Friday, March 31, 2006

Couple of Sports Notes

J.J. Redick is player of the year. Good player - certainly deserving of being an All-American, but Morrison is better. He is bigger, can do more things, and can make his own shot. I think Gonzaga would have been much worse without Morrison, than Duke would have been without Redick. I am anti-Duke, but I am trying to be objective.

Roy Williams is coach of the year. I am OK with the pick given what he lost, but UNC had a good recruiting class. I certainly think that GW's coach or Tennessee's coach, and perhaps even Kansas' coach were more deserving. GW was a top ten team, who would have guessed.

If you live in the DC area, stop reading this blog and get out and enjoy the weather.

Immigration Debate is Splintering Republicans

On one side you have the House Republicans taking a hard line stand against illegals - enforcement of U.S. law and deportation. They are openly criticizing Bushie and the Senate. Of course, Bushie is soft on illegals and basically wants to provide an amnesty program. It should be an interesting fight.

Efforts to Spy on American Internet Habits

Bushie and the Justice Department are issuing subpoenas left and right in order to get information about American Internet surfing habits. The pretext is to check out child porn viewing habits, but they are trying to force companies to turn over their data on user viewing patterns. Just another infringement of our freedoms. Hopefully more companies will fight like Google did to prevent such fishing expeditions.

Consumer Spending Slowing

Before going any further, let me be clear - one month does not a trend make. Consumer spending slowed considerably in February. As this happens, the housing market slows, and our debt accumulation continues to expand, there will be great damage to the U.S. economy as I have discussed in the past.

Foreign central banks are tightening their fiscal policies (i.e., raising interest rates). As such, the liquidity of capital in foreign countries is tightening so as to make U.S. investment more difficult. Without U.S. consumers willing to continue to spend excessively and slowing foreign purchases of U.S. debt, there is little to support continued growth of the U.S. economy. Of course we will have to see what happens, but my bet is on a sliding dollar and much higher interest rates.

The key number to watch in coming weeks is first quarter GDP. Fourth quarter GDP was an anemic 1.7 percent growth. Consensus estimates are for GDP to pick up to 4.5 percent, but if GDP growth is under 3 percent we are looking at a serious hit to the market and the economy. We shall see.

Day 1662!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

U.S. Debt Clock Running Out of Time

Frequent visitors to this blog know how concerned I am about the unprecedented pace of debt accumulation under Bushie. Republicans just increased the federal debt limit to $9 trillion, which should last for a little over a year, then we will see another increase. It was the 4th increase in 5 years under Bushie. When he came into office we were paying down debt and the National Debt stood at about $5.7 trillion.

Here is a sad story about how fast the U.S. Debt Clock is growing.

Bushie's Arrogance

It is clear that Bushie believes he is above the law, but I find it amazing how openly he flaunts the law. Quoting from a Boston Globe story:

"When President Bush signed the reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act this month, he included an addendum saying that he did not feel obliged to obey requirements that he inform Congress about how the FBI was using the act's expanded police powers."

The Republican lap dog Congress basically lets Bushie do whatever he wants. We'll see in November if the American people actually care enough to force oversight by turning over control of the House and/or the Senate.

Day 1661!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Federline is Delusional

Mr. Brittany Spears is releasing his album and I am betting it will be a huge flop. However, I love this quote: "My album is sure to set the dance floors across the world on fire!"

Yeah, if people make a pile of his albums, pour gasoline over it, and light it on fire.

Day 1660!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Monday, March 27, 2006

Lord of the Rings Nonsense

This is a really bad idea - a LOTR musical. The story is so complex and takes so long to explain as it is, but making people do some song and dance numbers can only make it worse. Can you imagine Gandalf dancing around while Frodo holds the ring - ridiculous.

Iraqi Ruling Party Wants U.S. Out

The civil war in Iraq is ongoing, and now the ruling Shiites want the U.S. out of the security apparatus. As I have said, ultimately, Iraqis will determine how their country is run. We have no real say, but what is becoming ever more clear is that Iraq will not be a pro-U.S. democracy. All of the American blood spilled and treasure spent will be wasted.

Risks of Consumer-Driven Economy

Obviously, the U.S. economy is being driven by consumer spending. The housing market has a lot to do with the money that has flowed into the economy as consumers have refinanced their homes in order to buy their "stuff." However, the outlook going forward is not so clear. In order for the economy to keep on advancing consumers have to spend. The question is, will they?

With the current account deficit at an all time high, if there is a small change in foreign investors' willingness to buy U.S. debt (also at a record high) there could be major implications for interest rates. The housing market is already slowing, so rising interest rates will not help.

Add to this the rising cost of energy and rising gas prices, which may very reach $4.00/gallon in parts of the country and the impact on consumer spending should be obvious. Let's see what happens.

Brackets Completely Busted

Well, all four of my Final Four teams were still in place at the start of the Elite 8 and I was feeling good about my picks. At the end of the Elite 8 games I had no Final Four teams - UConn, Villanova, Texas, and Memphis all lost. It happens, but I cannot believe there is anyone out there who actually has LSU, UCLA, Florida, and GMU in their bracket. I could imagine the first 3 (possibly), but not GMU. It is just amazing that no number 1's made it through.

Special congrats to JD and Deepie. Unbelievable win by GMU - I thought for sure they would lose in OT after UConn tied it at the end of regulation. Great run, if they have come this far, why not go all the way. I would love to see them win it all and then stick it to Billy Packer as he interviews them after winning the national championship. Seeing that on national television would be entertaining.

Day 1658!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Elite 8 is Set

Great set of games in the Sweet 16. My guess is there are going to be some blowouts in the Elite 8. If I were a betting man, I would say that GMU's run is going to crash down against UConn. (Sorry JD and Deepie!)

I still have all four of my Final Four.

Day 1656!

Friday, March 24, 2006

9/11 Conspiracy Theorists . . .

the truth is out there. Interesting reading for anyone with questions about the official story about 9/11.

Here is a very good video that is ciculating around the web. Some very good questions are raised. I have always wondered why there was no debris from a plane outside of the Pentagon.

American Economy Jitters

The sales of new homes fell by more than 10 percent last month which was far worse than the 2 percent decline that was expected. While existing home sales were good last month, the overall trend is that there is significant softening of the once booming housing market. This will have an impact on the wealth of Americans.

Add to this that the savings rate of Americans is negative for the first time since the Great Depression. This means that Americans are basically in debt and will increasingly find it hard to spend.

