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Messages - DRobinson

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While I believe Obama did the right thing, I don’t believe he threw “caution to the wind” as Toure’ writes. When Biden floated a trial balloon a week earlier, publically announcing his support of marriage equality, there is NO CHANCE that his statement was not orchestrated. That said, Obama is showing political courage by announcing a position perceived to be in opposition to a core group of supporters.

But what if black voters are really not as opposed to same sex marriage as most believe them to be?  Maybe Obama (and his handlers) have a better read on voter hot buttons than the rest of us. I think Obama may see a net gain in voter support as a result of his getting on the right side of this issue. We will know very soon.

Acting / Acting Riots in New York
« on: May 10, 2012, 11:47:14 am »
Excerpted from Art Cashin’s stock market commentary today:

On this day in 1849, a riot occurred in the City of New York. “Big Deal!” you say – “A riot in New York, how unusual!” (Well, if you can contain the sarcasm, I’ll explain what was unusual.)

Sure New York City has had: draft riots; race riots; religious riots; bank riots; sports riots; anti-slavery riots and even race/religious riots. But if my research is correct, on this day (actually night) in 1849, it may have experienced its first and only acting riot.

Like most riots the seeds had been planted long before the fighting and killing began. In this case, the planting had occurred about five years before, on a stage in London.

By the 1840’s, America began to take itself seriously. It had its own poets, its own authors and even its own Shakespearean actors. Premier among the latter was a certain Edwin Forrest. Forrest was America’s pride. He was considered the most accomplished actor in America.

So when he had been booked into London to play “King Lear” in 1844, America felt his expected rave reviews would validate the presumption that America had finally attained cultural parity with Europe. But the reviews were anything but raves. Critics called him amateurish and saddled with American coarseness. And even before the reviews, the opening night audience had hooted and hissed Forrest nearly off the stage.

Forrest was convinced that his London tour had been sabotaged by Wm. MacReady, England’s “Premier Actor.” Thus, when Mr. MacReady came to tour America in 1849, Mr. Forrest, seeking revenge, was laying in wait. He scheduled performances head-to-head against MacReady. More importantly, he rushed to give interview upon interview retelling how nasty the British had been to him, thanks to MacReady.

The campaign worked. On May the 8th, 1849, MacReady opened at the Astor Place Opera House. Unbeknownst to the star, the audience was packed with Forrest’s friends who were also packed with a lot of yet to be recycled fruits and vegetables. As MacReady spoke his first lines, the audience recycled the produce at MacReady. Ungratefully, MacReady fled the stage and announced he was through with America.

The “don’tcha knows” were incensed and got the mayor to offer more police and even the National Guard to protect MacReady’s next performance. But all the publicity inspired even greater anti-MacReady feelings. So on this night in 1849, a crowd of 12,000 or so marched on the Opera House. (They were led by a certain E.Z.C. Judson who would later hide his police record by changing his name to Ned Buntline; write “Dime Novels” and create Western heroes.) Anyway, on this night, the mob of 12,000 started throwing cobblestones at the theater, the cops and the troops. (Now if you have not been in a New York riot recently, let me assure you that hurled cobblestones can sting more than rubber bullets.) So the cops, lacking a sense of humor, opened fire, leaving 30 dead and 50 injured.

General Discussion / Re: HAPPY BIRTHDAY REGGIE REG!!
« on: December 15, 2011, 04:38:36 pm »
Who knew, a man could be so handsome at 50!
Happy Birthday Reggie.

Finance / A letter to clients about Apple
« on: December 15, 2011, 04:36:06 pm »
I just sent the following e-mail letter to some of our clients and want to share with the HEF family.

No advice here, just my thoughts.

December 14, 2011

Because we hold significant positions in Apple Inc. (AAPL), I want to take a minute to share my thoughts about AAPL's recent price performance and my expectations going forward.

AAPL stock has spent most of the last five months trading, in a range, between $370 and $405 per share. These periods of sideways price consolidation are typical for AAPL and have historically preceded sharp price movements. We also know that shares of AAPL typically rally into their earnings reporting dates.

AAPL is expected to report earnings around the third week in January 2012, so it would be in keeping with historical precedent to see AAPL stage a strong rally over the next six weeks.

Characteristic of these historical patterns, there is a high probability that AAPL will "retest" it's recent lows and could trade down to $370 per share (maybe even a couple dollars lower) before it embarks on a rally, going into earnings.

There is a very high probability (80% +), in my opinion, that AAPL will act the same as it has over recent quarters.

If we look at how AAPL traded from a low in June 2011 as it ran up into earnings in July, we see that it went from a low of $310, to a high of $404, in under six weeks. It similarly moved from $235 to over $300, in roughly six weeks starting in August 2010. Right before the stock made these massive 30% runs, investor sentiment was very bearish despite AAPL's fundamentals remaining in tact.

Today, AAPL's fundamentals remain very strong, in the face of overall bearish investor sentiment.  AAPL holds about $82 billion in cash! Roughly 23% of AAPL's entire market cap is held in cash, on their balance sheet. We are seeing reported sales of iPhones more brisk than originally estimated which bodes well for revenue and earnings.

