Monday, November 24, 2014

Giving Thanks

I give Thanks especially this week for:

-          My Father and step Mother who still have good health and they continue to bring Love and Happiness to all our family.

-          Having a wife and family that no matter how many times I use the channel remote, make bad jokes, support strange political causes, and watch “World War II in Color”. They continue to love and support me.

-          Every day when I wake up I so much enjoy my work and those associated with my work.

-          Not living in the City of La Verne. Example: POTULV Steve Morgan lived in Claremont and the City of Parking never once hassled him about where he lived. Now POTULV Devorah Lieberman lives in Claremont and they are very concerned and irritated. Hypocrisy rules in La Verne.

-          That my education vitae include Detroit Country Day, THE St. Lawrence University and THE University of La Verne.

-          Not liking any restaurants on Foothill Boulevard.

-          For having seven nieces and nephews who are the best representation of our family for the next generation.

-          Division III sports…”For the Love of the Game.”

-          I am not a cyclist and have to wear those ridiculous tight uniforms and think they own the highways.

-          Low cost water, those days are numbered.

-          That The Snub continues to snub me.

-          The Detroit Red Wings, the Detroit Tigers, the Detroit Lions (most of the time), and yes, even the Detroit Pistons.

-          That I do not have to attend faculty meetings on a regular basis.

-          That I am not a lawyer.

-          For living in a country that has both Barack Obama and John Boehner in positions of political power, amazing.

-          That I have friends that include a union organizer (leader) and a “Barry Goldwater” Republican.

-          That one of my best friends has a male crush on both Ronald Reagan and Nelson Rockefeller.

-          That today I cut fresh flowers from my garden, and did not have to shovel 88 inches of snow like they are doing in Buffalo, New York.

-          That I know the difference between a good Provost candidate and a not so good candidate.

-          Finally, I give Thanks for Carrie Tuck Lewis…enough said.

Stop and give Thanks this week to all those people and things that make your life so worth living. Also tell them they make your life special because they are a part of it.

COLLEGE CHRONICLES - Where to go to college to make the most money - for each major 

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Woody Allen (79), Joel Coen (60), Jay Jones …famous for making Biology sexy, Mike Scioscia (56), Vin Scully (87), Lawrence Summers (60).


1). Pilgrim’s Run Golf Club: Pierson, Michigan

2). Rich Harvest Links: Sugar Grove, Illinois

3). Wild Turkey Golf Club: Vernon, New Jersey

4). Cranberry Valley Golf Course: Harwich, Massachusetts

5). Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club: North Plains, Oregon

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Friday 11/28, 3:30 PM ET ABC; #13 Arizona State Sun Devils (9-2) at #15 Arizona Wildcats (9-2). They will be rocking in Tucson on Friday, Wildcats win 32 – 30.  Season to date (7-6)

SMALL COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – D-III Playoffs, Third Round: Saturday 11/29 1:00 PM ET, ESPNU; #10 Linfield Wildcats (9-1) at #2 Mary Hardin-Baylor Crusaders (11-0). Linfield’s magic run comes to an end in Texas, Crusaders 42 Wildcats 24.   Season to date (6-6)

NFL PICK OF THE WEEK – Thursday 11/27, 4:30 PM ET Fox; Philadelphia Eagles (8-3) at Dallas Cowboys (8-3). Eagles in an upset in Dallas, 21 – 17.   Season to date (8-4)


(NCAA, Nov. 29) Michigan Wolverines (5-6) 14 at Ohio State Buckeyes (10-1) 35

(NFL, Nov. 27) Chicago Bears (5-6) 21 at Detroit Lions (7-4) 35

(NFL, Nov. 27) Seattle Seahawks (7-4) 20 at San Francisco 49ers (7-4) 28

(NHL, Nov. 29) Philadelphia Flyers (8-9-2) 3 at New York Rangers (9-7-4) 5

Season to date (70 - 60)

NHL POWER RANKINGS – Top Five through twenty games:

1). Montreal Canadiens
2). Anaheim Ducks
3). Tampa Bay Lightening
4). St. Louis Blues
5). Pittsburgh Penguins

MARKET WEEK - Driven by falling oil prices, gas prices dropped 10 cents in the past two weeks, hitting a four-year low. Meanwhile, the OPEC oil cartel meets on Thursday under pressure to cut production to help halt the slide in crude.

