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[Lost in the Sauce] Trump admin hides Paycheck Protection program details; lawmakers benefit from loans

Welcome to Lost in the Sauce, keeping you caught up on political and legal news that often gets buried in distractions and theater… or a global health crisis.
Title refers to: The Trump admin is blocking IGs from getting info on over $1 trillion in relief spending, including corporation bailouts. The admin is also withholding PPP info from Congress, meaning we don't know if Trump or his family took taxpayer money. Additionally, we learned that at least 4 members of Congress have benefited from PPP money, but aren't required to disclose it.
Housekeeping:

Coronavirus

Inspectors general warned Congress last week that the Trump administration is blocking scrutiny of more than $1 trillion in spending related to the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the previously undisclosed letter, Department of Treasury attorneys concluded that the administration is not required to provide the watchdogs with information about the beneficiaries of programs like the $500 billion in loans for corporations.
Treasury Secretary Mnuchin refused to provide Congress with the names of recipients of the taxpayer-funded coronavirus business loans. After criticism, Mnuchin began to walk back his denial, saying he will talk to lawmakers on a bipartisan basis “to strike the appropriate balance for proper oversight” of PPP loans “and appropriate protection of small business information.”
At least 4 lawmakers have benefited in some way from the Paycheck Protection program they helped create. Politico has been told there are almost certainly more -- but there are zero disclosure rules, even for members of Congress.
  • Republicans on the list include Rep. Roger Williams of Texas, a wealthy businessman who owns auto dealerships, body shops and car washes, and Rep. Vicky Hartzler of Missouri, whose family owns multiple farms and equipment suppliers across the Midwest. The Democrats count Rep. Susie Lee of Nevada, whose husband is CEO of a regional casino developer, and Rep. Debbie Mucarsel Powell of Florida, whose husband is a senior executive at a restaurant chain that has since returned the loan.
Mick Mulvaney dumped as much as $550,000 in stocks the same day Trump assured the public the US economy was 'doing fantastically' amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Mulvaney unloaded his holdings in three different mutual funds, each of which is primarily made up of US stocks. The next day, the value of the mutual funds tanked.

Cases rising in many states

Good summary: There was supposed to be a peak. But the stark turning point, when the number of daily COVID-19 cases in the U.S. finally crested and began descending sharply, never happened. Instead, America spent much of April on a disquieting plateau, with every day bringing about 30,000 new cases and about 2,000 new deaths. This pattern exists because different states have experienced the coronavirus pandemic in very different ways…The U.S. is dealing with a patchwork pandemic.
As of Friday, coronavirus cases were significantly climbing in 16 states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Washington.
Oklahoma is experiencing a massive increase in coronavirus cases just days before Trump’s planned rally in Tulsa. In Tulsa county itself, 1 in roughly 390 people have tested positive. Yet Trump plans on cramming 20,000 people in an event with voluntary face mask policy and no social distancing. Attendees must sign a waiver that absolves the president’s campaign of any liability from virus-related illnesses.
  • On Monday, Pence lied saying that Oklahoma has “flattened the curve.” As you can see at any of the resources immediately below, this is not even close to true. Over the past 14 days, the state has seen a 124% increase in cases and reports 65% of ICU beds are in use.
  • Tulsa World Editorial Board: This is the wrong time and Tulsa is the wrong place for the Trump rally. "We don't know why he chose Tulsa, but we can’t see any way that his visit will be good for the city...Again, Tulsa will be largely alone in dealing with what happens at a time when the city’s budget resources have already been stretched thin."
  • Earlier in the day, Trump tweeted that he is a victim of double standards when it comes to perception of his decision to resume campaign rallies in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, declaring that attempts to “covid shame” his campaign “won’t work!”
Resources to track increases: There are many different sites with various methods of visualizing the spread of coronavirus. Here are some that may be particularly useful this summer… Topos COVID-19 compiler homepage and graphs of each state since re-opening. How we reopen Safely has stats on each state’s progress towards meeting benchmarks to reopen safely (hint: almost none have reached all the checkpoints). WaPo has a weekly national map of cases/deaths; the largest regional clusters are in the southeast.
On Monday, Trump twice said that “if we stop testing right now, we’d have very few cases, if any,” (video). Aside from the fact that cases exist even if we don’t test for them, we cannot explain the rising number of cases by increased testing capacity: In at least 14 states, the positive case rate is increasing faster than the increase in the average number of tests.
  • Reminder: In March Trump told Fox News that he didn't want infected patients from a cruise ship to disembark because it would increase the number of reported cases in the US. "I like the numbers being where they are," Trump said at the time. "I don't need to have the numbers double because of one ship that wasn't our fault."
Fired scientist Rebekah Jones builds coronavirus dashboard to rival Florida’s… Her site shows thousands more people with the coronavirus, and hundreds of thousands fewer who have been tested, than the site run by the Florida Health Department.

Equipment and supplies

More studies prove wearing masks limits transmission and spread of coronavirus… One study from Britain found that routine face mask use by 50% or more of the population reduced COVID-19 spread to an R of less than 1.0. The R value measures the average number of people that one infected person will pass the disease on to. An R value above 1 can lead to exponential growth. The study found that if people wear masks whenever they are in public it is twice as effective at reducing the R value than if masks are only worn after symptoms appear.
Meanwhile, Trump officials refuse to wear masks and Trump supporters copy his behavior… VP Mike Pence, leader of the coronavirus task force, published a tweet showing himself in a room full of Trump staffers, none wearing masks or practicing social distancing. Pence deleted the tweet shortly after criticism. A poll last week showed that 66% of likely-Biden-voters “always wear a mask,” while 83% of likely-Trump-voters “neverarely wear a mask.”
  • Trump’s opposition to face masks hasn’t stopped him from selling them to his supporters, though. The online Trump Store is selling $20 cotton American flag-themed face masks.
  • Yesterday, we learned that South Carolina Republican Rep. Tom Rice and family have tested positive for the coronavirus. Just two weeks ago, Rice was on the House floor and halls of the Capitol without wearing a mask.
Internal FEMA data show that the government’s supply of surgical gowns has not meaningfully increased since March… The slides show FEMA’s plan to ramp up supply into June and July hinges on the reusing of N95 masks and surgical gowns, increasing the risk of contamination. Those are supposed to be disposed of after one use.
Nursing homes with urgent needs for personal protective equipment say they’re receiving defective equipment as part of Trump administration supply initiative. Officials say FEMA is sending them gowns that look more like large tarps -- with no holes for hands -- and surgical masks that are paper-thin.
More than 1,300 Chinese medical-device companies that registered to sell PPE in the U.S. during the coronavirus pandemic used bogus registration data… These companies listed as their American representative a purported Delaware entity that uses a false address and nonworking phone number.
Florida is sitting on more than 980,000 unused doses of hydroxychloroquine, but hospitals don’t want it… Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered a million doses of the drug to show support for Trump, but very few hospitals have requested it.

Native American communities struggle

The CARES Act money for Native American tribes, meant to assist people during the pandemic, came with restrictions that are impeding efforts to limit the transmission of the virus. For instance, the funds can only be used to cover expenses that are "incurred due to the public health emergency." On the Navajo Nation, the public health emergency is inherently related to some basic infrastructure problems. 30% of Navajo don’t have running water to wash their hands, but the money can’t be used to build water lines.
Federal and state health agencies are refusing to give Native American tribes and organizations representing them access to data showing how the coronavirus is spreading around their lands, potentially widening health disparities and frustrating tribal leaders already ill-equipped to contain the pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has turned down tribal epidemiologists’ requests for data that it’s making freely available to states.
A Hospital’s Secret Coronavirus Policy Separated Native American Mothers From Their Newborns… Pregnant Native American women were singled out for COVID-19 testing based on their race and ZIP code, clinicians say. While awaiting results, some mothers were separated from their newborns, depriving them of the immediate contact doctors recommend. New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that state officials would investigate the allegations.

Personnel & appointees

Former IG Steve Linick told Congress he was conducting five investigations into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the State Department before he was fired. In addition to investigating Pompeo's potential misuse of taxpayer funds and reviewing his decision to expedite an $8 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia, Linick’s office was conducting an audit of Special Immigrant Visas, a review of the International Women of Courage Award, and another review "involving individuals in the Office of the Protocol."
  • Pompeo confidant emerges as enforcer in fight over watchdog’s firing: Linick testified that Undersecretary of State for Management Brian Bulatao, a decades-old friend of Pompeo’s, “tried to bully [him]” out of investigating Pompeo.
Trump has empowered John McEntee, director of the Presidential Personnel Office, to make significant staffing changes inside top federal agencies without the consent — and, in at least one case, without even the knowledge — of the agency head. Many senior officials in Trump's government are sounding alarms about the loss of expertise and institutional knowledge.
Trump’s nominee for under secretary of defense for policy, retired Army Brig. Gen. Anthony Tata, has a history of making Islamophobic and inflammatory remarks against prominent Democratic politicians, including falsely calling former President Barack Obama a Muslim.
Amid racial justice marches, GOP advances Trump court pick hostile to civil rights. Cory Wilson, up for a lifetime seat on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, has denied that restrictive voting laws lead to voter suppression and called same-sex marriage “a pander to liberal interest groups.”
Interior Secretary David Bernhardt has indefinitely extended the terms of the acting directors of the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service, sidestepping the typical Senate confirmation process for those posts and violating the Federal Vacancies Reform Act,

Courts and DOJ

The Supreme Court declined on Monday to take a closer look at qualified immunity, the legal doctrine that shields law enforcement and government officials from lawsuits over their conduct. Developed in recent decades by the high court, the qualified immunity doctrine, as applied to police, initially asks two questions: Did police use excessive force, and if they did, should they have known that their conduct was illegal because it violated a "clearly established" prior court ruling that barred such conduct? In practice, however, lower courts have most often dismissed police misconduct lawsuits on grounds that there is no prior court decision with nearly identical facts.
The Supreme Court ruled that federal anti-discrimination laws protect gay and transgender employees. Justice Neil M. Gorsuch and Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joined the court’s liberals in the 6 to 3 ruling. They said Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination “because of sex,” includes LGBTQ employees.
  • Alito, writing more than 100 pages in dissent for himself and Thomas, accused the court's majority of writing legislation, not law. Kavanaugh wrote separately: "We are judges, not members of Congress...Under the Constitution and laws of the United States, this court is the wrong body to change American law in that way."
  • Just days before the SCOTUS opinion was released, the Trump administration finalized a rule that would remove nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people when it comes to health care and health insurance. The SCOTUS ruling may make it easier to challenge the changes made by Trump.
The Supreme Court also declined to take up California’s “sanctuary” law, denying the Trump administration’s appeal. This means that the lower court opinion upholding one of California's sanctuary laws is valid, limiting cooperation between law enforcement and federal immigration authorities. Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, two of the Court's conservative members, supported taking up the case.
A federal appeals court appeared unlikely Friday to stop a judge from examining why the Justice Department sought to walk away from its prosecution of Michael Flynn. "I don't see why we don't observe regular order," said Judge Karen Henderson. "Why not hold this in abeyance and see what happens?" Judge Robert Wilkins told Flynn's lawyer that if Sullivan doesn't let the government drop the case, "then you can come back here on appeal."

Other

Good read: Fiona Hill on being mistaken as a secretary by Trump, her efforts to make sure he was not left alone with Putin, and what the US, UK and Russia have in common. “It’s spitting in Merkel’s face,” said Vladimir Frolov, a former Russian diplomat who’s now a foreign-policy analyst. “But it’s in our interests.”
  • Russia’s Foreign Ministry welcomed Trump’s plan to withdraw more than a quarter of U.S. troops from Germany.
  • Op-Ed: Why cutting American forces in Germany will harm this alliance
According to a new book, the Secret Service had to seek more funding to cover the cost of protecting Melania Trump while she stayed in NYC to renegotiate her prenup - taxpayers paid tens of millions of dollars to allow her to get better terms. Additionally, NYPD estimated its own costs conservatively at $125,000 a day.
Georgia election 'catastrophe' in largely minority areas sparks investigation. Long lines, lack of voting machines, and shortages of primary ballots plagued voters. As of Monday night, there were still over 200,000 uncounted votes.
Fox News runs digitally altered images in coverage of Seattle’s protests, Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone
Fox News Mocked After Mistaking Monty Python Joke for Seattle Protest Infighting
In addition to holding a rally on the day after Juneteenth (originally scheduled the day of), Trump will be accepting the GOP nomination in Jacksonville on the 60th anniversary of “Ax Handle Saturday,” a KKK attack on African Americans.
Environmental news:
  • Ruling against environmentalists, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that the federal government has the authority to allow a proposed $7.5 billion natural gas pipeline to cross under the popular Appalachian Trail in rural Virginia.
  • Trump administration has issued a new rule blocking tribes from protecting their waters from projects like pipelines, dams, and coal terminals.
  • The EPA published a proposal in the Federal Register that critics described as an assault on minority communities coping with the public health legacy of structural racism. The rule would bar EPA from giving special consideration to individual communities that bear the brunt of environmental risks — frequently populations of color.
  • The Trump administration is preparing to drill off Florida’s coast, but says it will wait until after the November election to avoid any backlash from Florida state leaders.
Immigration news
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection used emergency funding meant for migrant families and children to pay for dirt bikes, canine supplies, computer equipment and other enforcement related-expenditures… The money was meant to be spent on “consumables and medical care” for migrants at the border.
  • ACLU files lawsuit against stringent border restrictions related to coronavirus that largely bar migrants from entering the United States.
  • Under Trump’s leadership, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has mismanaged its finances so badly that it has sought an emergency $1.2 billion infusion from taxpayers. When Trump took office, USCIS inherited a budget surplus. A large amount of funding is drained by its deliberate creation of more busy work for immigrants and their lawyers — as well as thousands of USCIS employees. These changes are designed to make it harder for people to apply for, receive or retain lawful immigration status.
  • Asylum-seeking migrants locked up inside an Arizona ICE detention center with one of the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases say they were forced to clean the facility and are 'begging' for protection from the virus
  • ICE plans to spend $18 million on thousands of new tasers and the training to use them
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There’s a good likelihood the Niners sit both players even if either is ready to go. San Francisco is 1-1. Their next division game is in Week 6. That’s the battle coach Kyle Shanahan should circle for Mostert’s return. Garoppolo should be ready by Week 4. When it comes to Bosa and Thomas, other defenders must step it up. The 49ers have a good defense, but they lost Richard Sherman in the first week. The Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, and Miami Dolphins are there next three opponents. But, after that, the Niners play the Rams, New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers, and New Orleans Saints all in a row. Things could get tough for the SF defense unless a couple of players step it up.
Cowboys provide amazing comeback against Falcons - At halftime of Sunday’s win against the Atlanta Falcons, the Dallas Cowboys were down 29-10. Not only did the Cowboys come back and win, but they came back to win 40-39. The Boys got an onside kick, unheard of in today’s NFL, and then converted a field goal. What’s interesting about the onside kick is that instead of pouncing on the football, Falcon players waited for it to go out of bounds. That makes absolutely no sense and is the reason the Cowboys were able to notch their first win of the season. Atlanta’s defense is the worst in the NFL. Coach Dan Quinn is on the hot seat because of it. Boneheaded plays like the one that led to the loss at home won’t help Quinn’s case to keep his job.
Ravens and Chiefs on collision course in NFL Week 3 - There were other Week 2 highlights. The Las Vegas Raiders opened Allegiant Stadium with a solid 31-24 win over the New Orleans Saints while the Seattle Seahawks and Russell Wilson beat Cam Newton and the New England Patriots 35-30. Also, both the Ravens and Chiefs won their respective games. The Baltimore Ravens beat the Houston Texans 33-16 while the KC Chiefs required overtime to beat the Chargers 23-20. Los Angeles quarterback Justin Herbert played exceptionally well. Coach Anthony Lynn said Herbert would remain the backup if Tyrod Taylor were healthy enough to play in Week 3. We’ll see how long Lynn sticks with that plan. Next Monday night, the Chiefs and Ravens battle. Baltimore looks like the team to beat in the AFC. They were the team to beat last season as well. It will be interesting to see how the Ravens’ defense handles Patrick Mahomes.

