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Fritz Walter

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Member since: Sat Mar 21, 2015, 07:08 PM
Number of posts: 3,167

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Randy Rainbow: "Maybe when this is all over, Kellyanne [Conway] and I can have a drink together."

DU has many, many Randy Rainbow fans, so I'm delighted to share this great article from the Washington Post. If you're stuck at the WaPo pay-wall, I would highly recommend you find a way -- borrow a friend's device, create a one-time phantom account, actually pony up a few coins -- to read the full article. It's that good.

Randy Rainbow’s Witty World
How a musical theater nerd reinvented political satire for the YouTube age


Here are some excerpts:

It’s no secret that in 21st-century America, power over public opinion doesn’t reside exclusively with editorialists or news anchors. We are now Entertainment Nation, and society’s jesters — Stephen Colbert, Samantha Bee, John Oliver, Trevor Noah, Bill Maher, etc. — have become as influential as the Walter Cronkites and David Brinkleys of yore...
...Rainbow, with his snappy riffs on the politics of the day, is a prominent part of this new and influential group, but he offers something distinct: a very old tradition of musical satire updated for the YouTube age. Think of him as a modern-day Gilbert and Sullivan, or the millennial version of the piano-playing Mark Russell or Tom Lehrer — the key difference being that his get-it-out-fast production marathons and savvy use of social media bring his commentary to the public quickly, directly and with no filter. Competitors like the Capitol Steps strive to put the mock in democracy as fast as possible, but with multiple writers and cast members, they can’t equal Rainbow’s speed. In a world on hyperdrive, he delivers near-instant gratification: Within minutes of Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s appearance before members of Congress, for instance, Rainbow was taking song requests from fans on Twitter. Three days after Roger Stone was arrested in January, Rainbow posted a video parody of a number from the musical “Chicago.”


A sampling of Rainbow’s hot takes includes “Desperate Cheeto” (a take on Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito”), “Border Lies” (Madonna’s “Borderline”), “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Korea?” (“Maria” from “The Sound of Music”) and “GOP Dropout” (“Beauty School Dropout” from “Grease”). Actor-comedian Steve Martin told Rainbow that “A Very Stable Genius” — a takedown of you-know-who sung to Gilbert and Sullivan’s “I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General” — is a favorite ditty in the Martin household:

He is the very model of a very stable genius.
Of all the U.S. presidents he is the Mussoliniest.
He learned a lot of things according to his Wikipedia.
And demonstrates his ample intellect on social media.
When people are in need he is the best at making fun of them.
He knows 11 words although he can’t spell even one of them.


Fellow Randy fans who have WaPo accounts: please to share their favorite excerpts here. I would be hard-pressed to select a favorite of his YouTube videos (please subscribe!), other than to say I love it when he releases a new one. Very fresh, very topical, very pointed.

Want to stop money laundering? Require names of "Beneficial Owners"

While spending a few days visiting “up north,” I saw this editorial in today’s Globe and Mail.

Apparently, Canada is also seeing a huge impact of money laundering. For instance, in British Columbia,
...reports estimated that $5-billion was washed through the province’s real-estate market in 2018, inflating prices by 5 per cent.

There is good reason to believe that the same is happening in other Canadian cities. A report in March from Transparency International tallied almost $30-billion of “unknown funds” – from entities whose true ownership is cloaked – that have been pumped into the Greater Toronto Area housing market since 2008. Of that figure, $9.8-billion worth of deals were done in cash, avoiding the few checks on money laundering that exist in real estate.

B.C.’s money-laundering reports – on casinos, luxury cars and real estate – are the beginning of the story, not the end. The province last week announced a public inquiry, which should be a prelude to action.


It appears that our northern neighbors (neighbours?) have legislators with actual backbones. In this province, their parliament has come up with an effective solution: name names. Presumably, ass-kickings may follow.

An essential first step is a public registry of who owns what real estate. B.C. has taken the lead with first-in-Canada legislation introduced this spring that will reveal beneficial owners – the names of actual people – behind structures such as numbered companies.

As Transparency International argues, disclosure of beneficial ownership “should be a prerequisite for any property transfer.”


Just out of curiosity, has this idea ever occurred to our own* public servants?

Perhaps it’s the local climate. Or the great dining experiences I’m enjoying here, but is it “aluminium” hat-worthy to suggest that this is part of Putin’s scheme? Encourage (require?) Russian oligarchs to buy up property in western countries. No only to avoid taxes and other, pesky government “interference”, diversify holdings, and other easily recognizable advantages of money laundering; but also add to the destabilization of Western economies. Hyper-inflate real estate and luxury commodity sales, then watch the local/regional/national economies recede if not outright crash. Which provides even more opportunities for hidden investors to scoop up even more assets.
Nah! Must be the weather here...

___
*
We all know who owns the RepubliCONs. A list of names would read like the Moscow phonebook!

WaPo: The Red Hen Restaurant owner speaks up almost a year after asking Sarah Sanders to leave

Resistance isn't Futile.

I’ve been getting hate mail for almost a year now, ever since I asked White House press secretary Sarah Sanders to leave my Lexington, Va., restaurant, the Red Hen, last June.

At the time, the country was in turmoil over the Trump administration’s heinous practice of separating children from their parents at our southern border. In our tiny 26-seat restaurant, the horror felt simultaneously immediate and far away.

Faced with the prospect of serving a fine meal to a person whose actions in the service of our country we felt violated basic standards of humanity, we balked. We couldn’t do it.

...

In the days following, I tried to balance fears for the safety of my family and staff against the reality of being well-protected in a small, loving community. Overhanging it all was a sense that I’d seen this show before; don’t we all have ringside seats to the outrage circus these days? But there was plenty I couldn’t predict or assess: How likely was it, really, that the guy texting me from a Minneapolis area code was really going to come to town to set fire to our restaurant? It felt impossible to know.


There's a happy ending, and I won't spoil it for you here, other than to say that the Red Hen Restaurant is still in business.

If you can't get past the pay-wall, I'll try to add a few more great quotes in the comments.

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