Thursday, June 30, 2016

Joseph Mazur, "Fluke"

Here's my conversation with Joseph Mazur, Professor Emeritus at Marlboro College in Vermont, about his book, "Fluke: The Math and Myth of Coincidence." I started by asking him what the difference is between a fluke and a coincidence, and then we got into several of the stories in his collection, including:
  • Why it's not so remarkable that a woman has won the lottery four times;
  • How a woman bought a used book in Paris that was hers as a child in Colorado;
  • Why gamblers need to forget the concept of "playing with the house's money;"
  • Those dreams you remember because they coincide with something in your real life.
He also explained why randomness is not so random, the law of truly large numbers, and how many people now ask him "what are the odds?" Listen, then click here to subscribe to these podcasts via iTunes!

Jonah Berger, "Invisible Influence"

Like me, you probably think you go through life making informed decisions about everything you buy, consume, watch, and read. Jonah Berger, professor of marketing at the Wharton School Of Business, explains how wrong you are in his new book, "Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces That Shape Behavior."

In our conversation, we discussed the ways we're influenced, and how you can use those tactics to influence others when asking for a raise, applying for a job, or negotiating to buy a car. He also revealed a strategy for betting on basketball games based on the halftime score, how being observed changes people's behavior, and the impact of other people answering a question before you do in a group setting.

Listen, then click here to subscribe to these podcasts via iTunes!

Previously on Harris Online...

Sebastian Junger, "Tribe"

Sebastian Junger, director of "Restrepo" and author of "The Perfect Storm," "Fire," and "A Death In Belmont," returned to my show to discuss his new book, "Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging."

We talked about the plight of the large number of veterans returning from war who wind up alienated and depressed. Life at home, where they're not part of a cohesive group, is very difficult -- for many of them, war feels better than peace. We discussed this problem, and the VA's lack of assistance, and how the problem is exacerbated by the fact that, while mortality rates are down, disability rates are way up for soldiers returning from modern wars.

Listen, then click here to subscribe to these podcasts via iTunes!

John Curtis on Cannabis Oil

A decade and a half ago, a young guy named John Curtis was the engineer for my radio show. After we parted ways, he went on to other jobs, and eventually owned several marijuana dispensaries in Colorado, where it was legal. A year ago, he sold that business to return to St. Louis, where he and a partner have acquired one of the two licenses issued by the state to sell cannabis oil.

I invited him back into the studio today to explain his new business, BeLeaf, how cannabis oil (CBD) helps people with epilepsy, and whether there's a chance that Missouri might make medical marijuana legal by referendum this fall. Listen, then click here to subscribe to these podcasts via iTunes!

Richard Wiseman's Amazing Miniature Bear

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

So Much For The Panic

Remember all those newscasters who were worriedly reporting on the panic on Wall Street over Brexit -- the one in which the major stock indices seemed to drop a lot when it was actually just a few percentage points?

Well, apparently the panic is over. It took all of two days for those indices to return to where they were last Thursday. Of course, "everything is fine" isn't much of a headline, but I'll take it over scaremongering any day.

Dick Guttman, "Starflacker"

Dick Guttman has been a Hollywood publicist for over six decades, working with stars like Barbra Streisand, Clint Eastwood, Groucho Marx, Audrey Hepburn, James Mason, Alfred Hitchcock, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. He's written about his experiences with those stars (and many others) in his book, "Starflacker: Inside The Golden Age Of Hollywood," which we talked about on my show.

I asked him to start off with a story about a Michael Caine death rumor, then we moved on to Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, and Jay Leno. He discussed working for studios as opposed to stars, dealing with paparazzi, and the media's role in a star's public image. I also asked whether it's harder to be a press agent in the era of Facebook, Twitter, and TMZ.

Listen, then click here to subscribe to these podcasts via iTunes!

You can read a few chapters of Dick Guttman's "Starflacker" for free here.

Mike Sexton, "Life's A Gamble"

It's always a pleasure talking with Mike Sexton, who is in the Poker Hall Of Fame for his decades as the game's ambassador, his role in launching the online poker site PartyPoker, and his 15 years as play-by-play man for the World Poker Tour. Earlier this year, Mike was honored for Lifetime Achievement at the American Poker Awards, and now he's written his autobiography, "Life's A Gamble." In discussing it, we touched on:
  • How the World Series Of Poker changed his life in 1984;
  • Why he credits the World Poker Tour for the poker boom of 2003-9;
  • Whether it's harder to be a professional poker player today than when he started;
  • What can be done about players who kill the game's pace by taking too much time;
  • Why poker still doesn't get mainstream advertisers like Pepsi, Apple, and Nike;
  • Some of his golf bets, including one about a guy trying to kick a ball onto the green;
  • How he had to teach software engineers the simplest basics of poker before they could launch PartyPoker.
Listen, then click here to subscribe to these podcasts via iTunes!

Rana Foroohar, "Makers and Takers"

Here's my conversation with Rana Foroohar, economic columnist and assistant managing editor for Time magazine, about her book, "Makers and Takers: The Rise Of Finance And The Fall Of American Business." Among the questions I asked her:
  • What is the "financialization of banking"?
  • Are the big banks still too big to fail?
  • What happened to the laws we were promised would fix this after 2008?
  • Is this a smoke-and-mirrors recovery?
  • Can we expect any of this to change under a Hillary Clinton presidency?
  • How bad is the revolving door between Washington and Wall Street?
  • Are companies more concerned with stock prices than research and innovation?
Listen, then click here to subscribe to these podcasts via iTunes!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Wieger Wamelink, Making Martian Food

Wieger Wamelink is a scientist at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, where he has been doing research for the Mars One project. In particular, he's been trying to figure out if it's possible to grow food in the Martian soil. After he published some positive results this week, I invited him to discuss them on my show.

Wieger explained which vegetables he's been able to grow in his Martian-analog soil, and whether they'll be healthy for humans to consume. We talked about how you create soil like that on Mars, how you protect the plants from solar radiation, and how they will be pollinated on a planet with no insects. I also asked him whether the Mars One crew will have to take fertilizer or can use human waste -- as Matt Damon's character Mark Watney did in the movie "The Martian."

Listen, then click here to subscribe to these podcasts via iTunes!
Previously on Harris Online...

