Monday, September 20, 2010

Robert Plant on NPR

The sounds of Led Zeppelin blasted from NPR for my ride home as a backdrop for an interview with lead singer, Robert Plant.  While I like Led Zeppelin a lot, it wasn't one of my favorite bands back in the day.  Still, this interview moved me to tears, not because it was sad, but because the music was so good.  Maybe the discordance of this kind of music coming from the usual calm mien of NPR, but they never sounded so good.  Of course, Plant's voice was featured, as what a voice it was/is.  But it was the instrumentals that impressed me, Jimmy Page's powerful guitar riffs and the drummer was breathtaking.  I don't even know his name.

Still, it was a pleasant blast from the past.

Check it out.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Gorging on Mother's Milk

It's been said that money is the mother's milk of politics.  Well, our political system has developed big breasts.
When the Citizens United case was decided, I was at a meeting in Florida with a group of corporate public affairs leaders.  There was much excitement that evening at the reception where most thought that a new wave of money would be coming into our profession from corporations who were now freed to spend as much as they wanted to influence elections.  At one of the sessions the next day, a Republican elections lawyer threw cold water on the crowd of excited hacks.  He said he did not believe the decision would have a significant impact on corporate political spending.  In his view, corporations were not looking for news ways to spend money in this area and would be reluctant to risk their brands be engaging in politics.
So, there were two schools of thought and time would tell.  Well, the verdict is in.  The New York Times reports on the avalanche of money entering Senate races on the Republican side through corporate groups.  Given the crop of tea party candidates that the Republicans have nominated, they were probably need every dollar to ram these people into the Senate.  Then, we'll all pay for the resultiong chaos.
Going to be an interesting election.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

This Land is Your Land

Last night we had our annual block party on my street in Northwest Washington DC. We've been on this street for about 16 years now and it has a unique international character. We're kind of a ghetto for international finance organizations like the World Bank and the IMF. So, the food is always great, drawing from a variety of culinary traditions. There are also a multiplicity of foreign accents. I'd guess that about half the people at the block party were born in a foreign country. I met people from Germany, Denmark, Italy, Great Britain and one or two African countries.

The party goes on pretty late, but I generally bail out about 7:30 or 8:00 pm. But, I experienced a quintessentially American moment when, later in the evening as I was walking my dog, I could hear the sing along at the party just up the street. This group of foreign visitors to the U.S. was belting out Woody Guthrie's iconic tune, "This Land is Your Land..."

Only in America.

-- Post From My iPad