DRIVING THE WEEK – President Obama meets with Treasury Secretary Jack Lew in the Oval this afternoon ... Obama heads to Chicago Tuesday to keep selling his immigration action ... Second estimate on Q3 GDP at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday expected to be revised down to 3.2% from 3.5% ...
Case-Shiller home prices Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. expected to rise 0.2% ... Consumer confidence at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday expected to dip to 96 from 97 ... Personal income and spending at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday expected to rise 0.4% and 0.3%, respectively ... Univ. of Michigan sentiment at 9:55 a.m. expected to rise to 90.0 from 86.9.

Next week: Holiday movies and bitchy resting face.

Until Next Monday, a Blessed Thanksgiving to all.

Claremont, CA

November 24, 2014
#V-32, 241

CARTOON OF THE WEEK – The New Yorker Cover December 1, 2014 – Bruce McCall

Monday, November 17, 2014

To Give or Not to Give

This is the time of year where every organization from Public Broadcasting to Food Banks, from High School Cheerleaders to University Annual Giving, all has their hands out for donations. Ever since the ice-bucket challenge swept the Internet this summer, raising more than $115 million for A.L.S. research, a legion of imitators has sprung up to try and cash in themselves.

In the approaching holiday season, as fund-raising appeals swell, we can now smash a pie on our faces, snap selfies first thing in the morning or take a photo of ourselves grabbing our crotches, among other tasteful gestures, to express solidarity with various worthy causes.

Researchers have consistently demonstrated – to absolutely no one’s surprise – that we are prone to doling our cash for reasons that indeed self-interested. We like to enhance our reputations, get our names on the “Honor Roll”, or avoid the social stigma of falling behind others in our peer group.

We hate being asked for money, yet we give generously when we are. “We have sympathy and empathy for many causes, but we’re also keenly aware of the risk of being exploited.” The real genius in fund-raising could lie in finding clever ways to infiltrate this protective buffer.  Most charitable efforts elicit our sympathy by showing us photographs of the afflicted and telling us tales of scholarship success. But just as people avert their eyes from beggars, most of us can shift our attention from stuff that depresses us. Our great curiosity, and advantage, of the ice-bucket challenge was that it did very little to remind us of the disease that was its supposed inspiration.

Christopher Olivola of Carnegie Mellon University writes, “I worry about an arms race among fund-raisers. The success of the ice-bucket challenge has raised the stakes, and everyone now wants to distinguish themselves with their own novel twist. The 10-mile fund-raising race becomes a 20-mile race, or a 10-mile race dressed as a gorilla. It’s not clear where all of this is going to end.”

“Fund-raisers are tempting us with increasingly ingenious challenges precisely because they are fighting over a pot of money that has barely budged for decades. Over the last 40 years, the amount we give as a percentage of our incomes has consistently hovered around 2 percent. Despite all the growth in foundations and charitable endeavors, there is no evidence we’re growing more generous.”

So Catholic Church, University of La Verne, St. Lawrence University, Food Partners no need to worry, but all others beware.

BIRTHDAY -- Sesame Street marks 45th birthday: You don't get to be the longest-running children's show in U.S. TV history by doing the same thing over and over. ... Since the show debuted 45 years ago on Nov. 10, 1969 ... Cookie Monster now exercises self-control and sometimes eats fruits and vegetables. Millions of kids watch the show on phones and computers instead of TV. And there's less time spent on the street with human characters. They're just not energetic enough for today's viewers.

OUT AND ABOUT - The new sci-fi movie "Interstellar" had a screening last night at the National Air & Space Museum with director Christopher Nolan introducing the film and stars Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain also addressing the crowd. Guests ate up lamb meatballs, beef skewers, tuna tartare, mini lobster rolls, and onion tarts. Trailer

Rink Rats viewed the film and thoroughly enjoyed the science and technology. The story line is a bit “Hollywood” but we consider it a Holiday view.

ETHEL KENNEDY wins Presidential Medal of Freedom: The awards will be presented at the White House on November 24th. ... Alvin Ailey (posthumous) ... Isabel Allende ... Tom Brokaw ... James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner (posthumous) ... Mildred Dresselhaus ... John Dingell ... Ethel Kennedy ... Suzan Harjo ... Abner Mikva ... Patsy Takemoto Mink ... Edward Roybal (posthumous) ... Charles Sifford ... Robert Solow ... Stephen Sondheim ... Meryl Streep ... Marlo Thomas ... Stevie Wonder.

CHINA'S AGE OF AMBITION - In a valley flanked by snow-capped peaks on China's border with Kazakhstan, a vision of Beijing's ambitions to redraw the geopolitical map of Asia is taking shape. This remote outpost, once a transit point for Silk Road merchants, is where China is building one of its newest cities. Covering more than twice the area of New York City, Horgos had just 85,000 residents when it was founded in September ... China's plan is to transform the sleepy frontier crossing into an international railway, energy and logistics hub for a 'Silk Road Economic Belt' unveiled by President Xi Jinping last year ...

