Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My Parents

Guest post written by Rolf Tate

Mom and dad are getting older but they’re still as spry as ever but I do feel much better when I’m able to go out to their house at least once a week to check on them. They’ve got tons of animals so I know they’re active but I guess I’m mostly worried about one of them falling or something happening with a fire or something. They keep telling me not to worry but I bought both of them cell phones just in case and went to http://get.wildblue.COM/ to get them internet for the house so they could also email. They seem really happy having both but I have to admit they’re now more technologically advanced than I am! I love my parents and I’m happy to see them so happy in their retirement but I sure wish I could harness some of their energy for myself. I’m raising three kids and sometimes I feel like my parents could do a better job of chasing them around day after day after day than me!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Dr. Drew Inquires: Who Down Graded the USA's Credit Rating at S&P

The primary credit analyst who authored the downgrade report was Nikola G Swann, CFA, FRM, Toronto according to the cover page of the S&P report.  See,  Nevertheless, Swann is simply an observer carefully watching our U.S. train wreck under the Obama administration.  Swann is simply recording the disaster of the Obama administration much the same way that someone would track the Titanic heading toward an obvious, well-known iceberg.

The decision to downgrade the U.S. for the first time in U.S. history was based on the failure of the U.S. to make reasonable progress in terms of the transparent and objective criteria originally outlined by S&P on June 30, 2011.  See,  In their sovereign credit analysis, S&P indicates that they look at the following variables:

  • Institutional effectiveness and political risks, reflected in the political score.
  • Economic structure and growth prospects, reflected in the economic score.
  • External liquidity and international investment position, reflected in the external score.
  • Fiscal performance and flexibility, as well as debt burden, reflected in the fiscal score.
  • Monetary flexibility, reflected in the monetary score.

By all accounts, the key factor that changed dramatically over the last year was the political score which included an assessment of

  • The effectiveness, stability, and predictability of the sovereign's policymaking and political institutions (primary factor).
  • The transparency and accountability of institutions, data, and processes, as well as the coverage and reliability of statistical information (secondary factor).
  • The government's payment culture (potential adjustment factor).
  • The potential effect of external organizations on policy setting (potential adjustment factor).

These factors were chosen, in part, because the political score captures the factors listed above, in a manner which is uncorrelated with any particular political system.

Quite simply, the inability of the Obama administration to pull together a deal until the very last moment provided S&P with the evidence it needed to determine that we were relatively less likely - compared to our peer countries including Canada, France, Germany and the U.K. - to resolve this crisis in the face of mounting pressures. 

As S&P states: "A new political consensus might (or might not) emerge after the 2012 elections, but we believe that by then, the government debt burden will likely be higher, the needed medium-term fiscal adjustment potentially greater, and the inflection point on the U.S. population's demographics and other age-related spending drivers closer at hand (see "Global Aging 2011: In The U.S., Going Gray Will Likely Cost Even More Green, Now," June 21, 2011)." (Research Update: United States of America Long-Term Rating Lowered To 'AA+' On Political Risks And Rising Debt Burden; Outlook Negative, pp. 3-4.)

John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Dr. Drew Marvels at the Wonder of A Cheap Seat

I could not function as a author, speaker and consultant without investing in travel and business entertainment. In my case, I have discovered that no one wants to pay to hear from me here in Laguna Niguel, CA.  Get me out-of-state, however, and I'm a star.  I'm the grant writing expert from Laguna Niguel.  As you can see, Tricia and I recently combined business with pleasure by visiting the Grand Ole Opry during a trip to Nashville, TN.

Accordingly, I'm a big fan of the website They have access to an amazing range of venues and they offer tickets at attractive prices. Tricia and I are big fans of Jerry Seinfeld and my nephew absolutely adores Jeff Dunham.  Tickets to both acts are available through

For example, there are great deals out there now on tickets at your favorite venues to see your favorite artists including Wachovia Arena Tickets, Chicago Theatre Tickets, Los Angeles Lakers Tickets, Jeff Dunham Tickets, and Jerry Seinfeld Tickets
When Tricia and I need to entertain clients (or ourselves) we turn to  After all, we have always enjoyed meeting new people and seeing all the entertainment the world has to offer us.

John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.

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