Monday, September 27, 2010

Southwest Airlines to Merge With Air Tran Airways

Major airline news this Monday morning that the Hat Trick did not see coming with regard to Dallas-based Southwest Airlines and Orlando-based Air Tran Airways. According to news releases this morning on Yahoo Finance and CNBC, Southwest Airlines and Air Tran Airways have entered into a merger agreement with Southwest as the surviving carrier.

This is a major announcement that will have significant ramifications for several other carriers, most notably Delta Airlines who shares a hub with Air Tran at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL) although Delta's hub is significantly larger. Southwest does not currently serve Atalanta. In addition, Southwest has a large presence at Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI) and Air Tran operates a mini-hub at BWI so the merger will essentially make the airport a hub even though Southwest does not use that terminology in their business operations.

The Hat Trick will try to get some more analysis as I digest the merger news and its impact on the airline industry.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Ohio Swings Back

Good article by Washington insider Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard and Fox News. While I agree with his assertion that you can't say "So goes Ohio, so goes the rest of the nation" but it is striking that the same state embraced now President Obama in 2008 and sent three Democrats to the House of Representatives in Republican-leaning districts. Looking more and more like a rough political year for Democrats...

Ohio Swings Back

Monday, September 20, 2010

62% Say Congress Is Doing A Poor Job

This recent Rasmussen Report paints a bleak picture for Congress in general but particularly for Democrats as they attempt to hold onto control of both chambers in the upcoming midterm elections. Of particular interest in the survey is that only 19% of Democratic voters surveyed felt that Congress was doing a good job. Apparently Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are not getting the message at all.

62% Say Congress Is Doing A Poor Job

Friday, September 17, 2010

2010 Midterm Elections Heat Up

This post is a little late but better late then never!

The post-Labor Day period is usually the official start of the campaign in an election year. 2010 promises to not be different and things are heating up significantly. Republicans smell blood in the water and Democrats are scurrying to hold off what many feel will be a VERY bad year for Democrats. The possibility exists, based on current polling, that the House of Representatives could flip back to Republican control and even the United States Senate is in play although that is a long shot...however Democrats appear poised to lose several seats including the seat of current Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada. This would be a wonderful development personally for the Hat Trick given my intense dislike of the Senate Majority Leader, discussed previously in this post.

So the big question now is why is this happening?

Basically the economy still sucks and the unemployment rate is still hovering around 10%. Add to this continued ethical problems with the Democratic Congress (I thought they were going to "drain the swamp" and be "the most ethical Congress in history?) and frustration with the Obama Administration, a political strategy of "Blame Bush/Take NO Accountability" and you have a recipe for disaster if you are a Democrat.

Another issue going on is the American electorate and some of their fickleness. The electorate through out the Republicans in 2006 and 2008 but are having buyer's remorse now, especially with the fact that the Administration and the liberal leaning Congress have gone far to the left. By throwing out the Democrats in Congress they can right the ship somewhat and essentially force the President to come more to the center if he wants to get re-elected. This is how it played out in 1994 when Bill Clinton went far to the left in his first two years in office (1992-1994), was handed a major political defeat in the 1994 midterms and then eased back to the center, allowing him to be re-elected in a good economy didn't hurt. The question is whether Obama will go more to the center assuming the worst in the midterm elections. He is a much more liberal than Bill Clinton so it may be more politically difficult for him to do this. I also question his political skills compared with Clinton's...sometimes the President just seems to have a deaf ear to what is going on around him.

I'll try to get some good posts and analysis as the election season progresses. Should be exciting for political junkies, that is for sure.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Greetings From Ocean City

I'm writing this post from the beaches of Ocean City, Maryland where the Hat Tricks are taking a family vacation. It's been a busy summer with out move from Washington, DC to Southern New Jersey so it's been nice to relax (somewhat) and not worry about movers, temporary housing, mortgages and everything else that goes with a move of this magnitude. Luckily Hurricane Earl didn't ruin our trip although he did provide some impressive waves as he passed by the Maryland coast.

Not sure how much posting I will be able to do this week but will try to get a few in here and there. I hope all my readers had a great Labor Day Weekend and are now gearing up for the fall...and the arrival of a big midterm election and the 2010-11 NHL season!