Sunday Serendipity

Something amusing to round out your Independence Day weekend. From Belgian violinist and composer: Henri Vieuxtemps

Souvenir d’Amérique, Variations burlesques sur “Yankee Doodle”, Op. 17

Enjoy, Jack


88 thoughts on “Sunday Serendipity”

  1. jack, thanks. just in time. we need reminding now and then about all our yankee doodle dandies who stood up to kings, dictators, bullies and the war mongers among us.  they gave their limbs and lives. looks like we’re on the verge of frittering their efforts away.  

    Attribution: Mein Kampf 2025 by John Darkow, Columbia Missourian

    posted by Jamie last night:

    Neo Nazi march in Nashville TN.  Apparently, all outsiders.

    Neo-Nazis march in Nashville, leave after being challenged (

  2. BTW here’s some of what wiki says about the song:

    The song was a pre-Revolutionary War song originally sung by British military officers to mock the disheveled, disorganized colonial “Yankees” with whom they served in the French and Indian War. It was written at Fort Crailo around 1755 by British Army surgeon Richard Shuckburgh while campaigning in Rensselaer, New York. The British troops sang it to make fun of their stereotype of the American soldier as a Yankee simpleton who thought that he was stylish if he simply stuck a feather in his cap. It was also popular among the Americans as a song of defiance, and they added verses to it that mocked the British and hailed George Washington as the Commander of the Continental army. By 1781, “Yankee Doodle” had turned from being an insult to being a song of national pride.
    According to one account, Shuckburgh wrote the original lyrics after seeing the appearance of Colonial troops under Colonel Thomas Fitch, the son of Connecticut Governor Thomas Fitch. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, “the current version seems to have been written in 1776 by Edward Bangs, a Harvard sophomore who also was a Minuteman.” He wrote a ballad with 15 verses which circulated in Boston and surrounding towns in 1775 or 1776.
    During the aftermath of the Siege of Yorktown, the surrendering British soldiers looked only at the French soldiers present, refusing to pay the American soldiers any heed. Marquis de Lafayette was outraged and ordered his band to play “Yankee Doodle” in response to taunt the British. Upon doing so, the British soldiers at last looked upon the Americans.

    The US state broadcaster Voice of America uses this tune as their interval signal.

  3. for those who were wondering why there’s been talk of parkinsonism lately:

    Biden’s doctor reportedly met with top neurologist at White House | Joe Biden | The Guardian

    Parkinson’s expert at Walter Reed medical center has visited White House eight times since August 2023 – report
    According White House visitor logs reviewed by the New York Post, Dr Kevin Cannard, a Parkinson’s disease expert at Walter Reed medical center, met with Dr Kevin O’Connor, a doctor of osteopathic medicine who has treated the president for years.
    The visit took place at the White House residence clinic on 17 January. Cannard has visited the White House house eight times since August 2023. On seven of those visits, most recently in late March, he met with Megan Nasworthy, a liaison between Walter Reed and the White House.
    Later in the broadcast, Biden was asked if he would do an independent neurological and cognitive exam and release the results. “I get a cognitive test every day,” Biden said. “Everything I do – you know, not only am I campaigning, but I’m running the world.”
    Pressed on the issue, he said: “I’ve already done it.”

    NOTE all the above was happening during and when delicate and consequential events, negotiations, natural disasters and national security emergencies were going on. it’s SOP not to give your negotiating opponents or security foes a perception of any weaknesses even if the media thinks otherwise. think back to JFK and the cuban crisis, russian military off shore — ridiculous to think that white house then should or would have opened health records on the president.

