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Lost in the Sauce: Barr's DOJ shut down investigations of Trump and admin officials
Welcome to Lost in the Sauce, keeping you caught up on political and legal news that often gets buried in distractions and theater… or a global health crisis. Housekeeping:
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On Saturday, Trump announced on Twitter that he has put his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani in charge of his campaign's long-shot post-election legal challenges. Other people on the team include Joseph diGenova, Victoria Toensing, Sidney Powell, and Jenna Ellis.
Giuliani worked with a Russian agent to smear Biden. diGenova and Toensing tried to get the Justice Department to drop charges against corrupt Ukraine oligarch Dmytro Firtash. Powell represents Michael Flynn and champions "deep state" conspiracies. Ellis said gay marriage leads to pedophilia.
NYT: Mr. Trump turned to Mr. Giuliani earlier on Friday in reaction to the latest setback he faced in court, this one relating to votes in Maricopa County, Arizona… A half-dozen other Trump advisers have described Mr. Giuliani’s efforts as counterproductive and said that he was giving the president unwarranted optimism about what could happen… In an Oval Office meeting with aides on Thursday, Mr. Trump put Mr. Giuliani on speakerphone so the others could hear him. He angrily accused the aides of not telling the president the truth
Giuliani’s conspiracy-riddled rant at Four Seasons Total Landscaping was so disastrous that it “scared off many of the lawyers” recruited to argue election-related lawsuits.Politico: “Campaign officials described the episode as disastrous...there are widespread concerns within Trumpworld and GOP circles that Giuliani’s antics are thwarting the president’s legal machinery from within.” Two major law firms have withdrawn from Trump campaign cases as his legal challenges crumble. Arizona’s largest law firm Snell & Wilmer dumped the RNC and Trump campaign effort to challenge votes in Maricopa County. Porter Wright Morris & Arthur is abandoning Trump’s attempt to block Pennsylvania's popular vote for Joe Biden.
In one day (Friday), nine cases meant to attack President-elect Joe Biden's win in key states were denied or dropped - seven in Pennsylvania, one in Arizona, and one in Michigan.
The new federal chief information security officer, Camilo Sandoval, has already taken leave from his day job to participate in a pro-Trump effort to hunt for evidence of voter fraud in the battleground states. The group, Voter Integrity Fund, is a newly formed Virginia-based group that is analyzing ballot data and cold-calling voters. Sandoval was officially appointed on Nov. 4, 2020, but lists his starting date at October on his personal LinkedIn page.
WaPo: Sandoval is part of a hastily convened team led by Matthew Braynard, a data specialist who worked on Trump’s 2016 campaign. Another participant is Thomas Baptiste, an adviser to the deputy secretary of the Interior Department who also took a leave to work on the project. Braynard said in an interview that several other government officials on leave are also assisting the effort, but he declined to identify them.
Facebook Cut Traffic To Leading Liberal Pages Just Before The Election: Liberal page administrators who spoke with BuzzFeed News said that their reach declined by as much as 70%, and still hasn’t recovered.
Facebook Live Spread Election Conspiracies And Russian State-Controlled Content Despite Employee Fears: The social network’s live video tool has recommended videos featuring misinformation and the hyperpartisan views of Trump allies leading up to and following election day in the US.
In the week after the election, Trump’s postings dominated Facebook, accounting for the 10 most engaged status updates in the United States, and 22 of the top 25. “I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!” was his top post.
YouTube Is Doing Very Little to Stop Election Misinformation From Spreading
Social media app Parler receives financial backing from conservative hedge-fund investor Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah, The Wall Street Journal reported. Parler turned into a kind of de facto home for conservatives’ protests against the election— including the persistent “Stop the Steal” campaign— after the race was called for former Vice President Joe Biden. Several high-profile conservative social media personalities encouraged people to abandon Twitter and Facebook because of their moderation policies, and instead follow them on Parler.
Emily Murphy, the head of the General Services Administration, still hasn’t signed the official letter that would allow the incoming Biden team to formally begin the transition. House Democrats are assessing options to force the GSA’s hand, which could include summoning Murphy to the Hill to testify or suing her. “Obviously, Congress could file suit against the GSA administrator for failing to do her duty. We could seek to get a court to, in fact, issue an order
Her ascertainment is the legally necessary precursor to the government’s assistance to the Biden-Harris Presidential Transition Team. It releases $6.3 million dollars to the team, which is funded by public and private money; a loan of expanded federal office space and equipment; access to government agencies that will begin sharing information and records about ongoing activities, plans and vulnerabilities; national security briefings for the president; and other support.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence recently confirmed that it is not providing national security briefings to the president-elect. The Defense Department has also reportedly indicated that it will not meet with the Biden-Harris transition team until Murphy formally affirms the apparent winner.
One of the officials fired in Trump’s latest purge was helping prepare for the transition to the new administration. USAID Deputy Administrator Bonnie Glick was removed abruptly to make way for a Trump loyalist after she had been supportive of transition planning, including the preparation of a 440-page manual for the next administration. The GSA’s refusal to enact the transition has locked Biden’s team out of crucial Covid-19 pandemic data and government agency contacts. The president-elect’s Covid-19 task force has been trying to work around the federal government by connecting with governors and the health community.
The head of Operation Warp Speed, Moncef Slaoui, called on the White House to allow contact with the Biden team, saying “It is a matter of life and death for thousands of people.”
White House’s Office of Management and Budget is considering 145 new regulations and other policy changes they could enact before Biden’s inauguration - rules that will be challenging to undo once they are finalized. Critics and supporters of the administration say they expect a final burst of regulations to be finalized in the weeks before Jan. 20.
The rules under development include policies that the incoming Biden administration would probably oppose, such as new caps on the length of foreign student visas; restrictions on the Environmental Protection Agency’s use of scientific research; limits on the EPA’s consideration of the benefits of regulating air pollutants; and a change that would make it easier for companies to treat workers as independent contractors, rather than employees with more robust wage protections.
Last week, both Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said they’re preparing for a second Trump term. “There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration,” Pompeo said during a news conference Tuesday afternoon (clip). Pompeo then doubled down on Fox News (clip). “We are moving forward here at the White House under the assumption there will be a second Trump term,” Navarro said on Fox Business Friday (clip).
Attorney General William Barr stopped career prosecutors in DOJ’s Public Integrity Section from investigating whether President Trump broke any laws related to his conduct with Ukraine last year. The section was initially given the green light to pursue “a potentially explosive inquiry” into Trump, but after the Senate acquitted the president during impeachment proceedings, Barr sent the case to the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn. Prosecutors in DOJ’s Public Integrity Section were also prevented from bringing charges against former interior secretary Ryan Zinke by political appointees atop the Justice Department. Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen told prosecutors that they needed to gather more evidence and refine the case against Zinke for lying to Interior investigators.
The investigation into Zinke stemmed from his decision to block two Native American tribes—the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan—from opening a casino in Connecticut. Zinke’s office had been lobbied heavily by MGM Resorts International, which had been planning to open its own casino very close to where the tribes intended to break ground.
Sixteen assistant U.S. attorneys specially assigned to monitor malfeasance in the 2020 election urged Barr on Friday to rescind his memo allowing election-fraud investigations before results are certified. "It was developed and announced without consulting non-partisan career professionals in the field and at the Department. Finally, the timing of the Memorandum's release thrusts career prosecutors into partisan politics," the prosecutors wrote. An internal Justice Department investigation found that federal prosecutors who oversaw a controversial non-prosecution deal with Jeffrey Epstein in 2008 exercised “poor judgment” but did not break the law. “They just say he used poor judgment, and that's their way of basically letting everyone off the hook while offering some sort of an olive branch to the victims that we acknowledge weren't treated perfectly,” said Brad Edwards, who sued the DOJ in 2008 on behalf of Epstein accusers.
Eastern District of New York Judge Nicholas Garaufis (Clinton-appointee) ruled that Chad Wolf was not legally serving as acting Homeland Security secretary when he signed rules limiting DACA program applications and renewals. Therefore, in a win for Dreamers and immigration activists, Garaufis said the changes were invalid.
The judge described an illegitimate shuffling of leadership chairs at the Department of Homeland Security, the agency responsible for immigration enforcement, for the predicament of Wolf's leadership and that of his predecessor, Kevin McAleenan. "Based on the plain text of the operative order of succession," Garaufis wrote in the Saturday ruling, "neither Mr. McAleenan nor, in turn, Mr. Wolf, possessed statutory authority to serve as Acting Secretary. Therefore the Wolf Memorandum was not an exercise of legal authority."
There's a renewed push to get Chad Wolf confirmed as Homeland Security secretary -- a position in which he's been serving in an acting capacity for a yearr -- before Inauguration Day. In the past week, Homeland Security officials spoke to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office about bringing the nomination to a floor vote in the coming weeks.
Within the last six months, as the coronavirus pandemic gripped the US, the Trump administration filed 75 lawsuits to seize private land along the US-Mexico border for the border wall." People right now are having to choose between their health and their homes," said Ricky Garza, a staff attorney at the Texas Civil Rights Project, a legal advocacy group. After a series of price increases, Trump’s border project will cost taxpayers $20 million per mile of border fence. A review of federal spending data shows more than 200 contract modifications, at times awarded within just weeks or months after the original contracts, have increased the cost of the border wall project by billions of dollars since late 2017. DHS has expelled unaccompanied immigrant children from the US border more than 13,000 times since March,using the coronavirus as an excuse to deny children their right to asylum. Previously, unaccompanied children were sent to government-run shelters as they attempted to pursue their asylum cases. Migrant children from Central America are being expelled to Mexico, where they have no family connections. The expulsions not only put children in danger - the policy violates a diplomatic agreement with Mexico that only Mexican children and others who had adult supervision could be pushed back into Mexico after attempting to cross the border. The House Judiciary Committee released a report on the Trump administration’s policy of separating families at the border, revealing that the federal agency that cares for migrant children was not told about the policy. The chaos contributed to the inability to later reunite parents and children. The Trump administration is trying to deport several women who allege they were mistreated by a Georgia gynecologist at an immigration detention center. Hours after one detained woman spoke to federal investigators about forced hysterectomies at a Georgia detention center, she said ICE told her that it had lifted a hold on her deportation and she faced “imminent” removal. Six former patients who complained about Dr. Mahendra Amin had already been deported. Northern District of Illinois Judge Gary Feinerman (Obama-appointee) blocked a key Trump administration policy that allowed officials to deny green cards to immigrants who might need public assistance Advocates who had feared that the policy would harm tens of thousands of poor people, particularly those affected by widespread job loss because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Microsoft said it has detected attempts by state-backed Russian and North Korean hackers to steal valuable data from leading pharmaceutical companies and vaccine researchers. “Among the targets, the majority are vaccine makers that have COVID-19 vaccines in various stages of clinical trials.” Two census takers told The AP that their supervisors pressured them to enter false information into a computer system about homes they had not visited so they could close cases during the waning days of the once-a-decade national headcount. The Supreme Court on Tuesday signaled it’s unlikely to tear down Obamacare over a Republican-backed lawsuit challenging the landmark health care law. Chief Justice John Roberts and Trump appointee Justice Brett Kavanaugh strongly questioned whether the elimination of the mandate penalty made the rest of the law invalid. Kavanaugh appeared to signal on several occasions that he favored leaving the rest of the law intact if the mandate is struck. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) was sued last week by four whistleblowers claiming that he abused his office to benefit himself, a woman with whom he was said to have had an affair, and the wealthy donor who employs her before retaliating against the members of his staff who reported him to the FBI. The Trump administration is rushing plans to auction drilling rights in the U.S. Arctic National Wildlife Refuge before the inauguration of Biden, who has vowed to block oil exploration in the rugged Alaska wilderness. Biden’s efforts could be complicated if the Trump administration sells drilling rights first. Formally issued oil and gas leases on federal land are government contracts that can’t be easily yanked.
Note: The particularly important details and music artist names are in bold text. Licensed music track names are in italics. The year is 1973, five years after the events of the Mafia III, and 22 years since Vito Scaletta’s seen or heard from his old friend Joe Barbaro. The canon ending of Mafia III with this Mafia IV story is Vito taking over the city after Lincoln skipped town, however Cassandra and Burke are left alive and loyal to both Vito and Lincoln still. Burke was able to survive his liver cancer by getting a black market liver transplant in Mexico, like he did in his ending, except with Vito running the city. On Vito and Lincoln’s behalf, Burke and Cassandra agree to stay behind in New Bordeaux and keep the city locked down, incase Leo Galante and the Commission try anything. The beginning cutscene is Vito answering his telephone after getting up in the morning in his new penthouse, on the top floor of the New Bordeaux casino he finished that was once Sal Marcano's, and grabbing a cup of coffee. It's Alma with some urgent news. Lincoln Clay came down to the cigar warehouse to visit her after 5 years of silence, and he has big news. Joe is alive in Empire Bay and has been this entire time. However, as punishment for his actions, he's become Leo Galante's personal driver against his will and is forbidden from contacting Vito ever again, or else him and Vito will be killed. Alma then tells Vito to meet Lincoln at the airport to learn more, as he's already there awaiting Vito's arrival. When they're away from anyone who could listen in on their conversation, Lincoln tells Vito he has a friend named John Donovan he's going to introduce him to, hiding in the outskirts of Empire Bay, ready to help Vito and Lincoln with their new mission Vito gets dressed in one of his signature trench coats with a suit and tie, ready to rain down hell on the Vinci crime family and their allies, and finally be reunited with his lifelong friend he previously thought was dead, Joe Barbaro. Here is my idea for the kill list, all related to the Commission in Empire Bay and their allies.
Leo Galante - Top target on the list, Vinci family consigliere who's in with the Commission and the man you thought put Joe in the ground for the past 22 years. Bury this wrinkly old cocksucker.
Johnny Galante - Vinci family capo and younger relative of Leo's mentioned in Cassandra's ending, possibly Leo's cousin even. John Donovan knows that the two are close, and that Johnny's a valuable asset to Leo's organization. Kill him both to hurt Leo's earn and influence, and to hit him straight in the heart by taking away his family and everyone he loves
Michele Galante Jr. - Another Vinci family capo, and Leo Galante’s youngest brother. Killing Leo’s little brother will both take away one of his most reliable allies, and leave him stricken with grief and enraged, and more prone to making mistakes.
