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Comment Re:How is this different from arbitrage on the NYS (Score 1) 211

He has different cronies than the harridan. His aren't necessarily Wall Street Speculators.

It's early December. Maybe we should wait until his cabinet nominees are actually confirmed and in their jobs before talking about what kind of cronies he will or will not have working for him.

So far his pick for the Treasury (Mnuchin) is a Goldman Sachs partner and member of the management committee, like his father before him. After he earned a few tens of millions at GS, he left and started his own hedge fund. Then he and George Soros and another hedge fund manager bought a home loan bank out of bankruptcy, and Mnuchin became the chair of that. That bank was involved in several lawsuits over questionable foreclosures before they sold it for over twice as much as they bought it for. $1.8 billion for 6 years work isn't bad, even if their bank was responsible for 39% of all federally insured reverse mortgages during that time (even though they only serviced 17% of the market). They did get subpoenas from HUD though, but I guess that problem's going to go away, haha, right? I suppose he'll need to move out of his $26 million house in Bel Air, but I'm sure someone will keep it warm until he gets back.

His pick for Commerce (Ross) is a billionaire who spent 24 years working for Rothschild Inc where he advised clients about bankruptcy restructuring, including being the senior managing director. He's the guy who allowed Trump to keep his Atlantic City casinos and rebuild his business after one of his bankruptcies. He left Rothschild and formed his own company with $440 million to buy up failing companies and try to resell them, including steel and coal companies. Back in 2006 when the Sago mine exploded and killed 12 people, he was involved with the company who owned that, knew about the safety problems, and refused to shut down the mine. So maybe they really will bring back the coal industry, even if it kills people. He's also a former officer of the NY state Democratic Party and served under Clinton. Oh, and, as of 2012, he was the "Grand Swipe" (or leader) of the "secret Wall Street fraternity" Kappa Beta Phi.

His pick for Transport, Elaine Chao, is not only the wife of the owner of the single most-punchable face in the Senate, but she was also a VP at Bank of America and an international banker at Citicorp. She was also the secretary of Labor when the Sago mine blew up, so she can reminisce about that with Ross. After the Bush administration she served on several boards, including Wells Fargo and News Corp.

Oh, and when he's not busy running the entire country, Trump is going to continue to produce his reality show. I wonder if it's going to say "Executive Producer: President Donald J. Trump" or if he'll go a little more low-key. I don't think low-key is in his vocabulary though.

Also, kudos on "harridan", I had to look that one up. Nothing like going back to the 1600s for your insulting words for women.

Comment Re:How is this different from arbitrage on the NYS (Score 1) 211

Lucky for us, the BOTS on Wall Street failed to get their own BOT into the White House a month ago...

Right, yeah, the guy who lives in a gilded tower with his name on it in the middle of New York City is really going to stick it to all of those Wall Street people, isn't he? I mean, if there's one person who really understands the common people, it's a guy living in his own 200-meter tower who covers anything he can in gold.

Comment Re:How is this different from arbitrage on the NYS (Score 3, Insightful) 211

The only "liquidity" that HFT "enhances" is in the bank account of the person controlling the software. It really is parasitic. It feeds off the system without adding anything to it. If I put in an order for a stock at $3 per share and some computer sitting between my broker and the exchange notices that the price is now $2.99 per share, and they buy the shares at $2.99 in order to sell to me at $3, that doesn't do anything except give money to the person who paid however much was required to have only a 3-meter cable between their computer and the trading computer. The people benefiting from the system have a wide range of words that they use to try to explain why it's actually a good thing that they're getting paid for not doing anything, but the reality is that the money belongs in the hands of the seller.

Comment Re:tail feathers from bird (Score 2) 63

That's a wing tip, not a tail. And, incidentally, the same people are quoted in that article, also about amber from Myanmar.

They are the first Cretaceous plumage samples to be studied that are not simply isolated feathers, according to study co-author Lida Xing of the China University of Geosciences.

"The biggest problem we face with feathers in amber is that we usually get small fragments or isolated feathers, and we’re never quite sure who produced [them]," says co-author Ryan McKellar, curator of invertebrate palaeontology at Canada's Royal Saskatchewan Museum.

Comment Re:Whine whine whine... (Score 2) 217

No, it actually is relevant. They've created a de-facto monopoly by buying up as many smaller labels as they can where they are the major player in the industry, it is hard for a band to do anything if they don't cooperate. As a result, the contract terms are famously one-sided because, again, they have the leverage to essentially dictate whatever terms they want. The only reason they own the music that other people write and produce is because that is what they demand in order for the musicians to be allowed into the system which controls the vast majority of music distribution and publishing. When we're talking about the greed of the music industry in general, the contract terms that they force musicians to agree to in order for them to be included in the system are damn well relevant.

