by John Walters

Tweet du Jour

Starting Five

1. Splash And Burn

This is why we love Sergio Garcia. The reigning Masters champion took a 13 on Augusta’s notorious 15th hole after basically reenacting the climactic scene from Tin Cup. This is still not as inconceivable as Ernie Els’ carding a 9 on the first hole of the 2015 Masters, when he five-putted. But it’s still pretty incredible.

Garcia hit five consecutive shots into the pond on his approach shot on the par-5 hole. In Sergio’s defense, none of them landed in the drink on the fly. All landed on the front of the green and then rolled back down the hill and into the water. “I felt like I hit a lot of good shots and unfortunately the ball just didn’t want to stop,” said Garcia, who immediately after holing out was embraced by Rene Russo, who is even happier now that she dumped Don Johnson for him.

(This is just what he do…)

By the way, last year on Sunday at Augusta, Garcia shot a 3 (an eagle) on this hole. Yesterday he needed 10 more shots.

Garcia ended the day tied for 85th place (out of 87 golfers), having shot an 81. If he’d just parred that hole, he’d have finished one-over par for the day (which is what Tiger Woods shot). It’s going to be awfully tough for everyone’s favorite Spanish golfer to make the cut, but he has to stick around until Sunday night anyone to put the green jacket on Jordan Spieth the 2018 champion.

2. Hair Force One

Note: This, by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, 80, is the best thing I’ve read today.

President Trump knows of no more pernicious foe than the wind that besets him when he boards Air Force One at Andrews. We foresee an Executive Order in which a terminal and jet way will be installed there.

So yesterday onboard, Trump was feeling brazen enough to field reporters’ questions onboard. When asked if he knew about the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels, he replied, “No.” Next he was asked why Michael Cohen made the payment, the truth of which is not in dispute: “You’ll have to ask Michael Cohen,” Trump said. “Michael is my attorney. You’ll have to ask Michael.”

So let’s unravel this: 1) There WAS a payment. 2) For what? According to Donald, How would he know, he didn’t know about it. 3) Also according to Trump, nothing ever happened between he and Stormy. 4) So Michael Cohen paid $130,00 out of his own pocket and did not tell his client that he was doing it or why he was doing it, but apparently it was to silence someone from talking about something that never took place. 5) And now Team Trump wants to sue her for breaking the terms of the agreement that they paid her to agree to so that she would not discuss the thing that never took place.

Pardon me, I have to get a square of toilet paper, as I just cut myself on Occam’s Razor.

“This is killing me”

Meanwhile, about the Tirade War (you read that right) with China. After the Beijing gang saw Trump’s raise, he has now re-raised with a $100 billion tariff proposal (remember: none of these have actually been implemented yet). I don’t need Jim Cramer and David Faber on this; I need Lon McCeachern and Norman Chad.

While I don’t like the stock market behaving like the Colossus at Magic Mountain any more than you do, at least I can see what Trump is doing here: he sees a trade imbalance with China, our economy is as healthy as it’s ever been, and while this may not be the best way to level the playing field, if you’re ever going to do something that adversely affects the stock market, do so while everyone is up about 30-40% on the year.

Again, this all may just be posing. Recall what legendary old New York Stock Exchange grinder Art Cashin recently said: “Trump’s M.O. is to say, ‘I’m going to kill you!’ Then you say, ‘Oh no!’ Then he says, ‘I’m only going to break your arm,’ and you say, ‘Thank you.'”

The Amazon animus is far more troubling because Trump is literally disregarding the FACTS that his own advisers (much less anyone who covers business in the media) give him in favor of attacking founder Jeff Bezos, because he’s so upset about the WaPo coverage on him. He’s literally committing a crime, by spreading false rumors about a company in order to knock down its stock price.

Add that to the list…

3. Officially Back: The Luck of the Irish

The winning goal

It was close to midnight last night when we recalled that we’d recommended you watch Notre Dame-Michigan in the Frozen Four, so we checked on line to see who had won. We couldn’t find a score. We quickly flipped to the ESPN2 where there were about 17 seconds remaining in a 3-3 deadlock.

