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Gender: Male
Hometown: America's Finest City
Current location: District 50
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 10,586

Journal Archives

Trump-Tied Evangelist Funded Fontainebleau Pool Attendant's Miami Beach Real-Estate Deal

Jerry Falwell Jr., the evangelist son of world-famous Southern Baptist minister Jerry Falwell Sr., runs a hardcore-Christian university and often acts as the public face for the American evangelical movement. That's why it seemed so hypocritical when he endorsed Donald Trump — a sexually rapacious avatar of American greed, racism, and unearned privilege who very clearly does not care about the Bible that Falwell Jr. claims to love so much.

But it's also pretty darn curious that Falwell Jr. recently admitted in court that he paid $1.8 million to a pool attendant at Miami Beach's Fontainebleau resort who had befriended the Falwell family. It was part of an exceedingly odd business deal in which the group tried to buy the Miami Hostel at 810 Alton Rd. in South Beach. The building is attached to the popular Italian restaurant Macchialina and also houses the 120-bed hostel, where a bed costs just $20 per night.

Miami Federal Judge Deals Big Blow to Donald Trump, and That's Good for America
The case raises more questions than answers: Falwell Jr. and his wife appear to have simply "befriended" a then-21-year-old pool attendant while the husband and wife were staying at the ritzy Fontainebleau. They then welcomed the pool attendant into their lives, began flying him around on a private jet, and even put up millions of dollars to help his business ventures. Falwell and his wife have appeared in Facebook photos eating at Macchialina with the pool attendant — a Florida International University graduate named Giancarlo Granda, who now lives in Washington, D.C., and attends Georgetown University.

BuzzFeed News has previously reported that the real-estate transaction also had some odd potential ties to Michael Cohen, Trump's former "fixer" who was recently sentenced to three years in prison for illegally paying two porn stars to keep quiet about having sex with Trump.


Very curious arrangement.

Who moves to California? The wealthier and better educated, mostly

High taxes. Stifling regulations. Exorbitant housing costs. Freeway gridlock. Fires and floods.

Hand-wringing over an exodus of disillusioned Californians may be a Golden State pastime, the subject of political punditry and strung-out social media threads.

But the latest data are far from dire. The U.S. Census Bureau, in its newly released surveys for 2017, shows that California’s net migration remained fairly stable. Since 2010, as the economic recovery took hold and housing prices skyrocketed, departures accelerated — but the number of newcomers rose steadily as well.

The state attracts a steady stream of college graduates, especially from the East Coast, even as many less-educated residents move to neighboring states — and to Texas — in search of a lower cost of living.


Painting the White House

Donald Trump wanted to repaint the White House, and received three quotes:

Chinese contractor: 3 million
German Contractor: 7 million
Russian Contractor: 10 million

So Trump asked the Chinese contractor: "Why did you bid 3 million"? The Chinese contractor said: "One million for paint, one million for labor, and one million is profit."

He then asked the German contractor why he was asking 7 million. The German replied: "3 million for high quality paint, 2 million for the specialized workforce, and 2 million is profit."

He then asked the Russian why he was asking 10 million. The Russian responded: "Donald Donald my friend, it's 4 million for you, 3 million for me, and with the 3 million left we hire the Chinese contractor!"

Trump is now taking bids for painting his wall.

Trump Named Man of the Year by ISIS

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Capping an extraordinary 2018, Donald J. Trump announced on Thursday that he had been named Man of the Year by the terrorist organization known as ISIS.

Trump made the announcement after receiving the news from the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, whom Trump called “a terrific, fabulous guy.”

“I got along great with him, and he said a lot of nice things about me,” Trump said. “He said isis didn’t even consider anyone else.”

Trump, who is expecting to receive an official Man of the Year plaque from ISIS in the next few weeks, said that the award “came as a total surprise to me.”

“It’s a particularly impressive honor when you consider ISIS was co-founded by Hillary and Obama,” he said.


Deputy kills family then self, despite colleagues' pleas

A veteran Hillsborough County deputy killed three family members, including his granddaughter, then broadcast a heart-wrenching radio message to his colleagues before ultimately killing himself, Sheriff Chad Chronister announced this morning.

With "an extremely heavy heart," the sheriff recounted the sequence of events that ultimately ended with the suicide outside Plant City High School.

According to Chronister, it was just after 6:30 a.m. when Deputy Terry Strawn spoke up on the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office main radio channel to say that he had "caused harm to his family," provided details about two crime scene locations, and then said he planned to commit suicide at the school.

As the communications supervisor tried to talk Strawn out of it, three other deputies caught up to him outside the school. They, too, tried to intervene, but failed.