Nunzio Galante - Leo’s seasoned older brother by 3 years, and yet another Vinci family capo. He knows enough about smuggling that he worked out an ingenious plan for smuggling military grade weapons into the city. He pays off corrupt officials at Empire Bay International Airport, to allow guns to be loaded inside the walls and floors of planes, unknown to everyone onboard save for the palms the Galantes and Frank Vinci have greased to cooperate and keep quiet. The time has come to put this crafty old bastard in the ground.
Don Frank Vinci - Frank Vinci is the boss of the Vinci crime family, the family Leo's been a consigliere of for decades, and a lifelong friend of his. Kill Frank, and Leo loses more ground than he could ever imagine, and will be forced to deal with both the loss of his boss, and the loss of his lifelong childhood friend.
Don Ennio Salieri - Longtime close friend of both Frank Vinci and Leo Galante, Don of the Salieri crime family, and a third party Frank and Leo call in to crush Vito's uprising, when it becomes too big of an issue for Vinci alone to handle. Salieri was eventually able to grease enough palms while behind bars to have his life sentence overturned, and he got released from prison on good behavior in 1953, after he served 15 years of his sentence. He’s since relocated to his main operations to Empire Bay, having already had connections and men present there while he was in prison, backed by the Commission and the Vinci crime family. He's seasoned, but he’s nothing Mr. Scaletta can't handle. Give this tired old fuck the gangland ending he's had coming.
Isaac - Isaac is the personal assistant to an influential loan shark named Bruno Levine, who handles the money of the Commission, including the Vinci crime family and the Salieri crime family. He does anything from serve his boss coffee, to count incoming and outgoing money for Bruno. Because of his duties, he's aware of Bruno's location at all times. You’ll need to get to Isaac to get information on his boss out of him, and dispose of him afterwards if you want to get to Bruno.
Bruno Levine - Bruno is a Jewish-American loan shark who kicks up all of his earn to both Frank Vinci and Ennio Salieri, and the Commission in Empire Bay. Killing him kills a lot of earn for the Commission, and they loses a valuable asset. In addition to getting rid of him being practical, to add insult to injury, he gave your father that loan. It's about time to put this asshole out of business.
Mr. Chu & Mr. Chu Jr. - This old man has been leading the Empire Bay Triads with an iron fist since before you were even born. The bastard has a son too, who eventually went on to become his underboss. The Empire Bay Triads became a close ally of the Vinci crime family, the Salieri crime family, and the Commission shortly after Vito killed Don Carlo Falcone in 1951, forming a lucrative partnership with the Commission. Mr. Chu and his eldest son are valuable assets for Leo Galante who give him extra reach. Melt their iron fists and show these two pricks just who they fucked with.
Eddie Scarpa - This cocksucker used to be Carlo Falcone's underboss for as long as you could remember. After you whacked Falcone in the fall of 1951, he decided to throw in with Vinci to save his own skin. He took over the smuggling and dock union extortion that fat fuck Derek Pappalardo used to run. You know all too well how to deal with this sorry fuckin' rat.
I'm thinking Vito and Joe work with Lincoln Clay and John Donovan to split up Empire Bay and distribute territory to three other factions not unlike what Lincoln did with New Bordeaux. This time though, this is a much larger city in a much, much different part of the United States. The empire building mechanics would be a lot smoother, more robust, and streamlined compared to Mafia III. They would work similarly a more modernized version of how the game Scarface: The WorldIs Yours handled it's empire building and management mechanics, minus the whole switching to other characters lower on the ladder to do your bidding. This would be ideal for a story rich organized crime game in my opinion. Here are my ideas for those factions, all close allies of the up and coming Scaletta crime family. The Cuban mob led by Alma Diaz. Vito goes way back with Alma, and she does not hesitate to answer him and Lincoln's calls to save Joe's life and royally fuck both Leo Galante and the Vinci family. Conti crime family, led by Enzo Conti. This Conti crime family formed sometime in late 1968, months after Lincoln helped Enzo flee New Bordeaux and drop off of Sal Marcano's radar. It turns out he fled north to Empire Bay and finally formed his own family, having more than enough years of experience in the underworld to handle the job. Lincoln's tight with him and manages to recruit him to Vito and Joe's cause. The Yakuza, based out of Empire Bay's Japantown. Longtime sworn enemies of the Empire Bay Triads, with bad blood going back decades. They would greatly enjoy seeing Mr. Chu and his son's heads mounted on pikes, along with whacking everyone who's ever supported their organization. You don't know them well, and they're known to be very unpredictable and ruthless. Use these traits to your advantage when taking on the Commission of Empire Bay and their friends. I should mention as expected, this entire 1973 section where you play as Vito is much shorter than Mafia III. Vito's takeover is shown much more quickly over time than Lincoln's, and there's time skips during it, to keep it short and sweet, and to show onscreen only what's important. There is also no option for your underbosses to betray you, as to reduce confusion and keep the story consistently the same each playthrough, like the first two Mafia games. However, unlike Mafia III, after all of these tasks are completed and every single assassination target on Vito’s kill list is dealt with, the game does not end. In fact, it's not even anywhere near close to being over yet. Vito's 1973 section was merely the beginning act. It was really a lead up to an entirely new Mafia story, centering around a newcomer to the American mob. Fast forward two years following Vito’s rampage that led to him taking over Empire Bay and the Commission, in the year 1975 him and Joe now rule Empire Bay, with Vito as the Don of the Scaletta Crime Family, and Joe working as his loyal underboss. You play the rest of the game as a young up and coming soldato named Louis in his 20’s, who’s a rising star in Vito’s organization. Do right by Mr. Scaletta and Mr. Barbaro, understand kid? My basic idea for the character and his backstory is that he's a young Italian-Canadian mobster from Toronto, Ontario, or whatever Mafia's equivalent of it could be called. Let's call him Louis DeAngelo. (No relation to Tommy Angelo) His family hails from Tuscany in Italy and moved to Toronto, Ontario in 1939, shortly after World War II broke out in Europe. Louis DeAngelo was born in July 1952 in Toronto, and was raised in Toronto's Little Italy. Louis fled south to Empire Bay when the feds started cracking down on his old family and put his boss in prison, and he ended up finding a new home with the Scaletta crime family. The first few missions playing as Louis DeAngelo involve shooting your away out of an arrest by a Toronto Police Service SWAT team in Toronto in December 1974, seeing the rest of the members of your old crime family either get arrested or shot in front of you as you make your escape. You spend the next two missions fleeing Ontario through Quebec and upstate New York, before finally arriving in Empire Bay in early 1975, late January to be exact. Winter is in full force with snow everywhere, Louis' arrival to Empire Bay for the first time in his life mirroring Vito's return to Empire Bay in 1945 30 years earlier, except under far different much more dire circumstances. Louis' older brother and his father, both capos in his old crime family in Toronto, are shown to be arrested by the TPS SWAT team in his first mission, the same one that attempted to gun him down when he resisted arrested. Louis knows someone had to have ratted out his old crime family, and he wants to find out who someday. The thing is though, he doesn't just want to kill them. He wants to get out of them why they did it before he kills them. More than anything else, he just wants to find out why his crime family was betrayed and served up to the feds on a silver platter, having most of his biological family sent to prison in the process. He’s out to uncover the mystery of why his family fell apart, and he’s more than willing to help people like Don Vito Scaletta and his underboss Joe Barbaro to eventually get the answers he seeks. I came up with the idea for this character because I figured that playing as a fugitive from the law made sense for the mob life, and I'm surprised we haven't had a fugitive protagonist in the Mafia series yet. In the 1975 chapters while playing as Louis, the Watergate scandal, President Richard Nixon’s resignation, and the official end to the Vietnam War are both discussed on the in-game radio during news segments. In the last 1979 chapter, the beginning of the Soviet-Afghan War is also the subject of a news segment on the radio. The story eventually transitions into the 1980's as years pass, with the scenery, cars, and music changing accordingly, and historical events of the time discussed in the game. By the time the game ends, it's 1992, and significant historical events from the past few years at the time that are covered on the radio in-game include anything from the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Gulf War, the collapse of the Soviet Union, to the 1992 L.A. riots. The rise of the internet and home computers are briefly touched upon during news segments on the in-game radio during the early 1990's section of the story, but not greatly delved into given their relative infancy in that time period. During this entire 1975-1992 stretch of the story, Vito is no longer playable, and Don Scaletta takes a backseat in the story as a main supporting character, similar to Don Salieri throughout Mafia: Definitive Edition. You now play as the Italian-Canadian Scaletta family soldato Louis DeAngelo, who is later promoted to being a capo in 1985. However, unlike Don Salieri, Don Scaletta has much more integrity, and has more genuine loyalty for his men and his associates. If you've beaten Mafia 1 or Mafia: Definitive Edition, you'll know this is something Salieri lacked in the end. The game will include a number of hit music from the 70’s that played on the radio back then, such as Bobby Womack’s Across 110th Street and Tony Christie’s (Is This the Way to) Amarillo, The Grateful Dead's Casey Jones and at least a few songs by the then new American rock band Cheap Trick, as well as popular songs from the 1960’s people still listened to at the time, such as Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs’ Wooly Bully, King Crimson’s 21st Century Schizoid Man,Zager and Evans' In the Year 2525, The Zombies' Time of the Season, and Nancy Sinatra’s These Boots Are Made for Walkin'. When you progress through the game, especially after you switch to playing as Louis DeAngelo for the rest of the story, years change, and the music changes. Different songs start playing on the radio, such as Sylvester's You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real),Randy Crawford's Street Life, and The Village People's Y.M.C.A., Cheryl Lynn's Got to Be Real, Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive, and the Bee Gees' Stayin' Alive start playing in the 1979 portion of the game. After you've completed the 1975 section of the game, Foghat's Slow Ride starts playing on the radio. Starting in the 1977 section of the game, Cheap Trick's I Want You to Want Me and Heart's Barracuda start playing on the radio. In the 1980's portion of the game, Thomas Dolby's songs Hyperactive! and She Blinded Me with Science, in addition to Night Ranger's Sister Christian also start playing on the radio. If Hangar 13 can afford the licenses, I also think a few Michael Jackson and Madonna songs should definitely be on the radio during the 1980's portion of the story, given the immense popularity and regular radio airtime those two had in that decade. If this ended up being possible, I imagine that Michael Jackson's Smooth Criminal, Beat It, Bad, and Billie Jean being on the radio in the 80's sections would be a must, Smooth Criminal especially because of how well it suits the series. Madonna's Lucky Star, Burning Up, Like a Virgin, and Borderline would also be perfect for the 80's portion of the game to me. Also mentioned by NPCs and civilians in the game are topical events of the time period, such as the release of the groundbreaking 1973 horror film The Exorcist at the end of Vito's playable portion of the game. Other music of the 1980's segment when playing as Louis DeAngelo for the remainder of the game includes hits of the era such as Joe Jackson's Steppin' Out, The Buggles' Video Killed The Radio Star, Corey Hart's Sunglasses at Night,Laura Branigan's Self Control and Gloria, The Weather Girls' It's Raining Men, A-ha’s Take On Me, Men at Work's Down Under, Kim Wilde's Kids in America, The Gap Band's You Dropped a Bomb on Me, Culture Club’s Karma Chameleon, Twisted Sister's I Wanna Rock and We're Not Gonna Take It, Bon Jovi's Wanted Dead or Alive and Bad Medicine, Loverboy's Working for the Weekend, Dead or Alive's You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) and That's the Way (I Like It), Tiffany’s I Think We’re Alone Now, Daryl Hall & John Oates' Maneater, Aneka's Japanese Boy, Mötley Crüe's Dr. Feelgood, Girls, Girls, Girls and Kickstart My Heart, Billy Joel's We Didn't Start the Fire, Huey Lewis And The News' Hip To Be Square, Bill Medley's (I've Had) The Time of My Life, The Police's Every Breath You Take, Whodini's Magic's Wand, Tears For Fears' Everybody Wants To Rule The World, Rockwell's Somebody's Watching Me, Regina's Baby Love, Nena's 99 Red Balloons, Earth, Wind, and Fire's Let's Groove and September, Billy Idol's Eyes Without a Face and White Wedding, Rick James’ Give It To Me Baby, Wham!'s Everything She Wants, George Michael's Careless Whisper, Toto's Hold the Line and Africa, Blondie's Heart of Glass and Atomic, and Mai Tai's History. Note that not every single year and moment of the 17 year 1975-1992 section playing as Louis DeAngelo is playable or chronicled. My idea is it would be handled similarly to how the time skips in Mafia 1/Mafia: Definitive Edition were handled. Time skips of two or more years, or in this case, even longer such as 4 years sometimes, the game skipping from 1979 to 1983. This is to keep the game and story length ideal, and not risk it getting boring or repetitive, or going on for too long. Repetition was a big problem in Mafia III even if I still thought it was a superb game, so I think it'd be best to learn from that for the next big entry. The games story will skip ahead and show onscreen only what's significant, similar to the first Mafia game and it's remake, as well as certain aspects of Mafia II. Louis starts his section as a 22 year old fugitive soldato who got picked up by another crew south of the Canadian border, and in the epilogue of the game in 1992, is promoted to the consigliere of the Scaletta crime family at the age of 40, being set to take over the family once Vito and Joe become too old to run the day to day on a regular basis. The years chronicled in the main gameplay segments are as follows: 1973 1975 1977 1979 1983 1985 1986 1987 1989 1990 1991 1992 Much more of the rural areas and countryside outside of Empire Bay are included than what was available in Mafia II. The way rural environments are handled for this hypothetical Mafia IV is akin to how Mafia: Definitive Edition and Mafia III handled their rural environments outside the main cities, except much larger in scale, given the increased power of the current new consoles such as the PS5 and Xbox Series X. This region is based off of upstate New York and the surrounding areas across multiple states in the Northeastern US, and includes forests, fields, mountains, rivers, lakes, beaches, and small towns. Also included are other cities and towns, based off of other large cities in New York like Syracuse, Buffalo, and Rochester, where other story missions, business activities, and side missions take place, along with smaller notable places like Ithaca, Binghamton, and Utica. The entire states of New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Delaware, Maryland, and Ohio are also included, including places based off of all of their major cities and most of their notable towns in between. Large portions of Pennsylvania are included as well, including Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Scranton. Large portions of the eastern half of the Canadian province of Ontario are included as well, including cities based off of Toronto, Ottawa, and Niagara Falls. There's even a small portion of Quebec included, including Montreal and the surrounding countryside of the province outside that city, including a few small towns in southern Quebec. The player must pass a quick border patrol check when crossing the US-Canada border in a car or other ground vehicle. Wildlife is present in the game, mostly to add to the background, scenery, and immersion in rural environments on the map. These are all animals native to the Northeastern US, ranging from white tailed deer, coyotes, bobcats, Canada lynxes, rabbits, hares, groundhogs, gophers, beavers, raccoons, opossums, bats, chipmunks, red and gray squirrels, mice, and rats to more formidable and potentially dangerous animals that may sometimes attack the player, such as grey wolves, black bears, mountain lions, and moose. These last four animals are known to spawn in the mountainous regions, especially in New York, Ohio, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Ontario, including the rural regions based off of the Catskills and the Adirondack mountains. Dogs are present in the cities, towns, and settlements where humans live and keep them as pets, being walked and sometimes found in people's yards. Some are used as guard dogs by enemies and are aggressive towards the player on