Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

Memorial Day. And I'm typing slow. Because Kat's second album review just went up but I know she and C.I. are about to edit a third and I want to wait so I can include all of the links.

Because she's on the road with the gang talking about the wars every week, Kat tends to write down observations on post-its. And on the back of envelopes. And on any scratch paper she can find. Then when it's time for a review, it's time to assemble it all.

That's not how she used to write it for TCI. She used to just sit down and type up something start to finish. But this way actually works better, she says. And notes that the first review she had a huge problem with, she went to C.I. and C.I. actually cut up everything Kat wrote, cut everything into its own paragraph and then they mounted them on poster board (the clipped paragraphs) with Kat writing connecting sentences.

Kat says that was an inspired way of writing and why she doesn't freak over the fact that she's now piecing together each review from a hundred tiny comments.

Her third review, the one she and C.I. and pulling together right now, is Death Cab for Cutie
and I have the album now. Kat reviewed C.I.'s advanced copy. And because they're one of my favorite bands, I called the CD this weekend when I saw it. It comes out tomorrow. Which reminds me, it's now midnight, so it's Tuesday. Hold on.

Okay, news flash. I figured this but had never tested it. Monday night, once it becomes midnight, so it's actually Tuesday morning, you can download a Tuesday release. For example, click here and you've got the page for Codes & Keys (new Death Cab album) and they'll let you download it right now. I figured they did that, but I wasn't sure.

And Kat's review just went up. So let me note the Sunday and Monday content at The Common Ills.

That's Kat's review of Death Cab for Cutie's new album. She loves it. (I do too.)
That's Kat's review of Ben Harper's new album. She doesn't love it. (I haven't heard it.)

C.I. on the news out of Iraq today.

C.I. covering some domestic Iraq War issues.

Kat reviewing a Phil Spector best-of.

C.I.'s Sunday entry. Important because it notes the acknowledgement by NPR that the US is pushing for the SOFA to be extended and that people think it's likely it will be.

I hope everybody had a good holiday and I'll return to regular blogging tomorrow.

And I'm closing with this from Naomi Spencer's "Obama Administration seeks to block legal challenges to Medicaid cuts" (WSWS):

The Obama administration is seeking to block lawsuits challenging state budget cuts to Medicaid, the joint state- and federal-funded health care program for the poor and disabled. Many states are slashing already inadequate reimbursement rates for medical providers serving Medicaid recipients, even as the economic crisis has caused enrollment in the program to soar.

Medicaid serves low-income children, pregnant women, the elderly, blind and disabled—an enormous but politically disenfranchised segment of the population. Currently, some 60 million Americans receive health care through the program, including one in three children, four in ten pregnant women, and 70 percent of nursing home residents.

Coupled with skyrocketing health care costs, low state reimbursement rates over the past decade have created acute provider shortages in many areas of the country. Under-compensated for their services by state health departments, providers are forced to turn away Medicaid patients, making basic care increasingly inaccessible for enrollees. Medicaid patients may have to travel hundreds of miles, wait for weeks to see a doctor, or resort to crowded emergency rooms for treatment.

The consequences are a violation of the Medicaid program’s mandates, a number of lawsuits argue. Federal law stipulates that reimbursements must be “sufficient to enlist enough providers” to ensure enrollees have the same level of health care access as the general population. The Obama administration insists the law is “broad and nonspecific” and lawsuits against state officials “would not be compatible” with its federal enforcement.

And I'm back! To add something. Kat's been doing music pieces for The Common Ills since 2004. She tries for at least 12 a year. At her site (Kat's Korner), C.I. surprised her at the end of 2009, start of 2010 by going through and creating links for all of Kat's reviews. I forgot about that but Kat was saying just a second ago that she wasn't looking forward to going in and adding the links for her three reviews and C.I. replied, "Kat, I've already done it."

So that made me think I should end with a list of those because I love, LOVE, Kat's music writing. She's done a lot of reviews and you can click on the links to read them. Here we go:

I count 118 music pieces of Kat's. That's really impressive.