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The Mob’s Gotta Eat: Trump Fed Them Lies

It’s time to Break It Down!

I’m gonna keep this one short.

Yesterday, the last full day of Trump’s term, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell directly blamed Mr. Trump for the deadly mob that attacked the Capitol.

On the floor of the U.S. Senate, Mr. McConnell said:

“The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the President…and other powerful people.” Mic drop!

In the world of conspiracy theory and denial, enflamed and expanded by Trumpian rhetoric, Trump’s most ardent supporters claim Antifa is responsible for the insurgency at The Capitol on January 6th. Numerous news outlets have identified Trump supporters as having been directly involved in the insurrection and attempted coup. This news is anything but fake. Mitch nailed it. There’s other news, of course. Not the least of which is, due to the wisdom of American voters, we get a new President at noon today. Adios El Presidente; Hello Mr… President

Meanwhile, there will be other days for other news. For me, today, this story says it all. For now, shoutout to Unindicted Co-conspirator and Individual 1. “The Mob’s Gotta Eat: Trump Fed Them Lies!”

I’m done; holla back!

Read my blog anytime by clicking the linkhttp://thesphinxofcharlotte.comFind a new post each Wednesday.

To subscribeclick on Follow in the bottom right hand corner of my Home Page at http://thesphinxofcharlotte.com; enter your e-mail address in the designated space, and click on “Sign me up.” Subsequent editions of “Break It Down” will be mailed to your in-box.

For more detailed information on a variety of aspects related to this post, consult the links below:

https://www.chicagotribune.com/nation-world/ct-nw-mitch-mcconnell-trump-capitol-riots-20210119-wcvfpibhjrhohimy3y4wckdfbq-story.html

https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/nation-world/ct-nw-mitch-mcconnell-trump-capitol-riots-20210119-wcvfpibhjrhohimy3y4wckdfbq-story.html

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/19/politics/mitch-mcconnell-rioters-provoked/index.html

https://thesphinxofcharlotte.com/2021/01/20/the-mobs-gotta-eat-trump-fed-them-lies/

Impeachment Round 2: This Time Is Different

It’s time to Break It Down!

Today, in all likelihood, Donald John Trump will claim another dubious page in the annals of American History. The United States House of Representatives is on a path to impeach Mr. Trump on the charge of “incitement of insurrection.” That will render him the first, and we must hope, the forever only, President to be impeached twice. Last night, the House approved a resolution calling for Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Donald Trump. Pence has said he is uninclined to do that, and he does not feel it is the appropriate action to take. Democrats have indicated, if Pence refuses to act, they will impeach Trump. The House adjourned until 9:00 a.m. this morning when they are expected to take up impeachment. Unlike last time, the effort is expected to receive a measure of bi-partisan (read that Republican) support. At least two Republicans, Liz Cheney (Wyoming) and Adam Kinzinger (Illinois) have signaled they are likely to support the measure. Maybe more.

A week ago, Mr. Trump gave a speech, during which he urged thousands of his supporters to walk down to the Capitol and “act with strength” to take back their government. His own sentiments were preceded by fiery remarks from Missouri Congressman Mo Brooks, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and First elder son, Donald Trump, Jr., among others. Mr. Trump’s incendiary comments were presaged by two months of repudiated and debunked claims that the 2020 Election was stolen, and that he actually won in a landslide. His provocative gaslighting was repeatedly rejected and/or disproved by vote recounts, in excess of 60 court cases, anchored by numerous Trump appointed Judges, including 3 he appointed to the SCOTUS, results certification in all 50 states, and vote validity confirmation by several GOP Governors, Secretaries of State, and election supervisors. In short, Mr. Trump lost the popular vote by over 7 million votes, and in the Electoral College by 306 to 232.

What happened? In short, after Mr. Trump implied he’d be joining them, he was driven back to the White House for one of his favorite pastimes, watching the events unfold on TV, while his trusty fans, followers, and fealty pledgers marched forthwith to the Capitol and instantly began to wreak havoc and mayhem on the fully assembled Congress of the United States, and his protégé, Mike Pence, as the joint session of Congress convened with the express purpose of certifying and confirming Joe Biden as President, and Kamala Harris as Vice President. Over the ensuing week, investigators have been busy dissecting the elements of what Trump’s most avid acolytes call a patriotic act, and what most of the rest of call a high crime, committed by a ruthless band of domestic terrorists.

Upon deeper inspection, it turns out, this group was not merely a loose collection of foot soldiers marching down to the Capitol to show devout support for its dear leader. These were men and women on a mission, armed with insider intel, and boosted by officials set to aid and abet their nefarious effort. As news continues to unravel the events, we now know that at least one elected Congressman was part of the invading horde, and that as many as 20 or more members of law enforcement were complicit in the attack. The FBI even indicated that they issued a warning the day before the incursion that extremists were planning to travel to Washington and commit acts of violence and war.

In True Trump form, he insists that, as with his erstwhile questionable calls, his speech was perfect. Likewise, his supporters fervently argue, the handiwork at the Capitol was not the action of Trump supporters, but rather the deviously desperate devices of Antifa and Black Lives Matter. As I told a Trump supporting friend, even Judge Janine Pirro and other fixtures at Fox News, along with a number of GOP Congressmen and women concede the miscreants were in fact, Trump supporters. When you’re stuck with denying the obvious, you’ve lost both the high ground, and more importantly, the argument.

History is sure to be replete with more than a few books about last week’s events. On one hand Americans will be reminded that one day in January, 2021, voters elected dual Democratic Senators from the state of Georgia, one Black, one Jewish, both firsts. On the other hand, they will be reminded of the un-American activities that unfolded the very next day (technically, later the same day, since both races were called after midnight. The latter event will undoubtedly be known as many things; a crime, a conspiracy, a coup attempt, sedition, insurrection, and as unfettered lawlessness which resulted in the death of at least 5 Americans, including two members of law enforcement, as well as an attempt to locate and murder Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Trump’s own #2, Mike Pence.

