Merle Haggard RIP

Looks like another country and western Legend has left us.

This ought to be the Republican Party official song:

Via NYT:

Merle Haggard, one of the most successful singers in the history of country music, a contrarian populist whose songs about his scuffling early life and his time in prison made him the closest thing that the genre had to a real-life outlaw hero, died at his home in Redding, Calif., on Wednesday, his 79th birthday.

His death was confirmed by his agent, Lance Roberts. 

May he rest in peace. 🙁

Nancy Reagan has went to be with Jesus

Nancy Reagan has passed away and now is with Jesus, the angels and reunited with Ronnie.


Nancy Reagan kissing the coffin of her beloved husband

Fox News has the story:

Nancy Reagan, the widow of President Ronald Reagan and passionately devoted keeper of his flame, died Sunday morning of congestive heart failure at 94, according to her spokesperson.

Reagan died at her home in Los Angeles. She’s set to be buried at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, next to her husband. Prior to the funeral, there will be an opportunity for members of the public to pay their respects at the Library, the spokesperson said. Details had not yet been announced Sunday afternoon.

She was the First Lady that every woman should inspire to be. Rest in peace, dear sweet Lady.

I think this more than fits here:

Update #3: Nancy Reagan’s Life story:

The incredible life of Nancy Reagan changed America and the world.

Posted by Fox News on Sunday, March 6, 2016

Update: Blogger roundup at Memeorandum

Update #2: This is a beautiful tribute by the Young American’s Foundation:

The Monday Morning Music Express – Special Memorial Edition Presents David Bowie

What a terrible loss for music. 🙁

Some of his best:


His last two:

Via NYT:

David Bowie, the infinitely changeable, fiercely forward-looking songwriter who taught generations of musicians about the power of drama, images and personas, died on Sunday, two days after his 69th birthday.

Mr. Bowie’s death was confirmed by his publicist, Steve Martin, on Monday morning.

He died after having cancer for 18 months, according to a statement on Mr. Bowie’s social-media accounts.

“David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family,” a post on his Facebook page read.

His last album, “Blackstar,” a collaboration with a jazz quartet that was typically enigmatic and exploratory, was released on Friday — his birthday. He was to be honored with a concert at Carnegie Hall on March 31 featuring the Roots, Cyndi Lauper and the Mountain Goats.

He had also collaborated on an Off Broadway musical, “Lazarus,” that was a surreal sequel to his definitive 1976 film role, “The Man Who Fell to Earth.”

Mr. Bowie wrote songs, above all, about being an outsider: an alien, a misfit, a sexual adventurer, a faraway astronaut. His music was always a mutable blend: rock, cabaret, jazz and what he called “plastic soul,” but it was suffused with genuine soul. He also captured the drama and longing of everyday life, enough to give him No. 1 pop hits like “Let’s Dance.”

Others:  No More Mister Nice Blog, Outside the Beltway,, Scared Monkeys, Shakesville, CBS New York, ABC News, Patterico’s Pontifications, 89.3 KPCC,Guardian, Lawyers, Guns & Money, Mashable, The Verge, Liberal Values, Wall Street Journal, NBC News, Althouse and Refinery29

Jake Brewer, Husband of HotAir’com’s Mary Katherine Ham, dies in cycle accident

This one is just too awful for words. 😥

We lost our Jake yesterday, and I lost part of my heart and the father of my sweet babies. I don’t have to tell most of you how wonderful he was. It was self-evident. His life was his testimony, and it was powerful and tender and fierce, with an ever-present twinkle in the eye. I will miss him forever, even more than I can know right now. No arms can be her father’s, but my daughter is surrounded by her very favorite people and all the hugs she could imagine. This will change us, but with prayer and love and the strength that is their companion, we can hope our heartache is not in vain– that it will change us and the world in beautiful ways, just as he did. If that sounds too optimistic at this time, it’s because it is. But there was no thought too optimistic for Jake, so take it and run with it. I will strive and pray not to feel I was cheated of many years with him, but cherish the gift of the years I had. In a life where nothing is guaranteed, Jake made the absolute, ever-lovin’ most of his time with all of us. This is a family picture we took a couple weeks ago. It was taken because Jake, as always, was ready with a camera and his immense talent. All four members of our little, growing family are in it. I can never be without him because these babies are half him. They are made of some of the strongest, kindest stuff God had to offer this world. Please pray that he can see us and we’ll all make him proud. God, I love him. Psalm 34:18, Philippians 1:3

A photo posted by Mary Katharine Ham (@mkhammertime) on


From The Washington Post: (H/T Memeorandum)

A day after a White House staffer died in a cycling accident while raising money for cancer, his wife released a heart-felt tribute to her husband on Instagram that recalled his optimism and selflessness.

