Via SharesPost, 100,000 shares of Facebook were sold for $40.Comments »
Roseanne Barr — who famously butchered the National Anthem — has filed official documents to become the Green Party’s nominee for President of the United States ofAmerica.
Barr — who has been waging a Twitter and Facebook grassroots, digital campaign — has just made it official. She wants to carry the Green Party banner in the November election.
Barr says she’s sick of Democrats and Republicans, whom she believes are not working in the best interests of the American people.
So what, you ask, is Roseanne pushing? The answer is simple … pot. She wants marijuana legalized and sold strictly domestically.
As for the whole Iraq thing … she’ll get back to us.
via TMZ.comComments »
As the lineup of exchange-traded products has expanded dramatically in recent years, financial advisors have found themselves with more tools at their disposal than ever before. The extreme granularity of many of the equity products out there allows for cheap, low maintenance targeting of specific corners of the investable universe, while the development of some increasingly complex products has opened up strategies that were previously inaccessible.
But perhaps the most impressive innovation in recent years has come on the bond side of the market, where the arsenal has expanded considerably over the past two years. Whatever your objective for the fixed income side of client portfolios, odds are there is an ETF that can be used to help you out. Below, we highlight ten common objectives when it comes to managing a bond portfolio–as well as the ETFs that can be used to achieve those goals [for more ETF insights, sign up for the free ETFdb newsletter]:
Read the rest here.Comments »
From the guys over at Condor Options:
Thu, Feb 2, 2012 | Jared Woodard
Historically, two of the most successful approaches to trading have been trend following and option selling. Trend following and momentum investing are strategies known to just about everybody, and option selling (i.e. collecting the volatility risk premium), while not quite as famous, is hardly a closely-held secret.
Usually, these two approaches are treated as strangers. Momentum/trend traders are conceptually long volatility in that they are willing to accept small, frequent losses from choppy markets in order to reap gains from large price swings in one direction; a stock or futures position with a trend-based rule set in place will have a similar return profile over time to a portfolio that buys straddles. Traders who are net sellers of options, in contrast, are usually looking for mean reversion to dominate, especially if they are doing so from a market-neutral standpoint. Both our iron condor and calendar spread strategies have fit this profile in the past.
In 2010, I developed a strategy designed to exhibit the best features of both approaches.
Read the rest here.Comments »
Tuition hikes, combined with the increased cost of general living, have left many college students more strapped for cash than ever before.
As such, more and more are turning to tax-funded food stamp programs to help them afford the essentials.
The program – the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP for short – is offered by the United States Department of Agriculture for qualifying people in need.
According to its website, eligibility requirements for the program include gross and net income tests and employment requirements. It is designed primarily to assist families, however students can apply, given the age and work stipulations in place for qualification.
A sum of $200 is awarded to program participants each month, which is to be used toward grocery bills.
The stigma of the cash-strapped college student is nothing new. The use of government aid in amending the situation, however, is a more recent phenomenon.
The educational institutions are reportedly not at all involved in the process on any level, but use of SNAP for help with food bills has become something of a widely accepted practice on campuses.
Ravae Graham, the deputy director of legislative affairs and communications for the state’s Department of Human Services, said that a student’s eligibility depends largely on the amount of time they work outside of the classroom.
“If (an applicant) is working at least 20 hours per week and meets income limits, they can qualify … and college students are eligible,” she told CBS Atlanta. “And there has been a significant increase of use in the program over recent years.”
She added that students who participate in school-funded work study programs may also make the cut.
Food stamp statistics for the state of Georgia provided to CBS Atlanta show that the average size of a household receiving food stamps in 2011 averaged out to 2.40 persons.
The totals for both households and individuals have increased over the past six years, but the latter has seen an especially large spike, rising from just under 950,000 individual users in 2006 to almost 1,740,000 in 2011.
According to The Signal, a student-run newspaper at Georgia State University, a basic meal plan at the school can cost approximately $1,700, which is more than many students can reportedly afford.
“With me being a senior and living on campus for the past four years, I honestly got tired of paying that amount of money per semester just to eat,” student Taylor Smith told the paper. “I did not even know that I was applicable for food stamps until someone told me about the site and to apply to see if I would get it.”
