Friday, April 30, 2010

Kentucky Demolition Derby Set - Favorites Bookend the Field at Post


It has been quite a build up to the Derby and finally this weekend it will push politics off the minds of America, at least for the fastest two minutes in sports. Millions will be glued to the television as yet another group of 3 year olds will try and lay claim to being the best horse in the world and to have a chance to become the first triple crown winner in 32 years.

It was in 1978 that Affirmed beat out Alydar by 1 1/2 lengths, a neck and a nose in the three races, the closest triple crown in history and only time the same horses finished 1-2 in all three races. That same decade Seattle Slew won in 1977 and the legendary Secretariat in 1973. There have only been 11 triple crown winners in 110 years. 21 times a horse won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness only to lose the Belmont.

This year the two early favorites drew the outside post positions with Lookin at Lucky #1 and Sidney's Candy #20, a most unusual draw and difficult locations to win the race as the Derby has more horses than any other graded stakes race with 20 starters. It is why only 2 favorites the last 10 years have won.

Current Favorites

Based on the odds the current favorites are 1. Lookin at Lucky, 2. Super Saver, 3. Devil May Care and Ice Box, 4. Awesome Act, 5. Sidney's Candy and Stately Victory, and 6. Dean's Kitten and Paddy O'Prado. One horse, Awesome Act is British. When horses are rated for running in the mud, and none has much experience, Awesome Act is favored followed by Ice Box, Super Saver and Lookin at Lucky.

One filly will be challenging the big boys this year, Devil May Care, in an attempt to become the fourth filly in 136 years to win with the last being 22 years ago.

Weather - the great equalizer

Flooding rain, violent thunderstorms and a tornado outbreak are among the concerns meteorologists have this weekend for the Ohio and lower Mississippi valleys, including Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby Saturday.


This could potentially be the wettest Kentucky Derby ever. According to the National Weather Service, the wettest Derby was in 1918, when 2.31 inches of rain fell. The track has been muddy all week from the 1 to 2 inches of rain that fell last weekend. meteorologists are concerned that a repeating thunderstorm pattern from Friday night through Saturday evening could yield 3 to 6 inches of rain, flooded grounds, and the track at Churchill Downs being more like a swamp. While the Derby has never been postponed, drenching, saturating rain is not the only concern for thoroughbred horse racing fans, officials, jockeys, and owners.


Clapping, booming thunder could have some of the horses on edge. Throughout Saturday, thunderstorms over the Ohio Valley will also bring the risk of lightning strikes. Louisville, Ky. is in the heart of the Ohio Valley, and the region lies in the middle of's area of concern for violent weather this weekend. A crowd in the neighborhood of 150,000 is typically in attendance at U.S. horse racing's most famous event.

Severe Weather

Thunderstorms with potential for damaging winds, hail and even a tornado could affect the Louisville area Friday night into Sunday. The first round of thunderstorms is forecast to move eastward into the Mississippi and Ohio valleys during the first part of the weekend. However, the forward progress of the storms will slow and then stall nearby Saturday, opening the door for multiple episodes of violent thunderstorms. Thunderstorms produced large hail and spun off tornadoes over the central Plains Thursday night. The same concerns exist, along with an increasing flooding threat, from Wisconsin to Texas this evening.

Mudder's Day

The most likely situation for the Derby on Saturday appears to be that of a frog strangler with rain being the great equalizer, or in the case of the atmosphere, the stabilizer. Clouds and cooling rain would prevent the strong updrafts and downdrafts necessary for rotating thunderstorms and tornadoes. However, if the sun were to burst through, much to the delight of spectators, it could yield one of those more violent thunderstorms around the time of the race.

Current Odds

Here is the final line up for the Derby. Odds will change right up to the race but the most current odds are as follows. Note the Morning Line are the first odds posted by handicappers and the difference between the Morning Line and Current odds show you where the money is being bet.

Post -- Name -- Morning Line / Current Odds
1 Lookin at Lucky 3-1 / 5-1
2 Ice Box 10-1 / 11-1
3 Noble's Promise 12-1 / 24-1
4 Super Saver 15-1 / 8-1
5 Line of David 30-1 / 20-1
6 Stately Victor 30-1 / 13-1
7 American Lion 30-1 / 25-1
8 Dean's Kitten 50-1 / 14-1
9 Make Music for Me 50-1 / 28-1
10 Paddy O'Prado 20-1 / 14-1
11 Devil May Care 10-1 / 11-1
12 Conveyance 12-1 / 18-1
13 Jackson Bend 15-1 / 26-1
14 Mission Impazible 20-1 / 26-1
15 Discreetly Mine 30-1 / 38-1
16 Awesome Act 10-1 / 12-1
17 Dublin 12-1 / 25-1
18 Backtalk 50-1 / 23-1
19 Homeboykris 50-1 / 29-1
20 Sidney's Candy 5-1 / 13-1

Betting the Derby

If you bet on a horse race few people know what the odds pay. There is always a slight adjustment for the size of the betting pools but generally these are the approximate payoffs. Since long shots have a great chance in the race I thought you might enjoy seeing this chart.

