Friday, September 30, 2011
We were in high school in the early 80s when we first heard these guys and being raised on a pretty steady diet of classic rock courtesy our two older brothers, these guys' songs definetely had a different vibe to them.
After over 3 decades together, they called it quits this week, parting amicably.
Ladies and Gentlemen, from Athens, Georgia and performing their first hit "Radio Free Europe" on David Letterman, it's R.E.M.
P.S. Forgot where we heard/read it but apparently the key to sticking together as a band is sharing the writing credits. Both R.E.M. and those other old timers U2, never gave individual writing credits, it simply went to the band as a whole. No egos, just rock'n'roll.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Recall the photo op of AMA doctors and President Obama at the White House during the big push to get ObamaCare passed and which was designed to show the solidarity of the nation's most recognizeable medical association backing the legislation. A survey conducted by physician recruitment firm Jackson and Coker had some interesting results regarding doctors' opinions of ObamaCare.
By the numbers:
17 - The percentage of physician in the country that belong to the AMA.
13 - The percentage of physicians in the AMA that agree with its support of the law.
47 - The percentage of those who have left the AMA because of the AMA's continued backing of the law.
3 to 1 - The ratio of doctors who thought that the quality of American health care would "deteriorate" rather than "improve" under ObamaCare (National Physicians Survey)
Because many of those who sign up for healthcare under the new law will wind up on the Medicare and Medicaid rolls, it does not improve the situation. Why? Because Medicare only reimburses at 81% of the rate that private insurers pay and Medicaid is even worse at a 56%.
These lower reimbursement rates force doctors to see more patients to make up the difference thus decreasing the amount of time the doctor can spend with individual patients. In fact, an increasing number of doctors are leaving the Medicaid program altogether.
As the number of doctors who will treat them dwindles, beneficiaries of public insurance often must resort to costly alternatives like emergency rooms (ER) — even if they only need routine care.
More than 30% of Medicaid enrollees visited an ER in 2007, compared to the less than 20% of Americans with private insurance.
These visits exert a huge burden on the U.S. health care system. A 2009 study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that treatment for three common illnesses cost an average of $166 at a general practitioner’s office. The very same treatment could run upwards of $570 in an ER.
Up to 27% of visits to ERs across the country are for non-emergency medical treatment. These unnecessary visits end up costing the country approximately $4.4 billion each year.
ObamaCare will only make these matters worse. By 2019, Medicaid will cover at least an additional 18 million Americans. All these new beneficiaries may have nominal insurance coverage. But they’ll struggle to secure a doctor’s appointment and will thus turn to already over-worked ER staffs.
Those are some pretty stunning numbers and would appear to be a vote of no confidence from the very people who will be forced to comply with the law.
So, what was the point of all of this, again? Oh, that's right... to bend the cost curve downward.
The cost of health insurance has surged in the US this year, according to a survey of employers, dealing a blow to claims by the Obama administration that healthcare legislation introduced last year would curb costs.
Insurance premiums for family health benefits in 2011 jumped 9 per cent from a year ago to $15,073, according to a study released on Tuesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation. That represented a sharp acceleration from 2010, when premiums rose by a modest 3 per cent, and easily outpaced a 2 per cent rise in wages.
“This year’s 9 per cent increase in premiums is especially painful for workers and employers struggling through a weak recovery,” said Drew Altman, Kaiser’s chief executive.
Health insurance premiums have more than doubled during the past decade and, although the survey reveals some of the early impact of the law, it does not provide reasons for the increase.
Kaiser said that it was beginning to see changes in preventative care benefits and many companies were enrolling young adults into corporate health plans plans because of the law. However, it said that most workers that were already enrolled in company plans are exempt from the law’s provisions.
Matthew Borsch, healthcare analyst at Goldman Sachs, said the increase could be due to the high rate of increase in family coverage, due to a new provision allowing people up to the age of 26 to join their parents’ plan, creating additional costs. He also noted that some measures in the law that were intended to contain costs were watered down.
This shouldn't be a big mystery, gang. You add coverage for tens of millions of people in the healthcare system and increase the regulatory burden on private health insurers and you think that will result in controlling or even lowering health care costs?
The Obama administration offered a rebuttal of the study, arguing that premiums were set last year when insurers anticipated higher medical costs and that premium prices would decline as more provisions in the law were rolled out. Nancy-Ann DeParle, who is President Barack Obama’s deputy chief of staff, said that other measures showed healthcare costs declining and called out insurers for raking in profits.(italics, ours)
“The Kaiser report is informative but it’s a look backwards,” Ms DeParle said. “When we look to the future, we know that the Affordable Care Act will help make insurance more affordable for families and businesses across the country.”
Looking into the future is precisely what insurance companies are doing when they anlyze the tea leaves of 2014 when ObamaCare is rolled out in its full glory. It's called price signaling where anticipated costs are absorbed earlier to avoid real-time sticker shock.
Ms. DeParle employs the logic of an alternate statist reality where you go into debt to get yourself out of debt and you dig holes in the ground only to re-fill said holes to save or create jobs.
Fully anticipate more of the same sort of news on the health care front in the future.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Front man for the Beach Boys, Brian Wilson, stayed home in L.A. while the band was on tour to start work on their seminal Pet Sounds album.
So, it's gott be, right? The title track off that album.
As always, shaken not stirred
And a BwD bonus: The Rubber Soul-Pet Sounds-Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band connections.
Pt. II can be found here.
Via Hot Air:
20,000 surface-to-air missiles walking... what could possibly go wrong?
A potent stash of Russian-made surface-to-air missiles is missing from a huge Tripoli weapons warehouse amid reports of weapons looting across war-torn Libya.
They are Grinch SA-24 shoulder-launched missiles, also known as Igla-S missiles, the equivalent of U.S.-made Stinger missiles.
A CNN team and Human Rights Watch found dozens of empty crates marked with packing lists and inventory numbers that identified the items as Igla-S surface-to-air missiles.
Peter Bouckaert, Human Rights Watch emergencies director, told CNN he has seen the same pattern in armories looted elsewhere in Libya, noting that "in every city we arrive, the first thing to disappear are the surface-to-air missiles."
He said such missiles can fetch many thousands of dollars on the black market.
"We are talking about some 20,000 surface-to-air missiles in all of Libya, and I've seen cars packed with them." he said. "They could turn all of North Africa into a no-fly zone."
There was no immediate comment from NTC officials.
The lack of security at the weapons site raises concerns about stability in post-Gadhafi Libya and whether the new NTC leadership.
The lack of security at the weapons site raises concerns about stability in post-Gadhafi Libya and whether the new NTC leadership is doing enough to stop the weapons from getting into the wrong hands.
Wrong hands, i.e. terrorists
And check this out:
Having known about this problem 6 months ago coincides with the beginning of our involvement to topple the Gaddafi regime.
Kind of makes the looting of Iraqi museums for artifacts and antiquities seem like small potatoes, now doesn't it?
One in a series that takes a look at some of the zany, wacky and madcap things said by the former governor of Alaska.
Here's Palin on what it might take to get the economy back on solid footing:
“I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won’t hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover,” ... “I really hope that someone can agree with me on that.”
