It’s Thursday, January 20, 2023. 

— The midway point of Joe Biden’s term isn’t noon today. It’s noon tomorrow. Everybody conveniently forgets the leap year thing. 

Of course, there’s a chance it’ll only be the one-quarter point. As someone averse to risk, I’d take that over what looms if he doesn’t run for a second term and some Republican gets in.

— I haven’t written a blog post in a long time. I’d say I’ve been busy, but I’m retired. So anything I’ve been doing is just keeping occupied in another form. 

I want to write more in 2023, so this is me trying to do that. Let’s see how long this lasts.

— I won’t share this post on Twitter because I’m through providing content for Musk’s Folly.

I will share it on Post ( and Mastodon (, both of which I’m finding far more rewarding that having to block the right-wing posts that keep cropping up on my feed.

What I really wish would happen is that some other information sources – particularly those that  inform me about how the Mets are doing – would either abandon Twitter or sign on to the two worthy alternatives. Then I could get rid of Twitter once and for all.

— Given everything that’s come out about George Santos – I’ll talk more about him in my next post in coming days – does it make you wonder why he hasn’t fled the country?

At some point, he’s going to become grist for this country’s legal works – the criminal system, the civil system or both. Wouldn’t it be better if he were on, say, some Caribbean island or any country that doesn’t have an extradition treaty with the United States?

Yeah, he’d abandon his seat in the 118th Congress. But if he doesn’t resign, the seat won’t be up for grabs – there’s no chance Kevin McCarthy and his lemmings will expel Santos. The people of New York’s 3rd District won’t get the chance to reconsider until November 2024 – they’d just have no actual vote in Congress for nearly two years.

I would think the disappearance would be a better look for him and the Republicans than a perp walk or the scrum up some courthouse steps.

And given the money that somebody must have put up to fund this fraud, there must be more that wants to help avoid revealing who that somebody is.

Fleeing seems to make some sense. I won’t be surprised.

— China’s revelation that deaths exceeded births in 2022 also shouldn’t be a surprise. This is part of a demographic trend that has affected other advanced world economies – northeast Asia, western Europe and North America.

What came as a surprise was that it happened so soon. 

It boils down to a simple fact: We’ve raised a generation of kids that doesn’t want kids of their own.

After discussing this with one of my two representatives among the millennials, the one who’s living in South Korea, I gleaned some of the rationale for this attitude.

There is economic insecurity. It costs a lot of money to raise children. And millennials generally don’t have a lot of money – they haven’t found the career opportunities that they expected and, if they did, they have incredible financial burdens. 

Rents are high, housing prices are ridiculous and the credit they need is zapped by the ridiculous student loan burdens they carry.

That’s not just an American problem. It carries to all these other places – now even to China. Until millennials sort that out, they’re wise to avoid the crazy expenses of children -day care health care, education, and whatever the hell toys and video games cost.

Then there’s a bigger issue: Why would you want to subject a child you love to a world like this one.

There are two facets to this problem. 

One is climate change. There’s a reason a younger generation takes this issue to heart – these people are going to have to live with whatever climate they have, supposedly for a long time. In just the past month, we’ve had the craziness of wave upon wave of storms in California and the polar vortex that squeezed in around Christmas between periods of unseasonably warm winter weather in the East.

This is not just here. It’s too hot in a lot of places – a lot hotter than it used to be – and it’s not going better. Why would you subject a kid to a problem you seem unable to solve yourself?

The second problem is the seeming abundance of horrible people occupying the planet in 2023.

Vladimir Putin. Elon Musk, Donald Trump. Xi Jinping. Mohammed Bin Salman. Ron DeSantis. Tucker Carlson. And so many others.

It’s like my favorite line from the movie “The Great Santini,” when Robert Duvall’s character, reading the paper, screams “God, why did you have to put so many stupid people in the world — at the same time?”

It’s a freakin’ rogues’ gallery. And these idiots have power in one way or another.

Take Russia. Why would a young adult want to bring kids into a society that’s rigged toward oligarchs, that drags people off the street when they object to policy, that’s at risk to being sent off to commit genocide against people with whom they have no quarrel.

In all of these countries, the problem is this:  If there are fewer kids, they are not going to grow into the working adults needed to support elderly people too addled to contribute their labor to society.

So millennials are using the one weapon they hold. Their bodies. They’re not using them to procreate – in both male ways and female ways. 

It’s why you’re starting to see a fight, particularly among the right wing in the United States, about birth control. Conservatives gained the upper hand in the battle over abortion with the horrendous Dobbs decision from the Supreme Court – now there are efforts to curtail methods of contraception. 

And this is not something that will stay in the United States. 

Young Chinese adults, accustomed to living in a one-party state, know this. Many of them grew up hearing stories about baby girls screaming as they were thrown into rivers by parents who wanted boys under the draconian one-child policy.

They understand that a government that forces limits on parenting can also try to force women to bear children.

After generations of fearing a world of overpopulation – which can still be a problem because these issues are not as prevalent in less developed countries – advanced industrial states now worry that their populations will be unbalanced toward the elderly.

What will it take to solve this problem?

Probably something kids say to parents all the time: Get off our back.

