IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Tweet du Jour

This cartoon is 50 years old, but could have been drawn last night.

 

Starting Five

Someone needs to ask if intelligence officials found a hidden recorder in the soccer ball

From Vlad To Worse

What was it that Hillary called Trump? “Putin’s puppet?” Yeah, well what did she know?

The “It’s Just Lunch” date between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin went so well, as far as they’re concerned, that the American president has invited him over to his house for a sleepover.

Here’s what we imagined: Putin arrives and Trump has him and his entire entourage arrested and imprisoned. And he pulls the “A-ha!” moment on all the libs. You thought you knew me! This was all a two-year ruse in order to bring the world’s most ruthless dictator to justice. I had all of you fooled. Even Mueller!

[Yesterday’s news came as a shock to National Intelligence Director Dan Coats, Soothes, Relieves]

That would be the greatest geopolitical sting move of our lifetimes, and it might just work. Hell, Trump might even rise above 45% in the approval polls. It won’t happen, but just imagine if it did.

2. Missouri Compro Capsize

A tourist duck boat with 31 people aboard in Branson, Missouri, capsized into Table Rock Lake when a sudden storm swept in Thursday evening. Thirteen passengers perished.

The video above, apparently shot from a nearby, larger vessel, shows the boat going down. The commentary is, at best, a little tone-deaf.

3. About That All-Star Game

First-half AL MVP Mookie Betts struck out twice in three at-bats and we don’t think he’s going to make contact on this one.

First, we’re not as curmudgeonly as you may think: we actually enjoyed the in-game, on-field conversations with All-Stars. Shortstop Francisco Lindor was endearing in two languages and centerfielder Charlie Blackmon was flat-out funny. We’re naming him the game’s Most Voluble Player.

Second, 10 home runs (an All-Star Game record…by a mile) and 24 strikeouts. This is where baseball is headed. More power on both ends. Everyone is now Dave Kingman or Nolan Ryan and more importantly, that’s where the dollars are. Doubles are tolerated and singles are quaint and fielders are, most of the time, superfluous.

Consider, it was 10-inning game, which means 60 outs, which means that 40% of the outs came by strikeout. That would equate to each pitching staff whiffing 10.8 batters per nine innings.

4. Everybody Take A Knee

You know that scene in every decent rebel film where one person has the courage to stand up, then another, and another and—”O Captain, my Captain!”—by the end of the scene you’ve got goosebumps on your forearms and the room is getting dusty? Well, we’re now waiting for that scene to take place in the NFL, and we’re hopeful that it is imminent.

Miami Dolphin owner Stephen Ross has become the NFL’s marquee owner in terms of castigating the Kaepernick types. Listen to what he said in March:

“Initially, I totally supported the players in what they were doing. It’s America and people should be able to really speak about their choices.

“When that message changed [i.e. Trump’s tweets inaccurately conflating kneeling with a protest of the military], and everybody was interpreting it as that was the reason, then I was against kneeling. I like Donald (Trump). I don’t support everything that he says. Overall, I think he was trying to make a point, and his message became what kneeling was all about. From that standpoint, that is the way the public is interpreting it. So I think that’s really incumbent upon us to adopt that. That’s how, I think, the country now is interpreting the kneeling issue.”

Ross, a Michigan alum, is the largest individual donor in school history, having given $378 million to the Skunk Bears

Think about that. Yes, Ross is a 78 year-old man, but he’s also a brilliant attorney. And he’s Jewish. He’s basically arguing that while people say that the Holocaust was the product of a sick man manipulating society and using anti-Semitism as his weapon to commit genocide, the president has said it was just a means of redistributing wealth and that argument is good enough for him.

We wonder if the Miami Dolphins can send their own owner to sensitivity training. Meanwhile, we do hope the Dolphins en masse kneel for the anthem during their first game. Or that some team does. There’s nothing more American than saying, “Don’t tread on me.” Besides, it’s not as if the Dolphins can suspend the entire team, can they?

5. Bringing a Knife To A Gun Massacre

A reminder that 59 people were murdered in Las Vegas last October by a man who never got within 100 yards of any of his victims.

In Lubeck, Germany, 14 people are injured, some seriously, when a man on a bus went nutso and began stabbing passengers indiscriminately. Re-read that: “injured,” not killed. While Germany does not outlaw guns, its gun laws are far more restrictive than ours. Then again, whose laws aren’t?

Anyway, if only there’d been a good guy with a knife on board, maybe fewer people would have been stabbed. You’re never going to eliminate nutso, but you can control the level of carnage nutso is able to create.

Music 101

Please Mr. Postman

This late 1961 song by the Marvelettes was not only the first Motown recording to reach No. 1 on the Billboard charts, it’s also one of very few to hit No. 1 in two different decades by two different artists (the Carpenters had a No. 1 hit with it in 1975). Thus concludes our theme week. You guess the theme?

Remote Patrol

Groundhog Day

8 p.m. AMC

Caddyshack

10:30 p.m. AMC

Quite the comic doubleheader here, and we’re just realizing that two of Bill Murray‘s greatest movies revolved around rodents. The legendary Douglas Kenney (and countless kilos of cocaine) wrote the latter film, which was released just three weeks after Airplane! in 1980. Kenney, who’d also written Animal House, considered himself a colossal failure in comparison to the writers of Airplane! (Surely, you can’t be serious…) and was dead less than five weeks later. Did he kill himself or did he slip on the edge of a cliff in Hawaii? As one friend noted, “He slipped while thinking about jumping off the cliff.”

p.s. Ted Knight (Judge Smails) stole Caddyshack and at the very least deserved an Oscar nomination. No one has ever done a better job of portraying a rich, white, golf-fanatic blowhard without actually becoming president.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Tweet du Jour


This would be funnier if it were not indeed true.

Starting Five

The Lamest Generation

Mark Twain famously said (almost everything he said he said famously) that “a lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” By the way, can you imagine a parlor in which the only three people are Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde and Winston Churchill (oh, and LaVar Ball)? Also, heady stuff from a dude whose own name was a lie.

But we digress. Donald Trump’s lie (would/wouldn’t) traveled halfway around the world but it took 27 hours, which is the gap in time from whence he said, “I don’t see any reason why it would be” to “I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be.” So outrageously and comical inept and odious is this president that we don’t even have time to go deep into the fact that he said this while holding a sheet of paper on which he had written, in black Sharpie, “NO COLUSION.” (sic)


Anyway, Mr. Trump’s Fantastic Fib (“I’m just glad he clarified it,” said Marco Rubio) and the lack of fallout from Congress underscores one simple fact: Tom Brokaw needs to write a sequel to The Greatest Generation and title it The Lamest Generation. It should include profiles of men such as Trump, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, Mike Pence, and all the rest who do the bidding of white fascism at the expense of liberty.

