Monday, February 18, 2019

Cocktails & Popcorn: February 18th Summary - Mueller, McCabe, Whelan, Erickson, Calvey, Butina

Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

Cocktails & Popcorn: Roger Stone Reveals Nixon's Martini Recipe For U.S. Judiciary Impeachment Hearings

Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

Chuck Grassley & His FARA Legacy In Voting Rights

If the Green initiative NGOs have to register as foreign agents, well, that means the Religious initiative NGOs have to register, too.

And so do the Media, main stream and social have to register because they all fund political campaigns.

I feel his passion.

U.S. environmental activists who are working to halt the production and use of fossil fuels could be required to register as foreign agents if Congress gets serious about enforcing an existing law.

There was some potential movement in that direction last October when Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, introduced legislation that would put some teeth into the Foreign Agents Registration Act. The law, which was first passed in 1938, calls for individuals and organizations to provide full disclosure when they are working to advance the public policy interests of a foreign government.

As the Washington Examiner has reported, Grassley’s proposed legislation would close off an exemption that has allowed lobbyists for foreign interests to avoid registration while providing the U.S. attorney general with additional authority to conduct investigations.

While the media remains largely focused on ongoing investigations into allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 campaign, the connection between Vladimir Putin’s government and U.S. environmental groups deserves more scrutiny.

Klein Ltd., a Bermuda-based shell corporation run by executives with strong ties to longtime Putin friend Leonid Reiman and Russian energy investment groups including Firebird New Russia Fund and Vimpelcom Ltd., reportedly funneled $23 million to the Sea Change Foundation, according to a detailed 2014 U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee report.
(Editor’s Note: The Sea Change Foundation is controlled by Kona residents Nathaniel Simons and his wife Laura Baxter-Simons.)

Klein’s legal counsel dismisses such charges as “completely false and irresponsible.” But in a letter addressed to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, members of Congress document evidence pointing to a paperless money trail that flows from Russia into U.S. environmental groups through the Sea Change Foundation. The implication is that the Russians have been pouring tens of millions of dollars into willing environmental advocacy groups in an effort to spread propaganda directed against fracking in the U.S. and the technology that makes it possible, according to evidence presented in the letter.

Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, and his colleagues have called on the U.S. Treasury Department to conduct an investigation into the allegations of Russian collusion with U.S. environmental groups. In response to a media inquiry I sent last year asking about the allegations, a U.S. Treasury spokesman said in an email message, “We respond as appropriate to Congressional inquiries, but wouldn’t comment publicly on an investigation.”

The motivation for Russian interference here is clear. As the congressional letter notes, American ingenuity in the oil and gas industry have significant geopolitical ramifications. Thanks to innovative extraction technologies such as hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, the U.S. now has access to vast reserves of oil and gas previously held to be unrecoverable. The unexpected energy resource bonanza has dramatically shifted the dynamics of the economic and geopolitical landscape in America’s favor.

The U.S. is the top producer of natural gas in the world. In 2016, U.S. natural gas imports set a record low even though consumption has increased. In 3 of the first 5 months of 2017, U.S. natural gas exports were greater than imports — the growing trend points to the U.S. becoming a net exporter. This new commitment to natural gas means less expensive energy bills for consumers as well as economic, environmental, and national security benefits for the country as a whole. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that the fracking boom has created 2.7 million jobs, with an estimated additional 3.5 million projected by 2035.

From a foreign policy perspective, the U.S. can now export liquefied natural gas to parts of Europe that have been dependent on Putin’s government for their gas. This weakens Putin and puts the U.S. in a stronger position to exert influence. Up until now, periodic disputes with Russia have resulted in economic bullying tactics from Moscow that include wintertime threats to close pipelines supplying oil and natural gas. Those days may be over now that American natural gas development is poised to impact Russia and its Gazprom oil company.

However, an international campaign known as “Keep It in the Ground” has been pushing an anti-fossil fuel agenda that advances Russia’s geopolitical interests at the expense of the U.S. and America’s allies. The campaign claims support from more than 400 organizations
 across the globe, with a sizable percentage operating inside the U.S. The campaign is opposed not just to the extraction of fossil fuels, but to any fossil fuel-related project including pipelines, rail transportation, refineries, and energy exploration.

These groups include Greenpeace, the Sierra Club,, the Center for Biological Diversity, WildEarth Guardians, the Rainforest Action Network, Earthworks, and the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, to name just a few.

Some of the larger environmental advocacy groups in the U.S., such as the Natural Resources Defense Council and the League of Conservation Voters, don’t appear on the list of 400, yet do support the same anti-fossil policy aims and draw from the same pool of financial supporters.

The common denominator here between many of these groups is the San Francisco-based Sea Change Foundation, which has been identified as the incubator for Russian funding of environmental groups. Another key player is the Energy Foundation, which is also based in San Francisco and appears to be an offshoot of the Sea Change Foundation.

