Tag Archives: Eliot Spitzer

Using Website Visitor Statistics As An Early Warning System

Like the canary in the coal mine, warning of the presence of deadly gases, or the seismograph warning of an impending tsunami, website (or blog) visitor statistics provide a valuable early warning system of current events, breaking news stories, and things that will be making news in the days ahead.

Google has known this for quite a while. Google’s Zeitgeist provides statistics that show the latest search trends. You can even go back and see what searches were hot on a previous date.

Like many bloggers and Webmasters, we keep tabs on Routing By Rumor’s traffic statistics. In the past 24 hours, we’ve seen a spike in visits that are related to several of the articles we’ve written in the past. An unusually high number of visitors have landed at our doorstep after doing searches for “Walmart” (or “Wal-Mart” or “Wal Mart”), “Ashley Alexandra Dupre” and “Blackrock layoffs”. We welcome the “business”, but we’re always curious as to why people end up here.

Searches for “Walmart” have always been a top search engine source of traffic to our blog. We’re guessing that a few items related to Walmart that have been in the news in the past few days have a lot to do with the sudden spike in traffic related to Walmart. Perhaps the news coverage of Walmart’s (and other retailers) day-after-Thanksgiving “Black Friday” sales have a lot to do with the increase in search engine traffic.

Ashley Alexandra Dupre is the alleged prostitute allegedly associated with the (alleged former New York Governor) Eliot Spitzer scandal, who received some coverage in this alleged blog a few months back. But why is she suddenly a top search engine topic once again? A bit of research gave us the answer. It seems that Ms. “Dupre” will be interviewed by Diane Sawyer, in a piece that will air on ABC’s 20/20 broadcast this Friday. Who ever said that crime doesn’t pay ?

We were scratching our head on the “Blackrock layoffs” searches that were bringing visitors to our blog. We wrote a piece last winter about layoffs at WCBS-AM, which we titled “Bad Day At Black Rock”. Black Rock is the nickname for CBS’s New York City headquarters building, owing to the dark granite facade of the skyscraper. But we had not heard of any new layoffs at CBS, so why the sudden interest in layoffs at “Black Rock” ?

A bit of digging yielded the answer. There are rumors floating that a round of layoffs are about to be announced at investment company Blackrock, Inc., the largest publicly traded asset management firm in the United States. Nothing to do with CBS, but close enough that it created a spike in visitors to my blog !

So, Webmasters and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) experts take note. If you see unexpected increases in traffic to your site that you can’t explain, dig deeper to find the source. Search engines rarely lie. It may be a case of mistaken identity, as with our “Black Rock” visitors. Then again, it may be an early warning of something you should know about, possibly relating to your website, your company, or a competitor.

We wonder whether mainstream media has caught on to this as a news gathering tool. It is no secret that journalists often “find” stories because they have already been covered by another newspaper, TV or radio station. Search engine statistics should be able to scoop other sources of news. The statistics are real-time, not requiring the printing of a newspaper, or the taping and editing of a television or radio news report. We would like to think that if the Internet existed back in the days of The Daily Planet, that cub reporter Jimmy Olsen would be using his computer and Google to scoop the other reporters.

We were wondering if we would get credit for coining the term “zeitgeist journalism“, so we decided to Google the phrase. Edward Rothstein, for one, used the term in this New York Times article about trend-spotting a dozen years ago, although obviously not in reference to Google, so we probably can’t claim ownership. Maybe we’ll just call it “Google journalism“.

Great Caesar’s ghost !

– Routing By Rumor

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The Banking Meltdown Is Just A Symptom Of A Much Larger Problem

They’re comparing this week’s financial events in the United States with those that led to the start of the Great Depression. But make no mistake, the United States’ economy has been headed for disaster for years now. The loss of decent-paying jobs, the record number of home foreclosures and the depressed real estate market are all symptoms of a far greater problem. The near-collapse of the American banking system may be linked to the mortgage crisis, but look for a root cause elsewhere.

