Monday, October 31, 2011


Here are a few spooky events and observations on this Halloween 2011.

The Detroit Lions and the Buffalo Bills are becoming elite NFL teams.

The United Nations has determined today 7 billion citizens now reside on planet earth: with 1 billion citizens having inadequate drinking water and 2.2 billion citizens with no proper sanitation facilities.

Peanut butter prices are up 40% in our grocery stores due to the hot/dry summer season.

1 trillion dollars of student debt liabilities now exist in America. The Education Bubble nears.

University of La Verne football program has the second toughest schedule in all of D-III football this season: that explains why ULV is up in the Forbes Rankings.

Men over the age of 30 continue to wear baseball hats backwards, adding to the dumb and dumber of society.

Herb Cain leads all Republican candidates in the current poles, again adding to the dumb and dumber of society.

Tattoos, why?

Rachel Maddow needs to lighten up.

Students admitted to a MBA program who do not know how to use Excel, Word, PowerPoint, online research and speak English…How are the numbers?

Yes Claremont, CA is full of snobs, we admit it, now move on.

RR does not buy Darth Vader’s new “the world is nice and good” routine. Fellow citizens still beware.

A family member has a television in every room of the house, including the garage, except for the bathrooms.

Tim Tebow, why the big deal?

Both Dancing with the Stars and 2 1/2 Men had larger average audiences than WS Game #5.

GOOGLE HOMEPAGE - is a time-lapse video of pumpkin carvers creating jack-o'-lanterns that spell "Google." The page then automatically gives search results for "Happy Halloween."

MORE APPLE - “Can somebody help me out?” Michael Oher, an offensive lineman for the Baltimore Ravens, asked on Twitter a few weeks back. “Who was Steve Jobs!”
Oher, of course, knew about the company Jobs had run, even if he wasn’t a true believer. “Do you need all 3? iPhone Laptop and iPad? I don’t think so,” he had said after Apple unveiled its newest iPhone earlier in the week. More significantly, the Ravens are one of a few N.F.L. teams—Tampa Bay, Atlanta—to get rid of bulky paper playbooks in favor of an iPad preloaded with the team’s slate of plays. Players also use iPads to review game film, and fans use them to watch the games.

FIRST LOOK: JOBS' PROTÉGÉ TAKES THE STAGE - "Steve Jobs protégé Scott Forstall is a lot like his mentor: Brilliant, presents well, a deft infighter-arguably just the S.O.B. Apple needs to stay on top. Here is the first full profile of Scott Forstall, a 42-year-old senior vice president who may be the most important Apple employee you've never heard of. ... Forstall runs Apple's mobile software division, iOS, 'one of the most valuable corporate assets on earth,' understands both development and design, and already has his name on 50 Apple patents. Colleagues either revere him or detest him but Apple needs to keep him happy -- and keep him from antagonizing the inner circle of the world's most valuable tech company."

EUROPE MAKES THE BIG DEAL - "European leaders reached a deal with Greek debt-holders on last week that would see private investors take a 50 per cent cut in the face value of their bonds, a deep haircut that officials believe will reduce Greek debt levels to 120 per cent of gross domestic product by the end of the decade. The agreement, made just before 4am ... includes a new €130bn bail-out of Greece by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. ..."

ECONOMIC GAME CHANGE? – Last week's triple score of a big European debt deal, decent 2.5 percent U.S. GDP growth and a blockbuster market rally shakes up the old CW (President Obama runs blistering negative campaign in terrible economy) and presents what could become a new CW (which is actually a return to an older CW): Obama runs in a modestly recovering economy against a GOP opponent who wants to return to policies in place as the financial crisis hit.

Of course, it's too soon to predict this reality will come to pass. Growth needs to get over 3 percent to start pushing down the unemployment rate. And, once again, the biggest obstacle facing a fragile economy is Washington dysfunction and gridlock.

RR spoke to a number of economists and political operatives the last few days all of whom said two things could derail what appears to be a slow but steady recovery: Total collapse in the supercommittee talks leading to new downgrades and increased anxiety about U.S. governance; and failure to reach agreement to extend payroll tax cuts next year.

SPORTS BLINK - COMEBACK CARDS!, "PAINT THE TOWN RED: [St. Louis] Cardinals win 11th World Series title," by Tom Verducci: "With a thoroughly underwhelming 6-2 victory in Game 7 -- at least against the backdrop of 32 pressure-packed days of the purest baseball drama a fan could hope to see -- the 2011 Cardinals ... will go down as one of the great comeback teams in championship history. They proved they were more than just the 'hot' tournament team, as can happen in this three-round playoff system. They were ferocious in rising to multiple challenges. On Aug. 24, the Cardinals stood 10½ games out of a playoff spot with just the 12th-best record in the majors (67-63). On the last day of the season, they needed a win and a Braves loss just to get into the postseason."

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to Laura Bush (65), Sally Field (65), Art Garfunkel (70), Dr. Steve Lesniak …famous home designer, Jane Pauley (61), Gary Player (76), Dan Rather (80), Maria Shriver (56), Bill Walton (59).

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 11/5, Number One vs. Number Two: LSU Tigers (8-0) visit Alabama Crimson Tide (8-0), 8:00 PM ET, CBS.. Two great defenses in this one, we like The Tide to win and set up a national title game vs. Stanford come January. Season to date (7-2).

