New Jack City: Hello DOJ—Good Luck With The Airlines

skywayrobberThe Department of Justice is snooping on the airlines for possible collusion?

Say it ain’t so.

Code sharing, certain immunities, dynamic pricing, capacity control and airline alliances all can raise eyebrows—and SHOULD!

But isn’t it a little late for all of this?

With DELTA buying NORTHWEST, UNITED acquiring CONTINENTAL, USAIRWAYS picking up AMERICAN (but keeping the AA nameplate) and SOUTHWEST merging AIRTRAN into its fold, how could the DOJ not expect trouble ahead?

What were eight carriers just a few years back have been clipped down to just four winged powers.

Some routes have been doubled or tripled, while others have been eliminated all together resulting in fewer discounted seats and crowded planes. Continue reading

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Glazer: Can Sleepwalking Royals Go All the Way?

imagesPlease don’t get upset with me…

Yes, I still believe the Kansas City Royals will win the division. And I think they can still win the American League Pennant. But if you’re seeing what I am, the Royals are falling down on offense again and starting to look like last year’s low-scoring, very little power team that had to invent runs.

Am I wrong?

Add in the starting pitching issues and our comfort level is getting less and less.

After a close call last night, the Royals remain in first by 4 1/2 games over the Twins.

Yesterday’s win was huge, because a loss would have left KC up by just 2 1/2 games as we near the All Star break. Meaning with any more losses, the Royals could have been up by just a game or two, which is not where we want to be, right?

So what’s the real issue here? Why can’t KC dominate?

I think its clear, both on offense and pitching.

This team has not found that guy who stirs the drink so to speak. Continue reading

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Hearne: Will the Next KC Sports Superstar Be a WWE Guy?

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 10.09.43 PMWondering who the next world class athlete from Kansas City will be?

Here’s a hint: You won’t learn about him from The Pitch or the Kansas City Star. That said, you’ve come to the right place.

Homegrown, hometown heroes are hard to come by around these parts.

The usual suspects are easily identified; director Robert Altman, golfer Tom Watson, actors Jean HarlowPaul RuddEd AsnerDon Cheadle and Chris Cooper, writer Calvin Trillin, comedians Rob Riggle and Jason Sudeikis, designer Kate Spade and musician Pat Metheny.

True Kansas Citians, one and all.

Unlike pseudo KC stars like George Brett, Walter Cronkite, Jesse James, Thomas Hart Benton, Melissa Etheridge, Walt Disney, Joyce Hall, Handsome Harley Race and Joan Crawford, who either moved here or were born in satellite cities. Local media lay claim to these names from time to time, but they’re not the real deal.

Enter Thomas Pestock, the rising WWE superstar known as Baron Corbin. Continue reading

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Steele: The Importance of Being Chelsea (@ UMKC)

Chelsea-ClintonUMKC hasn’t gotten this much national attention since the Bloch School was busted for goosing up its ratings…

The Star threw the doors open on that scandal. This latest one took the Washington Post.

I doubt if Star editors saw anything amiss with paying Chelsea Clinton, the 33 year-old heir to the Clinton crime syndicate, $65,000 to speak at a luncheon for 10 minutes.

They’re all in for the mom.

Yes, 10 minutes – it was in the contract.

True, Chelsea had to endure a withering 20 minute grilling from Kay Barnes on something or another, but Chelsea got to specify what kind of chair she sat in. She also dictated the temperature of the water that she would be drinking on stage. Continue reading

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Hearne: The American Royal’s Coming Unglued

Ham_the_chimp_(cropped)What’s next, waving a white flag and shouting uncle?

Seems like only yesterday the heavy handed civic leader backers of the American Royal couldn’t wait to pull a fast one on taxpayers by tearing down Kemper Arena for a $50 to $70 million into an overpriced horse and livestock show place.

And from appearances, they’d lined up city council members with little to lose (since they were on their way out) and used a powerhouse local law firm to scare off a group with a more popular plan for the reuse of Kemper that didn’t entail razing the historic edifice.

