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cali's Journal
cali's Journal
August 19, 2016

Trump Campaign CEO Steve Bannon Failed To Properly Pay Taxes For Several Years

The new CEO of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign failed to properly pay his taxes for several years in the 1990s, according to an analysis of public records.


In 1990, after a stint as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs, Bannon and a few of his colleagues launched Bannon & Co. in Beverly Hills, California. In a profile on Bannon published last year, Bloomberg Businessweek’s Joshua Green described the business as a “boutique investment bank specializing in media”:

At the time, investors preferred hard assets ― manufacturing companies, real estate ― and avoided things like movie studios and film libraries, which were harder to price. Bannon’s group, drawing on data such as VHS cassette sales and TV ratings, devised a model to value intellectual property in the same way as tangible assets. “We got a ton of business,” he says. When the French bank Crédit Lyonnais, a major financier of independent Hollywood studios, almost went bankrupt, Bannon & Co. rolled up its loan portfolio. When MGM went bust, it worked on the studio’s financing. When Polygram Records got into the film business, Bannon’s firm handled its acquisitions ... After Société Générale bought Bannon & Co. in 1998, Bannon, no longer needing a day job, dove into Hollywood moguldom, becoming an executive producer of movies, including Anthony Hopkins’s 1999 Oscar-nominated “Titus.”

According to public records, Bannon had five federal tax liens filed against him at his firm’s Beverly Hills office between 1994 and 1998, totaling $481,951. The federal liens were released by April 2000.

Bannon also had at least three state tax liens totaling $119,736 filed against him in the same period. It’s unclear whether the state liens corresponded to property taxes, income taxes or payroll taxes. Those liens were released by April 2000 as well.

Moreover, Bannon had a civil judgment lien filed against him for $84,075 by creditors in 2011, when he was serving as CEO of a firm called Affinity Media. He left Affinity the following year to serve as executive chairman of Breitbart News LLC, the parent company of Breitbart News.


August 19, 2016

GOP preps tough perjury case against Clinton

Fuck them. And prosecute any of them who leak the contents of these emails.

GOP lawmakers have claimed that the Democratic presidential nominee broke the law by lying under oath about her private email setup during her marathon appearance in October.
Next month, Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee plan to make the issue a central part of a hearing with senior officials from the FBI, a committee aide said on Thursday. Legally, the GOP faces a tough case. Politically, however, raising the perjury allegations would be a way to keep the issue of Clinton’s truthfulness in the public eye throughout the fall as she battles Republican nominee for the White House.
Proving that someone committed perjury means overcoming a high hurdle: that the person knowingly told a falsehood under oath.

Convincing lawyers at the Department of Justice to take the case would also be difficult because prosecutors would have to prove that what the former secretary of State said during the 11-hour hearing was directly at odds with the truth.

“There is no case,” said Stephen Ryan, a former federal prosecutor and general counsel for the Democratic-run Senate Government Affairs Committee, bluntly.

“Even if you tried to step back from the politically-laden nature that this was the Democratic presidential nominee and you look at it, there’s no way the Department of Justice would touch a case like that.”


August 19, 2016

Trump: Obama Vacationing Instead of Running ISIS

President Obama is vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard when he should be hard at work running ISIS, Donald Trump charged on Thursday.

In an interview with Fox News, the Republican Presidential nominee said that Obama’s preference for golfing in favor of the demanding day-to-day work of running a terrorist organization shows “what a disaster he has been” at the helm of the Islamic State.

“Frankly, he doesn’t deserve to call himself the founder of ISIS,” Trump told Fox’s Sean Hannity. “He is a disgrace.”

Trump also drew a sharp contrast between himself and Hillary Clinton, who he said lacked the mental and physical stamina to run ISIS.



August 19, 2016

Dear Donny, About your new minority outreach, do you really think that

AAs are going to forget your vile racism toward President Obama or your embrace of the racism that courses through so many of your most devout fans?

