Trading Places

Short people are in danger. At least on the stock market where institutional short-sellers have been suffering the squeeze of a lifetime, orchestrated by retail investors who are using social media to drive certain stocks through the roof. WTFs are the new ETFs. The stock getting the craziest ride is GameStop (think Blockbuster around the time Netflix showed up) which has a 52-week low of $2.57 and a 52-week high of $380, and it's up around 8x in the last five days. Since the beginning of time, big players have been taking advantage of small players (or the "dumb money"). But things have been changing as massive numbers of new investors have gotten into the market and started using Reddit to get into the black. In the long run, I'd bet on the institutions to take back the market, but I have a feeling this is the beginning of a story, not the end, and uncharted territory is not where you want to see your stock charts. That said, I think I'll hold just a littttle longer. (Me today, and me in 2000). James Surowiecki: The GameStop Fiasco Proves We're in a ‘Meme Stock' Bubble. "In a classic speculative craze, investors may take cues from each other — the fact that everyone is buying internet stocks makes you think it's smart to buy internet stocks — but they're not working together to make stock prices rise. With meme stocks, on the other hand, that's exactly what's happening. (Luckily, I bought shares in Bernie Sanders before the mittens.)

+ The Verge: how r/wallstreetbets gamed the stock of gamestop.

+ Vox: The GameStop stock frenzy, explained.

+ Just for fun, Blockbuster's stock is now being rallied.


Ready, Willing, Enable

"What the vote Tuesday suggests is that there are only five Republicans who've consistently indicated their opposition, first, to Trump's effort to undermine the results of the 2020 election and, second, to his behavior and rhetoric before the riot." WaPo: Three weeks after the insurrection, Senate Republicans again close ranks around Trump. (A Trump led mob defecated on the marble floors of our Capitol. And his enablers keep adding to the pile.)

+ U.S. prosecutors eye 400 potential suspects, expect sedition charges very soon.

+ "There are 400 million privately owned guns in America." A lot of those are owned by militia members. Charles Homans in the NYT: Out of the Barrel of a Gun.

+ Stand back, stand by, and, you better sit down for this... Reuters: Proud Boys leader was ‘prolific' informer for law enforcement.


Insurge Protector

"As the Senate prepares to sit in judgment on Mr. Trump, we should be wary of the excuses put forward by his defenders — that his conviction will only divide the country further, that we should simply move on. No: It is far too late for appeasement. Those of us versed in counterinsurgency know that in violent extremism nothing succeeds like success, and that the opposite is also true." C.I.A. station chief Robert Grenier: How to Defeat America's Homegrown Insurgency.

+ Umair Haque: This is How You Recover From Fascism — and America's Not Doing Any of It.



"We're bringing back the pros to talk about COVID in an unvarnished way. Any questions you have, that's how we'll handle them because we're letting science speak again." The coronavirus press conferences are back. This time they're being run by scientists. The latest update has some good news (more vaccine doses are being purchased, a national plan finally being put into place) and some terrible news (as many as 90,000 American deaths are projected in the next month). In other words, we're hearing the truth.

+ WaPo: CDC finds scant spread of coronavirus in schools with precautions in place.

+ Wisconsin Senate votes to end Gov. Tony Evers' statewide face mask mandate. (It was saving too many lives...)

+ Oklahoma is trying to return its $2m stockpile of hydroxychloroquine. (Just send it to Mar a Lago...)


Minded By Science

"In what would be the most ambitious U.S. effort ever to stave off the worst effects of climate change, President Joe Biden is aiming to cut oil, gas and coal emissions and double energy production from offshore wind turbines through executive orders Wednesday. The orders awaiting his signature target federal subsidies for oil and other fossil fuels and halt new oil and gas leases on federal lands and waters. They also intend to conserve 30 percent of the country's lands and ocean waters in the next 10 years and move to an all-electric federal vehicle fleet." AP: Biden aims for most ambitious US effort on climate change.


The Greene Zone

"The latest round of Greene comments, pulled from archives of her Facebook page, show the congresswoman promoting an outlandish, QAnon-adjacent conspiracy theory about Hillary Clinton cutting off and donning the face of a child. That comment was reported by the progressive group Media Matters for America, which previously noted her endorsements of claims that 9/11 was perpetrated by the American government, and that the Parkland school shooting was staged. CNN reported Tuesday that Greene had floated executing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for treason, and 'liked' Facebook comments suggesting the execution of FBI agents." Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is out of her mind, but in Congress.

+ Here's Greene hounding David Hogg after a bunch of kids were killed in his school.


Left at the Falter

"The names of presidents, conquistadors, authors and even a current U.S. senator will be removed from 44 San Francisco school sites after the city's school board Tuesday deemed the iconic figures unworthy of the honor." A humiliatingly stupid vote by the SF school board will remove the names of past offenders from schools. Some make sense. Others are named Washington and Lincoln.


Spin Cycle of Life

Tom Brady still has his youth. Tony Hawk just attempted to pull off a 720 at the age of 52. (Of course, Brady might still be playing QB when he hits 720.)

+ Everyone is loving Nia Dennis's floor exercise routine. (This is pretty similar to what my 12 year-old daughter does whenever I say it's time for homework.)


Iron the World

"Robert Downey Jr. on Wednesday announced the launch of two venture capital funds focused on startups in the sustainability sector, the latest evolution of a project he launched two years ago called Footprint Collective."


Bottom of the News

"For many, it seemed a step too far in government intrusions after a year and counting of a dignity-eroding pandemic." WaPo: China rolls out anal swab coronavirus test, saying it's more accurate than throat method. (I knew we'd eventually miss social distancing...)

+ Anchorage Assemblywoman who defended Nazi license plates is no longer on Alaska Human Rights Commission. (Damn, these commissions are getting so strict these days...)