50 years ago, Elvis had fallen from grace. But one comeback TV special changed everything.

Elvis Presley performs on the NBC soundstage during the 1968 comeback special. (Fathom Events)

It was 1968, and the King was all but dead.

The Summer of Love came and went, leaving the man once seated on the throne of rock-and-roll nothing but a drug-addled relic of a time past. Instead of dancing and necking and maybe even performing for the hippies in Haight-Ashbury, Elvis Presley had spent an endless seven years in Southern California, forsaking his music career for one on the silver screen. Hollywood, though, had not been kind to Presley.

During this stretch, Elvis pumped out movie after movie at an astonishing rate of three to four per year. But fans didn’t want a leading man. They wanted that smooth baritone, those gyrating hips, the coifed hair.

Unlike LL Cool J, Elvis needed a musical comeback. He got that in 1968 in the form of a 60-minute television special that revived his career and changed concert films forever.

That special, now 50 years old, will return to some 500 U.S. movie theaters for a special engagement Thursday and Monday, a celebration of one of rock’s monumental moments — one that almost didn’t happen.

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Elvis Presley fields questions at a news conference before heading off to Germany with the Army.

The rocker’s fortunes had begun changing in 1957 when he was drafted into the U.S. Army. The period would prove to be a dark one, during which the life of his mother ended and his drug addiction began.

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Ryan Zinke blames ‘environmental terrorist groups’ for severity of California wildfires ~ The Washington Post


August 15 at 6:31 PM

Wildfires strike California every year. But they’re getting worse, causing deaths and uprooting communities. But who is to blame for these increasingly destructive wildfires?

According to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, it’s “environmental terrorist groups.”

During a radio interview with Breitbart News, Zinke said that “environmental terrorist groups” are preventing the government from managing forests and are largely responsible for the severity of the fires. But fire scientists and forestry experts have said climate change is the main factor behind the problem.

Zinke said during the interview that an overabundance of fuel load — things such as twigs and leaves that make it possible for fires to burn — make fires more intense.

“There have been a number of instances where environmental groups have submitted petitions to the Bureau of Land Management, halting companies from removing dead and dying timber until the BLM can sort through each petition point,” Department of the Interior spokesman Faith C. Vander Voort said in an email. “These actions halt proper forest management and leave the West vulnerable to incredible devastation.”

But Monica Turner, an ecologist at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, said this argument doesn’t address the bigger problem.

“Making minor changes in the fuels [which] you then have to do repeatedly for many years is not going to solve the bigger problem of having to face climate change,” she told The Washington Post. “We cannot clear or thin our way out of this problem.”



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In 1787, the year the Constitution was adopted, Thomas Jefferson famously wrote to a friend, “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”

That’s how he felt before he became president, anyway. Twenty years later, after enduring the oversight of the press from inside the White House, he was less sure of its value. “Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper,” he wrote. “Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle.”

Jefferson’s discomfort was, and remains, understandable. Reporting the news in an open society is an enterprise laced with conflict. His discomfort also illustrates the need for the right he helped enshrine. As the founders believed from their own experience, a well-informed public is best equipped to root out corruption and, over the long haul, promote liberty and justice.

“Public discussion is a political duty,” the Supreme Court said in 1964. That discussion must be “uninhibited, robust, and wide-open,” and “may well include vehement, caustic and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials.”

In 2018, some of the most damaging attacks are coming from government officials. Criticizing the news media — for underplaying or overplaying stories, for getting something wrong — is entirely right. News reporters and editors are human, and make mistakes. Correcting them is core to our job. But insisting that truths you don’t like are “fake news” is dangerous to the lifeblood of democracy. And calling journalists the “enemy of the people” is dangerous, period.

These attacks on the press are particularly threatening to journalists in nations with a less secure rule of law and to smaller publications in the United States, already buffeted by the industry’s economic crisis. And yet the journalists at those papers continue to do the hard work of asking questions and telling the stories that you otherwise wouldn’t hear. Consider The San Luis Obispo Tribune, which wrote about the death of a jail inmate who was restrained for 46 hours. The account forced the county to change how it treats mentally ill prisoners.

