Presty the DJ for Oct. 7

Today in 1975, one of the stranger episodes in rock music history ended when John Lennon got permanent resident status, his “green card.” The federal government, at the direction of Richard Nixon, tried to deport Lennon because of his 1968 British arrest for possession of marijuana.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that trying to deport Lennon on the basis of an arrest was “contrary to U.S. ideas of due process and was invalid as a means of banishing the former Beatle from America.”

The number one British single today in 1978 came from that day’s number one album:

The number one album today in 1989 was Tears for Fears’ “Seeds of Love”:

Continue reading “Presty the DJ for Oct. 7”

And you thought Trump’s tweets were bad

Whoever runs Joe Biden’s Twitter account posted this:

This from the president who brought us American suckers the worst inflation in 40 years, the highest energy prices of this decade (and getting worse), becoming the hostage of OPEC again, and various other embarrassments while he simultaneously demonizes 75 million Americans. (He’s as much a Corvette owner, given his work to make sure no one else can own a Corvette, as he is a Catholic given his abortion-under-any-circumstances beliefs.)


As for Biden’s (staffer’s) tweet, Mike Vance chronicles responses:

I still think the ultimate Biden photo is the mumbling fascist:


Presty the DJ for Oct. 6

You had better get on board for the number one song today in 1970:

The number one song today in 1973:

Britain’s number one album tonight in 1984 was David Bowie’s “Tonight”:


The number one album today in 2002 was “Elvis Presley’s Number One Hits,” despite (or perhaps because of) the fact that Presley had been dead for 25 years:

Strangely, “Elvis Presley’s Number One Hits” didn’t include this number one hit:

Just two birthdays of note, and they were on the same day: Kevin Cronin of REO Speedwagon …

… was born the same day as David Hidalgo of Los Lobos:

Presty the DJ for Oct. 5

The number one song today in 1959 …

… came from a German opera:

The number one British song today in 1961:

The number one British song today in 1974 came from the movie “The Exorcist”:


The number one U.S. album today in 1974 was a collection of previous Beach Boys hits, “Endless Summer”:

The number one song today in 1991:

Birthdays begin with Carlos Mastrangelo, one of Dion’s Belmonts:

Richard Street of The Temptations …

… was born one year before Milwaukee’s own Steve Miller:

Brian Connolly of Sweet:

Brian Johnson of AC/DC:

Harold Faltermeyer:

Lee Thompson of Madness:

Dave Dederer of Presidents of the United States (though none of the band’s members have ever been president):

Presty the DJ for Oct. 4

Today in 1957, the sixth annual New Music Express poll named Elvis Presley the second most popular singer in Great Britain behind … Pat Boone. That seems as unlikely as, say, Boone’s recording a heavy metal album.

The number one British song today in 1962, coming to you via satellite:

Britain’s number one album today in 1969 was the Beatles’ “Abbey Road”:

Continue reading “Presty the DJ for Oct. 4”

Presty the DJ for Oct. 3

We begin with this unusual event: Today in 1978, the members of Aerosmith bailed out 30 of their fans who were arrested at their concert in Fort Wayne, Ind., for smoking marijuana:

Britain’s number one single today in 1987:

Today in 1992 on NBC-TV’s “Saturday Night Live,” Sinead O’Connor torpedoed her own career:

Continue reading “Presty the DJ for Oct. 3”

Presty the DJ for Oct. 1

I present the number one single today in 1977 to demonstrate that popularity and quality are not always synonymous:

The number one single today in 1983:

Today in 2004, the Lord Mayor of Melbourne officially opened AC/DC Lane, named for the band, to the bagpipes from …

Birthdays begin with actor Richard Harris, who “sang” …

Continue reading “Presty the DJ for Oct. 1”

Santayana 2022

George Santayana famously said that “Those who forget their history are condemned to repeat it.

That appears to include Democrats now campaigning as if Trump were on the ballot, along with a lot of Republicans, as Hugh Hewitt writes:

Five years after Hillary Clinton titled her latest memoir, “What Happened,” the revolution that hit American politics in 2016 remains little understood. When the former secretary of state joined me on air to discuss her book in 2017, she’d worked out in her own mind what drove the most improbable upset in modern political history.

Clinton told me. “I understand the resentment. I understand the very strong feelings that a lot of people in our country have about everything from the economy to race to immigration to national defense.”

But the cataclysm of 2016 is more complicated than that. Even now, do any of us who live inside the Beltway bubble or who swim in the waters of “elites” really understand?

Now comes an explanation from Walter Russell Mead, a scholar of U.S. foreign policy, national politics and national security as well as a past professor at Yale, who gets very close to the answer. I have no idea how Mead votes. To me, he’s always been a respected voice whose wide-ranging interests and scholarly credentials are not in question. He’s not a political analyst in the way the term is used today.

So it was a surprise that Mead used the final chapter of his latest book, “The Arc of a Covenant: The United States, Israel, and the Fate of the Jewish People,” to reexamine what happened in 2016.

Mead’s whole book deserves an in-depth read, but for those in the political analysis business, the final pages are worth the cover price. “Getting to grips with the Trump presidency is a trying task,” concedes Mead. “Trump was such a unique and controversial figure that both his achievements and his failures defy conventional analysis.”

“Yet with all his many shortcomings,” Mead continues, Trump “understood some important truths about international politics and the state of the world that eluded his establishment critics.

“To millions of Americans, [Trump] was like the little boy who dared to cry out that the emperor had no clothes — that the American elite had lost its way and had no answers for the problems of the United States, much less for those of the world beyond our frontiers.”

The folks caught most unaware of the undertow in 2015 and 2016? Republicans like me, categorized by Mead as Sun Belt Republicans, not so because of where we lived but because of our broad commitment to “optimism, laissez-faire conservatism, free trade, and a vigorous promotion of American values abroad and at home.”

We were blindsided by Trump, both his march through the primaries and his eventual upset in November 2016. The “Republican establishment, both intellectual and political, were the ones to suffer defenestration as Trump stole the Republican Party out from under them in 2016,” Mead observes.

Trump tallied 63 million votes in 2016, and he collected even more — 74 million — four years later. He lost the popular vote to Clinton by almost 3 million and to President Biden by 7 million.

Why were voters pulling the lever for Trump? They expressed their disapproval of who had come to govern American life, left, right and center, and what those “elites” had set as their priorities.

“If the mid-century model of an American economy built on the growing success and stability of a middle class no longer worked, what kind of society was the United States? … And if the United States could no longer see itself as a providential nation with a global mission,” Mead writes, “what did it mean to be an American?”

Similar forces are at work in other Western countries. Democratic electorates across the globe have been voting since World War II, Mead explains, to govern themselves via people like themselves who share their values. They have voted again and again against elites, especially elites embodying different morals and world views, he said. Even Ukraine’s struggle against Russia can best be understood in this context of “self-rule first,” Mead told me Monday.

Finally, he writes, a broad cross section of voters “wanted less and less to do with conventional Republican foreign policy. They still scorned Democratic talk about multilateralism and international institutions, but they no longer saw establishment Republicans as trustworthy opponents of the Democratic agenda at home or abroad.

“By 2016, millions of GOP voters were ready to strike out in a new direction. Donald Trump was in the right place at the right time.”

Read Mead. He has provided the balanced, persuasive short course on all that we need to understand.

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