At Daylight Video today, commenter BadBob said he had been wondering when I’d finally get around to featuring R.E.M., given my Georgia roots and Athens connections. I admit to having an irrationally bad attitude about a band I’ve enjoyed from their beginnings, for the simple reason that they made it so big while other fine Athens/Atlanta bands–e.g., Guadalcanal Diary, Pylon, Love Tractor–never really made it at all nationally. I somehow never had this problem with the B-52s; I guess they were early enough, and distinctive enough, to escape the there-but-for-the-grace-of-God-goes-another-band syndrome. So I’m trying to re-appreciate R.E.M. and not blame them for their astonishing success.

Here are some less ruminative midday news/views items:

* Unsurprisingly, GOP rank-and-file, who hate everybody in Washington, don’t love McConnell and Boehner. Never bothered them before; shouldn’t now.

* Pew’s biennial breakdown of religious affiliations (and non-affiliations) shows Dems remain somewhat more diverse, but unchurched remain under-represented in both parties.

* GOP Senate Kabuki Theater to begin, as expected, with Keystone XL Pipeline vote.

* Larry Summers argues low gas taxes could create political window for a carbon tax.

* At the Prospect, Paul Waldman compares Clinton administration unfavorably to Obama’s. More about this later.

And in non-political news:

* Rams owner reported to be planning NFL stadium for L.A. Hmmm. Wonder what that could mean?

As we break for lunch, here’s R.E.M. with the iconic “Losing My Religion.”

UPDATE: To the strangely angry commenter Gandalf33: this is the first time I’ve been accused of caring about what’s “trendy” in music!

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.