Added Smith, “Since then, I have saved a ton of money.”
I can’t believe it’s already here. Super Bowl XXCLVICXIILCMCMC. (I did the Roman math — it works out). Either way — I’m prepared. I’ve read up on every degenerate gambler’s wagering option connected to this game. If Congress spent half as much time reading President Obama’s health care plan as I did peering over the Super Bowl proposition menu the country would be a better place.
I know betting on the big game can be a terrifying prospect. Eight months is a long time until your next pigskin wager so you absolutely must get it right. But we’ve been betting on NFL props all year long. We’re good at this — remember? How good? I’m only down 287,000 jermajesties* on the season. You don’t get more expert than that.
Here are a few can’t-lose Super Bowl props and a bunch that aren’t but should be.
The Patriots will convert a 4th down attempt (+120)
Is this a proptical illusion? Seems too easy. Two weeks ago, Belichick employed an inexplicably ridiculous, conservative offensive game plan against the Ravens and the Patriots still managed a 4th down conversion. And if you think I have a problem wagering on old men in striped outfits measuring chain lengths wait until you see the next bet …100,000 jermajesties
Henry Hynoski over 4.5 receiving/rushing yards (EVEN)
Here it is — my Gary Russell Memorial Super Bowl prop bet of the year. (have a listen to my appearance on this week’s BS Report to get the full Gary Russell history).
I know what you’re thinking — EVERYONE’s going to take this one. It’s too obvious. Oh — that’s not what you’re thinking? Rest easy. I’ve researched this one a ton. Hynoski totaled a whopping 20 yards vs. the 49ers in the NFC title game. He’s surpassed five yards in seven games this year. Expect lots of points and lots of weird plays this Sunday. Sorry Gronkowski/Gostkowski — there’s a new Polish proposition sheriff in town — and his name is Henry Hynoski. Take the over. 150,000 jermajesties
Welker over 78.5 yards receiving (-115) and over 6.5 receptions (-115)
The Giants fantastic front four gives them the luxury of never having to blitz. That means they’ll be able to keep a few linebackers back in coverage to disrupt the Pats mutant beasts lining up at tight end. I think the confusion over the middle will force Brady to throw to his sure-handed go to route in Welker. Not to mention Welker racked up 136 yards against the Giants earlier in the year and that was before he grew the aerodynamically-enhancing mustache. 40,000 jermajesties each
First TD scored: Welker (8/1) and Manningham (12/1)
See Welker reasons above. These Manningham odds are high especially considering the man who will be responsible for covering him strongly resembles a guy who plays wide receiver for the Patriots. 10,000 jermajesties each
Total points 61-65 (7/1), 66-70 (9/1), 71-75 (12/1), 76-80 (15/1), 81+ (6/1)
All of a sudden, I’ve turned into the worst roulette player. Hear me out. Five out of the last 20 Super Bowls fell in this range. In that time half the games played in domes ended up at least in the mid 50s. That means these odds are too high. Worth a shot. 3,000 jermajesties each
Giants total points (+1/2) over Knicks 1st quarter points vs. Nets (-115)
Simple logic — the Knicks don’t get credit for points when an inbounded pass sticks to a forward’s head — the Giants do. 15,000 jermajesties
Don’t look for these. You won’t find them anywhere …
NE defensive tackle Vince Wilfork’s halftime bowel movement over/under 16.5 pounds?
That’s disgusting. I’m going over. And I don’t want to hear how I’m better than this. I’m not.
137,000/1 odds any valet would be excited to take Matthew Broderick’s Honda CRV for a joyride as they are in this Super Bowl commercial
Anyone else glad the Super Bowl ads are leaked online a week before the game so that we can go to the bathroom during commercial breaks? Anyone? Anyone?
12/1 odds Kelly Clarkson and Madonna will make out at halftime
38/1 Odds Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth will make out at halftime
Even less likely.
2/1 odds Betty White will make out with and Seal at halftime.
This is a slam dunk. But not with the recently separated singer — an actual seal. That chick loves animals.
What shade of red will Tom Coughlin’s Rosacea-cursed face be at the end of the game?
