Tag Archives: Ellen DeGeneres

Mitt Romney is going to help us get rid of Trump? Color me skeptical. Ellen DeGeneres explains her hangout with George W. Bush. And a 9-year-old wins a 10K race he wasn’t even running in.

So if you’re like me, most of the news coming out of Washington these days just comes in waves and waves, and you drown trying to keep up with all of it.

Honestly, I just can’t follow and keep track of all the ways this President and his administration have broken the law and committed impeachable offense, all the ways he’s refusing to comply with the law when it comes to the impeachment investigation, and all the ways he’s proving himself to be an incredible moron (just Tuesday, a day after his Syria troops decision pissed off nearly everyone in both parties, I read about him saying that if Turkey doesn’t do what the U.S. wants, he’ll destroy its economy, and him insulting military veterans by insinuating those who suffer from PTSD aren’t tough enough.  I wish I was making any of this up.)

I’m trying not to get so crazy with the minute-by-minute stuff, and focus on the big picture. That big picture is that what once seemed absolutely, positively unthinkable (the Senate convicting Donald Trump and removing him from office) is now just unlikely, and not crazy to consider.

It’s not going to happen, I don’t think, but every day this guy does more and more stupid things and angers more and more of his Republicans, and his behavior becomes more and more indefensible, that I no longer think it’s a pie in the sky pipe dream. Unlikely, but not impossible.

And if it does happen, many people these days seem to think Willard “Mitt” Romney is going to be the brave Republican Senator who leads the way.

Yep, in story after story like this excellent piece in Vanity Fair, Mitt, who’s never been a fan of Donald Trump (and the feeling seems mutual) is reaching out to other moderate GOP Senators who also hate Trump, like Cory Gardner, Susan Collins and Ben Sasse, and quietly laying the groundwork for them to support impeachment.

The thinking goes that Romney, a man of principle and a “real” Republican, has finally had enough of Trump, and has the backbone to lead the party against him.

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Color me highly skeptical. I haven’t ever thought much of Romney, who always struck me as an empty suit willing to say anything and everything to please people. His 2012 run for President was a disaster, as he proved time and again to have  no charisma, no intelligent ideas or policies. He was a moderate Republican governor in Massachussetts, then suddenly became a far-right Presidential candidate, before trying to have it both ways in the general.

So the idea that Mitt is going to make a principled stand for all that is right and good about America and its values, and inspire others to come forward and defend America against this raging madman who was elected President… I would be highly, highly surprised.

But maybe I’m wrong. My smart friend Dave thinks Romney is no more or less insincere or phony than most politicians, and that after he has spent his entire life avoiding major decisions and stands on issues, he may finally have matured and is now ready to be a leader of the resistance on the right against Trump.

I’d love to see it. Romney’s Senate seat in Utah was just won in 2018, so it’s not like he’d be primaried for a long time.

Maybe, finally, it’s Mitt’s time to step into the light.

**Next up today, I’m honestly not sure how I feel about this little video, in which Ellen DeGeneres stars. DeGeneres, who I adore for many reasons, not to mention her bravery in coming out in Hollywood in the 1990s when it absolutely hurt her career, caused a bit of a kerfuffle on the InterWebs on Sunday and Monday.

DeGeneres was invited to go to a Dallas Cowboys game by Charlotte Jones, daughter of owner Jerry Jones. So DeGeneres and wife Portia went to the game and as you might expect, sat in the owner’s suite where many other famous and rich people sat.

Including the 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush.  And video emerged during the game of Bush and DeGeneres sharing a laugh.

So this set off some mild outrage (is that an oxymoron? Discuss) because W. and his administration, in addition to committing war crimes during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq regarding torture, were notoriously unfriendly to LGBTQ people and their rights.

Anyway, DeGeneres used her daily “Ellen” TV show Tuesday to discuss the controversy, and I thought it was interesting. While I agree that she’s right that of course you can share friendships with people of different views, Bush was a pretty powerful person who did some very bad things.

Like I said, I’m not sure how I feel about what DeGeneres did, but it’s interesting.

**Finally today, this story cracked me up, as it’s alternately bizarre and sweet. A 9-year-old boy in Minnesota named Kade Lovell was scheduled to run a 5K race two weeks ago, the St. Francis Fanny Flyer 5K.

During the race, though, Kade took a wrong turn, and accidentally veered onto the course for the 10K race, also being run at the time.
Kade then WON the 10K race, beating the second-place finisher, a 40-year-old, by almost a minute.

