On Saturday evening, as the WHCD was taking place in Washington, District of Columbia, President Donald Trump spoke in Washington, Michigan. Trump spoke for nearly 80 minutes. Here are most of the people he name-dropped during his speech:
Bill Schuette (Michigan Attorney General)
California governor Jerry Brown (“Moonbeam”)
General James Mattis (“Mad Dog”)
Sen. Jon Tester (Montana-Dem)
Natalia Veselnitskaya (Russian lawyer)
James Comey (former FBI director)
Hillary Clinton (you may know her)
Admiral/Doctor Ronny Jackson
Jon Lovitz (comedian who made lying a joke…those were the days)
Andrew McCabe (former deputy FBI director)
The planet Mars
And here’s who Donald Trump did not mention: James Shaw, Jr., an unarmed black man who overwhelmed a white gun man at a Waffle House and probably saved at least half a dozen lives, his own included. Then Shaw set up a Go Fund Me page whose proceeds paid for the funerals of all four victims. More than one week later, and not in a speech that droned on and on for more than an hour, the man’s name has still not escaped Trump’s lips.
Like Mr. Lupner, the WHCA was born without a backbone.
1. Wolf Blitzer
Raunchy. Uneven. Vulgar. Occasionally on the mark and bitingly funny (“That’s a pu**y? I guess mine just has a lot more yarn on it“). Those are the most accurate descriptions of comic Michelle Wolf’s 20-minute address at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. At least that’s how we heard it.
The Sarah Huckabee Sanders riff garnered the most attention, but for all the wrong reasons. Both Mika Brzezinski and The New York Times‘ Maggie Haberman, who won the night’s major award (“A MAJOR award!”…thanks, Darrin McGavin) but did not attend, criticized Wolf for mocking SHS’ physical appearance. But, aside from noting her “smokey eye,” a reference to makeup application, she did not. At all.
What Wolf did note is that SHS is an “Uncle Tom for white women,” which is accurate. It’s kinda weird that no one disputed that.
2. LeBron Prevails
Victor and Victor
When you’re 6’9″ and 260 pounds of sinewy steel, and then on top of that you’re allowed to palm the ball, barrel into defenders and take three steps after your last dribble with impunity, well then yeah, you’re pretty difficult to stop. Unless Lance Stephenson gently taps you on the head, then it’s as if you’ve just been whacked by Mike Tyson, but that’s a different story.
Making histrionics and history simultaneously, LeBron put up 45 points to lead Cleveland past a game and hungry Pacers team that will definitely be back and better next season in Game 7, 105-101. For the series LeBron averaged just over 34 points per game but more important, he spared us from hyper-early, entirely uninformed LeBron-to-Lakers hot takes for at least another fortnight.
Toronto will be easier. The Eastern Conference finals will be interesting, if LeBron’s body holds up (that’s a softball lob for you, Susie B….)
3. Atlanta A’s
Acuna had been labeled the top prospect in the minors before Atlanta called him up
Acuna and Albies. Those are the names to know for the reinvigorated Atlanta Braves. Left fielder Ronald Acuna, 20, of Venezuela, was just called up a week ago and is batting .412. He has four home runs but is the manner in which he smokes them, rockets to deep in the left field seats, that has drawn attention. Second baseman Ozzie Albies, from the Netherlands Antilles in the Caribbean, is 21 and has already stroked a tied-for-NL-best nine home runs with 20 RBI. He leads he NL in hits with 34.
Albies. This photo could have been taken in 1958 and don’t @ us about the tomahawk, please
The Braves are 16-11. The Braves, D-Backs, Yanks and Red Sox are all good again. Who put the time machine 20 years back?
4. Joy To The Whirled
Reid’s husband, Jason, is the lead NFL writer at The Undefeated
We’ll admit, we have not been paying that much attention to the Joy Reid scandal at MSNBC (we’re still kinda annoyed they got rid of Tamron Hall, who dunked on Scott Baio in 2016), but it’s 2018 and no one’s gonna believe your Twitter/blog/Facebook post was hacked even if it was (like when this site was hacked when I told y’all to invest in GBTC…).
Mostly, what’s been a little odd is seeing fellow MSNBC’ers such as Rachel Maddow and Nicolle Wallace publicly come to Reid’s defense while casually ignoring that she may have written a lot of homophobic garbage a few years back for public consumption, which is extra weird because one of them identifies as such. Anyway, in the age of The Worst Wing we’re sure there’ll be another atrocity tomorrow or Wednesday by someone else, and this too will be put into the dustbin of “I’m so offended.”
5. Two-Mile Island
Great photo here, no?
One of MH’s favorites, Jenny Simpson, sets the American record in the 2-mile run on Friday night at the Drake Relays. Simpson, 31, ran a 9:16.78, shattering the existing U.S. record by nearly four seconds.
Do You Wanna Hold Me?
Punk impresario Malcolm McLaren, who managed the New York Dolls and the Sex Pistols, formed this band, a mixture of former Adam and the Ants musicians and a 13 year-old female lead singer. It worked, first with “I Want Candy” and then this lighter than a B-52’s beehive ‘do hit. This was peak MTV.
Sixers-Celtics, Game 1, Eastern Semis
8 p.m. TNT
Yes, beginning with Larry Bird’s rookie season (1979-1080) and then for two years after that, the annual Celtics-Sixers Eastern Conference finals, featuring a slew of future Hall of Famers (Dr. J, Larry Bird, Moses Malone, Kevin McHale, Tiny Archibald, Dave Cowens and even Pete Maravich), not to mention bizarro talents such as Darryl Dawkins and Bobby Jones, was the fiercest rivalry in the NBA. And annually more exciting than the NBA Finals. Welcome back.
Mayfield had a little Instagram fun on draft day by recreating a photo of a reclining Brett Favre in which he WAS wearing pants
Cleveland Brown fans had barely washed the taste of Johnny Manziel out of their mouths and then their franchise goes ahead and drafts Baker Mayfield with the number one pick? So who will he be, a relatively short, not-quite-as-athletic-as Russell Wilson bust or the dude who put up the top two individual seasons, based on QBR ratings, in the modern history of college football?