The effort to restrict access to books, the constant harping on the culture, is only going to backfire. Why would I want to raise a kid who isn’t encouraged to be curious?

I taught for a few years at a university in New Jersey. What my peers told me to expect was an entitled generation that did things when it felt like. 

What I found was a bunch of young people of incredibly diverse backgrounds who were willing to work two jobs and still attend school because they thought it would help them succeed.

That’s the generation that’s out there. It’s a shame they don’t want kids, because they’d make fantastic parents. That they’re not is a problem we really should think about solving.



It’s Friday, June 24, 2022.

It’s one of the darker days in American history.

It’s the 18th anniversary of the state supreme court ruling that the death penalty was unconstitutional in New York.

The ruling came about nine years after the Republican governor, George Pataki, signed a bill reinstating capital punishment.

The moral of this story for those of us who were crestfallen when the penalty came back comes from the late, great Lawrence Peter Berra: It ain’t over ’til it’s over.

So the first thing I did this morning when I saw that six morons in black robes had stripped away freedom from millions of American women was vote. 

There’s a Democratic primary in New York for governor and lieutenant governor. And while there’s little chance my candidates – incumbents Kathy Hochul and Antonio Delgado – will lose, I’m not taking any chances. 

Let that be lesson No. 1 from this day: Voting matters. It always has. It sure as hell did on that dark November day in 2016 when people who sat on the sidelines allowed a criminal to occupy the Oval Office.

The second thing I did was buy blueberries.

OK, that might seem trivial in the wake of the cataclysm. But hear me out.

The blueberries were on sale at Stop & Shop, and I really like blueberries. So it seemed a no-brainer to pick up a container and put it in my shopping bag (Stop & Shop has while-you-shop checkout).

But before I did I checked something about the blueberries. Where they were from.

The answer was a good one: New Jersey. I put them in the bag.

Had the answer been Florida or Texas, I would have thrown them – literally – back.

I’m not – if I can help it – buying produce from Florida or Texas. I’m not buying anything – again if I can help it – associated with either of those states. I am not supporting the economies of places that believe they can infringe on my and my fellow Americans’ freedom.

Why should you?

Voting is nice, but the people in those states vote too.

And this Supreme Court has made it so Floridians and Texans, Wyomingites and Kansans, North Dakotans and South Dakotans can force their gun craziness on New York, Chicago and San Francisco, And can force their religious beliefs on any woman in their states, whether or not they share them. 

If you’re lit-charcoal angry about what the Roberts court has done the past few days, you can’t try to outviolent these people. The next real chance to affect them at the ballot box is November – and if you vote for ANY Republican for ANY office at ANY level, you’re not really that mad.

So the solution might come from what my best friend calls your “dollar vote.” Use your money to effect change.

It starts simply.

Farmers in many ruby red states need to sell their products everywhere in the country. They can’t make up that revenue by selling more in Republican strongholds.

So when you have a choice, buy from farmers and farm companies in your state – if it’s Democratic – or one of the other states that are not committed to curtailing individual rights. California has lots of nice fruit. Washington State cherries are almost in season. There’s nothing like a Hawaiian pineapple.

Secondly, why is anybody from a blue state visiting the Orlando theme parks? Or San Antonio? Or St. Louis?

Tourism dollars count. They especially count in Florida. One way to shove a stick up Ron DeSantis’ ass is to make sure tourism revenue in the state plunges. It will cost the state thousands of jobs and billions in cash. 

There’s a Disneyland in California – and a Universal Studios, too. Hell, there are Disneylands in Paris and Tokyo if you really want to see Mickey and Minnie.

And there is nothing that DeSantis, Greg Abbott and other reactionary pillbugs can do about this. Their tame Supreme Court can’t force you to buy stuff from their states, It can’t make you fly to Miami or Houston.

Third, financially support your allies.

Shares of Dick’s Sporting Goods rose about 9% Friday morning. Here’s the reason why: The CEO – who is not Dick, but actually a woman named Lauren Hobart – announced that the retailer will provide up to $4,000 to cover expenses of employees “if a state one of our teammates lives in restricts access to abortion.”

I have more running stuff than I need, but I’m going to be damn certain to buy something at Dick’s sometime soon. Whod’a thunk my 97th T-shirt would directly help some cashier get the health care Samuel Alito is trying to deny her?

On the other hand, I am dumbstruck by the idea that there are lines to get into Chick-Fil-A – with its noted history of homophobia – in places where LGBTQ people are respected members of the community. No sandwich is that good.

And that there’s a single woman buying knitting yarn from Hobby Lobby, which won the right from many of these justices to deny birth control to its employees.

There are probably lots of other ways you can use the power of your wallet to express your disgust with what the Supreme Court, with its three Trump appointees and other detritus, has excreted. 

The fact is you’ve got to inflict some sort of pain on the people who inflicted the pain on you. There will be celebrations tonight and this weekend – today is the Catholic League’s wet dream.

By all means, use the ballot box. Keep this anger in mind everyday from now until the midterms on Nov. 8 and the 2024 presidential election on Nov. 5. Don’t forget it – especially when Republicans try to distract you by blaming inflation on Biden and the Democrats. 

The freedom to control your body is worth far more than a gallon of gas at any price.

