Tag Archives: Jimmy Kimmel

Another New York City Marathon Sunday was wonderful and sweaty. Jennifer Lawrence hosting Kimmel was fantastic. And my favorite NFL TD celebration yet

Yet another mass shooting. Only the details change, from Aurora, Colorado to Las Vegas to Virginia Tech to a church in Texas. I just can’t take it anymore…

The first Sunday in November is one I look forward to every year as a New Yorker, and this year, maybe even more so.

For one, I was looking forward to getting some fresh air, as since our new little nugget was born last Tuesday, we haven’t exactly been outside much. For another, we just had another terrorist attack last week and the whole city seemed to be a little on edge the last few days.

And third, because there is so much that divides us in America these days, so many things that split us apart, that simply standing with thousands of strangers all cheering on a wide swath of humanity all trying to accomplish the same thing I knew would make me feel good.

And it did. While my wife was upstairs feeding the little guy (I forgot how exhausting and long early feedings can be, but she certainly hasn’t) I snuck out for 90 minutes and had a phenomenal time in the 60-degree spitting rain we had here Sunday.

I met some new friends who apparently live right near me on 1st Avenue and were even more enthusiastic (Jodi and Danielle, I’ll probably never see you again but thanks for all the laughs and shouts!), and I was again uplifted by the triumph of a human spirit that thinks nothing of running 26.2 miles with thousands of strangers for very little glory other than personal satisfaction.

A few quick-hit thoughts from Marathon Sunday…

— My favorite moment of the day came from a truly unique woman named Patricia. She was running with a female friend of hers, heard us wildly calling her name, and decided to stop. She and her pal said “You guys are awesome, I want a picture with you.” And so the three of us took a photo with Patricia and her friend, then Patricia said “let’s do a shot” and took a tiny, mouthwash-sized bottle out from the fanny pack she was wearing, and drank something that definitely wasn’t water.

As our jaws hung open, she asked “Hey, what borough are win now?” I hope she was kidding but said “Manhattan,” and then she was off and running again.

Patricia, you shine on, you crazy diamond.

— In the unusual and cool costume dept., we had way more “Wonder Woman” runners than ever before, probably because of the movie. Saw an IronMan, a Queen Elizabeth-dressed runner, and more than a few Spider-Mans. Not sure how comfortable any of that could’ve been to run in.

— We gave high-fives to at least 15 runners Sunday, and let’s just say there’s not enough Purell in the world to fully cleanse my palm. But they got so pumped up when we called their name; it’s so great to see a runner laboring and looking dejected, only to see them perk up and smile when they hear cheering and their name called. It’s the best.

 

— I’ve said this before but the NYC Marathon is by far the most diverse sporting event I’ve ever seen. The rainbow coalition of types of people who run this race, old, young, white, black, Asian, Hispanic, male, female… there is no one “type” who does this crazy 26-mile journey. Just people who want to push themselves and have a wonderful sense of accomplishment at the end.

Sunday, I was honored to be a small part of their journey.

**Next up today, I seem to like Jennifer Lawrence very much but don’t see too many of her movies. She was great in “American Hustle” and I’m sure I’ve seen her elsewhere, but her interviews and non-movie stuff are almost always enjoyable and peg Lawrence as a fun, wildly self-deprecating celebrity who realizes so much of Hollywood is B.S.

She hosted Jimmy Kimmel’s show last Thursday night and her monologue was fabulous; halfway through she went outside on the streets and asked random people to name five Jennifer Lawrence movies. It was fabulous.

**Finally today, I didn’t see much football on Sunday (I was watching those runners) but apparently it was a wild day in the NFL. The Giants continued to turn into the Jets, getting blown out at home (51 points they gave up!); the New Orleans Saints are 6-2 and who the hell ever saw that coming this season, and most importantly, we got some more hilarious and super-fun end zone dances.

There are a lot of things we can bash the NFL about this year, but one thing they’ve actually done right is allowed players who’ve scored to do fun TD celebrations. They’re harmless, they are wildly entertaining, and they allow players to show a little of their personalities.

This one Sunday, by the Kansas City Chiefs, might be my favorite all year. I’m not the only one who flashed to a “Brady Bunch” episode or “Mr. Mom” while watching this, right?

