Tuesday, January 31, 2006

State of the Union Review

This may have been the greatest speech W has given. Outstanding and very confidently delivered. A few slipups and word stumbles but nothing too egregious. I really liked his Hopeful America stuff. That appeal directly to the Iranian people was a pretty good deal too. Telling Hamas exactly how it needs to do things is a good deal as well.

I think this was his domestic policy speech and he left most of the world stuff out of it. Just a few words about the various crisis areas before going right into the domestic talk. Some of the initiatives sound really good like the 70K new science and math teachers. Plus the US *must* lead the world economy was interesting. All and all the best speech that W has ever given IMO.
Kudos go out to his speechwriters.

Wide Arc toward unknown shore

Wow this is great stuff. MLK stopped at Birmingham, US accepted the partition of Europe. Will we turn back or finish well. We will finish well. Lead freedoms advance, lead the global economy.

Optimistic, faithful to our cuase, and open to the opportunities to come. I think this may have been his best speech ever.

AIDS spotlighted

Ryan White Act? End waiting list for AIDS medicines. Hmm, maybe lower the prices charged by the drug companies big charges. Look forward to a day of no new infections in the US.

Adults to help Children

Laura Bush is running this thing and she gets a standing O. Stay in school initiative. Hopeful Society is the watchword for this one. Hope Again in America is very Reganlike.

New Orleans helped by good schools, opportunities to own a home. Hope and opportunity even for the poor and downtrodden.

Compassionate and Hopeful Nation

Hmm sounds good to me. Beating the chest about crime trends dropping and less abortions and teen mothers. Revolution of Conscience. Sounds like a Dem on this stuff. He says everyone needs to be proud of this effort.

Unethical conduct and activist courts who redefine marriage. America is not in decline. Proven the pessimists wrong and we will do it again.

Points out the new Supremes and they get an ovation. Thanks the Senate and says judges must not legislate from the bench. Greatful for Sandra Day O'Conner.

Medicine does not cut corner. Anti-human cloning, human animal hybrids, using fetuses for weird assed stuff. No island of Doctor Moreu left behind act.

Keep the Edge

American competitive initiative. Firm grounding in math and science. Sounds good to me. He sounds like Bill Gates on this one. More money for the physical sciences. Nanotech, supercomputers, and alternative fuels.

US. should lead the world in opportunity and learning. Sounds good to me. More math and science for kids. 70K high school science and math teachers should be hired. Suceed in life and they suceed in the world.

Show the world what we can achieve.

Energy Reform

We are addicted to oil. We need to invest in alternative fuels. Change how we power offices. Solar, coal fired plants, and nuclear energy? Wow he sounds like a green here. I agree 100%. Autos are highlighted. Batteries, ethanol from corn, woodchips, and stuff. Soudns impracticle to me. Replace 75% of oil from middle east by 2025. Sounds pie in the sky to me. Make depence on Middle Eastern oil a thing of the past.

Healthcare is up next.

Hoots on helping the elderly and poor on health care. Electronic errors are highlighted. Health savings accounts? Doesn't help me any. People don't have to worry about losing their healthcare. Pass medical liability reform. Good for doctors but bad for lawyers.

Immigration and Border protection

Rational humane guest worker program? Another break from the party.

Factory jobs?

Um the Chinese seem to be doing a pretty good job of outcompeting our factory workers. And the Indians are beating us in high tech.

Retirement is 60% of the budget

The third rail of politics. Congress did not act on saving Social Secrity gets a wild standing O with some Dems standing. Rising costs are not going away is right and he gets another standing O. Gets worse and worse is right also.

Comission about baby boomer retirement? At least he is calling for bipartisan support on this thing and the Dems stood up for it.

Earmark Reform?

Line Item veto? Some Clinton era stuff comeing out there. Cut back on manditory spending. Dads favorite people me and Clinton. Good joke there.

Extend the Tax Cuts

Damn strait extent them. Massive tax increase is right. Make them permanent gets a standing O from the Repubs. Sitting Dems again. They want Americans to pay more cashola I guess. Cut spending reduce 140 programs. Save us 14 billion. Cut it in half by 2009.

Economy is spotlighted

4.6 million new jobs. Beat that Japan and EU combined. Some chest beating here. We are the envy of the world. Can't be complacent. Fear of China and India. Anti-protectionism talk here. Immigrants are somehow bad for the economy breaking with the party line. Can't function without them.

Agenda for competition with confidence and raise standards of living. Economy grows when people have more of their own money to save, spend, invest.

Support of Allies

Dangerous and anxious world is the result of American leadership? Long war against determined enemies and wants bipartisan support. Lead this world toward freedom gets another standing O. Some Dems are sitting. I guess they want to lead us toward tyranny.

Patriot Act mentioned

No Democrats stand for this one. Oh oh here comes the wiretaps. Preventing attacks is in the constitution he says. Previous presidents have used it and courts have okayed. Congress has been informed. Hmm, sounds pretty strong on this fact.

Directly to the Iranians

Hopes to be the closest of friends with a free democratic Iran. Railing against isolationism. AIDS, poverty, slavery, malaria mentioned. Empire of the Free makes it so terrorism doesn't grow. We must show compassion now.

