Remember the movie â€œCocoonâ€? In it, a bunch of geezers go for a swim in a pool filled with alien pods that look like the poo of the gods, if the gods ate a really high-fiber diet. The oldsters splash around for a while, absorb magic alien energy, and emerge from the water sporting their first boners in a decade.
That reminds us, somehow, of Joe Biden. He went for a dip in the South Carolina pool and emergedâ€¦well, the metaphor is too horrible to continue. Suffice to say before South Carolina you could have bought all the Joe you wanted for a dime; a month later heâ€™s at 90-cents and a share of Hillary (5-cents) is worth more than a share of Bernie (3-cents).
The drama is over, and the question is: where do we go from here? As bettors, we are left with zombie markets ranging from whoâ€™ll testify before the impeachment trial to whether Oprah Winfrey will get into the race. After Florida snuffed-out the Bern those of us who bet on politics (as opposed to numbers of tweets) are left with only the dullest small-return opportunities. Hawaii, Wyoming, New York and all the others remaining to vote are foregone conclusions running mid-to-high-80s Sleepy Joe. Itâ€™s the PredictIt equivalent of buying a savings bond, with interest to be paid by Bernieâ€™s never-say-die partisans.
â€œBernie has been winning,â€ argues HI on the Hawaii primary thread, causing us to gasp a little because Bernie has most emphatically not been winning. But then we read on: â€œBernie has been winning Asians and native Americans – who living in Hawaii, I would equate to Native Hawaiians. Hawaii is majority Asian with a decent native Hawaiian population. Liberal white people. All mail-in vote that I’ve already turned mine in.â€
Thatâ€™s a good theory, HI, and it is every bit as possible to draw a line from where we are to a Bernie victory as it is to draw a line from Ted Cruzâ€™s father to the Kennedy assassination. Berners are paying a dime for what 538.com describes as a 0.1% chance of victory. Thatâ€™s betting at 1000-1 odds for a 10-1 payoff. (Better bet: 13-cents for a Joe NO. But still.) We think not.
â€œPeople who think Bernie â€˜has a chanceâ€™ here,â€ counters a tired-sounding Bman409, â€œmust not have seen what happened in Washington (State). Oh, wellâ€¦easy money.â€
Many of the threads have devolved into debates about coronavirus. The snide dismissal of concerns about the pandemic have led me to change my own, personal conspiracy theory about the virus. I believed almost from the first publication of mortality data â€“ which indicated much higher death rates for people over 60 — that COVID-19 had been created by Millennials to, once and for all, put an end to Boomer hegemony.
But it appears the virus is poisoned bait for the coalition of Trumpers and radical individualists who aggressively reject all that is objectively verifiable. The rejection goes beyond Liberal Conspiracy boilerplate into the mystical realm of easily accessible quack cures that, for some reason, the world of medicine has missed. The aptly named threadster Bull posts a claim that an anti-bacterial used to treat urinary tract infections will somehow thwart a virus that settles in the lungs.
Comments like that and the appearance of quack cures promoted on conservative media (here and here) seem calculated to convince the very audience with the highest risk factors that the whole thing is a lot of bunk. That, in turn, has caused me to rethink my favored conspiracy. I now believe coronavirus is a biological attack on those who disbelieve anything said by people who don’t wear their MAGA hats in the shower.
In a rare moment of sincerity, we caution everyone to ignore crap written in comment threads and social media. Have faith in science. Except for the whole thalidomide thing, science has a pretty good track record.
And if youâ€™re posting crap like this, cut it out. You’re giving the neighborhood a bad name.
The wildest speculation seems to be going on in the Democratic Veep Nominee market.
â€œIt’s Kamala, Klob, Abrams, CCM, or Duckworth. Buying me some 83c dollars,â€ suggests Somerandomguy, excited to have a minimal risk strategy that consists, basically, of buying shares in everyone.
BeachValley suggest a few additions to the list including Bernie Sanders, who weâ€™re guessing would enter that market below the 4-cents Hillary Line.
Kalifornia Kamala surged when Majority Whip James Clyburn, who raised Biden from his deathbed in South Carolina, stated his preference for black women. (As veep candidates, silly!) But after a few days people grokked that Biden would likely take the Hillary path, naming someone whose threshold qualification is that he/she must be even less exciting than Joe â€“ and that is when Amy Klobuchar started climbing.
â€œHe (Biden) doesnâ€™t need California,â€ says mikeisnotcreative, â€œdoesnâ€™t need black voters – he needs white, swing state women.â€
â€œShe’s the VP,â€ agrees TruthTeller. â€œDeal has already been signed.â€
We doubt that, actually, because in our experience deals like this aren’t so much signed as they are winked. Also, if you travel down the thread you will find people absolutely certain that similar deals have been struck with Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren.
For now, itâ€™s a two-woman race with Amy and Kamala at an aggregate 61-cents. Because weâ€™re un-comfy with 30-cent toss-up bets that take four months to pay off, in this market weâ€™re pursuing a more longshot strategy. Full disclosure: Weâ€™re holding Elizabeth Warren and Val Demings shares. Warren (10-cents) makes sense as both Xanax for anxious Progressives and a rottweiler to gnaw Trump’s fleshy, anything-for-Wall-Street throat. On the other hand, Demmings (4-cents) got a lot of positive attention during the impeachment trial, and is racially appealing to Representative Clyburn who â€“ we all remember â€“ saved Bidenâ€™s sleepy ass. Our theory is not that sheâ€™ll get the nod, but that at her current model-discontinued price, one good headline will bounce her up enough to set off our autosell orders.
â€œWaiting for everyone to suddenly go ape**** for Tammy Duckworth,â€ says contrarian KnoxHarrington, whose name sounds like a four-employee accounting firm and who, we suspect, will be waiting for a long time because Duckworth would be an ape**** choice.
Total COVID-19 cases reported according to CDC by April 15. Includes cruise ships within 40 miles of American coastline and entire membership of Mar a Lago.
MEN IN SKIRTS
We understand nothing about foreign politics, but like to think we know something about people. As a young man, we spent time in Scotland, where we found the folk to be both charming and unpredictably explosive. (Or, perhaps, explosively unpredictable.) Based on that experience, weâ€™ve placed a small wager on Scotland passing legislation to break away from the United Kingdom.
â€œAs long as the snp has a majority in the Scottish Parliament snp will always pass laws calling for Independence referendums,â€ says Ryle Davis Jr. who, we believe, is not related to Sammy Davis Jr. â€œSo until the people of Scotland kick the SNP out of office they will be forced to waste their time and money on needless laws calling for referendums for Independence that won’t happen because as long as the Tories are in charge of Westminster the Westminster government of the United kingdom will not authorize a Scottish referendum they were clear in 2014 Scottish independence referendum was intended to be a once-in-a-lifetime.â€
We donâ€™t, for the record, understand anything Mr. Davis said â€“ though he makes us nostalgic for punctuation. Instead, weâ€™ve based our YES bet on the fact that itâ€™s easy to imagine people who throw telephone poles around for fun tanking-up on Lagavulin and filing separation paperwork out of pure belligerence.
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