All that remained was to put the finishing touches on their plan and stick it to the taxpayers.

Simple right?

Ah but maybe too many people saw that pic in The Pitch from last fall’s Royal that looked as if there were more livestock there than attendees.

Because somewhere along the line the worm turned.

After threatening KC with losing the vaunted American Royals Barbecue contest, the organization moved it from the stockyards near Kemper to the Truman Sports Complex. So much for using that bargaining chip to extort the city for horse show dough.

And now, one of the last vestiges of the Royal, as many Kansas Citians know and remember it, the vaunted American Royal Parade (which got canceled a year or two back) is moving from Downtown KC to outside Kauffman Stadium.

Pardon my French, but WTF? Continue reading

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Sutherland: World War I and The Rise of Modernism

BlaueReiterThe Nelson-Atkins Museum has another landmark exhibition to its credit…

Not since the 1977 sensation, “Sacred Circles,” a tribute to the art of the American Plains Indians, has there been such a stand-out success that is entirely the Nelson’s doing.

Conceived and executed by Curator of Modern Art Jan Schall to mark the centennial of the First World War, the show pulls together five dozen works of art, with many important pieces on loan from museums and galleries around the world. Originally set to run through July 19th, it has been extended through October 17th.

When I first viewed the exhibition in January, I thought of an article from 1997 by author and presidential speech writer David Frum.

In his “1917 And All That,” published in The Weekly Standard, Frum vividly described how the carnage and suffering from World War I led to the discrediting of the very idea of respect for authority. In his words; “When it was all over, the war turned out to have killed not just millions of men. It killed, or left terminally wounded, the idea that deference to authority can have any legitimate role in modern society.”

The Nelson exhibition does a good job explaining the back drop to the conflict, with disruptive social and technological change undermining the culture consensus that had marked the Western World for the century that preceded the war. All it took was the war as a catalyst to sweep away the established order, and with it the faith in the institutions of which it was comprised.  Continue reading

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Jack Goes Confidential: Schwarzenegger Reprises & Terminates

ArnoldSchwarteneggerTerminatorGenesysI’ll be back, gets a somewhat different play on words in TERMINATOR GENISYS

Or better put, a time shuffling of the legacy—-a cybernetic face lift.

Set in 2029 John Connor (Jason Clarke), leader of the human resistance, sends Sgt. Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back to 1984 to protect Sarah Connor (Game of Thrones Emilia Clarke) to safeguard the future.

But things don’t go smoothly.

An unexpected turn of events messes with the timeline and Reese now finds himself in a new and unfamiliar version of the past where he encounters the most dangerous enemies—not to mention unlikely allies.

And an unexpected NEW mission to reset the future!

Hello to The Guardian (Arnold Schwarzenegger.)

“I’m old. Not obsolete.” Continue reading

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Glazer: Viva Las Vegas for Popular Royals

UnknownFor the first time in decades, the Kansas City Royals are favored to not only win the American League Championship but the World Series…

Las Vegas has them as a 2 to 1 favorite to win the American League and 6 to 1 to win the World Series, according to sportsandodds.com.

Wow!

Most people would probably think St. Louis would be the odds on favorite to win it all with their insane record. Seriously, close to 30 games over .500 this early is unreal – but 15 over for KC is not bad.

So why the Royals?

The American League seems kinda weak overall.

It’s the .500 league.

As of now most teams other than Houston are just above or below .500 in wins and losses except Kansas City. Nobody is really chasing the Royals. The Twins seem like an OK team – not great – and Detroit is falling apart, but the window is closing. Continue reading

Posted in Craig_Glazer | 11 Comments

Leftridge: Random Thoughts on the Insanely Good Rolling Stones Show

coverstones

  • Holy shit, the Rolling Stones fucking rocked.