We need to add: Last night it was leaked that both former CIA director John Brennan and former FBI director James Comey, before inauguration day, briefed Trump on the fact that both agencies had concluded and had proof that Russia hacked the election. Which is to say that for 18 months now Trump has been lying about knowing whether Russia hacked the election. And the GOP-led Congress reacts to this with a “meh.”

Fear of the loss of white supremacy is a powerful drug, we guess.

2. Cohn Jobs

There also needs to be a film about Roy Cohn, the U.S. attorney whose two proteges, Joseph McCarthy and Donald Trump, espoused polar opposite views while each inflicting America with mass hysteria that caused unfathomable damage.

Let’s begin with Senator McCarthy. Cohn, who was McCarthy’s chief counsel, was the button-pusher and master manipulator behind the Red Scare of the 1950s. Nothing ever came of it in terms of actual damage to the United States from the Communists, but you may recall a small country in southeast Asia that cost 68,000 American lives a decade later. One wonders if our government would have been so spooked by the “Commie threat” if Cohn hadn’t pushed McCarthy to pursue his own witch hunt crusade.

McCarthy and Cohn

As Vietnam was ending, and Donald Trump was not attending, Cohn got his hooks into the burgeoning real-estate mogul from Queens and taught him all his tricks. And so here we are, more than 60 years after the apex of McCarthyism, with Trump pushing the line that the Russians and Vladimir Putin are our friends. Which is kind of the exact opposite of what McCarthy said. The only common link is to scare undereducated (white) Americans and instill in them a paranoia.

Cohn and Trump

What’s funny about this is that Cohn spent his entire adult life as a closeted homosexual. No better way to keep folks from poking at the skeletons in one’s closet than to imagine skeletons in theirs and scream about it. In a 2008 profile of Cohn in The New Yorker, author Jeffrey Toobin quotes Roger Stone as saying, “Roy Cohn was not gay. He was a man who liked having sex with men.”

That’s the kind of doublespeak for which The Worst Wing has become famous.

3. There Are No Negroes In Montenegro

The map, to assist an utterly incompetent president who would never be able to find it on one on his own

In an interview with Tucker Carlson of Fox News on Tuesday, Donald Trump referred to Montenegro, which has a population the size of Vermont (approx. 600,000) and a land area the size of Connecticut, “a tiny country” filled with “very aggressive people.” Jeez, what would you call New Jersey, then?

Trump continued on Montenegro, which was admitted into NATO last year, “They may get aggressive, and, congratulations, you’re in World War III.” Now, to be fair, World War I did begin after an otherwise historically insignificant figure (and popular British band about 14 summers ago) was assassinated, causing Austria to declare war on Serbia, in which Russia declared was in turn on Austria, in which turn Germany declared was on Russia, in which turn France, England and the U.S.A. declared war on Germany. Even Australia got involved. Japan, too, and they were on our side.

When we sang, “Take me out,” we didn’t mean literally….

However, the difference here is that NATO was created post-World War II so that Russia, the Big, Bad Wolf of Europe, wouldn’t begin picking off tiny countries such as, I dunno, Ukraine. And two years ago Montenegro accused Russia of plotting an election-day coup to assassinate its then-prime minister in order to install a pro-Moscow politician who would reverse course on NATO membership (remember, Montenegro only joined NATO last year, AFTER this election). The plot failed and, oh, by the way, can you imagine Russia attempting something so nefarious?!? Influencing the outcome of another country’s elections?

So now here’s Trump whining about the inconvenience of defending Montenegro should Russia attack it, literally. The MH staff reads (and puts out) a lot of tweets, but the one that caught our eyes yesterday was one in which the tweep noted how Trump attacks the European Union and NATO and lavishes nothing but praise on Putin. And the tweep drew the conclusion that this is bigger than just Russia maybe having something on Trump. This is about, in a joint strategy shared by Russia and Trump (and his nuttiest supporters) a global movement toward white-supremacist fascism. That’s the big picture outcome which they are pursuing.*

*The staff has Trump On The Brain this morning. We don’t apologize, but we do acknowledge it.

4. Isn’t That Fedorable?

North Carolina football coach Larry Fedora sauced up somnolent ACC media days yesterday when he uttered the following: “It hasn’t been definitively proven that football causes CTE, but the fact that the connection has been made has impacted how people view the sport.”

You bet your ass he doubled down: “”The game is safer than it’s ever been.”

So you have a man in power who denies obvious scientific conclusions while making hyperbolic statements without merit. Sound like anyone you know?

And, yeah, he also said that he spoke to a military general who concluded that you can draw a direct line between U.S. military supremacy on the globe and the fact that we are the only nation that plays football (we’re not), but then how come Canada isn’t more of an international military force? And how do you explain that entire Vietnam quagmire thing? Were the Vietcong running a no-huddle Tet offense?

5. Here’s The Story…

Does this Studio City, Calif., home that is currently on the market (asking price: $1.8 million) look familiar to you? It should. It’s the home where Mike, Carol, Greg, Marcia, Peter, Jan, Bobby and Cindy Brady once lived. And Alice, too.

Here’s the bizarre part: It’s only, in reality, a two-bedroom house.

One wonders: Can current Californians afford a $1.8 million home on an architect’s salary with the wife staying at home? Never mind the live-in maid and the six hungry mouths.

Reserves

Ummmm

ESPN, the network that three years ago handed Caitlyn/Bruce Jenner a Courage Award, last night put all of Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse victims from Michigan State on stage and self-proclaimed the moment as “powerful.’ And then the next day Mike Tirico hosted The Golf Channel’s coverage of The British Open. Potato, potahto harassment, her-ass-meant.

By the way, just for perspective’s sake, this is tantamount to putting all of Harvey Weinstein’s victims on stage at the Oscars. How would that have gone over, I wonder?

Music 101

One Tin Soldier

Originally written an released by the Canadian The Original Caste in 1969, it was covered by Coven in 1971 and re-released for the film Billy Jack. For those Arizonans reading this, yes, that is the Prescott town square.

Remote Patrol

British Open

All Day The Golf Channel

 

From Carnoustie, Scotland. Three-time champ Tiger Woods tees off just before 10:30 a.m.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

 

For the second time in 40 years, a Joe Walsh leaves the Eagles to embark on a solo career.

Starting Five

Finland Follies

If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, then the road to Helsinki is paved with maleficent ones. Why anyone is in the least bit surprised that Donald Trump publicly sided with Vladimir Putin over the FBI and the Dept. of Justice during their joint press conference yesterday, which followed a two-hour one-on-one-plus-interpreters-only confab in a room, believe it, called the Hall of Mirrors, is surprising to us.