Not forget their sacrifice

This got another standing O. Offereing hopeful alternative of peaceful change. Elections are vital but only the beginning. Praise of Egypt, Palestine must recognize Israel, disarm and work for lasting peace. Sounds good to me. Saudis are mentioned. Democaracies will not be like ours. Liberty is the right and hope of all of humanity.

Iran support of terror must come to an end. Nations of the world must not let them get nukes.

Some stuff about the Military

Good praise for the military and their sacrifice. Dan Clay is mentioned. He faces death with a feeling that we don't have to. Good poinant feelings from a "wuss" as the LA Times would have us believe.

Decision made by Commanders

It is nice to hear him say that. Let the guys on the ground make the pull back decisions and not he politicians. Second guessing is not a strategy. Sudden withdrawl will doom the Iraqis. Put Bing Laden in charge of Iraq. We must stand behind the military gets a standing O.

False Comfort of Isolationism

He looks pretty grim. This is a great speech thus far. Clear plan for victory in Iraq. Work with Iraqis, corruption, modern economy, train Iraqi forces to fight for themselves. Proud to be their allys in freedom.

Enemy is brutal too. 3 years from dictatorship to democracy. Confident in the Iraqi people and our ability to win it. At least he is outlining a plan.

No Peace in Retreat

Hmm radical Islam is the enemy now. US will never surrender to evil gets another standing O.

Hmm weapons of mass murder

That seems to be a new term. Not just mass destruction. The weapon of fear and the Beslan tragedy is pointed. We love our freedom and we will fight to keep it gets a standing O.

History of Democracy

Wow quite a few democracies nowadays. 1/2 the people in the world are in one. Wow he actually said an African country in there. Zimbabwe.

Long term goal

End of tyranny in the world. Sounds like a good deal to me. Every step toward freedom makes the US safer. I agree with that.

State of the Union

Calls for civility and to not have differences harden into anger. He will do his part together with the other folks. He is against protectionism? That is different vis a vis steel tarrifs.

Coretta Scott King Honored

He comes right out and honors her. That is a good deal. Oh well Kanye I guess he does care about black people after all.

Okay and were off

Everyone gives him a standing O and W has that weird smirk on his face again.

Big Applause when he shakes the justices hands

He did get Alito and Roberts in there.

He's got on a blue tie

Hmm no red power tie for W this time. Good sustained applause.

I might as well Live Blog the thing

State of the Union Live blog begins. So far the mikes are a joke on this site. Here comes W.

I'm Listening to the State of the Union

Should be a pretty good deal today. I'm curious on what he has to say about Hamas and Iran mostly. I am listening to the streaming video at the white house web site.

Iran Document outlines Nuke Know-how

It looks like Iran was trying to get a copy of some kind of document:

The agency refused to make a judgment on what possible uses such casts would have. But diplomats familiar with the probe into Iran's nuclear program said then that the papers apparently were instructions on how to mold highly enriched grade uranium into the core of warheads.

In the brief report obtained Tuesday, however, the agency said bluntly that the 15-page document showing how to cast fissile uranium into metal was "related to the fabrication of nuclear weapon components."

It was obtained from some kind of shady source called the nuclear black market network. Which I guess is some kind of home shopping network for rogue states looking to get some nuke building how-to. Let's hope this isn't faked like that yellow-cake uranium from Niger crap that the Brits got fooled by.

Alito is In.

It was the most partisan vote in modern history or whatever they are saying about it.

Alito's swearing-in came only hours after the Senate voted 58-42 to confirm Alito — a former federal appellate judge, U.S. attorney, and conservative lawyer for the Reagan administration from New Jersey — as the replacement for retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor who has been a moderate swing vote on the court.

Now lets see what the court does on these upcoming abortion rights issues. They have skewed a bit to the right but you never know what you are going to get when it comes to this stuff. I have a feeling that Alito will be voting in such a way that he won't legislate from the bench. He seems like a pretty even tempered guy and not some fiery anti-abortion type. This looks like one of those its a bleak day for liberals kind of picture though:

Friday, January 27, 2006

Fatah loses Election but Wins NCAA Championship

This looks like a Championship Celebration in the US. That is Michigan State on the top err... bottom.

Livni is So Right on This

That same article has got me thinking.

Acting Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni asked world leaders not to legitimize a government led by Hamas, saying elections are not a "whitewash" for terrorist groups.

Livni told reporters that Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip last summer opened a window of opportunity in peace efforts, but with the election of Hamas, "the Palestinians slammed it shut."

Yup, Livni is so on the mark with that statement. Pulling those hapless settlers out of Gaza was as wrenching a thing as any that the IDF had done in their history. They had to kick their own people off of land that their fathers and mothers had bled and died for. Some of the stuff was genuinely tough to see like that Rabbi's pulling the Torah out of the Synagogue and knowing that he will never return.

And now Hamas could lead the Palestinians into a path that might lead to strife for years to come. In the words of LBJ "Israel offered the Olive Branch and Hamas has snapped it in half."