The announcers said something about how the Irish, with the puck in their end, needed to protect it to get into overtime or how they might have a chance at one last scoring opportunity. Suddenly the puck squibbed out, Notre Dame’a Cam Morrison was skating across both blue lines with it to the left, and Jake Evans was trailing him in the center. When Morrison could not elude his defender, he dropped the puck behind him to Evans, who dinked it through the wickets of the Skunkbear goalie with 5 seconds left for the 4-3 win.

Notre Dame, in the past three weeks, has now won the NCAA Fencing championship, the NCAA women’s basketball championship and is now one Saturday night contest versus Minnesota-Duluth (like Mississippi State, they are also the Bulldogs) away from winning the NCAA men’s hockey championship. Plus, they’ve had three buzzer beaters in the past week and the men’s hockey team is 14-3 in one-goal games.

Notre Dame to the rest of Division I athletics: “I’ve found me lucky charms!”

And I haven’t even mentioned Miles Boykin yet. Or the 21-point second-half comeback in the ACC quarters versus Virginia Tech. In 2018, Notre Dame athletics definitely has the clutch gene.

Jack Swarbrick can and should tell all the message board trolls on NDNation to suck it. More importantly, enjoy the good times, Irish fans. They never last (unless you’re Nick Saban). Savor them while they’re here.

4. Wild, Wild, Wild, Wild, Wild West

Who had Donovan Mitchell (20 ppg) as their NBA Rookie of the Year when the season began?

While we were not paying attention (we only look at the BOTTOM of the Western Conference standings), the NBA’s Western Conference playoff situation became verrrrrry interesting. Six clubs, none of whom are the Los Angeles Lakers or cumulatively receive half the attention that the Lakers do from certain cable networks and websites, are all within TWO games of one another for the final five playoff spots.

The Utah Jazz (46-33), who are in fourth position, are just two games ahead of the Denver Nuggets (44-35), who are currently on the outside looking in to the playoff picture. Betwixt them, in descending order, are the Spurs, Thunder, T-Wolves and Pelicans. Of those six teams, no one outside of the Jazz have been particular hot of late.

What would be most intriguing? If the Thunder were to finish seventh or eighth and meet Houston (1st) or Golden State (2nd) minus Stephen Curry in Round One. That’s what we’d most enjoy: a Round One Thunder-Dubs match-up with the defending champs having to get by without their two-time MVP. Could get interesting.

5. Biiiiii-sickle! Biiii-sickle! I Want To….

Even the snarkiest of us has our sincere (or weak) spots. For me it’s wildlife. For the WSJ‘s Jason Gay, who is far funnier and snarkier, it’s cycling. Here he is writing about this weekend’s other major sporting event, the Paris-Roubaix bike race. You’ll need a WSJ subscription.

The event was first staged in 1896 and has only been suspended due to World Wars. The course, much of which is over cobblestones, is approximately 150 miles long.





It’s too soon to know if this is going to become A Thing, but we’ve noticed that when we watch an episode of The West Wing there seems to be at least one unintentionally hilarious allusion to The Worst Wing. 

Season 1, Episode 3: Josh notices a typo on a speech that Donna hands him. “Insuccessful?” he asks. “We can’t just make up words. This is the White House, we have to be better than that.”


If you’re still reading: Our fictitious private equity (so private that I’m the only one with equity in it!) firm, Walker Capital, just sold EVERYTHING. All of our stock. Yes. And we’re even shorting AMZN for at least the time being. We think this China Tirade War will get worse before it gets, as The Tweet of God so eloquently put it yesterday, even worse. 

Music 101

Rock ‘n Me

Q: Name three big-name rock bands that used Arizona towns in their songs, the names of the songs, and the towns.

A: The Steve Miller Band, “Rock ‘n Me,” Phoenix; the Beatles, “Get Back,” Tucson; and of course the Eagles, “Take It Easy,” Winslow.

We’re still waiting for someone to write something with Tuba City in the lyrics. This song went to No. 1 for a week in 1976.