Don't like the system, don't consume from it.

Yes, the "our way or the highway" way of thinking has been their business plan for decades. Only relatively recently have bands had a legitimate distribution network which doesn't require them to be part of the system. And, look what happens, now the recording industry is talking about how unfair it is that they only get a billion dollars from one of the distribution outlets when they think they should get a lot more. That's greedy. There's a new system that doesn't require musicians to sign over ownership of their own artwork and the establishment labels don't like it. A lot of other people have agreed and have decided to not consume from their system, and they've been whining about it ever since.

They only have themselves to blame. If they want people to think that they aren't greedy then they need to reverse the contract clauses, so that the creators are the actual owners and the labels get a small cut for distribution while the artists get the majority. And then the artists can decide how their music is used. If that happens then people won't see the labels as greedy, but when you have people working in that industry who own a lot of content while specifically taking pride in the fact that they can't produce the kinds of things which they have the rights to, it is most definitely greedy and it is most definitely relevant.

Comment Re:We knew this going in (Score 1) 569

We did it because he promised to fix certain issues that we felt were more important in the near term. Global warming will kill us, but, mass poverty will kill us sooner.

I sense a certain level of cognitive dissonance when I hear people suggest that a man who literally lives inside of a gilded tower with his name on it might push to solve poverty or has some keen sense of understanding of the problems of the common people. This person is a narcissist of the highest order, he's only interested in making himself look good. Hopefully he has enough of a desire for a positive legacy to actually address real problems with meaningful solutions, but I think a safer bet is that he's going to do something illegal just because he thinks he should be able to do that, and end up getting impeached for it.

Comment Re:When is 2 billion 18 times bigger than 1 billio (Score 1) 217

That was my question also. I'm thinking that they are using the actual number of Spotify users (if it's about $18 per user for $2 billion, that would be around 111 million users), but then assuming that all 800 million "music users" use YouTube for music. I don't think that's a legitimate assumption. If I want to listen to a particular song I'll search on Spotify first, and if I can't find it there then maybe I'll try YouTube or something else. I would be surprised if even 100 million people use YouTube as their primary source of music. If that number is around 55 million people, then YouTube is paying the same amount per music user as Spotify.

Comment Re:Michael Flynn Jr believes it (Score 1) 779

What sort of extra special secret personal characteristics do you need for that job anyhow? It's a low profile domestic position.

It's the head of a department with a budget of around $50 billion annually, in charge of things like taking care of homeless people, community planning, public housing, and other urban issues. It's one of those agencies that you don't notice when it's doing its job well. Now that a neurosurgeon is in charge of it, you may start to notice it.

HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business.

Comment Re:Michael Flynn Jr believes it (Score 1) 779

He might be a good brain surgeon, but I wouldn't let him fix my computer, tune my car, or hem my pants. And I sure as shit wouldn't let him "educate me" on what the pyramids of Egypt were built for.

He can be an intelligent and good surgeon and still have weird beliefs. For example, intelligence is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, and wisdom is knowing that a tomato doesn't go in a fruit salad. He very well might be (and probably is) a very intelligent person, he just didn't study ancient Egypt. That's OK. He's a brain surgeon, not an archaeologist.

Now, why Trump wants him to head up HUD of all things, I have no idea. The only job that suits him is surgeon general.

Comment Re:If it works (Score 1) 244

I totally agree. Modern physics luminaries like yourself and I understand that nothing that we know ever changes, that chemical propellant is the pinnacle of universal space flight technology, that Newton had everything correct, and since Newton had everything correct then Einstein was wrong in the first place and therefore this story about his so-called "theory" being challenged is fundamentally flawed. Einstein was a space nutter and should have stuck to the stupid patent office. I don't know who this Stephen Hawkins fellow is but he sounds like a real idiot.

Comment Re:Not worried (Score 1) 93

It's very telling of the American popular mindset that not a single mainstream movie out of Hollywood

Yeah, and if there's one group of people who can really understand and capture the mindset of the common American, it's Hollywood.

Also your "bit of a gap" is rapidly approaching a decade, with no end in sight.

There are a few ends in sight. One of them is called Dragon 2, another is Dream Chaser, another is Orion, another is CST-100.

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