But be prepared to use all the weapons at your disposal. The bastards in the churches and the diners and everywhere else responsible for today’s travesty of justice – make them pay.



It’s Wednesday, May 25, 2022.

Two years ago today, George Floyd died. While being arrested for allegedly passing a fake $20 at a convenience store, Floyd – an unarmed 52-year-old African American – was brutally choked to death by a Minneapolis police officer. 

When the world saw a brave teenager’s video of the murder, it united briefly in disgust. Some societal changes – many superficial, but some of them consequential – occurred.

I could rant on this subject. But maybe another day – I just wanted to make sure I and anyone else reading this didn’t forget. There’s another matter about which I have some thoughts.

There are some things you can count on in the United States of America:

— Somebody’s going to get shot today. There’s a chance it’s happening right this second. 

A man shooting his estranged partner. Kids playing with Dad’s rifle. Two teenagers fighting over a girl, or a t-shirt, or a can of soda. 

Those are the times when the shooter knows who he or she is shooting.

Then, of course, there are times when these people don’t know each other. 

Sometimes, like the other day on the New York City subway system, somebody shoots and kills somebody they don’t know for whatever reason.

And sometimes, like in Buffalo a week and a-half ago, and in Uvalde, Texas, yesterday, somebody shoots and kills lots of people. The sheer numbers and the nature of the people – Black shoppers at a supermarket, Hispanic elementary school kids ready to celebrate the start of summer vacation – horrify people and draw the attention of the world.

— You can also count on that attention to fade. It invariably does. 

It was already happening for the people killed in Buffalo – some of whom have yet to be buried. If I were betting money on such a vulgar thing, I would bet on attention fading from what happened in Uvalde by the first weekend of June.

Unless, of course, there’s another mass killing sometime between now and then. 

Which, come to think of it, you can count on.

— You can also count on the people who have promoted and celebrated the gun cult that is a lot of the United States to offer their thoughts and prayers for the victims of what they’ve wrought.

Their hearts go out for this multitude of dead and wounded – and their families and communities. It’s so touching how deeply they feel.

Also, count on them to double down. They’ll say:

We need more guns in schools. We need more guns in supermarkets. We need more guns everywhere we go.

We need more trained officers. We need teachers to learn how to fire weapons. We need kids to know how to arm themselves. We need doctors and custodians and movie theater ticket takers and rabbis and deacons and the stockers at Lululemon to all pack a rod.

Not that having the NRA’s obscenely described “good guys with guns” did any good in Buffalo this month or Uvalde yesterday.

— One other thing you can count on: It’s going to get worse.

Sometime before the Fourth of July, the Donald Trump-bastardized Supreme Court will issue a ruling that will likely strike down New York’s prohibition on just walking around one of the world’s biggest cities carrying heat.

Imagine how much fun the place called “Fun City” in the ’60s will be when the tourists from Texas and the drunk teens from Staten Island can carry an instrument of death in their cargo shorts without impunity.

So we’ll think and pray, and say angry words like the 600 above this one, and cry and watch CNN and go on to the next slaughter.

Because few people in this supposedly great country have the will to do what must be done. 

Take away people’s guns.

Guns make no one safe. They just bring death and heartache. They’re unnecessary to our survival, despite what the people who stockpile them like baseball cards and bottled water believe.

I’m beginning to think that not even cops should have them. I’ve walked the streets of South Korea in the middle of the night. The police carry batons. Mainly because very few civilians are allowed to have guns.

Are they less free than we are? Because, of course, we’re going to hear a lot about freedom when we talk about guns. We’re going to hear cries of “the Second Amendment,” about which the so-called 2A warriors conveniently forget “the well-regulated militia” part.

I’d rather be free to live. I’d rather be free to let 8-year-olds grow up to be whatever their imaginations conjure. I’d rather let an 86-year-old woman shopping for her ailing brother bring the groceries home.

Yeah, I know how hard it would be. It’s a dream to think that 400 million guns – more guns than people – can get anywhere near zero. Depleting the inventory of carnage creation requires some sort of imaginative solution that might be a stretch for 21st century lawmakers.

But change?  Even incremental, minute change that makes it 1% more difficult to get an AR-15 at a strip mall if you’re brought to the gunsmith in a strait jacket?

Don’t count on it.

Or prove me wrong.



— It’s Tuesday, February 8, 2022.

— It’s the 54th anniversary of the Orangeburg massacre when Highway Patrol officers killed three South Carolina State University students and injured 28 others protesting a local bowling alley’s refusal to integrate.

The on-campus shooting doesn’t leave the same historic impression as the one that took place two years later at Kent State University in Ohio. There are several reasons why. But, unfortunately, one is that Black students were killed in Orangeburg and white ones died in Kent.

The protesters were decried as agitators in the moment. Today, the school holds a memorial for the slain and injured students – and the bowling alley is integrated.

— In what I call a duh move, I thought W. Kamau Bell’s four-part “We Need to Talk About Cosby” documentary was being released one week at a time on Showtime.

But, if you get Showtime, you can stream all of it without waiting for the final parts over the next two Sundays.

