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babylonsister

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Gender: Female
Hometown: NY
Home country: US
Current location: Florida
Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 09:54 PM
Number of posts: 167,238

Journal Archives

Meet the Woman Who Could Send Donald Trump to Prison

I honestly hoped we'd be done with talking about mf45, but alas...I sincerely hope the senior Weisselberg has been singing like a bird.

Levin Report
Meet the Woman Who Could Send Donald Trump to Prison
Jennifer Weisselberg has shared information with criminal investigators that could take Trump down.
By Bess Levin
April 12, 2021


As the Manhattan District Attorney’s criminal investigation into potential bank, tax, and insurance fraud by Donald Trump ramps up, there are a number of key figures whose names likely sends shivers down the ex-president’s spine (or would if his handlers had actually explained the seriousness of the situation to him, rather than keeping him in a hermetically sealed bubble wherein he’s only told the election was stolen from him and some day soon he’ll be crowned President for Life). Obviously, one of those people is Cyrus Vance Jr., the veteran D.A. running the investigation who obtained Trump’s tax returns in February. Another is Mark Pomerantz, the prosecutor brought onto the case who helped put John Gotti behind bars. Additionally, there’s Morgan Magionos, who helped bring down former Trump aide Paul Manafort. Yet perhaps the most worrisome figure is an individual who hits closer to home, whom Trump has known for years—Jennifer Weisselberg, the former daughter-in-law of longtime Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg.

snip//

Despite earning $200,000 a year for “as long as he could remember,” Weisselberg said in the deposition, according to the Post, that he and Jennifer lived rent-free in Trump-owned apartments, adding that he did not know how taxes on the property were handled. (In addition, his father paid most of his living expenses, including $7,900 in monthly rent for a non-Trump-owned apartment where the couple later lived, $49,000 a year for each of his kids to attend private school, $25,000 each for overnight camp, $2,200 for his daughter’s Hebrew school, and $546 a month for a leased Range Rover.) Speaking of Barry Weisselberg’s financial situation, the documents Vance’s office got a hold of last week have raised a number of questions, according to Air Mail:

According to these documents, Barry’s 2019 pre-tax income was $223,471 and, as per his supplement to Form 1040, his total “withholding from wages”—i.e., taxes—were $59,245, thereby netting him $164,226 post-tax. He also reports annual expenses of $466,500. And yet, even after deducting the $130,272 that he indicates his parents, Allen and Hilary, pay for his children’s private-school tuition and camp, from these annual expenses, Barry is still left with a shortfall of $172,002.

Given that he reports that his bank and investment accounts—excluding his 401(k)—total just $14,123, they do not even come close to making up the difference, leaving this area fertile ground for the investigators and forensic accountants currently combing through the Weisselberg finances. (The Manhattan D.A. has also subpoenaed Allen’s bank records.)


As for Barry Weisselberg’s job managing the Wollman Rink, his ex-wife has suggested he was a gofer for Trump‘s crimes:

According to…Jennifer, Barry’s real job was to be Trump’s eyes on the cash, and as such, she says, once a week he would collect the money, not just from the rink but from all three Trump-run park properties, and walk it to his father’s office in Trump Tower. “What does Allen do with it?” Jennifer asks. “I don’t think all the cash was reported. It was for Trump. That’s why he wanted [Barry] there so bad.”



more...

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2021/04/donald-trump-jennifer-weisselberg-criminal-probe#intcid=recommendations_vf-hive-trending-legacy_8ff6094e-48ac-4a14-9a17-a64a7e631cfd_popular4-1
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Apr 13, 2021, 05:35 PM (9 replies)

Eric Boehlert: Two new reasons Fox shouldn't have White House press credentials

Two new reasons Fox shouldn't have White House press credentials
Tucker racism, covering up Gaetz
Eric Boehlert
2 hr ago


Blogger Heather Digby Parton tweeted a perpetual truth last week: "I didn't think Fox could go any lower. I was wrong."

