Posts Tagged ‘Democrats’

Testy Tuesday – 1,975 or BUST!

SPY 5 MINUTEI told you it was going to be a wild week!

Not that you can draw any conclusions from yesterday's low-volume action.  The Fed doves have their say for the next two days and then we go into a hawkish nosedive on Thursday and Friday, so this little drama is just getting started.  All went according to plan yesterday – per our set-up in the morning post:

As a hedge, for our Member Portfolios, we're favoring SQQQ (now $36.55) and DXD (now $24.52) to protect us from another slide but the real tilt to hawkish doesn't start until Thursday, after the Fed minutes, so we can assume they will be spun bearish from there into the weekend and we'll look to take nice, short positions against any run-up that comes from doveish Fed statements early in the week.  

As you can see from yesterday's action, that was the perfect way to play it and our short positions on the Futures gave us several quick victories as it was all downhill from the open until 1pm.  Even our oil short gave us a nice $600 win – the one that was right there in the morning post at $89.60 and oil was below $89 by 10:45, less than 3 hours for that trade idea to play out!  

That's good because we REALLY needed the money because GTAT, one of our good-sized positions in two of our portfolios, declared a surprise bankruptcy yesterday.  Bankruptcies are not supposed to be surprising but this one was and GTAT dropped 90%, essentially wiping out a $25,000 position and costing us 1/4 of our year's profits in the Long-Term Portfolio.  

There's an excellent article in Bloomberg and another one from Seeking Alpha outlining what happened and where it stands so I'll spare you the gory details other than to say that this is why we stress diversification and portion control in investing.  Even so, GTAT happened to be a stock that got weak and, because management promised a turn-around, we added to our losing position on the initial dip and maxed our allocation and then got burned so quickly that we had…
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House Democrats Just Voted To Reject The Tax Deal

Courtesy of Joe Weisenthal at Clusterstock

It looks like Joe Biden’s sales effort has failed, ast least so far. The news was first tweeted by Ben Smith at POLITICO.

The House Democratic Caucus has voted to reject the tax "framework" deal.

This doesn’t mean it’s dead, but it’s not a positive development for the President. The question is: What can Democrats extract from the GOP at this point, so that it’s palatable to both sides?

Markets are mixed and haven’t moved much on the news.

For a refresher of what’s in the deal, see here >

via House Democrats Just Voted To Reject The Tax Deal.


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TLP: Just This Once, I Swear

Courtesy of Jr. Deputy Accountant

politics as usual

That didn’t take long.

The Washington Post:

After Francisco "Quico" Canseco beat Rep. Ciro Rodriguez (D-Tex.) as part of the Republican wave on Nov. 2, the tea party favorite declared: "It’s going to be a new day in Washington."

Two weeks later, Canseco was in the heart of Washington for a $1,000-a-head fundraiser at the Capitol Hill Club. The event--hosted by Reps. Pete Sessions (R-Tex.) and Jeb Hensarling (R-Tex.)--was aimed at paying off more than $1.1 million in campaign debts racked up by Canseco, much of it from his own pocket.

After winning election with an anti-Washington battle cry, Canseco and other incoming Republican freshmen have rapidly embraced the capital’s culture of big-money fundraisers, according to new campaign-finance reports and other records.

Dozens of freshmen lawmakers have held receptions at Capitol Hill bistros and corporate townhouses in recent weeks, taking money from K Street lobbyists and other powerbrokers within days of their victories. Newly elected House members have raised at least $2 million since the election, according to preliminary Federal Election Commission records filed last week, and many more contributions have yet to be tallied.

OK, so this is not surprising. Politics takes money if you want to win. And it doesn’t matter if you’re an old school Democrat like Charlie Rangel, a Tea Party upstart like Rand Paul or a relative unknown like Quico Canseco.

The part that’s incredible when you read stories like this is that voters get taken in, over and over. Wave after wave, from the post-Watergate Democrats to the Reaganauts to Blue Dogs and the Republican Revolution in ’94. It’s a rare case when someone comes to Congress vowing change and is able to resist the influence of the permanent political class.

Quico fell fast. Plenty more still have a chance.


