JOHN ROBERTS IS NOT AN INSTITUTIONALIST —

He only dresses like one.

I’m afraid that Justice Sotomayer is wrong–there is no longer a chance that the Supreme Court can retain its legitimacy.

It has been unconditionally corrupted and de-legitimized.

Justice Roberts, one of the most rabidly anti-democracy Chief Justices in our history, delivered some hogwash the other day about judicial independence.

It’s too late. It’s over. It’s a travesty. And no one did more to nullify the Supreme Court’s legitimacy than John Roberts.

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IN THE NEW, FALL 2018 BALLET REVIEW

I eulogize Sergei Vikharev and chronicle some of Robert Barnett’s thoughts on Balanchine’s Serenade.

And there’s much, much more!

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PROUSTIAN EXPERIENCE EN ROUTE TO PROUST

First the En Route to Proust Part:

I was thrilled earlier this year to audit Andre Aciman’s Proust class at CUNY Graduate Center.  I hadn’t taken a class in fifteen years, and it was a privilege to experience Proust via his refraction.  Prior to this, I had only read Swann’s Way years ago. Amid the dumbing down of every cultural bellwether through which we are now living, it was like being in an oasis to sit in a class full of  master’s and Phd students –also some old people like myself.  I told myself that as an auditor I should keep my mouth shut, but that proved difficult as always. “I’m sorry I talk so much,” I said to Professor Aciman. “I like people who talk,” he said.

OF COURSE, I didn’t talk that much and I was a very attentive listener!!

Professor Aciman is so learned that he was constantly referencing other books I haven’t read but have always wanted to.

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TRUMP, McCONNELL & THE GOP’S CRUSADE AGAINST SOCIAL SECURITY, MEDICARE & MEDICAID

Well, we see that coming a mile away: that sanctimonious old slush fund himself, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, now rides his tax-cut-for-the-rich express straight to BLINKING RED LIGHT!!! OUR TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH MANDATE CUTS TO ALL SOCIAL PROGRAMS.

That’s not what he said, the lying buzzard.

Remember that Mitch really, really cares.

And you can bet that sanctimonious young slush fund himself, Sen. Ben Sasse, is burnishing his American-exceptionalism-means-tax-cuts-for-the rich, tax-hikes-for-everyone-else, and cuts-to-social programs spiel.

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TRUMP’S CRUSADE AGAINST MEDICAID

cranks up many notches with his appointment of Mary Mayhew to head the program’s federal bureau.

Are any red-state Democrats up for re-election telling their constituents what’s in  store with their health care if they vote GOP?

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THE NEW YORK GROOVE

ICYMI:

I reviewed Wendy Lesser’s Jerome Robbins: A Life in Dance for the Wall Street Journal last weekend.

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EXPANSION OF THE MADISON SQUARE NORTH LANDMARK DISTRICT DESPERATELY NEEDED

Former Landmarks chair Scrinivasan hated landmark districts more than she hated individual landmarks–why? they put up more obstacles for the developers, of course.

Her arbitrary refusal to consider proposals for an expansion of the Madison Square North district tells you about the slough to which the LPC descended under her stewardship.

Approving the district expansion might have saved the Archbishop’s mansion at the corner of 36th street and Madison Avenue.

Given the perversely skewed criteria for individual landmark designation, the mansion wouldn’t be considered because of the commercial alterations made in the 1930 s–

a sign of how dunderheadedly defined are landmark criteria.

Under the ongoing evolution of the city category –the Archbishop’s mansion is even more valuable for bearing witness to those transitions. It’s still standing, but not for long.

We need new, different vision for New York City.

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IMAGINE THAT

Sarah Carroll, the new chair of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, actually has long experience as a preservationist!

Now, we’ll see if she can stand up to the Mayoralty and the developers.

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NOT VERY COOL

The Frick Museum is planning to dismantle its music room, built in the 1930s, and turn it into gallery space.

The music room is one of the most beguiling performance spaces in New York City.  I’ve attended only one concert there, Wolfgang Holzmaier’s super recital in 2014, and it was one of the rare times I’ve had a stateside experience comparable to the intimate music rooms of European palaces.

Go to SavetheFrick.org to sign a petition protesting this loss to NYC culture.

There’s top-rung, interesting programming there all the time, so I mean it’s a loss of venue and a loss of cultural and architectural landmark.

Not cool at all.

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SELF-EVIDENT

It should by now be axiomatic that any time Trump and his enablers make an accusation, they are in fact making a confession of guilt.

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