TopOfTheThread – it starts here…

Sports, shopping, college, politics, life, and more…

Archive for July, 2011

When no presidential campaign is the best campaign

Posted by TopOfTheThread on July 30, 2011

Mitt Romney has been conspicuously quiet. No comments on the debt ceiling?

Doesn’t Mitt Romney look like a president?

It is interesting to note how Mitt Romney has stayed clear of everything going on in Washington. Little exposure. Few comments.

  • Right or wrong – Michelle Bachmann  will  continue to speak in her extreme ideas and will be picked apart by the media and Democrats
  • Right or wrong – Sarah Palin has the flaky, media-exaggerated, reputation, and will “probably” not be taken seriously.
  • Right or wrong – Tim Pawlenty is a long shot and is now “playing games” with Michelle Bachmann.
  • Right or wrong – Newt Gingrich is too extreme and has no shot at the nomination.
  • Right or wrong – Herman Cain has some interesting points but is way behind.
  • Right or wrong – Rick Perry. Although Texas is probably the most successful economic state, unfortunately Texas = George W. Bush.
  • And Right or wrong – President Obama has broken his promises of transparency and the country “may be” worse off than when he took office.  There is little indication we are headed in the right direction. For how many years can George W. Bush be blamed. We all acknowledge Bush was not a good president but it’s Obama’s job, without blaming others, to improve our country.

If Romney clearly gets the word out in a simple, logical manner, he won’t be attacked by Democrats or Republicans.  He needs to stand clear of the noise. It may simply be the case that he could win the Republican nomination because there is no other front runner. And he could win the presidential election because the country is disgusted with Washington DC and the direction of the country.

But then again, things can change quickly. Twelve months before the previous election, we all thought Hillary Clinton was going to be president.

(Note: Image of man with finger up is from

Posted in politics, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Obama, Deficit Ceiling: A President from Harvard. A Harvard Law Professor. A Liberal Newspaper.

Posted by TopOfTheThread on July 23, 2011

Dear Mr. President –

You have been spending most of your time trying to resolve the debt ceiling and deficit issue.  We appreciate your effort and realize our great country has never been so polarized as it is today.

We also realize with every move,  you take into consideration your reelection campaign. That’s politics.  All politicians do it.

Have you read this OP-ED in the New York Times?  Obama Should Raise the Debt Ceiling on His Own. This piece was co-written by a Harvard Law Professor.  And it was published by a liberal paper; the New York Times.  Your constituency reads it.

If you act now, and take it upon yourself to raise the debt ceiling, you look like a hero.  And at least for the time-being, you have saved our economy.

It still does not solve the real issue of spending more than we bring in. But at least it gets us by this deadline and the deadlock in Congress.

This option should be strongly considered.


A Concerned U.S. Taxpayer.

Obama Should Raise the Debt Ceiling on His Own.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The best NBA basketball coaches are …

Posted by TopOfTheThread on July 22, 2011

My buddy “PC”  made a comment recently about Mark Jackson getting the Golden State coaching  job.  He commented that point guards tend to make good coaches.   They are forced to really know the game and get everyone into the flow of the game.  It made sense but I decided to look for myself.

I looked at the NBA coaches with 300 and more wins. I looked at what position they played in college or professionally. I broke it out by guards, forwards, and centers,  I did not get more specific like point guard, shooting guard, power forward, etc…  There may be errors and I welcome all corrections.

I was not able to identify the appropriate information on all the coaches.

In the chart below, if there is a ‘?’, I simply did not know the answer.  If there is an ‘x’, I believe they did not play college or pro hoops.

  • There are 84 NBA Coaches who have 300 or more wins.
  • 46 of them played guard.  Please note, if someone played both forward and guard, they were counted for both positions.
  • (xx) 27 coaches either (a) did not play basketball, or (b) I could not determine the position he played.
  • 84 coaches minus the 27 (xx above) leaves us with 57 coaches to use in this exercise.

So 46 of the 57 coaches played the guard position in college or professional basketball.

80% of these NBA coaches played guard.  

That’s an amazing statistic; more than I would have expected.

(Note: I am sure the stats on these coaches are incomplete or inaccurate. Even if I’m off by 10%, that’s still pretty amazing.)

