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”

Business Models Of War

Since the mid-60’s to be in charge of the Pentagon you need a business school degree to be successful.

The American military is infatuated with the latest business models and their potential application for war. Bureaucracies are not agile organizations, as a rule, and just as the Pentagon institutes the previous decade’s top-selling business management method, it seems corporate America has already moved on to the Next Big Thing. A list of the 25 top-selling business management books, sorted by publication date, reads like a slightly delayed litany of ideal business-to-war manifestos.[1] Nonetheless, in his most recent memorandum, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis echoed many of his predecessors in encouraging all members of the military to “bring business reforms to the Department of Defense.

Secretary Mattis follows a long line of similar efforts. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara (1961-67) directly inserted systems analysis business practices developed while at Ford Motor Company into both weapons acquisition programs and war-planning/assessment models in an effort to increase military efficiency during the Vietnam War, with at least equivocal results in military effectiveness.[3] Secretary William Cohen (1997-2001) similarly directed the Pentagon to initiate a revolution in military affairs (RMA) based on an ongoing “revolution in business affairs” to “streamline, … downsize, [and] outsource” for improved efficiency.[4] Secretary Donald Rumsfeld (1975-77, 2001-06), who served as the CEO of three major corporations between stints in government, transferred then-popular business modelling of information systems into the military through a process called transformation.[5] Secretary Chuck Hagel (2013-15), in announcing the Defense Innovation Initiative (DII), flatly asserted that the Department of Defense “must embrace better business practices that are core to any modern enterprise, private or public.”

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2017/11/22/on_the_business_models_of_war_112669.html

Let’s Be Absurd

None of us like to be told what to do by the government…..but then there are those people that will allow it as long as it does not pertain to their lives….

We are having a debate over where someone pees…..my thought is how will you determine if the person belongs there or not….the only way to do that is by becoming a peeping Tom or the person walks in with genitals a in hand and announces they are there….to me this is a silly debate to be wasting our time on…..

Then there are the people that are pissed about a gay person wanting a cake, among other services,

More than 30 ministers from around the state and nation published an open letter Monday saying the so-called “religious freedom” law goes against Christian teachings to love and respect all people. The group joins major businesses, human rights groups and legal experts in opposing the incoming law, which they say discriminates against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

The law lets churches and some private businesses deny services to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people because of religious beliefs. It’s similar to one vetoed by Georgia’s governor in late March. Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed the measure into law earlier this month.

Supporters of the law include the American Family Association and the Southern Baptist Convention. They say it protects those who decline services to people whose lifestyles violate religious beliefs that marriage should only be between a man and a woman; that sexual relations should only take place inside such marriages, and that a person’s sex is determined at birth and is unchangeable.

Another Southern state has passed another law……this one centers around therapists but I am sure that it will be expanded……

Mental health therapists and counselors in Tennessee can now turn away gay patients or others whose “goals, outcomes, or behaviors” conflict with their “sincerely held beliefs.” Republican Gov. Bill Haslam signed Bill 1556 into law on Wednesday, saying it doesn’t “address a group, issue, or belief system,” though opponents say it’s a troubling attack on gay rights, CNN reports. The bill was created in response to the American Counseling Association’s 2014 change to its ethics code, which required counselors to avoid imposing their own values on clients, the Tennessean reports.

The ACA says the Tennessee legislation, which is the only such law in the country, is an “unprecedented attack” on the profession, the AP reports. ACA spokesman Art Terrazas says the group is “extremely disappointed” that Haslam has ignored the backlash to similar “religious freedom” bills in states like Georgia “and has elected to sign this dangerous bill into law. Plain and simple, this bill codifies discrimination.” The final version of the bill removed references to religion and added requirements for therapists to treat people who are in immediate danger of harming themselves or others, and to refer rejected clients to other therapists or counselors

All this is just absurd….I mean one goes into business to sell services and make money….but yet some money is different from other money?  And then when people retaliate with a boycott these same people start whining about the loss of business.