“You have to have more ability from Congress, I think, to work together and to get over the partisan bickering and focus on fixing things,”
Suspending democracy for a couple of years? Dude.
But that wasn't Sarah Palin at all rather Beverly Perdue the Democratic governor of North Carolina speaking at a rotary club event in Cary, N.C. (given the setting, perhaps she could be forgiven for thinking no one was really listening to her).
It may come as a surprise to Perdue that in a representative republic, the single best way you demonstrate to your elected representive that you "don't hold it against them" is by voting them back into office rather than their opponent every 2, 4 or 6 years, whichever applies.
It may also come as a surprise to Perdue that the "partisan bickering" she is whining about is, in fact, newly elected opposition party representatives who rightly believe they were sent to DC with a mandate to a) stop and b) hopefully undo the disastrous economic policies of the last 2-1/2 years.
But, then, for
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
About a week and a half ago we posted a Ford Motor Co. commercial that took a not-too-veiled swipe at the bailouts received by Ford's domestic competition, General Motors and Chrysler.
Ford driver "Chris":
“I wasn’t going to buy another car that was bailed out by our government. I was going to buy from a manufacturer that’s standing on their own: win, lose, or draw. That’s what America is about is taking the chance to succeed and understanding when you fail that you gotta’ pick yourself up and go back to work. Ford is that company for me.”
If you clicked on the link, you would've found that the video has been removed by the user.
As part of a campaign featuring "real people" explaining their decision to buy the Blue Oval, a guy named "Chris" says he "wasn't going to buy another car that was bailed out by our government," according the text of the ad, launched in early September.
"I was going to buy from a manufacturer that's standing on their own: win, lose, or draw. That's what America is about is taking the chance to succeed and understanding when you fail that you gotta' pick yourself up and go back to work."
That's what some of America is about, evidently. Because Ford pulled the ad after individuals inside the White House questioned whether the copy was publicly denigrating the controversial bailout policy CEO Alan Mulally repeatedly supported in the dark days of late 2008, in early '09 and again when the ad flap arose. And more.
With President Barack Obama tuning his re-election campaign amid dismal economic conditions and simmering antipathy toward his stimulus spending and associated bailouts, the Ford ad carried the makings of a political liability when Team Obama can least afford yet another one. Can't have that.
The ad, pulled in response to White House questions (and, presumably, carping from rival GM), threatened to rekindle the negative (if accurate) association just when the president wants credit for their positive results (GM and Chrysler are moving forward, making money and selling vehicles) and to distance himself from any public downside of his decision.
In other words, where presidential politics and automotive marketing collide — clean, green, politically correct vehicles not included — the president wins and the automaker loses because the benefit of the battle isn't worth the cost of waging it.
Whether or not Ford supported and/or still supports the bailouts with respect to this situation is completely irrelevant. This represents yet another danger of corporatism/crony capitalism: the inherent thuggish nature of cronyism when the competition starts making you and your "winner", in the "picking winners and losers" schemes, look like a loser.
If you want just one more reason why the government should stay the hell out of private sector matters, count altering the business practices of the "competition" with innuendo and/or outright threats as that reason.
And we did warn driver Chris of his imminent proctology exam by the IRS. We would not want to be this guy, right now.
Alternate headline: This is what we are getting for all those Ivy League degrees.
Everything you need to know about the folly of Keynesian gimmickry summed up in a few short paragraphs:
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner didn't dispute a Harvard economist's estimate that each job in the White House's jobs plan would cost $200,000, but said the pricetag is the wrong way to measure the bill's worth.
And he also pointed out, in an interview today with ABC News' David Muir, that there is no other option on the table for getting the economy moving and putting more people back to work.
"You've got to think about the costs of the alternatives," Geithner said when asked about Harvard economist Martin Feldstein's calculation that each job created by President Obama's American Jobs Act would cost taxpayers about $200,000.
"If government does nothing, it does nothing now because they're scared by politics or they want to debate what's perfect, then there will be fewer Americans back to work, the economy will be weaker," he said.
"We can borrow money for 10 years as the government of the United States because people have confidence in this country at less than 2 percent," he said. "The responsible path now is to take advantage of the unique position we're in as a country. People have a lot of confidence in us. Let's take advantage of that now to do things that help growth in the short-term."
Well... we suppose one of the alternatives for this debt-racked country would be to not spend $200,000 per job on jobs that most certainly won't generate $200,000 salaries.
Then again, when you are part of a brain (and jobs!)trust that throws around figures like 1:1 and 1:1.84 as multiplier effects for government spending, you really aren't all that concerned with what jobs will cost, in fact, given the logic that's employed with respect to their presumed multiplier effects, why even appear apologetic for a mere 200 large? Why stop there? Is $300, 400... 500 thousand per job a problem, now?
And dig the assumption that the government must do something is the assumed creator of jobs and wealth in this country. Again, when you buy into the multiplier effect argument, this is your default position.
Please re-read that last paragraph from the article - we did, several times - because it makes zero sense. No, Tim, people don't trust you and that's part of the problem. You've been at this for well over two years now and selling the same crap that you pitched back in the initial stages of this administration. It didn't work then and it sure as hell isn't going to work now. It's all just a simple re-hash of this administration's triumphant "I won" campaign back in Jan/Feb 2009 when the $800 billion Porkulus jobs package was being pushed through.
What's changed? Not much. 2-1/2 years and only a few more trillion in debt combined with chronic un/under-employment and a stagnating economy.
Monday, September 26, 2011
Ever fearful that your tax dollars that you patriotically send to the federal government aren't being used in an effective and/or efficient fashion rather being frittered away on some useless program or poured down into a black hole of wastefulness? Well, fear not, the ATF and other agencies under the Department of Justice are the federal agencies for you.
Not only did U.S. officials approve, allow and assist in the sale of more than 2,000 guns to the Sinaloa cartel -- the federal government used taxpayer money to buy semi-automatic weapons, sold them to criminals and then watched as the guns disappeared.
This disclosure, revealed in documents obtained by Fox News, could undermine the Department of Justice's previous defense that Operation Fast and Furious was a "botched" operation where agents simply "lost track" of weapons as they were transferred from one illegal buyer to another. Instead, it heightens the culpability of the federal government as Mexico, according to sources, has opened two criminal investigations into the operation that flooded their country with illegal weapons.
As we've been saying all along, there was nothing "botched" or "bungled" about this operation; it was a genuine multi-agency success story that all evidence revealed thus far, indicates its purpose was to aid and abet the narrative that there was a free flow of guns travelling south across the border and into the hands of Mexican drug cartels.
And if the straw buyers that the feds were supposedly tracking back across the border to the drug cartels didn't go to the gun store to make the purchases themselves, no problem... you bring the guns to the straw buyers.
According to documents obtained by Fox News, Agent John Dodson was ordered to buy six semi-automatic Draco pistols -- two of those were purchased at the Lone Wolf gun store in Peoria, Ariz. An unusual sale, Dodson was sent to the store with a letter of approval from David Voth, an ATF group supervisor.(italics, ours)
Dodson then sold the weapons to known illegal buyers, while fellow agents watched from their cars nearby.
