Monday, October 1, 2012

The First Monday in October

As we come upon the first Monday in October many events are on the horizon, some deadly serious and others not so.

The Presidential Campaign this week begins the late innings with the first of the debates. Major League Baseball’s season comes to a close with The Yankees fighting for their playoff lives. The economy continues to rock back and forth heading to that impending fiscal cliff of the first quarter in 2014. The European victory in the Ryder Cup this past weekend signaled the ongoing changes going on in professional golf; Americans no longer are the best players in both the men and women’s game. Who will win Project Runway?

An uneasy feeling exists about the possible confrontation between Israel and Iran, and the alarming possibilities of nuclear weapons being involved. The day by day growing division and lack of compromise in America between conservatives and liberals, the 1% and the 99%, the 47% and the 53%, the blue states and the red states, the College of Business & Public Management and the College of Arts & Sciences, the NHLPA and the NHL owners.

If you were watching television Sunday evening three shows dominated the ratings, sorry not The Housewives of Where Ever, but three television shows with strangely similar lead characters. These characters, Nucky Thompson (Boardwalk Empire), Nicholas Brody (Homeland), and Arnold Schwarzenegger (60 Minutes) symbolize the current thinking about telling the truth. All the characters live their lives being brutally honest but at the same time hiding behind an image and the real truth in their lives. Like Joe McCarthy, Jack Kennedy,  Richard Nixon, Roger Clemens, Lindsay Lohan, Tony Villar, and countless others – telling the truth is one thing but the why behind your actions is another story and certainly not for us to know. So give us a pass because we told the truth.

Telling the truth (eventually) is not enough, telling and living the truth before your actions is what matters. We all can relate to this, especially this writer. Nucky, Nick, Arnold, Tony, Richard, we appreciate the truth but we do not buy the actions or the reasons. Thus all these individuals are our Jack Asses of the Month. Simply saying I did not want to hurt people is a cop out and an easy excuse. We should not look up or admire these individuals but use them to set our own higher standards on which to live our lives.

The first Monday of October is also the beginning of the United States Supreme Court 2012-2013 session. A Term of the Supreme Court begins, by statute, on the first Monday in October. Usually Court sessions continue until late June or early July. The Term is divided between "sittings," when the Justices hear cases and deliver opinions, and intervening "recesses," when they consider the business before the Court and write opinions. Sittings and recesses alternate at approximately two-week intervals.

With rare exceptions, each side is allowed 30 minutes argument and up to 24 cases may be argued at one sitting. Since the majority of cases involve the review of a decision of some other court, there is no jury and no witnesses are heard. For each case, the Court has before it a record of prior proceedings and printed briefs containing the arguments of each side.

During the intervening recess period, the Justices study the argued and forthcoming cases and work on their opinions. Each week the Justices must also evaluate more than 130 petitions seeking review of judgments of state and federal courts to determine which cases are to be granted full review with oral arguments by attorneys.

When the Court is sitting, public sessions begin promptly at 10 a.m. and continue until 3 p.m., with a one-hour lunch recess starting at noon. No public sessions are held on Thursdays or Fridays. On Fridays during and preceding argument weeks, the Justices meet to discuss the argued cases and to discuss and vote on petitions for review.

The Supreme Court is embarking on a new term ... that could be as consequential as the last one with the prospect for major rulings about affirmative action, gay marriage and voting rights. Many people on both the left and right expect [Chief Justice John] Roberts to return to the fold ... and side with the conservative justices in the new term's big cases. If they're right, the spotlight will be back on Justice Anthony Kennedy, whose vote typically is decisive in cases that otherwise split the court's liberals and conservatives. But Roberts will be watched closely, following his health care vote, for new signs that he is becoming less ideologically predictable.

THE MOST IMPORTANT WEEK OF MITT ROMNEY'S POLITICAL LIFE : The guy has wanted to be president for a lifetime, been a professional candidate for six years and counting, and needs some magic to make all the efforts count. Think about what's on the line this week: 1) Wednesday's debate, the last of three 'pivot points' identified by the campaign months ago. Romney is 0-for-2 on pivot bounces, from veep and convention. 2) Libya opens a new avenue of attack on Obama, but the window for Romney to exploit it is rapidly closing. 3) Romney cannot allow the conventional wisdom to harden. Charlie Cook is already drawing the 1996, Bob Dole comparison. 5) Romney can't let swing states to swing beyond his control.

