Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.
The Trumps appear to be selling the lease on the D.C. hotel and a property in St. Martin, for $500 million and 6.9 million, respectively, plus removing the Trump name from other acquisitions.
I never watch news shows but apparently Maddow was good last night.
(I needed to edit my last comment, but Click to Edit wouldn’t appear, so if you post a new comment it comes back)
media amnesia and the Facebook news tab
It was just a matter of time before Bolton would engage in regime change at home.
A little long, but a very good read: “I Would Only Rob Banks for My Family”
Pallbearer appears to snub Mitch McConnell at Elijah Cummings’ memorial – video
The look on Mitch’s face…. And then he looks to Schumer who has a great big grin on his face.
Top scary places in the US:
Waverly Hills Sanatorium: Anyone who would go in that place has to be crazy. They will certainly be crazy if they make it out. Said to be one of the most haunted place.
Gettysburg National Park: Many have seen ghosts in a basement in the Lutheran Seminary. It was used as a hospital during the battle.
Devil’s Tramping Grount (near High Point, NC) I went there when I was a teenager: during the daytime’ I would never get near that place at night. It is just a bare place in some woods. But some people who have tried spending the night there disappeared. Others wound up in a mental institutions.
Unitarian Church Cemetery, Charleston, SC
See the ghost of Annabelle Lee walking the cemetery. The subject of Poe’s famous poem.
Winchester House, California
A house so convoluted that people get lost in there, and see ghosts!
Maco Station light, near Wilmington, NC
The station and tracks are gone, but some still the the strange light.
I also have been there, but not at night.
St. Augustine lighthouse, Florida Tourists report seeing two ghostly sisters roaming the grounds. The door is often open the next morning.
Stanley Hotel, Colorado The setting of the movie “The Shining” “Ghost Hunters” filmed there and found unexplained events.
Clinton Road – Milford, NJ Be careful on the curves and watch out for a young boy. Whatever you do, don’t stop at night.
There are too many scary places in this country to name them all. Perhaps you have been to one.
Many areas have their own local lore and legends.
I just made, and ate, banana coffee pancakes again. This time they were just right. So, the recipe:
1 cup pancake mix
3/4 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
2 bananas, pureed
2 tsp. instant coffee
1 tsp. vanilla
cinnamon to taste
Mix the pancake mix with the milk and egg, and whisk well. Add the coffee, vanilla, cinnamon, and banana, and mix in well. then cook the pancakes as usual.
Looks like we need a separate telegraphic union for bird tracking text messages.
@Kathy: I wonder how this mixture would be for a crepe? Probably very good.
Trumps ‘frustrated’ at inability to pursue ‘foreign investment’ deals, says Trump Org executive
The solution for that is for Tiny to resign.
And Liddle Donny is upset because he can’t play golf in Scotland as often as he’d like. Poor wee tyke.
Florida headline of the day-
They got married– in criminal court
My wife and I got married in court too. In the Philippines, a civil wedding is not uncommon before a church wedding. So we have two wedding anniversary date- May 30 and June 17. Both are in 1989 or 30 years ago.
Finally finished my “summer” reading choice, Fall or, Dodge in Hell by Neal Stephenson. Initial reaction is NS wrote two or three good books but then rolled them into one. This was a start and stop read for me.
I’ve never made crepes, but a short while ago I made mushroom soup with simple egg noodles. The recipe is just egg and a little flour, which makes for a thin batter that cooks very quickly. Then you roll them and slice them and you get noodles (kind of).
Adam Silverman at LGM has a good, longish, post tying things together. He sees is as a black PSYOP with three main lines of attack:
Silverman includes a deal more detail.
@CSK: I suspect this answers the question I’ve had since Trump’s “purchase” of the hotel was announced: does he actually own it or is it just another branding deal? Looks like the actual owners are realizing just how much it’s going to be investigated when Trump
@MarkedMan: Trump owns the lease on the hotel building, so in effect he’s his own tenant and landlord. He can legally sell that lease to someone else. The $500 million he’s asking would make this the largest ever transaction of its kind.
