• Unwinding

    I haven’t kept up with Last Week Tonight lately, but while scrolling through my YouTube feed this week, this video came up: John Oliver’s most recent story about Medicaid.

    It’s a tough watch, focusing on specific issues of health care and government aid that were radically transformed during the past few years (a pandemic) and the last several years (the Trump administration and official Public Health Emergencies in general).

    This is not my specific area of work, but what I do is adjacent to things like eligibility determination and the related “unwind” as clients are removed from enrollment.

    Policy forbids me from expressing certain opinions in certain ways when it comes to department business. But in a general sense, and especially in light of Oliver’s latest reporting, I think it’s allowable to say stuff remains fucked up and bullshit.

  • Grab bag

    It’s been a long time since I listened to music at work for a steady length of time. At my last office jobs – 20 years ago – I’d pop one CD after another into my PC and bang on my keyboard like a data-entry demon. Three years into this job, I feel established enough to revisit the habit. The lists below represent two and a half hours of shuffle play. As an Apple Music subscriber, I’ve been rebuilding out my library. Some of these are deeply personal; the algorithm seems to get it. This is a very “me” set list.

    • Belly, “Starryeyed”
    • Once A Pawn, “Subtle”
    • Autolux, “Turnstile Blues”
    • UUVVWWZ, “Neolaño”
    • Lucy Dacus, “Green Eyes, Red Face”
    • Lucy Dacus, “Home Again”
    • Mercy Rule, “Sky”
    • See Through Dresses, “Johnny”
    • Beyoncé, “DAUGHTER”
    • Black Belt Eagle Scout, “Salmon Stinta”
    • Hand Habits, “No Difference”
    • Hand Habits, “are you serious?”
    • Better Oblivion Community Center, “Forest Lawn”
    • UUVVWWZ, “No Apart”
    • Lucy Dacus, “Thumbs”
    • Belly, “Untitled and Unsung”
    • RM, “seoul” (produced by HONNE)
    • Julien Baker, “Shadowboxing”
    • Hand Habits, “Just to Hear You” (featuring Perfume Genius)
    • Lala Lala and Finom, “Photo Photo”
    • Kill County, “All That Remains”
    • Adrianne Lenker, “Candleflame”
    • Big Thief, “Magic Dealer”
    • The Mynabirds, “Disarm”
    • Big Thief, “Contact”
    • Mercy Rule, “Rules”
    • The Mynabirds, “Karma Debt”
    • Belly, “Stars Align”
    • Mon Laferte, “Autopoética”
    • CLOSENESS, “Personality Therapy”
    • Linda Martell, “Old Letter Song” (Remastered 2022)
    • Lucy Dacus, “Strange Torpedo”
    • Black Belt Eagle Scout, “Treeline”
    • Mon Laferte, “Levítico 20:9”
    • Black Belt Eagle Scout, “My Blood Runs Through This Land”
    • boygenius, “Cool About It”
    • Saving Fiona, “Think Fast” (Must-see student project video at the link.)

  • Lobby hobby

    Yesterday and today, I attended the Nebraska State AFL-CIO annual legislative conference as a delegate from my union. Representatives from several unions were in attendance, and the diversity of policy concerns was staggering. In the current political moment, this was to be expected – even so, there was a lot to absorb.

    On Tuesday we met at the local firefighters’ hall, where my own union holds its monthly area meetings. It’s a sweet venue that I’ll forever associate with free pizza and other craft service. A parade of speakers made presentations on union concerns, industry trends, technological developments, and downstream effects on labor and workers.

    Today was oriented towards a little light lobbying; breakfast, a few morning speakers (all state senators this time), the delegation being recognized by the Unicameral in the legislative chamber, then meeting with lawmakers to discuss policy or, more generally, show union colors and try to get a read on [un]friendly stances towards labor.

    My own senator is on our side, so I stood back while board members from my union felt out those legislators who might be less supportive of our goals, or openly hostile towards labor concerns. I chatted with a few other senators’ staff members, and ultimately a good time was had by all. (One energetically labor-friendly lawmaker called this conference his “favorite day of the year.” It was easy to see that he meant it.)

    I completely burned myself out socially; a good night’s hard sleep will be splendid. I’m sure more thoughts about this conference – and coming ones – will spool out over the coming weeks. It’s possible I’ll have more to say about this or that. Meanwhile, please enjoy a picture of the dragonfly mosaic from our state capitol rotunda.