Trump triumphs on tax reform, and other News from Nowhere

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Festivus (!) (?) and welcome to News from Nowhere for this weekend, marking the conclusion of yet another amazing week of President Donald Trump dominating the headlines. I mean, really, what more must this guy do to be the top newsmaker of the year? The media won’t even give him his due for that title, either, after all the endless havoc he has wrought all year.

Maybe it is because Trump has been “winning” too much lately — something the press is clearly having a difficult time accepting.

Here’s what Trump did this week: he signed the tax reform package into law. That’s right, it’s lower taxes in the United States of America. That has some people in some neighbouring countries (ie. Canada) shaking a little bit over the prospect of jobs and investment relocating to the much friendlier business climate of the USA.

The other thing Trump did to get the masses excited this week was recognize Jerusalem as capital of Israel. That caused the UN to vote to condemn the USA for this move, but not before ambassador Nikki Haley reminded the UN about, ahem, just who it is that writes the cheques for that organization.

Oh, and a terror plot planned for Pier 39 in San Francisco was foiled. Good job. Anyway, lots of winning is going on in the USA right now; it is almost enough to divert everyone’s attention away from lunatic North Korea’s latest annoying missile test.

In other news, the Miss America Pageant is in a huge uproar. Seriously, if it weren’t for this Trump character, this would actually be the biggest story in the USA right now. The former pageant winners have all been calling for the CEO Sam Haskell’s head, and others, over leaked emails in which the CEO had insulted the contestants. We’re talking disparaging and crude comments about contestants and in particular the winners.

That’s terrible. No class at the top, whatsoever, towards your own people. Anyway, the CEO has been suspended; people think he ought to be fired. Dick Clark Productions have already cut ties with the organization in protest.

Of course, I have had issues with the running of the Miss America Pageant for, well, decades, long before this current regime took over. What they do need to do is clean things up, and I mean really clean house. Some are suggesting this is going to be the end for the Miss America Pageant, but I don’t know about that; you would hate to see a long tradition come to an end because of the actions of a total nitwit. All that’s needed here are some good firings of people.

(Also, before anyone drags Pres. Trump into this muck, too, remember that his involvement was with Miss USA, not Miss America.)

Other news:

The latest from southern California is that the wildfires are still going on and still wreaking havoc.

Next, also from southern California: legendary sports broadcaster Dick Enberg has died.

While he is best known for his work with NBC ( esp. Wimbledon and the NFL), Enberg also had spent extensive time calling sports in the Southland, including the Angels and more recently the Padres.

Finally, it turns out this was a big week of news from Southern California. As if they don’t have enough to be excited about down there, with the fires and with the Rams winning and so on, it seems residents were freaking out over a strange sight in the skies that people speculated was a UFO or even a nuclear missile! Aaargh!!

Ha ha ha. Turns out all it was was the latest SpaceX launch.

I’m sure there were some people there who might have thought this was Santa 🎅 getting an early start with his sleigh. What a joke. Anyway, Merry Christmas, folks!


So, what do you think of Catt Sadler leaving E! Network in a pay dispute?

The news from “TV land” yesterday is that Catt Sadler left her longtime hosting job at E! the other day in a pay dispute. The reason is Sadler is insulted over a “massive pay disparity” between herself and her male co-anchor Jason Kennedy, who is making twice as much as her. And the network wouldn’t meet her demands for equal pay in her contract extension discussions, so she’s done at E! as of now.

Everyone is now pounding E! for their lousy gender-inequality towards their female talent. But I actually think E! would be open to Sadler and Kennedy being paid the same. Except, what they’d probably prefer is to dock Kennedy’s pay 50 percent when his contract is up!

Ha ha ha. Actually, I don’t think this is funny at all.

Update: For the “other side of the story” to answer all the usual crazed haters on social media, here is what Jason’s wife Lauren Scruggs Kennedy had to say.

It’s the weekend of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. $220 million!

Biggest news of today — Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens

Political roundup in Saskatchewan, now that the federal by-election is over

(Photo credit: myself.)

On Tuesday, I tuned in to some of the coverage of that Alabama Senate election night, and just like I said before, I got all jealous again about all these reporters covering American politics and all its craziness.

But then I remembered that I covered Battlefords-Lloydminster federal by-election results the night before in Lloydminster (the landslide winner was Rosemarie Falk); plus, I had covered a big Liberal rally the previous Thursday in North Battleford that featured Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. I even shot video of some of it, below:

In fact, I’ve had lots of opportunities to cover politics this past month — whether it has been campaign office openings or visits by federal cabinet ministers, or the Sask Party leadership debate held in a howling blizzard in North Battleford, or interviews with provincial leadership hopefuls like Ken Cheveldayoff or Trent Wotherspoon. Plus, I did another update on the two leadership races a couple of weeks later when Cheveldayoff showed up again.

