Wednesday, August 31, 2016

It's Harbaugh Time in AnnHarbuagh: Predictions for the 2016 Michigan Football Season

It’s Harbaugh Time; Everyday is Harbaugh Time thanks to Junior, Jed York, who couldn’t tolerate a winning coach on his parents 49ers. Harbaugh’s successor, Jim Tonsula, was canned after the 2015 season as Junior returned the 49ers to their decades of futility, broken only by the Bill Walsh – George Seifert years. James Joseph Harbaugh gets more press time than most college and pro coaches – more press time than seemingly Nick Saban and Les Miles and all the other SEC coaches combined, more press time than Urban Meyer and the other Big coaches combined. However, as Bo said “It’s the Team, the Team, the Team!” No coach, no player is larger than The Team. It’s time for the team, Team in the history of Michigan football. James Joseph Harbaugh knows that. The media doesn’t. All Harbaugh has to do is surpass last year’s 10-3 season. Expectations are high this year. Magazines rank Michigan as high as #5. Fans are salivating over a possible title game. Last year I viewed a 9-3 season as excellent, the most we could hope for, but 8-4 would be more realistic. The possible loses would be Utah, Michigan State, and Ohio State, and that’s how it played out. It should have been 10-2, but the Curse of Sparty pulled out the most unbelievable, unimaginable, bizarre, sickening last second victory. The best way to view the game ender is to watch an incredible Lego 3-D reproduction (Just Google Lego Michigan-Michigan State). Michigan was blown away 42-13 in the final season game by Ohio State, showing both that the Wolverines weren’t quite back yet, and that they lacked sufficient depth on the lines. They were physically beat up by the end of the season, just as in recent years. They recovered to crush Florida n the Citrus Bowl. The last time Michigan was ranked 5th preseason was 2007. They proceeded to lose the opener 34-32 to Appalachian State, followed by a 39-7 shellacking by Oregon. The Appalachian State loss marked the end of 4 decades of football excellence by Bo and his proteges, Mo and Lloyd. Lloyd Carr retired at the end of the season, winning the Citrus Bowl over Florida. Rich Rodrigues, otherwise an excellent coach, lasted three embarrassing years (see John Bacon, “Three and Out”). Brady Hoke started 11-2, winning the Sugar Bowl, and raising expectations. It was not meant to be as the Wolverines descended into mediocrity. Very few Michigan players were drafted by the NFL during this period. From a personal perspective the 8 year descend ended the 10-15 year wait for season tickets. I now have season tickets. 9-3 is the starting point for this year. Harbaugh proved at the University of San Diego, Stanford, and the 49ers that he can turn losers into winners. Every starter has to earn his position. Harbaugh has shown an ability to mold quarterbacks. He wins with smash mouth football, bringing back the fullback and tight ends. He is a tenacious, relentless recruiter, having landed the number one recruit in the nation. He says 15 freshmen may play this season rather than being redshirted. Several players on this team are expected to play on Sundays, unlike recent years. If there is a weakness, it is, as has been the case for 8 years, the offensive line. The running game will not open up without consistent good blocking. The defense was the 4th best nationally in 2015. The defensive coordinator left to coach Maryland. Harbaugh replaced him with Dan Brown, a highly respected defensive coordinator, who coached Boston College last year to the nation’s best defense. Is the title game possible? Both Jim Tressel and Urban Meyer at Ohio State won the national title in their second year. It’s possible, but will take some luck and a lack of major injuries. 10-2 would be excellent this year. Penn State and Wisconsin can be tough games, but they are at home. The three most possible losses are Iowa, Michigan State and Ohio State, all on the road. If Michigan beats all three, it should be in the championship playoffs. Both Michigan State and Ohio state are reloading. 15 Buckeyes were drafted by the NFL. However, Urban Meyer is a great coach and the Buckeyes are always loaded. Mark Dantonio has also proven to be a great coach at Michigan State. He doesn’t get the highest ranked recruits, but he steels the players in his winning image. Iowa has a habit of being the Wolverines in Iowa City. 10-2 or 11-1 regular season.

Friday, August 12, 2016

The Answer to a Donald Trump Victory is in the Bloomberg Poll!

