Closing Thought–01Nov19

Can a president while in office make $500 million off a business deal?

I ask because of a story that I found while surfing them web…..the Trump Hotel in DC may hit the market soon…..

President Trump’s real estate company might unload a palatial hotel over complaints that government-ethics laws are being cast aside, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Trump Organization has hired a real estate firm to let go of the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC, where Trump and other White House officials often dine and visit. Asking price: over $500 million, or $2 million per room, for leasing rights that extend nearly 100 years. This as Democrats, watchdog groups, and the inspector general of the General Services Administration—a federal agency that leases the hotel—raise red flags about the president possibly receiving “emoluments,” or things of value beyond his government paycheck.

Meanwhile, a federal appeals court said last month that plaintiffs (like competitors of Trump’s restaurants and hotels) can make legal claims against his businesses, per USA Today. And House committees led by Democrats are looking into possible emoluments problems involving Trump. “I’m skeptical that this latest development isn’t an attempt to make a massive profit that directly benefits the Trump family, so I will be following this marketing attempt closely,” says Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Oregon. Eric Trump doesn’t deny it’s an issue: “People are objecting to us making so much money on the hotel, and therefore we may be willing to sell,” he says. Profits at the hotel increased by roughly $400,000 to $40.8 million in 2018.

I think that he should not be able to until after all evidence is presented……

Trump is NO longer a proud New Yorker….he now resides in Florida…….

President Trump is now officially a Florida man. According to documents seen by the New York Times, the president—who was born in Queens and has described himself as a lifelong New York City resident—changed his “primary residence” from Manhattan to Palm Beach, Florida, around a month ago. After the Times reported the change, Trump confirmed that he will be making Palm Beach, where he owns the Mar-a-Lago resort, his “Permanent Residence” after leaving the White House. He tweeted that while New York and its people will always have a special place in his heart, “unfortunately, despite the fact that I pay millions of dollars in city, state and local taxes each year, I have been treated very badly by the political leaders of both the city and state.”

“I hated having to make this decision but in the end it will be best for all concerned,” Trump added. Melania Trump filed the same “declaration of domicile” in Palm Beach County. NBC reports that the president has spent 99 days at Mar-a-Lago since becoming president—around 10% of his time in office—but only 20 at Trump Tower in Manhattan. Sources tell the Times the move is largely for tax reasons: Trump isn’t happy about Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance pursuing his tax returns, and Florida has no state income tax or inheritance tax.

Thoughts?

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

“Jesus Shoes”

Category:   The More Money Than Brains……

Every product looks for the gimmick that will make it stand out from the rest of the similar products…..and Athletic shoes are NO different…..however there is a new twist to the shoe…..

A new example of “some people have more money than brains”……

Have you ever imagined what it felt like when Jesus walked on water?

While you may never have that surreal experience, an American creative firm MSCHF, has created shoes that let you literally walk on water and not just any type of water but holy water.

The repurposed Nike shoes dubbed “Jesus Shoes” went on sale for $1,425 (₦514,425) Tuesday and (wait for it) sold out within a minute!

MSCHF bought a normal pairs of Nike Air Max 97 sneakers at retail value and completely revamped the shoe and added a golden Jesus on a crucifix as a shoelace charm.

MSCHF also sourced holy water from the River Jordan, which was blessed by a priest in Brooklyn and injected the Air Max 97 bubble soles.

https://guardian.ng/life/jesus-shoes-filled-with-holy-water-sold-out-in-a-minute/amp/

Seriously?

Again….”more money than brains”

Have I mentioned lately how much I hate squirrels?

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Sunday And Thoughts

My Sunday and I have very little to amuse my reader….I try to be as an FYI blog on weekends so my friends and readers learn something they may not be aware of…..

Did anyone see the original “Rollerball”?

In that world corporations control everything including the sport of Rollerball.

I brought this up because corporations are becoming so powerful that they control everything….and I mean everything….

“There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM and ITT and AT&T and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide, and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today … The world is a collage of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable by-laws of business.” 

