…moving along [DOT 25/9/22]

a little farther down the line...

…it might be time for some people to give it a rest

Trump’s goal in requesting a special master was multi-pronged from the start, according to sources familiar with the matter, and the principal – though publicly unstated – aim was to apply the brakes on the criminal investigation, after the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago took Trump’s lawyers by surprise.

A second major aim, the sources said, was to use the special master motion as a vehicle to get more insight into what documents the FBI retrieved from the property because they were initially in the dark about the extent of Trump’s, as well as their own, potential exposure.
But although Trump could still drag out the special master process – and so the third line of inquiry concerning the general removal of government records – over the 11,000 other documents seized by the FBI, the anticipated delays over classified documents are no longer at issue.

…I don’t know as I entirely follow the fine print but from what I gather the way that the 11th circuit slapped him down was couched in such a fashion that he can’t whine about getting it looked at again by the whole slate of judges…& between that part & the bit where judge do-as-yer-told struck some passages from her previous batshit ruling…appeal is not an option…this particular sidebar is done

Trump effectively secured a two-and-a-half week pause in the criminal investigation from the time that Cannon enjoined the department on Labor Day to the appeals court ruling on Wednesday – a delay that former US attorneys said would not have materially affected the case.

In criminal investigations that rely on witness testimony, they said, extended delays might become problematic should the department be unable to make headway for more than a couple of months since memories fade and witnesses might start to struggle to recall specific details.
Still, the temporary delay showed the Trump legal team’s ambition and ability to accrue small procedural wins that they hope can cumulatively become significant. Without the defeat before the 11th circuit, Trump might have expected to stymie the criminal investigation into December and beyond.

…& money continues to be slung at this whole thing on a misery-inducing scale…the saying about throwing good money after bad is all very well…but if it winds up in a trump fund was it really ever good money?

His political committee, Save America, has raised $124 million since last year and spent nearly 20 percent of it, much of that on staging rallies, travel, consultants and legal bills. Little has been spent directly on helping other candidates.

But with Republican Senate campaigns and outside groups facing cash concerns, aides to several Republican contenders have said privately that Mr. Trump could help more by spending on their behalf than by traveling to their states to host his beloved mega-rallies.

Some Republicans have urged Mr. Trump’s team to spend on digital media platforms instead of on television, arguing that his group’s dollars would go further by helping candidates recruit volunteers, raise money and build out an online presence to help spread campaign messages.

During the past three weeks in Georgia and Pennsylvania, Republican candidates and outside groups have spent about $2 million more than their Democratic counterparts on television, according to AdImpact, an ad tracking firm. But for the final six weeks, Democrats have reserved nearly $14 million more than Republicans in television advertising in Georgia and $12 million more in Pennsylvania.

…fun fact…if he did open those purse strings & use PAC money to even out the tv ads…he’d be shelling out for 3-4 times the rate that time cost the dems on account of having left it until now & not being the candidate(s) direct campaign for the discount…it’s just good business

One person familiar with the decision making said that Mr. Trump’s team understood that campaigns had varying needs, and that it was considering pouring money into television ads, digital advertising and get-out-the-vote operations.

As a first concrete step, Mr. Trump has approved a new super PAC, run by some of his key aides that will be used to spend money on midterm candidates.

Make America Great Again Inc., or MAGA Inc., has signed up Chris LaCivita, a veteran Republican operative with a long career in Senate campaigns, as its chief strategist. Its polling will be overseen by Tony Fabrizio, who worked on both of Mr. Trump’s presidential campaigns.

…somehow it feels like a more thorough approach to his bookkeeping would file anything at all he does that might benefit the GOP under “legal expenses” at this point…but if he does wind up crashing & burning with even a fraction of the spectacular bonfire of vanity that he threatens to…it’s not like that’s gonna kill the elephant in the room…maybe it should…the shit he’s done…& how the party made it possible…it can be hard to get it all in perspective

I was working on the story with a colleague who, as part of our joint investigation, was given an audiotape of a two-hour discussion among various Trump creditors. The bondholders were owed tens of millions of dollars.

