Puff Daddy | Climate & Clocks | Biden $ Concert | Country Carter

Joe Biden, Barack Obama & Bill Clinton Raise $25 Million at New York Concert

More than 5,000 people attended the sold-out star studded event at New York’s Radio City Music Hall on March 28th. The campaign fundraiser featured musical guests including Queen Latifah, Lizzo and Ben Platt. Mindy Kaling served as host, at one point joking that it was nice to be in a room “with so many rich people.” An after-party for 500 VIP guests was co-hosted by first lady Jill Biden and DJ D-Nice. Guests paid anywhere from $225 to $500,000 to attend. The highest-paying donors at the event had access to perks such as a photo with the three presidents. Legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz was in attendance to take portraits of donors with Biden, Clinton and Obama. The Biden team reported raises $25 million…in one night!

The fundraiser was held as the Biden campaign sought to insure and maintain their massive financial advantage over the Trump campaign. The Biden campaign last week reported $71 million cash on hand as of the end of February, more than twice the $33.5 million reported by Trump’s campaign. Trump has spent tens of millions of dollars on his legal troubles, which include criminal indictments and civil trials. Trump continues to downplay the huge gap in campaign finances in comparison to Biden’s stash. Trump’s team dismissed the Biden-Obama-Clinton event as a gathering of establishment politicians with sub par records.
“The three people who has been responsible for death, destruction, and misery across the globe,” Trump spokesman Steven Cheung posted on X in response to Biden’s post about the event.

Earlier this month Donald Trump and President Joe Biden both solidified exactly what many Americans have dreaded…and even prayed not to experience…a rematch for the United States Presidency. Despite the many doomsday warnings from the media, conservative Republicans, liberal Democrats, and progressive Democrats, the America we once knew is gone and a new country is emerging. The reality is, no matter who wins the 2024 presidential election, American lives will never be the same.

Some might consider this change in our nation’s makeup to be for the best, but “the best” is subjective, depending on who you ask. Former Republican congressman Adam Kinzinger, has warned in an interview with The Guardian. Trump, the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination, is vowing retribution against his political enemies in a second-term agenda more radical than his first, including mass deportations and a purge of the justice department. Kinzinger, one of the most prominent Trump critics in America, is sounding the alarm.

Former Republican Representative Liz Cheney told donors on social media to “beware” of Donald Trump. “Is it just a coincidence that Donald Trump took over the RNC, fired most of its Republican staff, and installed his daughter-law as co-chair at the same time he’s become desperate for money and can’t post bond?” Cheney, a vocal critic of the former president, wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “Donors better beware.” Cheney’s remarks came in response to Trump’s legal team stating that he is unable to post a $464 million bond in his civil fraud case brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James.

In February, Judge Arthur Engoron ruled in James’ favor in her lawsuit against Trump, his adult sons, and The Trump Organization, alleging that the former president inflated the value of his properties, as well as the value of his own net worth, to secure more favorable bank loans and taxation deals. Trump, the presumed Republican presidential nominee, was later required to pay over $400 million in penalties, and he and his sons were barred from conducting business in New York for a period of two to three years. The judge in that case has since reduced the amount of the initial bond by less than half of the original amount.

“History, if it’s any guide…Donald Trump’s endorsements haven’t been that tremendous in the general election, so I think it’s best advised for Republicans to run on their own record and run on their own issues and advocate directly to the people,” Republican strategist Alice Stewart said on CNN News Central.

A quick Wikipedia search revealed the number of Republicans who have publicly opposed the Donald Trump 2024 presidential campaign. The list includes U.S. vice presidents, Cabinet-level officials, Other executive branch officials, U.S. senators (current and former), U.S. representatives, State and local officials (like governors), Former judicial officials, business organizations and other public Republican figures. The list is quite substantial considering that Donald Trump is now the GOP’s presumptive presidential nominee.

Republicans are less unified on Trump’s fitness for office than you might think. While nearly all House and Senate Republicans have kissed the ring and fallen into line to endorse Donald Trump, the twice impeached, four-time-indicted former president’s high-level advisers who served alongside him day in and day out, have overwhelmingly refused to do so.

Everyone from former vice President Mike Pence to former defense secretary Mark T. Esper to former attorney general William P. Barr to former chief of staff John F. Kelly speaks to Trump’s issues and how they are visible to those who know him best. These individuals have shared stories of Trumps, outburst, mind-set and character flaws.

