Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Wednesday's Bait and Switch

Found at the bottom of the front page:

"Will Biden’s first 100 days be his most successful 100 days?" by Jim Puzzanghera Globe Staff, April 27, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Biden reaches the 100-day mark of his administration on Thursday with much to boast about and even more to worry about.

Since taking office, he has presided over a mass vaccination campaign of 230 million doses and counting that has begun to wrestle the deadly pandemic to heel. The $1.9 trillion rescue plan he shepherded through Congress is popular with the public and has begun to boost the weak economy, and in the space of a few months, Biden has issued a slew of executive orders that have undone many of his predecessor’s policies — all while projecting a steady presence after four years of political turbulence.

That's the pre$$ narrative as they drop to their knees and almost compare him to Jesus.

It all makes for good bragging rights for Biden’s first address Wednesday night to Congress, where he will likely use the speech to tout those accomplishments, as well as push for a sweeping legislative initiative calling for about $1.8 trillion in spending for education and child care, but that new proposal, like his recent $2 trillion infrastructure bill, faces much steeper odds in Congress — and suggests that the next 100 days for Biden may be far more difficult than the first. Republican leaders are ramping up their opposition to his agenda and highlighting his biggest failing so far: an inability to handle a large increase in migrant children and teens at the US-Mexico border, and Democrats’ razor-thin majority in Congress may clip the wings of the progressive vision he offers on Wednesday. 

Reminds me of Lieberman who was a key gatekeeper back in the day, and yes, elections were rigged even back then when one looks at the incredible way the alleged results played out.

”We see his vision. He’s laying it out for us,” said Douglas Brinkley, a presidential historian at Rice University. “What we’re not seeing is how it’s going to get funded and whether he can sell the American people on it.”

The end of a president’s first 100 days has formed a traditional, although somewhat arbitrary, demarcation point since Franklin Delano Roosevelt referred to the period after a flurry of activity at the start of his administration to address the Great Depression.

Biden appears well aware of the benchmark and determined to secure his place in history. He met with a group of historians at the White House last month and has referenced learning from past presidencies in deciding what initiatives to push. He also decorated the Oval Office with a large portrait of Roosevelt, who transformed the country through sweeping social welfare programs.

My response to that was it's NOT 2009, assholes, so wake the f**k up after senior executives from more than 150 companies are voiced support for President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package in a letter to congressional leaders urging them to pass coronavirus relief, signed by leaders across industries, including David Solomon, chairman and chief executive officer at Goldman Sachs; Stephen Schwarzman, the chairman and CEO of Blackstone; Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google; and John Stankey, the CEO of AT&T and nearly 200 businesses pressed Congress for paid and more expansive family leave, a sign of the shifting political momentum over US labor policy after the overlapping crises of the coronavirus pandemic exposed workers’ vulnerabilities as a letter sent Tuesday, executives for such brands as Patagonia, Etsy, Levi Strauss, and Danone urged congressional leaders to extend comprehensive paid family and medical leave to all working people because they ’'just believe it’s the right thing to do.’'

That's why the opposition is minimal at be$t, even in the $enate and despite the warning signs for broader Democratic agenda that will require eliminating the filibuster. That news sent the Dow Jones industrial average soaring nearly 600 points by about noon Monday as direct payments to Americans and extend jobless benefits are on the way -- because a high unemployment rate is racist and that is why Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is going to keep interest rates ultralow as he predicts shortages in everything from nurses to chips and containers, which will underscored the US economy’s ongoing weakness as Macy’s, the department store company that also owns Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury, said Tuesday that its net sales in 2020 tumbled 29 percent to $17.3 billion, highlighting the toll that the pandemic has taken on mall chains and apparel stores.

The problem is “a meteor hit the Earth and knocked it off its axis and people keep trying to apply the old rules of gravity, but they don’t apply” even with “all the money sloshing around out there.” (The craft was spotted over Vermont before crashing into a New Hampshire fire chief's home and killing him -- all while stopping time for nine minutes, eleven seconds)

What's going to happen is there will be MORE POVERTY as the endless printing of money makes it worthle$$, and that's the plan: crash the economy after CVD and cajole and corral everyone into the life RAFT that is sailing toward the "Build Back Better" agenda while fencing in areas like some sort of dystopian Hunger Games that stinks to high heaven with kangaroo courts for the protectors; neverthele$$, an outstanding question for Democrats is which parts of the package need to be funded, amid debate over whether infrastructure ultimately pays for itself — especially given current borrowing costs, which remain historically low, and efforts to make the expanded child tax credit in the pandemic-aid bill permanent — something with a price tag estimated at more than $1 trillion over a decade — could be harder to sell if pitched as entirely debt-financed, and my response is WHY when it it isn't the slightest concern when it comes to wars of aggression and bailouts of Wall Street banks?

That, however, is the state of the Globe today where White is Black and the fare is the same thing over and over again and I get it. The Globe is now a defender of women, well, of certain women and not others so much but be that as it may there is no sense dancing around the fact that the Globe is a hardcore femini$t jew$paper as they cleaning up Capitol Hill after the first details of Biden's $3 Trillion "Build Back Better" infrastructure plan were leaked.

After that they are going to tackle the Orwellianly-named “Affordable Care Act” in their next pha$e, eleven years after President Barack Obama signed his signature domestic achievement that was about trying to create the ground rules so that health insurance was real, provided real financial security, and was affordable — but we’re at this point and it is not even after a cost-saving change in Medicare launched in the final days of the Trump administration cut payments to hospitals for some surgical procedures while potentially raising costs and confusion for patients -- so Biden is going to expand ‘Obamacare’ by $ub$idi$ing premiums and cutting health insurance costs(?).

He's sending Harris out to sell the dope as she avoids the border like the plague.

Biden has done that well over his first 100 days, highlighted by his work on the pandemic, Brinkley said. 

“He’s brought a sense of confidence, calm, and control across the country,” Brinkley said.

And competence, don't forget that.

What the hell is he talking about with police shootings everyday and rage in the streets as Garland opens investigation after investigation of police forces?

