AIR JORDAN SAVAGES

Dover, OH

#1676 Dec 24, 2013
The release of the latest Nike Air Jordan sneaker brought out throngs of crowds across the country and several brawls broke out, too.

Video making the rounds online taken at a shoe store in Stockton, California, shows various fist fights erupting, apparently over the Gamma Blue 11s.

VIDEO OF SAVAGES
http://www.myfoxny.com/story/24289583/brawls-...

THANK YOU FOX
ZCs

New York, NY

#1677 Dec 26, 2013
AIR JORDAN SAVAGES wrote:
The release of the latest Nike Air Jordan sneaker brought out throngs of crowds across the country and several brawls broke out, too.
Video making the rounds online taken at a shoe store in Stockton, California, shows various fist fights erupting, apparently over the Gamma Blue 11s.
VIDEO OF SAVAGES
http://www.myfoxny.com/story/24289583/brawls-...
THANK YOU FOX
Wrong Board.
ZCs

New York, NY

#1678 Dec 26, 2013
It's the "WE" Baby!!

A story that spans a decade has come to an unfortunate, but not surprising, end. Three former General Electric bankers, Dominick Carollo, Steven Goldberg and Peter Grimm, had been convicted in 2012 for rigging auctions of municipal bonds, thus stealing from projects to build schools, hospitals, libraries and nursing homes in virtually every U.S. state.

However, in November 2013, those convictions were reversed on a technicality: basically, that federal prosecutors took so long to build the massive case that the statute of limitations ran out. The three men were released from prison the next day—just in time, as a defense attorney sanctimoniously noted, to be home for Thanksgiving dinner.

These men were part of a decade-long scheme that bilked cities and towns of funds for public-works projects by paying kickbacks to brokers and manipulating bids. Between August 1999 and November 2006, Carollo, Goldberg and Grimm participated in countless rigged bids via telephone. Like Mafiosi, they used a secret language and code words to keep their underground business low-key. Prosecutors accumulated over 570,000 recorded phone conversations that directly linked the men to fraudulent activity. Evidence at trial established that they cost municipalities around the country millions of dollars.

This type of white-collar immorality is a major issue because the money stolen could have been used by cash-strapped towns to provide essential services. Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone called this fraud the equivalent of robbing a church fund to pay for lap dances. Taibbi, however, is one of the few reporters to consistently inform the public on these crimes and to point out the perhaps-insurmountable obstacles faced by even an activist U.S. Justice Department in getting convictions.“It really is hard to put these guys away,” Taibbi writes.“It’s even harder to keep them there.”
ILAL

Bronx, NY

#1679 Dec 28, 2013
ZCs wrote:
<quoted text>
Wrong Board.
Exactly and agree.

He's stupid and racist to the speed of light.
ILAL

Bronx, NY

#1680 Dec 28, 2013
ZCs wrote:
It's the "WE" Baby!!
A story that spans a decade has come to an unfortunate, but not surprising, end. Three former General Electric bankers, Dominick Carollo, Steven Goldberg and Peter Grimm, had been convicted in 2012 for rigging auctions of municipal bonds, thus stealing from projects to build schools, hospitals, libraries and nursing homes in virtually every U.S. state.
However, in November 2013, those convictions were reversed on a technicality: basically, that federal prosecutors took so long to build the massive case that the statute of limitations ran out. The three men were released from prison the next day—just in time, as a defense attorney sanctimoniously noted, to be home for Thanksgiving dinner.
These men were part of a decade-long scheme that bilked cities and towns of funds for public-works projects by paying kickbacks to brokers and manipulating bids. Between August 1999 and November 2006, Carollo, Goldberg and Grimm participated in countless rigged bids via telephone. Like Mafiosi, they used a secret language and code words to keep their underground business low-key. Prosecutors accumulated over 570,000 recorded phone conversations that directly linked the men to fraudulent activity. Evidence at trial established that they cost municipalities around the country millions of dollars.
This type of white-collar immorality is a major issue because the money stolen could have been used by cash-strapped towns to provide essential services. Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone called this fraud the equivalent of robbing a church fund to pay for lap dances. Taibbi, however, is one of the few reporters to consistently inform the public on these crimes and to point out the perhaps-insurmountable obstacles faced by even an activist U.S. Justice Department in getting convictions.“It really is hard to put these guys away,” Taibbi writes.“It’s even harder to keep them there.”
It's called WE at work.
Money buys justice in a racist justice system.
If they were any other group, you can believe they would've vigorously pursued the case without the statute of limitations running out.
This is a system where justice is bought and sold.
The Great Bass Reeve

