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By Jeremy Schiffres, Daily and Sunday Freeman, Kingston, N.Y.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Hall and Henley

I frequently get e-mails at the Freeman from the National Republican Congressional Committee, or NRCC, a group whose sole purpose is to bash congressional Democrats and Democratic candidates for Congress. I usually just discard the missives -- because they’re not objective and have no news value – but one I received yesterday was good for a laugh. In trying to make the point that U.S. Rep. John Hall, a Dutchess County Democrat and a member of the 1970s musical group Orleans, has not accomplished anything during his first year in the House, the NRCC sent an e-mail to Hudson Valley media with the subject line “After One Year, Hall Still Running on Empty.” Cute – using a 1970s song title to zing the former pop star. Unfortunately, “Running on Empty” was a Jackson Browne song.

And speaking of long-ago musical acts, the Eagles this week released “Long Road Out of Eden,” their first studio album since the “The Long Run” in 1979. That’s the good news. The bad news is that “Long Road” is available only at Wal-Mart – forcing fans of the band to shop at a store that so many people dislike and eliminating any possibility of the competitive product pricing that’s supposed to exist in a free-market economy. (Read: Best Buy probably would have sold “Long Road” for less.) Sad, too, is that Eagles front man Don Henley has given up his personal convictions for the huge sum of money that Wal-Mart undoubtedly paid the Eagles to win the exclusive rights to “Long Road.” The man who has devoted so much of his adult life to environmental causes – specifically protecting Henry David Thoreau’s Walden Pond and Walden Woods in Massachusetts – still sings such passages as “No more walk in the wood/The trees have all been cut down,” but he does it on an album being sold by a retail giant that probably has clear-cut more trees during construction than any other company in America.



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