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Romney Cruises to Victory in State of Washington Caucuses

Mitt Romney cruised to a projected victory in the Washington state caucuses Saturday night, notching his fourth win in a row in the final contest before Super Tuesday.

The former Massachusetts governor is expected to carry the state by a double-digit margin. The performance helps Romney further reassert his frontrunner status following a string of defeats to Rick Santorum last month. Every bump of added momentum counts with all four candidates competing fiercely for the 419 delegates up for grabs this Tuesday across the 10 states holding primaries and caucuses.

Romney said he was “heartened” by Saturday’s results. 

“The voters of Washington have sent a signal that they do not want a Washington insider in the White House,” Romney said in a statement. “They want a conservative businessman who understands the private sector and knows how to get the federal government out of the way so that the economy can once again grow vigorously.”

With 60 percent of precincts reporting in Washington, Romney was well ahead with 37 percent.

Ron Paul and Santorum, each with 24 percent, were battling for second. Newt Gingrich had 11 percent.

The Washington caucuses, usually a sleepy and sparsely attended party affair, were both elevated and overshadowed by the Super Tuesday battle. Only Paul, who poured campaign resources into the state in search of his first win, was actually in Washington on Saturday. The rest of the candidates spent the day in Ohio, considered Tuesday’s biggest prize.

Still, Washington’s position on the calendar, wedged between the contest in Romney’s home of Michigan and Super Tuesday, gave it rare sway in the GOP presidential primary season. All the candidates campaigned there at least once. The state offers a total haul of 43 delegates. Though delegates will not be allocated directly out of Saturday’s nonbinding straw poll, the contest still gives the winner bragging rights going into Tuesday.

Romney’s victory follows wins in Michigan and Arizona this past Tuesday, and before that in the low-key Maine caucuses.

Looking ahead to Ohio, Romney got a boost there Saturday when the influential Cleveland Plain Dealer endorsed the former Massachusetts governor. Romney also has been ripping Santorum for a paperwork problem that left his campaign ineligible for 18 of Ohio’s 66 delegates.

“Delegates is what it’s all about,” Romney said.

Santorum, though, said he’s “not worried” about such organizational issues.

“It’s David and Goliath. I get that,” he told Fox News. “And you know what? I know who wins in the end.”

Santorum, later at a campaign stop in Ohio, cautioned the GOP against nominating “the moderate” to lead the party into November. “Moderates do not have the best chance of winning,” Santorum claimed.

Though Romney has the momentum, it won’t be a walk for the delegate frontrunner this coming week.

Gingrich has made delegate-heavy Georgia, which he used to represent in Congress, his firewall state, and recent polls continue to show the former House speaker leading the pack there.

Santorum continues to lead in Ohio polling, though Romney is catching up. Those two states are the biggest delegate prizes on Tuesday. Ohio has the added bonus of being a crucial swing state in the general election with a reputation as the mother of all bellwethers.

Paul, at his post-caucus rally, also assured supporters that his campaign is excelling at the grueling work of attaining delegates over the long run — though so far he trails in delegates.

“The good news is we’re doing very, very well in getting delegates,” Paul said. As for his support, Paul said: “The enthusiasm for the cause of liberty continues to grow exponentially.”

Gingrich, meanwhile, has started to join Paul in appealing to the frustration among voters with the war in Afghanistan, as protests over the accidental burning of the Koran at a U.S. base coincide with attacks by Afghans which so far have claimed the lives of six U.S. troops.

On Friday, Gingrich uncharacteristically declared “there are limits to American power.”

“It’s time to face the facts. The period where the United States went out and tried to change a civilization which is rejecting that change is over,” Gingrich said.

The statement elicited cheers from the audience, though Gingrich stressed that he wasn’t talking about “isolationism” — something the candidates accuse Paul of advocating.

Ahead of the Washington contest, Romney led in the overall delegate count with 173. Santorum had 87, followed by Gingrich with 33. Paul had 20.

It takes 1,144 delegates to clinch the nomination.
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BREAKING: BP Settles Gulf Spill Suits, Expects $7.8B Payout

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — BP agreed late Friday to settle lawsuits brought by more than 100,000 fishermen who lost work, cleanup workers who got sick and others who claimed harm from the oil giant’s 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster, the worst offshore oil spill in the nation’s history.