sight. Domestic cats are also present in the background of residential areas, and both Louis and Vito own them as pets throughout the game in their safe houses, as well as other onscreen characters we see the homes of throughout the game. Aircraft make their first usable appearance in the Mafia series too, from airplanes to helicopters. Vito cannot use planes or helicopters in his playable 1973 portion of the game, as he does not know how to pilot, being a paratrooper in World War II who never actually flew any of the planes himself. Aircraft are unlocked to use when Louis DeAngelo gets his pilot’s certificate offscreen in 1977, and at the end of a chapter set that year, Louis has to fly Vito in a helicopter to a penthouse in Downtown Empire Bay acting as a family safe house, equipped with a helipad. Louis frequently serves as a personal driver and pilot for both Vito and Joe afterwards, having done a lot in his time serving the family to earn their trust and respect. Melee weapons also make a return from Mafia: Definitive Edition, with even more variety this time. In their respective sections of the game, Vito and Louis may use anything from baseball bats, pipes, shovels, brass knuckles, golf clubs, police batons, switchblades, kitchen knives, bowie knives, ice picks, 2x4s, claw hammers, crowbars, tire irons, chain links, machetes, meat cleavers, pickaxes, hatchets, sledgehammers, to fire axes. This amount of melee weapons is so no matter what environment the player finds themselves in during a mission or any other game activity, there is usually a weapon of some sort nearby. If the player has obtained piano wire, you may also strangle an enemy to death with it from behind as a stealth kill, this being a classic assassination method infamous for being used by the Italian Mafia. Rope can also be found and used for similar strangulation stealth kills, appearing in the gameplay environments where piano wire can’t be found. There is a wide variety of new guns and explosives to use in this concept for Mafia IV, going with the new weapons of the time the game takes place that criminals quickly got their hands on. This includes the SPAS-12 combat shotgun, the Beretta 92 pistol, the AK-74 assault rifle, the mini uzi, the MAC-10 submachine gun, both suppressed and unsuppressed variants, the Beretta 92 pistol, the Taurus raging bull revolver, Glock handguns, the TEC-9 machine pistol, illegally modified to be full auto, the Ruger Mini-14 full auto variant, and even Vietnam war era flamethrowers, which I think is only natural given that as of Mafia III, we already have RPGs and grenade launchers. Late in the game from the 1989 section and onwards, the Benelli M3 combat shotgun becomes available. The Milkor MGL grenade launcher becomes available beginning in the 1983 portion of the game. Attached grenade launchers are also available for the AK-47, AK-74, and M16 assault rifles. Free ride makes a return in Mafia IV, with the player having the options to change the weather, time period, and an option to play as Louis, Vito, Joe, or Lincoln. Naturally, a multitude of new free ride missions are available as well. I previously posted a much earlier and less detailed draft of this on the old Mafia3 subreddit 3 years ago back in 2017 as an idea for a hypothetical Mafia 3 expansion where you play as Vito, but have since updated and revamped it to a possible Mafia IV plot, and fixed any plot holes I noticed and made it much more fleshed out and in depth, and focus on more than just Vito in the end. You may view my original here if you so desire, to compare. https://www.reddit.com/Mafia3/comments/6sldhp/spoiler_mafia_iii_vito_dlc_basic_plot_idea/ Feel free to give me constructive criticism on this, as I encourage this discourse and believe it is integral to growing and improving, to build upon or improve these ideas I've come up with, or say whether or not you think something like this should happen in the future. Thank you for reading!
Here are my ideas to what they should do for the future games Mafia I Remastered (Upgrade to next gen graphics, fix the lighting and the few glitches. Change some things like when you fill up your gas tank show Tommy doing it like in Mafia II instead of what we got now, change the drive by it’s too easy, give us the option to change clothes in the story instead of just in free roam and add all the golden guns too. Change the way he goes up and down a ladder because that’s exactly like Lincoln Clay, change how he throws molotov and also change how he takes cover because that’s also exactly like Lincoln. Also change the way npc’s react when they’re shot or shot at and make them smarter. Add rival gangs so we can fight them in free roam. Make the bullet holes on npc’s and Tommy better. Add some things like trams, trains, a wanted system exactly like Mafia II, places to eat, ability to smoke, clothing stores, vehicle customizations, trafic lights so we can get a ticket when we run over red light, maybe some ambulances that can arrive when people die and make the police do a crime scene where the people died, more free roam missions where you could be inspired by the ones in the original Mafia and some more scores to the chapters. I love the scores that are there now but sometimes it gets a little repetitive and could be refreshing if there were something new. I know this is a small thing and I also know that you can see it on the map but I would love for them to write the date of the chapter when the chapter loads up like in Mafia II.) DLC: Don Peppone (Everybody would love to see this. We all wants to see what happened. Let the game take place in 1910s to late 1920s. Let’s see a commission meeting with the big names from Mafia II, III, IV and V when Don Morello and Don Salieri became rivals. Show Carlo’s father. Maybe we could also see Alberto Clemente get his family accepted at the commission meeting in 1929. Show how Paulie and Sam got accepted into The Salieri Family. Would also have loved to see a cameo of Don Vinci to see the friendship between Don Salieri and him.) DLC: Mafia II Mobile (This is a really good story that only a few has tried. It takes place in 1938 about a protagonist called Marco Russetto who is the nephew of Vincenzo. He travels to Empire Bay to find Tommy Angelo after he betrayed The Family. He starts working for Henry Tomasino. Look up the story it’s really interesting he works for Don Falcone and Don Vinci. He ends up in prison at some time also. There are some things in the story that you would have to change so it would make sense but this really does have potential. Plus if you created this Empire Bay map then you could use it for a Mafia II Remake.) Mafia II Remake (It needs it. It truly needs it when you look at all the things that where scrapped. Add all the cut content. Add some amazing next gen graphics and a fantastic engine. Don’t change the characters look or voice since this game has the best voice acting in the world. Add more chapters to it so it would be longer and fill out the holes in the story. And let’s see more background to the characters. Maybe add some countryside to expand the Empire Bay map. Make some references to Los Ondas and the mobsters there. Make also some references to Mafia III and IV characters. Let’s see the return of the cigarette cards where we see the big mobsters of the 40s.) DLC: Vinci-Moretti War (Very interesting story. We would love to see why this war happened and to see how Don Falcone and Eddie Scarpa took over after Don Moretti died. To see a younger Leo Galante and Don Vinci in the war and how they acted. Would also love to see how Alberto Clemente took over Don Moretti’s and Don Vinci’s businesses. That would explain why Leo Galante hated Alberto so much. You could maybe include Fredo Clemente somewhere there and maybe see Alberto give Henry Tomasino a job and Luca Gurino’s involvement. Let’s see more to Jack Olivero and Tony Balls since he was the driver in the car with Don Moretti where Steve Coyne planted the bomb and killed Don Moretti. Show how Derek Pappalardo was involved in the war and how he got rewarded the docks.) DLC: Joe’s Adventures Remake (To this one they need to add cutscenes. Interesting point of view to see it when Vito was in jail but it lacked cutscenes. Let’s hear more about Tony Balls and Rocco.) Mafia III Remake (A game with a lot of good elements, great story and great characters. Fix all the glitches and lighting. I had 2 problems with this game. Number 1 was that it was really repetitive. I don’t feel it had a good reply value like the other 2 games. I think this remake should make it chapter to chapter based so we don’t have to take over all those rackets again and again. Number 2 was that I didn’t feel it was so connected to the franchise. I felt with a remake where you add some chapters and some voice recording where you hear about some of the characters from Mafia I, II and IV would help a lot. And as I stated below I think Mafia IV should be a prequel to Mafia III being set in the gap of Mafia II and Mafia III. So therefore you could add Mafia III characters to Mafia IV’s story. Since it’s the 30th anniversary of The Salieri Family case then they should add a newspaper about it. Maybe tell that Detective Norman has retired. Make some references to Los Ondas and the mobsters there. Add again the cigarette cards and show the big mobsters of the 60s) DLC: All Saint’s Day Massacre (It would be amazing to have a prequel to Mafia III about Sal Marcano and his brothers to see how they took over New Bordeaux. Let’s see how Sal tricked his brothers to kill Don Carillo and how Valerio Marcano died and let’s see some background to Sal’s brother Lucio. It would also connect us more to Mafia III’s story where this is the Marcano Family’s rise and Mafia III is their downfall. Would love to see a commission meeting with Sal where he introduces himself as the new don of New Bordeaux. Let’s see some more to Roman Barbieri, Frank Pagani, Gianni and Tony Derazio and Enzo Conti and how they got recruited. Let’s see Thomas Burke and Sammy Robinson and the rest of the Black Mob and how they ended up working for Sal Marcano and maybe their problem with the Haitians.) Mafia IV (Set as a prequel to Mafia III in Havana and Florida. Inspired by Godfather II and Meyer Lansky’s story. Tell the story about Fredo Clemente. Let’s see Sal opening his casinos in Havana and how Tommy Marcano got to work for him. Let’s see the other families settling down in Havana. How did Fredo react when his brother died and wouldn’t he kill the 2 who did it? Maybe some families from other states where causing trouble. Maybe the families from Pennsylvania would like a slice of the casinos. Let’s see an introduction to Louie Romeo just to see him. Tell more about Nino Santangelo since he is cuban. Since the events of this game is taking place before Mafia III maybe we could see what happened to Lucio Marcano when he died in 1962. Make some references to Los Ondas and the mobsters there. Add again the cigarette cards and show the big mobsters of the 50s.) DLC: Pennsylvania (Inspired by The Irishman, The Pittsburgh Family and The Bufalino Family. Let’s see some of the Mafia there and how they wanted to take control of some of the casinos in Havana. Show their connections to The Empire Bay families. Maybe Louie Romeo could be from this state.) Mafia V (Inspired by Casino and Mickey Cohen’s and Bugsy Siegel’s story. Now this should be about Los Ondas and how the Mafia wanted to take control on the West Coast. Los Ondas should be Los Angeles and Las Vegas combined. It should take place from the 30s-80s. Let’s see when the commission from the East wanted Louie Romeo to make their move on the West. It would be interesting to see Los Angeles in the 40s-50s and Las Vegas in 70s-80s. Let’s see a war in the Las Vegas strip. This would take place at the same time as the other mafia games so make some references and cameos from the characters from the other games. Maybe Fredo Clemente and Louie Romeo could be in war so you could see it from 2 different perspectives. Mafia IV would be Fredo’s perspective and Mafia V would be Louie’s perspective. Since it also takes place after the events of the other games let’s see what happened to the families in those citys. Like we could see who was running Lost Heaven after the 30’s and who ran Empire Bay after the chaos that Vito, Joe and Henry has caused.) DLC: San Francisco (Maybe a map expansion and show how the family operated there.)
The next Detroit: The catastrophic collapse of Atlantic City
With the closure of almost half of Atlantic City's casinos, Newark set to vote on gambling and casinos or racinos in almost every state, it seems as if the reasons for the very existence of Atlantic City are in serious jeopardy. Israel Joffe Atlantic City, once a major vacation spot during the roaring 20s and 1930s, as seen on HBOs Boardwalk Empire, collapsed when cheap air fare became the norm and people had no reason to head to the many beach town resorts on the East Coast. Within a few decades, the city, known for being an ‘oasis of sin’ during the prohibition era, fell into serious decline and dilapidation. New Jersey officials felt the only way to bring Atlantic City back from the brink of disaster would be to legalize gambling. Atlantic City’s first casino, Resorts, first opened its doors in 1978. People stood shoulder to shoulder, packed into the hotel as gambling officially made its way to the East Coast. Folks in the East Coast didn't have to make a special trip all the way to Vegas in order to enjoy some craps, slots, roulette and more. As time wore on, Atlantic City became the premier gambling spots in the country. While detractors felt that the area still remained poor and dilapidated, officials were quick to point out that the casinos didn't bring the mass gentrification to Atlantic City as much as they hoped but the billions of dollars in revenue and thousands of jobs for the surrounding communities was well worth it. Atlantic City developed a reputation as more of a short-stay ‘day-cation’ type of place, yet managed to stand firm against the 'adult playground' and 'entertainment capital of the world' Las Vegas. Through-out the 1980s, Atlantic City would become an integral part of American pop culture as a place for east coast residents to gamble, watch boxing, wrestling, concerts and other sporting events. However in the late 1980s, a landmark ruling considered Native-American reservations to be sovereign entities not bound by state law. It was the first potential threat to the iron grip Atlantic City and Vegas had on the gambling and entertainment industry. Huge 'mega casinos' were built on reservations that rivaled Atlantic City and Vegas. In turn, Vegas built even more impressive casinos. Atlantic City, in an attempt to make the city more appealing to the ‘big whale’ millionaire and billionaire gamblers, and in effort to move away from its ‘seedy’ reputation, built the luxurious Borgata casino in 2003. Harrah’s created a billion dollar extension and other casinos in the area went through serious renovations and re-branded themselves. It seemed as if the bite that the Native American casinos took out of AC and Vegas’ profits was negligible and that the dominance of those two cities in the world of gambling would remain unchallenged. Then Macau, formally a colony of Portugal, was handed back to the Chinese in 1999. The gambling industry there had been operated under a government-issued monopoly license by Stanley Ho's Sociedade de Turismo e Diversões de Macau. The monopoly was ended in 2002 and several casino owners from Las Vegas attempted to enter the market. Under the one country, two systems policy, the territory remained virtually unchanged aside from mega casinos popping up everywhere. All the rich ‘whales’ from the far east had no reason anymore to go to the United States to spend their money. Then came the biggest threat. As revenue from dog and horse racing tracks around the United States dried up, government officials needed a way to bring back jobs and revitalize the surrounding communities. Slot machines in race tracks started in Iowa in 1994 but took off in 2004 when Pennsylvania introduced ‘Racinos’ in an effort to reduce property taxes for the state and to help depressed areas bounce back. As of 2013, racinos were legal in ten states: Delaware, Louisiana, Maine, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia with more expected in 2015. Tracks like Delaware Park and West Virginia's Mountaineer Park, once considered places where local degenerates bet on broken-down nags in claiming races, are now among the wealthiest tracks around, with the best races. The famous Aqueduct race track in Queens, NY, once facing an uncertain future, now possesses the most profitable casino in the United States. From June 2012 to June 2013, Aqueduct matched a quarter of Atlantic City's total gaming revenue from its dozen casinos: $729.2 million compared with A.C.'s $2.9 billion. It has taken an estimated 15 percent hit on New Jersey casino revenue and climbing. And it isn't just Aqueduct that's taking business away from them. Atlantic City's closest major city, Philadelphia, only 35-40 minutes away, and one of the largest cities in America, now has a casino that has contributed heavily to the decline in gamers visiting the area. New Jersey is the third state in the U.S. to have authorized internet gambling. However, these online casinos are owned and controlled by Atlantic City casinos in an effort to boost profits in the face of fierce competition. California, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Pennsylvania and Texas are hoping to join Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey and the U.S. Virgin Islands in offering online gambling to their residents. With this in mind, it seems the very niche that Atlantic City once offered as a gambling and entertainment hub for east coast residents is heading toward the dustbin of history. Time will tell if this city will end up like Detroit. However, the fact that they are losing their biggest industry to major competition, much like Detroit did, with depressed housing, casinos bankrupting/closing and businesses fleeing , it all makes Atlantic City’s fate seem eerily similar.