But the big highlight was really the Trudeau rally, as it is not very often that you have a sitting Prime Minister showing up here to campaign. That was the most exciting thing to happen around here since that Maclean’s magazine article came out about the city’s crime problems.

The Trudeau event was certainly a morale-boost to the local Liberals, but nothing more. In fact, the Liberals did even worse here than last time, finishing with only about ten percent of the vote!

The other thing going on over the past couple of weeks was city budget deliberations that were held on multiple nights at City Hall. That chewed up a massive amount of my time, so it really has been a hectic several weeks.

It is definitely time to slow down as the Christmas break approaches. Moreover, I really do need to rest up now, because I am in for another heavy stretch of news here again in January.

Tonight, we find out who will be the next Senator from Alabama

Forgive me for my lack of enthusiasm. I have just finished covering a federal by-election, and this has been basically my heaviest month of political coverage ever, and I have had enough of politics, period. So what is the big story tonight?

Why, what else: special election coverage in the state of Alabama of the Senate race between controversial Roy Moore versus Doug Jones. Oh, God, no.

I think this might be a good night for me to tune in to some NBA basketball games.

UPDATE- Actually, it turned out to be a good night for me to get some sleep, and I did. Jones won. As far as I know, Moore still hasn’t conceded yet.

This weekend’s roundup of News from Nowhere is wholly inaccurate!

Welcome to another News from Nowhere. Boy, does the whole media business have egg on its face this week. This business looks like it’s entirely out to get Donald Trump, in any way possible — even if their stories aren’t true!

For instance: CNN reported Friday that Trump and his son Don Jr, had been offered access to hacked DNC documents. Wrong! Then the Washington Post’s Dave Weigel Tweeted there was sparse attendance at a Trump rally in Florida, when in fact the photo was taken well before all the people arrived. Fake news!

Needless to say, Donald and Don Jr. have had a field day.

This, my friends, is why Trump is still standing in spite of himself: it is because it is obvious to everyone that the media is on a witch hunt in an all-out effort to get President Trump removed from office. And these reporters aren’t letting the facts get in the way of their witch hunting; they are just reporting whatever. Maybe these elite media organizations should stick to the facts from now on; then maybe they might get somewhere.

This is the part of the article where I point out the number of people elected to the White House — One — versus the number of people elected to the media, which is Zero. My point is made.

So, that’s that for that. Now, let’s move on to some very good news, for a change, shall we? Here it is:

Iraq has declared victory over ISIS.

And that, my friends, is the good news for this week. Also, in other good news, the victory parade for Toronto FC is tomorrow.

Oh, and Coco won the box office for the third weekend running.

That is all I feel like writing tonight.

Toronto FC win the MLS Cup! All of Toronto ought to be celebrating

The big happening today was Toronto FC winning the MLS Cup today 2-0 over Seattle. It is the first time the Cup has been won by a team from Canada! It also avenges last year’s shootout defeat in the same stadium. Jozy Altidore scored the first goal and was the MVP.

Now, my rant. I have been trying to tune in the all-Sports radio stations from Toronto on the Web, hoping to hear excited fans calling in to celebrate this victory, but instead we have been getting nonstop coverage of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Folks, I don’t care about the Leafs, or the NHL today. Toronto, and for that matter Canada, just won a major title in the most important, most popular sport in the world. People in Toronto ought to be bleeping excited, just as they should be bleeping excited about winning the Grey Cup two weeks ago.

So, be excited! Winning a title doesn’t happen every day. Besides, you have the entire rest of the hockey season to care about the Leafs.

Bad News Roundup for this Thursday

I am at home, charging up my iPad in anticipation of important news I have to cover tonight (the Prime Minister is in the city for a Liberal campaign event, fresh off his China tour), so in the meantime here is a very brief Bad News Roundup. Lessee, what bad things are going on in the world?

Here’s a rundown: Sen. Al Franken has resigned, wildfires in Southern California are still going on, Emily Ratajkowski and Piers Morgan are at war with each other, the USA might not send athletes to the Winter Games now, and North Korea now says war is unavoidable.

I’m sure there is more bad news, but I don’t feel like writing any more about it this afternoon.

Bad news from Southern California: Ventura County on fire

This is positively scary. It seems a massive wildfire hit Ventura County today in Southern California, prompting evacuations and a lot of losses to fire. An upsetting situation to be sure. I had tuned in the live coverage online earlier today and it looks like it will take a long time for this to get under control.

