Slope of Hope Blog Posts

Slope initially began as a blog, so this is where most of the website’s content resides. Here we have tens of thousands of posts dating back over a decade. These are listed in reverse chronological order. Click on any category icon below to see posts tagged with that particular subject, or click on a word in the category cloud on the right side of the screen for more specific choices.

Waste and Fraud

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As I suspect many of you did, I listened to the Obama speech tonight, as well as Boehner's response.

Since I was listening to George Carlin earlier today, it was exquisitely painful to hear both of these men speak, particularly since – as George predicted – each of them uttered the required-by-law phrase "God bless you, and God bless America" at the end of their spiels. 

I'm not going to go all Karl D. on you, but I do want to latch on to one thing which really ticked me off: Obama's declaration that, among other things, we could "slash waste and fraud in Medicare and Social Security" to save hundreds of billions of dollars.

I have heard the argument about "slashing waste and fraud" for as long as I can remember – – – decades. I will ask you, dear reader, as calmly as I can, this question: if there are known areas of waste and fraud that can be attacked in order to save many billions of dollars, why in the name of my personal Lord and savior Jesus H. Christ aren't we doing it right now? Why wait?

Oh, wait. I know why! Because it's just a load of political bullshit! That's right!

Seriously, though. Seriously. What if you and I were in business together, and we held a weekly meeting, you and me. And I told you, week after week, that one thing we could really do to help the business was to stop leaving a big pile of cash in front of our shop, since it kept getting stolen all the time.

How many meetings would you wait until you slapped me across the face and told me to stop doing that? Four meetings? Three? I imagine "One" would probably be the right answer. And you'd probably swing pretty hard.

I realize that both of these men who spoke tonight had to try to speak with a cadence and content that could be vaguely grasped by the average American. All the same, the above really, really pisses me off, because it's so grotesquely fake.


– Tim


Baidu Breakout

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I just had a funny experience a few moments ago. I was glancing at the After Hours data, as I usually do after the close, and I saw NFLX was down nearly 10% (I have no position). I think noticed BIDU was up nearly 8%, at which time I muttered an expletive, since I knew I had a position on it.

The funny thing is, I'm long the stock (yes, believe it or not, I've been buying lately), so it's actually good news for me. It's kind of funny how it takes someone like me a while to realize that a stock going up can actually be good news. (Note: the stock's rise is not reflected in the chart below, but suffice it to say it is a lifetime high).