IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Starting Five

1. Macron and Cheesy

Inside the Oval Office, Donald Trump hosting French president Emmanuel Macron: “They’re all saying what a great relationship we have, and they’re actually correct. We do have a very special relationship. In fact, I’ll get that little piece of dandruff off — we have to make him perfect. He is perfect.”

2. Truck Stop*

*The judges who are KISS fans will also accept, “Detroit Truck City”

In Detroit, 13 trucks all stop beneath an overpass to help prevent a potential jumper from killing himself by leaping off the I-696 overpass. If this were a better world, Evel Knievel would then be seen flying over them on a motorcycle. Still, that’s a cool show of unity and what CB radios can do. This may be the best argument against driverless trucks yet.

It’s wonderful that they helped save a life, but when the foiled jumper wakes up this morning, he’ll still be in Detroit, so…

3. Philadelphia Freedom

Just in time for Game 5, rapper Meek Mill is released from prison, rings a replica of the Liberty Bell inside the Wells Fargo Center, and then the Sixers dispatch the Heat in Game 5 for their first playoff series win in six years. Bring on either the Celtics (yawn) or the Bucks (Yay!). Giannis, Ben and Embiid are the future of the Eastern conference.

Simmons and Embiid both posted double-doubles while veteran J.J. Redick scored a game-high 27 points.

4. Coast-to-Coast Pedaling

Did you know that there’s a TransAmerica Bicycle Trail? Well, there is and that’s it and it was launched unofficially in 1973. Here are details. Give yourself three months.

5. Hardware Store

Before Liverpool’s 5-2 victory against A.S. Roma at Anfield (Liverpool) in the first leg of their Champions League semi, violence erupted just outside the pitch. An Irish supporter of Liverpool was hit over the head and two Roma fans were arrested. He is in critical conditions. Guns are a no-no in Great Britain, which is why this hooligan was spotted carrying a hammer.

Music 101

The Jackal

The late Ronny Jordan (1962-2014; he’s playing the guitar here) wrote this song and released it in 1993 (the vocalist here is Dana Bryant) and most of us would have never heard of it if Allison Janney, as C.J. Clegg, had not lip-synched it on The West Wing in 2000 near the end of Season 1. What a treat. The song is phenomenal, but we need to mention Bryant’s name again, because what would this song be without her sexy, superfine voice?

Remote Patrol

Champions League

Real Madrid at Bayern Munich

2:45 p.m. FS1

Robert Lewandowski is not only Bayern’s top scorer (28 goals), but Real Madrid is looking to sign him after the season concludes. That’s cold.

These two super clubs have won four of the past five Champions League finals, but only one will advance this time. The first of two legs.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Tweet du Jour

Starting Five

Vandemonium

On an otherwise sublime spring afternoon in Toronto, a white Ryder van jumps a curb and mows down more than a dozen pedestrians, taking 10 lives. That would represents one-sixth of all the murders in Canada’s largest city last year.

A funny thing happened, though. None of Canada’s news stations referred to it as “terrorism” and the police were able to apprehend the man, even though he appeared to be brandishing a weapon at them, without shooting him. How ever do they do it?

2. Barack In The U.S.S.R.*

Gabriela Isler of Venezuela won the pageant, in case you want to win trivia at your local watering hole this week

*Of course, the judges will always accept “Pee: Did He?”

Donnie, you have some ‘splainin’ to do…Bloomberg News, which we predict will become the next news service to be referred to as “failing” or “lying” by an orangy septuagenarian, dug into the flight records and learned that Donald Trump arrived in Moscow on Friday, November 8, 2013, and stayed over two nights, leaving Sunday morning. That directly contradicts what he told James Comey privately on two different occasions, about not having stayed overnight in Moscow. Never mind what most innocent folks would have said: That’s ludicrous, man. I’m not about to soil good mattresses at a Ritz-Carlton and be charged a major replacement fee.

Why is this entire presidency always coming back to A Few Good Men? This latest episode has Lt. Weinberg running over to the Moscow Airport to retrieve the flight records and bringing in two Russian air-traffic controllers to sit in the courtroom as a bluff, no? And yes, Michael Cohen is totally the Kiefer Sutherland character. Or Lt. Markinson. We have not decided on that one yet.

3. Can-dujar

The Yankee rookie that generated all the print this spring was infielder Gleyber Torres (who collected his first Major League hit last night, a single). The newcomer the Bronx was  buzzing about was Giancarlo Stanton, who finally had a decent night at the plate last night in New York’s 14-1 victory (4-4 with a home run, although his most impressive plate appearance was rebounding from an 0-2, 2 outs count in the first inning to work a walk; three Yankee runs would follow).

But the BEST new player in pinstripes, the one who is about to Wally Pipp third baseman Brandon Drury, is 23 year-old Miguel Andujar. We’ve been tweeting about him in the last week as the right-handed hitter has consistently shown some pop in his bat. Last night he had a home run and a double, the seventh consecutive game in which he’s had at least one extra-base hit. Two other Yankees under the age of 24 have ever done that: Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle.

Didi leads the majors in RBI with 24, which is not a bad total after 21 games.

Since opening the season 0-fer-12, Andujar is batting .400 and tied for the league lead with 8 doubles. His 12 extra-base hits are just two shy of the league leader, Didi Gregorius, who, oh yeah, just happens to be his teammate and hit a grand slam last night.

The Yanks are only 12-9 and yes, we are waving the pom pons, but this lineup is going to be extraordinary (they still don’t even have Greg Bird back yet, although Tyler Austin hit a moon shot to left-center last night and has been filling in just fine). As I tweeted last weekend, I see Torres playing second in order to allow Andujar to stay in the lineup, so that you’ve potentially got a batting order of Brett Gardner, Aaron Judge, Stanton, Didi, Gary Sanchez, Aaron Hicks, Bird/Austin, Andujar and Torres.

When Gardner sits, the Yankees field a lineup of players all under 30. Have watched this team all our lives: this is potentially the most potent lineup of hitters they’ve ever had. They’re already six home runs ahead of Seattle’s pace that set the single-season home-run record of 264 in 1997. And anyone watching them this April will tell you they’ve been relatively cold, because it’s been unseasonably cold. Wait until these bats heat up. You’ll see them putting up 10 or more runs a game quite often.

4. Kona

Former Notre Dame and Seattle Seahawk defensive lineman Kona Schwenke, one of three Hawaiian islanders who were part of Brian Kelly’s first recruiting class (Manti Te’o and Robby Toma), died in his sleep this weekend. An autopsy is pending. He was 25.

To all who knew him, Kona was a gentle giant. My lone Kona Schwenke memory, from 2010, the last season I spent embedded in South Bend. It was October 27 in the early evening. A few hours earlier, during incredible gusts of wind, student manager Declan Sullivan had fallen from a hydraulic lift and died. Now it was about 7 p.m. and the night was actually quite placid.