--BREAKING - "US military deaths in Afghanistan hit 2,000 after 11 years of war" - AP/Kabul: "U.S. military deaths in the Afghan war have reached 2,000, a cold reminder of the human cost of an 11-year-old conflict that now garners little public interest at home as the United States prepares to withdraw most of its combat forces by the end of 2014. The toll has climbed steadily in recent months with a spate of attacks by Afghan army and police - supposed allies - against American and NATO troops. ...

"According to the Afghanistan index kept by the Washington-based research center Brookings Institution, about 40 percent of the American deaths were caused by improvised explosive devices. The majority of those were after 2009, when President Obama ordered a surge that sent in 33,000 additional troops to combat heightened Taliban activity. The surge brought the total number of American troops to 101,000, the peak for the entire war."

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Michael Andretti (50), President Jimmy Carter (88), Bob Geldof (58), Grant Hill (50), Brian Johnson (65). Mark McGwire (50).

ELECTION TRIVIA - The last time a Republican was elected president without a Nixon or Bush on the ticket was 1928.

QUOTE OF THE MONTH - When you win, say nothing, when you lose, say less. -Paul Brown

--"President Clinton gets $2 billion in pledges to tackle world's woes." Healthcare for athletes with mental disabilities, organic know-how for Indian farmers and solar technology for isolated communities were among the pledges made at former President Clinton's [three-day] philanthropic summit ... With ... an emphasis on improving the lives of women and girls in the developing world, heads of states, business leaders and humanitarians at the eighth annual Clinton Global Initiative made 150 new pledges valued at about $2 billion. ... 'I am convinced that cooperation, not conflict, will define this century,' Clinton said."

FIRST LOOK: CORPORATE CFOs WORRIED - Per release out later today from Deloitte: "Persistent economic troubles at home and abroad, combined with uncertainty around elections and the U.S. fiscal cliff, yielded the most somber year-over-year expectations in the 10-quarter history of Deloitte's CFO Signals survey. ... The quarterly survey, which tracks the thinking and actions of CFOs representing North American companies averaging more than $5 billion in annual revenue, found that 40 percent of CFOs report rising pessimism this quarter about their companies' prospects (up from 28 percent last quarter).

"The outlook in the U.S. is worse with 47 percent of CFOs less optimistic. ... About one-quarter of CFOs cite government and regulation-related issues as their most worrisome risk, with frequent mention of the impending fiscal cliff, possible changes to tax and regulatory policy, and the potential impact of U.S. elections on policy and equity markets.'"

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 10/6, 7:00 PM ET, ESPN: #5 Georgia Bulldogs (5-0) visit #6 South Carolina Gamecocks (5-0). An early season SEC battle, this is why the SEC is the best conference; the next three weeks South Carolina has Georgia, LSU and Florida – tough. South Carolina 32 Georgia 28.   Season to date (2-3).

SMALL COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 10/6, 1:00 PM ET, Mystery Channel: Ithaca College Bombers (4-0) visit Alfred Saxons (2-1) in Alfred, New York. A HUGE E8 Conference bout – Ithaca 28 Alfred 21.    Season to date (5-0).

NFL FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Sunday 10/7, 1:00 PM ET, Fox: Philadelphia Eagles (3-1) at Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2). This battle for the Quaker State is a must for the Steelers. Pittsburgh 24 Philadelphia 20.  Season to Date (3-1).

THE SWAMI’S TOP PICKS – South Carolina 32 Georgia 28, Ithaca 28 Saxon Warriors 21, Steelers 24 Eagles 20, Over and unders on the number of ULV Alumni attending reception in Taipei, Taiwan (7 and under).    Season to Date (12-7).

DRIVING THE WEEK: Wednesday's President Debate (9 p.m. Eastern in Denver) is the big show, but there's plenty of other action for the first week of October. Ben Bernanke speaks at 12:30 this afternoon in his first speech since kicking off QE3, and the minutes from September's FOMC meeting come out Thursday. The Labor Department releases the September employment and unemployment report come Friday.

Next week; gardening, cooking, home and Dear Rink Rats.

Until Next Monday, Adios.

Claremont, CA
October 1, 2012

#III-23, 128

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