I saw this movie a couple of weeks ago, and really enjoyed it:
It was truly a celebration of rich people behaving badly, and Leonardo DiCaprio was excellent in it.
Technically, it’s not supposed to be an inspirational movie. You know, bad people doing bad things and all that. Apparently, some stock brokers don’t see it that way (from the London Evening Standard):
Cinemas across London are preparing to welcome thousands of bankers, brokers and traders to bespoke private screenings, the Standard has learned, and a cinema booking company says there is more corporate demand for this film than any they can remember.
With one company planning to dress up Nineties Wall Street-style for the occasion, the City’s buzz about [Jordan] Belfort has the ring of an enthronement. It is tempting to think that DiCaprio’s character might be a new cult hero for a new generation of bankers, as Gordon Gekko (protagonist of 1987’s Wall Street) was to their bosses. You can imagine the Square Mile’s new generation quoting Belfort’s corny phrases about money, drugs and women like their pre-crash predecessors did Gekko’s.
A comedy email flying around between bankers in London and New York this week makes the link, plotting a market index since the Eighties with arrows showing major price falls on the release dates of Wall Street and its 2010 sequel Money Never Sleeps, and a Wolf of Wall Street arrow pointing at today’s high price. Will the Wolf consign so many bankers and traders to therapy and rehab that the markets will plummet on its release, the jokes goes. At least I think it’s a joke.
For those of you not familiar with international financial markets, “the City” referred to here isn’t London. The City is what the Brits call their version of Wall Street. They’re treating this movie like it’s a blueprint for success. Maybe they’re thinking all they have to avoid will be the drugs, the prostitutes and the money laundering. That way, they can steal people’s money legally, I guess.
Oh, by the way. The Wolf lives. Jordan Belfort is now a motivational speaker in California. Here’s an interview with him:
Got to admit. The guy is smooth.
Looks like the political world is about to have a civil war. But it’s being narrowed to one party (from the Wall Street Journal):
Republican leaders and their corporate allies have launched an array of efforts aimed at diminishing the clout of the party’s most conservative activists and promoting legislation instead of confrontation next year.
GOP House leaders are taking steps to impose discipline on wavering committee chairmen and tea-party factions. Meanwhile, major donors and advocacy groups, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and American Crossroads, are preparing an aggressive effort to groom and support more centrist Republican candidates for Congress in 2014′s midterm elections. …
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce early next year plans to roll out an aggressive effort—expected to cost at least $50 million—to support establishment, business-friendly candidates in primaries and the general election, with an aim of trying to win a Republican Senate majority.
“Our No. 1 focus is to make sure, when it comes to the Senate, that we have no loser candidates,” said the business group’s top political strategist, Scott Reed. “That will be our mantra: No fools on our ticket.”
Any idea how this is going to work? You can’t stop fools from running. And you can’t stop fools from voting for them.
Meanwhile (via the Arizona Evening Star):
The problem: The 16th president never said the things about class warfare Melvin is quoting.
For example, in postings last week on Twitter, the state senator from Tucson wrote, “You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.” That quote, Melvin said, came from Lincoln.
Ditto for a quote of, “You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich,” and “You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.”
None of these came from Lincoln, Brooks Simpson, a professor of history at Arizona State University, said when asked about the quotes by Capitol Media Services.
“I can tell you that these quotes are spurious,” Simpson said. “They do not appear in Lincoln’s writings or in his recollected words.”
Seems the “no fools” strategy is off to a rocky start.
- GOP lawmaker attacks Obama with false Lincoln quotes that ‘sounded good’ (rawstory.com)
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce to spend $50 million to Crush Tea Party (dailypaul.com)
- While attacking Obama, GOPer misattributes quotes about ‘class hatred’ to Lincoln (freakoutnation.com)
- Chamber Of Commerce, GOP Establishment Gear Up For Assault On Tea Party (personalliberty.com)
This is supposed to be a happy game-show story:
Should I break it to her that she’s not going to keep the car? I mean, she looks so happy.
I’m just going with the odds here. I was on a game show once. Won a significant chunk of money and a trip to Europe. I also had to pay taxes on the winnings. Federal tax, taxes to the state I lived in, and California taxes, because that’s where the show was taped.