Republicans will vote to impeach Donald Trump today, when none did in 2019. The fact that Individual 1 took actions that at least some of them perceived, could have resulted in their having been killed, will be sufficient motivation to change their tune, if not to sing an entirely different song. It’s too bad that epiphany required them to face their own mortality. But, as Mr. Trump has been known to say, “it is what it is.” The former is story of Americana at its best; overcoming great odds to succeed. The latter is the saga that gave birth to”Impeachment Round 2: This Time Is Different!”

I’m done; holla back!

Read my blog anytime by clicking the linkhttp://thesphinxofcharlotte.comFind a new post each Wednesday.

To subscribeclick on Follow in the bottom right hand corner of my Home Page at http://thesphinxofcharlotte.com; enter your e-mail address in the designated space, and click on “Sign me up.” Subsequent editions of “Break It Down” will be mailed to your in-box.

For more detailed information on a variety of aspects related to this post, consult the links below:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/12/politics/house-vote-25th-amendment-trump/index.html

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/11/politics/house-democrats-impeachment-plans/index.html

https://thesphinxofcharlotte.com/2021/01/13/impeachment-round-2-this-time-is-different/

Another “Perfect Call,” No Doubt: This Time With Receipts

It’s time to Break It Down!

I’ll keep this brief. So, the nineteenth time was the charm. Last Saturday, Mr. Trump finally connected with Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger. He had made 18 previous calls to the Secretary since the November 3rd Election, ostensibly to persuade, to coax, to convince, to cajole, and ultimately, to beg Raffensperger to overturn numerous court cases, a legal vote count, at least two recount’s, state certification, the vote of the Electoral College, and most importantly, the will of We The People. 

Secretary Raffensperger, along with Governor Kemp, and Lieutenant Governor Duncan, all Republicans, have repeatedly pushed back on the narrative and notion promoted by Trump and his most devoted supporters, that somehow in a state like Georgia, with stout GOP leadership, somehow they oversaw, or permitted a scheme to allow Democrats to steal the election from Donald Trump. The Associated Press and other major news outlets called the election on November 7th. For the past two months Mr. Trump has been vacillating between whining/complaining and threatening/bullying people in an attempt to reverse the election results. That’s basically the set up for “Another “Perfect Call,” No Doubt: This Time With Receipts!” Hear the complete audio by clicking the second link below.

I’m done; holla back!

Read my blog anytime by clicking the linkhttp://thesphinxofcharlotte.comFind a new post each Wednesday.

To subscribeclick on Follow in the bottom right hand corner of my Home Page at http://thesphinxofcharlotte.com; enter your e-mail address in the designated space, and click on “Sign me up.” Subsequent editions of “Break It Down” will be mailed to your in-box.

For more detailed information on a variety of aspects related to this post, consult the links below:

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/01/white-house-made-18-previous-attempts-to-call-raffensperger.html

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/audio-trump-s-full-jan-2-call-with-ga-secretary-of-state/vi-BB1cqOiX

https://thesphinxofcharlotte.com/2021/01/06/another-perfect-call-no-doubt-this-time-with-receipts/

Happy New Year: Here’s to Auld Lang Syne Redux — 2021 Edition

It’s time to Break It Down!

During the close of this holiday season, here’s another reprised edition of “Break It Down!”

This Issue has been revised from the Break It Down post I originally conceived, created, and published December 29, 2010, and subsequently re-posted in amended formats December 28, 2011December 31, 2014, December 30, 2015, December 28, 2016, January 3, 2018, January 2, 2019, and today, December 30, 2020. This is my final post of the month, and of the year 2020. This is the 705th Edition of Break It Down, which debuted August 20, 2007 on the BlogSpot platform. I migrated the principal site to WordPress August 3, 2012, approximately three weeks before the Fifth Anniversary of the blog.  You may find this and most other posts at either site.

With this post I wish you a blessed and bountiful Happy New Year. Now, enjoy today’s blog post.

The one-half fortnight between Christmas and New Year’s Day is a unique occurrence in the unfolding of the American version of the Gregorian Calendar.  It is the only instance in which the space of a mere seven days separates two major holidays. Unquestionably, the timing is propitious.  Even in a year dominated by the coronavirus, millions of holiday travelers are returning home from their Christmas commemoration and revelry, just in time to get a day off to “celebrate” the New Year…and recuperate from the old, most notably their extracurricular activities, including the exploits of New Year’s Eve. I know it’s a lot to ask, but I hope to the extent feasible, most people celebrated Christmas, and plan to observe the arrival of the New Year, responsibly.

In last week’s post, I presented a re-formatted airing of my personally crafted Christmas Concert (https://thesphinxofcharlotte.com/2020/12/23/twelve-days-of-christmas-the-e-concert-2020-edition/) from past Noels. This week, I doubled down and revisited my trusty time capsule. Once again, this tack permits new readers to catch-up by seeing the piece, it allows long-time readers to reflect upon both the passing year as well as the theme lifted in the post, and finally, it ensures that those busy readers, with no time to invest in checking out a new blog during the holidays, will not have to miss anything. It’s a win, win…win!

With that loosely framed preamble behind us, here’s this week’s déjà vu all over again:

Since we are still in the Sweet Spot of the holidays, I shall practice minimalism. For your purposes, that means the blog should be available, but not intrusive. To that end, I am taking a page from the Christmas e-concert but going a step further. Instead of a concert, I give you a song…of reflection.

Robert Burns, a Scot, wrote a poem (Auld Lang Syne) in 1788 that has come to symbolize the spirit of mass contemplation that people around the world invoke as the clock strikes midnight, signaling not just the dawn of a new day, but of a new year. Undoubtedly, you have been somewhere, at some time, when you joined those assembled to sing Auld Lang Syne, which loosely translated means, Times gone by.

