My first PH assignment

Today was the best day I have had at work, at least so far. I received my first PHA assignment-updating the site map on the PHA Web site. It was fun, and exciting. It was also easier than I thought it would be-so that was a relief.

Basically, the assignment required me to make a copy of the Web page in Dreamweaver 8 and update the links to include new ones added. I also needed to delete links no longer needed, and change the layout to become more user friendly. It took me all day to finish, but that is including several meetings throughout the day and you have to take into count that this is my first Web page to ever work with. This is my first time to work with Dreamweaver as well.

The page is already finished and edited by my supervisor. So all I have to do is make some changes-which is very few might I add-and I will be done. Yay!

The day was also a success in our meetings as well. My supervisor and I gathered several story ideas from one of PHA’s various departments and the ideas are pretty great. It was like an early birthday present! I am already ready to start working on the stories-which are a mix of hard and easy to do stories. What are they about you might being wondering? Well, I will let you know when I have them finished. 🙂

My class, Press, Politics and Power, met for the second time Wednesday night. I can tell already that I am going to like it. We discussed Monday night’s The Kalb Report first, starting with advise given to the audience by the guests, such as Ali Velshi. Velshi said, “It’s smarter for a nation to save two years to buy a TV than buy a TV and pay for it for two years.”

The show’s guests gave us the example of how the three circles of New York City (money, media), Hollywood (entertainment) and Washington, D.C., (politics, power) are interlinking. The guests were knowledgable, all of new media, and had to mix entertainment (well, the broadcasters) into their talk of politics and power. They were also quick at retorts as well. Velshi answered one guy, who asked why the media did not warn the public that the economical problem was about to occur, with “If I was a weatherman saying it was going to be 10 degrees outside, it is up to you to put on your long-johns” and hat.

Moving forward with that topic, we discussed the media’s role in society- to inform the public, while the public’s job is to weigh it and decide what they think. It was an interesting class topic, I have to say.

One of our final topic of the class, beside’s Arthur Miller’s “The Arts of Politics and Performance,” was current events in D.C. My professor had to remind us of the phrase “inside the beltway.” It means basically, in the words of my professor, “We are in the Washington bubble now-everything tends to revolve around the issue of the day and everything else  just slips in.”

With this is mind, we had to analysis whether Obama was having a good or bad week. I, at first, said good, but I was thinking outside of the beltway. Looking in, I would have to say it was a bad week. It could be considered a good week if you think of the fact that the stimulus package was approved. But, as we went into further detail, one could easily to change their mind.

The plan was approved but it lost style points in that it was not bipartisan as Obama promised-the GOP was doing some impressive press conferences. Also the class reminded students to remember interconnectivity. Treasury secretary Tim Geithner gave a horrible news conference. Sure it was his first conference, which one girl said should give him some leeway in judgement. However, I want to know why?

Geithner is a politician. He knows how to do a press conference, he has before. Also, Geithner had a lot to overcome-I mean first impressions in his new position. His failure to pay taxes has not been forgotten, and he has to overcome that lack of forgetfullness and prove that he is up for the job. He failed.

The point of this is, if Geithner has a bad day, Obama has a bad day. Geithner definitely had a bad day.

I have to admit I am pretty disappointed the class is cancelled for next week. I am looking forward to our next lesson and discussion. Next on the agenda: “Political Persuasion-Defining Audience, Message and Timing.” We will be discussing Drew Westen’s “The Political Brain.”


3 thoughts on “My first PH assignment

  1. None of the positions that Geithner held earlier are limelight positions (which may say more about the media than him – why didn’t the press sound the alarm louder and earlier?) Yes, he needs to get better at handling the media – but he’s not the press secretary. His job is to focus on righting the economy. He needs to hire a good press secretary who will help him better prepare and get through the media moments. Public speaking is hard for most people, it doesn’t mean they aren’t excellent at most other aspects of their work.