All in all, I am glad I am not in California right now; this is yet another reminder to myself to not live there.

Russia has been banned from the Winter Olympics for doping. Truly an “OMG” moment in the world of sports.

Wow. We knew this was coming but this is a bombshell. The Winter Olympics without Russia.

I guess Gary Bettman’s decision to keep the NHL players out of the 2018 Olympics was not so bad a call after all, eh? Who cares about the Olympic hockey tournament this year, folks?!

Michael Flynn fallout, and more News from Nowhere

Here is another News from Nowhere for this Saturday morning, as we continue to examine the latest Russia fallout with Michael Flynn pleading guilty to lying to the FBI.

What is more, reports are that he is cooperating with this whole Robert Mueller Russia collusion investigation, and this is considered very bad news for the Donald Trump administration. It means Mueller could potentially dig up even more dirt on possible collusion with the Russians during the election, with Flynn’s help.

In the aftermath of this, ABC News has had a particularly bad time, having to retract an erroneous Brian Ross special report on the whole situation. Citing an unnamed source, the story made the explosive claim that Trump had directed Flynn to make contact with the Russians during the election.

It turned out this happened not during the election, but while he was President-elect, which is different. ABC News has had to apologize, and Ross has been suspended for four weeks for this screwup.

Of course, this has prompted the great Leader of the Free World Mr. Trump to gloat again on Twitter.

All in all, the United States really is a mess right now, from the top down. As well, the sexual harassment hysteria has continued: I guess Geraldo Rivera was apologizing this week, and even NPR host John Hockenberry was in trouble, too.

Is there any good news happening at all down there? Well, for one, the tax reforms cleared the Senate, a big win for Pres. Trump. And the “Trump economy” is booming. Times really are good down there, apparently, except the American people are too angry and too busy being at each other’s throats to notice this.

Other stuff:

The British are at each other’s throats over the £50 billion bill that the EU wants to stick Britain with for Brexit. Now, really, folks, did the UK really expect that quitting the EU would be easy? Of course the EU was going to be unreasonable and would make life difficult.

In movie news, Coco took first place at the box office.

In football news, the college football playoff matchups are out after the championship games were decided the other day:

And in golf news, Tiger Woods is in contention at the Hero World Challenge! American sports fans might prefer to watch that instead of these NFL players bending on a knee again during the anthems.

I think that is it for now, as I am now going to tune in to the aforementioned golf. Why? Because it is a nice peaceful sport and that is exactly what I need after this past week: something relaxing. See you later.

Another bloodbath in Bristol: ESPN cans 150 people

The dream is dead. It’s absolutely dead.

This week, ESPN had yet another bloodbath, sending 150 more people to the firing squad. These are production and behind the scenes people, mainly, the real unsung heroes who don’t get recognized on the street but who nevertheless get your favorite programs on the air. But I understand ESPN is also going to get rid of evening editions of SportsCenter and that is going to mean on-air departures, with contracts not being renewed. That way, there won’t be the same sort of public bloodbath like what happened earlier this summer at ESPN, when so many recognizable on-air people were canned.

Honestly, these layoffs are a hard dose of reality for anyone wanting to pursue this for a career. Keep in mind, ESPN was once a place I had aspired to get to! It seemed like more fun than covering or writing about politics (which is what I mainly do now), and besides, sports coverage was something I was good at.

Moreover, I truly admired the product ESPN put out. ESPN was ‘The Promised Land’ for most guys who aspired to journalism!

But even if they did have jobs to offer at ESPN these days, who really wants to be at that place right now, with its constant bloodletting and never-ending obsession with left-leaning social-justice-type politics? Besides, their coverage of the sports I most care about is getting to be truly pathetic (hockey, auto racing, UFC etc. etc.)

Of course, this year here in Canada, CTV has been jettisoning every last one of their local sportscasts all over Canada (forcing Lance Brown and Joe Tilleyinto retirement at Toronto’s CFTO). And it’s no better for people in the printed-word end of sports journalism as sportswriters are seeing the writing on the wall and are quitting the business.

Who can blame them? These folks are making absolutely the right decision for themselves. Like I said before, the dream is dead.

Matt Lauer latest to fall to sexual misconduct allegations

So I woke up today and found out Matt Lauer was fired as host of the Today Show over sexual misconduct allegations.

I was surprised that this shocking news didn’t surprise me. Every day, somebody else famous in the USA is getting guillotined over sexual misconduct allegations, and in swift fashion. Last week it was Charlie Rose, today it’s Matt Lauer. Tomorrow, it will be someone else famous. Nothing surprises me anymore.