I was walking up the South Quad, having just returned from Fisher Hall (Sullivan’s dorm) in a failed attempt to speak with Sullivan’s rector. I’m pretty sure Brian Hamilton, then of the Chicago Tribune, was with me. Walking east, we passed South Dining hall and were approaching the little front porch at northwestern end of Dillon Hall (Kona’s dorm, and also mine). Standing or sitting there were three to four Notre Dame football players, saying nothing, just listening as Kona was gently strumming what I believe was a ukulele. As if he were playing a requiem.

Anyway, that’s what I’ll remember about Kona. Here are some other memories.

5. Rob, Rob Pope

Meet Rob Pope, the real-life Forrest Gump. Pope, a British veterinarian, walked into a Mobile, Ala., barbershop on September 14, 2016, and from there he just started “ruh-NING.” Pope, 39, ran to Santa Monica.

From Santa Monica he ran to Maine. From Maine he returned to San Francisco. From San Francisco he ran to South Carolina. He’s had to return to England a few times, mostly to renew his travel visa, but on his next leg he plans to make it to Monument Valley.

Oh, and he can really run. This past weekend Pope ran a 2:36 at the London Marathon, which is an incredible time for a non-pro. Letsrun.com has the write-up. You’ll be seeing him profiled on the news shows before long.

Reserves

Walker Capital update: Okay, Susie B., we got back in on MH’s 2018 stock pick, GBTC, when it fell to $11 per share. This morning it’s at $16.15, so up more than 40% since we got back in, but still way down from its January 2 opening of $24.85. We’ll stay tuned if you do.

Music 101

Don’t Pull Your Love*

Binge-ing our way through The West Wing has provided the ancillary benefit of reacquainting us with some long lost favorite tunes (and introducing us to a new one or two: tomorrow, more on that). This one is heard in the background at the opening of Episode 2, Season 2. It’s from Seventies one-hit wonders Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds who might’ve enjoyed a more fruitful career if only they’d have thunk up a pithier band name. The trio of Los Angelenos had great success with this 1971 tune as it soared to No. 4 on the Billboard chart.

They’re actually very talented. Kind of reminds you of Blood, Sweat & Tears, no? (they’d have a bigger hit in 1975—look it up—but it’s not half as good as this tune)

*We need to create an MH Faves list. This one belongs.

Remote Patrol

The Apartment

8 p.m. TCM 

Few films inspired Mad Men as much as this 1960 Best Picture Oscar winner. Part comedy, part drama. Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine and Fred MacMurray. Some Best Picture winners are snoozers. This one is not.

A.S. Roma at Liverpool

2:45 p.m. FS1

This is the undercard matchup of the Champions League semis (tomorrow you get the headliners, Real Madrid at Bayern Munich). Liverpool last won the CL in 2005. Roma never has but played in the final in 1984.

 

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Tweet du Jour

Starting Five

1. It Could Have Been Worse

A nearly naked, deranged white supremacist (redundancy alert) murdered four people, all minorities, at a Nashville-area Waffle House in the early hours of Sunday morning. Were it not for the decisive actions taken by James Shaw, Jr., a black patron who is the same age as the gunman (29), the number would have been at least triple that.

Checking boxes as to why Donald Trump has not tweeted about it yet…

  1. Hero was a good guy WITHOUT a gun, 2) Hero was black, 3) Victims were black 4) Assailant used an AR-15, 5) Assailant is a white supremacist 6) Gun laws so comically lenient that even after scaling a White House fence and being arrested by Secret Service, even after they took away his guns, law allowed local officials to return said guns to the assailant’s father, who then promptly returned them to his son.

The suspect is still on the run…

p.s. No one has explained how it was so quickly determined that this suspect is who he is. Curious about that…

2. The Wife Of The Party

It took a funeral and a weekend away from her husband to put a smile back on Melania Trump’s face. She’s probably already looking forward to when 41 passes.

Her husband, the president, did not attend as the White House statement reads, “out of respect.” But we thought funerals were where you paid your respects. It’s all so confusing.

p.s. Look at Melania’s heels. How do women spend more than five minutes in those walking torture chambers?

3. Belt Way

On Friday evening we watched pesky Yankee batter Reynaldo Torres work a 13-pitch at bat (he flied out to right) against a Toronto Blue Jay pitcher and wondered what the longest at-bat in MLB history was, but then of course we were distracted by something shiny and did not follow through on investigating it.

On Sunday afternoon in Anaheim, San Francisco Giant Brandon Belt solved the riddle, working an MLB-record (at least dating back to 1998, when pitch counts began being accurately recorded) 21-pitch at-bat versus Angel rookie Jaime Barrio (Rule No. 7). Officially, it was 3 balls, 2 strikes and 16 foul balls before Belt also flew out to right. The at-bat lasted 12 minutes.

Later in the contest, Belt would hit a home run.

Incidentally, Belt’s initials are baseball short-hand for a walk. Which he did not.

4. Forbidden Fruit*

*The judges will also accept “How Do You Like Them Apples” or “Fruit Flies”

Delta Airlines passenger Crystal Tadlock was flying from Paris to Denver with a layover in Minneapolis. Delta handed out snack bags to passengers (very nice) and Tadlock decided to save her apple for the second, shorter leg of her journey. The problem is that when she landed in the Twin Cities she forgot to declare it, U.S. customs officials found it, and handed her a $500 fine.

Tadlock is going to fight this in court. Meanwhile, this may be the first apple that is more expensive than something that is made by Apple.

5. He’s QUITE A Muslim

In his first Premier League season with Liverpool after coming over from A.S. Roma, Egyptian Mohamed Salah was named the PFA Player of the Year. Salah, 25, leads the Premier League in goals scored (31) and is sixth in assists (9) with three matches remaining. He’s put Liverpool into third place in the EPL (the top non-Manchester club in the league) and he’s also put them into the semis of the Champions League.

You’ll see more of Salah this June, as Egypt plays in the World Cup in by far the easiest group: Egypt, Uruguay, Saudi Arabia and host Russia (two teams will advance).

It’s funny. Between 1974 and 2013, every PFA Player of the Year (the MVP for what is the most visible sports league in the world) was European. Then in 2014 Luis Suarez of Uruguay won it. The last three winners have been Riyad Mahrez of Algeria, N’golo Kante of France (but his parents are from Mali) and Salah of Egypt.

The world keeps spinning….

Music 101

One Week

Who’s an even more fun and quirky Nineties band than They Might Be Giants? How about the Barenaked Ladies of suburban Toronto? This 1998 tune topped the Billboard charts in the U.S. for—appropriately—one week. It’s reminiscent of another song, “The Hook,” by another mid-Nineties act, Blues Traveler, in that it intersperses a chorus with improvised white rap. The band’s designated rapper and lead guitarist, Ed Robertson, came up with the lyrics himself in one mad moment of genius.

