And Romney bitched endlessly — endlessly — about the rules, and why this uppity fellow on the other stool was allowed to speak before he was spoken to, and why he didn’t get to speak at length on whatever he wanted to speak on because, after all, he is the CEO of the stage. Jesus Christ, I’d hate to play golf with the man. He’s the guy who counts to make sure you don’t have too many wedges in your bag. He knows every cheap subsection of every cheap ground rule, and he’ll call you on every one of them. You couldn’t get a free drop out of him with thumbscrews, and forget about conceding any putt outside two inches. And then, on the 18th hole, with all the money on the line, he kicks his ball out of the rough and denies up and down to the rules committee that he did it. Then he goes into the clubhouse bar and nobody sits with him.
Charles P. Pierce
convinces me that going golfing with Mitt Romney would be a taxing experience
I don’t believe I can offend you in a comedy club. I don’t believe I can offend you in a concert. A comedy club is a place where you work out material, you’re trying material. Louis CK, Tosh, any of these guys, it costs $80-100 to see them. If you’re in a club, and you pay $12, and a superstar comedian comes in there trying out his jokes – you know, that’s like the first draft to a book, or a movie that’s not cut, it’s just not to be judged for the masses. This guy is trying out stuff. I think that’s the deal that’s made when you see a famous guy in one of these clubs.
[Then-Federal Reserve Chairman William McChesney] Martin ran into even tougher pressure from Lyndon B. Johnson, who tried to browbeat him into easing rates. One version of what occurred, according to Richard Fisher, the current head of the Dallas Fed, who has studied the history, is that “Lyndon took Martin to his ranch and asked the Secret Service to leave the room. And he physically beat him, he slammed him against the wall, and said, ‘Martin, my boys are dying in Vietnam, and you won’t print the money I need.’ ” Martin ultimately caved. By the time he retired, in 1970, inflation was a worrisome 6 percent.
From Roger Lowenstein’s 2008 New York Times Magazine profile
of Ben Bernanke. When will Obama adopt the LBJ approach of beating the shit out of your Fed chair until he prints more money?
I liked rock, but I was always kind of a traditional kid,” [The Hold Steady’s Craig Finn] explains. “That’s what I really liked about Kerouac - he was doing this wild stuff but he played football. I always played tennis and followed sports pretty closely, always had rock’n’roll friends, and then kinda straight non-rock’n’roll friends.” As a teenager, he began to cultivate an ambiguous personal style that has since become a kind of trademark. “I always wanted to be confusing as to whether I was kinda punk or kinda square. I wanted to be the most respectable guy at the punk rock show or the most punk rock guy at the respectable kids’ party.
It is possible to think of the difference between George and Mitt Romney as a series of adaptive changes, in which the original moderate instincts have devolved so completely that Mitt’s response to a rising and angry conservatism resembles Nixon’s far more than his father’s. Perhaps Mitt noticed, following the 1968 campaign intently from Europe, that it was Nixon’s opportunism, his skill at exploiting fears of unsettling demographic change, that won. But it is also true that George Romney’s cherished institutions have lost their power, and the vision in which they would make a better society has collapsed. In Mitt’s politics, his father’s fervent progressivism has become instead an ideologically empty pragmatism that succumbs to whatever his audience wants to hear. What remains is the peculiar character of the current Republican nominee for president, an organization man without organizations.
If you listen to let’s say a measure of Rachmaninoff and then a measure of Bach, you know which is which without, you know immediately. And the question is well, why do you know that? They both are following basically the same rules of harmonic, of voice leading. But what happens is that you have in your, the course of your listening, you have taught yourself - you’ve recognized that Rachmaninoff will always solve a certain problem in a certain way. You may not say that to yourself, but your ear will tell you that. And that Bach will do it in his way. And you say, oh, that sounds like Bach or that sounds like Rachmaninoff or that sounds like Stravinsky. And what you’re hearing is let’s put it this way: You’re hearing the predilection of the composer to resolve a technical problem in a highly personal way.
on the relationship between technique and style
When asked about [entering politics], [Anschutz Entertainment Group CEO Tim] Leiweke offered a cursory denial, but then began talking about how deeply involved he intends to be in the coming Presidential campaign. Last time, he said, he gave money to Barack Obama, but he believes that the President has engaged in class warfare. “Look, I personally came from nothing,” he said. “Someone making me look like a bad guy because I’m making money now? I resent that. I’m really upset about about the way he is positioning this now about protecting the rich. I was never rich in my life. I earned everything, built my life from the ground up, and never got one damn break in my life! I resent the fact that when my mom was sick, and my dad had to pay for her treatment, it took every dime from my dad and broke him as a human being and he was never the same. And then, after we have overcome that, now to make me look like I’m bad, I’m evil, I’m greedy, I don’t give. Terrible!” He went on, “I hugely admire Phil [Anschutz, the 39th richest man in America] for putting everything back in. This is a man that’s never pulled anything out of this campus. Double down, triple down, quadruple down. And then people take shots at him because, they say, ‘He’s a billionaire.’ He’s the most humble man I know.
Astana has been the capital of Kazakhstan only since 1997, three years after [Kazakh leader Nursultan] Nazarbayev told a stunned parliament that a prosperous, independent country like Kazakhstan ought to have its capital “in the center” of the country, rather than on the border. It seemed like a bad idea. Dubai had beaches; Brasilia, which the Brazilian government built by fiat in the nineteen-fifties, had a sunny, gentle climate. Almaty, the old capital, was pleasantly situated in the foothills of the Tian Shan Mountain range, and was famous for its apple orchards. And Astana? It was six hundred miles to the north—that is to say, toward Russia—and bitterly cold. Kazakh nomads had grazed their flocks here, until they were annihilated by Stalin, after which the vast steppe turned into what one writer has bluntly called “Stalin’s dumping ground.” It was where he sent the “punished peoples”—the hundreds of thousands of Germans, Ingush, and Chechens deported en masse in the nineteen-thirties and forties. Was the parliament now a punished person? Stalin also sent hundreds of thousands of political prisoners to Kazakhstan. A few hours east of the proposed capital lay the town of Ekibastuz, where Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn served a term in a labor camp. The old name of the proposed capital was Akmola, “the white graveyard.” This is where Nazarbayev was suggesting that everyone move from Almaty, which means “father of apples.
Keith Gessen tours Astana
, Kazakhstan’s fifteen-year-old capital city and—thanks to a $400 million influx of oil royalties—home to the world’s largest tensile structure, the Khan Shatyr.