Friday, April 30, 2010

May Day

The ever present email trail has shown Goldman was playing against the market as their traders were bragging about their collective efforts. What was the SEC doing? Looking at porn.

The Ponzi scheme that is called social security is now faced with a negative income situation and those IOU’s issued to the fund must be paid upon. More debt to an economy that will be staggered by the short and long term consequences of the federal government using a credit card approach to the budget.

Scott Burns had an interesting point about the economic recovery in a column on Sunday. This recovery is shaping up as V shaped meaning unemployment will remain high.

Here in casino land the BOS is asking or is that pleading for the Tribe to have an open discussion. IMO the Tribe would be nuts to have an open forum unless in was run similar to the way the school department handled the override meeting - submit questions. I’m sure the goal of the Tribe is to slither away from a commitment that has come back to bite them. Has anyone taken a picture of “The Raven” in his orange jump suit picking up highway trash?

Physicist Stephen Hawking has warned about contact with extra terrestrial life as it may post a significant danger. I’m more concerned about the terrestrial life.

The Massachusetts House tried to sneak through the possibility of legislation to circumvent prop 2 and ½. When tax payer groups and certain legislators got wind of this slinky maneuver it quickly fell apart. Governor Patrick and Senate Chair Murray said they would have rejected it. Sure they would.

The gimmie bill know as Quinn has become somewhat of a political issue. This excessive payout to the multitudes “graduating” from Anna Maria College has certainly risen to the surface in cash strapped communities. Bad enough with paid details.

WOW wants bipartisan support on issues dealing with the debt. I’d encourage the party of no to look the other way. WOW - AKA - Commander and Thief - was exhibit #1 to get us in this mess.

The Massachusetts House recently killed legislation that would remove illegals from the welfare rolls. I am just amazed at the extent of benefits that are handed out to many who make a living off of those who make a living.

The do as I say not as I do crowd is in full sue mode after the approval of Cape Wind.

Thanks, Ed, for your CPA efforts to tax those who pay taxes while you live where you can avoid it.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Illegals/Payrolls/Fung Wah/SCOTUS

Interesting article in The Herald last week as 400 took the oath of allegiance to the United States. What a novel idea actually becoming a citizen instead of an illegal. The newly minted citizens represented quite a collection from Turkey, Albania, Gabon, Viet Nam, Mexico, assorted European and South American countries. Over thirty countries represented. A few were even dressed in their military fatigues since they now serve in the military so it can actually be done - coming into our country and playing by the rules.

Welcome back to CHB, Hal.

Americans are now giving higher marks to American cars rather than Asian and European.

Recent article showed - using Department of Labor statistics - that the public sector jobs are worth 39% more than the dreaded private sector. Big differences is in health care and pensions.

A federally funded institute to honor Ted Kennedy now has a price tag of $68,000,000. More waste. This is the type of government BS that just legitimizes the Tea Party.

Going to New York City this weekend but will avoid the Fung Wah bus in favor of Peter Pan. I really don’t care for NYC as I consider it too expensive and overrated. I’ll take Chicago, San Francisco or Seattle any day. However my wife - The Lovely Cynthia - loves the city and the theater so off I go.

I see some rugs lying out on my street that were victims of cellar flooding. Naturally our over price trash pick-up does not take them so folks will have to go to the landfill (AKA - Dump) and pay a premium price to get rid of them. According to the TM the logistics of such an endeavor would be difficult since many would take advantage of the opportunity to clean out their basements. I’d still like to see at least one pick-up a year dedicated to just that.

For you true baseball fans Jeffery Todd Bailey is now with Reno in the PCL.

Companies are now starting to take some losses thanks to heath care costs. Lockheed-Martin lowered its projections by 15 cents per share because of the elimination of a tax deduction for Medicare-related expenses.

A SCOTUS decision of about 5 years back allows eminent domain to be exercised for private development if it is for the greater good. This is happening in New York state where a town is in the process of confiscating four private businesses so that a developer can build a hotel and sundry attachments that would dramatically increase the tax rolls. I watched an interview with some of the victims in this farce and they were average folks who risked their capital and took a big chance. Now they are screwed. They’ll get a “fair price” but they don’t want that. This is why the second amendment has a purpose.

A mine disaster and a similar one on an oil rig has taken many lives as the search for fuels go on and on. I am wondering has anyone died in a U.S. nuclear facility? Aboard a nuclear powered ship?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Tea Party/More Tea Party/SEC/Casinos

Another blog in town occasionally focuses on the Tea Party movement (I consider it an activist movement). I am amazed that terms such as “ignorant” and “stupid” are applied to those who simply disagree with the positions of the far left and especially pointed to the TP. The terms are also somewhat of a contradiction in that one is lack of knowledge while the other is lack intellect. But I guess in the isolated world of the “blessed” it is interchangeable with those who differ both eligible for the tag. I assume far left fear is one that is based in a bit of truth in the TP movement and that seems to scare the bejabbers out of the moonbats. Nothing like a smidgen of truth and an honest discussion with tagging to toss them off kilter. To find out more about the TP I talked to a real live Tea Party member.

