National Football League warms to gamblers

"Looks like stocks need to be banned as gambling, too." It is indeed gambling. Shareholders in most companies did not invest a dime with the company and are not "investors." Instead they bought their stock from a third party with hopes that someday it would go up (or down for those who like to go short). There is often a real disconnect between the performance of a company and the performance of its stock because the company performance is driven by, in most cases, consumer response to its goods, but the stock performance replies on the "point spread" of stocks - quarterly earnings projections. A company can be making money hand over fist but if the reported earnings are a few cents shy of those mystical analysts projections, the gamblers will devalue the stock. If anything, "playing the market" supports the case for extending the realm of legal gambling, which society has been doing for quite some time what with state lotteries, Indian casinos, satellite betting at race tracks, etc. Local and state governments who habitually overspend are always open for new gambling opportunities if you can show them how they can get their share of the action (I think the mob called that the "take"). At some point they will be softened up enough that the NFL will be able to start touting their own brand of wagering where they and government's big spenders get to split the action - "Why let some other crooks get all the money?" they might say.
— November 25, 2015 8:24 a.m.

Campaign cash pays for Atkins Cuba jaunt

It's good to be the Queen: in a period in which she really was not campaigning for anything she spent over $380,000 on wining, dining and a family trip to Cuba, all of it tax-free money. Even after this latest spending binge, she still has over $1.8 million more of tax free money floating around in three accounts. Ever wonder why politicians work so hard to get reelected: this is it. That money buys comfort AND influence and you can just as easy use it to crush opponents as you can to pay $3,700 restaurant bills and $5,000 galas. It's bad enough and then to try to justify, say, the trip to Cuba with "The Assembly wants to do everything we can to create more jobs and business in California." Yep Toni, the Cubans needed to hear you tell them that they should create some new jobs and businesses in California. Maybe some Florida-style Cuban cafeterias in former Roberto's sites might work. I don't care who wins the Marty-Toni faceoff but when we see this kind of influence-peddling for and by an elected official it's clear the public loses. Toni is an alleged progressive, but her special interests donor lists looks a lot like what a top state Republican politician would have too (if we actually had such a thing as a "top" Republican) SEMPRA, the beer companies, insurance companies and big unions: those are the constituents of the Toni Atkins and the state legislature, but no wonder - they treat her better than you or I do. When was the last time you bought her lunch or dinner?
— October 19, 2015 6:44 p.m.

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