I’m currently watching the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, on from Shanghai, China!

I have nothing better to do while I sit here waiting for World War III to start in North Korea, so I am wasting time watching supermodels strut their stuff on the catwalk right now on CBS from nearby China. Fun stuff.

(Oops — what the heck?! They showed one of these ladies tripping and falling on the catwalk!!)

This has turned out to be a big week for gorgeous women on TV — first Miss Universe, and now this.

North Korea launches missile capable of hitting the continental USA!

Miss Universe Pageant goes tonight. In Las Vegas!

Yes, indeed, folks, Steve Harvey has been allowed back to host the Miss Universe Pageant, which is once again back in their favorite city Las Vegas.

Just a reminder to myself to tune in, a reminder I will definitely need as I am interested in the Grey Cup game going on, today, too.


Update: congrats South Africa!

My position on the CFL moving up the season: I’m dead-set against it

Yesterday, the CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie gave his State of the League address and for the umpteenth time the idea of moving up the season came up. The thought is to go with a May to October schedule. This is something Saskatchewan fans have been calling for for years, because the fans here are spring chickens who can’t hack cold weather, apparently. Worse, it seems Ambrosie actually likes the idea of having the football season wrap up in October!

This is just plain wrong. November is football! Moreover, for me personally, it is the month when I finally get a chance to concentrate solely on football, for a change, with Major League Baseball season out of the way.

By moving the end of the season up a month, the CFL would end up in direct competition with MLB for the entire season. The way things are now, the CFL basically have all of November to themselves. Moreover, November is also their best month for TV ratings for that very reason! So why they would want to jeopardize that, I don’t know.

Can you imagine if the CFL had its Grey Cup game up against a World Series, especially onein which the Toronto Blue Jays were involved? The CFL would be clobbered! Moreover, the CFL would basically be conceding all of November to the NFL. So after the World Series is over, baseball fans looking for something else to watch will have no alternative but to tune in the NFL on Sunday afternoons — or for that matter, MLS soccer and NBA basketball. A fine way to grow Canadian football interest, eh?!

What’s more, this plan would push the start of the CFL season to late May, which would put the CFL in direct competition with the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs!

Can you imagine early-season CFL games going up against a Stanley Cup final involving Auston Matthews and the Toronto Maple Leafs, or Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers, or for that matter, any other Canadian teams? There would be no interest in these CFL games at all if this happens! At least with the current set-up, the CFL avoids this problem most of the time.

I say keep the schedule much the same as it is now, but be smarter about where the games are played during the final weekend. Instead of home games in potential cold-weather places like Regina or Winnipeg, make sure most games are in warmer places like Toronto or Hamilton, or under the dome in BC! That way, you’re more likely to cut down on the complaints about cold weather.

Shelve this idea of moving the season up right now, CFL. That’s my rant for tonight.

Update: Did any of you see this epic Grey Cup game played in the snow in Ottawa? Case closed. They even had the dogsleds bring out Shania Twain for the halftime show. This is why you don’t want to move the season up.

It’s Thanksgiving in the USA (thank goodness)!

Hey, folks, something to cheer about, finally! It is Thanksgiving in the USA! Hopefully, now we will finally get a brief respite from these never ending stories about crazy President Trump and American politics, or about sexual harassment scandals (I guess Charlie Rose was the latest to get whacked) and related nonsense. I understand even the LA Kings mascot is now in trouble for groping. It really is a gong show there right now.

Maybe, hopefully, we might also get a respite from the recent flood of news about deaths of famous people. Hopefully, no one famous chokes on their Thanksgiving turkey today. That would surely ruin the day for us all.

The only stories I want to see for these next four days are stories about football and about Black Friday deals. That’s it!

Lots of deaths to report: David Cassidy, Charles Manson etc. etc.

What a last few days for deaths of well-known people. Here is a brief rundown:

First, notorious mass murderer Charles Manson. Dead.

AC/DC co-founder Malcolm Young. Dead.

Della Reese from Touched by an Angel. Dead.

And just today, David Cassidy of Partridge Family fame. Even though this was widely expected, I feel the same way about this death as the day Gary Coleman died: my childhood has died today.

So I’m sad about David Cassidy, and these other deaths, but I’m not sad one bit about Charles Manson. His big mouth from jail has finally shut up at last. It’s the “down” escalator for him.

That’s all.

Update: Mel Tillis is also dead.

Tweet tweet tweet! Spent the weekend working; occasionally watched important sporting events (CFL, NASCAR, etc.)