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Another mass shooting, and we should all be disgusted and angry at our government. Chance the Rapper with a pretty incredible new performance. And remembering Tom Petty, whose music made my life happier

It’s happened again. Because, of COURSE it happened again.
Every. Single. Goddamn. Time. Every time there’s a mass shooting in America, the same, tired, ridiculous arguments get trotted out. Congressmen and women who are bought, sold and paid for by the gun lobby offer “thoughts and prayers.”
What they actually are saying, and doing by their votes, is making it EASIER for mass shootings to happen. Because they pass laws making it simpler for people with mental illnesses to get guns. And they make sure suspected terrorists on the U.S. “no-fly list” can still get guns.

And the same, tired, ridiculous arguments get trotted out by the NRA, who continue to be the single most powerful force in American politics.

Nothing ever changes. Ever. It is the issue I feel strongest about that will take the longest to change, because we have weak, spineless leaders (in BOTH parties) who refuse to stop the massacring of fellow Americans.

Nothing happened, no laws were changed to protect Americans after CHILDREN WERE MURDERED in an elementary school in Connecticut in 2012. You think 59 adults (and counting) and hundreds of injured at a music concert in Las Vegas is going to change things?

Not a chance. I’m tired of being disgusted, tired of being outraged, tired of living in the type of country where our political leaders don’t seem to give one damn about protecting its citizens from fellow citizens wielding enormously dangerous weapons.

The Onion runs the same headline after every mass shooting that it first ran years ago: “No Way to Prevent This, Says only Nation where this Regularly Happens.”

I’m nauseous, once again, from yet another preventable and unspeakable tragedy.

Three pieces of media I want to share on the Las Vegas shooting. One, Jimmy Kimmel, who is becoming quite the eloquent statesman lately, with an emotional discussion of the massacre in his hometown.

— Two, an unbelievable piece of writing and reporting from the Washington Post’s Wesley Lowery, on two strangers, Kody Robertson and Michelle Vo (pictured above), who became fast friends at the music festival in Las Vegas, and the dedication of one to the other after the tragedy. One of the most heartbreaking and beautiful stories you’ll ever read.

— And three, Trevor Noah of “The Daily Show,” bringing it home and speaking the truth. Again, this doesn’t have to happen. Except it keeps happening.

**Next up, a message of hope, or at least something uplifting. Chance the Rapper is someone who seems to keep cropping up everywhere these days; the Chicago native has become a major voice speaking out against the awful violence and murders that plague the Windy City. He’s a wildly talented writer and musician, and honestly seems like he’s trying hard to be positive, and uplifting.

Chance was on Stephen Colbert last week performing a new song he’d just written, but I just saw this the other day and thought it was outstanding. I hope you find it uplifting, too. (The song is called “First World Problems.”)

**And finally today, a few words about Tom Petty, a musician who I’d say ranks in my all-time Top 10 in terms of “number of times I’ve listened to his songs and instantly felt happy.”

I “discovered” this amazing musician in 1989, when his album “Full Moon Fever” came out and I first heard the song “Free Fallin'” on MTV. Within a few months I was going down to our local record and cassette store and trying to find as much as possible by Petty, this Floridian with the scratchy voice and the kick-ass guitar sound.

Soon I discovered classic songs like “American Girl,” “Refugee,” and “Don’t Come Around Here No More.”

One of the best concerts I ever saw live was in 1996 at the Spectrum in Philadelphia, when my best friend (and fellow Petty lover) Clay and I saw Petty and the Heartbreakers. We sang along, we danced, we may have inhaled a substance that rhymes with “farajuana,” and we just enjoyed watching a master musician at his craft.

Petty died way too young, on Monday, at age 66. But his musical legacy will live on.

Here, listen to “American Girl” and try not to sing along. It’s darn near impossible.

An enormous college hoops scandal shocks all, except college hoops fans. The Puerto Rico devastation up close is awful. And Jimmy Kimmel as an unlikely health care crusader

So much going on in the world right now, I feel like I want to blog four or five times per day (not sure where I’d get the time for that, but hey, that’s how I feel.) I really don’t want to make you read the 4,383rd take on the national anthem/flag controversy, so I won’t. I’ll just point you to this, from the great Bob Costas, and this, from ex-NFLer Shannon Sharpe, and this, from Texas sportscaster Dale Hansen, all of whom say exactly how I feel, and more eloquently.

First up today, you know sometimes when you’re close to something you don’t realize how it looks to people outside that sphere, and that things you completely take for granted as normal, other people see as a criminal enterprise? Of course you do.

That’s kind of how I feel about the bombshell that rocked college basketball Tuesday. It’s pretty rare there’s any college hoops news this time of year, but this was huge: The FBI announced results of a massive investigation that led to indictments for 10 college basketball assistant coaches, sneaker executives, agents, and recruits.