SMALL COLLEGE PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 11/5, the famous Cranberry Bowl Game, the 33rd season of this small college classic 12:00 PM ET, The Food Channel: Massachusetts Maritime Buccaneers (5-3) visit Bridgewater State Bears (6-2) in this NEFC conference battle. RR likes the crimson and white of Bridgewater to win this one going away in the Cranberry Bowl. Season to date (8-1).

NFL PICK OF THE WEEK – Sunday 11/6, 4:15 PM ET, CBS: Green Bay Packers (7-0) visit the San Diego Chargers (4-2). A key game for the lightning bolts to maintain playoff hopes, RR likes San Diego to give The Pack their first loss of the year. Sorry BE. Season to date (5-3).

THE SWAMI’S TOP PICKS – Alabama 20 LSU 10, Alfred 24 Ithaca 17, San Diego 17 Green Bay 14. Season to Date (18-6).

DRIVING THE WEEK - Huge week for economic news concluding with the October jobs report on Friday. Consensus is for around 100K, roughly the same as last month, which would tend to confirm that the economy isn't shrinking but is also not growing fast enough to bring down the 9.1 percent unemployment rate. Some more bullish analysts expect the number to come in at 150K (still not enough to move the unemployment needle). Anything around 150K or above would be a HUGE upside surprise. Anything significantly below 100K would be a big disappointment and blow to the Administration. ...

President Obama heads to the G20 meeting that begins in Cannes on Thursday to discuss, among other things, the latest big bazooka plan to save the euro zone and prevent global contagion (hopefully limiting the U.S. victims to MF Global). White House Press Secretary Jay Carney and other officials brief on the trip this morning at 10:30 a.m. at the White House... FOMC meets Tuesday and Wednesday with no major changes expected in the Wednesday statement with the same three dissents.

Wall Street is on track to post some impressive October numbers ahead of the month's final trading day, though creeping doubts about the European debt crisis solution could scale back some of those milestones in the day ahead. At this point, the Dow is poised to post its best monthly point gain on record and its best monthly percentage gain since January 1987. The S&P 500 is on track for its second best monthly gain ever, trailing only October 1974.

JACKASS OF THE MONTH - Wow. 9-9-9 proponent Herb Cain is up with a new web ad that really "blew" us for a loop. Titled "Now is the time for action," the ad stars Cain chief-of-staff Mark Block rambling in rather predictable fashion about his boss ("I really believe that Herman Cain will put 'united' back in the United States of America, and if I didn't believe that, I wouldn't be here," etc).

The ad is horribly made, strangely-lit and Block appears to be shaking his head "no" throughout as if he doesn't buy a single word he's saying. But the truly weird part of the ad comes at the end when Block exhales a giant puff of his cigarette at the camera and we cut to a stonefaced Cain, who then tosses his head at the audience and breaks into a creepy laugh as teabager anthem "I Am America" plays in the background.

Next week, the education bubble.

Until next Monday, Adios.

Claremont, CA
October 31, 2011

#II-27, 80

Monday, October 24, 2011


On October 31st of every year, millions of people in America and around the world celebrate “Halloween” (also known as the Day of the Dead). The holiday stretch now begins, yes the holidays. There once was a time when the onset of the holidays was actually marked on the day after Thanksgiving. But now it begins in mid-October the shopping/cooking/sending/visiting marathon. It all is a bit much. I am exhausted already and the spectacle is just beginning.

What was once a simple ritual of making a costume and going out into the neighborhood is now an adult only, office party, $100 costume event. After Halloween the stores begin the onslaught of Christmas gadgets, internet shopping and yes the politically correct holiday acknowledgements (a blog for another week). I wish for the simple times I had as a kid, putting charcoal on my face, some of my father’s old clothes (a hobo), trick and treating to the neighbors, who all knew me, the emptying of our candy on the living room floor with my father getting first rights on his favorites.

Oh well, back to my iPad I have to finish my Christmas list.

WHO MAKES UP THE ONE PERCENT? - Via Mike Konczal's blog: "A lot of emphasis is on the '99%' versus the '1%' in these protests. But who are the 1% and what do they do for a living? Are they all Wilt Chamberlains and Oprahs and other people taking part in the dynamism of the new economy? Nope. It's same as it ever was - high-level management and the financial sector. ... It boils down to managers, executives, and people who work in finance. From the paper: "our findings suggest that the incomes of executives, managers, supervisors, and financial professionals can account for 60 percent of the increase in the share of national income going to the top percentile of the income distribution between 1979 and 2005."

APPLE MISSES - "Apple reported $6.62bn in third-quarter profits, but missed quarterly earnings expectations for the first time in years, sending its shares down more than 6 per cent in after-hours trading. Analysts had been looking for earnings of $7.25bn, according to one survey, but Apple missed that target as iPhone sales proved disappointing. Apple said it sold 17.07 million iPhones in the quarter, up 21 per cent in units from a year earlier, but below projections of about 19m. ...

Apple had beaten Wall Street consensus profit estimates by at least 13 per cent in each of the past four quarters, and the miss on Tuesday was a disappointment to investors encouraged by the strong early sales of the iPhone 4S, which launched after the most recent quarter closed."

