It was 1996, and I was hanging out before the show with Walter Hyatt in the kitchen of the Lansdowne Folk Club. He was showing me his gig guitar — an old archtop Stella he’d bought for a few bucks and had completely rebuilt. It was a great old guitar that played like a dream and rang like a bell. And I am so completely fucked up that when he died in a plane crash a few weeks later, my first thought was of that beautiful old guitar at the bottom of the Everglades.
Bonnie Raitt’s “Slipstream” was named best alternative album. And that’s Mike Finnegan on the keyboards, who does Mike’s Blog Roundup over at C&L when he’s not on tour:
But that history, with its repeated instances of racialist political strategy dating back many decades, only partially accounts for the party’s electoral woes. The true problem, as yet unaddressed by any Republican standard-bearer, originates in the ideology of modern conservatism. When the intellectual authors of the modern right created its doctrines in the 1950s, they drew on nineteenth-century political thought, borrowing explicitly from the great apologists for slavery, above all, the intellectually fierce South Carolinian John C. Calhoun. This is not to say conservatives today share Calhoun’s ideas about race. It is to say instead that the Calhoun revival, based on his complex theories of constitutional democracy, became the justification for conservative politicians to resist, ignore, or even overturn the will of the electoral majority.
This is the politics of nullification, the doctrine, nearly as old as the republic itself, which holds that the states, singly or in concert, can defy federal actions by declaring them invalid or simply ignoring them. We hear the echoes of nullification in the venting of anti-government passions and also in campaigns to “starve government,” curtail voter registration, repeal legislation, delegitimize presidents. There is a strong sectionalist bias in these efforts. They flourish in just the places Kevin Phillips identified as Republican strongholds — Plains, Mountain, but mainly Southern states, where change invites suspicion, especially when it seems invasive, and government is seen as an intrusive force. Yet those same resisters—most glaringly, Tea Partiers—cherish the entitlements and benefits provided by “Big Government.” Their objections come when outsider groups ask for consideration, too. Even recent immigrants to this country sense the “hidden hand” of Calhoun’s style of dissent, the extended lineage of rearguard politics, with its aggrieved call, heard so often today, “to take back America”—that is, to take America back to the “better” place it used to be. Today’s conservatives have fully embraced this tradition, enshrining it as their own “Lost cause,” redolent with the moral consolations of noble defeat.
fun won Best New Song at the Grammys:
Just astounding that we’ve allowed these extremists to chip away to the point where women have the legal right to an abortion, we just can’t find a place to have one:
The Last Clinic focuses on the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the only remaining abortion clinic in the state of Mississippi. It’s one of four such “last clinics” in the country, with the others in North Dakota, South Dakota and Alabama. They’re all hanging on by a thread — in the absence of a Roe v. Wade reversal, certain Republican legislators are settling for making it logistically impossible for most women in their states to get abortion services through various regulations.
“I knew [Mississippi] had the highest teen pregnancy rate in the country. It has very high STD rates and other kinds of issues, so I wanted to figure out why. And I also wanted to figure out why, in a state with all of those problems, were they trying to close down the only remaining abortion clinic,” says Crow.
That question lead her to Jackson, where she spent months interviewing clinic employees, patients, and pro-life activists as a way of understanding the complexities of a debate that’s been raging through the country for years.