Bronx cheer


That’s my kite. It’s the only one I’ve ever owned and, roughly 30 years after Linda bought it for me, it is still, like Anthony Weiner, flapping in the breeze. I decided to go fly the thing a couple of weeks ago, and I’m sad to say that the world continued to go to hell in my absence. Some folks have been very, very bad of late. So without further delay, let’s all give a big Bronx cheer to . . .

This guy . . .


George Zimmerman, Sniveling Coward

OK . . . he’s not guilty of murder; I don’t think he left the car with the intention to kill Trayvon Martin, so he’s not literally guilty of murder.

He’s definitely guilty of manslaughter, but the jury felt otherwise. And, like it or not, we have to accept the jury’s verdict. I’m much more comfortable living with that than I am living with the alternative — a country in which vigilantes take things into their own hands when they don’t like the decision.

But here’s what I don’t accept . . . I don’t accept that everyone wanted to talk about stand your ground and self defense, but nobody wanted to talk about what was so obvious: the fact that this was another case of a nut with a gun.

Because if Zimmerman, the sniveling coward, doesn’t have a gun, then there’s no way in hell he gets out of his car — against the advice of law enforcement — and trails Trayvon Martin.

If Zimmerman, the sniveling coward, isn’t packing heat, then there’s no confrontation, no banging of face into pavement, no debating “who was screaming for help,” no blood, no nothing. Bupkis.

If Zimmerman, the sniveling coward, doesn’t have a gun, he sits in his car and waits for the cavalry to arrive. And when it does, the guys wearing badges ask Trayvon a couple of questions, compliment him on his hoodie and candy selection and send him and his Skittles home to watch the second half.

That’s what would have happened . . . should have happened, but didn’t happen because  Zimmerman, the sniveling coward, had a gun in his pocket.

The gun made Zimmerman brave.

Now, this guy is such a loser that even the people he pulled out from under an overturned SUV don’t want to appear in public with him.

But at least he’s a living loser. Zimmerman, the sniveling coward, is out there somewhere, wasting our precious oxygen. Trayvon Martin, on the other hand, is dead.

Looking for an argument for gun control? I give you George Zimmerman.


 And then there’s this guy . . .


Geraldo (Weiner Got Nothin’ on Me) Rivera

Memo to Geraldo . . .

Unless you’re this guy . . .


. . . you must keep your shirt on when you’re 70. And if 70 is the new 50, then you should have kept it on when you were 50, too.


And then there’s this guy . . .


Vladimir (I Swear I’m Straight) Putin

He’s so anti-gay, I think he may be Michele Bachmann’s next husband, once the current one outs himself.

Harvey Fierstein’s op-ed in the New York Times was an eye-opener, and essential reading.

RUSSIA’S president, Vladimir V. Putin, has declared war on homosexuals. So far, the world has mostly been silent.

On July 3, Mr. Putin signed a law banning the adoption of Russian-born children not only to gay couples but also to any couple or single parent living in any country where marriage equality exists in any form.

A few days earlier, just six months before Russia hosts the 2014 Winter Games, Mr. Putin signed a lawallowing police officers to arrest tourists and foreign nationals they suspect of being homosexual, lesbian or “pro-gay” and detain them for up to 14 days. Contrary to what the International Olympic Committee says, the law could mean that any Olympic athlete, trainer, reporter, family member or fan who is gay — or suspected of being gay, or just accused of being gay — can go to jail.

Oh, he’s a manly man, that Vladimir. He’s someone America’s social conservatives can get behind.

Very close behind.


And then there’s this guy . . .


Lyin’ Braun

He said he was clean, a victim of a poorly handled urine test. He said he went to that Florida clinic for some legal advice. He said . . . Who me? Not me!

Y’know what? I can deal with the doping. He’s not the first. And, sadly, he won’t be the last. You sit out a suspension, give up hopes of ever visiting Cooperstown, and get back to work.

What I can’t deal with is that this guy lied to everyone, and that he put a decent man’s job in jeopardy by publicly blasting him for mishandling his urine specimen when he knew all along it was dirty.

