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babylonsister

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Hometown: NY
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Current location: Florida
Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 08:54 PM
Number of posts: 170,119

Journal Archives

Donald Trump's Odds of Going to Prison Just Skyrocketed

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2021/06/trump-organization-allen-weisselberg-criminal-charges#intcid=recommendations_vf-hive-trending-legacy_4c810068-3f49-456f-bd73-0757a66832bc_popular4-1

Crime
Donald Trump’s Odds of Going to Prison Just Skyrocketed
The Trump Organization and its CFO will reportedly be hit with criminal charges on Thursday, and additional indictments may be coming.
By Bess Levin
June 30, 2021

snip//

According to the Journal, Weisselberg and the company are expected to be hit with charges related to allegedly avoiding paying taxes on fringe benefits. For months Cyrus Vance Jr.’s office has been investigating whether the perks the CFO (and other employees) was awarded, including cars, corporate apartments, and private school tuition, were a way of evading money owed to the IRS. In addition to reportedly obtaining Weisselberg’s personal tax returns, the D.A.’s office scored a trove of financial documents from his ex-daughter-in-law, Jennifer Weisselberg, whose former husband, Barry Weisselberg, is also a longtime employee of the company. (In his divorce deposition Barry was unable to answer a number of questions about his taxes, and when asked if taxes had been paid on the Trump Organization–owned apartment where his family previously lived, he said he didn’t know. Pressed to explain discrepancies between what he said he earned and what he actually reported on tax forms, he responded: “I’m not an accountant. I know what I make. I’m not too sure of certain things.”)

While Weisselberg has thus far refused to cooperate with the investigation, being personally charged, and contemplating the prospect of prison time, could obviously change his decision re: testifying against Trump—and if it were to, it would undoubtedly be a very, very bad turn of events for the 45th president. Weisselberg has described himself as the “eyes and ears“ of the company from a financial standpoint, and he could presumably connect any number of dots about potential crimes committed by Trump.

Meanwhile, per the Journal:

If prosecutors could show the Trump Organization and its executives systematically avoided paying taxes, they could file more serious charges alleging a scheme, lawyers said.

Mr. Weisselberg and his lawyers haven’t commented on the investigation or impending charges. Mr. Trump has denied wrongdoing and said the investigations, conducted by offices led by Democrats, are politically motivated. Earlier this week he said in a statement that the case is composed of “things that are standard practice throughout the U.S. business community, and in no way a crime.”

The tax-related investigation is part of a broader criminal probe into whether the Trump Organization and its officers overvalued and undervalued its assets on loan, tax, and insurance documents for financial gain, the Journal has reported. The criminal probe, led by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, and civil probe, by the New York attorney general, have looked at financial dealing around some of the same properties, including Mr. Trump’s Seven Springs estate, in Westchester, N.Y., and the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago, the Journal has reported. The investigations by both offices remain open, and any charges filed Thursday wouldn’t preclude future action. The attorney general’s civil investigation could result in a lawsuit against the Trump Organization or its officers. The criminal investigation could also lead to additional indictments in the future.


As Weisselberg’s ex-daughter-in-law told Air Mail in April, “Trump doesn’t care about Allen, but Allen knows every bad thing he ever did.”
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Jun 30, 2021, 06:30 PM (34 replies)

Surfside Collapse Death Toll Climbs to 16, Police Chief's Mom Among the Victims

https://www.thedailybeast.com/death-toll-in-surfside-miami-beach-condo-collapse-climbs-to-16

Surfside Collapse Death Toll Climbs to 16, Police Chief’s Mom Among the Victims
HEARTBREAK
Lawrence Ukenye, Breaking News Intern
Updated Jun. 30, 2021 10:51AM ET /
Published Jun. 30, 2021 10:50AM ET


The death toll from the Surfside condo collapse has risen to 16 after additional victims were recovered from the rubble overnight, city officials confirmed Wednesday. Hilda Noriega, 92, mother of North Bay Village Police Chief Carlos Noriega, was the latest victim to be identified, according to a statement from her family. She is the oldest victim to be recovered from the site as of Wednesday morning. Relatives of the victims discovered overnight have not yet been identified. Officials fear that debris falling from the part of the building that did not collapse may pose a safety risk as damaged cars were pulled away from the collapse site overnight. “We are taking necessary measures to avoid those sort of falling items,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava at a press briefing. President Joe Biden is expected to visit the site Thursday.
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Jun 30, 2021, 01:21 PM (5 replies)

Jim Clyburn Backs Nina Turner's Opponent

https://politicalwire.com/2021/06/30/jim-clyburn-backs-nina-turners-opponent/

Jim Clyburn Backs Nina Turner’s Opponent
June 30, 2021 at 11:14 am EDT By Taegan Goddard


Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) made a rare intervention into a Democratic party primary, endorsing Shontel Brown (D) in the race for a Cleveland congressional seat, the New York Times reports.