Ryan Devereaux, "The Assassination Complex"

Here's my conversation with Ryan Devereaux, one of the investigative reporters at The Intercept who have compiled "The Assassination Complex: Inside The Government's Secret Drone Warfare Program." Among the questions I asked him:
  • If the drone program is secret, how do you know about it?
  • Is it helping reduce the numbers of Isis, Al Qaeda, and Taliban members and leadership?
  • How much collateral damage is there from drone strikes?
  • Is the technology exposed by Edward Snowden helping the government track terrorists?
  • What hasn't a report promised by the White House on civilians killed by drone strikes been released yet?
  • What was the Haymaker Campaign, and was it effective?
We also talked about the terrorist watch list, which made news again last week when the Democrats sat in on the floor of Congress to promote legislation that would ban those on the list from purchasing guns ("no fly, no buy").

Listen, then click here to subscribe to these podcasts via iTunes!
Previously on Harris Online...

Gerry Marzorati, "Late To The Ball"

In his late fifties, after many years as a newspaper editor, Gerry Marzorati decided to take up tennis. When he passed sixty, he decided to take it even more seriously and try to play serious, competitive tennis. That led to lessons from tennis gurus and matches against much more experienced players. It also formed the basis of his book, "Late To The Ball."

When I talked to him about it, we covered the pain of the game at that age, whether there's money in seniors tennis, and how his skills increased while those of other players who had been at it for decades decreased. We also discussed Serena Williams' place in tennis history, why the US doesn't have men among the top players in the world, and the difference between playing on grass, clay, and hard courts.

Listen, then click here to subscribe to these podcasts via iTunes!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Wendy Simmons, "My Holiday In North Korea"

Here's my conversation with Wendy Simmons, author of "My Holiday In North Korea: The Funniest/Worst Place On Earth." It's the true story of her ten-day trip to that country, where she was exposed to a society that's closed off from the rest of the world entirely. I asked her why she went, how regular people there treated her, and whether she was worried about being thrown in jail as a spy. She also explained what the hotels and restaurants are like, what's on TV and radio, and how there's no internet, electricity, running water, or even toilet paper in most of the country.

It's a remarkable story that made me face-palm several times, especially when the North Koreans arranged a "professional" soccer game on a Monday morning and took her to a Thursday afternoon wedding, where she photographed the unhappiest bride and groom I've ever seen. We also talked about what it was like being in Pyongyang when word of the Seth Rogen/James Franco movie "The Interview" made the news.

Listen, then click here to subscribe to these podcasts via iTunes!
Previously on Harris Online...

Alison Flowers, "Exoneree Diaries"

Here's my conversation with Alison Flowers, author of "Exoneree Diaries: The Fight For Innocence, Independence, and Identity." In the book she tells the story of four people who were released from prison (after as long as 20 years) and had to deal with re-entering society. Among the questions I asked Alison:
  • Is there a thread connecting the exonerees?
  • What did you learn about the unreliability of eyewitness testimony?
  • How do these people put their lives back together, get a job, and deal with technology that didn't exist when they were sent away?
  • How did Kristine Bunch, who got pregnant while awaiting trial for arson-murder she didn’t commit, bond with her son, who was a teenager by the time she got out?
  • How many wrongfully convicted people get released each year?
  • How much is money a factor?
  • Do exonerees have any legal recourse against the prosecutors and police who put them away?
  • Did they get anything from the state?
Listen, then click here to subscribe to these podcasts via iTunes!

Previously on Harris Online...

Rick Newman Explains Brexit

Now that we've had a couple of days to let Brexit sink in, there are still lots of questions, so I called on Rick Newman of Yahoo Finance to answer some of them:

  • Is it a good idea to let the public vote on complex economic issues like this?
  • What will the impact of Brexit be on our economy, stock market, and presidential election?
  • How much of the "leave" vote was driven less by economic concerns than anti-immigrant issues?
  • Will a petition-signing campaign be enough to force another vote?
  • How should Americans with money in the stock market react to the small-percentage dips of the last 2 days?
Listen, then click here to subscribe to these podcasts via iTunes!

In addition to his columns for Yahoo Finance, Rick Newman is the author of "Liberty For All: A Manifesto for Reclaiming Financial and Political Freedom.

Previously on Harris Online...

Movie Review: The Shallows

It has been 41 years since "Jaws" scared people out of the ocean and became the first summer blockbuster. Since then, there have been a few other shark-attack movies (including three lame "Jaws" sequels), but none of them have been worth your time -- until "The Shallows."

It stars Blake Lively as Nancy, a woman who goes to a very secluded beach in Mexico to surf. The only other humans she meets in the water are two young guys who explain the geography of the surroundings. The three of them ride some big waves for awhile before the men head in and call it a day, but Nancy wants to get one more good wave.

Once they're gone, she's completely alone, or thinks she is until a great white shark makes it presence known by knocking her off her board and sinking its teeth into her leg. She gets away, but the battle is on, and Nancy has to figure out a way to get out of there without being eaten by the giant killing machine. She climbs up onto one of the rocks protruding from the water, but she knows that when the tide comes in, that rock will become submerged again, exposing her to the shark.

What makes this different from "Jaws" is that Spielberg's classic had a lot of setup before Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss, and Robert Shaw took on the shark in deep ocean waters (they really needed a bigger boat). In "The Shallows," Nancy is only 200 yards from shore and alone. That means Lively has virtually no supporting cast, but she goes a very good job carrying the bulk of the movie. The direction by Jaume Collet-Serra keeps us focused on her point of view as she deals with this life-threatening situation.

My only real complaint about "The Shallows" is that, while in the jungle on the way to the very secluded beach, and then on the sand before she gets in the water, Nancy has no trouble getting a perfect cell phone signal. She even makes a video call to her sister. I can't do that from some corners of my own house, but it's become standard procedure in movies and television shows for characters to never have that problem (even in elevators and tunnels). It's disappointing because the rest of the movie is rooted in the reality of Nancy's story.

"The Shallows" runs a tight 85 minutes, and though it won't have anywhere near the impact of "Jaws," it will make a lot of beachgoers think twice before diving into the waves this summer.

I give it an 8 out of 10.

Note: At the screening I attended, some parents brought children under 10 years old, probably thinking they were going to see "Finding Dory." But this water adventure is far too scary -- there are at least two moments that made all of us jump out of our seats -- for kids that age, who are probably still having nightmares about it. There's a reason it's rated PG-13.

Note #2: Nice timing by the studio to release "The Shallows" just as Discovery Channel begins its annual "Shark Week" programming.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Legally Frustrated

Amy Schumer didn't air this on her Comedy Central show, but after the continuing inaction by Congress on gun legislation, she released it...

