Late Night ‘Sad Clown Gets Dunked’ Open Thread: King James vs Churl Don

Professional sports writer Corbin Smith, at the Daily Beast:

There are a dozen reasons I can give you why this is racist and idiotic. LeBron James is wildly successful, a dude who has leveraged his gifts into a multi-pronged empire that will, in all likelihood, pay out for the rest of his life. He is publicly beloved, charitable in a way that goes beyond dollars and actually sells a vision of a better world. James is a tremendously brilliant basketball player, an on-court weapon whose tremendous physical gifts are transmogrified into pure competitive heroin by dint of his ability to see the entire court at all times and milk the absolute most efficient play out of nearly every possession he has.

Anyone—anyone—calling him stupid like this is being a goddamn racist, plain and simple—casting aside a body of tremendous work because the color of his skin doesn’t line up with the assumptions that a racist society has about what black men can accomplish. In the case of Trump here, it goes beyond blowing a dog whistle and resembles more of a dog trumpet, an audible blast cascading over the mountains and sticking up the arm hairs of every member of his impressionable, white, QAnon-humping, Extremely Online base

… We’re living in the goddamn #content presidency, where the president is operating like a sports blogger, watching a goddamn LeBron James CNN interview on Friday night and hunting for some shit he can write about for clicks and attention and juice…

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Late Night SCOTUS Scrotes Open Thread: “Baseball Tickets”…

… Is that what the kidz are calling it, these days?

Repub Venality Open Thread: Crossing Jordan, A River of Accusations

I believe the Dispatch is Jordan’s ‘hometown’ paper, where his voters live…

… “To date, Rep. Jordan has not responded to those requests, but we understand from public statements issued on his behalf today that Rep. Jordan is willing to talk to the investigative team,” Trafford said.

Jordan, who has represented a swath of west-central Ohio since 2007, is considered one of the more-powerful conservatives in Congress and is widely credited as being a driver in former House Speaker John Boehner’s resignation. Earlier this year, Jordan said he was considering running for House speaker if Republicans keep control of the chamber in November.

Doug Andres, a spokesman for House Speaker Paul Ryan, called the allegations “serious.”

“The university has rightfully initiated a full investigation into the matter,” Andres said. “The speaker will await the findings of that inquiry.”

Jordan has said as far back as April that he did not know anything about allegations against Dr. Richard Strauss, who died in 2005…

All together now: “It’s not the crime, it’s the cover up… “

Repub leadership changing its ‘relationship’ status on Facebook to “It’s complicated!”

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Repub Venality Open Thread: Freedom Caucus Founder Jim Jordan Wrestled With His Conscience, Scored Knockout

Rep. Jim Jordan, the powerful Republican congressman from Ohio, is being accused by former wrestlers he coached more than two decades ago at Ohio State University of failing to stop the team doctor from molesting them and other students.

The university announced in April that it was investigating accusations that Dr. Richard Strauss, who died in 2005, abused team members when he was the team doctor from the mid-1970s to late 1990s.

Jordan, who was assistant wrestling coach at the university from 1986 to 1994, has repeatedly said he knew nothing of the abuse until former students began speaking out this spring, and continued to deny it on Tuesday. His denials, however, have been met with skepticism and anger from some former members of the wrestling team.

Three former wrestlers told NBC News that it was common knowledge that Strauss showered regularly with the students and inappropriately touched them during appointments, and said it would have been impossible for Jordan to be unaware; one wrestler said he told Jordan directly about the abuse.

DiSabato, whose allegations against Strauss prompted Ohio State to open its investigation, called Jordan a “liar.”

“I considered Jim Jordan a friend,” DiSabato said. “But at the end of the day, he is absolutely lying if he says he doesn’t know what was going on.”

DiSabato said he reached out to Jordan this year, before going to the university, to tell Jordan that he planned to go public with his allegations. Jordan told him to “please leave me out of it,” DiSabato said. “He asked me not to get him involved.”…

Jordan, a founder of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of the most conservative representatives, is a staunch ally of President Donald Trump and is frequently mentioned as a possible replacement for the speaker of the House, Paul Ryan

Jordan is wrestling royalty. Born and raised in Champaign County, Ohio, he was a four-time state wrestling champion. Competing for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he won NCAA titles in 1985 and 1986.