Clyburn’s endorsement of Brown over progressive Nina Turner (D) — who is surging in her campaign and is an outspoken ally of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) —highlights an ideological and generational rift in the Democratic party.
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Jun 30, 2021, 01:16 PM (12 replies)

GOP Lawmaker Wears Yellow Star of David Patch

https://politicalwire.com/2021/06/30/gop-lawmaker-wears-yellow-star-to-protest-vaccine-mandates/

GOP Lawmaker Wears Yellow Star of David Patch
June 30, 2021 at 12:45 pm EDT By Taegan Goddard


Washington state State Rep. Jim Walsh (R), who is critical of COVID-19 vaccine mandates, wore a yellow Star of David at a speech over the weekend — a symbol the Nazis forced Jews to wear during the Holocaust, the Seattle Times reports.
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Jun 30, 2021, 01:14 PM (8 replies)

Air Force Academy distributes George Takei's 'They Called Us Enemy' to cadets

Kudos for this; education, let the light in!


Air Force Academy distributes George Takei’s 'They Called Us Enemy' to cadets
As part of a new reading initiative, the academy handed out Takei’s bestseller about being one of the 120,000 people of Japanese descent incarcerated during World War II.
June 29, 2021, 5:38 PM EDT / Updated June 29, 2021, 5:49 PM EDT
By Cynthia Silva


The U.S. Air Force Academy has distributed actor and activist George Takei's graphic memoir "They Called Us Enemy," which recounts his family's incarceration during World War II, to cadets as part of a new reading initiative.

In the bestselling book, Takei, known for playing Lt. Hikaru Sulu in the original "Star Trek" TV series, describes what it was like to be a 5 year old who was one of the approximately 120,000 people of Japanese descent who were forcibly removed from their West Coast homes and put into concentration camps in the 1940s.

The academy's dean of the faculty, Brig. Gen. Linell Letendre, shared her excitement for the program's book selection this year as she welcomed the new class of cadets on social media.

"Our shared institutional read this year focused on dignity and respect," she said on a separate Instagram post. "We are getting our basics ready for what’s ahead."


In 2019, Takei said on NBC's "TODAY" show that he wanted to educate young people about this "dark spot" in American history. As someone who grew up enjoying comics, he said he felt this would be the best way to share the childhood trauma he experienced.

more...

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/air-force-academy-distributes-george-takeis-called-us-enemy-cadets-rcna1294
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Jun 30, 2021, 07:05 AM (9 replies)

The Rude Pundit: Republican Leaders Will Do Everything They Can to Fuck With the Infrastructure Bill

https://rudepundit.blogspot.com/2021/06/republican-leaders-will-do-everything.html
The Rude Pundit
Proudly lowering the level of political discourse
6/29/2021
Republican Leaders Will Do Everything They Can to Fuck With the Infrastructure Bill

snip//

When it comes to the infrastructure bill that was negotiated between (all white, it must be noted) Democratic and Republican senators and that President Biden said he would support, Republicans are acting less like Lucy pulling the ball and more like Lucy tossing the football aside, charging at Charlie Brown, knifing him, and kicking his head repeatedly while he lays on the ground bleeding and screaming, "I thought we were playing football," until Lucy says, "You dumb motherfucker, Charlie Brown. You were too stupid to know that this shit was never a game" and drags his corpse to bury under the pitcher's mound.

It's been known for weeks that any deal on infrastructure would be part of a twofer: the bipartisan part where everyone can jack each other off so they can tell everyone how functional our dysfunctional legislative branch is and the larger bill that would be passed through reconciliation so the Republicans can act all outraged and shit. This has been talked about for a couple of months. Back in early April, Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri was on Fox News Sunday (motto: "It's exhausting being the only mildly sane show on this shit-tossing network" ) and he said, "If the proposal was to do just that, I don't think there’d be a problem with the bipartisan group of supporters for this package. I’ve reached out to the White House a couple of times now and said, you've got an easy bipartisan win here if you'll keep this package narrowly focused on infrastructure, and then the other 70 or so percent of the package that doesn't have very much too do with infrastructure, if you want to force that in a partisan way, you can still do that." Seems like a pretty fucking clear understanding of the lay of the land in the Senate: shit can be done one way and then other shit can be done another way.

