Monday, June 23, 2008

exponential is her name

*update* barbara ehrenreich, the author of nickel and dimed, has a new book out and was on wnyc today. listen to the show, and then join me as we finally get libby in on the debate...

i guess since all the cool kids are doing it, i too will give you a little something something about the latest book i read. back when i taught for america, i worked with this person named liz vandlick. i guess she won't care about me using her name, seeing as how she never reads web logs, and every time we talk, she makes fun of me for updating mine. whatever.

she suggested that i read this book called Nickel and Dimed. so, i did it. the author went under cover in florida, maine, and minnesota as a homemaker re-entering the workforce. her goal was to see if it is possible to live on wages from places like wal-mart, nursing homes, and restaurants while searching out a housing, etc.

i'd write more about it, but to tell you the truth, i don't really have much to say. the book was eye-opening, but her style of writing was annoying and she spent half the time telling how she had to find a way to flush the marijuana out of her system in order to pass the multiple drug tests that were requisite to get a low-wage job in minnesota.

the main thing i found interesting was the outdated method the government uses to define the poverty level. they haven't changed the system since 1955, and it's based on the price of food tripled (assuming, then, that 1/3 of all expenditures goes toward food). this isn't the case anymore, and really doesn't make any sense. there's a bunch of other stuff too, but why don't you just go read it? mostly i'm just putting up a web log post because uncle ron requested it via peter.

i guess, though, i do have one thing to say. paul called me last nite and asked me my thoughts about barack dropping public financing. i do have to say i'm disappointed. this does hurt barack's brand that he is different than your regular politician. i, of course, saw it coming and knew he would do it--he would be stupid not to with the amount of money he is raising from small donors. but still, in the back of my mind, i was holding out hope barack would come through.

this is not to say i am disillusioned about barack. he is still the best-qualified for the job, etc. he is still far better than john mccain in many (if not all) ways. and his fund-raising apparatus is impressive and (perhaps) represents a sort of public financing hitherto unattainable by conventional politicians. perhaps this is excuse enough for him to drop the public financing? i know peter would say it is.

so there you go, paul. now you know that while barack is still the one, i will not defend his every move regardless. now i turn the ball to you to list some of john mccain's many faults....

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

i previsioned it

remember this? it looks like my man thomas friedman (who is never wrong about anything) is backing me up.

Friday, June 06, 2008