(Book Review) Under the Black Hat
Friday Clutter: Trump, Jacob Blake, CDC Backtracks, Sports Protests, "One Chicago" Return, Final Supernatural Run, Queen and Adam Lambert, and more

Thursday Clutter: Mike Pence, CDC Pressured, MA Senate Race, Jeff Bezos, NBA Jacob Blake Strike, West Wing Reunion, Bill Murray and Rashida Jones, Eric Bellinger, and more

Hi everyone,

Welcome back!  How are you?  You know we're always happy to catch up with you, but it's even a little more special today, because it was looking like it wasn't going to happen.  Our Internet went out for no reason on Wednesday, and our crack IT squad couldn't figure out the issue, so we had to schedule a service call for later this afternoon.  I tell you, BDH and Little Buddha were not happy about that, but what can you do?  However, Comcast called us back about three hours later and said they fixed the issue.  They couldn't explain what they did, but it worked, the service call was canceled, and here we are! 

On top of that, the local free weekly comes out today, and you know what that means - it's rock and roll crossword puzzle day!  Safe to say the guys are in a good mood right now.  They couldn't finish last week's puzzle, but they made a good run at it and are looking forward to a new challenge.  They also  want to spread the smiles, so they made you some coffee.   Grab yourself a nice medium DD, because it's time to clear out some Thursday Clutter.

Mike Pence showed during the Republican National Convention last night that he remains as comfortable as ever lying about Donald Trump's record in order to protect his own political future.  You need someone to pretend that Trump is competent and not a danger to the country, as the rest of us are left to deal with a pandemic that's harming millions?  Pence is your guy.  Need someone to say with a straight face that Joe Biden is somehow a vehicle for the scary radical left?  Pence is happy to do it, boss.  Just don't ask him to be in a room by himself with a woman.  Other than that, he'll throw out whatever nonsense the Great Pumpkin needs to hear, and he'll do it with a smile on his face.

Of course, tonight is Donald Trump's turn, and aides apparently claim he'll deliver a speech that isn't completely dark and vengeful.  Should we take bets on that one?  The aggrieved approach got him here, and he would probably start convulsing if he tried to change it now.

In the most predictable development you could imagine, it's now clear that the CDC was pressured by the White House to change their coronavirus testing recommendations.   The agency now says that asymptomatic people probably don't need testing even if they know they've been around someone who has the virus.  That makes no sense except to serve Donald Trump's own needs.  What adds an extra layer of sleaze to the story is that the White House made the move while Dr. Anthony Fauci was under general anesthesia having surgery.  The United States has lost at least 180,000 people to the coronavirus, and the Trump administration is pulling out all the stops to make sure they don't do anything to stop the pandemic.  Donald Trump remains a public health and national security threat.

Hillary Clinton is urging Joe Biden not to concede the election, no matter how long any potential controversies may take to resolve.  Clinton, like the rest of the country, knows Trump will do whatever he can to steal a victory.  Biden and the rest of the Democratic Party must be willing to hang in there and fight on all fronts to make sure Trump's attempts at fraud and voter suppression are not successful.

A former confidante of Melania Trump has a tell-all book coming out next Tuesday.  We're not buying that one, but let the flow of embarrassing Trump stories continue.

It's good to see three new polls showing Senator Ed Markey with a sizeable lead over challenger Representative Joe Kennedy III, ahead of next Tuesday's primary.   Of course, the only numbers that really matter are the ones we get on September 1.  However, Senator Markey has done a terrific job of making his case for re-election, largely by stressing his record as an environmental champion, while his opponent has never made a case for why Massachusetts would benefit by making this change.

We send our best thoughts to the folks down south who are getting hit by Hurricane Laura today. 

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is now worth over $200 billion, making him the first person in the world to cross that threshold.  Imagine how much good could be done if Bezos and the rest of the top 1% of this country were taxed at anything resembling a fair rate.  Millions of vulnerable Americans could be helped during this crisis, and Bezos and company could still have more money than any individual could ever hope to spend in their lifetimes.  This kind of extreme wealth isn't cause for celebration, it's a collective moral failing.

