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

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