Putin is not only whom Trump aspires to be as a ruler, but there’s a high probability, as the evidence slowly leaks out, that Putin has Trump by the short hairs either in terms of devastating intel or fiscal leverage, i.e., he funded Trump.

Trump committed treason yesterday. He did not adhere to the “Be Best” code.

Clip ‘n save: Each of those two translators are not immune from a future subpoena, if it comes to that. We imagine one of them will be difficult to extradite, but the other, not so much. Then again, if I were either of those two translators, I’d hire a few food tasters and pronto.

2. Once More, Sorkin Called It

Ironically, we were watching Season 6, Episode 14 of The West Wing (“The Wake-Up Call”) last night , during which White House Communications Director-cum-Deputy Chief of Staff Toby Ziegler is pulled into a meeting with a delegation from Belarus.

The elders, after throwing off decades of brutal dictatorship, have traveled to Washington to write a constitution for their newly democratized nation. They insist on mirroring the American model  (three branches, a president, etc.), but Toby beseeches them to explore the parliamentary model.

“I was thinking we should push beyond American-style government,” the White House’s designated cynic says. “Only four presidential democracies have lasted 30 years. Hamilton, Jefferson, Madison [the framers of the U.S. Constitution], they got lucky.”

When the Belarus figures and an American constitutional scholar (played by Christopher Lloyd, whom I know as Reverend Jim but you may know as Doc from Back To The Future) argue that the British Prime Minister is “weak” and “subject to shifting coalitions,” Toby fires back, “She’s subject to the people’s representatives so she can be ousted if she summarily starts locking people up who don’t like the White Album!”

A Belarussian objects that the man they want to elect president is “a good man and he wouldn’t do this. He would create a stable environment for the country.”

“For the next 10 years, yes,” agrees Ziegler. “But this document isn’t about your current presidential hopeful, it’s about the 60 guys who come after him. You need systemic protection, safeguards, that can last beyond a generation. You gotta look beyond the moment, beyond the here and now.”

Interesting. That scene was penned in 2005. Imagine…

By the way, if you want to see one of the most crisply written and funny scenes in the entire series (now on Netflix), skip back two episodes in Season 6 to the “365 Days” ep, and find the scene in which Toby asks Annabeth (spunky spark plug  Kristin Chenoweth) to teach the First Lady about stock car racking. I can’t find it on YouTube, but it’s a hoot.

3. Lock Her Up!

We probably all should have put our antennae up a few years back when the media described twenty something Maria Butina as a “Russian gun rights activist,” seeing as how” there’s nothing close to a second Amendment in Russia and, with a de facto dictatorship installed the past 18 years, there’s not about to be one.

Yesterday, in the second instance of impeccable timing by U.S. justice officials in the past four days, the Justice Department unsealed documents showing that it was charging Butina, 29, with espionage. She is the 26th Russian so charged this year.

The charges were filed under seal Saturday, Butina, who resides in the U.S., was arrested Sunday, and the charges were made public (and Butina appeared in court) on Monday, mere hours after the Trump-Putin reacharound. Impeccable timing.

One (of many) noteworthy things to take away from the affidavit detailing the charges against Butina, who allegedly twice tried to engineer private Trump-Putin meetings and also infiltrated the NRA as a conduit to financing politicians ($$$ goes from Russia to NRA to pols; see how easy that is?), theres’ this, as explicated by The Daily Beast:

“In that March 24 email, she proposed to this American contact of hers something she called “Project Diplomacy.” The GOP, she wrote, is “traditionally associated with negative and aggressive foreign policy, particularly with regards to Russia. However, now with the right to negotiate seems best to build konstruktivnyh relations.”

–“Now with the right to negotiate.” What exactly gave Butina that “right?” Could it be back channel money to the GOP? Or was it blackmail? Also, this email was written on March 24, 2015, nearly three months BEFORE Trump declared his candidacy. Were the Russians already working behind the scenes with Trump or had they already targeted the GOP in general?

4. Netflix Takes A Hit

Netflix stock is as unbreakable as Kimmie Schmidt

MH’s fiduciary arm, Walker Capital, has enjoyed a bountiful 2018 so far with its heavy investments in Amazon (up more than 50%) and Netflix (up more than 100%) when trading ended yesterday. But then Netflix announced its second quarter earnings and fell one million new subscriptions short of its guidance (5.2 million versus 6.2 million) and the stock plunged nearly 13% (about $50 per share) after hours.

What does Walker Capital advise? DON’T SELL! And if you want, buy more. Look again: a company that did not exist as a streaming video service a dozen years ago just locked up 5 million NEW subscribers in the past three months. You wanna know how many subscribers most magazines have? Far less.

Yes, Amazon and the new AT&T/Time Warner merger, and Disney, will provide more competition in the coming years. But that’s only because Netflix demonstrated there was a viable market here where once nothing existed. It’s a blip.

Shares of Netflix (NFLX) are still up 1,000% in the past five years. That’s pretty, prit-tee, good (oops, wrong streaming service).

5. Cliff Diving

It’s been a bizarre year for female Oregon drivers and the Pacific Highway along the northern California coast. On Sunday a couple on a camping trip near Big Sur spotted a white SUV at the bottom of a 200-foot cliff, on the rocks at the foot of the Pacific Ocean.

As the couple searched more, they found 23 year-old Angela Hernandez, apparently the vehicle’s driver, who had been missing for more than a week. Hernandez told investigators she had swerved to avoid a rabbit (no details on whether she meant a bunny or a VW type).

On the bright side, those sunsets must have been sublime

Anyway, that’s odd. Surviving a 200-foot drop off the PCH with no life-threatening injuries, then lasting another full week along the bottom of a cliff along the Pacific and not succumbing to hypothermia, etc? Who was riding shotgun with her, Rob Konrad?

Anyway, Ms. Hernandez must be steamed that she received so much less coverage than the Thai boys soccer team.

Music 101

Doctor! Doctor!

The British trio that were Thompson Twins released this single in 1984 off their album Into The Gap. The symptoms are “burning, burning” and lead singer Tom Bailey, who incidentally has an underrated, powerful voice, wonders “if it’s love I’m feeling.” That’s one term for it, Tom.

Remote Patrol

MLB All-Star Game

8 p.m. Fox

Might HR Derby champ Bryce Harper also win All-Star Game MVP?

In the days before cable and Blockbuster Video and then streaming, this event was the unchallenged television highlight of the summer. Nothing else came close. Then all those things, plus inter-league play, were spawned, and the midsummer classic lost its luster. It’s still fun for a few innings, then the starters are replaced, and a bunch of second-rate yokels who had to be there to represent the Rays and Padres decide who will host Game 7 of the World Series. Can’t say it makes much sense.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Tweet du Jour


The best memes have a long, long shelf life…

Starting Five

1. Tour de Force de France

*The judges will also accept “World Champs-Elysees!”