It’s easy to lean toward the former, but let’s remember that Mayfield has surpassed expectations and overcome hurdles everywhere he’s been. At Texas Tech he walked on and then started as a freshman. At Oklahoma he walked on again—basically arriving unannounced in Norman—and twice led the Sooners to the college football playoff and won the Heisman Trophy.
2. Draft Night USA
Derwin James can’t believe he lasted that long, either.
It was a night that began and ended with a Heisman Trophy winner: Baker taken at No. 1 and Lamar Jackson taken at No. 32 and their teams play twice a year.
Winners: New York Giants, selecting Saquon Barkley at No. 2…Josh Rosen, landing in Arizona, even if he was the fourth QB picked; are they now the A-Rosen-a Cardinals?….Former Notre Dame O-line coach Harry Hiestand, who had two of his players selected in the top nine…the Edmunds DNA, as two brothers (Tremaine and Terrell) are chosen in the first round for the first time…the Broncos and Chargers, who see a pair of All-ACC studs—DE Bradley Chubb and safety Derwin James—fall into their laps.
Josh Allen’s next N-word is “Niagara”
Losers: Browns fans. You had two of the top four picks, and you take two guys who are the size of Douglas in accounting. Denzel Ward meets a need, but I’m not sure anyone is all that excited about it….Sam Darnold and Josh Allen, who were raised in California and now find themselves in New Jersey and Buffalo. Climate change is real…the Oakland Raiders, who selected 15th and took an O-lineman from UCLA?!?
3. Infinity War Opens. Infinity War Ends.
In what may be an historic moment for a whole bunch of humans named Kim, South Korea and North Korea have decided to make up. Today leaders Kim Jong-Un of North Korea and Moon Jae-in of South Korea met at the DMZ and pledged to formally end the Korean War (you can return to Crabapple Cove, Hawkeye) and to move toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. A North Korean leader had never set foot in the South before this moment.
Sometimes, holding a grudge just gets too tiring.
4. He Was Weird Harold All Along
On Wednesday a jury found Bill Cosby, a.k.a. Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable, guilty on three counts of sexual assault against former Temple student Andrea Constand. Ms. Constant was the only one of dozens of accusers to actually bring criminal charges against America’s Dad as opposed to sharing their stories with New York magazine.
This trial originally ended with a hung jury two years ago, but then the judge let five former victims who’d been assaulted in a similar fashion (drugged, then raped) dating back to 40 years ago testify. The pathology was more than evident and the guilty verdict came back. Cosby will almost certainly spend the rest of his life in jail.
“I did NOT grab her like this”
And, oh, another ’80s NBC icon, Tom Brokaw, has been accused of sexual harassment by former NBC anchor Linda Vester. The alleged incident(s) date back 25 years.
Vester has since married and left the biz to raise children
either. It may be that J. Fred Muggs is the only former Today Show host who treated his female co-workers with dignity.
5. The Prince of Tithes*
*The judges will also accept “Charred Chaplain”
Did you know there was a House Chaplain for the House of Representatives? We didn’t either, but currently there is not as the 60th House Chaplain in our nation’s history, a Jesuit priest named Patrick Conroy, was forced out last week by perpetually spineless Speaker Paul Ryan.
Apparently, during the tax debate last November Conroy offered up a prayer in which he said, in part:
“...may all Members be mindful that the institutions and structures of our great Nation guarantee the opportunities that have allowed some to achieve great success, while others continue to struggle. May their efforts these days guarantee that there are not winners and losers under new tax laws, but benefits balanced and shared by all Americans.”
“And another thing, my children, we need to deregulate the natural gas industry…”
Ryan was reportedly offended that Conroy’s views, in his mind, tilted Democratic (as do almost all of Jesus’ teachings, but that’s neither here nor there, right?). Ryan felt that the prayer tilted toward the idea that the tax cuts are more beneficial to the rich (which they are).
And Ryan is correct, of course. We all recall that part of the Sermon of the Mount where Jesus instructed his followers to give more of their scheckels and goats to property owners, who will then create more jobs with it and the surplus would trickle back down to them like water out of a rock. Right? Wasn’t that in there?
Party In The U.S.A.
Give ’em hell, Hannah Montana. Okay, so the song is anything but autobiographical—Miley Cyrus is the daughter of a country music star and was famous herself as a kid—but this summer 2009 hit established her as a legit pop star at the age of 16. Not just a pretty face, she has a legit voice (ooh, hot take). Though the Red Hot Chili Peppers may want to ask for their bass line back. And you also have to love the Bellas’ rendition of it, below…
The Magnificent Seven
8 p.m. TCM
Why watch this 1960 Western starring Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson and James Coburn, among others? First, it’s an American remake of Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 classic, The Seven Samurai. Second, it has arguably the best score of any Western ever filmed.
Watch a Port Authority commissioner/mom/over-entitled woman pull the “Do you know WHO I am?” card on a pair of Tenafly (N.J.) policemen who are having absolutely none of it. This was on Easter Sunday/Passover. For those unfamiliar, Tenafly is an affluent town just across the George Washington Bridge from Manhattan and a little bit north, along the Hudson.
Once this began going viral, Caren Turner was forced to resign. Meanwhile, you can imagine her daughter is like, “MOM, I’ll never be able to show my face in my MIT PhD. program seminar again!”
2. (THE SOUND OF SUSIE B. SHRIEKING CAN STILL BE HEARD)
It’s often overstating it to say that one man won a game or a series, but you watch what LeBron James did in the final few seconds of Game 5 last night and well, it’s not. With three seconds to play and the score knotted at 95, LeBron swatted away Victor Oladipo’s potential go-ahead layup and grabbed the board. On the ensuing inbound, he freestyled for a second or two and then calmly buried a 28-footer for the win.
LeBron finished with 44, 10 and 8. Gentlemen, start your narratives….
One last thing: Maybe the King got away with a little reigning in of Victor?
We imagine a few of us have fantasized about men in white coats taking President Trump away, but that’s not what’s happening here.
After allegations of drinking on the job, wrecking a government vehicle and handing out Percoset so profligately that staffers dubbed him “Candyman,” Dr. Ronny Jackson (no really, he’s white) withdrew his name as a candidate for Secretary of the Veterans’ Administration. It probably didn’t hurt that only yesterday the man who nominated him, Donald Trump, dog-whistled to reporters, “If I were him, I wouldn’t do it [seek the nomination].”