I’m glad he was suspended for only the rest of the season, and not for life, though, because I look forward to seeing him come to the plate next year, and hearing the boos cascade down on him from every seat in every ballpark he plays in. And I’m hoping some flamethrower — Aroldis Chapman, anyone? — nails him with a 100-mph fastball, and that Lyin’ Ryan’s teammates don’t bat an eyelash. No charging the mound for this guy. He isn’t worth protecting.

Lyin’ Ryan was supposed to be everything that’s right about baseball. An MVP-winning, Hall of Fame-caliber nice guy. A Jeteresque figure worthy of our admiration. This, you’d tell your kid, is a ballplayer to look up to. A mensch.

Be sure to read Tyler Kepner’s piece in the New York Times:

ARLINGTON, Tex. — There are liars and frauds and scoundrels, and then there are people like Ryan Braun, who somehow seem worse.

And this piece by Josh Levin in Slate:

Why is Braun such a villain? Because after getting a reprieve last year that it’s now pretty obvious he didn’t deserve, he had the gall to smear the lowest man on the baseball org chart to make himself look a teeny-tiny bit better. In February 2012, after he successfully appealed a 50-game drug suspension, the 2011 MVP smarmed his way through a victory press conference, whining that he’d been wrongfully accused and that the whole process had been so very hard on him. He also attacked the integrity of Dino Laurenzi Jr., the man who’d collected his urine sample. “There were a lot of things that we learned about the collector, about the collection process, about the way that the entire thing worked that made us very concerned and very suspicious about what could have actually happened,” he said, citing nothing at all to support his claims. “We spoke to biochemists and scientists, and asked them how difficult it would be for someone to taint the sample. They said, if they were motivated, it would be extremely easy.” At the same time, Braun praised his own moral rectitude, saying, “I will continue to take the high road. We won because the truth was on my side.”

Way to damage the game you professed to love, Ryan. “Loser” doesn’t even begin to describe you.


And then there’s this guy:


Anthony (You Want More? I’ll Show You More!) Weiner

What can you say? I see so many commenters comparing him to Clinton, Sanford, Spitzer, Vitter . . .

But Weiner is the worst of the bunch, because those other guys are, well . . . they’re guys. If you had a thing for prostitutes and you had $5,000 burning a hole in your pocket, chances are you’d be spending a few hours with a $5000 prostitute. If you suddenly fell in love with an Argentine beauty, you’d probably be out hiking the Appalachian Trail. If a 24-year-old intern . . . Oh, never mind.

But Weiner’s got them all beat. Those guys are guys. Weiner’s a perv, plain and simple.

He’s not even Anthony Weiner. He’s CARLOS DANGER!!!!!

That’s the name you’d give a superhero wearing tights. Uhhh . . . Skip the tights. Please, skip the tights.

Those other guys engaged in consensual sex with real, live adults. But not Weiner. Weiner sits at his computer and gets really, really icky. What’s more . . . How could he have been absolutely sure that the person he was tweeting his junk to wasn’t a 12-year-old girl? Or a 12-year-old boy?

This guy was sexting with people HE NEVER MET!

And, seriously, folks . . . Who on earth photographs his junk and posts it on Twitter? I haven’t seen the word “penis” in so many respectable publications in my whole life as much as I’ve seen it in the last few days.

A Facebook friend tells me that all the kids are sexting these days. So, OK, I guess I can deal with that.

But . . . Hello! Weiner’s not a kid!

Look, I love a tabloid war as much as the next guy, but we really don’t need to be watching this stuff every day for the next three months . . . or four years:

Image Image

I feel bad for Weiner. He’s got a wife and a kid and some bigtime problems. But please, please, PLEASE stop running for mayor of New York. That’s a big job, Anthony, and you’re not up to it.

It’s a different kind of hard. Pull out now.


And then there’s this guy . . .


Gilberton, Pa., Police Chief Mark (My Words) Kessler,

This guy thinks it’s oh-so-cute to call the secretary of state of the United States a “piece of shit traitor.” He despises “libtards” and, according to Talking Points Memo, he “shot a photo of a clown that he described as ‘Nancy Pelosi with her gavel, when she was speaker of the House.’”

He also appears to have a thing about massacring trees.

Did I mention that he’s a police chief?

