1. Barack Obama Smokes. And he is not alone. In fact, some of the professional golfers on the PGA Tour smoke, though they will not be allowed to smoke at this year's US Open, as it has been officially banned indoors and out. I hope that Barack is able to kick the habit, and I applaud him for dealing with it openly, as opposed to that other guy ("I never inhaled").
2. Tax Rebate Checks Stimulate Spending. Really? Okay, I've read and heard this story 10 times today: US Retail Sales Surge... Stimulus Checks Bolster Retail Sales... We're talking New York Times and Wall Street Journal here. But hold your horses. Spending jumped a whole 1 percent and there is no factual, scientific evidence linking stimulus checks to the spending. And oh by the way, the price of gas and food and clothing are all up beyond that magical 1 percent. Is anyone doing the math on this stuff?
3. Sorry, We're Closed. The International Council of Shopping Centers predicts that 5,770 stores nationwide will likely close by the end of the year (the highest number since 2004). Someone should tell the guys who are writing about the healing power of the stimulus checks. Did you know that Walmart has more than 150,000 employees across Mexico? Maybe there are just too many retail stores in the world.
4. It Still Ain't Easy Being Green. New research shows that the environment is taking a back seat to the economy. The Imagepower Green Brands Survey results have some social researchers questioning the motivations of businesses and consumers going green. Sounds like we might not be hearing from Ed Begley for another 10 years.
5. NBA Refs Fixing Games... Say It Ain't So, Joe. What a funny world we live in. Cheating (suspected or real) has been a part of professional sports from the beginning; so why is anyone surprised? And whether it is organized or random or an entire team or an individual, it is never right and never acceptable. But it is also not a surprise.
6. We're Gonna Need A Bigger TV. Companies are rushing (behind the scenes) to convert your TV set into a Social Media Center (SMTV... I said it first). I must admit that the idea of watching LOST or House or Top Chef while chatting with my nerd and geek friends about what's happening or what's about to happen in real time is almost too much to ask for. But it is going to happen (it better happen). There's just one problem, we're all going to need bigger TVs.