Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Take '08 Away, Jay

Happy New Year!

Here's a great review of 2008 that we didn't produce.

Igor Sez No More US Come 2010

We were looking at The Corner last night and Mark Steyn linked to an article we missed in the Wall Street Journal about a Russian Professor, Igor Panarin, who predicts that the United States of America will dissolve in 2010. The whole thing is extremely amusing, but the best part is Igor's idea of how the 50 states will realign. This map tells the disintegration story:
Now maybe a guy can believe that Minnesota or Wisconsin could become part of Canada. Or that Vermont could become part of the European Union while Hawaii "goes to Japan or China." But the idea that South Carolina and Tennessee would join the EU or that Texas and Georgia would fall under the rule of Mexico? This cat Igor has never spent any time around these places, that's for sure.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

10 More Things That Won't Survive

This year there's a variation on the usual year-end prediction story. We now have the "What Won't Survive 2009" story. A few days back I linked to an interesting one about companies that will fail. Here's one from Mike Elgan of ComputerWorld/ InfoWorld that's fairly provocative.

1. Free tech support The practice still employed by some companies of paying humans to answer phones and solve technical problems with hardware or software purchased for consumers will become a thing of the past.

2. Wi-Fi you have to pay for Everyone is going to share the cost of public Wi-Fi because the penny-pinching public will gravitate to places that offer "free" Wi-Fi.

3. Landline phones Digital phone bundles for homes will keep the landline idea alive for a while, but as millions of households drop their cable TV services and as consumers look to cut all needless costs, the trend toward dropping landline service in favor of cell phone service only will accelerate until it's totally mainstream, and only grandma still has a landline phone.

4. Movie rental stores

5. Web 2.0 companies without a business plan The era when Web-based companies could emerge and grow on venture capital, collecting eyeballs and members at a rapid clip and deferring the business plan until later are dead and gone. Yeah, I'm talking to you, Twitter.

6. Most companies in Silicon Valley Tech company failures and mergers will leave the industry with a low two-digit percentage (maybe 25 percent) of the total number of companies now in existence.

7. Palm Inc. Elevation Partners, which has among its principals U2 lead singer Bono, pumped a whopping $100 million into the failing Palm Inc. this week. The idea is to give the company time to release its forthcoming Nova operating system, which will take the cell phone world by storm and give Apple a run for its money. It would have been far more efficient, however, to just flush that money down the toilet.

8. Yahoo Yahoo is another company that can't seem to do anything right.

9. Half of all retail stores Many retail stores are obsolete and will be replaced by online competitors. Entire malls will become ghost towns.

10. Satellite radio I'm sorry, Howard Stern. It's over. The newly merged Sirius XM Radio simply cannot sustain its losses.

Some of these are undoubtedly correct. But all of them...?

Monday, December 29, 2008

My Share of the Bailout- Mark It PAID

I spent my entire morning today in the waiting room of my friendly Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge dealership. It seems that, on the rainy day after Christmas, the left rear window of my Jeep fell abruptly inside the door while I was motoring over to the lake. Did I say it was raining? It was raining. Trying to run it back up resulted in nothing but a clack-clack-clack ratchety kinda sound.

So I took it in to have it repaired this morning since it was 70 degrees, clear, and no rain in sight to fall unobstructed onto the back seat.

Sadly, the same thing happened thirteen months ago to this very window. At that time the "window regulator" (AKA: small motor and assorted moving parts and brackets) was still under warranty. I pointed out to the service writer this morning that the same thing had happened before in the hopes that she would say, "We stand behind our genuine Jeep parts and our work here at your friendly, neighborhood Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge dealership. With times as tough as they are in the American automobile business we want to show you just how much we value you as a customer so we will do that work for free! Thank you for your loyalty to our product."

But, actually, she said, "Well, the warranty on that repair service was 12 months and 12,000 miles and it's been 12 and a half months and 17,000 miles... so that'll be $450.00. And, by the way, our service tech cracked the door panel while working on the window so we ordered a new one and will call you when it comes in so you can bring the Jeep back for us to install it."

Gee. Thanks.
I stopped to look at a Toyota FJ Cruiser on the way home.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

There's A Big Story To Tell

Matt Labash visited Detroit recently and has a story to tell.