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Showbiz Show 6/24/16

This week on the showbiz segment of my show, Colin Jeffrey and I reviewed "Independence Day: Resurgence" and Blake Lively in "The Shallows." We also discussed three TV shows airing Sunday night: Showtime's new Cameron Crowe series "Roadies"; ABC's Sunday night game show block (Feud/Pyramid/Match Game); and the season finale of "Game Of Thrones."

Listen, then click here to subscribe to these podcasts via iTunes!

Harris Challenge 6/24/16

On this edition of my Harris Challenge -- the most fun you can have with your radio on -- the trivia categories include It All Starts With EU and You're Leaving Us? We're Leaving You! Listen and play along, then click here to subscribe to these podcasts via iTunes!

Want more Harris Challenges? Click here.

Knuckleheads In The News® 6/24/16

This edition of Knuckleheads In The News® includes stories about a badly placed ankle bracelet, a girl stuck in Barney's head, and an imposter's driving test. Listen, then click here to subscribe to these podcasts via iTunes!

Want more Knuckleheads In The News®? Click here.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Oh, Honey

Now that Led Zeppelin won its case, when will everyone finally realize "Stairway To Heaven" is a total ripoff of The Archies "Sugar Sugar"?

The Gun Question No One Asks

Yesterday's sit-in by House Democrats was an impressive display of the power of Periscope and Facebook Video, and it certainly got a lot of publicity, but it's not going to change anything as long as Republicans hold the majority in both houses of Congress. They'll do anything to avoid endangering the flow of funds they receive from the NRA.

One of their favorite arguments against any sort of gun safety legislation is that it's akin to abolishing the Second Amendment when it's not actually about revoking the right of Americans to be armed, but modifying it.

If I interviewed any of the pro-gun legislators -- which is not going to happen -- I'd first ask about why it's okay to legislate limits on the First Amendment, but not the Second. What kind of limits am I talking about? Addressing only the free speech clause of the First Amendment, here are four examples:

  • When I do a radio show, I work in a federally licensed facility where it is against the law for me to say certain words.
  • If I were to name you as a pedophile without proof, you could sue me for defamation and slander (or libel, if I did it on this site).
  • You can't advocate the assassination of the president without violating federal laws and earning a visit from the Secret Service.
  • You can't stand up in the gallery of the House Of Representatives and start giving your own speech while Congress is in session without being removed and subject to arrest.
If the First Amendment is open to such modifications, why isn't the Second Amendment malleable enough to allow universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons?

Phone Free Events

Here's an idea I heartily endorse.

Performers including Alicia Keys, Louis CK, and the Lumineers have told fans that their concerts are "phone-free events." You can leave your smartphone in your car or at home or, if you simply can't part with it while at the venue, lock it up in a pouch from the company Yondr. If you choose the latter, you carry your phone around in the pouch, but can't use it inside the venue. If need be, you can step outside, have your pouch unlocked, and call/text/browse all you like until you go back inside.

Having a phone-free event allows comedians to try out new material in a small club before it's ready for mass consumption. It allows musicians to put on performances so special that they're worth the price of the ticket. To experience it, you have to be there.

As the Yondr website says:
We think smartphones have incredible utility, but not in every setting. In some situations, they have become a distraction and a crutch -- cutting people off from each other and their immediate surroundings. Yondr has a simple purpose: to show people how powerful a moment can be when we aren’t focused on documenting or broadcasting it.
In a Washington Post story about Yondr, 29-year-old Andrea Ostolaza complained about giving up access to her phone because she wanted to share the concert with friends who couldn't get in. And there's a quote from 24-year-old Gerard Little:
In this day and age, my phone is how I keep my memory.... If you don't want your music heard, then don't perform it.
That's the attitude you get from a generation that expects everything they consume -- from wi-fi access to Pandora music to YouTube video -- to be available for free, with no thought of how the content provider owns and profits from their work. Alas, your ticket to an event does not include the right to broadcast it to the world.

As for memories, I'm fond of remembering the days when I could go to a concert without having to have my view blocked by the person ahead of me holding up a iPhone (or worse, an iPad) so they can capture everything. Even if you never plan on uploading that video to share it, you're destroying the concert experience for me and everyone else behind you. I didn't pay my good money to be forced to watch these performers through your four-inch-wide screen.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Media Note

No anchor on a cable news channel should ever be allowed to say to a guest "we're running out of time." Your network is on 24/7!

Picture Of The Day

Hey, how about getting a bunch of ukulele players to cover Thin Lizzy's "The Boys Are Back In Town"? Sounds like fun...

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Don't Come Knockin'

I was sitting upstairs in my home office when there was a knock at my front door. This can only mean two things: 1) my wife has ordered more shoes from Zappo's; or 2) someone is trying to sell me something. There's no third option, because none of my neighbors or friends would ever just drop by without calling me first.

If it's option 1, the UPS or FedEx driver will leave a package outside the door and drive away whether I answer it or not. If it's option 2, it could be a contractor who wants to fix my roof/garage/whatever, or a guy with a truck full of firewood he'd be happy to stack by my back door, or a new stockbroker who's moved into the neighborhood and is soliciting possible clients (does anyone ever turn over their savings to someone who shows up on their doorstep?).

Unless it involves Thin Mints and Samoas, I am not going to do business with anyone who sells their wares or service door-to-door. Looking out the window, I didn't see a delivery truck, but despite knowing this would only annoy me, I decided to go downstairs and see who was knocking.

Sure enough, it was someone trying to sell me something -- a guy from a lawn care company. No more than five words into his spiel, I put my hand up and said, "We already have someone taking care of the lawn." Then he quickly asked, "Do you mind if I ask why you chose that company in the first place?"

I replied, "Yes. It's because they didn't knock on my door and bother me." Then I closed the door and went back upstairs.

WSOP Notes

I spent several days last week at and around the World Series Of Poker in Las Vegas. Some random observations:

I wasn't happy to see that the WSOP no longer provides chip runners for the cash games, but understand the decision after hearing the explanation. When buying into a cash game, you used to be able to take a seat, pull out your cash, hand it to a WSOP employee in a red shirt with a name badge, and they would go to the cashier cage, buy your chips, and return them to you. This kept a game flowing and allowed players to not only make their initial purchase, but also re-buys, without having to leave the table. The chip runners also made some money because most of us tipped them a buck for their help.

Unfortunately, some unscrupulous people took advantage of the situation last year. Wearing similar outfits to the actual WSOP employees, they went to several cash game tables, collected the money from players, then simply left with it. It would be the equivalent of handing over the keys to your car at a valet parking spot, but the guy taking them wasn't affiliated with the company at all.