Do you really think that Hispanic Americans are going to forget your dashing out the gate with an attack on the Mexican people or your smearing of Judge Curiel's Mexican heritage?

Do you really thing that women will forget your decades long history of ugly words and actions directed at them?


We won't forget. We won't shut up about it.

I'd quote Joseph Welch here and ask the famous question he posed to Senator McCarthy, but we already know the answer.

You have no sense of decency. Your lack thereof is a perfect bookend to your void of empathy.

August 19, 2016

The Crotchgrabber: On a shockingly casual case of sexual assault

On a spring day in recent memory, I was strolling up Ninth Avenue alone, after leaving a bistro lunch with a gentleman caller and my soon-to-finish-N.Y.U. son. It was sunny but not yet steaming. Businessmen had their ties tugged loose or suit jackets slung over their shoulders. There were floral frocks and filmy blouses among the adorably pierced and punked-out goths of Hell’s Kitchen. I could almost feel the financial yoke of my son’s college tuition slipping off my neck.

Then an approaching guy chatting equably with a tall friend dodged at me to grab my crotch. I don’t mean brushed by it maybe accidentally; I mean he grabbed between my legs with a meaty claw, big as a waffle iron. He also called me the C-word with breath that stank of beer. Then he passed on into a sandwich shop with his buddy.

He wore a royal-blue plaid short-sleeve shirt you might find in a J. Crew ad, nicely hemmed jean shorts, and pricey sneakers. He was half my age and twice my weight and had the wide, muscled form cultivated by Equinox aficionados. Translation: he wasn’t dope sick or a flat-out loon.

In case you haven’t been on the receiving end of this sort of assault, you should know the primal physiological response it evokes—in this woman, anyway. The stomach drops, as if you’ve been shoved backward from a skyscraper and are flailing through space. Time dismantles. There are more frames per second, and people’s facial features become very specific. This guy had a squashed-down forehead, wide-set eyes, and heavy but neatly waxed brows.

<keep reading. really, you should.>


August 19, 2016

Is this what it's really about? TBN (Trump Breitbart News), taking on Fox head to head?

Cassidy in The New Yorker: What Are Donald Trump, Roger Ailes, and Steve Bannon Really Up To?

What better way to mark the news that the head of Breitbart.com, the alt-right news site, is now running Donald Trump’s campaign than with a conspiracy theory? And, unlike some of the conspiracy theories that appear on Breitbart, this one might actually be true.

The theory making the rounds is that Trump’s latest campaign reshuffle isn’t really about trying to win the election. In bringing in Steve Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart News, and recruiting Roger Ailes, the disgraced former head of Fox News, as an adviser, Trump is making a business play: he’s laying the groundwork for a new conservative media empire to challenge Fox.

The official story is that the shakeup—which saw Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign chairman, eclipsed—is all about defeating Hillary Clinton. “I have known Steve and Kellyanne both for many years,” Trump said in a press release announcing the changes, referring to Bannon and Kellyanne Conway, a pollster he brought in to be his new campaign manager. “They are extremely capable, highly qualified people who love to win and know how to win.” In an interview with the Wall Street Journal’s Monica Langley and Janet Hook, who broke the story, Trump added, “I’m going to do whatever it takes and do it the way I think will win.” As for Ailes, the Trump campaign denies that he is playing any official role. (It hasn’t denied the New York Times revelation that Ailes met with Trump on Sunday in New Jersey.)

Does this official explanation withstand inspection? Hardly.


Bannon, a former investment banker who took over Breitbart News in 2012, after the sudden death of its eponymous founder, also has large ambitions, and they involve taking on the mighty Fox News. In a lengthy column posted earlier this month, Bannon compared the burgeoning rivalry between Breitbart and Fox to the Peloponnesian War. “The incumbent Athenians might as well know that the Spartans are coming for them, and there’s not a damn thing they can do about it,” he wrote. “Indeed, more Spartans are joining us every day.”


