Friday, December 31, 2010

Progostications for 2012

It is the best of times

It is the worst of times

It is Obama time

Which will it be in 2012?

If the election were held today, the Republicans would win in a landslide. However, two years is an eternity in politics. Hence predictions in 2010 as to the 2012 elections will lack the certitude of Nostradamus.

President Obama will face a primary opponent, if he seeks reelection, most likely Senator Feingold, Governor Howard Dean, Secretary of State Clinton, or someone nobody thought of.

If the economy is the same in two years as today, President Obama cannot get reelected. The economy should be in better shape then. If not, we will all be in trouble.

If inflation, and high interest rates are unleashed, as with President Carter, President Obama will be well advised to retire gracefully.

President Obama may pull an LBJ and decide not to run for reelection.

If she seeks the republican nomination, Governor Palin will win. She connects with the public just as President Reagan. Governor Brown and President Carter both wanted Ronald Reagan as their opponent. They did not understand his ability to connect with Americans. Governor Palin has the same touch.

The Tea Party will be even stronger in 2012.

President Obama may get reelected, but the odds and the electoral college are against it.

He will once again carry the overwhelming African-American vote, as well as a substantial majority of the growing Hispanic vote, but the South will become The Solid South for the Republican nominee.

The youth vote will drop to normal percentages.

The left will hold its nose, and vote for the President, if they vote.

President Obama carried 28 states and the District of Columbia in 2008 for 365 electoral votes. Senator McCain carried 22 states with 173 votes. As a result of reapportionment, McCain’s numbers would have risen to 179 and Obama’s dropped to 359.
However, the only state carried by McCain, which could turn Democratic, is the swing state of Missouri with 10 votes. Conversely, the President risks losing Florida with 29, Indiana (10), North Carolina (16), Ohio (18) and Virginia (13). If he loses these five states, his reelection will be almost impossible. If Michigan votes Republican, the President loses.

The President is toying with the idea of once again running as an outsider. Let him; the rout will be on.

The President’s campaign staff, presumably David Axelrod in Chicago will convince him that’s a bad idea.

President Obama will discover, as many predecessors, the use of foreign policy as an escape from domestic problems, and a hostile Congress. Expect much more traveling from the President, to foreign countries, Hawaii and golf courses.

This effort will fail if he continues the policies of appeasement and apologies that marked his first two years.

President Obama was never good with the minutia of drafting legislation anyway.

If Americans continue to tune out President Obama, his oratorical skills will fall on deaf eyes and also doom reelection.

President Obama believes that the American opposition to his health care act, as well as the midterm elections, were the result of being unable to convey his message, that is, a failure to communicate. He gave scores of speeches on health care, with support steadily dropping.

Keep on speechifying!

Much of his message was to unsuccessfully demonize opponents, the Chamber of Commerce, big banks, insurance companies, doctors, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Fox News, Congressman John Boehner, and Senator Mitch McConnell.

Unless he learns to run a positive campaign, he will lose.

President Obama should replace several of his weaker cabinet members, but resists doing so either out of loyalty or his inability to admit a mistake. The President, in his own mind, is incapable of making a mistake.

Vice President Biden will utter a gaffe that even the media cannot ignore.

Several cabinet secretaries will spend most of their time testifying before the House.

A government shutdown will be threatened, but unlike Speaker Newt Gingrich’s 1995 government shutdown, but this time the onus will fall on the President.

Even with the power of the incumbency, the President and the Democrats will raise less money than the Republicans.

The Republicans will learn to master the new media.

Many newspapers will switch their endorsements to the Republicans.

Republicans will hold the House and regain control of the Senate.
Many senior, incumbent Democratic Congressmen and Senators will not stand for reelection. They cannot handle the loss of power, reduced fundraising, reapportionment, the coattails of an unpopular President, and the cutoff of earmarks.

The health care reform act will be emasculated, and then effectively repealed.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will become even more of an embarrassment to everyone except himself.

Former Speaker Pelosi will tire of flying commercial.

The Democrats will continue to overreach financially in California, but the state will remain blue.

Labor's political power will shrink from 2008 or 2010 levels..

George W. Bush’s reputation will continue to rise.

It's still the economy, stupid.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The 111th Congress Faded Into a Blizzard

The 111th Congress, the much despised 111th Congress, has packed its bags, licked its wounds, and scattered to the four winds as a Nor’easter of epic proportions struck the Atlantic seaboard.

D.C, of course, shut down. It can easily handle global warming, but a global freeze is beyond its infrastructure.

This Congress was no ordinary Congress. Its opinion polls are at a record low, approximating the 2 feet of snow in Brooklyn. This Congress may be departing D.C. in a sullen mood, but it should rejoice during this Holiday Season. The members, those with and without their heads after the November elections, should hold their heads high for all their accomplishments. This Congress fulfilled its expectations.

The 111th Congress is the third most transformative Congress since the Civil War and Reconstruction. FDR had his New Deal, and LBJ the Great Society. We’re not sure what President Obama and the 111th Congress was since it is the Congress of No Name. No name, no formal program, just transforming America into a European socialist society. Neither President Obama nor the Congressional leaders were willing to risk telling the American people their real plans. But we soon learned.

President Obama and the leftist leaders of Congress saw the 2008 elections as either a mandate from the voters or a once in a generation opportunity to transform the country. Either way, Congress had to act fast before the public caught on. For the first time since LBJ, Republicans lacked the votes in either the House or Senate to stop the Democratic agenda. Prosecutorial misconduct in Alaska and Senator Specter’s switch in Pennsylvania gave the Democrats a filibuster proof 60 votes in the Senate.

The opportunity was not to be missed for the young, ambitious President.

Under the guise of helping the battered economy, Congress enacted a non-stimulus, pork-ridden “Stimulus Act.” The 1419 page Bill, which had few “Ready to Shovel” projects in it, was primarily aimed at subsidizing state and local governments, their unions, and other political constituencies. Medicaid was also heavily subsidized by Congress as the costs were threatening to bankrupt state governments.

The Stimulus Bill was followed by the budget, containing another surplus of pork.

The rest of the first year was spent enacting the Obama Health Care Law, whatever that is. Speaker Pelosi said we would have to enact the Bill to know what’s in it. How right she was. The surprises contained in this 1990 page bill are coming out daily. Bart Stupak caved on abortion and wisely decided not to run for reelection.

The act also nationalized federal student loans.

Congress forgot or ignored President Clinton’s mantra, “It’s the economy, stupid.”

While the Democrats were transforming America, the economy was deteriorating. Congress further forgot that voters vote their pocketbooks.

Then came financial regulation, termed financial reform. The 2300 page bill was drafted by, and guided through Congress, by Congressman Barney Frank and Senator Chris Dodd. The irony is that Senator Dodd campaigned as a populist, but in the Senate served as a shill for financial institutions. He was also compromised by Countrywide mortgages. Congressman Frank had been a shill for Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac.

Congress may have failed to revive the economy, but being the party of trial lawyers, these thousand page statutes will serve as lawyers’ full employment acts for decades.

Unemployment finally stabilized at slightly under 10%.

The 111th was not a rubber stamp for the President – not at all. Congress balked at civilian trials, at least anywhere in the 50 states, for the prisoners at GITMO.
In its final weeks, it engaged in a blizzard of legislation. It Extended the Bush tax cuts, but added a veritable Christmas Tree of ornaments for special interests to it.

“Don’t ask, Don’t tell” was repealed, obtaining even Republican votes. The Senate approved the new Start Treaty, once again without knowing what it contained. For the Democrats, it was another step to unilateral disarmament.

One significant, but little noticed act, enacted by Congress in its final days will require ads on TV to be no louder than the shows.

The 111th Congress, the highly partisan 111th Congress, created more debt than all its predecessors combined. That may be its real legacy.

The 111th Congress accomplished much, ignorant of mush of what it enacted, but did not improve the Congress.

The 111th Congress was rejected by the voters. History will tell if it deserves its ignominy.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas and Welcome Home Governor Brown

Merry Christmas, Governor Brown. The previous governors and legislators have been so generous that they have dumped 28 billion lumps of coal on you. They used up all sort of gimmicks and tricks to hide the deficits, but they can’t fool the Grinch, the bond market.

Your state now ranks among the bluest of blue states.

That’s the good news.

Now comes the rude awakening.

With the possible exception of Illinois, California is now the reddest of states – at least $28 billion in the red.

California has the lowest credit rating of any state. Even the long suffering Louisiana has a better rating than California. California is tied with Michigan at 12.4% with the nation’s second highest unemployment rate. The legislature is close to destroying California’s greatest contribution to the world, the University of California. The moving van index shows more families moving out of California than moving in. For the first time since the 1920 census, California will not be gaining an additional Congressional seat.

And the legislature doesn’t get it. The leaders keep trying to raise staffers’ salaries. They keep looking to tax increases, euphemistically referred to as revenue enhancements, to balance the ever growing deficit.

The Governor and legislature reached a budget deal in early October, 100 days late, to solve the projected $19 billion deficit. The smoke and mirrors barely made it to the November elections.

Governor Schwarzenegger called on December 6 for a special session of the legislature to solve the state’s now $25 billion deficit. The California Legislature responded by holding perfunctory hearings and then adjourning on December 9 without scheduling further sessions. They refused to deal with the Governor’s suggestions.

The projected deficit now exceeds $28 billion over the next 18 months. It's greater than the combined spending on the state prisons, welfare and the University of California.

The Democrats may not be able to reads a balance sheet, but they can read a calendar. They have 45 days to act under state law, But Governor Brown will be sworn in on January 3, 2011. They are waiting for the new governor. Their time will not be idle though. They are re-examining every statute vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger to determine which ones to repass and send on to Governor Brown.

Sometimes you reap where you have sowed. One of the significant accomplishments of your first administration was to sign a law allowing public employee unions to engage in collective bargaining.

And they have. Excessive salaries, pensions, vacation days, holidays, personal days. Bell. The story is that 1/3 of all municipal workers in San Francisco earn over $100,000 annually.