Remote Patrol

Cavaliers at Sixers

7 p.m. NBA TV

Ben Simmons is likely your NBA Rookie of the Year runner-up after Mitchell (above, No. 4)

We don’t have NBA TV, but perhaps you do. The Cavs (49-30) are one half game ahead of Philly (48-30) with three games remaining for “The Land” (and two for the BroLuv). The Cavs can probably lock up the third spot in the East with a W, which would mean a Kyrie-less Celtics in the second round. Why do we care, though? Cleveland’s going to the Finals this year. Maybe Philly next year.


7 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. You will find that a re-watch of The West Wing is both therapeutic and depressing, and that comparisons with the current administration come up in every episode. For a true West Wing immersion experience, you should listen the the West Wing Weekly podcast, in which each episode is discussed in order. It’s very well done.

    • I’ll consider it, but I never listen to podcasts. Yes, have never bought anything on Amazon and never listen to podcasts. Now where’s my flip phone?

  2. Wait, what?! You SOLD all your stocks?! Even NVDA, AMZN, etc? When just a few months ago when I asked, you said you’d be keeping those for quite some time? BTW, I’ve been whining for years that a correction was “coming” but stupid me thought the SURF’s UP -Blue Wave crashing into Washington this November was going to be the impetus. Who would have thought a “Republican” so-called President would bring it on NOW?!

    Also, “ADAPT OR DIE”. Who said that? Why, jdubs a few hours ago, so HOW can you be a protectionist with your support of tariffs? Between the two of us, *I* am the much more likely protectionist. Let’s review – which one of us advocates universal health care & which one clamors for a, er, “Hunger Games” to either get health insurance for a bearable price or to qualify at all? Which one has worried (for decades) about cast-off workers when their jobs &/or entire industries have left the country (for CHEAPER LABOR which the tariffs NOW want to penalize? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!) or become obsolete? And which one shrugs “adapt or die” &/or “can’t stand in the way of progress!”?

    The immediate & long-term impact of these tariffs will be HIGHER PRICES for many items people want & need to buy. Maybe you think this doesn’t pertain to you since “you aren’t a shopper” & you say you’re “cheap” (even if you live in one of the most expensive places IN THE WORLD, so, ooooookay), but you gotta eat, you gotta live somewhere in a building owned by someone who IS dealing with all the higher prices. This is the REAL TRICKLE DOWN!

    Do you really support tariffs or was that a belated April Fools’ joke? I’m willing to listen, can you please explain why YOU think they will be good for the average American &/or the country?

    In other news, the BEST basketball player in the WORLD performed CPR on his team last night in the final quarter against the Wizards. Down by 50 with 6 minutes to go (MAY be a slight exaggeration… 🙂 ), Sweet Pea gets out the paddles & we win by 4! Also, even though LeBron always says he’s not concentrating on scoring records, he’s thisclose to 31,000 pts & I want him to get there by the end of this season (next week). And then NEXT year, he’ll pass both Wilt & Jordan!

    • Now, now, Susie B.

      I said I’d hold on to those stocks “for quite some time” but as you noted, I also said, “Adapt or die.” So I’m adapting to the roller coaster Trump has created with his China tariff tweets and his Amazon tweets. AMZN today is the first stock I’ve ever shorted and currently it’s down (up!) 20 points since I did so. We’re only one Trump tweet away on any day from AMZN falling at least 3%. For now I’ll ride it down, then ride the elevator back up after the dip. On AMZN, at least.

      As for trade tariffs, I’m not specifically for them. And if you notice they have not been imposed, only threatened. I am no expert, but it is clear that China has manipulated the system beyond simply cheap labor (intellectual property theft) and they’re not just gonna quit if you ask them nicely. It’s a risk he’s taking, but I try not to let my contempt for Trump infect my analysis of his individual maneuvers. In other words, I’m not obliged to hate something just because it starts with him. I find that all too many folks who don’t like him have blanket vetoes on anything he says or does. I try not to be that way.

      As for LeBron, he walked. Again.

      • Susie B.,

        Shorted AMZN at $1,436. Bought back at $1,404. It was a hunch, but a strong one.

        (How many other bloggers are this fiscally transparent?)

  3. So, you made a little more than 2%, and have to pay short term capital gains plus your federal tax rate. Was it worth it?

    • Kurt,

      I will answer your question using the immortal words of Tom Cochran: “Life is a highway/I want to ride it all night long.”

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