by John Walters

Starting Five

Accountability Is For Everybody

Last night on The Late Show, host Stephen Colbert found himself in a pickle. The man who has hammered Trump constantly, with good reason, now had to confront another rich, old, white man who had allegedly been a pu**y grabber. The problem is this man is the person who installed him in the seat he presently occupies, affording him the opportunity to succeed David Letterman (whom, yes, we will note, had an affair with a younger staffer once).

Colbert rose to the occasion.

Above, the clip….

2. 3-D Horror Show

Remember this scene from In The Line of Fire?

Well, 25 years later, it’s kind of come true. You can make your own guns using a 3-D printer and the government has yet to tackle the subject (we’ll admit, we’re with Malkovich on “Why did you kill that bird, asshole?”). It’s such a potentially horrific reality—no need for a background check, untraceable weapons, etc.—that both the Mad Libs and President Trump are united in their opposition to them.

Now, to be real here: Trump will oppose them because the NRA is going to oppose them because 3-D printer guns will make a YUUUUUGE dent in their profit margin. Stay tuned. We love where Trump types, “Already spoke to the NRA” as if they’re a federally funded group, a part of our government. They’re nothing more than a special interest group, you know, like the Sierra Club.

3. St. James School?

This will turn out to be the career-defining (and for a certain segment of the population, most dangerous) deed of LeBron James’ career. Yesterday in his hometown of Akron, funded principally by James’ foundation, the I Promise School opened its doors to 240 2nd-, 3rd- and 4th-graders.

IPS is a regular public, non-charter, non-private, non-voucher school. It fully complies with the Akron public school system. It’s just that LeBron James’ is funding it, and making sure that at-risk kids who don’t grow up to be 6’9″ will have a chance. Every student at IPS gets a bicycle, and there’s a pantry for their parents to buy food. Every student also gets a Chrome book on which to do homework and there’s a 7-week summer camp to keep them out of trouble.

Devon wants to encourage the proliferation of for-profit schools. Just like prisons.

This is truly something every athlete worth at least $50 million can easily handle and should do. Not only is LeBron James changing the lives of those children, but hopefully he is setting a standard that other rich and famous athletes and entertainers will follow. There is simply nothing more dangerous to the white status quo than the bottom-third of this country receiving a quality education. If that weren’t true, would a clown like Betsy DeVos be our Secretary of Education?

4. The Golden Bridge

If we were still doing “Where In The World” (perhaps we should), we’d ask you where this funky bridge is located. Turns out it’s in Vietnam.

The Golden Bridge near Da Nang is a 150-meter long footbridge that serves no real commuting purpose. It’s located 1,400 feet above sea level in the resort area of Ba Na Hills.

5. And Now A Few Words About The NFL, The Military and The GOP

At Yankee Stadium, you stand for the national anthem AND for God Bless America. Otherwise, you hate this country.

Yesterday we had what we can truly call a civil and respectful debate with a mutual follow on Twitter, a man named Josh from Indiana. You can look it up for yourself if you’re so inclined.

The gist of it is that he’s against NFL players kneeling for the anthem, doesn’t think it’s too big of a sacrifice considering the money they earn, that a lot of us have to do things at work we don’t like doing because our bosses tell us to do them, and lastly, that the point of protests are about winning hearts and minds. We respect Josh’s stance on the topic but simply disagree.

Wearing camo gear does not honor veterans. It’s insulting to them. Unless you’re willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, don’t bathe yourselves in their glory.

On his final argument, the hearts and minds issue, we’ll point him to a quote cited by Stephen Colbert in the clip at the top of today’s post. It comes from President John F. Kennedy: “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable.” That is, if you’re Cowboy owner Jerry Jones telling players that if they don’t stand for the anthem they’ll no longer be a Cowboy, then all you’re doing is asking for a nastier rebellion down the line. You’re not addressing your players VALID concerns, and that’s a problem.

Many of the same people who hate what some NFL players have been doing cite Martin Luther King, Jr., as an example of how disaffected African-Americans should protest. His protests were non-violent, they say. To which I ask, What’s so violent about kneeling?

But now let’s get to the real matter at hand: How and why the NFL (and MLB) strives so hard to equate patriotism to the military, and why Donald Trump and the GOP are in such lockstep with this idea. Because here is where the nefariousness enters, and where America has become a scary, fascist state.

What are we overcompensating for?

Since 9/11/2001, a day in which not a country, but fewer people than currently comprise the New York Yankees roster attacked the United States (using our commercial airlines as weaponry), America has forgotten its soul (which was sort of the point of the attack, so well-done, Mohammed). In the days after the attack, we’re not particularly sure which date exactly, the New York Yankees, the most recognizable brand in pro sports, began the tradition of playing “God Bless America” during the 7th-inning stretch.

In late September and October of 2001, it was a meaningful and earnest gesture. A rallying cry. Now, 17 years later, it feels oppressive. Before every playing of “God Bless America” at Yankee Stadium, the Pinstripers trot out a military veteran and his family. That’s fine, but what about other people whose jobs serve society in indispensable ways? Why not trot out a teacher, a fireman, a policeman?

Why are baseball players wearing camo caps or jerseys on Memorial Day weekend? Why are flags suddenly the size of entire fields? And why is the president conflating kneeling for the national anthem, a gesture done to draw attention to the senseless violence committed against innocent black men (Did you catch the Trayvon Martin documentary on Paramount last night?), with disrespect to the military?

Let’s back up a moment here and give you some numbers. The United States is just 12.3% black. The NFL, however, is 70% African-American. The NBA is 74.4% African-American. The American penal system is 33% black (the largest single ethnicity incarcerated).

While the military is not overwhelmingly black, it should be noted that there are approximately as many black females in the military as white females. Blacks still make up the largest minority group in the military and, more fittingly for Trump/GOP/NFL owners, only 17% of military enlistees come from families that earn more than $80,000 a year. The military is not a place for the upper-middle class or wealth class.

(Related: Read this excellent story by Howard Bryant that talks about the Pro Sports Military Complex and read about Nick Francona, Indian manager Terry’s son, who dropped out of Penn to serve in the Marines in Afghanistan. Nick was later fired by the Mets for standing up to the exploitation of veterans in MLB.)