Btw, now that BLM and Antifa have accomplished their missions, their communi$t friends are turning on them -- as predicted by "conspiracy theorists" -- and that is "just the beginning." The Department of Homeland Security on Monday announced an internal review to assess the threat of violent extremism from within the agency, part of a broader administration focus on domestic threats following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the US Capitol, and the shootings in New York,  Tennessee, and Hollywood(!), where a Rhode Island man was shot and killed by police on Sunset Boulevard on Saturday. The Los Angeles Police Department said Richard Solitro, 34, pulled his car in front of officers who had their lights and sirens on, then reversed into them. Solitro, who was wearing body armor, got out of the car with his right hand hidden behind him, the LAPD said. As he moved toward the officers, he started counting down from three and began to move his arm in front of his body, police said. That’s when police opened fire, striking and killing him. Police said they did not find a weapon and Solitro’s family told a television station in Los Angeles that he dealt with mental health issues, delusions about conspiracies involving Bill Gates and the Illuminati, “a troubled man who needed help” and was chasing butterflies.

Despite the problems at the border, Biden has avoided a major blunder, such as the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion under John F. Kennedy, that plagued some past presidents in their early days. Biden also has been aggressive in using executive orders, issuing 40 as of Friday, significantly more than his three predecessors as of the same date.


They use that as the analogy?

Must be the daily drumbeat of stories about Russia and the new Cold War.

As for the border, that has more or less disappeared from the daily coverage save for the odd political note or editorial.

Nineteen of those orders reversed previous actions, most put in place by Donald Trump, said Terri Bimes, a political scientist at the University of California Berkeley.

“He’s willing to use executive power. He doesn’t flaunt it maybe like Trump did,” said Bimes, but with a 50-50 Senate and a slim majority in the House, legislation is hard to come by. Democrats need Republican support for many of Biden’s priorities. They were able to pass the rescue bill using the budget reconciliation process, which prohibits a Senate filibuster, but there are limits to that procedure, and using it requires nearly all Democrats to be on board.


Dictatorship is fine as long as it is the dictator they want!

Progressives so far generally have been pleased with Biden, who ran a more centrist campaign than other Democrats in the primaries. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat from New York, said during a virtual town hall on Friday that Biden “has definitely exceeded expectations” of progressives. “I’ll be frank, I think a lot of us expected a much more conservative administration,” she said, but approval like that from the left makes it tougher for Biden to get Republican support.

Looks like a switch and bait to me.

House minority leader Kevin McCarthy on Sunday called Biden’s first 100 days a “bait and switch” after campaigning on a pledge to restore bipartisanship, and Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell has indicated Biden shouldn’t expect much Republican help with his infrastructure bill, a key part of his Build Back Better initiative, criticizing the legislation for not easing environmental regulations. “Without serious permitting reform, it won’t be build back better; it’ll be build back never,” McConnell said last week.

McCarthy is walking a tightrope.

The popularity of the COVID aid bill will be hard to replicate if future legislation leans more leftward, said Ron Bonjean, a Republican strategist. “A particular policy might be popular, but if the overall direction is going away from a voter politically, that’s going to get on their radar screen,” he said. “The American people have very short memories. While they’ve received stimulus checks today, in six months they’ll say, ‘What has the government done for me to improve my life right now?’”

The lack of Republican support in Congress raises the stakes for Wednesday night’s address. Biden and White House officials have said they view bipartisanship as getting support from Republicans outside Washington even if they can’t get it from them in Congress.

Biden’s job approval, ranging from the low to high 50s in recent polls, is much higher than Trump’s after 100 days but lower than other recent presidents, and there still is a sharp partisan split. A Gallup poll released Friday had Biden’s overall approval rating at 57 percent, but just 11 percent of Republicans approved of his performance compared with 94 percent of Democrats.

Trump was focused on his base and didn’t mind operating with low approval ratings, Brinkley said, but Biden has billed himself as a different president and needs to retain some Republican support in the polls to avoid appearing partisan.

“We’ve seen Biden the grief counselor, the hand-holder, the mourner, and the visionary of what makes America great,” Brinkley said. “We now need to see Biden as salesman for his big programs.”

Excuse me as I lean over and vomit.


"President Biden intends to raise capital gains taxes for those earning more than $1 million a year his top economic adviser confirmed Monday, arguing that the move would affect only a tiny share of American households. Biden is set on Wednesday to unveil his “American Families Plan,” featuring major new social-spending measures that would be funded in part by higher taxes on the wealthy. Goldman Sachs, drawing on Federal Reserve data, estimates that the wealthiest households now hold $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion in unrealized capital gains on equities. That’s roughly 3 percent of US stock market capitalization. Goldman analysts are penciling in congressional passage of a capital gains rate of “around 28 percent” for the wealthy, anticipating Biden’s proposal will be substantially altered. Republicans are likely to oppose the tax increases en masse, but the White House is also risking a struggle with Democratic lawmakers. Some of those from New York, New Jersey, and other high-tax states in particular were already mobilizing to demand relief for their constituencies even before Biden’s official announcements. With the 50-50 Senate and a narrow margin in the House, months-long negotiations loom. Biden is also likely to propose increases on the number of Americans subjected to the estate tax. Without the GOP, Biden will need to craft a deal with his own party’s lawmakers. A bigger constituency Biden will need to woo is a group of House lawmakers largely representing districts in New York, New Jersey, and California, who demand an expansion of a tax deduction that Trump limited in 2017. More than 20 Democrats have said they won’t vote for Biden’s plan unless the $10,000 cap on state and local tax, or SALT, deductions is addressed....."

You have to $ALT the pork and if Goldman has signed off on it, it is as good as done, and the plan must curb structural racism and criminals will be prosecuted (who are is the mobsters and NOI bodyguard?).

Then they can audit the returns:

"Biden seeks $80 billion to beef up IRS audits of high-earners" by Jim Tankersley and Alan Rappeport New York Times, April 27, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Biden, in an effort to pay for his ambitious economic agenda, is expected to propose giving the Internal Revenue Service an extra $80 billion and more authority over the next 10 years to help crack down on tax evasion by high-earners and large corporations, according to two people familiar with the plan.

The additional money and enforcement power will accompany new disclosure requirements for people who own businesses that are not organized as corporations and for other wealthy people who could be hiding income from the government.

The Biden administration will portray those efforts — coupled with new taxes it is proposing on corporations and the rich — as a way to level the tax playing field between typical American workers and very high-earners who employ sophisticated efforts to minimize or avoid taxation.

