President Trump plays a round of golf at Trump Turnberry Luxury Collection Resort during his first official visit to the United Kingdom on July 15, 2018 in Turnberry, Scotland.
Leon Neal/Getty Images
Leon Neal/Getty Images
President Trump’s account on the U.S. Golf Association system has been hacked in an apparent attempt to make him look like a bad golfer with four fake scores.
The awful scores of 101, 100, 108 and 102 were posted to Trump’s USGA-administered Golf Handicap and Information Network [GHIN] handicap system on Friday, according to Golfweek. A handicap is a measure of a golfer’s ability – a lower handicap indicates a better golf game.
“We have become aware of reports in the media questioning recent scores posted on President Trump’s GHIN account,” Craig Annis, the managing director of communications for the USGA, told Golfweek. “As we dug into the data it appears someone has erroneously posted a number of scores on behalf of the GHIN user.”
USGA is removing the scores and says it is investigating to determine how they appeared, Annis said.
Trump flew from New York to Washington, D.C., on Friday morning and delivered a speech to the National Association of REALTORs convention in the afternoon. He did play golf on Saturday afternoon at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Va. According to a site that tracks Trump’s golf habits, the president has played more than 170 rounds since taking office.
The fabricated scores were from games at Trump National in New York, Trump International in West Palm Beach, Fla., and the Cochise Course at Desert Mountain in Scottsdale, Ariz., GolfWeek reported. Another suspicious score of 68 was recorded on April 19.
Par in a round of golf is typically around 72 strokes. According to Trump’s account, his scores usually fall in the 70s and 80s, but many are skeptical that the president has always truthfully recorded his scores. Trump has vehemently denied accusations that he has bent the rules.
“I’ve played a lot, and I’ve played well,” Trump said, according to a Washington Post investigation in 2015. “There’s very few people that can beat me in golf.”
Golf insiders don’t dispute that Trump is a fine golfer – he might just not play as well as he says he does.
In 2012, Forbes reported that Trump is a 4 handicap, despite the fact that he has yet “to produce a real signed scorecard.”
Rick Reilly, the sportswriter who penned the 2004 book “Who’s Your Caddy?” told the Post that one afternoon Trump recorded scores that he didn’t actually earn. The Post investigation also revealed that caddies would allegedly help Trump cheat.
“When it comes to cheating, he’s an 11 on a scale of one to 10,” Reilly said.
Comedian Sammy Shore arrives at the world premiere of Cirque du Soleil’s “Viva ELVIS” production at the Aria Resort & Casino on Feb. 19, 2010 in Las Vegas.
Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Cirque du Soleil
Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Cirque du Soleil
Comedian Sammy Shore, who co-founded one of the most influential clubs in comedy, died Saturday at 92, his son announced in a series of tweets.
Shore died at his Las Vegas home surrounded by family, according to a family spokesperson. His son, actor-comedian Pauly Shore, paid tribute to his father on Twitter. The two spent the past 20 years touring together as a father-son comedy team.
“Dad, you lived an amazing life and I’m so proud to say that you are my father,” his son wrote. “When you’re in heaven I’ll be killing the crowds night after night and carrying on your legacy.”
Shore started as a comedian playing the summer resorts of New York’s Catskills mountains performing alongside comedian Shecky Greene. Known as the “Borscht Belt,” the circuit served as a boot camp for up-and-coming stand-ups in the 1950s. In his seven-decade-career, Shore opened for Elvis Presley on his comeback tour and many others, including Barbra Streisand, Sammy Davis Jr., Tom Jones and Tony Bennett.
“It would probably be easier to list those for whom he did not open for,” The Comedy Store wrote on Facebook. “Sammy was their star, and they chose him time and again to open for them.”
Shore co-founded The Comedy Store with screenwriter and actor Rudy de Luca in 1972, but ownership of the club was soon taken over by his (now deceased) ex-wife Mitzi in their divorce settlement. Shore reportedly gave Mitzi the club in order to lower his alimony payments. Mitzi died in April 2018 at age 87.
The Los Angeles club jumpstarted the careers of many famous comics, who used sets to test out material and hone their craft. Jay Leno, Robin Williams, Jerry Seinfeld, Richard Pryor, Garry Shandling, Roseanne Barr and David Letterman all performed there. For many young performers, a set at the store often earned them a slot on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
“In the ’70s and ’80s, this was the place you had to come to if you wanted to be a real comedian,” Seinfeld said of the venue on his Netflix series, Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee.
Shore made appearances in several films, including The Bellboy with Jerry Lewis and the Mel Brooks films Life Stinks and History of the World: Part 1. He also wrote several books and recorded a number of comedy albums.
In addition to touring with his son, Shore regularly played at Harrah’s Casinos and Hotels, performing there more than any other entertainer, The Comedy Store wrote on Facebook.