Your political problem is that you spent little on your campaign, but the unions spent a fortune. You owe them!

The Democratic leaders of the state legislature love you; they can’t wait for your arrival.

And what are Governor Brown’s solutions to the budget deficits? He had none during the election campaign. He’s announced he’s sick of the band-aid approach which will not work anymore, but that’s it. He has said California is a rich state, and inferentially should be able to afford more. He has also said that everything “is on the table,” which is a code word for more taxes.

He promised though in the campaign that he will not raise taxes without voter approval. The assumption therefore is that he will propose draconian budget cuts, forcing the voters to approve substantial tax increases in a June special election.

He has proposed a $700,000 cut in the budget by eliminating the Office of Inspector General stating that it is duplicative of other offices. The office is occupied by Laura Chick, who is a tireless and effective advocate for eliminating waste and increasing efficiency in the state bureaucracy, and before that in Los Angeles.

That is not a good sign for California’s future.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Donde Esta La Nina?

Where is La Nina?

The forecast for this winter was La Nina, a drier than normal winter. La Nina would have added to California’s drought.

La Nina is missing. Her picture should be on milk cartons. We could issue an amber alert for her, but it would not be visible through the heavy rains. She’s been mugged by El Nino.

The rain was so heavy that satellite signals from Directv came through as pixels in modern art.

Swimming pools over flowed.

Outdoor malls suffered from a dearth of customers.

Disneyland’s attendance is down precipitously during the peak Christmas season.

Ski resorts are ecstatic with tremendous snow, but skiers can’t get to the resorts.

Albert Hammond once sang “It never rains in sunny Southern California.” Was he wrong?

This winter is working up to El Nino stages, and we’ll still in December.
October and November brought about 6 ½ inches of rain to Southern California, or more precisely the rain gauge in our backyard. That’s about half the annual rainfall for SoCal. An additional ¾ inches arrived in early December.

AH, but the past six days. What the Siberian Express is to the Midwest and East, and Nor-easters to the Atlantic seaboard, the Pineapple Express is to California. A 3,000 mile storm crowd stretches from Hawaii to California.

We have received 8 ½ inches up until this morning. An even stronger storm is scheduled to pass through late tonight into tomorrow.

These are not numbers; they are human tragedy in Southern California.

The slippery slopes of Southern California cannot handle this rainfall without major landslides. Flash floods have already occurred. Stretches of the PCH, as usual in these winters, become impassable. Streets flood out. Erosion and mudslides attack homes.

Most of the first decade of the New Millennium has seen drought conditions in the West. The average annual rainfall in Los Angeles is 15 inches.

Only three years exceeded the 15 inches. They were 2000-01 with 17.94 inches, 2002-03 with 16.42, 1and 2004-05 with a near record setting 37.96 inches.
2001-02 with 4.42 inches, 2003-04 with 9.25, 2006-07 with 3.31, and 2008-09 with 9.08 are more typical of the decade.

The rainfalls and snowpack in the mountains will help replenish the state’s reservoirs, but the heavy rains falling on the Los Angeles plain flow directly to the Pacific Ocean. Engineers have difficulty designing and building large reservoirs on essentially 0° degrees. Indeed, the storm drains have warnings on them: “Flows directly to the ocean.” The normally dry Los Angeles, San Gabriel, and Santa Ana Rivers become raging torrents.

Listen carefully to Albert Hammond: “It never rains in California, but girl don’t they tell ya, it pours, man, it pours.”

La Nina, please come back. We’ve flowed past our annual average. We need you.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

What Now for ROTC and Military Recruiters With the End of DADT?

Congress’s repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is long overdue. It marks a milestone in the advancement of gay rights.

The repeal of DADT raises the issue of what should now happen with military recruiters and ROTC on campus, especially the elite private universities, many of which have used the mantra of gay rights to discriminate against the recruiters and
The hostility to the military is deep seated on many campuses going back to the Vietnam War and opposition to the War. ROTC, which was once almost universal on campuses, was banned on many campuses with military and CIA recruiters barred. Law school faculties often voted to bar military recruiters, depriving their students of opportunities to go into JAG.

Prior to Vietnam, many schools required two years of ROTC, often labeled Military Science, for male undergrads.

Four Ivy League schools, Harvard, Yale, Columbia and Brown, as do Chicago and Stanford, continue to exclude ROTC from their campuses. So strong is this faculty bias on some campuses that one of the major, underlying reasons for the Harvard faculty’s vote of no-confidence in then President Lawrence Summers was that he wanted to bring ROTC back to Harvard.

Let us note that many of today’s faculty were children of the 60”s, and that contempt and disdain for the military is pervasive on many campuses.

Keeping ROTC off-campus at many schools is not a total ban on their students joining ROTC. For example, Harvard students can join the ROTC program at MIT and Stanford students at Santa Clara.

The ostensible argument used by faculties to bar ROTC and military recruiters is the schools’ formal policy of banning LGBT discrimination. Thus they exclude recruiters from institutions that engage in such discrimination. That obviously includes the military, at least until President Obama signs the repeal legislation.

Ironically President Obama received his undergraduate degree from Columbia and law degree from Harvard, both of which keep ROTC off-campus, but he is now Commander-in-Chief of America’s military. President Obama, in his capacity as CIC, administered the oath to ROTC grads at the University of Michigan at last spring’s graduation, where he received an honorary degree.

171 law schools are members of the Association of American Law Schools. The AALS adopted a policy in 1990 against discrimination on the bases of sexual orientation. Pursuant to Executive Committee Regulation 6.9, employers that seek to use law school career services must provide written assurance that they will not discriminate based on sexual orientation.

This policy statement should not be a surprise. Most members of the Academy strongly support equal rights for LGBT

Congress responded in 1996 to the ban against military recruiters by enacting the Solomon Amendment, which has been amended several times. In essence, colleges and universities that bar military recruiters will face the cutoff of all federal funding, such as research grants. This proscription will apply to the entire institution even if only one department or school, such as the law school, engages in such activity.

That was too high a risk for almost all law schools and heir parent institutions so they reluctantly acceded to the Solomon Amendment.

That did not preclude litigation though.

The AALS policy of effectively rejecting military recruiters was tested before the Supreme Court in the 2006 case of Rumsfeld v. FAIR. The Court unanimously upheld the Solomon Amendment. All but two law schools, both free-standing, embraced military recruiters. The two exceptions are William Mitchell and Vermont Law School
The end of DADA should tell us which institutions were masking their underlying opposition to the military on gay rights.

Will the elites bring back ROTC? If not, we know where they really stand on national security.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Not-So-Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company Entered Bankruptcy

The A & P filed for Chapter 11 on Sunday in White Plains, New York, and immediately received $800 million in debtor in possession loans from J.P. Morgan Chase.


The once great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company has been failing and flailing for decades with no signs of revival. It listed $3.2 billion in debts, but only $2.5 billion in assets in the bankruptcy filing.

A & P is the pioneering supermarket chain in America. It opened its first supermarket in Braddock, Pennsylvania in 1936.

It was the largest only three decades ago. The A & P has been shrinking eversince. From a peak of 16,000 stores in the early 1930 and 39 states, it is now down to 395 stores in eight states (Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia) and the District of Columbia.

At its market peak from 1927 to 1975, the A & P was the dominant food retailer in the United States. Its factories produced much of its private labels, Ann Page, Jane Parker and Sultana. Its Eight O’Clock Coffee was a major seller.

Success masked its signs of decade, as with Kmart. The numbers looked good, but dry rot was spreading.

A & P was plagued by small stores, often in dying markets, high prices, supply problems, and decades of poor management. In essence, it’s uncompetitive. It has to compete not only with strong regional chains, such as Stop and Shop and Shop Rite, but also Walmart. The large national chains, Kroger, Safeway, and SuperValue are holding up, but weaker companies are struggling and individual stores closing.

I remember going into A & P’s I would never go into again, just as with other once great retailers, such as Kmart and Woolworth. The once dominant company has consistently been out-marketed by local chains, such as the family owned Big Y in Western Massachusetts and Connecticut. It recently sold 7 Connecticut stores to Big Y.

The ever shrinking A & P has shredded divisions, states, and all of Canada, just as GM and, Pan Am. They also entered bankruptcy. The decline is shown by the numbers. It had 1,000 stores in 1990, 600 in 2,000, 500 in 2002, 460 in 2008, and 395 today. It closed 25 stores in the Philadelphia area in August. At this rate it will be history within a few years.

Its attempt to reverse the steady decline was to acquire successful or competing chains, such as Farmer Jack, Food Emporium, Kohl’s, Pathmark, and Waldbaum’s Food Mart. It paid $679 million for Pathmark in 2007.

An example of A & P’s poor marketing is in Bronxville, New York. The chain closed the Food Emporium store when it acquired the competitor, giving A & P a monopoly in Bronxville. Shoppers will often drive about 5 miles to the Cross County Shopping Center to shop at a large, clean Super Stop and Shop.

Stop and Shop and Shop Rite chains average weekly sales of $650,000 per store. A & P is an anemic $400,000.

It has pulled out of California, Washington, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Georgia, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

Ironically, the Big Board trading symbol for A & P is “GAP.”

A & P should follow Woolworth’s lead, close its stores and liquidate.

The company, founded in 1859 as a tea and spice company on Vesey Street in Manhattan, merited only a small blurb at the bottom of page 3 in Monday’s New York Times Business Section.

My, how the mighty have fallen!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Election Results One Month Later

The final votes have been counted. Democrats pulled out the Minnesota Governorship and a New York Congressional seat while Republicans captured two New York State Senate seats.

The Republicans netted six Senate seats, 63 House seats, six governorships, over 685 state legislative seats, and control of 20 state legislative chambers, all with total failure in California. The Republicans now control 57 of the 99 state legislative chambers compared to 39 for the Democrats.

The Republicans will not be riding on the back of the bus.

