Monday, February 15, 2016

Presidents' Day 2016

The Mask Comes Off

"Yeah, I'm a YUUUUUUUUUGE progressive Democrat. So?"

At the Republican presidential debate in South Carolina on Saturday, asshat Donald Trump had an epic meltdown in response to sustained attacks from Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz.

Before it was over, Trump had embraced the craziest of 9/11 Truther conspiracy nonsense, lauded Planned Parenthood, and reiterated his support for a government-run health care system that "covers everyone" (also known as "single-payer"). And those were just the highlights. Many of his answers bordered on outright incoherence.

Having known from the outset that this man is a lifelong progressive Democrat, and having criticized the GOP for allowing him to pretend otherwise for some obscure reason, I can now only hope that the voters in upcoming GOP primaries do the right thing and send this charlatan packing. GOP primary voters do not have an illustrious history in this regard.

South Carolina, unfortunately, is an open primary, and since the race on the Democratic side isn't close, lots of Democrats will cross over to vote on the Republican side, just to skew the results. Open primaries are the work of the Devil (in cahoots with the geniuses running the Republican National Committee).

"Are you still scouting locations in Canada?"

I'd be a fool not to...

Wild Kingdom Bed & Breakfast Update

"Nice little joint you got here."
It had been awhile since I've seen any new species visiting the B&B, but yesterday morning when I peeked out I saw a single mourning dove. He didn't appear to be eating anything, just sort of resting, but Audubon's field guide says this type of bird typically fills his crop with seed, then digests while resting. He sat quietly for awhile before noticing me peeking at him through the curtain, at which point he flew away.

According to Audubon, adult mourning doves don't necessarily migrate during the winter months if they can locate a reliable food source. Since they are seed-eaters that might make the B&B an attractive place, so I'm hopeful of seeing him again one of these days.

All are welcome at the B&B, of course...

One of These Things Is Not Like the Others

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

Until Next Time...

One of the more frustrating aspects of the music business for artists is the risk that their early efforts will be pigeon-holed into a particular category, making it less likely that anyone who doesn't pay attention to that category will ever hear their music. Artists who develop what is called "cross-over appeal" are rare.

Linda Ronstadt managed to accomplish the feat, but it wasn't easy. She began her career as a folkie, then began recording rock-inflected country songs. She enjoyed some success in this vein, including country No. 1 hits and Grammy nominations, but Ronstadt kept on experimenting with her style. She didn't want to be known simply as a country artist.

Working with producer Peter Asher and musician/arranger Andrew Gold, Ronstadt finally found the formula for appealing to a wider audience with a recording released in late 1974.

Original 1974 album cover

On February 15, 1975 Linda's Heart Like a Wheel album reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart, the same day the album's first single, "You're No Good," reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart (her only single to accomplish that particular feat).

The album spent 51 weeks on the charts, received two platinum certifications, and earned Ronstadt the first of her record 11 Grammy Awards.

The album was eventually selected for the National Recording Registry curated by the Library of Congress, and cemented Ronstadt's appeal as the most popular female singer of her generation. She went on to sell over 100 million records worldwide.

Linda was a favorite of mine starting with Heart Like a Wheel, and continuing through the end of her singing and recording career in 2011 (due to Parkinson's Disease). She was also one of my late first wife's favorites.

Today's send-off is the song that was her lone No. 1 Billboard Single. Enjoy...

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