I have no life at the moment and therefore I have no time to post, so instead here are Retweets of important happenings from the weekend, starting with the ‘Riders

And then NASCAR

Finally, news about the box office egg laid this opening weekend by Justice League.

That is all.

Now the latest Justice League – Rotten Tomatoes update

Al Franken learns the hard way: don’t mess with Leeann Tweeden

To be honest, I’m really trying to move on from the sexual harassment hysteria that has gripped the US media lately, but it’s hard. There are just too many stories.

What started with Hollywood has now found its way to US politics. First, there is all this Roy Moore news that threatens to sink his entire Alabama Senate campaign. Now there is the big story today that Sen. Al Franken forcibly kissed and groped a woman without her consent.

Turns out the accuser was my girl, Leeann Tweeden, former host of Poker After Dark!

So if she’s accusing Franken of this stuff, it must be true, right? What’s more, there was even photo evidence!

Anyway, Franken has apologized. Also, Leeann happens to be buddies with Sean Hannity so he had a field day with this.

Latest Hollywood outrage: Rotten Tomatoes is holding back the Tomatometer score for Justice League!

There has been a lot of controversy out of Hollywood lately. The latest scandal/outrage, one which is relatively minor in the grand scheme of things, is that film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes is holding back on reporting the Tomatometer score for Justice League.

The word is they want to hold off reporting until Thursday, after they reveal the score on their Facebook Live streaming show See It/Skip It.

The conspiracy theorists aren’t convinced; they think this is all a plot by Warner Brothers, who own a stake of the company that owns Rotten Tomatoes, to keep the world from knowing how bad their Justice League movie really is until after everyone’s already paid for their weekend tickets. (The movie rolls out Friday.) Because if the world knew how bad this movie’s Tomatometer score was, the fans might not pay money to see it!

As it turns out, the Rotten Tomatoes score was leaked earlier today by accident on their Flixster app and surprise, surprise, it’s not that good: it’s 48 percent! Rotten!

So this latest DC Extended Universe effort is not off to a good start; still, it will probably make a ton of money anyway because everyone is in love with Wonder Woman, who is in the cast.

From what we are seeing, critical consensus seems to be that director Zack Snyder is the one responsible for making a hash of this movie, but the end product is still better than Batman v. Superman.

Thor: Ragnarok now up to $650 million worldwide!

Italy is eliminated from the World Cup! Unbelievable!!!

It seems like the qualifying for the World Cup 2018 is going to end up being more exciting than the Cup! Unbelievable result today in qualifying action:

So with this result, Italy is out of the World Cup for the first time since 1958, and Gigi Buffon’s international career comes to an inglorious, tearful end.

And you thought it was humiliating for the USA when they were eliminated?! Those folks in USA soccer can feel less bad about their own misery, now that four-time-champion Italy is out. Those players must all feel like crawling under a rock.

I wonder how the Azzurri fans in Toronto must feel! Every four years, Toronto’s Little Italy district goes nuts cheering for Italy in the World Cup. Their bars and restaurants would always be packed during World Cup Games, and then the fans would take to the streets to wave the country’s flags after they win.

But with the Italy team sitting at home while the other soccer powers are playing in Russia, what is it going to be like in Toronto in the summer of 2018? Totally dead, that is what I imagine it will be.

Roundup of the latest political coverage by yours truly

So, folks, I thought I would share some political news stories that I have covered over the past little while. You know, I sometimes forget that I cover politics for a living; last night I tuned in to the Virginia and New Jersey election coverage (both smashing victories for Democrats) and was going “gee, I wish I were covering politics for a living!”

Well, I am!! Just this weekend, in fact, I was reporting on a political convention. The governing Saskatchewan Party held their policy convention in Saskatoon and I was there for the farewell tribute to Premier Brad Wall, which included a special appearance by none other than commentator Rex Murphy, as well as the debate involving the five candidates running for the party leadership to replace him.

What’s more, the Prime Minister has just called a federal by-election for my area and I have been frantically tracking down any information I can find on nomination races and other stuff going on. Bottom line is, I’m proud of this political coverage and hopefully it’s getting an audience somewhere.

Here are some of my political stories from the past few days.

First, my coverage of the SaskParty convention.

Second, my coverage of the by-election in Battlefords-Lloydminster.

Third, my profile of Conservative nomination candidate Richard Andrew Nelson.

Fourth, my profile of another Conservative nomination candidate Ken Finlayson. Although, I guess, he’s not a nomination candidate anymore because the party is now refusing to let him run. That news just broke today.