What does it all add up to? Our favorite pro spectator sports have a disproportionately high number of African-Americans. Our military, the world’s most potent fighting force ever assembled (everyone says so), is disproportionately made up of lower-income Americans. Remember, this is a volunteer Army/Navy/Air Force, etc., and we’re not technically at war with anyone. Haven’t been since 1945.

Jerry Jones actually failed to remove his hat when the Cowboys played the national anthem before practice this weekend. Here’s the bigger question: Why are the Cowboys playing the anthem before practices?

The men in power in this nation, almost all of whom are white, understand that this nation is able to push others around, in terms of international policy, because we wield the biggest stick on the planet. And the cornerstone of that stick, to mix metaphors, is our lower-class. So how do you maintain a situation in which the bottom half of the country  continues to work against its own best interests. By creating a false narrative that the military is perhaps its most—nay, only, unless you are an uncommonly gifted athlete—attractive option to escape an adulthood of poverty.

How do you do that?

You do a few things: 1) You blow sunshine up their asses, you glorify the idea of being part of the military, 2) You continue to neglect public education so that lower-class families do not see that as an avenue of escape 3) You attack anyone who bothers to ask why the status quo as such is unpatriotic. For example, if someone wonders aloud why the United States spends more on defense than  China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, India, France, United Kingdom, and Japan COMBINED….


….while its public schools and infrastructure are in disarray, the default mode is to attack that person as being unpatriotic and unsupportive of our veterans. Which is of course not the case at all. As I mentioned here once before, I visited a newsstand at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport last December where the cashier (and I’m sure she was just doing what her manager ordered her to do) asked every one of us who bought an item if we wanted to donate to military families so that they could make overseas phone calls.

We’re the most overfunded military in the history of mankind and they’ve got civilians pan-handling for them?

Back to sports. Did you know that the NFL actually devotes staff to working with its owners on investment opportunities? Think about that. You round up 32 billionaires, some of the wealthiest and most influential men in America, and you get them to collectively share what insights they have on the economy (or perhaps their own businesses) with one another and you use that information to invest their money for them. And you thought they were just haggling over “What is a tackle?” in their Park Avenue headquarters.

And so you ask yourself, Why are billionaires so obsessed with having even more money? Because for them it’s no longer about having the biggest yacht or the fifth home or the wife who is 39 years younger than you are, which is to say less than half your ago (props to you, Bob Kraft), it’s about power. It’s about maintaining the status quo.

Throw that money into campaign contributions. Buy the politicians who will maintain the status quo. Keep glorifying the military and defense of our country (the last nation that actually launched a prolonged attack on these United States was the Confederacy, but that’s another story) at the expense of all other issues that this nation faces. Use pro sports as a conduit to this cause so that Joe Sports Fan equates patriotism with fandom and fandom with unquestioned support of our armed forces. So that the schmuck at Fenway equates “Yankees Suck” with “Muslims Suck” even though he’s far more likely to be gunned down by a white man with a societal problem.

And while this is all happening, while we’re honoring our veterans during the 7th-inning stretch (while never, not once, mentioning that 22 veterans per day commit suicide), the men in power let it be known that the very people who play these games for our entertainment, who serve in our armed forces to help make them great, better keep their mouths shut.

Because preserving the status quo begins and ends with keeping the disenfranchised uneducated. And the moment a player kneels in hopes to raise awareness to some injustice to this country, he will be struck down far worse than if he’s a member of ISIS. Because nothing is more dangerous to these owners, to this GOP, than if the mob gets wise to their game.

Johnny Manziel has a job in pro football. Colin Kaepernick does not. That’s how serious they are about this issue.

I know I’ve meandered here, and this is a one-time-through draft. The NFL and MLB, particularly, have been working in league with the military (and taking their ad dollars, which are your tax dollars) for years. It’s a corrupt system. The next time you see local taxpayers foot the bill for an NFL/MLB stadium, maybe this will help you understand why.  Politicians reward owners who help bankroll their campaigns, and owners pay them back by promoting the military every chance they get. It helps the owners to have players who see no other opportunity for themselves and it helps politicians because military contracts are a huge favor to be able to hand out, which in turn helps them get reelected.

This isn’t about protecting the United States from foreign adversaries. This is about protecting the white power structure entrenched in these states from the enemy within: the lower and working and minority classes that vastly outnumber them, but from whose ranks they need to draw to fill their uniforms, both in the NFL and the military.

Music 101

Woman From Tokyo

Few bands were more tailor-made for Seventies album-oriented FM rock stations than Deep Purple. This 1973 song was the band’s most successful, as was the album it appeared on, but by the end of the year the British group, in its original incarnation, had dissolved. They played their final show together, oddly enough, in Osaka, Japan.

Remote Patrol

Blonde Crazy

6:30 p.m. TCM

Jimmy Cagney. Joan Blondell. You dirty rats. Dames. From 1931.


by John Walters

Tweet du Jour

A few people with whom we once worked send out these types of tweets regularly. Here’s a subtle nudge to them to maybe stop doing that (and, no, we never worked with Will Leitch but he tweets these out all the time, too).

Starting Five

Look! Another rich, older white guy behaving like a creep. Who knew!?!

Will CBS Soon Be Less Moonves?

Ronan Farrow has struck again, and this time Ronan’s arrow has struck CBS CEO Les Moonves in The New Yorker. And we thought Law & Order: SVU was an NBC show.

July 20, 1969: Man first walks on moon.

July 27, 2018: Farrow walks all over Moonves.

Actress/writer Illeana Douglas claims that when she spurned Moonves’ advances, her career suffered.

For the record, here’s the story. Six women have come forward and accused him of sexual harassment. Here’s the money graf:

Six women who had professional dealings with him told me that, between the nineteen-eighties and the late aughts, Moonves sexually harassed them. Four described forcible touching or kissing during business meetings, in what they said appeared to be a practiced routine. Two told me that Moonves physically intimidated them or threatened to derail their careers. All said that he became cold or hostile after they rejected his advances, and that they believed their careers suffered as a result.

Is Kim Richards (Paris Hilton’s aunt), the “Kim” who was a “former child actress” to whom Farrow refers only by first name?

Here’s the meat of Moonves’ response:

I recognize that there were times decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances. Those were mistakes, and I regret them immensely. But I always understood and respected — and abided by the principle — that ‘no’ means ‘no,’ and I have never misused my position to harm or hinder anyone’s career.

Did Les put the moves on Cagney? Or Lacey? Farrow’s story strongly implies he did.

