Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Lovie Signs Extension

As I expected, Lovie got a new contract. He got a big raise and will make $22 million over the next 5 years. I am sure that he is happy.

Economy is Clearly Slowing

The GDP growth rate has slowed to 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter. This was a major revision downward. With corporate profits slowing, the real estate market remaining sluggish, and the number of home mortgage defaults rising rapidly, things are not looking good.

Brady Quinn

Last year, Quinn was projected to be a shoo in for the top QB taken in the draft. He was also the projected number 1 player in the draft. He seems to have fallen out of favor.

I am not sure what to think about him. He is certainly a very good player, and working with Charlie Weis was good for him, but he has never struck me as a superstar, can't-miss QB.

Clearly JaMarcus Russell is the new #1 pick (certainly the first QB taken). But Russell scares me because he is a bit out of shape. He has a big arm, but I wonder about his commitment to the game.

My guess is that the best QB in this year's draft will be someone other than Quinn or Russell.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Keith Olbermann Gaining

Great growth numbers for Keith over the last year.

Good profile on CBS of Keith.

Tough Day on the Market

The equities markets are roiling today because China saw a 9 percent drop in its major stock market yesterday. There are some fears of what the slowing Chinese and U.S. economies would mean.

Of course, now that Bushie's fiscal policies have tripled our debt to China and quadrupled our trade deficit, we are closely tied to what happens in China. Chinese policy makers and economists have a great deal of control over our economic stability here in the U.S. Another major "accomplishment" Bushie can take credit for.

xie4 xie4 ni3!

Redskin Nonsense

With the release of Troy Vincent, the Redskins are about $5.5M under the cap. Of course that does not include Derrick Dockery and the draft picks they will make this year.

There is little question that Wynn and Daniels will be shown the door to free up about $4M in cap room. I would be very surprised if Shawn Springs is not released which would save another $5M. Springs may not be cut, but there will be a surprise name or two that are cut because the cap problem is very serious.

I am sure you Redskin fans are happy to see that Mark Brunell will likely be returning as the backup QB. Instead of just cutting the guy and saving millions, the Redskins are restructuring his contract which will save some cap room but just keeps him on the books for several more years.

It certainly looks like the Redskins will be parting ways with Derrick Dockery - good thing they signed Jansen to a long term, lucrative contract (I am being sarcastic).

Bears and Lovie Smith

It appears that the two sides are $1 million/year apart. Lovie wants $5M and the Bears are at $4M. My view is simple, a deal is going to get done. Lovie said as much last week.

I believe that Lovie deserves $5M/year based on market rates for coaches, and in the end, I expect that he will get very close to that. If not, he can coach out the rest of his contract through this year and then go for a major payday next year. That is up to him and it would be a major loss for the Bears.

There is nothing wrong with organizations playing hardball. The NFL is a huge business and tough negotiation tactics keeps everyone honest. If Lovie doesn't get his contract this year, it becomes less likely that he would re-sign with the Bears because on the open market the price may go very high - not to mention that Lovie would have been underpaid for 2 years.

Bushie and His Incompetence

More evidence of the growing power of a resurgent Taliban, as there was a suicide attack on Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan while Cheney was visiting.

A report by the Joint Chiefs states the obvious - our military readiness and capabilities are eroding. There are growing risks that we won't be able to respond to new military threats appropriately.

On top of that, it appears that in Bushie's rush to send more troops into the Baghdad grinder, he is sending them without appropriate training.

Of course, Condi has no sense of reality about Iraq and seems to be totally out her league when it comes to doing something as our Secretary of State. Keith Olbermann took her to the woodshed and was on target again last night with his Special Comment.

Good profile and interview of Keith if you are interested.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Redskins Cut Vincent

Troy Vincent was let go to save $1.3M in cap room. Not really surprising. Given the cap situation, I would be surprised if Arch Deluxe is not the starting safety on opening day.

Derrick Dockery is not going to resign. They don't have the money and he will make far more on the open market than the 'Skins will offer.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Denmark Leaving Iraq

So it appears that Denmark had decided to leave Iraq also.

Bears Promote Bob Babich

Looks like the Bears are making changes in their coaching ranks. Babich takes over for Ron Rivera as defensive corrdinator. This move appears to have been preordained several months ago.

