Boeing announced yesterday that they will locate another plant in North Charleston. The final decision was between Everett, Washington and North Charleston, South Carolina. In the end Carolina prevailed and the 787 Dreamliner assembly line will provide a minimum of 3,800 direct jobs. Boeing must also invest a minimum of $750 Million to qualify for the incentive package. The deal is likened to the highly successful BMW deal under Governor Campbell in the early 1990's.
The State newspaper (Columbia, SC) explains:
"Boeing, based in Chicago, said it chose North Charleston over Everett, Wash., because the location worked best as the company boosts production of the mid-size jet, designed to carry up to 250 passengers. Boeing already operates a factory in North Charleston that makes 787 parts and owns a 50-percent stake in another plant there that also makes sections of the plane. For years, Boeing has discussed the possibility of expanding production of the 787 to meet demand for the plane, its best-selling new aircraft to date. About 55 airlines have ordered some 840 of the planes since the program was launched in 2003 - far more than any other Boeing plane at the same stage of development. Delays have set the project back at least two and a half years."
Of course not everyone is as happy as Palmetto State citizens. Out in beautiful Washington, once the home of Boeing headquarters before their move to Chicago, there was much grumbling.
The State again:
"Boeing picked South Carolina, the third least-unionized state in the country... after failing to reach a no-strike deal with Seattle-area workers. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers shuttered Boeing factories four times in 20 years with walkouts, including a two-month strike in 2008. "We are astounded that Boeing has chosen to compound the problems of the 787 program by further fragmenting the supply chain," said Ray Goforth, executive director of ...IFPTE Local 2001 in Seattle."
But South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford saw it differently, "Just as the similarly monumental BMW investment catalyzed a now extensive automotive presence across South Carolina more than 15 years ago, we believe Boeing landing decisively in North Charleston will spur on an already growing aerospace hub in our state."
The other day Slow Joe Biden was flying around in Lower Botswana or wherever it is they're trying to hide ol' Plugs the Human Gaffe Machine these days. The few unlucky schlub reporters assigned to the Veep Beat asked Slow for a comment on Dick Cheney's speech the night prior-- the one where Cheney blistered the O Team for dithering on Afghanistan. Joey started to say "Who cares what Dick Cheney thinks!?!" But, he stopped himself and said he wouldn't give them that headline.
Well, unfortunately for the Slowest of the Joes, Gallup has a headline for their latest polling. Seems like when you compare favorability ratings for the last three US Vice Presidents, in the first year of their service, you get these stats:
The good news for Joe is that his first year isn't over yet. As the host of "Survivor" might yell at him, "Don't stop! You can still win this!!"
And, if he doesn't, maybe Lordy O can let him polish his Nobel Peace Prize(TM).
Besides, it ought to be a pretty interesting tourist stop. Nobody ever seems to be able to find anything the guy wrote in his brief career, so I suspect it will be focused more on hands-on exhibits, and videos than, ahem, documents. They'll probably have a theater where you can watch a hologram of Rev. Wright preachin' and teachin'. Of course, you'll get up and leave just before he says anything controversial. Another feature could be a lifesize recreation of a Weather Underground couple's Hyde Park, Illinois living room where you can sit and listen to Marxists drone on about how horrible America is. When they stop talking you ask them for campaign contributions so you can bring CHANGE to this abysmal nation.
But, the greatest feature will be the room where you can stand at a podium and read soaring yet empty rhetoric written by Dave Axelrod off a teleprompter. As you look out at a computer generated adoring crowd they'll chant the name you've typed into a computer to activate the attraction. So, instead of OH-BOMB-AHH, they'll chant, for example, MIS-TER-DART. Pretty cool stuff. They're working on a way to make sure nobody can make the crowd chant something like: YER-AH-FRAWD!
I can't wait. I HOPE they start building it toot sweet.