Given that our economy relies heavily on consumer spending there is great risk of significant shocks to the economy because there are fundamental problems with our debt levels and consumer spending behaviors. Increasingly, people will not be able to refinance their home, take out the money, and then buy big ticket items. They don't have the money in savings and they will not be getting money out of their homes as equity gains diminish and perhaps even shrink.

At a more macro level, the United States government under Bush has racked up an enormous record level of debt. Worse still is that the debt is increasing at an unprecedented rate. The current account deficit is also at a record high and growing rapidly, and the federal budget deficits for as far as the eye can see are not looking good.

In order to fund U.S. debt and deficits (so that our government can operate), we rely on heavy borrowing from foreign central banks and investors. As the economy slows, interest rates will have to rise to keep investors from slowing purchases of our debt. The cost of financing this debt will become even more expensive. Interest rates will rise and this will have further negative effects on our economy as more people lose their houses (because of adjustable rate mortgages), and are not be able to pay their credit card bills because of higher interest rates.

My own view is that we are looking at a significant threat to American economic stability as a result of the misguided and even dangerous fiscal policies of this president and his lap dog Congress.

War on Terror

Joint Chiefs Chair, General Peter Pace said yesterday the War on Terror will go on after Afghanistan and Iraq are stabilized.

Here is the bottom line - the War on Terror will never end. Terror is not an enemy, it is a tactic. There will always be terrorism in the world. Labeling it a "war" and whipping people up into a frenzy allows the government to further intrude on the civil rights of Americans, and build up a military industrial machine. However, in the end, that won't do much to end terror around the world.

The War on Terror is very similar to the War on Drugs. We have been fighting a War on Drugs for decades and there is no end to that war because "Drugs" (just as "Terror") is not an enemy that can be defeated on a battlefield.

What to do about Illegals

Bushie and the Republicans basically want to keep the flow of cheap labor coming up from the south. It serves their corporate interests. Bushie is basically supporting an amnesty program for illegals who are already in the country.

With 8-12 million illegals in this country and porous borders that allow anyone to come in without detection, something must be done.

My own view is that tougher security and enforcement of the border, heavy fines for companies and individuals that employ illegals, and deportations is the ONLY solution. Is it tough for those who are already here and who have been here for a long time - sure it is. But, they are illegals, and their impact on American wages and overall standard of living is negative.

The argument that is always put out about illegals is that they do jobs that Americans don't want. That is a false argument. The real argument is that they do jobs that Americans don't want to do for pennies on the dollar. If the job market was not flooded by so many folks who are willing to work for pennies then salaries would increase until some American would do the job.

Down Goes Duke!

I love it. I am not surprised given the flawed nature of this year's team. Sheldon was on, Reddick was off and no one picked up the slack. I have to say that I was surprised by the overall lack of focus and intensity by Duke last night. They seemed to be sleepwalking throughout much of the game.


Day 1655!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Don't Get Drunk in a Bar . . .

in Texas. The state is sending undercover officers into bars and arresting people for being drunk. This is stupid. I could see if they followed folks out to their car and arrested them before they drove off of the premises, but inside the bar???!!!

Will Duke Make Final Four?

I think they will beat LSU tonight, but assuming Texas wins, will end up losing in the Elite 8 to a talented but inconsistent Texas team. The spirit of Vince will carry Texas to the Final Four.

Dutch/Rambo on Hold

For those of you who follow/contribute to the weekly Dutch/Rambo stories, I have decided to hold off for a couple of weeks. The stories are losing their "freshness" and often descend into the same plotlines. It will return soon.

I know this is disappointing, but take heart, it looks like Bobby Brown and New Edition are getting back together - at least for one night. Will Michael and the Jacksons return as the Jackson 5? We can only hope and dream.

Day 1654!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Vince is Back on Track

Vince Young did his thing during a high pressure workout in front of the entire league (except Washington). The guy can play football and teams that pass up on him and take Cutler or other players may very well be sorry.

American Justice System

This is a joke. The brother of a Steelers football player got 6 months for driving without a license. When he failed to report to prison so he could go to the Super Bowl the judge made it a 5 year sentence. 5 YEARS FOR DRIVING WITHOUT A LICENSE!

I bet the idiots in the Enron trial won't get much prison time in the end. Let's see and compare.

Day 1653!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

NFL Free Agency Winners and Losers

Guess what the Redskins are?

Brian Griese is a Bear. I like the signing because it brings some stability. If Rex can play great, if not, Griese is our guy. We don't need a great QB, just a solid QB.

Bushie Tells the Truth

He finally admitted it - American troops will be in Iraq for years according to his plan (if you can call it a plan).

But don't worry - this is never going to be the case. Civil war in Iraq will likely force our troops out. If that doesn't do it then the Iraqis will force us out for alleged incidents such as rampaging American soldiers killing innocent Iraqis. If that still does not get our troops out, the people of this country have better sense than Bushie, and Congress will force him to get the troops out.

Bushie's on the (non)link between Iraq and 9/11

Yesterday in Cleveland, Bushie gave his standard speech about progress in Iraq, freedom on the march, blah, blah, blah. He took some questions from the audience and I was amazed at the following exchange.

QUESTION: Before we went to war in Iraq we said there were three main reasons for going to war in Iraq: weapons of mass destruction, the claim that Iraq was sponsoring terrorists who had attacked us on 9/11, and that Iraq had purchased nuclear materials from Niger. All three of those turned out to be false. My question is, how do we restore confidence that Americans may have in their leaders and to be sure that the information they are getting now is correct?

THE PRESIDENT: That's a great question. (Applause.) First, just if I might correct a misperception. I don't think we ever said -- at least I know I didn't say that there was a direct connection between September the 11th and Saddam Hussein.

There is still a good portion of this country and 90 percent of the troops serving in Iraq who believe we are in Iraq because Saddam had something to do with 9/11. I guess the Commander-in-Chief owes the troops a better explanation for why they are serving in Iraq.

Day 1652!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Bracket Busting

Good weekend of NCAA games and given all of the upsets I cannot imagine there is anyone in the world who could still have an intact bracket. I am happy to say that even with the carnage, I still have my Final Four picks intact and 6 of my Elite 8.

Day 1651!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

TO is a Cowboy

Great move for the Cowboys. They need to take a chance and Parcells is the kind of guy who can handle TO. Certainly it is an upgrade over Keyshawn. I don't think the Cowboys are any good, but TO should help.

