Saturday, September 24, 2016

When Ritchie and Candice fell in love

They discovered their love included all things Renaissance which explains their costuming and music. But their musical heritage was too powerful to let anything Blackmore's Night from rocking out as they do with "All Our Yesterdays"

R.I.P. Stanley Dural Jr.

Better known as Buckwheat Zydeco, you did much to bring zydeco to the attention of music lovers.

Trump campaign strategy explained

From the pen of Jim Morin

In truth Trump is a stingy bastard

Donald Trump likes to brag about what a yuge benefactor he is for all manner of recipients. However a little diligent journalistic digging has shown that The Great Orange Dookie is very generous with his pledges, it's the follow up check that seldom appears.
Over the years, Mr. Trump has billed himself as an “ardent philanthropist,” and his official biography says that he is “involved with numerous civic and charitable organizations.”

But the depiction of Mr. Trump as a generous benefactor has recently come into question amid a series of reports raising doubts about whether he has followed through on his lavish pledges, whether he misused the foundation that bears his name and whether he financially supports it at all.

Interviews with people who have worked with or solicited money from him, as well as years of publicly available charity records, paint a picture of Mr. Trump as a reluctant giver despite his wealth. Donations from his foundation, which in recent years has been exclusively financed by others, sometimes served his own needs while helping the recipients.

Jack O’Donnell, who was president and chief operating officer of Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino in the late 1980s, said Mr. Trump would question the need for donations, even those as small as a couple thousand dollars.

“He’d say ‘Why are we doing this?’ or ‘Do we have to give this much?’ ” said Mr. O’Donnell, who parted ways with Mr. Trump on bad terms and was described by the Trump campaign as a disgruntled former employee. “I don’t know how else to put it: He’s cheap.”

Mr. Trump’s philanthropic endeavors over the past four decades have been dotted with pledges to donate the proceeds from books or speeches. Sometimes, Mr. Trump has stepped in to help a person in need, with the cameras rolling. And Mr. Trump, usually accompanied by his wife, Melania, has been a familiar face at well-publicized benefit galas in New York and Florida, where the rich and famous mingle and are seen.
As long as Trump can get people to donate to his Foundation/Slush Fund, he will write some checks whether they be for charities or for bribes. If you expect any money to come from his own pocket, fuhgeddaboutit!

The Outlaw Jersey Whale harpooned by witness

The case of the George Washington Bridge lane closings is getting better and better. The latest juicy bits come from the "mastermind" of the closings who pins the whole thing on Governor Chris Christie.
The admitted mastermind of the mysterious George Washington Bridge lane closings broke a three-year silence on Friday, testifying in federal court here that everything he did in his job was at the direction and for the benefit of Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey.

David Wildstein, who has confessed to coming up with the scheme to close the lanes and is cooperating with federal prosecutors in the trial of two top Christie administration officials accused of conspiring with him, described the governor and his aides as scheming for creative ways to use government resources to help Mr. Christie’s re-election and, ultimately, his ambitions to run for president.

Mr. Christie and his aides were looking for favors to hand out to officials they hoped would support the governor, he said. And they saw the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the $8 billion-a-year two-state agency that runs the bridge along with other major transportation hubs and systems in the region, as a particularly sweet “goody bag,” as an email revealed in court described it. The Christie administration used the agency to spread money and jobs, as well as emotionally rich gifts like pieces of mangled steel and ceremonial flags from the World Trade Center and private tours of the construction site there, Mr. Wildstein said.

Mr. Wildstein, who had been hired at the Port Authority by one of the defendants, Bill Baroni, Mr. Christie’s top staff appointee at the agency, recalled a conversation he and Mr. Baroni had soon after they started their jobs in 2010, establishing what they called the “one constituent” rule.

“The only person that had to be happy was Governor Christie,” Mr. Wildstein explained, adding, “We used that as the barometer by which a decision would be made at the Port Authority.”

“How did you know what the one constituent wanted?” a prosecutor, Lee Cortes, asked him.

“Because we were told by Governor Christie or a member of the governor’s staff,” Mr. Wildstein replied.

Mr. Baroni and Bridget Anne Kelly, a former deputy chief of staff to Mr. Christie, are charged with closing access lanes to the bridge for four days in 2013 to punish the mayor of Fort Lee, the town on the New Jersey side of the bridge that was gridlocked by the closings, because he declined to endorse the governor for re-election.

