Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Wednesday Ramble

It’s cold in Maine this morning. You probably don’t need me to tell you that. The temperature is right around the zero mark at my house as I form my opinions this morning. The forecast says, however, that today and tomorrow could mark the end, at least for the foreseeable future, of these very cold temps.

WCSH-TV weatherman Kevin Mannix this morning touched upon something we discussed here late last summer and fall. Temperatures are a matter of perspective in the mind. It was just last fall when I was saying when temperatures were dropping into the forties and we were saying how cold it was outside and toward the end of winter, we’d be saying how warm those forties were.

We’re approaching the end of winter, and many of us think these last two and a half weeks can’t go by soon enough, and the temperature forecast for this weekend and into next week is for the return of the forty degree mark. The whole news team this morning was saying how much they were looking forward to the warmer temperatures.

I think I just said a nasty. “…many of us think these last two and a half weeks can’t go by soon enough…” is what I said. I should know better. We shouldn’t be wishing our life away, especially when we reach my end of it. Life is already too short so I’ll amend that statement. As we approach spring’s arrival now in just a little more than two weeks, we’ll be especially happy with looking forward to thinking how cold those forties will be next fall. Wow! What a line of crap that is!

Are you beginning to get the idea I don’t have very much to say this morning? You’d be right. I should be continuing my discussion on my feelings on the state of the economy, spending packages, and budgets. But everything is happening so fast and the amount of money is simply so vast that it’s difficult to get a grasp on it. I could focus on just one or two items each day, but I just might tire of all that over the next four years because that’s how long it would take.

I suspect anyone who reads my rambles with any consistency at all knows already how I feel. I do remember President Obama saying he was against earmarking funds for pet projects when he was a candidate. He seems to have forgotten that as the spending bill he promoted to get our economy going again, the spending supplemental budget passed by Congress with his approval, and his own projected budget for the coming two years are all heavily laden with earmarks.

The term earmark is a polite way of saying pork. Nearly every senator in both parties loves those funds for their pet projects. After all, it’s how they get re-elected. So much for President Obama’s promised “change” in Washington.

For anyone interested in where that money is going, there are news articles in today’s Press Herald, the Washington Post, Washington Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Boston Herald, and many, many others. Some are even critical of the spending proposals. If you don’t have them bookmarked, there’s always Google.

There are a couple of other items in today’s news worth mentioning. Channel Six has a story on today about the appearance of favoritism or preferential treatment of the release of a jail prisoner yesterday. It seems the former Deering High School coach who pled guilty to supplying alcohol to his team after winning a championship last year was released from jail yesterday after serving his time. The story says he was driven in a cruiser away from the waiting news media to an awaiting family member at the entrance of the jail complex. The county sheriff says it’s under investigation as it appears to have violated jail rules.

The Press Herald today has a story about the crashing of car sales. Auto dealers are feeling the pinch as sales plummet due to the unstable economy. Some people apparently are saying that they won’t buy a new car when its future is in doubt. The dealers say they will honor warranties even if the car is discontinued but that parts might be hard to come by. I’d guess if the auto manufacturers cut way back, finding dealers might be difficult, too.

Oh, one final note: President Obama tells us this might be a good time to buy stocks and bonds. If the economy recovers, he says they’ll be worth more than you’d pay today. It might take a long time, though. Some of us would find it helpful just to recover what we’ve already lost. My investments have lost about 40% so far which means my retirement income is dropping. At my age, I doubt I’ll ever see that recovery the President mentions.


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