Scarlet and crimson are sucker bets. I’m going with vermillion at 11/1.
65/1 odds Kelly Clarkson gets a last minute Chili’s endorsement deal and during the national anthem replaces the phrase “home of the brave” with “home of the awesome blossom”?
I know. That was a long way to go for a blooming onion joke. Bear with me — this is almost over.
Who will NBC show first in the owner’s box: The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo (Rooney Mara, daughter of Giants VP Chris Mara) or an actual girl with an actual dragon tattoo — Rob Gronkowski’s porn star girlfriend?
If the peacock network has any kind of sense of humor they’ll shoot for the latter.
Even odds that for the ninth year in a row Danica Patrick will get cut-off unzipping a leather jumpsuit in a godaddy.com ad.
I joke but the truth is to this day she’s still one of the sexiest female dwarf drivers NASCAR has to offer.
Over 35.5 players from both teams are forced to share the same two prostitutes in Indianapolis.
This is cruel and not at all fair to the players. Like the Brady children having to share the same bathroom as Alice the maid. Barbaric!
1/3 odds that Madonna gets replaced by Kellie Pickler after failing the HGH test.
Hold on. I have a few of these.
Number of game balls made from Madonna’s skin — over/under 8
Which will be higher: Victor Cruz receiving yards or number of visible veins in Madonna’s arms?
Okay — that’s enough. Wait — one more.
Over/under 2.5 friends of yours that will out themselves at your Super Bowl party by knowing all the lyrics to Madonna’s La Isla Bonita
If by any chance you dreamt of San Pedro last night — please keep it to yourself. Or at least save it for a Glee re-run.
5/2 odds Eli Manning’s wife Abby leaps from her luxury box seat to her death after NBC shows a side by side photo of her and Gisele Bundchen.
Hold on — I’m looking at a picture of Abby now. She’s actually pretty cute. Let’s make it 7/2 odds.
Even odds that NBC shoe horns in Whitney Cummings’ irreverent female take on football.
Hey NBC — you already spared us Fear Factor‘s donkey semen stunt. Please do us all a favor and give us a pass on this one as well.
Which will be higher: television shots of Peyton Manning or television shots of Peyton Manning doing shots?
I know — it’s a thinker.
3/1 odds that at next year’s Media Day I will be asking white players who their favorite black person is much like I did last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live
Sorry, black folks — white people are dumb.
That’s that. Enjoy the game. And regardless of how much real money I’ve cost you this year with my fake advice — let’s really try to stay friends this year.
— Cousin Sal
*(Obligatory weekly explanation: A “jermajesty” represents the fake name given for a dollar amount. It is also the unfortunate name of one of Jermaine Jackson’s sons.)Comments »
A poker player helped rent a billboard, a Mormon spreads the word at root beer socials and prostitutes at a famous brothel turn tricks and donate their customers’ tips — all for Ron Paul.
The 76-year-old, 12-term Texas Republican congressman is banking on a big showing at the Feb. 4 Nevada caucuses to boost his third presidential primary bid. His message of personal liberty, states’ rights and low taxes resonates with voters in the state, where prostitution is legal, gambling is widespread and the foreclosure rate has been the highest in the nation for five years, according to RealtyTrac.
“Go to the Romney campaign and ask ‘How many of your lives have been changed by the philosophy of Mitt Romney?’” Julie Benincasa, 52, of Las Vegas said in an interview as she volunteered in Paul’s Henderson, Nevada, campaign office this week. “People will go, ‘what?’”
“My entire life — just about every spare moment, in one way or another — is promoting Ron Paul’s message of liberty, limited government and sound money,” she said, adding that she sold $1,600 worth of jewelry to donate to the campaign.
Benincasa’s commitment to Paul is matched by a legion of followers who see it as their duty to spread the word, including Arin Hopkins, 46, a dog sitter in a gated community in Henderson who pays for pro-Paul brochures and delivers them door-to-door and Pete Claytor, 49, a Las Vegas electrical union member who converted five of the six Democrats at his job site.
Robert Fellner, 27, a professional poker player and blogger, donated $1,000 of the $3,500 cost of putting a billboard up in downtown Las Vegas, raising the rest of the cost on his website. The billboard touts Paul as the only candidate to predict the economic collapse.
