The bad news first: 11 December was the unhappiest day on record so far according to Gallup-Healthways mood measure. The pollsters find that in general, happiness is greater on the weekends and lower on weekdays. But in 2008, the five unhappiest days perfectly coincided with bad economic news. On 11 December, the Labor Department announced a 26-year high in jobless claims and the auto bailout failed to pass the Senate.
The good news? 2008 is almost over! It probably won’t get too much worse this year.
More good news: Rod Blagojevich is not planning to appoint anyone to Barack Obama’s senate seat, according to his lawyer. Not an unwise move for the sullied governor of Illinois, but not a predictable one from the man who plans to come out fighting. Blagojevich told the press yesterday morning that he was looking forward to more information coming out about his case that would clear him. Given the phone calls the feds caught on tape, we ask, what information could that possibly be? Alien body-snatching?
Sex workers lay down to protest police indifference to their safety yesterday in an action in Washington, DC. “Sex work is real work!” some of their signs read. The action fell on the fifth anniversary of the conviction of the “Green River Killer” who killed 48 women over the course of 21 years. Sex workers and their advocates say indifference towards their safety leads to slow police action and allows cases like this one to go unsolved for years.
Charmus, a 34-year old woman said “I’m just so tired of hearing, “If I choose to do X, then I put myself on the line.” Considering that A) for many women (and men) sex work is not a choice but a necessity for survival, and B) other jobs put workers “on the line”–police work itself, for that matter–and the murder and abuse of workers in those jobs aren’t considered their just comeuppance, we say, go girls!
Banking executives won’t be hitting the streets to make a fast buck any time soon. It seems that their bonuses are expected to be lower this year, perhaps in the single-digit millions instead of the usual double. The New York Times reports that while banks were racking up fake profits (in the form of dangerous bad mortgages, for example), CEO’s and other executives making 6-figure annual salaries, were taking home real multi-million-dollar “bonuses” as reward pay for those fake profits.
This year, the Times tells us:
“Scrutiny over pay is intensifying as banks like Merrill prepare to dole out bonuses even after they have had to be propped up with billions of dollars of taxpayers