Tag Archives: Hillary Clinton

A brief Trump rant after maybe his most offensive Tweet ever (I know, I know). The Winter Olympics have started and I’m surprisingly “meh” about it. And a squirrel makes me feel really good

I try. I really try to ignore 90 percent of what the President of the United States says or does. He has incurable diarrhea of the mouth and fingers, it’s impossible to take him seriously, and I know he doesn’t even believe 50 percent of the stuff he says or Tweets.

But sometimes, I can’t ignore it. I just hear about something he Tweeted and steam rises from my brain like in an old cartoon, and I just can’t get back to normal until I let out the fury and the anger.

So here goes. This was sent out into the world on Saturday at 10:33 a.m.

I mean… ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME??? A man who spent two years encouraging people to chant “Lock Her Up” at Hillary Clinton. A man who basically accused Ted Cruz’s father of being part of the JFK assassination. A man who has baselessly smeared journalists, TV personalities, other politicians who didn’t kiss his ass, and just about EVERYONE HE’S EVER MET is talking about someone ELSE not getting due process, and complaining??? The man he’s defending, former high-level staffer Rob Porter, had two ex-wives accusing him of abuse, with one producing photos of a black eye she’d suffered.

I just… I just can’t even with this sorry excuse for a human being, much less a President.

OK, I feel better. Thanks. Just every once in a while, I have to get that out of my system.

**I’m usually a pretty big Olympics guy. Winter, Summer, whichever, I usually get into them. I love the hockey and the curling and short-track speed skating at the winter Olympics, and the insane sport of Skeleton (basically a dude flying down ice at 90 miles per hour). And of course in summer I get way into the swimming, the track and field, and lots else.

But I gotta say, the South Korea Winter Olympics started Friday night and so far, I’m just kinda … meh. Didn’t watch the Opening Ceremonies (hey Mike Pence, that wasn’t you I saw not standing for an anthem, was it? Nah!), haven’t watched the early skating and skiing and snowboarding (I still can’t believe snowboarding is an Olympic sport, but hey, whatever floats your boat), and feel totally disconnected.

Lots of reasons I’m not into them yet; life is extremely hectic at the moment (who knew taking care of two kids was more effort than one?), I’m deep into college basketball here in mid-February, there’s a cool new pro men’s tennis tournament on Long Island I’m covering this week, there’s no NHL players in the hockey tournament which is a total bummer … probably a combination of all those reasons.

I hope I find a way to get into them, because for all the IOC corruption and stupid politicizing between nations, the Olympics are truly a wonderful spectacle.

**Finally today, this has nothing to do with anything but made me smile for a few seconds.

Whoever says newspaper readership is down obviously never saw this squirrel. He’s clearly going to head for the best branch with the best reading light once he gets to the top of the tree.

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Finally, mercifully, the election is here. And Marathon Sunday in NYC once again is awesome

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National Public Radio did a regular segment on one of their shows a few years back called “This I Believe,” where ordinary Americans did a 60-second speech about what their core beliefs are. It was quick-hitting, often sad or funny but always interesting.

We’re now one day away from, no joke, the most important Presidential election of my lifetime. It is that not because of events currently going on in the world, but because of the sheer terror and horror that would be caused on a global scale should a vulgar, talking yam who’s a bigoted, narcissistic egomaniac actually win.

Twenty-four hours out from Election Day 2016, a day millions of us are thrilled is finally here, let me tell you a few things I believe about tomorrow:

— I believe, as I have for the past year, that Hillary Rodham Clinton will be elected President. It will be an historic, important day. She will clear 310 electoral votes, win the popular vote by 3-5 percent, and go on to become a good President.

— I believe the Democrats will take back the Senate, 52-48, and by golly we’ll actually get the Supreme Court back to nine members, move forward on closing Guantanamo Bay and fixing this nation’s crumbling infrastructure, and keep moving forward on so many other issues. I believe the Democrats will gain about 15 seats in the House but not gain the majority.

— I believe there will be violence on Election Day, between Trump supporters and Hillary voters, and I believe there’s a high likelihood of someone being killed at a polling station. I’m fairly certain there will be bloodshed.

— I believe we will be hearing for weeks and months about voter suppression of minorities and people of color, and these stories will disgust me completely and surprise me not a whit.

— I believe that picture (above) of Hillary and LeBron James will make me laugh for weeks.

— I believe we all need 38 seconds of an adorable-ness interlude: When the President met Kid Superman at a Halloween party last week:

— I believe on Nov. 9 Donald Trump will go back to his real estate empire and his television shows, and secretly breathe a sigh of relief he doesn’t have to be leader of the free world. And I believe he will smile for decades at the con he pulled on so many, making them think he’s one of them. I believe we will hear more and more stories about what a disgusting human being he is, and he will still continue to be a TV star and not give one fuck about what damage he’s done to America.

–Finally, I believe the damage he has done to America, “normalizing” racism, hatred and pure willful refusal to acknowledge any truth that isn’t what they agree with, will last a long time and be hard to eradicate.

I want to leave you today by first linking to this scathing, hilarious article by Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone, about being on the road at some Trump rallies in late October.
But more importantly,  I want to share  two stories that illustrate what our country could be, pending the election results.

