Tag Archives: Simone Biles

“El Camino,” the “Breaking Bad” movie, was fantastic. A truly satisfying end for Jesse Pinkman. Simone Biles continues to be amazing; we should continue to watch. And the J-E-T-S finally win a game! Super Bowl here we come!

El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie

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Tonight I’m meeting a Presidential candidate, who I hope is on the ballot next November. Simone Biles continues to do amazing gymnastic things. And cocaine, or bird poop? You decide!

So in what may be the most obvious statement I’ve ever made on this blog, I tell you this:
I’m really, really into politics. And I really like seeing how the sausage is made, getting up close and personal to candidates and trying to learn as much about them, and the people close to them, as possible.

Sometimes, seeing them up close validates what you previously thought: I’ll never forget standing on line for hours at Bethune-Cookman University in Sept., 2008 waiting to see Barack Obama. And then getting into the auditorium and feeling the special vibe and enthusiasm he brought to millions.

On the other side, I’ve written here before about being a recovering John Edwards supporter. I spent hundreds of hours in 2004, and in 2007, volunteering to support a man who I thought embodied everything I wanted in a President. Only to find out later he was a lying, conniving fraud who was wildly unworthy of all my effort.

Anyway, my point is I love to get personally involved in candidates, and campaigns, and so far in this 2020 cycle I’m eager to support two Democrats above all others: Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, and Senator Kamala Harris of California. (Elizabeth Warren, I love deeply and truly, I’m just not quite ready to pledge my support to. Not that she needs it, she’s doing awesome right now.)

I’ll talk more about why I am on Harris’ bandwagon in another post.

I’ve been following Booker’s career for 15 years, and have been a fan of his since first learning about his passion, commitment and humility in turning around one of America’s worst cities, Newark, N.J. I’ve watched Booker rise and overcome quite a few obstacles, some of his own making, to become a respected Senator and a powerful voice on the left.

He’s always had Presidential ambitions, that much was clear, and I’ve been waiting for him to make this run for a long time.

Now I am not a blind supporter; I know he has his faults. Booker had some trouble with the ACLU over Newark’s policing, he’s a little too close to Big Pharma, and his school improvement deal with Mark Zuckerberg didn’t work out too well.

But overall I’m impressed with Booker’s progressive ideas on issues like criminal justice and marijuana, and on many other topics. He’s a very smart man with the charisma a leader needs.

And tonight, I finally will get to meet him, I hope.
I’m headed into Manhattan this evening for a small fund-raising event for Booker, at which I hope to truly size him up. You can’t ever truly get to know a politician, I know, but in small settings you get to see how they are up close, when the cameras are off.

I don’t expect to gain any huge insights, but maybe a collection of small ones. I hope to find out, in essence, if Booker is more Barack Obama than John Edwards.

**Next up, every once in a while Simone Biles, the greatest American gymnast of all time, shows up to remind us how amazing she is. She continues to push the sport forward, and this weekend at the U.S. Gymnastics championships she did all kinds of amazing things.

In the clip above, Biles becomes the first-ever woman to land a triple-double to open her routine.
I’m not entirely sure what that means, but she is so badass.

**Finally today, this story cracked me up because of its ridiculousness. Meet Georgia Southern University quarterback Shai Werts.

Last Friday night, young Mr. Werts was arrested during a traffic stop. It seemed the police found a white substance on the hood of his car was tested, and the test came up positive for cocaine. So Werts has hauled off and charged with misdemeanor drug possession.

In the police body-cam footage released, Werts and the officer discuss the substance found.

“If anything, there’d be a one in 1,000 chance that these things are faulty, but I don’t think they just turn pink,” the officer said.

“I swear to God that’s bird poop,” Werts said.

Guess what? Werts was right. It WAS bird shit, further tests showed. And so Werts was released after spending a night in jail.

I mean… how in the world could bird poop and cocaine contain the same properties? Someone get Bill Nye the Science Guy on this, pronto.

In the meantime, little flying creatures who soar above our heads? Please lay off the white powder, it’s a bad, bad habit you’ll never kick.


The man whose death left dueling obituaries, by his wife and his girlfriend. Simone Biles wows everyone again. And I inflict a horribly awesome Donald Trump rally song on you


And a Happy Wednesday to all of you in blog-land; I turned 41 a few hours ago and am feeling like a very lucky man these days.

First up today, my old friend and an amazing journalist, Brian Hickey, got to do one of those stories that you pray for when you’re a young scribe, because they’re so bizarre and fun.

Seems a man named Leroy Black of Egg Harbor Township, N.J. died on August 2, and naturally there was an obituary in the paper submitted by his loving wife.

And another one from his girlfriend.

Yep, old Leroy was quite the ladies’ man, apparently.

“A man answering the phone at Greenidge Funeral Homes told PhillyVoice that the obituaries were placed separately because “the wife wanted it one way, and the girlfriend wanted it another way.” But he did not anticipate any problems because everybody knew it was happening.”