If AAPL were to retest it's recent low at $370, then rally 30% into earnings, as it did  in the recent examples cited above, it would be trading around $475 per share, next month. It would not be surprising to see a rally in AAPL shares, play out this way.

AAPL is at, what should prove to be, a major inflection point. Barring an all-out collapse of the stock market, AAPL should be trading much higher six weeks from now.

Please contact me with any questions about AAPL or the market in general.

Be Well

In The News / Re: Girls Basketball Team, racist pre-game chant
« on: December 12, 2011, 01:19:17 pm »

  That they are saying it's not racist, it's just a the hell do you respond to such idiocy and ignorance?   

You don't. It speaks for itself.

Hard Choices / Re: Tinkertoys, Legos or Lincoln Logs?
« on: December 12, 2011, 10:41:49 am »
In the same caterory as Tinkertoys/Legos/Lincoln Logs, does anyone else remember these?

« on: December 12, 2011, 10:25:08 am »
You have to respect Harris' independence. Not many (any?) AG's have, or would, stand up  against their own party in such a public way.  One more (on a long list) reason to support Harris!

General Discussion / The Mc Curse??
« on: June 24, 2010, 12:46:41 pm »
The Mc Curse??

I only know of three commanding Generals removed by their President, during a war.

McClellan, by Lincoln during the Civil War
McArthur, by Truman during the Korean War
McChrystal, by Obama during the Afghanistan War

It only seems fair to conclude that there is a “Mc” curse?

Why in the world does anyone believe that this one measely officer can guarantee the success of this war?

McChrystal doesn't guarantee success (a fuzzy term) of the war. But continuity and having a General who is highly regarded by his troops is important. That said, troops respecting their Commander in Chief is equally important.

Whether deserved or not, it seems there is a lack of respect for Obama by the military. I think the best decision Obama can make will be the one that causes troops to respect him the most. That may well be firing McChrystal to show intolerance for insubordination.

As far as the war being unwinnable, that seems to be the case, as winning is currently defined. But President Obama put a stake in the ground when he declared that Afghanistan was where he was going to fight Al Qaeda. Politically, Obama can’t just walk away. Perhaps reshaping the definition of “winning” is the best we can do at this point.

As the Rolling Stone article points out, Genghis Khan was the last foreign power to succeed in Afghanistan – there is a lesson in that fact.

This story should be played out, one way or the other, before the day is over. Obama looks to be in a very difficult situation. McChrystal deserves to be fired, but Obama has a bigger fish to fry - winning a war.

I hope Obama chews McChrystal a new one, then takes the high road and magnanimously sends him back into the field to win the war. If Obama can show enough restraint to do this, I think his standing with the American people and the world goes up significantly.

Our President has a dozen different problems that all look to be spiraling out of control. I hope the war in Afghanistan doesn’t get heaped on the pile.


P.S.: Note that McChrystal was given everthing he wanted by the Adminstration. The tenor of the article sound like he's annoyed that he has to answer to civilians at all.


I think McChrystal is saying that the Obama administration did not give him what he believe he needs to win the war. As I understand it, he was frustrated that Obama took 3 months to make a decision to send additional troops. He has also expressed his belief that scheduling troop withdrawals is inconsistent with trying to win a war.

It seems doubtable that a career military man would want to be fired and leave his troops hanging in the middle of a war. I just think he is frustrated with his Commander in Chief and decided to become somewhat of a whistle blower. And that is never acceptable for a General.

His frustration seems understandable. He is essentially fighting an un-winnable war, with inadequate assets, and has tepid support of his President & congress. I would hate to be in his shoes.

By the way, the fact that this story was posted in the "Politics" section of HEF speaks to how political this war is viewed. Would a story about WWII, printed during the war, be viewed as political or current events/news?

Hudlin's Huddle / Re: Thurgood Marshall
« on: June 17, 2010, 01:30:02 pm »
Marshall should be a hero to every American.

His mark on the world will last forever.

General Discussion / Re: Father's Day
« on: June 17, 2010, 01:27:26 pm »
I still have the boxed set of big band jazz I bought for my dad's birthday.  I didn't get to give it to him before he passed away.  The lesson is DON'T WAIT TO CELEBRATE WHO YOU LOVE.

You should take a slice of Father's Day, lock yourself in your office, bust open the box set you bought for your dad, play it loud and remember him....

General Discussion / Re: Father's Day
« on: June 17, 2010, 01:14:37 pm »
I'm still trying to come up with a great gift. My dad is 84, super active (rides a Ducati almost every day!) and seems to have to things he wants. If you have an idea, post it quick! I'm running out of time...

your dad is gangsta!
get him a leather jacket that says "world's coolest dad"

Thanks Mastrmynd, at 84 he's still got it goin on.

One time, when I was out riding bikes with him, we pulled into a place and I saw people's faces when he pulled off his helmet and they saw his white hair. Thier faces said dayam too!

Your leather jacket idea gives me another idea - I'll head down to the Harley shop (he rides one of those too) and get him Harley garb that he can wear when he works out.

The main thing I want to do on Father's Day is just hang with my dad & all my kids.
We're not here for long - gotta get our fill while we can.

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