by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

Starting Five

Spanish Fly By

Down goes Spain, bring on the Seine. It wasn’t easy, and the Americans looked nothing like a World Cup-winning squad (where’s Mia Hamm?!?!), but thanks to a pair of Megan Rapinoe penalty kicks, they edged Spain 2-1.

Next up, on Friday: France in Paris. Zhank heaven for little girls…

(Oh my God, what a creepy song; you should be ashamed of yourself, Maurice)

“I Just Wanna Fly”

I mean, who needs or even want a Maserati or McLaren when you can have this? Watch this

Debt Be Not Proud

Vance “Van” Wilder remained in college at least 7 years and accrued two lifetimes worth of debt

Is Bernie Sanders‘ plan to eliminate all college student debt ($1.56 TRILLION) just a presidential version of your high school student body prez nominee promising Friday ditch days and free pizza, or is it a sensible suggestion? The truth falls somewhere in between.

As our faithful reader Jacob/Jason Anstey points out, the government subsidizes public universities, many of whom have spiked their tuitions to inordinately high levels (compare with how little airfares have risen in the past two decades). So there’s a double whammy when your tax dollars are subsidizing universities AND you’re in deep, in the high five figures, to those same schools.

“Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son”

Expanding the problem to prestigious name-brand universities that are charging between $50,000 to $80,000 per year, well, that’s on you, kid. You wanted the Lululemon educational shorts when you could’ve had the Target shorts that may fit just as well. Meanwhile, maybe your high school guidance counselor needs to inform you that an undergraduate degree is really just a starting point these days. Unless your degree is in computer science/coding, you’re gonna need a graduate degree to get anywhere in this world, for the most part.

Finally, as Andrew Ross Sorkin sagely pointed out on CNBC this a.m., eliminating all student debt creates no incentive for universities to lower their tuition costs. At all.

In some ways it would be economically sound to eliminate student debt, or at least to say, offer a 50% reduction of all students’ debt, as it would free up many to purchase their first home, or a car, or more avocado toast with those $5 lattes (!). On the other hand, is it really good policy to forgive people their poor financial decisions and put that burden on people who did not make them? We were never in favor with the TARP bailout, so why would we be in favor of this? I hate to agree with Joe Kernen on most anything, but I do agree with him here.

Greek God (and African Prince)

Remember when NBA commissioner Adam Silver said that he noticed how so many players were “unhappy.” My guess is that the man who won MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo of Greece, and Pascal Siakam of Cameroon, probably do not belong in that subset. I wonder why…

You can fast forward to 4:45 here to see Pascal’s speech…

It’s wonderful to listen to people who came here from outside nations and have true perspective on how fortunate and blessed they are. Does that mean life is perfect in the NBA? No, but guess what? It isn’t perfect anywhere.

Delete your account.

New Hampshire Carnage (Update)

Yesterday police arrested Volodymyr Zhukovsky, 23, at his West Springfield, Mass., home and charged him with seven counts of negligent homicide. Zhukovsky had been questioned at the scene of the accident that claimed seven lives on Friday but had been allowed to leave (question: with no vehicle of his own to use, how exactly did he return home to Massachusetts?).


How is it possible that you can take seven lives and just because you do so with a truck and not a gun that police release you on your own recognizance and tell you to, you know, sit tight until we decide what to do? Zhukovsky, according to a brother-in-law, had not left his room nor eaten since returning home. And sure, he didn’t MEAN to kill anyone. But seven people are dead. And his life is probably over, at least a good portion of it.

The victims

We’ll wait to see exactly what caused the accident. But it was most likely human error (intoxication or distraction) and should be mandatory teaching at every drivers’ ed course in America. This is what one poor decision can lead to.

James Doubles Down

2019 Jeopardy! phenom James Holzhauer finished 454th, or out of the money, at a WSOP No-Limit Hold ‘Em event in Las Vegas yesterday. The buy-in was $1,500 and he finished outside the 281 places that either make money or at least get their buy-in returned. Some 1,800 card players entered.

We’re wondering/hoping/assuming that Holzhauer will enter the Main Event, the one that makes ESPN, in which the buy-in is $10,000. Holzhauer and his wife had announced that he’d donate half his winnings to a Las Vegas nonprofit for the homeless. In case you forgot, Holzhauer won $2.4 million and won 32 consecutive games on Jeopardy! before his run was stopped, $58,000 short of Ken Jennings’ record, by a female Chicago librarian.

So is it more difficult to consistently win at poker than Jeopardy! Yes, if you’re a borderline genius. Why? Because the cards sometimes go against your pot odds. That is, occasionally stupid, or analytically unsound, maneuvers pay off. You can’t fight a perfect game against blind luck.

Music 101

Dirty Work

Early, early Steely Dan. All about being a male side-piece. From 1972. Proof of its sustainability, even though Becker and Fagen didn’t want it on their debut album, is that David Chase used it in Season 3 of The Sopranos.

Remote Patrol

Women’s World Cup Round of 16


Noon FS1


3 p.m. FS1

Five of the six nations that have advanced to the quarterfinals hail from western Europe; the sixth is the U.S. Can Italy and the Netherlands keep it a mostly Western World Cup or will Asia get involved?

15 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. Regarding student debt, I don’t understand why the Warrens and Sanders’ of the world wouldn’t instead push for this same Wall Street tax they’re proposing to instead be used to fund public 4-year colleges more β€” with the proviso that that funding has to be used to lower tuition. As a young(ish) father of two who’s still paying off his wife’s student loans, I would much rather something be done about tuition costs for my kids than turn student debt that no one was forced into taking into Monopoly money.