Well, sure. As long as the wife and girlfriend know about each other and can write separate obits, all is well with the world.

Oh, Leroy, even in death you are causing trouble.


**Next up today, the Olympics continue to roll on, with so many great moments each day it’s hard to keep track of (that collision/pickup in the women’s track race yesterday will be happily covered in Good News Friday this week). Lots of upsets are happening, lots of dominant performances, too, that it’s hard to single out any one particular effort.

But Simone Biles, my goodness. What an incredible Olympics she’s having in gymnastics, capped off by yet another gold medal on the floor exercise on Tuesday. This tiny woman is so powerful, so smooth, so graceful on the mat, that she’s bringing the sport forward several leaps.

I know the shelf life of an Olympian is very short, and in a few years Biles will be off doing “Dancing With The Stars” or pursuing a college education, or something else worthwhile.

But take a minute in the middle of your day to watch her amazing performance yesterday in winning her fourth gold medal. In an Olympics with so many standouts, her grace and joy somehow manage to rise above.

**So, since this is probably one of the last weeks people consider Donald Trump a “real” Presidential candidate (the guy is imploding more and more every day; Walter Mondale’s going to call him soon and be like “Dude, even I won ONE state!”), I feel it important to share these two pieces of political propaganda.

First, a delightful takedown of the vulgar, talking yam in his own words over years:

And next, something you truly have to see and, what’s the word, inflict on your friends. It’s a “song” by Rodney Carrington, called “Vote for Trump,” and oh, it’s glorious in its awfulness.


The craziest game show idea ever is now a thing, in England. The “USA Freedom Grown-Ups” are hilarious. And the athletes most worth rooting for in Rio don’t have a home country.


I love game shows as much as anyone, maybe more. I’ve talked on this blog several times about my love of “25,000 Pyramid,” “Card Sharks,” and of course, “Jeopardy!”

As good as American game shows are, the overseas ones are even better and crazier. One of my favorite TV shows ever was the short-lived “I Survived Japanese Game Show” on ABC, where they took a bunch of clueless Americans and flew them to Japan and subjected them to some insane and completely silly competitions. I also loved the sadly short-lived “Concentration” game on Comedy Central, where contestants had to answer real questions while having some horrible distraction (like being given an electric shock) done to them.

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that I thought just about every game show conceit had been invented, but happily, I was wrong. On NPR last week I heard about this insane new show in Britain called “Naked Attraction.” It’s a dating show, sort of.

Here’s how it works: A female contestant gets brought out and she sees silhouettes of six men behind giant screens. The screens then start to rise and stop at the men’s genitals. The woman contestant then examines each man’s package and rates, discusses and eliminates them based on what she sees. The screens then rise up a little more each round, revealing the rest of the men’s bodies before the female contestant chooses which man she’d like to go on a date with.

Then the roles are reversed, as a male contestant sees all kinds of vaginas and judges women on that.

It sounds completely disgusting and ridiculous, but of course it’s been a huge hit and caused all kinds of protests in England. (Brexit? Who’s got time to worry about that anymore?)

Here’s a clip of the show, if you dare. If you’re keeping score (and obviously someone was), one recent episode showed 300 penises.

So many jokes, so little time… I think it’s so funny how British people are always stereotyped as being so prudish about sex, and yet “Naked Attraction” becomes a big thing.

All I know is, if we all were judged by the physical attractiveness of our genitals, 90 percent of the world would still be single.

**Next up today, this story just keeps getting better and better. Remember two weeks ago when I told you about the young singing/cheerleading girls called the USA Freedom Girls who performed at a Donald Trump rally in Florida, then never got their promised payment and reward for the gig?

Well, Stephen Colbert decided that Trump needed to be mocked for this, among so many other things, so he invited the USA Freedom Grown-Ups to perform a similar song about the vulgar, talking yam


**Finally today, the Rio Olympics are only three days in and there have already been some incredible moments. Katie Ledecky, as dominant a swimmer on the women’s side as America has produced, won her first gold medal. Juan Martin del Potro upset world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the first round of the tennis competition, and then the two shared a fantastic hug at the net, with both men eventually crying. (Don’t tell me the Olympics don’t mean much to pro athletes).

And Michael Phelps won an unfathomable 19th gold medal Sunday night, while Simone Biles showed why she’s going to be the biggest star of these Games.

But for me, the best part of the Games so far has been watching a handful of athletes without a country, walk in the Opening Ceremony. The Refugee Team, made up of athletes from countries like Syria, Ethiopia and South Sudan, have endured so much hardship, and seen unthinkable cruelties, just to survive. So many of them escaped death and despair, losing family members and nearly being killed themselves, that to watch them walk into Maracana Stadium Friday night, to the cheers of thousands, was incredibly heartwarming.

The immensely gifted S.L. Price wrote a fabulous story about how this Refugee Team was formed, and what obstacles they overcame to get here.