US COVID-19 hospitalizations hit record high Joe Biden's advisors are pushing Democratic congressional leadership to strike a stimulus agreement with Senate Republicans, even if it falls short of the larger $2.4 trillion bill that House Democrats were pushing earlier this year, according to the New York Times Joe Biden will select first cabinet appointments Tuesday and Janet Yellen is a favorite for Treasury Secretary. Tony Blinken is the favorite for Secretary of State, according to Bloomberg Government vaccine expert Moncef Slaoui says coronavirus vaccinations could begin in less than three weeks, according to Bloomberg Judge dismisses lawsuit from President Trump to delay vote certification in Pennsylvania. The election certification in Pennsylvania and Michigan is expected to take place today, according to the New York Times More than 1 million people flew on planes on Friday despite warnings against holiday travel, which is the second highest since the pandemic began, according to Bloomberg Nevada to lower capacity limits ar casinos to 25% from 50%, according to Bloomberg EU thinks Brexit deal 95% agreed, according to Sky News Fed to return unused portions of the funds allocated to the CARES Act facilities Aecom Tech (ACM) announced that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Omaha District selected the firm to design the renovation of the U.S. Air Force Academy’s 700,000-square-foot Sijan Hall Alaska Air (ALK), Hawaiian Airlines, Jet Blue and Swift Air awarded $697 mln in contracts under Domestic Airlift Charter Services, FAA Part 121 Amazon (AMZN) will remove HBO from Amazon Channels next year as part of a concession to WarnerMedia, according to CNBC.com AMC Networks (AMCX) has begun a restructuring plan to streamline operations, which includes job cuts Amgen (AMGN) has provided notice to Cytokinetics (CYTK) of termination of its collaboration and its intention to transition the development and commercialization rights for omecamtiv mecarbil and AMG 594 Aon (AON) authorizes additional $5.0 bln share repurchase program Arcutis Biotherapeutics (ARQT) announces positive topline data from phase 2b Study of ARQ-154 (Topical Roflumilast Foam) as a potential treatment for scalp and body psoriasis AstraZeneca (AZN) reports AZD1222 vaccine met primary efficacy endpoint in preventing COVID-19; showed vaccine efficacy of 90% when AZD1222 was given as a half dose Becton Dickinson (BDX) announces streamlined reporting capabilities for COVID-19 Data Bicycle Therapeutics (BCYC) settles patent dispute with Pepscan Systems B.V. Blackstone (BX) aiming to raise at least $5 bln for second Asia fund, according to Bloomberg Boeing (BA): Delta (DAL) CEO Ed Bastian suggests company will purchase Boeing 737 Max aircraft, according to Financial Times Canadian Solar (CSIQ) signed a power purchase agreement with BTG Pactual and was awarded with two projects in a private auction by Furnas Centrais Elétricas CytoDyn (CYDY) reaches enrollment target of 293 patients for 2nd DSMC interim analysis of phase 3 covid-19 trial and expects to enroll the remaining 97 patients in the next few weeks to complete the trial this year Cytokinetics (CYTK) regains rights to develop and commercialize omecamtiv mecarbil and AMG 594 from Amgen (AMGN) Deutsche Bank (DB) looking for takeovers and joint ventures in payments processing, according to Financial Times Eiger BioPharma (EIGR): FDA approves Zokinvy for HGPS or Progeria and processing-deficient Progeroid Laminopathies Eli Lilly (LLY) announces that bamlanivimab (LY-CoV555) receives interim authorization from Health Canada as a treatment for COVID-19 Geo Group (GEO) announces decision by Federal Bureau of Prisons to not rebid its contract for rivers correctional facility Gilat Satellite (GILT) names Adi Sfadia as CEO IAMGOLD (IAG) announces temporary workforce reduction at its Westwood Gold Mine Invitae (NVTA) confirms the FDA accepted the submission of a premarket approval application for a companion diagnostic claim for STRATAFIDE on Nov 18 Kindred Biosciences (KIN) completion of the upcoming pivotal efficacy study for KIND-030 is now expected in the first quarter of 2021 due to a delay in receiving appropriate vendor reagent material McCormick (MKC) increases quarterly dividend to $0.68/share from $0.62/share Microsoft (MSFT): LoupVentures publishes article that says interest in PlayStation 5 outweighs the Xbox Series X, but for MSFT it's less about console sales in the launch window and more about an ecosystem Moog (MOG.A) authorizes share repurchase program for 3.0 mln shares of Class A and Class B common stock Neenah (NP) renews share repurchase plan for up to $25 mlnv Pfizer (PFE): Plans to rapidly roll out COVID-19 vaccine in Latin America after it gets EUA in US, according to Reuters Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech (BNTX): FDA has scheduled a meeting for December 10 to discuss the request for EUA of a COVID-19 vaccine Regeneron Pharma (REGN) receives Emergency Use Authorization for REGEN-COV2 antibody cocktail Rigel Pharma (RIGL) and Medison Pharma announced that Health Canada has approved the new drug submission for TAVALISSE for the treatment of thrombocytopenia Rise Education (REDU) appoints new CFO Sanofi (SNY) receives EC approval for MenQuadfi Schrodinger (SDGR) announces a multi-target drug discovery, development, and commercialization collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb (BMY) Sculptor Capital (SCU) appointed Dava Ritchea as Chief Financial Officer STORE Capital (STOR) received rent payments representing 90% of contractual base rent and interest for the month of November Summit Therapeutics (SMMT) announces that Dr. Mahkam Zanganeh has been appointed as Chief Operating Officer, effective immediately Teck Resources (TECK) increases its steelmaking coal sales to China for Q4 Twist Bioscience (TWST) announces positive preclinical data for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies Village Farms' (VFF) Pure Sunfarms receives cannabis research license for on-site sensory evaluation from Health Canada / Pure Sunfarms Brand debuts internationally Williams Cos (WMB) reached a global resolution with Chesapeake as part of Chesapeake’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring process Wynn Resorts (WYNN) lost efforts to partner with Sinclair (SBGI) sports networks, according to the New York Post
What A Day: GSA It Ain't So by Sarah Lazarus & Crooked Media (11/18/20)
"You're going to play gotcha questions with me?" - Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), asked if he thought Joe Biden won the election
Don't Wayne On My Parade
Eleven days after the election ended in decisive victory for Joe Biden, Republicans’ continued performance of uncertainty about the outcome is as appalling and dangerous as it is unrelentingly embarrassing.
On Tuesday, the two Republican members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers briefly refused to certify the election results in Michigan’s largest county, for a very valid reason that definitely wasn’t “Detroit has a lot of Black voters and we don’t think their votes should count.” (Against all odds, a white man in a polo shirt summed up this stunt best.) The Republicans reversed course on Tuesday night, for a very badass reason that definitely wasn’t “reporters started finding all the racist memes on our Facebook pages.” As a cherry on top, Donald Trump missed the memo and congratulated his would-be coup enablers on their courage, after they had agreed to certify the results.
His hopes of stealing away Michigan’s electoral votes dashed, Trump has turned to Wisconsin, a state he lost by more than 20,000 votes. The Trump campaign has filed a petition for a recount, but only in Wisconsin’s two largest, most Democratic-leaning counties, for a very solid reason that assuredly wasn’t “we’ve been through this, that’s where all the young and Black voters are.” That partial recount cost the campaign $3 million, but if you can pay Rudy Giuliani $20,000 a day to rattle off conspiracy theories at an exasperated judge, what’s a few million dollars to lose Wisconsin again?
As profoundly dumb as all of this is, it is also incredibly corrosive. It’s no particular surprise that Trump fired DHS’s cybersecurity director Chris Krebs for the crime of debunking his lies about the election having been stolen from him, but it deserved immediate, unanimous condemnation. Instead, Democratic lawmakers have spoken up, while Republicans, with a few half-hearted exceptions, have sat on their hands. What will it mean for future elections that a defeated president fired an official who safeguarded this election’s integrity and then told the truth about it, and a whole political party said “sure”?
Republicans might be blowing up democracy in slow-motion, but at least most of them aren’t pretending to agonize over it.
Sources who have spoken to General Services Administrator Emily Murphy say she’s been struggling with her unilateral decision to delay the presidential transition, and feeling like she’s been put “in a very difficult position.” Boy have we got great news for Emily: This one’s actually super simple. There’s no real doubt about who won the election, so you can just go ahead and sign that piece of paper! Get a marketing job and move to Paris! You’re free!
Each of Trump’s far-fetched coup maneuvers has flopped, but way too many Republicans have been happy to give them a whirl, and there’s no reason to think they wouldn’t try again in an election with closer margins. Whatever surreal elements of this year we eventually shove down the memory hole for our collective sanity, that fact can’t be one of them.
Look No Further Than The Crooked Media
On today's Keep It stream, Ira, Louis, and Aida discuss Candace Owens and Ben Shapiro's fervor over Harry Styles wearing a dress on the cover of Vogue: "The hilariousness of 'bring back manly men.' Where do you want them brought?" Watch and subscribe → youtube.com/crookedmedia
Under The Radar
Donald Trump just gave the worst possible job to a former speechwriter who was fired for having white nationalist ties. The White House dismissed Darren Beattie in 2018 after it came to light that he had spoken at a white-supremacist conference, back when that was something the Trump administration could still be shamed about. Beattie then took a bunch of taxpayer money from Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), in a violation of House rules. Following that proud interlude, Trump has welcomed Beattie back into the administration fold with an appointment to the Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad, which was established for the specific purpose of preserving the memory of Holocaust victims. Sixty-three days until the Inauguration.
One of the biggest takeaways from this election has been “Latino voters are not a monolith,” and while much of that analysis has focused on Florida, it’s just as true everywhere else. In Texas, Trump became the first GOP presidential candidate in a century to win Zapata County, which is more than 94 percent Hispanic or Latino. Dissecting the result the requires understanding the specific character of South Texas, where most Spanish-speaking residents self-identify as Tejano. Most consider themselves American above all else, wouldn’t identify as people of color, and have positions on gas and oil, guns, and abortion that are closely aligned with the Republican Party. The Trump campaign recognized and effectively targeted that specific community, and Democrats will need more than generic messaging to win it back.
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Is That Hope I Feel?
A federal judge has blocked the Trump administration’s policy of using the pandemic as an excuse to turn away migrant children seeking asylum at the border. Pfizer now says that its vaccine actually seems to be 95 percent effective, and, implicitly, that Moderna can eat its shorts. Pfizer plans to apply for emergency use authorization from the FDA within days. The FDA has issued emergency use authorization for the first at-home rapid coronavirus test. Tiara Mack has become the first openly LGBTQ Black person elected to the Rhode Island state Senate, at age 26: “I'm going to be unapologetically Black, I'm going to be unapologetically queer, and I'm going to be unapologetically young, and I'm going to push back against the system that tells us we don't deserve justice now.”
Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words, continuing in the footsteps of daprice82. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives. • PREVIOUS • 1987 FUTURE YEARS ARCHIVE: The Complete Observer Rewind Archive by daprice82
The wrestling war is, for all intents and purposes, over. The war between the territories, the ongoing collapse of the territory system, and Vince McMahon’s rise is certainly the biggest story in decades, and at this point the war is over and Vince McMahon has won. Sure, the fighting is still ongoing, but even if JCP can recover from their troubles, the gap between them and WWF is there and it’s just going to keep widening.
The biggest story of the week is that WWF has announced its ppv schedule for the next year. March 27 (Wrestlemania IV), August 29, November 24 (Survivor Series), and January 15 (Royal Rumble). Four ppvs doesn’t look like a big deal, just capitalization on the market trend. But it’s going to have a major effect on Crockett. Crockett had been planning ppv shows in early April (Crockett Cup), July (Great American Bash), and November 24 (Starrcade). With WWF’s new calendar and the exclusivity clause in their ppv deals requiring no competing wrestling ppv events 60 days before and 21 days after their shows and the success of Survivor Series and Wrestlemania IV (presumed for that one - Dave expects Wrestlemania IV to be the biggest grossing ppv ever to this point), WWF is putting the squeeze to Crockett. And in doing so, they’re killing any chance Crockett can compete and break into the ppv market. Long-term, ppv is going to mean live gates will be completely insignificant (like it already is in boxing - and hey, in 2020 we have seen the prophecy fulfilled). Because of ppv, Dave expects Wrestlemania IV to gross as much as every other American promotion will gross for the entirety of 1988, combined. Hence why the gap is wide and will only get wider, and JCP will never catch up. JCP’s going to try to counter, and the apparent move will be to shift those events to prime-time WTBS live (or very recently filmed, like a Saturday Night’s Main Event) specials all built as major cards. Starrcade probably will not be among those, Dave figures this will help.
