Friday, 1 June 2012

My Neighborhood

We had this big event in DC yesterday....federal authorities started to show up at various points around DC and the Arlington area....where we have discount buses run.

Over the past decade, there's been this odd growth of bus companies that just appear, and run cheap routes from point A to point B.  For example....from Arlington to New York City....there's an hourly bus that runs the 3.5 hour route for $28 one-way.  From DC, there's a bus that runs to Philly every couple of hours, for around $25 one-way.  What folks do....is plan out this early run to some location....shop and walk around all day, and then hope the bus to return late that evening.

Well....there's been serious accidents.  In some cases, the buses just weren't capable of sustaining a safe run.  In some cases....the drivers were sleeping eight hours over a two-day period (at least claims were made to such an effect).

So yesterday, the Feds showed up around the region, and shut down 26 such operations.  It was fairly sudden, and abrupt.

Course, if you were a pondering person....you'd think about this.  Some folks had left at 6AM from DC, for New York City.  They walked around New York City all day and expected at 6PM to walk back to the loading area in New York City....find their return ticket, board the bus, and run back to DC.  Well....that didn't happen.  You can imagine forty folks just standing there on the street in New York....asking where the hell the bus was.....and why the feds had shutdown their bus operation.  In the end, they probably all walked down to the train station....paid out $120 for a one-way ticket from New York City to Washington, and grumbled all the way home.

Today?  Nothing.  A number of folks are sitting there with plans that had been laid out two months ago, and no bus company to make that trip happen.

Just Observations

John Edwards walks away a free man.  Zero chance, I think, for a retrial.  The problem here....is two-fold. First, the entire law over campaign contributions is so confusing, that experts came from all over the country, and then half of them said Edwards had done something illegal, and half said they weren't sure if he had done anything illegal.  Imagine a jury hearing that kind of talk.  The second thing was the length of time that they spent on this whole case....which I suspect just bored the heck out of the jury members.  The question left?  What happens to John Edwards now?  My bet.....he finds religion....writes a book....and tries to run for governor of North Carolina within four years.  He's finished as a national star, and no Super-PAC would dare come to his rescue (money down the drain).

All this talk of halting super-sized sugar drinks in New York City has an interesting theme.  What the mayor says....other than a medium-sized cup of Coke or Pepsi, or any sugar-type drink....you just won't be able to buy it in the city (if they pass this).  He has a point.  Up until the 1980s....most all sodas came in the standard 12-ounce can or 10-ounce bottle.  The possibility of buying a 60-ounce cup now....loaded with 650 calories of rich sugar-like beverage....is kinda stupid.  Imagine a 12-year old kid going to a Saturday movie now, and doing this for years.  If we had stayed with the 12-ounce limit....we would have all been better off.

Finally, it's been noted up in Vermont....that the state is about to develop this new indicator called the GPI.  It stands for genuine progress indicator.  Somehow, a bunch of state government employees will converge on some office, and then toss in environmental progress, volunteer work, off-time for employees, social changes, etc.  The folks would then use the numbers from the GPI....to forecast the state budget.....putting money toward special projects to build up better GPI numbers.  In the old days.....you just kinda put schools, roads, bridges and state universities as a priority, and that was the end of the discussion.  One gets the feeling that Vermont will likely have the worst roads in America within twenty years....if this GPI business goes forward.

Just Solutions

Word got out to CNN that they actually hit rock-bottom.....389k viewers from nationwide, across America, in prime-time for the month of April.  Dismal and really negative when you think about it.

The CNN folks are worried.  They really need to refocus and somehow find half-a-million viewers somewhere in America, to add onto the top of the 389k viewers they have currently.

So I sat and pondered over this today.

First, if I were CNN.....I'd send a note to the Democratic Party and let them know that I'm busting down the fake doors, and I'm about to start acting like a Fox-like network.  I'd be nice about it and say it wasn't anything personal....but no one takes us serious anymore.  So we are going to report on some things that folks just weren't going to talk about.  Yeah, we might show up at Occidental College.  Yeah, we might get into fights with some pretty weird political figures.

Second, if I were CNN....I'd fire Piers Morgan.  Bring a taxi up to the building....hire up a WWE wrestler or two, and just have them toss Piers into the cab, and let everyone know that it was nothing personal in firing the guy.  Who would I hire?  I'd bring in Neal Boritz (the Atlanta talk-chat guy), Terry Bradshaw (the former quarterback), and find some unknown female bartender from a Cowboy bar in Texas.  I'd let their chats go as far out to the extreme as they desired, and they could even invite Peruvian coffee farmers into the studio for interviews.  Heck, we might even get hunters on the show....talking about the best caliber gun to hunt ducks.

Third, if I were CNN....I'd take Lance Armstrong onto a project to cross the United States....stopping and interviewing kids, grandmas, Texas Rangers, truckers, and ministers.  I'd let Lance ask regular questions and tear your heart out from the heartland.

Fourth, if I were CNN....I'd trim Wolfe Blitzer down to a three-hour show on Sunday mornings, and find myself some conservative talk-show host to moderate for his former periods.

Fifth, if I were CNN....I'd hire up a dozen investigative reporters, and just let them focus on corruption in Washington DC District politics.  Let them tear apart the city council and help the thirteen city council folks cleanse themselves.

Sixth and final....if I were CNN....I'd ask what the majority of Americans want to hear about, and just give it to them.  Sadly, it might mean taking more viewers away from ABC, CBS and NBC news.....but hey, they just weren't going to do the job necessary.