  4. Assured Kamala Harris cuts a transformed figure in New Orleans – and carefully avoids any mention of Biden’s fitness for office | US elections 2024 | The Guardian

    The ideal understudy is talented but inconspicuous, prepared at all times to step into the top role and yet content to never do so.
    In New Orleans, at the 30th annual Essence Festival of Culture, gone was the Kamala Harris of the drab brown, chair-matching suit and the halting, technical commentary about American policy needs. That was the Harris who spoke here in 2019, then a Democratic presidential primary contender trailed by fewer than 10 reporters.
    Instead, on Saturday, Harris – dressed in a bright teal suit and tailed by a press contingent which had expanded to more than four times its previous size – spoke to a standing-room-only crowd in a room equipped to seat more than 500 people.
    In what was billed as an on-stage conversation with Essence CEO Caroline Wanga, Harris confidently offered a blend of standard campaign-season talk – a recitation of the Biden-Harris administration’s major policy accomplishments with dire warnings about the dangers posed by a possible second Trump term and the critical importance of the choice that voters will face in just 122 days – blended with the language of women’s empowerment.
    To say that Harris assiduously avoided any mention of recent questions about Biden’s fitness for office would be an overstatement, and Wanga did not ask or seemingly make room for the issue gripping much of Washington. In the past week, the fallout of the president’s shaky debate performance on 27 June has manifested in calls for him to drop out of the race, with a handful of Democratic lawmakers joining the chorus. Many of those same critics are now hoping Harris might be the new nominee in November.
    For those inclined to read tea leaves, there may well have been more there in New Orleans. Harris encouraged the audience to embrace ambition and the difficulty of cutting new, and even history-making, paths.
    “I beseech you, don’t you ever hear something can’t be done,’ Harris said. “People in your life will tell you, though, it’s not your time. It’s not your turn. Nobody like you has done it before. Don’t you ever listen to that.
    “I like to say, ‘I eat no for breakfast,’” she said.

  5. Not finding much focus on Putin’s stakes in today’s French vote, so I dug up a few…

    Why France’s political turmoil is a victory for Putin

    Le Pen’s Rise in France Is a Big Gift to Putin

    French elections: Putin’s Russia backs far-right Rassemblement National

  6. I was a Kamala supporter in 2020 until Joe won the nomination and still will support her if for some reason – unwarranted IMHO – Joe was to drop out of the race. I am not certain the country is smart enough to choose her over the head of the insane clown posse. I hope I’m wrong if we reach that test point, but whoever’s on the D side of the ticket will get my vote (as if it will matter in WV). And btw, what Sturg, Ivy & BiD said yesterday. Enjoy trashing Joe for those who feel the need. We’ll see in mid November I guess. I can hear the screaming of “I told you so”. Just aren’t sure who’ll be saying it. 

  7. Three Reuters reporters attempt a deep dive here, but no firm answer:

    Could Kamala Harris beat Donald Trump in November’s presidential race?

    Her three-and-a-half-year White House tenure has been characterized by a lackluster start, staff turnover, and early policy portfolios including migration from Central America that did not produce major successes. As recently as last year, many inside the White House and the Biden campaign team privately worried Harris was a liability for the campaign. The situation has changed significantly since then, Democratic officials have said, as she stepped forward on abortion rights and courted young voters.


  8. To me the risk analysis is the only question: Is Trump more beatable with or without Joe? Putting aside my affection and appreciation. If he’s still the best to beat Trump, let’s roll. But briefly considering the alternative isn’t heresy.

  9. question for the trail experts on campaign requirements:

    in case Joe wants to withdraw from the race — but in doing so make sure Kamala is well covered with regard to election rules, regs, campaign finances, the printing of ballots and taking in consideration of absentee/early voting dates —  would it be possible for him at the convention to announce that on day one he will step down and hand the reins over to the vice prez thus allowing all the base to vote for both yet know they’ll end up with kamala?

  10. There is no poll which shows how Kamala would fare against the pumkin after having gone thru the whole dump Biden process.  

    With Joe or without Joe after the chaos brought about by the party having dumped Joe.

  11. PatD, there’s a wrinkle to be ironed out before we get to your scenario. Right now the Democratic National Committee is still planning to select nominees BEFORE the convention in a massive virtual vote with delegates. This was meant to avoid Ohio’s pre-convention deadline for getting on the state’s ballot. But Gov. DeWine pushed his legislature to extend the deadline to Septemeber. And yet Dems say they’re still going forward with the early vote because Trump forces in Ohio are threatening to sue, so they don’t want to risk losing that challenge and being kept off the ballot.

