Friday, December 28, 2007


Brief financial update this morning....Asian markets were generally weaker overnight, but the U.S. Market futures are up this morning. No specific news to spark the rally, probably just a response to the over-reaction on the downside yesterday.

Some interesting news on the tech front, Google is higher in pre-market trading because a new survey indicates that Google is still gaining market share in number of searches. The latest survey indicates that 57.7% of all searches were performed by Google, compared to only 17.2% for Yahoo and only 12% for Microsoft (who uses microsoft to search?).

Here's the 1 year chart on Google...not as impressive as AAPL, but still pretty good return.

See that dot in the chart in August? That's where I bought the stock (unfortunately, it was only 4 shares).

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Imus and Tim Russert

As all of you know, Tim Russert (NBC news Washington Bureau Chief) was a weekly guest of the Imus in the Morning show for YEARS while the I-Man was on 660 WFAN/MSNBC. They were very close friends, and often shared Thankgiving dinner with each other. In order to demonstrate their close ties, check out this video link, from about 10 years ago, when Russert used to sit in the studio and be a full participant in the witty reparte of the Imus in the Morning show.

After the "incident" on April 4th, 2007, Tim Russert seemingly abandoned his good ol' pal, Don Imus. He hosted a whole hour show dedicated to the firing of Imus the following Sunday on his extremely popular Sunday morning show, "Meet the Press". Russert remained neutral, and did not speak for or against the I-Man. People in the know suspect that Russert was given a gag order by NBC executives.

Several people in the media and political spotlight came out and publically supported the I-Man. First and foremost were Mike and the Mad Dog. They were ardent supporters and didn't care that their current employers had fired Mr. Imus. Other who supported Don pbblically were Chris Dodd, John Kerry, Joe Lieberman, John McCain, Rudy Guiliani, and Tom Friedman. Notables who completely abandoned the I-Man were Russert, Harold Ford Jr, Tom Brokaw, Brian Williams, and all of the big guys at Newsweek (Howard Fineman, Jon Meacham, Evan Thomas, and Jonathan Alter).

Let's get back to Russert. It is sad to think that he gave up his friendship with the I-Man and cowtowed to the NBC execs. Interestingly, a reporter from Kansas recently asked Russert if he would appear on the Imus in the Morning show (ressurected on WABC 770 AM for those of you living on Mars). Russert grudingly replied, "If I'm asked, I will go on the show, if NBC doesn't say no". Here is the audio link to the interview:

I have mixed feelings on if I want Russert back on the show. On one hand, I love Meet the Press, and he certainly always provided a good interview when he was on Imus' show, as no one, and I mean no one, has a better feel for the pulse of the action inside the beltway. On the other hand, I don't Imus to look like a wimp and take back his old friend without Russert taking a stand and sticking up for Imus and apologizing for his complete lack of support during the whole scandal.


Well, well, well...the NFL has succombed to the pressure put on by the fans and will broadcast the potentially (most likely) historic game between the Patriots and Giants on Saturday night on both NBC and CBS (that is unbelievable....a simulcast on both networks has not been done since 1966 for SB I). For those of you living under a rock, the Pats will be going for the first 16-0 season in the history of the NFL against the hapless Giants. Ok, so the Giants are 10-5, but com'on! Who have they beat? They have a chump of a quarterback who is listless and has the worst attitude I have ever seen (I think he is the stereoisomer of Tony Romo). They're running game is decent, if Jacobs can stay healthy and actually complete a full game, and this new kid Bradshaw has some fine wheels. But, the Pats are a team of destiny and on a mission to destroy every opponent every since the cheating scandal in the first game of the season. Plus, Brady needs 2 TDs to break the all time season record for passing TDs (Manning) and Moss needs 2 TDs as well to break the record for receiving TDs in a season (Rice).

I expect a big win from the Pats, 38-17. Then on to the Super Bowl, where Brady will win his 4th SB, and really will be considered in the top 5 all time for QBs, if not the greatest ever.


Apple (formally known as Apple Computer), symbol Aapl, has hit $200 a share! This iPhone (AKA the Jesus phone) is unbelievable. I walked by one of the Apple stores this past weekend, it was absolutely mobbed. And the rest of the mall was not that crowded. They are a marketing machine, led by the visionary Steve Jobs. He will be announcing new products soon. And, Apple reports its iPhone sales in 3 weeks...I'm expected a blow out number.

Let's look at the 1 year chart on the is completely awesome! (click on the image to see a clear view).

Charlie Wilson's War

Saw a great movie this weekend...Charlie Wilson's War. For those of you who think it will be a snoozer about politics, I assure you that it is not. It is VERY entertaining. You see, Charlie Wilson was one of the biggest party animals in all of Congress, and he actually decided to do something good for humanity when he saw all of the suffering in Afghan refugee camps in Peshewar, Pakistan. What he did was really remarkable. He orchestrated a covert operation to give the Afghans weapons to take down the Russian helicopters, which previously, had been mowing down these poor people with reckless abandon. He brokered this deal by having the Israelis secretly give weapons to the Afghans...quite a remarkable exchange.

All seemed that Charlie did well and good, as the Russians finally gave up their attacks in 1987 after several years of fighting. But, such a prophetic proverb was muttered by one of the key characters that helped out goes something like this:

Once upon a time, there was a farmer in the central region of China. He didn't have a lot of money and, instead of a tractor, he used an old horse to plow his field. One afternoon, while working in the field, the horse dropped dead. Everyone in the village said, "Oh, what a horrible thing to happen." The farmer said simply, "We'll see."

He was so at peace and so calm, that everyone in the village got together and, admiring his attitude, gave him a new horse as a gift. Everyone's reaction now was, "What a lucky man." And the farmer said, "We'll see."

A couple days later, the new horse jumped a fence and ran away. Everyone in the village shook their heads and said, "What a poor fellow!"The farmer smiled and said, "We'll see."

Eventually, the horse found his way home, and everyone again said, "What a fortunate man." The farmer said, "We'll see."

Later in the year, the farmer's young boy went out riding on the horse and fell and broke his leg. Everyone in the village said, "What a shame for the poor boy."The farmer said, "We'll see."

Two days later, the army came into the village to draft new recruits. When they saw that the farmer's son had a broken leg, they decided not to recruit him.Everyone said, "What a fortunate young man."The farmer smiled again - and said "We'll see."
The reason this is prophetic (of sorts) is because after the Afgahnis defeated the Russians, the Taliban came into power and took over...look what is happening there now.


Terrible news out of Pakistan this morning. Benazir Butto was assassinated during a political rally. Is Mushaarraf behind this? Such a sad state of affairs for those hoping for change and free elections in Pakistan. This could indicate major geopolitical instability. To wit, the Dow, S&P and NASDAQ futures all were indicating positive at around 8:30 EST and abruptly turned to the downside after release of this news, on fears of destabilization. Although, money should not be a concern at this time.