Thursday, October 30, 2008

Election Day 2008 Predictions

It seems like ages ago when we first began talking about 2008, oh wait, that's because it was! The 2008 race has been on our collective minds since the moment John Kerry lost in '04. I remember reading a Yahoo article on the Wednesday morning after Kerry's defeat which raised the question of who would be president in '08.

I went through a personal lull around August of 2008 because I was tired of hearing about 2008 every single time I turned on the TV. I was back into the race for good on a snowy January day when I witnessed Barack Obama speak to 20,000 strong in Caesar Rodney Square in Wilmington, DE. Enough of my nostalgic feelings, lets get to the predictions:

2008 Presidential Race:

Barack Obama: 326 Electoral Votes
John McCain: 212 Electoral Votes

I think Obama will win Ohio, North Carolina and Virgina while McCain will win Florida, Missouri and Indiana.

2008 Senate Race:

Democrats will pick up eight senate seats winning Alaska, New Mexico, Colorado, Virginia, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oregon and Minnesota. They will fall short of the 60 seat majority.

2008 House Race:

I think this is where Democrats do the real damage and wind up with 255 members. Sweeping most of the close races and felling the last New England Republican, Chris Shays. Other victims of the tide will include Michelle Bachman, Don Young, Jon Porter, Jean Schmidt, Phil English and Dave Reichert.

Bonus Round Predictions:

1. One of the two, Dick Lugar or Chuck Hagel, will be in Obama's cabinet.
2. Joe Lieberman will be kicked out of the Democratic caucus if Democrats do not reach 60 votes and will be replaced by Arlen Specter and at least one other Senator.
3. Obama's Secretary of State will more than likely be Bill Richardson.
4. Obama's first Supreme Court nominee with either be Deval Patrick or Hillary Clinton.
5. "Joe the Plumber" will run for U.S. Congress in 2010 and lose.
6. Democrats will score decisive gains across the United States as down-ticket politicians ride Obama's coattails to victory.
7. Ed Rendell will be in Barack Obama's cabinet.
8. Joe Biden will be replaced as US Senator by one of the three: Ruth Ann Minner, John Carney or Beau Biden.
9. Bristol Palin will give her child a weird/strange name.
10. The finger-pointing after John McCain's defeat will be legendary.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Philadelphia Phillies: 2008 World Series Champs!

In case you haven't heard, my hometown team, the Philadelphia Phillies, just won the World Series and are the BEST team in baseball. This championship really belongs to Philadelphia fans who patiently stuck with their baseball team for 28 years (25 of which spent waiting for any championship).

Philly fans take a lot of heat for being passionate about their sports. You will not find another city that rewards hard work and dedication and punishes lack thereof like we do. For one year we can say we are truly the "team to beat".

Redistribution of Ignorance: Part II

"We're going to take on Wall Street speculators and bring them to justice". That line has been uttered by many campaigns across the country, whether they be presidential, congressional or state races. It has been quite the rallying cry for people who are angry after seeing their 401k or investments go down the drain.

What exactly is a "Wall Street Speculator"? Well just about every single American is a Wall St. Speculator if they invest in a mutual fund, have a 401k or invest in stocks on the side. Being a speculator doesn't mean that you just hedge on companies to go up or down, it means you invest in stocks period! By investing in mutual funds, 401ks and other investments we are betting the economy will drive businesses to success and thus increase our stake in the company to a higher monetary value.

Another bit of breaking news: Since when has betting on companies been outside of our typical human nature to make money? Everybody is a speculator on something, for example, I speculate that I will retire one day so I'm saving for retirement. Does this make me a retirement speculator? Everybody is looking to point fingers at some scapegoat for the failure of the markets when the true culprit is the society we live in which over the last two decades has become increasingly loose on credit and crying out for transparency.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Redistribution of Ignorance?

People are making a lot of noise about "socialism" these days. You know, that scary monster our grandparent's generation battled and thankfully defeated in the 40's and 50's. People say they don't want a redistribution of wealth and fear that under an Obama presidency.

Here is the real kicker, we already redistribute wealth in this country! We have been doing so since 1913, so you can thank Woodrow Wilson for that one! Where do you think the money for public schools, infrastructure, social programs and war funding comes from? Although it is true that the United States has one of the highest income tax burdens in the world, the company we keep shows you why that might not be such a bad thing.

If you are going to be pissed about Obama's plan, you should do so for the right reasons. Perhaps you are a firm believer in the "trickle-down" effect of tax cuts and would prefer higher earners get tax cuts as well or maybe you think low-income workers should remain at their same level. Just don't call it socialism because under that definition, America is already socialist.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Goodbye Little Buddy

This is a pretty hard post to write. My little Miniature Schnauzer "Lady" lost her battle with diabetes on Wednesday October 8th. I know some people don't get sad about the loss of pets, but I tend to view them as little people who have their own distinct personalities. Lady has been my dog since I was in the 5th grade and I have always viewed her as a full member of the family.

