Holiday News Roundup

Every July 4 I think of the vast commemorations of the Bicentennial we witnessed back in 1976–37 years ago!–and then of that great Bicentennial-inflected Robert Altman film Nashville. I’m shocked to discover no one has managed to post Henry Gibson’s full performance of his half-maudlin, half-tongue-in-cheek patriotic song “200 Years” on YouTube. But someone did post a montage of images–following the maudlin overtones rather than the ironic undertones–accompanied by the song, and it’s at the bottom of this item.

Here’s a roundup of the sparse political news of the day:

* In Egypt, a dozen leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood arrested for allegedly inciting violence, even as interim head of government promises to include the MB is a pre-election coalition government.

* Wyden and Udall press claims that much of the NSA’s existing data-mining surveillance programs are “useless.”

* Paul Pirie writes a provocative op-ed measuring the U.S. against its British, Canadian and Australian cousins in terms of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

* At Ten Miles Square, Tina Gerhardt argues that Obama’s climate change agenda dangerously omits effort to reduce emissions of methane, an important greenhouse gas.

* At College Guide, Daniel Luzer notes there are 265 U.S. colleges where student loan default rates are higher than graduation rates. Ouch.

And in non-political news:

* Boston Celtics hire away coach from Cinderella program at Butler.

And now, Mr. Henry Gibson:

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.