During a virtual roll-call at the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, the 18th, the Rhode Island delegation was represented by John Bordieri, the executive chef at Iggy’s Boardwalk, a seafood restaurant on Narragansett Bay. Bordieri initially bemoaned how badly both the seafood and restaurant industries have been hit by the current COVID-19 pandemic – while a masked man stood next to him holding a plate of fried calamari.
As many discussed the beautiful beachfront setting and / or the idea of dining on fried calamari, many wondered who the beefy man perched beside Bordieri is – and if he does private parties! I don’t know what calamari or beachfronts have to do with politics, but this setup added a colorful diversion to an otherwise lackluster convention.
In one of the most powerful moments during this week’s Democratic National Convention, former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords, who was shot and almost killed during a mass shooting in 2011, describing her long road to recovery and likening her challenge to what’s ahead for the country while endorsing Joe Biden.
“Donald Trump hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t. And the consequences of that failure are severe. 170,000 Americans dead. Millions of jobs gone while those at the top take in more than ever. Our worst impulses unleashed, our proud reputation around the world badly diminished, and our democratic institutions threatened like never before.”
“Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country. He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head. He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us. It is what it is.”
On Thursday, the 20th, the political world received a shock when Steve Bannon, former campaign manager to Donald Trump, was arrested on tax fraud charges. Okay, maybe not too many were shocked. I mean, Bannon is the 10th former Trump official to be indicted on something. Bannon has been charged with personally using money from a non-profit intended to build a massive wall on the U.S. border with México – you know, the wall for which México was supposed to pay. Adding to the elitist irony of it all, Bannon was taken into custody aboard a yacht owned by an exiled Chinese billionaire.
But it’s Bannon’s mug shot that has elicited a slew of raucously crass comments. Any mug shot – which are just one step above driver’s license photos – always makes for a few good laughs. Looking at Bannon’s pic incurred all sorts of unsavory images in the Chief’s perpetually disturbed mind.
Hence, Steve Bannon’s mug shot makes him look like:
The creepy old guy at the end of the bar who keeps winking at you. (I’ve been on both ends.)
A man enduring a midlife crisis stepping into a Ferrari dealership while his wife is at a church retreat.
A Walmart greeter.
Fellow blogger and my brother in creatively mental instability Art Browne. (Love you, buddy!)
Some gifts are best presented as is. With a verbally-challenged President like Donald Trump, those gifts can be unexpected. At least that’s what the National Museum of American Jewish History has realized, following yet another gaff by our faux Commander-in-Chief. In a speech about the beauty of America’s national parks, Trump had trouble pronouncing the Yosemite in Yosemite National Park; a 1200 sqm. (310,798 h) gem in California, perhaps most famous for its astounding giant sequoia trees.
In response, the NMAJ has produced a tee shirt to honor the moment and has already sold 1,500. Amidst the humor, there is irony. Untold numbers of die-hard Trump supporters with White supremacist leanings will undoubtedly be horrified to learn their man has created profits for a Jewish institution.
There have always been and always will be people who step boldly from the shadows of their environment, regardless of the risks or the criticisms, and challenge what is known and accepted. Shirley Chisholm was one of those individuals. In 1968, she became the first Black woman elected to the United States Congress, representing New York’s 12th Congressional District. In 1972, she went even further, when she made a concerted effort to secure the Democratic National Party’s presidential nomination. It induced the usual cacophony of snickers and eye-rolling from the party elite, but Chisholm remained undeterred.
“I am not the candidate of black America,” she noted in her official candidacy announcement in January of 1972, “although I am black and proud. I am not the candidate of the women’s movement of this country, although I am a woman and equally proud of that. I am the candidate of the people and my presence before you symbolizes a new era in American political history.”
Despite an underfunded campaign and struggling to be taken seriously by anyone in the political world, Chisholm persevered. She didn’t even come close to earning the Democratic Party’s nomination, but her efforts paved the way for countless numbers of future non-White and female political candidates.
Chisholm passed away in 2005 and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom a decade later.