Monday, 23 February 2009

130 of Your "Friends"

Can 130 people agree on anything in three hours? President Obama hopes so.

Obama invited 130 members of Congress, community leaders and administration officials to the White House Monday to tackle the nation's swelling budget deficit and the uncertain future of entitlement spending.

So, lets get this straight. Today, the Obama administration has allocated three hours...for a brainstorming session....with Eleven administration officials, 24 senators, 29 House members and 56 community, union, think tank and lobbying representatives. Over 130 dimwits....locked down in the White House...with President Obama....condensing a massive brain-drain into a simplistic listing of ideas.

Castey Cote quote: "All they can do is state the obvious out of this.Logistically, it's just going to have to be a nightmare."

It appears like they will attempt to have five five breakout groups but this basically means twenty guys talking and trying to get their ideas across.

The topics? Social Security, health care, tax reform, the budget process and procurement.

The odds of anything coming out 130 guys? Pretty much a zero. If you got an invite....you were crazy to attend.

This would be kinda like going to a Baptist convention with 130 folks and trying to come to a basic conclusion over the Bible. Basically, there can't be a consensus and the best you can hope for is free booze offered by the host.

If I were amongst the 130....I'd be hoping for free sub sandwiches with lots of ice tea.

So tonight, as you watch Katie Couric try to rattle off all 130 names....think of the terrible time that Katie had, in trying to arrange these in some order....just for you.

The Million Dollar College Coaches

There was this odd moment this weekend....at a sports news conference in Connecticut. The university basketball coach, Jim Calhoun, apparently got into a pretty heated discusson with a reporter....and I must admit...its a freelance guy, so its not worth alot to discuss. But the centerpiece of this argument....is the question that the reporter laid upon Jim...."why the coach of a public university was making $1.6 million in tough economic times?"

“Not a dime back,” Jim responded...half-joking.

The state, for those of who might care....is about $944 million in deficit for the current year....and they believe its almost $8 billion over the next two years.

The reporter didn't back down....which upset Jim a good bit more.

“My best advice to you is, shut up,” spoke Jim.

At this point, Jim was fairly upset....and says: “Quite frankly, we bring in $12 million to the university, nothing to do with state funds. We make $12 million a year for this university. Get some facts and come back and see me. … Don’t throw out salaries and other things".

In Bama, this discussion comes up a fair amount now. Those folks who are a bit wise about money and responsible for their taxes and financial situation in life....are disturbed.

The real point here is that no political figure in any state wants to chat on this topic. No state university president wants this in public discussion. No university sport director wants to dare make this into a public scene.

In Bama...we are legendary for signing idiots as football and basketball coaches....to long-term contracts (at least five years minimum). Then along about the end of the first season, we realize the guy really isn't the "right" guy. So we endure another season, and see losses mount up (football fans in Bama won't even accept a 8-5 season as good).

So now the idiots at the university jump (with the booster club members) and start a silent search for a replacement. They find the "winner", and then they start to discuss methods of the current guy leaving. Naturally, he wants a payoff. In most cases, he'll get 75 percent of the remaining three year's salary. We could be talking about $7 million....to get the guy to leave. Both major Bama universities do this on a frequent basis. Both in football and basketball.

Frankly, we are all disturbed by this attitude of just tossing $7 million away because he's not the "winner" we thought he was. This entire "professional sports" game that we have in college sports...is becoming a joke.

Oh, and did I mention all of the perks that the coach gets? These guys usually get a total refurbishment of their office (figure $100k), a free leased $40k SUV, a hefty housing allowance, coverage of moving costs (which could be $30k), hefty contributions into a university retirement fund, 5-star travel and hotel rooms, and 45 days of leave usually built into the system.

They may bring in lots of cash for the university sports program...but they are spending the majority of that income either on stadium costs, personnel in the department, travel, etc.

The only positive for Bama right now...we may have finally gotten a guy who might stay seven years and build a dynasty.

So Jim can be upset to some degree, but heck...we are talking about college sports here...and guys making more than the governor of the state.