Month: February 2019

Quote of the Day

For Stone’s entire life, the press has coddled Stone, treating him as a nifty character whose toxic speech doesn’t damage society. ABJ was having none of that, and used both Rogow’s position as an officer of the court and Stone’s insane willingness to take the stand to get them to acknowledge that his speech is toxic, that it does pose a threat to society. Stone presumably wasn’t prepared for that because no one has called him on his toxic speech before.


The Rat-F%$#er has left the building!

Matt Taibbi, Thomas Friedman, Pies, Trees!

Thomas Friedman wrote something really stupid in the New York Times.

This would not be news, except that it was really stupid even by the standards of Thomas Friedman, which buggers the mind, but Matt Taibbi is all over it.

In his analysis of Friedman’s codswallop, Taibbi notes that Friedman’s fondness for compound words seems almost German:

If you put it all together, you could rewrite the original Friedman sentence as:

It’s opened a fissure between the Staatsgewaltbeschränkungsvolkswirtschaftswachstumsurzeitrepublikaner and the Antiimmigrantennullsummenspielzugbrückenverbarrikadierungstrumper.

Just read the whole thing.

It’s fun, Matt Taibbi is having fun, and you will have fun.

Forget It Jake, It’s Facebook

Want to sell ads to fans of Joseph Mengele?

We now know that Facebook had algorithms to identify Nazis, and sold them to advertisers, because, Nazis, Schmazis, there is money to be made:

Facebook makes money by charging advertisers to reach just the right audience for their message — even when that audience is made up of people interested in the perpetrators of the Holocaust or explicitly neo-Nazi music.

Despite promises of greater oversight following past advertising scandals, a Times review shows that Facebook has continued to allow advertisers to target hundreds of thousands of users the social media firm believes are curious about topics such as “Joseph Goebbels,” “Josef Mengele,” “Heinrich Himmler,” the neo-nazi punk band Skrewdriver and Benito Mussolini’s long-defunct National Fascist Party.

Experts say that this practice runs counter to the company’s stated principles and can help fuel radicalization online.


The Times decided to test the effectiveness of the company’s efforts by seeing if Facebook would allow the sale of ads directed to certain segments of users.

Facebook allowed The Times to target ads to users Facebook has determined are interested in Goebbels, the Third Reich’s chief propagandist, Himmler, the architect of the Holocaust and leader of the SS, and Mengele, the infamous concentration camp doctor who performed human experiments on prisoners. Each category included hundreds of thousands of users.

The company also approved an ad targeted to fans of Skrewdriver, a notorious white supremacist punk band — and automatically suggested a series of topics related to European far-right movements to bolster the ad’s reach.

Collectively, the ads were seen by 4,153 users in 24 hours, with The Times paying only $25 to fuel the push.

Facebook, and its founder Mark Zuckerberg, has amoral lies as a central part of its business ever since he was a student at Harvard.

The idea that anyone should be surprised by this is laughable.

It’s their basic DNA.

I’m Not Sure That This Is Even News, and That Is Alarming

Boys and Their Toys

Some whack-doodle Alt-Right Coast Guard officer accumulated an arsenal, and was planning to target Democratic politicians and journalists.

This is disturbing because it is neither unexpected nor particularly unusual.

To quote David Warner (Jack the Ripper) from the 1979 movie Time After Time, “Ninety years ago I was a freak. Today I’m an amateur.”

A white supremacist Coast Guard lieutenant is accused of stockpiling weapons, compiling a hit list of Democratic senators and left-leaning journalists, and preparing for a massacre.

Prosecutors in Maryland called Christopher Paul Hasson a “domestic terrorist” in a Tuesday court filing, first reported by George Washington University’s Seamus Hughes, that argued for Hasson’s detention ahead of trial on firearms and controlled substance charges.

What law enforcement discovered during a Feb. 15 arrest and search led prosecutors to tell a federal court that Hasson “intends to murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country.” They included references to an anti-abortion bomber; a white supremacist Islamophobic mass murderer in Norway; his stated desire to “kill almost every last person on the earth” through biological weapons; and the discovery of 15 guns in his Silver Spring, Maryland basement.

Specific journalists and others appear in Hasson’s search history, the filing claims, including: MSNBC hosts Chris Hayes, Joe Scarborough, and Ari Melber; Sens. Richard Blumenthal—or “blumen jew,” in Hasson’s writing—Tim Kaine, Chuck Schumer, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand and Cory Booker; Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Maxine Waters, Sheila Jackson Lee, and Ilhan Omar; CNN’s Don Lemon, Chris Cuomo, and Van Jones; as well as prominent Democrats Beto O’Rourke and John Podesta, and the Democratic Socialists of America.

