Saturday, January 1, 2011

My resolution was to be less opinionated this year, ooops.

-        I think Kansas State and its fans have every right to be pissed off after the ridiculous unsportsmanlike penalty called on wide receiver Adrian Hilburn for excessive celebration during the Pinstripe Bowl (nice name).  I get the rule is a rule and it must be enforced stance, but you must totally enforce it or scrap it.  The celebration by Tennessee players during the Music City Bowl made the Hilburn salute look like a booger, not to mention during the New Year’s Day Bowl marathon I lost count of the number of excessive celebrations by defenders and special teamers after passes defended, tackles, sacks, and turnovers.  The Volstead Act of Sports.
-        Thoroughly enjoying All the Devils Are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis by Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera.  I have been a big fan of McLean since her 2004 book, The Smartest Guys in the Room, about the rise and fall of Enron.  Devils explores in detail the roles of the mortgage originators, Fannie and Freddie, wall street, Congress, the Fed, and others who sparked and fed the conflagration we still haven’t exited from.  Word of caution to Congressman Issa, when you start your investigation of Freddie and Fannie, you may not like what you find.
-        Upon further review: The NFL postponed the Eagles-Vikings game last weekend due to concerns about public safety stemming from the snow storm and its blizzard conditions.  In 2014, the Super Bowl will be played in the new Giants stadium in New Jersey.  Do you think the NFL will postpone if the NY/NJ area gets hit like it did during last weekend’s storm?  Either way, an outdoor game in the northeast in mid February (if the NFL goes to an 18 game schedule, the game could be two weeks later than say 2011), could be a wintry affair…I can hear SoCal and SoFlo whining already.
-        Socialism doesn’t work.  Bolivian president Evo Morales rescinded after just one week his 70% increase in petrol prices after massive strikes and demonstrations.  To make matters worse, he already offered wage increases and price increases to farmers to quell the unrest.  Nice job.
-        Socialism doesn’t work part II.  Venezuela, the world’s 11th largest oil producer, economy shrank by 1.9% in 2010 after shrinking 3.3% in 2009.  Coupled with a 26.9% increase in consumer prices, El Presidente Chavez may need to rely on his paratrooper training because the primary chute hasn’t deployed following the loss in petro dollars.
-        Even though the Dems control the White House and Senate, the perception is that the Republicans are now in charge.  I am looking forward to how the Republicans will cope with having to actually govern after two years of being the opposition.  The first major showdown will be in March when the temporary funding for the government expires.  When the House budget that will include major cuts to domestic programs hits the Senate and is rejected, will the new breed of Tea Party Congressmen blink?
-        You call that Democracy?  So Democracy defeated communism in the old Warsaw Pact nations huh?  Not so much Borat.  In the Ukraine former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and 10 of her allies have been arrested, in Belarus seven opposition presidential candidates have been jailed, and in Mother Russia former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky has been sentenced to six more years for alleged embezzlement and money laundering.  In the case of Khodorkovsky, who is by no means an innocent victim, his sentence was assured when Prime Minister Putin predicted as much a few weeks ago.  Democracy comes from rule of law and protection of personal property not from elections.
-        Happy to see Urban Meyer go out with a win in today’s Hall of Fame Bowl (I resist all corporate sponsorship in amateur athletics especially in the case of mediocre restaurants that rhyme with gack).

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