Back to provincial politics for a moment. This fall, I have been doing interviews of all the various leadership candidates as they have campaigned for support in the region. Here are my profiles of SaskParty hopefuls Scott Moe, Gord Wyant, Alanna Koch and Ken Cheveldayoff. Also, the NDP is also holding a leadership race; those candidates are welcome to talk to us any time.

Finally, and just for fun, here is my story on the elevation of Herb Cox to Cabinet last week, as well as my John Cairns Leg Watch column focusing on the Question Period answers by our two local area cabinet ministers in response to what is being thrown at them by the NDP opposition.

This weekend, the federal Conservatives will be voting to select their candidate to run in the by-election, so I am going to be covering that. Also this Saturday, I am scheduled to cover Remembrance Day ceremonies as well as a provincial championship high school football game. Hopefully, I won’t freeze to death covering the contest.

In other political happenings — can you believe tonight is the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump being elected President?

It’s a sad day in sports. RIP Roy Halladay.

It’s a terrible day for all Toronto Blue Jays fans. For that matter, it’s also a terrible day for Philadelphia Phillies fans, and fans of all of baseball. Legendary pitcher Roy Halladay was killed in a plane crash off the coast of Florida today at age 40.

To give you an idea of how big a story this is in frozen Canada right now, the sports networks have all interrupted their usual hockey coverage scheduled for this hour, and are providing nonstop coverage of Halladay’s death. It’s almost as if the prime minister has died. Well, that’s what Halladay meant to the team — he was basically prime minister of the Blue Jays, for years. He carried the team on his back. He also pitched that post-season no-hitter for the Phillies. And now he is gone.

Here is some of the reaction on Twitter to this news today. RIP Roy Halladay.

National anthem update: Vin Scully swears off the NFL

Welcome to yet another “National Anthem Update” on this latest NFL Sunday. As it turns out, people are still mad about all this kneeling before the anthem going on. The latest to voice his disgust: the beloved legendary retired LA Dodgers baseball announcer Vin Scully.

Scully declared he will never watch an NFL game again because of all the disrespect shown to all the armed forces with this anthem nonsense. Well, this is easy for him to say, since he is retired and therefore does not have to worry about losing his job for telling it like it is. Scully also would probably prefer to watch baseball over football anyway.

But it shows you how rankled people still are about the issue. As an aside — does anyone else notice that you are not hearing nearly as many negative comments directed at baseball lately? Maybe it is because Major League Baseball and their players (who come from all over the world) have done far less to tick off the fans than the NFL lately.

More USA mayhem: at least 26 dead in church shooting in Texas

Last word on the Astros’ World Series, and more NFL woes

The 2017 World Series is over and it turned out to be a great one, going the full seven games. Actually, when you think of it, it was great for only one team: the Houston Astros. It seemed like all the great moments broke in their favour when it really counted, during those close game two and game five late-inning situations. As for the LA Dodgers, they suffered too many pitching meltdowns at the worst times, with Yu Darvish wilting under the seventh game pressure to give up five runs in the first two innings. I had just come out from a reporting assignment when I turned on the car radio and learned the Astros were already up 5-0. The game was pretty much over right away.

So, a team that was this decade’s version of the ‘62 Mets only a few short years ago has made it all the way to the top, and they truly did build it from the ground up. (Toronto Blue Jays, let this be a lesson to you.) This Sports Illustrated cover from 2014 called it, with George Springer ending up as series MVP with all his home runs.

Anyway, the major league baseball season is over, and as far as I am concerned it should be over, because in my part of the world this whole place is cold and covered in snow! When that is the weather outdoors, you know it is time to move on to the winter sports.

This World Series ended up getting big ratings across the board, with TV ratings in both LA and Houston through the roof. This follows the epic 2016 World Series won by the Chicago Cubs, which also went seven full games and dominated the ratings.

Moreover, that crazy Sunday night 13-12 game on FOX that went 5.5 hours clobbered Sunday Night Football on NBC. You know, it wasn’t that long ago that it was the NFL beating Major League Baseball in the TV ratings, and everyone was writing the stories about baseball’s lack of popularity and so on. Needless to say, these good World Series TV ratings are great news for baseball. As one commentator on the Vegas Stats and Information Network (VSiN) had said, you don’t want to see baseball go the way of boxing or horse racing.

And it’s more bad news for the NFL, which continues to suffer from lousy ratings and empty seats all over America, in particular in baseball-mad Los Angeles. But it is also going on in places where the NFL is supposedly popular.