This was not a "buy-bust" or a sting operation, where police sell to a buyer and then arrest them immediately afterward. In this case, agents were "ordered" to let the sale go through and follow the weapons to a stash house.
According to sources directly involved in the case, Dodson felt strongly that the weapons should not be abandoned and the stash house should remain under 24-hour surveillance. However, Voth disagreed and ordered the surveillance team to return to the office. Dodson refused, and for six days in the desert heat kept the house under watch, defying direct orders from Voth.
A week later, a second vehicle showed up to transfer the weapons. Dodson called for an interdiction team to move in, make the arrest and seize the weapons. Voth refused and the guns disappeared with no surveillance.
There is credible evidence that Dodson went ballistic on Voth and other ATF supervisors over Fast and Furious and was subsequently transferred to a more menial job.
It should be noted that after the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, Dodson came forward and became one of the first whistle-blowers on Fast and Furious.
We'll be keeping you posted.
The Left here in America has been experiencing a wave of patriotism of late. Last week, we were told by Dallas Maverick owner (and hopefully future owner of the Dodgers), Mark Cuban that paying (more) taxes is patriotic.
And now we are being advised by Michael Moore that "patriotic Americans" will be cool with having to wait longer for health care.
"Things that are not life-threatening," Moore said on HBO's "Real Time" with host Bill Maher. "The reason why you have to wait sometimes in those countries is they let everybody in the line. We make 50 million people out of the line so the line is shorter, so sometimes you have to wait as long. If you are a patriotic American, you want every American to be covered the same as you. No, not 'I'm going to get ahead because I have health insurance and they don't,'" Michael Moore explained.
Now that Obamacare is the law of the land, we find ObamaCare supporters letting the mask slip and speaking the truth and specific to Moore we find that the law wasn't really about improving health care but making sure everyone had equal access to the same crappy health care. But you all knew that, right?
But taking these two great moments in patriotism together and broadening the aperture, we believe there is something else at work, here: it's part of the narrative of lowering expectations... and being happy about it.
The Left knows the statist policies implemented by this administration have failed and further, know that their own statism has failed. To counter this, then, and as a way to cover for the administration, we are told that it's patriotic to accept higher taxes, lower quality of health care and, overall, a lower quality of life.
Where once, optimism reigned and with that a belief that innovation and initiative would work hand in hand to improve our condition here in this country, it has been replaced by a resigned shrugging of the shoulders by the political class all too willing to stymie entrepeneurialship and invention in the name of "equality" and that we should be happy, indeed, feel a swell of patriotism in our declining quality of life.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
A round-up of articles, news items, columns and blog posts that caught our eye this past week.
6 things the film industry doesn't want you to know about'
Awwww... a progressive White House really just a good ol' boys club after all.
From "scandal-free" to "scandal fatigue in 3 weeks!
On August 30, concerning President Barack Obama’s reelection prospects, Allan Lichtman, an American University history professor and author of The Keys to the White House: A Surefire Guide to Predicting the Next President, told US News: “I don’t see how Obama can lose.”
Lichtman’s presidential election success formula, which has correctly predicted the winner of the popular vote in every contest since 1984, requires that the party currently holding the White House prevail on eight of thirteen “keys.” Lichtman contended that Obama was winning nine of them, with a tenth, whether the economy is in recession during the campaign, pegged as “undecided.”
Then came Solyndra, Gunrunner and Lightsquared.
Here's the chief hack of one of the hackiest groups in all of D.C. on standards, ethics...
Unhappy members of the Congressional Black Caucus “probably would be marching on the White House” if Obama were not president, according to CBC Chairman Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.).
"If [former President] Bill Clinton had been in the White House and had failed to address this problem, we probably would be marching on the White House," Cleaver told “The Miami Herald” in comments published Sunday. "There is a less-volatile reaction in the CBC because nobody wants to do anything that would empower the people who hate the president."
... and bigotry.
Even liberals know it's over... or never really existed in the first place.
Ezra Klein of the WaPo sticks a fork in Hopenchange.
Satellite photos of North Korean death camps..?
... on Google Earth?
Another great moment in the history of crony capitalism:
President Barack Obama will raise money in early October with a Missouri businessman whose company benefited from a $107 million federal tax credit to develop a wind power facility in his state.
Tom Carnahan, a scion of Missouri’s most prominent Democratic political family, is listed on Obama’s campaign website as a host of a $25,000-per-person fundraiser to be held in St. Louis on October 4.
His energy development firm, Wind Capital Group, was helped by a sizable credit authorized in the stimulus, for an energy project in northwest Missouri.
Republicans argue that it’s inappropriate for the Obama campaign to raise money from a donor who has benefited directly from the Recovery Act.
Missouri Republican Party executive director Lloyd Smith compared the situation to the Solyndra affair, in which the Obama administration reportedly rushed federal support to a green-energy firm that subsequently collapsed.
How many more of these types of cases are floating around out there and are going un-reported due to apathy, covering for the administration or scandal fatigue? They play, we pay.
The Party of "No" .
Calling for a weekend to “cool off,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid set up a Monday vote on replenishing the almost-empty federal disaster relief accounts as all sides race to beat a deadline to keep money money flowing to disaster-stricken states and to keep the federal government at large running.... and Obama donors.
“Cool off a little bit. Work this through. There’s a compromise here,” Mr. Reid said Friday, minutes after the Senate blocked back a bill drafted by House Republicans that would have replenished the disaster fund accounts through Nov. 18.
Without an agreement, the government could shut down in a week, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency could run out of money even before then.
The House, on the strength of Republican votes, passed a bill early Friday morning that directs an additional $3.65 billion to FEMA, with some of the spending offset by cuts to a clean-energy program popular with Democrats and the Obama administration.
That's all for now. We'll be back at it tomorrow.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Let's start off with an early game that has some local intrigue as the 3-0 San Diego St. Aztecs go to the Big House at Ann Arbor to take on the 3-0 and No. 22 Michigan Wolverines and the Aztecs, old head ball coach, Brady Hoke.
The Aztecs have gone to the Midwest on multiple occasions over the past several years and have come oh-so-tantalizingly close against the likes of Notre Dame, Michigan and Ohio State only to come up short. Two weeks ago, they found a way to beat Army in a game they would've found a way to lose in years previous and last week they were down 10 to Washington St. at half before ripping off 28 straight points to win going away, 42-24.
As 8 point dogs we're saying, screw it!, this is the year the Aztecs get it done. Mark down a close one for the Aztecs today.
Your SEC game of the week: No. 14 Arkansas at No. 3 Alabama
Your Big 12 game of the week: No. 7 OK St. at No. 8 Texas A&M
If A&M follows through on its threat to bolt the Big 12 for the SEC, this will likely mean this will be the last time you will see this matchup. And if A&M does indeed leave, expect the dominos to start falling and the Big 12 to be no more.
Your ACC game of the week: No. 21 Clemson Tigers host the No. 11 Florida State Seminoles. Let's see how FSU responds after getting handled in their we're baaa-ack game against No. 1 Oklahoma last week.
