Monday, March 9, 2009

A glorious weekend!

I hesitate, but not for long, to remind everyone of what an absolutely gorgeous day Saturday was. My equipment is far from official, but those sensors that should be sheltered are. My weather station recorded a high temperature of 62.1 degrees. Imagine. It was on the good side of 60 degrees for a little while here.

Sunday wasn’t too shabby, either. We didn’t hit 60 but it did reach 55. There was some wind, however, and that made it feel a little colder. We were told this morning we’ll get back into a brief period of reality, unfortunately. A little snow is moving into the Greater Portland area, but not much, perhaps a couple of inches, is expected. We’re still in the winter season as spring doesn’t arrive until next week.

Last night was one of the three traditional ones in the Gator family. I’m not really sure how it all started, but way back when our kids were very young, we started the tradition of the birthday person choosing a restaurant for the celebration. The tradition has continued all through the years and yesterday was another turn for me. The meal met my expectations to a tee. The reaction from Gator Wife and Gator Daughter hinted they weren’t unhappy, either.

Since GD left the nest many years ago, she has baked a birthday cake for her mother or me on our birthdays. We cheat. We buy one for her at a local bakery. But after the meal, we came home to our house for the blowing out of the candles. Except we don’t have any candles. In my case, I’m not sure enough would fit on the cake anyway.

That mini celebration capped off one of the best weekends we’ve had in our family and on the Gator ranch (Do gators live on ranches??) in many years.

Some interesting comments yesterday on the TV talking head shows. President Obama’s people were urging the passage of the supplemental budget which is absolutely laden with pork, i.e., special interest group spending. Candidate Obama had told us that part of the “change” we could get if we elected him would be the ending of pork.

He got elected, but not just because of that statement. So what did his huge spending package he said would lead to economic recovery contain? Billions of dollars in pork. Then the House passed a spending bill to get the Federal Government to the next fiscal year. More pork. The bill is still being debated in the Senate and was stopped once by a Republican filibuster.

That led to the talk shows. We were promised that if Congress passes that supplemental spending bill, the administration will concentrate on keeping pork out of the next budget. I doubt the Republicans will believe him, but it won’t really matter. We must remember that even the GOP has a lot of pork in the bill and they won’t want it cut. Ultimately, the supplemental budget will probably pass.

The President’s word has taken other hits as well, especially his telling us another “change” would be that no lobbyist or a person with a questionable background would receive a presidential appointment. Just look at the record of many, most?, of his appointments so far. So much for “change.”

“Some banks must be allowed to fail,” said Republicans on their Sunday appearances. They pointed out that the Feds simply cannot continue bailouts. Several smaller banks have already gone under, but the Republicans yesterday were hitting on some of the big ones. Citibank was prominent among the ones mentioned to let fail.

The Democrats countered with such failure wouldn’t affect just the banks, but several thousands of depositors and generally innocently involved bank customers would also be forced to suffer. They don’t want that to happen.

I haven’t heard or read enough argument to form an opinion on this one. I think I’m teetering on the fence here, at least until I learn more about it. I agree that because of their practices perhaps we taxpayers shouldn’t help. But then there’s a good argument about innocent people getting ruined, too. Since much of the problem was caused by Congress in the first place, this is a tough one.

The administration says the answer to the banks’ problems is lending more money and that was a purpose of the bank bailout plan, even though we haven’t seen the plan or how it will be watched. I’m not sure many banks have yet to follow the plan.


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