December 21st, 2010

Patti Casey Is Gifted

by Philip Baruth

Back in the dark days of the State Senate campaign, when all hope might well have been lost, we decided to roll the dice on a questionable proposition: a performance benefit to raise much-needed funds, and to showcase our support in the creative community. It was dicey because July is July, and both performers and potential audience-members have much better things to do. But we knew we were halfway home when folk icon Patti Casey agreed to headline.

And now, here it is almost 2011, and Patti has a brand new record on store shelves: The Heart of a Waiting Boy. Like all of Casey’s material, it’s rich and powerful and palpably Good, not just as music but as food for the soul. You can sample all the tracks by clicking here.

If you haven’t finished your gift-giving yet, she’s local, she’s wildly talented, and it’s the sort of music that will stand by you in the darker days of winter.

December 14th, 2010

When You’ve Got Halliburton’s Deep Pockets, The Whole Dang World Starts To Look Like Sunshine and Lollipops

by Philip Baruth

You’ll remember that Nigeria recently announced it would issue criminal bribery charges against former VP Dick Cheney, and call for his arrest on same. Halliburton was also implicated in the charges, and its spin-off KBR. Today comes word that Halliburton has reportedly offered to “settle the charges” with Nigeria, for a cool $250 million. cheney's got a gunWhich is sweet enough, but the deal got even sweeter when Nigeria quickly emailed VDB, offering us a 15% stake in the $250 million settlement, if we will take a couple of simple steps, like set up a US bank account and “prime” the account with $1000 on our end. So everybody wins. Now if Halliburton can manage to buy off the folks down in Brattleboro, get Cheney’s charges there dropped, and loop us in on that deal, we’ll be willing to consider the Bush era formally ended. Except that Obama will continue his tax and eavesdropping policies. But still. Sitting pretty.

December 9th, 2010

When Barry (Sub-Consciously) Met Sarah

by Philip Baruth

Found the President’s press conference the other day strange in a number of ways. This is a man not generally given to flights of illogic, but here he was riffing about hostage-takers, and making it clear that you don’t negotiate with them ever — unless they threaten to harm their captives. As hostage-takers have a pesky habit of doing. In fact, as hostage-takers are defined, in the dictionary, by their penchant for doing. And Obama was angry, for one of the first times in his Presidency, but with those who actually brung him to the dance, with you and me. Craziness, from a re-election standpoint. But that wasn’t the weirdest part.