*Farewell to “a tart-tongued grammar guru.” Until I read about his death a few days ago I didn’t realize how much I had missed the delightful repartee and word play of Edwin Newman, the longtime NBC contributor. If you love language, go to your local library and pick up a copy of Strictly Speaking: Will America be the Death of English? You’ll enjoy reading it almost as much as he surely did writing it.
*The oil spill is over, but the lies aren’t. Congratulations to everyone involved in shutting down — forever, we hope — the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The engineering involved in working two miles beneath the surface is beyond my understanding. Not so the propaganda surrounding this tragic accident, which I’m sure we’ll be hearing for the rest of our lives. Like the time Katie Couric began CBS Evening News by announcing that “43 percent of Americans approve of President Obama’s handling of the spill, [while] only 13 percent approve of BP’s efforts.” What the liberal cutie didn’t mention was that the same poll revealed that 47 percent of respondents disapproved of Obama’s performance. That’s how the news is slanted, folks.
*Next time you’re put on hold, try this. I just heard about a new phone service that promises to end waiting on hold. Here’s how I’m told it works: Go to lucyphone.com and type in the customer-service number you want to reach. After LucyPhone connects you, hang up. The service will call you back when a real live human being actually picks up the phone. Sure sounds worth trying.
*Some bills will never be paid. Remember the Meadowlands — the football stadium in New Jersey where the Giants played all their home games (and Jimmy Hoffa is allegedly buried under a goal post)? It no longer exists, of course. It was torn down last year to make way for a brand-new stadium. But get this: The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (aka the State of New Jersey) borrowed $302 million to build it and never paid the debt. The bill now comes to $800 million and costs New Jersey taxpayers $100 million a year in interest. See? It’s not only the Federales who can be criminally irresponsible with taxpayer funds.
— Chip Wood