Once again, that time is upon us. After thoughtful reflection, even during Covid, I have had no choice but to conclude, my travails have been few and small, especially when compared to my blessings, which have been both abundant and vast! All praises to the one true, omnipotentomnipresent, and omniscient God; a mighty fortress is He.

No need to thank me for my inherent thoughtfulness. But, by all means, “Drink a cup of kindness,” or eggnog, or Champagne, or “name your favorite adult beverage,” for me. And, if you are a teetotaler, water will do nicely, thank-you!

As I complete my final post of 2020, and, prayerfully and faithfully reflect upon the year framed by the narrative of COVID-19, I leave with you this familiar Irish Toast:

May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind always be at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

And rains fall soft upon your fields.

And until we meet again,

May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

It has been my unique honor and privilege to visit with you briefly for each of the 52 weeks of this year. I hope you have derived a fraction of the pleasure reading (and occasionally listening to) the blog posts, that I have experienced from preparing and sharing them with you. May 2021 bring you the fulfillment of all your fondest desires. As it is shortly after midnight here in the Eastern Time Zone of the U.S.A., I humbly invite you to join with me in extending Happy Birthday greetings…to ME! Moreover, as we rapidly approach Friday, it’s my esteemed honor, and pleasure, on this the eve of the eve of 2021, to wish you Happy New Year: Here’s to Auld Lang Syne Redux – 2021 Edition!”

I’m done; holla back!

Read my blog anytime by clicking the linkhttp://thesphinxofcharlotte.comFind a new post each Wednesday.

To subscribeclick on Follow in the bottom right hand corner of my Home Page at http://thesphinxofcharlotte.com; enter your e-mail address in the designated space, and click on “Sign me up.” Subsequent editions of “Break It Down” will be mailed to your in-box.

For more detailed information on a variety of aspects related to this post, consult the links below:

http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/family/question279.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auld_Lang_Syne

https://thesphinxofcharlotte.com/2019/01/02/happy-new-year-heres-to-auld-lang-syne-redux-2019-edition/

https://thesphinxofcharlotte.com/2020/01/01/happy-new-year-heres-to-auld-lang-syne-redux-2020-edition/

https://thesphinxofcharlotte.com/2020/12/30/happy-new-year-heres-to-auld-lang-syne-redux-2021-edition/

Twelve Days of Christmas: The e-Concert – 2020 Edition

Twelve Days of Christmas The e-Concert 2020 Edition

It’s time to Break It Down!

(Revised from Break It Down – 12/24/08, 12/22/10, 12/21/11, 12/26/12, 12/25/13, 12/23/15, 12/21/16, 12/26/17, 12/26/18 and 12/25/19)

According to tradition, mine if no one else’s, my Christmas post includes a complement of Songs of the Season. Today’s issue will constitute the next edition in that tradition. It’s Tuesday night, or in my personal time dimension, Blog Night. In keeping with what I do, let’s make it so; Wednesday’s coming! As incorporated in the title above, many purists celebrate Twelve Days of Christmas. This has been documented in song, book form, at least one movie, and in countless tales and renditions.

It would be patently unfair, inappropriate, and frankly, unimaginable, for me to launch into a Christmas 2020 post without at least mentioning COVID-19, aka coronavirus. According to the CDC, in the over 9 months that have ensued since March, through 7:02 p.m. last night, 17,974,303 cases of coronavirus were reported in the United States, along with 318,569 deaths. On a number of days in the past two weeks, more Americans died of COVID-19 in one day, than the number of people who lost their lives in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. May each and every single life lost to this scourge, as well as the ones that will be lost, Rest In Peace, and may their memories be a blessing. Let us pray that we solve the COVID-19 riddle, so that we have just one Coronavirus Christmas.

Here, as scheduled, is the blog. I hope you enjoy the blog/e-concert.

Merry Christmas to you! I know some of you are caught up in the whole “We Are The (Secular) World” trip; thus you substitute Holiday for Christmas in seasonal greetings. But that really shouldn’t be a problem since the man we call President has brought Christmas back (wink-wink). But seriously though, in case you don’t know, Christmas never went anywhere.  In fact, a quick check back over the Obama years reveals…Christmas was a staple in his repertoire. (http://www.msnbc.com/am-joy/watch/-merry-christmas-never-left-the-white-house-824078915806).  Of course, those innately curious enough to conduct the requisite etymological research know that the root derivation of holiday is “Holy Day;” but I digress; that is fodder for another day.

By the time you get around to this post, most, if not all of you will already have done whatever it is you do to observe and/or celebrate Christmas. But you know what, herein lies an opportunity to take one more moment, a time out if you will, before returning full tilt to your normal schedule.

As is my custom, I will not use this Christmas Season Post, if you will allow me to call it that, to challenge you to sort through the facts, be they esoteric or mundane. Not the election, or the economy, no wars, and absolutely no (further) references to our big-league President, who frequently focuses on tweeting and golfing (despite insisting that if elected, he wouldn’t have time for the links), and who is scheduled to take a voter-consigned vacation in 28 days. Hey, I won’t even write out the I-word.

No, this is your time to take a break and leave all that behind. Notice, I did not say forget it, and I certainly would never ask that you pretend it doesn’t exist. Just give yourself a break.

In the true spirit of keeping it simple for both you and me, I am reprising an amalgam of previous posts. In fact, not just any posts…posts from several Christmas’ past. This is my eleventh e-Christmas Concert. Two or three years ago I pressed the reset button on the Concert.  Instead of simply providing 12 standards, I upped the ante and provided 24, 12 by female artists, and 12 by male artists. This year, Christmas Day is Friday, delivery day, as it were. I’m going to roll those out again. Take you time, but give them a listen, if you like Christmas Music.

