First let me regale you with my thoughts on the filibuster compromise. I think it's interesting that it was judicial appointments - which the media and conservative Christians have made into an outcropping of the overhyped "culture wars" - that sprung the whole debate. It was not some important piece of legislation like, say, a heinous bankruptcy bill.
I'll admit that judicial nominations are somewhat important, especially when it comes to the Supreme Court. Judges have had great effects in the past - civil rights historians can point to several key court cases that changed the face of the country (for better or worse) with regards to race relations. And the fact that Bush believes he doesn't need the Senate's advice and deserves its consent anyway is proof of his inefficient and misguided leadership style (not to mention his misunderstanding of the Constitution).
But throughout this debate, it was all "culture war" all the time. I didn't hear a word about the "Constitution in Exile" philosophy supposedly avowed by these judicial nominees (unless it was from Ben). Barely a peep about Justice Brown's public longings for a return to the days of Lochner, when activist courts declared popularly-backed minimum wage laws unconstitutional. No, it was all about abortion and homosexuality, as if that's all that matters nowadays.
Folks, there's a lot more out there than these so-called "culture wars." I admit, I've been seduced by these issues before. They're ripe for demagoguery, they're of a cosmic scale, and they're certainly more interesting than the ins and outs of the budget. But where's the liberal indignation over Bush's ridiculous budget? Why aren't we filibustering Bush's irresponsible tax cuts? Why aren't we attacking Bush's proposal to give MTBE manufacturers protection from lawsuits? These are all issues that affect us more than any government action in the "culture wars" ever could. I haven't been writing very much in the past weeks; I probably won't in the future since I actually have a job now.
I guess my point is this - I would like to see the outpouring of rage and strategizing and whatnot to materialize on economic issues, on quality of life issues, and on foreign policy issues. The "culture wars" are there to distract us from what the government can and does do to affect our lives. We need to channel that anger somewhere where it'll do us some good.
And now onto something less serious - music. Mike has passed me the Musical Baton. So I have to answer a bunch of questions that I don't know the answer to. Also, I'm at work, so I don't have music on my computer and am not currently listening to anything. So I'll make up answers to those questions. Anyway:
Total volume of music files on my computer: At home, about 1GB. That's not counting some 220 CDs.
The last CD I bought: The Essential Josh White. White is a bluesman who was a favorite of Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt. This is a disc of his early blues recordings, before he recorded the stuff that made him super-famous ("Free and Equal Blues," "One Meatball," etc.)
Song playing right now: I heard U2's "New Year's Day" on the way to work. I think that's the closest I can come.
Five songs I listen to a lot, or mean a lot to me: Geez. My apologies for the two country songs that materialize here (actually, one of them sounds more gospel, and one sounds more folk, but whatever).
1. "Your Song," Elton John. Our song.
2. "Simple Man," Lynyrd Skynyrd. Good advice for life and a kick-ass guitar solo.
3. "We Shall Be Free," Garth Brooks. It's odd to think that the normally conservative Brooks would sing a song that basically puts liberalism in a nutshell. And yet, there it is.
4. "The Walk," Sawyer Brown. A song about a man's relationship with his father through the years. It's obvious to anyone who's heard it why this one's on here.
5. "Sparkle," Live. Lyrically one of the best songs I know of.
Five people to whom I'm passing the baton: I'll let Andy and Danielle take a crack at it, as well as Lindi and Pierce if they have blogs. Miguel is also invited, if he still reads this.