I was pleased to see Sen. Feinstein cutting through some of the self-righteous crap in the Burris mess and getting to a crucial issue. She has come out in support of seating Burris noting that, although Blogojevich is under a legal (and moral) cloud, he is still the Governor of Illinois with the power to appoint a replacement for Obama. If Burris is not seated then at any time in the future for almost any reason, the U.S. Senate can exercise veto power over any governor in his appointments. Can you see the mess if the Senate is controlled by one party and a governor is from another? One of the bedrock principles of this country has been the notion that we have a government of laws not of men. This situation would qualify that--we have a government of laws unless enough men think the same way and decide to ignore the law. Another word for that is anarchy.
MSNBC had this little story this morning. Shoppers are, it seems, getting used to the deep discounts and are looking for even better deals. Now the retail stores and chains are in a quandry--how low can they go? Retail 'Limbo Rock' is the new fashion.
Has anyone else noticed how frequently the news media are carrying so-called frugal living tips lately? I say so-called because so much of it simply doesn't pertain to my situation and I think calling it 'frugal' is a bit of a stretch. Last night (or perhaps the night before) the local evening news had a short interview with a financial expert whose advice was totally out in left field. He said one should start budgeting by writing down one's goals and then start savings plans to reach those goals. That assumes that who ever is listening has a surplus income they can save. That doesn't describe most people I know. This morning the segment focused on 'recession proofing' your portfolio. What portfolio?
However, one of my Google alert searches keys 'frugal living' and sometimes I find some interesting items there. Living the Scientific Life lists a number of ways to reduce expenditures. Over the last few years we have implemented many of them. We started plugging most of our appliances and reading lamps into power strips. When we turn off the appliance/lamp we also turn off the power strip. Our kitchen appliances are unplugged after we are finished with them. We did not expect to see any savings but our bills have been slightly lower since. We only shop on one day each week and plan all of our errands for that day. We don't window shop and rarely indulge in impulse buying.
I saw the news that Toyota is shutting down their plants in Japan for 11 days later in January and early February. The only question I have is: while the workers on the line won't get 11 days worth of pay will the executives also take an 11 day hit? I also saw that the UEW is filing a complaint that Republic Windows in Chicago (remember the sit in where workers demanded their back pay, vacation and promised severance after the company shut down) fraudulently and illegally shut down its plant. They claimed it was due to economic hardship and, therefore, they did not need to give the 90 day notice the law requires. In fact, they planned to take all the assets out of Chicago and reopen under a new name in Iowa. I wonder if Bank of America, who supposedly pulled Republic's line of credit, is providing the capital for that move?
I always love discovering new things that might prove useful. Fran, aka Redondowriter, talks about Google Notebook on her blog this morning. I really do have to play with it. Thanks, Fran.
Melissa McEwan at Shakesville has an entry that triggers my disgust button. I have never liked those 'charity' promotions that encourage people to go out and buy a s#*tload to crap they don't need to get seals, bottle caps, labels, whatever, to send in so that some company which is simply trying to bolster their sales will 'donate' some pennies to a charity. It would make far more sense for consumers to donate the amount they would have spent (and the amount of the postage) directly to the charity and cut out the middle man.
Well, I have done enough ranting and commenting for the day. See you next time.