Fatah Rioting in the Streets

Oh great now we could have a little civil war going on in Palestine.

Thousands of activists from Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas'
Fatah West Bank and Gaza Strip on Friday, burning abandoned cars, shooting in the air and demanding corrupt leaders resign after their devastating election loss to the militant Hamas movement.

If Fatah just hired Bush's campaign manager, Ken Mehlman as the head of the campaign commitee they wouldn't be in this mess. I mean they would have done a candidate makeover and said "we are the party that doesn't blow up Israelis." Well, that would probably get more Hamas votes. Maybe they should have had the slogan "We are getting rid of the corruption that we caused. Fatah cleaning up our own mess."

Anti-Mohammed Cartoon Sparks Demonstrations

It seems that Jyllands-Posten a Danish conservative newspaper has sparked some big time controversy in the Muslim world.

In a virulent sermon from the pulpit of his mosque in the Shiite Kadhimiya neighborhood of Baghdad, Sheikh Hazem al-Aaraji described the cartoons as an attack on Islam.

"They want to disfigure Islam and this we cannot accept. These cartoons directly attack the personality of the messenger of God. We say to them: they cannot attack Mohammed, nor any of the prophets," thundered the preacher, who is a follower of firebrand Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

I thought that this was just those firebrand Muslim preachers railing against something happening in the Western world that they don't like (which seems to be a lot.) But this is pretty offensive thing that this Danish newspaper brought out. It is I guess implying that Mohammed is a suicide bomber. I googled the pic and found it at this site.

This kind of thing is pretty much like having a cartoon of Jesus sitting in the electric chair in the Weekly Standard. I mean this cartoon could probably get some cash from the National Endowment for the Arts but this Danish newspaper needs to have some editorial oversite when it comes to this kind of thing.

I am all for free speech but this joins the ranks of Piss Christ as things that are rightly viewed as offensive to believers. And people wonder why the Muslim World has such hatred for the Western World.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

MSFT Earnings In Line

Hmm it looks like a pretty good quarter for MSFT.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, the Redmond-based software maker reported earnings of $3.65 billion, or 34 cents per share, up from $3.46 billion, or 32 cents per share, in the same period last year.

The results included a one-time tax benefit of $108 million, or 1 cent per share. Without the one-time benefit, Microsoft met the expectations of analysts polled by Thomson Financial, who were projecting earnings of 33 cents per share on revenue of $11.96 billion.
Microsoft said revenue rose 9 percent to $11.84 billion, up from $10.82 billion in the same period a year earlier.

They also guided higher but it looks like Xbox 360 fell short of estimates and that worries me. I knew that they would have shortages in components and this kind of thing is just what Sony and Nintendo is looking for. If MSFT stumbles here then they can kiss the console lead goodbye for another cycle.

This opportunity was tailor made for them. They had a Christmas all to themselves with plenty of buzz going in. It could have been a slam dunk if they concentrated on rolling it out in the US. But they may have blown it by going global before they had the units to do so.

They should have at least delayed the Japan launch until after Christmas. I know Christmas is getting big in Japan but it is nothing like the insane spending juggernaught that it is here in the US. They could have then concentrated all of their juice on rolling it out big in Japan to capture a bigger amount of sales. Instead they fell shot.

The Xbox 360 made a huge splash when it debuted on Nov. 22 in North America, where it sold 900,000 units by Dec. 31 and demand has outpaced supply. It also got a warm reception in Europe, where sales hit 500,000 at year end. But it was a different story in Japan, where response was tepid and sales came in under targets at around 100,000.

Yup 100,00 measly units was all they could muster in Japan. Oh well, I guess it may be time to take MSFT off of your watch lists. I think it will be trade ranged for a long time.

Would the Hamas win be good for Benjamin Netanyahu?

It looks like Mr. Netanyahu could be the big winner out of Hamas coming to power. He had hardline credentials when he was Prime Minister and Likud looks pretty hawkish nowadays. Will the Israelis embrace Likud now that their neighbor has their destruction of their people as a plank in their platform? It seems like it depending on what Hamas does.

I think this is a historic time for Hamas to renounce all of the that terrorist crap and work with Israel like a party that is worthy of leading a nation. The destruction of Israel is totally impossible anyway. So they should instead advocate the building of a Palestinian nation that lives side by side with their former hated enemy. Kind of like India and Pakistan.

A softer Hamas will get the Kadima party into power and the peace plan will be back on. But a Hamas that is just more of the same will probably get Likud back into power. Then we will truly have a Middle East Crisis if they call off the truce. Likud won't back down from terror. They will amp up the security measures and maybe even Apache assassinate some leaders if Hamas suicide bombers start showing up in Israel.

I mean Hamas really doesn't have much to lose if they are interested in tangling with Israel again. Most of their top guys are hiding out in Syria and it looks like Israel will become the bad guy again depending on what actions they take. A Likud-led Israel which is hardline and starts rolling the tanks will be hated by the world. While the scrappy so-called "freedom fighters" will get the role of the persecuted minority but this time they are duly elected by their people. Ain't democracy grand?

Hamas Comes in for the Big Win

Wow they really won a landslide victory .

