Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Ten Questions

Every now and then we (Rink Rats) have a piece entitled Ten Questions. Where we ask colleagues, students, Rink Rats readers, Ten Questions: this week we continue with a student who is graduating from the University of La Verne this January, Dallas Parent.

1). Tell us about yourself; where did you grow up, go to high school, hobbies?

I am a 21-year-old college grad that grew up in Fullerton California. Growing up I was heavily involved with sports; played travel baseball where I got to play in Cooperstown New York, baseball Hall of Fame, played AAU basketball where I got to play a game in the Staple Center and with an NBA player Stanley Johnson, and started playing Pop Warner football at the age of 5 where I fell in love with the game. I went to Troy High School in Fullerton where I was a team captain for our football team my senior year and lettered in 3 varsity sports, football, basketball, and track. When I’m not playing sports I enjoy going snowboarding and playing cards. I also enjoy doing puzzles.

2). What was your major in undergraduate study, and why did you select your major?

At the University of La Verne I studied Business for my undergrad because I really did not know what I wanted to do with my life, still don’t know what I want to do. With having a degree in business there are numerous jobs out there in the world that you can do.

3). What did you like most about college?

My favorite thing about college was the relationships that I was able to build with my friends. With going to a small school you got to build such strong relationships with not only your friends but also with the professors and staff at the University.

4). What did you least like about college?

My least favorite thing about college was that our school does not do a good job at support our sport teams: Needs to be more school pride.

5). What next: career, life, etc.? Explain.

What’s next for me is going overseas to France to go play football for 6 months. They are taking care of me with everything and giving me a little money where I can enjoy myself while I’m visiting. Once that is over I may go into coaching because I have my high school coaches wanting me to go coach with them. All depends if I can find a career job in finance or not before football season starts.

6). How has education added to your life?

Education has added to my life by making me more knowledgeable about what is really going on in this world. Know where things go, why things work like this, etc.

7). What is your perfect job?

My perfect job would own my own business, doesn’t really matter what the business is just as long as it would let me still have a normal social life. Or be a high school head football coach in Southern California. I don’t want my job to take over my life where I can’t enjoy myself every now and then. Also want to be in a position where I can make an impact on lives one way or another.

8). If you had some “mad money,” what would you purchase and why?

I would investment that money because I like making money by doing nothing. I am perfectly fine with my life style right now and don’t need anything else at the moment.

9). What are you currently reading?

I am not currently reading anything due to being busy with just finishing up school and going to play football.

10). Who/whom are your heroes and why?

The only hero’s that I have are my parents because if it weren’t for them I wouldn’t be here. But I do respect and admire a lot of people in this world.

INAUGURATION 101 - The California Democrats who've announced they will not attend Trump's swearing in: Reps. Lucille Roybal-Allard of Downey, Barbara Lee of Oakland, Maxine Waters of Los Angeles, Mark Takano of Riverside, Mark DeSaulnier of Concord, Judy Chu of Monterey Park, Jerry McNerney of Stockton, Grace Napolitano of Norwalk, Raul Ruiz of Palm Desert, Ted Lieu of Torrance, Zoe Lofgren of San Jose, and Jared Huffman of San Rafael. A host of others are undecided, including U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein.

Yes, it's a public display of disapproval of Trump. But we can tell you that it's actually quite common for some members not to attend the inauguration. They just usually don't talk about it. It's usually cold. Members of Congress have the week of inauguration off, and many would simply rather be home -- regardless if they like the president or not.

The current thinking among Trump insiders on the order of action is: health care repeal first, with a framework for replacing it; tax reform second, using an infrastructure plan as a sweetener to get win Democrats, making that third. The wall is a budget item that goes near the front of the chute.

We hear his inaugural address will be shorter than average.

Trump will hit just three Inaugural balls — Bill Clinton did 14! - and his parade will be a mere 90 minutes, "making it among the shortest on record," per a WashPost front-pager about his "workmanlike" inauguration.

OBAMA TO PALM SPRINGS -- President Obama and Michelle Obama will be leaving frigid Washington D.C. for sunny Palm Springs. We're told when the First Family leaves the Capitol after the inauguration, they'll take a chopper (it will not be Marine One because he won't be the active president when he boards) to Andrews Air Force Base. Our sources say at 2:45 PM they will leave Andrews on Special Air Mission 29,000, the plane that will take them to Palm Springs. It's the same plane that Obama used as president, but it won't be called Air Force One.


