State seizes AC to stall bankruptcy

From the Record:

State plans to take reins of Atlantic City

After years of trying to ignite an economic revival in Atlantic City — only to see four of its 12 casinos close in 2014 — Governor Christie was back at the drawing board Tuesday with a sweeping new plan to take over the city’s finances and cut down the size of its government.

Christie’s announcement at a State House news conference with Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Mayor Don Guardian came hours before the Atlantic City Council was scheduled to consider a bankruptcy filing as a last resort to avoid defaulting on the city’s debt.

Instead of bankruptcy, which no New Jersey municipality has entered since Fort Lee during the Great Depression, Christie said state officials could right-size Atlantic City by taking over many of its government powers for five years. A series of “tough choices” would ensue, he said, such as slashing costs, privatizing services, selling city assets and possibly “amending or terminating” collective-bargaining agreements with local unions.

“The bottom line is that Atlantic City’s municipal finances are now the greatest threat to the city’s well-being,” Christie said.

This entry was posted in Demographics, Economics, Employment, New Jersey Real Estate, Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

118 Responses to State seizes AC to stall bankruptcy

  1. Fabius Maximus says:


  2. anon (the good one) says:


    Ammon Bundy stares from the back of a police van. Will his cause be remembered? A heron glides through the moonlight, clutching a d1ldo

  3. The Great Pumpkin says:

    You took this debate, but I will say one thing. The mortgage deduction is the only way nj gets back some money from the fed govt. Since we are a high cost/high income state, I will support it to no end. Nj pays the most on a percentage basis to the federal govt, so I’ll take some of that money back any way I can. Hell, it’s payback for the crappy sandy payout our state received. Other states get disasters and money rains on them. Not in jersey.

    Comrade Nom Deplume and His Amazing Trick Back says:
    January 27, 2016 at 1:04 am
    [155] pumpkin

    “Nom, where exactly does the money from the deduction go? Right back into the hands of the biggest spenders in our economy.”

    Actually, I think it is a return of the percentage of the price they paid for the house, a percentage that was higher than it would have been without the MID.

    “Who does this help? Every single person by strengthening the economy at all levels.”

    It is a transfer and contributes to the velocity of money. But it is likely a substitute transfer and since it is a transfer of wealth that is based on the questionable value of an underlying asset, that transfer can be “reversed” if you will as it was in 2008. So what is the net?

    “Mortgage deduction is the only actual deduction that helps the middle class. Wealthy really don’t take out mortgages, they pay in cash. Poor just rent. Those two groups get everything from the govt at the middle class(aka worker class) expense.”

    Actually, the folks who want to get rid of the MID argue that it inures to the benefit of the wealthy.

    “Why do you want to beat up the middle class even more? Is the mortgage deduction making them rich, or is it helping them to contribute to the American economy?”

    A sophist’s tool. Might as well ask me when I stopped beating my wife.

    As for the inversion piece, I didn’t read it because it wasn’t relevant to the discussion of the MID.

    I am going to midtown tomorrow for a creditors meeting. Debtor’s attorney wrote a fluff opposition to our client’s motion that was astonishing for the Pumpkin-like arguments he flung onto the page. Considering that the firm is probably the country’s preeminent restructuring shop, I was more than a bit disappointed with the effort. For what they billed the client for that POS, they could have paid some of the administrative claims.

  4. nwnj says:

    Sounds like a kick the can down the road arrangement that politicians love. I think the only guarantee from this deal is that it will cost us all a small fortune in the long run.

  5. The Great Pumpkin says:

    The following article is from 2011, but wages have remained stagnant since then. Pay attention to the last two paragraphs.

    The take-away from the following article is:

    “profits are up because wages are down. That’s not the only reason profits are up — innovation and offshoring factor in as well — but among the reasons, it’s a doozy”
    Corporate America’s chokehold on wages – The Washington Post

    “By Harold Meyerson, Published: July 19, 2011

    If you’re wondering why American consumers are still flat on their backs, rendering the economy similarly supine, the answer is both fundamental and simple: It’s not just that so many of them are unemployed. The ones who are employed are also underpaid.

    Don’t take my word for it — take that of Michael Cembalest, the chief investment officer of J.P. Morgan Chase. He asserted in the July 11 edition of “Eye on the Market,” the bank’s regular report to its private banking clients, that “US labor compensation is now at a 50-year low relative to both company sales and US GDP.”

    The primary subject of Cembalest’s report isn’t wages. It’s profits — specifically, the fact that profit margins (the share of a company’s revenue that goes to profits) of the Standard & Poor’s 500 companies are at their highest levels since the mid-1960s, despite the burdens of health-care costs, environmental compliance and other regulations that are presumably weighing down these large companies.

    How can that be? To find the answer, Cembalest studied the rise in profit margins “from peak to peak” — that is, from their high point in 2000, just before the dot-com bust, to their high point in 2007, just before the financial crisis. In those seven years, profit margins rose from just under 11 percent of the S&P 500’s revenue to just over 12 percent. (Today, they’re near 13 percent.)

    Why the increase? “There are a lot of moving parts in the margin equation,” Cembalest writes, but “reductions in wages and benefits explain the majority of the net improvement in margins.” This decline in wages and benefits, Cembalest calculates, is responsible for about 75 percent of the increase in our major corporations’ profit margins.

    Or, to state this more simply, profits are up because wages are down. That’s not the only reason profits are up — innovation and offshoring factor in as well — but among the reasons, it’s a doozy…”

  6. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Looks like a good day for private investors with connections.

    “Instead of bankruptcy, which no New Jersey municipality has entered since Fort Lee during the Great Depression, Christie said state officials could right-size Atlantic City by taking over many of its government powers for five years. A series of “tough choices” would ensue, he said, such as slashing costs, privatizing services, selling city assets and possibly “amending or terminating” collective-bargaining agreements with local unions”

  7. Grim says:

    Trump seems unstoppable – comes out smelling like a rose while FOX looks like a bunch of spiteful idiots.

  8. anon (the good one) says:

    LaVoy was communications director for Bundy’s terrorist group

    That represents an enormous loss of income for the Finicums. According to a 2010 tax filing, Catholic Charities paid the family $115,343 to foster children in 2009. That year, foster parents were compensated between $22.31 and $37.49 per child, per day, meaning if the Finicums were paid at the maximum rate, they cared for, on average, eight children per day in 2009.