If Grassley succeeds in bolstering the Foreign Agents Registration Act, a good starting point for an investigation would be with the “Keep It in the Ground” campaign members and with other environmental groups that support the campaign’s agenda.

While these groups are free to advocate for their preferred policies, they should not be permitted to posture as grassroots activists if they are in fact doing the bidding of foreign interests, to the detriment of average Americans who benefit from affordable and reliable sources of energy.

Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

Saskia Thompson Is LeadingThe Detroit Land Bank Authority Through A Federal Investigation

In the spirit of fuchsia....

Detroit Land Bank Authority Executive Director Saskia Thompson on leading through controversy

Saskia Thompson -on a personal note, showcasing the historic
beauty of what was ripped from the people in fraudulent tax
and mortgage schemes may not be the best image to roll with.
Saskia Thompson leads an organization everyone has an opinion about.

I do not have opinions. I have evidence.

She's the executive director of the Detroit Land Bank Authority, which owns about 27,000 Detroit structures — mostly residential properties. The public agency sells properties at auction and on the traditional real estate market and has demolished more than 10,000 structures since Mayor Mike Duggan took office in 2014.

How is the Detroit Land Bank Authority a public agency when you write the checks out to the Corporate Shape Shifter Title Source? Normally, in government, or an incorporated entity, you write the check out to the City of Detroit, and not use a FEIN of a 501c3 Detroit Land Bank Community Development Corporation.

Thompson came to the DLBA in 2017, amid a federal investigation into the agency that had begun a year earlier into its demolition program, which is funded in part by federal dollars. The agency has faced scrutiny for its evaluation of demolition bids, its billing of federal dollars and how its contractors have handled hazardous materials abatement and fill dirt. The investigation is ongoing.

The lead "public agency" is called SIGTARP, of the U.S. Treasury. I still want to know how you contracted for demolition when you are not the City of Detroit.  How were the checks cashed?

Thompson has brought nearly 20 years of experience in municipal government to bear in righting the ship. She worked for Mayor Dennis Archer's administration as an assistant for public policy projects from 2000-2001. After that, Thompson worked for the city of Charlotte, N.C. for about nine years before moving to Philadelphia, Pa. for a position as the city's deputy finance director and executive director of the office of property data. She left Philadelphia to join the DLBA, where she leads the agency's staff of 150.

She should have stayed in North Carolina.

This interview has been edited and condensed.
How did your upbringing influence your career?

My mother is a lawyer and spent her career working in downtown Detroit fighting for pension, Social Security and workers' compensation issues. She later focused on employment discrimination. My father is a professor and does a lot of economic work. He was a union organizer for a long time. It wouldn't fly if I told them that I was going to work for corporate America helping other people make money. The overarching mantra in my family growing up was, whatever you do, you have to give back in some way.

Detroit shaped me as much as my family did. I went to Detroit Public Schools (Thompson graduated from Cass Technical High School) and took Detroit transportation. When people say there's two Detroits and people are left out of this new generation, I don't debunk that. Downtown today doesn't look like how it did when I previously worked here. However, we can still make this a city that everyone can participate in.

We as Detroiters get to pick what we are going to be going forward and I think because I'm from here, I understand that.

Why did you move back to Detroit? How have you seen the city change?

When I worked for Dennis Archer there were a lot of exciting things going on in Detroit in the late '90s and early 2000s. We were building Campus Martius, General Motors was moving into the Renaissance Center and the Super Bowl was going to be held in Detroit. I worked on a lot of exciting projects — including making the Renaissance Center streetscape accessible for pedestrians and many big projects that had the potential to be game-changers. You had hope and felt like a lot of positive things were going on.

When I moved away from Detroit in 2002, Detroit was struggling with a shrinking economy. My frame of reference at the time was so specific to Detroit that it was hard to see how other cities were struggling with problems. I remember doing police ride-alongs when I was working in Charlotte and wondering where all the bad neighborhoods were.

I don't feel like I actively decided to move back to Detroit. I wasn't really ready to leave Philadelphia, because my daughter was about to be a senior in high school and I was not looking to uproot her.

However, the more I looked at this job, I decided it was the right move for me. I came to the conclusion that being at the land bank at this point in time was a unique opportunity and that I was uniquely qualified to be the person who took over. I am a Detroiter and I understand the factors of how we got here and what that actually means to people.

What do you feel are some common misconceptions about the Detroit Land Bank?

People automatically assume that if there's a blighted property in Detroit we own it. That was the image promoted. We own a quarter of the real estate in Detroit, but we don't own everything, so we're not in control of all of the factors in the neighborhoods that would make things better for folks. The city has a tremendous number of challenges, but none of them are new. We own properties that have been in public ownership for decades, or in some cases did not sell for $500 at county auctions. We own property that somebody thought had no value at all, and our job is to create value out of that and to remind people that there is value in this city. We still want to know who owns the land because I found a land patent.

