Friday, February 26, 2010
“We no longer see a role for Tiger in our marketing efforts and have ended our relationship,” a Gatorade spokeswoman said. “We wish him all the best.”
I think Nike has too much invested in their golf line to cut Tiger loose yet. In any case this is a fall from grace that is almost unprecedented.
People at Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and even the Treasury Department have gone a bit curling crazy. Terms like “kizzle kazzle” — a curling stone that is wobbled to compensate for slush on the ice — have suddenly entered the Wall Street lexicon. CNBC’s ratings have gotten a boost, too.
CNBC is the background noise at many trading houses and curling is just the sort of game that appeals to precision minded investors. The "chess on ice" aspect should also appeal to those strategists out there. The funny part is that if they put curling on USA or MSNBC then this would not have even been an issue. Now I wonder if we will end up seeing "Goldman Sachs presents the US Curling National Championships" anytime soon?
On the other hand, asked what Congress should do on health care -- pass the current bill, start work on an entirely new bill, or stop working on the issue altogether -- a huge majority opposes the Democratic proposal now on the table. Just 25 percent of those surveyed want to see the bill passed. Forty-eight percent want Congress to start over, and 25 percent want lawmakers to stop working on health care altogether. Put those last two together, and an overwhelming majority of 73 percent do not want Congress to pass the current bill.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
The top two Democrats on Capitol Hill said they would press forward on health overhaul legislation with or without bipartisan support, which would mean using a legislative process known as reconciliation. "We need to have the courage to get this job done, and we will," Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said after the meeting. She said she was hopeful that Republicans and Democrats would work together, but added she was "not overly optimistic."
At least they put in the leg-work required to sell this Kabuki Theater to the American People. Now the Dems are simply going to cram it right down our throats. I guess they made the calculation the health care takeover is worth losing their jobs over. Oh well the new GOP controlled Congress will just wait 2 years before they overturn whatever the Dems pass.
Those known to be on the list with Krasinski include Michael Cassidy (who appeared in "Smallvile" and who tested for the Superman movie when McG was going to direct it), Patrick Flueger (one of the stars of " The 4400 " who most recently appeared in the Tobey Maguire movie " Brothers "), Scott Porter (TV's " Friday Night Lights "), Wilson Bethel (" Generation Kill ") and Mike Vogel (" Cloverfield ").
It seems they don't want any sort of big name actor doing the movie. I mean that John Krasinski guy fits the body type but all I have seen him do is dorky comedy roles like in Leatherheads. Maybe they will get a decent actor to play the Red Skull.
The Dallas-based auction house said the rare copy of No. 27 sold for a total of $1,075,500, which includes the buyer's premium, to a buyer who wished to remain anonymous. The consigner wanted to remain anonymous as well.
"It pretty much blew away all of our expectations and now it's the highest price ever raised for a comic book," said Barry Sandoval, director of operations of Heritage's comics division.
Remember, like artwork a rare comic is more precious than gold because they can't be reproduced. You can always mine more gold or recycle existing gold. You can't get more Detective Comics #27s printed in 1939. As we go forward we might see these expensive books go even higher as a hedge against inflation and a diversification tool.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Todd Greenwald of Signal Hill Capital said the new DS device may suffer from comparisons to the iPhone, which can be had for $10 more and offers many games for 99 cents or less.
"I think that makes the DS a tough sell at $189, with games going for $30-35," he said in an e-mail interview.
The DSi XL will launch at stores on March 28, at a price of $189. That's about $20 more than the price for the current DSi. The DSi XL has two screens -- one touch-sensitive -- that are about 93% larger than the screens on the previous version.I have to disagree with Todd Greenwald though because the iPhone is not really a gaming device in the same category as the DSi. Most of the people buying this new DSi XL will be parents purchasing them for their kids. I don't see many parents buying their kids an iPhone for gaming or even general use.
Also most of the iPhone games are cheap for a reason because they aren't much more then a quicky diversion. The DSi games are are much more robust and usually worth the $30 price tags. Also even though they might be popular to some I have never heard of a "must-have" iPhone game that justifies the monthly data fee and the AT&T plan. Here is the Japanese box for the DSi CL. Hopefully they come in better colors than this one.