Pay-offs for $2 win bets:

1-5 = 2.40
2-5 = 2.80
1-2 = 3.00
3-5 = 3.20
4-5 = 3.60
1-1 = 4.00
6-5 = 4.40
7-5 = 4.80
3-2 = 5.00
8-5 = 5.20
9-5 = 5.60
2-1 = 6.00
5-2 = 7.00
3-1 = 8.00
7-2 = 9.00
4-1 = 10.00
9-2 = 11.00
5-1 = 12.00
6-1 = 14.00
7-1 = 16.00
8-1 = 18.00
9-1 = 20.00
10-1 = 22.00
15-1 = 32.00
20-1 = 42.00
30-1 = 62.00
50-1 = 102.00


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Earthquakes - Nature's Fury or Mankind's Folly?


The Military's Pandora's Box - The HAARP Secret Weapon

The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) is a project of the United States Navy and Air Force with the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, which built a prototype for a ground based "Star Wars" weapon system located in the remote bush country of Alaska.

It is the HAARP system a super-powerful radiowave-beaming technology that lifts areas of the ionosphere by focusing a beam and heating those areas. Electromagnetic waves then bounce back onto earth and penetrate everything -- living and dead.

It's uses range from those claimed to be academic to far more dangerous secret military purposes including weather control that can cause earthquakes to electro-magnetic interference to shut down electrical grids, and it can alter the earth's atmosphere in a far more destructive way than anything carbon based. It is also the HAARP system that could cause the electrical interference that could disrupt the computer systems that operate cars (Toyota) and have many other devastating effects.

This is not science fiction as there are four HAARP systems currently in operation around the world but none with the capacity of the US facility in Alaska. The HAARP technology evolved from the work of the greatest inventor, mechanical engineer and electrical engineer in the world, Nikola Tesla, whose work on electromagnetism and electromechanical engineering was pioneering along with his contributions to the establishment of robotics, remote control, radar, computer science, ballistics, nuclear physics and theoretical physics.

The following excerpts are reprinted from an article prepared to provide a summary of the contents of a book written in 1995, Angels Don't Play This Harp - Advances in Tesla Technology, by Dr. Nick Begich and Jeane Manning, that describes an entirely new class of weapons.

HAARP Boils the Upper Atmosphere

HAARP will zap the upper atmosphere with a focused and steerable electromagnetic beam. It is an advanced model of an "ionospheric heater." (The ionosphere is the electrically-charged sphere surrounding Earth's upper atmosphere. It ranges between 40 to 60 miles above the surface of the Earth.)

HAARP publicity gives the impression that the High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program is mainly an academic project with the goal of changing the ionosphere to improve communications for our own good. However, other U.S. military documents put it more clearly -- HAARP aims to learn how to "exploit the ionosphere for Department of Defense purposes." Communicating with submarines is only one of those purposes.

Press releases and other information from the military on HAARP continually downplay what it could do. Publicity documents insist that the HAARP project is no different than other ionospheric heaters operating safely throughout the world in places such as Arecibo, Puerto Rico, Tromso, Norway, and the former Soviet Union. However, a 1990government document indicates that the radio-frequency (RF) power zap will drive the ionosphere to unnatural activities.

Looking at the other patents which built on the work of a Texas' physicist named Bernard Eastlund, it becomes clearer how the military intends to use the HAARP transmitter. It also makes governmental denials less believable. The military knows how it intends to use this technology, and has made it clear in their documents. The military has deliberately misled the public, through sophisticated word games, deceit and outright disinformation.

The military says the HAARP system could:

Give the military a tool to replace the electromagnetic pulse effect of atmospheric thermonuclear devices (still considered a viable option by the military through at least 1986)

Replace the huge Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) submarine communication system operating in Michigan and Wisconsin with a new and more compact technology

Be used to replace the over-the-horizon radar system that was once planned for the current location of HAARP, with a more flexible and accurate system

Provide a way to wipe out communications over an extremely large area, while keeping the military's own communications systems working

Provide a wide area earth-penetrating tomography which, if combined with the computing abilities of EMASS and Cray computers, would make it possible to verify many parts of nuclear nonproliferation and peace agreements

Be a tool for geophysical probing to find oil, gas and mineral deposits over a large area

Be used to detect incoming low-level planes and cruise missiles, making other technologies obsolete

The above abilities seem like a good idea to all who believe in sound national defense, and to those concerned about cost-cutting. However, the possible uses which the HAARP records do not explain, and which can only be found in Air Force, Army, Navy and other federal agency records, are alarming. Moreover, effects from the reckless use of these power levels in our natural shield -- the ionosphere -- could be cataclysmic according to some scientists.