WWF’s Royal Rumble came out the clear winner against the Bunkhouse Stampede Finals. The Rumble drew an 8.2 rating and was seen in 3.2 million homes, which is twice as many people as when Georgia Championship Wrestling’s show on WTBS was big several years ago when this wrestling war was getting started. It’s the highest rated show in the history of the USA network, and the encore broadcast on Monday drew a 4.8 rating (a regular episode of Prime Time Wrestling in that time slot usually draws a 2.9). All this means that the repeat showing of the Rumble was probably the second highest rated show on cable during the last week.
PPV numbers take longer to get, but it’s possible to make some sense of preliminary reports for the Bunkhouse Finals. The show was likely profitable, purely in terms of money, but the reaction was strongly negative. Early reports estimate the buyrate at 4%, which tells us that if given a fair shot at ppv, Crocket could be profitable with a ppv line up. That’s also encouraging for Crockett, since the card wasn’t strong and the show didn’t have the best heat, but those things may be moot now that WWF has a full year’s schedule set up. Big props to the JCP broadcast team for how well they sold the ppv in advance, because ppv and closed-circuit purchases are majority (90%) last minute, as opposed to house show tickets which are typically bought well in advance.
Wrestlemania IV is expected to sell out by the time this issue hits you. Yeah, Dave. By 32 years now. Anyway, about 14,000 seats went on sale to the general public on Saturday and all but a few thousand were sold by the end of the day. The highest price was $150. It’s funny to Dave that despite the crowd discrepancy, WWF may make as much off 14,000 tickets for Mania IV as they did selling 90,000 for Mania III (The April 3, 2000 issue is the earliest I can find for when Dave revised his view of the numbers for Wrestlemania 3). Anyway, the Convention Center is home to Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, and Donald Trump is using Wrestlemania as the centerpiece of a weekend-long event designed to attract vacation families to his casinos, including a Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine concert in the adjacent Convention Center ballroom. So I guess we can put Donald Trump down as the innovator of Wrestlemania weekend. WWF claims Wrestlemania will be available in up to 9 million homes on ppv, and if the show gets a similar buyrate to last year’s then we’re talking around $15 million on ppv, $1 million live, and probably $4-5 million at closed-circuit.
The employment status of the Rock & Roll Express, Michael Hayes, and Steve Williams with JCP has significantly cleared up. The Rock & Roll Express were fired at the Bunkhouse Finals. On January 23, they were asked to do a clean job to Warlord and Ivan Koloff in 12 minutes. Koloff’s been a low card guy recently, and they have been main guys for years, so instead they did the job in 12 seconds (Ricky Morton laid down and let Warlord pin him). Then they flew to New York for the finals, and Dusty learned what happened (he was not at the show on the 23rd) and fired them on the spot. They could be heading anywhere, though WWF is doubtful due to their size. Michael Hayes was fired last week following an incident. He was teaming with Jimmy Garvin and feuding with Ric Flair on the most recent tour; those spots have been taken by Ron Garvin and Sting, the latter of whom is having an accelerated push as a result. Hayes is expected back at World Class, though he did send a resume to WWF. As for Steve Williams, he stayed an extra week in Japan and missed the Stampede. He’s in a contract dispute with Crockett over whether the money he makes in Japan counts against his guaranteed minimum pay from Crockett (Crockett says yes, Williams says no, you’re not paying it so it doesn’t count toward the minimum you are paying him - corporations are not your friends). Williams has disconnected his phone and is out of communication.
Cable ratings for wrestling in the fourth quarter of 1987 dropped from the the third quarter. The World Championship Wrestling show dropped from second to eighth overall, and WWF’s All-American Wrestling surpassed it at seventh. Prime Time Wrestling, formerly ranked third, fell to tenth, while the Sunday WTBS show dropped from tenth to twentieth. AWA on ESPN dropped out of the top 20 (it was number 19 in the third quarter). Some of the drop probably comes from the change in how ratings are gathered (enter the Nielsen box, or “people-meter” as it’s known at this point). There’s controversy about this whole way of gathering ratings, as detractors believe that the boxes ensure shows that appeal to women will receive higher ratings than they would get otherwise. Regardless, wrestling shows across the board dropped about 10% in the ratings in the fourth quarter.
New Japan’s “Martial Arts Olympic” event in the Tokyo Dome has some hoping it will surpass Wrestlemania 3 for biggest live gate ever. They’ve sold tickets at as much as $220 for ringside and sold out those events, so there’s a chance they could if they price right and sell out. Dave’s been told that Inoki vs. Koji Kitao has the potential to double the gate of Inoki’s matches with Leon Spinks and Masa Saito (each over $700,000). If they can get Taue, that’s probably the best opponent they can get for Inoki to ensure a big draw. I think last week he may have written All Japan, but he's very clear this is an Inoki idea this week.
Speaking of Inoki, New Japan recently did a tour in Italy. The big show was January 24 in Rome and drew 8,000 fans. New Japan actually airs on tv in Italy, and Inoki was the big draw, and he pinned Badnews Allen in the main event. Shane Douglas won a battle royal on the show too. These are the first “western-style” pro wrestling matches in Italy since WWF did a show in Milan back in October.
Jake Roberts was on Ellery Queen mystery magazine’s cover this month, and Muscular Development did a cover story on Jesse Ventura. The Ventura article is excellent, but mostly about his life and training regimen, and not to do with wrestling.
Genichiro Tenryu won all the major awards in Japan. Tokyo Sports named in MVP of wrestling, and Gong Magazine and Weekly Pro Wrestling gave him the equivalent. He beat Riki Choshu in Gong’s annual popularity poll as the most popular Japanese wrestler (Maeda came in second, so pressure there for New Japan to bring him back). Chigusa Nagayo placed 9th, the first time a woman has cracked the top ten of Gong’s poll.
Dave went to the WWF show at the Cow Palace on January 30. It’s his first live show since Japan, and the show drew pretty well, but not as well as you’d expect from a show with a battle royal in the area. The big news of the show were four no-shows: the British Bulldogs (Dave’s heard one of them collapsed at the airport and the other went to the hospital with him), Billy Jack Haynes (his health’s really bad and he’s missed a lot of bookings lately and folks are speculating his career is done), and Bam Bam Bigelow (scheduled to face Ted DiBiase, but he had knee surgery so no clue when he’ll be back). Due to the no-shows, the athletic commission ordered WWF to offer refunds to anyone who wanted them before the end of the second match. He runs down the card: Ron Bass pinned JYD, Ultimate Warrior pinned Harley Race. Warrior’s over big, but still sucks. Ted DiBiase beat George Steele by DQ and Dave alludes to last week’s decision to no longer call matches “abortions” and says “The only word to describe this match is one that has been banned from my vocabulary.” Don Muraco pinned Butch Reed in an okay match. The Jumping Bomb Angels beat the Glamour Girls to retain their tag titles in the only good match on the card (Dave gives it three stars). Noriyo Tateno pinned one of the Girls, Dave doesn’t identify her, saying “you know how it is with those people, they all look alike to me,” which is a pretty solid skewering of people who say that about the Angels and other Asian wrestlers, imo. Ted DiBiase won the bunkhouse battle royal to moderate heat. Hercules pinned Hillbilly Jim. Jim Duggan and Ken Patera beat Demolition and Mr. Fuji by pinning Fuji. Jake Roberts and One Man Gang went to a double countout.
By the way, the California state assembly voted 60-7 to reclassify pro wrestling as entertainment and not a sport. So that means once the bill passes the state senate, athletic commissions will have no power over pro wrestling in California, and wrestlers will not need wrestling licenses to work in the state (which was already a joke of a requirement - Dave got a print-out once of all 60 wrestlers licensed in California and major guys like Hogan and Steamboat weren’t on the list).
The lineup for AWA’s February 4 show, the last at the Minneapolis Auditorium before it’s demolished, has been announced. Curt Hennig defends the AWA Title against Greg Gagne in a cage match. The Midnight Rockers defend the tag titles against a mystery team (the latest announcement was Nick Kiniski and Kevin Kelly, but Kiniski was let go this week and they’re building to a face turn for Kelly). The rest of the card has Dick the Bruiser vs. Adnan al-Kaissey, Billy Robinson vs. Tom Zenk (particularly interesting since Robinson is in for a one-off but has a reputation as a shooter, as well as competing against Verne as a promoter sometimes, so there’s a chance he may go into business for himself), Wahoo McDaniel and Baron Von Raschke vs. The Nasty Boys, and Billy Jack Strong vs. Soldat Ustinov.
Adrian Adonis broke his ankle at the AWA tv tapings in Minot, North Dakota.He was getting whipped into the turnbuckle and stepped into a hole in the ring. He won’t be back for at least two months. Adonis has about 4 months left before he dies.
AWA released a song called “Superstars of the AWA.” Jerry Lawler and Jeff Jarrett were in it due to the increased swapping of talent between Memphis and AWA. I could not find the song.
Something Dave forgot to mention about the WWF battle royal in San Francisco. Technically there were 19 guys, but only 18 actually worked the match. George Steele came out about a minute late, walked around the ring for a few minutes without getting inside, and then just walked to the back with JYD when JYD was eliminated (JYD was the second out of the match). Dave guesses at George’s age he didn’t want to take the bump or something. Dave recalls a story he heard about an unnamed WWF “neanderthal character” who stalled outside the ring for a complete match, and when one fan yelled to “Get in the ring, you lazy bum” he retorted (despite his character not being able to speak English): “What do you think this is, the NWA?”
WWF Superstars tapings were held on January 26 in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Barry Horowitz and Steve Lombardi beat Lanny Poffo and Scott Casey, which set up the main event for the second hour of the taping where the Killer Bees beat Horowitz and Lombardi. Rick Rude and Ricky Steamboat had a match that ended in a big brawl that got Hercules, Harley Race, Jim Duggan, and Ultimate Warrior involved. The main event of the live show was not taped for tv, but had Hogan and Bigelow going over Andre and DiBiase (Hogan pinned DiBiase). Andre’s contribution to the match was one minute (of nine total for the match) in the ring, and a body slam to Hogan before almost collapsing. Commentary for this taping was not done live, but rather will be done in post-production due to the fact that they’re waiting for The Main Event first, since these will all air after that sets up the angles.
Dave hears that the decision on what to do with Hogan/Andre at The Main Event will be decided this week once his filming schedule is determined. If he’s available for weekends, he’ll stay champion through the summer. If not, then a title change will happen and DiBiase is the likely beneficiary.
[Stampede] Badnews Allen and Jason the Terrible were fined $200 and $300, respectively, by Calgary City Hall. This is in relation to their brawl in the audience on December 18 that led to a woman in the audience suffering a concussion.
Oregon will be holding a special show on February 16 as a Frank Bonema Memorial show. Bonema was the tv announcer from Portland who passed away in 1982 or 1983. They haven’t announced any matches yet, but Curt Hennig is supposed to defend the AWA Title against their Northwest Title holder at the time, and there are plans for a tag title match, a strap match, and a cage match.
The February 12 card will be the last card by Continental in Knoxville before Ron Fuller’s new promotion takes over the area from them. The situation with Alabama’s territory continues to confuse me.
Nobuhiko Takada beat Owen Hart on January 13 in one of the highlights of New Japan’s jr. heavyweight tournament. As of January 26, here’s the status of the tournament: Koshinaka leads with 34 points (7-1 record), Takada has 31 points (6-1-1 record), Hart at 29 points (6-2 record), Hase also has 29 points. Yamazaki has 24 points (5-2 record), and Yamada is 4-2-1 with 21 points. Kobayashi has 24 (5-1), Saito at 19 (4-4), and everyone else is negligible at the moment. The finals will be on February 7.
All Japan is pushing a big show for March 9 featuring Hansen vs. Tenryu. That will be a double title match, as Tenryu puts up the United National Title against Hansen’s PWF Title (Dave expects a double countout. Other matches will include Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Tiger Mask II, Baba and Wajima vs. Kimura and Tsurumi, and others.
Giant Baba’s been negotiating with the Funks and David Manning about getting All Japan on tv in the U.S. All part of his angling to help the promotions outside the NWA and WWF against the juggernauts.
AJW is building a big match for February 25, Dump Matsumoto’s retirement show. Dump and Yukari Omori (also retiring that night) will face the Crush Gals in a tag match. Also on the card will be a battle royal and Yumiko Hotta/Mitsuko Nishiwaki vs. Bull Nakano/Condor Saito for the vacant tag team titles.
AJW’s annual rookie auditions took place on January 17 in Tokyo. 1500 girls showed up, and seven were picked based on their performance in various athletic and endurance drills. Dave says this is one of the main reasons it’s ridiculous to attempt to compare joshi wrestling to any American promotion. Only the top half a percent in terms of athletic ability are chosen for training in the first place, and then “they train them like spartans from the age of 15-17 and by the time they are around 22, if they’ve even survived, they are better workers than virtually all the men.” And with the retirement age of 26, nobody stays on so long they feel stale. Then again, that level of training sounds kind of easy to become mega abusive from a 2020 standpoint.
Lots of rumor that NWA’s recent firings aren’t due to discipline issues but due to the company having financial issues. That’s the story those being fired have given. Michael Hayes in particular claims that he and Crockett agreed to a two year deal for $150k per year, but Crockett never signed it and when he pressured Crockett to sign (he wasn’t making money with the contract unsigned), and so he got fired for missing the January 23 show in Cincinnati. Even as Crockett’s financial issues become more and more apparent, they do seem to be recovering at the gate a little.
Unlike WWF, NWA’s weightlifting competition used legit weights. All four guys did 460 pound bench presses easy, then Paul Ellering called to move the bar to 600. Animal failed first, and they threw chalk in his eyes and he bled and was “taken to the hospital” and the whole thing came across well.