OVERLOOKED GOOD NEWS - The news can be relentlessly grim so we liked to point out the green shoots where they pop up. Yesterday, GE said it will build its 16th new manufacturing plant in the U.S. since 2009, this time in Texas. Good stuff

FIRST LOOK - Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough are writing a unique joint memoir for Jon Meacham at Random House. Entitled 'Mika and Joe: Our American Stories,' the book, due to be published in fall 2012, will explore their lives leading up to their remarkable collaboration in creating the hottest brand in political television. If the daughter of Polish aristocrats and the son of the American middle class can find a way to get along, then there are lessons to be mined from their journeys about civility, chemistry, and the art of respectful conversation. It will be a big book.

--"Morning Joe" is on a ratings roll, beating CNN for the eighth straight quarter, and enjoying a 40% rise in ratings over the past year when many others are suffering declines. The show has registered the highest rated hour several times lately, even occasionally out-rating the network's primetime schedule. Insiders say that's a feat unprecedented at any news network. "Fox & Friends" remains No. 1 in the slot.

SNEAK PEEK - "Steve Jobs," by Walter Isaacson (Simon & Schuster, 630 pp., out tomorrow): "In February 2011, [Silicon Valley venture capitalist John] Doerr began making plans to host a small dinner for President Obama in Silicon Valley. He and Jobs, along with their wives, went to dinner at Evvia, a Greek restaurant in Palo Alto, to draw up a tight guest list. The dozen chosen tech titans included Google's Eric Schmidt, Yahoo's Carol Bartz, Oracle's Larry Ellison, Genentech's Art Levinson, and Netflix's Reed Hastings. ... Because Jobs had lost so much weight that he was easily chilled, Doerr kept the house so warm that Zuckerberg found himself sweating profusely. Jobs, sitting next to the president, kicked off the dinner by saying, 'Regardless of our political persuasions, I want you to know that we're here to do whatever you ask to help our country.' Despite that, the dinner initially became a litany of suggestions of what the president could do for the businesses there. [Cisco chairman and CEO John] Chambers, for example, pushed a proposal for a repatriation tax holiday that would allow major corporations to avoid tax payments on overseas profits if they brought them back to the United States for investment during a certain period. The president was annoyed, and so was [Mark] Zuckerberg, who turned to Valerie Jarrett, sitting to his right, and whispered, 'We should be talking about what's important to the country. Why is he just talking about what's good for him?'

"Doer was able to refocus the discussion by calling on everyone to suggest a list of action items. ... Jobs ... stressed the need for more trained engineers and suggested that any foreign students who earned an engineering degree in the United States should be given a visa to stay in the country. Obama said that could be done only in the context of the 'Dream Act,' which would allow illegal aliens who arrived as minors and finished high school to become legal residents - something that the Republicans had blocked. Jobs found this an annoying example of how politics can lead to paralysis. 'The president is very smart, but he kept explaining to us reasons why things can't get done,' he recalled. 'It infuriates me.' Jobs went on to urge that a way be found to train more American engineers. Apple had 700,000 factory workers employed in China, he said, and that was because it needed 30,000 engineers on-site to support those workers. 'You can't find that many in America to hire,' he said. These factory engineers did not have to be PhDs or geniuses; they simply needed to have basic engineering skills for manufacturing. Tech schools, community colleges, or trade schools could train them. 'If you could educate those engineers,' he said, 'we could move more manufacturing plants here.'

CARTOON OF THE MONTH - The Protester and the Goldman Chief: - this is clever.

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to Hillary Clinton (64), Charlie Daniels (75), Bill Gates (56), Denis Potvin (58), Dick Vermeil (75), B.D. Wong (51).

APOCALYPSE NOW - Turner avg'd 4.19M viewers for baseball League Division Series games. The Kardashian Wedding on E! drew 5.25M viewers/day.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 10/29, #6 ranked Stanford Cardinal (7-0) visit the USC Trojans (6-1), 8:00 PM ET, ABC. Can USC maintain the drive after a big win at Notre Dame this past weekend. Stanford is giving 8.5 points in this one, not enough for SC, we like Stanford in this one in L.A. Season to date (6-2).

SMALL COLLEGE PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 10/29, the first of the big small college rivalry games: (4-3) Albion Britons visit Performance Stadium and (7-0) Adrian Bulldogs, 4:00 PM ET, BRAVO. This is for first place in the MIAA conference, but more importantly this is a rivalry game. We like Adrian to win and win big. Season to date (7-1).

NFL PICK OF THE WEEK – Sunday 10/30, New England Patriots (5-1) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2), 4:15 PM ET, CBS. Never go against Bill Belichick team after a bye week, too much time to prepare. The Pats are 1.5 favorites give the points and stay with New England in this one. Season to date (5-2).

THE SWAMI’S TOP PICKS – Nebraska 31 Michigan State 24, Edmonton 28 BC 17, New England 20 Pittsburgh 17. Season to Date (17-4).

LOUSY WEATHER - Weather Channel's 5 worst weather NFL cities: 1. Buffalo, 2. Cleveland, 3. Pittsburgh, 4. Green Bay, 5. KC

RECIPE OF THE MONTH - Pumpkin Cheesecake



  • 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 stick melted salted butter


  • 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pureed pumpkin
  • 3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

For crust:

In medium bowl, combine crumbs, sugar and cinnamon. Add melted butter. Press down flat into a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.

For filling:

Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add pumpkin puree, eggs, egg yolk, sour cream, sugar and the spices. Add flour and vanilla. Beat together until well combined.

Pour into crust. Spread out evenly and place oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours.

