Sunday, December 30, 2007

Perfect (so far)

Please give credit to Eli Manning and the Giants. They showed up and gave the Patriots a run for their money. Face it, Tom Brady and Randy Moss are just that good.

The side story in this football season, is Randy Moss. He showed up, played well and kept his mouth shut. He may have resurrected his to date underachieving career.

My beloved Eagles were the first team who played for honor against the Patriots. Although, they lost, quite a few folks lost money on the 24 point-point spread (bastards).

I hope Eli gets five minutes of peace from the "critics."

"It is not the critic who counts........."

It is not the critic who counts:
Not the man ho points out how the strong man stumbles
Where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena,
Whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood,
Who strives valiantly,
Who errs and comes up short again and again….
Who spends himself in a worthy cause;
Who, at the best, knows,
In the end, the triumph of high achievement,
And, who at the worst, if he fails, at LEAST,
He fails while daring greatly.” -Theodore Roosevelt

I was preparing my senior paper in college the first time I discovered this quote. I was comparing the Rizzo machine to the Daley operation. If my memory serves me well, I believe Rizzo had this quote in office.

This quote has always resonated with me. My parents always dared me to ignore societal rules or the "critics" and challenged me to pursue my version of the "American Dream." I am blessed to have such support throughout my insane chaotic journey.
Believe there have been times that I have felt as though I have been battered then tossed out of the arena, only to find myself landing in comfort of my family and friends. They helped me heal my wounds and supported me when I chose to return to the arena.

I will hang this quote my office. This, no doubt, is the only thing that I have in common with the late Frank Rizzo.

Friday, December 28, 2007

I've been everywhere man

The last quarter of my life has been insane. I travelled to San Diego, Opelousas, Indian Shores, DC (too many times to count) and St. Louis. Along the way I have met some incredible folks; picked up a sinus infection, which kicked my ass;(No Thanksgiving dinner for yours truly) and successfully pass the baton of Christmas dinner to my daughter. She stepped up and provided an awesome feast.

Year end is our busiest time in this business, we bound coverage for the last account with a 1/1 expiration date this afternoon. We were literally getting quotes on the way to the account this morning. Whew!

I am finally in a position to restore a little normalcy to my life. 2008 looks pretty cool. I am healthy. Most of my friends and family are still on this side.

The progressive think tank board for which I sit, has requested that fill the VP's seat with goal of assuming the Presidency in 2009. I chatted with a few trusted members of my staff & with them keeping the eye on the shop, I have the luxury of stepping up into this role.

I close this year feeling blessed that I had the privildege of being able to be sick and actually miss three days of work AND having the insurance to visit the doctor.

Unfortunately, being able to get sick and get paid has become a priviledge in our society. That is just not right.

The think tank has managed to be at the table to make some policy changes at the Commonwealth level.The insurance companies are an intrusive third party in the sacred relationship between the patient and the doctor.

Before changes are made, health care providers, insurance companies, pharmacies must be accountable for their role in the current disfunctional medical industry.

I hope to change the way health care is delivered at least in our corner of the planet.

Monday, September 24, 2007

One Night Stand

Lately work has been nuts, client renewals, audits and inspections have kept me & my staff very busy. Adding to my schedule are the Nov. 6 election and my family.

The funky news is a dear friend of my daughter & her fiancee' picked up a rare virus and died. The eighteen year old was the son of my future son in law's employer. The father owns a mid-size landscaping and contracting firm.
He has been incredibly supportive of my future son in law. (Believe me.) His kindness speaks to his character.

What is truly sad about this situation, his son had the best medicine money could buy. My prayers go out to the grieving.

My favorite uncle was released from the hospital to the loving arms of his first wife, to the dismay of his current girlfriend. No drama there. He had problems with his pacemaker. More problems lie ahead...

In the middle of my schedule, I managed to sneak in some fun. Since we had to renew an account in western PA, a friend provided tickets to the Steelers-San Francisco game. Steelers tickets are a premium, this was huge. When I shared our good fortune with my associate, I thought he would do a backflip. The last time I saw this side of him was the birth of his child.

We dined with my friend and his family of five kids at wonderful Italian restaurant Saturday night upon our arrival.

The next day we began our day with breakfast at the Steel City Diner, which was around the corner from our hotel. It was there where the magic began. We watched this slow ripple to then the tidal wave of black gold stream down the street.

We had no clue how close we were to the stadium. Watching this sea of people heading to the stadium at 10 am was unbelievable.

What is different than what I have seen is Philly was the foot traffic. Along the "parade route" were vendors selling Steelers stuff. My associate knew that I fell in love with football during the Bradshaw, Stallworth, Greene, Swan era. I switched to the Eagles in college, to this day I'm not sure why.

After parading the mile & half to the stadium, the sights, sounds and smells from the tailgating were amazing. A high school band performed. The local radio station had a huge barbeque and the reps were dragging people to their tent.

A local charity was collecting money for the homeless. Their buckets were full of cash. What was absent were the local police.

I was stunned at the multi-generations. I would never take my dad or my grandson to an Eagles game at their current ages.

Our seats were in the club section on the FIFTY YARD LINE. Wow. It was cool. It was like Christmas in September.

It was sooo exciting. The fans were fired up and LOUD. I don't know how the either team could hear the plays being called. Even though it took Big Ben three quarters to get it together, they were more supportive than critical. Wow.

After the game, we lingered in the stadium soaking up our experience. My associate turned to me with a quizzical look and said, well? I shook my head and said "no baby, I still love my Birds."

I slipped into the colors and cheered with the hometown crowd. But like a discreet and brief love affair, I have returned home to the comfort of my Eagles.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Breeding the next generation of terrorists

"President Bush may not be aware of this. In his televised address to the nation he warned that a pullout of U.S. forces from Iraq could cause a “humanitarian nightmare.”

A trusted aide should take the president aside and quietly inform him that this nightmare arrived a good while ago.

When the U.S. launched its “shock and awe” invasion in March 2003, the population of Iraq was about 26 million. The flaming horror unleashed by the invasion has since forced 2.2 million of those Iraqis, nearly a tenth of the population, to flee the country. Many of those who left were professionals marked for death — doctors, lawyers, academics, the very people with the skills necessary to build a viable society.

The Iraq Ministry of Health reported that 102 doctors and 164 nurses were killed from April 2003 to May 2006. It is believed that nearly half of Iraq’s doctors have fled. The exodus of health care professionals in a country hemorrhaging from the worst kinds of violence pretty much qualifies as nightmarish.

While more than two million Iraqis have fled to other countries, another two million have been displaced internally. According to the Global Policy Forum, a group that monitors international developments:

“Most of these internally displaced persons, or I.D.P.’s, have sought refuge with relatives, or in mosques, empty public buildings, or tent camps. ...I.D.P.’s live in very poor conditions. Public buildings are particularly unsanitary, often overcrowded, without access to clean water, proper sanitation and basic services, in conditions especially conducive to infectious diseases.”

Iraqis are enduring most of their suffering out of the sight of the rest of the world. International relief organizations and most of the news media are largely kept at a distance by the insane levels of violence.

Access to safe drinking water is a problem in much of the country. (The World Health Organization was asked to help with a recent outbreak of cholera in parts of Kurdistan that is believed to have been caused by polluted water.) Sanitation facilities are routinely crippled by violence and sabotage. The economy, like the country’s infrastructure, is in shambles.

The worst aspect of the nightmare, of course, is the rain of death that has descended on Iraq since the U.S. invasion. Controversy has surrounded virtually all attempts to estimate the number of civilian casualties, but no one disputes that the toll is staggering.

The U.S. government has behaved as though these dead Iraqis were not even worth counting. In December 2005, President Bush casually mentioned “30,000, more or less” as the number of Iraqis killed in the war. The White House later said there were no official estimates of Iraqi deaths.

We shouldn’t be so cavalier. Based on all available evidence, it seems unreasonable to believe that fewer than 100,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed thus far. Many very serious scholars believe the total is much higher.

As for the number of wounded and disabled Iraqis — men, women and children who have lost limbs, or been paralyzed or otherwise maimed in air, rocket and bomb attacks — no one has a real grasp of the size of the problem.

“Just considering the number of the dead and the number of displaced, this is probably the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world,” said James Paul, the executive director of Global Policy Forum, which recently compiled an extensive report on the war and occupation. “This is the biggest displacement of people in the Middle East in a very long time.”

The effect on children of the carnage, the dislocations and the deteriorating quality of daily life has been profound. Conditions in Iraq were dire for children even before the war. One in eight died before the age of 5, many from the effects of malnutrition, polluted water and unsanitary conditions.

Now, more than four years after the invasion, huge numbers of Iraqi children are finding themselves orphaned, homeless, malnourished, and worse.

According to Unicef, the U.N.’s children’s agency: “Many children are separated from their families or on the streets, where they are extremely vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. Most children have experienced trauma but few receive the care and support they need to help them cope with so much chaos, anxiety and loss.”

These are just a few of the things you won’t hear much about from the American officials in Washington who profess to care so deeply about the people of Iraq." -Bob Herbert

As pointed out in Krugman's 9/14 piece, it is evident the only folks Bush is concerned about are his greedy bastard corporate buddies.

I guess corporate handout are just fine.

The children are going to grow up under these conditions will not look upon are democracy with much affection.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Follow the money

A Surge, and Then a Stab
Published: September 14, 2007
To understand what’s really happening in Iraq, follow the oil money, which already knows that the surge has failed.

"Back in January, announcing his plan to send more troops to Iraq, President Bush declared that “America will hold the Iraqi government to the benchmarks it has announced.”

Near the top of his list was the promise that “to give every Iraqi citizen a stake in the country’s economy, Iraq will pass legislation to share oil revenues among all Iraqis.”

There was a reason he placed such importance on oil: oil is pretty much the only thing Iraq has going for it. Two-thirds of Iraq’s G.D.P. and almost all its government revenue come from the oil sector. Without an agreed system for sharing oil revenues, there is no Iraq, just a collection of armed gangs fighting for control of resources.

