Monday, May 21, 2012

Commencement 2012

Our annual commencement notes from around the country:

Barnard College, New York, NY – President Obama: “After decades of slow, steady, extraordinary progress, you are now poised to make this the century where women shape not only their own destiny but the destiny of this nation and of this world.”

California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA – Elon Musk

Clark College, Vancouver, Washington – J.R. Martinez

Cornell University, Ithaca, NY – Michael Bloomberg

George Washington University, Washington D.C. – Brian Williams

Louisana State University, Baton Rouge, LA – Bob Schieffer: “There is no penalty anymore for dirty campaigning.”

Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR – Michelle Obama

Pomona College, Claremont, CA –Cameron Munter

St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY – Garry Trudeau

Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA – Steve Wozniak

Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY – Aaron Sorkin

University of La Verne, La Verne, CA – Freeman Hrabowski

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA – Maria Shriver: “Who you work for is as important as what you do.”

CONGRATULATIONS – To Barb and Carl Colley on the birth of their 8 pound daughter Blair Charlotte. I wonder if Blair will be buying her first Ford online?

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Thomas Chong (74), Barb Colley …famous online educator, Genie Francis (50), Barbara Hasse …Mom, Jewel (38), Henry Kissinger (89), Brent Musburger (72), Stevie Nicks (64), Frank Oz (68).

RINK RATS TMZ.COM – Has learned that a famous life-long card caring Republican is thinking about switching to the Democratic Party. Say it ain’t so.

MOTHERS’ MILK -  President Obama and the DNC raised $43.6 million in April, down from the $53 million raised in March but well above the $31 million raised four years ago.

WALL STREET WEEK - To say that the month of May has been a Wall Street washout would not likely be considered hyperbole: the major U.S. averages are coming off their biggest weekly losses of 2012, and the Dow and S&P 500 are now on track for their biggest monthly losses since May of 2010.  The Nasdaq is even more bearish: it’s on pace for its biggest monthly percentage drop since November 2008.

WORTH $100 BILLION AT BIRTH - "Facebook Inc has become the first U.S. company to be worth more than $100 billion at its debut, as investors bet on a big pop in the stock when it begins trading on the Nasdaq [today]. Frenzied demand ... is expected to drive Facebook well above its initial public offering price of $38 a share, which was already at the top end of its target of $34 to $38. Analysts were divided on how high the price might go on the first day of trade, with some expecting a relatively modest gain of 10 percent to 20 percent while others said anything short of a 50 percent jump would be disappointing. ...
"Facebook is selling an up to 18 percent stake in the company at a valuation of $104 billion, comparable to the market worth of Inc, and exceeding that of Hewlett-Packard Co and Dell Inc combined ... Enthusiasm for Facebook shares comes despite questions about the company's long-term money-making capabilities, particularly after it reported a quarter-to-quarter revenue slide in April. Others warn that the price tag, equivalent to over 100 times historical earnings versus Apple Inc's 14 times and Google Inc's 19 times, makes Facebook a risky bet.
TYPEWRITER OF THE DAY -  Royal 'Apollo 10' model from 1969. Electric that got us to the moon! It's noisy but types fine.

GAS PRICES KEEP EASING - "Gasoline prices fell for the fifth consecutive week, extending a sharp decline that has eased fears that prices would soon top $4 a gallon at the pump. The average price of regular gasoline dropped to $3.790 a gallon as of Monday ... down 3.8% from the 2012 peak of $3.941 reached April 2. Many of the forces that drove gasoline up are reversing, and that is helping bring prices back down, though they still remain near record highs. Tensions over Iran's nuclear program have eased, while softening economies in the U.S. and Europe have curbed demand. ... The changes have led analysts to temper their price predictions for the summer driving season.

"A few months ago, some were saying pump prices could shoot above $4 a gallon and even reach $5 by the summer, but now they say that is highly unlikely. That is good news not just for America's drivers, but also for the economy and potentially ... Obama, who has spent much of the year deflecting Republican criticism of rising fuel prices and his stewardship of the economy"

BIG BROTHER – The United States Post Office, the bastion of efficiency in business, has announced that they are closing the San Dimas, California post office. We believe this is the best performing post office in our region. I blame myself for taking too many deductions this year and not paying more taxes.
CHANGING AMERICA -- "Whites Account for Half of Births in U.S.": "After years of speculation, estimates and projections, the Census Bureau has made it official: White births are no longer a majority in the United States."
"Non-Hispanic whites accounted for 49.6 percent of all births in the 12-month period that ended last July, according to Census Bureau data made public on Thursday, while minorities - including Hispanics, blacks, Asians and those of mixed race - reached 50.4 percent, representing a majority for the first time in the country's history...."
"While over all, whites will remain a majority for some time, the fact that a younger generation is being born in which minorities are the majority has broad implications for the country's economy, its political life and its identity. "This is an important tipping point," said William H. Frey, the senior demographer at the Brookings Institution..."
Next week, Dear Rink Rats and the Jack Ass of the Month.

Until Next Monday, Adios.

Claremont, CA
May 21, 2012

#III-4, 109

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