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Names making news — and generating opinions:
MIKE PENCE. The Veep fooled no one Sunday. He calculatingly attended the Colts-49ers game in Indianapolis just long enough to stage a walkout as soon as San Francisco players knelt during the national anthem. Pence knew — as we all did — that the Niners lead the league in kneeling. His transparent headline-grabbing ploy was a failure.
DIANNE FEINSTEIN. The California Democrat, 84, confirmed Monday that she will seek a fifth full term in the Senate. Feinstein’s an asset to progressive causes and a fierce advocate of gun control, but her decision to run again might finally trigger a long overdue debate about age and term limits in government. The Congress, the Supreme Court and the White House are populated by septuagenarians. It’s time to take a serious look at how age affects ability to serve.
HARVEY WEINSTEIN. Dumping the Hollywood mogul from the company bearing his name isn’t the story. The issue the entertainment industry must confront is how so many — in media and covering media — were long aware of Weinstein’s horrid sexual misconduct and kept mum.
BARACK OBAMA. The former president, still the nation’s greatest living hero in the eyes of many, needs to be more careful about accepting huge speaking fees and profiting too handsomely, too quickly, from his time in office. Taking $400,000 or more for a speech might be a sterling example of free enterprise, but it’s bad optics for Democrats in the Age of Trump to be dialing for dollars.
LARRY DAVID. Happily his “Curb Your Enthusiasm” series is back on HBO. But after two episodes it’s clear that the f-word quotient has increased dramatically. The series has always dropped a few choice f-bombs — from Jeff’s nasty wife Suzie, or Larry’s live-in bud Leon — and that was dandy. But the new season offers a cascade of foul language that takes it too far. Larry: your pal Jerry Seinfeld works clean; you can tone it down.
JERRY BROWN. California’s governor continues to blaze a trail for other states to follow. He’s just signed the nation’s most comprehensive legislation aimed at helping consumers deal with prescription drug prices. Under the law, drug companies must give advance notice of price hikes — and explain the need for increases.
JASON ALDEAN. Making a surprise appearance on “Saturday Night Live,” the country singer, who was on stage when the shooting started in Las Vegas Oct. 1, gave a respectful tribute to the Vegas victims. The next morning he returned to Nevada to visit the injured in hospitals.
CALEEB KEETER. The guitarist in Aldean’s group made an even bigger contribution to easing the nation’s pain when he announced his views about the Second Amendment had changed. A lifelong backer of gun rights, Keeter declared: “I cannot express how wrong I was.”
NATE. This guy gave us a break. In what has been a devastating season of tropical storms, it was a relief to see at least one hurricane pull its punch.
Peter Funt is a writer and speaker. His book, “Cautiously Optimistic,” is available at Amazon.com and CandidCamera.com.