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Obamacare Career Ending Votes; Republican Chance to Win Senate; Expect House Blowout; Stimulus Appetite Greatly Diminished

Obamacare Career Ending Votes; Republican Chance to Win Senate; Expect House Blowout; Stimulus Appetite Greatly Diminished

nancy pelosiCourtesy of Mish

The public is still angered over Obamacare so much so that Dems Find Careers Threatened by Obamacare Votes

Seven months ago, Speaker Nancy Pelosi spent a busy week rounding up votes to pass the Senate version of the Democrats’ health care legislation.

It wasn’t easy. She had to get Democrats who had voted no in November to switch to yes in March. And she had to get Democrats who had refused to vote for the bill in November without an anti-abortion amendment to vote for a bill in March that lacked that language.

What about the districts of the House Democrats who cast the key votes that made Obamacare law? So how are they doing?

Take Betsy Markey of Colorado 4, who in 2008 beat a Republican who seemed fixated on the same-sex marriage issue. Markey cast a late-in-the-roll-call no in November, then publicly switched to yes in the week before the March 21 roll call. She’s currently trailing Republican Cory Gardiner by an average of 44 to 39 percent in three polls.

Consider John Boccieri of Ohio 16, who switched from no to yes in a TV press conference in which he said the bill would do great things for his constituents. Boccieri’s district was represented by Republicans for 58 years until he was elected in 2008. It looks like it will be again next year. In three polls, Republican Jim Renacci leads Boccieri by an average of 46 percent to 36 percent.

Then there is Suzanne Kosmas, a longtime real estate agent who beat a Republican with an ethics issue in 2008. She announced her switch from no to yes late in the week before the roll call. She’s now running behind Republican Sandy Adams by an average of 47 percent to 40 percent in three recent polls.

To put these numbers in perspective, it’s highly unusual for an incumbent House member to trail a challenger in any poll or to run significantly below 50 percent. But these three Democrats are running 5 to 10 points behind Republican challengers, and none tops 40 percent.

The article notes that Bart Stupak of Michigan 1 opposed the original bill over an abortion clause along with 5 others known as the "Stupak Five".

Bart switched his vote when…
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The Left Right Paradigm is Over: It’s You vs. Corporations

This is an excellent essay by Barry on the state of politics and the petty and even false distinctions between our republican and democrat rulers. – Ilene 

The Left Right Paradigm is Over: It’s You vs. Corporations

By Barry Ritholtz, The Big Picture 

Excerpt:

For a long time, American politics has been defined by a Left/Right dynamic. It was Liberals versus Conservatives on a variety of issues. Pro-Life versus Pro-Choice, Tax Cuts vs. More Spending, Pro-War vs Peaceniks, Environmental Protections vs. Economic Growth, Pro-Union vs. Union-Free, Gay Marriage vs. Family Values, School Choice vs. Public Schools, Regulation vs. Free Markets.

The new dynamic, however, has moved past the old Left Right paradigm. We now live in an era defined by increasing Corporate influence and authority over the individual. These two “interest groups” – I can barely suppress snorting derisively over that phrase – have been on a headlong collision course for decades, which came to a head with the financial collapse and bailouts. Where there is massive concentrations of wealth and influence, there will be abuse of power.  The Individual has been supplanted in the political process nearly entirely by corporate money, legislative influence, campaign contributions, even free speech rights.

This may not be a brilliant insight, but it is surely an overlooked one. It is now an Individual vs. Corporate debate – and the Humans are losing.

Full article here: www.ritholtz.com


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Ass Backwards: Senate to Shelve Bush Tax Cuts for Individuals; House to Pass Small Business Tax Cuts

Ass Backwards: Senate to Shelve Bush Tax Cuts for Individuals; House to Pass Small Business Tax Cuts

Courtesy of Mish

If ever you want to see tax policies that are ass backwards, look no further than two Congressional tax bills, one should pass but may not even get a vote, the other is seriously misguided but will pass anyway.

Senate Democrats Ready To Shelve Tax Cut Vote

TPM reports Senate Dems Ready To Shelve Tax Cut Vote

A senior Senate Democratic aide told TPM today there won’t be a vote on extending the Bush tax cuts in the upper chamber before the November election, a blow to party leaders and President Obama who believed this would have been a winning issue.

"Absent a stunning turn of events, we’re not going to do tax cuts before the election," the aide told TPM.

"We have a winning message now, why muddy it up with a failed vote, because, of course, Republicans are going to block everything," the aide said.

