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