Horgos is a small element of China's wider effort to bind surrounding regions more closely to it through pipelines, roads, railways and ports, say diplomats and analysts who have studied the plans it has made public. The plans also include an Asian-Pacific free-trade deal, a $50 billion Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and a $40 billion Silk Road Fund that Mr. Xi announced last week, promising aid as well as investment from Chinese private and state firms. In a speech to business executives Sunday, he said China's plans would boost growth and improve infrastructure across the region to help fulfill an 'Asia-Pacific dream.

CHANGING THE RULES - China is changing the rule book for business, forcing multinational companies to figure out how to play a new game or risk losing out on the world's second-largest economy. When China joined the [TWO] 13 years ago, the government welcomed foreign companies, eager for their factories and technology. Now China is using its growing economic and financial muscle to dictate new terms, as dozens of American, European and Japanese businesses face scrutiny for corruption, monopolistic practices and, most recently, tax evasion.

With heads of state and corporate chieftains in Beijing for a major economic summit this past week, China's increasing economic nationalism is expected to be heavily debated. The squeeze on multinationals has coincided with President Xi Jinping's consolidation of power and his increasingly nationalistic and sometimes confrontational stance toward China's neighbors and the West."

JAPAN FALLS INTO RECESSION - A sales-tax increase pushed Japan's economy into a recession in the third quarter, setting the stage for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to postpone a second increase in the tax. Japan's real GDP shrank 1.6% on an annualized basis as firms cut inventories and held back on capital investment.

THE NUMBERS - Overall House Vote Tally: GOP 52%, Dems 45%: The latest look at how Americans voted by party in the midterms shows the scope of the Republican win. Voters in House races cast 52% of their ballots for Republicans on Election Day, compared with 45% for Democrats, according to a tally of the 71.9 million votes reported by the Associated Press as of Tuesday. That margin was far wider than pre-election polls had suggested. Prior to Election Day, RealClearPolitics' average of nine recent polls of voter preference in a generic ballot put Republicans ahead by 2.4 percentage points.

COLLEGE CHRONICLES - IT'S INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION WEEK: And the Institute of International Education is out with its annual Open Doors report. The numbers of American students studying abroad and international students studying in the U.S. reached all-time highs in 2013-14 of 289,408 and 886,052, respectively. Most Americans are going to the U.K., Italy and Spain, while international students are coming primarily from China, India and South Korea. Since the first International Education Week briefing in 2000, the overall number of international students in the U.S. has grown by 72 percent, and the number of American students studying abroad has more than doubled in the last 15 years. All the data are here:

- The United States hosts more international students than any other country - almost double the number who study in runner-up U.K. - but Americans shouldn't be too quick to pat themselves on the back, said Vic Johnson, senior advisor for public policy at NAFSA: Association of International Educators. That's because the American share of international students is still decreasing, and far too few U.S. students are leaving the country, he told Morning Education. Johnson said comprehensive immigration reform - on the part of Congress or the president - could fix policies such as the visa application process that work against students who want to come here. But for proposals like the years-old Sen. Paul Simon Study Abroad Foundation Act, each Congress brings less hope than the last. "There's really no way forward in the current environment, in terms of getting any federal money involved in this," he said.

- There's an economic case to be made for study abroad, in addition to the argument that student exchange promotes global understanding among students who will become international leaders. The new numbers out of IIE resulted in the support of 340,000 jobs and $26.8 billion for the U.S. economy in the 2013-14 academic year, NAFSA calculated. Expect those numbers to keep rising. The Council on International Educational Exchange last week announced a $20 million pledge to IIE's Generation Study Abroad initiative, which aims to boost the number of U.S. students studying abroad to 600,000 by 2019. That money will provide scholarships, grants and sponsored passports for American students, plus an annual grant for college faculty who support study abroad.

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Vice President Joe Biden (72), Danny DeVito (70), Cindy Gaytan …famous Finance scholar and lovely smile, Scarlett Johanson (30), Lorne Michaels (70), Tom Seaver (70), Richard Simpson …famous strategist.

OUT OF THIS WORLD – Last week marked a historic moment for space exploration when a robotic probe from a spaceship called Rosetta landed on a comet more than 300 million miles away from Earth. Rosetta is the first craft to settle into close orbit around a comet and the first to land a probe on one. It is expected also to become the first spacecraft to accompany a comet as it loops around the sun. The voyage hasn't been without complications, the probe, called Philae, may have bounced off the surface of the comet before settling back. Scientists say that if the lander isn’t properly anchored, it could imperil plans to drill below the surface and analyze materials there.

