Posts Tagged ‘Washington Post’

How Mega Millions and Powerball Make You a Loser

October 23, 2018

How Mega Millions and Powerball Make You a Loser

Nobody won last Friday’s Mega Millions lottery, so this week’s grand prize has grown to $1.6 billion dollars. That’s Billion, with a “B.” On Saturday, nobody won the Powerball lottery, so this week’s prize will be $620 million. These events are hardly surprising since both of these multi-state, government-sponsored gambling cartels recently tweaked the odds to produce such results.

Since the Mega Millions formula change, players now pick five numbers from 1 to 70 and a Mega number of 1 to 25. The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 302,575,350. The odds of winning the Powerball lottery are currently 1 in 292,201,338. The odds of being killed by a falling vending machine: 1 in 12,000,000.

Why did the lotteries ramp up the odds? If more people lose, the lottery prizes grow larger. When prizes grow, more people buy lottery tickets. When prizes are “only” $100 million, many lottery ticket buyers are the poor and desperate, but when prizes are huge, even wealthy people buy lottery tickets.When more people buy lottery tickets, the bigger the corporate profits for Mega Millions and Powerball. But selling more lottery tickets increases state school district budgets, right?

No. education budgets stay about the same. States merely use lottery profits to replace funding they previously got from other sources.

More:

“How Much Do Americans Spend on the Lottery?” Mike Brown, lendedu

“Per capita lottery spending has doubled since 1995,” Christopher Ingraham, Washington Post

“Why all lotteries are based on a lie,” Allison Schrager, Quartz

“Powerball Windfall? Schools Don’t Always Benefit From Lottery Sales,” Elizabeth Chuck, NBC News

“How ’80s excess fueled today’s Mega Millions mania,” Jonathan D. Cohen, Washington Post

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Roy Moore Claims Pulitzer-Winning Exposés Are ‘Forces of Evil’

April 26, 2018

Roy Moore Claims Pulitzer-Winning Exposés Are 'Forces of Evil'

The Washington Post won a 2018 Pulitzer Prize for its investigative reporting of Roy Moore’s courtship of underage girls. Mr. Moore, failed senate candidate,  defrocked judge and gun-slingingtheocraticracist homophobe, calls that reporting “lies and slander” in a fundraising email he sent out to raise money for his legal defense in a defamation lawsuit filed by one of his accusers.

“They spread slanderous lies and made numerous false accusations. They attacked my character. They dragged my reputation through the mud. They even attacked my wife and family. But instead of being held accountable in a court of law, the Washington Post just won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for their lies and slander against me and my family. Meanwhile, I’m being sued for standing up and defending myself and my family from ruthless lies and attacks. And it’s exactly why you and I must stand strong in our legal fight against the forces of evil.”

Hey, y’all. Pulitzer. That some kinda Jewish name?

More:

“Roy Moore fundraising off Pulitzers won for stories about him, cites ‘forces of evil,'” Leada Gore, AL.com

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Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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187,000 students experienced school gun violence since Columbine

March 23, 2018

187,000 students experienced school gun violence since Columbine

More than 187,000 students at nearly 200 U.S. schools have experienced gun violence during school hours since the 1999 Columbine shooting. A Washington Post analysis found that there have been 10 school shootings a year since Columbine. There have already been 11 shootings in 2018.

Read the analysis:

“Scarred by school shootings,” John Woodrow Cox and Steven Rich, Washington Post

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NutellaGate

November 28, 2017

NutellaGate

“McDonald’s restaurants in Italy serve it on hamburger buns. Lifestyle websites cheekily offer lists of “signs you’re addicted to Nutella.” And at least one German soccer team dropped a player who couldn’t stop eating it.

Yes, a legion of snackers live for the hazelnut spread. And they’re not happy.

Nutella confirmed on its Twitter feed Wednesday that the recipe “underwent a fine-tuning” after Germany’s Hamburg Consumer Protection Center said on Facebook that  it appeared the recipe had changed.”

“‘Real cool,’ wrote one user, adding, ‘why not draw a mustache on the Mona Lisa too?’”

— “‘How dare they’: Nutella changes recipe, sending its fans to the edge,” Travis M. Andrews, Washington Post

More:

“Choc horror: fans outraged by Nutella’s secret recipe change,” Rebecca Smithers, The Guardian

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Image (“Still Life with Pewter Jug and Nutella, after Cezanne”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Trump Tried to Buy Property in Russia While Running For President

August 29, 2017

Trump Tried to Buy Property in Russia While Running For President
“While Donald Trump was running for president in late 2015 and early 2016, his company was pursuing a plan to develop a massive Trump Tower in Moscow, according to several people familiar with the proposal and new records reviewed by Trump Organization lawyers.

” … the details of the deal … provide evidence that Trump’s business was actively pursuing significant commercial interests in Russia at the same time he was campaigning to be president — and in a position to determine U.S.-Russia relations. The new details from the emails, which are scheduled to be turned over to congressional investigators soon, also point to the likelihood of additional contacts between Russia-connected individuals and Trump associates during his presidential bid.”

“Trump denied having any business connections to Russia in July 2016, tweeting, ‘for the record, I have ZERO investments in Russia’ and then insisting at a news conference the following day, ‘I have nothing to do with Russia.’”

