So, I think it would be a good idea today to have Julie Andrew singing and dancing the Sesame Street theme song. She's not really with any Muppets here, other than some brief appearances from Oscar the Grouch, but mainly a whole bunch of dancing garbage cans.
This comes from her Julie on Sesame Street TV special in 1973, from which I'm posted some videos in the past, and it features some lively hoofing by her.
Garrison Keillor stepped away from Lake Wobegon and recently wrote an outspoken, scathing op-ed for the Washington Post about Donald Trump. The title gets to the heart of the piece, "The Punk Who Would Be President," but that's only the starting point.
My favorite line is a simple description -- "There's no philosophy here, just an attitude." But that's gentle. The rest of the article, from a fellow known for quiet weeks, is not.
You can read it here.
Tomorrow (Thursday), the BroadwayHD website will be streaming a live performance from Broadway of the wonderful Harnick & Bock musical, She Loves Me. This is of particular note because it's the first time in Broadway history that a performance will be streamed live online. (There have been live performances on TV, though. But if this works, it would be a step for the future.)
She Loves Me has a score by Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock, who wrote Fiddler on the Roof, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning (and Tony Best Musical, Fiorello!. The 1963 show is based on a Hungarian play that also served as the basis of several movies, including The Shop Around the Corner and You've Got Mail.
This new production stars Laura Bernanti, Zachary Levi and Jane Krakowski. It was nominated for a Tony Award this year as Best Revival of a Musical.
You can watch it live on the Broadway HD website (which you can get here), and the stream begins at 8 PM East Coast Time. If you're a subscriber to Broadway HD, the show is included in the subscription, otherwise it costs $10.
Here's the presentation for the show from the recent Tony Awards.
One of the constant complaints of new PC owners that that their new devices contain bloatware, or what is also known as "crapware." These are applications that are automatically installed that can cause problems with the system. They often are difficult to remove since their installation core is buried deep, and they can sometimes even cause security risks often being poorly written as just promotional apps.
One way to avoid the problem is that Microsoft offers "Signature Editions" of third-party notebooks which comes without any bloatware on them. However, you can only buy them them directly from Microsoft online and the number of Signature Edition models is limited.
But there is a help on the way.
This summer, Microsoft will be releasing a major "Anniversary" update to Windows 10. And one of the included features will be a "clean install" option.
The app will be available under the Settings heading. When running it, this will basically wipe the old Windows 10 installation and replace it with a clean install, giving you what they call a "fresh start."
The other day, I noticed that there was a great deal of debris in front of my door. Leaves, twigs, broken bits of branches and such. I thought perhaps it had been windy and things got blown around. But as I looked in either direction, there wasn't all this detritus in front of other doors down the way, just mine and my immediate neighbor.
Another thought was that my new neighbor was doing some sort of craft project and was a bit messy. After all, they had placed a sort of flowing curtain to hang in front of their door, and maybe this was just who they were. And they hadn't cleaned up. So, I swept things away. Though the next day, there was a little bit more.
It was then that I looked up.
And between our two apartments is a light fixture, where I saw this --
Yes, there is a bird nesting there. The leaves and twigs were obviously all brought there to build the next, which is probably occupied for a good part of the day, unless it goes flying off to forage for food. One thing I've noticed is that when it's there, it doesn't move a muscle. You can be three fit away, talking and it just sits there, unmoving. I don't know if that's simply the way a parent bird sits when nesting its young -- or if if thinks if it doesn't move that those people folks around it won't notice that it's there -- or maybe it's terrified. But when I've sneaked a peek silently from my door and looked up, and there's no one around, it still just sits there and doesn't move.
My neighbors had a theory about why the bird built the next there. After all, there are a lot of trees facing this view that would seem to make a great place for a nest. But the thing is, there have always been a squirrel or two leaping their way through those trees, and they've been there for years. Because of the location of this light fixture, far enough away from the trees and having a protective overhanging, angled eaves, this would seem to be a particularly safe place to be.
Though when the light goes on at night, it must be tough to sleep.
And yes, that's my neighbors' curtain hanging down on the right.