It all $ounds good until your job disappears.

The administration estimates that giving the IRS an additional $80 billion over a decade could raise at least $780 billion in new tax revenue, for a net gain of at least $700 billion. Biden plans to use money raised to help pay for the cost of his “American Families Plan,” which he will detail before addressing a joint session of Congress on Wednesday.

That plan, which follows his $2.3 trillion infrastructure package, is expected to cost at least $1.5 trillion and will include universal prekindergarten, a federal paid leave program, efforts to make child care more affordable, free community college for all, and tax credits meant to fight poverty.

The administration also aims to pay for the plan by raising the top marginal income tax rate for wealthy Americans to 39.6 percent from 37 percent and raising capital gains tax rates for those who earn more than $1 million a year, which would combine to raise hundreds of billions of dollars. Biden will also seek to raise the tax rate on income that people earning more than $1 million per year receive through stock dividends, according to a person familiar with the proposal.

The administration is expected to portray the $780 billion it expects to collect through enhanced enforcement as conservative. That figure includes only money directly raised by enhanced tax audits and additional reporting requirements, and not any additional revenue from people or companies choosing to pay more taxes after previously avoiding them.

Many economists and tax experts welcomed the proposal, which they said would help reverse years of declining enforcement actions against companies and the rich at the agency.

“The plan is good news for honest filers and businesses, the budget, and the rule of law,” said Chye-Ching Huang, executive director of the Tax Law Center at NYU Law. “Stopping tax cheats from having an unfair advantage helps honest businesses to compete and thrive.”

Previous administrations have long talked about trying to close the so-called tax gap — the amount of money that taxpayers owe but that is not collected each year. This month, the head of the IRS, Charles Rettig, told a Senate committee that the agency lacked the resources to catch tax cheats, costing the government as much as $1 trillion a year.

The erosion of resources at the IRS was detailed in a Congressional Budget Office report last year that examined the agency’s work from 2010 to 2018. During that time frame, the IRS’s annual budget declined by 20 percent and its staff declined by 22 percent. Funding for enforcement activities fell by nearly a third.

With less money and staff, the IRS was forced to become more lax at enforcing tax laws.

Biden aims to change that. His economic team includes a University of Pennsylvania economist, Natasha Sarin, whose research with Harvard University economist Lawrence H. Summers suggests that the United States could raise as much as $1.1 trillion over a decade via increased tax enforcement.

Summers praised Biden’s expected plan in an e-mail late Monday.

Biden’s efforts would incorporate some of Sarin’s and Summers’s suggestions, including investing heavily in information technology improvements to help the agency better target its audits of high-earners and companies. They would also provide a dedicated funding stream to the agency, to enable officials to steadily ramp up their enforcement practices without fear of budget cuts, and to signal to potential tax evaders that the agency’s efforts will not be soon diminished. Biden would also add new requirements for people who own so-called pass-through corporations or hold their wealth in opaque structures, reminiscent of a program established under President Obama that helps the agency better track possible tax evasion by Americans with overseas holdings.

Fred T. Goldberg Jr., an IRS commissioner under President George H.W. Bush, called Biden’s plan “transformative” for combining those efforts. “Information reporting, coupled with restoring enforcement efforts, is key to improve in compliance,” Goldberg said in an e-mail. “Audits alone will never do the trick.”

Some conservative tax activists oppose any additional spending at the agency. Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform, said in an interview that additional enforcement dollars risk increasing the number of politically motivated audits while burdening small business owners, with no guarantee of a large increase in revenues. “Nothing says these guys are going to raise money,” he said. “The IRS has been highly politicized for a long time. They’ve done nothing to fix it.”

Obama used the IRS to audit his political enemies, like Nixon, but those Lerner letters were destroyed and lost to history.

Tax experts tend to agree that boosting the enforcement capacity of the IRS will more than pay for itself, but it is not clear how much is really needed at a time when many of the agency’s functions can be automated and more tax returns are filed electronically. 

The CBO estimated last year that an additional $40 billion of funding over 10 years would increase government revenues by $103 billion. Administration officials are confident the actual amount is much higher.....


"The chairman of the Senate banking panel asked Attorney General Merrick Garland on Tuesday for information about whether Credit Suisse continued to help rich Americans defraud the IRS even after it signed a settlement agreement with the Justice Department vowing to stop the practice. At issue is a retired professor named Dan Horsky, whom Credit Suisse helped to evade tax payments on $200 million in assets. A whistle-blower made federal prosecutors aware of Horsky’s account in the summer of 2014, and it clearly violated the terms of the settlement agreement that Credit Suisse had agreed to just weeks earlier, but the Justice Department under the Obama and Trump administrations never punished Credit Suisse for violating the deal, even though the whistle-blower’s information led Horsky to plead guilty to tax evasion in 2016. Should prosecutors decide that Credit Suisse violated its agreement with the Justice Department, the bank could be exposed to legal liability and more fines......"

They will dismiss the case and the drinks will flow.

"Technology companies helped lift stocks modestly higher on Wall Street Monday, nudging the S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes to all-time highs. The S&P 500 rose 0.2%, with only slightly more than half the companies in the index notching gains. Banks and companies that rely on consumer spending were among the winners, outweighing a pullback in household goods makers and health care stocks. A rally in technology companies helped push the Nasdaq to its first record high since Feb. 12. The index fell more than 10% from that peak by March 8, what is known on Wall Street as a "correction." With Monday's gain, the Nasdaq has recouped all its losses from that March slide. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed slightly lower, while small company stocks outpaced the broader market, a sign investors are feeling confident about the economy. The market's modest gains came as investors geared up for the busiest week for earnings so far this season. Of the 500 members of the S&P 500 index, 181 will report this week. Ten of the 30 members of the Dow will also release their results....."

Yup, another day, another record (ga$p).

Then there is the man who will not be king even though he did nothing wrong, but he will receive a pension that does not require that the plans pay back the taxpayer-funded grants and “sets the stage for future bailouts,” along with a nice apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan or on the West Coast (but not Georgia or Arizona).

We will just have to eat him then.

