Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Few Weeks Into the Presidency

Just a few observations about recent political news:

Loved, loved, loved that President Obama said, "I screwed up." While it would be easy for us followers to make excuses, to blame Daschle for it all, question who the heck vetted these people, I am a firm believer that the person at the top is the one in charge and the one responsible. How refreshing, after eight years of a President who lied, ignored, overreacted, and bumbled yet never admitted mistakes.

I admit to not understanding the stimulus bill. Can someone explain to me how resodding the Mall, helping out Hollywood, and funding education on sexually transmitted diseases stimulate a desperate economy? The plea to quickly advance this bill because of the horrific state of the country doesn't move me. The first stimulus package did little to help and was injected without being properly thought through. I am happy to have a bill closely scrutinized by both parties and the public for a change. Why not pass a bill for only its initial purpose without loading it up with "wants" not "needs."

Kudos for the House and Senate for passing an expansion of the government children's health care which was vetoed by President Bush. The bill will be signed by President Obama later today. When Bush denied this program I wrote him a letter questioning his leadership. Happy to see the program finally gets the go ahead.

Nice to see that the White House has some muscle to flex with companies bailed out by federal money (your and my money). While this should have been clearly established as part of any bailout in the first stimulus bill and may even just be window dressing, I like the statement being made for all of us who will never see such salaries. Since the President has blasted executives Wells Fargo cancelled a Las Vegas retreat and Bank of America is selling corporate jets. Seems a no brainer that if an executive has not successfully led his company, he should not receive huge salaries let alone bonuses. Business won't attract quality leadership if not well compensated? If quality leadership got us to this point, gee, give me some not so quality leaders. Where else are these people going to work these days? Drive a company into the dust and now the execs can be rewarded accordingly. What ever happened to doing a job for the fulfillment of the work and belief in what work is done rather than only for the compensation involved? Yes, I realize that sounds Pollyanna-ish, but remember that I have taught. Say no more about working without adequate compensation but for the love of the job.

My last comment has to do with the American media fascination with the Obama's family spending on less glamorous clothing and furniture. Because the Obamas are not routinely dressing in Paris designs or purchasing custom made furniture, the media is fawning over the "inexpensive" purchases they have made. Let me assure the media that those of us in middle America find J.Crew and Pottery Barn expensive. Target, Shopko, and Walmart offer reasonably priced items to folks in the middle class.


Vicky said...

I agree, Holly. I checked out J Crew and thought: wow! that's expensive. But it is nice to see some practical behavior in the White House - by the whole family. -VC

Cheryle said...

Holly, you are so on target with your assessment of Obama's willingness to accept responsibility! I love Tom Daschle and am truly sorry that he won't be part of the new administration. But I confess that I was starting to feel somewhat disillusioned with Obama's continued support of him, given that we were expecting change. Kudos to Daschle for withdrawing. Kudos to Obama for accepting responsibility!

It really might be a New Day!