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Member since: Thu Oct 28, 2004, 11:20 AM
Number of posts: 8,897

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Just What Were Donald Trump's Ties to the Mob?


In his signature book, The Art of the Deal, Donald Trump boasted that when he wanted to build a casino in Atlantic City, he persuaded the state attorney general to limit the investigation of his background to six months. Most potential owners were scrutinized for more than a year. Trump argued that he was “clean as a whistle”—young enough that he hadn’t had time to get into any sort of trouble. He got the sped-up background check, and eventually got the casino license.

But Trump was not clean as a whistle. Beginning three years earlier, he’d hired mobbed-up firms to erect Trump Tower and his Trump Plaza apartment building in Manhattan, including buying ostensibly overpriced concrete from a company controlled by mafia chieftains Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno and Paul Castellano. That story eventually came out in a federal investigation, which also concluded that in a construction industry saturated with mob influence, the Trump Plaza apartment building most likely benefited from connections to racketeering. Trump also failed to disclose that he was under investigation by a grand jury directed by the U.S. attorney in Brooklyn, who wanted to learn how Trump obtained an option to buy the Penn Central railroad yards on the West Side of Manhattan.


No other candidate for the White House this year has anything close to Trump’s record of repeated social and business dealings with mobsters, swindlers, and other crooks. Professor Douglas Brinkley, a presidential historian, said the closest historical example would be President Warren G. Harding and Teapot Dome, a bribery and bid-rigging scandal in which the interior secretary went to prison. But even that has a key difference: Harding’s associates were corrupt but otherwise legitimate businessmen, not mobsters and drug dealers.


“Why’d Donald do it?” Barrett said when I put the question to him. “Because he saw these mob guys as pathways to money, and Donald is all about money.”

(end snip)

On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair...


One Of Alan Rickman’s Final Recordings Was This Video To Help Refugees


Planned Parenthood Smear Videos Caused 9 Times More Threats


The Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood shooting was a shock but, sadly, not a surprise.

In the past four months, at least four separate groups have warned that the undercover video campaign from the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), which alleged that Planned Parenthood illegally profited from its fetal tissue donation program, could result in an escalation of violence against abortion providers.

In a July 31 application (PDF) for an injunction against CMP founder David Daleiden and his organization, the National Abortion Federation (NAF) noted that there were already telling warning signs of anti-abortion violence, just 17 days after the release of the first undercover video. In addition to relaying death threats received by Planned Parenthood doctors, the NAF noted that their security staff had received “an increase in ‘off’ hour requests for security advice from its members” and that they had advised abortion providers to “be on heightened alert.”

Most immediately concerning, however, was the NAF’s claim that “incidents of harassment at Planned Parenthood facilities increased nine fold in July, compared to reported incidents in June, and the reported incidents of harassment were even more numerous in August.”


Law enforcement was also concerned about an increased risk of violence following the release of the CMP videos. In September, CBS reported that an FBI Intelligence Assessment warned that “it is likely criminal or suspicious incidents will continue to be directed against reproductive health care providers, their staff, and facilities.” The document further noted that a recent uptick in criminal or suspicious incidents following the CMP videos was “consistent with the actions of lone offenders using tactics of arsons and threats all of which are typical of the pro-life extremist movement.” One of the nine incidents they listed was in Denver.


Either way, one of the most frightening things about Dear is just how many people seem to have seen him coming from so far away.

(end snip)

So, Congress continues to push the videos, and the MEdia continues to talk about them as if they are unedited, knowing for months that the effect they have is dangerous. But, that was the plan, wasn't it? Terra Terra Terra gets gopers elected.

News from Brownbackistan - Shock and Awe

We woke up to quite a surprise in Brownbackistan this morning. If the tyrant Sam has intervened for his bro (law 'enforcement' acts like he has), it may be a new day here.


PARKER — Fields lined with crops and pastures dotted with livestock surround a trigger-happy bully who brags about a political cloak of invincibility keeping him beyond reach of the law in faithfully conservative Linn County.

Adversaries say he’s woven a liquor-infused tapestry of fear. The conflict features drive-by gunfire, death threats, explosions, stalking, trespassing, cattle theft and more. Descriptions offered by neighbors converge to reveal a potentially lethal menace. So far, their nemesis has found no reason to relent.

Not when your name is Jim Brownback and you’re a brother to Sam, the most powerful politician in Kansas.

Parker farmer Ben Katzer, who lives near Jim Brownback, said the governor’s younger sibling didn’t hesitate to rub salt in wounds inflicted on others by boasting, “Nobody can touch me.


Incidents were punctuated by sporadic gunfire and colored by explosions from Jim Brownback’s farm that met the definition of shock-and-awe. Brownback packed Tannerite in jars and detonated the mixture with high-velocity rounds. He ignored an investigator’s suggestion to knock it off.

“It’s legal,” Jim Brownback said. “It’s legal.”

(end snip)

Right after all the confederate flags are removed, this should be next.