ABC's primetime matchup: No. 2 LSU at No. 16 West Virginia
Yes, we know what you're thinking: a primetime game involving LSU... playing away from Tiger Stadium
ESPN makes a PAC-12 night call to the desert southwest
No. 10 Oregon at Arizona on ESPN 2
No. 23 USC makes their first roadie at Arizon State on ESPN
P.S. The PAC-12 says they are staying put at 12 teams. Sure they are. If Texas A&M bolts for the SEC, expect the PAC-10 to immediately offer an invitation to Texas who will bring Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma St. along with them for your first 16 team super conference. Mark it down.
* SDSU running back and second-leading rusher in the nation, Ronnie Hillman.
Friday, September 23, 2011
Got country and bluegrass? These guys sure did to the point where their frontman studied the genres at the feet of the legendary Bill Monroe.
Ladies and Gentelmen, from the Bay Area, it's the Grateful Dead on the Tom Snyder show performing, "Dire Wolf".
(ed. note: for those who wish to quibble genres, their studio version of this song features the pedal steel guitar giving it much more of a bluegrass feel rather than the straight-up country vibe you are listening to right now.)
If we're not going to drill for it, why not let the "nice" people of this planet do it. And who's nicer than Canadians?
Kudos to EthicalOil.org. In the space of 30 seconds, the non-profit group has managed to enrage an entire kingdom, put an army of lawyers to work, and make the front page of newspapers across Canada. All thanks to a television ad which does nothing but state a set of facts, and posit a choice between two products, one produced “ethically” and the other “unethically”.
The answer is that the concept of ethical oil poses a huge dilemma for the left, because it exposes a truth they would prefer to ignore. The reality is that the oil they love to hate makes modern civilization possible. The world is not going to end its dependence on fossil fuels any time soon, indeed, until other forms of energy are price-competitive. This will only happen when oil becomes too expensive, either due to scarcity or the invention of a cheaper (read: non-subsidized) form of alternative energy.
Until that happens, the ethical thing to do is not to eschew all fossil fuels, but to make choices between their sources, just as we have done with other products. To wit: Conflict diamonds are no longer cool. Running shoes made with child labour have become verboten. An international boycott of South African products helped bring the apartheid regime to its knees. All of these goods were boycotted based on human rights concerns – just like oil from Saudi Arabia should be.
The Saudis have made it official to the government of Canada that they're not hip to being called out for their dismal human rights record. Given the huge economic stake our neighbors have in what's setting right beneath their feet vs. their somewhat squishy free speech rights protections, it will be interesting to see what happens.
But why this response from the Saudis? What do they have to worry about? Perhaps they see the handwriting on the wall. Maybe they see what an utter waste the West's massive subsidization of green energy has been before even we wake up to that realization and are making a pre-emptive strike.
Come 2012, we may see a change in leadership in this country that re-prioritizes the energy agenda to where we are going after known quantities (yes, drilling) that will in turn create jobs and wealth that will, in turn, privately subsidize the development of green energy to be used on a larger scale at a later date as its maturity will determine that its competitive in the free market.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Mark Cuban, bazillionaire and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, has got quite a bit of run from a blog post he put up few days ago where he exhorted everone to get rich so they can pay a lot of taxes.
Bust your ass and get rich.
Make a boatload of money. Pay your
taxes. Lots of taxes. Hire people. Train people. Pay people. Spend money on rent, equipment, services. Pay more taxes.
When you make a shitload of money. Do something positive with it. If you are smart enough to make it, you will be smart enough to know where to put it to work.
So be Patriotic. Go out there and get rich. Get so obnoxiously rich that when that tax bill comes , your first thought will be to choke on how big a check you have to write. Your 2nd thought will be “what a great problem to have”, and your 3rd should be a recognition that in paying your taxes you are helping to support millions of Americans that are not as fortunate as you.
I’m not saying that the government’s use of tax money is the most efficient use of our hard-earned capital. It obviously is not. In a perfect world, there would be a better option. We don’t live in a perfect world. We don’t live in a perfect time. We live in a time where the government plays a big role in an effort to help lead us out this Great Recession. That’s reality.
So I will repeat my point. Get out there and make a boatload of money. Enjoy the shit out your money. Pay your taxes.
It’s the most Patriotic thing you can do.
We like Cuban. We're praying for the day when he will be able to buy the Dodgers from that noxious pair, Frank and Jamie McCourt. And we're glad he appears to realize that private enterprise (such as his own) is far more efficient at taking care of the well-being and livlihood of people than the government (which begs for why it is he wrote this blog post in the first place) but saying paying your taxes is the most patriotic thing you can do? Got it.
After hearing stories of bravery and heroism displayed by our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan or remembering 9-11 and sacrifices made by the passengers of Flight 93 and the first responders at the World Trade Center, that has to be one of the most patently ridiculous statements we have heard in quite some time.
Our friend "Sherry" advised us that perhaps Cuban was referring only to the rest of us "civilians". Perhaps... but it's still ridiculous to assert that merely obeying the law is somehow patriotic. Hey there, Patriot, thanks for not jay-walking.
And if paying taxes is the most patriotic thing you can do, then Warren Buffet who grants himself a salary of only $100,000 should be guilty of treason.
Of course, liberals are just eating up what Cuban wrote because it's a narrative that fits quite nicely into the President's call for more taxes on the rich. But Obama’s call to raise taxes on the rich is so shamelessly cynical, it’s pathetic. He knows that he’s not going to come anywhere close to closing the deficit on the backs of the rich. Like Buffet, the rich will alter their behavior and/or use the tax code to legally shelter their assets so they won't have to pay those higher taxes. That is just how things work whether statists want to acknowledge it or not.
At the end of the day, whether the President actually believes taxing the rich will somehow improve our economic outlook and/or reduce the deficit is irrelevant. Like the story of the scorpion and the frog, “class warfare” is just what he does. He can’t help himself.
Max assures us that he will be getting around to the mail bag soon... unless he didn't... we're not quite sure. Until then...
Welcome back to the mental institution my fun loving friends, how the
hell are ya? Today on Maxed Out, I will be putting on blast the act of
buying beer on Ebay and trading beer online. Why is this even an
issue? Well I’ll tell you! Don’t get ahead of me. Geez. Ok, here
The selling of craft beer on Ebay is not necessarily a new thing but
a growing concern for some breweries. Greg Koch, the CEO and Founder
of Stone Brewing recently released a bourbon barrel aged version of
one of his collaboration beers. He numbered each of the bottles and
held a raffle, vowing that anyone who sold the bottles online would
automatically be disqualified for future raffles. At first, I didn’t
understand why this could be an issue for the brewery. I just thought
it was a rash move by Mr. Kock…. I mean Koch. Dean gave me a good
reason that this could be an issue, and I have thought of a couple
since then. So the reason that Dean gave me was that if you were to
ship a beer it might lose its luster, its pizzazz, its gravitas so to
speak. Sure. It may. But what did you really expect? YOU BOUGHT A
So Ebay sucks. I mean, kinda in general, but especially when it
comes to beer. While I think that Greg Koch is a total DB, I don’t
think that he is entirely in the wrong. Buying an amazing beer on the
west coast and selling it to someone on the east coast is a brilliant
idea. TRADING it is even better, and something that I’m hoping you’ll
There are two websites to check out when it comes to this:
tradebeer.com as well as beeradvocate.com. A good friend of mine just traded some pretty mediocre San Diego beers for some pretty freakin’ awesome beers from Odell’s Brewing Company out of Fort Collins,
Colorado. I mean he got hooked up! And it didn’t really cost him
Oh, and one more thing. I have had a lot of friends drive up to
Oregon, or Northern California recently. Or even fly up and drive
down. That sounds neat. Listen to what I am saying now, though.