So I’ve only seen the first two of what I think, so far, is a remarkable work of exploration by Bell, who still identifies himself first as a comedian. It’s compelling to watch and burnishes Bell’s credentials as one of the sharpest minds in documentary television and film.

Because he is an African American, Bell’s focus is on how he and other Black people – particularly those, like him, who are in their 40s and 50s – reconcile the heroic image of Bill Cosby they had growing up with the evidence that he is a horrific sexual predator. 

Keeping the focus on how Black people view Cosby sharpens the documentary. It might be a journalistic choice on Bell’s part, but it’s also a smart artistic choice.

But, as a result, he doesn’t confront the questions that others face – and, since I’m an Italian-American white male, that means me.

I thought Bill Cosby was an American hero.

While Black people saw him as standing up for and advancing their image in society, I saw him as a genuinely funny man and a societal healer.

When I was in my tween and teen years, I got many of his albums. I watched the TV specials he did for NBC. I occasionally watched “I Spy,” which I remember as one of the first real dramedys that have become so popular in the 21st century.

Just before his downfall, my wife and I saw him do a two-hour, non-stop show in Morristown, N.J., that was entertaining and funny throughout.

All the while, I thought he was a Jackie Robinson of sorts – someone who, using the funny things shared by groups of us without taking race into account, was de-otherizing people of color and reminding us what we have in common.

But, as Bell points out, the same hints that Cosby dropped throughout his career – the whole obsession with supposed aphrodisiacs that people just laughed off – affect those of us fans of his who aren’t Black in a similar way to those of us who are.

I think that’s why the Cosby downfall seems, to me, the beginning of the Trump era. Someone we believed in turned out to be as rotten as anyone we despised. 

That threw us for a loop. We’re wary of anyone who seems to act heroically or behave in a civilized manner because we fear there’s something that will disillusion us about him or her.

And the question comes again: Do we reconcile Cosby’s genuine artistry with his horrific off-screen conduct?

For me, right now, the answer is “No.” The Bell documentary presents the women making accusations and I just can’t go back to thinking about Old Weird Harold and Noah’s Ark.

Is there a revision of this? Well, there’s certainly one for what happened in Orangeburg, S.C., on this day 54 years ago. 

But my sense is that Bill Cosby is about to be obliterated in the timeline of American entertainment and civil rights. And as good as he was as a comedian being as bad a person as he is makes that the right call.



— It’s Monday, February 7, 2022. 

Today is the 525th anniversary of the Bonfire of the Vanities, the burning of Renaissance art and literature in Florence.

The mastermind – if that’s the appropriate word – was a Dominican monk named Girolamo Savonarola. He decried these works as immoral and gathered them in the Piazza della Signoria for destruction.

Does that seem familiar?

Recently, a cetriolo in Tennessee organized the burning of books such as the Harry Potter and Twilight series.

I was going to mention his name, but that’s part of the problem here. These people throw these tantrums to get recognition. The first part of the solution is to minimize that.

Book burning and banning probably occurs all year round. But this winter seems to be a particularly bad one.

People don’t burn books to keep warm.

A lot of this is sheer racism. It’s tied to Nikole Hannah-Jones’ amazing scholarship on “The 1619 Project” for The New York Times – offering the idea that American history begins with the arrival of slaves, not the Declaration of Independence.

It’s an idea, of course, which means you can accept it or object to it – and maybe offer comparable scholarship and argument regarding your position as a way to find enlightenment. 

The idea of thinking offends the hell out of bigots. They’ve leeched onto the project in their effort to combat the increased diversity of this country – saying that kids are not learning how good America is, all the while demonstrating the bad that exists.

This has led to other book banning moves. Virginia chose a Republican governor because he made an issue about how one student was offended by Toni Morrison’s classic novel on slavery, “Beloved.” In other places, state and local authorities have found ways to remove books on racial issues, sexual orientation and anti-Semitism in an effort to impose their nihilistic agenda.

One thing leads to another. A reason books like the Harry Potter series spark the ire of weakass jerks is that they spark the imagination of young readers (never mind that they promote the morality of the major religions more effectively).

— And imagination is the real evil to these people.

Our kids are great at imagining a better country. They’re sick of conventions they had nothing to do with and they’re finding their way to a world of options. 

The Republican suppression initiatives aren’t just about stopping Black and other people of color from voting. They’re aimed at stopping young people – particularly those on college campuses – as well, because the rising generation has a lot of different ideas about a better America and world.

Ideas many of them have gotten from art, literature, music and, yes, movies and television.

And that’s part of what this is all about. When reactionaries talk about “protecting children,” what they really mean is “stopping children” – stopping them from thinking, learning and creating, and improving our society.

I’d like to think the 21st century Savonarolas – and I’m sure a lot of them would be offended by being equated with some Italian – aren’t going to succeed. 

The Florentine arsonists might have destroyed some precious works of art and literature we’ll never know. But there are millions of books out there – and there’s a whole Internet to explore. Quashing inspirational ideas seems an impossible task.

And yet, sacks of pus like the guy in Tennessee and the governor of Texas are going to try. They’re counting on the frenzy they’re whipping up to get people to do irrational things. And because they’ve placed such a stake in arming these people to the teeth, they think bullets might help them achieve their dream.

