Friday, October 07, 2016

They Got His Back

Almost no Republican officeholders renounce support for Donald Trump. They got his back.

Attack Of The Pussy Grabber

I don't think Trump's crude statement's a candidacy-killer. We've already factored in that Trump's a world-class monster - like something out of a horror movie, or a creepy Nazi war flick.

What the statement does do, however, is make it hard for Trump to bring up Bill Clinton for the remainder of the campaign. To properly bring up Bill requires expressing deep disdain for the crude ways of Arkansas interlopers in the more refined salons of Washington. The interloper from Queens has to behave himself better than Bill does for the act to work. And - Mister Pussy Grabber acts worse than Bill ever has.

Donald's completely knee-capped; completely at Hillary's mercy. Hell, I'm beginning to feel sorry for him already. And there's a debate coming up soon!

Not feeling sorry for the Republican Party. Pottery Barn rule - they broke it; they bought it. They created this mess - let them figure a way out.
The Republican Party was in a state of turmoil on Friday night over revelations that Donald Trump once bragged in explicit terms about sexually harassing women, driving GOP leaders to denounce their nominee and even prompting calls that he leave the presidential ticket.

But while Trump and his senior aides huddled to strategize next steps, many Republicans felt paralyzed -- stuck with a candidate few ever wholeheartedly embraced with only 31 days left until Election Day.

From the Washington Post.

The Coast Turns; The Storm Doesn't

Damn, it looks like Matthew's Eye is going to crash into the coast after all. Savannah, Georgia is in trouble.

[UPDATE: Matthew's eye wall will just miss Savannah. The storm is weakening, but it's also moving onshore. Charleston, SC, will likely get a visit from the eye, but it'll be a weaker storm - maybe not hurricane status by then.]

The Future's So Bright I Have To Wear Shades

McDonald's saddled with an aging brand:
The Journal quotes a memo from a “top McDonald's franchisee” stating that only 1 in 5 millennials have even tried a Big Mac in their lives; we are apparently a generation immune to the charms of the special sauce. “The number of hamburgers sold at McDonald’s U.S. restaurants has been flat for the past few years,” the paper adds, “and was growing only at a 1% to 2% annual rate before that, according to former high-ranking McDonald’s executives.”

This Is Why We Pay Taxes

A Bad Lip Reading of the First 2016 Presidential Debate

Smooth, Suave

The man who's always wrong advises Trump to be smooth and suave, like Pence:

Yeah, Hillary, Where Is It?

Matthew Lashing Jacksonville

Matthew's eye is shifting a little farther from the coast. Maybe not enough for the folks in Jacksonville to notice, but maybe enough to pull the destructive eye wall off the coast.

Surf cam's fun.

Meanwhile, in Jacksonville, a tree fell on Donna's house.

I'm wondering, will the storm turn before it reaches Savannah?

Matthew On A Glide Path

6 p.m. EDT - Very-nearly direct hit by Hurricane Matthew's eye on Freeport, Grand Bahama. (Not sure they got the respite of the eye - just lots of tormented eyewall.)

Well, tonight it looks like the storm is slowly gliding into greater and greater contact with the shore (I see it was raining in Tampa). The nudge in the storm's path this afternoon helped reduce impacts in the Palm Beach area. I was hoping the storm might nudge again, and save Floridians a lot of trouble, but there's no sign of it yet. It looks right now like the center of the storm might come ashore this morning around Cape Canaveral - the closest passage to Tampa forecast so far.

QQ - Guh Down Low

Dancehall was fun tonight:

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Loretta Sanchez Dabs

And the rest of us are befuddled:

In what may be a political debate first, Rep. Loretta Sanchez struck a pose known as the “dab” at the tail end of her closing statement in Wednesday’s U.S. Senate debate against Kamala Harris, leaving Harris looking surprised and others in disbelief.