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Wealth Formula Episode 224: Multifamily Macroeconomics in the Twilight Zone

Catch the full episode: https://www.wealthformula.com/podcast/224-multifamily-macroeconomics-in-the-twilight-zone/
Buck: Welcome back to the show everyone. Today my guest on Wealth Formula Podcast, he's been on the show before. He's economist Ryan Davis. He actually joined us at one of our last Wealth Formula meetups. Of course, the last one we had was canceled but Ryan was at the one before that. He serves as a chief operating officer at Witten Advisors and provides fact-based research analysis and discussion to help clients like us formulate their apartment strategies and these insights and for investment decisions for multi-family development and buy/sell opportunities which as you can imagine we're all looking for some of this advice these days. Ryan has a PhD in economics from the University of Texas. Ryan, welcome back to Wealth Formula Podcast.
Ryan: Thank you. Glad to be back.
Buck: Yeah it's been like a pandemic ago when we last talked right? Listen, you know I want to kind of jump into the whole you know what the heck is going on, I mean the overall, if you would, you know kind of give me your overall assessment of the economy. I mean obviously we know these huge drops in GDP etc which were expected last quarter. How is this all affecting real estate asset prices especially you know apartments which is you know is our interest and something that you specialize in?
Ryan: Sure so yeah the great unknown is the pace of the recovery. So we had that big drop through April in terms of employment and then we got a bounce back in May and June and the hope was that it was going to be a V-shaped recovery. But then we saw virus cases ramp back up in the second half of June into the early part of July and the local economy started rolling back some of their openings and so with that, we've kind of stalled out recently. So we'll get the July numbers this Friday for overall payroll gains and that could I think the consensus is anywhere between one, one and a half million jobs it could be negative so who knows but it looks like the hope for a v-shaped recovery in the economy has kind of stalled out after the first two months of optimism. And so we think that going forward we won't see any the worst is behind us really and so we won't see you know the big losses that we experienced in March and early into April so kind of what we're calling for right now is for the national economy to continue to add jobs for the remainder of the year and then beginning next year a recovery should emerge and that would sustain demand for housing and ultimately apartments going forward. In the near term as far as multi-family goes we expect some pain through the end of this year and then into the early part of next year. In terms of pricing power, if we had to boil it down to one number it's rent growth so year over year effective rent growth we think that declines to eight percent rent cuts this year and into the early part of 2021. That varies considerably on a local market basis I think our worst-performing market is Metro New York City probably no surprise there but then also many of the other gateway markets such as Boston, LA, the Bay Area, etc. We expect rent declines to be lower than that eight percent across the board, however many of the inner west, Texas, southeastern market should outperform still see rent declines but not closer to five/six percent range at the depth and so we expect near-term pain but then as we get out into 2021 and afterward and the economy begins to add a lot of jobs we would expect rent growth to return to multi-family. And then what that means for pricing in terms of apartment assets for right now in the second quarter hardly any deals trade at hand so it's really tough to get a sense of where pricing is and with the deals that have traded though the cap rates have remained relatively stable which is a good sign. We've heard from some of our merchant builder clients where they had assets they had constructed and were going out to the market to sell in the early part of April they were saying 10 discounts in terms of the compared to pre corona levels but that has since come back in the last 45-60 days and maybe it's only one to two percent in terms of the haircut that they're seeing out there right now. And there's a just a ton of capital that wants to get back into multifamily at the same time there's hardly any distress out there right now so there's a lack of available to you know supply to buy and so everyone is just kind of in this standstill there's a big ass gap because buyers aren't willing to pay yesterday's prices for assets but sellers aren't willing to give any you know deep discounts right now and so it's kind of a standstill and we’ll see how all this plays out.
Buck: Yeah you know it's really interesting we're obviously you know through, you work with Western Wealth Capital, one of my partners and you know it's funny because we were kind of thinking well maybe there'll be some real buying opportunities but you know we've seen a little bit maybe just you know from buyers who are sellers who just are just wanting to get out while they're ahead maybe they made some money you know maybe they and at this point you know they're just thinking let's just cash out and maybe they're willing to take a little bit less but for the most part you know if you look across our own portfolio and it might be because it's largely again Texas and Arizona, etc that and maybe it's because it's mostly working-class B and you know high C class apartment but our portfolio you know the numbers are just as good as they've ever been in terms of you know occupancy in terms of even our we're still raising rents. And so when you look at that you're like well I mean how do you expect there to be any you know smoking deals out there if the sellers really aren't feeling any distress. So is there a difference you know when you look at something like a B and C class apartment scenario versus A right now or have you been able to break that down a little bit because I think the people I know who are in the A-class and new build are you know they're certainly feeling things a little bit more than we are.
Ryan: Yeah so what we've heard from some of our clients in terms of early on so may June in terms of rent collections class A's were actually from a nationwide perspective actually exceeded the class B and C product. Now we don't think that will continue going forward and the main reason is that new deliveries that are coming online they will compete with the existing top of the market product and so we think that it will be short-lived in terms of the top of the market outperformance and another part is due to just the nature of this downturn where low-wage sectors were hit extremely hard in April, got some bounce back in May and June but the leisure and hospitality sectors lower-paying positions those have been the most impacted so far. But going forward we don't think that this downturn would be any different than prior recessions in terms of the class A leading the way down in terms of jobs and occupancy and also rent growth or rent cuts in the near term. So class A’s will lead the market down but then as we get out into the later part of next year and into early 2022 then class A's would outperform the broader market. So yeah we think through the end of this year until early next that B's and C's will hold up relatively better but that's mainly a function of just the competition that it takes to get these new projects they will get leased up it's just a matter of the market-clearing price and so those have to compete those could be mostly with the top end of the spectrum and so we see big rent declines and concessions in the class A space going forward.
Buck: You know there's this thesis that's going around in the multi-family space and you know I've been sort of you know looking at it this way too for a while though I'm starting to you know feel like it's maybe not gonna happen is this idea that there's going to be a potentially before we really rebound and start heading up again that there’ll potentially be a you know big tsunami of defaults and things like that. Right now at least what I'm you know seeing and hearing about in terms of the lending markets and in terms of these properties, there really isn't much indication of that right now is there I mean what do you think?
Ryan: No at least not in the short term I mean again there's it goes back to my earlier comment there's been no distress really and so that is due mainly to the huge stimulus packages that have been passed those from a fiscal standpoint and a monetary standpoint which is it's crazy to think that GDP declined at an annualized rate by 32 however incomes soared and so that's all due to the stimulus that we saw and so that's helped prop up renters incomes and allow them to pay rent. Now going forward I think some of these the number of defaults I don't think there will be a tsunami, at least that's how we view it right now, ask me again in a week and it could change, but I think that the defaults will be very market specific and so those geographies that have been hit harder we'll see a larger number but many of the Texas markets, Phoenix, Denver, southeast high growth markets where you've got this short-term tailwind in terms of folks at the margin more and the trends that have been in place for years of folks moving from gateway markets into these inner markets will be kind of you know given a stairway shot really in the near term and so that would help to prop up multi-family fundamentals and so yeah if you're expecting a tsunami of defaults in any of those markets that I've mentioned again it kind of gets a little bit granular in terms of you know potentially Orlando might have some problems just with the amount of supply and then the you know low-wage in tourism industries being impacted more dramatically and that would lead to some weakness in Orlando but out outside of that maybe Houston you could argue you know somewhat but outside of those two and those those areas of the inner west Texas, southeast Florida should be but hold up you know relatively well and I would think that the main stress points will be out you know on the coast in California potentially portland we do think seattle holds up relatively well and then northeast in terms of you know New York and Boston as well so I think it's very locally market driven.
Buck: Yeah it's interesting you know we did we were a little worried about Houston too but our you know Houston portfolio is actually doing awesome it's not having any problems at all which is which was you know again, knock on wood that’s what it's been so far. Let me ask you another question you mentioned the pent-up demand of you know money on the sidelines waiting to get back in and you know and in many situations, they have to get back in right they're mandated to deploy capital and that sort of thing do you the one thought that I've had through this is you know multi-family and well multi-family in general has held up so well during this period of time does that potentially create a situation where you know the big money that's coming in starts looking at this even harder as potentially a little bit of a hedge or a little bit of safe haven. What what do you guys think is going to be the effect of that you know the relatively stable performance and then ultimately you know having all of this money on the sidelines,? Do you see paradoxical even further compression of cap rates over the next couple years? What's your thought on that?
Ryan: Yeah and so kind of pre-corona our forecast was for cap rates to continue to decline and you know taking a step back it was mainly driven by global factors with the aging populations across the globe that have built wealth up and all that investment needed to be placed somewhere. And so those trends were driving returns lower for longer and so those are the demographic that have not been affected by the pandemic. And so just from a global standpoint, we're expecting returns across all assets whether stocks bonds you know all classes of real estate whether it's multi or industrial retail office, etc those returns would continue to head lower. Now we've had the pandemic and we've seen multi-family and industrial hold up exceedingly well and who knows what to make of retail office and lodging just lots of pain and in those sectors and so if you need to be allocated to real estate then multifamily and industrial or where you want to be at least in the short term and especially if you're looking for consistency of returns and you know risk-adjusted on a risk-adjusted basis you know multi-industrial or have outperformed other asset classes and so really to get into the lodging office retail space probably more opportunistic mindset in terms of those assets may need to be repositioned etc and so I think a lot of that money that's out there is not looking to get there's a lot that's looking for that type of asset turnaround story but there's also a lot of money out there that needs the stability. And so that should continue to compress cap rates or put a really put a cap on that cap rates and so it would be no surprise if cap rates on an aggregate basis hold steady and maybe even decline despite a deterioration in short-term fundamentals and part of that is due to the long-term belief in apartments going forward and so yes there's a short-term dislocation where we expect some move-outs that you know this year actually there are a lot of move-outs that we expect and so there's going to be a lot of doubling up folks moving back in with their families but then there's going to be pent up demand as we as that recovery takes hold next year and that will be released and so we see leasing to be through the roof next year and then out into 2022. Then at the same time as that demand story improves in the short term we see starts decelerating dramatically so we've we're going from a 400,000 unit run rate to about 200,000 units by the early part of next year. And so new production is going to get cut in half now that we don't get any benefit of that immediately so we have to wait till later part of 2022 and 2023 before we see that slowdown and production really lift fundamentals and so I think everyone is seeing that yes there's some short-term disruption in the multi-family market right now, but the long-term drivers are there and if you have the capital to wait out this very painful period in the short term then there will be major benefits after that we should see after next year.
Buck: Now one of the things you said I think earlier is that the worst is behind us do you believe that's the case in terms of rent growth and you know rent cuts and that sort of thing right now?
Ryan: I think the worst is behind us in terms of the economy. I think that going forward we should continue to produce job gains on a monthly basis, though this next report could see some layoffs we'll see the consensus is one million one and a half. In terms of multi-family we do not think the worst is behind us we think that fundamentals will continue to deteriorate into the early part of next year we think that you know kind of right now in terms of year over year rent growth in the early part of this year let's call it three, three and a half percent we've since gone down to zero percent in the second quarter. So on a quarterly basis we've seen some dramatic rent cuts, again this is on a national basis and then as we move forward we see occupancy dropping by about three percentage points into the early part of next year, rent declines of about eight percent through the remainder of this year into the first quarter of next year and so no we do think that there will be some deterioration and fundamentals going forward. On the flip side of that might present some opportunities and so any assets that were purchased specially in your space in terms of if they were bought at the top of the market at the end of last year in the early part of this year and now that value-add story isn't there where you might not be able to get the rent bumps that you were expecting so some of those assets will have to be recapitalized and so that might present some opportunity as the year progresses but again like you said we haven't seen that materialized so far.
Buck: Yeah that's the tricky part right I mean it's sort of like I think when you're on the buy side here you're saying well I mean these prices that we're seeing right now you know with prolonged you know low-interest rates which we can pretty much guarantee at this point for a period of time and then the pent-up demand. It's sort of like okay well I mean this actually might be one of the better times to buy if you consider what could potentially happen in the next you know 18 to 24 months in terms of you know explosive growth. When you look at those indicators that you're you know that you're talking about that may lead to some of the more explosive growth metrics what markets come to mind the most for you?
Buck: Now one of the things you said I think earlier is that the worst is behind us do you believe that's the case in terms of rent growth and you know rent cuts and that sort of thing right now?
Ryan: Yeah so our general geographic areas that we like we like the southeast, parts of Florida, Texas and the inner west. We really like Atlanta, we like South Florida though there's a little more pain in the short term some of our clients are saying it kind of in terms of you know rent collections you know northeast but also yeah LA but then South Florida is outperforming those two areas but still lagging some of these other markets. So we like the Texas markets long term the interwebs you have Phoenix, Denver, Salt Lake as well. We like Seattle that's an outlier on the west coast but then the other markets whereas in the Bay Area we expect those you know rent growth numbers to average four, four and a half percent which stack up really well across the nation but for those markets that's a recession pretty much and so compared to what's normal and the cap rates you have to pay the rent growth numbers there kind of you know lackluster. So the midwest the markets they won't be hit as hard but still they don't get that explosive growth going forward and so we really like the inner West Texas, southeast of Florida markets and you know part of that has been driven being driven by the migration flows. So domestic migration numbers have really helped out all of these markets we've seen outflows from the northeast boston new york the bay area Southern California we've seen migration outflows from those markets into the you know inner west you know Las Vegas the inland Phoenix, Denver you know people moving from the coast into those markets and then you know also parts of texas as well but then in terms of the northeast the flows that are coming in to the Nashvilles the Charlottes, Raleighs, Atlanta, Florida markets we and then also Texas as well and so those trends have been accelerated at least in the short term, but it's important to remember that those have been going on for a decade at least even more and then other markets and so it's not anything new but at the margin that will support many of these other markets.
Buck: Yeah on the west coast I mean there's that flight to Arizona as well right from California. One of the things that you know is worth talking about is what effect this has had you know the pandemic and the recession on the lending market, with Fannie and Freddie and you know how that might be playing into any of the growth or lack of growth.
Ryan: Yeah I think on the financing side you know debt for stabilized assets it's there and it's cheap you may have to you know have higher reserves than you've had typically but for the most part it's there and so that's part of the appeal of buying assets right now with these record low interest rates. So I think for stabilized assets yeah it's there for new construction it is dried up considerably and this is a change in the last 30 to 60 days and so the fed does a survey each quarter of banks and their tightening of multi-family construction lending standards and that the latest report shows 70 percent of banks tighten their multi-family construction loans last quarter which we haven't seen those levels since 2008/2009. And so I think part of it's the lenders are trying to make sense of what they have in terms of all these other asset types in terms of real estate or retail, lodging, office loans, they're trying to you know spend a lot of time working those out and so then you add on the uncertainty in terms of the economic recovery etc, they've pretty much put a halt on new construction loans. And so that's been a big change here in the last two months call it. Then on the equity side I think returns have been increased but still available and interested but you know a lot of you know equity and especially focusing in on the new starts pipeline if all the deals that have been started are continuing and it's kind of a mixed bag from our clients in terms of are you seeing delays or actually some other clients that reported these they were able to speed up the timing in terms of getting able to get trucks into sites very easily and then also the construction workers that were on you know working on hotels motels those have come into the apartment sector and so that's provided more manpower in terms of getting these deals done. And so those that were under construction are continuing to proceed, those that were capitalized I think that but haven't begun those have been they haven't pulled out completely they just said let's press pause to see let's say can we get any break in construction costs over the next several months and so the equity and banks they're still willing to do it move forward on those deals that have been capitalized but are you know slow playing it. And then you get to the others where there's land sites and they hadn't been entitled and haven't been capitalized those deals we think have been shelved for right now and so it kind of where some opportunity could be is on the land side of you know potentially purchasing some land sites that might be teed up for development as we get further along in this recovery.
Buck: Again one of the things that you're saying though in terms of construction loans not being there again it helps us for those of us who have apartment portfolios already that are already there that that again goes to the issue of a simple supply and demand issue which we can benefit from if there's not a whole lot of new builds. You know this is a major driving variable in in apartment buildings nationally can you give us a little bit of the idea of you know just not being able to keep up with you know population growth in various parts of the country, can you give us a little bit of you know sort of a thousand-foot view on the perspective on how big of an issue that actually is?
Ryan: I don't know if it's that big of an issue you know on on the whole and I think that you know some of these higher growth markets in terms of where we've you know call it the Atlantas and North Carolina markets, Central North Florida, Texas, the inner west regions where we've seen large population growth statistics you know high growth markets but they're also they also tend to be the highest in terms of supply for housing and so it's more easy to build in those markets especially you know out as you get away from the know central cities etc and so where we've seen the the biggest barriers to supply are out on the coast and so we've seen you know job growth be pretty good in those markets but the supply hasn't kept up at all and so that's why you're seeing you know these big you know rent affordability you know problems in the coastal markets and so we think that supply not keeping up with the population dynamics is more of a coastal problem but then you know as you get into the markets that are more accepting of new development then you know we've seen housing supply increase at a rapid clip in many of these other markets I think you know Austin you know even through the June of this year permit activity for multi-family continued to set it reached big big levels and so I think year to date in Austin it's already pulled permits on almost 10,000 units already which is you know huge numbers. And so I do think that while these population growth numbers and some of these markets are you know off the charts especially compared to you know some of the coastal markets, that supply has been able to keep up there and so yeah you see pockets of where you know rent growth you know bumps up to you know five, six percent levels, it's especially that was the case in Phoenix and Las Vegas over the past two to three years where those markets were leading in terms of rent increases but they tend to you know be markets that you know will accept more new supply and so that will tend to even out over the long term.
Buck: How's Vegas doing out of curiosity because that one was just crushing it. It seemed it seemed a little dangerous you know it seemed like one of those markets where it's like wow is it real or is it one of those things that's just gonna go back to Vegas.
Ryan: Yeah exactly and yeah kind of thinking that you know before kind of goes back to your comment earlier about people moving from the coast to getting in their car and driving to the riverside and then Las Vegas and Phoenix and so it was benefiting from a real out-migration from expensive coastal California. That said that just the nature of this pandemic crushing leisure and hospitality and the conference circuit that the job losses in Las Vegas I think you know through April into May led the nation. We've seen some a bit of a bounce back there but really the question is you know how fast does the the conference you know a circuit come back, how fast are people willing to travel to casinos, I know they have already, but I think that pre-corona the growth was real and yeah absolutely now it's a little bit different you know market in terms of the cost and you don't want to go in there and if you're a developer you don't you know want to build a high-rise there and so your strategy is a little bit different but so far it's held up relatively well, all things considered, but still a lot of weakness that is materializing in Vegas.
Buck: Interesting stuff. Well listen I don't want to keep you all day long, Ryan, but it's been great talking to you. Where can we learn more about your work?
Ryan: Sure. Probably the easiest is wittenadvisors.com you can go there, all our contact information is there, feel free to reach out with a phone call or send me an email anytime and I'll be happy to give you more details on the services that we provide and how we add value to many clients that are in either owner, operators, developers, equity or lender clients.
Buck: Fantastic thanks again and we'd love to have you again you know in a few months to reassess where we are at.
Ryan: All right. Sounds good. Looking forward to it.
Buck: We'll be right back
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[Intro] Re-Intro Its been a crazy time and an re-intro is in order since Ive been away for awhile