The first story is a deeply troubling tale of young children having Trump’s message of hatred and intolerance seep into their lives, with the headline “All the black and brown people have to go.”

And then there’s this story from the Washington Post, of a 10-year-old girl seeing a new student from a foreign country who doesn’t speak English sitting alone at lunch, using Google Translate to write a note to him in Spanish, and then becoming best buds with him.

Your choice, America. What kind of country would you like to live in?

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**OK, enough depressing election talk. Sunday was one of my favorite days of the year, that I look forward to for weeks: It was New York City Marathon Sunday, which for those of us who live along the route makes it incredibly cool.

For the first time in the four years we’ve lived along 1st Avenue, the weather Sunday was just perfect. High 50s, sunshine, only a little wind. It’s hard to describe how overwhelming it is, seeing thousands and thousands of runners, many of whom have trained for this day for years, just coming down the street at you in wave after wave.
Like I do every year, I screamed hundreds of runners’ names, then relished their surprised reaction when someone knew them (Hey, you put your name on your shirt, you’re going to get your name called!). I got a great spot this year right along the railing at 62nd and 1st, and must have high-fived two dozen runners.

I saw some pretty creative signs, most done with friends and family’s names, but this one really made me laugh out loud.

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There were great costumes as always; I counted a bunch of Spidermans, Batmans, a few Elsa’s from “Frozen,” and even a dude dressed in a tank top and an American flag Speedo.

I once again marveled at the wide range of ages, ethnicities and body types. I was happy to high-five both a 71-year-old man and a teenage girl, each happily running to their own beat.

The New York City Marathon is the best. There’s such joy, agony and pure exhaustion on each runner’s face, and getting to soak it all in up close is one of the great joys of the year for me.

I still dream of one day running this race; I got up to doing a 10K a few years ago and then kinda stopped training.

If and when I do it, I hope I remember to enjoy it as much as I saw so many enjoying their once in a lifetime moment on Sunday.

“The Birth of a Nation” movie was disappointing, considering what it could’ve been. A really funny video mocks parents who worry about kids and pacifiers/bottles. And thoughts on tonight’s final (thank God) presidential debate

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Maybe this is just me, but there were lots of things that I heard mentioned in history class when I was in high school and college that were glossed over, that I wanted to know more about.

This was pre-Internet (yeah, I’m old) so it wasn’t like now, where I could just Google stuff. But I have a vague recollection of hearing about the Nat Turner slave rebellion in one of my classes, and thinking it sounded fascinating. A two-day rampage by a group of slaves in Virginia in 1831, which ended bloodily for so many? That sounds wildly interesting.

Years after my initial interest, along comes “The Birth of a Nation,” a much-hyped new movie by Nate Parker. Now leaving aside the controversy of Parker’s real-life rape acquittal while a student at Penn State, the film was billed to be a fantastic look into the Nat Turner story, and it got rave reviews at a bunch of film festivals this year.

So I went to see it last week, and it was … meh. Disappointing, slow, and just not done well, I felt. The acting was fine (though Parker, playing Turner, overacts just about every scene), but the story was SO slow to get going. We spend way too much time seeing Nat Turner as a small child, growing up on a plantation and befriending the white son of his slaveowners, before finally getting to see Nat as a grownup.

And even then, the script and the story take forever to get us to the tipping point that makes Turner gather up fellow slaves to rebel. The final 20 minutes of the movie were fascinating, but even then the script and the direction make things confusing (we see a character who looks dead, but a few scenes later they’re alive and fighting.)

I really thought “Birth of A Nation” could’ve been great. The material to work with is fantastic, and it’s a story that needs to be told. But it just didn’t do it for me.

And you KNOW I’m partial to anything done by a person named Nate.

**Next up today, a smart and funny friend of mine posted this in a parents’ group on Facebook the other day, and I have to admit I laughed out loud a few times. It speaks, hilariously, to the panic some parents feel that their child hasn’t given up the pacifier, the diaper or the bottle yet.

The last 20 seconds are the funniest part, with the statistics.

***Finally today, I guess I should say something about tonight’s Battle Royal, Round 3, between Hillary Clinton and a future footnote in my 2-year-old son’s high school history book. I really have little appetite for this debate, because I just know the vulgar, talking yam will once again yammer on about conspiracies, and rigged elections, and as much bullshit as he possibly can say on television. This election is over, has been for weeks, but I guess anything is still possible.

What is most frightening to me this week is not that Hillary will somehow still find a way to screw this up, maybe making some huge gaffe tonight, but just how dangerous poll sites will be on Nov. 9. We’ve got Trump supporters talking openly about violence and intimidation, of minority voters and anyone who doesn’t agree with them. It could be a despicable, disgusting scene and voter intimidation is about as serious as it gets in a country that calls itself a democracy.

Just to give you a small idea about the ugliness out there right now, check this out

I thought Barack Obama’s statement about Trump’s silly “rigged election” claim was perfect (I posted it above, it gets good around the 1-minute mark). I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The mainstream media legitimizing of the bigoted, racist, sexist and xenophobic beliefs of Trump followers will be the long-lasting effect of the 2016 election, not the schmuck who stirred it all up and bathed himself in it.

