Thursday, July 14, 2016


The Stupid Party Carries On

"The 'Party of Lincoln' is dead! Long live the 'Party of Trump!'"
It will be awhile before we know for sure, but it sounds like there is a deal being struck today that will prevent any further attempts to permit delegates to the Republican National Convention to vote as their consciences dictate.

In classic "Stupid Party" fashion, the proposed deal supposedly involves changes to the party's nominating procedures to be implemented NEXT TIME, in exchange for bending the knee THIS TIME to the lifelong New York progressive Democrat whom party chairman Reince Priebus permitted to wreck the party in 2016.

Republicans get the party leaders they deserve. To hell with ALL of them...

"Calm down! You know you'll come back sooner or later."

I won't, actually...the party has told me over and over again that I'm not welcome, I'm just taking them at their word on it, finally...


One of the places my best friend Skip and his wife Elaine visited on their recently-completed cruise vacation was Bilbao, Spain. A high-level chess tournament, Bilbao Chess, began there yesterday, and there was a headline-making result in the first round of the Masters section.

U.S. Grandmaster (GM) Hikaru Nakamura defeated World Champion GM Magnus Carlsen of Norway. And he did it playing Black, too.

That was newsworthy because Nakamura, currently the world's No. 5-ranked player, had never beaten Carlsen in what is called "classical" chess (normal tournament time controls). He had lost a dozen times and gotten 18 draws in their previous 30 meetings
in classical.

Welcome Back, I Guess

So last night was the Season 6 premiere of Suits, which has been one of my favorite shows since its debut.

Season 5 was quite frustrating for me, as
I felt the show got away from what had made it so appealing to me in favor of a relatively preposterous storyline. The season finale just plain pissed me off.

If last night's episode is any indication, this season isn't going to do much to make me feel any better about the show.

"It's been a tough year for you and favorite TV shows, hasn't it?"

It really, really has...

Baseball Coincidence

One of the things I enjoy about baseball is its history, which is chock full of odd coincidences. For instance...

On July 14, 1967 eventual Hall of Famer Eddie Mathews, playing for the Houston Astros late in his great career, hit his 500th home run off of another Hall of Famer, pitcher Juan Marichal of the San Francisco Giants.

At the time, Mathews was just the 7th player to have reached the 500-Home Run Club.

On July 14, 1968, one year to the day after Mathews, future Hall of Famer Hank Aaron, playing for the Atlanta Braves, hit his 500th home run off of another San Francisco Giants pitcher, Mike McCormick.
At the time, Aaron was just the 8th 500 Home Run Club member.

Mathews and Aaron were teammates with the Braves for many years (they hit 863 home runs as teammates, surpassing the New York Yankee duo of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig), and they're the only two members of the 500 Home Run Club to have hit their 500th during the month of July.


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

Until Next Time...

Although I am much fonder of Ludwig van Beethoven's piano music and symphonic works, his compositions for strings are not without their charms, as I was reminded by this week's Music Recommendation.

The album features violinist Lorenzo Gatto and pianist Julien Libeer on three
of the maestro's violin sonatas.

Violin Sonata No. 2 was published in 1798 and was dedicated to Antonio Salieri, Beethoven's former teacher.

Violin Sonata No. 4 was published in 1801, and was the first of his violin sonatas to receive critical praise.

Violin Sonata No. 9, also known as the Kreutzer Sonata, was published in 1803 and is among Beethoven's most celebrated compositions.

Today's send-off is the second movement of Sonata No. 2. Enjoy...

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