A Quick Thought on Trump’s Campaign Manager Being Indicted

I know from reading comments here that some of you folks have Donald Trump confused for Santa Claus but has it occurred to anyone that his scapegoating of minorities such as Hispanics and the poor is designed to divert attention from the stealing he and his cronies are doing?

The Whitefish contract was particularly odious for a number of reasons including the fact there are two major publicly traded power line contractors with units based in Florida and Georgia that could have been onsite in Puerto Rico weeks ago, companies that would have neither needed to ramp up employees or find subcontractors. Evidently those companies did not slip Trump or Rick Perry major amounts of campaign ca$h.

And now of course Paul Manafort, Trump’s former Campaign manager and his sidekick Rick Gates have been indicted. Worse for Trump is while Manfort was ousted from the Trump campaign in August of last year, Gates remained very close to the Trump administration with access to Trump well after he took office. The optics are terrible and that no doubt is being reflected in Trump’s 33% approval rating.

I think Mr. Trump has some worse days coming with speculation centering on his son and son-in-law being next up on the chopping block. Trump can not be indicted but he sure can be impeached. The odds on that also greatly went up today.

Next up is the inaugural Slabbed New Media Idiot of the Day Award (IDA) which goes to Fox New’s bleach blonde airhead Tomi Lahren for desecrating the American flag in direct violation of 4 U.S.C. §8(d) “Respect for flag” which states, “The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery.” Lahren, always quick to point the finger at NFL players protesting inequality should have remembered that, “When a man points a finger at someone else, he should remember that four of his fingers are pointing at himself.”

Team Trump is very fond of pointing fingers, which is likely what triggered Nassim Taleb to remind everyone of Hammurabi’s code:

If we only had that the swamp up in DC would be drained inside of a few months.

Bay Taxpayers, Utility Users Stuck Repaying Excessive Post Katrina Engineering Firm Fees

If there was one lesson of the post Katrina rebuilding process that some places had to learn the hard way is that FEMA and Uncle Sam should not be confused for Santa Claus. Santa Claus is a role reserved for the local taxpayers and in this case Taxpayers/Utility ratepayers in the City of Bay St Louis that are stuck repaying what FEMA has termed excessive to the tune of $62,925 in engineering fees, an amount which is not chump change in small town Mississippi. There are a few things that I noticed researching this topic and it is at this point I must acknowledge the contribution of Lana Noonan of the Hancock Alliance for Good Government to this post as she went up to the City Hall complex and read several years worth of minutes that adds a great deal of color. Before we get to any of that we first check in with Cassandra Favre at the Sea Coast Echo and her telling of Tuesday a week ago’s Council meeting:

The Bay St. Louis City Council on Tuesday approved a motion to extend the $13 fee on utility billings through Dec. 31 to satisfy a payment to FEMA for the Beach Blvd. sewer, drainage and lift station project.

Mayor Mike Favre told the council that MEMA owes the city about $168,000 for the Rutherford Pier project.

“We write the check back to them and they give it back to FEMA,” Favre said.

The city owes FEMA about $238,925, he said, for the Beach Blvd. sewer, drainage and lift station project. That would leave the city owing $70,000, which is due by March 31, Favre said.

Favre said the second appeal to FEMA for engineering costs reimbursement was denied in December 2016.

According to the second appeal analysis from FEMA, “on Sept. 10, 2014, FEMA”s Region IV Regional Administrator denied the applicant’s request for an additional $171,499 for engineering design costs. The RA noted that the $171,499 awarded for engineering fees is considerably more than the suggested percentage normally allowed for engineering and design services of above-average complexity.”

It is here that I recommend those interested in this topic should read or re-read Cassandra’s story but here is the bottom line for Bay Utility Rubepayers Ratepayers: Continue reading “Bay Taxpayers, Utility Users Stuck Repaying Excessive Post Katrina Engineering Firm Fees”

John Besh’s Sexual Misconduct Implosion Absolutely Stunning

It’s nice to see NOLA Media Group breaking big news again:

John Besh restaurants fostered culture of sexual harassment, 25 women say ~ Brett Anderson

I like the way Anderson framed the story with the missing HR Department being front and center. In my day job as a CPA I often see small businesses that think things like HR are luxuries that only “big companies” can afford when the fact is Human Resources and Compliance are as much a part of the business environment as are core operations. While it is true from the article that Besh did not have a problem hiring female managers, he sure did treat them badly by treating some as sex objects. What a complete waste.

From reading the article Saturday it became very clear that Mr. Besh likely needs a good criminal defense lawyer to go with the legions of civil labor lawyers Besh Restaurant Group will need to unravel the mess.

John Besh has taken responsibility for his actions in a statement he released to NOLA Media Group and that is a very important first step. That said I’m not sure even the best crisis managers in PR can salvage the Besh Restaurant Group, even with today’s news that Besh stepped down from day to day operations to focus 100% on salvaging his marriage and family. Harrah’s banned Besh Restaurant this morning and business at his free standing eateries will certainly suffer. In that respect all 1,200 employees of the Besh restaurant Group are paying the price for upper management’s recklessly bad behavior and that is the biggest shame of all.

