Sunday’s hard rain.

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Smith was accompanied by the Philharmonic performing a spare and gentle arrangement of Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall,” orchestrated by Hans Ek, a Swedish conductor. She looked so striking: elegant and calm in a navy blazer and a white collared shirt, her long, silver hair hanging in loose waves, hugging her cheekbones. I started crying almost immediately. She forgot the words to the second verse—or at least became too overwhelmed to voice them—and asked to begin the section again. I cried more. “I’m sorry, I’m so nervous,” Smith admitted. The orchestra obliged. The entire performance felt like a fierce and instantaneous corrective to “times like these”—a reiteration of the deep, overwhelming, and practical utility of art to combat pain. In that moment, the mission of the Nobel transcended any of its individual recipients. How plainly glorious to celebrate this work. Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker

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The United States does have a well-documented history of interfering and sometimes interrupting the workings of democracies elsewhere. It has occupied and intervened militarily in a whole swath of countries in the Caribbean and Latin America and fomented coups against democratically elected populists.

The most infamous episodes include the ousting of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953 — whose government was replaced by an authoritarian monarchy favorable to Washington — the removal and assassination of Congolese leader Patrice Lumumba in 1961, and the violent toppling of socialist Chilean President Salvador Allende, whose government was swept aside in 1973 by a military coup led by the ruthless Gen. Augusto Pinochet. The Washington Post

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It’s cold comfort, but in a sense, we in Illinois are lucky.  When we get tired of worrying about how badly a multimillionaire with autocratic tendencies will muck up the nation as president, we can distract ourselves by watching an autocratic multimillionaire governor bring the state to the brink.

And when we grow weary of the dreadful question, “How crazy is Donald Trump?” we can ask whether Bruce Rauner is really crazy enough to shut down state government just so he can stick it to unions. Chicago Reporter

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3 thoughts on “Sunday’s hard rain.

  1. This is a good story unlike many. Afscme does not want a strike and it seems Rainer has broken so many laws that the courts will never let him implement his crazy …let us hope…
    But there is a complete shutdown looking at the start of the year. Based on recent ILSC rulings it may be complete….

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