The English playwright and poet, William Congreve, in the opening line of his 1697 Play entitled The Mourning Bride,” asserted, “Music has Charms to soothe a savage Breast, To soften rocks, or bend a knotted Oak.”  I think Congreve was on to something.  If indeed music is capable of enabling us to overcome our basest instincts, and in so doing, ennoble us to pursue our finer impulses, and then indeed, we should take more opportunities to render ourselves captivated by its magical spell. (By the way, it really is breast…not beast; caught you thinking, didn’t I?)

So, I identified and pulled together an assortment of my favorite Christmas Standards by several of my favorite artists. This year’s version includes a variation of the artistic olio I pulled together for your reading, viewing, and listening pleasure a number of years ago. Below, you will find hot links to YouTube video interpretations and two songs for each of the 12 Days of Christmas listed and included in today’s Yuletide e-concert.

Female Artists

  1. Eartha Kitt is known for having had many talents skills, and abilities, among them acting and singing.  Last year I substituted her most popular Christmas song for “Nothing for Christmas.”  After a 1-year hiatus, I’m bringing back Santa Baby.  As I’ve noted before, the song was born in 1953, and as I will this Sunday, it turned 65 this year.  She slays (or if you’re really in the Christmas spirit — sleighs) it. https://youtu.be/Mk_GmhD053E
  2. Dianne Reeves is a Grammy-winning jazz artist who sings in the vein of Dinah Washington and Carmen McRae; a skilled lyricist and scat singer.  She presents “Christmas Time is Here” as if it’s her own. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hInJstw1cGE
  3. Vanessa Williams was the first black Miss America.  She had a short and tumultuous reign.  But cream rises to the top, and her talent ensured that losing her title was but a mere speed bump in a star-studded road.  Her rendition of “Do You Hear What I Hear” provides a glimpse of her musical flexibility and skill. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKmvk0NJnzE
  4. Lena Horne was a jazz musician whose career spanned over 70 years.  She was also an actress, dancer, and civil rights activist.  She demonstrates her vocal caliber in this version of “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dh8JZp_gnU4
  5. Cassandra Wilson was born December 4, 1955.  Her birthdate alone ensured that I included her on this list; ’06!  But that’s not the only reason she made the cut.  Her range includes blues, country, and folk music, as well as jazz.  Moreover, she stuck the proverbial landing in her rendition of “The Little Drummer Boy.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmAQzS5Zk7o
  6. Toni Braxton is a lot of things: a talented songwriter, singer, pianist, record producer, actress, television personality, and philanthropist. She is known to be sexy, sultry, and an unpredictable reality show star.  She’s still best known for her music though, and her version of “Santa Please” will do absolutely nothing to change that. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nFWiF_E_VQ
  7. The Emotions are one of those classic Old School Girl Groups born in the 70’s.  Influenced greatly by Maurice White of Earth Wind & Fire Fame, they continue to perform today.  One of my favorite tunes by them is their version of “What Do The Lonely Do At Christmas?” https://youtu.be/coO2E2v5RwE
  8. Anita Baker released her first solo album in 1983.  In 1986, she released “Rapture” and it was the dawn of her stardom.  She is known for her trademark “husky” voice, and she is at her Christmas best in this version of “The Christmas Song.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHze40h13mc
  9. Diana Ross and the Supremes were the “It” Group of Motown when Motown was the “It’ place of Soul Music.  The Supremes are America’s most successful vocal group with 12 number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100. Here they are with their 1965 rendition of “Silver Bells.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIJROwP4BnM
  10. Ella Fitzgerald is jazz royalty.  Frequently referred to as the First Lady of Song, the Queen of Jazz, and Lady Ella, she was widely acclaimed for her purity of tone, impeccable diction, phrasing, and intonation, as well as a horn-like improvisational ability.  Virtually all scat singing is measured against her. Check out her version of “Sleigh Ride.”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnEbRaFaqfg
  11. Whitney Houston had a voice known worldwide.  Her recordings accounted for nearly 200 million records sold.  Hers was a clarion voice of our times.  This version of “Joy To The World,” taken from the movie, “The Preacher’s Wife,” is special, as was she. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYPpyTyPf6I
  12. Ledisi (Anibade Young) is an R&B and jazz recording artist.  Her first name means “to bring forth” or “to come here” in Yoruba.  She was aptly named.  Enjoy her rendering of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.” https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xMz5oGc8s1Q