Answering a call last week from The Boston Globe, The Times is joining hundreds of newspapers, from large metro-area dailies to small local weeklies, to remind readers of the value of America’s free press. These editorials, some of which we’ve excerpted, together affirm a fundamental American institution.

If you haven’t already, please subscribe to your local papers. Praise them when you think they’ve done a good job and criticize them when you think they could do better. We’re all in this together.


Watch Late Night Hosts Lampoon Trump, Omarosa’s Strange, Embarrassing Feud

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The late night circuit was, predictably, all about Omarosa Manigault Newman. After the former Trump staffer released secretly-taped conversations between her and Trump as well as Chief of Staff John Kelly firing her, the tapes – and the media circus around them – served as comedic fodder for The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Late Night With Seth Meyers and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

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Live in San Francisco (Ry Cooder and Corridos Famosos album)

I don’t like most “live” albums but Cooder and Corridos Famosos make this an exception..



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Live in San Francisco is a collaborative live album by Ry Cooder and Corridos Famosos released in September 2013 by Nonesuch Records and Perro Verde.[1][2] The album was recorded in 2011 at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, California.[2] Cooder produced Live in San Francisco and recorded with members of Corridos Famosos, which included vocalists Juliette Commagere, Terry Evans, and Arnold McCuller, Joachim Cooder on drums, Robert Francis on bass, Flaco Jiménez on accordion, and the ten-piece Mexican brass band La Banda Juvenil.[2]
It was Cooder’s first live album since Show Time (1977), which Cooder also recorded at the Great American Music Hall with Jiménez and Evans.
This is Ry doing what he does best. Mixing in music that you wouldn’t normally put on the same album. To me, he is the Patron Saint of Un-Lettered Ethnomusicologists. Look at the genres of music and the variety of musicians he has played with over the past 40 years. A small sample: Buena Vista to V.M. Bhatt, Ronstadt to Rolling Stones, Farka Toure to Taj Mahal and on and on. So, here is a live album with back catalog classics, new songs, r and b, blues, Nortena, folk trad, and Banda. Be honest boys and girls…have you heard or know what Banda music is? I am lucky to call Ry my friend. A few years ago, he invited me to East L.A. to hear Banda music. I thought the motels in that part of town were damn reasonable at signboard prices of $15-$25. Till I realized that they were “per hour” rates. Yes, in that part of town. The club we went to had La Banda Juvenil in the marquee. They consisted of 3 trumpets, 2 bones, 2 saxes, a marching bass drum, a marching snare, a tuba and two singers. And, they were miked in a club that held maybe 150 people. Blown away was an understatement. At the break, the leader introduced and thanked Ry for coming out. I could feel the wheels spinning. And here they are tonite along with Flaco Jimenez (2013 NEA award winner). Along with the fab soulful vocals of Terry Evans and Arnold McCuller. And what about Juliette Commagere? She kills it on Volver Volver. (Trivia: Joachim Cooder’s bandmate from their high school days) Joachim is no gimmick either. The treble clef didn’t fall far off the music stand did it? And trusty Robert Francis smokin bass line keeps everyone’s heads bobbing. This is a live album. You get Ry yakking story after story between the cuts. Pulls it all together. Now go play this friggin’ loud on your best system, arm around your baby, cold beer or smoke nearby. And suddenly, all is well in the world.

Otagaki Rengetsu | Sake Bottle

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Among her various creations, Rengetsu is perhaps best known for the exquisite vessels that she crafted for both the sencha and the chanoyu traditions of tea drinking. However, she also created a great number of bottles, flasks and cups for another beverage – sake. As with her other ceramics, Rengetsu’s sake wares are adorned with her poems inscribed in her exquisite calligraphy, resonating playfully with the mood of sake drinking.


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