When George Washington was sworn in as our first President, where did it take place?

A). Washington, D.C.
B). New York
©. Philadelphia

What President had the longest Inauguration Day parade?

A). Barack Obama
B). Ronald Reagan
C). Dwight Eisenhower

Answers at the end of the blog.

CLAREMONT GREEN - After years of punishing statewide drought, copious amounts of rain and snow are now blanketing California, from Los Angeles and San Diego to the far northern reaches of the Golden State.

What had been unsuccessfully predicted for the past two winters is now in full swing across not only California, but other areas of the western US as well. Of much interest to scientists and weather enthusiasts alike is what appears to be a notable contradiction between what is occurring in the atmosphere presently and what sea surface temperature data had led scientists to predict this winter.

According to the Mercury News in San Jose, “In a typical year, one ‘Northern Sierra eight-station index’ receives 50 inches of precipitation. As of Monday it was already at 40 inches—199 percent of the historic average for this date—and running slightly above 1982-83 and 1997-98, both of which were marked by severe El NiƱo flooding.”?Many state reservoirs are approaching their capacity and/or above 100 percent of their historic average for this date.

In the short term, present forecast models suggest a temporary break from present wet conditions locally beginning Friday, but longer-term projections suggest moisture laden-air from the Pacific could very well re-establish itself as a stable, ongoing force, especially during the two usually wettest winter months of January and February in California.

POTUS FINAL WEEK - On Monday, the President will welcome the Chicago Cubs to the White House to honor the team and their 2016 World Series victory. Later in the afternoon, the President will participate in a service project for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. On Tuesday, the President will attend meetings at the White House. On Wednesday, the President will hold his final press conference. On Thursday, the President will attend meetings at the White House.

On Friday morning, the President and First Lady will welcome President-elect Trump and Melania Trump to the White House for tea. The President and First lady will then attend the Inauguration of President-elect Trump at the U.S. Capitol. They will then proceed to Joint Base Andrews via helicopter where the President will deliver remarks to a group of staff gathered there to bid farewell, before departing JBA on their last flight aboard the presidential aircraft.

Three days to President Trump, nineteen days to Super Bowl 51 (in Houston)

POPULISM’S NEXT EPICENTERS - The populist fires of 2016 will continue across the globe in the new year, with Oxford Economics concluding in a new report that "at least one further victory in a major economy is very likely.

Business Insider posts a fascinating chart from the report, showing that Latin America is one of the next big cauldrons, with Brazil and Mexico both seen as having a more than 20% chance of having "a populist movement being in power in the next 2-3 years."

The inside take: Also watch western Europe, where Trump officials think Germany's Angela Merkel could well lose her bid for a fourth term, and this spring's French presidential election promises a rowdy counterblast to immigration.

HOMELAND IS BACK -- After thwarting a terrorist attack at Berlin's Hauptbahnhof Station during the climactic finale of Season 5, Season 6 [premiering Jan. 15] picks up several months later following the recent election of the new President of the United States. Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) is back on American soil, living in Brooklyn, NY, and working at a foundation that provides aid to the Muslim community living in the United States.

THE HOUSING GAP - The volatile housing market of the past 15 years is widening the divide between pricey urban and coastal areas and more affordable inland regions. Much of the spoils of the recent boom have been concentrated in pricier markets. Homes in ZIP Codes where the median value is $500,000 to $1 million are now worth 103% more than they were 16 years ago, while in ZIP Codes where the median home was worth $100,000 to $150,000, prices have risen 16% since the trough of the market. In more rural areas outside major cities, demand for housing has been flat, with little new supply and more people leaving for larger cities and coastal regions. This contrast offers one explanation for the frustration building in the mostly rural, middle-American areas that helped propel Donald Trump to victory in the presidential election.