Male Artists

  1. James Brown was renowned for his energetic performances, which earned him another of his many titles, “Hardest working man in show business.” His rendition of “Merry Christmas Baby” is not so up-tempo, but still a reminder that he had earned his chops the hard way, and that he was much more than just flash and dash. https://youtu.be/4VFZGRoZwB0
  2. Donny Hathaway was a multifaceted soulful crooner and a product of Howard University who excelled in jazz, blues, soul and gospel music; an Alpha Man.  He suffered from depression and died of suicide January 13, 1979 at 33 years old.  He rendered this marvelous recording of “This Christmas. https://youtu.be/pj1mVUEHeUE
  3. The O’Jays were formed in 1965 and have been a staple in Soul and R&B music ever since.  They knock it out of the park with this version of “Christmas Just Ain’t Christmas Anymore.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fc4g1wsIA9g
  4. The Temptations were a significant part of what made Motown, Motown, in the 60’s and 70’s.  Their rendition of Silent Night lives on as a classic among classics as far as Christmas music goes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFc7STuQF0U
  5. Al Green, soul singer, turned minister, soul singer-minister was at his most popular during the 70’s.  He puts his considerable talents to good use in this version of “I’ll be Home for Christmas.” https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cFyRwlR5YXk
  6. El DeBarge was the central figure in the group known as DeBarge, which reached its zenith in the 80’s.  El was one of several members of the group who went on to fashion solo careers.  He nails this version of “Christmas Without You.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_xB6VD7fS8
  7. Will Downing has been recording albums since 1988.  I’ve seen him in concerts twice, including a couple of weeks ago, and I own most of his recorded music.  He simply does not disappoint.  This recording of The First Noel is no exception. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOQWKBIuk-I
  8. Joe (Lewis Thomas) released his debut album in 1993.  He has maintained a presence on the music scene ever since. His nuanced presentation of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” is just another fine example of his limitless talent. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vbpsVILCvU
  9. Jerry Butler, popularly known as the Ice Man, fitting for an Alpha, is a singer, songwriter, and musician (guitar, electric guitar, bass, piano, saxophone, and drums) who was the lead singer for the Impressions before going on to a solo career. He recorded this classic version of O Holy Night. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0dR1Dk7Bu0
  10. Luther Vandross was a musical icon. Period. End of story.  He is one of my favorite musicians, and his treatment of “My Favorite Things” is certainly among my favorite Christmas songs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6TRlV6MOOU
  11. The Whispers hail from LA, and have been around since the 60’s.  They became members of the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2003…for good reason.  They got it like that.  And they prove it with this version of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbJ95aWUc_A
  12. Kem (Owens) is an R&B/Soul singer who has made his uniquely fashioned mark on the music scene since 1999.  He enlists Ledisi (Anibade Young), another single named musical star to create a fabulous rendition of “Be Mine For Christmas.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_8rVJ_ENaY

That’s it, 24 artists and videos and/or songs. Add it all up and you get “Twelve Days Of Christmas: The e-Concert – 2020 Edition!” Enjoy it throughout the Season, and by all means, remember the Reason for the Season!

I’m done; holla back!

Read my blog anytime by clicking the linkhttps://thesphinxofcharlotte.com/. Find a new post each Wednesday.

To subscribeclick on Follow in the bottom right hand corner of my Home Page at http://thesphinxofcharlotte.com; enter your e-mail address in the designated space, and click on “Sign me up.”  Subsequent editions of “Break It Down” will be mailed to your in-box.

Consult the links below for more detailed information on a variety of aspects relating to this post:

https://thesphinxofcharlotte.com/2018/12/26/twelve-days-of-christmas-the-e-concert-2018-edition/

https://thesphinxofcharlotte.com/2019/12/25/twelve-days-of-christmas-the-e-concert-2019-edition/

https://thesphinxofcharlotte.com/2020/12/23/twelve-days-of-christmas-the-e-concert-2020-edition/

What You Want vs. What You Need

It’s time to Break It Down!

I’ve never been to a Trump Rally, nor have I been to a concert featuring The Rolling Stones. However, I’ve read that Mr. Trump sometimes used one of The Stones anthems, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” as a fire-up-the-crowd gimmick. There is a rather delicious irony in that sequence of events.

The 2020 Presidential Election was called for Joe Biden on November 7, by the Associated Press, and by virtually every other medium that historically tracks such things, including the usually Trump-friendly Fox News. After 38 days (yesterday), roughly 50 lawsuits, several recounts in a variety of states, the certification of the election in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and the official count of the Electoral College, Donald Trump, a host of GOP elected officials, and many Republican/so-called conservative Trump supporters had not conceded the election. 

Two significant players did concede yesterday. Vladimir Putin finally extended congratulations to President-elect Biden. He is said to have indicated he thought it was appropriate to wait until after the Electoral College to share his sentiments. If I cared, I’d check to see how long it took for him to share similar thoughts with Mr. Trump. However, I don’t care. After Putin’s acknowledgment, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell weighed in. 

While I do not suggest there was any working coordination between the two men, it is at least moderately interesting that the leaders of most major nations, friend or foe, addressed the President-elect, before the GOP’s top U.S. Senator. Just moderately though. As I wrote in the Blog, a couple of weeks ago, No Concession, No Problem: Biden Won! Nothing has changed. Nothing is going to change.

That brings me back to the Jagger and the Stones. “You Can’t Always Get What You Want!” Mr. Trump continues to insist he has just begun to fight. There are many who surmise that Mr. Trump, whom we all know, hates to lose, knows very well that he has, in fact, lost, and that he is merely leveraging the situation to raise cash, and to keep his supporters incited and engaged. He has raised more than $200M dollars in roughly a month. Obviously, he’ll raise more. Nevertheless, if perchance, you believe he believes, what he really wants is to win, I submit to you, that’s too bad. Instead (of what he wants), I offer you the sagacity of Mr. Jagger:

I saw her today at the reception
A glass of wine in her hand
I knew she would meet her connection
At her feet was a footloose man
No, you can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometime
You’ll find
You get what you need

Sidebar: $2-300M is not a bad consolation prize. Moreover, it looks as though he has reimagined the category losers and suckers.

Inexplicably, and paradoxically, Mr. Trump is claiming victory, yet, simultaneously suggesting he may be planning a 2024 run for the presidency. Of course, this is not, and cannot be an if, then scenario. It’s either, or. In other words, If Trump won, he’d be ineligible for a 2024 run. If he’s a 2024 candidate, it’s because, and only because, he lost last month. It’s one or the other, not both. Never, no way! So, as we reflect upon the “isness” of Donald John Trump, Sr. and his supporters’ current situation, in my humble opinion, like it or not, he/they are faced with sucking it up and accepting the latter of the two clauses…”What You Want vs. What You Need!”

I’m done; holla back!

Read my blog anytime by clicking the link: https://thesphinxofcharlotte.com/. Find a new post each Wednesday.

To subscribe, click on Follow in the bottom right hand corner of my Home Page at http://thesphinxofcharlotte.com; enter your e-mail address in the designated space, and click on “Sign me up.”