The famous monologue from the film Network delivered by actor Ned Beatty in 1976 reflected growing anxiety at the time that corporate power could eventually overturn democracy. Today, what was feared 40 years ago is becoming a reality. Corporations have become the nations of the world and they increasingly act as such.

Last month, Facebook announced that it is introducing its own currency, Libra, which the more than two billion users (or “citizens”) of the platform will be able to use to pay for goods and services.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/07/24/rise-corporate-nations

Let me wax political for a moment…..

It is the 2020 election cycle and the big decision for the American people is a form of Left populism or a continuing of the control by corporations through the corporatist candidates that the media labels as “centrists”

It is time for the corporations to go back to their function….the business world and leave the democratic stuff to the people and the election process.

More thoughts…..recently the president of Brazil was in DC for a visit and as he walked u to a near-by mic he gave his idea on saving the Earth…..

Bolsonaro’s comment was the result of a reporter asking him about whether Brazil can simultaneously grow more food while protecting the environment. And this question is the crucial context to understand Bolsonaro’s reply: “It’s enough to eat a little less. You talk about environmental pollution. It’s enough to poop every other day. That will be better for the whole world.”

‘Poop every other day’ to save Earth says Brazilian president as he destroys the Amazon

One of those probing question in life….we have been told by Trump that he is a genius, a really smart person and went to the best schools…..shall we look into that claim?

President Donald Trump spends a lot of time talking about what a “genius” he is. Even before running for office, Trump liked to tout his intelligence. Over the years, Trump also claimed that he “went to the best schools,” and that he “got good marks.” So where did Donald Trump go to college? Before he rose to prominence as a celebrity businessman, Trump attended two different universities, including an Ivy League school.

According to The Washington Post, spent two years at Fordham University — a Jesuit college in New York — before transferring to the University of Pennsylvania. Trump graduated from UPenn in 1968 with a bachelor’s degree in economics. During his time at UPenn, he took undergraduate classes at the highly regarded Wharton School of business, though he did not obtain an MBA.

https://www.elitedaily.com/p/where-did-donald-trump-go-to-college-he-doubled-up-1823671

A thought from a library to illustrate how much you can save by using a library for your reading pleasures…..

receipt from a public library that displays and keeps track of the amount of money saved by patrons who borrow books instead of buying them is sparking debate online about the thousands of dollars that some say should be going back to authors.

The viral screenshot of a Wichita Public Library receipt was first posted by a Reddit user who had recently noticed that the library was keeping track of the member’s savings throughout the year and since they’ve been using the library. According to the user, who added context in the post’s replies, it is money that’s been accumulated by a six-person family that goes to the library on a weekly basis. Still, the $7,078.76 savings since they have been going to the library is leaving people in shock.

“Wow that’s brilliant! Seeing those figures might encourage more people to use a library!” another Redditor commented.

https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/library-receipt-goes-viral-7000-savings-214356680.html

Most of us know how much Trump hated/hates Obama….he has tried to undo everything Obama accomplished….and now a bit of karma could be on the horizon…..

Trump Tower’s current address is 725 5th Avenue in New York City. But if thousands of petitioners have their way, it will be 725 President Barack H. Obama Avenue, the Huffington Post reports. More than 130,000 people have so far signed a MoveOn.org petition to rename the portion of Manhattan’s 5th Avenue that is between 56th and 57th streets—where Trump Tower sits. “The City of Los Angeles recently honored former President Barack Obama by renaming a stretch of the 134 Freeway near Downtown LA in his honor,” the petition reads. “We request the New York City Mayor and City Council do the same.”

That ought to get his juices flowing red……

Finally….the Kingdom of Jordan has come up with a unique museum to attract tourists…..the museum is in the waters off the resort town of Aqaba…..photos tell the story…..

https://www.middleeasteye.net/discover/in-pictures-jordan-underwater-museum-aqaba-tanks

My Sunday now begins with MoMo and her walk….and her game she plays with that damn pesky squirrel.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Farmers Get Help

Yesterday Our Beloved Supreme Leader had a presser to announce his aid to the American farmer that may have trouble with the tariffs……and they all bow down……

With more than a dozen farmers at his side, President Trump announced a $16 billion aid package to compensate farmers for their losses in the trade war with China. “This support for farmers will be paid for by the billions of dollars the Treasury takes in” from China, he said. That’s not the way it works, the Washington Post points out: China does not pay the tariffs; importers do. Some importers then pass the cost on to American consumers. The administration had announced $12 billion in emergency measures in July. The relief announced Thursday will be distributed to farmers in three installments, with the first payment in July or August, the others in November and January 2020, if the tariffs are still in place.

