A Cat’s 2019 Preakness Picks

May 17, 2019

By Adele

Stewards who threw the Kentucky Derby to 2nd-place finisher Country House flushed this year’s Triple Crown season down the toilet, but I’m pressing on to the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico on May 18.

Since the Derby, many in the racing community have worked up a righteous lather to justify humiliating Maximum Security by disqualifying his legitimate win. You’d think Max ran the race with switchblades on his shoes and cut every horse who dared get too close.

Adding further insult, Max’s jockey, Luis Saez, got belatedly suspended for 15 racing days for “failure to control his mount and make the proper effort to maintain a straight course.” Yeah, whatever.

A typical suspension is about three days, so Saez is appealing it. But as it stands, the Belmont Stakes on June 8 is conveniently one of the dates he’s forbidden to ride.

Max’s owners have filed a federal lawsuit against the Derby stewards and members of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, claiming his disqualification was unconstitutional because the Commission denies due process by claiming stewards’ decisions are final. Apparently, other states, like Louisiana, don’t share this “stewards are gods” stance.

But since neither Max nor Country House are in the Preakness tomorrow, all this human acid reflux is moot.

The Preakness field is only 13 horses. Let’s hope the track dries out (it’s been raining all week), they all keep to themselves and run straight as arrows so those stewards don’t get their panties in a bunch.

War of Will — whom Max allegedly tangled legs with to cause a massive chain reaction, the stewards alleged, that affected nearly every horse EXCEPT Country House — will be in post position 1 under the same jockey, Tyler Gaffalione. He ran 7th in the Derby, but is the second favorite with 4-1 odds. With Max out of the picture, this is War’s chance to show us he can do it.

Also running again is Improbable (new jockey, Mike Smith, 5-2, pp 4). He was one of my picks for the Derby and came in 4th, so I hope he places.

My pick to win is Alwaysmining (Daniel Centeno, 8-1, pp 7). He wasn’t in the Derby, but has won his previous six races, so he’s accustomed to being out front. And, he’s trained by Kelly Rubley, who would be the first female trainer to win a Triple Crown race.

Alwaysmining (Photo: Jerry Jackson, Baltimore Sun)

The only other horses back for more are Bodexpress (new jockey, John Velazquez, 20-1, pp 9, ran 13th in the Derby) and Win Win Win (Julian Pimentel, 15-1, pp 13, ran 9th in the Derby). The rest of the field is fresh horsefaces.

BONUS: Here’s WaPo’s long-time horse racing columnist Andrew Beyer’s take on the Kentucky Derby and why disqualifying Max based on what might have happened rather than what actually went down was dumb.

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Maximum Security: the Kentucky Derby’s Hillary

May 5, 2019

By Adele

The rainy, muddy Kentucky Derby yesterday was certainly a sloppy mess on every level.

But let me begin by saying I don’t hold Country House responsible for the disgrace his human handlers gleefully heaped on Maximum Security. I’m sure had Country realized his jockey, Flavien Prat, is a conniving weasel, he’d have thrown Prat off before they reached the starting gate and walked away in disgust. Instead, Country has to live with being the only horse ever to have the Kentucky Derby handed to him without winning.

Watching the “disaster” unfold in replays (because no commentator made a peep while it was happening) was like déjà vu to the 2016 election. It didn’t matter how competent, able, and ahead the best “horse” was, forces conspired to put someone else in the Winner’s Circle with the “roses.”

I always thought the purpose of horse racing is for horses to get in front of each other. Maximum Security did that to the field right out of the gate. That he and his jockey, Luis Saez, finished looking like they’d romped on grass instead of through a quagmire was testament to how well they stayed in front.

Here’s a photo of the finish line…

The horse in the red sash to the right is Maximum Security. The horse with the yellow sash in relatively distant second place is Country House. (For the record, his odds were 65-1; he’d only won one race in six previous starts.)

Perhaps figuring he had nothing to lose, Country’s jockey Prat cried foul and claimed Maximum Security “interfered” with other horses, even though he and Country were on the outside, uninvolved. Here’s what happened…

Coming into the stretch, Maximum Security veered right, which he was able to do BECAUSE NO OTHER HORSE WAS THERE.

The horse closest behind him was War of Will, who had veered out from post position 2, and then Long Range Toddy, who had veered well in from post position 18.

War of Will ultimately came in 7th, and Long Range Toddy came in 16th.

Did you see how Max mauled those two horses so badly in that split second that they both essentially threw in the towel? Neither did I.