The FFF defeats Croatia 4-2 in an entertaining if not overly dramatic final in Moscow to win their second World Cup, both in the last 20 years. Moments: 1) Pregame feature on Bosnian conflict refugee and eventual Golden Ball winner Luka Modric of Croatia (we were disappointed the piece did not begin with “Think what you will of Slobodan Milosevic”), 2) both goals by Croatian Mario Mandzukic, who scored both the first (for France) and last (for Croatia) last goal of the match. The latter was the answer to the question any soccer observer always wonders: Don’t one of those defender kicks back to the goalkeeper invite massive failure?

3) the fact that two of France’s four goals were scored by first generation Frenchmen, Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe, whose parents were born in Africa. Both players are Muslim. Kind of ironic during a weekend when President Trump made a point about noting how immigration is changing Europe’s culture, and that that’s “a bad thing.” 4) The postgame ceremony in a raging downpour, in which Vladimir Putin stood beneath an umbrella but the leaders of Croatia and France were not given them.

For the nation of France, which has dealt with more mass carnage due to terrorism than any Western country in the past four years (Charlie Hegbo, the November 15 attacks, Nice), this was a sweet moment. On the same weekend as Bastille Day. Fun weekend in Paris.

MH prediction: The 2034 World Cup will be won by the giant island of floating plastic in the Pacific that is the size of France.

2. The Muscovian Candidate!*

*The judges will also accept “Creme de la Kremlin,” “Playing Footsie With A Russkie” and “You’re Darn Putin!”

But when we get behind closed doors/There’s a crime we know about/And he makes me glad that he’s the only one with a copy of the pee tape/But no one knows what goes on behind closed doors….

Friday: Special prosecutor Robert Mueller indicts 12 Russian operatives in a detailed document detailing how they hacked the DNC and DCCC in 2016.

Monday: President Trump meets with Russian president Vladimir Putin, which includes a 90-minute closed-door, just-them-and-their-interpreters meeting. We imagine Putin wondering about to Trump why he doesn’t just have someone poison Mueller’s food; that’s the way we do it in Russia.

Meanwhile, Hillary got it all right in autumn of 2016. I mean, like, ALL RIGHT. Listen….

3. Roast Hard

Where there’s a Willis…How did no one think to roast Bruce Willis before 2018? Action hero, dilettante musician, horrible husband, star of iconic films with memorable lines, and quasi-comic figure. They finally did so last weekend in Los Angeles and it will air on Comedy Central on Sunday, July 29th. His ex, Demi Moore, even showed up.

Naturally, Jeffrey Ross had the funniest lines: ““I hope this Roast doesn’t end with you realizing your career has been dead the entire time”  and “I can’t wait to see your next project, Die Hard 6: Natural Causes.”

4. From Port Authority To Gamblers’ Anonymous

Yesterday, it happened. For the first time a LEGAL general sports betting site within half hour (more like 15 to 20 minutes by bus) of New York City opened. FanDuel, the fourth Garden State-sanctioned sports betting parlor and by far the closest one to New York City, opened inside a sports bar at the Meadowlands Race Track, just SEVEN miles west of Manhattan.

Does this spell doom for Joey Bag O’Donuts, your regular bookie? Probably not. It’s still easier to meet Claude (Did I just make that name up? Maybe…) at his favorite East Side watering hole to settle accounts, but then again you always run the risk of whether he’s going to show (which depends which side of the ledger he’s on).

Still, there are 12 million humans living within a 20-mile radius of this parlor, located in the Victory Sports Bar & Club, and we’re guessing that if you’re one of the people working at the 10 teller windows waiting to take daily bets on sporting events, you have comfortable job security.

Kinda weird that they opened yesterday, though, as this is the longest week of the year for degenerate gamblers: No real games in the four major sports for four days. Or maybe that was the idea.

5. The West Wing: Casualties List

Leo

We’d casually watched an episode of The West Wing here and there back when it originally on NBC at the dawn of the millennium, but this spring/summer is the first time we’ve dedicated ourselves (“dedicated,” as if sitting on a couch requires gobs of commitment) to viewing each episode of the Aaron Sorkin drama from start to finish. Now, nearing completion, we thought we’d call attention to something the surgeon general never  told us: Working in the White House is extremely hazardous to one’s health.

To wit…

–In an assassination attempt (not exactly on the president, but on someone close to him), Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman (Bradley Whitford) is shot in the chest cavity and critically wounded. He undergoes 14 hours of surgery and nearly dies, but retains his boyish charm throughout.

–Oval Office secretary and longtime presidential secretary Mrs. Van Landingham (Kathryn Joosten) is killed by a drunk driver, cruelly, as she is driving home from the dealer lot in a vehicle she has just purchased. It was the first car she’d ever bought on her own.

–Lyman’s assistant, Donna Moss (Janel Moloney), is critically injured by a roadside bomb in a terrorist attack in Gaza. She, too, flirts with death and suffers massive injuries, but fortunately none to her face.

–Retired admiral and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Percy Fitzwallace (Jon Amos) is killed in that same terrorist attack because, you know, the black guy always draws the fatality card in any ensemble production.

Which one of us will Sorkin strike next?

–White House Chief of Staff Leo McGarry (John Spence) suffers a massive heart attack (during an Israeli-Palestinian peace summit at Camp David) and must undergo double bypass surgery and then, during his recuperation, consume Indian food.

–Secret Service agent Simon Donovan (Mark Harmon), charged with the protection of White House press secretary C.J. Cregg, is shot and killed while breaking up a robbery at an Upper West Side bodega.

–Presidential daugher Zooey Bartlett (Elizabeth Moss) is kidnapped on the night of her college graduation from Georgetown. Zooey is so traumatized that she travels back in time to 1960 New York and becomes Don Draper’s secretary.

And all through this, President Josiah “Jed” Bartlett himself is dealing with the physical duress of the early stages of multiple sclerosis and the far worse emotional duress of being a Notre Dame alumnus during the Ty Willingham era (note: There actually was a New Hampshire governor, in colonial times, named Josiah Bartlett).

Almost no one emerges physically unscathed. The five major characters that, as far as we can see, are never put in mortal peril are Communications Director Toby Ziegler (Richard Schiff), though his ex-wife refuses to remarry him because he’s “sad”; Cregg (Allison Janney), though she just can’t keep a man because she’s too darn strong and independent (and tall), Deputy White House Communications Director Sam Seaborn (Rob Lowe), though he is the first major character written out of the show, and presidential aide Charlie Young (Dule Hill), but his mom, a D.C. cop, is murdered; that’s his backstory.

