by John Walters

Starting Five

Health Care Bill: D.O.A.

Remember this photo from May 4? It’s Donald Trump’s “Mission Accomplished” pic. This was after the House passed his health care bill. Yesterday the bill failed in the Senate after four of the 52 GOP senators failed to back it.

With a majority in both houses and a mandate from the American public, President Trump failed to pass the most important piece of legislation of his nascent presidency. And how did he react to this defeat? “We’re not going to own it. I’m not going to own it,” Trump said Tuesday at the White House. “I can tell you the Republicans are not going to own it. We’ll let Obamacare fail and then the Democrats are going to come to us.”


How many back hoes were needed to move those goal posts, Donald?

2. Here Come The Dodgers

Justin Turner’s .370 batting average is the best in the big leagues

You may not be able to see them play if you live in Los Angeles (at least not on TV), but the Los Angeles Dodgers are mowing down the National League. On June 6 they lost to Max Scherzer (no shame in that) and the Washington Nationals, 6-3. Since that day they are 30-4 and have baseball’s best record at 30-4. L.A. has put together two 10-game win streaks in that span, a current and continuing one included.

And we don’t even talk about Yasiel Puig any more (he’s second on the team, behind rookie phenom Cody Bellinger, in home run with 18; Bellinger has 26).

3. Badwater Dropouts

Last week’s Badwater Ultra (135 miles run through Death Valley in the dog days of summer) had the highest dropout rate (20 runners quit) since 2003 and the slowest winning times, both for men and women, in more than 10 years. Obviously, millennials are to blame.

The female winner, Sandra Villines, became the first Latina champion in the history of Badwater, which dates back to 1978.

4. Oh, Deer

That video of the golden retriever (“Good boy, Storm!”) saving the drowning fawn (why did so many media outlets call it a “baby deer?”) off Port Jefferson, Long Island, already garnered 4.5 million views on Facebook. To think that deer will grow up and in a few years be shot by a hunter warms the cockles of my heart (I was a pre-med but we never learned exactly in which chamber the cockles are located).

5. “Shall We Begin?”

“I’m comin’ home, I’m comin’ home, tell the world I’m comin’ home”

The season 7 season premiere of Game of Thrones front-loaded the carnage and did a MAJOR spoiler alert by making the final clip in the “Previously on Game of Thrones” montage the shot of Arya slitting Walder Frey‘s throat. So if we already knew Walder was dead, when you open the season with him addressing his family in a banquet hall, we KNOW that it’s not him. And we know that Arya can shift shapes. So it kinda took a little away from the reveal, no?

By the way, if you noticed, Tyrion did not get a single line in the premiere, though we did see him. And above is Danerys’ only line? Meanwhile, I really loved the Samwell “Taking Care of Business” montage, didn’t you?

Music 101


One of the three members of Massive Attack sent the intsrumental version of this tune to Madonna in 1997, hoping she’d record the vocals. The other two outvoted him, electing to have the more ethereal-sounding Elizabeth Fraser of Cocteau Twins do the honors. She did. Fraser wrote the vocals, while the show runners of House loved the heartbeat sound and used it as the long-running CBS show’s theme.

A Word, Please

unctuous (adj.)

excessive piousness or moralistic fervor, especially inan affected manner; excessively smooth, suave, or smug. (my mind goes to Mike Pence)

2 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. Um, I learned the word “unctuous” from John Walters. Not his behavior, even! I always like when you can find a phrase uttered just once in all that Google can see, and if you Google “Third Person Unctuous,” the only thing you find is a Dubs story from 1994 (!) on Reggie Miller after the Pacers disposed of the Magic and Shaq in the playoffs.

    The other thing I remember about that Pacers team involves Haywoode Workman and can’t be repeated here …

  2. Thanks, G.A.
    This was one of my favorite SI stories. Mulvoy sent me down to Orlando to baby sit the Orlando-Indiana series figuring Shaq and Penny would roll over the Pacers and there’d be nothing to write. Then the opposite happened, I stayed down there two extra days, and had to write on deadline while almost missing a long-planned vacation to Europe with J.B. Morris (now a big deal editor at ESPN mag) and Dave Gabel (now a big deal producer at NBC for the Olympics).

    I remember filing the piece and the reporter who had to fact-check it came into my office and said, with amazement, and I’m paraphrasing here, “This is restaurant-quality copy.” i.e., it almost feels as if a REAL SI writer wrote it.

    No shit, Sherlock.

    (related: I may have a few anger issues with SI)

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