Up to now, history has rewarded the Leonardos and the Michelangelos – Savonarola pissed off the pope with his crusade and was hanged less than a year and a-half later in the same piazza where he staged his bonfire.

I’d like to think this winter of ignorance will end as well. I’m looking forward to spring – in more ways than one.



It’s Friday, February 4, 2022.

— It’s exactly halfway through winter 2021-22.

I’d like to think it’s downhill from here, folks. But if I do, there’s a 27-inch snowstorm waiting to zap me on March 4.

— It’s the 107th anniversary of the birth of actor Bill Talman.

He was best known for playing the district attorney with the worst prosecutorial won-loss record ever on “Perry Mason.”

What struck me when I was very young and my parents would watch the show on Saturday night was his character’s name: Hamilton Burger. Even at age six, it occurred to me that this was pretty lazy on somebody’s part; in this case, Perry Mason book series author Erle Stanley Gardiner, who obviously named this guy one day after lunch.

Talman died in 1968, at just 53, due to lung cancer. His other claim to fame was making TV PSAs against the cigarette smoking that took his life, some of the first ads to do so.

— When I worked at CNNMoney, we set up an office pool on the first Friday of the month based on the number of jobs created or lost in the prior month’s Labor Department report on nonfarm payrolls.

The payout was made right after we covered the story that day. It never occurred to us that we should wait a few months until the revisions came out.

I was reminded of that today when the January report was announced. 

First, after a week of expectations that the number would be weak, primarily because of the Omicron surge, the report showed 467,000 jobs added last month. That’s better than pretty good, although the unemployment rate – based on a separate survey – edged up to 4% from 3.9% in December.

Second, and more pertinent to my point, the 2021 numbers were all revised — as is the case every year due to an annual switch in how the department calculated the number (too complicated, not explaining it here).

So what had been seen as a weak jobs number in December, +199,000, is now +510,000. November’s revision was even larger, from +249,000 to +647,000.

But before you think these revisions are an unmitigated plus, consider June and July, each of which were revised lower by more than 400,000. 

Overall, the revision was a positive – an additional 217,000 jobs.

So here’s the point I’d make:

The jobs report is often a political cudgel. 

If it’s strong, the incumbent administration crows about it. If it’s weak, the out party decries a weak economy. Usually all this occurs within hours of the data announcement and plays out on cable news and business channels.

It might be too much to ask for the pundits to wait for the revisions. Because those who blasted the Biden administration on Jan. 7 should be chastened by the revision. And the Biden supporters who shouted about an amazing 1,000,000-plus job gain in July were, actually, premature. 

Who am I kidding? 

Like the CNNMoney jobs pool payout, there’s no backsies on political point making. The idea that the jobs report is just a gauge of the economy and a policy guide is not going to gain much credence.

That’s as obvious as naming a character Ham Burger.



It’s Wednesday, February 2, 2022. 

— Yes, it’s 2-2-22. My guess is that you’re in a state that has some kind of Pick Four lottery, that’s the combination that a lot of people will play today. 

By the way, to celebrate, I got today’s Wordle in two guesses.

What else is today?

Well, of course, it’s Groundhog Day. But unless you’re waxing rhapsodic about one of the best comedy films of my lifetime, who cares? 

If the groundhog that keeps burrowing under my house shows up to see her or his shadow, I’d like to be there to stun it and take it somewhere far away.

In addition, from what I see on social media, it’s National Girls and Women in Sports Day. A day that, I should be embarrassed to say, I didn’t know existed.

But I have thought a lot about girls and women in sports. In particular, my favorite sport, baseball.

So, let me get to my point:

— Today would have been a really good day to announce a women’s professional baseball league for North America.

There’s something strange about the fact that this doesn’t really exist. 

If you do a Google search, you will easily find current professional leagues in four other major sports: basketball, hockey, soccer (I hate soccer, but for argument’s sake, I’ll include it) and, yes, football. 

But do a Google search on women’s professional baseball and you get at least a full page of references to the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.

You know what that is – unless you’re one of the five people who didn’t see “A League of Their Own.” The AAGPBL was formed during World War II in case men’s baseball had to be suspended due to the war effort. It inspired the Geena Davis-Madonna-Tom Hanks movie that has some of the best baseball action scenes to grace big and small screens.

But the league hasn’t existed since the 1950s. And despite the strides made in women’s sports since the adoption of the Title IX amendments for education in 1972, no sustained effort has been made to create a women’s baseball league.

Yes, there is a women’s national team – and that’s great. But it doesn’t feed into anything that pays athletes real money and creates nationwide fan interest. At least nothing a somewhat knowledgeable baseball is aware of.

Also, yes, women play softball. And the women who play softball are tremendous athletes. But softball is not baseball – it is just not as much fun to watch and its skillset is a little different.

I’m not privy to the rigors of training to play baseball. I played when I was a kid and I wasn’t very good – although the game-tying, bases-loaded, two-out in-the-bottom-of-the-final-inning, 3-2 pitch double I hit at age 12 has sustained me for more than 55 years.

— But I suspect women who play softball would be the best candidates to play pro baseball. In fact, I wonder if women would love the chance to prove their skills with a baseball.