Hello beautiful people!
My name is LsdAliceX9/StaceyLeia and Ive been a part of this community for 2 years now, although I have been off reddit for the most part of 6 months. Im introducing myself again for those who dont know me/dont remember and to give a little update as to what Ive been up to.
Im 40 now. whoa.. that feels so weird to say or think about because I am such a young at heart spirit and I never thought I would make it this far! lol.. I am living back in Tampa, Fl. now- I move around quite a bit and just recently spent 2 years in Phoenix. I missed Florida so badly that as soon as I got the chance I made it back to where I feel at home although I am originally from Michigan I have also spent time living in Minnesota and Wisconsin with short stays in Cali and in Pa.
I am in insurance agent primarily but worked for a little over year at American Express doing fraud prevention- that was a pretty cool job, but I am back doing work at home insurance sales currently. I have a 15 year old daughter that I have pretty much raised on my own and we have 2 pets- cats- a female orange tabby named Leo and a black and white male Playboy.
Ive never been married, but was in a relationship for 7 years that was at times abusive and very hard with someone who had some mental health issues. I never thought I would be free but 6 months ago we finally separated and I fell in love with my best friend at the time who had been there for me during some of those dark times. We have now been together for about 4 months and he moved to Florida with me. Im very happy and feel so loved.. its wonderful to have someone who is appreciative and caring, stable and loyal.
More on the sad side here now, my father passed away in June due to complications from advanced Parkinsons. He was only 65. It was hard, but I got spend time with him before he passed and I am grateful for that. My dad was my primary parent and he was by far the coolest guy in the world. Always kind and understanding, he was creative, a musician and played in bands, he had tons of cool hobbies that made my childhood full of experiences, like caving, Vegas, roller coasters, rockets, guns.. It was always fun times and I wish he would have gotten to have a healthy and full retirement. Sometimes terrible things happen to the best people, but this is life.
He left me some money through his life insurance and that money helped me move back to Florida and go on an adventure I had always dreamed of. I spent a month on the road in my Rv with my boyfriend, my daughter, her boyfriend, my daughters best friend and her boyfriend.
It was a crazy adventure! We spent 4 days in Vegas and got some affordable but beautiful suites to stay in. We stayed in a different casino each night- Next we visited New Mexico and Meowwolf- If you dont know what it is, look it up! It was an epic experience. We then went on to Colorado and participated in the legal recreations they have there for smoking while we visited some great campsites and Rv resorts. We had BBQ in Kansas City, Six Flags in MO., Mammoth cave in KY, Cedar Point in Oh. Visited family in Ohio and Michigan and then drove to New York city and went to times square. From there we made our way down the coast to have crab cakes and go swimming in Ocean City MD. We visited Savannah, Ga and ate gumbo at night at a quaint little old building by the river..and finally we got back to Florida. Me and my boyfriend took another short trip for his birthday down to the Florida Keys, saw the Coral Castle, went to fantasy fest and spent the day at Miami Beach.
Ive been back in town now for about 6 weeks and settled down in a big house in the middle of the city of Tampa. We have re-connected with all of our friends, we have been having the greatest time! The other two kids (18-19, so not kids really) that were my daughters friends went back to Arizona and we got some of our buddies here as roommates and now we are just doing the thing. Back to work, money has run out but we bought a car and furnished the house so all is well and normalizing now.
A few things that I like are sleep, dreaming, soft cuddly things, smells, incense, candles, I do astrology and tarot, I love movie worlds like Harry Potter, Marvel and Star Wars- as well as horror films and cult movies. I like psychedelics and things that are surreal or fringe. I love Graham Hancock and got to meet him twice in AZ. as well as David Icke- he is my hero. I LOVE animals, nature and beauty in all forms. I am into music like EDM, classic rock , blues and metal and my favorite "color" is holographic pastel pearl iridescence . One day I want to own a Hyundai Genesis and I want to visit the pyramids at Giza , Athens and Europe in the next 5 years.
I spend most of my time online, or watching movies it seems- kinda boring then spiked with very intense experiences. I hang out with a group of friends that are like burneravehippy types and we go to parties and festivals. I like to go out for drinks and dinners, although I am taking a dieting hiatus from alcohol and rich foods for a bit.I love to go to Amusement Parks, we got Busch Gardens passes as soon as we got here and we have already been 4 times. I cant wait to get my funds back up and got to Orlando to Disney and Universal again ! I love travel and novelty and to see new places. I love the beaches and the woods and just driving through cute little towns and feeling the vibe.
Life truly is an amazing adventure and I cant wait to experience more of it.
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Integration, Father Christmas, and the Thirteen Days of Christmas [spoilers]

