This is the kind of stuff you just can't make up.
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This is the kind of stuff you just can't make up.
I blogged about it last week and today it happened again! The latest economic numbers were "unexpected," according to the "experts."
From the Associated Press: Retail sales unexpectedly fell in December, leaving 2009 with the biggest yearly drop on record and highlighting the formidable hurdles facing the economy as it struggles to recover from the deepest recession in seven decades. In another disappointing economic report, the number of newly laid-off workers requesting unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week as jobs remain scarce. In that jobs report, new claims for unemployment insurance rose by 11,000 to a seasonally adjusted 440,000. Wall Street economists polled by Thomson Reuters expected an increase of only 3,000.
Again I ask, who are these economic experts and how do they still have jobs?
After having a day to digest the Packer loss on Sunday, a few things come to mind. First, I don't think the Packer defense was quite as good as many thought. They couldn't stop Kurt Warner Sunday and if you go back and review the season, they struggled against top QB's. Brett Favre had his way with the Packer defense in both matchups with Minnesota. And Ben Roethlisberger threw for over 500 yards against this defense. As much as the defense improved overall during the course of the season, it's obvious to me that it still needs some work.
During the course of the week, I wondered about the mindset of the team. There was alot of talk on the part of fans and the media about how the Packers could face Minnesota again. Those folks appeared to believe it was a foregone conclusion that Green Bay would beat Arizona. If that confidence (or overconfidence) was based on the result of the previous week's game against Arizona, that was foolish because the Cardinals pulled many of their starters in the first quarter of that game. Whether that was the attitude of the team itself is something we'll probably never know. But did anyone take note of the brief interview Pam Oliver did with WR Greg Jennings just prior to kickoff of the game? Jennings said something to the effect of, "We're not worried about Arizona - we just have to do what we do." It's a playoff game on the road against the defending NFC Champion! How can you not be worried, or at least concerned about what they're capable of? If that was the way the team approached the game, the results shouldn't surprise anyone.
And, finally, officiating in the NFL is just downright awful. There were several botched calls in the game Sunday, which I don't need to remind anyone of. It's been my observation that, for whatever reason, there appear to be more questionable calls or non-calls in close games that aren't decided until the very end. I don't know what the league can do about it. But the league should be concerned about the possibility that a blown call someday will cost a team the Super Bowl.
If you're a news junkie, you've probably noticed that when a jobs report is released by the government, the results are almost always "unexpectedly higher or lower" than economists had predicted. We saw it again with today's jobs report. Associated Press, citing data released today by the Labor Department, reported today that employers shed a more than expected 85,000 jobs in December. Just who are these "experts," and how do they still have jobs?
Even worse than that aspect of the story, however, is just how bad the unemployment situation is. While the unemployment rate is still around 10% nationwide, if you include people who have given up looking for work or those who have taken part-time jobs instead of full-time, the so-called underemployed, the actual unemployment rate is at 17.3%. That's up from 17.2% in October. We keep hearing that the economy is turning around. I'm not seeing it. And until jobs start coming back, the general public isn't going to feel it.
Ray Stevens is back. (Not the wrestler - the singer)
If you're feed up with Washington and, in particular, the health care bill being shoved down the throats of the American people against their wishes, you need to hear
Wasn't this an episode of Green Acres?
By myFOXDetroit.com Staff
ZWINGLE, Iowa - Ask this Iowa wife is she got the perfect birthday present and she'll tell you her hubby "dung good."
Carole and Dick Kleis live together on their eastern Iowa farm. This year for her birthday, Dick used more than 120,000 pounds of manure to spell out a special message. It basically says 'Happy Birthday, Love You,' but in shorthand.
And it only took three hours to spell it all out in a stinky, but mushy way.
"It's not hard," said Kleis. "Any manure will work but the good, soft, gushy, warm stuff works the best. It kind of melts the snow."
Carole say Dick's birthday is in May and she's already thinking of ways to beat out his gift.
