Monday, March 31, 2008

Poll Of Young Americans Shocks Adults Who Don't Know Any Young Americans

Saturday it was pointed out here how the film industry put out an anti-America movie once again and found to their surprise that it bombed. We say surprise because they just keep doing it, over and over and over so surprise is the kindest thing we can say about such idiocy. Sort of like the surprise one gets when lighting a match in a room full of TNT. For the twelfth time.

Americans aged 21-29 are a prime movie-going group. The ad agency J. Walter Thompson paid for some polling to find out how this demo group thinks about some core values. To parents of young Americans in this age group the poll simply affirms what was already known. But, I suspect, in entertainment board rooms the results are so shocking and counterintuitive that they'll be dealt with in the only way possible: IGNORE THE DATA!

Data like: "94 percent of millennials (21-29 y.o.) respect monogamy and parenthood and 84 percent revere marriage, the survey found 88 percent said they respect the U.S. Constitution, 84 percent respect the military and more than three-quarters believe in the 'American dream.' "

No doubt Hollywood, run by baby boomers, will just keep cranking out crap targeted at the 16% of millennials who DON'T respect the US Military and the 6% who don't revere parenthood. Most of what these people know about young Americans they learn from watching movies and TV produced by other people in their social group who don't know anything about young adults.

Or, they might know someone in Toluca Lake or Encino who actually has a kid. Maybe.

Click on the title of this posting for a brief article from UPI.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Opening Day-- March 31, 2008

Yes, I know that the Oakland Athletics and an American League entry from somewhere in New England have already played two regular season games in Tokyo, Japan. I am also aware that The Worldwide Leader in Hype will be telecasting a contest between the Atlanta Braves and Dmitri Young's hapless WashGnats tonight. No matter. The real opening day will begin tomorrow at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan at 1:05PM EDT when Justin Verlander toes the rubber for the home nine. Unless it snows. Or there's freezing rain. Then opening day will be Tuesday.
The Tigers begin the 2008 season with three key players on the DL: Curtis Granderson, Fernando Rodney, and Joel Zumaya. But that's all just part of the plan to give the other AL teams a glimmer of hope. When that hope is snatched from them as the Detroits roar to a World Series win in October it will only add to the joy across Tigertown. And the misery in Gotham, Beantown, Coffee City, The Big Orange and Cleveburg.
Bless You Boys.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Great News From Hollywood

Yet another anti-American film has bombed at the box office. Around the editorial offices here at Amalgamated Monkeydarts (Pat.Pending) we've lost count of the number of trash-America-first, anti-Operation Iraqi Freedom movies clobbered at the box office. Seems like dozens since they all get big flush-it-down-a-rathole advertising budgets too so they're hard to ignore. Studios keep green-lighting this junk, Americans keep jamming it back in their smug, Daily Koz-readin' faces and they still don't get it.

Make a great movie that is uplifting about American heroes fighting and winning in Operation Iraqi Freedom/ Operation Enduring Freedom and you will have a huge hit. Or, you can keep kidding yourselves like the gang at Paramount responsible for this latest assault on the nation, "Stop-Loss."

From Nikke Finke's Deadline Hollywood Daily:

I'm told #7 Stop-Loss opened to only $1.6 million Friday from just 1,291 plays and should eke out $4+M. Although the drama from MTV Films was the best-reviewed movie opening this weekend, Paramount wasn't expecting much because no Iraq war-themed movie has yet to perform at the box office. "It's not looking good," a studio source told me before the weekend. "No one wants to see Iraq war movies. No matter what we put out there in terms of great cast or trailers, people were completely turned off. It's a function of the marketplace not being ready to address this conflict in a dramatic way because the war itself is something that's unresolved yet. It's a shame because it's a good movie that's just ahead of its time."


That thinking reminds me of when the Paul Greengrass directed "United 93" was released two years ago next month. Once the press found out that it didn't take the side of the terrorists all we heard was, "Oh no! It's too soon!" "Americans won't want to watch that--- they aren't ready." And on and on and on. I went. I've watched it again on DVD. It is very moving and you can't help wondering if you have the stones to fight back like those people did on UA093. I think about it every time I get on an airplane now.

And guess what? "United 93" cost about $15M to make and got a small marketing budget. It did over $76M at the box office worldwide not counting cable/ DVD sales. I'll bet if you add up all of the big-name cast, anti-American military craptaculars put out since 2003 they haven't come close to making the net profits of "United 93".

People always say that Hollywood only cares about money. I worked for a Hollywood-based entertainment company in the 1970's, 80's and 90's. They care about things other than money. Trust me.

The Great Mark Steyn

On the latest Clintonian efforts as only Steyn can:

"The Clinton campaign’s letter to Nancy Pelosi suggesting that she might like to “reflect” (if you know what we mean) on her call for the super-delegates to support the winner of the popular vote (ie, Obama) was notable not for its menace but for its clumsiness: Few sights are more forlorn than an enforcer who can no longer enforce. The Clinton letter reminded me of Elena Ceausescu still trying to pull the don’t-you-know-who-I-am routine even as the firing squad were taking aim.