Well, the legislation Mr. Bush promised never materialized, and on Wednesday attempts to arrive at a compromise oil law collapsed.

What’s particularly revealing is the cause of the breakdown. Last month the provincial government in Kurdistan, defying the central government, passed its own oil law; last week a Kurdish Web site announced that the provincial government had signed a production-sharing deal with the Hunt Oil Company of Dallas, and that seems to have been the last straw.

Now here’s the thing: Ray L. Hunt, the chief executive and president of Hunt Oil, is a close political ally of Mr. Bush. More than that, Mr. Hunt is a member of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, a key oversight body.

Some commentators have expressed surprise at the fact that a businessman with very close ties to the White House is undermining U.S. policy. But that isn’t all that surprising, given this administration’s history. Remember, Halliburton was still signing business deals with Iran years after Mr. Bush declared Iran a member of the “axis of evil.”

No, what’s interesting about this deal is the fact that Mr. Hunt, thanks to his policy position, is presumably as well-informed about the actual state of affairs in Iraq as anyone in the business world can be. By putting his money into a deal with the Kurds, despite Baghdad’s disapproval, he’s essentially betting that the Iraqi government — which hasn’t met a single one of the major benchmarks Mr. Bush laid out in January — won’t get its act together. Indeed, he’s effectively betting against the survival of Iraq as a nation in any meaningful sense of the term.

The smart money, then, knows that the surge has failed, that the war is lost, and that Iraq is going the way of Yugoslavia. And I suspect that most people in the Bush administration — maybe even Mr. Bush himself — know this, too.

After all, if the administration had any real hope of retrieving the situation in Iraq, officials would be making an all-out effort to get the government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki to start delivering on some of those benchmarks, perhaps using the threat that Congress would cut off funds otherwise. Instead, the Bushies are making excuses, minimizing Iraqi failures, moving goal posts and, in general, giving the Maliki government no incentive to do anything differently.

And for that matter, if the administration had any real intention of turning public opinion around, as opposed to merely shoring up the base enough to keep Republican members of Congress on board, it would have sent Gen. David Petraeus, the top military commander in Iraq, to as many news media outlets as possible — not granted an exclusive appearance to Fox News on Monday night.

All in all, Mr. Bush’s actions have not been those of a leader seriously trying to win a war. They have, however, been what you’d expect from a man whose plan is to keep up appearances for the next 16 months, never mind the cost in lives and money, then shift the blame for failure onto his successor.

In fact, that’s my interpretation of something that startled many people: Mr. Bush’s decision last month, after spending years denying that the Iraq war had anything in common with Vietnam, to suddenly embrace the parallel.

Here’s how I see it: At this point, Mr. Bush is looking forward to replaying the political aftermath of Vietnam, in which the right wing eventually achieved a rewriting of history that would have made George Orwell proud, convincing millions of Americans that our soldiers had victory in their grasp but were stabbed in the back by the peaceniks back home.

What all this means is that the next president, even as he or she tries to extricate us from Iraq — and prevent the country’s breakup from turning into a regional war — will have to deal with constant sniping from the people who lied us into an unnecessary war, then lost the war they started, but will never, ever, take responsibility for their failures."

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Not only is it cheating, it's stupid

"Legal spying, stealing signals, the cat-and-mouse gamesmanship -- that's done by every team. But illegal spying through the use of videotape? Not common at all, according to sources who wished to remain anonymous. Most teams adhere to the strict policies in the league's Game Operations Manual that prohibit video recording devices on the field, in the coaches' booth and in the locker room during games.

"There isn't a team in the league that doesn't try to steal signals [but] I haven't heard about teams recording footage like the Patriots were," said one longtime NFL assistant coach. "But you can bet everybody is trying to steal in some way. In fact, you can go to any NFL game and you'll find some coach whose sole job is to look for defensive signals."

Added one NFC personnel director: "What the Patriots did is extremely rare because it's against the rules. It's one of those things that if it's not Bill Belichick involved, you wonder if the coach survives something like that. What is more normal is something like a guy sitting in a press box trying to steal signs by looking at the coaches. That's why the home team usually has its back to the press box when they're in their own stadium."

While it may be difficult to believe Belichick's Patriots are the only ones using the latest video technology to their advantage, the fact is they're the only ones who have been caught. If other teams knew opponents were illegally videotaping their signals, they'd likely alert league and stadium security, much like the Jets did Sunday at the Meadowlands.

This is the first time I've heard of somebody doing what New England did," one AFC personnel director said. "It wouldn't surprise me if somebody else has tried it in the past but the bottom line is that it's illegal. We all get the same memos from the league each season telling us what we can't do."

Added an NFC general manager: "The accusation far outweighs what is actually happening. This isn't rampant throughout the league. Now, the arrogance of thinking you could get away with it? That is the beauty of this. … It's the height of arrogance."

An AFC executive suggested that Belichick "probably got greedy and let whatever issues he has with [Jets coach Eric] Mangini get the best of him."

Another current assistant coach said the legal stealing of signals is just "good coaching. But when you start using video equipment to steal signs, you're off the reservation. I think that's a whole different matter. That goes against everything we've been taught as coaches."

That's one reason illegal videotaping of signals isn't widespread. Here's another reason: It may not be worth the risk of getting caught.

Sources say there is only so much that can be gained by stealing signals. Generally, coaches want to know only two things about the defense: (1) When a blitz is coming; and (2) What kind of coverage the defense is going to play. That type of information can be gleaned easily from other forms -- legal forms -- of spying.

Mangini worked for Belichick. His shema is similar to Belechick's. A) They better suspend Belichick. B) They better fine the team. C) Mandatory annual ethics classes.

Andy Reid give Bill Belichick your dumb ASS of the week award....

Happy New Year!

Stepford Employees

Wow h/t to natasha@ pacific views

The goal of most employees is to survive to the weekend. When you arrive at work, you hope that your access key/code still works.

Whew! Cleared that hurdle.

Then if you are lucky you run the gaunlent to your office.

Whew! Cleared that hurdle!

Sit down and your log in still works!

Whew! Cleared that hurdle!

Then you spend the day responding to the gazillion e-mails from clients and upper management.

Whew! Cleared that hurdle!

Find time for food and a potty break.

The check arrives the 15th & the 30th. The name of the company changes weekly, but as long as your name is on and it clears, its all good.

Hopefully, your commute isn't too painful but for most it is a daily grind.

But you are supposed to be grateful that your gig has benefits and has not been outsourced......

Greedy Old Party

"I never thought that the GOP posed a threat to the well-being of our nation. But these days, I no longer recognize my old party.' Anonymous

John Dean has written another book about this administration. If an eyewitness to the Nixon administration who is appalled by this gang, I am terrified.

We all should be.

Impeach Cheney First!

The Price of having Dorks in charge

The problem with major franchises being managed by the dorks who were never picked FOR ANY SPORTS is they make decisions like throwing anyone in a jersey on the punt return team. They are moving players around like chess pieces. If they actually played SOMETHING they would know every TEAM MATE has a role.

Welcome Home Mahe, I hope they paid you a nice bonus.

Eagles Management dumbass' of the week.

The Larry Craig Syndrome

"The other day, I was in a restaurant and excused myself to take care of business. When I entered the restroom, there was Latin music playing. I love Latin music. I actually took conga lessons in Cuba a few years ago. All I wanted to do was tap my foot to the beat.

But I didn't do it. That's precisely what got Sen. Craig into trouble. I used all my willpower to keep my feet firmly planted on the ground. As I approached the urinal, I stared straight ahead. I didn't move my head or eyes at all, not an inch. I didn't want to be perceived as trying to catch the eye of anyone, certainly not a cop, or Sen. Craig for that matter.

I kept my feet close together, fearful I might step on someone's toes or accidentally touch his shoe. As for my hands, I didn't check for dust under the stalls, on the sink, under the sink, or anywhere else. I kept them where they belonged.

Truth be told, I was paralyzed with fear - totally focused on what I shouldn't do rather than what I came to do. In fact, when I finally I returned to my table, I realized . . . I'd forgotten to go.

So thanks, Sen. Craig, for my latest neurosis. I hope the next time you go to the restroom and assume the "wide stance" - as you described it to the police - you split your damn pants. *----Phil Goldsmith

I have nothing to add.......

Rape and Torture in West Virginia

"Crimes You Won't Hear About From O'Reilly
Dave Neiwert at Orcinus nails it in this post. In the past few months the right has been obsessing on terrible crimes that minorities (usually illegal immigrants) commit against whites, but Neiwert bets this crime will not appear anywhere on their TV programs or blogs. In fact it will probably get little if any play in the MSM. A black woman in West Virginia, kidnapped and held for a week, stabbed, forced to eat dog and rat feces, and repeatedly called the N-word, and more, much more.

The point Orconus is making is that people are capable of great cruelty. The fact that whites tortured this black woman should not be an indictment of all white people, just as the fact that some illegal immigrants have harmed or even caused the death of some American citizens should not be used to indict all illegal immigrants.

As an aside, my wife and I spend a lot of time in West Virginia where we have a cabin. A year or so ago I asked my wife, who is African American, if she is completely comfortable when we go to town (which for all practical purposes 100% white, as is the entire region). She said most of the time it's okay but when she's alone she has heard derogatory comments. I wasn't aware of that and I asked why she hadn't told me before. She chuckled and said she only tells me things that are unusual."


God bless my buddy Trakker. Clearly he loves his Nubian Queen and has so for a long time. The racism that the average minority experiences on a daily basis when they simply are trying to get through the day is not noteworthy. Have things gotten better? My goodness yes. But it never ceases to amaze me what people say out loud and see no harm in it.

White is always the color of choice.

Recently, I had the pleasure of attending a family gathering on my Dad's side of the family. When you look to around you see the ignored middle class BLACK America. We have a Federal Judge who is married to a college ENGLISH professor. One cousin has at least 100 patents and has seen parts of the world in his corporate travels that most folks don't know exist. Another worked in research and development for DuPont. Hewitt & Packard recognized the operational talents of another cousin. We all use humor to mask the hurt that we have all faced in attempts to climb the corporate ladder. We laugh at how quickly we can receite our CV's. In not so subtle ways, our expertise is always challenged. We have to be better than our peers.