Subsequent editions of “Break It Down” will be mailed to your in-box. Consult the links below for more detailed information on a variety of aspects relating to this post:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2020/12/15/russias-vladimir-putin-congratulates-joe-biden-on-us-election-win-after-electoral-college-victory/3901405001/

https://news.yahoo.com/mitch-mc-connell-acknowledges-biden-as-presidentelect-154907672.html

https://thesphinxofcharlotte.com/2020/12/16/what-you-want-vs-what-you-need/

In Someone’s Mind, “This” Is Appropriate Behavior

It’s time to Break It Down!

Antifa, Black Lives Matter, Socialists, Democrats, Liberals, the mainstream media, and the deep state…the boogiemen, and promulgaters of the Seven Deadly Sins igniting the diminution of the American social fabric, according to the orthodoxy of the rightwing and its noxious rhetoric and relentless talking points. If you listen to many conservatives, they argue the cause of every negative impact on America’s quest for greatness emanates from one of those aforementioned catalysts. By and large, the right also denies the existence of systemic racism, and often insists, that if racism does exist, it’s trained on white Americans.

Ms. Cynthia A. Johnson, who happens to be Black, is a Michigan state Representative who blasted Republicans for inviting Rudy Giuliani to hold a hearing last week featuring witnesses who allegedly observed voter fraud. Sidebar: Mr. Giuliani and the Trump legal team have filed numerous lawsuits in swing states across the country, forty or more in total. To date they have won one, which allowed observers to watch from a closer vantage point than election officials had previously permitted. It should be noted, that while Messrs. Trump, Giuliani, and Company have publicly alleged voter fraud in their arguments in front of cameras, at rallies, and press conferences; in court, where the standards for such claims require actual proof, they have consistently made other lesser, and almost always, ineffective, and/or unproved claims. Hence the rejection of nearly all but one of the suits, including a failed attempt yesterday in the SCOTUS, in the Case of Kelly, Mike, ET AL. V. Pennsylvania, ET AL., in which the High Court dismissed the action with a single simple declarative sentence:

“The application for injunctive relief presented to Justice Alito and by him referred to the Court is denied.”

Not a paragraph, not two sentences, not even 20 words, and no dissenting votes acknowledged. Just 18 words. It was more than boy bye. But not much, and to be sure, pretty much meant the same thing.

Be all that, as it may, back to Ms. Johnson. For a couple of days, she has been inundated with calls from disgruntled denizens of TrumpWorld. According to a Facebook post with 10 screenshots, which Johnson referred to as a sampling, she was doxed, and berated with racial and threatening taunts. The sharpest barbs combined both; for example:

“You should be swinging from a f—— rope, you Democrat,” one woman said in a voice mail laced with racial slurs, according to Johnson’s Facebook post linking to a recording of the message.

At his point, it must be noted that This sort of response was not reserved for Ms. Johnson, nor was it relegated to Michigan. Similar responses have occurred in most, if not all of the swing states (AZ, GA, MI, NV, PA, & WI), and death threats were received by Democrats and Republicans, Blacks and Whites alike. Clearly, in Trump they trust, and if you are not for him, they are against you. Well, maybe. We’ll see if they actually act out in such a manner toward members of the SCOTUS.

Here’s the thing. This is not the work of…Antifa, Black Lives Matter, Socialists, Democrats, Liberals, the mainstream media, or the deep state. This is Team MAGA. Just remember, among them, “In Someone’s Mind, “This” Is Appropriate Behavior!”

I’m done; holla back!

Read my blog anytime by clicking the link: https://thesphinxofcharlotte.com/. Find a new post each Wednesday.

To subscribe, click on Follow in the bottom right hand corner of my Home Page at http://thesphinxofcharlotte.com; enter your e-mail address in the designated space, and click on “Sign me up.”

Subsequent editions of “Break It Down” will be mailed to your in-box. Consult the links below for more detailed information on a variety of aspects relating to this post:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/12/08/michigan-johnson-lynching-giuliani-fraud/

https://thesphinxofcharlotte.com/2020/12/09/in-someones-mind-this-is-appropriate-behavior/

No Concession, No Problem: Biden Won

It’s time to Break It Down!

Out of respect for the Office of the President, I waited to pen a post-election themed blog. Yesterday marked 28 days (4 weeks) since the November 3rd Election. Newsflash: Mr. Trump still hasn’t conceded. 

The Associated Press, and virtually every other news agency called the election four days later, on Saturday, November 7th. Since then, the heads of the election apparatus in all six of the states, in which the results were contested (Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin), the Secretaries of State, have certified election results, declaring Biden the winner. With that in the rearview mirror, Biden amassed 306 Electoral Votes, the same number Trump won in 2016, at which time, he and his ardent supporters declared it was a landslide victory.

To add injury to insult, the Trump legal team filed and lost, or simply had dismissed, 30 or more lawsuits contesting the election results. Interestingly, while Rudy Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal attorney, and the lead lawyer in the election challenges, publicly purported election fraud, but not in court, where facts, not rhetoric matter. In court, he consistently demurred and said he wasn’t alleging fraud. Hint, to the loyal Trumpsters, who bend ears, in an attempt to change minds. If your chief lawyer says, in court, it’s not voter fraud…you can pretty much rule out voter fraud.

Yesterday, the most senior lawyer in the country, Attorney General Bill Barr, speaking to the Associated Press, said:

“To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”

Meanwhile in other news, Trump is reported to have discussed seeking preemptive pardons for his three eldest children, Ivanka, Don, Jr., and Eric, his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and his attorney, Rudy Giuliani. There is even speculation that he may be tempted to pardon himself, in advance, as he is apparently being urged to do by Numero Uno Fox Friend, Sean Hannity. In fact, there is even a reputed DOJ investigation of a bribery scheme to obtain a pardon. Now before you get ahead of me and go there, I know the tendency among logical thinkers is to ask, why would anyone not guilty of anything need a pardon? The most rational answer is another question. Do you really think they are not guilty of anything? Don’t worry; that one was rhetorical.