Now, for argument’s sake, I’m guessing the taxes all together are going to be AT THE VERY LEAST 30 percent of the total, so somewhere in the vicinity of $60,000.
She doesn’t have that kind of money. She said so. Remember when she turned over the first card and got $4,000, and she yelled to her significant other in the audience, “$4,000 is a lot of money.” Yes, when you don’t have a lot of money, $4,000 is a lot of money.
And $60,000 is a lot more money. I’m not going out on a limb here when I say she doesn’t have $60,000 laying around to pay the taxes on $170,000. The $10,000 in cash she won isn’t going to cover it.
So, she won’t keep the car. She’ll probably turn it over to an Audi dealer, who will take it off her hands for far less than the retail price, because as an owner, she now makes it a used car (pre-owned as they say in the classy television ads). And I’m not a tax lawyer here, but she still did get $170,000 from “The Price Is Right.” That’s income. Income is taxed. She still owes about $60,000. All told, she might walk away with cash in the low five figures. But nowhere near this “Price Is Right” moment. Maybe “The Price Is Right” folks have this all figured out and they’ll offer her a cash deal that covers everything. I doubt it, though.
I guess this dose of reality makes me the grinch who stole “The Price Is Right.” But I didn’t steal it. The tax man did. And the folks on “The Price Is Right” know this is going to happen. They also know this is great television. That means higher ratings. That means they can charge more for ads. You know, like giving Audi this six-minute ad for a car that’s never going to go to the contestant who won it.
Oh, you thought Audi gave “The Price Is Right” the car, or the show bought the car from Audi? No, this is product placement. The car will be back in the showroom next week. No cost to Audi. No cost to “The Price Is Right.” A $60,000 cost for the poor lady who’s having the happiest moment of her life.
(By the way, I did pay the taxes on my game-show winnings. Spent Easter in the sun in southwestern Europe. It was very nice.)
- Watch This Woman Win A $157,000 Audi R8 On Price Is Right, Freak Out (jalopnik.com)
- ‘Price Is Right’ gives its biggest winner $157K car (today.com)
- The Price Is Right Contestant Wins Audi R8 Spyder (motorauthority.com)
- “The Price Is Right” Gives Away $150K+ Sports Car (new102.cbslocal.com)
We all know fashion magazines have an obsession with making the celebrities on their covers look perfect. But explain this to me:
Why do you need to alter Jennifer Lawrence. They’ve moved her collar bone, stretched out her fingers, narrowed her hips and … well, you see it.
- GIF Shows How Magazine Needlessly Photoshopped Jennifer Lawrence (jezebel.com)
- Photoshopped magazine cover featuring Jennifer Lawrence earns ire of fans on social media (dnaindia.com)
- Photoshop Of Horrors: This Magazine Thinks Jennifer Lawrence Has Too Many Bones (thegloss.com)
- I Am Livid That A Magazine Did This To Jennifer Lawrence, And My Guess Is She Is, Too (upworthy.com)
- Jennifer Lawrence Before And After Photoshop (buzzfeed.com)
Didn’t we all know this guy was going to be trouble, like, forever?
Authorities confirmed to The Orlando Sentinel that Zimmerman had been taken into custody.
TMZ also confirmed that Zimmerman was involved in the domestic violence incident in Orlando. …
Update, 3:30 p.m. EST: Law enforcement sources told TMZ that Zimmerman’s girlfriend claimed that she was pregnant, making the domestic violence charge an automatic felony. Zimmerman reportedly was not eligible for bail.
Update, 5:14 p.m. EST: ABC News reported that Zimmerman was charged with aggravated assault, battery and criminal mischief in connection with the incident.
So he murders Trayvon Martin and gets away with it. Then a few months later, he pulls a gun on his ex-wife and her father and gets away with it. Now, he’s busted for assaulting his pregnant girlfriend and threatening her with a shotgun.
This is one of those situations where you ask, “who does this guy have to kill before he is finally put away?” But thanks to the state of Florida, he already knows he can get away with murder. So I’m sure he thinks, “What’s the big deal? I only pulled a shotgun on a pregnant woman. I didn’t shoot her. Which I would have done if she threatened me with a can of iced tea and a bag of Skittles.”