The Democrats forgot one of the cardinal maxims of politics: when times are bad, voters vote their pocket book. Conversely, when economic times are good, voters vote social issues.

Democrats are shifting from the state of denial to stage of anger.

The surviving Democratic Representatives and Senators are a much more cohesive liberal bloc than ever and the triumphant Republicans more conservative. Bipartisanship may mean the President and Republicans acting together.

Many of the remaining senior democrats will retire in the 2012 elections; being out of power is a bummer.

The 112th Congress will see about 94 new members. Indeed, the last three election cycles have a large turnover in the Congressional ranks. Voters have informally installed term limits on Congress. Most of the old bulls are gone.

California joins the bluest of blue states, up there with Hawaii, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and West Virginia. If Republicans could not win a statewide race in California this year, then the prospects in the next election cycles are dim. All incumbents running for reelection, Democrat or Republican, won, including Democratic State Senator Jenny Oropeza, who passed away two weeks before election day. The Republicans actually lost two Assembly seats.

New York is almost as blue as California, but the Republicans regained control of the State Senate with a 32-30 majority, and hence can avoid total decimation in the upcoming reapportionment.

The Democratic candidate for Governor of Rhode Island blew it by saying President Obama could “take his endorsement and shove it.” A former Republican/Independent was elected.

Chicago Rules do not always work on the national level. The Chamber of Commerce, insurance companies, health insurers, big banks, big oil, Fox News, Glenn beck, Sean Hannity, and Rush Limbaugh all survived broadsides from the White House

The Old South is fading fast with the election of an Indian American woman as Governor of South Carolina, and two African American males as Congressmen from predominately while districts in Florida and South Carolina

Republicans disparage the Hispanic population at their risk. By embracing Hispanics, Republicans gained a Senate seat, two governorships, and eight Congressional seats.

High speed rail or mass transit projects are becoming economically and politically unacceptable, being canceled by new governors in New Jersey, Ohio, and Wisconsin

Cap and Trade and other climate control measures are essentially dead, except to the extent that Congress may restrict the EPA in this area

The government funding of NPR is probably coming to an end because of the indefensible, boneheaded, short sided termination of Juan Williams.

Earmarks are probably dead, at least for two years.

GITMO will remain open.

It’s now a race between California and Illinois to see which state runs out of money first.

Voters are opposed to tax increases.

President Obama’s health reform act will not be repealed, but it will be trimmed, modified, and limited. It will suffer the death of a 1,000 cuts.

The Dream Act cannot make it through the next House of Representatives, but the repeal of “Don’t ask, Don’t tell” might.

Card check will remain DOA, unless the NLRB adopts it.

The fiscal day of reckoning for public employee unions is fast approaching. The
Republican House will not bail them out.

In short,President Obama's transformative, progressive agenda has run its course.

Union money from the AFL-CIO, or public employee unions, AFSCME, SEIU, and NEA, play a major role in elections, but they cannot repel a voter tsunami.

The Chamber of Commerce, and other business money, can be as effective or ineffective as union money

As Meg Whitman can attest, expensive campaign consultants or managers , don’t always deliver results

Meg Whitman joins the list of multi-millionaires who cannot win statewide office in California.

The Tea Party is a political force to be reckoned with. It brought new blood and energy to the Republican Party. Several of its candidates were elected, and those that won in the primaries but not in November reminded Republicans what their party stands for.

Remember that the Republican Party was founded in 1854, and elected 48 out of 252 House members. Their representation rose to 90 out of 237 in 1856, and 116 of 238 in 1858. The Republicans then elected a political unknown, Abraham Lincoln, President in 1860. Lincoln won because the Democrats split the vote.

In spite of the Democratic debacle, their three leaders, President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and soon to be House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi all retained their leadership roles.

Attorney General Eric Holder, as well as other Administrative officials, will have their feet held to the fire by the new Congress.

It takes an incompetent Democratic President to elect a Republican Congress (Carter, 1980 – Republican Senate, Clinton, 1994 – Republican House and Senate, Obama, 2010 – Republican House)

President Obama will face a primary fight in 2012.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Caution: Phone Sex is Dangerous to Your Health in Wisconsin

Forget Teleflora – Tell her by phone you love her. Your voice is sexier than any brocade of flowers. You can still whisper sweet nothings into her ear through the receiver. Tell her how much you love her, how much you miss her, as long as you are not paying by the minute.

Arouse your partner through phone sex.

Phone sex is safe sex - almost as safe as total abstinence - no pregnancies, std's or proving you're sponge worthy

Technology is great. Attach a videocam to your computer. A picture is truly worth more than a thousand words.

Use the video camera on your cell phone

Try to use a land line. Cell phone calls can be intercepted. Just ask Prince Charming/Charles. His cell call to his then girl friend Camilla Parker-Bowles was taped. He spoke from the heart, not his brain, or perhaps from both, since he’s not reputed to be the brightest:

“I want to feel my way along you, all over you and up and down you and in and out. Oh God, I’ll just live inside your trousers or something – it would be much easier.”

He then wished he was her tampon.

How romantic can you get?

She later married him.

The younger generation loves to text or sextext. Immature teenagers email intimate photos of themselves. Precious little is left to the imagination, or sometimes the prosecutor.

Of course, Bret Favre has recently been accused of attempting to seduce an unwilling woman by sending her a photo of Little Bret. It did not arouse the interest he intended.

Texting can be dangerous to your health or marriage. A year ago on Thanksgiving, Elin caught her husband, Tiger Woods, texting one of many girlfriend. He couldn’t claim a wrong number. Elin supposedly yanked the phone out of his hand. She glanced through the memory, and then allegedly attacked him with his own cell phone. That is phonic justice.

He also left an incriminating message on another girl friend’s answering machine.

It’s hard to believe he went to Stanford.

This past Thanksgiving weekend witnessed a phone tragedy. 46 year old Garron Lewis was engaged in real sex in Milwaukee with 44 year old Sharron Dorsey. Her phone rang. She answered the phone – a fatal mistake. We’re not sure if it was coitis interruptus, coitis boredom, or an affront to Garron’s manhood, but he responded by strangling her with a belt. The Coroner ruled it asphyxiation due to strangulation, but we know it to be bad phone sex.

She should have just phoned it in.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Coyote Alert on the Santa Ana Freeway

Today was one of those days I dread – driving up to Los Angeles on a weekday. It was only a 44 mile drive, but the assumption was that it would take 1 ½ hours – which assumption proved correct.

We learn in geometry that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. That is not the case with the LA Freeway system, where distance is measured in time rather than miles.

A quick check on Google Map this morning showed that the I-5, the Santa Ana Freeway, was both the shortest and quickest route. The 5 North was backed up in the usual places, but that’s foreseeable. The 5 South was clear.

Navigation the traffic snags is a normal experience. Suddenly, by Downey the 5 South was totally empty. No vehicles – just open space, or open asphalt to be precise.

Further up a Trooper was conducting the weave to stop or slow all lanes.

Then on the open freeway was another Highway Patrol car and a animal control vehicle. A coyote shut down the freeway and the trooper was trying to track it down. The coyote was using the open road as his/her personal highway.

Southern California has a large coyote population. They do not discriminate between barrios and affluent communities, such as Villa Park. The actual population count is unknown because they can stay out of sight. You know coyotes are around when pictures of Fifi and Mitzi are posted on telephone poles. Those little dogs and cats are coyote food. The normal diet of coyotes includes rodents, rabbits, and small birds. Only a few instances have occurred when coyotes have got after humans. Urban coyotes are substituting fat, plump house pets for their traditional diet. These house pets are too domesticated to instinctively flee.

Coyotes are smart and opportunistic. Native Americans referred to Wily E. Coyote as The Trickster. They are survivors. One joke says it all. If Armageddon ever comes, three species will survive: cockroaches, coyotes, and lawyers.

A study discovered that if you kill a few coyotes in a pack, the rest will reproduce quicker. The more you kill, the more they breed.

Coyotes are homesteading the Bronx. Three in February tried to matriculate at Columbia, while others showed up in Central Park and Tribeca. A few packs of coyotes in Manhattan could decimate a good percent of the rat population of New York.

One tried and proven method of coyote elimination exists. Bring in a pack of wolfs, who are larger and quicker than their cousins. They will either kill or drive off the coyotes.

Of course, maybe it was a dog, but it looked like a coyote, gaited like a coyote, and its tongue was hanging out like a coyote.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Rodriguez has Three Choices: 94, 23, 75

Three highways will lead Rick Rodriguez out of Ann Arbor, I-94, I-75, and U.S. 23. It was Rick’s way or the highway for 3 years. He too will now take that long and winding road.

Will he ever return from the Bowl game? “The answer is blowing in the wind,” but if you ask the extended Wolverine family, “It’s hit the road, Rod, and don’t come back no more, no more.”

At the annual football banquet earlier this week, also known as the football bust, Rich Rod said he wanted to be a Michigan man. As Bob Dylan sang, “It’s all over now,
Baby Blue.”

He’s a good coach, but not a great coach. Great coaches build the scheme around the players. Good coaches force the players to play their schemes. Michigan needs a great coach over the next few years to restore its glory. Rick Rodriguez was the wrong coach at the wrong time for Michigan.

I-75 doesn’t go through Ann Arbor, but if you’re in a hurry to leave, it’s but a short distance. It goes from Michigan to Florida, a route well known to RichRod for all his recruits from Florida.

All three routes will, directly or indirectly, connect to West Virginia where Rich Rod still owns a home. Homeward Bound.

Just follow the song, “Take Me Home, Country Roads.” The 23 and 75 pass through Toledo (Forget that Rodriguez lost to the Toledo Rockets). Take a few days to rest in Columbus, where the Ohio residents will greet him royally, and perhaps sing “Auld Lang Syne.” And then, it’s Goodbye Columbus.