Do we even realize what we're seeing in front of us today?

Do we understand that putting hope and faith in big and still bigger government is a fool's errand?

Years ago I lived on an Indian reservation in Montana. I was teaching in an Indian school run by Franciscans, but I was the one who learned far more than my Cheyenne and Crow students. One lesson I learned there was not one I expected when I arrived. That lesson was that dependence on government breeds destruction, pathology, and failure.

These days it seems like the entire nation is traveling towards life on a reservation. Trust me, you do not want to live on "the rez", no matter what the Great White Father in Washington DC promises you in the way of free health care and swell guvmint schools.

When I lived in Montana, industry was still booming in Motown. Now the remaining citizens of Detroit appear to be even worse off than the poorest reservation dweller I ever met. It might look like the grimmest scene from a movie about Armageddon, but it is not too late.

Labash marks a portion of Psalms in a gift book that is the perfect helping hand. There is only one way out of the self-created mess. It will take strong hearts, self-reliant confidence, and faith. Tons of faith. There's land under your feet. It has a value despite nobody needing it for houses. Use it.

"The Lord is my light and my salvation--whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life--of whom shall I be afraid? .  .  . Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear, though war break out against me, even then will I be confident."- Psalms

Friday, December 26, 2008

Buh-Bye to the Traitor Paper?

Good news for the day after Christmas! The New York Times will go under in 2009. Likely Rupert Murdoch at News Corp. will sweep up the debris that remains and add it to his collection of papers after liquidation of their holdings outside the NYT and its website. At least that's what Jon Ogg and Douglas McIntyre predict over at 24/7 Wall Street.

Here's their Top 10 companies who will fail in the upcoming year. Looks like a good list to me.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

We are, of course, spending Christmas on our private mountainous island retreat as Da Blade at Chattering Teeth surmised. If you intend to row up unannounced be aware, our highly trained monkeys fire darts at all strangers. They continue firing until we call them off.

Meanwhile, thanks to the men and women who keep us safe every day. Merry Christmas to you all.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Clandestine Operations

Merry Christmas!

I hope the next Commander-in-Chief is up to this sort of commitment.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Just Another "Pragmatic Moderate?"

Huge cheers ring out from the Communist Party for radical California Representative Hilda L. Solis, Lord Obama's choice for Secretary of Labor.

--In November 2005 Solis addressed the DSA (Democratic Socialists of America) National Convention in Los Angeles.
--In June 2008 Solis sent Elana Henry, a caseworker from Solis's East Los Angeles office, to represent her at a forum on worker's rights organized by Socialists International. According to the group's website Socialists International bills itself as the worldwide organization of social democratic, socialist, and labor parties.
--Solis also reportedly sent a representative to a major event of the Communist Party USA. ---The Communist Party's newspaper documents that on June 20, 1996, Solis sent Antonio Aguilar on her behalf to present an honoree at the Party's Southern California Friends of the People's Weekly World tribute to two local labor leaders.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Why We Love Him So

Cheney Mocks Biden:

In a blunt, unapologetic interview on "FOX News Sunday," (Vice President Richard) Cheney fired back at (Vice President-elect Joe)Biden for declaring in October that "Vice President Cheney has been the most dangerous vice president we've had probably in American history."

"He also said that all the powers and responsibilities of the executive branch are laid out in Article I of the Constitution," Cheney said in a interview that was conducted on Friday. "Well, they're not. Article I of the Constitution is the one on the legislative branch. Joe's been chairman of the Judiciary Committee, a member of the Judiciary Committee in the Senate for 36 years, teaches constitutional law back in Delaware, and can't keep straight which article of the Constitution provides for the legislature and which provides for the executive. So I think I'd write that off as campaign rhetoric. I don't take it seriously."

Cheney, who is often called the most powerful vice president in history, also challenged Biden's claim that the Bush administration has amassed too much executive authority, a trend Biden reportedly plans to reverse. "If he wants to diminish the office of the vice president, that's obviously his call," Cheney shrugged. "President-elect Obama will decide what he wants in a vice president and apparently, from the way they're talking about it, he does not expect him to have as consequential a role as I have had during my time."