The key to a Trump Victory is in the August 2016 Bloomberg Poll (Study #2142). 68% of Americans say the country is headed in the wrong track. Governor Clinton’s mantra in 1992 was “It’s the economy, stupid.” Governor Ronald Reagan asked in 1980 “Are you better off today than 4 years ago?” The answer was a clear “No!” with mortgage rates at 15.5% Mayor Michael Bloomberg has endorsed Secretary Hillary Clinton for President. Doesn’t matter The poll shows Secretary Clinton leading Donald Trump by 6%, a shrinking margin from other polls. That’s irrelevant. 68% of Americans say America is on the wrong track. Their concerns are economic and employment, or rather, unemployment. Most Americans are worse off than 8 years ago. They recognize that a Clinton Administration will be 4 more years of the same. Stay on Track! Are you better off than 8 years ago? It’s the economy, stupid! Forget the Judge Curiels and the Kahns. Forget the sarcasm and hyperbole! It’s the economy! Forget the urge to punch back. Forget Megyn Kelly and Hugh Hewitt. It’s the economy – not side issues. Forget about the election being rigged or crooked. It will only matter if the election is close, which it isn't now. Are you better off than 8 years ago? Stay on track! 48% blame Democrats for the wrong track versus 22% for Republicans. The 68% is your target. The 48% is your target. Even the 48% will probably win the election for you. All Americans are your target. 17% believe jobs and unemployment is the biggest issue with 13% choosing a real decline in income for the American people. Those are your issues. 14% are worried about terrorism. That will blow up again before the election. Wait until then. China and world trade tie into your message. That should be the winning issue in the Rust Belt. Immigration ties into it because of the resulting unemployment for Americans. Forget Hillary’s emails, for now. Either more will come out, or not! If nothing else emerges, you would have wasted valuable time. If something does emerge, then that’s the time, but always switch back to the economy. Don’t spend time on gun control. You have the gun rights vote. They will turn out to vote for you in the swing states. The press dumps on you? Use it to get back to your arguments about the economy. Don’t sound like a whiner. America wants a leader – not a whiner. Be smart – not stupid. Don’t let them bait you. Stay disciplined, stay on message. The election is still yours to win – not Hillary’s despite the polls. Ignore the Bill Clinton sex scandals unless they attack your personal life. The media will continue to dump on you. Don’t sound like a whiner in confronting them. As long as the media dumps on you, you are the message – a negative message. You have 90 days, an eternity in politics, to hammer home the message. “We will make America better, we will make you better in 4 years.” Be disciplined; stay on track, and you win. Use the “we.” Involve others. It’s the economy. Period!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