We got rid of one form of segregation (sort of) and replaced it with another…..where will this type of pure CRAP end?

Maybe this cartoon will show you…….the path of absurdity.

Oh wait there is even more of this conservative absurdities.

Being a single mom in Springfield, Illinois could get a little more difficult if certain GOP lawmakers get their way.

According to the proposed bill HB6064 filed last week by Reps John D. Cavaletto and Keith Wheeler, if a father is not listed on a newborn child’s birth certificate, the birth certificate will not be issued for the child and any future financial assistance will be denied.

Where do these mental midgets draw the line?

What the Hell will be next for the slugs of the American political system?

Just Another Self-Centered Pr*ck!

From the VOMITORIUM

Okay readers, let us have a small test this day……who said when he announced his retirement from the US Congress?

“too much partisanship and not enough progress” in Congress, and said his decision was motivated by a belief that he could “best contribute to society in another way: creating jobs by helping grow a business, helping guide an institution of higher learning, or helping run a worthy charitable endeavor.”

(Pause here for a moment of thought)………and now…..(a moment for rib splitting laughter)……

Sounds pretty much like every one of the self centered little pricks when they decide not to run again….it is either the above pile of bovine fecal matter or some lame crap about spending more time with their family…..but in this case it was uttered by an ever popular Senator from Indiana, Evan Bayh…..he was a darling of the right wing of the Democratic Party…….in reality he was a coward because he did NOT think he could win re-election because of the toxic atmosphere in the political winds of 2010…..but after that he is a man of the people after all and will do good things for the country from the outside of the political arena…..so what has the golden boy been up to since he tucked his tail and ran?

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has hired former Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) to participate in a regulatory reform “road show” of speeches, events and media appearances, according to a memo obtained by iWatch News.

“The Chamber’s communications professionals, working closely with our federation and government affairs teams, have done an excellent job educating the public and policymakers about the regulatory overload the nation currently faces, its damaging impact on our economy and jobs, and the urgent need for change,” President Thomas Donohue wrote in a June 2 memo to the Chamber’s board of directors, supporters and friends. “I’m pleased to report that the Chamber has recently enlisted former White House Chief of Staff Andy Card and former Senator Evan Bayh who will carry a bipartisan message on regulatory reform out around the country.”

The Chamber is a group that has spent millions trying to get Repubs elected to office and fights hard against any type of regulation and fairness……

So the Chamber has hired Bayh, among others, to fight for the right of corporations to do as they wish without accountability?  Bayh is NO different than the other congressional scum that sells out everything for the promise of cash…….none of this surprises me….I said at the time of his announcement that he was running from the Senator because he could not get re-elected because it has always been about him and not about what is best for the country…….and that he was a typical American politician…..self-centered.

P.S.  While I was writing this I saw a tweet……

ReverendMannyReverend Manny

by Valerie0714
evan bayh just became a lobbyist for the chamber of commerce… if you’re surprised, you’re either a moron or lying……….

A Sucker Born Every Minute

As my regular readers will know…I try to take a break from politics and such on Sundays and find something happening in society or culture that just begs to be commented on….and I found a good one!

Or whatever the quote is……it applies in these reports….This truly is a case of more money than brains….

Jon Jacobs has just sold a virtual asteroid for a very real $635,000. Jacobs bought the asteroid near Planet Calypso in the online world Entropia Universe back in 2005 for an unheard of $100,000. Turns out it was a good investment, because Jacobs just made more than a half-million dollars in the sale.

Okay, this dude made some cash off the sell….but who buys something that has absolutely no foot in reality?  As I read this, I thought this guy was a bit loonie tunes….but as I looked at the phenom I found more……

But he is NOT alone…this from USA Today…..