The debate over the balance of power between the executive and legislative branches will continue forever. But an elected Republican who isn't afraid to kick a liberal doofus squarely in the ass is, alas, an endangered species.

The Wheezing Last Gasp

Congress spoke, and said, "No bailout." Of course, most congress critters actually said, "Yes bailout," but the pesky rules of the Senate allowed a handful of Conservatives (there aren't enough to make a football team anymore) to stop what a Republican President and a Democrat Congress wanted. So, the Senate was ignored and we got a UAW bailout anyway. Well, a month or two of bailout. Wait until the real bailout bills sail through the brave new world of Obama/Reid/Pelosi Washington, DC. Hoover and FDR turned a stock market correction into a decade-long depression through higher taxes, wanton spending, and protectionist trade policy. Sound familiar?

Congress' marginalization was brutally underscored when, after Congress did not authorize $14 billion for General Motors and Chrysler, the executive branch said, in effect: Congress' opinions are mildly interesting, so we will listen very nicely -- then go out and do precisely what we want.
Friday the president gave the two automakers access to money Congress explicitly did not authorize. More money -- up to $17.4 billion -- than had been debated, thereby calling to mind Winston Churchill on naval appropriations: "The Admiralty had demanded six ships: the economists offered four: and we finally compromised on eight."
- George Will, The Final Blow Against Congress, December 21, 2008

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Steyn Almighty

If you read nothing else all weekend, read Mark Steyn's latest.
In fact, don't read anything else. Read Steyn.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Direct Contact, That's Not What Obama Said

I believe we're now at the point where, if Lord Obama was a Republican, his chief-of-staff would be routinely referred to as "embattled" or "beleaguered." Direct contact with Blago? Rahm, say it isn't so!

Taxing Their Way To Prosperity

By now you've heard of the brave move by the Governor of New York to tax everything that moves and a few things that don't. Honestly, we thought that taxes in New York couldn't go any higher. It is interesting that when the economy slows there are certain folks in government who see it as an assault on their treasury rather than a problem for the people who create the wealth and pay the taxes. They see it as their money and your obligation to cough it up. Clearly, many states are governed by this mentality. Some like Michigan are losing population by the tens of thousands as people vote with their feet. The remaining populace is then touched for higher tax rates and more fees to make up for the lost revenue. That sounds like a cycle that ends with one citizen left-- with a tax bill of several billion dollars on his kitchen table. In New York the hapless Guv who followed the corrupt whore Spitzer is proposing 88 new fees. This isn't like an Obama tax-the-rich scheme, this is a tax everybody a little bit more scheme. Even libs are calling it an assault on the middle class.

Why do I care? I don't live in New York, and I scrupulously avoid setting foot in the entire Northeast as a rule. Well, I care because there are a zillion and a half folks from New York & New Jersey already living down here in Dixie. That, on the face of it, isn't such a problem. But, once they've made their way to our favored land, they do a few things that really honk us off. They complain endlessly about not being able to buy friggin' Newsday or the hideous New York Times on every street corner, and they vote for the same sort of liberal nitwits that ruined the place they left! See Virginia, Florida, and North Carolina circa November 2008 for ample evidence.
So, if y'all are moving here to escape the cold and high taxes of the northern climes, please do a few things right:

1.) Read your hometown papers online

2.) Vote for conservatives

3.) Shut up with your Yankees, Jets, Patriots, Red Sox crap

4.) Don't put milk and sugar on grits (hint: butter, pepper, maybe a little shredded cheddar...)

OK, just a little cranky today. Maybe because I have to drive from 65 degree weather to 15 degree weather today.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Happy 10th Anniversary

Let us be the first to wish you a Happy 10th Anniversary! Yes, it was 10 years ago tomorrow, December 19th, that William Jefferson Blythe Clinton became the first person to be elected President of the United States and subsequently impeached. I t was quite an achievement for the old lip biter and it has become his enduring legacy. Here's a tip of the old chapeau to Bubba and his bubbly bride, Lord Obama's Secretary of State designate.

