Monday, February 4, 2013

The State of Rink Rats

January and February we see many “State ofs”: The State of the Union address, The State of the State, The State of the City, The State of Anemia, The State of the University, The State of Confusion, and on and on.

Well I believe it is time for The State of Rink Rats. We have been doing this little blog for almost three years now, week after week, what is its State?

Rink Rats ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, republicans and democrats, is in a fine state. Though our readership is small, it is loyal, though feedback is near zero, we feel our message of information and opinion is being read.  Rink Rats is vehicle by which the author provides, in his opinion, needed information about government, the economy, sports, and some mindless events and topics. Also it provides for the exercise of writing. Be it opinion, memoir, or facts, one must never stop learning or developing new pursuits.

This is the State of Rink Rats. Will we continue, of course, will we change and become better, I certainly hope so.

QUOTE OF THE MONTH – “The superior man blames himself. The inferior man blames others.” – Don Shula

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Alice Cooper (65), Christopher Guest (65), Roxanne Lewis …famous niece, Michael Mann (70), Joe Pesci (70), Mary Steenburgen (60).

AUTO INDUSTRY - "Toyota reclaims global top spot: Toyota has reclaimed its position as the world's largest automaker for the first time in two years, selling a record 9.75m vehicles globally in 2012 as Japan's car industry rebounded strongly. Group sales surged more than 22 per cent last year, helping Japan's leading vehicle maker win back the title it lost to General Motors in 2011 after supply disruptions in Japan and Thailand as well as a recall fiasco in the US. Nissan and Honda each also had a record year."

RETURN TO ISOLATIONALISM - "In Davos, world seeks U.S. engagement: From Syria to Mali, from Iran to the South China Sea, the United States' reluctance to be drawn into conflicts far from its shores was a leitmotiv of geopolitical debate at this year's World Economic Forum ... The absence of top Obama administration officials from the annual brainstorming and networking event in the Swiss mountains symbolized to some a perceived pullback from global leadership ... Leaders of Russia, Germany, Britain, Italy, South Africa, Jordan and many other nations made the journey. U.S. bankers, business leaders and academics were out in force, but the most senior U.S. government officials were a Treasury undersecretary, an assistant secretary of state and the outgoing U.S. Trade Representative. Delegates debated whether and when China would overtake America as the number one economy and global power -- estimates ranging from the early 2020s to never ...

"One minister, shielded by ... anonymity , lamented the dangers of 'a world without American leadership.' Without U.S. involvement, one session was told, Syria would become a 'Somalia on the Mediterranean,' with Middle East states waging a proxy war via sectarian factions, some of which would export militant violence to the neighbors and to Europe. Iran may accelerate its nuclear program to try to break out of isolation, Vali Nasr of Johns Hopkins University said, because Washington is squeezing it with economic sanctions but shunning either direct diplomatic engagement or military action. ... At least 60,000 people have been killed in two years of civil war in Syria, according to the United Nations."

NUMBER OF THE DAY: $7 BILLION - That's what the FEC says was spent on the 2012 election. POLITICO's Tarini Parti: "The total number of dollars spent on the 2012 election exceeded the number of people on this planet. About $7 billion was spent by candidates, parties and outside groups on the 2012 election ... according to a review of campaign finance reports by the Federal Election Commission.

"FEC Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub announced the eye-popping figure at the agency's meeting Thursday. The FEC estimates that candidates spent about $3.2 billion of the total $7 billion, parties spent another $2 billion and other outside political committees made up more than $2.1 billion. The agency processed 11 million pages of documents filed in calendar year 2012 alone."

WEATHER UPDATE: "PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa.  -- An end to winter's bitter cold will come soon, according to Pennsylvania's famous groundhog. ... Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his lair Saturday in front of thousands but didn't see his shadow. ... The prediction is made during a ceremony overseen by a group called the Inner Circle. Members don top hats and tuxedos for the ceremony on Groundhog Day each year. Bill Deeley, president of the Inner Circle, says that after 'consulting' with Phil, he makes the call."

COLLEGE HOCKEY PICK OF THE WEEK – Friday February 8, 7:00 PM ET, HGTV; the #4 ranked Miami of Ohio Redhawks (17-6-5) visit the #6 ranked Western Michigan Broncos (17-6-5) in this key game in Kalamazoo. Both teams are playoff bound and looking for home ice. We like Western to win a close on 4-3.  (Season to date (4-2)

RAVENS WIN BLACKOUT BOWL - There were two games last night, pre-blackout (Ravens dominant) and post-blackout (49ers resurgent). Baltimore had just enough left to hold on to win one of the strangest and most entertaining games in Super Bowl history. Was that holding on the 49ers's final offensive play? Very close. Contact both ways. Whatever the case, the refs did not decide this one. Baltimore deserved the win.

Ravens over 49ers 34-31; Joe Flacco MVP.

THE ADS -  'CLYDESDALE WINS BY A NOSE: Sentimental story beats Tide at very last minute," by Bruce Horovitz : "Anheuser-Busch climbed back into the saddle with the Super Bowl's top commercial - a heart-tugging tale of the bond between a trainer and the Budweiser Clydesdale he raised. ... Procter & Gamble's Tide laundry detergent pulled off a close No. 2, ahead of many Super Bowl regulars, with gentle humor. Its ad had an image of football legend Joe Montana miraculously appearing in a salsa stain on a rabid fan's jersey. The miracle stain causes a media uproar and becomes a relic of worship until the fan's wife - who happens to be a Baltimore Ravens fan - washes the stain out with Tide. The Budweiser winner is about a guy who breeds and raises a Clydesdale horse, only to wistfully watch it leave for the big-time. Then, three years later, at a big-city parade, man and horse re-unite in an emotional embrace. ... For P&G, the road to nearing advertising nirvana has been long, slow but focused. Its ads have continued to improve from pure product demonstrations to humorous slices of life with product as hero. ...

"Chrysler's two-minute spot for Ram pickups , in third place, focused on a celluloid hug for the American farmer, featuring photographic images of farmers and work. For the ad's narrative, the carmaker used a commentary by radio broadcaster Paul Harvey, who died in 2009. He extolled the virtues of American farmers, whose hard work, he says, puts them as about as close to God as anyone can get. A second two-minute Chrysler ad for Jeep was a touching salute to the military serving away from home. Chrysler proved a couple of things Sunday night that every Super Bowl marketer would do well to consider: Patriotism still sells. And so do longer tales told well, even in an age of instant YouTube clips.

NFL FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK –  Final Season to date (13-8)

THE SWAMI’S TOP PICKS – Western 4 Miami 3, Red Wings 5 LA Kings 3, La Verne women hoops 58 Claremont M-S 52.  Season to date (52-28)

DRIVING THE WEEK - Non-manufacturing ISM on Tuesday at 10 a.m. EST expected to dip to a still-strong 55.0 from 55.7 ... CBO budget and economic outlook on Tuesday at 1 p.m. will include the impact of the fiscal cliff deal ... JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon speaks at the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce today ... CFTC has a full day meeting Tuesday on proposals to better protect customer funds held by futures commission merchants and derivatives clearing organizations ... House Financial Services has a hearing Wednesday at 9 a.m. on the role played by the FHA in the mortgage insurance market ... ECB and Bank of England issue rates decisions on Thursday.

Next week; Mid winter movie and restaurant reviews.

Until Next Monday, Adios!

Claremont, CA
February 4, 2013

#III-42, 147

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