The misconception that frustrates me the most is that we're mismanaging demolition. With all the negative press the land bank received about demolition, there was no focus on all the other positive work the land bank was and still is doing. Even when I was doing my due diligence about coming here, people would say, "You don't want to take over the land bank. Everybody there is terrible and you've got to clean house." When I got here I learned that's clearly not true. This organization is full of smart, talented, dedicated people who are committed to making positive changes.  The DLBA is full of "Legal Geniuses" (trademark pending) and I wonder if this is the reason for this job posting for general counsel. They are going to need really good inhouse counsel considering the fact that they are not part of the City of Detroit, with no access to its Corporate Counsel, unless Larry Garcia is monitoring the contracts with them as a "public agency".
General CounselDetroit Land Bank AuthorityDetroit, MI Full Time
General Counsel is the Detroit Land Bank Authority’s (DLBA) Chief Attorney.  As such, he/she is responsible for overseeing and identifying the legal issues in all departments and their interrelation, as well as business policy.  They will also oversee the entire legal team.
Provide legal opinions and counsel, and serve as a trusted advisor to the Board, Executive Director and Executive level staff
Keep abreast of DLBA’s legal context and advises and educates the Board, and executive team with regard to changes and trends that could affect their ability to advance their programs. These might be related to FOIA requests, real estate laws, land banking laws, etc.
Oversee the DLBA’s legal team
Provide advice to the Executive Director as to the selection and retention of external counsel; and manage the organization’s relationship with external counsel
Coordinate legal and policy reform efforts, including legislative drafting, analysis, testimony, and advocacy
Develop and maintain the legal and contractual infrastructure required of a Michigan public authority including organizational policy, document retention, filing and registration requirements, labor and immigration law, contracts, leases, and agreements
Develop, implement and maintain systems and processes for the documentation and tracking of legal matters, including, for example, filings and registrations, legal threats, business agreements, and the like
Act as a spokesperson and advocate for DLBA’s legal positions as requested by the Executive Director or the Public Affairs team
Meet regularly with all DLBA staff and program leaders to ensure information shared with partners and residents is accurate and timely
Strategize, renegotiate and conclude contracts with vendors, etc. as they arise; and provide effective support of other managers of the organization in their negotiations
Serve as one of the organization’s key contacts and negotiators with government agencies
Ensure a timely response to all legal claims and legal inquires directed to DLBA
Review and approve all legal documents
Assist in developing the values and unique strengths of the DLBA, which is highly transparent, collaborative and community-centric
Communicate regularly with Executive Director regarding status of special projects
Perform additional duties as assigned in Board resolutions and as directed by the Executive Director
QUALIFICATIONS (Knowledge, Experience, Skills and Abilities)
Juris Doctorate from an American Bar Association-accredited law school
Member in good standing of the State Bar of Michigan
At least six (6) years of related legal experience
Knowledge of land banking, tax foreclosure, municipal, and real estate law
Experience with legal issues for non-profit organizations and employment law is appreciated
Excellent time management skills and ability to multi-task
Ability to work well in a fast paced and demanding environment
Detroit residency, preferred
Management experience, particularly supervising/managing legal work of others
Ability to become a trusted advisor who will be viewed as a strong resource with discretion in keeping sensitive material confidential; a hard worker with a high energy level; a strong manager and administrator with a high sense of personal responsibility and integrity
Ability to think analytically and write clearly
Must have a general orientation towards building appropriate processes and structures
Must be a mission-driven individual with a strong sense of public service to the residents of the City of Detroit
Most people think that demolition is most of our business, but it's not. Community members — those day-to-day people who are living in Detroit's neighborhoods — have every right to be frustrated, but they're not worried about our demolition programs. They're worried about the vacant houses on their block. If anything, they want us to be doing demolitions faster. There's been calls from people telling us that we shouldn't be doing any demolition at all, but I guarantee that the people living in the neighborhoods where we made a real impact by tearing down some of these vacant homes feel differently about that. When we demolish a house we are eliminating a noticeable blight on the neighborhood, as vacant houses attract all sorts of crime.

I wonder what happened with the DLBA solicitors over there at WilmerHale?  Oh, wait, Jeannie Rhee and Bob Mueller are busy, busy, busy with Grampa Corsi and the Ham Sandwiches.  On the other hand, it is much more economical to hire inhouse counsel.

How did you work to change that narrative?