The crowd was very eclectic. And huge. Huge and eclectic. I expected a lot of older folks, and there were plenty, but there were also a lot of disinterested teens there WITH those older folks. Interspersed were bikers, middle-aged teachers, and wealthy-looking guys with much younger, much more attractive girlfriends. Oh, and they were all white. The only black people I saw all night were checking purses at the gate or selling tickets before you got to the stadium.

  • Mick Jagger dueted with opener Ed Sheeran on “Beasts of Burden.” I love “Beasts of Burden” and I’m glad they played it, but it’s kind of a strange song to hear two dudes sing to each other.

Jagger actually SOUNDED good, too. Like, the whole night. He sounded like normal-ass Mick Jagger. Continue reading

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Leftridge: Guess I’ll Go See The Rolling Stones

KCCstonecoverIf you need me on Saturday night, I’ll be at Arrowhead Stadium along with tens-of-thousands of other tired, old white people with at least enough discretionary income to blow it on watching a handful of grandfathers prance around a stage in egregiously tight clothing.

BRING ON THE STONES, EVERYBODY.

Wait, did that seem sarcastic? That wasn’t my intention. Let me explain.

It’s not that I’m not excited; I am, at least to some degree. But see, I’m a “thrifty” person in a lot of ways. I budget-wisely and save in a responsible fashion; I wear underwear until they are literally falling apart at the seams and I will eat Kraft Macaroni and Cheese that was prepared a week ago should I find it lurking in the back of the fridge. So it’s a bit jarring to spend this kind of money on a concert.

The tickets were easily the most I’ve ever spent on any single entertainment event, and for that kind of money, you expect the BEST TIME EVER, right? Continue reading

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Hearne: Two Day Old News Is For Losers

CLKTY4U36DD2Maybe it’s just me…

But honestly, I don’t see how much longer the Kansas City Star can go on feeding newsprint readers day-old front page national news, while apologizing for being an additional day behind on local news.

You know, like who won the Kansas City Royals game the night before.

Forget trying to sell Royals fans those cheesy-looking Star umbrellas – just the facts, please. Sure Royals games on the West Coast can run late, but last time I checked, we live in the Information Age.

Seriously, how can the Star expect folks to shell out hundreds of dollars a year for the pleasure of holding their news in their grubby, little hands, if darn near half of it was on TV or online the day before and the other half”s a mix of filler, stories other news organizations wrote and two day old “game stories.”

Six months is a long time to pull up short when Royals Mania has this town (and Lawrence) agog and nobody wants to pick up their sports page and read on the front page that if they want to know who won, etc, they need to go online.

winner-isIf they wanted to go online – or already had – they wouldn’t need to be notified of that fact on a piece of paper.

Nor would they need to turn to Page 4 to read a game story describing how the Royals lost to Seattle two days ago.

Just like they probably didn’t need to gaze at the front page of today’s Star to learn that a judge sentenced a dude from Kyrgyzstan to death over the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.

The bottom line:

It’s 2015, no excuses – make it happen – newspaper readers want all the news that’s fit right there in their driveways, each and every morning.

Say what you will about the worldwide web, print is still where the money is – make it happen.

Git R done!

 

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Starbeams: ‘Dewy’ Defeats Truman (Library), Mick’s Lips & Lying Brian Rides Again!

trumanThe Harry Truman Library was closed Wednesday because of air conditioner problems and miserable heat.  Dewpoint Defeats Truman!

                                        *******

It’s so hot, I’d take a glass of lemonade from Bill Cosby.

                                          *******

I’m resting this week because I’m in charge of delivering lip balm to Mick Jagger at Arrowhead. Continue reading

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Jack Goes Confidential: Bawdy ‘TED 2′ Sperms It Up But Can You Bear It?

images-1TED—as in the foul-mouthed talking teddy bear—was a smash (surprise) hit at the box office when it debuted in 2012…

It would become the highest grossing ORIGINAL R-rated comedy of all time.

So how would writer, director, producer and voice of Ted Seth MacFarlane follow up such a bawdy phenomenon?