The investigation alleges that coaches took money from sneaker companies, paid players, steered players toward schools that were affiliated with the sneaker companies, then hooked those players up with agents of the sneaker companies’ choosing once they became pros in the NBA.

The evidence is shocking, and enormous. This scandal has the potential to fundamentally change and destroy many major programs, like Louisville, USC and Auburn.

And yet, to me and my fellow diehard college hoops fan friend Tony, our reaction was: Of course this all goes on. You feds are just figuring this out now?

Because one of the compromises we college basketball fans make to ourselves is to ignore the seamy stuff, and just focus on the beautiful product on the court. We have long taken for granted that so much of the sport we love is underhanded: One person paying another person, steering that person to a certain school which happens to have a contract with adidas or Nike or Under Armour, steering the player to a certain agent, with everyone getting kickbacks and bribes along the way.

It’s just that now, and for the next several months, the rest of the world will learn just how sleazy this all is. Not every program will be caught up in this (I may lose it if Duke and Coach K are found to be involved in this garbage), but many many will.

It’s hilarious that some people Tuesday were like “The NCAA didn’t know this was going on?” Of COURSE the NCAA knew this was going on, but they didn’t want to talk about it or investigate it. It’s all just an accepted part of the sport.

It’s going to be ugly. But you know they say disinfectant is the best sunlight, so maybe, just maybe, for a little while things can get a little cleaner. Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports has a terrific column explaining all this.

March Madness may look a lot, lot different next year.

**Next up today, on the list of celebrities who’d eventually became health care law crusaders, I’d have put Jimmy Kimmel pretty far down the list a year ago.

But since his newborn son was diagnosed with a heart condition, the late-night host has been sort of thrust into the spotlight, and amazingly, his passion about health care and insurance may have had a small part in sinking the latest horrendous attempt by the GOP-led Senate to repeal ObamaCare.

Since Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana said any new health care bill would have to pass “The Jimmy Kimmel test.” Well, the new law fell far short, and for three days last week Kimmel called Cassidy’s bluff and called “bullshit.”

All three monologues were great, but this was the first and I think best one (above).

**And finally, the devastation in Puerto Rico isn’t getting nearly enough attention. While so much of the media talks about anthem protests and private email addresses and that stuff, the people of Puerto Rico (who are Americans, by the way!) are suffering after a devastating storm last week.

There were a ton of great stories and videos if you dig hard enough, but these short video pieces from CBS News correspondent David Begnaud, reporting from the San Juan airport, really hit home for me.

The greatest of all time wins Wimbledon title No. 8. A Jewish kid in Pa. dedicates his bar mitzvah to Jimmy Kimmel, and Jon Stewart’s not happy. And even Fox News is tired of being lied to

Between 2013-2016, you would hear the stories on TV, or read them in newspapers or on the web.

At first they were whispers, as there was still so much respect for the person they were talking about. But then they got louder, and louder, and louder.

What’s wrong with Roger Federer? Why isn’t he winning anymore? Is he too old? Maybe he should just … retire.

Yep, looks like all those experts were right. That four-year-gap between Grand Slam wins for Roger Federer was the end. Guy could barely play anymore, he should’ve just shuffled off to Switzerland’s version of Del Boca Vista, Phase 2 and called it a career.

Not quite. Roger Federer, the greatest athlete I’ve had the privilege of seeing in my 41 years of life, is writing a story in 2017 that’s never been seen before. He’s doing things no 35-almost-36 year old tennis player has ever done, hell, no professional athlete has done at this age and stage of his career.

Let me hit you with a few quick facts on this incredible champion’s run in 2017:

— He’s won 2 of the 3 Grand Slam events. He’s only played two of them.
— He just won Wimbledon for a record eighth time. And did it without dropping a set. That’s insane.
— He’s 25-0, that’s 25 wins and no losses, in the four biggest tournaments he’s played this year.
— He’s got an excellent chance to become No. 1 in the world again, at the end of this year.

It is all so miraculous to watch for those of us who are hard-core Federer fans like me. We saw the struggles of the last few years, the shocking losses to people like Tommy Robredo and Sergei Stakhovsky at majors, and winced. Nobody wanted to see Federer go out like this.

Then, he got hurt twice in 2016, and took the rest of the season off. Nobody, and I mean, nobody, not even Federer, thought he’d win two Slams this year, and play so flawlessly.

