Saturday, July 25, 2009
It's been a rough, uneven couple of days. And there's no need to stay in the apartment and figure it all out while clear skies and sandy beaches await outside. Normal, sucky blogging to return next week.
Post-script: Believe it or not, this is the 1,000th post on this site. And it only took me a year and a couple weeks to do it. (me, patting myself on the back). Continue Reading »
Friday, July 24, 2009
Sure, the raise is the right thing to do. But it's not nearly enough. To emphasize that point, how about a slice of life from April Greer of Dallas?
Poor workers may have especially good cause to say TGIF today.
That's because amid the worst recession in decades, about 500,000 of Texas' lowest paid employees will get a raise. The federal minimum wage increases to $7.25 per hour from $6.55.
While those workers include thousands of financially secure students still living with Mom and Dad, they also include thousands of the most impoverished and vulnerable members of the workforce – those who sink further into debt each month as ordinary expenses outweigh their meager paychecks.
And thus the cycle continues.
She finally caught a break two months ago, when a nonprofit agency helped her land a part-time, minimum-wage job at T.J. Maxx, taking home about $800 a month.
Two weeks ago, after she started having dizzy spells at work, she collapsed and spent two days in the hospital.
Doctors aren't sure what's wrong with her. Maybe diabetes. Maybe her heart. Maybe just stress.
Greer knows she can't afford $434 a month for the medication her doctor says she needs. She can barely afford the $100 a week she's been paying her in-laws to cover their ballooning utility bills.
She wants to find a second job, but doesn't know if her body can take it.
"Since I'm the only one right now for my kids, I have to take care of my health," she said.
Her children worry. Her oldest, who is 17, wants to drop out of high school to help pay the bills.
I suppose here is where we bring it all back to health care. I know, everyone finds it more interesting to analyze Obama's offhanded remarks about arrest of Skip Gates, but all that boring stuff he talked about before was the whole point of that news conference.
The poorest among us, people like Ms. Greer, are also generally the most vulnerable among us. And there's nothing healthy about straddling and slipping below the poverty line. As dday at Hullabaloo noted, "In this most cruel of American landscapes, the poor and the sick often are the same person."
If forced to predict the future, I see a very bleak outcome for Ms. Greer and her young family. Maybe she'll get so sick that she can't work at her job anymore. Maybe she'll be crushed by the wave of debt sure to follow. Maybe her 17-year-old son will follow through on his plans to drop out of school so he can accept the same kind of low-wage job that his mother has.
And maybe a lot of this could have been prevented if Ms. Greer had access to health care that didn't send her spiraling into financial oblivion.
But on the bright side, no socialized Obamacare for at least another couple months. Continue Reading »
Thursday, July 23, 2009
I think Hoda Kotb actually has a "bitch, please" moment during this segment.
And here's more from Ms. Steffans' latest literary effort, the "Vixen Manual." Continue Reading »
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|The Born Identity|
The scam is tricky. But I wouldn't put anything past a fur-ner and a colored lover.
Post-script: I always find myself trying to quit Chris Matthews. But then he goes out and does something like this. No one is better at letting their guests hang themselves with their own rope.Continue Reading »
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
“Andrews incident is bad, but to add perspective: there are 100s of women sports journalists who have never had this happen to them.” She continued, “women sports journalists need to be smart and not play to the frat house. There are tons of nuts out there.”
Monday, July 20, 2009
But finally, Your Random-Ass Monday Roundup has been posted over at PostBourgie.
This week, we reflect briefly on the career of good 'ol Houston kid Walter Cronkite; another fatal police shooting of an unarmed black man in New York; Uncle Pat; President Obama's, ahem, "no excuses" address to the NAACP; how overconfidence might have doomed Wall Street; and how a victory by the NFL in the U.S. Supreme Court could forever alter the history of American sports.
You know. Just lightweight stuff. And, as a bonus, no mention of Sarah Palin or Michael Jackson.
Now enjoy some Shaq:
Sorry. I was lying about Michael Jackson. Continue Reading »
If only there was a workout plan that was effective and time-efficient:
The Random Ass Monday Roundup - Free Period, for our purposes - will be posted a little later than usual today. Stay tuned. Continue Reading »
Sunday, July 19, 2009
As an owner of satellite radio for the past four years, I have learned not to get too attached to particular channels, shows or hosts. Things change quickly and often without explanation.
I’m thinking about the demise of Wax 42, a channel dedicated to airing relatively obscure hip-hop remixes and freestyles. As you might imagine, it was a sanctuary of sorts from rappers named “Yung” and songs elaborately produced by Pharrell or Timbaland.
Well, against my better judgment, I have once again found myself jonesing for a reliable “progressive hip hop” outlet: the weekly Subsoniq show on the old school-devoted Backspin channel. Hosted by Doc and KB, the show comes on every Tuesday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. eastern.
On Subsoniq, the hosts almost never resort to cheap radio gimmicks or regular spins from “106 and Park”-type fare. A regular listener might hear artists ranging from Outkast to Blackalicious to Big L, reasoned critiques of a new Kanye release or a thoughtful debate about Inspectah Deck’s best verse – “Triumph” or “Above the Clouds” with Gangstarr (I'm thinking Triumph).
If you love hip hop and the people who love the music, you won’t be disappointed.
Post-script: I actually wrote this endorsement a couple weeks ago. Now, I should also note that you can go to their Web site or join their Facebook fan page and download the show or find play lists from older shows.
Post post-script: Because this video was so nice and I mentioned it earlier, I had no choice but to post it. Inspectah's verse was heated but I was always partial to Raekwon on this one ("Aiyo, that's amazing/gun in your mouth talk/verbal foul hawk/connect thoughts to make my manchild walk"). Dopeness.
Continue Reading »
Anyway, all that "Illmatic" led me to this classic remix from Mariah and Joe featuring God's Son. It's probably my favorite song from Mariah:
I'll come with something a little harder - or sillier - next go-round. But sometimes we all need to mellow out. Continue Reading »