Prep: 15 min, Inactive 4 hr. 115 min, Cook 1 hr.: Total time 5 hr. 30 min

Servings: 8

DRIVING THE WEEK - President Obama speaks in Vegas at 4:05 p.m. et to lay out the housing plan then heads to L.A. for fundraisers and to tape Jay Leno on Tuesday before heading to Denver on Wednesday and then back to D.C. ... Key economic events this week will be round two of the E.U. summit wrapping up Wednesday and third quarter GDP out Thursday. Failure by European leaders to come up with a comprehensive plan would be brutal on global markets.

Consensus on third-quarter GDP initial read is for a gain of about 2.4 percent, a decent bump from the second quarter's anemic 1.3 percent. But HFE's Ian Shepherdson and some others think growth could come in at a surprising 3.0 percent which would be a VERY welcome economic headline for an administration that has not seen many of those. A reading close to 3 percent would also suggest that professional Doomsayers who consistently assured us another recession was inevitable were, at least for now, quite wrong.

House Financial Services subcommittee on Tuesday has a hearing on the euro crisis and possible impact on the U.S. ... House Foreign Affairs subcommittee has a hearing on the euro crisis on Thursday ... House Ways and Means has a U.S.-China hearing on Tuesday ... SEC has a hearing on Wednesday to consider a rule that would require private fund advisors to report data to FSOC to help monitor systemic risk

Next week, Jackass of the month.

Until next Monday, Adios.

Claremont, CA

October 24, 2011

#II-26, 79

Monday, October 17, 2011


We know many people in America do not care for him, but Bill Clinton has and continues to leave his mark on American politics and world issues. In our ongoing discussion on leadership we believe, though flawed, he is an example of leadership.

"People have been betting against America for 200 years, and they all lost money" says the former President. "How do you begin a conversation with the man who knows everything? ... 'Do you ever think much about John Quincy Adams?' 'Oh sure,' he says, with his most disarming smile. 'The first ex-president to do something active afterwards; eight terms in Congress, led the anti-slavery movement.' And then he's off, as unstoppable in his historical enthusiasms as he is in almost every other subject you can imagine. At a Dimbleby Lecture dinner some years ago, Clinton used dessert time to offer an exhaustive analysis of the Kashmir conflict, sketched with a marker pen on a paper napkin. The motor mind is still racing. ... Clinton invokes George W. Bush as an environmentalist techno-geek. As governor of Texas ('and not a lot of people know this') he signed legislation to make it more attractive to put up windmills, 'so that Texas is now the number one producer of wind energy in America. On a good day, when the wind is blowing, Texas gets 25 per cent of its base load of electricity from wind.' ...

"Seven years ago, [his] heart gave out on him, requiring emergency quadruple bypass surgery. As he got back on his feet, the fleshy Clinton face became sharply chiseled and the rest of him followed suit. At 65, standing tall in the office of the Clinton Global Initiative in a Harlem skyscraper, he is now trim rather than gaunt, the hot dog ravening replaced by vegetarianism. 'He's a near-vegan,' his aide Craig Minassian tells me, a concept about as persuasive as near-virgin. ... 'So, Mr. President,' I say, 'Do you really think America has what it takes to get out of this deep hole?' He shifts his chair closer to me. 'I'll give you an honest answer. I'm absolutely confident we have what it takes. But I'm more worried now than I have been for many many years ... because we have both a short-term crisis of horrible unemployment and long-term issues about education, healthcare and tilting the economy a little more to production. But here's what I know ... People have been betting against America for 200 years - it's a maddening country - and they all wound up losing money.

"But, and something like a sigh escapes the optimist - 'this is a different sort of challenge. It's short-term and long-term, it's complicated and we need a narrative that allows people to buy into America. The best I can do is tell you that what works in the modern world is different from what works in politics. When I'm asked what's the one thing I'm proudest of, it was moving a hundred times as many people from poverty into the middle class as in the previous 12 years, because that was clearly the product of economic policy. ... The aides close in, calling time. Clinton wants, of course, to carry on talking, especially about the fate of the young in America, not just as some sort of abstract policy issue but as if he were one of them himself, which, of course, the Comeback Kid in many ways still is. He walks over to the windows of his office and looks down to a scrap of green amidst the urban grit. 'See over there? That park? That's Marcus Garvey Park. Tough spot. But that's where the Harlem Little League team plays. And some years back, they made it all the way to the World Series. Just imagine!' Which is what, for all his worldly political wisdom, Bill Clinton still irrepressibly does. Imagine."

INAUGURATION – Speaking of leadership, Devorah Lieberman becomes the 18th President of the University of La Verne this week. After a year of searches, policy making, videos, a wide variety of sucking up, countdowns and meetings we now officially begin what proves to be a very trying time for this University. Dr. Lieberman brings a new vision and commitment to ULV we wish her much success.

“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.”

GOP DEBATE WRAP: PERRY FAILS; ROMNEY ROLLS - Hard to imagine Texas Gov. Rick Perry having a worse debate than he did in New Hampshire last week. Perry needed a knockout performance to reverse his precipitous slide. Instead he failed to land a blow. He had almost nothing to say about his allegedly forthcoming economic plan (in an economic debate!) other than he favors more domestic energy production, a theme he repeated in response to pretty much any question. He looked rested but not ready.