    “That was my main source of income,” Finicum said.

    UPDATE 1/26/16: Multiple sources confirm to OPB that Robert “LaVoy” Finicum was shot and killed by law enforcement officers Tuesday night.

  9. nwnj says:

    And Hillary’s health seems to be cracking with the indictment looming. She may not even get out of the gate.

    It’s time to start considering a president Trump.

  10. chicagofinance says:

    WTF?…….. Vigoda is such a bastard

  11. D-FENS says:

    Grim, I really hope he teams up with a competing network and stars on a competing show during the same time slot and steals all of their ratings.

    The greatest thing about Trump is that he completely pisses everyone else off.

  12. D-FENS says:

    nwnj, if you’re for Trump…or any other Republican candidate, you should be cheering for the Clinton nomination. She is such a damaged candidate…even die hard life long Democrats are disgusted at the idea of pulling the lever for her.

  13. nwnj says:

    Yep, and that’s his greatest appeal to me.

    Currently the balance of power exists between politicians, lobbyists(special interests) and the media. They work hand-in-hand to further each other’s agenda, rarely do they take opposing sides.

    He doesn’t hesitate to confront any of them, and you won’t find another “politician” who will. He’s a great disrupter.

  14. 1987 Condo says:

    #11..anyone remember the movie “Network”?!

  15. grim says:

    11 – Isn’t he planning on doing that? I thought I heard something about doing it to raise funds for wounded warrior.

  16. The Great JerzyCarnac says:

    Ballot choices come November will be,

    Trump, Sanders & Bloomberg.

    Two cranky grandfatherly j3ws and a manchurian candidate for the Bronx Zoo chipmunks.

  17. Juice Box says:

    The Democratic machine will be voting for Hillary, the fix is already in.

  18. Juice Box says:

    Iowa and New Hampshire mean nothing to the Democrats in a two person race.

  19. Always knew they’d take Aamon Bundy alive.

  20. Juice Box says:

    Trump is a Presbyterian, the evangelicals already love him

  21. Juice Box says:

    outside of New York Metro nobody knows who Bloomberg is

  22. leftwing says:

    Bloomberg is absolutely the most qualified candidate for the job, and the rest of the country will learn about and get behind him with his history – successful entrepreneur (truly, not Trump-like) and total reversal of the decline of NYC.

    Religion may be an issue in the bible belt, and I wish he weren’t so rabidly anti-gun, but otherwise truly the perfect candidate and leader.

    All that said, I have no idea why anyone of any real accomplishment would want to come anywhere near the job of POTUS.

  23. Grim says:

    In a Trump Sanders race, we may actually see a viable third party candidate. At first glance, it could be a brilliant strategy. Bloomberg would come off as a moderate.

  24. nwnj says:

    I don’t think Bloomberg will enter the race. He’s polled before and I think he knows his appeal is very limited on a national basis. He’s a gun grabber and nanny stater. If he did enter, he’s left of center every way but economically so I think he’s going to hurt the Dems.

  25. Bloomberg is just DeBlasio with money and a pair of balls.

  26. Grim says:

    sure – but stand him next to Trump and Sanders

  27. lefty [22];

    …total reversal of the decline of NYC.

    MB isn’t/wasn’t terrible, but he did not “reverse” anything. He rode Giuliani’s coat tails. He made it onto the ballot by switching parties to run as a nominal Republican because Republicans in deep blue NY are outnumbered and weak; while the Democratic field was entrenched and crowded. He got elected on the strength of Giuliani’s success.

    His penchant for nanny-statism is a big turn off and gains him no points at the national level — how exactly does banning Big Gulps translate to foreign policy prowess? Finally, Giuliani respected term limits and left office in January 2002, when the city could have desperately used the stability of a trusted, proven and successful leader staying on. Just 8 year later Bloomy decides that the city can’t live without him for 4 more years and gets the City Council to overturn the (small-d) democratically imposed term limit referendum, to allow him a third term.

  28. nwnj says:

    Yep, Bloomberg is more radical than Bernie in several ways.

  29. D-FENS says:

    People know darn well who Bloomberg is outside of the NY metro and they hate his guts. He bankrolls one of the most influential gun-control groups in the country. Formerly Mayors against illegal guns…now called “Everytown”…and has consolidated several other gun control groups under the name.

  30. D-FENS says:

    Bloomberg would split the Democratic vote.

  31. D-FENS says:

    The election is Trumps to lose.

  32. leftwing says:

    “If he did enter, he’s left of center every way but economically so I think he’s going to hurt the Dems”

    You just described the fat part of the bell curve nationally – socially liberal, leaning financially conservative.

    His backstory of Bloomberg Inc is truly fascinating, Horatio Alger stuff. Moving for a big part of the country.

    Despite the ‘nanny’ tendency (which I agree he exhibits) his actions in NYC show the archtypical governing technocrat. The country is sorely looking for someone to govern – he did.

    The Repub/Dem switch for the NYC ballot is inside poker. Nationally it is spun as someone who can govern effectively across party lines. A Republican in the bluest of blue that gets elected and gets things done! Again, something the masses yearn for.

    Agree, Giuliani did the heavy lifting and Bloomberg reaped the rewards of the NYC turnaround. Populace doesn’t know or care, just like Presidents who get the credit for expansions resulting from rate cuts in a prior administration by any numeric measure NYC exploded under Bloomberg. He will get credit.

    Bottom line, we know candidates like Trump and Bloomberg well because of their proximity and they are anathema to us. To the rest of the country they can paint their own story… do you think that clown Trump is leading the polls? Enter Bloomberg, he polls stronger across both parties than Trump does at Repub now.

    Shoo-in, other than the religion. Neuter that with the right (no pun intended) Evangelical from a key Sunbelt state and QED.

  33. The Great Pumpkin says:

    One of the best breakdowns of QE that I have read.

    “Take a look at average hourly earnings, and they will tell you where corporate profits and capital spending are headed. They have been stagnant for a long time.

    Yesterday Jamie Dimon, who is the CEO of JPMorgan Chase got a 35% raise on his multi million dollar a year contract.