Monday, February 22, 2010
1. Be grateful - Some study participants were asked to write letters of gratitude to people who had helped them in some way. The study found that these people reported a lasting increase in happiness - over weeks and even months - after implementing the habit. What's even more surprising: Sending the letter is not necessary. Even when people wrote letters but never delivered them to the addressee, they still reported feeling better afterwards.
2. Be optimistic - Another practice that seems to help is optimistic thinking. Study participants were asked to visualize an ideal future - for example, living with a loving and supportive partner, or finding a job that was fulfilling - and describe the image in a journal entry. After doing this for a few weeks, these people too reported increased feelings of well-being.
3. Count your blessings - People who practice writing down three good things that have happened to them every week show significant boosts in happiness, studies have found. It seems the act of focusing on the positive helps people remember reasons to be glad.
4. Use your strengths - Another study asked people to identify their greatest strengths, and then to try to use these strengths in new ways. For example, someone who says they have a good sense of humor could try telling jokes to lighten up business meetings or cheer up sad friends. This habit, too, seems to heighten happiness.
5. Commit acts of kindness - It turns out helping others also helps ourselves. People who donate time or money to charity, or who altruistically assist people in need, report improvements in their own happiness.
Lyubomirsky has also created an iPhone application, called Live Happy, to help people boost their well-being.
Friday, February 19, 2010
Douglas E. Schoen if they want to keep their jobs in November. This part alone will probably keep many of them in power:
These policies include a broad-based payroll tax holiday, building from the one Sens. Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.) and Orrin Hatch (R., Utah) have embraced, an extension of the Bush tax cuts, educational initiatives to educate the next generation of entrepreneurs, and tax policies that provide clear incentives to small businesses to get started and to hire new employees. Of late, President Obama has paid lip-service to the concept of creating private-sector jobs, but there is much more he can and should do to become the "jobs president" rather than the "health-care president."
Keep the Bush tax cuts or even broaden them and call them the Obama Tax Cuts and then doing these other things would be a real "jobs bill." Mark my words if Obama gets on the side of small businessmen and actually backs reasons for them to create new jobs he will win a second term in a land-slide. That payroll tax holiday alone if structured correctly would create millions of jobs.
However, if the "jobs bill" turns out to be an extention of unemployment insurance, and a bunch of infrastructure spending in 2012 then just about any Republican other then Sarah Palin would beat him handily. He can't afford to have unemployement as high as it is for 2 more years.
When V2G becomes more widespread, the power could be drawn from millions of vehicles plugged into sockets in home garages or from commercial fleets, such as the US Postal Service's vans, for a much smaller footprint than that of the power plants.
Grid management companies like PJM Interconnection currently pay around 30 dollars an hour when taking power from a car.The idea that you can plug your car in for like 12 hours and earn $360 a day sounds like a pretty good deal to me. I wonder how much companies like PJM Interconnection is selling that power back to the power companies for?
Also it would be interesting to generate power and store it by just having the wheels of the car move as well. Then you can sell even more power to these companies. In any case being paid to plug in your car is the exact incentive that will make electric cars take off in the US.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
The White House signaled Thursday that an aggressive, all-Democratic strategy for overhauling the remains a serious option, even as President Barack Obama invites Republicans to next week's televised summit to seek possible compromises.
The administration's stance could set the stage for a political showdown, with Democrats struggling to enact the president's top domestic priority and Republicans trying to block what many conservatives see as government overreach.
So this invite the Republicans health care summit is just for show? Are Dem committed to destroying any chance of holding on to the Congress? Reconciliation will be painted as a plan to sneak something through that the American people have been against for months now. There is no way that they can spin it in any other way. They will be painted as giving Americans something they do not want and then being forced to "cheat" to do it. Expect a landslide in Midterm elections that will make 1994 seem tame.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
The resulting explosion of mosquito-borne malaria in Africa has claimed over sixty million lives. This was not a gradual process – a surge of infection and death happened almost immediately. The use of DDT reduces the spread of mosquito-borne malaria by fifty to eighty percent, so its discontinuation quickly produced an explosion of crippling and fatal illness. The same environmental movement which has been falsifying data, suppressing dissent, and reading tea leaves to support the global-warming fraud has studiously ignored this blood-drenched “hockey stick” for decades.