Enough people must have been ripped off that the WSOP decided to end the chip runner program entirely. Now, cash game players must buy their own chips at the cage before sitting down at a table to play.

Speaking of ripoffs, among the vendors in the long hallway at the Rio that divides the tournament rooms (which all players must pass through at some point) was a company that continues to sell ion power bands. Those have been debunked numerous times and do nothing for your health or balance, yet gullible people still fall for them. It doesn't hurt that the sales force is made up of attractive young women, who have no trouble getting attention from the mostly-young-male demographics of the WSOP. Still, shame on them for allowing such a scam to be sold on their premises.

Each year that I attend the WSOP, I look forward to seeing one waiter running drinks in the Pavilion section where the cash games take place. His name is Hector, and he must work every day, 12 hours a day. He never has time to stop and talk because he's so busy -- and he understands that the more people he serves, the more tips he collects -- but I always make a point of saying hello and getting a bottle of water from him. To Hector's credit, he never hits the floor without a tray full of water bottles, because he knows that each one he hands out means another dollar in his pocket.

But don't ask Hector for a napkin. He doesn't have any, and neither do any of the other waiters or waitresses, because the WSOP doesn't allow them on the tables. I'm sure the thinking is that cards and/or chips can get lost (or hidden) under the little paper squares -- but there's no such rule at Bellagio or The Wynn, and I've never heard of a problem at either of those properties. However, like the chip runner ripoff, the WSOP must have applied the no-napkin rule because it did have issues in the past.

One last item: the ban on Uber and Lyft drivers picking up and dropping off at McCarran Airport has been lifted. Apparently, the ride-sharing companies wrote a big check to whoever needed to be convinced (i.e. bribed) to allow them to service fliers. After learning this, I took a Lyft to the airport as I was leaving town, and it was much cheaper than a regular Vegas cab (as was the case anywhere else I went, on or off the strip). That driver told me that the Uber/Lyft pickup area at McCarran is a little bit hard to find, which is deterring some passengers from using the services, but I'm determined to find it next time I'm there. I've never had a bad experience with drivers from either company, and they've always been less expensive than taxis.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Concert Review: Bad Company and Joe Walsh

To my knowledge, the only time in music history when a band, song, and album all shared the same name was in 1974, when Bad Company did "Bad Company" on "Bad Company." I got to see them play that tune, and many others, Friday night at Hollywood Casino Amphitheater on a double bill with Joe Walsh.

Paul Rodgers, Bad Company's 66-year-old singer, still possesses one of the great rock voices of all time. Simon Kirke, the original drummer, backed him up, along with three guys who were not there during the band's heyday -- including Howard Leese, who was a member of Heart for 23 years before joining Rodgers' band in 1998. That raises the question of when is a band still that band, if many of the people who were members at the beginning have drifted away, died, or been tossed aside by their colleagues?

Last week, I linked to a story about The Zombies, or rather two groups that toured as that band after the original had broken up (in one case, the imposters included Dusty Hill and Frank Beard, before they joined Billy Gibbons to form ZZ Top). That was a pure con job, but what about the ones who tried to carry on?

Certainly Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey can call themselves The Who long after the deaths of Keith Moon and John Entwhistle. Bill Wyman and Brian Jones stopped being Rolling Stones years ago, but people would really only object if the band toured on without Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Doug Clifford and Stu Cook renamed themselves Creedence Clearwater Revisited when John Fogerty refused to work with them any longer. Roger Waters and David Gilmour each toured as Pink Floyd after that band dissolved. After a friend went to see Robbie Krieger and Ray Manzarek do an evening of Doors songs a decade ago with a singer no one had heard of, I asked him how it was and he replied, "Well, the guy wasn't drunk or stoned, didn't roll around on the floor, and remembered all the lyrics -- so it was probably better than when Jim Morrison was up there!"

With a band like Bad Company, it doesn't matter who's backing up Paul Rodgers. It's his voice that makes their songs work, not the bass player or lead guitarist. Ironically, in 2005-6, Rodgers toured with Queen, but their publicity made it clear that he was not replacing Freddie Mercury -- a good thing, because I can't think of two singers with more disparate rock voices.

Joe Walsh, on the other hand, is enough of a star to tour as himself with whatever backup band he chooses. You don't go to see them, you go to see Joe, who may be the most successful person in rock history to sing through his nose.

He did not disappoint on Friday night, playing songs from his early days, the James Gang, the Eagles (including a lovely tribute to the late Glenn Frey on "Take It To The Limit"), and his later solo career, too. At 68, Walsh remains one of the masters of the guitar. His talents -- and sense of humor -- were on full display as he traded licks with another rock guitar legend in his band, Waddy Wachtel.

My one objection to the night was when Rodgers kept insisting that the audience sing a chorus of a song here and there instead of him (e.g. "Shooting Star"). I didn't pay good money to listen to 10,000 amateurs sing your classic rock hits, Paul. I paid to hear your legendary classic rock vocal chords hitting those notes and melodies. Let the crowd sing along if they like, but your voice should be the only one in the spotlight.

Movie Review: Finding Dory

As my colleague Colin Jeffrey predicted on Friday, Pixar's "Finding Dory" broke the record for biggest opening weekend for an animated film, bringing in $136.2 million. Does that mean it's a great movie? Nope, just a very good one.

The sequel to "Finding Nemo" brings back Ellen DeGeneres and Albert Brooks as Dory and Marlin, who are off on another cross-ocean adventure, this time trying to find Dory's parents. The trip, hampered by Dory's short-term memory problem, drags a little at the beginning, but once things get underway, they move beautifully. I mean that in both tempo and visual terms. Pixar made waves (ahem!) with the animated processes it created for "Finding Nemo," and has only improved on them thirteen years later for "Finding Dory."

Aside from DeGeneres and Brooks, the voice cast includes Ed O'Neill as the movie's scene-stealing octopus, Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy as Dory’s parents, plus Ty Burrell, Idris Elba, Kate McKinnon, Bill Hader, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Root, Allison Janney, Brad Garrett, Willem Defoe, Austin Pendleton, and (of course) John Ratzenberger. That raises the question I've pondered many times before while watching an animated movie -- why not hire some of the very talented not-so-well-known voice actors in Hollywood? They're the ones who need the work, in many cases to keep their SAG/AFTRA insurance alive, and they can do the minor characters at least as well as some of those better-known stars. In fact, they can probably do the actual voices of those stars, if you need them.