The road to Barry Windham joining the Horsemen (not that Dave suspects anything yet) continues as he and Luger are being pushed as a tag team. Meanwhile, Flair and Sting are set to feud.
Dave once again clarifies about Hawk’s line (because apparently he’s still saying it). It’s Neo Maxi Zoom Dweebies, not Neo Nazi Zoom Dweebies.
Crockett referee Jeff Goldberg writes in to correct the record on something. In the January 18 issue, a reader wrote in about the December 26 show in Philadelphia and said it looked like the referee screwed up the finish. Goldberg says he acted as instructed, and Flair would not have congratulated him later on if he had screwed up. He also says readers often blame referees for screwing up finishes, but that’s usually the wrestlers who screw up (or the finish is in fact supposed to look screwed up). Referees can be green just like wrestlers, but he’s proud not to be one of them.
Another reader tells us that his cable company had Bunkhouse Stampede, but Crockett did a LOLNWA. Crockett announced that Sammons cable would have the show on January 23 (day before the ppv). Except they didn’t air the announcement until 2 pm that day, had given no announcement ahead of that time, and Sammons closed their company office for the weekend at noon on the 23rd.
The longest letter this week is all about how Bret Hart deserves a bigger push. Brief version: Vince is making a big mistake by not pushing Bret as a singles star. Even the casual fans buy into him. He’s got promo ability, the ability to make a bad wrestler look good (very important in WWF), and he’d make a great opponent for Randy Savage after an Intercontinental Title change. Give it a few years, Jeff. You’ll get your wish and then some.
Crockett’s apparently going to keep two offices open. The Dallas office will be for tv production, and the Charlotte office will remain as the base for talent.
Mike Rotunda won the NWA TV Title from Nikita Koloff on January 26, then gave the Florida Title to Rick Steiner. Interestingly, Dusty did a promo referencing the Hogan/Andre/DiBiase title situation and said that in the NWA you can’t buy a title. Well, Dave points out, DiBiase offered $1 million to Hogan for the title, so that seems to be the going rate for the WWF championship for a year. Meanwhile, Rick Steiner got the Florida Title for free, which pretty accurately reflects the worth of that title.
World Class drew a crowd of 80 in Houston on January 26. No, you didn’t read that number wrong.
THURSDAY:Hogan drops the WWF Title (really the only big story next week)
Making Sense out of Suffering - Disabled kid starved to death, etc.
Titled after Peter Kreeft's Making Sense out of Suffering, I recall he points out that God became man and suffered to show compassion, solidarity, that he cares, presumably that our lives are worthwhile ... Yet what is God actually doing? Consider this news report, for example, of a disabled kid left to die in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania a few years ago:
June 12, 2015 Friday, CITY-D Edition of the Philadelphia Iniquirer The parents of a disabled 3-year-old girl who starved to death in their West Oak Lane home pleaded guilty to third-degree murder Thursday. Carlos Rivera and Carmen Ramirez each pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and conspiracy in the Sept. 9, 2013, death of daughter Nathalyz, and charges including conspiracy and child endangerment involving the care of the girl's four siblings, ages 3 to 9. Common Pleas Court Judge Sandy L.V. Byrd set sentencing for Sept. 4. Both Rivera, 32, and Ramirez, 28, entered open guilty pleas, meaning there was no agreement with the District Attorney's Office about the sentence they will receive. Assistant District Attorney Gwenn Cujdik said Rivera and Ramirez could end up spending the rest of their lives in prison. Cujdik said the four surviving children, including Nathalyz's twin brother, are now in foster care. The condition of Nathalyz's 11-pound body at death caused the judge at the couple's preliminary hearing last year to liken her to "an Auschwitz child" - eyes sunken; body covered in bedsores; bones visible through her skin; and only patches of hair on her head. She was born with a genetic disorder that left her partly blind and unable to talk, walk, or roll over. Photos of the home where Nathalyz and her siblings lived with their father showed trash, broken furniture, and garbage strewed about. The refrigerator was broken, and the only food or drink in the house was a half-empty milk carton and a dirty baby bottle with no nipple. Nathalyz and her brothers and sisters slept together on a bedbug-infested mattress. Police said Rivera and the children lived there two months after Ramirez left to live with a boyfriend. Nathalyz's siblings later told a city social worker they rarely got more than one meal a day, and medical records showed they had not seen a doctor in 21/2 years. Cujdik said Ramirez also pleaded guilty to theft charges involving the children's monthly disability checks, totaling $2,130, used for partying and casino gambling. [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) 215-854-2985 u/joeslobo www.philly.com/crimeandpunishment
https://heavy.com/news/2013/09/nathalyz-rivera-3-year-old-starved-dead/ https://www.cbsnews.com/news/pa-parents-charged-with-starvation-murder-of-3-year-old-daughter-who-weighed-11-pounds/ It's like fodder for Ricky Gervais ("God's busy giving AIDS to African babies"), all too willing to articulate what you might say the devil puts into the mind: "Oh, sure, God will wait for a kid to die in agony and THEN he'll intervene to save the rest." It raises the question: What kind of God are you serving? Apparently, a God who refuses to explain things to us, who implies in Job that our reality is simply too great for our limited minds to understand -- but then why do we feel instinctively that this "should not have happened" if God wills to let it happen? Should we not instead have some instinct, "It's strange but for the best according to God's mysterious will"? Why should we punish these parents if God watches and lets them do it?
John Gilbride Jr.-murdered on September 7, 2002 in Maple Shade, New Jersey- “He's been raised by MOVE his whole life. I hope when he gets older, he'll ask questions. I want him to know that his father fought for him.”
The execution-style murder of former MOVE member, 34 year old John Gilbride Jr., in Maple Shade, New Jersey on September 27, 2002 remains unsolved. MOVE is a black liberation group founded in 1972 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by John Africa (born Vincent Leaphart) and Donald Glassey, a social worker student from the University of Pennsylvania. In a 2018 Guardian article about the group, MOVE's political views were described as "a strange fusion of black power and flower power which melded the revolutionary ideology of the Black Panthers with the nature- and animal-loving communalism of 1960s hippies.” John’s father, Jack, believes the organization has “blood on its hands” and had his son followed after he fled the movement. Alberta Africa (now Wonderlin), John’s ex-wife and the ex-wife of MOVE founder John Africa, claims that John is alive and “forgoing any contact with the son he was fighting for in court for a life of seclusion, courtesy of the U.S. government” surmising “maybe he went off the deep end or something and is hiding somewhere….he seemed like he was deeply involved in the government.” Jack stated that it is hurtful Alberta still makes those kinds of statements since he identified his son's body, attended his funeral, and buried his cremated remains saying he “could only wish…she knows more than anyone else that it isn't true." According to the Burlington County Prosecutor’s office, the case is still an open investigation. John, a baggage supervisor for U.S. Airways, was found dead inside his Ford Crown Victoria at 12:08 a.m. outside the Ryan's Run apartment complex in Maple Shade, New Jersey. The killer fired multiple bullets into John’s head and chest at close range from an automatic weapon after which the individual then disappeared into the highways adjacent to the apartment complex leaving behind John’s personal belongings. Police believe the killer knew his schedule because “they were there at the perfect time” noting they shot him just as he was coming home from work late at night and “the purpose was to take his life, nothing else.” John was scheduled to have his first unsupervised visit with his 6- year old son Zackary later the next day-a visit that Jack claims Alberta and other MOVE members had threatened to stop. After a Philadelphia judge decided that John should have unsupervised time with Zackary, MOVE vowed to fight the order and boarded up windows at its Philadelphia headquarters. They also held a rally at the Cherry Hill municipal building protesting the custody order saying the judge’s order was “an attempt to persecute the group and that Cherry Hill police were helping.” John had mentioned to his father that he felt his life was at risk and he knew “he was taking a big gamble.” Before Alberta married John, she was the widow of John Africa, founder and leader of the controversial radical group MOVE. John Africa and 5 other adults and 5 children died in May 1985 when Philadelphia police dropped a bomb on MOVE’s Osage Avenue rowhouse headquarters after a day-long standoff. Given the group's turbulent history, Alberta said police would have arrested MOVE members by now for John’s death if they had evidence saying “we are not murderers.” John first learned about MOVE as a student at Temple University in the late 1980s and later joined the organization. During one of John's visits from college, Jack suspected John was under a "new influence" as during a drive around the neighborhood, John mused "this is nothing...these big houses, this money, it doesn't mean anything; this surprised Jack as John's "goal in life had always been to become a millionaire and drive a Cadillac." In 1991, John announced he was going to live in MOVE's headquarters and seeing that they could nothing to dissuade him, Jack decided to "keep communication open and maintain whatever relationship John would allow them" using an 800 number to keep in contact. In the fall of 1992, John married Alberta, who was twice his age, against his family's wishes; the family, nonetheless, felt the wedding should be celebrated so they all went to dinner at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse in Philadelphia. Jack noted that "at no time did we sympathize with MOVE but in order to have a relationship with John, we did what we had to do." The name of the group (MOVE) is not an acronym and was chosen by John Africa “to say what they intended to do” as in "everything that's alive moves…if it didn't, it would be stagnant, dead"; as an example, when members greet each other they say "on the MOVE.". The group combined revolutionary ideology with animal rights and “advocated a return to a hunter-gatherer society” based on vegetarianism while remaining “opposed to science, medicine, and technology.” John’s followers changed their surnames to Africa to “show reverence to what they regarded as their mother continent.” John Africa and MOVE members lived in a communal house in the Powelton Village section of West Philadelphia. As activists, they staged bullhorn-amplified, profanity-laced demonstrations outside their homes against institutions that they opposed, such as zoos, circuses, “Three Mile Island”, “puppy mills” and police brutality. MOVE made compost piles of garbage and human waste in their yards which attracted rats and cockroaches that they refused to kill as they "considered it morally wrong to kill the vermin with pest control.” MOVE activities were scrutinized by law enforcement particularly under the administration of Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo, a former police commissioner known for hard stance against activist groups. Mayor Rizzo threatened in 1978 to dispatch his Police Department to MOVE's Powelton Village headquarters "to drag 'em out by the back of their necks." In 1978, complaints from neighbors about "profanity-laced tirades, arms stockpiling, garbage piled in the yard, and naked children" led to a standoff with members of the group who had not vacated their rowhouse headquarters; a resulting shootout took the life of a police officer and put nine MOVE members in prison for life. In 1981, MOVE relocated to a row house at 6221 Osage Avenue in the Cobbs Creek area of West Philadelphia. Neighbors again complained to the city about trash around their building, confrontations, and the obscene political messages by bullhorn. In 1985, the police obtained arrest warrants in 1985 charging four MOVE occupants with crimes including parole violations, contempt of court, illegal possession of firearms, and making terrorist threats; by now, Mayor Wilson Goode and police commissioner Gregore J. Sambor had classified the group as a terrorist organization. Residents of the area were evacuated from the neighborhood and told to return after 24 hours. On Monday, May 13, 1985, nearly five hundred police officers attempted to clear the building and execute the arrest warrants. Water and electricity were shut off in order to force MOVE members out of the house and Commissioner Sambor exhorted them to come out stating "Attention MOVE: This is America. You have to abide by the laws of the United States." When the MOVE members did not respond, the police decided to forcibly remove the members from the house. There was an armed standoff with police who lobbed tear gas canisters at the building. The MOVE members fired at them, and a gunfight with semi-automatic and automatic firearms ensued. Police went through over ten thousand rounds of ammunition when Commissioner Sambor decided the rowhouse could be bombed. From a Pennsylvania State Police helicopter, Philadelphia Police Department Lt. Frank Powell dropped two one-pound bombs made of FBI-supplied Tovex, a dynamite substitute, which targeted a fortified, bunker-like cubicle on the roof of the house. The resulting explosions ignited a fire from fuel for a gasoline-powered generator stored in the rooftop bunker. The fire spread and eventually destroyed 61 nearby houses. Officials said they feared that MOVE would shoot at the firefighters so they were held back. John Africa and 5 other adults and 5 children died. There were only two survivors; a child, Birdie Africa and an adult woman, Ramona Africa. John Gilbride eventually left the movement and filed for divorce from Alberta in 1999 which led to years of heated court battles over custody of Zackary; John also filed for bankruptcy. John had gone deep into debt paying for in-vitro fertility treatments as they were desperately trying to have a child. John had also grown frustrated with "MOVE's meddling in his marriage" which "staged hours-long interventions" whenever the couple argued. According to Jack, the timing of the murder and the custody dispute is “more than a coincidence.” Philadelphia Police Captain William Fisher, the head of the department’s civil rights division who knows the MOVE leaders well, stated that John’s murder “seemed like a textbook mob hit” and John had a gambling problem and other enemies as well; Jack dismisses Captain Fisher’s claims saying he did a "disservice to the investigation" and “was simply trying to ease the department’s relationship with MOVE”. Captain Fisher continues to doubt that MOVE was involved saying Jack wants to think that “MOVE did it because it solves his problem…I’m a parent too, and it’s an emotional thing.” He believes a professional gunman could have known of John’s problems with MOVE and could have timed the murder accordingly saying if MOVE was involved, they would not have “outsourced the job to someone outside their organization.” He acknowledges “there was a lot of rhetoric and everything else, but keep it in perspective, it's a child custody thing” saying MOVE's members "defend themselves when needed but do not go out and kill people." Captain Fisher suggested a trip to Las Vegas a few days before his death needed to be looked into further; Jack avers John went to Las Vegas for an Earth, Wind, and Fire concert. John also had a "secret..and brief" second marriage to Rosario Bienvenida Arias-a 24-year-old casino dealer from the Dominican Republic. They married in Maryland on April 25, 2002, but, according to the annulment initiated by John May 19,2002, "she used him and then fled the country." The marriage had not been "nullified by the time John died, so as his widow, Rosario-not Zack-collected death benefits." Others disagree such as former MOVE supporter Tony Allen who runs an anti-MOVE blog; he believes MOVE would never have put someone in their closest family circles at risk by killing John and would have given that task to a supporter saying “my hope is that there's people in and about MOVE whose consciences will eat away at them." Burlington County Prosecutor Robert Bernardi mentioned that MOVE members had been questioned in the investigation but did not comment further. In 2012 the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that John had told friends and family that he had recorded incriminating evidence in a notebook as "security against a hit" by MOVE. John said he had placed the notebook inside a locker for safekeeping. Jack confirmed one of John’s coworkers had contacted him and he tried to get police to search the locker but to no avail. At the time, Prosecutor Bernardi had no comment when pressed on the topic. It is unclear if the locker was ever searched. In a 2009 news article, Jack mentioned that he continues to speak with investigators every three weeks but acknowledged "they get tired of telling me there's nothing new." Zackary, at the time 13 years old, was “a happy home-schooled teen, active in swimming and fencing.” In the interview, Alberta admitted that her son continues to miss his father recalling how they “found a picture of his dad, and he just fell into me..he's a big boy, but he was in tears. She also says "the tears she cried for John were real in 2002" and she continues to feels his absence noting that she remarried after John’s death, “not out of love, but to give her son a stable home.” Jack said “his life has been anything but stable” since his son's death. His wife, Fran, died of cancer two years after his son was killed, and he speaks to Zack only once every three to six months. He knows that “wishing his son were still alive is pointless” so he focuses on resolving the case so Zack can come back into his life saying “he's been raised by MOVE his whole life. I hope when he gets older, he'll ask questions. I want him to know that his father fought for him." Anyone with information about John’s murder can contact the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office at 609-265- 7113. Questions: Do we know more about John's gambling debts and other enemies he supposedly had? There is much discussion on the MOVE angle but I really couldn't find much information on any other theories besides the statement made by Captain Fisher. Was John's locker ever searched? Links: https://www.inquirer.com/philly/news/20090926_Slaying_of_ex-MOVEr_still_roils_feelings_7_years_later.html https://www.theintelligencer.com/news/article/Man-in-Custody-Battle-Shot-to-Death-10572580.php https://www.inquirer.com/philly/blogs/inq-blinq/A-clue-hidden-in-a-lost-locker.html https://www.inquirer.com/philly/hp/news_update/20140928_A_slain_man__a_lost_son_and_a_grandfather_s_quest.html https://culteducation.com/group/1060-move/14601-breaking-silence-over-a-sons-slaying.html https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MOVE#2002_murder_of_John_Gilbride http://antimove.blogspot.com/2012/09/?m=1 https://www.religionnewsblog.com/4623/unsolved-death-angers-move-grieves-parents https://www.vox.com/the-highlight/2019/8/8/20747198/philadelphia-bombing-1985-move https://www.inquirer.com/philly/entertainment/20131020_A_haunting_look_at_when_Phila__burned.html https://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/02/movies/let-the-fire-burn-relives-1985-siege-of-the-move-group.html https://www.phillymag.com/news/2014/02/27/birdie-africa-lost-boy/ http://kalamu.com/neogriot/2015/05/13/history-lest-we-forget-today-is-the-30th-anniversary-of-the-bombing-of-move/ MOVE has been “an anomaly in Philadelphia ever since it was founded, in the mid-1970s, by a white graduate student who became enthralled with the musings of a local black handyman who took the name John Africa and held beliefs ranging from vegetarianism to odd bathing rituals to preparation for worldwide racial conflict.” Several city officials were reprimanded in an investigation which called “dropping a bomb on an occupied row house…unconscionable” but none were criminally charged for the bombing. The 61 destroyed homes were rebuilt with government funds ($35 milion) but the houses were eventually condemned since a potential carbon monoxide leak was found in the heating systems. In 2000, the city paid again to buy out the residents and move them. Ramona Africa, the only adult who came out of the house fire alive (along with 13-year old Birdie Africa), served seven years in prison for her role in the confrontation. As she stood outside MOVE's current house in 2013, she dismissed the notion that the home had code violations stating “they say it is a fire hazard but the only fire MOVE has ever been involved with is the one the city of Philadelphia set on May 13, 1985."
