Slovakia election: Party led by pro-Russian populist Robert Fico poised to win - Russia's electoral gains extended further
The party of pro-Russian populist Robert Fico has won Slovakia’s parliamentary election, nearly complete results showed early Sunday.
Former Australian PM Tony Abbott is ideal for Fox board, whose core product is grievance and division
If you were thinking of a job for former prime minister Tony Abbott — Australia’s worst-ever leader, until Scott Morrison came along — where would you start? He has no business experience of any kind, having spent nearly all his adult life, after a brief stint as a journalist, on the public teat as a political staffer and then MP. He has no demonstrated executive or governance skills, having run a chaotic government and a shambolic cabinet that went from landslide victory to his own dumping in less than two years, including Abbott declaring 18 months into his time as PM that “good government starts today”.
What about policy expertise? Trade, arguably — although only in bilateral trade agreements, which are unrelated to free trade — and perhaps defence (his idea to have conventional submarines built cheaply in Japan looks, in hindsight, like the smartest idea anyone’s had in Australian naval policy for the past decade).
But nothing too technical — he famously, in defending his ignorance of basic facts around the National Broadband Network, said “I’m no techhead”. So the last place you’d probably appoint him is to the board of a major communications and media company… which is exactly what the Murdochs have done in nominating him for the board of Fox Corp.
Abbott is replacing Jacques Nasser, the former Ford boss and BHP chair, and Anne Dias, a top-level investment manager (her funds follow global media, technology and telecommunications companies). Both joined the board in 2019 when Fox Corp was formed out of former Murdoch company 21st Century Fox.
Is there a reason why the Murdochs might not be so keen to keep Dias on the board? We know from the Dominion case — Judge Eric Davis specifically cited her — that “on January 11, 2021, FC (Fox Corp) board member Anne Dias told the Murdochs that ‘considering how important Fox News had been as a megaphone for Donald Trump, directly, or indirectly, I believe it is time for Fox News, or for you, Lachlan to take a stance. It is an existential moment for the nation and Fox News as a brand’.”
Lachlan Murdoch forwarded her email to his father. “Just tell her we have been talking internally and intensely, along these lines and Fox News, which called election correctly, is pivoting as fast as possible,” the Sun King told the dauphin. “We have to lead our viewers, which is not as easy as it seems.”
Tony Abbott may have zero experience as a funds manager, no understanding of communications and be a demonstratedly incompetent executive, but he’s arguably a far better fit with the Fox board, and the Murdochs, than an investment manager prepared to call out Fox’s amplification of the despicable lies of Trump.
How so? Because Fox isn’t a communications and media company. Its television networks — like the newspapers of its sister company also controlled by the Murdochs, News Corp — are merely the factories for its core product: white grievance and victimhood, and racial and political division. That’s what the Murdochs sell across all their platforms.
Tony Abbott is ideal for such a company. His climate denialism is notorious. He attacked Muslim Australians while prime minister and continued to deride them after being forced from office. He says — predating Jacinta Nampijinpa Price — that the British invasion and colonisation of Australia was good for First Peoples and he has misled people about Indigenous programs. And while admitting Trump was a “sore loser”, he has lauded the insurrectionist-in-chief as a very good president with “great political integrity” (a claim that has aged well through four major indictments of Trump).
And if it’s true that Dias is walking the plank for daring to question the genius of the Murdochs, there was no sign of any financial punishment of them for the false claims Fox made against Dominion and their failure to control them and protect Fox from a massive defamation payout settlement. The US$787 million paid to Dominion Voting Systems and several other settlements this year, in connection to the lies about how the November 2020 poll was “stolen’ from Donald Trump, took the total legal cost for Fox in the year to June 30 to US$894 million.
Then there’s a current US$2.7 billion case involving Smartmatic in the New York courts, with a hearing due for early 2025. But don’t bother looking for any reference to the legal settlements, or the Smartmatic case, in the new chairman and CEO’s letter to shareholders in the 2022-23 annual report. It’s like looking through a News Corp publication for any reference to the Murdochs beyond sickeningly hagiographic.
Indeed, Murdoch senior gave himself a pay rise despite the Dominion disaster. Rupert got a 24% pay increase in the year to June 30 to US$22.9 million (A$35 million), up from US$18.9 million the year before, along with more than US$140 million of pension and retirement benefits. Lachlan Murdoch’s compensation totalled US$21.77 million (A$33.4 million), barely shifted from US$21.75 million the year before.
