IRAQ AND A HARD PLACE: The US is watching years of sacrifice, casualties, and money swirl down the drain, as militant forces continue to destabilize Iraq and capture critical cities outside Baghdad. Things have gotten so bad that we’re actually talking to Iran, a country we were considering bombing just a few short months ago, about security concerns in the region. On the one hand, we can do nothing and let things happen as they will; on the other hand, no one wants to create another Taliban-led Afghanistan in the region. Secretary of State John Kerry is trying to rally support during this foreign policy crisis, but other countries are wisely giving him a wink and a “good luck” rather than any serious help.
THE OTHER WAR: Meanwhile, far away from the Middle East, countries are battling each other to prove that their people are better than your people, at least when it comes to kicking a small ball into a net. Yes, the World Cup is on, and the US is already off to a good start. We have beaten long-time nemesis Ghana, a country whose major export was blood diamonds before a major oil field was discovered off its coast; and tied Portugal, a country whose last major accomplishment was in the 1600s.
BEZOS IS SMART: Word leaked this week that Amazon has been developing a smart phone with 3-D image capabilities, all without the need for those wacky paper glasses. In a Steve Jobs move, the product is expected to be introduced by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. People talk about Google invading your life, but Amazon is quickly becoming a presence in almost every aspect of your daily activities. It’s only a matter of time before it’s the only retailer in the world. The 4-D world, that is.
'SKINS GAME: There was a huge deal made over the US Patent and Trademark Office ruling last week that the Redskins should lose their trademark, since it disparages Native Americans. But the team didn’t really lose much. Its common law rights are intact, and the team can still sue for selling counterfeit Washington Redskins gear and stop anyone from using the name for other teams. In other words, all it means is that the Redskins will have to pay more in attorney fees if a case ever comes up. Which means owner Dan Snider can continue to ignore everyone who wants him to change the name.
RUPERT'S OPEN DOOR: Naturalized citizen and News Corp. head Rupert Murdoch came out in favor of immigration reform last week. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed that was long on sentiment and short on thinking, Murdoch — a big fan of cheap labor, as witnessed by his union-busting in the UK — said that the “individuals who are already here” should be given a path to citizenship if they meet the usual laundry list of qualifications. Like most immigration advocates, Murdoch has no plan for implementing any such system, preventing future border crossings, or convincing those already here not to bring their relatives, as Murdoch himself has done.
DRESSES UP, SCHWEITZER DOWN: Former Montana governor Brian Schweitzer shot down any chances at national office last week. In a bizarre interview with the National Journal, he said Sen. Dianne Feinstein "was the woman who was standing under the streetlight with her dress pulled all the way up over her knees, and now she says, 'I'm a nun,' when it comes to this spying!" He also hinted that recently deposed House leader Eric Cantor was gay. He later apologized, and promised that he would no longer do interviews during Happy Hour.