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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Donald Trump Soured on a Deal, and Hong Kong Partners Became Litigants - The New York Times

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“I beat China all the time,” Mr. Trump declared in a speech the day he announced his candidacy. “I own a big chunk of the Bank of America building at 1290 Avenue of the Americas that I got from China in a war. Very valuable.”


Mr. Trump does have an investment in the building, an office tower near Rockefeller Center. But court documents and interviews with people involved in the deal tell a very different story of how he ended up with it.It began when a group of Hong Kong billionaires, including one who has been called the Donald Trump of China, helped rescue Mr. Trump from the verge of bankruptcy by investing in one of his properties in Manhattan.
For years, the carefully cultivated relationship between Mr. Trump and his Hong Kong partners proved lucrative for both sides, and stands out as perhaps the closest that Mr. Trump has come to international diplomacy.


To strike the deal, Mr. Trump had to attend elaborate dinner parties featuring foreign foods he did not want to eat. He delayed the closing because of Chinese spiritual beliefs and hunted around New York for a “feng shui” master to help with the building décor, instead of indulging his tastes for marble and gold, according to former associates of Mr. Trump who were involved in the deal.
But when his Hong Kong partners sold the property without his support, Mr. Trump waged a bitter, long-shot legal battle against them. And far from winning his share of the Bank of America building, according to court documents, he had to settle for it after losing in court.

(Via.)  Donald Trump Soured on a Deal, and Hong Kong Partners Became Litigants - The New York Times: ""

Monday, May 30, 2016

Eric Holder, who really wanted to put Edward Snowden in jail, now says he performed a 'public service' | The Verge

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"Edward Snowden performed a 'public service' by prompting changes to the US government's mass surveillance programs, says former US Attorney General Eric Holder.

Holder still thinks that Snowden's decision to leak classified documents was 'inappropriate and illegal,' but — now one year out of office — Holder's view of Snowden seems to have shifted in a substantial way. 'We can certainly argue about the way in which Snowden did what he did, but I think that he actually performed a public service by raising the debate that we engaged in and by the changes that we made,' Holder said on the CNN-produced podcast The Axe Files.

The argument that what Snowden did is both inappropriate and a public service is a bit hard to reconcile, but it's a big leap for Holder, who as attorney general maintained that Snowden would have to plead guilty if he so much as wanted to talk with US authorities."

(Via.)  Eric Holder, who really wanted to put Edward Snowden in jail, now says he performed a 'public service' | The Verge:

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Why the 'Roots' Remake Is So Important - The Atlantic

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“To date, America’s most defining chapter, slavery—with all of its complexity, contradictions, and endless fictional and true narrative possibilities—has been under-treated by Hollywood. The recent visibility of films such as the Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave, Nate Parker’s record-breaking Birth of a Nation, the intriguing, savvy WGN series Underground, and Django Unchained, Tarantino’s fantastical slave era-cowboy hero flick—might make it appear otherwise. (BET’s unusual but laudable 2015 effort, The Book of Negroes miniseries, failed to widely engage American viewers.)

A&E’s Roots confronts this distorted but popular belief that the subject of slavery has not only been covered, but done well, done enough, or even done too much. There continues to be a deep-seated American cultural discomfort with slavery, and neither the financial success of Birth of a Nation at Sundance nor the critical success of Twelve Years a Slave and Underground has yet led to a sustained national discussion and interrogation of this discomfort.  "

(Via.)  Why the 'Roots' Remake Is So Important - The Atlantic:

Real Time with Bill Maher: Overtime. Trump Will Win In A Landslide? This is getting scary. – May 27, 2016 (HBO)

Chicago’s Murder Problem - The New York Times

"There was a time when it looked as if Chicago would follow New York and Los Angeles into a kind of sustained peace. Then progress stalled in 2004, and the city has been through some harrowing years leading up to another alarming spike in homicides this year.

Homicide Rate 30 per 100,000 Chicago Rate has held steady since 2004. Rate rose from 2014 to 2015 and is on an upward trajectory this year. 25 20 Los Angeles 15 10 New York City 5 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 Already embroiled in a crisis over race and police conduct, Chicago now faces a 62 percent increase in homicides. Through mid-May, 216 people have been killed. Shootings also are up 60 percent.

So what’s going on in Chicago?

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 It’s complicated, but a comparison with New York is a good place to start. Both cities began the 1990s with historically high homicide rates; both have diverse populations, including large numbers of blacks, Hispanics and whites, and a wide range of economic fortune as well.

Chicago has about the same population as Brooklyn, but a year’s worth of homicides in the two places shows an astonishing difference in the toll.