Telling old white wealthy Americans that they’re the real victims of contemporary US society truly is a goldmine. At least for some.
I saw American Masters "Floyd Abrams: Speaking Freely" last night.
Pursuit of the First Amendment from the Pentagon Papers and protecting reporter's sources to being asked to volunteer to be co-counsel with morally dead Ted Olson in the Citizens United case which created terrible law at the end of his career. Father of journalist Dan Abrams.
Floyd routinely worked until 11 pm or midnight at Cahill Gordon & Reindel. For what in the end?
Blocking aid to Ukraine of course means they were able to do Russia's bidding. I'm sure there's some dark money headed their way. Roberts should be proud that he's made money speech. And since it's speech, and corporations are people, this money can have billions of secret conversations. Now we'll deal with these Quisling weasels again in 6 weeks.
I think the Freedom Caucus, seven Trumpoids out of 435 Congress Members, say they won't vote for any budget which doesn't include military aid for Russia.
Senators voting to stop funding the government included Sen. Marsha Blackburn, Bill Hagerty of Tennessee, Mike Braun of Indiana, Roger Marshall of Kansas, Mike Lee of Utah, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Eric Schmitt of Missouri, and of course Ted Cruz of Texas.
We stopped MAGA Republicans from shutting down the government and saved aid to WIC, Head Start & SNAP. We didn’t let Trump and Putin’s little helpers “burn it all down,” as feared, but they did momentarily block aid to Ukraine. We’ll deal with that next week.— Rep. Jamie Raskin (@RepRaskin) September 30, 2023
So how can we get people to work for as little as possible? This is not unlike what some states are doing with teaching. It's difficult to get a person with five-six years of education to work for under $50k a year. Solution? Undercut these money-grubbing thankless miscreants by changing the standards..:).
Of course this is exactly what the Reagan, et. al. crowd has wanted for over 40 years. Privatize education so we can "teach" American rug-rats for as little money as possible and pocket as much money as possible. It works really well in the health care system. Same model here.
Walmart Removes College Degree Requirements From Hundreds Of Corporate Job Descriptions
On Thursday Walmart said it plans to rewrite hundreds of job descriptions so that for many of its corporate job titles, applicants can have either a college degree or show they have needed skills through prior experience or other types of learning.
While our $14 an hour pay is competitive, it is not always enough to attract those with college degrees. - Walmart
The move adds one of the largest U.S. employers to the growing ranks of companies and institutions moving away from mandating college degrees for jobs in certain fields, such as cybersecurity, data analytics or operations. Driven by a shortage of talent in high-demand areas, dwindling college enrollment amid increasing costs and corporate efforts to improve diversity numbers, “skills-based hiring” has become one of the hottest topics in corporate boardrooms.
Companies such as IBM, Accenture and Google have all worked to reduce the number of jobs that require degrees—and many more are taking steps to do the same. According to a 2022 report by Burning Glass Institute, a labor market research nonprofit, some 46% of middle-skill occupations and 31% of high-skill occupations saw a “material” reduction in degree requirements between 2017 and 2019. As of June, some 13 states had removed unneeded degree requirements for state government jobs, according to the Brookings Institution.
Companies of Walmart’s scale doing the same for its corporate employees could help further normalize the idea. “The fact that a company like Walmart is taking these steps really underscores the fact that this is a movement that has significant traction,” says Maria Flynn, president of the Boston-based nonprofit Jobs for the Future, which Flynn notes has received grants from Walmart’s foundation. (Of course, store-based Walmart employees, who make up the majority of the company’s 1.6 million U.S.-based workers, aren’t required to have degrees. Walmart would not share the number or percentage of its headquarters employees.)
Lorraine Stomski, a senior vice president for associate learning and leadership, says that historically, the retailer has been “like every other organization. We would create a job description based on what credentials were needed, which was a combination of some skills [with] a heavy emphasis on the credential needed,” such as a diploma or other designation.
But as the demand for new skills shifts rapidly—and it becomes harder for organizations to predict which jobs it will need with the onset of technology like generative AI—it’s more important to start with a skills “taxonomy” and then build job descriptions from there, Stomski says. Walmart is working with the labor market data firm Lightcast to map skills needed in the future, comparing those to the skills the company will need. The company estimates applicants and employees will begin seeing the new descriptions next year.
Stomski gives the example of cybersecurity analysts. In the past, Walmart would require a degree for those jobs; now, it’s shifted to pulling people from a pipeline of workers doing certificates that might take nine to 12 months, rather than completing two- to four-year degrees. In Walmart’s free online education benefit, Stomski says she’s seen a shift in employees working on “majority college credentials to now more short-form stackable certificates for high-demand roles.”