New York, NY

#1681 Dec 28, 2013
"WE" Me Free!!!!!!!!!!

The Alabama man who was allowed to walk free after being convicted of rape has had his probation extended by two years, but he still won't have to serve prison time under a new, supposedly stiffer sentence handed down this week.

In September, a jury in Limestone County, Alabama found 25-year-old Austin Smith Clem guilty of raping his teenager neighbor, Courtney Andrews, three times—twice when she was 14, and once when was she was 18. County Judge James Woodroof theoretically sentenced Clem to 40 years in prison. But Woodroof structured the sentence so that Clem would only serve three years probation, plus two years in the Limestone County corrections program for nonviolent criminals, which would allow Clem to work and live in the community. Only if Clem violated his probation would he be required to serve the prison time.

Clem's lenient sentence touched off a national outcry, and Andrews eventually appeared on Melissa Harris-Perry's MSNBC show to call for tougher punishment. In early December, the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals found that the sentence was illegal and ordered Woodroof to mete out a stiffer penalty. But Clem's new sentence, which Woodroof handed down Monday, only extends Clem's probation from three to five years. And if Clem violates the terms of his probation, he will only have to serve 35 years in prison—less than he would have under his initial sentence.

Shortly after the re-sentencing, District Attorney Brian Jones, who is seeking prison time for Clem, filed a motion arguing the new sentence was also illegal. Clem's victim told the Athens Times Daily she "just exploded" when she learned that the court had again decide to let Clem walk free. "I was in tears. I pretty much just laid on my couch the rest of the day," Andrews said. "It's almost as if nothing's changed."

"We are trying to enjoy Christmas as a family and then this happens, we have no idea what the judge is thinking," her father, Richard Andrews, told WHNT News. "It's ridiculous."

Clem, meanwhile, has announced through his attorney, Dan Totten, that he plans to seek a new trial on the grounds that the judge treated the defense unfairly throughout the trial. "The evidence was not really as strong, as far as I'm concerned, as it should have been for a conviction," Totten—who did not call any witnesses for the defense during Clem's trial—told the Times Daily. "If you're not guilty, it's not going to make much difference what the sentence is. It's not fair either way."

In November, Totten told Mother Jones that he felt sentencing Clem to probation was appropriate. "[Clem's] lifestyle for the next six years is going to be very controlled," he argued. "If he goes to a party and they're serving beer, he can't say,'Can I have one?' If he wanted to go across the Tennessee line, which as the crow flies is eight or nine miles from his house, and buy a lottery ticket, he can't do that…It's not a slap on the wrist." Totten also alleged that Andrews' account was dubious. "There's always two sides to the story," he said.
ZCs

New York, NY

#1683 Jan 4, 2014
It's the "WE" Baby!

Margot Robbie, who plays the wife of hard-partying stock swindler Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street, explains in an interview how Martin Scorsese bamboozles the audience into cheering a morally repugnant man:

“Often, you know, the protagonist, the hero of the story is a bad guy, but you’re on his side the whole way. And everyone else, too, like, they’re not really technically portrayed as good people in the film, but you’re still on their side. They’re breaking the law and you want them to get a way with it. It’s kind of amazing that he can position the audience to feel that way about characters who are blatantly doing horrible things. It’s great though. It’s fun!”