Mr. Wildstein, who arrived at the Port Authority with no transportation experience — he had written an anonymous political blog for the previous 10 years while working at his family’s textile company — has pleaded guilty to conceiving the plan. Mr. Baroni approved it, prosecutors say, and Ms. Kelly directed it.
In fairness to TOJW he is not on trial in this court but we can expect something to follow from this case, the more so if and when the two principles, Baroni and Kelly take a plea in return for testimony.

Growth is way over rated

And Bill Maher makes that perfectly clear.

Trump does pay some people

Friday, September 23, 2016

Can't talk to a man, with a shotgun in his hand

Carole King doing "Smackwater Jack" on David Letterman with a mad piano break by Paul Schaeffer.

In his own words

Food for thought

From the pen of Clay Bennett

It ain't easy being a college Republican these days

The majority of the students on campus tend to be liberal and ready to mock and hoot tomorrows Mitch McConnells and Paul Ryans. Now, in addition, they have to deal with the Great Orange Dookie as their fearless leader in the upcoming election.
For decades, College Republicans have drawn ridicule from — and defined themselves against — the more liberal masses on college campuses. But this year has been especially nightmarish for C.R.s, as they call themselves.

The nomination of Donald J. Trump, who has attacked their conservative heroes and esteemed alumni, has prompted widespread mockery from their liberal classmates, dissension from within and something of an identity crisis.

While some College Republican leaders profess an appreciation for the anti-establishment voters that Mr. Trump has awakened, many in the preppy Vineyard Vines set are wondering if Mr. Trump is transforming the party they hope to inherit into one in which they are unwelcome.

“They tend to be center-right traditional Republican conservatives, and so you know there is a little bit of a mismatch there,” said Karl Rove, the architect of George W. Bush’s presidential campaigns.

Mr. Rove’s career in politics started as a blazer-clad national chairman of the College Republicans who won the position in 1973 over opponents supported by Roger J. Stone Jr. and Paul Manafort, both of whom went on to become advisers to Mr. Trump. “There’s a tension there,” he said.

That tension, tangible on campuses across the country, threatens to change the nature of both the organization that has long trained the party’s leaders and the party they are being trained to lead. Since 1923, when Calvin Coolidge became the first former College Republican to become president, the list of the group’s alumni reads like a who’s who of the Republican establishment.
This year could very well be a crucible election for the little boogers. Their chance to stand up and reclaim the party for the adults or sink into the pullulating mass of vicious violent stupidity that is modern conservatism.

She has the true Republican's rubber principles

Yesterday Trump's Ohio Mahoning County chair was sure PBO caused racism and by the end of the day she was out on her ass and a new county chairman was named. Maybe it was why she was chosen, but Tracy Winbush, who replaced Kathy Miller as Trump County Chair in Mahoning County, is black. She also had the honor of fiercely opposing Donald Trump in the primaries.
Donald Trump’s campaign has replaced an Ohio official who was forced to resign over a racism controversy with a woman who has previously said she was “offended as an African American” by the Republican candidate and confessed she had “bashed the crap out” out of him in the past.

Tracey Winbush is also on record stating Trump had “denigrated the Republican party”.

The Trump campaign announced it had appointed Winbush as its new chair in Mahoning, a crucial Ohio county, on Thursday, shortly after the previous chair resigned over comments she made about racism in a Guardian interview.

However, within hours of Winbush being named as her replacement, it emerged that she fiercely opposed Trump before his nomination for the White House.

An Ohio reporter also claimed to have obtained evidence that Winbush had begun deleting previous tweets. Her timeline suggested she had used a piece of software to suddenly delete over 17,000 past tweets. One included a link to a news story that had described Trump as “a racist, sexist, demagogue”. Another shared news story described Trump as a ‘Godless Man.’

A YouTube clip from an Ohio GOP meeting in April showed Winbush telling fellow Republicans that she and a colleague had been “offended as African Americans” by some of Trump’s comments and tactics.

“For those of you who know, I have a radio show and I have bashed the crap out of Trump for the last five months, six months, nine months,” she said. “And my listeners are going to kill me if I say anything positive about him.”

Late on Thursday, Winbush said in a statement that she was “proud to take a leadership role in Mr Trump’s campaign”.
Like Kellyanne she is flexible in her support, perhaps hoping for some sort of career boost from tying herself to the Great Orange Dookie. Certainly the Democratic folks in Mahoning county have some choice ammunition to drop on the Dookie Team.