The move is important for a company like Walmart, which has so many front-line workers and has long touted how many move up in the ranks. Keeping degree requirements for jobs at a corporate office when they’re not needed would “impose a ceiling of how high that pathway can go,” says Flynn.
For those jobs that do still require a degree, Walmart also said it is letting employees earn credit hours for on-the-job experience via education and upskilling platform Guild to help speed up the acquisition of a degree. It is also expanding the number of certificates it offers and developing tech tools to help workers personalize career paths.
Walmart also said Thursday it is making a $5 million grant via Walmart.org to Rockefeller Philanthropic Advisors and its SkillsFWD initiative, which will fund projects aimed at solving challenges around skills-based records for workers. Walmart.org reports philanthropic investments of more than $140 million over the past five years related to skills-based systems.
In the broader economy, “we’ve used degrees as proxies for skills that have, frankly, been weak proxies,” says Julie Gehrki, vice president of philanthropy for Walmart.org. “Moving to a skills-based system is saying we actually need to be more granular than this. We need to recognize the specific pieces of skills people have. They need to be validated in some way.”
Removing degree requirements is an important step for Walmart and other companies, but Flynn says employers must take an “ecosystem” approach that also trains managers to not be biased against candidates or workers who don’t have degrees.
And of course, after removing credentials from job requirements, the next step is for companies to show they’re actually hiring workers without them. Even at JFF, which removed degrees from most of its own job descriptions, Flynn feels the nonprofit needs to do more to hire people who don’t have them. “I would ask a similar question of some of these companies: You may have removed the requirement, but how are you actually changing your hiring ?”
Ha, ha, I just don't see him testifying against Putin but it would make some great TV.
Trump could make an unorthodox move, flip and agree to testify against the criminal gang that was working for him,
maybe in return for a prison cell with gold leaf on the walls.
None of us know a Georgia bail bondsman named Scott Hall but Mr. Hall just did a Watergate level flip. He's no longer a defendant he's a cooperating witness in the Fulton County case who is no longer going to jail, he's going to testify. Now there are 17 more defendants not named Donald Trump. What's the over-under on flipper count? Really reminds me of Watergate. If so, it's going to get a lot worse for the ex-pres. And unlike Nixon, he doesn't have a sweet deal with his VP for a pardon.
Kevin and the Crazy Caucus played the Biden impeachment chorus at the House Chamber. Apparently they were so unprepared that most of the backup band left the stage in embarrassment. As soon as they did Democrats began voting to subpoena Rudy Giuliani. At least there was some entertainment as remaining Republicans had to call the backup band back for an encore to ensure Rudy, who dug up all the dirt on Hunter, did not show up and sing.
So much hope this morning and market disappointment this afternoon. The SPX is down over 5% for the month of September. As I noted at the beginning of the month, the last half of September is almost always worse than the first half and this year was no exception with over 2/3s of the downside happening after the 15th. It doesn't look to be much better in October unless McCarthy shows some backbone...yeah...it doesn't look good.
What could possibly be addictive about chatting with an badly informed AI-bot ?
It's not like the world is lacking in badly informed humans who could easily provide similar misinformation and unfounded opinions.
Open AI exec warns AI can become ‘extremely addictive’
BY REBECCA KLAR - 09/29/23 11:09 AM ET
Sold 15 Covered Calls on WPC with a strike price of 60 for expiration date of January 2025 and a premium received of $3.20 per share. I can just sit on my hands and receive the dividend and enjoy the premium and will make money on this trade. Or, more likely I will look for a chance to buy back the Covered Calls for at least 10% less than what I got paid for selling them and then sell them again as time goes by. Maybe many times.
Other trades this morning: Bought back: FUTU 8 Cash Covered Puts, MRK 4 Calls and MCD 1 Call.
Generative AI is experimental. Info quality may vary.
This is not professional financial advice. Consulting a financial advisor about your particular circumstances is best.
The 50-day and 200-day moving averages (MA) are used to identify trend direction. The 200-day MA is a long-term indicator, while the 50-day MA is used to determine the intermediate trend.
Here are some strategies for trading the 50 and 200 day MA:
Uptrend: Buy at support levels if MA 50 is above MA 200.
Downtrend: Sell at resistance levels if MA 50 is below MA 200.
Trend reversal: MA 50 crosses MA 200 from below. This is known as a golden cross and can signal the exhaustion of downward market momentum.
