Regarding Ukraine and the “whistle blower complaint,” Trump and Giuliani get their stories straight. Rudy insists “I didn’t bring up Joe Biden with Ukraine’s president,” and seconds later says, “I did and I’m proud of it!”
Trump swears he didn’t withhold Ukraine funds and later says “I’d do it again.” First he made the phone call because of concerns about “corruption,” and then it’s because, “Europe and other nations don’t pay their fair share.” (Fact check: From 2013-2017 US aid to Ukraine was $1.4 billion while EU aid was $16.5 billion!)
In 2017, when Trump held his first meeting as president, he ordered his staff to “Treat each day as a reality TV show,” suggesting the day be so filled with drama that the country would be clamoring to see what happens next. It’s been 797 mind-numbing days and the 2020 election is in 401 days. I’m so “Trump drained” I wonder how I’m going to make it.
Perhaps you’re exhausted as well. If so, may I recommend you take a ½ hour for a series of YouTube videos so inspiring and uplifting, you’ll feel like you’ve taken a vacation from Trump (who appears guilty of a “cover up”) and his dark cloud that hangs over a majority of Americans.
The “star” of this tale is 23-year-old pianist/singer Kodi Lee, who, I believe, is unlike anyone I’ve ever seen. (Or, maybe he’s living proof there are lots of disabled people who courageously face such challenges on a daily basis?)
Kodi was born with Optic Nerve Hypoplasia, which left him blind at birth. At 4, he was also diagnosed with autism so severe he’s seemingly unable to make conversation. It turns out, however, he understands everything around him and has monumental musical gifts that reveal his intelligence and spirit. As Kodi sang on “America’s Got Talent,” it felt like, if there is a God and it’s in all of us, that’s what was coming from within Kodi.
At first the judges on AGT looked very concerned when, at his audition, Kodi, with his remarkable mother, Tina, by his side, struggled to say his name and what he was going to perform. (Kodi’s father, Eric, and siblings Derek and Kayla, were also in in the wings rooting him on.)
When Tina walked Kodi to the piano and he sat down, she knelt knelt beside him and whispered encouragement. She told him that twenty cameras were on him, which, instead of being nervous he was delighted. When she asked, “Are you ready?” Kodi replied enthusiastically, “Yeah!” Seconds later, I realized I needn’t have worried about him.
Kodi’s audition number was his rendition of Leon Russell’s iconic, “A Song For You,” not necessarily easy to play or sing. But with the first notes the judge’s jaws dropped. They couldn’t believe, nor could I, that this incredible voice belonged to a man who is both blind and autistic. After only moments of Kodi’s passionate singing, tears were welling up in the judges’ eyes, the audience’s and mine. (Even to this day if I watch it again.)
When Kodi finished he received a thunderous standing ovation. He beamed with pride, perhaps second only to Tina who was thrilled for her son. Simon Cowell, who’s not only a judge but owns AGT shows world wide, and not prone to lavish praise, thanked Kodi profusely. “I will remember this night for the rest of my life.”
Actress Gabrielle Union, also an AGT judge, said, “Kodi’s making people believe in something they didn’t even know is attainable. He’s magic.” That night she told Kodi, “You have changed the world.” For however long, he certainly had changed mine.
How does Kodi do it? Apparently he has “auto memory,” so that when he hears a song only once, it’s permanently etched in his brain. But that doesn’t explain the passion and brilliance with which he sings.
At his audition, Kodi captured the hearts of everyone and the millions watching on television and later on YouTube. He also shattered stereotypes about disabilities.
Spoiler alert: Kodi won AGT’s 14th season finale and was awarded $1 million. (Actually, $200,000 now or $25,000 for forty years.) He also won a three-day contract to headline at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino from November 7 to 10 and I’m sure that place will be packed.
So, if you haven’t seen Kodi perform, do your soul a favor and Google him. Take the 20 minutes to view videos of his tremendous talent and soaring spirit.
Given the insanity of a Twitter/reality TV White House, Kodi might just renew your hope and optimism. At the risk of sounding cornier than usual, I practically guarantee his performances will bring tears to your eyes and joy to your heart. To that, I can only add, “Bless Kodi Lee.”
Google: “All of Kodi Lee AGT performances.” Jack is at firstname.lastname@example.org.