    Vast income inequality has hyper consolidated wealth, and yielded an intractable lack of aggregate demand. The easy money has been made on cheap money, and most of us didn’t qualify to play. QE perversely rewarded banks and even encouraged them to play the dollar carry trade, and because banks refused to lend for socially useful projects like capital investment, and home purchase, the only thing which QE simulated was paper assets and massive overinvestment in commodity based emerging markets. Because there was an overabundance of excess reserves Mergers and Acquisitions and Stock Buybacks, along with the carry trade shaved trillions from GDP, and small business formation along with the real economy were squelched.

    The appeal of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders is that they are not numbered among the centrists who gave us this absurd financial system, which has become divorced from the real economy of goods and services, and devoted itself to neoliberal projects, and carrying out the mandates of K Street Lobbyists. Next thing you know Americans may take notice that the Unions are just about dead, and wonder if that isn’t a part of the problem. Never before have the monetary aggregates diverged from GDP until this regime of QE was imposed in 2009, and countercyclical fiscal spending abandoned, while the economy was mired in a liquidity trap.

    The DNC and the RNC hate their own leading candidates because they have diverged from the K Street consensus in order to talk to Americans about the raw deal they have been getting, since the New Deal had been obliterated by Bill Clinton with his signature on the repeal of the Glass Steagall Act.

    The boo hoos of the bipartisan elite are thoroughly alarmed, and maybe as a result of an American Spring the tolerance of Americans for unlimited wealth consolidation by the few, will inspire us to root their enablers out of America’s Deliberative Body to the advantage of the vast majority of us, who along with GDP growth, have been left to moulder in the cold.”

  34. D-FENS says:

    Crime rates decreased nationally…starting during the Giuliani administration…and continuing with the Bloomberg administration. Both get a lot of credit for trends that were already underway.

  35. 1987 Condo says: H.S. in 1975, I did a paper on crime in America, as it was spiraling out of control. Conclusion, demographics!

  36. NJGator says:

    America is officially living in an Onion article.

  37. Merci pour tout ce travail que cela représente et pour tout le plaisir que j’y trouve

  38. Bystander says:

    Just watched Black Mirror TV series. One episode called the Waldo moment that reminds me of the Trump campaign. Bullying, insulting and dismissing other candidates plays well to public for entertainment purposes but beware when that line crosses into legitimacy. Not saying I prefer Clinton but Trump’s campaign is not legitimate as he has almost zero details behind his big statements.

  39. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Can’t say I don’t agree. Making America great again starts with the family. Biggest improvement would come from bringing down the percentage of single family households.

    “It doesn’t matter how much Jamie Dimon made at JPMorgan Chase if 10,000 twenty-five year old men living in inner-city Baltimore (some of them with criminal records) can not only NOT even explain what it is that Jamie Dimon does, they are functionally illiterate. Growing up with just “mom” (and no dad) and passing remedial level classes through high school (because your teachers are too worried about their own jobs if they flunk you) can prepare a young man for absolutely zip in the information age. Going to community college (for free) to learn more remedial things (if you even bother attending class) isn’t going to change a thing. The income/value-to-society difference here is so vast as it would be pointless to illustrate the concept of 1% vs the 99%.

    No one is talking about the real problem. That is because the real problem is so frightening, so culturally insurmountable, that it does absolutely no good to identify it if you already know that no one will help you fix it”

    “I doubt it is insurmountable.

    But even alluding to it will cost you the election. There was a bipartisan study that suggested an advertising campaign showing people the real cost of single-parent families. The logic is that we have campaigns against cigarettes, drugs, sometimes alcohol, so why not have a campaign against one of the root causes of poverty?

    I will know that democrats are being serious if Bernie or Hillary agree to discuss it during one of their debates.”

  40. D-FENS says:

    I think that’s the perfect description and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    NJGator says:
    January 27, 2016 at 10:52 am
    America is officially living in an Onion article.

  41. D-FENS says:


    EXCLUSIVE: German government admits it cannot account for 600,000 of its 1.1million asylum seekers – and many could be using multiple identities to travel across Europe

  42. D-FENS says:

    Opinion: Why New Jersey should abolish the state income tax


  43. Juice Box says:

    Re:26- re: “stand him next to Trump and Sanders”

    Bloomberg is a short NY Wall St Jew, it won’t play well in flyover and debates.

  44. Libturd supporting the Canklephate says:

    I would think Bloomberg would take from the Trump camp more than from the Bernie/Clinton camp just due to his wealth. I think Moose’s explanation of Bloomberg was 100% spot on too. Really, any moron can be elected to multiple terms in NY. Heck, they even embraced Hillary, who was definitely using NY way more than NY was using her. NY loves a celebrity. I would also agree that Rudy did a heck of a job cleaning up the crime in NY and especially his handling of the homeless. He was incredibly lucky to have 911 to improve his credibility much like Sandy temporarily helped Mankles in NJ.

    I really think Trump is unelectable and a lot of Republicans will stay home instead of pulling the lever for him. Sander’s liberalism is scary, but not half as scary as Trump’s blue-collar protectionism. And Hillary is simply a weak leader and is no one without her husband. Even to this day, she can’t make a decision without testing the waters and her email foibles are just one example of her lack of intelligence. A server in a bathroom installed by large campaign contributors? Pass!

  45. Ragnar says:

    I agree Trump is the scariest candidate. Even more frightening, I’m no longer confident he’s unelectable, because people are even more ignorant and wrongheaded than I suspected.

  46. Libturd supporting the Canklephate says:

    As for the state takeover of AC, it’s an absolute necessity. The local government’s have been abusing that city since the moment the first casino opened. Unfortunately, the state will probably due an equally as poor job.

  47. Libturd supporting the Canklephate says:

    As for the state takeover of AC, it’s an absolute necessity. The local governments have been abusing that city since the moment the first casin0 opened and probably even before. Unfortunately, the state will probably due an equally as poor job which is insane considering the number of ratables that exist in that small city.

  48. Fabius Maximus says:

    The Bernie love in here reminds me of four years ago. Remember all the fawning over Ron Paul. Bernie is the Dems crazy uncle. Fun to look at and unelectable. He is 15 points behind H. So even if he wins Iowa and NH, he is the stalking house he was always destined to be.

  49. Juice Box says:

    Re #46- any downsizing they do anyway to rightsize AC’S budget and debt will be overruled by the courts.

  50. D-FENS says:

    So, Fabius is no fan of Bernie Sanders…and Ragnar would rather chew broken glass than live in a world where Trump is president.