Of course, West Virginia doesn’t want him back so maybe he should head west on the 94. It’s but a short drive to the neighboring Hoosier state. Indiana U is looking for a new coach. The only team Rodriguez has beaten in each of his three years at Michigan is Indiana. He also defeated Notre Dame and Purdue this year, proving Michigan is truly the Champion of the West, the best football team in Indiana. If you can’t beat them, join them.

He could continue into Illinois. He finally beat the Illini this year in a defensive battle: 67-65.The score is an omen. I-67 doesn’t exist yet, but he could pick up I-65 in Gary, Indiana, just east of Chicago, and head South through Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama to the Gulf. He could consult the BP engineers about the proper response to a blowout, or he could drop out, out of sight anywhere along the way, or perhaps take a slight detour and drop in on Les Miles in Baton Rouge.

Take the year off. Enjoy the buyout. Read the Idiot’s Guide to Football Strategy, especially the chapters on building a defense, special teams, How to Recruit 5 Star Recruits, and the retention of players.

However, Rich Rod is too driven to drop out for a year. In that case he should take the 75 north, through Detroit, the broken Detroit, across the Ambassador Bridge into Canada, and sign up to coach in the Canadian Football League. The CFL plays a wide open offense with no defense. He’ll fit right in.

Oh, Canada

Monday, November 29, 2010

You Know You're Aging When

Newspapers were the source of news

Berkeley was the greatest university in the world

Downtown was for working, shopping and movies

Auto Row was where you bought cars

He’s from the government and he’s here to help us

Alfred E. Newman was political protest

What me worry?

Playboy was illuminating

Doctors made house calls

California was the Golden State

Penicillin cured all VD’s

Advil doesn’t cure all pain

“Look, but don’t touch” became “Look, but can’t touch”

Polio was the dreaded disease

Boy Scouts were known for their Jamborees

Walter Cronkite was the news

Johnny Carson was the man

John Wayne was the man

Bob Hope was the man

Folk Music ruled

Actors could act and musicians sing

Kirk Douglas and Charlton Heston were the action heroes

Comedies were Abbott and Costello, Laurel and Hardy, Ma and Pa Kettle, and Francis the Talking Mule

Cartoons were Road Runner, Casper the Friendly Ghost, Popeye the Sailor Man, Looney Toons, Merrie Melodies, and Mickey Mouse

What’s up Doc?

Theatres offered Saturday afternoon double bills

Family shows were Ozzie and Harriet and Leave it to Beaver,

Dragnet was the police show

Maverick and Ponderosa led the oaters

I Love Lucy, the Jackie Gleason Show, Groucho Marx, Red Skelton, and George Burns and Gracie Allen were the comedies

Dr. Kildaire and Marcus Welby, M.D. taught you medicine

Perry Mason was your law professor

Ted Mack Amateur Hour and the Ed Sullivan Show
Your favorite animals are Lassie, Rin Tin Tin, Trigger, and Cheeta

The great coaches were Vince Lombardi, Red Auerbach, Abe Ruff, John Wooden, Knute Rockne, Bud Wilkinson, Ara Parseghian, John McKay, Bear Bryant, Darrell Royal, and Woody Hayes

The 4 major bowl games were the Rose, Orange, Sugar, and Cotton


USC-Notre Dame

USF was a basketball power

Toys were Tinker Toys, Lincoln Logs, and A.C. Gilbert’s Erector Sets, chemistry sets, and American Flyer Trains

Polaroid and Xerox were the great inventions

Punch cards ran computers

The Graduate and plastics

Speedy Alka-Seltzer and Chiquita Banana

Burma Shave

Andy Granatelli and STP

Avis tried harder

Kodak was photography, Singer sewing machines, IBM computers, Kodak photography, Schwinn bicycles, and Hoover vacuum cleaners

Airlines marketed stewardesses a sex symbols

3 in 1 Oil was the magic oil

The Marlboro Man rose high

Cigarette smoking was cool

Flick my Bic

PE was K-12

The Big Three were Chevy, Ford, and Plymouth

Muscle cars were in

Daddy drove station wagons

Detroit was 2 million people

As General Motors goes, so goes the country

GM’s Motorama

Motherhood, apple pie, the American Flag, and Chevrolet

Plan B, and not Medicare B, was the B

The inside word was antidisestablishmentarianism

Your first gray hair emerges

You are learning new medical suffices:



You looked at the Comics and Sports Before the Obits

I can’t hear you.

Those were the days.

TSA Miscues

The TSA is once again receiving bad press. The TSA has an impossible task – to safeguard millions of passengers and tens of thousands of flights daily from terrorist attacks. Risk free is an impossible goal to achieve with airline safety and security short of grounding all planes.

The magnitude of operations precludes TSA from adopting El Al’s effective security. El Al emphasizes looking at the person. TSA’s focus is searching for objects.

I have experienced no problems with TSA security checks at airports. I have found the TSA agents to be professionals. I’ve surrendered toiletries on a few occasions, but that’s my fault. My only complaint is one time when TSA opened a checked-in bag, they couldn’t figure out to rezipper the twin zippers. Thus the bag came down the luggage carousal with the zippers open and the clothes falling out.

Having said that, mistakes will be made by any agency with that many employees who have to be trained on short notice, both in policy decisions and implementation.

Some of these mistakes are ludicrous. Others are stupid, some offensive to the very sense of human decency, and some may be criminal.

As with any war, the defense must play catchup with the offense. Thus every new threat encourages a greater defensive response by TSA. Banned are box cutters, scissors and knifes, nail cutters, and liquids, and now the new full body scans and enhanced pat downs.

Some of the recent TSA foibles center around the new enhanced pat down rules, which prove that the truth can be stranger than fiction.

Thomas Sawyer, a bladder cancer survivor, wears a urostomy bag, which collects his urine directly from an opening in his stomach. TSA officers ignored his warnings about the bag. He cautioned the officer doing a pat down that if he continued to slide his hands down Sawyer’s chest, the seal on the bag would burst. The officer ignored his admonitions, and the bag burst, covering Sawyer with urine. The officers then told Sawyer to go to his plane.

A U.S. Airways flight attendant, a breast cancer survivor, was ordered to remove her prosthesis during a pat down. This practice, as well as enhanced pat downs, are more common than we might imagine for travelers with prosthetics and body replacement parts which set off the machines.

John Pistole, TSA’s Administrator, claims the agency is responsive to the needs of the disabled.

The TSA changed its procedures to require pilots and flight attendants to go through the same security checks as passengers. The Agency was obviously concerned that pilots would smuggle box cutters or explosives onto a plane. Bureaucracies often lack common sense. If a pilot wishes to destroy a passenger plane, all the pilot has to do is fly it into the ground or the ocean, as may have happened with EgyptAir Flight 990 on October 31, 1999 off Nantucket.

TSA just rescinded the rule for pilots, and then followed up with waiving the rules for flight attendants.

We can watch the recent videos of the young boy and three year old girl receiving the enhanced pat down. You and I would be subject to arrest for child abuse if we engaged in such conduct.

Administrator Pistole testified to Congress on November 17 that children under 12 are exempted from pat downs. The enhanced pat down of the young boy occurred two days later on November 19.


Over the weekend President Obama tried to defend the indefensible.

This is the same TSA that last January in New Orleans confiscated a child’s Christmas present from his grandmother – Play Doo, which is not on a proscribed list. The screener must have thought a child’s Play Doo contained plastic explosives.

At the same time five bottles of honey in checked in luggage shut down Bakersfield Airport.

Back in 2002 a privately employed security guard at JFK Airport, following TSA rules, forced a mother to drink from her three bottles of expressed milk before being allowed to board the flight to Miami. TSA regulations at the time allowed inspectors to require passengers to dink from “suspicious” containers.

Sikhs remain both confused at dismayed at TSA policies applicable to them. TSA in October 2007 gives screeners the discretion to pat down headwear, such as the turbans Sikhs wear.

As a side note, members of Congress, Governors, and cabinet members are exempt from the airport screening requirements if they are accompanied by armed escorts.

These TSA misadventures raise an interesting question. The liberal advocates of privacy who harangued the Bush Administration and the Patriot Act with federal officials hunting down your library records are strangely silent when the liberal Obama Administration is patting down flyer’s genitals. By any reasonable view of privacy, the enhanced TSA pat downs are much greater invasions of personal privacy affecting millions of flyers than a search, with a warrant, of a few people’s library records.

Here’s the problem as airport check ins become increasingly more intrusive as the threats rise. The underwear and shoe bombers failed. A year ago an unsuccessful attempt by a suicide bomber was made on the Saudi Deputy Interior Minister. The explosives were concealed in the suicide bomber’s body cavity.

Let’s see what TSA’s response will be when one of those goes off.

Perhaps Pogo was right. We have met the enemy and he is us.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Teach Your children Well - About Patriotism, America, and the American Flag

Teach your children

Teach your children well.

Teach your children that we are either immigrants, or the sons and daughters of Immigrants, to America, but that we are all Americans.

Teach any children that we are not of one race, religion, or ethnicity, but are Americans.

Teach your children therefore that our flag is America’s unifying symbol.

Teach your children that our national anthem, the Star Spangled banner, celebrates our flag.

Teach your children that we may be African-Americans, Chinese Americans, German Americans, Greek Americans, Irish Americans, Italian Americans, Japanese Americas, Jewish Americans, Mexican Americans, Native Americans, Vietnamese Americans, but we are Americans first.

Teach your children that we may be Alaskans, Georgians, Hawaiians, Hoosiers, and New Yorkers, but we are first Americans.

Teach your children that we may live in Chinatown, Dutch Harbor, French Lick, Germantown, Holland, Japan Town, Little Ethiopia, Little Italy, Little Korea, Little Saigon, Little Tokyo, Moscow, Poletown, Spanish Harlem, and Thai Town, but that we are Americans.

Teach your children that the Marines raised the American Flag on Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima.

Teach your children that the firefighters raised the American Flag at Ground Zero.

Teach your children not to wear an American Flag to Live Oak High School on Cinco De Mayo in Morgan Hill.