Thinking that the CBS board will meet today and take those two sentences to mean that Moonves is copping to the accusations. The last sentence is meaningless. Moonves, 68, may be out by the time you read this. He’ll certainly be out before CBS reports earnings Thursday.

Jeff Fager, executive producer of 60 Minutes, is also portrayed as quite the scumbag (but not as bad as Moonves).

2. One Out Away From Glory, One Tweet Away From Infamy

Yesterday Sean Newcomb, 25, a pitcher with the Atlanta Braves whom we’d never heard of, pitched 8 2/3 innings of no-hit ball. Then Los Angeles Dodger shortstop Chris Taylor, the leadoff hitter, singled.

The Braves would still win, 4-1 (Newcomb’s reliever gave up an RBI base hit to Manny Machado), but soon after someone plumbing six year-old tweets of Newcomb found he’d used a few gay slurs back when he was in high school.


Please. We get it. Homophobic slurs and racist slurs have no place in society blah blah blah. They don’t. I’m not sure we want to play “This Is Your Life” with every athlete/celeb who licks fame, though, do we?

It was wrong. Newcomb owned up to it and apologized. Let’s move on, shall we?

3. McCain Enable

McCain, seated far right (of course)

We never quite understood why Xavier Prep alum Meghan McCain was on TV. Yes, we know who her dad is. And she’s bright enough. But it always seemed to us that her role on The View was to be the Republican in the room whom Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar could actually stomach.

On Friday, McCain, 33, said something that almost anyone else on TV would have been fired, at the least bit reprimanded, for. Here it is:

Correct us if we’re wrong, but has any host of any CNN or MSNBC program come right out and said on television, “I hate Donald Trump.” A host, not a guest? If so, please tell us. We don’t think anyone has and we imagine if they did so they’d be properly pilloried by the GOP.

It’s just another example of the double standard we currently live under. A CNN reporter, Kaitlyn Collins, can be prohibited from attending a White House media event because she had the temerity to ask the president a question as he was leaving a room (V.P. Mike Pence: “The administration believes in the freedom of the press…but maintaining the decorum that is due at the White House (Ha!)”). But it’s okay for Meghan McCain to say that she HATES Hillary Clinton, who by the way has never been indicted for anything, nor have any of her aides, and who unlike President Trump did sit for 11 uninterrupted hours of congressional hearings.

We understand that McCain’s father is terminally ill. That is sad. But she has always behaved and dressed a little like a spoiled little girl, the Veruca Salt of political pundits. This latest outburst is not a surprise.

4. It’s A Shame About Rays

Tropicana Field: The 8th Blunder of the World

The Tampa Bay Rays (53-53) are not a bad team. They’ve beaten the Yankees five of the last six times the two teams have played, and we don’t know any other outfit that can say that. But their ballpark, domed Tropicana Field, is awful (and located not close to the Tampa metro area; it’s actually across a long bridge and in St. Petersburg).

We checked. Between 2012 and 2017 the Rays finished DEAD LAST in attendance in Major League Baseball every single season. This year, and in 2011, they were second-to-last. You have to go back to 2010 to find a season in which the Rays finished 28th or higher, and that’s only two years removed from when they advanced to the World Series (yes, the Rays, er, Devil Rays, played in the World Series in 2008; we’d forgotten, too).

So let’s suggest that the Rays should move. And let’s further suggest that they migrate to a state that currently does not have a Major League Baseball franchise. Here are our top five suggestions:

  1. Portland, Ore. 2. Nashville  3. Indianapolis 4. Salt Lake City 5. Albuquerque

Reasons: Portland is just a beautiful city, particularly in the summer. And this quadrant of the country is least represented. Nashville is also a terrific town and was fourth in minor-league attendance last year. Indy was first overall in minor-league attendance and the only reason it’s not No. 1 for us is that there are already seven franchises within a 6-hour drive from Indy at the moment. Salt Lake City would provide a beautiful backdrop, i.e., the Wasatch Range, and this is another part of the country that is under-represented. Finally, the Duke City would provide the vista of the Sandia Crest behind the stadium and maybe everyone in town would stop cooking, selling and taking meth all summer long if they had a better diversion than the Albuquerque Isotopes minor-league team.

Portland: Lovely in the summer. Yes, there’ll be a few rainouts.

Dig: If you relocate Tampa to Portland, you move the franchise to the A.L. West, put Texas or Houston in the  A.L. Central, and move Cleveland (or Detroit) to the A.L. East. Problem solved.

For the record: The largest city in the nation without either an NFL or MLB franchise is San Antonio (brutally hot summer). The largest without an NBA franchise is San Diego (which long ago had the Clippers and before that, the Conquistadors of the ABA).

4. McNopoly

Turns out the Hamburglar is not the most sinister crook associated with McDonald’s (and it’s not Ray Kroc, either, though that’s more debatable). We only clicked on to this story from The Daily Beast after a number of recommendations on Twitter. It’s good. Take 15-20 minutes if you can spare it (maybe shut down your Twitter window).


Just loved this…

Music 101


We are not rap aficionados, so take this for what it’s worth: Naughty By Nature is the best rap group we know of. At least they’re our favorite because they have two hits that are just impossible to not jam to (this one borrows heavily from another song from another African-American group that also has three letters in its title: “ABC” by the Jackson Five).

The less said about the subject matter, the better. Phyllis still occasionally reads this. Just to say that if you are down with O.P.P., that’s a good way to incite a brother to bust a cap in your ass.

Remote Patrol

Comedy Central Roast of Bruce Willis*

9 p.m. Comedy Central

Moonlighting. Die Hard. Demi Moore. The Return of Bruno. The Sixth Sense. “Yippie ki yay, mother_____!”, Pulp Fiction (“Zed’s dead, baby. Zed’s dead.”). Did we mention Demi Moore?

Is there enough material to work with here? Do bears bear, do bees be?

*Originally aired Sunday night….



by John Walters

Starting Five

Not the Amazon we mean, but you get the picture

Amazon Amazeballs

It’s quarterly earnings season and before yesterday, FANG (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google) had been hit kind of hard. After Netflix announced earnings late last week, the price of shares of the stock dropped more than 10%. When Facebook announced after Wednesday’s closing bell, the stock dropped roughly 20%, with Mark Zuckerberg‘s brainchild—a company that is still just a teenager—losing $119 BILLION in value. It was the single-worst day for an American company, in terms of total loss of value, in history.