We are not aberrations in our community. Our stories are simply not sexy. We don't fit the profile. We all grew up in rural America, went to church, fought for a fair education and our parents were married. Our parents and grandparents were involved in our lives, we have command over the English language.

Our ancestors paved the way for us. But the painful reality is that if my male cousins took over a neighborhood, it is assumed the property values would go down. The fact that they all have degrees and make upper five to six figures is meaningless.

People see color first. White is automactically acceptable. Blacks have to prove their value.

It stopped being amusing long time ago.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Petraeus Hearings, Talking Loud and Sayin' Nothin'

"John McCain was standing behind Mr. Biden, waiting to sit down for the next hearing — the Armed Services Committee — with the witnesses.

First, the Republican presidential candidate smiled archly at having to cool his heels as the Democratic presidential candidate yakked — sniffing at the Surge that Mr. McCain supports. Then Mr. McCain turned to his G.O.P. colleague Susan Collins and flapped his fingers in the universal hand sign for yakking.

It pretty much said it all.

For months, everyone here has been waiting with great expectations to hear whether the Surge is working from the top commander and top diplomat in Iraq.

But the whole thing was sort of a fizzle. It’s obvious that the Surge is like those girdles the secretaries wear on the vintage advertising show, “Mad Men.” It just pushes the fat around, giving a momentary illusion of flatness. But once Peaches Petraeus, as he was known growing up in Cornwall-on-Hudson, takes the girdle off, the center will not hold.

And it was clear from their marathon testimony that the Iraqi politicians are useless, that we’re going to have a huge number of troops in Iraq for a long time, that there’s no post-Surge strategy, that they’re just playing for time, hoping that somehow, some way, things will look up in the desert maze of demons that General Petraeus referred to as “home.”

The strategy is no more than a soap bubble of hope, just as W.’s invasion of Iraq was based on a fantasy about W.M.D.’s and an illusory view of Iraq.

Even though it was 9/11, Osama was barely mentioned all day.

Republican Senator John Warner, freer than ever now that he’s announced his retirement, turned the screw on the two witnesses.

Do you feel, he asked the general, that the Surge “is making America safer?”

“Sir, I don’t know actually,” Peaches replied. “I have not sat down and sorted out in my own mind.”

The Surge Twins seemed competent and more realistic than some of their misbegotten predecessors, but just too late to do any good. They’re like two veteran pilots trying to crash land the plane.

Ambassador Crocker has expressed a darker, more rueful vision in background briefings with reporters, and he emanated a bit of Graham Greene yesterday.

He noted that the Iraqis know that “they’re going to be there forever,” while we will not.

Pulling troops out too soon, he fears, could “push the Iraqis in the wrong direction. It would make them, I would fear, more focused on, you know, building the walls, stocking the ammunition and getting ready for a big, nasty street fight without us around.”

Asked by Senator McCain if he was confident that the Maliki government will get the job done, the ambassador said dryly: “My level of confidence is under control.”

The star witnesses gave shell game answers, trying to make the best of a hideous hand.

“It’s a hand that’s unlikely to improve in my view,” Hillary Clinton — one of five senators running for president on the two panels — told the Surge Twins. “I think that the reports that you provide to us really require the willing suspension of disbelief.”

Hillary’s plan is to posture and criticize W.’s war all the way to the White House. But then President Clinton will be stuck with figuring out how to pull out the more than 100,000 troops still there policing a lot of crazy sectarian street fighting.

The Republicans seemed happy that the witnesses’ calm presentation bolstered the president’s case for continued war funding. In his speech tomorrow night, W. will be able to accept the recommendations of the Surge Twins, who are only recommending what he wants to hear.

Republicans seemed oblivious to the fact that they may have scored points short term while laying the groundwork for disaster long term. W. won’t care because he’s not running, but it will be political suicide for Republicans entering the campaign with 130,000 troops still in Iraq.

As Lindsey Graham joked to the witnesses about Congress, referring to the talk of the dysfunctional Iraqi government, “You could say we’re dysfunctional and you wouldn’t be wrong.”

Worst Parents in the World

I read Tim McGrath's article with horror and delight. He was dead on in describing what good intentioned parents are doing with their children. Society has changed a little since we were kids. I could identify with section when he spoke of the neighborhood kids getting together to play ball. We kids organized the teams, gathered "equipment" and set agreed upon rules.

The only time a parent's voice was heard was when you were called to dinner or to complete chores.

Most of us were involved in some sort of organized activity, church or school choir, community or school team. But our parents did not schedule every waking moment of our time. Its funny, when I run into friends from the neighborhood, the self-organized activiites are the items of pleasant discussions.

I started to see the trend of over scheduled kids when my daughter was growing up. Mind you she was pretty busy but she had down time. She chose her all of her activities. The only rule was that she had to complete the season.

Her senior year I attended a ton of banquets from her soccer to the band. It was like working a second shift. These events were unbelievably long. Why? Each kid received a certificate on stage.

In the dark ages when I was growing up, only the gifted or star kids were given special recognition. Everyone else on the team stood up when their name was announced. The certificated were dispersed the next day.

Too me, that was sane. By dragging all those kids on stage it makes everyone feel special. (Disclaimer, my daughter was good in the band, choir, track, TV station etc. She was exceptional in soccer but she chose to cheer. So she fell in the certificate group.)

EVERYBODY IS NOT SPECIAL ALL THE TIME. You respected those around you. You sad quitely in church, assemblies, in restaurants, stores and theaters.

A second installment of McGrath's story should involve the grown kids. Employers are stuck with the end product. It took me two years to break my staff of their tattling habit or making my office the local dump.

Given the opportunity, the average person can work through any situation. I will be retired by the time this latest generation of brats hits the work place.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Bad joke

I found this gem on Suburban Guerrilla.

Unfortunately, the joke is on us, the taxpaying citizens.

Oh what have we done?

Great post by clammyc.....

Dear God, Six more months...

"In a poll of Iraqis commissioned by ABC News, the BBC and the Japanese network NHK -- released yesterday before Petraeus's testimony -- 31 percent of Iraqis said security in their local areas had worsened over the past six months, as opposed to just 24 percent who said it had improved. A full 61 percent said security had worsened in the country overall, against only 11 percent who said it had gotten better. Only 22 percent said things in general were going well in Iraq (down from 44 percent in November 2005), and just 23 percent thought things would get better over the coming year (as opposed to 69 percent in 2005).

Some 63 percent of Iraqis polled said the U.S. invasion was wrong, 47 percent said that coalition forces "should leave now" and 57 percent said attacks on U.S. forces were "acceptable."

Never mind what the Iraqis think. On with the new new strategy, which is to bypass the national government and work from the bottom up, making deals with local power brokers. That should be good for, what, another six months?"

The Generals were like terminal patients bargaining for more time. Like the terminal patients, death for some will come.
How sad.....

False Fantasy

"A lot of people more thoughtful than Oscar Goodman believe that prostitution should be legalized as a way of protecting and empowering the women who go into the sex trade. I’ve lost patience with those arguments, however well meaning. Real-world prostitution, in whatever guise, bears no resemblance at all to the empowerment fantasies of prostitution proponents. I have never seen such vulnerable, powerless women as those in the sex trade, legal or illegal."

Burrell finds his heart and his swing

I guess it was after the Phillies couldn't unload his erratic bat and expensive salary. Burrell grew tired of being the punching bag at Citizen's Park, in the newspapers and radio. Or maybe he got mad or simply accepted that he was going to work in Phildelphia. Who knows?

Since the all-star break, he has been hitting the crap out of the ball, in critical situations. The boos turned to cheers.

After a six year slump, I never thought that I would put Burrell and clutch in the same sentence, EVER. The Phils are 1 1/2 games from securing a playoff berth. Considering our bull pen has been just wretched, it is clear that a whole lot of offense will overcome a shaky pitching staff.

Burrell has found his heart and his swing, welcome home, we missed you.

Road to Cluster

Bush as he has done his entire life, has created messes for people smarter than he to clean up. Unfortunately, quite a few bright people have not provided sane HazMat policy for Iraq.

The chess pieces are young and not so young people who joined the military. It is those citizens who are on their second and third tour of duty. It is emotionally and physically impossible to expect more from these heroes.

The generals concede that they don't know what a win looks like. If you can't define a win how can define a loss.
Lee handed his sword to Grant. From whom do we received a sword?

On the six anniversary of 9/11 we have to ask, are we as a nation better off now than we were six years ago?

We must get Bush out of office before he starts world war III.

JR Reed

Young Mr. Reed has entered Philly sports lore. He has joined the ranks of Herm Edwards, Bill Bergey, Harold Carmichel and Randal Cunningham. Unfortunately, he will not be looked upon with much affection.

Being a true believer, I was convinced that the Eagles could manage to pull a win out of their collective backsides Sunday. The defense played well. The offense was not offensive.

What killed the Eagles was their special teams. For years, our special team was not sexy, except for David Akers if you talk to my daughter, but just a quietly productive unit.

For reasons known only to Reid and Jesus, our special teams unit are suddenly suspect.

It is understood that the punt returners are like fire fighters. It takes a truly unique individual to run into a burning house. A punt returner has to have the presence of mind to know when to go after a ball, field it all the while ignoring, a pack of 300 lb men running toward you at full speed. That is a whole lot of physics.

It was painful enough watching Greg Lewis who has NEVER served in this capacity try to keep his legs from shaking as he was just terrible. Then it got worse.

I didn't even know we had a JR. For what was to become the last play of the game, Reid served up JR REED. GB punted the ball poorly, Reed called a fair catch. No problem. Then the wheels fell off the Eagles bandwagon. He started toward the ball.

It was like a guy explaining to his girlfriend that she didn't gain that much weight. You are screaming stop, stop, STOP.

Well, you know the rest.