This was another case of junk science that caused alarmists to ban something that kept millions of people from dying due to malaria. I find it strange that environmentalists care so much about whether you separate your plastics from your other garbage and don't care about trying to stop people from dying in Africa. It is almost as if they actually want "unsustainable" people to die off in such numbers.
Dunecraft just introduced the Hydro-Dome, allowing kids and adults alike to grow and clone plants in a hydroponic garden. This pint-sized dome was designed after real-life bubbler systems to create the optimal growing environment.
Now this would be something cool to have growing on your kitchen table.
Obama even delighted in recounting a section of his State of the Union address last month in which he talked of the tax cuts from the stimulus plan and watched Republican lawmakers fail to applaud the idea.
"They were all kind of squirming in their seats ... It was interesting to watch," Obama said.
Yeah, I wouldn't rush to my feet to just clap about an extra $13 in your paycheck either. I still think they should have just took that $787 billion and divided it evenly among every tax payer in the form of a check for $2000. Then used the left over and given it to the states or something.
Imagine all of the debt that could have been paid off with that money alone. A family with a few kids could get rid of all of their credit card debt in one fell swoop. Even if people saved the money (which I would have done) it would have been a pretty easy way to create some cushion for many people. Some people would have blown it on a TV or something but that is still "stimulus."
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Issue 602 of the comic features Captain America investigating a right-wing anti-government militia group called "the Watchdogs". Hoping to infiltrate the group, Captain America and his African-American sidekick The Falcon observe an anti-tax protest from a rooftop. The protestors depicted are all white and carry signs adorned with slogans almost identical to those seen today in Tea Party rallies like "tea bag libs before they tea bag you" and "stop the socialists."
mentions that the gathering appears to be "some kind of anti-tax protest" and notes that "this whole 'hate the government' vibe isn't limited to the Watchdogs." He then tells Captain America that he doesn't think their plan will work because "I don't exactly see a black man from Harlem fitting in with a bunch of angry white folks." Captain America then explains that his plan entails sending The Falcon in among the group posing as an IRS agent under the thinking that a black government official will most certainly spark their anger.
Until they fire Joe Quesada the Marvel Comics editor-in-chief I have bought my last Marvel book. His sad-assed mea culpa is a joke:
Quesada then went on to say that Marvel would "apologize for and own up to" a series of "stupid mistakes" that led to them "accidentally identifying" one of the members of the protest group "as being a part of the Tea Party instead of a generic protest group." He explained that they were on deadline to get the issue to the printer for publication, and in the course of sending it off it was noticed that the signs in the scene contained no words or phrases. He said the editor then asked the letterer to "fudge in some quick signs" and that in the "rush to get the book out of the door," the letterer "looked on the net and started pulling slogans" from signs captured in photographs at Tea Party protests in order to make them appear "believable."
They were rushing so they "fudged some quick signs" that accidentally slandered the Tea Party movement as a bunch of racists. They could have written just about anything they wanted on those signs but chose to put Tea Party slogans on it.
It then had to have been checked by Quesada before it was passed to the printer so he can't say it was the letterers fault. Instead of a quick call to change that sign to something else and then 5 minutes with PhotoShop Quesada passed it through. His far-left liberal views get old fast and there really isn't a reason to read a Marvel book until he is out on his ass.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
The president, speaking in an interview, said in response to a question that while $17 million is “an extraordinary amount of money” for Main Street, “there are some baseball players who are making more than that and don’t get to the World Series either, so I’m shocked by that as well.”
“I know both those guys; they are very savvy businessmen,” Obama said in the interview yesterday in the Oval Office with Bloomberg BusinessWeek, which will appear on newsstands Friday. “I, like most of the American people, don’t begrudge people success or wealth. That is part of the free- market system.”
It all comes down to the fact that almost no one on Main Street can effectively do Jamie Dimon or Lloyd Blankfein job. Just like these same people cannot hope to do A-Rods job. So these CEOs are paid in a way that is commensurate with their skills. If they weren't running their companies there is pretty good chance that they could set up their own Hedge Funds and make millions that way instead.