What he finds just “ignorant” and “stupid” is the incessant patter of the far left that is just a party line that they all seem to preach. Lock step with the same phraseology over and over. A real mantra without substance or content. The Tea Party are not racist and brick throwing thugs but folks who are just concerned with the real issue that he described in one word - policy. I guess this is a case of “deflection” where without facts you toss out slogans in an childish attempt to get off the facts and your opposition into defensive mode. The shallowness is so apparent it is laughable. He went on to state that with any movement it is possible to attract a fringe element but he has witnessed none. Me? I’m sure it exists and is overstated such John Lewis and others claiming racial taunting. That is starting to look like another fictitious fantasy designed to debase opposition. Despite all the microphones, cameras and cell phones present none picked up anything. So far a $100,000 reward for proof of racial taunting has not been collected. Maybe it will but until then I will remain a skeptic.

I read some interesting stats on the Tea Party. 58% classify themselves as conservative versus 34% of the general population. 89% are white. It is predominately male. Only 20% at the rallies have made any monetary contributions. They are active voters. Most have a college degree or some college.

The casino and slots were inevitable. The up front money is attractive and the impacts are either ignored viewed as overstated. Didn’t help when the pro’s managed to take the high ground in the debate by picturing the anti’s as just a fringe group of malcontents.

Senate has to approve the latest venture into gin mills so expect a little debate and then approval.

The housing market continues to drag any recovery down to a virtual standstill. Home builders are out of the Fortune 500 for the first time in decades.

Manufactures don’t appear in any great hurry to build up inventories and that trickles right down the financial food chain.

Economic information fluctuates more than BB’s weight. One week job data is spiffy and the next it is in the toilet. Then consumer confidence shoots up and then the next month bottoms out. No consistency. That unemployment figure is still way too high and it is skewered by government hires. Go deep into the data and you see job creation that is not anywhere near what folks were use to. Less pay for more work and service oriented.

The most gutless of agencies was in full swing on Friday. Come on down, SEC, and totally Clark up everything. These layabouts with strong ties to the banks and the fiscal incompetents in the current administration finally moved on Goldman Sachs claiming fraud! Well how do you do you collective geniuses. You figured it out after years of warning? Then you move ahead on a Friday after the Asian and European markets have closed. There are a small fraction of folks I can actually say with great confidence “I can do better than that” and the SEC is on top of the list.

The financial havoc created Friday to bank stocks also offer opportunity. A nice 5-10% drop made several more attractive.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


According to an AP story 47% of all American households will pay no taxes. The combination of income levels and a variety of tax credits has created that situation. Conversely the top 10% pay 73% of income taxes collected by the federal government. I guess this means “The Rich” are already taxed. To pile on the bottom 40% actually make a profit from federal income tax by getting more money in tax credits than taxes they owe. They get a check!

The Tax Foundation has also reported that tax day this year was April 9th - the point at which we have paid our obligation to the government and will now me earning for ourselves. How encouraging.

With half not paying any taxes maybe that Value Added Tax (VAT) may have some legs especially if it is high enough to finally eliminated personal income tax or set the taxable level at $50,000+.

Michael Graham in The Herald had a nice article in which he mentions some attacks by union thugs on Tea Party members. Seems these incidents get little or no play.

Didn’t take long for the blog first think later group to show their stuff after two interesting things happened locally - an election and Massasoit College coming to town. I would think JP would be gracious enough to toss verbal kudos Wayne Perkins way for his behind the scenes hard work to get Massasoit into downtown Middleboro. I and others may have issues with Mr. Perkins but in this instance he certainly earned a pile of points. Nice job.

Mark seemed to feel the election results - meaning Allin losing - is on a par with the Visigoths sacking Rome. To quote: "The old guard wins the day. More years of the same thinking that got us where we are today." That just degrades those who voted for others. Allin made a great showing and will be back. When I am lounging at Island Terrace in a few years Allin will probably be on his third or fourth term on the BOS.

The influence of blogs? They are virtually all opinion pieces but what strikes me is the lack of research that goes into the opinions. Opinions with little facts and those that are used are often questionable. Even a little something on the sidebar regarding casinos and oxygen. Repeat a lie often enough it becomes a truth.

I remember “back in the day” when some TV stations had weather girls and they’d do the weather while wearing a bathing suit. Now we have meteorologist but they don’t wear bikini’s or Speedo’s. Might help.

Spirit Airlines got attention with their proposal for up to a $45 charge for a carry on. Now Spirit is a quite small regional but has the youngest fleet of any national carrier. Spirit is also the largest privately held airline with 29 Airbus aircraft.

