Hump day recs 4/19/2023

Listen: to “El Rey.” This Thursday would be the 100th birthday of percussionist and band leader Tito Puente, AKA “the King of Latin Music.” This superb WNYC radio documentary traces Puente’s path from the streets of New York’s Spanish Harlem to global musical superstardom, following a half-century career that defined the sounds of mambo, Latin jazz, salsa, and even rock and roll. Plus who could forget Puente’s legendary musical roast of Mr. Burns on The Simpsons? Latin music is more popular than ever these days – know the history! – Alex

Read: “The Cash Ceiling: Why Only the Rich Run for Office – and What We Can Do About It,” by Nicolas Carnes. This book looks at why only 2% of US politicians come from the working class. He finds voters or candidates aren’t to blame, but the lack of campaign commodities – i.e., money and time – stop working-class people from throwing their hats in the ring. The book reveals how underrepresentation has left working-class issues off the agenda and epitomizes the old saying, “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the table.” – Riley

Read: “American Madness.”New York City Mayor Eric Adams got panned last year when he announced an ambitious citywide plan to treat mental illness, including forced removal of mentally ill people from the streets. Writing in The Atlantic, author Jonathan Rosen says that leaving people to suffer alone doesn’t solve the problem either. How does he know? His best childhood friend, a long time sufferer of hallucinations, killed his girlfriend after being failed by a broken system. – Gabrielle

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Listen now | GZERO World with Ian Bremmer - the podcast

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Watch Puppet Regime - award-winning comedy series