Giuliani Says Taxpayer-Funded Bonuses Good for Economy

rudy

Weighing in, no doubt, on the side of providing fair and balanced coverage of the shameful doling out of bonuses to corporate beneficiaries of federal taxpayer bailout dollars, Rudy Giuliani says, “Not so fast!”  Paying out $18.4 billion in bonuses to executives of corporations that received bailout money means less money for waiters and department store workers.  What?! Really?

Tell me, Mr. Giuliani, how many of those same waiters’ and retail workers’ jobs were saved by rewarding people who helped drive our economy into the ground?  How many other jobs have been lost as a result of the corporate greed and regulatory blindness that made the bailout that funded these obscene bonuses necessary?  As if all of that money was going to find its way into lunch tabs and department stores anyway.  Please.

If you are/were an executive with any company receiving federal bailout funds, are you completely to blame?  Of course not.  Should you be put out of a job?  That’s not for me to say.  But if your company (if it still exists) receives one dollar of federal funds, if yours was one of those deemed “too big to fail,” you should not receive any bonus at all.  And if you still have a job while more than 100,000 lost theirs today alone, be very, VERY grateful that you still have a salary, and humbled by the fact that other people have paid to keep it that way.  For now. 

Otherwise, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

Energize!

STAR TREK, DeForest Kelley, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy standing on the transporter pad, 1966-1969. (www.britannica.com)

STAR TREK, DeForest Kelley, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy standing on the transporter pad, 1966-1969. (www.britannica.com)

News flash!  Teleportation is real!  Unfortunately, one of the barriers is still the sheer volume of data it would take to communicate the information about the state of every atom in a human body.  And, of course, “at the other end of the transporter, you need to have some blob of atoms that represents Captain Kirk but has no information in it. I mean, what would that look like?”  If the first answer that came to your mind was William Shatner, shame on you! (And me, too! :-o)

French Toast Alert!

french-toast

From the look of the weather I’d say my friends in the Boston area should be heating up their griddles to make mountains of French toast.  Those of us here at Rummaging About would like to offer this recipe as a public service, though as part of our own snow emergency response plan we would prefer to make a nice chowder instead.

Hobby Time

1953-studebaker-starliner-coupe-kit

When I was a kid, say, from the age of eight until I was in college I found an enoyable pastime in building plastic scale model kits.  I built model cars, mostly, a few airplanes, a couple of ships, and a motorcycle or two.  After college, starting my career, getting married, having a family, etc., didn’t seem to leave a lot of time for such things – and it doesn’t, really.  Case in point: the 1953 Studebaker Starliner Coupe kit I got for Christmas two years ago.

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More Coffee!

FO-088-0109FO-088-0109FO-088-0109FO-088-0109FO-088-0109

Coffee Linked to Lower Dementia Risk,” says an article in Friday’s New York Times.  It may also have beneficial effects as an antioxidant; however, it is not clear whether there is a benefit for those who don’t drink coffee to start drinking coffee (though didn’t we all start out not drinking coffee?).  At least it appears that the benefits can be gained by drinking three to five cups a day, which (I imagine) might reduce the possibility of other, adverse health effects, unlike the “French paradox” which would involve something on the order of 1,000 bottles of red wine a day, though even the French don’t do that.

Maybe I should start taking resveratrol with my venti Americano.

First Day

first-day

I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

With these words, prescribed by Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution of the United States, Barack Obama was sworn in (for a second time, yesterday) as the 44th President of the United States of America.  Though time will render its own verdict on his presidency, as it does on every presidency, after his first full day in office I will say that President Obama seems to have gotten off to a good start (oath of office do-over notwithstanding).

Last Day

last-day

At various times over the last several years it seemed that January 20, 2009 would never arrive.  It still hasn’t, of course, so I’ll have to go outside, turn three times and spit (or curse), lest I incur the wrath of the whatever from high atop the thing, but you could scarcely be unaware that a new U.S. president is being sworn in tomorrow.

Over the last couple of weeks, aside from news about preparations for the inauguration, and its resonance with history, we have heard from a steady stream of apologists for President Bush.  Bill Kristol, aside from crediting our outgoing president with standing firmly by Israel, praises his surveillance, interrogation, and counterterrorism policies, and believes he deserves more recognition for his greatest achievement – winning the war in Iraq.  Excuse me, but how can I credit the president with succeeding (assuming, for the moment, that I could agree with that estimate) at something that NEVER should have happened in the FIRST PLACE?  That’s like crediting the arsonist who shows up with an extinguisher for putting OUT the fire.

That President Bush has been a steadfast friend of Israel comes as no surprise.  As Tara Wall observed, he has a “strident conviction in doing what was right for the country.”  Funny, I never thought of being strident as a good thing, like being unreasoningly stubborn in the face of overwhelming evidence (careful – I know I’m leaving myself open there).  She also praises Mr. Bush’s civility and dignity which, while fine personal characteristics, are poor substitutes for achievement for a man who has involved us in a disastrous and costly war that should never have happened (see previous paragraph), undermined our civil liberties in the name of security (it’s a small thing, but doesn’t anyone else find the use of the word “homeland” a little creepy?), and led us to the brink of financial armageddon (at least she acknowledges that).

On the eve of the inauguration of our 44th president, I honestly can’t help feeling that it comes not a moment too soon.  I can’t help feeling that the last eight years were some kind of bad dream from which I have been struggling to awaken.  No, we didn’t ask for what happened on September 11, 2001, but our president (and far too many of us who were willing to go along in the face of such murderous intent) made choice after choice after choice that it will take decades, if not more, if ever, to undo.

I deeply respect the office of president, and have always considered President Bush to be my president, too, disagree with him as I might, but I will not be sorry to see his term end and welcome a new president tomorrow.