You may have heard—actually, it was here last week—that I published a 17,000 word essay on our political system and the problems any president, Obama in particular, but any potential progressive would face in trying to move it, on The Nation’s website last week. That’s here.
For my Think Again column this week, I round up some of the responses it has so far received. It’s called “Kabuki Democracy: The Responses” and that’s here.
Also, my latest Moment column is called "Israel’s Greatest Enemy: Israel" and it’s here.
I don’t feel like writing much on this long lazy afternoon, but I saw three shows last week when I was back in town and here are the world’s shortest reviews.
1) Jill Sobule and Julia Sweeney at City Winery: Incredibly fun and moving, I had no idea, and neither, probably do you. So see them if you can, trust me. (But Jilly, dahlink, Leslie Gore does not know your song. Wouldn’t an impromptu “It’s My Party” singalong have been fun?) What wonderful women….
2) Steve Earle and Allison Moorer and Rosanne Cash at City Winery: I know you’re jealous already. Steve and Allison are doing two more shows, the next two Thursdays. One with Greg Trooper and the other with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Tickets are appropriately scarce, so move on it. He’s also touring with Hot Tuna. It’s nice of Steve to share my musical taste so intensely this summer.
3) Cheap Trick and Squeeze at Radio City. How much does Cheap Trick suck, particularly if you get there late and miss “Ain’t That A Shame” and “I Want You to Want Me”? A great deal alas, and “Surrender” does not come close to making up for it, great as the studio version may be. Anyway, they sucked. Squeeze was just fine, though, so it was ok. Interesting how both bands can sound like the Beatles and nothing like each other.
Let me take you baby down to the river bed/Got to tell you something go right o your head.
Weekly WWOZ Pick To Click: "Check Yo Bucket" (Eddie Bo)—I love New Orleans with all the mechanism in Dick Cheney’s heart.
Part The First: I am glad that Dick Cheney once again was able to take advantage the benefits of single-payer, government-run health care. For some reason, his plucky battle against his failing heart reminded me of this piece I wrote for Esquire a few years back.
Part The Second: How Mark Halperin gets from his front door to the sidewalk without trading all the money in his pockets for a bag of magic beans continues to mystify and amaze. Again, I ask—why are these clucks never at my poker table?
Part The Penultimate: A question. Control of the U.S. Senate is hanging by a thread, given what may happen next November. It is possible that the balance of power in that body next year may well be in the hands of an ultraconservative claque made up of Jim DeMint, Rand Paul, and Sharron Angle, among others. (DeMint’s already talking about it.) That being the case, do liberals really want to get rid of the filibuster? Really?