak said...

There sure does appear to be a huge elitism issue here. Some of those same Republicans were at least consistent in their opposition to the Wall Street bailout, but I don't recall the same furor over oversight or pay restrictions. I think for many, it is just assumed (regardless of reality) that wealthier people are more trustworthy with money.

Bootleg Blogger said...

"Where was that for the banking industry?" Great point. I do remember lots of calls for eliminating banking CEO parachutes and bonuses, but nothing about examining employee incomes. In other words, slapping the hands of the already superwealthy in one industry while wanting to punish the working class in another.

I've heard the $70/hr myth as a complaint around the office today. Glad to get some clarification on that.


P M Prescott said...

Actually on the bailout Congress just made Bush do what he should have done all along. Use some of that 700B bailout money. It did make the Repubs show their true colors.