The Leaning Tower of Frisco

The Leaning Tower of Frisco San Francisco has many distinguished and famous buildings. The City Hall dome towers 43’ over the Capitol’s. President Warren G. Harding died in Room 8064 of the (Sheraton) Palace Hotel on August 2, 1923. The United Nations was founded in San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House on April 25, 1945. There’s the Palace of Fine Arts, the Palace of the Legion of Honor and the Painted Ladies by Alamo Square. The Ferry Building is a classic – much nicer since the Greyhound Busses pulled out decades ago. The City boosts of the iconic Transamerica Pyramid. The beautiful Golden Gate Bridge is associated with The City by the Bay. Now comes a new entry onto the list: The Leaning Tower of Frisco. I grew up in San Francisco. I know you’re not supposed to call it Frisco, but what do you want? “The Leaning Tower of Bagdad by the Bay”? “The Leaning Tower of SOMA”? “The Leaning Tower of South of the Slot”? “The Leaning Tower of 301 Mission Street?” “The Billion Dollar Leaning Tower?” “The Leaning Tower of Broken Glass?” (Not yet, but when the Big One comes) “The Leaning Tower Which Makes Lawyers Rich?” “The Leaning Tower Which is Daring Liquefaction?” “The Sinking Tower of San Francisco?” The Leaning Tower of Frisco is technically the Millennium Tower, a 60 story. 645’ high residential building offering 419 condominiums, which were running between $1.6 million and $10 million. The Millennium Tower is sinking and leaning on fill. Start at the Ferry Building and either walk up Market Street or California Street until you reach Montgomery. You have walked on loose fill. San Francisco Bay went up to Montgomery Street until the 49ers came (the real 49ers, not the expatriate football team). The 49ers disembarked from their sailing ships as soon as they reached San Francisco heading for the gold. They were almost instantly followed by the ships’ crews. About the only thing to do with the abandoned ships was to sink them in the Bay, creating San Francisco’s downtown. It’s all fill with a high risk of liquefaction. The concrete and glass colossus is built on concrete slabs and piles which go down 80.’ That’s 120’ short of bedrock. That’s 120’ of sand and wooden ships. It saved money – then – not now. The construction crews encountered mud holes during construction. Their solution was to pour cement and gravel into the mud holes. That seems to have been as effective as the builders of the ill-fated Teton Dam in Idaho 4 decades ago. They kept finding major cracks in the in the rock formations, the foundation for the dam. Their failed response was to pour a seemingly infinite amount of grout into the cracks. Watch the Millennium Tower go slip-sliding away, down to sea level. In the meantime, It’s sinking, just like the New Orleans levee system built on loose soil. Buildings that massive can cause subsidence. The building’s developers estimated a 6’ subsidence over the building’s lifetime. It has sunk 16 inches in 8 years, while also tilting 2 inches. Slip, sliding away! So too may be many investors in the building’s condos The San Andreas Fault is overdue. Construction began on the Leaning Tower of Pisa in 1173 and was completed in 1372, two centuries later. It started leaning almost immediately, being built on loose sub-soil. One of the mysteries of history is who designed the Leaning Tower of Pisa? No one put their name on it. We know who designed and built the Millennium Tower. Their names are on a ton of documents. We know, and lawyers know. St. Francis of Assisi cannot save this one. Neither can Pope Francis.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Relax: There's Still 96 Days Till Election Day

The media, having excoriated Donald Trump for weeks, now says the Republican Party is panicking. The media is hyperventilating; they’re writing an intervention will occur. They’re now saying he’s crazy. They’re highlighting the defectors from the Republican Camp. They're practically dancing on Trump's political grave. Warren Buffett was campaigning in Nebraska with Hillary Clinton. Where’s the news in that? He’s been a long time Clinton supporter who argues we need to raise taxes (His are sheltered). Jeffrey Inmelt, Chair of GE, is reported to be a Republican, but GE is highly dependent on government contracts in some of its products such that he has been a shill for the Obama Administration. It’s called “crony capitalism.” Meg Whitman, a Silicon Valley billionaire, ran for Governor of California as a Republican. She now says she is not only endorsing Hillary Clinton, but will contribute to her campaign. Meg Whitman, whatever her many accomplishments, ran a mediocre campaign for Governor. The latest polls show the Democrat up by 10%. Trump’s statements about Judge Curiel and the Khans have been damaging. They have diverted attention from his primary arguments: Clinton’s untruthfulness, the economy, trade, and immigration. Much of the mainstream media is now totally in the Clinton camp, but that’s no surprise. The New York Times is increasingly trivializing itself. Yesterday it ran a front page article, essentially saying Donald trump was a draft dodger during Vietnam. Here’s yesterday’s headline: “Seemingly Fit, Trump Avoided Vietnam Draft.” He received 4 student deferments, and then a 1-S (a medical classification short of the IV-F) for heel spurs, apparently based on a doctor’s notes. I received a IV-F, which meant I was physically not qualified for the draft. The IV-F was due to asthma. I am a chronic asthmatic. I received the classification based up the doctors’ files. Selective Service could have required me to undergo a physical, but didn’t.. Selective Service could have required the young Donald Trump to go through a physical, but they apparently didn’t. That’s not the problem with the New York Times. Let’s go back to the 1992 New Hampshire primary when Governor Bill Clinton was accused of being a draft dodger. The record showed he was. He had 4 student deferments, but would have been subject to the draft after graduating. No deferment would be issued for a Rhodes Scholar. He was reclassified I-A, which meant he was due to be inducted fairly soon. Instead, he signed up for the ROTC. Then he got lucky. The Selective Service lottery system was adopted. His number was 311, which meant he was fairly immune form induction. His response was to kiss ROTC goodbye He reneged on his signed agreement. This is what the New York Times wrote in 1992: “Bill Clinton, who despised the Vietnam War ‘with a depth of feeling I had reserved solely for racism,’ may or may not have exposed himself to actual risks of induction. But to single him out as some sort of devious draft-dodger does him, and the anguish of Vietnam, an injustice.” The New York Times had no problem with Vice President Joe Biden’s 5 student deferments and even begrudgingly with Vice President Dick Cheney’s 5 student deferments. Donald Trump must understand the Media will flyspect every second of his life and every word he utters while giving Hillary Clinton a pass. He has to know that. He needs to show some discipline. No more winging it! No more flippant remarks! Keep to his 3-4 main points: Change, Change, Change, and Change. Stop being a New York street fighter through November. His fight is with Clinton-Obama, not fellow Republicans. Relax. There’s 96 days till the election. Polls go up and down. There’s ebbs and tides in a campaign. The Clinton Campaign is trying to keep her muzzled except for trashing Trump. She can’t run on President Obama’s record. She can’t run on her accomplishments. She can’t run on her personality. She, and they, have to demonize Trump. Sometime in the next 96 days she will say something so arrogant, so stupid, so insulting to the American people that the media will have to cover it. Sometime in the next 96 days she will tell so monstrous a lie, so offensive a lie, that even the bury will not be able to ignore it. Let Hillary be Hillary. She will resurrect the Trump Campaign even if he can’t. Sometime in the next 96 days more bad news about the economy will emerge. Most of all, sometime in the next 96 days an external event will occur, such as a terrorist attack in the United States, that the American people will turn to Trump.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Hillary Clinton and Al Gore: Two Peas in a Pod?