But on she staggers. Even if she can’t win, she can deny victory to Obama, and to her party. As they say in showbusiness, it’s not important for me to succeed, only for my friends to fail."

Friday, March 28, 2008

Thanks A Bunch, Barry

Last weekend I pointed out how the market was in a confirmed rally after following-through on Thursday. This week got off to a roaring start with the NASDAQ jumping up 68.64 Monday and another 14.30 Tuesday. However, volume was disappointingly light. Wednesday saw some selling but nothing horrible. Unfortunately while I was flying through snowstorms before landing in glorious 75 degree weather Thursday the NASDAQ dropped 43.53 on heavier volume.

Not good.

Today showed a nice gain in the morning with selling taking control pretty much all afternoon. If volume is high into the close it will be a very gloomy weekend as it would put a nail in the coffin of this 5 day old rally. Not a killer-- but enough to make a trader unable to concentrate on fishing Saturday and Sunday. As of this moment, with 30 minutes left in trading, volume looks pretty weak. Good.

One always has to be careful when determining what causes market moves. Most of the reporting on the subject falls under a heading I call Arkansas Marksmanship. ArkMark is when you fire eight shots into the side of the barn and then go over with a can of paint and a brush and paint a target around your grouping. Grinning you tell your friends, "Look, eight bullseyes!" This usually sounds like this, "The market today was down on war jitters." Or, "The market was up today on news that housing starts were up 0.1%."

So, I don't want to say that young Barry O'Bama caused this sell-off. But, he told the Money Honey(TM) at CNBC last night, in an interview traders have seen a dozen times today, that he thinks capital gains taxes need to go up 67%. So, if your livelihood is made in the markets, it isn't a very uplifting notion that your taxes under the leading candidate for POTUS will crush the flippin' life out of your business. How does Braniac know that a 67% tax increase is no biggie? Liberal billionaire Warren Buffet tol' him so.

Look sharp! da-da-da-da-da Be sharp! da-da-da-da-da

While on super secret "assignment" over the past five days in far away, frozen MichOhio I was staying at the home of some of my longtime associates. The first morning there I discovered that I had failed to pack shaving cream. The man of the house has been an electric shaver user for about 15-20 years so I presumed I'd need to head out to the nearest MegaMart.
But wait, he may not use shaving cream but that didn't mean he didn't still own shaving cream. Sure enough, I found a nice pretty white and red can of Gillette Foamy in the cabinet. The packaging looked a bit retro to me, but borrowers can not be choosers. So I blew the dust off the red plastic top on the can and checked the label.
Made in 1990. An 18 year old can of Foamy. Would it even work? Would the shaving cream be a beautiful white, foamy mound in my hand as I sprayed it out? Would the propellant even work? Would a brown puddle of rusty gunk splat out when I pressed the button? Has anyone ever used 18 year old shaving cream before?
I pushed the button down. A thick, bright, stiff, white pile of Foamy filled my hand. I dabbed some on after sniffing its clean, spicy, clean aroma. Perfect! The finest shaving cream I've ever employed. I even treated myself to a second shaving it was so good.
So, now I'm back home and beginning construction of a shaving cream cellar next to the existing wine cellar. I plan to buy up many different vintages of cream and lay down a few cans in the cellar. Today's free tip to other enthusiasts--- 1990 was an excellent year for Gillette Foamy. But make sure you collect some of the production from earlier in the season as the later 1990 vintages are a bit limp.

Missed It By That Much

Jonah Goldberg over at The Corner points us to something very interesting today: Mechanix Illustrated magazine's prediction of what life would be like in 2008. The article was published in November 1968 while I was still basking in the glory of the Detroit Tigers' World Series victory a month earlier. A number of the predictions have come true and then some others... well, I just wish I'd had one of those super fast air-cushion cars when "on assignment" this week. You have to remember that this is like predicting 2048 today. The only thing I'd be comfortable predicting about 2048 is that social security and medicare will be broke. Beyond that...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Monkeydarts Is "On Assignment"

Yesterday a large part of the morning here was spent getting the lawn in shape. Mowing, edging, general cleanup all had to be undertaken at Dartland Plantation. It was in the mid-70's and clear as a bell. Nothing but Carolina blue skies. The ice cream truck even went by fer cryin' out loud! That's not what's pictured above by the way. And today we're hitting a beautiful 78 degrees just in time for all of the folks from Ontario, the Northeast, and the Midwest to spend spring break here at the beach or on the golf course. Great for the state's economy.