Coach Reid, go find a punt returner or two before the next game, PLEASE.

On a very serious note, football is a violent sport. Just ask Buffalo's Kevin Everett. He has been earning a living playing a sport that he loves. He has provided entertainment for people like me who love this sport. Believe it or not, I never get used to seeing guys get carted off the field, even Cowboys.

Everett is in a hospital fighting for his life. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Made in the USA, Boycott Mattel

We outsourced manufacturing jobs to ensure low, low prices. Our reward has been the loss of working and middle class jobs and toxic toys.

To compound the problem this administration reduced our taxes. Those low, low taxes guaranteed a smaller government. The problem with this incredibly flawed appproach is no governmental oversight resulting in bad food, unsafe work places and shaky infastructure. Furthermore, CEOs have record breaking salaries and the average citizen's salary has failed to keep pace with the CPI.

Before we raise taxes, we need to look at where the money we are sending to DC is being spent.

When was the last time that you received more than a 3% raise?

The debt is off the charts, our food and toys are not being inspected. Relying on businesses to police themselves is naive and lethal.

Here is plan, if the toys are more expensive and safe, your kid will SURVIVE is they don't have as many. In the meantime, boycott Mattel until they clean up their act.

We need to think more like citizens and less like consumers.

Leave Right

"Both views of Iraq are right: the situation is awful and, four years on, cleverer U.S. commanders are winning a few. The enduring horror counsels a swift exit. The positive shifts bolster a catchphrase Cordesman found doing the rounds in Baghdad: “strategic patience.”

I side with the latter, provided the patience is indeed strategic and not just a means to kick the mess into the post-Bush world. That strategy should involve the following elements.

First, continue bolstering Sunni power and allegiance through aggressive use of aid and local security deals. A rough balance of power between the main Iraqi communities — Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish — is in the interests of Iraqi stability.

Second, while accepting that Iraq’s central government will at best be a respectable fig leaf and that strong provincial authorities are essential, pressure the weak Shia-dominated coalition to share oil money, power and space. Stronger American-backed Sunnis and fewer U.S. troops may help focus Shia minds.

Third, establish, with United Nations help, a regional framework for talks between the neighboring powers. Use this to reach out to Iran. Tehran wants America to fail in Iraq but not to the extent that Shia gains are reversed. That provides some leverage.

Fourth, recognize that all Middle Eastern problems — Israel-Palestine, Lebanon, Iran and Iraq — are tied and that the U.S. needs a coherent diplomatic strategy for containing jihadist fanaticism through ideological persuasion. An uncritical embrace of Israel does not help. And whatever happened to Karen Hughes, our invisible public diplomacy czar?

Fifth, protect the countless Iraqis who have helped America and are vulnerable. The U.S. urged Iraqis to rise up in 1991 only to abandon them to slaughter. Never again should be our policy.

The above may just avert the worst: a regional war in which a disintegrating country’s neighbors are drawn into carnage that makes current bloodshed pale.

Some see Iraq as the ultimate demonstration of the demise of American power. Fast withdrawal is in that view’s logic. But if you believe, as I do, that global stability still hinges on the credibility of that power, “strategic patience” is the least bad of the terrible options Bush’s now amnesia-clouded incompetence has bequeathed."

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Obama not so pure

"It’s not his experience that excites people, but his brainy élan. We don’t know about his judgment: good on Iraq, bad on Rezko.

The joke on Obama is that the only experience that has served Hillary well has been the experience of raw, retail politics — the kind he turns up his nose at — which has allowed her to seem authoritative and professional and singularly unwhiny in speeches and debates.

She first tripped up Obama by making him think that every time he fought back he was falling off his pedestal. As one of the Washington pundits Obama has scorned put it, with a grin: “That’s why you have two hands, one to graciously greet your opponents and one to stick the shiv in.”

By conjuring a scenario where Hillary is the deft insider and he’s the dewy outsider, Obama only plays into her playbook again."

Monday, September 03, 2007

How much more damage can he do?

Bush and company terrify me. My hope is Booman and Suburban Guerrilla are WRONG. My intellect knows otherwise.

Dual Impeachment.

Is Rep. Lamborn the one who is lying?

"We felt very threatened and intimidated, and quite frankly, scared," Anna Bartha said. "It was just not anything we would ever anticipate an elected official would pursue or a way that an elected official would conduct himself."

When asked whether his messages were threatening, Lamborn said: "No, that is ridiculous. My hope, I failed, but I had hoped to meet with them privately and confidentially because lying is a serious matter. "

When asked what he meant when he said there would be "consequences," Lamborn said: "When someone tells a lie, it just has bad consequences."

Three days after leaving the messages on the Barthas' voice mail, Lam born wrote an open letter to Greg Garcia, chair of the El Paso County Republicans, asking him to investigate.

"In an open letter to the party on Aug. 8, Garcia said the local party would not tolerate false or misleading statements in campaigns.

"That's a lot of what I'm thinking of when I talk about 'there are consequences,' because Greg Garcia had said earlier that there is going to be a punishment if people tell lies in the course of a campaign," Lamborn said.

As a private citizen, Bartha has the right to question an elected official's actions.

Federal records show that Lamborn received a $1,000 check Jan. 30, 2007, from the IGT PAC. Records also show receipt of $500 from Murphy last summer.

Lamborn said he has returned both contributions, but he could not say when that was done.

Nancy Brown, a spokeswoman for Jones Vargas, a law firm in Reno, Nev., that represents IGT, said the company's PAC sent a $1,000 contribution to Lamborn in January. She said Lamborn returned the check, although she could not provide the date of the return.

Federal records do not show that the check was returned."

So just who is lying?

Wild Wild West

Rep. Doug Lamborn did not like a letter to the editor written by a politically connected couple. Instead of writing a response, he felt compelled to leave threatening messages on their answering machine.

Are you kidding me?

My other question is why do assholes wrap their arguments in Scripture?

Lamborn is too stupid to remain on the public payroll.


Bush visits Iraq

" President Bush arrived at an airbase west of Baghdad Monday on an unannounced visit, the White House said.

He plans to meet face-to-face with top military commanders, the U.S. ambassador, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and provincial tribal leaders.

Air Force One touched down under the blazing sun at an airbase in Anbar province. The White House said the base was chosen because of the "remarkable turnaround" in the province.

The president stopped in Iraq en route to an economic summit in Australia and ahead of a briefing in Washington September 15 by the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeous."

The timing coincides with the British pull out last night. My guess is they used this trip to seize the headlines. The MSM is providing the much needed cover.

Bristish troops pull out

Our strongest ally has pulled back in Basra turning over the area to the Iraqis. They left in the middle of the night. It sounds like Art Model leaving Baltimore under the cover of darkness.

This is more evidence, Tony Blair has left the building.

I 'll respect you in the morning

Krugman continues to be the rare sane media voice in what has been a huge snow job. The Bush adminstration would not have ventured into Iraq and Iran is next without the help of the mainstream media.

The Petraeus report will have as much value as Powell serving as a marketing rep before the UN. Independent voices? Bullshit.
Both are loyal soldiers. They just follow orders.

The sad reality is more civilians will be killed for no particular reason other than we have a maniac in the White House and spineless jerks in the Congress.

Sunday, September 02, 2007


Why do the Phillies play to the level of their competition? Maybe they are drained from the week of Mets?
Who knows?

They are killing me...

Rookie hurls no hitter in Second Start

Oh man, I wish I could have watched it. There is a certain energy that emerges when everybody senses what is happening.

Even the other team respects what is unfolding before their eyes. There was no doubt a hush in the crowd around the sixth inning. No one dared to speak on it for fear they would jinx it. Even though Bucholz was in just his second start, he has been around the game long enough to "just know."

Surrounding him are players who dig inside themselves and focus.They watch the ball coming off the bat. Each routine play is in slow motion. They hold on to the caught ball just a little longer.

Who wants to be responsible for screwing up a no hitter?

I'm convinced all you heard in the dugout in the ninth inning were the buzzing of lightning bugs. I'm getting excited just thinking about it.

Hooray for Bucholz. He joined a small club of seventeen rookie pitcher who threw a no hitter. This is what the game is all about!

Tag Banned

In sane environments, recess is the forum of self governance. Kids pick teams, clubs without adult intervention. Kids know who can run fast, who can hit the ball, who can sing and who can't. Is it a popularity contest at times? Ah, yes.

There are times when a child is not picked. OH WELL. The greatest advice my Dad gave my daughter, who very upset about not being picked to join a recess club, was for her to form her own club. Who the hell likes to be rejected? Nobody, but that is part of life.

What is happening now is parents are reliving their childhoods through their children. The result is children do not learn how to work issues out with their peers.

Fast forward to the work place. Employees who were raised in the trophy generation, (Every kid gets a trophy for just showing up.) do not learn how to work matters out with their peers. Worse, they tattle and pout when they don't get their way.

By the time these kids from Colorado enter the workforce, I will be retired or dead and I will not have to deal with them.

Owens wants McNabb????

TO is clinical. It would kill him not to throw his current quarterback under the bus. I'm just glad he found his way to the Cowboys (BOOOOOO).

They will never win anything with that bonehead prancing around.

h/t Bob Glauber

Craig forced out

Believe it or not, there is a smart part of me that feels sorry for the now former Senator Craig. His found out quickly how many friends he did not possess.

Not surprising, the Repugs have determined homosexuality to be a far more egregious than prostitutes and bribes. Go figure.

The only person who seemed to be surprised by the speed of his departure was Craig.

It will be interesting to see what Craig does in the final stages of his life. Now that he managed to strip one layer of his facade, maybe he will be able to embrace who is really is and find peace.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Long Sad Goodbye

Craig is outta here September 30, 2007.

It was a great week to be a Phillies Phan

Monday evening, I had just settled in to watch the contest between the Phillies and the Mets. It was critical for the Phillies, to at least, split the series to secure a playoff spot.

The ring of my cellphone was a mild intrusion. On the other end, was a very dear friend of mine. "Hey where are you?" he asked without a hello. Why? was my knee jerk response. "In my living room, I finally acknowledged.

