Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Cat DNA Decoded

Now this is great news for all those people that are suffering from the same kind of diseases that cats get. Now this is one cute cat named Cinnamon that they decoded the DNA from.

Yet Another Reason to Not Buy a PS3

Now it seems they are delaying Metal Gear Solid 4 until 2nd quarter of 2008.
3:28PM Sony: Key Playstation 3 game delayed to second quarter FY08
SNE) 49.29 +0.49 : KONAMI announced that key Playstation 3 game "METAL GEAR SOLID 4 GUNS OF THE PATRIOTS" will be released in the second quarter of 2008. KONAMI had initially intended to release "METAL GEAR SOLID 4 GUNS OF THE PATRIOTS" this winter and has been working on the production of the title. KONAMI has decided to delay the title's release in order to make further improvements to the quality of the game and provide even greater enjoyment for more customers worldwide.

Hellgate London Released

I didn't even know that this thing was coming out today. It does sound like a pretty fun RGP type game. It also has online subscription content for $9.99 a month.
It’s 2038 and London lies in ruins, overrun by hordes of terrifying
demons. Players begin their mission to save the once-great city by creating a
hero, choosing among six character classes featuring distinct gameplay styles.
Hellgate: London offers gamers a deep storyline campaign with over 35 hours of
gameplay that is infinitely re-playable because of the game’s dynamically
generated levels and random items, enemies and events. Hellgate’s robust,
flexible skill and spell system, highly customizable appearances, and a massive
variety of equipment ensures each player’s experience will be unique.

J. Michels Video Game Index 10/31/07

+$1,162.00 +2.48%

J. Michels Uranium Index 10/31/07

+$1,847.00 +3.31%

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Simpsons Game Released

This looks like a fun game that I have been seeing commercials for on Sci-Fi Network.

With parodies of the video game industry, pop culture and current events, THE SIMPSONS GAME has the same subversive humor and delightfully smart wit as the critically acclaimed TV series.
It looks like a Crash Bandicoot style three quarters view game that might be an interesting pick up once I get my Xbox360.

J. Michels Video Game Index 10/30/07

+$103.10 +0.22%

J. Michels Uranium Index 10/30/07

-$1,868.05 -3.24%

Friday, October 26, 2007

Guitar Hero 3 Set to Launch October 28th

I guess I should be ramping up the purchase of my Xbox360 because this game looks pretty awesome. This ad copy kind of makes it sound like Street Fighter 2 with guitars:
Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock will include explosive new content and
features including a multiplayer action-inspired battle mode, grueling boss
battles, a host of exclusive unlockable content and visually stunning rock
venues. Expanded online multiplayer game modes will also allow fans worldwide to compete head-to-head for true legendary rock status. Fresh downloadable content will also be offered on multiple platforms, and players can now shred to a
killer set list from many of the most popular rock songs ever

J. Michels Video Game Index 10/26/07

+$1,066.00 +2.35%

J. Michels Uranium Index 10/26/07

+$2,375.99 +4.37%

Thursday, October 25, 2007

This is Why We Need Mandatory School Uniforms

This is a sad state of affairs for young girls in America.
In one study, more than one-third of middle-school students responded
"yes" when asked whether they are bullied because of the clothes they wear.

Yup they were bullied because they didn't wear the "right" fashion designers' clothes to school. Now this is a big joke when teen girls have to worry about fashion designers who make $300 dresses and not just growing up, going through puberty, etc.

I remember when I was in school the idea of school uniforms was asinine. But now I can see that mandatory school uniforms might be a great idea to prevent this kind of thing.

It seems to help everyone except for the $300 dress designers. Parents don't have to worry about buying the 'right' designers or the kid wearing the 'wrong' ones. Also buying back to school clothes will just be a matter of shelling out for 12 uniforms. This is also something that can be subsidized by the State for lower income kids.