The momentous settlement will have no cap to compensate the plaintiffs, though BP PLC estimated it would have to pay out about $7.8 billion, making it one of the largest class-action settlements ever. After the Exxon Valdez disaster in 1989, the company ultimately settled with the U.S. government for $1 billion, which would be about $1.8 billion today.

Read the rest here.

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Interpol Arrests 25 Suspected Anonymous Hackers

LYON, France – Interpol has arrested 25 suspected members of the Anonymous hackers group in a swoop covering more than a dozen cities in Europe and Latin America, the global police body said Tuesday.

“Operation Unmask was launched in mid-February following a series of coordinated cyber-attacks originating from Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Spain,” Interpol said.

The statement cited attacks on the websites of the Colombian Ministry of Defense and the presidency, as well as on Chile’s Endesa electricity company and its National Library, among others.

The operation was carried out by police from Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Spain, the statement said, with 250 items of computer equipment and cell phones seized in raids on 40 premises in 15 cities.

Police also seized credit cards and cash from the suspects, aged 17 to 40.

“This operation shows that crime in the virtual world does have real consequences for those involved, and that the Internet cannot be seen as a safe haven for criminal activity,” said Bernd Rossbach, acting director of police services at Interpol, which is in the French city of Lyon.

However, it was not clear what evidence there was to prove those arrested were part of Anonymous, an extremely loose-knit international movement of online activists, or “hacktivists.”

Read the rest here.


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SOURCE: sbnation.com

Juan Pablo Montoya’s Daytona 500 Crash Creates Amazing, Scary Scene

Feb2710:23pby Brian Floyd

There are no words to accurately described what happened with 40 laps to go in the Daytona 500. During a run-of-the-mill caution, Juan Pablo Montoya was cruising around the track, trying to catch up to the pack. He was having car issues, though, and near the end of the back-stretch his car broke.

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That alone might be bad enough, but his car happened to give way, causing him to lose control, right around the spot NASCAR officials were blowing off the track with jet dryers. These are filled with jet fuel. This is what happened next:


Oh, and it certainly got worse.


After a few moments of “WHOA,” crews converged on the now-raging fire.


You can see what kind of damage this has caused. At present, just about every fire and emergency crew vehicle is gathered around the spot of the collision. Officials are examining the track in an effort to see if it can be repaired — a jet fuel fire burns very hot, and melts anything around it.

We don’t yet know if the race will be resumed. The track is still being inspected and, well, it doesn’t look good. Back with more as we know it.

RelatedVideo of the crash.

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WikiLeaks Begins Publishing 5 million Emails from STRATFOR