Day 1649!

Bushie vs. Carter Fiscal Performance

By request, here is a comparison of economic performance by President Carter vs. Bushie - a head-to-heat comparison of these two titans of fiscal genius reveals that Bushie fails yet again.

To remind readers, Bushie has increased federal spending by about $1 trillion from Bushie's first budget. By comparison, Carter increased government spending by about $219 billion during his term. GDP increased by just over $1 trillion under Carter and $2.8 trillion after 5 plus years of Bush - however the percentage growth greatly favors Carter. So as bad as the 70s were, GDP was growing at a faster pace than today. The national debt has increased $2.6 trillion over 5 plus years of Bush. Under Carter, it grew by $276 billion. The following show the percentage growth rates in GDP, government spending, and debt accumulation:

Compared to Bush, Carter looks pretty good.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Bushie/Republican Fiscal Record

Bushie and the Republicans are going to spend $2.8 trillion next fiscal year. This does not include supplementals which are sure to arise (i.e., Iraq, Afghanistan, hurricane/natural disasters, etc.). It is an increase of about $1 trillion from Bushie's first budget. By comparison, Clinton increased government spending by less than $400 billion during his term (including supplementals).

Looking at Bush and Clinton's fiscal records, GDP has increased by about $2.8 trillion after 5 plus years of Bush. It increased by $3.5 trillion over 8 years under Clinton. The national debt has increased $2.6 trillion over 5 plus years of Bush. Under Clinton it increased $1.6 trillion (we were paying down debt when Clinton left office).

Just look at the growth in GDP, government spending, and debt accumulation:


$9 Trillion Debt Limit

There it is - the debt limit was raised by Congress and will be signed into law by the President. We'll see how fast Bushie and the Republicans burn through that debt and then raise the limit again. When Bushie took office the debt was at $5.7 trillion and we were paying down debt. Now it is $8.3 trillion and rising fast.

Good article on whether the debt is sustainable.

Forget terrorism, the single greatest threat to the American way of life is the exploding debt.

NCAA Final Four Picks

I have Texas, Villanova, Memphis, and UConn as my Final Four.

UConn vs. Memphis in the national championship with UConn as the champ.

What say you all?

This Guy Needs a Girlfriend

This high school student recited 8,784 digits of Pi, placing him among the top Pi-reciters in the world. I didn't know there was such a thing.

Indiana Jones IV

Yep, it is on the way.

I have a suggestion. Given that Harrison Ford will be 65 years old by the time the movie comes out, here is a possible title "Indiana Jones and the Medicare Maze."

Plotline: An aging Indy is struggling with health care and seeks out on one final adventure. The challenge in this movie will be to dicipher the riddle of Bushie's Medicare Part D. In the end he is able to cut through the red tape and purchase his prescription drugs at a discount. Thrilling!

Bushie Sinking Further

Two new polls show the same thing - Bushie's approval numbers going down the toilet.

NBC/WSJ - 37%
Pew Research - 33%

Both new lows for El Presidente in those respective polls. How low can he go?

He cannot get any love. Even Jessica Simpson turned down an offer to meet with him. Poor guy.

Day 1647!

Dutch and Rambo - Together Again

A pathetically overweight John J. Rambo is sitting over a computer screen crunching numbers in a spreadsheet. His years in a government relocation program have been spent trying to integrate into the fabric of America. However, the desk job as a tax prep specialist has left him soft (never mind that he did not change his name or have any accounting skills). There are fast food wrappers and cardboard cups strewn all over the small office. He picks up a bag of nearly eaten Doritos and turns the bag over in his mouth to get all the remaining chips, crumbs and nacho cheese dust. He then grabs his Super Big Gulp and takes a huge swig. As he puts down the cup, he lets out a huge burp and then turns back to his computer.

In the office doorway we see a head pop in and the person says, “Do you have the numbers yet, Rambo?” Without looking up from the computer screen Rambo mumbles, “Not yet boss, gimme about 10 minutes.” Rambo’s boss, Dick (played by Alec Baldwin), gives a hard, irritated stare and says coldly, “10 minutes or you are fired!” Rambo shakes his head and mutters under his breath, “Dick the Prick.” Rambo smiles at his poetic genius – this is the highlight of his humdrum day.

10 minutes pass. “WHAT THE HELL IS THIS?” Dick yells after looking over the numbers. Rambo gives a shrug of the shoulders and looks away ashamed. He had no idea what he was doing and just hoped Dick would not notice. As this was going on, a potential client entered the small office. Ding ding ding chimed the bell on the reception counter. Dick’s face changed from angry to smiley as he realized there was a customer that needed attention. The only two people in the office were Rambo and Dick, and they had been joined by a large, muscular man with an Austrian accent.

Dick cooed, “How may I help you, Mr . . . ?”

“Dutch. Just cawl me Dutch” the stranger replied. “I’m luking fo sumwun.”

“I’d say you found someone.” Dick chuckled and gave a cheesy grin.

“No, I am luking fo an old friend uv mine. Duz Rawmbo work here?”

Dick’s face turns harder and colder. “I don’t allow social visits to my employee during working hours – come back at 5:00 pm.” Just at that moment, Rambo emerges into the reception area having overhead the conversation.

“Guud God Rawmbo . . . look at you! You awe a slobby, gurrly man.”

“Yo stranger, you don’t gotta make funna me. Do I know you?”

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Bernanke Speaks

The "new Alan Greenspan," Fed Chair Ben Benanke told Congress that he is "quite concerned" about the budget deficits and urged lawmakers to bring them down. He indicated that this may have to be done with tax increases. The bottom line is this - the budget deficits have exploded under Bushie and need to be addressed. They are not going to magically go away, and many projections have them worsening rather than improving.

If we don't start addressing the issue Bernanke warned the, ". . . increase in the budget deficit will place at risk future living standards of our country."

See the story in tday's Wall Street Journal on p. A2.

Moussaoui Trial

What a joke. The case against Zacarias Moussaoui - the only person who has been tried in connection with 9/11 - is so weak that a government lawyer had to coach witnesses and told some witnesses not to talk to the defense. Not only was this unethical and illegal, but in direct violation of the judge's order. The judge has basically gutted the prosecution's case for the death penalty. Pathetic incompetence at the least and blatant illegal behavior by government employees at its worst.

Another failure for the Bush administration. Even if an appeals judge overturns the trial judge's ruling that the coached witnesses cannot testify - which does not look likely - the fact will remain that the government cheated which would call into question the fundamental fairness of the trial.

