Augusts aren’t as barren for political writers as they used to be, but then if you were a political writer back in the day, you were probably one of the small tribe that spent the month on a breezy beach and phoned in the occasional column of Big Thoughts between cocktails. When President Clinton vacationed in Martha’s Vineyard in August of 1998 at the height of the Lewinsky scandal, the big joke was that it was a mercy mission to journalists who would have otherwise had to interrupt their own vacations to head back to steamy DC.

In any event, we’ll sojourn on here right through the month. Here are some remains of the day:

* Sen. Barbara Boxer latest to call on San Diego Mayor Bob Filner to resign.

* TAP’s Scott Lemieux argues antichoice views are incompatible with liberalism in a continuing debate with Ross Douthat.

* PPP finds that Georgia Republicans view Paula Deen a lot more favorably than Martin Luther King, Jr.

* At Ten Miles Square, Devin Castles discusses the grassroots campaign to force protection of more public lands from gas and oil drilling.

* At College Guide, Daniel Luzer explores the “competency transcripts” being pioneered by Northern Arizona University showing what graduates actually know how to do.

And in non-political news:

* Breaking Bad returns for its Series Finale sprint this Sunday.

So on Guitar Appreciation Day, I have to post video (sorry for the Italian subtitles; it was the only video available) of “Negro y Azul”–a.k.a. “The Ballad of Heisenberg”–the narcocorrido song performed by Los Cuates de Sinaloa at the beginning of a Breaking Bad episode in 2009.

Kathleen Geier will be in the house tomorrow for Weekend Blogging. We’ll close with Jimi, unsurprisingly, performing “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” in Hawaii not long before his death. Sorry for the truncated ending of the video, but the rapt attention being paid to Jimi by the audience is worth it.


Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.