But in the wrestling world, Jordan is best known for defeating future two-time Olympic gold medalist John Smith twice in an NCAA tournament in 1985.

Jordan returned home to Ohio and — while working as a coach — earned a master’s degree in education at Ohio State and later a law degree from Capital University in Columbus before launching his political career in 1994 when he was elected to the Ohio General Assembly…

Since the House Repubs are very fond of unfunny “jokes” (see: Ryan & McCarthy sharing a laugh over Dana Rohrabacher being on Putin’s payroll), maybe we should check for coffee mugs emblazoned YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A PERVERT ENABLER TO WORK HERE — BUT IT HELPS!

You be the referee

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these posts. The England-Belgium game is going to be one hell of a refereeing challenge. Both England and Belgium will be advancing to the knock-out round. The problem is one side of the bracket is far scarier than the other side. The winner of the group goes into the scary bracket.

Here is the situation per the Ringer:

each side has a goal differential of plus-6, and each has scored eight goals, tied for the most of any team in the World Cup. The next tiebreaker is head-to-head performance, so if England and Belgium were to play to a draw in their final game, the winner of the group would be determined by “fair play”—based on how many yellow and red cards the teams accumulated over the course of the group stage.

England has two cautions and Belgium has three cautions.

Let’s assume that each team desires to go to the weak bracket.

England’s preference order is therefore:

Lose, draw with at least 2 more yellow cards than Belgium, draw with 1 more yellow card than Belgium (to equalize yellow card count and go to drawn lots), draw with same or fewer yellow cards or win outright.

Belgium’s preference order is:

Lose, draw with same or more yellow card count as England, draw with 1 less yellow card in the game, draw with 2 or less yellow cards in the game or win outright.

No one wants to win which means each team’s first choice of losing is highly unlikely.

England really needs to get at least one more yellow card than Belgium. Belgium knows that England has a strong incentive to get one more caution.

All of these players are highly skilled professionals. They all know how to go into challenges in ways that will almost guarantee cautionable contact. Thankfully, there is enough of a shadow of a future that bone breaking, tournament ending tackles are not incentivized. Enough of them are skilled enough assholes who will talk their way into cautions.

So what do you do as a referee?

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World Cup Open Thread, Day 7

Portugal v Morocco at 8am EDT; Uruguay v Saudi Arabia at 11am; Iran v Spain at 2pm.

FIFA liveblog et al at the Google link.

Travel tales of the host nation, from the Washington Post:

Moscow is the vibrant heart of this soccer celebration, welcoming tens of thousands of visitors — every last one, it seems, stroll the Red Square area as if it were an ocean boardwalk — and inviting outsiders to a world they’ve probably never seen.

Languages mix like ingredients in a hearty bowl of borscht: Russian and English, German and French, Japanese and Korean, Portuguese and Spanish. The common bond: a love of football/soccer and a love of life.

Aside from who is going to win the World Cup, the question I receive most from people back home is: What’s it really like in Russia?

I can’t speak about the other 10 host cities (though I will hit St. Petersburg this week) or the country at large. I’m sure remote cities and rural areas are strikingly different and less prosperous. I’m not going to pretend to be a Russian expert after nine days in country.

At times, I have had trouble reconciling the wonders of the city and the actions of the Putin government. Perhaps visitors to America also confront dueling feelings; I don’t know. What I do know is you can appreciate history and engage in a new culture while remaining cognizant of world affairs and concerned about injustice and cruelty.

And so a new adventure has commenced. Moscow looks and feels like any major European city, except with Soviet-era relics: white- and blue-collar workers packing subway trains on a Monday morning, teenagers in western brands live-streaming an acoustic band performing on a pedestrian road, open-air cafes serving coffee and pastries…

World Cup Open Thread, Day 6

Photo by renowned On-the-Road commentor Otmar.

Columbia v Japan at 8am EDT; Poland v Senegal at 11am; Russia v Egypt at 2pm. (Funny how Russia gets the prime viewing time slots, eh? Or is that standard policy for the host country?) FIFA liveblog at the Google link.