It’s Friday. Finally!

The Slide Continues

I just read that in California, U.S. President George Walker Bush’s approval rating has hit an all-time low. Only 34 percent approve of the job Mr. Bush is doing. Sixty-five percent have doubts about Mr. Bush’s trustworthiness. One poll found that just 30 percent of the people polled felt the nation is going in the right direction source. Them’s scary numbers when you’re talking about the president of the United States of America. If we can’t trust our own leaders, how can we expect the rest of the world to trust any of us?

Mr. Bush is in Argentina today at a summit. He was met by thousands of protesters, chanting, “Fascist Bush, you are the terrorist source.” When asked how he was going to handle Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, Mr. Bush commented, “Well, I will, of course, be polite. That’s what the American people expect their president to do is to be a, you know, a polite person.” source Actually, Mr. Bush, we expect a lot more than that… We expect you to be accountable for your actions. We expect you to make wise, educated decisions. We expect you to act on OUR behalf, not yours. We expect a lot of things, and I expect we’ll continue to be disappointed.

Speaking of disappointment, the senate passed a bill yesterday allowing drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge source. Mr. Bush has been pushing this issue for five years – he does, after all, have very, very close ties to the oil industry. The pity and shame of this bill is not immediately apparent until the numbers are crunched. It turns out that the major oil companies will now be able to do pretty much whatever they want in the wildlife refuge, and, in about ten years, we’ll start to get oil. The oil we will produce will last the nation for six months. To put it another way, gas prices are NOT going to fall due to this action source. We’re not gonna see any results for ten or twelve years, and what we do get really isn’t worth damaging the environment for, in my opinion. But, Mr. Bush’s friends in the oil industry will profit, and I guess that’s what’s important… The republicans claim that drilling in the arctic will produce up to 736,000 jobs. I have to admit, I don’t know where those jobs are going to come from. That number seems too large.

To name names, democrat Bill Nelson of Nebraska voted for this bill. He has done a few other things lately that go against party line (example – he supports Bush’s latest Supreme Court nominee). A maverick? Or a man who simply votes his conscience over his constituents? It’ll be interesting to see where Mr. Nelson is in a year or two.

Closer to home…

In my last post, I commented on our local elections here in Sioux City. Next Tuesday are the elections, and thus far I’ve not found a single candidate knocking at my door. I’ve been trying to research the various candidates and haven’t really found much.

The Sioux City Journal is running a series of articles on the candidates. You can find the article about Jim Rixner here. I mentioned yesterday that Mr. Rixner is, thus far, the candidate I’m voting for. The article in the Journal confirms that feeling – it seems that Mr. Rixner is, in my opinion, on the right track. Incumbents Dave Ferris and Karen Van De Steeg, on the other hand, don’t seem to have done much in their terms that they can point to and say, “vote for me, I did thus-and-such.” In another article (found here), Ms. Van De Steeg commented on young people from moving away from Sioux City by saying, in part, “You have to go where you can find a job.” That implies that our very own leaders know there are no jobs to be had in this area, and don’t seem to be doing much about it. Spooky.

In both articles, Mr. Rixner seems to be the only candidate that knows what’s happening.

Mr. Rixner is endorsed by the labor movement here in Sioux City, and is mentioned in a rather interesting blog on the Woodbury County Democrats web site, found here.

In the Personal Section…

Just when I start thinking that no one reads this but Dagmar and myself, someone will pop up out of the proverbial woodwork and prove they’ve been paying attention. Last week poor Dagmar was feeling ill, and I mentioned it on-line. Two days later she got a “Get Better” card from some friends across town. That made us both a little misty-eyed…

We’re still struggling with money – we have enough to pay our bills and eat with, but that’s about it. And, you know, we’re pretty happy… We often curl up on the couch with the cat and a bowl of popcorn and watch TV, knowing full well that we’re lucky to have a warm house and a good marriage.

But I still wish my neighbors would calm down… They scare me a little. People coming and going at all hours, screaming in the street on a regular basis, parking in my driveway, throwing trash in their yard – it’s bothersome. I enjoy walking to work (it saves gas and is good for the environment and my health), but if the neighbors are out, I get in the car and drive, just so I don’t have to walk past them.

I’ve not had a cigarette since July 26th (not that I’m counting or anything). It’s getting easier every day. My lollipop consumption rate has fallen to three or four a day, and I haven’t thrown anything at anyone in a couple of months now. I am, however, still waiting for my sense of humor to get back to normal. I had hoped by now that I’d have saved enough money by not smoking to get a door with a deadbolt on it, or to have my teeth fixed (I have a pesky wisdom tooth that’s making an untimely arrival – sideways), but it seems that all we can do is pay our bills and hope to get by until the next payday. Oh well.

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