Meanwhile, Country House was prancing along free and clear, but didn’t have enough race left to overtake Max.

The best horse won, and deserved to win. Max was undefeated with four previous wins, but the stewards kicked him to 17th place in the Derby. They claim his side-stepping threw off virtually ALL the other horses and ANY of them could have magically outrun Max if only he’d stayed out of their way.

If that isn’t some of the vilest, most disgusting horseshit I’ve ever heard, I don’t know what is.

OK, maybe Donald Trump tweeting that Maximum Security lost because of “political correctness.” That moron’s too stupid to realize that “winner” Country House is the Derby’s Donald Trump.

The sports talking heads are doing their utmost to make Max’s behavior heinous to justify the bullshit decision, pretty much saying he could have caused a pile-up and gotten everybody killed.

Well, no, he couldn’t have, because he pulled considerably ahead in the next instant and left the others behind to wallow in the muck.

Now any jockey who doesn’t like the way a race turns out can raise a stink and cross his fingers. Stewards can comb through any replay until they find some justification to throw the race — because they always can. The participants are HORSES. They just RUN. They don’t give a shit about human rules. When it’s muddy, anything can happen.

For the record, I picked Maximum Security to win before any humans were taking him seriously, and before Bob Baffert said he was the horse to watch. Just sayin’.


A Cat’s 2019 Kentucky Derby Picks

May 3, 2019

By Adele

People, between us, I’ve had a good run with the horses and thought last year was my last year. But since I just sailed through my 19th birthday on April 11, I’m happy to be here to kick off another Triple Crown season with the 2019 Kentucky Derby.

(Maybe Karen can forget how much she hates Trump while we watch the “greatest two minutes in sports” together.)

The odds-makers’ favorite was Omaha Beach, who got scratched the other day when his cough turned out to be an entrapped epiglottis. He had minor surgery this morning to remove a loose flap of skin in his throat and should be fine in a few weeks, but he’ll never wear the Triple Crown.

This leaves Omaha’s jockey, Mike Smith, also out of the Run for the Roses. Smith won the Derby last year on Justify and was hoping do make it a double.

Today, Haikal (Jockey Rajiv Maragh, odds 30-1, post position 11) got scratched because he has an abscess on his left front hoof. Since no more horses qualified for the Derby, only 19 will be running, and the 10 horses that were to Haikal’s left will shift over one post position so nobody runs against the rail.

Omaha Beach was trained by Bob Baffert, that guy always in white who looks like my Mini-Me, but Baffert has three other horses to spare, including the humans’ new favorite Game Winner (Joel Rosario, 9-2, pp 16), as well as Improbable (Irad Ortiz Jr., 5-1, pp 6) and Roadster (Florent Geroux, 5-1, pp 17). If one of Baffert’s horses wins, it will be his sixth Kentucky Derby and tie him for trainer with the most wins in the race’s 145 years.

A Japanese horse came over this year. Master Fencer (Julien Leparoux, 50-1, pp 15) is considered the fourth best horse in Japan, and the only horse willing to make the long trip.

As for my picks, Improbable does look pretty good. Of five previous races, he won the first three and came in second in the two most recent. It’s time he chalked up a third-place finish.

Spinoff (Manny Franco, 30-1, pp19) is a long shot, but he’s never run slower than third, and he placed behind By My Standards (Gabriel Saez, 15-1, pp 4) in his previous race, so maybe Spin’s got an axe to grind. I’d be happy if he placed.

Maximum Security (Luis Saez, 8-1, pp 8) also looks promising, undefeated with four previous wins under his saddle. He’s my favorite to win.

But I can’t ignore Game Winner. He won the first four of his six previous races, and most recently placed behind Omaha Beach and Roadster. If he’s in the mood to race, he could be a problem.

The way Baffert likes to run his own horses against each other so much seems a bit twisted. I’ll bet he stirs up a lot of shit-talk in the stalls back at the stables.

As always, keeping paws crossed that all the horses cross the finish line safely. And may the best horse win.


What Congress Needs to Learn from Trump

April 30, 2019

By Karen

Robert Mueller finally finished. His investigation ended with a whimper, shocking everyone who believed Mueller was the one man capable of driving a stake through Donald Trump’s black, shriveled heart.

When Mueller failed to deliver recommendations to charge Trump, it seems he, and other misguided souls on Capitol Hill, worship like the 11th Commandment some worthless memo written in the Justice Department during Nixon, which says you can’t indict a sitting president. Rather, the president should face no impediments in continuing to commit crimes in office.

