My Dad

There is so much to remember about my Dad. My sister would remember the advice he gave her as she moved up the corporate ladder, my brother had his stories and there are so many things I could remember but there is one in particular. My Dad always took his time to be there for major sporting events and there was one event, a major Track event.

Running the meet was a guy named Jack Lord and yes, he would announce his entry, “The Lord has arrive” and it appears that we made a mistake in reporting to the meet officials and we were about to be disqualified. Our Track coach, “Bear” Blake, wasn’t too happy and let his displeasure been known to Jack Lord, who didn’t take to Blake arguments.

When Blake moved away, my dad came out of the stands and took the “Lord” aside and noted in a very calm way, “These kids worked for this event and yes, they made a mistake but it won’t affect the race or gain any advantage. We are here for them. ” Lord slowly moved away from my Dad and told the Bear, “your relay team is back in the race.” We had a great race and finished third in the event, even set a school record for the relay.

I will never forget that day or race as I ran a great race and so did everyone else on our team. My Dad by being there kept us in the race.

Celtics Center

With Horford back, the center position is crowded. You have Williams, thought to be the future and a super athlete but often injured. Tristan Thompson, a tough rebounder but doesn’t have the ability to stretch the center. Tacko Fall, an interesting projects but how long do you wait to decide if there is a long term investment? Luke Kornet is the odd man out and Fall may be not be around next year as well if Celtics view Brown as a potential future center to compliment the rest of the team. Horford is a short term similar to Thompson. Look for more dealing.

Celtics trade: Walker for Horford

In the NBA, the Celtics traded Kemba Walker to Oklahoma City and got back Al Horford and Moses Brown. This was a combination of money exchanges as Walker had a big contract that the Celtics wanted to unload and Horford had almost as big of contract. Thunders get a 2016 draft pick as part of their rebuild.

Walker is one of the NBA good guys but his knees gave him trouble as he missed 45 games over the past two years including playoffs. As for Horford, he signed with 76ers as a free agent but it didn’t work out as he didn’t meld with Embiid and the rest of 76ers. So he was shipped off to Oklahoma City where he did well enough but as the season progressed, he was told to take the rest of the year off as Thunders decided to tank the season.

Walker when healthy was very good but his bad knees proved problematic. The wild card is Moses Brown who is a 7’2″ center with potential. He averaged nearly 9 points and 9 rebounds in his second season. In his last five game, 11 points and 11 rebounds a game including a 24 points game. Against Celtics, he had 21 points and 23 rebounds so the Celtics saw potential.

Rob Williams shows potential but keeping him on the court has been a struggle. Brown may have the potential to plug up the center position. They gave up a first round draft point but at 21 years, Brown may be the replacement for that missing draft pick.

Royals weekly

I will do a weekly observations of the Royals and this is number one. It is said you are as good as your record after 67 games, the Royals are playing like their record 30-37.

First, four of your starting pitchers era are as following: 6.14, 4.63, 4.76, 4.01. The only pitcher with an ERA under 4 is Duffy who ERA is 1.94, but he has been on the injured list so he has not pitched for while. The replacement starters Kowar and Lynch have been clobbered. Minor is the only starter with a winning record at 5-4 and your ace, Keller is 6-6 but with a ERA of 6.14.

Kellers has averaged 4.7 innings per start, Singer 5.1 innings start, Minor 5.7 innings and Bubic over his last three start has failed to make it to fifth inning. Hard to win if your starters having problems getting quality starts and often the team finds themselves behind in most games. Starters have to get better.

Second, your two power hitters are hitting .152 and .185 and with a combined 13 homers between the two. Soler and Dozier have been abysmal. Perez by himself has hit 17 homers but your big boppers are missing in action.

At this point Merrifield is hitting .269 which is 25 points behind his life time average but he does lead the league in steals.

The good news, Perez is playing like an All-Star and Andrew Benintendi is hitting .283 and returned to his pre 2019 Red Sox days and added 8 homers. Zimmer, Barlow, Staumont, and Bentz have performed well but these four are your dependable relievers and Ervin Santana has had his moments. I would love to see more of Ronald Bolanos, who has pitched well when given the chance.

