(1) Today’s shootdown of the Chinook by Taliban forces–which killed 31 American Special Operators, most of them SEALs from SEAL Team 6–is the deadliest day in the history of American Special Operations. This surpasses the tragedy of Operation Redwing–which includes the deaths of 3 SEALs, in addition to the 16 SEALs and Special Operators who died in the shootdown as they attempted to rescue the SEAL team from that mission.
A very bad loss for us.
(2) The debt downgrade is no surprise. Both political parties engaged in a very dishonest game of political theater, and the rational investor community knew–FROM THE GET-GO–that the numbers were total BS.
This week’s stock market meltdown was the beginning. This downgrade is just the next step. Until America gets serious about dealing with the DEBT–not the ceiling–this situation will not get close to improvement.
Sadly, the necessary spending cuts will sink our economy. Both political parties know this; neither wants to be tagged as the party responsible for the economic collapse.
As a result, they have voted to do business as usual with the promise of fake cuts, with the hope of deferring the heavy lifting until after the 2012 elections.
We may not get that far, as any bad development in the credit market–think in terms of the European meltdown, or anything that could spike the cost of borrowing like, say, a downgrade of U.S. debt. Oh wait, that happened today…–could be enough to bring down the entire house of cards.
Today, I heard mutual fund guru Adam Bold–on his radio program–suggest that the downgrade was already priced into the market. While this is entirely possible, keep in mind that he has a vested interest in people keeping their money in the stock market. This is probably a great time to make money if you’re an active trader.
It’s also a great time to lose a lot of money in such endeavor…
(3) Tiger Woods appears to be out of it, but not by much. He had a good start at the Bridgestone Invitational–it wasn’t great, but at 2-under-par it wasn’t a disaster either–but has steadily declined in rounds 2 and 3. He now sits at 1-over-par. He’s 13 shots behind the leader. That sounds bad–and it is by his standards–but he isn’t playing that badly.
The issue is whether his troubles are mechanical or psychological, or–if both–what percentage of the two. Overcoming the mechanical issues is a matter of practice. Overcoming mental issues–in a game that is more dependent on mental acumen than most other sports–is a totally different ballgame.
CORRECTION: The 31 dead is the worst loss in the world of modern Special Operations. The Ranger casualties at Point Du Hoc–World War II–were worse.