Images of Sanchez posing with her right arm across her chest and her left arm extended away from her body, a celebratory gesture popularized by Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, spread across the internet with many reacting incredulously to how the now-iconic dance pose made its way from the NFL to the U.S. Senate race to the internet.

Sad Ted Cruz

The video is great. All the GOTV one would ever need.

A Jog

Interesting. In the last hour, the storm jogged towards Grand Bahama. Very bad for Grand Bahama, but it pulls the storm away from the Florida coast a little bit.

[UPDATE: 3 p.m. PDT - Direct hit by Hurricane Matthew's eye on Freeport, Grand Bahama. (Not sure they got the respite of the eye - just lots of tormented eyewall.) If the storm continues on this path, the east Florida coast might just luck out. None of the forecasts are that optimistic, but hurricanes can surprise!]

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Here Comes Matthew

Hurricane Matthew bypassed Jamaica, crashed into Haiti, and headed to Cuba.

Looks like Guantanamo took a direct hit.

Matthew will hit Florida and much of the U.S. Atlantic coast later this week.

It looks pretty damn bad. Two possible Apocalypses. Will the storm hit Miami, cross Florida, take out Tampa too before veering back east and heading up the coast, or will it just stick to converting the entire Atlantic coast from Miami to Cape Hatteras to matchsticks. Not good either way.

Some of the early forecasts showed the possibility of a massive rain event from Ohio to Nova Scotia triggered by the storm getting caught up by the cold front. The later forecasts are pulling back the rainfall amounts, but the possibility is still out there, even far from the coast.

Empty Jewelry Box Scam

Trump got caught playing the "empty jewelry box" sales tax avoidance scam in 1986, and skipped punishment by testifying against the jeweler:
Back in 1986 and likely for many years before, Donald Trump colluded in tax evasion with Bulgari Jewelry Store in New York, a high-end posh location with tony clientele right out of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. Here’s how the scam worked:

Trump would go into the store with his wife, his girlfriend, his…whatever (to use his vernacular). He would then buy her an expensive necklace or wristwatch. Normally, such a transaction would face the New York city and state sales tax, which would be pretty high on luxury jewelry.

In an illegal attempt to evade the tax, Trump “asked” the store to instead ship the jewelry to an out of state location, where no New York sales tax could be collected. In fact, the store would merely send an empty jewelry box to the location, while Trump and his lady friends walked out the door with the jewelry that very day.

The state and city tax collectors eventually caught onto this scheme, and Trump promptly testified against his erstwhile tax evasion colluding partners at the jewelry store in order to save his own skin.

Fewer Polls Mean We Know Less

Interesting point, that the Internet's assault on newspapers means there are far fewer polls than there used to be, even as recently as 2012, and that means we know less:
If anything’s a little odd right now, it’s simply a question of “where are all the polls?” It’s not your imagination that there are fewer polls this year compared with the 2008 or 2012 cycles … or at least the traditional individual-state polls using call centers. (There certainly has been an increase in online non-probability samples, like the national tracking polls from NBC/Survey Monkey and Ipsos/Reuters.) That’s largely a factor of newspapers, who traditionally have been the funding source for much of the state-level polling, just not having the financial resources to commission as many polls as they used to. And that’s why you’re seeing less of certain once-prolific pollsters like SurveyUSA and Mason-Dixon this year; they don’t do freebie polls to promote their internal polling operations (like PPP) or to promote their university brand (like Quinnipiac), and their clientele is mostly papers and TV stations.

Pray For The OilFields

The concerned people at Oklahoma's Oilfield Christian Fellowship ask for your prayers on Thursday, October 13th:
The Rev. Tom Beddow of Ada, coordinator of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma’s Oil Patch Chaplains ministry, said he would like to see similar gatherings around the state as people pray for individuals affected by current economic woes, with the energy industry at the center.

“The oil field is hurting right now,” he said.

“We’re asking churches all over Oklahoma to open their doors, put on a pot of coffee and pray for the oil field, and not only for the oil field but the state, because the economy of our state is so connected to the oil field.”