Rising interest rates have yet to cool white-hot real estate prices. Perhaps that’s why the concept of virtual home ownership has captured the imagination of a growing number of online gamers, who are plunking down real cash for their own slice of the digital frontier.Large swathes of undeveloped online property, some bearing an uncanny resemblance to a palm-studded West Coast beachfront idyll, are selling for up to $550 an acre.

That amount is but a song compared with real world real estate, but these are computerized representations of property — pretty pictures, if you will — in an online graphic role-playing game known as Second Life.

Is it just me or do these people way too much time sitting with a controller in their hand?  JUst where is the logic here?  I realize I am an old fart and may not get it…..but to piss away money on something so intangible as virtual real estate sounds just a bit silly…..but then I am no techno geek…..so what do I know?

We Have A Problem!

All the lip flapping coming out of Washington is about the budget, the debt and the deficit…..every new guy has his/her opinion on the proper way to handle each issue…..some are NOT so good or even rational……for one…..

Paul Ryan the new head of the House budget committee when interviewed on MSNBC said…when asked what he and the GOP would be doing come next January…he replied…..”well, we cannot just sit around and do nothing for two years can we?”……I was amused!  Why?  That is exactly what they have done for the last two years and they won the House….sounds like a good plan to me….

And then there is the new Rep. from Maryland…as reported by Political Wire….

Rep.-elect Andy Harris (R-MD), a physician who ran to repeal the new health care reform law, “surprised fellow freshmen at a Monday orientation session by demanding to know why his government-subsidized health care plan takes a month to kick in,” Politico reports.

Harris “reacted incredulously when informed that federal law mandated that his government-subsidized health care policy would take effect on Feb. 1 — 28 days after his Jan. 3rd swearing-in.”

Said Harris: “This is the only employer I’ve ever worked for where you don’t get coverage the first day you are employed.”

God!  I love these mental midgets!

All that humor aside…..let us return to the budget……okay dipsticks……if you do not balance the budget the economy will remain sluggish and unresponsive….BUT!  If you do succeed a balance the budget in the next two years….the economy will collapse…….MAY I SAY THAT AGAIN….the economy will collapse!  You will have a lot of the people in Congress say that government has to be run like a business….that it must live within its means just like a business…..well people this is just bullsh*t!  Why?  It is not the same thing and it can be disastrous for the country to think that way…basically it is just another cutsey slogan to dumb-found the voter…..and of course we have the states that have to work on a balanced budget every year…..good idea…the problem is…they do not and if they say they do it is because of creative accounting not anything that the politicians have done……Washington…we have a problem!

Why?  Very simple….at this point in the economic crisis the government is about the only thing that is producing any economic activity…oh yea…and the biggest CON job…tax cuts will generate economic activity……yep…and it has generated so much since the tax cuts went into effect 8 years ago…..if does generate the jobs…then business was lying and it was a plan to embarrass and beat Obama….they have NOTHING for the country or the people….

Going Once….Going Twice….Sold!

College of Political Knowledge

Subject:  American Government/Politics/

Lecture #3

This is a continuation of my corporatism post of yesterday……….

For many many years I have been bitching about the possibility that the government is up for sale to the corporate interests….something I like to call “auction politics”….that is that the government is up to the highest bidder in the form of donations….which in turn gives them special access to the wheels of government and with that access comes unimaginable influence on the direction of the country.

SCOTUS recently filed a decision that has made this situation even more likely””

landmark decision, approved by a 5-4 margin, could unleash a torrent of corporate and union cash into the political realm and transform how campaigns for president and Congress are fought in the coming years.

The new ruling blurs the lines between corporate and individual contributions in political campaigns. It also strikes down part of the 2002 McCain-Feingold campaign finance law that banned unions and corporations from paying for political ads in the waning days of campaigns.

“The Supreme Court has given a green light to a new stampede of special interest money in our politics,” Obama said in a statement. “It is a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans.”

