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Gender: Female
Hometown: Florida
Current location: Florida
Member since: Wed Jun 30, 2004, 12:25 PM
Number of posts: 1,434

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I thought this was one of the most interesting articles on Trump yet and I am amazed I didn't come across it earlier. I wondered what others on DU might think. I hope this isn't a duplicate post.


The Azerbaijanis behind the project were close relatives of Ziya Mammadov, the Transportation Minister and one of the country’s wealthiest and most powerful oligarchs. According to the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index, Azerbaijan is among the most corrupt nations in the world. Its President, Ilham Aliyev, the son of the former President Heydar Aliyev, recently appointed his wife to be Vice-President. Ziya Mammadov became the Transportation Minister in 2002, around the time that the regime began receiving enormous profits from government-owned oil reserves in the Caspian Sea. At the time of the hotel deal, Mammadov, a career government official, had a salary of about twelve thousand dollars, but he was a billionaire.

The Trump Tower Baku originally had a construction budget of a hundred and ninety-five million dollars, but it went through multiple revisions, and the cost ended up being much higher. The tower was designed by a local architect, and in its original incarnation it had an ungainly roof that suggested the spikes of a crown. A London-based architecture firm, Mixity, redesigned the building, softening its edges and eliminating the ornamental roof. By the time the Trump team officially joined the project, in May, 2012, many condominium residences had already been completed; at the insistence of Trump Organization staffers, most of the building’s interior was gutted and rebuilt, and several elevators were added.

In recent months, American officials have expressed concern that Trump Administration figures might be blackmailed by foreign entities. U.S. law-enforcement investigators and congressional staffers have probed claims that Russian government officials possess compromising information about President Trump, which might be used to blackmail him. (The President maintains that there is no such information.) In January, the Department of Justice informed the White House that Michael Flynn—then the national-security adviser—was vulnerable to being blackmailed by the Russians because he had lied about having spoken with the Russian Ambassador. Flynn subsequently resigned.

In Azerbaijan, the power and the influence of the Mammadovs has declined sharply. Elton lost his seat in parliament in 2015. In February, Ziya was abruptly removed from his ministry. Anar has settled in London, an associate of his told me, and is living on a fraction of his former wealth. Meanwhile, in Iran, government officials are likely facing additional sanctions on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. If the Mammadovs or powerful Iranians have evidence that the Trump Organization broke laws, they might be tempted to exploit it.

The best way to determine if a crime was committed in the Baku deal would be a federal investigation, which could use the power of subpoena and international legal tools to obtain access to the contracts, the due diligence, internal e-mails, and financial documents. The Department of Justice routinely sends investigators to other countries to pursue possible F.C.P.A. and sanctions violations.

Senator Sherrod Brown, of Ohio, who is the ranking Democratic member of the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, said, in an e-mail, that a federal investigation was warranted: “The Trump Organization’s Baku project shows the lack of ‘extreme vetting’ Mr. Trump applied to his own business dealings in corruption-plagued regimes around the globe. . . . Congress—and the Trump Administration itself—has a duty to examine whether the President or his family is exposed to terrorist financing, sanctions, money laundering, and other imprudent associations through their business holdings and connections.”

More than a dozen lawyers with experience in F.C.P.A. prosecution expressed surprise at the Trump Organization’s seemingly lax approach to vetting its foreign partners. But, when I asked a former Trump Organization executive if the Baku deal had seemed unusual, he laughed. “No deal there seems unusual, as long as a check is attached,” he said. ♦

Rachel's video on the topic:
Posted by coeur_de_lion | Sun May 28, 2017, 01:07 PM (29 replies)

Heart breaking facebook email from an old friend

One of my dearest friends until now, she wrote among other awful things:

People don't hate Obama because he's black. Haven't you heard? He supports ISIS. He sends reps to funerals of people he wants to use to his advantage and ignores the death of those who don't. His wife is a racist instigator and uses her power for her agenda not Americas. Is he even trying to snuff out this raging fire of discord? No. He is not an American President. Obama Husain Binladin supports terrorists. Ooops, I mean Barak Husain Obama.

I'm shattered. I know I rarely post here anymore but I had to come get some sympathy. I knew my old DU friends would understand.