However, Mueller did uncover enough damning evidence to show anybody unlobotomized that if Trump were anybody else, he’d be in prison for obstruction of justice to conceal his obligations to Russia. We don’t know what those are because Trump’s latest flying monkey attorney general, William Barr, redacted the worst parts.

I don’t know what motivates Barr, except perhaps in his dotage he’s become obsessed with turning the U.S. into a Third World dictatorship.

Barr’s been dissing Congress since they let him to slither back in as AG, the same job he held under H.W. Bush I.

Even though Barr has wantonly obstructed and lied to keep Mueller’s facts hidden, Congress wants Barr to testify again, knowing full well Barr’s not going to turn on Trump now that he’s in this deep.

Barr’s balking and trying to set the terms under which he’ll testify.

I say, enough’s enough. Let the punishments begin.

Congress needs to rip the page from Trump’s playbook that Sarah Huckabee Sanders loves to quote, which says…

“When you get hit, you hit back 10 times harder.”

For starters Congress must stop extending deadlines. Tick-tock. Don’t let Trump run out the clock — and run.

If any witness tells the media or tweets that they don’t intend to cooperate, subpoena them THE SAME DAY.

If they say they intend to defy the subpoena, cite them in contempt of Congress THE SAME DAY.

Give them a week to rethink and come around, then get an arrest warrant.

Meanwhile, Trump’s tweets are off the crazy scale. He’s issuing decrees to defy subpoenas and filing lawsuits against Deutsche Bank and Capital One Financial to keep his finances hidden.

His behavior on all fronts is an admission of guilt.

Carl Kline is a former White House stooge who, apparently on Trump’s orders, ignored huge red flags on Jared Kushner and many others to grant top security clearances. He tried to flout his subpoena, but now will testify May 1 accompanied by a White House lawyer. House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings says Kline may still face contempt charges if he doesn’t answer all questions.

It’s a good ground rule for every witness, including AG Barr. Come clean or be held in contempt and face jail time.

When Trump sees his closest henchmen dwindling because they’re in jail, maybe his pea brain will absorb that Congress isn’t bluffing.

If Trump doubles down on obstruction — which he’s now committing daily and openly — it’s time for impeachment. The Mueller report contains more than ample evidence for grounds.

Congress must hold open hearings where every Trump associate in Mueller’s report testifies before the American people what they know about their own crimes and Trump’s.

Why is this important? So we don’t repeat the Nixon mistake. He got into a second term before we knew he was a crook.

Tick tock.

If Congress makes it too hot for Trump, he could resign, like Nixon did. Or he could announce he’s not running in 2020.

In an ideal world, the GOP would attempt redemption by abandoning the Trump/Pence ticket at the convention. Nominating Trump challenger William Weld would instantly restore some sanity to campaign season.

But I realize all that’s unlikely to happen and Trump will run again. So, before we vote in 2020, Americans and the world need to know, without reservations, that Trump is an unindicted multiple felon and he must face the consequences — not be granted sanctuary from prosecution in the Oval Office.


Biden’s Accusers: #MeToo or Just After Their 15 Minutes?

April 4, 2019

By Karen

First, let me clearly state that I believe every woman who’s come forward saying Joe Biden touched her, however, whenever or wherever it happened. Most have photographs of themselves that capture Biden in the act. What’s weird is that they’re usually smiling.

When I went to bed last night, Biden had four accusers. This morning, when I saw it’s up to seven, I blew a gasket.

I am not one of those who “applaud their courage” in coming forward, nor do I consider them “survivors.”

Survivors of what?

Finding a gentle hand on their back or shoulders? Receiving a platonic kiss on the head? Hearing a whisper of encouragement or reassurance in their ear?

If they hated it so much, we should all be asking, why didn’t they set Biden straight in the moment?

Their stock answer is that they were too shocked, awed or intimidated to speak up. But years later, when Biden’s considering a run for president, they suddenly muster the courage to reveal themselves to print reporters and appear on nationally televised talk shows.

Hmmm…

The media bears some blame for what seems to be its chronic inability to separate shit from serious stories. The overblown way these women are being covered makes Biden come off just shy of serial rapist.

I believe it was Lucy Flores who first popped open this can of worms. Her interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper really pissed me off. In 2014, Biden apparently traveled to Nevada to support Flores’ campaign for lieutenant governor (proving no good deed goes unpunished).