At one point Perry seemed to dismiss the idea he would have to work with Congress at all to pass economic policies to boost job creation and growth: "What we need to be focused on in this country today is not whether or not we're going to have this policy or that policy. What we need to be focused on is how we get America working again."

RR BOTTOM LINE - Perry won't drop out right away. But if his campaign was not dead before this debate, it is now.

ROMNEY STRONG (AGAIN) - Romney has clearly mastered the debate format and is ready for prime time next fall. He once again laughed off most attacks from the field and sharpened his aim at President Obama on taxes and regulation while gently rebuking current fad candidate Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan as a fairly absurd gimmick (while getting in a dig at Perry). Romney: "Simple answers are -- are always very helpful, but oftentimes inadequate. And in my view, to get this economy going again, we're going to have to deal with more than just tax policy and just energy policy, even though both of those are part of my plan." He then went on to lay out his plan fairly succinctly.

FIRST LOOK - "THE REAL GIRLFRIENDS OF CAPITOL HILL " -- "In Friendship We Trust: When Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head nearly a year ago, few thought she would survive. But with the help of two unwavering friends who never stopped believing in her, she did. Here, an inspiring story of three women who are rewriting Washington's boys'-club rules," by Sheila Weller: "On a Saturday afternoon last January, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz was pulling out of her Florida driveway, taking her 7-year-old daughter, Shelby, on an hour-long drive to a soccer tournament. Her BlackBerry buzzed, and as she glanced down, the message from one of her staffers made her throw on the brakes: 'Gabby Giffords shot???' Debbie, the petite, blond dynamo who would soon become chair of the Democratic National Committee ... struggled to keep her eyes on the road. 'I had my iPad on the passenger seat; I was desperately Googling as I was driving; I was crying,' she says, remembering how she kept hitting the Refresh button on Google News, searching for more details ...

"At the very same moment, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was sitting down with her husband, Jonathan, for lunch. The New York Senator, close to both Debbie and Gabby, was the third member of one of Washington's most powerful friendships. Just the week before, the Gillibrands had been at Matchbox, a popular Washington, DC, restaurant, with Gabby and Mark for pizza and beer. In a modern reversal of traditional roles, it had been the women who talked shop during the entire meal ... Gabby had always been rich in friendship, but the closeness she shares with Kirsten and Debbie has been powerful both personally and politically. Early in their careers, they met, bonded, and became one another's champions, helping one another through crises ranging from minor to major to unimaginable. All young by Washington standards (Gabby is 41, Kirsten is 44, and Debbie is 45), the three represent a significant part of the roughly 20% of the Congressional voice that is female-of 535 Senators and Representatives, only 93 are women and the average age is 53.

"The reasons behind the trio's friendship are the reasons why women are so valuable in Congress, and the clout that they embody is changing the way business is done on Capitol Hill. They have committed not only to meaningful alliances with Republican Congresswomen, but also to a concerted effort to get more women involved in politics and elected at every level of government. ... The women who enter the battlefield that is Capitol Hill have to be warriors, and courage-mixed with a decidedly female bent toward consensus-is at the heart of not only this friendship, but also a new generation of women leaders, Republican and Democratic, that is emerging across the country. Traditionally, it's been older women, who have finished raising children-Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, Marge Roukema, Dianne Feinstein, Hillary Clinton-who have made their mark in Congress. And, indeed, they paved the way for younger women like Debbie and Kirsten to run for office, despite the challenges. There's an element of necessity-and urgency-in their running, say their female peers who watch politics closely. 'We love Dianne Feinstein, but she's 78,' says Dee Dee Myers, an author who, at 31, was the first female White House press secretary."

SAY IT AIN’T SO - SHARES TANK – RIM (Blackberry) shares once traded near $150. They have dropped over 60 percent off their 52-week high. At $24.27, the company now trades at just over 4 times earnings, a very low ratio that could go lower given that the company now appears to have lost its one remaining advantage: rock solid e-mail reliability.

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to Jim Bunning (80), Amy Carter (44), Charles Colson (80), Ernie Els (42), Whitey Ford (83), Tim McCarver (70), Tom Petty (61), Lindsey Vonn (27), Dwight Yoakam (55).

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 10/22, #16 ranked Michigan State Spartans (5-1) entertains the #6 Wisconsin Badgers (6-0), 8:00 PM ET, ESPN. Sparty is coming off a high this week after beating their in-state rivals, look for them to keep the momentum going this week with an upset win over the cheese heads. Take the seven points and the Spartans.
Season to date (5-2).

FIRST BCS RANKINGS – (1) LSU, (2) Alabama, (3) Oklahoma, (4) Oklahoma State, (5) Boise State, (6) Wisconsin, (7) Clemson, (8) Stanford (9) Arkansas (10) Oregon.

SMALL COLLEGE PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 10/22, a battle for the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference league lead in this one at Arden Hills, Minnesota: #3 ranked St. Thomas Tommies (7-0) visit #9 Bethel Royals (5-1), 2:00 PM ET, Sci-Fi Channel. This is the Tommies year; they win big over the blue and gold Bethel Royals.
Season to date (6-1).

NFL PICK OF THE WEEK – Sunday 10/23, San Diego Chargers (4-1) @ New York Jets (2-3), 1:00 PM ET, CBS. The Jets defense is down this year, we like The Bolts to electrify New York in this one.
Season to date (5-1).