    • (Yes, I know they’re also pushing for tuition-free public college. I guess my comment should’ve addressed the realm of things that actually might pass, because the things Warren/Sanders/et al are talking about are essentially a fantasyland.)

  2. I’m sorta torn on the idea of wiping out all college debt. As with most things, I can only approach this subject through my own experiences and biases.

    When I was in HS, I was surrounded by kids that never took homework home, never read the books and never paid attention in school. Those kids either had parents that could pay for their college education or they had to take out loans.

    The rest of us took initiative and did the work. How’d that work out? Well, I never paid a dime for college.

    So from my perspective, it is hard to say, “Hey, let’s wipe all this out and make it an even playing ground.” Work, or lack of, has consequences.

    Now obviously this doesn’t touch on individuals that get brought up by shitty parents or just found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time (without their control).

    So much like everyone in life, this is a very nuanced topic.

    Ultimately, I think universities serve more as a social playground for young people than they do as excellent educational facilities. The internet can teach you anything you want and all it takes is initiative and discipline.

    If we as a nation were smart and actually approached this through first principal thinking, we’d be tackling the problems of why education is so expensive (do we need the fancy buildings? Does it really have to be 4 years?) and why we subject it to only 18-22 year olds.

    All in all, it is greed on the part of universities. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln, for example, pays their Deans of colleges north of $300k a year. For what? To shake some hands and raise more money?

    • You “never paid a dime for college”? I thought you dropped out & gave up your free ride?

      And yes, one can learn much on the internet these days. However, I don’t know of many (er, any) med/law/grad schools that accept students from the “college” of “I learned it all on the internet”. Of course, I did hear that that big-butt Kardashian is “training” to be a lawyer by “working” for a law firm. Apparently, this is still a thing & did not end in the time of Lincoln. I dunno, I guess “genius legal minds” can exist anywhere, but would YOU hire one to handle your prenup?

      • When you leave, it’s not like they make you pay back what you’ve used. You just forgo the remainder.

        There’s an obvious difference between being a doctor, nurse, lawyer, etc. and what the majority of people actually pursue. Yes, I hope my doctor is credentialed. Should I care if the writers I read have a degree or the programmers that build the software of my company have a degree? I’d say no.

        At the end of the day, it is about getting the job done. What’s so screwed up about society is this mythical belief that a degree gives one some magical powers? Can someone gain tremendous benefit from a degree? Most certainly. But that doesn’t mean it is the ONLY medium of education.

        I’ll go Susie B. LeBron-level passion on this.

        • I fully understand your stance, but Susie’s right, too- I have no college degree and it’s my second-highest regret. First is my current hair color.

  3. Costs of public higher education have doubled or more over the last 20 years, so the choice between Target and Lululemon has vanished — now it is Lululemon or Nordstrom.

  4. I disagree with the paying off of “ALL” student loans almost as much as I disagree with “reparations”. Are Democrats TRYING to lose the next election?!

    I do think the cost of higher education in this country is ludicrous & HARMING not only the individuals who “willingingly” load themselves down with so much debt that they handicap their futures for one or two decades post-graduation but society & our economy at large. For example, the housing & car sectors want new customers & if their potential new customer pool is stuck paying $40k-$200K (!) of student debt, they won’t be looking to plunk down their remaining income on a house or car.

    WHY exactly has the cost of “higher education” skyrocketed past the rate of inflation the past 20 years especially? Could it be a certain sector WANTS to keep the well-paid jobs out of the hands of the “riff-raff” & made the major route to those jobs cost-prohibitive to all but the top 10%? (Excuse me while I adjust my tin-foil hat). Seriously, I would like to see the findings of any investigations. And I don’t see why the cost of public schools can’t be at least HALF as expensive : let BUSINESSES subsidize the costs for tax breaks.

    Earlier today I saw some headlines about the “CRISIS” of almost nonexistent medical care in several “rural areas” around the country. Why can’t those states FUND the cost of medical school for those willing to “indenture” themselves to rural areas for 7-10 years? PLUS, they could pay off their undergrad debt too. PLUS, their income could be TAX-FREE! Of course, there would have to be a hospital for these Drs to work in & the disappearance of those in those areas is why there are currently no Drs… But this is just the tip of the TITANTIC ICEBERG of the problems with medical/health care in this country; the ENTIRE SYSTEM needs to be re-booted.

  5. I did have to laugh at the news I saw the past week or so – that certain politicians are tying to MANDATE a “financial literacy” course in college because apparently students don’t understand DEBT & well, pretty much anything ‘financial’. Uh, shouldn’t that course be mandatory in HIGH SCHOOL? BEFORE they actually get the blood-sucking loan?

    And I also think we shouldn’t be so quick to blame just the universities/colleges for the “student loan crisis” – who benefits the MOST from these loans? Gimme a “B”! Gimme an “A”! Gimme a “N”! Gimme a “K”! Gimme a “S”! One doesn’t need to an OctoChamp to spell that! πŸ™‚

  6. New topic. Do you ever read Alan Abrahamson’s website? It’s Olympic-centric. Anyhoo, several years ago Alan banged the drum stating UNEQUIVOCABLY that LA would be hands-down/no questions need be asked, the selected host for the 2024 Summer Olympics. Whoops. And for the past year or so, Alan has stated that Sweden would be the pick for the 2026 Winter Olympics & the idea that Italy, the fairly recent host of the ‘almost-disaster’ Torino games in 2006 was well, ludicrous. In fact, in April he wrote “If you want a horse race, go to the track”. It seems Alan should SPEND MORE TIME AT THE TRACK & maybe he’d understand “horse racing” a bit more….;)

  7. I’m so sheltered, I consulted Urban Dictionary for the definition of side-piece. It was a really good laugh! πŸ™‚

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