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Monday, August 27, 2012
We have been dark a couple of weeks. What has happened?
There are some great wineries west of Highway 101 in Paso
Robles, CA: Bella Luna (really east of 101), Chateau Margene, Oso Libre, and
Adelaida, all worth a visit. Rancho Santa Fe, CA is a nice quiet weekend place,
especially when you win the Trifecta in the 6th race at Del Mar. “The
Newsroom” has become the best show on television, even though it is a bit over
top in its caricature of the Tea Party.
Nothing has changed in the economy, nothing will change for
at least six more quarters, the reason; deleveraging. Consumers and companies
continue to reduce and manage debt and credit. Until this cycle stabilizes the
economy will be hot and cold (mainly cold).
The Dodgers and Angels continue to spend HUGE amounts of money
on recycled ball players. Thank goodness for home grown prospects Clayton
Kershaw and Mike Trout.
We had sightings of Mr. Thirty Hour Work Week, Silver Tongue
Devil, and our favorite Tattoo You. The usual results.
A word has sprung up in many a conversation these past
couple of weeks. I was in a meeting and an individual who I was under the
impression did not know of such vocabulary said they had just “vetted” a
candidate. I had lunch with an employee search consultant, better known as a “headhunter”,
also better known as a waste of money, and this person used the word vetting
quite often. Vetted; of or pertaining to
an investigation, especially one that has been completed. John McCain’s
campaign staff did a very poor job vetting Sarah Palin. Why now the word
Whatever happened to interview, check, review, search, put
an ad in the paper? Now one must be vetted, confirmed, background checked, pass
a consultants screening. How about getting to know a candidate, spending more
than an hour with them, hiring a fellow employee, a former student, a veteran.
Must we vet a job prospect? I know quite a few vetted employees who could not
manage a lemonade stand let alone their current responsibilities. Something to
think about for Leadership 101.
CAMPAIGN EVER (David Brooks) – As we head into the conventions a few observations on this Presidential
campaign to date: “First, intellectual stagnation. ... Our big
government/small government debate is back where it was a generation ago. ...
Second, lack of any hint of intellectual innovation. Candidates used to start
their campaigns by giving serious policy addresses at universities and think
tanks to lay out their distinct philosophies. Bill Clinton was a New Democrat.
George W. Bush was a Compassionate Conservative. But now candidates know that
they'd be punished for saying something unexpected ... Third, increased focus
on the uninformed. Four years ago, Barack Obama gave a sophisticated major
speech on race. Mitt Romney did one on religion. This year, the ... prevailing
view is that anybody who would pay attention to such a speech is already
committed to a candidate. ... Fourth, lack of serious policy proposals. Has
there ever been a campaign with so few major plans on the table? President
Obama's proposals are ... retreads, while Mitt Romney has run the closest thing
to a policy-free race as any candidate in my lifetime. ...
"Fifth, negative passion. Both
parties are driven more by hatred than by love. ... Many Democratic politicians
think Obama looks down on them as a bunch of lowlife hacks. ... The Republican
coolness toward Romney is such that he's having trouble recruiting people to
work on the campaign. Sixth, no enactment strategy. ... The next president will
have to rally bipartisan majorities around a budget deal and many other things.
That will require personal and relationship skills neither has demonstrated.
"Seventh, ad budget myopia. Both
campaigns ... believe that if they can carpet bomb swing voters with enough
negative ads, then eventually the sheer weight of the barrage will produce
movement in their direction. There's little evidence that these prejudices are
true. But the campaigns are like World War I generals. If something isn't
working, the answer must be to try more of it. Eighth, technology is making
campaigns dumber. ... Campaigns can respond to their opponents minute by minute
... The campaigns get lost in tit-for-tat minutiae ... Finally, dishonesty
numbs ... It's impossible to take ads seriously."
National Republican Party – August 27-30, Tampa Bay Times
Forum, Tampa, Florida.
National Democratic Party – September 3-6, Time Warner Cable
Arena, Charlotte, North Carolina.
--First presidential debate: Jim Lehrer,
Executive Editor of the PBS NewsHour, Wednesday, October 3, University of
Denver, Denver, CO
--Vice presidential debate: Martha Raddatz,
Senior Foreign Affairs Correspondent, ABC News, Thursday, October 11, Centre
College, Danville, KY
--Second presidential debate (town
meeting): Candy Crowley, Chief Political Correspondent, CNN and Anchor,
CNN's State of the Union, Tuesday, October 16, Hofstra University, Hempstead,
--Third presidential debate: Bob Schieffer,
Chief Washington Correspondent, CBS News and Moderator, Face the Nation Monday,
October 22, Lynn University, Boca Raton, FL
APPLE's RECORD, WITH AN
ASTERISK: "Apple, a company that
nearly filed for bankruptcy just 16 years ago, passed a very different sort of
milestone on Monday, when a bump in its share price made it the most highly
valued public company ever. Apple already boasted the largest market value of
any public company, a title it has held since toppling Exxon Mobil from that
spot. But Microsoft still held onto the record for the biggest market
capitalization ever, $616.34 billion, which it set at the close of trading on
Dec. 27, 1999, according to Howard Silverblatt, an analyst at S.& P. Dow
Jones Indexes. Apple blew past that mark when its stock surged 2.6 percent on
Monday to close at $665.15, giving it a market value of $623.52
PRIVATE EQUITY &
UNIVERSITIES: By University of Notre Dame VP
and CIO Scott Malpass: in "Pensions & Investments": "The
University of Notre Dame's endowment provides nearly $100 million in financial
aid annually to help students pay for college. Less than a generation ago, in
1990, the number was around $5 million. We've been able to keep pace with the
rapidly growing financial needs of our students, in part, by making smart
investments in private equity. Thousands of students at Notre Dame are able to
earn a college degree because of the returns that private equity provides our
endowment. But this fact is seemingly missing from the current debate about the
industry. It shouldn't be. Private equity is instrumental in helping university
endowments and other foundations and charitable enterprises carry out their
missions. ... No other asset class has benefited the university and its
students as much as private equity."
THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Warren
Buffett (82), Jimmy Connors (60), Cameron Diaz (40), John McCain (76), LeAnn
Rimes (30), Andy Roddick (30), Peter Ueberroth (75).
SCULLY BACK FOR ANOTHER YEAR – “The new ownership of the
Dodgers has revitalized the city, the team, the fans and myself, so convinced
of their great purpose & leadership that I eagerly look forward to joining
them in pursuit of the next Dodgers championship.” Best news I heard this past
RINK RATS COLLEGE FOOTBALL PRESEASON TOP TEN:
1). Oklahoma Sooners 6).
2). USC Trojans 7). Virginia Tech Hokies
3). Alabama Crimson Tide 8).
Florida State Seminoles
4). LSU Tigers 9). South Carolina Gamecocks
5). Oregon Ducks 10).
RINK RATS NCAA FOOTBALL
2012 CONFERENCE PICKS:
ACC – Florida State Seminoles Big 12 – Oklahoma Sooners
Big East – Pittsburgh Panthers Big Ten – Michigan State Spartans
Pac 12 – USC Trojans SEC
– LSU Tigers
Independents – Notre Dame BCS
Champs – USC over Florida State
Ivy – Harvard Crimson SCIAC
– Cal Lutheran Kingsman
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF
THE WEEK – Saturday
9/1, 8:00 PM ET, ABC; storied football powers the University of Alabama and the
University of Michigan in the Cowboys Stadium Classic in Arlington, Texas. The
contest will be the fourth-ever meeting between the two schools, and the first
since the 1999 season when Michigan claimed a 35-34 overtime win against
Alabama in the Orange Bowl. It also marks the first meeting between the two
schools during the regular season after all three previous matchups taking
place in bowl games.
Both teams are high in the preseason rankings, Big Blue
are 13 point dogs to the Crimson Tide. We like Alabama to win this HUGE early
season tilt, Alabama 28 Michigan 17. Season
to date (0-0).
SMALL COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK
OF THE WEEK – Saturday
9/1, 1:30 PM ET, HGTV; a HUGE inter-conference matchup, #2 ranked Mt. Union
Purple Raiders visit #13 ranked Franklin Grizzlies. It is Ohio vs. Indiana in
this matchup. The Purple Raiders have one of, if not the best D-III program in the country,
we like them over the Grizzlies, 35-31. Season
to date (0-0).
SWAMI’S TOP PICKS – Alabama 28 Michigan 17, Mt. Union 35
Franklin 31, Roger Federer (SUI) to win Men’s U.S. Tennis Open, Serena Williams
(USA) to win Women’s U.S. Tennis Open. Season
to Date (0-0).
KNOCKS – Next week on HBOs NFL training camp reality show “Hard
Knocks”: Dolphins cut Ryan Tannehill, but ask his wife to stick around.
DRIVING THE WEEK - GOP convention and Isaac will dominate
headlines ... The only official business on the convention floor today is to
gavel the proceedings to order, start the debt clocks and go straight into
recess ... Still plenty going on around town today, including the POLITICO
Playbook Breakfast with Mike Allen talking to Karl Rove at 8:30 a.m. ...
Headliners Tuesday night in network prime-time (10 p.m. to 11 p.m.) are Ann
Romney followed by the keynote address from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie
... Wednesday features Condoleezza Rice, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and VP
nominee Paul Ryan ... The convention concludes Thursday with Sen. Marco Rubio
(R-Fla.) introducing Romney for his acceptance speech.
OF THE MONTH – “Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an
all-the-time thing. Winning is a habit.”
REMEMBERING NEIL ARMSTRONG -
"First man on moon ... dead at 82, Armstrong died following complications
from heart-bypass surgery he underwent earlier this month.. ... As commander of
the Apollo 11 mission, Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the moon
on July 20, 1969. As he stepped on the dusty surface, Armstrong said: 'That's
one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind.' Those words endure as
one of the best known quotes in the English language. ... Neil Alden Armstrong
was 38 years old at the time."
--"Famous lost word in Armstrong's
'mankind' quote": "Armstrong said immediately after the 1969 landing
that he had been misquoted. He said he actually said, 'That's one small step
for "a" man.' It's just that people just didn't hear it. The
astronaut acknowledged ... in 1999 that he didn't hear himself say it either
when he listened to the transmission ... 'The "a" was intended,'
Armstrong said. 'I thought I said it. I can't hear it when I listen on the
radio reception here on Earth, so I'll be happy if you just put it in
parentheses.' ... In 2006, a computer analysis found evidence that Armstrong
said what he said he said."
Next week, movie of the month, Major League Baseball’s final
month and Numbers.