Monday, June 30, 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
What can I say, I'm a giver. Now I need to work on my offer for the clear deed to one of these suburban "McMansions" the media says folks will be fleeing. Get me Chris Dodd's loan guy on the phone, we're going to have to get creative.
UPDATE: Sadly, as of June 29th I have not received one serious response to my kind offer to ease the suffering of my fellow Americans. I did however put 15 gallons of gasoline in my Chevy Tahoe on Saturday. $3.799/ gallon.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
2. "High Noon"
5. "Red River"
6. "The Wild Bunch"
7. "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid"
8. "McCabe & Mrs. Miller"
10. "Cat Ballou"
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Friday, June 13, 2008
The other day Senator McCain got a question he dreaded about his position on drilling for crude oil in ANWR. During his answer he trotted out a tired old line of his that compares ANWR to The Grand Canyon.
McCain: "As far as ANWR is concerned, I don’t want to drill in the Grand Canyon, and I don’t want to drill in the Everglades. This is one of the most pristine and beautiful parts of the world."
Maybe the Senator needs to go to ANWR and check it out. In fact he should have Alaska Governor Sarah Palin take him there. By the time he leaves he'll realize-- it ain't the Grand Canyon! And, if he's smart, he'll ask Palin to be his running mate.
All of which is an excuse to put up a picture I took while running the Colorado River rapids in the Grand Canyon more years ago than I care to recall. I recommend it to anyone plus it's closer than "pristine" ANWR.
UPDATE: Jonah Goldberg at The Corner has some snapshots of ANWR for comparison here.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Last week we wrote at length about the unemployment leap to 5.5%. Drilling down into the data it was clear that the jump was due entirely to the 16-24 year old summer job search by kids like Poindexter * pictured here. Some of this jump was due to the way the data was massaged differently, but there was actually an underlying problem-- Democrat legislation enacted last summer destroyed many thousands of summer jobs this year.
The folks at IBD can tell you all about it here. The idea that raising the minimum wage decreases employment isn't any big revelation. It always happens that way. But most of us had probably forgotten that one of the first moves the new Democrat Congress made last year was to pass job-killing legislation. They are soooo compassionate and caring. Just ask Poindexter.
* - Poindexter used to head up our analysis area. I fired him this month to save his salary and benefits cost in anticipation of the large tax increases coming after January 2009.
Monday, June 9, 2008
A 43 year old married father of two teenagers, Tommy DeCarlo, is the new lead singer for the multi-platinum classic rock band BOSTON. He gave up his day job at our local Home Depot (River Gate Plaza in Steele Creek) to head out on the road this summer. Story and more pictures here. A short interview on video is here. All of it courtesy of Sarah Aarthun at the Charlotte Observer.
Livin' the dream. Literally. Good luck, Tommy!
PS- Thanks for helping out on that problem with the propane tank on our grill!
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Friday, June 6, 2008
Now how on Earth does an unemployment figure cause oil prices to soar? In fact, if more people are supposedly out of work, doesn't that mean oil should drop in price instead of leap $7 per barrel like it did on this morning's news-- since there should be less demand after all? Well, loyal reader(s), what's happening this morning is proof, if you still needed it, that high oil prices are linked more to the weak dollar than to any "peak oil" or Schumer's Saudi scare. Think about it. Did demand soar overnight? No. Did supply fall off somewhere? Just the usual, no. So, what happened to cause oil to retrace most everything it had lost in two weeks at this morning's opening bell? Here's an outline:
- crude oil hit a high of $135.09 on 5/22 and faltered at that price
- the stock market, not coincidentally, went into a technical correction the day before after several days of selling-- this looked like big money managers reallocating portfolios
- the dollar strengthened against other currencies generally over the next two weeks- the fed was signalling that they were inflation-fighter mode now
- another way to play a strengthening dollar is to sell (and sell short) commodities, therefore oil plunged
- oil fell below $123/bbl on June 4th during the trading day (I'm looking at my intra-day trading notes not a chart) that quick of an oil price correction probably meant some large short positions were coming in on crude oil driving it down nearly 10% in two weeks
- at 8:30AM EDT today the May non-farm payroll and unemployment numbers were released
- that data was read to be very bearish for the general economy meaning the federal reserve would NOT be able to start raising interest rates and strengthening the dollar
- the above data point means NO inflation fighting from the fed... sooooo stock futures reduced downward sharply, the strengthening dollar sold off abruptly and, say it with me now, the people shorting crude oil covered their short positions... boom-- oil flies instantly to $134.50
Supply and demand? Don't make me laugh. Traders moving pretty damn fast for a June Friday? You betchyerazz. Don't worry Jake, it's Chinatown. Ooops, I mean, it's market action, baby! We live for this! And the word of the day on Wall Street TV... IT'S GOING TO $150!!! Run for your lives!!! They are herding up the sheep right now on CNBC and the sheep are sprinting towards the shearing barn. The pulse quickens.