BUFFETT EARNINGS: $62 MILLION - CNNMoney's Jeanne Sahadi: "In a letter to Republican Rep. Tim Huelskamp Tuesday, Buffett revealed that his adjusted gross income last year was $62,855,038 and that his taxable income was $39,814,784. Buffett said he paid $15,300 in payroll taxes ... If you could get other ultra-rich Americans to publish their returns along with mine, that would be very useful to the tax dialogue and intelligent reform."


kismet \KIZ-met; -mit\, noun:

Destiny; fate.
It's pure kismet when these two find each other.

aburrirse, verb

to get bored
If you want to say that you’re bored in Spanish, use the expression estar aburrido, to be bored. But to say get bored you need to use the verb aburrir (to bore) and put se on the end to make it reflexive.

Me aburro viendo la tele.
I get bored watching television.

Next week, recipe of the month and Halloween.

Until next Monday, Adios.

Claremont, CA
October 17, 2011

#II-25, 78

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fifty Fifty

Do you know someone, work with someone, or have a family member who is wrong at least half the time? No matter how smart they think they are, I like to call them Fifty Fifty.

The Volleyball team is playing XYZ College tonight, should we go? No, they played them last week, are you sure, yes. I know those are the teams in the Big Ten! Wrong. I am sure it is going to be 100 degrees today. Wrong. Oh yea, Phil Collins sang that song. Wrong. The movie begins at 7:05 PM, got that one right. Broil the dinner for twenty minutes, bang, another one right. Barack Obama is our President. Wow, on a hot streak.

There are just certain people who are right and wrong always about half the time. Too bad they cannot figure that out.

STEVE JOBS: Designer, Marketer, Innovator, Businessman --TOM BROKAW: "Four or five hundred years from now - maybe even longer than that - they'll look back and Steve Jobs will be one of the defining figures of the technology that has absolutely transformed the world. It has created another universe that we could not have anticipated. ... We got the first Mac in 1984 ... Our children were in junior high and in grade school ... The second night that we had it, I went down to my office - I woke up - and there was a kid from the building who had come up the back stairs to PLAY ON THE MAC. And we just had a steady stream of 'em. About two days later, the new CEO of IBM came to have an editorial board meeting with us here, and I said, 'What about the Mac?' He went ... not gonna last."

"Here's to the crazy one. The rebels. The troublemakers. The ones who see things differently" Steve Jobs

GOOD MONDAY MORNING - Happy Columbus Day! U.S. stock markets open; bond markets closed. Public offices: Courts, post offices and state and federal government offices will be closed. City and county government offices and libraries will be open. Happy Thanksgiving to our Canadian friends to the north, this means hockey on television during the day today. Yes!

UGLY FORECAST - N.Y. Times Business section, p. 8, "Strategies: An Ugly Forecast That's Been Right Before," by Jeff Sommer: An "organization with an exceptionally good track record says another recession may already be here. That is the Economic Cycle Research Institute, a private forecasting firm based in Manhattan. ... Relying on a series of proprietary indexes, the institute correctly predicted the beginning and the end of the last recession. Over the last 15 years, it has gotten all of its recession calls right, while issuing no false alarms. ... [Its current forecast is] chilling: as bad as the economy has been, it's about to get worse. ... 'If the United States isn't already in a recession now it's about to enter one,' says Lakshman Achuthan, ... chief operations officer ... 'I wouldn't be surprised if [the unemployment rate] goes back up into double digits' ... Achuthan ... says ... gross domestic product rate is likely to go negative by the first quarter of 2012."

GREEK RECONENING DAY - Circle the date on your calendar: October 14th. That is the day the Greeks must make good on their debt payment or simply default. The sovereign debt crisis has been an overhang for stock and bond investors, but it's been a great opportunity for currency traders.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA BOTANISTS – An interesting day of science, great conversation, and plant related items to purchase. Saturday, October 15, 2011 at the Ruby Gerontology Center on the campus of California State University, Fullerton. $55 at the door. Banquet is $40 (Pre-register because seating is limited).

HAPPENING TODAY: "The George W. Bush Center will host the first-ever Warrior Open, a two-day golf tournament featuring members of the U.S. Armed Forces who served their country honorably and were severely wounded during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. [Yesterday], President Bush hosted a practice round" at Las Colinas Country Club, outside Dallas in Irving, Tex.
Pics from practice round

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to Sue Bird (31), John Dean (73), Brett Favre (42), Lee Iacocca (87), Christie Kerr (34), Emeril Lagasse (52), Ziggy Marley (43), Paul Simon (70), Karla Suffredini …famous sister, hockey Mom, soccer Mom, just Mom, Steve Young (50).

SUNSHINE STATE BUMMER – For the first time since December 6, 1982 there are no teams from the State of Florida in the AP College Football Top 25: no Florida, Florida State or Miami.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 10/15, every year this is the game for in-state Michigan football fans: #11 Michigan Wolverines (6-0) visit #23 Michigan State Spartans (4-1), 12:00 PM ET, ESPN. They will be three deep at the Beach Bar in Clark Lake, Michigan for this traditional rivalry. We like The Spartans to pull the upset and bring Coach Hoke’s team back to earth.
Season to date (4-2).

SMALL COLLEGE PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 10/15, a traditional Eastern Collegiate Football Conference match up: the Husson College Eagles (0-5) visit the Mount Ida College Mustangs (2-3) at Newton, Mass. 1:00 PM ET, Lifetime Network. The Mustangs have too much for the boys from Bangor, Maine, we like Mount Ida to win going away.
Season to date (5-1).