The one thing that can't be replaced in "Finding Dory," is writer/director Andrew Stanton, who has proven over the years that he is Pixar's most valuable player -- he wrote "Toy Story" (and its sequels), "A Bug’s Life," "Monsters Inc," "Finding Nemo," and "Wall-E." His script for "Dory" isn't as good as those, but it's fine, although I do have an issue with the ending, in which one of the characters -- a creature from the sea -- drives a truck. That stretched the plot logic a little too far for me.

I give "Finding Dory" a 7.5 out of 10. Take your kids, and be sure to stay all the way through the credits to the very end for some funny stuff I will not spoil.

Accompanying "Finding Dory" is one of Pixar's best shorts in a long time, "Piper." It's the story of a baby sandpiper learning how to come out of its nest and find food in the waves along a beach. The story's nice, but the technology blew me away -- the best water and sea foam animation I've ever seen.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Louis CK on Samantha Bee

In a conversation with David Marchese of Vulture, Louis CK offers praise for Samantha Bee:

Q: What comedians are you seeing now who you think are great?

A: Samantha Bee. Samantha is inevitable. She’s the next thing. We’re all talking about the same shit, but there’s always somebody out there that’s hitting a chord like nobody else, and that person is her. I remember when I worked on Chris Rock’s show on HBO,The late-night talk show The Chris Rock Show aired from 1997 to 2000, winning one Emmy. Chris was that person at that time. Chris was just devastating. He was a black man and he was saying things from that point of view, but he was saying it with personal intelligence and hilariousness. I’ll take some credit, because he brought together a great writing staff and we created great pieces for him, with his leadership.

Q: What is it about Samantha?

A: The other guys doing that kind of format are all good, but we’ve heard it. They’re beating a drum. That’s fine, but she’s really surprising. The thing that she does is she leans forward and she fucking pounds her hands like she’s hitting a pulpit. She’s angry. This is the new thing with her: She’s not smug. All of these guys, even Jon Stewart, who’s a fucking genius, he would get upset but he always stayed cool. Guys like to be a little above it. They like to be in control. Even after ranting, they suddenly calm down and smile. But Samantha doesn’t do that. She’s really fucking mad! She’s like, Yes, I am a fucking feminist! She’s right about everything that I see her talk about. She’s by far the most interesting as far as, here’s my take on this shit that everybody else is chewing on.
Read the full interview here.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Showbiz Show 6/17/16

This week on the showbiz segment of my show, Colin Jeffrey and I discussed Pixar's new "Finding Dory," the shockingly low box office returns on an Al Pacino/Anthony Hopkins movie, and some stars you might not know are still around. Listen, then click here to subscribe to these podcasts via iTunes!

Harris Challenge 6/17/16

On this edition of my Harris Challenge -- the most fun you can have with your radio on -- the trivia categories include The Father Of Invention, Presidential Dads, and Movie Dads. Listen and play along, then click here to subscribe to these podcasts via iTunes!

Want more Harris Challenges? Click here.

Knuckleheads In The News® 6/17/16

This edition of Knuckleheads In The News® includes stories about a naked man with a hatchet, a thief locked in a truck, and a big drunken tip. Listen, then click here to subscribe to these podcasts via iTunes!

Want more Knuckleheads In The News®? Click here.

Friday, June 17, 2016

More Poker Pace Killers

On Wednesday, I wrote about how some poker players are ruining the game by playing much too slowly, acting as if every decision was life and death. Here's an example of what I was talking about, as reported by the WSOP staff Thursday afternoon in the $3,000 buy-in Six Max No Limit Hold'em Event:

Guiliano Bendinelli had the clock called on him in a small pot a couple orbits ago, and there were some complaints that his table is playing far slower than the other two. The floorman issued Table 3 a warning, and asked them to pick up the pace as a consideration to the rest of the field.

The prodding hasn't exactly worked.

In the most recent hand, Mark Herm opens the button to 60,000, and action freezes on Bendinelli in the small blind. After maybe 90 seconds, he begins cutting out a three-bet. A couple minutes later, he carefully slides 165,000 forward. Jordan Cristos is the big blind, and he's typically known for being a slow actor. Cristos folds without much delay, though, and the action returns to Herm. He considers for 90 seconds of his own, then four-bets to 295,000.

Bendinelli slips deep into the tank. He sits as still as a statue for maybe two minutes, then slowly checks his hole cards and returns to his thinking pose. That process repeats twice more with Bendinelli pausing, peeking, and pausing again. About five or six minutes into this decision, the floorman starts to step slowly toward the table, and Bendinelli uncaps his cards and slips them slowly into the muck.

Herm wins a ten-minute preflop pot.
I mentioned yesterday that installing a 30-second "shot clock" might cause more players to use a half-minute every time, which would slow things down even more. However, if it eliminates ridiculous delays like those by Herm and (especially) Bendinelli, it may have to become mandatory. Remember, this was a hand that never even got to the flop.

A few weeks ago, there was a $300,000 buy-in Super High Roller tournament, televised on CBS Sportsnet. It had a 40-second clock built into the table with a button that the dealer pressed every time the action moved to the next player -- analogous to the clock used in competitive chess, a game that arguably requires more thinking on every move than poker. Each player was given five time-extension cards to use which gave them another minute to make a decision. Limiting the time-extensions meant they had to be used sparingly over the course of the entire tournament, and the pace of the game wasn't constantly ruined by players pausing-peeking-pausing.

Other tournaments will now have to look at using the same technology, or enforce penalties like being removed from the table for one round or banned from future events. Otherwise they run the risk of even more Bendinelli-like delays.

I mentioned Wednesday that the players who act this way are almost all under 30 years old. I can't remember ever seeing a middle-aged guy being so rude to his fellow players. And I have never witnessed a woman of any age abusing the privilege so horribly. Ever.

I can tell you that if someone did this regularly in the cash games I play in, the rest of us would not put up with it. We would make our dissatisfaction known to both him and management, and if he still wouldn't stop, we'd refuse to play with him.

At the very least, I'd have the floor supervisor hover over the table and every ten seconds say to that kind of procrastinating player, "Hey, pal, the action's on you. Let's go or get out!!"

Dana Milbank Agrees

Remember when I called for media outlets to fight back against Donald Trump's abusive comments about the press by refusing to cover his events, not mentioning his tweets, and not allowing him to call in during live news shows? The suppliers must cut the addict off from the drug he so desperately needs (free media, particularly live TV) until he goes to rehab and sees the error of his ways.