This girl was my loyal side kick from the age of 13. We are separated by several states now, and only keep in touch via facebook and (very) occasional visits.

I have seen some wing nut posts of hers and scolded her but I just had no idea . . .

I think I may have to unfriend her. I think some beautiful childhood / teenage memories just became tainted forever. I swear she was not like this when we were kids. Not at all.
Posted by coeur_de_lion | Tue Jul 14, 2015, 11:48 PM (71 replies)

C. W. Bill Young, Longtime Florida Congressman, Dies at 82

This is my rep.


Representative C. W. Bill Young, Florida’s longest-serving member of Congress and a Republican hawk on military spending during his 43 years in Washington, died Friday in Bethesda, Md. He was 82. His chief of staff, Harry Glenn, said Mr. Young died at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he had been hospitalized with back problems stemming from a 1970 small plane crash.

On Oct. 9, Mr. Young, who represented a district in the Tampa Bay area, announced from his hospital bed that he would not seek another term in 2014. As one of the strongest military supporters in Congress, Mr. Young made headlines in 2012 when he said that the United States should withdraw its forces from Afghanistan, reflecting a growing weariness with the war.

Mr. Young was considered the elder statesman of Florida’s Republican Party and in the House, where he served 22 terms, beginning in 1970. Charles William Young was born Dec. 16, 1930, in Harmarville, Pa., and later moved to Indian Shores, Fla., a Gulf Coast community in Pinellas County. He served in the Army National Guard and was an aide to Representative William Cramer from 1957 to 1960. From 1961 to 1971, he served in the Florida Senate.

He was a longtime member of the House Appropriations Committee, where he focused on military spending. He and his wife, Beverly, frequently visited ailing service members at hospitals in the Washington area. Mr. Young brought hundreds of millions of dollars in earmarks back to the Tampa Bay area, and built up a military contracting industry in the region, creating jobs and lifting the economy.

His district, which covers much of populous Pinellas County, was already expected to be up for grabs in 2014. Republican voters hold a slight edge over Democrats in the district, 37.7 percent to 35.2 percent, the Florida secretary of state’s office said; 23.2 percent are independents. A special election will be held to finish Mr. Young’s term.

President Obama carried the district 52 percent to 46 percent in the 2012 presidential race, while Mr. Young beat the Democratic challenger, Jessica Ehrlich, 58 percent to 42 percent. Ms. Ehrlich has declared her candidacy for 2014. Beverly Young has told the local media that she would run for the seat if Ms. Ehrlich’s name is on the ballot.

Mr. Young was married twice and had three sons.

Posted by coeur_de_lion | Sat Oct 19, 2013, 12:43 AM (2 replies)

Want To Boycott Koch Brothers' Products While Shopping? There's An App For That

There’s a good chance billionaire industrialists and liberal whipping boys Charles and David Koch are making money off your weekly shopping cart.

If you’ve ever bought Brawny paper towels, Angel Soft toilet paper or Dixie cups, you’ve contributed cash to Georgia-Pacific, a subsidiary of Koch Industries .

If you’ve purchased a pair of yoga pants containing Lycra or a Stainmaster carpet, you’ve indirectly handed the Kochs your money: Koch Industries bought Invista, the world’s largest fiber and textiles company, in 2004 from DuPont.

You didn’t know that, did you? Neither did Darcy Burner, a Democrat running for Washington state’s 1st Congressional District seat — but once she learned how many household products are manufactured by the conservative billionaires’ companies, she decided to take action.

“Our democracy has been bought and sold by people like the Kochs,” Burner said, citing the Citizens United ruling that allows tax exempt nonprofits like Americans for Prosperity, founded by David Koch, to donate anonymously in unlimited amounts to candidates and causes. “When I’m out talking to voters, they say they want a way to take action.”

more . . .
Posted by coeur_de_lion | Wed Oct 9, 2013, 10:19 PM (6 replies)

So last night I told my oldest sister not to contact me anymore

During the presidential campaign, we argued over whether the taxpayers pay for Obama's campaign stops. I explained back then that campaign finance laws dictate that an incumbent president reimburse the government for expenses of the campaign (including the use of Air Force One). That this doesn't just apply to Obama; it applied to GW Bush too. I also explained that Obama is the first incumbent president to forgo public financing, so he raised all of his campaign funds on his own. No involuntary taxpayer funds paid for Obama's campaign.