For three hours, Belfort, portrayed with manic intensity by Leonardo DiCaprio, lies, humps and snorts his way through a binge of fraud and frolic that would make Gordon Gekko, and possibly a few Roman emperors, blush. Belfort starts out hustling penny stocks, selling “garbage to garbage men,” but quickly works his way up from screwing over poor people to ripping off wealthy investors, using the proceeds to hire truckloads of hookers and dwarves used for target practice at office parties (seriously!).

Not everyone was amused. In an open letter to Scorsese and DiCaprio, Christina McDowell, the daughter of one of Belfort’s partners in crime, describes the emotional pain and financial ruin she suffered as a teen when the dad she believed in turned out to be a crook. She doesn’t mince words about the treatment of the Belfort saga in the film:

“So here's the deal. You people are dangerous. Your film is a reckless attempt at continuing to pretend that these sorts of schemes are entertaining, even as the country is reeling from yet another round of Wall Street scandals. We want to get lost in what? These phony financiers' fun sexcapades and coke binges? Come on, we know the truth. This kind of behavior brought America to its knees. And yet you're glorifying it—you who call yourselves liberals.”

She’s got a point. Why does Hollywood celebrate financial fraudsters when just about the entire country has been victimized by them?
ZCs

New York, NY

#1684 Jan 21, 2014
Fat Boy Chris Christie is the perfect example of when "WE" goes Wrong.

"WE" is destroying America!!!!!!!!!!
WE The People

Bronx, NY

#1685 Jan 21, 2014
ZCs wrote:
Fat Boy Chris Christie is the perfect example of when "WE" goes Wrong.
"WE" is destroying America!!!!!!!!!!
His presidential aspirations went up in smoke, he's damaged goods.
What I find funny is the ones who criticized him last year for saying good things about President Obama in his response to Hurricane Sandy are now the same ones rushing to his side complaining about the amount of coverage the GWB scandal is getting.
Funny thing is, Fox News is a partisan channel that has been openly hostile to President Obama and gleeful in their efforts attacking him and his administration.
And the same ones are now bitching and moaning about the coverage given to Christie.
Those phonies and hypocrites need to STFU.
ZCs

New York, NY

#1686 Jan 22, 2014
When "WE" goes wrong

Jim Cassella, mayor of East Rutherford, sits in a conference room on the second floor of his borough’s municipal building, and recalls watching the first Super Bowl on a black-and-white television at his family’s home on Randolph Ave.

He ticks off his football experiences, recalling games at Yankee Stadium when Sam Huff anchored championship runs. He recounts a stint as a Jets fan, watching Wahoo McDaniel from the standing-room-only section. He grows animated in detailing the story about the roof atop his father’s lake house. Cassella climbed up to manipulate the antenna in order to get broadcasts from a Philadelphia station when home games were blacked out.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that the Super Bowl would be down the block,” Cassella says.

Cassella, 67, plans to watch Super Bowl XLVIII from the comfort of his recliner; after all, he is without a ticket to the big game in his town. He shrugs at the situation, having predicted little appreciation for the host town (pop.: 8,900) since the Super Bowl bid by the Giants and Jets was won four years ago. He holds season tickets for the Giants, paying $10,000 in Personal Seat Licenses for two seats, but did not win the team’s lottery. He received a rejection email like many other entrants last week, and he does not know any East Rutherford resident with a ticket to the game. Before he heads home for kickoff, he will attend a tailgate at The Blarney Station, a popular bar and restaurant by the New Jersey Transit railroad tracks on the edge of town.

ZCs

New York, NY

#1687 Feb 1, 2014
Bieber's "WE" Goes all wrong

Justin Bieber was charged in Toronto on Wednesday with assaulting a limo driver, one week after he was busted on charges of driving under the influence and resisting arrest following an alleged drag race in Miami.

Meanwhile, a White House petition calling for U.S. authorities to deport the Canada native passed 100,000 signatures – the necessary threshold to ensure a response from the government.

