The trouble with being poor

"The trouble with being poor is that it takes up all your time." - Willem de Kooning

Clearly, words spoken by someone who has been there unable to get ahead and in need of a hand up. Sadly, too many people who live here in NC's 8th district know this all too well. In fact, it is a bellwether District – a harbinger the rest of the nation should heed.

In so many ways, my District is like a microcosm of America. We have suburbs, farmland, small towns, a military base, as well as the big banking hub, Charlotte. We also have the highest unemployment in North Carolina with one in ten looking for work in some of our more rural areas, and an Associated Press ranking as one of the most economically devastated Districts in the nation. Our schools face challenges just like anywhere else, with the dropout rate in big cities now at a 6-year high, and the number of homeless children in our school system doubling this year even in our suburbs.


If you missed the candidates for governor debating last night, you can get a pretty good read on the highlights from Laura Leslie. She has a way of cutting to the chase, which I find more and more appealing as the campaigns slog on. Health care was front and center in this UNC-TV debate.

Health care is one of Perdue's core issues and she did a good job on the details. Richard did as well. On the Republican side, the only person with a lick of sense is Bob Orr, who undoubtedly ran afoul of the Puppetmaster with his comments, summarized below by Radiogirl.

Who the heck is Richard Moore?

When it comes to the Governor's race, I can tell I'm not deeply invested when I read what others are writing. I wrote about Richard Moore's ad concerning Beverly Perdue and the Neuse River Bridge, then when Anglico responded that it was untrue and underhanded, I was left thinking "Yeah, but, it was still an effective ad." Then, conversely, when I read that Beverly Perdue is for the moratorium and Betsy comes back that years and years ago she was strongly pro-death penalty, I am left thinking, "Yeah, but that was in the last millennium." So, while I am leaning towards one candidate, it is just that. Leaning. So, in the same vein that I gave props to Moore for an effective negative ad, I must now take issue with his campaign.

Free-market extremists bribing students?

The Pope Center for Whatever is soliciting students to rate classes so they can weed out mean old faculty members who have political opinions.

If you're a student, or even if you play one on television, please take the survey and report your wild enthusiasm for the mos liberal course you can think of. If the Puppetshow is going to give away $250, let's at least make sure that someone who can actually think wins the prize.

Please forward this to any students you know at Chapel Hill.

On Bond Insurance, Or, The Ongoing Train Wreck You Barely Knew Existed

It’s time that you and I had a little talk, my dear reader, about a subject your Mom and Dad never really explained that well. It’s gotten to a point where it is affecting your daily life, and you probably don’t even know why.

They didn’t cover it well in school, either, and if they had it likely would have just been one of those things you make jokes about later in the locker room.

That’s right…it’s time we discussed bond insurance, collateralized debt obligations…and how all of this is hitting you right in the wallet—and some comments about what’s coming next.

In other words, complicated economics, simply explained.

Puppetshow news

A couple of items of interest today.

First off, Chris Fitzsimon at NC Policy Watch smacks Rick Martinez (News Puppet at WPTF-AM) upside his wooden head with a great column on public education.

The market fundamentalists are relentless in their crusade to privatize public schools and don’t mind ignoring facts and social science if they have to. They are even willing to temporarily put aside their normal demonization of the poor.


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