43 ON 41 -- George W. Bush's Heartfelt Tribute to Dad: The afternoon before [the 90th birthday parachute] jump, I sat next to Dad on the porch of his beloved home at Walker's Point, perched on a rocky outcropping over the Atlantic. I had been painting an ocean scene and was wearing cargo pants stained with oil paint. For a few peaceful minutes, we stared quietly at the sea. 'What are you thinking about, Dad?' I asked. 'It's just beautiful,' he said, still looking out at the ocean. ... 'Do those pants come in clean?' I laughed, something I have been doing with my father all my life. His quip was typical. He was not nervous about his jump or his life. He was at peace. And he was sharing his joy with others.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 11/22, 8:00 PM ET ABC; USC Trojans (7-3) at #11 UCLA Bruins (8-2), this rivalry game will make or break the seasons for both clubs: UCLA 35 USC 31. Season to date (6-6)

SMALL COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – D-III Playoffs, First Round: Saturday 11/22, Noon ET, Bravo; #23 Ithaca College Bombers (7-3) visit #8 Hobart Statesmen (10-0). They will be rocking in Geneva, New York as the undefeated Statesman beat Ithaca 28-21.   Season to date (5-6)

NFL PICK OF THE WEEK – Sunday 11/23, 4:05 PM ET CBS; Arizona Cardinals (9-1) visit Seattle Seahawks (6-4). Now we shall see if The Cardinals are for real, not in Seattle: Seahawks 24 Cardinals 17.  Season to date (7-4)


(NCAA, Nov. 22) #14 Arizona Wildcats (8-2) 28 at #23 Utah Utes (7-3) 42.

(NCAA, D-III Playoffs, Nov. 22) #23 Chapman Panthers (8-1) 32 at #10 Linfield Wildcats (8-1) 28.

(NHL, Nov. 22) Montreal Canadiens (14-4-1) 3 at Boston Bruins (11-8) 4

(NFL, Nov. 23) Detroit Lions (7-3) 24 at New England Patriots (8-2) 42

Season to date (69 - 57)

DRIVING THE WEEK – President Obama is back in Washington with all eyes on possible immigration unilateral action as soon as this week (rumors keep focusing on Friday). Any big move would start the clock ticking toward a possible shutdown on Dec 11 when the current CR runs out or in January if the GOP looks to move a short-term spending bill to move the fight to the next Congress where they hold both houses ... FHFA's Mel Watt testifies before Senate Banking Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. ... Senate Banking subcommittee has a regulatory capture hearing at 10:00 a.m. on Friday ... House Financial Services has an int'l regulatory standards hearing at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday and a flood insurance hearing at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday ... Senate PSI holds hearing Thursday and Friday on Wall Street's role in the physical commodities markets ... Industrial production this morning at 9:15 a.m. expected to rise 0.2 percent ... Producer prices at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday expected to drop 0.1 percent headline and rise 0.1 percent ex-food and energy ... NAHB housing market index at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday expected to rise to 55 from 54 ... FOMC minutes at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday ... Consumer prices at 8:30 a.m. Thursday expected to drop 0.1 percent headline and rise 0.1 percent core ... Existing home sales at 10:00 a.m. Thursday expected to dip to 5.15M pace from 5.17M ... Index of leading indicators at 10:00 a.m. Thursday expected to rise 0.6 percent ... Home Depot reports third-quarter results on Tuesday. Target and Lowe's report Wednesday.

Next week: Holiday movies and bitchy resting face.

Until Next Monday, Adios.

Claremont, CA

November 17, 2014
#V-31, 240

CARTOON OF THE WEEK – The New Yorker, Drew Demavich

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Safe at Work

Dear Rink Rats:

I am constantly worried about my wife every day when she leaves the house for work. Is she protected? Is she safe? It seems weekly there are shootings, attacks all across the country in the workplace. Nearly 2 million American workers report having been victims of workplace violence each year. Unfortunately, many more cases go unreported. The truth is, workplace violence can strike anywhere, anytime, and no one is immune. Research has identified factors that may increase the risk of violence for some workers at certain worksites. Such factors include exchanging money with the public and working with volatile, unstable people. Working alone or in isolated areas may also contribute to the potential for violence. Providing services and care, and working where alcohol is served may also impact the likelihood of violence. Additionally, time of day and location of work, such as working late at night or in areas with high crime rates, are also risk factors that should be considered when addressing issues of workplace violence. Among those with higher risk are workers who exchange money with the public, delivery drivers, healthcare professionals, public service workers, customer service agents, law enforcement personnel, and those who work alone or in small groups.