OK, I admit it.

Thursday, September 22, 2016


A classic Lone Justice tune with Maria McKee on piano & vocals.

What is important to you

From the pen of Jen Sorenson

Wells Fargo account scam just a follow up to mortgage scam

In the Great Mortgage Fraud, Wells Fargo had the distinction of educating judges dealing with their foreclosures in the shady ways of bankster frauds.
After observing years of abusive mortgage loan servicing practices at the bank, an increasing number of judges hearing foreclosure cases after the financial crisis grew to understand that banks could not always be trusted in their pleadings.

This was a major shift: For decades, the nation’s courts had been largely pro-bank when hearing foreclosure cases, accepting what big financial institutions produced in documentation and amounts owed by borrowers.

“Wells didn’t intentionally educate judges. They didn’t raise their hand and say, ‘Judge, we’re sorry,’” said O. Max Gardner III, a prominent foreclosure defense lawyer who teaches consumer counsel how to represent troubled borrowers. “It was people really digging in and having the resources and the time to ask the right questions about what they were doing with the money.” Those practices included levying improper fees and incorrectly foreclosing on homes.

During the financial crisis, Wells Fargo was at a remove from Wall Street and was not a big player in creating toxic and complex mortgage securities that were engineered to fail. But the bank’s ability to emerge from the crisis with a relatively good reputation is something of a mystery to anyone who paid attention to its aggressive foreclosure activities.

There were enough problematic foreclosure cases involving Wells Fargo moving through the courts that the bank’s dubious practices seemed as pervasive then as the questionable account-opening scheme does now. And some of the elements of both scandals — improper fees and forgeries — are the same.

The only difference: Mr. Stumpf, who was named Wells’s chief executive in 2007, has apologized to the customers his bank harmed with its account opening charade. Lawyers who represented troubled borrowers say no such apology came from Mr. Stumpf during the foreclosure mess.

“I sure as heck haven’t seen it,” said Linda Tirelli, a longtime foreclosure defense lawyer at Garvey Tirelli & Cushner in White Plains, who has often battled Wells Fargo. “I don’t remember ever hearing him apologize, because that would admit wrongdoing, and that’s not part of Wells Fargo’s corporate culture. Their culture is about not holding anybody at the top accountable.”
WF's remove from the Wall Street fraudsters who created the Great Mortgage Fraud enabled it to operate in a sleazy dishonest fashion outside the spotlight other banks were under. Judges dealing with foreclosures and bankruptcys eventually came to understand the dishonest dealing behind Wells Fargo's actions and began ruling against the bank but Wells managed to stay under the radar until the accounts scandal broke.

Time to get over it

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The title song of her first solo album

Carrie Rodriguez' "Seven Angels On A Bicycle" came out in 2006. The picture of a real neat bike is an extra.

The important points to look for

From the pen of Tom Toles

Hotline used to eliminate bad workers

Wells Fargo, notorious of late for its hugely deficient business ethics, apparently set up a call-in hotline for employees who wanted to report ethics violations. The bank used these reports to eliminate those employees who might report the bank to higher authorities.
Wells Fargo admitted to firing 5,300 employees for engaging in these shocking tactics. The bank earlier this month paid $185 million in penalties and has since apologized.

Now CNNMoney is hearing from former Wells Fargo (WFC) workers around the country who tried to put a stop to these illegal tactics. Almost half a dozen workers who spoke with us say they paid dearly for trying to do the right thing: they were fired.

"They ruined my life," Bill Bado, a former Wells Fargo banker in Pennsylvania, told CNNMoney.

Bado not only refused orders to open phony bank and credit accounts. The New Jersey man called an ethics hotline and sent an email to human resources in September 2013, flagging unethical sales activities he was being instructed to do.
Eight days after that email, a copy of which CNNMoney obtained, Bado was terminated. The stated reason? Tardiness.

Retaliating against whistleblowers is a major breach of trust. Ethics hotlines are exactly the kind of safeguards put in place to prevent illegal activity from taking place and provide refuge to employees from dangerous work environments.

Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf made precisely that point on Tuesday when he testified before angry Senators.
"Each team member, no matter where you are in the organization, is encouraged to raise their hands," Stumpf told lawmakers. He mentioned the anonymous ethics line, adding, "We want to hear from them."

But that's not the experience of some former Wells Fargo workers.

