Late Night: One Meatball

"You gets no bread with your one meatball."

"One Meatball" has been around at least since the depression. Bing Crosby, the Andrews Sisters and Josh White sang it during WWII. I really like the versions by Baby Jane Dexter and Ann Rabson, but I couldn't find videos of them. Here's the lyrics:

A little man walked up and down,
He found an eating place in town,
He read the menu through and through,
To see what fifteen cents could do.
One meatball, one meatball,
He could afford but one meatball.

He told the waiter near at hand,
The simple dinner he had planned.
The guests were startled, one and all,
To hear that waiter loudly call, "What?
"One meatball, one meatball?
Hey, this here gent wants one meatball."

The little man felt ill at ease,
Said, "Some bread, sir, if you please."
The waiter hollered down the hall,
"You gets no bread with one meatball.
"One meatball, one meatball,

Well, you gets no bread with one meatball."

The little man felt very bad,
One meatball was all he had,
And in his dreams he hears that call,
"You gets no bread with one meatball.
"One meatball, one meatball,

Well, you gets no bread with one meatball."

The economic picture gets bleaker by the day. The auto industry looks like its going to be next to face a meltdown. 401k's are tanking along with stocks and mutual funds. Retirement will be illusory for many as they have to tap into their 401k's early to pay their bills and credit card debt now that home equity loans are drying up.

It's also another reason never to privatize social security. If it were subject to being invested, like 401k's, it would be gone.

Unlike many, I don't think the election will be close. I think it will be a blow-out for Obama. But look what he's going to inherit.

We spent hundreds of of billions on an unneccessary, ill-advised war in Iraq and there's no money left for us when we need it. What a mess.

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    Inheritance. (5.00 / 0) (#7)
    by Brillo on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 12:23:04 AM EST
    For me, the idea we're this close to electing a Black man president in this country is really just now starting to sink in this week.  And it's pretty much canceling out what would otherwise be overwhelming worries about the economy.  

    In that spirit, let me link me link ya a video making the rounds on a number of Black blogs:

    Consider it a hopeful antidote for your video and maybe even the economic worries.  Not to mention a reminder to get out there and make it really happen.  ;)

    Powerful video (none / 0) (#46)
    by Dr Molly on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 07:32:17 AM EST
    Made me cry.

    Like you, the fact that the first black president is soon to be an actual reality has only recently started to feel real to me. I've been very emotional about it in the last week or two. I can't imagine how AAs are feeling.


    The American auto industries problems (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by tigercourse on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 12:26:41 AM EST
    are easier to understand then the financial/banking problems. They make an inferior product to their competition. If you want a good value care, you buy Asian. If you want a good expensive car, you buy European. For years and years Ford, GM and Chrysler have had warning after warning that they need to make a better product. But they didn't listen. Their cars still aren't as reliable or desirable as foreign models, and they've been too slow in adjusting to obviously changing market condidtions.
    All 3 companies would be in very different conditions right now if their leadership had done their jobs.

    I'm a lifelong (none / 0) (#26)
    by cal1942 on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 01:21:29 AM EST
    Michigander who buys American makes, made in the USA, preferably in Michigan.

    I'm especially sensitive to this situation.

    The blunt truth is that American car makers fought against change at a time when they dominated the industry.

    Had they embraced the changes instead of fighting them we wouldn't be in this sorry situation.

    They fought the changes because of one great underlying state. Greed. Plain simple greed.  After all investing in R&D would hurt quarterly profits and we can't have that. That greed led to destroyed brain cells.  

    Just listen to Lutz' opinion of global warming.


    Driving a Saturn now. (none / 0) (#42)
    by Fabian on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 05:59:31 AM EST
    It's a "nothing-much" car.  But it gets great MPG for being only a four cylinder, non-hybrid - 40+ mpg highway, 30+ mpg erranding around town.  Fiberglass panels so I don't have to worry about rust eating the body.  

    A good little mostly American made car (some components manufactured outside the US).

    The problem?  You can't buy it anymore!  They stopped using fiberglass a couple years ago.  My mother's two year old Saturn sedan, the model that replaced my SL2, does not get the same gas mileage.  Her best is still at least 5 mpg below my car's average.  (She's no lead foot.)

    I was appalled when I learned that!  My husband's SL2 is dying and he wants a high mpg non-hybrid car - but he may have not be able to buy a US made vehicle! Here's one top ten list.



