Month: September 2016 (page 1 of 2)

Skittles, Racists, And Gun Free Zones

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In the 1940s, Nazi newspaper founder Julius Streicher wrote a book about the “poisoned mushroom” to indocrinate children in hate, referring to Jews “springing up in every country”.

“Just as poisonous mushrooms often lead to the most dreadful calamity, so the Jew is the cause of misery and distress, illness and death,” he describes a mother telling her child.

Source:  How Donald Trump Jr’s ‘Skittles’ comment has a history as a racist dogwhistle that goes back to the Nazis  |  The Independent

The Independent wasn’t alone; several other liberal news outlets got in on the act and labeled Trump Jr’s tweet as racist, and they all likened it to Nazi propaganda used against Jews in Hitler’s Germany during WWII.  It should be obvious that merely using the Skittles reference to refer to migrants, not citizens, is hardly “racist”, however, I digress from the analogy itself.

I’ve actually been using the Skittles analogy for years, in a much more different context.  And if you were to categorize my analogy as racist, the gun control crowd would be the racists, targeting concealed carry permit holders.

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Post-Debate Election Odds Update

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The first Presidential debate of the 2016 election is in the books, and I imagine most of the approximately 100 million viewers came away as underwhelmed as I did.  Facebook posts were made, Twitter tweets were tweeted, both candidates were called liars and idiots, “fact-checkers” were working overtime or not at all, and still, the vast majority of the electorate will go to the polls in November and vote for the same candidate they were going to before the debate. 

But, most importantly… the odds moved.  And moved again.  They were on the move the whole night, just like they were before the debate.  And now, with over 24 hours for the money to process the events of the election, we will revisit the odds on Betfair’s exchange, and see how those with money on the line have repriced the odds.

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Just In Time For The Debate, Obama Sides With Saudis, Vetoes 9/11 Bill

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But the timing of the president’s veto is designed to erode congressional support for the bill and put off a politically damaging override vote until after the November elections.

Obama waited until the very end of the 10-day period he had to issue a veto, hoping to buy time to lobby members of Congress against the measure.

Source:  Obama Vetoes 9/11 Bill  |  The Hill

Talk about terrible timing… well, just for Hillary.  The veto itself was perfectly timed by Obama.  Done on the last possible day, on a Friday afternoon, Obama sided with his Saudi benefactors and vetoed the bill, as expected.  While the veto period set up perfectly with the “Friday news dump” done to minimize media scrutiny, the timing itself is extremely poor for Hillary, in front of the debate.

Goldman Sachs – Encouraging “Discussion”, Just Not About Trump

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Unfortunately, we are living through a period where, in some places, our differences are driving divisiveness. Like everyone else, I watch the news, see the headlines and am impacted by the images of communities torn apart by violence and divided by distrust. The topic of race is on my mind, it’s a discussion I have with my family and friends and it’s something that I bring to work. Of course my experience, I know, is not unique. The pervasiveness of current events affects everyone at our firm from summer interns to senior leaders. I know this because at Goldman Sachs we’re starting to talk about it

Source:  Why Goldman Sachs is encouraging employees to talk about race at work  |  LinkedIn

The author of the above post, Edith Cooper, is the “Global Head of Human Capital Management at Goldman Sachs”, according to her LinkedIn bio.  I’d be inclined to agree, that she is quite good at managing the human capital at Goldman, just not in any way that actually encourages discussion about anything besides firm “approved” topics.

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Pre-Debate Election Odds Update

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If you’ve been reading my prior content, you should already know that I mostly ignore the election pundits and just look at Betfair to determine who has the best chance of winning this year’s election.  On the 9/11 anniversary 11 days ago, Hillary had a health episode, and I analyzed whether or not her health really matters by looking at how the money responded to it.

The money has had over a week to digest the effects of Hillary’s health, and Hillary herself has resumed campaigningIt is time for another analysis of the current election odds on Betfair, a fair distance ahead of the first debate on Monday night, 9/26 at 9PM Eastern. 

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MSM Jumps On Faulty Study To Peddle Obamacare

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People who warn that President Obama’s healthcare law is in dire straits often point to rising health insurance premiums as proof. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has called premium increases on Affordable Care Act exchanges “astronomically high.” Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), said premiums have “skyrocketed.”