Yet, of course, Republicans went full berzerker when Biden said that he wouldn't sign the bipartisan infrastructure bill unless the reconciliation bill came along with it because Biden's off-the-cuff remarks simply gave them the space to throw themselves on the Walmart floor and roll around until they got a toy. Lindsey Graham screamed, "That’s extortion!" like someone just suggested canceling the Daughters of the Confederacy Cotillion this year. Mitch McConnell, who always looks like he's getting a surprise pegging from Elaine Chao and he's not sure if he should like it, used the occasion to grumble that Biden was trying to "hold the bipartisan agreement hostage," saying that Biden was threatening a veto, which, you know, he kind of was.

snip//

Back on infrastructure, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was having none of McConnell's bullshit. She told her caucus that the bills are being done in tandem and that they aren't going to move on anything until the Senate gets its shit together and passes them. It's certainly easier for Democrats in the House to kick Lucy in the face when she starts fucking around with the football.

But over in the Senate, McConnell is slavering in anticipation of fucking with the whole infrastructure deal. If he can use progress on the reconciliation bill as a reason to blow shit up, he'll do it. If he can, he'll attempt to fuck with Democrats by demanding things that are poison pills to liberals in the House.


When it comes to this part of Biden and the Democrats' agenda, the filibuster is off the table if Democrats wanna play it that way. Reconciliation gives McConnell a shitty hand here. So, hopefully, Democrats are ready for Lucy's death charge. Fucking trip her and make her fall on her own blade. Then kick the football over her bleeding body.

(Note: Yes, I have taken the Peanuts analogy and wrung it dry. We shall speak of it no more.)
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Jun 30, 2021, 05:46 AM (0 replies)

Barbara McQuade: Indicting the Trump Organization Could Be Just the Start


Indicting the Trump Organization Could Be Just the Start
GO TIME?
All signs point to prosecutors with confidence in their case—and miles to go before they stop.
Barbara McQuade
Updated Jun. 29, 2021 6:09PM ET / Published Jun. 29, 2021 12:33PM ET



snip//

First, prosecutors have confidence in their case. They are willing to put their evidence to the test by showing their cards to the organization’s lawyers. In what lawyers sometimes refer to as a “dog-and-pony show,” prosecutors are sharing the documents and testimony that they believe prove the elements of one or more criminal offenses and daring the defense lawyers to poke holes in them. White-collar cases are often strong because they rely on documents instead of eyewitnesses. Unlike human witnesses, documents generally don’t lie and don’t forget. Essentially, prosecutors are saying that they believe that the evidence proves that a crime was committed, but that they are willing to hear from the defense any additional facts that might tend to negate one or more elements of the offense or provide a valid defense.

The second inference we can draw is that charges seem likely. A report in the Wall Street Journal indicates that Trump Organization lawyer Ronald Fischetti did not use a Monday meeting to dispute the evidence, but instead argued that the alleged misconduct should get a pass. “In my more than 50 years of practice, never before have I seen the district attorney’s office target a company over employee compensation or fringe benefits,” Fischetti said in a statement. “Even the financial institutions responsible for causing the 2008 financial crisis, the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, were not prosecuted.” Notably, he did not deny the allegations. That position is not likely to persuade the prosecutors.

Because the meeting between the lawyers appears to have been less than fruitful, we can expect charges to be filed soon. Prosecutors do not make idle threats about filing charges. That’s because their success depends on their credibility. If a prosecutor were to develop a reputation for threatening to file charges and failing to follow through, then witnesses would be less inclined to expose themselves to criminal liability and the scorn of their criminal associates by cooperating with authorities. If Vance and James have indeed given the Trump Organization’s lawyers a deadline after which charges will be filed, then in the absence of a compelling defense, it is a safe bet that charges will be filed.

The third inference is that if charges are filed against the Trump Organization, they may not be the last. Corporate entities are charged with crimes under the doctrine of respondeat superior, which makes them liable for the criminal conduct of their officers or employees. A corporation may be criminally liable if an employee committed wrongdoing within the scope of his duties, and did so, at least in part, for the benefit of the organization. Sometimes the corporate structure diffuses responsibilities, making individual liability blurry and allowing officers and employees to escape liability. But because corporations act only through individuals, prosecution of a corporation is usually not a substitute for prosecution of individuals, but a supplement. When corporate entities are charged, often individual defendants are charged as well. Those charges could come later in what is known as a superseding indictment. So even if the Trump Organization is the only named defendant in an indictment this week, that does not mean that individuals won’t be charged. It just means that they haven’t been charged yet. Typically, individual charges are reserved for high-level executives whose acts can be imputed to the corporation.

more...

https://www.thedailybeast.com/indicting-the-trump-organization-could-be-just-the-start-for-the-manhattan-da?ref=home
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Jun 30, 2021, 05:30 AM (1 replies)

Eric Boehlert: Most advertisers have dumped Tucker Carlson -- why he's still on TV ?