One former Wells Fargo human resources official even said the bank had a method in place to retaliate against tipsters. He said that Wells Fargo would find ways to fire employees "in retaliation for shining light" on sales issues. It could be as simple as monitoring the employee to find a fault, like showing up a few minutes late on several occasions.
The easiest way to get rid of troublemakers, get them to turn themselves in to the hotline. And a corporation the size of Wells Fargo can follow up and make their lives a misery with less effort than it takes to clean up their act.

Just what Syria needs

Another armed group with the latest in free weaponry from the United States. The group are Kurds and they have proven to be effective fighters against the evil scumbags of ISIS. The real question is, will another armed group really make any positive difference?
The Obama administration is weighing a military plan to directly arm Syrian Kurdish fighters combating the Islamic State, a major policy shift that could speed up the offensive against the terrorist group but also sharply escalate tensions between Turkey and the United States.

The plan has been under discussion by the National Security Council staff at a moment when President Obama has directed aides to examine all proposals that could accelerate the fight against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. Mr. Obama has told aides that he wants an offensive well underway before he leaves office that is aimed at routing the Islamic State from Raqqa, the group’s de facto capital in northern Syria.

Deciding whether to arm the Syrian Kurds is a difficult decision for Mr. Obama, who is caught in the middle trying to balance the territorial and political ambitions of Turkey and the Syrian Kurds, two warring American allies that Washington needs to combat the Islamic insurgency.

Directly providing weapons for the first time to the Syrian Kurds, whom American commanders view as their most effective ground partner against the Islamic State, would help build momentum for the assault on Raqqa. But arming them would also aggravate Mr. Obama’s already tense relations with Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The United States and Turkey sharply disagree over Syria’s Kurdish militias, which Turkey sees as its main enemy in Syria.

The plan has filtered up through the Pentagon’s Central Command, which oversees American military operations in the Middle East. It calls for providing the Syrian Kurds with small arms and ammunition, and some other supplies, for specific missions, but no heavy weapons such as antitank or antiaircraft weapons.

In the past two years the Pentagon has provided small arms, ammunition and other supplies to a group acceptable to Turkey — the Syrian Arabs, a minority in the Kurdish-dominated umbrella group that is fighting the Islamic State. About 350 resupply deliveries have been made by air or by land to the Syrian Arab militias, according to the American military command in Iraq.

But out of deference to Turkey, the United States has not directly armed the Kurdish fighters themselves.

Many analysts say the Pentagon’s support to the Syrian Arabs is basically cover for aid to the Syrian Kurds, who call the shots in the wider alliance, coordinate airstrikes with the United States, and are considered the most capable fighters. But arming the Kurds directly, even for just specific missions, would still be a significant shift practically and symbolically.
In the end it all comes down to what we want to say to Turkey. And after the post-coup purges, that may be a very important statement.

H.L. Nailed It

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Her parents showed restraint and named her Molly

Which let Molly Parden move more easily to Nashville from her native Atlanta. Here she sings her song, "Things Change" with assistance from Zachary Dyke

When you tell me....

Jim Wright of Stonekettle Station has a perfect response to a commenter on his Facebook page about one of his posts. He carefully explains who and how he chose the side he is on.
See, here's the thing: I'm partisan because people like this commenter MADE me that way. 
You demanded that I choose.
Oh yes, you did. 
When you attack my friends for their sex or sexual orientation or their identity or their race or the color of their skin or who they love, then you force me to take a side. You or them. 
When you attempt to force your religion on me, or onto my friends, or upon others against their will -- and that's exactly what you're doing when you try to pass laws governing reproduction and women's bodies and who can use what bathroom and who can get married and let's not waste my time pretending otherwise -- then you force me to take a side. 
When you attempt to force your religion on me, force it into my life against my will, force me to kneel down before your god when you yourself steadfastly and petulantly refuse to adhere to your own prophet's order to feed the hungry, clothe the poor, heal the sick, do unto others, judge not, and look to the beam in your own eye first, when you demand I live up to the tenets of your religion when you will not, then you force me to take a side. 
When you attempt to force your religion onto me by fiat, when you attempt to force your miserable god onto my children, force your ridiculous beliefs into my schools as some kind of disingenuous quackery masquerading as science, then you force me to take a side. 
When you turn dogs loose on peaceful protestors, you force me to take a side.
There is much more and I admit he speaks for me on every point.