U.S. Cash Crunch

Treasury Secretary Snow is warning that the "full faith and credit" of the U.S. Government is on the line. If Congress does not raise the debt ceiling this week, which would allow the U.S. Government to borrow more money (mainly from foreign investors), U.S. Treasury checks will bounce - no money for government employees, Social Security recipients, government contractors. etc.

The Republicans are spending and borrowing like there is no tomorrow. I love what Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in Memphis this past weekend, "We've been hit with unexpected challenges — a recession, 9/11, homeland security, the war on terror, Katrina. But they're not justification for a one-way ticket down a wayward path of wasteful Washington spending." HE IS THE SENATE MAJORITY LEADER. If he believes what he is saying, then he is basically saying that he has not done his job. What an idiot!

Day 1646!

National Debt

Today the Senate will open debate on increasing the U.S. debt limit by almost $800 billion. Bushie and the Republicans are basically bankrupting America. There is no question Congress will increase the debt limit because without the increase government checks will bounce.

The debt is growing at an unsustainable pace and we will be paying for Bushie's debt accumulation for decades.

Bushie has added more debt than any President in history and at his current pace, by the time that he leaves office, he will have added about $4 trillion to the national debt. Before Bushie took office, the debt was under $6 trillion and Clinton was making payments on the national debt - not adding to it.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

No Proof Iran Sending Weapons to Iraq

As I said in my earlier post, Bushie's contention that Iran is responsible for the IEDs in Iraq just does not make any sense. Today, Joint Chiefs Chair Peter Pace said we have no proof of the President's indictment of Iran. At a time when tensions are high and we have few options on the table, Bushie's unproven allegations do not help the situation. If he is going to accuse Iran, he should have some proof to back it up.

This is just more evidence of incompetence and another failed attempt at building a sound foreign policy.

Iraqi Civil War

It should be clear that a civil war is going on in Iraq. Another 85 bodies found (imagine how many have not been found) in just the last 24 hours.

Whether you are/were for the war or not, it is time to really think about whether American soldiers should be engaged in a civil war. The U.S. has created a mess in Iraq and destabilized the Middle East, but it is not likely we will end the Iraqi civil war that will rage for years.

Record Trade Deficit

The U.S. Current Account Deficit hit an all-time high of $805 billion for 2005. This is the highest level ever in terms of both dollars and as a percentage of GDP. This means that a net $805 billion in American wealth moved overseas as a result of trade. The following is a chart of the U.S. trade deficit. It is amazing what Bushie and the Republican congress has done to us.

The trade deficit is not sustainable and will have severe impacts on our economy. For a good explanation of why, see the non-partisan Congressional Research Service report on the issue.

My advice to all readers - buy gold and platinum and invest in China and India. If you have an adjustable rate mortgage, fix it as soon as you can. Without a dramatic change in fiscal policies, the U.S. economy is in growing danger from rapidly rising interest rates and the U.S. dollar will have little value very soon.

Bushie: How Low Can You Go?

Gallup Poll for Bushie approval at an all-time low - 36 percent.

Basically, Iraq falling into civil war is the problem for Bushie - and he seems out of touch with reality in Iraq given what he said in his speech yesterday.

Day 1645!

Monday, March 13, 2006


Same Speech, Different Day. Bushie was doing his Iraq war schtick again. He needs some new material, but as I predicted, he had all the classic references to 9/11, making progress, etc. Here are a few select quotes:

"On September the 11th, 2001, we saw that problems originating in a failed and oppressive state 7,000 miles away could bring murder and destruction to our country."
Iraq and Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11 but it is good to try to link them.

"We are making progress in the march of freedom"
It looks more like civil war than progress and freedom.

"The work ahead in Iraq is hard"
No s**t.

Here was something new: "We will not lose our nerve. "
The 66 percent of American people and 72 percent of American troops who apparently have lost their nerve are just being cowards. Bushie is one ballsy Commander-in-Chief with nerves of steel and he knows better.

Do you think he gets tired of saying the same thing over and over? I sure do, especially when there is no discernable plan except to just keep saying the same old slogans and hope the American people don't notice. He did indicate when we would actually be able to say "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED" (unlike his ridiculously foolish statement he gave on the aircraft carrier after playing fighter pilot). He said:

". . . victory will be achieved when the terrorists and Saddamists can no longer threaten Iraq's democracy, when the Iraqi security forces can provide for the safety of their own citizens, and when Iraq is not a safe haven for terrorists to plot new attacks against our nation."

Why not just say forever? Sectarian violence has existed in Iraq for centuries with brief respites when strongman tyrants like Saddam were in charge.

Yeah, Right!

Supposedly Iran is responsible for the IEDs in Iraq. We are supposed to believe Bushie after all of his failures.

It may be true, but it does not make much sense. Iran is Shiite and the insurgency is largely Sunni. There are not likely to be ties between the two groups.

One could argue that Iran just wants to create chaos and cause the U.S. pain, but it would be against their own best national interest. Once the Shiite-dominated government - which has very close ties to Iran - is finally established (whenever that is), Tehran will have much more influence in Iraq than the U.S. will. They risk alienating the Iraqi government and the Iraqi people if they are actually responsible for IED attacks which are killing more Iraqis than Americans.

Bushie is pulling out his ridiculous nonsense in my opinion.

Awesome Dutch Commercial

Hilarious. Thanks to Matar Aloo who sent this in.

Pathetic Incompetence

Yet again, we see the Bush-led Justice Department demonstrates its incompetence. The government coached witnesses prior to their testimony against Zacarias Moussaoui, in violation of a direct order by the presiding judge.

If the case against Moussaoui is so great, why do they need to illegally coach witnesses?

Day 1644!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

'Skins Signings

Lloyd, Randle El, and Fauria. Not bad, could be very good - we'll have to see. My quick take is this - Fauria is the same as Robert Royal, nothing special but solid. Randle El is a nice second receiver. He has speed and talent, but is undersized. I think they overspent on him. Lloyd is an interesting player, but he is prone to drops. It seems odd to me that the Redskins would go to the worst offense in the league and want their receiver - the fact that the 49ers did not want him anymore says something. Still, a change for Lloyd might be good for him and the Redskins.

I like the Cardinals' signing of Edge. Down go the Colts - they had their chance last year.