So, what's the main Dart doing for Spring Break? Getting on an airplane and heading for MichOhio via Chicago. That would be the same MichOhio where it's freezing and flooding simultaneously. And the same Chicago where 350 flights were hung up yesterday when 9 inches of cement-heavy snow fell on O'Hare. Swell. Who booked this trip anyway? Ah yes, the editor. I'm officially "on assignment." I always figured that's what they put on someones column when they were in rehab or having cosmetic surgery done. You know, "Moron Dowed is 'on assignment' this week. Her unreadable column will return next week." You just know she's actually having sumpthin' lifted, tucked, augmented, or she's going through an extensive detox.
But for you, dear loyal reader(s), there's HOPE! (TM-Obama 2008) And all you have to do is CHANGE! (TM-Obama 2008) your mouse position a tiny bit and click on this link:
That maneuver will take you to Chattering Teeth the clever and witty blog of one DaBlade. Now you won't catch this DaBlade guy complaining about traveling to the frozen north because he lives in Michigan year round. Talk about cuttin' out the middle man. Plus, he comes down on the right side of all the big issues of the day. And by right we mean right and correct, of course.
But, to sweeten the pot, he loves hockey and Detroit Tigers baseball. I know what you're thinking: you just hit the mother lode. And, get this, he can write about lacrosse so well it makes you actually want to pick up a lacrosse stick and go clobber somebody. So, check it out.
I'll be back after the spring thaw or Friday, whichever comes first. Meanwhile, I gotchyer "global warming" right here.

Down Go Those Ducks

15 straight games now since the Sharks failed to get a point for the standings. 14 wins and one shootout loss for 29 points in 15 games. An uneven season has turned into something amazing since Cheechoo got healthy and Brian Campbell came over. Last night's victim? The defending champs Anaheim, losers 2-1.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday

We don't often post about our day job-- trading the equity markets. OK, maybe we do a little bit but, come on, Monkeydarts refers to picking stocks like a dart-flingin' monkey, so cut us some slack. (Ed: Who is this "we" you keep writing about?) With the markets closed today for Good Friday it's a fine time to write about this past week's market activity in the briefest possible way. Technically, it was a ding-dong dilly of a doozy. (Ed: What the...?)

Tuesday the FOMC targeted fed fund rates lower by 75 basis points to 2.25%. Many photogenic soothsayers were surprised that this caused the market to rally upwards as they had heard from the New York crowd they lunch with daily (Ed: That's called research and is tax deductible, dummy. Maybe you should try taking us over to Cafe 49 out on the rural route and write that lunch off once in a while.) that the Fed had to go to 2% NOW and must go to 1% SOON. Otherwise, the world will end or something. Really, New Yorkers get very dramatic sometimes. Ron Insana, that means you.

In reality, lots of people who run money and aren't overly worried by the mortgage market of today were heartened by the smaller than anticipated move. Why? First, they like the fact that the Fed is acknowledging the King Hell inflation they're creating down the road. Secondly, two fed governors went on record as favoring an even smaller move. That likely means that the Fed is close to ending the cycle of looser money. So, the market rallied. Good. But volume was so-so. Not as good. But then, looky here, the dollar started to stabilize, oil dropped dramatically, gold and silver plunged. That is a sure sign that others see the climax run in commodities ending because the fed is going to end the current cycle.

So, after the Tuesday rally Wednesday sees a sell-off of about half the gains. But volume doesn't climb so... GOOD! Then Thursday, the last trading day of this week, we got a powerful move up on solid volume. Meaning? Ladies and gentlemen, the correction has changed to a rally and the rally has been confirmed by a follow-through day.

No sustainable rally has ever begun without a follow-through day like Thursday's. But, not every confirmed rally lasts. Caution rules the day, but for the first time since we moved to cash way back on October 24, 2007 we will have a trading market starting Monday.

There now. Wasn't that boring? (Ed: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Fill 'er Up

Our part of the country experienced a drought last summer. While the mid-section of the US was getting more rain than they wanted we in the Southeast were left with almost none. Living in a lakeside community we tend to pay attention to drought and it was pretty bad. Watering restrictions, closed boat launches, coves turned into meadows... that was what the summer/ fall of 2007 were about here.

During the summer and fall the local big city newspaper, The Metrolina Disturber, did multi-part thumbsucker stories about the end-of-life-as-we-know-it because rapid growth was taking all of the water etc. Of course the Warmists were quick to blame the drought on their all purpose reason for everything less than good: climate change. On one thing all of the "experts" agreed. It would take years to get our lake levels back up to full pool. Some said at least three years. Others said five. All said we would need above average rainfall to even get close to normal levels by 2011.

So, as spring begins after a winter of normal rainfall I stopped at the lake. It's full. The picture above is a cove that was bone dry in September and had even become a grassy meadow. You can fish for bass there this morning. How will the media deal with this? I can guess.

Brought Low By the Man Who Should Lift Him Up

Somewhere along the way in the gushing coverage of Barack Obama's March 18th speech the actual purpose of the speech was lost. Let's hit reset.

Nobody was asking Senator Obama to make a sweeping speech about race relations in America. The 60's are long gone. A substantial number of people were, however, asking him to clarify his personal relationship with a hate-spewing, bigoted, racist pastor who Obama claims was his spiritual mentor and father figure. It was Senator Obama and his handlers, Axelrod and Plouffe undoubtedly, who decided to subtly change the subject.

Yesterday I declared that his effort was a failure. This view ran contrary to the predictable opinions of the legacy media but also to some McCain supporting pundits, notably Rich Karlgaard at Forbes. If the strategy was to fog up the real issue it worked to that extent. But, again, the speech didn't deal effectively with the real question at hand. That's why it was a failure.