His movement, his serve, his backhand… all of it, back or even better than it was 10 years ago, when he dominated his sport like few others ever had. It’s incredible to see, and Sunday, when he beat a clearly-injured Marin Cilic in straight sets, you could tell how much Federer was enjoying this career renaissance.

Oh, I know, he didn’t have to beat Nadal, Murray or Djokovic to win this title, his 19th Slam overall. But that’s not his fault; two of them were injured and the other (Nadal, having a terrific year himself) lost an epic five-setter.

It’s truly a remarkable story, Federer doing this at his age, doing it so well.

And before I move on, a few words about Venus Williams. She’s 37, she’s overcome so many injuries and illness the past few years, and yet she’s still a Top 10 player. She made a fantastic run to the Wimbledon finals before falling short to Garbine Muguruza, but she’s an inspiration. Venus has always been a class act, and I hope she does get one more Slam title before she’s done.

Great Wimbledon. U.S. Open only seven weeks away!

**Next up, this made me laugh really hard. Seems there’s a 13-year-old in Media, Pa. named Will Rubin who is a huge fan of Jimmy Kimmel and his late-night show. Such a huge fan that he invited Kimmel to come to his bar mitzvah. Understandably, Kimmel couldn’t attend, but he did send a video message along, and Will ended up having a “Jimmy Kimmel Live” theme at his celebration of becoming a man.

Well, a certain Jewish comedian named Jon Stewart wasn’t too pleased he was passed over;and he “stormed” Kimmel’s set last Thursday night to argue/appeal to the boy. “Will, wouldn’t you rather idolize a talk-show host who’s also circumcised?”

This is great.

**Finally today, my head hurts trying to keep up with all the lies coming out the White House these days. Honestly, it’s exhausting trying to keep track, between them lying about the Russia meetings, what’s in the health care bill (and as brilliant Tweeter John Fugelsang pointed out Sunday, after learning that there’ll be no health care vote this week “Mitch McConnell has to delay taking healthcare from American taxpayers until after John McCain has surgery, paid for by American taxpayers.”

It is now beyond clear, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Fredo Trump (Don Jr.) and Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner lied, repeatedly, about meeting with representative of the Russian government bent on helping Trump win. But still, 35 percent of Americans will support this President no matter what he does or says.

But every once in a while, some sunlight comes in, even to Fox News. Check out Chris Wallace and Shep Smith the other day, talking about this scandal and the incredible number of lies, lies, lies coming out of the White House.

“The deception is mind-boggling,” Smith says, and he’s right.

The craziest Oscars ending ever, my jaw is on the floor, and what the hell happened? Oh yeah, the rest of the show was great.

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It’s 2:11 a.m. New York time, I’m exhausted and wired and still kind of in shock.

So, you know, typical Sunday.

Look, I had this whole Oscars blog post pretty much written by midnight. As you’ll read, I loved the telecast though I’m sure many didn’t. I loved who won (except for Casey Affleck who robbed Denzel), I thought Jimmy Kimmel was a terrific host, and the whole thing was done.

All I needed was a quick few paragraphs at the top about who won Best Picture, whether I was happy or sad about it, and boom. I’m off to bed.

Instead, I’ve spent the last few hours scouring Twitter and the Internet trying, like a million other people, to find out what in the hell happened at the end there.

“La La Land” won Best Picture. Their producers and director and actors all go up on stage, they make their speeches, oh well, I was hoping for “Hidden Figures” or “Moonlight” to win, but whatever.

Then there are men running around behind the “La La Land” folks, looking all frantic. Then the guys at the microphone are looking around crazily. And then it turns out… well, if you didn’t see it, watch this craziness:

I mean, HOW THE HELL DOES THAT HAPPEN? The wrong winner is called out in front of a billion people for the most important award of them all? Craziness.
So many thoughts: First, what a horrible feeling for both “winners” of Best Picture. The “La La Land” folks spent two or three minutes feeling better than they’ve ever felt, they’ve made it, they’ve won! And then… it’s ripped away.

And the “Moonlight” folks! They were robbed of the incredible moment of hearing their names called for the biggest award they’ll likely ever win. They think they’ve lost, then they find out they won and rush onstage. Craziness. (An aside many pointed out on Twitter: Can you imagine if it happened the other way around? If a film made by African-Americans, starring African-Americans, was announced as the winner and then it was changed? You would’ve heard the screaming from L.A. to New York).

— So how did this happen? Well, turns out there are two people, one on each side of the stage, who hold the envelopes for all 24 awards. There are duplicates of each envelope so depending on whichever side of the stage the presenters walk out on, they can grab the correct envelope.