The looming failures of financial giants including Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch, and insurance companies such as AIG, have created shock waves felt from Wall Street to Main Street. For the first time in memory, people were concerned that the money in their bank accounts, money market accounts and retirement plans was at risk. A 1929-style run on the banks appeared to be imminent. Indeed, people started pulling their money out of money market accounts at an unprecedented rate. Even investment professionals are running scared. Putnam Investments was so rattled by recent events, that they suddenly decided to close and liquidate their $12.3 billion institutional Putnam Prime Money Market Fund, which had experienced a run of redemptions last Wednesday. (Read about money market funds “breaking the buck” in this cnn.com article, or in this blogger’s posting.) In the seven days ending this past Thursday, Americans collectively pulled a quarter of a trillion dollars out of their money market accounts, an indication that people are frightened. This has led to the government announcing that money market mutual funds will now be insured in much the same way that FDIC insurance protects bank deposits, although the insurance coverage is currently planned for only the next year (we think you can bet your bottom dollar (pun intended) that this insurance will become permanent).

Within the space of just a few days, the government’s $75 billion bailout of AIG grew into a proposed $700 billion bailout of the entire mortgage mess. (Didn’t something like that happen in the movie “The Blob That Ate Pittsburgh”?) The government certainly has the ability to print as much money as it needs to put out these brushfires, but it’s foolish to believe that the federal government throwing money at the problem will make it go away for any length of time.

The economists here at Routing By Rumor point to two very basic problems that the country’s economic woes can be directly attributed to. The first problem is that America is sending about half of it’s cash to the Middle East to buy oil. The second problem is that the rest of America’s cash is being sent to the Far East, mainly to China, to pay for just about everything else we consume. Unless this situation changes, the U.S. economy will never recover, and the current round of federal bailouts are just the beginning.

America has made little progress towards energy independence, despite 35 years having elapsed since the oil crisis of the early 1970’s gripped the nation. A second oil crisis in the late 70’s, as well as dramatic increases in the price of oil in the recent past have done nothing to break our dependence on foreign oil.

America has become dependent on China for almost all consumer goods. This is not only foolish from an economic perspective, it also presents a grave risk to America’s national security. We manufacture almost nothing domestically any more. We’ve said this before, and we’ll repeat it again… God help America if we ever go to war with China, because if that should ever happen, you might as well just go ahead and hang a picture of Chairman Mao in your living room. Now take a look at Walmart, the largest retailer in the United States. According to wakeupwalmart.com, more than 70% of the goods on Walmart’s shelves are made in China. To be fair, that’s probably no different than any other American retailer, but in our mind, Walmart is little more than a sales agent for China, Inc.

Just how bad have things gotten ? According to this CNN article, the United States Department of Agriculture says that 50 percent of the apple juice imported into the United States comes from China (an estimated 161,000 tons of apple juice compared to the 110,000 tons produced in the United States). If we’re reading those numbers correctly, that means the United States only produces 25% of all the apple juice it consumes.

Apple juice !!! What the hell is happening to our country ?

People, there’s something very, very wrong with the U.S. economy, if we can’t even grow our own apples in this country anymore. We’re in deep, deep trouble if we’ve even become dependent on China for apple juice.

They better come up with a new saying, because “As American as apple pie” doesn’t hold true any more.

When the presidential candidates show up for their next press conference or debate, in addition to the standard questions about abortion, the death penalty, Iraq and tax reform, perhaps someone can ask them to take off their shoes and tell us where they were made, and whether they see that as a problem. Or, ask them to remove all of their clothing that was NOT made in the U.S.A. That should be quite revealing.

Then there’s the U.S. banking industry, which to us, resembles nothing so much as legalized loan sharking. Banks are, on the one hand, paying minuscule interest rates to depositors, with regular savings accounts and interest-bearing checking accounts paying perhaps 1% or so, and in many cases, just a fraction of one percent APR or APY (the switch from quoting interest rates paid as APY, instead of APR is a scam onto itself, but we’re digressing). On the other hand, banks are charging 15% or 20% interest on credit card balances, and in some cases, as much as 35% or 40% APR for their less credit worthy customers. Did you know that federal law places no limit on the interest rate a bank can charge ? And while some states do so, there are states which do not cap interest rates. That’s why it’s likely that when you mail your monthly credit card payment, the address on the envelope is usually in South Dakota or Delaware, where, as far as credit card interest rates are concerned, the sky’s the limit.

