August 6, 2007

Nickel and Dimed

I caught a portion of this on my TiVo of Bill Moyer's Journal from August 4th. It features Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, a really great book. This is a clip from the movie, The American Ruling Class.


texex said...

Bonehead play of the squawkus caucuses: Scheduling the Minden mockus at 8pm on a Thursday night - right in the middle of our regular monthly meeting which never has enough time even for committees to give over three minutes for reports.

There's more than meets the eye on this as things in the Douglas County CC are starting to smell like rotten fish. Again!!

cls said...

Dude, chill. They are working with the hand that was played them by the NSDP. Would you rather NOT learn more about the caucus? You keep asking. Here's your opportunity. You'll have state party people right in front of you. Sheesh!

texex said...

I would rather have it at a more convenient time to attract all Democratic voters in Douglas County. 8pm sucks and few are going to leave their homes to come out.

I would rather have it not interrupting our regular sheduled meeting that the NDSP should be aware of and respect.

I would rather have had it midday as other counties have had the courtesy of having.

I would have rather have been given the courtesy of at least some advance notice instead of reading about it in the paper 3 days before it happened.

I would rather have the tail not wagging the dog because a lot of people are going to get up and walk out when the regular meeting is over.

If the NSDP can't understand these things of common courtey and planning to take into consideration of all Democratic voters, this thingy is going to be the big flop I predict it will be.

btw, I'm always chilled. You should see me when I really get disturbed.

cls said...

I'm not sure how the state party could have been aware that the Douglas Dems just recently changed the day of their meetings to the second Thursday. Also, there will be other opportunities for Douglas Democrats to come out for these mockuses. This hasn't been the first, and it won't be the last. In addition, we shouldn't be counting solely on a few state staffers from Vegas to be educating OUR voters. Don't you think that's something we (you) could be doing? Rather than running the state party and the Douglas County party down, why don't you put yourself in service and start organizing some midday mockuses? Learn the ropes and lead some yourself? Otherwise, all I can see here is that you are looking for problems instead of being part of the solution.

texex said...

Uhh..geee...The DCDCC does have telephones, you know.

But please don't let me spoil the fun telling you the squawkus caucus thingy is a huge, huge yawner for mainstream Democrats. You'd think the abysmal turnouts might be a clue but some people just don't get it. Ever.

As for doing one of things myself I'd rather spend the time doing something constructive like cleaning lint our of my belly button.

And save the old bullshit about how you and trigg are such great Democrats because you run around all the time with one foot nailed to the floor. I've voted a straight Democratic ticket more years than you've been off diapers.

And yeah, I look at problems like wtf is the Democratic Party in Nevada doing about the '08 election other than teaching pizza selection.

Of course you're going to strike this post since you can't or won't face the reality that the squawkus caucus is already a humongous flop. But I expect hen house droppings in a hen house blog.

cls said...

Hey texex, I'm not going to strike your comments. But you have answered my question. Where did I say I was a great Democrat? I didn't and I'm not. But I'm willing to get out there and work. I've been voting Democrat since I been able to, since about 1974, so whatever. So you vote a straight Democratic ticket. Big deal. What do you do to bring your neighbor along with you? What do you do to talk up Democrats? From what I can see on the blogs, all you can do is complain about people who are working their hearts out.

Just asking, have you even been to a mockus? We are just using the same Iowa model in teaching our voters about a process not a lot of our Nevada voters are familiar with. Yes, this is a first for us, and it's not always easy, but you know what? It's pretty cool watching the lights come on as this process is demonstrated. You make think it's "cheesy" that we caucus for our favorite pizza, but it works and people walk out of the mockuses educated on the process. And it's pretty cool that more and more people are getting interested in the process and want to participate. But unless you are really willing to see that, I'm done talking to you.

I just don't understand why you have to be so negative about everything. Really, I don't.

texex said...

Well for one thing I write more letters to the editor than the rest of the DCDCC combined and I've been doing this for a long, long time and have MANY letters to my credit - three in the last month. Our illustrious PR chair doesn't write even one a year! How many letters a year do you write to reach a broad audience? Between 0 and 1 I'll venture to guess.

And may wife and I talk Democratic politics to everyone I meet on a one-on-one basis. And I know we're responsible for just a few new Democrats in Douglas County.

We donated a $350 ring to the DCDCC BBQ and brought in other gift baskets from people we know. The At-Large chair brought an absolutely ridiculous poster signed by Chriss Dodd and Howard Dean that did not get even one raflle ticket bid - not one bid! The PR chair gave NOTHING and bought no raffle tickets preferring to stand on the side with the At-Large sister and bitch bitch bitch while my wife ran the orgainization and presentation of the prizes. Under her committee's hard work the DCDCC tripled its gain from last year. Yes, TRIPLED! No, I did not do much because I had my left eye removed a week before the BBQ. Ok - that's not really much of an excuse.

And at the last DCDCC I was highly instrumental in keeping the Chair from ramming Bud Orange down our throat for a position the Exec Comm had already required a nominating committee. And you can bet I'm going to be in there hot and heavy to reform this circus.

And yes, I blog my head off trying to keep people interested in Dem politics. It reaches a much broader audience than you did in Elko and it reaches them on a daily basis.

And yes, I am extemely critical because so much needs to be done and isn't being even attempted. For example why isn't the NSDP getting a candidate for CD2 out now?? Does the NSDP have a platform yet?? Does the NSDP have anything going yet for the '08 election except the cumbersome, ineffective, misunderstood, unattractive, and expensive squawkus caucuses?? It's part anger and part frustration but I don't settle for low standards, low performance from anyone, and lost elections in the making.