The creditors could have crushed Trump and taken the property after he missed a $41 million payment. But it cost more to bring Trump down than bankrupt him.

…full disclosure…I would settle for either of those…but have a distinct preference for…well

Much of the deliberations on that June 1991 conference call concerned the fear of being stuck in bankruptcy court for years if they pushed Trump out. At one point, the creditors talked about paying Trump more than $1 million in an annual management fee even though they thought he had done a “terrible” job managing the casinos.

“What is he providing for the million and a half?” one bondholder asked, prompting others on the call to laugh.

“We hope as little as possible,” an adviser to the bondholders said, causing even louder laughter. “We hope it becomes characterized as a nonmanagement fee.”
The latest case against Trump illustrates how the extremely wealthy often walk away from dastardly deeds and poor business management with millions.
From platinum pensions to eye-popping salaries, history favors affluent and influential company executives, even when they spectacularly fail at their jobs.
Many executives who oversaw financial companies that drove us into the Great Recession left or resigned — but had earned obscene bonuses, stock options, and years of multimillion-dollar paychecks. Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008, yet its former chief executive Dick Fuld earned an estimated $34.38 million a year before the company filed for bankruptcy.

The House Oversight and Reform Committee held a hearing in October 2008 about the collapse of Lehman Brothers. The committee chairman at the time, Rep. Henry Waxman, said: “While Mr. Fuld and other Lehman executives were getting rich, they were steering Lehman Brothers and our economy toward a precipice.”

Waxman (D-Calif.) said Fuld depleted Lehman’s capital reserves by over $10 billion through year-end bonuses, stock buybacks and dividend payments.
As I read the complaint against Trump, I kept thinking: What’s the culpability of the financial institutions? Given Trump’s history of corporate bankruptcies, why didn’t they double-check his math and triple-check appraisals?
James’ lawsuit says that from 2011 to 2021, Trump and the Trump Organization intentionally created more than 200 false and misleading valuations of assets to defraud financial institutions.

I’m still stunned at how Trump has been allowed to prosper even as investors and financial institutions faced massive losses. Banks repeatedly renegotiated his debt to bail him out or preserve the value of the assets that served as collateral for loans made to Trump.

Trump survived and thrived because of the willingness of bankers and bondholders to prop him up.

But let struggling consumers default on their mortgages, student loans or credit card debt, and they face financial ruin.
For decades, Trump’s creditors have bailed him out because it cost more to bring him down than prop him up. [WaPo]

…you know…business as usual

Koch, which is controlled by multibillionaire Charles Koch, boasts a corporate Pac that has donated $607,000 to the campaigns or leadership Pacs of 52 election deniers since January 2021, making Koch’s Pac the top corporate funder of members who opposed the election results, according to OpenSecrets, which tracks campaign spending.

In addition, the Super Pac Americans for Prosperity Action to which Koch Industries has given over $6m since January 2021, has backed some election deniers with advertising and other communications support, as well as a few candidates Donald Trump has endorsed who tried to help him overturn the 2020 election, or raised doubts about the final results.
Although the Koch-funded Super Pac AFP Action had suggested it would not back election deniers after 6 January, analysts aren’t shocked given Koch’s lobbying and legislative priorities, which include fighting various tax and regulatory measures related to fossil fuel issues including climate change that affect the company’s bottom line.

Koch spent $12.2m last year on lobbying – more than any other oil and gas company during 2021.
Moreover, AFP Action has spent $4.9m to boost the Missouri attorney general, Eric Schmitt, who filed a lawsuit in December 2020 in tandem with the Texas attorney general to overturn the election results, and is running for an open seat.

The Wisconsin senator Ron Johnson also has benefited from $4.2m spent by AFP Action to help him in what seems to be a tight re-election race. According to revelations at a House January 6 committee hearing in June, an aide to Johnson reportedly helped promote efforts to substitute fake electors for Trump for legitimate ones that Biden won in the run up to 6 January when Congress certified the election results.
Election objectors won substantial donations from other corporate Pacs besides Koch’s. OpenSecrets reported in August that altogether members who voted against certifying Biden’s win received a whopping $22m post-January 6 from the Pacs of 700 corporations. Besides Koch’s Pac, the other top corporate Pacs were those of Home Depot and Boeing that respectively ponied up $593,000 to 44 members and $520,000 to 27 members.
“When the only elected officials who will carry your political water are proto-fascists, what is one to do?” said Jerry Taylor, a former vice-president at the Cato Institute in DC where he oversaw climate and energy issues. “Charles Koch has made his choice. This self-proclaimed voice of freedom and liberty has apparently decided that advancing the public policies he desires is more important than democracy.