I think the Bears were really hoping Rivera would get a head coaching job so it wouldn't look like a messy divorce. I don't think there was any bad blood between Rivera and Smith, but Rivera is not really a disciple of the Tampa 2, and Lovie has a much longer history with Babich. Hopefully this will work out for all parties.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Brits are Tired of Iraq

So while we "surge," Blair has decided that Iraq is no longer worth it. The Brits are leaving Iraq to the Iraqis. They will let them figure out their problems.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Norv's Baaaack!

With the Chargers this time.

Actually, I think Norv's a decent coach and with a veteran team with talent he should do fairly well. His stint in Washington was bad - but it is was better than Spurrier and no worse than Gibbsy 2.0.

Oakland was a disaster but so what? Oakland has become a black hole of despair.

It will either be "three strikes and you are out" or the "third time is the charm." We'll have to see.

Sly Caught with Contraband

Flying to Australia for the premiere of Rocky Balboa, Sly was detained for having some "prohibited items." Any thoughts? I have a pretty good idea what JKD will guess.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Bushie on Afghanistan

Yesterday Bushie whined that NATO needs to send more troops to Afghanistan to blunt the growing likelihood of a springtime offensive by the Taliban and al Qaeda.

Look, if we actually have 21,500 combat troops, why send them to a civil war in Iraq. Al Qaeda and their Taliban supporters in Afghanistan are the ones who attacked us and who continue to pose the greatest threat to U.S. security.

It is another example of Bushie's incompetence that Osama bin Forgotten is still alive nearly 2000 days after 9/11, and it is sad that Bushie is calling on NATO to solve the problem he has failed to address in Afghanistan. When French soldiers (or soldiers from some other NATO country) drag Osama bin Forgotten out of his cave, what will Bushie say then? That should be the focus of this nation and our president, but it is not. He is fooling around in Iraq.

Pippen Wants to Make a Comeback

Looks like Scottie still has a love for the game. At 41, he could probably still provide some solid minutes if he is in shape.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Porsche Carrera GT . . .

is the 6th fastest car in the world. It goes from 0-100 mph in 11.6 seconds.

If I could afford it, this is how I would roll.

Anna Nicole Smith is Dead

Honestly, why should I care? I cannot believe it is leading all of the news broadcasts.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

UVA Football

It is early, but signing day was yesterday.

Virginia ended up with a top 25 recruiting class. Sure UVA was 5-7 last year, but talent is on its way to Charlottesville. Of course 5 other ACC teams were in the top 25 - so we will have to see.

Debate is Not Bad for the Troops

Bushie and his cronies love to claim that debate on Bushie's troop escalation plan is bad for the country and for the troops. The rest of us call it practicing democracy.

Here is what Joint Chiefs Chairman Peter Pace said yesterday while testifying before the House Armed Services Committee:

"There's no doubt in my mind that the dialogue here in Washington strengthens our democracy. Period." He added that potential enemies may take some comfort from the rancor but said they "don't have a clue how democracy works."

Of course two weeks ago Pace's boss, Defense Secretary Bob Gates, was complaining that the Senate debate on the issue was emboldening the enemy.

Yesterday, Gates seemed to have really changed his tune.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Congress Against Troop Escalation

Congress is going to let Bushie know that they oppose the troop escalation in Iraq. Senate Republicans have used Senate rules to push off a vote on the Warner resolution. All those Republicans who cried about Dems not allowing "up-or-down" votes and being obstructionists are now finding themselves in that position. Where are all the Republicans who called for Frist to impose the "nuclear option" and basically change Senate rules to eliminate the filibuster. Silent in their dripping hypocrisy I suppose.

It is just a matter of time, the House will take up the measure next week, and they don't have the same arcane Senate rules, so we will see a vote in the House next week. I would be surprised if fewer than 30 Republicans joined with Dems in the House vote.

As for the Senate, GOP Senators John Warner, Susan Collins, Gordon Smith, George Voinovich, Olympia Snowe, Chuck Hagel, and Norm Coleman signed a letter today pushing for the Senate leaders to come to an agreement to allow the vote to go forward. All 7 Republican Senators have explicitly stated that they are against the escalation. When the vote happens - and it will - there will be a bi-partisan slap-down of Bushie.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Bushie's Budget

I am still reading about the budget, but it is an unbelievable $2.9 trillion for this fiscal year. To put this in context, Clinton's final year in office the government spent about $1.7 trillion total. Bush and the Republicans blew up federal spending.

