Week of March 3
Sochi will be remembered for by visitors for the hospitality and fine facilities at least as much as for the fine athletic competitions. After a day of watching triple axels on ice and cork-9's on snow, spectators returned to their hotel rooms to face the double toilet. The lucky ones came prepared.
Bring a Commode
[ King of the Road ]
Week of February 24
Once again, Ukraine is without a president. After the ever-popular president Viktor Yanukovych fled the capital Saturday, the parliament voted to remove him and hold new elections. Yanukovych knows what that feels like. In 2004, his initial electoral win was quickly reversed when he was accused of rigging the results and poisoning his adversary, Viktor Yushchenko.
There Is Nothing Like Ukraine
[ There Is Nothin' Like a Dame ]
From the album Four More Years in the Bush Leagues (2005).
Week of February 17
The war on terror at home and abroad got some unexpected help last week. At a terrorist camp in Iraq, a suicide-bomb trainer accidentally killed himself and 21 recruits while demonstrating with live explosives. After the explosion, security forces also found at least a dozen wounded militants, seven car bombs, several explosive belts, and an unknown number of shoes.
[ Sh-Boom ]
From the album When Bush Comes to Shove (2002).
Week of February 10
Russia is such a land of sport, romance, and hospitality that Vladimir Putin couldn't let protests or glitches interfere with the symbolism he wanted to project at the Sochi Olympics. And even though President Obama stayed home in order to snub Putin, Mitt Romney is a big admirer. Maybe if Romney had won in 2012, he'd be over there talking about how he saved the Salt Lake City Olympics or trying to offer advice on security or balancing a $51 billion budget while cutting back on corruption. But Vlad likes to do things his own way.
Putin on a Blitz (Sochi Edition)
[ Puttin' on the Ritz ]
See live performance video on YouTube.
Week of February 3
What city could possibly compete with Washington when it comes to scandal? New York gave it a try when not one, but two of our favorite politicians tried to redeem themselves and return to office: Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer. Despite losing, Spitzer has begun dipping his toes into public life again. And last week Weiner stepped forward to offer public relations advice to Michael Grimm, a Congressman who got in trouble with his pants on.
Week of January 27
Chris Christie isn't worried that the Fort Lee bridge scandal will hurt his standing or his political future. In fact, the New Jersey governor thinks it shows just how effective he could be as president, as he recently explained...
London Bridge is Shutting Down
[ London Bridge ]
Week of January 20
In his speech last week on NSA surveillance, President Obama stressed that he doesn't want to spy on "ordinary" Americans. Or even on "ordinary" foreigners. At least not any more, or not on purpose, or something like that. We're not quite sure. He was vague about when changes would take place ("not overnight" and maybe when he builds a "broad consensus" with Congress), so you had still better watch out.
I'll Be Watching You
[ Every Breath You Take ]
See live performance video on YouTube.
Week of January 13
Iran has had a change of heart, giving itself over to the charms of Secretary of State John Kerry and agreeing to new terms for a nuclear deal. Iran claims all outstanding issues have been resolved in order for long-running sanctions to be lifted. Now all Kerry has left to do is convince a skeptical Congress to go along.
Stand By Iran
[ Stand By Your Man ]
Week of January 6
Guess which country takes over the rotating presidency of the European Union as of January 1st? Whose turn is now it to lead Europe out of financial crisis and recession? For the next six months, it's the country where it all began: Greece!
Greece! The Musical
[ Grease ]