Actually, that’s all I’ve got. President-elect Joe Biden has focused in workman like fashion on forging ahead assembling his Cabinet and leadership team, even when Trump went weeks without authorizing General Services Administrator Emily Murphy to ascertain Biden’s win, and to release the funds necessary to complete the job. He did not respond in a cantankerous Trump style. Instead, he pulled out a “There’s more than one way to skin a cat” attitude and soldiered on. Trump will continue to be Trump. Nevertheless, by all appearances, he will be gone, effective January 20th at noon. “No Concession, No Problem: Biden Won!”

I’m done; holla back!

Read my blog anytime by clicking the link: https://thesphinxofcharlotte.com/. Find a new post each Wednesday.

To subscribe, click on Follow in the bottom right hand corner of my Home Page at http://thesphinxofcharlotte.com; enter your e-mail address in the designated space, and click on “Sign me up.”

Subsequent editions of “Break It Down” will be mailed to your in-box. Consult the links below for more detailed information on a variety of aspects relating to this post:

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/election-2020-trump-campaign-election-lawsuits-stand/story?id=74041748

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/trump-reportedly-discussed-possibly-pardoning-his-3-eldest-children-jared-kushner-and-personal-attorney-rudy-giuliani-with-advisors/ar-BB1bxMX6

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/12/01/hannity-trump-self-pardon/

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/doj-investigates-bribery-scheme-to-obtain-presidential-pardon/vi-BB1bxF9e

https://thesphinxofcharlotte.com/2020/12/02/no-concession-no-problem-biden-won/

A Time For Giving Thanks Redux ’20

It’s time to Break It Down! 

Originally posted on November 24, 2010, and prior to today, subsequently on November 27, 2013, November 26, 2014November 25, 2015November 23, 2016, November 22, 2017, November 21, 2018, and November 27, 2019.

As in the past, since it is Thanksgiving Week, this post will deviate from the standard fare. I know that travel schedules (in some cases impeded by weather events, and COVID-19, this year), meal planning, family time, shopping, football, basketball, parades, and if there is any time remaining, relaxation, will be the dominant theme this week. However, it is Wednesday, so there shall be a blog and it will be brief.

Those among us who have perfected humility, and ascended to a genuine Nirvana state, have no doubt also elevated giving thanks to an art form. The rest of us must fully invest our appreciation in the notion, “That’s why we have Thanksgiving!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day, which kicks off what we commonly refer to as the Holiday Season. Almost instinctively, Thanksgiving and Christmas come to mind. Yet, there is so much more than that to the Season.

Over the next 54 days, many of us will enjoy succulent feasting at Thanksgiving, exchange gifts and contribute to the needy during Hanukkah. We will buy, give, exchange, and/or receive gifts at Christmas, eat, drink, and celebrate the 7 Principles of Kwanzaa, and party and toast the dawn of 2020 on New Year’s Day. We will honor the life and works of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on MLK Day. In addition, even in these tough (though improving) economic times, further fraught with the consequences of coronavirus, this weekend, millions of Americans will pay (literally) homage to our most celebrated of shoppers’ holiday weekends, Black FridaySmall Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, by rising early, and proceeding to scour the aisles for those perfect gifts…and if not perfect, at least cheap, relatively speaking. There are even some precociously enterprising businesses that will start the shopping clock Thursday. Sigh!

In past years, I have sometimes recounted my reasons for being thankful. This year I find that I have more reasons than ever to sit contemplatively in humble repose, and affirm boldly, that I know, without caveat, not only the goodness, no the greatness of God, but also of his inestimable and inexhaustible beneficence. I thank Him for deliverance, and for imbuing me with the sense and sensibility to discern the distinction between kairos and chronosGreek concepts for God’s time, and man’s time, respectively. In this the Year of our Lord and Savior, 2020, a.k.a. Year 4 A.D. (After Donald), I have again been reminded, God really does have a sense of humor. In accordance, I thank him dearly and daily for Stephen ColbertTrevor Noah, and SNL. More important, I am thankful this moment also reflects Year 1 B.J. (Before Joe).  Amen!

Eons ago, when I was a college student, I pledged a fraternity. It is familiarly known as the Oldest, Boldest, and Coldest, but I digress. The point of this reference is that during the erstwhile pledge process, as prospective initiates, we were required to learn a number of poems. There were many, each selected to convey a specific life lesson. Some of them have stayed with me, but none more than Invictus, written by English poet, William Ernest Henley (1849-1903).

The Latin translation for Invictus is Undefeated. You may recall it, but just in case, see it below:

Invictus (Latin for Undefeated) By William Ernest Henley:

Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Looms but the Horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years

Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate:

I am the captain of my soul.

So, as you go about your way tomorrow, and all the tomorrows that follow, recognize that Thanksgiving, at its core, is not simply a day on the calendar. It is a spirit that dwells within each of us, an impulse that prompts us to thank God (for our being undefeated), and for the graciousness to share His blessings with our fellow men and women. Indeed, every day is “A Time For Giving Thanks Redux ’20!”

I’m done; holla back!

Read my blog anytime by clicking the link: https://thesphinxofcharlotte.com/. Find a new post each Wednesday.

To subscribe, click on Follow in the bottom right hand corner of my Home Page at http://thesphinxofcharlotte.com; enter your e-mail address in the designated space, and click on “Sign me up.”

Subsequent editions of “Break It Down” will be mailed to your in-box. Consult the links below for more detailed information on a variety of aspects relating to this post:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thanksgiving_(United_States)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kairos

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronos

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Ernest_Henley

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invictus

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanukkah

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kwanzaa

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Year’s_Day

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Luther_King,_Jr.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Luther_King,_Jr._Day

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Friday_(shopping)

https://thesphinxofcharlotte.com/2018/11/21/a-time-for-thanks-redux-18/

https://thesphinxofcharlotte.com/2019/11/27/a-time-for-thanks-redux-19/

https://thesphinxofcharlotte.com/2020/11/25/a-time-for-thanks-redux-20/

Slowly, Surely, Inexorably: It Will Happen Redux ’20

It’s time to Break It Down!

