WC Varones

Don't lend your hand to raise no flag atop no ship of fools

If you panicked and sold stocks at the open this morning...



... you've got a big dump in your pants!  This is CVS, the drug store, which some idiots blew out at $87 or lower this morning.  Same thing happened with lots of other stocks and even the whole market to a lesser degree.

Demon Sheep: the Legend of Carly Fiorina

Those of you outside California probably never saw this ad, which was the talk of the state during the 2010 Senate primaries.



Fiorina got a lot of "WTF?" reactions to the ad, but I thought it made a good use of silliness and hyperbole to make serious points about her opponent's record.

Carly Fiorina's business record

After tonight's JV debate, Carly Fiorina is the new black.  I've followed Fiorina's career for years, read books on the Hewlett-Packard board battles, and seen Fiorina speak at a small event.

From what I've gathered, Fiorina was an outstanding saleswoman who talked her way up the corporate ladder.  She exudes confidence and competence.  But her management record is highly questionable.  Here's the stock price performance of HP during her tenure, along with the S&P 500, the Nasdaq, and old-tech peers IBM, Microsoft, and Intel for comparison (click the image to enlarge).



Hewlett-Packard underperformed the indexes and its peers from the time of Fiorina's hiring until she was forced out by the board for poor performance. Is this just an issue of short-termism, and was Fiorina's decision to take on billions in debt to acquire Compaq a brilliant long-term strategic move? Hardly. Here are the longer-term results. Hewlett-Packard remains underwater to this day, after its peers have long since rebounded.



Talk to any HP employees who were there during Fiorina's tenure. She was widely disliked, largely due to the mass layoffs and the destruction of the H-P culture. But shareholders fared just as badly.

Yes, she's a great debater, using the same excellent speaking skills that brought her to the top of corporate America. But, Republicans, don't think her mediocre management history won't be an issue if she's on the ticket.



Carbon isn't pollution





It's a natural element, and one of the basic building blocks of life on Earth.

And no, you can't "stop" carbon emissions without exterminating every animal on Earth.

Redefining clean, natural air as "pollution" is exactly what Orwell warned us about:
“Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thought-crime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed will be expressed by eactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten. . . . The process will still be continuing long after you and I are dead. Every year fewer and fewer words, and the range of consciousness always a little smaller. Even now, of course, there's no reason or excuse for commiting thought-crime. It's merely a question of self-discipline, reality-control. But in the end there won't be any need even for that. . . . Has it ever occcured to you, Winston, that by the year 2050, at the very latest, not a single human being will be alive who could understand such a conversation as we are having now?”

― George Orwell, 1984

Honey, they shrunk the OJ

What the F is 59 fluid ounces?



Thanks, Zimbabwe Janet!

He's talking about you, Old Man McCain, and your little girlfriend Lindsey too

Rand Paul points out that Republican hawks created ISIS by arming the terrorists in Syria and supporting Hillbama's destruction of Libya.
ISIS exists and grew stronger because of the hawks in our party who gave arms indiscriminately and most of those arms were snatched up by ISIS. These hawks also wanted to bomb Assad which would have made ISIS’s job even easier. They created these people. ISIS is all over Libya because the same hawks in my party loved Hillary Clinton’s war in Libya, they just wanted more of it. But Libya is a failed state and a disaster, Iraq really is a failed state or a vassal state now of Iran, so everything they’ve talked about in foreign policy they’ve been wrong about for 20 years and yet they somehow have the gall to keeping saying and pointing figures otherwise.
Indeed.


Honoring America's fallen

... Obama Style!





No that's not a parody account. It's the official Twitter account of the Democratic Party.

Don't say she didn't warn you


I'd never seen Millenial spokesfigure Lena Dunham before her appalling "voting for Obama is like losing your virginity" ad (and long before her even more appalling rape hoax).

But perusing Amazon Prime tonight, I found the pilot of her show, "Girls." The first scene is actually a moderately amusing lampoon of the spoiled, entitled, perpetual victim mentality that Dunham has come to represent.  Watch the brief clip here.

The parody became the self.

Hillary Clinton, call your office


Indebted college dropout in hole, keeps digging

Portland Press-Herald:
Hardest hit: College students who never finish school

When Kat Ragot, 42, accepts her diploma for a bachelor of arts degree Saturday from the University of Maine at Machias, she will finish a journey that began 25 years ago and left her nearly $40,000 in debt.

While fellow classmates who graduated from her first college, Carnegie Mellon University, went on to enjoy successful careers, Ragot dropped out, then struggled to make ends meet while working a series of low-paying jobs and raising two children on her own. She defaulted on her student loans, but later restored her credit so she could borrow more money and return to school.

She needs that college degree, she says, so she can get a better-paying job and climb out of the financial hole she has fallen into.

“There’s no way around it,” she says of her lingering debt. “It’s kind of like a mortgage. The payoff will ultimately be more security – and that’s a debt worth taking on.”
What in-demand career is Kat taking on more debt to prepare for?  Engineering? Computer Science? Nursing?

Nope. Fine Arts. Performance Art. Good luck with that! I hear Broadway and Hollywood have a severe shortage of middle-aged theatre majors.

Lest we forget: bonds are for dicks.

November 23, 2012, with the 10-year Treasury at 1.69%:


Today:
U.S., European and Japanese bonds fell as governments in some of the biggest markets sell debt amid a rout in fixed-income securities.

The global selloff is intensifying after already pushing U.S. yields to the highest level this year and driving Germany’s 10-year yield 14 times higher in less than a month. The U.S. plans to auction $24 billion of three-year notes Tuesday, the same amount of 10-year securities Wednesday and $16 billion of 30-year bonds May 14.

The S&P 500 is up 57% since November 23, 2012 and yields 3% on your cost that day.

So much for that consumer windfall from cheap gas


How's that new SUV working out for ya?
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