I will be back to finish and update this post later.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Monday Switch and Bait

I'm not taking it today as the National lead made be literally laugh out loud when I pried open my morning Globe:

"Americans give Biden mostly positive marks for first 100 days, Post-ABC poll finds" by Dan Balz, Scott Clement and Emily Guskin The Washington Post, April 25, 2021

President Biden nears the end of his first 100 days in office with a slight majority of Americans approving of his performance and supporting his major policy initiatives, but his approval rating is lower than any recent past presidents except Donald Trump, with potential warning signs ahead about his governing strategy, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Overall, 52 percent of adults say they approve of the job Biden is doing, compared with 42 percent who disapprove. At this point in his presidency four years ago, Trump's rating was nearly the reverse, with approval at 42 percent and disapproval at 53 percent. Overall, 34 percent of Americans say they strongly approve of Biden's performance, compared with 35 percent who strongly disapprove.

Biden receives the highest marks for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, with 64 percent of adults — including 33 percent of Republicans — giving him positive ratings. His approval rating for his handling of the economy stands at 52 percent, but 53 percent say they disapprove of the way he has dealt with the immigration situation at the US-Mexico border, a problem that has vexed his administration for much of its first months.

It won't be once he has transformed the voting rolls with the wide-open border.

Although his first sizable initiatives enjoy majority support, the poll also finds that by 2 to 1, Americans say that Biden should be willing to make "major changes" to his proposals to win Republican support, rather than trying to enact proposals without making major changes and getting no backing from congressional Republicans.

He just got a lifeline from Lindsey Graham and Murkowski of Alaska is really a Democrat in Republican clothing if you read the fine print.

In another caution for the president, a slim majority of Americans — 53 percent — say they are either “very” or “somewhat” concerned that Biden will do too much to increase the size and role of government. Overall, Americans are almost evenly split on whether they favor a smaller government with fewer services (48 percent) or a larger government with more services (45 percent).

Half the country loves tyranny!

That finding does, however, represent a shift in public opinion that existed between 1992 and 2012, when at least half favored smaller government.

The poll also shows a record divide between the parties in views of Biden ahead of the 100-day mark, with 90 percent of Democrats approving of his performance compared with 13 percent of Republicans. Biden's approval among fellow Democrats is six points higher than Trump's rating was among Republicans four years ago, while the two presidents' ratings among those in the rival party are identical (13 percent). Among independents, Biden's approval rating of 47 percent is nine points better than Trump's 38 percent four years ago.

Although there are signs that the economy is improving, a majority of Americans — 58 percent — rate the economy negatively, while 42 percent rate it positively. That’s statistically unchanged from the findings of a Post-ABC poll in late September, but in another sign that opinions about the country's condition are substantially shaped by party allegiance, the views of Democrats and Republicans have flipped with the change in administrations. Today, 49 percent of Democrats rate the economy positively, up from 18 percent in September. Meanwhile, 35 percent of Republicans give the economy positive marks today, compared with 69 percent who said that seven months ago.

The president's first major initiative was a nearly $2 trillion coronavirus relief package, approved by Congress on party-line votes. Despite the divisions among lawmakers, the American Rescue Package receives strong public support, with 65 percent saying they back the plan compared with 31 percent opposed. Just over 9 in 10 Democrats support it, as do 1 in 3 Republicans and around 6 in 10 independents. The poll finds that Republicans with incomes below $75,000 are considerably more supportive of the package than are those with higher incomes.

Biden’s newly proposed $2 trillion infrastructure plan, which has not been acted upon by Congress, receives less support than the COVID stimulus package, with 52 percent saying they favor it and 35 percent opposed. Broken down by party identification, 82 percent of Democrats, 51 percent of independents, and 17 percent of Republicans give the measure their support. Unlike the stimulus package, there is little variation among Republicans based on their income.

They have no idea what is in it and what it will lead to and won't see one damn dime, but the $nake oil $ure $ounds good -- until the money becomes worthless and digital.

Biden has proposed paying for the infrastructure plan by raising the corporate tax rate, which once stood at 35 percent but was lowered to 21 percent during Trump’s presidency. Biden has recommended that it be raised to 28 percent, and the new poll shows that 58 percent of Americans say they support the increase. Again, views are partisan: More than 8 in 10 Democrats back the increase, while 2 in 3 Republicans oppose it. A narrower majority of independents say they support the 28-percent figure.

As Biden pursues his overall agenda, the border and immigration loom as soft spots. While there are significant differences in his approval ratings on this issue among Democrats, Republicans, and independents, the falloff from his ratings on the pandemic are sizable among all three groups. For example, there is a 28-point drop among Democrats in rating Biden on the pandemic versus the border. Among Republicans, the falloff is 23 points, and among independents, 31 points.

This Washington Post-ABC News poll was conducted by telephone April 18-21 among a random national sample of 1,007 adults, with 75 percent reached on cellphones and 25 percent on landlines. Results have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 points for the full sample.

Biden pledged in his inaugural address to try to unify the country and has often expressed willingness to negotiate with Republicans over the detail of his proposals, but on the economic stimulus package, he held firm on the overall size and most of the specifics of his proposal, arguing that it was bipartisan because voters from both parties backed it. He recently met with a bipartisan group of lawmakers to discuss the infrastructure package; while he indicated some openness to negotiation, he has not agreed to any changes.

Although Biden’s approval rating is notably higher than Trump’s was at this point four years ago, support for his job performance — which is a net positive of 10 points — ranks far below other past presidents.

Obama was 43 points net positive near the end of his first 100 days. George W. Bush had a net positive of 31 points. Bill Clinton, at net positive 20 points, was the lowest of the six presidents who preceded Trump, who was a net negative 11 points. Ronald Reagan had the best rating, a net positive of 54 points, followed by George H.W. Bush at 49 points, and Jimmy Carter at 45 points. Those three all governed during a less polarized era of American politics.

Here is the New York Times' take on the poll, and the National co-lead of the Globe:

"Election conspiracies live on with audit by Arizona GOP" by Jonathan J. Cooper and Bob Christie The Associated Press, April 25, 2021

PHOENIX — Months after former president Donald Trump’s election defeat, legislative Republicans in Arizona are challenging the outcome as they embark on an unprecedented effort to audit the results in the state’s most populous county.

The state Senate used its subpoena power to take possession of all 2.1 million ballots in Maricopa County and the machines that counted them, along with computer hard drives full of data. They've handed the materials over to Cyber Ninjas, a Florida-based consultancy with no election experience run by a man who has shared unfounded conspiracy theories claiming the official 2020 presidential election results are illegitimate. 

