03 January 2007

Books, John McCain's Plan, and Friedman Units

I stumbled upon these books/reading statistics earlier this year. Some of the information is frightening! The data is from the website of a publishing company. Go to that link for specific references to each piece of information--everything is well cited. Granted, some of the details are dated--but I think you will get the point. This is why we need a nice "highbrow" book, literature, and political Blog....right?

--One-third of high school graduates never read another book the rest of their lives
--58% of the U.S. adult population never reads another book after high school (includes those who didn't graduate)
--42% of college graduates never read another book (can this really be true?)
--80% of U.S. families did not buy or read a book during the past year
--70% of all U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the past five years
--Most readers do not get past page 18 in a book they have purchased
--at least 20% of adults in the U.S. read at or below a fifth-grade level
--customers 55 years and older account for more than one-third of all books purchased
--each day, Americans spend 4 hours watching TV, 3 hours listening to the radio, and 14 minutes reading

John Edwards
Good work by Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards for referring to the proposed "troop surge" in Iraq as the McCain Plan. Isn't it about time that we Democrats started to employ those George Lakoff "framing" strategies? Edwards used the McCain Plan phrase several times on the Sunday morning talk-show circuit.
I would like this silly but dangerous troop surge scheme to be called the McCain-Lieberman Plan--but I am perfectly happy for just McCain and Bush to be saddled with it.

I will post more on the Democratic presidential race very soon. But I would say that the two anointed heavyweights, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, should not overlook John Edwards.

Thomas Friedman
Nice touch by Friedman in the NYT today in his editorial "A Hanging and a Funeral." Friedman compares the ridiculous "troop surge" idea to a married couple who are having problems. He writes, "Then one day, they say to each other, 'Hey, let's have a baby that will bring us together.' It never works. If the underlying union is not there, adding a baby won't help."

This whole "baby" analogy is a little odd, but strangely effective nonetheless. And coming from someone who has been an Iraq War supporter for much of the past few years, it's promising to hear.

If you want to understand Thomas Friedman's political ideas, take a look at the explanation of
a new time unit that has been invented by some liberal bloggers--really makes fun of Friedman's penchant to hope for the best in six-months increments. I am hoping he doesn't take the same tact on this troop surge. A pregnancy would be......1.25 Friedman Units, I think.


Liberal31 said...

I agree with Buddy. Friedman is basically a Washington insider who just wants to appear on talk shows. He is a windy and egotistical--and is now trying to get off the hook for supporting this illegal War.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely agree with your comments about Friedman. I still can't believe how much press (TV and other media) this guy gets for his incredibly superficial commentary!

Unreconstructed liberal said...

Edwards may very well be the best candidate for a liberal victory. It seems to me that much of that hangs on how he does in Iowa.