Terror's Deadliest Move

From the pen of Mike Lukovich

A charitable slush fund

In the wake of a ferocious attack on the Clinton Foundation, a top rated charity, for imagined and magnified dishonesty, we heard calls for it to be closed down. Now we are learning that The Great Orange Fungus, who also has an alleged charitable foundation, has been using his as a slush fund to pay settlements and judgments against him. We await the calls for it to be shut down as he faces the music in court.
Donald Trump spent more than a quarter-million dollars from his charitable foundation to settle lawsuits that involved the billionaire’s for-profit businesses, according to interviews and a review of legal documents.

Those cases, which together used $258,000 from Trump’s charity, were among four newly documented expenditures in which Trump may have violated laws against “self-dealing” — which prohibit nonprofit leaders from using charity money to benefit themselves or their businesses.

In one case, from 2007, Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club faced $120,000 in unpaid fines from the town of Palm Beach, Fla., resulting from a dispute over the size of a flagpole.

In a settlement, Palm Beach agreed to waive those fines — if Trump’s club made a $100,000 donation to a specific charity for veterans. Instead, Trump sent a check from the Donald J. Trump Foundation, a charity funded almost entirely by other people’s money, according to tax records.

In another case, court papers say one of Trump’s golf courses in New York agreed to settle a lawsuit by making a donation to the plaintiff’s chosen charity. A $158,000 donation was made by the Trump Foundation, according to tax records.

The other expenditures involved smaller amounts. In 2013, Trump used $5,000 from the foundation to buy advertisements touting his chain of hotels in programs for three events organized by a D.C. preservation group. And in 2014, Trump spent $10,000 of the foundation’s money for a portrait of himself bought at a charity fundraiser.

Or, rather, another portrait of himself.

Several years earlier, Trump had used $20,000 from the Trump Foundation to buy a different, six foot-tall portrait.

If [More likely when-ed.] the Internal Revenue Service were to find that Trump violated self-dealing rules, the agency could require him to pay penalty taxes or to reimburse the foundation for all the money it spent on his behalf. Trump is also facing scrutiny from the office of the New York attorney general, which is examining whether the foundation broke state charity laws.

More broadly, these cases also provide new evidence that Trump ran his charity in a way that may have violated U.S. tax law and gone against the moral conventions of philanthropy.
Trump needed the money other people donated to make these payments because he, himself, has little cash. He lives in a mad world of money moving from one Trump business to another, paying his way as needed, one step ahead of the bill collectors, except when he decides to stiff his creditors entirely. If any links in his money chain are shut down, his house of cards could come tumbling down.

Donald Trump Jr prove you can inherit stupid

And in his incredible performance as he does so, also impugns the integrity of a great American candy. The poisonous spawn of The Great Orange Fungus attempted to demean refugees with a truly retarded idea of poisoned Skittles.
Donald Trump Jr. is facing intense backlash on social media after he posted a message on Twitter Monday night that compared Syrian refugees to a bowl of Skittles sprinkled with a few that “would kill you.”

Mr. Trump, a top adviser in his father’s presidential campaign, appeared to suggest that the nation was faced with a blind selection process in which a few potentially poisoned pieces would be lurking among the thousands of Syrians fleeing a brutal five-year-old civil war.

The post, shared widely on Twitter, drew swift condemnation and comparisons to white supremacist memes. Social media users shared images of bombing victims in the region, including Omran Daqneesh, the bloodstained, dust-coated boy who was shown sitting in an ambulance after an airstrike and who became a symbol of the suffering in Aleppo, Syria.

The post also spurred a strong response from Wrigley, the owner of Skittles:

“Skittles are candy. Refugees are people. We don’t feel it’s an appropriate analogy. We will respectfully refrain from further commentary as anything we say could be misinterpreted as marketing,” the company said in an emailed statement from a spokeswoman, initially reported by The Hollywood Reporter.

It also drew criticism from a spokeswoman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which is providing aid to Syrians.

“Syrian refugees are fellow human beings who have left their country to escape war and terrorism,” Melissa Fleming, the spokeswoman, said in an email on Tuesday. “Depictions like these are dehumanizing, demeaning and dangerous.”
The official responses are the kindest, the rest of the internets were truly cruel and deservedly abusive of Shady Donny's little cock drip. At least he proved that Stupid doesn't fall far from the tree.

