January 30, 2003
The state of the union today
One look at today's business section and it's obvious why President Bush had so little to say about the state of the Union in his State of the Union address. We'll start with Markets Dipping in Shaky Session, in which we see the Dow threaten to dip below 8000. Drilling and oil equipment companies had bad fourth quarters and have gloomy outlooks for 2003, despite the fact that oil prices are rising due to fears of supply shortages. The number of new jobless claims increased for the second straight week. AOL Time Warner posts a ridiculously huge loss, and closer to home Reliant posts a larger-than-expected loss. Luby's Cafeterias may default on an $80 million loan payment.
Overall, war jitters put the brakes on the economy last quarter. And how about President Bush's demonstration of Genuine Leadership? Well, at least the press is buying it:
To help jolt economic growth, Bush has offered a 10-year, $674 billion tax-cut proposal. Democrats have their own, smaller-scale plans.
There goes that darned Liberal Media again. I guess I should be glad they didn't call it a "bold" plan.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 30, 2003 to National news
Almost as a complete aside to your larger point -- it strikes me that the Luby's chains have continued a downhill slide pretty much since the Pappas family got involved with them (and I lean towards "because of" even though the Chron article hints otherwise). I think they've discovered that the approach that works so well with Pappasitos (which are, IMO, overpriced and overrated compared to less trendy and less advertised local Tex-Mex venues like Felix or Spanish Village) hasn't played that well to the senior crowd (who could care less about trendy, but want their green beans at a substantial discount, damnit!). Sometimes, poorly run firms NEED to take a hit, which doesn't necessarily reflect on the economy one way or the other; one could probably make that case for the merged AOLTimeWarner entity as well as the Pappas-Luby's experiment.
Anyway, thanks for the forum for my digression. Back to the regular programming. :)
I agree with your point, though it's a shame that Luby's has to suffer for the Pappas family's mistakes. And Pappasito's is definitely overpriced and overrated compared to any number of hole-in-the-wall joints. Can't argue with success, and can't dispute taste, I guess.