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.
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.
President Obama seems to be moving in the direction of openly supporting same-sex marriage. But when he spoke in New York last week, he stopped short of endorsing it--despite pressure from the audience:
Stephen Colbert's commencement speech at Northwestern wasn't as funny as Conan O'Brien's at Dartmouth, but the inevitable "now I'm serious kids, please keep listening" section was far better--it was pretty much a hard-hitting sermon.
Mark Silk notes an interesting moment at the Republican
presidential debate Monday night in New Hampshire: Rick Santorum's take on
religion in public life sounds an awful lot like the one then-Senator Obama articulated in 2006.
All 50 states have regressive tax structures: the lower your
income, the larger share of it goes to state taxes. While a few states have
flat income-tax rates--here in Illinois, everyone pays 5 percent--most are
mildly progressive (higher rates for higher income).