Global Warming Causing Record Cold Weather

Now that Lord Obama has assembled his radical green team at energy and interior, it appears Mother Earth is trembling in fear. She's trying to fool us into believing there's no such thing as Global Warming by making it snow in Malibu and Las Vegas. Snow on The Strip in LV? Nice try, lady. We know that Global Warming is a huge threat. Heck, Al Gore got some awards from leftists for warning us so it must be true.

Looks like the famous Vegas Showgirls are being replaced with Snowgirls. (Sorry.)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Gaucho Salazar to Interior

We've been moderately critical of Lord Obama around here, but you have to give him his due. He has now done something the Republicans haven't been able to do in the last few election cycles. He's knocked out 4 sitting Democrat US Senators: Obama, Biden, Clinton and now, Salazar. Throw in the elimination of the only Democrat holding statewide office in Arizona, Portly Pepperpot Napolitano, and all I can say is, "Job well done, Lord O!"

I guess he isn't all hat, no cattle.


There is something darkly amusing about watching Democrats fall all over themselves trying to save corporate America with trillions of dollars of taxpayer money. Then you realize they wouldn't do anything for a non-union business. Two great American thinkers weigh in:
Thomas Sowell on the folly of the UAW bailout:
"Detroit and Michigan have followed classic liberal policies of treating businesses as prey, rather than as assets. They have helped kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. So have the unions. So have managements that have gone along to get along.
Toyota, Honda and other foreign automakers are not heading for Detroit, even though there are lots of experienced automobile workers there. They are avoiding the rust belts and the policies that have made those places rust belts."

Walter E. Williams on the folly of Congressional power and hubris:

"How much congressional involvement do we want with the Big Three auto companies? I'd say none. Congressmen and federal bureaucrats, including those at the Federal Reserve Board, don't know anymore about the automobile business than they know about the banking and financial businesses that they've turned into a mess. Just look at the idiotic focus of congressmen when the three auto company chief executives appeared before them. They questioned whether the executives should have driven to Congress rather than flown in on corporate jets. They focused on executive pay, which is a tiny fraction of costs compared to $73 hourly compensation to 250,000 autoworkers. The belief that Congress poses the major threat to our liberty and well-being is why the founders gave them limited enumerated powers. To our detriment, today's Americans have given them unlimited powers."

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

UAW Hissy Fit

UAW types are angry at Senators from the South. Good. I've always said that the "bailout" of the Big 3... er Detroit 3... should be called by its correct name: The UAW Bailout. The fact that Senators like Corker, Ensign, Coburn and DeMint stood up against the Labor Union/Democrats and the Republican President should be celebrated. But, the lame duck POTUS will have the Treasury throw TARP over the whole thing until Lord Obama can come in and pay off the UAW. Obama and the Dems took in more than a half billion dollars from Big Labor this past cycle. Don't think for a minute that they won't call the tune that Little O dances to.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Just When You Think He's In Over His Head

Lord Obama has made at least one good decision. Politico reports that O has informed Slow Joe Biden that he will have zero duties as Veep. They also report that Joe and his wife will host an annual Halloween Party.

This is called restoring the Vice Presidency to its traditional role, otherwise known as sit down, shut up, and go to funerals of third tier foreign dignitaries. Way to go, Joe!

Unsolicited Financial Advice

I labor daily in the field of equity trading. I believe 100% that one should never trade on tips. So it's not my way to "give tips" to others. But I do have one piece of unsolicited advice: Don't trust a guy named Made Off with your money.

Camp Victory, Baghdad, December 14, 2008

It is an odd thing to win a war and then turn over the oval office to a fellow who made his opposition to that now-won war the launchpad for his campaign. President George W. Bush dropped into Iraq over the weekend and saw the men and women who won the war.

You didn't know about this? You thought that President Bush went to Iraq this weekend so a disgruntled Saddam Sympathizer ("journalist") could throw his wingtips at him? No. He was visiting the troops before Christmas. But you'd be hard-pressed to see much coverage of that.

If you don't think that the Iraqi shoe-flinger gave an unintended endorsement of the great success President Bush has had in Iraq, just imagine what would have happened to the guy if he had tossed two shoes at Saddam... or Uday... or Qsay.
Obama's presidency will never have to worry about what Saddam and his pathological offspring are up to, thanks to President Bush and the men and women of the US military.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cow Taxers

As Lord O assembles his radical leftist team at energy, the EPA, and elsewhere in his government a question comes to mind.