“The bright light he shone and the laughter he brought into the lives of everyone he touched will never dim,” The Comedy Store wrote. “There is only one ‘Brother Sam’!”
Shore is survived by his wife of 29 years, Suzanne, his three children and two grandchildren.
My friend Chris happened upon me reading There’s Something About Sweetie in a coffee shop and introduced her presence by laughing. “For a second, I thought that was you on the cover,” she said.
I flipped back to look at it. It’s true: The cover model has my same coloring, the same giant smile and nose crinkle — heck, even the same teeth. She radiates joy. It took a moment for the concept to sink in. I’ve been an avid reader since I was three, and I’ve been plus-sized since I was a teen. I’ve recognized pieces of myself in thousands of literary characters over the years, but until now, I had never actually seen myself on a book cover.
Wow, I thought. So this is what that feels like. Kind of amazing, really.
Sweetie Nair and I have plenty of differences too: She’s Indian American, an exceptional athlete, and can sing like a pro. She’s a big girl with a big personality; she knows it, and she’s okay with it. Which is good, because her mother has enough hang-ups about Sweetie’s weight for the both of them. So much so that when Sunita Patel comes along and offers up her youngest son Ashish (brother of Rishi, from When Dimple Met Rishi) as a dating prospect, Vidya Nair turns her down. Because Sweetie should really wait until she’s thinner to date someone. They wouldn’t want to give this boy (who is clearly out of her daughter’s league) the impression that Sweetie is desperate, or easy.
You might be outraged right now on Sweetie’s behalf. So was I, after I read that scene. So was Sweetie. In a surprisingly bold move, Sweetie hunts down Ashish’s number, meets him at the track, and challenges him to a race. At which point she promptly leaves the hot basketball star in her dust. Ashish is so smitten from that moment on that he devises a plan (with his parents’ blessing) for the two of them to date in secret. Sweetie agrees, reluctantly, and signs the contract that Ashish’s parents write up for four prescribed dates. From this strange, dry seed, a delightfully charming love story blossoms.
Desi culture is strong in this book, and I really enjoyed having the opportunity to delve deeper into things like Indian American naming conventions, birthday traditions, and familial relationships. Sweetie’s mother’s fatphobia isn’t just a heavy-handed device to move the story along, it’s woven into the structure of who Sweetie is as a person, what’s expected of her (and what she expects from herself), and how much she truly values and respects her parents in her life.
If I was struck by anything in this book, it’s how incredibly insightful and reasonable the characters were — not only the teenagers, but the adults as well. Menon’s characters handle integral decisions (like the dating contract) logically, and with an eye for possible repercussions. Sweetie, Ashish, and their friends may be quick to react passionately, but they just as quickly come to surprisingly rational conclusions. And the extent to which Ashish trusts his parents to set him up, and more — well, let’s just say that’s a level of maturity I’ve seen in very few people outside of a book’s pages.
Sandhya Menon definitely hits it out of the ballpark again with There’s Something About Sweetie, crafting a rich, intricate story about two young characters you can’t help but fall in love with. I would highly recommend this book to anyone, especially fans of her previous books — and every young woman who might recognize herself on the cover. Also, if Kartik and Sunita Patel ever decide to open a matchmaking business, sign me up!
Alethea Kontis is a voice actress and award-winning author of over 20 books for children and teens.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks during a campaign rally in Philadelphia Saturday.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
It’s not a message for everyone — even though that’s exactly what it’s intended to be.
Many Democrats are angry. They’re angry with President Trump’s election and what it represents. And they’re angry about the direction of the country, and the inequities in American life.
So it would make sense that the person running for the Democratic nomination for president would channel that anger. President Trump did it to win over the Republican base in 2016, saying he gladly carries the “mantle of anger.”
Not Joe Biden.
The Democrat tried to put forward a message of unity Saturday at a major campaign rally in Philadelphia before 6,000 people, according to a security official with the campaign, capping off his presidential campaign kickoff.
“Some say Democrats don’t want to hear about unity,” Biden said. “That they are angry– and the angrier you are – the better. That’s what they are saying to have to do to win the Democratic nomination. Well, I don’t believe it. I believe Democrats want to unify this nation. That’s what we’ve always been about. Unity.”
He spoke of choosing “hope over fear, truth over lies and, yes, unity over fear.” He called it a “different path” that can bring together “Democrats, Republicans and independents.”
For Barack Obama’s vice president, it made sense.
But lots of liberals aren’t buying it.
Rebecca Traister, who authored the book Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger, tweeted that Biden is “deeply wrong” that “Anger at injustice has catalyzed transformative change; ‘unity’ has not.”