This will also make it so poorer kids and richer kids won't have clothes as a clear and always present dividing line between them. The other dividing lines will still be there but at least this one will be taken care of. You will also cut down on short dresses and revealing tops and other things that people always complain about. I guess Japanese schools have the right idea all along when it comes to school uniforms.

Nintendo Sales Double

I guess the idea of making a cheaper game system for the masses has made Nintendo take off in a big way. The Wii is a massive hit and the PS3 looks like the big loser in the console war. Who knew that people would rather pay $250 rather then $500 for a game system?
Group sales also more than doubled to 694.80 billion yen ($6.07
billion; €4.27 billion) from 298.82 billion yen, with 78 percent of sales booked

The strong results spurred Nintendo to raise its profit forecast
for the year through March to 275 billion yen ($2.40 billion; €1.69 billion), up
from the 245 billion yen it forecast in July. Sales are forecast to rise 10
percent to 1.55 trillion ($13.55 billion; €9.52 billion).

Microsoft Has Great Quarter on Halo 3 and Vista sales

The one really positive thing is that computer sales were up 15% in September so it will help a slew of different companies. I also like how MSFT expanded their revenue number so well.

The world's largest software maker said net profit in its fiscal first
quarter totaled $4.29 billion, or 45 cents per diluted share, versus a profit of
$3.48 billion, or 35 cents per diluted share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 27 percent to $13.76 billion in the three months ended
September 30.

They also took a bite out of Facebook to the tune of $240 million for a 1.6% stake of the company. This really makes News Corp.'s MySpace purchase for $580 million for 100% of that company look like big time bargain.

I still don't think that Facebook is worth the $15 billion that Microsoft is valuing it at. I mean the company is not even doing $200 million in annual revenue. I would rather see MSFT spend that money going after a company like Electronic Arts and merging them with their game division. All of that IP and distribution might would put Microsoft in as an untouchable leader in both making the game system as well as the software that goes on it.

I guess all of the eyeballs (who don't seem to spend much money) on Facebook is what is driving the deal. My fear is that facebook seems like a 2nd tier social network compared to MySpace and they are valueing it 25 times higher. I guess the advertising opportunity is quite large if people keep using Facebook. However if there is any dropoff as the target demographic gets older or start to go to other social networks then this may be money wasted.

J. Michels Video Game Index 10/25/07

+$64.00 +0.14%

J. Michels Video Game Index 10/25/07

+$64.00 +0.14%

J. Michels Uranium Index 10/25/07

+$1,419.99 +2.68%

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Why Buffett is Riding the Rails

This article makes alot of sense on why Warren Buffett is buying rail stocks. The thesis is that he is buying due to a possible boom in ethanol production.
Scenario 1: Ethanol could be even bigger than people currently think,
and if so, then it's a big win for Buffett on just ethanol transport and a
massive crowding out pricing effect.

Scenario 2: However, I think what happens is that ethanol transport
simply takes up a good bit of available space on the rails. Think of it like
airlines and how expensive tickets would get if every plane only had a third or
half the seats starting out because half of the others are now always booked.

As you know ethanol cannot be transported through pipelines because the stuff is terribly corrosive. So they can only move that stuff via rail, truck, or barge. So moving ethanol will have the effect of making each boxcar much more scarce (and thus more expensive) and will give the railroads pricing power they have never seen before. It might be a good idea to look into the railroads that link the grain belt to the east and west coasts. They could become the ethanol highway in a few years.

J. Michels Video Game Index 10/23/07

+$642.19 +1.44%

J. Michels Uranium Index 10/23/07

+$2,146.00 +4.13%

Monday, October 22, 2007

Apple Has Stellar Quarter

Now they are bringing in the cash from sales of Macs.
Apple said it shipped a record 2.16 million Macs in the quarter, an
increase of 34 percent, while it sold 10.2 million iPods, up 17 percent. The
debut of a slate of new iPods in September helped accelerate sales and is
expected to boost holiday revenues, Apple officials said.

