AP Images
Yes, American Pharoah's name is spelled incorrectly. It should be Pharaoh. Still, not bad for a horse.

How Did I Miss That? Triple Crown Watch; Depp Dogs Deported

Steve Russell
5/22/15

American Pharoah’s convincing win in the Preakness has set up a Triple Crown watch for the third time in four years as the country waits for the decisive Belmont Stakes on June 6. Fourteen horses since Affirmed took it all in 1978 have taken the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness only to falter in the race they call “The Test of the Champion.”

Remember California Chrome last year?

The Belmont is a longer race than either the Preakness or the Derby, and some analysts say that Pharoah will be beaten by one of the horses rested since the Derby. One of California Chrome’s owners blamed his loss on the practice of running the shortest race, the Derby, and resting through the Preakness. The difficulty may be real, but that’s why the Triple Crown is the ultimate test of a thoroughbred racehorse.

According to The New York Times, a Belmont with the Triple Crown on the line draws an average of 13.5 million viewers versus 5.9 million in an ordinary year.

American Pharoah’s breeding rights have already been sold to a Kentucky stud farm owned by Coolmore Stud, based in Ireland. The price was undisclosed but there were reports that $20 million was already on offer before the final deal was cut. My cousin Ray Sixkiller made a wisecrack about envying Pharoah’s retirement gig, but I’ll keep mum about the details in the interest of his marriage.

Presidential hopeful Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) gave a very long speech protesting the USA PATRIOT Act. While it’s not technically a filibuster, good for him. That awful terrible no good legislation originally surfed a wave of 2001 fear to pass by 98 to Russ Finegold (D-Wisconsin) with Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana) not voting. Finegold lost his seat in the next election to Tea Party Republican Ron Johnson. Landrieu got Tea Partied last election.

Finegold and Johnson will have a rematch next year.

In what the tabloids termed a “War on Terrier,” Australian Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce required Tonto, I mean Johnny Depp, to remove his Yorkies, Pistol and Boo, from Australia or they would be killed. It seems the pups had snuck in without the proper quarantine period to keep the actor company while he was shooting the latest Pirates of the Caribbean. Rather than request help from The Lone Ranger, Depp decamped within the time allotted. Pistol and Boo had no comment except that Depp should keep that Vegemite crap out of their food bowls.

Minister Joyce, in response, tweeted, “Dogs gone.”

Elsewhere on Twitter, history was made this week when the President got his very own Twitter account, @POTUS.

@billclinton tweeted, “Welcome to @Twitter, @POTUS! One question: Does that username stay with the office? #askingforafriend

The President assured Mr. Clinton that the username would stay with the office but went on to ask if there were any takers for @FLOTUS?

The President was also bombarded by tweets featuring the N____ word, in case anybody thought electing a black man created a post-racial U.S. In related news, The Washington Post reported that Google has apologized after the Google Maps search engine was found to return the White House in response to the search terms “N_____ House” or “N_____ King.”

Slate interviewed former NBC correspondent Eric Burns, asking why he chose to write a book about 1920. Burns pointed out it was the year women got the vote as well as the year the U.S. had its first woman POTUS. He referred to President Woodrow Wilson’s stroke, after which the FLOTUS—Wilson’s second wife, Edith-- effectively ran the country. In her memoirs, Edith Wilson denied that narrative, claiming she only decided what was important enough to bother the President. Sounds like a lot of power to me.

The New York Times remembered an appearance by Hillary Clinton on David Letterman’s show early in her first run for POTUS, when she talked about her summer job after graduation as “the best preparation for being in Washington you can possibly imagine.” She worked in an Alaska cannery removing fish innards, a process she described by using the rare English verb, “to slime.”

Watching Letterman shake his head over the sums of money Clinton had raised so early, it’s ironic that she would run out of money and have to lend her own campaign a substantial sum just to finish. Barack Obama avoided the same problem by relying on small donors who could repeat rather than tapping out a few huge ones. In her comments, you could also see in retrospect her doomed strategy of concentrating on early and big primary states while Obama shaved delegates in all 50 states.

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