I’m also confident that women’s athleticism has vastly improved in the 50 years since Title IX just because of the additional opportunity.

A successful women’s baseball league doesn’t need stupid gimmicks, although it could certainly use some of the promotions employed by men’s professional baseball. It could create rules that encourage and promote contact, playmaking and strategy – a different strike zone, the double base at first base are two things I’m thinking about right away. Since there’s not much precedent, tinkering with the game to make it better won’t have the sense of blasphemy of rule changes in men’s competition.

And success in a women’s game wouldn’t be defined as filling 40,000-plus-seat stadiums in New York, Chicago or Los Angeles at $100 a ticket. Start modestly – there are plenty of 3,000-10,000 seat stadiums in major metro areas or places unserved by Major League Baseball and its minor leagues.

Off the top of my head, in the New York area, there are good parks on Staten Island and where I live in Rockland County. I have no doubt that families will make the trip once in a while to see a professional game at a reasonable price.

The WNBA is a success – I think the games are more fun to watch than the NBA and the level of competition is outstanding. Two words: Sue Bird.

The National Women’s Hockey League and National Women’s Soccer League are growing. The Women’s Football Association will have its championship game televised on ESPN2 in July.

A women’s major league is worth a try. At the very least, as the men dawdle over labor negotiations and put the 2022 season at risk, it would be nice to pass a winter’s day mulling the prospects of the New York Warriors or the Los Angeles Battlers.

Announcing a women’s pro baseball league on National Girls and Women in Sports Day would have been an appropriate double play on 2-2-22.



– It’s Wednesday, January 26, 2022. Winter is 40% over.

— It’s the 88th birthday of Bob Uecker. 

He’s a Baseball Hall of Famer despite a lifetime batting average of .200 as a catcher with three major league teams. Of course, that’s because Uecker built an amazing career after his playing days – comedian, actor, play-by-play announcer. 

Uecker was elected to the hall’s broadcasters’ wing in 2003.

— Bob Uecker is in the Hall of Fame. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens aren’t.

There is a lot of handwringing among baseball fans and participants about yesterday’s announcement that Bonds and Clemens failed in their final attempt to gain election. It’s heightened by David Ortiz’s success in his first try on the ballot.

All three men have, at one time, been linked to the use of performance-enhancing drugs. The big difference is that Ortiz got a sorta pass from baseball commissioner Rob Manfred. In 2016, Manfred said the 2003 test Ortiz was reported to have failed was tainted and that it shouldn’t be considered in evaluating the Boston slugger’s candidacy.

While that and some other off-the-field issues kept several voters from checking his name, Ortiz’s career and his Big Papi personality were enough to get him past the 75% threshold by just about 3 percentage points.

Bonds and Clemens are in a different league. 

Both men had stellar careers going before the steroid era came around. But both faced questions about their use of steroids – to the point that both Bonds and Clemens faced legal consequences. Bonds had a conviction overturned; Clemens was eventually acquitted of lying to Congress about his steroid use after a former trainer and teammate testified otherwise.

Despite all their numbers and accomplishments, particularly before the period their achievements were questioned, it’s important to remember that being elected to the Hall of Fame is not a right.

The writers who voted against the two men don’t have to consider the acquittals and overturned convictions. They have to decide whether what they think these two did was more detrimental to the sport than what they contributed to it.

— Lots of people are bemoaning the fact that the man who hit the most home runs in baseball history and the winner of the most Cy Young Awards for pitching are excluded from Cooperstown. Here’s why I think the writers did the right thing.

Yes, it does seem out of whack that Bonds and Clemens aren’t enshrined. I never rooted for them when they played, but I always recognize achievement – I absolutely agree that Met killer Chipper Jones was a first-ballot Hall of Famer and would have voted for Met killer Jimmy Rollins who barely survived the 5% cutoff in his first try.

But it’s wrong to think that there are no victims of what Bonds and Clemens are perceived to have done. There sure as hell are.

I’m talking about the men who played against them.

How many pitchers – particularly in the National League West – saw their career stats diminished because Bonds might have had an unfair advantage at the plate? How many batters – particularly those who more often faced the Yankees and Astros – saw their strikeout totals increase because Clemens might have had an unfair advantage on the mound?

And how did their performances affect the teams they faced, denying them better records and possible post-season glory?

The Hall of Fame gives players additional chances after the writers are finished with their consideration. In the case of Clemens and Bonds, they will be eligible for election in December when the Today’s Game committee, which considers those who played after 1988, meets.

The committee consists of 16 members, including players already inducted in the Hall, as well as baseball executives and veteran writers. And what the writers have done is leave this matter to them. If 12 of the 16 members approve, Bonds and Clemens can get in.

Ideally, the people who decide this should include players whose names aren’t on plaques. Players like, well, Bob Uecker – guys who pieced together six- and seven-year careers in the majors and lived in fear of the visit to the manager’s office to hear about a demotion to the minors.

But since that’s not how it works, it’s fine that at least some players – a few of whom might be Bonds’ and Clemens’ peers – get a say in this. If they get in, that’s OK.

It’s not about the writers’ personal agenda. It’s about who honors the game with their presence in that hallowed room in Cooperstown. Not enough writers think Bonds and Clemens belong there.