原文载于1990年3月刊（点此可获取原刊PDF） 转载请注明翻译者@hhgztom 图片源自网络 PLAYBOY INTERVIEW: DONALD TRUMP a candid conversation with the decade's most flamboyant billionaire on deal making, self-promotion, world affairs and how much is enough 《花花公子》专访:唐纳德·特朗普 与十年来最引人注目的亿万富翁的一次坦诚对话 谈交易、自我推销、国际事务以及多少钱才够 Donald Trump sits alone. He hasn't slept in 48 hours. At six A.M., perched high, in the bronze-coated jewel of his empire, Trump Tower; he is bent over a mammoth Brazilian-rosewood desk, scrutinizing spread sheets. No insomnia, no growing worries. "Pressure," lie surmises, sipping an iced Coke, "doesn't upset my sleep,'' a standard four hours nightly. "I like throwing balls into the air— and I dream like a baby." Three hours later, blond hair marshaled, he announces, with standard chutzpah, his seven-and-a-half billion dollar bid to gobble down the nation's premiere airline, American. On the strength of his $120-a-share bid, the stock vaults from $16 to $99.The 43-year-old billionaire, who owns huge blocks of American Airlines stock ,smiles broadly. A week later, with the market lumbling190 points, he withdraws his offer, perhaps temporarily. Despite some reports that insinuated his American raid was only cardboard, a poly to rattle up his stock, Trump stares into space: "Nope, I want it." Yup, If it's the best, and it's for sale, Donald Trump's stomach begins to growl. He captured troubled Saudi financier Adnan Khashoggi's onyx-and-gold-plated yacht for a mere $29,000,000—now it's worth $100,000,000. Then he bought the Eastern shuttle for $365,000,000 and transformed it overnight into the Trump Shuttle, complete with comfortable cabins and stewardesses rustling in virgin wool and pearls. 唐纳德•特朗普独自坐着。他已经48小时没休息了。 早上6点，高耸的特朗普大厦，上面镶嵌着青铜涂层的宝石;他俯身在一张巨大的巴西木紫檀木办公桌前，仔细查看着那些表格。 没有失眠，没有烦恼。 “压力，”他一边喝着冰可乐一边揣测，“不会影响我的睡眠”，标准的每晚4小时。 “我喜欢把球扔到空中——我睡的像婴儿一样。” 三个小时后，整理了一下金发，用那标准的狂妄口吻，他宣布，以75亿美元的价格吞并美国航空公司。在他每股120美元的出价下，这家公司的股价从16美元升至99美元。这位43岁的亿万富翁拥有美国航空公司的大量股票，笑容满面。 一周后，当股市暴跌190点时，他撤回了自己的报价，或许是暂时的。尽管有报道暗示，特朗普的美式突袭只是一种叫“硬纸板”的保利，但他的目光却盯着天空： “不,我想要它。” 是的，如果这是最好的，而且是待售的，唐纳德·特朗普的肚子开始咕咕叫了。 他仅以2900万美元的价格买下了陷入困境的沙特金融家阿德南·卡舒吉的镶有码瑙和镀金的游艇，现在这艘游艇价值1亿美元。然后，他以3.65亿美元买下了东方航天飞机，并在一夜之间将其改装为特朗普航天飞机，配备了舒适的机舱，空姐们穿着纯净的羊毛和珍珠沙沙作响。 A year earlier, he had bought the Plaza Hotel for $400,000,000 and is now lovingly restoring her without a name change. Her make-over will be surprised by the Czech mistress of Trump's kingdom, Ivana, a former Olympic skier and fashion model. At home, Ivana presides over a 100-room Trump Tower triplex, recently expanded from 50 rooms ("Better closet space, "she jokes). Trump proud of the salmon-marbled atrium of Trump Tower, where no expense was spared, says, "I bought the whole damn mountain! You've never seen that color before. Ivana suggested it because it makes people look better." The couple also has a 47-room country house on ten acres in Greenwich, Connecticut, and the well-publicized 118-room Mar-a-Lago Marjorie Merriweather Post estate in Palm Beach, their commute time shortened by the 727 jet and the French-made military Puma helicopter. The Trump Princess, or the Khashoggi" boat", as Trump now calls it, has gotten cramped, so a Dutch shipyard is confecting not a Princess but a full-fledged Queen costing more than $175,000,000. 一年前，他以4亿美元的价格买下了广场酒店，现在，他很高兴在没有改名字的情况下恢复了它的光辉。它的装饰一定会让特朗普王国的女主人伊万娜大吃一惊的，她曾是捷克奥运会滑雪运动员和时装模特。 在家里，伊万娜管理着特朗普大厦一套有100个房间的三层公寓，该公寓是最近从50个房间扩建的(她开玩笑说，“壁橱空间更大了”)。特朗普对着大厦里鲑鱼似的大理石中庭感到自豪，他说，“我买下了整座山!你从来没见过那种颜色。伊凡娜建议这样做的，因为这样可以让人看起来更好看。” 这对夫妇还在康涅狄格州格林威治占地10英亩的乡间别墅中拥有47个房间，以及众所周知的位于棕榈滩的马拉歌庄园，拥有118个房间。727喷气式飞机和法国制造的军用“美洲狮”直升机缩短了他们的通勤时间。 “特朗普公主号”(特朗普此刻叫它卡舒吉的“小船“)已经变得破烂不堪，因此一个荷兰船厂现在要做的是要把这位公主打造成一位丰满成熟的价值超过1.75亿美元的女王。 Such ostentation, despite a catalog of charities and good deeds done for sick kids, has predictably yielded a rich crop of snipers. Spy magazine, the New York-based humor monthly, cheerfully carries a scabrous vendetta against the Trumps, comparing them to Dickension monsters. Time did s cover story on the decay of Atlantic City and chided Trump for helping create a crime-plagued urban blight divided between welfare cases and high rollers. On the upper West Side, Manhattanites attack him for his proclaimed desire to build an enormous complex, Trump City, complete with a 150-story skyscraper; Phil Donahue charges that Trump’s casinos pillage the gullible; an aide close to outgoing mayor Ed Koch calls Trump ”the most arrogant s.o.b who has ever stepped onto the earth. Ah, well, To be young, blond and a billionaire. It doesn’t seem to matter. The most daunting entrepreneur since the Astors, Vanderbilts and Whitneys, Donald John Trump has made his ”art of the deal” work—not just for making money but for crushing adversaries, too. Case in point: Merv Griffin. Ten months after Griffin bought Trump’s Resorts International Inc for $365,000,000, for which Trump had paid $101,000,000 the year before, Griffin found himself holding a busted balloon. Not only had he inherited the hotel-casino’s $925,000,000 debt but he embarrassingly had to report first-half losses of $46,600,000. There’s now talk of a possible bankruptcy for Merv and a possible lawsuit against Trump. Looking beyond his one-billion-dollar Taj Mahal opening in Atlantic City next month, Trump has plenty to consider. There are tumors of his building casinos in Nevada and his buying Tiffany’s, NBC, the New York Daily News or the Waldorf Hotel (“I’ve got to have the Waldorf,” he coos jokingly into the phone. ”I can’t sleep without it”).And the Presidency ?No, that takes an election, and it is clear that Trump is not that patient. Too much to do! 尽管为生病的孩子们做了一系列的慈善和好事，这样的炫耀还是不出所料地产生了大量的攻击者。总部位于纽约的幽默月刊《间谍杂志》兴高采烈地对特朗普家族进行了激烈的报复，将他们比作言辞恶毒的怪物。《时代》杂志做了一篇关于大西洋城衰败的封面报道，指责特朗普帮助打造了一个犯罪猖獗的城市颓势，这个颓势在福利案件和豪赌客之间一分为二。在上西城，曼哈顿人抨击他宣称要建造一个巨大的综合体——特朗普城，包括一座150层的摩天大楼;菲尔·多纳休指责特朗普的赌场掠夺易轻信的人;一位接近即将离任的市长埃德·科赫的助手称特朗普是“有史以来最傲慢的人。“ 嗯，好吧，年轻的金发亿万富翁。 这似乎无关紧要。唐纳德·约翰·特朗普是继阿斯特尔家族、范德比尔特家族和惠特尼家族之后最令人畏惧的企业家，他的“交易的艺术”发挥了作用——不仅为了赚钱，也为了粉碎对手。 梅尔夫·格里芬就是一个很好的例子。格里芬以3.65亿美元的价格收购了特朗普的国际度假村公司，而特朗普在前年支付了1.01亿美元。10个月后，格里芬发现自己手里拿着一个破气球。他不仅继承了酒店赌场9.25亿美元的债务，而且还令人尴尬地报告了上半年4660万美元的亏损。现在有传言说梅尔夫可能会破产，特朗普可能会被起诉。 除了下个月在大西洋城开幕的泰姬陵酒店，特朗普还有很多事要做。他在内华达州建赌场，购买蒂芙尼(Tiffany)、NBC、纽约每日新闻或华尔道夫酒店，每件事都会有“麻烦”(“我一定要拥有华尔道夫酒店，”他对着电话开玩笑地说。“没有它我睡不着”)。那么总统职位呢?不，那需要一场选举，而特朗普显然没有那么耐心。要做的事情太多了! “There has always been a display of wealth and always will be, until the depression comes, which it always does. And let me tell you, a display is a good thing. It shows people that you can be successful.” “炫富一直存在，也总会出现，直到大萧条来临，大萧条也一直都有。”让我告诉你，炫富是件好事。它人们展示你可以成功。” “We Americans are laughed at around the world for defending wealthy nations for nothing, nations that would be wiped out in about fifteen minutes if it weren’t for us. Our “allies” are making billions screwing us.” “我们美国人因为毫无意义地保卫一些富裕的国家而被全世界嘲笑，如果不是我们，这些国家在15分钟内就会灭亡。我们的“盟友”正从我们身上赚取数十亿。 “I’ve always thought the ultimate job for me would have been running MGM in the Thirties and Forties. There was incredible glamour and style that’s gone now. And that’s when you could control situations.” “我一直认为，对我来说，最佳的工作应该是在三四十年代经营米高梅。那些令人难以置信的魅力和风格现在已经逝去了。那个时候你可以控制整个局面。” The billion-dollar baby was born in the exclusive Jamaica Estates in Queens, New York, on June 14,1946, to a mere millionaire, real-estate developer Fred Trump, who had racked up his $20,000,000 fortune building low-to-middle-priced homes and apartments in Brooklyn and Queens. Among the five little Trumps, only Donald seemed to have a passion for mortar and bricks, riding around construction sites with his father—“who ruled all of us with a steel will”—and showing younger brother Robert, now a low-profile V.P. in the Trump organization, who was boss in their 23-room house. At the age of eight, little Donald borrowed Robert’s cherished toy blocks, glued them together into one giant skyscraper and never returned them, thereafter exercising his fantasies about changing Manhattan’s skyline. His father, who harped on the importance of ”knowing how to make a buck,” regarded mop-haired Donald as “rough and wild,” shipped him off to the New York Military Academy in Cornwall-on-Hudson and, some say, forever instilled in him a gnawing sense of inadequacy that fueled the boy’s ambition. There followed two years at Fordham and two years at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Finance, then a few years diddling in middle-income housing until, at the age of 28, Trump delivered the punch that launched him. Taking a hard look at Manhattan’s troubled fortunes, he fastened onto the bankruptcy of the Penn Central Railroad as his ticket into the big time and nimbly plucked options on Penn’s Hudson River Railroad yards, now the site of New York’s Convention Center, and its 59-year-old Commodore Hotel, now the Grand Hyatt. The coup was in his persuading bankers to lent him $80,000,000 and in talking politicians into awarding him a $120,000,000 tax abatement. Persuasion, hype and chutzpah thereafter defined the Trump style, welded to a scrupulous management technique. 1946年6月14日，这个亿万富翁宝宝出生在纽约皇后区的牙买加豪宅里，他的父亲是房地产开发商弗雷德·特朗普，他在布鲁克林和皇后区建造中低价位的住宅和公寓，积累了2000万美元的财富。 在五个小特朗普中，只有唐纳德似乎对灰泥和砖块很有激情，他和“用钢铁般的意志统治着我们所有人”的父亲骑行玩耍在建筑工地周围，并向弟弟罗伯特炫耀。罗伯特现在是特朗普集团一名低调的副总裁，掌管着他们23个房间的房子。 八岁的时候，小唐纳德借走了罗伯特心爱的玩具积木，把它们粘在一起变成了一座巨大的摩天大楼，从此再也没有归还，从此实现了他改变曼哈顿天际线的梦想。 他的父亲曾反复强调“知道如何赚钱”的重要性，认为头发乱蓬乱的唐纳德“粗鲁而狂野”，把他送到了位于哈德逊的康沃尔的纽约军事学院。有人说，父亲永远给他灌输了一种痛苦的不足感，助长了他的抱负。接下来在福特汉姆大学待了两年，在宾夕法尼亚大学沃顿金融学院待了两年，然后又在中等收入家庭的住房上瞎忙了几年，直到28岁时，特朗普打出了让他成功的一击。他认真审视了曼哈顿陷入困境的命运，选择了宾夕法尼亚中央铁路公司的破产作为自己进入大时代的入场证，并灵活地选择了宾夕法尼亚哈德逊河铁路公司和拥有59年历史的康姆多酒店，即如今的君悦酒店。这里现在是纽约会议中心的所在地。 他的妙招在于说服银行家借给他8000万美元，并说服政客给予他1.2亿美元的减税。 此后，说服、炒作和厚颜无耻定义了特朗普的风格，并融入了一丝不苟的管理技巧。 