Monday, November 1, 2010

Autumn Is Here

You know autumn is here to stay when the sun no longer shines on sections of your garden. The sweater vests have now moved from the storage closet to the dresser. You know autumn is here to stay when hot tea is now the choice in the morning instead of orange juice and the U of M Wolverines are on a losing streak because they are now playing decent teams. You know autumn is here to stay because college administrators who were bragging about their great enrollment numbers two months ago are now panicking because they cannot balance their budgets, oh well lets’ raise the tuition a bit more.

You know autumn is here to stay because your summer tan is now a faded memory and you have to change the on/off timing on your indoor/outdoor lights. Crock pots are now in, barbecues are now out, apple cider tastes better, iced tea has lost its’ taste, Mexican food is out, Chinese food is in, obnoxious fund raising telephone calls from church, college, whatever, are growing, obnoxious political telephone calls have stopped, what to do for Thanksgiving and Christmas is always in the back of your mind, missing the warm sun on your face and the cool wind off the lake or ocean is always in the back of your mind – “how many more months to spring??” Ugh!!!

The 2010 Zagat Fast-Food Survey's Best Burgers:

1. Five Guys
2. In-N-Out Burger
3. Wendy's
4. Burger King
5. McDonald's

Rink Rats top five all time movies:

5). Slap Shot (1977)
4).The Maltese Falcon (1941)
3). Citizen Kane (1941)
2). The Godfather (1972)
1). Casablanca (1942)

SUNDAY READING - Letter to N.Y. Times Public Editor Arthur S. Brisbane - "Marriage and Achievement: The heavy majority of couples typically featured in the Sunday wedding announcements either attended elite universities, hold corporate management positions or have parents with corporate management positions. It's nice to learn about the nuptials of the privileged, but Times readers would benefit from learning about a more representative sampling of weddings in our diverse city. ... Max Sarinsky, Manhattan."

GDP LOOK AHEAD: DEPENDS ON CITIES/STATES - Reuters' Emily Kaiser reports: "The only question about the rate of U.S. economic growth right now is which adjective fits best: sluggish or slumping. The answer may lie in city halls and governors' mansions. ... The range of forecasts ... is wide, stretching from 1.0 percent to 3.6 percent. State and local government spending is one big wild card. ... State and local governments normally account for a little more than 12 percent of GDP, outpacing the federal government, which has been clocking in just above 8.0 percent since last year (and had been closer to 7.0 percent before the recession). Most states and municipalities have balanced budget rules, which means when revenues fall, something has to go. In September, it was jobs. State and local governments shed 83,000 workers last month, a huge surprise that made the overall employment picture look considerably darker than economists had expected."

POST-ELECTION: OBAMA TO FOCUS ON DEFICIT- AP's Ben Feller reports: "Preparing for political life after a bruising election ... Obama will put greater emphasis on fiscal discipline, a nod to a nation sick of spending and to a Congress poised to become more Republican. ... He is already giving clues about how he will govern in the last two years of his term. Obama will try to make gains on deficit reduction, education and energy. ... While trying to save money, Obama will have to decide whether to bend to Republican and growing Democratic pressure to extend Bush-era tax cuts, even for the wealthy, that expire at year's end. ... Moving to the fore will be a more serious focus on how to balance the federal budget and pay for the programs that keep sinking the country into debt."

PLAYBOOK ODDS FIXING: Republicans net 51 House seats (39 needed for control) - 8 Senate seats (10 needed for control). When people ask us our hot hunch for an upset, we say that Harry Reid could still win - gives you a sense of how bad the C.W. is for Ds. For the past two weeks, Alex "Morning Score" Burns' parlor-game hot hunch has been Rep. Joe Sestak (D) winning in PA SEN.

BOND YIELD GOES NEGATIVE - FT's Aline van Duyn, Michael Mackenzie and Nicole Bullock report in the page 1 splash: "The abnormal state of the credit markets came into focus as the US Treasury sold bonds with negative interest rates for the first time and Goldman Sachs prepared to issue its first 50-year debt deal. Both developments on Monday highlighted the difficult choices facing investors at a time when interest rates are at historical lows and the [Fed] is moving towards more asset purchases aimed at boosting the economy and staving off deflation. Investors who believe the Fed will succeed in its efforts - which would lead to higher inflation - accepted a yield of minus 0.55 per cent on $10bn of Treasury Inflation Protected Securities - or Tips - which compensate holders if the consumer price index rises. At the same time, retail investors looking for higher yields in the current low interest-rate environment were targeted by Goldman, which prepared to sell $250m of 50-year bonds that are expected to pay interest of up to 6.25 per cent."