  1. Via BNO News Wire Service:
  2. www.bnonews.com
  7. Monday 27 February 00:01 GMT 2012
  8. The Global Intelligence Files
  9. http://wikileaks.org/gifiles
  10. Twitter tag: #gifiles
  12.     Monday 27 Feburary, noon, Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, Paddington,
  13. London, W2 1QJ.
  14. LONDON–Today WikiLeaks began publishing The Global Intelligence Files – more than five million emails from the Texas-headquartered “global intelligence” company Stratfor. The emails date from between July 2004 and late December 2011. They reveal the inner workings of a company that fronts as an intelligence publisher, but provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations, such as Bhopal’s Dow Chemical Co., Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defense Intelligence Agency. The emails show Stratfor’s web of informers, pay-off structure, payment-laundering techniques and psychological methods, for example:
  15. “[Y]ou have to take control of him. Control means financial, sexual or psychological control… This is intended to start our conversation on your next phase” – CEO George Friedman to Stratfor analyst Reva Bhalla on 6 December 2011, on how to exploit an Israeli intelligence informant providing information on the medical condition of the President of Venezuala, Hugo Chavez.
  16. The material contains privileged information about the US government’s attacks against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks and Stratfor’s own attempts to subvert WikiLeaks. There are more than 4,000 emails mentioning WikiLeaks or Julian Assange. The emails also expose the revolving door that operates in private intelligence companies in the United States. Government and diplomatic sources from around the world give Stratfor advance knowledge of global politics and events in exchange for money. The Global Intelligence Files exposes how Stratfor has recruited a global network of informants who are paid via Swiss banks accounts and pre-paid credit cards. Stratfor has a mix of covert and overt informants, which includes government employees, embassy staff and journalists around the world.
  17. The material shows how a private intelligence agency works, and how they target individuals for their corporate and government clients. For example, Stratfor monitored and analysed the online activities of Bhopal activists, including the “Yes Men”, for the US chemical giant Dow Chemical. The activists seek redress for the 1984 Dow Chemical/Union Carbide gas disaster in Bhopal, India. The disaster led to thousands of deaths, injuries in more than half a million people, and lasting environmental damage.
  18. Stratfor has realised that its routine use of secret cash bribes to get information from insiders is risky. In August 2011, Stratfor CEO George Friedman confidentially told his employees: “We are retaining a law firm to create a policy for Stratfor on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. I don’t plan to do the perp walk and I don’t want anyone here doing it either.”
  19. Stratfor’s use of insiders for intelligence soon turned into a money-making scheme of questionable legality. The emails show that in 2009 then-Goldman Sachs Managing Director Shea Morenz and  Stratfor CEO George Friedman hatched an idea to “utilise the intelligence” it was pulling in from its insider network to start up a captive strategic investment fund. CEO George Friedman explained in a confidential August 2011 document, marked DO NOT SHARE OR DISCUSS: “What StratCap will do is use our Stratfor’s intelligence and analysis to trade in a range of geopolitical  instruments, particularly government bonds, currencies and the like”.  The emails show that in 2011 Goldman Sach’s Morenz invested “substantially” more than $4million and joined Stratfor’s board of directors. Throughout 2011, a complex offshore share structure extending as far as South Africa was erected, designed to make StratCap appear to be legally independent. But, confidentially, Friedman told StratFor staff: “Do not think of StratCap as an outside organisation. It will be integral… It will be useful to you if, for the sake of convenience, you think of it as another aspect of Stratfor and Shea as another executive in Stratfor… we are already working on mock portfolios and trades”. StratCap is due to launch in 2012.
  20. The Stratfor emails reveal a company that cultivates close ties with US government agencies and employs former US government staff. It is preparing the 3-year Forecast for the Commandant of the US Marine Corps, and it trains US marines and “other government intelligence agencies” in “becoming government Stratfors”. Stratfor’s Vice-President for Intelligence, Fred Burton, was formerly a special agent with the US State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service and was their Deputy Chief of the counterterrorism division. Despite the governmental ties, Stratfor and similar companies operate in complete secrecy with no political oversight or accountability.  Stratfor claims that it operates “without ideology, agenda or national bias”, yet the emails reveal private intelligence staff who align themselves closely with US government policies and channel tips to the Mossad – including through an information mule in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Yossi Melman, who conspired with Guardian journalist David Leigh to secretly, and in violation of WikiLeaks’ contract with the Guardian, move WikiLeaks US diplomatic cables to Israel.
  21. Ironically, considering the present circumstances, Stratfor was trying to get into what it called the leak-focused “gravy train” that sprung up after WikiLeaks’ Afghanistan disclosures:
  22.         “[Is it] possible for us to get some of that ‘leak-focused’ gravy train? This is an obvious fear sale, so that’s a good thing. And we have something to offer that the IT security companies don’t, mainly our focus on counter-intelligence and surveillance that Fred and Stick know better than anyone on the planet… Could we develop some ideas and procedures on the idea of ´leak-focused’ network security that focuses on preventing one’s own employees from leaking sensitive information…  In fact, I’m not so sure this is an IT problem that requires an IT solution.”
  23. Like WikiLeaks’ diplomatic cables, much of the significance of the emails will be revealed over the coming weeks, as our coalition and the public search through them and discover connections. Readers will find that whereas large numbers of Stratfor’s subscribers and clients work in the US military and intelligence agencies, Stratfor gave a complimentary membership to the controversial Pakistan general Hamid Gul, former head of Pakistan’s ISI intelligence service, who, according to US diplomatic cables, planned an IED attack on international forces in Afghanistan in 2006. Readers will discover Stratfor’s internal email classification system that codes correspondence according to categories such as ‘alpha’, ‘tactical’ and ‘secure’. The correspondence also contains code names for people of particular interest such as ‘Izzies’ (members of Hezbollah), or ‘Adogg’ (Mahmoud Ahmedinejad).
  24. Stratfor did secret deals with dozens of media organisations and journalists – from Reuters to the Kiev Post. The list of Stratfor’s “Confederation Partners”, whom Stratfor internally referred to as its “Confed Fuck House” are included in the release. While it is acceptable for journalists to swap information or be paid by other media  organisations, because Stratfor is a private intelligence organisation that services governments and  private clients these relationships are corrupt or corrupting.
  25. WikiLeaks has also obtained Stratfor’s list of informants and, in many cases, records of its payoffs, including $1,200 a month paid to the informant  “Geronimo” , handled by Stratfor’s Former State Department agent Fred  Burton.
  26. WikiLeaks has built an investigative partnership with more than 25 media organisations and activists to inform the public about this huge body of documents. The organisations were provided access to a sophisticated investigative database developed by WikiLeaks and together with WikiLeaks are conducting journalistic evaluations of these emails. Important revelations discovered using this system will appear in the media in the coming weeks, together with the gradual release of the source documents.
  27. Public partners in the investigation:
  28. More than 25 media partners (others will be disclosed after their first publication):
  29. Al Akhbar – Lebanon – http://english.al-akhbar.com
  30. Al Masry Al Youm – Egypt – http://www.almasry-alyoum.com
  31. Bivol – Bulgaria – http://bivol.bg
  32. CIPER – Chile – http://ciperchile.cl
  33. Dawn Media – Pakistan – http://www.dawn.com
  34. L’Espresso – Italy – http://espresso.repubblica.it
  35. La Repubblica – Italy – http://www.repubblica.it
  36. La Jornada – Mexico – www.jornada.unam.mx/
  37. La Nacion – Costa Rica – http://www.nacion.com
  38. Malaysia Today – Malaysia – www.malaysia-today.net
  39. McClatchy – United States – http://www.mcclatchy.com
  40. Nawaat – Tunisia – http://nawaat.org
  41. NDR/ARD – Germany – http://www.ard.de
  42. Owni – France – http://owni.fr
  43. Pagina 12 – Argentina – www.pagina12.com.ar
  44. Plaza Publica – Guatemala – http://plazapublica.com.gt
  45. Publico.es – Spain – www.publico.es
  46. Rolling Stone – United States – http://www.rollingstone.com
  47. Russia Reporter – Russia – http://rusrep.ru
  48. Ta Nea – Greece –- http://www.tanea.gr
  49. Taraf – Turkey – http://www.taraf.com.tr
  50. The Hindu – India – www.thehindu.com
  51. The Yes Men – Bhopal Activists – Global http://theyesmen.org
  52. Nicky Hager for NZ Herald – New Zealand – http://www.nzherald.co.nz