Like many others on here the past last week, I have been going DEEP. By no means do I think I have any grand unifying theory but I think I've hit on some interesting points and wanted to share before this week's episode.
I've been wrestling with the idea of many more alters this week and the post that really set me off was the one on Thirteen:
After the last scene of 402 it struck me that The Kid and The Mother are in the very same room where Tyrell tries to invite Elliot to join his team in 0102. I wanted to refresh my memory and went back to watch the pilot again. Something struck me as I was rewatching the episode.
In the pilot Angela asks why Elliot didn’t come to her birthday party. She says she “sent him EXACTLY thirteen messages”. Later, while dealing with the DDoS attack at AllSafe, she has calculated that Ecorp has lost “thirteen million dollars, EXACTLY”.
When trying to get the server up again, Elliot finds the bad server cs30. We see a branching tree showing the arranging of the servers. There is a server on top that is connected to all the other servers, then four servers directly underneath there, one of which is cs30. CS30 has been compromised and become unstable. It also has thirteen servers branching from it.
In the boardroom meeting at the beginning of 0102, Tyrell says he has invited 11 lawyers to witness him offering Elliot a job. He then sends them out of the room, leaving the empty chairs. Twelve chairs around the table and Elliot standing at the head. EXACTLY thirteen.
I think the “system” of personalities are “all safe” at the start of the pilot. Something causes the system to become unstable and throws all thirteen alters into chaos. The thirteen servers symbolize thirteen alters under one main system.
Thirteen is all over the show. The examples mentioned above as well as 26 people dying from Washington Township leak, including Angelas's mom and Elliot's dad. 26/2 = 13. It was all over the Erdos code that Tyrell sent in s2. I've watched and read a bunch this week and 13 is fucking everywhere.
Sam has said that s4 is all about "integration" of Elliot's personalities, I sincerely doubt we are about to meet a completely new one (except maybe young Elliot). IMO we've already seen them and there are either 2,3, or 13. I tend to lean towards 13, because well 13.
Another other place where 13 exists is in number of episodes this season. We've seen one death per episode so far (Angela, Magda). I'm going to wager that Sam will be killing off one alter each episode until the end of the season and each one will represent another alter of Elliot (including potentially the Elliot we see/know). I think the fake/momentary death of "us/friend" could be a wink and nod in that direction.
Moreover integration for DID patients isn't about killing off your alters, however, but in becoming a whole version of all of them. So in every alter that gets killed off, Elliot incorporates them into his identify. I think this is why we saw him being kind of cold and "Angela-like" in the first episode, shutting down, somewhat reminiscent of what she was like in season 2.
I really like this if it's the case because it sets up a season of who's going to go next (and I'm right and if the case many people will realize by a few more episodes) and a finale/final episodes where we know 1 of 2 people are the real Elliot and it's a happy and potentially sad ending at the same time - which feels about right and perfect for this show.
This obviously begs the question - who are the alters?
I've thought a lot about it and have some ideas, but definitely not the whole picture. I think last episode made me believe that the Alderson's don't really exist. Alderson = Alter son or just means Alter. If mom is an alter and dad is dead/alter then at some point you got to start thinking who the fuck are Elliot and Darlene? My notes on the funeral scene and the whole 404 at their house in the dream sequence hints at that as well.
I think Elliot's Dad = Angela's Mom in a sense that there was only one death. The Mother's Day tape seems to point in that direction. This both infers that Elliot may be a creation of Angela (which doesn't make sense) or that they're all part of another identity. This also starts to fit nicely with both whiterose (if elliots dad = angela's mom it gets at potential some gender identity issues) as well as Philip Price.
I think Romero is likely also one of the identities and a key to more (and also had the first key to Fun Society). Nothing in the timeline happens between late 1995-ish and 2015. Romero is in jail for hacking from mid-2000's to 2014 when things start picking up. He gets the key to fun society from Clyde Bosham (and backstory: "Harold Bosham stole his twin brother's hunting rifle and shot Ned in the face. The rifle kicked back so hard, he tripped and fell out of a 20-story window. Harold's twin brother Clyde was arrested for double homicide and sent to prison, where he became Romero's cellmate."). Then the fun starts. Not sure about all the pieces but this feels important. It's also just as Elliot has the server room panic and starts to see Christa. Darlene also is seen recruiting for fsociety in 2014 and Elliot doesn't really seem to know her when we first meet him/her.
I think Lester Moore (old CEO of eCorp) is the same death as Mr. Robot and both aren't real. Lester died in a plane crash in August 1995. In the movie theater, February that year when he supposedly died, "Shallow Grave" was playing. Shallow Grave dates were right but posters were up for Babe and Casino posters were up and those came out in August. Also the Lester Moore "empty grave" reference seems to point at this importance. I think this was perhaps "the important death" that someone is ignoring. I think that death may have been a plane crash and perhaps both of somebody's parents - hence the "home alone"/kevin mccallister snowman (and the snowman on the subway with the two of them in s4e2). Elliot has woken up a few times including the s1e4 dream sequence feeling alone, and scared.
This is pretty much where I get though. Dom is still a bit of a mystery. I like the name metaphor I list below on her being the DOM in a browser rendering the files and hierarchy we observe. I think Tyrell may be Price's son. The 5 Washington Townships I mention below is interesting (as the one sam grew up in is shortened to TWP maybe "Tyrell Wellick Price"). Perhaps Price even fathered many children, or one with many personalities, or a bunch of alters in NJ and Angela is the first we know of. Perhaps Susan Jacobs is Darlene's real mother via Philip Pride and the "courtroom" she remembers is her going up for adoption. There's some there there potentially but can't get any further than that.
tl;dr: Esmail is going to kill off an alter an episode for a total of 13 in an attempt to integrate and make one one "elliot". Angela and Magda have been killed off thus far. If Magda and Mr Robot then who is darlene and elliot? Edward alderson = Angela's Mom. Death of Mr. Robot = Death of Ecorp CEO = potentially tragic event that creates personalities.
I've posted a series of notes and key observations as I went through this week below. as I put this together. Some are new-ish others are old board favorites. All were part of putting together theory
Funeral Scene (s4e2)
The funeral scene was a classic and also a strange scene. A few things jumped out at me and can't stop thinking about.
First was that nobody was there besides the three of them (Darlene, Mr. Robot, and Elliot). What actual funerals would have nobody there? First, I know we are likely dealing with a potentially unreliable pov/narrator, but while there would be no immediate family, you would think someone else would be there. We've been told Magda was a wretched, awful lady but the nurse at the home said the complete opposite. She may have been being cordial, but just feels intentional to me.
Second the three there combined with the cross and "holy trinity" also feels intentional (been mentioned a few times this week on here).
Third was the Vera conversation. Beyond the obvious in what it potentially revealed, I couldn't get past the fact that I felt like Darlene was not authentic in it, and something about her this episode felt off. The second Susan Jacobs was mentioned at All Safe meeting with Price the phone buzzed and it was Darlene saying their Mom died. It reminded somewhat like The Truman Show, when he wanted to leave the island. Also, the second Elliot mentioned Susan Jacobs to her she seemed to flip a switch and was ready to help out. Then the mention of Vera just feels strange based on the fact that when she met Vera she had no idea who he was (and no idea bout Season 1), but seemed (and said) that it freaked her out and thats why she thought Elliot was acting like a sketchball. Stranger still is she was acting like a sketchball last episode, and Elliot felt almost non-sketchy for the first time in a while. He even supposedly told her "it was no big deal" yet she seemed to hang on it for months. On top of that, the speed by which she installed tracking into his phone was odd, and odd that he just let her. Sure, there was time that passed that we haven't seen yet, and this show does a great job of fooling you, but something felt off there.
The Mother's Day Tape (s4e2)
The tape that they recorded for Angela's Mom I found really interesting. Angela met Elliot and Darlene after Angela's mom died, so if they all recorded together it was either really macabre, which is possible, or it means something else all together. Also tapes seem to be important in Darlene's (and Susan Jacob's) stories. It was the video tape that they left at her house in s2 that they had to go back for and ultimately led to Cisco's death. In that case, it was criminal evidence but in a more figurative sense tapes are evidence of truth/reality.
Lack of visible, real fathers (throughout)
One observation I've made which on one hand is obvious and thematic, but on the other hand is nuanced and peculiar is that there are little to no living, normal fathers in the entire show. Elliot's Father is dead (and Mr Robot). Dom has mentioned her father once but we only have met her mother thus far. Tyrell's father was Swedish, awful and he hates him. He also fathered a child with Joanna who was then stolen. Additionally Joanna had a kid when she was 15 and who was apparently adopted. Irving and his story to Tyrell in s3 about his children. Romero lived with only his mother. Angela's father was not really her father (and revealed that Philip Price was her father). The only real "traditional" father I believe we meet is Trenton's. For a show all about a dead father who is an alternate personality, this has to be incredibly important and potentially a major clue.
Names
There's been a bunch written about character names over the years. I think Sam also said "names are important" but I could be wrong about that (and it could just be this sub). I've been thinking a great deal about names lately. Many of these have definitely been picked up from here but some may be new.
Alderson - "Alter" or "Alter son"
Price - money, (with whiterose about time perhaps time = money this was mentioned in the s1e4 dream sequence)
Flipper - sometimes he's there, sometimes he's not (wasn't there s4e1, returned to him at end of season)
Dom - Document Object Model, renders web pages in browers. fits nicely with s4 naming convention. potentially fits with her role in the show as the one looking at everything from a detective perspective, also tree/hierarchy looks familiar to her whiteboards at the FBI office.
Vera - True. Also actor's real name is Elliot (brought up a lot on here), also VeraCrypt and s2 shownames had a heavy encrypted filename theme
Lester Moore - Dead CEO of ecorp. Old story of empty grave).
Gender fluid names in the show: "Dom" - Dominick/Dominique. Leslie (Romero, Les, Lester Moore), Vera (can be both genders), Zhi (whiterose/zhang can be both masculine and feminine and also interestingly relates to the white Angelica flower). Trenton and Mobley (though they are "hacker" names, most online handles are gender fluid. Makes it is interesting that sam sepiol and dolores haze are elliot and darlenes handles and quite gendered).
Magda - Mary Magdalene and also Mary from immaculate conception. Both Biblical (from here)
season episode names - s1 media file formats, s2 encryption, s3 compression and a mixed bag of commands/file extensions, s4 HTTP error codes. not sure anything interesting here except s2 encryption feels like its understudies with the amount of weight s4 is getting.
double letter names - Philip Price, Zhi Zhang, Gideon Goddard, Mobley Markesh. fsociety soldiers on Dom's board were all "K K" names. Also the actors Carly Chaikin, Grace Gummer, Ashleigh Atkinson. This is probably a conspiracy and have no real thoughts here. just something i just picked up on as reading bios but thought i'd pass along to someone who might.
The Five Washington Townships
Obviously in a show about multiple personalities and people who grew up in NJ, and an important "incident" at a plan there, this must be incredibly important. There are Five Washington Townships in NJ. This has been brought previously but just reflagging it. George Washington spent lots of time in NJ and "fathered" many towns. Also Philip Price tells Angela is birthday is July 4, contrary to public knowledge.
EDIT: unfinished sentence above the background notes
EDIT 2: Thanks for the gold! Added some additional thoughts on gender fluid names to the Names section based on a thought from u/internetrando12's comment below on Careful Massacre. And some thought after reading u/redlightning216's post :https://www.reddit.com/MrRobot/comments/djverq/spoilers_i_think_i_found_a_big_hint_on_the/
submitted by zerobeta to MrRobot [link] [comments]

What A Day: Sittin' On The Stock Of eBay by Sarah Lazarus & Crooked Media (03/31/20)

"There’s not a chance in the world I’m gonna answer that one." - Dr. Anthony Fauci, asked to divulge his coolest boss

Less Than Ship-Shape

The U.S. coronavirus death toll has surpassed 3,000, meaning more Americans have now died from COVID-19 than in the 9/11 terror attacks. An awful milestone for the country, or, as President Trump would call it, “1/80th of our way to a job well done.”
But back to the most important initiative at the forefront of everyone’s mind: The border wall.
Amid a rising death toll and alarming projections of what’s still ahead, McConnell suggested today that the administration’s attention was “diverted” from the impending crisis by Trump’s impeachment. That would be cute blame deflection, if Trump weren’t engaged in the same corrupt behavior that got him impeached in the first place, now at the cost of American lives. We’ll just leave this here.

Look No Further Than The Crooked Media

With everything that's going on, here's one thing you can do if you haven't already to keep our democracy functioning. Fill out the Census! Thankfully, for the first time ever, the census is online at https://my2020census.gov. It only takes 5 minutes to do, and it'll have a huge impact on our democracy for the next ten years.
The Census uses the info about our population to determine who gets federal resources and how many representatives we get. It's a big deal, so take five minutes and fill it out, and remind your friends → https://My2020census.gov

Under The Radar

Oscar Heath, a company with close ties to the Kushner family, built a coronavirus website at the government’s request. After President Trump lied about Google creating a website that would tell Americans if they needed to be tested for COVID-19 and direct them to nearby testing sites, Oscar Health set to work developing a government website with those same features. Jared Kushner’s younger brother Joshua is a co-founder and major investor in Oscar, and J-dawg himself partially owned or controlled the firm before he joined the White House. The site never launched, but that doesn’t matter: It still looks like a major ethics-law violation. That’s in addition to the other federal laws Kushner’s shadow coronavirus task force seems to have broken. But in our eyes, all of this is worth it to have Jared Kushner, experienced epidemiologist, at the helm of the pandemic response.

What Else?

The CDC may update guidance to suggest that everyone wear masks, after the White House coronavirus task force said it was leaning towards recommending them. The downside would be exacerbating shortages of masks, which health-care workers need the most.
CNN anchor Chris Cuomo has tested positive for the coronavirus. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) had some reassuring brotherly words: "He's going to be fine. He's young, in good shape, strong, not as strong as he thinks, but he will be fine.”
Amazon has fired the warehouse worker who organized a strike at its Staten Island facility. New York State Attorney General Letitia James said Chris Small’s firing was “disgraceful,” and that her office is considering all legal options.
An inspector general investigation has found that FBI wiretap applications are routinely a mess, and the sloppy errors in an application to target a former Trump campaign advisor were nothing unusual. Not great for anyone’s confidence in the FBI, but a harsh blow to one of Trump World's favorite conspiracy theories.
The Interior Department abruptly disestablished the Mashpee Wampanoag reservation, a year after the tribe angered Trump with its plan to build a casino. Also, you know, in the middle of a deadly pandemic.
A Brooklyn man was arrested for coughing on FBI agents who came to investigate whether he was selling N95 masks at inflated prices. The cougher’s lawyer’s name is James Moriarty, which seems...significant.
Prince Harry and Meghan have wrapped up their royal life, and begun their plebeian existence in a secluded Los Angeles compound with the help of a team of advisors.
Wild goats have taken over a town in Wales. Click for the goats, stay for the “herd immunity” pun in the lede.

Be Smarter

States are rushing to expand voting options before the general election, but it’s expensive and politically difficult. Twelve states still don’t allow all voters to vote by mail; Alabama, Delaware, Kentucky, and Connecticut not only require voters to provide a justification for not voting in person to be given absentee ballots, but don’t yet have early voting options in place for November. Some states will allow anyone to vote absentee in primaries, but haven’t extended that to the general election. Voter advocacy groups have filed lawsuits in several states over the delayed changes, but even if states change their rules, they face serious obstacles to implementing them.The cost of ensuring a free and fair election during a pandemic could run up to $2 billion nationally, and Republicans in Congress aren’t interested in funding it. One piece of good news: President Trump does not have authority to suspend or delay the election, even in a national emergency.

Is That Hope I Feel?

The FDA has authorized a two-minute antibody testing kit, as well as a five-minute portable COVID-19 test.
A database of daily fever readings provides yet more evidence that social distancing is working, and we are not losing our minds in quarantine for naught.
Architects and engineers are 3D-printing personal protective equipment for medical workers.
March is over.