Now Dana Milbank of the Washington Post -- a paper whose reporters were recently banned by Trump's team from covering his rallies, joining a list of outlets that includes The Daily Beast, the Des Moines Register, Politico, and Univision -- is suggesting pretty much the same things I've said:

There is, happily, a just and appropriate response to Trump’s blacklist: a Trump blackout. I don’t mean an outright ban of Trump coverage. That would be shirking our civic responsibility. But I suggest an end to the uncritical, free publicity that propelled him to the GOP nomination in the first place:

● No more live, wall-to-wall coverage of Trump’s rallies and events; this sort of “coverage,” particularly by cable news outlets, has been a huge in-kind contribution to Trump.
● No more Trump call-ins to TV shows; this enables him to plant falsehoods with little risk of follow-up.
● Rigorous use of real-time fact-checking, pointing out Trump’s falsehoods in the stories in which they’re reported. That’s not injecting opinion — it’s stating fact.

Beyond that, news organizations should demand that the Republican National Committee, at next month’s convention, reinstate and credential all media outlets that Trump has banned. Does the RNC want to join Trump in opposing a free press?
Read Milbank's full piece here.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Playing Smart, Running Good

Congratulations to two friends from St.Louis on their impressive runs at the World Series Of Poker. Jeff Landherr finished sixth in the $1,000 Pot Limit Omaha event yesterday, and Andros Ioakimides is one of 26 left in the $3,000 Six-Handed No Limit Hold'em event that re-starts for day three this afternoon.

Update at 9:37pm: Andros finished eighth in that event.

I can't handle the grind of twelve-hour days of constant concentration necessary to compete in big tournaments, which is why I gave up on them last year (I stick to cash games, where I can start and stop whenever I like), so I admire what both of them have accomplished.

The Numbers That Matter

I keep saying that national polls don't matter in a presidential election, because a candidate doesn't win based on the popular vote. He or she has to win a majority of electoral college votes -- at least 270 out of 538 -- so you have to look at the state-by-state polls, as the people at FrontLoadingHQ have.

Based on that, they're predicting a Hillary Clinton landslide, 358-180. Read Michael Tomasky's analysis of the data and you'll see how she's much more likely to turn red states blue than Trump is to do the reverse.

Of course, there are still five months to go before Election Day, and something unforeseen could change the outcome. But if not, Trump will have redefined the word Loser.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Poker Pace Killers

Sitting and playing poker for hours on end can be very boring, particularly if you're not participating in a lot of hands. Patience is a key factor, but it can be tested by several factors that slow the pace of the game considerably.

The worst is players who take forever to make every decision. While poker requires some thought, most of the time you know what to do within a few seconds. But too many modern players -- especially those in their twenties -- act like they're tortured by every card that comes out. This practice used to be called "Hollywooding" when done occasionally to make it seem like you're not sure what to do, or how to handle a certain opponent in this situation, or to fool your opponent into thinking you have a weak hand when it's very strong. Those situations should be rarities, but for some it's the norm, and it's annoying as hell to the rest of us.

I was recently in a game where there were two such players at the table. They were both quite active, playing lots of pots, but their pauses of thirty seconds to a minute on every street of every hand were killing the game. Not only is it rude to the other players, but it also affects the income of the dealers, who earn tips on each hand they deal, so when they get fewer hands out, they make less money. But these two jerks didn't care about anyone else. Even in simple situations where they knew they were going to fold (and did), they always dragged it out.

There's been discussion of adding a "shot clock" at the table, where each player would have a maximum of thirty seconds to act or have their hand declared dead. Frankly, that's already too long, and it would empower more players to use the full time they're allotted, thus reducing the pace of the game to a crawl.

One of the other factors that kills the pace of a poker game is the smartphone. You're not allowed to use one when you're in a hand, but after folding and waiting for the next one to be dealt -- which can be a couple of minutes each time if you're stuck with the two poker geniuses I described above -- you're allowed to text, tweet, or whatever.

The problem occurs when every single player at the table uses their smartphone without paying attention to the action. So, when a new hand is dealt and it's their turn, they're too busy checking to see what their friends have Snapchatted to notice. It may only be a few seconds, but those add up over a long session.

Then there are the slow dealers. At every casino I've played in, there are really good dealers who have worked on their skills, understanding that speed means money -- more hands out, more tips in -- but there are always those who can't (or won't) move things along. Some of them like to socialize with the players. Some of them don't pay close attention and lose track of where the action is. Some of them can't even figure out what the winning hand is once all the cards are revealed.

How those dealers keep their jobs is beyond me. Perhaps management isn't aware of their faults because players never say anything, but a dealer who goes slow is also affecting the income of the casino, which takes a rake (a few dollars) out of every pot -- and again, more hands mean more money.

Every year, the place with the highest percentage of slow dealers is the World Series Of Poker at the Rio in Las Vegas. I understand the challenge of hiring hundreds and hundreds of dealers to keep things going around the clock for eight weeks. By necessity, you're going to have some rookies in the mix, but it can be hell when one of them sits down in your game. Some of them look like they've never even played poker before -- you can see them counting one, two, three, etc. as they go around the table and try to remember everything they were taught in the week or two beforehand.

They're trained first in how to deal tournaments, which make up the bulk of the action at the WSOP, yet they'll also have to handle cash games, where the rules can be different (e.g. straddles, running it twice, time rakes), and that's when the real trouble begins. Because they're facing the unfamiliar, they slow way down. Most of us understand the dynamic, but that doesn't make it any less annoying.

Here's the bottom line for dealers and players alike: let's go already!

Read my followup to this piece here.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Best Radio I've Heard Today

Listen to this passionate commentary on the mass killing of gay people in Orlando from out KEX/Portland talker Michael Castner. Wow.

Samantha Bee Impresses Again

I was incredibly impressed by the commentary Samantha Bee did last night on her TBS show about the carnage in Orlando -- particularly her scathing remarks about politicians whose only solution is to pray.

I'm not surprised by how Bee handled it, because she has shown over the last few months of "Full Frontal" how intelligent, funny, and pointed she can be when attacking a subject. She and John Oliver have taken their "Daily Show" training to even greater heights on their respective new shows, sadly leaving former colleagues Trevor Noah and Stephen Colbert well behind in the social commentary arena. She also out-did all the other late night boys on this subject by not holding back her anger, while they spewed empty platitudes like "love wins in the end."

As Bee points out, love is nothing without action.

Imploding Vegas

The Riviera, one of the oldest casinos in Las Vegas, is no more. They blew it up (down?) last night with the kind of implosion ceremony that has become common there as the brands from the past disappear from the Strip's skyline. Watching the YouTube video from one of many onlookers gathered at 2:30am to watch The Riviera come down, I noticed two things.