    I drive a Ford Focus (none / 0) (#45)
    by rhbrandon on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 07:28:27 AM EST
    2001 Focus wagon, that is. Bought it in October 2000. Still gets MPG within manufacturer's rating after 97,000 miles, but Ford quit building it last year. Was the most fuel-efficient station wagon in class, and it has more cargo room than anything left in class.  

    But Ford quit building it, presumably because the boys in accounting didn't think it was profitable.  Heck, Ford has never spent much advertising on the Focus, let along any of the variants within the model. Oh, and the "quality is job 1" b.s. never made it to the Focus factory. Ford's strength has always been the powertrain; quality on the remaining components of its vehicles tend to get neglected.

    Still, I'm keeping it as long as I can. I sure don't need a car note right now.

    What Ford needs to do is develop the hybrid version of this car as a platform for moving into the future, but the company won't do it. That and build a car that I don't have to change out the fuel pump on every three years. Or change out the motors on three of the four power windows (oh, to have hand-cranked windows again!).

    Now the company stock is two bucks a share. They're in the seventh circle of auto manufacturing, and they have no one to blame but themselves.


    "If Obama is elected (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Cream City on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 12:29:09 AM EST
    the far right wing will constantly have an irrational fear that the people in power are their enemies, and are out to get them."

    This is hardly new.  Replace Obama with Clinton, Bill.  You didn't think it would come from the far right, no matter what?  Even if we elected another good ol' white Southern boy?  Frankly, they're not happy with McCain, either, of course.  So you can set your clocks by it; it begins January 20.  After practice runs beginning November 5.

    You must not have gotten to see (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Cream City on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 12:35:54 AM EST
    the White House from the sidewalk, where we no longer can walk -- before the threats against Clinton put it behind stanchions and guardhouses and such.  You really don't recall those threats?

    And I was living in a Republican area then, where Clinton was seen as a subversive threat from this country but trained in another country -- you don't recall the campaign attacks on him being a Rhodes scholar?  Oh, read up.  You're looking for logic, but it's actually closer to sci fi stuff. :-)


    Not silly at all. Just not new. (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by Cream City on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 01:18:41 AM EST
    So that may give you some reassurance that it's not new to the Secret Service, either.  Nor are the nutty militias, the Posse Comitatus, etc.

    Of course, having seen the assassinations of the '60s at an impressionable age, I also always have a horror of seeing such stuff again -- and urban riots, as I went through one in my town, too.  So I am one here who does not appreciate the "blood in the streets" sort of thing that is tossed around here . . . as guess which group lost the most?

    And the campus killings that are seared into my memory, as I was a college kid marching then, too.  So I'm no fan of police and misuse of our own government militias -- but the Secret Service is a whole other thing.  And historical context helps to keep a perspective that, sadly, so much is not new but ingrained in American history.  


    Also, every action brings a reaction (none / 0) (#27)
    by Cream City on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 01:30:32 AM EST
    so we are in for interesting times that may bring good reactions.  I recently was reading of the horrors of the Springfield Riot of 1908 -- when one of the men lynched had met Abraham Lincoln there.  

    There is much more to AAs to the selection of Springfield as Obama's campaign launch -- not the riot but the reaction that we will celebrate next year -- the centennial of the founding in Springfield, where AA leaders like Ida B. Wells-Barnett of Chicago and W.E.B. DuBois came together there to found the NAACP, the oldest civil rights organization in the nation.  The organization that backed Wells-Barnett's anti-lynching campaign and finally won landmark laws.  The organization that trained Thurgood Marshall to win Brown v. Board of Education, which led to his historic appointment to the Supreme Court.  The organization that led Daisy Bates to lead in Little Rock.  The organization that trained so many others who created organizations of the '40s like CORE with its dream of the March on Washington, and then organizations of the '60s that began other marches that brought MLK to Birmingham, etc.

    I can see downsides for the civil rights movement in Obama's election -- the backlash may be bad -- but there also can be upsides, as we may see.


    To be factual (none / 0) (#32)
    by BrassTacks on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 01:46:59 AM EST
    The barricades went up after 9-11.  They had nothing to do with Bill.  

    Okay, but I well remember (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Cream City on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 01:59:10 AM EST
    that the area was closed off when I went there in the '90s, as it had not been a few years earlier.  And there was a guardhouse stopping us, the street closed off, where there had been traffic before.  So this was done in stages?