Finally, a reminder to the guys that the lady working next to you is someone’s daughter, wife etc. Treat them like you’d have others treat your family members and you’ll never go wrong. I imagine this will dominate the local news cycle for a while.

Other Voices | Tom Callaghan: It’s Sheldon Adelson’s Dream and We’re living It

Billionaire Casino owner Sheldon Adelson is not wracked by doubt. In Sheldon’s world there is no such thing as the Palestinian People, there was never anything to negotiate with Iran, and Israel’s Capitol is Jerusalem.

Sheldon has no trouble keeping things simple and no problem getting to the point.

In dealing with the Trump Campaign, Adelson was reluctant to come in big because, like everybody else, he didn’t think Trump could win. By late October, Adelson was sufficiently convinced that there was enough of a chance that Trump could surprise that it was better to be in than out.

So he came in to the tune of $30 Million to Trump with about 10 days to go and another $5 Million for the Trump Inaugural Committee. A total of $35 Million from a man with a net worth of $35 Billion…no strain, plenty of opportunity to gain.

Before that contribution was made I think we can safely assume that Trump and Adelson spent about 30 seconds talking about “good government” in general and a couple of hours talking about the particulars of Adelson’s latter life passion (since his marriage to his second wife, Israeli born Miriam, in 1991)…Israel.

I continue to be amazed at the number of people who know a lot about a lot and know almost nothing about Sheldon Adelson. Born into a relatively poor Jewish family in heavily Irish Catholic Dorchester, MA I’m sure he took his knocks but there is no doubt he came out with a formidable toughness and focus that have made him the most powerful private citizen in two countries…Israel and the United States.

In Israel, he helped defeat an Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, when Sheldon thought he was being too accommodative to the Palestinians and he has sustained and supported Netanyahu through his Newspaper, Israel Hayom, that has the widest circulation in Israel. Continue Reading……..

Please pardon the absence, which does make the heart grow fonder…

We’re having a high time visiting with Tank and setting up the rest of the month. It is good to get a break.

Meantime we have a City Councilman in Diamondhead nominating Water and Sewer Board members he was conflicted from voting upon with the nominating being read from his cell phone, ostensibly with a third party texting the fella exactly what to say. The video on Facebook was clear about that part of the last meeting being a clown show but there is more in the Inspector General Review underway at the Diamondhead Water and Sewer District, which may be why the Councilman was trying to nominate a buddy, despite being conflicted. And yes, the larger story even has an in flagrante delicto component but we already knew Diamondhead was a boiling cauldron of lust, sex and avarice.

If all this sounds like a big tease it’s because it is a tease but in order to dissect an OIG report DMR style we have to have an OIG report to dissect so we patiently wait and collect muck (and take a break).

Consider this an open thread.

Other Voices | Tom Callaghan: Making Love to Madame – A Tall Story in Paris

Posted on September 26, 2017

First, it didn’t happen. Or, it probably didn’t happen. When dealing with Madame, one doesn’t know for sure. You see, Madame has this ability to make you wonder if you (meaning me)…or, in this case, I am all here or all there.

I exchanged Emails with Madame this AM. I’m in Paris and she’s in one of those straight laced New England states. I’m having my car fixed, a while back, in one of those states and I’m waiting in the sitting area, standing.

That’s Madame’s influence. Everything must be literally and provably true in all details. I, on the other hand, believe in a more generalized version of “Truthiness”. It tends to keep the conversation moving.

Meanwhile, Madame can say any goddamned thing she wants and if I so much as say “boo” she goes into one of those tiny type email tirades that I have no concept of truth, beauty, love and freedom and, furthermore, would probably “stink up the joint” in bed if it ever came to that. (That amuses the hell out of me…not because it isn’t true…but because that’s how my father would describe a sports team that played really badly…’they stunk up the joint.”).

Furthermore, my continued existence on the planet is a burden to humanity of which she is a part and me not at all. And, the fact that I continue to call my half-assed blog a website is further evidence that I am a pompous self-centered MFer and should be stuffed in a rusty woodchipper forthwith.

(Now, those of you who lack a pure heart may interpret MFer as an obscenity…not necessarily so. I happen to have played way too much poker in California, at a place called the Commerce Club. The demographics of the Club on any given night would be about 50% Asian. When something bad happened to some of the Asian players in a poker game they would sometimes exclaim “Mother Father Mother Father”…so, judge not lest ye be judged.)

Hey, so the lady has strong views, that doesn’t mean she’s a bad person. And, if she is a bad person, and has a dynamite body, who gives a shit…certainly not me. So, it appears as though I’ve set up the perfect lose, lose, lose situation…also known as the Irish Trifecta.

Continue Reading……