Hamas won 76 seats in the 132-member parliament, while Fatah, which controlled Palestinian politics for four decades, won 43 seats, said Hanna Nasser, head of the Central Election commission. The 13 remaining seats went to several smaller parties and independents.

Now this really throws this whole thing into a whirlwind here. We have Iran threatening Israel then taking off the seals on the nuclear research, then Sharon getting a stroke, and now Hamas heading the government of Palestine.

Any peace plan may be dead as dirt now depending on what Hamas does:

"The state of Israel will not negotiate with a Palestinian administration if even part of it is an armed terrorist organization calling for the destruction of the state of Israel," said Olmert's statement, issued after a three-hour emergency Cabinet meeting.

Hamas doesn't look to be backing away from the destruction of Israel pledge as well. Also they probably aren't going to disarm so what are the Israelis going to do? Are they going to back away from Palestine, negotiate with terrorist killers, or get hard line on them since. Any further attacks by Hamas is kind of like one government going after another. Especially if Hamas picks a Prime Minister and Fatah backs off from supporting them in a coalition government:

The biggest party in parliament can veto the president's choice of prime minister. Hamas called for immediate talks among factions to discuss a new government and Palestinian officials said President Mahmoud Abbas would ask Hamas to form one.

But Fatah leaders said they wanted no part in such a coalition -- a recipe for possible political paralysis.

Now it seems there will be a Mexican Standoff in the Middle East now. Will Hamas back down and renounce the destruction of Israel? They have to in order to join the international community and for any peace plan to go forward. And how will the Israelis react? These are some real crisis times for God's chosen people. The US needs to be sending Ehud Olmert some Alka Selzer in those Cosco size boxes because he is going to need them.

Oprah Turns on Frey

Oprah jumped to defend him and now she is cutting him loose much to her credit.

"I have been really embarrassed by this," said Winfrey, whose praise for Frey's book in September helped make it the top-selling book on nonfiction lists in the United States last year.

"I really feel duped," she told Frey on her television show. She said he had betrayed millions of viewers.

She also did this with Frey sitting right next to her. So she confronted him and got him to admit that he lied in his book.

He spent two hours in jail, not 87 days, and the account of his breaking up with a woman who later committed suicide happened in a much shorter period of time, with their separation occurring while he was taking care of personal business in North Carolina, not while he was in jail, he said.

She committed suicide by slashing her wrists, he said, not by hanging herself.

Also he admitted that all of the Smoking Gun stuff was correct as well. It is a pretty low thing to lie about things through the whole book and then pretend that it was true. He did say that the Smoking Gun was full of crap at the beginning and now he admits that they were spot on.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Tough Talk from both Sides on Iranian Nukes

It looks like we will at least have some sort of bipartisan effort when it comes to the possible use of force to stop the Iranians from going nuclear.

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., said all options, including military force, should be on the table. But, he said that for now, the United States and European countries must do everything possible to secure the support of China and Russia to take Iran before the Security Council, and then stake out "a tough posture" that includes sanctions.

While from the right side of the isle:

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said diplomatic efforts must be exhausted before turning to the "last option," the use of force.
"There's only one thing worse than the United States exercising a military option, and that is Iran having nuclear weapons," the No. 2 Republican on the
Senate Armed Services Committee said on "Fox News Sunday."

I think we need to let the Israelis handle this one. We took out Iraq for them. They should work on Iran for us. The US should give them all the support they need. But let them get rid of the biggest threat to their safety and continued existence since the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Ehud Olmert seems like a Dove

He is advocating more pullbacks.

"The choice between allowing Jews to live in all parts of the land of Israel and living in a state with a Jewish majority mandates giving up parts of the Land of Israel," Olmert said. "We cannot continue to control parts of the territories where most of the Palestinians live."

This will be *very* painful for the settlers who have fought and died for their homes in the West Bank. It seems they will be the odd man out when it comes to peace. I wonder if Israel will provide security for them going forward. Or will they just let them become part of this new Palestinian State. At least talk of forming that Palestinian State, which was all taboo a few years ago, seems common nowadays:

Olmert said Israel favors creation of a "modern Palestinian state." Referring to Wednesday's election of a new Palestinian parliament, Olmert hoped the Palestinians would not "choose again the extremists who have led them from tragedy to tragedy and to sorrowful lives."

I think Israel really needs some kind of peace plan with the Palestinians so they can focus on Iran. That is the real threat to their life and limb. Iran+Nukes=Middle Eastern Nuclear War.

Alito passes first Hurdle

I haven't been following his nomination but it seems he is passed the comittee and now he is headed for the full Senate.

On a party-line vote of 10-8, the committee sent the nomination of Alito to the 100-member Senate. The full chamber is to begin debate on Wednesday, with a confirmation vote as early as the end of this week.

He seems like he may be a pretty good bet to pass the full Senate as well unless the Dems fillibuster him. They seem to have objections about the Bush spying mess and not Alito judging by this statement:

Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the committee's top Democrat, said Bush was "claiming power to illegally spy on Americans, to allow actions that violate our values and laws protecting human rights, and to detain U.S. citizens and others on his say so."