As for Greg Holland, he has his moment but he is not the pitcher of 2014 and Wade Davis, his career is over and his ERA accurately reflects where he is at 8.34. Davis was one of the best relievers in 2014 to 2016 but now, he is at the end of his career.

I had high hopes for this team at the beginning but we have seen winning streaks followed by even longer losing streaks. This is the team we have and we have to accept that. So for this team to improve the following has to happen.

  1. Your starting pitchers have to start getting into the deeper innings and need to add one inning to their present starting pace. You have four or five good relievers but if they are coming into the fifth inning or sooner, they will wear out. The 2014-15 team succeeded because starters knew get to the sixth inning with the lead, the bullpen would shut the other team down.
  2. Soler and Dozier have to start hitting. You need your power hitters and big RBI guys to hit homers and average at least .260.
  3. Mondesi has to stay healthy for when healthy this year, he has been very good this year, but keeping him between the lines has been the biggest struggle.
  4. Merrifield need to add 20 points to his average and Benintendi and Perez need to keep up their pace.
  5. It is time to say good bye to Davis and bring up either Lovelady or Speier and see if they can finally take that next step. They won’t do worse than Davis. It is also time to review Holland as well. He has had his moments but he is not getting better and is not the relief pitcher we remembered seven years ago. His blown save against the Tigers may be more reflective of where his career is at. He is not as far gone as Davis but he is not what he was.

Presidential thoughts

Ranking Presidents will be determined by what history show about their accomplishments. And historians make mistakes. Dwight Eisenhower was ranked a mediocre President when his administration was over but years later, we view Eisenhower in a different light as he presided over peace and prosperity throughout the 1950’s. He was that bridge between the end of the Korean war and the 1960’s and a new generation of leaders. Bill Clinton was another President similar to Eisenhower in that he presided over peace after the cold war end and prosperity result of the technology explosion. He was the last true moderate Democrat and served as a bridge from the Reagan years to the new century.

Reagan was considered the affable dunce by historians in 1989 after his Presidency ended but you have to view him as one of the greatest President in the 20th century as he ended the cold war in victory and his economic policies lead to a quarter century of economic growth that spread world wide.

Woodrow Wilson was considered by many historians as a great if not very good President due to his progressive views. We know now he was the most racist President over the past century, his record on civil liberties was horrendous and he blew the peace after World War I when he refuse to work with Republicans on the League of Nations and nor did he see their concerns. The irony is that he spent the last two years of his administration incapacitated by stroke and he was not even in charge of his administration. He presided over a pandemic worse than the present pandemic and the economy slipped in to a recession that some economists classify as a depression. (Harding economic policies actually led to a recovery and the depression of the 1920’s didn’t happen.)

Presidents that historians underrated include Warren Harding whose presidency was considered a failed President but his policies led to a decade of recovery and he oversaw the Naval treaty of 1922 which restricted battle ships development. Harding also was a voice for Black’s civil rights in contrast to his predecessor who was outright racist.

William McKinley oversaw an era of prosperity and America became a world power after the Spanish-American War but his successor would be one credited with much of his accomplishment, Theodore Roosevelt. His achievements overlooked, McKinley may be consider a nearly great President and Harding a better President than many historians view him.

While it is easy to view as Lincoln and Washington as our two greatest Presidents, there are others who should not be forgotten. James Polk was a one term President but under him, the United States expanded to California and he solved a major treaty with Great Britain over the borders of Canada and the United States in the West plus he won a war with Mexico that led to the final expansion on the continental United States.

Coolidge was another underrated President but his accomplishment disappear with his successor handling of the economy as Hoover’s policies led to the Great Depression.

FDR is considered a great President and maybe one of the top two of the 20th century, my own view his policies delayed recovery from the Great Depression but he also defeated fascism in World War II. He set in policies that changed and transform America.

