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Transit of Venus

Tonight. You all remember how to make a pinhole projector, right?

What democracy looks like

Charlie Pierce on the ground in Wisconsin. Dear God, that man can write!

Slave labor

Welcome to the new austerity!

Purging Texas

The same crap is, of course, happening in Texas:

Walter Pinkston, a Friendswood retiree and faithful Harris County voter, got a letter in late March asking his family to confirm that he was dead – which he was not – and warning that he was about to be purged from Texas voter rolls.

Retired Houston Baptist University Professor Trilla Pando received a similar notice of her death from voter registration officials in 2010.

Even Sylvia Garcia, a former Harris County commissioner, got suspended – not because anyone thought she was dead – but because county officials questioned the validity of a P.O. Box the Houston native had used on her voting card for years.

More than 300,000 valid voters were notified they could be removed from Texas rolls from November 2008 to November 2010 – often because they were mistaken for someone else or failed to receive or respond to generic form letters, according to Houston Chronicle interviews and analysis of voter registration data.

Wimping out

Eric Alterman on the downside of Obama’s decision not to get involved in Wisconsin.

Why worry

Dire Straits:

Wouldn’t it be nice

Beach Boys:

Memory lane

Today I had to drive through the Hellmouth on my way to a job interview (I-95 was a parking lot, and I got off so I wouldn’t be late.)

It looks really different; the ratty old train station where I used to commute to work is all shiny and yuppified and new. I even took a brief detour down my old street. Despite living in a claustrophobic little box of a studio apartment, I did love that 150-year-old building (a former tavern/whorehouse). And it was the prettiest little street ever. My landlord’s historic old house (1692) is now a stylish bed and breakfast, and the old marina is closed up. At the other end of the street, they’re rehabbing an old Victorian mansion on the waterfront.

I was so unhappy when I lived there, but I did love that little street. I’d lost my job, my car engine blew up and I even got pneumonia – without insurance, of course. I’d never been so sick in my life. My bedroom (an alcove, really) was so small that my double bed almost filled the room, and I would lie there, shaking with chills and fever, listening to the crackly noise my lungs made when I breathed. And even after I finally got a new job and saved enough money to move to Mt. Airy, I also got really sick the night before I moved out – and stayed sick for another two weeks.

But I didn’t think of any of that today. I just drove down the street, remembering how beautiful it was in the fall when the leaves turned red.

And your bird can sing (studio session)

The boys:

The rain, the park and other things

The Cowsills:

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