Florida is such a cesspool.
- Report: George Zimmerman arrested for domestic violence on girlfriend (rawstory.com)
- George Zimmerman Faces Judge After Domestic Violence Arrest [LIVE] (tmz.com)
- George Zimmerman Arrested For Domestic Violence, Again (hiphopwired.com)
- George Zimmerman back in jail for pointing shotgun at girlfriend (newsfixnow.com)
- George Zimmerman Arrested in Florida for Domestic Violence (colorlines.com)
I ask the question because of this:
Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., pleaded guilty Wednesday to possession of cocaine and was sentenced to one year of supervised probation.
“I’ve hit a bottom where I realize I need help. And I have aggressively pursued that help,” Radel said, as he admitted in District of Columbia Superior Court that he purchased 3.5 grams of cocaine.
The freshman congressman, who represents a solidly Republican district in southwest Florida, said he’ll enter a rehab program. He will also pay a $250 fine on the misdemeanor charge.
The House over the summer approved an amendment by Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) that would let states drug test people on food stamps. The amendment passed by voice vote, meaning members’ individual yeas and nays were not recorded. Radel later voted in favor of a broader food stamps bill that included Hudson’s measure.
How these guys can stand to see themselves in the mirror amazes me.
- Rep. Trey Radel BUSTED For Cocaine After Voting To Drug Test Welfare Recipients!! (itsmyurbantainment.com)
- Rep. Radel charged in DC with cocaine possession (nbc-2.com)
- Fla. Congressman Charged With Cocaine Possession (abcnews.go.com)
According to Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal, Suzanne Somers is an expert on the Affordable Care Act and its impact on retirees.
Yes, that Suzanne Somers.
She says the health-care law is “a Socialist Ponzi scheme.”
You can judge by reading the column here, but I feel the following is the most important part of the opinion piece. It was tacked onto the end after publication:
CORRECTIONS AND AMPLIFICATIONS:
An earlier version of this post contained a quotation attributed to Lenin (“Socialized medicine is the keystone to the arch of the socialist state”) that has been widely disputed. And it included a quotation attributed to Churchill (“Control your citizens’ health care and you control your citizens“) that the Journal has been unable to confirm.
Also, the cover of a Maclean’s magazine issue in 2008 showed a picture of a dog on an examining table with the headline “Your Dog Can Get Better Health Care Than You.” An earlier version of this post incorrectly said the photo showed and headline referred to a horse.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion (no matter how air headed it may be). But no one is entitled to back up their opinion with their own facts. And, unless it was a photo of a great dane, I don’t know how you confuse a horse with a dog.
Yep. That’s a dog. Horses aren’t allowed to sit on exam tables. That … and the word “dog” in the headline … should have been a giveaway.
- Suzanne Somers’ Anti-Obamacare Op-Ed in the WSJ Is at 3 Corrections and Counting… (mediaite.com)
- Wall Street Journal Enlists Suzanne Somers To Critique Obamacare, And Of Course It’s A Disaster (businessinsider.com)
- Suzanne Somers Calls Affordable Care Act A ‘Ponzi Scheme’ In Wall Street Journal Piece (huffingtonpost.com)
- Suzanne Somers’ Anti-Obamacare Article Is Riddled with Errors (gawker.com)
- Suzanne Somers on the Obamacare debate (macleans.ca)
A Ted Talk for zombies:
- DED Talk, A Zombie Shares Useful ‘Death Hacks’ in a Parody TED Talk For the Undead (laughingsquid.com)
- DED Talk: A TED Talk For Zombies (neatorama.com)
- DED Talk: A TED Talk for Zombies (toplessrobot.com)
JPMorgan had a significant role in the major financial meltdown that resulted from its shady dealings in mortgage securities. It reached a $13 billion settlement with the U.S.
But is it a fair settlement? An explanation of the JPMorgan settlement, from Bill Moyers:
- Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist rips Justice Dept. for not bringing JPMorgan Chase to trial (rawstory.com)
- JPMorgan agrees $13bn settlement with US Justice Department (telegraph.co.uk)
- JPMorgan Settlement To Reach $11 Billion, AP Reports (zerohedge.com)
- JPMorgan in $5.1 billion deal with housing agency (news.yahoo.com)