Wednesday, January 20, 2016


Sarah, Plain and Dumb

At a rally yesterday in Ames, former GOP vice-presidential candidate and Tea Party stalwart Sarah Palin endorsed asshat Donald Trump for the GOP presidential nomination.

There is no spinning this. It is a sellout, pure and simple.

Palin has fallen victim to the same siren song that seduced the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and other prominent media figures over the past few months. Aligning with Trump apparently means a bump in ratings, book sales, website visits, or whatever else the person doing the endorsing desires.

I have been an admirer of Mrs. Palin in the past, and a defender of her from relentless and baseless attacks from the usual progressive suspects. I have read and enjoyed her books, particularly Going Rogue. But this endorsement is a serious mistake in judgment, and a betrayal of the small-government, Constitutional Conservative values she was once proud to champion.

Her endorsement speech yesterday was, frankly, an embarrassment. Rambling, contradictory, and at times bordering on the incoherent, it sounded a lot like Trump himself.

I do not share the belief of some conservative voices that Mrs. Palin was a shallow opportunist all along. But there is no defending this choice, and I don't think it bodes well for the Tea Party movement as a whole, nor for the cause of principled conservatism.

"'Plain and dumb' seems a bit harsh. She is an attractive woman."

It was a literary reference...

Requiescat in Pace

Braden Joplin posing with Dr. Ben Carson
The weather in southwest Iowa was treacherous yesterday, with frigid temperatures and snowfall combining to make driving conditions unpleasant.

An accident on I-80 just north of Atlantic was caused by the icy road conditions, and resulted in fatal injuries to Braden Joplin, 25, a student at Texas Tech University who was working on the presidential campaign of Dr. Ben Carson. Most of the passengers in the van Braden was riding in were Carson campaign volunteers.

Please remember Braden and his family, as well as all who knew him, in your thoughts and prayers today.

Speaking of Payoffs

From the pen of Michael Ramirez, whose editorial cartoons you should read often,
as I do.

Until Next Time...

It has been a relatively dreadful last few days, and at such times I have a tendency to wallow in melancholy music. Few songwriters have a knack for melancholy quite like the protean Canadian Leonard Cohen, who has produced a large number of my mopey favorites over his long career.

One of my particular favorites is "Bird on the Wire," a song about love and regret that first appeared on Leonard's 1969 album Songs From a Room (believe it or not, I was prone to melancholy as far back as high school). It has been covered dozens of times, with some of the artists rendering the title as "Bird On a Wire."

On his 2011 tour, my hero Joe Bonamassa included a cover of Leonard's song in his set list.

At his concert at New York's famous Beacon Theatre on November 4, 2011, Joe played the song on a beautiful and unusual Gigliotti guitar (unusual in that the guitar's top is metal rather than wood).

He gets an absolutely gorgeous tone from the instrument, and the beauty of his playing plus the sad lyrics produces a fairly predictable response in me every time I listen to it. Some days, that's just what I want...

Today's send-off is his performance of Cohen's song from the DVD of the Beacon Theatre show. Enjoy...

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