HAARP History

The patents described below were the package of ideas which were originally controlled by ARCO Power Technologies Incorporated (APTI), a subsidiary of Atlantic Richfield Company, one of the biggest oil companies in the world. APTI was the contractor that built the HAARP facility. ARCO sold this subsidiary, the patents and the second phase construction contract to E-Systems in June 1994.

E-Systems is one of the biggest intelligence contractors in the world -- doing work for the CIA, defense intelligence organizations and others. $1.8 billion of their annual sales are to these organizations, with $800 million for black projects -- projects so secret that even the United States Congress isn't told how the money is being spent.

E-Systems was bought out by Raytheon, which is one of the largest defense contractors in the world. In 1994 Raytheon was listed as number forty-two on the Fortune 500 list of companies. Raytheon has thousands of patents, some of which will be valuable in the HAARP project. The twelve patents below are the backbone of the HAARP project, and are now buried among the thousands of others held in the name of Raytheon. Bernard J. Eastlund's U.S. Patent # 4,686,605, "Method and Apparatus for Altering a Region in the Earth's Atmosphere, Ionosphere; and/or Magnetosphere," was sealed for a year under a government Secrecy Order.

The Eastlund ionospheric heater was different; the radio frequency (RF) radiation was concentrated and focused to a point in the ionosphere. This difference throws an unprecedented amount of energy into the ionosphere. The Eastlund device would allow a concentration of one watt per cubic centimeter, compared to others only able to deliver about one millionth of one watt.

This huge difference could lift and change the ionosphere in the ways necessary to create futuristic effects described in the patent. According to the patent, the work of Nikola Tesla in the early 1900's formed the basis of the research.

For a time, HAARP researchers could not prove that this was one of the intended uses for HAARP. In April, 1995, however, Begich found other patents, connected with a "key personnel" list for APTI. Some of these new APTI patents were indeed a wireless system for sending electrical power. Eastlund's patent said the technology can confuse or completely disrupt airplanes' and missiles' sophisticated guidance systems. Further, this ability to spray large areas of Earth with electromagnetic waves of varying frequencies, and to control changes in those waves, makes it possible to knock out communications on land or sea as well as in the air.

The patent said:

"Thus, this invention provides the ability to put unprecedented amounts of power in the Earth's atmosphere at strategic locations and to maintain the power injection level particularly if random pulsing is employed, in a manner far more precise and better controlled than heretofore accomplished by the prior art, particularly by detonation of nuclear devices of various yields at various altitudes... "

" is possible not only to interfere with third party communications but to take advantage of one or more such beams to carry out a communications network even though the rest of the world's communications are disrupted. Put another way, what is used to disrupt another's communications can be employed by one knowledgeable of this invention as a communication network at the same time."

"... large regions of the atmosphere could be lifted to an unexpectedly high altitude so that missiles encounter unexpected and unplanned drag forces with resultant destruction."

"Weather modification is possible by, for example, altering upper atmosphere wind patterns by constructing one or more plumes of atmospheric particles which will act as a lens or focusing device.

... molecular modifications of the atmosphere can take place so that positive environmental effects can be achieved. Besides actually changing the molecular composition of an atmospheric region, a particular molecule or molecules can be chosen for increased presence. For example, ozone, nitrogen, etc., concentrations in the atmosphere could be artificially increased."

Begich found eleven other APTI Patents. They told how to make "Nuclear-sized Explosions without Radiation," Power-beaming systems, over-the-horizon radar, detection systems for missiles carrying nuclear warheads, electromagnetic pulses previously produced by thermonuclear weapons and other Star-Wars tricks. This cluster of patents underlay the HAARP weapon system.

Related research by Begich and Manning uncovered bizarre schemes. For example, Air Force documents revealed that a system had been developed for manipulating and disturbing human mental processes through pulsed radio-frequency radiation (the stuff of HAARP) over large geographical areas. The most telling material about this technology came from writings of Zbigniew Brzezinski (former National Security Advisory to U.S. President Carter) and J.F. MacDonald (science advisor to U.S. President Johnson and a professor of Geophysics at UCLA), as they wrote about use of power-beaming transmitters for geophysical and environmental warfare. The documents showed how these effects might be caused, and the negative effects on human heath and thinking.

The mental-disruption possibilities for HAARP are the most disturbing. More than 40 pages of the book, with dozens of footnotes, chronicle the work of Harvard professors, military planners and scientists as they plan and test this use of the electromagnetic technology. For example, one of the papers describing this use was from the International Red Cross in Geneva. It even gave the frequency ranges where these effects could occur -- the same ranges which HAARP is capable of broadcasting.

The following statement was made more than twenty-five years ago in a book by Brzezinski which he wrote while a professor at Columbia University:

"Political strategists are tempted to exploit research on the brain and human behavior. Geophysicist Gordon J.F. MacDonald, a specialist in problems of warfare, says accurately-timed, artificially-excited electronic strokes could lead to a pattern of oscillations that produce relatively high power levels over certain regions of the earth ... in this way one could develop a system that would seriously impair the brain performance of very large populations in selected regions over an extended period"

" ... no matter how deeply disturbing the thought of using the environment to manipulate behavior for national advantages, to some, the technology permitting such use will very probably develop within the next few decades."

