Monday, August 31, 2009

The declension of the economy

Last week, after the latest Consumer Confidence Survey, I announced to the economists at work that the recession was over. Today, I'm not so sure. Things will get better eventually but it will be a while until things get back to normal. I'm working on my next blog. It will be about driving your parents to an army reunion.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The uninsured

To me, the first thing that needs to be done if to find some way to insure the uninsured. Adults who don't have it need health insurance of some sort. The problem is that most voters are middle aged or older and have some type of health insurance themselves. So why do something that's going to crowd your doctor's office with new people and raise your taxes besides?

The tipping point is most people worry about their children and their grandchildren. When enough middle class, middle aged, people have children who don't have health insurance, the uninsured will get health insurance.

The young man calls home from a phone booth in Denver. "Well Dad, I got a job!"

Dad: "Great! Does it come with health insurance?"

Mr. Mustache: "Duh, no, I'm contract labor."

Dad to Mother, "Well we're gonna have to keep buying his insurance till Mr. Mustache gets a better job".

Dad at that point would be a good candidate to become a supporter of health insurance for the uninsured. People will do things for their own they won't do for the neighbors across the street.

A guy who likes his clunker

This essay from the Christian Science Monitor is cute. I'm afraid I am too anal to be that casual about my car, however.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Bring back CETA

When I graduated from college I couldn't find a job. Finally, I got a part time position at Two Guys selling hot dogs. I lied and told them I was a college drop out in order to secure this prestigious and interesting opportunity. A few months later, my mother called her girlfriend who was on the board of the local library and the library created a job for me, funded by CETA. I worked for $2.10 an hour and got health insurance for one year with a CETA job.

CETA died a few years later, replaced by various programs in different states. Today there is no one federal program like WPA or CETA to provide jobs directly to unemployed individuals. Even as the economy starts to get better, it will probably be another job-less recovery. What this country needs is another CETA.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Julie and Julia

I remember the first time I discovered Julia Child. It was the inaugural evening of Channel 13, then WNDT television, and they were presenting highlights of all the shows that were going to be featured on New York's new educational channel. The show was called "the French Chef" and over the years I learned to do a decent Julia Child impression. Unfortunately I don't really like French food outside of crepes and French fries.

The movie is worth seeing, but not worth all the hype. I am, however, a big Amy Adams fan. Loved both Miss Pettigrew and Sunshine Cleaning. The movie is entertaining and I can sympathize with an aspiring blogger wanting to be recognized. I found the original blog! Reading that may be a nice project. I wonder if Knopf knows how to get in touch with me.
Editor's note: I've been reading the original blog. Interesting. I can see Julia Child's point. I don't care for the person who writes that blog either.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

2009 plants

Just a heads up (I heard someone use that expression yesterday, he was from California) my tomato blog has some new pictures. What a surprise. It's raining today!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

the Elevator at work

The major new thing about switching jobs late in life is that you have to get used to new things. Having to ride elevators is the major new aspect of my life at work. I do it frequently during the day and it is always educational.

People talk about the usual things on elevators. Their children, their grandchildren, their pets. Why their bosses are lousy administrators. Why they work harder than their co-workers. I also hear a lot about retirements, grumbling about the furloughs, and kvetching about the weather.

I have also learned about entirely new things on the elevator. Last week I learned about foster dogs. I never knew there was such a thing. I now know the good things as well as the bad, sigh, about volunteering to take a foster dog.

A teachable moment

If there is a teachable moment in the Gates incident, it is that it is never a good idea to mouth off to cops. They are usually hot tempered and can get mean real easily. I know kids mouth off to their parents, their teachers, and when they get older, their bosses. But mouthing off to cops is still not a good idea.

In my mission of keeping my thousands of followers up to date on the latest cultural events, I can recommend a new show, Long Distance Relationship. It is on hulu and each episode is five minutes long. Even people with ADD can enjoy this show. The girl is cute too.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The coalition of the swilling

Buried deep in the Stimulus bill is a provision that the White House will attempt to create memorable items and phrases that comedians and columnists can use to create funny bits. This August two new stories have been produced with this aim in mind. The beer summit and the Cash for Clunkers Program will always come to mind when we remember 2009. The 2059 high school reunions will make references to these two events.

Britain has a system whereby union leaders gather at the Prime Minister's office for beer and sandwiches. Perhaps this is the American equivalent. Obama, an Anglophile, modified the time worn custom and changed the sandwiches to honor peanuts, a product of the American South. The Cash for Clunkers program has been wildly popular, but unfortunately, underfunded.

There is the problem of how to keep the Obama White House from being dull. The Clintons always had their bickering and his girlfriends. The Bushes had their fun loving daughters to bring levity to their administrations. For Obama, there will be the occasional media event with catchy names.

Editor's note: The title of this blog is stolen from the Slate Political Gabfest.