Teach your son not to celebrate America and display patriotism by attaching the American Flag to the back of his bicycle to Denair Middle School on Veteran’s Day.

Teach your children that some school administrators are supine and pusillanimous.

Teach your children that some administrators and teachers worship at the altar of political correctness.

But teach your children that the American people do not tolerate the trashing of the Flag.

Teach your children that when we stop being Americans, we stop being Americans and America.

Teach your children well.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

It's the Hispanic Vote, Estupido!

Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer won handily in California, Harry Reid won by a substantial margin in Nevada, and Michael Bennett and Patty Murray narrowly won. The underlying force in all these elections was the Hispanic vote.

Hispanics are a rapidly growing population in the United States, especially in the states of the Southwest.

Hispanics comprise 8% of the national voting block, but 22% in California.
Governor, and later President, George W. Bush, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and candidate Meg Whitman understood the need to assimilate Hispanics into the American Dream and not to discriminate against them.

Call it amnesty if you want, but assimilation is the goal.

Hispanics, like every other ethnic group in America, are not a monolithic voting bloc on most issues. We can distinguish Cubans, Puerto Ricans and Latin Americans from each other, but Jennifer Lopez, a Puerto Rican playing Selena, a Latina, expressed the commonality “We are all Latina under the skin.”

One can be anti-illegal immigrants without being racist against all Hispanics. A fine line separates the two. One can easily justify securing the borders, but a campaign against birth right citizenship sends a different message. Hispanics who have been here for generations, and those here as legal immigrants, often oppose amnesty for it hurts them as much as any American. However, when the rhetoric turns anti-Hispanic, that is, racist, Hispanics become united as one, against those spouting the racist language. That means they overwhelmingly vote Democratic, as do most economically disadvantaged immigrant groups.

Meg Whitman understood that capturing a large percent of the Hispanic vote we essential to her campaign, since winning a majority of the white vote will not, by itself, bring victory in California.

However, in the primary she campaigned as anti-immigrant when pushed by her primary opponent, Steve Poizner. As soon as her primary victory was secured, she ran ads in the Hispanic media touting her support for Hispanics. The image of speaking out of both sides of her mouth, or indecisiveness, quickly arose.

Her outreach to Hispanics fell apart when Gloria Allred held her press conference on September 29,alleging the candidate fired her nanny, Nicky Diaz Santillan, when she decided to run for governor. Whitman’s campaign collapsed as the tears rolled down Diaz’s face.

Jerry Brown carried the Hispanic vote by roughly a 2:1 advantage, and won by over 800,000 votes.

Senate candidate Carly Fiorina supported Arizona Senate Bill 1070, which is anathema to Hispanics. She polled worse among Hispanics than Meg Whitman, and fell short by almost 900,000 votes.

Former Congressman Tom Tancredo’s run for governor of Colorado as an independent, when the Republican candidate self-imploded after the primary, was doomed because of his anti-immigrant crusade. He lost by 14%.

Senator Michael Bennett won reelection by about 15,500 votes in Colorado.

Senator Reid assiduously courted the Hispanic vote, such as by scheduling a Senate vote on amnesty and the dream Act. He knew it would fail, but he showed the Hispanics that he was with them. So what if he was opposed to amnesty two decades ago. That was then; this is now.

Conversely, Sharron Angle in Arizona ran an anti-illegal immigrant ad and uttered offensive remarks about Hispanics. These actions helped bring out the vote for Senator Reid.

The casino moguls in Nevada supported the Senate Majority Leader. The SEIU, which represents a large percentage of casino workers, especially the African Americans and Hispanics, got the vote out for Senator Reid. Exit polls showed Hispanics constituted 1/6 of the vote in Nevada, and voted for the Senator by a 2-1 margin.
Angel may have thought she had a chance of winning, but she didn’t.

Politicians such as Angel, Fiorina, and Tancredo should learn lessons from Texas Republicans.

The conservative Texas Republicans have increased their political hold over the state even with an increasing Hispanic Party. They have done so by practicing the politics of inclusion rather than exclusion.

The political power in Los Angeles, and hence California, lies with the Hispanic/Labor coalition.

And yet, the Republicans can win with Hispanic candidates. Susana Martinez won the governorship in liberal New Mexico, while Brian Sandoval beat Senator Reid’s son by about 85,000 votes, twice the margin of the Senator’s victory, to win the governorship in Nevada. Marco Rubio won the Senate seat in Florida.

Think Texas. Inclusion, not insults!

Friday, November 5, 2010

It's Not Your Grandfather's Republican Party

Yes, we know the image of the GOP – a party of whites, with three population centers: 1) the South with the old segregationists who fled the Democratic Party after LBJ enacted the Civil Rights Act of 1964; 2) farmers and rural, small town America, and 3) Orange County, California.

The Democrats are, of course, the party of Big Labor (public employee unions), minorities, immigrants, and the big cities.

The suburbs, originally a source of Republican power, have become swing districts.

If so, how do we explain that in last Tuesday’s election, the Republicans elected Nikki Haley, an Indian American as Governor of South Carolina, Susana Martinez, a Latina as Governor of New Mexico, Brian Sandoval, a Latino as Governor of Nevada, Marco Rubio, a Latino as a Senator from Florida, Allen West, an African American as a Congressman from Florida, and Tim Scott, an African American to Congress from South Carolina? Bobby Jindal, an Indian American, serves as the Republican Governor of Louisiana.

These election results send an incredible statement about America, the Deep South, and the Republican Party. Congressmen Scott and West are the first Republican Congressmen from the Deep South since Reconstruction. Congressman Scott’s district ironically contains Fort Sumter, where the Civil War began.

The Republican Party has never been a party of white supremacists. It was founded in 1854 by anti-slavery northerners. Abraham Lincoln was elected President six years later. His primary goal was to save the Union, but in the process he emancipated the slaves, backed by the Republican Congress.

FDR during the New Deal brought the blacks into his new Democratic coalition. Yet the Republicans continued to be open to civil rights. President Eisenhower sent in the 101st Airborne to enforce integration of Little Rock’s Central High School in 1957.

LBJ’s Civil Rights Acts were enacted over the opposition of the Southern Democrats by enlisting substantial support of the Republican members of Congress.

The first modern era African American Senator was Edward Brooke, a Republican from Massachusetts. He served in the Senate from 1966 to 1979, being defeated for reelection by Paul Tsongas because of scandals. Mel Martinez served as a Senator from Florida until he resigned last year.

Gary Franks, another Republican, served in Congress from Connecticut from 1991 to 1997, and J.C. watts represented Oklahoma in Congress from 1995-1003.

President Bush appointed Condoleezza Rice as his Secretary of State and Alberto Gonzalez as Attorney general.

No, this is a much different Republican Party than its reputation.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Quotes From the Midterm Elections

President Barack Obama:

“If Latinos sit out the election instead of saying, ‘We’re going to
punish our enemies and We’re going to reward our friends who stand with us
on issues that are important to us. '

"If they don’t see that kind of up-surge in voting in this election, then I
think it is going to be harder to pass immigration reform.”

“We don’t mind the Republicans joining us. They can come for the ride, but
they gotta sit in the back.”

“If people now want to take their ball and go home, that tells me folks
weren’t serious in the first Place.”

“We’re hard-wired not to always think clearly when we are scared.”

Vice President Biden “Stop whining.”

“The issues are too complicated for voters to understand.”

Senator John Kerry “We have an electorate that doesn’t always pay that much
attention to what’s going on so people are influenced by a
single slogan rather than the facts or
the truth or what’s happening.”

Congressman Charles Rangel “It’s a dumb question, and I’m not going to respond.”

Congressman Bobby Bright Speaker Nancy Pelosi “might get sick and die”
before I have to vote for the speaker again

Governor Jerry Brown’s associate “What about saying she’s a whore?”

Sarah Palin “You idiot reporter!”

Some in the Alaska media are “corrupt bastards.”

Carly Fiorina “God, What is that hair?”

Christine O’Donnell “I am not a witch.”

Sharron Angle “I don’t know that all of you are Latino. Some of you
look a little more Asian to me.”

Harry Reid “I don’t know how anyone of Hispanic heritage
could be a Republican.”

Alvin Greene “Another thing we could do for jobs is make toys
of me, especially for the holidays.”

Frank Caprio The President “can take his endorsement and
really shove it.”

Carl Paladino Kirstein Gillebrand is “Schumer’s Little Girl”

“I’ll take you out, buddy.”

South Carolina State Senator Jake Knotts “We’e already got a raghead in the
White House, we don’t need another
raghead in the governor’s mansion.”

Stephen Colbert He doesn’t “want a tomato picked by a Mexican, then
sliced by a Guatemalan, then served by a Venezuelan,
in a spa where a Chilean gives me a Brazilian.”

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Random Thoughts About Rich Rodriguez

Everyone loves a winner. Nobody loves a loser, except occasionally as per the Marvelous Marv Thornberry of the original New York Mets, who were expected to lose.

A new coach, who takes over a winning program, and runs it into the ground is loved by no one.

That’s the position Rich Rodriguez of Michigan is in.

How the mighty have fallen – Colorado, Michigan, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Texas, UCLA, Washington, and to a lesser extent USC, Miami, and Florida State,

Comebacks from the abyss are possible, as with Alabama, LSU, Nebraska and Oklahoma.

The usurpers have names like Boise State, Oregon, Stanford, TCU, and Utah.

Three Big Ten coaches were on the hot seat at the beginning of the season, Tim Brewster at Minnesota, Ron Zook at Illinois, and Rich Rodriguez at Michigan. Brewster was fired a few weeks ago. Illinois is showing signs of improvement, and could well beat Michigan in Ann Arbor next Saturday. Their quarterbacks have looked great against Michigan the past two years.

That leaves Rodriguez.

Rich Rodriguez has shown with the right players the spread offense can rack up points, even in The Big Ten.

But Denard Robinson and the Michigan offense cannot outscore the Michigan defense, the porous Michigan defense

Michigan’s defense has for the past 32 games made every opposing quarterback look like an All-American, the most recent being a third-string, walk on at Penn State last Saturday night.