Reserves

Because animals in their natural habitats are one of the planet’s greatest treats…

Music 101

Lawyers In Love

We’re doing a theme week here at Music 101, and you probably won’t need to be too much of a stable genius to figure out what it is. We begin with Jackson Browne‘s 1983 No. 13 hit, the title track off one of his more successful album. The wry, satirical lyrics underline a catchy melody (“Last night I watched the news from Washington, the capitol/The Russians escaped while we weren’t watching them, like Russians will...”). Browne is the only artist we know who had charting hits whose titles included the words “lawyers” and “doctors.”

Remote Patrol

Anatomy Of A Murder

10:15 p.m. TCM

We happened upon this 1959 Best Picture Oscar nominee for the first time when back in our ancestral desert home last Christmas and found ourselves wondering how we’d never heard of it before. It’s a courtroom procedural, with a wilier than-you-might-think Jimmy Stewart as the defense attorney in a murder trial. George S. Scott more than holds his own against Stewart as the prosecutor. The question: Did Ben Gazzarra, a soldier stationed stateside, kill a man because that man raped his sexy, hot-to-trot wife, Lee Remick? The material is extremely progressive for the Eisenhower era, with talk of contraceptives, fertility, rape and “panties.” And Scott, long before Patton-mode, is utterly watchable. Catch this is you’ve not yet seen it.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Tweet du Jour

Starting Five


Awe-Strzok

There was nothing heroic or even defensible about the late-night texts FBI Director of Counterintelligence Peter Strzok sent his colleague and girlfriend, Lisa Page, in the summer of 2016. Then again, we know an MH staffer who was frequently texting a Canadian friend that summer, reassuring her with, “Don’t worry; he’ll never get elected.”

There was a lot of that going around.

When one photo is worth nearly 10 hours of hearings…

Anyway, it was a terrible idea for a man in Strok’s position to be sending the texts that he did. But it was an even worse idea for a Congressional committee to spend nearly 10 hours yesterday putting his character on trial. Why?

1) Strzok was in the midst of investigating the Trump-Russia ties in the summer of ’16 when he sent that text. If he’d really wanted Trump not to be elected, there was just about no one in the world better situated to leak that news to the press (it was never leaked). 2) What Strzok did was wrong, but in off-camera testimony and in yesterday’s farce, he was candid and honest. Something the toadies who grilled him have never required of their president. 3) Within 15 minutes of the opening of this hearing, a Republican Congressman threatened to hold Strzok in contempt of Congress for refusing to answer a question because it involves an active investigation. This is a standard to which they never held Steve Bannon when he testified before them. 4) Congressman Gohmert of Texas actually said to Strzok, on the record…

“How many times did you look so innocent into your wife’s eyes and lie to her?”

This is a dude who carries water for Donald Trump. Sad!


In the end, Strzok more than held his own versus Trump’s GOP goon squad and even gave them a gigantic verbal middle finger. You wanna come at my character? Take a look at yours and of the man to whom you’ve pledged allegiance.

2. Dyer Maker

Dyer: the hoodie endorsement offers will start rolling in….

On the first night of the World Series of Poker final table, 32 year-old Houston native Michael Dyer took a commanding lead ($156 million in chips; the next closest player has $72 million). It’s almost unfair, and yet fitting, that a Lone Star Stater is in position to win the world’s most lucrative Texas Hold ‘Em tournament and the $8.8 million that goes along with it.

If you were wondering, this is not the Michael Dyer who was a running back at Louisville. Just to clarify.

3. Red Hot Red Sox

A two Martinez launch…

They’re at it again. Remember when the Boston Red Sox opened the season with a 17-2 record, piling up first a nine- and then an eight-game win streak? Well, as of last night they’ve just added a 10-game win streak to the list with a 6-4 defeat of Toronto.

The Sox are now 15-2 in their past 17 games and if you were to eliminate the two games they lost at Yankee Stadium at the end of June, they’d have won 15 in a row. Boston has not lost to a team with a losing record since June 20th.

A major reason: the offseason acquisition of designated hitter J.D. Martinez, who leads Major League Baseball in both home runs (28) and RBI (79). The Yankees may have picked up the National League MVP in Giancarlo Stanton, who is beginning to strike out less and, oh, by the way, has 22 home runs and 54 RBI, but Martine, who hit 29 home runs in just 62 games with the Arizona Diamondbacks after the trading deadline last summer, has continued his blistering pace.

The Sox (66-29) and Yankees (61-31) will likely both win more than 100 games, and one of them is going to be hosting a one-game playoff in early October. Wild.

4. Flying Circus

Not for the first time and certainly not for the last, Donald Trump trashed a world leader to the press and then, when meeting with that leader in person, rebuked the on-the-record criticism that he gave as “fake news.” Here’s The Sun interview, which was of course recorded, in which Trump states about British PM Theresa May and her BREXIT plan, ” I actually told Theresa May how to do it but she didn’t agree, she didn’t listen to me.”

And that’s fine. It’s just that when a reporter pointed this out to him during their joint presser at Chequers (the fast-food burger joint?) this afternoon, he called it “fake news.” Which it is not.

5. Blow My Mindhunter

A serial yarn: Mindhunter. The best show on TV in the past year.

The MH staff doesn’t claim to sit in front of the TV and do nothing but absorb current dramas all night long (we’re too busy catching up on The West Wing; just started Season 6). So, we’ve yet to see The Handmaid’s Tale or The Americans, but we do feel quite comfortable saying that the best current drama we watched in the past year was Netflix’s Mindhunter.

Somehow, the Emmys nominated seven dramas and this one did not make the cut. Cannot believe that. What else did we hate about yesterday’s nominations?

Mindhunter lead Jonathan Groff not nominated for Best Actor, Drama Series.

Mindhunter’s Holt McCallany not nominated for Best Supporting Actor, Drama Series.

–Neither Martin Starr or Zach Woods of Silicon Valley nominated for Best Supporting Actor, Comedy Series. They’re brilliant.

–Leslie Jones,  who thinks funny is JUST SHOUTING, nominated for Best Supporting Actress, Comedy Series.

What We Did Like:

Matt Smith nominated for Best Supporting Actor, Drama Series, for The Crown. He was fantastic this year. The boarding school episode was the best episode The Crown has done yet, and Smith was all over it.

Smith as Prince Philip. Not just a pretty face.

Silicon Valley nominated for Best Comedy Series. It’s so funny and subversive. Mike Judge is not properly appreciated in his time.

Larry David nominated for Best Actor in a Comedy Series for Curb. The war reenactment episode was the funniest half hour we watched all year. And the season itself was way stronger than one might have expected (“the accidental text on purpose”) after such a long hiatus.