Bushie Should Be Censured . . .

but won't. Members of both parties believe Bushie overstepped his constitutional authority and broke the law with his warrantless wiretapping. Republicans are scrambling to try to made warrantless wiretapping legal by offering new bills that would change the law. Obviously, this approach basically says that Bushie's actions are illegal - otherwise why change the law?

Senator Russ Feingold is going to offer a bill to censure the President over this issue. Obviously it is not likely to get anywhere, and it really does not mean much in the end, but I certainly believe it is appropriate to rebuke Bushie for his illegal action. It is the least that should happen.

Day 1643!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Welcome to the United States of China

The trade deficit is continuing to explode and Bushie just keeps on borrowing. He touted the jobs growth announced for last month.

Here are the top jobs our kids can expect to get in the very near future:

1. Chinese translator

2. Greeter at Wal-Mart

3. Big Mac technician

4. Mortgage refinance specialist

5. Pizza delivery engineer

This is So Bushie . . .

Bushie asked disgraced and convicted Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff, "What are you benching, buff guy?"

Sounds a little frat boyish, bordering on Brokeback-ish, if you ask me. I just think it is funny that Bushie says he does not know Abramoff. We will see as more information continues to trickle out.

Speaking of Brokeback, here is a Bushie response to an audience question about whether he had seen Brokeback Mountain (Manhattan, Kansas appearance, January 23, 2006):

"I'll be glad to talk about ranching, but I haven't seen the movie. I've heard about it. I hope you go — you know — I hope you go back to the ranch and the farm is what I'm about to say."

Sounds a little flustered.

Neverland Ranch is Closed

Michael's having some financial difficulties and is going to have to close Neverland. Looks like JD is going to have to change his vacation plans this year.

More Selling of America . . .

and reliance on the UAE for our national security.

My earlier post on UAE making tank and military aircraft parts bears repeating.

Bushie Marketing Speech

With Iraq in civil war and his polls going downhill, Bushie is going to try to give some more speeches to try to bolster American support. Here is his speech:

"9/11 was bad and Saddam was bad. People love democracy and that is what we are building. Blah Blah Blah. We are not going to cut an run, not with me as Commander-in-Chief. Blah Blah Blah. It's hard work but we are making progress. Blah Blah Blah. We have to stay the course because freedom is on the march. Blah Blah Blah. We are taking the fight to them. We have to fight them over there and not over here. Blah Blah Blah. Remember 9/11? I do. Blah Blah Blah. God bless America."

We will get 20 minutes in front of a hand-picked audience, he will deliver the same tired old nonsense and hope that he can turn around his sliding poll numbers. It is not going to work.

Bushie Poll Numbers . . .

continue to sag. The American people see him as a failure. Not surprising given that he has virtually failed at everything in his presidency.

Videos on the 'Net

A couple of funny videos that are gaining popularity on the internet:

Live Action Simpsons Intro/Opening Credits.

Gangsta Rap spoof by Natalie Portman

Chronic(les) of Narnia Rap


Day 1641!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Record Trade Deficit

Bushie hit another record - the U.S. trade deficit bloated to a record $68.5 billion for January, exceeding analyst expectations.

On top of this, Japan - which is the largest holder of American debt - is tightening its monetary policy which makes it less likely they will continue to buy U.S. debt. It could very easily be the first step to setting off a major financial crisis in the U.S.

Day 1640!

Dutch/Rambo Misadventure

There is a bright sun and the camera slowly pans back and downward. Muffled voices become more clear and the audience can hear the words growing ever more clear. “Split left, slot zoom, 23 dash, 141 pass, on 2 – READY! BREAK” We see a football huddle break. It is a summer practice for the Washington Redskins in Carlyle, PA. There are about 4000 fans sitting in the stands enjoying the hot, but not too hot, summer day.

With the snap of the ball, the QB fakes a handoff – the play action freezes the linebackers – and the QB rolls out to his left and sees the wide open tight end over the middle. The linebackers are not deep enough to cover the streaking tight end. The QB cocks his arm back and throws – a dead duck of a pass that is far short of the target. It falls harmlessly to the ground, incomplete.

Coach Gibbs shakes his head and says, “Now Mark, what’s wrong? Your arm sore?” Mark Brunell looks down and says, “Coach, I think the Lord is telling me to call it quits.” He takes off his helmet, extends his hand to Gibbs, and says, “Thanks coach, for everything you have done for me. I’m through.” They shake hands, then give each other a warm embrace, before Brunell walks off the field slowly. As he is leaving he waves to the fans who give him polite applause.

Gibbs turns to the sideline and calls out, “Rambo! Get in there son, looks like you are our starting QB! Can you handle being the starting QB of the Washington Redskins?”

“Yo!” The one word reply is simple, elegant, and to the point. He is clearly a man who is confident and in command. The fans rise to their feet and give a long, sustained ovation. Ever since Rambo was signed three months earlier, there has been great anticipation to see if his considerable physical prowess could be harnessed and used on the football field.

Rambo shakes back his hair, secures his helmet on over his long flowing locks and runs out to the huddle. While he is wearing a helmet, he does not have shoulder pads or a jersey on – choosing to play shirtless (all the other players on the field are in full pads). Rambo is wearing football pants with the hip pads, very thick thigh pads, and knee pads. “Let’s rock baby!” Rambo says with a twisted smile as he enters the huddle.

Coach Gibbs had had his doubts about Rambo from the first time he had met him. Danny Boy had brought him to practice one day and said he was a great QB. His assessment had been based on the word of the “great” talent evaluator, Pepper Rogers. Gibbs called out the play to Rambo’s radio device in his helmet, “Split left, slot zoom, 23 dash, 141 pass.” Rambo relayed the call to his teammates in the huddle, “Quarterback Sneak! On 2. Ready BREAK.” Rambo took the snap and took off running right into the line. Gibbs shook his head and called the same play again. The same thing happened – QB sneak. Dumbfounded, Gibbs yelled out, “Rambo, is the wireless working? Did you hear my call?” Rambo smiled his contorted smile, “Yo. I just decided to improvise.” “Well don’t!” Gibbs snapped back.

“Alright, let’s air it out Rambo – let’s see what kind of arm strength you have. Shotgun formation and send all the receivers out on fly patterns. Just let it fly Rambo.” Gibbs said calmly. Rambo turned to the huddle, “Quarterback Sneak!” Gibbs threw down his headset and charged toward Rambo. “I want to see you make a pass.” Gibbs ordered Santana Moss to run a fly pattern down the sideline and ordered Rambo to throw it. Moss was about 30 yards downfield and Rambo took off running toward him. He smiled as he thought, this QB sneak is really working – Moss is a great decoy.

