Warm Up the Time Machine, the Socialist Mural Returns

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A mural on a Russian apartment building somewhere between Kostroma and Yaroslavi…  (photo: http://io9.com/the-melancholy-crumbling-remains-of-great-socialist-mu-1570875662)

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…a Bernie Sanders mural on a barn in Kirby, Vermont.  (Photo: http://www.necn.com)

Those old socialist murals that were seen all over the Eastern Bloc sure looked eerie and cool, in the process suggesting that a juggernaut of governmental benevolence was going to make things better for everyone: You’d be protected and taken care of, you’d be part of something great, you’d get to do vodka shots and toss the glass into the fireplace, and your side would clean up at every Olympics and chess tournament. Well, those murals are still there, but the buildings they embellish are run down, the cars parked in the lots are old and unreliable, and the people living there have a lousy standard of living (although the Russian Olympic team still does well).

Well, the socialist mural is back, in Kirby, Vermont, of all places, where an image of presidential candidate and self-avowed socialist Bernie Sanders, painted on a barn, looks enough like Big Brother that George Orwell would be proud. Despite a track record that makes the New York Jets franchise look like a roaring success, socialism has supporters in the US, and Sanders, the junior Senator from Vermont, is currently outpolling the wobbly Hillary Clinton in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Of the mural, the barn’s owner said,

You can see the concern in his eyes.

That’s not actually what I see; I see worry, maybe because deep down Bernie knows that the seductive promises of socialism make running for office easy but governing a catastrophe, as Stanford University’s Thomas Sowell explains below: Continue reading

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NY Mets’ Matt Harvey: ‘Dark Knight’ or ‘Lord Jim’?

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A better nickname for the Mets’ Matt Harvey might be… (Photo: http://www.mets360.com)

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…’Lord Jim.’  (photo: http://www.loyalbooks.com

Bud Fox News has learned that there’s an additional reason why New York Mets’ pitcher Matt Harvey, one of super agent Scott Boras’s meal tickets, might miss a few starts: The right-hander, an aspiring renaissance man (or so he’ll tell you) and an avid reader, has informed the team that he refuses to miss any more meetings of his weekly book club.

If you haven’t been following the Mets’ latest imbroglio…last Friday, Boras, a man who makes Bernie Madoff seem less than greedy, went on a “media blitz” to let the world know that the Mets would be putting their star pitcher in “peril” if they did not adhere to the 180-inning limit suggested by Dr. James Andrews, the man who operated on Harvey’s pitching elbow in October 2013. The next day, Harvey, who, when not pitching, brays like a donkey while paying strident lip service to being the team’s ace, came across more like a lamb when he said the following:

 I know from having 178 [BFN: he was at 166 1/3 when Boras spoke] the year before I took off, I think the whole idea was not to exceed too much more than that.

Harvey’s apparent circumspection is a far cry from the beginning of the season when he said this:

I am here to compete and do everything I can to help the team win. There is no easing into it for me. It’s a season, it’s a game, I am prepared for that. I prepared just like a normal season. My mind-set is just like it has been in the past. I am moving on from the surgery, it’s been over a year now. We’re good to go.

Then again, in a cringe-inducing August 2013 interview with Men’s Journal, Harvey, whose blowhard bona fides are unimpeachable, vomited up this rather revealing gem:

I could buy a place now, but I’ve gotta wait for that $200 million contract. If I’m going to buy an apartment, it has to be the best apartment in the city.

Having a “PhD in people,” those of us on the Bud Fox News sports desk figure the last quote probably indicates how Harvey really feels. And we don’t blame him for trying to maximize his career dollars, which means Harvey, as a Tommy John surgery survivor, needs to be careful about in-game pitch counts and seasonal innings pitched, especially since he’s not eligible for free agency until after the 2018 season. But henceforth, he’d be wise to spare his former adoring fans his laughable “I want the team on my back and the ball in my hand” act, which started as soon as he hit the majors and now rings as hollow as NY Jets’ Geno Smith’s assurances of a triumphant return.

And it is indeed ironic that Harvey and his fellow bookworms are currently working their way through Lord Jim, Joseph Conrad’s answer to insomnia, in which the narrator Marlowe regales the reader with the devastating story of the title character, a sea-faring young man who, like Harvey, daydreams of being a hero (and talks a big game) but abandons ship to save himself when the Patna appears in danger of sinking (leaving the sleeping Mecca-bound Muslim passengers to fend for themselves), much like Harvey looking to protect his golden arm with his pusillanimous innings-limit while his team valiantly tries to make the playoffs after an ignominious stretch of six consecutive losing seasons. Jim spends the rest of his life running from his act of cowardice; in somewhat similar fashion, upon realizing that Mets fans thought him a phony and a poltroon, Harvey has already attempted a 180-degree turn from his 180-frame limit, writing a half-assed volte-face on Derek Jeter’s ridiculous website, The Players’ Tribune (note Harvey’s byline, “New York City Bureau Chief”- does he think he’s J. Jonah Jameson?): Continue reading

Overconfident or Obtuse? Obama Gets Duped by Derek Jeter

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He couldn’t even negotiate a simple golf wager without giving away the store. (Photo: http://www.telegraph.co.uk)