Zuckerberg personally lost $15.9 billion, which means he may soon be shopping for blue and off-blue T-shirts at Marshall’s.

But then came Amazon yesterday, after the closing bell. The Bezos behemoth announced earnings had jumped 49%, and though the stock had fallen almost 3% yesterday as fearful investors assumed a Facebook redux, it was up more than that this morning (up $70 per share to $1,880). By year’s end, if not sooner, Amazon will eclipse $2,000 (which, for Susie B., means it will be at least a 56-bagger).

p.s. MH’s investment arm, Walker Capital, would also like to point you to Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), which had a solid earnings report on Wednesday and is up 25% in the past two days. Plus, its buy-in per share is just a little over 1% of the cost of Amazon stock ($19.74 versus $1,867).

2. Mouthy Michaels

Two nights ago on a cable news show it was suggested that Michael Cohen‘s new counsel, Lanny Davis, 72, might have erred by releasing the first Trump tape to CNN because the more evidence that is put forth in public outside a trial, the less the Special Prosecutor will be inclined to deal with Cohen. And then a second person on the panel, a woman I believe, offered that much like Rudy Giuliani, another septuagenarian (74), maybe Davis’ best days are long behind him.

It is rather funny. Michael Avenatti, 47, has been cleaning Giuliani’s clock in the court of public opinion, and every one of his predictions thus far have come true. Meanwhile, last night Davis and Cohen leaked that President Trump was informed by his namesake son about the Russia meeting before it took place, which may not move the criminality needle much but, if true, is just one more example of Trump being exposed as a liar (how many thousands of examples do we need?).

Giuliani’s retort: “Cohen’s a liar…he’s been lying for years,” might have had more oomph if he’d only have remembered that Cohen spent the past decade or so in service to Giuliani’s current client, which is to say that if Cohen has been lying, he’s been lying to protect Trump.

Avenatti’s wife, Lisa Storie. Count the number of buoyant objects in this photo.

One last bit here: I don’t know why any of the Trump operatives are not playing offense on Avenatti, who himself is in the midst of a divorce from a woman who looks a lot like a wannabe Trump sidepiece. Avenatti’s wife, Lisa Storie, wants a divorce but claims Michael has been neglecting moving forward on this as he travels the country (or, more to the point, betwixt CNN’s and MSNBC’s Manhattan studios) in defense of Stormy Daniels and other women Trump allegedly bedded. You’d think Bill Shine would call one of his old friends at Fox News and push the narrative that if Avenatti were such a champion of women, why isn’t he listening to his own wife (who’s holed up in Newport Beach, Calif., a postively hellish place to have to endure such travails, but we digress…).

3. Where Is The Love (Where Is The Love, Where Is The Love, The Love, The Love?)

Stanford rusher Bryce Love opted to forgo Pac-12 Media Day in favor of attending class at the most prestigious university west of Princeton, New Jersey, and because most (but not all) sportswriters never took a pre-med course, some in the field seemed put off by the gesture. Love may be a Heisman hopeful, but he also aspires to become a physician.

This CBS Sports video discussing Love’s absence is rather comical. First, at around 1:14 the host commits a Freudian slip (“We love it that athletics are so important there in the Pac-12”). The writer on the scene, Dennis Dodd, says, “First of all, Bryce Love HAS to be here.”

Why? It’s freaking July.

Dodd goes on to exploit the Love no-show to throw tons of shade at both the Pac-12 and commissioner Larry Scott, sounding like little more than a Fox & Friends propaganda stirrer.

No one loses the Heisman Trophy in July. Besides, conference media days are nothing more, particularly for national writers who are just a taaaaaaaaad entitled (and this scribe was one of them), than a July junket betwixt Birmingham, Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles, where little of any real value is gleaned. Unless, of course, you troll a head coach but even then it’s not one of the national writers doing it.

Med school is intensely competitive in terms of acceptance. Every grade matters. And the people who excel in such courses are the types who prefer laser focus toward their goal as opposed to flying to Los Angeles fro the day to sit and answer anodyne questions from middle-aged men. Dennis Dodd should have simply said, “Here’s a young man whose priorities are something we can all admire. He’ll do his talking between the white lines.”

Instead, he sounded like someone who is upset that the tail isn’t wagging the dog (aren’t these the same people who write columns excoriating the dog for letting the tail wag it?).

4. Judge Benched

We won’t see this for another month?????? No!!!!!!!!

Just as the New York Yankees were welcoming All-Star second baseman Gleyber Torres back from injury, fellow All-Star Aaron Judge was hit by a pitch on the wrist last night. Jakob Junis’ 93 mph fastball came on a 3-2 count (of course) in the first inning. Judge suffered a fractured wrist and it’ll be at least three weeks before he swings a bat again. He’ll miss at least one month (and one Red Sox series at Fenway).

Judge actually remained in the game, scoring in the first and getting an infield single in the 3rd inning before finally being subbed.

The Yankees were 50-22 before the summer solstice. Since then they are just 15-14. Not coincidentally, the last time Judge, Torres and catcher Gary Sanchez (who apparently reinjured his right groin while being lazy Tuesday night in Tampa) were all on the manager’s lineup card on the same day was June 25. Now the trio may not share a lineup card again until September.

Yes, in fact we do know that Sanchez is hitting .188 and this year, at least, Austin Romine is the better call. But Sanchez is still only 25. Maybe he’ll figure it out.

5. The Tour de France Is Still Pedaling Along (Even If Susie B. Is Not Providing Updates)

Thomas: Great. White. Wales.

Heading into the final weekend of the Tour de France, and we really like France’s chances of beating Croatia. Wait. Right country, wrong July event.

Entering today’s mountain stage in the Pyrenees, Stage 19, Geraint Thomas of Wales leads Tom Dumoulin of the Netherlands by 1 minute, 59 seconds. And if you’re reading this early enough, you can see it live on NBC Sports Net.

If you’re in search of a Tour de France piece with a little more meat on the bone, here’s the New York Times yesterday taking a deep dive on the event’s renowned “podium girls.”

Music 101

Nights Are Forever

That set. Those mustaches. Those collars. I LOVE THE SEVENTIES! England Dan & John Ford Coley wrote what would become a future Yacht Rock Classic in 1976. From the album of the same name, this song would peak at No. 10 while the first cut off the album, “I’d Really Love To See You Tonight”, would hit No. 2. The duo were friends and classmates in high school in Dallas.