Bring San Diego beers with you. Send them if you have to. They don’t
even have to be amazing, just decent San Diego beers. They are as
good as gold. If you don’t drive up, ship them up to where you will
be staying! Trust me, I’m a professional.
So what did we learn today, kids? Don’t buy beer online. Lame.
Trade beer instead! Sweet! And take San Diego beers with you if you
are going to good beer towns. I know what I’m talking about.
Until next time my beer loving brethren, have a beer for me.
ed. note: Yes, buying beer online is totally lame and we're still skeptical of trading as there would seem to be a lack of control on both the age and heat factors which as you all know are the death of good beers. How-evah (comma) we are, as Max advised, big fans of travelling with, as in, travelling with great San Diego beers to share with friends and soon-to-be-friends abroad, especially on road trips. As an example, whenever we go river rafting on the Lower Kern, we always tote along in the cooler some of San Diego's finest up to Kernville and the folks at Kern River Brewing Company. Sharing and caring: it's good for business, it's good for the soul. How can you go wrong?
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
B-Daddy at The Liberator Today had some thoughts on Indiana governor, Mitch Daniels' new book Keeping the Republic, Saving America by trusting Americans
First, here's Daniels on the existential matters of freedom and liberty:
The coming debate is not really about something so mundane as tax policy or health care or energy choices. It is about things more fundamental: who is in charge, the people or those who supposedly serve at their sufferance?(ed. note: it's as if tax policy and health care are symptoms of the larger question, right?)
And here's B-Daddy's response:
Answering that it is the former, requires the people to be capable of managing their own affairs. They are in fact so capable. But we should remember that it is ingrained in the language of the left that all mankind's ills: sickness, poverty, old age, sloth, and gluttony are not solved by individuals or capitalist institutions, only by government. But a government powerful enough to solve such issues would be a fearful master indeed, and we would be subjects, not citizens. It is good of Daniels to remind us.(italics, ours)
But what's the big panic?... It's not as ifthe government is telling us what we can or cannot eat or that it's forcing you to purchase a service from a private entity.... uh, never mind. Looks like that government is well on its way to solving all of our ills and that is something that should be of great concern to all Americans.
That from Brian Bilbray (R-CA) on the Department of Energy's decision to give Solyndra over a half billion in tax dollar money to...
- invest in the production of the risky and not-yet-ready-for-primetime thin film technology solar panels instead of the less efficient but far-cheaper polycrystalline panels that the Chinese produce exclusively.
- manufacture solar panels in the onerous regulatory regime of California where electricity rates are twice that of Midwestern states like Ohio.
- manufacture solar panels on one of the most expensive pieces of land in the country.
- manufacture solar panels in a completely unnecessary new building when there were plenty of existing Bay Area facilities that could've been retro-fitted or rented.
Add all this up and it doesn't seem like a business plan that would attract a whole lot of private investment dollars and this also helps explain how it is that the government funded it.
There are essentially 4 ways how money is spent and they are as follows (in descending order of efficiency: 1) you spend your own money on yourself 2) you spend your own money on someone else 3) you spend someone else's money on yourself and 4) you spend someone else's money on someone else.
Take a wild guess as to which number best describes how government spends money? If you chose #4, move yourself to the head of the class.
There was simply no incentive for the government to get a quality product at the lowest possible price (#1) and this helps explain the inherent inefficiencies with government subsidies. And when the government has no real skin in the game, they invariably leave themselves open to other incentives such as graft and political favortism which very well may be the case with Solyndra...
... not that Solyndra's big wigs are going to let on to any of that.
Please remember this the next time you hear a pol prattle on about "government investments"... it simply does not work by the same rules, criteria and desired outcomes that our own personal investments do.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Hey, hop heads... do you ever feel like you have to apologize for your single-minded devotion to the floral bud because you really have no interest in drinking anything other than IPAs and IIPAs? Do you harbor some doubts in the back of your mind that perhaps you are not a well-rounded beer drinker because you just can't get into nor do you really care about, say, stouts or saisons?
Well, fear not says none other than Pat McIlhenny, owner and brew master of world-famous Alpine Beer Company.
Here's Pat in an interview in the September print edition of the West Coaster:
Q (Victor Sjoberg): I think you make the best IPAs in the world. How do you feel about a statement like that?
Pat: That's quite an honor, but there's a lot of good IPA brewers around here... well, I would have to stick to the west coast, because the people that say beer needs to be balanced... they just drive me nuts. An IPA is not a balanced beer. It is not intended to be a balanced beer. If you've got a nice, malty backbone for an IPA, it's not an IPA in my opinion, it's something else.
Glorious. Simply glorious.
We know the beer community is supposed to be one big happy family but Pat definetely qualifies as someone who can lay down some implied smack on other regions of the country.
Front Range, Midwest... East Coast... what say ye?
Fellow SLOB Shane Atwell shared this article from The City Journal:
The Conventional Jerry Brown
California’s governor is a politician, first, foremost, and always
It's a quick breakdown of Brown's second go-around as the governor of California and is somewhat praiseworthy though resigned to the fact that, you know, it just is what it is.
Hey, it's tough enough being a pragmatic, centrist here in the land of fruits and nuts... so can a brother get some slack?
While Brown has protected the children of our great state from the dangers of ski helmets and has made some inroads on the labor front, his larger efforts thus far, just aren't enough to reverse the decline course of the Golden State.
Our heavily-edited, embellished and romanticized email to Shane and the rest of our SLOB journolist cabal as follows:
While we're appreciative that he has rejected the Bloomberg model of nanny-statism, what he has shot down are pretty small bore legislative initiatives where he can sop to conservo-libertarians that he really isn't a petty authoritarian. Thanks for that.
He loses points big time on the large bore issues, though. He ran one of the most convincing political ad spots we had ever seen; the one where he looks right into the camera and says in that somwhat world-weary, gravel-y yet still optimistic voice: (paraphrasing): "Look, I've been at this for too long and I'm too old to give a damn". Dude. Pitch perfect.
Of course, he hasn't nor will he confront the public employee unions and he has been purposefully misleading as to how it is that California is going to make up that $12, 14 billion (or whatever it is) budget gap. Did we say misleading? Poor choice of terminology because I don't believe Brown stated where that money was going to come from so there was nothing from which to mislead.
The article is right: As a Democrat (and being older than dirt) he has a great opportunity to "go to China" but his own high speed rail appears to be going only to Merced.
Ah, well... eff-it. It's not like we are being disappointed by the absolute collapse and moral failing of a formerly reform-minded Republican governor.
By the way, The City Journal is a great publication. Love their stuff.
Monday, September 19, 2011
The New York Times former editor-in-chief and now, uhh, current Op-Ed columnist did some heavy thinking over the weekend to come up with the reasons for the decline in Obama's political fortunes.