NFL PICK OF THE WEEK – Sunday 10/16, Philadelphia Eagles (1-4) at Washington Redskins (3-1), 1:00 PM ET, Fox. Michael Vicks last chance to salvage the Eagles season, he won’t The Skins win big in D.C. Season to date (5-0).

EARLY NCAA HOCKEY - The St. Lawrence University Saints travel to Ann Arbor this Thursday night for a hockey game against the University of Michigan. Forget the Spartans this week, this is the true test, go SLU!


“As an older worker, I sometimes find it frustrating to work with and manage people who are in their 20’s. Is it me or is it them?

OUT OF TOUCH, Canton, New York


It’s both. With four generations in the workplace, it should be no surprise that miscommunication and misunderstandings occur there. People are defined by the social and historical events they experienced growing up and that shaped them as young adults. To some degree, what a baby boomer (born 1946-1964) or a member of Generation X (born 1965-1981) expected when entering the work force is very different from what the people in Generation Y, also known as millennials (1982-1992), now expect.

For one thing try to understand their mind-set. Imagine growing up listening to Frank Sinatra, Elvis and Chuck Berry, compared with growing up listening to The Beatles, Rolling Stones and Motown. Just think how much the Generation Y work force is screwed up listening to Guns N’ Roses, Whitesnake and Duran, Duran. Enough said, give them a break they are messed up.


FINALLY – From KG our friend in New York: recently overheard at a wedding –

“All married men please stand next to the one person who has made your life worth living.”

The bartender was almost crushed to death.

Next week, words of the month, recipe of the month and leadership.

Until next Monday, Adios.

Claremont, CA
October 10, 2011

#II-24, 77

Monday, October 3, 2011

China or Bust

SIREN: CHILLING STORY TO DRIVE DEBATE FOR 2012 AND SUPERCOMMITTEE - "Coke chief criticizes US tax rules" in Financial Times video interview at Clinton Global Initiative: "Coca-Cola now sees the US becoming a less friendly business environment than China, ... citing political gridlock and an antiquated tax structure. ... Muhtar Kent, Coke's chief executive, said 'in many respects' it was easier doing business in China, which he likened to a well-managed company. 'You have a one-stop shop in terms of the Chinese foreign investment agency and local governments are fighting for investment with each other ... They're learning very fast, these countries ... In the west, we're forgetting what really worked 20 years ago. In China and other markets around the world, you see the kind of attention to detail about how business works and how business creates employment.' ...

"Kent argued that US states did not compete enough with each other to attract businesses while Chinese provinces were clamoring to draw investment from international companies. ... Kent's remarks came a month after Coke said it was ramping up its investment in China ... Kent said that US tax burdens and political polarization were creating uncertainty for businesses and hurting investment. 'I believe the US owes itself to create a 21st century tax policy for individuals as well as businesses ... If you talk about an American company doing business in the world today with its Chinese, Russian, European or Japanese counterparts, of course we're disadvantaged ... A Chinese or Swiss company can do whatever it wants with those funds [earned overseas]. When we want to bring them back, we are faced with a very large tax burden. ... When a country is in trouble, you can't have a polarized political process ... There's too much comfort. We need more needles to stick in politicians.'"

FACTS OF LIFE : This is a massive wakeup call for official Washington, which keeps patting itself on the back for solving crises that shouldn't be crises, while ignoring the crumbling of the system's pillars. The Coke CEOs sentiments, which we hear CONSTANTLY and CONSISTENTLY from executives around the country, explain why an independent presidential candidate could have historic support, and why big money is panting after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. This certainly reflects the loss of business confidence in President Obama, which has occurred with startling finality. BUT WISE UP, GOP: These people don't like or trust you, either, dawg. The story of the year ahead: Will/can anyone lead?

TOP TALKER - "ANDY ROONEY TO STEP DOWN " - CBS News release: "Andy Rooney announced on Sunday's 60 MINUTES that it will be his last regular appearance on the broadcast. Rooney, 92, has been featured on 60 MINUTES since 1978. He made the announcement in his regular essay at the end of the program, his 1097th original essay for 60 MINUTES. It was preceded by a segment in which Rooney looks back on his career in an interview with Morley Safer. ... Rooney began his run on 60 MINUTES in July 1978 with an essay about the reporting of automobile fatalities on the Independence Day weekend. He became a regular feature that fall, alternating weeks with the dueling James J. Kilpatrick and Shana Alexander before getting the end slot all to himself in the fall of 1979. ... Rooney lives in New York. He has three daughters and a son."

Andy Rooney's last "60 Minutes" essay: "When I was in high school I had an English teacher who told me I was a good writer ... I've made my living as a writer for 70 years now. It's been pretty good. ... I spent my first 50 years trying to become well known as a writer, and the next 30 trying to avoid being famous. I walk down the street now or go to a football game and people shout 'Hey Andy!' And I hate that. ... This is a moment I have dreaded. I wish I could do this forever. I can't, though. ... A lot of you have sent me wonderful letters and said good things to me when you meet me in the street. I wasn't always gracious about it. It's hard to accept being liked. I don't say this often, but thank you. Although if you do see me in a restaurant, please, just let me eat my dinner."