“I don’t have to tell most of you how wonderful he was,” Mary Katharine Ham wrote about her late husband, Jake Thomas Brewer, 34. “It was self-evident. His life was his testimony, and it was powerful and tender and fierce, with an ever-present twinkle in the eye. I will miss him forever, even more than I can know right now.”

Brewer is listed on the White House Web site as a senior policy adviser in the the Office of the Chief Technology Officer. He was killed Saturday when his bicycle went out of control at a sharp curve on Old Frederick Road in Maryland. It crossed the double yellow line and collided with an oncoming vehicle, police said. Brewer was pronounced dead at the scene, while the driver of the 2008 Honda Pilot was not injured, police said.

At the time, Brewer was participating in the Ride to Conquer Cancer, a two-day cycling event aimed at raising money for cancer-treatment programs.

Brewer’s mother told The Washington Post he was in the fundraising ride because of a close friend who was a cancer patient. He “lived life large and tended to live life for other people,” Lori Brewer Collins said.

Collins said the ride will continue. Her son was a man who could “make things happen,” she noted, and that was what “he would have wanted.”

On Sunday, news of Brewer’s death spread across Twitter and Facebook, where a wide circle of professional contacts and friends expressed their shock and shared memories of their friend and colleague.

He was referred to as the “epitome of a public servant.”


Ed Morrissey Writes:

Update: The family and friends of Jake Brewer, Mary Katharine’s husband, have launched a GoFundMe project to create an educational fund for their two children, Georgia and the one on the way.

Those of us who love Jake want to help ensure that Mary Katharine and the family have everything they need — now and (especially) in the future.  Please contribute to help provide for their childrens’ education as they grow up. These funds may also be used to advance ideas about which Jake was passionate.  Finally, Mary Katharine has asked that people consider donating to a cause very close to their hearts: The Travis Manion Foundation, which supports families of fallen US servicemen, at

The goal of the education fund is $200,000, probably a bare minimum for college education for two students 16-18 years from now. Let’s push this higher than that. Mary Katharine faces some very difficult challenges for her children and herself without Jake, but we can help take worries over education off the table for her.

There are no words that I can even begin the write. God Bless Mary Katherine and her sweet babies. May the Lord Jesus Christ keep them in his mighty hand. 🙁

Others: Washington Post, The Other McCain, BuzzFeed,TVNewser, Fox News, neo-neocon, Patterico’s Pontifications, Mediaite,RedState, Raw Story, MashableMoe Lane

Others 2:


Beau Biden, VP Joe Biden’s Son dead at 46 of Brain Cancer

You know there is a time for politics and then, there is a time for real life. Joe Biden and his family are real people, with real families and this here, is really big loss.

The story:

Vice President Joe Biden and his Son Beau

WASHINGTON — Joseph R. Biden III, the former attorney general of Delaware and the eldest son of Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., has died of brain cancer, his father announced on Saturday. The younger Mr. Biden was 46.Mr. Biden had spent more than a week receiving treatment at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington.
Source: Beau Biden, Vice President Joe Biden’s Son, Dies at 46 –

My heart goes out to Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill, as well as his Children.

The Biden family has suffered some losses that I could never fathom ever happening to me. So, I feel for them all. Again, there is a time for Political criticism, and I have done that a bit here. But, this is not one of those times. My prayers for the family this Sunday morning.


Other Blogs talking about this: The Moderate VoiceWashington MonthlyAssociated Press, Telegraph, Business Insider and The WeekABC News



The Friday morning music express – Special Memorial Edition – Presents: B.B. King

They say it comes in threes, first a family friend and now, this man.

My other favorite of his:

B.B. King, the larger-than-life guitarist and singer who helped popularize electric blues and brought it to audiences for more than six decades, died Thursday in Las Vegas. He was 89. King, who was diagnosed with diabetes nearly 30 years ago, was hospitalized last month due to dehydration. Last October, he was forced to cancel eight tour dates for dehydration and exhaustion. His attorney, Brent Bryson, confirmed his death to the Associated Press. – Source: Rolling Stone

One thing to remember; if there had never been a B.B. King; there would have never been a Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page or none of the rest of them white people who were inspired by this man.

I think this tribute from NBC news is very well done:

Related Stories:

Tim Weiner / New York TimesB. B. King, Defining Bluesman for Generations, Dies at 89

Brad Paisley / CNNB.B. King, the Beale Street Blues Boy 12 photos

Fox News: The thrill is gone: Blues legend B.B. King dead at 89

There are many bloggers remembering Mr. King; left and right. Here they all are: Washington Post, The Stranger …, Common Dreams,Gothamist, Chicago Tribune, Poynter., Reuters, Outside the Beltway, The Week,Scared Monkeys, Hinterland Gazette, The Daily Caller and alicublogCommon Dreams, CBS New York, Taylor Marsh, ABC News,abc11.comEd Driscoll