In the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein muscial OKLAHOMA! the show starts with a soaring song that goes into descriptions of the wonderous place that is OK!
"Where the wind comes sweeping down the plain!" is the one that comes to mind just now. And I somehow don't think that what happened yesterday is quite what they had in mind when they wrote the song.
In fact, no one could have imagined how horrific what happened yesterday in Moore, Oklahoma could be. Well, aside from movie makers (Twister, anyone?) and climate scientists who have been warning about this sort of thing.
Head-in-sand denialists will surely have their work cut out for them explaining this away. They are still working overtime to ignore/justify Super Storm Sandy from a mere 7 months ago.
What happened yesterday has been called the biggest tornado in the history of keeping track of tornados. And based on damage, it looks like they are correct.
Have you noticed a trend though? Each new, huge storm claims that title: "Biggest" or "Worst" ever! Things are trending in one direction pretty steadily.
And today, the GOP Senators and Representatives from Oklahoma who voted against disaster relief for Super Storn Sandy victims, now have a peculiar intersection of hypocracy and logic to cross. Wonder which road they'll chose?
Hard to believe that, until just the past few days, the IRS has been a beloved, revered and flawless organization that all American's honored, respected and loved.
Since when? For as long as I recall, the IRS was viewed as one of the big Government evils, especially by far Rightwing nuts, many of whom declare that income taxes are illegal and unconstitutional. And these same folks seem shocked - SHOCKED, I SAY! - that their anti-IRS views have landed them on a higher scrutiny list.
Anything that looks like a "blame Obama" opportunity, and the far Right begin to pile on. Despite all sorts of uncomfortable truths.
The biggest tidbit, of course, is that the man being grilled today, Steven Miller (acting head of the IRS), was a temp on his job, appointed in 2012. Who did he replace? A George W Bush appointee, who ran the IRS until that point. What makes this important? Well, how about the fact that the claims being made are about groups who filed with the IRS for tax-exempt status before Miller took the helm from the W dude.
Also, not being mentioned in the entire conversation, is whether or not the extra scrutiny actually caught people trying to get away with violations. No, no. It seems that the IRS is the only one on trial here, and no one cares if they were able to nab corrupt attempts at fraud.
You can add to that, all of the past times when left-leaning groups have been under higher scrutiny by the IRS
As things unfold, it is abundantly clear that this, like Benghazi before it, is another inflated attack from the right in hopes of nailing Obama with a scandal. Yet, to make their narrative work, they are having to leave out important details.
Funny that they are crying to full disclosures and truths, while not being interested in anything that deflates their flatulant arguments.
I love live music. There should be no surprise there. I love having local bands and musicians on my show to play live.
Since starting here a few months ago, I've had the great Jim Arrendell on the show, Molly Kummerle (the grand maven of local music), The Get Right Band, Red Honey, Kenny Roby and the wondrefully charming Danny Ellis (who opens for Bonnie Raitt in Charleston tomorrow night!) I tried to hook things up to get the Wallflowers on the show when they rolled through town. As well, I emailed Glenn Phillips of Toad the Wet Sprocket but he was playing here on a Saturday night, and elsewhere the days before. I had a great chat and email exchange with the manager of the band Train, trying to get them on the phone when they returned to Johnson City a few weeks ago (scheduling just didn't work out that time, but there's another shot in a couple of months when they start their summer tour.
Well, tomorrow will be the first time I have successfully gotten a reasonably well-known musician on the show! Paul Thorn is playing the Orange Peel tomorrow night, and at 3:15 tomorrow afternoon, he will be sitting here with me in the studio for an interview and a song or two.
I first saw Paul Thorn in 2008, when he opened for Huey Lewis and The News in Atlanta. He was a charming performer who played deep south rootsy rock and roll, and told very funny tales of his younger days as a boxer and as the son of a Pentacostal preacher, both of which inform much of his writing. His 30 minute performance that day, won me over as a fan.
When I saw he was coming back to Asheville (having been here a few times) I decided to reach out to him and see what we could do. To my happy surprise, his manager and I worked out the details, and it is happnening. Also, his manager, Billy, asked me what albums I was missing from my Paul Thorn collection, and then mailed me a copy of every one of them. Class act.
I set out to make this show about politics, but also about local arts and culture. I've opened the door to more theatre exposure, and now am on the pursuit of more big name musicians.
I am having fun, and I hope all of you are as well!