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via Drudgereport.com



Tue Feb 21 2012 09:27:20 ET

“Satan has his sights on the United States of America!” Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum has declared.

“Satan is attacking the great institutions of America, using those great vices of pride, vanity, and sensuality as the root to attack all of the strong plants that has so deeply rooted in the American tradition.”


The former senator from Pennsylvania warned in 2008 how politics and government are falling to Satan.

“This is a spiritual war. And the Father of Lies has his sights on what you would think the Father of Lies would have his sights on: a good, decent, powerful, influential country – the United States of America. If you were Satan, who would you attack in this day and age?”

“He attacks all of us and he attacks all of our institutions.”

Santorum made the provocative comments to students at Ave Maria University in Florida.


The White House contender described how Satan is even taking hold of some religions.

“We look at the shape of mainline Protestantism in this country and it is in shambles, it is gone from the world of Christianity as I see it.”



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Crude Tops $105, Hits 9-Month Highs as Iran Halts Some EU Exports

Crude oil leaped to fresh nine-month highs and breached the $105 level on Monday as geopolitical jitters increased after Iran cut oil exports to the U.K. and France over the weekend.

The higher energy prices threaten to put new pressure on or even derail the U.S. economic recovery, which in recent months has surprised many by meaningfully picking up steam.

Traders bid oil prices higher after Iran reacted to new European Union sanctions by curtailing crude sales to British and French companies.

European officials said they are “well stocked” with oil and petroleum products and Saudi Arabia has pledged to help, but that didn’t prevent the energy markets from responding to the news.