One is the car alarm that starts blaring immediately after the explosives detonated, shaken to life by the shock wave. The other is that the implosion is turned into a show, complete with fireworks. That seems odd to me because no one on the street had to pay admission, and it's not like Vegas to give much away for free any more.

This is a town that is getting tight with the dollar. There are no more signs blaring "99-Cent Shrimp Cocktails" or "$2.99 Prime Rib Dinner!" A couple of weeks ago, the MGM properties (Bellagio, Monte Carlo, Grand, etc.) started charging for garage and valet parking. A friend was staying at a non-MGM property this week but drove his rental car over to Aria, left it with a valet while he played poker for a few hours, and was shocked when he retrieved it that they charged him $18!

That's going to kill business for the rental car companies and the valet parking guys, who have been making a good living for a long time at many of the big Strip properties. I know many people who used to tip two or three dollars, but with the $18 charge, they're pissed off and more likely to tip just a buck, so in the end, the corporation makes more, but the little guy running around in the garage takes home less.

By the way, the charge for self-parking in an MGM garage isn't much lower. I used to rent a car often when I visited Vegas because it turned out to be cheaper than taking taxis everywhere. But with Lyft (and Uber) making it less expensive to move from place to place, and most of my poker action at Bellagio or Aria -- and no desire to pay those parking fees -- I see no reason to have a rental car in Vegas any more.

As for the Riviera, even by the time I stayed there on my first Vegas trip in 1989 (which I wrote about here, complete with a horrible 99-cent buffet), its glory days were way behind it. Along with the similarly-imploded Stardust, Frontier, Desert Inn, and others, they had to come down to make room for something newer and flashier. The irony is that many of the lots where those old-timers stood are still empty, as financing dried up during the recession, leaving nothing to make money for anyone.

Maybe someone should turn them into cheap open-air parking lots.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Prayer Non-Controversy

Much was made yesterday of David Perdue, a Republican Senator from Georgia, joking about praying for President Obama's death:

“We should pray for him like Psalms 109:8 says: Let his days be few, and let another have his office.”
He said those words at some get together of religious/political zealots, many of whom laughed and applauded his comments. Several media outlets ran with the story and there were the predictable responses from Democrats and others complaining that Perdue was way out of bounds.

Here's what absolutely no one said, but I will: this doesn't matter one bit because prayer doesn't work anyway. Even if every single person in that convention hall prayed for Obama to die, it would not have any impact on Obama's health at all.

Not one iota.

Many of them have been praying for exactly that since he became Commander In Chief -- see this Christian Science Monitor story from November, 2009 -- and nothing has happened. They prayed their brains out outside the Supreme Court that the justices wouldn't make gay marriage legal. No effect. Plenty of Ted Cruz supporters prayed he'd be the GOP presidential nominee. He lost to a con man. I could pick dozens of other issues their prayers haven't impacted at all.

That's because prayer has never been proven to work.

I'm not just talking about praying for something negative, like the death of your political opponent. I'm talking about praying for something positive, too.

Tens of millions of people have prayed that their lottery numbers would come up for a big Powerball jackpot, but 99.999% of them never received a big cardboard check. They've prayed that their favorite sports team would win the big game but walked away dejected. They've prayed for their loved ones on their deathbeds, then cried over the corpses.

Of course, some of those teams win (exactly half of those participating heads-up in any game will come out on top). So do some of those lottery players. Some of the patients don't die. In each case, the winners will believe that their prayers have been answered, but you should chalk up the result to the strength of one team over another, or the randomness of falling ping pong balls, or doctors using science and medicine to help repair the human body -- not to the specific cause and effect of praying.

So, go ahead and denounce Senator David Perdue as an idiot who believes in magical thinking, but don't worry that he and his fellow believers can get their invisible friend to reach down from the sky and take the life of President Obama -- or anyone else.

On the other hand, don't bother praying that Perdue will change his mind about any of this, either. You'd just be wasting your time -- like him.

Showbiz Show 6/10/16

This week on the showbiz segment of my show, Colin Jeffrey and I reviewed "Now You See Me 2," "Warcraft," and other movie/showbiz news. We also listened to Billy Crystal moving and funny eulogy for Muhammad Ali. Listen, then click here to subscribe to these podcasts via iTunes!

Harris Challenge 6/10/16

On this edition of my Harris Challenge -- the most fun you can have with your radio on -- the trivia categories include Female Leaders, Sports 'N Stuff, and Late Night Presidents. Listen and play along, then click here to subscribe to these podcasts via iTunes!

Want more Harris Challenges? Click here.

Knuckleheads In The News® 6/10/16

This edition of Knuckleheads In The News® includes stories about a father unhappy with his son, a chastity belt, and a rogue monkey. Listen, then click here to subscribe to these podcasts via iTunes!

Want more Knuckleheads In The News®? Click here.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Best Thing I've Read Today

The USA Today expose of Donald Trump's habit of not paying people who have worked for him:

At least 60 lawsuits, along with hundreds of liens, judgments, and other government filings reviewed by the USA TODAY NETWORK, document people who have accused Trump and his businesses of failing to pay them for their work. Among them: a dishwasher in Florida. A glass company in New Jersey. A carpet company. A plumber. Painters. Forty-eight waiters. Dozens of bartenders and other hourly workers at his resorts and clubs, coast to coast. Real estate brokers who sold his properties. And, ironically, several law firms that once represented him in these suits and others.

Trump’s companies have also been cited for 24 violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act since 2005 for failing to pay overtime or minimum wage, according to U.S. Department of Labor data. That includes 21 citations against the defunct Trump Plaza in Atlantic City and three against the also out-of-business Trump Mortgage LLC in New York. Both cases were resolved by the companies agreeing to pay back wages.

In addition to the lawsuits, the review found more than 200 mechanic’s liens — filed by contractors and employees against Trump, his companies or his properties claiming they were owed money for their work — since the 1980s. The liens range from a $75,000 claim by a Plainview, N.Y., air conditioning and heating company to a $1 million claim from the president of a New York City real estate banking firm. On just one project, Trump’s Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, records released by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission in 1990 show that at least 253 subcontractors weren’t paid in full or on time, including workers who installed walls, chandeliers and plumbing.