Plus the IPhone is a massive hit for the company as well especially with that price drop to $399. Now if they can only free the thing from AT&Ts slow-assed network.
In the first full quarter of iPhone sales -- a number many on Wall
Street were waiting for -- Apple said it sold 1.12 million units, bringing the
cumulative total to 1.39 million since the product debuted on June

THQ Lowers Outlook to $0.80 from $1.34 to $1.44

It looks like some games are getting trampled in the Halo3 related buzz.
The latest editions of "Juiced" and "Stuntman" did not meet THQ's
expectations, the company said, and it needs more time to improve these games.
Also, the company said it had to book a higher reserve for "price protection,"
or the cost of reimbursing customers when the price of a game falls.

They also delayed Destroy All Humans, Path of the Furon, Frontlines, Fuel of War and de Blob. The problems with THQ is that other then Destroy all Humans these games aren't front of mind like many other companies. They need to seriously develop or buy some new franchises.

MTV in the Game Business in a Big Way

It seems that Rock Band is going to be MTVs first game and they are going all out to promote the thing.
The "tour bus" stage rig will visit 30 cities between mid-September and
early November, stopping at several college campuses, fairs and even marathon
finish lines. At each event, MTV trains cameras on the stage, documenting the
performances of makeshift bands to see which might qualify for a competition
placing two groups in a battle-of-the-bands showdown on the network's Total
Request Live. The winning band will perform as the opening act at a launch
concert for the game.

I hope MTV does more actual music types of things and less Laguna Beach and other semi-Real World style snorefests. I guess they forgot what the M in their name stands for.

J. Michels Video Game Index 10/22/07

+$214.80 +0.48%

J. Michels Uranium Index 10/22/07

-$1,039.00 -1.96%

Friday, October 19, 2007

J. Michels Video Game Index 10/19/07

-$1,535.00 -3.34%

J. Michels Uranium Index 10/19/07

-$1,816.00 -3.32%

Great Info on Aegean Marine Petroleum Network

This is a great article on a company that provides fuel (bunkers) for various large oceangoing ships.

Back in early June and last month, I updated you on one of my favorite side plays on this trend, which is marine fuel and lubricants provider Aegean Marine Petroleum Network (ANW), after it announced that it would launch a new service station in West Africa. But now I want to tell you about its latest move, which is the purchase of a Belgian-based ocean fueling concern called Bunkers at Sea.
The stock recently sold off a bit so it may be attractive at this level. I really like its business because day rates are through the roof and these ships need fuel and lubricants. The company it bought has a neat way of fueling the ships while they are on the move so that they don't waste time getting into line and then waiting around to get fuel. The bunker ship just pulls alongside the tanker and fills it up kind of like how long range bombers are fueled up while in the air.

In any case this is a great company in a business that has record pricing due to Chinese and Indian growth. I have had this one on the radar for a while and I hope it goes into the high 30s so I can jump on board.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Google Has Great Quarter

It looks like Google is back in growth driver mode again.
Overcoming a traditionally slow season for Web surfing, Google said
Thursday that it earned $1.07 billion, or $3.38 per share, for the three months
ended in September. That was a 46 percent improvement from net income of $733.4 million, or $2.36 per share, at the same time last year.

The stock is at an all-time high too and looks like it my break out even higher tomorrow. This should be good for the rest of tech. I also like how they dominate web search by having almost 4 times as many searches as Yahoo. Comparing those companies is like night and day now.

Big Bang Theory Picked Up

This is great news for me because the only show that I can truely call "must see TV" got picked up for a full season.
Since its debut, "Big Bang" has maintained and built slightly on its
"How I Met Your Mother" lead-in to become a solidly performing member of the CBS Monday comedy block. The most recent episode garnered a 3.1 rating, placing second in the half hour behind ABC's "Dancing With the Stars." Its pickup makes "Big Bang" the first comedy of the fall season to receive a full order.

I'm really glad that people are watching this show and appreciating its geeky goodness. Now they need an episode where they either play Magic cards, D&D, or talk about Anime and I will be in heaven.

