The Week in Review: Dec. 14- Dec. 18/2009
♦ The week starts off with a bang that quickly becomes a whimper. President Obama invites the heads of American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo to the White House for a stern lecture on how those who have received so much from the taxpayers might want to start thinking about actually giving back a little. Three of the executives miss the meeting because the NY-DC Shuttle is fogged in at La Guardia. So much for respect for the Presidency. Couldn’t they have spent the night before in Washington? I understand Amtrak has a fine train service from Penn Station to Union Station. They did call in, though. How considerate.
♦ The Climate Change conference in Copenhagen gets crazy as developing nations quarrel with developed nations, protestors get rowdy and consensus on much of anything begins to melt like the polar ice cap.
♦ The global consulting firm, Accenture, ends its six-year relationship with Tiger Woods saying he’s no longer “the right representative” for them after the events of the past couple of weeks. Gillette begins backing away too.
♦ Something’s fishy at the Waterbury and Wallingford, Connecticut Post offices; seems managers there are so overwhelmed by the amount of holiday mail they’re being inundated with- that they’ve taken to hiding it. Workers get caught stuffing letters, cards and packages into closets and unused rooms. The problem has now been corrected.
♥ The Sun newspaper publishes an exclusive photo of Elin Nordegren (Mrs. Tiger Woods) filling up an SUV at a gas station. There’s something missing. The wedding ring on her left hand.
♦ The Medicare buy-in dies an ignominious death. Independent Connecticut Senator, Joe Lieberman, says he won’t support it even though just three months earlier he had been taped by a local news organization in his state as saying it was a reasonable alternative to a public option. He tells the New York Times he began to get suspicious of the plan when liberal, Democratic NY Congressman, Anthony Weiner, said he loved it. Note to liberals: next time there’s legislation you need passed through the Senate, pretend you hate it.
♥ President Obama, campaigning for tax credits people can get for weatherizing their homes, declares that insulation is “sexy.” I suppose that can be true depending on who’s doing the insulating and what they’re wearing.
♦ Uh-oh. Can it possibly get any worse for Tiger Woods? The New York Times reports the doctor who treated his bum knee last year is under investigation for giving human growth hormone to some of his patients. Tiger’s agent tells people to back off- he’s never used performance enhancing drugs. Apparently, the doc visited Tiger’s home on four different occasions to perform a procedure in which a patient’s own blood is put through a centrifuge to separate out the platelets that are then injected to an area of injury to promote faster healing. The PGA backs Tiger and releases a statement saying that they’ve seen nothing in the reporting that would indicate he’s been in violation of their anti-doping policies.
♥ Considering the consensus that Tiger really would be finished if it turns out he used PED’s, finally, some welcome news for Woods. He is now tied to mistress #14. Yawn.
♦ Time magazine names Federal Reserve Chief, Ben Bernanke the Person of the Year for saving the American economy. Millions crowd the streets as the chanting starts out quietly at first, then into a full roar, “Bernanke, Bernanke Bernanke!” Kudos to Time, though. Instead of picking somebody interesting like Sarah Palin or Tiger Woods or Joe Lieberman, folks who might actually sell magazines- they go for the one guy guaranteed to put you to sleep at the mere mention of his name. Readers be damned- who needs ‘em!
♦ Politico.com reports that New York Democratic Senator, Charles Schumer, called a flight attendant a “bitch” as the DC to NY shuttle was about to take off earlier this week. Seems he was delaying the pull-back from the gate by talking on his cell phone. Obviously, the stewardess had no idea who she was dealing with. There is not a human being alive who has ever succeeded in getting Charles Schumer to stop talking.
♦ The Associated Press names Tiger Woods- Athlete of the Decade.
Thursday, December 17, 2009:
♦ New polling is out from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal. The basic results- A pox on both their houses. Support for Democrats has plummeted but the numbers are not translating to Republican gains. What an opportunity for a legitimate 3rd party candidate. Lou Dobbs- take out the hair spray and straighten that tie.
♦ And the numbers show Americans aren’t so thrilled about health care reform either. Only 32% say it’s a good idea; 47% think it’s a bad idea.
♥ A new poll also finds 42% of Americans now have a negative view of Tiger Woods. Clearly, we are in need of a new 3rd party golfer of some kind. What’s Ron Paul’s handicap?
♦ The heavyweights begin arriving at the Copenhagen Climate Change conference. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton says the U.S. will participate in the creation of a $100 billion global fund that poor countries can use to adapt to climate change. It’s predicated on China presenting plans on how they will cut carbon emissions. The Chinese agree to a dialogue. The first glimpse of progress. Nations are now talking about talking in the future.
♦ Lots of news from the NFL. Sad, great and weird. Cincinnati Bengal’s wide receiver Chris Henry dies after falling out of the bed of a pick-up truck in an apparent domestic dispute. The Washington Redskins get rid of an inept General Manager and hire the son of the legendary George Allen. The St. Louis Rams cancel practice as numerous players come down with the H1N1, Swine flu virus.
♥ ABC News quotes sources as saying Elin will 100% divorce Tiger.
Friday, December 18, 2009:
♦ President Obama addresses the Climate Change conference in Copenhagen. This was the site of the humiliating experience when Chicago was turned down as the choice for the 2016 Olympic games.
It is now the site for the humiliating experience of no significant action he is seeking being taken to address global climate change. I confidently predict it will be a long, long time before Obama humiliates himself in Copenhagen again. There is a late update on this story. No legally binding agreement- but some headway made as the President literally burst into a meeting of Chinese and other international leaders and forced them into at least an agreement that recognizes there’s a problem to be dealt with and prompts what amounts to voluntary agreement to reduce carbon emmissions. Not a total humiliation after all. But I still don’t think he’s going to back to Copenhagen any time soon. Too many painful memories.
♦ Avatar hits the theatres; all 2 hours and 40 minutes of it. Good reviews abound. More details emerge on what a ground-breaking film it is; 15 years in the making and involving the invention of new technologies like facial recognition cameras that enable human emotions to be uncannily portrayed by animated characters. A 3-D experience that immerses audiences into a completely foreign and highly textured world instead of the usual stuff-coming-at-you-from-the-screen-making-you-feel-like you-need-to-duck approach. It’s long hyphenated sentences like this that doomed my career as a film critic.
♦ Finally, I completed my Christmas shopping! My son, Charlie Garcia, arrives in New York for the holidays next Tuesday and I have just been named head of the Newscast division for National Public Radio, starting in February. Merry Christmas, Charlie- Daddy has a job.