Many voters wanted to know Obama's stance vis-a-vis Jeremiah Wright and his hate-speech. His answer to that was to explain away Wright's rhetoric. Obama didn't even point to what he specifically found objectionable. Then, to compound his problem, he embraced the racist minister and declared that he couldn't turn away from him any more than he could turn away from all of "black America." A subtle call to arms there, by the way.

So, yes, it was a failure. Assigned a speech on one topic he chose to give a different speech. The takeaway then becomes that Jeremiah Wright did what the Clinton Machine never could. Obama has now become "the black candidate." His poll numbers are dropping and intrade now shows McCain futures surging with Obama futures falling; the gap is just 43.5/40.0. What will they look like after 527's run ads using Wright's and Mrs. Obama's statements about America? Michelle's rhetoric was problematic enough but he had a chance to break clean from the minister at least-- he chose not to. You can respect that but it doesn't mean it's a good political move for November.

The candidate of HOPE and CHANGE brought low by the man who was his spiritual guide through life. A man of the cloth doing to his faithful follower what no opponent could. It's the stuff of novels.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Poor Grandma

Monkeydarts editors have been up since about 4:30AM EDT and there are two main topics in America this morning: 1)Obama's speech 2)The market rally.
There's no need to get into the BXO speech in detail. Yesterday I wrote that he needed to remain politically viable while not dumping too much on Jeremiah Wright. He seemed to accomplish that much although he threw his dear, elderly, white grandmother under the proverbial bus to do it. Ugly stuff that.
But the interesting thing to me today is all of the yakking about how great the speech was and how it ranks in the history of great political speeches on big, weighty topics.
The speech is from a subset of political speech making that can be called "Damage Control/ Save The Candidacy." This genre doesn't come around too often but we have seen it earlier in this campaign season. When Mitt Romney couldn't shake press questions about his Mormon faith he finally gave a daytime speech at the Bush Presidential Library. It was the best speech Mitt Romney ever gave. Frankly, it was far better than the "have-it-both-ways" one delivered by BXO Tuesday. It, predictably, got very little positive press attention and Mitt is a memory.
An earlier speech of this genre was the JFK / Roman Catholic speech in Houston, TX. His religion was a topic of political conversation that he had to address. He did so competently and was able to win the electoral vote in 1960 with a statistical tie in the popular vote. It wouldn't be out of bounds to think that JFK might have lost had he not allayed fears with that speech.
But the most effective speech of the genre that Obama dipped into yesterday was delivered on September 23, 1952. Senator Richard Nixon was being charged by opponents with having converted $18,000 in campaign contributions to his private use and Eisenhower was under pressure to dump his VP pick from the ticket. Nixon went on radio and the young medium of TV and denied the charges and then employed his daughter's pet cocker spaniel as an emotion- generating device to make the attackers seem petty and small. The one clip from the speech that's often shown is:
"One other thing I probably should tell you because if we don't they'll probably be saying this about me too, we did get something-a gift-after the election. A man down in Texas heard Pat on the radio mention the fact that our two youngsters would like to have a dog. And, believe it or not, the day before we left on this campaign trip we got a message from Union Station in Baltimore saying they had a package for us. We went down to get it. You know what it was.
It was a little cocker spaniel dog in a crate that he'd sent all the way from Texas. Black and white spotted. And our little girl-Tricia, the 6-year old-named it Checkers. And you know, the kids, like all kids, love the dog and I just want to say this right now, that regardless of what they say about it, we're gonna keep it."
What's lost though is the totality of Dick Nixon's very effective speech. He goes through his family finances in detail that is unimaginable today. He basically proves his contention that Senator Nixon and family are of very modest means. But he goes on to point out that their opponent, Adlai Stevenson, isn't just extremely wealthy but that his "fortune" was inherited from his father. There's a lot more to the "Checkers" speech than a cocker spaniel, Pat's Republican cloth coat, and a denial of wrong-doing.
Was it effective? Hugely. Ike kept Nixon on the ticket as polling showed a wide support for his populist message and a belief that the attacks were unfair. The Ike/Nixon team went on to win two terms together. Of course, Nixon went on to win two terms of his own after losing narrowly to JFK in 1960. Dick Nixon was on a national ticket a remarkable five times. He won four of those contests and the one he lost was a dead heat in the popular vote.
Will Barack Obama be as successful? At his age he certainly has time to be. The real test of the Tuesday speech isn't whether Chris Matthews got a tingle up his leg when he heard it. The real test will come at the voting booths of the United States.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

SRO for BXO Speech

I've been confidently predicting an Obama Presidency ever since I witnessed the Democrats' primary week here in South Carolina in mid-January. Soon thereafter Obama futures started trading higher than Hillary futures. Eventually they soared to predict a near certainty of the nomination. This morning he is still a shoo-in with a 74.3/25.0 edge over Hillary.

I was aware of BXO's potential problem with Jeremiah Wright, his hate-spewing, bigot/ mentor. But I never thought it would gain traction. Well, today the racist rhetoric story has enough traction that young BXO is giving a speech to try to do some quick damage control. This is quite a test for the fresh-faced junior Senator from Chicago. I'm sure the Axelrod and Plouffe laptops are red hot trying to craft a message that pulls off this neat trick-- remain politically viable without appearing to dump the spiritual leader of two decades standing.