    Now I know why everyone likes them.

    Trump/Sanders 2016

  51. Pete says:

    I’m putting my money on Clinton and Rubio. Rubio because I think Rs will eventually concede that who is in office is actually less important then getting to the office to begin with. I mean no one actually believes that Trump will build a wall on the border and have Mexico pay for it. Do they?

  52. D-FENS says:

    I want a vanity plate that says D-FENS and a bumper sticker that says Trump/Sanders 2016

    I think they’d look good next to my NRA and black lives matter bumper stickers.

  53. Libturd supporting the Canklephate says:

    I disagree Fab. Ron Paul played well here due to the abundance of doom and gloomers here and their affinity to gold. No one in their right mind thought Paul had a chance of winning. Bernie has a real shot at it. Though it’s true that these first two states don’t matter in the grand count, the press Bernie will generate from it could transfer to that portion of the population that does not follow politics like sport. Hate to break it to you, but the (same) machine candidate is about to be taken down once again much like that little known Kenyan did eight years ago. Few knew who Obama was at this point in the campaign accept for those who waste their time and resources following this krap. Heck, didn’t Clinton win New Hampshire? It wasn’t until Florida that Obama became a household name. And Clinton ain’t winning New Hampshire and probably will lose Iowa too. Hillary will probably win the grandma vote down in Florida (after all, she fits the profile). But Bernie’s lack of wealth and attack on Wall Street is what is invigorating the disenfranchised. Much like Obama’s “yes we can,” created his eventual wasted mandate.

    Honestly, your machine cheerleading is showing again. Hillary is a really bad candidate. Sorry, but it’s really true. And this is coming from someone who is a bit scared of how left Bernie is.

    Fab, would you stick around if your wife cheated on you repeatedly? Answer that question. I dare you. Because if it’s Trump vs. Hillary in the general election, the Donald is going to ask why Hillary did? She is simply weak in character. Her recent responses to being owned by Wall Street exhibit this same weakness.

  54. D-FENS says:

    New Hampshire is among the most transient states in the nation, with an influx of young voters that favors Democrats.

    Those are among the findings of a demographic analysis of the Granite State released Tuesday by three academics from the University of New Hampshire. Their work shows that the electorate casting ballots in next month’s bellwether presidential primary will look distinctly different than it did in 2008.

    Many people think of the typical Granite State primary voter as a “laconic Yankee with deep ancestral roots in the state, who dismisses fourth-generation residents as newcomers,” the report says. In fact, more than 30% of potential New Hampshire voters this year were either too young to vote in 2008, or resided outside the state.

    Just five states and the District of Columbia have a smaller proportion of their native-born population living in their birth state than New Hampshire, the report says. Most of the migrants have come from the Boston area, along with other parts of the Northeast and South.

    Between 2008 and 2015, 129,000 New Hampshire residents turned age 18 while about 68,000 older residents died. In ideological terms, younger voters are more likely to identify themselves as liberal while established voters lean conservative.

  55. Essex says:

    50. You are going to lose that bet.

  56. Essex says:

    53. ‘wasted mandate’ — yeah he really didn’t delivery did he? Seriously. Let down.

  57. D-FENS says:

    Quinnipiac: Iowa – Sanders 49% – Clinton 45%

    With strong support from men, very liberal and younger voters, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders takes 49 percent of Iowa likely Democratic Caucus participants, with 45 percent for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and 4 percent for former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

    This is virtually unchanged from results of a January 12 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University showing Sanders at 49 percent, with 44 percent for Clinton and 4 percent for O’Malley.

    Today, 2 percent are undecided and 19 percent of those who name a candidate say they might change their mind.

    The gender gap remains as men back Sanders 63 – 32 percent, while women back Clinton 54 – 40 percent.

    Likely Democratic Caucus participants 18 to 44 years old back Sanders over Clinton 78 – 21 percent. Clinton is ahead 53 – 39 percent among voters 45 to 64 years old and 71 – 21 percent among voters over 65 years old.

    “Is this deja vu all over again? Who would have thunk it when the campaign began? Secretary Hillary Clinton struggling to keep up with Sen. Bernie Sanders in the final week before the Iowa caucus,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

    “It must make her think of eight years ago when her failure in Iowa cost her the presidency.”

    “Perhaps more than other contests, the Iowa caucuses are all about turnout. If those young, very liberal Democratic Caucus participants show up Monday and are organized, it will be a good night for Sen. Sanders,” Brown said.

    “And if Sanders does win Iowa, that could keep a long-shot nomination scenario alive.”

    Iowa likely Democratic Caucus participants who describe themselves as “very liberal” back Sanders over Clinton 63 – 32 percent, while self-described “somewhat liberal” voters back Clinton 53 – 40 percent. “Moderate” and “conservative” voters are divided, with 47 percent for Clinton and 46 percent for Sanders.

    The economy and jobs is the most important issue in deciding their vote, 38 percent of likely Democratic Caucus participants say, with 17 percent citing health care and 9 percent listing climate change.

    Sanders leads 53 – 41 percent among caucus-goers who cite the economy and jobs as the most important issue, while Clinton leads 50 – 44 percent among those who list health care.

    From January 18 – 24, Quinnipiac University surveyed 606 Iowa likely Democratic Caucus participants with a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.

  58. walking bye says:

    Bloomberg and the lower crime rate -Remember reading an article regarding crime rates and the fact that section 8 housing moved out from the cities and into the burbs 90’s.

  59. Fabius Maximus says:

    #49 D-Fens

    It’s not that i’m not a fan, I don’t have a problem with him and would take him over most of the GOP field. But the poll numbers tell a harsh story. Unless he starts moving the needle in a big way he is going nowhere.

  60. Libturd supporting the Canklephate says:

    At least we can all agree that Trump is a joke. Man are the masses asses!

  61. Fabius Maximus says:

    #51 Lib

    For someone who runs his stock picks by the numbers, you are bringing a lot of emotion into your analysis. Regardless of your dislike for her, the poll numbers are way outside the margin of error.
    As for the cheating, I don’t really care. I supported John Roberts and would do again. As for why she stayed, I would never comment on the internals of anyone’s marriage, but I would point you towards Kathy Gifford and her comments on Franks dalliances.