And we already know that This Is Us will win too many awards and there’s nothing we can do to prevent it. We just hope that if anyone from that saccharine show has to win, it’s Milo.

Reserves

After yesterday’s exhaustive and informed post in the “comments,” we’re just going to cede all Tour De France coverage to Susie B. Keep ’em coming, Suze. If you love sports that are effortlessly telegenic and unapologetically corrupt, then the TDF is the sport for you. And Susie B. is our international (based in DelMarVa) correspondent.*

*Susie B., please contact payroll about sending us an invoice. You can reach them at YouWillNeverGetAReplyFromUsFreelancer@mediumhappy.com.gov.org.edu

Music 101

Better Be Good To Me

Already in her mid-forties, Tina Turner had a career renaissance in the mid-Eighties due to two factors: 1) MTV and 2) her wonderful appearance as Aunty Entity, the ruler of Bartertown, in Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. And we’re sure it’s just a coincidence that MMA and cage matches took off just a few years after “Two men enter, one man leaves.” Turner’s 1984 album Private Dancer spawned seven singles: this is our favorite.

 

Remote Patrol

The Shawshank Redemption

8 p.m. AMC

You’ve probably already seen it, but so what? It’s a unique (no females) film and one of the staff’s all-time favorites. The theme of never losing hope from a man serving a life sentence. Get busy living or get busy dying. Who can’t understand that?

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Starting Five

Brexit

Just two days ago, the World Cup was a European union of four nations: Belgium, Croatia, England and France. Then France took out Belgium, 1-0. And yesterday the Croats came back from an early 1-0 deficit to take out the Brits in extra time. The winning goal was a beauty, a header from the edge of the box that bounced to the right leg of Mario Mandzukic, who windmilled it past the British keeper. 2-1, Croatia.

Croatia, the first side in 28 years to overcome a deficit in a World Cup semi and win, moves on to its first ever World Cup final. England misses out on what would have been its first World Cup final in 52 years.

2. Roger, Out and….Over?

Perhaps it was London’s notorious sunshine. Or maybe the Uniqlo gear. Or the fact that he’s 36. Or maybe it was just the South African with the forgettable name (Kevin Anderson). Whatever, Roger Federer, the King of Tennis, had a nobody on the ropes, match point in the third set, let’s get to the semis, and he…..wait for it….LOST!

The Supreme Swiss falls in five sets, 2-6, 6-7, 7-5, 6-4, 13-11 and is bounced in the quarters. No man has won more Wimbledons than Roger, with eight, and no man older than 35 has ever won Wimbledon. That 35 year-old was Federer last July. He’ll turn 37 next month. Will he ever advance to a Wimbledon final again, much less win one?

For the record, Federer owns the most Grand Slam titles in men’s history, 20. Rafael Nadal, who also went to five sets yesterday but won, has 17. Novak Djokovic, whom Rafa will meet in the semis, has 12.

3. Papa Don’t Preach

Are we really to believe that Papa John’s pizza founder and CEO John Schnatter resigned simply because he used the N-word during a public relations training exercise in May? We thought people had, well, thicker crusts.

For the record, during a conference call, Schnatter, upset that he’d been taking heat for his stance on NFL players kneeling during the anthem, said, “Colonel Sanders called blacks niggers.”

We have no idea if it’s true what the Colonel did, but we just don’t get the uproar over this. You’re not even allowed to say the word to reference someone else having said it (will we be forced to resign from MH for having printed it??? We kinda hope so, but that’s a different story).

A reminder: on April 18th on CNBC’s Squawk On The Street morning show, we heard Yale School of Management professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld drop the N-word live, on-air, in a discussion about the history of racial sensitivity in this nation as it relates to brands. This was in a conversation about Howard Shultz and Starbucks. We heard it, we tweeted about it, and absolutely nothing happened. Nuh-thing.

None of the three co-hosts on CNBC even addressed it. Now, Sonnenfeld is not the CEO of a middling pizza empire, but still, that remark just disappeared like a fart in the wind.

Here’s the bottom line: support your locally owned pizzeria. And maybe don’t order the bianca slice tomorrow.

4. Head Over Heels

If Broadway could make a long-running hit musical out of Beauty and The Beast, why can’t it do the same for the girl band that gave us Beauty and the Beat? The show is called Head Over Heels (from one of our favorite Go Go’s tunes) and it’s a musical that mixes the band’s tunes with Shakespearian dialogue.

The musical is in previews now and opens on Broadway July 26th. A musical theater nerd friend of ours saw it and gave it a thumbs up. As you may already know, we always give The Go Go’s a thumbs up.

5. The River At The Dawn Of Life

This is the Coppermine River, which is located in the northern reaches of Canada’s Northwest Territory. I doubt any of us will ever get here though, I mean, if we really wanted to, we could (this is one reason I don’t have children: I’d pile them into a van and we’d go here for vacation instead of Wally World and they’d never forgive me for it).

Apparently, if you read the BBC story , you’ll see that there’s still true wilderness left on this planet, and that this river tells the story of the dawn of life on it. Pretty cool.

Music 101 

Someone Saved My Life Tonight

Reggie Dwight, a.k.a. Elton John, released a lifetime’s worth of sublime tunes in the early to mid-Seventies (with the invaluable assistance of writing partner Bernie Taupin). Then the muse just up and left the two of them, except for perhaps that whole Lion King deal. This, for our money, was the last great Elton John song on the radio. It was released in 1975 as the lone single off Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy (the title tune is decent, too). This is the story of how Taupin and another friend, Long John Baldry (the “someone” in the title) saved John from getting married (to a female) in 1968 as he was contemplating suicide and to, instead, pursue his music career (and other non-traditional endeavors).

Remote Patrol

World Series of Poker

Final Table 

9 p.m. ESPN

Live. The 49th annual main event. The November Nine—when ESPN halted the tournament as it got to the final table and made us wait four months so that they could produce the shows leading up to that final table—is no more. Technology has finally caught up to, well, the internet. So we’re going back to the final table without a day’s—much less four months’—break.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Tweet du Jour

Starting Five

1. North Atlantic Tweety Organization*

*The judges will also accept “IncogNATO” and “Tussles in Brussels” but not “A Twerp Near Antwerp”

En route to visit his A) pal? B) role model? C) benefactor?, President Trump makes a stop in Brussels for a NATO summit. There, he begins by calling our most powerful ally in Europe (nope, the world), Germany, “captive to Russia.” He tells everyone else to “pay up.”

Even before arriving, he was launching tweet bombs…

The irony of it all, of course, is, FROM WHOM ARE WE PROTECTING GERMANY AND THE REST OF EUROPE? WHO IS THE BIG BAD WOLF? Oh, that’s right: Russia. Where Trump’s best political friend on the international stage is the ruler.