— “Trump’s business sought deal on a Trump Tower in Moscow while he ran for president,” Carol D. Leonnig, Tom Hamburger and Rosalind S. Helderman, Washington Post

“A top executive from Donald Trump’s real estate company emailed Russian President Vladi­mir Putin’s personal spokesman during the U.S. presidential campaign last year to ask for help advancing a stalled Trump Tower development project in Moscow, according to documents submitted to Congress on Monday.”

— “Top Trump Organization executive asked Putin aide for help on business deal,” Rosalind S. Helderman, Carol D. Leonnig and Tom Hamburger, Washington Post

(more…)

Report: Sessions Talked Policy With Russian Diplomat

July 25, 2017

Report: Sessions Talked About Campaign With Russian Diplomat

The Russian ambassador to the U.S. told his superiors that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to Mr. Session’s public assertions and sworn testimony, reports the Washington Post:

“Ambassador Sergey Kislyak’s accounts of two conversations with Sessions — then a top foreign policy adviser to Republican candidate Donald Trump — were intercepted by U.S. spy agencies, which monitor the communications of senior Russian officials in the United States and in Russia. Sessions initially failed to disclose his contacts with Kislyak and then said that the meetings were not about the Trump campaign.

One U.S. official said that Sessions — who testified that he had no recollection of an April encounter — has provided ‘misleading’ statements that are ‘contradicted by other evidence.’ A former official said that the intelligence indicates that Sessions and Kislyak had ‘substantive’ discussions on matters including Trump’s positions on Russia-related issues and prospects for U.S.-Russia relations in a Trump administration.

Sessions has said repeatedly that he never discussed campaign-related issues with Russian officials and that it was only in his capacity as a U.S. senator that he met with Kislyak.

‘I never had meetings with Russian operatives or Russian intermediaries about the Trump campaign,’ Sessions said in March when he announced that he would recuse himself from matters relating to the FBI probe of Russian interference in the election and any connections to the Trump campaign.”

— “Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show,” Adam Entous, Ellen Nakashima and Greg Miller, Washington Post

President Trump is hinting that he will fire Mr. Sessions and attacking him, but not for campaign collusion or for lying about it. Mr. Trump is upset that Mr. Sessions recused himself on the Russia investigation and isn’t persecuting his former political opponent, like they do in, say, Russia.

More:

“Sessions Discussed Campaign Matters With Russian Ambassador,” Aria Bendix and Adam Serwer, The Atlantic

“Sessions hires his own lawyer,” Rebecca Savransky, The Hill

Related:

“Ex-Bush ethics lawyer: Trump calling for Clinton to be prosecuted is an ‘impeachable offense,'” Aida Chavez, The Hill

“Russian envoy, at heart of U.S. investigations, ends tenure in Washington,” David Shepardson, Reuters

“Kislyak Leaves His Post With Russiagate in His Wake,” Griffin Connolly, Roll Call

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The NSA and DNI Told Trump to Take a Hike

May 23, 2017

The NSA and DNI Told Trump to Take a Hike
In March, after FBI Director James B. Comey told the House Intelligence Committee the FBI was investigating links between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, President Trump asked Director of National Intelligence (DNIDaniel Coats and NSA Director Michael Rogers to say there was nothing to the Trump-Russia story. They declined to spread disinformation about a sister agency’s ongoing investigation, even at the president’s request. The CIA had already determined that there was Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.

More:

“Trump asked intelligence chiefs to push back against FBI collusion probe after Comey revealed its existence,” Adam Entous and Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post

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The Curse of the Potato

May 3, 2016

Before the rise of the modern world, why did some societies develop social and architectural complexity while others didn’t?

“The most advanced civilizations all tended to cultivate grain crops, like wheat and barley and corn. Less advanced societies tended to rely on root crops like potatoes, taro and manioc.

It’s not that grains crops were much easier to grow than tubers, or that they provided more food, the economists say. Instead, the economists believe that grains crops transformed the politics of the societies that grew them, while tubers held them back.

Call it the curse of the potato.”

More:

“The sinister, secret history of a food that everybody loves,” Jeff Guo, Washington Post

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The Twinkies Bakery is Now Worth Big Dough

July 20, 2015

The Twinkies Bakery is Now Worth Big Dough

Hostess, baker of America’s beloved Ding Dongs, Ho Hos and Twinkies, founded in 1930, went bankrupt in 2012. The firm was bought the next year by a partnership led by C. Dean Metropoulos, savior of Vlasic, Hungry-Man, Old Milwaukee and Chef Boyardee food brands. The turnaround king has done it again, for our nation’s iconic dessert cakes:

“Now, the iconic dessert titan is resurgent, selling its golden, cream-filled Twinkies across the world under the name Hostess Brands and turning down $2 billion offers from a pack of hopeful buyers. On Tuesday morning, the company reached its latest peak when Reuters, citing anonymous sources, suggested Hostess would head to Wall Street with an initial public offering that would value the company at around $2.5 billion.”

— “Twinkies are not just back from the dead. Their baker may now be worth billions.” Drew Harwell, Washington Post

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Boo! Halloween Crosses Class Lines.

November 1, 2014

Boo! Halloween Crosses Class Lines.

What were all those kids from … other neighborhoods doing, trick-or-treating at your house last night?

“Imagine living in a neighborhood where it’s too dangerous to knock on a door at night, or next to neighbors who are too poor to buy a bag of candy.”

— “Halloween carpetbaggers expose the fault lines between the haves and have-nots,” Petula Dvorak, Washington Post

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Photo of an Anacostia bus bound for Capitol Hill on Halloween 2013, by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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