Take a look at the off-the-wall late fees and other penalty charges that banks are getting away with, since a 1996 Supreme Court ruling removed limits on such fees. Today, typical credit card late fees are as high as $40, and continuing to go up. In fact, if there’s one thing that amazes us, it’s the way that banks continually come up with new ways of putting the squeeze on credit card holders. That’s why you continually get notices from card issuers, announcing changes in your account terms. It’s surprising to us that none of those notices have yet advised us that a late payment will result in a guy named Guido paying us a visit around midnight, to negotiate a repayment schedule using his Louisville Slugger.

We think most American’s have lost any trust they might have had in that cesspool called Wall Street, where, it seems to us, the average investor doesn’t stand a chance. Maybe Eliot Spitzer was on the right track after all, with his aggressive investigations. The well publicized scandals, insider trading and other illegal activities involving Wall Street firms and the companies that trade their stock there have eroded investor confidence. And while we don’t think it’s fair to single out any one individual, just take a look at the Dick Grasso case. How do you think the average American who is struggling to pay their mortgage or feed their family, feels about a situation like that one ? And yet, despite the current financial crisis in the United States, don’t expect CEO compensation to decrease much, even at companies that have to be bailed out with federal money.

So while the billions of dollars that Washington is throwing at the financial crisis will probably stabilize things in the short term, don’t start singing “Happy Days Are Here Again” just yet. They are not.

If you want to hear what it will sound like if happy days ever do get here again, check this out.

– Routing By Rumor

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When We Speak, Wall Street Listens.

One of the great things about hosting a blog at WordPress.com is the various tools and statistics they provide (thanks, Matt). You can see how much traffic your posts attract, how your visitors are finding your blog, what search terms people are using to find you (but sadly, not which search engine they used), and what hyperlinks in your posts they click on.

We were quite surprised this morning, when we noticed that nasdaq.com was sending traffic our way because of this article we posted yesterday about the U.S. economy. We had mentioned that New York and New Jersey utilities, including Consolidated Edison, had recently gotten steep rate increases approved by regulators, some as much as 25% and 50%.

Within a few hours, visitors to Nasdaq who looked up Consolidated Edison (NYSE: ED), were seeing a link to our blog in the “Comments From The Blogs” section on nasdaq.com. This is yet another example of how blogging has really gained legitimacy, and how mainstream media and even Wall Street have taken notice of what is being discussed by bloggers. To be sure, it is a bit of a trip, realizing that almost anyone with a computer and Internet access can have their voice heard by the world. To us, that’s perhaps the greatest thing about this experiment they call the Internet. It transcends borders (although some regimes try to surpress it), it makes the world a very small place, and it gives you access to views and opinions you would otherwise never hear. How great is that?

Now that Routing By Rumor is (almost) a household name, we want to let the New York Stock Exchange know that we are available, should Dick Grasso’s old job still be open. However, in light of the firestorm that his $140 million retirement package caused, we want to go on record as saying that we will not accept a deferred compensation package of more than $75 million. We think that even Eliot Spitzer, the former New York State Attorney General turned New York Governor (and no friend of Dick Grasso’s), who’s career crashed and burned in a sex scandal, would approve of that.

– Routing By Rumor

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New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer’s One Sentence Resignation Letter

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Thanks to our friends at the New York Times, here’s the one sentence resignation letter that Eliot Spitzer sent to Sheldon Silver, Speaker of the New York State Assembly, and to Joseph Bruno, President and Majority Leader of the New York State Senate, on March 12, 2008. (see the Times’ coverage).