I made an error in my initial post. The asking price for the Caribbean property, which Trump rents out, is actually 16.9 million, not 6.9 million. The sale is being handled by Sotheby’s.
Only a petty juvenile would find this funny.
So I wanted to talk about gambling, especially advantage play.
Advantage play is playing such games that offer a player advantage, as opposed to the more common house advantage. Or to play in such a way that the house advantage turns to a player advantage.
It is possible to beat the casino. But: 1) it’s hard work, 2) the yields are not huge, 3) the casinos don’t like to gamble (ergo the house edge), so they’ll combat advantage players tooth and nail.
The best known example is card-counting in blackjack. It’s also surprisingly easy to explain in a simplified form. here goes:
The more tens, face cards (worth ten points), and aces (worth either one or eleven points) that remain in a deck, the better the odds for the player. So you count the cards by assigning a value of -1 to tens, face cards, and aces, a value of one to all cards from 2 to 6 (or 5, I’m not sure), and zero to the rest.
You don’t alter your playing strategy at all, regardless of the count. you play what’s called Basic Strategy. what you change is your betting strategy. You bet more when the count is high.
Well, no. you have to juggle a mental count of all the cards at the table (yours, the other players’, and the dealer’s), while adding up the points in your hand and the dealer’s up card. that takes skill and practice
And remember casinos guard against this. They keep count of the cards, too, and will notice if you bet more when the count is high. They can refuse to let you play, or throw you out of the casino (this happened to a friend of mine in one of my trips to Vegas).
But the simplest way for a casino to prevent card counting is to use a continuous shuffle machine.
See, card counting works because the play is made up of dependent events. The cards remaining can be deduced by the cards played. Card counting works bets in a single deck, if you keep playing from it until all cards are used up. A continuous shuffler mixes the cards up all the time. Cards played are fed back into it. So the play becomes a series of independent events, and keeping a count doesn’t tell you anything.
@CSK: But we don’t know what is going on behind the scenes. We have visibility into a few “Trump Properties” where things went badly enough that the whole mess ended in court cases. Whenever someone tries to drag the Trump Organization into it, they have successfully argued it was just a branding exercise and they don’t actually own the property.
@MarkedMan: Yes, but I think it can be proven that they own the lease they’re trying to sell. In any case, they’re not pretending they don’t own it.
@OzarkHillbilly: I saw as the news show played the clip 3 or 4 times. That was mean. I would have done the same thing, given the thought and the opportunity, but I always hope others are better people than I am.
@Mr. Prosser: I thought it showed promise at the beginning of posing interesting questions, then it just completely bogged down. I couldn’t finish it.
@Kathy: While I was in Korea, I went to a Jeot (fermented seafood) festival in a smaller (population under a quarter million) seaside town where a major attraction was a noodle restaurant where the chef was pulling noodles by hand out in front of the restaurant. It was fascinating to watch him grabbing a handful of soft dough, stretching it out into a tube, doubling it over and spinning and restretching it several times until he had about a dozen 5 or 6 foot threads which he then cut from their dough anchors and threw into a pot to cook. Amazing artistry. There are lots of places where they serve hand pulled noodles, but you almost never get to see them being made.
(I never ate noodles except at home. Korean soup stocks have lots of red pepper paste and other additions that would make amazing stains on my shirt. I have a tremor that makes more soup go on my shirt than goes in my mouth. 🙁 )
a friend who’s also a Stephenson fan read Dodge this summer, and said it ran out of gas about two-thirds of the way through.
Donald Trump, 10-25-2019
She should have just called him Glorious Leader and gotten it over with.
@Teve: “The genius of our great president?” Either she’s illiterate or tragically befuddled.
I wonder if these people know, or care, how many books are going to be written portraying them as the fools, dupes, and sleazes they are.
@Teve: “I worked with John Kelly, and he was totally unequipped to handle the genius of our great President.”