Samantha Bee updates the election

Helluva businessman, Orange Dude!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Not a pirate ditty but a sea song

With some pantomime so the German audience can understand the Norwegian ladies singing in English. Katzenjammer "To The Sea"

A rip in the seat of Reality's pants

And that intrepid reporter of the abnormal, Tom Tomorrow, reports on what is coming forth.

Arrgh! Shiver me scuppers, I almost forgot

Today September 19 is Talk Like A Pirate Day. So have at it me vast hearties!

Unlike his supporters

From the pen of Jim Morin

Kinda slow on the uptake

Nashville likes to think of itself as "Music City" thanks to all of the country singers who have passed through and made it home. And while it is true that many of them are conservative types, a great many have enjoyed the pleasures of the divine weed. Some even as they voted Republican. So even with the pervasive Methodist/Baptist influence, it is somewhat surprising that Nashville is only now getting away from the hypocrisy of looking the other way with famous users and arresting the unknowns.
Willie Nelson’s famous habit of smoking marijuana is not seen as a badge of outlaw courage here anymore, so much as the frivolous foible of an eccentric uncle. A popular FM station disgorging the Boomer rock hits of yesteryear calls itself Hippie Radio 94.5; one of its sponsors is a smoke shop that incessantly hawks glass pipes and detox kits. Even mainstream country acts mention smoking marijuana now and again among the litany of acceptable American pastimes.

So perhaps it is not surprising as much as telling that this city, which residents often refer to as the Buckle of the Bible Belt, may be on the cusp of joining the long roster of American cities, including New York, that have decriminalized the stuff.

On Tuesday, the Metropolitan Council, the legislative body for the consolidated city-county government here, will vote on a proposed ordinance that would give the police an alternative to criminally charging people caught with a half-ounce of marijuana or less.

Under the ordinance, officers will have the discretion to forgo a misdemeanor charge for marijuana possession, and instead issue a civil citation with a $50 fine. A judge could then suspend the civil penalty if the person cited agrees to perform up to 10 hours of community service. The goal here, as elsewhere, is to keep minor drug offenders from clogging the court system, and relieving them of the stigma of a record.

It is hardly a sweeping measure, and hardly the most significant American drug policy reform under consideration this year: In November, voters in five states, including California, will consider legalizing recreational marijuana, while at least three states, including Florida and Arkansas, will decide whether to legalize its medical use.

But the fact that the decriminalization proposal has a good chance of passing here in Nashville — the great promulgator of heartland values in song, and home to the conservative Southern Baptist Convention — says something about the steady erosion of the fear of marijuana, which, for many here, has come to seem about as threatening as a Lady Antebellum ballad.
I imagine if a cop ever stopped Willie's bus under that ordinance the fine would have to be $500 for the size of the cloud that rolls out the door.

The Outlaw Jersey Whale knew all about it

The prosecution in the Bridgegate trial intend to show that Gov. Chris Christie knew all about the lane closings in real time.
Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey knew that his close associates were involved in a plan to shut down lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge as it was happening and that the closings were intended to punish a local mayor for declining to support him, prosecutors said on Monday.

It was the first time Mr. Christie, a Republican, has been accused of knowing about the scheme as it unfolded.

The prosecutors made the assertion during opening statements in the trial of two former Christie administration officials charged with closing the lanes in 2013 and then covering it up.

Mr. Christie has insisted that he had no knowledge of the plot to close the lanes, and said that he did not recall being told about the closings while they were happening.

Defense lawyers have also said that Mr. Christie knew. But the statement on Monday was striking in that it was prosecutors confirming that assertion.
Now that everybody agrees that Christie knew all along, it should be easy to nail him after the jury convicts those currently on trial.

Doing it the right way

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Something Good From North Carolina

Nikki Talley accompanied by her husband Jason Sharp performs ""It's You Babe"

This election has gone beyond the outer limits of reality

From the pen of Brian McFadden

click pic to big

Two plans, one could work the other is just hot air

Both Hillary Clinton and The Great Orange Fungus have made promises to rebuild the nation's infrastructure which has been allowed to crumble under 30 years of Republican neglect. Hillary's plan actually includes a means to pay for it but requires the elimination of Republican control of Congress. The Great Orange Fungus has a yuuger plan than Hillary with no real means of paying for it, but that is OK because if he is elected he has no intention of following through.
Mrs. Clinton has said that if she is elected president, her administration would seek to spend $250 billion over five years on repairing and improving the nation’s infrastructure — not just ports but roads, bridges, energy systems and high-speed broadband — and would put an additional $25 billion toward a national infrastructure bank to spur related business investments. Mr. Trump said he wanted to go even bigger, saying his administration would spend at least twice as much as Mrs. Clinton.