The defense has progressively deteriorated in each of Rodriguez’s three years.
He made it clear a few weeks ago that he coaches the offense and special teams, and spends little time with the defense. That is going to cost him his job. Rodriguez can recruit, but much of his recruiting has been with offensive players. Defense wins in The Big Ten.

The defense has talent, not s much as in the past, but it has talent. Their basic defensive scheme, the 3-4, or 3-3-5, doesn’t work. The theory is that the 3-3-5 allows the linebackers to provide support for the secondary. The reality is that with little pressure on the quarterback, he can stand back in the pocket 5-6 seconds and pick out an open receiver. The 3-4 was Rodriguez’s idea. Greg Robinson, the defensive coordinator, never coached a 3-4 before.

Coach Rodriguez is a good coach, but it’s increasingly clear that he is the wrong coach at the wrong time at the wrong school, Michigan. He can wear the Maize and Blue colors, but they don’t fit.

Coach Rodriguez is a good coach, but not a great coach. Great coaches, such as John Wooden or Bear Bryant, shape their team around the skills of the players. Good coaches fit their players into a fixed system. Rodriguez’s motto os it’s his way or the highway. I-95 to I-70 is the road back to West Virginia.

Scott Schaefer was Rich Rod’s first defensive coordinator at Michigan. He was fired after the first year. Ironically, he is doing a fine job as defensive coordinator at Syracuse, which fired Greg Robinson two years ago. Syracuse has shown marked signs of improvement, especially on defense since then.

If Michigan could not beat Penn State, Michigan State, or Iowa, no reason exists to think believe will defeat either Wisconsin or Ohio State.

Bill Martin, the AD who hired Rodriguez, was hired to turn around the finances of the Athletic Department. He turned a loss into a profit, expanded the football stadium, and built new facilities for the baseball and softball teams. But he botched the hiring of the replacement for Lloyd Carr, and threw out 40 years of Bo’s success.

The new AD, David Brandon Brandon, one of Bo’s boys, will do what has to be done at the end of the season. He must fill the Big House next season.

Random Thoughts on Tuesday's elections

If it’s close in Nevada, Washington or Minnesota, the Democrat will win. Washington proved that with Christine Gregoire winning in Washington for Governor after two hand recounts while the election day vote count showed a 261 vote victory for Dino Rossi, and in Minnesota when Senator Norm Coleman was ahead by 215 votes on election day , but then lost to comedian Al Franken by 312 votes on a recount. In both cases mysterious votes showed up in the recount for the Democrats. A similar result can be predicted in Chicago, based on precedence going back to JFK’s victory in 1960.
Nevada has already shown this year in Boulder City that votes for Angle show up for Reid. Walking around money still walks in Philly and may win it for Joe Sestak.

Hugh Hewitt is right. If the victory is large enough, they can’t steal the election.

And the Democrats claim that Bush stole the election in 2000!

The Democrats, being the party of trial lawyers, have lined up 10,000 lawyers to review the election results.

The Democrats had nothing to offer the voters in 2010, except fear.

The Republicans offered hope and change. That they will deliver, if only by stopping Obama for two years.

The voters voted for Democrats in 2006 and 2008 because they were rejecting the Republicans; they were not embracing the Democrats.

The voters are not embracing the Republicans in 2010; they are simply rejecting the Democrats.

Bill Clinton was right: “It’s the economy, stupid.”

President Obama had nothing to offer the voters, but himself. His appearances were to relatively small audiences, instead of the once large campaign rallies.

Nancy Pelosi will not be Speaker of the House in the next Congress – that’s an easy prediction, but she may not even be the Minority Leader. The surviving House Democrats, no matter how liberal, do not appreciate leaders who lead them to defeat.

The only way anything will get done in the next Congress is if President Obama compromises, and that’s not likely. If he doesn’t compromise, he will be the lamest of lame ducks for two years.

Either Hillary or another Democrat will run against President Obama in 2012.

The fight between Senator Richard Durban and Senator Charles Schumer to succeed Senator Harry Reid will be great spectator sport.

Negative ads, when done right, succeed even though voters say they don’t like them. Senator Barbara Boxer always wins on negative ads because she cannot run on her record.

Dirty tricks can also work.

Gloria Allred’s press conference with Nicky Diaz Santillan, claiming she was wrongly fired by Meg Whitman, turned the election around. Diaz was an illegal immigrant who used forged documents, including a drivers license, social security card, immigration papers and W-4’s, to secure a job.

Nicky Diaz was earning $23/hour.

FoxNews and talk radio have tremendous influence, but the mainstream media still has a broader reach with the public.

The media’s double standard between liberal women candidates and conservative women is even more pronounced this year.

President Obama is not campaigning for individual Democrats, or even his program, but for 2012.

The Republicans, even if they take both the House and Senate, will not be able to reverse his health care disaster, and the EPA can promulgate cap and trade, or some other carbon control, on its own. The NLRB can adopt card check on its own, and his Administration is toying with the idea of effectively granting amnesty to the illegals in America now.

The lame duck session will get little done. If nothing else, the Republicans in the Senate will block actions even if the shell shocked Democrats wish to pursue substantive initiatives, such as amnesty.

The Democrats and elites hysterically denigrate the tea Party not only because the Tea Party may win, but more significantly because the Tea party actually represents the people, which the Democrats profess to do every two years. The Tea Party is a manifestation of the people up rather than the Democratic Party down.

Regardless of who wins in California on Tuesday, California is headed for fiscal Armageddon. New York is headed the same direction unless the Republicans regain control of the state senate.

The most deserving loser will be Representative Al Grayson of Florida

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Teach Your Children Well, About Bureaucrats

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young sang “Teach Your Children Well.”

Yes, teach your children Civics

Teach your children about government

Teach your children what it means to be an American

Teach your children of the greatness of America

Teach your children about America’s history, including the Boston Tea party, Shay’s Revolt, and Prop 13

Teach your children of the meaning of America

Teach your children about our Founding Fathers and their vision of America

Teach your children about entrepreneurism

Teach your children about small business

Teach your children of upper mobility

Teach your children of the open doors, which encouraged enterprising immigrants from all nations

Teach your children of the 4 branches of government

Teach your children of the Executive Branch, and the Legislative, and the Judicial, but most of all teach your children of the most powerful branch of all, the administrative

Yes, teach your children about administrators, bureaucrats, and the Tax Man

Teach your children not to sell lemonade in Oregon or pumpkins in Idaho

Teach your children that revenuers will squeeze the last juice from a child’s lemonade stand and squash the pumpkin

Teach your children that the Tax Man shut down a child’s lemonade stand in Multnomah County,Oregon, and squashed a child’s pumpkin stand in Lewiston,Idaho.

Teach your children about Patricia Gilmore, Idaho Tax Commission compliance officer, who told the family of the 4 and 6 year old pumpkin sellers, that they had to purchase a license and pay sales tax, or be closed by the state

Teach your children of the Multnomah County inspector who shut down 7 year old Julie Murphy’s lemonade stand on July 29 for failure to obtain a $120 Temporary Restaurant license, and threatened a $500 fine

But teach your children of the people of Oregon, the radio station, and Les Schwab Tires, which raised $1,838.31 for Julie in lemonade sales

Teach your children of the generosity of the American people

Teach your children that the Tax Man may spend hundreds of dollars to collect nickels and dimes

Teach your children that Philadelphia confiscates Cupcake Trucks

Teach your children that hard work and enterprise tempt the bureaucrats

Let them learn when they are still young of the reach of the Tax Man

And teach your children that excessive taxation stills initiative and entrepreneurism

Teach your children that success attracts bureaucrats, regulators, and revenuers,

Teach your children well

Republicans versus Democrats

Republicans believe in the individual

Democrats believe in the state

Republicans believe that what we earn by the sweat of our brow is ours

Democrats believe that what we earn belongs to the state except for the ever shrinking percent which they will let you keep

Republicans believe in capitalism

Democrats believe in the state

Republicans encourage business

Democrats demagogue business

Republicans reward success

Democrats tax success

Republicans believe in small business

Democrats say they believe in small business, but proceed to tax and regulate it

Republicans answer to the market

Democrats answer to Trial Lawyers

Republicans believe in corporations

Democrats believe in unions

Republicans earn dividends, interest and capital gains from oil companies, insurers, and tobacco companies

Democrats demonize these Dirty Three

Republicans support across the board tax cuts for all

Democrats believe in targeted tax cuts

Republicans believe in personal choice

Democrats represent the Nanny State

Republicans are libertarians for individual rights, except for social issues, such
as abortion, drugs, and gay rights

Democrats are often libertine

Republicans like the freedom of the automobile

Democrats worship at the shrine of mass transit

Republicans do not believe in the separation of Church and State

Democrats believe in secular humanism

Republicans believe in equality of opportunity

Democrats believe in the equality of outcome

(All generalizations, of course)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Senators Barbara Boxer and Patty Murray Are Facing a Close election

Senators Barbara Boxer (D. Ca) and Patty Murray (D. Wash.) are either peas in a pod or overlapping Venn Diagrams; they have so much in common.

By traditional terms, their reelections should be assured, and yet the elections are nip and tuck.

Both were elected to the Senate 18 years ago in The Year of the Woman. Both represent liberal states on the West Coast. Their Senate records are singularly unimpressive. Both consistently vote the liberal line to raise taxes and increase spending, but their names do not appear on bills.

Neither is running on her record.

The San Francisco Chronicle refused to endorse Senator Boxer this election cycle, finding her to be ineffective with no reason to believe she will change in a fourth term. The Chronicle’s editors wrote: “There is no reason to believe that another six-year term would bring anything but more of the same uninspired representation.”

The Los Angeles Times on May 5 editorialized Senator Boxer “displays less intellectual firepower and leadership than she could.”

Senator Boxer served 12 years in the House before her election to the Senate. Her House record consisted of 87 NSF checks during the House banking scandal.