    It was 1995, after the Oklahoma City (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Cream City on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 02:05:58 AM EST
    bombing, per the NYT, whitehouse.gov, etc., that the streets were closed, the barriers begun (and extended a year later, and then again and again).  

    It was after 9/11 that tours were stopped, the sources say.  What, no tours of the White House now?  That's awful.  It was a wonderful tour.


    Your Congresscritter's office can arrange a tour (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by andgarden on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 02:10:07 AM EST
    But you've gotta call weeks to months in advance.

    And yeah, Pennsylvania Ave. in front of the White House has been close to cars since the early 90s.


    white house tours (none / 0) (#50)
    by Palli on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 02:31:54 PM EST
    Frankly, I wouldn't have wanted to se the people's house with this administration inside.  It is a descecration...But don't get me started.  The vice president's house is full of very important  contemporary art, thanks to the curatorial eye of Joan Mondale.  I cringe knowing the Cheneys have been living there!

    The morning after Clinton (none / 0) (#48)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 09:32:01 AM EST
    was first elected, I was watching C-Span, and caller after caller after caller was flat-out terrified, some actually weeping, about how the country could possibly have elected such a patently evil and corrupt man who would set out to destroy the country.  These people were genuinely and sincerely frightened.

    IOW, this isn't new, it's standard GOP tactics.  The difference is that this time around, the MSM is so totally in the tank for Obama and so protective of him that they're highlighting every negative word and gasping with horror at the evil tactics.  They didn't give a damn when Clinton was the target. (Or Kerry or Gore, and if either one of them had won, you'd have heard the same kind of panic from the same kind of C-Span callers.)


    One meatball.... (5.00 / 3) (#41)
    by oldpro on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 02:24:02 AM EST
    I'm a latenight shopper, between 11 and 1 am at the allnight Safeway.  Tonight as I finished my rounds, I noticed a down-and-out kinda fella sitting at a table in the deli area with piles of empty saltine packages overflowing the table...and nothing else.

    I surmised that he'd 'feasted' on the free crackers put out to go with the soups.  Not a very good meal and I was resolved to do ... something ... torn between my concern for him and reluctance at getting involved late at night with a strange guy in a fairly deserted store.

    After paying the clerk, I asked for the night manager, gave him $5, and asked him to see that the guy got something solid to eat from the deli...and if he refused it, to just put the money in the breast-cancer jar.

    Guess we'll be running into more and more visible signs of needy people.  Better be prepared with how we're going to handle it...I wasn't prepared this time...just winging it and unwilling to simply walk away.  Still...it feels pretty unsatisfactory...  

    It's not about today, it's about tomorrow. (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Fabian on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 06:18:43 AM EST
    And all the tomorrows after....

    That's what I wish politicians would get into their heads when thinking about policy.  Getting the hungry fed for one night is a good thing.  Making sure there are jobs so people can buy their own food is better.

    Fix the big problems, drain the swamp, and so on.  Don't enable the processes that created our big problems in the first place.


    Not to worry (none / 0) (#1)
    by BrassTacks on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:41:36 PM EST
    Obama will bail out the auto industry and all the retirement plans PLUS create LOTs of government jobs.  

    Many may have to wait a bit to retire, but Obama will expand all the government programs and make things ok.  

    In my own family, I am telling my kids that they can live with us, and count on government jobs.  We were hoping to retire within the next few months but we've lost way too much retirement money to do that.  But that's ok, we can work until 75 or longer.  More important that Obama expand government so that our kids will have good jobs.  

    Well (5.00 / 0) (#6)
    by Steve M on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 12:22:23 AM EST
    You could always try to get a different candidate elected, since you seem to disagree with Obama on about everything.

    Me? (none / 0) (#30)
    by BrassTacks on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 01:42:29 AM EST
    What am I disagreeing with?  I want Obama to bailout everyone and create lots of government jobs.  I know McCain won't expand the government like Obama will.  I sure don't think it's his fault that the market went south.  

    Oh please (5.00 / 0) (#35)
    by Steve M on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 01:48:56 AM EST
    Just don't pass a law forcing me to buy GM (none / 0) (#2)
    by jerry on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 12:04:43 AM EST
    We're spending $25B on the auto industry, which is what, about $1000 per person?  Please please please don't make me buy GM!

    Who just said they were opening (none / 0) (#3)
    by nycstray on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 12:13:37 AM EST
    a new plant in Detroit about a week or 2 ago? It's for making parts for a green car or something like that?