Rupert Murdoch's propaganda network dove towards new depths recently when its most-watched host, Tucker Carlson, openly promoted white supremacy conspiracies, and the entire Fox News staff tried to cover up the raging Matt Gaetz sex scandal. In the process, Fox News again confirmed it has no business being allowed in the White House press briefing room, where legitimate news outlets are given the opportunity to pose questions.

Fox News isn't a newsgathering organization, therefore it does not need White House access. Giving them prestigious 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. press passes just delays the much-needed Beltway discussion that’s needed about the crooked network and its place in our political culture.


It's clear the Biden White House doesn't want to pick a fight with Fox News right now, which would inflame the entire Republican Party and the billion-dollar right-wing media industry. Not when Democrats are dealing with a country still reeling from a deadly health crisis and millions of out work. And having Fox News in the briefing room does help brandish the image that the Biden team is willing to engage with the other side, as White House press secretary Jen Psaki often does, patiently unplugging Fox News correspondents' attempted gotcha questions.

That's the politics of the situation — the optics. But the reality is that Fox News continues to be a deliberate cancer on this country, and any attempts to help legitimize it — by pretending it deserves to be alongside CNN in the White House briefing room — is not only wrong, it's dangerous.

In fact, it's deadly. We know that from the pandemic and watching Fox churn out lies about the Covid-19 virus for more than a year — raising doubts about wearing masks, about the seriousness of the pandemic, and suggesting viewers not get the vaccine. There's little question the network killed thousands by airing dangerous lies about a public health crisis, and pushing blatant disinformation about how the pandemic is a "Deep State" creation.

more...

https://pressrun.media/p/two-new-reasons-fox-shouldnt-have
Posted by babylonsister | Mon Apr 12, 2021, 09:16 AM (21 replies)

If We Act Like We Already Beat the Coronavirus, That's How It Wins

https://www.thedailybeast.com/if-we-act-like-we-already-beat-the-coronavirus-thats-how-it-wins?ref=home


Coronavirus
If We Act Like We Already Beat the Coronavirus, That’s How It Wins
SLOW YOUR ROLL
With recent surges in Britain, India, and Brazil, what makes us think we can eat, pray, and play in the wild?
Margaret Carlson

Published Apr. 11, 2021 5:04AM ET


We have a new epidemic of mixed messages on our hands. On the one side are those experts who remain very worried about another surge before the vaccine delivers us to the promised land and on the other those who see the vial as half-full and rising with each jab.

snip//

In a contest with a virus we still don’t understand but which understands us enough to mutate, it’s foolish to relent. We’ll turn the corner only if vaccines proceed faster than the seven-day national average of cases. The first week in April, cases were 18 percent higher than in March.

Who if not experts can get us to hold two things in our minds at once: that victory is on the way but in the meantime eat your vegetables, huddle in sweatpants, and keep watching Netflix.


Slip in new warnings with information showing five cases of a novel “double mutant” in California and rising cases among the young, especially when playing sports. Unless you’re cosseted in hotels like college teams during March Madness, a basketball game, with shouting and heavy breathing, can be as infectious as choir practice near Seattle last March was. Singing hymns almost a foot apart left 52 singers infected and two dead. Before that, there were only two cases in the county.

With recent surges in Britain, India, Brazil, and elsewhere, what makes us think we can eat, pray, and play in the wild? Why risk dying to see an action movie that can be streamed on HBO? The vaccine will eventually win the race Fauci is running but until then, living as if it’s still 2020 is a matter of life and death.
Posted by babylonsister | Sun Apr 11, 2021, 09:28 PM (2 replies)

Cops Caught on Video Holding a Black Army Lieutenant at Gunpoint, Then Pepper-Spraying Him

Cops Caught on Video Holding a Black Army Lieutenant at Gunpoint, Then Pepper-Spraying Him
When Lt. Caron Nazario said he was afraid to get out of the vehicle, one officer responded, “Yeah, you should be."

by Emma Ockerman
April 9, 2021, 12:37pm


Caron Nazario was driving his newly-purchased Chevy Tahoe home when two police officers pulled him over in Windsor, Virginia, whipped out their guns, and started barking orders.