The whole idea that Dimon and Blankfein caused this mess is absurd. It was the unregulated multi-trillion dollar derivatives market that was most of the problem. You add to this the ratings agencies that were running up profits by giving liar loans an A+ rating and things get even worse. The people at fault were Democrat and Republican, Wall Street players, the home builders and that idiot on Main Street that signed that liar loan in the first place. So it is good to see Obama backing off the bankers at least a little bit.
Without the U.S. Air Force, we would need thousands more troops here just to run convoys, and bringing in those troops would require more convoys to supply their needs. It’s okay to use contractors to bring supplies in from Pakistan or from the north, but driving up into those mountains and other remote locations would be suicidal.
Gita Sahgal, head of the gender unit at Amnesty’s international secretariat, believes that collaborating with Moazzam Begg, a former British inmate at Guantanamo Bay, “fundamentally damages” the organisation’s reputation.
In an email sent to Amnesty’s top bosses, she suggests the charity has mistakenly allied itself with Begg and his “jihadi” group, Cageprisoners, out of fear of being branded racist and Islamophobic.
Sahgal describes Begg as “Britain’s most famous supporter of the Taliban”. He has championed the rights of jailed Al-Qaeda members and hate preachers, including Anwar al-Awlaki, the alleged spiritual mentor of the Christmas Day Detroit plane bomber.I wonder if Amnesty International is also against the brutality toward women by the Taliban? I mean it doesn't take much to see how badly treated women when they were in power. I guess a Jihadi scumbag rotting in Guantanamo is more worthy of their attention then some 12 year girl in the Taliban held parts of Afghanistan.
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
Warning that Obama needs to take action quickly, Clemons adds that needed advice from a broader range of advisers "is getting twisted either in the rough-and-tumble of a a team of rivals operation that is not working, or is being distorted by the Chicago political gang's tactical advice that is seducing Obama towards a course that has not only violated deals he made with those who voted him into office but which is failing to hit any of the major strategic targets by which the administration will be historically measured."
Yup, he is getting the worst of all worlds. First he isn't getting any advice from people that might actually help him achieve goals and they are missing targets one after another. I found this part especially telling:
For instance, remember how much we heard all last year about the need for healthcare legislation before early August, before October, before Thanksgiving, before Christmas, before the State of the Union? And how spanked the White House was by the Massachusetts Senate upset that Obama said his laser-vision for 2010 was on jobs and the economy?
So, what did he announce during a Super Bowl interview? More healthcare meetings, designed to politically box Republicans into the No-Nothing corner.Then they try to paper over all the graft and special closed door deals in the Health Care bills which is just par-for-the-course for Chicago. I think Obama needs to realize that the majority of Americans hate Chicago style politics and will rather throw the bums out in 2010 rather then continue to endure it.
If Obama actually wants to win a second term he needs to eject all of the Chicago people from the cabinet and start listening to other voices that will work with him to actually achieve goals. He also needs to be less arrogant and condescending if that is possible.
Sales rose 39.8% to $184.7 million, 2.6% over views, as customers adopted Baidu's new "Phoenix Nest," advertising platform.
"This year ended on a positive note as Phoenix Nest's better-than-anticipated performance helped us to exceed expectations for the fourth quarter," said Baidu CEO Robin Li, in a statement released after the market closed.
For its first quarter Baidu said it expects sales of between $176 million and $181 million. Analysts expected $170.23 million.I like that revenue estimate increase as well. What was really interesting was how various Chinese interviewed about Google said that they wouldn't miss it or barely use it. It would be interesting to see the market share break down going forward.
But U.S. and Afghan officials know that die-hard Taliban forces have been burying hundreds of improvised explosive devices around the town in recent weeks. "It's giving time and space to those who want to fight to dig in," says Ali Jalali, who served as Afghanistan's first post-Taliban and now works with the Pentagon's National Defense University in Washington. "It could be very bloody, and that could affect public opinion in Europe and the U.S."
I hope they have the escape routes hemmed in because city fighting is the worst kind of fighting. Luckily unlike Stalingrad or Huế the Taliban do not have armies in reserve to envelope any attacking Americans.