Most advertisers have dumped Tucker Carlson — why he’s still on TV ?
Zero consequences
Eric Boehlert
54 min ago

snip//

He’s Madison Ave. poison. So why does he still have a show?

What’s now protecting Carlson, aside from the support he gets from Murdoch’s powerful son, Lachlan, who has publicly defended the host’s white supremacy programming, are cable fees. Billions of dollars in cable fees. The network earns more annually in fees from cable operators, such as Comcast and Verizon, that pay to carry Fox News content, than the network earns from advertising.

What’s so unusual about the Fox News carrier fees is it’s wildly bloated in terms of how many people actually watch the network.

From Judd Legum’s Popular Information:

According to a survey conducted late last year, about 14% of cable TV subscribers watch Fox News regularly. But every cable TV subscriber pays an average of $1.72 a month to receive Fox News. In contrast, 31% of cable TV subscribers regularly watch FX (owned by Disney) but the channel adds just $0.81 to an average cable bill. This means, for every actual viewer, Fox News receives a $7.75 subsidy from people who never watch Fox News.


The network rakes in nearly $2 billion each year from the hidden subscriber fees, twice as much as CNN and three times as much as MSNBC. Those sky-high fees in turn protect Fox News when advertisers abandon the network.

more...

https://pressrun.media/p/most-advertisers-have-dumped-tucker
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Jun 29, 2021, 07:03 AM (32 replies)

Rudy Giuliani's Son Gets Zero Votes in Doomed New York Governor Bid

https://www.thedailybeast.com/rudy-giulianis-son-gets-zero-votes-in-doomed-new-york-governor-bid?ref=home


Rudy Giuliani’s Son Gets Zero Votes in Doomed New York Governor Bid
I’M TELLING FATHER
Jamie Ross, News Correspondent
Updated Jun. 29, 2021 5:42AM ET /
Published Jun. 29, 2021 5:04AM ET


In May, when Rudy Giuliani’s son, Andrew, announced that he was seeking the GOP nomination for New York governor, he boldly declared: “I’m a politician out of the womb... It’s in my DNA.” Well, it seems he has inherited something from his dad: a knack for public humiliation and spectacular failure. According to Insider, Andrew Giuliani received zero votes to back his doomed campaign in a secret vote by local Republican leaders this week. Ten percent of voters chose to abstain rather than vote for Giuliani, and Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) was way ahead with 85 percent of the vote, making him the presumed Republican nominee. However, despite his complete lack of support among party leaders, Giuliani vowed not to quit. “I think this is too early,” he said, according to Politico. “I think if you just look at the numbers, I think you’ll see that we perform better in blue states whenever there’s a primary.”
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Jun 29, 2021, 05:41 AM (25 replies)

Obama says Trump election 'hooey' violated core tenet of democracy



June 28, 2021
7:49 PM EDT
United States
Obama says Trump election 'hooey' violated core tenet of democracy
Reuters


WASHINGTON, June 28 (Reuters) - Former U.S. President Barack Obama said on Monday his successor in office, Donald Trump, violated a core tenet of democracy when he made up a "bunch of hooey" about last year's election and refused to concede he lost.

Speaking at his first virtual fundraiser since the 2020 election, Obama, a Democrat, said Trump's claims undermined the legitimacy of U.S. elections and helped lead to other anti-democratic measures such as efforts to suppress the vote.

"What we saw was my successor, the former president, violate that core tenet that you count the votes and then declare a winner - and fabricate and make up a whole bunch of hooey," Obama said.


Trump has continued to falsely claim that his defeat was the result of widespread fraud, which has been rejected by multiple courts, state election officials and members of his own administration.


"What's been called 'the big lie' suddenly gains momentum," which in turn has fueled moves by Republican-controlled legislatures to reduce access to voting and gain more control over voting operations, Obama said.

"Here's the bottom line. If we don't stop these kinds of efforts now, what we are going to see is more and more contested elections ... We are going to see a further de-legitimizing of our democracy," he said, as well as "a breakdown of the basic agreement that has held this magnificent democratic experiment together all these years."


more...

https://www.reuters.com/world/us/obama-says-trump-election-hooey-violated-core-tenet-democracy-2021-06-28/
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Jun 29, 2021, 04:49 AM (3 replies)
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