Jeff Hubbard, with Oilfield Christian Fellowship- Oklahoma City, agreed.

“We have a saying: The oil field trickles down to everyone,” he said.

Hubbard said Gov. Mary Fallin has proclaimed Oct. 13 as Oilfield Prayer Day to raise awareness about the initiative.

Scam, Scam - Donald Trump For Vets - Scam, Scam, Scam!

Image from Letras Libres:

How could it be anything BUT that?:
The New York attorney general disclosed Monday that it ordered Donald Trump’s personal charity to cease fundraising immediately after determining that the foundation was violating state law by soliciting donations without proper authorization.

The message was conveyed in a “notice of violation” sent Friday to the Donald J. Trump Foundation, of which Trump is president.

The night before, The Washington Post reported that Trump’s foundation — which has subsisted entirely on other people’s donations since 2008 — had failed to register with the state as a charity soliciting money.

White Privilege

Rudy Guiliani Says "Everybody" Commits Infidelity

So, no big deal, unless you are Bill Clinton.

"Debt Parking"

Inquiring people, such this hedge fund manager, may finally be closing in on the real secret of Trump's business success: "debt parking":
Here is how debt parking works. Suppose the debtor (in this case The Donald) is going to get his debt cancelled for (say) 1c in the dollar. When he gets the debt wiped out the debtor (ie The Donald) will have to report assessable income equal to the debt wiped out (in this case 99 percent of $916 million).

The alternative though is for the debtor to set up a dummy party. The dummy party might be his wife or children or some company or trust set up by them or more likely some completely opaque offshore trust.

And that dummy party goes and buys the debt for say 1.1 cents in the dollar. Then they just sit there.

They don't force the debtor (ie The Donald) to repay. They don't make a profit or loss on the debt. And because the debtor never has his debt forgiven he never gets the assessment on debt forgiveness and he gets to keep his NOLs even though the losses did not come out of his pocket.

Every tax system worth its salt has some rules on "effective debt forgiveness" to prevent debt parking. And - from my experience which is now over twenty years old - none of them work entirely.

Now if Donald really has all those tax losses its pretty clear that the debt must be parked somewhere.

There is a vehicle out there (say an offshore trust or other undisclosed related party effectively controlled by Donald Trump) - which owns over $900 million in debt and is not bothering to collect it.

First Presidential Debate

The Bastards Up The Road

WEED, Calif. — The water that gurgles from a spring on the edge of this Northern California logging town is so pristine that for more than a century it has been piped directly to the wooden homes spread across hills and gullies.

To the residents of Weed, which sits in the foothills of Mount Shasta, a snow-capped dormant volcano, the spring water is a blessing during a time of severe and prolonged drought.

To the lumber company that owns the land where the spring is, the water is a business opportunity.

Roseburg Forest Products, an Oregon-based company that owns the pine forest where the spring surfaces, is demanding that the city of Weed get its water elsewhere.

“The city needs to actively look for another source of water,” said Ellen Porter, the director of environmental affairs for Roseburg who led the company’s negotiations with the city. “Roseburg is not in a position to guarantee the availability of that water for a long period of time.”

For the past 50 years, the company charged the city $1 a year for use of water from the Beaughan Spring. As of July, it began charging $97,500 annually. A contract signed this year directs the city to look for alternative sources.

Monday, October 03, 2016

Life Seen Through Small Slits

Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" was such a fun show!

Vision was limited in our wolf masks. On Saturday night, Maurice's scarf handoff failed to happen at first, but in my mask I didn't notice, nor did I notice that he was continuing to make the handoff. I was just baffled that he wouldn't flee from the ferocious wolf pack. Was he spoiling for a fight? I started clawing the air to signal our fearsome wolf intent.

I was even more surprised when we left the stage to learn I had the scarf. How did that happen? Life seen through small slits is a mystery!