It was okay that the guy who ran Dominion said he made sure Trump would lose, but anyway.

Neither here nor there, really, at this point.

The process is alarming election professionals who fear the auditors are not up to the complex task and will severely undermine faith in democracy.

How can you undermine faith in something that doesn't exist?

That's why the result will be upheld even if the evidence shows it swaps. 

Then all elections are called into question, and our tyrannical duopoly can not have that!

“I think the activities that are taking place here are reckless and they in no way, shape, or form resemble an audit,” said Jennifer Morrell, a partner at Elections Group, a consulting firm advising state and local election officials, which has not worked in Arizona.

Trump on Friday predicted the audit would reveal fraud and would prompt similar reviews in other states he lost. “I predict the results will be startling!,” the former president said in a statement.

Shut up, blowhard -- if you are the real Trump because Trump is not Trump, according to Jim Stone, who believes.... "Ivanka is so corrupted by Jared and the Jewish community in general that she could KNOW her dad got drugged or replaced and she'd never say it. I would not pay an ounce of attention to Trump "announcing another run for the presidency" because odds are that guy's a goner, and what we are getting now from Trump is as fake as green screen Biden. The rest of Trump's family could have been eliminated and replaced by now also, FACE IT: There was a coup and when those happen no one knows what really happened. I'll make a prediction here: If Trump gets "placed in power" due to audits and people totally rejecting the coup, it will either not be Trump or it will be a drugged hypnotized and erased Trump that's going to do their bidding and continue on either with a brain as a body double scammer, or without a brain, following commands so the agenda simply goes forward, even with "trump" in power. I don't believe for a minute Trump would support the vax after all that has happened, nor do I believe he actually got the vax unless it was used to make a body double take his place while he's rendered irrelevant and drooling in a cube somewhere."

He has seemed different since he was allegedly infected and then rose from the grave and said the shots “a miracle.”

Cyber Ninjas began a manual recount of ballots Friday, a day after Democrats asked a judge to put an end to the audit. The judge ordered the company to follow ballot and voter secrecy laws and demanded they turn over written procedures and training manuals before a hearing Monday on the Democrats’ request. He offered to pause the count over the weekend if Democrats posted a $1 million bond to cover added expenses, but the party declined. 

Why would Democrats not want an audit?

The truth fears no investigation!

On a since-deleted Twitter account, Cyber Ninjas owner Doug Logan used hashtags and shared memes popular with people promoting unsupported allegations casting doubt on Biden’s victory.

Logan insists that his personal views are irrelevant because he’s running a transparent audit with video streamed online.

“There’s a lot of Americans here, myself included, that are really bothered by the way our country is being ripped apart right now,” Logan told reporters Thursday night. “We want a transparent audit to be in place so that people can trust the results and can get everyone on the same page,” but Logan refuses to disclose who’s paying him or who’s counting the ballots, and he won’t commit to using bipartisan teams for the process. The GOP-dominated Senate refuses to let media members observe the count. Reporters can accept a six-hour shift as an official observer, but photography and notetaking are prohibited. It would be a violation of journalistic ethics for reporters to participate in an event they're covering. 

Oh, NOW being DENIED ACCESS to the COUNTS is a BIG DEAL when it comes to the $lef-$erving pre$$ when it was "conspiracy talk" last November when Republican observers were kicked out of those key precincts in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Arizona.

The Senate has put up $150,000 for the audit, but Logan acknowledged that's not enough to cover his expenses. The right-wing cable channel One America News Network has raised money from unknown contributors for the project, and the money goes directly to Cyber Ninjas. Logan would not commit to disclosing the donors and would not provide an estimate for the total cost of his audit.

Cyber Ninjas plans to have teams of three people manually count each ballot, looking only at the presidential and US Senate contests, which were won by Democrats.

Maricopa County conducted a host of pre- and post-election reviews to check the accuracy of voting machines, including a hand count of a representative sample of ballots as required by state law. The county also hired two auditing firms that reported no malicious software or incorrect counting equipment and concluded that none of the computers or equipment were connected to the Internet.

“We’re going to set up a new norm where we don’t accept the outcome of elections in a free and fair and just democracy, and that is the core of what is at stake here,” said Tammy Patrick, senior adviser at the Democracy Fund and a former Maricopa County elections official. “I think that is incredibly, incredibly problematic.” 

You mean after what happened in 2016, right?


Another reminder after Kemp's daughter's boyfriend and a member of the Loefler campaign was blown up on a highway and in the wake of the voting law?

Also see:


The Globe's World lead today:

"US military begins final withdrawal from Afghanistan" by Thomas Gibbons-Neff New York Times,  April 25, 2021

KABUL — The US military has begun its complete withdrawal from Afghanistan, the top US commander there said Sunday, marking what amounts to the beginning of the end of the United States’ nearly 20-year-old war in the country.

“I now have a set of orders,” said General Austin S. Miller, the head of the US-led coalition in Afghanistan, to a news conference of Afghan journalists at the US military’s headquarters in Kabul, the capital. “We will conduct an orderly withdrawal from Afghanistan, and that means transitioning bases and equipment to the Afghan security forces.”

Biden’s announcement was greeted with uncertainty in Afghanistan, as it prepares for a future without a US and NATO military presence despite a Taliban insurgency that seems dead set on a military victory despite talks of peace.

The insurgent group’s harsh version of Islamic law, which barred women from many jobs during its rule in the late 1990s and banned music and dance, among other arts, will probably return if the Taliban reassumes power — either through force or if they are incorporated into the government.

(Blog editor gasps. Then certainly we must stay!

Holding the line for now are the Afghan security forces, which have endured a particularly difficult winter. Taliban offensives in the south and repeated attacks in the north despite the cold weather have meant mounting casualties ahead of what could be a violent summer as US and NATO forces withdraw. Although the Afghan military and police forces together are said to have around 300,000 personnel, the real number is suspected to be much lower.

It's been 20 years worth of lies, and it could NOT be a violent summer, right?

