Monday, August 9, 2010

Are You Ready For Some Football? "Not Really"

I know my academic and politico friends will be turned off by this edition of Rink Rats but we must make our football picks for the coming year, as is customary we have asked The Swami to guide us for the upcoming six months of football. Fear not, I do have some other information to make the football picks tolerable.

USA TODAY TOP 25 preseason college football coaches poll: 1. Alabama 2. Ohio State 3. Florida 4. Texas 5. Boise State 6. Virginia Tech 7. TCU 8. Oklahoma 9. Nebraska 10. Iowa 11. Oregon 12. Wisconsin 13. Miami (Fla.) 14. Penn State 15. Pittsburgh 16. LSU 17. Georgia Tech 18. North Carolina 19. Arkansas 20. Florida State 21. Georgia 22. Oregon State 23. Auburn 24t. Utah 24t. West Virginia.

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN FOOTBALL – This will be the last season for Rich Rodriguez in Big Blue land. Look for Jim Harbaugh, Stanford University, to replace RR at the end of the season.

COLLEGE PICKS – Big East: Pittsburgh; ACC: Virginia Tech; Big Ten: Ohio State (ugh); SEC: Alabama; Big 12: Oklahoma; Pac Ten: Oregon. BCS Championship Game – Boise State vs. Alabama.
National Champion – Alabama.

NFL PICKS – AFC Playoff Teams: Jets, Patriots, Ravens, Colts, Chargers, Bengals. NFC Playoff Teams: Packers, Saints, 49ers, Cowboys, Falcons, Giants. AFC Champs – Baltimore Ravens. NFC Champs – Dallas Cowboys.
Super Bowl Champions – Dallas Cowboys.

TOP TALKER - David Sirota, on HuffPost: “In a massive and well-researched story, the New York Times … dealt the potential death-blow to Sen. Michael Bennet's already-struggling campaign for reelection. Just four days before the end of Colorado Democratic primary voting, the story … (complete with Bennet's mug shot) details … a deal that destroyed the Denver Public Schools' balance sheet and made JP Morgan, Citigroup and Bank of America millions … Bennet was [arguably] embarrassingly incompetent in sending Denver taxpayers and schoolchildren into the jaws of Wall Street's predatory lenders.”

OBAMA INTERVIEW -- CNBC car guy Phil Lebow, on the floor of a Ford plant in Chicago, asked the president the last time he drove a car: “I can't do it. The Secret Service doesn't allow it. …I miss nothing more than just driving right along Lake Shore Drive. I would love to hop in a convertible right now on a nice day like today and drive all the way up along the lake. But I can't do it. So my driving is either at the Secret Service testing site, the training site there where you can do some J-turns and do some pretty spiffy moves, or the golf cart. Those are the two opportunities I get to drive, and I miss it tremendously.” --Asked if he's worried that Americans cannot kick the big-car habit, POTUS said: “Americans like big cars. … The first new car I ever bought was a Jeep Grand Cherokee. And I remember the first time I was sitting up there and had my cup holders and I was all set up and I thought: 'This is a nice ride.' It's exciting to see companies like Ford producing SUVs that are more fuel efficient, like the Explorer. The new Jeep Cherokee is more fuel efficient. But what I think we're going to have to recognize is that we've got to be strong in the car market and in the truck market and in the SUV market, and all of those markets are going to be more fuel-efficient in the future than they were in the past, and that means new technologies.” …

TALKING POINTS: “Since taking office, President Obama has spent more than $6.1 trillion in 18 months. At $333 billion per month, that is more than twice the amount spent during the first two years of the George W. Bush administration. … The financial services law is another example of his permanent government expansion agenda. … On foreign policy, the Obama Administration continues to break with history by seeking to engage with enemies while bullying friends. … House Republicans will fight to repeal ObamaCare and work on reforms that will lower the cost of health care.”

Despite ending August with three consecutive days of losses, the Dow comes into the new month fresh off a 7.1% gain for July, its best since July of 2009. The S&P 500 also had its best month since July of 2009, gaining 6.9%.

“New High of 43% Call Afghanistan War a 'Mistake': Obama's approval rating on Afghanistan at 36%”: “After the Internet publication of tens of thousands of leaked classified documents on the war in Afghanistan, 43% of Americans now say the United States made a mistake in sending troops there, up slightly from just before the release (38%).”

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week for Halle Berry, David Crosby, Brett Hull, Magic Johnson, Mark Knopfler, Donna Redman…famous public servant, Maxine Walters.

CONGRATULATIONS – To SV for successfully completing her thesis defense. The Garden has no idea what they will be missing.

GARDENING – Per Rooftop Farms, Brooklyn New York; plant basil around tomato plants to keep pests away,
A great urban gardening web site.

FEMA ADMINISTRATOR CRAIG FUGATE writes on, “Are disabled still at risk in disasters?”: “One of my top priorities in my first year at FEMA has been to transform the way the emergency management community thinks about integrating this vital population. From day one, we have challenged every member of our leadership team to start integrating the needs of people with disabilities into every step of planning. In February, we established the Office of Disability Integration and Coordination… We are working with disability advocates to incorporate the needs of people with disabilities into emergency communications and public alert systems, evacuations, transportation and medical equipment supply plans.”

Next week: Summer in the city.

Until next Monday, Adios.

Claremont, CA
August 9, 2010

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