400 Chicago Longest stretch without homicide: 5 days Cumulative Homicides in 2015 New York City 300 200 Brooklyn Longest stretch without homicide: 22 days 100 APRIL JAN. FEB. MARCH JULY DEC. NOV. OCT. SEPT. JUNE MAY AUG. "

 

 

 

(Via.)  Chicago’s Murder Problem - The New York Times:

Friday, May 27, 2016

The End of Black Harlem - The New York Times

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"But even then, a few boys passing by on their bikes understood what was at stake. As we chanted, “Save Harlem now!” one of them inquired, “Why are y’all yelling that?” We explained that the city was encouraging housing on the historic, retail-centered 125th Street, as well as taller buildings. Housing’s good, in theory, but because the median income in Harlem is less than $37,000 a year, many of these new apartments would be too expensive for those of us who already live here.
Hearing this, making a quick calculation, one boy in glasses shot back at his companions, “You see, I told you they didn’t plant those trees for us.”

(Via.)   The End of Black Harlem - The New York Times

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

This Will Be a Historic (and Terrifying) Election for Gun Control | The Nation

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" When he ran for reelection in 2012, Barack Obama never talked about gun control. That’s almost hard to remember now, after Newtown transformed Obama and he spent massive political capital trying to make Congress act on comprehensive reform. While Obama has since pledged not to even campaign for Democrats who don’t support gun-control legislation, his speech at the Democratic convention in Charlotte four years ago never alluded to gun violence.

This was no small feat, considering mass acts of gun violence shook the country throughout the summer of 2012. After the Aurora, Colorado, theater shooting in July killed 12 people and wounded scores more, Obama said only that he wanted ‘to arrive at a consensus around violence reduction—not just of gun violence, but violence at every level, on every step, looking at everything we can do to reduce violence.’ He proposed no new gun reforms.

Less than a month later, when six people were shot and killed at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, Obama again declined to make gun safety a campaign issue. Reporters asked White House Press Secretary Jay Carney if the president wanted new laws, and Carney essentially said no. ‘We need to take common-sense measures that protect Second Amendment rights and make it harder for those who should not have weapons under existing law from obtaining weapons,’ he replied.

The upcoming presidential election will be dramatically different, as dueling speeches from Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton this past weekend demonstrated. Like few other elections before it, 2016 will feature gun control as a huge and explosive issue."

(Via.) This Will Be a Historic (and Terrifying) Election for Gun Control | The Nation:

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Trump? - The New York Times

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"Once again, we are faced with a rising Trump. Once again, we have to wonder what is going on.

Hillary Clinton, a Yale Law graduate whose résumé includes stints at the Children’s Defense Fund and the House Judiciary Committee working on Watergate, spent more than a decade as first lady of Arkansas, eight years as first lady of the United States, eight years as a senator and four years as secretary of state serving as one of the president’s principal foreign policy advisers. She collected more than 17 million votes in 2008 as the first woman to ever come close to winning the presidential nomination of a major party; she has been named 12 times by Forbes as one of most powerful women in the world and found 20 times by Gallup to be the woman Americans admire most in the world.

How could a candidate with as much baggage as Trump be neck-and-neck with one of the most admired, best credentialed and most broadly experienced nominees in the history of the Democratic Party?"

(Via.)  How Do You Solve a Problem Like Trump? - The New York Times:

As Donald Trump Pushes Conspiracy Theories, Right-Wing Media Gets Its Wish - The New York Times

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"WASHINGTON — Ever since talk radio, cable news and the Internet emerged in the 1990s as potent political forces on the r     right, Republicans have used those media to attack their opponents through a now-familiar two-step.

Political operatives would secretly place damaging information with friendly outlets like The Drudge Report and Fox News and with radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh — and then they would work to get the same information absorbed into the mainstream media.

Candidates themselves would avoid being seen slinging mud, if possible, so as to avoid coming across as undignified or desperate.

Yet by personally broaching topics like Bill Clinton’s marital indiscretions and the conspiracy theories surrounding the suicide of Vincent W. Foster Jr., a Clinton White House aide, Donald J. Trump is again defying the norms of presidential politics and fashioning his own outrageous style — one that has little use for a middleman, let alone usual ideas about dignity."

As Donald Trump Pushes Conspiracy Theories, Right-Wing Media Gets Its Wish - The New York Times:

Albuquerque cops use smoke, horses after anti-Trump protests turn tense | MSNBC

"Albuquerque police threw smoke canisters and used what appeared to be pepper spray on crowds Tuesday after anti-Donald Trump protesters threw rocks and bottles at officers, officials said.

There were no arrests during protests outside the Trump rally as of around 9 p.m. local time, (11 p.m. ET) police said. At around 8 p.m., protesters rushed past a barricade and officers in riot gear were called in to block the locked entrance of the venue."

