Bloggers lifestyle miami

Lifestyle Bloggers of Miami 1. Cassidy Brown @cassidayy. Cassidy is a fashion and lifestyle influencer from the Miami area. She is showing off her love of travel and fashion as she gets to live that model life. She’s the dog mama to fur baby Fendi who sometimes gets to travel with her and even be involved in the photo shots. Ria Michelle. Miami is at the forefront of fashion, and Ria Michelle is a successful influencer who knows how to dress to impress. She shares photographs covering fashion, lifestyle and travel with 24,800 followers on Instagram, using self-branded hashtags such as #livelikeria to stay connected with fans. Top bloggers keep thing exciting and entertaining just like their South Florida home. ... and the Miami Marlins beat the Phillies 8-1 to ... food, lifestyle and fashion and there is something to ... Reach thousands of authority bloggers and social media influencers in your domain area. Feedspot has over 100k Influential Bloggers database classified in more than 1500 niche categories. ... Miami About Blog The Rebel Chick - Miami Lifestyle Blogger is a website full of fun! You'll find the latest in food, travel, entertainment and technology. A South FLORIDA community of female bloggers, YouTubers, and Instagrammers in fashion, beauty, lifestyle, food, and decor. Online and in-person events in Miami, FL. Bi-Monthly exclusive and intimate meetups in Miami. Type of Instagram: Fashion/lifestyle. Why she is killing it: This Miami-based bloggers page is without a doubt a lifestyle #goals page. Beautiful lavish outfits, boats, and fabulous nights out on the town. Hit 'follow' for more. A Miami Lifestyle Blog by Evelyn Torres - A Latina Blogger. Coronavirus and quarantine have been a nightmare for many people all across the world.

Hotel Takeover Cancelled - Podcast-A-Palooza now Virtual

2020.08.06 02:14 Swinging-Downunder Hotel Takeover Cancelled - Podcast-A-Palooza now Virtual

Hey sexy reddit friends,
Some of you may be aware of our hotel takeover that was planned in Miami and some might not. We have made the decision to cancel our event after discussion with our legal team, local council authorities and consideration of the impact on the community.
We did an update on twitter if anyone wants to see it
However, we have decided to launch 2 virtual events in August and October this year in order to provide some conversation and a place for the community to hang out. These are centered around lifestyle content creators like podcasters and bloggers and we also have CNM licenced councelors, yoga sessions, mingle hours and DJ sets.
An online virtual event for curious couples and singles. Come and hang out with sex positive, non-monogamous content creators. Come and hang out over 3 days with 7 sex positive content creators sharing classes, content and hosting non-monogamous panels.
Our event will kick off Friday 28th August 2020
Ask questions, learn about how they approach the non-monogamous lifestyle, connect with like-minded couples and singles & have a bit of virtual fun.
We know it's not the 'real thing' however it is the only thing we can do safety right now. We'd love you to consider coming and being part of our 3 day virtual event.
Tickets and information - https://podcast-a-palooza.com/buy-now/
Cost is $25 and 10% of all funds raised goes to the Coalition of Sexual Freedom
https://preview.redd.it/vk9v5q1kx9f51.png?width=1024&format=png&auto=webp&s=a39c5690bc24230a8daf5529e72587ede1125560
Please note; our virtual event is not meant as an online play session between couples/singles, it's more about edutainment, coming together, learning and mingling so there are no virtual playrooms.
Drop me a message if you have any questions
xx
C
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2020.02.10 21:00 DangerDylan [Monday, 10. February]

World News

Anti-Putin blogger has his throat slit in a hotel room after vocally opposing the Russian President
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In a watershed moment for the Oscars, Bong Joon Ho’s South Korean thriller “Parasite” becomes the first non-English language film to win best picture
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German Supermarket Saves Over 2,000 Tons of Food By Reselling Items Other Stores Won't
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All news, US and international.

"You wouldn't think you'd go to jail over medical bills": County in rural Kansas is jailing people over unpaid medical debt
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A California man who made it his mission to track down the hit-and-run driver who killed his wife and mother of their eight children led police to an 85-year-old suspect, who was arrested
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Video appears to show Oklahoma jail staff ignoring pleas from dying inmate
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Reddit Science

Nearly half of middle-aged Americans are unsure if they’ll be able to afford health insurance after retirement according to a new study of data from the National Poll on Healthy Aging. More than 18% had avoided seeking care, or had not filled a prescription, because of cost in the past year.
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The risk of ADHD was 34 percent higher in children whose mother had a vitamin D deficiency during the first and second trimesters of pregnancy. The study included 1,067 children born between 1998 and 1999 diagnosed with ADHD and the same number of matched controls.
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China probably faked its organ transplant data with a simple quadratic formula.
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/Technology

FBI is investigating more than 1,000 cases of Chinese theft of US technology
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US charges 4 Chinese military members in Equifax breach
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Bill Gates orders £500m hydrogen-powered superyacht
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Sadly, this is not the Onion.

'I don’t understand how you can be a pedophile and keep your job’: 12-year old asks NHC School Board
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Bride, groom expect guests to sit through timeshare presentation as part of destination wedding
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Utah sends employees to Mexico for lower prescription prices
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Ask Reddit...

People who can fall asleep within 8 seconds of their head hitting their pillow: how the fuck do you fall asleep within 8 seconds of your head hitting your pillow?
Comments
What healthy food tastes just as good as unhealthy food?
Comments
At a party you meet drunken Elon Musk who hands you his phone with Twitter open, says "do your worst" and goes to the bathroom. What do you tweet?
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Sysadmin

No text in 95% of Windows
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Piss Poor Implementation
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Microsoft Update.
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Microsoft SQL Server

70-761 test
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Monitor Hardware via SSRS
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Extended Events: Histogram Output
Comments Link

PowerShell

Windows - User Access Logging
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need to learn more about Powershell
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Looking for some technical advice
Comments

Functional 3D Printing

3d printed form in vase mode + epoxy resin infill = custom shiftknob
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Since they always seem to go missing, I designed and printed an organizer for KitchenAid mixer attachments.
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Designed an organizer, really for anything small enough to fit in it. I was surprised I actually got the fit I wanted first try.
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Data Is Beautiful

[oc] I sat by a fire and recorded what people said
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[OC] The relationship between karma and upvotes depends on what sub you post on and how quickly you get upvoted
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All Oscars 2020 Nominees and Winners [OC]
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Today I Learned (TIL)

TIL The man credited with saving both Apollo 12 and Apollo 13 was forced to resign years later while serving as the Chief of NASA when Texas Senator Robert Krueger blamed him for $500 million of overspending on Space Station Freedom, which later evolved into the International Space Station (ISS).
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TIL a former Michelin Guide inspector said an inspector's life is lonely, underpaid drudgery, driving around France for weeks on end, dining alone, under intense pressure to file detailed reports on strict deadlines, the guide had become lax in its standards, & some famous chefs are "untouchables".
Comments Link
TIL that there is a monument called the"Georgia Guidestones" that contain instructions on how to rebuild the world after an apocalypse in 8 different languages. It also serves as a sundial, calendar and a compass.
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So many books, so little time

Research shows that 27% of US adults have not read a book in the past year.
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Unpopular opinion I guess: I'm glad I was assigned books in english class.
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Have you ever emailed authors and how often did they reply?
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OldSchoolCool: History's cool kids, looking fantastic

Johnny Cash on the set of Sesame Street, 1973
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Sofia Vergara Pre-Fame at Miami Beach, Early 1990s.
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Two more pics of my mom. Around 1962.
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aviation

Beautiful.
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The jet blast from a Su-27 is no joke.
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Took hours to draw
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Reddit Pics

Keanu Reeves brought his mom to the Oscars
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I can smell this photo.
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2 Jokers, 2 Oscars
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.gifs - funny, animated gifs for your viewing pleasure

The parched earth of the Namoi River bed, NSW, Australia, getting its first river flow in over 8 months
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This guy seeing Keanu Reeves at the Oscars
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Bong Joon Ho staring lovingly at his Oscar.
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A subreddit for cute and cuddly pictures

This little guy always bring dried seed to trade for some nuts
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Hands-free mode
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Awwooo
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submitted by DangerDylan to DangerDylanTLDR [link] [comments]


2019.07.17 22:31 pijinglish Part 4: A Timeline of Epstein, Trump, Sex Trafficking, and the Intelligence Community