Very well, I would say.

To quote an attendee at TED 2’s press screening earlier this week, “The first one was funny. This is hilarious.”

I might add that the sequel is also raunchier than the original!

MacFarlane sure seems to have worked with a bigger budget here which is in full evidence on the big screen. Who would have thought an opening production number reminiscent of the likes of the Ziegfeld Girls meet Busby Berkeley?

MacFarlane sure did!

As for the plot of TED 2, we find our ribald bear getting hitched to Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth.) But it sure isn’t a match made in heaven. Lots of rough patches in the happy home—make that the urban Boston apartment.

They decide that the only way to save their wedding bliss is to have a baby and make their union whole.

Girl and teddy?

Ain’t happening. Continue reading

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Glazer: Scribe Battles Rip Off Artists

imagesMost of us have several major credit cards…

Visa and MasterCard are the main ones in todays crazy, credit-friendly world. And they try and give you as many cards as you will take – that is if your credit can handle it.

In the beginning many cards are zero interest for months or even a year, then the fun begins. Even if you pay on time and keep your limits decent, the company – the bank – can raise your interest payments for no reason. Sure, they’ll send a letter saying we raised it because you have too much credit.  Nice.

And today the rates can go as high as 29.9 percent.

That despite the fact that most banks pay no more than 1 percent interest on CD’s and even less on savings.

Meaning nothing.

During the tough economic climate of  2007-2009, credit card companies went to work on almost everyone. In my case, I was never late but they raised the rate on some cards from 8 or 9 percent to 12 and higher…with lower limits.

Many of my friends got hit up to the 29 percent mark.

And when you call, credit card companies give you lip service but no help really. Continue reading

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Lefsetz: ‘Inside Out’ the New Beatles?

Pixar-Inside-Out-Trailer-2-1We don’t do this anymore in the music business…

We don’t have blockbuster acts reinventing themselves with every project, garnering stellar reviews and great customer word of mouth which ultimately rains coin and makes everybody happy.

That’s right. After a detour into sequelmania, which generates cash but leaves everybody unsatisfied, Pixar dropped a blockbuster which is setting sales records.

And how did they do this?

By baking cookies and showing up at fans’ doorsteps?

No, that would be Taylor Swift, who was at one time an original but is now so busy dashing for cash and fame that she’s sold out her sound. Ignore the hype and the sales records. The media needs something to cheer, but there’s nothing there.

Or maybe Luke Bryan.

Yet despite an endless supply of hit albums, Luke’s sound remains the same, and his appeal stops at the country border.

Whereas the movie “Inside Out” is for everybody worldwide.

Kind of like Adele. Continue reading

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Hearne: Jury Still Out on CNBC’s Horton, Kansas Rescue

imagesStop the presses…seriously?

They don’t make front page stories like they used to. Come to think of it, what’s a front page story anyway other than a relic of the past?

However because tens of thousands of Kansas Citians still get at least a portion of their daily news from the Kansas City Star‘s print edition, it speaks to the news judgment of the organization  as well as to its allocation of the remaining meager resources.

Which brings me to Monday’s front page feature on Horton, Kansas.

In addition to being a year late in being reported, certain key details were either reported in error or missing in action. Details that probably would have rendered the story less front page worthy.

For starters the Topeka Capitol Journal reported essentially the same story last June, describing how millionaire Marcus Lemonis – host of CNBC reality show The Profit found his way to the tiny town in northeast Kansas.

However in Star reporter Eric Adler’s account, the reason Lemonis  came to Horton – then later decided to try and help – was “because the mayor all but beseeched him to come.”

Not so in the Capitol Journal‘s more thoroughly reported account.

“Lemonis’ involvement dates to December (2013), when an 88-year-old World War II veteran and business owner in Horton was jailed because he couldn’t afford to make repairs to a downtown building to bring it into compliance with city code.

“The story went viral, and Lemonis tweeted an offer to pay for the repairs. On his TV show, Lemonis invests his own money to help turn around struggling small businesses.”