Danny Boy was on the sideline taking it all in. Gibbs walked over and said, “Dan, we have a problem.” Danny Boy could see that but did not seem too concerned. “You can handle it.” After two more days of Rambo running nothing more than QB sneaks, Gibbs said to Danny Boy, “Look Dan, I don’t know what to do, but I am going to have to play Jason Campbell.” Danny Boy looked straight into Gibbs’ eyes and said firmly, “You will play Rambo and you will make it work. He is a great player and I just signed him to a $18 million/year contract.”

Gibbs’ jaw dropped. “You did what? They guy cannot play and you did not even consult me before signing him to so much money. The guy is going to kill our cap.” Danny Boy whined, “But Pepper told me he was so good. Just make it work.”

Gibbs did not say anything. His face was red with anger. He turned around, walked off the practice field, got into his car and drove away – never to be a Redskin again. Danny Boy was miffed, but said, “Good riddance.” He got on the phone and talked to Pepper. “I need a coach . . . and fast.” Pepper reassured him that all would be fine and he had just the man. The new coach would be there in the morning.

The next day the players were abuzz about the goings on in camp. They wondered who their new coach would be. They could see Danny Boy flanked by Pepper Rogers and someone they had never seen before. The players gathered around and Danny Boy said, “Men, I would like you to meet your new coach.” He turned to the stranger who said in an Austrian accent, “I don’t liiike flabby girlie men. Let’s get to wurk you ugly mudda f**kas! Rambo, you big mudda f**ka, I want to tawwk wit you.” So began the Coach Dutch era.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Stick'um Up! Just Joking! Ha Ha!

Stupid drunk!

Bushie Broke the Law . . .

so instead of holding him responsible, the GOP Senate is crafting new legislation that makes his illegal warrantless wiretapping legal. We don't even know the scope of his warrantless wiretapping because of the incomplete and conflicting testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, as well as the follow-up letter provided by the Attorney General.

This is a joke and it is sad that the Senate is nothing more than a wing of the Executive Branch. Putting party above country and the law is just another failing of this government.

NFL - Player Purge Coming?

It is unbelievable to me that the NFL owners and players cannot come to agreement, but a big reason is that the owners themselves do not agree on revenue sharing. I thought a deal was going to get done, but it is not looking promising.

What does it mean? Basically, if there is no deal the cap will go to about $95 million which means that teams that are well over the cap will be purging players. Next year, there will be no cap, so teams will be free to spend and there will be a major escalation in some team's salaries.

My prediction if the above scenario plays out. The Redskins will purge about 12-20 players, trade away a significant number of picks, and then try to build an all-star team of high priced veteran superstars next year for Gibbs final year. It won't work because football does not work that way.

I hope a deal gets done, because the alternative is unknown but does not look good for competitive balance.

Federal Debt and the Debt Limit

Most Americans do not understand or know what the federal debt and the debt limit are. It is too bad that Americans are ignorant about the actions of our government. With the increase that will be passed this year, it will be the fourth time under Bushie that the limit will be increased. During Clinton's eight years it went up twice (once in Clinton's first year), and by the end of Clinton's term we were paying down debt. Not anymore - Bushie is seeing to that.

We are not getting tax cuts from Bushie - we are getting the largest loans in U.S. history which we will pay back with interest. The way we pay back those loans back - taxes.

So a better way to think about Bushie's tax cuts is that they are deferred tax payments that will explode in the future because of the unprecedented borrowing. How that is conservative or fiscally responsible is beyond me, but there are folks who still believe that B.S.

U.S. is Going Bankrupt - Fast!

The U.S. Government is essentially broke unless Congress raises the federal debt limit in the next few days. The U.S. Treasury Department has not only suspended payments into the federal pension system, but has borrowed money out of it to allow the government to meet its financial obligations.

The 2005 Financial Report of the U.S. Government was just released a few days ago. It is very interesting reading if you can get through it. Here is a direct quote that should be alarming to Americans (p. 28 of the report):

"More troubling still, the federal government's financial condition and long-term fiscal outlook is continuing to deteriorate. While the fiscal year 2005 budget deficit was lower than 2004, it was still very high, especially given the impending retirement of the "baby boom" generation and rising health care costs. Importantly, the federal government's accrual based net operating cost increased to $760 billionin fiscal year 2005 from $616 billion in fiscal year 2004. GAO's fiscal policy simulations illustrate that without significant changes on the spending and revenue sides of the budge, long-term deficits will encumber a growing share of federal resources and test the capacity of current and future generations to afford both today's and tomorrow's commitments."

Further down in the report (also on p. 28):

" . . . the federal government's fiscal exposures now total more than $46 trillion, up from about $20 trillion in 2000. This translates into a burden of about $156,000 per American or approximately $375,000 per full-time worker, up from $72,000 and $165,000 respectively, in 2000."

This is Bushie's U.S. Treasury Department saying this - not partisan critics. Believe what you want, but the federal budget improved every year under Clinton (last three years were surpluses), we were actually paying down the national debt not adding to it, and we have just the opposite under Bushie. One last fact - in Bushie's five years in office foreigners have increased their holdings of American debt by more than $1 trillion. The amount of debt we have sold to foreigners over the Bushie presidency is more than the amount we sold under all the prior 42 presidents combined.

Have a nice day!

Day 1639!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Bushie's Effort to Destroy Democracy

Bushie is pushing to curb First Amendment protection that allows freedom of the press. Without this freedom, I would argue we are looking directly into the abyss of totalitarian rule.

There is a great account of the current threat to American democracy over at Capitol Hill Blue. It seems that the FBI is investigating the liberal blog site for being a threat to national security. In response to the FBI's letter demanding website traffic data, payment records, and other information about the website and Doug Thompson, the owner and primary blogger who runs the site, Doug directed his lawyer to send the following response to the Feds:

"F**k you. Strong letter to follow."

This morning Doug provided an update to the FBI letter, his lawyer's attempts to understand the authority by which the FBI was investigating Doug, and the status of the investigation. It is hilarious, but at the same time scary because of the broader implications of the erosion of American democracy.

By linking to Capitol Hill Blue, I am sure I have put myself on some watch list somewhere. Unfortunately, I say this only half-jokingly.

2300 and Counting

The number of American troops killed in Iraq went over 2300 yesterday.

