Monday, December 13, 2010

13 DEC 10: Sights Along the Superhighway

First the surprising good news: my phone/Internet service was restored while I was out posting a delayed Sunday blog entry. I certainly didn't expect that on a weekend - but then again, maybe someone in the AT&T office spends weekends reading blogs.

I prepared a historical post early in the day - but a return to the web allows me to mention other current events first:

1. SLEEP IN AND SHINE. WLTZ announced over the weekend Calvin Floyd is leaving the sunrise shift after 21 years. He'll host a new noon-hour show beginning 3 January, but keep emphasizing politics and current events. Who knows -- some of the callers may be less surly, if they're phoning Floyd before 7:00 a.m.

In a statement from WLTZ, Calvin Floyd admits he's "tired of getting up in the morning at 4am in order to do 'Rise N Shine' everyday." At least he has some leverage, to move his talk show to 12:00 noon. Dairy farmers only wish they did.

Calvin Floyd told me Sunday he's not sure what will replace "Rise N Shine" on WLTZ when 2011 begins. He guessed some sort of news show will take its place -- which means someone in Davenport, Iowa will wake up even earlier than he has, on Central Time.

So WLTZ will show Calvin Floyd at 12:00 noon ET and Dee Armstrong at 2:00 p.m., while the other big Columbus TV stations have almost nothing besides newscasts. I suppose WTVM's "Sunday Sports Overtime" counts as a talk show - since the guys do so much talking, you hardly ever see Sunday scores.

2. FM FUNNIES. WRLD-FM "Boomer 95.3" is in a national online contest for the best oldies radio station in the U.S. This seems amazing to me, since "Boomer" only returned to Columbus radio eight months ago and has only been in its current format about four. There must be fewer "oldies" stations left than I realized.

Meanwhile, WBOJ-FM "88.5 the Truth" aired the Christ Community Church service Sunday - except it began with the benediction, and then went to silence for most of the hour. Now this is a worship service plenty of apathetic men could appreciate....

3. WEAK-KNEED WETHERINGTON. The Ledger-Enquirer reports Columbus Mayor Jim Wetherington will miss the inauguration of his successor in three weeks. He says he'll be in the hospital for knee replacement surgery. Some politicians ride off into the sunset - but Columbus has one limping away, probably without a fife and drum escort.

Should we read anything into the fact that the outgoing mayor won't attend his successor's inaugural? Is Jim Wetherington going to swear old colleague Judy Thomas into office as a Columbus Councilor early, so she can sit in his chair for a couple of days?

4. EDDY'S READY. Eddy Middle School will reopen today, after Friday's scare involving a ruptured natural gas line. Please be careful in science class with those Bunsen burners....

5. PARK THE CAR. The Atlanta Falcons crushed Carolina Sunday 31-10 Sunday, to improve to 11-2 on the season. As the Falcons won in Charlotte, the temperature dropped in Columbus - to the point where we're now colder than "Mattie-Ice."

6. SMART ALECKS. From the InBox comes a reply to last Wednesday's topic....

Mr. Burkard,

I was well aware , for many years . that Columbus didn't rank very high in "smarts". Therefore, as my contribution to the community, I moved across the river 6 years ago.

The result was, a raising of the average IQ level in both towns.

Cheers, Don

Trying to figure this out takes some complicated math. Is your IQ higher or lower than Sunday's high temperature?

(LAUGHLINE FLASHBACK: Sunday marked ten years since a U.S. Supreme Court ruling ended a prolonged battle for President. But because the decision came late in the evening, work commitments prevented us from covering it for LaughLine subscribers until the following day. Here's what we wrote in December 2000.)

13 DEC 00: The world watched the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday, waiting for a ruling on our next President. All we received was silence. And after five weeks of tension, legal bickering and court hearings, you know what? It was actually refreshing....

Some people became concerned Tuesday when the U.S. Supreme Court did NOT issue a ruling on the Florida Presidential recount, one day after oral arguments. This is a court that usually takes months to issue opinions -- and you expect fast-food justice NOW?

One radio announcer [Family Radio] referred to the U.S. Supreme Court case Tuesday by saying, "Tensions are rising to a near-breaking point." He must be referring to the protesters outside the building. A few of them DO seem ready to break each other's signs....

Some Albert Gore supporters became more concerned by the hour Tuesday. They feared a delayed decision might mean NO recount of Florida undervotes. Then again, it might mean a very important episode of "Days of our Lives" was on.

The U.S. Supreme Court press room was packed Tuesday. Adrenaline is so high that court employees running down a hallway got reporters' attention. But the running was only to pay for a food delivery -- and maybe to beat the journalists from stealing the food.