    A Plant (1.00 / 1) (#16)
    by cal1942 on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 12:41:19 AM EST
    One lousy plant.

    Completely clueless.

    Lansing, my home town had over, 20,000 GM employees in 5 plants and a massive parts warehouse a couple of decades ago. There were numerous independent parts makers, tool & die companies and forges. In a town and area with a population, at the time, of about 250,000.

    Now there are about 6 to 8,000 GM employees, a tool & die maker, a forge plant and a tiny handful of parts makers.

    Detroit (which was once nearly 2 million people) now has a population of just under a million.  The Number of GM, Ford and Chrysler workers and dozens of peripheral industries was staggering, an industrial collosus. And that's leaving out many plants in Pontiac, Flint, Saginaw, Jackson, Kalamazoo, etc.

    One lousy plant will not do.

    And jerry, don't worry, no one's going to force you to buy manufactured goods produced by your fellow citizens.


    Excuse me (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by nycstray on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 12:51:17 AM EST
    Calling me clueless because I asked a question?

    I don't think one plant is the answer, I just was trying to figure out the announcement a couple weeks ago and the news now.


    It's gonna be the Depression (none / 0) (#43)
    by Fabian on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 06:09:37 AM EST
    all over again, only this time states will be fighting tooth and nail to get that One Lousy Factory.

    Michigan has had the most dramatic industry losses, but the same story has played out in most other manufacturing towns.  I'm counting my blessings that I live in a state with a significant agriculture economy.  


    Ah, that's an old Chevrolet ad (none / 0) (#13)
    by Cream City on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 12:32:52 AM EST
    and the one embedded in my head is "See the U.S.A./In your Chevrolet" -- and I can see Dinah Shore singing it.  The car is an icon of American culture; listen to the incomparable American Pie that tells the entire history of rock 'n' roll in rhyme -- and rhymed "Chevy" with "levee.":-)

    Me, I was raised to think of Chevies as upscale.  We had Fords.


    Chevy and Ford (none / 0) (#18)
    by cal1942 on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 12:51:05 AM EST
    competed at the same price point.

    If you lived in a GM town (not in Detroit where all car makers were located) you would have bought a Chevy or other GM make produced in your town.

    I'm from Lansing, former home of the late great Oldsmobile. At a time you would see more Oldsmobiles than any other make in any parking lot you drove into.  The city police even used Oldsmobiles.


    Really, the same price point? My daddy (none / 0) (#23)
    by Cream City on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 01:12:21 AM EST
    must have just told us that.  He really was loyal to Fords, ever since his first beloved rattletrap in the '20s that he talked about for endless hours.

    It also may have been part of the religious wars in the Midwest, which Garrison Keillor talks about, too -- being able to tell which faith drove which cars, because they patronized dealers from their different churches.  Chevies did seem sort of Lutheran to me.  Chryslers were Episcopalian.:-)


    Now that's one (none / 0) (#29)
    by cal1942 on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 01:41:50 AM EST
    I've never heard.

    Interesting in part because job applications (most places not just auto plants) contained a question about religion. I remember filling out applications that asked what church I attended.

    Hated that.

    I never heard the one about religion and auto make.

    Brand loyalty where I'm from was based on what was procuced in your community and with good reason.  It was an era that looked after communities and the local automaker employed people in your commmunity. Your neighbors, relatives, friends livelihood were dependent on that automaker and supporting industries.


    My town produced auto parts for all (none / 0) (#37)
    by Cream City on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 01:57:03 AM EST
    makers, so that didn't settle it.  Thank heavens that we didn't go with the nearest town where autos were made, or we would have had a Rambler. :-)

    And the nearest town now, I can't support, as the plant there makes SUVs.  Not for much longer, though -- that market has disappeared, of course.  And the coming merger means, as our paper reported this morning, that the plant probably will not be retooled again (as it has been with our state taxes to the auto maker, again and again, to save it) and will close.  About Christmastime.  I hate that.


    Not defending it but ... (none / 0) (#17)
    by CoralGables on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 12:50:10 AM EST
    let's get the math right. That's about $83.33 per man woman and child.

    Yeah, I was off by 10. (none / 0) (#51)
    by jerry on Mon Oct 13, 2008 at 04:19:35 PM EST
    I just guessed 25B / 250M = 1000, but it's 100 of course.

    Still don't want to be forced to buy GM.


