Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Come and Take It!

Slogging Ahead

I tried my best, but I was unable to avoid news about yesterday's Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses. Herewith my takeaways from last night's results...

Asshat Donald Trump continues to under-perform his polling numbers. In Virginia, for instance, he was supposed to roll to a 15+ point blowout, but instead barely eked out a win over Marco Rubio, who wound up basically tied with him
in delegates awarded there.

Trump also continues to struggle in closed primaries where only registered Republicans are allowed to vote. He outright lost two more such contests last night (Oklahoma, and Alaska), just as he lost in Iowa last month. That is encouraging. There are four more primaries this Saturday (Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine), and all four are closed.

Last night was a good night for Texas senator Ted Cruz, who not only completed dominated the primary in his home state but added wins in Oklahoma and Alaska as well, and made strong showings elsewhere.

The upcoming calendar of primaries and caucuses is not especially favorable to him, but his campaign showed last night that Trump is anything but inevitable. Cruz also significantly narrowed the gap in convention delegates.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio also had a good night, especially relative to what polls had been suggesting. He won the Minnesota caucuses handily, and narrowly missed winning the Virginia primary.

His recent surge is attributed by many to his going on offense against Trump. May he continue to fire away.

The next few contests on the GOP calendar are mostly closed primaries and caucuses where Democrats and "independents" (a.k.a. closet Democrats) won't be able to help Trump.

Despite being the weakest "front-runner" for the GOP nomination in anyone's memory (he's stuck at around 32 percent support among Republican voters so far, often less), the progressives and the mainstream media (but I repeat myself) are frantically trying to spin last night's results as a decisive Trump victory, and of course his supporters are crowing as if it were also. Progressives know a Trump win means an easy win for Hillary in the general election (even nitwit Kasich beats Hillary head-to-head; Trump is the only GOP candidate who consistently loses to her, and by large margins, in polling).

"I'm just glad you didn't have a conniption."

Spring training baseball for the Royals starts today, so that will do wonders for my mental state...


Speaking of my beloved Kansas City Royals, they announced yesterday that they reached an agreement on a contract extension with All-Star and World Series MVP C Salvador Perez.

Salvy is reportedly giving $1 million of his largesse to the Urban Youth Academy in Kansas City, a typically classy gesture from
a player the fans have grown to love.

Along with re-signing free agent All-Star LF Alex Gordon and RHP Chris Young, and agreeing to a contract extension for All-Star 3B Mike Moustakas, the Perez deal shows the Royals are committed to keeping the core of the team together.

To say that this represents a sea-change in philosophy for the team in recent years
would be a huge understatement. I guess all it took for the Glass family to decide to really compete was a taste of playoff success.

In any case, Royals fans right now are happy as clams at high tide.

I am willing to entertain the possibility that they might, yes...

Happy 180th Birthday!

On March 2, 1836 (Sam Houston's birthday, incidentally) the Texas Declaration of Independence was signed, and the Republic of Texas created. It would become the 28th state of the Union a decade later.

Even though they're crazy enough to think that their barbecue is a match for Kansas City's, I am very fond of Texans, especially since last night they knocked asshat Donald Trump's dick in the dirt.

Caffeine is Key

From the droll comic strip Zits, by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman, which you should read every day, as I do.

Until Next Time...

On March 2, 1999 Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O'Brien died in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, England at age 59. Performing under the name Dusty Springfield, she was a big part of the soundtrack of my adolescence, with 15 Billboard Hot 100 singles just between 1967 and 1970 alone.

If you were an aficiando of so-called "blue-eyed soul" music (which I was in high school, since lots of cute girls liked it too), the release of Dusty's famous Dusty in Memphis album in the spring of 1969 was a watershed moment. Even though it barely cracked the top half of the Billboard 200 Albums chart, it was one of those records that got talked about a lot, and owning a copy was a way of showing discernment and good taste.

The album eventually came to be seen as Dusty's finest recording, and it produced four Billboard Hot 100 singles, with two more just missing that distinction. Her cover of
"The Windmills of Your Mind," which had won the Academy Award for Best Song in 1968 for Noel Harrison, reached No. 3 on the Adult Contemporary chart and was a particular favorite of mine at the time.

Original 1968 45 rpm single
By far the most successful single from that album, though, was the sultry "Son of a Preacher Man," which hit No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100.

This is one of those songs that I just never get tired of hearing. It is in half of dozen of my iTunes playlists.

Although the song was written by John Hurley and Ronnie Wilkins for Aretha Franklin, she initially turned it down. After hearing Dusty's killer rendition, the Queen of Soul recorded her own version in 1970. Aretha's version didn't chart, however.

"Son of a Preacher Man" has come to be regarded as Dusty's signature song, and rightly so. It's one of those rare moments in pop music when all the elements come together so well you really can't imagine the finished product being any better.

Today's send-off is the 1999 remastered stereo album track (although Dusty in Memphis was recorded and released in stereo, the singles were remixed and released in monaural sound, presumably to improve the way they sounded on portable AM radios). Enjoy...

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