Anyway, of course I’ll watch the debate tonight. Honestly, nothing Trump says or does would surprise me. If he brings a cardboard cutout of Vince Foster with him and props it up next to his podium, I wouldn’t be surprised. If he flies in every single Benghazi attack family member, I’d shrug.  None of it will matter. He’s flaming out more every day, now we’re just left to see how much carnage he creates along with him.

Nov. 9 can’t get here soon enough.

A perfect response from a newspaper publisher, as Trump nutjobs threaten her office and employees. “SNL” hits another homer with debate skit. And the Cowboys are for real and the Panthers are toast

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There are so, so many awful things going on now in the Presidential race, a race that gets uglier and uglier by the day. The GOP candidate keeps talking more and more about cheating and rigged elections and whipping up his supporters into such a frenzy, and it’s having such a deleterious effect. The hatred, the vitriol, the sheer “war mentality” that we’re saying every day on the news is just so vile. For a long time I tried to fool myself by saying “This will all go away on Nov. 9, when the schmuck goes back to TV where he can be a harmless buffoon again,” but now I wonder just how long his poison will seep into our society.

One of the things that as an ex-newspaper scribe I’ve paid a lot of attention to is papers that never have endorsed a Democrat, or haven’t for 100 years or something, telling its readers it should vote for Hillary Clinton. Because Trump is just that toxic. What has happened, sadly, is those newspapers have been subject to harassment, death threats, and all kinds of awfulness.

For the most part, the newspapers haven’t gone public with it. But the Arizona Republic’s publisher didn’t want to stay quiet, and she wrote this amazing essay about exactly what has happened since the Republic endorsed Clinton. Mi-Ai Parrish wrote one of the best things I’ve read all year; I urge you to read it.

Quick excerpt: “To those who said we should be shut down, burned down, who said they hoped we would cease to exist under a new presidential administration, I give you Nicole. She is our editor who directs the news staff, independent of our endorsements. After your threats, Nicole put on her press badge and walked with her reporters and photographers into the latest Donald Trump rally in Prescott Valley, Ariz. She stood as Trump encouraged his followers to heckle and boo and bully journalists. Then she came back to the newsroom to ensure our coverage was fair. Nicole knows free speech requires an open debate.

Parrish’s defense of liberty and press freedom is fantastic; she is absolutely right to call out these criminals for what they are. And the last few lines hit home.

Nov. 9 can’t get here soon enough.

**Next up today, every week “Saturday Night Live” has been given incredible material from this Presidential campaign, and you would think it might be hard to keep making up quotes that are funnier or more ridiculous than those surrounding the vulgar, talking yam Mr. Trump.

But gotta give it up to “SNL,” they keep bringing the funny. This was maybe my favorite skit yet, especially the opening “sizing up” by the two candidates, and then Kate McKinnon’s remarks about the four women from Bill Clinton’s past who were present at the debate.

McKinnon’s going to become quite famous the next four years…

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**Finally today, yesterday was one of those joyous Sundays where I didn’t have to watch the New York Jets lose. OK, OK, it’s because they don’t play until tonight. Still, a happy day! Some quickie-thoughts on another NFL Monday where I’m reminded no one knows anything about what will happen in this league…

–OK, this Dak Prescott thing is no longer a fluke, nice little story about a quarterback filling in for a starter and maybe giving the Cowboys a QB controversy. No, after Dallas thrashed Green Bay on the road, 30-16 Sunday to improve to 5-1, there’s no way on Earth Tony Romo should get his job back. Prescott finally threw an interception, but he’s looking like a 10-year vet, and it looks like he’ll be a huge star in this league.

Which means, because he plays for the Cowboys, we’ll all start hating him soon.

— The Cowboys are for real, and the Carolina Panthers are toast. Super Bowl runner-ups are inexplicably horrible this year. I mean, I know a lot of Super Bowl losers have tough seasons the next year, but this bad? The pride of Charlotte gave up 41 points to a bad New Orleans team, and even a late furious rally couldn’t prevent them from going 1-5. Cam Newton looks pedestrian, the defense stinks, and they’re not going to the playoffs this year. Wow.

— Hey, a Colin Kaepernick sighting! On the field, and not just during the national anthem! The 49ers QB who has sparked a whole lot of athlete activism the last two months actually played in a game Sunday. He didn’t play great but wasn’t terrible, either, going 13-of-29 for 187 yards and a touchdown. But he also wore a cool Muhammad Ali T-shirt to his post-game press conference, so I enjoyed that. Let’s hope Kaepernick starts playing well and continues to get his message out.

“I don’t understand what’s un-American about fighting for liberty and justice for everybody,” Kaepernick said. “For the equality that this country says it stands for.”

Exactly. Keep talking, Colin.

— Do the Giants play more crazy games than anybody else, or does it just seem that way? Eli and enormous brat Odell Beckham Jr. pulled another one out of the hat Sunday over the Ravens.

— Finally, very few people care but my man Cody Kessler had another terrific game for the winless Cleveland Browns, throwing for 336 yards in a 28-26 loss. If you want to know why I root so hard for Kessler, check this out.

This is not normal: An extraordinary Presidential debate, starring the pig Donald Trump. Lin-Manuel Miranda kills it on “SNL.” And the Eagles crash, the Vikings soar, and I say very little about the Jets

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This is not normal.

You need to keep telling yourself that, my fellow Americans (and citizens of the world, wherever you’re reading this).