All this kneeling-during-the-anthem political protest nonsense continues to plague the reputation of the league with sports fans. Now I notice even advertiser Papa John’s is complaining about it and claiming their pizza sales are down because of this controversy! That prompted their arch-rivals Pizza Hut to counter, saying the controversy hasn’t impacted them. So take that, Papa John’s. (Actually, I think maybe they wanted to stir up some free publicity for themselves by saying this.)

But there is no doubt the ratings are down, and there are now stories that networks like ESPN might pull out of their expensive NFL contracts. There are stories circulating about how Thursday Night Football is diluting the overall ratings. And the rumors are on that the owners, led by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, might dump Roger Goodell as commissioner.

To which my response is: good! Let’s see what a new commissioner is capable of, because there has been a litany of problems under Goodell’s watch: concussions and franchise free agency among them. Anthem protests are the least of the issues.

Another sad day in the world: terror truck attack in New York

Here we go again. This bad news takes all the fun away from Halloween.

Hollywood flops again! Suburbicon crashes to $2.8 mil weekend!

It has not been a stellar fall, or for that matter year, for Hollywood at the box office. Come to think of it, it’s been a bad year for them in every way imaginable, not just at the box office, but what happened to Suburbicon this weekend kind of is the exclamation point to all of what is happening.

Directed by George Clooney and with screenwriting from the usually-good Ethan and Joel Coen, and starring Matt Damon, Suburbicon crashed to a $2.8 million domestic weekend opening to be one of Paramount’s biggest flops of all time. Bad reviews and bad word of mouth all contributed. Of course, it is amusing to see the reaction at Breitbart who are enjoying seeing that big liberal Clooney go down the drain at the box office, not to mention the rest of Hollywood.

No doubt, fatigue with liberal politics has got to be another big factor contributing to this overall, effing box office debacle. Any time you see the name George Clooney associated with any production out of Hollywood these days, and you automatically think “politics”. At which point, most ordinary moviegoers run to the exits. But beyond Clooney’s involvement, I think the real problem is that going to the cinema to watch this movie simply did not look to most people like it would be the best use of roughly two hours of your life.

Is there any good news left for Hollywood?

Yes: November is two days away. Things ought to pick up at the box office this month, surely (Thor: Ragnarok, Justice League, etc.).

Paul Manafort among the Mueller indictments today

Like I said, it was not a fun day to be President. Paul Manafort and Rick Gates indicted, George Papadopoulos pleads guilty as the first charges come in the Russia investigation.

Pres. Donald Trump had better not fire special counsel Robert Mueller now, or he’ll be in a big heap of trouble.

It sure has been a bad day to be President.

Catalonia declares independence, and more News from Nowhere

Welcome to News from Nowhere for this Saturday, and for once the leading story has nothing to do with the Upset States of America. Instead, it has to do with the Upset State of Catalonia.

Yes, after weeks of drama, Catalonia voted yesterday to declare independence from Spain in a parliamentary vote, and now all of Spain and the EU is in an uproar.

The Spanish government has since dissolved the Catalonian parliament and sacked the separatist leader there, and taken over control by stripping the region of autonomy. All in all, this is not looking good for Spain. Frankly, the Spanish government have looked like thugs in the way they have treated Catalonia and tried to smother dissent there, with their propensity to send in the troops and so on.

This has some big implications for me personally because of (a) implications for the like-minded nationalists in Scotland, and (b) implications for the like-minded nationalists in Quebec! To me, what is going on in Catalonia looks like a dress-rehearsal for what could happen in both those places if they ever tried to pull a stunt like this and tried to declare independence. As for the EU, they say they are against Catalonian independence. Anyway, there is a lot about this story that I need to brush up on.

So that’s what is going on in Europe. Back here in North America, Pres. Donald Trump’s administration is in trouble again. Their release of the JFK assassination documents is being upstaged by news that a federal grand jury has approved Robert Mueller’s first charges in the Russia probe.

In other news, the sexual-harassment hysteria that has swept the United States in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein revelations continues. Others are caught up in the fallout: over 300 women have accused Hollywood screenwriter/director James Toback of one awful thing after another.

And there are more revelations about political reporter Mark Halperin and his awful behaviour. Now, Ken Baker of E! is being accused, too.

Is there any good news out there at all? I guess not, because ESPN is going to have layoffs. Again.

“Aaargh!” You know, at one point in time ESPN was a place a lot of us guys in the media business aspired to be at one day. We all thought it was a “dream job”! Unfortunately, the dream is dead for all of us. It’s sad.

That’s about it. I think I am going to tune in to college football now, which inevitably means one thing: tuning into ESPN feeds whether I want to or not.

Taylor Field — R.I.P.

Today is a sad day in Saskatchewan for all football fans.