Remote Patrol

Thunder at Jazz

10:30 p.m. TNT

Utah’s tribute to the late Seventies/early Eighties Astros is touching

Attended a playoff game in Salt Lake City 20 years ago and it was so far removed from the hook that I still recall it well (and that game tipped off at like 12:30 p.m. local time). Quick:  What movie has a scene or two from inside the Delta Center or whatever it’s now called (Vivant Smart Home Center…it rolls right off the tongue!). And what’s up with those Jazz fire unis?!? Loved ’em AND hated ’em.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Tweet du Jour

We never claim to be experts on matters racial, but doesn’t Mr. Goldberg mean “homosexual overtimes?” Either way, that’s quite a soundbyte.

Starting Five

1. Weapon Of Mask Destruction

In his first career playoff game, Joel Embiid went on a personal 7-0 run down the stretch in Miami as the Sixers took Game 3 from the Heat. Returning after a 10-game absence following a fractured orbital bone (due to a collision with rookie teammate Markelle Fultz), Embiid helped the Sixers outscore the Heat 32-14 in the fourth quarter. On their floor.

The playoffs have provided some pleasant surprises for fans searching for some new blood in the Association: Philly, New Orleans, Utah and of course, Indiana.

2. Mookie Of The Year

If you haven’t been paying attention, the biggest news outside of baseball’s chilly, chilly April (and March—what were they thinking?) is the red-hot start of the Boston Red Sox. The Sawx are 16-2, having taken 2 of 3 from the Yankees last week at Fenway and having just swept the Angels in Anaheim, which included a shushing of Shohei.

It’s been a team effort, but 5’9″ right fielder Mookie Betts has particularly shined, what with baseball’s highest batting average (.391). You Better, You Better, You Betts is also tied in the A.L. lead for home runs with six, while a trio of teammates—Rafael Devers, Hanley Ramirez and J.D. Martinez—are in the top five in the A.L. in RBI. A reminder that Boston is doing all of this with a new manager, Alex Cora, and without its marquee player, Dustin Pedroia, who has a knee injury and won’t return for at least another fortnight.

We’re already girding ourselves for games with the Bombers later this summer (and fall?) approaching the length of cricket test matches. You’ve been warned.

3. Rudy Can Fail

Fresh off his latest divorce announcement (“How’d they stay married for 15 years? That’s a better question!” said a source close to the 73 year-old), former New York City district attorney and mayor Rudy Giuliani announced yesterday that he will be joining the president’s personal legal team. Rudy announced that he’s come on board to “negotiate an end” to the Mueller probe. Like what? Is he going to offer America $130,000 to sign an NDA about Russian interference into the election?

Being that Rudy was a key component in Donald Trump’s campaign strategy and was angling for the job that was later given to Jeff Sessions—YUUUUUGE mistake there, right, Donald—this doesn’t sound like it’s compromised before it’s begun at all, does it? Meanwhile, did you know that Rudy’s pop, Harold, did time in Sing Sing for felony assault and robbery? We did not.

Also, piggybacking on yesterday’s “Wrong Island” item, Rudy grew up in Garden City, Long Island. So that’s Michael Cohen, Sean Hannity, Anthony Scaramucci, Bill O’Reilly and Rudy. Plus Donald is from Queens, which is pretty much the beginning of Long Island as you exit midtown Manhattan. #WrongIsland

Meanwhile, this is what Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, who’ll probably have his own show on MSNBC when this is all over, told MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace yesterday:

“I think three weeks ago I said that ultimately [Cohen] was going to be indicted and he was going to flip on the president. I was the first one to call it. And now, you know, people that are close to the president are telling him the same thing.”

“I mean, this is a very, very serious matter for the president at this point. There’s no question that Michael Cohen knows where many, many bodies are buried. They are going to turn him. And when they turn him, the president is going to be in a very, very bad place. And I’m going to make a prediction now. I do not think the president will serve out his term. I just don’t.”

4. Finding Memo

Yesterday James Comey’s private notes scribbled while he was still director of the FBI were published (at the behest of certified worst Californian Devin Nunes). They’d probably sell better than A Higher Loyalty” if someone were to put them on Amazon. You can read the takeaways here, but it’s worth noting that Trump believes reporters who get leaks and run with them should be imprisoned. I guess only Trump is allowed to leak (“Pompeo Went On Secret Trip to North Korea”).

5. Paradise? You’re Already Here

Sunday is Earth Day, an annual reminder to put down your smart phones and appreciate the fact that you’re already inhabiting paradise (at least the parts of earth that man has yet to “civilize”).

I mean, if you believe in God and expect him to top this after you die, let’s just say your expectations may be a little unrealistic. And if you don’t believe in God, well at least hopefully you can appreciate what time multiplied by natural selection, wind, gravity, sunlight, oxygen and water is able to produce. And of course, you can believe in a Higher Power (God for short) and still appreciate time times the elements.

It’s a pretty special place, your home. Let’s all take care of it.*

*Also, while we have your attention, here’s a quick two-graf refutation of “intelligent design.” There are folks who point to things like the Grand Canyon or giraffes and claim this is evidence of intelligent design. Not at all. There’s been a lot of Stupid Design over the eons but because of the laws of natural selection, Stupid Design has a way of vanishing.

It’s not just that people drove this. People actually bought this.

Look at it this way: You look at a Ferrari and use it as proof that a greater being is behind the production of all automobiles. And then I show you photos of the discontinued Gremlin, Pacer and Edsel.

Music 101

One

After placing a call and getting a busy signal—ask your folks—Harry Nilsson wrote this classic and recorded it in 1967. The song became a top five hit when Three Dog Night released a more electrified version in 1969. Born in Brooklyn, Nilsson ran away to Los Angeles as a teen and launched a successful career as a songwriter. He was one of the “Hollywood Vampires” in the early Seventies, a notorious carousing club formed by Alice Cooper that also included Keith Moon, Ringo Starr and Mickey Dolenz. Nilsson’s greatest pop culture posting, however, is the fact that both Mama Cass and Moon died in the same room of his London flat four years apart. Do NOT crash at Nilsson’s.

Remote Patrol

Live From Lincoln Center

Sutton Foster

9 p.m. PBS

Broadway nerds are familiar with the work of the two-time Tony Award-winning actress (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Anything Goes), but if you watched closely you’ve also seen her slumming it in Flight of the Conchords and Gilmore Girls. Joining her? Jonathan Groff, whom you may know from Hamilton (King George) or Spring Awakening but whom you may know better as the lead in Mindhunter.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING! ANNEX EDITION

by John Walters

Note: We already posted an IAH! this a.m. but had a couple more items we wanted to add….

The Daily Harrumph: LaForce-LeBron

Let’s begin with two notes on the Allie LaForce-LeBron James postgame interview last night: 1) this is NOT a big deal and while any words we devote here seems to contradict that, please understand we are only doing so because we feel too many people got it too incorrect and because really, do we want to spend any more time talking about Starbucks? and 2) Kyle Koster over at The Big Lead said most of what we want to say, so there may be a little overlap, but give it a read anyway.

