Monday, January 26, 2009


Two more for the pile.

Change We Can Believe In: The Obama Presidential Campaign.
It's a policy thumbnail sketch for the future from the campaign. There are a lot of promises... a lot of promises... and seven key speeches. The policy stuff tends to repeat. It was supposed to, in order to hammer the points. Some of my favorites included an Earned Income Tax Credit for some folks who pay child support and rebates for everyone! The tax credit I like because it rewards people who do pay support. It encourages following the rules and would probably reduce, to some degree, the number of people who try to sneak off.

The problem with the book, even before the economy went as far south as it has, is I don't think he can't pay for this stuff, not with streamlining government, not with closing a few loopholes... Not going to happen. The call to cut the bureaucracy has been issued many, many times. Mostly, they just move desks around. Fire people from one department and hire people (usually more people) for another. It offers a lot of good ideas of where to spend money, but not a lot on how to come up with it. He doesn't mention which programs are going to have to get throttled in order to spend the money he wants. So... eh... not so much on the policy stuff.

The speeches were pretty much great. His speech on race is a keeper.

As A Friend: Forrest Gander.
This is kind of a Faulkneresque character study from multiple points of view about some shitball named Les. Les is a full-time land surveyor and part-time poet, who screws around a lot, writes not particularly memorable poetry and drinks too much. He's quirky in an annoying, childish way, but is still somehow beloved by his "lesbian" mistress (who buys him a cock ring), his thick-skulled wife and his annoying homosexual-leaning drinking buddy. Some of the language is pretty, but the characters are mostly frail and unlikeable. Everyone is a thinly sketched co-dependent to the gigantic overdrawn asshole that is our buddy Les, who exits about a hundred pages too late.

It's a jerk off novel for the shallow.

1 comment:

unsilentmajority said...

He won't be able to pay for it all, so he's going to have to moderate a bit.