Pardon Me: President Donald Trump says he’s considering a posthumous pardon for Louisville boxing legend, the greatest of all time, Muhammad Ali, says The New York Times, CNN, NBC News, The Hill, BBC News, ESPN and Sports Illustrated.

Which is great, but the late boxing champ doesn’t need one.

Said Trump:

I’m thinking about Muhammad Ali. I’m thinking about that very seriously and some others.

He was not very popular then, his memory is very popular now. I’m thinking about that very seriously.

Yeah, I don’t know. There were almost 50 years in between his initial conviction and his death where he was pretty darned popular and a good stretch of that when he was the most recognized face in the world.

Mr. Ali was convicted of draft evasion in 1967, sentenced to five years in prison and stripped of his heavyweight title. Mr. Ali had declared himself a conscientious objector. citing his Muslim faith.

The Supreme Court overturned the conviction in 1971. 

Mr. Ali’s attorney, Ron Tweel, responded this morning in a statement:

We appreciate President Trump’s sentiment, but a pardon is unnecessary. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the conviction of Muhammad Ali in a unanimous decision in 1971. There is no conviction from which a pardon is needed.

So any pardon here would be a symbolic gesture.

Trump’s remarks came as he departed for the G-7 summit. He told reporters he had a list of 3,000 names under pardon consideration, many of whom the president said “really have been treated unfairly.”

He also made a request of protesting NFL players. Said Trump:

If the players, if the athletes have friends of theirs or people they know about that have been unfairly treated by the system, let me know.

Philadelphia Eagles safety Michael Jenkins attempted to once again offer some clarity as to what those protests are about earlier this week, when the Eagles had their White House visit canceled due to low anticipated player attendance:

 Also, thanks Eagles pool reporters for completely exemplifying his point.

Senator Mitch McConnell

No Recess: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants senators to work through the summer. He’s canceled the August recess, says NBC News, NPR, CBS News, USA Today, Politico and PBS News Hour.

You want to guess whose fault he says that is?

Due to the historic obstruction by Senate Democrats of the president’s nominees, and the goal of passing appropriations bills prior to the end of the fiscal year, the August recess has been canceled.


Of course, in 2016 Mitch McConnell called blocking former President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court appointment his proudest achievement.

One of my proudest moments was when I looked at Barack Obama in the eye and I said, ‘Mr. President, you will not fill this Supreme Court vacancy.’

Said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer:

Mitch McConnell can’t have it both ways he spends all his time bragging to his base that they’ve appointed more judges than anyone else and now he’s saying they haven’t pointed enough. It just doesn’t pass the laugh test.

We Democrats welcome this additional time because it gives us the opportunity to address an issue that’s on the top of the mind of so many of the American people and one that the Republicans have badly mishandled up to this point — health care.

The New York Times suggests that federal appointments are still going forward and the appropriations bills haven’t been passed on time in over 20 years, according to Pew Research. The Times thinks maybe the number of red state Democrats up for re-election has something to do with it, setting up a Catch-22 for them. You’re either in Washington and thus off the campaign trail or you miss a vote or two to campaign and set yourself up for accusations of shirking your duties.

Only one Republican senator is similarly vulnerable: Dean Heller of Nevada.

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn said as much on Tuesday:

Hoodwinked: A Bell County High School valedictorian wowed the crowd with an inspirational quote from President Donald Trump, only to tell them its true origins: former President Barack Obama, says The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate and TIME.

Ben Bowling said during his commencement speech:

This is the part of my speech where I share some inspirational quotes I found on Google. ‘Don’t just get involved. Fight for your seat at the table. Better yet, fight for a seat at the head of the table’ — Donald J. Trump.

The audience cheered. And then the kicker:

Just kidding. That was Barack Obama.

And not so much with the cheering anymore. And … scene.

Mr. Bowling told TIME:

I expected the applause for sure, but wasn’t sure what to expect when I revealed the real quote. I knew my classmates would find it funny, but wasn’t sure about the audience. It was all in good fun.

[My classmates] knew I wouldn’t quote Trump, so they all thought it was hilarious. I love my area and all the people in it. I am not knocking the local people or their political opinions at all.

Out of the mouths of valedictorians.

Courtesy of JCPS

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs: CNBC’s Steve Liesman takes a look at Louisville’s solution to the nation’s job shortage issue, the Academies of Louisville. The JCPS website says the Academies program is designed to “prepare, inspire, and empower students by offering meaningful and relevant learning experiences that directly relate to our world today.”

The Academies of Louisville have some 85 businesses partnered with the program, including some of Louisville’s powerhouses like Norton, UPS and GE. Both the program and its business partners are working to address career readiness as more employers report they have jobs available the existing workforce doesn’t always have the training to fill.

So far, 11 JCPS high schools have an academy program in place.

Her New Boyfriend: Last week, we talked about Jennifer Lawrence’s reunion with former boyfriend Darren Aronofsky. Whelp, this week, Extra ran the headline: “Jennifer Lawrence Moves on from Darren Aronofsky — Who’s Her New Man?”

HuffPost gives us hint No. 1 with their headline: “Jennifer Lawrence Reportedly Dating Non-Famous Person.”

So a muggle. There’s a bit of a mystery for you.

Harper’s Bazaar keeps the suspense going with: “Jennifer Lawrence Reportedly has a Secret New Boyfriend.”

Vulture asks, “Can You Guess the Name of Jennifer Lawrence’s New Boyfriend?”

Steve? Kenny? I don’t know. That’s a strange game.

People doesn’t understand how headlines work, apparently. They just come right on out with: “Jennifer Lawrence Is Dating N.Y.C. Art Gallery Director Cooke Maroney.”

So there you go. Name, location, occupation.

InStyle says they “cyberstalked the new man in Jennifer Lawrence’s life so you don’t have to.” Which, my job notwithstanding, I probably wasn’t going to.

Here’s something they uncovered:

He’s Very Private
Both Maroney’s Instagram and Twitter accounts are private, so we’ll venture a guess that he’s not crazy about strangers prying into his personal life …

So that’s going well for him this week.

The loathed E! also did a little stalking. They reveal “5 things to know about Cooke Maroney.”

One of their tidbits is the two have been seeing each other for weeks, but “very private and careful not to be seen together.”

That statement appears next to two photographs of the two in public.

And The Cut uncovered this tidbit:

Most revealingly, one source tells us that Cooke Maroney really likes the Taken movies, and went to see Taken 3 on opening day in an entirely empty theater …

“Most revealingly.” The Taken movies collectively made over $900 million, so that might be the cinematic equivalent of saying he likes pizza.

Speaking of, here’s your “Top Chef” update this week:

They’re spending a healthy amount of time in NuLu. They popped by Garage Bar and Lueberry this week.

See you next week.

Kyle Ware is a Louisville-based actor, artist, educator and writer. His column, In Other News, appears at Insider Louisville every Friday.


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