“The fact is prices are going up as world oil demand is going up. The geopolitics in the Middle East is playing a big role in that,” Andy Lipow of Lipow Oil Associates told FOX Business. “It is really shocking what we’ve seen over the last six weeks.”

Lipow, who projected as much as a 30-cent rise in gasoline prices over the next two months, said he believes there is at least a $12 a barrel risk premium in the current price of oil due to fears over a supply disruption.

The last trade on the current March contract was $104.92 a barrel, up $1.68, or 1.63%. The final trade on the April contract was $105.26, up $1.66, or 1.60%. The April contract traded as high as $105.80 — its highest intraday level since May 5. Brent crude rose 47 cents a barrel, or 0.39%, to end at $120.05, leaving it just under 18% away from its all-time record settle of $146.08 set in July 2008.

In addition to concerns about Iranian exports, some are worried about Iran’s threat to shut down the crucial Strait of Hormuz or the repercussions of a potential military attack by Israel on Iranian nuclear sites.

A number of British and French companies are believed to have already stopped importing Iranian crude even before the new EU sanctions take effect on July 1 to stop buying the   country’s oil.

Besides the Iranian worries, crude oil benefited from news in the beleaguered eurozone, which is expected to sign off on a $172 billion bailout of Greece. By approving the rescue package, the monetary union won’t have to deal with a potentially disastrous default by Greece, for now at least.

The rise in oil prices comes after crude jumped 4.6% last week, its strongest weekly gain since the week prior to Christmas. Crude is now on track for its fifth rally in the past six sessions and is off less than $10 from its 52-week high of $113.93 that was set in April 2011.

Triple-digit oil prices mean increased headaches for consumers and businesses alike. Most Americans will feel the pain through higher gasoline prices, while businesses need to grapple with higher transportation and manufacturing costs.

At $3.56 a gallon, gas prices are at their highest level ever for this time of the year, according to AAA. Regular gas prices stood at $3.565 a gallon on Monday, up 1.53% from a week ago and 12.5% from a year ago when they were $3.168.

Lipow said he believes the national average price of gasoline will be as high as $3.90 a gallon this month and significantly higher on the coasts. He said for oil prices to meaningfully drop in the near term, there would need to be a “breakthrough” in the negotiations with Iran over nuclear weapons.

U.S. equity markets were closed on Monday in observance of Presidents’ Day, but stock futures still ticked higher despite the oil-price jump. In late afternoon action, the S&P 500 was up 0.50% to 1366.50.
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via Washington Post: 

NEW YORK — ESPN has apologized for using a racial slur in a headline for a story on Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin.ESPN ran the headline “Chink in the Armor” after Lin had nine turnovers in New York’s loss to the New Orleans Hornets on Friday night on its mobile website that could be seen on phones and tablet computers.

 Lin is the NBA’s first American-born player of Chinese or Taiwanese descent. He has captivated sports fans with unexpected dominance on the court that sparked a seven-game winning streak.

ESPN says in a statement Saturday it removed the headline 35 minutes after it was posted. The cable network says it is “conducting a complete review of our cross-platform editorial procedures and are determining appropriate disciplinary action to ensure this does not happen again. We regret and apologize for this mistake.”

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Italian police seize $6 trillion in fake US bonds

POTENZA, Italy (Reuters) – Italian police said on Friday they had seized about $6 trillion of fake U.S. Treasury bonds in Switzerland, and issued arrest warrants for eight people accused of international fraud and other financial crimes.

The operation, co-ordinated by prosecutors from the southern Italian city of Potenza, was carried out by Italian and Swiss authorities after a year-long investigation, an Italian police source said.

The fake securities, more than a third of U.S. national debt, were seized in January from a Swiss trust company where they were held in three large trunks.

The eight alleged fraudsters are accused of counterfeiting bonds, credit card forgery, and usury in the Italian regions of Lombardy, Piedmont, Lazio and Basilicata, police said.

The Swiss Federal Prosecutor’s office said Zurich state prosecutors had worked on the investigation at the request of the Italian prosecutor. The Swiss handed over their findings in July of last year.

In 2009, Italian financial police seized $742 billion of fake U.S. bearer bonds in the northern Italian town of Chiasso, near the Swiss border.

