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.

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