Day 1638!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Bye Bye LaVar

LaVar did the Redskins a huge favor by taking a buyout - he could have made life tough for the 'Skins. My prediction is that he is going to play for a divisional rival and make the 'Skins "pay."

U.S. Government Nearly Broke

Treasury Secretary John Snow is asking Congress to raise the $8.2 trillion federal debt limit so the government won't have to shut down later this month.

Basically what this means is that the United States will then be able to issue more debt (bonds, U.S. treasury notes) so that it has cash to operate. No big deal, we will just sell off more of the country to foreign investors. We already owe them $2.2 trillion - what's another couple of hundred billion?

Bushie is just pissing away our wealth in Iraq and with his record budget deficits and his record trade deficits. I'll say this for him - he may be incompetent on most everything, but he is great at adding to our national debt. He is a champ at bankrupting America.

Murtha's Truth

The American people view Iraq as a failure and want the troops to come home.

The troops in Iraq want to end the war and come home.

The Iraqi people think they were better off pre-war and want the U.S. out.

So who wants us there? The politicians who want power in Iraq, al Qaeda, Iran, and China. Murtha has it right. Iraq has been and continues to be a disaster. We have the very bad choice of getting out, or the even worse choice of staying in. That is where the Bushie/neocon war and occupation has left us.

UAE to Make U.S. Tank and Aircraft Components

In what has to be a joke - but sadly isn't - if Bushie has his way, the UAE will be making engine components for U.S. military aircraft and our battle tanks. They will have control of nine factories, including military production facilities in Connecticut and Georgia. At least there is some concern in Congress over the deal. To be fair, the deal is under CFIUS review - we know how well that secret process works. I would say that if not for the ports scandal, this deal would have gone through. Now, Bushie will be forced to argue again that the deal should go through because the UAE is a friendly country.

People need to wake up. The enemy is not going to build up military arms and take us on on the battlefield. They will infiltrate and devastate our capabilities to wage war. I am not saying the UAE is doing so, but how do we know? It is best we not take the chance.

Somewhat related it appears that Homeland Security HQ is not secure. An attack that destroyed Homeland Security would be a major embarrassment.

Day 1637

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Bushie Says No Nuke Info for Pakistan

Stupid move promising India what he promised. Pakistan took note of the India Nuke deal and I am sure they are ticked off. He has probably alienated Pakistan and made Musharraf's job much more difficult. Pakistan cannot afford to fall behind India's nuclear program and will find a way to stay up - this will be at the expense of America's security. Wait and see how bad the India Nuke deal will turn out.

Tony Blair's Conscience

I am sure Blair has his moments where he second-guesses his decision to support the misguided and poorly executed neocon war in Iraq. He has accepted that God will judge his actions. His greatest regret may be that he has not been able to close Gitmo - certainly his wife does not mince words about the subject.

Another Major Bushie Blunder

Bushie proudly turned his back on American policy and world treaties on nuclear non-proliferation with his "deal" with India. There is no deal because Congress has to approve it, as do the 40+ countries that ship nuclear material, but the effect of Bushie's unilateral announcement is to tell the world that there is no need for any country to follow any standards for nuclear non-proliferation.

Don't get me wrong, I believe India is a growing force that the U.S. will have to take seriously. Along with China, I expect that India will become the dominant economic forces in the world. Certainly it will be the major source of technological and bio-medical innovation - even over the U.S. - very soon. But this deal - along with Bushie's approval of military sales to India (including F-16s) will basically set the stage for an arms race between India, Pakistan, and China. It will destabilize the world and make it more dangerous, particularly for the U.S.

Why do it? Because Bushie wants to help out his defense contractor friends - the corporate president strikes another blow at national defense in favor of the almighty dollar.

Day 1635!

Friday, March 03, 2006

What Will It Take?

Bushie's poll numbers continue to slide but about 20% of this country still STRONGLY supports him. I was thinking about it and wondered what would it actually take for that 20 percent to change their minds.

If we found out that Bushie was going out with Cheney on weekends to a private game reserve and hunting humans that may do it, but I am not sure that would even be enough.

Texas Republican Predicts Bush Impeachment

Republican Representative Ron Paul, a conservative/liberatarian member of the Republican Party, warned that the US was slipping perilously close to a dictatorship. Quoting from the story, "Paul was inclined to believe that the port sales would go ahead anyway but took a positive perspective in pointing out that it again highlighted George W. Bush's complete abandonment of conservative principles."

He predicted Bushie's troubles would help Democrats gain control of the House who would then impeach him.

Failure of No Child Left Behind

Bushie's pontifications that NCLB is helping students is just wrong. What NCLB requires is that states have tests to assess student learning. Schools that do not show improvement or inadequate passing rates face cuts in funding. On the face of it this is stupid because the schools and students that need the most help have their budgets cut. NCLB is an unfunded federal mandate that is costing billions of state taxdollars to comply with. On top of that it is not clear that it does anything. NCLB allows states to set their own standards and come up with their own tests. Thus, you cannot compare a student in Florida with one in California because the state tests are different. There is also great political incentive to continually make the tests easier to meet federal requirements or risk losing funding, as well as to show constituents things are moving forward.

Now it appears that easing of standards at the state level is happening. There are wide gaps in the test scores of student performance on state versus national exams. For example, in Mississippi, 89 percent of fourth-graders who took a state reading test were rated proficient or better. But when the same students took a federal test, only 18 percent reached that standard. It is happening in virtually every state.

Day 1634!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Bushie's Nicknames

Bushie has a penchant for giving people nicknames. Here is his official list.

Raising the U.S. Debt Ceiling

Before the end of this month, the Republicans are going to have to raise the national debt ceiling to accomodate all of the debt Bushie has accumulated. The national debt now stands at $8.2 trillion and has been increasing at a stunning pace since Bushie took office. Bushie's fiscal mismanagement and incompetence is bankrupting this country.

More Bushie Poll Numbers

CNN/USAToday/Gallup - 38% approval (down 4 points from early Feb)
Fox News - 39% approval (down 5 points from early Feb)
Rasmussan - 43% approval (down 6 points from 10 days ago)

The CBS poll had Bushie at 34% approval. Bottom line is that Bushie is sinking fast and is going to need some good news to stop the bleeding.

NFL Bloodbath on Hold

Three day extension of the free agency deadline kept the waiver wire light. Hopefully the NFL and the NFLPA will come to some agreement to keep the nation's best sports league humming.