In another document prepared by the government, the U.S. Air Force claims: "The potential applications of artificial electromagnetic fields are wide-ranging and can be used in many military or quasi-military situations... Some of these potential uses include dealing with terrorist groups, crowd control, controlling breaches of security at military installations, and antipersonnel techniques in tactical warfare. In all of these cases the EM (electromagnetic) systems would be used to produce mild to severe physiological disruption or perceptual distortion or disorientation. In addition, the ability of individuals to function could be degraded to such a point that they would be combat ineffective. Another advantage of electromagnetic systems is that they can provide coverage over large areas with a single system. They are silent and countermeasures to them may be difficult to develop... One last area where electromagnetic radiation may prove of some value is in enhancing abilities of individuals for anomalous phenomena."

Do these comments point to uses already somewhat developed? The author of the government report refers to an earlier Air Force document about the uses of radio frequency radiation in combat situations. (Here Begich and Manning note that HAARP is the most versatile and the largest radio-frequency-radiation transmitter in the world.)

The United States Congressional record deals with the use of HAARP for penetrating the earth with signals bounced off of the ionosphere. These signals are used to look inside the planet to a depth of many kilometers in order to locate underground munitions, minerals and tunnels. The U.S. Senate set aside $15 million dollars in 1996 to develop this ability alone -- earth-penetrating-tomography. The problem is that the frequency needed for earth-penetrating radiation is within the frequency range most cited for disruption of human mental functions. It may also have profound effects on migration patterns of fish and wild animals which rely on an undisturbed energy field to find their routes.

As if electromagnetic pulses in the sky and mental disruption were not enough, T. Eastlund bragged that the super-powerful ionospheric heater could control weather.

Weather Control

Avalanches of energy dislodged by such radio waves could hit us hard. Their work suggests that technicians could control global weather by sending relatively small 'signals' into the Van Allen belts (radiation belts around Earth). Thus Tesla's resonance effects can control enormous energies by tiny triggering signals.

The Begich/ Manning book asks whether that knowledge will be used by war-oriented or biosphere-oriented scientists.

The military has had about twenty years to work on weather warfare methods, which it euphemistically calls weather modification. For example, rainmaking technology was taken for a few test rides in Vietnam. The U.S. Department of Defense sampled lightning and hurricane manipulation studies in Project Skyfire and Project Stormfury. And they looked at some complicated technologies that would give big effects. Angels Don't Play This HAARP cites an expert who says the military studied both lasers and chemicals which they figured could damage the ozone layer over an enemy.

Looking at ways to cause earthquakes, as well as to detect them, was part of the project named Prime Argus, decades ago. The money for that came from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA, now under the acronym ARPA.) In 1994 the Air Force revealed its Spacecast 2020 master plan which includes weather control. Scientists have experimented with weather control since the 1940's.


Financial Reform Moves Forward - What Must Be Fixed to Make it Real?


Now that the Senate Republicans have agreed to debate the financial reform bill we will finally get to see the real intent of Congress to tackle the Wall Street problems. Missing from the Democrat bill the media claims the GOP was blocking, when in fact the GOP wants it just as bad as the Democrats, are a number of critical elements that better be addressed in the floor debate.

First, the major cause of the economic collapse was the housing element in which sub-prime mortgages were forced on the public by the drop in mortgage standards by our monstrous housing agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These federally funded agencies who insure most of the mortgages in America reduced down payments from 20% to zero and allowed a technique called the Stated Income loan, or NIV for "No Income Verification". Most fraud on mortgage applications resulted from use of this technique in which applicants would just state how much income they earned without offering proof. This opened the floodgates to fraud.

Now a second feature of the extent of fraud and deception came in the repackaging of the loans into pools, called collateralized debt obligations, CDO, which was how Wall Street intended to cash in on the trillions of dollars in the mortgage market and the astounding increase in home values in the decade before 2006. Of course the demand for CDOs continued long after the housing market became stagnant and it became obvious certain markets were far overpriced.

To keep the housing market moving the Federal Reserve steps in and buys mortgage backed securities from the two housing agencies and banks. By March 31, 2010, the Federal Reserve had purchased $1.2 trillion of mortgage-backed securities from banks and $200 billion of direct obligation debt of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, for total purchases of $1.4 trillion. As a result of these actions, the Federal Reserve now owns almost 25% of the stock of mortgage-backed bonds. Assuming that banks turned these excess reserves into loans at a typical 10:1 ratio, the increase in money supply would be $12 trillion. That's more than the current amount of outstanding mortgages in the United States!