I wrote this post a year ago. It was prescient then; editing and re-posting it today is timely.

Last November, I wrote…”For some, it has already been a long and laborious ride, while others argue, those who resist, in whatever form, protest too much. I don’t know on which side of the deep and wide chasm you may fall, but I offer an admonition. It’s an ill wind that never changes; I’m beginning to sense change may very well be in the air. I’m not suggesting it will be quick, fast, or in a hurry; just that it will come.

A month ago, yesterday, Shepard Smith, a fixture at Fox News for more than two decades, since its 1996 inception, walked away. He did not utter a public reason for leaving, and he noted the Fox brass asked him to stay. But he didn’t. From afar, it appeared quite possible that he just couldn’t. He was in the unenviable position of speaking truth to power. Everyday! There are instances in which that may be tolerable, and certainly survivable. But when the power one is speaking to is the perceived most powerful man on the planet, and as a result of exercising said power, he frequently renders scathing tweets/rants at individuals who dare disagree with him, it is conceivable that one’s desire, and even one’s capacity to simply accept it and soldier on dissipates. Just maybe Shep had enough, and said in effect, no mas.

This past weekend on Fox News Sunday, in an interview with Louisiana Congressman, and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, Chris Wallace held the Representative’s feet to the fire. Congressman Scalise, a stout defender of Mr. Trump, valiantly stuck to his Party’s talking points. Wallace, however, was undaunted, and fact checked him on numerous occasions. It was precisely the kind of exchange and/or command of fact patterns that Trump, and his phalanx of conservative supporters hated when executed by Shepard Smith. And indeed, Trump fired off a tweet aimed at Wallace, that expressed his deep level of displeasure; a volley augmented by a font of anger from his Twitter peeps, and other supporters, surrogates, and sycophants. An example of Trump’s Twitter screed follows:

Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump
@SteveScalise blew the nasty & obnoxious Chris Wallace (will never be his father, Mike!) away on Chris’s lowest rated (unless I’m on) morning show. This kind of dumb and unfair interview would never have happened in the @FoxNews past. Great job Steve!
61.4K
2:30 PM – Nov 17, 2019

One of Mr. Wallace’s fellow Fox News colleagues, Neil Cavuto, came to his defense, taking on Mr. Trump for his thin-skinned intolerance. Cavuto parsed both Scalise’s non-factual assertions, as well as Trump’s off-based claims. Suffice it to say, many Fox News viewers don’t frequent the network to hear journalists challenge or disagree with Trump, or with those who speak on his behalf.

But that’s really my point. Even at Fox News, more and more views are emerging that reflect the undeniable aroma of truth, unsullied by orange-tinted lenses. It’s not an avalanche of new-found converts, to be sure, but it is evidence that eventually, truth crushed to the ground will rise again. And if it can rise at longstanding Trump-leaning organizations such as Fox News, indeed, there is hope that it just might penetrate the consciousness of enough independents to make a difference come Tuesday, November 3, 2020.”

Lookie, lookie; it did. Fast forward twelve months, and my faith is vindicated. Even now, as a recalcitrant Donald Trump has dug in his heels and let loose a series of hissy fits, he is being pulled, by the irresistibly unrelenting ghost of the next inauguration into a future in which he has been evicted from the Peoples’ House, located on Black Lives Matter Plaza, Northwest.

He has had his lawyers file upward of a dozen lawsuits across the country, all but one or two of which have been rejected, dismissed, or withdrawn. In fact, several lawyers have exited, due to the lack of merit of some of the cases. It appears at this point, as counting in most states wind down, Trump will lose in Georgia, Arizona, Nevada, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, all except Nevada, which he flipped from Trump, by between 12K and 150K votes.

Mr. Trump has also been firing staffers, replacing them with Trump-friendly yes-men, and, of course, threatening to fire others. He’s making moves that complete his personal policy wish list, but of even greater concern, he has stopped the transition (to President-elect Biden), which is designed to prepare the new administration to seamlessly assume its duties. Simultaneously, he has threatened to fire anyone caught looking for another job.

Finally, and perhaps most ominously, last night, Trump fired (by tweet, of course) Chris Krebs, Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency of the Department of Homeland Security. Mr. Krebs, last week, publicly said, “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.” Obviously, this incensed Trump. He, in turn, tweeted (last night), “The recent statement by Chris Krebs on the security of the 2020 Election was highly inaccurate, in that there were massive improprieties and fraud. Therefore, effective immediately, Chris Krebs has been terminated as Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.” Twitter flagged the tweet as disputed.

Is this really #MAGA? Not even a little bit. So yes, I still believe, despite all Mr. Trump’s protestations, “Slowly, Surely, Inexorably: It Will Happen Redux ’20!”

I’m done; holla back!

Read my blog anytime by clicking on the link: http://thesphinxofcharlotte.com. Find a new post each Wednesday.

To subscribe, click on the bottom right hand corner of my homepage at: http://thesphinxofcharlotte.com; enter your email address in the designated space, and click on “Sign Me Up.” Subsequent editions of “Break It Down” will be mailed to your in-box.

Consult the links below for more information on a variety of aspects relating to this post:

https://thesphinxofcharlotte.com/2019/11/20/slowly-surely-inexorably-it-will-happen/

https://thesphinxofcharlotte.com/2019/11/20/slowly-surely-inexorably-it-will-happen/

https://thesphinxofcharlotte.com/2020/11/18/slowly-surely-inexorably-it-will-happen-redux-20/