Daily Dish is going to be on hiatus for a week. Will return one week from Monday. Some quick hits to take us into the weekend …
The Kentucky Derby is tomorrow at 6:20 PM. My pick? “I’ll Have Another”, who goes out of the 9 hole at 12-1 odds to win the race. Winner of two straight races (including the Santa Anita Derby), been great in practice this week, great pedigree, and he’s a big strong horse that finishes well. And what a great name! I’ll go with this prediction: I’ll Have Another (win), Gemologist (place), and Perspective (show).
There are few things better in sports than when the field at the Derby rounds the final bend and the announcer screams “AND DOWN THE STRETCH THEY GO AT THE DERBY!!!!!!!!!!!!” It’s almost as good as Bruce Buffer up on his tippy toes screaming “IT’S TIME!!!” before a huge UFC main event.
God I love sports.
Sadly, I will miss The Derby live this year. I coach my son’s 7U coach-pitch team, our first game is Saturday at 6 PM. I’ll be out on the hill checking my Blackberry between pitches at about 6:25. Unless any of my parents are reading this, in which case I’ll be checking the Blackberry just to make sure the game is on pace to finish on time. J
How bout them Indians! With their win over the Evil Sox last night, they now have won their first four road series of the season. The Tribe stands at 13-10 on the season and leads the AL Central by 1.5 games over the 12-12 Detroit Tigers heading into their weekend set against the 17-8 Texas Rangers.
Hopefully the Tribe will get a nice crowd downtown tonight. Elite opponent in town, good guys in first place, gorgeous weather, fireworks after the game … there is ABSOLUTELY no reason not to head downtown and watch some baseball tonight.
In related news, I am developing a SERIOUS man-crush on Jason Kipnis.
Unfortunately I won’t be at the Tribe game tonight. My daughter turns 4. Her request for her birthday night? Dinner at her favorite restaurant, the Winking Lizard. The one by me in Macedonia has a real lizard there, the popcorn machine, some video games … and of course, the mini corn-dog platter. With 30 draft beer handles, hundreds of TV’s, and very good “bar food” … it’s one of my favorite places as well.
For the party tomorrow afternoon, she requested a Barbie theme. My pleas for a Jason Kipnis themed party were immediately dismissed.
The Avengers also opens tonight. And the reviews have been OUTSTANDING. 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, which is rarified air. My son is dying to see it. His art teacher has a bit part in it. With many of the scenes filmed in Cleveland and many Clevelanders with roles as extras, it’s a very cool thing for the city, and great to see the film getting so much love from the critics.
Some other weekend notes. Today is National Star Wars Day. “May the fourth be with you.” Tomorrow is Cinco De Mayo. And Floyd Mayweather Jr. fights Miguel Cotto tomorrow night.
And the weather is GORGEOUS here in Cleveland! Enjoy the weekend everyone. Dish will be back a week from Monday.
Quote of the Day …
“But you can’t hold a whole fraternity responsible for the behavior of a few, sick twisted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn’t we blame the whole fraternity system? And if the whole fraternity system is guilty, then isn’t this an indictment of our educational institutions in general? I put it to you, Greg – isn’t this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but we’re not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America. Gentlemen!” ~ Otter, from ‘Animal House’ (1978)
Insane Fact of the Day …
On average, a 4-year-old child asks 437 questions a day.
Another bad jobs #.
US economy only added 115,000 jobs in April. Expectations were 160,000-170,000. Job growth in the last two months has been cut almost in half compared to the winter months of December through February, suggesting that businesses have turned cautious again. And also suggesting that those month’s #’s were artificially inflated due to milder than normal winter weather in the US.
The national unemployment rate actually went down from 8.2% to 8.1% this month though. Don’t even get me started on the validity of the national unemployment rate. The more reliable U6 employment report, which includes disgruntled workers that have stopped looking for jobs, and people who want full time but have been forced to take part-time work … shows a 14.6% unemployment rate for April. THAT is reality, not 8.1%. 14.6% is like one out of every six people. The labor market in America is still very weak.
Softening the blow a little this morning, job growth was revised modestly higher for both March and February. The increase in employment in March was revised up to 154,000 from an initial reading of 120,000. And the gain in February was revised up to 259,000 from 240,000.
Stock futures are down slightly. Mortgage bonds are up slightly. Even though the # failed to meet economist expectations, I don’t think it was a big miss from market expectations.
Bottom line – businesses are still VERY cautious. If you look inside the #’s for this month, 62,000 of the 115,000 in job gains were temporary employees. While those could lead to full time jobs, it’s more evidence that the people actually running businesses are not as confident in the future of the economy as the investors that have run the Dow back up over 13,000. You add on top of that the massive amount of legislation, regulation (needed more, but what has been done is WAY over the top) on businesses these last few years … increased health care costs, threats of tax increases to MANY small business owners who are in a higher tax bracket … and if any of this surprises you, well … it shouldn’t.
~ Another Bad Jobs #, Only 115,000 Jobs Added in April
~ April Retail Sales Shows Shoppers Spent Less
~ Samsung’s New Galaxy S Phone Raises Heat on Apple’s iPhone
~ Facebook Practices Its IPO Pitch on Wall Street
~ B of A: Downgrades Could Require Billions in Collateral
~ Europe Stocks Fall