Emma Stone held on to her envelope that said she won Best Actress, and apparently somehow when Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway walked out, Beatty took the OTHER envelope for Best Actress instead of the Best Picture one.
If you watch, you can see Beatty looks confused, like he knows something is wrong, and Dunaway just saw “La La Land” at the end of the Best Actress card and read it.

Just amazing. The documentary about how this happened will win an Oscar one day.
And one more coherent thought before I drift off: Why didn’t the 2 people who hold the envelopes realize that each of them STILL had the Best Picture envelope in their hands when Beatty/Dunaway walked out, and raise hell then? Like tell somebody in charge or something?

Nuts. But I’m so, so glad “Moonlight” won. Fantastic picture. OK, off to bed. Here’s all the stuff I wrote before the biggest screw-up in Hollywood award show history…

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Sunday night was the 2017 Oscars, or as they were known heading in, “Hey, #OscarsnotsoWhite anymore!”

Jimmy Kimmel was hosting for the first time (he did a real nice job, and the dropping Junior Mints and other candy from the ceiling was pretty clever), and we had some fresh winners, excellent speeches, and overall a pretty terrific show (your opinion may vary)

Some thoughts on a pretty entertaining telecast:

— Gotta start with the great and deserving winners: Viola Davis, my goodness, what a tremendous speech. Emotional, poignant, thanking everyone in the cast of the fantastic “Fences” movie, and then closing with an extraordinary tribute to her parents, thanking God that they were her first role models and caretakers.

Also loved that Mahershala Ali won for “Moonlight,” (the first-ever Muslim winner of an Oscar, so take that Steve Bannon), and that the “Moonlight” director Barry Jenkins and screenwriter Tarell Alvin McRaney won for Best Screenplay, and I thought the music awards for “La La Land” were well-deserved.

— I thought the opening was pretty novel, getting all the movie stars on their feet and dancing while Justin Timberlake did his thing (I love that song.) Very cool seeing Denzel and Jeff Bridges and the like having a good time.

And I thought Kimmel’s monologue was sharp, especially the hilarious part “mocking” Meryl Streep for being a highly overrated and unqualified actress, obviously a dig at Donald Trump’s ridiculous critique of Streep. She played along, but it looked like her husband still is mad at our President.

— Sara Bareilles, singing Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now,” over the dead montage. Absolutely perfect. So achingly beautiful. 

— Actual conversation in my house when The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) came out to present:
Me: “Why is Dwayne Johnson at the Oscars, he can’t act.”
Wife: “I think he did one of the songs in the Monet movie.”
Me: “You mean “Moana?”
Wife: “Oh yeah, that.”

See, now I really want to see a musical about the French painter.

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— Awesome-looking celebs, according to the fashion expert in my house (my wife): Mahershala Ali (stunning in his tux); the three “Hidden Figures” women (particularly Taraji P. Henson, wow what a dress), Charlize Theron who will always look beautiful, and Dev Patel, a handsome man.
Badly-dressed celebs: Dakota Johnson (hideous dress),

— I’m sure lots of people hated it, but we loved the little historical montages about past winners of the big categories

— Very legitimate question. What the hell was Jennifer Aniston, who was never once in a good movie, doing in the second row at the Oscars? We saw her in the interminable (but kind of amusing) sketch where Kimmel gave random people on a bus tour a thrill of a lifetime. Seriously though, how does Aniston get such prime placement?

— Of course everyone was wondering if any of the winners would make political statements in their speeches, and there were a few jabs. Actor Mark Rylance’s statement about “being in opposition but not hatred” was pretty good.

But the sharpest critique came from someone who wasn’t there: Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, whose “The Salesman” won for best foreign film. He boycotted the awards telecast, but had a letter he wrote read, attacking Trump’s “inhuman” travel ban. It was powerful and necessary to remind the billion people watching around the world that millions upon millions of people disagree with this.

President Obama and Anderson Cooper with 2 powerful, human responses to Orlando tragedy. And Jimmy Kimmel’s NBA “Generation Gap” cracks me up

There was a fantastic running sketch on the great “Key and Peele” show on Comedy Central about Luther, Barack Obama’s “anger translator.”If you don’t remember it, Luther served as a stand-in for Obama’s rage, poking fun at the fact that Obama is so even-keeled all the time, and that he never lets himself get angry. Luther, therefore, was there to say what Obama couldn’t.