  12. PatD, to your question Biden could release his delegates at any point before the vote. But after that all he can do is ask them to vote for someone in particular. They would be free to vote for him or anyone else. Of course, in theory under Democratic rules they don’t have to vote for Biden even if he doesn’t drop out, but they’re handpicked by the campaign so that’s not feasible.

  13. Thank you Jack.  Nice addition to our Sunday pleasures.

    Pat d – As usual you come through with “just the facts Maam”

    Can’t hear the song without this springing to mind.


  14. AXIOS: One swing-state lawmaker told us that a monthly forum back home is usually consumed by community issues. On Saturday, everyone wanted to talk about Biden’s age. “The sh*t is going to hit the fan on Monday, when Congress returns,” a House Democrat told us. “People are scared about their own races. But they’re also worried about the country, and about democracy.

    Final line of this Axios piece: “The president believes that in the end, his critics will cave.”

  15. JillDLawrence



    Another winner from the
    editorial board: “Apparently, it’s OK for Trump to spew nonstop nonsense, but Biden can’t ever lose his train of thought. Anyone looking for cognitive decline should tune into a Trump rally.”

  16. The proof that Biden can run the country is the fact that he is running it. Successfully. Not a debate performance against a pathological lying sociopath. 
    —Dr Heather Cox Richardson

  17. BlancaCamachoNY
    So Tim Miller basically just said we should follow his advice & dump the entire Dem ticket, “and are people REALLY going to be mad?” sure MAYBE “Black people, women, or some core constituents” but who cares about them anyway?

    What conflict? I don’t see a conflict. Do YOU see a conflict?

  18. Interestingly, one of the most familiar verses did not appear until 1842. Today, it is the first verse of the song that every American knows:
    Yankee Doodle went to townA-riding on a ponyStuck a feather in his capAnd called it macaroni*.
    the history of a song can be long, crooked, and crazy. And in the case of “Yankee Doodle,” a song now sung as a happy ditty was at one time a song of mockery, and then a song of war.
    * This “macaroni” does not refer to a pasta noodle. It was a term for dressing so fancy that a person looked silly.

  19. why the harping on screwing up for 90 minutes when most of his responses were on target, normal as political debates go and outweighed by a long shot the lying fantasizing nonsense spewed by his opponent? as someone pointed out joe screwed up only a fraction of the time NOT the whole time.  likewise the stephenopolis interview.  this isn’t new for the decades I’ve watched him. he’s always made gaffes, garbled language and not so funny attempts at humor.  he’s just being joe.

  20. Perfect day yesterday in Estes Park, CO. Colorado Bob’s spirit still lingers, although sadly, his former venue has changed owners and, like everything, it ain’t like it was. 

  21. why the harping on screwing up for 90 minutes ?

    Pat, it may have been just the proverbial tip of the iceberg. 

  22. …like it all comes down to what the so-called swing voters want. I don’t know who they are or how they got that way, but their vote counts; mine does not.  

  23. this isn’t new for the decades I’ve watched him. he’s always made gaffes, garbled language and not so funny attempts at humor.  he’s just being joe.

    Pat, I agree with you but “swing voters” may not get the joke. 

  24. Swing voters.
    They are those voters who passed abortion rights several times and didn’t deliver the “red wave”.

  25. How come no one is talking about the damage a compulsive liar caused as president.
    Some Democrats are morons why else would they be doing the goopers job.

  26. You see… got your Yanker…….and then you got your Yankee.   
    I used to play with an old guy who would do “Yankee Doodle Dandy” except he insisted on singing it, every time, no matter where he was “TheYankee’s Doodle was a Damdy”

  27. One of Obama’s more pertinent comments about his VP:  “Joe says stuff” said affectionately with a laugh.

    It’s hard to convey that quirk in an Op-ed about Joe’s abilities.  