This is not normal in American politics. It is not normal for a Presidential candidate of a major party, during a Presidential debate 30 days before the election, to threaten to jail the other candidate.

It is not normal in American politics for a Presidential candidate of a major party to bring three women that the candidate’s spouse allegedly sexually assaulted years ago, to the debate, seat them in the front row, and use them completely as political props.

It is not normal in American politics for a Presidential candidate of a major party to so blatantly lie about the sexual assaults HE himself bragged about committing, on videotape with another idiot, and then say that’s locker room talk (I was a newspaper sportswriter for 14 years, and have been in hundreds of locker rooms. That is NOT how men in locker rooms talk.)

This is all just so f’ed up. It is not normal. It will never be normal. My head hurt and brain got scrambled so many times watching that debate Sunday night.

What I saw on the stage, and what I think millions of people saw, is a raving, incoherent madman who basically admits he’d be a dictator, has no clue about how American government works, and is a sexual criminal.

And he’s going to get 35 percent of the vote.

So many thoughts on what was, again, an extraordinarily unusual debate (You can find my thoughts, and some of the great thoughts of others I RT’ed, on my Twitter feed here.):

— First, and I cannot emphasize this enough: Trump said if he wins he will appoint a special prosecutor and make sure Hillary is put in jail.  This is how dictatorships work. This is what Putin, and Castro, and so many others have done. This cannot be allowed to slip by as “just talk.”

— Did you notice how skulking and scary Trump seemed pacing around the room, lurking behind Hillary? As one Tweeter put it: “Can someone tell the Secret Service there’s a scary, crazy man behind Hillary Clinton?”

— I thought Hillary did very well Sunday night not sinking to Trump’s level, mostly. She did get down in the gutter with him a couple of times, but I thought she did a terrific job reminding everyone of ALL the groups Trump has insulted, that it’s not just women he discussed so disgustingly on that 2005 videotape.

— She wasn’t perfect; her Abe Lincoln public/private answer was strange, and she didn’t do a great job near the end when asked to praise something about Trump. But she let him ramble and ramble and that was all she needed to do.

— I thought Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz, the moderators, got much stronger as the debate went on, actually challenging both candidates to answer the questions. Trump’s whining about time and “it’s 3 vs. 1” was just so juvenile. My 2-year-old would’ve been more mature up there.

— And now, a comedic interlude from noted scholar Scott Baio:

— Also, and this too will get lost because 10 other crazy things happened: Trump said he and VP nominee Mike Pence “haven’t spoken” about Russia’s involvement in Syria but he disagrees with Pence’s position.
This is such an important issue, Syria, Trump talks about it all the time, and yet he hasn’t discussed it with his VP.

— How offensive is it that Trump, when talking about African-Americans, only talks about the inner city? Does every black person in America live in an inner-city? I mean, has the man SEEN the TV show “Blackish?”

— Line of the night, from my friend Dave: “Trump makes George W. Bush look like Stephen Hawking.”

— It was so hilarious to see SO many GOP politicians pull hamstrings over the weekend, running as far away from Trump as they could after the old tape became public. So, let me get this straight: Insulting veterans, Muslims, Mexicans, Miss Universe winners, disabled reporters and others was fine by you, but talking about women this way, THAT was too much for you?

Give me a goddamn break.

— She’s winning 35-39 states, and more than 350 electoral votes, and the Democrats take back the Senate. I’ve said this since March. Nothing Sunday night changes any of it. If anything, I’m being conservative in my estimates of the Hillary landslide.

**Next up today, the creative genius that is Lin-Manuel Miranda hosted “Saturday Night Live” this weekend, and as expected he was awesome.

Though he looks radically different from how he appeared in “Hamilton,” his opening song was pretty fantastic.

The “Weehawken” line was my favorite…

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**Finally today, a few thoughts on the NFL, Week 5. All I’m going to say about the Jets is that they stink in all facets of the game, they’re now 1-4, and the season is gone, and I’m really happy the New York Rangers hockey and Duke basketball seasons start real soon. As my beloved father texted during the 4th quarter of Sunday’s pathetic loss to the Steelers, “it’s actually physically painful to watch them.”

“The 2016 Jets! It’s physically painful to watch us!”

— Moving on, kind of a crushing loss for the previously-undefeated Eagles. Falling down big at Detroit, rallying back, then losing in the final two minutes, as Carson Wentz throws his first interception of his career. NFC East is going to be very interesting this year.

— Also, if you show up to the Cleveland Browns practice facility today, they’ll give you a uniform and make you the starting quarterback next week. Man oh man, that franchise is just cursed beyond belief. Every QB they throw out there gets hurt.

— Anyone expect the Minnesota Vikings to be this damn good, without Teddy Bridgewater and Adrian Peterson? They just manhandled the pretty good Texans on Sunday.

 

Finally after months of waiting, a real debate between Clinton and Trump. The awful Jets, the undefeated Eagles, and other Week 3 NFL thoughts

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It’s been a long, long time since professional boxing has mattered in this country.

So maybe this analogy will be lost on younger readers. But tonight’s Hillary Clinton-Donald Trump debate feels like a championship fight.

For a long, long, long time, the two major party candidates for President have sniped at each other from afar, with the vulgar, talking yam making up lie after lie and somehow rising in the polls despite it (Seriously, there was a Tweet I saw last week titled “Here are 18 lies Donald Trump told today at his rally.”)

