by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

Toxic nepotism. Please make these two go away…

Starting Five

Open Mike

Reports are that a(other) billionaire New Yorker who grew up in Queens is planning to run for president in 2020: former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg.

When the news broke last night, it only took a few moments for the “OK, B(l)oom(b)er(g)” meme to kick off. Myself, I’m all for it. I wish he would have run in 2016. As this city’s mayor, Bloomberg improved the greatest city in North America in innumerable ways. And he did it without attempting to be a demagogue or a social cause. He just rolled up his sleeves and did the work.

After the disaster and embarrassment and corruption of Donald Trump, there are worse things to be than a pragmatist with an incomparable track record. I Like Mike.

Billionaire Bashing

You see, Baker Mayfield, this guy DOES deserve to wear a handlebar mustache

This seems to be the new popular pastime on Twitter. And as a potential billionaire, we at MH take offense…

Seriously, though, let’s begin with the fundamentals (I used to assume that everyone knew the fundamentals, then Joey Galloway said on live TV last weekend that 72 divided by 2 is 34 so now, not so much anymore): a billion dollars is $1 million times one thousand. Most of us would be overjoyed to have $1 million. Now multiply that by 1,000.

Okay, so in 2010 there were 404 billionaires in the U.S.A. Today there are 607 billionaires in the U.S., according to U.S. News, an increase of just more than 50%. Something is happening that is accelerating the rate of growth of wealth among the .05% while the rest of us continue to wallow in the mire.

Is this fundamentally unethical? Is someone to “blame?” Is there any reason those who have less should be openly hostile to those who have so, so much more? I dunno.

With a net worth north of $111 billion, Jeff Bezos is the world’s wealthiest man (related: he did it himself; also related: a full head of hair is priceless)

I’m of the opinion that the government has rarely demonstrated any responsibility when it comes to spending our tax dollars so I’d rather see billionaires be philanthropic of their own accord (the Bill Gates model) as opposed to overly taxing them. I also feel that if I had that much money I’d feel somewhat guilty knowing how many people suffer day in and day out while I have so much more than I’ll ever need. I’d like to think there’d be an empathy factor. Finally, I’m of the opinion that many (I’m not sure if I’d say most, but many) billionaires are truly exceptional people (save those who inherited their wealth) who at some point in their lives demonstrated an exceptional talent in one area of skill or had a truly revolutionary idea that helped change the world (granted, for better or worse).

But right now, on social media, a lot of the backlash towards billionaires sounds to me like sour grapes. It would be great if tomorrow every person worth even just $1 billion announced they were giving away half their wealth to improve a school district or buy the New York Jets. And some have or do, because you can still get by on $500 million. But simply leeching off billionaires as a society as if they are to blame for what you do not have, something about that seems a little off and, well, whiny to me.

Okay, Susie B., pull the ripcord…

The Bama Bowl

The latest “Game of the Century”, to take place Saturday afternoon in Tuscaloosa, is not. Not even with a president in attendance. It’s No. 2 LSU vs. No. 3 Alabama and many intelligent people have noted that if you’re going to put Penn State (4) above Clemson (5), then why not put both ahead of Alabama…particularly when both Clemson and Alabama have the same toughest foe/best win to date: Texas A&M.

Dig: The Tide have beaten LSU eight straight times since losing the touchdown-deprived “Game of the Century” to the Tigers in November of 2011, 9-6. It’s pretty unwise to bet against them most of the time and Nick Saban, except when attempting game-winning field goals from beyond his kicker’s range, is pretty tough to beat.

It’s early, of course, and so much can happen but we believe that the loser of this showdown between 8-0 squads will not advance to the playoff. If Oregon or Utah win out or if Oklahoma wins out, we think they’ll be a more attractive option to the playoff committee than a second SEC team who already lost its biggest game of the year to an SEC team. Would Vegas favor Alabama or LSU over Oregon, Utah and Oklahoma. Probably, yes. Does that mean that’s how the playoff should work? For us, no.

So it’s not the Game of the Century, but it’s most likely a knockout game. How effective will Tua Tagovailoa be? We don’t know.

Meanwhile, BREAKING NEWS: Ohio State defensive end Chase Young, whom many (raises hand) consider to be the most outstanding player in college football, will sit out tomorrow’s game versus Maryland. Young may be facing an indefinite suspension beyond Saturday due to something that occurred in 2018. Remember, the Buckeyes are currently No. 1 in the SelCom rankings.

Story unraveling by the minute. Stay tuned.

The annual preemptive retirement of an All-World Ohio State defensive end (Nick Bosa last season, now this): a tradition like no other.

Debt Relief

Watching this you can’t help but wonder if Rhys thinks to himself, If only I attended a more expensive college.

Five Films: 1951

No, A Streetcar… did not make the cut because I don’t remember enjoying myself much watching it. A Place In The Sun came thisclose as did The Day The Earth Stood Still and Cinderella (we haven’t really done right by animation or Abbott & Costello films thus far; apologies).