Who IS this guy, suggesting that anger many feel at injustice & inequity & the suffering they cause is same as Trump’s punitive fury on behalf of himself & white patriarchal power? Anger at injustice has catalyzed transformative change; “unity” has not. Joe is deeply wrong.
— Rebecca Traister (@rtraister) May 18, 2019
Jamil Smith, a writer at Rolling Stone, added, “Women, people of color, and other Democratic constituencies aren’t angry like Trump and his followers. They’ve been pissed off in a whole different way.”
Going with “Democrats aren’t angry” is certainly a choice for @JoeBiden. He seems to define anger only as wasteful or hateful. Women, people of color, and other Democratic constituencies aren’t angry like Trump and his followers. They’ve been pissed off in a whole different way.
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) May 18, 2019
And yet, Biden has been consistently leading in the polls for the Democratic primary since he got into the race. He’s banking that a “unity” message still has resonance. It’s what catapulted Barack Obama to prominence, and helped him get elected twice.
The divide over unity versus anger in the Democratic Party is highlighted by the divide between Twitter and the broader electorate. Just 22% of American adults use Twitter, and of those users, a tiny slice — 10% — create 80% of all tweets, according to the Pew Research Center.
When drilling down to the Democratic electorate, Twitter users are outnumbered 2-to-1 by more moderate, more diverse and less-educated Democrats not on social media, according to a New York Times analysis.
The divide may also help explain why so many of the other nearly two dozen Democratic presidential candidates don’t talk about Obama. That’s a mistake, said Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware, a Biden booster, who was at the event in Philadelphia. He said he’d ask why others “don’t want to recognize the significant accomplishments” of the Obama-Biden administration.
“There is a genuine record of actual accomplishments,” Coons said.
Affection for Obama-Biden
Among those in the crowd in Philadelphia, the affection for Obama and Biden was evident. There was more than one Obama-Biden T-shirt among those who came out to attend.
“I haven’t put this on in years,” Tori DeJiosio said of her retro 2008 campaign shirt. “I’m glad it still fits. Biden is a good middle-of-the-road kind of candidate. Yes, I love Obama, but I also love Biden separately.”
Tori DeJiosio sports an Obama-Biden 2008 T-shirt at a Biden 2020 event.
Standing in line for Biden 2020 gear, Nicole Pauzano of nearby Bucks County said, “We were very big Obama supporters. He [Biden] was her favorite,” she said, pointing to her 12-year-old daughter, Olivia.
Gary Mitchell, 66, and Kathryn Holbrook, both from Levittown, Pa., said they were undecided and committed to seeing who they considered top-tier candidates. But they like Biden – and part of that is because of what he did as vice president with Obama.
“We have positive views of his time with Obama,” Mitchell said.
But Holbrook, asked what would make her mind up, got right to the point. “Does he have a plan to clean up this mess?” she said.
“To get Trump out of office,” Mitchell added.
“Where do we start to get out of this mess?” Holbrook said.
“I think he could beat Trump, in my view,” Mitchell added.
“Trump needs to get out of the Oval Office,” Holbrook said.
And that was the overarching point for voters here — young, old, black, white, they viewed Biden as best to beat Trump.
“I don’t want Trump to be president for another four years,” said Daril Murard, 27, of Langhorn, Pa., wearing a “Joe 2020” T shirt. “Biden is the one to beat him. Biden is a for-the-people person.”
Pauzano, like many others interviewed not just at this event but at campaign events for other Democratic candidates, said electability was her top priority. “I like a lot of the other Democrats,” she said, “but he’s got leadership qualities we need right now.”
Syd Carpenter, also from Bucks County, added, “I think he’s the one who can win. He’s got the experience.”
That was part of what was behind the stagecraft for the Biden campaign – not necessarily to elicit an air of inevitability, but to give voters a sense of electability.
The artifice — from the packed-in crowd for the TV cameras and the three cranes holding up lights to the iconic backdrop and “UNITED” signs behind Biden during his speech — was designed to look like a general-election event. It was meant to give voters — and the national media – the ability to picture Biden as the nominee.
It was intended for Democratic voters, like Mitchell and Holbrook, who desperately want to beat Trump. Mitchell tried to stress that the country has been through worse than Trump, whom he abhors. Mitchell recounted the assassinations of 1968, the cities that burned afterward and the violence at that year’s Democratic convention. Of course, there was Watergate, too.
But Holbrook said she’s not so sure. “I don’t know,” she said. “Trump, right now, is like saying to Nixon, ‘Hold my beer.’ He’s not done yet.”
That fear raises the stakes even higher for some Democratic voters right now, who prefer Biden and don’t want to risk it with someone who’s a less-known quantity.
And Biden, who showed he’s not shy of criticizing Trump, is hoping to channel Democratic fear and use a message of unity to win over enough in the middle to put a Democrat back in the White House.