  62. The Great Pumpkin says:

    The World’s Favorite New Tax Haven Is the United States

    Moving money out of the usual offshore secrecy havens and into the U.S. is a brisk new business.

  63. The Great Pumpkin says:

    62- “Last September, at a law firm overlooking San Francisco Bay, Andrew Penney, a managing director at Rothschild & Co., gave a talk on how the world’s wealthy elite can avoid paying taxes.

    His message was clear: You can help your clients move their fortunes to the United States, free of taxes and hidden from their governments. Some are calling it the new Switzerland.

    After years of lambasting other countries for helping rich Americans hide their money offshore, the U.S. is emerging as a leading tax and secrecy haven for rich foreigners. By resisting new global disclosure standards, the U.S. is creating a hot new market, becoming the go-to place to stash foreign wealth. Everyone from London lawyers to Swiss trust companies is getting in on the act, helping the world’s rich move accounts from places like the Bahamas and the British Virgin Islands to Nevada, Wyoming, and South Dakota.

    “How ironic—no, how perverse—that the USA, which has been so sanctimonious in its condemnation of Swiss banks, has become the banking secrecy jurisdiction du jour,” wrote Peter A. Cotorceanu, a lawyer at Anaford AG, a Zurich law firm, in a recent legal journal. “That ‘giant sucking sound’ you hear? It is the sound of money rushing to the USA.””

  64. Libturd supporting the Canklephate says:

    Your right Flab. I really can’t stand her and the machine loves her because she represents a continuation of the status quo in DC. The status quo which allows the fox to continue to run the roost. And this is a nonpartisan issue. Change in DC would be bad for all of those involved.

  65. Hillary has never won a competitive election in her life. She is a real choker. She should go back to futures trading; she was nearly perfect at that.

  66. Libturd supporting the Canklephate says:

    Come on Fab. The concept of the Clinton Foundation is potentially scarier than even the empty Trumps threats. We have pretty much put a price tag on the US government’s decision making process. And you see no problem with it. That is truly sad. Think for yourself man!

  67. Comrade Nom Deplume, back at sea level says:

    It occurs to me that the four frontrunners are so reviled inside the beltway that all of them would represent Obama 3.0 and stasis would rule the day.

    If I were the GOP leadership, I would welcome a president sanders. He won’t morph into a Clinton on substantive matters like Obama did. Here, the GOP argument of preventing the chief exec from doing further damage to the economy and federalism may resonate better than it does now. Good for taking full control of the senate and taking back the WH in 2020.

  68. Libturd supporting the Canklephate says:

    I am hopeful that Sanders can’t put an end to the two party system and all of the fools who continue to cheer lead for those responsible for the downfall of our country.

  69. Comrade Nom Deplume, back at sea level says:

    [68] lib

    Even vultures gotta eat

  70. Fast Eddie says:

    Is Jeb Bush even running any longer?

  71. The Great Pumpkin says:

    That’s all that matters right now. Screw the economics, and address one problem at a time. First problem, fixing the broken two party system that is destroying our govt/society. You need shake things up and Bernie is the man for that job. You know damn well he will be focused on eliminating corruption and changing the way govt works, and the best part, he is too old to give a crap about money. He can’t be bought out. He has been in politics for a lifetime and is only worth 300,000. Call him crazy, but crazy is what we need right now. Not the same old bs. If Americans don’t vote in Bernie, I have no hope whatsoever for this country….they get what they deserve. There won’t be another chance like this to shake up the govt, a man like Bernie comes around every 100 years in politics. 99.9% of politicians are in it for themselves and this is your only chance to avoid the 99.9% career politician. Hope people are smart with the chance presented to them. You have a better chance of getting struck by lightning than getting another chance to vote an honest president into office.

    Libturd supporting the Canklephate says:
    January 27, 2016 at 3:25 pm
    I am hopeful that Sanders can’t put an end to the two party system and all of the fools who continue to cheer lead for those responsible for the downfall of our country.

  72. The Great Pumpkin says:

    71- What do you have to lose? His policies can’t be any worse than the present ones? I mean this economy was supposed to be over in 2008. It was done. It died and was bought back to life. Can Bernie do any worse than that? What are you scared of? Are you scared of change? Don’t be. Change can be good. Just give it a shot, you have nothing to lose, and everything to gain if his leadership works.

  73. The Great Pumpkin says:

    The definition of insanity is making the same mistake over and over again. Let’s stop making the same mistake over and over again by putting someone like hilary (or any of these career politicians in) in control of our country. Enough already, we tried the demorcrat and republican way, they suck. Time for a new face that doesn’t care about red or blue bs. Time for a new face that cares about America. Can’t say he doesn’t love this country.

  74. Fabius Maximus says:

    #66 lib

    I do think for myself. How about this. Why don’t you explain why you think a third party candidate or party will make a difference and i’ll tell you why it won’t.

  75. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Why don’t you give Bernie a chance? How do you know he can’t make a difference? Can you predict the future? Nobody knows anything till the man is given a chance. You would have been in the same camp that said Bernie had no shot vs Hilary 8 months ago.

    Fabius Maximus says:
    January 27, 2016 at 4:45 pm
    #66 lib

    I do think for myself. How about this. Why don’t you explain why you think a third party candidate or party will make a difference and i’ll tell you why it won’t.

  76. Ragnar says:

    I could live with Bernie as president assuming the Repubs control congress, ensuring neither side gets what they want for another 4 years, and it will allow Democrats to finally come out of the closet and admit forever that they are soc1al1sts. I’m not totally sure Israel will still exist if Bernie lasts for 8.

  77. Juice Box says:

    Trump tweets he will debate Cruz in Canada!

  78. Libturd at home says:

    I think it will Fab because when the house or the senate denies Bernie every single one of his requests he can come out and say the same thing that we all know. That is, the government no longer represents the vast majority of the people in this country. It represents those who can pay for favor and the corporate lobbies which they are a part of. Then during mid-term elections, all of the old beholden incumbents from the R and the Ds can get what they truly deserve and new idealistic fools like yours truly can replace them. You are too wrapped up in the bullshit. If this country can elect a black president (even with all of this supposed white privilege), then really, anything is possible.

  79. stu (66)-

    I don’t worry about Mexicans crossing the border. I’ve dealt with hundreds of them, and the vast majority are honest, hardworking people who just want to better their situations and maybe make some bank.