In comparison to the two great Washington Senators Henry “Scoop” Jackson and Warren Magnuson, Senator Murray’s legislative accomplishments are an embarrassment. Senator Murray prides herself as the “Mom in tennis shoes.” Her other nickname is “The Queen of Pork.” Senator Murray has brought tons of earmarks to her state. Normally, that would guarantee reelection, but not necessarily this year.

Senator Boxer is running scared. We know it not because she is essentially running almost all negative ads, because that is her historic pattern, but that she has resorted to her ultimate attack plan – attacking her opponent for her opposition to abortion. The Senator has always been a fervent stalwart of a woman’s right to choose without restrictions. Carly Fiorina is pro-life. Senator Boxer has called Carly “a direct threat” to the rights of women.

The reality is that a repeal of Roe v. Wade would have no effect on California. A woman’s right to choose is protected by the California state constitution. Article 1, Section 1 of the California Constitution expressly recognizes the right of privacy, which includes a woman’s right to an abortion, as an inalienable right.

If either of these two Senators loses reelection, then the Republicans will probably capture control of the Senate in a massive landslide.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Massachusetts and Washington State Have Significant Tax Referemda on the Ballot

Massachusetts and Washington have polar opposite tax referenda on the November 2 Ballot. Washington’s measure is to impose an income tax on the rich while Massachusetts’s is to roll back a sales tax increase.

Warren Buffett has loudly proclaimed that he is undertaxed. His good friends, the William Gates’, senior and junior, now share his perspective. Instead of simply writing out a check to the government for whatever they believe they should pay, they propose that we pay higher taxes to assuage their guilt.

Washington is a state of great natural beauty. Its attractiveness to business and entrepreneurs is the lack of a corporate or personal income tax. The Washington Supreme Court in 1933 interpreted the Washington State Constitution to allow only a uniform tax on property. Attempts to amend the state constitution to impose an income tax have been unsuccessful to date.

The Gates have proposed a misnamed millionaire’s tax, starting at an income of $200,000 for singles and $400,000 for couples. The rate would be 5%. It will rise to 9% for individuals at $500,000 and $1,000,000 for couples. The 9% rate would be among the highest personal income tax rates in the country.

Opponents of the proposed taxes include Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, and Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of

$6.2 million has been raised in support of the proposed income tax. Bill Gates, Sr. put his money where his mouth is and contributed $500,000 to the campaign.

However, the biggest supporters, contributing $4.1 million, are the public employee unions, mostly from the SEIU and the NEA. The unions are positively salivating at an additional pot of gold in Olympia.

The Gates’, if successful, are pushing Washington into the ranks of California, Illinois, and New York in over-taxing and over-spending at unsustainable levels.

Washington has been successful as a state without an income tax.

Massachusetts has a different problem. Since the overspending days of Governor Dukakis, the state has had a problem balancing revenues with ever rising expenditures. The state constitution limits the income tax to a flat rate.

The practical limit on raising the sales tax is that a large percent of the Massachusetts public live within a short drive of New Hampshire, which has neither an income nor sales tax. Massachusetts residents, including a state Senator, routinely drive to the New Hampshire State Liquor Store across the state border.

The state legislature, desperate for cash last year, raised the sales tax rate to 6.25% from 5%, and extended it to alcoholic beverages. Merchants and alcohol purveyors in Western Massachusetts lost business since the sales tax rate in adjoining Connecticut is 6%.The Legislature lived up to the state’s nickname “Taxachusetts.”

Voters responded by qualifying two referenda measures on the November ballot.

Question 1 will repeal the sales tax on alcoholic beverages.

Question 3 would roll back the sales tax rate to 3%. Passage of

Question 1 could result in an estimated loss of $2.3 billion to the state’s coffers.

The group founded in opposition to Question 3 is the Massachusetts Committee for Our Communities. It spent $2 million against the proposal from October 2-15. All of the money came from unions, including three teachers unions, the American Federation of Teachers, the Massachusetts Teachers Association, and the NEA. Unions have invested over $4 million into the campaign.

The supporters of Question 3 have raised very little funds. Hence, almost all of the advertising is pro tax.

The unions spent $7.3 million in 2008 to defeat another measure that would have eliminated the state’s 5.3% income tax.

Question 3 is trailing in the polls in Massachusetts, especially in Western Massachusetts. The economy of Western Massachusetts has steadily shrunk, and it is heavily dependent on state funding.

Which way will the voters in the progressive states of Massachusetts and Washington vote on taxes on November 2? If Washington voters vote no to an income tax and Massachusetts vote to rescind the tax increases, and then some, a strong message will be sent nationally.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Big Winners or Big Losers on Election Day

President Barack Obama or Sarah Palin??

The Democratic Congress or The Republican Congress?

Senator Harry Reid or Sharon Angle?

The Old Congressional Bulls or the Young Turks?

Big Labor or The Chamber of Commerce?

Public Service Unions or Taxpayers?

Capitalism or Socialism?

Optimism or Pessimism?

California or Texas?

Taxpayers or the Public Sector?

Truth or the Big Lie?

Transparency or Dirty Tricks?

Talk Radio and FoxNews or the Traditional Media?

True Conservatives or Blue Dog Democrats?

The Tea Party or the GOP?

Votes or Polls?

Glen Beck or George Soros

Sean hannity or Keith Olbermann?

Pot or Medicinal Marijuana?

Taxes or Public Pensions?

Bondholders or Entitlements?

Workers or Transfer Payments?

Bill Gates or Steve Ballmer?

Freedom of Choice or the Nanny State?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The NPR PC Thought Police Just Martyed Juan Williams

The NPR Thought Police fired Juan Williams Wednesday night, instantly turning him into a martyr for free speech and a greater role at FoxNews.

Juan’s statements were the followup to an episode of The View last week when Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg walked out on Bill O’Reilly, when he said “Muslims killed us on 9/11.” O’Reilly was technically true, but it wasn’t the world of 1.4 billion Muslims, but only a few radicals on 9/11.

Bill O’Reilly asked Juan Williams last Monday night for his comments on the dilemma between fighting radical Muslims versus fears of normal Muslims.

Juan Williams responded:
“I mean, look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the Civil Rights Movement in this country.
But when I get on a plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they’re identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims. I get worried. I get nervous.”

NPR purportedly found these comments offensive and violative of its standards, which may have been drafted by Kafka.

Many Americans share his fear of Muslims because of the recent history of radical Islamic terrorism. Since militant Islam, the fanatical few, have declared war against the West, especially Israel and the United States, and executed vicious acts of terrorism, fear has become embedded in most Americans of the next terrorist act.

One of his “sins,” perhaps his original sin or apostasy, is to be a liberal commentator, along with Bob Beckel, and Pat Cauddell, on FoxNews, which purports to be “fair and balanced.” Foxnews is more balanced that MSNBC, which features Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, and Rachel Maddow. NPR, the National Public radio, is no more balanced than MSNBC.

Any organization that has “National” and “Public” in its name should be tolerant of those with conflicting views. We call it Freedom of Speech. NPR is practicing George Orwell’s doublethink, which evolved into doublespeak.

Juan Williams and I disagree on many issues, but that’s what freedom of speech is about.

We are witnessing the intolerance of the hard left. If they could, they would shut down Rupert Murdock and Fox News, as well as the Wall Street Journal and other media outlets.

Juan Williams has been relentless in supporting President Obama and the liberal agenda.

I would say he is a very “articulate” spokesman for President Obama, but Senator Joe Biden in January 2007 stated “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and a nice-looking guy.”

Juan Williams is a much better counterpoint to Sean Hannity than Alan Colmes, who always appeared, rightly or wrongly, to be echoing the DNC’s daily talking points.
Juan does not express racist or xenophobic views. He is opposed to the proposed mosque at Ground Zero because it had become a polarizing rather than unifying symbol.

By today’s PC standards, his statement was out of line. An Administration, which does not expressly recognize “Islamic terrorist,” but “human caused” acts, will find fears of Islamic terrorism reprehensible.

For what it’s worth, I don’t share Juan’s fears of Muslims on the plane. I don’t believe a woman in a burqa will blow up a suicide bomb on the plane. Nor do I believe a man in a turban, who is probably a Sikh and not a Muslim, will pull out a box-cutter and hijack the plane. I also have no fears of the Muslim students, usually Iranian or Iraqis, in my classes.

My fear for two decades is of a terrorist with a surface to air missile attempting to down a plane taking off or landing in one of the New York or D.C. airports.

Ironically, I just finished rereading 1984. Like many high school students in the early 1960’s, I read both Animal House and 1984. No matter how educational and influential the two books were then, the stories are much more gripping today, especially in light of the electronic invasions of privacy not existing in George Orwell’s time.

Vivian Schiller, CEO of NPR, later in the day said that Juan might talk to his psychiatrist about his feelings. History tells us that the post- Stalin, Russian Communists send their political opponents to the psychiatric wards.

Schiller’s act of terminating Juan Williams was unprincipled. Her statement about his psychiatrist is reprehensible. She is a poor public persona for NPR. She should be terminated from NPR and become a public non-person.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Perspective on the November Election

The election results will fall into one of three scenarios:

1) An epic landslide of historic significance;

2) A mere landslide; or

3) A normal midterm election in which the opposing party picks up about 20 House seats and 4-5 Senate seats.

The early returns from the east coast and parts of the Midwest will tell the tale.

No seats are safe in a massive landslide.

If the Republicans pick up 5 House seats in New England, including Barney Frank’s, then a rout is underway. Other stalwart Democrats that would then be at risk are committee chairs Ike Skelton of Missouri (Armed Services), James Oberstar of Minnesota (Transportation), and John Spratt of South Carolina (Budget), and House Majority Leader Stenny Hoyer (Md.). Other incumbents at risk are Bobby Bright (Ala.), Gene Taylor (Miss.), Jim Marshall (Ga.), Ron Klein (Fla.), John Boccieri, Charlie Wilson and Zach Space of Ohio, Frank Kratovil of Pennsylvania, Stephanie Sandlin of South Dakota, and Alan Boyd of Florida. Even Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez of Orange County could lose to Van Tran.