He was born Milton Supman on Jan. 28, 1926 in Franklinton, North Carolina. But when I was a wee lad, watching a fuzzy black and white TV picture coming in through rabbit ears from far away exotic Detroit, he was Soupy Sales. The SoupMan's show was everything Captain Kangaroo, Romper Room, and school for that matter, were not. He was pure chaos. It was happening live, on the fly, in front of your little kid eyes. Constant motion, nothing calm, Black Fang and White Tooth were "Roo, Aroo, Aroo, Aroo"-in'. And we were screamin' even before the first pie flew. It was crazy fun when there didn't have to be a deeper meaning.
Like The 3 Stooges it was slapstick and juvenile. Girls didn't like it much as I recall. Parents discouraged it as comedy for dumb kids. Of course, this only made it more fun for us-- it was a little boy's thing. No girls or frowning parents allowed. (Which of course meant lots of college kids and some dads loved it too!)
People just a little bit younger only know him as a New York/ Hollywood game show guy. But for those of us who saw Soupy Sales when he did local TV for us 50's kids--- well, it's a big deal that Soupy Sales is dead at 83.
Ghoulardi's been gone for a while now. Soupy joins him. We're gettin' old. But, you knew that.
Way back through the murky mists of time, when the Obamadministration was pushing the "stimulus" bill, they made projections about job creation. We all remember that they said without the "stimulus" unemployment might get over 8%--- of course, with it, we're pushing 10% nationally so ya know their numbers were totally out-to-lunch.
But, hang on, it gets worse. The White House projected, indeed promised, that passing "stimulus" would result in the creation of 3,460,000 additional US jobs by the end of 2010. We used to call such projections, in my former career, a SWAG. SWAG being defined as Sophisticated Wild Ass Guess.
The brain trust in Obamaland on Pennsylvania Avenue and environs in DC gave us a SWAG of almost 3.5 million net new jobs through the end of 2010. One big problem with that: since stimulus passed we've lost 2,708,600 more jobs. 49 of the 50 states have seen net job loss since the bill passed. (North Dakota has a net gain of 1,800, the only state not in the loss column.)
So, now we need to create 6,168,600 jobs in America in the next 15 months to get to that lofty projection from the green eyeshade boys in DC. That's 411,240/ month starting this month. Pretty tough to do-- and even tougher considering we haven't had even one positive jobs month yet since Obama took office.
"My grandpop used to say -- there was a suburb of Scranton called Minooka. He said, ‘When the guy in Minooka's out of work, it's an economic slowdown. When your brother- in-law's out of work, it's a recession. When you're out of work, it's a depression. Well, it's a depression -- it's a depression for millions of Americans, through no fault of their own."
Of course, Slow Joe's political life has been marked by multiple plagiarism scandals. But a US politician trotting out the quote above, even if his dear old Grandpop actually said it, is slow indeed. Because, as we all know, the quote is linked forever to Ronald Reagan, who quite famously said:
"A recession is when your neighbor loses his job, a depression is when you lose your job. And a recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his job."
I guess I can understand why Slow Joe didn't quote The Gipper.
I don't know if Roger Goodell (Commissioner of the National Football League) knows this but a lot of us out here in the America to the west of the Hudson River and to the east of West Hollywood, CA find NBC's coverage of his sport divisive. NBC has the showcase weekly telecast of the NFL on Sunday nights. No other game is on at the same time-- they have an enormous potential audience all to themselves. But, aside from the very first year they had this deal, I've stayed away from the show completely other than one or two times a season. And when I did tune in for a "can't miss" game the TV was on mute until Al & John (now Al & Cris) were on screen... mute again at halftime... and off as soon as the game was decided.
I figure any network who employs a guy like Olby doesn't want my viewership. The list of his hate-filled commentary doesn't need to be detailed here. You already know the sad, bitter, angry persona. But, with people all over America examining the NFL closely right now this guy, a TV face of the league, refers to a much-admired female pundit thusly: "total mindless, morally bankrupt, knee-jerk, fascistic hatred without which Michelle Malkin would just be a big mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick on it."