With their weapons raised, the officers demanded that Nazario, a Black and Latino man, get out of the SUV. Nazario looked in the mirror and saw he was being held at gunpoint, then placed his cellphone on his dashboard to film the December 5 encounter. He repeatedly asked to know what was going on. At one point, he even admitted to being afraid to leave the vehicle.

“Yeah, you should be,” one of the officers responded.

Nazario, a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, was coming home from work and in full uniform at the time.

“I’m serving this country, and this is how I’m treated?” Nazario told the officers, according to his cellphone video.
https://twitter.com/i/status/1380253512060260352
By the end of the incident, the cops would threaten Nazario, pepper-spray him in the face, and knee-strike him in the legs, according to body camera footage, Nazario’s cellphone video, and legal filings. Later, when Nazario was in tears and on the ground of a gas station parking lot as officers put him in handcuffs, he repeated, “This is fucked up, this is fucked up.”

more...

https://www.vice.com/en/article/y3dm3m/cops-caught-on-video-holding-a-black-army-lieutenant-at-gunpoint-then-pepper-spraying-him
Posted by babylonsister | Sat Apr 10, 2021, 09:36 AM (2 replies)

President Obama on the death of Prince Philip...

https://www.facebook.com/barackobama/


Barack Obama


When we first met His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, he and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II had already been on the world stage for more than half a century — welcoming leaders like Churchill and Kennedy; Mandela and Gorbachev. As two Americans unaccustomed to palaces and pomp, we didn’t know what to expect.

We shouldn’t have worried. The Queen and Prince Philip immediately put us at ease with their grace and generosity, turning a ceremonial occasion into something far more natural, even comfortable. Prince Philip in particular was kind and warm, with a sharp wit and unfailing good humor. It was our first introduction to the man behind the title, and in the years since, our admiration for him has only grown. We will miss him dearly.

Like the Queen, Prince Philip saw world wars and economic crises come and go. The radio gave way to the television, and the television to the internet. And through it all, he helped provide steady leadership and guiding wisdom. It has long been said that the United States and Great Britain have a special relationship — one that has been maintained and strengthened not just by presidents and prime ministers but by the Royal Family that has outlasted them all.

At the Queen’s side or trailing the customary two steps behind, Prince Philip showed the world what it meant to be a supportive husband to a powerful woman. Yet he also found a way to lead without demanding the spotlight — serving in combat in World War II, commanding a frigate in the Royal Navy, and tirelessly touring the world to champion British industry and excellence. Through his extraordinary example, he proved that true partnership has room for both ambition and selflessness — all in service of something greater.

As the world mourns his loss, we send our warmest wishes and deepest sympathies to the Queen, their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren; and everyone who knew and loved this remarkable man.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Apr 9, 2021, 05:42 PM (64 replies)

Eric Boehlert: Maggie Haberman, and when Trump access no longer matters

https://pressrun.media/p/maggie-haberman-and-what-happens


Maggie Haberman, and when Trump access no longer matters
No more scoops
Eric Boehlert
2 hr ago

snip//

I have no doubt Trump himself served as a source/leaker for Haberman during his four years in office. Yes, he often publicly railed against her and the "liberal" New York Times, but that was likely part of the kabuki dance that went on as Trump and the Times often used each other to their benefit. Trump certainly provided the paper with crucial access. “He wouldn’t talk to me as much as he does if I wasn’t at the Times,” Haberman once said on a podcast. “That’s just the reality. He craves the paper’s approval." According to Haberman, as president he would at times call her and thank her for her coverage, at one point giving one of her Trump stories an "8."

In return, Haberman and Times often normalized him in ways large and small. The daily spent years painting a false portrait of adult decision making at the White House, suggesting Trump was surrounded by a beehive of aides who plotted policy, instead of a madman setting the agenda.

snip//

Normalizing seemed to be the goal. When Haberman sat down with Trump in early 2019 for an extended Q&A, he lied nonstop and came across as utterly incoherent, yet the Times politely typed it all up as a normal White House interview.