I am shocked at the fact that I am completely not shocked.

If this is the new normal, we are f%$#ed.

Not Enought Bullets

One of the most annoying facets of the New York Times is its predilection for publishing stories that sound like a telethon for the overpriviliged .

Seriously. This guy goes to a class reunion of Harvard Business School, and the whining of overpaid parasites is deafening:

My first, charmed week as a student at Harvard Business School, late in the summer of 2001, felt like a halcyon time for capitalism. AOL Time Warner, Yahoo and Napster were benevolently connecting the world. Enron and WorldCom were bringing innovation to hidebound industries. President George W. Bush — an H.B.S. graduate himself — had promised to deliver progress and prosperity with businesslike efficiency.

The next few years would prove how little we (and Washington and much of corporate America) really understood about the economy and the world. But at the time, for the 895 first-years preparing ourselves for business moguldom, what really excited us was our good luck. A Harvard M.B.A. seemed like a winning lottery ticket, a gilded highway to world-changing influence, fantastic wealth and — if those self-satisfied portraits that lined the hallways were any indication — a lifetime of deeply meaningful work.

So it came as a bit of a shock, when I attended my 15th reunion last summer, to learn how many of my former classmates weren’t overjoyed by their professional lives — in fact, they were miserable. I heard about one fellow alum who had run a large hedge fund until being sued by investors (who also happened to be the fund manager’s relatives). Another person had risen to a senior role inside one of the nation’s most prestigious companies before being savagely pushed out by corporate politics. Another had learned in the maternity ward that her firm was being stolen by a conniving partner.

So, we have a guy who made his fortune by relying on relatives, another one who was paid obscene amounts as senior management, and someone who partnered with someone who sounds like a Harvard Business School graduate.

One quote, “It was insanely stressful work, done among people he didn’t particularly like. He earned about $1.2 million a year and hated going to the office,” sticks in my head.

This guy is 15 years into a career, and assuming that his $1.2 million a year is the product of 10% raises, he’s earned $10 million over the past 15 years.

Seriously, if Aliens had abducted all of them from their reunion, and transported them to be galley slaves on the planet Koozebane, the world would be a better place.

Note to self:  Start a GoFundMe for an alien beacon at the next class reunion.

Hopefully, a Lot of People Will Be in the Dock

This story has been percolating in the background for a while, and I think that it might be ready for some major developments.

Jeffrey Epstein is a serial child rapist who got off with a slap on the wrist because everyone, including it appears, the US Attorney’s office, felt that he was too powerful to prosecute.

That prosecutor is now Donald Trump’s Secretary of Labor:

A judge ruled Thursday that federal prosecutors — among them, U.S. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta — broke federal law when they signed a plea agreement with a wealthy, politically connected sex trafficker and concealed it from more than 30 of his underage victims.

U.S. District Judge Kenneth A. Marra, in a 33-page opinion, said that the evidence he reviewed showed that Jeffrey Epstein had been operating an international sex operation in which he and others recruited underage girls — not only in Florida — but from overseas, in violation of federal law.

“Epstein used paid employees to find and bring minor girls to him.,’’ wrote Marra, who is based in Palm Beach County. “Epstein worked in concert with others to obtain minors not only for his own sexual gratification, but also for the sexual gratification of others.’’

Instead of prosecuting Epstein under federal sex trafficking laws, Acosta, then the U.S. attorney in Miami, helped negotiate a non-prosecution agreement that gave Epstein and his co-conspirators immunity from federal prosecution. Epstein, who lived in a Palm Beach mansion, was allowed to quietly plead guilty in state court to two prostitution charges and served just 13 months in the county jail. His accomplices, some of whom have never been identified, were never charged.

A judge ruled Thursday that federal prosecutors — among them, U.S. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta — broke federal law when they signed a plea agreement with a wealthy, politically connected sex trafficker and concealed it from more than 30 of his underage victims.

U.S. District Judge Kenneth A. Marra, in a 33-page opinion, said that the evidence he reviewed showed that Jeffrey Epstein had been operating an international sex operation in which he and others recruited underage girls — not only in Florida — but from overseas, in violation of federal law.