EDIT: This was originally posted over at Keep_Track, but they decided it was still too conspiracy minded. Anyway, enjoy.
I'm posting this as a follow up to my posts last week, which have since been removed by the mods. While I might not agree with their decision, this post isn't intended to be an angry rebuttal. This is their sub, and I can understand why they felt my posts might not be appropriate for a sub that wishes to be taken seriously. I tried to acknowledge the links which I knew might be problematic, but that doesn't change the fact that, as sources, they remain problematic. That said, all three posts seemed to be generally well received, and I'd like to think they held some value even if they were admittedly highly speculative at times.
If you don't know what I'm talking about, I've reposted last week's posts on a different sub, and I'll link to them here if the mods don't mind. [Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 -- I'll wait for approval before linking.] This post, then, is my attempt to explain why I think an examination of this kind is necessary at the moment, and why I don't believe it to be a liberal version of Pizzagate. I promise I'm not trying to skirt the rules or to somehow make this about me, but I don't think I really clarified a few important points that I should have.
First off, I followed Pizzagate right from the start. (Searching through Reddit comments is a nightmare, but here's one quick thread I was involved in around the time the story broke. Here's another.) I'm originally from DC myself, and I actually know several people who helped open Comet Pizza back in 2006. They were bartenders, kitchen staff, and servers, and I spent a fair amount of time there after hours while my friends closed up. My friends' bands played there, we had birthday parties there, even my grad school graduation party was held there. So when I first heard the allegations I was pretty shocked, but then it became pretty clear pretty quickly that it all looked like bullshit. The story has been pretty roundly debunked by this point, so I don't think I need to get into that. How, then, is this different? The most important difference, in my mind, is the origin of the story.
In the case of Pizzagate, there wasn't really a coherent starting point. It likely originated on 4chan and was then amplified based on wishful thinking and intentional propaganda, despite the fact that there were no known victims. I'll get into that a bit more in a few. My posts last week were, I admit, highly speculative. The idea that Trump and Epstein have been involved in a sex trafficking ring with links to the intelligence community seems absurd. But I wasn't speculating based on something I pulled from thin air. I was speculating based on comments made by the Secretary of Labor, regarding his time as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. Whatever our opinions are of Acosta, he's not some random neckbeard on 4chan, and these are his words about why he decided to cut a deal with Epstein:
“I was told Epstein ‘belonged to intelligence’ and to leave it alone."
That's a really, really strange claim. I think it deserves to be examined, but I'm not sure how we go about doing that when both the subject matter and circumstances of the claim are so utterly bizarre that they defy belief. Whether they ultimately have any merit is still completely up in the air, but given their source, and given the fact that there are dozens of actual victims who have given testimony implicating both Epstein and Trump, individually and together, of committing sexual assault and rape on both adults and adolescents, we might give Acosta's claims a closer look. But in order to do so we have to wrap our minds around some really unbelievable ideas. That was what my posts last week were trying, albeit clumsily, to accomplish.
In Part 1, I wanted to establish that yes, the CIA had dabbled in prostitution and sexual blackmail. (I should have probably also mentioned Russia's reliance on kompromat, but for the most part I think that's more widely agreed upon by the people who frequent this sub.) I also wanted to establish that many of the people in Trump's circle in the mid-1970's and 80's were allegedly involved in various forms of sexual blackmail and child exploitation through modeling agencies. The rumors about Roy Cohn existed long before Trump ever entered the picture as a political figure.
And while I mentioned Roger Stone as a "dirty trickster", I failed to mention that, according to Business Insider:
(01/25/2019) Everything we know about the 'Manhattan Madam', who moved out of the New York duplex she shared with Roger Stone a week before the FBI raided it:
New York's notorious "Manhattan Madam" has come back into the limelight. Kristin Davis, who was known for running a high-end prostitution ring in the 2000s, is a close associate to Roger Stone, who was arrested in the Russia investigation on Friday on charges that he lied to Congress and obstructed the probe. Davis, who shared a New York duplex with Stone, told CNN that the FBI called her at 6 a.m. on Friday and told her they had a search warrant for the residence. ...Kristin Davis started her career working at a hedge fund. She claimed that by the end of her stint, she was senior vice president of operations for a $2 billion fund. ...In her time working in finance, she said she was asked to book escorts for her bosses. It was from here that she decided to set up her own agency.
According to the Washington Post: (08/10/2018) How an ex-madam, a political trickster and a toddler got tangled up in the Russia investigation
Davis and Stone have been friends since 2008. She says she met him when they appeared together on a radio show following her release from New York’s Rikers Island jail, where she’d served several months on a charge of promoting prostitution. Stone called her, she says, and declared: “You’re brilliant. Can we talk about what you’re going to do with your life?” Davis, a poised and articulate speaker who has touted her business acumen, had a compelling backstory, one with natural appeal to Stone, a bon vivant with a long-established reputation for taking delight in all things salacious who sometimes quips that he is “tri-sexual. I’ve tried everything.” ...In her late teens, she says, she was already working in the finance industry, eventually becoming a vice president at an East Coast hedge fund in her early 20s. She noticed how highflying finance types celebrated by hiring prostitutes. Sensing a business opportunity, she opened a high-end prostitution service in New York. ...Davis has claimed repeatedly that Eliot Spitzer, the former New York governor, was one of her frequent clients, using the code name “James” while he was serving as the state’s attorney general. She dedicated a full chapter in her book to those allegations. Spitzer has vigorously denied the claims. He declined to comment. Davis was arrested and sent to Rikers in 2008, the same year that Spitzer, who was never charged with a crime, resigned as governor after the New York Times reported that he’d patronized the Emperors Club VIP, another high-priced prostitution service.
That's all salacious enough, but even more pertinent to the point of this series of posts: back in 2010, The Atlantic reported: (10/13/2010) Meet the Leader of Eliot Spitzer's Smear Campaign
On Fox TV and at the New York Post, a peculiar detail is the subject of endless fascination: Did Eliot Spitzer, ex-governor of New York and newly minted CNN show host, really insist on wearing knee-high black socks during his encounters with high-priced escorts? A far more important question is this: Where did the story come from and why? The answer to that question is important because it reveals much about political bloodsport in this country and how the media are routinely manipulated by clever political operatives who are paid to attack their enemies by "leaking" damaging rumors in ways that quickly enter the mainstream media as fact. The tale of the Luv Gov's black socks was originally penned by Roger Stone, the amanuensis of the dark side and perhaps the Republican Party's best-dressed and most ruthless dirty trickster. He first introduced the hosiery motif in a letter he claims his lawyer -- Paul Rolf Jensen -- sent to the FBI, as a story heard, second-hand, from an off-work call girl at an "adult-themed club." (Don't you just love the detail?) Problem #1: The FBI never received the letter from Stone. Problem #2: Stone's letter -- dated prior to Spitzer's downfall -- only surfaced after Spitzer's downfall, leading some to wonder (because of problem #1 and because the address and the name of the agent/addressee were blacked out) if his letter had been back-dated to make it look as though he had sent it before the scandal. Problem #3: Mainstream media outlets all over the world -- including the NY Times and the Miami Herald -- give credence to the black socks story, even though it was based on a rumor or hallucination originated by Stone. Stone had a motive to plant the story because he had been paid to embarrass the governor. First, former NY State Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno hired Stone for $20,000/month to take on Spitzer. With Stone's help, Bruno turned everyone's attention away from his own corruption -- using state aircraft and vehicles to go on personal fund-raising trips -- and toward an attack on Spitzer for "spying" on Bruno. (The "spying" consisted of releasing public records of Bruno's state-paid travel.) In his enthusiasm to take on the Sheriff of Wall Street, Stone left an obscene message, which is included in my new film, Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer, on the voicemail of Spitzer's father. "The voice does sound eerily like me," a smiling Stone told me in an on-camera interview. But, even though the call originated from his phone number, Stone denies it actually was him, claiming a "rogue unit" of the NY State Police "under Spitzer's control" had pasted together recordings of his voice. (I recall wondering what tapes might have been used to put together phrases like "your phony, psycho, piece-of-shit son.") When Bruno was forced to fire Stone over the incident, Stone found other sponsors to pay him to stay on the Spitzer attack detail. According to Stone, his paymasters were "wealthy Republicans." Fortune's Peter Elkind, who contributed critical reporting to the film and is the author of the book Client 9, found evidence that Stone had bragged to a South Florida blogger that the "wealthy Republicans" -- called "The Group" -- were organized around a coordinating operative, Republican lobbyist Wayne Berman, and financiers including former AIG Chairman Hank Greenberg and Home Depot financier Ken Langone -- all major-league Spitzer haters. (Stone denies this.) Mysteriously, before anyone could even imagine Spitzer's spectacular fall, Stone was predicting it in cryptic emails and telegrams. "Eliot's going down," he told Rich Baum, the secretary to then Gov. Spitzer, in an email. While there is no doubt that Spitzer provided the weapon and the ammunition for his own political demise, did Stone play the role of the hit man? ...[T]he sexual hypocrisy of "family-values Republicans," as evidenced by Newt Gingrich, David Vitter (who ordered prostitutes during congressional roll call votes), John Ensign, Mark Sanford, Bob Livingston, etc., doesn't interest Stone for a simple reason: He is a paid political assassin who targets Democrats. ...So let's sum up: Stone helped take down Spitzer, contrived the black socks story to keep him in disgrace, hired an ex-madam to corroborate the story and then convinced newspapers and TV shows -- seduced by the fun of it all -- to act as confirming sources. And who is Roger Stone advising now? Carl Paladino, the Republican candidate for NY Governor, the would-be replacement for the man Stone takes credit for taking out. Kaching!
And despite all this, it might still be beside the point had Stone not been a constant and important presence in Trump's life right up to and through the 2016 presidential campaign. And once Stone was ousted, he was simply replaced by Stone's old business partner, Paul Manafort, who had an apartment in Trump Tower and would be accused by his own daughters of forcing their mother into non-consensual gangbangs. Unlike Pizzagate, which was baseless, we can see that highly influential people in Trump's sphere were repeatedly accused of the kinds of behavior that give plausibility to the claims of sex trafficking and blackmail.
In Part 2, I detailed a couple of conspiracy theory-like scandals in the 1980's that alleged links between the GOP and child sex trafficking. I won't reiterate them here, but my point wasn't to try to connect either Trump or Epstein to those particular conspiracies, rather to point out that at the time they were both coming up in the world, many of the people they were or would be surrounded by were implicated in these accusations. I also detailed early rape allegations against Trump, and his decision to focus on modeling agencies with less than sterling reputations. (The Guardian published "The Full List" on 6/24/2019) Trump has now famously said in 2002 that he'd known Epstein for "15 years", which places their friendship as starting around 1987. This means that Epstein's career skyrocketed from math teacher to partying with Donald Trump in about a decade. By 1992, Trump seems to have understood Epstein's tastes well enough that he knew what kinds of parties to throw for him: two guys who don't drink, and 28 very young women.
Just a few days ago, New York Magazine published this:
(07/11/19) Real Hedge-Fund Managers Have Some Thoughts on What Epstein Was Actually Doing
