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Grace Slick & Sally Mann backstage at Woodstock, 1969 — Henry Diltz photo

By Michael McCord

First things first: Sally Mann Romano was at Woodstock in August 1969. She was there with the Jefferson Airplane, her close friends, and as girlfriend of Jefferson Airplane drummer Spencer Dryden. Unfortunately, hours after she arrived, she became deathly ill and had to be airlifted by helicopter out that night.

Yet, all things considered, Romano’s Woodstock sojourn was possibly the 1,000th most interesting about her life (for example: 24 years later Romano was pardoned by then Texas Gov. Ann Richards so she could become a practicing lawyer).

I came across Romano earlier this year on Twitter when I saw mention of her recently-published memoir The Band’s with Me: TOUR 1964–1975 about her adventures as a young woman (then Sally Mann) among the California rock-n-roll elite. As I was in the midst of finishing the final draft of a book, I put a mental check mark by her name to learn more about the book. And then weeks later, as writers are wont to do, I bought her book and binge-read it over a weekend while I was maniacally putting the final touches on my own because, of course, a diversion from the urgent task at hand was the smart thing to do. …


By Michael McCord

A few years before the grotesque political mutation we call Trumpism stepped onto center stage, I was honored to be the keynote speaker at the NH Progressive Summit in 2013. I talked about the roots of my then new satirical novel The Execution Channel: A Political Fable and why I believed the worst was yet to come in America politics.

I was a skunk at this proverbial garden party as most folks (including many of my readers) were basking in the afterglow of President Obama’s reelection. There was hope aplenty to break the Republican Tea Party fever. I even attended a workshop that promised a wave of blue was coming, even to Texas, in 2014. That was a possible outcome only if you ignored the 2012 Supreme Court Holder decision gutting the Voting Rights Act. Who would have thought that Republican-dominated states would unleash the most systemic wave of voter suppression laws since the Jim crow era? …


June 20, 2019

Rep. Chris Pappas

323 Cannon HOB

Washington, D.C 20515

Dear Rep. Pappas,

I write to you as a supportive constituent in the 1st Congressional District of New Hampshire. I voted for you and applaud the good work you have done so far in your first Congressional term. I write to you as a U.S. Army veteran and student of history who is concerned that we are in the midst of most damaging Constitutional crisis the nation has experienced since the Civil War.

I petition you to with this request: please step up and publicly support the House of Representatives opening an impeachment inquiry into the almost certain “High Crimes & Misdemeanors” conduct of the president. Opening an impeachment inquiry of this president is morally necessary and Constitutionally required. …


By Michael McCord

“How did Nixonland end? It has not ended yet.” — Rick Perlstein, 2008

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I first read Rick Perlstein’s Nixonland shortly after the first election of Barack Obama. I had covered Obama in New Hampshire and Iowa during the presidential primary circus of 2007–08 and the general election. He was a compelling candidate who had barely bested a formidable and equally compelling primary foe in Hillary Clinton. …


By Michael McCord

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Shortly after Jaworski met with Time editors, he was on the cover.

Courtesy of the late great David Halberstam came this remarkable historical nugget: in late February 1974, Watergate Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworski sat down for a “quiet dinner” in Washington with top editors and writers of Time magazine.

Safe to say, Special Counsel Robert Mueller will take part in no such supper.

When I saw this otherwise minor vignette a few days ago, it was, given our current predicament, a scene stealer. It came during a partial reread of The Powers that Be (1979), Halberstam’s sprawling, highly entertaining, and modifier-heavy chronicle of American media heavyweights — New York Times, Washington Post, Time, CBS & Los Angeles Times — from the 1930s (the rise of Franklin Roosevelt) to 1974 (the fall of Richard Nixon). …


But Mama didn’t know Mad King Donald

By Michael McCord

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Will Freedonia come to the rescue?

After almost three years of perpetual lunacy, corruption and chaos from Mad King Donald, you would think folks would be used to days like yesterday, Thursday, March 22.

After all, most sane Americans have become accustomed to frequent daily bouts of Trump-induced Cognitive Dissonance (TCD). Studies show that TCD recovery for many happens by the time the Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC finishes around 11 p.m. EST. …


It matters when Russian state TV calls Putin ‘our Vozhd’

By Michael McCord

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Julia Davis

If you wonder how grotesque Fox News/Trump TV might be as American state television, Russian state TV offers the template. Julia Davis keeps a close eye on Russian state TV and since last year I’ve followed her voluminous Twitter communiques (via @JuliaDavisNews) about an almost indecipherable subject to most Americans. She is a Russian TV whisperer for American ears — or as she says on twitter “I watch #Russia state TV so you don’t have to.”

The Los Angeles-based Davis knows the terrain. An American who was born and raised in the former Soviet Union republic of Ukraine, she is fluent in Russian and Ukrainian with a Masters in Engineering from the National Technical University of Ukraine in Kyiv (Kiev). Her resume is equally diverse: an independent journalist and film industry professional who owns her own production company and is a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. She also served in the Department of Homeland Security as a customs and border-protection officer in California, where she and her family later prevailed in a government whistle-blowing case. …

About

Michael McCord

Former political editor and columnist for Portsmouth (NH) Herald, award-winning journalist and writer, humbled satirist. @mmgolfer

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