Monday, July 23, 2012

Quick Hits - July 23, 2012

The NCAA drops the boom on Penn State University over the actions of the former football coach, the late Joe Paterno, and other senior University officials over their cover-up the sexual abuse of children by then assistant football coach, Jerry Sandusky.

The University was fined $60 million, which is roughly the net revenues for one year to the University for their football program.  The Football program was also significantly impacted.  The program was barred from any Bowl participation for 4 years, the number of new scholarships for the program were reduced from 25 per year to 15 per year, and all of the programs wins between 1998 and 2011 were vacated.

The latter step took Joe Paterno from being the winningest football coach in NCAA history to being the 12th winningest coach. Current students who are part of the football or band programs are going to be permitted to transfer to another NCAA school without penalty or loss of scholarship. These steps were taken as opposed to what some people were calling for - the 'death penalty' for the Penn State football program - a permanent end to the football program.

The NCAA decision has opened a debate on if the penalties have gone to far - impacting and effecting students, school officials, and local businesses that had nothing to do with the decision by Paterno and others at the school to cover-up and protect Sandusky.

Others are arguing that the heinous nature of the crimes by Sandusky to prey on young boys should have resulted in the 'death penalty' to the University. Joe Paterno and other senior officials at Penn State University clearly put the interest of the football program and the school ahead of their responsibilities towards the young boys victimized by Sandusky.

The purpose and goal of the University has to be towards educating the students attending the school - which includes their role to educate the students on the responsibilities we all have towards society as well as being a proper role model towards society.

In this case, the University completely neglected their primary purpose as well as their obligation towards society, putting the success and attention of their football program over doing the right thing.  This cannot be tolerated - and has to be punished. The punishment delivered by the NCAA is harsh.

$60 million fine is not a slap on the wrist. It's also to be used to establish an endowment to help the victims and educate / prevent future cases of abuse. If anything, I would have made the fine larger if I were at the NCAA.

In addition to the fine, the University should voluntarily match that amount with a donation to the endowment - which should not be run by anyone directly associated (now or past) with Penn State University. The fact that the current members of the football and marching band program can transfer to another school means that they have an option to continue / complete their college career at another Division 1 school.  I hope most do avail themselves of this.

A four year ban from bowl games seems light - we've seen similar punishments in recruiting violations at other schools.  I'd made it at least double.

Unfortunately, the businesses outside of the University that benefited from the success of the football program is going to be damaged by the penalty.  So are the players from past years who now see their win's vacated. This collateral damage is unavoidable - and should be seen as a general reminder that the focus of the University has to be on academics.

The penalties also have to be both a punishment and warning to other schools as a deterrent to not put sports programs ahead of either academics or the need to protect innocent victims of a sexual predator.

The Hill released information from their latest poll this morning, which is full of very very bad news for President Barack Obama on the economic front.

As one blogger referred to this poll, it appears that the 'Sell By Date' on President Obama's efforts to blame the current dismal economic conditions on President George W. Bush has passed. Two thirds of the likely voters polled say that the weak economy is Washington's fault- and specifically the effects of bad government policies.

 34% put the blame specifically on President Barack Obama, followed by 23% who say Congress is the primary culprit.  20% blame 'Wall Street' for the problems and only 18% continue to cite former President George W. Bush. On a related question, 53% of the respondents say that Barack Obama has taken the wrong actions and these have slowed the economy down.  42% said that the President has taken the right actions to revive the economy, while 6% were not sure.

Hot Air, looking deeper into the results of this poll, notes the additional bad news in the poll for President Obama...
The numbers are bad for Obama almost across the board. Overwhelming numbers of both men (65/26) and women (67/26) believe the current economic malaise is the result of bad policy rather than an unavoidable consequence of the 2008 crash. Not a single demographic thinks otherwise, not even self-described liberals (46/39). Even without any other data, an incumbent President would face daunting odds in re-election with these numbers, since most voters assign blame or credit for economic to the White House.

The Washington Post's fact checker, Glenn Kessler, is apparently trying out for the Olympic gymnastic team as he is resorting to some serious rhetorical and logical gymanstics as he fact checks the Romney campaign advert hammering President Obama's line - “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that, somebody else made that happen.”

Kessler awards the advert, which I posted in a QH last week, '3 pinocchios' because, according to Kessler, that not only did the Romney campaign take the quote out of context, but also noting that since President Franklin Roosevelt and Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren have made similar statements, Obama's quote was neither original or an accurate representation of what the President meant.


Of course, this is also the same WaPoo 'fact checker' who has announced that he will not fact check anything done by the WaPoo as it's unnecessary...right after he gave an Obama advert '4 pinocchio's' for it's attack on Romney - which was based on a WaPoo front page smear article.

Speaking of the WaPoo, their Editorial Board, has an editorial in today's paper that is calling for across the board tax increases for all taxpayers, including the middle class in order to increase government revenues.

They note, quite correctly, that the Obama plan to only increase taxes on the 'wealthy', those earning more than $250,000 a year, will not solve the national deficit problem. So, they are advocating even higher taxes while accepting that these higher taxes will damage the economy and cost hundreds of thousands of jobs.

That is all 'collateral damage' when the primary goal is to get more funds into the bloated federal government. Specifically, they are calling for a family earning $110,000 to see their rates go from 25% to 31%, and a family that has a total annual earnings of $165,000 to see their tax rate jump from 28% to 36%.

The new federal government fiscal year takes effect on October 1 - about 75 days from now. Once again, the U.S. Senate, under the control of the Democrats and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, have completely failed to fulfill their legal obligation to not only pass a budget (none passed since April 2009), but also pass spending authorization bills for the components of the U.S. government. So as we roll into the home stretch of the 2012 campaign season, Congress will be rushing to pass more stop gap spending bills - or even address the fact that we may hit our debt ceiling limit. The irresponsibility of the Democrats in the U.S. Senate should be a reminder to all voters that they are unworthy of remaining the majority party in that august body.

