---How bad is the tourism business in Hawaii, which has been clobbered by airline cutbacks as well as the miserable economy? According to OAG, the total number of scheduled airline seats to Hawaii is down 16.2 percent during the period from December through February, compared with the same period a year ago. Great hotel bargains in Hawaii, if you can get there.
---Speaking of hotels, President-elect Obama and his family just moved into the swank but very public Hay-Adams Hotel across from the White House so the kids could start school on time in Washington. The Obamas were not allowed to bunk at Blair House, the official residence across from the White House (and within the White House tight security zone.) The Bush people say that Blair House is "booked" and unavailable to the new president. Now, my regard is, let's say, limited for the so-called Washington press corps (they love that word "corps," like the Radio City Rockettes) -- but still, why haven't any of them demanded an answer to the obvious question: "Booked" for what? Who the hell is using Blair House all these days and nights, and what for, and at what cost? How is this any different5 from doling out the Lincoln Bedroom? Looks to me like party-time for the exiting Bushies and their pals takes precedence over security and a degree of convenience for the new president. Party on!
---BIG nationwide fare sale announced today by Southwest Airlines, for travel Jan. 15-April 30. Airlines have been piling up cash with the bonanza in collapsing oil prices, but most of them are still adding water to the proverbial soup and jacking up customers with higher fares. Let's hope some of them follow Southwest's example. And they may, because the front-office folks are looking very nervously at the numbers that show air-travel demand falling off a cliff, with no sign yet that it'll recover after the normal post-holiday slack period. This is not going to be pretty.
---Am I the only one who thinks the American-TV version of "The Office" totally sucks, except for Rainn Wilson's brilliant Dwight Schrute and a couple of the minor supporting characters? And while we're on the subject of entertainment, I admit Tropic Thunder was a movie for cracked 14-year-olds (I liked it enough, but my wife left the room). But Tom Cruise's performance as the fat, foul-mouthed, crypto-psychotic studio chief was hilarious. Don't count that guy out.