Finally, the Treasury Department has estimated the total additional US spending to prop up the two federal agencies will be $188 billion dollars. This is above and beyond the Fed money. Treasury says $85 billion will be lost along with $49 billion in foreclosure activity by Treasury, a total of $237 billion in taxpayer exposure with a total loss expected of at least $134 billion. That means we will have about $1.5 trillion at risk in supporting the housing market.

Nothing in Senate financial reform bill addresses the issues concerning housing including the CDO issue, relaxed down payments, the stated income loans, Treasury aid, foreclosure aid and Federal Reserve aid, all of which is still at risk. That means the predator mortgages, fraudulent mortgages, even foreclosures saved by the government will cost the government at least $134 billion. That sounds like an incredible windfall for all the thieves who ripped off the government. A reason for the omission may be that the changes in federal rules and policy that led to the actions were approved late in the Clinton administration, a move Clinton already acknowledged was a failure of his to stop his people from changing the rules.

The Senate bill also fails to address the conflict of interest of the credit reporting agencies who gave the CDO packages triple A ratings to help sell them even though many were defaulting within months after issue. Since the brokerage houses selling the packages were paying the millions of dollars in lucrative fees made by the credit agencies, there was intense competition to approve them regardless of the real value of the mortgage pool. Some contained as much as 90% stated income mortgages. Nothing is in the Senate bill to stop the conflict of interest nor punish credit agencies for fraudulent ratings.

Also there is nothing in the bill to review the actions by the government that opened the floodgates to bank control over the economy. Once again the absence of this area may well be inspired by the fact it was the Clinton people who made the changes. In the '90s Wall Street took over Clinton's Treasury Department and all of the regulatory agencies (Clinton's Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin came from Goldman Sachs). In 1998 Rubin, his deputy Larry Summers, Allen Greenspan (Fed Chairman) and Arthur Levitt (SEC Chairman) gave Wall Street a major victory -- defeating a modest proposal to regulate the then nascent, exploding derivatives market (e.g., mortgage backed securities). In 1999 Glass-Steagall was repealed. From 1995 to 2009 the six biggest banks (Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America) grew from 20 percent to 62 percent of GDP. These Wall Street victories gave us the Great Recession of 2008.

Finally there is the Consumer Protection Agency offered by Obama. For some odd reason he places it under the Federal Reserve which operates autonomous from the government and whose actions also played a role in the financial collapse. That is a big mistake. If anything, we should be auditing the Federal Reserve to find out what they are doing with America's currency, not adding to their powers.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Interests of Special Interests - What Greed? Not in New Jersey


For those of you who pay attention you might have noticed that greed is not limited Wall Street and the politicians in Washington, it is penetrating throughout society. Let me give you yet another manifestation of greed in America.

Before telling you, let me first say I am a strong supporter of teachers but believe the education system is broken. I worked for eight years for the Governor of New Jersey. A couple of years I spent as the Assistant State Treasurer. While there I got to know the other side of the education industry and the power of special interests.

Since we left office in Jersey, leaving behind a substantial budget surplus, the subsequent Democratic governors have driven the tax rates in Jersey to the highest in the nation. The state teachers union is one of the strongest in the nation. No doubt they provided for the teachers as well as themselves. But what is the result?

Taxes are so high in Jersey that two decades of inward migration to Jersey were reversed in the past decade and people, mainly high income, are fleeing the state. In revolt, the people of Jersey stunned the political pundits and elected a Republican governor last November after almost 30 years of Democrats in control.

The incumbent governor, a Democrat and former CEO of Goldman Sachs, had pushed the liberal agenda which includes coddling the special interests too far. He was bounced from office. Faced with a deficit he inherited of $11 billion the new governor outline an ambitious recovery program.

Many people don't realize that by law states cannot have a deficit, unlike the federal government that lives off the future taxes of our kids. The budget has to be balanced. So the new governor rolled up his sleeves and went to work. New Governor Chris Christie faced a huge problem. According to writer Mark Impomeni in a story on the Human events blog website this is what happened.

Christie proposed a cut in state aid to education, intended to generate $500 million in savings the first year and $800 million the second year. It was equal to the annual budget surpluses in the school district and would result in no lost teaching jobs nor reduction in services. The teacher's union, in control of the legislature, demanded a new tax on families with incomes over $400,000 to pay the cost, a reinstatement of an old temporary tax that was responsible for driving tens of thousands of jobs out of the state. In fact the previous Democratic governor and legislature had refused to extend the tax.

Christie was elected on a platform of no tax increases and a cut in excessive state spending. He said no and countered with a challenge to the teachers union tax increase proposal.: He called on teachers to voluntarily agree to a one-year wage freeze and a permanent 1.5% of their salary to go toward the cost of their health insurance. The governor said that doing so would save school districts across the state more than the $820 million he was proposing to cut, resulting in no net reductions for education.