In a massive landslide, vulnerable Republicans Joseph Cao (La.) and Charles Djou will be reelected.

A historic landslide will result in Republicans gaining roughly 100 House seats, and 10-12 Senate seats.

House Minority Leader John Boehner should not measure the drapes in the Speakers Office until the results are in.

If Christine O’Donnell wins election in Delaware, Sharon Angle in Nevada, Linda Mc Mahon Connecticut, John Riese in West Virginia, Mark Kirk in Illinois, Ron Johnson in Wisconsin, and Dino Rossi in Washington, then the Senate will go Republican.

A mere landslide would show Bob Portman winning the Senate seat in Ohio, Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania, Rand Paul in Kentucky, and Mario Ruby in Florida.

In the case of a mere midterm course correction, we already know the names of several Democrats at risk, because the party has pulled funding from them. They are: Kathy Dahlkemper (Pa.) Steve Driehaus (Oh.), Steve Kagan (Wisc.) Mary Jo Kilroy (Oh.), Suzanne Koumas (Fla.),and Betsy Markey (Colo.)

Opinion polls are unreliable at this point. Millions of Americans have already voted. We cannot assume in a volatile election that those still to vote represent those who voted early. In addition, responders may lie to pollsters. Seemingly unpopular candidates may vote higher than they poll. Several Tea Party candidates have been demonized by the media this year. An increasing complication is that if the polls are based on land lines, then they exclude an increasing percent of the population, especially the young, who only have cell phones.

For example, Christine O'Donnell is vilified by her comments decades earlier about witchcraft, but her opponent,Chris Coons, escapes criticism for claiming to be a “Bearded Marxist,” and we hear little about President Obama’s indulging in cocaine and other drugs. It may be that O’Donnell’s supporters may not want to reveal their preference.

One final assumption of pollsters is that the undecided tend to vote by the same percentages as the polls show committed voters.

President Obama is campaigning hard in the midterm elections, so hard he’s reduced his golf.

President Obama is campaigning hard in the midterm elections because he has to.

The President is the titular head of his Party. He must campaign for them.

He is campaigning for himself, his program, and his legacy.

President Obama is campaigning hard because he is a narcissist. He cannot accept rejection.

If, and this is a big if, the Republicans win both the House and Senate, the country will be lucky if President Obama merely sulks and utters nasty thoughts about the Republicans. A deep funk will not be good for the country.

President Clinton was the consummate politician.

President Obama is the consummate orator.

President Clinton was a flexible liberal.

President Obama is an ideologue.

This election cycle is interesting in that the members of the ruling Democratic Party are running away from their enactments the past two years. Their game plan is to demonize Republicans. In other words, no matter how much damage Democrats may have done to the economy, the Republican candidates are a personal disaster.

Unlike President Bush in 2002, President Obama is not campaigning to gain the opposing party’s existing seats, but simply trying to save incumbents. Many of these incumbents will take the President’s money, but only invoke his name in vain.

Several Democrats in conservative districts are actually campaigning against their Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The irony is that the more they run against their Party and enactments, the more reason they give their constituents the reason to vote for real Republicans. Speaker Pelosi says she’s fine with their position. Her objective is to maintain Democratic control of the House at any cost. However, her reputation is one of vengeance against those who are disloyal.Even in a mere landslide election, Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid will lose their positions, but President Obama stays in office for 2 more years.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Miracle of Columbus Day: LA to OC in 65 Minutes During Rush Hour

I live in Orange County, which means driving up to LA is as pleasant has a root canal without Novocain. LA is a great city, but the traffic is a living nightmare.

Pick your poison for the 45 miles, the 5 to the 101, 10, or 134, the 5 to the 605 to the 91, 60, 10, or 210, the 57 to the 91, 60, 10 or 210, the 405 to the 110 to the 10 or 101, the 5 or 405 to the 710 to the 60 or 10, but not the 210 since the 710 dies in South Pasadena. While names might appear on some of these freeways, such as the Santa Ana or the Arroyo Seco, they’re known just by numbers, and the traffic jams distributed equally. The basic rule is to memorize your Thomas Guide.

Driving twice the distance to San Diego is a joy in comparison.

Today I left class at 1:00am for a 2:30 doctor’s appointment at Kaiser’s Sunset and Vermont facilities, a roughly 40 mile drive, which took 90 minutes a couple of weeks ago. I anticipated a 2 hour drive, regardless of the route taken with the assistance of Google Map on the IPhone. The shortest route is often not the quickest.

I was hoping to leave Kaiser about 4:00pm, which would necessitate a visit to one of LA’s great museums until 7:00pm, when rush hour traffic would lighten up. Even then the drive could take 90 minutes.

However the medical visit lasted until 5:00pm. Google Map showed the freeways clear to the OC with barely a trace of red during rush hour. That couldn’t be right, but Google is never wrong. We must trust any company that routinely beats Microsoft.

So I relied on blind faith in Google Map. The drive home, a straight shot on the 101 to the 5 took 65 minutes with no accidents on the road only 8 dead stops in traffic.

The East LA (Boyle) interchange was a piece of cake.

This drive was truly a miracle, as Angelinos and SoCal residents can attest. It could not be humanly possible.

Of course, it’s Columbus Day – not a miracle. It is a national holiday observed by government employees and banks. Most of us do not get Columbus Day off, but even more impressive than Charlton Heston parting the Red Sea on a parking lot at Paramount Studios, Columbus cleared a passage to LA. He never found the passage to India and the spice trade. He may or may not have discovered America – the Vikings clearly preceded him. His sailors may or may not have brought syphilis to the Old World from the New World, and he clearly did not discover the City of Angels, and his name is not on many public places in California, but his Holiday opened the freeways, and that is a miracle.

That and the 12.4% unemployment rate in California and 12.6% in Los Angeles Country.

My colleagues who commute from LA said the drive became much easier two years ago with the economic collapse.

Thank you Christopher, and thank you Barack.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Failure of Obamanomics

Obamanomics has clearly failed. The unemployment rate was 7.6% when President Obama entered office in January 2009. It is now 9.6%. 11.1 million were unemployed in December 2008. 14.9 million are now unemployed.

Keynesian economics and pump priming, in spite of its seductiveness, failed in the United States and England in the Great Depression, just as it failed more recently in Europe. ¾ of the Obama economics team have left or are leaving the Administration in the detritus of the economy. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, who has spent almost all his life in the government sector, remains.

It doesn’t matter; the economic plan is that of the President.

He is a true believer. He believes that the United States is an economic oppressor of the less developed countries, and that the wealthy in America, anyone earning over $250,000, oppress all others.

He fails to understand that consumption comes from the disposable income of the middle class in America and around the world. Marx referred to it as “capitalistic bourgeois decadence.” We view it as jobs and a rising standard of living.
He made it clear in his confrontation with Joe the Plumber – it’s about “fairness.”

Fairness to Obama means income redistribution – not creation. President Obama is anti-business, anti-private sector, and anti-capital, but pro-government.

Obama is a true believer; 20 years of listening to the Black Liberation Theology of Reverend Wright, consorting with William Ayres and Bernadette Dohrn, He is a true believer in class warfare. He shares the envy for those who succeed.

He is also narcissistic and arrogant. He cannot admit a mistake because he cannot recognize a mistake. He believes he is the One. He fervently believes he is the One to transform America.

President Obama is a true believer who wants to transform America into the “fair, socialist paradise” of Western Europe, the bankrupt Italy, Spain, Ireland, and Greenland. To restore Americans to their jobs, to restore the status quo, to rebuild the private sector, would be a defeat for President Obama’s vision of America.

The Obamanistics play by Chicago Rules – Reward your friends, and screw your enemies. Thus, the Stimulus funds were not intended for the American people, but for their benefactors, the unions and trial lawyers.

“Enemies” are demonized, such as insurance companies, the Chamber of Commerce, banks, doctors, Fox, Hannity, Beck, Limbaugh.

The Administration has nationalized, semi-nationalized, or demonized significant segments of the economy, including student loans, health insurance, mortgages (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and FHA), GMAC, most of Detroit.

The members of Congress think they are smarter than the Market. They are, in fact, economically ignorant. Because they are smart enough to be elected to Congress, and then, corrupted by power, they believe they are smarter than the Market in picking winners and losers. What they do is reward their political favorites. Keynesian pump priming in America is simply politicians deciding the winners of government largesse.

Just recently Congress enacted a small business bill to provide loans to small businesses that need them to survive. Taxes are going up on January 1, 2011, hitting successful small businesses especially hard. Now due to the Congressional geniuses, small business will have to borrow back, with interest, the monies that were taxed away from them.

The President and the redistributionists in Congress believe that government creates wealth and jobs – not people. He let the Congressional redistributionists draft the Stimulus and Appropriations Bills. President Obama believes wealth comes from the government, for in his years as a community organizer, it was about getting money from the government.

The President was a political science major and his wife sociology. Economics is an alien concept to them.

The Fed is running out of tools to jumpstart the economy. Heresy of heresy, it is talking about introducing inflation into the economy.

They keep shoveling money out the Capitol, attempting to shore up the economy, but they won’t get out of the way.

The theory of Keynes is that priming the pump will jumpstart the economy. Obamanomics is not even normal Keynesian economics, but a bastardized form in which the monies are distributed to a favorite few, usually in the form of transfer benefits. It’s not egalitarianism; it is simply Animal Farm.

To spend hundreds of billions on transfer payments, shoring up existing programs, and state and local expenditures is not Keynesian. The coffers of state and local governments are depleted. Simply sending them more federal funds is simply postponing the inevitable correction. They can’t raise taxes fast enough, but pensions and entitlements are strangling them. Bailing them out will end soon.

The Stimulus Bill failed and with it the failure of Obamanomics.