    On the other hand, we seem to have no problem at all allowing weak, degenerate Europeans like gluteus into our country in numbers. They repay us by advancing the liberal/cronyist agenda and pushing for the same assbackwards policies that made places like Ireland prone to generational religious unrest, rampant alcoholism and potato famines.

    “We have pretty much put a price tag on the US government’s decision making process. And you see no problem with it. That is truly sad. Think for yourself man!”

  80. Libturd at home says:

    You know, the moment single payer was off the table, you knew it would be a complete waste. And it is. Another tax on the middle class and the corporate interests profited even further. And this, you are proud of. Complete bullshit this ACA is. What a complete and utter shitshow. And this is Obama’s legacy. I have no faith in either party and neither should anyone. This is why Bernie has a real chance to get elected. If he doesn’t? More of the same. Can’t wait! Obama comes in with a mandate and immediately creates the porkulous to thank all of his supporters. What a complete prick. Time to vote for the lady who supported GW2!

  81. When your country is so f’ed up and stupid that it can’t grow potatoes, no one should be allowed out. Ever.

  82. Libturd at home says:

    Put a wall between the US and Mexico and you’ll pay $15 for a head of lettuce.

  83. Libturd (channeling the late JJ) says:

    But at least it’s less likely to have poop in it.

  84. But, Stu…Hillary says my 20K/year POS masquerading as ‘insurance’ is way better than the 14K/year POS I used to have that actually had a shred of value as insurance.

  85. Need a shot of Jamesons. The only good thing ever to come out of Ireland.

  86. gluteus, they come up with girls’ hockey skates with cankle adjustments?

  87. Hughesrep says:


    i like the caskmate series for cheap winter booze.

  88. Trump – TV reality president, will find out that commercial deal making not the same as political dealmaking. He’s used to dealing in money, not the higher echelon, power.

    Bloomberg – Same as Trump, but a smarter politician, a smarter businessman, and a smarter guy. Unelectable.

    Sanders – The last glimmering and fading flame of idealism. Extinguished, in or out of the office of POTUS.

    Hillary – The most experienced and successful politician. She can see down the road. If Bill blew chunks his first term, she was prepared to leave him in the dust and would be known as Hillary Rodham right now. Unfortunately, she is morally vile in her quest for power, which may not be a bad thing, but if it speaks louder than she does, may not net her the votes required.

    Winner: Trump

  89. [68] Impossible. If the Giants and the Pats trade rosters, even the cerebral Nom cannot keep the lizard part of his brain from cheering for Eli Manning and friends.

    I am hopeful that Sanders can’t put an end to the two party system and all of the fools who continue to cheer lead for those responsible for the downfall of our country.

  90. [68 & 89] Lib – and you meant can, not can’t, right? You don’t hope Sanders is savior for our two party system, but the exact opposite, right?

  91. grim says:

    Is Bill eligible to be VP?

  92. chicagofinance says:

    With or without Chipotle.coli?

    Libturd at home says:
    January 27, 2016 at 6:13 pm
    Put a wall between the US and Mexico and you’ll pay $15 for a head of lettuce.

  93. chicagofinance says:


    An East Coast blizzard howling, global temperatures peaking, the desert Southwest flooding, drought-stricken California drying up—surely there’s a common thread tying together this “extreme” weather. There is. But it has little to do with what recent headlines have been saying about the hottest year ever. It is called business as usual.

    Surface temperatures are indeed increasing slightly: They’ve been going up, in fits and starts, for more than 150 years, or since a miserably cold and pestilential period known as the Little Ice Age. Before carbon dioxide from economic activity could have warmed us up, temperatures rose three-quarters of a degree Fahrenheit between 1910 and World War II. They then cooled down a bit, only to warm again from the mid-1970s to the late ’90s, about the same amount as earlier in the century.

    Whether temperatures have warmed much since then depends on what you look at. Until last June, most scientists acknowledged that warming reached a peak in the late 1990s, and since then had plateaued in a “hiatus.” There are about 60 different explanations for this in the refereed literature.

    That changed last summer, when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) decided to overhaul its data, throwing out satellite-sensed sea-surface temperatures since the late 1970s and instead relying on, among other sources, readings taken from the cooling-water-intake tubes of oceangoing vessels. The scientific literature is replete with articles about the large measurement errors that accrue in this data owing to the fact that a ship’s infrastructure conducts heat, absorbs a tremendous amount of the sun’s energy, and vessels’ intake tubes are at different ocean depths. See, for instance, John J. Kennedy’s “A review of uncertainty in in situ measurements and data sets of sea surface temperature,” published Jan. 24, 2014, by the journal Reviews of Geophysics.

    NOAA’s alteration of its measurement standard and other changes produced a result that could have been predicted: a marginally significant warming trend in the data over the past several years, erasing the temperature plateau that vexed climate alarmists have found difficult to explain. Yet the increase remains far below what had been expected.

    It is nonetheless true that 2015 shows the highest average surface temperature in the 160-year global history since reliable records started being available, with or without the “hiatus.” But that is also not very surprising. Early in 2015, a massive El Niño broke out. These quasiperiodic reversals of Pacific trade winds and deep-ocean currents are well-documented but poorly understood. They suppress the normally massive upwelling of cold water off South America that spreads across the ocean (and is the reason that Lima may be the most pleasant equatorial city on the planet). The Pacific reversal releases massive amounts of heat, and therefore surface temperature spikes. El Niño years in a warm plateau usually set a global-temperature record. What happened this year also happened with the last big one, in 1998.

    Global average surface temperature in 2015 popped up by a bit more than a quarter of a degree Fahrenheit compared with the previous year. In 1998 the temperature rose by slightly less than a quarter-degree from 1997.

    When the Pacific circulation returns to its more customary mode, all that suppressed cold water will surge to the surface with a vengeance, and global temperatures will drop. Temperatures in 1999 were nearly three-tenths of a degree lower than in 1998, and a similar change should occur this time around, though it might not fit so neatly into a calendar year. Often the compensatory cooling, known as La Niña, is larger than the El Niño warming.

    There are two real concerns about warming, neither of which has anything to do with the El Niño-enhanced recent peak. How much more is the world likely to warm as civilization continues to exhale carbon dioxide, and does warming make the weather more “extreme,” which means more costly?