Bushie Illegal Wiretapping

With all of the various scandals and bad news for Bushie - Port-gate, Katrina video, Cheney shot a guy in the face-gate, Iraq civil war - people have somewhat forgotten about Bushie's illegal wiretapping program. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee in which he clarified and virtually changed some of his unambiguous answers that he gave in response to questions several weeks ago. It is stunning to see the misleading and blatant prevarication that Bushie and his cronies engaged in.

The following is a link that has a great analysis and a link to the Gonzales letter. Read all about Bushie's lies, damn lies, and more damn lies.

NFL Player Purge Today

Given the breakdown in talks between the NFL owners and the NFLPA expect a major purge of players today. The cap figure will be about $95 million which is going to kill a lot of teams who were over the cap and expected the figure to be much higher (e.g. Washington Redskins). It is going to get bloody, but there will be talent available for teams that have money and are willing to sign free agents.

Cutler has Overtaken Young . . .

in at least one expert's eyes. That is just crazy in my opinion. At least Mel Kiper hasn't gone crazy over Jay Cutler yet, but his ranking was still before the NFL Combine.

Day 1633!

The Misadventures of Rambo and Dutch

John J. Rambo has just gotten back to his large condo on the 70th floor of the Hancock Tower in Chicago. The million dollar condo has a tremendous view of the city lights. Rambo loosens his tie and sips from a rather large glass of red wine as he blankly stares out the wall length windows at the spectacular nighttime panoramic view. The soulful R&B stylings of Brian McKnight are quietly playing in the background.

Rambo closes his eyes and sways around the room in a rather pathetic attempt to dance. He hits a chair and falls on the ground laughing. “Yo, I gotta cut down on da wine – I’m wasted.” His laughing becomes even more hysterical, but then it changes. He is no longer laughing, he begins crying. The crying becomes even more intense sobbing. Rambo is curled up on the floor and his head is in his hands. He is shaking his head and his flowing mane of hair is being blown by an unexplainable wind that seems to be blowing in the condo – this is only for dramatic effect. He is blubbering something about letting down his boss, but it is impossible to fully understand his words.

As quickly as he started laughing/crying he stops, looks at his watch and says, “Oh man, I gotta get ready for tonight.” He picks himself up, wipes the remaining tears from his face, and steps toward his bedroom to get ready.

The camera pans to digital clock radio and we see time skip forward from 6:30 p.m. to 7:20 p.m.

Rambo walks out of the bedroom now dressed in a tuxedo. Not a regular tuxedo, but a t-shirt that looks like a tuxedo and a pair of black jeans. “I love this outfit.” He says with a twisted smile that only Sly can pull off. He grabs the half empty bottle of wine and says, “Down the hatch!” as he proceeds to turn the bottle over and chug straight from the bottle. The funny thing is that the bottle is not the regular 750 ml bottle but rather a 1 gallon bottle of Gallo. He finishes half a gallon, burps loudly and says, “Excuse me!” (he is alone). He then smiles, clearly proud of himself, and stumbles over to the phone and dials.

“Dutch, you ready pal?” he slurs with a smile. The camera switches over to the well furnished condo of Dutch who is wearing a real tuxedo. “Yaaawww.” There is a long pause and Dutch hears Rambo mumbling and chuckling. He pulls the phone away from his ear and looks at the phone, shaking his head. Dutch puts the phone back to his ear and says, “Rambo – you betta not be drunk agin.” Rambo says, “No way, I’ll pick up the girls and be over. He then says something incomprehensible, giggles loudly. He is thinking about the fact that Dutch is probably wearing a tux and he is wearing a tuxedo t-shirt.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

More UAE-Ports Nonsense

Republican Representative Peter King of New York stated today that there was no analysis of the links between UAE and al Qaeda before the deal was approved. King's comments appear to contradict testimony by administration officials before Congress this week that a through review of any terrorism ties had occurred during the initial review of the deal. Lies, damn lies, and more damn lies from the Bushies. What else is new?

Bushie on Tape Before Katrina

Chertoff, Brownie, and Bushie knew how bad it was going to get before Katrina hit. The tape demonstrates the utter incompetence and failure of Bushie and Chertoff. I also find it so fitting that in the final briefing before Katrina hit, Bushie didn't ask a single question. He is so incurious.

But most telling is that Bushie again is proven to be a liar. The tape contradicts the president's statement four days after the hurricane struck when he said, "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees." Clearly that was not the case.

NFL's Bloody Thursday

I cannot wait to see the list of high priced vets who are cut tomorrow. Should be some surprising and many good names like every year. The Bears are under the cap and have some room to add to their roster. Redskins . . . not so lucky. Here is the full list of teams' salary caps.

Wonderlic Test

It has been reported and rumored that Vince Young did poorly on the Wonderlic IQ test. If you are interested, here is a sample of some of the questions.

U.S. Government Issues regarding UAE

Here is a government report on the UAE which outlines both positives and negatives. The report was done by the non-partisan Congressional Research Service. There is progress being made, but given the mixed nature of the report, I find it hard to understand why anyone would support the UAE-Ports deal. Not only on security issues, but moral reasons such as the UAE's role in trafficking human sex slaves. The UAE also continues to support the Arab boycott of Israel.

Let's forget all of the facts, put aside our fears and just trust Bushie on this Ports deal. He has been right on everything else.

Warm Welcome for Bushie in India

Oops, strike that. Sorry, it looks like even in the world's largest democracy Bushie is disliked. Oh well, at least there are 5000 people providing security for him. Hopefully that will be enough.

NFL Combine and Vince Young

Jay Cutler is getting rave reviews and people are talking him up at the NFL Combine - I have even heard people say he is better then Leinart and Young and should be the first QB taken. At the same time, Vince Young's first Wonderlic test result was reportedly very weak. Let's get real. Cutler is nowhere near Young in terms of football ability. He did not even complete 60 percent of his passes and he averaged less than 7 yards per attempt. Vince Young is an athletic freak - a big, fast man who is a great passer. He led the nation in passer efficiency, completed more than 65 percent of his passes, and threw for more than 3 yards more per attempt (i.e., he completed more passes that were thrown further downfield).

Anyone who thinks Cutler is better than Young is just stupid in my opinion. Young played at a very high level for three years, including the single greatest performance I have ever seen at QB at any level in this year's national championship game. They have to prove it on the field at the next level, but I would much rather take my chances with Young and Leinart who performed at a high level consistently and who both practiced every day against pro caliber players.

Day 1632!