When I first got here, I felt strongly that we needed to be in the community more than we were. I changed the name of the public affairs department to the community affairs department. That may seem like a small thing, but I wanted us to be in the neighborhoods talking to people and making our programs accessible to them, not requiring people to come downtown to talk to us. Our community affairs staff now holds office hours in every district in the city. I felt that we couldn't change the negative perception to the media until we are actually talking to the people who are living, breathing and benefiting from our programs every day, and the positive stories will follow. Now, almost 18 months later, I still think that was right decision. We still get a ton of phone calls every month, but not every call is negative. People are asking, "How can I buy this home? How can I tap into this program?"

What's the biggest challenge you've had to overcome in your role?

It is hard to manage an organization that everybody has an opinion about via right or wrong. I'm constantly fighting the notion that the land bank does X, Y and Z, and then I have to cut through that myth and say, "I'm sorry that you had this negative experience, but let me help you in the here and now. Let's do this differently." When you are in the media and the news reports so much about one thing and it detracts from everything else — I think the biggest obstacle is overcoming that.
What do you wish people were focusing on?

I am most proud of the fact that every time we manage to sell a house, the buyer is required to fix the condition of their home. It's a condition of the sale. You can't buy a house from the land bank and sit on it with no investment. We are always working toward moving through our inventory as quickly as we can. The goal is to get those houses out of the land bank's inventory and into the hands of the individuals who are going to renovate them and live in them.

Have you fixed the issues with the titles, yet? Make sure to let MIED know when you do.

The best thing the land bank does is require renovation, which creates a whole host of spin-off activities and investment in the city. Every time we successfully sell a house and somebody renovates it, that's another individual or family of people who are living here, shopping here, working here and bringing back that sense of community that we've lost in a lot of places because so many homes were abandoned for so long. We've had noticeable change in four years and I think that folks that work at land bank should be proud of that.

That noticeable change is called gerrymandering.

Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Happy Black History Month: A Tribute To Juicy "Jussie" Smollett For The 2019 Lynching LARP

Jussie Smollett, the black, gay, Jewish actor of the hit show Empire, has made it into the annals of history, and it is not just for Black History Month.

Jussie has taken the lead as the greatest LARP of 2019.

Elizabeth Warren held that title in 2018.

MAGA Attacker Nigerian Brothers Abimbola & Olabinjo Osundairo (right)
It seems Twitter has taken down his name in the trending section.

It also seems Corey Booker and Kamala Harris may have some association with the situation as the attack was timed with their lynching bill, but, hey, what do I know?


I know this is another effort to bastardize civil rights history by wiping out Conyers' legacy.

I know what Juicy Jussie did was a hate crime against humanity.

I know not one Jewish, anti-semetic group has lifted a finger for "Juicy Jussie".

Where are all the Jewish anti-semetic groups coming to his defense?

Smollett's attorneys refute charges attack on client was staged

A grand jury will hear the Jussie Smollett case early next week ... law enforcement sources tell TMZ.
Law enforcement sources connected to the investigation tell TMZ, the 2 brothers who were arrested and then released are staying somewhere around the Loop in downtown Chicago under the watchful eye of police so no one gets to them. We're told cops especially want to make sure Jussie does not contact the brothers.
We're told when police raided the home of the 2 brothers they found magazines with pages torn out, and authorities are now trying to determine if the missing pages are connected to the threatening letter that was sent to Jussie 8 days before the alleged attack.
Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing
Maine Waters & Juicy Smollett
Our sources say early on they asked Jussie if he'd sign complaints against the 2 men who attacked him and he was clear that he would. But, when he found out the 2 brothers were the ones in custody we're told he said he knew them, felt bad for them and declined to sign the complaints. 
Our sources say although cops believe the brothers purchased the rope that was around Jussie's neck after the incident, there is no surveillance video at the hardware store because it erases after a week.
We're told the way they tracked the 2 brothers down was by their movements in arriving and leaving the scene around Jussie's apartment building. As we reported, they left in either a cab or an Uber, but we're told cops tracked the vehicle and the 2 brothers got out on their way home and into another vehicle. As one source put it, "It was almost like a bad spy movie."
The sources say there were red flags from the get-go. Cops were extremely suspiciouswhen Jussie took them out to the area where he said he was attacked and pointed to an obscure camera saying how happy he was that the attack was on video. Turns out the camera was pointing in the wrong direction. Cops thought it was weird he knew the location of that camera.
And, there's this. We're told investigators didn't believe the 2 alleged attackers screamed, "This is MAGA country," because, "Not a single Trump supporter watches 'Empire.'"
And, a few loose ends ... we're told when cops picked up the 2 brothers at O'Hare Airport, police were armed with 3 warrants for each man, one of which was to seize their phones.    
We're also told there is no video of a "rehearsal" of the attack in the street.
Jussie and his lawyer have vehemently denied the attack was staged, maintaining this was a hate crime.

Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

CORBETT: Government by Emergency - #NewWorldNextWeek

A bit of history of National Emergencies to better understand the Michigan Emergency Manager Law, the Detroit Bankruptcy, Grand Bargain, and all the stealin' of the children, the land and the votes.

Here's a list of the 31 national emergencies that have been in effect for years

President Jimmy Carter

Nov 14, 1979: The National Emergency With Respect to Iran, in response to the Iran hostage crisis.

Nov 14, 1994: The National Emergency With Respect to the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, that combined two previous national emergencies focused on weapons of mass destruction.

Jan. 2, 1995: The National Emergency With Respect to Prohibiting Transactions with Terrorists Who Threaten to Disrupt the Middle East Peace Process placed economic sanctions in response to the Jerusalem bombing.

March 15, 1995: The National Emergency With Respect to Prohibiting Certain Transactions with Respect to the Development of Iranian Petroleum Resources was an effort to prevent potential deals between oil companies.

October 21, 1995: The National Emergency With Respect to Blocking Assets and Prohibiting Transactions with Significant Narcotics Traffickers Centered in Colombia was declared after increased reports of drug cartels laundering money through American companies.

March 1, 1996: The National Emergency With Respect to Regulations of the Anchorage and Movement of Vessels with Respect to Cuba was after civilian planes were shot down near Cuba.

November 3, 1997: The National Emergency With Respect to Blocking Sudanese Government Property and Prohibiting Transactions with Sudan implemented economic and trade sanctions.

President George W. Bush.

June 26, 2001: The National Emergency With Respect to Blocking Property of Persons Who Threaten International Stabilization Efforts in the Western Balkans imposed sanctions on those aiding Albanian insurgents in Macedonia

Aug 17, 2001: The National Emergency With Respect to Export Control Regulations renewed presidential power to control exports in a national emergency since the Export Administration Act of 1979 lapsed.

Sept 14, 2001: The National Emergency with Respect to Certain Terrorist Attacks was in response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and the continuing and immediate threat of further attacks on the United States.

Sept 23, 2001: The National Emergency With Respect to Persons who Commit, Threaten to Commit, or Support Terrorism was in response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

March 6, 2003: The National Emergency With Respect to Blocking Property of Persons Undermining Democratic Processes or Institutions in Zimbabwe was an effort to punish associates of Robert Mugabe.

May 22, 2003: The National Emergency With Respect to Protecting the Development Fund for Iraq and Certain Other Property in Which Iraq has an Interest was issued following the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

May 11, 2004: The National Emergency With Respect to Blocking Property of Certain Persons and Prohibiting the Export of Certain Goods to Syria was in response to Syria supporting terrorist activity in Iraq.

June 16, 2006: The National Emergency With Respect to Blocking Property of Certain Persons Undermining Democratic Processes or Institutions in Belarus was in response to charges of fraud in the Belarus presidential election.

Oct 27, 2006: The National Emergency With Respect to Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was in response to violence around the Congolese presidential election runoff.

Aug 1, 2007: The National Emergency With Respect to Blocking Property of Persons Undermining the Sovereignty of Lebanon was in response to a breakdown of the rule of law in Lebanon.

June 26, 2008: The National Emergency With Respect to Continuing Certain Restrictions with Respect to North Korea cited the risk of proliferation of weapons-usable fissile material. President Trump renewed this June 22, 2018 citing the “existence and risk of proliferation of weapons-usable fissile material on the Korean Peninsula and the actions and policies of the Government of North Korea continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat.”

April 12, 2010: The National Emergency With Respect to Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Conflict in Somalia was in respect to threats posed by Somali pirates.

February 25, 2011: The National Emergency With Respect to Blocking Property and Prohibiting Certain Transactions Related to Libya froze the assets of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

July 25, 2011: The National Emergency With Respect to Blocking Property of Transnational Criminals was in response to the rise in crime by specific organizations: Los Zetas (Mexico), The Brothers’ Circle (former Soviet Union countries), the Yakuza (Japan), and the Camorra (Italy).

May 16, 2012: The National Emergency With Respect to Blocking Property of Persons Threatening the Peace, Security, or Stability of Yemen addressed political unrest within the Yemen government.

March 16, 2014: The National Emergency With Respect to Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine was in response to the Russian invasion of Crimea.

April 3, 2014: The National Emergency With Respect to Blocking Property of Certain Persons With Respect to South Sudan was in response to the ongoing civil war.

May 12, 2014: The National Emergency With Respect to Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Conflict in the Central African Republic was in response to violence towards humanitarian aid workers.

March 8, 2015: The National Emergency With Respect to Blocking Property and Suspending Entry of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Venezuela was in response to human rights violations.

April 1, 2015: The National Emergency With Respect to Blocking the Property of Certain Persons Engaging in Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities was in response to Chinese cyber attacks on the U.S.

Nov 23, 2015: The National Emergency With Respect to Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Burundi was declared after a failed coup.