What can be done to prevent this?

Joe Friday

Dear Joe Friday:

In most workplaces where risk factors can be identified, the risk of assault can be prevented or minimized if employers take appropriate precautions. One of the best protections employers can offer their workers is to establish a zero-tolerance policy toward workplace violence. This policy should cover all workers, patients, clients, visitors, contractors, and anyone else who may come in contact with company personnel.

By assessing their worksites, employers can identify methods for reducing the likelihood of incidents occurring. OSHA believes that a well written and implemented Workplace Violence Prevention Program, combined with engineering controls, administrative controls and training can reduce the incidence of workplace violence in both the private sector and Federal workplaces.

This can be a separate workplace violence prevention program or can be incorporated into an injury and illness prevention program, employee handbook, or manual of standard operating procedures. It is critical to ensure that all workers know the policy and understand that all claims of workplace violence will be investigated and remedied promptly. In addition, OSHA encourages employers to develop additional methods as necessary to protect employees in high risk industries. In addition make sure your wife “pays attention, stays alert” in the workplace; for strange behavior or non-routine behavior in fellow workers or guests.

Follow these steps and you can feel confident in the safety of your wife’s workplace.

Rink Rats

ELECTION 2016 DEBRIEF - -- Net: Republicans have gained 7 Senate seats, 12 House seats and 3 governorships.

Days until the 2016 election: 727

Takeaways from the GOP Romp: The Republican takeover of the South is finally complete. ... Democrats failed at distancing themselves from the president. ... Voters crave authenticity and hate phonies. ... Republican governors thrived in blue states. ... Mary Landrieu is vulnerable, but her chances of winning might have just gone up. ... The 'war on women' fell flat this year. ... North Carolina is Republicans' to lose in 2016. ... Virginia is a purple state, and Ed Gillespie could be its next governor. ... The Democratic field program did not live up to the hype. ... Self-funders had a very good night.

-- Pelosi: 'It's a difficult night: As Tuesday night turned into Wednesday morning, GOP gains surpassed double digits, and it was possible that their numbers would climb higher. Some Democratic officials privately conceded that the GOP number could reach as high as 15, which would give them 249 seats - their largest majority since ... Herbert Hoover was president.

-- Big win for conservative big money: Establishment Republican money finally got what it paid for - an electoral wave. After two cycles during which conservative mega-donors' record spending was plagued by flawed candidates and internecine squabbling, their side's big money operatives got to do some gloating on election night. Conservatives tweaked their playbook to spend bigger and earlier to crush tea party insurgents and define Democratic candidates.

-- No Obama pivot after midterms: Voters demanded change from Washington on Tuesday, and Republicans say it's now up to President Barack Obama to deliver it. But don't count on that happening. The White House that emerges after the midterm elections won't look, act or sound drastically different than the one battered for months by Republicans and abandoned by Democrats desperate to hang onto power. The president will seek some common ground with Republicans, but there are limits to how far Obama wants to go - and Senate Democrats will let him go.

THE NEXT BUSH -- Yet another George Bush wins an election in Texas: George P. Bush, the nephew of former U.S. President George W. Bush and grandson of President George H.W. Bush, declared victory ... in the race for Texas land commissioner ... Bush, 38 and an attorney, also becomes the first person in his political dynasty family to win in his first major election.

2014 CASUALTIES -- Say goodbye to these ousted incumbents:

Gov. Tom Corbett, Pennsylvania; Rep. Steve Southerland, Florida; Rep. Vance McAllister, Louisiana

Sen. Mark Begich, Alaska; Sen. Mark Pryor, Arkansas; Sen. Mark Udall, Colorado; Sen. Kay Hagan, North Carolina
Gov. Pat Quinn, Illinois



Sen.-elect Joni Ernst, Iowa; Sen.-elect Steve Daines, Montana; Sen.-elect Mike Rounds, South Dakota; Sen.-elect Shelley Moore Capito, West Virginia

Rep.-elect Rod Blum, Iowa; Rep.-elect Elise Stefanik, New York; Rep.-elect David Rouzer, North Carolina; Rep.-elect Mia Love, Utah

Gov.-elect Asa Hutchinson, Arkansas; Gov.-elect Larry Hogan, Maryland; Gov.-elect Charlie Baker, Massachusetts

COLLEGE CHRONICLES - A CASE FOR COLLEGE GOVERNANCE: As public trust in the leadership of higher education has faded over the last several decades, the success of the sector has become more important than ever to the nation's economic and societal well-being - meaning college and university boards must change the way they operate, a new Association of Governing Boards report argues. Trustees and board members must abandon their insular focus and embrace a broader perspective on the "value and values" of higher education as a whole, AGB says. That means delivering high-quality education at a lower cost, attending to administrators' leadership development, and spending less time on reviewing routine operations and more time on strategic issues such as oversight of affiliated organizations. "Higher education continues to enjoy substantial societal and political support, an asset that is at risk of being lost," AGB's National Commission on College and University Board Governance writes. "Re-earning the public trust in institutional leadership is necessary to sustain and build that support for the future.