The actions in total paint a portrait of Trump’s sprawling organization frequently failing to pay small businesses and individuals, then sometimes tying them up in court and other negotiations for years. In some cases, the Trump teams financially overpower and outlast much smaller opponents, draining their resources. Some just give up the fight, or settle for less; some have ended up in bankruptcy or out of business altogether.
This is a sleazy way to do business which, at the very least, raises the question of Trump's management abilities. After all, if every one of those contractors and employees did such a bad job, what does that say about Trump as the one who hired those hundreds (if not thousands) of people -- including his own lawyers and realtors, who also had to sue him to get paid?

Read the full USA Today story here.

Picture Of The Day

When the creative team behind a new astronaut-goes-to-Mars movie decided to use practical effects rather than CGI, they called upon one of the best special effects people of all time, Douglas Trumbull...

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Best Thing I've Read Today

My friend Nolan Dalla's recap of the remarkable chip-and-a-chair victory of Benjamin Keeline, who picked up a cool million dollars for winning the World Series Of Poker's Colossus II tournament a couple of days ago:

When one considers the vast number of entries in this tournament, a whopping 21,613 players, the challenge becomes mind-boggling. It’s like playing through an entire town’s population or outlasting the number of people who attend a typical major league baseball game. It’s the stuff dreams are made of, provided no one thinks you’re delusional.

Down to his last breath, Keeline took a massive bad beat late on the first day of play, which left him hanging on by a thread. On that wicked hand, he had pocket kings snapped by pocket aces. Then, one hand later, Keeline was DOWN TO A SINGLE $500 CHIP WITH THE ANTES AT $500 AND THE BLINDS AT $1,500-$3,000.

Let those numbers sink in for a moment. There were almost 109,000,000 chips in play at the time. That’s 109 million. To win this tournament, Keeline would have to gain possession of every single one of those chips, and somehow do this all starting out with a single $500 chip.

This wasn’t an obstacle the size of a mountain. It was almost a virtual impossibility.
Read Nolan's full story here.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

A Prediction

I predict that before I go on the air Friday afternoon, we will learn that this story about a 36-year-old woman who is breast-feeding her adult boyfriend is bullshit.

Still Fighting For The Kids

Congrats to my friend Josh Schindler on yet another legal victory on behalf of students in Normandy schools.

The First Lady

That's quite a front page, considering how much the NY Post has bashed Hillary Clinton over the years.

Her speech a couple of hours ago, as she officially became the presumptive Democrat presidential nominee, hit exactly the right tone. It was the first time I've heard her invoke the history of women's rights in the last century as a prelude to her becoming the first female major party presidential candidate. You could see in her eyes how thrilled she is to -- after a lifetime of fighting for causes she believes in -- finally have a chance at the biggest bully pulpit in the world.

Speaking of bullies, her shots at Donald Trump were just the beginning. Of course, every other word out of Trump's mouth from now on will be an attack on Clinton since he has so little policy to promote, but Clinton has a yooge team of people who will be devoted to attacking him on a regular basis -- much of it by simply using Trump's own words against him. It will be unlike anything he saw from the weak field of Republican opponents. He's now up against a campaign whose opposition research and quick-response will take everything James Carville and Paul Begala did for her husband in 1992/1996, add it to what David Axelrod did for Barack Obama in 2008/2012, and play "the women's card," too.

Just wait until her Super PACs start running non-stop commercials. When it comes to TV ad airtime, CNN's Teddy Schieffer says, "Total reservations from Trump super PAC so far: $1.2 million. Total reservations from Clinton super PAC so far: $108 million."

In the end, she's going to win. Don't let the national polls fool you. They don't matter because we don't elect presidents by the popular vote. It's about the electoral college and the country's demographics. As I have written several times in the last six months (and as recently as four weeks ago),
"I don't see any group other than white men over 50 that Trump has a chance of winning, and there aren't enough of them to come close to an electoral win. He has virtually no shot with women, African-Americans, or Latinos."
Tonight on MSNBC, Nicole Wallace -- communications director during the George W. Bush presidency -- echoed my view:
"It is impossible to be elected president in 2016 with only white men voting for you. The demographics of this country have changed too much." 
Until someone shows me evidence of how Trump overcomes the simple math of those statements and how the electoral college map changes dramatically -- or something unforeseen happens to Hillary Clinton between now and November -- she will be our next president. Those white men who support Trump will have to wake up and accept the New America they live in -- the one where our nation's first African-American president (a two-termer) will be succeeded by our first female president.

As for Bernie Sanders, he is at a crossroads. While I admire (and voted for) him, he is in danger of hurting his legacy if he continues to whine about the system and claiming he's going to turn the super-delegates in his favor by the time the Democrats have their convention in Philadelphia in six weeks. That's not going to happen. They are already mostly Clinton loyalists, but even if they weren't, it's extremely unlikely that they would overturn the will of the people, as expressed by the millions more Americans who voted for her. When any game is over, the winner is the one with most points -- the loser can't argue that the championship be awarded to any else.

Sanders' role going forward has to be to energize his youthful supporters and, along with President Obama (whose popularity ratings are very high), get them to support Clinton and stop Trump. By doing so (e.g. using his massive e-mail list), he'll earn the respect of the rest of the Democrats and perhaps a bigger role when he returns to the Senate. He has already proven himself to be a man of his word, a politician who really wants what's best for America, and he'll retain that reputation if he doesn't go around acting like The Bitter Loser.

The other question remaining after the last week is how loudly Republican leadership will back Trump going forward. Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and others have already proven they have no scruples, by denouncing Trump as a racist yet still endorsing him for the presidency. That's a sleazy matter of putting party before country, and makes one wonder exactly how abhorrent a candidate would have to be for those GOPers to withdraw or withhold their support. How many of them will actively campaign for Trump?

Another thing working against Trump: recent stories indicate that he has virtually no national campaign organization, there's disarray within his group of advisers who are frustrated that he does and says whatever he wants regardless of their suggestions, and Clinton has raised way more money than he has. Trump has claimed he's going to self-finance his campaign, but there's been no evidence of that so far -- he prefers to rely on the free media he's so willingly given by cable news and other outlets -- and many major Republican donors haven't written the big checks he'll need going forward.

Trump is all about ego and his brand, but I wonder whether that brand -- and thus his business -- has been tarnished by his idiotic outbursts. I haven't seen much coverage of that angle during the campaign, but I bet we'll see some soon in the lull between the end of the primaries and the party conventions that start next month. He may believe that there's no such thing as bad publicity, but that might be tested by how it affects his bottom line -- not politically, but financially.

One last point: I think I speak for everyone in America that we're delighted not to have to hear the phrase "Super Tuesday" again until 2020.