Aides for two senators in tough bids have suggested they would take the plunge and vote before the election, but they’d prefer to vote if it means the tax cuts extension could actually be passed. And that’s not counting the conservative Democrats who disagree with the majority of the caucus about where the threshold should be — and lean toward a higher than $250,000 in income definition of the middle class.

Politics as Usual

The irony is both parties are blaming each other and both parties are to blame. Certainly the Democrats should have enough votes to pass something given they have a majority. I highly doubt the Republicans would filibuster a tax cut proposal this close to election.

However, Democrats might not have the votes because of defections. Senate leaders fear those defections, and do not want to risk Democrats being blamed.

Another, perhaps more likely alternative is that Democrats believe a "winning message" (blaming Republicans) is better than "winning action".

Either way, taxpayers will suffer.

Contrary to the what the Democratic fools believe, I think people will blame incumbents not Republicans for failure to pass something. Thus, Republicans have every incentive to do the wrong thing, short of a filibuster.

The bottom line is the same. Nothing gets done, and both parties are to blame.

Year End Cliff Gamble on 2% of GDP

I did not think it would…
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TLP: Bitter, Party of One

TLP: Bitter, Party of One

Courtesy of Jr. Deputy Accountant 

tea party

You have to think someone’s worried to reach way back to Westward Expansion to make a (weak) political point. But, hey, the Democratic National Committee is paying Tim Kaine to do something.

Still, is this really the way to react to the Tea Party surge?

The Huffington Post:

"What we’re seeing in the Republican Party is that they invited the Tea Party in and it’s turning into the Donner Party, in some instances, because they’re turning the energy and the ferocity against each other," said Kaine in response to a question by the Huffington Post, referring to the infamous group of 19th-century American pioneers who eventually had to turn to cannibalism to survive. He added that the divisions have given Democrats "some great opportunities in races that we wouldn’t have absent the Tea Party candidates."

I don’t know. My recollection is that the Donner Party waited until people weredead to eat them. Seems like this is something more like the Darwin Party, where the strong survive and the weak go home. Or whine like bitches.

And, hey, doesn’t seem like it was that long ago that the Democrats complained incessantly that the GOP’s "Big Tent" claim was B.S. Maybe it was. Hard to make that argument now, even if the tent is full of party crashers.


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TLP: ‘What’s All This Dirt Doing in the Yard?’

TLP: ‘What’s All This Dirt Doing in the Yard?’

Courtesy of Jr. Deputy Accountant 

lobbyists

Lobbying is typically thought of as a game of influence. Can you get paid to get someone to do what you want them to do, even if you don’t give a shit if they do it or not. These days, as the political winds look to be shifting, lobbying includes a bit of gambling.

NYT:

With Democrats in danger of losing control of Congress, some prominent lobbying shops, trade groups and contractors are already moving to bring more Republicans on board to bolster their political fortunes.

Lobbyists, political consultants and recruiters all say that the going rate for Republicans — particularly current and former House staff members — has risen significantly in just the last few weeks, with salaries beginning at $300,000 and going as high as $1 million for private sector positions.

“We’re seeing a premium for Republicans,” said Ivan H. Adler, a headhunter for the McCormick Group in Washington who specializes in placing lobbyists. “They’re the new ‘It’ girl.” …

If Republicans succeed in regaining control of the House and perhaps even the Senate, firms seeking influence over federal policies are looking to gain an edge by tacking toward the right. That will become particularly important, they say, if Republicans try to roll back some of the major initiatives in health care, business regulation and other areas that Democrats have pushed through Congress in the last year.

You may have seen this movie before.


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TLP: It’s Not Easy Being Green

TLP: It’s Not Easy Being Green

Courtesy of Jr. Deputy Accountant 

green party

If this is a dirty trick, bring it on. And more, please.

NYT:

Benjamin Pearcy, a candidate for statewide office in Arizona, lists his campaign office as a Starbucks. The small business he refers to in his campaign statement is him strumming his guitar on the street. The internal debate he is having in advance of his coming televised debate is whether he ought to gel his hair into his trademark faux Mohawk.

Mr. Pearcy, 20, is running for a seat on the Arizona Corporation Commission, which oversees public utilities, railroad safety and securities regulation. Although Mr. Pearcy says he is taking his first run for public office seriously, the political establishment here views him as nothing more than a political dirty trick.