They rightly deferred it to others in a different – maybe even more appropriate – position to judge.

And if you’re a writer who’s not happy about that, consider this: for all the numbers and accolades they garnered in their career, Bonds and Clemens couldn’t get the same honor – being voted in by the writers – that many others with less stellar statistics attained. 

They – and you – will always know that.



— It’s Tuesday, January 25, 2022. It’s the 35th day of winter – there are 55 days left until spring.

— Today is the 239th anniversary of the birth of William Colgate, an immigrant soap maker who founded the Colgate-Palmolive Co.

I mention this as a reminder to myself that I have a dentist appointment today.

— Hey, I’m into Wordle too, and I’m thrilled to see the tweets in which you show how you did. It gives me a chance to play a secondary game – guessing what you guessed before you got the word right. Try it sometime.

But there are two irksome things I need to raise.

One, do NOT – NOT – show me or anyone else the freakin’ word when you get it right. Don’t even hint at it. It shows that you don’t realize that the Wordle you’re playing today is the same Wordle I’m playing today – which means I can’t play because you’ve told me what the word is!

Two, if you show me that you guessed the word on the first try, I am not going to believe anything other than that you are being dishonest about experiencing the first irksome thing I raised.

— A recent presidential election winner said the following in his victory address to the nation:

“I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be President for all of Americans … For those who have chosen not to support me in the past … I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so that we can work together and unify our great country.”

The sentiment might sound like George H.W. Bush or Joe Biden. But those very words – I cut out some parts that would give away his trademark horrific syntax – were spoken by Donald J. Trump in the early morning hours of Nov. 9, 2016.

As we all remember, Trump’s victory was a narrow one. He won three states – Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan – by small margins to end up with an Electoral College majority. He actually lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million.

Traditionally – and common sense dictates – that a narrow election winner looks for ways to grow his or her (assuming we one day get a “her”) support. And there were some naive people who thought Trump would do that. 

That’s why the word “infrastructure” generates a chuckle. Trump was supposed to build support by improving this nation’s crumbling highways and shoring up our utility grids.

(Leaving room here for your laughter)

— The thing is that sometime in the recent past, Trump and the Republican Party abandoned the idea of consensus building.

The sentiment went from “we can work together and unify our great country” to “you’ll love us when we beat you.”

The Republicans and their base are not the least bit interested in an overall better America. They don’t celebrate our shared triumphs – they don’t even want shared triumphs. 

They just want victories. They especially want victories on things you oppose because they want to show how they win better than we do.

Abortion is a great example.

An overwhelming majority don’t want the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. Only about 30% of the nation does. But that 30% has an outsize influence in government thanks to its support of the Republicans, who have promised to end abortion in this country.

Common sense says that the Republicans would find some sort of compromise on abortion. I’m not sure what that is, but there might be things that some of the other 70% would agree to that would build the anti-abortion choice base above 30%.


This is a zero-sum game to them. There is no other side but theirs. And their bet is that abortion isn’t enough of an issue to make a difference. 

It’s not a bad bet. Men don’t have abortions. Older women don’t have abortions. When you attack a right that’s actively shared by a subset of the population – I know that if you’re a woman of childbearing age you correctly think more of yourself than that, but hear me out – the resistance from the rest of the people is going to be muted.

Last week in his first anniversary news conference, Biden thought he was scoring an important point when he said this:

“Think about this: What are Republicans for? What are they for? Name me one thing they’re for.”

The president’s idea is that solving problems is the nation’s business and that his administration is doing just that.

— Here’s what’s wrong with that: Republicans are for something. They’re for not being for anything.

Once upon a time, solving problems was, in fact, the nation’s business. Democrats believed government was the best entity for doing that. Republicans believed private enterprise did that best. The idea was to find a middle ground. 

If that was how our country stood right now, we’d have reason to be optimistic. We would all want a stronger, healthier, happier nation and the argument would be about how to get there.

But Republicans no longer care about that stuff. They don’t care how 332,453,728 Americans are progressing together.

They are about the individual. Collective action of any kind is tyranny. Republicans don’t see any need to solve problems because there’s no collective problem to solve – there’s just stuff going on that each of us has to handle in our own way.

That explains the COVID nonsense. 

Making people wear masks in public and get vaccinated makes all the sense in the world. It’s how civilized nations such as South Korea and Japan have minimized the impact of the virus. 

But it’s a community action – and that’s a non-starter with Republicans and the core that supports them.

Hell, Mitch McConnell has underlined his party’s Senate agenda – there is none. Axios reported last month that “… McConnell has told colleagues and donors Senate Republicans won’t release a legislative agenda before next year’s midterms, according to people who’ve attended private meetings with the minority leader.”

— Biden is like most other older Democrats – myself included, until now – who think that the best way to solve problems is to offer solutions and compromise to get a positive outcome.

Here’s the problem with this for Biden as his poll numbers slide to Trumpian levels: That won’t work.

There’s a core number of Republicans and their supporters – you can’t separate the party leaders from the lowlifes they’re pandering to – that will not support sunshine if the Biden administration has anything to do with it. It would be a government plot to shed light on their lives.

So when you try to compromise to meet some of these people part way, you only alienate the people in your party who expect you to fulfill the more ambitious parts of your agenda.