She blocked me on facebook.

Then last week my grand niece was born. Sister sent me an email telling me to check out her granddaughter's pics on facebook. I wrote back a one line email that I couldn't because she blocked me. Back and forth a few times, she came back with the same tired argument that the taxpayers paid for Obama's campaign expenses, vacations, and "boondoggles" whatever that means. That Obama was vacationing too much. And that she couldn't be bothered to unblock me on facebook because she is to busy, and I can check out the pics on her son's facebook.

So I linked her an article comparing presidential vacation days. As we all know * used more days than any president in recent history. I reiterated the campaign finance laws.

Tied into all of this is that she is getting married the week before I am, so I can't go to her wedding. She is angry at me for not clearing my wedding date with her. I explained that my wedding was going to be a private quiet destination wedding, with possibly a public reception on our 1st wedding anniversary. That it had been planned before she got engaged, and that I didn't need her permission set a date to get married. That all of my vacation days were used up for my honeymoon so no matter what I couldn't have attended her wedding anyway.

Then I pulled out the big guns. Keep in mind we are a very large Irish family with ferocious tempers, and I was losing mine fast. I've been fed up with her spouting Fox News crap for a few years now.

I told her that I couldn't think of a good reason she would hate the president so, that I was starting to wonder if she was racist. But since I don't want to believe that of my own sister, I choose to believe she merely likes to create drama. That I don't even know her anymore, I've recently lost respect for her because of this.

She certainly never used to be this type of person. Out of a large noisy Irish family she was always the most mellow, slow moving, apathetic of my siblings. Couldn't be stirred to argue.

Finally, I asked her to leave me off her facebook, and not to contact me anymore.

When I lose my temper it stays lost a long time. I'm not sure I'll speak to her again and it doesn't bother me at all.


A Final Letter To Mitt Romney -- I love this.

Dear Mitt and Paul,

I wanted to clear something up for you.

I have seen the debate about what went wrong, and why you lost this election. As a voter I want you to know that my voting against you had nothing to do with the fact that you are both rotten people.

It was not because of your crazy religions.

It had nothing to do with Eastwood’s empty chair, or the hurricane, or the liberal media telling me bad things about Bain.

I did not vote against you because I am a minority.
I did not vote against you because I live in an urban area.
I did not vote against you because of the cheese wiz in your veins or the elevators for your cars.
I did not vote against you because you are bullies and bigots.
I did not vote against you because you are rich hypocrites.

It was not because of Chris Christie, or Colin Powell, or Bill Clinton, or Anne Coulter, or Chris Mathews or Rachel Maddow or Meygn Kelly or Jon Stewart or Brian Williams, or anybody on tv.
I didn’t vote against you for any of those reasons because, I didn’t vote against anybody.

I voted for someone.
I voted for a man who brought my childhood friends home from war that they could kiss their wives and tuck their kids in at night.
I voted for a guy who loves New Jersey more than he dislikes Chris Christie.
I voted for the guy who looked in the mirrors of his daughter’s eyes, questioned himself, and changed his mind about marriage equality.
I voted for the guy who called Sandra Fluke and told her that her parents should be proud.
I voted for the guy who honors the women in his life by ensuring them trust to make their own reproductive and health choices and opportunity to work through glass ceilings with equal pay.
I voted for the guy who signed the stimulus that paid for the hearing aids that allowed me to hear my children clearly.
I voted for the guy who gave my sister the ability to buy health insurance in spite of pre existing conditions.
I voted for the guy who picked Joe Biden for a VP. Joe’s love for his country, his willingness to give of himself, his smarts and experience are top notch.
I voted for the guy who was smart enough to put a ring on Michelle Obama’s finger.

Most importantly, I voted for the guy who will continue to place America and what is right for her first.

I trust him.

When he hears a lone voice in a crowd of plenty shout, “I love you!” He shouts, “I love you back!”

See Mitt, Paul, it’s not you… It’s him.

I did not vote against you.

I voted for Barack Obama.


