Saturday, February 06, 2010

It's That Time Again - Super Bowl Sunday!

MARBLES? WHAT MARBLES?
OK, I know you've had more than you want to hear about the Indianapolis Colts vs. New Orleans Saints on Sunday for "all the marbles". (What marbles? Who rolls them? Do we refer to the losing team as having "lost their marbles"?) But I digress.


A MISSED DOUBLE-D OPPORTUNITY
I think the NFL is missing a huge marketing opportunity. For this, the 44th Super Bowl, they should have Dolly Parton do the half-time show. Get it? Oh, well. Instead, they're going to have a bunch of geriatric rockers, The Who, perform. I hope they can make it up on the stage with their walkers, for goodness sake! The show would be perfect if the NFL could have found another group to follow them - The Dat!


BLINDFOLDED MONKEY PICKS 'EM
Back to the subject at hand. After my outstanding pick in the BCS Championship Game (note: tongue firmly planted in cheek), I knew you'd be waiting for my take on the Super Bowl game Sunday.



IF THEY PLAY TO THEIR POTENTIAL...
I'm going to hedge my bet... IF, and that's a huge if, both teams play to the best of their ability, I think the Colts will win by two touchdowns. That assumes a lot - that Reggie Bush doesn't fumble, for example and that Peyton Manning continues to demonstrate that he is head and shoulders the best quarterback in the NFL today - heck, maybe ever.

AND THE WINNER IS...

So, here's my score - Colts 38 - Saints 24.... Now lets see how it goes.





INDIANAPOLIS COLTS 2009 HIGHLIGHTS

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 2009 HIGHLIGHTS

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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

New Odd Couple Form Fraud Exposure Team

FORMER CON-ARTIST AND REPORTER TEAM UP
A big tip of the old hat to Kevin Roderick over at the LAObserved blog who announced, HERE, the most recent venture of former con artist
Barry Minkow and an unexpectedly familiar local name - William Lobdell.


SITE FORMED TO U
NCOVER AND REPORT FRAUD
It seems Lobdell -
most recently the co-publisher with Daily Pilot former publisher Tom Johnson of the Newport Mesa Daily Voice - has joined Minkow to form iBusiness Reporting, an "online news operation to report on business corruption and fraud". iBusiness Reporting will be a unit of Minkow's Fraud Discovery Institute which, according to information on the web site, is responsible for uncovering and stopping an estimated $1.8 billion in financial fraud.

PROFITING FROM THEIR SUBJECT'S DISCLOSURE
The fascinating aspect of this venture is that it will be funded in part by short selling of stock of companies they investigate!
That is, they buy stock in a company, investigate it for fraud and report their findings on the web site - and elsewhere, I assume - then profit when the stock tanks as a result. CORRECTION! Bill Lobdell emailed me early this morning to tell me that the Fraud Discovery Institute "FIRST thoroughly investigates a company and, if it finds the business model fraudulent or problematic, it may short the stock." If an investigation uncovers nothing there is no stock purchase. I encourage you to visit the web site for a more detailed explanation of this plan.

LIKE A HITMAN AND LIFE INSURANCE

This seems a little like a
hit man taking out a life insurance policy on his target, then pulling the trigger...

LOBDELL IS LOCAL PRODUCT
Most of you know of Bill Lobdell, who most recently has been touring the country promoting his best-selling book, "Losing My Religion: How I lost My Faith Reporting on Religion in America - and Found Unexpected Peace". Before that he was a religion reporter for the Los Angeles Times and the Editor of the Daily Pilot.


IS THIS KOSHER
?
I admit to being a neophyte in the world of stock manipulation, but my first reading of their web sit
e makes me just a little nervous, despite their disclaimers. Again, visit the site and read it for yourself.

WHAT ABOUT THE DAILY VOICE?

One thing I found very curious was that nowhere in his bio on the site does Lobdell mention his tour as co-publisher of the Daily Voice. Even though he has juggled many balls simultaneously in the past, I wonder if he has terminated his relationship with Tom Johnson and what that means for the future of the Daily Voice. It now faces even more competition locally with the recent launch of two new sites, O.C. NOW and OCLNN, both linked on this page, which are closely affiliated with the Daily Pilot. UPDATE: The Daily Voice addressed Lobdell's reduced role HERE today.

KEEPING MY FINGERS CROSSED FOR LOBDELL

It's going to be very interesting to see how this new venture (I keep wanting to call it a scheme) evolves. I wish Bill Lobdell well in this new venture.





BARRY MINKOW ON 60 MINUTES

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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Welcome, Orange County Local News Network


FIRST "O.C. NOW"
Back on January 20th I mentioned the birth of a couple new sources
of local news soon to be available to us here in the Newport-Mesa. The first, which I linked at that time, was the O.C. NOW site. You'll find the link over on the right side of this page.