Mr. Pearcy and other drifters and homeless people were recruited onto the Green Party ballot by a Republican political operative who freely admits that their candidacies may siphon some support from the Democrats. Arizona’s Democratic Party has filed a formal complaint with local, state and federal prosecutors in an effort to have the candidates removed from the ballot, and the Green Party has urged its supporters to steer clear of the rogue candidates.

“These are people who are not serious and who were recruited as part of a cynical manipulation of the process,” said Paul Eckstein, a lawyer representing the Democrats. “They don’t know Green from red.”

But Steve May, the Republican operative who signed up some of the candidates along Mill Avenue, a bohemian commercial strip next to Arizona State University, insists that a real political movement has been stirred up that has nothing to do with subterfuge.

“Did I recruit candidates? Yes,” said Mr. May, who is himself a candidate for the State Legislature, on the Republican ticket. “Are they fake candidates? No way.”

Predictably, the Democrats whine, calling the process deceitful. One former Democratic legislator, who lost a re-election bid after a Green Party candidate got in the race, said such candidates should align themselves with "the party they’re interested in" if they want to run.

Maybe they do. Maybe that party is the Green Party or the Tea Party or whatever. Maybe a little more strategizing, campaigning, speechifying, debating, doing the fucking job of putting yourself out there would bring about different results.

Politics shouldn’t be


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GOP: The Old Muppet Hecklers in the Balcony

Very good points in the ongoing, unproductive battles between the democrats and republicans.  No wonder the homeless Green party candidates may really have a chance.  Not that there’s anything wrong with having Starbucks as your office. – Ilene 

GOP: The Old Muppet Hecklers in the Balcony

Courtesy of Joshua M. Brown, The Reformed Broker 

I’ve so thoroughly trashed President Obama’s economic policies and failed stimulus attempts recently that I fear I may be giving readers the wrong impression…the Dem’s are only one half of the Economic Death Squad that now pretends to offer leadership in this country.

The GOP is probably 2/3rds responsible for the credit crisis to begin with (chain-sawing rulebooks will do that) and its current leadership has been equally pathetic in terms of bringing solutions to the table for joblessness and weak business activity.  Unless of course you consider the Rain Man-esque repetition of "more tax cuts" as an example of innovative thinking.

So it should surprise nobody that Obama’s $50 billion infrastructure stimulus speech in Milwaukee today was panned within milliseconds of its conclusion by House Republican leader John Boehner.  As if there were any chance that Boehner would even listen to the address for any reason other than to know what it is that he is against.

The GOP’s constant kneejerk rejection of economic ideas simply for the sake of Saying No has as much to do with our current malaise as anything being done wrong in the White House.  The newly-minted fiscal conservatives on the Republican side of the aisle, many of whom are themselves responsible for the $3 trillion and counting Iraq War, are like the old men who heckle the Muppet Show from the balcony.

It’s naysaying for naysaying’s sake at this point and I hope voters will remember that their favorite Republican All-Stars are equally complicit in the crime that is 15 million unemployed 3 years into a recession. 


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Zero Hedge

Europe's Expensive Climate Club And Its Detractors

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Authored by Tilak Doshi via Forbes.com,

The EU published a whole raft of additional climate policies on July 14th with its long-awaited “Fit for 55” package to make Europe carbon neutral by 2050. It included its most contentious plank – the carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM).  O...



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Phil's Favorites

Gamblers bet more when in the dark: feedback can curb their online losses

 

Gamblers bet more when in the dark: feedback can curb their online losses

Courtesy of Ben Newell, UNSW; Robert Slonim, University of Technology Sydney, and Swee-Hoon Chuah, University of Tasmania

Online wagering is the fastest-growing segment of gambling in Australia. It’s a trend of particular concern because losing money through online brokering and betting apps is associated with higher rates of gambling-related harm than other types of ...



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Digital Currencies

What are stablecoins? A blockchain expert explains

 

What are stablecoins? A blockchain expert explains

Stablecoins promise more stability than other cryptocurrencies. DenBoma/iStock via Getty Images

Courtesy of Stephen McKeon, University of Oregon

Stablecoins are a type of cryptocurrency linked to an asset like the U.S. dollar that doesn’t change much in value.

The majority of the dozens of stablecoins that currently exist use the dollar as their benchm...