Epstein’s spotty professional history has also drawn a lot of attention in recent days, and Kass says it was one of the first things that raised his suspicions years ago. Now 66, Epstein didn’t come from money and never graduated from college, yet he landed a teaching job at a fancy private school (“unheard of,” says Kass) and rose through the ranks in the early 1980s at investment bank Bear Stearns. Within no time, Kass notes, Epstein was made a partner of the firm — and then was promptly and unceremoniously ousted. (Epstein reportedly left the firm following a minor securities violation.) Despite this “squishy work experience,” as Kass puts it, at some point after his quick exit, Epstein launched his own hedge fund, J. Epstein & Co., later renamed Financial Trust Co. Along the way, he began peddling the improbable narrative that he was so selective he would only work with billionaires. Oddly, Epstein also claimed to do all the investing by himself while his 150 employees all worked in the back office — which Kass says reminds him of Madoff’s cover story. Though it now appears that Epstein had many fewer employees than he claimed, according to the New York Times: Thomas Volscho, a sociology professor at the College of Staten Island who has been researching for a book on Mr. Epstein, recently obtained [a 2002 disclosure] form, which shows [Epstein’s] Financial Trust had $88 million in contributions from shareholders. In a court filing that year, Mr. Epstein said his firm had about 20 employees, far fewer than the 150 reported at the time by New York magazine. Given this puzzling set of data points, the hedge-fund managers we spoke to leaned toward the theory that Epstein was running a blackmail scheme under the cover of a hedge fund. How such a scheme could hypothetically work has been laid out in detail in a thread on the anonymous Twitter feed of @quantian1. It’s worth reading in its entirety, but in summary it is a rough blueprint for how a devious aspiring hedge-fund manager could blackmail rich people into investing with him without raising too many flags. Kass and former hedge-fund manager Whitney Tilson both emailed the thread around in investing circles and both quickly discovered that their colleagues found it quite convincing. “This actually sounds very plausible,” Tilson wrote in an email forwarding the thread to others. “He somehow cajoled these guys to invest,” says Kass, speaking of hypothetical blackmailed investors who gave Epstein their money to invest, but managed to keep their names private. The fact that Epstein’s fund is offshore in a tax haven — it is based in the U.S. Virgin Islands — and has a secret client list both add credence to the blackmail theory. So what did Epstein do with the money he did have under his management, setting aside the questions of how he got it and how much he had? One hedge-fund manager speculates that Epstein could have just put the client money in an S&P 500 index fund, perhaps with a tax dodge thrown in. “I put in $100 million, I get the S&P 500 minus some fees,” he says, speaking of a theoretical client’s experience. Over the past few decades, the client would have “made a shitload” — as would Epstein. A structure like that wouldn’t have required trading desks or analysts or complex regulatory disclosures. Kass has kicked around a similar idea: Maybe Epstein just put all the client money in U.S. treasuries — the simplest and safest investment there is, and the kind of thing one guy actually can do by himself. If the blackmail theory sounds far-fetched, it’s worth keeping in mind that it was also floated by one of Epstein’s victims, Virginia Roberts Giuffre. “Epstein … also got girls for Epstein’s friends and acquaintances. Epstein specifically told me that the reason for him doing this was so that they would ‘owe him,’ they would ‘be in his pocket,’ and he would ‘have something on them,’” she said in a court affidavit, according to the investigative series in the Miami Herald that brought the case back to the public’s attention late last year. In the 2015 filing, Giuffre claimed that Epstein “debriefed her” after she was forced into sexual encounters so that he could possess “intimate and potentially embarrassing information” to blackmail friends into parking their money with him. She also said photographic and video evidence existed — an assertion that looms especially large now that federal investigators have found a trove of images in Epstein’s home safe.
And The Miami Herald recently published this:
(07/14/2019) Epstein scandal explodes in Israel as ties to former prime minister under scrutiny
Jeffrey Epstein’s arrest is reverberating in Israel, where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his right-wing Likud party are calling for a criminal probe into former prime minister Ehud Barak’s personal and business ties with the accused sex trafficker, Israeli media is reporting. Barak, 77, served as prime minister from 1999 to 2001. This month he formed a new party to run for prime minister against Netanyahu, who called for new elections in September. Once political allies, Barak and Netanyahu have been sparring on social media, with Netanyahu producing a video raising Barak’s relationship to the multimillionaire New York financier, and Ohio billionaire Les Wexner, who has given money to Barak, the Times of Israel reported.
In Part 3, I listed the numerous allegations against Trump and Epstein, many of which are well known by now but some of the lesser known ones -- like Trump's decision to put 13 year old Ivanka under the control of a modeling agency whose owner, John Casablancas, was known to rape his underage models -- may have been new to some people. Given Trump's long and uncomfortable track record of sexualizing Ivanka, and Casablancas' own record of sexualizing his underage daughter, the decision is deeply unsettling. That, plus the fact that Trump likely met Casablancas through Roy Cohn, and had known Epstein's madam, who had her own potential ties to various intelligence agencies, and you've got a weird web worth looking at. Conclusive? No, but hard to ignore.
The timing of the Wikileaks drop that released the Podesta emails which would be mangled to come up with fake codewords that formed the basis of the Pizzagate rumors is well known: the same day Trump's "grab 'em by the pussy" tape was made public. Among the many pieces of "evidence" used to discredit the Podestas was their weird art collections -- a strange detail that proved little, yet was repeated often, even while not one victim had made any kind of accusation. Additionally, the artist Marina Abramovic, would also be dragged into it, allegedly as a depraved cannibal. Nothing came of any of it, even while the right claimed it #confirmed the conspiracy. Meanwhile:
(07/11/2019) The Décor in Jeffrey Epstein’s NYC Townhouse Is the Stuff of Nightmares
The Times cites a lot of design nonsense in a recent piece about the townhouse, but the single piece of information that will go down in infamy is that Epstein possesses a mural depicting “a photorealistic prison scene that included barbed wire, corrections officers and a guard station, with Mr. Epstein portrayed in the middle.” He reportedly commissioned it a few years ago, and now it’s displayed somewhere on the second floor. R. Couri Hay, a public-relations specialist who visited Epstein’s home three months ago, told the Times he was invited for the express purpose of viewing the mural. “[Epstein] said, ‘That’s me, and I had this painted because there is always the possibility that could be me again,’” said Hay. This is likely a reference to the 18-month jail sentence Epstein served (but only 13 months of it) as part of a 2008 plea deal that allowed him to avoid federal charges and, potentially, a lifetime of imprisonment. Though Epstein was accused of molesting dozens of underage girls at his Palm Beach property, he was allowed to plead guilty to a mere two counts of soliciting prostitution from a minor. ...The home featured a “life-size female doll hanging from a chandelier.” ...A 2003 Vanity Fair piece on the townhouse described the entrance hall as decorated with “row upon row of individually framed eyeballs … imported from England.” ...According to one visitor who spoke to the Times, there’s a chessboard at the bottom of the staircase that is hair-raising in its commitment to creeping people the fuck out. Each of its customized figurines is modeled after one of his staffers and “dressed suggestively.” ...Vanity Fair’s 2003 report also contains a detail about a stuffed black poodle in Epstein’s study. It’s situated atop a grand piano and Epstein has reportedly pointed it out to visitors, telling them “No decorator would ever tell you to do that … But I want people to think what it means to stuff a dog.”
(07/09/2019) Jeffrey Epstein’s Latest Accuser Is an Artist Who Claims the Billionaire Sex Offender Lured Her in With Promises to Help Her Career
Among the latest accusations are those made by 49-year-old Maria Farmer, who, in an affidavit filed in April, claims that Epstein leveraged her dreams of becoming an artist to lure her into his web. She says that Epstein went on to sexually assault both her and her younger sister, who was 15 at the time.
I could go on, but my point is that, unlike Pizzagate (which, if Im going to make any accusations myself, looks convincingly to me like an attempt to get ahead of the real story through disinfo), there are real victims here. The claims of Epstein's involvement with intelligence agencies doesn't come from the back corners of the internet, but from the prosecutor of the case itself.
(07/10/2019) THE EPSTEIN SCANDAL IS GIVING QANON EVERYTHING PIZZAGATE COULDN’T
“The broadest grievances of the QAnon community revolve around corrupt elites who are untouched by the justice system, covered-up child abuse, and sex trafficking,” said Travis View, a researcher who hosts a podcast about QAnon. “Part of the promise of the QAnon is that these injustices will be corrected soon. You can see how the credible allegations and arrest of Jeffrey Epstein ticks all these boxes.” ...“The problem, which is typical of QAnon, is that they make outlandish claims that unnecessarily go beyond the evidence,” said View. “In the case of Epstein, they absurdly claim that Epstein Island contains secret underground tunnels in which children were abused and sacrificed. This is an echo of the satanic panic of the 80s, in which preschools were baselessly accused of containing tunnels used for hiding child abuse.” [Note: In Part 2 I mentioned The Franklin Coverup, which in my opinion managed to garble instances of actual child abuse with nonsense about satanic cults. QAnon also manages to make Epstein's actual child abuse seem outlandish and implausible.] ...In addition to the child sex trafficking conspiracy, QAnon posits that the Russia investigation was actually a front — and Trump and special counsel Robert Mueller are in cahoots to bring down the sex ring. Any day now, they believe, Mueller will unseal thousands of pending federal indictments against celebrities and high-ranking officials. QAnon began in October 2017 when “Q” (in reference to the highest government security clearance available) posted a cryptic message on 4chan, referencing equally cryptic remarks by Trump at a photo op with military personnel. At the appearance, the president warned about an impending “calm before the storm” — which has since become a slogan associated with Q. It’s often been described as a spinoff from the Pizzagate conspiracy, which posited that then-candidate Hillary Clinton and Democrat officials were running a child trafficking ring below the Comet Ping Pong pizza restaurant in D.C. The Pizzagate theory, which spread quickly via social media, inspired a man to drive six hours from North Carolina, armed with an AR-15, which he fired upon arrival. Nobody was hurt, but the incident was a tangible reminder that fake news and conspiracy theories can inspire real-world violence.
As my previous posts were blowing up, I mentioned that I intended at some point to make a post like this about Clinton's connection to all this. I have my own theories, but I think it's worth examining and I certainly hope that people smarter and more qualified than myself are looking into it. (I have included an edit in my repost of Part 3 that includes info on questions around Jane Doe's testimony as well as Ghislaine Maxwell's presence at Chelsea Clinton's wedding.) But there are so, so many connections between Trump and Epstein and various people accused of sexual blackmail going back decades that it's hard to ignore.
Additionally, Courthouse News reports:
(07/16/2019) Prosecution of Child-Sex Traffickers Plummeted Under Trump
For many victims, last week’s incarceration of sex offender Jeffrey Epstein represents belated justice after more than a decade of impunity and governmental complicity. Beneath that gloomy surface, however, an even darker picture emerges: federal prosecutions of those who trafficked children for sex dropped 26.7% over the last year. The startling numbers appeared Tuesday in a report from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. “If the present pace of such prosecutions continues, the fiscal 2019 total will be 162, compared to 221 last year,” TRAC’s report states. The Obama administration dramatically ramped up such prosecutions, climbing threefold from 85 cases in 2009, the year the 44th president took office, to more than 260 during his final year in the White House. While those prosecutions held steady in the first year under President Donald Trump, TRAC’s analysis of Justice Department data says they have taken a dramatic plunge every year since. “Compared to five years ago, the estimate of FY 2019 prosecutions of this type is down 32.2 percent, from 239,” the study says. “However, prosecutions over the past year are still much higher than they were ten years ago, up 90.6 percent from the 85 reported in 2009.”
Meanwhile, the right is relying on stuff like this:
(07/09/19) Conspiracy Theorists Seem Perplexed by a Photo of Obama and Clooney. Here’s What It Shows
A common tactic among purveyors of misinformation is to hint at lurid or explosive claims by “just asking questions” about otherwise mundane pieces of evidence. Twitter user @WinstonConvefe employed this strategy in July 2019 in posting a photograph of President Obama and actor George Clooney on a boat with a purported child, along with a series of questions suggesting that something nefarious had just occurred
[Can you imagine Q's response if R Kelly had been arrested in a building owned by Clinton or Obama? EDIT: Or if Obama had moved dozens of migrant teenage girls near his private resort?]
EDIT 2: (07/16/2019) WAPO: Trump’s tweets are a distraction for something else he doesn't want us to see
While Trump was doubling down on his controversial tweets, Epstein was attending his bail hearing. At the hearing, prosecutors revealed that the contents of a locked safe in Epstein’s Manhattan mansion allegedly included diamonds, cash — and a bogus and outdated passport with Epstein’s photograph, a different name and an address in Saudi Arabia. Coincidence? Maybe. But, really? What’s clear is that Trump wants to distance himself from Epstein, whom he knew socially, as photos have captured . In one instance, they were reportedly the only two male guests at a party attended by a bevy of young women. That’s a pretty intimate bromance. It’s also clear that the very private Epstein has received very special treatment despite his illegal activities, including the 2007 non-prosecution agreement negotiated by outgoing labor secretary Alexander Acosta, who on Friday agreed to step down after reports detailed his role in the sweetheart deal when he was a U.S. attorney in Miami. The bogus passport opens a Pandora’s box of questions. Who knows what Epstein was up to? Who else might be implicated? All those diamonds and cash suggest that Epstein was prepared to leave suddenly. Who knows? Somebody. Maybe several somebodies. But 2020 is a long way off — and anyone who was ever connected to Epstein must be sweating grenades about now.
Right now I don't think we have a clear idea of who exactly is blackmailing who or why or for how long it may or may not have been going on, but we might have to re-evaluate what we think we know in order to actually make sense of it all.
I hope the links provided in this post meet the standards of this sub. [EDIT: It didn't.]
I don't know how we're supposed to proceed. We live in interesting times.
submitted by pijinglish to ConspiracyII [link] [comments]


