Nickel and dimed

Bare trees, gray light; oh yeah, it was a cold night.

We’ve a cold front moving in, dagnabit. The Lord must be punishing us for voting Democrat.

Well, never fear. The Republicans will keep us warm by rooting through our pockets, looking for spare change to lay on real-estate developers, oil and gas operators, multinational corporations, banks making payments to offshore subsidiaries, and religious schools.

You’ll recognize the headline as having been lifted from Barbara Ehrenreich’s 2001 book of the same name, which took an extended look at the millions of Americans slaving away full time for poverty-level dough.

Jessica Bruder has done something similar with “Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century.” She follows a cadre of rootless neo-Joads, 21st-century tinkers and gypsies crisscrossing the country in their “wheel estates” — beater RVs, vans and cars that also serve as their homes — in search of grueling, low-paying jobs.

It’s a fascinating read about Americans who are literally struggling to make a go of it. “A man who couldn’t make things go right could at least go,” as William Least Heat-Moon wrote in “Blue Highways: A Journey Into America.”

And another quote about going: “There but for the grace of God go I.” Our “leaders” would be well served by a little more meditation on interdependence and a little less study of the Book of I’ve Got Mine, Get Yours.

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16 Responses to “Nickel and dimed”

  1. ryansubike Says:

    I can’t talk about that bill it will just make me see red but I liked your reference to Blue highways that book inspired a 6 month odyssey across the US in a 77 VW camper van for me in my late 20s. One of the best things I have ever done.

  2. larryatcycleitalia Says:

    There was some talk on the Sunday AM political shows about whether the rubes will figure out they’ve been conned by the Greasy Orange Turd once they fail to get big tax breaks or well-paying jobs and realize their healthcare has been snatched away.
    I’m betting Teflon-Don (if he’s not been run out of DeeCee on a rail by then) will continue to convince them prosperity’s just around the corner…but not until we get rid of all the non-white immigrants, the welfare payments to all those “other people”, build the wall and shove Social Security contributions into Wall Street’s greedy mitts.
    I think a mighty swing back of the political pendulum’s gonna happen next year, but it’ll be too late to undo a lot of the damage being done now.

  3. Pat O'Brien Says:

    The dumpster is already losing it on twitter. He admitted this morning on twitter that he knew Flynn lied to the FBI before Mueller even started work. Trump is handing an obstruction of justice case right to the Boy Scout. And the Boy Scout don’t play. When donny jr and kushner flip, the con is up. This is my hope. I have a bet with my smarter half, and I should know better, that the dumpster would not last a year. I wish the asshole would hurry up and quit. But I would settle for articles of impeachment this month.

    • larryatcycleitalia Says:

      Does Flynn think he’ll get a pardon from Donnie TwoScoops?
      I’ll be surprised if Slumlord Millionaire and Fredo (or is he Sonny?) flip, they gotta figure Drumpf will make sure they never see a day in the can even if the pardon’s handed out right before he climbs into the ‘copter on the White House lawn and gives a Nixon-like salute…but with Drumpf it’ll probably be a middle finger to us all! Wouldn’t that be a nice holiday gift? Would Cotton Hill (aka Pence) get to choose a new Veep?

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        If the dumpster quits, or is impeached, then Pence becomes President. Pence then nominates a new VP who must be confirmed by a majority vote of both houses of Congress. Scary shit.

        One of trumpet’s personal lawyers is now trying to say he wrote the tweet about Flynn lying to the FBI. Falling on his sword, I think.

      • Dale Says:

        Pence would not be a panacea to this madness. He is at least consistent in his ideology, and that is not good.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        I’m not at all convinced that Orange Julius Seize-her can be impeached/convicted or Amendment 25’d out the door. Not until he’s no longer useful to the career pols, and maybe not even then.

        I could see him being a one-termer. But then what? Pence and whomever against two Democrats to be named later? Jesus wept. A shallow pond with few fish.

        • David Rees Says:

          Couldn’t agree more Patrick. Wishful thinking is clouding our judgement of what is really happening and what is going to happen. Impeachment/25th is simply not in the cards – no way. There’s so much shit piling up, every day, that it’s going to take Mueller’s team years to sort through it all and the number of Rethugs it would take, in both the House and Senate, to flip on the guy is simply impossible to even imagine. The Rs have been DREAMING of this day for many, many years and they will put up with someone as dangerous and stupid as Trump to get what they need. There’s a ton more damage they can do yet and they need him, or someone just like him, to make sure we – well, not all of us though – suffer as much as possible.

          Honestly, I think we have this idiot for the next three years, at least. As Larry said, it’s going to take a very long time for the people who voted for the moron to realize they’ve been had.

          I hate to sound like the glass half empty guy, but I truly believe that we are well and soundly fucked for the next seven years. Who the Donks going to put up in 2020 to turn this tide?

          Someone please, PLEASE tell me I’m 100% wrong!

          • Pat O’Brien Says:

            OK David, I’ll bite and say you are wrong. I think, and hope, that the voters are not as stupid Dotard Donnie and Congress think they are. Especially the 40% that didn’t show up last year. They will flip congress next year, and Donnie will be history if he isn’t already gone.

          • Patrick O'Grady Says:

            Being a horrible cynic and natch’al-born pessimist, I’m gonna have to go with David’s take here.

            People are prone to wishful thinking, me included, and Democrats are less likely than Republicans to turn out religiously (pardon the expression) to pull the levers. They get upset because their candidate lost the primary and stay home, or vote for an independent.

            Republicans turn out and vote, regardless of the weather on Election Day, and if memory serves, they rarely cross party lines.

            Maybe this is the last gasp of the Angry Old White People’s Party, a final and spectacular thrashing about before the lights go out. But I’m not sure the young folks are gonna help us out. Shit, I’m surprised they’re not hunting us for meat.

  4. Libby Says:

    I subscribed to The Washington Post this fall. To try to keep up. I also started up on Instagram. Feline stories seem very important to my sanity. Periodically, I check in with an impressive household of magnificent German Vans – the Field Marshall’s European based “relations”.

  5. larryatcycleitalia Says:

    “Maybe this is the last gasp of the Angry Old White People’s Party, a final and spectacular thrashing about before the lights go out.” is what I hoped for last year, but they got enough of the APWPP out in key places to put Drumpf in the White House. Now we’re screwed, with Cotton Hill and Eddie Munster next-in-line to the throne behind the Greasy Orange Turd.
    Until 2020 the best we can hope for is for the opposition to take back the House and Senate and gum up the Rethug works – and how sad is that? They can act just like the Rethugs did when the previous guy lived at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. None of this s–t’s gonna Make America Great Again.
    Who will be up to challenge in 2020? Too soon for Gavin Newsom. What about Cory Booker? The Dems seem way short on possibilities, so Drumpf might have an easy ride unless he does a Nixon?

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      The dumpster is so arrogant, entitled, ignorant, and pompous that doing a Nixon (cover up leading to an obstruction of justice charge) is exactly what I think he will do. He will resign and sneak away to troll from the sidelines.

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