Tuesday, December 08, 2009

BCS BS

The BCS championship game is Texas-Alabama. Under the current system it seems like a good matchup, but the BCS buggers put TCU against Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl. That is crap - they should have put them against the traditional powers to see how good they really are.

They should be playing Florida and Ohio State not against each other.

Of course, the BCS doesn't want to show what a sham system they really have.

Afghanistan and Iraq

Today there is news of a major bombing in Iraq - that is what people should expect for years in that country. The "Surge" did not end the violence. It only served to push it back a few months. Until people recognize the complexity of nation-building they will continue to believe that military solutions somehow fix countries.

That said, Fareed Zakaria had an interesting piece in the Post yesterday. He essentially argued that Obama's Afghan strategy will only create breathing room for the Afghan government to try to solve its problems, but that 2 years would not be nearly enough to fix the country - that is a fact that I mentioned in my criticism of Obama's plan. The goal appears to be to shift the war on terror away from nation-building and back to more limited goals.

This doesn't change the fact that we are going to send troops to Afghanistan, wipe out some Taliban, create an artificial and fragile peace, and then walk away. But in 5 years Afghanistan will again be troubled - just watch.

That is why I say let's wind this down now and save the American lives and taxpayer funded financial commitments to this idiotic ongoing war.

Couple of Economic Notes

I have been pretty sporadic with posts - it is tough at the end of semesters to write. By next week I will have final grades in so I will have a bit more time.

Anyway, the jobs situation seems to be improving and should continue to do so into next year. With economic growth on the rise we will see improvement on the employment front - just as I have been saying for months.

The dollar has crashed over the last couple of years - but it also looks like it is no longer in free fall. The world's economies are struggling and the dollar is still king - so I am not so worried about that.

What I think we will start to see over the next year is rising interest rates. The Fed is going to try to sop up all of the liquidity. In addition, higher rates will help keep U.S. Treasury Notes attractive on the world market so we will be able to comfortably fund our enormous national debt. The trick will be to raise rates slow enough to avoid destroying the fragile gains we are seeing on the economic front.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Bears Notes

The season is lost, but they still need to evaluate their players for next year.

The Bears are moving Chris Williams to LT. I like the move. Williams was the first round pick last year and was supposed to be the LT for the next decade. He was injured pretty much all of last year and has played RT because the Bears signed Pace. Pace has been poor and Williams has not done as well learning RT. This move makes sense. Get Williams in his natural position.

Kevin Shaffer - who has started a lot of NFL games - plugs in at his natural RT position.

I'd like to see Beekman at LG and Omiyale at RG. Beekman and Omiyale have both played LG but have struggled (partly because Pace has struggled). Let these guys play out the rest of the year and get set for next year.

Run the ball to try to get into a better offensive rhythm.

On D there is a fair amount of work to do. The linebackers have been hurt, but they seem like a solid bunch. It looks to me like Ogunleye constantly takes himself out of plays and messes up outside contain responsibilities. This may be the result of being in a contract year and seeing Gaines Adams come in. He may see that he will be out and is trying to pad his sack total to try to earn a contract somewhere else.

In any event the D line needs work (yet again). In the secondary, Alfalava seems like he can develop. Tillman is good, Bowman is inconsistent (but young). But there is too much soft coverage and the safety play still needs work.

Lovie has to keep the Bears playing competitive and build some type of momentum for next year - or he should be fired. In the off-season, there will need to be some coaching changes to get back on track. Even if Lovie does not go, there needs to be a new defensive scheme and better O-line and QB coaches (at the very least).

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

A Major Mistake

Here is Obama's Speech.

I wonder if President Obama woke up this morning and thought, "I really made a bad decision."

There has been a remarkable misunderstanding about who or what Al Qaeda is. It is not a centralized movement. It is not the Taliban. There is no nation-state that plans attacks with some top-down Al Qaeda organization.

9/11 was perpetrated by a handful of folks - some leaders who has secured financing from rich radicals and 19 college-educated kids (mostly Saudis) who had been brainwashed by radical Islamic thoughts. It was a spectacular failure of U.S. security, but what has made the attack even worse is that we have gone to war in Afghanistan for 8 years (and at least three more). Iraq has been a disaster and there is very little benefit that I can see from the removal of Hussein for America's interest.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Obama's Troop Surge

So Obama has decided to increase troop levels by 30,000 in Afghanistan. He is going to give a speech tonight to explain his reasoning. I will watch and listen intently, but I see not benefit whatsoever to doing this.

We've been in Afghanistan for 8 years. The Taliban is fully reconstituted, American troops are dying at the highest pace of the war, and the opium trade is at levels higher than when we first went in. The Karzai government is extremely corrupt and has no authority throughout the tribal lands that make up the majority of the country. I cannot for the life of me understand what we are fighting in Afghanistan for.

I am sick and tired of the "we are fighting them there so we don't have to fight them here" nonsense. We had four police officers gunned down this week by a terrorist. We had the Ft. Hood massacre just a couple of weeks ago. We have gang violence that claims the lives of innocent victims every day here in this country. Spending $100 billion a year in Afghanistan - much of which is wasted to fraud and abuse - makes no sense.

There is no question that Bush and his military advisors truly botched the war in Afghanistan, but that is no reason for Obama to compound the problem by sending more troops. Unless Obama can clearly explain what it is that we hope to accomplish there I think this will be the worst decision he will ever make as President and it may very well bring him down after just one term.