HISTORY - In fact, divided government is the rule rather than the exception in the US; indeed, the last president to serve an entire term with both a House and a Senate controlled by his own party was Jimmy Carter.

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to Laura Bush (64), Glenn Frey (62), Art Garfunkel (68), Godzilla (56), Linda Gordon …famous shopper, David Kung …famous economist, Lyle Lovett (54), Jenny McCarthy (38), Maria Shriver (55).

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 11/7, a huge Pac 10 match up with the winner moving on to battle Oregon for the conference title; University of Arizona Wildcats (7-1) and 15th ranked visit the Stanford Cardinal (7-1) and 13th ranked, 8:00 PM ET, ABC. The future Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh led Cardinal are 7.5 point favorites, give the points and take Stanford.
Season to date (8-1).

SMALL COLLEGE PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 11/7, it is homecoming weekend in La Verne, CA as the winless Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens (0-7) visit the University of La Verne Leopards (0-7), 4:00 PM ET, Sci-Fi Channel. Both teams are desperate for a victory, but the Sagehens have the edge with a better quarterback, we pick The Sagehens in a close, high scoring game; 35-31.
Season to date (6-2).

NFL PICK OF THE WEEK – Sunday 11/8, it has been awhile but a meaningful game in the AFC West; Kansas City Chiefs (5-2) @ Oakland Raiders (4-4), 4:15 PM ET, CBS. Are The Raiders for real? They are 2.5 point favorites in this historic rivalry, we pick The Raiders.
Season to date (3-5).

RUNWAY FASHION - Fashion Week has come and gone, the runway collections have been shown, a winner has been chosen, and the losers have been sent home. Now all that's left is the reaction, and what a reaction it is.

Like a foul stench of hipsters and toxic waste out of an abandoned Village Venture port-a-john, Gretchen Jones won (spoiler alert!) and, it seems to me, no one is happy about this. In fact, I've heard more than one person say that they're going to quit watching the show. One word….”Mondo”.

IN MEMORY - Boston Globe p. 1, "Theodore Sorensen, JFK's aide and wordsmith, dies," by Bryan Marquard: "Theodore Chaikin Sorensen, whose prose mingled with the thoughts and words of his close friend John F. Kennedy to create some of the most memorable presidential speeches of the 20th century, died yesterday. Mr. Sorensen's wife, Gillian, said he died in a New York City hospital of complications from an Oct. 22 stroke. He was 82. Despite a stroke nine years ago that left him nearly sightless, Mr. Sorensen had continued to be a vibrant link intellectually and philosophically to the Kennedy administration and the Camelot aura that defined the clan, launching the political careers of the president's younger brothers, Robert and Edward. ...

"Through the years, reporters routinely asked Mr. Sorensen if he wrote the line in Kennedy's 1961 inaugural address that arguably is the most famous sentence the president ever spoke: 'Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.' 'Having no satisfactory answer, I long ago started answering the oft-repeated question as to its authorship with the smiling retort: "Ask not,"' Mr. Sorensen wrote in "Counselor: A Life at the Edge of History,' his 2008 memoir. ... Not yet 25 in January 1953 when Kennedy, then a US senator, hired him as an assistant, Mr. Sorensen had arrived in Washington, D.C., a year and a half earlier, fresh from law school and a life lived almost entirely in Lincoln, Neb."

EMAIL - Forty-one years ago last week, a pair of computer scientists tried to send the world's first computer-to-computer message via the internet. The message was to be the word "log." Their connection crashed before they got to "g”, sound familiar.

FINANCE - The most anticipated week of the year on Wall Street is finally here - and many are curious to see where the stock market will head once the midterm elections and this week's Fed meeting are in the books.

The Dow and S&P 500 have just posted their best combined September/October percentage gains since 1998, while the Nasdaq had its best performance for those two months since 1982.

SPORTS BLINK - Not even two generations of Presidents Bush could save the Texas Rangers from getting pushed to the brink by the red hot San Francisco Giants and their young gun pitcher Madison Bumgarner. World Series is 3 -1 Giants.

AND FINALLY – Where are the Notre Dame fans???? Anybody seen them????

Next week, $283K.

Until next Monday, Adios.

Claremont, CA
November 1, 2010

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