Doc, what’s the prescription for when the president throws you under the bus?
4. The Woman Who Stalked The Night Stalker
Yesterday police in California believe they finally nabbed the Golden State Killer, a.k.a., the Original Night Stalker, a.k.a. the East Area Rapist, whom they discredit with having committed at least 12 murders and 45 rapes dating back to 1976 (it’s a former police officer named James Joseph DeAngelo, who is 72). Much of the credit for this apprehension, though the cops publicly gave her none yesterday, belongs to the late Michelle McNamara, whose bestseller, I’ll Be Gone In The Dark, included numerous details and evidence about the killer’s crimes and served as sort of a national “Three Billboards Outside Sacramento” for these crimes. The tome was released posthumously earlier this year with help from the McNamara’s late husband, comedian Patton Oswalt.
McNamara, a suburban Chicago native and Notre Dame alum, wrote for television but also had a dogged fascination with unsolved crimes. In 2006 she started a True Crime Blog and then became somewhat obsessed with the Night Stalker (she renamed him the Golden State Killer). Almost two years ago to the day, McNamara died in her sleep after an accidental overdose of Adderall, Xanax and Fentanyl.
There is DNA evidence linking the murderer to crimes in both Sacramento and southern California, so this case should be expedited one way or the other quite decisively.
When asked yesterday if McNamara deserved any credit for assisting the police in their arrest, Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones said, ““It kept interest and tips coming in, but other than that there was no information extracted from that book that directly led to the apprehension.”
Replied Oswalt on Twitter: “[Michelle] didn’t care about getting any shine. She cared about the Golden State Killer being behind bars and the victims getting some relief.”
5. “Let’s Make Sure That We Keep This Confidential”
Sorry, Roger. The New York Times kept it Colinfidential, and if you read the story yesterday in which the tapes of last October’s NFL kneeling-protest summit are revealed, you see a room in which the players want to discuss the issue and the owners want to discuss spin and p.r.
Meanwhile, perhaps it’s only a coincidence, but San Francisco 49er defensive back Eric Reid was considered enough of a personage to be invited to the summit, but now six months later he is without a team and no one appears interested in signing him. Did Reid’s wearing a Kaepernick T-shirt over his dress shirt and tie to the meeting have anything to do with that?
Dig it: Fans who believe that players should keep politics off the field have a terrific point. But they should be consistent. The moment you put the flag and the national anthem onto the field you bring politics into the discussion. Contrary to what a lot of Americans believe, one of the wonderful things about being a United States citizen is that you are under no obligation to love the U.S.A. You are only obliged to obey its laws.
By playing the national anthem in public (plays don’t do this, movies don’t do this) at an entertainment event, owners (in all sports) are demanding a public show of loyalty from fans and players both. To not stand is to risk the opprobrium of those around you, and that’s fine. But that’s as far as the penalty should extend in a free society where people have First Amendment rights. Colin Kaepernick did not actually start this war: people who play the national anthem did.
Meanwhile, just a few hours after this story was released, Robert Kraft snapped at an NFL administrative assistant. He’d phoned in, presumably to speak with Roger, and was put on hold, during which time he heard a recording of the Eagles’ winning play in the last Super Bowl (52 was it?). When he finally got back through to a live voice, he was salty and mean. Surprised?
A Little Respect
Before there was Daft Punk, there was the British synth-pop duo Erasure, i.e., singer Andy Bell and Vince Clarke. This 1988 single went to No. 14 on the Billboard charts. The openly gay Bell has helped to make the duo icons in the LGBT community, and they’ve been championing the cause long before anyone ever used those four letters together.
Fox, ESPN, ESPN2
Do the Browns see the next Carson Wentz in Josh Allen and pick him?
Four quarterbacks—two Joshes, one Sam and one Baker—and in what order they will be picked is anyone’s guess. Two players who will undisputedly be studs and Pro Bowlers: RB Saquon Nelson and OG Quenton Barkley, or is it the other way around? Cleveland with picks 1 and 4. Do they trade down on one. Do they secure Saquon or Quenton (or DE Bradley Chubb or DB Minkah Fitzpatrick) with a pick? The first 10 picks here are Must-See TV. By the way, we likeMike Mayock’s mock draft, though our gast is flabbered at the thought that Rosen would still be available at No. 15 (though he’d love playing for the Cardinals and they’d love him(.
Inside the Oval Office, Donald Trump hosting French president Emmanuel Macron: “They’re all saying what a great relationship we have, and they’re actually correct. We do have a very special relationship. In fact, I’ll get that little piece of dandruff off — we have to make him perfect. He is perfect.”
2. Truck Stop*
*The judges who are KISS fans will also accept, “Detroit Truck City”
In Detroit, 13 trucks all stop beneath an overpass to help prevent a potential jumper from killing himself by leaping off the I-696 overpass. If this were a better world, Evel Knievel would then be seen flying over them on a motorcycle. Still, that’s a cool show of unity and what CB radios can do. This may be the best argument against driverless trucks yet.
It’s wonderful that they helped save a life, but when the foiled jumper wakes up this morning, he’ll still be in Detroit, so…
3. Philadelphia Freedom
Just in time for Game 5, rapper Meek Mill is released from prison, rings a replica of the Liberty Bell inside the Wells Fargo Center, and then the Sixers dispatch the Heat in Game 5 for their first playoff series win in six years. Bring on either the Celtics (yawn) or the Bucks (Yay!). Giannis, Ben and Embiid are the future of the Eastern conference.
Simmons and Embiid both posted double-doubles while veteran J.J. Redick scored a game-high 27 points.
4. Coast-to-Coast Pedaling
Did you know that there’s a TransAmerica Bicycle Trail? Well, there is and that’s it and it was launched unofficially in 1973. Here are details. Give yourself three months.
5. Hardware Store
Before Liverpool’s 5-2 victory against A.S. Roma at Anfield (Liverpool) in the first leg of their Champions League semi, violence erupted just outside the pitch. An Irish supporter of Liverpool was hit over the head and two Roma fans were arrested. He is in critical conditions. Guns are a no-no in Great Britain, which is why this hooligan was spotted carrying a hammer.