Randy Spronk, a hog farmer and past president of the National Pork Producers Council who attended the White House meeting, said farmers realize the aid will not make up for their losses in a trade war. “But it makes enough of a difference to keep a lot of farmers so they can survive,” Spronk said, per the Post. The aid for farmers will ultimately come from taxpayers, said one expert, ABC reports. “Do the Chinese pay some of the tariff? Yes, probably in specific cases,” he said. “Do they pay most of it? No, the consumer pays most of it ultimately.” The American Farm Bureau and the National Farmers Union said that they appreciate the help, but that farmers would prefer to have a long-term trade deal with China.

This money was offered last Summer….and I agree with whoever said…”if tariffs hurt farmers then welfare is not the answer”……as always…I have written about the announcement a year ago……https://lobotero.com/2018/09/21/closing-thought-21sep18/

God knows our farmers need the help….but not everyone sees this politicial ploy as the answer to that problem……

President Donald Trump’s snap decision to send billions of dollars in new aid to farmers could be bad for the farm economy and the federal budget.

Many farmers are still deciding what to plant this spring and could be swayed toward crops that receive higher payouts from the aid package, such as soybeans. That would add to already record supplies and further depress prices that have been falling for five year

But the Trump administration’s decision to roll out the program now is drawing critics.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, told reporters Wednesday that the White House should have been more cautious about the timing of the announcement because farmers are still planting.

“[W]e want farmers to make decisions on how many acres of corn and soybeans to plant based on the market and not something the government’s doing,” he said.

“The timing couldn’t have been worse,” said Jonathan Coppess, an agricultural policy professor at the University of Illinois, and a former head of the USDA Farm Service Agency during the Obama administration.

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/05/23/trump-farmer-bailout-trade-usda-1459840

Our farmers do not want the ‘welfare’ they prefer to earn their money….keep one thing in mind….agri-business also will get this ‘welfare’ and that who it is truly protecting.

Where are the deficit hawks?  They have plenty to say when food stamps are on the agenda….where are they now?

Facebook In The News

Closing Thought–03May19

Everybody’s favorite site, Facebook, well almost everyone’s….I have NEVER used Facebook and will never in the future….I do not feel the need to share that much of my life……

Poor Zuck has had his bad news in the past couple of years….from investigations to calls for his baby, Facebook, to be broken up…..The Zuck has fought governmental control until recently…..with all his troubles he now wants the government to handle all of it for him…….typical BS as usual from him.

Facebook made the news by banning hate speech and hate sites from their media……

Facebook announced Thursday afternoon that it had designated some high-profile people, including Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who’s notorious for using anti-Semitic language, and right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, as “dangerous” and said it will be purging them from its platforms.Jones and his media outlet InfoWars had previously been banned from Facebook (FB) in August 2018, but had maintained a presence on Instagram, which is owned by Facebook. On Thursday, Jones and InfoWars will be barred from Instagram as well. Other people banned on Thursday included Paul Nehlen, an anti-Semite who unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 2016 and 2018, and fringe right-wing media personalities Laura Loomer, Milo Yiannopoulos and Paul Joseph Watson.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/02/tech/facebook-ban-louis-farrakhan-infowars-alex-jones-milo-laura-loomer/index.html

Of course I think this is a good thing….but I also see where a 1st amendment battle may ensue…..

Then there is more bad news for Facebook….it appears that their platform has been used for the sell of illegally obtain artifacts from Iraq and Syria……….

Facebook is being used by networks of traffickers to buy and sell looted antiquities, the BBC has learned.

