william dennis is senior fellow with the research foundation and kelly is the owner of falling white, custom woodworking in new jersey and a member of the main street iliance. denny, i want to start with you, the optimism index is down, what do you think is causing that? >> well, there are a couple of really important points. the first one is that sales remain very bad. they went, they fell very shorply shorp ly in early 2008 and they stayed there pretty much. that's huge, of course. second thing is there is great uncertainty out there. there's great uncertainty about what's going to happen and not only with the economy, but here in washington. and then, thirdly, there's major point that no one seems to talk about and that is kind of a real estate overhang. many small businesses own considerable amounts of real estate and, of course, the value of that has been depressed. and, so, what's happened is that has really drug their balance sheets down. >> kelly, you're in the trenches and talked about people with small businesses and what do you see? i see a glimmer of white on the horizon.
stan william back in my day, would bust you in a heartbeat. i got hit in the quad by dennis. he ran that fastball in so hard. he pitched inside an awful lot to set that slider up. >> another question for you. this is from mike in alexander. what is the status -- bring us up to date on jesus flores. >> steady improvement on range of motion, while receiving treatment over the last three or four months that basically consists of resistance. his training program is now four to six weeks. he will play an extensive minor league rehab. he's not eligible to come back up here until june 3rd. i imagine that's a little ambitious. >> when pudge signed with this ball club, i don't think anybody thought he was going to hit what he's hitting and be leading the national league with a batting average of over .4 00. when jesus gets back, we're loaded at catcher. >> yeah. i don't know if riggleman will go with three catchers. he's been going with the seven, eight-man bullpen. by that time, everybody will be straighten out. you'll have your five starters getting all set up. i just look forward t
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