Apparently reading about Sarah Palin and seeing her plastered across every news outlet in America wasn’t enough. Now we have to read about her daughter Bristol, 18, becoming another unwed mother on welfare. When did this become okay? More importantly, when did an unwed, Alaskan teen having a baby became national front page news? This families’ 15 minutes of fame are up.
The good news, though, is that it gets better. I’m actually quite surprised that we haven’t seen this family on Jerry Springer, but perhaps that will be next. If you believe the RNC she’ll be running for office again at some point in the future…
So anyway, in case you were fortunate enough to miss the brief, Bristol Palin’s baby-daddy is “former high school hockey player” Levi Johnston, also 18. His mother, Sherry, was recently arrested on multiple felony drug counts after she sent a pair of text messages to police informants discussing drug transactions. Meanwhile, back in Wasilla, Bristol continues studying for her GED while her baby-daddy works as an apprentice electrician. Of course, governor Sarah Palin’s office declines to comment on anything (probably for fear that it will end up on YouTube), which will simply leave us to speculate.
As much as I hate some of what retailers have done to the holidays, there are aspects that create a frenzy that may help inspire consumers to shop more. That frenzy – for good or bad – wasn’t there this year and for the most part, retailers are to blame. Just looking at the decorations made it quite obvious that this year wasn’t the same as years past. Fewer people and companies were going all out to one-up each other like in years past, and by the 15th every ornament, tree, and blow up lawn decoration was at least 50% off, if not more. In San Jose, Trader Joe’s market was giving away wreaths by the truckload on the 20th! Well before the season died on its own.
According to SpendingPulse, a macro-economic report offered by Mastercard, retail and service sales from Nov. 1 until Dec. 24 showed retail sales down between 5.5 percent and 8 percent. Half of the decline in overall sales can be attributed to the 40 percent drop in the price of gas compared with December 2007. Excluding gasoline, sales were down 2 percent to 4 percent.
It’s been a while since I last posted – but not for want or fodder. My children have been under the weather and accordingly I’ve devoted my time to make sure that they’re getting the attention and support that they need during their time being ill. Fortunately, they’re now better and for good or bad I’m back to sharing my rants and making sure that my voice is heard.
Senator Larry Craig (R) Idaho plead guilty to disorderly conudct last year after he was arrested in a Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport bathroom by an undercover policeman who claimed Senator Craig solicited him for sex. As part of his plea, Senator Craig denied the solicitation charges and said that he is not a homosexual.
What’s interesting about this is that Senator Larry Craig is back in the news today, after the Minnesota appeals court ruled that his rights weren’t violated before denying his bid to withdraw the guilty plea that he made earlier. For those of you that watch the television show Boston Legal, this case may strike a chord, because the solicitation chage stemmed from Craig was arrested based on tapping his foot and moving it toward a neighboring bathroom stall occupied by another person, in this case an undercover officer. Gentlemen – remember these things for future reference, because you never know what a public bathroom experience is going to reveal.
General Motors, Chrysler and to some end, Ford, are asking for $34 billion in subsidy loans to support their survival for the next few months. By all acounts, it won’t be anywhere near enough, but that’s beside the point. What’s funny about this is the sheer volume of justification that they’re having to go through to get these loans. AIG, it would seems, got $150 billion just because, and very few questioned the need or the justification for it.
My article talked about the “perfect storm” in terms of what the auto-industry was experiencing in the credit markets, but that is probably more apropos of what is going on in the economy as a whole. Housing is suffering, retail, including auto, is suffering, and jobs are being eliminated at an alarming rate. Most troubling – these are not short term problems and even with a new president these aren’t going to be resolved over night.
First a little history, the phrase “perfect storm” originated with the 1997 book The Perfect Storm, and was cemented into most minds by the 2000 movie of the same title which starred George Clooney. The phrase the perfect storm refers to the simultaneous occurence of events which, taken individually, would be far less powerful than the resulting combination of events. Such occurrences are rare by their very nature, and any slight change in any one event would potentially lessen its overall impact.
I’m starting to think that congress should have approved the $25 billion in loans that the Big Three was asking for a few weeks back, because it seems as though they’ve all huddled back in Detroit and all of a sudden the “emergency aid” requirement is up to about $34 billion. Today’s news even has it that GM will go under without an immediate $4 billion infusion.
In normal times, this might not be such a big deal. Chrysler went into bankruptcy a few decades ago and emerged as a better, stronger company. But, times have changed, and the underlying problem is the same no matter what industry we’re talking about – lenders are remiss to help companies before they get into trouble and even less likely to help those in bankruptcy. Congress seems to be missing these facts as they continue to grill the Big Three, and while I’m not in support of a bailout, it is time to consider a loan or rescue package that will allow these companies to survive.
Hopefully everyone had a great holiday weekend. Sorry for the lack of posts, but I decided to take some time off from writing and spend it with my kids and family. Like many of you, we had a great holiday, did a little shopping, and just enjoyed our time together.
Of course, like most days I still watched the news and read up on what was going on. There was just so much going on it was almost overwhelming. My favorite articles on Friday had to do with the multitude of perspectives surrounding Black Friday. The irony between them made me laugh, even knowing that one was nothing to laugh about.