“His choice is not unlike the choices that most German industrialists made in the Weimar Republic.”

…hyperbole or understatement? …I haven’t had enough coffee to try to call it, to be honest…you decide

Arizona can enforce a near-total ban on abortions that has been blocked for nearly 50 years, a judge ruled Friday, meaning that clinics statewide will have to stop providing the procedures to avoid criminal charges against doctors and other medical workers.

Dozens of people are feared to have died in six days of protests in Iran sparked by the death in police custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman who had been detained by morality police for allegedly wearing a hijab headscarf in an “improper” way.
‘We are risking death’: Iranians on Mahsa Amini protests [Guardian]

A judge on Friday ruled that a near-total abortion ban written before Arizona became a state must be enforced, throwing abortion access into question one day before the start of a 15-week ban that passed the Legislature this year.

The stricter ban, which can be traced to 1864, was blocked by a court injunction in 1973 shortly after the Supreme Court, in Roe v. Wade, determined that there was a constitutional right to abortion.

On Friday, Judge Kellie Johnson of Pima County Superior Court lifted that injunction, noting that Roe had been overruled in June and that Planned Parenthood’s request for the court to “harmonize the laws” in Arizona was flawed.

The 1864 law, first established by the state’s territorial legislature, mandates a two- to five-year prison sentence for anyone who helps a woman obtain an abortion. In 1901, the state updated and codified the law.
Planned Parenthood Arizona had argued that the state’s conflicting laws should be reconciled so licensed physicians could continue providing abortions under the 15-week regulation, with the much earlier law only applying to others performing the procedure.

Judge Johnson, who was appointed by the governor, disagreed. “The court finds that because the legal basis for the judgment entered in 1973 has now been overruled, it must vacate the judgment in its entirety,” she wrote. “The court finds an attempt to reconcile 50 years of legislative activity procedurally improper.”
Arizona Judge Reinstates Strict Abortion Ban From 1864 [NYT]

The 22-year-old Kurdish woman was pronounced dead three days after her arrest in the Iranian capital for wearing the hijab headscarf in an “improper” way.
On Friday the Borna news agency, which is affiliated to the sports ministry, said, citing state television: “The number of people who died in recent riots in the country has risen to 35.”
Amini died after spending three days in a coma following her arrest by Iran’s morality police, a unit responsible for enforcing the Islamic republic’s strict dress code for women.
“In the face of these steps, we are going to help make sure the Iranian people are not kept isolated and in the dark,” said the US secretary of state, Antony Blinken. “This is a concrete step to provide meaningful support to Iranians demanding that their basic rights be respected.”

…well…safe to say there’s a lot of people I’d be happy to see given the boot one way or another…but I’ll spare you having to listen to that…it’s sunday after all…& as the saying goes…I. can’t. even.



  1. “When the only elected officials who will carry your political water are proto-fascists, what is one to do?” said Jerry Taylor, a former vice-president at the Cato Institute in DC where he oversaw climate and energy issues. “Charles Koch has made his choice. This self-proclaimed voice of freedom and liberty has apparently decided that advancing the public policies he desires is more important than democracy.

    “His choice is not unlike the choices that most German industrialists made in the Weimar Republic.”

    I never expected a Cato Institute veteran to verbally obey Godwin’s Law!

  2. I went to the musical production of “Ain’t too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations” yesterday.

    Holy crap what a great show if you like Motown music. Honestly it didn’t even need a plot, they could have just down a musical review and I would have been delighted. Ridiculous amount of talent in that cast!

  3. 2008 was a horrible year for me. As I have mentioned often I was one those who got caught in the aftemath of the credit crunch.