How many people who voted for him thought that he would try to tax cow farts?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Global Warming Grips The USA

The same week that Lord Obama tipped his hand that the radical greens will be running his energy department (instead of people who know anything about energy exploration) it snows in New Orleans. You can look at this many ways I suppose. Coincidence? Maybe God has a sense of humor? Maybe He is trying to send the Petrophobes and Al Gore followers a powerful (unheeded) message?
Or... hell is freezing over.

Just Another Sox Fan

Meet Patti Blago, daughter of a Chicago alderman, official Bible-toter at the January 8, 2007 inauguration of hubby Governor Rod Blago.
"Hold up that f-----g Cubs s--t. F--k them."
Just to be clear, Patricia Blagojevich has not been charged with wrongdoing.
Sounds like she's a White Sox fan. Which is a kind of "wrongdoing" we think.
But really, she just sounds like any other fan in the stands at The Cell during inter-league play against the Northsiders.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Advisor B

A reading of the 76 or so pages released by Fitzgerald in the Blago scandal triggers all sorts of parlor games. We know that "senate candidate 1" is Obama's gal Friday Valerie Jarrett. Blago knew Lord O wanted the Senate seat for VJ but wouldn't come up with cash or considerations. "Senate candidate 5" is Jesse Jackson Jr. who now has some 'splainin' to do. "senate candidate 2" is that Madigan woman I reckon... and on the game goes.
But, as Byron York points out, the crucial mystery player in the Obama-Blago intrigue is "Advisor B".

Of course, Lord O has said he didn't "talk" to Blago about the senate seat. That statement was in contradiction to what his handler, Axelrod had already said. So, within 24 hours, Axelrod came out with a statement that he misspoke when he said Obama and Blago had "talked." You know, there are ways to communicate other than by talking. There's texting on your treasured Blackberry. There's e-mailing. There's an op-ed typed by an aide and printed in the NYTimes. Lots of ways...
Including... communicating through "Advisor B".

In a former line of work I was in we called guys like "Advisor B" by a different name. We called them "the clothesline." See, sometimes you wanted your competitors to know something. You couldn't call them or meet them directly as that would violate anti-trust laws. So, you'd hang out your wash on "the clothesline." Sometimes what you wanted the competition to know was true. Sometimes not. But either way, the clothesline got his cut. If Fitz is half the prosecutor he's supposed to be (doubtful) he's trying to get Advisor B to spill.
Advisor B knows about the corrupt SEIU and its massive spending on behalf of Dems in the 2008 cycle through "Change To Win" and he was at the heart of the discussions of a 3-way deal between Obama-SEIU-Blago. He was involved somehow in Jesse Jr.'s half million dollar "offer" for the seat. He was involved with Blago / Harris as they talked about another option-- having an Obama pal like Warren Buffett fund a phony tax free foundation for Blago to nest in while collecting a salary.

Advisor B might be even more than a simple "clothesline", he might just be a player.

So, who is Advisor B?


One of the ways the legacy media tries to protect Obama from any Blago fallout is by acting that RodoBlago is an outlier. An anomaly. He's crazy, cuckoo, way far out, man! Whereas Lord O is, ya know, cool and the Little Messiah and full of hope & change.

Baloney. I lived around Chicago during the Daley Machine operations of Jane Byrne and Harold Washington. Blago is mainstream, baby. And Obama and his closest aides, like Rahm and Val, come out of that scene. This is the HOPE you voted for, America. It's just the beginning.

(Pictured: Blago and Rahm. BFF's?)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

RNC Weighs in on Obama Blago

Byron York at NRO reports this statement from RNC Chairman Mike Duncan:

"President-elect Barack Obama’s carefully parsed and vague statements regarding his own contact and that of his team with Governor Rod Blagojevich are unacceptable. Considering the severity of the allegations against Governor Blagojevich, the President-elect should immediately disclose any and all communications his transition team has had with the governor’s office along with any Service Employees International Union (SEIU) officials involved in the matter. Obama’s promise of transparency to the American people is now being tested."