Now, think about this tiny little bit of news about that supposedly horrible unemployment data: it calculated graduating kids from high school/ college differently than usual, thus the jump from 5% to 5.5%. My guess is there will be some "smoothing" of that number in the next couple of months. So the fed might not be knocked off the inflation-fighting, tightening track at all. Make sure you're on the "right side of the trade." Today, I am. But it's hard work being there and staying there in a volatile market. This ain't the late 90's when any dart-throwin' monkey could buy Intel or Cisco and look smart.
Watch to see if oil breaks above $135.09 today and STAYS ABOVE IT AT THE CLOSE. That will be the most important number today methinks.
UPDATE: Resistance at $135.09 held through the morning but around 1PM the price of crude broke through that level. When it did it, of course, rapidly advanced to just under $140. Remember, a couple of days ago it was trading at $122 and change. (Hint: That's got all the makings of a run.) Clearly the short positions that were taken over the past few weeks were covered today. Here's the quiz question though: will that short-covering rally continue next week and turn into further gains or will it collapse? Would you BUY crude oil at $138.84 per barrel knowing it was in the 80's just last February? If so you were the kind of "investor" who bought AOL right when Time Warner was buying her. Good luck.
UPDATE2:There's a gigantic, worldwide game of chicken going on-- this has very little to do with "supply disruptions", "sabre rattling" or "demand from China." Those things have all been in place for a long time. No, this is about two opposing trading positions battling it out for supremacy. The best place for you? In the La-Z-Boy with a tub of buttered popcorn watching it play out. Will the bull forces drive the world into an economic collapse? Will the oil bears win the day and drive crude oil down to 80, 70, 60....? I love this game!
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
There's a wonderful saying, usually attributed to Sun Tsu: "If you wait by the river long enough, the bodies of your enemies will float by." Sun Tsu has been dead for over 2,500 years so I can't e-mail him to see if he really said that, but if he didn't he should have. For me the wait hasn't been too long. Most of us knew when Hillary Clinton ran for the US Senate seat being vacated by the honorable Daniel Patrick Moynihan that her real goal was to reclaim the White House power base for the Clinton Crime Syndicate. Back when I used to care who the Republicans were running in 2008 much of the discussion revolved around who could "stop Hillary." It was a glorious week here in South Carolina back in January when we found out exactly who could stop her: Bill Clinton.
This past week our only elected president to be impeached came unglued because Vanity Fair did a long article that explored Bill's very dark soul. It's one thing if The American Spectator or The Weekly Standard or the WSJ Editorial page writes something bad about him. After all, they're all just part of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy(TM). But when a glossy, New York fashion magazine read by the idle Gulfstream Greens and Limousine Liberals trashes Billy, why that's a bridge too far. By now I'm sure you've heard or read Billy's tirade about the article using Clintonian debate terms like "sleazy", "slimy", "dishonest" and "scumbag." That last one, for you youngsters, is defined as "a used condom." Looks like the William Jefferson Blythe Clinton Presidential Legacy is now complete. But buried in this outburst was this from the impeached one:
"It's all about the bias of the media for Obama... But I'm telling ya, all it's doing is driving her supporters further and further away-- because they know exactly what it is-- this has been the most rigged press coverage in modern history."