Summoning all the lurid, trashy-romance-novel detail she could muster, Lucy describes how Biden kissed her head and, presumably, scarred her for life. See for yourself…

Flores says she was unable to “process” what happened with Biden for all this time, but now considers his behavior disqualifying as a presidential candidate. So, now we’ve established her motive.

I believe Lucy hadn’t “processed” because she knows there was nothing to process. She’s being disingenuous to grind some political axe she doesn’t have the guts to admit she’s holding.

Another accuser, D.J. Hill, is also trying to make nothing something. She and her husband met Biden in 2012. While posing for a photo, she claims Biden had his hand on her back until her husband stepped in to distract Biden. She appeared on Fox calling her freshly-minted bravery her “civic duty,” and they show the photo in question. See how miserable she looks — NOT — after Biden’s brazen “assault” on her…

Here’s another one…

Sofie Karasek met Biden after the 2016 Oscars, where she appeared with Lady Gaga as one of a group of sexual assault victims. Later, off-stage, she dissolved in tears and Biden tried to comfort her. Here’s the photo and story of how this encounter was reported at the time. Karasek said only that she was “surprised” by Biden’s reaction, which in the story’s context seemed to mean surprised by his great empathy. Otherwise, the photo should be of her slapping his face.

Today, reacting to all the accusations against Biden, Karasek told the Washington Post that Biden in his Twitter video (see below) “still didn’t take ownership in the way that he needs to.”

Ownership of what? For listening to her and showing he cared about what she’d been through?

Biden’s definitely a touchy-feely kind of guy, but these women will have him walking around with oven mitts duct-taped to his hands before this is over.

What I’m seeing is people digging for evil intent where there isn’t any. Their whining about having their personal space “violated” makes a mockery of women who have been truly violated by sexual assault and who don’t deserve to have that minimized by this nonsense.

In response to all this, Joe Biden posted this video on Twitter, and some are upset that he never apologizes, but instead just says he “gets it”…

I get Joe, and I’m firmly on his side on this one.


To Robert Mueller: WTF?

March 28, 2019

By Karen

I have to keep reminding myself: WE HAVEN’T SEEN MUELLER’S REPORT YET.

Our latest pathetic excuse for an attorney general, Bill Barr, wants us to believe there’s nothing “special” about Robert Mueller after all. According to Barr, Mueller thinks conspiring with Russia and obstructing justice to hide it are fine hobbies for a president.

Before ambling off without a peep, Mueller’s biggest mistake was to give his 22 months of work to a guy who’s been in the loop only a month, and who became AG by assuring Trump it’s not possible for a president to obstruct justice.

After two days of speed-skimming Mueller documentation, which should include testimony from over 500 witnesses, Barr whipped up his own little quick reference, which says…

  • Nobody conspired with Russia
  • Trump didn’t obstruct justice (although Barr let slip that Mueller’s report didn’t “exonerate” Trump, either)

With nauseating predictabilty, Trump and his enablers spiked the ball in the end zone while declaring Trump fully exonerated, and Trump called everybody else a traitor.

In response to what has to be twisting of his own conclusions, we hear from Mueller, as always, crickets.

I’ve been in a slow-rolling boil of fury at Mueller. And at the media.

First they willfully conflated “collusion” and “conspiracy” all along, giving Trump the loophole of insisting “collusion” isn’t a crime, which it isn’t.

Now they’re calling Barr’s pathetic letter the Mueller report, letting MAGA morons think they’ve already heard Mueller’s findings, which they haven’t, and they’re a nothingburger.

It seems the only relief from Trump possible before 2021 is for him to suffer a health catastrophe that leaves him unable to speak or tweet. Otherwise, there’s no stopping the lies, gibberish, infantile taunting and insults, and ape-like assaults on decency.

That is, unless a glacier-sized chunk of criminality breaks loose in any of the dozen-plus investigations of Trump still underway and indictments start flying.

I think Mueller has given Trump a boost toward re-election. To overcome it, Democrats must settle on a candidate they can all agree to support. They also must overcome Republican gerrymandering, voter suppression and disenfranchisement. And then there’s Russia’s ongoing Trump-approved brainwashing of mentally feeble voters who get their “news” from Fox and Facebook.

Mueller’s report undoubtedly contains damning information about Trump that Barr is feverishly scrubbing. If it didn’t, Trump would be demanding the public see Mueller’s own groveling words admitting that Trump is and always has been a saint.