Monday, February 08, 2010
pressed ahead Monday with plans that will increase its ability to make nuclear weapons as it formally informed the U.N. nuclear agency of its intention to enrich uranium to higher levels.
Alarmed world powers questioned the rationale behind the move and warned the country it could face more U.N. sanctions if it made good on its intentions.
I'm seeing a hot war between them and Israel before the end of the year if they keep pushing forward on this. Too bad the Green Revolution hasn't swept these madmen from power yet.
On labor law, Bill Samuel, the AFL-CIO’s legislative director, said the union would try to enlist moderate Republicans but acknowledged the difficulty of achieving a bipartisan bill. He said the federation might consider “other tactics,” meaning the card-check legislation or key parts of it could be placed into a larger jobs bill this year.
Yup, the AFL-CIO will put their industry killing bill right in with the "jobs bill" and dare the GOP to go against "finding jobs for out of work Americans." Thank God for the bloggers because they will have to be the ones to catch this fast one in any "jobs bill" going forward.
The source told me that the reason the program has not been officially utilized was twofold.
One, almost every potential participant declined to cooperate because they didn't want the stigma of using TARP funds given the tremendous public anger towards Wall Street and resentment about the $700 billion bailout.Yup, they didn't want to perticipate in a TARP program to help small businesses because they didn't want the stigma (and the strings) attached to the money. This is what happens when you talk about "bank taxes" and other crap when small businesses need loans. What is also bad is that Obama wants banks to "pay back every penny" through his asinine tax even though they have already paid pack all the money with interest.
Some of these small businesses are afraid that they will end up paying a "TARP money utilization tax." I mean some small businessmen who make over $250,000 might still be hit with a tax to pay for some other guys insurance. Mark my words, this uncertainty is going to strangle the recovery for years.
Just as important, scrapping the House and Senate health care bills would help end the uncertainty they are creating for workers and businesses and thus strengthen our shared commitment to focusing on creating jobs. Assuming the President is sincere about moving forward on health care in a bipartisan way, does that mean he will agree to start over so that we can develop a bill that is truly worthy of the support and confidence of the American people? Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said today that the President is “absolutely not” resetting the legislative process for health care.
If they start over and craft an actual bipartisan bill that puts some GOP parts in like capping lawsuits while keeping in Dem things like a National Health Care exchange would be a good step forward. If it is more Obama "bipartisanship" that amounts to I'll listen to your ideas and then do my own thing then forget it.
Friday, February 05, 2010
So who at NBC thought it would be a good idea for the special today to be, among other things, fried chicken, “in honor of Black History Month”?
Because, spoiler alert – it wasn’t a good idea at all. And now NBCU employee Questlove is bringing it to the attention of his 1 million plus Twitter followers.
Questlove, the band leader and drummer for The Roots (the house band on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon) tweeted this picture from the NBC Commissary at 30 Rock, with the comment: “Hmm HR?”
I think the next thing NBC is going to do is make Brian Williams to do his newscast in blackface to "make things more ethnic." I guess the obligatory apology form letter has been sent to black leaders who won't raise an uproar since it was NBC and not Fox News.
But so what? His musings were wafted upwards through the New Scientist to the World Wildlife Fund to the IPCC to a global fait accompli: the glaciers are disappearing. Everyone knows that. You’re not a denier, are you? India’s environment minister, Jairam Ramesh, says there was not “an iota of scientiﬁc evidence” to support the 2035 claim. Yet that proved no obstacle to its progress through the alarmist establishment. Dr. Murari Lal, the “scientist” who included the 2035 glacier apocalypse in the IPCC report, told Britain’s Mail on Sunday that he knew it wasn’t based on “peer-reviewed science” but “we thought we should put it in”—for political reasons.
So some speculation by a glacier scientist (man that sounds like a boring job) went from an article in New Scientist to a WWF report to the IPCC report and was taken as an undeniable fact? No one checked anything on the way up the chain? I think they need to tear everything down and build the science anew like when drug research fails. Then they can get it right without trying to see who lied or who was speculating and when.