"I just remembered that I have tickets to the game. Wanna go? I'll pick you up in ten minutes. With zero arm twisting, I took a quick shower and prepared for the game, needing all ten minutes.

Since everyone was at the game, there was no traffic. We arrived to our great seats at the bottom of the third inning. My companion like all of my friends is very smart and funny. An attorney by profession, a baseball geek by passion. Throughout the game, he provided a running commentary on the players and their stats. The couple in front of turned around, and thanked us for being there. "We are tired of sitting in front of people who do not know the game."

Little did we know at the time with the win, the Phils would sweep the Mets and continue to win.

Come on join me in my fantasy...Phillies in the Fall Classic??

A day in the life lower class Republican

The future is now but the lower class Republicans are too stupid to see it............

A wonderful piece by Ian_rd.........

Republican Decimination Day, Weekend

Booman strikes again....

Define Handout

To say the climate at my gig recently is amusing is an understatement. The gentleman, whom I affectionately refer to as the Chief Executive Producer's official title is Mentor Producer. He doesn't even know what that means. Find that title on a normal org chart.

MP joined our company approximately two years ago as COO. His mission was to change the footprint of our division. The only change he managed to produce is the reduction of staff, clients and ruined morale. Eventually, he lost his title, some income and a whole lot of corporate respect.

He brought in two bozo who were contracted to streamline the process and ensure his new footprint was realized. They simply stole money and completed nothing. By the way, the bozos are part time DC based academics which is important to this little tale.

In a reflective moment, he decided his vision was good, the execution was a disaster. Yes, he even admitted to voting for Bush, twice.

I digress.

He determined the bozos have that academic DC "handout mentality." He further opined "they expect to be paid without doing anything."

Fact: MP is a 61year old white male degreed buddy of our president.

Fact: While he suffered a 40K pay reduction, he still makes 165K plus benefits.

Fact: Corporate only recognizes folks who have managerial duties or a book of business tied to their name/salary.

Fact: To protect his buddy, the president handed him my division's clients as a "book."

Fact: MP is the producer on accounts that have never met him.

As he was droning on, I began to laugh hysterically. He was generally stunned by my reaction. What's so funny? he inquired.

"I guess handout in is the eyes of the beholder," I offered. Suddenly, I only heard crickets on the end of the phone.

With that I informed him, I had to service his clients.

Labor Day is Important

“I just don’t think that as a country we’ve conceptualized that this is not our father’s or our grandfather’s economy,” Mr. Stern said in an interview. “We’re going through profound change and we have no plan.”

The feeling that seems to override all others for workers is anxiety. American families, already saddled with enormous debt, are trying to make it in an environment in which employment is becoming increasingly contingent and subject to worldwide competition. Health insurance, unaffordable for millions, is a huge problem. And guaranteed pensions are going the way of typewriter ribbons and carbon paper.

“We’re ending defined benefit pensions in front of our eyes,” said Mr. Stern. “I’d say today’s retirement plan for young workers is: ‘I’m going to work until I die.’ ”

Unless you inherit a nice trust fund, my daughter's soon to be obtained college degree will only increase her debt. We as a national are in a bad place.

When this is articulated by the liberal community, the Repugs scream that we are pessimistic. If you go to work everyday and do not fear for your job or benefits, this is not a issue.

Our true concerns should be the shaky economy not the portrait Guiliani and Bush continue to paint. One week of money currently being dumped into Iraq could be spent on affordable education and a sane health care delivery system.

We all should pay attention to Labor Day.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Forgivable Sins?

I grew up in an AEMC church. The notion that we are all sinners was prominent in the weekly sermons. Coupled with the whole sin thing was forgiveness and redemption. Ok, fine. What is too often lost in the land of forgiveness is accountability.

Putting Ray Nagin back on the government payroll supports this attitude. His fingerprints were all over the mess what happened after the storm. Shit happens. How you deal with shit happening speaks to one's character.

He was given an opportunity do what he could have done to manage the situation from his level. It is well documented what he failed to do. By no means am I giving that silly woman Governor or our fearless leader in DC a free pass.

To forgive Nagin his sins is wonderful, not to hold him accountable is just silly

BTW, they should have thrown William Jefferson under the bus, too.

Ye protest too much

Another day, another self-righteous Republican apologizing for bad behavior. If he is gay, who cares? If he is doing dumb shit in the men's room, well that is another story. Should we have another bathroom for kids so they are not exposed to Republican politicians?

I learned far too much about "tapping"codes signaling the need to be serviced.

What never ceases to amaze me is the willingness of these wives to drug out to a press conference to stand by their man. Are they so caught up in the lifestyle that comes with being married to a politician, they will do whatever it takes to keep it? Politics is clearly their drug of choice.

For the dumbass to hold a press conference just dumped gas on the story. How long will be before all of his boyfriends surface?

Get over yourself, end the hell for your family and resign.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Taken to the wood shed

Just because sensed Trot would be leaving, it did not make it hurt any less. After what seemed like an endless spell of rain, I needed to be outside. So I accepted an invitation to the Phillies game. I assumed watching my Phils would the perfect prescription for my mid-August blues.

Yet another miscalculation. Watching the game was like a guy taking Midol for a headache. It will cure the pain but it's just weird.

That pretty much summed up the evening. The weather was crappy and so were the Phillies.

I suppose I shouldn't complain, I could be a Orioles fan.

It's so hard to say goodbye to yesterday........

When the end of the Trotter era was announced there was a flurry of e-mails. There was a combination of furry and sadness.

I was the only one in our little corner of Eagles Nation, not surprised. At the end of last season, it was obvious that Trot had lost a step. Teams were running through the middle at will. Defensive coordinator Jim Johnson blamed it on the extra weight he was carrying.

Team Lurie has focused on building a 'consistent winner." Think about it. They were grooming two cornerbacks to step up to replace Pro Bowlers Troy Vincent and Bobby Taylor. Fine and Fabulous (chick moment). Neither one returned to the Pro Bowl after their departure. Coincidence?

The Eagles used their first pick in the draft on a QB. There was a collective chorus from the media, that Lurie was sending a message to chronically injured McNabb. What they missed what the message that was sent to the entire team. "We may love you, but this is business." Ouch.

When Trot reported to camp, he was nine pound lighter. BUT, there was a different energy radiating from him and the spin machine. You could sense it.

When I offered that opinion, one of my associates informed me that I was nuts. "There was no way, Eagles would cut him,"he argued passionately. "he's the man, he is too important of a leader, he bleeds green," the sermon continued.

"Trot's thirty and slow", I countered. In Eagleville, 30 is old.

I love Trotter, so do the Eagles but his career as a player in Philly is over. He may land some place, even play a year or two. When he retires, he will do so as an Eagle.

I wouldn't be surprised if he landed back Eagleville as a coach.

Word to the wise, if Dawkins Achilles tendon does not improve, he will be next.........I don't even want to think about it.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

When in Doubt, Be Nice

I manage a cross section of employees: nurses, claim adjusters, clerks, IT, and producers. The most challenging aspect of my job is to get these folks to respect each other.

All of these positions are critical to servicing our clients. All believe they work "harder" than the person in the next cube.

None of them have figured out that we exist purely to make the shareholders a boatload of money, while they will be lucky to get a 3% raise.


Tragic Reality of War

"HBO’s contribution to an expanded awareness of the awful realities of war continues with a new documentary, “Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq.”

Mr. Gandolfini, one of the executive producers of the film, steps out of his Tony Soprano persona to quietly, even gently, interview 10 soldiers and marines who barely escaped death in combat.

The interviews are powerful, and often chilling. They offer a portrait of combat and its aftermath that bears no relation to the sanitized, often upbeat version of war — not just in Iraq, but in general — that so often comes from politicians and the news media.

Dawn Halfaker, a 28-year-old former Army captain, is among those featured in the documentary. She lost her right arm and shoulder in Iraq, along with any illusions she might have had about the glory of war.

“I think I was a little bit naïve to what combat was really like,” she told me in an interview on Sunday. “When you’re training, you don’t really imagine that you could be holding a dying boy in your arms. You don’t think about what death is like close up.

“There’s nothing heroic about war. It’s very tragic. It’s very sad. It takes a huge emotional toll.”

The Price of Friendship

"In a way, I feel sorry for him. He had so much talent and so little insight into his own life. He had a great instinct for helping kids and no instinct at all for the true nature of kindness. Most of all, when he landed the big bonus and the big endorsements, he never noticed that the guys with whom he was keeping it real were destroying everything he’d worked so hard to get.

And in the end, when the feds came down on him like a pack of, well, pit bulls, his buddies forgot all about keeping it real and thought only of keeping their own worthless backsides out of jail. Their keen sense of self-interest led them to attach themselves to Vick’s wallet like moray eels. That same sense made it easy for them to turn on him.

But that’s what always comes of buying friendship instead of earning it."

More of the Same

What a shock, it's still raining.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Blue Monday

It has rained ALL flippin'day. The grass looks better and the trees perked up.
Me, I watched clouds move across the sky most of the day.

More the same tomorrow.


Vick's NFL career is over

Fed Rate Cut, Bridge over Troubled Water

"On Friday, the Federal Reserve tried to quell this panic by announcing a surprise cut in the discount rate, the rate at which it lends money to banks. It remains to be seen whether the move will do the trick.

The problem, as many observers have noticed, is that the Fed’s move is largely symbolic. It makes more funds available to depository institutions, a k a old-fashioned banks — but old-fashioned banks aren’t where the crisis is centered. And the Fed doesn’t have any clear way to deal with bank runs on institutions that aren’t called banks.

Now, sometimes symbolic gestures are enough. The Fed’s surprise quarter-point interest rate cut in October 1998, at the height of the crisis caused by the implosion of the hedge fund Long-Term Capital Management, was similarly a case of providing money where it wasn’t needed. Yet it helped restore calm to the markets, by conveying the sense that policy makers were on top of the situation.

Friday’s cut might do the same thing. But if it doesn’t, it’s not clear what comes next.

