by John Walters
Absence of Palace
No, actually, that is not an overhead shot of Dua Lipa’s set from the Glastonbury Festival last month (bizarre stage set, if it were). That’s tens of thousands of protesters in Sri Lanka, storming the presidential palace last weekend. You saw the photos, as did I, but perhaps like me you were relatively incurious as to why. Turns out a series of bad policy decisions since the advent of the pandemic has left the south Asian island nation, which sits directly below the India, broke and hungry. And that’s no way to be.
So the people in this densely populated country of 22 million have stormed the presidential palace, demanded the resignations of the prime minister and president (the former of whom has already fled the country; the latter had his home set ablaze), and taken over state radio. Our favorite things about this populist revolt is that they didn’t all tote Sri Lankan flags into the palace, did not use bear spray, and even threw an impromptu pool party a la Caddyshack or Anchorman.
Yankees Lose! Thuuuuuuuh Yankees Lose!
If you were the wagering sort, yesterday should’ve been a fantastic day to place a money line bet on baseball’s best team by far. Consider:
• The New York Yankees (61-25) were coming off two straight losses at Boston and had only lost three in a row once all season.
•The Yanks were coming off an off day.
• Staff ace Gerrit Cole was on the bump.
• The Yanks were facing the last-place Cincinnati Reds (32-54), among the worst teams they have faced all season.
And so, after eight innings, with the Yanks up 3-0, your -320 wager was looking solid. Especially with All-Star closer Clay Holmes, whose 32 1/3 scoreless innings streak earlier this season and broken Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera’s team record.
So, of course—of course!— Holmes surrenders four runs (without allowing an extra-base hit) and New York loses 4-3. If you took the Pinstripers on this one, it’s a defeat you won’t soon forget (note: we did not as we wager about once a year these days, if that).
Somewhat Fewer Than 12 Angry Men
The “profane” meeting that took place in the White House on December 18, whose number included Sidney Powell, Michael Flynn and former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne (all three of whom somehow “gained access” to the West Wing as if it’s someone’s parents were out of town) as well as a number of White House senior officials, and of course Orange Julius Caesar himself, well, this should become a David Mamet play at some point. Or an Aaron Sorkin work.
What a freaking clown show. Trump knew he lost. He always knew. He was just a presidential version of the spoiled brat he’s always been. I shot a double bogey on that hole? Gimme par. You don’t wanna screw me cuz you’re married (and you find me loathsome)? Well, I’m not taking no for an answer.
And yet, millions of people worship him. Broken people. I recall when Trump lost in November of 2020 that a good and old friend, a Trumper, told me that he’d leave the White House without causing a fuss. I laughed at that prediction and asked for a money wager. He said no. After everything happened, my friend never took the L. He sort of just let the topic drop. I’m sorry, but there’s something missing in your brain if you believed, even for a moment, that Trump would not exhaust every possibility, legal and illegal, peaceful and violent, fair and foul, to remain in the White House. And what’s funny to me is that even though the evidence of his deadly malfeasance and crimes have been laid bare, no Trumper I know is willing to stand up and say, “Yeah, I got that wrong.” But admitting you’re wrong when you’re wrong is exactly the kind of thing that a Trumper would never do. So I’m not really surprised.
Actor and pilot Harrison Ford, a.k.a. Han Solo or Indiana Jones or Dr. Richard Kimball, turns 80 today.
Who expects an avalanche in July? Who goes on vacation in Krygyzstan? Who can believe we actually spelled Kyrgyzstan correctly on the first try? Anyway, they lived, but more importantly, this will look so cool on their Instagram stories page.
Across The Universe
We should have posted that yesterday with our Webb Gem item, but forgot. So, enjoy.