You see, thanks to the strength of the teachers union and the weakness of the Democrats in New Jersey teachers do not pay a single cent for health care. Retired teachers also pay nothing for health care. The health care plan for teachers ranked as one of the most expensive in the nation and was so extravagant it was classified as a "Cadillac" program and almost subject to a luxury tax under the Obama plan.

When the NJEA balked at this proposal, Christie took his case to the people. The governor said that New Jersey voters should reject the budget in any school district in which teachers refused to accept the wage freeze and health plan contributions.

“I just don't see how citizens should want to support a budget where their teachers have not wanted to be part of the shared sacrifice,” Christie said.

The teachers’ union, the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA), mounted a massive public campaign against the cuts, airing ads on local television accusing the governor of “attacking teachers, school bus drivers, and lunch aides.”

Last Tuesday, voters in the state decided overwhelmingly in the governor’s favor.

In an average year, nearly 70% of school budgets in New Jersey are approved. But last Tuesday, almost six-in ten-school budgets went down to defeat, a stunning reversal. Now, school budgets that were rejected will go to town councils for mandatory spending cuts or approval over the will of the voters. It seems unlikely in the current political climate that many town councils will choose to substitute their judgment for that of the voters. It is nothing short of a huge political victory for the governor.

Reacting to the vote, Christie called the results, “an extraordinarily clear signal” and “a seismic change that reflects … a changed attitude in New Jersey.” Still, Christie sought to distance himself from any personal political benefits from the vote, casting himself as the people’s messenger.

“[The people have] had enough,” Christie said. “They want real, fundamental change. We didn't lead in that regard. We merely gave voice to what the people of New Jersey were already feeling.”

The NJEA issued no comment on the results.

Christie moved quickly to capitalize on the vote, calling on the legislature to approve an amendment to the state constitution limiting property tax increases to 2.5% a year, to cut pensions and benefits for public sector workers, and to change the collective bargaining process to help reign in expanding budgets at the state and local level.

“We must arm the municipal governments with the tools they need,” he said. “We need to give people the opportunity to control their own property taxes."

Christie has been gaining national attention for his strongly conservative approach to closing New Jersey’s huge budget deficit. Tuesday’s victory will only serve to increase his national profile. New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio said the school budget votes in New Jersey were “a national model for fundamental change” and pledged to follow Christie’s example in Albany if elected.
Christie will now seek to push his $29 billion budget through the legislature ahead of the June 30 deadline. Tuesday’s results make it far more likely that his spending cuts will make it through largely intact.

This victory at the local polls demonstrates the degree to which the people's revolt against past spending habits has penetrated the American political system. It should serve as a warning to the free spending liberals throughout the nation that the Tea Party is just beginning and Independents have become more determined than ever to stop the nonsense and get control of government at all levels.

I lived in Jersey for 16 years and this is one of the most positive signs I have seen that the state has finally seen the light and is ready to again become the powerhouse of the Northeast, a position it last occupied when I was working for Governor Tom Kean. It is great to see Governor Christie is a man of his word and that the people understand it. Welcome back Jersey.


The Shootout at the Capitol Corral - Congress versus Goldman Sachs


After two weeks of pre-meditated murder by Obama, the SEC, Senator Carl Levin, Senator Chris Dodd and the Democratic leadership in Congress, in which the president and his gang pilloried the Demons from Wall Street, the heavy weights from Goldman went before Congress in a 10 hour marathon Tuesday for a public shootout.

It was no contest. The Democrats had virtually persecuted the Goldman gang in the days leading up to the hearing before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations with civil charges from the SEC, a public scolding from former Goldman poster boy Obama, and charges of misconduct by the two Senators in their haste to get a financial reform bill through the Senate.

The court of public opinion was swayed, but not convinced, that the Obama style of liberal spending and bigger government was needed, but it was not over yet. That had to be decided in the outcome of the hearing. But this shootout was a rerun of the most famous shootout in the history of the wild west, the gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

The gunfight at the O.K. Corral has been portrayed in numerous Western films. It has come to symbolize the struggle between law-and-order and open-banditry in frontier towns of the Old West, where law enforcement was often weak or nonexistent. The fateful battle took place in Tombstone, Arizona, where Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Virgil and Morgan Earp fought the Clantons and McLaurys.

One group of fighters represented rural Democrats from Texas who were involved in the cattle-trade in a remote area of Arizona territory which had been desert just a few years before. The other faction, (the Earps) had come from the East with the frontier, and represented the very different city interests of Yankee Republican capitalists and businessmen who were attempting to manage a silver-mining boom-town with Eastern expectations of behavior.

The battle left three rural Democrats dead and the Yankee Republican capitalists in control and the outcome of the shootout at the Capitol Corral had just about the same outcome. Before the dust had settled the Democrat Senators with their thousands of pages of briefings, tons of staff and seats behind the elevated bench were outfoxed, outclassed, outsmarted and out to lunch. The Yankee capitalists had won again.

Now I worked on the hill a couple of times and have been to many a hearing and I do not remember a time when the Congress ever looked so disheveled, disoriented, ill-prepared and out matched than this particular hearing. The politicians, well they looked every bit the good old boys and the Goldman gang the city slickers. This battle turned out no different than the last shootout back in 1881.

Of course the liberal media are sure to paint a different picture because the Democrats are their champions of the far left redistribution of wealth philosophy and Heavens knows the media may soon be out of work and in need of a redistribution of wealth to take care of them. But the outcome of this battle was never in doubt to any honest observer.

Three levels of Goldmanites testified with the junior executives first, the senior executives second, and the CEO Lloyd Blankfein last. Committee Chairman Carl Levin started out the attack, and his effort soon withered into a constant repetition of the same old question because a socialist thinker clearly has no clue how a capitalist system works. The juniors executives had him so flustered he constantly was searching through the thousands of pages of documentation trying to figure out where in the world the emails he quoted were to be found.

Like good junior execs, the Dapper Dans from Goldman seemed to be taking forever to find whatever the Senators were talking about. There was little continuity in the questions and no follow up questions, even when the opportunity presented itself. As the hearing droned on and on with each Senator grilling the Goldman gang the interrogators got more and more confused until one might have asked what they were doing at the hearing.

When the senior executives took the floor and started explaining the complex and highly complicated world of Wall Street high finance, as played by the biggest and best in the world, the look of utter confusion was in all the Senate faces. One by one they acknowledged defeat when they admitted they did not understand the intricacies nor mind set of Wall Street.

By the time Blankfein took the center seat even John McCain, with all his years of experience, was left befuddled and dazed. The white flag of surrender was raised and finally the hearing was brought to a close. Perhaps the power of Goldman was most obvious by the fact the New York Stock Exchange, and every foreign stock exchange in the world, crashed when the hearing started and the Dow was down over 200points before it was through.

When the actions against Goldman can cause world stock markets to tumble one can only surmise Congress might have underestimated their standing. But Goldman went further as the Goldman stock was about the only publicly traded stock to gain in value on this day. It was an exclamation mark on the power of the money changers.

To be honest, I have done many critical articles about the activities of Goldman over the past few years and was hoping some of my questions would be answered. They were not to be. Our Senators seemed to lose their minds when attempting to extract guilty pleas or inside information to prove how dastardly Goldman had acted during the economic meltdown.

By the end of the hearing Goldman was assuring Congress they would help the committee with new provisions of the financial reform bill that would have a chance of meeting the needs of America while bringing some sort of discipline, ethics and transparency to the Wall Street wagering in the markets.

That's a good thing since no members of the Committee seemed to comprehend what was going on. Obama is certain to have no comment as what is there for him to say? Tuesday was a big victory for Goldman. They demonstrated that no matter how intense their opposition may come after them, they are up to the challenge.

Perhaps now the stock market can continue it's upward momentum. And one last point on the fading liberal power of the Obama Democrat machine. About midway through the hearing the committee took a recess so the Senators could go vote on the procedure to move the financial reform bill to the floor. It was the second straight day good old Harry Reid brought it up for a vote and for the second straight day the Republicans and a Democrat defeated the Obama initiative.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Kentucky Derby 2010 - The Run for the Roses


This 136th running of the most famous and exciting two minutes in sports is the ultimate test of champions before the largest worldwide audience to ever watch horse racing. It is the pride of Kentucky and the United States.

It's Derby week and Louisville has already come to life with parties, parties and more parties. So far the favorite and another top contender have already dropped out of Saturday's race making it a rather wide open affair.

Of course it is always wide open when 20 horses are pounding around the track making this the toughest test on thoroghbreds, especially 3 year olds, in horse racing. If you win this crown jewel of horse racing you assure your place in history and are in the forefront for a triple crown championship run requiring even more stamina during the next five weeks.

Tomorrow the final field will be set and the draw for positions will be held. For those of you interested in the race the following are the probable entries in the Derby with brief backgrounds. By Thursday I expect to have my picks and you should know I picked the winner 2 of the last 3 years.

American Lion: The first of the many speed horses entered in this year’s Derby, American Lion ran his first ever race on dirt in the Illinois Derby and it produced the best race of his career. He’s a long striding colt that may find it difficult to easily secure the lead on Saturday.

Awesome Act: Won the Gotham Stakes in New York this spring and then finished 3rd to the since scratched Eskendereya in his final prep race. Awesome Act is a patient horse that should be able to sit back and make a move late in the race. He’s got a great chance to win and could be available at odds of somewhere around 15/1 on Derby day, depending how things shake out.

Backtalk: A closer that currently might not make it into the Derby due to a lack of graded earnings. If he does draw in, he might be a short on stamina as he’s never won a race at a distance longer than a mile. Backtalk is sired by 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, Smarty Jones.

Conveyance: Another of the many speed horses in this year’s Derby, Conveyance has never won a race when he didn’t lead the entire way. He and Sidney’s Candy should be fighting for the lead going into the first turn.

