Okay, so U.S. oil output is growing so quickly, at its highest rate in 60 years according to the Associated Press, that the United States is primed to surpass Saudi Arabia as the world's biggest producer, a spot we have not occupied since 2002? With high prices and new innovations in drilling, crude production is at pace for a 7 percent increase. That would bring production to around 10.9 million barrels a day. Part of me thinks that it's a damn shame this news didn't break while George W. Bush was president, then we could break out punchlines about invading ourselves.
But wait, wouldn't increased production according to higher demand result in more supply, and thus naturally drop the price in line with most common rules of economics? It would if it were anything else on the planet except for crude oil. And when I hear another report on how we should be catching a break at the pumps for the extended time being due to more stations using winter blend gas, I have to fight the urge to rip the radio out of the car.
Energy Department predictions place U.S. crude production just a hair under Saudi Arabia just next year, and Citibank is estimating up to 15 million barrels a day by 2020. By comparison, Saudi Arabian output for next year is forecast at 11.6 million barrels. While 15 million barrels a day is good, in the here and now the U.S. uses 18.7 million barrels a day. Even with the squawking about growth in domestic production and improving fuel efficiency (ha), at what point will these rosy predictions meet the demand and break even/create a surplus? A surplus would make a price decrease a hell of a lot easier, instead of the penny a day drop for a week, followed by a 36 cent sucker punch.
With the new advances in production technology and increased demand in developing nations, we haven't seen a significant drop in prices, but the usual chatter is there about higher domestic production and decreased importation giving the economy a boost. Sure, if you own stock in an oil company. I do...not that much, but I'll definitely be looking to change that. I would tell you which, but I don't write a stock tips blog.
The major problem resides with the presidential election, a mere eleven days away. It doesn't matter which mainstream candidate wins, neither are my guy, and either way you slice it, we're boned. Obama will put the kibosh on anything he can't throw a hollow $500 million at, and Romney would probably put forth the drill. While increasing domestic drilling will spur economic growth, like it has in states like South Dakota, I can't help but think if Romney was president, the next oil well disaster won't even get half the lip service the Gulf did. Deregulation can be a funny thing like that, and I don't doubt for a second the former Massachusetts governor wouldn't help out the industry. Say what you will about Mitt Romney, but the guy knows how to make a profit.
Talk about bad luck getting worse. If I were a more cynical person, I'd think "wonder if Lance Armstrong wishes he had cancer again?"
In the wake of a devastating report by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency detailing its case against the champion cyclist, Armstong announced his resignation as Chairman of his Austin, Texas based Livestrong cancer charity. The major sponsors of Livestrong have already announced they will continue to support the charitable organization, and Armstrong told the Austin American-Statesman that he would appear at all Livestrong events this weekend, and would continue on as a board member in the foundation.
In quick, fast, and hurried response, sponsors including Nike, Anheuser Busch, Trek bicycles, and Radio Shack dropped Armstrong from endorsement deals. Oakley is withholding its verdict to see if the International Cycling Union decides to appeal the USADA's sanctions to the world Court of Arbitration for Sport before the October 31 deadline.
While Anheuser Busch simply stated they would not continue with Armstrong when his contract expires at the end of the year, Nike certainly made it clear how they felt with their statement that, “Due to the seemingly insurmountable evidence that Lance Armstrong participated in doping and misled Nike for more than a decade, it is with great sadness that we have terminated our contract with him. Nike does not condone the use of illegal performance-enhancing drugs in any manner.” How quickly things change in just a couple of days
That endorsement deals would evaporate was no shock at all, although some are criticizing Nike for giving Armstrong the axe and keeping Michael Vick on the payroll. That Armstrong stepped down from the chairmanship of Livestrong shows he is paying attention and has launched at least some form of damage control, but the simple question remains. Where does Armstrong and Livestrong go from here?
While Armstong stepping down was a good move and a solid start, will it ultimately be enough in the long run? While distancing himself from the seat of power shows contrition, if not an admission of guilt (something I think we will never hear from Armstrong), it does show that Armstrong and more importantly Livestrong are taking this situation seriously and are proactively absorbing the blow and pressing forward, rather than taking a knee to catch their breath.
Then again, there is the train of thought that maybe they should stay down. Kelly O'Keefe, professor of brand strategy at Virginia Commonwealth University, said that “From the brand perspective, Armstrong is done.” Kind of hard to disagree. How many commercials are you seeing Barry Bonds filming these days? The last time anyone was scrambling to put Michael Vick on a video game cover, it was to jump on the Internet meme bandwagon.