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GASPARINO EXCLUSIVE: Regulators May Expand Definition of Insider Trading

via FoxBusiness.com

Securities and Exchange Commission Headquarters 01

Remarks recently delivered by a senior enforcement official at the Securities and Exchange Commission suggest that securities regulators are now looking to expand their definition of what constitutes insider trading and others types of securities fraud, the FOX Business Network has learned.

The remarks were made by David Rosenfeld, associate regional director and co-head of enforcement in the SEC’s New York office, at a conference earlier this month. The comments have the legal advisers at big Wall Street firms and hedge funds scrambling to determine if their clients have been routinely violating insider trading laws as well as Regulation FD, which prohibits companies from selectively disclosing corporate information to only a handful of market participants, according to three partners at major law firms who were in attendance.

“Based on what he said it seems like the SEC is expanding the definition of insider trading and other violations,” said a senior partner at a major law firm who requested anonymity because he has cases before the commission.

SEC spokesman Jon Nester said some of Rosenfeld’s remarks have been taken out of context.

“He was basically telling people to be careful,” Nester said.

But many of the attendees interviewed by the FOX Business Network disagree, saying Rosenfeld was interpreting routine communications between investors, analysts and corporate officials as illegal because inside information could be disclosed.

“David was frankly shocked that  some of this stuff was going on, which in turn shocked me,” said another attendee who is a partner at a major law firm. “You talk to your institutional investors as a regular course of business, and I can tell you from talking to people at the SEC, David is not alone at the commission holding these views.”

Rosenfeld’s remarks carry weight because his office brought one of the most high-profile insider trading cases in recent history by charging former Galleon Group chief Raj Rajaratnam with violating civil insider trading laws. In addition to the SEC’s civil case, Rajaratnam was convicted of criminal insider trading charges and has been sentenced to a lengthy prison term.

Rosenfeld made his comments at a Feb 2 conference sponsored by the Directors Roundtable Institute, titled “A New Era of Federal Prosecutions: Challenges for Main Street and Wall Street.” He appeared on the panel with five top Wall Street attorneys to discuss the current crackdown on insider trading and how regulators are broadly enforcing other securities laws. About 300 people attended, many of them senior partners at major law firms, or senior legal officials at big banks.

Rosenfeld first raised eyebrows with remarks involving how companies disclose information to investors and analysts, said one person who was in attendance. This person said Rosenfeld said he was “surprised” that Wall Street analysts and companies they cover have private conversations after earnings calls, where corporations broadly distribute their quarterly results.

Rosenfeld indicated that these private communications could violate Regulation FD, this person said, even though analysts routinely call corporate executives to get additional color and clarification on earnings; such practices have been considered legal in the past, legal experts say.

In addition, Rosenfeld called “troubling” other activities that are commonplace in the securities business, such as one-on-one meetings between analysts and corporate officials during so-called “analyst days” where companies discuss corporate issues with analysts and investors. Rosenfeld said these meetings could also violate rule FD and insider trading laws, according to another person who was in attendance.

Another controversial aspect of Rosenfeld’s remarks came during a discussion involving so-called expert networks, which provide hedge funds and other large investors with industry-specific information and data.

Expert networks — which employ corporate executive with detailed knowledge of companies and industries such as health care and technology –have been the target of the current insider trading crackdown for allegedly providing material, non-public information to their hedge fund clients.

Rosenfeld suggested that no corporate executive should ever work with an expert network even though these outfits have long provided broad industry insight and other data that don’t violate securities laws, said one of the attendees.

“Rosenfeld said the government’s view is that no employees should be talking to expert networks even though hedge funds and public firms have been using expert networks legally for years,” said the attendee said.

Nester said in terms of the expert networks, Rosenfeld was suggesting that “he couldn’t see why corporate executives would want to talk to these networks.” As for the other issues, Rosenfeld was pointing out how Rule FD violations might occur through one-on-one meetings, not making a blanket statement that they are in of themselves problematic, Nester said.

Columbia law school professor John Coffee said that the SEC may be simply showing “an excessive level of suspiciousness.”

“I think Rosenfeld is saying that we are nervous about what companies are telling analysts when analysts make calls directly to the company after earnings calls,” Coffee said. “But it’s unrealistic to say that stuff is surprising because of the obvious need to get more information and clarification.”

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