I know deep in my heart Trump ain’t winning this election; I don’t care if the statisticians in the world keep saying his chances are going up, she’s not pulling away like she was a month ago, yada yada yada.

Still, my liberal heart is a little nervous about tonight. Couple quick points I want to make going into the 9 p.m. Eastern debate which I think will probably break all TV ratings records for debates:

She must call him out on his lies. Every time. I have no faith that NBC’s Lester Holt, a perfectly reputable broadcaster, will have the time nor the inclination to point out every time Trump lies. That’s why Hillary has to do it. I don’t care if she comes off smarmy, or has to interrupt him 35 times. Trump’s enormous whoppers, whether they’re about ISIS, or the economy, or crime in the America, cannot be allowed to stand. We political junkies forget this, but millions of people are just starting to pay attention to this race. Trump’s fibs cannot be allowed to be what they remember from this debate.

Hillary must remind people what she’s done: So much of this election has been about GOP fear-mongering of what she “would do” or “will do” as President. Hillary has a long list of accomplishments dating back to Children’s Health Care, her time as Secretary of State, and as First Lady. She has to remind Americans that for all her faults, she’s done a lot.

— Trump can’t lose his temper: If I were, horrifyingly, advising the scariest major candidate in the last 100 years, I’d tell him containing his temper is the No. 1 goal of tonight. Everyone thinks you’re a temperamental, thin-skinned, hothead who can’t handle any critique and flies off the handle at the slightest provocation. Prove them wrong by staying calm tonight.

Get your popcorn ready, folks. This should be very interesting.

**Finally, some quickie NFL thoughts from Week 3. I didn’t see much of the games because my beautiful wife and I were in Montauk for a wedding Sunday, but watched some highlights and a little bit of the Jets game. I am very, very glad I didn’t watch the Jets debacle. SIX Ryan Fitzpatrick interceptions? OK, they weren’t all his fault but come on, SIX? Jets are in deep doo-doo if they lose to Seattle next week.

— The Giants-Redskins game was a terrific back and forth affair, but what will stick out for me is yet another Odell Beckham Jr. temper tantrum (above). I don’t know if this kid will ever mature, maybe he will. But man oh man does he seem like a total immature punk right now. A powder keg that could go off at any moment.

–The Eagles whipped the Steelers, 34-3, and the Vikings stayed undefeated as well, and we are once again reminded football is such a strange game. Eagles rookie QB Carson Wentz was expected to ride the bench this season, learn the ropes, etc. Then a month ago Minnesota’s QB Teddy Bridgewater gets seriously hurt. Which led to Eagles QB Sam Bradford being traded to Minnesota. Which leads to Wentz getting a chance to play and looking awesome, and the much-criticized Bradford playing great for the Vikings, and now everyone in both cities are thrilled. But if not for one injury, none of this happens.

Fate is crazy.

— I knew few people cared about the Browns-Dolphins game, but I was following along on my phone thanks to Cody Kessler of the Browns getting his first career start at QB. I think I blogged about this last year, but I got to interview Cody when he was at USC for a story I was doing on his wonderful work with the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, which I volunteer for. He’s a fantastic young man with a big heart, and I was thrilled that he played so well for Cleveland on Sunday (even though the Browns, being the Browns, lost in overtime)

Good News Friday: The future Madam President speaks, and galvanizes the crowd. A Muslim-American delivers the best speech of convention. And a 6-year-old gets his wish to be a garbageman

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Hillary Clinton first appeared in the New York Times in 1969, for giving the valedictory speech at Wellesley College. She has been “famous” since at least 1991, when her husband started running for President. She has been criticized for longer, and more intensely, and for more things, than any American politician in history.

And yet, Thursday  night, in front of millions of viewers and a packed Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, her task was to “re-introduce” herself to Americans.

There can’t be more than 10 people in all 50 states that have no opinion on her: She is loved, she is hated, passionately on both sides. But Thursday night, after an incredibly moving and powerful evening of speeches, Hillary Clinton gave the most important speech of her career.

And I think she (mostly) nailed it. Look, she’s not a natural public speaker, she doesn’t have the charms or charisma of her husband. But on an incredibly historic night, that meant so much to so many millions of women across the country, she did what she had to do.

She told the story of her life, with help from a fantastic video introduction, and she talked about what she’ll do as President.

She shot fish in a barrel by using Donald Trump’s numerous disqualifications against him, with a great line being “a man who can be baited with a tweet, cannot be trusted with the nuclear weapon codes.”

But maybe most importantly in the grand scheme of world history, she showed that the first woman nominee for President by a major party is wholly and completely qualified for the job. She moved millions of women just by being there on stage Thursday night, showing once and for all that women are completely equal to men.

Hillary Clinton was not my pick, and I still have some reservations about her ideas and beliefs. But this election is the starkest, clearest and most obvious choice for President of my lifetime.

For the future of our country, she is the only sane choice in November. And I’ll be proud to help her make history.

**The most powerful, most important speech of the night Thursday was not given by Hillary Clinton, or Jennifer Granholm, who was sensational, nor even William Barber, the NAACP leader from North Carolina who had me out of my seat screaming “Hell yeah!” at the TV.