It is not like he has ever been in a major position before or dealt with strong, accomplished people. I mean he was just a lowly four-star general.
Mitch McConnell isn’t exactly a nice person…
And yet black people still overwhelmingly support the Democratic Party…how amazing…I can’t imagine why…
@Teve: It’s incredible that people can spout shit like that with a straight face…Kim and other dictators must be jealous…
Two related podcasts that I found worthy;
@Teve: Without the intonations of his speech, Donald Trump’s words are close to gibberish.
Also, I believe he is saying that there has been no progress for African-Americans since women got the vote in 1919.
@Guarneri: @Just nutha ignint cracker: If it were me, I’d have probably kicked him in the nuts. That asshole sold out his country in 2016.
@Just nutha ignint cracker: Jackie Chan does the noodle thing in the movie Mr. Nice Guy. It’s the usual fun flick with fantastically choreographed fight scenes but the noodle thing is really impressive.
vox interview with Bruce Gibney, author of A Generation of Psychopaths: How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America
@Teve: Also don’t forget that there’s us–the late Boomers (birth dates 1960-1965)–who have a totally different view towards things than the earlier Boomers. It was our older brothers and sisters who did Woodstock and the protesting and the marching and all that. By the time we came along, our parents had clamped down on rebellion.
We’re the ones who are getting the backlash against the supposed Great Cultural Revolution, but we still get blamed for the antics of our older brothers and sisters. Pisses me off no end.
And yes, I’m a scientist.
@grumpy realist: Somebody’s got to take the blame, might as well be us, whether we are actually personally guilty or not.
@OzarkHillbilly: I’ve always been a little reluctant to put much stock in generational differences. IIRC those irresponsible Millennials with their avocado toast have a higher savings rate than we did at that age. It always sounds too much like “those kids today”, even when it’s about my Boomer generation.
I read Illing’s interview, I aways do, his interviews are always interesting. I note that pretty much everywhere he says, ‘Boomers did this thing’ you can fairly substitute ‘ Republicans did this thing’. I also dislike any reference to the craziness of the youth in the sixties that doesn’t mention that our government was sending many of us to kill or be killed for no good reason in Vietnam. I laugh at Tea Partiers who say I don’t understand that the government and the MSM lie. I came of age politically during Vietnam when both were lying every day about everything.
The Greatest Generation are called such becuase they happened to have a war. A lot of things happened. We had what Piketty calls le Trente Glorieuses, the three decade post war boom, during which I came to see progress, for myself and the world, as normal. We had the cold war when we did duck and cover drills and watched the Doomsday Clock tick toward destruction. After the mid-seventies we had the growing influence of corporate money in politics. We had urban riots and a largely successful Civil Rights movement, We had the pendulum swing back to Republicans after thirty or more years largely without them.
OK, I are one, but it seems lazy to blame all our troubles on greedy Boomers.
@gVOR08:..I laugh at Tea Partiers who say I don’t understand that the government and the MSM lie. I came of age politically during Vietnam when both were lying every day about everything.
Well, most of them anyway…
I highly recommend the classic Japanese black comedy film Tampopo, billed at the time in the US as “the first noodle western”. The film has several mostly-independent threads, but the main one is a parody of spaghetti western plots, in which a drifter saves a young widow trying to run her late husband’s noodle shop by teaching her to make great ramen.
@OzarkHillbilly: Yeah, watching that guy was absolutely fascinating. In Daegu, there was a shop where in a photo the chef had a skein of noodles way longer than he is tall wrapped around himself. I would guess that takes 2 people–and a lot of coordination 🙂 .
As if anyone else here cares, but:
England 19 New Zealand 7 !
On to the ‘Boks in the final!
Shame about Wales, though.
England – Wales final would have been epic.