Damn tragic.

LG set to release big-screen TV next year that can roll up like a poster

LG Electronics Inc. plans to begin selling big-screen TVs next year that can be rolled up and put away like a poster, the centerpiece of an effort to revive an ailing business, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The envisioned 65-inch TVs will retract automatically at the touch of a button like a garage door, the person said on condition of anonymity because it’s an internal matter. They will sport organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, screens that produce crisper images and fold more easily than traditional liquid-crystal display, or LCD, panels.

LG is counting on “rollable” and OLED televisions to revive a consumer electronics business that’s grappling with price declines and stiffening Chinese competition. The South Korean conglomerate is shedding workers to streamline and refocus around future technologies, such as flexible displays. A prototype of the television displayed at LG’s research center in Seoul can be rolled up and stuffed into a box when not in use.

The company showed off the rollable screen technology earlier this year, but 2019 will mark its first commercial release in TVs. LG declined to comment.


The Texas Obamacare ruling's biggest impact could be on insurance costs

A Texas judge’s ruling late Friday that the provision of the Affordable Care Act requiring everyone be insured is unconstitutional and therefore the law doesn’t stand will almost certainly not stand on appeal, as most legal scholars agree.

So while the law isn’t gone, the ruling adds more uncertainty in the minds of many individuals. This isn’t good for insurance costs, no matter what your beliefs are about the program, also known as Obamacare.

As a former insurance company CEO, I question whether this is enough to drive insurers away from the individual market. If premiums cover costs for a sufficient number of customers, the profit potential will keep it going. And I’ll bet that very little change will actually occur since the ACA’s key provisions are so attractive to so many.

However, the damage from continuing assaults on Obamacare is serious. It is bad enough that incremental challenges to its individual insurance exchanges have already pushed millions away from the pool. But a crazy unintended result of the federal government welching on what it owed insurers in the first three years under the law to help stabilize the new market actually cost it more as premiums skyrocketed.


Retired admiral and former Trump nominee was a 'top shelf' friend to 'Fat Leonard,' Navy says

A retired two-star admiral and former Trump Administration nominee repeatedly solicited and accepted gifts from military contractor Leonard Glenn “Fat Leonard” Francis and used his position as the commodore of Destroyer Squadron 15 to benefit Francis’ company, according to a letter of censure released Friday.

The letter, signed by Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer, details events from 2007 to 2009 when Rear Adm. Mark C. Montgomery accepted meals and hotel stays for himself and his family while providing Francis with information about ship movements and the names of other officers he could invite to his lavish dinners.

He also lied to Navy investigators in January when he submitted a written statement denying his involvement with Francis, the letter says.

In June, Montgomery was nominated by President Trump for an administrative position at the U.S. Agency for International Development. That nomination was withdrawn just before the Navy announced his censure.


Why Christians may be less enthusiastic about a more diverse Congress

SALT LAKE CITY — The 2018 midterm elections resulted in historic victories for minority communities. In January, the nation's first Muslim congresswomen and openly gay governor, as well as a handful of black, Latina and Native American representatives, will be sworn in.

Some of these changes will be more welcome than others, according to a recent Public Religion Research Institute survey on political representation. Americans are more skeptical of the benefits of electing non-Christian or LGBT leaders than electing people from racial and ethnic minority groups.

Forty-four percent of U.S. adults say electing more people from racial and ethnic minority groups would make things in the country better. Just 24 percent say the same about electing non-Christian people of faith, PRRI reported.

Christians are even less excited about non-Christian elected officials, according to a religious breakdown of the data provided to the Deseret News.


Orrin Hatch Delivers Farewell Address From Coffin Descending Into Plot Dug In Middle Of Senate Floor

WASHINGTON—Marking the end of the longest tenure of any Republican senator in U.S. history, Orrin Hatch (R-UT) delivered his farewell address to colleagues Wednesday from a coffin being lowered into an open grave on the floor of the Senate.

“It has been the honor of my life to serve my country these past 42 years in the very spot where I am to be buried,” said the retiring seven-term senator as lawmakers from both sides of the aisle lined up to pay their final respects to Hatch’s political career by throwing handfuls of dirt onto his descending body.

“While it’s difficult to say goodbye, I take a certain measure of solace in the knowledge that I’m to be entombed in the place I’ve called home for half my life now. Please remember I will always be here in spirit, and also in the flesh, right here below the floorboards. Thank you, and God bless America.”

Those in attendance confirmed the address ended when Majority Leader Mitch McConnell ceremoniously nailed the coffin closed with Hatch still speaking inside.

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