Enjoy

Rach on Twitter: "my boss turned herself into a potato on our Microsoft teams meeting and can’t figure out how to turn the setting off, so she was just stuck like this the entire meeting"
submitted by kittehgoesmeow to FriendsofthePod [link] [comments]

Rise and Fall Part 9

Part 8 (has access to parts 1-7 in it)
For some reason it would not post the last day or so.
It is early 2017. I have been carrying on my usual playing 10-20 hours a week to survive. Still lethargic is best term I suppose. I just dont get excited to play anymore. I consider getting a job to remind me how shitty working is so it gives me a kick in the teeth to play poker. Then it dawns on me, I hate playing poker now.
Poker has been tainted. Everything bad that happened to me I can associate with poker. The rise and fall was poker (the fall part). The oxycontin started as a performance enhancer to log more hours. Everything I consider to be wrong in my life I trace back to poker essentially, even if just a butterfly affect reason that had I done something else I wouldnt be here.
Hating poker is not the greatest realization considering its my only means to income outside of grunt labor. I seek a job in a couple places to no avail which was fine, I didnt wanna do that either.
Several months earlier I had started playing on SWC (bitcoin site) and became familiarized with bitcoin. Thought nothing of it, it was just the currency I was winning or losing. I dont read a thing about it, I learn nothing of it. I wasnt playing a ton or even big stakes, my intention for playing online was to just stay sharp in case it ever comes back full fledge. I have 5-6 btc on this site at the most (2-3k) and I flush it playing plo and big o not thinking much of it.
Back to 2017. Its March/April~ of 2017. I am playing cards one night dicking around probably had a couple drinks and was needling the usuals etc. A guy I do not know is in the game. Looks Russian. I bet he interfered in our election... fucking commies. I dont remember how I got to talking to him but crypto had been brought up. I talk about SWC. Tell him I had a few btc but not anymore. The only other thing I remember well from the conversation was bitching about going from an iphone4 (yes I had an iphone4 from 2010-17, the same one. It barely worked. Many oxycontins snorted off the back of that phone, texts dating back to when I got it in 2010) to the 6 or 7 or wtfever I have now, which is bigger and its harder to text and drive. He just responds by saying “first world problems are the worst”. Amen brother, those Africans and Venezuelans have no clue of our struggle.
I end up talking to him a bit and it turns out he mines crypto. Has a website that sells mining equipment. He has a hell of a back story too. I tell him I am interested in mining. I have about 20k to my name at this time and I realized recently that I dont like playing poker so why not? He eventually tells me not to do it. Regardless we become friends and he is ultimately the most important friend I have ever made. I have made more positive strides mentally since meeting him (mostly work ethic, realizations, reality checks and aspirations) As silly as it sounds, when he told me “first world problems are the worst” it stuck with me. He was saying it as a joke but jokes are funniest when true. He is genuinely the smartest guy I have ever associated with also. If you run into him at a poker table youd think he was a high functioning autist. Then you talk to him and go “ohhh hes just one of those Einstein type geniuses”. His hair is usually a mess, he cuts his own hair for or has his girlfriend do it. He wears cheap clothing usually since it all covers your ass or nipples I suppose. He virtually never instigates conversation with people he doesnt know. He is really deliberate with his actions. Talks really calmly and knows exactly what he is saying. He is just on the same level at all times it seems.
Meeting him has definitely changed my life for the better. We become friends pretty quickly. I know I went on a downer after meeting him because I couldnt afford to buy mining stuff and remember wanting to (again, he told me not to do it eventually anyways).
Which will lead me to another good friend to have. Between 2015 and this point in 2017 I have shot myself in the foot not logging hours a couple times. A friend has bailed me out with a loan or short term stake a few times. He is a well off restaurant owner who loves poker more than just about anything not related to him. Every time I see him we talk about hands he played and he just eats it up, has photographic memory and never butchers a hand history which is nice. He is as good hearted of a guy as I have ever met. (Sorry if this is getting long winded giving praise to people close to me, I intend on sharing with a few people and would like them to know what they mean to me as corny as that is because I suck at doing it in real life. Plus it is kinda gay to get mushy sounding in real life, but I digress. Theyve heard virtually none of the content of this whole thread either, a ton of this stuff I have never shared) In fact he is too kind hearted. He has helped people who wouldnt piss on him if he was on fire, and people have burned him on many occasions. My only complaint about this person is he never kicked my ass and told me to log more hours or fuck off. I needed it. If I just logged hours I wouldnt need the help. Its as simple as that. I have no leaks other than the unwillingness to play (leaks as in drugs/pit games/strippers/wtf ever else) and it has hindered me immensely over the these last couple years. (Ok I do have one embarrassing leak that has been fixed for a year and change, mobile games... I have spent like 30,000$ on mobile games between late 2016 and late 2018, Lords Mobile specifically clocked me for 20k. This definitely hindered my ability to build a roll and got me into a few jams. When youre not logging hours playing youre sitting around gaming and these games arent cheap obviously)
It is around May now and my friend who messes with crypto tells me that Bitcoin is going to 10,000$. Its like 800$ at the time iirc. I own a couple from Ignition cashouts. I kind of trust him. I cant argue him on it as I have literally no mental fortitude on the subject, but I essentially shrug it off. I start watching the price on poloniex and am watching prices jump like crazy. Light bulb in head! I can buy the dips sell the peaks and have more BTC! Lets load the 2.5btc I have onto poloniex! Sell peak but it keeps climbing... “FUCK! gotta get it back before it goes to 10k! Whew. Still have 2.45 BTC. FUCK! Its dropping! Get it out before it goes to zero!”
Yea I turned that 2.5 BTC into .4 BTC. No joke. I think I ended up throwing it onto SWC and losing it once it was almost gone. I honestly forget. I had nothing when it finally hit 20k other than some shit alts worth about 800$ at most (worth 35$ now but they still reside in my locked poloniex account, maybe I will give poloniex my ID if they ever become worth more than 1k)
So I am now annoyed I didnt turn every free dollar I had into BTC. I didnt trust the guy enough and to be fair I would have been using the money I play with. Had I met the guy a year earlier (know what I know of him now) I would probably have just locked it all up and sat around waiting.
I never really get my act together in 2017. I continuously log just enough hours to get by. I just dont care. I just want a way out of this. I catch myself saying “I hate playing poker” and sometime around the end of 17 or early 2018 I start trying to censor myself and quit saying that. Saying it will only make it fester deeper. I have to retrain myself to love poker. I remember the days of playing 18-24 hours straight because I love playing. I love watching for everything I can find to get an edge. I love a situation to present itself where I can step out of line. But now I just sit down and count the minutes before I can tell myself “way to go! You put in an 8 hour shift lets pack it in!” I leave good games often times. I celebrate when games break. This is where I am mentally while I play. I cant break out of it.
Late in 2017 a close friend of mine passes away. Will call him J. He was the guy who gave me a place to stay after the shutdown in Joplin. I was still doing oxy and he never once touched the stuff knowing what has happened to me. He doesnt judge me, he is somewhat of an enabler I suppose. He just drinks does shitty coke sometimes and has a script of adderol and xanax. Literally never once does he do any with me (ive warned him xanax and opiates will kill you if you mix, which is likely part of the reason he never did it) He was a marginal poker player (relative to modern game, he was just good enough to beat the rake live but he had too many pit leaks) and took great pride in being my friend (I was the slayer in the area for years leading up to this, anyone considered the best in their area can relate, you just have the respect of the local poker community). One of my earlier live poker memories involved him. I am like 18 or 19 playing a 1-2 game at a small casino and he was there with a friend. They were the good players in the game at the time. They were having a few drinks eating nice food and laughing having a good time. I remember thinking that I want this lifestyle. Care free gambling fast paced lifestyle. I had told him this story years later and he just ate it up, constantly tried to get me to rebound, but as I have stated many many times in the last few of these I have basically waved my white flag and accepted the result of my fall.
Anyhow after living with him we always talk every few months at minimal and have something to eat when we see each other at the casino. He was somewhat disingenuous sounding he was so nice and honestly it got to a point it started rubbing me the wrong way. I still talk to him of course but less frequently. In December of 2017 I get a phone call from my friend who owns the restaurant and he is distraught. He has been at the hospital and J has passed away. The back story on this is he had gotten a phone call from old friend who was getting out of prison in Arizona with no where to go (a female). J being as nice a guy as he is drives the 20+ hours to get her and gives her a place to stay. Well shes a junky and actually convinces J to do opiates/heroin. He overdoses and dies. I hadnt talked to him in a few months. I regret it. Had I known I would have beaten him senseless and got him to quit before things actually get bad.
Going to his funeral hit me up side the head too. The way I started feeling he was disingenuous just got destroyed. I cant fathom as many people showing up to my funeral with as nice of things to say. I wrote something to say but opt out after a few people say everything I had written (except better). I regret not saying them anyways. I think I still have what I wrote tucked away with the card and his money clip that made its way to me. I stumbled across his casino players card in a box one day and it resides in my wallet ever since. This was the first close friend that has passed away in my life, knock on wood. It woke me up a bit and caused a lot of self reflection because I felt I had let him down. I lived a few miles from him and didnt drop in to see him, didnt stay in contact as well as I should have. All because I felt he was disingenuously nice when he was actually just nice, which is actually because I am a cynical hermit who hates social life these days. That was the real reason I didnt stay closer. Him being too nice was just my excuse to blow him off essentially.
Only other thing I can add is that chick he helped out didnt even go to his funeral and on top of that had tried to take his truck and clean his house out. Junkies are the worst. I was a junky but I proudly say I never robbed anyone or cost anyone anything other than emotional distress, which isnt much of a brag obviously.
2018 starts and I have been decreasing my methadone every week for about 3-4 months now. I am on a low dose. Makes sleeping at night hard (get restless legs and sneezy). So I am having a few drinks any time I am at the casino playing (still just two days a week for the most part) to help get through those late night sessions when its worn off and I feel crummy. I get down to 15mg then 10mg and in March of 2018 I get asked if I wanna work for a week with my crypto friend. His friend is setting up a farm with 500 miners and needs help. I agree. The pay is in excess of the work (in my opinion) at 3k and I have no expenses, but I dont argue obviously. Before we leave town I have to pick up my week of methadone (at 4mg now) and so I do that. I never take any of them, I have the box still. Never opened it. They remain at my apartment as a reminder, the box carrying the 6 doses and a stack of receipts for every 75$ week that I kept in the box, several years worth, at least 9-10k worth of receipts, and that shits CHEAP compared to oxy. So I am finally off of opiates. I take kratom still but its essentially non addictive in comparison. Ill cede that I am reliant on kratom but if it disappeared tomorrow I wouldnt panic, I would be fine.
So I fly to Denver with my friend and meet his friends half brother who was instructed to rent a box truck and the three of us were to drive from Denver to Washington carrying like half a million dollars worth of hardware. Its early March, the roads arent exactly great. Half brother of his friend rents a truck with no middle seat though. Its absolutely miserable. Whoever sat middle was sitting like a fem boy legs closed and knees up high from the drive shaft hump. It was un fucking real how uncomfortable the middle was. So like I stated the roads were not great, we drove on ice for 5-6 hours straight (while my crypto friend did about 30 minutes of it before I decided I value my life and banned him from driving, he was literally doing over 70 on this ice sheet when I checked the gauge. I forget what he said, I will fail to make it sound as good but he said that he is protected and can not die, if we wreck he wont get hurt because of some universe stipulation that protects him. He said we would get hurt but he wouldnt. *** Ok here is what he said.
“quantum immortality. if i die in this universe, my conciousness will shift to others where i am still alive”
He just couldnt assure us ours would.
I end up driving like 18 of the 24 (one shot) hours it took as letting crypto friend drive was out. We make it set up a farm over a couple days then we go to Vegas. Not only do we go to Vegas but we fly a private jet. Not only do we take a private jet but his buddy has all four of us our own room at the Bellagio for 5-6 days. I remember having a 4500$ win at Bellagios 500$ cap 2-5 game... ran pretty salty. I only remember one hand worth bringing up, but I closed action and called 400$ pre with 67o with 3 others all in. Just flop 77X and send me the money. (Was drinking, gamble gamble). I cold called that also, some fish had opened massive and a 300$ stack just ripped a 400$ stack rejammed and I had called out of bb knowing fish will call off his 400~. This is actually a leak I have in poker. I will go over it because it has history.
Dating back to online my biggest leak was playing vs short stacks. Everyones biggest leak obv (6m setting). There were a few min buyers on Carbon and I got to the point I put them in pre every time they opened my bb from button, so long as they opened 75%+ from button or close to it. This has carried with me live, if I can gamble 3-4 ways (4 specifically) I will basically do it any time its 100bb~ or less with about 40% of hands if I can close action safely. I am a bit of a degenerate in this sense. I will flip for 1k if I have 10k to my name. It mostly came as a way to loosen up tables (the flipping blind preflop) at my local casino with players who give action. I am pretty snug in general but I cant refuse a flip when it presents itself and I cant refuse a fun gamble with short stacks.
I spend the month in Vegas during WSOP and run absurdly bad. Lose every big pot I play it seems. Switch to PLO the last half of the month and go a week straight without tripling my buy in up at any point. Just insane. Looking back I play rather poorly in PLO. I have been spoiled with my PLO games back home (which have been dead for about a year) and could get away with playing 50% of hands and no one ever bet big draws or anything not the nuts basically. I didnt adjust at all is what the issue was. Was just a frustrating month.
So I return and take a stake from a friend. I barely play still. Same ole same ole.
The last thing I will cover for this section is an incident late in 2018. One of the girls who is the floor at my local casino takes kratom also, we talk about it a fair amount. She has some 10mg percocets (mini oxycontins essentially) she gives me two of them. I havent had one in several years. I have been off methadone for 6-8 months at the time. I am eager to feel what I felt all those years ago, having no tolerance. So I take them home even though I know I shouldnt.
I get home and take both of them. What transpires is almost depressing. It frustrates me to no end that I realized that I have no desire for these. It affirms that all the money I flushed wasnt about the high, it was about the not withdrawing. I basically stated this in an earlier post but this is the event that I learned this from. I dont even enjoy it. I just sink knowing that I gave my life away for these. I have never recovered thanks to pain killers. Never once after 2011 have I ever looked in the mirror and said “finally, I have finally recovered what I fucked off”.
I am going to finish this thread off on the next post most likely. It will likely be long and take me a while to compose as it will cover my current year, and put a bow on it. The story basically climaxes a couple posts back, these surely have slowly lost their luster but I will finish them anyways. Nothing exciting about hearing about a guy who can beat games but wont sit in the chair to do it. Its a bit more upbeat in 2019 though andd I feel my future is bright and redemption nears though. I dont think I would have written these if not for a change of mentality recently, so look forward to a positive summary next post.
submitted by cisheteropatriarchy to poker [link] [comments]

What's happening around town (Wed, Sep 25th - Tue, Oct 1st)

Tulsa's event list.