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Ed Asner (85), Hugh Bonneville (51), Leonardo Di Caprio (40), Miranda Lambert (31), Al Michaels (70), Chris Noth (60), Condoleezza Rice (60).

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 11/15, 3:30 PM ET, CBS; #1 Mississippi State Bulldogs (9-0) visit #5 Alabama Crimson Tide (8-1). Tide rolls 35 – 21. Season to date (5-6)

SMALL COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 11/15, 4:00 PM ET, Fox Business Channel; The Claremont-Mudd Republicans: Endowment-$599.1 million (4-4) visit The Pomona-Pitzer Endowments: Endowment-$1.82 billion (1-7) in the 6th Street Bowl. Yes that is correct, the 6th Street Bowl, pretty lame. Republicans handle the Endowments 42 – 21. Season to date (4-6)

NFL PICK OF THE WEEK – Sunday 11/16, 4:25 PM ET, Fox; Detroit Lions (7-2) at Phoenix Cardinals (8-1). These long time losers are winning this year (so far), we like Phoenix to win 28 – 24. Season to date (6-4)


(NCAA, Nov. 15) The Cranberry Bowl – Massachusetts Marine Buccaneers (3-6) 17 at Bridgewater State Bears (4-5) 24

(NCAA, D-III, Nov. 15) Ithaca College Bombers (7-2) 35 at Cortland State Red Dragons (4-5) 20

(NHL, Nov. 15) Anaheim Ducks (10-3-3) 3 at Los Angeles Kings (8-4-3) 4

(NFL, Nov. 16) New England Patriots (7-2) 24 at Indianapolis Colts (6-3) 21

Season to date (67 - 55)

DRIVING THE WEEK – President Obama is in Beijing today for a bilateral meeting with President Joko Widodo of Indonesia followed by meetings with leaders of the TPP nations, a bilat with Prime Minister Tony Abbott of Australia and remarks at the Chinese National Convention Center to the APEC CEO Summit ... In the evening, Obama "will travel to the Beijing National Aquatics Center to attend an APEC welcome banquet. He will be greeted by President Xi Jinping of China before participating in an APEC family photo. ... Obama's Asia trip continues in Myanmar and then Brisbane, Australia for the G20 where he will be joined by Treasury Secretary Jack Lew ... Lame duck session of Congress begins this week with the main agenda item the need to pass a CR funding the government past Dec. 11. Democrats will want a long-term bill but some Republicans want to punt the issue only to early next year when they take control of both houses in the 114th Congress ... NFIB survey Thursday at 7:30 a.m. expected to dip to 95.0 from 95.3 ... JOLTS report Thursday at 10:00 a.m. expected to show job openings at 4.835K ... Retails sales Friday at 8:30 a.m. expected to rise 0.2 percent both headline and ex-autos ... Univ. of Michigan sentiment at 9:55 a.m. Friday expected to rise to 87.5 from 86.9.

Next week: words of the month and bitchy resting face.

Until Next Monday, Adios.

Claremont, CA

November 10, 2014
#V-30, 239

CARTOON OF THE WEEK – The New Yorker, David Sipress

Monday, November 3, 2014

Election, Earnings, Economy

Plenty of “E’s” to go around this week: The midterm elections will set the tone for national politics for the next two years. In all likelihood grid lock will continue in Washington. Many ballot initiatives up for a vote throughout the country involving, drilling for oil, gay marriage, water, public spending, and Indian gaming, finally thirty six state governorships are at stake, with many undecided as we write this afternoon. Polling continues to suggest America is split right down the middle, but almost everyone agrees politicians are useless.

Election Day nears and U.S. is rattled: Poll shows anxiety over Islamic State, Ebola, fewer jobs. As Election Day nears, America is the Land of the Fearful.  In the worst-case scenario, the next two years of the Obama administration could look as bad as, or worse than, the past two: a (most likely) Republican-controlled House and Senate at odds with the Democratic White House and a new low number of bills enacted into law. The West Wing is already brainstorming potential areas of agreement with new GOP allies on the Hill, and new House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has promised an early emphasis on productivity.