The late Ronny Jordan (1962-2014; he’s playing the guitar here) wrote this song and released it in 1993 (the vocalist here is Dana Bryant) and most of us would have never heard of it if Allison Janney, as C.J. Clegg, had not lip-synched it on The West Wing in 2000 near the end of Season 1. What a treat. The song is phenomenal, but we need to mention Bryant’s name again, because what would this song be without her sexy, superfine voice?
Real Madrid at Bayern Munich
2:45 p.m. FS1
Robert Lewandowski is not only Bayern’s top scorer (28 goals), but Real Madrid is looking to sign him after the season concludes. That’s cold.
These two super clubs have won four of the past five Champions League finals, but only one will advance this time. The first of two legs.
On an otherwise sublime spring afternoon in Toronto, a white Ryder van jumps a curb and mows down more than a dozen pedestrians, taking 10 lives. That would represents one-sixth of all the murders in Canada’s largest city last year.
A funny thing happened, though. None of Canada’s news stations referred to it as “terrorism” and the police were able to apprehend the man, even though he appeared to be brandishing a weapon at them, without shooting him. How ever do they do it?
2. Barack In The U.S.S.R.*
Gabriela Isler of Venezuela won the pageant, in case you want to win trivia at your local watering hole this week
*Of course, the judges will always accept “Pee: Did He?”
Donnie, you have some ‘splainin’ to do…Bloomberg News, which we predict will become the next news service to be referred to as “failing” or “lying” by an orangy septuagenarian, dug into the flight records and learned that Donald Trump arrived in Moscow on Friday, November 8, 2013, and stayed over two nights, leaving Sunday morning. That directly contradicts what he told James Comey privately on two different occasions, about not having stayed overnight in Moscow. Never mind what most innocent folks would have said: That’s ludicrous, man. I’m not about to soil good mattresses at a Ritz-Carlton and be charged a major replacement fee.
Why is this entire presidency always coming back to A Few Good Men? This latest episode has Lt. Weinberg running over to the Moscow Airport to retrieve the flight records and bringing in two Russian air-traffic controllers to sit in the courtroom as a bluff, no? And yes, Michael Cohen is totally the Kiefer Sutherland character. Or Lt. Markinson. We have not decided on that one yet.
The Yankee rookie that generated all the print this spring was infielder Gleyber Torres (who collected his first Major League hit last night, a single). The newcomer the Bronx was buzzing about was Giancarlo Stanton, who finally had a decent night at the plate last night in New York’s 14-1 victory (4-4 with a home run, although his most impressive plate appearance was rebounding from an 0-2, 2 outs count in the first inning to work a walk; three Yankee runs would follow).
But the BEST new player in pinstripes, the one who is about to Wally Pipp third baseman Brandon Drury, is 23 year-old Miguel Andujar. We’ve been tweeting about him in the last week as the right-handed hitter has consistently shown some pop in his bat. Last night he had a home run and a double, the seventh consecutive game in which he’s had at least one extra-base hit. Two other Yankees under the age of 24 have ever done that: Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle.
Didi leads the majors in RBI with 24, which is not a bad total after 21 games.
Since opening the season 0-fer-12, Andujar is batting .400 and tied for the league lead with 8 doubles. His 12 extra-base hits are just two shy of the league leader, Didi Gregorius, who, oh yeah, just happens to be his teammate and hit a grand slam last night.
The Yanks are only 12-9 and yes, we are waving the pom pons, but this lineup is going to be extraordinary (they still don’t even have Greg Bird back yet, although Tyler Austin hit a moon shot to left-center last night and has been filling in just fine). As I tweeted last weekend, I see Torres playing second in order to allow Andujar to stay in the lineup, so that you’ve potentially got a batting order of Brett Gardner, Aaron Judge, Stanton, Didi, Gary Sanchez, Aaron Hicks, Bird/Austin, Andujar and Torres.
When Gardner sits, the Yankees field a lineup of players all under 30. Have watched this team all our lives: this is potentially the most potent lineup of hitters they’ve ever had. They’re already six home runs ahead of Seattle’s pace that set the single-season home-run record of 264 in 1997. And anyone watching them this April will tell you they’ve been relatively cold, because it’s been unseasonably cold. Wait until these bats heat up. You’ll see them putting up 10 or more runs a game quite often.
Former Notre Dame and Seattle Seahawk defensive lineman Kona Schwenke, one of three Hawaiian islanders who were part of Brian Kelly’s first recruiting class (Manti Te’o and Robby Toma), died in his sleep this weekend. An autopsy is pending. He was 25.
To all who knew him, Kona was a gentle giant. My lone Kona Schwenke memory, from 2010, the last season I spent embedded in South Bend. It was October 27 in the early evening. A few hours earlier, during incredible gusts of wind, student manager Declan Sullivan had fallen from a hydraulic lift and died. Now it was about 7 p.m. and the night was actually quite placid.
I was walking up the South Quad, having just returned from Fisher Hall (Sullivan’s dorm) in a failed attempt to speak with Sullivan’s rector. I’m pretty sure Brian Hamilton, then of the Chicago Tribune, was with me. Walking east, we passed South Dining hall and were approaching the little front porch at northwestern end of Dillon Hall (Kona’s dorm, and also mine). Standing or sitting there were three to four Notre Dame football players, saying nothing, just listening as Kona was gently strumming what I believe was a ukulele. As if he were playing a requiem.
Meet Rob Pope, the real-life Forrest Gump. Pope, a British veterinarian, walked into a Mobile, Ala., barbershop on September 14, 2016, and from there he just started “ruh-NING.” Pope, 39, ran to Santa Monica.
From Santa Monica he ran to Maine. From Maine he returned to San Francisco. From San Francisco he ran to South Carolina. He’s had to return to England a few times, mostly to renew his travel visa, but on his next leg he plans to make it to Monument Valley.
Oh, and he can really run. This past weekend Pope ran a 2:36 at the London Marathon, which is an incredible time for a non-pro. Letsrun.com has the write-up. You’ll be seeing him profiled on the news shows before long.
Walker Capital update: Okay, Susie B., we got back in on MH’s 2018 stock pick, GBTC, when it fell to $11 per share. This morning it’s at $16.15, so up more than 40% since we got back in, but still way down from its January 2 opening of $24.85. We’ll stay tuned if you do.
