Thursday, January 29, 2009

More Good Stuff Happening

Sorry for my lack of posts this week, I have been holed up at a focus group facility watching one-on-one interviews with users of our Product. In order to keep the anonymity of the Not-Quite-As-Big Corporation I cannot reveal the identity of the Product but I can say that listening to four people a day talk about it for 90 minutes each can wear on a person. So much so that the person has no energy to blog when they get home.

Be that as it may, I did want to say that now that we are well into President Obama's second week in office, I am continuing to be thrilled with what he is accomplishing already.

This is a picture of the President today as he signed the equal pay legislation called the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Ms. Ledbetter, whom the Supreme Court had ruled against in her suit regarding inequality of pay, is standing next to the President. (Picture courtesy of the NY Times)

From the Times:

“'It is fitting that with the very first bill I sign — the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act — we are upholding one of this nation’s first principles: that we are all created equal and each deserve a chance to pursue our own version of happiness,” the president said.

He said was signing the bill not only in honor of Ms. Ledbetter — who stood behind him, shaking her head and clasping her hands in seeming disbelief — but in honor of his own grandmother, 'who worked in a bank all her life, and even after she hit that glass ceiling, kept getting up again' and for his daughters, 'because I want them to grow up in a nation that values their contributions, where there are no limits to their dreams.'”

President Obama also did not hesitate today to dress down Wall Street for giving out billions of dollars in bonuses to the very geniuses that helped run their companies into the ground and be forced to ask for billions in government bailouts.

"'That is the height of irresponsibility,' Mr. Obama said angrily. 'It is shameful, and part of what we’re going to need is for folks on Wall Street who are asking for help to show some restraint and show some discipline and show some sense of responsibility.'"

It's good to see a president who actually calls these people on their profligate ways.

Of course, looking at the bonuses as a whole (rather than individually), due to the job losses on Wall Street the total amount of money being given in bonuses is actually 50% lower than last year, dropping to the lowest level since 2002. This does not bode well for New York State and New York City, which depend heavily on this money for tax revenues. Seems you can't win no matter what.

In other good stuff, Former Governor Rod Blagojevich has finally been convicted by the Illinois Senate in his impeachment trial. His last minute whirlwind tour of the talk show circuit, as well as a final "closing argument" at the trial, apparently did not change any minds, since the Senate voted unanimously to remove him from office.

I am not at all positive that the criminal case that is to follow will reach the same conclusions, as it is possible that nothing he actually did was illegal. A person can't be put in jail simply for running his mouth, as DH says. Blago claims his quotes are being taken "out of context." It's certainly possible. I guess we'll find out when that case comes to trial. But in the meantime maybe, just maybe, we won't have to listen to him anymore for awhile? And yes, that would be a good thing, as Martha Stewart would say.

Now if we could just stop hearing about Sarah Palin, life would be really good. But she doesn't seem to be going away any time soon.


Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

I don't know what feels better . . . getting Obama in or getting Blago out. To paraphrase Gerald Ford, the long Prairie State nightmare is finally over. Now I only hope that our pols realize they need to clean up their act. The people of Illinois are truly fed up. I don't think anyone outside the state has any idea how stalled our state government has been the last two years.

Annette said...

I am so glad he is quiet for a while anyway... I was so sick of his mouth..I finally just muted my TeeVee..

I am very happy with everything our Prez has done but am very unhappy with what the repugs have done. And it doesn't look like they are done yet.. but who knows. Great post.. love your wrap up and take on everything.. Hope you have time to write more soon.. Missed your words..

Fran / Blue Gal said...

Trust me from a very loyal Democrat who happens to live in Illinois: nothing Blago says is out of context. His purpose in "defending himself" was to poison the jury pool in his criminal trial. He knew he was going to be kicked out of office. The vote in a largely Democratic legislature was 59-0 for impeachment. And good riddance.

Fran said...

Blago was a real piece of work, past tense. He's toast.
So glad Obama is fixing the legal loophole that allowed Ms. Ledbetter to get screwed & discriminated against.

Maybe the silver lining of the reich wing being so ickily partisan is they will get kicked to the curb in 2010 elections? go on, keep acting like sandbox bullies.... but not for long. Once can hope!

Palin is like a festering boil. that photo in the linked article, she looks like she just rolled out of bed.
Bottom line: Even if she studied politics 101 for 4 years & memorized as many prefabricated lines as she could fill her pea brain with, she will still fall flat on her winking ,blinking face in a political race.

Travelingman Rick said...

Yes the Lilly Ledbetter bill is a great thing. It really makes me proud of what our Country can do.

My fear bout Palin y'all is that according to the new leader of the Reich wing, Mr. Limbaugh is that Sarah Palin is the new face of the Party. She is gonna be around a little while longer folks.

Christopher said...

A weirder week could not have been found.

Pope RatNAZI reinstated a Holocaust denier and Melissa Ethridge revealed she and Rich Warren are now email pals.