President Donald Trump

Dec 20, 2017: The National Emergency With Respect to Blocking the Property of Persons Involved in Serious Human Rights Abuse or Corruption imposed sanctions on the Myanmar general for his role persecuting Rohingya Muslims.

Sept 12, 2018: The National Emergency With Respect to Imposing Certain Sanctions in the Event of Foreign Interference in a United States Election attempted to prevent any meddling with the 2018 midterm elections amid the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Nov 27, 2018: The National Emergency With Respect to Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Nicaragua was declared by President Trump in response to violence and the Ortega regime’s “systematic dismantling and undermining of democratic institutions and the rule of law” that constitutes an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.”

Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

Cocktails & Popcorn: Watch Then Squirm In Detroit In The LARP

ML Elrich should sit down, with his computer, his phone, a nice IPA and a big bowl of popcorn, with a napkin, of course, and look into to the property and development financial records of that destination of Mayor Mikey.

How come ya never asked about how that video came to be?


State police drop extortion investigation of businessman

Bob Carmack is headed to court next week on fraud charges stemming from a city land deal in Detroit.

But, at least for now, he doesn't have to worry about extortion charges lobbed at him by Mayor Mike Duggan.

That same day Michigan State Police opened an investigation into possible extortion by Carmack.

The mayor became concerned about Bob Carmack more than a week after Carmack rented a mobile billboard and played a video that he claims shows Duggan driving his city car to visit a woman Carmack believes is a mistress.

Carmack made the controversial move after he became frustrated that judges would not allow him to question the mayor under oath in any of the lawsuits between Carmack and the city.

The political stunt came on Nov. 14 downtown, where the mobile
 billboard circled City Hall.

Elrick: "What does possibly cheating on his spouse have to do with being a corrupt politician?"
"Well if he is cheating on his wife maybe he is cheating on the people of Detroit," Carmack said at the time. "Maybe he is doing things that aren't proper with the city, with the financers, with tax credits and so forth."

A state police report I obtained using the Michigan Freedom of Information Act shows that troopers interviewed the mayor, his chief of staff Alexis Wiley, and Lawrence Garcia, the head of the city's law department.
Garcia told

 investigators that before Carmack showed the video, Carmack told Garcia: "You better make me happy or I'm going to drop a bomb."

Garcia believes the video was that bomb, and that his purpose was to "Shake up the mayor."

Instead, the mayor held the news conference calling for a state police investigation and promised Detroiters that while embarrassing information may come out that would hurt his family, he would always put Detroiters first.

It does not appear that the state police interviewed anyone else. The report concluded that the investigation is closed and will be reopened if additional information is learned.
Carmack said he did not extort anyone. I contacted the mayor's office but they declined comment.

Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

Friday, February 15, 2019

Cocktails & Popcorn: Introducing Uranium 1, 2, 3 - Pickup Up Where Uranium One Left Off

Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

Cocktails & Popcorn: Transposable Models, Industrial Espionage, Elections & Detroit - 2-15-2019

Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

Cocktails & Popcorn: Travis Weber, One Of The Legal Geniuses Behind The Michigan Emergency Manager Law, Flint, Detroit Bankruptcy & Grand Bargain Extracts Himself From Humanity

Image result for billie holiday drinking whiskey
"Who's next?"
Travis Weber has extracted himself from humanity, the method for those of low esteem when it comes to preserving the annals of history.

He failed to tell the world his story, a breach of the children's trust.

Travis became his own, self anointed arbiter of justice by setting precedent in this deontological usurpation of a civil society by and through stealin' the children, the land and the votes.

Who is next?

Mackinac Policy Conference Update: Manufacturing Has a Perception Problem

Day Two: Auto industry expert David Cole and BorgWarner Chairman Tim Manganello

Mackinac Policy ConferenceBy Kurt Brauer, Partner
Automotive industry expert David Cole noted that many Americans simply aren't aware of the import role manufacturing plays in our economy.  How do you accelerate the creativity and innovation in the auto industry and find ways to integrate it into other products and services?

Collaboration is a key element to getting intellectual property from the automotive sector into other sectors.  Cole noted there are more than 350 R&D automotive facilities in Michigan.  We need to significantly increase the "aura" of manufacturing in this state to make it an aspiration, rather than a job of last resort.

Cole said that we need to focus on the choke-points in manufacturing, such as maintaining key suppliers and a developing a properly trained workforce.  He encouraged the crowd to reach out to young women in our society to get them involved in R&D and manufacturing in the automotive sector.

BorgWarner Chairman and CEO Tim Manganello noted that the automotive, aerospace, electronics and chemical industries account for 60 percent of the R&D spending in the United States -- and 60 percent of the R&D spend on automotive is in Michigan. Clearly, he said, this gives Michigan a competitive advantage. 