It was a hilarious sketch. But it’s not really needed anymore, sadly, because President Obama has just about reached his tipping point. And he’s really freaking pissed. Maybe what put him over the top was the vulgar, talking yam Tweeting just after the worst mass killing in U.S. history, bragging about how he was right to propose banning all Muslims, and calling for Obama to resign.

(Quick aside: Isn’t it interesting how Republicans always blame Democrats for “politicizing” a tragedy by calling for stricter gun laws after a mass killing, yet after Sunday’s tragedy their Presidential nominee immediately made it a political issue, and no one on the right seems bothered by that? F’ing infuriating.)

Whatever it was, Tuesday afternoon our President gave a stinging rebuke of hatred and intolerance. I encourage you to watch his whole speech embedded above, but if you only have time for a part of it, watch the five-minute clip I’ve embedded above.

It’s powerful, it’s important, and it’s the voice of one man saying “Enough!” Stop!” You are killing people with your insane, racist rhetoric. You think you’re being entertaining and firing up a mob, but you’re actually dangerous, incompetent, and causing more hatred toward America.

Enough. E-fucking-nough.

**Next, someone who actually took the time to memorialize and think about the victims of this tragedy, instead of shamelessly using death to promote an agenda. Anderson Cooper spent seven minutes at the start of his show Monday night, reading the names of the 49 people killed in the Orlando massacre, and giving a few small details where he could about each of their lives.

I found this incredibly compelling; the few details like “he always had a smile on his face,” about one guy, and “she always was such a hard worker” about another give you just a tiny insight, but really go a long way.

Cooper, who is openly gay, chokes up several times reading this. But it’s incredibly important that he did it, and I urge you to watch if you can, emotionally.

These were people, not political pawns.

**Finally today, wanted to end on a lighter note, after all this sadness. The NBA Finals are still going on, which means ESPN/ABC are doing all kinds of cross-promotion, which gave us this hilarious Jimmy Kimmel “Generation Gap” sketch last week, wherein 1970s NBA legend (and insanely bad dresser) Walt “Clyde” Frazier went head-to-head in a trivia game with current NBA star Anthony Davis.

It gets better as it goes along; poor Walt, he just couldn’t keep up. The “Welcome Back, Kotter” question did crack me up…

Super Tuesday brings more Trump victories, and it’s almost over for Bernie. And The latest “Mean Tweets” is great.

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Well that kind of sucked.

Super Tuesday came and went in the Presidential race, and some of the things I was hoping for (somebody slowing down the Trump-mentum, Bernie Sanders outperforming expectations) didn’t quite happen.

Instead, the man the great Charlie Pierce calls “the vulgar, talking yam” dominated yet again. As I write this late Tuesday night the orange-faced idiot has won six states, and could win a couple more.

He is amazingly, truly an unstoppable force right now. Marco Rubio ain’t stopping him (Headline of the night: “Rub-i-No”), Ted Cruz ain’t stopping him, and all this bluster and bravado about millions of dollars suddenly coming in from the GOP Establishment, and the horror they’re all suddenly feeling and their insistence that they’ll be the ones to destroy Trump… yeah, I’m not seeing it.

It’s March 2 and a racist, sexist, xenophobic ego-whore is going to be a major party candidate for President. God save us all.

Even though Tuesday night didn’t go as well as I’d hoped, I sure had lots of fun watching, Tweeting, and reading all the coverage. Lots of thoughts on the results…

— First and most importantly in my mind, on the Democratic side, Hillary continued to do what she needed to do. She dominated the South, she dominated among African-American voters, and except for Massachusetts, none of the states she won were particularly close.

My  man Bernie won Vermont, Oklahoma, Minnesota, and Colorado, but lost Mass., which I think he really needed to win. It’s not over Bernie, the fat lady isn’t singing yet, but she’s sure warming up her vocal chords.

— Hillary continues to astound me with her firebrand liberal speeches on primary  nights. I don’t care if she comes out holding copies of “The Nation” and reading from Paul Wellstone’s autobiography, she is NOT a liberal (And yes, I understand maybe only three of my readers got those references). I gotta take my hat off to her, she is trying so damn hard to be a liberal. Maybe somehow all of this leftward movement will lead to a more liberal Presidency from her. I sure hope so.

— I really don’t know why Bernie isn’t making inroads with minorities. He’s so, so much more progressive on issues like police brutality, incarceration, and unemployment than she is. He’s done a hell of a job getting this far and scaring Hillary so much, but I think Bernie’s got about 2-3 more good weeks left.