All this is just reinforcing the belief that the government is up for sale to the highest bidder…..the recent “successes” of the Obama admin shows how the influence of cash has turned out……the FinReg was so watered down that it is impotent….health reform is so watered down that it is a joke, at best…….two major issues that have been influenced by money from corporations…..

Americans!  You government and your country are being sold to the highest bidder….your vote means nothing after the election…no matter which party you think is the best…neither are on your side!  Rethink your vote, please, for the sake of your family and the country….RETHINK your vote!

One Small Step

This is a small step in the direction to protect the working poor, who by the way, are the only people who use these service…..about time they stepped up and did a little protection……

Starting Thursday, the state no longer will allow payday-loan operators to set interest rates as high as 460 percent annually. A 10-year-old law that allowed them to charge above the 36 percent annual rate cap imposed on other lenders, such as banks, will expire.

Miller said that to stay in business, many payday lenders likely will offer auto-title loans, which can generate annual returns of up to 204 percent, according to state law. The Center for Responsible Lending said more than 200 payday stores in Arizona have received auto-title loan licenses in the past two years, as it became more apparent payday licensing would end. Some payday lenders also will continue to offer check-cashing services.

Arizona will become the 16th state to impose an interest-rate cap on payday loans, according to the Center for Responsible Lending in Durham, N.C., which tracks payday-loan operations across the country. At least six other states are looking at imposing restrictions.

It is about time that state legislators pay attention to the workings of the social vulture, that make billions off the lives of the working poor.  My state has NOT yet made an attempt to isolate these predators….but I believe it is coming as soon as we flush the toilet known as the Barbour governorship and his massive protection of ALL businesses, even the vultures in the pay day loan scams.

Circuit City Craps Out

This story will kill my father who thinks the sun rises and sets with Circuit City.

After failing to secure financing from creditors and lenders, bankrupt electronics vendor Circuit City Stores Inc. said Friday that it will liquidate, joining the list of retailers like Linens ‘n Things that are closing up shop due to the economic downturn.

The liquidation will affect more than 30,000 employees, adding to the rising number of U.S. job losses, which last year hit their highest level since World War II. As of Dec. 31, Circuit City had 567 stores in the United States and about 765 stores and dealer outlets in Canada.
Even before the recession and plunging consumer confidence led shoppers to curtail discretionary spending, the retailer struggled with declining traffic and sales. Not only has Circuit City been hurt by poorly located stores, its plight worsened in the wake of a failed management strategy to fire higher-paid employees, who were able to push more profitable sales. The move further hurt customer service and alienated shoppers, according to analysts.
The collapsing credit markets and declining economy has all but shut off financing for bankrupt companies facing increased competition. Other retailers — including Goody’s Family Clothing, Mervyn’s, Steve & Barry’s and Sharper Image — have liquidated or are shuttering operations. Bankruptcy experts have said the lack of debtor-in-possession financing will leave more companies with no option but to liquidate assets.
Na Na Na Na , Na Na Na Na —Good bye!

McCain Pushes Nukes

Sen. John McCain proposed Wednesday to dramatically increase America’s commitment to nuclear power, calling for a crash program to build 45 reactors by 2030 and a long-term goal of building 100 such plants across the country.

McCain has long been a proponent of nuclear power. But his speech here included unabashed support for an energy source and technology that has been suspect in many communities since the partial meltdown at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania in 1979, the most serious commercial nuclear accident in U.S. history.

No nuclear power plant has been built in America in more than 30 years, and few U.S. companies have invested in the technology to build new plants. The nation draws about 20% of its electricity from 104 working commercial reactors, but many are nearing the end of the operating period allowed by their licenses

I agree that Nukes are probably going to be part of the answer to global warming.  But it should not be considered until there is a foolproof method of disposing of the waste.  But right now the industry gets taxpayer money in the form of subsidies.  I will support it when the waste thingy is solved and there is an end to government subsidies for the industry.  Think about it, if the industry cannot finance itself, why should the American people help?