Whatever happens now, it’s hard to avoid the sense that the growing complexity of our financial system is making it increasingly prone to crises — crises that are beyond the ability of traditional policies to handle. Maybe we’ll make it through this crisis unscathed. But what about the next one, or the one after that?"

Sunday, August 19, 2007

GOP not the party of Lincoln, Thanks Mr. Rove

"Any prospect of a rapprochement between the G.O.P. and African-Americans died in the New Orleans Superdome. The tardy, botched immigration initiative unleashed a wave of xenophobia against Hispanics, the fastest-growing voting bloc in the country. The Muslim outreach project disappeared into the memory hole after 9/11.

Forced to pick a single symbolic episode to encapsulate the collapse of Rovian Republicanism, however, I would not choose any of those national watersheds, or even the implosion of the Iraq war, but the George Allen "macaca" moment. Its first anniversary fell, fittingly enough, on the same day last weekend that Mitt Romney bought his victory at the desultory, poorly attended G.O.P. straw poll in Iowa.

A century seems to have passed since Mr. Allen, the Virginia Republican running for re-election to the Senate, was anointed by Washington insiders as the inevitable heir to the Bush-Rove mantle: a former governor whose jus'-folks personality, the Bushian camouflage for hard-edged conservatism, would propel him to the White House. Mr. Allen's senatorial campaign and presidential future melted down overnight after he insulted a Jim Webb campaign worker, the 20-year-old son of Indian immigrants, not just by calling him a monkey but by sarcastically welcoming him "to America" and "the real world of Virginia."

This incident had resonance well beyond Virginia and Mr. Allen for several reasons. First, it crystallized the monochromatic whiteness at the dark heart of Rovian Republicanism. For all the minstrel antics at the 2000 convention, the record speaks for itself: there is not a single black Republican serving in either the House or Senate, and little representation of other minorities, either. Far from looking like America, the G.O.P. caucus, like the party's presidential field, could pass for a Rotary Club, circa 1954. Meanwhile, a new census analysis released this month finds that nonwhites now make up a majority in nearly a third of the nation's most populous counties, with Houston overtaking Los Angeles in black population and metropolitan Chicago surpassing Honolulu in Asian residents. Even small towns and rural America are exploding in Hispanic growth."

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Tire tracks on Harold Ford, Jr.

When did young Mr. Ford lose his mind?

props to Brendan for this gem.

Celebrating Flyarm's 10,0000th post

Join the party, it made warm all over....

Sex and the Hypocrites

Great piece by Suburban Guerrilla:

Don’t ya think? Oh, those wacky Republicans!

In June, Tim Droogsma, a former press secretary to a US senator and a Minnesota governor, told the Star Tribune after reading its sex relationships column: “I don’t think I’m too prudish — which, I realize, is what prudes always say — but do we really want this sentence: ‘She hopped on my lap, facing forward. I pulled up her skirt in the back, slid her panties out of the way, and unzipped’?” Droogsma was arrested this week in a midafternoon prostitution sting.

Check out the rest.....

Size Matters, Again

"From Michael Gerson in the WaPost today:

"...Rove argues that Republicans win as activist reformers, in the tradition of Lincoln, McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt. "We were founded as a reformist party," he said in our conversation this week, "not to be against something, but to help the little guy get ahead."

Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't it the "have mores" who got the huge tax cuts? And wasn't it the "little guy" who got enough for a Big Mac and fries?"

n/t to Neon Gods

Friday, August 17, 2007

Tony Snow next?

Tony Snow may be the next to leave Bush. His family can't seem to live on $168,000 and full benefits.

168K isn't what it used to be.

That's so unfortunate.

Richard Stickler, Mining Disaster

How bad must you stink, if Bush's Boy Santorum refuses to support your nomination???

To hold a key position in the administration you must be unqualified and unfit to perform the basic job duties.

How many MORE people must die because of the incompetence and malfeasance of this administration?

Props to Huntington Post.

Work it out

"Our desire to avoid letting bad actors off the hook shouldn’t prevent us from doing the right thing, both morally and in economic terms, for borrowers who were victims of the bubble.

Most of the proposals I’ve seen for dealing with the problems of subprime borrowers are of the locking-the-barn-door-after-the-horse-is-gone variety: they would curb abusive lending practices — which would have been very useful three years ago — but they wouldn’t help much now. What we need at this point is a policy to deal with the consequences of the housing bust.

Consider a borrower who can’t meet his or her mortgage payments and is facing foreclosure. In the past, as Gretchen Morgenson recently pointed out in The Times, the bank that made the loan would often have been willing to offer a workout, modifying the loan’s terms to make it affordable, because what the borrower was able to pay would be worth more to the bank than its incurring the costs of foreclosure and trying to resell the home. That would have been especially likely in the face of a depressed housing market.

Today, however, the mortgage broker who made the loan is usually, as Ms. Morgenson says, “the first link in a financial merry-go-round.” The mortgage was bundled with others and sold to investment banks, who in turn sliced and diced the claims to produce artificial assets that Moody’s or Standard & Poor’s were willing to classify as AAA. And the result is that there’s nobody to deal with.

This looks to me like a clear case for government intervention: there’s a serious market failure, and fixing that failure could greatly help thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of Americans. The federal government shouldn’t be providing bailouts, but it should be helping to arrange workouts.

And we’ve done this sort of thing before — for third-world countries, not for U.S. citizens. The Latin American debt crisis of the 1980s was brought to an end by so-called Brady deals, in which creditors were corralled into reducing the countries’ debt burdens to manageable levels. Both the debtors, who escaped the shadow of default, and the creditors, who got most of their money, benefited.

The mechanics of a domestic version would need a lot of work, from lawyers as well as financial experts. My guess is that it would involve federal agencies buying mortgages — not the securities conjured up from these mortgages, but the original loans — at a steep discount, then renegotiating the terms. But I’m happy to listen to better ideas.

The point, however, is that doing nothing isn’t the only alternative to letting the parties who got us into this mess off the hook. Say no to bailouts — but let’s help borrowers work things out."

Three More lost to the Mine

Having spent 25 years in the Risk Management business, I am not surprised by the disaster unfolding in Utah. The FIRST line item rarely to survive the pursuit of profits is safety.

The smart companies do not have to be talked into basic safety management. I listened in horror as the Ariana Huffington said in her interview on Countdown that there was not return on a companies investment for safety. She in no way was justifying this typical corporate behavior. However, she was wrong.

When an catastrophic claim occurs resulting in death or worse when the survive, companies will spend far more on these claims and increased premiums, state assessments, than the cost of implementing a basic safety program.

Our year began with a seasoned lineman who did not perform "lockout, tag out" procedure. This procedure is named after the policy and procedure. The worker is to shut off the electricity and "lock and tag" the source.

His chose not to perform this task which would have slowed him down by oh ten minutes. He is burned over sixty percent of his body.

To date we have burned through two million dollars. Unlike some employers, this client takes safety seriously.

"Safety first and last" is their mantra. Two years ago, they implemented a zero tolerance for failure to where the personal protection equipment and follow procedures. Furthermore, they empowered the safety directors to enforce the procedures.

In two years, they have seen a 25% reduction in claims. Even with the occasional catastrophic claim, 25% reduction has had an impact on their bottom line.

I have another client who had such a unsafe work environment, they could not afford purchase workers compensation insurance or satisfy the financial and SAFETY standard of self funding. The business had to close that plant putting 300 people out of work.

The data supports the fact Robert Murrary mine owner ignored the rules. He took advantage of this White House's failure to fund inspecting agencies. Or give them the authority to put this guy out of business. Murry has failed miserably to self regulate his business.

The money he used to donate to the Republican party could have been used to make a work environment, risky by its nature, safer for the people who have made him very wealthy.

The families will receive some form of indemnity benefits. Will it be enough to replace the person lost in the mine? I will leave that answer to the families.

Robert Murray should land in jail because of his REFUSAL to the best he could for his employees and community.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Work Place Epiphany

The summer is coming to a close. My insane clients, with the exception of one, are blessedly on vacation.

The staff vacation rotation has begun. Because of what we do, they rarely take week long blocks. We are so thin on staff, no one is available to pick up the slack in their work, adding to their stress. Having survived a third sale, this year things are different. They all were instructed to take a least five work days in a row. The down time is essential.

As a practice, they are strictly forbidden from taking their laptops, blackberries and cell phones with them. This year is no exception, they really need the break. I do practice what I preach.

After my daughter graduated from high school I stopped taking summer vacations. I have found that by taking my vacation in the fall, my break from work stress is longer.

With fall approaching, the budget process is looming in the horizon. I doubt there will be any major changes. I anticipate carrying my former COO, now a mentor producer, on my books. He is an overpaid buddy of the CEO. Of course, he makes more money than me. Enough said.

We will only provide for maximum 3% raises and expect more productivity while the shareholders print money.

Our division limps along without the infrastructure to service our clients. We are a pimple on the backside of this billion dollar enterprise, but keeping our servers running seems to be a major task.

Recently, my best friend ask me "Why are you more committed to this company than your boss?"

Good question.

The pool is waiting.

Hold on Boys and Girls

Like many others, I have a few bucks in my 401K. Just like a few years ago, I will ignore my statement. Any earnings have, no doubt, been wiped out.

For those who have borrowed to invest, I am anticipating a scene in Trading Places, to be replayed globally.

props to Suburban Guerrilla.

Rove's departure, the untold story

"That's why I think there might be more to Rove's decision to step down. Like the two above, it may be that Rove is stepping down for reasons other than the run of the mill political scandal. Why hasn't anyone considered the possibility that Rove literally got caught with his, or someone else's, pants down?"

I could only hope the pants belong to the Independent Democrat.

props to Booman Tribune

NBA ref pleads guilty

Here is a textbook example of a gambling addiction playing out on the world stage. Donaghy got involved with some dangerous people.

This story is far from being over. I'm not sure letting him run around before sentencing is good for him or his family.