Remote Patrol

The Great Santini

10 p.m. TCM

Robert Duvall as Bull Meacham, an unforgettable character: Dad, husband, Marine colonel, pilot, all-around hard-ass with just enough charm (on most days) to skate by. That’s Michael O’Keefe, whom you may know better as Danny Noonan from Caddyshack, as the son. Duvall and O’Keefe would both be nominated for Academy Awards for this film, an adaptation of the Pat Conroy novel. From 1979.

p.s. Two months earlier, at least by release date, Duvall appeared in another film as a Marine colonel, a movie that you may remember him better by due to a three-word line: “Charlie don’t surf!” (Apocalypse Now).


by John Walters

Tweet du Jour

All’s well that’s Orwell.

Starting Five

NASDAQ Unfriends Facebook

Facebook announced its quarterly earnings after the closing bell yesterday afternoon, and the social network flopped. Facebook posted weaker than expected numbers on daily users and announced that its second-half revenues for 2018 would decline significantly. The stock, which closed at $217.50, fell more than $44 in after-hours trading.

The amount of value Facebook (FB) lost in after hours trading is more than the entire market cap of McDonald’s. We’ll see today how much FB’s poor showing will drag down the stocks of the other FANG (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google) stocks.

2. The GOP 9

Nine Republican congressmen…

Mark Meadows (R-NC) Jim Jordan (R-OH) Andy Biggs (R-AZ) Scott Perry (R-PA) Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (R-AZ) Jody Hice (R-GA) Matt Gaetz (R-FL) Scott DesJarlais (R-TN)

…put their names on a bill calling for the impeachment of U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and even almost all of their fellow GOP lawmakers were like, GTFOH. We think Jim Jordan has bigger concerns. Matt Gaetz gets a lot of air time because he’s handsome and well-spoken. He’s also seriously dangerous. He’s Trump without all the crazy (except he does have a slew of DUI citations in his past).

3. Jenny, I Got Your Number

This is Jenny Boucek. She’s 44, was just hired as an assistant coach by the Dallas Mavericks, and she’s pregnant (via in vitro fertilization) with her first child. Boucek, a UVA alumna who was part of the inaugural WNBA season (Cleveland Rockers), has been an assistant or head coach almost non-stop in the WNBA since 1999.

Now she’s going to spend the first season of her NBA career as an assistant coach with a newborn. Between this and Luka Doncic, the Mavs just became the most intriguing beat in the NBA next season.

4. When Your Political Bubble Bursts

The New York Times (still not failing) has produced an extremely detailed interactive map of the 2016  presidential election that allows you to focus on single zip codes to see just how red or blue  they turned out. The bad news is, we think, you’ll have to actually subscribe to the NYT to enjoy it.

5. Murphy’s Lore

In which avowed Southerner Wright Thompson of ESPN advocates for avowed Southerner Dale Murphy of the Atlanta Braves, who never juiced and was baseball immortality for every Southern boy who grew up in the 1980s (for example, Wright).

Murphy won two MVP awards and twice led the National League in home runs and in RBI, but his numbers pale relative to stars in the 1990s. The most HRs Murphy ever hit in a season was 44 and we remember fact-checking a Point After in SI in 1990 in which the author, William Oscar Johnson, argued that no one would ever hit 50 home runs in a season again. Seriously.

We kinda think of Murphy as the John Stockton of baseball. But he was the All-American man. One reason Murphy, who spent nearly all 18 of his seasons with the Braves, does not garner more Hall of Fame votes? He played in seven All-Star Games, but not a single postseason game. Not one.

Somewhere at SI someone is wondering how Wright got away with posting a “Where Are They Now?” piece in July for SI’s biggest competitor.


Spicer Racked

On a book tour, Sean Spicer gets owned by Emily Maitlis of the BBC. Don’t try that sh*t with the BBC, Sean. They’re smart over on that side of the pond and they don’t worry about ratings.

Music 101

Into Your Arms

I don’t know why the Lemonheads phased out so quickly. The first album was full of straightforward, jangly pop like this song and lead singer Evan Dando had “it.” They’re kind of the American version of The La’s.

Remote Patrol


7 p.m. AMC

You’re a funny guy!

In 1991 this Martin Scorcese classic lost Best Picture to Dances With Wolves. Tatiana! And Scorcese lost Best Director to Kevin Costner. That’s how in love with Costner the Academy was at the time.


by John Walters

Tweet du Jour

We’d maybe be down with your “How they gonna pay for it?” act, Victoria, were it not for the fact that tax cuts are increasing the federal deficit to never-before-seen levels AND the president just announced record-level subsidies for farmers…

Starting Five

Daddy Issues

First The Tryst, Then The Tapes

Last night Michael Cohen, prodded by his new attorney, Lanny Davis (former White House counsel), released one of his possible 12 tapes that he secretly recorded while conferring with his then client, Donald Trump. The tape captures a moment in which the two men were discussing setting up a company for “our friend, David” (Trump) in relation to paying off a person (Karen McDougal), as hush money so that she would not disclose news about their one-year affair.

(Read: No denial)

So that was money well spent, eh? According to Davis, Cohen, Mr. Trump’s fixer, is turning over a new leaf (and this recording), because he is “on a new path — it’s a reset button to tell the truth and to let the chips fall where they may.”

2. Pirate Booty

Gregory Polanco leads the Bucs in HR (18) and RBI (58), which are rather pedestrian for a team-high

While no one outside of western Pennsylvania was paying attention, the Pittsburgh Pirates have reeled off 11 straight wins and are now (53-49) back in the conversation for the National League wildcard (4 1/2 games back of the Brew Crew and 3 back of the Braves).

How? It’s been a bizarre ride. After finishing a series against the Nats with a W, the PPs hosted the Brewers for a FIVE-GAME series (we assume there was a makeup game or two in there), and have since won five straight, on the road, against Ohio-based clubs. They have one more at Cleveland tonight and then host the Mets for a four-game series. In other words, this streak might just stretch to 16 in a row if they can beat the Tribe tonight.

Corey Dickerson leads the Bucs in batting average (.318) and Jameson Taillon in ERA, even though it’s a frothy 3.80. And did we just a hear a cheer for small-market baseball?