Atop the international military forces in Afghanistan, there are also roughly 18,000 contractors in the country, almost all of whom will also depart. Miller said that some of the contracts “will have to be adjusted” so that the Afghan security forces, which are heavily dependent on contractor assistance — especially the Afghan air force — will continue to be supported. The thousands of private contractors in Afghanistan are tasked with a range of jobs, including security, logistics and aircraft maintenance.

Meaning the OCCUPATION is to be PRIVATIZED like Prince of Blackwater fame wanted!

Under last year’s peace agreement with the Taliban, US, and international forces were supposed to withdraw from the country by May 1. Under the agreement the Taliban have refrained — for the most part — from attacking US troops, but what remains unclear is if the insurgent group will attack the withdrawing forces following Biden’s decision to set the final deadline later, in September.

Breaking the deal really sabotaged the trust, but the Taliban should have expected such a move after all these years and U.S. history.

Shows the rest of the world that AmeriKa's word isn't worth the paper they signed it on.

“We have the military means and capability to fully protect our force during retrograde, as well as support the Afghan security forces,” Miller said.

US troops are still spread out in a constellation of around a dozen bases, most of which contain small groups of Special Operations forces advising the Afghan military. To cover the withdrawal, the US military has committed a significant amount of air support, including positioning an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf, in case the Taliban decide to attack..... 

Why would they?

If so, blood all on Biden, should have been out May 1!

Beyond that, could we be looking at a GULF of TONKIN or USS COLE or LIBERTY type of event soon?

That would certainly set the region ablaze and after the bait of 9/11 and Afghanistan, it all switched to this place, remember?

"Fire at Baghdad hospital packed with COVID patients kills at least 82" by Falih Hassan and Jane Arraf New York Times, April 25, 2021

BAGHDAD — A fire sparked by an exploding oxygen cylinder killed at least 82 people, most of them COVID-19 patients and their relatives, at a Baghdad hospital, a devastating example of the pandemic’s impact on a country riddled with corruption and a legacy of decrepit infrastructure.

The Ibn al-Khatib hospital, a facility dedicated to COVID-19 patients in one of Baghdad’s poorer neighborhoods, had no smoke detectors, sprinkler system, or fire hoses, said General Khadhim Bohan, head of Iraq’s civil defense forces. The fire, which broke out late Saturday, spread quickly because of flammable material used in false ceilings in the intensive care ward, he added.

“If there had been smoke detectors, the situation would have been totally different,” Bohan told the state-run Iraqiya TV.

Who got that contract?

What's left out of the conversation is, like Afghanistan, we destroyed a country and turned it into rubble and then never rebuilt it despite the billions tossed to contractors -- with much of the money ending up in Dubai bank accounts.

Doctors and rescuers described a chaotic scene at the hospital, crowded with relatives of patients despite what was supposed to be a ban on most visitors to avoid the spread of infection. Because of a lack of nursing staff, Iraqi hospitals, even in COVID wards, require a relative to help look after a patient.

The fire struck as the world struggled with the biggest new weekly coronavirus case total yet, in a pandemic that has stretched well into its second year. Even as wealthier countries are rapidly rolling out vaccines, more countries than ever are struggling with overwhelming caseloads and mounting death tolls.

Iraq is battling an intense new wave of coronavirus infections. On Sunday, the country reported 6,034 new coronavirus cases and 40 deaths, a figure that excludes those who died in the fire. Last week, the country of almost 40 million topped more than 1 million cases since the pandemic began last year.

Despite being one of the world’s biggest oil producers, Iraq is also suffering a financial crisis that economists attribute to decades of mismanagement and dysfunctional institutions. Its health care system was devastated by more than a decade of US-led international sanctions against Saddam Hussein starting in the 1990s. 

Oh, we did remake the place in our imagine as we still occupy the Green Zone, and I'm surprised the NYT mentioned the war criminal sanctions that destroyed Iraqi society after Bush baited Saddam.

Beyond that, I simply no longer believe the figures regarding the greatest hoax and $cam the world has ever seen, the COVID!

Since 2003, the government has spent billions of dollars to try to restore the health care infrastructure, but the system remains dysfunctional: Relatives must provide oxygen and medication in many hospitals. Strained by huge patient counts and heavy energy use amid a need for more oxygen supplies and ventilators, hospitals have been struck by an increasing number of fires.


Who would want to burn down physical healthcare $y$tems, 'eh?

A European Commission report early this year warned of the dangers of hospital fires because of increased oxygen use. It reported almost 70 people were killed in hospital fires around the world related to supplemental oxygen last year, including 10 in Romania.

That doesn't make sense, sorry, and that means this cover story is starting to stink.

So what really happened at the hospital? 

Another Natanz?

An Iraqi health ministry spokesperson said the Ibn al-Khatib hospital was built in the 1950s and had been renovated last year to refit it for treating COVID patients. He declined to comment on why the renovation did not include smoke detectors or a sprinkler system, saying that was now under investigation. Among the dead were some older patients on ventilators who could not move from their beds, officials said.

“It was a horrible scene,” said Dr. Waad Adnan, a hospital resident who was in the physicians’ quarters next to the hospital when the fire started. “There was the sound of explosions and then huge balls of fire. The hospital staff did their best to turn off the central oxygen, but the cylinders began exploding,” he said.

Adnan, who spoke outside the hospital, said he saw patients and their relatives breaking windows and throwing themselves from the second floor to escape the blaze. He said the fire was believed to have started when an oxygen cylinder caught fire and then exploded..... 

Now what images does that bring up in your mind?

An indelible September morning, perhaps?


"Exxon Mobil Corp. is being warned by activist hedge fund Engine No. 1 it faces an “existential business risk” by pinning its future on fossil fuels as governments move to slash emissions, the Financial Times reported, citing an investor presentation. Exxon still has no credible plan to protect value in an energy transition, according to an 80-page investor presentation, the newspaper said. The San Francisco-based hedge fund also criticizes the company’s “value destruction” and “refusal to accept that fossil fuel demand may decline.” The U.S. oil and gas producer “touts its efforts in areas like carbon capture and biofuels,” the report said, citing the document, but the efforts have “delivered more advertising than results.”

They still can't see the forest for the trees, and that also explains why gas prices have been creeping higher.

Also see:

They claim they found the wreckage from the sub that sank and broke apart last week, but what if it has been hijacked and is sailing through the Hormuz Straight right now?