Joys of a Global Market

"It's a kind of a panic among individual investors," said Cho Hong Rae, head of research at Korea Investment & Securities in Seoul, adding that domestic retail investors had up until Thursday generally been buying shares as they declined."

Investors the world over are running to the bathroom. Everyone was gleefully stunned when the market pierced 13K. This is the time when the phone lines are heating up. Financial planners are either holding the hands of their clients during this period, calmly advising " this is a good time to buy, remember you are in it for the long haul." Or worse, they are no where to be found.

Is this a correction or the beginning of a nightmare? Time will tell.

Self-Inflicted Terror

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Race and Justice

Booman has a great piece on the prison system....

A sign of things to come?

Even though I love the Birds, I rarely watch preseason games. The starters smartly play a few downs. The rest of the game is played by players who won't be seen again.

When David Akers misses a field goal my heart just sank. Groan.

The defense seems to continue to struggle with the run.

It's the pre-season, it's the pre-season,


Aaron has left the building

Good for Aaron. He did the right thing buy leaving Atlanta. I'm surprised that Bonds wasn't given the Sherman welcome. Atlanta still spits out his name.

There is talk of Bonds playing one more season. It is evident the Giants have had enough. What team would want him?

Buy American

When I was growing up, "buy American" was the mantra. Now that the lack of basic controls are rising to the surface on the cheap Chinese imports, Americans are looking for the American made label.

Who knows, maybe this will be the return of manufacturing jobs. If employers do the right thing and provide a living wage, create a safe workplace, there will be harmony. Everybody wins.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Bad toys

Wouldn't you rather buy less more expensive toys that wouldn't poison your kid? I was one of those parents whose kid's room looked like a toy store outlet. Most of the time she played with a $3 bunny she named Amy.

When products are manufactured overseas by countries that don't have the minimum safety requirements in place this in the end result.

How about we have China outsource those jobs to us?

Too Many

We are losing a war at home that far too many are aware that we are waging. The media needs to spend less time on the blonde Hollywood brats and more time on these societal ills.

But that is not as sexy.

American Dream Defined

"The trucker I met Saturday in Virginia not only believed in the American Dream, he believed he had achieved it. He owned his own truck. He owned a nice house in Texas on a lake near the Louisiana border. His brother owned five trucks.

He probably drew certain conclusions from the way I dress and talk. But if he was at all curious about what I did, he didn’t show it, or didn’t want to veer off into topics where he wasn’t in control. Instead, he talked about the things any guy would want to put at the center of his life: highways, engines, hauling, dogs and food."

Hooray for the Trucker. How many folks get to do the job they actual like, let alone love? This gentlemen defined his rendition of the American Dream and is living it everyday.

Good for him.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Woods Wins Again

He's that good..........

Justice for Janitors, Justice for US

All too often these service providers go unnoticed until their work in inadequate or not there. If you work late you encounter them. Rarely is English their first language. Why? Because they do the jobs blacks refuse to do.

What is not discussed is the labor intensive work provides low pay, no health benefits, sick or vacation time.

The CLASS of people these folks clean up after have the bank of time to take a day off to take their sick child to the doctor. This CLASS of people have a bank of PTO because they are pressured whether real or imagined not to take time away from making money for the shareholders. When they actually take time off, they are still connected with the electronic monitoring devices called blackberries, cell phones and laptops.

The janitors are more prone to sustain occupational injuries. Even though it is ILLEGAL for employers not to provide workers compensation coverage, employers rarely SPEND the money on this insurance. Furthermore, these claims go unreported for FEAR of losing their job.

The common link between these CLASSES of employees is both are afraid to take time off from their jobs. Like it or not those remaining in the middle tier have more in common with the janitorial staff than they do with the shareholders. The owners of both types of companies make money off of our/their labor.

So the next time you are wrapping up your twelve hour day, look up from your computer screen and say hello to your fellow

THEY at least know their role.

Karl Rove leaves OZ

Now the bastard leaves, after he helped destroy the Constitution and run our Country in the ground. I am horrified to see what other damage Bush can do without his brain.

Thanks for nothing.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Addicted to More

When my daughter reaches into the scrapbook of her mind, the trips to park, showing up at school events, just hanging out are the ones that bubble to the surface.

She is child of two divorced parents who made/make a decent buck. She has had some awesome vacations. Why? Well if he is taking her to the Caymans, I must counter that with a trip to Aruba.

It was my mother, who pointed out what I was doing. Mind you, she was a companion on these competitive vacations. But she was right. My daughter lumps the trip to the park in the same category as an exotic trip.

In either place, she wanted spend time with her parents. So how about less time at work chasing "more" and more time with the little people.

How dare we get annoyed with their lack of appreciation.....

Children just want our time.

Somebody wake me up from this American Dream

"Although significant, the losses won't be large enough to topple the United States' $12 trillion economy, Cagan said. "This is the turning of a business cycle," he said. "There will be some pain, but most people will be fine and most lenders will be fine."

That's little consolation to homeowners like Andrew Villaruz, a 43-year-old hospital administrator who said he refinanced into an option-ARM late last year without understanding what he was getting into. His loan balance quickly grew from $364,000 to $370,000, a shift that become even more disturbing to him as he watched more foreclosure signs go up around his Sacramento neighborhood.

Coupled with other costs lumped into the loan, Villaruz figures he lost about $25,000 by the time he found another lender willing to refinance him into a more conventional mortgage. He sheepishly acknowledged he had never heard of a negative amortization loan until he had one. He knows enough now to stay away from them.

"They might be good for people who make a lot of money, but they don't pan out for the average person," he said. "They just don't make sense.""

When it was it "those stupid not credit worthy" people, there was little registration on the compassion meter. Now that a hospital administrator didn't understand what "he was getting into," he's looking for a little understanding.

Newsflash Mr. Hospital Administrator, if you don't pay your mortgage, on time, your credit will look no different then "those subprime" people.

The disturbing part of this entire debacle is the housing market was overpriced. Too many people were building bigger home when, I'm just guessing" they reallly didn't need "that much house."

But inorder to feed in their fantasy of wealth, these people overextended themselves. I had two employees purchase homes in the past two years. One whom graduated with honors from Franklin & Marshall in business. The other a possessed a high school diploma from a rural county. Both employees put NO money down but just knew it was time to buy.

In their excitement, I asked a simple question of both "Will you have money at the end of the month?" Both were surprised by the question. It never occured to them. Their friendly mortgage broker told them it was time for them to buy a house. Neither employee had prepared a simple budget.

Every 28 year old needs to buy an overpriced four bedroom home, right?

When they signed on the dotted line they could afford the ARM monthly payments as they were trying to convince me and themselves. When the call arrived, I verified their employment income.

Now these former employees and their spouses are working two jobs now just make ends meet. So when do these spend time in their dream homes?

(Oh I forgot to mention, that when our company was preparing to be purchased for the second time in three years, we had to lay people off. Neither employee anticipated losing their jobs within sixty days of buying their homes.)

Now the Feds are dumping money into the markets so RICH people won't lose their expensive shorts in this shell game.

Home depot is having a sale on tents.....

Buy Coleman

Let's see, private equity companies are taking a breather from buying successful companies, sucking the life out them by doing the EBITA dance, shutting down divisions then selling the companies and record profits.

The collateral damage are the employees would made the company profitable in the first place. Either they are laid off and the survivors will be rewarded with more work and a 2% raise.

Here's an investment tip, buy stock in Coleman, because the folks who can't keep up with the AMR's will be living in a tent city near you.

"Those people" may look surprisingly like your college educated neighbors.

See you in September

"Surely it was a coincidence that this latest statement of official Bush administration amnesia was released on Aug. 6, the sixth anniversary of the President’s Daily Brief titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.”

And so the president, firm in his resolve against “Al Qaeda in Iraq,” heads toward another August break in Crawford while Al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan remains determined to strike in America. No one can doubt Mr. Bush’s triumph in the P.R. war: There are more American troops than ever mired in Iraq, sent there by a fresh round of White House fictions. And the real war? The enemy that did attack us six years ago, sad to say, is likely to persist in its nasty habit of operating in the reality-based world that our president disdains."

I'm sure the soldiers stationed in Iraq would like to take the sweltering month of August off.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Lack of Hope=Urban Genocide

n Camden, N.J., on a Sunday morning in June, a 24-year-old nurse’s aide was killed in a burst of gunfire as she stood talking with a friend on a street corner. She was one of four young people killed in a four-day eruption of violence in Camden.

A teenager who lives in the city tried to explain to me what it was like to have a number of friends or relatives murdered: “You don’t exactly get used to it,” he said, “but you expect it.”

"Philadelphia, across the Delaware River from Camden, is struggling with an even worse problem. As if signaling the start of an accelerated killing season, six people were murdered on the first day of summer. Philly’s homicide rate is on pace to break last year’s tally of 406.

As Senator Barack Obama said during a visit to a Chicago church last month, “From South-Central L.A., to Newark, New Jersey, there’s an epidemic of violence that is sickening the soul of this nation.”

More attention to this crisis of violence is needed, and more police resources, and more jobs, and better schools, and improved prison re-entry programs, and tighter gun controls. But more than anything else, a cultural change is needed.

The communities hardest hit are those in which too many parents have failed their children. The most effective anti-crime effort begins at home with parents (fathers, are you listening?) who raise their kids to know better than to point a gun at another human being and blow that person away for no good reason.

That’s the essential component. Without it, all other crime-fighting efforts are doomed, and thousands upon thousands of poor youngsters will continue to be denied their most basic civil right — the right to grow safely to adulthood."


Fifteen years ago I met a smart, spirited and sort of cute attorney. We were thirty at the time. Through happentance our paths crossed. He had just left the DA's office and was working in a tiny minority firm. Another friend was looking to diversify his Irish, Jewish firm.

The transition to this all white firm was not easy for this gentlemen with the Muslim name. Part of the problem was his world view was different. As a practice he carried a gun. He didn't think twice about it. He wore it as easy as they all wore their Brooks Brothers suits. This was very unnerving for a corporate law firm.