It was this, from Khizr Khan, whose soldier son, Humayun Khan was killed by a car bomb in Iraq. In direct, simple language, he destroys Donald Trump. “Have you ever read the Constitution? If not, I can lend you my copy.” (That part starts around 4:30 mark)

So, so, SO important to hear from American Muslims, who have been so criticized and abused since 9/11, and even more so by Trump.

He is a brave, powerful man who should be heard by every American.

**Finally today, I loved this story: 6-year-old Ethan Dean of California suffers from cystic fibrosis, and he asked the Make-A-Wish Foundation if he could be a garbageman for a day.

Much as other cities have done in the past, the city of Sacramento went all out for Ethan; watch this video and again, smile and realize how much good there is in the world.

Have a great weekend.

Michelle Obama and the Democrats show how it’s done, with 2 beautiful days. And Trump pissed off his littlest followers, and now they’re suing

My goodness, what a breath of fresh air the last two days of the Democratic National Convention has been.

Look everyone, actual grown-ups giving speeches, with specifics, and those crazy little things called facts, and somehow giving us the idea that America isn’t a complete hellhole just a few weeks away from total obliteration!

The contrast could not be more obvious. Monday night and Tuesday night in Philadelphia, a cross-section of America, people that actually look like America, walked up to the podium and spoke from their heart with an uplifting, realistic message.

And Tuesday night, a little before 7 p.m., a woman became the nominee of one of our two major political parties, for the first time ever. Even though it has been known for months that Hillary Rodham Clinton would make history, it was still pretty amazing to see it happen.

So much I want to talk about from the first two nights, but I have to start with the greatest speech from a First Lady, maybe ever.

— I mean, how inspiring was Michelle Obama? This highly educated, graceful, beautiful woman stood on the stage at the Wells Fargo Center and tore the roof off. She spoke so movingly about her daughters, and about history, and starting at the 11:30 mark of the above video, uttered one of the greatest passages I’ve ever heard spoken.

“Today, I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves. And I watch my daughters, two beautiful, intelligent black young women, playing with their dog on the White House lawn.”
What an incredible line, delivered beautifully. I know she would never, ever do it, but I’d vote for her for elected office in a nanosecond.

– Cory Booker = the 2024 Democratic Presidential nominee. He was powerful and passionate Monday night as well, making the case for Hillary strongly. I still think he should’ve been the VP pick.

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— Another sensational moment Tuesday night was the speeches by the Mothers of the Movement, moms whose children had been killed by law enforcement in the last few years. Hearing their gripping, beautiful words of pain and grief is so important.

— Can’t believe I’m saying this, but I don’t think the speakers the first two nights hit Trump hard enough, specifically, how incredibly terrifying a Trump Presidency would be. The GOP spent four days last week on doom and gloom and fear and horror, preying on Americans’ worst nightmares.

I think 20 minutes of the nightmare of Trump and Putin destroying the world is in order, maybe tonight by Joe Biden. The case has to be hammered home, over and over, how catastrophic a Trump win would be.

— The Big Dog, aka Bubba, aka Bill Clinton, gave a long and mostly terrific speech about his wife Tuesday night. He humanized her, which needed to be done, telling great anecdotes about their life together, but when talking about how she sticks with things, he might’ve said “And she stuck with me through all my cheating and zipper problems, even after I got oral sex in the Oval Office! How ’bout that woman!”

Still, he was solid and seemed to, as always, relish the spotlight.

— Finally, allow me a few words to vent about the idiotic Bernie Sanders delegates who heckled, booed and disrupted the first two days: GROW UP. Seriously, grow the f up. Heckling Elizabeth Warren with chants of “We Trusted You!” and, most amazingly, “Goldman Sachs” was just ridiculous. Elizabeth Warren, the most anti-Wall Street politician in the country, getting heckled with “Goldman Sachs” chants… so stupid.

The ideological purity and absolute fealty they were demanding was so naive and juvenile, and booing their OWN hero, Bernie Sanders, during his speech Monday and then again on Tuesday showed these narcissistic blowhards to be beyond the pale.

We Bernie fans desperately wanted him to win. He didn’t. Shit happens. Get on board and realize a Trump Presidency would be astronomically awful. Grow up.

**Finally today, this story, pointed out to me by avid blog reader (and wonderful friend) Will, just about made my freaking day. Do you remember that incredibly creepy “pep rally” video I posted on the blog back in January, of three little girls doing a dance routine before a Donald Trump rally? If you don’t recall it, watch it above (Their group is called “USA Freedom Kids,” which sounds like an awful charity or something.)

Then again, maybe don’t watch it: It’s about the worst piece of propaganda I’ve seen since that awful Rick Santorum “Game on” commercial back in 2012.

Anyway, I’d forgotten about these little misguided darlings until Tuesday, when the Washington Post ran a story saying that the father/manager of one of the girls, Jeff Popick, is suing Trump because he never paid the group what they were promised.

“These are guys that insist they’re straight shooters,” Popick said, “‘You may not like what we’re going to say, but we mean what we say and we say what we mean’ — and they just would not say anything of any substance!”

“I’ve invested a lot of time, effort, money,” he continued, “and it’s just been complete silence.”

You can screw with lots of people, Donald Trump. But you do NOT fuck with the USA Freedom Girls, OK?