This isn't to say Armstrong can't or won't be able to continue bringing about good works for the organization, but at the same time, how successful can his efforts ultimately be when he is going to be working on image repair basically the rest of his natural life? Other scandalized athletes have the advantage of returning to their sports to let the stats do the talking at the end of the day. Lance Armstrong does not have that luxury anymore, both retired and banned. Even if the sanctions are appealed and overthrown, the man does not have seven more Tour de Frances in him, nor would he be anywhere near his capabilities from that era, performance enhancers or not.
Now, Armstrong gets to find out what a true uphill pedal is like.
At least it's not gonna be the Yankees...
I could not be even a tiny iota happier than the Detroit Tigers swept the New York Yankees yesterday evening to win the American League pennant and advance to face either the St. Louis Cardinals or the San Francisco Giants in the World Series. It's widely know I'm a Cubs man, so at this point in the year, I could honestly care less about who's gonna win it all, but how could anyone root for the freakin' Yankees? Hell, one of their star players was more interested in picking up local trim than making it to the World Series. Double hell, even the vast damn majority of the city of New York did not appear to be all that interested in the Yanks making it to play in November. And perhaps most importantly, fuck the New York Yankees. Fuck the New York Yankees with a big iron stick. Now, if my business partner's Cardinals can just collapse...just saying, is all.
Cougarfest...heh heh heh...Cougar
Been that kind of week, and the week's only half over. I can't say I am particularly thrilled by the way the math seems to be against me on this one. My sweetheart has been down with an end of summer/start of autumn cold for a few days, the ugly shadow of car repair has struck again, and I'm still way behind on several projects. This shit isn't as cool as the phamphlet made it out to be.
Got home last night just in time for the broadband service to be suspended, over some violation of my service provider's policy. The tech support guy said an email was hacked, an assload of spam had been sent out, and per federal regulations, the service had to be suspended. Fantastic. After finding out it was an email I hadn't used in years, the facepalming increased. Now, within a matter of months, I've had my checking account number swiped and used to create fake payroll checks for a cable installer in Ohio, and now this.
Gonna have to do a major online housecleaning one of these days...or catch someone doing this shit and beat their ass into a coma with a monkey wrench, sending a clear message on down the line. LifeLock may be nice, may only cost $60 a year, but you know damned good and well you'd tear some ass up with a monkey wrench if you knew you could get away with it. You may never say in polite company or otherwise, but you're reading this and nodding, or sitting there with that "I just experienced self-actualization...on the Internet" look on your face.
Thankfully the service has been restored in time for Probably Uncalled For tonight, picked up a pre/during/after show pint of whiskey, got some stuff to talk about tonight all ready to go. The weather was nice, and the last two days of work have been a snap, things are actually starting to pick up a bit...on the positive side. Hell, my beloved St. Louis Rams are enjoying the most time at or above .500 in 6 years.
Every once in a while, I even get time to stop and snap a quick photo like the one at the top of the post. I mean, I get that its an elementary school and all, but tell me at least two teachers didn't stifle a giggle at the notion of "Cougarfest" It almost sounds like Larry Flynt needs to sponsor it, buy them a popcorn machine or some shit.
Baumgartner nails publicity dive
So the winds finally travelled over to my neck of the woods in southern Indiana, allowing Felix Baumgartner and Red Bull's Stratos space jump to go off without any hitch to mention.
Stepping from a balloon-supported capsule at 128,120 feet above the Earth's surface, Baumgartner broke the record for highest altitude skydive in history and became the first human to break the sound barrier outside of an aircraft. In addition, Baumgartner and Red Bull set an Internet record, as over 8 million people had logged into the livestream on YouTube, destroying the previous record of around 500,000 during the London Summer Olympic Games.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy people pushing the absolute limits and shit like that, I like a good publicity stunt, and I think both Baumgartner and Red Bull are going to do just fine. I just admire the irony involved in the whole process. A product that "gives you wings" is sponsoring someone plummeting straight to the ground. What's next, an insurance company sponsoring a demolition derby? Actually, that'd be pretty fucking cool. Someone find me a beater, and we can do this shit...
Yeah, see, this shit. It's this kind of shit that I'm talking about. I knew once Big Bird and his gang were injected into the political process, nothing good would come out of it. Sure, we've already had a bushel of shitty Sesame Street parodies and jokes, and the "million Tweets" line from Big Bird was decent, but now we've got a protest organized.
I would love to talk to some people from the generation when protests made a difference. I mean, even if they didn't accomplish their goal, the protest itself made a difference. It brought the issue to the forefront, if only for a minute, or it made the issue a mainstream topic of discussion.