His Mom, Heather, spoke to Runner’s World magazine about when she realized something was wrong, as she waited for Kade to finish the 5K.

“I ran to the finish line (of the 5K race) and found the coordinators and said someone needs to find him,” Heather said. “I’m freaking out, I’m crying, I’m flustered, and no one really knows what to do. A fireman is getting ready to search the course when I get a call my brother-in-law, who tells me there is a cute little kid in a red shirt running the 10K.”

Hilarious. Sometimes a wrong turn can be a good thing!

 

Good News Friday: A doctor in Nepal cures blind people with a $50 operation. A 94-year-old man plays ice hockey, really well. And the “Finding Dory” trailer looks fabulous

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And a Happy Friday to you all; mine would be a lot happier if the Jets hadn’t played so godawful last night, playing like dogs for a few quarters, making a furious comeback, getting in a position to steal a win, and then blowing it with horrific play-calling straight out of the Paul Hackett era. And then having to watch a celebratory Rex bleepin’ Ryan curse up a blue streak in celebration was delightful. I hate the Jets, I really hate them.

OK, rant over. No time to feel glum; too much good stuff to share. First up, one of the reasons I love the New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof so much is because he shows you how even a little bit of money, in the right place, can have a huge impact on lives.

Kristof this week brought us the story of a remarkable doctor in Nepal named Sanduk Ruit, who has, and this is not a typo, given blind people the power of sight 100,000 times.

That’s right: The man has done more than 100,000 eye surgeries on blind people. That’s believed to be the record for one single person.

In this story, Kristof goes to Nepal and watches Ruit perform cataract surgery, using a technique that is now being learned in the United States. The best part is that this surgery costs $25 per patient, and takes five minutes. Five minutes!

“If we can do it in Nepal,” Ruit said, “we can do it anywhere.”

Look at the face of that woman above, who’s just been the power sight. of sight. That is as true and pure a look of joy as you will ever see.

**Next up today, a story I couldn’t believe the first time I saw it, and still can’t. This is from a few weeks back on “CBS Sunday Morning,” and it’s a Steve Hartman special if I ever saw one.

Steve found a 94-year-old hockey player named Mark Sertich, still playing while just six years short of a century. Mark plays all the time, has the coolest handlebar mustache this side of Rollie Fingers, and sounds like a wonderful guy.

This man plays ice hockey, full pads and all, 3-4 days per week. At 94! Sertich has been playing for 85 years. You know how many slapshots, bodychecks and goalie saves he’s seen in his life? Me neither, but it’s higher than I can count.

If this man doesn’t inspire you to go run a lap or two, nothing will. What an awesome outlook on life.

**Finally today, “Finding Nemo” might be my favorite animated movie ever. “Shrek” is amazing, and so is “Up,” but “Finding Nemo” gets me in the heart every single time I’ve seen it (and I’ve seen it at least a dozen times.)

For reasons I can’t quite fathom, it’s taken Pixar more than a decade to come up with a sequel to the fabulous flick. But finally at long last, “Finding Dory” is almost here.

It’s out next summer, but the trailer was released Wednesday, and I couldn’t stop smiling while watching it.

As a bonus, here’s an Ellen DeGeneres clip (she’s the voice of Dory, remember!) from this week that definitely qualifies as Good News. Ms. Beasley, I’m coming to New Orleans to eat at that truck…

Fourteen years ago, the world changed. Ellen DeGeneres helps out an awesome educator. And Roger Federer saves an autograph-seeking boy from being crushed

It is Friday, which usually means only good news stories on this site. But it is, of course, also 9/11 today, and I would be pretty heartless to ignore that fact.

It’s been fourteen years since the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were attacked by planes, a fact that doesn’t get any less surreal or scary by the passage of time.

As always, I watched the above video last night to remember and think about 9/11; I couldn’t find the original version, by Jason Powers, to embed, but this one is pretty good as well.

Please take a few minutes today to listen to the roll call of names being read in New York, or think about someone who died that day (like Tyler Ugolyn), or think about a visit to the 9/11 Memorial site the next time you’re here in N.Y.

Fourteen years. Never forget.

**Moving on, two videos that I hope will make you as happy as they made me. Ellen DeGeneres’ show came back on the air for a new season this week, and I very much enjoyed Pink’s performance and interview on Thursday (Pink totally rules, and I will not accept any other opinion.)