Ongoing

Wednesday, Sep 25th

  • 🎓 Bounce'n Beethovens (Owasso Library - Owasso) Thru Fri, Sep 27th Start Time: 6:30pm Children and parents explore music through movement and instruments as they play with egg shakers, bells, rhythm sticks, drums and maracas in this fun, interactive program. Registration is required as class size is limited. Register online or call 918-549-7323. Please register for only one Bounce'n Beethovens class per month. For ages birth-5.…
  • Discover Your Heritage with Genealogy DNA (Tulsa City County Library - Tulsa) Thru Fri, Sep 27th Start Time: 12:00pm One Book, One Tulsa Wednesday, Sept 25, 12-1 p.m. Jenks Library Friday, Sept 27, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Schusterman-Benson Library Join Liz Walker, Genealogy Resources Center associate, and discover options available for autosomal DNA testing and how a test can help adoptees, and compare what tools the different testing sites have to offer. For…
  • Food Truck Wednesdays (Guthrie Green - Tulsa) Every Wednesday, grab some tasty eats and gather on the grounds of Guthrie Green. During Food Truck Wednesdays, lunchtime…
  • 🎓 JobNewsUSA.com Tulsa Job Faur (Tulsa Renaissance Hotel & Convention Center - Tulsa) Start Time: 10:00am ATTN: Job Seekers! 100s of Jobs are up for grabs at the Tulsa Job Fair on September 25th! This is your opportunity to meet one-on-one with recruiters and hiring managers from some of the area’s best businesses who are now hiring for immediate openings!
    Whether you’re looking for an entry-level position or a more experienced management…
  • Les Miserables (Tulsa Performing Art Center - Tulsa) Thru Sun, Sep 29th Experience the award-winning musical phenomenon "Les Miserables" at Tulsa Performing Arts Center. Cameron…
  • 😂 Nick Hoff (Loony Bin - Tulsa) Thru Sat, Sep 28th
  • Tulsa Roughnecks FC vs San Antonio FC (ONEOK Field - Tulsa) Support the Tulsa Roughnecks FC professional soccer team as they take on San Antonio FC at ONEOK Field in Tulsa. Since its…
  • 🍴 Take 5: Korean-American Literature (Tulsa City County Library - Tulsa) Start Time: 7:00pm One Book, One Tulsa Martin Regional Library Join us for an evening dedicated to Korean-American literature. Five avid readers will share their favorite reads in five minutes! Leave with 25 readings suggestions designed to inspire. Bookish activities, door prizes and light refreshments will round out the perfect evening. This event is part of…

Thursday, Sep 26th

  • Bedtime Stories (Owasso Library - Owasso) Start Time: 6:30pm Join us for our evening storytime! Bring the whole family for this 0-to-5 storytime! There’s something for everyone – simple songs and books for the little ones, more interactive stories and activities for your older children. Children are welcome to wear their pajamas.
  • Ben & Noel Haggard in Concert (Expo Square - Tulsa) Start Time: 8:00pm Catch country artists Ben & Noel Haggard live as they make their way to the Tulsa State Fair. Listen from your…
  • 🎓 Bounce'n Beethovens (Owasso Library - Owasso) 1 day left Start Time: 6:30pm Children and parents explore music through movement and instruments as they play with egg shakers, bells, rhythm sticks, drums and maracas in this fun, interactive program. Registration is required as class size is limited. Register online or call 918-549-7323. Please register for only one Bounce'n Beethovens class per month. For ages birth-5.…
  • Champions of Health Gala (Cox Business Center - Tulsa) Start Time: 6:00pm Organizations making a positive impact on the health of Oklahomans will be honored at the 2019 Champions of Health Gala at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 26 at Cox Business Center in Tulsa. To make a reservation, call (855) 628-8642 by September 19. All proceeds benefit the Oklahoma Caring Foundation, a non-profit organization administered by Blue…
  • Cheify w/ many more (Blackbird On Pearl - Tulsa) Start Time: 8:30pm
  • Cruise Night Live Music (Tulsa Raceway Park - Tulsa) Start Time: 6:00pm
  • Discover Your Heritage with Genealogy DNA (Tulsa City County Library - Tulsa) 1 day left Start Time: 12:00pm One Book, One Tulsa Wednesday, Sept 25, 12-1 p.m. Jenks Library Friday, Sept 27, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Schusterman-Benson Library Join Liz Walker, Genealogy Resources Center associate, and discover options available for autosomal DNA testing and how a test can help adoptees, and compare what tools the different testing sites have to offer. For…
  • Food Truck Thursday (Downtown - Claremore) Once a month, downtown Claremore transforms into a community hub teeming with people. During Food Truck Thursday, join…
  • 🎡 Ford Family Fun Night (Expo Square - Tulsa) Start Time: 11:00am Gate Admission is only $3 with a coupon from your local Ford Dealer. Rides are only $2 each during Midway hours (does not include Extreme Rides). Gate Admission without Ford coupon is $5. Promotion starts at 11am; not valid with other promotions or offers.
  • Green on Greenwood Health & Wealth Expo (Greenwood Cultural Center - Tulsa) Start Time: 10:00am ❤️2nd ANNUAL GREEN ON GREENWOOD HEALTH & WEALTH EXPO❤️ The OCBA is proud to bring you another year of Oklahoma's biggest and best two-day expo for Green businesses and patient education annnnd it's FREE!! Last year, OCBA brought Oklahoma's FIRST CannaBiz Expo!!! We had 96 vendor, 24 speakers and OVER 7,000 attendees in TWO days and this…
  • I AM THEY (Mabee Center - Tulsa) Start Time: 7:00pm Pop-acoustic worship group I AM THEY is announcing plans to headline The Trial & Triumph Tour this fall during the month of September with special guests @[346090915180:274:Dan Bremnes] and @[1791758947747360:274:Elle Limebear]. “Earlier this year we embarked on a small headlining run with some of our friends at radio,” says I AM THEY’s…
  • Les Miserables (Tulsa Performing Art Center - Tulsa) Thru Sun, Sep 29th Experience the award-winning musical phenomenon "Les Miserables" at Tulsa Performing Arts Center. Cameron…
  • Mickey's Search Party (Expo Square - Tulsa) Thru Sun, Sep 29th Tulsa State Fair attendees can take a break from all the turkey legs and carnival rides with a ticket to Disney on Ice's…
  • 😂 Nick Hoff (Loony Bin - Tulsa) Thru Sat, Sep 28th
  • 🎭 Republican Hair (The Vanguard - Tulsa) Start Time: 8:00pm
  • Tulsa State Fair (Expo Square - Tulsa) Thru Sun, Oct 6th Bring the whole family out for Tulsa's largest annual event, the Tulsa State Fair, and enjoy fun-filled, family…

Friday, Sep 27th

  • Aaron Watson in Concert (Expo Square - Tulsa) Start Time: 8:00pm Catch country artist Aaron Watson live as he makes his way to the Tulsa State Fair. Listen from your spot in front of…
  • 🎓 Bounce'n Beethovens (Owasso Library - Owasso) Last Day Start Time: 6:30pm Children and parents explore music through movement and instruments as they play with egg shakers, bells, rhythm sticks, drums and maracas in this fun, interactive program. Registration is required as class size is limited. Register online or call 918-549-7323. Please register for only one Bounce'n Beethovens class per month. For ages birth-5.…
  • 🏃 Cycle For Life Night Ride (River West Festival Park - Tulsa) Evening ride, great for cyclists of all skill levels, benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Fully-supported ride with route options of 30 & 15 miles, including stocked rest stops and bike support along the routes. Start the evening by decorating your bike, body, and helmet at our Get Lit tent, and plan to enjoy our post-ride party upon…
  • Discover Your Heritage with Genealogy DNA (Tulsa City County Library - Tulsa) Last Day Start Time: 12:00pm One Book, One Tulsa Wednesday, Sept 25, 12-1 p.m. Jenks Library Friday, Sept 27, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Schusterman-Benson Library Join Liz Walker, Genealogy Resources Center associate, and discover options available for autosomal DNA testing and how a test can help adoptees, and compare what tools the different testing sites have to offer. For…
  • 🎨 Film on the Lawn: Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (Philbrook Downtown - Tulsa) Start Time: 6:00pm Friday, September 27, 6:00 PM
    Gene Wilder puts on his Wonka hat and makes our wildest dreams come true in this 1971 adaptation of Roald Dahl's famous novel. Do you have your golden ticket? Bring a picnic or get a burger at Kitchen 27's Burger Night. Member tickets available on Monday, April 22 Not-Yet Member tickets available on Monday, April…
  • Fridays in the Loft Chamber Music (FlyLoft - Tulsa) The Tulsa Symphony Orchestra presents a regular Fridays in the Loft Chamber Music series. Take a seat at the Fly Loft in…
  • Friday Night Test N Tune (Tulsa Raceway Park - Tulsa) Start Time: 6:00pm
  • Jackson Taylor and The Sinners (The Shrine - Tulsa) Start Time: 8:30pm
  • 🎭 Kansas Password: knowreturn (Brady Theater - Tulsa) Start Time: 10:00pm KANSAS - POINT OF KNOW RETURN - FRI 9/27 Venue Presale Now thru Thu 4/11 10pm Online Only with Password: KNOWRETURN Link: http://bit.ly/KansasTulsaOK
  • 🎭 Kansas 'Point of Know Return (Brady Theater - Tulsa) Start Time: 7:30pm
  • Les Miserables (Tulsa Performing Art Center - Tulsa) Thru Sun, Sep 29th Experience the award-winning musical phenomenon "Les Miserables" at Tulsa Performing Arts Center. Cameron…
  • Mickey's Search Party (Expo Square - Tulsa) Thru Sun, Sep 29th Tulsa State Fair attendees can take a break from all the turkey legs and carnival rides with a ticket to Disney on Ice's…
  • Miss Nelson Has a Field Day (Tulsa Performing Art Center - Tulsa) Start Time: 7:00pm Presented By: Imagination Series Tulsa PAC Trust Return to Horace B. Smedley School where the Smedley Tornadoes have never won a football game. In fact, they have never even scored a single point! With such a poor record and a team that is out of control, kindhearted Miss Nelson comes to the rescue, enlisting the help of her alter ego, the…
  • 😂 Nick Hoff (Loony Bin - Tulsa) 1 day left
  • Peter and the Wolf (Tulsa Ballet - Tulsa) Kids are invited to the family-friendly "Peter and the Wolf" production, featuring a familiar cast of characters…
  • Route 66 Cruisers Cruise-In & Car Show (Claremore Lake Park - Claremore) Day 1 of 2 Bring the entire family out to the annual Route 66 Cruisers Cruise-In & Car Show in Claremore to celebrate classic cars…
  • 🏃 RunnersWord Tulsa Urban Adventure Run (RunnersWorld Tulsa - Tulsa) Join us for the fifth annual RunnersWorld Tulsa 26.2, 50, or 100 Mile Urban Adventure Race!
    Route Map Here: http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/1283863087
    The RunnersWorld Tulsa Urban Adventure Race promises to be an unforgettable running experience. It is an urban adventure, a running tour of Tulsa, beginning and ending at RunnersWorld…
  • Tulsa State Fair (Expo Square - Tulsa) Thru Sun, Oct 6th Bring the whole family out for Tulsa's largest annual event, the Tulsa State Fair, and enjoy fun-filled, family…
  • 🎓 Tulsa State Fair Draft Horse Show (Expo Square - Tulsa) Day 1 of 2 Start Time: 8:00am Mark your calendars to attend the Tulsa Fair Draft Horse show in Tulsa OK!! September 27 & 28 2019. Hitch, halter, pleasure & riding classes. Obstacle courses. Costume class. Loads of fun! Free for anyone wanting to come watch! Registration deadline August 30th. https://www.tulsastatefair.com/p/getconnected/livestock-and-horse-shows/horsehandbook
  • 🎨 Young at Art: Diary of a Worm, a Spider and a Fly (Tulsa Performing Art Center - Tulsa) Start Time: 11:30am Young at Art: Diary of a Worm, a Spider and a Fly Sept. 27-28 at 11:30 a.m. :: John H. Williams Theatre **The Young At Art series is designed for public, private and home-schooled children. These one-hour shows open new doors for children by introducing the performing arts to new generations. All tickets are $5. "The Diary of a Worm, a Spider…

Saturday, Sep 28th

  • 🏃 Tulsa 5K Rosary/Cathedral Run (Holy Family Cathedral - Tulsa) It's a 5k run or 1 mile walk with a twist. See all the historic churches in downtown Tulsa while participating in the Rosary! It's where prayer meets the pavement!
    This is a USATF sanctioned race but not chipped timed. Top 3 male and top 3 female finishers will be awarded prizes.
    Sign up online at http://tulsarosaryrun.com
  • 🏃 Tulsa Bicycle Club Fall Century (Whirlpool Plant - Tulsa) The best fall ride in Oklahoma! Explore the backroads of rural Tulsa county. Add great SAG support, filling and relaxing rest stops, and you get the very best in Oklahoma cycling in the fall. Register soon ... and why not join the Club and save yourself $5 on registration for this ride plus enjoy the many other benefits of membership!
  • 🎭 Chandler Park Open Mic (Chandler Park - Tulsa) Start Time: 6:00pm $2/person. Your chance to be a star! Singing, dance, stand up, poetry; show everyone what you've got! Concessions available. Sign up by phone/at location. 918-591-6053.
  • 🎭 The Drunkard and the Olio (Tulsa Spotlight Theatre - Tulsa) Start Time: 7:30pm
  • Ginuwine in Concert (Expo Square - Tulsa) Start Time: 8:00pm Catch R&B artist Ginuwine live as he makes his way to the Tulsa State Fair. Listen from your spot in front of…
  • Les Miserables (Tulsa Performing Art Center - Tulsa) 1 day left Experience the award-winning musical phenomenon "Les Miserables" at Tulsa Performing Arts Center. Cameron…
  • Mickey's Search Party (Expo Square - Tulsa) 1 day left Tulsa State Fair attendees can take a break from all the turkey legs and carnival rides with a ticket to Disney on Ice's…
  • 😂 Nick Hoff (Loony Bin - Tulsa) Last Day
  • 🏆 OSSAA State Cheerleading (Mabee Center - Tulsa) Start Time: 11:00am $7 Cash | $8 Credit Card General Admission More information at https://mabeecenter.com/event/ossaacheerleading2019
  • Rose District Farmers Market (Rose District Plaza - Broken Arrow) Thru Sat, Oct 26th Start Time: 8:00am different music, events, and guests, each week
  • Route 66 Cruisers Cruise-In & Car Show (Claremore Lake Park - Claremore) Day 2 of 2 Bring the entire family out to the annual Route 66 Cruisers Cruise-In & Car Show in Claremore to celebrate classic cars…
  • Soul Fest (Guthrie Green - Tulsa) Don't miss one of Guthrie Green's biggest music events of the year during Soul Fest. This free, family-friendly…
  • Tulsa State Fair (Expo Square - Tulsa) Thru Sun, Oct 6th Bring the whole family out for Tulsa's largest annual event, the Tulsa State Fair, and enjoy fun-filled, family…
  • 🎓 Tulsa State Fair Draft Horse Show (Expo Square - Tulsa) Day 2 of 2 Start Time: 8:00am Mark your calendars to attend the Tulsa Fair Draft Horse show in Tulsa OK!! September 27 & 28 2019. Hitch, halter, pleasure & riding classes. Obstacle courses. Costume class. Loads of fun! Free for anyone wanting to come watch! Registration deadline August 30th. https://www.tulsastatefair.com/p/getconnected/livestock-and-horse-shows/horsehandbook
  • 🏃 Susan G. Komen Tulsa Race for the Cure (River Spirit Casino - Tulsa) Join us for the Annual Susan G. Komen Tulsa Race for the Cure® starting at the Rivers Spirit Casino Resort. Races will include a half marathon, 5K timed event, 5K untimed event and 1-mile fun run/walk. Visit komentulsa.org for more information!
  • 🎨 Teen Program: Butterfly Gardening and Rock Painting (Tulsa Garden Center - Tulsa) Start Time: 1:00pm Part of the teens-only program! Butterflies are some of the most beautiful and interesting creatures on Earth and they make the world a little more colorful. In this workshop to learn why butterflies are beneficial and how to attract them to your yard. After touring the Linnaeus Butterfly Garden we will be guided in painting beautiful garden…
  • Turner & Boggs Suicide Awareness Concert (Tulsa Raceway Park - Tulsa) Start Time: 4:00pm