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— So… Trump. Let’s forget for a minute the improbability of a slick, fast-talking con man from New York winning primaries in the Deep South. And forget that it looked like Chris Christie was making a hostage tape while introducing Trump, then staring up at him from behind for 20 minutes (“Seriously Governor, blink three times if you’re being held against your will” was a popular Twitter comment made by many).

I have to admit it was brilliant stagecraft for Trump to hold a press conference and not a pep rally. He actually seemed calmer and almost rational for a few minutes, but then he reverted back to his old self (he basically threatened the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, that he better get along with President Trump or “he’s going to pay a big price.”)

He was trying to seem Presidential, and it almost worked. I got a little scared.

— I’m finally giving up on Rubio. I’ve been saying for months he’d be the nominee, but the dude just cannot win anywhere. His speech Tuesday night, saying we’re getting closer and Trump’s numbers are falling, was pathetic. He did finally win something late, Minnesota. Way to go, Marco!

— The GOP elite have a real problem: The one guy who’s beaten Trump, Ted Cruz, is the most hated man in Washington, by Republicans. Can they really swallow their hatred and support him to ward off a Trump landslide defeat in November?

— And finally, I watched MSNBC most of the night and can someone tell me how Brian Williams so easily got his reputation back? I mean, hasn’t he lost all credibility as a newsman?

— Sorry, one more thing: Anyone know if Ben Carson is still alive?

**Finally today, I haven’t featured one of these in a while but they always make me laugh. In honor of Sunday’s Academy Awards, Jimmy Kimmel offered up his latest edition of “Mean Tweets,” where celebrities read out loud the horrible things said to them on Twitter lately.

This is the all Hollywood edition; I think Susan Sarandon’s response was the best, at around 1:05…

 

Good News Friday: A freed American journalist offers thanks. Jimmy Kimmel’s awesome “Friends” reunion. And the NFL, belatedly, takes a strong stand against domestic violence.

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Well, a few days ago I was going to lead Good News Friday this week with the heroic tale of Southern California football player Josh Shaw, who told his coach and the media that he injured his ankles jumping off a balcony trying to save his 7-year-old nephew from drowning. What a sportsman! What a guy! Let’s celebrate his … screech! Hold that thought.

Turns out Shaw made the whole thing up. A good friend of mine who knows things about USC said the real story he got is that Shaw was being chased by his girlfriend and leaped off his apartment balcony to escape, which makes a whole lot more sense than the fiction he told.
Finally Wednesday, Shaw admitted he made the whole thing up, but Newsweek’s John Walters got the scoop on how deep the deception went. Crazy, crazy story.

OK, onto some legitimate good news, news we’re pretty sure is true. As horrifying as the story of journalist James Foley’s death at the hands of terrorists was, this week we got a 180 degree turn as Peter Theo Curtis, an American reporter, was finally freed after two years of being held in Syria by Al Qaeda.

I was listening to the audio of Curtis’ welcome-home interview Thursday, and was struck by the sincerity of this quote:

“I had no idea that so much effort was being expended on my behalf,” the journalist said in his first public comments since he was kidnapped in 2012. “I suddenly remembered how good the American people are and what kindness they have in their hearts.”

Remember that every once in a while, that for all the Ferguson awfulness and so many other horrors, America is filled with good-hearted people who are kind. Not an exciting message, but a true one that always needs repeating.

**Next up, this was fantastic: While he had Jennifer Aniston on as a guest, Jimmy Kimmel staged 1/2 of a “Friends” reunion this week, and it’s worth watching if only for the exactreplica of Rachel and Monica’s apartment kitchen.

Brilliant.

**And finally, it may be too late (OK, it is way too late) but it appears the NFL has finally decided to get serious about its players committing domestic violence. After a hail of criticism came down on Commissioner Roger Goodell’s head for his minuscule two-game suspension of Ray Rice this year, he apparently got the message, and Thursday announced that first-time offenders will be suspended for six games, and second-time offenders will be banned from the league for life.

Now, will this rule have unintended consequences, as some on the Web suggested Thursday, and mean spouses of NFL players will be less likely to report their abuse? Perhaps.

But it finally sends a strong and clear message from the top that the NFL is taking this problem seriously.