"So I will not lend my support to an effort by this president to move the Supreme Court and the law radically to the right and to remove the final check within our democracy," Leahy said.

The Dems really need to tackle the spying mess in some other forum then this one. I have a feeling that if Alito gets in Roe vs. Wade will be numbered. All it takes is for one legislature to pass a law forbidding abortion and let the challenge get its way up to the Supreme Court and it becomes illegal in the US. And the more the Dems watch the spying mess the more the conservative wing of the Repubs will sneak the abortion ban past them.

Disney Okays Takeover of Pixar

This seems like a very good deal for Disney depending on how much they will be paying for Pixar:

Pixar shares closed at $58.27 on Monday on Nasdaq, putting its market value at just under $7 billion. The shares have risen about 12 percent in the last month, partly on speculation that Disney would buy the computer animation company that created such hits as "Toy Story," "Finding Nemo" and "The Incredibles."

I think CGI animated movies are the only way to go when it comes to making big money in this industry. All of those movies mentioned made a great deal of money and would make a great addition to Disneys library of marketable properties. Also they all have very easy sequel potential as well. Disney is really buying a great property here.

Booth Babes banned at 2006 E3Expo

This is a bad deal for all those guys that drooled over these hot women at the computer trade expos.

Rules prohibiting the use of scantily clad young women to peddle video games are nothing new, but the handbook for this year's show in May outlines tough new penalties, including a $5,000 fine on the spot for the booth owner if the "booth babe" is semi-clad.

That fine probably won't stop some companies from hiring hot women but they can't be scantly clad anymore. But it looks like Fantasy game makers could still dress up a woman in a chainmail bikini with a short skirt or have a sorceress wearing gauzy barely there robes.

The handbook from the Entertainment Software Association, the show's promoter, says: "Material, including live models, conduct that is sexually explicit and/or sexually provocative, including but not limited to nudity, partial nudity and bathing suit bottoms, are prohibited on the show floor, all common areas, and at any access points to the show."

Monday, January 23, 2006

Bad News for Blackberry

It looks like the Supreme Court is not going to look into the Blackberry case now and they might be cruising for a shutdown.

The high court rejected without comment a petition by Research In Motion Ltd. to review a federal appeals court ruling, which upheld infringement charges by NTP Inc., a U.S. patent holding company.

NTP Inc. said the court rejection had "closed the final path for RIM to avoid liability" in the case and cleared the way for a lower court to issue an injunction that would bar most U.S. BlackBerry sales and service.

Now RIMM needs to pay up or they will really feel the pinch when they have to shut their service down. I would quickly make alot of Crackberry addicts into Palm Pilot addicts.

Insurgents Turn Against Al-Quida

This seems to be a good development in Iraq.

"There was a meeting right after the bombings," one Ramadi resident familiar with the events said. "Tribal leaders and political figures gathered to form the Anbar Revolutionaries to fight al Qaeda in Anbar and force them to leave the province.

"Since then there has been all-out war between them," said the resident in the capital of the sprawling western desert province of Anbar, speaking anonymously for fear of reprisals.

I wonder if we are going to funnel weapons to the Anbar Revolutionaries now? I mean the enemy of my enemy is my friend and all that.

Ford is cutting to the bone

It looks like it would be inevitable judging from all the problems that the US auto makers are having. But this seems like a really deep cut though:

Ford Motor Co., the nation's second-largest automaker, said Monday that it will cut 25,000 to 30,000 jobs and close 14 facilities by 2012 as part of a restructuring designed to reverse a $1.6 billion loss last year in its North American operations.

The cuts represent 20 percent to 25 percent of Ford's North American work force of 122,000 people. Ford has approximately 87,000 hourly workers and 35,000 salaried workers in the region.

I wonder if those 14 closed facilities will be moved to someplace were wages are cheaper and there are no unions to cut into the bottom line? I think Eastern Europe will welcome the inflow of these American manufacturing jobs. I guess building a new auto plant is not a small investment so this wouldn't be too feasible though.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

France Talks tough when it comes to Nukes

Wow here is a flash of the French backbone that launched the Resistance.

"The leaders of states who would use terrorist means against us, as well as those who would consider using, in one way or another, weapons of mass destruction, must understand that they would lay themselves open to a firm and adapted response on our part," Chirac said at a northwestern nuclear submarine base.

"This response could be a conventional one. It could also be of a different kind," said Chirac, his most explicit linkage of a threat of a nuclear response to a terrorist attack.

Maybe France is wising up after all of the rioting that happened this summer. France knows it would be one of the softer targets when the Jihaddis strike next.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

AMD swings to profit

Seems like they are taking market share from Intel and this profit number shows it. However I really like this number myself.

Revenue rose 45% to $1.84 billion, including sales of its Spansion flash-memory business, which AMD spun off in an initial public offering last month. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call expected AMD to chalk up revenue of $1.66 billion.

That is a record for this company. I was afraid that chip spending was going into the toilet after Intel warned of a slowing 2006 forcast.

Intel, which reported its results after financial markets closed on Tuesday, blamed a combination of events, including a chipset shortage, lower prices and a weakness in demand for desktop PCs.