2018.10.29 17:10 suchapain Trump’s Culture Warriors Go Home - Politico Magazine

They were poised to storm Washington. Then America stopped caring.
In February of this year, at the close of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington, the pro-Trump blogger Mike Cernovich trekked to the Capitol Hill townhouse that serves as the personal headquarters for former White House adviser Steve Bannon. The inconspicuous brick building, once the unofficial Washington bureau for Breitbart News, had grown into an unlikely center of political gravity during the presidency of Donald Trump. Now out of the White House, the president’s former chief strategist was still holding court there for a steady stream of journalists, donors and activists.
Cernovich was there to vent. Seated at the long dining-room table where Bannon hosts visitors, he complained that Trump had stopped sticking up for his most loyal supporters. He mentioned some public altercations at which anti-fascist demonstrators had assaulted Trump fans. While the president seemed to have plenty of time to engage in feuds with celebrities on Twitter, Cernovich griped, Trump had remained silent on those violent attacks. So had, Cernovich noted, “that sleepy elf,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “You can’t wear a MAGA hat and not get a brick thrown at your head,” he said.
Following the meeting, Cernovich, a regular fixture in the capital during the first year of the Trump administration, walked out into the dusk, strolled past the Supreme Court and took out his phone to begin livestreaming to his followers about other subjects. He has not been back to Washington since.
Two years ago, Cernovich was an indefatigable Trump cheerleader, among the most prominent of a small vanguard of Trumpist culture warriors who trolled their way from the fringes of the right-wing internet to real-world relevance. Loosely lumped together as the celebrities of the “alt-right”—a label most of them have since disavowed—they hailed from different corners of the web and professed different views, but they were united by a shared disdain for progressives and establishment Republicans, and a shared faith that the disruptive outsider named Donald Trump could usher in the change they believed America needed.
Once unleashed in Washington, they harbored dreams of taking over the Republican Party and pushing American popular culture sharply rightward. And at a moment when it seemed that anything was possible in American politics, it looked like this group of fringe web firebrands just might be able to harness the right’s anti-establishment energy into a muscular and profitable movement.
No longer. Halfway into Trump’s term, the president has settled into power, remaking the office in his own attention-sucking style and pushing the national conversation in directions it hasn’t taken in generations. But his most flamboyant supporters, who once planned to overrun Washington, find themselves in retreat. Milo Yiannopoulos, the former Breitbart tech editor and right-wing campus provocateur, has lost his book deal, the sponsorship of his billionaire patrons and most of his staff. Charles Johnson, the online alt-right activist who alarmed the public by attending this year’s State of the Union address as a guest of freshman Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz, has quit social media. Lucian Wintrich, the inaugural White House correspondent for the Gateway Pundit, a pro-Trump outlet with a penchant for publishing fake news and conspiracy theories, has been dumped by the site and returned to New York. The white nationalist Richard Spencer, organizer of 2017’s alt-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, has given up his residence in Alexandria, Virginia, and is living on a family property in Montana, where he is plotting a move to an undisclosed location.
As for Cernovich—a right-wing men’s empowerment blogger who saw Trump as the counterweight to political correctness and establishment conservatism—he’s become disillusioned with politics and increasingly critical of the president. These days, he spends most of his time on other pursuits, including the “Gorilla Mindset” lifestyle-coaching practice he runs from his home in southern California. In September, he tweeted glumly, “There’s no Wall. She’s not locked up. But Flynn got fired and sent to wolves. And Sauadi [sic] Arabia sold weapons of murder. I give zero f-cks about Republicans losing the House.”
What happened? It turns out that under Trump, not everything was possible after all. After riding the president’s coattails into a hostile capital with dreams of revolution, the original Trump vanguard found there were limits to its influence both in the White House and in a GOP that had little taste for its members’ fringe pasts. Demoralized and disappointed with the president, they now squabble among themselves; their stunts no longer shock the public as much as they once did, and some have been barred from the internet platforms that helped bring them fame in the first place.
That’s not to say that all is over for these culture warriors. Many of the currents that pushed these figures to the forefront of the zeitgeist—cultural polarization, anti-establishment fury and the incentives of social media stardom—remain as strong now as they were in 2016. And as they recede from the scene, there are plenty of new faces, some more palatable to mainstream tastes, stepping up to replace them.
In retrospect, the first signs of trouble appeared the week of Trump’s inauguration. That’s when 1,000 supporters walked into a room at the National Press Club to attend the “DeploraBall,” an unofficial victory party for the president’s motley band of online fans.
...
A more prominent torch-bearer is 25-year-old Charlie Kirk, the founder of Turning Point USA, a nonprofit aimed at instilling conservative values in college students. Kirk is a favorite of right-wing donors worried about campus leftism, and in the Trump era, he has deftly pivoted his organization from Koch-style free-market advocacy to a more nationalist, culture-war take on politics—so far, without visibly hurting his donor support.
But even as more palatable culture warriors like Kirk come to the fore, the cadres of 2016 have not given up. Cernovich continues to prosecute his longstanding grudge against the mainstream media, drawing attention to journalists’ embarrassing old tweets and working on a documentary about “fake news.” Politically, he has found his eyes wandering leftward, where he says the president’s shocking 2016 overthrow of the establishment has paved the way for this year’s progressive challengers. “If you look at Trump and you think he’s a buffoon, you say, ‘Well, goddamn it, anything really is possible,’” Cernovich says. “He opens the American dream up to all these women and minorities and Muslims.” In particular, Cernovich says that even though he rejects her politics, he has become an admirer of the democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who became a national sensation when she upset incumbent New York Congressman Joe Crowley in a Democratic primary in June. “She just slaughtered fucking Crowley, just slaughtered the machine, and now she’s like the ‘it’ girl,” he says. “I like to watch peak human achievement.”
Gavin McInnes maintains that the Proud Boys are stronger than ever, despite the account’s suspension from Twitter in August after the platform deemed them an “extremist group.” “We actually have fulfilling political lives outside of the video game that is Twitter,” he says. He claims membership has grown from 3,000 at the beginning of 2017 to 10,000 as of September, when hundreds of Proud Boys “got shitfaced and partied” at the group’s “West Fest” summit in Las Vegas. The summit featured two onstage weddings, live boxing and an awards ceremony with categories such as “best fighter” and “best gay.” Yiannopoulos, who has been living in Miami while putting out a podcast, flew in for the summit. At one point, he put on a dreadlock wig and unsuccessfully attempted to claim the title of “best black.” In October, McInnes and the Proud Boys made national headlines when the group was involved in violent clashes with Antifa demonstrators on both coasts in the same weekend.
From his current perch in Montana, Spencer says he is planning to move to an undisclosed location and continue his work. He says he is currently trying to build a payment processing system that will allow him to resume raising money online (PayPal has blocked payments to his think tank), while he bides his time and plots a comeback from his exile. For now, he is waiting for the right opportunity. “Sometimes not doing anything and just meditating and being patient and letting history develop a little bit, that seems to be the better option,” he says.
As for Johnson—who was banned from Twitter in 2015 after the platform determined he had threatened a Black Lives Matter activist, then migrated to an alt-right imitator called Gab—he has now quit social media altogether, citing security concerns and a belief that social media use is unhealthy. Currently based in California, he says he is operating by the motto “discreet and elite,” and he maintains relationships with several lawmakers, including Gaetz, who is close to Trump, and Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, a California Republican. Johnson is considering moving outside the United States.

This isn't the the entire article. There is a lot of text where I put in the '...'
On topic for culture war and Milo. No gamergate mention in this article though.
submitted by suchapain to GGdiscussion [link] [comments]


2016.11.16 11:29 AutoNewspaperAdmin [Lifestyle] - Fashion bloggers' must-have fall trends Miami Herald

[Lifestyle] - Fashion bloggers' must-have fall trends Miami Herald submitted by AutoNewspaperAdmin to AutoNewspaper [link] [comments]


2016.04.19 15:55 coffee-for-closers Part 2: Valeant ($VRX) Due Diligence: "2015-2016: Lots of Investors Balking in Little Time" (xpost from /r/stocks)

Valeant ($VRX): Due Diligence and Analysis

Schedule

Monday, April 18, 2016 (posted here)

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Introduction (again)

This is a primer about Valeant ($VRX). It will expire and become obsolete upon the release of updated Valeant financial statements, which could happen any day, though is supposed to happen before the 29th of April. Right now, this is a guide into possibly taking advantage of the uncertainty around Valeant, which has depressed the stock.
Valeant ($VRX) is probably the only time that I have seen /investing, /wallstreetbets, and buy side research like Morningstar actually agree with one another. Morningstar rates it as 5 stars as of this release date (April 19, 2016). This is so infrequent that it is like having an alignment of the planets.
When I see overlapping worlds get excited, I immediately want to know the story. Over a weekend, I began pulling together all of the different sources and piecing together as much as I could in a limited amount of time.
It is not intended as a replacement for commentary by a CFA (which can be found here, (subscription required)), rather, it is a quick and dirty attempt to explain, in ordinary language, what the company does, how it makes money, who are the players involved, and what are some catalysts for its past fall and its future rise.
If you want to dig deeper and do more homework, this will kick it off. Use my work in addition to your own work or methods, and let's make some money. We are all trying to figure this one out before things are released, and where there's uncertainty, there's always opportunity.