    Instead of relying on debatable surface-temperature information, consider instead readings in the free atmosphere (technically, the lower troposphere) taken by two independent sensors: satellite sounders and weather balloons. As has been shown repeatedly by University of Alabama climate scientist John Christy, since late 1978 (when the satellite record begins), the rate of warming in the satellite-sensed data is barely a third of what it was supposed to have been, according to the large family of global climate models now in existence. Balloon data, averaged over the four extant data sets, shows the same.

    It is therefore probably prudent to cut by 50% the modeled temperature forecasts for the rest of this century. Doing so would mean that the world—without any political effort at all—won’t warm by the dreaded 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100 that the United Nations regards as the climate apocalypse.

    The notion that world-wide weather is becoming more extreme is just that: a notion, or a testable hypothesis. As data from the world’s biggest reinsurer, Munich Re, and University of Colorado environmental-studies professor Roger Pielke Jr. have shown, weather-related losses haven’t increased at all over the past quarter-century. In fact, the trend, while not statistically significant, is downward. Last year showed the second-smallest weather-related loss of Global World Productivity, or GWP, in the entire record.

    Without El Niño, temperatures in 2015 would have been typical of the post-1998 regime. And, even with El Niño, the effect those temperatures had on the global economy was de minimis.

  94. I’m surprised no big entity is really doing what serious disruptors should be doing. Take hold of this dissatisfaction and vote EVERY incumbent out! I’m right-leaning, but I loved the absolute genius of voting Eric Cantor out IN HIS PRIMARY! I hadn’t even thought of that. I would love to see mass mobilization of ALL incumbents voted out in their primaries, and if not, build that momentum into the general elections. I want to see Congress staffed by rookies, both houses. I’d like them to be so inexperienced they don’t even hold audiences with lobbyists. I’d like them to know that they are all one term and out, so make your mark (pick your poison, graft of accomplishment) in one term. I still have faith that people will act correctly absent a culture of corruption.

  95. [91] grim – Do you mean VICE President? You may have heard tale of his past deeds. He covets that title, with or without constitutional sanction.

    Is Bill eligible to be VP?

  96. grim says:

    Single best explanation of the Flint water incident that I’ve seen yet, in the comments section of the economist:

    The content in this article is misleading and not up to the level of reporting that the Economist normally practices. I ask that the article be reviewed and edited to improve its clarity.

    One passage I find highly misleading is:
    “…she had checked the blood samples of hundreds of toddlers in Flint and found elevated levels of lead in their blood…” This implies that all (or nearly so) of the toddlers had elevated blood levels. According to Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive for the state, as of Dec. 18 only 23 children younger than 6 had tested with elevated blood levels. From this small incidence rate the followup highly misleading statement is made : “as many as 9,000 children between zero and six might have been poisoned”
    This is a gross exaggeration since the total incidence rate is about 2%.

    Another pair of passages I find highly misleading:
    “Mr Edwards found high levels of iron and lead in his numerous samples of the highly corrosive Flint river water…” and “…switched back to the cleaner, less corrosive water of Lake Huron.”

    This implies that the Flint river itself is polluted with heavy metals. This is incorrect, the metals are from the city’s water pipes downstream from the treatment plant. The river water is not less clean than that of Lake Huron in ways relevant to the water crisis. Nor is the river water corrosive, it is the chemicals added in the water treatment process that made it so.

    The author of the article fails to communicate the real situation: the problem is not widespread contamination that affects nearly everyone in town; it is a problem of limited “hotspots” based on who is downstream from specific plumbing lines; and for many the problem is the lines connecting their individual house to the city system.

    In my opinion the author is also wrong about the root cause of the problem: I would argue that the situation is primarily a failed implementation of a reasonable plan. Flint’s water was switched from a cold water source to a warm water source. The prior treatment for bacteria was insufficient for the warmer water, so additional chlorine was added.

    At this point failure occurred. The high level of chlorine used is the primary reason that the water started to corrode the downstream pipes and cause lead to leach out of them.

    American law requires an anti-corrosion plan for such a change to the water system. This was not done. Had it been done it is likely that additional phosphates would have been used and prevented today’s crisis.

    So in my judgement the original plan to switch the water supply could and should have been successful. So I think placing the primary blame on the decision to switch is inappropriate.

    The world is full of government plans that don’t work out as intended. Some of these plans never had chance of working and we can justly criticize the wishful/careless thinking behind them. I haven’t seen evidence that this crisis is from “…a series of misguided austerity policies, bad public policy-decisions”.

  97. chicagofinance says:

    Q to the board:

    AT&T Wireless dumped its subsidy for new equipment…….I just checked, and it appears that the Wireless store and Costco have identical offers, except Costco gives $125 store card and a $25 member benefit…….do people think buying stuff through Costco, or some other source is now the best way to go for an AT&T customer……I’m annoyed because my eligibility was coming up on 2/1/2016.

  98. If I had a members card, I’d shoot up the first Costco I could enter.

  99. Hughesrep says:


    People would be amazed to see the absolute Rube Goldberg crap that holds their water systems together.

    Fittings, valves, solder etc that contain lead are everywhere in every major water system. Probably worse in older areas (NJ) and major cities, I’ve seen wood mains in use held together with oakum and lead in philly.

    Truly lead free brass in plumbing systems only become a mandate in 2015. Prior to that manufacturers could make their valve for instance with lead, coat the interior surface for lead resistance, and call it lead free.

  100. Grim says:

    AT&T dumped subsidy? Hmm. I think I’ll switch carriers.

    Even with my 20% corp discount, I feel I am paying way too much for 2 phones.

  101. Grim says:

    Not to mention the price increase for grandfathered unlimiteds.

    T-Mobile here we come.

  102. Grim says:

    99 – amazing that none of the major news outlets covered this objectively, instead turning it into a political issue.

    NJ is filled with lead.

  103. Juice Box says:

    re: “best way to go for an AT&T customer”

    Is to tell your employer to cut the crap with BYOD. An AT&T unlimited business plan voice and data is $50 a month, way cheaper than consumer plans, and can be cancelled at any time, and they can make international voice and data unlimited by the month. Try doing that with your consumer plan.

    Employees are getting raked over the coals with BYOD.

    Rant off.