In 1979,at the age of 33,he snapped up the Fifth Avenue site of the old Bonwit Teller for $20,000,000,won a $140,000,000 tax abatement and three years later finished Trump Tower, a 68-story dazzler that includes a six-story atrium and today draws 100,000 visitors daily, with residents such as Johnny Carson and Steven Spielberg. Amassing a fortune his father never dreamed possible—a cash hoard of $900,000,000,a geyser of $50,000,000 a week from his hotel-casinos, assets thought to total 3.7 billion dollars—Trump soon became as captivated by mystique-making as by money-making. As the snooty ads running around New York proclaimed,”Everything does seem to be very Trump these days.” There are his residential buildings, Trump Parc and Trump Plaza and the soon-to-be-finished Trump Palace; Trump Castle in Atlantic City and the soon-to-be-finished Taj Mahal; his book “Trump: The Art of the Deal,” written with Tony Schwartz, which held on to the number-one spot on the New York Times best-seller list longer than any business book since “Iocacca”;his high-rise board game named—you guessed it—Trump(reported to be flop);his upcoming TV game show—you guessed it again—“Trump Card”; and the bike race named Tour de Trump, which, as he points out, sure beats its old name—Tour de Jersey. And—well—you get the picture. “Vision is my best asset,” he says without a shred of modesty, ”I know what sells and I know what people want.” Along the way, Trump even found time to attend the 1976 Montreal Olympics, marry his match, Ivana Zelnicek (who has vowed never to look a day over 29),and produce his own little Trumps—Donald Jr,12,Ivanka,eight,and Eric, six. Notwithstanding the good fortune that seems to have attended Trump’s business moves, he and his family have not escaped life’s darker side. While sisters Maryane, a Federal judge in New Jersey, and Elizabeth, an administrative assistant for Chase Manhattan, have found their niches, Trump’s older brother, Fred, hated the real-estate business, became an airline pilot, took to drink and died an alcoholic in 1981 at 43. Trump was also recently shaken when, last October, three key executives died in a helicopter crash; the boss reportedly narrowly missed death, deciding at the last minute that he was too busy to travel. ”I never realized,” says Trump today, ”how deaths outside the family could have such a profound effect on me. It’s a tragic waste.” As for himself, he’s fatalistic: ”I work, I don’t worry and I protect myself as well as anybody can. But ultimately we all end up going to hopefully greener pastures.” 1979年,33岁的他以2千万美元的价格收购了第五大道的老旧的保罗·邦威特百货商店,赢得了一份价值1亿4千万美元的减税和三年后完成了特朗普大厦,一座68层的焦点,包括一座六层楼高的中庭和现在每天吸引10万名游客,名人如约翰尼·卡森和史蒂芬·斯皮尔伯格。 特朗普积累了一笔他父亲做梦也想不到的财富—9亿美元的现金储备，每周从酒店赌场中获得的5000万美元的进账，以及估计总计37亿美元的资产—很快，他就像对着迷赚钱一样着迷于创造神秘。 正如纽约四处流传的八卦广告所宣称的那样，“这些日子，似乎一切都很特朗普。”“到处都有他盖的住宅,特朗普公园，特朗普广场和即将完成的特朗普宫殿,大西洋城的特朗普城堡和即将完成的泰姬陵;他和托尼•施瓦茨合作的书《特朗普:交易的艺术》紧紧锁定《纽约时报》畅销书排行榜第一的位置，除了“艾科卡”的书以外，比任何商业书籍都要长;他的高层棋盘游戏，取名“你猜-王牌”(据说失败了);他即将到来的电视节目，“你再猜-王牌”;和以他的名字命名的自行车赛“环特朗普”，他说，肯定比原来的名字“环泽西”要好。嗯，好吧，你已经有画面了。 “远见是我最好的资产，”他毫不谦虚地说，“我知道什么能卖出去，也知道人们想要什么。” 即使如此，特朗普还是抽时间参加了1976年蒙特利尔奥运会，迎娶了他的另一半伊万娜·泽尔尼切克(她发誓永远不让自己看起来超过29岁)，还生下了自己的小特朗普——12岁的小唐纳德、8岁的伊万卡和6岁的埃里克。 尽管特朗普的商业举动似乎好运连连，但他和他的家人并没有摆脱生活的阴暗面。特朗普的姐姐玛丽安是新泽西州的一名联邦法官，另一个姐姐伊丽莎白是大通曼哈顿银行的一名行政助理，她们都有自己的事业，而特朗普的哥哥弗雷德讨厌房地产生意，后来成为一名飞行员，开始酗酒，并于1981年因酗酒去世，享年43岁。 特朗普最近还受到了打击，去年10月，三名关键高管死于一场直升机坠毁事故;据报道，那位老板侥幸脱险，他是在最后一刻做的决定，因为太忙没时间旅行。“我从未意识到，”特朗普今天说，“家庭以外的死亡怎么会对我产生如此深远的影响。这是可悲的浪费生命。至于他自己，他听天由命:“我工作，我不担心，我像任何人一样保护自己。”希望我们最终都会去天堂。” To check out his present-day pastures, we sent New York Daily News celebrity interviewer and syndicated columnist Glenn Plaskin to talk with him. This interview had long been in the works, including two earlier starts. But Plaskin finally got Trump to sit down with him over a period of nearly 16 weeks. His report: “For our first session at Trump Tower, after being visually frisked by a troop of basketball-player-tall bodyguards, I entered the inner sanctum. There was Donald Trump, as he would be for most of our sessions, slumped behind the cinnamon-colored desk, slung comically low in his chair, clipping his fingernails. “I think best this way,” he’d deadpan. “As the weeks went by, I found I liked poking through the hooded dare-me eyes with rapid-fire changes of topic, watching for surprise. Often he parried with rehearsed answers, but we spent enough time together that we entered genuinely fresh territory. When I asked for his stand on abortion, he frowned, pouted and asked ne to turn the recorder off. He didn’t really have an option—what the hell was mine? It was a very human moment. “Supervising his office like an exceedingly well-run vaudeville show, executive assistant Norma Foerderer would wander in with another gold-framed magazine cover to put up on his wall—or with a seven-pound cheesecake or a stuffed skunk. Trump would take calls during our interview—never for more than a few minutes—that invariably ended with, ”Ok, baby, you’re the greatest.” Then secretary Rhona Graff would walk in, bearing little yellow slips of paper announcing calls waiting: down-on-his-luck financier Adnan Khashoggi, asking to have lunch; a hotel executive, dickering to sell yet another big hotel……By the time Duchess Fergie called about borrowing his brand-new accident-proof helicopter, and Don Johnson to borrow his city-size yacht, I was dizzy. “To get away from it all, we began our first session hovering above the East River in the cobalt Darth Vader helicopter. Donald Trump was strapped into taupe leather, good-naturedly hyping his empire below.” 为了了解他每天的生活，我们请了《纽约每日新闻》的著名记者和专栏作家格伦·普拉斯金来采访他。这次采访已经进行了很长时间，包括之前的两次。但是普拉斯金终于让特朗普和他坐下来谈了将近16个星期。他的采访报告: “关于我们在特朗普大厦的第一次采访，在被一群篮球运动员般高的保镖“虎视眈眈”之后，我进入了内部密室。那就是特朗普，在我们的大多数采访中，他都是这样的，耷拉在肉桂色的桌子后面，滑稽地低靠在椅子上，剪着指甲。 “我觉得这样很好，”他面无表情地说。 几个星期过去了，我发现自己必须从裹着头巾的瞪着我的眼睛里，并在话题的快速变化中，观察有没有惊喜。他经常回避事先排练过的答案，但等到在一起的时间足够长，我们进入了真正新鲜的领域。当我问他对堕胎的立场时，他皱着眉头，撅着嘴，让我把录音机关掉。他真的没有选择——我这是到底在干嘛?多么人性化的瞬间啊。 行政助理诺玛福尔德勒把他的办公室管理得就像管理得非常出色的杂剧表演，她会拿着另一个镶金框的杂志封面走进办公室，把它挂在墙上——或者拿着一个7磅重的芝士蛋糕或一只塞满臭鼬的什么东西。特朗普会在我们的采访中接听电话——从来不会超过几分钟——最后总是说:“好吧，宝贝，你是最棒的。”“然后秘书罗娜格拉夫会走进来,晃着小黄色便笺告诉他有电话在线上:倒霉的金融家阿德南·卡舒吉约吃午饭;一个酒店高管嚷嚷着要再卖一个大型酒店……同时，菲姬公爵夫人打电话要借他全新的直升机，唐·约翰逊借他的城市大小的游艇。我有点头晕了。 为了摆脱这些，我们开始了第一次空中采访，乘坐深蓝色的天行者直升机在伊斯特河上空转了一圈。唐纳德·特朗普被灰褐色皮革紧紧裹着，善意地炒作着他的帝国。”
CORONAVIRUS (PA) CONFIRMED CASE 5 MILES AWAY.. and i lost my job..
We have the first confirmed case around 5 miles from here. This is no surprise and was going to happen in the next few days anyway. I went to Giant Eagle and Walmart to see what they have left and people are freaking out and emptying out the store. **update** Worst case scenario has gone down, we are in lock down all stores and jobs have been shut down for 2-8 weeks so looks like I got some time off.... PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Health Director Dr. Debra Bogen are calling on non-essential businesses to close for at least two weeks beginning tomorrow. ADVERTISING The list included:
Child care centers
Community and recreation centers
Gyms (including yoga studios, spin studios, barre facilities, and others)
Sporting event facilities
“This is an unprecedented challenge that our community is facing,” Fitzgerald said. “This is an unprecedented time in our community. Our region has always been at its best when we work together, and this challenge is no exception. We need everyone to step up and play a part in slowing the spread of COVID-19 in our region. We understand that this may cause hardship for some, and frustration for others, but it’s imperative that we work together to do what’s best for our community.” They are calling on these businesses to implement alternative work strategies so they can help stem the spread of coronavirus. There is still much unknown about this virus and the illness it causes. But there are some things we know already,” said Dr. Bogen. “We know the virus is or will soon be spreading in virtually every community in the US and indeed in the world. Given the contagiousness of this virus, we know that it will not slow down on its own until it has infected most people in every community. The best hope we have for averting this catastrophic outcome is to take aggressive action to dramatically slow down the spread of the virus in our community.” The goal of asking these businesses to close is to help further the cause of social distancing. While restaurants and bars are included in the list, they are still encouraging them to remain open but only for delivery or carryout. They would like churches and other religious organizations to remain open for social services and the community but to refrain from social gatherings and services. Grocery stores, pharmacies, and gas stations are not part of this recommendation. “We fully recognize the impact that these recommendations will have on our community, their livelihoods, their mental health, their day-to-day needs. We are working collaboratively to put the systems in place that can meet those challenges,” said Fitzgerald. “We will also be calling on those of you who are healthy and able to assist those of our community who are not. We hope to have additional announcements regarding those plans in the coming days.” sources https://www.wtae.com/article/coronavirus-cases-pittsburgh-western-pennsylvania/31552064 https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/03/15/county-asking-businesses-to-close-voluntarily/ here are the videos i have taken over the last few days: CORONAVIRUS LOCKDOWN VLOG DAY 1: State of Emergencyhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shcVokhZcp8 CORONAVIRUS LOCKDOWN VLOG DAY 2: CONFIRMED CASE 5 MILES AWAY..https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUD3yT_CQuM CORONAVIRUS LOCKDOWN VLOG DAY 3: LOST MY JOB..https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byXCUeZRKS0
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