Thesis

My position is to buy before the catalysts. Once catalysts mentioned here in Part 1: The Basics start to happen, uncertainty will be removed. When uncertainty is removed through management changes, realignments of strategy, asset sales, cost cutting, etc., a depressed stock can have significant upward pressure.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International

Due Diligence, Installment 2

2015-2016: Lots of Investors Balking in Little Time

Five Big Catalysts for the Stock's Plunge

Between 2015-2016, the stock plunged from $262/share (August 2015) to $33/share, where it is today (April 2016). That's an almost 90% loss. Morningstar's analyst, Michael Waterhouse, says the stock's fair market value is worth $115/share. What happened?
There are many catalysts that seem to have happened at the same time to drop the price of the stock. Here are a few of the big ones that are often most discussed by journalists and bloggers.
As the thesis goes, when these catalysts have played themselves out and/or public opinion becomes disinterested, uncertainty is removed. When uncertainty is removed, VRX could have significant upward pressure.
Reason 1: Pearson, Canny or Just Clueless?
Valeant CEO J. Michael Pearson, as a result of his previous superstar performance, 2008-2014, was slow to fall out of favor with management. However, after unplanned margin call stock sales to support his lifestyle), publicity about donating to charities but never paying), and a disastrous earnings and guidance call in March, among other things, Pearson burned through investor patience quickly.
Takeaway: Any Valeant investor should know that the people who have invested previously are angry at the outgoing bad management for the volatility and will tend to be negative about management until less volatility in management and less volatility in results can be delivered.
We'll cover Pearson in a bit.
Reason 2: Martin Shkreli Goes Viral
Shkreli was an employee of television host Jim Cramer's old firm Cramer, Berkowitz, and Co. when he first caught the ire of the SEC for shorting biotech. He began a pharma portfolio company in 2011, Retrophin, though was fired in 2014 and began the now-infamous Turing Pharmaceuticals.
In 2015, Shkreli went viral as the pharma exec who acquired and boosted the price of an HIV drug, Daraprim, by more than 5,556%. Going viral for raising the price of a drug launched him into the public eye and put him at the center of the American Healthcare Proxy Fight, described below, which then sucked in Valeant along with him.
Shkreli went from being unknown to being the "most hated man in America". In some ways, his own actions made this worse. When brought before a Congressional Hearing, Shkreli pleaded the fifth and tweeted that politicians are imbeciles.
The most remarkable thing about Shkreli, despite all of the bad press about him, is that he has a growing fan base. His self-produced YouTube channels featuring him doing tutorials in finance have earned him praise.
Shkreli has tweaked his media image, eventually coming to the conclusion that being transparent and accessible to the public through these tutorials could begin to change public opinion. His students may not all understand the business of pharma like he does, but they do get an understanding of the person behind the media.
Takeaway: Any Valeant investor should pay attention to how quickly public opinion can change through transparency.
Reason 3: Ongoing American Healthcare Proxy Fight
The American healthcare system is arguably in need of a lot of help. The affordability of healthcare for aging Baby Boomers has been a critical issue for years. On the other end of the age spectrum, struggling younger people (Millennials, Generation X) want reform because their expenses are also very high. The game involves a lot of power changing hands between a lot of powerful people, so it is no surprise that, aside from Obamacare, little progress has been made in decades.
This battle has been raging for a half century, and is often used as a proxy fight for stakeholders behind the scenes. Political parties, corporations, and everyone with a stake in how healthcare is regulated are all involved, and things get very dirty very quickly when public opinion is stoked.
A typical scenario is that politicians try to tackle the problem through the use of public shame of CEOs or companies to influence public opinion, as a sort of substitute for actually working together and introducing legislation to fix the system.
In contrast, Big Pharma fights back by influencing public opinion that government bureaucrats will only make things a lot worse and hinder improvements. One famous example was when then-First Lady Hillary Clinton fought for healthcare reform in the 1990s and was subject to significant amounts of lambasting in the media by the pharma industry with year-round television advertisements.
The point being, while the amount of outrage present during election years is often higher than normal, this fight has been going on for a very long time and occasionally flares up.
Takeaway: Any Valeant investor should understand that anger at American pharma tends to be cyclical -- a proxy war between two powerful factions -- and the public loses interest quickly once actual details emerge.
Reason 4: An American Presidential Election
As a side note to American Healthcare, there is an American presidential election happening currently. Politicians have been using populism, including outrage at established industries by candidates Trump and Sanders, as part of their platform.
Despite Hillary Clinton's favorable reception with Wall Street (Wall Street believes she will be the next president), Mrs. Clinton singled out Valeant because the price of the drug dihydroergotamine had risen 356%.
Takeaway: A Valeant investor should understand that the American presidential election will dominate the headlines until November 2016, and pharma is an easy target for politicians.
Reason 5: 'Perfect Storm' of Balking
When there is uncertainty in a company, the stock drops as investors balk and pull their money from the shares. As we continue on, it is worth noting that it doesn't matter what the actual story is:
In the story of Valeant, there was a lot of balking going on in a very short amount of time, and that cumulative uncertainty dropped the stock.
Takeaway: A Valeant investor should understand that the nervousness and volatility around the company comes from balking so much in such a short amount of time.

Pearson Goes Off the Deep End

Less than two years ago, Valeant's CEO, J. Michael Pearson, was an absolute superstar. Valeant had returned in excess of 2,300% since 2008. Yet, as the saying goes, a CEO is only as good as his or her last quarter. Pearson's downfall is often attributed to that superstar status becoming a little sloppy, a little arrogant, and a little distracted because of health issues. This led to a loss of control.
I've read a number of things condemning his lifestyle, his management, his compensation. A lot of it is overly negative and probably not true. We know he was absent for a while and hospitalized with pneumonia. We know he was in the wrong position at the wrong place during the wrong time when Martin Skreli was taunting the public. We know he likely approved using mail-order pharmacy Philidor to steer its customers toward more expensive, Valeant-made drugs. It could be anything or everything that made investor sentiment turn against him.
The Superstar Gets Sloppy
What's clear is Pearson was off his game. He started to buy things he couldn't afford. He would make donations to nonprofit foundations he couldn't actually pay for. He bought hi-rise real estate in Miami with money he didn't have. He would try to do things publicly to "juice" Valeant shares to try to get more money.
One lifestyle issue that ended up dropping the stock was when Pearson was borrowing money ("buying on margin") and buying Valeant stock circa October, 2015. As anyone who has ever done this knows, this goes well until the stock sinks. When the stock drops beyond a certain point, the broker will perform a "margin call" and the investor must pay cash.
Goldman Sachs issued a margin call on his stock holdings in October, 2015. Pearson couldn't pay. When the client cannot pay, the broker sells stock to pay. However, as the CEO of a public company, this selloff would be broadcast for everyone to see.
Unable to pay the margin call, to take payment Goldman Sachs forcibly liquidated 1.3 million of his shares. In the insider activity log, in fact, you can see where all this happened. Pearson's shares were sold and things got real really quick.
For a public company to have the CEO randomly selloff over a million shares, there's going to be repercussions and a shock to the system. Investors balk, asking, "What's wrong?"

The CFO and Philidor

A significant item of uncertainty swirls around the use of a mail-order pharmacy to fill prescriptions, Philidor. That relationship apparently made things complicated enough that Valeant's Annual Reports were delayed. As far as I can figure out, CFO Howard Schiller and possibly Pearson allowed Valeant to partner with Philidor for some prescriptions. It was Schiller, however, who ultimately took the heat for it and was fired.
The whole thing seems to have started out as an experiment where Valeant lent employees to Philidor for support. Eventually, things became too close, and Philidor started steering its customers away from cheaper generics and toward the more expensive Valeant brands.
It is worth noting that in some countries, particularly ones where the quality of generics is not trusted, this practice is acceptable. However, in American culture, this constitutes a conflict of interest in the public eye. Pharmacies should remain neutral.
Philidor Dumped, Walgreen's Brought In
This relationship was dropped in October last year after Martin Shkreli's story went viral and Valeant was launched into the public eye. A more proper (and palatable) relationship with a more traditional drug retailer, Walgreen's (Walgreens Boots Alliance ($WBA)), was formed.
Valeant threw Schiller under the bus publicly for the whole thing. Less so for the actual concept and more so because some of Valeant's deals had started to involve Schiller making decisions that were outside the realm of what he should have been making. Valeant says, generically, that he was fired for "inappropriate conduct". The CFO may have had a conflict of interest, but Schiller strongly denies any wrongdoing.
During the most recent earnings call, Pearson said that it is more important to move forward, noting that "well over 90% of our doctors who [were] using Philidor are now using Walgreen's".

Firing the Superstar

On March 21, 2016, the Board announced the final decision that Pearson, regardless of his legendary status in making the company what it had become, would be fired.
At this point, Pearson overplayed his hand, creating more volatility for the stock and uncertainty: he wouldn't leave. When that news was released, blogs were posting that the company was at the mercy of a rogue, out-of-control CEO.
It ultimately backfired for Pearson, because not only did he eventually lose his job, he has been called to do a Congressional Hearing about raising the prices of pharmaceuticals.
Thus, the Board (and by extension, the investors) eventually won. Pearson acquiesced and agreed to leave after a new CEO could be found.
Legendary hedge fund manager and shareholder activist Bill Ackman took the CFO Schiller's place on the Board, where he is today, becoming an active investor instead of a purely passive investor. Ackman will be discussed in the next installment.
Takeaway: Investors are betting that if the company can function reasonably with such volatile management, what it can do with good or even great management could be impressive.

Tomorrow: The Turnaround

There has been a lot of discussion around legendary hedge fund manager Bill Ackman and how he bet a billion dollars on Valeant, rode it to the bottom, and will now turn it around. We will cover who he is, where he's going, and why this may be his best performance yet.
submitted by coffee-for-closers to wallstreetbets [link] [comments]


2016.04.19 15:45 coffee-for-closers Part 2: Valeant ($VRX) Due Diligence: "2015-2016: Lots of Investors Balking in Little Time"

Valeant ($VRX): Due Diligence and Analysis

Schedule

Monday, April 18, 2016 (posted here)

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Introduction (again)

This is a primer about Valeant ($VRX). It will expire and become obsolete upon the release of updated Valeant financial statements, which could happen any day, though is supposed to happen before the 29th of April. Right now, this is a guide into possibly taking advantage of the uncertainty around Valeant, which has depressed the stock.
Valeant ($VRX) is probably the only time that I have seen /investing, /wallstreetbets, and buy side research like Morningstar actually agree with one another. Morningstar rates it as 5 stars as of this release date (April 19, 2016). This is so infrequent that it is like having an alignment of the planets.
When I see overlapping worlds get excited, I immediately want to know the story. Over a weekend, I began pulling together all of the different sources and piecing together as much as I could in a limited amount of time.
It is not intended as a replacement for commentary by a CFA (which can be found here, (subscription required)), rather, it is a quick and dirty attempt to explain, in ordinary language, what the company does, how it makes money, who are the players involved, and what are some catalysts for its past fall and its future rise.
If you want to dig deeper and do more homework, this will kick it off. Use my work in addition to your own work or methods, and let's make some money. We are all trying to figure this one out before things are released, and where there's uncertainty, there's always opportunity.