Crossover system: Take trades when the shorter moving average (50-day) crosses above and below the longer moving average (200-day).
Buying opportunities: Look for buying opportunities when the price is above the 200 day moving average indicator.
Holding trades: Hold your trades until the price action breaks your 50-day moving average in the direction opposite to your trade.
I do not like their constant updates on my computers. I know many are necessary, but not all. My computers shut down overnight while they wait for the updates to be opted for.
Very good chart, thank you Eric.
Trades for the day: Bought back: MRK 4 Calls, MO 6 Calls, KVUE 2 Calls. Round trip trades: SHOP 1 Call, AMZN 1 Put, BTI 10 Calls, ET 5 Puts.
Sold Puts: MO 4 for a near money and short time frame, I do not mind adding to this Dividend King.
Sold: JD 10 Calls, SPG 8 Calls.
We saw a little more volatility today and the market attempted a rebound from a DJI negative 400 points to neutral, it failed. Still more negatives to come, before we could see a rebound. Government closures never lasted for forever.
Support didn't hold on the SPX and it appears we're headed down to the 4,200 area. Same for O which got a nice bounce yesterday at the psychological support area of $50. It's broken down this afternoon and trading at $49.46 with a 6.12% dividend. MO is holding it's own even though they own ~200MM shares of BUD which has been struggling for a decade. UPRO is down more than a dollar and trading at $40.
McDonald's Stock Tumbles 4% - A Detailed Examination Of The Break From Major Support Post $300 Decline
BENZINGA 10:08 AM ET 9/27/2023
McDonald's has announced a strategic decision to increase franchisee royalty charges from 4% to 5%.
Franchisees operate 95% of McDonald's 40,000 global locations.
McDonald's stock is undergoing challenges, witnessing a 4% decline this month.
In a bold strategic move, McDonald's Corp (NYSE:MCD) is increasing the royalty charges for new franchises in the United States and Canada.
Starting next year, these charges will increase by 1%, from 4% to 5% of sales. This decision is particularly significant since franchisees manage an impressive 95% of McDonald's 40,000 global locations.
McDonald's franchisees are crucial to the company's financial success, as their fees made up 61% of the $23 billion revenue last year.
The impending royalty hike will have a big impact on both the franchisees and the company's overall revenue trajectory.
The choice to raise royalty fees is a significant one, representing the first increase in nearly thirty years.
It is expected to face opposition, highlighting the tumultuous connection between the company and its U.S. franchisees.
The complex dynamics between McDonald's and its franchisees have been marked by a succession of disputes and talks, rendering the announcement a potential trigger for renewed conflicts and dialogues.
Meanwhile, McDonald's stock is facing challenges as well, with a 4% decrease this month.
The stock price has breached a significant support level at $271, which was the highest point in January 2022.
This level held strong until September 22nd, but the beginning of this week marked a breakthrough, indicating possible volatility in the stock's future trajectory.
In July of this year, the stock price came within a dollar of reaching $300, but ultimately fell short, leading to a subsequent decline of 10%.
Despite this weakness, the stock has managed to show a year-to-date increase of 1.49%.
Very rare for me.
Thank you for sharing that fascinating piece of American Social history. I wondered if you might have a link to the original article.
US durable goods orders unexpectedly rise in August
REUTERS 8:54 AM ET 9/27/2023
Symbol Last Price Change
GM 32.26down 0 (0%)
STLA 18.84down 0 (0%)
F 12.43down 0 (0%)
QUOTES AS OF 04:10:00 PM ET 09/26/2023
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods unexpectedly rose in August and there were signs that business spending on equipment regained some momentum after faltering early in the third quarter.
The Commerce Department said on Wednesday that orders for durable goods, items ranging from toasters to aircraft meant to last three years or more, gained 0.2% last month. Data for July was revised lower to show orders for these goods decreasing 5.6% instead of 5.2% as previously reported.
Non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, surged 0.9% after a downwardly revised 0.4% decline in the prior month. These so-called core capital goods orders were previously reported to have edged up 0.1% in July. Some of the rise in the value of orders likely reflected higher prices.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast durable goods orders falling 0.5% last month and core capital goods orders being unchanged. Manufacturing, which makes up 11.1% of the economy, is muddling along as higher borrowing costs slow demand for goods.
Since March 2022, the U.S. central bank has raised its benchmark overnight interest rate by 525 basis points to the current 5.25%-5.50% range. A strike by the United Auto Workers union against General Motors Co(GM), Stellantis(STLA) and Ford Motor(F) could pressure manufacturing.