P.S. This is Clint Hurdle’s eighth season as Pirate manager. It’s nice to be under the radar sometimes.

3. Football Fatality

Just one day after Jim Harbaugh, Michigan coach, said, “I think football is the last bastion of hope for toughness in America in men,” Darius Minor, a freshman on the University of Maine, collapsed and died during a “light” workout with his teammates. Good luck on getting the details on that light workout.

More than 10,000 young men play college football each year and the odds are that a couple will collapse under conditions of extreme heat and hard cardio conditioning. And the truth is most schools have TWO such workouts daily, one early in the morning (to keep them out of trouble) and one just before dinner. Someone’s gonna pay.


4. Aye, Yay, Yay, Karlie*

*The judges will also accept “Kloss Dismissed”

Model Karlie Kloss, super-bestie of pop star Taylor Swift, has gotten engaged to Joshua Kushner, brother of Jared Kushner.

5. 76 Trombones Ducklings

A photographer on Minnesota’s Lake Bemidji discovered (and counted) 76 ducklings trailing one mama duck. What’s up with that? They’re not all hers. She’s kind of like that grandmother who takes care of other people’s kids while the other hens go out to work, is what we gleaned from this story.


Music 101


This 1968 proto-hard rock tune from Iron Butterfly was written by vocalist/organist Doug Ingle after consuming an entire gallon of Red Mountain wine. When he played the song for drummer Ron Bushy, who wrote down the lyrics for him, he was slurring his words so much that “In the garden of Eden” became “In a gadda de vida.” It clocks in at longer than 17 minutes.

Remote Patrol

Comedians In Cars: Alec Baldwin


It’s funny: Alec Baldwin has never done stand-up, but he’s far and away the most entertaining guest Jerry Seinfeld ever books (this is his second appearance). The two Massapequa, Long Island, natives return to their ancestral roots, with a stopover at Jones Beach. Stick around for Baldwin’s extended riff on playing a homosexual man in a play.



by John Walters

Tweet du Jour

Starting Five

Daily News Blues

Growing up in central Jersey, by the shore, we were a Sunday after-church Daily News family. I began with the Comics section and then moved on to Sports if my dad had finished with it by then.

So here we are, decades later, and the Daily News, now owned by a soulless corporation with an even more soulless name, Tronc, gutted its staff yesterday. Roughly 50% of the editorial staff was fired and 26 of the 35 sports department staffers. We learned about it on Twitter, then watched a video of Daily News alum/Yankee broadcaster Michael Kay lamenting the tragedy from a feed provided by The Big Lead, an aggregation sports web site that does almost no original (unless it’s media-related) reporting…and that’s sort of the problem, isn’t it?

That, and as TBL’s Ryan Glasspiegel pointed out to me, CraigsList, which was killed your local paper’s Classifieds section.

So here we are. New York City has one less tabloid newspaper, for all intents and purposes, than it had the day before. And that’s too bad, but that’s just where the world is headed. People still crave news. They just don’t have as much ink on their fingers as they once did.

2. Apocalypse? Now

Japan: The hottest temperature ever recorded in that country (short of two days in August of 1945), 106 degrees. It’s going to be 117 in Phoenix today, by the way.

What is Hephaestus up to?

Greece: Raging wildfires have claimed the lives of at least five dozen people.

Laos: The Xenamnoy Dam bursts. Several are dead, hundreds are missing.

Dominican Republic: 60 tons of garbage washes ashore. 60 tons!

Never fear, though, because the MegaMillions is up to $512,000,000 and who knows how high it will go before tonight’s drawing.

3. Blame Gary. Blame Aaron, Too

Gary Hustle he is not

We watched the final three innings of Yankees-Rays from a barstool at J.G. Melon’s on the UWS. We saw how the Yanks battled back from four down to put up three runs in the seventh. We winced as Adam Warren allowed the first two Rays batters to get on in the bottom of the seventh, then glimpsed hope when he struck out the next three batters.

In the top of the ninth, the score still 7-6, Rays, we saw leadoff hitter Brett Gardner beat out an infield grounder and then Aaron Judge take ball four on a 3-2 count. First and second, nobody out, you had to like the Yankees’ chances.

Then manager Aaron Boone did a curious thing: he had number three hitter Didi Gregorius lay down a bunt. The Yankees don’t bunt (it was Didi’s first sacrifice of the season). Especially not in the ninth inning. But Didi did it, and it was “successful”. The problem? Now first base was open and Giancarlo Stanton, who had nine base hits in his previous nine at-bats at Tropicana Field, was up.

Intentional walk. Aaron Hicks hits into a force-out at home. And then Gary Sanchez hits a grounder up the middle. The force at second is too late but because Sanchez jogged more than halfway down to first base, watching the play at second, a relay throw to first nails him by a step.

Sanchez is rightly being crucified this morning by what New York newspapers still remain. If he runs to first base, the score is tied and the Yanks have two men on base. But the skipper, Boone, also deserves excoriation. He took the bats out of the hands of the number 3 and 4 hitters on arguably the most potent lineup in the game. That’s really where the Yankees lost last night.

It’s their fourth consecutive loss to the Rays in Tampa and it also puts them at 13-13 since they last arrived in Tampa last month.

4. Hader-ade

Milwaukee Brewer All-Star Josh Hader entered a game in relief and received a standing ovation—again. This happened last night, the second time in three days in Milwaukee.

You can’t get in too much of a lather for what a then 17 year-old from Millersville, Maryland, a pseudo rural-suburban town betwixt Baltimore and D.C., posts on social media. I mean, you can if you’d like, but homophobic and racist language is not uncommon at that age, as a placeholder for young men who are desperately in search of laughs or approbation but are desperately wanting in wit.

What’s absurd, of course, is that Brewer fans are standing and cheering for Hader. What’s even more bizarre are the “Don’t you know what you’re doing?!?” editorials we came across yesterday from the Sports Bloviation precincts.

Here’s Pablo Torre and Bomani Jones from ESPN’s High Noon


Here’s Adam Schein from CBS Sports…

An excerpt: “I don’t want to hear that he was 17, that’s not an excuse for hate. For someone  to dislike someone for race, religion or sexual orientation. And if you’re standing up and cheering, you’re endorsing it.

Damn straight, you four-eyed New York Jew, is what the very viewers to whom Schein was appealing/admonishing probably thought—or said aloud to loud guffaws at the local brat and brew house.

