On September 6th, 2018, noted actor Burt Reynolds suffered a heart attack and died at a Florida hospital. Reynolds was best known for his popular action films of the ‘70s and ‘80s, including “Smokey and the Bandit” and “The Cannonball Run”, but also received an Oscar nomination for his work in 1997’s “Boogie Nights”. During his heyday, Reynolds’ life was frequent tabloid fodder, with long-term relationships with singer and talk show hostess Dinah Shore, actress Sally Field (his co-star in the “Bandit” films) and TV personality Loni Anderson, whom he eventually married, then divorced.
Florida’s primary election on August 28th was a true shocker! Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum, who had been polling third in the Democratic field, edged past the leading candidates for a three-point win. This sets up an interesting dynamic for the November General Election, with the Bernie Sanders-backed Gillum facing off against Trump-endorsed Ron DeSantis. Gillum is African American, and would be Florida’s first black governor; with fellow Democrat Stacey Abrams vying to be the first black female governor just across the Georgia line, we can justly wonder if “the New South” is finally becoming a reality.
On Saturday, 25 August 2018, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) succumbed to his battle with brain cancer, at his home outside Phoenix, Arizona, just four days before his 82nd birthday. The six-term senator, a former Republican nominee for president, had garnered a reputation as a maverick nonpartisan, a truthful, principled political actor who chastised his fellow Party members as freely as the opposition.
No, AAA isn’t branching out into porn or online dating. We’re doing a little current events twofer, specifically regarding American Media CEO David Pecker and US Representative Duncan Hunter, both of whom were in the news the week of August 19th (though where they found the oxygen for that is beyond me, as the Trump Show rolled on through its worst week ever). Pardon the pun, but there’s not enough meat here for two full articles, so we’ll just target the highlights.
Have you ever had a bad day? I mean, a really, really, REALLY bad day? Well, unless it involved bodily harm, it can’t have been much worse than Tuesday, August 21st, 2018 was for Donald J. Trump, when two of his closest associates were found guilty of fraud and criminal conduct. Paul Manafort, one of Trump’s Campaign Managers in 2016, was convicted of eight counts of bank fraud and tax evasion by an Alexandria, Virginia jury; and in New York, Michael Cohen, his long-time lawyer and fixer, pled guilty to eight similar charges, as well as campaign finance violations, implicating the President in the process.
On Thursday August 16, 2018 “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin relinquished her earthly title for a spot on the Celestial Choir. Franklin, aged 76, who had been fighting pancreatic cancer for 8 years, passed away at home while on hospice care, surrounded by family and friends. Her death elicited memorials, statements, tributes and reflections on her life from across the globe.