But we need to focus on education so that we have a well-trained, competent workforce. Manufacturing has a perception problem with potential employees. Instead of choosing manufacturing as a career, people have focused on "chasing the money" and taking jobs in the service economy. This has meant a loss of interest in science and math.

Manganello noted that this is changing, however. If we focus on advanced manufacturing, research and development, we will be globally competitive over the long haul, he said, pointing out that BorgWarner invents technology here and exports it worldwide.

Other 2012 Mackinac Policy Conference Updates:

  • Off to a great start
  • Michigan doesn't need elephant hunters
  • CNN's Zakaria Says Feds Must Invest in the Future
  • Detroit's Tale of Two Cities
  • Corporate Investment in Communities
  • Michigan Origins, Global Destinations
  • Moving Urban Areas Forward
  • New Bridge, New Detroit and New Commitment to Education

  • Ex-Snyder legal counsel Travis Weber remembered for intellect, passion for Detroit

  • Weber recently joined Warner Norcross + Judd's Southfield office
  • He played a key role in crafting legislation for Detroit bankruptcy "grand bargain"
  • Weber was seen as a rising star in the state's legal community

  • During former Gov. Rick Snyder's second term, then-Lt. Gov. Brian Calley knew he could call chief legal counsel Travis Weber for a detailed briefing on the issue of the day that they were navigating.

    Travis Weber
    Any issue.

    "It didn't matter how obscure it was," Calley said Wednesday. "It didn't matter what the issue was. He was always on top of it. He knew about it and he knew how to lay it out to me."

    Snyder's close-knit team was grief-stricken Wednesday in the wake of the Weber's abrupt death, less than a month after the 33-year-old attorney joined Warner Norcross + Judd as senior counsel in the Grand Rapids-based law firm's Southfield office.

    The Saginaw native, who moved to Detroit two years ago, spent four years in the governor's office and two years as an attorney and senior policy adviser in the Michigan House of Representatives, working under former Speakers Jase Bolger and Kevin Cotter.

    "He loved public service and took bettering the state seriously," said Valerie Brader, a former attorney in Snyder's office and co-owner of Rivenoak Law Group PC in Troy. "He loved the city of Detroit and was very excited to get his own place there and live there the last two years."

    Weber earned his juris doctorate degree from Valparaiso University School of Law, graduating cum laude in 2011, according to the obituary.

    During his time in the House, Weber played a key role in crafting the legislation that helped Detroit emerge from bankruptcy in late 2014, Bolger said.

    Weber is credited with drafting the "grand bargain" legislation that became the Michigan Financial Review Commission Act, a state law that put in place long-term state oversight of Detroit's finances after it emerged from its historic Chapter 9 bankruptcy.

    "His contributions on the Detroit bankruptcy settlement were immeasurable," Bolger said Wednesday.

    "His apparent pain is a gut-wrenching reminder that none of us know what it's like in another person's shoes."

    The Saginaw native, who moved to Detroit two years ago, spent four years in the governor's office and two years as an attorney and senior policy adviser in the Michigan House of Representatives, working under former Speakers Jase Bolger and Kevin Cotter.

    "He loved public service and took bettering the state seriously," said Valerie Brader, a former attorney in Snyder's office and co-owner of Rivenoak Law Group PC in Troy. "He loved the city of Detroit and was very excited to get his own place there and live there the last two years."

    Weber earned his juris doctorate degree from Valparaiso University School of Law, graduating cum laude in 2011, according to the obituary.

    During his time in the House, Weber played a key role in crafting the legislation that helped Detroit emerge from bankruptcy in late 2014, Bolger said.

    Weber is credited with drafting the "grand bargain" legislation that became the Michigan Financial Review Commission Act, a state law that put in place long-term state oversight of Detroit's finances after it emerged from its historic Chapter 9 bankruptcy.

    "His contributions on the Detroit bankruptcy settlement were immeasurable," Bolger said Wednesday.

    "His apparent pain is a gut-wrenching reminder that none of us know what it's like in another person's shoes."

    Weber joined Snyder's office as a deputy legal counsel in April 2015, working under then-Chief Legal Counsel Beth Clement until Snyder appointed her to the Michigan Supreme Court. Clement mentored Weber and the two remained close friends since, former governor's office aides said.

    Clement, Brader and Weber were the front-line attorneys for Snyder during the fallout from the Flint water crisis in 2016, when the state was getting hit by a crush of civil lawsuits and document requests from legislators, Congress, the U.S. Justice Department, the attorney general's office and news media.

    "Travis and I pulled an all-nighter together during the heart of the Flint matter," Brader said Wednesday. "He split his dinner leftovers with me when we were too late to order more food in — and was as cheerful and dedicated at 4:30 in the morning as he was at 4:30 in the afternoon."