Yes, I fully realize people like you are working their hearts out; but are they being effective with their energies and money. I'm guessing that so far the squawkus caucuses have reached about 00.1% of Nevada's registered voters despite tremendous efforts and expense. I don't consider this effective even it increases 10 fold.

Somehwere, sometime, somebody's got to step back and assees if all this hullabaloo is going to get people out in the middle of winter to go argue with others about who should be pres. I'm saying we need to look at alternatives before we have to assess how the NSDP again blew another election as they did in '06.

If you can't step back and look at things objectively and critically then you're part of the problem - not part of the solution despite your very hard work and many selfless contributions.

cls said...

One last comment and then I'm gonna let this go. I am aware of the issues and such. And believe it or not, I do my part to try to make things better. I try to get answers, I make suggestions for change. Sometimes they are accepted, sometimes not. That's all part of working within a group. Anyway, we are all on the same side, and we do all want the same outcome. We all have different ways of going about the task at hand, personalities can clash, ideas for how best to do something conflict, but again, when I get irritated at how slow it seems sometimes to turn this ocean liner around, I just remember who the real enemy is, and it isn't Democrats. Are some more effective than others? Sure.

Anyway, I hope you are on the road to recovery after your surgery and all went smoothly for you.

texex said...

Please understand I do not in any way mean to demean or take away from your selfless contributions and many hard days of work in more ways than I can ever imagine. I personally consider you one of the hardest working Democrats I have ever met. But I hope we can contine this discussion to present alternative views to the caucus process meant in a totally constructive but nonetheless not personally critical manner.

What I am trying to question, which requires a negative approach, is how effective all this is all going to be in the end. It seems we have put all our energy and resource eggs in one untried basket. In doing so it appears we have cast aside more proven methods of recruiting people to come to the polls which should be our overreaching goal.

What I am seeing in my mind's eye is mainstream voters walking into a total circus in the Jan 19 event and getting beseiged by people pulling this way and that, arguing and creating an atmosphere that is more destined to turn people off than get them back again.

Let's face it, it's hard enough to get people into the quiet, personal, confidential confines of a voting booth let alone expect them to feel comfortable in a chaotic environment arguing why Edwards is better than Clinton.

We have to look at this in the perspective, and from the viewpoint of mainstream voters, - not from the viewpoint of us political junkies. Voting is a very personal and private thing - not something enhanced by commotion and hubbub. People generally stand quietly in line waiting their opportunity to exercise one of the most precious rights they have, contemplative about their decision.

I can't imagine what they are going to think when their voting privacy is stripped away except to be totally turned off by the Democratic party and the voting process in general.

Before you asked what I did to encourage neighbors and friends to vote so I'll give you the most constant answer I get: Butt out - this is a private matter.

People have to have their voting rights respected in the voting process itself and I just don't view this caucus process as anything but a negative experience to mainstream voters.

The '08 election is too close and far too important to be experimenting with a process which could so easily backfire from overexuberance.

cls said...

Nevada is a caucus state. We do not hold primary elections to determine party nominees for US President. This isn't something dreamed up by the Nevada Democratic Party. It is state law. The state party is working within the framework of a system that has always been in place and used for determining presidential convention delegates (NRS 293). That we are trying to take that to a higher level is all that is going on here, and we need political junkies like you and me to help get the word out. The caucus isn't complicated, and I personally would like to see the Dems have a good turn out at our caucus meetings. Holding mockuses is part of getting the word out. And the other part, one that that get stressed at all these events, is US - educating ourselves and in turn getting out and talking to our friends and neighbors. Will you be at the mockus tonight in Douglas? Have you attended one yet?

texex said...

I'll be at the meeting but not stay for the caucus. I've studied the system and read a lot so it is not unfamiliar to me; just alien.

I think, though, you're referring to NRS 298 which is a huge can of worms all unto itself. 298.030 states "The presidential electors so chosen shall convene at the seat of government on the 1st Monday after the 2nd Wednesday in December next after their election, at 2 p.m., or on such other date as the Congress of the United States may by law hereafter provide."

So are we going to have a Jan caucus and a Dec convention to finish up?

Sorry if I'm trying your patience.

But much appreciative of the conversation for sure!~!

cls said...

No, I mean 293 which deals with the functioning and governance of county central committees, precinct meetings (caucuses), and county conventions, etc.

Each party's Electors are chosen at their parties' state conventions (at least that's how it was done in 2004 here). Ours is in April of 2006 (Reno). Those Electors who are of the winning presidential candidate THEN meet in December following the General Election to cast their vote for President. Remember, the presidential election is the biggest caucus of them all, as we don't directly elect our president but vote really for the opportunity for our electors to vote for our candidate, and we hope that they will (though they are under no obligation to do so).

At least in case of our caucuses it isn't a winner-take-all system like the Electoral College.

I thought I was familiar with things as well until I attended a mockus myself. I highly encourage you to attend one when you are able. It's really fun and interesting, and will give you a much better understanding of what we all will be doing in January.

cls said...

ON EDIT - Our convention will be APRIL 2008 (not 2006)...I thought I proofed it well.

texex said...

OK - now I'm starting to see.

But I don't want to go to Denver.

Or Reno.

Or Vegas.

I really don't even want to go to Minden!~! (just kiddin') Thanks , tough for your time.