I'm a believer in the notion that there is legitimate, spirited public discourse and then there's pathology. Characterising the lovely Michelle Malkin on national television as "a mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick on it" reveals a pathology that should be examined in an institution, not on display on screens across the country. Imagine if tomorrow night, during the Bears v. Falcons telecast, Al Michaels angrily opines that Michelle Obama is "a mashed-up bag of meat in a J.Crew sweater." Think NBC would attempt to void his contract before Monday AM? Yet Olby slurring prominent Conservatives... no problem!
Up until this past week I figured that they make their decisions at the NFL and NBC and I make mine. They make a hate-spewing bigot like Olby part of their premier weekly NFL telecast and I tune out. Life goes on.
With the bid scuttled it's time for dozens of big money libel and slander suits.
Writers, commentators, pundits, talking heads, gadfly shakedown artists, bankrupt newspaper chains, struggling cable TV channels, and other assorted smear-peddlers; it's time to lawyer up and get out your checkbooks.
Junior Johnson, Richard Petty, and Dale Earnhardt are the first three drivers to make the HoF.
The other two slots went to Bill France Sr. and his son.
If I said that David Pearson should have made the first group you would accuse me of knowing too much about NASCAR. I think that Bill France Jr. could've waited a year so that Pearson could go in with Junior Johnson, The King, and The Intimidator.
This particular MOP is a "massive ordinance penetrator" bomb made by Boeing. It' scheduled to be available to the US military in 2010 and would be the largest non-nuclear weapon in the arsenal. The MOP is over 20 feet long, a little less than a yard wide, and tips the Toledos at about 30,000 pounds. 5,300 pounds of that weight is explosive material. Which means that it has fully 10 times the explosive power of its predecessor: BLU-109.
MOP travels to the theater via USAF B-2 bombers. GPS navigation can drop it on, say, oh I dunno, the underground nuke facilities in Iran just as an example.
The story of this big, bad MOP made its way onto the AP news service today. If a US President uses a 30,000 lb bomb to knock out a terror state's nuclear facility does the Nobel Peace Prize magically disappear from around his neck? We'll probably never know.
Many people have been wondering how the US stock markets can still be (in general) improving when so many things about the economy are clearly disastrous. Well, it's true that unemployment and underemployment would seem to point to lower stock prices. It's true that a tripling of the federal budget deficit to levels beyond nightmarish since inauguration day would seem to equal lower stock prices. And it would seem that the overhanging threat of dramatically higher taxes on the horizon would predict lower stock prices.
All of that is true. But consider that over the past two quarters the US dollar has been hammered down harder than at any time in a couple decades. So, the dollar in your pocket today buys far fewer yen, euros, pounds, Canadian dollars and so forth than it did nine months ago.
How does that help US stocks? It just sounds like more bad news. Well, it makes US manufactured goods cheaper to purchase for people in countries whose currencies are stronger than ours. That's part of it. But the bigger part is that money all around the world looks at the US stock market as the bargain bin. Our stocks are priced in dollars and dollars are rock bottom cheap.
So, the NYSE and NASDAQ aren't Tiffany and Nordstrom priced.
Heck, they aren't Target or Walmart priced.
They are DOLLAR TREE priced.
You are living in the world's bargain basement for stocks. So, "Welcome to THE TREE, baby!"
But, be careful. If steps are ever taken to strengthen the dollar, the US stock markets will fall. And when they do most of us will blame it on all of those horrible things back in the first paragraph.
It will be pretty hard to get interested in post-season baseball after living through every pitch of Game #163 from Minnesota's DopeyDome last night. It was an incredibly entertaining game, even if the final score was bad. Even baseball fans with no rooting interest are calling it one of the most exciting games ever played. Here's a replay:
The Tigers broke ahead 3-0, the Twins cut that to 3-1, then to 3-2 and next they pulled ahead 4-3. But, what's this? The Tigers came back and tied it at 4 on a Magglio Ordonez HR in the 8th. In the 9th 3rd baseman Brandon Inge saved the game with a diving stop to his left. In the top of the 10th Inge drove in the go ahead run and Tigers hopes were high. A poor play in left by Raburn led to a Twins tie in the bottom of the 10th but they didn't win it because of an incredible throw by the same Raburn-- an inning ending double play wher he caught a fly in left and threw out the tagging runner at home. Wheeee!