Here’s how Kessler defends his YouTube videos:

“I think the video is in support of the Constitution — the support of the First Amendment, the right to express your thoughts and words freely without reprisal from any government,” Kessler told the Republican-Herald. “That’s why I used the vocabulary I did. As for the firing of the guns, that is my Second Amendment right. I have the right to keep and bear arms regardless of what the government says that I don’t.”

Fair enough. But did I mention that Kessler is a police chief? His job is to calm the flames, not fan them. And he fails bigtime in these two videos:

Keep in mind, as you watch, in case I wasn’t clear . . . that’s a police chief speaking.

Best to steer clear of Gilberton, Pa., as you’re traveling this great nation.


And the winner is . . .

Whoever designed the uniforms that the New York Mets wore last night. Here’s David Wright, the New York Mets’ All-Star captain, scratching his head, trying to figure out who is responsible for the making him look like he’s playing semi-pro ball . . .


Congratulations, Mr. or Ms. Uniform Designer. Come on down and claim your Anthony Weiner Bobblehead Doll.

— 30 —

Worth reading, 07/11/13


New York Sizzles (Gail Collins, New York Times)

Gail Collins is hands-down the finest columnist in America. If she’s not in the Times on Saturday or Sunday, then the day is off to a lousy start. Today she offers her take on Weiner and Spitzer, and it is essential reading.

Time after time, we hear a scandal-tarred politician vow to go away and make amends. Time after time, we envision a stint as a missionary or a hospital volunteer. Time after time, we are disappointed.

Consider the example of former Congressman Steve Driehaus of Cincinnati, a person who, I should point out immediately, did not do anything wrong whatsoever except lose a race for re-election in 2010. He then packed up his family and went off to join the Peace Corps in Swaziland. “He’s working with folks with H.I.V./AIDS. He loves it,” reported his sister, Denise.

In this week’s TV tour, Spitzer failed to address the question of why he was not in Swaziland. He said on “Morning Joe” that during his five years in exile, “I’ve tried to do things that matter in a small, quiet way.” This seemed like a strange way to describe multiple stints hosting political talk shows.

People, it doesn’t get any better than that.



Pat Robertson: I’m Not ‘Anti-Gay’ Because Gays Are Just Straight People Who’ve Forsaken God (Mediaite)

“I am very pleased that we have many, many, many homosexuals watching this program and many of them are looking for love and acceptance and help,” the minister began. “And I’m glad to report that we have thousands of these people who are saying, ‘Yes, we want to follow Jesus, we’re not happy with the lifestyle we’re in, and we want to have a better way.’ I think it’s wonderful that that’s happening.”

“We’re not anti-gay or anything,” he asserted, before explaining his belief that homosexuality has existed throughout time amongst those who have “forsaken” God. “It’s not something that is natural and when people reunite with the Lord, the Lord will get their priorities the way it is supposed to be,” he added.

Robertson concluded by arguing that those who are “into this homosexual thing” are typically victims of sexual abuse as children who, later in life think, “Well, I must be gay.”

“They aren’t,” he insisted. “They are heterosexual and they just need to come out of that.”

Good ol’ Uncle Pat. The rev’s an eyeroll a minute. Let’s harken back to the good ol’ days, right after September 11, when good ol’ Jerry Falwell said:

“I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way — all of them who have tried to secularize America — I point the finger in their face and say: “You helped this happen.”

And good ol’ Uncle Pat chimed in,

“Well, I totally concur.”

OK . . . I totally don’t.

Go away, Pat. Your meter expired a long time ago.



Beyond the Courtroom (Charles Blow, New York Times)

Whatever happens in the George Zimmerman trial, it has produced a valuable and profound dialogue in America about some important issues surrounding race and justice, fear and aggression, and legal guilt and moral culpability.

That conversation is about people’s right to feel suspicion and fear and whether those feelings need be justified to be real. It is about the degree to which suspicions and fears are culturally constructed, or at least culturally influenced, are innate or are born of personal experience.

More specifically, it is about how race, age and gender might influence our threat responses, and whether that is acceptable. For instance, as a thought experiment, reverse the race and ethnicities of Trayvon Martin and Zimmerman and see if that has any effect on your view of the night’s events. Now, go one step further and imagine that the teenager who was shot through the heart was not male but female and ask yourself again: does it have any effect on how you view the facts of this case?

