🌞 Texas Two-Step – February 18 2021


Happy Thursday.

Photos show Texas Senator Ted Cruz taking his family to Cancun last night as his state suffers rolling blackouts during a deep freeze that has already killed dozens. Alright for some!


credit: @keithedwards

🎯 The House Financial Services Committee is set to question Robinhood and other investment firms today about the GameStop debacle.


🎤 Singer Demi Lovato says she had three strokes and a heart attack after a 2018 drug overdose. She has permanent brain damage and won’t drive a car due to blind spots in her vision. She is 28 years old.


🐾 Disney launched a trailer for a live action Cruella movie starring Emma Stone in the title role. We are interested as long as there is no puppy killing in the plot.


🍩 Krispy Kreme is offering a free Mars-themed donut today only to commemorate the landing of the Mars rover. It is caramel and chocolate with swirls that resemble the planet Mars.


📻 Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh died of cancer on Wednesday at the age of 70.


⛰ A rare extreme avalanche warning is in effect in Utah.


Coronavirus Update: 😷 Total confirmed cases as of 5:00 a.m. ET Thursday: 27,825,043 — Total deaths: 490,447



30 year2.77% 0.12% 2.83% 0.13%
15 year2.17% 0.03% 2.26% 0.04%


Stop Me If You’ve Heard This Before


Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel sold $98 million of his shares last year. photo credit: getty

The Covid vaccine has made pharmaceutical executives a lot of money. According to a new report, higher-ups at Pfizer, Moderna, and other pharma companies sold $496 million worth of stock when shares of their companies were up due to vaccine news.


This represents a significant increase from 2019 when executives sold just $132 million worth of stock. This is all legal, of course, as long as the trading is disclosed to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Some of the trades were planned before the pandemic but certainly not all. Executives used the stock surge to supplement their own compensation, which is to be expected. But it sure does give one pause about a vaccine that was so profit-driven in its inception.

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I Know What You Did Last Night


credit: department of justice

Three North Korean computer programmers were charged with hacking U.S. companies with the aim of stealing money for their country. The hackers were allegedly members of the North Korean military intelligence agency.


Newly unsealed indictments show that these hackers worked at times from Russia and China, infiltrating American companies including banks and a movie studio. Whereas hackers usually want to steal sensitive information, this bunch is said to have been looking to move more than $1.3 million from the U.S. to North Korea.


None of these hackers are in the U.S. to face charges and it is unlikely they will ever be. This is more of an I-see-you move on behalf of the Justice Department to let sophisticated hackers know that we are on to them and that they should knock it off.

Myanmar Military Retains Control


credit: giphy

The military retains control in Myanmar and has now arrested close to 500 people. The newest round of arrests includes celebrities who have spoken out against the coup and encourage people to protest.


Still, the protests continue since the February 1 uprising and detainment of the nation’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. One protester was shot in the head and one police officer has also died. The military says that it will hand over power after a fair election takes place but critics are skeptical that will happen.

News By The Numbers


credit: wsj

$960,855. That is how much quarterback Tom Brady’s sports performance and nutrition company received in PPP loans last year. There is now a Change.org petition that demands he give it back.


$108 billion. That is how much lower credit card debt was at the end of 2020 compared to a year ago. Data shows that consumers increased their mortgages but paid off their credit cards during the pandemic.


2 years. That is how long a Polish man could face in prison because he got drunk and refused to wear a mask on a Ryanair flight.


45%. That is how many Human Resources executives said that workers’ wages and bonuses would be cut if they choose to keep working remotely and move to a lower-cost area after the pandemic.

This Is Your Brain On Poverty


giphy.gifcredit: washington post

Does poverty affect one’s productivity? A new study suggests that it does. People who are worried about money were found to be less productive and make more mistakes at work.


The National Bureau of Economic Research tested workers at short-term contract jobs making disposable plates. One group was paid upfront for the month and another was paid at the end of the month. Those that were paid upfront could pay their bills, feed their families, and pay off debt. These workers produced 6.2% more plates per hour and the plates were less likely to have defects.


Those that had to wait until the end of the month had to live and work with that stress. They worked slower and made more errors.


“Our results suggest a range of psychological mechanisms wherein alleviating financial concerns allows workers to be more attentive and productive at work.”

So now, about that stimulus again?

Health: U.S. Life Expectancy Drops


giphy.gifcredit: istock.com

In 2019, the average life expectancy of an American baby born today was 78.8 years. By the end of 2020, it had dropped a full year to 77.8 years.


This is significant! These averages do not just drop a full integer in a year! But, Covid wiped out so many people and poverty levels – which tend to be a predictor of shorter lifespans – have spiked, so it stands to reason.


Life expectancy for Blacks dropped nearly three years and for Hispanics, nearly two! The report did not analyze Asians or Native Americans.


“This is a huge decline,” said Robert Anderson, who oversees the numbers for the CDC. “You have to go back to World War II, the 1940s, to find a decline like this.”

Today’s Live Show




Join us every day at 9 AM EST for our live show. On Today’s Show:


  • Biden reconsiders $50,000 student loan forgiveness
  • Robinhood prepares to get grilled
  • Big pharma rakes in the profits

You can RSVP right here to join us live.

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