Along those lines, I present to you...the "Million Muppet March." Yes, a couple of guys took Mitt Romney's Big Bird reference during the October 3 presidential debate, and have run with it thus far. During that debate, the moment created an epiphany for Animax Entertainment president Michael Bellavia in Los Angeles and he purchased the domain name millionpuppetmarch.com. To his surprise, Bellavia discovered that Boise State University student Chris Mecham had created a Facebook page toward the same notion, and a collaboration was born.
In the news coverage this has received, Bellavia has been quoted as saying that it seems like we might get close to the biggest ever assemblage of puppets in one place," "and probably the most ever puppets marching on Washington."
Oh yes, and does the mind race. If a riot broke out, it should be the image beamed into space that results in our encountering intelligent life. If massive arrests occur due to the obvious tensions in having that many puppets in one place, it will be the worse day in the lives of the property clerks ever, not to mention, that moment of awesome when you are just chilling out, minding your own business, and then a paddy wagon full of puppets pulls up across the street and cops start unloading them in huge armfuls.
The march is planned for November 3 at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., just three days before the general election.
Wait...they're even remaking Going in Style?
Well, I guess it could be said they are picking better movies...continuing the trend of remaking, revisioning, and/or rebooting anything not already nailed down, New Line is launching a remake or 1979's Going in Style, featuring George Burns, Art Carney, and Lee Strasberg as seniors who decide to rob a bank out of boredom. Damn shame they weren't retired bank execs, or they would have already been bored by robbing banks.
Ted Melfi (writer/director of the upcoming Bill Murray flick St. Vincent de Van Nuys) is attached on script, and Martin Brest (Beverly Hills Cop) is set to direct. Tony Bill, the producer of the original, will executive produce this time around.
Sigh...just so long as they keep with the theme. Personally, I could see it with Christopher Walken, Chuck Norris (against type, more Dale Gribble from King of the Hill than Walker, Texas Ranger), and what the hell, Ed O'Neill toeing the mark just this side shy of Al Bundy. Better yet, wrangle up three of Hollywood's more seasoned actresses for a Set it Off for the AARP set.
I can hope, I can dream, although I save my dreams for better things than movie remakes. That said, I sincerely hope they don't pooch this like 99 of every 100 remade films. Gus Van Sant's Psycho, anyone? Jim Carrey's hot Grinch mess?Didn't think so...
Yep, some days are like that, I bet...police in Memphis, Tennessee recently had what had to be among the five easiest traffic stops in their city's history over this past weekend. Pulling over a red pickup (pictured at left) with the words "Meth Lab" scrawled on several of the windows, you could no doubt imagine their shock when it escalated from a simple license plate infraction to an arrest on outstanding warrant and other meth-related charges.
Seriously? I've heard of hiding in plain sight, but I get the feeling that somebody is going to get a good lesson on subtlety over the next couple of years in a fine Tennessee correctional facility over this one. Why didn't this dipshit go full monty and get a bumper sticker that said "Go Ahead and Search, Officer" or something equally fucking ingenious? Maybe some spiffy official-looking graphics like "County Meth Lab Disposal" I'm sure they could have found a neighborhood watch that would buy it. After all, once entire houses and bridges started disappearing right under people's noses, the sky sure seemed like the limit...
But I digress. It could, in fact, be worse. You could live in Detroit. The city best known for needing Robocop as much in real life as they do in the land of Hollywood make-believe is under even more pressure than usual, and not just because the Tigers made the playoffs.
With "hundreds" of officers leaving the Detroit Police Department since the summer, according to the Detroit Police Officer Association, and their police chief having to step down over some embarrassing allegations, the five-oh seems like their back is against the wall, and harder than ever. How hard? DPOA Attorney Donato Iorio passed along word of a "Enter At Your Own Risk" rally this past Saturday in front of Comerica Park.
Yeah, I hear ya...what the blue fuck is an "Enter At Your Own Risk" rally? Other than the most awkward invitations I can imagine that Kinko's taking an order for that day, the rally was ostenisibly to remind the fine people of Detroit that even the police think the fucking joint's too dangerous to enter. Boy howdy, that's gotta play hell with the tourism...Iorio continued in remarks to WWJ radio, “Detroit is America’s most violent city, its homicide rate is the highest in the country and yet the Detroit Police Department is grossly understaffed. The DPOA believes that there is a war in Detroit, but there should be a war on crime, not a war on its officers.”
Interesting then, that while the Detroit Police Department is woefully understaffed, they still seem to be fine in the lawyer department. Maybe they should cut the mouthpiece shit and come up with some real solutions to their problems. Maybe apply to Washington for some of that hope and change. Oh...yeah...guess the Detroit Police is gonna have to go green and lose a crapload more money before that will happen...
Winner, The Blogitzer
(Best Overall Writing), 2011 Blogger's Choice Awards