To begin: Was San Antonio Spur coach Gregg Popovich’s wife a public figure? Coach Pop is, but was she? Did you know her name? Do you know what she looked like? Did you realize he’d been married for four decades? Did you know she was ill?

At most, you knew Pop was married, is my guess. This was not the death of another Texas matriarch, Barbara Bush. This was basically a private citizen married to the NBA’s longest-tenured but also most intensely private coach.

So the first question is simple: After LeBron James had just scored 46 points in Cleveland’s Game 2 win to even the series with Indiana, did the death of Erin Popovich really need to be broached on national TV by Allie LaForce? What relevancy did it have to the game?

None.

Second, the cool kids in the media on Twitter, sports journalism’s inner circle, admonished us to “put down our pitchforks” for crying foul here. Part of the reasoning was that LaForce had informed LeBron of the news moments before they went on camera. In other words, she’d given him a heads up and asked if it was okay. And they believe for some reason this absolves everyone of blame. No. It doesn’t work that way. Here’s why:

1) If you are going to ask for an on-camera reaction, clue us viewers in to the fact that you’re not springing this on LBJ live by beginning, “As we just spoke about off-camera…” We’re not mind readers. We can only go on what we see.

2) Since you did inform LBJ off-camera first, then his reaction to your telling him this news makes no sense. Is he acting? Really? Or maybe in the chaos of postgame stuff, he didn’t actually hear what you whispered in his ear about Popovich or it failed to register. Either way, it’s either a bad look for TNT because they sprung it on LeBron or it’s a bad look for LeBron because he was being somewhat of a phony in terms of his reaction.

3) Chances are LaForce’s producer wanted this because it would make good TV. And it did. It just makes terrible humanity. What we love about Pop is that his B.S. detector is particularly acute and while he probably wasn’t watching and he may not care, if you were to present him with what transpired as an objective scenario, using other people as subjects, his first thoughts would be that TNT was exploiting that poor women’s death for a sound byte.


Of course, the usual Front-Row-Press-Row or ESPN talking head gang came immediately to Allie’s defense. And we have nothing against LaForce (we don’t know her but she is bright and friendly and yes, beautiful) but we wonder if these same people would come to the defense of an unknown reporter as swiftly. And maybe when that many of us are griping about this, that might say something about whether what took place is at least questionable (sheerly by the number of people questioning it). We found it amusing how quickly some of the more important folks on Sports Twitter rose up to tell us there’s nothing to see here.

We guess in the end it’s kind of like this: You know when you’re in a relationship and you ask your partner, “Are you mad at me?” Well, you’re not posing that question unless your partner has a reason to be mad at you. Likewise, you can defend this interview all you want, but the fact that so many of us feel it was disingenuous and exploitative speaks for itself.

Finally, last night someone else on Twitter admonished us for not tsk-tsk’ing the reporter who asked Kevin Durant, after practice, about the same issue. They wondered why we were so much more critical of LaForce than of the reporter?

Really, dude? One instance was a post-practice reporters’ scrum that someone happened to be videotaping. The other was live TV, moments after the man being interviewed had scored 46 points. There’s nothing wrong with asking Durant or LeBron for a reaction, but there’s no need to grand-stand it. It’s 2018. People are going to have smartphones out recording video. But the guy who asked KD wasn’t asking him specifically to get an on-air response before millions of viewers.

In The Dark

We didn’t watch much of ESPN’s broadcast of the 16-inning marathon between the Indians and Twins in San Juan last night, but we did see the in-booth interview with MLB commissioner Rob Manfred.

You could call it questionable taste to air a night baseball game being powered by generators when all the residents of Puerto Rico are without power (I do), but then you can also make the argument that the game was a welcome reprieve. And while I imagine host Karl Ravech and analyst Tim Kurkjian discussed the island’s blackout and its post-hurricane struggles at length during the telecast (at least I hope so), what struck me as particularly discordant is that Manfred never did. In fact, when asked to assess this excursion by MLB to the ravaged island territory, his answer was, “I don’t think it could’ve gone any better.”

That’s a little tone deaf, no?

Wrong Island

Michael Cohen lives on Long Island. Sean Hannity lives on Long Island. Bill O’Reilly lives on Long Island (note: as Jerry Seinfeld has explained, it’s “on Long Island but in Manhattan,” even though both are islands; don’t ask, we don’t know).

Donald Trump is from Queens, which is technically part of Long Island. Our guess is that a good one-third of that Theta Tau group from Syracuse is from Long Island. Anyone sensing a pattern here.

Don’t get us wrong: We love Brooklyn (part of LongIsland technically), the Rockaways and, on the far eastern end, Montauk. It’s just (most everything) in between (love you, too, Jones Beach).

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Tweet du Jour


Baseball’s about to break its games-postponed-in-April record (now at 25) and there’s still 10 days left. Perhaps they should have broken the record last night in San Juan, Puerto Rico, when generators were used for the Indians-Twins game on ESPN even thought the entire island was in the midst of a blackout?

Starting Five

1. Saqu-ONE

Two things about eastern Pennslyvania native and Penn State product Saquon Barkley: 1) He’s not a quarterback and 2) He’s the best player in the April 28 draft.

If you’re the Cleveland Browns, who have the No. 1 and No. 4 overall picks, you take Saquon first overall. And here’s why: 1) He’s not going to be available at No. 4, 2) If you really want a quarterback, either Josh Allen, Sam Darnold or Josh Rosen will be available at No. 4 and no one really knows how any of them will pan out with the Browns, 5) Ezekiel Elliott.

With Barkley, the 0-16 Browns would take a great leap forward

With Ezekiel Elliott in 2016, a rookie who led the NFL in rushing (1,631 yards), the Dallas Cowboys finished 13-3, their best record in nine years. Without him last year (suspension, problems with Roger), the Cowboys finished 9-7 and failed to make the playoffs. Barkley is not a clone of Elliott, but you know you’re not going to get the off-the-field problems and you know you’re getting the franchise’s best running back since the legendary Jim Brown (Did they name the team after him? No?).

Take him at No. 4. He’s a steamroller. May even be better than Zack Martin, who has been to four Pro Bowls in four seasons.

Anyway, we’d still pass on a QB (unless that QB is Rosen) at No. 4 and take either OG Quenton Nelson (the next-best player in the draft) or defensive end Bradley Chubb (the top defensive player). The Browns have great guards but Nelson is the best interior lineman in the draft and he’s Dick Butkus on offense. Nasty. And like Barkley, he’s N.J./eastern Pa. area kid who just wants to play football. He fits the Browns’ mentality.

Allen, Darnold and Rosen are all California boys and, I’m sorry, anecdotal evidence about the Midwest here, are all huge risks on the south shore of Lake Erie. Darnold, I feel, will be particularly lost here.