Acosta agreed to seal the deal, which meant that none of Epstein’s victims, who were mostly 13 to 16 years old at the time of the abuse, were told about it until it was too late for them to appear at his sentencing and possibly reject the deal. Upon learning that Epstein had pleaded guilty without their knowledge, two of his victims filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of Florida in 2008, claiming that prosecutors violated the Crime Victims’ Rights Act, which grants victims of federal crimes a series of rights, including the ability to confer with prosecutors about a possible plea deal.

Marra agreed, saying that while prosecutors had the right to resolve the case in any way they saw fit, they violated the law by hiding the agreement from Epstein’s victims. Marra’s decision capped 11 years of litigation — which included the release of a trove of emails showing how Acosta and other prosecutors worked with Epstein’s high profile lawyers to conceal the deal — and the scope of Epstein’s crimes — from both his victims and the public.

(Emphasis mine)

The others in question, “close friends,” are alleged to include:

  • Alan Dershowitz.
  • Donald Trump.
  • Bill Clinton.
  • Prince Andrew.
  • Ghislaine Maxwell
  • Woody Allen
  • Kevin Spacey
  • Chris Tucker

I so want to see this blow up into a major scandal.

    Remember When I Called Binyamin Netanyahu the Greatest Threat to Israel Ever?*

    Well, now that his two most formidable election opponents have made an agreement to campaign together, Bibi is inviting the equivalent of Ku Klux Klan to join his government:

    The Israeli election cycle currently underway has been awash in anti-Arab racism for a while now. But things just got much, much worse.

    On Wednesday, Haaretz reported that Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pushed the Jewish Home Party to join another party, the “Jewish Power” party, which inherited its leaders and politics from the well-known racist Meir Kahane.

    Kahana’s Kach party was outlawed in 1994, the same year it was listed as a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department, after a supporter, Baruch Goldstein, massacred 29 Arabs at prayer in Hebron and the party issued its support.

    And now, in 2019, it’s back.

    If the Jewish Home Party votes in favor of the merger, it will mean that Michael Ben-Ari, banned from entering the U.S. for belonging to a terrorist organization, will be part of the ruling coalition of the Jewish State. It will mean that Itamar Ben Gvir, convicted of inciting racism and supporting terrorism, will be welcomed in the halls of the Knesset as a lawmaker.

    It will mean that Kahana’s legacy — including his attempts to strip non-Jewish Israelis of their citizenship, ban marriage between Jews and non-Jews, and transfer Israel’s Arab population out of Israel — will once again have advocates in the Israeli government.


    Netanyahu has spent the better part of the last two years leading Israel down an ugly road of increased ethnonationalism. From the Nation State bill, which ratifies Jewish supremacy over Israel’s minorities, to the whitewashing of Holocaust revisionists in Poland and Hungary, to the embrace of racist premieres of other countries like the Philippines and Brazil, Netanyahu has put all his eggs in the racist, ethnonationalist basket.

    The embrace of a party literally called Jewish Power is only the last in a long line of betrayals of Jews, Jewish history and Jewish values. What is the lesson of Jewish history if not that the rights of minorities must be vigorously, vigorously protected? What are Jewish values if not the Torah’s exhortation that we pursue justice, justice at all costs? What are Jews if not the descendants of the most hounded people in history, ourselves the victims of ethnic cleansing time and again?

    This will end up destroying Israel, but Netanyahu cannot see past the next election and holding onto power until the police drag his corrupt ass out of office.

    Benyamin Netanyahu is more than a Shanda fur die Goyim, that is to say a source of shame.

    He is an immediate and clear and present danger to the continued existence of the Jewish State, and everyone living here.  He is a רוֹדֵף (rodef), much has he claimed about Yitzak Rabin all those years ago.

    *If you don’t remember when I did this, here is a link.

    Damn, Peter Tork?

    The Monkees’ bass player is dead at age 77:

    Peter Tork, a blues and folk musician who became a teeny-bopper sensation as a member of the Monkees, the wisecracking, made-for-TV pop group that imitated and briefly outsold the Beatles, died Feb. 21. He was 77.

    The death was announced by his official Facebook page, which did not say where or how he died. Mr. Tork was diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare cancer affecting his tongue, in 2009.

    There goes another bit of my childhood.


    Have a promotional video for the F-15X:

    It’s a Start

    The Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that the Constitution places limits on the ability of states and localities to take and keep cash, cars, houses and other private property used to commit crimes.

