There was a haze over Jake Bugg when he arrived at the Tiny Desk. He was expressionless and quiet. That all changed when he strummed fast and fierce on his acoustic guitar and began a flow of words reminiscent of Greenwich Village in the '60s, not modern Clifton in England's East Midlands, where he grew up.
Bugg is a prolific talent already working on his third record in as many years. His second album was produced by Rick Rubin and recorded in California. His recognition in the U.S. is still small, but that'll change — maybe even before we get that third record.
- "Slumville Sunrise"
- "Me And You"
- "Storm Passes Away"
- "Lightning Bolt"
Producers: Bob Boilen, Denise DeBelius; Editor: Olivia Merrion; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Denise DeBelius, Olivia Merrion; photo by Jim Tuttle/NPR
The Pew Research Center's newly-released survey on American millennials has so far been interpreted as the latest demographic disaster confronting the GOP.
According to the report, millennials — defined as Americans aged 18 to 32 — appear to vote heavily Democratic and hold liberal views on a variety of contemporary political and social issues.
The findings, based on a recent Pew Research Center survey and analysis of other Pew surveys conducted between 1990 and 2014, are unquestionably a cause for worry among Republicans. But Democrats shouldn't be too quick to view the survey as unvarnished good news.
Here are four reasons why:
MILLENNIALS ARE LESS ATTACHED TO THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY LABEL
While Pew characterizes the millennials as "strikingly Democratic" in the last two presidential elections, they are nevertheless more likely than previous generations to reject party labels. Half of millennials — up from 38 percent in 2004 — identify themselves as political independents, meaning both parties have lost ground among young people.
MILLENNIALS ARE NO MORE LIBERAL ON GUN CONTROL AND ABORTION
Of all the age groups, millennials are the most supportive of same-sex marriage, the legalization of marijuana, and a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants by a wide margin. But their views on gun control and abortion are no more liberal than previous generations that Pew studied. Forty-nine percent of millennials say it's more important to protect gun rights than control gun ownership, a figure that is roughly at par with the attitudes of older generations. And 56 percent say abortion should be legal in all cases — slightly less than among Generation X, which is defined as Americans born between 1965 and 1980. Millennials are also much less likely to consider themselves environmentalists than any other generation.
FEWER MILLENIALS SEE BIG DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE PARTIES
Just 31 percent of millennials say there is a great deal of difference between the Republican and Democratic parties. That's considerably less among other generations: by comparison, 58 percent of the so-called Silent Generation (those born between 1928 to 1945) believe there are big differences between the parties.
MILLENNIALS ARE AS SKEPTICAL OF OBAMACARE AS OLDER GENERATIONS
Even though millennials support universal health insurance by the widest margin of any generation — and are far more supportive of President Obama than older generations — their attitude toward the Affordable Care Act is just as negative as older generations: only about four-in-ten in each generation approved of the law.
A vast and long-running federal investigation has now implicated D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray.
According to The Washington Post and NBC Washington, businessman Jeffrey Thompson will plead guilty to conspiracy, admitting that he funneled more than $2 million into a shadow campaign to help elect the democratic mayor.
But the bombshell is that Thompson says Gray knew about the secret and illegal effort to help his cause.
"In court Monday, prosecutors laid out a detailed new set of allegations that portrayed the mayor as having intimate knowledge of Thompson's campaign finance schemes and the need for them to be secret to protect Thompson's business interests.
"'Mayoral candidate A is Vincent Gray,' Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Atkinson said, before laying out months of intermittent conversations between Gray and Thompson. After Gray launched his campaign, he personally appealed to Thompson three days before a campaign finance deadline to "accelerate his fundraising," prosecutors said. Thompson came through with checks, many of them "straw donations" from other individuals that were later reimbursed by Thompson.
"Later in the campaign, a key figure in the shadow effort asked Thompson for more than $400,000 to fund a get- out-the-vote campaign, Atkinson said. Thompson insisted that Gray ask for funds himself, and the two men met at a Gray associate's apartment. There, Gray presented him with a one-page budget and 'expressed gratitude' to Thompson for his assistance as the meeting ended."
As we reported back in December, this investigation has tarnished Gray's first term, but he still decided to seek a second term, saying he "did nothing wrong" in 2010.
Gray, it is important to note, has not been indicted. But Thompson is the fifth person close to him to plead guilty to crimes stemming from the shadow campaign.
Washington City Paper reports that prosecutors also say Thompson made other payments to Gray.
"Among them: payment for a driver and luxury SUV in 2010, a $10,000 payment to a 'close relative' of Gray's, and $40,000 in home improvements and work for an unnamed Gray friend," the paper reports.
So why would Thompson do this? Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Atkinson said Thompson later appealed to Gray through a third part to "expedite" a "pending settlement involving his firm, D.C. Chartered Health Plan."
The D.C. primary, which generally decides the general election in the highly Democratic district, is scheduled for Tuesday, April 1. Gray has been leading in he polls.