Obama is the master of soaring rhetoric containing absolutely nothing. In a warehouse of empty suits his is the most attractive and stylish and yet, totally empty. All of which doesn't matter to his faithful. As we wrote here back on January 31, 2008: "Obama is pumping out the same sewage as all the other leftists, but from him it smells like sweet perfume."

However, the mission of the Philly speech this morning is quite different. Can he pull it off? It will be the best way to spend the morning as we wait for the FOMC announcement this afternoon._______________________________________
ADD: While Obama's futures for the D nom are still about where they've been for weeks his presidential futures are sliding a bit. He trades at 44.4 this AM while McCain is up to 39.0. The real effect of the Jeremiah Wright problem is more about November than the Denver convention-- but only because BXO's lead is virtually unassailable. Except by Clintonian hook or crook.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Jesse Livermore Proven Correct Once Again

Last week I wrote a bit about the importance of never ever trading on tips. Today Jeff Poor at brings us a great affirmation of this through the good works of the Head Carnival Barker(TM) of CNBC---

But, on March 11, (Jim) Cramer told an e-mailer not to sell the beleaguered investment bank’s stock on his show’s Web site:

“Dear Jim: Should I be worried about Bear Stearns in terms of liquidity and get my money out of there? --Peter
Cramer says: “No! No! No! Bear Stearns is not in trouble. If anything, they’re more likely to be taken over. Don’t move your money from Bear.”

Take that to the bank, Peter! Sheesh.
JC also used to say in the late 1990's that JDSU meant Just Don't Sell Us. But I digress. The important rule isn't that Cramer's a tool, it's that if you want to make money as a trader do NOT trade on tips-- or whatever you call the "suggestions" of people in the media. Just hit MUTE.

He Said What?

Sunday morning, fresh from a brief photo expedition in the neighborhood, I overheard one of the morning chinwag shows being watched by a couple of my associates. The oily senior senator from New York, Chuck Schumer was name-calling per usual. This time he oozed out a comparison he's been using lately which is, expressed arithmetically: GWB= Herbert Hoover.

This is beyond silly on many levels. First, as my younger associate pointed out, the majority of voters today don't know the difference between Herbert Hoover and William McKinley. Heck most voters today probably couldn't tell you if Hoover came before or after FDR. There is simply no traction to such an opaque, dated political argument. Schumer, of course, is too political an animal to even begin to get this.

Secondly, pretending that this economy in the current business cycle (that has created a record number of jobs, a record low unemployment rate, is yet to record even a single month of below zero growth, and is so strong it apparently can support a $3 Trillion federal budget that Schumer's party thinks is too small!) is the equal of the Great Depression is, um, hyperbole. There, that's a nice way to keep from saying, FREAKIN' INSANE.

And thirdly, if Chuck wants to talk about the causes of the Great Depression he could start with the actual precipitating event: the Smoot-Hawley Tariff. Has President Bush proposed anything like that? NO. Quite the opposite.
But Sen. Schumer has sponsored its modern day equivalent, a 27% tariff on imports from China. A move that would almost certainly start a worldwide trade war. And, by the way, another huge problem in the era you harken back to, Chuck, was the looming specter of tax increases. Seen anything like that lately Schm, er, Chuck? Oh yeah, just the largest tax increase in US history parked dead ahead.

I would say that Senator Schumer's performance Sunday morning, "was a little pitchy, dawg."

Or something like that.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sunday Morning In The South

Around the neighborhood. Pear blossoms, Sunday morning, March 16, 2008.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

11th Straight Victory

The San Jose Sharks took a 4 goal lead in the 1st period at HP Pavilion last night and went on to beat St. Louis 4-1. This was the 11th straight win for our beloved Sharks as they hit their stride just in time for the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The Sharks now have the second best record in the NHL. They trail the Red Wings by 8 points for the best regular season record.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Good News, Bad News, Ya Know I've Had My Share

On the same day we read the glorious news of the Silver Star being awarded to 19 year old medic Spc. Monica Lin Brown we are brought low by the report that Jack Murtha will NOT be required to give a deposition in the military trial of Marine Lt. Col. Jefferey Chessani. Chessani was battalion commander of the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment-- in charge of the group slandered by Fat Jack and TIME Magazine.
This is blood-boiling stuff. Take a deep breath and read it here. We hope for a good outcome for these Marines and a final comeuppance for scum of the Earth like Murtha, TIME and the terrorists to whom they give aid and comfort.

Buybuybuy, no Sellsellsell... whatever

The Daily Options Report, right here on our bloggy network at , points out the latest inane market stylings of one Jim Cramer. Cramer of course is the highly- rated carnival barker at CNBC who honks horns, screams, tears up when he thinks of his dear school chum EvilEl Spitzer, and otherwise leads people to think that the equities markets are actually a freakin' three ring circus populated by over-caffeinated chimpanzees.