    There is a great version (none / 0) (#5)
    by Steve M on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 12:21:27 AM EST
    of that song by Shinehead, on the Elektra 40th anniversary album, but I don't know where to find a video of that either.  Ya gets no bread with one meatball!

    These are good reasons (none / 0) (#10)
    by JamesTX on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 12:28:06 AM EST
    to look at how important it is that we change all our assumptions and habits about social reasoning right away. This is not a single issue or single front problem. We have been seriously duped. Most of "us" have roots in poverty and failure. That is how our families wound up in America, and it was the hope and the promise that brought them here. Somewhere a few decades ago we lost our spirit and our sense. We got too comfortable and selfish. Now, the beast is eating us alive. If they can put us back where we were a couple of hundred years ago -- if we let them -- they will do it, and they will do it quickly. It very well may be too late, but it is inevitable if we don't change everything fast. Progressives have to realize it is time to give up all the ideas we have bought into over the last three decades. If it was politically popular in the 80s, 90s, or the last seven years, then it was part of the devil's plan. It has to be dumped. We have to reverse our political sentiments on every front. We have to rethink the market mentality, the religion, the criminal justice, the computers, and everything else which has accompanied and characterized what has happened. The beast is in all of those things, and in the reliable ways we accommodate them. Get up on the wrong side of the bed tomorrow. Brush your teeth with the opposite hand. Don't buy the same thing at the grocery store. Watch something different on TV, or, better yet, don't watch the damn thing at all. Stop striving for the goal that has mesmerized you lately. Shift your attention to something obtainable and meaningful. Make every effort to find a victim you have blamed, and tell them you are sorry and that you need their help.

    That is what I am going to do.

    hmmm.... (none / 0) (#20)
    by white n az on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 12:54:51 AM EST
    with Ford hovering at $2 per share and GM hovering about double that per share, there is a possibility to make a bunch of money on them if they don't belly up.

    If they dont learn (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by CoralGables on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 12:57:50 AM EST
    to make a fleet of cars that get more than 30 miles to the gallon and can last for ten years, so as to compete with Honda and Toyota, there is no reason to think they will be any better off than they are today.

    Good point (none / 0) (#36)
    by BrassTacks on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 01:49:32 AM EST
    When they get their bailout money, their stock could really go up.  

    Isn't the retirement money a big problem?  Maybe Obama could agree to the government taking over all the retirement payments.  That might ease things for the auto makers.  


    You should be worried (none / 0) (#22)
    by cal1942 on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 01:05:39 AM EST
    In part because the attitudes that have been imbedded into our very culture by various right-wing organizations aren't a phenomenon of the past 20 years.  These groups, in one form or another, have been around since at least the 50s.

    The various myths they've circulated are regarded as truth and wisdom throughout our society.

    I see it even in comments made by people on this and other left-of-center web sites.

    They've been successful in driving a wedge between people as reflected in the tone of your comment.

    We have reached a turning point (none / 0) (#31)
    by CoralGables on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 01:46:54 AM EST
    We are into double digits.
    99 days left of Bush

    I've always found it amusing (none / 0) (#33)
    by cal1942 on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 01:48:29 AM EST
    that Republicans refer to small town America yet their policies over the years have destroyed small and medium sized towns.

    Palin got booed tonite (none / 0) (#34)
    by Amiss on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 01:48:31 AM EST
    at a Philly Hockey game


    According to the AP

    Palin was booed when she first stepped on the ice before the Flyers' home opener against the New York Rangers to drop the ceremonial first puck. Palin, the Alaska governor and self-described "hockey mom," is trying to turn Pennsylvania into a red state.

    i heard a few boos mixed with (none / 0) (#47)
    by kenosharick on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 07:34:11 AM EST
    clapping and cheering. Hardly what you made it out to be.

    small town America (none / 0) (#49)
    by Palli on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 02:22:24 PM EST
    Some of the most intense, clearest and, most interesting, politically progressive conversations I have had were around dining room tables in small towns. This dichotomy is bull.  It's an  invention of convenience for people management.  
    Divide and conquer. The frightened people who scream at these rallies are big-city and suburban, small town and country.  Millions of other people who weren't there are also big-city and suburban, small town and country.  
    Without the Roves of this nation, this election cycle could have laid this platitude to rest but...the roves, the kristols, the palins, the mccains are too egocentric to imagine the common good.  And their dead weight is hindering our national search for progress.