Corporate earnings (profits) have never been better, but wage earners in America are losing ground. It is an “arms race” in terms of employment, BA’s, MBA’s, Ph.D’s, Ed.D’s. LL.D’s M.D.’s are all fighting for the same jobs. Corporate profits up, American worker’s share of those profits are down. Weak wages stir voter ire at Obama amid growing concern: The discontent simmers even as growth shows signs of accelerating. .... The lingering dissatisfaction is largely stoked by weak wages: Weekly earnings for full-time workers are lower than in the period just before the recession. The buying power of that worker's paycheck is no higher than it was in 1999.

The economy is growing but at a too slow rate, not fast enough to fund solid growth in good paying jobs. The dollar is strong but foreign markets are weak. The middle class is shrinking while student debt and public dissatisfaction is rising. The United States economy expanded at a healthy rate this summer, growing 3.5 percent from July through September. This growth — as robust as it is — is unlikely, however, to influence how the president’s party fares this week at the polls. Midterm election results are not as directly related to objective economic conditions as presidential election outcomes are.

But the two types of elections have one thing in common when it comes to the nation’s economy: People’s assessments of how the economy is doing are equally related to vote choice in both midterm and presidential elections, even though objective economic conditions correlate much more strongly to presidential outcomes.

ESCAPE PLAN  -  With the U.S. Affordable Care Act’s insurance mandate for employers set to kick in next year, many companies are trying to circumvent the law’s penalties. Some, for example, are pursuing strategies such as enrolling employees in Medicaid to avoid fines and hold down costs—a controversial maneuver that has been a political flash point in some states. Another tactic is to offer bare-bones, or “skinny,” health plans that cover preventive care but exclude major benefits such as hospital coverage. Skinny plans don’t meet the federal standard of covering 60% of the cost of medical care, so they can still leave an employer vulnerable to a different fine—about $3,000 for each worker who opts out and instead gets a plan through an insurance exchange. Some employers are mixing strategies to hold down costs, and at least a few companies are resigned to paying penalties but doing what they can to minimize the bite.

PRIVATE SPACE TOURISM DREAMS TAKE A HIT — Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic is battling to keep alive its dream of putting tourists into space as accusations surfaced that the company had ignored safety warnings, and its dwindling finances came under scrutiny. The head of the company rejected accusations that it had taken risks with its novel rocket propulsion system and said that it could have a new spacecraft ready to fly next year. … George Whitesides, Virgin Galactic chief executive, said that claims from others in the space industry that Sir Richard Branson’s space tourism company was running high risks marked a difference of professional opinion rather than valid warnings.

At the same time, Sir Richard’s Virgin Group confirmed that it was supporting the day-to-day expenses of Virgin Galactic out of its own pocket after the money for the initial financing for the project, including $400m put up by an Abu Dhabi government investment vehicle, had been exhausted. The possibility of further delays and the danger of cutbacks by Virgin were being watched nervously at the Mojave spaceport, a collection of hangars alongside a dusty strip of diners and cheap motels that has become a focus for the new private space industry.

FAREWELL TO BEN -- WashPost, "GOODBYE TO A GOOD LIFE: The editor who transformed the Post is recalled as inspiring, irreverent, brave and full of joy: "A bugler sounding taps from high in the Gothic rafters, and then, because this was Mr. Bradlee who was being celebrated, a sharp break from the stately and solemn: The band struck up Sousa's jaunty 'The Washington Post' march and Ben Bradlee left the building as he had departed his newspaper on so many nights through the 26 years he led it: electrifying the room just by sweeping through it.”

"Mr. Bradlee's funeral ... at Washington National Cathedral was an exercise in high Episcopal ritual, but also a statement of the man's irreverence and verve, a joyful cataloguing of the ingredients he used to transform his paper into one of the best: a zest for the great story, a certain swagger and above all, a belief that if ain't fun, it ain't worth doing. ... After the funeral, Mr. Bradlee's family gathered at Oak Hill Cemetery in Georgetown, where he was laid to rest in a crypt in the chapel, awaiting burial in a family mausoleum being built nearby, not far from where Katharine and Philip Graham, The Post's owners through much of Mr. Bradlee's career, are buried.