Select two future Hall of Famers and don’t get cute, Cleveland. It’s a short drive to Canton.

2. Sully, Meet Tammie Jo*

Who do you have in the title role? Allison Janney? Emma Thompson?

*The judges will also accept, “When The Shults Hit The Fan”

She’s 56, she’s an alum of Mid-America Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas (“Go, Pioneers!”), a married mother of two, a former Navy fighter pilot, and likely saved the lives of 144 passengers with her calm under pressure while piloting Southwest Airlines flight 1380.

The name Tammie Jo Shults sounds like someone who’d be working on a plane serving drinks. Instead, she’s correctly being praised as a hero pilot after an engine exploded over the skies of New Jersey on Tuesday. The plane banked hard left, but Shults calmly radioed the tower at Philadelphia International Airport. When air traffic control asked if the craft was on fire, she matter-of-factly replied, “No, but part of it is missing.”

Nobody on the MH staff is qualified to judge just how gifted a pilot Shults is in relation to her peers (there’s a long list of things the staff is unqualified to do…we’ll save that for a later blog), but something tells us there’s a movie in the offing.

3. Breaking Bad Comes To Appalachia

The white-trash railing and American flags were a dead giveaway.

On Tuesday police officers arrested 90 members of the three-state Peterson drug ring and seized enough Fentanyl, a popular opiate, to kill 250,000 people. The Peterson brothers, Manget, based in Huntingdon, W. Va., and Willie, based in Detroit, have been distributing Fentanyl and heroin for years, but the DEA only sniffed them out a year or so ago.

The Peterson syndicate operated in Michigan, Ohio and West Virginia, three states hit hardest by the opioid crisis. And don’t ask us to tell you the difference between an opiate and an opioid. That’s homework for Susie B.

Meanwhile, we wonder what the Peterson brothers know about that Ohio situation a couple summers back in which an entire family of start-up cooks were murdered.

4. Bye, Bye Bruno

He only stood 5’10”, but Bruno Sammartino‘s pecs were 6’8″. The Pizzoferrato, Italy, native, one of the pro wrestling legends from an age before Vince McMahon, died yesterday at the age of 82.

Sammartino’s family hid from the Germans in the hills of Italy during World War II, then emigrated to Pittsburgh, where he discovered weightlifting (and quite likely Primanti Brothers’ sandwiches). He rose to fame in the Sixties and Seventies, selling out Madison Square Garden a record 187 times (in 211 appearances). He retired in 1981 but was always ready to rumble.

5. Did He Just Say That???

It was about 10:45 a.m. and CNBC, with co-anchors Sarah Eisen, David Faber and Carl Quintanilla manning the desk, opened a segment on Starbucks, the two black dudes, and how founder Howard Schultz and CEO Kevin Johnson have handled the kerfuffle (consensus: well). The guest was Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, above, a professor and assistant dean at Yale’s School of Management.

At one point, and we weren’t paying entirely close attention, Sonnenfeld was providing background on a decades earlier federal case and, quoting someone from that case, said the word, “niggers.” Yes, on basic cable. At 10:45 a.m. On a Wednesday.

We don’t want to make a federal case out of this, but it was bizarre to hear that word and we imagine a producer was in the anchors’ ears telling them how he wanted it handled (they never acknowledged it). The smart and African-American CNBC co-host Jon Fortt was standing just a few feet off set when this took place. Not sure if he might’ve piped up i on camera and mic’ed up.

Either way, there’s some irony to a Yale professor appearing on TV to talk about how companies can navigate the treacherous waters of perceived (or actual) racial bias and then just casually dropping “niggers” as if he’s Denzel in Training Day. 

Reserves 

Now It’s Amazon’s Turn

This is Karen McDougall. American Media, i.e. the National Enquirer, has released her from the deal that say she can’t talk about her affair to remember with Trump. She has nothing to do with Amazon stock but how many Jeff Bezos pics should we run, anyway?

About two weeks before NFLX announced earnings, and just as the rash of Trump-tech news (Amazon tweets, Cambridge Analytica) was causing tech stocks to hit a relative nadir, we bought NFLX. At $297. It announced earnings on Monday after a 3% run-up to the call and has since risen another 10%.

Guess what? AMZN, which has jumped 12% since Trump’s last negative tweet a fortnight ago, announces earnings April 26. If you’re into this kind of thing, our guess is that it will climb more between now and then than it will after April 26. Just this week, from Monday morning, AMZN stock is up nearly 9% and will be boosted more today due to Jeff Bezos’ positive note yesterday about Amazon Prime reaching 100 million subscribers.

AMZN hit an all-time high of $1,617 on March 13th. Our guess is it will, short of WW3 starting, at least climb above $1,600 before next Thursday, when it announces earnings after the bell.

Music 101

Escape

In 1981, Journey released an album, Escape, that was a monster. It spawned five hit singles, including uptempo classics “Don’t Stop Believin'” and “Stone In Love.” The titular song was never released as a single, but we always have been fond of it. Neil Schon shredding, Jonathan Cain tickling the keys (replacing the band’s founder, Gregg Rolie), and the man with the greatest falsetto this side of Freddie Mercury, Steve Perry.

Remote Patrol

Todd & Mel’s Mock Draft

8 p.m. ESPN

Considering the thinly veiled animus between Todd McShay and Mel Kiper, Jr., I hope they disclose how long it took for them to agree on whose name went first. Still, you’ve clicked on how many mock drafts in the past three months? Why not listen to these two? One of these draftniks will push Josh Allen as the No. 1 overall, and the other one will be intelligent.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Tweet du Jour

Starting Five

1. The Matriarch

The former First Lady passes at the age of 92. Barbara Bush met her husband at a dance in Greenwich, Conn., when she was 16 and it was love at first sight. They married when he was home on leave as an aviator in World War II and later this debutante from Westchester County would move with him out to the oil fields of Odessa (if you’ve ever seen the film Giant, it was not unlike that).


She was the only woman besides Abigail Adams to both be married to and give birth to a U.S. president. The only question we have is will the current president attend her funeral? Will he be welcome? Not that it’s related, but look at the date on the official White House letter of condolence.

2. Pelican West

“NOLA, N-N-N-Nola!”

LOB City has relocated from L.A. to La., as the New Orleans Pelicans have redefined the art of the alley oop. Anthony Davis, a.k.a. The Unibrow, averaged 28.5 points and 13.5 boards in Pelicans’ two road wins at Portland, including last night. If New Orleans advances to the next round, it likely gets Golden State, which should be fun.

3. Wanted: Dead Or Alive

 

Yesterday a sketch artist released a drawing of the man who allegedly threatened Stormy Daniels in a Las Vegas parking lot a few years back. Eagle-eyed and intrepid reporters here at the MH newsroom are the first to identify the assailant:

 

4. Air Scare

Southwest Airlines flight 1380 was 20 minutes into its journey from LaGuardia to DFW when an engine on the left wing blew and sent shrapnel back toward the fuselage. One window blew and, at an altitude of 32,500 feet, the woman seated against that window was nearly pushed out (Well, Actually Guy moment: you are pushed out of a plane as the air pressure inside is greater than outside; the air is rushing OUT of the plane, so you are not being sucked out). Anyway, passengers helped keep her from being pushed out, but she did not survive.

