by John Walters

Starting Five

Richard Spencer

Casualty Of War

Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer is the latest casualty in the never-ending battle between Donald Trump and Integrity. Last week Trump pardoned Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher, who had been convicted of bringing discredit to the armed forces and acquitted of a separate murder charge (you can never mind for a moment the idea of charging special-ops military types with murder).

Anyway, Gallagher’s case became a cause celebre on Fox News, which then made it a cause for Trump to take up, and Gallagher received a presidential pardon (take yet another bow, bin Laden). Gallagher was one of three military service members Trump pardoned, against the strongest wishes of the Pentagon, which expressed concern that “such a move could damage the integrity of the military judicial system, the ability of military commanders to ensure good order and discipline, and the confidence of US allies and partners who host US troops.”

Gallagher and wife

Trump didn’t care, saying he would never permit the Navy to revoke Gallagher’s membership in the SEALs. Which will probably stoke, at the very least, some friendly ire going forward.

Spencer attempted a diplomatic move, asking the White House to be allowed to publicly proceed with a review of Gallagher while privately assuring it that they’d let Gallagher remain. In other words, let’s put on a dog-and-pony show so it looks as if we’ve still got integrity, but you’ll get our way in the end, Donald. When Secretary of Defense Mark Esper learned of Spencer’s covert maneuver, he asked for his resignation for going “outside the chain of command.”

Another win for Fox and Fiends.

That’s Hall, Folks

Do not, under any circumstances, show us your scar

Strongman Eddie Hall was lifting weights, because that’s what strongmen do, when in his words, as he recently told The Mirror

I piled a load of heavy weights on a leg-press machine and then heard a loud thud. It had come crashing down and the weights had landed on my penis. I nearly bled to death,’

β€˜It was bad. The worst ever. I didn’t cry for help though. I just lifted them off, drove myself to hospital and got stitched up. I was back training soon enough.’

There’s a lot we find hard to swallow about this tale, but do we really want to ask more incisive questions? I don’t think so.

OK, Bloomberg

Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, a self-made billionaire from New York who doesn’t have to cater to the whims of Fox News because he already owns his own cable news outlet, has officially entered the presidential race as a Democratic candidate.

This is great news in 2016. If Bloomberg had entered as a Republican. Now? We’re not so sure.

“I’m running for president to defeat Donald Trump and rebuild America,” Bloomberg, 77, wrote on his website. “We cannot afford four more years of President Trump’s reckless and unethical actions.”

He would be the oldest president to serve if elected, though he’s still a year younger than Bernie.

Native America First

This was a clever skit from this weekend’s SNL that sort of let up at the last moment and didn’t go for the kill. Still, perhaps it opened a few eyes.

Also, there was a joke from “Weekend Update” that was too good to ignore. The setup, from Colin Jost, was that Nazi paraphernalia belonging to Adolf Hitler and Evan Braun was put up for auction. The problem, noted Jost, was that “it looked as if everyone was bidding at once.”

It isn’t often that you write a joke and know, beyond a doubt, that it would be impossible to be improved upon. This was one of those moments.

Five Films: 1962

  1. Lawrence Of Arabia: Peter O’Toole in a career-highlight performance, with Omar Shariff and the stunning landscapes of Jordan and Morocco. Nominated for 10 Oscars, it won seven including Best Picture and Best Director for David Lean. A true epic. 2. The Longest Day: Dramatic re-telling of D-Day with the greatest cast of manly man actors ever assembled: John Wayne, Sean Connery, Robert Mitchum, Henry Fonda, Eddie Albert, Richard Burton and Robert Ryan, just to name a few. Also told from the German perspective, which makes it that much more fascinating. 3. The Music Man: Robert Preston, Shirley Jones and some of the more charming songs ever put on film. That little boy? Yep, it’s Ron Howard. 4. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance: Jimmy Stewart and John Wayne in one of the tighter Westerns, from a story aspect, ever made. 5. The Manchurian Candidate: A Cold War superpower and enemy of this nation hatches a plot to install a hand-picked puppet as president of the United States. Ha! Like that could ever happen.

4 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. GREAT LIST! PERFECT LIST! In fact, I think 1962 is in the running for BEST FILM YEAR EVER! In addition to the classic films above :

    How The West was Won – an “epic western” starring several big-name actors/actresses in various segments as the years roll by. Jimmy Stewart, Debbie Reynolds, Carol Baker,
    Gregory Peck, John Wayne)

    To Kill a Mockingbird – I saw the film on TV quite a few times before I was old enough to read the book. Gregory Peck shines.

    The Music Man – Robert Preston as the quintessential salesman & perfectly cast for this role. Yes, my summer camp also performed this, so I know (or knew) all the words to all the songs. πŸ™‚

    GYPSY – starring Rosalind Russel as Mama Rose & Natalie Wood as her daughter Gypsy. “Everything’s Coming Up Roses!”, “Let Me Entertain You, let me make you smile”. πŸ™‚ Nope, our camp did NOT perform this one( ahem, it was about a stripper after all, don’t think those parents would have approved ; ) ) . I know most of the songs anyway.

    State Fair – a musical remake of a Jeanne Crain film from a decade before, but I actually like this one better. Starred Pat Boone, Ann-Margaret (as his love interest!), Pamela Tiffin, Tom Ewell.

    In Search of The Castaways – Disney flick starring Haley Mills.

    And finally, Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol! I did not see in the theatre (still too young in 62) but beginning in 64 or 65, I saw on TV every year for at least 10-15 years until it stopped being broadcast for some stupid reason! I CRY every time little Scrooge sits in the corner at old his school, singing “Alone in the World” –
    “When you talk & nobody’s voice talks back
    A hand for each hand
    Was planned for the world
    Why don’t my fingers reach?”

    OMG, I sniffling back tears now!

    • I don’t know how I overlooked “To Kill A Mockingbird.” Totally my bad and I’d put it no lower than No. 3 here. My bad. I want a re-do. Not only is it one of two absolutely wonderful Gregory Peck roles (the other being “Roman Holiday”) but the young actress who played Scout (Mary Badham) gave as good a kid-in-a-film performance as there’s ever been. It’s impossible to imagine anyone else in this role.

      And then there’s Robert Duvall in a cameo at the end at the outset of his career. Just a wonderful film and one of the few times where the book was equal to the classic novel.

      • Badham, by the way, was only 10 at the time and nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar, at the time the youngest female ever to have been.

      • I agree. πŸ™‚ Even though Peck had many good roles, I forever think of him as Atticus Finch. And when I think of a good & decent man, a great father, & an actual hero, I think of this character. And you’re right – the kid was perfect.

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