Are we acculturated to grant some citizens the right to feel fear while systematically denying that right to others?

This is a terrific piece. As the George Zimmerman trial heads to the jury, I’m convinced that Zimmerman is not guilty of murder, because I don’t think he intended to kill Trayvon Martin. I also think it’s at least plausible that once Zimmerman encountered Trayvon — and make no mistake about it, it’s Zimmerman’s fault that the encounter took place — then he realized that the kid was able to hurt him or even kill him, and so he shot him.

In Florida, that’s standing your ground.

So I don’t think Zimmerman will be convicted — but I nonetheless think this is all his fault. What’s more, if Trayvon wasn’t black and wasn’t wearing a hoodie, we’re not even having this conversation. Zimmerman saw a black kid in a hoodie and everything fell apart from there.

So Zimmerman is not a murderer; he’s just a racist cop-wannabe with a concealed gun who decided that the black kid in the hoodie did not belong in his neighborhood. But I do believe he didn’t get out of his car intending to kill Trayvon.

Someday, Zimmerman will go out on a deep-sea fishing boat, and he’ll fall overboard, and all the others on the boat will hear a splash, and they’ll look up and say, “Hey, look, Zimmy fell overboard.” And then they’ll open up a cooler and have a few beers and figure justice has been done.



Photographer captures incredible image of massive waterspout towering over Tampa Bay (Imaging Resource)

Pick a word. Any word . . . Omigod. Wow. Whoa. Yikes.

This thing is for real and I am in awe. I may even have to start rethinking that whole Big Bad Invisible Voodoo Guy in the Sky thing. (Shamelessly plugging my own post.)


Bob McDonnell is unfit for office (Ruth Marcus, Washington Post)

There are two swift routes to political downfall. One is sex. The other is money. The first is humiliating but survivable. The second tends to be terminal, even criminal.

Today’s topic is the second, in the form of Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and the now mountainous evidence that — whether he technically complied with Virginia’s Swiss cheese disclosure laws or not in accepting thousands of dollars in gifts from a wealthy businessman — he has no business continuing in office.

We in the metropolitan New York area are so fascinated by the adventures of Anthony and Eliot that we’ve been blissfully unaware of what’s been going on in Virginia, where Governor Bob is ducking from incoming.

That has to stop, because this is fascinating.



A Free Miracle Food! (Nicholas Kristof, New York Times)

MOPTI, Mali — Can you name a miracle food that is universally available, free and can save children’s lives and maybe even make them smarter?

That’s not a trick question. There really is such a substance, now routinely squandered, that global health experts believe could save more than 800,000 lives annually. While you’re puzzling over the answer, let me tell you how I just saw it save a life here in West Africa.

I don’t think Mr. Kristof will mind much if I give away the ending without a spoiler alert. The free miracle food is breast milk.

And if you read nothing else today, read this.

Kristof returned from a several-month book leave last week, and he was sorely missed. Excellent column.



Latest Businessweek Cover is Worth a Peek (Fishbowl)

Ummmmm . . . Now I’m wondering whom Bloomberg will be voting for. Weiner? Spitzer?

And what would the public reaction be if the New York Post did this?

Really, BusinessWeek? REALLY???



Toshi Seeger, wife of folk legend Pete Seeger, dies (Lohud, via Poughkeepsie Journal)

Memo to obit writers: There are some things you MUST include in an obituary, especially when it concerns someone local.

That thing would be the deceased’s age.

Toshi Seeger was 91. I had to look that up elsewhere because the obit’s writer AND the editor failed to include it in the obit.

Pretty bad, Lohud.



Justin Bieber Talks With Bill Clinton After Vulgar Video Surfaces, Calls Former President “Great Guy” (Gossip Cop)

So The Beebs apparently is feeling totally regretful about peeing into a restaurant’s mop bucket and screaming “F*** you, Bill Clinton!” at a picture of the 42nd president and spraying it with a kitchen bottle, because he went on Twitter last night and so humbly wrote . . .

“@billclinton thanks for taking the time to talk Mr. President. Your words meant alot. #greatguy,” the singer tweeted on Wednesday night.

Great guy.

I hope Bill sat down with Hillary and Chelsea at dinner last night and asked . . .

Either of you ever heard of this guy?