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Biotech/COVID-19

Here's why the CDC recommends wearing masks indoors even if you've been fully vaccinated against COVID-19

 

Here’s why the CDC recommends wearing masks indoors even if you’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19

Signs like this may become more common as localities consider CDC guidelines. Mario Tama/Getty Images

Courtesy of Peter Chin-Hong, University of California, San Francisco

Vaccinated people need to mask up again, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. On July 27, 2021, the CDC recom...



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Politics

Bipartisan infrastructure deal begins to address consequences of a warming planet: 3 essential reads

 

Bipartisan infrastructure deal begins to address consequences of a warming planet: 3 essential reads

A lot of coastal infrastructure wasn’t designed for the frequent flooding and crashing waves brought by rising seas. Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Courtesy of Bryan Keogh, The Conversation and Stacy Morford, The Conversation

...



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Chart School

Investing with Channels - Review

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

The US has a lot of debt, to sell more units of the debt to non US buyers the FED and Treasury must get the unit price of the debt down.



This video assumes a 'risk on' bullish bias into the Nov 2022 US mid terms. The bias assumes a US dollar trending down from it current high price of $93 on the DXY.






 


 




Chart 1 - US Dollar Channels




 

Click for popup. Clear your browser cache if image is not showing.


 



...



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Promotions

Free Webinar Wednesday: July 7, 1:00 pm EST

 

Don't miss Phil's Webinar on July 7 at 1:00 pm EST. It's FREE and open to all who wish to join.

Click here: 

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6552545459443187211

Join us to learn Phil's trading tactics and strategies in real-time!

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Crude Oil Cleared For Blast Off On This Dual Breakout?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Is Crude Oil about to blast off and hit much higher prices? It might be worth being aware of what could be taking place this month in this important commodity!

Crude Oil has created lower highs over the past 13-years, since peaking back in 2008, along line (1).

It created a “Double Top at (2), then it proceeded to decline more than 60% in four months.

The countertrend rally in Crude Oil has it attempting to break above its 13-year falling resistance as well as its double top at (3).

A successful breakout at (3) would suggest Crude Oil is about to mo...



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ValueWalk

Managing Investments As A Charity Or Nonprofit

By Anna Peel. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Maintaining financial viability is a constant challenge for charities and nonprofit organizations.

Q4 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

The past year has underscored that challenge. The pandemic has not just affected investment returns – it’s also had serious implications for charitable activities and the ability to fundraise. For some organizations, it’s even raised doubts about whether they can continue to operate.

Finding ways to generate long-term, sustainable returns for ...



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Mapping The Market

Suez Canal: Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

 

Suez Canal: Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

Courtesy of Marcus Lu, Visual Capitalist

The Suez Canal: A Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

On March 23, 2021, a massive ship named Ever Given became lodged in the Suez Canal, completely blocking traffic in both directions. According to the Suez Canal Authority, the 1,312 foot long (400 m) container ship ran aground during a sandstorm that caused low visibility, impacting the ship’s navigation. The vessel is owned by Taiwanese shipping firm, Evergreen Marine.

With over 2...



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The Technical Traders

Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling System Suggests Market Peak May Be Near

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Our Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling system is suggesting a moderate price peak may be already setting up in the NASDAQ while the Dow Jones, S&P500, and Transportation Index continue to rally beyond the projected Fibonacci Price Expansion Levels.  This indicates that capital may be shifting away from the already lofty Technology sector and into Basic Materials, Financials, Energy, Consumer Staples, Utilities, as well as other sectors.

This type of a structural market shift indicates a move away from speculation and towards Blue Chip returns. It suggests traders and investors are expecting the US consumer to come back strong (or at least hold up the market at...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia - The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

 

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia – The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

Courtesy of Lee Adler, WallStreetExaminer 

The numbers of new cases in some of the hardest hit COVID19 states have started to plateau, or even decline, over the past few days. A few pundits have noted it and concluded that it was a hopeful sign. 

Is it real or is something else going on? Like a restriction in the numbers of tests, or simply the inability to test enough, or are some people simply giving up on getting tested? Because as we all know from our dear leader, the less testing, the less...



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Insider Scoop

Economic Data Scheduled For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • Data on nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate for March will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • US Services Purchasing Managers' Index for March is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET.
  • The ISM's non-manufacturing index for March will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.
...

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