New Voices, Old Words

Well. Not really new voices, but at least contemporary ones. Today is the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, and I woke up to Eric Foner and a host of NRP personalities reading it out over the airwaves. http://www.npr.org/2013/11/19/246095479/gettysburg-address-turns-150 Like many American middle school students, I had to memorize the first paragraph of the speech,…

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Keeping the Wolf from the Door

Who knew Ken Burns was as good on camera as he is behind it? “We have to keep the wolf from the door. We tell stories to continue ourselves. We all think an exception is going to be made in our case and we’re going to live forever. ¬†And being a human is actually arriving…

Quick-n-Dirty History of Government Shutdowns

The first government shutdown or “funding gap” occurs in 1976. Happy Bicentennial, President Ford! How many government shutdowns since 1976? Eighteen counting this one. Has anything changed? Julian Zelizer says we see two shifts: first, in 1980, when President Carter says that federal workers have to stay home during a shutdown, and second, in 1995/96,…