@Teve: (Born in 1952) I’m convinced that we don’t really believe in Trickle Down Economics (I for example didn’t believe in it even in 1980); we need others to believe in it to justify the economic policies we prefer and so we keep asserting that it’s true to keep the con going. As long as there are stupid and innumerate (or greedy, either one will work) people looking for a free lunch, we’ll keep getting away with it.
What would be interesting would be to see if the argument still has legs when Gibney’s generation is my age, but I don’t anticipate living for 20 or 30 more years.
Never mind the late boomers, the mid Boomers (1955-1960) were the real victims; too young to be hippies, too old too be punks.
Stuck with glam, yacht rock and disco.
And of those, the ones who really suffered were those born between 15 and 17 August 1957 🙂
@Just nutha ignint cracker:
“Trickle down economics”
AKA as “p1ss down their legs and tell ’em it’s raining” economics.
@Just nutha ignint cracker: The people on SGU are always discussing how there was this model in psychology or education or something that said that people having inaccurate beliefs was partly a function of not having accurate information, and that this model has been pretty much obliterated.
There’s some collection of attributes that Supply-Side Economics has that seems to make it survive. It violates basic algebra, and in practice has failed basically forever, but that hasn’t dented it’s appeal.
@Teve: Supply Side Economics benefits the 0.1%, who benefit enormously. They don’t, as @Just nutha ignint cracker: notes, believe it. It’s just something to use to keep the rubes on board. I’m not sure who ignint means by “we”. I believe I’ve seen surveys that say almost no one believes the Supply Side, Trickle Down stuff anymore. But it gives GOP politicians something to say when asked why they’re hell bent on cutting corporate and wealthy individuals’ taxes. What else can they do? Admit Charles Koch and others pay them well to cut the right taxes?
Katie Hill is resigning because of an improper consensual relationship with a staffer. RedState may have published revenge porn someone gave them of her, but I’ve had a good weekend and I don’t feel like immersing myself in RedState creeps ATM.
@Teve: 1) SGU??????
2) Exactly my point. It’s propelled by innumeracy and greed. Mostly greed is my guess. Look at all the people who don’t like taxes even in our little corner of the universe/blogosphere. Economists–even dishonest douchy ones–telling them that cutting taxes raises revenue makes a tasty free lunch offer. Who cares that it doesn’t work?
(And yes, everything Gibney said about us is probably true. We started global warming awareness, but it didn’t stop us from buying 6 mpg Hummers at all. By the time the icecaps melt…)
@Just nutha ignint cracker: SGU is one of the very first podcasts. It started in 2005 and is hosted by a Yale neurologist.
Consensual? Seems more like it should be a decline to run again situation. Her constituents deserve uninterrupted representation, and a consensual relationship can be wildly inappropriate in a boss-worker scenario, but I would think staying is less worse for the constituents.
If they published revenge porn, I hope she sues their balls off. There’s scum, and then there’s scum.
I will also not wander over to RedState to check. I like myself too much. (Fine, I went to their homepage, saw something about SJWs and thought against continuing… “n-clang,” spurious Soros references and “SJW” are all about the same to me — it’s a sign you’re wandering into a cesspool and should just leave)
@Teve: I’m guessing SGU is not Stargate: Universe.
By the way, Stargate: Universe is not as terrible as people say it is.
@Gustopher: Stargate Universe is not as bad as people said, I liked that cranky Australian guy.
Apparently Hill has a horrible soon-to-be ex husband who is harassing her.
Card counting was first developed by a mathematician named Edward Thorpe, who then later published a book called “Beat the Dealer.”
Casinos thought this was the end of blackjack (spoiler alert: it wasn’t). Quite the contrary. More people think they can successfully count cards than can really do so. Unfortunately many people gamble more than they can afford to lose.
A friend of mine, Michael Shackleford, is a dedicated gaming mathematician. He runs or ran(*) a site called Wizard of Odds, which provides guides and advice for gambling. Among the latter are his ten commandments of gambling. the very first is “Thou shall expect to lose.”
(*) He’s still associated with the site and he writes for it, but he no longer owns it.