Pence gets a surprise

Favorite story of the week: Ireland’s leader, Leo Varadkar, had breakfast with U.S. Vice President Mike (LGBTQ people shouldn’t have rights) Pence and Varadkar brought with him (drum roll) his boyfriend. Uh oh. Mike Pence and Mrs. Mike Pence don’t seem all that comfortable with gay folks.

Apparently the breakfast went well, but here’s what no one saw (except me): Afterward, when Varadkar and his parter, Dr. Matthew Barrett, left, Pence and Mrs. Pence threw out all the dishes, burned the chairs they used and hoped that whatever Varadkar and Barrett “have” isn’t catching.

• I have no problem with the American women’s soccer team suing the U.S. Soccer Federation, charging gender discrimination. As any of us would, they want equal pay and treatment, plus back pay and damages.

In other words, they want to be paid as much as the players on the U.S. men’s soccer team.

And why not?

If for no other reason, the women have won three world cup titles. The men? Please. They didn’t even make the 2018 World Cup because they were knocked off by Trinidad and Tobago.

The women play the same game with the same rules and the same chances for injury. The idea that they should be paid less than those on the men’s team is not just discriminatory, it’s antiquated.

However. …

Let us not allow this lawsuit to disrupt World Cup which begins June 7. I say this not out of national pride. I said this out of personal selfishness. If the Americans are in World Cup, matches are more likely to be televised in English. I don’t mind watching them in Spanish, but the Spanish station that seems to carry most soccer matches isn’t coming in at the moment, and there’s no guarantee it will in June.

So … do not let this suit disrupt the American team’s plans to play. Please. For me.

• Want to get angry? Make sure you read the story of Joshua Nerius whose parents refused to have him vaccinated and who, at age 30, got measles and ended up in a hospital isolation room, lost 25 pounds and at one point was so weak he couldn’t walk without assistance.

Thanks, Mom. Good call, Dad.

What is wrong with people? Oh, well, the vaccine causes autism. No it doesn’t. When you say that, you look like a fool. When you follow that stupidity, you risk your kid ending up like Joshua Nerius – in this hospital with you waving to him through a glass wall, if he’ll even agree to let you visit.

Vaccinate your kids, people. Jeeze.

• Sometimes I just read headlines because after reading those five or six words, I reach a fine level of just not caring. Here’s one:

“Beanie Feldstein opens up about sexuality.”

That was an easy one not to care about. Who’s Beanie Feldstein? And about whose sexuality was she opening up? Her’s? Sexuality in general?

“And now, to tell us everything we ever wanted to know about sexuality, Beanie Feldstein.”

I’ll pay for that lecture, but only with your money.

• But this headline grabbed me:

“Carmine ‘The Snake’ Persico’s death marks the end of an era”

I used to read about Carmine when I was a kid in New Jersey, and we had seven New York newspapers and one in northern New Jersey and the NY tabloids loved stories about the mob, and so did I.

“The Snake” had the best nickname. Joe Bananno was “Joe Bananas.” C’mon. OK, Thomas “Three Finger Brown” LUcchese wasn’t bad but it was kinda weird. Of course there was Salvatore “Lucky Lucciano” Lucania. Most embarrassing nickname, I think, goes to Vincent “The Chin” Gigante. I don’t think Carolo Gambino ever had a nickname and it’s understandable: He looks like somebody’s beloved grandfather who’d never hurt even a mosquito.

My father told me how he and his friends would rush home after school to listen to the radio to hear about Bonnie and Clyde and Pretty Boy Floyd and the other romanticized gangasters of the 1930s, and I guess I sort of did the same with the tabloids, checking up on The Snake.

And when I read Nicholas Pileggi’s “Wiseguy,” about Henry Hill, well, it was like tabloid city all over again. And then Martin Scorsese made “Goodfellas,” based upon “Wiseguy,” with a pretty right-on cast.

Nothing topped “The Godfather,” though, and I buy into the myth or rumor or idea that Vito Corleonne was modeled after Joseph Profaci, founder of what is today known as the Columbo Family – what’s left of it – who was known as “The Olive Oil King,” and that was the business Vito got into for his legit cover. His niece, Rosalie, married Salvatore Bonanno, son of Joe Bananas.

Ah, those were the days. The mobsters of today? Just creepy. No style. Oh, yeah, The Snake and Three Finger Brown and The Chin and Lucky were all bust out murderers but they had style. Not class, exactly, but style:

Here’s what Rosalie Profaci Bonanno wrote about her uncle, according to Wikipedia: “He was a flamboyant man who smoked big cigars, drove big black Cadillacs, and did things like buy tickets to a Broadway play for us cousins. But he didn’t buy two or three or even four seats, he bought a whole row.”

I had an uncle who once borrowed my last $160 and never paid it back.

• Friends, we could be in trouble if Donald Trump has somebody read The Guardian to him, because I found this story recently, headlined:

“Russia passes law to jail people for 15 days for ‘disrespecting’ government”

Who likes that law? Good o’ Vlad Putin. Who loves Vlad? Donald Trump. Two and two equals …

And these Russians can even be fined for “indecent” online posts that demonstrate “a blatant disrespect for society, the country, Russia’s official state symbols, the constitution or the authorities.”

You and I know who will just love those last two words. Vlad and his Love Bug.

I’ve already packed a toothbrush.

• So Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wants me, and you, to stop using gas-guzzling cars? Yet she gets a ride in a minivan that gets only 17 miles to the gallon (caught on camera by the New York Post) and justifies it by saying that it belongs to her aunt?

So it’s OK for her aunt to own a gasguzzler but I, and you, desperately need to go green.

Face it, though: AOC didn’t take long to get swept into the Washington whirlpool of hypocracy and its “Do As I Say, Not As I Do” mentality. She must feel right at home.

Hey, AOC, when you’re home in New York? Take the damn subway.

• Judge Judy Sheindlin, the TV jurist known as Judge Judy, is getting a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Daytime Emmys. I stopped being interested in those when “Another World” went off the air, so I usually wouldn’t care but I used to catch Judge Judy once in awhile and I marveled at the people who were stupid enough to go on her show with absurd cases.

It was as if they said to themselves, well, gee, I know she’ll make a fool of me but I’ll be on television.

But you’ll come off looking like an idiot.

But I’ll be on TV. TV!

She deserves an Emmy for putting up with these lunkheads. And because she’s cool.

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