Name Position Note
Alvin Gentry^ ?
Bob Hill ? Bowling Green State University
Del Harris ? Milligan College
Gregg Popovich^ ? Air Force Academy
Jim O’Brien ? St Josephs
John MacLeod ? Bellarmine University
Lester Harrison ? Rochester Royals
Bill Russell Center
Hubie Brown Center Rochester Colonels
Joe Lapchick Center
Wes Unseld Center
Don Nelson^ Forward
Paul Silas^ Forward
Phil Jackson*^ Forward
Rudy Tomjanovich Forward
Alex Hannum* Forward-Center
Fred Schaus Forward-Center
Tom Heinsohn Forward-Center
Al Attles Guard
Al Cervi Guard
Bernie Bickerstaff Guard Univ Rio Grande
Bill Sharman* Guard
Billy Cunningham Guard
Bob Weiss Guard
Bobby Leonard Guard
Byron Scott^ Guard
Chris Ford Guard
Dick McGuire Guard
Doc Rivers^ Guard
Don Chaney Guard
Eddie Jordan Guard
Flip Saunders^ Guard
Gene Shue Guard
George Karl^ Guard
Isiah Thomas Guard Point
Jack McMahon Guard
Jerry Sloan* Guard
John Lucas Guard
K. C. Jones Guard
Kevin Loughery Guard
Larry Brown* Guard
Larry Costello Guard
Lenny Wilkens* Guard
Matt Guokas Guard
Maurice Cheeks Guard
Mike Brown^ Guard College Basketball Univ San Diego
Mike D’Antoni^ Guard
Mike Dunleavy Guard
Paul Seymour Guard
Paul Westphal^ Guard
Red Auerbach* Guard HS
Red Holzman* Guard
Richie Guerin Guard
Rick Adelman^ Guard
Rick Carlisle^ Guard
Rick Pitino Guard
Scott Skiles^ Guard
Mike Woodson Guard – Forward
Nate McMillan^ Guard – Forward
Allan Bristow Guard – Forward
Butch van Breda Kolff Guard – Forward
Doug Collins^ Guard – Forward
Doug Moe Guard – Forward
Pat Riley* Guard – Forward
Bill Fitch x
Brian Hill x
Chuck Daly* x
Cotton Fitzsimmons x
Dick Motta x
Edward Gottlieb x
Frank Layden x
Garry St. Jean x
Jack Ramsay* x
Jeff Van Gundy x
Jim Lynam x
John Kundla* x
Lawrence Frank x
Mike Fratello x college football
P. J. Carlesimo x
Paul Westhead x
Phil Johnson x
Stan Albeck x
Stan Van Gundy^ x
Tom Nissalke x

Posted in College Sports, sports, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

(Financial Crisis) Relax the underwriting standards again? Haven’t we learned from our mistakes?

Posted by TopOfTheThread on July 21, 2011

A few weeks ago, an article popped up on Yahoo regarding relaxing the underwriting standards of lenders.

Haven’t we learned from our mistakes?

Let’s take a look back…

House Financial Services Committee hearing, Sept. 25, 2003: (See

Rep. Frank: I do think I do not want the same kind of focus on safety and soundness that we have in OCC [Office of the Comptroller of the Currency] and OTS [Office of Thrift Supervision]. I want to roll the dice a little bit more in this situation towards subsidized housing. . . . More..

Rep. Frank (D. Mass) contributed to banks lending to people unqualified to pay back their loans…. and the resulting mess.

Take a quick peek at this short video.    He couldn’t have been more off base.

And we all know this contributed to crash of our economy… Unqualified people getting mortgages. NOW we’re asking banks to loosen lending standards… Again?

From Yahoo and Investors Business Daily ( Friday July 8, 2011, 6:51 pm EDT)

In what could be a repeat of the easy-lending cycle that led to the housing crisis, the Justice Department has asked several banks to relax their mortgage underwriting standards and approve loans for minorities with poor credit as part of a new crackdown on alleged discrimination, according to court documents reviewed by IBD.  More…

Wow. I hope I am missing something here.  Relax the underwriting standards?  That’s one of the ways we got in trouble last time, right?