    The practice, known as civil forfeiture, is a popular way to raise revenue and is easily abused, and it has been the subject of widespread criticism across the political spectrum. The court’s decision will open the door to new legal arguments when the value of the property seized was out of proportion to the crimes involved.

    In this case, the court sided with Tyson Timbs, a small-time drug offender in Indiana who pleaded guilty to selling $225 of heroin to undercover police officers. He was sentenced to one year of house arrest and five years of probation, and was ordered to pay $1,200 in fees and fines.

    State officials also seized Mr. Timbs’s $42,000 Land Rover, which he had bought with the proceeds of his father’s life insurance policy, saying he had used it to commit crimes.

    The Supreme Court has ruled that the Eighth Amendment, which bars “excessive fines,” limits the ability of the federal government to seize property. On Wednesday, in a 9-to-0 decision that united justices on the left and right, the court ruled that the clause also applies to the states under the 14th Amendment, one of the post-Civil War amendments.

    Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing for eight justices, said the question before the court was an easy one. “The historical and logical case for concluding that the 14th Amendment incorporates the Excessive Fines Clause is overwhelming,” she wrote.

    “For good reason, the protection against excessive fines has been a constant shield throughout Anglo-American history: Exorbitant tolls undermine other constitutional liberties,” she wrote. “Excessive fines can be used, for example, to retaliate against or chill the speech of political enemies.”

    Civil forfeiture, makes a mockery of justice and due process, and it occurs because the agencies that do this get to keep the money for their own purposes.

    It needs to stop.

    Common Sense Law Enforcement

    Historical Court Appearance Rates

    Reformer District Attorney Larry Krasner has made it his mission to make law enforcement fairer, and one of his signature policies has been the elimination of cash bail.

    Now the numbers are in, and they validate his approach:

    One year ago, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner announced that his office would no longer seek money bail for a list of offenses that make up 61 percent of all cases in the Philadelphia criminal justice system.

    On Tuesday, Krasner, along with Mayor Jim Kenney, City Council members and the Defender Association of Philadelphia, held a news conference to outline the impact of the reform.

    “What we had a year ago was not fair. We do not, we should not, imprison people for poverty,” Krasner said. By the district attorney’s count, 1,750 additional defendants were released without bail during 2018, with no increase in recidivism.

    Krasner added that he believes the policy is making Philadelphia safer in the long term: “When you don’t tear apart people’s lives, and when you keep them in contact with the things that keep them on course, they are less likely to commit crimes in the future.”

    The district attorney’s claims are in part backed up by a study published this week that found the policy shift resulted in a 22 percent decline in the number of defendants who spent at least one night in jail. However, there was no impact on longer jail stays.


    “We find no effect on failure to appear [in court], on violent offending, or on recidivism,” [Penn State criminologist Aurelie] Ouss [one of the study’s authors] said.

    According to the First Judicial District, Philadelphia defendants’ court-appearance rate in 2018 was the highest it has been in a decade, nearly 97 percent in Common Pleas Court and 87.5 percent in Municipal Court.

    Tough on crime policing is dumb on crime policing.

    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

    The top federal ethics watchdog has rejected U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s 2017 financial disclosure form.

    The Office of Government Ethics declined to certify Ross’s latest financial disclosure because after reporting that he had sold off his shares in BankUnited Inc. that year, he actually sold the stock in October 2018. According to a later filing, he said he mistakenly believed that the shares had been sold earlier.

    In a letter sent to the Commerce Department’s top ethics officer, OGE Director Emory Rounds wrote that Ross’s 2017 report,“inaccurately reported that he sold all of his stock when in fact he had not done so.” Rounds also said that Ross was not in compliance with his ethics agreement when he filed the annual report in 2018.


    OGE has no enforcement authority, and relies on inspectors general or the Justice Department to investigate whether federal ethics rules or conflict of interest laws have been broken. In his letter, Rounds said that Maggi had informed him that Commerce was providing its inspector general with copies of all of Ross’s financial disclosure reports.

    Ross may have the dubious distinction of being the flat-out worst member of the Trump cabinet.

    He is, after all, the mook who suggested that furloughed federal workers take out bank loans to address their missed paychecks.

    Do You Know What Worries More than Iranian Nukes?

    The House of Saud getting nukes.

    I am particularly concerned about Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud, who has shown himself to be both reckless and incompetent, having access to nuclear technology, and it appears that the Trump administration is determined to transfer advanced nuclear technology to Riyadh:

    Top Trump administration officials have pushed to build nuclear power plants throughout Saudi Arabia over the vigorous objections of White House lawyers who question the legality of the plan and the ethics of a venture that could enrich Trump allies, according to a new report by House Democrats released on Tuesday.