NOW "ORANGE COUNTY LOCAL NEWS NETWORK"
The second new source is the Orange County Local News Network, (OCLNN), which launched yesterday, February 1st.

PART OF A GROWING NETWORK

This organization, part of the broader United Stat
es Local News Network (USLNN), is the third such site under that umbrella. The others cover San Diego and Southwest Riverside. They are domiciled in the same Sunflower Street building that houses the staff of the Daily Pilot and, it is my understanding, that they will cross-post stories with the Pilot. This is good news, since the diminished staff of the Pilot has had trouble covering all the bases in recent months.

A/P AND CITY NEWS SERVICE COVERAGE INCLUDED
They will also include stories from the Associated Press and City News Service, which gives them significant breadth of reporting.

LINK OVER ON THE RIGHT
I've included a link to this new source immediately under the O.C. N
OW site over on the right. If you want to read the introductory essay, "Hello, Orange County!" by Managing Editor Greg Magnus click HERE.

WELCOME!

Welcome to the OCLNN. We hope it becomes a reliable, accura
te and timely source of news for us all. We here at A Bubbling Cauldron wish them all the best.


(photo courtesy of Orange County Local News Network)

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Monday, February 01, 2010

Stop The Fairgrounds Sale - Let's Roll!

I'M BACK IN THE SADDLE AGAIN
After getting out of town for a few days the end of last week to
help flush the depression about the current state of affairs regarding the sale of the Orange County Fair and Events Center - see previous post - I returned to find a few responses to my request for a pep talk. I do appreciate those who communicated with me, trying to get me back thinking positively about the chances of the sale being canceled.


GOOD ADVICE FROM A FRIEND

For example, one person whom I hold in very high regard dropped me a little note of encouragement and reminded me of the following:

  • Baseball games are not decided in the 7th inning just because one team is ahead.
  • Because diligence is ultimately, always rewarded
  • Big money doesn’t always determine victory
  • It’s seldom as it appears
He went on to say, "There are many more rounds left in this fight and one of the reasons I like our chances are because people in this community simply don’t give up. "

UNITED VOICES - KILL THE SALE!

Well, I can't argue with him
about that. This battle - and that's what it has become - has united diverse constituencies in our community with one common goal - to kill off the sale of the Fairgrounds. In my years of watching local politics I can recall no issue that has done so to such an extent.

COUNCIL TO VOTE ON GENERAL PLAN AMENDMENT
Tuesday, February 2nd, the Costa Mesa
City Council will consider the General Plan amendment that will codify the designation of the Fairgrounds property as Institutional and Recreational, and will further specifically identify prohibited uses that might otherwise fall into that category.

BALLOT MEASURE TO CONSID
ER, TOO
The staff report also indicates that the City Attorney will present separately a measure to appear on the June, 2010 ballot that will lock this General Plan amendment into place and any change to it will require another vote of the people. I didn't find that item on the agenda, though.


FAIR BOARD POSTPONES MEETING

The 32nd Agriculture District Board (Fair Board) has postponed it's scheduled meeting from the 2nd until February 9th. The sole item in the open session of the meeting will be their respon
se to the sale of the Fairgrounds. There is a closed session item listed that addresses potential litigation. We find ourselves wondering if it has anything to do with the Fairgrounds sale and the suspicious circumstances around the Board's role in getting the property put on the block in the first place.

WRITE TO THE GOVERNOR - AGAIN AND AGAIN

So, it's up to us
to continue to communicate with Governor Schwarzenegger's office in Sacramento, urging him to please kill the sale of the Fairgrounds. Remind him that the Fair and other events have been held at it's current location for more than a half-century and that by permitting the sale to go through he places in jeopardy the jobs of thousands of business owners and their employees who use the Fairgrounds as their marketing venue. Remind him of the potential loss of sales tax dollars and the probability of placing even more Orange County residents into the unemployment lines.

A STAIN ON HIS LEGACY

Remind the governor that, by permitting the sale to be consummated, he will place an indelible stain on his legacy an
d his image as the elected leader of this great state. Remind him that the winning bid is not even a drop in the ocean of debt the State is currently trying to resolve. Remind him that we are not in the organ transplant business - that Orange County residents don't want to see it's heart sold, and certainly not so cheaply.


NO FAT LADY SINGING YET
We must not give up this fight until the proverbial "fat lady" has sung. Last week I thought I heard her tuning up, but she's quieted down now.

KEEP FIGHTING!

So, as my friend so clearly stated, "...the people in this community simply don't give up." Keep on fighting, my friends. This battle is not lost yet...



VERN NELSON'S "TAINTED SALE"

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