Like I said before Lady had her own little personality and was quite the mischievous and fun-loving pooch. Her favorite things were to wrestle, bark a lot and make frequent attempts to invade the garbage can. It was very hard to be away from her when I know she has been sick for the past month. Due to my new job, I have not been living in my family home since July. My mother made the executive decision to put Lady to sleep after she took a very sharp turn for the worse that morning.

Lady had been diagnosed with diabetes in early September and as a result of treatment lost her eyesight and some of her hearing. She was having a lot of trouble adjusting to the new situation and was very sad after not being able to do her favorite things anymore. Hopefully she is in heaven now, chasing after various animals, barking to no end and having a grand old time.

Whats The Big Deal With Energy Drinks?

A co-worker of mine starts everyday with a "Red Bull" energy drink to get his day going. I asked him if he really thought it was giving him any more energy or got him in a better mood to deal with his work and after thinking about it he said "It doesn't give me any more energy but makes me think I am being proactive about getting things done".

A closer examination of the ingredients inside a Red Bull would stun even a casual observer. Red Bull has 80mg of caffeine in every can which is only slightly more than the average cup of coffee. So where is this supposed "energy" coming from? The can features a whopping 27 grams of sugar packed into only 250 ml in the form of sucrose and glucose. The tandem of those two are certain to leave you with a debilitating "crash", after they wear off.

Another eye-popping metric is the 250% of Vitamin B6 and 80% of Vitamin B12. High does of B6 have been linked to nerve damage and numbness in the hands and feet. Now that all those "benefits" have been debunked, what about Taurine? Taurine helps the body absorb fat soluble vitamins, regulate the heart beat and prevent brain-cell over activity. Huh, nothing about energy? Well it seems Red Bull is more of a "sexy" choice for providing energy than actually providing it in the first place.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Campbell Brown: I Love You

While much is made about good looks this electoral season (Sarah Palin) and lack thereof (Hillary Clinton), one woman has stood out in my mind as the perfect fusion between intelligence and stunning looks. Campbell Brown has made CNN not only my "go-to" spot for political commentary but also the place to go for an anchor who can steal my heart while massaging my brain cells.

I first met Campbell in early 2008 when she had just begun her career at CNN. She was an evening anchor and I was just someone who happened to be watching the TV. I knew love had instantly blossomed as I could tell that Campbell's trademark smirk and wry smile were being directed solely at me. The brunette vixen had ensnared me and certainly made my love of politics grow as I realized I could begin to enjoy the people that delivered the "news" to me.

Campbell is everything a journalist should be. She is intelligent, witty, sincere, modest, reserved and educated. While often soft spoken, she occasionally channels her inner "Tim Russert" when dealing with BS from the campaign trail. She has a fiery streak and is not afraid to show it.

David Gergen may have his so called "lovers" but I know in my heart that Campbell and I were meant to be together. So what will I do? The only thing I can do: tune into CNN for spot on political commentary, relevant interviews and an occasional smirk that I know will only be meant for me.

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Real World: Macy's

In case you haven't heard I work two jobs now, stepping into the realm of retail at Macy's. I've worked there long enough to make some generic, general observations about shoppers in general that seem to apply to department stores in general:

1. People bring in 10 coupons and expect each one to magically be accepted and have their item somehow just be reduced to nothing. Obviously this is not the case and as you explain this to people they act like this is a novel concept and must be limited to just your store.

2. The common thought is that people will try on everything and whatever I don't like I will just pile on the floor in the fitting room. I often have to conquer mounds of clothing when checking the fitting rooms because people are too lazy to bring their clothes back to where they found them. Women are more frequently guilty of this heinous offense, as they often bring quite an array of clothes into the fitting rooms with them.

3. Some people think they can get away with stealing. Let me set the record straight for you: You will never get away with stealing in a department store! I have seen the security room and they can zoom in on the face of your watch. If you are considering some type of operation to relieve a department store of its merchandise, you will most likely end up in handcuffs at the end of the it.

4. Unlike the urban legend, you actually need to have your receipt to return things. I know it sounds almost heinous to ask someone to provide a proof of purchase when returning something, but I will unfortunately have to enforce that policy. There are always several people who seem to think receipts are like pay phones and are just for "show" these days.

5. Unfortunately you do not get a "discount" if the merchandise is damaged. The process involves little to do with you and the garment going back into the supply room. I can't make special arrangements with you just because you think I should be giving you a "deal". If it's damaged, don't buy it!