Kelly recalled Trump’s favorable comments about Hitler (“some good things”), which Kelly believes is part of Trump’s idolatry of dictators, whose power Trump envies. John Kelly secretly consulted The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, according to new book by Peter Baker and Susan Glasser. Reported by The Guardian “Donald Trump’s White House chief of staff [John Kelly] secretly bought a book in which 27 mental health professionals warned that the president was psychologically unfit for the job, then used it as a guide in his attempts to cope with Trump’s irrational behavior.”

Esper warned of Trumps hyper-aggressive behavior and willingness to ignore norms and rules. “He wanted to deploy active-duty troops on the street of Washington, D.C., and suggested actually that we shoot Americans in the street. That’s kind of more of what you’ll see.” Esper further cautioned that Trump is not “fit for office because he puts himself first and I think anybody running for office should put the country first.”

When speaking of Donald Trump, Bill Barr explained that “he is a consummate narcissist. And he constantly engages in reckless conduct. … He’s a very petty individual who will always put his interests ahead of the country’s. … But our country can’t, you know, can’t be a therapy session for, you know, a troubled man like this.”

Despite these countless warnings from Trump’s fellow republicans, one must ask the question…is this too little too late? Why don’t these same republicans make more noise? Yes, some of them post vague responses on the social media platform “X” and periodically we see them speak with news media platforms…primarily CNN. However, most Republicans don’t watch CNN. This is primarily per Trump’s directive and his public hatred towards the network and its journalist. Many Republicans would rather ‘socialize’ on Donald Trump’s social platform “Truth Social” and have no interest in “X”.

Since 2016 Republicans, at all levels have had many opportunities to warn their own party members and their constituents, the American people to oppose Donald Trump and they have a duty to do so. Why are Republicans not making more noise? Why are they sitting in silence, quietly waiting to see what happens? Why are they so afraid to speak out?

It is worth noting that the only other living Republican president, George W. Bush has on many occasions publicly disapproved of Trump.

Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs

Let’s Talk about Sean Combs, AKA “Puff Daddy” AKA “Puff”…I have been avoiding this topic for about a year. Why? Well, because I am not a Puff Daddy fan and I never have been. Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs has always come across to me as a little slimy. I am young enough to remember when Christopher Wallace AKA “Biggie Smalls’ AKA “Notorious B.I.G” or just simply “Biggie” was still alive and at the top of his game. I owned every Biggie album and wore them all out. Sean Combs was not relevant to me at that time. I looked at him as being Biggie’s hype man, his producer…his promoter honestly.

After Biggie died, I watched Puff rise to fame off his association with Biggie. He continued to release singles dedicated to Biggie, featuring popular and/or upcoming artists of that time. This marketing tactic worked for Sean Combs. Each featured artists made the track rise in the charts. With every popular song release, a new music video was released as well. Puff Daddy spared the audiences no expense with his video appearances. Puff made it a point to not only appear in every music video, but also listed himself as an artist on every song. But, let’s be real, Puff is not exactly an “artist” per se…he can’t sing, or rap or even really dance.

Despite this, Sean “Diddy” Combs, became one of the most successful music moguls in the history of rap. His music videos painted a larger than life, wealth oozing, lavish lifestyle that starkly contradicted the image that southern and west coast rap had presented for years. In his videos, Diddy showed off mansions, yachts, big black owned businesses, galas and high fashion. Other rap artists of the 90s were still advertising low rider classic cars, house parties in the backyard, selling drugs and the ‘pimp juice’ mentality of  counting how many “bitches and hoes” they could have on the corner.

The black culture was widely exhausted and over this ‘elevated ghetto fantasy’. It was no longer accepted as the only lifestyle they could strive for. Seeing other black musicians in the “hip hop” genre, such as Diddy and friends, rise in the charts and net worth was a breath of fresh air for so many black Americans who simply just wanted a ‘classier’ seat at the table. Diddy gradually started receiving his own recognition and built an empire from hip-hop to the Met Gala, a reality show, a tequila brand, a fashion label, a fragrance line and his own cable network. Young black Americans realized that they too can have fame and fortune without being an athlete, a gangster, a drug dealer, a pimp or a musician.

Now let’s fast forward, if you have been following the news over recent years, Sean Combs has almost quietly been ousted as being a sexual predator, and homosexual. A string of sexual assault allegations have been made against him. Four women, including his long-time partner Casandra “Cassie” Ventura, have filed lawsuits against the musician, accusing him of sexual and physical abuse.

One of the accusers, Joi Dickerson, said she was a 19-year-old student at Syracuse University when she agreed to meet Combs at a restaurant in Harlem in 1991. After their date, Combs “intentionally drugged” her, then brought her home and sexually assaulted her, according to the filing.

Without her knowledge, Combs videotaped the assault and later shared it with several friends in the music industry, the suit alleges. The public exposure sent Dickerson into a “tailspin,” contributing to severe depression that landed her in the hospital and forced her to drop out of college.