Just got back from the Red Sox series in KC. This is a great ballpark with nice seats for a reasonable price. The atmosphere has a distinct minor league feel to it with silliness between innings and the scoreboard constantly encouraging fans to “get loud.” But then I saw the idiot move of the year. They have a mascot called “Slugger” who roams the stands. Late in game one he wandered into the section next to us with the Sox trailing. This section had a passel of Sox fans including several who had enjoyed a significant number of adult beverages. Slugger decided to have some “humor” and approached one rather inebriated Sox fan and removed his cap and pretended to wipe his butt with it. This is tantamount to flashing the wrong sign to a Crip or Blood. Needless to say arrests ensued and Slugger lost his tail and was drenched in beer.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Election/Tea Party/Obama/Trivia/JP/Survivor

Four excellent candidates and that was reflected in the vote totals. A win-win situation for the voters. I can see that the two that supported the override lost and I’ll leave that connection alone. Not sure of the impact. Suo has already posted the impact of BB.

Tea Party (TP). How they have so flustered and enraged the Looney left (LL - not Limo) The TP has a message that resonates with many or at least part of the message does - expansion of government, taxation, entitlements, immigration, bailouts, excessive union influence - especially public unions and some others. You get the picture. There is something for everyone. Even someone highlighted on my sidebar expresses some economic policies that quite comfortable fit into the framework of the TP. I certainly find things I agree with and disagree with on the smorgasbord of talking points the TP has adopted. What happens is the LL crowd can’t separate the message from the messenger since the TP has managed to attract an element that have viewed themselves as being “disenfranchised.” This is quite a collection of religious extremist, isolations, assorted bigots, survivalist and others who have been cut from the herd or should be. What happens is the back door approach as they attempt to gain credibility and legitimacy by “joining” the TP movement that has some high profile members and has - or attempted to - take credit for certain political successes. The TP is inexperienced. They are a young group. They have an appeal that just may go across the board. That appeal will evaporate if they fail to deal with the far right loonies. They will end up like ACORN.

How to win points in a marriage. My wife has limited computer skills and the whole internet thing leaves her confused. I can at least navigate to web sites and do searches. Now my wife - The Lovely Cynthia - happens to be Polish. Not a mixed breed person like myself but a full scale Polish person. So what I have done is find Sunday morning Polish radio shows so she can listen to Polkas.

I was and still am a TV trivia expert except my base of knowledge stopped around 1980. I use to breeze through the TV puzzles that appear in the paper. Now? Can’t get a third of them done as I don’t recognize the shows or the “stars.” How can someone on a reality show be a star? They just film folks being idiots. I could read my blog and fit that category. Ship me the money and let’s do it!

Carney is pumping 100 Mil or so into the local economy dependant upon slots approval. His gin mill is in for 750 of the flashy noise makers. Now slots - that is putting something out front and center for the legislature to consider. His plans seem - at first glance - substantial. This is real jobs, new jobs, retention of old jobs and some more added to the tax rolls. One - If not my biggest complaints against slot enhanced gin mills is the fact that it is really just Income distribution. That philosophy seems awful close to the mindset of entitlement that seems to permeate the current administration by taking more and more from the responsible.

The top 20% in our country earn over eight times more money than the lowest 20%. Actually saw that in an article in The Herald when I managed to read something other than sports and The Track. This is the highest figure by far in any industrialized nation. Does that justify placing more of a financial burden on that upper 20%?

Obama made two great moves last week. One was granting off shore drilling and the other was the 68 Billion federal student loan program. The middleman banks are gone for loans that were virtually all guaranteed by the government anyways. More Pell Grant dough tossed in.

Jessie Powell (D-CL) had a great piece on the Greening of the Empire State Building. Later this month my wife - The Lovely Cynthia - and I will take our annual trek to NYC for Broadway shows and I am planning on a visit to the ESB and Skyscraper Museum.

Maybe it was at the BOS meeting? Not sure since I am old and association with BB has diminished my mental capacities but I heard the term “free money.” Is this something I can get? It turns out this money is either Federal or State and available for the proper amount of begging. I wonder where the government gets this money? Gee…this is just a wild guess but somehow it is connected to tax dollars. “Free?” LMBAO!

I understand that adding 32 million newly insured to the health care rolls will overtax the system. I really don’t buy that - yet. Many of those 32 million either use the ER, clinics or pay out of pocket. Many of the rest of us - held hostage by the 32 million - don’t necessarily use the system that much.

Will the remains of Jimmy Hoffa be discovered when they demolish Giants Stadium? As a ‘Jints fan I might just recommend they replace him with the roster of the 2010 NY Football Giants (via New Jersey).

