Friday, May 21, 2010

The Nation: Feeling Randy, Bess Hawes Memorial Reminder

From: Naomi Bishop
Cc: Corey Denos ; Nick Hawes
Sent: Monday, May 17, 2010 11:57 AM
Subject: Bess memorial reminder, pkng. map, exact location

Hi Ed,

You asked how many people we can accommodate. We have asked for
seating for 200. It will be outdoors, so that gives some wiggle room.
Parking Lot G1 will accommodate 100 cars, so there will likely be a lot of
overflow in the other lot.

I have made a text version of the announcement for you to send out. Note
that I elaborated the parking instructions BEYOND those included in the
initial invitation (i.e., I added information about overflow parking). Here
it is:


Please join us for a very special memorial gathering to celebrate the rich
and wondrous life of Bess Lomax Hawes on Sunday, May 23rd from 4:00 to 6:00
p.m. at the University Club, California State University, Northridge (CSUN).
Map available at
The program will include remembrances and music.

Bess Lomax Hawes joined the faculty at then San Fernando Valley State
College as one of the earliest members of the Anthropology Department,
teaching folklore and American folk music. She left in 1977 to become the
founding director of the Folk and Traditional Arts Program at the National
Endowment for the Arts (NEA), where she remained for 16 years. Bess Hawes
belonged to one of the most remarkable families in the history of folklore
in the United States. Her father, John Lomax, and brother, Alan Lomax, were
folklorists and pioneering ethnomusicologists. During her career, she sang
with the Almanac Singers, taught guitar to thousands of adults, wrote
several books, and worked tirelessly for the support and preservation of
traditional arts and artists. In 1993 she received the National Medal of
the Arts. Bess Hawes died in November 2009 at the age of 88.

To make a contribution to the Bess Lomax Hawes Folklore Fund at CSUN please
contact Anne Robison at or 818.677.7738.

Parking: Enter the CSUN campus from Zelzah Ave. at Dearborn St. Park in
Lot G1 (1st left turn after entering campus). Parking is free in Lot G1.
Overflow parking will be in adjacent lot G3 and will cost $6.00. For more
information, call the Anthropology Department at 818.677.3331.

Thanks for your help on this.


Feeling Randy

Leslie Savan
TheNation.Com: May 19, 2010

"It started as a slow rumble in the middle of summer and now it's running at
a full roar," Brian Williams intoned during the opening minutes of
NBC Nightly News, setting up the mainstream meme about Tuesday's elections,
which went something like: we are all Tea Partiers now. It was, as a
Politico headline said, a "Shot Heard Rand the World," aimed right at the
heart of Washington, D.C., by the archetypal Angry Opthalmologist.

In one of Fox's election-night wrap-ups, it was all Rand Paul and his
lopsided victory over the Mitch McConnell-approved Trey Grayson for
GOP Senate candidate. Followed, in quick succession with smaller visuals, by
the results from a galaxy far, far away, where races in Pennsylvania,
Arkansas, and, oh, yeah, Kentucky itself (where a more progressive but
barely mentioned Democrat beat out the centrist favorite to face Paul in
November) suggested that the public continues to see the GOP as a
discredited rump.

What we really saw in last night's election were Democrats who chose,
against their Beltway leaders' advice, a more liberal Dem over a
Republican-lite pseudo-Dem every time. Senator Blanche Lincoln, for example,
is a closeted Republican who squeaked by Bill Halter by only two points in
the Arkansas Democratic primary, forcing a run-off that favors her
challenger. Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter, a truly closeted Republican
(who jauntily insists he was a closeted Democrat before that), lost to
progressive Joe Sestak by much larger margin than expected, 54 to 46.

Well, as most media pundits have vigorously prepared the ground for us to
believe, these results can be explained away by anti-incumbent fever-but a
fever that strikes only one way. If you're angry about the government, you
must be a Tea Partier, since only Tea Party protests get national coverage
(unlike, say, the much larger anti-war rallies during the Bush years). But
there was no incumbent in the race that so many commentators designated the
bellwether, the special election in the late John Murtha's conservative
district. Indeed, though Republican businessman Tim Burns and former Murtha
aide Mark Critz were virtually tied in pre-election polls, many in the media
excitedly talked about a "Massachusetts-style" upheaval, in which a
long-held Democratic seat gets flipped by a little-known conservative who
grazes only on grassroots. But as it turned out, of course, Critz trounced
Burns, 53 to 45.

True, Critz is pro-life and pro-gun, but it was not, as Politico's Jim
Vanderhei tried to spin it on Wednesday's Morning Joe, somehow really a
victory for Republicans. Joe Scarborough-joined by Pat Buchanan, fer
sake-simply laughed at such an obvious Republican talking point designed to
sugarcoat the results. Critz isn't gung-ho for health care reform, but he
isn't dunking tea bags in the hot water of demanding its repeal. Instead,
been calling for government-funded jobs programs and re-regulation of Wall
Street banks.

Meanwhile, back at the glam Tea Party that is Rand Paul's Kentucky, the
national media had barely a word to say about those Democratic primaries.
But guess what? Not only did the more progressive Democrat, Jack Conway,
beat the more centrist Dem, Dan Mongiardo, but the number of Democratic
voters Tuesday night dwarfed Republican turnout, 453,520 to 331,522.
Mongiardo might have lost, but he actually pulled in more votes than the
mighty Paul, at 224,989 to 206,812.

As TPM's Evan McMorris-Santoro notes,"Nowhere else will the battle between
the progressive left and the hard-core tea party right be clearer than" in
the Conway/Paul race. As attorney general, Conway refused under great
pressure to sue the federal government over Obamacare, while the
anti-mandate Libertarian Paul campaigned saying it's unconstitutional. In
the general election, his extreme positions-like coming out against of the
1964 Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as
well as calling for the dismantling of the departments of agriculture and
education-might confirm the growing public perception of theTea Party as
ridiculous, and maybe even scary. (For scary, see Rachel Maddow's Wednesday
night interview with Paul.)

Similarly, according to my Blue Grass sources, the fact that first-term
Democratic congressman John Yarmuth will face a Tea Party candidate, Todd
Lally, in November makes the liberal, Jewish Yarmuth a shoo-in for
re-election. He represents mostly Louisville and its suburbs and, according
to my Louisville born-and-raised husband (who, full disclosure, once worked
for a magazine Yarmuth started), "Louisvillians think of Tea Partiers as
noisy, messy, obstreperous yahoos, not justified patriots."

But it is understandable that the mass-media brain simply can't focus on
pols who don't emit that sexy (to the media, anyway) Tea Party sizzle. It's
not that the press like the Tea Party's know-nothing policies, such as they
are. But the press (me included) are enthralled with the spectacle: the
signs, the anger, the shouting, the derring-do while in dentures. The TP
gives the MSM dramatic conflict at the funnest cartoony level.

The harbinger of Tea Party victories to come that the right is squinting so
hard to see in yesterday's elections is a little like the Libertarianism
that some film critics are decrying in the new Russell Crowe vehicle, Robin
Hood, which opened a few days before the polls. But that only works if you
think of Newt Gingrich's Contract with America as equivalent to the Magna
Carta--and I doubt that many contemporary folks do.

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