Liza Gardner, also filed court papers accusing Combs of coercing her into sex in the early 1990s and then, a couple of days later, choking her so hard that she passed out.

Another woman sued Diddy in December 2023, claiming she was “sex trafficked” and “gang raped” by Combs, former Bad Boy Records president Harve Pierre and another man in 2003, when she was 17 years old.

In court papers, the woman alleged she was given “copious amounts of drugs and alcohol” before the attack and was left in so much pain that she could barely stand or remember how she got home.

Producer Rodney “Lil Rod” Jones filed a similar suit in February, alleging Combs abused him over a year-long period when he was living on the star’s properties and working on his music. The suit, filed in federal court in New York, accused Combs of repeated instances of unsolicited groping and sexual touching. It also says the man had to work in a bathroom while Combs showered and walked around naked. Lil Rod accused Diddy of forcing him to perform sex acts with prostitutes, in documents obtained by Fox News Digital. In court papers filed in New York, Jones also claimed that Combs tried to “groom” him into having sex with another man, telling him it was “a normal practice in the music industry”.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, in 2017, Diddy was sued by his former chef, Cindy Rueda, for sexual harassment, retaliation, defamation, failure to pay overtime and intentional infliction of emotional distress, among other claims. Local outlets reported that the lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed amount in February 2019.

In a statement issued last December, Combs defended himself against what he described as “sickening allegations” made by “individuals looking for a quick payday”.

“Let me be absolutely clear: I did not do any of the awful things being alleged,” he said, adding he would fight to clear his name.

However, on March 25, 2024, federal agents raided two houses owned by the star “as part of an ongoing investigation” into sex trafficking. Combs was also stopped at an airport in Miami as he prepared to leave for the Bahamas, according to the New York Times. He is said to have handed over a number of electronic devices and was not detained.

The Department of Homeland Security said the searches formed “part of an ongoing investigation”, but it was not clear how their inquiries were related to the civil cases against Combs.

Sean Combs has denied ALL allegations. and his lawyer called the raids a “witch-hunt based on meritless accusations made in civil lawsuits” and said his client was innocent.

Climate Change is Affecting Our Clocks

A recent article in The Washington Post suggests that climate change is messing with time itself.
 Yes, you read that right. The melting of polar ice due to global warming is affecting Earth’s rotation and could have an impact on precision timekeeping, according to a paper published Wednesday in the journal Nature.

According to the research, timekeeping is an exact science in a highly technological society, which is why global authorities more than half a century ago felt compelled by the slight changes in Earth’s rotation to invent the concept of the “leap second.” What is a leap second?

Wikipedia defines a leap second as a one-second adjustment that is occasionally applied to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), to accommodate the difference between precise time International Atomic Time (TAI from its French name temps atomique international), as measured by atomic clocks) and imprecise observed solar time (UT1), which varies due to irregularities and long-term slowdown in the Earth’s rotation.

The UTC time standard, widely used for international timekeeping and as the reference for civil time in most countries, uses TAI and consequently would run ahead of observed solar time unless it is reset to UT1 as needed.The leap second was introduced in 1972 and exists to provide this adjustment. Since then, 27 leap seconds have been added to UTC, with the most recent occurring on December 31, 2016.

Insertion of each UTC leap second is usually decided about six months in advance by the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS), to ensure that the difference between the UTC and UT1 readings will never exceed 0.9 seconds.

This practice has proven disruptive, particularly in the twenty-first century and especially in services that depend on precise timestamping or time-critical process control. And since not all computers are adjusted by leap-second, they will display times differing from those that have been adjusted.[5] After many years of discussions by different standards bodies, in November 2022, at the 27th General Conference on Weights and Measures, it was decided to abandon the leap second by or before 2035.

“Country Carter”

Soo…by now you must have heard about the new Beyoncé country album. No, this is not a ‘Beyhive” article. I am not a die hard Beyoncé fan the way her followers are. With that being said, I have respect for the ideal of Beyoncé, even when her music doesn’t reach me as an individual. I will explain here in a moment before the hive swarms.

The new album “ Country Carter” dropped Friday  is the second installment from Beyoncé’s three album journey. The dance-centric Renaissance album, was released in 2022 and touted as “act one” of a trilogy. Her new album contains elements of hip-hop, bluegrass and Chicano rock, with pop, rock, Jersey club music and operatic runs. In a statement soon after the album’s worldwide release, the artist’s Parkwood Entertainment shared that each song on the 27-track project is its own version of a reimagined Western film: “She took inspiration from films like Five Fingers For Marseilles, Urban Cowboy, The Hateful Eight, Space Cowboys, The Harder They Fall and Killers of the Flower Moon, often having the films playing on a screen during the recording process.”