You may be shocked to find out that the person of George W. Bush leads off Keller's gang of four, followed quickly by those diabolical saboteurs that have taken over the Republican party:
Another toxic legacy of the Bush years is an angry conservative populism, in which government is viewed as tyranny and compromise as apostasy. The Tea Party faction has captured not only the Republican primary process, but to a large extent the national conversation and the legislative machinery. In Congress the anger is pandered to by Republicans who should know better, since their nihilism discredits not only the president they have cynically set out to make a failure, but their own institution. Voters are frustrated by this — Congress has the approval rating of bedbugs — but it remains to be seen whether the electorate will punish the real culprits or simply reward the candidates who run against that bogeyman, “Washington.”
That first sentence is confusing: Is that angry conservative populism a result of what the legacy media perceived as the hyper-conservatism of the uncouth Texas-bred Bush or is it as a reaction to what many conservatives and libertarians saw in Bush as too willing to play fast and loose with privacy rights in the name of the War on Terror and perhaps more importantly, the antithesis of fiscal restraint with his spending and what turned out to be his corporatist/bailout ways at the onset of the financial crisis of 2008? Given what we know about the legacy media, we
But beyond that, this paragraph is simply unreal. Prior to the 2010 midterms, Democrats held solid majorities in both the House and the Senate for four years and for the last two years prior to the midterms they held the Oval Office as well. Precisely what was it about the electoral landslide of 2010 as a repudiation of the Democrats' failed statist policies does Keller not understand? Did he think that the turnover of parties in the House and the six seat pick-up by the Republicans in the Senate was a sign that the electorate wanted more of the same failed statism? What did he not get about the 2010 midterm results?
It's called a representative republic and every two years, the country gets to grade, in a sense, the performance of those they sent to Washington. And in 2010, the personnel of that D.C. line-up and what they implemented policy-wise, everything from Porkulus to ObamaCare, got a spectacularly failing grade. The public figured Keynesian gimmickry didn't work with the economy and taking away more autonomy in personal health care decisons and doing so in series of crass and cynical backroom deals, bribes and kickbacks was not the direction they wanted to take the country.
Keller moves along to disenchanted liberals before arriving at Obama himself. Well, not really Obama himself, rather your perception of the man.
To be disillusioned you must first have illusions. Some of those who projected their own agendas onto the slogans and symbols of the Obama campaign were victims of wishful thinking — fed by Obama’s oratory of change. Anyone who paid attention while candidate Obama was helping President Bush pass the 2008 bank bailout should have understood that beneath the rhetorical flourishes Obama has always been at heart a cautious, cool, art-of-the-possible pragmatist. When he sees that he lacks the power to get what he wants, he settles for what he can get.
Yeah, he wrote that. The former HMFIC of the nation's paper of record and which was at the forefront of the shameless bootlicking and hagiography of candidate Obama wrote that. Is there any sort of critical self-assessment with these people at all? At all?
There was more about Obama being a "shape-shifter" and not being able to define himself (in Placentia, California, that's translated as not having any core values) and how Keller actually prefers a little ambivalence in his President as opposed to the "blinkered certitude" of he who was not named as the implied axe-grinding would've made it wholly redundant but we stopped because we just couldn't take it any longer.
That Keller may not like conservatives and/or disagree with conservative policies is one thing, but to appear completely clueless as to the reasons for the President's dismal political fortunes is entirely another.
Blacks in the big city North moving back to the South after 3 or 4 generations? Why, it just can't be!
The Rev. Floyd H. Flake, pastor of the 23,000-member Greater Allen African Methodist Episcopal Cathedral in Jamaica, Queens, said he was losing hundreds of congregants yearly to Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.
“For decades, Queens has been the place where the African-American middle class went to buy their first home and raise a family,” Mr. Flake said. “But now, we are seeing a reversal of this as African-Americans feel this is no longer as easy to achieve and that the South is more benevolent than New York.”
Some blacks say they are leaving not only to find jobs, but also because they have soured on race relations.
Candace Wilkins, 27, of St. Albans, who remains unemployed despite having a business degree, plans to move to Charlotte, N.C.
She said her decision was prompted by an altercation with the police.
In March 2010, witnesses say, Ms. Wilkins was thrown against a car by a white police officer after she tried to help a black neighbor who was being questioned. She was charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, according to the Queens district attorney’s office.
Ms. Wilkins disputes the charges, which are pending, and has filed a complaint against the police. A police spokeswoman said the department was investigating her complaint.
“Life has gone full circle,” said Ms. Wilkins, whose grandmother was born amid the cotton fields of North Carolina and moved to Queens in the 1950s.
“My grandmother’s generation left the South and came to the North to escape segregation and racism,” she said. “Now, I am going back because New York has become like the old South in its racial attitudes.”
The movement marks an inversion of the so-called Great Migration, which lasted roughly from World War I to the 1970s and saw African-Americans moving to the industrializing North to escape prejudice and find work.
Spencer Crew, a history professor at George Mason University who was the curator of a prominent exhibit on the Great Migration at the Smithsonian Institution, said the current exodus from New York stemmed largely from tough economic times. New York is increasingly unaffordable, and blacks see more opportunities in the South.
The South now represents the potential for achievement for black New Yorkers in a way it had not before, Professor Crew said. At the same time, unionized civil service jobs that once drew thousands of blacks to the city are becoming more scarce.
“New York has lost some of its cachet for black people,” Professor Crew said. “During the Great Migration, blacks went north because you could find work if you were willing to hustle. But today, there is less of a struggle to survive in the South than in New York. Many blacks also have emotional and spiritual roots in the South. It is like returning home.”
But it's not just blacks, either, as people and businesses of all stripes are heading to the friendlier business climates of low tax and right-to-work states, many of which are in the South.
After all and aside from cultural implications, higher taxes and onerous regulations that raise the cost of living and constrict the labor market are in themselves a type of oppression as well.
* Pictured: The Atlanta skyline
Sunday, September 18, 2011
A round-up of news items, articles, columns and blog posts that caught our eye this past week.
Gun Runner/Fast and Furious, Solyndra and now did a four star Air Force General get pressure from the White House to change his testimony regarding the owner of a defense contracting firm and Democratic party donor?
It would appear Team O is having to deal with more than unemployment and the economy in the run-up to the 2012 presidential election.
Oh, and how about that AttackWatch website where you get to turn in people who you think may be spreading false information about Team O? Above and beyond anything else... petty. So, so petty.
Sir Charles of DooDoo Economics thinks he may have uncovered a stunt by Twitter to cover up opposition to Obama in "Trending Reports".
But what is the cause for all this?
Is it sinister, stupid or just naive?
Where B-Daddy sees a darker side to many of the President's actions, KT counters with more of a simpler perspective on the matter:
Here's my take on what happened. The Obama Administration is filled with True Believers in two propositions:
•Government investments can lead to wondrous growth in certain industries.
•Global Warming / Climate Change is an existential threat to our way of life.
Solyndra bundled these two things together in a beautiful way. How could it lose?
