Overnight Briefing & General Reality Check - Jan 4, 2013
January 4, 2013
The President at play:
PRESIDENT OBAMA used an "autopen" this week to sign the bill that avoids --for now-- the fiscal cliff. Hence, there was no signing ceremony, since the president had returned to Hawaii.
There's always been some question as to whether using an autopen is legal. President Obama has used it three times, and a 2005 Justice Department opinion supports its use. (Pacelli)
The First Family at play:
So where exactly does the First Family hang out and relax when they're in Hawaii? U.S. News has posted a photo spread of the gorgeous digs that PRESIDENT OBAMA, his wife and kids use from time to time on Kailua Beach.
For obvious security reasons, it's not revealed which exact home(s) the Obama's rent from time to time. The Obamas pay for the rentals, which run about $25-thousand dollars a week. (Pacelli)
What's the Buzz:
When a customer at a Tim Hortons coffee shop in Canada decided to pay for the order of the car behind him in the drive-thru line, he unknowingly sparked three hours of pay-it-forward holiday season giving.
The Dec 21 chain reaction involved 228 customers paying for the people behind them. Indoor customers got into the fun too, when they heard what was going on in the drive-thru line.
"There was a lot of energy in the store," says the general manager. "Our team was really excited and shouting out the number of pay it forwards all morning."
Tim Hortons had itself been engaged in a similar campaign: As part of its "Random Cups of Kindness" week, the stores would periodically pay for the tabs of random customers.
Editor's note: So here I was going thru the drive-thru and they told me I was number 229.
--Welcome to "Socialist" Canada, where people take care of each other.
--Gotta love the Canucks. Even at the end of a sentence they give you an extra word for free, eh. (Maiman)
Broadcast, cable and video news:
You'll like this: CBS is letting viewers decide how an upcoming episode of "Hawaii Five-0" will end.
They've shot three alternate endings for the whodunit, and after Steve McGarrett and the crew interview the suspects in the killing, the viewers at home will be able to vote at CBS.com or on Twitter for which one of the three pulled off the crime.
The show takes place Mon, Jan 14, and because they've shot three endings for the show, there could be a different ending on the West Coast, where the show will air three hours later, and therefore will not be just a re-run.
And if you're really into it, the three different endings will all be available at CBS.com after the show's over.
Stars and their movies:
Looks like disgruntled French actor GERARD DIEPARDIEU will be taking his big nose to Russia. As you may remember, Gerard wrote an open letter to the government of France, saying he was renouncing his citizenship after they raised the taxes to 75 percent for people --like Gerard-- who pulled in more than a million Euros a year. In response, France's Prime Minister, JEAN-MARC AYRAULT, that decision "shabby".
So now, Gerard says he'll be living in Russia, which he calls "a great democracy," after Russian President VLADIMIR PUTIN personally signed a decree granting him citizenship. "I love your country, Russia --its people, its history, its writers. I love your culture, your intelligence," Gerard said yesterday.
In case you were wondering, Russia has a flat 13 percent personal income tax rate. Fiscal cliff? Not in Russia!
Grace notes from Vinny Marino:
The photographer who was killed while chasing JUSTIN BIEBER's car apparently lied about seeing the singer smoking pot. TMZ says a source close to Justin claims CHRIS GUERRA stalked and harassed Justin, following his every move, 24 hours a day. Bieber's people say Justin was at the Four Seasons hotel in Los Angeles, and only left to grab chicken and waffles at Roscoe's for lunch. There was no pot in the car, or a pipe to smoke it with as Chris had insisted to a friend just hours before the photographer was struck and killed near the 405 freeway. (Marino)
However, E! Online claims CHRIS GUERRA was a nice guy who never gave anyone any problems: "He never wanted to piss off anybody, was nice to all the celebrities and paps. He never had a problem with any guys. He was not your ordinary mosquito. He wasn't a crazy pap. He would just get too excited." (Maiman)
Editor's note: And this, children, is why we don't play in traffic.
--"Never wanted to piss off anybody"? By constantly following them around and taking pictures of them? Making that your career? I think that might tick off more than a few people, even if you didn't exactly intend to tick off anyone.
Let's not have some tired old paparazzi discussion, but I think we can be sorry about a human being's death, and a young one's at that, while also still recognizing that "he was nice to all the celebrities" is sort of a B-S thing to say when we're talking about people who follow cars down highways and take photos of what they think are their traffic stops in order to catch them smoking weed, as Guerra thought he was. That doesn't sound very "nice" to me.
--Giving his life to photograph Justin Bieber's car. How's that for a legacy?
--Philosophical question: If you take pictures of a paparazzo getting hit by a car, does the gossip rag buy them? (Maiman)
By the way, Chris's claim that SELENA GOMEZ was with Justin at the hotel on New Year's Day was also found to be a lie. The on-again/off-again couple were in Mexico on December 30th, but had yet another fight and split up. Selena took off the same day, and Justin flew to L.A. on the 31st. They haven't seen each other since. (Marino)
The Ross Brittain Report has been perfected by Ross and his award winning writers to provide customizable show prep every weekday morning. To see why it's one of the most important show prep services in the US, or for a free two week trial, please contact us using the contact info below in the "About The Author" section.