Those avid supporters may give Paul an advantage in such caucus states as Nevada and Maine on Feb. 4 and Colorado and Minnesotaon Feb. 7, where casting a vote takes more of a time commitment than showing up at a precinct and casting a ballot.
On Jan. 31, as the Florida results were being counted, Paul flew into Nevada and kicked off a state tour with a rally at a Henderson casino that drew more than a 1,000 — a number far exceeding Newt Gingrich’s 200-person reception in Orlando that evening.
‘Irate, Tireless Minority’
“We will spend our time in the caucus states because if you have an irate, tireless minority you do very well in the caucus states,” said Paul, who finished fourth in Florida’s primary with 7 percent. “If you have an energized group of people that are working on a campaign and actually believe in something, it is going to work in the caucus states.”
In the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses, Paul placed third with 21 percent of the vote. Romney and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum had 24.5 percent and 24.6 percent, respectively, in the contest, while Gingrich had 13 percent.
In Nevada, Paul’s staffers have been on the ground for more than six months, Carl Bunce, the state campaign chairman, said at the Jan. 31 rally. They have been educating voters both on the candidate and on the caucus process, holding “scores” of training events all over the state, said James Barcia, deputy national press secretary.
Paul is the only candidate with a presence on college campuses here, said David Damore, associate professor of political science atUniversity of Nevada, Las Vegas. The only campaign with a stronger ground operation in the state is Romney’s, Damore and other observers said.
Tea Party Outsourcing
“The Paul folks are well-organized, the Romney folks are well-organized and Gingrich is outsourcing to the Tea Party,” Damore said.
In 2008, Romney won the Nevada caucuses with 51 percent support compared to Paul’s 14 percent. In the four years since then, both candidates have maintained their support bases in the state. Romney has spent more money. As of Jan. 31, he had bought almost twice as much in broadcast television commercials in the state than Paul, according New York-based Kantar Media’s CMAG, a company that tracks advertising. The other Republican contenders hadn’t spent anything on commercials.
Nevada Lieutenant Governor Brian Krolicki, co-chairman of the Romney campaign in the state, said he’s confident his candidate will win, although he wouldn’t rule out Paul’s campaign machine.
“A caucus can always be full of surprises,” he said in a media call on Jan. 31.
Appealing to Mormons
One way Paul is targeting Romney is by going after his rival’s base: members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- Day Saints, who four years ago comprised about 25 percent of Nevada’s Republican caucus-goers. A campaign subgroup called Latter Day Saints for Ron Paul is seeking to convince Mormons that the congressman — and not LDS member Romney — best represents their views about the U.S. Constitution.
“Although the country might be ready for a Mormon president, we provide them with the notion that, in terms of constitutionality, that we have the better candidate,” Barcia said in a Jan. 30 interview at the Henderson campaign office.
David IsBell, 29, from Las Vegas, said he saw a sign on an overpass in Salt Lake City in 2007 that said “Google Ron Paul.” He did. IsBell had been a Mormon missionary in Eastern Europe when the U.S. invaded Iraq. The move turned him away from President George W. Bush and other Republicans. Paul’s opposition to the war got his attention.
“He was the first politician who gave me goose bumps when he talked,” IsBell said in a telephone interview. “The way Ron Paul speaks is parallel to the way our prophet Ezra Taft Benson spoke about our faith,” he said referring to the former president of the Mormon church, who served from 1985 to 1994.
Root Beer Floats
IsBell said he spreads that message at root beer float socials, game nights and other events wearing a Ron Paul t- shirt. He shares quotes from Benson, and then Paul.
“Mormons are reliable voters — they turn out,” said Robert Uithoven, a Republican consultant with j3 Strategies in Reno. Still, Uithoven, who has ties to Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS)chairman and Gingrich supporter Sheldon Adelson, puts most Mormons in Romney’s camp. While Nevada’s libertarian streak is good for Paul, those same Mormon voters were targeted by his campaign in 2008, Uithoven said.
“He has a base of support that tends not to grow very much,” Uithoven said.