So, sinister, stupid or just incredibly naive? Possibly a combination of all the above especially if an amalgam of those causes is in any way synonymous with "power-craving, micro-managing statist who thinks the normal constitutionally-recognized rules of governing a republic just don't apply to him.
The U.S. is coming to Europe's financial rescue.
So far, America's role is fairly limited. But if the crisis continues to grow and the U.S. takes on a wider role, U.S. consumers and taxpayers could feel a bigger impact. The biggest exposure could come from America's status as the single largest source of money for the International Monetary Fund.
The latest round of American financial assistance came Thursday with a promise by the Federal Reserve to swap as many dollars for euros as European bankers need. In the short run, those transactions won't have much impact because the central banks are simply swapping currencies of equal value. If the move helps avert a wider crisis, it could help spare the global economy from another recession.
But over the long term, consumers could feel the impact of central bankers flooding the financial system with cash, according to John Ryding, chief economist at RDQ Economics.
Hey, who's up for some more class warfare?
President Barack Obama, in a populist step designed to appeal to voters, will propose a "Buffett Tax" on people making more than $1 million a year as part of his deficit recommendations to Congress on Monday.(italics, ours)
Such a proposal, among suggestions to a congressional supercommittee expected to seek up to $3 trillion in deficit savings over 10 years, would appeal to his Democratic base ahead of the 2012 election but likely not raise much in revenues.
White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer said in a tweet on Saturday the tax would act as "a kind of AMT" (Alternative Minimum Tax) aimed at ensuring millionaires pay at least as much tax as middle-class families.
Don't we already have an AMT? And what was that about putting country above party... or in this case, re-election?
Did we mention we were big fans of this guy? Here's Mark Steyn on the (P)resident's "jobs" plan:
This $447 billion does not exist, and even foreigners don't want to lend it to us. A majority of it will be "electronically created" by the Federal Reserve buying U.S. Treasury debt. Don't worry, it's not like "printing money": we leave that to primitive basket-cases like Zimbabwe. This is more like one of those Nigerian email schemes, in which a prominent public official promises you a large sum of money in return for your bank account details. In the case of Ben Bernanke and Timothy Geithner, one prominent public official is promising to wire a large sum of money into the account of another prominent public official, which is a wrinkle even the Nigerians might have difficulty selling.
Happy Constitution Day, everyone!
One of the greatest successes of the tea party movement has been to restore a discussion of constitutionality to our national political discourse. The constitution is both a conservative and a libertarian document. It is conservative in that it preserves our political structure through separation of powers and a difficult amendment process. It is libertarian in that it constrains the power and authority of the federal government, guarantees individual rights and in turn constrains the states as well. A political alliance of conservatives and libertarians, fighting socialism and progressives would of course turn to the plain meaning of such a document as the first line of defense against the forced march down the "road to serfdom" that the statists desire for our citizens. (I don't mean to impugn all liberals here; but those that are true believers in leftism have shown their colors over the years.)
That's probably it for today, gang. We'll be back tomorrow.
When merely linking just won't do, here's Mark Steyn on fourth trimester abortion tic-tac-toe logic:
From the Court of Queen’s Bench (the appellate court) in Alberta:
The Wetaskiwin, Alta., woman convicted of infanticide for killing her newborn son, was given a three-year suspended sentence Friday by an Edmonton Court of Queen’s Bench judge.
Katrina Effert was 19 on April 13, 2005, when she secretly gave birth in her parents’ home, strangled the baby boy with her underwear and threw the body over a fence into a neighbour’s yard…
Effert will have to abide by conditions for the next three years but she won’t spend time behind bars for strangling her newborn son.
Indeed. As Judge Joanne Veit puts it:
“While many Canadians undoubtedly view abortion as a less than ideal solution to unprotected sex and unwanted pregnancy, they generally understand, accept and sympathize with the onerous demands pregnancy and childbirth exact from mothers, especially mothers without support,” she writes… “Naturally, Canadians are grieved by an infant’s death, especially at the hands of the infant’s mother, but Canadians also grieve for the mother.”
Gotcha. So a superior court judge in a relatively civilized jurisdiction is happy to extend the principles underlying legalized abortion in order to mitigate the killing of a legal person — that’s to say, someone who has managed to make it to the post-fetus stage. How long do those mitigating factors apply? I mean, “onerous demands”-wise, the first month of a newborn’s life is no picnic for the mother. How about six months in? The terrible twos?
Speaking of “onerous demands,” suppose you’re a “mother without support” who’s also got an elderly relative around with an “onerous” chronic condition also making inroads into your time?
And in what sense was Miss Effert a “mother without support”? She lived at home with her parents, who provided her with food and shelter. How smoothly the slick euphemisms — “accept and sympathize . . . onerous demands” — lubricate the slippery slope.
No further commentary needed.
This made us recall a piece we posted a while back and Jonah Goldberg's reflections on abortion tic-tac-toe logic:
I’m something of a product of my times. In the 1980s and 1990s I heard a lot of putatively honest liberals insist that the one zone of life that was absolutely sacrosanct was our own bodies. The state simply had no business getting involved in “our bodies.” Admittedly, this was mostly the rhetoric of abortion. I still remember Anna Quindlen on one of those Fred Friendly seminars waxing terribly righteous about the absolute sovereignty of a woman’s body. There was some spill-over into such topics as euthanasia and assisted suicide (remember “Whoes Life Is It Anyway?”), but the passion and heat was over abortion.
Flash forward to today and pretty much the entire edifice of liberalism insists that our bodies — what we put into them, how we maintain them — are fair game not just for Congress but for bureaucrats.
So, is it rank hypocrisy, intellectual disingenuousness (back in the day) or all just a way of making "the pro-abortion stance sound more highfalutin'?"
Saturday, September 17, 2011
We had seen other commercials in these Ford "press conference" series of ad spots but not this specific one.
“I wasn’t going to buy another car that was bailed out by our government. I was going to buy from a manufacturer that’s standing on their own: win, lose, or draw. That’s what America is about is taking the chance to succeed and understanding when you fail that you gotta’ pick yourself up and go back to work. Ford is that company for me.”
Hope ol' Chris there is ready for his proctology exam by the IRS at the behest of the Team O. Seriously, that takes some major cajones to essentially call out the administration on the controversial and unpopular bailouts of General Motors and Chrysler via a platform backed by a brand like Ford.
(scroll down for update)
No. 25 Mississippi St. hung with No. 3 LSU for a while until LSU's physicality wore on the Bulldogs in the 2nd half for a 19-6 victory for the Tigers on Thursday.
And last night, No. 4 Boise St. dispatched the Toledo Rockets, 40-15, with Bronco QB, Kellen Moore throwing for 5 and 455.
No. 15 Michigan St. at Notre Dame. Will the Domers go 0-3 or will an always-talented Sparty squad find yet more imaginative ways to melt down at the end of the ball game? Must see TV, gang. 11:30 PDT on NBC.
No. 23 Texas at UCLA to avenge last years thumping by the Bruins in Austin.
No. 10 South Carolina vs. Navy... a game we know B-Daddy will be watching with great interest.
The Probation Bowl: ESPN is very happy they decided in advance to televise this game between No. 17 Ohio St. and Miami (FL) which are both under continuing investigations and suspensions.