  28. craig, I read your 8:33 and 8:38 and see your point on timing where and when.  how ’bout altering the scenario to have Joe at or just before the virtual meetup but especially before the delegate vote 8/7/24 openly promise them to permanently step aside the minute a battery of qualified docs upon examining him tell him he is in no condition to continue being an effective president. 

    he can make a point that he will abide by the oath he swore (and has taken several times since he started public service decades ago) to uphold the constitution and to faithfully execute the office of the presidency. He can say that oath is to the whole constitution including the 25th amendment particularly section 3 which reads:

    Section 3

    Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.

    His promise to the delegates is to submit his written declaration to leave the office forthwith upon such finding never to seek it again.  This way if the docs in their periodic (or any health scare emergency concerning him) examination never find mental incapacity he will carry on to finish his term.


    the magaT king should also then be hounded mercilessly to make the same promise in writing on camera to his voters prior to nov 5th.

  29. Ha! “Joe says stuff.” 

    The debates blips weren’t “a big fucking deal” until some Dems made it one. 

    My arthritic, old guy is so much better than the MAGAt’s old, crazy, megalomaniac.

    Biden/Harris 2024

  30. Damn holidays, probably have to wait until Wed. for swing state polls 🫤 


    it’s funny BiD, i knew i had been in this echo chamber too long after i watched the debate and thought “well, that wasn’t so bad”, and then i saw the chatter and headlines…

  31. “We’re sticking with Joe for as long as he sticks with us.”

    Ivy, your comment made me recall Woody Guthrie’s  lyrics in his Union Maid song.

    ♬ “oh you can’t scare me, i’m sticking to the union, sticking to the union until the day i die” ♬

  32. Pat, all interesting scenarios but I still say Biden could stop this with a prime time press conference, old school style in the East Room with orderly questions.

  33. craig, to quote shakespeare’s lear:

    o, that way madness lies

    every utterance will be parsed, every hesitation/look/stammer worried over like a dog with a bone. we’ll be drowned in 24/7 coverage of the minutia and little will be accomplished

  34. Not changing horses unless Joe falls off the horse and doesn’t get back up. 

  35. No White House officials or cabinet secretaries were made available for Sunday show interviews today. And Clyburn canceled his scheduled appearance on Facebook The Nation.

  36. My mom got arthur-itis and parkinsons and didn’t walk so good for a long time, but her mind never quit and neither did her whiplash tongue. She was “still herself” until the day hospice took over which was her decision because she decided it was time. Probably cancer but she wouldn’t let anyone “look.” 

    PS: she couldn’t stand what Fox news did to her sisters.

  37. Good news out of France.  Green first Macro second and less Pen third.  Nice follow up to Britain’s election.  Let us hope this is an indication of things to come in US


    “Leftist New Popular Front is projected to win 172 to 192 seats — well short of the 289 that would secure an overall majority. President Macron’s centrist party, Ensemble, will win 150 to 170 seats and Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally will come third with 132 to 152 seats, the estimate says.”

    The fascists came in third, which was NOT what the media projected.  

  39. No podium at Biden event???

    Craig, what would a podium do besides prop him up? 

  40. I guess they wanted to show he could talk without prompter but he only did about 5 minutes telling his usual stories about growing up and stuff. I guess I’ve just got to give up on him doing anything that’s a game changer.

  41. It, whether you want to hike Cadillac Mtn., watch the shorebirds or have high tea and enjoy the view, Acadia is a wonderful place to be. 
    So only just less than 1/3 of the French are insane. Too bad, Vlad. He was pushing for a Le Pen victory. Maybe he’ll get his wish here in November. God I hope not.

  42. Chaos benefits Putin and he got it.  I’m not sure French leftists are pro-Ukraine, hopefully they are

  43. they wanted to show he could talk without prompter

    He must do it all now, like the proverbial one-armed paper hanger. And he’ll be critiqued on every side.
    Rhetorically speaking, what do the swing voters want to see from him, if anything? Secondly, will any of us die-hards begin to waver if we don’t see him out there?
    Magas don’t count.

  44. If they push Biden out, he’ll still go down as one of the greatest presidents in history.  If they push Biden out, he may be the last REAL president.

