THE DISTRACTION CHAMBER

1. It’s Friday, August 18, 2017.

2. It’s the 83rd birthday of Roberto Clemente. A baseball player so revered for his goodness that things are named for him outside Pittsburgh, where he played, and Puerto Rico, his home.

Roberto Clemente is an antidote for what ails the world this week.

Of course, he was a great player, helping the Pirates win two World Series and batting .300 or better just about every year of his career. He is the standard for playing right field well, even 45 years after his death.

But he used his baseball success to help others. Indeed, he died while trying to make sure that aid he had collected to help victims of a Nicaraguan earthquake got to whom it was intended.

One of baseball’s coveted postseason honors is the Roberto Clemente Award, going to a player whose work off the field benefits communities in need.

In a week that has seen Charlottesville and Barcelona, maybe it helps to remember that this is a world that once saw a Roberto Clemente – and hope that there’s others like him.

3. At this moment, social media and the political world are agog with the departure – not clear if it’s a firing or a resignation, but that’s no big deal – of Steve Bannon from the White House.

Will Bannon turn on Trump and launch brickbats from confines of Breitbart? Will Bannon be a mouthpiece for Trump? Who emerges as the new White House power figure?

And my question: Who cares?

In the past week, Trump has defended racists and Nazis after their actions led to the death of a woman in a terrorist attack.

In the past two weeks, he has put this nation at risk of nuclear war with North Korea.

In the past three months, he has embarrassed this country in his trips overseas, tried mightily to strip millions of their health care and attempted to harass an investigation into whether his campaign colluded with Russia to swing the election his way.

Steve Bannon can spew whatever the hell he wants from Breitbart world headquarters in one of Dante’s circles of hell.

The fact of the matter that this meatball, Trump, remains president. He’s still using the office to enrich himself, still trying to undo any government activity that helps people in need and dividing this nation in ways not seen since the Civil War.

Steve Bannon is out. Great. It’s just too bad he can’t take out the orange trash with him.

Stay focused on Trump and what he’s trying to do to this country. All this White House churn – from Spicer to Scaramucci to Bannon – is a shiny object meant to distract you and everyone else from the real stuff.

 

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