But it seems that AMD taking market share from them may be some of the reason for them showing concern:

Intel also is facing its stiffest competition ever from Advanced Micro Devices Inc., whose chips have drawn praise for outperforming those of its much larger rival. AMD will report its fourth-quarter results on Wednesday.

"Competition is pretty fierce out there right now," said Intel Chief Financial Officer Andy Bryant, who added AMD probably gained market share at Intel's expense.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

ABC cans "Emily's Reasons Why Not" after one showing

ABC sure doesn't fool around when it comes to the axe on a new show. The passed on this show after it drew just 6.2 million viewers. I wonder if they were thinking it was going to be the next Desperate Housewives or something. I was thinking of checking it out because Heather Graham is a good looking girl and I wanted to check out something she was in. I guess I won't be getting that chance now. This seems like the kind of series that Showtime or HBO should pick up and make into the next Sex in the City. I would turn in to watch a woman's show headlined by this woman:

Is God Mad at US?

According to Ray Nagin the Mayor of New Orleans He is!

"Surely God is mad at America. He sent us hurricane after hurricane after hurricane, and it's destroyed and put stress on this country," Nagin, who is black, said as he and other city leaders marked Martin Luther King Day.

"Surely he doesn't approve of us being in Iraq under false pretenses. But surely he is upset at black America also. We're not taking care of ourselves."

So he is saying that God the enforcer is killing innocent people (mostly poor and black) because we are in Iraq? Shouldn't God be punishing the so-called wicked by hitting the Red States with a rain of frogs or fire or something? When is Bush going to come down with a case of boils?

What did the Tsunami victims and the Pakistanis earthquake victims do? I guess God is mad at them for some prior unknown transgressions or possible invasions in their past.

Maybe God hated the so-called wicked and sinful nature of New Orleans and decided to put the deluge down on it. Kind of like Sodom and Gemorrah but with water instead of fire. Or perhaps Nagin isn't the kind of man that can understand the mind of God and try not to sound so much like Pat Robertson or Hal Lindsey:

But I believe there is another essential point being missed. Since America has forsaken the Christian principles on which our country was founded and on which all our founding documents were based, God's gracious protection that is so evident in American history is being withdrawn. We are also forcing God's people, Israel, into indefensible positions in the land God swore on oath to give them forever.

I believe unless there is a major national repentance, America is in for worse catastrophes than can possibly be imagined. God help us.

Yahoo Disappoints!

They really got clobbered after hours. Down 12%. I think missing the numbers slightly was bad but I think this may be worse:

Chief Financial Officer Susan Decker cautioned that during 2006 the company faced a smaller contribution from its Chinese business, rising traffic acquisition costs and the loss of its highly profitable business selling ads for Microsoft. Gross margins will decrease to 40 percent during the first quarter, she said.

Rising costs plus losing a big client will make for some tough times going forward. I wonder if the loss in value will bring MSFT to the deal making table. A Microsoft buyout of Yahoo would really make a splash I think.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Oprah breaks silence about Million Easy Pieces

It seems that she is somewhat in favor of the theme of the book but doesn't acknowledge its falsehoods.

"What is relevant is that he was a drug addict ... And stepped out of that history to be the man he is today and to take that message to save other people and allow them to save themselves," Winfrey said Wednesday night in a surprise phone call to CNN's Larry King, who was interviewing Frey on his live television program.

That is kind of a backing but she doesn't acknowledge the actual false stuff in the book though. Also Frey's allegations of falsifying the book are no longer just allegations any more.

Frey, in his first interview since The Smoking Gun story came out, acknowledged he had embellished parts of the book but said that was common for memoirs and defended "the essential truth" of "A Million Little Pieces."

I guess it may be common since I don't really read too many memoirs. It just seems kind of shady that someone would make up such wild stories just to make his life sound better for some book. And since that book is such a massive best seller it is like he faked parts his life just for the cashola. Perhaps the truth is much more mundane then the fiction. Maybe he just drank a lot and passed out on his living room floor every night. We can't be sure anymore.

So it lessens the impact of what he was trying to get across. He was trying to give us a cautionary tale to make us say don't take drugs or if you do then you can recover and still lead a productive life. If the cautionary tale part is faked then the words ring as hollow as the "Say No To Drugs" crap that came out in the 80s.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

FED says inflation "quite moderate"

I like this kind of talk from the FED myself:

Since fighting inflation is the U.S. Federal Reserve's top concern, investors interpreted the remarks by New York Fed President Timothy Geithner as another sign that the Fed might soon halt its year-plus streak of short-term interest rate hikes.

I guess we are really in the final inning of these rate hikes after all. Now we need some reassurances that housing prices don't go in the toilet and we will have a nice sustained rally.

A Million Little Pieces Author a fraud?

This is kind of junk if it is true. It seems that James Frey may have embellished his reminiscences according to some charges leveled by the Smoking Gun.

Central to Frey's book, published in 2003, is his assertion that he was charged with assaulting an Ohio police officer with his car, with inciting a riot, with possession of crack cocaine and felony drunk driving -- charges that he wrote resulted in a three-month prison term.