Thesis

My position is to buy before the catalysts. Once catalysts mentioned here in Part 1: The Basics start to happen, uncertainty will be removed. When uncertainty is removed through management changes, realignments of strategy, asset sales, cost cutting, etc., a depressed stock can have significant upward pressure.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International

Due Diligence, Installment 2

2015-2016: Lots of Investors Balking in Little Time

Five Big Catalysts for the Stock's Plunge

Between 2015-2016, the stock plunged from $262/share (August 2015) to $33/share, where it is today (April 2016). That's an almost 90% loss. Morningstar's analyst, Michael Waterhouse, says the stock's fair market value is worth $115/share. What happened?
There are many catalysts that seem to have happened at the same time to drop the price of the stock. Here are a few of the big ones that are often most discussed by journalists and bloggers.
As the thesis goes, when these catalysts have played themselves out and/or public opinion becomes disinterested, uncertainty is removed. When uncertainty is removed, VRX could have significant upward pressure.
Reason 1: Pearson, Canny or Just Clueless?
Valeant CEO J. Michael Pearson, as a result of his previous superstar performance, 2008-2014, was slow to fall out of favor with management. However, after unplanned margin call stock sales to support his lifestyle), publicity about donating to charities but never paying), and a disastrous earnings and guidance call in March, among other things, Pearson burned through investor patience quickly.
Takeaway: Any Valeant investor should know that the people who have invested previously are angry at the outgoing bad management for the volatility and will tend to be negative about management until less volatility in management and less volatility in results can be delivered.
We'll cover Pearson in a bit.
Reason 2: Martin Shkreli Goes Viral
Shkreli was an employee of television host Jim Cramer's old firm Cramer, Berkowitz, and Co. when he first caught the ire of the SEC for shorting biotech. He began a pharma portfolio company in 2011, Retrophin, though was fired in 2014 and began the now-infamous Turing Pharmaceuticals.
In 2015, Shkreli went viral as the pharma exec who acquired and boosted the price of an HIV drug, Daraprim, by more than 5,556%. Going viral for raising the price of a drug launched him into the public eye and put him at the center of the American Healthcare Proxy Fight, described below, which then sucked in Valeant along with him.
Shkreli went from being unknown to being the "most hated man in America". In some ways, his own actions made this worse. When brought before a Congressional Hearing, Shkreli pleaded the fifth and tweeted that politicians are imbeciles.
The most remarkable thing about Shkreli, despite all of the bad press about him, is that he has a growing fan base. His self-produced YouTube channels featuring him doing tutorials in finance have earned him praise.
Shkreli has tweaked his media image, eventually coming to the conclusion that being transparent and accessible to the public through these tutorials could begin to change public opinion. His students may not all understand the business of pharma like he does, but they do get an understanding of the person behind the media.
Takeaway: Any Valeant investor should pay attention to how quickly public opinion can change through transparency.
Reason 3: Ongoing American Healthcare Proxy Fight
The American healthcare system is arguably in need of a lot of help. The affordability of healthcare for aging Baby Boomers has been a critical issue for years. On the other end of the age spectrum, struggling younger people (Millennials, Generation X) want reform because their expenses are also very high. The game involves a lot of power changing hands between a lot of powerful people, so it is no surprise that, aside from Obamacare, little progress has been made in decades.
This battle has been raging for a half century, and is often used as a proxy fight for stakeholders behind the scenes. Political parties, corporations, and everyone with a stake in how healthcare is regulated are all involved, and things get very dirty very quickly when public opinion is stoked.
A typical scenario is that politicians try to tackle the problem through the use of public shame of CEOs or companies to influence public opinion, as a sort of substitute for actually working together and introducing legislation to fix the system.
In contrast, Big Pharma fights back by influencing public opinion that government bureaucrats will only make things a lot worse and hinder improvements. One famous example was when then-First Lady Hillary Clinton fought for healthcare reform in the 1990s and was subject to significant amounts of lambasting in the media by the pharma industry with year-round television advertisements.
The point being, while the amount of outrage present during election years is often higher than normal, this fight has been going on for a very long time and occasionally flares up.
Takeaway: Any Valeant investor should understand that anger at American pharma tends to be cyclical -- a proxy war between two powerful factions -- and the public loses interest quickly once actual details emerge.
Reason 4: An American Presidential Election
As a side note to American Healthcare, there is an American presidential election happening currently. Politicians have been using populism, including outrage at established industries by candidates Trump and Sanders, as part of their platform.
Despite Hillary Clinton's favorable reception with Wall Street (Wall Street believes she will be the next president), Mrs. Clinton singled out Valeant because the price of the drug dihydroergotamine had risen 356%.
Takeaway: A Valeant investor should understand that the American presidential election will dominate the headlines until November 2016, and pharma is an easy target for politicians.
Reason 5: 'Perfect Storm' of Balking
When there is uncertainty in a company, the stock drops as investors balk and pull their money from the shares. As we continue on, it is worth noting that it doesn't matter what the actual story is:
In the story of Valeant, there was a lot of balking going on in a very short amount of time, and that cumulative uncertainty dropped the stock.
Takeaway: A Valeant investor should understand that the nervousness and volatility around the company comes from balking so much in such a short amount of time.

Pearson Goes Off the Deep End

Less than two years ago, Valeant's CEO, J. Michael Pearson, was an absolute superstar. Valeant had returned in excess of 2,300% since 2008. Yet, as the saying goes, a CEO is only as good as his or her last quarter. Pearson's downfall is often attributed to that superstar status becoming a little sloppy, a little arrogant, and a little distracted because of health issues. This led to a loss of control.
I've read a number of things condemning his lifestyle, his management, his compensation. A lot of it is overly negative and probably not true. We know he was absent for a while and hospitalized with pneumonia. We know he was in the wrong position at the wrong place during the wrong time when Martin Skreli was taunting the public. We know he likely approved using mail-order pharmacy Philidor to steer its customers toward more expensive, Valeant-made drugs. It could be anything or everything that made investor sentiment turn against him.
The Superstar Gets Sloppy
What's clear is Pearson was off his game. He started to buy things he couldn't afford. He would make donations to nonprofit foundations he couldn't actually pay for. He bought hi-rise real estate in Miami with money he didn't have. He would try to do things publicly to "juice" Valeant shares to try to get more money.
One lifestyle issue that ended up dropping the stock was when Pearson was borrowing money ("buying on margin") and buying Valeant stock circa October, 2015. As anyone who has ever done this knows, this goes well until the stock sinks. When the stock drops beyond a certain point, the broker will perform a "margin call" and the investor must pay cash.
Goldman Sachs issued a margin call on his stock holdings in October, 2015. Pearson couldn't pay. When the client cannot pay, the broker sells stock to pay. However, as the CEO of a public company, this selloff would be broadcast for everyone to see.
Unable to pay the margin call, to take payment Goldman Sachs forcibly liquidated 1.3 million of his shares. In the insider activity log, in fact, you can see where all this happened. Pearson's shares were sold and things got real really quick.
For a public company to have the CEO randomly selloff over a million shares, there's going to be repercussions and a shock to the system. Investors balk, asking, "What's wrong?"

The CFO and Philidor

A significant item of uncertainty swirls around the use of a mail-order pharmacy to fill prescriptions, Philidor. That relationship apparently made things complicated enough that Valeant's Annual Reports were delayed. As far as I can figure out, CFO Howard Schiller and possibly Pearson allowed Valeant to partner with Philidor for some prescriptions. It was Schiller, however, who ultimately took the heat for it and was fired.
The whole thing seems to have started out as an experiment where Valeant lent employees to Philidor for support. Eventually, things became too close, and Philidor started steering its customers away from cheaper generics and toward the more expensive Valeant brands.
It is worth noting that in some countries, particularly ones where the quality of generics is not trusted, this practice is acceptable. However, in American culture, this constitutes a conflict of interest in the public eye. Pharmacies should remain neutral.
Philidor Dumped, Walgreen's Brought In
This relationship was dropped in October last year after Martin Shkreli's story went viral and Valeant was launched into the public eye. A more proper (and palatable) relationship with a more traditional drug retailer, Walgreen's (Walgreens Boots Alliance ($WBA)), was formed.
Valeant threw Schiller under the bus publicly for the whole thing. Less so for the actual concept and more so because some of Valeant's deals had started to involve Schiller making decisions that were outside the realm of what he should have been making. Valeant says, generically, that he was fired for "inappropriate conduct". The CFO may have had a conflict of interest, but Schiller strongly denies any wrongdoing.
During the most recent earnings call, Pearson said that it is more important to move forward, noting that "well over 90% of our doctors who [were] using Philidor are now using Walgreen's".

Firing the Superstar

On March 21, 2016, the Board announced the final decision that Pearson, regardless of his legendary status in making the company what it had become, would be fired.
At this point, Pearson overplayed his hand, creating more volatility for the stock and uncertainty: he wouldn't leave. When that news was released, blogs were posting that the company was at the mercy of a rogue, out-of-control CEO.
It ultimately backfired for Pearson, because not only did he eventually lose his job, he has been called to do a Congressional Hearing about raising the prices of pharmaceuticals.
Thus, the Board (and by extension, the investors) eventually won. Pearson acquiesced and agreed to leave after a new CEO could be found.
Legendary hedge fund manager and shareholder activist Bill Ackman took the CFO Schiller's place on the Board, where he is today, becoming an active investor instead of a purely passive investor. Ackman will be discussed in the next installment.
Takeaway: Investors are betting that if the company can function reasonably with such volatile management, what it can do with good or even great management could be impressive.

Tomorrow: The Turnaround

There has been a lot of discussion around legendary hedge fund manager Bill Ackman and how he bet a billion dollars on Valeant, rode it to the bottom, and will now turn it around. We will cover who he is, where he's going, and why this may be his best performance yet.
submitted by coffee-for-closers to stocks [link] [comments]