In 2019, Haberman famously reported that Trump's former communications director (and likely longtime Times source) Hope Hicks faced an "existential choice " about whether or not to cooperate with a congressional subpoena, as if that's somehow the norm. "When a respected paper such as @nytimes calls this an ‘existential’ question, rather than a question about complying with the law, we have a very serious problem with our democracy," Princeton University historian, Julian Zelizer stressed at the time. "This is what it looks like to become dysfunctional."

One year ago, Haberman's byline appeared on a deeply misguided front-page Times piece as America suffered from the government's futile pandemic response: "Despite Pushback, Trump Suggests Testing Is No Longer an Issue." As if his blatant lies ever should have ever been taken at face value, let alone during a deadly public health crisis.

Nonetheless, Haberman won industry accolades for her Trump reporting. Now with him off the stage the future seems uncertain. That’s what happens with access journalism.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Apr 9, 2021, 09:21 AM (27 replies)

David Corn: Will the Public Ever Get a Full Accounting of Trump's Disastrous COVID Response?

https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2021/04/will-the-public-ever-get-a-full-accounting-of-trumps-disastrous-covid-response/

Will the Public Ever Get a Full Accounting of Trump’s Disastrous COVID Response?
We deserve a 9/11 commission-style reckoning—but may have to settle for less.
David Corn
Washington, DC, Bureau ChiefBio | Follow

snip//

The United States could use such a soul-searching reckoning regarding the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed the lives of more than 555,000 Americans. Recently, Dr. Deborah Birx, who was the coronavirus response coordinator in the Trump White House, said that about 400,000 of these deaths “could have been mitigated or decreased substantially.” That is, errors, miscalculations, and policy failures on the part of Donald Trump and his administration resulted in a death toll nearly 140 times greater than 9/11. And yet, no apology. Moreover, the prospect of a full accounting of the Trump administration’s lethal handling of the pandemic also remains uncertain. But the American public—particularly those who have lost loved ones or suffered in other ways due to the pandemic—deserves a comprehensive evaluation that reveals who made what mistakes and what must be done to prevent a future calamity.

snip//

The select subcommittee has done a lot of digging into a wide assortment of pandemic-related subjects. It slammed large corporations that obtained COVID relief funds intended for small businesses. It investigated the disbursement of the PPP loan payments handed out by the Trump administration. It probed PPE contracts and sought to investigate alleged White House suppression of testing. The subcommittee recently released evidence that the Trump administration failed to address PPE supply shortages, even when warned of shortfalls. It examined political interference at the Centers for Disease Control, widespread coronavirus deaths and infections at meatpacking plants, and the ability of states to hold elections during a pandemic. The select subcommittee released documents showing that the Trump administration awarded a $250 million PR contract for an ad campaign shortly before the 2020 election to downplay the impact of the pandemic. It held a briefing with public health experts to examine actions that need to be taken to ensure the equitable distribution of coronavirus vaccinations.

The subcommittee has sent out its own document requests to the Biden administration for information on what the Trump administration did last year. And under the resolution establishing the subcommittee, it is obligated to issue a final report of some sort.

Though both the House and Senate committees are scrutinizing various slices of how the Trump White House managed—or mismanaged—the pandemic, there’s no telling yet whether either will be able to hold an investigation that ends up highlighting the whole dramatic and sorry tale. Will they stage attention-grabbing hearings with the officials who failed the public? Will they produce a report as sweeping and as impactful as the one crafted by the 9/11 commission?

The best investigations tell a story. They forge a narrative that spurs greater understanding of the subject at hand. That’s especially important when a tragedy has occurred. There is a need to fully comprehend the event—to come to terms with it—and to prevent a repeat or something worse. A bipartisan independent commission well-staffed and equipped with subpoena power would certainly offer the best forum for guiding the nation through this act of collective comprehension. But it takes two parties to be bipartisan. If the Republicans care more about protecting Trump, the Democrats on their own cannot conjure up such an endeavor. Their only course is to employ the existing mechanisms of Congress and leverage the power of these committees—conducting hearings, wielding subpoenas, issuing reports—to uncover and present a complete accounting. Probably without any apologies.
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Apr 8, 2021, 09:01 PM (4 replies)

Kind People Are Suffering From Cruelty Sickness



Kind People Are Suffering From Cruelty Sickness
April 7, 2021 / John Pavlovitz

snip//

I sense a corporate emotional weariness in kind people these days, the accumulated scar tissue created when you’ve absorbed more bad news, predatory behavior, and attacks on decency than your reserves can manage. Sustained cruelty will do that to the human soul.