According to The DOR, Thursday March 13th this snake-oil salesman peddled the following:

Longs: You're On Notice
Buying When We're Oversold Can Be Dicey By Jim Columnist3/13/2008 11:43 AM EDT

Shorts: You're On Notice
Shorts Don't Work in an Oversold MarketBy Jim Columnist3/13/2008 2:15 PM EDT

So, OK, that's news you can use, don't be long and don't be short. Hey, I went to cash on October 24, 2007 and haven't owned a stock in any account since, so I can agree. But then JC goes on his TV show and picks a bunch of stocks for people to buy!

Use this as yet another teaching moment: you should never, ever, have the sound up on the TV when people are telling you which stocks to buy... which is pretty much all day long on CNBC and FBN. Bloomberg too probably, I've never had the sound on with Bloomberg on my screen.

The great trader Jesse Livermore left behind many enduring ideas about how to make money in equity markets. There is nothing new in the markets-- the same things happen decade after decade. That's why the ability to read charts and understand the tape is essential. And, it's why what worked for Jesse a hundred years ago still works.

Among the ideas that Livermore left behind are these two:

-Money cannot consistently be made trading every day or every week during the year.

-Few people ever make money on tips. Beware of inside information. If there was any easy money lying around, no one would force it into your pocket.

So, sometimes the best trading decision is "don't trade." It ain't easy to sit 100% in "cash" for 4 and a half months, but that's what I've been doing. It's a lot easier to NEVER LISTEN TO THE TV TIPSTERS once you make it a habit to just hit "MUTE." I never trade on a tip. And, I never give them out. I get asked all the time, "What should I buy?" I always try to change the subject. If you want me to pick stocks for you just give me your accounts to manage. Otherwise I won't play that game.

During the times in his life when Jesse Livermore was rich and he thought the market was correcting he would leave New York and take his yacht out for a ride. One of his favorite destinations was the American Southeast. I like to think the internet has allowed me to do Livermore one better--- I live in the Palmetto State year round, and never even have to set foot in the Northeast United States. Then again, I don't have a yacht. Thankfully, I don't want one either.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Prison Cell Blues

The champagne is iced down. OK, it's really Palmetto Porter, but who's checking. At 11:30 AM Evil El will, reportedly, be stepping down. Well, he actually can't step down since he started out lower than whale poop so let's rephrase that. He will resign. Allegedly.

Much is being made of how long it will take for Spit to exit the premises. Five days they say. I'll bet the industrial strength shredder won't be the first thing moved out of his office.

The other big topic is how Charlie Rangel's protege will be the new Guv. Good for him. And double good for Charlie who can't stand ElSpit. He used to call him, "the smartest guy in the world" with a sneer. So Rangel will own the Governorship of NY now like he owns ways and means. Except he doesn't have to listen to Pelosi when it comes to tellin' the new Guv what to do. The media also is pointing out, ad nauseum, that the incoming New York Governor is both black and blind. An associate pointed out this AM that he's just a guitar short of a blues act.

So, congratulations to Governor Jefferson. Now, where's that cham, er Palmetto Porter?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Day 2 for Client #9

It appears that Governor Spitzer didn't get caught in the investigation of a prostitution ring as it seemed yesterday afternoon.

Instead, the prostitution ring likely got caught in the investigation of Spitzer. Apparently the Guv of NY was suspected of laundering bribe money. In looking into that they found evidence that he was spending large sums of money on a high-priced money for sex operation.

Among the many questions--
-Was it his own money that he was throwing around?
-Was he taking bribes as suspected?
-If so were those payments made to stave off prosecution? Extortion anyone?
-Were the taxpayers of New York toting the note on some of his activities?
-Will Dick Grasso throw a party for all of the people who were attacked by Spitzer using his delightful prosecution through blackmail and intimidation tactics?
-What does his sock-puppet pal, James Cramer, the screamin' yahoo on CNBC, have to say about Evil El's fall from grace and into disgrace?

I've known a few egomaniacal narcissists in my working life. Let's just say Slimey Spitzer fits the profile perfectly. Note that in his statement Monday he apologizes for falling short of the Spitzer standard of conduct-- not the law.

He has always thought of himself as above the law. I assure you, he still does.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Number 9, Number 9, Number 9

From here it looks as though an egomaniacal narcissist is just one step away from going down the drain.
Wall Street cheered loudly but did NOT rally. Now that's a market determined to keep selling off.
Left: Client #9 talks to a constituent who is not his wife.

BOOM Goes Our Auto Business

While Michiganders moan about how horrible the economy is and Ohioans shriek that free trade is a bad thing we sometimes feel that we live in a completely different country. Every direction I drive I see construction here. Homes, businesses, a huge new school-- all of those things within a mile of our abode. Of course, the reply comes back from my former homeland, MichOhio, that their hardships are mainly because the US auto industry is in a horrible state. OK.

Well, building cars in our quarter of the nation is a booming business. In fact, the nearby BMW factory in Greer, SC hosted our Governor Mark Sanford just today to make a big announcement. Building cars in South Carolina and shipping them around the world is such a good business for BMW that they are expanding the state-of-the-art Greer facility to the tune of $750 Million. That expansion will require 500 additional direct hires. Of course those 500 jobs will be multiplied many times over in our Upstate economy.

