Let’s end the work week with some brief items mostly trivial although clearly some less trivial than others.
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
Apparently at the White House it is indeed guesswork to figure out who is coming to dinner. This was proven last week as the now infamous publicity whores known as the Salahi’s crashed Barack Obama’s State Dinner in honor of the Prime Minister of India. This is old news by now except for one recent and odd development in the story. Congress has been holding hearings investigating how the Salahi’s could have gotten into the White House without an invitation. When it was requested that the social secretary, Desiree Rogers appear before Congress to explain the White House staff’s contribution to this fiasco, the request was denied citing executive privilege. Excuse me? We’re not asking Ms. Rogers to spill state secrets. We’re asking her to own up to her and her staff’s screw up. Granted, the Secret Service is the first line of defense and they deserve a thorough thrashing but they weren’t the only ones who screwed up. (Apparently when the White House staff was made aware that the Salahi’s should not have been there, nothing was done to remove them.) The White House reaction to this incident, including the declaration of executive privilege leads me to believe not only were they complicit in the “crashing” but they don’t understand the severity of the error.
On a side note, should anyone be surprised that the Secret Service screwed up their end of this? Our memories are way too short. When George W. Bush got a shoe thrown at him, the only thing that saved him from minor injury was his own excellent reflexes. The fact that the assailant got off another shoe and that Bush was still in the “line of fire” for the second volly shows that the Secret Service is far from infallible. After the first shoe, Bush should have been tackled to the ground by an SS guy while another SS guy put a bullet in the shoe-throwers head. You don’t attack the President. Plain and simple. With these examples of lackluster performance, it is truly amazing that we haven’t seen a “successful” assassination since 1963.
The Joke, er, Jobs Summit
I’ve heard two people share their view of the hastily assembled Jobs Summit that was held Thursday in Washington. Both people said something to the effect of “I heard some interesting things at the Summit.” Sorry, I’m not interested in a bunch of CEO’s getting together and sharing interesting insights, especially when many of those CEO’s are the greedy bastards who have put thousands of people out on the street to please their stock holders.
In addition to labor leaders, economists and think-tank sorts, the attendees included business leaders from AT&T (where 12,000 jobs were cut a year ago and about 4,600 this year), Boeing Co. (where 6,212 net jobs have been eliminated since November 2008), AstraZeneca (6,000 cuts this year and 1,400 last year), American Airlines (which laid off 6,800 last summer and more workers in October), Home Depot (which announced 7,000 jobs cuts in January), Dow (which cut 5,000 last December), U.S. Steel (3,500 cuts in North America), Xerox (3,000 jobs cut this year), Disney (which eliminated 1,900 jobs in the first quarter), and Dow Corning Corp. (which cut 800 workers globally earlier this year).
What really burned me up was hearing the Director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute, Jeffrey Sachs tell MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough that a lot of businesses are claiming “they can’t hire the workers that they need right now.” You’ll never guess why. Apparently, “they can’t hire skilled workers. They can’t find the welders. They can’t find the people who really know the trades.” These companies supposedly have jobs but the kids dropping out of school don’t have the skills needed.
Yes these companies want so badly to hire more people. I call BS big time. Have any of these companies heard of unpaid apprenticeships where you train the person and don’t pay him until he can do the job? Are you telling me that the able-bodied unemployed would not gladly work for free for a few months with a promise of employment once they’re trained? People have mortgages to pay. Many will do whatever it takes to secure a job. And I’m sorry folks, while welding is hard work, it’s not rocket science. Any company that really wants to hire can train within a few months and then have the employees they claim they want so badly. To hear Dr. Sachs repeat this drivel made me sick. This is nothing more than excuse making. To add insult to injury, for purely political reasons a key player, the Chamber of Commerce was not even invited to the summit. Will anything come out of this summit? Only time will tell but as of today, I am not impressed.
Take My Picture, Please
Our favorite Facebook political pundit, Sarah Palin is charging her “fans” sixteen bucks to get their picture taken with her on the book tour. Considering that many bookstores have reduced the price of her book, Going Rogue to $20.00, it costs you almost as much to get a lousy photo as it does to buy the book itself. On the bright side, Ms. Palin has proven once and for all that she is no socialist. In World-Palin, capitalism is alive and well.
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What do Meredith Baxter and Tiger Woods Have in Common?
You wouldn’t think that the actress from “Family Ties” fame, Meredith Baxter would have much in common with pro golfer Tiger Woods but you’d be wrong. Apparently they both like girls a bit more than we thought they did. In the case of Ms. Baxter, she announced this week that she is a lesbian. OK, so what. An entertainment footnote if ever there was one. The case of Tiger is a bit different. Folks through no fault of Tiger’s, assumed he was the wholesome athletic hero worthy of being on the Wheaties box. They discovered over the past week that Tiger has been doing way more with his putter than anyone expected, least of all his wife, who may very well have smashed a hole in his car with a golf club when she learned of his indiscretions. While this story is a week old, there is a new development worth addressing.
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Apparently, Mrs. Woods is renegotiating the pre-nup agreement with her husband. As I understand it, Tiger will give her $5 million now and an additional $55 million if she sticks around for another two years.
Now folks, call me an old-fashioned romantic but where I come from if a woman is justifiably angry at her husband for infidelity, she has two choices. Either forgive him and stick around or divorce him and get as much money as you can. Mrs. Woods seems to be making a third choice. We have a name for women who get paid to “stay” with a man. The nice word is “escort”. We all know what the not-so-nice word is.