September Video Game Sales Up 75%

Now this is one industry that is really humming along.
Total sales in September, a 5-week retail period, soared to $1.36
billion, up from $779 million a year earlier, according to market research firm

"Halo 3," the latest installment of Microsoft's flagship franchise,
sold 3.3 million copies, more than twice as many as the next nine games
combined, the data showed.

As you would think Halo 3 knocked it out of the park. It is a great bonus for MSFT who seems to have done well in console sales because of the game.
The game received such positive buzz that it spurred consumers to buy
Xbox 360s just to play it. Microsoft sold nearly 528,000 of the consoles in

Now this is really a recession proof industry to say the least.

J. Michels Video Game Index 10/18/07

-$32.00 -0.07%

J. Michels Uranium Index 10/18/07

+$679.00 +1.26%

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Good Info on National Oilwell Varco

I have been doing some research on this stock for a while now and this article is a nice confirmation of what I have been finding.
A good time to re-evaluate the company's fundamentals will be the Oct.
24 third-quarter earnings report. Lehman Brothers analyst Jim Crandell says the
company tends to under promise and over deliver, which it again did when it
posted surprisingly strong orders and backlog last quarter. The backlog then
totaled $7.2 billion, up from $6.4 billion in the first quarter. New orders
received in the quarter hit $1.8 billion, up from $1.2 billion, reflecting
strong demand, especially for international offshore gear. Similar growth in the
third quarter and upbeat guidance could spur further stock gains.

They pretty much own the offshore oil rig market in consumables and logistics. That market is at 90% capacity and day rates are $180,000 for the deepest of offshore rigs. Servicing that market is very lucrative because many of these rigs are 20 years old or more. NOV is the company they come to to modernize and fix up those aging rigs.

They also sell these companies consumables and other things that they need for everyday functioning. With day rates through the roof you can bet that these rigs go 24/7 and downtime costs big money. So they have pricing power when it comes to the things that that these drillers need. The number I am watching closely is how much their backlog grows in this next quarter. If it keeps getting bigger and bigger you can easily gauge how much they will make in future quarters.

THQ Signs Deal with Nintendo

I guess Nintendo is thinking about doling out some of more of its intellectual property to third parties.
Video-game software publisher THQ Inc. said Wednesday it has signed a
license agreement with Nintendo last week that will allow it to continue to use
the Japanese company's intellectual property to develop and sell games for the
Wii console.

I'm hoping someone like THQ will bring out a Wii version of Kid Icarus with new graphics and maybe a three quarters view like Ratchet and Clank. I would be willing to buy a Wii just to play that game.

J. Michels Video Game Index 10/17/07

+$533.00 +1.17%

J. Michels Uranium Index 10/17/07

-$794.00 -1.45%

Skype Sends Ebay to a Loss

I guess they didn't do as much DD as you might have expected when they bought Skype in 2005.
Early this month, eBay announced it would take a $900 million
write-down in the value of Skype. That charge, for what accountants call
impairment, essentially acknowledged that eBay executives drastically overvalued the $2.6 billion Skype acquisition, completed in October 2005.

Who knew that people wouldn't take to Internet telephony as much as you would think. It seems like such a good innovation on paper. I blame how people use the technology though. It kind of falls into a niche between regular long distance and Internet chat.

Most people just call long distance with their regular long distance carriers or just use their cell phones. And if they want to talk to their relatives for free they can just use Yahoo Chat or something similar. So there really isn't a reason to use Skype since there is already a market for a pay service and a market for a free service as well.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Woman Documents LA Murders

Now this is a really good project that should be carried out by all major cities.
Leovy is the creator of The Homicide Report, a blogging project by
the Los Angeles Times in which she is attempting to record every homicide in
Los Angeles County over the course of a year. She has covered over 700 to

I think Police Departments across the nation should put up a blog that has the names of various murder victums and other unsolved crimes. Maybe someone will remember seeing something and come forward as a witness or something. Here is a link to the LA Times site. This Leovy woman should be put in for some kind of reward.