The Wall Street Journal has a superb commentary in today's edition which focuses not only on the now classic Obama line - “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that, somebody else made that happen.”
A telling moment in the presidential race came recently when Barack Obama said: "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." He justified elevating bureaucrats over entrepreneurs by referring to bridges and roads, adding: "The Internet didn't get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all companies could make money off the Internet."
So, who really did invent the Internet? It wasn't Al Gore. And, no, it was not the U.S. Government ARPA program either.
Robert Taylor, who ran the ARPA program in the 1960s, sent an email to fellow technologists in 2004 setting the record straight: "The creation of the Arpanet was not motivated by considerations of war. The Arpanet was not an Internet. An Internet is a connection between two or more computer networks."
If the government didn't invent the Internet, who did? Vinton Cerf developed the TCP/IP protocol, the Internet's backbone, and Tim Berners-Lee gets credit for hyperlinks.
But full credit goes to the company where Mr. Taylor worked after leaving ARPA: Xerox. It was at the Xerox PARC labs in Silicon Valley in the 1970s that the Ethernet was developed to link different computer networks. Researchers there also developed the first personal computer (the Xerox Alto) and the graphical user interface that still drives computer usage today.
According to a book about Xerox PARC, "Dealers of Lightning" (by Michael Hiltzik), its top researchers realized they couldn't wait for the government to connect different networks, so would have to do it themselves. "We have a more immediate problem than they do," Robert Metcalfe told his colleague John Shoch in 1973. "We have more networks than they do." Mr. Shoch later recalled that ARPA staffers "were working under government funding and university contracts. They had contract administrators . . . and all that slow, lugubrious behavior to contend with."
… Blogger Brian Carnell wrote in 1999: "The Internet, in fact, reaffirms the basic free market critique of large government. Here for 30 years the government had an immensely useful protocol for transferring information, TCP/IP, but it languished. . . . In less than a decade, private concerns have taken that protocol and created one of the most important technological revolutions of the millennia."
So, the internet was actually developed and became the foundation for today not under the work of the government, but under the actions of the private sector - doing in a decade what the government could not do in three decades.

Still, none of this is dissuading the progressive leftists from doing all they can to obfuscate the facts or leap to the defense of Barack those nimrods on MSNBC rushing to defend President Obama....

European markets were hammered today with more bad news from the Eurozone crisis. London, Paris, and Frankfurt were all down 2-3%, while the US DJIA opened down nearly 2% before recovering to a 1% loss at close.

  • Germany warned Greece today that it will probably NOT be given further bailout payments as it is missing its troika targets.
  • Greek economy is reported in 'free dall' - GDP fell by 6.9% in 2011 and on pace to drop 6.7% this year.
  • The Greek Prime Minister noted that Greece is in a 'Great Depression'.
  • Spanish 10 year bonds closed at a yield of 7.498% - a record level that is believed to be completely unsustainable for the country to afford in the long term.  (7% is considered the danger threshold).
  • Six additional Spanish regions have joined Valencia in the queue requesting a bailout from the Spanish central government.  This growing number is increasing the risk / chance that Spain will need a national bailout from the EU / IMF / ECB.  The Spanish government continues to deny that the nation is closing on needing a Eurofund bailout, but all of the data points otherwise.

Ace on Ace of Spades has this post today that highlights media accusations of criminals who are either Tea Party members or motivated by the Tea Party - and were wrong in every case - just like Brian Ross and George Stephanopoulos of ABC News were Friday when they attempted to like Aurora, CO shooter, James Holmes to the Colorado Tea Party...

FLASHBACK: when Dr. Amy Bishop shot her colleagues, the Left speculated that she was a Tea Partier. In fact, she was an Obama donor.

FLASHBACK: Discovery Channel hostage-taker was supposedly a climate change denier. In fact, he was an enviroweenie, D.Channel intern.

FLASHBACK: the census-taker was supposedly hanged by extremist anti-tax Tea Partiers. In fact, he hanged himself.

FLASHBACK: the Times Square Bomber was speculated to be upset about [Health Care Reform]. In fact, he was jihadi scum.

FLASHBACK: the guy who flew his plane into the IRS in TX was supposedly a Tea Partier. In fact, he quoted from the Communist Manifesto.

FLASHBACK: the guy who was stabbing NYC cabbies was supposedly an anti-Ground Zero Mosque Tea Partier. In fact, he supported the GZM.

FLASHBACK: the Pentagon shooter was supposedly a Tea Party extremist. In fact, he was a 9/11 Truther.

FLASHBACK: when the Ft. Hood shooting happened, the Left speculated that it was a “RWNJ.” In fact, it was a Muslim nutjob.

FLASHBACK: When the Tucson shooting occurred, it was immediately blamed on Tea Party rhetoric. In fact, Loughner was a-political & insane.

Finally, congratulations to Britain's Bradley Wiggins who became the first Briton to win the Tour de France - clinching the race within a dominating win in Saturday's final time trial.

Today in History

1914 - Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to Serbia following the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand by a Serbian assassin. The ultimatum is the application of the match to the fuse that would lead to World War I.

1967 - The 12th Street Riots break out in Detroit - one of the worst case of race based rioting in the United States. 43 people are killed and hundreds of fires are set over a 5 day period of violence. Next to the 1992 LA Riots and the Civil War era New York City Draft Riots, these were third most destructive civic events in US history. 2,509 stores were burned or looted, and over 7,231 arrests were made.

2000 - Lance Armstrong wins his second Tour de France title.

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