Don’t Pull Your Love*
Binge-ing our way through The West Wing has provided the ancillary benefit of reacquainting us with some long lost favorite tunes (and introducing us to a new one or two: tomorrow, more on that). This one is heard in the background at the opening of Episode 2, Season 2. It’s from Seventies one-hit wonders Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds who might’ve enjoyed a more fruitful career if only they’d have thunk up a pithier band name. The trio of Los Angelenos had great success with this 1971 tune as it soared to No. 4 on the Billboard chart.
They’re actually very talented. Kind of reminds you of Blood, Sweat & Tears, no? (they’d have a bigger hit in 1975—look it up—but it’s not half as good as this tune)
*We need to create an MH Faves list. This one belongs.
8 p.m. TCM
Few films inspired Mad Men as much as this 1960 Best Picture Oscar winner. Part comedy, part drama. Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine and Fred MacMurray. Some Best Picture winners are snoozers. This one is not.
A.S. Roma at Liverpool
2:45 p.m. FS1
This is the undercard matchup of the Champions League semis (tomorrow you get the headliners, Real Madrid at Bayern Munich). Liverpool last won the CL in 2005. Roma never has but played in the final in 1984.
1) Unarmed 2) black man foils murder spree against 3) fellow minorities by 4) white supremacist using 5) AR-15 that 6) overly lenient gun laws allowed him to have. Six reasons @realDonaldTrump has NOT tweeted about it.
A nearly naked, deranged white supremacist (redundancy alert) murdered four people, all minorities, at a Nashville-area Waffle House in the early hours of Sunday morning. Were it not for the decisive actions taken by James Shaw, Jr., a black patron who is the same age as the gunman (29), the number would have been at least triple that.
Checking boxes as to why Donald Trump has not tweeted about it yet…
Hero was a good guy WITHOUT a gun, 2) Hero was black, 3) Victims were black 4) Assailant used an AR-15, 5) Assailant is a white supremacist 6) Gun laws so comically lenient that even after scaling a White House fence and being arrested by Secret Service, even after they took away his guns, law allowed local officials to return said guns to the assailant’s father, who then promptly returned them to his son.
The suspect is still on the run…
p.s. No one has explained how it was so quickly determined that this suspect is who he is. Curious about that…
2. The Wife Of The Party
It took a funeral and a weekend away from her husband to put a smile back on Melania Trump’s face. She’s probably already looking forward to when 41 passes.
Nice picture of the ex presidents and wives! Melania looks very welcomed by all! This is how it should be! pic.twitter.com/UqcbK0raga
Her husband, the president, did not attend as the White House statement reads, “out of respect.” But we thought funerals were where you paid your respects. It’s all so confusing.
p.s. Look at Melania’s heels. How do women spend more than five minutes in those walking torture chambers?
3. Belt Way
On Friday evening we watched pesky Yankee batter Reynaldo Torres work a 13-pitch at bat (he flied out to right) against a Toronto Blue Jay pitcher and wondered what the longest at-bat in MLB history was, but then of course we were distracted by something shiny and did not follow through on investigating it.
On Sunday afternoon in Anaheim, San Francisco Giant Brandon Belt solved the riddle, working an MLB-record (at least dating back to 1998, when pitch counts began being accurately recorded) 21-pitch at-bat versus Angel rookie Jaime Barrio (Rule No. 7). Officially, it was 3 balls, 2 strikes and 16 foul balls before Belt also flew out to right. The at-bat lasted 12 minutes.
Later in the contest, Belt would hit a home run.
Incidentally, Belt’s initials are baseball short-hand for a walk. Which he did not.
4. Forbidden Fruit*
*The judges will also accept “How Do You Like Them Apples” or “Fruit Flies”
Delta Airlines passenger Crystal Tadlock was flying from Paris to Denver with a layover in Minneapolis. Delta handed out snack bags to passengers (very nice) and Tadlock decided to save her apple for the second, shorter leg of her journey. The problem is that when she landed in the Twin Cities she forgot to declare it, U.S. customs officials found it, and handed her a $500 fine.
Tadlock is going to fight this in court. Meanwhile, this may be the first apple that is more expensive than something that is made by Apple.
5. He’s QUITE A Muslim
In his first Premier League season with Liverpool after coming over from A.S. Roma, Egyptian Mohamed Salah was named the PFA Player of the Year. Salah, 25, leads the Premier League in goals scored (31) and is sixth in assists (9) with three matches remaining. He’s put Liverpool into third place in the EPL (the top non-Manchester club in the league) and he’s also put them into the semis of the Champions League.
You’ll see more of Salah this June, as Egypt plays in the World Cup in by far the easiest group: Egypt, Uruguay, Saudi Arabia and host Russia (two teams will advance).
It’s funny. Between 1974 and 2013, every PFA Player of the Year (the MVP for what is the most visible sports league in the world) was European. Then in 2014 Luis Suarez of Uruguay won it. The last three winners have been Riyad Mahrez of Algeria, N’golo Kante of France (but his parents are from Mali) and Salah of Egypt.
The world keeps spinning….
Who’s an even more fun and quirky Nineties band than They Might Be Giants? How about the Barenaked Ladies of suburban Toronto? This 1998 tune topped the Billboard charts in the U.S. for—appropriately—one week. It’s reminiscent of another song, “The Hook,” by another mid-Nineties act, Blues Traveler, in that it intersperses a chorus with improvised white rap. The band’s designated rapper and lead guitarist, Ed Robertson, came up with the lyrics himself in one mad moment of genius.
Thunder at Jazz
10:30 p.m. TNT
Utah’s tribute to the late Seventies/early Eighties Astros is touching
Attended a playoff game in Salt Lake City 20 years ago and it was so far removed from the hook that I still recall it well (and that game tipped off at like 12:30 p.m. local time). Quick: What movie has a scene or two from inside the Delta Center or whatever it’s now called (Vivant Smart Home Center…it rolls right off the tongue!). And what’s up with those Jazz fire unis?!? Loved ’em AND hated ’em.
We never claim to be experts on matters racial, but doesn’t Mr. Goldberg mean “homosexual overtimes?” Either way, that’s quite a soundbyte.