J. Michels Video Game Index 10/15/07

+$176.00 +0.38%

J. Michels Uranium Index 10/15/07

-$745.99 -1.33%

Friday, October 12, 2007

Bacteria Causes Chocolate Cravings?

Now this is certainly a weird thing to know that bugs living in your stomach are chocoholics.
A small study links the type of bacteria living in people's digestive
system to a desire for chocolate. Everyone has a vast community of microbes in
their guts. But people who crave daily chocolate show signs of having different
colonies of bacteria than people who are immune to chocolate's

J. Michels Video Game Index Weekly Gain


J. Michels Uranium Index Weekly Gain


J. Michels Video Game Index 10/12/07

+$63.00 +0.14%

J. Michels Uranium Index 10/12/07

+$511.00 +0.98%

Al Gore Wins Nobel Peace Prize

I kind of agree with him winning the prize.
Former Vice President Al Gore and the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change jointly won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize Friday for their efforts
to spread awareness of man-made climate change and to lay the foundations for
fighting it.

I would be willing to bet that quite a few people had no idea about global warming before Gore got out there and beat the drum. Even though some people disagree that it is even happening I happen to believe that fighting global warming is a national security issue. As long as we pay Iran for oil then we are going to fight wars in the Middle East. If we don't buy Iran's main product they won't be able to kill our troops/pursue nuclear weapons/destroy Israel. The added bonus is we slow down global warming, prevent the seas from rising 20 ft, or whatever scare tactics that the Global Warming lobby wants us to believe. The sooner we are off of Iranian and Venezuelan oil the safer and more secure our country will be.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Citigroup Management Shakeup

No they didn't fire Charles Prince but they did do a lot of other things. I think the reason why Citi has done so poorly compared to other money center banks is this:
Randy Barker, one of Citi's three heads of fixed income, will leave the
company, while Geoffrey Coley, another head of fixed income, will take other
responsibilities, Prince said. Paco Ybarra, also a head of fixed income, will
continue in his current role.

They had three different guys as the head of fixed income? How do they get anything done in that department? No wonder they had $5.9 billion in sub-prime backed writedowns in this last quarter. Maybe they all sat in the same office with three desks or something. In any case it must have been hard to do anything with any kind of speed if you needed three different guys to approve it.

Let's hope the next management move will be Charles Prince retiring or taking that golden parachute out of dodge. I'm no Prince Waleed bin Talal who is one of the largest Citigroup shareholders but I have owned Citigroup stock for years now and it would be great to see some real go-getter as CEO of that company.

EA Buys BioWare and Pandemic

For $620 million in cash and $155 million in equity they have acquired some pretty good franchises. BioWare has the Neverwinter Nights franchise as well as a fantasy MMORPG that they are developing. While Pandemic has Mercenaries and Destroy All Humans, and Star Wars Battlefront under their belt. The article hints at a little $4.9 million side deal for the former employee of the private-equity firm that owns BioWare/Pandemic who is now CEO at EA. That's a nice little chunk of change to make the deal.
VG Holding is owned by private-equity firm Elevation Partners, the
former employer of EA's CEO, John Riccitiello. In a subsequent 8-K filed
Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, EA revealed Riccitiello
continues to have a stake in Elevation and as a result of the studio sale could
reap a return "up to $4.9 million at the time of partnership distributions in
the future, if any."

J. Michels Video Game Index 10/11/07

-$315.00 -0.68%

J. Michels Uranium Index 10/11/07

+$412.98 +0.76%

Dems Alienate Turkey

In another boneheaded move by Congress Turkey has been branded as perpetrators of genocide 92 years after the fact. And the worst part is that it looks like the Turks are now going to invade Northern Iraq to destablize the region.
Erdogan's government will seek authorization for a military incursion
after a public holiday which ends on Sunday, senior ruling AK Party lawmaker
Sadullah Ergin said.