Dean’s Kitten: This colt has only run on dirt once in his lifetime where he lost by 33 3/4 lengths – not really the type of result you want to see from a horse in the Kentucky Derby. Dean’s Kitten likes to do his running late in the race so he could benefit if there’s a fast pace and a bunch of tired horses sucking oxygen in the stretch.

Devil May Care: The lone filly in this year’s field, Devil May Care has run some very nice races against female horses in her career but will try the boys for the first time on Saturday. No filly has won the Kentucky Derby since 1988, and only three have won in the 135 year history of the race (Regret, Genuine Risk, and Winning Colors).

Discreetly Mine: Another speed horse that has never won a race where he didn’t have the lead every step of the way. It’s very tough to make a case for this horse when you factor in the presence of other dominant speed horses like Conveyance, Sidney’s Candy, and Line of David. It will be tough for him to grab the lead.

Dublin: Sired by 2005 Preakness and Belmont winner, Afleet Alex, this colt has tons of talent in his pedigree but not a whole lot of career wins to show for it. He’s come up just short in all his races this spring but Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas appears to have him sharp for the big one. Dublin is a dangerous horse because it’s easy to think he’s going to finally win until you watch him run 2nd or 3rd.

Endorsement: A lightly raced colt that blew away the competition in the Sunland Derby in late March. This colt appears to have a ton of talent and a very high ceiling, but he’s short on experience. The Derby is the most difficult race in America to win and it’s even more difficult for an inexperienced colt like Endorsement. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him run huge or to see finish well back of the field.

Homeboykris: Hasn’t won a race since last October and finished second in a non-stakes race in Florida two months ago. This horse would produce payouts along the lines of Giacomo and Mine That Bird if he were to win the Derby.

Ice Box: If the pace is fast enough early, this hard-closing winner of the Florida Derby could find himself passing a lot of tired horses in the stretch. Ice Box is a very intriguing long shot possibility considering that the pace should be quite fast this year. Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito will be attempting to win his third Kentucky Derby, and his first since 1994.

Interactif: A turf horse that will be trying the dirt for the first time since last summer when he was as two-year-old. Interactif had an awful morning work on Monday and doesn’t appear to be training well heading into the biggest race of his life.

Jackson Bend: Another horse trained by Nick Zito, Jackson Bend is the direct beneficiary of the scratch of both Eskendereya and Rule, as he will now likely draw into the Derby field. He hasn’t won a race since last October, but he’s run credibly in all three of his starts this spring.

Line of David: Ran a huge race when he won the Arkansas Derby last time out but he’s struggled a little bit with his morning works over the last week. His sire, Lion Heart, ran second to Smarty Jones in the 2004 Kentucky Derby.

Lookin At Lucky: If you were wondering who the favorite in this year’s Derby would be after Eskendereya had to withdraw due to an injury, look no further than Lookin At Lucky. Lucky was the champion two year old colt in America last year after winning three graded stakes races and finishing second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Bob Baffert is still one of the most charismatic trainers in the game and he has this colt working like a freight train in preparation for Saturday’s race.

Make Music for Me: This colt currently doesn’t have enough graded earnings to get into the Derby but if some of these others don’t enter he could squeak into the field. He’ll be a huge long shot to win as he’s never even won a graded stakes race in his career.

Mission Impazible: This colt’s races don’t exactly "wow" you but he’s definitely a horse that keeps running and running through the stretch. He might not make a great bet to win but he could be a horse to play in a trifecta or superfecta wager.

Noble’s Promise: Always a bridesmaid and never a bride, this colt has finished right behind Lookin At Lucky three times in his career. He had some troubles in the Arkansas Derby in his last race but has come back to post a couple of great works at Churchill Downs over the past week. When he’s on his game, he can run with the favorite.

Paddy O’Prado: Another colt that has spent most of his career racing on grass prior to his attempt at the Derby. He hasn’t run on dirt since last July is a mystery as to what he’ll do on Saturday. Paddy is trained by local Louisville trainer Dale Romans.

Sidney’s Candy: The undisputed King of California after he swept all three races he ran at Santa Anita this spring, including the Santa Anita Derby in his final prep race. Look for him to be out front early as he’s won all three races this year by leading every step of the way. Sidney’s Candy will be ridden by young gun, Joe Talamo.

Stately Victor: If you’re looking for this year’s Mine That Bird, this would be your colt. On paper, this horse looks to be completely outclassed by this field ... but they don’t run the Derby on paper. Stately Victor wants to see a fast, fast pace so that he call roll by the field in the stretch when all the others are tired. His two previous attempts to run on dirt, however, were not very strong.

Super Saver: There is so much to like about this horse -- he’s won a stakes race at Churchill Downs already in his career, he’s got Calvin Borel in the saddle (last year’s winning jockey), and he’s seems to be improving with every race this spring. This colt might be the sleeper of the entire Derby and it’s very possible that he could be the one to beat.