The plane landed safely in Philadelphia, but she becomes the first fatality on a domestic commercial flight in nine years.

5. Money Can’t Buy Me Glove

German billionaire Karl-Erivan Haub went missing in the Swiss Alps a week ago and is presumed dead. Haub, 58, CEO of the Tengelmann retail empire in Europe, was in training for a Swiss ski mountaineering race, the Patrouille, that took place yesterday. He took a cable car, the highest-altitude cable car in Europe, up Klein Matterhorn, 12,740 feet. Haub got out of the cable car with his skis and a day pack. Weather deteriorated and he has not been seen since.

Music 101

Smile A Little Smile For Me

Some day I’d like to do a mixtape titled “Songs From The Back Of The Station Wagon,” which would be a compilation of golden late-Sixties/early-Seventies tunes that are branded into my memory from family car trips: They’d include “Good Morning, Starshine,” “Wedding Bell Blues,” “Never My Love,” “Both Sides Now,” “Georgy Girl,” “Carrie Anne” and this 1969 tune from hit from the British pop group The Flying Machine. It rose to No. 5.

Remote Patrol

Casablanca

8 p.m. TCM

The best movie of them all. If you haven’t yet seen it, do yourself a favor and come join the grownups’ table. And if you’re a virgin, pay attention to the letters of transit. They matter. Here’s looking at you, kid.

Manchester United at AFC Bournemouth

2:45 p.m. NBC Sports 

A midweek matinee Premier League delight. Why? This is basically McDonald’s versus Gray’s Papaya. The Cherries are the tiniest major pro sports franchise we know of, located in a lovely tourist locale on England’s southern coast. Man United owns 13 Premier League championships, more than twice the number of the next-most successful club. Bournemouth was two leagues below the Premier League just a decade ago but now, in their third season in the Premier League, are firmly ensconced in the middle of the pack—no danger of relegation. And you’ll see them play in charming, cozy Dean Court, which seats all of 11,360 supporters. Go, Cherries!

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Tweet du Jour

Starting Five

It Poured. She Reigned*

*The judges will half-heartedly accept “American Woman”

In a driving rain storm, Chula Vista, Calif., native and Arizona State alumna Des Linden becomes the first American woman to win the Boston Marathon in 33 years while running the slowest winning time (above) in 40 years. The larger story may be that seven of the top ten female finishers were American and six of the top ten male finishers were also American.

2018 Boston Marathon: Wild, Wild Wet

And none of those six American men were Galen Rupp, who dropped out.

Only one African female one African male finished in the top ten (the winning male was Yuki Kawauchi of Japan, who won his first marathon). Was American fleetness of foot and African languor simply a matter of wet, wind and chills? Or is there something else happening? Consider that with Shalane Flanagan’s NYC Marathon victory last November (she finished 7th yesterday), that this is the first year since 1977-78 that American women were the reigning champs of both the NYC and Boston marathons. We don’t think Africans , women and men, suddenly forgot how to run far fast.

2. The Cohen Brothers 

So let’s assess the three full clients of Michael Cohen, alumnus of Goombah State University Law School: 1) Donald Trump, a man for whom Cohen says he spent $130,000 of his own cash to pay off a porn star not to speak about a sexual encounter that his own client says never occurred (rrrrrriiiiiiight), 2) Elliott Broidy, a Holmby Hills/Bel Air Republican fat cat who lived within a mile or so of the Playboy Mansion and probably accidentally impregnated a Playmate and paid her off to the tune of $1.6 million. At least he copped to it.

So, sex, sex, and behind Door No. 3? SEAN HANNITY! Now, Hannity’s reason to be Cohen’s client may not be shenanigans-related (he has been married 25 years), but one asks oneself, Since Sean Hannity earns $36 million a year, can he not do better for a lawyer than Michael Cohen?

Well, of course he can, if it’s legal advice he needs. Nope, the reason Michael Cohen’s attorney named Hannity as a client is likely because he knows there is a tape or document of a conversation or some deal between Hannity and Cohen to which he does not wish the Feds have access. He’s hoping to use attorney-client privilege to shield himself and Hannity from any conversations or deals between Hannity and Trump for which Cohen has been a conduit.

By week’s end Fox News is going to have to decide whether it is in the honest news-gathering-and-disseminating business or in the Sean Hannity-and-propaganda business. Most of us already know the answer, but this is Rupert Murdoch’s last chance to retain plausible deniability. If Fox News retains its star anchor, who kept reporting on Cohen for weeks and assailing any attacks on Cohen while failing to disclose he was Cohen’s client, then they’ve forfeited any right to refer to themselves as an honest news organization.

Lastly, Stormy lawyer Michael Avenatti, who logs more minutes on MSNBC now than Joe and Mika, made a strong point last night: when push comes to shove, Michael Cohen is going to remember that after all he did to help get Trump elected (a trip to Prague, perhaps?), Trump did not bring him along to Washington, D.C., to be part of the team. He wasn’t respectable enough, in Trump’s eyes, to be any part of his Worst Wing team. And so Cohen’s wife and close friends are going to implore him to flip using the logic, rightly, that Trump was not loyal to you when it mattered; so why would you throw away the rest of your life for him.

3. Blame It On Carlos Danger!

We don’t know where the Age of Trump ends. Impeachment? A defeat in 2020? Jail? War?    But let’s assume it gets really, really bad, or really, really dark or even nuclear…let’s never forget where it began: with Anthony Wiener sending naughty selfies to teenage girls!

That’s right (far right!), America! Like something out of a comically dystopian novel, the greatest democracy the world has ever known has become endangered thanks to Carlos Danger. As this week’s James Comey apology tour reminds us, Donald Trump was behind 12 points in the polls to Hillary Clinton before Comey made his October 28 announcement. And the reasoning behind that announcement was a slew of newly found Anthony Wiener emails related to Hillary, emails that would never have been uncovered if the FBI had not been investigating Wiener’s gross predilection for going online and trying to hook up with minors by sending shirtless selfies to them.

Life’s funny, eh?

4. DiDi Did It Again!

In a 12-1 rout of the Miami Marlins, New York Yankee shortstop Didi Gregorius goes yard twice in one game for the second time already this season (both times were in Yankee Stadium against teams from Florida, by the way). The Bombers’ lineup includes last year’s home run leaders in both the American League (Aaron Judge) and National League (Giancarlo Stanton), so of course Gregorius leads them in home runs with five.