"CALIFORNIA AND BUST" - Michael Lewis interviews the Governator: "The smart money says the U.S. economy will splinter, with some states thriving, some states not, and all eyes are on California as the nightmare scenario. After a hair-raising visit with former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who explains why the Golden State has cratered, MICHAEL LEWIS goes where the buck literally stops-the local level, where the likes of San Jose mayor Chuck Reed and Vallejo fire chief Paige Meyer are trying to avert even worse catastrophes and rethink what it means to be a society": "He was the rare elected official who believed, with some reason, that he had nothing to lose, and behaved accordingly. When presented with the chance to pursue an agenda that violated his own narrow political self-interest for the sake of the public interest, he tended to leap at it. ...

"In November 2005 he called a special election that sought votes on four reforms: limiting state spending, putting an end to the gerrymandering of legislative districts, limiting public-employee-union spending on elections, and lengthening the time it took for public-school teachers to get tenure. All four propositions addressed, directly or indirectly, the state's large and growing financial mess. All four were defeated; the votes weren't even close. From then until the end of his time in office he was effectively gelded: the legislators now knew that the people who had elected them to behave exactly the way they were already behaving were not going to undermine them when appealed to directly."

(NOT SO) HAPPY TARP ANNIVERSARY - Three years ago today, Congress approved the TARP program, which rescued Wall Street but clearly not the U.S. economy. In fact, the anniversary should provide a nice rallying cry for the "Occupy Wall Street" protest which, while lacking any clear objective, has seized on widespread dissatisfaction with the direction of the nation and shows no sign of closing up shop.

CLIFTON’S REMODEL - The landmark Clifton's on Broadway will be shut down for three to six months, according to Eater LA. The kitchen and the serving line will be redone, and the dining rooms will undergo what you could either call restoration to the 1930's original look or hipsterizing by Andrew Meieran, who also owns The Edison. The bakery will remain open for takeout during the closure.

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to Karen Ball …famous President of Boulder Youth Body Alliance Board of Directors, Chubby Checker (70), Sam Huff (77), Jesse Jackson (70), Mario Lemieux (46), John Mellencamp (60), Steve Miller (68), John O’Hurley (57), Annika Sorenstam (41), Kate Winslet (36).

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 10/8, 12:00 PM ET, ABC. #3 Oklahoma Sooners (4-0) visit #11 Texas Longhorns (4-0). For only the second time in the last seven years, Oklahoma and Texas arrive at their annual showdown in Dallas with unblemished records. The Sooners have slipped two spots from their preseason No. 1 ranking despite winning all four of their games, while the Longhorns have climbed all the way to No. 11 with four straight wins. That sets up a high-stakes showdown between the Big 12 powerhouses at the heart of the State Fair of Texas in the Cotton Bowl. Sooners are favored by nine points, give the points and take the Sooners in this border war matchup.
Season to date (3-2).

SMALL COLLEGE PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 10/8, 1:00 PM ET, HGTV. First place is on the line in the New Jersey Athletic Conference when #8 Cortland State Red Dragons (3-1) visit Montclair State Red Hawks (4-0). The Red Hawks have too much offensive weapons in this one, we pick Montclair State.
Season to date (4-1).

NFL PICK OF THE WEEK – Sunday 10/9, the New York Jets (2-2) visit the New England Patriots (3-1), 4:15 PM ET, CBS. The Jets have to win this one or face a long uphill season to get back into the AFC East race. Nobody ever has passed for more yards at the beginning of a season then Tom Brady (University of Michigan). The Jets are in trouble we like the Pats to win in Foxboro, so give the 8.5 points.
Season to date (4-0).

NHL 2011-2012 PRESEASON PICKS – The National hockey League begins a new season this week our playoff picks by conference in their order of finish:

East: Philadelphia, Boston, Tampa Bay, Washington, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, New Jersey, New York Islanders.

West: San Jose, Los Angeles, Detroit, Vancouver, Nashville, Anaheim, Chicago, St. Louis.

Stanley Cup Finals: San Jose v. Boston

Stanley Cup Champs: San Jose Sharks

THE TUBE - 2011 has been a big year for anniversaries in the world of television. In July, commercial television turned 70 years old. This week, color TV turned 60. RCA put together this report in the mid-1950′s to explain the magic of color TV, or as they explained the technology inside color TV cameras: “The tube with a heart of a rainbow.”

KITTY WOODS - Tiger Woods is out of the top 50 in the world ranking for the first time in nearly 15 years.

CHASES WINE BAR – There is a new wine bar in the quiet village of La Verne. Their wine selection is basic, but they have a decent beer selection. Their window label has them as a "Beer/Wine/Appetizers" place. They also have main dishes on the menu. Prices are reasonable - $$.

Chases has a nice atmosphere outside. An open pit fire is central with chairs right up to the pit for those chilly evenings. The inside feels a little unfocused still, a big beautiful bar with a few tables in a big open space. The staff is pleasant but still learning, especially when it comes to operating the satellite televisions. We look forward to them expanding their wine list. The outside definitely has room for live music and it'll be nice when they grow into that.

For now, definitely worth checking out and bringing your friends to: Chases D and 3rd Street in the Village of La Verne. The Rink Rats rating on a scale of 1 to 10, a 6, room for improvement.

Next week, Dear Rink Rats, recipe of the month, and 50/50.

Until next Monday, Adios.

Claremont, CA
October 3, 2011

#II-23, 76