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Random Thoughts for a Thursday

The “Dump Biden” Talk

Honestly, I don’t get it.

Admittedly, the guy is a walking, talking , 24-hour gaffe machine, but any sort of dismissal at this stage of the game would do more harm than anything Biden could say or do short of a “LBDG*” situation.

The DC political press already goes into “DOOM!” mode for any campaign that loses a staffer for any reason whatsoever.  We had a headache to deal with in 2010 during the Senate race when our first campaign press secretary had to leave to get knee surgery done and it was painted as if the campaign was in full upheaval for a day or two by the JS.  (Though, the replacement we got in Sara Sendek was a godsend.)

Can only imagine what the hell would happen if you dumped the Vice President of the United States on the re-election ticket?

* LBDG = Live boy, dead girl.

Vikings Lower the Threshold for “Sellout” at the Humpty Dump.

When is a “sellout” not a “sellout?”

When you have 10,000 empty seats at the Metrodome.  ESPN’s NFC North Blog explains:

The Vikings announced they had reduced their “ticket manifest” at the Metrodome, for the purposes of the television rule, by 10 percent. That equates to about 6,000 seats, according to the team, and by my math means the Vikings will need to sell about 54,000 tickets per game to avoid a local blackout instead of 60,000.

The stadium’s actual capacity hasn’t changed and stands at around 64,000 seats.

The Vikings haven’t had a game blacked out locally since 1997, but in recent years they’ve needed help from local sponsors or been forced to buy back tickets themselves to avoid them. Outside of the usual division opponents, this year’s home slate isn’t that exciting with games against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, St. Louis Rams, Arizona Cardinals and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

A bad football team and higher than average ticket prices than the rest of the division will do that for you.

Facebook – The IPO Nightmare Continues to Get Worse

Looks like some of the millionaires on paper are a bit upset they’re actually thousandaires in reality.

Facebook stock hit a new intra-day low of $19.69 Thursday morning, and ended the day 6.3 percent lower at $19.87.

About 22 million shares changed hands in the first 10 minutes of trading, and by the end of the session that volume soared to nearly 157 million shares. About 271 million shares are newly eligible for sale Thursday.

Like many initial public offerings, Facebook’s May 18 debut debut included a “lockup” agreement that requires some shareholders to hold on to their stock for a certain period — typically 90 to 180 days. Lockups are meant to prevent the market from being swamped with too many of a company’s shares immediately after an IPO. Keeping stocks scarce can help boost their value.

But when a company’s locked-up shares are set free, the stock typically tanks, since millions of new shares flood in at once. Facebook has already lost nearly half its value since its debut.

Facebook’s fellow newly public Internet companies felt the pain when their lockups ended. LinkedIn slumped as much as 7 percent on its lockup expiration day, and Groupon fell 10 percent to hit a new low.

Yes, but this is just the first of a multi-stage “Lockup” that was to keep the social network’s employees in line from selling.  Employees are said to possess almost 2 billion shares.  That’s a lot of paper — much of it not worth what it was said to be valued at initially — to be out in the market.

Paul Ryan’s Secret Weapon on Medicare: His Own Mother

Ryan hits Florida this weekend, in tow will be his own mother, who’s a retiree on Medicare herself.

Mr. Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican who is the House Budget Committee chairman and Mitt Romney’s running mate, will appear at The Villages, a sprawling retirement development (pop. 51,000) in Central Florida, with his mother, Betty Douglas, who is in her late 70s and lives in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea when she’s not in Janesville, Wis.

Mr. Ryan’s plan to revamp Medicare – to prevent the health care program for the elderly and disabled from becoming insolvent — would let seniors buy health coverage from private insurance companies as an alternative to Medicare, with the government contributing toward the premium.

Florida, the nation’s biggest swing state, has a treasure trove of senior voters, many of whom are skeptical of any plan that would change their health care coverage.

I’ve had to tell my own parents countless times that the Ryan plan won’t effect them.  My dad, with his heart transplant, is naturally the one most worried about it.

Then again, he was worried Medicare was going to deny him the heart transplant six years ago.  My gut tells me under “ObamaCare” it would  have been…unless IPAB gives new hearts to diabetic, 67 year-old men with congestive heart failure with the same frequency.

Something tells me a D.C.-based bureaucrat would deem that “high risk.”

CNN Officially Calls Wisconsin a “Toss Up” State

What took them so long?  NBC’s political shop has never moved it to “Lean Democratic,” like CNN did.

CNN Thursday turned the important battleground state of Wisconsin from “lean Obama” to true “toss up” on its electoral map, in the wake of Mitt Romney’s naming of House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, a seven term congressman from the Badger state, as his running mate.

One contributing factor behind CNN’s move was a new poll that matched two others from last week that indicate that the presidential contest in Wisconsin is close. While Ryan’s announcement did not dramatically alter the presidential poll numbers in Wisconsin, it did change the way both campaigns viewed the state of the race in the state.

New polling from Rasmussen has Romney up one in Wisconsin.  That one is of likely voters.

New polling from CNN has Obama up four in Wisconsin.  That one is of registered voters.

Ump Makes Mets Pitcher Cut Off “Friendship Bracelets” Made for Him by his Daughters

So a pitcher can be weighed down with enough neck jewelry to stop a small child from jumping, but allow a small child to make her father jewelry with a couple of pieces of strings and all of Major League Baseball is destroy?

Talk about your varying degrees of  absurdity.

Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey was on the receiving end of a seemingly unreasonable request on Wednesday night when pitching against the Cincinnati Reds.
Home plate umpire James Hoye decided that he hated fun or something, and marched out to the mound in the second inning Wednesday night. Moments later, Dickey motioned over to the Mets dugout and called on the training staff to bring out some scissors.
That’s because Hoye decided it was imperative to the game’s integrity to force Dickey to take off his friendship bracelets.
Those friendship bracelets were made for Dickey by his daughters, so there’s that.
Technically speaking, it was the right decision, at least when it comes to abiding by the rule book. However, they were also worn on his left wrist (his glove hand) and they would never be described as colorful. In other words, there is no way they could have been a distraction.

I’ll remember what a crock this was the next time I’m watching K-Rod readjust the “bling” around his neck before a pitch.

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