Our new “Think Again” column, “The Surprising Success of the Right-WingRant,” is here. It’s an exploration of the weird success of the right’shysterical racist and sexist attacks on Sonia Sotomayor in setting theMSM’s agenda for their coverage.
I also did two columns this week for The Daily Beast; one this morningabout Osama’s attempts to link Obama to George W. Bush, here and one onthe success of the Christian Right in this country in preventing accessto abortion, even without murdering the doctors who perform it.My Nation column on the campaign to smear Izzy Stone is here with afollow-up in yesterday’s Altercation, which is here (after the wrap-up).
Alter-review: The return of the New Riders of the Purple Sage.Last night I had the odd experience of being pretty much the youngestperson at a concert, which hasn’t happened since about 1970. That’sbecause when you go a Dead concert, there are at least four generationsthere, including the Deadhead grandkids. For the New Riders, who were abluegrassy offshoot of the Dead that featured Jerry on their wonderfulfirst album, everybody who goes to see them was also seeing them in1975, a time when I was pretty young. Anyway, they were great for awhile in an extremely unpretentious, country-folkish way–you can seethem with Jerry in the newly released Rhino DVD The Last Days of theFillmore–singing songs about loveable pot-smugglers and train-robbers. I strongly recommend that first eponymous record with the beautifulcover and a greatest hits collection.
Members of the band reformed four years ago and are touring now with anew album called Where I Come From. It’s not bad, and they are notbad–actually some of the guitar and pedal steel work is pretty great.Seven of the songs on the new record were co-authored with RobertHunter, who helped make the new Dylan album such a success. Anyway,they’re on tour; check ’em out here.