Sunday, Sep 29th

  • Blacktop Mojo and Guests (The Shrine - Tulsa) Start Time: 7:00pm Headliner: Blacktop Mojo Special Guest: Cyanide Hook Doxy Firstryke Oklahoma Alibi
  • 🎡 Lanco (Expo Square - Tulsa) Sunday, September 29th: Give a BIG Oklahoma welcome to our friends LANCO! We can't wait! Want the best seats in the house? Get your River Spirit VIP Section tickets TODAY!
  • Legendary Midnight Drags (Tulsa Raceway Park - Tulsa) Start Time: 11:00pm
  • Les Miserables (Tulsa Performing Art Center - Tulsa) Last Day Experience the award-winning musical phenomenon "Les Miserables" at Tulsa Performing Arts Center. Cameron…
  • Mickey's Search Party (Expo Square - Tulsa) Last Day Tulsa State Fair attendees can take a break from all the turkey legs and carnival rides with a ticket to Disney on Ice's…
  • Tulsa State Fair (Expo Square - Tulsa) Thru Sun, Oct 6th Bring the whole family out for Tulsa's largest annual event, the Tulsa State Fair, and enjoy fun-filled, family…

Monday, Sep 30th

  • 🎡 For King & Country (Expo Square - Tulsa) Alright Oklahoma, we know you love for KING & COUNTRY so we're bringing them back! Who wants to go? Want the best seats in the house? Get your River Spirit VIP Section tickets TODAY!
  • 🎡 Mazzio's Ride-A-Thon (Expo Square - Tulsa) Start Time: 11:00am Save $10 on a ride wristband by picking up a coupon at your local Mazzio's (does not include Gate Admission and Extreme Rides). Price without Mazzio's coupon is $45.
  • 🎭 Open Mic (Blackbird On Pearl - Tulsa) Start Time: 8:00pm
  • Tulsa State Fair (Expo Square - Tulsa) Thru Sun, Oct 6th Bring the whole family out for Tulsa's largest annual event, the Tulsa State Fair, and enjoy fun-filled, family…

Tuesday, Oct 1st

  • 🎡 Alltech's Family Fest (Expo Square - Tulsa) Start Time: 11:00am Gate Admission is only $6 per person; Children (under age 5) are FREE. Seniors (62+) and Military are FREE until 2pm; proper identification required at time of purchase. Not valid with other promotions or offers.
  • 🎨 Clothed in Strength and Dignity (Tulsa Performing Art Center - Tulsa) Start Time: 10:00am Clothed in Strength and Dignity Sept. 5 � Oct 1, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and during Chapman Music Hall events :: PAC Gallery Katie Wheat Pernu has spent most of her life teaching others about art. She holds a degree in Art Education from Northern Arizona University and achieved National Board Certification as an art teacher. She has instructed…
  • 🎡 Lovelytheband (Expo Square - Tulsa) Just go ahead and call us awesomethefair because we just snagged lovelytheband for October 1st! Want the best seats in the house? Get your River Spirit VIP Section tickets TODAY!
  • Open Jam Aka Community Sound (Blackbird On Pearl - Tulsa) Start Time: 9:00pm
  • Tulsa State Fair (Expo Square - Tulsa) Thru Sun, Oct 6th Bring the whole family out for Tulsa's largest annual event, the Tulsa State Fair, and enjoy fun-filled, family…
  • 🎭 Sublime with Rome (Brady Theater - Tulsa) Start Time: 7:00pm Sublime with Rome - October 1 Special Guests The Expendables and Tropidelic On Sale Fri 8/9 10am

See Also

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Interview with magician Lee Asher (President of 52 Plus Joker American Playing Card Collector Club)

Interview with magician Lee Asher (President of 52 Plus Joker American Playing Card Collector Club)

Who is Lee Asher?

I first came across the work of Lee Asher many years ago. At that time I was exploring my long-time interest in card magic, and Lee had made some good contributions in that area. One of his signature tricks that he is well-known for is an ace routine called the Asher Twist. If you enjoy card magic, you'll appreciate the cleverness involved and the impossibility it apparently creates. Lee is skilled magician, and his name will be familiar to many from his work as a magic consultant.
But Lee Asher's credentials extend much further than the contributions he's made as a magician. Self-described as a "playing card and sleight of hand expert", it's especially his expertise in the area of playing cards that will interest most readers of this article. When my personal interest in playing cards was revived in the last number of years, I kept coming across his name in several places. When researching things like the iconic Jerry Nuggets Playing Cards, I came across his outstanding article on the subject. While looking up information about dating playing cards, his name popped up yet again, once more with a very informative and authoritative article about this. Via the official online portal for the 52 Plus Joker American Playing Card Collector Club, PlayingCardForum.com, I learned that Lee is in fact the current President of this highly respected organization for collectors of playing cards.
All this is to say that when it comes to experience with playing cards, it's hard to think of someone with finer credentials than Lee Asher. From his personal experience as a magician and a collector, as well as his involvement with 52 Plus Joker and as President, it's obvious that he knows what he's talking about. And fortunately for us, Lee was happy to talk to us, agreeing to this interview, in which he answers questions about himself, about playing cards, about collecting, and of course about 52 Plus Joker. So let's hand it over to Lee, and hear what he has to say!

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The Interview

General background
For those who don't know anything about you, what can you tell us about yourself and your background?
My name is Lee Asher. I'm 42 years old, and I'm a second-generation sleight of hand artist. My father taught me magic at the ripe age of seven. When I was about fifteen, I started performing magic for money at restaurant and private gigs. Eventually, I moved from my birth state of Florida all the way to Las Vegas, Nevada to attend University and study casino management (UNLV).
Directly after graduating in 1999, I threw all my possessions into a Las Vegas storage locker and chased my heart to Paris, France. During this sublime period of my life, I also traveled around Europe performing and teaching my brand of sleight of hand to other magicians.
Once I conquered Europe, I began performing and lecturing around the rest of the world in cities such as in London, Singapore, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Kuala Lumpur, Perth, Shanghai, Taipei, Santo Domingo, Beijing, Tokyo, Glasgow, Tel-Aviv, Hong Kong - and the list goes on and on.
Eventually I moved back in the Americas. Now I live in Canada, married to the woman of my dreams. My wife's name is Christina. And while we have no children, we have a big lovable boxer dog named Quinton.
What do you currently do for a day job and/or what are your other interests?
I'm a magic consultant, magician and playing card expert. In my spare time, I like collecting antique, vintage and modern playing cards. I also like creating sleight of hand and other fun moves. But when I'm not holding cards, I'm reading, cooking, watching movies or playing card games with my wife.
Given that you have had a successful career in magic, what would be some highlights in your personal curriculum vitae?
I'm fortunate. I have a bunch. Here are a handful of highlights that mean the the world to me: ● 1993 - Performed with my father as a walk-around magician on Miami's exclusive, Fisher Island. ● 1996 - Performed at the Magical Empire, a 66 million dollar attraction at Caesar's Palace, Las Vegas. ● 2001 - Lectured at London, England's prestigious Magic Circle on September 10th, 2001. ● 2005 - Performed as an Absolut Vodka ambassador during their 'Magic of Winter' campaign using the now famous Absolut cards. ● 2016 - Magic celebrity judge on Amazing Magicians with China's most famous movie actress, Fan Bing Bing.
What sparked your interest in magic to begin with, and what is it about magic that you still love today?
My father. He's a eye doctor by day, and a magician at night. He's how I got interested in the art of magic. Adequately reflecting on his significance in a mere several hundred words is impossible. Nonetheless, I’d like to share some interesting facts with you about my dad, Mark Horowitz.
Let’s back up to the mid-1950s when my father was a child. New York City was a hotbed for magic in the United States, only rivaled by cities like Chicago & Los Angeles. Fortuitously, Dad learned from a handful of New York’s finest magicians. Mega legends like Al Flosso and Lou Tannen nurtured his love for the art. These men taught my father the foundations of magic. You can say these formative experiences helped mold him into the magician that Dad is today. On occasion, you’ll hear him reminisce fondly about spending time in those famous NYC magic shops.
BTW, Dad never became a full-time pro. Though he managed to support himself with magic gigs throughout university and optometry school. After graduating, he became a licensed optometrist with his own practice. He also became the resident trade show magician for Swan Optical and HydroCurve, a major contact lens company owned by Revlon. On top of his day job, Dad flew around the nation entertaining high-ranking executives and high-profile clients of the optical industry. Without a shred of doubt, my father paved the way for me to be a professional magician.
Moreover, if you've met him before, then you’ll know that Dad indulges by collecting artifacts from his youth. If it triggers fond memories of his illustrious past, he collects it. Of course it's impossible to own everything. So like any seasoned collector, he's refined his tastes over the years. Currently, he prefers acquiring magic-themed comics, autographed magic books and unique magic ephemera. His lifelong passion for collecting led him to amass the world’s largest magic comic book collection. This impressive feat landed him on the cover of MAGIC Magazine in April 2007.
During an early point in his life, my father immersed himself in the political side of magic. Year after year, he's generously helped organize IBM magic meetings, lectures and conventions on a local, state, and nationwide levels. To this day, he’s still involved with his local IBM magic club's affairs.
There's no question that his lifetime of remarkable dedication and outstanding service to the organization exemplifies his genuine reverence for the art of magic. While the word count on my heartfelt tribute here answering your question will sadly run out, the love I have for my father will not.

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About playing cards
What kind of playing cards did you first use when you started magic?
My dad had already amassed a bunch of decks from years of performance and collecting, so my earliest memories of holding cards and practicing are with US Playing Card Company (USPCC) 808 Series Bicycle 'Rider' backs. Not too long after, I found Tally-Ho's, Bees, Blue Ribbons, and Aristocrats. Eventually, other brands like Hoyle (shell backs) made their way into my hands, too.
As you know, these are all American-made decks. So the first European deck I touched was in 1989. I was thirteen. It's also when the Klutz Book of Card Magic was released. It came with a bridged-sized deck of Piatnic playing cards. They were glorious! I never felt such a thick, smooth, robust deck of cards. My adventures with European decks would not end here. More on that later.
Do you use playing cards for anything other than card magic? (e.g. card flourishing, card games, or anything else?)
Sure. I play card games with my wife all the time. Lately, we've been enjoying a lot of Monopoly Deal (made by Cartamundi). She's savage and plays a mean game of cards. I hardly ever win!
As for flourishing, I still dabble. Though, I don't have the time to practice as much of it as I should. It's true what they say; you must use it, or you lose it. Back in the day, I was influenced by renowned skateboarders like Stacey Peralta and Rodney Mullen. I introduced aerial moves to the flourish culture like ‘Yo’ (1997), ‘Diving Board Double’ (1997), and rail slide-esque techniques like the ‘Silver Surfer’ (1998).
Unquestionably, I'm exhilarated by this new generation of cardists and magicians. It also thrills me when I see people playing with my techniques. For instance, a simple search yields hundreds of videos of young people performing these moves. It's an honor watching the material grow larger than I could have ever imagined.
What do you think are the essential qualities of a good deck of playing cards in terms of design?
I'm a magician. Thus, I'm answering like a magician. I need a deck of cards that people can recognize. For instance, if the courts are beautifully customized but no one realizes they're looking at a King of Clubs, then the design hinders the performance.
I also believe the cards should be somewhat symmetrical, though I'm open to interpretation. There are some beautiful one-way patterned decks. Plus, if subtle enough, the one-ways help me achieve some stunning magical effects! Shhhhh.....
What should buyers today look for in a quality deck of playing cards?
Honestly, a majority of buyers aren't aware of the diverse qualities found in playing cards. There are a plethora of options available on the market today.
My advice: Buy a few decks made by different manufacturers --from around the world-- and start playing. Gather your own empirical evidence. Do you like cards feeling thick? What about thin? Embossed? Or smooth? Believe it or not, this is a personal journey. You never know, you might discover something new about yourself along the way.
The playing card industry has changed rapidly over the last two decades. Do you have any thoughts on the explosion of custom playing cards?
As the self-proclaimed 'king of playing card geeks', I approve of what's happening. Every day I wake up and see new decks appear for sale from different producers, all around the globe. It's a playing card aficionado's wet dream.
Certainly it doesn’t take a psychologist to comprehend the decks we are attracted to --the ones we use for playing, performance and collect in our vaults-- speak to our own personalities and beliefs. They help make us feel unique, and it’s fair to say all these modern decks cater to this meaningful need.
Simply put, they offer a bit of happiness to those who find part of themselves represented within the design, color, and even texture of the deck. Again, I approve.
What impact has crowdfunding like Kickstarter had on the custom playing card industry and collecting? And what has your own experience (if any) with this been like?
Kickstarter and the crowd-funding concept have rewritten the rules on how items are produced and purchased. In 2009, when Kickstarter began, there were under fifty decks launched; now there are hundreds of decks per year looking for funding. Of those projects, at little less than half succeed and find financial backing. In the big scheme of things, that’s impressive!
More important, Kickstarter is where we’re seeing wonderful grass-roots innovation. If the crowd decides that the project isn’t interesting, then the project isn’t funded. So, no one wastes time on unnecessary R&D. The items that receive funding are the items people want. That, in itself, is an innovation. And because of the low risk involved with crowd-funding a project, more avant-garde, ground-breaking concepts are put forth. These kinds of ideas won’t be attempted by any of the larger card producers scared to waste money 'testing the waters'.
But it gets better. The internet encourages fans connecting with artists. Which, in turn, encourages artists pushing the limits on what they create. It’s a beautifully symbiotic relationship.
All the while, playing card manufacturers are looking for innovative ways to accommodate. As a result, ground-breaking innovation and even long forgotten vintage techniques are making major comebacks -- in modern ways.
Where do you think the custom playing card industry will go from here, and what innovations or changes might we see in the coming years?
Roughly ten years ago, I went on record saying most playing card innovation will focus on the tuck box. And that's what happened. We've seen a strong push re-popularizing vintage 'bells and whistles' that were famous in the 1970s. For instance, decks printed with metallic inks, extraordinary embossing, and tricked-out foiling have become vogue again.
Consequently, I believe the next ten years will usher in innovative improvements to stocks and finishes. We've satisfactorily tackled the aesthetic, now it's time to pioneer undiscovered tactile fronts. Companies like Expert Playing Card Co. and Cartamundi already lead the way. Cardistry, magic and card games also help drive innovation.
What can you tell us about the Lee Asher 605 Playing Cards, which you produced yourself?
As I mentioned earlier, my taste for European playing cards came early on. Because I lived in South Florida, you could find Fournier playing cards in certain shops. For those who don't know, this wonderful Spanish playing card company was founded back in 1868. In 1986, they merged with the US Playing Card Company. Now though, Cartamundi owns Fournier. Yet, Fournier continues to keep their unique style of printing which differentiates them from everyone else in the world.
When it came time to print a deck, I had several choices of manufacturers. Ultimately, I picked Fournier. Constant innovation, the desire to improve quality and their exquisite attention to detail makes Fournier a leading card manufacturer. These were my guys! My team worked with Fournier's art department. We scrapped our original thoughts and started to play with the Fournier 505 back design. It's beautiful and classical. We wanted to change it and put it to new use. Once out of pre-production, Fournier's art team dubbed these cards the 'Lee Asher 605 Signature Series'. It was great honor!
Printed on Fournier's best stock, my 605s are heavier and thicker than USPCC's casino-grade cards. Each deck of the 605 series is free of defects, and guarantees a precise slide due to the special varnish formula used. This varnish is exclusive of Fournier and follows a secret formula only known by two persons at the plant. At least, that's the story they told me.
This varnish gives Fournier cards their unique feeling and sliding ability. Plus it also adds to longer durability making them higher in quality than other cards on the market. Afterwards the card sheets dry in an oven and later, pressed. This process also gives the cards more resistance and durability.
Each deck goes through twelve (12) different quality controls along the manufacturing process. It ends in a final Intelligent Eye printing check and an optical infrared light test. This guarantees that each deck contains 55 cards. Unlike other manufacturers, all Fournier decks get cut one-by-one. This way, all cards (including the edges) have exactly the same size.
Without a doubt, you can feel a difference between my high-end 605 series decks and the ones produced in America.

