The debt-ceiling fight is about politics, not policy. But
count on the news media to conflate the two—in service of the trope that everyone just needs to meet in the middle of wherever they
are right now.
A new Century editorial argues that unemployment, not the budget deficit,
is the most urgent economic problem facing the U.S. We need to deal with the
deficit at some point, but first we need to get people back to work by
stimulating the economy.
Last month I posted about Rais
Bhuiyan, the Muslim hate crime victim who is advocating
that his attacker, who shot Bhuiyan as part of a post-9/11 shooting spree in
which two other victims were killed, be spared the death penalty.
The King James Bible's 400th birthday is everywhere. The current
issue of the Century features Jon
Sweeney's review of three books on the subject; earlier
this year, Timothy Larsen wrote lovingly of the Bible of his childhood.
Why don't more people listen to Ron Sexsmith? The critically acclaimed singer-songwriter crafts masterful pop songs, records them with topflight producers and sings them in an understated croon. Unless you hate music that makes you smile, what's not to like?
Woody Guthrie: American Radical, by Will Kaufman. I love musician
biographies; Humphrey Carpenter’s of Benjamin Britten is the most
fascinating book I’ve read in years. I also love Guthrie’s music--he’s
so much funnier and sharper-edged than the earnest troubadours who
mimicked him in the 60s--and I’ll read anything about politics.
Wanda Jackson may be the queen of rockabilly, but Jack White is king of this collaboration. The roots-obsessed producer takes charge, offering a high-octane reimagination of various '50s styles. But where White's work on Loretta Lynn's Van Lear Rose (2004) came off as reverent and almost subtle, here 73-year-old Jackson's presence seems like an afterthought.