The Kushner Konnection, Frank DeFord at 78

The Russia House: The NY Times reports that, in an effort to establish a direct line of communication with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the transition, Jared Kushner met with an influential banker whose financial institution is involved with Russian intelligence and which remains under US sanctions.

The Times reports that, “Federal and congressional investigators are now examining what exactly Mr. Kushner and the Russian banker, Sergey N. Gorkov, wanted from each other.”

The meeting took place while then President-elect Trump was openly denouncing US intelligence agencies and dismissing reports that the Russians tried to influence the US election.

CNN reports that an administration official tells them that Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump, are “unfazed” and “focused on their work.”

But ….. Annie Karni and Josh Dawsey write for Politico that, “Two associates who have spoken to Kushner in recent weeks described him as ‘unhappy’ and ‘miserable,’ in part because he has not been able to make the changes he wants to under his father-in-law.” Karni and Dawsey write that, “Kushner, the source said, has recently seemed resigned to the fact that the internal dysfunction that has defined the first months of Trump’s administration is unlikely to pass. ‘He’s still trying to tell people it will improve, but he seems like he was trying to convince himself,’ the source said.”

Sand Trap: Golfer Tiger Woods was taken into custody early yesterday morning in his home town of Jupiter, Fla., and charged with driving under the influence.

Woods, 41, has won as much as $100 million playing golf, but has been plagued by injuries in recent years. He returned to the pro tour in December, with little success, and had another back surgery in April.

“What happened was an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications,” Woods said in a statement. “I didn’t realize the mix of medications had affected me so strongly.”

The Obit Page: Frank DeFord, who made literature out of writing about sports, has died at home in Key West, Fla., at age 78.

At one time, DeFord was part of a bench of writers including Roy Blount, Jr. and Dan Jenkins who made Sports Illustrated into one of the most successful of Time Inc.’s publications. For thirty years, he wrote about the people as well as the games, blending them at times into a Homeric odyssey of triumph and failure.

DeFord also wrote a short shelf of books and delivered commentary on National Public Radio since 1980, signing off only this month.

In a profile of Bill Tilden, a secretly gay 1920s tennis star, DeFord wrote “He was the proudest of men and the saddest, but never so happy as when he carried his rackets into the limelight or walked into a room and took it over.”

He wrote about the 13-round 1941 fight in which Joe Louis knocked out Billy Conn. “This was the best it had ever been and ever would be, the twelfth and thirteenth rounds of Louis and Conn on a warm night in New York just before the world went to hell. The people were standing and cheering for Conn, but it was really for the sport and for the moment and for themselves that they cheered. They could be a part of it . . . and it can’t ever get any better. This was such a time in the history of games.”

>The former drug-trafficking Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega is dead at age 83. He was deposed in a 1983 invasion of Panama.

After his forces quickly collapsed, Noriega took refuge in the Vatican embassy where American psy-ops blasted him with rock music, including Van Halen’s “Panama,” to get him to come out. Noriega, sometimes nicknamed the “pineapple” for his pocked face, ended up in an American prison.

American Royalty: Few Americans know that Donald Trump has a coat of arms, a British emblem bestowed as a symbol of a family’s heritage. The Trump coat of arms is plastered all over his properties, even though his family was never officially honored with one.

The Trump herald has a shield with three lions, two chevrons, and a hand holding an arrow. It is identical to the coat of arms bestowed upon Joseph Edward Davies, the third husband of Marjorie Merriweather Post, the socialite who built what is now Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort.

The only difference between the two is that the Latin word for “integrity” at the bottom has been replaced with “Trump,” which does not mean the same thing.


Thursday, February 22, 2018

Page Two

Jaw Meet Floor

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Small President

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Cuba Diaries

Sunday, March 13, 2016

An Alphabet of Maladies

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Healthcare Confusion Act

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Freedom from Speech

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Too Big to Fire

Friday, June 19, 2015

More Probable Than Not

Thursday, May 14, 2015

It's Been Said

" 'The enemy of the people,'" was what the president of the United States called the free press in 2017 ... It is a testament to the condition of our democracy that our own president uses words infamously spoken by Josef Stalin to describe his enemies. It bears noting that so fraught with malice was the phrase 'enemy of the people,' that even Nikita Khrushchev forbade its use, telling the Soviet Communist Party that the phrase had been introduced by Stalin for the purpose of 'annihilating such individuals' who disagreed with the supreme leader."
Arizona republican Sen. Jeff Flake speaking on the floor today.

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