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.

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