There are so many assumptions that make Bushie's claim that his plan will balance the federal budget by 2012 just plain ridiculous. I'll mention three. First, he drops the global war on terror funding from $145 billion in 2008 to $50 billion in 2009. That is not going to happen. Second, he slows funding for Medicare at a time when more baby boomers are aging. That is not going to happen. Third, he makes the assumption that foreigners are going to continue to purchase up increasingly worthless U.S. debt to fund the huge National Debt that he has largely created. As foreigners lose their appetite for U.S. treasurys, inflation will rise and rates will rise. It hasn't happened yet, but it will.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Super Bowl Thoughts

Disappointment and frustration - that is what I feel.

Obviously the better team won last night and I am happy for Dungy and Manning who have had the monkey on their back for some time (unfairly).

However, I felt like the Bears could have played better - maybe not enough to win - but certainly better. Rex made his mistakes, the two other lost fumbles hurt, the play calling on both sides of the ball (but especially on offense) was overly conservative, and the defense sat back too much and let the Colts dictate the flow of the game.

Let's start with Rex. The coaches really made some poor play calls and did not give him much of a chance to throw in the first half - that was a mistake. But, in the fourth quarter I still felt like the Bears were going to pull it out. With the Bears trailing 22-17, Rex made a couple of good throws and the Bears got a couple of first downs. Then, inexplicably, he threw the lazy pass to the sideline that was picked off and returned for a TD - that virtually ended the game. Not being able to handle two snaps (one that resulted in a lost fumble) is also inexcusable.

On defense, the Bears were able to stiffen in the red zone and hold the Colts to a number of field goals. They did also force three turnovers in the first half. They weren't terrible, and certainly kept the game relatively close. But the Colts moved at will and ate up so much clock. What I didn't like about the game plan was that it seemed to be too reactionary. They needed to take more chances and try to make some plays. They let the Colts running game and Manning's short passes kill them slowly.

Opportunities to win the Super Bowl don't come around often and the Bears played poorly when they had a chance. Still, they have a good system and good players, I hope they don't try to over-think and change too much. They could use a couple of run-stuffing defensive tackles and some offensive line depth. But they need better play out of their young QB. If they can stay healthy they should compete next year. We'll see.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Right Wing "Science"

Sure the scientific consensus on global warming is that it is a man-made reality, but if you don't believe in the science and you cannot argue against it with facts, just offer scientists $10,000 to dispute that reality. It is just an effort to muddy the waters and make people doubt the scientific consensus.

Super Bowl Pick

32-11 on the season with my picks.

The Bears won more games than anyone this year. They are heavy underdogs. Most experts believe it will be the Colts: CBS Sportsline, ESPN. The "celebrities" overwhelmingly pick the Colts. Everyone expects this to be Peyton's crowning moment after getting over the hump against the Patriots. I have gone back and forth on the game and am now ready to make my pick.

The Bears will shock the world and put an end to all of the nonsense that they are not for real. Here is what I think:

1. I believe the Bears D has great athletes that can match up well against the Colts.

2. TJ and Cedric Benson will have good games against a Colts D that is playing well, but is not that strong.

3. Rex will make plays.

4. The Colts will turn the ball over more than the Bears.

5. Devin Hester will make a play or two.

The game will be close for about 3 quarters, but the Bears will pull away with a couple of big plays late in the third and in the fourth quarters. In the end, it will be the Bears 31 and the Colts 19.

Enjoy the game and the commercials.

UVA Edges Duke

Great college basketball game last night if you are a UVA fan and/or you don't like Duke. J.R. Reynolds and Sean Singletary showed why they are one of the best backcourts in America. Reynolds carried the team in the second half and Singletary dropped in the game winner on a great shot with one second left in overtime.

Consensus on Global Warming

It is man-made and represents a real danger.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Senate Approve Minimum Wage Hike

The Senate voted 94-3 to raise the minimum wage. Now there will be negotiations with the House to develop a final bill that will be sent to the President. In just a couple of weeks it looks like one of the major priorities for the Dems will be made law.