Pretty major difference. Continue reading

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Hearne: Down But Not Out, Jason Whitlock @ the Crossroads…Again

13WHITLOCKweb-master675Human nature’s a bitch…

Most of us like to think of ourselves as taking the high road, but do we? The fact is, everybody likes a sexy story – a peek behind the scenes at wrongdoing – a fall from grace – it’s in our DNA. That’s my theory, anyway.

Which is why a number of readers forwarded various stories describing Jason Whitlock‘s latest misstep.

In a nutshell, ESPN removed the former Kansas City Star sports scribe from the job he was hired to do two years ago – to launch a website about sports and race by mentoring younger writers- presumably people of color.

Never happened.

In the interim ESPN made use of the self-described “Big Sexy” by having him appear as a fill-in host and guest on other ESPN shows like Keith Olbermann’s.

Meanwhile back at the starting blocks – the months and years dragged on with little to nothing to show for it but a handful unflattering stories characterizing Whitlock as “paranoid, demeaning, oblivious, vindictive, unbelievably self-regarding, and, in some cases, truly destructive.”

Descriptions that come as little surprise to those who worked with Whitlock at the Star, online or at local sports radio stations WHB and 610 Sports.

Was this the beginning of yet another end for the writer who appeared to announce his personal bankruptcy in January on Twitter? Continue reading

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Leftridge: Crap for Sale on Craigslist, Father’s Day Edition

banner_fathers_dayDads, right? I mean, we all got ‘em. Most of the time, they’re at LEAST pretty OK if not better, and even if they’re in prison or like, violently racist, they’re still our DADS, right? They brought us into this world, and they can sure as shit make sure we know that they can take us right back out of it.

Dads.

So once a year, we dedicate a day to the fathers of the world. It’s called “Father’s Day,” and usually, you get him a card and grill up some steaks and ship them to Leavenworth where he can’t eat them on account of federal regulations about shipping inmates steaks, idiot. Don’t waste your time. Instead, find him something you can give him when he gets out. And find it on Craigslist. Continue reading

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Glazer: Ned Yost, Best Royals Manager Ever?

images-2Ned Yost is now the Royals all-time winningest manger…

With 411 wins Yost passed legendary Royals manager Whitey Herzog. Does that make Yost the Royals all time best manager? He took five seasons to pass Whitey and Dick Howser. Whitey won his 410 games in just 4 seasons, including a shortened season when he took over the team to win just over 40 games. However Herzog had a winning record every year.

Yost on the other hand has had just two winning seasons.

And those were last year and the year before, with no over 90 season wins. He only won 89 last year on his way to the World Series. Herzog was considered one of baseball’s best managers, including his Royals career and with World Series wins in St. Louis. And he had a Royals team that won 102 games – the best ever record for any Kansas City baseball team.

I don’t think anyone considers Yost the best manager in baseball (yet).

However if Yost wins it all this year, he’s in the discussion.

After all, Whitey had the George Brett teams. Yost doesn’t have anywhere near that overall talent – not yet, anyway. Continue reading

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Jack Goes Confidential: Smart Dealings For ‘DOPE’ in the Hood

MV5BMjA3MjYyNTk0Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODc1NzQ1NTE@._V1_SX640_SY720_DOPE is not an easy film to position even though it will be typecast as a “Black Picture”

It comes off this year’s Sundance Film Festival where it not only played as a critical hit but as an audience favorite as well.

How to describe it?

Three young black dudes are trying to survive in the tough neighborhood of Inglewood, California. They’re trying to juggle working towards their college applications and academic futures with staying cool and in touch with the streets where the hood reeks of drugs, cool sneakers, gun fights and gangsta hip-hop.

They may be dope but only up to a point—ultimately being themselves, especially Malcom (Shameik Moore) after being messed with by the gang bangers and set up with a heavy stack of ecstasy in his backpack.

But it’s not all hard boiled doings here. Continue reading

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