    For Snyder's final 14 months in office, Weber was the governor's chief legal counsel, navigating a labyrinth of end-of-term legal issues ranging from commutation requests and judicial appointments to reviewing hundreds of bills that crossed Snyder's desk in his final weeks.

    "That's a big job for somebody his age — but we knew he could do it," Calley said. "And he did it really well."

    In October, Snyder appointed Weber to the Northern Michigan University board of trustees for a term that began Jan. 1 and was to expire at the end of 2026. He also was a member of the board of trustees for the Children's Hospital of Michigan Foundation, according to the his NMU biography.

    "Travis was an outstanding individual and attorney who made Michigan a better place," Snyder wrote Wednesday in a LinkedIn message to Crain's. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. He will be remembered as a person who made each one of us better. We will miss him."

    Weber is survived by his mother Colleen Weber; brother, Jeffrey Weber; grandparents Bernard and Ruby Cooper; close cousins and a special friend, Amanda Elias. He was preceded in death by his father, William Weber.

    A memorial service is planned for 2 p.m. Monday at Hopevale Church in Saginaw.

    Memorial donations may be made to Children's Hospital of Michigan Foundation.

    On Wednesday, Weber's former colleagues in state government were trying to make sense of his passing.

    "I had planned to spend decades laughing with Travis and celebrating what I was sure would be his many triumphs," Brader told Crain's. "Having those years of future friendship and laughter suddenly disappear is bewildering and horrible."

    The origins of the Flint Water Crisis and the role of the Genessee County Land Bank.
    Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

    Thursday, February 14, 2019

    NAACP National Voter Fund - Just My Notes

    Just my notes.

    The NAACP National Voter funds Mission is to advance election reform by enchancing civic engagement of African American in low income communities through voters education registration get out the vote efforts issue advocacy and election protection.

    There were never any annual reports filed with Michigan LARA and it has been dissolved in Michigan.

    Summary for:  NAACP NATIONAL VOTER FUND              

    Identification Number: 801069698Old ID Number: 902205
    Date of Qualification in Michigan:   02/01/2001

    Incorporated under the laws of: the state of District Of Columbia

    Date of Revoked: 10/01/2003Term: Perpetual
    Most Recent Annual Report:Most Recent Annual Report with Officers & Directors:   
    The name and address of the Resident Agent:
    Resident Agent Name:BROOKE MCCAULEY
    Street Address:3940 FENKELL ST
    City:DETROITState:MIZip Code:48238

    Image result for julian bond
    Julian Bond  & MLK
    This is the link to the website, but it is only a splash page.

    This is the link to the website from the Wayback Machine.

    Julian Bond was the Chairman of the NAACP, but not the NAACP National Voter Fund.

    Gregory Moore, Director
    As Executive Director, Mr. Moore is responsible for the overall coordination of national programs designed to promote voter rights, election reform and issues that are critical to the NAACP and its branches, while also increasing voter education and participation among African Americans and communities of color throughout the US.

    Mr. Moore has a long history of political empowerment and advocacy, serving in a number of leadership positions throughout his 28 years of issue advocacy. Most recently, Mr. Moore served five years as the Chief of Staff to the Dean of the Congressional Black Caucus, US Representative John Conyers (D-14, MI). 

    He served as Deputy Political Director for the Democratic National Committee, where he was instrumental in developing the Voter Registration and outreach programs while also overseeing Base Vote Constituency programs and activities nationally. 

    While at the DNC, he also served as the Liaison to the Training division and targeted Coordinated Campaigns, strategic planning and implementation of the 1996 Clinton-Gore re-election campaign.
    Mr. Moore has also served as the Executive Director of the Citizenship Education Fund, the civic educational arm of the National Rainbow Coalition. Private sector involvement includes the founding of GTM Consulting Services, a political consulting firm, where he served as its President and CEO, and TriCom Associates Advertising Firm, where he served as Senior Vice President for Government Relations. Mr. Moore received his Bachelor of Science Degree from the College of Communications, Ohio University.


    Heather Booth is one of the country’s leading progressive issue campaigns strategists. She has been an organizer starting in the civil rights and women's movement. 

    She was the founding Director of the Midwest Academy, training social change leaders and organizers. 

    She has been in many political campaigns and was Training Director of the DNC. 

    In 2000, she was the Director of the NAACP National Voter Fund, which helped increase African American turnout by nearly 2 million votes. 

    She has been consultant to many social change groups including and National Council of La Raza. 

    She was the lead consultant founding of the Campaign for Comprehensive Immigration Reform. 

    She was director of the AFL-CIO Health Care Campaign. 

    She was the founding director of Americans for Financial Reform, fighting to regulate the financial industry. 

    She is now strategic advisor to the Alliance for Citizenship, the Voter Participation Center and NOW.

    Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©