March 27, 2009


  1. . . . The federal budget that President Obama is pitching is $3,600,000,000,000.
  2. . . . The Treasury Department is planning to buy up "toxic assets" from ailing banks and that's gonna cost $1,000,000,000.
  3. . . . This plan, to be called the Public Investment Corp., will be funded with $75,000,000.000 to $100,000,000,000 from the $700,000,000,000 financial rescue package.
  4. . . . AIG, the insurance giant, was given $170,000,000,000 in federal aid and turned around and paid bonuses totaling $165,000,000.
  5. . . . They say it's throwing good money after bad.
  6. . . . . Can I have a few of those zeros transferred to my checking account at Bank of America? I'll give you my pin number; you can do it online.
  7. Mel Gibson now has a handlebarred mustache and goatee. He was recently on The Tonight Show. He looks like a Musketeer or, more so to me, the mayor of Munchkinland. It's for a movie which he's staying mum about. Maybe it's a remake of The Wizard of Oz.
  8. . . . "We represent the Lollipop Guild ..."
  9. JUST ASKING. Why do those Irish stepdancers keep their arms down to their sides? (Riverdance, Michael Flatley) They look like a buncha sticks bobbing up and down. We saw a lot of them around St. Patrick's Day in parades and on TV.
  10. . . . Is it a form of discipline? What if they fall down?
  11. TWO LOVERS. Current movie with actor Joaquin Phoenix (now a rapper) and Gwyneth Paltrow. Takes place in Brookyn, N.Y. He plays an emotionally distraught guy whose relationship with a woman has just ended. He moves back home and his parents want to set him up with a friend's daughter (Vinessa Shaw, The Hills Have Eyes, Garden Party) but there's another woman he's curious about (Paltrow) in his apartment building. But she's seeing a married man who pays her rent. Phoenix is conflicted as he becomes involved with both women. They become his two lovers and all three are fragile characters.
  12. . . . Sorta okay. Phoenix plays his role very quirkily (his "method" of walking and talking). Paltrow is pretty good in the role and seems to play it sincerely.
  13. . . . I was waiting to hear Mary Wells's old Motown hit, Two Lovers, from 1962 in the flick but I didn't. Only old fogies like me would think of that, sorry.
  14. . . . It was a big song in my hey day but I know that's long gone and definitely over.
  15. Mr. Big Stuff complains: "The one thing I hate about Dancing With the Stars, even though I like the show, is the incessant yelling and clapping throughout the episode."
  16. . . . D'accord (agreed, French). It's like what they do on the morning shows: Let's cue the crowd to yell and yell and yell to show excitement and then get the hosts to talk over that cacophony like it's not going on behind them and they talk in their normal tone and the person at home can't hear what they're saying in all tarnation.
  17. . . . Turn off the "GD" TV and read a book for once in your life, for crissakes.
  18. DEPRESSING SITE. A friend of mine said she was putting her contact lens back in, looking into a mirror over her desk, and noticed "my neck hanging there with flabby skin."
  19. . . . Welcome to the Turkey Neck Club.
  20. HAPPENING NOW. People are reading e-books with Amazon Kindles and Sony Readers. Spotted on the Washington Metro was someone reading from a Kindle behind someone reading a Sony. Other people in the train were reading from their iPod Touches and BlackBerrries. It's very techy out there.
  21. . . . I was reading the newspaper and having a hard time turning the pages without knocking someone in the head. Guess I better get into the 21st Century.
  22. THE MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN. The head of AIG, Edward M. Liddy, reminded me a bit of actor Frank Morgan who played the wizard in The Wizard of Oz. (There's that movie again.)
  23. . . . They were both frauds.
  24. Bernard Madoff, the man accused of that $50 billion Ponzi scheme, was a natty dresser. Nice suits, gray-ish trenchcoat to complement his hair color, natural gray. It's nice in the back the way it's wavy. Looks European-ish and makes up for the thinness he has up top and in front.
  25. . . . FEAR: Do I look like Bernie Madoff?
  26. A friend of mine said this about Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner: "You could advertise on his forehead, it's so big. You could run a stock market ticker across it."
  27. . . . He does have a deep forehead. Maybe it's because he's got all those figures ($000,000,000,000) stashed away up there in his noggin.
  28. . . . He reminds me of the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz. (Movie mention #3)
  29. QUESTION. Are Erin Burnett (CNBC) and Tom Brokaw the only people Meet the Press can come up with for a "roundtable discussion" of the economy? This happened last Sunday. ("You know if it's Sunday, it's Meet the Press.")
  30. . . . Where were the experts? Burnett and Brokaw are news personalities. They spout off what everyone else says. Where are the people from the business world, Wall Street, for example? Every other show has experts on; they're a dime a dozen on the week-day cable news channels.
  31. . . . Boy, that show's gone downhill since Tim Russert left.
  32. ANOTHER SHOW JOINS THE FORUM. Now you can continue the pundit discussion when Fox News Sunday, the TV show, is over by going to their Web site and clicking on Panel Plus. (This Week and Meet the Press already do this. I'm not sure if Face the Nation does.)
  33. . . . So there's more chatty chat chat to be had.
  34. . . . Some people never get tired of the sound of their own voices.
  35. . . . MOVEMENT. Dana Perino, former White House spokesperson for President Bush, is now a Republican strategist and appeared with Donna Brazile (Democratic strategist) in The Situation Room one day last week. She crossed over from the executive branch to the fourth estate), they all do. The other side of the camera lens, so to speak. No surprise. I knew she'd end up as an "analyst." Happens all the time.
  36. . . . They transition from being public servants in the name of God and country to pulling the big paychecks to bloviate on the cable news talk shows.
  37. NOTICED. The president was showing some bare leg on his 60 Minutes interview with Steve Kroft which aired last Sunday. His socks didn't come up far enough, a shame, and you could see the reveal between his pant leg and the sock. He oughta wear knee-highs next time.
  38. . . . Ruined the image. Seemed absent-minded.
  39. . . . Anything lesss than perfect is not acceptable.
  40. Hanalie, dog in the neighborhood, is jealous of her new "brother" Sonny, a two-year-old Appendix Quarter Horse, that owner Sally purchased and often takes out to be shown. Hanalie has to stay home while the horsie travels and Hanalie barks her disapproval.
  41. Michelle Obama seemed to have a lavalier microphone clipped to her sweater last week when she was shoveling the first digs into the White House lawn for a planned garden.
  42. . . . Why was she wearing a mike? Does everything she and Barack do have to be camera-ready? Granted, she talked outside to the D.C. school kids who helped break ground and the press was there to document it but why was she wearing a personalized microphone?
  43. . . . Was she doing a White House documentary? For photo-ops such as this, the press usually use "shotgun mikes" – long, directional microphones which pick up the live sound in a crowd from a distance. There's no going up to the "talent" and placing a mike on their lapel to get perfect sound. You get what you get with a live event happening like that.
  44. . . . Everythings's much too planned out, too perfect, too calculated and too public relations-minded. Get real.
  45. UH . . . Got To Be Real by Cheryl Lynn on Columbia, 1978. That girl had a multi-octave range. The song's an R&B/dancefloor classic and has won awards
  46. The birds are tweeting – it's spring -- but they're not Twittering.


© Rocci Fisch/Random Thoughts

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