Weekend Open Thread

I’ve got a full day tomorrow of going to end-of-summer yard sales, visiting a friend, and shopping/having lunch with mom. Will check in at some point tomorrow when I can.


New Englands fall foliage meets with an early snow in Franconia , N.H., Thursday, Oct. 1,2009.

New Englands fall foliage meets with an early snow in Franconia , N.H., Thursday, Oct. 1,2009.
(AP Photo/Jim Cole)

Obama denied: 2016 Summer Olympics go to Rio

Will the world come to an end?

COPENHAGEN — The Olympics were awarded to a South American city for the first time when the International Olympic Committee on Friday voted for Rio de Janeiro to host the 2016 Games.

Rio de Janeiro beat Madrid in the final round of voting, 66-32. The committee delivered an unexpectedly early knockout blow to Chicago, which was eliminated in the first round. Tokyo was gone in the second.

Jacques Rogge, the president of the committee, made the announcement, sending crowds in Rio de Janeiro into celebration.

The announcement was shown live on Rio’s Copacabana beach, where tens of thousands of people had begun the party early in front of a main stage flanked by screens. As the envelope was opened in Copenhagen and the city’s name rang out, a loud scream rose from the crowd. Confetti exploded from the stage, as the people, dressed in shorts and bikinis, jumped to samba music and waved Brazilian flags and balloons of green and yellow, the national colors. The crowd spread to the water’s edge, and more people continued to arrive for a celebration that promised to last well into the night.The scene was different earlier in Chicago as throngs in Daley Plaza gasped in disappointment when Rogge announced that Chicago was out. It was a surprising verdict, especially after President Obama’s whirlwind trip to boost the bid of his adopted city. Mr. Obama was the first American president to make an in-person appeal for a bid city, and the first lady, Michelle Obama, had also come this week to lobby I.O.C. members for votes. The Obamas were flying back to Washington at the time of the vote. A spokesman said Mr. Obama still believed it had been worth the effort.

Chicago’s bid leaders had worked for nearly four years and spent close to $50 million to try to bring the Summer Olympics to the United States for the first time in 20 years. Chicago had been considered among Olympic insiders as a favorite to win the Games, along with Rio.

Instead, the I.O.C. crushed an American city’s hopes for the second straight time. New York’s bid was eliminated in the second round of voting for the 2012 Olympics.

The WH, who earlier this week had the audacity to question the patriotism of those who thought he should be worrying about more urgent matters like, oh, I dunno – Afghanistan? – had this to say on the question of whether or not it was appropriate for the POTUS to be lobbying for the Olympics:

Q Did he put too much presidential prestige on the line by coming, win or lose?

MR. GIBBS: No. Three world leaders showed up here in addition to us. Again, if he hadn’t come, I’m sure people would say, I can’t believe he didn’t go and push the American bid for the Olympics; we’re out of the first round because the President didn’t — you know. Look, if you can’t take that sort of just base level of gnat-like criticism, then it’s probably the wrong gig.

Got that? If you felt like the President had more pressing needs to address in this country right now, then your criticism – according to the WH – is nothing more than “gnat-like.” Yes, I know – you’re just as shocked as I am that Gibbs would say something like that about his bosses’ critics.

Oh well. They’ve still got the Olympic-esque Greek columns/temple set on which to look back fondly.

And speaking of Rio, I can’t end this post without including the video for the song Rio, which was done by one of my favorite 80s bands – Duran Duran:

Related: A quick Rio ‘factbox” – via Reuters.

Video/transcript of audience laughing as Letterman admits to affairs

Good grief. How low can they go?

After a monologue that included more than one Roman Polanski joke — which I found odd given my knowledge of what was coming — act two began with Dave, who was clearly enjoying his audience, saying “I’m glad you folks are here tonight and in such a good mood ….. Do you feel like a story?” (Crowd: Yeahh!!)

So he starts talking about finding the package in the back of his car at 6 a.m. and the note, which read, “I know that you do some terrible, terrible things.” Laughter. “A guy is going to write a screenplay about me … unless I give him some money. … That’s a little hinky!” More laughter.

You can tell Letterman is trying to ratchet up the gravity. He uses the word “terrifying” to describe his response to this extortion letter. Later on he says, “This whole thing has been quite scary.” But for every one of those statements there’s one like this: “If you know anything about me, I am just a towering mass of Lutheran midwestern guilt.” Of course, the crowd laughs. It sounds funny.

The first tipoff to the audience should have been Dave’s statement, “This guy knows creepy stuff about me” –not “this guy thinks he knows creepy stuff about me.”

And then finally, after telling the audience that the suspect, now ID’s as Robert Halderman, had been arrested, applause, finally Dave reveals the allegation in the screenplay: that “I have had sex with women who worked for me on the show.” And….?

“My response to that is, yes, I have,” said Letterman. At this admission, the audience laughs and then rolls into applause.

Here’s the video:

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, considering this is the same country that excused Bill Clinton’s, ahem, numerous marital ‘indiscretions’ while President. It’s saddening all the same, though, to watch our cultural decline in living color.

That said, I agree with other bloggers on the issue of extortion – it’s wrong and no one should have to go through it. But if Letterman had kept his marital vows he wouldn’t be in this situation to begin with.

I should also note that while extortion is clearly wrong, I feel very little sympathy for Letterman. He’s an adulterous slug who made the personal choice to have affairs with members of his staff. He’s also a jerk who has contempt for women – especially conservative women. He’s also a flaming hypocrite who has made “jokes” in the past about the the personal failings of others, personal failings that included infidelity.

They say that sometimes, what comes around goes around. But for David Letterman, I’m not so sure. Considering his audience thought his admission was “funny” and considering how Hollyweird views sex scandals involving one of their own, he might just emerge from this scandal unscathed, another “misunderstood” hero of sorts.

No doubt he’s thanking his lucky stars that he’s a liberal comedian. The only question left is: Will Whoopi Goldeberg view what he did as simply a few “affairs” or will she view them as “affairs-affairs”? :-?