Friday, October 02, 2009

two things on this busy, busy day

Two items of news to talk about today, one big and one not even close to important:

1) So the Olympic Games are not coming to Chicago in 2016. President Obama went all the way to Copenhagen to put his stamp on a presentation that was, um, less than convincing. In the end, he was made a fool.

All this week, I'd actually felt sympathy towards Obama's plight on this one, under the belief that Chicago's victory in this decision was a done deal. I felt that the IOC had played Obama well, guaranteeing him of a favorable decision if only he would bring his name (and considerable star-power) to the proceedings. In such a scenario, Obama really had no choice. Well, as a liberal with no sense as to what the office of the President is REALLY supposed to encompass, he had no choice. So I wrote this off as a loss that would not haunt me too much. On the bad side: the office of President had become such a joke that its schedule could be bent to the whim of an international organization with limited power and credibility; and there would now be TONS of excuses for stimulus money to disappear into Obama's back yard with zero accountability. On the good side: Obama made time for a meeting with McChrystal; and Oprah was going to be out of the country for a day.

But it turns out my assumptions were wrong. Obama must have decided to get involved in this either because he felt he had to OR because someone from his own team gave him some really bad counsel. So this is yet another error that was forced by nothing other than his own ineptitude. AND TO THINK HOW EASY IT COULD HAVE BEEN!: again, glad he met with McChrystal--which SHOULD HAVE BEEN the whole purpose for the trip! After his day with the "war council" yesterday (which he could have moved up to Wednesday), it would have looked. . .I don't know. . .Presidential, maybe, for him to fly overseas to meet with the Commanding General of Afghanistan. And then, on the way back, he coulda just dropped in to Copenhagen because he heard something was going on there. I mean, really, this could have been staged so much better--if he and his team hadn't decided to make it all about them. Again, rank amateurs trying to play above their pay grade do not always make for family-friendly viewing.

I am not rejoicing as much today as I normally do when Obama is made the fool. It's one thing to be rebuffed at home; this Olympic fiasco is embarassing for all Americans.

And its a little scary, too. As much as I'd like to make this all about Rio being the best place to hold an Olympics, I just can't. Granted, maybe it is the best of the 4 cities considered for the 2016 games, but the second Obama put his two best gals and himself on a plane to Copenhagen, the decision became about Obama. And he lost. This is a bad omen for a man who, I am convinced, has very little depth beyond that layer-thin charm. The last thing we need is more people and organizations on the international stage deciding they want to see how full of himself this guy really is, and if there's any "there" there. Today the IOC. . .why would anyone shy away tomorrow?

2) So David Letterman, on his show last night, confessed to past transgressions. This is really low-ball news--I really don't care too much about the whos, the hows, there wheres and the whens. But I am truly curious about the why.

I think it is safe to say, from how I read the reports, that this gal/these gals were employees of the show. I wonder if any of them felt some employment "pressure" from Big Dave?

I really wish there was a media around who would ask these questions, because I don't think Mr. Letterman --or ANY boss in such a scenario-- just deserves the benefit of the doubt. Whenever there is boss/employee relationships, there are some natural questions that should be asked: did the employee see promotion benefits that might not have been earned strictly through clothes-on performance of the job?; did the employee start acting too big for her britches with the other staff?; did the employee see something akin to a buy-off for her silence; etc etc.

SO I think Mr. Dave should have to field some questions. And I think the gals should have to field some questions, too. And I think that NOW--yes, that's right, the National Organization for Women--should be the ones screaming for some answers.

Because IF this is a case of a boss using pressure of employment to gain sexual favors from a woman, this is a clear case of sexual harassment. NOW should be vocal and swift in the denouncement of such things. Now we aren't there yet, I know--but their ears should be perked up.

If Mr. Letterman was a Republican Congressman, you can bet your sweet bottom they'd be looking for some answers.