1. Weapon Of Mask Destruction
In his first career playoff game, Joel Embiid went on a personal 7-0 run down the stretch in Miami as the Sixers took Game 3 from the Heat. Returning after a 10-game absence following a fractured orbital bone (due to a collision with rookie teammate Markelle Fultz), Embiid helped the Sixers outscore the Heat 32-14 in the fourth quarter. On their floor.
The playoffs have provided some pleasant surprises for fans searching for some new blood in the Association: Philly, New Orleans, Utah and of course, Indiana.
2. Mookie Of The Year
If you haven’t been paying attention, the biggest news outside of baseball’s chilly, chilly April (and March—what were they thinking?) is the red-hot start of the Boston Red Sox. The Sawx are 16-2, having taken 2 of 3 from the Yankees last week at Fenway and having just swept the Angels in Anaheim, which included a shushing of Shohei.
It’s been a team effort, but 5’9″ right fielder Mookie Betts has particularly shined, what with baseball’s highest batting average (.391). You Better, You Better, You Betts is also tied in the A.L. lead for home runs with six, while a trio of teammates—Rafael Devers, Hanley Ramirez and J.D. Martinez—are in the top five in the A.L. in RBI. A reminder that Boston is doing all of this with a new manager, Alex Cora, and without its marquee player, Dustin Pedroia, who has a knee injury and won’t return for at least another fortnight.
We’re already girding ourselves for games with the Bombers later this summer (and fall?) approaching the length of cricket test matches. You’ve been warned.
3. Rudy Can Fail
Fresh off his latest divorce announcement (“How’d they stay married for 15 years? That’s a better question!” said a source close to the 73 year-old), former New York City district attorney and mayor Rudy Giuliani announced yesterday that he will be joining the president’s personal legal team. Rudy announced that he’s come on board to “negotiate an end” to the Mueller probe. Like what? Is he going to offer America $130,000 to sign an NDA about Russian interference into the election?
Being that Rudy was a key component in Donald Trump’s campaign strategy and was angling for the job that was later given to Jeff Sessions—YUUUUUGE mistake there, right, Donald—this doesn’t sound like it’s compromised before it’s begun at all, does it? Meanwhile, did you know that Rudy’s pop, Harold, did time in Sing Sing for felony assault and robbery? We did not.
Also, piggybacking on yesterday’s “Wrong Island” item, Rudy grew up in Garden City, Long Island. So that’s Michael Cohen, Sean Hannity, Anthony Scaramucci, Bill O’Reilly and Rudy. Plus Donald is from Queens, which is pretty much the beginning of Long Island as you exit midtown Manhattan. #WrongIsland
Meanwhile, this is what Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, who’ll probably have his own show on MSNBC when this is all over, told MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace yesterday:
“I think three weeks ago I said that ultimately [Cohen] was going to be indicted and he was going to flip on the president. I was the first one to call it. And now, you know, people that are close to the president are telling him the same thing.”
“I mean, this is a very, very serious matter for the president at this point. There’s no question that Michael Cohen knows where many, many bodies are buried. They are going to turn him. And when they turn him, the president is going to be in a very, very bad place. And I’m going to make a prediction now. I do not think the president will serve out his term. I just don’t.”
4. Finding Memo
Yesterday James Comey’s private notes scribbled while he was still director of the FBI were published (at the behest of certified worst Californian Devin Nunes). They’d probably sell better than A Higher Loyalty” if someone were to put them on Amazon. You can read the takeaways here, but it’s worth noting that Trump believes reporters who get leaks and run with them should be imprisoned. I guess only Trump is allowed to leak (“Pompeo Went On Secret Trip to North Korea”).
5. Paradise? You’re Already Here
Sunday is Earth Day, an annual reminder to put down your smart phones and appreciate the fact that you’re already inhabiting paradise (at least the parts of earth that man has yet to “civilize”).
I mean, if you believe in God and expect him to top this after you die, let’s just say your expectations may be a little unrealistic. And if you don’t believe in God, well at least hopefully you can appreciate what time multiplied by natural selection, wind, gravity, sunlight, oxygen and water is able to produce. And of course, you can believe in a Higher Power (God for short) and still appreciate time times the elements.
It’s a pretty special place, your home. Let’s all take care of it.*
*Also, while we have your attention, here’s a quick two-graf refutation of “intelligent design.” There are folks who point to things like the Grand Canyon or giraffes and claim this is evidence of intelligent design. Not at all. There’s been a lot of Stupid Design over the eons but because of the laws of natural selection, Stupid Design has a way of vanishing.
It’s not just that people drove this. People actually bought this.
Look at it this way: You look at a Ferrari and use it as proof that a greater being is behind the production of all automobiles. And then I show you photos of the discontinued Gremlin, Pacer and Edsel.
After placing a call and getting a busy signal—ask your folks—Harry Nilsson wrote this classic and recorded it in 1967. The song became a top five hit when Three Dog Night released a more electrified version in 1969. Born in Brooklyn, Nilsson ran away to Los Angeles as a teen and launched a successful career as a songwriter. He was one of the “Hollywood Vampires” in the early Seventies, a notorious carousing club formed by Alice Cooper that also included Keith Moon, Ringo Starr and Mickey Dolenz. Nilsson’s greatest pop culture posting, however, is the fact that both Mama Cass and Moon died in the same room of his London flat four years apart. Do NOT crash at Nilsson’s.
Live From Lincoln Center
9 p.m. PBS
Broadway nerds are familiar with the work of the two-time Tony Award-winning actress (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Anything Goes), but if you watched closely you’ve also seen her slumming it in Flight of the Conchords and Gilmore Girls. Joining her? Jonathan Groff, whom you may know from Hamilton (King George) or Spring Awakening but whom you may know better as the lead in Mindhunter.
Note: We already posted an IAH! this a.m. but had a couple more items we wanted to add….
The Daily Harrumph: LaForce-LeBron
Let’s begin with two notes on the Allie LaForce-LeBron James postgame interview last night: 1) this is NOT a big deal and while any words we devote here seems to contradict that, please understand we are only doing so because we feel too many people got it too incorrect and because really, do we want to spend any more time talking about Starbucks? and 2) Kyle Koster over at The Big Leadsaid most of what we want to say, so there may be a little overlap, but give it a read anyway.
To begin: Was San Antonio Spur coach Gregg Popovich’s wife a public figure? Coach Pop is, but was she? Did you know her name? Do you know what she looked like? Did you realize he’d been married for four decades? Did you know she was ill?