Hillary Clinton and Al Gore have so much in common. Al Gore was President Clinton’s Vice President for 8 years. He won the democratic nomination for President in 2000 to succeed President Clinton. Al Gore was the anointed successor to President Clinton. Florida, Tennessee and West Virginia got in the way. Had he won any one of the three, he would have become President instead of Governor George W. Bush. He lost because of history. The last two sitting vice presidents to be elected President were George H. W. Bush in 1988 and Martin Van Buren in 1836. Both were defeated for reelection. It seems that VP’s receive little of the credit, but a lot of the displeasure for the President they served under. President Clinton had a ton of negatives by 2000, including personal scandals, the dot.com bust, and questionable pardons. Al Gore lost Florida because of the Cuban-American vote. President Clinton had heavily armed federal officials snatch Elian Gonzalez from his Florida relatives and sent him back to Cuba, outraging the Cuban refugee community. They took it out on the Vice president. The VP could never find the proper balance of running with President Clinton while distancing himself. Secretary Clinton is not President Obama’s Vice president, and has not been his Secretary of State for four years. However, she has wrapped herself around President Obama as his successor to carry on his policies. She’s running for a third Obama term. Second, neither Hillary nor Al won office in their own right. Both stepped in family shoes. Al Gore, Jr.’s path was paved by his popular, populist father Al Gore, Sr., who served 14 years in the house and 18 years in the Senate. Hillary Clinton’s political career was paved by her husband. She could but have started her political career without following her husband. Third, neither Hillary Clinton nor Al Gore is an engaging public speaker. Of course, eloquence by itself is not a determinative factor in measuring a presidency. If it were, President Obama would be the greatest president in American history. Fourth, neither one can create excitement in their own right. Fifth, neither is bound by the truth. Secretary Clinton never stops lying. Al Gore invented the internet and left inconvenient facts out of his “An Inconvenient Truth.” Sixth, and most significant, neither is secure in themselves. The Vice President had to hire an image consultant to tell him how to dress and present himself. He was never his natural self, whatever or whoever he may be. A web site existed while Governor Bill Clinton was running for President and during his early years in the White House. It was www.hillaryshair.com. She was constantly changing her hair then, just as she has been changing her dress style these days. She cannot find a personal comfort zone. As to her hair, she became a blond. The rumor was that she changed from brunette to blond once she realized her husband, the lothario, was especially attracted to long-legged blonds. She couldn’t do anything about her legs, but she could change her hair color.