Congressional Democrats to Introduce Ambitious New Bill to Restore the Voting Rights Act


Two years ago, on June 25, 2013, in Shelby County v. Holder, the Supreme Court invalidated the centerpiece of the Voting Rights Act. Tomorrow, congressional Democrats will introduce an ambitious new bill that would restore the important voting-rights protections the Supreme Court struck down. The Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2015 would compel states with a well-documented history of recent voting discrimination to clear future voting changes with the federal government, require federal approval for voter ID laws, and outlaw new efforts to suppress the growing minority vote.

The legislation will be formally introduced tomorrow by Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and leaders of the Black Caucus, Hispanic Caucus, and Asian Pacific American Caucus in the House. Civil-rights icon Representative John Lewis will be a co-sponsor. The bill is much stronger than the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014 (VRAA), Congress’s initial response to the Supreme Court’s decision, which garnered bipartisan support in the House but was not embraced by the congressional Republican leadership, which declined to schedule a hearing, let alone a vote, on the bill.

“The previous bill we did in a way to try and get bipartisan support—which we did,” Senator Leahy told me. “We had the Republican majority leader of the House promise us that if we kept it like that it would come up for a vote. It never did. We made compromises to get support and they didn’t keep their word. So this time I decided to listen to the voters who had their right to vote blocked, and they asked for strong legislation that fully restores the protections of the VRA.”

(end snip)

You right wing f*cks wanna show how racism is dead, then get on board fixing what you admittedly broke.

Media Executives Are Salivating Over Big Money Flooding the 2016 Election Cycle


At least one small slice of the American public looks forward to the non-stop, sleazy political advertisements set to inundate viewers during the 2016 elections: media executives and their investors.

Peter Liguori, the chief executive of Tribune Company, said earlier this month that the next presidential campaign presents “enormous opportunity” for advertising sales. Speaking at a conference hosted by J.P. Morgan Chase, Liguori, whose company owns television stations, referenced Super PAC spending as a key factor for why he thinks Tribune Co. political advertising revenue will rocket from $115 million in 2012 to about $200 million for the 2016 campaign cycle.


In 2012, Les Moonves, president and chief executive of CBS, memorably said, “Super PACs may be bad for America, but they’re very good for CBS.”

His views appear unchanged. In a February investor call, Moonves predicted “strong growth with the help of political spending,” particularly on television. He added dryly, “looking ahead, the 2016 presidential election is right around the corner and, thank God, the rancor has already begun.”


In spite of declining television advertising revenue expected this year, credit rating agencies recently gave broadcast companies a sunny two-year outlook. The reason, Carl Salas, Moody’s senior credit officer, told the Los Angeles Times, is that political ad spending is expected to boom next year thanks in large part to the Citizens United decision. “Political advertising revenue defies gravity,” Salas remarked.

(end snip)

The clown car raises money for the MEdia in the end, and the more the merrier.

African Americans Challenge Supreme Court Over Voting Rights Act: ‘Hell No, We’re Not Going Back’


SHELBY COUNTY, ALABAMA — When Dr. Earl Cunningham first tried to register to vote in his hometown of Montevallo in 1953, he was asked to pay a poll tax of $1.50, answer obscure questions about the state constitution and have a white employer vouch for his character. After he did all this successfully, the county clerk told him to go buy his own pencil at a shop down the street in order to fill out the necessary forms.

“Then you know what he told me?” said Cunningham. “He said, ‘Sign your name, if you can.'”

Decades later, in 2013, Cunningham sat in the front row of the US Supreme Court as a majority of the justices decided to gut the law that put an end to those restrictive practices: the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Represented by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, he was one of the lead plaintiffs in the lawsuit, which argued that federal protection was still needed for states and counties — like Shelby — with a history of racism and voter suppressions.

“I remember hearing one of the justices describe the law as an ‘racial entitlement.’ I wanted to scream,” he told ThinkProgress. “Voting rights is the foundation of liberty, and Section 5 is the heart of the Voting Rights Act.”


“My neighborhood is diverse now, but it wasn’t because people woke up one day and said to Black folks, ‘Hey, you can move near me now.’ It was federal housing laws that done it,” he said. “Same with the Voting Rights Act. Why would we get rid of the laws that got us to where we are now? If the medicine is working, why stop taking it?”

(end snip)

Mr. Spock Was a McGovernite: Remembering Leonard Nimoy’s ‘Live Long and Prosper’ Politics


The tributes to Leonard Nimoy that have filled newspaper front pages and television broadcasts since his death Friday have begun to reveal a measure of the man’s remarkable reach, which extended far beyond his development of perhaps the most enduring and beloved character in modern science fiction.

He was a dedicated artist who acted on stage and screen, directed plays and films, wrote poetry and earned praise for his photography; a generous donor to the arts and many causes; a proud Screen Actors Guild- American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) member; and an early champion of diversity and pay equity—as was revealed in recent reports on how Mr. Spock advocated for equal pay for Lt. Uhura (actress Nichelle Nichols).

So perhaps it will not come as a surprise that, at the height of his initial fame, Nimoy was an ardent McGovern man.

George McGovern’s anti-war candidacy for the presidency in 1972 attracted a good deal of celebrity support. But few Hollywood figures worked as hard as Nimoy to advance the cause of the Democratic presidential contender.

(end snip)

He is not likely to be forgotten in our household. A liberal. A hero for sure.
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