Nobody asked me, but Baltimore’s next mayor — I’ll stick my neck out and predict it will be the Democratic nominee, Brandon Scott — should rehire Michael Braverman as Baltimore housing commissioner. He has been one of the city’s smartest, ablest, most dedicated officials. Braverman’s sudden and still unexplained dismissal by the lame-duck mayor looks random and senseless.
Nobody asked me, but strange as it seems, it looks like Marilyn Mosby and Donald Trump have something in common. The Baltimore state’s attorney, a Democrat, refuses to make public government emails about her private business ventures because, she says, she’s being investigated by the city’s inspector general. The Republican president refuses to yield his tax returns because, he says, he’s being audited by the Internal Revenue Service. But that’s all baloney. Public officials can be as open as they want to be.
Of course, Trump’s fight to keep his taxes secret is going to end badly for him when the Manhattan district attorney gets his hands on eight years of them.
Nobody asked me, but if I were Steve Bannon’s lawyer, I’d get my client a makeover. The former top Trump adviser and prominent sloven looks like he sleeps in his clothes and shaves about every two weeks. It’s not a good look, especially if there’s a jury trial. Bannon, the latest member of Trump & Fiends to get his name on an indictment, allegedly siphoned money off a border wall GoFundMe campaign. You’d think he could afford a subscription to Harry’s.
Nobody asked me, but if I were in marketing and wanted to increase sales for a product during this horrible pandemic — and I mean anything, shampoo, hummus, toilet paper — I’d add the words, “Now With Mood Boost!” to the label.
Nobody asked me, but one of the greatest kisses in moviedom occurs during “The Hudsucker Proxy,” when Jennifer Jason Leigh and Tim Robbins lock lips with the adagio from Khachaturian’s “Spartacus” swelling to crescendo. Check it out.
And OK, in “Cinema Paradiso,” when Elena shows up in the projection room on New Year’s Eve and kisses Salvatore out of his lovesick despair — that’s pretty good, too.
Nobody ever told me about it, and somehow I missed it, but “The Train,” starring Burt Lancaster and Paul Scofield, directed by John Frankenheimer, is a first-class World War II thriller set in soon-to-be liberated France. The movie generates a lot of its power from having been shot in black and white in 1964, just 20 years after the liberation, and at locations between Paris and Metz.
Nobody asked me, but if they force the U.S. Postal Service to be a profit center, that’s fine — as long as they do the same with the Department of Defense.
And let me be straightforward about Lou DeJoy, the postmaster general: He’s unbelievable.
I suggested in this space the other day that we should use the Postal Service more by writing letters, once a week even. It’s a good habit to form during this horrible pandemic. You need to keep stuff handy — paper, pen, stamps. Treat yourself to some personalized stationery, too.
I can think of five people I should write to this week, starting with a nephew who just got word he’s cancer free after a year of treatments. That deserves more than a thumbs-up text message.
Nobody asked, so I will: What part of “pandemic” don’t parents of college football players understand? Some are upset that the Big Ten, the athletic conference that includes the University of Maryland, postponed its fall season. Parents protested at the Big Ten’s empty office in Illinois and chanted, “Let us play!” Do these folks not see what’s happening on campuses that tried to reopen? Did they not catch the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s prediction of 20,000 more deaths by mid-September? The longer we defy public health measures the longer this horrible pandemic. Capeesh?
Nobody asked for it, but I discovered a unique benefit to working from home during this horrible pandemic. I have a bunch of plum tomatoes growing in my COVID Victory Garden — it’s a banner year — but, unchecked, the neighborhood squirrels take their share. They find a just-turned-red tomato, take two bites and leave the rest. So I conduct regular patrols, about every 90 minutes, and beat the squirrels to the bounty. If not for work-at-home, I’d have major crop damage.
Nobody asked me, because nobody really likes to talk about it anymore, but it’s time for the Orioles to release the player formerly known as Crush. Though increasingly rare, whenever Chris Davis comes to bat, I go outside to check my tomatoes.
Nobody asked me, because I predicted in this space last fall that the Orioles would win more games than they lose in 2020, but this team is fun to watch, despite the recent pileup of losses.
In a July column, Tom Boswell of The Washington Post called them the “awful Baltimore Orioles,” but over the next three weeks the awful Orioles beat the world champion Washington Nationals four times in six games. Awful Orioles has alliterative allure, a certain dem bums charm and even some potential for irony. I say we go with it.
Nobody asked me, but the high point of the Democratic National Convention was the two-minute speech by Brayden Harrington, the 13-year-old boy with a stutter. That was a profile in courage, and if you asked me, I’d tell you: It made me a little weepy.