Ellen always makes people feel good, and for some reason I must’ve missed this awesome clip from last spring. Sonya Romero, an incredibly dedicated teacher in New Mexico, was on Ellen’s show explaining how much she does for her students, and Ellen and Co. decided to give something back.

This is beautiful, even Ellen cries…

**And finally, I’ll be at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center today, getting a thrill of a lifetime watching the men’s semifinals at the U.S. Open at Arthur Ashe Stadium (a fantastic birthday present from my wife).

Happily, Roger Federer, maybe my all-time favorite athlete, will be playing. I love Federer for so many reasons, but certainly for stuff like this.

After his match the other night there was a crush of people trying to get his autograph, and a little boy was getting smushed.

So Fed did this…

Go Fed. Two more wins and Slam No. 18 awaits…

Good News Friday: Ellen DeGeneres sets a Christian anti-gay pastor straight. A homeless shelter is turned into a 5-star restaurant. And New York City libraries donate Internet to the poor

And a happy Friday to you all; it’s been a bitterly cold week here in NYC, so if you’re reading this somewhere warm, I am glaring at you in anger through the screen (well, maybe not anger. Mild annoyance, maybe.)

First up on Good News Friday today is a really cool story near and dear to my heart. The folks at Break.com teamed up with the Ascencia Homeless Shelter in California to give those less fortunate a five-star restaurant experience, completely blowing their minds, and bringing lots of smiles. (the best part starts around the 2:20 mark).

Small gestures = huge appreciation.

**Next up, Ellen DeGeneres is a trailblazer in many ways, so she still gets her fair share of anti-gay bigots spewing venom her way.

She very rarely responds to them, but the other day on her show she did, and I thought this was fabulous…

**And finally today, the New York City library system is amazing, and I say that from first-hand experience.

But what they’re doing in low-income areas is worthy of high praise. According to this story, the NYPL is launching the nation’s largest Internet lending program, handing out 10,000 free high-speed hot spots to some of the city’s poorest residents.

The program, which offers the devices for up to a year, seeks to bridge a digital divide in the nation’s largest city, where studies have found nearly 3 million of the 8 million people lack broadband access.

“It is simply unfathomable that in the digital world in which we live, one-third of New Yorkers do not have access to broadband Internet at home, putting them at a serious disadvantage at school, in applying for jobs, and so much more,” said Anthony Marx, president of the New York Public Library.

It’s such a simple thing, but connecting those who don’t have the Web, to it, opens up a whole new world. I see it when I’ve substitute taught the last few years here in the city; schools that have computers for the kids to explore the Internet absolutely perform better than those that don’t.

Good for the NYPL. The Internet should be open to all.

A 3rd-grader does an awesome fundraiser for his fellow students. An incredible goal from hockey’s “next big thing.” And Ellen gives the Oscars pizza guy a big tip.

This is why I have so much hope for the future. Because of kids like Cayden Taipalus, an 8-year-old in 3rd grade at Challenger Elementary School in Michigan.

One day on the lunch line recently, Cayden saw another student have to put their lunch tray with hot food down, and take a cold sandwich instead. The reason, Cayden learned, is because the student didn’t have any money in their lunch account with the school.

“That made me sad,” Cayden said. “So I asked my Mom what we could do.”

What Cayden did is extraordinary, and beautiful. He started collecting cans and bottles for the refunds, and set up an online fundraising site to help get money for students whose lunch accounts were empty.

Cayden has raised more than $23,000 so far, which is incredible, and can pay for 295 lunches. And Cayden wants to raise more, too.

What a wonderful kid. If you want to donate to Cayden’s lunch fund, click here.

**Next up, you probably saw on the Oscar telecast Sunday that host Ellen DeGeneres did a funny bit where she ordered pizzas for the stars to eat during the show, and had a delivery man come out and pass out slices.

Well, Ellen collected tips from the actors that night, and this week she had the guy, named Edgar, on her show. Really sweet little segment; the guy seems totally overwhelmed and happy.

**Finally today, hard-core hockey fans like myself have been hearing for a few years now that a 17-year-old kid from Canada named Connor McDavid is the next Wayne Gretzky, or the next Sidney Crosby. Kid is pretty phenomenal from the highlights I’ve seen, and he won’t even be in the NHL until 2015.

Watch this goal he scored Wednesday night; it’s a thing of beauty. Can’t wait until this kid’s in the NHL…