Archive for October, 2011

Random Thoughts on a Monday Night

La Russa Retires

One of the most cere­bral men to ever man­age the game, but a total tool as well.  (But then again, as a Brew­ers fans, I’m biased against the man and wouldn’t mind to see some­one pitch a heater at his coconut.)

He’s earned it, and I wish him the best of luck in what­ever TV stu­dio gig he even­tu­ally lands at.

On the plus side, no La Russa might increase the chances Pujols bails on St. Louis for greener pas­tures because the two were tight.  On the neg­a­tive side, they might then pur­sue Prince Fielder.

Speak­ing of Base­ball Free Agency…

God I hate the Yankees.

Occupy “The Trademark”

A funny thing hap­pened on the way to patent office.

(No word if the pro­ceeds will be communal.)

Wasn’t This a Movie Plot?

This has “Stoner Com­edy” writ­ten all of it.  That, or the next movie Seth Rogan can butcher…

Two employ­ees of a Domi­noes burned down the rival Papa Johns located across the street.  Both have been charged with arson.

Both of them are store managers.

The Cain News

Hon­estly, I think they com­pletely botched the defense of the sex­ual harass­ment story.  (Who the hell goes on with Ger­aldo these days?)  But Politico’s got a lot of explain­ing to do on why they’re still hold­ing details to their vest and their lack of an expla­na­tion shows it’s beyond pathetic that they’re hid­ing behind anony­mous sources to jus­tify their scoop.

Frankly, the Cain folks are in hot­ter water with the story Bice broke this morn­ing than the sex­ual harass­ment story from almost 20 years ago.   For starters, it’s much more rel­e­vant to how he’s run­ning his cam­paign, what sort of peo­ple are in his employ now, and how they man­age money.

And if they don’t get their ass in gear on it, the Fed­eral Elec­tions Com­mis­sion and Inter­nal Rev­enue Ser­vice will eat them alive.

The Lazich Bills

Think the redis­trict­ing one is stu­pid and makes the Sen­ate GOP look like its prac­tic­ing “Panic Pol­i­tics” (which they are) and frankly, it’s time some­one in that cau­cus real­izes the GAB is run by a bunch of Doyle left­overs and never going to give them a vic­tory.  They should have writ­ten the first re-districting bill to apply to “Cal­en­dar Year 2012″ from Day One and not assume GAB was going to give the same lee­way the old State Elec­tions Board did.

Now it looks like they’re doing a botched do-over, which they are.  Think of it as a learn­ing experience.

As for the “Notary Pub­lic” bill, I am all for it.  It’s just a hoot.

Your NFL Line for Week 9

The Pack­ers are 5.5 point favorites over the Charg­ers even before they played their game on Mon­day Night.  The Charges are cur­rently los­ing to the Chiefs.  Expect that to increase by tomor­row when the rest of the casi­nos cre­ate their lines.

Finally…Wisconsin Lib­eral Dis­ap­point Me

Con­cealed Carry offi­cially begins tomor­row — Novem­ber 1 — and not one of you were able to tie it into the Mex­i­can Hol­i­day of “Día de los Muer­tos,” more com­monly known as “The Day of the Dead” which is also cel­e­brated that day in His­panic house­holds and var­i­ous pub­lic schools try­ing to spread cul­tural diversity.

The uni­verse lobbed you a soft­ball, and none of you con­nected.  Pathetic.

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Ex-Democratic Senator / Governor Bankrupts Billions, Walks Away with Millions

Good thing those #Occu­py­Wall­Street folks are a bunch of hyp­o­crit­i­cal par­ti­sans and left-wing cranks.  Com­pletely ignor­ing this news would just make them look like they don’t have a clue.

Jon S. Corzine, whose polit­i­cal ambi­tions came to a halt nearly two years ago when he was defeated for re-election as gov­er­nor of New Jer­sey, is run­ning out of time to pre­vent his revived Wall Street career from col­laps­ing in failure.

His firm, MF Global — a pow­er­house in the world of com­modi­ties and deriv­a­tives trad­ing but lit­tle known out­side Wall Street — was work­ing fran­ti­cally toward a poten­tial sale late on Sunday.

Those dis­cus­sions, which nar­rowed to one bid­der, Inter­ac­tive Bro­kers, came after investors — wor­ried that MF Global was too vul­ner­a­ble to the fall­out from Europe’s debt cri­sis — deserted the firm, mak­ing it the first Amer­i­can finan­cial insti­tu­tion to fall vic­tim to those sov­er­eign debt woes.

