by John Walters
Money Talks And Bullshit Walks
What happened was: Major corporations such as Airbnb, Amazon, American Express, AT&T, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Comcast, Commerce Bank, Dow Chemical, Marriott, Mastercard and Verizon all announced that they were halting donations to the GOP (should major corporations be allowed to donate to either party, I wonder? Hmmm.)
Then what happened was: Republican leaders such as Mitch McConnell and Liz Cheney suddenly found themselves to have a conscience, either saying they would vote to impeach Trump or at least, in Mitch’s case, not defending Trump.
The money spoke. Their consciences? Their consciences?!? The fuuuuuuck outta here.
Below, that’s Kenneth Langone, who has done some marvelous philanthropic work. But also a Trump backer. Amazing to me how people like this let their wallets be their conscience and fancifully ignored every last aspect of Donald Trump’s character and behavior until it was almost too late.
Randy Rainbow Coalition
Almost too easy, but still brilliantly done by our old friend.
Nobody Died In Watergate
On Sunday I tweeted that Trump would be out of a job by Friday and that Matt Gaetz, Jim Jordan and Josh Hawley would be gone in a month. Those predictions may have been a little over-caffeinated, but Trump is going to be impeached today. The first president to be impeached twice. This nation had two impeachment in its first 242 years and now it’s had two in less than 13 months.
As for those senators and representatives, stay tuned. I truly believe we are at the incipient stages of a plot for treason. Congressmen and women who aided and abetted the rioters, particularly in the planning stages, should be hanged. Seriously. But at the very, very least they must be expelled from Congress and never be allowed to run for public office again.
All the events of the past two weeks caused us to neglect noting the death of one of our favorite Suns (favorite sons), Paul Westphal. He died of complications from cancer at age 70 last week.
I fell in love with the NBA during the 1972-73 season. The Knicks were my team and their nemesis was the Boston Celtics. Although Jo Jo White and John Havlicek were the men in green I feared most, I remembered this 6’4″ rookie who’d come in off the bench and just be a major pain in the ass for my guys Walt Frazier and Earl Monroe.
Westphal, a SoCal native who attended USC (when UCLA was THE PLACE to play hoops… would love to know why he didn’t team up with Bill Walton to play for John Wooden…. Wooden, Walton, Westphal, it just alliteratively fits), played in Boston for three seasons and won one ring there.
Then Boston traded him to Phoenix. I didn’t think much of it until the Suns made it all the way to the NBA Finals and there were all these dudes on their fun team with great tans: Westphal, the Van Arsdale twins, Alvan Adams. They were positively tanorexic. It was as if Westy had gone to Canyon Ranch and never returned.
Two years later, my family moved to Phoenix. A year after that, my parents got us two tickets to a Suns-Celtics game as a Christmas present. I went with my brother to the old Madhouse on McDowell, Veterans Memorial Coliseum, as Westphal and the Suns were playing a Boston team with a phenomenal rookie, Larry Bird.
It’s the best NBA game I’ve ever personally witnessed. Here, in the first season of the three-pointer, two future Hall of Famers dueled. Entering the fourth quarter the men in green led 107-96, which sounds like a final sore an sounded even more like one back in that era. This was just a high-scoring, exciting game with a Finals atmosphere (both teams were great that season, winning 61 and 55 games, respectively).
Larry Bird would finish with 45 points. But Westy, not to be too much outdone, paced the Suns with 34 and led them back from that 11-point deficit. The final score? Phoenix 135, Boston 134.
Yes, the Gar Heard game from three seasons earlier, these same two teams in the NBA Finals, lives in fans’ memories. But this midseason classic that I was fortunate enough to witness had a playoff fervor. Again, the best game I’ve ever attended. And Westy was the hero. He would become a terrific NBA coach and is in the Hall of Fame. And now he’s gone. He’ll always be that tanned zephyr with the flowing brown locks to me.
A female sportswriter (of great renown) once noted offhandedly that he was, in her mind, the best-looking NBA player ever. One person’s opinion. But I never forgot that she said that to me.
The other thing about Westphal? He was universally liked and loved. You have to watch this above. As “Chuck” says, “That’s a perfect example of who he was.”
I remember watching this play as it happened. It was hilarious. The Suns had already clinched top spot in the West, had already won 60 games. This was the third-to-last game of the regular season. And they still pulled this one out, in Portland, 115-114. I remember sitting on my futon couch and howling with laughter.
We Nearly Overlooked This, Too
There’s still 1:20 to play in the quarter when this young man loses track of time and tosses a full-court shot. That goes in. This is hilarious. How many kids that age can even toss the ball that far? I know I couldn’t.
Don’t you love how he turns to his coach with that “My bad, I know” reaction? Man, as someone else on Twitter noted, he should’ve flashed the double-guns, gunslinger reaction, then put them back in his holsters. But that might be too much to ask from one defining moment.
And He’s Not Even A St. Bernard
You Hate To See It
In yesterday’s New York Times, an amusing story titled “Lost Passwords Lock Millionaires Out Of Their Bitcoin Futures”
Here is the lede, by Nathaniel Popper, and it’s fabulous:
Stefan Thomas, a German-born programmer living in San Francisco, has two guesses left to figure out a password that is worth, as of this week, about $220 million.
The password will let him unlock a small hard drive, known as an IronKey, which contains the private keys to a digital wallet that holds 7,002 Bitcoin. While the price of Bitcoin dropped sharply on Monday, it is still up more than 50 percent from just a month ago, when it passed its previous all-time high of around $20,000.
The problem is that Mr. Thomas years ago lost the paper where he wrote down the password for his IronKey, which gives users 10 guesses before it seizes up and encrypts its contents forever. He has since tried eight of his most commonly used password formulations — to no avail.
“I would just lay in bed and think about it,” Mr. Thomas said. “Then I would go to the computer with some new strategy, and it wouldn’t work, and I would be desperate again.”
True story: A few years ago I bought two of these Bitcoin-related currencies. Also about that time I began, at long last, to keep a small notebook that had all of my passwords (but what if someone steals that notebook, you ask? I guess you just have to take that chance. It’s better than constantly having to create new passwords).
Just last Saturday, after not having taken a peek at either currency’s status in at least two years, I decided to check them out. One of them, Coinbase, had improved more than 700% since I bought it. The other, Bitstamp, has a new level of verification in which it asks for my social security number. Sorry, guy, no go. You can keep the money.