(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Andrea Ricci)
Eric, I thought you rarely traded short term.
Amazon put buyer realizes 45% same-day gains
THE FLY 8:00 AM ET 9/27/2023
Symbol Last Price Change
AMZN 125.98up 0 (0%)
QUOTES AS OF 04:00:00 PM ET 09/26/2023
Notable profits for the buyer who lifted the $0.58 offer for 9,971 Amazon(AMZN) 10/6 weekly 119 puts yesterday at 13:06ET when underlying shares were trading at $127.44. Shares closed at $125.98, and the puts at $0.84 for a mark-to-market profit of 45%, or $260K, on the $578K outlay.
He was. Biden is a student of US political history and he likely understands where we are in this long political cycle. I'll offer this story of the unfortunate WWI soldiers who protested in DC their delayed "bonus" for fighting during the war and the end of the previous fascist cycle in America. I believe this is the beginning of the end of this fascist cycle started by Reagan.
This story is republished here from that radical left group, the National Park Service..:).
Bonus Expeditionary Forces March on Washington
In the years after World War I, a long battle over providing a bonus payment to WWI veterans raged between Congress and the White House. Presidents Harding and Coolidge both vetoed early attempts to provide a bonus to WWI veterans. Congress overrode Coolidge’s veto in 1926, passing the World War Adjusted Compensation Act, otherwise known as the Bonus Act.
The act promised WWI veterans a bonus based on length of service between April 5, 1917 and July 1, 1919; $1 per day stateside and $1.25 per day overseas, with the payout capped at $500 for stateside veterans and $625* for overseas veterans. The catch was this bonus would not pay out until each veteran’s birthday in 1945, paying out to his estate if he should die before then. Although veterans were allowed to borrow against the bonus certificate beginning in 1927, by 1932, banks were short on credit to give.
In May 1932, jobless WWI veterans organized a group called the “Bonus Expeditionary Forces” (BEF) to march on Washington, DC. Suffering and desperate, the BEF’s goal was to get the bonus payment now, when they really needed the money. Led by Walter W. Walters, the veterans set up camps and occupied buildings in various locations in Washington, DC. The largest camp was a shantytown on the Anacostia Flats, across the river from Washington’s Navy Yard.
By summer, at least 20,000 people had joined the camps, with some estimates putting the total number above 40,000. Many were joined by their families. But the camps attracted an undesirable element as well. President Hoover later claimed “the march was largely organized and promoted by the Communists, and included a large number of hoodlums and ex-convicts bent on raising a public disturbance.” Using scrap wood and other salvaged materials, the protesters constructed a vast field of shacks in view of the Capitol dome, prepared for a siege of Congress.
Taking up the veterans’ cause, Congressman Wright Patman (D-TX) - himself a WWI veteran - sponsored a bill that would immediately provide a $2.4 billion bonus payment to WWI veterans. During the debate over the bill on June 15, 1932, Congressman Edward Eslick (D-TN) was making an address on the floor of the House of Representatives when he suffered a heart attack and died. The House carried on with its business, though, and with hundreds of veterans cheering from the gallery, the House passed the bill that same day.
Republicans opposed the Patman bill mainly because it required the government to spend money it did not have in the treasury. The government was no exception to the hard times that had befallen the nation. Although the bill had passed in the House, the bill did not have the votes to pass in the Senate. The Senate voted down the bill on June 17. No immediate relief would be coming to the veterans. Even if the bill had passed the Senate, it most likely would have been vetoed by President Hoover, just as the bonus itself had been vetoed by Coolidge and Harding in the preceding years.
The bill had come to a vote and failed, but many in the Bonus Expeditionary Force refused to pack up and go home. Instead, they continued their occupation of the Anacostia Flats and vacant buildings in the District of Columbia into July.
On July 28, Attorney General William Mitchell ordered the DC police to remove the protesters from government property. At the time, about 50 protesters occupied buildings along Pennsylvania Avenue. When police arrived to move them out, a riot erupted, and police shot and killed two protesters. After that, the Army was called in to restore order.
General Douglas MacArthur led the Army troops, along with his aide Major Dwight D. Eisenhower and an able tank commander, Major George S. Patton.
China starts research on particle accelerator chip making machine, which would rival ASML's next generational process.
Achieving the ability to make chips using this process will take at least ten years or more of research and development.
It has a strong support in the $50 area, but I doubt if it is strong enough this time around.
Was he the first President to walk the picket line?