Ava Gardner wearing your mom’s drapes
  1. The African Queen Strangers On A Boat (See No. 3) It took until 1951 for Hollywood to finally say, “Hey, he’s the greatest living actor and she’s the greatest living actress—let’s put them in a film together.” This is an African adventure as well as one long and well-scripted metaphor. “Oh, Mister Allnut…” 2. An American In Paris Gene Kelly’s signature film and introducing Leslie Caron as the lover interest/dance partner. Man, did he have all of the tools. Best Picture winner. 3. Strangers On A Train One of Hitchcock’s weirdest, with a premise so simple and yet so dark. Robert Walker as Bruno is wonderfully creepy and psychotic and today we’d probably suggest he’s also gay 4. Ace In The Hole Billy Wilder’s savage takedown of tabloid mass media stars Kirk Douglas as a disgraced big-city reporter out to find redemption 5. Showboat Ava Gardner in the role that Lena Horne was born to play, but there are few, if any, better title tunes: maybe only Julie Andrews’ opener in a later film outdoes this one and even then I’m not so sure.

3 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. Behind every great fortune lies a great crime.

    Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world, just cut health benefits for 1900 people at Whole Foods. The reports of working conditions at Amazon warehouses should be a national scandal. I don’t go as far as Warren or Bernie (eventually you do run out of other people’s money) but we could go a long way before I’d start to worry we were taxing billionaires too heavily.

  2. GREAT list, great list! I’ve yet to see Ace in the Hole but will put in on MY list of films to see. (Currently, I am being TRAGICALLY DEPRIVED BY HEINOUS, LARCENOUS, STINKIN COMCAST & can no longer see TCM, so I’m not sure when I’ll be able to actually watch classic movies again! F^&@$) 🙁

    Love, love The African Queen, especially when Hepburn starts calling Bogart’s character “Chahhlie”. I actually did NOT want to watch it when I was a kid; Bogart & Hepburn in 1951 seemed “so old” to me & it wasn’t a musical so I kept ignoring it. Finally, around age 12 or 13, I finally watched & it instantly became my 2nd fave Bogart film & one of my fave films of all time. Who knew Hepburn & Bogart would have such chemistry?!

    Love Showboat! Was quite devastated to eventually learn the Gardner’s vocals were dubbed but still love this production & think Ava gave a very good performance. I’ve since seen the prior film starting Irene Dunne & most latter versions. I’ve also seen it on stage several times. And while I love almost ALL the songs, ‘Ole Man River’ prompts goosebumps & tears EVERY single time! (Ahem, I actually know & can sing all the songs – at my summer camp, it was an annual event put on by one of the older cabins. I was both a camper & later, a counselor in that cabin. Life Upon the Wicked Stage! 🙂 )

    I like American in Paris very much but it’s always comes in 2nd to Singing in the Rain to me. Plus, I HATED the ballet sequence when I was a kid. In fact, even though I loved ballet (& took it & tap for 3 years when very young), I just didn’t appreciate it in that movie until my 20s.

    A couple other 51 faves – two John Wayne movies (natch!) : Operation Pacific & The Flying Leathernecks. And 2 more musicals : On Moonlight Bay (Doris Day & Gordan MacRae teamed again) & Royal Wedding starring the sublime Fred Astaire & Jane Powell. At least in the latter, Fred’s not teamed romantically with a much younger actress, which drove me crazy in his latter movies. His dance partner character in this flick is his “sister”. That Powell could have been his DAUGHTER in real life is, of course, overlooked . 🙂

  3. The very fact that BILLIONAIRES exist means ‘the system’ is broken & we are reverting back to an aristocracy, just not “land-based” this time. And to rely on billionaires having morals & harboring desires to “give back” & better the lives of all is not just risky, it’s fantasy. LOOK who’s occupying the WH! (Even though, I actually doubt he’s a billionaire at all, despite all his decades of TAX CHEATING & other financial malfeasance).

    Having such a small group have THAT much wealth & power leads not just to an increasingly unbalanced society but to almost limitless corruption & corrosion of the social fabric. We are seeing the tearing of that fabric (again) now.

    As you know, I am interested in money (as in moh money, moh money for meeee! Up to a point) 🙂 . And believe that anyone who creates, invents, or performs something that benefits or thrills all, SHOULD be well-compensated & live a life of magical choices. Just NOT at the detriment of everyone else. I say bring back MORE tax classifications for the upper echelons & a top tax rate of 70% for those that make more than $1 million/year. (Sorry, Sweet Pea).

    I’m confused – you DON’T think it’s good that CEOs make 100 (or more) times their employees’ wages, but you’ve got no problem with billionaires?

    I’m guessing all the other super-rich (my definition – anyone with a net worth of $100 million+) are ecstatic that Bloomberg may be entering the Pres race. as they’ve been hyperventilating/upchucking at the mere thought of a “President Warren”. If they are not already compromised by having supported a SOCIOPATH & his heinous Nazi bootlickers in Congress, I’m assuming they will give heavily to his campaign (as if he needs any more money, but whatev).

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