Beyoncé cites the rodeo as the first place where anyone who loved country music and culture could gather and mingle and feel welcome. It’s an image that runs counter to the experience that inspired the album: performing her song “Daddy Lessons” at the CMA Awards in 2016, where she has said she “did not feel welcomed … and it was very clear that I wasn’t.” The Cowboy Carter character exists in conversation with the history of Black cowboys, the loaded meaning behind the term and its function in the American imagination. And for those readers who are unaware, the rodeo is a big F’n deal here in Texas, not matter your ethnicity.

Voices from country lore appear throughout the tracklist, signposts for the album’s deconstructions of genre. The outlaw country pioneer Willie Nelson, who once bucked the Nashville sound himself, stands in as the host of KNTRY Radio Texas, Beyoncé’s fictional pirate station. Dolly Parton draws a line from Becky with the good hair to Jolene, and turns up again before “TYRANT,” encouraging Beyoncé to light up a juke joint. In a prelude to one of the album’s most adventurous cuts, “SPAGHETTII,” Linda Martell, an undersung, trailblazing Black country star of the ’70s, lays out a sort of mission statement: “Genres are a funny little concept, aren’t they? Yes, they are. In theory, they have a simple definition that’s easy to understand. But in practice, well, some may feel confined.”

Beyond the many featured guests, other behind-the-scenes contributors help tell the story. The-Dream, Pharrell, No I.D., Raphael Saadiq, Ryan Tedder, Ryan Beatty and Swizz Beatz all helped produce the record. Other contributors include Pulitzer-winning folk revivalist Giddens, Grammy-winning soul man Jon Batiste, session luminary Nile Rodgers, gospel pedal steelist Robert Randolph, blues rocker Gary Clark, Jr., hip-hop banjoist Willie Jones and the incomparable Stevie Wonder.

I love music, I always have. I grew up in an environment where live shows and underground MC “battles” were held almost every weekend in my hometown. I was a regular on the scene, hoping to see the next upcoming artist on stage before the rest of the world ever knew their name.  Music lovers of today typically love a musician or artist for the sake of simple idolatry. I am not that type of music lover. I am not drawn to a song because its author, composer, performer and/or producer is popular. I am drawn to a song by its compilation, the instruments used, the story behind the song, and of course the lyrics (if they exist). Many people will say that they are drawn to the beat of the song. “If the beat is bangin’, the song is a banger.” I profusely disagree.

When it comes to Beyoncé, I honestly don’t like ALL of her music. I won’t say that she has made songs, I just personally can’t relate to some of them. Additionally, some things that Beyoncé represents doesn’t necessarily represent me or anyone I know. I think that it is a common misconception in America that all black women love Beyoncé and want to be just like her. It’s not true.

The black community at large will pounce on any black American if they are not a Beyoncé fan. Apparently if you don’t like her personally or her music, you are a traitor to black womanhood and the black community as a whole. You are considered a “hater”. You might as well start bleaching your skin and waving a confederate flag as the clear and obvious “not down for the cause” white supremacist you are. Shame on you!

Why is this ok? Throughout my life there have been a long list of black singers, hip hop artists, actors, business executives, hair stylists, soul food restaurants and athletes that I don’t like, can’t relate to or have no knowledge of. Does that in any way diminish my desire for black advancement in this country? Does my dislike of ANYONE successful and black represent that I am not proud to be black. Of course not.

I don’t know Beyoncé personally. I have never spoken with her. I have never hung out with her. However, I am a native Texan and I do know a handful of Houstonians who grew up with Beyoncé. I also have connections with some who grew up with Beyoncé’s parents. I have heard my fair share of stories about personal experiences with her and her family. With that said, I have no hatred towards her. I am simply just not a fan of “EVERYTHING BEYONCÉ”.

Back in the day, I loved Destiny’s Child. I still do. I was so excited to see the remaining two members, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams perform alongside Beyoncé at Coachella 2018. I have also been in love with several of Mrs. Carter’s earlier tracks when she emerged as a solo artist. I believe Beyoncé is a great entertainer and can put on a live show that is amazing. However, there are several issues I have with Beyoncé as a representative of Black America. I also have my opinions about the changes in Beyoncé’s skin color over the years. Additionally, I have many questions when it comes to Beyoncé’s As someone who publicly says that she seeks to represent the Black culture, shouldn’t Beyoncé and her hive be open to hearing how those of us outside the hive feel about that cultural representation and not attack constructive criticism?

Ok, I digress. Let’s get back to the music.

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