2015.10.25 20:15 ank1613 30 Teams in Less Than 30 Days: Mini Edition! PART III

Welcome to the third and final part of the 30 teams in less than 30 days.
These teams are good. Which have what it takes to take home the Larry O'Brian Trophy in 2016?
PART III
Warriors
Cap: -25M
1st Round Picks: Could swap to OKC (To PHI)
Acquired: Jason Thompson(Trade-PHI), Chris Babb(Trade-BOS)
Lost: David Lee(Trade-BOS)
Rookies: None
Overview: The Warriors spent the majority of the offseason making sure the whole world knew they were champions. It’s hard take a punch and punch back when the best you got is “Well... you… guys have a point guard who’s… cocky”.
Roasted.
Of course he's going to be cocky. Everyone has had that moment in pick up where the ball is hopelessly out of control in front of you and that voice in your head shouts "BE A HERO". Shot. Airball. Curry has that, but everything goes right. Every time.
The third winningest team in history pretty much sat back and let the tide shift around them with the exception of sending the talented but sparingly used David Lee to Boston. Golden State managed to stay incredibly healthy last season, but having two absolute snipers, a crazy person who can play every position, and a top flight defense could more easily reason success. The loss of Alvin Gentry as an assistant coach shouldn’t keep the Warriors from being right back in the later rounds of the playoffs in 2016.
Headline to Expect: Kerr on Tax Evasion Charges: “I Lied”
Cavaliers
Cap: -42.8M O_o
1st Round Picks: Own 1-10, 11-30 to PHX
Acquired: Mo Williams(Never Left), Richard Jefferson(FA), Austin Daye(FA), Jared Cunningham(FA), Sasha Kaun(FA)
Lost: Mike Miller(Trade in the dead of night-POR), Brendan Haywood(Trade-POR)
Rookies: None
Overview: It’s hard not to see the Cavs as the favorites to win the Eastern Conference. Despite injuries to two of their three headliners during the playoffs, their cyborg-dictator and all around good guy Lebron James proved that he’s capable of getting to the finals every year until it’s conclusively proven otherwise. Tristan Thompson held out for so long even basketball reporters started to think he was good. CBA rules in the end gave the Dan Gilbert no choice but to ensure his bench’s depth for the future.
Cleveland also has a nice little trade exception lurking in the shadows. If Dan Gilbert opts to trade for yet another salary for his books, the tax penalty will be laughably large. Good health and a slight reduction in minutes for Lebron puts the Cavaliers in good standing. It should be interesting to watch David Blatt improve throughout his second year.
There's no way the Cavaliers can avoid being one of the most fun to watch teams in the NBA. After picking up Timofey Mozgov, the Cavs only lost 3 games given they had Love, Irving and James available. When that isn't an option... more JR Smith. Win win.
Headline to Expect: (INSERT ANY PLAYER) Upset Over Possible Lebron Subtweets? “Idk He Just Seems Mad Okay?”
Spurs
Cap: -19.9M
1st Round Picks: Own
Acquired: David West(Fo Free?!), Lamarcus Aldridge(FA), Ray McCollum(Trade-SAC)
Lost: Cory Joseph(Deportation), Tiago Splitter(Trade-ATL)
Rookies: Boban Marjanovic(The land of make believe), Keifer Sykes (24), Youssou Ndoye. I feel like Popovich is just making these up.
Overview: The Spurs didn’t win the championship and therefore are being slept on, despite the acquisition of star PF Lamarcus Aldridge. I’m going to come off sounding like an absolute lunatic, but for so many years it’s been predicted the Spurs were going to get old that people finally accepted it as an impossibility. But what if Parker’s injuries linger, Manu and Tim finally hit that wall. IT HAS TO HAPPEN EVENTUALLY I FEEL LIKE I’M TAKING CRAZY PILLS.
The most well coached team in the league will enjoy another year of championship level expectations. A healthy Thunder team has given them trouble in the past, while Cory Joseph as and Tiago Splitter held important roles. Can Lamarcus Aldridge slip seamlessly into an organization that requires a daily dose of the Kool Aid?
Of course he will. Because the Spurs are the guy from high school that literally nothing ever went wrong for, and you’re like maybe under the surface he has some issues… but he doesn’t. Everything’s gravy for Todd isn’t it?
Headline to Expect: Spurs introduce program to pay players in currency only redeemable at practice facility.
Clippers
Cap: -28M
1st Round Picks: Own
Acquired: Wes Johnson(FA), Paul Pierce(FA), Cole Aldrich(FA), Josh Smith(FA), Pablo Prigioni(FA), Chuck Hayes(FA), Luc Mbah a Moute(FA), Lance Stephenson(Trade-CHA)
Lost: Spencer Hawes(Nice), Matt Barnes(Trade-CHA)
Rookies: None
Overview: The Clippers took the offseason to address the their biggest achilles heel- their uniforms.
Just kidding, their rebrand is the worst thing to happen to logos since the Pied Piper snack-dick incident. Contrary to popular belief, LA’s bench killed them in the postseason, not the inexplicable inability of one of the top PGs of all time to succeed in a specific playoff round. The Clippers added depth almost everywhere. GM Doc Rivers certainly did Coach Doc Rivers a favor signing Pablo Prigioni to take some heat off of Father Doc Rivers (Not A Priest).
Rumors of a lack of cohesion amongst the team are harder to validate after the Clips’ romantic comedy ending to Deandre Jordan’s free agency. The second team in Los Angeles knows that their clock is ticking- mostly because there’s been an article published once a week for the past three years demanding that they “Blow It Up”.
What if Blake Griffin just keeps improving forever? Go to Youtube and watch him play his rookie year. If he can change that much, I'm convinced I can still learn to do a beginner level Sudoku.
Headline to Expect: [Shot Chart] Clippers shooting struggles with lineup of Aldrich, Smith, Mbah a Moute, Stephenson, and Rivers.
Thunder
Cap: -30.3M
1st Round Picks: Own 1-15, 16-30 to PHI
Acquired: Fruit Basket(Stephen A. Smith)
Lost: Perry Jones(Trade-BOS), A lot of money to Enes Kanter
Rookies: Cameron Payne, Dakari Johnson
Overview: When you have 2 of the top 5 players in the world playing, things tend to go well. A healthy Kevin Durant is an absolutely unstoppable basketball force from the future, and all indications point to KD having no issue with his troubling foot ailment. Russell Westbrook is a reptilian shapeshifter, and isn’t even good at hiding it like Katy Perry or my mailman. So much has been made about which of these two superstars should take the lead in OKC that it’s sometimes ignored that neither of them give a fuck because they’re both superstars.
Serge Ibaka’s offensive game has allowed him to blossom into a real threat on both sides of the floor, while Steven Adams actual basketball skill is fast approaching his expertise as an aggravator. Enes Kanter hopes to prove he fits in Billy Donovan’s new system, while Anthony Morrow should spread the floor just as much as Dion Waiters should shrink it.
The Thunder can afford to keep a bench a bit shallower than most in the NBA. If Westbrook and KD are in good health, they're going to be on the floor. If they're not, Dion Waiters will have the ball squeezed so tightly it'l be a diamond by games end. Great! That should supplement any luxury tax.
Headline to Expect: Westbrook Out 2-4 Days With Broken Femur.
Rockets
Cap: -21.7M
1st Round Picks: Own 1-14, 15-30 to DEN
Acquired: Ty Lawson(Trade- DEN), Marcus Thornton(FA)
Lost: Pablo Prigioni (Trade- DEN), Kostas Papanikolau(Program Ink Budgetary Concerns), Josh Smith(An eventual awkward handshake), Nick Johnson (Trade- DEN), Joey Dorsey (Trade- DEN)
Rookies: Sam Dekker, Montrezl Harrell (Somewhere L’s are Silent)
Overview: The Rockets took a chance on Denver’s oft inebriated point guard Ty Lawson and brought him onto the wagon via trade this offseason. This gives James Harden the option to defer the primary ball handling responsibilities in order to change up the offense. Ty Lawson has been one of the most efficient PGs in the league over the past few years, which jives nicely with the preferences of Houston GM Daryl Morey.
Dwight Howard when healthy is still one of the best centers in the game, and Donatas Motiejunas seemed primed to establish himself as a real baller before falling to injury at the tail end of last season. His return should somewhat alleviate the gap in the lineup left in the wake of Josh Smith’s departure to the team he stabbed in the dick repeatedly in the playoffs. Rockets will go as far as Harden will take them.
Oh and Kevin McHale? Play KJ McDaniels McHale you big lurch looking motherfucker! Do it!
Headline to Expect: Kevin McHale Under Investigation for Dismemberment of Philadelphia Blogger
Hawks
Cap: -4.2M
1st Round Picks: Own
Acquired: Tiago Splitter(Trade- SAS), Justin Holiday(GSW), Jason Richardson(FA), Tim Hardaway Jr.(NYK)
Lost: Jason Richardson(Immediate retirement), Demarre Carroll(TOR), Pero Antic(Biker Gang Violence), John Jenkins(DAL)
Rookies: Falcons Fans
Overview: The Hawks took this offseason as an opportunity to throw down a rebrand that would make Atlanta the only team in the NBA to wear jerseys that look like I imagined they would as a child. In comparison, the changes to their roster seem a bit less dramatic.
Sure, Demarre Carroll bolted to hang out with Drake, they offered him enough money to live that lifestyle, but I’m only just saying that ‘cause I don’t have to buy it. The club owners supply it. Luckily, Mike Budenholzer ran a system that seemed to utilize Carroll to the height of his abilities, and a replacement could be found within. The team’s willingness to spread the rock around the floor will continue to be an emphasis, to continue last year’s success, the health of their bigs will of course be a factor. The Hawks also added some depth up front when they acquired Tiago Splitter from the Spurs for effectively nothing.
Kyle Korver’s insane shooting season is going to be tough to replicate, but the Hawks seem to be out to prove they weren’t a flash in the pan.
Headline to Expect: Atlanta Hawks Social Media Director and House Organist Leaving to Form Indie Funk Group.
Heat
Cap: -27.1M
1st Round Picks: Own 1-10, 11-30 to PHI
Acquired: Gerald Green(FA), Amare Stoudemire(FA)
Lost: Michael Beasley(Reefer Madness), Zoran Dragic(Trade-BOS), Shabazz Napier(Trade-ORL)
Rookies: Josh Richardson, Justise Winslow
Overview: Despite a relatively pedestrian offseason in terms of free agent acquisitions, there is a lot of talk about Miami rising up above the chaos of the Eastern conference and grabbing a high seed in the playoffs. Miami was riddled with injuries last season, and didn’t even manage to sneak into the postseason.
Many feel Pat Riley and the Heat pulled off the steal of the draft, grabbing Duke’s highly regarded swingman Justise Winslow 10th overall. Veteran addition Gerald Green will probably spoil the wishes of those fans wishing to see lots and lots of Winslow.
The return of Josh McRoberts, who had little opportunity to make a difference for Miami last season should bring lineup-versatility, as Chris Bosh’s return from blood clot issues give the Heat a few choices to stack next to their up and coming center Hassan Whiteside. Dwyane Wade can’t be written off yet, he must however hope his legs stick around late if he wants Pat Riley to release his friends and family from that warehouse.
Headline to Expect: Hassan Whiteside Unavailable For Tonight’s Game (Chinese Fingertrap)
Bulls
Cap: -18.8M
1st Round Picks: Own
Acquired: Fred Hoiberg: Coach (Iowa St.)
Lost: Tom Thibodeau: Coach (Malaysian Sweatshop)
Rookies: DRAFT DAY BOBBY PORTIS
Overview: Hoiberg in, Thibs out. The Bulls did literally nothing to change their roster, but may not resemble the same Bulls team we’ve grown to know. Thibodeau’s methamphetamine inspired minute distributions, defensive obsession, and demonic bolrog-howling will be absent from Chicago’s game day experience in 2015-16.
Derrick Rose might be healthy-ish, but few outside of Chicago would be willing to tell you he’s any semblance of the player we once knew. Jimmy Butler might be Chi-Town’s go-to guy, especially if he continues his chase to be the best two way player in the NBA. Last year’s rookie Nikola Mirotic could be seeing the floor more as Joakim Noah’s fall off becomes more evident. Tony Snell and Dougie McBuckets fill out a bench that seems to shine brightly on good days and frustrate endlessly on days they struggle.
If Bobby Portis continues performing, Taj Gibson could be on the end of a trade to help sure up the Bulls at problem positions.
Headline to Expect: Butler on Rumored Beef With Rose: “Nothing between us. Never was. I never loved him. Just drop it okay?”
Grizzlies
Cap: -13.4M
1st Round Picks: Own 1-5 and 15-30, 6-14 to DEN
Acquired: Matt Barnes(Trade-CHA), Brandan Wright(FA), Ryan Hollins(FA)
Lost: Kosta Koufos(SAC),
Rookies: Jarell Martin
Overview: In a turn of events that came as a shock to very few, Marc Gasol re-signed in Memphis and kept the band together. Zach Randolph and he make up one of the most formidable frontcourts in the NBA. Defensive stopper Tony Allen seems like he has no plans to stop being the kid who grew up playing Diddy Kong Racing while everyone else played Mario Kart.
On the wings the Grizz have no true standout. Vince Carter struggled to fight father time while Courtney Lee and Matt Barnes just seem to lack the luster to stand out at the position. Mike Conley keeps finding new ways to become more likeable, and it’s clear that there is something in the Gatorade in Memphis that helps players to buy into the grit for which the team’s become known.
Gasol struggled in the playoffs, and a team with aims to emerge from the Western Conference need a fiddle that can play first or second. Memphis needs to find who/or whatever that may be or risk another year of “yeah they’re contenders, but are they contenders”.
Headline to Expect: Caught on Tape: Tony Allen fist fights escaped capybara. Nine dead.
Thanks for reading!
Here is Part I and Part II.
I also run a little site called Hoopsrambler if you like shit like this or the fake clickbait titles I made earlier this week.
Please comment on any errors, this was a long effort and I'm sure I missed some stuff.
submitted by ank1613 to nba [link] [comments]