If the firm is unable to sell itself, other options, includ­ing bank­ruptcy, await. MF Global has hired restruc­tur­ing and bank­ruptcy law firms includ­ing Skad­den, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, said peo­ple briefed on the mat­ter but unau­tho­rized to speak pub­licly. One option is for MF Global to fol­low a prece­dent set by Lehman Broth­ers in 2008 by seek­ing bank­ruptcy pro­tec­tion for the par­ent com­pany while sell­ing some assets to Inter­ac­tive Brokers.

Other Wall Street firms have not been spared dam­age from the Euro­pean debt cri­sis. Shares at firms as large as Mor­gan Stan­ley fell this month over con­cerns that they were exposed to Europe’s trou­bles. And invest­ment banks and bro­ker­age firms are still lick­ing their wounds from mar­ket volatil­ity that has hurt trad­ing operations.

MF Global began buy­ing the debt of Euro­pean coun­tries like Italy, Por­tu­gal, Spain and Ire­land last year, in a bet that the dis­counted prices of those bonds would soon recover. The gam­ble, though, went sour, and MF Global was hard hit as Greece’s trou­bled econ­omy spread woes across the Con­ti­nent. Although Euro­pean lead­ers appeared to make progress last week toward resolv­ing those prob­lems, and other firms rebounded, MF Global con­tin­ued to suffer.

The last-ditch res­cue effort is a major blow to the rep­u­ta­tion of Mr. Corzine, 64, who for­merly co-led Gold­man Sachs and was also a United States sen­a­tor. With a sale of MF Global, Mr. Corzine’s role at the firm will almost cer­tainly end, though he is expected to receive a sev­er­ance pay­ment of nearly $12.1 million.

My, that’s some golden para­chute.  I’m sure Chuck Schumer and the rest of those want­ing to dem­a­gogue Wall Street will jump all over this one.

Right?

Also, fed­eral reg­u­la­tors have no idea where the money went.  Roughly $700 mil­lion is report­edly “missing.”

What began as nearly $1 bil­lion miss­ing had dropped to less than $700 mil­lion by late Mon­day. It is unclear where the money went, and some money is expected to trickle in over the com­ing days as the firm sorts through the bank­ruptcy process, the peo­ple said.

But reg­u­la­tors are exam­in­ing whether MF Global diverted some cus­tomer money to sup­port its own trades as the firm teetered on the brink of col­lapse. If that was the case, it could vio­late a fun­da­men­tal tenet of Wall Street reg­u­la­tion: Cus­tomers’ money must be kept sep­a­rate from com­pany money.

Such a find­ing would move the dis­cus­sion from sloppy inter­nal con­trols at MF Global to some­thing more trou­bling. While the inves­ti­ga­tion is in its early days, it raises the specter that reg­u­la­tors could sanc­tion the firm or the employ­ees responsible.

MF Global and Mr. Corzine have not been accused of any wrongdoing.

So far.

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Sheboygan Mayor Recall Group Says It Has Signatures

Bit sur­prised they pulled it off.

A week ago, they were down by 600 sig­na­tures and a month ago they pub­licly said they didn’t think they were going to make it hap­pen.

SHEBOYGAN — Orga­niz­ers of a recall effort against She­boy­gan Mayor Bob Ryan say they have enough sig­na­tures to bring about a recall elec­tion against him.

We have over 4,500 sig­na­tures, and we’re still col­lect­ing,” said Mary Jo Stoelb, one of the recall organizers.

To force a recall elec­tion against Mayor Ryan, orga­niz­ers needed about 4,100 valid sig­na­tures by Tuesday.

She told News­ra­dio 620 WTMJ’s “Wisconsin’s Morn­ing News” they’ll drop off those sig­na­tures tomor­row, hop­ing to get a recall elec­tion to hap­pen in the spring.

We’re try­ing to time it with the spring elec­tions so that it would be the least amount of cost to the City of Sheboygan.”

Ryan has admit­ted to sev­eral inci­dents of pub­lic drunken behav­ior in the last few years.

Here’s hop­ing they had one heck of a final push, because of the options to remove Ryan out of office for his drunken behav­ior, recall seemed like it was the cheap­est with­out the mayor of She­boy­gan resign­ing of his own accord.