But what if Trump and Breitbart could team up, raise some money from outside investors, and bring aboard some of the television executives who built Fox News? As part of his lucrative severance package from Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, Ailes almost certainly signed a noncompete agreement. But how long does it last? And does it preclude him from providing some informal advice to an old friend?

Bannon already has some ideas of his own. He believes that Fox News is drifting away from its core conservative viewers, and that, with Murdoch’s sons, James and Lachlan, increasingly calling some of the shots at Fox’s parent company, this process is likely to continue. “The Murdoch sons, aka the Minor Murdochs, think Fox is too conservative, too Roger Ailes-like, too Middle American,” Bannon wrote in his column. “And they have a plan to fix that.”



August 19, 2016

Amber Heard donates $7 million divorce settlement to ACLU

and Children's Hospital of L.A.- $3.5 million to each. That's the entire amount she received in her divorce from Johnny Depp, who had accused her of making up her accusations of his abuse of her for financial gain.

Kudos to Ms. Heard.


Heard’s statement regarding her charitable donations states that she was awarded $7 million in the divorce and all of those funds would be donated equally between the American Civil Liberties Union, with focus on battling violence against women, and Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, where Heard has volunteered for 10 years.

“Over the years, I have seen firsthand how more funding for staffing, better equipment and better medication can make the difference between life or death for a child,” Heard said.

Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the ACLU, commented on Heard’s donation, saying, “For years, we have worked through the courts and legislatures around the country to make sure that domestic violence victims are fully protected by the law and receive the government assistance they deserve. We could not be more thankful for Ms. Heard’s support -- she can be confident that this gift will help other women live safely and freely.”

Paul S. Viviano, president and CEO of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles also commented on the funds provided by Heard.

“On behalf of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles’ leadership, staff and the thousands of brave patients and their families who will benefit from this donation, I would like to thank Amber Heard for this tremendous gift. Her generosity will support the lifesaving treatments and cures that Children’s Hospital Los Angeles provides for critically ill children each year,” Viviano said in a statement.



August 18, 2016

Sanders: Aetna's Obamacare Threat Shows What "Corporate Control Looks Like"

Healthcare giant Aetna directly threatened the federal government by vowing to pull out of Obamacare if its proposed merger to Humana was not approved, revealed a letter by the company's CEO sent in July and reported on Wednesday.

The letter, obtained by the Huffington Post through a Freedom of Information Act request, proves what many observers have suspected and what the company has been denying: that its decision to pull out of most of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) health exchanges was a bargaining chip in its effort to achieve the controversial merger.

Aetna's threatening letter was authored by Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini, who would have "personally [made] up to $131 million" if the Humana merger had gone through, as International Business Times reporter David Sirota observed last month.

The Justice Department sued to block the merger last month.

Bernie Sanders tweeted a link to the Huffington Post's reporting, calling the article a "must-read" and condemning the government for giving so much power to corporations like Aetna:



August 18, 2016

Naked Donald Trump Statues Populate American Cities

An anarchist collective distributed the life-size likenesses in very public locations

In New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Cleveland, life-size statues of Donald Trump in the nude stand in public. They were placed there by the anarchist collective Indecline, which among other projects has also glued the names of black men killed by police officers onto blank stars in the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The Trump project is titled after a genital omission each statue shares, “The Emperor Has No Balls.” It’s an escalation of Hans Christian Andersen’s 1837 parable about a ruler so overconfident that he believes he’s wearing the world’s finest clothes, even when parading in the nude through his realm, beneath “his splendid canopy”—until a child breaks his delusion.

The artist who constructed the statues goes by the name Ginger and is a regular keynote speaker at haunted house conventions. He told the Washington Post, “When the [Indecline organization] approached me, it was all because of my monster-making abilities.” According to the Post, he spent 25 hours weekly since receiving the commission in April, and worked through 300 pounds of clay and silicone, to construct the statues. A video of the process seems to show at one stage there was a human model:

More including vid at link:


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