There are lessons to be learned here but politicians like Granholm, Levin, Strickland and Sherrod Brown will never, ever learn them. Which means we'll need to keep building hereabouts as more and more people from the Northeast and Upper Midwest flee to our far greener pastures. Just so they learn to eat grits (properly) and pulled pork barbecue with slaw.

The local Greenville, SC paper reports here:

Clinton Machine Prepares To Launch Plan Z

I must admit, it's fun to watch so many Democrats upset with "The Clintons." (TM) The most amusing thing is when you read or hear them bemoaning the depths to which Hillary! (TM) has sunk. As a charter member of the VRWC I can assure you wooly-headed libs that she hasn't changed a bit. She's always been this loathsome. The only difference is that now your guy (BXO) is the one taking the incoming fire. If you think Obama is getting knocked around you weren't paying attention to the Clinton Machine's politics of personal destruction throughout the 90's.
There will be more to come. BXO made a mistake. Gov. Warner, Evan Bayh, Tom Vilsack all stepped aside. Richardson, Biden, Dodd all played their parts before dropping out. Even Johnny Edwards took his Silky Pony and went back to the Chapel Hill country estate.
Only Senator Obama made the mistake of taking on the machine and winning. He didn't know he was supposed to wait his turn.
Denver better be prepared.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Green Is Green Is Green

Albert Gore's hometown paper greets him this morning with a cheerful tale of how he exited guvmint with about $2 Million to his name and, after just 7 years heading the Church of Warmism, he is now worth over $100 Million. Hysterical demagoguery has been very, very good to ol' Al:

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Sharks Update

When last we wrote about our Sharks they were mired in a slump and on the roadtrip from h-e-double hockey sticks. Things are very different now. With 8 straight wins the Sharks now have the third best record in the Western Conference. They are just a point behind Dallas and have two games-in-hand on the Stars.

So, what happened?

1. Chechoo is healthy and back in goal-scoring form. He now leads the team in goals.

2. Brian Campbell, brought over from Buffalo is making the defense tremendously better.

3. Patrick Marleau is wide awake, finally, and playing as the captain should... much speculation that he was hampered by trade rumors.

4. The guys that have been performing well all year, Joey, Nabby, and the rest haven't fallen off.

Things are looking good once again for a serious run for the Stanley Cup.

Friday, March 7, 2008

He Retired! For Real!

From the sporting world came news yesterday of a retirement. Sadness overcame many from coast-to-coast. The good news is that this brave champion who brought such joy to millions will be able to spend the rest of his productive life at stud. Well deserved, my friend.

What? No, not Favre! Uno, the world's greatest (male) beagle ever, is hangin' up the leash for a life of ease. With his good looks and charm the bit... er, the young beagle gals, will be chasin' him all over the kennel.

Carry on, Uno. Well done.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Divided We Stand

It looks pretty certain that, as of next fall, we will be living in "A House Divided." No, I don't mean McCain/ Obama divided. I mean something far more serious in The Palmetto State: USC/ Clemson. Gamecocks/ Tigers. Garnet/ Orange. That kinda divided.
It's serious stuff. I've lived in the middle of Ohio State/ Michigan, Longhorns/Sooners, Stanford/Cal, UCLA/Southern Cal. None of those rivalries compares, up close and personal, to the University of South Carolina v. Clemson University. Especially during football season.
With one young Dartlad already matriculating at Carolina the fact that the youngest Dartlad is choosing Clemson from among the bidders leaves us with one simple fact to face:
We will be "A House Divided."
As for me, I'll root for the Gamecocks during football season, the Tigers during basketball season, and both teams during baseball season. When they play each other on the diamond I'll root for the team ranked highest in the nation. That oughta work.
He coulda made this easier and gone to Wofford. Go Terriers!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Thanks for playing. Here's a lovely parting gift.

Huck, we hardly knew ye. Drive into the sunset brave Huck. A grateful nation salutes you.

"Yes, We Can!" Runs Into "Not So Fast"

The story line today is a variation on Hillary Rises From The Dead or Bloodbath To Come! It's important to remember a few things:

1. Because of proportional allocation of delegates the deck is stacked in Obama's favor now.

2. The media will promote Hillary now simply because it makes for a better story over a long summer.

3. Republicans will promote the "steel-cage death-match leading to blood in the streets in Denver" story.

4. Obama will likely win in Mississippi and Wyoming which come before the PA primary where Hillary will win but not make a big dent in his delegate lead.
5. Even Bubba and his bride know that finagling the nomination away from BXO (formerly the candidate known as BHO) will cause a chasm in the party not seen since 1964-68. It would blow apart the coalition upon which the Democrat Party has been built since 1965. Even if they don't care, others around them with future elections to ponder sure will.

The most likely Democrat nominee is still Barack X. Obama. His futures are trading at 70.3 this morning while hers are at 26.9. But the media, even the talk radio folks, will be pimpin' Hillary.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Fight Bobcats, Fight!