What Did Rahm Know and When Did He Know It?

It really is CHANGE you know. Maybe not the CHANGE you HOPED for, but it is CHANGE nonetheless.

In an interview published in the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday, Obama reiterated that point, saying: "I have not discussed the Senate seat with the governor at any time."

But Obama wouldn't answer a question on whether he was aware of any conversations between the governor and his top aides, including incoming White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. "It's an ongoing investigation," Obama said.


"The serious nature of the crimes listed by federal prosecutors raises questions about the interaction with Gov. Blagojevich, President-elect Obama and other high ranking officials who will be working for the future president," said Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, the new GOP House whip.
Added Robert M. "Mike" Duncan, chairman of the Republican National Committee, "President-elect Barack Obama's comments on the matter are insufficient at best."

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Culture of Corruption in Hyperdrive

Not even the in-the-tank media can sit out this story about Lord O and his Chicago problems.

There were signs the continuing investigation could still involve (Obama).
His statement that he didn't have contact with Blagojevich about the Senate seat seems to conflict with that of top adviser David Axelrod, who told Fox News Chicago on Nov. 23:
"I know he's (Obama) talked to the governor (Blagojevich), and there are a whole range of names, many of which have surfaced, and I think he has a fondness for a lot of them."

Obama transition officials say Axelrod misspoke. ("Sure. OK."- ed.)

It also appears that Obama friend Valerie Jarrett, an incoming senior White House adviser, is the person referred to repeatedly in court documents as "Candidate 1." That individual is described as a female who is "an adviser to the president-elect" and as the person Obama wanted appointed to the Senate seat. Court papers say that "Candidate 1" eventually removed "herself" from consideration for the Senate seat.

The machine giveth and the machine taketh away.

After The UAW Bailout...

... you'll be able to drive some forward-looking designs from the new nationalized US auto industry. Kewl! The incredible Iowahawk has the story.
The 2012 Pelosi from Congressional Motors.

Boss Stern of the SEIU

Meet your new boss: radical leftist union boss Andy Stern.

As the D Party sweeps into near absolute power in January we see San Fran Nan Pelosi slobbering over nationalizing American industries, The Little Messiah telling criminals "they're absolutely right", and the "watchdog media" is wagging its collective tail furiously before rolling over for a belly rub.

Do you think Lord Obama will stand up to Andy Stern and his minions after Big Labor gave over $450 Million to give D's their power? Do you really think he wants to stand up to him?

IBD, hittin' the long ball as usual.

IL Gov. Taken Into Custody

For trying to sell Obama's Senate seat among other frauds and bribe solicitation.

So, America, how do you like the Chicago Democrat Machine now that it has spawned a President (elect)?

Car Czar

Sounds like our lefty friends in DC are channeling their inner Hugo Chavez and drooling over nationalizing the auto industry.

Expect a handful of Senators on the R side of the aisle to block anything that isn't a Chapter 11 style re-org. My money is on DeMint, Coburn, Ensign, and maybe a few more to say, "No."

Monday, December 8, 2008

I'm Bailin' Out

Saturday afternoon about every college team I wanted to win lost. *harumph*

Saturday night I was able to watch my beloved San Jose Sharks on Hockey Night in Canada. I stayed up way past my bedtime to see the league leaders outshoot Edmonton 150-6, or something like that, and lose in OT. *sigh*

Then Sunday evening along came the Steelers. *barf*

Next, add in a touch of the pompous, oily Chris Dodd (who should be under investigation over his Freddie/Fannie/Countrywide fraud) pontificating to some elderly gent on Sunday morning TV that he wants to dictate to GM who can helm the ship once it's powered by bailout dough. *spare us, doddly one*

Then throw in a dash of Lord Obama, who talked to another elderly TV guy-- this one with a speech impediment-- about how he, Lord O, will confiscate enormous sums from the taxpayers to build lots of cool stuff what needs building... *yikes*

And now, just moments ago, I heard on CNBC that an ethanol company is asking for bailout money. Could it be more perfect? The gigantic ethanol boondoggle, supported by taxpayer money even in flush times, now needs more taxpayer money because plain old gasoline is so much cheaper than corn squeezin's for auto fuel. *snort*