Albuquerque cops use smoke, horses after anti-Trump protests turn tense | MSNBC

Monday, May 23, 2016

Is this wahat makes America exceptional? Freddie Gray verdict: Officer Edward Nero not guilty - CNN.com

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"(CNN) Baltimore police Officer Edward Nero was found not guilty of all charges Monday in connection with the death of Freddie Gray, Judge Barry Williams ruled Monday after a bench trial.

Williams took 20 minutes to read the decision to a packed courtroom and near-capacity overflow room. Nero nodded as Williams said there was no evidence to support each individual charge,

Freddie Gray verdict: Officer Edward Nero not guilty - CNN.com: "Baltimore (CNN)Baltimore police Officer Edward Nero was found not guilty of all charges Monday in connection with the death of Freddie Gray, Judge Barry Williams ruled Monday after a bench trial.

Williams took 20 minutes to read the decision to a packed courtroom and near-capacity overflow room. Nero nodded as Williams said there was no evidence to support each individual charge,"

(Via.)

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Studies prove linkage between racism and seething hot hatred of Obama

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 "Which of these two President Obamas is smarter, better, and more honest?

It should seem quite obvious, but it took scientists to finally bring the ‘mystery’ of intense Obama hatred by some in the GOP, ranging from tea party members to Trump supporters, into full relief.

A new study clears up any lingering doubt that the Republican Party engaged in the tactic of dogwhistle politics in the 2008 presidential race between Barack Obama and John McCain. The study, which was published online this month in Public Opinion Quarterly, shows that the McCain campaign’s negative ads about Obama overwhelmingly featured him with a darker skin tone in a subtle attempt to appeal to voters’ racial prejudices.

According to the study’s authors, 86 percent of the ads featured images of the president with a skin tone that fell into the darkest quartile of the ads they looked at.

As the Post reports, the closer the election got, the darker Obama’s skin became in McCain’s desperate ads. And while Obama’s skin darkened, McCain’s skin grew lighter and pastier. During the 2008 campaign the McCain campaign cynically attempted use digitally darkened images of Obama in order to stir potential bigotry against him and his campaign. Obama obviously overcame this to win that election and become president. But isn’t it somewhat plausible that this and other attempts to demonize the president and his supporterss for their race and ethnicity were actually at the heart of movement against him—such as the tea party, and Donald Trump’s rapid rise to the GOP’s presumptive nominee?

Many of you will say, ‘Duh!’ But still, it helps to have the science to prove it."

Studies prove linkage between racism and seething hot hatred of Obama:

(Via.)

Studies prove linkage between racism and seething hot hatred of Obama

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"Which of these two President Obamas is smarter, better, and more honest?
It should seem quite obvious, but it took scientists to finally bring the “mystery” of intense Obama hatred by some in the GOP, ranging from tea party members to Trump supporters, into full relief.
A new study clears up any lingering doubt that the Republican Party engaged in the tactic of dogwhistle politics in the 2008 presidential race between Barack Obama and John McCain. The study, which was published online this month in Public Opinion Quarterly, shows that the McCain campaign’s negative ads about Obama overwhelmingly featured him with a darker skin tone in a subtle attempt to appeal to voters’ racial prejudices.

According to the study’s authors, 86 percent of the ads featured images of the president with a skin tone that fell into the darkest quartile of the ads they looked at.
As the Post reports, the closer the election got, the darker Obama’s skin became in McCain’s desperate ads. And while Obama’s skin darkened, McCain’s skin grew lighter and pastier.During the 2008 campaign the McCain campaign cynically attempted use digitally darkened images of Obama in order to stir potential bigotry against him and his campaign. Obama obviously overcame this to win that election and become president. But isn’t it somewhat plausible that this and other attempts to demonize the president and his supporterss for their race and ethnicity were actually at the heart of movement against him—such as the tea party, and Donald Trump’s rapid rise to the GOP’s presumptive nominee?
Many of you will say, “Duh!” But still, it helps to have the science to prove it."

 

Studies prove linkage between racism and seething hot hatred of Obama: ""

(Via.)

EgyptAir Was Aware of Threats to Security, Including One Scribbled on Plane - The New York Times

"CAIRO — In an eerie coincidence, the EgyptAir jetliner that plunged into the Mediterranean on Thursday was once the target of political vandals who wrote in Arabic on its underside, “We will bring this plane down.”



Three EgyptAir security officials said the threatening graffiti, which appeared about two years ago, had been the work of aviation workers at Cairo Airport. Playing on the phonetic similarity between the last two letters in the plane’s registration, SU-GCC, and the surname of Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, some workers also wrote “traitor” and “murderer.”



EgyptAir Was Aware of Threats to Security, Including One Scribbled on Plane - The New York Times