Posted in finance, politics, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

USA Healthcare, Obamacare – Thank you to…

Posted by TopOfTheThread on July 17, 2011

USA Health Care Horrible 126.99 for 4 days of ear drops  Obamacare

Thank you to all the wonderful people out there who have ruined our healthcare system.  Thank you to the insurance companies. Thank you to the drug companies. Thank you to the doctors. Thank you to the ambulance-chasing attorneys.

And thank you to our government for shoving through a 1300-page bill, that nobody could have possibly read, and contributing to the downfall of our ever-worsening healthcare system (Obamacare.)

This 4 day supply of ear drops costs $126.99.  Why?

Posted in healthcare, obamacare, politics, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

No Robinson! Don’t Win the Home Run Contest! (Robinson Cano, All-Star Game)

Posted by TopOfTheThread on July 12, 2011

No I did not watch the Major League Baseball  Home Run Hitting Contest (All Star Break)…. I had better things to do.

This morning on ESPN Sports Center, I see that Robinson Cano of  the NY Yankees won the contest. Being a Yankee fan I immediately thought “Oh no. He is going to have a bad second half of the year.”  He probably messed up his swing trying to yank everything out of the ballpark.


Then I get to the office and I voiced my concern to one of the guys (let’s call him Buck).  He passionately said “That’s not true. The winners of the home run hitting contests don’t necessary have bad second halves.   You’re beginning to sound like Bert”  (Where Bert is the name of someone in our accounting area.)

So I decided to look for the stats and see if  the All Star Home Run Kings tended to have poor second halves.

For each winner, I compared their total home runs for that year, the home runs hit before and after the All Star break, and calculated the percentage hit after the All Star break. I also entered their total number of At Bats to make sure they played the entire year. Note: I only had the stats since 2000. Everyone had over 500 At Bats.

Regular Season Home Runs
MLB Home Run Derby Winner and Year Total HR for Year PreAll Star PostAll Star % PostAll Star AB
2010: David Ortiz 32 18 14 44% 518
2009: Prince Fielder 46 22 24 52% 591
2008: Justin Morneau 23 14 9 39% 623
2007: Vladimir Guerrero 27 14 13 48% 574
2006: Ryan Howard 58 28 30 52% 581
2005: Bobby Abreu 24 18 6 25% 588
2004: Miguel Tejada 34 15 19 56% 653
2003: Garret Anderson 29 22 7 24% 638
2002: Jason Giambi 41 22 19 46% 560
2001: Luis Gonzalez 35 23 12 34% 609
2000: Sammy Sosa 50 23 27 54% 604

Based upon these numbers, 4 of the 11 years, the winner had significantly less home runs the second half of the year.  I wish I had more data but it is interesting to think about.

My conclusion?  It does happen enough times to think about it.

Go Robinson! Here’s to a great second half of 2011.

Posted in sports, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

If I ran my business that way, I’d be out of business (US Government budget)

Posted by TopOfTheThread on July 9, 2011

Remember Charles Grodin in Dave? Take a quick watch.

How can that clip be more relevant?

The way the President and Congress are running the country, it’s amazing we’re in business…

Spending. Spending. Spending. Spending. Spending. Spending. Spending. Spending. Raise the ceiling. Spending. Spending. Spending. Spending. Spending. Spending. Spending. Spending. Raise the ceiling. Spending. Spending. Spending. Spending. Spending. Spending. Spending. Spending. Raise the ceiling. Spending. Spending. Spending. Spending. Spending. Spending. Spending….

The only person who can get away with that is Paris Hilton. (Just insert “Raise my allowance” where it says “Raise the ceiling”.)

Perhaps President Obama should bring in Charles Grodin to help with the budget.

It’s a good thing we are not a part of a common currency, like the Euro.  If we were, we wouldn’t have the ability to print more money… the answer to everything!

  • So we’re contemplating raising the ceiling.
  • Unemployment is at 9.2%.  Under-employment must bring that number up to an estimated 17%
  • We are spending billions of dollars fighting wars all over the world. (Libya? Libya?)
  • And we are still sending billions of dollars of aid to countries all over the world. How about we tell all these countries that we are only giving them 50% of the aid we had previously given to them. Let’s apply that saved money domestically and help ourselves!
  • And President Obama is now focused on his reelection campaign!

What happened to this great country of ours?   The left is far left. The right is far right.  All they care about is keeping their jobs and getting re-elected.

It’s a shame.

Posted in politics, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »