Friday, October 2, 2009

Hot Off The Press

Producer Pleads Not Guilty In Letterman Plot

Last night on the Letterman show, Dave told of an extortion attempt on himself. An employee of CBS News had threatened to tell about Letterman’s sexual escapades with several women who worked on his talk show unless the employee received  $2,000,000. Letterman admitted that the accusation was true. Working with his attorney and the district attorney, Letterman gave the employee a check. Once the man was in possession of the check, he was arrested.
The practice of extorting money from well known people for sexual dalliances goes back a long way. Sometimes it is a victim, alleged or real, of the celebrity’s escapades; at other times it is a third party. Except for politicians, getting caught with one’s pants down is not the big no-no that it was 50 years ago. For better or worse, the invention of the birth control pill in the 60s has introduced women to a way of life that at one time was only possible for men. Even so, for the partners and families of those who are sexually involved with a celebrity, it can be extremely embarrassing.
As with many other things, the motivation behind these revelations is greed. If greed were food, the entire world would sit down to a feast every day.

Lobbying By Obamas Goes For Naught 

Also in the news today was the awarding of the 2016 Olympics to Rio De Janeiro. Several days ago President Obama announced that he would go to Copenhagen to lobby for Chicago as the venue. At the time people wondered whether he didn’t have enough on his plate: recession, Afghanistan, health care, Iran, etc. Of course, there are only five people in the world who know the demands of Obama’s job: Carter, Bush 41, Clinton, Bush 43 and Obama himself.
There is precedent for Obama’s trip; Tony Blair and Vladimir Putin have both lobbied successfully for the 2012 and 2014 Olympics. Lobbying by national leaders may be routine in the future.
A look back at prior Olympics indicates that although it is not impossible to come out ahead on the costs, it is extremely difficult. Some have even argued that it is only by ignoring off-budget items such as increased police security, utilities upgrades, idle buildings post-Olympics, etc. that a profit is ever possible.
So how are these costs paid? The money comes out of the pockets politicians consider to be infinitely deep: the taxpayers’. In the long run, the citizens of Chicago may have saved a ton of money by losing the selection.

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