The Smoking Gun, owned by Court TV, reported that most of those claims were not borne out by police records or by interviews with police and court officials. The Web site published the police officer's report of the key 1992 incident which shows Frey was found drunk in his car without a driver's license but did not, as he wrote, serve time the incident or behave in the outrageous manner portrayed in his book.

These seem to be pretty serious charges if they are true and Doubleday is offering a refund for everyone who bought the book directly from the publisher. This is another case of the internet (not the blogosphere unfortunately) finding potential fraud where the main stream media fears to tread. In years past this kind of investigative journalism would be done by 20/20 or some other news show and not by some web page.

I wonder why this is? Is there too much money involved or would it be the wrath of the Oprah that keeps them from looking into things like this? It seems that Doubleday is owned by Bertelsmann AG which seems to have no connection to Oprah at all. However lots of the books on her Book club list seem to come from Doubleday or from Random House which is another Bertelsmann subsidiary. I didn't check them all but many of these Book Club books are Doubleday or Random House books.

Perhaps the main stream media didn't want to upset a good thing by looking too deeply into an Oprah Book Club book. I mean the Oprah Book Club has been quite a boon to the publishing industry providing a much needed boost to their bottom line. It has also made people interested in reading that may not be interested normally. The Book Club seems to serve the same purpose as the Harry Potter books do for younger readers. It has made people read a book instead of watching TV or partaking in one of the millions of distractions we have out there.

Perhaps too much investigation into the facts surrounding one these books will upset that sort of thing. So the MSM takes a pass while the internet (which really has nothing to lose) goes after it with abandon. I wonder if Oprah is going to come out for or against this Frey guy?

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

MSFT and Mac ink 5 year deal

This should be a good deal for both companies I think.

"We've had many years of success with Office for Mac, and this formal commitment confirms that we're in the Mac business for the long haul," said Tom Gibbons, Microsoft vice president of Consumer Productivity eXperience, in a statement.

I wonder if this new Office for Mac is going to be a better fit now that Macs are using Intel chips in them.

Iran Removes the Seals

It looks like Iran is taking advantage of Ariel Sharon's illness and removed the seals on their uranium enrichment equipment. I don't think Israel will stand for another nuclear power in the Middle East for any period of time. And it looks like we may be stepping in as well:

"If the regime in Iran continues on the current course and fails to abide by its international obligations, there is no other choice but to refer the matter to the Security Council," White House press secretary Scott McClellan said.

Also it looks like Germany and France are going to condemn in the strongest possible terms but do almost nothing again:

French President Jacques Chirac warned Iran it would commit a serious mistake if it ignored the international community on its nuclear program.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Iran was sending "worrying signals" on the nuclear issue.

The key is what the Security Council is going to do. I have my money on slap on the wrist and Iran getting the bomb in about 5 years or so. Then we will have an Iran/Israel hot war soon afterward. Maybe even an nuclear exchange between the two powers.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Herm Edwards in as Coach of Kansas City

Seems like a pretty good move from the Kansas City team and it should be a great fit for Edwards.

Herman Edwards was hired as coach of the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday, replacing the retired Dick Vermeil and inheriting a team that barely missed the playoffs.

The Chiefs will give Edwards' former team, the New York Jets, a fourth-round draft pick as compensation. Edwards still had two years left on his contract with New York.

He leaves a battered Jets club that where he seemed to be on the bubble of being fired from and goes to a club that barely missed the playoffs. That KC squad is packed with talent and just needs to improve its defense before they become contenders. It also seems that the KC front office might stick with Edwards even though the team doesn't do so well also.

Vermeil retired after going 44-36 in five years but reached the playoffs only once and did not get past the first game.

That means they will have the patience it will take to make the team into a contender. With all the fire-happy teams in the league that patience is a real luxury. I like Edwards too and I am looking forward to watching the KC Chiefs next year.

Toys-R-Us beaten by Wal-Mart; cuts stores and staff

It looks like Toys-R-Us is finally going to succumb to the Wal-Mart effect:

Toy retailer Toys R Us Inc. on Monday said it will close 75 Toys "R" Us stores in the United States and convert 12 others into Babies "R" Us stores, eliminating about 3,000 jobs.

Those piles of low priced toys that Wal-Mart pushes for that low-low price has finally driven Toys-R-Us to cut back stores and fire some workers. This is right after the most profitable part of their financial calendar too. At least they are latching onto the Babies-R-Us concept pretty well though. I think this may still pull in some good money for the moment.

It may be a losing business in the long term though. It seems people are having less children and much of that baby stuff could be carried by Wal-Mart for cheaper as well. Wal-Mart seems to be a kind of company that a consumer can go back to for their entire lifetime. The consumers parent buys them baby stuff, then toys, then video games, then school stuff, then clothing, and then the grown consumer does the same for their family.

Babies-R-Us is only useful for about a year and then the parents go to Wal-Mart to shop. Oh well, I hear that they have pretty good margins there and it brings in decent revenue growth for Toys-R-Us so they are still able to compete in that space.

Marcus Vick Arrested for Pulling a Gun

Now this really is a QB flushing his career down the toilet.