I’d love to see every European country tell the United States to take its troops and go home (of course, so would Vlad). But maybe it’s time to roll back NATO. If my “friend” treated me with so little respect, I’d ghost them. Wouldn’t you?

2. Rule Number 7

Last night was a fantastic evening in MLB for the observance of Rule No. 7: “Baseball is the one sport where you can continually witness something you’ve never seen before.”

Exhibit A: In an Ohio interleague game in Cleveland, the Indians lead the Reds 4-0 with two outs in the ninth inning.  There are two men on base. What happens next for Cincinnati?

Single, double, intentional walk, walk, double, intentional walk, single. The Reds score seven runs with two outs in the ninth and go on to win, 7-4. But that might not have been as strange as…

Exhibit B: A walk-off hit in Houston that literally travels 2 to 3 feet past home plate. You have to see this to believe it.

Listen to the announcer: “The Astros win on a play that I’m not sure you’re ever going to see again.” That’s Rule No. 7.

3. Viva Le France

Yet another set piece goal. Umtiti’s header off a corner kick in the 51st minute decided it

For all the mocking everyone does, France is headed to its third World Cup final of the past 20 years. And for the third time, that final will be played in a European city.

The FFF won in 1998, when the final was played in Paris, and lost to Italy in 2006, when it was played in Germany. On Sunday they’ll face either England or Croatia in Moscow, thanks to yesterday’s 1-0 win against MH’s pick, Belgium.

Hazard’s one-on-one dribbling moves made him the Maravich of this World Cup

The French defense completely neutralized Lokaku and Fellaini and while, in our opinion, Eden Hazard was the most gifted player on the pitch, he could not do it alone (though it seemed as if he were trying at times). France will be the favorite on Sunday, and there isn’t a fat cat in FIFA who does not want to see them meet England.

4. In Which We Yet Again Gently Chide Jason McIntyre of Fox/The Big Lead For Not Fully Representing The Truth*

It feels like less than three years ago that the Royals won the World Series

*The judges will also accept “Salary Crap”

So this was the tweet that our professional acquaintance and sparring partner, Jason Mcintyre, sent out last night. It’s no secret that he is an avowed fan of the NBA and NFL and not of MLB (which is a little odd, because the people who sign his paycheck have invested billions into MLB but zero into the NBA; so we’ll give him credit for not toeing the company line):

His argument, I believe, is that MLB is an uneven playing field (this is technically true since ballparks’ outfields are not symmetrical, nor should they be; that’s part of the beauty of the game) because unlike the NFL and NBA, there is no hard salary cap (there IS a luxury tax, though). But here are two points he either forgot or conveniently omitted:

A) In the last four years the NBA has had the SAME TWO TEAMS meet in the NBA Finals. In the last four years of the World Series, seven of a possible eight teams participated. The lone team that went twice, the Kansas City Royals, now have the worst record in Major League Baseball.

Now, you can argue that if there were a cap the Royals would have been able to keep more of their best players. But how did they get such a quality team in the first place?

B) Look at that list above: The Giants, with baseball’s second-highest payroll, are 48-46. There are 15 teams (literally half of baseball) with as good or a better record. The Milwaukee Brewers, who are 26th in payroll (maybe this is why the bottom of his list begins at 27?), are 55-37 and own THE BEST RECORD IN THE NATIONAL LEAGUE.

Jason is a slippery one. You’ve got to fact-check him all the time.

5. Midwest Side Story

Ugly American. No other way to say it. And why is the Chicago police officer doing nothing? Now of course MAGA will whine that all three major networks covered this story last night, but we’ve got to ask, Why harass someone who is literally doing nothing to you?

The reason this video resonates for the MH staff, though, is what this 62 year-old man says. “You’re not going to change us,” he says, and by “us” he means the U.S. But they will. And they always have. Irish immigrants changed us. Italian immigrants changed us. Black (unwilling) immigrants changed us. The U.S.’ very DNA is about change, just as WASPs changed the landscape of this beautiful land that the Native Americans were able to preserve for centuries. When the Native Americans were the only people here, there was no New Jersey Turnpike, you know what I’m saying.

Immigrants WILL change us. They always have. Get used to it.

Music 101

Love Vigilantes

The first track of New Order‘s 1985 album, Low-Life. Listen to the lyrics. There’s actually a story going on with a twist ending.

Remote Patrol

World Cup

England vs Croatia

2 p.m. Fox

Nations Trump has or will visit this week are 0-1 in the World Cup semis thus far. Bad news for you, England.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Starting Five

Thai Foon!

They’re out! All 12 boys and their coach, though we have to think there were moments when he was like, “You guys go. I’ll just stay here” cuz if these were American parents with whom he was dealing… Meanwhile, if these had been American kids, we’d all be discussing how traumatized they were to have to survive more than two weeks without wifi.

Gunan, moments before entering the cave on his fatal dive

And this all could have been avoided if they’d just had one girl on the team (“I think we should stop and ask for directions”).

Tragically, there was one death, retired Thai SEAL diver Saman Gunan, who ran out of oxygen while making a dive to bring oxygen to the youths.

2. Serena

A funny thing happened while we were all waiting for Tiger Woods to become the best golfer who ever lived…another southern California native of color from the same generation with a relentless dad became the greatest female tennis player who ever lived.

Serena Williams, just 10 months after giving birth to her first child, is on to the semifinals at Wimbledon after winning earlier today. She is human, finally dropping a set. The good folks at the All-England seeded her 25th in the tourney because she’d missed so much time this past year due to becoming a mom. She’s two matches away from winning her 24th Grand Slam singles title, the most of any human.

Watch this. This is how a champion talks.

3. They No Gotta Da Vida

Ponytailed soccer star Domagoj Vida, the hero of Croatia’s quarterfinal victory over Russia on Saturday (one goal in extra time and one in PK phase), may not be around for their semi tomorrow versus England. Why not? Well, he’s IN Russia and he helped ELIMINATE Russia and after the game apparently took part in a video, posted to social media, that was supportive of Ukraine, the country that Russia, you know, invaded a few years ago.

I mean, that’s why there are international sanctions against Russia…for now. It’s still playing out, Vida’s fate. But if we were him, we’d hire a food taster for the remainder of the tourney.

Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo is headed to Turin to play for Juventus in Serie A. He’d done about all you could do in nine seasons with Real Madrid. Can’t blame the man for wanting to try different cuisine and unlike LeBron, he’s going from a championship team to another championship team.

4. London Galling

President Trump will head to the U.K. after going first to Brussels to insult more allies, but he will bypass London. Not a city of great importance, after all. Londoners cannot do without their Trump, however, so a few Londoners asked if they could fly this giant balloon of Baby Trump in a diaper during the president’s visit to the other parts of the nation and mayor Sadiq Khan said yes.