Here’s ESPN’s Taylor Rooks:

Rooks: “Watching that video, Josh Hader is not what worries me is the crowd. What does this reaction say about us?”

Let’s not even delve into how the same people who stood for Hader would react to being scolded by an African-American female.

Dig: We’re not disagreeing with a single point these folks made. They are being earnest and forthright and, yes, they’re on the proper side of WWJD. What we are saying is that they’re at least a step or three behind. Or hopelessly naive (they’re not). We’re way past pointing out to Americans that their support of homophobia and bigotry and misogyny is wrong, aren’t we? I mean, these people know what they’re cheering for and they outright reject your premise. And the fact that East Coasters of various non-white or non-Christian or non-male tints are the ones scolding them, well, now they’re just throwing an empty Natty Light can at the TV and barking, “Git ‘er done!”

The ascendance of the man currently occupying the Oval Office has emboldened parts of America to let their hate flags fly. Racist and homophobic slurs are no longer muttered under one’s breath. Americans now utter them with at least the same volume they use while ordering the Extra-Value meal at the drive-thru.

And having stereotypical East Coast elites who are either female, non-Caucasian or non-Christian excoriate them is not about to bring them back into the fold (not that having straight while Christian males such as myself will do it, either). They knew who they are. They’re proud of it. We don’t live in Caitlyn Jenner Courage Award/Everyone Retires Jackie Robinson’s Number Land any more.  The Alt-White is making its last stand, and they’re not concealing their bigotry any longer. They’re basking in it.

Your mandate is not to clutch pearls and ask, Don’t you know what you’re doing? Your mandate is to call them what they are: Racists. Bigots. Hypocrites.

Two final points: 1) “Josh Hader” is a first-ballot All-Aptly Named Teamer, 2) Hader deserved NO punishment from MLB for his tweets. First, he typed them long before he was in the MLB. Second, you are entitled to your views, no matter how ugly most of us feel that they are.

5. Kitchen Confidential

In the wake of the suicide of chef/man-about-the-planet Anthony Bourdain, I at long last read his book, Kitchen Confidential. A few thoughts/observations:

  1. A fantastic, honest and insightful read. Bourdain loved the industry and it bleeds through on every page. 2) There’s a chapter near the end in which he tells the story of a chef friend who fired a cook and then that cook went and hung himself. Eerie. 3) There’s another chapter even nearer to the end in which Bourdain is sent on a work excursion to Tokyo. After a hesitant day or two, he completely throws himself into the adventure and one gleans the seeds of his later and wildly successful television career. 4) The “What do you know about me?” anecdote is an all-timer, 5) At the very end Bourdain jots down a list of tips for aspiring chefs/restaurant employees. Here are a few to which we, part-time restaurant employees for the past decade, wholly subscribe and we’ll even add one of our own:Be fully committed. Learn Spanish. Don’t steal. Always be on time. Never make excuses. Never call in sick. Have a sense of humor.*

Mine? Always pass to the right. What do I mean? If you are fortunate enough to work at a busy restaurant, you’re going to have dozens of encounters each shift in which you are headed in one direction and an approaching colleague is headed in the other. And you are both usually in a hurry and the space is ordinarily tight. Always, always, always pass to the right of the other person so that it’s not a game of chicken. It amazes me how many people don’t follow this rule. When I recently suggested this to one of our younger female servers after we’d collided, she laughed and said, “It doesn’t matter.”

Oh, yes. It does matter. Repetition, consistency and attention to detail are what separate any successful restaurant, and most work places, from ones that will not survive.

*These rules apply just about everywhere, no?

Also, we never met Bourdain. We don’t know why he took his own life. What we do feel comfortable saying, having read the book, is that he lived for the energy and the camaraderie and the chaos and the hooliganism of his kitchen at Brasseries Les Halles (which shut its doors for good last August). And once he became a TV star, we imagine the money and fame were too much to walk away from, but that we suspect he missed having his community. It may have been as simple that he felt lonely and lost.

Music 101

Shout It Out Loud

In 1975 the age of flaccid rock peaked with the release of the song “Feelings,” which went to No. 6 on the Billboard charts. This after a concatenation of beige cords-and-clogs tunes by artists such as James Taylor, Carole King, The Carpenters and Seals and Crofts made many wonder if anyone in music believed in fun anymore. And then came KISS. This tune, which has opened many a concert by the band, was their first single off their 1976 album, Destroyer.

Remote Patrol

The Shallows

8 p.m. FX

Blake Lively in a wetsuit and bikini on a rock versus a menacing shark. There’s your elevator pitch.

Lively between a rock and a hard place


8 p.m. TCM

We’ve never seen it, but it’s a young Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek, 1973, and it’s not the only film title Bruce Springsteen would lift and use for one of his all-time top ten songs (the other being 1958’s Thunder Road, starring Robert Mitchum). If there are others, we trust the most knowledgeable Springsteen fan we know, Randy, will fill us in down below.



by John Walters

Tweet du Jour

Agreed. Want proof? Look at the Hudson River south of the George Washington Bridge. Then look at the Hudson River above George Washington Bridge.

Starting Five

Twitter: Weapon Of Mass Distraction

Let’s simplify it as if we are talking to Trump’s base…

Obama = BAD

Muslims = BAD


(What does it take to have your Twitter account suspended these days, anyway?)

So, as the walls close around you about both Karen McDougal (the tape) and the truth coming out about the FISA warrant for Carter Page (the FBI did disclose the source of the Steele dossier was the Clinton campaign and the Trump-appointed judge approved it, anyway), Donald ducks the truth and returns to two of his greatest hits (above) by sending out a late Sunday night ALL CAPS threat against Iran.

McDougal: tale of the tape

Remember, it was President Obama (BAD!) who signed a nuclear non-proliferation deal with Iran (Muslims: BAD!) and that the major part of Trump’s agenda for his MAGA base is to wipe out everything that Obama did (perhaps that will include the 250% increase in the DOW under Obama’s presidency; we’ll see).

Our favorite part of this kerfuffle was Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accusing Iran’s leaders of governing in such a way that leads to their own personal financial enrichment. That’s the cabinet member calling the kettle Trump if we’re ever heard it.

2. Spencer For Ire

It isn’t too much to say that even if you don’t find Sacha Baron Cohen funny, you have to admire how this man tricked some of the most important figures in the world into making asses of themselves (just by letting their guards down) for his Showtime series, “Who Is America?”. Not that Georgia state representative Jason Spencer fits that “most important figures” description, but he just set the bar for most embarrassing performance.