When love is an instinct: a beautiful love story 60 years in the making. Mila Kunis hilariously spoofs soon-to-be Dads. And 32 photos of people doing good

Two quick sports thoughts before we get to Good News Friday: 1, It is so, so beautiful to watch the San Antonio Spurs play basketball. Unselfishness, teamwork, no egos… that’s a very rare thing in sports today. And 2, Let’s Go Rangers! Saturday is the 20th anniversary of this. Tonight is Game 5 in L.A. If my Blueshirts somehow find a way to win this one, well then … I can start to dream about a miracle happening.

One of my favorite TV shows, as I’ve said repeatedly, is “CBS Sunday Morning,” because every once in a while they completely knock me out with a simple, beautiful story like this one. Melvin Amyrine and his wife, Doris, have been married for 60 years. Melvin’s suffering from Alzheimer’s, but of course that’s not why this story is part of Good News Friday. Watch the very short story above to see what Melvin did, to show that his heart very much remembers what his mind isn’t always able to. Just beautiful. Get the Kleenex ready. **Next up, this cracked me up. Several years ago I had a friend who was expecting a child with his wife, and he’d always say things like “We’re 28 weeks now,” or “We’re pregnant.” Used to drive me nuts, as I’m sure it drives some women nuts, and I’ve been really, really careful to not say that for the past seven months while my wife’s been carrying our child. Men are NOT pregnant. We are expecting to be parents, yes. But we don’t grow humans inside of us. Mila Kunis is pregnant, and she put together this pretty funny song about the unfortunate trend of men saying “we’re pregnant.” metermaid.buzzfeed **And finally today, some wonderful pictures of human kindness to take you into the weekend. Buzzfeed, which takes a lot of criticism from the mainstream media and deserves much of it, also does some great stuff too. Here, 32 pictures of human beings acting kindly, toward each other, toward animals, or toward the planet. The one above is just one of my favorites, but truly, they’re all worth a look. People are basically good. A lot of people have told me, my whole life, that I’m wrong. But I’m still going to believe it anyway.

Good News Friday: Scientists reveal the secret to happiness (really). Another awesome Jimmy Fallon lip sync-off. And the canceled wedding that turned into a feast for the homeless

Two more things, besides the three below, that I wanted to mention for Good News Friday: One, there was a beautiful, emotional scene at Yankee Stadium last night, as Mariano Rivera pitched for the last time in his career at Yankee Stadium. In a perfect touch, the Yankees had Andy Pettitte and Derek Jeter go out to take Mo out of the game.

And Michael J. Fox is back on TV! And his show is funny! At least the first two episodes were. Great to have Alex P. Keaton back on TV.

What’s the secret to happiness? It’s a question we’ve all asked or wondered from time to time, some of us in moments of clarity, others of us in moments of clarity caused by drugs in college.
No one really knows, but some researchers at something called Soul Pancake did a really interesting experiment recently where they asked a group of random people to talk about who has most influenced them in their lives.

The results are really sweet and interesting, and I’m almost certain this video will brighten your day.

**Next up, Jimmy Fallon has become known for his terrific musical numbers on his late-night show, whether it’s him singing in character like Bob Dylan or Neil Young, his raps with Justin Timberlake, or his lip-sync contest with other celebrities.

Here from the other night’s show, Jimmy, and actors Stephen Merchant and Joseph Gordon-Levitt do a fabulous medley, including Elton John, Will Smith, Beyonce-Z and classic 80s tunes as well… try not to laugh, I dare you.

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**Finally, a true feel-good story to head into the weekend. Carol and Willie Fowler, living in Georgia, had planned a big wedding for their only daughter, only to see the daughter split up with her fiancee and cancel the wedding 40 days before it was to take place.

So, faced with non-refundable deposits on food, venue and music, the Fowlers decided to do something wonderful, instead of just eating the money: They hosted a 200-person dinner for the homeless.

Partnering with a local non-profit that feeds and clothes Georgia’s most needy citizens, the Fowlers coordinated a wonderful event.

According to this story, on Sept. 15, buses transported 200 homeless women, children and families to Villa Christina for the event. It began at 2 p.m. with outdoor appetizers and space for the children to run and play.

The event then moved inside, where the approximately 50 children had a room to themselves with face-painting, juggling and crowns.

“The children had chicken fingers, French fries, fresh fruit and chocolate chip cookies,” Carol Fowler said. “The adults had salmon and chicken.”

The Fowlers say they hope to make this an annual event. What a wonderful gesture; I hope they do hold it every year.
I’ve worked at soup kitchens before, and I can imagine the looks on those guests faces when they walked into the fancy restaurant.

I guarantee you they would’ve been happier than any of those wedding guests to the Fowlers’ daughter’s wedding.