Sorta-But-Not-Quite Super Tuesday dawns and I see my alma mater is the scene for America's most-watched news channel's continuing coverage on their morning chit chat fest. Rufus lynx rufus, indeed. Good for the school, but not surprising since News Corp poobah Roger Ailes graduated from Ohio University in 1962. Quite a few years before me, I might add hastily. Many, many years. Too many years before me to even count. OK. 13.

It's an odd feeling for me these days as a life-long political junkie. Everybody is talking about this big, exciting battle and I don't care a bit. I suppose I want the HRC/BHO fight to continue all summer culminating in a bloody, nominee-wrecking, battle in Denver. I would definitely be for that if the other party were nominating a reliable fiscal conservative. But, they won't. So, I'm left with the steel-cage death-match between Clinton and Obama. yay.

It's like when the Super Bowl is played between two teams I can't stand. Except there aren't any new commercials in this contest-- as long as you don't count HRC's hideous "It's 3AM" ad. Or her even worse Christmas ad: "Now where did I put universal pre-K?"

I've never been one to use Barack Obama's middle name much. In fact I usually refer to him as BHO in the grand Demo tradition of FDR, JFK, LBJ. But I've received word through back channels that Michelle Obama has likened any use of her husband's middle name to fear-mongering hate-speech. (Which should make for an interesting swearing-in ceremony if he wins, by the way: "I, Barack Blank Obama do solemnly swear...") But, in answer to Michelle O's (like Jackie O, cool huh) sensitivity, from now on I'll try to refer to BHO as Barack X. Obama. Hope that helps.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Not To Trivialize or Anything, But...

These days when people talk about the sports world colliding with the real world they are usually talking about police blotter stuff or crazy congress critters holding hearings. But today my beloved Detroit Tigers have a real world issue on their hands. As the Marxist President Hugo Chavez threatens to advance Venezuelan troops into staunch US ally Colombia it causes a serious concern in Tigerland. The starting 3rd baseman, 1st baseman, and right fielder for Detroit, All-Stars each and every one, are Venezuelans. The starting shortstop is Colombian.

All we are saying, is give peace a chance.

Such A Monday

Sitting down in the office on a Monday morning and preparing for the trading day it's always good to review the weekend's events around the world.

-President Uribe of Colombia, a valuable US ally, successfully launched a strike against FARC killing leader "Raul Reyes" and 16 other terrorists. However, his neighboring Marxist dictators, Chavez of Venezuela and Correa of Ecuador took offense and moved troops and tanks to the Colombian border. If they roll into Colombia there is little doubt we will come to Uribe's aid. I would also expect Pelosi, Dodd, Kennedy et al to protest. They're kinda sweet on Chavez. Wonder how Obama will react? He'll "hope for change."
- The US fired three precision missiles into the lawless Somalia town of Dobley in an attempt to kill more than a couple al Qaeda terrorists.
- The usual battles with Islamofascists took place in Gaza, Afghanistan and Iraq as well.
- Following the big selloff in the US Friday markets around the world fell before our opening bell.
- Oil hit $103+/ bbl in early trade. For some time the mainstream press reported oil selling in the $80's as "an all-time high." Adjusted for inflation it certainly was not. But, at $103 it certainly is.

So. Just another Monday. I better have another cup of coffee.

UPDATE: Throw in a little domestic terrorism too.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

A Map-Changing 2008?

Michael Barone is the most knowledgeable expert on voting patterns by congressional district in America today. Name a congressional district in any state in the USA and Barone can tell you the percentage of the vote by party, the current representative (and a few historical ones too), and several other things about that district's electorate. That's why it's interesting when Michael writes a column called "Throw Out The Maps in 2008."

It's his belief that the electoral vote this November may fall along much different lines than the 2000/2004 elections. I have been a believer, since McCain and Obama became the likely nominees about a month ago, that this could be a re-alignment election. On the R side you have a candidate who made his name by opposing his own party in ways and language he would never use against the opposition. His problems with the base are, for many voters, irreconcilable. On the D side you have a candidate who took on the Clinton machine and beat it soundly, not because of his positions, but just through soaring, albeit empty, rhetoric. Throw in the respective ages/ energy of the two nominees and you have a prescription for a blowout in favor of the "Hope and change! Yes, We can!" guy.

But, I'm not a believer that it will look radically different than 2000/ 2004 as long as it is essentially a 2 man race. With no Perot mucking things up I forecast around a 50-48-2 split in the popular vote. But in the electoral college I think Obama will win handily. He'll hold all of the Kerry 2004 states with the possible exception of New Hampshire. McCain will, on the other hand, lose the following states that GWB won in 2004: Iowa, New Mexico, Ohio and Colorado. Furthermore, Obama has a good chance of also adding Missouri, Nevada and Virginia to his column.
I wish this was not the case. I wish that the Republican Party had nominated a solid economic conservative. They didn't. Since they didn't, I suspect BHO will be the next POTUS.
Finally, unlike 2000 & 2004 Florida and Ohio will not be battleground/ swing states. McCain will carry Florida easily due mainly to the retiree vote and secondarily to overwhelming support from the Cuban-American voters. Ohio will go with Obama by a comfortable margin as the state of my birth falls deeper into the Michigan failure model.