It's pretty easy to write a column about how horrifically awful Donald Trump is -- not just as a candidate for the presidency, but just in general. But I'm not sure if I want to write about him every single day. Though I probably could. And given the importance of an election for the presidency of the United States, it's not necessarily a bad idea. But every once in a while, I think it's good to have a change of pace. So, I was hoping to write about something different today.
It was tough to do, given all the potential Trump stories. Like, his bizarre press conference in Scotland on the day of the Brexit vote when the world economy went into a meltdown and the British Prime Minister resigned, saying this could mean more tourists to his golf course. Or how the amount of money his campaign has raised is so bizarrely paltry. Or how reports show that about 10% of the money his campaign has spent has gone to his own properties, facilities or family. Or how in the midst of a presidential race he's decided to take a trip to Scotland to view one of his golf courses there. Or how the latest polls show Hillary Clinton's lead over him steadily increasing, now some up to double-digits. Or the epic rant Mark Cuban just made about Trump which included such ethereal comments as, "It’s rare that you see someone get stupider before your eyes, but he’s really working at it. You have to give him credit. It’s a difficult thing to do, but he’s accomplished it" -- and "Let’s look at it this way: Name one good deal he’s done/ When he talks about his great renegotiations, they’re renegotiations, so tell me if you think this is a good deal: I lose four casinos, they go out of business, but I’m really good at renegotiating the debt of his companies that have already gone out of business" -- and "At some point, you’ve got to start learning and understanding the issues, you know? Donald has been at this a year but you don’t look at him and say, 'Wow, he’s gotten so much smarter on this topic or that topic.' In fact, you look at him and say, 'What the hell are you talking about?’ That’s not good for America.”
So, I started preparing pieces instead on Gov. Paul LePage (R-ME) who had a hissy fit when he was told he couldn't pick-and-chose what people on food stamps could buy and so threatened to shut down the program in Maine -- basically eliminating the concept of how Republicans want to keep the government out of peoples' lives. Or how everything has been going terribly wrong for Brazil as it prepares to host the Olympics, including its economy becoming shaky and its president having been impeached -- and then in the torch relay, a jaguar being used to help promote the event got loose from its handler and had to be shot and killed, and a paralympic athletic was robbed at gunpoint in Rio. Or how even though 20 million more Americans have health care coverage as a result of the Affordable Care Act, the country is on track to spend 2.6 trillion less by 2019 since the law was enacted.
And yet, in the end I still have to come back to Donald Trump. Because the inanity of one of his comments reached Trumpian levels.
In a speech to evangelicals, Donald Trump (R-Trump Towers) questioned the religious beliefs of Hillary Clinton and then President Obama, hinting that neither may even be Christians --
“She’s been in the public eye for years and years, and yet there’s no, nothing out there. There’s like nothing out there. It’s going to be an extension of Obama, but it’s going to be worse, because with Obama you had to have your guard up. With Hillary you don’t and it’s going to be worse.”
This is ghastly for several reasons.
First, Secretary Clinton is long on record about her religious beliefs, and has even said that she caries a Bible in her purse.
Second, Donald Trump seems to be perhaps the least-religious man who has ever run for the presidency and sounds like an ignorant pandering clod when discussing religion (like when he infamous and incorrectly quoted from "Two.Corinthians," rather than "Second Corinthians" and asked, "Is that the one you like? I think that's the one you like"). Most likely, he is taking a page out of the traditional GOP playbook and attack your opponent about your own biggest weakness.
And third -- and most importantly by far -- religion has absolutely no place in a political race. Zero. While I know that it's a fool's wish to think it will disappear, since religion does play a part, that part is pretty much exclusively played by those outside the arena attacking those in it. When candidates address religion it's pretty much always to pat themselves on the back for being holier than thou. But for a candidate of any office -- especially the presidency of the United States -- to try and make a litmus test of religion is about as un-American think as there is, striking at the core right of Freedom of Religion.
I say "try and make," because the attempt will not only fail but fail miserably, and if it gains any traction, it will be solely as a means of backfiring on Donald Trump, not just for his silly, childish petulance at his idiotic charge, but for shining the spotlight back on himself and his own standard of devotion.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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