As the NFL playoffs get underway, I'll be very interested to see if the teams that decided to rest their players for the last game or two actually see that strategy pay off. In particular, I'll be curious to see how the Saints and Colts do. Both teams just a few weeks ago were undefeated. Now the Saints limp into the playoffs with three straight losses and the Colts finished up by losing their last two. Both teams rested players over the last couple weeks and both now have byes. So by the time these teams play again, it will have been several weeks since they fielded their starters for a full game. Will they come out rusty or will they come out looking rested and sharp? We'll find out. But if I were a head coach, I think I would like to keep my team sharp down the stretch and not risk being out of sync come playoff time.
One other intriguing aspect of the playoffs is the fact that there are three rematches from the final week of the regular season. The Packers head back to Arizona, Philadelphia travels to Dallas again and the Bengals will host the Jets. It's also interesting to note that all three of those games on Sunday resulted in blowout wins for the Packers, Cowboys and Jets. Are those outcomes indicative of how the playoff games will be or will those losses provide extra motivation for the teams that were on the losing end? As I said, we'll find out. It should be fun.
Happy New Year!
And be sure to be safe tonight. Don't drink and drive. Sheboygan County authorities have already put out the warning that they'll be on the lookout for drunk drivers. Speaking of which, how in the world does anyone survive with a blood-alcohol level of .708??!! That's not a typo. A South Dakota woman was found earlier this month passed out behind the wheel of a stolen vehicle parked on I-90 in South Dakota. When they hauled her in, her blood-alcohol level registered a whopping .708 - almost nine times South Dakota's legal limit of .08. South Dakota authorities say that's probably a record. I'll take a wild guess and say the hangover was probably a record-breaker as well.
A Quinnipiac poll conducted shortly before the U.S. Senate voted in favor of the health care bill indicates 56% of likely voters surveyed across the U.S. were against the legislation and only 37% in favor. Presumably, the fact that it was voted for against overwhelming opposition will lead to a backlash at the polls in the mid-term elections next November. Nebraska Democratic Senator Ben Nelson is already feeling the heat. A Rasmussen Reports survey shows that in a hypothetical matchup, current Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman - a Republican - would whip Nelson by 31 points!
Nelson is already going to start running TV ads tonight in Nebraska during the Holiday Bowl to try to convince residents that the health care bill is right for that state. It would appear he's got his work cut out for him, as 64% of those polled in Nebraska disapprove of the health care bill.
After watching the Vikings drop 3 of their last 4 and the Saints lose two straight, I'm beginning to wonder if, subconsciously, teams get bored with playing out the regular season once they have playoff appearances clinched. Granted, they were still playing for home field advantage and that should be enough to motivate teams to play their best every week. (Not to mention the money these guys make) But I'm just perplexed watching two teams that were as dominating as can be for a good chunk of the season suddenly go in the tank.
If you'll recall, the same thing happened to the Arizona Cardinals last season. They had their division wrapped up by early December and proceeded to get trounced in subsequent games. That is, until the playoffs began. Then they got on a roll and stunned everyone by winning the NFC championship before losing the Super Bowl to the Steelers.
I'm not saying that the Saints or Vikings will duplicate what the Cardinals did last season. But the Cards proved it is possible to regroup and start playing well once the playoffs kick in. Time will tell.
I had a great Christmas weekend - I hope you did too. But I'm having a hard time recalling a more bizarre stretch of days starting with Christmas Eve. For example:
A) The U.S. Senate - against the wishes of the American people - votes for the overhaul of the health care system and acts as if they're giving the
American people a tremendous Christmas present.
B) The Pope gets attacked during Christmas Eve mass.
C) Pouring rain on Christmas Day in the Sheboygan area.
D) Attempted terrorist attack fails. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano declares that "the system worked." Then, a day later, says, "airline security failed." Oh, let's not forget the would-be attacker had the explosives in his underwear and ended up suffering burns. That's gotta sting!
And not even the sports world was spared:
A) University of Florida head coach Urban Meyer announces he is resigning due to health reasons. Then changes his mind and instead takes a leave of absence.
B) The New Orleans Saints blow a 17-point lead and lose to Tampa Bay, thus losing their second straight game after starting the season with 13 straight wins.
And this might be the topper: