Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Monday, September 29, 2008


Like Bobo and the Mustache of Self Regard, I occasionally have an imaginary conversation with a fictitious cab driver in order to pull a column out of my ass.

Bernie was one of that rare breed of taxi operators whose first language is English. He had 25 pounds of extra belly sitting in his lap and peeking out between the buttons of his Hawaiian shirt. Chewing on an unlit cigar, speaking in his unmistakable Dorchester (Dawchesteh) accent, he went off.

"Those politicians get all their money from the bankers and stockbrokers and rich people and like that, and that's who they're gonna take care of. What do I care if some guy who already made millions is gonna lose half of it? If I'm losing my job or my house they aren't gonna bail me out. Tough shit, pal, that's capitalism, am I right? But they've just got to grab more of my money to help out some snot noses in 3-piece suits.

"Now they're saying if they don't do it, there's gonna be a recession. Tell me about it. My business is already off twenty five percent and the fares barely pay for the gas anyway. How about giving me a bailout?

"Y'know, I was starting to feel okay about that colored fella after all, but now I'm not so sure. It seems like it's George Bush and the Democrats who behind this thing. I hear the Republicans are mostly against it. McCain's half wacko but he hasn't said he's all for it and if he really tries to stop it . . . "

In case you think I'm way out there on this, what David Sirota says. Which is what I'm saying. The Democratic party is following George W. Bush over a cliff. Again. The second time, the third time, and the fourth time -- it's still tragedy, not farce.

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