Facebook says Apple's new iPhone operating system makes it harder for the social media company to target users with ads.   Don't you just hate it when companies make it harder for you to invade people's privacy?  We say good for Apple, and may other companies follow their lead.

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul tried to rationalize Jacob Blake being shot seven times in the back on Sunday by saying that Blake was near a knife in his car.  Mind  you, AG Kaul wouldn't say that Blake was holding the knife, merely that it was in his car.  That was supposedly enough to drive a single police officer, Rusten Sheskey, to fire seven shots into the man.  This is pure racism in action, and it's also evidence of the complete failure of the policing model in this country.  No public safety was protected, the officer was not in immediate danger, and there was a complete failure to see Blake as anything but a threat because he's black. 

Meanwhile, white supremacist terrorist Kyle Rittenhouse is in custody after being charged with killing two people and injuring a third during the protests in Kwnosha, Wisconsin over the Blake shooting.  This kid allegedly drove from Illinois to Wisconsin with a semi-automatic rifle to harm people who protesting that all lives do in fact matter.  This kind of hatred and empowerment to commit murder doesn't happen in a vacuum.  You can't spew racist garbage as political or media figures and not expect repercussions.  In fact, hatemongers like Tucker Carlson applaud Rittenhouse.  Carlson's lost a number of sponsors in recent years, but do the companies who are still doing business with him also support murder?

It was history in the making as the Milwaukee Bucks voted to boycott their NBA playoff game yesterday afternoon in response to the police shooting of Jacob Blake.  Shortly after that, the rest of Wednesday's games were postponed, and it appears that the season may be over.  NBA players have long been social justice leaders, and it was reported when the season resumed that many of them were uncomfortable about entering the league's bubble environment while the Black Lives Matter protests were happening.  It seems like they've had enough, and we applaud their actions. 

NBA Boycott August 27 2020There are more important things than basketball games.  (pic via cbssports.com)

Now, will this strike spread to other sports?  The Milwaukee Brewers players voted to sit out their game against the Cincinnati Reds last night, and two other baseball games were also postponed in support of the protest.  MLB has traditionally been far behind other sports when it comes to these kinds of issues.  Baseball players tend to get more worked up about violations of "unwritten rules," which somehow almost always seem to make players of color out to be the bad guys.  They could change their reputation by joining the NBA players.

The Boston Red Sox lost 9-1 to the Toronto Blue Jays last night in a game that couldn't have been more meaningless, given the events that were unfolding at the time.  The two teams are scheduled to play again tonight, but as we just said, we're hoping baseball players will take some time today to think about their actions and decide to join the protests.

The Washington Football Team finally abandoned its racist name, but they're still a garbage organization, as reports now come out about team employees being instructed to make a lewd cheerleader DVD for owner Daniel Snyder's enjoyment.  Snyder of course denies the story, but anyone in the NFL who has any say over their careers should continue to stay far away from this trash heap.

The cast of The West Wing is reuniting for a special on HBO Max to promote voting ahead of the election.  Imagine how much better off this country would be with Jed Bartlett as president.  Hell, at this point, we'd be better off with Martin Sheen as president.  We're still not paying for the streaming service, but that's the strongest attempt yet to get us to reconsider.  Hopefully we'll eventually be able to find the reunion on some other platform.

Bill Murray and Rashida Jones star in a new movie called On the Rocks, which was written and directed by Sofia Coppola.  It's coming out on Apple TV+.  Again, we're not buying the service, but this one is also really tempting:

Congratulations to singer Katy Perry and actor Orlando Bloom on the birth of their daughter Daisy Dove Bloom.  Best wishes to the family.

Okay kids, that's going to do it for now.  Here's Eric Bellinger to close things out with, "ENOUGH," for today's, "Song of the Day."

Thanks for stopping by, everyone.  It was so good to see you.  The weather forecast keeps changing the starting time of the rain we're supposed to get today, and we're starting to wonder if this will all be yet another big tease.  However, one way or the other, it should be over by mid-afternoon, so BDH and Little Buddha say they'll hold off on doing the crossword puzzle if you want to come back later to help them with it.  Otherwise, enjoy your day, wear your masks, and we'll catch up with you again soon.  Until next time, that's today's Clearing out the Clutter, and we are outta here.


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