Arriving at a Toronto police station, Bieber emerged from a black SUV wearing a winter coat and a backwards ball cap before being led through a throng of police and reporters.

He was charged with one count of assault and is scheduled to appear in court in Toronto on March 10.

Police allege Bieber was one of six people who were picked up by a limousine from a nightclub in the early morning hours of Dec. 30, and there was an altercation while en route to a hotel.

Police said during the altercation one of the passengers hit the limo driver in the back of the head several times.

"The driver stopped the limousine, exited the vehicle and called police," a statement said. "The man who struck him left the scene before police arrived."

Howard Weitzman, Bieber's California-based attorney, said in a statement earlier Wednesday that the pop star was innocent.
WE The People

Bronx, NY

#1688 Feb 1, 2014
ZCs wrote:
Bieber's "WE" Goes all wrong
Justin Bieber was charged in Toronto on Wednesday with assaulting a limo driver, one week after he was busted on charges of driving under the influence and resisting arrest following an alleged drag race in Miami.
Meanwhile, a White House petition calling for U.S. authorities to deport the Canada native passed 100,000 signatures – the necessary threshold to ensure a response from the government.
Arriving at a Toronto police station, Bieber emerged from a black SUV wearing a winter coat and a backwards ball cap before being led through a throng of police and reporters.
He was charged with one count of assault and is scheduled to appear in court in Toronto on March 10.
Police allege Bieber was one of six people who were picked up by a limousine from a nightclub in the early morning hours of Dec. 30, and there was an altercation while en route to a hotel.
Police said during the altercation one of the passengers hit the limo driver in the back of the head several times.
"The driver stopped the limousine, exited the vehicle and called police," a statement said. "The man who struck him left the scene before police arrived."
Howard Weitzman, Bieber's California-based attorney, said in a statement earlier Wednesday that the pop star was innocent.
That no talent druggie of a loser WE is speeding towards it's expiration date.
ZCs

New York, NY

#1689 Feb 3, 2014
It Mu$t be the "WE"

Rockefeller Group, a real estate developer whose proposed office complex in Hoboken, N.J., is at the center of allegations that associates of Gov. Chris Christie threatened to withhold Hurricane Sandy relief money from the city unless the project received approval, has severed its connections with a law firm with close ties to the governor.

Rockefeller Group said on Thursday that last week it had terminated its contract with the firm, Wolff & Samson, ending a relationship that began in 2007.

“Given the investigation,” Dwayne Doherty, a spokesman for Rockefeller Group, said,“we’ve decided to shift our work on the project to another firm.”

Rockefeller Group said the allegations were “deplorable” if true.

Mayor Dawn Zimmer of Hoboken said earlier this month that aides to the governor had threatened to withhold Hurricane Sandy money from her city if she failed to move the project forward. Federal prosecutors are investigating the accusations.

The Christie administration has denied linking the billion-dollar office project to hurricane aid and questioned the timing of Ms. Zimmer’s claims. The mayor made her accusations after a scandal developed over allegations that officials had closed access lanes to the George Washington Bridge in an apparent attempt to punish a mayor who had not endorsed the governor for re-election.

Rockefeller Group bought a 4.9-acre industrial parcel at the north end of Hoboken for about $100 million in 2008, hoping to build a large office complex. The company hired Wolff & Samson, a law firm with extensive ties to Republicans, for land use, environmental and lobbying work.
ZCs

New York, NY

#1690 Feb 5, 2014
When "WE" goes bad.

A federal judge has sentenced Richie Farmer to 27 months in prison after the former UK basketball star pleaded guilty to two counts of misappropriating government resources while Commissioner of the Kentucky Agriculture Department.

The sentence was handed down at 2:30 Tuesday afternoon after Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove accepted a plea agreement which limited Farmer's sentence to a maximum of 27 months.

"I do understand I was head of the Department of Agriculture, I made some mistakes. I made some bad judgments," Farmer addressed the court. "For that I am truly, truly sorry."

