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 vetted?

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.

DULLEST 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, NY
--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 billion." 

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." 

BIRTHDAYS 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).

VIN 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 week.

1).  Oklahoma Sooners          6).  Michigan Wolverines
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). Texan Longhorns

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).

THE 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).

HARD 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.

QUOTE OF THE MONTH – “Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all-the-time thing. Winning is a habit.”  Vince Lombardi

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.

Until Next Monday, Adios.

Claremont, CA
August 27, 2012

#III-18, 123

No comments:

Post a Comment