Ergin said the resolution could go to parliament, where the AK
Party has a big majority, after a cabinet meeting on Monday.

Good job Congress. Maybe they think winning political feel-good measures (the author if the bill is from a mostly Armenian district) is more important then keeping one of the few Muslim allies in the area. Even if the Ottoman Empire committed genocide against the Armenians we don't have to condemn them 92 years later on the floor of the Congress. Hardly a man is now alive that was even alive during that time. The Dems need to focus on the next genocide since they failed in Rawanda and seem to be failing in Darfur. Let's hope cooler heads prevail and they vote down this Bill when it goes to the entire House.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

SITE Intelligence Group Access Blocked By Al-Quida

It seems that the intelligence agencies and maybe the White House has dropped the ball again.
The SITE Intelligence Group said it lost access that it had
covertly acquired to Al-Qaeda's communications network when the
administration of President George W. Bush let out that the company had
obtained a bin Laden video early last month ahead of its official release, the
Washington Post said.

Shouldn't SITE keep mum about things like this? Oh, lets let Al-Quida know that we lost access to their communication network. I guess their Bush Hatred Syndrome is so bad that scoring points on the White House trumps national security. They should know that you should never let your enemy know what your strengths and especially your weaknesses are. I guess all the Cold warriors have retired from groups like SITE and they just blab things that ding the White House.

I can only hope that this announcement was just a cover to throw Al-Quida off. They can say that their access was lost when actually things never changed. Now Al-Quida will stop looking to see that their stuff is being accessed and become complacent. Now that is a Cold War tactic.

Video Game Index 10/9/07

+$498.98 +1.10%

J. Michels Uranium Index 10/9/07

+$1,419.00 +2.74%

Big Bang Theory is Great!

I have finally found a new show to watch this season and it is Big Bang Theory on CBS. The show is on at 7:30 in Hawaii opposite Dancing With the Stars. I was tipped off to the show by Wired magazine doing a "must watch" feature on it. I watched it and I really enjoyed it quite a bit. It has become "must see TV" for me on Mondays now.

It is really a geeks on parade type of show that I can relate to because I am a geek myself. It is about these two physics guys living together and a hot girl moves in across the way from them. The girl is a real airhead but one of the geeks falls in love with her for some reason or another. I agree with this review in saying that the airhead girl needs to be fleshed out a little more. What they should do is either make her witty or maybe street smart or something along those lines. They need to make her something other then blond girl with big boobs and nothing above the neck. Even making her do really sweet stuff for the geeks or asking them to help with her coursework would be good for the show overall.

Another thing the show needs is another geek girl that likes the main character. This could be an "Erkel-type" character that tries everything that she can to win over the Leonard character. She is also there to stymie any potential relationship that he wants to have with the airhead. She can be the enemy/comic relief character that makes the audience go why doesn't Leonard go with this girl instead of the airhead. If the airhead character is stronger then the audience cant make up their minds about who Leonard should be with.

In any case the Big Bang Theory is great and I am really looking forward to watching it every week. It is now my Monday at 7:30 staple. It should get picked up according to the ratings and hopefully it will continue to do well once Dancing With the Stars goes on hiatus.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Some Sobering Thoughts on Citigroup

This is some interesting findings about Citigroup coming clean about the effects of the credit mess on their bottom line earlier in the week. This is in regards to them boosting their credit card loss reserves just in case the consumer credit market goes to hell. If credit card delinquencies start to get really bad we may see some serious pain out there form the retailers on down.
While I will readily accept that Citigroup and others in the industry
have come clean on the earnings impacts of August’s credit market
“thunderstorm”, I firmly believe that the deterioration in consumer credit is
just beginning. And when you combine that with the heightened leverage and “hot
money” funding that most of the major financial institutions have come to rely
on, I find it difficult, based on Citigroup’s own words, to believe that the
whole storm has passed.