Farmer's attorney, Guthrie True, unsuccessfully argued that a 21 month sentence would sufficiently punish Farmer while sparing "collateral damage" to Farmer's three sons.

"Obviously disappointed," Farmer said to reporters who surrounded him on a sidewalk outside the federal courthouse in Frankfort, "but certainly I want to say to the people of the state how sorry that I am and how much they have meant to me and thank them for all of their understanding."

"You make bad decisions, poor judgments," Farmer continued. "You own up those mistakes and move on. And that's what I would hope the people of the state will be willing to do."

Without the plea deal, Farmer could have faced up to a decade behind bars on five federal charges, three of which were dropped as part of the agreement.

Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove said Farmer's breach of trust was a serious crime.

"I believe you are remorseful," Van Tatenhove said as Farmer stood before him.

"We need the community to know that when mistakes are made we hold those people accountable," Van Tatenhove said.

Farmer's sentence begins March 18. The judge agreed to recommend to the Federal Bureau of Prisons that Farmer serve his sentence at the federal prison in Manchester, Kentucky. The facility is less than two miles from Clay County High School where Farmer earned the "Mr. Basketball title in 1988.
WE the people

Bronx, NY

#1691 Feb 6, 2014
ZCs wrote:
When "WE" goes bad.
A federal judge has sentenced Richie Farmer to 27 months in prison after the former UK basketball star pleaded guilty to two counts of misappropriating government resources while Commissioner of the Kentucky Agriculture Department.
The sentence was handed down at 2:30 Tuesday afternoon after Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove accepted a plea agreement which limited Farmer's sentence to a maximum of 27 months.
"I do understand I was head of the Department of Agriculture, I made some mistakes. I made some bad judgments," Farmer addressed the court. "For that I am truly, truly sorry."
Farmer's attorney, Guthrie True, unsuccessfully argued that a 21 month sentence would sufficiently punish Farmer while sparing "collateral damage" to Farmer's three sons.
"Obviously disappointed," Farmer said to reporters who surrounded him on a sidewalk outside the federal courthouse in Frankfort, "but certainly I want to say to the people of the state how sorry that I am and how much they have meant to me and thank them for all of their understanding."
"You make bad decisions, poor judgments," Farmer continued. "You own up those mistakes and move on. And that's what I would hope the people of the state will be willing to do."
Without the plea deal, Farmer could have faced up to a decade behind bars on five federal charges, three of which were dropped as part of the agreement.
Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove said Farmer's breach of trust was a serious crime.
"I believe you are remorseful," Van Tatenhove said as Farmer stood before him.
"We need the community to know that when mistakes are made we hold those people accountable," Van Tatenhove said.
Farmer's sentence begins March 18. The judge agreed to recommend to the Federal Bureau of Prisons that Farmer serve his sentence at the federal prison in Manchester, Kentucky. The facility is less than two miles from Clay County High School where Farmer earned the "Mr. Basketball title in 1988.
From a basketball star to a prison inmate.
How the mighty have fallen.
ZCs

New York, NY

#1692 Feb 8, 2014
When "WE" is abused and goes wrong

Woody Allen, in a response posted on The New York Times website Friday night, denied his adopted daughter's claim that he had molested her when she was 7 years old.

Allen accused his former partner, actress Mia Farrow, of being vindictive and spiteful and of using their daughter as a pawn for revenge. He has rejected the allegation since it was brought two decades ago.

Last week, 28-year-old Dylan Farrow wrote publicly about it for the first time, in The New York Times, saying Allen had sexually assaulted her at Mia Farrow's home in Connecticut.

"Of course, I did not molest Dylan," Allen, 78, responded. "I loved her and hope one day she will grasp how she has been cheated out of having a loving father and exploited by a mother more interested in her own festering anger than her daughter’s well-being."

The renewal of the accusation came three weeks after Allen received a Golden Globe Award for lifetime achievement. At the time of the award, her brother, Ronan Farrow, tweeted:“Missed the Woody Allen tribute — did they put the part where a woman publicly confirmed he molested her at age 7 before or after Annie Hall?”