Or are they headed the other way, toward China, whose economy continued to boom in April from the record growth in the first quarter?


"Jamel Gorchene, the Tunisian man who killed a police officer Friday in a terrorist attack that has stirred a political storm in France, had watched videos “glorifying martyrs and jihad immediately before he acted,” the top French antiterrorism prosecutor said Sunday. Speaking at a news conference, the prosecutor, Jean-François Ricard, portrayed Gorchene as an immigrant with a “troubled personality” whose radicalization went unnoticed by the French intelligence services before he stabbed the police officer in the neck and abdomen at her station. “According to two witnesses, the aggressor went back and forth in front of the building before he struck,” Ricard said. “and he cried ‘Allahu akbar’” — God is great, in Arabic — “as he stabbed the victim.” Officials identified the dead 49-year-old police officer by her first name, Stéphanie. The killing took place in the affluent town of Rambouillet, southwest of Paris, far from the troubled projects circling big French cities where many Muslim immigrants, mainly from North Africa, live....."

Because of Columbus, the French police didn't stop him -- but seriously, folks, does any of that report make sense?

The agitated Manchurain candidate was acting out in front of the police station before going inside, and no one noticed?

Did this event even happen or is a contrived piece of crap because Macron is in real trouble?

"An exit poll for Albania’s parliamentary election on Sunday suggests that the ruling Socialist Party is in a tight race with the opposition Democratic Party. The exit poll run for Euronews Albania from the MRB, part of the London-based Kantar Group, projects that the left-wing Socialists will win about 46% of the vote while the Democrats are expected to capture about 42%. It is still unclear whether Socialists will get 71 seats in the 140-seat parliament to govern alone....."

Albania, Albania, you border on the Adriatic!

"The holy city of Jerusalem, a tinderbox of competing religious and political claims, has repeatedly triggered bouts of Israeli-Palestinian violence. This time around, there have been some additional sparks, including Jewish extremists who, emboldened by their political patrons’ recent election to parliament, staged a provocative march to Jerusalem’s walled Old City chanting “death to the Arabs.” Over the course of a few days, nightly Jerusalem street brawls between Israeli police and disaffected Palestinian residents of the city escalated to cross-border fighting between Israel and Gaza’s Islamic militant Hamas. Gaza militants fired an intense barrage of rockets into southern Israel and Israel launched several airstrikes at Gaza. Political posturing by Israeli and Palestinian leaders has added to the tense atmosphere....."

While Hamas is not believed to be directly involved in the latest rocket fire, it has done little to stop it and may be tacitly encouraging it as a message of solidarity with Jerusalem Palestinians, and Netanyahu, meanwhile, is desperately trying to hold on to power after Israeli elections last month ended in deadlock for a fourth consecutive time and is courting the support of “Religious Zionism,” a far-right party and “the question lurking in the background is to what extent has Netanyahu’s failure to form a coalition shaped the clashes and the government’s reaction,” commentator Nadav Eyal wrote in the Yediot Ahronot daily, and Israel’s decision to allow the Palestinians to remove the barriers late Sunday appeared to be aimed at easing tensions as both Israel and Hamas have signaled they want to cool things down -- never though late Sunday, minor scuffles broke out in Jerusalem, while the Israeli military reported two rocket launches out of Gaza, signaling the latest round of troubles was not over.

That is something that bears watching, and I will therefore expect the Globe to stay on it.

Of course, the plight of the Palestinians is the fault of the British, who chickened out back in 1917:

"In this post-Brexit, mid-pandemic moment in the United Kingdom, with its economy battered by recession and the royal family in mourning and turmoil, it is hard to find a topic that unites this fractious nation, but U.S. chickens — yes, the lowly, clucking farm animal, consumed daily by the millions in all 50 states — have done it. Everybody hates them. The odd thing is that U.S. chicken is not sold anywhere in Britain, and if people here get their way, it never will be. What precisely have U.S. chickens done to so thoroughly appall the British, even though few of the latter have ever sampled the former? The short answer is that some U.S. chicken carcasses are washed in chlorine, to eliminate potentially harmful pathogens. Americans for years have been devouring these birds without any fuss, but in Britain, U.S. chickens are now attached to the word “chlorinated” the way warning labels are attached to cigarettes — which is to say, always. U.S. chickens have been denounced by editorialists, academics, politicians, farmers and a wide variety of activists. U.S. poultry has long been derided in the United Kingdom, but didn’t become an object of public vitriol until it became clear, several years ago, that the two countries would sign a new free-trade agreement once Britain left the European Union....."

You can pick over it if you want; however, it's no use washing them because the water is treated with chlorine as well.


Here is what the Globe is squawking about the most (today's front-page, above-the-fold, righthand-corner article):


"During last summer’s reckoning over racial injustice, decades-long debates about whether to offer reparations to the descendants of slaves seemed to be gaining momentum. State lawmakers in California, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Oregon — where Democrats control the legislatures — introduced or hoped to revive proposals to study the possibility. It turns out the wait for reparations will continue. The state efforts have mostly stalled, raising questions about whether they can win enough support to succeed on a wide scale. California is the only state to approve a commission to study reparations statewide and how they might work. Oregon state Senator Lew Frederick said local and state efforts, if they gain more traction, could help build support, eventually, for reparations on the federal level. The nation’s racial reckoning amid the COVID-19 pandemic and police killings of Black Americans have only intensified the need for reparations, Frederick said. “We need a federal reparations bill, but I don’t know when we’ll get there,” said state Delegate Wanika Fisher, a Democrat who introduced legislation in Maryland to create a reparations task force. That mirrors the outlook in Congress. A committee of the US House, which is controlled by Democrats, advanced a decades-old bill that would establish a reparations commission, but its prospects appear dim in the evenly divided Senate, where it’s unlikely to generate enough support to overcome a filibuster....."

Then chuck it and reconcile it 50-50 like everything else, and this is all about dispossessing whites who have worked hard, played by the rules, and paid their bills while transferring their hard-accrued wealth to the state and favored groups that drive division.

What a colossal f**k job, and whoever complains is racist when we are all being f**ked by the CVD lie. These are the bribes they get to go along with the program for something that ended over 150 years ago and was really resolved over half a century ago. Atlanta is the most cosmopolitan city in the U.S. and ironically, we are at a point where the Southern states are the Free states and the Northern (blue) states are the Slave states under restrictions and lockdowns symbolized the the unhealthy slave masks!

This is the new Black Power salute, and why are they silent on the death of a trailblazer?

The official cause is a sickle cell mutation, and what is left unasked is whether she received a vaccine, and if so where, while the fund-raising efforts to honor Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife, Coretta Scott King, in Boston are finally approaching the organizers’ $15 million goal — with a million-dollar gift from Bank of America is helping them get there (I suppose they can afford it after the quarter they had).

As for the Oscars, I never even gave it a thought last night and I'm not mourning missing one minute of the red carpet.


I'm going to skip through the rest of this:

"Millions of people are skipping their second doses of COVID vaccines" by Rebecca Robbins New York Times, April 25, 2021

Millions of Americans are not getting the second doses of their COVID-19 vaccines, and their ranks are growing.

More than 5 million people, or nearly 8% of those who got a first shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, have missed their second doses, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That is more than double the rate among people who got inoculated in the first several weeks of the nationwide vaccine campaign.

Even as the country wrestles with the problem of millions of people who are wary about getting vaccinated at all, health authorities are confronting an emerging challenge of ensuring that those who do get inoculated are doing so fully.

The reasons vary for why people are missing their second shots. In interviews, some said they feared the side effects, which can include flulike symptoms. Others said they felt that they were sufficiently protected with a single shot.

Those attitudes were expected, but another hurdle has been surprisingly prevalent. A number of vaccine providers have canceled second-dose appointments because they ran out of supply or did not have the right brand in stock.

From the outset, public health experts worried that it would be difficult to get everyone to return for a second shot three or four weeks after the first dose. It is no surprise that, as vaccines are rolled out more broadly, the numbers of those skipping their second dose have gone up.

Mounting evidence collected in trials and from real-world immunization campaigns points to the peril of people skipping their second doses. Compared with the two-dose regimen, a single shot triggers a weaker immune response and may leave recipients more susceptible to dangerous virus variants, and even though a single dose provides partial protection against COVID, it is not clear how long that protection will last.

“I’m very worried, because you need that second dose,” said Dr. Paul Offit, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and a member of the Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine advisory panel.

It's about “getting shots into arms,” whether you need it or not.

The stakes are high because there is only one vaccine authorized in the United States that is given as a single shot. The use of that vaccine, made by Johnson & Johnson, was paused this month after it was linked to a very rare but serious side effect involving blood clotting. Federal health officials on Friday recommended restarting use of the vaccine, but the combination of the safety scare and ongoing production problems is likely to make that vaccine a viable option for fewer people.

The CDC’s count of missed second doses is through April 9. It covers only people who got a first Moderna dose by March 7 or a first Pfizer dose by March 14. While millions of people have missed their second shots, the overall rates of follow-through, with some 92% getting fully vaccinated, are strong by historical standards.

College students pose a particular challenge. Many recently became eligible to be vaccinated and are getting their first shots, but they will have left campus by the time they are due for their second doses. In Pennsylvania, health officials have instructed vaccine providers to give second doses to college students even if they did not receive their first doses from that location.....

What's worse is they are requiring them for attendance.

Should have never taken the first one.

Also see:

"The U.S. political divide on whether to get the coronavirus vaccine suggests that “maybe there’s been too much finger wagging,” said the head of the National Institutes of Health. “I’ve done some of that; I’m going to try to stop and listen, in fact, to what people’s specific questions are,” NIH Director Francis Collins said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” An NBC News poll released Sunday showed that 82% of Democrats had already been vaccinated or plan to be as soon as possible, against 45% of Republicans. Almost one-quarter of Republicans said they won’t get vaccinated and another 10% said they’ll do so only if required. That hesitancy has been seen as a roadblock to the U.S. achieving herd immunity against Covid 19. “We’re all in this together, and clearly, if we’re going to be able to put Covid-19 behind us, we need to have all Americans take part in getting us to that point,” Collins said. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, has been among the U.S. health officials singling out Republicans, terming their attitude toward vaccines and public health measures like mask mandates and lockdowns “frustrating.” “It’s almost paradoxical that, on the one hand, they want to be relieved of the restrictions, but, on the other hand, they don’t want to get vaccinated. It just almost doesn’t make any sense,” Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said a week ago on CNN....."

Speaking of which  when is Green Screen, 'er Biden, giving one?

How soon before we are Canada?

"Severely strained hospitals in Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, are undertaking unprecedented measures to cope as a variant-driven resurgence of the coronavirus tears through much of the country. There were a record 851 adult patients with coronavirus-related critical illnesses in Ontario ICUs on Sunday, up 156 percent from a month ago, according to the provincial Health Ministry. Nearly 600 were on ventilators, but critical-care physicians say those numbers don’t fully capture the number of severely ill covid-19 patients. Ontario Premier Doug Ford has come under fire for failing to heed warnings that predicted such a scenario, ignoring the advice of scientific advisers and presiding over a clumsy inoculation drive that has failed to get doses to those most at risk of infection. Opposition lawmakers have called on the Progressive Conservative premier to resign....."

It's not like anyone will be going anywhere anytime soon, as it is another day, another record (gasp), so cancel the summer camp and start acting your age (OMG, in the age of COVID and social distancing the Globe wants to pack old people in like sardines (that doesn't go for their mansions, of course) because architecture plays a key role in reimagining care solutions -- and with that, I bid you good night:

"It was an eerily quiet year for Big Night Entertainment Group, the hospitality giant with over-the-top restaurants such as Empire and Scorpion Bar, and flashy nightlife venues such as the Grand and Big Night Live, which opened in 2019 next to TD Garden and immediately sold out Steve Aoki shows, but despite the pandemic, there’s been a lot happening behind the scenes as the Boston company expands beyond bricks and mortar. Ed Kane, cofounder of Big Night along with his brother Joe, and Randy Greenstein, established the B Strong Foundation, a nonprofit they funded with an initial commitment of $100,000, to help feed people and pay their rent to make sure kids were safe,” but which has raised more than $600,000, and Big Night plans to make it a permanent fixture because the pandemic “has changed our company forever,” Greenstein said....."

The $ports $ection isn't even an afterthought to me anymore, and I guess they won't be filling up the stadiums anytime soon.