    The recession didn’t happen just because people didn’t save. The truth is our economy is based on consumption – people quit buying and the economy tanked. Yes, people made bad decisions, but lenders made very bad decisions. And, most of all, trickle down economics just doesn’t work. Under the Bush administration, laws were written which favored big business and the rich over the regular working and middle class citizens. There has to be a balance. I’m all in favor of good companies making a profit – but their shareholders and employees should share in that profit and not have it all hogged by a few executive officers and just the most major shareholders. The Wal-mart Ceo that just retired was making over $15,000 an hour compared to an average of $10 an hour for fulltime employees at a store ( which is misleading because most of Wal-Mart employees are part-time workers making minimum wage.) My biggest gripe about the stimulus is that it targeted big businesses – those who made the most over the past 8 years – over the folks who have lost the most during W.’s reign. Thankfully, Obama’s administration seems to be focusing on helping the citizen side of the problem now and I think that will be what it takes to slow the recession and start turning things around.

  2. 1. True. They could have gotten around to naming a alternative solution instead of just saying no.

    2. Regardless of whether he is classified as a politician or public servant, as head of the U.S. Department of Treasury he is the country’s main economic advisor and the manager of the public’s debt. The national debt, as of 12:18 a.m. Feb. 15, was at $10,767,219,617,284.20, according to the U.S. National Debt Clock. That is $35,227.38 per person (according to http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/).

    That number is only around $200 more than what Geithner owes in those skipped taxes. And yes, we all make mistakes and I can understand that. But the IRS noted in a 2006 audit that he did not pay his 2001-2002 taxes and assessed him an additional tax of $14,857 for 2003-2004. While he paid for 2003-2004, he did not attempt to pay or admit his failure to pay for his 2001-2002 mistake until days before Obama tapped him for treasury secretary. Why wait that long?

    As our treasury secretary, there is a higher expectation for him. Yes, this might be wrong, but that’s life. I might have trouble with my taxes and understanding the procedure but then that is why I would never consider being the Treasury Secretary. His mistake on his taxes might not be criminal, but for his new role, it does not help build trust in him.

    Also, regardless of whether he is a politician or public servant I would still have thought he could hold a press conference considering his background. He was President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of NY and previously he served as the Under Secretary of the Treasure for International Affairs from 1999-2001 (he joined the Dept. of Treasury in 1988 ) and followed that position with the appointment as director of the Policy Development and Review Department of International Monetary Fund until 2003.

    But, I am willing to overlook that experience and give that he possibly did not know how to hold a press conference and just say I am sad that he, with his experience, is not able to hold his own at a press conference. I still say that he did a bad job which reflects poorly on Obama.

    3. Maybe the people who had to move back in with their parents (regardless of whether they have them to go to or not) should have saved their money and they would not be in that position. Before you say anything, I know that is not simply the case for all these people but it is for some. Thankfully I do have parents that can help me, but I will be the first to admit that my saving money skills are horrible. That is what I am trying to work on-learning to put some money aside rather than spending all my money. Saving money is hard to do, especially in rough times, and it is not always feasible. The nation is in horrible debt, and that debt is not going to go away just because we spend the money to help people not be homeless. I am not saying we put into savings regardless of the situation, but, when possible, we should put money aside-especially once the economy is better.

    Yes, we have to do something, but, come-on, saving your money-when possible-is always a good idea and I am, again, not saying this excludes not helping Americans who need help. Just because you have money or a credit card, does not mean you should not save.

  3. Brace yourself, Sarah – here’s your left wing aunt:
    1) I think the Republicans had a bad week – its easy – and old politics – to sit back and refuse to suport something. Notice they didn’t offer any alternative. I am especially disappointed in John McCain.

    2) Tim Geithner is not a politician, he is a public servant. He has never run for office and could have made much more being a member of one of those banks thats being bailed out. He didn’t not pay taxes – he made a mistake on his taxes – which is human, not criminal.

    3) Don’t let the right wing media pull the wool over your eyes. The tv example is way to simple. How many Americans do you let become homeless while the Republicans save for two years? Not having a bail out is not the same is not putting something on your credit card. 4 million people are out of work and that number is going to keep growing. For them, credit cards are not option. How long would it take you to go through your savings? How long before you became homeless? Not everyone has parents they can move back in with. This isn’t my first recession, but I think its going to be the worst – and it started on the Republicans watch.

    And I was a teenage Republican.

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