But are these growing premiums actually high?

A new analysis from the Urban Institute found that the average unsubsidized premiums in the Affordable Care Act exchanges, commonly known as Obamacare, are actually 10% lower than the full premiums in the average employer plan nationally in 2016.

Source: Rising Obamacare premiums are still lower than employer-sponsored health insurance  |  LA Times

Obviously it wasn’t just the LA Times; WaPo, and the Morning Consult got in on the act too.  They all cited the same study from the aptly-named Urban Institute, a policy group founded by Lyndon Johnson to promote his own government programs.  Unsurprisingly, it is one of the largest think tanks today, and while it claims to be independent, its own Wikipedia page shows its clear tilt towards liberal initiatives.  Yet, it is still cited in major media as an “unbiased” source.

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A Rock and a Hard Place

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal, right, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, center, and Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled al-Hamad Al-Sabah, left, stand together prior to a group photo before a US- Gulf Cooperation Council forum at the Gulf Cooperation Council Secretariat in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Saturday, March 31, 2012. Secretary Clinton is visiting the region to speak with leaders about local and global issues including Iran as well as attend talks aimed at ending the violence by the Assad regime towards its citizens in Syria.(AP Photo/Brendan Smialowski, Pool)

President Obama’s decision to veto a bill that would allow 9/11 families to sue the Saudi government put him a precarious political position: between the victims of the greatest terror attack on American soil and the U.S. service members under his command who could be a greater risk if other nations pass similar laws.

But it puts the woman he wants to succeed him in office, Hillary Clinton, in an even worse position, forcing to stake out a stance that pits her between her former New York constituents, her former employees at the State Department, and her nation’s long-time ally in Middle East. Politically, the smart move for Clinton is to back the bill to the hilt. As a matter of policy, however, such support could backfire rather horribly.

Source: Obama’s 9/11 Veto Threat Jams Up Hillary Clinton  |  The Daily Beast

Talk about a rock and a hard place.  The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) was passed unanimously in Congress and sent to the President’s desk.  While the President has indicated that the reason for the veto is to prevent US interests abroad from being sued, frivolously or otherwise…

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Colin Powell – An Equal Opportunity Hater

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Everyone knows by now that a hacker got into Colin Powell’s emails and leaked them all over the internet.  The way people have been interpreting Powell’s emails should be insightful into how biased media sources can be, and why old media continues to be oblivious to how its own bias is contributing to its downfall.  These days, you really have to read the story from a few different places, and make your own conclusions as to what the truth is. 

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NYC Rent Stabilization – Why “The Rent Is Too Damn High”

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Are you ready for this? Approximately half of the housing inventory in all of New York City is rent-stabilized. Yes, that’s correct. But before you put your shoes on and start hitting the pavement, your chances of actually getting one aren’t super-great at the moment.

“It’s roughly half of the housing stock that is subject to some sort of rent regulation,” says Schleider. “But if you’re looking for one, it might not seem like that, since the apartments that are subject to stabilization have tenants who aren’t moving out, because if they did it would be impossible for them to find something comparably priced.”

Source: Is It Actually Possible To Find A Rent-Stabilized Apartment In NYC?  We Found Out.  |  Thrillist

 Yes, you read that right, half of the NYC housing inventory is artificially priced below the market to whatever lucky tenants are stabilized; 61% if you count rentals only and not tenant-owned units.  And if you haven’t lived there since the ’80s or somehow lucked your way into one, your high NYC rent is subsidizing the low rents of stabilized tenants.  Which is precisely why “the rent is too damn high”.  

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Does Hillary’s Health Matter?

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Like many Americans, I was out all day on Sunday watching football.  Slowly but surely, I started getting lots of emails about Hillary’s health.  Figuring something was up, I finished watching the first set of games, and then went home and checked out what happened.  Once I read the news and found out what occurred, like those who had contacted me, I wondered what the effect the presidential election would be.

So where did I look?  If you’ve read my previous content on where to find the real odds, you already know: I went straight to Betfair, and checked out the US election odds.  As the news got digested by the oddsmakers, and real money was moved around and the odds repriced, the odds for Sanders, Biden, and Kaine began increasing.  The odds for Trump moved up just a touch, but not nearly as much as many who contacted me thought they would.

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