"And it may be that ... if Congress decides we're not going to do it, even after all the facts are laid out, all the options are clear, then the American people can make a judgment as to whether this Congress has done the right thing for them or not," the president said. "And that's how democracy works. There will be elections coming up, and they'll be able to make a determination and register their concerns."
I think taking his eye off of jobs and the economy and spending all your political capital foolishly on something that 70% of Americans don't care about may just put Obama into the bottom 1/3 of Presidents so far. I hope the President understands that if you really want something and will take the hit for not getting it don't outsource it to Pelosi and Reid.
Tuesday, February 02, 2010
In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said it would be hypocritical to apologise for the false claim that Himalayan glaciers could melt away by 2035, because he was not personally responsible for that part of the report. "You can't expect me to be personally responsible for every word in a 3,000 page report," he said.
The IPCC issued a statement that expressed regret for the mistake, but Pachauri said a personal apology would be a "populist" step.
"I don't do too many populist things, that's why I'm so unpopular with a certain section of society," he said.
Um, assclown Pachauri the "certain section of society" that you sneer at are going to bear the burden of all the new "carbon taxes" that go from the First World to pay for for the Hind Attack Helicopters of 3rd World dictators.
Also a "populist" step would be to apologize like a man when your agency screws up and includes lies in the most important report they have ever published. He needs to step down right now before he gets a no-confidence vote and has to join the populist scumbags again.
"You don't go buying a boat when you can barely pay your mortgage," Obama said. "You don't blow a bunch of cash on Vegas when you're trying to save for college. You prioritize. You make tough choices."
The comments quickly sparked a flurry of reaction from federal, state and local lawmakers in the Silver State, which had an unemployment rate of 13 percent in December.I guess he wants the Vegas unemployed rate to reach the same heights as Detroit or something. I'm sure he knows that people "blowing money in Vegas" is what keeps that town in business.
It is true that Americans need to prioritize their money but who is Obama to tell them what to spend that money on? As long as their decision doesn't hurt the economy as a whole (like taking out a liar loan on a house they can't afford then walking away from the mortgage) then who cares if they shoot dice with their kids college money.
I love this Mayor of Vegas, Oscar Goodman's, skewer as well:
"He has to step up right away and say, you know, he wasn't thinking," Goodman said. "Sometimes when he's not using his monitors and reading what he says, he doesn't think. And this is one of those times he didn't think, and he should straighten out the record because he's been here, he knows Las Vegas is a great place."
Monday, February 01, 2010
In the meeting with U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman, Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei said the arms package for Taiwan "constitutes a gross intervention into China's internal affairs," according to a foreign-ministry statement. China is "extremely indignant," it said.
Beijing previously suspended military exchanges with the U.S. after George W. Bush authorized a separate weapons package for Taiwan in October 2008. But military ties were re-established last year and had been gradually mending before the Obama administration announced the latest arms sale Friday.I thought Obama was supposed to be the great intentional healer but instead he pisses off the Red Chinese by selling arms to their so-called "break-away province?" I guess this is some Chicago style politics as revenge for China making Obama look like a doof at the Copenhagen Climate Klatch last year.
For five years, Burger King Holdings Inc. was on a roll, successfully courting its "super fans" -- 18- to 34-year-olds who account for half of all visits to Burger King restaurants.
Thanks to high unemployment and healthier eating habits, those super fans haven't been so super lately. Burger King has felt the impact more acutely than its main rival, McDonald's Corp., whose sales are growing.Couple this with the fact that much of the "super-fan" demographic is now unemployed at a record rate and you have the recipe for an earnings decline. I guess eating Ramen that is $1.23 per serving might be a better deal then even a $5 value meal.
A STARTLING report by the United Nations climate watchdog that global warming might wipe out 40% of the Amazon rainforest was based on an unsubstantiated claim by green campaigners who had little scientific expertise.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said in its 2007 benchmark report that even a slight change in rainfall could see swathes of the rainforest rapidly replaced by savanna grassland.
Actually Goldman has economists on staff so maybe that is an unfair comparison. Maybe this latest Climate Change screw-up is more like having TMZ publishing the GDP report. If these guys have any credibility left it just got siphoned away. The idea of an environmental pressure group writing part of your Climate Change report is beyond the pale.