    I still seeth at the thought of those arrogant fatuous oblivious mother fuckers dismissing the warning signs and concerns of others like me. AND then sticking their fucking heads in the sand when it all blew up.

    I still want to believe the bullshit story of someone punching Dick Fuld in the face while running on a treadmill at the Lehman Bros Gym, but alas not.

    The one thing about the rich that many of us plebes don’t get is that the money is a hollow thing to egotistical mother fuckers like Fuld. It has always been about the power and authority. The money is an after thought. What bothers them is the fact people like us pointing and laughing at their failures. We wish to see execs like Fuld broke and ruined, but truth is money is little comfort compared to their addiction to power and adulation.

    The best example is Trump. He “has” money but craves power and narcissistic energy to feed off of. That is why I don’t care as much about the money. If their narcissistic supply is gone then they are as bad as a heroin addict going cold turkey. That kind of hell is their punishment.

    • …I’ve heard it said of some people that they “know the price of everything & the value of nothing” & I think it goes for a lot of the obscenely wealthy…at a certain point you stop thinking in terms like “three weeks plus overtime makes me enough to pay rent so I have a week’s wage to cover the rest of the month’s costs” or even “that piece of business could clear our overhead for the year” & the numbers just become a way of keeping score

      …if I had to bet…that’s why a certain fanta-faced fuckwit always claimed to be worth more than was credible…somewhere in that head is the sure & certain knowledge that he’s always & forever a small man & a loser to boot…the kind his father would have made mincemeat out of…& it eats him up…worse than the roasting be got at that correspondents dinner, most likely

      …doesn’t make the rest of us having to suffer the consequences any more palatable…but it seems like a safe bet he’s seldom if ever known genuine happiness?

    • We passed papers on our apartment in Spring, 2008. Our lender was Countrywide. LOL.

      They went bankrupt. The Fed released many of tens of billions of dollars to the banks with the expectation that they would make loans with the money. They didn’t. They hoarded it all because they had no idea how to value their toxic assets and the federal greenbacks were something they could prove they owned.

      In the meantime interest rates fell and we decided to refinance our mortgage with I forget who. I think it was BofA but I wouldn’t swear to that. They strung us along for over a year. We had to submit our ridiculous amount of paperwork many, many times (“I’m sorry, we can’t seem to find your file. You’ll need to resubmit.”)

      Better Half the finance guy happened to get talking at a party we were at about this frustration (we weren’t the only people we knew caught in this “No loans for you!” trap) and whoever he talked to passed along a name, I don’t know if it was an attorney or a bank regulator, who knows. Better Half never called that name but called the bank and said he was in possession of the name’s contact info and had all sorts of documentation about our experience. A representative of the bank showed up at our apartment and we passed papers the next day.

      Retail banking, which mortgage lending is a subset of, is the black hole filled with the desperate, the sleazy, and the incompetent.

      While I’m on my rant, a couple of years later I got kicked to the curb left my job and wandered over to my local branch to inquire about my checking account status, because I was getting direct deposit and that came with all kinds of perks. Nothing more. All I wanted was a status update and some options if I had lost all those perks. The young guy I talked to brought me back to his cubicle and started saying things like, “Hmm, you don’t have this feature enabled and you definitely want this and let’s see I can…” I told him to stop but he wouldn’t. So I stood up (and I’m very tall so I could be seen over the cubicle wall) and yelled at him, “Stop fucking with my account. Change all my settings back to what they were. It’s illegal for you to do anything to my account without my consent!” and stormed out. I was intercepted by the branch manager, who if she were typical had probably only been on the job for a few weeks, who tried to calm me down but I brushed past her.

      Of course the branch was absolutely packed because no one around here knows how to use an ATM and they’re all either retired or unemployed and like to make a day out of chatting with the tellers and sitting around watching the world go by, so I had a large audience. I kept that account though because I have so many automatic payments and debits going in and out of it I’m sure I’d slip up and start forgoing money I was owed and racking up late fees for missed payments. But, I never had  problem with them again. I think there’s a code attached to my account that indicates I am educated beyond a third grade level, do not disturb.

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