Posts Tagged ‘Andy Lack’

Letter From New York 03 06 15 Not Accident Prone…

March 6, 2015

It is around 4:15 in the afternoon as I begin this; the day is just beginning to fade. All day the sun has been bright and crisp, sharp shadows crossing the land. Despite the sun, it’s been cold outside though while I was in the city the ice on the creek did melt.

The trend is for warming weather here, getting up to 49 degrees on Monday, the first real break in the cold in weeks.

It’s been a busy day; finishing some numbers for the accountants and getting them and some paperwork delivered. I have waded through some other paperwork and am now sitting down to write.

While driving home from the accountants, I listened to a report on NPR about the destruction that appears to be happening at Nimrud, an ancient Assyrian city in the hands of IS. I’ve noted before they have posted pictures of them taking sledgehammers to ancient works of art. IS believes these artifacts are signs of idolatry and therefore must be destroyed. They’re taking with them the history of much of the world, including their own.

In another sad note today, Albert Maysles, the noted documentarian, passed away last night in New York City. He and his brother, David, made some of the most famous documentaries of the 20th Century, including “Gimme Shelter” about the 1969 Rolling Stone tour that included footage of a man being stabbed to death at Altamont and “Grey Gardens” about two cousins of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. He continued to work up until his death. I met him a couple of times at events. He was, deservedly, a legend of the documentary world.

Long a fan of space exploration [the only person I have ever asked for an autograph is Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon], NASA’s Dawn has settled into orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres, seeking signs of life on it while testing technology that may be used to carry supplies to a manned outpost on Mars.

Also, in technology today, but somewhat more frightening, is that Lockheed-Martin successfully tested its new ATHENA laser weapon today, destroying a truck’s engine from more than a mile away. Ray guns are here.

This weekend is the 50th Anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,” the Selma march that was disrupted by violence, captured by the news, and seen as a major turning point for the national attitude toward civil rights. Obama is leading the commemoration on Saturday, extolling young people to be active. One of the leaders of the Selma to Montgomery march was John Lewis, then only 23 and now a member of Congress.

Apple is joining the Dow Jones index of stocks while that index plunged today on the good news that jobs had grown more than expected and thus raised fears of an interest rate hike.

The political scene seems dominated by two conversations today. One is the specter that Hillary Clinton cannot manage a campaign. The email snafu is an indicator, say some pundits. And if she can’t run a campaign, will she be able to manage an administration?

The second big news in the political scene is that Democratic Senator Menendez of New Jersey is facing indictment on charges of corruption, trading influence for gifts.

Andy Lack is returning to NBC News. Having built The Nightly News and Today into powerhouses, he departed NBC. They are now bringing him back to fix the mess they have. Today is trailing Good Morning America and we all know about Brian Williams.

Veteran actor Harrison Ford, of Star Wars and Indiana Jones fame, crash-landed a vintage World War II plane on a golf course in California yesterday. While he sustained injuries, he is expected to make a full recovery. He does seem accident-prone though.

Thankfully, I am not too accident-prone. The sun is slowly setting as I finish this; the world seems shades of brown outside my window. I am going online next to look at hotels in Delhi. It is only sixteen days until I leave.

Letter From New York 03 03 15 An interesting day, all in all…

March 3, 2015

Yesterday, I made the round trip to the city and back so I woke up at the Cottage again this morning where the temperature was nine degrees with a wind chill of zero. Starting about now, the weather will deteriorate and there will be snow, wind, sleet, the full panoply of winter delights. It is not supposed to be much better in the city but at least I won’t be trying to get here.

I have a few appointments this week, including picking up my Indian visa this afternoon after successfully [!] booking the flights I wanted to and from Delhi. Yesterday they were unavailable and today they were! I will leave New York on the 22nd and return on the 5th of April. My speech at the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, will be on the 29th. Before and after, I will spend some time with friends in Delhi and perhaps travel to Goa.

While going about my business this morning, my phone went off with alerts about Israel’s Netanyahu’s speech before Congress. He warned us not to make a “bad deal” with Iran, that they couldn’t be trusted. From reports I have read, it was an eloquent speech and may have been the most important in his life. Netanyahu is facing a tough election back at home and this certainly could give him a boost.

Or it might all backfire.

Certainly there has never been a time when Israel’s relations with the US were so fraught. Netanyahu’s opponent has been making points at home by indicating that Netanyahu’s tweaking his nose at President Obama is causing trouble.

The political exegesis of today will go on for days and will be great to watch.

While Netanyahu was addressing Congress, President Obama was on a video call with Hollande of France, Merkel of Germany, and Prime Minister Cameron of the UK to discuss the crisis in Ukraine.

General Petraeus, once a military legend in his lifetime, resigned in shame from the CIA in 2012 after the revelation of an extramarital affair with his biographer. He also shared some classified information with her. Today, he pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge, agreed to pay a $40,000 fine and will escape jail time.

It was also revealed today that Hillary Clinton used a private email address as opposed to a State Department email while Secretary of State and may have broken rules in doing so. I am sure this will fuel the fire at Fox News. The Washington Post has declared that she is her own worst enemy. Perhaps that is true of both Hillary and Bill Clinton.

In just three days, the Department of Homeland Security once again faces the possibility of being out of money. However, it appears that Boehner will allow a “clean” bill [without anything about Obama’s Executive Order on immigration in it] to reach the House floor. The Tea Party wing is enraged but the bill has a good chance of passing.

At this moment, 2:33 PM, oil is trading higher and the market lower. Clashes in Libya are spooking the oil market while the markets are pulling back from yesterday’s NASDAQ high.

The Supreme Court tomorrow will look at four words in the Affordable Health Care Act. Their interpretation of the meaning may gut Obamacare by making it unconstitutional for the Federal Government to offer subsidies to the poor for health care. The Court may determine that only States are able to offer subsidies. If that is way the ball rolls up to seven million Americans in as many as 37 states will lose their health care subsidies.

Andrew Lack guided NBC News in the halcyon days when both The Nightly News and Today rose to new heights. He brought in Brian Williams to groom him to replace Tom Brokaw. Apparently, he is being wooed to return to NBC News to help them straighten out the mess they’ve fallen into, at least that’s the rumor around Mediaville.

Today has been light on global reports. What’s been happening here in the US has been fascinating, what with “Bibi” Netanyahu stirring the pot in Washington and Hillary having found herself with another “situation,” the Supreme Court about to make what might be its most momentous decision as well as General Petraeus’ foibles.

An interesting day, all in all.