Rush Limbaugh isn't a creature from the past but the moral leader of the Republican party -- what's left of it.

The cultural landscape is very strange at this moment in history.

Anonymous said...

No need to apologize for you absence. We all have priorities to attend to and sometimes, need to take a break from blogging.

Obama's performance? It's been up and down. He caved to Republicans on the tax cuts and the family planning provisions of the stimulus package.

But equal pay? Bravo Mr. President. It's about fucking time.

CEO bonuses? Make them give it back. All of it. Moreover, enact legislation or sign an executive order forcing companies to pin future executive performance bonuses on real productivity (e.g, new sales/revenue) and not on cost cutting and layoffs. All too often they've been padding their numbers and their salaries on the backs of their rank and file staff. Many perform well and are still let go because some CEO made un-realistic profit projections.

Former Gov. Blogo... I saw him on Maddow the other night and I thought "what a smooth mofo." He got what he deserved, but I don't know if DH is right on the criminal case. Conspiracy of abuse of public office is a felony as far as I know. As a former prosecutor himself he should know that.

themom said...

Let me start out by saying, I would imagine you DON'T work for a condom company, as I can't think of anyone speaking about that product non-stop for 0 minutes, much less 90 seconds.

But I am so proud of the Lily Ledbetter bill being signed..after the SC tried to quash the measure. So far, so good - in Obama's quest. We can't get 100% of all we desire, but the inroads have begun.

Mauigirl said...

Hi all -
Ruth, I am so glad to get Blago out of my face. I'm sure you and Blue Gal are right that the guy is crooked as can be. Being in New Jersey I'm less familiar with him except recently! And I agree with Spartacus that he certainly is smooth/slick. He certainly seems to have unmitigated gall and arrogance and I swear he must be a little bit crazy. Maybe he's a sociopath - they can lie like that without a qualm.

Annette, I agree I am fed up with the Republicans - but remember they're only making themselves look bad.

Fran and Travelingman, my fear with Palin is she has a few years to practice. On the other hand, to Fran's point, I don't think she has enough brains to fool all of the people even some of the time. But unfortunately I don't think she's going to go away!

Christopher, yes, this has been a strange week. I hadn't heard about Melissa Etheridge & Rick Warren!

Spartacus, I'm OK with the removal of the family planning from the stimulus bill. I am all for it but maybe not in this bill. Tax cuts I could do without - heard someone say perhaps Obama has learned that he shouldn't put the concessions into things up front (he put the tax cuts in in the first place to appease the GOP ahead of time). He could've added them AFTER his discussion to make it look like compromise. Andyes, the bonuses - they should give them back just as Citigroup was convinced to not take delivery of their new corporate jet. We shall see.

LOL, TheMom, I think listening to one-on-one discussions of condoms actually might be a lot more interesting! (I'm sure that companies that make condoms do have these types of studies and do just that! You'd be surprised what people are willing to discuss in a one-on-one interview - they forget all about the fact that there are people watching and listening behind the one-way mirror!) Our Product is VERY far off from that though!

So glad about Lilly Ledbetter bill being signed!

Randal Graves said...

You work for Billy Mays, don't you.

lisahgolden said...

Well now I can stop angrily tapping my foot and wondering where you've been!

There are good things happening, despite the Republicans frequent attempts to stop them. I'll take it!

Tom Harper said...

Yes, the news from Washington, DC has sure gotten a lot better in the past week.

I'm afraid Sarah Palin will just have to be our cross to bear. The better things get in Congress and the White House, the louder the screeching from Sarah and her male counterpart, OcyContin "Rush" Limbaugh.

Anonymous said...

There was a lot of good news this week, but unfortunately it is overwhelmed by the increasing terror in the economy. I'm getting more and more afraid to even watch the news at night. One wonders just where it will stop, and what shape most of us will be in when it does. Perhaps it's just the cabin fever I'm experiencing talking, but I'm getting nervous.

Comrade Kevin said...

Ms. Ledbetter is a hero to me, since both of us are from Alabama. However, she is not universally hailed as such by many state residents for reasons that probably do not need explaining.

D.K. Raed said...

I'm trying to imagine having 90-minutes worth of stuff to say about any product I use! Maybe Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwiches, but only if I can eat them while talking.

Blago & Palin -- one down, one to go. Limbaugh thinks HE should be the head of the repub party. Yup, he is that egocentric. And yup, they are that bankrupt of people with ideas, that they might actually consider him viable.

Unknown said...

I, too, am thrilled and very impressed by the first days of the Obama administration. The hope that came to me with his election continues to grow.

libhom said...

Now, we have to push for troop withdrawals from Iraq.

denverdoc said...

Argh, trapped in a focus group facility; sounds like a new age version of the twilight zone.

I'm disturbed by this Tom Daschle delinquent tax thing. On top of the Geithner tax thing too.