Mr. Trump, taking a page from liberal economists, said he would fund his plan by borrowing several hundred billion dollars, but has offered no specifics. Mrs. Clinton’s more detailed proposal, by contrast, would be paid for by a business tax overhaul aimed at collecting additional revenue from companies that have parked assets abroad.

These are only plans, of course. Either would have to get through Congress and the inevitable acrimony over any proposal to raise taxes or add to the national debt.

“The next administration will be in prime position to deliver on a comprehensive infrastructure plan,” said Tom Jensen, vice president for transportation policy at UPS.

Infrastructure spending, unlike many other forms of government outlays, holds the power to give the economy a sustained lift for decades down the line.

First comes the addition of jobs — particularly the kinds of higher-wage blue-collar jobs that have been lost in recent years — and spending on products like concrete and steel to build new roads and repair worn-out bridges. After that initial jolt, the economy would continue to reap the important but harder-to-measure benefits of fewer delays, faster internet connections and more reliable power.
All of which would reduce the feelings and attitudes that Trump needs to sustain him in office. So if you have a route to work that does not go over or under any bridges, go ahead vote for Trump.

Getting rich on the backs of the little guy

The Great Orange Fungus would have us believe that his alleged $Billions were the result of his brilliant efforts alone. Research done by the New York Times shows a totally different story, one where his success came from wheedling yuuge tax breaks from his father's buddies.
The hotel, Mr. Trump bragged in “Trump: The Art of the Deal,” his 1987 best seller, “was a hit from the first day. Gross operating profits now exceed $30 million a year.”

But that book, and numerous interviews over the years, make little mention of a crucial factor in getting the hotel built: an extraordinary 40-year tax break that has cost New York City $360 million to date in forgiven, or uncollected, taxes, with four years still to run, on a property that cost only $120 million to build in 1980.

The project set the pattern for Mr. Trump’s New York career: He used his father’s, and, later, his own, extensive political connections, and relied on a huge amount of assistance from the government and taxpayers in the form of tax breaks, grants and incentives to benefit the 15 buildings at the core of his Manhattan real estate empire.

Since then, Mr. Trump has reaped at least $885 million in tax breaks, grants and other subsidies for luxury apartments, hotels and office buildings in New York, according to city tax, housing and finance records. The subsidies helped him lower his own costs and sell apartments at higher prices because of their reduced taxes.

Mr. Trump, the Republican nominee for president, has made clear over the course of his campaign how proud he is that “as a businessman I want to pay as little tax as possible.”

While it is impossible to assess how much Mr. Trump pays in personal or corporate income taxes, because he has refused to release his tax returns, an examination of his record as a New York developer shows how aggressively he has fought to lower the taxes on his projects.

Mr. Trump successfully sued the administration of Mayor Edward I. Koch after being denied a tax break for Trump Tower, his signature building on Fifth Avenue. Two decades later, in a lawsuit that spanned the administrations of Mayors Rudolph W. Giuliani and Michael R. Bloomberg, he won a similar tax break for Trump World Tower, a building on First Avenue with some of the city’s highest-priced condominiums in 2001.

The tax breaks for those two projects alone totaled $157 million.

The tax break at the 44-story Trump International Hotel and Tower at Columbus Circle came to $15.9 million.

No possible subsidy was left untapped. After the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, Mr. Trump lined up a $150,000 grant for one of his buildings near ground zero, taking advantage of a program to help small businesses in the area recover, even though he had acknowledged on the day of the attacks that his building was undamaged.

“Donald Trump is probably worse than any other developer in his relentless pursuit of every single dime of taxpayer subsidies he can get his paws on,” said Alicia Glen, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s deputy mayor for housing and economic development, who first battled Mr. Trump when she worked in Mr. Giuliani’s administration.
One deal alone was worth 3 times the actual cost of the project, a 200% return on investment. The sad part is those forgiven taxes have to be made up elsewhere for the city to pay its bills. And if the rich dude won't pay that leaves the ordinary citizens to reach deeper into his and her pocket to keep the city going while they subsidize the poor little rich fungus. But don't worry, he will gladly take all the credit for it.


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