Didi, who inherited the shortstop spot from FAVORITE YANKEE Derek Jeter, is second in the American League in both home runs and RBI (15). It’s waaaaaaaay early, but keep this in mind: Derek Jeter never won an MVP award. Wouldn’t it be wild if Didi did?

5. “Dad, Why Do We Have To Pay That Cable Bill?”*

Netflix king Reed Hastings, right, and Mark Zuckerberg, left

*CNBC’s Jim Cramer, assessing how millennials treat cable versus streaming

Netflix stock continues to soar. Yesterday the streaming service announced its quarterly earnings after the bell, and we stopped binge-watching Broadchurch just long enough to turn on CNBC and learn that they’d added 2 million new domestic subscribers just this year.

Competitors (Amazon, Hulu, Disney) will come along in this space, but Netflix was first to market, Netflix is more aggressive in finding new programming and serving its customers’ needs, and Netflix has been confounding the naysayers for nearly a decade now since it went public. Its stock will be up roughly 7% at the opening bell in a few minutes.


Five years ago today, Netflix stock was $30. Today it is going to open at $330 or so, an ELEVEN TIMES gain.

The last remaining question, for many of us, is when will Netflix begin streaming live sporting events and perhaps a BBC-style live news network? As soon as that happens, cable is dead. It’s going to die, anyway. It was a nice run, cable. But what streaming offers us is the chance to watch a show when WE decide, not you, and also the chance to overindulge on those shows. Cable cannot compete with that.

Music 101

Gimme Some Water

This tune off Eddie Money‘s second album, Life For The Taking, never charted, but we always liked it. Eddie Money and Billy Joel, two Long Island boys, were both pretty big deals in the late Seventies.

Remote Patrol

Bucks at Celtics, Game 2

8 p.m. TNT

You have to love how Brad Stevens is pulling a MacGyver with the Celtics roster (no Kyrie, no Hayward) and Boston still pulled out Game 1. Giannis (must we really spell out his last name? Do you know any other dudes named Giannis?) is a super stud, even if the refs let him travel all night long and on Sunday got away with seven fouls.

 

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Tweet du Jour

Starting Five

Stormy Weather

In the same New York City court room this morning, at a hearing presided over by the Honorable Kimba Wood (for whom the NBA’s Adam Silver once clerked), both Michael Cohen and Stormy Daniels will appear. Cohen was ordered to appear appear as his lawyers try to hold off prosecutors from reviewing documents and other materials seized last week in raids on his home, office and hotel room.

Coincidentally, it is the stormiest morning of the year in New York City. A hard rain is not only gonna fall, it is falling. Same deal in Boston, where marathoners are about to take off:

 

Monday morning, Boston.

2. To The Victor Go The Spoils

Not for nothing, but these are the best NBA uniforms we’ve seen in awhile

The Indiana Pacers strutted into Quicken Loans Arena, took a 20-point first quarter lead, and gave LeBron James and the Cavs their first first-round defeat in 21 games. LeBron has never lost a first-round series: 12 of them. The Pacers were simply the (far) superior team, as the NBA’s Most Improved Player, Victor Oladipo, finished with 32 points. It’s just one game, but the Pacers will win this series. The Cavs, as we wrote last summer, should never have traded Kyrie Irving.

Other first-game first-round highlights: James Harden scores 44 as the Rockets rout Minnesota….Anthony Davis scores 35 and 14 as the Pelicans win in Portland…Kris Middleton hits a 35-footer to force overtime for the Bucks in Boston, but the Celtics win in the extra period…Paul George got sick of hearing how the Pacers fleeced the Thunder in last summer’s trade and scored 36 for his Thunder buddies in a win…

3. Philadelphia Freedom

Not the greatest weekend for racial relations in the U.S. In Philly, at least half a dozen cops were called in to arrest and handcuff two black men who were seated there but had not purchased anything (they were waiting for a friend to arrive). Welcome, by the way, to every Starbucks in Manhattan.

As a nearly daily Starbucks customer, I sympathize with the company on these (coffee) grounds: people should not be allowed to loiter there or simply to use their bathrooms without paying for anything and if you don’t agree, then you’ve never had to enter a bathroom that a homeless man just used as his Air BnB. I mean, c’mon: buy a $3 cup of coffee and linger as long as you like. Go to town in the W.C. If you don’t do that, they should be fine to kick you out. The problem is when you call in half a precinct to do so and they cuff you. I guess, given the climate, these two men may feel fortunate they weren’t shot.

Worse, much worse, was the incident in Detroit in which a 14 year-old black boy, Brennan Walker, missed a bus, went to a nearby home to ask directions to his high school, and was shot at by the homeowner, retired firefighter Jeffrey Ziegler, 53.

A few weird facts of this case: Walker woke up late and missed the bus to school. His mom works and his dad is DEPLOYED IN SYRIA WITH THE U.S. ARMY. When Brennan knocked on the door, Ziegler’s wife answered and yelled (this is on tape), “Whey did these people choose my house?” Ziegler than came downstairs with a shotgun and fired at Walker as he ran away; only the fact that he forgot to turn off the safety kept Walker from becoming a hashtag.

Walker, left; Ziegler, right.

It’s completely disturbing, and most disturbing, that the initial thought of this homeowner is to shoot at a human being as if he’s a raccoon getting into the garbage before he knows a single fact. Less disturbing, and yet I feel I should mention it, is that Brennan was asking for directions because his mother had taken away his smart phone and he had no idea how to get to school without it. It’s April! Are we so reliant on technology that after eight months of attending school we don’t know how to get their on our own unless we stare at a screen.

I know, small potatoes by comparison. But I think I’ll be the only one who mentions this.

4. Nack For Writing

We lost an SI legend this weekend: William “Bill” Nack. Not only was Nack, who passed at the age of 77, one of the five best writers ever to have a byline at SI, but he was a wonderful and unique character, a charmer and a man without airs. There are so many Nack stories, but some of my better memories happened once one of my best friends ever at SI, Mark Beech, and Bill became close friends.

Despite a 30-year difference in ages, Bill and Mark bonded because Mark was his reporter on the horse racing beat and genuinely loved the sport and Mark was a West Point alum while Bill had served in Vietnam. They had markedly different personalities, and Bill was a rock star at the mag while Mark was just starting out, but that never kept Bill from sleeping on Mark’s couch in his one-bedroom apartment in Hell’s Kitchen when he came to town.

Before long it was like an episode of The Odd Couple but it was hilarious to watch Mark go from the awe of thinking Bill Nack was his friend to the “aw” of Nack is crashing at my apartment again. But that was Bill; it never seemed odd to him and we all just loved having him around when we’d head over to The Emerald Inn, where he would invariably, at some point in the evening, recite the final page of The Great Gatsby.

Bill was a true romantic, a lover and a fighter, and no one at SI ever spilled more blood, sweat and tears for his prose. He will be greatly missed, but all of us, every single one, are so glad that we knew him.