  45. Jim Clyburn

    15 million new jobs. 21 million Americans are now insured under the ACÁ. The cost of insulin is capped at $35/month for seniors on Medicare. That’s just a fraction of what
    has been able to deliver. There is no one better suited to continue this country’s progress than him.

  46. “…the thing that’s not being talked about” -MSNBC talking -head
    …literally all we’ve been talking about

  47. How has increased number of cel phones and decreased number of land lines affected polling?


    Most polls talk to folks using phones with wires plugged into holes in their walls. Maybe those polls are missing a few million people born after 1970?

  48. Most polls talk to folks using phones with wires plugged into holes

    that guy’s just making shit up, you can google the methodology of any specific poll, Marist and Quinnipiac use land and cell lines, for example 

  49. There will be no end to the shenanigans and malarkey the Republicans will pull if Joe is forced off the ballot. We shouldn’t go there unless we have to. 

  50. So, where you at, Craig?  Pressure him to drop or gird our loins for Grandpa?
    i want whatever ticket keeps evangelical fascists out of power, no loyalty beyond that

    “Pick a side. Then pick a side within that side” 🇺🇸

  51. Craig, it’s a fair question. We all would like that answer. 

    Whatever questions remain, Trump is not the answer.

  52. Kamala needs to harness her inner Obama and become the cool, hip, energetic emissary to the sub-40 set because this race is all about her regardless of where she is in the ticket
    So be cool but also exude measured control, those things are always lies anyway, so fake it until you make it

  53. Roger dodger  

    is Cooper your proposal or you hearing chatter?  Feel no obligation to answer that 

    Personally, i will support the Democratic nominee 🫡

  54. If the condition is “old” then we already know that. If the condition is “incapacitated” then we got a serious condition.

  55. MSNBC: Four more Democrats in Congress call for Biden to step aside in the 2024 race.

    The House Democrats who said Biden should drop out of the 2024 race were Reps. Adam Smith of Washington, Jerry Nadler of New York, Mark Takano of California and Joe Morelle of New York.

  56. @RachelBitecofer
    This was the headline heading into the French election: Macron’s Approval Drops Two Days Ahead of French Election
    Le Pen’s National Rally has solidified lead in polls
    Fascism just got its ass kicked in Britain and France. America is next.

  57. Ivy, true enough. 

    Poobah, no one’s convinced me it is a condition. Oh, and beware. “Yon Cassius has a lean and hungry look.” Nothing new about this shit.

  58. Can SV’s occur in any State or just the “swing states?” If so, I may have had one at my 4th party. There were side-bar comments toward RFK, Jr.  Is that a leading indicator of SV-ism? I didn’t want anything to start up, so I ignored the comment. 

    (Rhetorical questions only. No replies needed.)

  59. Cooper is pushing 70 and most Indies and even Dems have never heard of him.
    We’ve already got an old, white guy! 
    AND, he already beat tRUMPsky once.
    Cooper would be to Harris, what Kaine was to Clinton.  Dead weight.

  60. Biden/Harris 2024

    Project 2025/Never (The fascists got cocky and gave it a name.)

  61. the ‘toon featuring project 2025 noted at thread beginning: “mein kampf ironically published in 1925” 


    strange none of the talking heads have said anything about that.  guess they’re too busy ousting joe and heiling herr drumpf.

  62. A tribute to the recently-departed Martin Mull’s famous diss for hecklers:

    “So sad when cousins marry”

    Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene @RepMTG
    The average age of the signers of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 was 44 years old, but more than a dozen were 35 or younger:

    Thomas Jefferson: 33
    John Hancock: 39
    James Madison: 25
    Alexander Hamilton: 21
    James Monroe: 18
    Aaron Burr: 20
    Paul Revere: 41
    George Washington: 44

    X moderators pointed out: James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, James Monroe, Aaron Burr, Paul Revere, and George Washington were not signers of the Declaration of Independence.

    And by the way Marg, average life expectancy in those days was under 40

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