Two days ago another brother, Moses Farrow -- who was also adopted and is now a 36-year-old family therapist -- spoke out in support of Allen and placed the blame on their mother.

The allegation was first made when Allen was starting a relationship with Farrow's adopted adult daughter Soon-Yi Farrow Previn, to whom he is now married.

Allen was never charged with a crime, though a Connecticut prosecutor said at the time that he believed there was "probable cause." He did not move forward, in part because a courtroom appearance could be traumatic for Dylan Farrow, he said.
ZCs

New York, NY

#1693 Feb 15, 2014
Another example of "WE" taking a very bad turn

A Maryland State Attorney says the man who fatally shot Orange County deputy Scott Pine had a suspended 10-year prison sentence hanging over his head and knew if he was arrested he was going back behind bars.

Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger told WESH 2 news Wednesday that in his opinion, 28-year-old Benjamin Holterman should not have been out of jail.

Shellenberger blames the state of Maryland’s parole system.

Holtermann, who’s from Maryland, was convicted in 2009 of robbing the same bank twice, in less than four months.

He was sentenced to seven years in prison for the first robbery and given a 10-year suspended sentence for the second robbery.

After serving just 3 1/2 years in prison, Holtermann was released in November of 2013 but knew if he got in any kind of trouble, he had a 10-year suspended sentence hanging over his head and would be sent back to prison.

Shellenberger believes that additional 10 years in prison would have been in Holtermann’s mind when he shot and killed Deputy Pine.

“Clearly, when an individual knows that any conviction for any crime can trigger an additional 10-year sentence, particularly on top of the fact that he just finished doing 3 1/2, I think certainly is a great motivation for trying to escape from justice and certainly that seems like a reasonable explanation for why he turned to violence,” Shellenberger said.

Shellenberger said he has long opposed Maryland’s current parole system and he believes Holtermann should have still been behind bars,“I’ve been complaining about Maryland’s parole system for a long time now. I believe in truth in sentencing and that seven should mean seven and 10 should mean 10. I don’t think seven should mean 3 1/2 so, I don’t think he should be out of jail.

Holtermann fatally shot Deputy Pine after a brief foot chase just after midnight Tuesday. He was suspected of breaking into a car. Shortly after shooting Pine, Holtermann took his own life.

Deputies also arrested Holtermann’s girlfriend, Erica Pugh, who was allegedly acting as a look-out. She appeared before a judge today from the Orange County Jail and was ordered held on no bond.
ZCs