OK. I won't argue that the media isn't in the tank for Barack. But holy crap pal, you were President of the United States for eight years, put on some big boy pants ya whining, miserable sore loser. And, by the way, as for "the most rigged press coverage in modern history" you might get an argument from: Barry Goldwater, Dick Nixon, Spiro Agnew, Ronald Reagan, Dan Quayle, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Bob Dole, Don Rumsfeld, Scooter Libby, Mitt Romney... you get the picture. Maybe it's a matter of what the definition of "modern" and "history" is. Democrats have no idea what it's like running for public office without a handmaiden press to assist daily. Bill & Hill got a very small taste of it and they don't seem to like it much. Poor babies.
Whether you ever grow up or not is no concern to me though Billy boy. I'm just sitting here along the river watching your stinking carcass float downstream. Oh look, a turkey buzzard.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
"If anybody comes into my home and tries to hurt my kids, I've no problem shooting them," (Jolie) said. "I can handle myself. There's a side to me that people know is humanitarian, and there's a side to me that's a mommy. But there's also the side that likes to get down and dirty and run and jump around and fire guns."
Monday, June 2, 2008
You may have heard that the Danish embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan was bombed Monday. As I type this there are six known dead and dozens wounded. Robert Spencer at Jihad Watch attributes this to the seething rage over the cartoon depictions of Mohammed-- which Robert refers to as Motoon Rage. He's almost certainly correct, although I haven't seen any group claim this atrocity for their very own. On one of the recent pronouncements from al Qaeda leader Dr. Z, that nutbar "called for attacks on Danish targets in response to the publication of caricatures in Danish newspapers depicting the Prophet Muhammad" according to the AP. I take the reporting of the AP with a block of salt, but I'll trust them on this one.
So, you say, terrorists have killed six people and injured many more in Pakistan but otherwise there wasn't much activity on the Islamic terrorist front over the past few days. That would be wrong. For example, looking at just the last 7 days (5/26-6/1/2008) on the grid at The Religion of Peace we find that there have been Islamic terror attacks in Somalia, India, Iraq, Pakistan, Thailand, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, The Philippines and Yemen. Total known dead from those 38 separate terror attacks is, roughly, 157. That's before this attack on the Danish embassy in Islamabad. How many of those did you hear about since Memorial Day? For me, I think the total was one. Basically, it doesn't get reported but there are, on average, 3 to 4 Islamic terror attacks in the world every single day.
Sunday, June 1, 2008
By TOM RAUM
MOUNT RUSHMORE NATIONAL MEMORIAL, S.D. (AP) — Democrat Barack Obama paid an unscheduled late-night visit to Mount Rushmore Friday, visiting the national memorial at closing time and joking that his ears were too big to ever be included in such a display.
Obama joined a group of reporters and staff members for an after-dark sightseeing visit to the national memorial, where the faces of four presidents are carved into the mountain. South Dakota and Montana hold their primary elections on Tuesday, the final ones in the nation, and Obama was campaigning in both states.
Asked by a reporter if he ever envisioned himself carved into the mountain, he said, "I don't think my ears would fit. There's only so much rock up there."
Obama said it was his first visit to the landmark.
He did express curiosity about the filming of a chase scene in "North by Northwest," Alfred Hitchcock's 1959 classic starring Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint that included a death-defying scramble over Rushmore's presidential faces.
"How did they get up there in the first place?" he asked ranger Wesley Jensen.
"They didn't. It was a movie set," Jensen told him.
"Pretty spiffy, isn't it," said the Illinois senator, summing up his overall impressions.