TEAM OF RIVALS -  President Elect Trump has assembled a cabinet and senior staff with divergent views on such issues as the deficit, trade, climate change and Russia, posing a challenge for his administration as he tries to mold his own sweeping campaign themes into specific policies for governing. The president-elect’s pick for budget director, Rep. Mick Mulvaney, for instance, has opposed raising the debt ceiling, but Mr. Trump has proposed steep tax cuts and large increases in defense and infrastructure spending that a number of economists believe will cause the deficit to grow. Incoming administrations often have to grapple with contrarian viewpoints. However, Mr. Trump will be surrounded by a plethora of divergent voices from the outset. Much could depend on how the president-elect can establish a chain of command.

Trump's new economic math": "How will we know when America is great again? The economy is doing pretty well by traditional measurements such as unemployment - now at a nine-year low of 4.6 percent -- and growth -- currently at an annual rate of more than 3 percent. But Donald Trump regularly dismisses such numbers, describing the official unemployment rate as 'total fiction' and slamming President Barack Obama for failing to stem the loss of industrial jobs. So now that the Obama economy is about to become the Trump economy, Trump is likely to focus on the metrics that drove his campaign: wage increases, manufacturing jobs, a larger labor force, a declining trade deficit and faster overall growth. And if the American economy fails to advance on these fronts, Trump may simply redefine what success looks like. ...

In the face of all these challenges, Trump could simply use anecdotal examples of new manufacturing and coal industry jobs, seize on any further increase in wages, decide the jobless rate is now legitimate and declare victory. 'The president-elect judges his own personal wealth based on his own feelings,' [AEI scholar James] Pethokoukis said. 'So on any given day, he could just decide based on his feelings that America is great.'

TERMINATED: Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's catch phrase for dismissed contestants on The Celebrity Apprentice is, "You're terminated," viewers of the show's first episode learned Monday. Cigar smoking, Schwarzenegger's famous accent and "Conan the Barbarian" references abound. While a receptionist referred to the new boss as "Mr. Schwarzenegger," contestants appeared to mostly stick with "Governor." When one called him "Arnold," Schwarzenegger said, "In here, you call me governor."

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to Nick Clooney (83) Scottsdale, AZ.; Faye Dunaway (76) Santa Barbara, CA.; Julia Louis-Dreyfus (56) Woodland Hills, CA.; Aline Martins Lopes ….famous Brazilian Finance student; Dave Matthews (50) Maui, Hawaii; Michelle Obama (53) Washington D.C.; Dr. Laura Schlessinger (70) Los Angeles, CA.; Betty White (95) Beverly Hills, CA.

ELUSIVE EQUITY - The U.S. is becoming “de-equitized,” putting some of the best investing prospects out of the reach of ordinary Americans. With interest rates hovering near record lows, big investment funds seeking higher returns are showering private companies with cash. Mergers are booming and a new generation of companies have shunned public markets. Since the financial crisis, the equity market has become bifurcated, with a private option available to select investors and a public one that is more of a last resort for companies. The number of U.S.-listed companies has declined by more than 3,000 since peaking at 9,113 in 1997. In the technology industry, the private fundraising market now dwarfs its public counterpart. We examine why America’s roster of public companies is shrinking, while the average size of a public company in the U.S. has swelled.

TAX MAN - This flew kind of under the radar, but workers making around $125,000 a year are going to absorb a pretty big tax increase this year. The payroll tax cap took a pretty substantial jump - from $118,500 to $127,200. (The government takes out taxes for Social Security on income only up to the cap.)

The 7.3 percent increase in the payroll tax cap is the largest since 1983, which also happens to be when Washington finished off a bipartisan overhaul of Social Security. Why so big? The federal government basically had to push two years' worth of adjustments based on average wage increases into 2017, after being unable to raise the cap in 2016 because Social Security recipients hadn't gotten a cost-of-living increase.

GOOD READ - Richard Haass  (no relation) in his latest book, 'A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order,' ... depicts the world Donald Trump will inherit, one characterized by increasing disorder, and explains how we arrived at this point, emphasizing the impact of new technologies, globalization, and the consequences of what the United States and others have done and failed to do at home and abroad. Haass calls for the adoption of an updated global operating system - which he calls World Order 2.0 - based not just on the rights of sovereign countries but also their obligations to one another, something that is increasingly essential in an interconnected world in which little stays local for long.