Mr. Spitzer’s letter reads…

“I am writing to advise you that I am resigning my position as Governor of the State of New York effective at 12:00 noon on Monday, March 17, 2008.”

Although we have read it over and over, we can’t locate the part where he provides the reason for his decision to quit. Knowing that a sitting governor does not resign without good reason, I think we will go back and read the letter a few more times, since we must have missed something. Perhaps verbosity is not one of Mr. Spitzer’s strengths, but wouldn’t an elected official want the reason for his resignation to be on record for the history books?

As for Eliot Spitzer’s replacement, David A. Paterson, hopes for a new Governor with a squeaky-clean past have already been dashed. Even before the sun had set on his inauguration day, the skeletons in Mr. Paterson’s closet had started to make noise.

– RoutingByRumor

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Amazing Makeovers By Ashley Alexandra Dupré !

Give the girl credit where credit is due.  She has performed a great service for the citizens of New York State.  And while we don’t think too much of her singing, Ashley Alexandra Dupre (a/k/a “Kristen”) is an incredibly talented makeover artist. Here’s actual before and after photos of Eliot Spitzer, unretouched and unedited in any way. Bear in mind that this is after just a single two hour session. Imagine what magic she could perform given some more time !

—–Eliot Spitzer (before)—————Eliot Spitzer (after)

Best of all, the changes are permanent. You can’t say that about plastic surgery. You can’t say that about haircolor. You can’t say that about botox. You can’t say that about collagen.

We think $4,000 is a small price to pay for a new you that people will notice.

Here’s another client, so to speak. Same incredible results.

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—–Silda Spitzer (before)—————Silda Spitzer (after)

Add years to your appearance in just one visit. Don’t you deserve to be pampered? You only live once. Go ahead… pick up the phone, and call The Emperor’s Club, V.I.P. today !

1 (877) 286-5338

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Introducing Ms. Ashley Alexandra Dupré, a/k/a “Kristen”, a/k/a Ashley Youmans, a/k/a Ashley Rae Maika DiPietro, a/k/a Nina Venetta

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Ashley  Alexandra Dupre (from her myspace.com page)

We are a firm believer in the one-name-per-person rule. Two, tops.

Ashley Youmans (birth name)

Ashley Rae Maika DiPietro (legal name change)

Ashley Alexandra Dupre (stage name?)

Nina Venetta (myspace page name)

“Kristen” (Spitzer scandal original identity)

… and that’s just the ones we know about.

In her song, “What We Want”, posted on her myspace page, she asks “Can you handle me, boy?”. For Eliot Spitzer, we believe the answer to her interrogatory is a most definite “NO”.

Almost prophetically, the “tag” she has posted on her myspace page is “what destroys me, strengthens me“. If history is any gauge, this will certainly be true for her.

You would think a powerful man like Eliot Spitzer could do much better than a 22-year-old self-described sometimes homeless, penniless, drug infested, high school dropout prostitute from a broken home, with a penchant for passing out (probably from alcohol or drugs or both). The following photo, caption and self-description are taken directly from the myspace page of “Ashley Alexandra Dupre”. She has been identified in this New York Times article as Ashley Youmans, the 22-year-old call girl at the center of the Spitzer scandal. See our previous posts on the Spitzer scandal, “Dead Man Walking” and “New York Governor Eliot Spitzer Involved With A Prostitution Ring“.

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me pas​sed​ out​…​i do tha​t oft​en.​ 200​7
(photo and caption from Ms. “Dupre’s” myspace.com page)

 

 