Read these two stories to get a feel for who Bill was, how he wrote: Pure Heart,  

on the death of Secretariat and one man’s coming to grips with getting old; and A Name On The Wall, on Bob Kalsu, the only U.S. pro athlete to die in Vietnam.

5. Hell’s Angels

Last Saturday night we were flipping through TCM (because no one rocks the way we do) and a 930 film titled Hell’s Angels was on. We’d never seen it, but wanted to learn more. The film was directed by Howard Hughes (yes, the future eccentric billionaire) and while part of this World War I epic is about two English brothers being in love with the same woman (Jean Harlow, in her film debut; she’s just 18), what completely stands out….

…is an aerial battle between British planes and a German zeppelin that was decades ahead of its time. Really. It’s Michael Bay-worthy. James Whale, who would go on to direct Frankenstein, directed the non-action sequences but Hughes, using the skies above Van Nuys, Calif., directed the epic dogfight using 137 different aviators. Four men died making this film and Hughes, who directed the action sequences by flying overhead and providing direction by radio, nearly did when his own plane crashed.

It’s a sappy love story. But it’s a far-ahead-of-its-time action film, the type from which current films such as Dunkirk owe a great debt. I’ve provided as much as the action sequence as YouTube would allow above. Enjoy.

Music 101

Walking On A Thin Line

In his remarks before this performance, Huey Lewis (and the News) remind their fans that this 1984 song is about the Americans who crossed the Pacific in service to their nation in the Sixties and early Seventies. The fifth and final single from the monster 1983 album, Sports, it hit No. 18 on the Billboard charts.

Remote Patrol

Heat at Sixers, Game 2

8 p.m. TNT

Spurs at Warriors, Game 2

10:30 p.m. TNT

This Aussie rules

The pleasant surprise over the weekend is how quickly the next generation (Ben Simmons, Anthony Davis, Giannis, Victor Oladipo) put their imprimaturs on the playoffs. But the Dubs are still the Dubs, even without Stephen Curry.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Tweet du Jour

 

 

Starting Five

1. Fired And Furious*

*The judges will also accept, “Comey At Me, Bro!” and “Pee: Did He?”

James Comey‘s tell-all, A Higher Loyalty, will not be out until Tuesday, but you know how it is with leaks during the Trump defenestration administration. You’ve likely heard by now that the first two times Comey was alone with Trump, the president-elect doth protested too much about the Moscow Golden Showers tape. And he asked Comey to investigate it out of concern for his wife, which is an odd thing to request if the event in question, at which you are the center, never actually happened.

We liked this review of the book in The New York Times, because as the author noted, Comey is a chronically conscientious do-gooder whose zealousness in doing good not only likely steered the election in favor of Trump but also left him as a man whom both former candidates, Trump and Hillary Clinton, despise.

Rule No. 6: No good deed goes unpunished. 

You may want to read this: What if Amazon were to “accidentally” ship cases and cases of A Higher Loyalty to the White House?

2. Rich Man, Doorman

That’s Dino Sajudin, a former doorman at Trump World Tower. He did a fantastic impersonation of Bobby Moynihan’s “Second-Hand News Guy,” claiming he’d heard Donald Trump had had an affair with a housekeeper and fathered a love child but that he ought not to criticize the housekeeper.

Then the National Enquirer got interested. They had him take a lie-detector test, he passed, and then they paid him $30,000 for the rights to the story “in perpetuity.” Then they sat on it. NE publisher David Pecker, who paid five times as much to bury the Karen McDougall story with Trump, is a pal of the president’s.

Artist’s rendition of Dino, wondering if he should spill what he knows…

Is Dino lying? His ex-wife, a personal trainer in Brooklyn, says that he is a “pathological liar” (where have we heard that term before and to whom was it attributed?). We have no idea if the story is true, but it is interesting that Pecker phoned Michael Cohen about it before the $30,000 hush money was paid.

Dino’s ex-wife.

And we almost forgot: The Washington Post is reporting that some Trump officials are fretting that Michael Cohen taped many of his phone conversations, which would now be in the possession of the U.S. Attorney’s office, Southern District of New York, which would be the most colossal and inept maneuver since the dudes who broke into the Watergate leaving the door open, which alerted the guard (Honestly, is there a greater oxymoron than “criminal mastermind?”).

“Which tapes?” “All of them.” “Oh.”

Today’s episode of The Worst Wing is, frankly, overflowing with salaciousness.

3. Brokeneck Pace

This is Tim Don, one of the world’s premier triathletes. Last May in Brazil the then 39 year-old Brit set the world record in the Ironman with an astounding time of 7:40:23. He broke the existing record by four minutes. Officially, he finished his 2.4-mile swim in 44:15, his 112-mile bike in 4:06:56, and his 26.2-mile marathon in 2:44:46.

Five months later, while on a training ride in Colorado, he was struck by a car and fractured the C-2 vertebrae in his neck (the hangman’s fracture, because that’s the vertebrae that snaps). Fortunately, Don survived and he chose to wear a halo (above) for his recovery, ruling out surgery, because that would have limited the range of motion in his neck and ended his athletic career.

He wore the halo for four months. This Monday he’s going to run the Boston Marathon (halo removed) and hopes to finish in 2:50. He truly is an Ironman. Terrific story in The New York Times.

4. Blacks’ Law Dictionary

*The judges acknowledge that this hed makes little sense; we just wanted to…

That’s Ieshia Charles, a single mother of five from Houston. But don’t you fret, MAGA-land. She’s not on food stamps and he hand is not out. Charles dropped out of high school to have her first child. Then, in 2009, she lost her job, she lost her home to a fire, and she lost her husband to an illness (she should be suing the producers of This Is Us for pilfering her life story).

Charles thought about committing suicide, but then she got right with God. And even though she had grown up herself homeless (mom on drugs, dad deceased), she had always wanted to be a lawyer. So her pastor urged her to get her GED. She did. Then college. Check. Now she’s about to graduate from Thurgood Marshall Law School and we’re just wondering when Octavia Spencer will sign on for the role (or is Tiffany Hadish or Kerry Washington going to pursue the part).

Never give up, kids. Never. Give. Up.

5. Move Over, Osmonds

There’s a new most talented singing Mormon family from Utah, and it’s the LeBaron clan. This, inspired by their mom’s request for a song as a Mother’s Day gift, is tremendous. They claim they only rehearsed it a few times before putting this on tape. The LeBarons, five kids and their spouses (dad’s in the background, too), recorded it on Easter Sunday.

Music 101

Just Between You And Me

We’re going to go out on short ledge, or ice floe, and declare April Wine as the hardest rocking band from Nova Scotia. This 1981 power ballad hit No. 21 on the Billboard charts.

Remote Patrol

You Magnificent Beast

Netflix

Greg Davies may be the world’s tallest comedian (6’8″). Or at least he’s England’s tallest comedian. He’s cheeky. You’ll like.

***
MH staff sends out a special thank you to Cory, Kurt and Jeff. Much appreciated!