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About collecting
You personally have a huge interest in learning about and collecting playing cards. When did this interest begin, and what got you started in collecting?
Again, my father is an avid collector of magic memorabilia and other stuff that reminds him of his childhood. So it's in my blood. I have no choice.
But the playing card side of my habit didn't become apparent until University. That's when I had hundreds of decks littering my dorm rooms and apartment. You'd walk in on any given Sunday and find Jerry's Nugget, Golden Nugget, Desert Inn, Arizona Charlie decks and other random casino cards strewn across the floors. Without a doubt, practicing sleight of hand and cardistry can be messy!
What are some of the reasons motivating people to collect playing cards?
As I mentioned earlier, playing cards speak to our own personalities and beliefs. That means there are many reasons why people collect them. But it usually distills down to two different personalities types: ● Type A - People who collect a specific category, image, artist, brand, feel, reason, etc. ● Type B - People who speculate for money.
Which type are you? The good news is, there's plenty of room for both. The playing card world is inclusive. Also, if you collect long enough, you'll find yourself selling decks to buy other cards. It's natural. Ignore the opportunity to feel ashamed of any capitalist tendencies along your journey.
What are some of the things you personally and especially enjoy about collecting playing cards?
I appreciate the back story. It started with casino decks because of their history. Now I cannot help but notice that during the past decade, my collecting tastes & sensibilities have become refined. What I was originally passionate about back then, now curiously finds itself in the company of other newly formed interests.
Conversely, if you told me back in the beginning that I would find great pleasure in hunting down antique private-die playing card stamps, the younger me would have laughed out loud at the notion. These days, however, I look forward to sharing my label collection with anyone interested in seeing it. I even revel in finding better versions of private-die playing card stamps I already own. Coincidentally, if you are in possession of that almighty Caterson, Brotz & Co. label, give me a call and we will speak.
Within the past several years, I’ve been connecting the dots between U.S. Patents, inventors/artists & the actual playing card products manufactured. I write a monthly article titled the PATENT FILES that should interest any researcher out there. Digging through Google’s digitized patent area has uncovered a real treasure-trove of playing card history & information.
Once again, if you asked the younger me about working on this kind of historical research, I would have scoffed, made several snarky comments and declined. Yet now, all I can do is get excited thinking about it. My, how times have changed.
How many decks would you estimate that you currently have in your personal collection?
Lots. But that means absolutely nothing. Heed the old saying, "quality over quantity". It's impossible to own every deck of cards ever produced. Yet, it's possible to own the best of all the cards produced.
How do you organize and display your collection of playing cards?
Usually, I like my collection sorted by antique, vintage and modern categories. But lately I've been lazy and unorganized, so everything is mixed and thrown together. One of these days, I'll take some time and put everything back into some semblance of order.
Consider me a user as much as I'm a collector. Without a doubt, I play with my cards. But at the same time, they also get shelved to stare at from a distance. Finding a balance between the two has its difficulties.
When it comes to showing off my cards, they aren't presented well; I've got display decks in Carat Cases and what not, but it could be better. My friend and fellow playing card collector, Jay McKinstry (a master craftsman/artisan), asked if he could make some beautiful displays for me. This guy is the Michelangelo of wood craft, and that would be a dream come true.
One of these days, with McKinstry's help, I look forward to everyone appreciating all the cool stuff I've collected over the years.
Do you have any special categories of decks that you focus on collecting, and what are your favourite types of decks to collect?
We can break down American playing card collecting into three categories. Are you a modern deck collector, or maybe you fancy yourself as an antique collector? Vintage? Not sure? The easiest way to tell is by the age of the decks you collect: ● You’re an antique collector if the majority of your deck collection pre-dates the 1930s. ● You’re a vintage collector if the majority of your deck collection dates from 1931 to 1995. ● You’re a modern collector if the majority of your deck collection dates from 1996 to today.
It seems, the more you learn about playing cards in general, the more interesting each category becomes.
While I consider myself a vintage card collector, I’m the proud owner of some wonderful antique decks as well as a plethora of modern decks. That makes me a hybrid playing card collector. Apparently, we're a growing breed!
What would the most valuable deck in your collection be, and what accounts for its value?
Everybody is quick to speak about value, but no one ever discusses the worth of sentiments. What's my first European deck valued at on eBay? Maybe $5? $10? For me, it's priceless. So assigning value to my collection is much tougher than it looks. At least, for me. Maybe you feel the same way?
Where can we learn about grading and dating older decks of playing cards?
Pick up a copy of the Hochman Encyclopedia of American Playing Cards by Tom and Judy Dawson. This is the best resource on collecting American playing cards, ever written. They took all of long-time collector Eugene Hochman's research, and compiled it into one big volume. In those pages you'll find discussion about grading and dating your playing cards.
On a side note, if you Google search for info about dating and/or grading your deck, you'll find a bunch of articles relating to these topics. Most, if not all, of this info comes from the Hochman Encyclopedia and/or Tom and Judy Dawson. For instance, here are two links that cover the topics at hand: ● How To Date Your Playing CardsHow To Grade Your Playing Cards
I'm a new collector. Should I go out and buy a deck of 1970s authentic Jerry's Nuggets right away?
LOL! If you love collecting vintage casino decks, then sure. If you're speculating, buy as many as you can. But if you hear these sentiments and feel they're not applicable to you, then I'd suggest spending your money elsewhere. Like I said before, this is a personal journey. Take the time and discover something new about yourself. Collect what you think is worthy of collecting.

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The 52 Plus Joker collectors club
How and when did the 52 Plus Joker come about?
In 1985, 52 Plus Joker formed to cater to the interests of American antique playing card collectors. We have long since broadened the scope of the club to include collecting playing cards of all sorts, from around the world. With the internet spurring the recent surge of interest in playing cards; geographical and categorical lines blur daily.
52 Plus Joker community facilitates: ● The collection and trading of antique, vintage and modern collectible playing cards and related items, ● The advancement of knowledge about the history, manufacture and artistic aspect of playing cards, ● The promotion of fellowship among members with similar interests.
52 Plus Joker welcomes you whether you're an experienced collector or newcomer to the world of playing card collecting. If you want more info or would like to join 52 Plus Joker, please visit their official website. For the record, it's the best $25 USD I spend all year long!
In your experience, what have you found to be some of the benefits of being part of a playing card organization like 52 Plus Joker?
52 Plus Joker Club membership provides a wide variety of benefits, including: ● Attend our annual playing card convention. A unique experience unlike any other. ● Auctions of collectible, unusual and rare decks throughout the year. ● Quarterly printed magazine 'Clear The Decks'. Broaden your playing card horizons. ● Monthly digital magazine 'CARD CULTURE'. Delve deep into playing card life. ● Inclusion within 52 Plus Joker's membership roster. Meet like-minded individuals. ● Access to the Ask Alexander database of all our archives. ● Personal club account on the world’s largest Playing Card Forum. ● Plus more!
When did you first get involved with 52 Plus Joker, and how would you describe what your role as President involves?
This will be my 10th year involved with 52 Plus Joker. I found them back in 2009. By chance, I stumbled upon an online advertisement for the combined 52 Plus Joker / International Playing Card Society convention in Toronto, Canada. Twenty-four hours after registering, my phone rang with the caller ID - THOMAS DAWSON! I already owned a copy of the Hochman Encyclopedia and knew who Tom Dawson was. I became star-struck that a luminary like him would call a neophyte like me.
Turns out he and his wife, Judy, lived in Toronto, too. As soon as Tom spoke, it felt like we were old friends. Within minutes, I he gave me an invitation to come over and see their playing card collection. I’ll never forget that moment. Receiving an invitation was an honor back then and it’s still an honor to reminisce about it now. For Tom though, he was simply acting like a playing card ambassador. There could not have had been a better welcoming committee to 52 Plus Joker.
About a week later, I attended the club's annual convention. WOW! I'd never seen so many unfamiliar decks of cards in my life. I had so much to learn. At one point, Judy Dawson remarked how the club could use a little more youth. She thought young people had little interest in collecting playing cards. Her comment was confusing. Was she unaware of the massive explosion of custom card collecting online? Apparently. Actually, 95% of the club had no idea. Quickly thinking on my feet, I requested some day passes. I blurted out that I could convince ten playing card collectors under the age of 30 to show up on the final day of the convention. Some members of 52 thought I was crazy. Judy was hopeful, but placed little faith in it.
To make a long story short, ten playing card collectors under the age of 30 turned up on the last day of the convention. Obviously, it wasn't hard. This club had yet to introduce themselves to the new generation of card collectors. With my help, that was about to change. I was unanimously voted onto 52 Plus Joker's executive board. They made me 'Head of Publicity'.
That was ten years ago. Since then, I've risen through the ranks. In 2016, I became the youngest president in the club’s existence. Without a doubt, our playing card future illuminates with great opportunity. It’s my pleasure to lead us into this bright light.
What can you tell us about the annual 52 Plus Joker decks?
Of course! I'd love to brag about this. Each year, we ask the some of the greatest playing card designers in the world to craft a club deck. Incredible artists like Jackson Robinson, Paul Carpenter, Mark Stutzman, Alexander Chin and Randy Butterfield have the distinct honor of creating masterpieces for us. Without a doubt, we’re the luckiest club on the planet to work with such amazing talent.
For our 2019 deck, we picked one of Europe's finest playing card designers, Lotrek. He says he’s working on a special deck that’s sure to knock our socks off. Lotrek is a man of his word and we all look forward to what he creates.
If you want to see and own this year's club deck, we release it every year at our annual convention. It's one of the highlights of our entire event.
Each year the club hosts a convention. When is this and what is it about?
We held this year's convention in Charlotte, North Carolina on October 9th - October 12th, 2019. It's a chance to meet legendary collectors & designers, hobnob with premier card manufacturers, and talk decks with other enthusiasts all night long. There's nothing like it in the world.
For more information or if you want to join us at future conventions, please visit here.
What can you tell us about the CARD CULTURE magazine that you are the editor of?
CARD CULTURE was my answer to satisfy the digital end of our membership. Plus, it allowed us to connect with members on a monthly basis. After pitching the idea to Tom Dawson (who was the President at the time), I enlisted Don Boyer as the editor in chief. We also managed to wrangle a handful of writers for monthly articles.
On the 15th of each month, CARD CULTURE gets delivered to your email inbox [sample issue]. Most of our membership consumes it on their tablets or phones. Though, we offer it at a high resolution so you can print it, if you want a hard copy. We try our hardest to impress you on a monthly basis.
Don ran the show up until the 25th issue. After his departure, I took over. In May, we published our 52nd issue!

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Final thoughts
Is there anything else you'd like to share about collecting playing cards, or about playing cards?
The playing card world constantly changes. For instance, European card manufacturer Cartamundi purchased United States Playing Card Company. I made a video about it if anyone cares to hear me rant about playing cards: Lee Asher on USPCC's Merger With Cartamundi
We're living in fascinating times, and I look forward to what our future brings! Thanks for allowing me to share my thoughts about playing cards, EndersGame.
If anyone reading this wants to continue the conversation, please email me at [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]). I'm always interested in meeting other fellow magicians, playing card collectors and enthusiasts. Speak soon.

Conclusion

Lee Asher certainly has a lot to offer and share when it comes to playing cards, and I for one are very grateful that he was willing to do this interview. He has a wealth of knowledge, and his insights are helpful, and his enthusiasm is infectious. If you haven't yet seen it, I highly recommend listening to him talk about Cartamundi's recent acquisition of USPCC [link] - it's obvious that he's knowledgeable and passionate, and you'll learn some fascinating things from what Lee has to say.
Collectors in the United States will also appreciate learning more about the 52 Plus Joker club. If you're really keen, you may even want to attend the annual convention in October. Certainly take a look at what they offer, including the very interesting Card Culture magazine.
Once again a huge thank you to Lee Asher for conducting this interview - I know I've learned a lot, and enjoyed hearing what he had to say. Lee's enthusiasm for playing cards is something that many of us around the world share, and I'm sure I'm not the only one that sees somewhat of a kindred spirit, with our shared love for playing cards.
Where to learn more?Official website for Lee AsherLee Asher 605 Playing CardsLee Asher's articles on magic and playing cardsOfficial website for the 52 Plus Joker American Playing Card Collectors ClubThe Annual 52 Plus Joker ConventionCard Culture sample issue

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Author's note: I first published this article at PlayingCardDecks.com here.
submitted by EndersGame_Reviewer to Magic [link] [comments]

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