After last week’s debacle, Hillary and Kaine get their shot. The Rio Olympics are already a disaster. And remembering the biggest moment of Hall of Famer Mike Piazza’s career

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There’s always something to be said for going last in a two-person competition. You get to leave the final impression, you can see what the other person did and NOT do that, and maybe most importantly with this week’s Democratic National Convention, the bar for “being better than your opponent” has never been lower.

I mean, is it possible for Hillary Clinton and Co. to make a worse impression, to come off more disorganized, racist, plagiarizing and lying through their teeth than the GOP? I honestly don’t think it’s possible.

Lots of things I’ll be watching for in the next days, some quick-hit thoughts on what should be a pretty good show in Philadelphia:

— Tim Kaine in his national spotlight audition. I didn’t love Hillary’s choice of the Va. Senator as veep; he’s a bland, moderate white guy, when so many more appealing choices were available (Julian Castro, Elizabeth Warren, hell even Tom Perez would’ve gotten people more excited). But after a few days of reading up on Kaine’s background (dude’s never lost an election, that has to be encouraging), voting record, etc., I think he’s probably a decent choice. I don’t love that he loves Wall Street and banking deregulation so much, but otherwise he checks most liberal boxes. And he’ll help in Virginia. I’m anxious to see what kind of performer he is under the huge spotlight this week.

— Bernie Sanders speaks Monday night, and boy will he have a lot to say. The DNC email leaks scandal is one thing, and happily, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the maestro of the incredibly tilted Democratic primary this year, has resigned. But I really want to hear how Bernie speaks about his core issues, since he did so much better than anyone thought he would, and what he says about Hillary, after months and months of attacking her.

— Michelle Obama speaks tonight, too; will she make me and millions of others happy by starting with “When I was a young girl growing up in Slovenia…”? That would be so awesome.

— The Big Dog, Bill Clinton, talks Wednesday: Will he talk about Hillary as her husband, or as a future President, and how many great one-liners about Trump will he get off?

— Barack Obama’s speech on Wednesday; he and Hillary have some history together as rivals and then partners, and he, too, is in supreme position to push back on all the lies Trump told last week. I hope he calls out every one of them.

Should be a fascinating four nights.

View of an athlete's room at the Olympic and Paralympic Village for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on July 23, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / YASUYOSHI CHIBAYASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images ORIG FILE ID: AFP_DI6ZI

**Next up today, rarely has an Olympics looked more like a shitshow than these Rio Games appear to be. So many problems in Brazil right now, from the economy, to the uncertain political leadership, and the nation looks completely unprepared to host an Olympics, who oh by the way, start in 10 days.

I don’t know, you think THIS is a bad sign? Sunday the Australian delegation announced that upon arrival at the Olympic Village, where thousands of athletes will be staying, the place was “uninhabitable.”

The toilets wouldn’t work, there was a rank smell, and all sorts of exposed wiring. Again, this is TEN DAYS before the Olympics.

Man oh man, I know lots of Olympics have looked like they’d be disasters before they started, and everything then ran smooth, but I don’t see how that happens here.

**Finally today, one of the few baseball things I pay attention to each year happened Sunday, the annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

I was incredibly fortunate, when I worked in upstate New York for the Glens Falls Post-Star, to get to cover two HOF inductions, and they were awesome, some of the best things I’ve ever covered. Cooperstown is such a special place, the people are incredibly friendly, and Otsego Lake is spectacular.

Anyway, Sunday was this year’s ceremony, with Mike Piazza and Ken Griffey Jr. being enshrined. Griffey Jr., was a no-doubt pick, and it’s still incredible to me that he didn’t get 100 percent of the vote (No one ever has.)

Piazza’s a more iffy case, because rumors of steroids (very, very strong rumors) have dogged him for a long time. But as a New Yorker, what I’ll always remember Piazza for, beyond the whole “Roger Clemens throwing the bat at him in the World Series thing, is that he gave me one of the most indelible sports memories I’ll ever have.

On Sept. 21, 2001, the Mets and Atlanta Braves played the first professional sporting event in New York City since 9/11. The whole city had been feeling so awful for 10 days, and sports seemed even less important than usual. Nobody was smiling, for any reason.

In the bottom of the eighth, with the Mets down a run, Piazza pummeled a pitch over the center field wall for a go-ahead home run. Shea Stadium went nuts. I remember going nuts, too, and I’m a Yankees fan. As Piazza rounded the bases, the sound from the crowd just kept growing and growing, and the TV cameras flashed to a bunch of FDNY firefighters in the crowd, and I get goosebumps right now just watching the above video.

An incredible night I’ll never forget. After so much horror, for two minutes, millions of New Yorkers got to feel just a little bit of joy.

So I’ll always be grateful to Mike Piazza for that.

An incredibly brave rape victim makes a powerful statement in court to her rapist. It’s Hillary, and a pretty historic moment. And “The Americans” season finale tonight, I can’t wait!

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The words “courage” and “hero” are thrown around far too easily in our society. An athlete, or a singer, or a businessman, does something a little different or out of the ordinary, and we laud them with those words like they landed at Normandy or something.

Let me tell you what I think courage is: Courage is a rape victim standing up in court last week, after her convicted attacked received the pathetically light sentence of six months in jail, and speaking powerfully, emotionally and honestly about everything she has gone through.