    The report is the most detailed portrait to date of how senior White House figures — including Michael T. Flynn, President Trump’s first national security adviser — worked with retired military officers to circumvent the normal policymaking process to promote an export plan that experts worried could spread nuclear weapons technology in the volatile Middle East. Administration lawyers warned that the nuclear exports plan — called the Middle East Marshall Plan — could violate laws meant to stop nuclear proliferation and raised concerns about Mr. Flynn’s conflicts of interest.

    Mr. Flynn had worked on the issue for the company promoting the nuclear export plan and kept pushing it once inside the White House.

    But even after Mr. Flynn was fired, the proposal appears to have lingered. The initial discussions took place during the chaotic early months of the Trump administration, according to the 24-page report from the House Oversight and Reform Committee, but House Democrats on Tuesday cited evidence that as recently as last week the White House was still considering some version of the proposal. Democrats said they had begun a full-scale inquiry.

    It keeps being pushed because Jared Kushner is in hock up to his eyeballs and is solvent only by dint of Saudi money, and also this:

    Claims presented by whistle-blowers and White House documents obtained by the House oversight committee show that the company backing the nuclear plan, IP3 International, was working so closely with allies in the Trump political world that the company sent draft memos that would be needed from the president for the nuclear export plan to Mr. Flynn just days after Mr. Trump took office.

    A week after Inauguration Day, the Democrats’ report said, a Flynn deputy for Middle East and North African affairs, Derek Harvey, met with the IP3’s co-founders at the White House, and asked National Security Council staff to include information about the nuclear power plan in a briefing to prepare Mr. Trump for a call with King Salman of Saudi Arabia.


    Even after Mr. Flynn left the White House in February 2017 under scrutiny by the F.B.I. for his communications with Russia, officials on the National Security Council continued to push ahead, repeatedly ignoring advice from the council’s ethics counsel, the report said.

    At a March 2017 meeting, Mr. Harvey tried to revive the IP3 plan “so that Jared Kushner can present it to the president for approval,” the Democratic report said, a reference to Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and top adviser. Eventually Mr. Flynn’s successor, H. R. McMaster, said all work on the plan should cease because of potentially illegal conflicts.


    Mr. Kushner’s efforts continue. He is scheduled to travel to the region next week, with a stop in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, to brief diplomats on the economic portions of the Trump administration’s Middle East peace plan.

    Here’s hoping that the House Oversight Committee is on this like white on rice.

    Bernie is in the House

    You had me at, “I”

    Bernie Sanders has made it official, he is running for President again:

    Sen. Bernie Sanders has confirmed to VPR that he is seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

    His official announcement video was posted online Tuesday morning.

    “I wanted to let the people of the state of Vermont know about this first,” Sanders told VPR’s Bob Kinzel. “And what I promise to do is, as I go around the country, is to take the values that all of us in Vermont are proud of — a belief in justice, in community, in grassroots politics, in town meetings — that’s what I’m going to carry all over this country.”

    Sanders said he is running to oppose President Donald Trump, and to enact many of the progressive ideas — including universal health care coverage, a $15 minimum wage and reducing student debt — that he championed in 2016.

    “I think the current occupant of the White House is an embarrassment to our country,” Sanders said. “I think he is a pathological liar… I also think he is a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, a xenophobe, somebody who is gaining cheap political points by trying to pick on minorities, often undocumented immigrants.”

    Sanders said his campaign hopes to enlist one million people in a “grassroots movement of people prepared to stand up and fight.”

    He’s already done pretty good on the whole, “Grassroots Movement,” thing, as is indicated in his blowing past Kamala Harris’ first day total in only 4 hours. (Harris’ fund raising had the pundits in paroxysms of amazement)

    Also, this time around, it looks like his campaign staff will be a lot more professionally savvy:

    Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has tapped Faiz Shakir to serve as his campaign manager for his second run at the White House, The Daily Beast has learned.

    In hiring Shakir, Sanders brings into the fold one of the Democratic Party’s better-traveled operatives—an official with limited campaign experience but with ties to the party’s think tank infrastructure, its Hill operations, and the larger progressive universe.

    Shakir joins the Sanders operation from the American Civil Liberties Union where he served as national political director since early 2017. Before joining the ACLU, he was a senior adviser to then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and before that he worked with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). He first made a name for himself as an editor at the website ThinkProgress, the news arm associated with, though editorially independent of, the powerhouse Democratic think-tank Center for American Progress.