2014.10.25 22:30 betapunch UPDATE: My online city in a box business is taking off

A few weeks ago, I made a post about starting an e-commerce business and getting my first 2 orders. Since then, I have sold 171 total units of my product for a revenue of $6,664.90.
For those that are unfamiliar, I started (http://www.baltimoreinabox.com). The idea is simple: customers log on and pick items that are iconic or unique to Baltimore and I ship them to their friends, family, or loved ones as a care package that looks like this or this. The customer can pay $35 for a 5 item box or $60 for a 10 item box with free shipping to anywhere in the US.
I think this is an idea that anyone in their own city or town could easily replicate with success. Think of "Miami in a box" or "Washington DC in a box" or "[Wherever you live] in a box.
So I am making this post here to tell my story so far, answer any questions you might have, and help you get started if you are interested. To be clear, this is not a subscription box... I don't really have plans to turn it into a subscription box but that doesn't mean it couldn't be. This right now, is simply for one-off purchases of Baltimore Boxes.
How I marketed the site
Facebook ads have been key. I know that Facebook ads gets a lot of heat here but I think when you are marketing something hyper-local like this business is, it's really easy to target customers especially via Facebook. So I obviously targeted people in Baltimore and then cherry-picked certain neighborhoods and interests catered around the city.
Here is an example of one of the Facebook ads I ran. I thought it was very successful (especially for someone with no prior experience in running ads). I set the limit to $7 per day and ran it for 1-2 weeks. I received over 3,800 clicks to the website and only paid $0.03 per click.
From Facebook, I was discovered by a local Baltimore Blog who did a writeup on the business titled: "Homesick for Baltimore? Order Baltimore in a Box.". The article went viral (at least in the Baltimore area) and was shared more than 8k times!
Instagram was another helpful medium for me to market the business. In order to get my name in front of new potential customers, I would spend 5 or so minutes at a time (several times a day) searching Baltimore related #hashtags. I would go through all the photos and just start liking ALL of them. I refer to this as "spam liking."
Maybe it's not the most widely accepted / moral form of marketing, but it definitely works. Instagram users love getting likes and they don't give a damn who they are from. So if I like a Baltimore related photo by a Baltimore user and my username has Baltimore in it they almost always click my username to view my profile. Some follow me, and some even click my URL in my bio and check out my site! This is great way to target and grow a following. I also don't just post pictures of my boxes on my account. Rather I post many "lifestyle" posts catered around the brands and products included in my boxes. For example, Old Bay, Berger Cookies, Natty Boh, etc.
Sent boxes out to Baltimore influencers I sent Baltimore boxes to Miss Maryland and a top chef in the area. In addition I sent a couple more free boxes to local bloggers. One just published a blog about us yesterday. Maybe these haven't translated into actual orders yet but at least it gets the product in front of more eyeballs.
Getting and handling orders
My daily order numbers may not seem like a lot to many of you e-commerce veterans but as a newbie starting out this was both exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. I was so worried I wouldn't be able to get the boxes shipped fast enough that customers would start complaining and bad mouthing me on social media.
In order to temporarily slow orders down a bit - I put a note on my order page that is still currently there which says "Due to a recent spike in order volume, your order may take up to 3 business days to ship. We thank you for your patience." This almost added more fuel to the fire as I think it created more of a demand. It told people that this was a product that people wanted and proved other people were already buying it. So they didn't care if it took 3 days to ship, and people kept ordering. So this actually worked in my favor and I think increased sales quite a bit.
10/20 and 10/21 were so busy and I got so backlogged with orders that on 10/22 I actually made the boxes unavailable / sold out (hence no orders on 10/22). Some of my friends and family gave me heat for flipping the switch but I think it was the right thing to do. If I didn't, I felt like I was going to piss more people off than satisfy. As a result, I got many emails and Facebook messages asking when we would be back available taking orders. I think this created a little more demand for the product as well.
Profit???
I honestly don't have all the numbers broken down yet 100% and maybe I will get down-voted for that. But I am just one person trying to stay on top of so many things at once. I am constantly ordering goods, supplies, and paying for postage. I know I have spent roughly ~$3,500 on everything and I am holding on to a fair amount of inventory at the moment. So I know there is at least some profit there.
What's going on now
I am working on getting set up with USPS Click and Ship because I am tired of writing addresses on boxes, waiting in lines at post offices, and carrying 10-12 in at a time. I bought a shipping label printer which I am exciting to start using. If anybody has any help in the shipping department I am all ears.
Since I work full time, I have been moonlighting this business and making runs to the post office or get goods whenever I had a free chance to. I know I can't keep up doing it by myself so I have hired my first employee who is starting next week on a part-time basis.
Local businesses are starting to contact me to ask about getting their brands / products as an option for the Baltimore Box. This is great, because some of them are willing to donate their goods to me just so they can be labeled as one of the iconic Baltimore options. When I don't have to pay for goods, my margins go up!
EDIT Forgot to mention that I am also working on marketing to people who are getting married in Baltimore and want to get Baltimore boxes made for their out of town guests staying in hotels. I have received at least 10 inquires from people who are interested in these for their wedding day. Some are requesting over 50 - 100 boxes! I haven't officially sealed the deal on any of these yet but this could be an additional big revenue earner for the business.
Lastly, I am hoping to get custom printed boxes made up in time for the holidays. Right now, I am just using standard brown boxes and putting my logo decal on the corner of each box.
TL;DR Started a business that I think can easily be replicated in your own city or town. Told you how I marketed it using Facebook and Instagram and how I created some demand for the product. 171 units sold in roughly 3 weeks.
AMA!
submitted by betapunch to Entrepreneur [link] [comments]


2010.09.23 04:06 RoundSparrow redditors willing to work for $$ cheap assisting in travel brainstorming and such? Algeria to Spain, France, Italy

Here goes: Live by the sword, die by the sword. The sword being the Internet.
I'm an American who needs some help. With all the Islam-phobia, my complete ignorance of northern Africa, and my relative ignorance of Europe.
I'm not a complete idiot :)
I'm 40 years old, single male. In 2004/2005 I moved myself and then wife (now ex-wife) from USA to Chile with the help of the Internet - I found a blogger in my destination city (Arica, Chile) who helped me work out the details. Spent 12 months living like a local in one city: Arica Chile [northernmost city, near border of Peru and Bolivia].
I am a home-office worker for over 10 years. I telecommute and am a computer programmer / consultant / writer. So I am experienced with finding WiFi, researching hotels, airlines, etc. But I'm weak on Europe... I mostly only know North America and South America.
I did go to Paris once in 2007 for a 10 day stay in November. I managed to find some decent apartment rentals that worked out well.
Algeria
Algeria seems a total pain in the ass compared to neighboring Tunisia and Morocco. Both of those countries do NOT require a Visa for me to visit. Algeria seems very CLOSED. Blah.
Now I want to go to Oran, Algeria to meet the family of a travel companion. Then the travel companion and I want to go spend a few months hanging out in Europe. We are going to work on a book / writing project together.
I know little of Arabic culture. I do not speak any Arabic or French. The good news is that his companion is an English teacher and is fluent in French, English, Arabic. However, they are 30 years old and have not traveled much.
Time
This companion and I have known each other for over 6 months and we feel we should just "jump in". We just want to DO IT!
NOW, SOON, like in 30 days [October 25 or October 28]. I need to start nailing this down so I can apply for the specific dates of my Algerian Visa.
Speculative outline: it depends on travel cost and visa issues: Probably spend 3 days in Oran - then over to Paris for all of November and December. The on to Italy for January and February?
Money
Isn't all travel typically limited by budget :) I want to keep costs while keeping my accommodations quality high [bug free and not super full of hassle].
This means trying to find apartment style weekly or monthly prices instead of hotel daily rates.
I do have some money saved for this adventure; the unknown is anti-islam issues and that the travel companion may have to return to Oran for a few days at unexpected times. Some family health problems that are unpredictable. So we kind of have to keep ourselves flexible in terms of keeping that in mind.
Where
I need to get in and out of Oran, Algeria. I'm coming from the USA, probably my father's in Florida [so Orlando or Miami].
Our first month or two we likely Paris - my companion has some family there. Seems like a good city to be inspired as a writer and hopefully hang out.
My companion wants to also visit Italy. We have no specific city in mind. Considerations will be lodging cost, travel from France or Algeria, avoidance of needing a car [train or bus system, walking], etc.
Help Appreciated
Any Redditors willing to help out with time and energy? I'll pay you some token amount, say $25 or $50 for helping me out. I'm hoping their are some people who know Paris, other parts of France, Italy, and ideally the in/out of Algeria / Islam situation in terms of Visas and problems we might expect.
I know it's a long-short to find someone who wants to help for next to no money... but in my 25 years of BBS and Internet, I've learned that I must might find the right person or who who has all the right experience and time to spare :)
Some of the details we can discuss in private, but here on this post we can discuss some of the general. Thank you.
tldr; non-traditional Internet based lifestyle. Living the nightmare/dream. Trying to do it with the modern day problems of a companion from an Islamic country. Also want to save money, will be months of reviewing options. Any Europe travel-savvy redditors wish to develop a ongoing friendship in helping me out with this off and on from October 2010 to March 2011? :)
submitted by RoundSparrow to travel [link] [comments]


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