I’ve never watched the TV show “Survivor.” My daughter does and from what I could gather the idea behind it is to lie, cheat and manipulate until you win. I thought CSPAN already did that covering Congress.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Red Sox Review

Time to talk about the important stuff in life - The Boston Red Sox. What does 2010 hold besides increased ticket, food and parking prices? A few more seats have been added to Fenway along with much touch up to attempt to make a near 100 year old ballpark presentable. Just make the seats larger and get rid of the poles. Anyway the important thing is the team.

Woe is Red Sox nation over the loss of one Jason Bay who represents the ideal for multi generations of Boston fans - a right handed power hitter. The mentality in Boston has been ingrained for decades and that is to think hitting first. Sigh…you win with defense and the number one component of defense is pitching and that is where I will start.

This is a solid starting rotation with six pitchers capable of going into the 15+ range. Wakefield is restored to health, Lester was the best in the league from mid-May on, Beckett was 17-6 with an ERA under four and is pitching for a huge contract, Dice-K is in primo shape after looking like BB in 2009, Lackey is or was the ace of the Angels staff and Clay Buchholz is primed for a break out year. The starting staff has depth, experience and an excellent track record.

Papelbon remains a premier closer. One of the best and one of the soon to be wealthiest. To get to Papelbon the Sox will have holdovers Manny Delcarmen, Hideki Okajima, Daniel Bard and Ramon Ramirez once he returns from exile to the minors. That leaves two more slots and one appears to be firmly in the grip of Boof Bonzer and the other up for grabs among a plethora of vets looking for another payday, including old friend Alan Embree, who played for the 2004 and maybe the 1918 championship team. This is a very good relief corps that could be great or just average depending on who steps up or who steps down.

The projected starting nine for the Red Sox scored 789 runs and had 675 RBI last season. The entire team was 872/822 in 2009 and that run total was third best in the AL. That 789/675 represents a very favorable figure when coupled with anticipated pitching and an improved defense. So I am not all emotional about any anticipated offensive drop-off. Cameron will make up for some of the offensive loss as will a full season of Victor Martinez. The fill in players should boast that run/RBI total up to 2009 levels.

The infield is solid with Scuturo a new comer at SS, the pest of pest Dustin Pedroia at second, former Gold Glover Kevin Youklis at first and new comer Adrian Beltre at Third. Defensively this is an excellent infield. Maybe among the best in team history. Mike Lowell may stay around until he is traded or until Ortiz can prove his poor start in 2009 was an illusion. Bill Hall provides further infield and outfield support. Mr. Hall was once a dynamite power hitter just a few years back and could prove a valuable asset if key injuries surface.

My pick for surprise of the year is Jeremy Hermida. This former number one pick has languished in mediocrity in Florida but this is his big chance to get back on track. Hermida will get his games in since “Day to Day” Drew is a lock to miss a bundle and Mile Cameron is 37 which in baseball years translates to O-L-D. Both Cameron and Drew do have some punch so I feel, again, the slippage with the loss of Bay will be less than anticipated. Ellsbury has shifted to LF to make room for former Gold Glover Cameron to handle CF. Ellsbury has twice led the league in stolen bases and is a nightmare to opponents when he is on base. Ells is a legit .300 hitter who could and should score 100+ runs.

The catching has both Victor Martinez and team captain Jason Varitek. Varitek’s bat is now as weak as a BB post so he is there for giving a good 60 games while VMart will handle another 100 or so. VMart is also in a walk season and is a superior hitter who will get his .300/25/100. Neither is great at tossing out runners as the team had a MLB worse 13% nabbing attempted steals. Much of that is more a reflection of team philosophy rather than liabilities by the catchers.

Last is Papi. David Ortiz. The Designated Hitter. Oh the bitter disappointment of HGH use. Papi may be 36 or 34 or 38 or whatever years old. But despite a lousy 2009 he still had 29 homers and 99 RBI. Not bad. If he can be consistent the entire season he’ll be fine. If not Lowell is waiting. Papi is playing for a 12 million option for 2011 so the incentive is there. Greed motivates.

The Sox have added substantial payroll but also stand to shed substantial payroll after 2010 when Ortiz, Lowell, Beckett and dead money from past mistakes is off the books. That means that during the season the Sox can always negotiate with some baseball unfortunate wishing to dump a high end contract.

The Sox have the best manager possible for Boston. With hindsight I can point out plenty of failings but the reality is he keeps things cozy for the talent, racks up wins, handles the minor and major issues and is accessible to the media. Tito will take a bunch of hits to insulate his players from the media and as the saying goes “He’s a players manager.”

This team could probably take any other division in baseball but they reside in the AL East with the yankee$ and Rays. Look for 95+ wins and another playoff appearance. AL East finish is NY, Boston, Tampa, Baltimore and Toronto. Sox get the Wild Card and win the ALCS.