As ridiculous as the above clip is, it doesn’t show our favorite moment, which is below:

As tweep @piff_da_god asks, “Why did he bite…you know what, never mind…”

Spencer’s histrionics are the most worthy of attention, but let’s not overlook that in another interview, with former president vice president Dick Cheney, Cohen asked, “What was your favorite war?” and he also persuaded Cheney to sign his waterboard kit. What Cohen is revealing is that these people are just as vile, or more vile, than you might have thought.

Not to be outdone, Michelle Wolf‘s riff on ISIS versus “ICE is” is outstanding satire. And our friend and former steakateria colleague Jeremy Holm makes an appearance (he’s the square-jawed dude with brown hair, the first ICE agent to appear and speak).

3. Cliff Dying

This is at least the third selfie-related cliff fatality we’ve posted in 2018. An eighteen year-old British male died while taking a selfie at Cape Solander, a popular whale-watching promontory near Sydney, over the weekend. Earlier this month we had the young man from Illinois who died at the Grand Canyon and earlier this year a dude who fell in another  Australian seaside incident.

Incidentally, we spent a day at the beach last week and watched four teenage ladies spend most of the afternoon taking selfies with one another. It’s as if it’s not important to enjoy yourself in the moment as it is to provide the impression, on social media, that you were having a good time. We remember a long-ago era when young women were able to take photos without sucking in their cheeks to resemble fish. This has been the GOML portion of today’s post.

4. Beatrice Shatters Steeple WR

At a meet in Monaco, 27 year-old Beatrice Chepkoech of Kenya shattered the world record in the steeple chase by MORE THAN EIGHT SECONDS, finishing in 8:44.32. They may want to remeasure that track. In the same race, American Courtney Frerichs finished second and broke Emma Coburn’s American record by two seconds, crossing the finish line in 9:00.85.

It needs to be noted that the record Chepkoech broke belonged to Ruth Jebet, who was caught doping (EPO) and is facing a ban in the coming months for an as yet undisclosed period of time. Jebet, like Chepkoech, is Kenyan.

5. Notre Dame: Now Overrated at Being Overrated

Te’von Coney: Not overrated

When we saw that Yardbarker was putting out a “Top 10 Most Overrated College Football Teams of 2018“, we thought two things: 1) It’s July and bully for them for coming up with tasty clickbait and 2) the Fighting Irish will be on this list.

As we scrolled down and did not see a French word (or two) in bold print, we began to wonder if they’d forgotten Brian Kelly’s team. Then—voila! (incidentally, not the French word we were searching for)— there were the Irish at No. 1. Yes, Notre Dame is now even overrated at being overrated.

Are the Irish, who went 10-3 last season, including a home loss by two points to eventual national runner-up Georgia, overrated? Where are they ranked in preseason polls?

The Sporting News: 9th (too high)

ESPN: 12th (a little too high)

Athlon: 14th (about right)

USA Today: 16th (about right)

CBS: 17th (a smidge low)

The Yardbarker story takes issue with the Irish being in the top ten, but almost no one will have the Irish in the top ten. Related: the toughest four games for the Irish are Michigan (9/1, home), Stanford (9/29, home), Florida State (11/10, home) and USC (11/24, L.A.).

In our minds, the Skunk Bears pose the greatest threat, but it’s a season-opening prime time game and UM, which lost 38-0 ( officially 31-0, but we all know the real score) the last time it visited South Bend, will be starting Shea Patterson in his Maize-and-Blue debut. It’s a toss-up to us.

Stanford will be tough, as Bryce Love and JJ Arcega-toss-a-jump-ball-to-me-in-the-endzone-and-we’ll-keep-doing-this-as-long-as-the-refs-call-a-PI-Whiteside return. No gimme.

Florida State. You wanna talk overrated? The Seminoles finished 7-6 last year and Jimbo Fisher somehow landed the biggest contract in college football by exiting Tallahassee. Not worried.

USC. Could be tough in the Mausoleum, but Sam Darnold is gone. We rank this as Notre Dame’s third-most difficult contest.


Go West, Young Man (and Middle-Aged Men, and Women, and Couples, and Siblings)

Turning 30 years old last Friday was the wonderful buddy comedy Midnight Run, a film as underrated as Notre Dame football is overrated. Robert DeNiro was never better and Charles Grodin parlayed this performance into dozens of Letterman appearances that revealed he wasn’t really straying too far from who he really is. But it got us to thinking, seeing as how Rain Man also was released in 1988, about a defined era in American film in which an odd, or at least unlikely couple, pile into vehicles of different sorts and make cross-country treks, always going west.

(Arguably the greatest final scene in ’80s teen movie history, and let’s give an enormous round of applause to Viveca Lindfors, who nails the English professor role)

Our short list: Midnight Run; Rain Man; Planes, Trains and Automobiles; The Sure Thing; Thelma and Louise. All five of these films were released between 1985 and 1991 and all of them, even the last one, have elements of humor. What was happening domestically here to inspire this adventure theme and is it okay if we name it the Grapes of Mirth oeuvre?

Our favorites, in order: Midnight Run, Thelma and Louise, The Sure Thing, Rain Man, PT&A. If we’ve missed any like-minded films from that era, go ahead and tell us.

Music 101

I Need To Know

Most if not all of us attended junior high or high school with at least one “guitar hero” (at my school, it was Chris Redl), a somewhat introverted kid who didn’t play on any sports teams but at some point pulled out his six-string and showed us what he’d been doing in his bedroom all those afternoons. Tom Petty was the paragon of that kid, but besides that, and this tune exemplifies it, he was blessed with the ability to craft clean, clutter-free songs that simply RAWKED.

This song was the first single off the Heartbreakers’ second album, You’re Gonna Get It!(1978), and it peaked at No. 41. For shame.

Remote Patrol

The House On Haunted Hill

5:15 p.m.

One of the first horror films my parents were dumb enough to allow me to watch, and I think they let me sleep in their room the next three nights. I was 12. Starring Vincent Price as an eccentric millionaire who invites seven strangers to spend an entire night in his mansion and for those who remain all night, a $10,000 prize awaits. So obviously the film is a little dated. It was released in 1959.


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


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.


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.



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.


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.