UPDATE: The She­boy­gan Press is report­ing that Kevin MatiChek, the She­boy­gan alder­man who helped launch the Ryan recall is likely to run in the recall.

 

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Cartoon of the Day

 

Happy Hal­loween folks.

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Quote of the Day

From Don Surber, op-ed colum­nist and blog­ger of the Charleston Daily Mail in West Virginia.

Remem­ber what life was like before left­ies politi­cized weather?

You got an early snow, you enjoyed it.

You got an Indian sum­mer, you enjoyed it.

Every­body talked about the weather, but nobody did any­thing about it.

Then cli­ma­tol­ogy came along.

Now snow is our pun­ish­ment for global warm­ing which raises the humid­ity and causes Gaia to dump snow on us in the winter.

Sigh.

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Cartoon of the Day

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Cartoon of the Day

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Deer Crashes into Motel Room

I’ve been told there are cheaper ways to spend a cou­ple of hours in a motel room.

Police had to help remove a 170-pound white-tailed deer that crashed into a Janesville motel.

Offi­cers were called Thurs­day morn­ing after peo­ple saw a male deer run­ning around a park­ing lot and ram­ming into cars at a Tar­get store. The deer then ran across a high­way, vaulted through a closed, ground-level win­dow and entered a room at a Super 8 Motel.

The man­ager says the room was empty. The Janesville Gazette (http://bit.ly/rOGB2E) reports police guarded the door to keep the deer inside while vet­eri­nar­i­ans and DNR biol­o­gists tran­quil­ized the animal.

Author­i­ties removed the deer shortly before noon. The deer had minor injuries to its snout from crash­ing through the win­dow. Dam­age to the room was minor.

The DNR planned to release the deer at Storrs Lake Wildlife Area near Milton.

I’m try­ing to imag­ine what the insur­ance inves­ti­ga­tion report would read for some­thing like that.

Here’s my best attempt at it: “After the ani­mal wrecked havoc in a nearby park­ing lot, it made a “B-line” for the win­dow, shat­ter­ing it as it jumped into the room.  Upon hear­ing the dam­age, an employee of the front desk of the hotel called author­i­ties to help deal with the ani­mal.  The ani­mal was shot with a large seda­tive from a high-powered rifle and car­ried out in a sheet onto a wait­ing Ford pick-up truck.”

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Cartoon of the Day

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Ralph Fiennes: Twitter is Killing the English Language

Fool­ish actor, it wasn’t Twitter.

It was cell phone text mes­sag­ing, and it hap­pened a long, long time ago.

Speak­ing at the BFI Lon­don Film Fes­ti­val awards in Old Street, Lon­don, the actor said that mod­ern lan­guage “is being eroded” and blamed “a world of trun­cated sen­tences, sound­bites and Twitter.”

Our expres­sive­ness and our ease with some words is being diluted so that the sen­tence with more than one clause is a prob­lem for us, and the word of more than two syl­la­bles is a prob­lem for us,” he said.

Fiennes, full name Ralph Nathaniel Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes, said that stu­dents at drama schools were espe­cially suf­fer­ing thanks to social net­work­ing sites.

I hear it, too, from peo­ple at drama schools, who say the younger intake find the den­sity of a Shake­speare text a chal­lenge in a way that, per­haps, (stu­dents) a few gen­er­a­tions ago maybe wouldn’t have.”

The actor’s direc­to­r­ial debut, Shakespeare’s Cori­olanus, pre­miered at the Lon­don Film Fes­ti­val this week. Fiennes ques­tioned whether the play­wright was even rel­e­vant in a time of dumbed-down Eng­lish language.

He said: “I think we’re liv­ing in a time when our ears are attuned to a flat­tened and trun­cated sense of our Eng­lish langyuage, so this always begs the ques­tion, is Shake­speare rel­e­vant? But I love this lan­guage we have and what it can do, and aside from that I think the themese in his plays are always relevant.”

Fiennes, who does not use Twit­ter, is not alone in his the­ory. JP David­son, the author of Planet Word and a lin­guis­tic expert, talked this week about longer words dying out in favour of short­ened text message-style terms.

He said: “You only have to look on Twit­ter to see evi­dence of the fact that a lot of Eng­lish words that are used say in Shakespeare’s plays or PG Wode­house nov­els — both of them avid inven­tors of new words — are so lit­tle used that peo­ple don’t even know what they mean now.

 

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