And the Primetime featured matchup: No. 1 Oklahoma at No. 5 Florida State. After being one of the dominant programs in the nation through much of the 80s and 90s, the 'Noles have been a program seemingly adrift over the past several years. Long-time coach and program architect, Bobby Bowden, finally stepped down before the start of last season to make way for Jimbo Fisher who had been brought over from LSU to be coach-in-waiting. Obviously, a statement game for FSU as they can say they are back as one of the nation's elite programs with a win over the Sooners this evening. Either way, the winner of this game can claim the mantle of "National Title Contender".
Enjoy your college football Saturday.
* Pictured is Andrew Luck, Heisman contender and QB of No. 6 Stanford who will be at Arizona tonight.
(UPDATE #1):So, you don't like to punt the ball? You like going for it on fourth down... no matter what your field position is? And you somehow see it unmanly to kick away the ball after a score opting instead for onside kicks? You're a real tough guy, huh? Yeah, didn't think so but this guy is.
Meet Kevin Kelley of Pulaski Academy in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Kelley has become a cult figure among both football coaches and the sports analytics community for his disregard -- contempt even -- for traditional football wisdom. He's been featured in Sports Illustrated. He figured prominently in Scorecasting. He's been a regular at coaching clinics and at the annual MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference.
For one, Kelley doesn't believe in punting. His Bruins teams go for it on fourth down, even in the most extreme situations. His playbook is filled with tricks and gimmicks. He often forbids his players to return punts, reckoning that the odds of a fumble outstrip the incremental yards that can be gained from a return. After his team scores, it almost always attempts an onside kick. There are 12 varieties in the playbook -- including one in which the ball is placed flat on the ground -- and Kelley figures that the chance of recovery outweighs the risk of allowing the opposition to start a drive near midfield.
In a recent game against Arkansas prep power, the Cabot Panthers, Pulaski went up 29-0... before Cabot ever touched the ball and which Pulaski wound up winning 64-34.
Here's the on-side kick highlight reel from the game.
1:35 OK, now they're just showing off.
Seriously, just how much fun would it be to play for this guy?
Friday, September 16, 2011
We were hanging out and enjoying dinner with B-Daddy and his family when this came over the house speakers at San Diego Brewing Company last night.
Ladies and Gentlemen, from the NYC, it's Fiona Apple performing "Carrion".
While the Feds and Congressional committees will be asking the hard questions of just who it was in the administration that signed off on those loans to Solyndra, why don't we just go to the good people of Solyndra themselves as they appear confident as to who gave the go-ahead for that $535 million loan guarantee at below market interest rates.
From Solyndra's website:
Fremont, CA, March 20, 2009 – Solyndra, Inc. announced today that it is the first company to receive an offer for a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) loan guarantee under Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Solyndra, a Fremont, California-based manufacturer of innovative cylindrical photovoltaic systems, will use the proceeds of a $535 million loan from the U.S. Treasury’s Federal Financing Bank to expand its solar panel manufacturing capacity in California.(italics, ours)
“The leadership and actions of President Barack Obama, Energy Secretary Steven Chu and the U.S. Congress were instrumental in concluding this offer for a loan guarantee,” said Solyndra CEO and founder, Dr. Chris Gronet. “The DOE Loan Guarantee Program funding will enable Solyndra to achieve the economies of scale needed to deliver solar electricity at prices that are competitive with utility rates. This expansion is really about creating new jobs while meaningfully impacting global warming.”
This was still on their website as of this A.M. (H/T: The Corner)
And when you lose Jon Stewart...
Thursday, September 15, 2011
So what do the Cosby Show, chocolate stouts and terry cloth all have in common? You're about to find out.
How do you do my people? It’s late and I’m tired so I’m here to give
you a brief description of a good late night beer after a long hard
day of drinking and/or working. If my eye lids allow me to, that is.
So what does one drink after a long night of partying or working? I
have a great idea! A BEER! Some peoples out there like to indulge
with a nice glass of wine. Others with a chilled glass of scotch. I
say phewey! Do yourself a favor and go for the good stuff. Beer is
the way to go right before bedtime.
Reason numero uno that beer is the right decision: lower alcohol
content. Let’s not get all hammered right before bedie-boo. I’m not
really looking to get crunked, but sometimes I just need something to
ease the nerves before I lay my head down to sleep, ya know? A glass
of scotch and I don’t even get to “Call me Ismael.” Just sayin’.
Numero dos is the flavor. Have you ever had a nice glass of Cab
right after brushing your teeth? It tastes like the underside of cow
dung. And trust me, that ain’t good. But have you ever had a nice
chocolate stout after the brushing of one’s teeth? Delicious? Yes.
Nutritious? Sure, why not.
So what beer should you have late at night? Like I previously
stated, gimme a stout. Gimme a porter. Gimme a Maui Coconut Porter
and I’m a happy camper. I can feel good about brushing my teeth,
cozying up to the Mrs. (that’s right kiddos, Maxed Out is off of the
market. Sorry.) in my finest terry cloth linens and I am set for the
evening. Put on an old episode of Seinfeld or the Cosby Show and
bliss has been achieved.
Beers not to have before hitting the hay: Any of your Coors, Miller,
Bud, Hefs…. Anything with a lot of wheat or corn. The reason? Gives
ya the toots! Stick to the good stuff kiddos, that’s what I’ve been
saying since day one.
Ok, so this has probably been the most juvenile and LAME Maxed Out
ever. I have written you all a really good insight on the shipping of
craft beer but ran out of time due to the extensive research that I
have been doing. I have also been on the lookout for the next beer on
my top 10 but have yet to receive confirmation on its exact release
date. Stay tuned. I will, however, let you know that it is a porter
from a San Diego-based brewery and that it should be released sooner
rather than later. At least that’s what I’ve been told.
Until next time my beer loving brethren, have a beer for me.
(ed. note: did we not tell you the kid could offer up advice both practical and aesthetic?)
We guess you could alternately sub-title this a body-count update as beyond U.S. Border Patrol agent, Brian Terry, there are now more confirmed deaths linked to our government's spectacularly successful gunrunning scheme.
From Sharyl Attkisson, the CBS reporter who was the first legacy media person on the scene:
Weapons linked to ATF's controversial "Fast and Furious" operation have been tied to at least eight violent crimes in Mexico including three murders, four kidnappings and an attempted homicide.(italics, ours)
According to a letter from U.S. Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), the disclosed incidents may be only a partial list of violent crimes linked to Fast and Furious weapons because "ATF has not conducted a comprehensive independent investigation."
When added to the guns found at the murder scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in the U.S., the newly-revealed murders in Mexico bring the total number of deaths linked to Fast and Furious to four.
Go to the link for details on what other mayhem Gunrunner guns have been involved in.
At this point, we're not quite sure what credibility the ATF would have in conducting their own investigation.
With solid estimates putting the number of guns allowed to flow back across the border at between 2,000 and 2,500, one has to believe that we are only scratching the surface of the havoc and bloodshed wreaked by this multi-agency co-operative effort.
Exit question: Solyndra or Gunrunner... which is going to be the one to really catch the public's fancy if and when they truly go mainstream?