Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Civics Lesson

Snow Day

As it turned out, the weather here in southwest Iowa was fine for the caucuses last night. This morning was another story...

View from my patio at 9:30 AM CST
As these things go, this isn't a particularly impressive snowfall, and certainly nowhere near as bad as was predicted. We'll see if Mother Nature has any more in store for us today (the Winter Storm Warning is still in effect until 4:00 AM Wednesday), but for now things are pretty normal. Some cancellations, but a lot of business that preemptively announced closings for today are probably wishing they hadn't.

Tea Leaves

Front page this morning

So, after nearly a year of build-up, the Iowa Caucuses provided the first feedback from flesh-and-blood voters regarding the men and women running for president. And, as usual, the pollsters (who forecast comfortable victories for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton) got their asses handed to them by those voters.

Texas senator Ted Cruz easily beat Trump, who nearly fell to third place behind Florida senator Marco Rubio as well.

Meanwhile, black-eyed skank Hillary Clinton couldn't beat grumpy old socialist Bernie Sanders. She "won" the caucus by virtue of coin-tosses in half a dozen precincts, ALL of which went her way (she had her "cattle futures" luck working  last night).

Trump, as might be expected, began grumbling about the outcome this morning (after disappearing from both TV and social media last night following his concession speech). New Hampshire will be more hospitable to him, but we'll see how the voters react to his childish post-Iowa pouting. Trump's mantle as a winner has been tarnished, and that may have a lot to do with what happens next.

As for Hillary, Sanders currently leads her by more than 20 points in New Hampshire. We're not sure about the state of play in South Carolina because there have only been
a couple of polls done there since December. It will be fun to watch that race unfold. Personally, I'm rooting for Hillary Collapse 2.0.

For my own part, I enjoyed participating in the caucus, as I always do. Of course,
I didn't go by myself...

My wingman indicates his preference for Carly, with which I concurred.

I didn't expect her to win, of course, but my vote was a reward for her running a clean campaign and not going negative. She's smart, meticulously prepared, fearless, and a skillful advocate. She deserves some support for all of that, and I was happy to give it.

Turnout statewide didn't just break the previous record, it buried the pieces. At my venue, other than the larger number of participants everything was pretty normal. Except for the two women who spoke on behalf of Candidate Trump, who looked like pricey Vegas call girls, and who never made eye-contact with the audience as they read their prepared talking points. I'm sure I wasn't alone in thinking there were probably several words in those remarks that neither of the women could define if you put a gun to their heads.

So the circus has pulled up stakes and moved on to the next town, and Iowa can return to something resembling normalcy, having done America the service of showing that you can, in fact, trust people to reject guys like asshat Donald Trump.

"And that he who spends the most money doesn't necessarily win."

That, too...Jeb Bush wound up winning 1 delegate (the same number as Carly got) after spending more than $15 million on Iowa...

The TrumpWits™️ Didn't Think It Through

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

Until Next Time...

One of the oddities about popular music is that it is possible to be a tremendous commercial success without ever actually reaching the top of the Billboard album or singles charts very often. The British-American rock band Foreigner is a splendid example of the phenomenon.

Formed in 1976, the band has sold more than 80 million records, nearly half of that total in the United States alone. They have released nine multi-platinum certified albums, including three "hits" compilations. But for all of their success as album-rock superstars, they only ever had one record reach the top of the Billboard 200 Albums chart (their fourth album, simply titled 4, held the No. 1 position for 10 weeks in 1981).

It was a similar story with singles. The band produced nine Top 10 hit singles, but only one of them ever reached the pinnacle.

Original 1984 45 rpm single sleeve
On February 2, 1985 the group scored its only No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart with "I Want to Know What Love Is," a power ballad written by guitarist Mick Jones with some help from vocalist Lou Gramm.

Despite its popularity (the single went double-platinum), it wasn't until several weeks after its mid-November 1984 release that it finally hit the top, and it was only a brief two-week stay.

That said, the song is the biggest hit of Foreigner's career, and is a staple of AOR radio to this day.

Today's send-off is the official music video for the single, which includes footage of the New Jersey Mass Choir, which sang accompanying vocals on the recording. Enjoy...

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