New York, NY

#1694 Feb 15, 2014
It's the 'WE"
Invariably, around February of each year, coinciding with Black History Month, you’ll hear people asking,“Why isn’t there a white history month?”
Do these people mean we should condense all the American history centering around white people to just one month and devote the other 11 to people of color? Of course not.
It’s readily accepted that white history is taught, year-round, to the exclusion of minority histories. But the literal history of whiteness — how and when and why what it means to be white was formulated — is always neglected. The construction of the white identity is a brilliant piece of social engineering. Its origins and heritage should be examined in order to add a critical layer of complexity to a national conversation sorely lacking in nuance.
I’m guessing that’s not what they mean, either.
In conversations about race, I’ve frequently tried and failed to express the idea that whiteness is a social construct. So, here, in plain fact, is what I mean:
The very notion of whiteness is relatively recent in our human history, linked to the rise of European colonialism and the Atlantic slave trade in the 17th century as a way to distinguish the master from the slave. From its inception,“white” was not simply a separate race, but the superior race.“White people,” in opposition to non-whites or “colored” people, have constituted a meaningful social category for only a few hundred years, and the conception of who is included in that category has changed repeatedly. If you went back to even just the beginning of the last century, you’d witness a completely different racial configuration of whites and non-whites. The original white Americans — those from England, certain areas of Western Europe, and the Nordic States — excluded other European immigrants from that category to deny them jobs, social standing, and legal privileges. It’s not widely known in the U.S. that several ethnic groups, such as Germans, Italians, Russians and the Irish, were excluded from whiteness and considered non-white as recently as the early 20th century.
Members of these groups sometimes sued the state in order to be legally recognized as white, so they could access a variety of rights available only to whites — specifically American citizenship, which was then limited, by the U.S. Naturalization Law of 1790, to “free white persons” of “good character.” Attorney John Tehranian writes in the Yale Law Journal that petitioners could present a case based not on skin color, but on “religious practices, culture, education, intermarriage and [their] community’s role,” to try to secure their admission to this elite social group and its accompanying advantages.
More than color, it was class that defined race. For whiteness to maintain its superiority, membership had to be strictly controlled. The “gift” of whiteness was bestowed on those who could afford it, or when it was politically expedient. In his book “How the Irish Became White,” Noel Ignatiev argues that Irish immigrants were incorporated into whiteness in order to suppress the economic competitiveness of free black workers and undermine efforts to unite low-wage black and Irish Americans into an economic bloc bent on unionizing labor. The aspiration to whiteness was exploited to politically and socially divide groups that had more similarities than differences. It was an apple dangled in front of working-class immigrant groups, often as a reward for subjugating other groups.
A lack of awareness of these facts has lent credence to the erroneous belief that whiteness is inherent and has always existed, either as an actual biological difference or as a cohesive social grouping. Some still claim it is natural for whites to gravitate to their own and that humans are tribal and predisposed to congregate with their kind. It’s easy, simple and natural: White people have always been white people. Thinking about racial identity is for those other people.
ZCs

New York, NY

#1695 Feb 21, 2014
"WE" me the MONEY!

Now that California has a budget surplus, the question for the state’s lawmakers is pretty simple: Should they use all the new money to reverse recession-era cuts to social programs. Or, should they spend up to $400 million a year of the new resources on more taxpayer handouts to the film industry?

Yesterday, 59 California state legislators called for the latter, sponsoring a bill to increase tax credits to the film and television industry. Call it yet another Hollywood heist, this one engineered with a double-shot of chutzpah.

Consider the context of this latest proposal. For one thing it is being championed by state lawmakers even though one of their own is right now embroiled in an FBI corruption investigation surrounding – you guessed it!– tax subsidies for the entertainment industry. According to court documents uncovered by Al Jazeera America, that probe involved law enforcement officials posing as film executives, allegedly bribing a powerful California state senator to expand tax subsidies for their movie project.

The case generated big headlines only weeks after a joint New York Daily News/PIRG investigation uncovered a legalized bribery scandal on the opposite coast. There in New York, the newspaper reported that the “film and television industry has lavished Albany pols with more than $900,000 in campaign donations…while (they) were pushing to expand a production tax credit program” for the industry. And that scandal was preceded by other film-subsidy-related corruption scandals in Iowa, Massachusetts and Louisiana.

Evidently, the California lawmakers pushing to expand their state’s slush fund for Hollywood studios aren’t deterred by the negative publicity surrounding all this naked corruption. As I said: pure chutzpah. That chutzpah (and, perhaps, campaign contributions) also lets them ignore all the data showing these subsidies are often big losers for taxpayers – including California taxpayers.

As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reported back in 2010, states have been collectively spending roughly $1.5 billion a year just on subsidies to filmmakers. That’s roughly equivalent to “the salaries of 23,500 middle school teachers, 26,600 firefighters, and 22,800 police patrol officers,” according to the watchdog group.

Though shrouded in the argot of helping the arts, many of these subsidies are not Works Progress Administration-style programs tailored to support struggling indy filmmakers – they aim to subsidize studio conglomerates’ big-budget enterprises.
SOMEONE CLEAN ZCs CAGE

Dover, OH

#1696 Feb 21, 2014
He's having a severe CHIMP OUT today...LMMFAO!!!!!!!

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