RIMM has great quarter

People are snapping up those Blackberrys one after another.
Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM added about 1.45 million BlackBerry
subscriber accounts in the quarter and shipped more than 3 million devices. The
total BlackBerry subscriber account base at the end of the second quarter was
10.5 million.

It seems that after-hours traders were looking for even better numbers or maybe a higher guidance or something.
In after-hours trading, RIM shares fell $1.94 to $98.60. Earlier, they
rose $4.26, or 4.4 percent, to end regular trading at $100.54.

It looks like most of the options action was to the Call side so it will be interesting to see what the stock does tomorrow.

J. Michels Video Game Index 10/4/07

+$183.75 +0.41%

J. Michels Uranium Index 10/4/07

+$44.00 +0.09%

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Hillary's Laugh and Giuliani's Cell Phone

I guess these are the kinds of stories you get when you start the Presidential campaigns a year early.
It has become so frequent that Frank Rich, a liberal columnist for The
New York Times, said the laugh seemed to be the Clinton campaign's method of
heeding complaints that she is "too calculating and controlled" and compared it
to Democrat Al Gore's long kiss with his wife Tipper during the Democratic
National Convention in 2000.

"Now Mrs. Clinton is erupting in a laugh with all the spontaneity
of an alarm clock buzzer," Rich wrote.

Yes, the MSM is now debating whether Hillary's laugh is genuine or not. Now that is a sad commentary about how Hillary is portrayed. She is even getting derided for faking her laughter. I guess talking about her Health Care plan or her Iraq strategy is just too boring for words when people are rehashing her laughs.

Israel Admits that it Bombed Syria

Now this is a pretty odd development for the Israelis. If you think about it Syria could claim this as a Casus Belli and attack Israel if they felt froggy enough. And the reason that they gave for it is pretty weird as well.
Israel lifted its ban on reporting that the attack took place after
Syrian President Bashar Assad told the British Broadcasting Corp. that Israeli
jets had hit an "unused military building." But Israeli officials refused to say
anything about the attack, and almost no one who'd be expected to know— from
government officials to former intelligence officers— is talking.

So the Israelis flew deep into Syrian airspace and attacked an "unused military building" and Syria doesn't seem a bit peeved at all. You would think that they would be rattling the saber and calling for the UN to step in etc. etc. Syria could very well roll tanks if they wanted to because they were secretly attacked. But they do nothing. Very strange stuff going down in the Middle East.

J. Michels Video Game Index 10/2/07

+$553.13 +1.25%

J. Michels Uranium Index 10/2/07

-$1,410.00 -2.59%

Dems Propose a Reasonable Bill and an Idiodic One

It seems the Dems can actually put up some meaningful Iraq legislation once in a while.
The bill would require the administration to report to Congress on the
status of redeployment plans in 60 days. Follow up reports would be required
every 90 days thereafter.

The latest bill doesn't set any timetable for a withdrawal and
Republican leaders have said they will not oppose it.

This seems like a reasonable request that the Congress gets a briefing on what redeployment plans are in the works every 60 days. That way the generals can show that due to the reduction in violence we will be able to withdraw a certain amount of troops. Or if the violence gets worse they can show that they need to keep in a certain amount troops. I trust General Petraeus assessment of how many troops he needs to fight the war far more then Harry Reids.

Then immediately the Dems look like they are playing politics with the war with another very shortsighted bill.
The plan, unveiled by Reps. David Obey, D-Wis., John Murtha, D-Pa., and
Jim McGovern, D-Mass., would require low- and middle-income taxpayers to add 2 percent to their tax bill. Wealthier people would add a 12 to 15 percent
surcharge, Obey said.

Yup that is the Dems plans for everything, raise taxes and soak the rich instead of trying to give us concrete plans for success in Iraq. They know that this surcharge will bring in billions or perhaps trillions more then they would need for Iraq but they still want to press this stuff forward. Sometimes the Dems show that they just simply hate to see American citizens holding onto their money instead of the government.