Private groups also discuss how to illegally excavate ancient tombs, according to research by academics.

Facebook says it has removed 49 groups following the BBC’s investigation.

The BBC has also seen evidence that antiquities are still being smuggled from Iraq and Syria into Turkey, despite a police clampdown and the retreat of the Islamic State group.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-47628369

Read that!

Facebook closed down 49 sites after the BBC investigation. They do not act until someone else does the heavy lifting for them.

Sorry…time for Facebook to be broken up into manageable sites for they are not so today. What do they do for the money they make?

The time for me to step back and get my stuff ready for the weekend…..

Closing Thought–26Mar19

This post illustrates just how accurate the saying is…”You Can’t Fix Stupid!”

I read a great story about how some guy milked $122 million out of Google and Facebook….that is $122 million!

Last week, Evaldas Rimasauskas of Lithuania plead guilty to US wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and money laundering charges, admitting that he had stolen $99m from Facebook and $23m from Google between 2013 and 2015.

Rimasauskas’s grift was pretty bold. He merely sent Google and Facebook invoices for items they hadn’t purchased and that he hadn’t provided, which the companies paid anyway. The invoices were accompanied by “forged invoices, contracts, and letters that falsely appeared to have been executed and signed by executives and agents of the Victim Companies, and which bore false corporate stamps embossed with the Victim Companies’ names, to be submitted to banks in support of the large volume of funds that were fraudulently transmitted via wire transfer.” He also spoofed emails that appeared to come from corporate execs.

Apparently, no one checked first to see if these corresponded to invoices/POs that had been issued within the companies.

Rimasauskas was pretending to be the giant Taiwanese hardware manufacturer Quanta Computer Inc, and had registered a company in Latvia with the same name.

He’s agreed to forfeit about $50m. It’s not clear what’s happened to the other $73m, but Rimasauskas was a prolific and baroque money-launderer who squirreled cash away in Cyprus, Lithuania, Hungary, Slovakia, and Latvia. Google has said that “We detected this fraud and promptly alerted the authorities. We recouped the funds and we’re pleased this matter is resolved.”

Rimasauskas will be sentenced on July 29. He faces up to 30 years.

Say if Google and Facebook did not vet the bills they received then I say let the guy keep his ill-gotten gains…

But they is just me.

Corporate Death Penalty

Think back to the 2008 collapse of the economic structure….it was the banks that lead the way and yet they were not punished for killing so many pensions….at best there was a slap on wrist and they promise not to do it again…..and if you will notice they are doing it again,

It is time for the government to bring the pain to these lousy players in our economy.

Bring back a corporate death penalty……

Let’s begin with a SCOTUS dissenting opinion from 1935…..

“The prevalence of the corporation in America has led men of this generation to act, at times, as if the privilege of doing business in corporate form were inherent in the citizen, and has led them to accept the evils attendant upon the free and unrestricted use of the corporate mechanism as if these evils were the inescapable price of civilized life, and, hence to be borne with resignation.

“Throughout the greater part of our history, a different view prevailed.

“Although the value of this instrumentality in commerce and industry was fully recognized, incorporation for business was commonly denied long after it had been freely granted for religious, educational, and charitable purposes.

“It was denied because of fear. Fear of encroachment upon the liberties and opportunities of the individual. Fear of the subjection of labor to capital. Fear of monopoly. Fear that the absorption of capital by corporations, and their perpetual life, might bring evils similar to those which attended mortmain [immortality]. There was a sense of some insidious menace inherent in large aggregations of capital, particularly when held by corporations.”

—U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, 1933 dissent in Liggett v. Lee

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/01/08/its-time-bring-back-corporate-death-penalty

The limp wrist attempt to make corporations, especially the banks, was quickly pushed aside as soon as another corporate titan comes to power….time to make any penalties permanent…..time for the government to work for the people and not just the corporations.

This may be wishful thinking but I do feel the country is starting to realize just how bad corporations are acting and want accountability for their CRIMES.

2020 could be the beginning of the revolution to get the greed and corruption out of our society, especially from the corporations.

But first we must VOTE!