Trump takes Inauguration Cash Surplus – gives less than $5M to Charity – $26M to Melania’s Buddy


Melania’s buddy Stephanie Winston Wolkoff

President Trump’s inaugural committee paid nearly $26 million to an event planning firm started by an adviser to the first lady, Melania Trump, while donating $5 million — less than expected — to charity, according to tax filings released on Thursday.

The nonprofit group that oversaw Mr. Trump’s inauguration and surrounding events in January 2017, the 58th Presidential Inaugural Committee, had been under pressure from liberal government watchdog groups to reveal how it spent the record $107 million it had raised largely from wealthy donors and corporations…

…the mandatory tax return it filed with the Internal Revenue Service revealed heavy spending on administrative and logistical expenses associated with planning and executing several days’ worth of events for donors and supporters around Mr. Trump’s inaugural ceremonies…

The company that received the biggest payment — $26 million — was WIS Media Partners of Marina del Rey, Calif. Records show that the firm was created in December 2016, about six weeks before the inauguration, and its founder, according to a person familiar with the firm, was Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a longtime friend of Mrs. Trump…

Trump chumps who continue to be impressed by their fake president truly astound me with their gullibility. If they continue to applaud phony expense, gleefully watch taxpayer dollars hurled around like so much confetti – well, I can give them a lead to shares in a magical bridge in Brooklyn. Real cheap.

Trump tries to hide his “victory” providing guns for folks mentally ill!


gocomics.org

❝ Following a school shooting, the White House reportedly refused requests to release a photo of President Trump signing a bill overturning an Obama-era regulation restricting certain people from buying guns.

CBS News reported Thursday that it asked the White House to release a photo of Trump signing H. J. Res. 40, legislation that the Republican Congress passed just over a month after he took office.

White House…responded…“We don’t plan to release the picture at this time.”…

❝ The original regulation would have barred an estimated 75,000 Americans who receive disability benefits from buying a gun and required the Social Security Administration to report people who receive disability benefits and have a mental health condition to the FBI’s background check system.

The Republican alternative to bald-faced lies is attributing the existence of news to life in a time warp. Inter-dimensional honesty is required to produce records of events already proven to exist. A new wave of Republican dishonesty provided by Trump’s “leadership”.

When Did Silicon Valley Become Brotopia?

❝ In engineering circles, some refer to Lena as “the first lady of the internet.” Others see her as the industry’s original sin, the first step in Silicon Valley’s exclusion of women. Both views stem from an event that took place in 1973 at a University of Southern California computer lab, where a team of researchers was trying to turn physical photographs into digital bits. Their work would serve as a precursor to the JPEG, a widely used compression standard that allows large image files to be efficiently transferred between devices. The USC team needed to test their algorithms on suitable photos, and their search for the ideal test photo led them to Lena.

❝ According to William Pratt, the lab’s co-founder, the group chose Lena’s portrait from a copy of Playboy that a student had brought into the lab. Pratt, now 80, tells me he saw nothing out of the ordinary about having a soft porn magazine in a university computer lab in 1973. “I said, ‘There are some pretty nice-looking pictures in there,’ ” he says. “And the grad students picked the one that was in the centerfold.” Lena’s spread, which featured the model wearing boots, a boa, a feathered hat, and nothing else, was attractive from a technical perspective because the photo included, according to Pratt, “lots of high-frequency detail that is difficult to code.”…To this day, some engineers joke that if you want your image compression algorithm to make the grade, it had better perform well on Lena…

❝ “When you use a picture like that for so long, it’s not a person anymore; it’s just pixels,” Jeff Seideman told the Atlantic in 2016, unwittingly highlighting the sexism that Needell and other critics had tried to point out.

“We didn’t even think about those things at all when we were doing this,” Pratt says. “It was not sexist.” After all, he continues, no one could have been offended because there were no women in the classroom at the time. And thus began a half-century’s worth of buck-passing in which powerful men in the tech industry defended or ignored the exclusion of women on the grounds that they were already excluded.

Uh-huh…RTFA, please.

$175K settlement to copper who refused to shoot suspect he was talking down

❝ A West Virginia city has agreed to pay a former police officer $175,000 to settle a wrongful-termination lawsuit after he was fired following his decision not to shoot a distraught suspect who was holding a gun.

❝ “At the end of the day, I’m happy to put this chapter of my life to bed,” Stephen Mader said in a news release by the American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia.

“The events leading to my termination were unjustified and I’m pleased a joint resolution has been met. My hope is that no other person on either end of a police call has to go through this again…”

❝ Mader told CNN last year that Ronald “R.J.”Williams was “visibly choked up” and told Mader to shoot him. As a Marine veteran who served in Afghanistan, Mader told CNN that he concluded Williams wasn’t a threat and so he tried to de-escalate the situation.

As Mader was trying to get Williams to drop his gun, two other Weirton police officers arrived. Mader told CNN that Williams raised his gun and was immediately shot and killed by one of the other officers. A state investigation found the officer’s actions were justified.

RTFA. Conflicting truths – but, then, no one ever said it was easy being a cop. Working in a jurisdiction run by right-wing political punks doesn’t especially help.

Apple Watch sales beats entire Swiss watch industry in Q4

More Apple Watches shipped in the fourth quarter of 2017 than the entire Swiss watch industry, a report claims, showing the Apple-produced wearable device is still growing in popularity, though analysis also indicates the Apple Watch still has some way to go before it can outpace Swiss watches on an annual basis…

❝ The chart reveals the Apple Watch shipped an estimated 8 million units during the fourth quarter of 2017, more than the 6.8 million Swiss watch shipments over the same period. It is also noted that the Apple Watch saw a year-on-year increase of 2 million shipments, representing growth of 33 percent, while Swiss shipments slightly contracted from 7 million in Q4 2016.

Across the entire year, Swiss watches continue to outsell the Apple Watch by a wide margin.

Guess the Swiss really aren’t supposed to worry, eh?

Life in an American Small Town – called Guantanamo


Click to enlarge

❝ Guantánamo Bay, known for orange jumpsuits and abuse of detainees, has school field trips. Also a McDonald’s, a bowling alley, a kickball league, Monday night flamenco lessons for parents and a pretty good water slide in the center of town. It’s the oddly small-town wholesome Guantánamo you rarely hear about.

A single main street runs through the base. It starts at the gate to Cuba, where diplomats from the two countries hold monthly meetings, and winds along the bay to the ivory-colored, century-old Windward Point Lighthouse, perched on a grassy cliff above rough beaches of crushed coral. Along the road are wharves, piers and warehouses to service ships, but also an outdoor movie theater, an espresso bar and a gift shop selling “GTMO” shot glasses and tank tops.

An enjoyable, informative read. Probably unnoticed by folks like our fake president or even policy wonks in the two political parties we’re allowed.