Police said the parents of a 17-year-old boy reported that Vick pointed a weapon at their son and two others during an altercation at a McDonald's in Suffolk, a southeastern Virginia city where Vick's mother lives, Sunday night.

If convicted of all three counts, Vick could be sentenced to up to three years in jail and a $7,500 fine, police spokeswoman Lt. Debbie George said in a statement.

He had an almost sure chance of making it in the NFL and now he is the next Maurice Clarett.

Hostel wins Box Office Wars

I didn't think this film would do as well as this. The movie cost less then 5 million and it has already grossed 20.1 million. I think the horror movie genre will really get some added traction with these kinds of numbers. I wonder if this movie has the legs to do $100 million numbers? If it does then we will really see a rash of splatter movies on the horizon.

Dow cracks 11000

Good looking broad based rally we are seeing here. The Janurary effect is in full swing and the market is going pretty good so far.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Getting a 5% yield

This seems like sensible advice to get a relatively risk-free 5% yield. It is strange that he doesn't list those inflation protected TIPS though. I guess that paragraph got cut or something.

Vick Booted off of VT

Wow VT sure doesn't fool around when it comes to disciplining its players. They actually kicked their star player off of the team for doing this:

On Friday, it was revealed that Vick had been stopped for speeding and driving with a revoked or suspended license in Hampton on Dec. 17, Cpl. James West said. Vick's license had been taken away in August 2004 when he was cited for reckless driving and marijuana possession in New Kent County.

If they kicked every player that was stopped for speeding with a revoked license off of the team then Florida would field a skeleton crew.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Tom DeLay hung out to dry

It looks like he may not be the majority leader when he comes back:

"I would not support him for majority leader," Rep. Ray LaHood told Reuters in a telephone interview from his central Illinois district.

"We need to clean up our House here very quickly or a year from now we'll be the minority party," said LaHood, initially elected to Congress in 1994 when his party won control of the House for the first time in 40 years.

And these are very apt words as well. I have a feeling that if the Repubs don't start flying right they will lose the Senate and maybe the House as well. And they cannot afford to have DeLay in there fighting in court while he is trying to keep their majority. His focus will be too divided to make sure they hold on to their majority. The Pres can't help them because he seems to be more hated then loved right now. They need a strong leader that is 100% focused on the goal.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Lindsay Lohan admits Drug use and being on the Vomit Diet

Ah all my speculation way back when were true. She admits to all this stuff in the new issue of Vanity Fair.

"I was making myself sick. I was sick and I had people sit me down and say 'You're going to die if you don't take care of yourself,"' she said in the magazine's latest issue, which hit newsstands on Wednesday.

Lohan said she used drugs "a little" but quickly tried to retract the admission and denied that she had taken cocaine. "I don't want people to think that I've done ... you know what I mean? It's kind of a sore subject," she said.

Sharon sent to ICU

It looks like the end could be near for the Prime Minister of Israel.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon underwent brain surgery after suffering a life-threatening stroke with doctors working through the night to stop "massive bleeding." Hadassah Hospital Director Mor-Yosef said he was transferred to intensive care Thursday with stable vital signs.

I wonder what kind of guy this person is:

Sharon's official powers were transferred to his deputy, Ehud Olmert, who chaired a special Cabinet session Thursday

Is he a force for peace or something else entirely? Or is he just a place holder guy for some other person to come into power.

Splatter Movies back in Vogue

It looks like the low-budget Horror movie is making a comeback. I think this is a great idea as well. I think we have had too much of the wink-wink Scream style horror movies. I was brought up on good old fashioned splatter movie era myself. But with todays special effects and makeup we can really have some great gore-fests now. I am looking forward to catching the movie Hostel when it comes out on Netflix. I'll review it when it does.

Ariel Sharon has Big Stroke

Bad news from the Middle East.

Dr. Shlomo Mor-Yosef, director of Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, said Sharon suffered "a significant stroke," adding that he was "under anesthetic and receiving breathing assistance." A few minutes later, Mor-Yosef emerged to say that initial tests showed Sharon had suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, or bleeding in his brain.

This is going to be a serious blow to that centrist Kadima party that they were trying to start in Israel. I wonder if this will usher in a reactionary like Netanyahu his fractured Likud party. Sharon looked like he could lead that Kadima party into some Israeli acceptable peace terms with the Palestinian. Now everything is up for grabs.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

TCU Freshmen Kicker Killed

Oh wow now this is weird news.

TCU freshman kicker Kasey Davis was shot to death early Tuesday, his body found in his car by police in the parking lot of an apartment complex.

The 20-year-old player had a gunshot wound to his chest and was pronounced dead at the hospital, police said.

Police arrested a suspect near the apartment minutes after getting a description from witnesses. Jeffrey Clay Lasiter had a rifle in the front seat of his car when he was pulled over.

My friend thinks that this was because TCU was able to cover the spread on that game. TCU was favored by 2 and that kick won that game for everyone betting on TCU. Perhaps this Lasiter character was representing shady underworld characters betting on Iowa St. who had paid the kicker to miss that field goal. He made the FG and thus became a big target for these people. I think someone should do a study on this kind of stuff.