Forgive me if this was posted elsewhere.
Posted by coeur_de_lion | Wed Nov 14, 2012, 10:01 PM (93 replies)

Somebody please talk me down from the ledge

Here I am so happy, thrilled with the results of the election. Walking around with a big smile on my face. Most of my family (MY VERY OWN FAMILY) are freaking out like they are sure Obama is going to do something awful to them. Talking about Obama like he is as evil as Bush.

A lady who works for me told me today she thinks Obama stole the election. Really? You don't think it was the rape policies or the lies or the flip-flopping craziness of Rmoney that lost him the election? Did you think he would win because he is white rich and good looking?

Years ago my boss was republican and I remember being afraid to speak out for fear of losing my job. Now the shoe is on the other foot. I want to fire this chick.

If she brings it up again I'll tell her to keep her more insane opinions about the election to herself.

I know these people, I love some of them, and they are batshit crazy. Last week I threatened an old colleague with an intervention if he didn't stop.

This thought keeps rattling around in my head and I can't push it out for long -- IS MY OWN FAMILY RACIST?

It's crazy making. I need to join a support group. Or maybe I need to see a professional.
Posted by coeur_de_lion | Wed Nov 7, 2012, 10:33 PM (53 replies)

Have they officially called Florida for Obama yet?

Posted by coeur_de_lion | Wed Nov 7, 2012, 07:10 PM (10 replies)


I know this thread will sink like a stone, because I am not a regular poster on here anymore. But I'm still gonna say my peace.

Thank you for working hard to win this election. We all know how hard you and your family and staff worked. We love you for it. So grateful you are still our president.

Thank you for keeping us from falling into another Great Depression.

So many more things!

Thank you for:

Passing Health Care Reform
Passing the Stimulus and Wall Street Reform
Getting us out of the war in Iraq
Planning the end of the War in Afghanistan
Increasing support for Veterans
Erasing Osama bin laden
Rescuing the banks
Saving the auto industry
Repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
Ousting Moammar Gaddafi
Reversing * torture policies – my personal favorite. Really can’t thank you enough for that one.
Improving America’s image abroad
Kicking the banks out of the Federal Student Loan Program, expanding Pell Grant spending – (now if you could just continue student loan reform I would personally appreciate it).
Extending unemployment benefits when so many of us really needed the help
Reducing payroll taxes for us
Protecting two liberal seats on the SCOTUS
Expanding Americorps
Speeding up compensation to victims of BP gulf oil spill
Posted by coeur_de_lion | Wed Nov 7, 2012, 05:29 PM (3 replies)

MLK, Trayvon and Jesus

Pardon me if this has already been posted elsewhere. I loved this article and wanted to share. Old time DUer who only comes around when I'm angry . . .

Rev. Ruth Hawley-Lowry

April 4 is the 44th anniversary of the martyrdom of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This week is Holy Week. So what do Trayvon Martin, Dr. King and Jesus have in common? No, this question isn't the beginning of a bad joke -- the answer is hopefully apparent. They were all killed in the midst of a political climate that justified fear and legalized hate.

This is a better question: What are we with the majority hue (though, as a reminder, we white folks will be a minority in just a few decades!) going to do about it? At what point do we stop clucking our tongues, saying, "It's a shame," and go on with grocery lists and yard chores as if it doesn't matter? Do we just pretend "It's a black thing," while we watch various news sources remind us that black on black violence is more prevalent than ignorant, trigger-happy "neighborhood watch" folks gunning down teenagers armed with Skittles and iced tea?

Really, truly, no longer do we get to be "neutral." As the Archbishop Tutu wisely noted during the Apartheid struggle, "If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality."

Most of us who live in white neighborhoods pretend that it doesn't affect us. But yes, it does! As the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." When I think that I get to relish "white privilege" while my black sisters and brothers get subjected to unfair arrests and inequitable education, then I am participating, de facto, with the very system that oppresses. So, enough justice talk. I know, we all get tired of hearing it, right? Especially when it doesn't affect us. And I know that a lot of folks are presuming that Trayvon will eventually become last-page news until we don't have to deal with it anymore.

more here:

Posted by coeur_de_lion | Wed Apr 4, 2012, 11:24 AM (2 replies)
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