Just when I thought we had reached the nadir of our national reputation Trump spouts off on the explosion that inflicted major damage on the city of Beirut. Without any insight into the issue (and probably clueless where Lebanon actually is), he makes this statement:
"I met with some of our great generals and they just seem to feel that it was [an attack]. This was not some kind of a manufacturing explosion type of event. This was a – seems to be, according to them, they would know better than I would – but they seem to think it was an attack. It was a bomb of some kind, yes."
The Department of Defense quickly denies those statements, leaving if to a former Director of the US Office of Government Ethics to state the obvious (and sad) fact.
"The President of the United States of America is not a reliable source."
August 5, 2020
I never thought I would see the day where a US President was seen by the majority of the world as a thoughtless, blow-hard, know-nothing clown. We've reached that point and seem to be sinking even further.
Remember, you get your chance to make a difference in November.
I am not very political but there are a series of quotes from President Trump that I cannot get out of my head: "I feel about vaccines like I feel about tests. This [coronavirus] is going to go away without a vaccine. Its going to go away and we're hopefully not going to see it again after a period of time."
"It's a horrible number but if we have between 100,000 and 200,000 (deaths), we all together have done a very good job."
Donald Trump 01 June, 2020
US fatalities November 14, 2020 = 245,600
I work with numbers ever day and have to admit it is hard to avoid looking at this ever growing number as a standalone statistic. The sad fact is it represents so much more than a faceless statistic. At this point it is almost double the number of America's combat deaths during the Vietnam war. It represents more deaths than all 2018 drug overdose related deaths in this country. More than that, each figure represents a parent, a sibling, a spouse, a child, a friend, a co-worker, or perhaps a casual social acquaintance. It was someone in the American social fabric. The sad emphasis is on the word "was". Clearly the President isn't responsible for this dreadful disease, but it is hard to overlook the fact that the vast majority of hese Americans died because of this administration's ignorance, incompetence, denial, selfishness and simple greed. And leading the charge is a President who is too stupid to understand, or perhaps worse, doesn't care. His only goal seems to be getting reelected, whatever the costs. Lead by example? Sure, I'll provide American's with a clear understanding of the issue. I'll pay attention to what the medical community advises. I'll take decisive action that unites us as we fight this common enemy. I'll wear a mask to show what people how to break this disease. I'll provide all of the financial and material support States need. I'll show the victims and those on the front line fighting this war the empathy and appreciation they deserve. Well, maybe I'll do it after I take the day off to go golfing at one of my resorts. If that second quote represents the President's idea of doing a very good job, it raises the question: What does this man think a poor job would be? No matter what you think of the other candidate, you have to ask yourself, can this country afford another four years of complete ineptitude and callous indifference to the very people they swore to protect? And here's the most recent quote.
"Great reviews on our handling of Covid 19, sometimes referred to as the China Virus. Ventilators, Testing, Medical Suppl;y Distribution, we made a lot Governors look very good - And got no credit for so doing. Most importantly, we helped a lot of great people!"
Donald Trump Twitter post 25 March, 2020
Donald, thank you from 245,600 grateful COVID-19 fatalities. Where would they be without your capable management of this crises? Hum, maybe alive.
I never met Bill Withers. I never had an opportunity to see Bill Withers in concert (though I have listened to his live album dozens of times). That said, Withers was one of the people whom I deeply admired. Yes, I grew up on his songs and proudly own a large segment of his catalog. The man had an amazing voice; gruff but endearing, and as a composer he had a knack for penning music that was simple, yet mesmerizing and addictive in terms of "ear candy" potential. To this day I only need to hear a couple of bars of "Lovely Day" and the damn song starts running on my internal playback system. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYi7uEvEEmk
Just as impressive was the man. Growing up poor, he never let the star machinery get to him. Proud of his roots, including his time in the Navy, his first album featured a cover of him standing in front of the L.A. factory he was working at (manufacturing toilets and plumbing materials). He never let it define who he was. Even at the zenith of his commercial success he remained grounded. When the music business tried to bend him to it's expectations, he walked away and never looked back, instead focusing his attention on family and retaining his privacy. I never met Bill Withers, but I can't help but feel collectively we would be a lot better off with more Bill Withers. Rest in Peace (July 1938 - March 2020)
The Toms 2016's "Fake Christmas" b/w "It's Needless" (Frodis catalog number FRO 001) Funny what turned out to be one of my favorite holiday tunes came to my attention on the first day of the year. Yeah, it was too late for the 2017 list, but gave me plenty of joy for 2018.
Thomas Moraldo is the brains behind The Toms (check out his discography) and was responsible for the magical "Fake Christmas". Wrapped in a glistening jangle rock melody with too-die-for harmonies, and some of the funniest and most insightful holiday lyrics you'll ever hear, this one managed to encapsulate the joy and heartache of the modern holiday seasons in under three minutes. Here's a link to a YouTube clip of the song:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFK16jR7dzw