The way for Biden to boost his standing and give Democrats a fighting chance in the November midterms is to go long. Find a few initiatives that do well with the bulk of the people who voted for him in 2020 and run them as much as you can without needing Congressional approval.

Student debt cancellation is an example.

A poll taken by Morning Consult shows that 62% of Americans favor some form of student loan forgiveness. While only 19% favor forgiving all of the debt for all Americans, about 50% favor at least partial debt forgiveness for all Americans.

And, not surprisingly, those numbers are strongest among the people who owe the money – people who’ve graduated from college in the past 20 years and are saddled with these crazy debt loads.

It wouldn’t just be a gift to a younger generation. It would give them money to do other things – buy homes, start businesses, begin families. It would strengthen the loyalty of the next generation of leaders.

Just do it, Joe! 

The Republicans abandoned the idea of consensus building. You can’t think that they have ideas about “reaching out to you for your guidance and your help,” as Trump said on Nov. 9, 2016, in solving America’s problems.

Because they don’t want to solve America’s problems. They’re the “Seinfeld” of American history – a real show about nothing. 

They just want to beat you.



It’s Wednesday, January 19, 2022.

It’s the 115th anniversary of the birth of Robert E. Lee, the slaveowner and former U.S. Army general who led bands of insurrectionists seeking to dissolve the nation.

In Texas, the traitor’s birthday is celebrated as Confederate Heroes Day. It’s a state holiday. Other states celebrate the day later in the year. Kentucky, for instance, waits for June 3.

In case you were wondering if what you’ve been seeing in recent years is anything new.

Among those representing Kentucky in Congress is Thomas Massie.

You might remember him from a recent family Christmas picture in which he demonstrated his idea of how to celebrate the birth of “the Prince of Peace” – an event he somehow omitted in his holiday message. His entire family of seven is holding weapons, including one that’s semi-automatic, as he beseeches Santa to bring all of them some ammo. 

Massie is one the harder core insurrectionists in the Republican caucus – a happy warrior against the country from which he draws his paycheck.

Yesterday, in a tweet that keeps with his life’s mission of inducing liberal tears, Massie leaned into the narrative (one I don’t accept, by the way) that his party will gain control of the House this fall. 

He said – and I’m copying here because I’d like to limit this guy’s social media engagement: “What pro Second Amendment legislation do you want the House to pass when Republicans retake the majority?”

Hey, Tommy Gun Boy, thanks for asking.

I don’t own a weapon, would never own a weapon and don’t understand why anyone else does. I’m embarrassed by the fact that my country has one of the highest rates of firearm-related deaths in the world – a large number of them, by the way, by suicide.

But, Tommy Gun Boy, if you think that means I support repeal of the Second Amendment, you’re wrong.

This is what appears in the Bill of Rights: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

So, taking you at your word that you want to consider legislation that’s pro-Second Amendment – or “pro-#2A,” as you and your bang-bang loving friends like to say – here are some ideas:

— In accordance with the Second Amendment’s proclamation that a well regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state, require every state to do thorough background checks on anyone seeking the right to bear arms.

— In accordance with the Second Amendment’s proclamation that a well regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state, require states to mandate that everyone seeking the right to bear arms undergo instruction in firearm safety and consequences – both when they purchase a firearm and then annually thereafter.

— In accordance with the Second Amendment’s proclamation that a well regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state, make certain the right of anyone to keep and bear arms is not available to anyone convicted of or legitimately accused of domestic violence. 

Yeah, I don’t think anyone who is the subject of a court protection order should have access to something that can end that dispute sadly. 

— In accordance with the Second Amendment’s proclamation that a well regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state, the right to keep and bear arms requires protection for the firearm in the home – including making it impossible for children under age 16 to get access to firearms on their own.

Gun accidents and suicide produce more death in America than homicide. That’s pathetic. I can’t understand why even the fondest gun advocate finds that acceptable.

— In accordance with the Second Amendment’s proclamation that a well regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state, states that fail to provide adequate regulation of firearms should be subject to financial penalty, such as reduced federal funding.

States that take in more federal funds than they contribute should have their funding reduced to equal levels.

And there should be legal liability for state officials who fail to fulfill their Constitutional obligation to well regulate the right to keep and bear arms.

For instance: Some idiot in Texas should face consequences for the fact that a nut case from Great Britain could hop on a plane, hang around Dallas for a few days, get hold of a weapon, then go into a synagogue and terrorize a rabbi and his congregants for hours while spewing anti-Semitic bullshit.

The problem with the Second Amendment isn’t its existence, Tommy Gun Boy.

Sure, it might be better for all of us if Hamilton, Madison and the gang left it out.

But the problem with the Second Amendment is that we’ve allowed gun crazies like you to ignore the first four words. 

Gun control, pal, is inherent in the Second Amendment. That’s why it’s a more logical solution to the gun violence problems afflicting our country than arming everybody to the teeth and watching the carnage that happens.

But, hey, I suspect that’s not what you had in mind, Tommy Gun Boy, when you asked the question.

So I hope Santa got you the ammo you wanted. Because I’m sure as hell he didn’t bring you any decency.