All I can say is, send in the sax playin' walrus. Sara tootin' a flute makes more sense than any of this lunacy passing for erudition in the public square today.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The South Rules College Football

As a kid, right through my college days, I was interested in college football. I was a huge Roger Staubach fan at Navy which caused me later to be a Dallas Cowboys fan. If Roger had been drafted by Pittsburgh I probably would be a Steelers fan today. (shudder) Anyway, in the late 1970's I pretty much stopped caring about the college game. I watched the NFL relentlessly, but my entire college viewing interest had fallen off to maybe one or two bowl games over the holidays for the next nearly 30 years. My stated position was that I only had time to watch the best players play the game-- not amateurs.

In 2005 we returned to the South after about 22 years in exile in places like Chicago, Northern California, and Southern California. In short order I fell back under the sway of college football. All I can say is, it's different here. I grew up in the heart of Michigan v. Ohio State territory. I lived in the midst of the Texas v. Oklahoma, Cal v. Stanford, and UCLA v. Southern California rivalries among others. None of it comes close to SEC football passion. (Y'all can throw in Clemson, VATech, and GA Tech from the ACC too. Their fans are more like SEC fans and not like UNC, UVA or Duke football fans.) As the man says, it's Southern Fried Football. Color and pageantry? You bet.

Today's WSJ has an interesting piece on the dominance of Southern college football. And by Southern they're really talking about the SEC. It seems appropriate when #1 'bama is facing #2 Florida in the SEC Championship game this weekend. The national chin-waggers can go on and on about the BCS and determining which team is #1. Who cares? The #1 team in the nation is facing the #2 team in the nation this weekend-- one week after the final regular season games. I would say the winner Saturday is #1... no matter what happens a month from now in some bowl game. Now is when everybody is amped up and playing hard-- by January it's more like a post-season exhibition game.

From the WSJ article comes this:

...among states that have more than 10 native sons playing in the National Football League, the top six producers by percentage of population are Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Alabama, Florida and Georgia. Meanwhile, traditional Northern football states like Pennsylvania, which has long sent young men to heralded northern programs like Penn State, Notre Dame and Ohio State and has stocked the NFL for decades, are falling behind. Today there are 45% more native Louisianans (64) than Pennsylvanians (44) in the NFL, even though Louisiana has only one-third of Pennsylvania's population.

Now, that's all very interesting but they never quite get to the reason the Deep South... the Southeast... the by-Gawd Dirty South is dominant. The article goes all around it, talking about "speed", the effect a famous loss to Southern Cal had on Alabama, and the fact that LA, MS, SC, AL, FL and GA are the top producers of football talent by population. But they never can quite just spit out why that is. Folks in the Deep South know why, even if a New York writer can't say it. Do they even play college football in the Northeast these days? I don't mean intramurals.

As for Saturday's game for the national championship--- Roll Tide, Roll.
And next season? Go 'Cocks!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Love For The Gov

In the next couple of years, while more and more Americans come to realize that Bailout Nation is on a disastrous track, people will wonder if there was any politician of stature who was against all of this foolishness from the very beginning. Well, there is at least one, and he will be ending his second successful term as a true Conservative (with a good dash of libertarian common sense) Governor at just about the right time to make a run in 2012. When the biggest tax increase in US history kicks in as President Obama allows the 2003 tax rate reductions to expire many of those Americans who bought the "tax cuts for 95% of Americans" hooey will want a real tax cutter and spending hawk.

Here's a short article that recognizes Governor Mark Sanford's moment.

Six minutes of your time watching the video at this site will give you an idea of why we Love Our Gov.

By the way, we have nothing to do with the Draft Sanford movement-- but the video of him testifying in front of the ethics challenged Rangel is too good not to share.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sarah Smiled On Saxby

Senator Saxby C. gives credit where it's due for his landslide victory yesterday.

Oh black water, keep on rollin'...

Last week I was discussing the problem off the coast of Africa-- Islamic terrorism on the high seas-- with a trusted associate. The point was made that the ships at risk need to defend themselves. Eventually the discussion turned to our friends up the road, Blackwater, and what their position was on providing security and defense for these ships.