Then, disaster struck. In the top of the 12th the Tigers loaded the bases with just one out. Brandon Inge was up and was hit by a pitch from Minnesota's eighth pitcher, Keppel. He started to first as Miggy Cabrera trotted home with the forced-in go-ahead run. But the home plate ump blew the call. He didn't see the ball hit Inge and refused to ask the 2nd base umpire for help when manager Jim Leyland requested same. If he had gotten the call right the Tigers would have been up 6-5 and the bases would still be loaded with just one out.
The Twins went on to score on a tiring Fernando Rodney to win in 12.
Would Minny have won anyway if Detroit had gotten their deserved run in the 12th? What if the Tigers had rallied further and gone up 7 or 8 or 9 to 5?
We'll never know. The box score will never show the RBI-HBP that was muffed. It shows only that the Minnesota Twins won Game #163 in 2009.
Meanwhile Tiger fans seem to be focused on their guys playing .500 ball down the stretch to get caught rather than the improbable run of the Twins who went 17-4 in their final 21 games. (3 of those 4 losses were to Detroit, btw.) Give the devil his due. I don't like the Twins but I respect the hell out of the way they go about their business every year. And, they won without Bret Favre!
It was a great season for Detroit baseball. At this time last year they had just finished last in the AL Central. Their projected rotation for 2009 was Verlander coming off a poor '08, Gallarraga coming off a solid '08, Bonderman, Robertson and Willis. If you had said on this date in 2008 that the last place Detroits would have 60% of that rotation on the DL most of the season and that their best pitcher in '08 would falter badly you wouldn't have picked them to be in 1st place longer than any MLB team not named Dodgers this season. But that's what they did. With a pieced together rotation that performed very well, a bullpen that did its job, and an everyday lineup that saw platoons where there should have been solid veterans playing. It was a fun year for baseball fans. I guess fun to some people is getting a 12 game lead and holding it all year with a $200+Million payroll. To each his own.
It's baseball. Great teams lose over 60 times a year. Teams that barely play .500 ball all year win the World Series (see: Cards 2006). It's a game of failure and redemption. The best game on the planet. I love it. And, I support the team I've supported since 1958-- win or lose.
The Federal Trade Commission wants to fine bloggers who accept compensation to mention a product favorably.
I find this amusing. First, since nobody would ever want me to endorse their products to my lone reader, but mainly because it would take the FTC hiring enough people to fill the state of Montana to monitor every blog and website out there.
Hey! Wait a minute! Maybe that's the way Lord Obama is going to stem the rising tide of unemployment! Levy a tax on the "SuperRich" to hire 15 million currently unemployed Americans to read blogs and rat out bloggers to the fascist state. Kewl. It's so smart it's Rooseveltian.
Just in case somebody wants to pay me off before this all gets going:
Blenheim Ginger Aleis the best soft drink in America. By far! But if the Blenheim people don't hear about my opinion (nudge,nudge,wink,wink)Coke Zero is great too!
And, Palmetto Porter is a delicious beverage. Dos Equis amber hits the spot as well.
September's US auto sales, the first data point in a post- Cash4Clunkers marketplace, confirmed the worst. C4C used billions in taxpayer money to buy up a quarter million used cars at above-market prices. The stated purpose was to jump start the auto business. Of course what it actually did was stall sales during the run up since people waited to get $4,000 for their trade-in that was worth $700. Then it pulled forward business from future months into August. Anyone who has ever sold anything for a living knew this would happen but the lawyers who make up the majority in Washington DC didn't see it coming. This bunch couldn't sell water in the desert.
In other uplifting news as we head into the weekend, the non-farm payroll numbers for September came in far worse than projected and unemployment rose to 9.8%. The total unemployed and underemployed number is roughly 17%. The total number of Americans looking for work who are unemployed is about 15,100,000.
There's a way out of this. But I don't think anyone currently in power in Washington DC will go for it. In fact, so far, they are running fast in the opposite direction.