The balloon is filled with helium, while the president of course is filled with hot air and bile.

This didn’t sit well with Piers Morgan. But who cares?

5. Rule Number One (Again)

What is Rule No. 1? Gravity always wins. 

It happened again, one week ago in Arizona, as 24 year-old Andrey Privin of suburban Chicago (Buffalo Grove) perished in a 500-foot fall at the Grand Canyon. Privin had apparently climbed over a guard rail at Mather Point at the South Rim when he lost his footing and plunged 500 feet to his death. The Loyola University grad was scheduled to start his career as a nurse in Highland Park, another Chicago suburb, yesterday.

 

Music 101

Slow Song

The MH staff  scooted up to Providence, R.I., where we saw one of our musical heroes, Joe Jackson, perform last night. About a month ago an ordinarily reliable MH source told us that Joe Jackson was suffering from “Stage 4 pancreatic cancer,” and we were so saddened. Then we learned that it was Michael Jackson’s pop, Joe, who has since expired. Still, it was a lesson not to take greatness for granted, so we scooted up to Providence, bought a G.A. ticket for $45, and heard him play all the classics: “It’s Different For Girls, “Is She Really Going Out With Him?” “Real Men” “Be My Number Two,” “Sunday Papers,” “You Cant’ Get What You Want,” and “Steppin’ Out (slow version, which is better).” He closed with this one. If you get the chance and are in Canada or the northern U.S. this next month, Joe”s the man (he’s the man, he’s the man, he’s the man…).

Remote Patrol

World Cup

Belgium vs. France

2 p.m. FOX

Kylian Mbappe, 19, is the future of France, if not soccer itself…

Now THIS is the real World Cup final (we’ll keep making these claims right up to the moment that England hoists the trophy).

Key Largo

8 p.m. TCM

A classic, with Bogey, Lauren Bacall and Edward G. Robinson. A hostage drama during a hurricane in the Florida Keys. If you consider yourself a buff and have not seen this, your buff-ing needs work.

 

IT’S ALL SUMMER VACATION!

by John Walters

Taking the family on vacation to that giant plastic garbage island in the Pacific that is the size of France. Can’t wait. We should return tomorrow. In the meantime, we did catch a wild film on TCM late last night (The Admirable Crichton), which we wanted to share with you because wethinks in it were the roots of both My Fair Lady and Gilligan’s Island.

Also, completely unrelated, wethinks Luka Modric of Croatia must in some way be related to Thom Yorke of Radiohead.

The Admirable Crichton (title character in tux)

Okay, see youse guys tomorrow.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Starting Five

Good Riddance

The Director of the EPA (Environmental Penetration Agency), Scott Pruitt, resigns. The Swamp is a much more arid place this morning. Here is a short list of his misdeeds and malevolence toward the environment he was sworn to protect in his 17 or so months in office.

The encouraging news, for D.C. diners, is that apparently you can step up to a government official these days, tell them to resign, and they’ll actually do it!

2. Vegas Is Allen Town

During last night’s NBA Summer League action in Las Vegas, Trae Young (5th overall pick, Dallas to Atlanta) scuffled with Grayson Allen (21st overall pick, Utah). Young has been a cautionary draft tale all spring: he’s short and slight and while he has fantastic court vision, his 3-point shooting % was subpar). Thus far he’s 3 for 24, or about 12.5%, from beyond the arc. Not great, Bob!

Both players were T’ed up for this. You just know Grayson will lead the Summer League in technical fouls. Last night the 6’5″ Allen has 11 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists  in just 16 minutes. Of course, you know this is the Summer League because Allen jacked up 16 shots in 16 minutes.

Some of us don’t have NBA TV. The Summer League is more entertaining than the NBA regular season because this is like a College All-Star league except half of these guys are legitimately fighting for jobs. The rest are fighting for playing time once the season begins. Maximum fun.

3. Tirade Wars

Donald Trump, on a campaign stop (?) in Montana last night…

–Imagines throwing a DNA testing kit at Senator Elizabeth Warren to force her to prove her Native American ancestry: “We are going to do it gently because we’re the #MeToo generation, so we have to be very careful.”

This from a dude whom 20 women have accused of sexual assault, not including the two women who say they slept with him (after his marriage to Melania), one of whom likely aborted a child from their sexual congress.

–Slammed Senator John McCain and Bush 41, both of whom are in extremely poor health. “A thousand points of light, I never got that. ‘America First’, now that I get.”

–“Putin’s fine.”

4. Ryker, Alexey and Megan Fall Over Shannon Falls

Just the lede we pulled from the news story says it all: “Three members of a YouTube travel blogging collective have died after falling over a waterfall in Canada.”

Listen, we of all people here at MH get it. Why work when you can just travel and post videos of your lifelong vacation and then hopefully somehow someone will sponsor your exploits???? (personally, we’re just waiting for an extremely generous gift from the Susie B. Foundation).

The site: Shannon Falls, British Columbia.

The dead: Ryker Gamble, Alexey Lyakh and Megan Scraper

5. Chomp, Chomp; Womp, Womp

Three poachers infiltrated the Sibuya Game Reserve in South Africa to hunt rhinos and instead got the (final) surprise of their lives when they were tracked and eaten by lions at the reserve. And this is the strongest evidence that karma may just exist.

I was overjoyed by the news and if you were, too, please call the office of Wayne Palmer, a dentist in the Twin Cities, and tell him so. Call him as often as you like at 952-884-5361. He’s on vacation this week, probably off murdering Golden Retriever puppies or something, but hopefully he’ll be back on Monday. Call him five to ten times a day. Just to share this news with him. Tell him, “I ain’ lyin’, this is true!”

Reserves

We’d like to apologize to all of our readers for running that owl piece yesterday and never using the phrase, “a real hoo-dunnit.” We’ll be better. We have to be.

Music 101

Presence Of The Lord

A dozen or so years before there was the supergroup Asia, made of musicians who were already accomplished and famous, there was Blind Faith. The band, composed of Steve Winwood, Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker, released only one album, eponymously titled, in 1969.

The group, made up of former Traffic and Cream members, went on a brief tour but, like Asia, barely had enough material to fill an hour much less a set. Clapton became disillusioned and left the band after the tour.

We’re gonna now cheat here and also include our favorite Blind Faith tune, which we’ve run in this space before. But here’s a live version performed relatively recently.

 

Remote Patrol

Belgium vs. Brazil

2 p.m. FS1

The soccer staff at MH believes, quite ardently, that these are the two best sides remaining at the World Cup. So why are they meeting in the quarterfinals??? Tune in for the soccer, stick around for the melodramatic Neymar death scene.