This is the day the main grandstand of Taylor Field comes down in a controlled demolition. The wrecking ball has already been applied to most of the rest of the stadium, so it has already been a slow and sad goodbye. What’s left of the west grandstand is already pretty much dismantled anyway. Still, this marks a major moment; this day basically marks the end of the stadium. This is the same grandstand where I saw my first Roughriders game in 1983, and for that matter, my last one last year.

A viewing area is being set up nearby to allow people to view the spectacle in Regina live. Maybe Gainer the Gopher will be there.

I notice CBC Saskatchewan will have live coverage of this today on Facebook: the demolition of the grandstand is meant to happen at 1 pm Central time. That’s 12 pm for our audience in the Pacific time zone. (Update, 12:53 pm – I notice News Talk CJME radio is now live-streaming.)

I personally don’t think this particular demolition will be nearly as exciting as the demolition/implosions of Texas Stadium or the Kingdome, or of any famous Las Vegas hotels recently (ie. the Riviera). Still, but it is bound to be no less an emotional moment for all CFL fans who’ve loved the Saskatchewan Roughriders over the years.

Later tonight, the Riders take on Montreal at “new Mosaic Stadium” in the return to Saskatchewan of legendary former Riders QB Darian Durant.


Update, November 21: as good as the Taylor Field takedown was, it has nothing on the implosion of the Georgia Dome.

Upset States news: Democrats hand one to Trump, and Bush 41 in trouble 

Here is a very brief “Upset States” update for this week, and the reason it will be brief is because I am literally sick and tired of reading about all the nonsense that goes on down there in that miserable country.

First, the Democrats and in particular the Hillary Clinton crowd have handed a win to the Trump gang with news that this Trump dossier business with Russia was all cooked up and funded by them. What a disgrace; it’s dirty Clinton politics as usual. No wonder the Trump people are mad. The Democrats look really bad over this report.

As for Pres. Donald Trump, this bad news for his opponents comes not a moment too soon because a few GOPers are quitting on him. The latest is Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, who is leaving politics because he is fed up with Trump’s policies and political style. 

And of course, there is no end to all this sexual harassment piling-on in the wake of the Weinstein scandal, with the accusations now flying everywhere at literally everyone. The latest to be accused: none other than wheelchair-bound former Pres. George Bush. (!) (?)

Also, Megyn Kelly was busy this week trashing Bill O’Reilly.

I don’t feel like writing any more on this. Now, time to watch the World Series.

UPDATE: Oh, man. Mark Halperin now in a heap of trouble for sexual harassment.

Hey, disgruntled NFL fans: there’s always auto racing on Sundays!

So, the story out of the NFL is there are still lots of fans who are disgusted with all the politicking going on, with no end in sight to this national anthem nonsense, and they are sick of the lousy play and refusing to fill the seats at stadiums. 

Hey, you fans, here is an idea for Sunday afternoons: why not watch auto racing instead? Today at Austin, Texas was the United States Grand Prix on the Formula 1 circuit. Heck, even the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders were there! And so was Bill Clinton! The race was won by Lewis Hamilton who now has a huge lead for the drivers championship, and it clinches the constructors title for Mercedes

I guess the real news for the day was that Max Verstappen was denied a podium finish after he was assessed a five second penalty for gaining an advantage by leaving the track. He ended up being kicked out of the room where the podium finishers had assembled; how humiliating is that?! Anyway, he and his team are mad as hell. There is never a dull moment in F1. Next race: Mexico.

The other big race today was the NASCAR playoff elimination race in Kansas that was won by Martin Truex Jr., but not before there was a huge car wreck that took out 14 cars from the field on lap 198, finishing off the Cup hopes of Matt Kenneth. Seems that in the aftermath Kenseth had to go into the pits for repairs, and it turned out one too many crew members came over the wall to work on his car, so he ended up violating some NASCAR rule and was disqualified. What a way to go out. I guess the other big news was that Kyle Larson was eliminated from the Cup due to an engine failure, which is a surprise after the big season he had.

I guess my point is that fans don’t have to be beholden to the NFL on Sundays. Yes, there are other options, and good ones. Boogity Boogity Boogity!

Happening now: tornado warnings in Oklahoma. In October.

I cannot believe this, I am watching a live feed from Oklahoma City TV right now of coverage of a tornado on the ground in Oklahoma. In October. Not May, not June — October

What a bad year this has been for weather on this side of the world, folks!!

UPDATE: An F1 tornado hit Riverwind Casino in Norman on the same night the Beach Boys were playing there, and KFOR TV showed the tornado touching down live on the air. Wild stuff.