WHY DID THE CHICKEN CROSS THE DETROIT AUTO SHOW? Never heard of the so-called Chicken Tax, a 25 percent tariff on pickup trucks imported to North America? You're not alone. But The Wall Street Journal reports that car company executives in Detroit this week think getting rid of the tax, which has caused companies to produce their pickups in North America or send stripped down versions from abroad here to finish, would be a boost. "Many analysts say the Chicken Tax has protected U.S. jobs. But the tax also has limited options for buyers and likely hurt the overall fuel-economy opportunities for light trucks," according to the Journal, citing Dan Ikenson of the Cato Institute.

NFL GAME OF THE WEEK – Sunday 1/22, 6:40 PM ET, CBS: Pittsburgh Steelers (13-5) vs. New England Patriots (15-2), AFC Championship game. Home field is the difference, Pats win, on to Houston for Super Bowl 51, 32 – 24. Season to date (16-3)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL BOWL PICK OF THE WEEK – Congrats to the Clemson Tigers (14-1) for winning the BCS Championship. Our season of college football is complete. Our preseason 2017 pick is Alabama Crimson Tide. Final Season to date (12-6)

COLLEGE HOCKEY PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 1/21, 7:00 PM ET, HGTV:  #16 St. Lawrence University Saints (12-6-6) at #15 Cornell University Big Red (11-4-1). HUGE ECAC game at Lynah Rink (wish we could be there), Big Red prevails 4 – 3.   Season to date (5-6)


(NFL, Jan. 21) Green Bay Packers (12-6) at Atlanta Falcons (12-5), the Rodgers streak continues, Pack wins in a wild one 42 – 36.

(NHL, Jan. 21) Anaheim Ducks (25-13-9) at Minnesota Wild (28-10-5), good Saturday night game, Ducks win in OT 5 – 4.

(NBA, Jan. 21) San Antonio Spurs (32-9) at Cleveland Cavaliers (29-11), Spurs win in Cleveland 92 – 88.

Season to Date (11 – 2)

MARKET WEEK - A Wall Street Journal front-pager gives a primer on "America's Fastest-Growing Loan Category" — energy-conscious loans, which have "Eerie Echoes of Subprime Crisis." The loans are " designed to encourage homeowners to buy energy-efficient solar panels, window insulation and air-conditioning units … Creditworthiness matters little to lenders, because loans are based on the value of a homeowner's property." Plumbers and repairmen essentially functioning as loan brokers. What could go wrong?

With government help, energy-conscious home-improvement loans are growing rapidly across the U.S. Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE, loans are set up by local governments and designed to encourage homeowners to buy energy-efficient solar panels, window insulation and air-conditioning units. As the loans spread, so do problems that are reminiscent of subprime mortgages. We report that plumbers and repairmen essentially function as loan brokers but have scant training and oversight. Creditworthiness matters little to lenders, because loans are based on the value of a homeowner’s property. And loan growth is fueled partly by investor appetite for bonds created from PACE loans, especially among mutual funds and insurers.

- Caution seems to be the watchword at the start of this holiday-shortened U.S. trading week, as the World Economic Forum kicks into full gear in Davos and the world awaits Friday's inauguration of Donald Trump.

Emptying the Nest Egg : The largest generation in U.S. history has to start pulling out its retirement money this year, kicking off a mandatory movement of cash that could total hundreds of billions of dollars in the coming decades. U.S. law requires anyone 70½ years of age or older to make annual withdrawals from their tax-sheltered retirement accounts and pay taxes on those distributions. The oldest of the nation’s 75 million baby boomers are now crossing that threshold. And with boomers holding roughly $10 trillion in tax-deferred savings accounts, according to an estimate by Bank of New York Mellon’s Edward Shane, the obligatory outflows are expected to ripple through the U.S. economy, the stock market and the money-management industry.


B). New York , in 1789 the U.S. Capital was New York City. Washington took the oath of office on the balcony of Federal Hall on Wall Street (still there today).

C). Dwight Eisenhower’s parade in 1953 was the largest. It had 73 bands, 59 floats, horses, elephants and military vehicles and lasted 4 hours and 32 minutes. Since then, the limit is set for 15,000 participants. The only parade canceled was President Ronald Reagan’s in 1985, due to frigid temperatures.

Next Blog: Words of the Month and Winter Dining

Until Next Time, Adios.

Claremont, California
January 17, 2017

CARTOON OF THE WEEK –“Transition”, Clay Bennett

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