WOODWARD and BERNSTEIN byline on WashPost Style cover, "Ben Bradlee: An Appreciation ... THE TRUTH-SEEKER -- Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein's view of Ben Bradlee from the Watergate trenches: 'A great general ... with the love and affection of his troops'": "Four decades ago, Ben Bradlee told us his general theory of newspapering and life: 'Nose down, ass up and moving steadily forward into the future.' He understood the past and its importance, but he was utterly liberated from it. ... He was not a man of regret - ever, it seemed. He was never cynical, but persistently skeptical. And the thread that ran through his life - remarkably, without self-righteousness - was reverence for the truth."

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Adam Ant (60), Glenn Frey (66), Art Garfunkel (73), Rickie Lee Jones (60), Matthew McConaughey (45), Justin Poore …famous financial planner.


As we begin a new NBA season our thoughts turn to Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers, a very talented player, perhaps one of the best of all time, but still a Jack Ass. IF ONE COMMON denominator has persisted throughout Bryant's tenure with the Lakers, it is this: The blame lands elsewhere, and usually with teammates. Shaquille O'Neal -- at times a mentor to Bryant, at other times freestyle-rapping to a packed club in Manhattan, "Yo, Kobe, tell me how my ass taste" -- is one in a long line of Bryant's teammates who've struggled to stick to a single script in describing the singular man. Bynum, Gasol and Howard have each been at turns coy, reticent, warm or biting. And, in turn, each has taken massive doses of blame in the media without Bryant meaningfully coming to their rescue.

"I've had a lot of clients in the last five years, good players, who didn't want to play with Kobe," says an agent who has had numerous NBA stars. "They see that his teammates become the chronic public whipping boys. Anyone who could possibly challenge Kobe for the spotlight ends up becoming a pincushion for the media. Even Shaq."

So we honor Kobe, the man, the myth, and the Jack Ass this month.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 11/8, 8:00 PM ET, ABC; #16 Ohio State Buckeyes (7-1) at #8 Michigan State Spartans (7-1), Huge game in East Lansing, State wins 24 – 17. Season to date (5-5)

SMALL COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 11/8, 1:00 PM ET, Bravo; #8 Hobart Statesmen (8-0) at St. Lawrence University Saints (7-1). The biggest game at Leckonby Stadium, Canton New York in years. The Liberty League title and a potential playoff berth are on the line. The Saints in an upset, 24 – 21. Season to date (4-5)

1.      Arizona Cardinals
2.      New England Patriots
3.      Philadelphia Eagles
4.      Denver Broncos
5.      Dallas Cowboys

NFL PICK OF THE WEEK – Thursday 11/6, 8:25 PM ET, NFL; Cleveland Browns (5-3) at Cincinnati Bengals (5-2-1). Battle of Ohio in the AFC North, Bengals prevail 32 – 24. Season to date (5-4)


(NCAA, Nov. 8) #10 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-1) 30 at #14 Arizona State Scum Devils (7-1) 28

(NCAA SCIAC, Nov. 8) Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens (1-6) 21 at La Verne Leopards (1-6) 35

(NHL, Nov. 8) San Jose Sharks (7-4-2) 2 at Dallas Stars (4-3-4) 4

(NFL, Nov. 9) Miami Dolphins (5-3) 21 at Detroit Lions (6-2) 24

Season to date (64 - 54)

MARKET WEEK - Stocks launch into November at record highs, with October seeming like a bad dream. But the volatility may not be over, with midterm elections tomorrow and the October jobs report Friday.

DRIVING THE WEEK – There's some votin' goin' down on Tuesday with GOP expected to pick up the six seats needed to (narrowly and kinda not really) control the Senate while gaining a dozen or so House seats. Still, we may not know the final outcome until December or even January ... Other big event this week is the October jobs report out on Friday expected to show a gain of 230K with no change to the 5.9 percent jobless rate and hourly earnings up just 0.2 percent ... President Obama meets with economic advisors this morning and Federal Reserve Chief Janet Yellen this afternoon to discuss the U.S. and global economy ... Yellen joins IMF's Christine Lagarde and other senior policy makers at a conference in Paris on Friday ... ISM manufacturing today at 10:00 a.m. expected to dip to 56.3 from 56.6 ... ADP private employment at 8:15 a.m. Wednesday expected to show a gain of 218K ... ISM non-manufacturing at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday expected to dip to 58.0 from 58.6 ... Alibaba reports earnings on Tuesday for the first time since going public in September ... Treasury Secretary Jack Lew this afternoon chairs a meeting of the Financial Stability Oversight Council at Treasury ... European Commission on Tuesday releases fall economic forecasts.

Next week: words of the month and Dear Rink Rats.

Until Next Monday, Adios.

Claremont, CA

November 3, 2014
#V-29, 238

CARTOON OF THE WEEK – The New Yorker, Sinilass