Eventually, the experiment ended and he started his own successful criminal defense firm. On the eve of his firm's anniversary party, we had a reflective conversation. I inquired what do you think happened at the other firm?

He gave me a big smile and said, I really did not expect to make 30 so I never really planned for life once I got there.


I grew up in a community with OLD people. Many of my most powerful life's lessons came from my GREAT Grandparents. They lived across the street from us. They worked everyday, went to church and travelled with us to all of our events. The loved baseball. Both my brothers played and they couldn't wait for the games.

They never quite understood the field hockey I played but they were always there.

It was expected that we went to college. My grandparents saw in us opportunities they could only dream of.

When I entertained "not walking" to pick up my college diploma, my Mom dimed me out to my Grandmother. After work that day, before I got out of my car, my Grandmother summoned me. My mother stood in the doorway smirking.

My grandparents informed me how important the walking across the stage was to them. I was the first person in the family to get a college diploma and it was going to be done right.

It was a very brief directive.

The day of graduation was record cold but we froze our backsides off taking pictures in front of the school signs. My father took pictures until my grandfather told my grandmother it was time to go home. He didn't say much, but when he did, Grandmom relented.

I am so glad I had family to point out positive rituals and accomplishments. They cared enough to fuss at me. The respect was instilled early and often enough that I listened. We expected to work and live in white America. We were taught survival skills with the expectation to get an education, a good job, get married have babies, get a pension, retire, THEN die. In that order....

What we are dealing with is a generation of kids who do not expect to make their next birthday. Unless this generation is taught there is the possiblity of life past 15, the issue will solve itself. They will all be dead or shuttled into the dysfunctional criminal justice system.

The hope must begin at home.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Mining disaster

My hope is the miners are found alive. After the rescue, an investigation of the owner needs to occur. Reports are emerging that his mine is not safe and he is a greedy bastard.

If it is determined that he put his people in harms way to squeeze out more profits, then he and all his bluster should land in jail.

To compound the problem, the agencies set up to protect workers rights have be woefully underfunded. Not that their were a ton of OSHA inspectors running around before Shrub was handed the first election. There are more crickets in these offices than people.

If this becomes a recovery mission, then he should be charged with murder. Those who benefited from his profits via political donations and turned a blind eye to his behavior have coal dust on their hands.

Will the real Mitt Romney stand up?

"In interviews, Romney talks easily about books by Fareed Zakaria and Rory Stewart, but in public his frame of cultural reference is mostly limited to songs like “Whistle While You Work.” (Why do the Democratic candidates pretend to be smarter than they really are, while the Republicans pretend to be dumber?)

He is also the world’s worst culture warrior. George H. W. Bush’s son could resent the coastal cultural elites, but George Romney’s son just can’t. He’s a 1950s consensus man — he asked his grandkids to call him Ike, after his hero — who is play-acting at being Pat Buchanan. He’s unable to do anger. I asked him recently who he hated, and he dodged the question.

Finally, Romney’s real passions seem sparked by issues he rarely gets to talk about. When I asked him why the G.O.P. is in such bad straits, he said it’s because the party had ceded issues like the environment, education and health care to the Democrats.

Somehow the Romney campaign seems less like an authentic conservative campaign than an outsider’s view of what a conservative campaign should be. It oversimplifies everything, and underexploits the G.O.P.’s vestigial longing for efficient administration. I suspect the Romney campaign would do even better if it let the real Mitt Romney out to play."

Let's talk about money

"The Fed normally responds to economic problems by cutting interest rates — and as of yesterday morning the futures markets put the probability of a rate cut by the Fed before the end of next month at almost 100 percent. It can also lend money to banks that are short of cash: yesterday the European Central Bank, the Fed’s trans-Atlantic counterpart, lent banks $130 billion, saying that it would provide unlimited cash if necessary, and the Fed pumped in $24 billion.

But when liquidity dries up, the normal tools of policy lose much of their effectiveness. Reducing the cost of money doesn’t do much for borrowers if nobody is willing to make loans. Ensuring that banks have plenty of cash doesn’t do much if the cash stays in the banks’ vaults.

There are other, more exotic things the Fed and, more important, the executive branch of the U.S. government could do to contain the crisis if the standard policies don’t work. But for a variety of reasons, not least the current administration’s record of incompetence, we’d really rather not go there.

Let’s hope, then, that this crisis blows over as quickly as that of 1998. But I wouldn’t count on it."

The past two weeks have been bumpy for investors. Even if you don't have skin in the game per se, you will affected indirectly, through higher prices, or inability to get credit.

Finances is the one subject, we as a society fail to discuss openly. Talk about family secrets. People live in expensive trappings but work wacky hours just to have bigger homes or the latest gadgets. How many families are living beyond their means? Their homes and crap are built upon shaking credit.

I came from a working class family. In my junior year, my school had a trip to France. I think my father would have a given up a kidney than tell me this trip was not in the budget. He was very bitter and angry about the whole thing. A simple we can't do it would have been fine. There would have been less hard feelings about the situation. I learned a lot about finances and the silly secrets.

The mortgage drama has been created, in my humble opinion, by people's failure to have a basic understanding of finances.
Budgeting and the concepts of borrowing money should be taught by schools by the eighth grade. If your folks won't talk about it the schools need to step in.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Wisdom from Grrison Keillor

"Unless the bridges get blown up by helpful terrorists, making us eligible for Halliburton to come in and rebuild them, I don't imagine that much will happen. There will be an investigation and someday, when we are much older, we will learn that the bridge collapsed due to a unique set of circumstances that could not have been predicted by anybody. Nobody had sex with that woman. Everybody was doing a heckuva job.

I like the Mayo Clinic a lot and prefer it to the chiropractor down the street, but of course this is my responsibility and not the state of Minnesota's. The day when we look to big government for solutions to our transportation problems is gone. Our governor has twice vetoed a 7.5-cent increase in the state gasoline tax to pay for road and bridge repair. He believes it is dumb. So it's up to us to solve our own problems. Rochester is 88 miles away. Northwest Airlines offers seven flights daily for a roundtrip fare of about 500 bucks, or slightly more than the fare to New York. You want to visit Rochester, pay your own freight. Don't expect Minnesota to take care of you."

Missing the point

Roger Cohen misses one glaring point in his essay. Information from newspapers are the foundation for many blogs. By linking to the news items, people who don't read the papers have this information.

Bloggers are just making the "reporters" accountable for what they write or report on the air. If NY times did not provide a liberal voice for this White House maybe there would have been more questions about this fiasco.

News is no longer read on a street corner. Pamphlets are no longer a source of news. Rupurt Murdoch has finally purchased the Wall Street journal. He is more of a threat to Cohens profession then the netroots.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Tainted Row

I got it...

The Hall of the Fame should have a special section called Tainted Row.

Mark McGuire, Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds will find their in to the Hall of Fame.

Hank Aaron Classy hero

"I would like to offer my congratulations to Barry Bonds on becoming baseball's career home run leader," Aaron said. "It is a great accomplishment which requires longevity and determination. Throughout the past century, the home run has held a special place in baseball, and I have been privileged to hold this record for 33 of those years.

"I move over now and offer my best wishes to Barry and his family on this historical achievement. My hope today, as it was on that April evening in 1974, is that the achievement of this record will inspire others to chase their own dreams."

Size Matters

Rep. Kucinich's has the smartest platform. If he were taller and his voice were stronger he would be leading the pack.

We are going to miss out on a bright leader because of his size. He will lose and so will the country.

What a man!

On the night the other guy made some noise in San Francisco, Phillies own Ryan Howard is slowly building some stats of his own.

Being the "runt of the litter" in his family, his power comes genetics and probably biscuits. Good for us, good for baseball.



props to SI

It's freakin' hot

It shouldn't be 82 degrees at 7:07am in the morning.

Too important to sweat the details

The basic CEO defense of “I was too important to worry about accounting details” would have become very popular if it had worked.

You got to love Gregory Reyes, CEO of Brocade Communications. My guess is he will look smashing in his prison garb.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Ozzie " Bonds is not welcome"

"White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen completely ruled out his interest in signing Barry Bonds for 2008. "When you go out to stretch, you have to go with the ballclub," Guillen said. "When you go out for the national anthem, you have to be out for the national anthem. The rules are for 25 guys, not 24. "Maybe Barry says, 'I don't want to play for you either.' I don't want to say I'm different, but I like when we have team rules, everybody goes for it."

I am suddenly in love with Ozzie Guillen...........

Fear is the new kryptonite

"Yet the bill that passed the Senate on Friday and the House on Saturday attracted mostly Republican support. In all, only 41 House Democrats voted for it and its inclusion of new powers to force the cooperation of telecommunications firms and to tap into e-mail correspondence and telephone conversations without court approval; 181 House Democrats voted against it.

Democratic leaders said they did win agreement that the authority would be in effect for only six months, at which point it would be revisited, though the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, immediately called the law "unacceptable" and vowed to change it sooner. Vice President Dick Cheney urged Congress to make the law permanent.

The arguments behind the expanded wiretapping power - that failure to grant it would result in attacks here - were reminiscent of those Republicans aimed at Democrats during the 2002 congressional election, a contest that brought a Republican victory, and arguably helped Bush a year later to win Democratic votes authorizing the use of force against Iraq.

And Democratic memories are still fresh with attacks Bush used in 2004 against Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, a presidential rival he portrayed as "weak on terror." That Bush would succeed this month - and on a program as controversial as the eavesdropping carried out by the National Security Agency - was somewhat surprising, given that the White House has seen its credibility on war and terrorism perceptibly erode this year.

In recounting the weekend showdown Monday, Democrats said they believed they had an agreement with McConnell on a narrow set of provisions that could address gaps in the surveillance law. But they said McConnell had pushed for broader presidential authority than they were ready to grant. "We acceded to them and said, 'If this is the bar, we'll do it,' " said Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. But, he said, "then they would come back and say, 'That's not enough.' "

When Bush has no other card to play, he whips out the fear card. The Dems fall hard like Superman being exposed to kryptonite.

This is no way to run a country.