Some of the worst include Buchanan, Fillmore and Pierce, the three Presidents who presided America right before the Civil War and I gave my view of Wilson. Hoover was a good man who was one of the most intelligent man to hold the office but he found himself in a economic morose that he managed poorly and you may put him as one of the worse of 20th century and Jimmy Carter was a mediocre President but you could still rate him higher than Obama or Hoover. (You can argue that Reagan economic policies rescue Carter and engineered a recovery and we were spared the result of a second Carter term that may have proven more problematic.)

Historians as a group tend to be liberal and often rate liberal Presidents higher than conservative which is why Harding is rated low. My own top ten today would be Washington number one and Lincoln number two with others including Reagan, FDR, McKinley, Harry Truman, Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson and James Monroe. I haven’t put these eights in order and certainly in a few years, I may rethink this list.

Others who should be given more credit include Harding, Coolidge, Grover Cleveland, and Eisenhower. There are those whose own record are incomplete or still being reviewed even after many years. Kennedy had very few accomplishments but he set in place policies that Johnson followed up on including tax plans and civil rights. The question is would JFK followed a similar policy toward the Vietnam war and would he done his own war on poverty similar to LBJ or a more modest version? And would he been as aggressive on civil rights as LBJ was? A more modest war on poverty and following through on the civil rights may have cemented his place in history as a more modest war on poverty may have been more successful with less damaging to those it was suppose to help. His tax plan led to a decade of recovery.

There are those whose record was incomplete including William Henry Harrison and James Garfield who died early in their administration before they had a chance to accomplish anything. (Harrison lasted only a month and Garfield was murdered seven months into his Presidency.)

Chester Arthur passed civil service reform, totally unexpected based on his past political history and Grant was a determine fighter for blacks in reconstruction era plus he defeated the original KKK during his administration. Neither men are highly rated as Presidents but maybe they should be. As for Andrew Johnson, he didn’t deserve to be impeached but he was also very poor President who fail to follow up on the Lincoln legacy.

Your thoughts?

Trump and Obama

On Presidents day, I made the following observations: I rated Trump and Obama in the second half of my ranking of Presidents and added Trump has to be rated ahead of Obama. The trick is to understand that often Presidents rankings changes with age and even then Historians get it wrong.

In the case of Trump, he had several accomplishments including the Abraham accord bringing Arabs and Israel together, his tax plans helped majority of Americans move up the economic ladder compared to Obama and certainly he was better on civil liberties than Obama.

Obama administration record on civil liberty was atrocious including IRS going after conservative groups, senators and staffers spied upon by CIA, and beginning of the Russian collusion hoax, in which a Presidential campaign was spied upon. His foreign policies was a disaster beginning with Iranian deal and the continuing rise of China under his watch. His economic record was okay and it is here that he could at least be competitive with Trump. There was a recovery from a major recession but it was the slowest recovery from a recession over the past three quarter of century but overall, his last years in GDP growth was similar to Trump first three years. The difference is that Trump saw more economic growth among those at the bottom.

While Trump will be remembered by historians for his response to the Corona virus and there is much to criticize, there was major accomplishments including the development of vaccines in record time. The first major obstacles in Trump response is that many of his scientific advisors beginning Dr. Anthony Fauci were mistaken in both their view of virus and their solutions like the lockdown proved to be a disaster. While historians may not agree, the data says otherwise. (2017 Covers.pdf (amermaj.org) is one of many studies that show the disaster of the mistake.)

The economic recovery from the pandemic started almost immediately as unemployment dropped in May and was cut by more than half by the time Biden became President. The recovery would have been even better if Democratic governors had lifted their economic restrictions. This along with Trump own personality undermined his accomplishment while Obama success getting re-elected and media love for him overestimate his incompetence.

For Trump, a complete failure of the Biden’s administration and Republican winning in 2024 may show his presidency in a better life and Biden’s failure will merely reflect further of Obama’s own failed Presidency.

GOAT In Men’s Tennis

We maybe in the midst of the deciding who is truly the GOAT in men’s tennis. Novak Djovokic won his 19th major and is now just one major behind Federer and Nadal. Djovokic won his semi-final match against Nadal and had to come back from two sets deficit to win in five set in the finals. At 34, Djovokic is at the stage where most men players are in the decline phrase of their career but Novak now has won two majors in a row. Since 2017, Federer, Djovokic and Nadal have won every majors but one, the 2020 US Open.