At a fundraising event on Monday for people who have not yet tired of hearing our president engage in snide ad hominem attacks on those with whom he disagrees, Barack Obama, who has played golf 248 times since taking office, told the audience that Derek Jeter, with the help of Las Vegas Sun newspaper owner Brian Greenspun, swindled him on the golf course back in November. Here’s how the president described the con:

And it was clearly a setup, because as we got — I knew Derek, but I hadn’t played golf with him before, and as we got up to the practice range, he was shanking balls everywhere.  And I said, well, do you play golf, Derek?  He said, I just started two weeks ago.  (Laughter.)  And Brian said, yeah, I’ll be his partner — because Brian is a better golfer than me.  And we gave Derek Jeter like 30 strokes.  And then on the first tee suddenly the ball just went straight and down the middle of the fairway, and we had to take a picture of me handing Derek Jeter money at the end of it. 

Neither side of this transaction (nor its outcome) surprises us at Bud Fox News. Let’s take Jeter first. Despite a carefully cultivated and protected image, the former overrated Yankee shortstop has about as much shame as Kim Kardashian, to wit: In cooperation with Steiner Sports, he will sell you a single game-used sock for $409.99 (game-used boxer shorts and discarded deodorant stick are probably up next). This is a man who was paid $269 million in salary by the Yankees over the course of his career (and earned at least another $100 million in endorsements). So Jeter clearly isn’t in the sock-selling business for the money, but he’s doing it anyway, maybe because he’s an egomaniac and so disdainful of his fans that he thinks he’s doing them a favor by offering them a single dirty sock (not even a lousy pair) for almost half a grand. My God, after Roger Maris hit HR #61, he told fan Sal Durante, who caught the ball, to keep it and try to make some money off it. It is believed that on that record-breaking day Maris threw his used game socks in the washer, where they (and Jeter’s) belonged. In similar fashion, because he’s an egomaniac and probably disdainful of the president, Jeter is perfectly capable of playing the golf grifter to Obama’s dupe. Continue reading

Sci-Fi Short Story Published as Morgan Stanley Research

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Morgan Stanley’s equity research report on Tesla Motors is nothing more than a sci-fi short story. (Photo: http://www.360here.com)

Bud Fox News has learned that on Monday, August 17, Morgan Stanley accidentally published a laughably optimistic equity research report on Tesla Motors (price target $465 vs $218.87 today) that was written by analyst Adam Jonas. The 39-page tree-killer was actually a homework assignment for the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writing class that Jonas is taking at the Gotham Writers’ Workshop. According to the course description:

Whether extrapolating science into futuristic technology or conjuring new forms of magic, these genres imagine what might have been or what might be, opening the door to any possibility.

Jonas’s report does indeed open the door to any possibility, to wit: the fantastic price target is based on how much a currently non-existent division (direct-to-consumer ride sharing), which the company in no way has suggested it’s creating, might be worth in the sci-fi worthy world of 2029, by which time one hopes that analytical robots will have replaced investment-banking-compromised human equity analysts for the benefit of investors everywhere. On the company’s 2Q earnings call, Tesla CEO Elon Musk wouldn’t even entertain a question about what has become Jonas’s entire investment thesis: Continue reading

Gallows Humor: Textbook Example

From the video above: Asked yesterday whether she wiped her server, Hillary Clinton responded, “What? With a cloth or something?”

This is a nice example of gallows humor, a noun phrase that means “humor that relates to very serious or frightening things (such as death or illness or the misappropriation of an avalanche of classified information).” Continue reading

John Edwards Hired by Clinton Campaign as Hair Style Advisor

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Who is the real Breck Girl? (Picture: http://nypost.com)

Gaffe-machine Hillary Clinton, with each passing day resembling more a poorly programmed robot and beginning to make Joe Biden look as elegant as Fred Astaire, has her newest campaign advisor to thank for her latest birdbrained move. John “Breck Girl” Edwards, a presidential candidate himself in 2004 and 2008 (and the Democrat Party’s VP nominee in 2004), has joined the Clinton campaign as a hair style advisor, and according to sources within Clinton’s camp, it was Edwards’s idea for Clinton “to put part of Bergdorf Goodman on lockdown on Friday to get a $600 haircut at the swanky John Barrett Salon.When asked for comment, Marian Etz, Professor of Political Science at Champale University in Trenton, New Jersey, and Director of the Spiro Agnew Institute for Clean Politics, told Bud Fox News: Continue reading

US Military: Transgenders Are In, But Trans Fats Are Out

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Transgender? Uncle Sam wants you. Trans fats, on the other hand, will be forced out of the military.  

Back on July 13, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter issued two directives that moved the Pentagon closer to allowing transgender men and women to serve openly in the military. Considering this administration just cut a nuclear deal with Iran that didn’t require “anytime-anywhere” inspections” or the return of four US hostages but, in banana republic fashion, was submitted for UN approval before the US Congress had concluded its own vote on the pact, nothing it does really surprises and Carter’s edict was greeted with a yawn. However, yesterday Carter made additional remarks about the new policy that finally caused the uproar this utterly ridiculous topic deserves and had manipulators of special interest group politics accusing him of “fatism.” Here’s what Carter said:

You’ll be able to serve as a transgender, but there will be no place in the military for trans fats.    

Continue reading