There’s only so much contempt for humanity our minds are able process, until one day something snaps and we lose the ability to respond with the same urgency and resilience we once had. A low-grade hopelessness sets in, slowly replacing our activism with apathy and one day rendering us immobile: cruelty sickness.

Prolonged exposure to this kind of seemingly tireless barbarism begins to rob us of energy, to dishearten us to the point that we stop caring and opt out. This is of course, by design. That is what those manufacturing this incessant enmity are counting on.

The fatigue of decent humans is the plan: inundate us with a million tiny crises, assail us with countless daily culture war battles, and batter us with endless legislative assaults—until we are gradually but decidedly crushed beneath the weight of it all. Eventually, we succumb to the numerous wounds of their boundless hatred, the suffering of those they victimize, and a steady stream of the unanswerable questions about how and why human beings can be this perpetually cruel.

Maybe it’s a bit of necessary resting after the the last four ferocious years, perhaps an understandable emotional letdown afforded by the arrival of an adult human president and the feeling that we are not in a continual state of imminent threat from our government, or maybe it’s the welcome distraction of passing through the worst of a brutal year in isolation—but it feels as though our collective passions are waning and we cannot afford this.

So what do we do? What do kind people who are sickened by cruelty do to get well? We tether ourselves to one another.

more...

https://johnpavlovitz.com/2021/04/07/the-cruelty-sickness-of-kind-people/
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Apr 8, 2021, 11:37 AM (69 replies)

Trump Organization Hires Criminal Defense Lawyer



https://politicalwire.com/2021/04/08/trump-organization-hires-criminal-defense-lawyer/

Trump Organization Hires Criminal Defense Lawyer
April 8, 2021 at 6:54 am EDT By Taegan Goddard

Wall Street Journal: “The Trump Organization has hired Ronald Fischetti, an experienced New York criminal-defense attorney, to represent it in Manhattan prosecutors’ investigation into the business dealings of the former president and his company.”
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Apr 8, 2021, 08:03 AM (5 replies)

Russia Might Be Slowly Executing Alexei Navalny in Prison, Says Amnesty International

https://www.thedailybeast.com/russia-might-be-slowly-executing-alexei-navalny-in-prison-says-amnesty-international?ref=home

Russia Might Be Slowly Executing Alexei Navalny in Prison, Says Amnesty International

‘SLOW DEATH’
Jamie Ross, Reporter
Published Apr. 07, 2021 6:44AM ET


Amnesty International—the world’s leading human-rights group—said it believes Russia’s treatment of Alexei Navalny is so brutal that it could effectively amount to a long, painful, and slow execution. Navalny, the Putin nemesis who was poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent last year, has recently gone on hunger strike in prison in an attempt to force authorities into giving him medical treatment. In recent days, he’s complained of a persistent cough and high temperature, and claimed that there have been cases of tuberculosis in his prison. Agnes Callamard, Amnesty International’s secretary general, told Reuters on Wednesday: “Russia, the Russian authorities, may be placing him into a situation of a slow death and seeking to hide what is happening to him... Clearly the Russian authorities are violating his rights. We have to do more... [They] have already attempted to kill him, they are now detaining him, and imposing prison conditions, that amount to torture.”


**************************************

https://politicalwire.com/2021/04/07/alexei-navalny-seriously-ill-in-prison/


Alexei Navalny ‘Seriously Ill’ In Prison
April 7, 2021 at 10:35 am EDT By Taegan Goddard


Alexei Navalny, the most prominent opponent of Russian president Vladimir Putin, is “seriously ill” in prison after contracting symptoms of a respiratory illness in prison, the Financial Times reports.

Meanwhile, Reuters reports Amnesty International says Navalny is incarcerated in conditions that amount to torture and may slowly be killing him.
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Apr 7, 2021, 11:13 AM (5 replies)
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