Federer for years was considered the GOAT but since 2017, Nadal and Djovokic have caught up. Nadal now has as many majors as Federer and when this year is over, we may have a new GOAT. Djovokic is the youngest of the three and Federer at 39 most likely finished winning majors but Nadal and Djovokic are still in the hunt for every majors over the next year or two.

By the time, 2023 rolls around, we may know who is the GOAT of all time but for now, the debate continues on the court between Nadal and Djovokic.

Observations of the Day

First observation of the day, Kudlow discussed Janet Yellen global tax proposal, “Finally, there is what the Journal calls Janet Yellen’s “Global Tax Surrender.” This is not only about giving away our tax sovereignty. It’s also about jacking up our taxes on top of what Uncle Joe already wants to do, and it’s not only about a new global minimum tax…It may also be about a new windfall profits tax. That’s according to Dan Clifton of Strategas Research. As the G-7 finance ministers merrily build a new high-tax highway, rest assured that Communist China will not be part of the higher taxes. Why? One reason is they’re too smart…As for us, in some sense Ms. Yellen seems to be trying to make up for lost competitiveness that she will incur from raising the corporate tax to 28% and putting a 21% minimum tax on United States profits overseas. She’s succeeding in getting the other big countries to raise their taxes, too, though at the end, we may be taken to the cleaners because foreigners won’t do what we want them to do.” This is part of the big reset of “Capitalism.” It will prove to a failure as we exporting our bad economic policy worldwide.

Second observation of the day when John Phelan noted that one thing that could help minority businesses is to protect those businesses with good policing. He observed how many of those who rioted in Minneapolis and destroyed many black businesses were white and he mocked, “They did in the name of social justice and against racism” as they destroyed many black businesses.

Economics

Larry Kudlow makes a interesting point that the V shape recovery, uneven as it is, continues as unemployment dropped to 5.8. As I mention before, our employment should be lower, between 4 to 4.8 percent and this higher unemployment is due to many states slow in reducing or lifting their economic restrictions.

If Biden did nothing and no additional stimulus passed, we would be pushing even faster economic growth. Kudlow has made the point that this recession was the reaction to a natural disaster nationwide, the pandemic. The economy was in good shape in February 2020 and the economic restrictions enacted along with the lockdown stopped economic growth abruptly. Unemployment was 14.4 percent but many states opened up and the unemployment dropped to 6.7 by the end of year and the last six months saw the annualized rate of nearly 19%.

It could have been been even higher if other states followed through with opening their economy and if many states chose to open their economy. Blue states were out performed by states with Republican governors and their policies slowed the recovery.

Kudlow warns, “If Uncle Joe’s policies — I’m calling them his plan for a Green Workers’ Paradise — get through, then the outlook is going to turn poor: stagnation, growth recession with big inflation. If his pre-Soviet, Bulgarian approach is enacted into law, we will devalue the dollar and choke off the supply-side of the economy.”

On the Donelson Files, Center for American experiment economist John Phelan feared that Demand side of Biden policy could choke off the recovery and we can see 10 percent inflation by year end. Phelan joined follow researcher Martha Njolomole and Jim Echols discuss the economic development and how to move forward. Among the agreements was that we need less regulations in urban center and remove obstacles for lower income workers to make a living or start new businesses, reducing taxes and restraining spending. Echols noted that there are educational programs being developed in the Kansas City area to educate minorities about capitalism and all three noted how much of the media were not well informed on economy as recent new stories showed.

Kudlow is an optimist since he believes that much of Biden agenda moving forward will not be passed as he stated, “Wait a second, though — are those policies going to get through? That’s what Gerry Baker and Kim Strassel are asking, and a couple of weeks ago, when the Senate parliamentarian allowed only one 51-vote reconciliation package, I myself started getting interested in the possibility that these far-left policies just might not make it across the finish line and that the forces of growth and good and prosperity would eventually prevail.,,The congressional Republican Party is completely united against the high-tax Green Workers Paradise.”