Well, today's WSJ has a story on just that issue. Blackwater USA would like to provide security for the ships at risk but there are some problems regarding whether the contractors are on their own ships or on the client's ship when returning fire. Interesting stuff to contemplate in that terror-filled region.

Nuclear Iran in 2009?

Every day we see fresh announcements being made from behind a podium with a placard reading "The Office of the President Elect." Of course, there is no such thing. It reminds me of when I was a young kid and wanted to be the next Ernie Harwell. I created an entire dice baseball league just so I could have players with statistics as I called play-by-play into my little reel-to-reel tape recorder. It's pathetic in the context of adulthood, but not so sad for a ten year old with a dream.

Pretending there is an "Office of the President Elect" is pathetic and, sadly, about what I would expect from a pompous, arrogant guy who has published two self-absorbed autobiographies before accomplishing jack squat in real life.

But, since you're going to act like POTUS-Elect is a real Constitutional office, tell us, Oh Lord O, watcha gonna do about Iran going nuclear in 2009? By the way, it doesn't matter in the least if you pronounce it like Johnson, Carter, or GWB. It didn't matter that JFK pronounced Cuba with an "R" on the end when he botched the Bay of Pigs fiasco. What matters is what the next non-pretend POTUS will do about a nuclear Iran. Any ideas? Or are you too busy playing dress-up President to concentrate on that one?

Monday, December 1, 2008

You Are Now The Boss of Nuthin', Pal. Happy?

This was such a great Monday morning laugh. From a column by Kyle Smith in the NYPost about the problems an Obama presidency presents for Bruce Springsteen:

A bright new day is percolating across the land. What will Bruce do for material? From now on, as Springsteen foretold when he campaigned for Obama in Cleveland on Nov. 2, there will be, "economic and social justice, America as a positive influence around the world." And the new president is finally going to fulfill "the right of every American to a job, a living wage, to be educated in a decent school, to a life filled with the dignity of work, promise, and the sanctity of home." So: 100% employment and 0% substandard schools? Sounds good for the country but alarming for Springsteen fans.

There is a bracing consistency in Springsteenian gloom, from the Ford years ("The street's on fire, a real death waltz") to Carter's ("Lately there ain't been much work on account of the economy") to Reagan's ("This old world is rough, it's just getting rougher") to the first Bush's ("Ain't no mercy on the streets of this town, ain't no bread from heavenly skies") to Clinton's ("Oh brother are you gonna leave me wastin' away on the streets of Philadelphia?") to the second Bush's ("Woke up Election Day, skies gunpowder and shades of gray").

If the Boss has a motto, it has always been this: No hope, no change, no way.

All of these fears were realized on Monday, when Springsteen released his new single, "Working on a Dream." The first line: "Out here the nights are long, the days are lonely. I think of you - I'm working on a dream!"
There isn't a lot of doubt about who that "you" is. Springsteen hasn't written a lot of love songs about Patti Scialfa, and now that they've been married for 17 years, they might be working on not finishing each other's sentences, they might be working on home maintenance and domestic staffing issues, but they're pretty far past working on a dream.

Springsteen debuted the song at an Obama event, and he's releasing the new album of the same title on Jan. 27, exactly a week after the Obama inauguration. The song goes on, "My hands are rough from . . . workin' on a dream!" Springsteen used to need escape, freedom, catharsis. Now he needs a bottle of Jergens lotion.
Then comes the really twisted part: "Tweet-tweet-tweet-tuh-tweet-tweet-tweet!" Bruce Springsteen whistles?

If Bruce is channeling the theme from "The Andy Griffith Show," there's no telling what might happen next. There could be an Iraq war movie in which George Clooney plays a US colonel who helps liberate a country from an evil dictator. Sean Penn could play a CIA agent who devises a way to save thousands of lives using domestic surveillance and rendition of suspects.
(Questions coming over the transom about that picture of Bruuuuuce driving the golf cart and looking a bit out of, ahem, game shape. Well, it comes from February 5, 2004 and was taken at the 32nd Winter Equestrian Festival at the Palm Beach Florida Polo Equestrian Club. Hey, a guy can't be running on the backstreets every day and hiding out behind the dynamo at the factory! Ya gotta have time for, you know, polo.)