At most, you knew Pop was married, is my guess. This was not the death of another Texas matriarch, Barbara Bush. This was basically a private citizen married to the NBA’s longest-tenured but also most intensely private coach.
So the first question is simple: After LeBron James had just scored 46 points in Cleveland’s Game 2 win to even the series with Indiana, did the death of Erin Popovich really need to be broached on national TV by Allie LaForce? What relevancy did it have to the game?
Second, the cool kids in the media on Twitter, sports journalism’s inner circle, admonished us to “put down our pitchforks” for crying foul here. Part of the reasoning was that LaForce had informed LeBron of the news moments before they went on camera. In other words, she’d given him a heads up and asked if it was okay. And they believe for some reason this absolves everyone of blame. No. It doesn’t work that way. Here’s why:
1) If you are going to ask for an on-camera reaction, clue us viewers in to the fact that you’re not springing this on LBJ live by beginning, “As we just spoke about off-camera…” We’re not mind readers. We can only go on what we see.
2) Since you did inform LBJ off-camera first, then his reaction to your telling him this news makes no sense. Is he acting? Really? Or maybe in the chaos of postgame stuff, he didn’t actually hear what you whispered in his ear about Popovich or it failed to register. Either way, it’s either a bad look for TNT because they sprung it on LeBron or it’s a bad look for LeBron because he was being somewhat of a phony in terms of his reaction.
3) Chances are LaForce’s producer wanted this because it would make good TV. And it did. It just makes terrible humanity. What we love about Pop is that his B.S. detector is particularly acute and while he probably wasn’t watching and he may not care, if you were to present him with what transpired as an objective scenario, using other people as subjects, his first thoughts would be that TNT was exploiting that poor women’s death for a sound byte.
Per TNT, @ALaForce did give @KingJames the news before her interview and asked if he’d like to comment, which he did admirably. A fine, professional job done by both.
Of course, the usual Front-Row-Press-Row or ESPN talking head gang came immediately to Allie’s defense. And we have nothing against LaForce (we don’t know her but she is bright and friendly and yes, beautiful) but we wonder if these same people would come to the defense of an unknown reporter as swiftly. And maybe when that many of us are griping about this, that might say something about whether what took place is at least questionable (sheerly by the number of people questioning it). We found it amusing how quickly some of the more important folks on Sports Twitter rose up to tell us there’s nothing to see here.
Not only did she give him a heads up, but per Ernie Johnson, she asked if he wanted to comment on it and LeBron said he would. So I think y’all can put down the pitchforks on this one. https://t.co/Lp5yjHGxfG
We guess in the end it’s kind of like this: You know when you’re in a relationship and you ask your partner, “Are you mad at me?” Well, you’re not posing that question unless your partner has a reason to be mad at you. Likewise, you can defend this interview all you want, but the fact that so many of us feel it was disingenuous and exploitative speaks for itself.
Pop shared this perspective two days ago, while his wife was reportedly dying, in the middle of a Playoff series … just think about that. https://t.co/36O4Wqubrv
Finally, last night someone else on Twitter admonished us for not tsk-tsk’ing the reporter who asked Kevin Durant, after practice, about the same issue. They wondered why we were so much more critical of LaForce than of the reporter?
Really, dude? One instance was a post-practice reporters’ scrum that someone happened to be videotaping. The other was live TV, moments after the man being interviewed had scored 46 points. There’s nothing wrong with asking Durant or LeBron for a reaction, but there’s no need to grand-stand it. It’s 2018. People are going to have smartphones out recording video. But the guy who asked KD wasn’t asking him specifically to get an on-air response before millions of viewers.
In The Dark
We didn’t watch much of ESPN’s broadcast of the 16-inning marathon between the Indians and Twins in San Juan last night, but we did see the in-booth interview with MLB commissioner Rob Manfred.
You could call it questionable taste to air a night baseball game being powered by generators when all the residents of Puerto Rico are without power (I do), but then you can also make the argument that the game was a welcome reprieve. And while I imagine host Karl Ravech and analyst Tim Kurkjian discussed the island’s blackout and its post-hurricane struggles at length during the telecast (at least I hope so), what struck me as particularly discordant is that Manfred never did. In fact, when asked to assess this excursion by MLB to the ravaged island territory, his answer was, “I don’t think it could’ve gone any better.”
That’s a little tone deaf, no?
Michael Cohen lives on Long Island. Sean Hannity lives on Long Island. Bill O’Reilly lives on Long Island (note: as Jerry Seinfeld has explained, it’s “on Long Island but in Manhattan,” even though both are islands; don’t ask, we don’t know).
Donald Trump is from Queens, which is technically part of Long Island. Our guess is that a good one-third of that Theta Tau group from Syracuse is from Long Island. Anyone sensing a pattern here.
Don’t get us wrong: We love Brooklyn (part of LongIsland technically), the Rockaways and, on the far eastern end, Montauk. It’s just (most everything) in between (love you, too, Jones Beach).
Baseball’s about to break its games-postponed-in-April record (now at 25) and there’s still 10 days left. Perhaps they should have broken the record last night in San Juan, Puerto Rico, when generators were used for the Indians-Twins game on ESPN even thought the entire island was in the midst of a blackout?
Two things about eastern Pennslyvania native and Penn State product Saquon Barkley: 1) He’s not a quarterback and 2) He’s the best player in the April 28 draft.
If you’re the Cleveland Browns, who have the No. 1 and No. 4 overall picks, you take Saquon first overall. And here’s why: 1) He’s not going to be available at No. 4, 2) If you really want a quarterback, either Josh Allen, Sam Darnold or Josh Rosen will be available at No. 4 and no one really knows how any of them will pan out with the Browns, 5) Ezekiel Elliott.
With Barkley, the 0-16 Browns would take a great leap forward
With Ezekiel Elliott in 2016, a rookie who led the NFL in rushing (1,631 yards), the Dallas Cowboys finished 13-3, their best record in nine years. Without him last year (suspension, problems with Roger), the Cowboys finished 9-7 and failed to make the playoffs. Barkley is not a clone of Elliott, but you know you’re not going to get the off-the-field problems and you know you’re getting the franchise’s best running back since the legendary Jim Brown (Did they name the team after him? No?).
