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

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