    Hopefully, Shakir will let Bernie be Bernie.

    Tweet of the Day

    Someone noticed a decorative and historical oddity on the door frame of the Koch funded right-wing American Enterprise Institute:

    this is the door to the american enterprise institute. does it look sort of odd to anyone else

    — libby watson (@libbycwatson) February 14, 2019

    I went on Google maps, and went to street view, and zoomed in, and yes, there are Swastikas on the door frame.

    The door frame is an artifact of the original construction in 1917 of what is now called the Andrew Mellon Building, but this accident of history, along with the juxtaposition of the AEI and Andrew Mellon, is amusing as f%$#.

    They really should have thought twice before moving there a few years back.

    Speaking of Evil Companies Seeking Taxpayer Handouts………

    Alphabet, the parent of Google, has a subsidiary called Sidewalk Labs, pitched a redevelopment project on the Toronto waterfront.

    Well, their proposal has now been leaked, and their plans involve tax-kickbacks from the city and control over an area 10 times larger than they would develop:

    Plans for a high tech Toronto community led by an Alphabet Inc.-backed entity should be scrapped, say politicians and prominent Canadian business and technology leaders.

    In the wake of a leaked report last week that revealed Sidewalk Labs’ interest in laying claim to developer fees and taxes usually routed to the city in exchange for funding Toronto’s waterfront transit, longtime critics of the project said it is time to revisit whether the project should continue to move forward.


    In addition to funding a light rail transit line, the latest round of ideas floated by Sidewalk includes plans to provide infrastructure to a waterfront area bigger than, but surrounding, Quayside.

    City councillor Gord Perks, who represents the west-end Parkdale-High Park neighbourhood, has long fretted about Sidewalk’s data privacy policies, lack of transparency and desires around solid waste and transportation, but considered Thursday’s revelations around it wanting to fund a light rail transit line a “confirmation of our worst fears.”

    “The three governments who are involved should halt the process with Google and go to the public and say we have an area of land as big as the downtown, what would you like to do?” he told The Canadian Press.


    Among those who were calling for the project’s cancellation Monday was Bianca Wylie, the co-founder of the advocacy group Tech Reset Canada, who has long been advocating for the project to end.

    “It should absolutely be shut down, but the reason for that isn’t what was in the plan. It’s the process,” she said. “There has been inadequate transparency from the very beginning.”

    Despite Sidewalk hosting several meetings to collect public feedback, Wylie has long worried about the company being secretive with its plans — its transit ideas were only shared after slide decks containing the concepts were leaked to media — and is concerned about the breadth of topics Sidewalk has been lobbying all three levels of government on.


    Developer Julie Di Lorenzo, who resigned from the Waterfront Toronto board over the project, also cast aspersions on the integrity of the project and its future.

    “They are trying again to act like a master developer of hundreds of acres of lands that belong to The City of Toronto and its residents. Its outrageous,” she told The Canadian Press.

    “Those monies belong to our democratically elected governments and property owners. Every time Sidewalk shows us a map, the land area they ‘need’ gets bigger.”

    This is what happens when you get so rich that you start to belong your own bullsh%$.

    It appears that Doug Ford, Ontario Premier and brother of the late crack smoking mayor of Toronto, is implacably opposed to such a deal, which segues nicely into the sort of, “Culture wars against latte liberals,” politics that he has promulgated.


    Writing in Jeff Bezos’s Washington Post, Steven Pearlstein describes Amazon’s hissy fit in New York as a, “Political Mugging,” implying that somehow public comment on the deal was a mark of the lack of civility in today’s political discourse.

    Of course you do, Mr. Perlstein, Jeff Bezos is paying you to write such tripe as, “There is little doubt that poor and working-class New Yorkers would have benefited from Amazon’s presence,” and, “That money would have allowed New York to quickly recoup the $3 billion in tax breaks it gave to Amazon, with plenty left over to expand infrastructure, help the needy or build more affordable housing.”

    This is simply false.

    Even in the most Panglossian scenarios, payback is somewhere between 75 years and never, and as to those poor and working class that Steven professes so much concern about would be driven out of their neighborhoods by increasing rents, and the small businesses that would have to pay higher taxes to accommodate those subsidies, and the services that the people that would be coming in.

    There are any number of reasons to argue about either side of this argument, but bald faced lies are not a good faith argument.