Summertime Blues and News

After the holiday weekend, catch up with some hot takes, plus a bunch of new political "toons" plus three tunes starring Allen Toussaint.

And away we go. Hope you had a safe weekend. Don’t forget to comment, share, tweet, subscribe (it’s still free). Here’s a little song to get you going today, the late great Allen Toussaint’s take on our unofficial National Anthem, “Tipitina,” by his old NOLA pal, Professor Longhair. And Allen returns down below, with Elvis Costello.

News & Politics

Looking ahead this month: Richard Branson due for virgin blast off on July 11, Jeff Bezos primed to do so nine days later.

OK Boomers: Over the weekend, Queen's Greatest Hits went to number 1 on iTunes, Joni Mitchell's Blue is #2.

Breaking this morning: Nikole Hannah-Jones, the creator of the NY Times' 1619 Project, has rejected a Univ of North Carolina teaching position after a controversy over her tenure—she was finally offered it last week—and will instead join Howard.

“You Really Need to Quit Twitter,” by The Atlantic’s Caitlin Flanagan: “Twitter is a parasite that burrows deep into your brain, training you to respond to the constant social feedback of likes and retweets.” Yes, she or a family member tweeted out the story.

The Onion: Rumsfeld Family Immediately Squabbling Over Who Will Inherit Mounted Heads Of Iraqi Civilians. And: “‘Someone’s Gotta Occupy Afghanistan,’ Grumbles Dick Cheney, Shoving Firearms Into Suitcase.”

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Groanin’ like a breeze: If you somehow missed, Mark Zuckerberg marked the 4th by uploading a video showing him carrying an American flag while riding a surfboard to the tune of "Take Me Home, Country Roads." 

Hillbilly Eulogy: “J.D. Vance says he regrets since-deleted tweets criticizing Trump.”

Or merely dazed and confused? Matthew McConaughey declared for the 4th that America is "going through puberty" in his Independence Day message.

Far-Right Extremist Finds an Ally in an Arizona Congressman: Of course, we speak of Rep. Paul Gosar and white nationalist Nick Fuentes.

Sooners now or later: In Oklahoma, a program called Tulsa Remote offers people $10,000 to move to the city to work remotely.

N.H.L. Goalie Dies After Being Hit by Fireworks He was 24 and was relaxing in a hot tub at a private party when hit in the chest by a mortar.

At least one-third of the nearly 700 Republicans who have filed to run for House or Senate next year have embraced Donald Trump’s false election claims, Wash Post reports. Meanwhile, efforts to recall school board members are surging around the U.S. amid Republican efforts to forbid teaching about institutional racism, Axios reports.

Preston Padden, who worked under Rupert Murdoch at Fox, now calls Fox News "poison for America” in a Daily Beast piece: ”Over the past nine months I have tried, with increasing bluntness, to get Rupert to understand the real damage that Fox News is doing to America."

Freeing double: According to the new Post-ABC survey, "86% of Democrats have received at least one shot of a vaccine, compared with 45% of Republicans."

E. Tammy Kim at NY Times examines the uphill task facing the labor movement: organizing Amazon after its failed attempt to unionize the Bessemer, Ala., warehouse this spring. “The challenge of organizing Amazon is ‘bigger than anything this country has ever faced,’ Peter Olney, the former organizing director of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, says. He noted Amazon has close to one million U.S. employees vs. the several hundred thousand organized by the UAW in the 1930s and 1940s.”

Whistler’s matter: Molly Lewis, reviving the art of whistling, is releasing an entire album.

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Song Picks

Terrific album, The River in Reverse, was released awhile back from Elvis Costello with one of his idols, Allen Toussaint (the live show which I caught in NYC was also swell), and here they are in the studio recording one of its key funky tracks, “Who’s Gonna Help Brother Get Further.” And below that, Allen’s “Freedom for the Stallion,” merely one of the great songs of our era, which has been covered by everyone from Lee Dorsey to Boz Scaggs, and even Dylan.

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