Paul’s strategy isn’t limited to Mormons. He has rolled out special coalitions of gun owners, home-schoolers, veterans, Hispanics and hospitality workers, too.
The most unlikely coalition of supporters, though, is the one the candidate didn’t recruit.
At the Moonlite BunnyRanch, a legal brothel near Carson City featured in HBO’s “Cathouse” series, the most scantily- clad caucus of all was held two weeks ago.
Dennis Hof, 65, the proprietor and self-described “pimpmaster general” of the BunnyRanch and five other Nevada brothels, said he polled all 500 women to see who they supported for the presidency. Last time, they cast their support behind Barack Obama. This cycle their opposition to the roundups of wild horses on federal land near the brothel moved them to Paul.
He said they like Gingrich — they “don’t have a problem with him being a womanizer” — but they think Romney is too square. Paul’s support for states’ rights won them over, he said.
At the BunnyRanch, customers who say they are “Pimpin’ for Paul” get extra attention, Hof said, and some of the women ask clients for Paul donations. Many, like Hustler centerfold Cami Parker, 25, also donate tips.
“I really appreciate the fact that Ron Paul respects states’ rights and individual rights,” Parker said in a telephone interview. “It seems like he really understands our rights to do what we want.”Comments »
Getting back to speed with a new baby in the house isn’t easy, so I’m posting one more guest post today to help me catch up. (Besides, I need time to read through all the American Airlines changes as well as the FAA reauthorization bill for posts next week.) This one is from a familiar face . . .
My frenemie Brett “Cranky Flier” Snyder begged me (ok, he just asked) to write a guest post for his tiny, insignificant blog. Normally, I would have just ignored Brett’s email (which I do 98.7% of the time). But he and his lovely wife delivered my baby avgeek niece or nephew, so I relented.
I had one of the best jobs in the world – airports and security editor for Aviation Week magazine. That, along with being a judge the past four years for Airports Council International-North America’s annual concessions contest and my extensive world travels going back to when I was 5, has given me a fine appreciation of what I like to see in airports when it comes to concessions.
I’m old enough to remember the days when airport concessions consisted of “Newstand,” “Restaurant,” “Snack Bar” and “Gifts.” but oh, how times have changed!! This change has come for two reasons.
One, as airlines have merged and cut routes and frequencies, they are paying airports less in landing fees and rent. Two, because of post-9/11 security changes, travelers are spending more time in airports, and they’re demanding more sophisticated food/beverage and retail options. So below are my five picks for airports doing great things with their concessions programs.
- Portland International Airport – This is a rare airport, in that they don’t contract with a big concession operator like HMS Host or Delaware North to handle their concessions. They use their own in-house team to come up with what I think is a near-perfect mix of local/regional and national brands. On the food side, they including theLaurelwood Brewing Co., Pizza Schmizza, Starbucks, and Panda Express. On the concessions side, there’s the iconic Powell’s Books, Columbia Sportswear, and The Oregonian news stand.
- San Francisco International Airport – I’ve had the chance to see my original hometown airport evolve over the years, and I love the changes. Among its treasures, this airport has a full-service medical clinic and a world-class art museum. As I write this, I haven’t been to the new Terminal 2, so nothing in there is in this post. But great food options abound: Andale Mexican Restaurant, Boudin’s Bakery and Café, Tomokazu and Peet’s Coffee. Retail options are U Threads (sells clothing and items from Bay Area universities), Aviator Books, Coach, and Ghiradelli.
- Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport – This has always been one of my favorite airports because of features like free Wi-Fi, two pet parks, and one of the first cell phone lots in the country. Terminal 4 (home to Southwest Airlines and US Airways) has some great food choices: Blue Burrito Grille (restaurant and carry-out), Paradise Bakery and Café, Einstein Bagels and Quiznos. On the retail side, check out A to Z Kids, In Celebration of Golf, and See’s Candies.
- Chicago Midway Airport – I have actually scheduled some of my Southwest Airlines trips to go through Midway because I love the shopping options there. The main concessions area has an actual sense of place. Food choices include Harry Caray’s, Nuts on Clark (I’d kill for this popcorn), Ben & Jerry’s, and McDonalds. Available retail choices are House of Blues, Discover Chicago, and Kids Works.
- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport – I did an insider’s tour of this facility a few years ago and had a grand time. This is a very passenger-focused airport, with concessions including free Samsung lounges (with seats, outlets and Wi-Fi) and the giant Shop 24 vending machine that sells everything from diapers to Caesar salads. I’m also a big fan of the La Bodega Winery, Cereality Breakfast Bar, Dunkin Donuts, and Au Bon Pain. Retail options include my beloved Bijoux Terner (everything is $10!), Natalie’s Candy Jar, Official Dallas Cowboys Pro Shop, and Bose.
BRUSSELS (AP) — Greece’s international debt inspectors have discovered that the debt-ridden country still needs an extra euro15 billion ($20 billion) in help — on top of a promised euro130 billion bailout and a euro100 billion debt relief from private investors, a European official said Thursday.
The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, has asked the other 16 countries that also use the euro to help foot the bill for the missing euro15 billion, the official said, indicating that a limit has been reached of what can be achieved by Athens implementing further cuts and private investors taking losses on the bonds they hold in the country.
The gap could be filled either though more help from eurozone governments or by eurozone central banks or state-owned banks like France’s Caisse de Depots taking a cut on their Greek bondholdings, the official said. He was speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.
The new push for Greece’s public and government creditors to take a cut on their investments — dubbed the official sector involvement, or OSI — is a new front in the battle to save the country from a potentially devastating default. So far the eurozone and the International Monetary Fund have given billions in bailout loans to the struggling country, but they haven’t been asked to take losses.
The official added that a related deal with private creditors to take losses on their holdings has to be announced before the end of the week, adding that experts from national finance ministries will discuss the tentative deal on Friday.
People familiar with the talks on so-called private sector involvement — or PSI — have said that the deal would see investors take losses of more than 70 percent through a 50 per cent cut in the value of the bonds, a lower interest rate of between 3.5 per cent and 4.5 per cent on the bond and more time to pay back the debt.
At least 73 people have been killed in clashes after a football game in the Egyptian city of Port Said, medics say.
About 1,000 others were injured in Wednesday’s violence, including police. At least two players suffered light injuries.
Fans of the winning al-Masry team flooded the field seconds after the match with al-Ahly, Egypt’s top team, was over.
A security official said the fans chased the players and cornered their supporters on the field and around the stadium,
Thousands of supporters covered the field, as seen in a video posted online.
“This is unfortunate and deeply saddening. It is the biggest disaster in Egypt’s soccer history,” Hesham Sheiha, deputy health minister, said.
He said most of the injuries were caused by concussion and deep cuts.
Al-Ahly football players were trapped in the changing room along with supporters. Riot police were sent in to drive the rival crowds of fans back.
‘War, not football’
Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the head of the country’s ruling military council, sent army helicopters to transfer al-Ahly football players and injured fans from Port Said.
Private cars helped to shuttle the injured across the city to hospitals.
“This is not football. This is a war and people are dying in front of us. There is no movement and no security and no
The Muslim Brotherhood, the country’s largest political force, accused supporters of ousted President Hosni Mubarak of instigating the violence.State television announced that parliament will hold an emergency session over the violence. State prosecutors ordered an investigation into the pitch invasion and the violence that ensued.
“The events in Port Said are planned and are a message from the remnants of the former regime,” parliamentarian Essam al-Erian said in a statement on the group’s Freedom and Justice Party website.
Al-Ahly’s supporter club, Ultras, said on their website that they would head to Port Said later in the evening.
Al-Masry team won a rare 3-1 against Al-Ahly.
The two teams have a long history of bad blood, and clashes have erupted in recent years between their fans.
Al Jazeera’s Rawya Rageh, reporting from Cairo, said several football games after the revolution have witnessed violence due to the absence of police forces.
“In the security vacuum that has lasted since the revolution, the police force has basically disappeared from the street after their notorious performance during the revolution.”
A match in Cairo on Wednesday evening was interrupted following the news of the deaths in Port Said. Television footage showed a big fire behind the supporter stand at the Cairo stadium.
The Premier League, which the games were part of, was suspended indefinitely.