About Ashley Alexandra Dupré

I am all about my music, and my music is all about me… It flows from what I’ve been through, what I’ve seen and how I feel. I live in New York and am on top of the world. Been here since 2004 and I love this city, I love my life here. But, my path has not been easy. When I was 17, I left home. It was my decision and I’ve never looked back. Left my hometown. Left a broken family. Left abuse. Left an older brother who had already split. Left and learned what it was like to have everything, and lose it, again and again. Learned what it was like to wake up one day and have the people you care about most gone. I have been alone. I have abused drugs. I have been broke and homeless. But, I survived, on my own. I am here, in NY because of my music. It started when I moved in with a musician during my odyssey to New York. One day, I was in the shower singing “respect.” He and his lead guitarist burst in, had me repeat it and it started. We wrote, rehearsed and toured. After recording a bit with them, I decided to move to Manhattan to pursue my music career. I spent the first two years getting to know the music scene, networking in clubs and connecting with the industry. Now, it’s all about my music. It’s all about expressing me. I can sit here now, and knowingly tell you that life’s hard sometimes. But, I made it. I’m still here and I love who I am. If I never went through the hard times, I would not be able to appreciate the good ones. Cliché, yes, but I know it’s true. I have experienced just how hard it can be. I can honestly tell you to never dwell on the past, but build from it and keep moving forward. Don’t let anyone hold you back or tell you that you can’t…because you can. I didn’t and here I am, just listen to it…. What we Want is my latest track. It’s really about trust, something my past has made very difficult for me to feel. This one was inspired by a guy, who taught me not to confuse my dreams with the sounds of the city…I hope you like it.

Monica Lewinsky, move over. There’s a new girl in town.

According to counters on her myspace page, over 1 million visitors listened to her song, “What We Want” today alone, and over 2.5 million visitors have viewed the page, most of them, presumably, in the last few hours. When I checked back a few hours later, she had almost 5 million hits. We wonder if that’s a one-day record for a myspace page.

I smell a record deal coming real soon. Girl, you need a manager.

We predict that you’ll be able to buy “Ms. Dupre’s” latest album on Apple’s iTunes store before you know it, and if you have a video iPod, her latest music video.

No, Ashley, you won’t have any trouble paying the rent from now on.

Perhaps Ashley should hire Eliot Spitzer as her lawyer/manager. We hear he’s looking for a job, and with his law background, he would certainly know how to write a recording or movie contract . Besides, he already knows her. It’s the least she could do for him, considering all that he’s done for her career.

Talk about the power of the Web.

When I just checked on the top Google searches (www.google.com/trends/hottrends), searches on “Ashley Youmans”, or one of her other names, hold five of the top 10 spots for the most-searched-for terms today. This is the type of ranking that SEO experts can only dream about.

Talk about your 15 minutes of fame.

Incredible.

…Now how do I get a million people to read my blog?

– Routing By Rumor

P.S. – When we checked Ashley’s myspace page at noon on 3/13/2008, it had been taken down, apparently by myspace administrators. We’re guessing that the amount of traffic it was generating was causing problems for myspace.com. Either that, or it was hacked.

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Dead Man Walking

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Los Angeles (March 11) – New York Governor Eliot Spitzer (see our previous post) has reportedly signed a movie deal worth $75 million. He will play Matthew Poncelet (Sean Penn‘s character) in Tim Robbins’ remake of his 1995 blockbuster, “Dead Man Walking“. Filming is scheduled to start this Summer in Angola, Louisiana, subject to Mr. Spitzer’s availability. When asked why he decided to pick Spitzer for the role, Robbins said “who better than Eliot Spitzer… he has walked the walk”.

When asked whether he expected filming to interfere with his responsibilities as Governor, Spitzer said “I do not expect that to be a problem”, and then added “if Arnold what’s-his-name in California can do it, so can I”. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who had a successful Hollywood career before going into politics, had some advice for his counterpart in New York. Governor Schwarzenegger suggested that Governor Spitzer should “terminate himself, before the New York Legislature does it for him”.

Casting has not been completed yet, but Mr. Robbins indicated that the tentative release date for “Dead Man Walking II” is Summer, 2009.

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Now, if Garry Marshall does a remake of his 1990 movie, “Pretty Woman“, we think Eliot Spitzer would have to be cast as Edward Lewis. He even looks like Richard Gere, don’t ya think? When contacted for comment, Julia Roberts said she was looking forward to working with Eliot Spitzer, should the movie be made. She noted that “he looks so much like Richard, it’s spooky”.

– RoutingByRumor

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