  104. Juice Box says:

    re: #102 – mostly WWI and WWII era stuff too, just peruse the map NJ & the EPA maintains, some scary stuff in the entire metro area, you should thank the stars we don’t make that stuff here anymore.

    I’ll see if I can find a link again.

  105. D-FENS says:


    Juice Box says:
    January 27, 2016 at 4:52 pm
    Trump tweets he will debate Cruz in Canada

  106. 3b says:

    #74 fab just fyi I am neither rep or demo they both suck flip side same coin. However one thing I have noticed is that repubs I know have admitted that Bush was a disaster. This while he was still in office. Demos I know on the other hand will never acknowledge Obama has been a disaster and Hillary is a damaged candidate.

  107. 3b [106]

    Demos I know on the other hand will never acknowledge Obama has been a disaster and Hillary is a damaged candidate.

    Cause the Kool Aid is SOOOOOooooo gooood.

  108. Con’t [107];

    Seriously, what does that tell you about which party is or is not populated by mind-numbed lemmings?

    Ed Asner and Mike Farrel are on record admitting that they — reliable Hollywood leftists — refuse to criticize Obama for fear of being labeled “racist” (as if that word has any meaning left after its abuse over the last 8 years.

  109. Essex says:

    88. Geezus. Perhaps but the election will more than likely run down party lines.
    Many will vote their pocketbook. Which means Trump will have to make everyone believe he is the best chance for prosperity which is not an easy sell, he’ll have to have specifics he is in the race in his Party with lightweights who worship at the alter of the dollar and will fold early if it means a cabinet seat in Trump house.

    As for the Dems, once you energize youthful voters he is home free. If they turn out to vote. And in this election what else have they got to do.

    So this election then becomes a referendum on how you see the Country.
    As a corporatist entity where business saves the day or as a common collective where the government and liberalism reign.

  110. Grim says:

    We need Ross Perot – he isn’t senile yet is he?

  111. joyce says:

    It’s not always the consumer who benefits from cheap labor (and ‘not always’ could probably have been ‘almost never’ unless an industry is tremendously competitive, which I don’t think applies here).

    Libturd at home says:
    January 27, 2016 at 6:13 pm
    Put a wall between the US and Mexico and you’ll pay $15 for a head of lettuce.

  112. joyce says:


    All I ever heard was, “…but he kept us safe.” Which unfortunately must be a phrase that tests phenomenally in polling because it’s all you freakin’ here out of the mind-numbing R candidates.

  113. joyce says:

    To clarify, I don’t just mean the candidates have said that Bush kept us safe but that they also will do so because they’re such geniuses and tough guys.

  114. Juice Box says:

    Re#11 – looks like he did, hosting a veterans event same time slot, and he is now mocking FOX. TRUMP wins this battle he won’t talk to anyone over there but Murdock now after the FOX execs called him a terrorist and leaked the negotiations over his appearance at the debate.

  115. Juice Box says:

    The Billionaires behind the curtain.

    Murdoch endorses Bloomberg now?

    BERNIE need to jump on this perfect time to capitalization on what is wrong with our political system.

  116. Every day brings us closer to complete societal collapse.

  117. Repubs are done (the good one) says:

    Kanye West said that W didn’t care about black people. The truth is that the man-child didn’t care about any people. 9/11, Katrina, Iraq, GFC, all were under his watch, evidencing that the Republican Party is rotten to the core & cant handle international or domestic crisis.

    Chifi will be dead before we see another Repub as prez.

    Essex says:
    January 28, 2016 at 12:39 pm
    Donald Trump’s success in the presidential race remains somewhat mystifying.

    How has he managed to not only lead the Republican primary, but sustain his lead?

    And what, exactly, about the Republican Party has allowed him to rise to the top?

    We read an interesting theory on the state of the Republican Party written on Facebook by someone who asked to be characterized as a former conservative activist who has worked in Republican primaries in Iowa and New Hampshire.

    We got permission to excerpt some of it as long as we didn’t identify the person who wrote it. This person didn’t want to get in trouble at work.

    In short, this person said, the Republican Party had been a stool supported by three legs: national defense, free-market economics, and social values.

    But the person said that thanks mostly to President George W. Bush, the party has failed on the first two legs. The country has shifted significantly on the last one, and there’s nothing a Republican candidate can do to change it.

    As a result the Republican Party is in disarray, and Trump is taking advantage.

    Here’s the full explanation:

    Ronald Reagan used to describe the Republican Party as a kind of three-part coalition. Each part was primarily motivated by its pet issue: national defense, free-market economics, traditional values. Together these comprised a “three-legged stool” that supported the party. Saw off any of the legs and the stool collapsed–taking the party down with it.

    Trump makes no sense when viewed through this lens. He doesn’t know enough about foreign policy to count as being strong on national defense. He’s not a free-markets guy at all. No one would mistake him for a social conservative.

    So how can he be so popular? How can he stand so tall without any legs of the stool? I think the answer is that the stool is gone. All three legs have been ground to dust. Donald Trump is just the first candidate to realize this.

    Let’s look at each leg of the stool and see what happened.

    National Defense. The disastrous, useless, forever wars of the Bush administration shattered the illusion that GOP Hawks were safe hands in which to trust our defense. Even still, the standard Republican answer to threats is to repeat the failed strategies of the past. Invade, bomb, brag, bluster. No thanks.

    In other words, voting Republican won’t make us safer.

    Free market economics. The financial crisis, the Wall Street bailout and the auto bailout all happened under a Republican presidency. So it’s clear the GOP isn’t actually committed to free market economics. Instead, it appears to be committed to free market sounding policies whose actual effect has been the destruction of American manufacturing, the erosion of labor’s wage, the stagnation of the middle class and the growth of a plutocracy of the ultra wealthy. No thanks.

    Voting Republican doesn’t keep the government from meddling in the economy or create widespread prosperity.

    Social values. This was the latest one to go. It died the day the Supreme Court of the United States, comprised of six GOP Justices, ruled that the constitution requires legal recognition of gay marriage. This ended to decades long delusion that conservatives might overturn Roe v Wade or successfully defend traditional marriage, family values, religious liberty.

    Voting GOP won’t accomplish any of the goals of social conservatives.

    Reagan’s stool was wobbly for years. Now it is gone.

    Donald Trump is what comes after the GOP’s claim to the mantles of national defense, free markets and traditional values are demonstrated to be frauds and failures.

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