Trump and his minions know they’re guilty or conspiracy or they all wouldn’t have piled lies upon lies trying to cover their tracks.

Fortunately for them, they committed crimes for a disorganized, demented buffoon in a manner so random, clumsy and uncoordinated that Mueller couldn’t stitch together a prosecutable conspiracy.

But that doesn’t make it OK. Trump shouldn’t be allowed to think he can continue having secret tête-à-têtes with Putin.

Congress needs to keep demanding that Barr turn over the unabridged report NOW so the truth can come out well before 2020.

Letting Trump strut around this week thinking he’s untouchable has already emboldened him to try destroying health care again, as if screwing most of us on taxes and inflating the price of just about everything with tariffs hasn’t inflicted enough damage. Not to mention the psychological carnage he continues to commit by kidnapping and caging immigrant children at the southern border.

Mueller has exposed our government as incapable of prosecuting blatant treason. It’s also incapable of stopping an increasingly senile, incompetent and ignorant wannabe dictator from destroying democracy to make Russia happy.

It’s depressing beyond words. So here’s a song. Randy Rainbow captures how many of us feel with this parody from Stephen Sondheim’s Follies


For Trump, How Many Crimes Does it Take?

March 7, 2019

By Karen

Now that House Democrats chair committees and have subpoena power, it feels like we’re back to square one, trying to uncover EVERY crime Trump has committed in his life. Why can’t we just wrap up by nailing Trump on some crimes we already know about that would have destroyed any other president?

CNN

Why is there still debate over whether Trump can be indicted? My hair stood up when I read Trump’s peeps say he wants to run for re-election because he thinks it will keep him from being indicted. That means Trump’s got the system fucked up so badly, the country’s highest office is where criminals can find asylum.

Delaying a president’s indictment and arrest puts Trump above the law, giving him free rein to continue committing crimes — as president.

Last week Cohen provided a check Trump wrote — as president — to reimburse Cohen for buying Stormy Daniels’ silence. Cohen pled guilty to a campaign finance felony and is going to prison. Trump’s named as Cohen’s unindicted co-conspirator. Let’s nail Trump on that.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s eerie silence may be the prelude to his investigation’s cataclysmic finish, with indictments flying against Don Jr., Jared, Bannon and anyone else around Trump who has conspired with Russia. But I’m no longer counting on it. Mueller may turn up too little, too late.

Here’s my short list of crimes Trump commits daily, right to our faces…

Kidnapping. Anyone who steals a child from its parents, stashes the kid in an unknown location and has no intention of ever returning it is a kidnapper. Trump has ordered this crime thousands of times at the southern border.

Theft. Every time Trump visits a Trump property, taxpayers pay the tab for the Secret Service who must stay there with him, with profits going directly into Trump’s pocket because he never fully divested himself from his businesses.

Accepting bribes (aka, emoluments). Every time foreign officials or corporate executives stay at Trump properties, most notably Trump’s hotel in D.C. so they can tell him how much they love it when they meet with him, those profits also go directly into Trump’s pocket.

Treason. Trump has sided with Russia, Saudi Arabia and North Korea when they have attacked this country’s elections and killed people Trump swore an oath to protect. Trump aids and praises brutal dictators while discrediting American intelligence agencies. Trump has had meetings with Putin whose purpose he refuses to reveal.

So far, nothing known or proven about Trump’s crimes has been anything other than what it appeared to be. We’ve seen no mastermind’s grand plan; no long-term secret strategy; no sophisticated network of covert operators covering his tracks; no plausible, noncriminal explanations.

Trump’s a simple-minded crook who has always lived as if laws don’t apply to him — lying, cheating, stealing, swindling, defrauding — and he continues to do it in the White House. Why are we still letting it happen? Haven’t two years of being his victims been enough?

I believe the Southern District of New York will end Trump’s life of crime years before Washington ever holds him accountable, and his whole crime family will go down like common gangsters.

The real tragedy is that Trump’s reckoning comes much, much too late. When details of the financial felonies go public, we’ll realize Trump should have been in prison years ago. We could have avoided the past two years of watching him rage and rampage like a senile Tasmanian Devil.

The only positive aspect may be that the longer Republicans willingly gaslight themselves while clinging to delusions of power, they won’t be looking for someone competent to run in 2020. At the very least, charges from SDNY and Mueller could make Trump’s life so impossible that running again becomes out of the question.

Then a Democrat can move back into the White House, get out the mop and start cleaning up after the elephant that left shit all over the place.


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