(CBS News showed an "artist's rendering" Tuesday night - of the crowded Supreme Court press room! Apparently if you hire somebody for the day, you have to get your money's worth.)

Critics in both parties see potential ethics problems with the U.S. Supreme Court. Stephen Breyer is a close friend of Albert Gore. Antonin Scalia's son works for a law firm connected with the Bush family. Maybe Clarence Thomas should settle this by himself. We're not sure if he has any friends left who can influence him.

14 DEC 00: Thirty-six days after the vote, Al Gore finally decided Wednesday to give up the fight for President. Democrats across the land said, "The rule of law has prevailed - and it stinks!"

In a six-minute speech Wednesday night, The Vice President surprised some people by using the "C" word. He called it a "concession." Some thought he'd use Geraldo Rivera's word from Tuesday night - when Rivera called the Supreme Court ruling "Cr*p!"

Mr. Gore admitted he "strongly disagrees" with the U.S. Supreme Court's decision on the Florida recount -- but he accepts it. By doing this, he thrilled millions of parents who serve their children spinach for dinner.

The Vice President praised the strength of U.S. democracy, noting other disputes in our history have dragged on for weeks. We never thought we'd hear Al Gore compare himself with O.J. Simpson....

Mr. Gore said he'll be at George W. Bush's disposal in the months ahead. This compares to Democrats in Congress, who plan to put several Cabinet nominations in the GARBAGE disposal.

The defeated Democrat admits he's not sure what he'll do next - and confessed he needs to "mend some fences" in his home state of Tennessee. He lost that state election night, apparently after voters decided he did NOT do all those chores on the family farm after all.

Mr. Gore said his biggest campaign regret is that he won't be "staying to fight" for the U.S. people in the next four years. Uh-oh - any hopes of getting a lobbyist's job in Washington just disappeared.

(This apparently also means he will NOT make guest appearances on "The McLaughlin Group....")

Mr. Gore's speech was given at a Washington office building, because the Vice President's home was reserved for a holiday party. The guests played fun "seasonal" games - such as taking needles from the Xmas tree, and trying to poke holes in their napkins.

Mr. Gore and Mr. Bush will meet early next week. Aides say the Democrat might take a couple of days off first. Days off?!?! What's Mr. Gore been doing for the last five weeks? About all we've seen of him is when he gives a speech in Washington, or goes outside for coffee.

Why do we have the feeling if these Presidential candidates DO meet face-to-face, it'll be like a middle school dance? They'll be at opposite walls for awhile, yelling at each other -- then slowly come together....

(What's President Clinton doing in Northern Ireland? We need him HERE, for peace talks between the candidates.)

One frustrated aide to Al Gore grumbled: "This is the first time one branch of government has chosen another." [True/NPR] We're glad he won't be on the White House staff -- because the House chose Thomas Jefferson 200 years ago, to break an electoral tie.

(Memo to the Florida protester we saw holding the sign: "America's First Appointed President": Have you ever heard of Gerald Ford?)

After weeks of loud crowds outside the Vice President's residence, ABC News showed only one woman standing outside Wednesday - holding a "Gore 2004" sign. Either this woman is in denial, or someone should give her a ride to the unemployment office.

Top Democratic attorney David Boies admitted Wednesday the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Florida's recount was "disappointing." Boies now returns to his work as attorney for Napster - but if he does as well there, the company will be gone within weeks.

George W. Bush took his turn speaking to the country late Wednesday night. Political experts from Washington to Austin had one big question: which Supreme Court justice will he reward with a nomination for Attorney General?

Mr. Bush told an audience at the Texas State Capitol he hopes to "change the tone" in Washington. That may be difficult. Republicans want a MONO-tone - while some Democrats want to scream at a very high tone.

We were amazed by all the political pundits saying George W. Bush needed words that would "bring the nation together" and "heal our wounds." Why are they waiting on HIM? Why don't THEY say something now to do that, since they know so much?

Today (Thursday) marks a halfway point in this process. It's 37 days since Election Day, and 37 days until inauguration day. Can the Bush administration be ready to govern, with half the transition time? Mr. Bush may have to cut back to only two days a week at his ranch.

The U.S. Supreme Court decision took many by surprise. Sheridan Radio declared Tuesday night the justices were going home, indicating "no ruling tonight." An hour later, it came! Haven't these journalists learned ANYTHING this fall about making early calls?

As it happened, Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas took questions on C-SPAN Wednesday from a group of Pennsylvania high school students. He said in nine years on the court, he's seen "zero" political partisanship there. Of course not. His law clerks do all the work under him, and THEY see it all.

15 DEC 00: Before election day, psychic Sylvia Browne told "Montel" Albert Gore would win the Presidency. How will she explain this - by explaining she'd never heard of the Electoral College?

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