A victim who has the horror of that night seared into her mind and body forever, while Mr. Brock Turner (above), the Stanford swimmer who met the victim at a party in 2015, got drunk along with her, then sexually assaulted her behind a dumpster, sat there and listened to it.

If you haven’t been following this story, it has happily gotten huge play over the past few days.

The victim’s speech in court has gotten more than 6 million views on Buzzfeed, where it was first published. CNN’s Ashleigh Banfield read the entire thing on live TV Tuesday. What this young woman did took so much guts, and so much courage, that when I finished it my jaw was on the floor. I am in awe of her.

I could not encourage you more strongly to read the whole thing. It speaks to the power of the human spirit.

Rape is a disgusting, hideous crime which so often gets covered up or excused by our court system. Here, in plain English, we see what it really looks like.

Here are just a few passages from this incredible speech.

One day, I was at work, scrolling through the news on my phone, and came across an article. In it, I read and learned for the first time about how I was found unconscious, with my hair disheveled, long necklace wrapped around my neck, bra pulled out of my dress, dress pulled off over my shoulders and pulled up above my waist, that I was butt naked all the way down to my boots, legs spread apart, and had been penetrated by a foreign object by someone I did not recognize.

This was how I learned what happened to me, sitting at my desk reading the news at work. I learned what happened to me the same time everyone else in the world learned what happened to me. That’s when the pine needles in my hair made sense, they didn’t fall from a tree. He had taken off my underwear, his fingers had been inside of me. I don’t even know this person. I still don’t know this person. When I read about me like this, I said, this can’t be me, this can’t be me. I could not digest or accept any of this information. I could not imagine my family having to read about this online. I kept reading. In the next paragraph, I read something that I will never forgive; I read that according to him, I liked it. I liked it. Again, I do not have words for these feelings…

And then, at the bottom of the article, after I learned about the graphic details of my own sexual assault, the article listed his swimming times. She was found breathing, unresponsive with her underwear six inches away from her bare stomach curled in fetal position. By the way, he’s really good at swimming…

My independence, natural joy, gentleness, and steady lifestyle I had been enjoying became distorted beyond recognition. I became closed off, angry, self deprecating, tired, irritable, empty. The isolation at times was unbearable. You cannot give me back the life I had before that night either. While you worry about your shattered reputation, I refrigerated spoons every night so when I woke up, and my eyes were puffy from crying, I would hold the spoons to my eyes to lessen the swelling so that I could see. I showed up an hour late to work every morning, excused myself to cry in the stairwells, I can tell you all the best places in that building to cry where no one can hear you.

When I see my younger sister hurting, when she is unable to keep up in school, when she is deprived of joy, when she is not sleeping, when she is crying so hard on the phone she is barely breathing, telling me over and over again she is sorry for leaving me alone that night, sorry sorry sorry, when she feels more guilt than you, then I do not forgive you. 

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**Next up today, Hillary Rodham Clinton gave a speech Tuesday night as the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party. For President of the United States.

And she’s a woman. I feel the need to point that out because so many Bernie supporters seem so angry, so bitter, so unwilling to acknowledge the game is over and she won.

I’m not one of those people. I was surprised at my own reaction Tuesday night, as the most famous woman in America bounded onto the stage in Brooklyn to give a speech, and I got a little emotional for a few seconds.

It’s been more than 200 years of democracy in America, and we finally decided to give a woman a chance at the top job. For all the things Hillary Clinton is (and is not), she’s a symbol to young girls everywhere that you really CAN do anything boys can do, that there’s no longer any barriers to achieving the ultimate prize.

And as much as I’ve railed against her, as much as I don’t trust her and as much as I doubt her sincerity on many of her positions, it’s a pretty wonderful thing for the U.S. to finally nominate a woman. And she is going to be President, and with a Democratic Senate, she may even turn out to be a pretty good President.

It was a historic night. My fellow Bernie backers need to suck it up and realize she’s the nominee, and get her elected.

THE AMERICANS -- "Glanders" (Airs, Wednesday, March 16, 10:00 pm/ep) -- Pictured: Holly Taylor as Paige Jennings. CR: FX

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**Finally, tonight is the season finale of “The Americans” and I am as amped up for this finale as I have been for all the others on the best show on TV. This season has been, in a word, magnificent, probably their best yet (SPOILER ALERT, IF YOU’RE NOT CAUGHT UP, STOP READING).

Just about every episode this season has ratcheted up the tension, whether making Paige Jennings just a little more aware of how cunning and deadly her parents are, or Phillip and Elizabeth both having major second thoughts about their operations, or poor clueless FBI agent Stan Beamon trying desperately to stay relevant and with a step or two of the Russians.

Last week’s last few minutes stretched credibility a little for me (come on, within a few days of Oleg’s tip they already had found William and where we worked) but damn if I am psyched for tonight. So many plotlines to wrap up, including Gabriel and his future, whether Henry Jennings will EVER come out of his room and hear what he’s missing, and if Don and Young Hee get divorced (that storyline killed me. So, so heart-wrenching.)

“The Americans” is as good as it gets on American TV. So thrilled it’s been renewed for two more seasons. And I can’t wait to see what happens tonight.