Take him at No. 4. He’s a steamroller. May even be better than Zack Martin, who has been to four Pro Bowls in four seasons.
Anyway, we’d still pass on a QB (unless that QB is Rosen) at No. 4 and take either OG Quenton Nelson (the next-best player in the draft) or defensive end Bradley Chubb (the top defensive player). The Browns have great guards but Nelson is the best interior lineman in the draft and he’s Dick Butkus on offense. Nasty. And like Barkley, he’s N.J./eastern Pa. area kid who just wants to play football. He fits the Browns’ mentality.
Allen, Darnold and Rosen are all California boys and, I’m sorry, anecdotal evidence about the Midwest here, are all huge risks on the south shore of Lake Erie. Darnold, I feel, will be particularly lost here.
Select two future Hall of Famers and don’t get cute, Cleveland. It’s a short drive to Canton.
2. Sully, MeetTammie Jo*
Who do you have in the title role? Allison Janney? Emma Thompson?
*The judges will also accept, “When The Shults Hit The Fan”
She’s 56, she’s an alum of Mid-America Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas (“Go, Pioneers!”), a married mother of two, a former Navy fighter pilot, and likely saved the lives of 144 passengers with her calm under pressure while piloting Southwest Airlines flight 1380.
The name Tammie Jo Shults sounds like someone who’d be working on a plane serving drinks. Instead, she’s correctly being praised as a hero pilot after an engine exploded over the skies of New Jersey on Tuesday. The plane banked hard left, but Shults calmly radioed the tower at Philadelphia International Airport. When air traffic control asked if the craft was on fire, she matter-of-factly replied, “No, but part of it is missing.”
Nobody on the MH staff is qualified to judge just how gifted a pilot Shults is in relation to her peers (there’s a long list of things the staff is unqualified to do…we’ll save that for a later blog), but something tells us there’s a movie in the offing.
3. Breaking Bad Comes To Appalachia
The white-trash railing and American flags were a dead giveaway.
On Tuesday police officers arrested 90 members of the three-state Peterson drug ring and seized enough Fentanyl, a popular opiate, to kill 250,000 people. The Peterson brothers, Manget, based in Huntingdon, W. Va., and Willie, based in Detroit, have been distributing Fentanyl and heroin for years, but the DEA only sniffed them out a year or so ago.
The Peterson syndicate operated in Michigan, Ohio and West Virginia, three states hit hardest by the opioid crisis. And don’t ask us to tell you the difference between an opiate and an opioid. That’s homework for Susie B.
Meanwhile, we wonder what the Peterson brothers know about that Ohio situation a couple summers back in which an entire family of start-up cooks were murdered.
4. Bye, Bye Bruno
He only stood 5’10”, but Bruno Sammartino‘s pecs were 6’8″. The Pizzoferrato, Italy, native, one of the pro wrestling legends from an age before Vince McMahon, died yesterday at the age of 82.
Sammartino’s family hid from the Germans in the hills of Italy during World War II, then emigrated to Pittsburgh, where he discovered weightlifting (and quite likely Primanti Brothers’ sandwiches). He rose to fame in the Sixties and Seventies, selling out Madison Square Garden a record 187 times (in 211 appearances). He retired in 1981 but was always ready to rumble.
5. Did He Just Say That???
It was about 10:45 a.m. and CNBC, with co-anchors Sarah Eisen, David Faber and Carl Quintanilla manning the desk, opened a segment on Starbucks, the two black dudes, and how founder Howard Schultz and CEO Kevin Johnson have handled the kerfuffle (consensus: well). The guest was Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, above, a professor and assistant dean at Yale’s School of Management.
At one point, and we weren’t paying entirely close attention, Sonnenfeld was providing background on a decades earlier federal case and, quoting someone from that case, said the word, “niggers.” Yes, on basic cable. At 10:45 a.m. On a Wednesday.
We don’t want to make a federal case out of this, but it was bizarre to hear that word and we imagine a producer was in the anchors’ ears telling them how he wanted it handled (they never acknowledged it). The smart and African-American CNBC co-host Jon Fortt was standing just a few feet off set when this took place. Not sure if he might’ve piped up i on camera and mic’ed up.
Either way, there’s some irony to a Yale professor appearing on TV to talk about how companies can navigate the treacherous waters of perceived (or actual) racial bias and then just casually dropping “niggers” as if he’s Denzel in Training Day.
Now It’s Amazon’s Turn
This is Karen McDougall. American Media, i.e. the National Enquirer, has released her from the deal that say she can’t talk about her affair to remember with Trump. She has nothing to do with Amazon stock but how many Jeff Bezos pics should we run, anyway?
About two weeks before NFLX announced earnings, and just as the rash of Trump-tech news (Amazon tweets, Cambridge Analytica) was causing tech stocks to hit a relative nadir, we bought NFLX. At $297. It announced earnings on Monday after a 3% run-up to the call and has since risen another 10%.
Guess what? AMZN, which has jumped 12% since Trump’s last negative tweet a fortnight ago, announces earnings April 26. If you’re into this kind of thing, our guess is that it will climb more between now and then than it will after April 26. Just this week, from Monday morning, AMZN stock is up nearly 9% and will be boosted more today due to Jeff Bezos’ positive note yesterday about Amazon Prime reaching 100 million subscribers.
AMZN hit an all-time high of $1,617 on March 13th. Our guess is it will, short of WW3 starting, at least climb above $1,600 before next Thursday, when it announces earnings after the bell.
In 1981, Journey released an album, Escape, that was a monster. It spawned five hit singles, including uptempo classics “Don’t Stop Believin'” and “Stone In Love.” The titular song was never released as a single, but we always have been fond of it. Neil Schon shredding, Jonathan Cain tickling the keys (replacing the band’s founder, Gregg Rolie), and the man with the greatest falsetto this side of Freddie Mercury, Steve Perry.
Todd & Mel’s Mock Draft
8 p.m. ESPN
Considering the thinly veiled animus between Todd McShay and Mel Kiper, Jr., I hope they disclose how long it took for them to agree on whose name went first. Still, you’ve clicked on how many mock drafts in the past three months? Why not listen to these two? One of these draftniks will push Josh Allen as the No. 1 overall, and the other one will be intelligent.