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  • Jun 21, 2016 07:37 AM
    Last: 15hr

    As Schmidt has said many times, "follow the money"

    Four years ago, JPMorgan Chase joined some of the nation’s largest banks in publicly distancing itself from the firearm industry after a mass shooting in Parkland, Fla., left 17 people dead.

    JPMorgan’s relationships with gunmakers “have come down significantly and are pretty limited,” Marianne Lake, then the bank’s chief financial officer, told reporters. “We do have robust risk management practices and policies associated with this,” she said.

    The bank, along with Citigroup and other Wall Street firms, did not completely shut the door on gun companies.

    In a letter sent to the Texas attorney general this month, JPMorgan, the nation’s largest bank, signaled its willingness to continue working with the firearm industry. The letter described the bank’s “longstanding business relationships” with the industry in the state, noting that it “anticipates continuing such relationships into the future.”

    The letter, which was sent by lawyers representing the bank from the firm Foley & Lardner on May 13, was in response to a new law in Texas that bans state agencies from working with a firm that “discriminates” against companies or individuals in the gun industry. One provision of the law requires banks and other professional service firms to submit written affirmations that they comply with the law.

    The bank’s policy “does not discriminate against or prevent” it from doing business “with any firearm entity or firearm trade association ‘based solely on its status as a firearm entity or firearm trade association,’” the letter declared.

    “These commercial relationships are important and valuable,” JPMorgan added. Since the beginning of 2020, the bank has led the financing for deals that raised $708 million for companies in the gun industry, according to data from Dealogic.

    Citigroup, which restricted certain types of sales of firearms and ammunition with its credit and debit card systems after Parkland, filed a similar letter with the Texas attorney general in October. In it, Citi stated that it did not “have a practice, policy, guidance or directive that discriminates against a firearm entity or firearm trade association.”

    The stakes are high for big banks. If a bank states that it is in compliance with the law and is found to be otherwise, it could face criminal prosecution. It could also be shut out of the state’s giant municipal bond market. Texas is one of the biggest bond issuers in the country, and Wall Street has long made lucrative — and relatively risk-free — fees underwriting municipal bonds. With $50 billion in annual borrowing, Texas generated $315 million in fees last year alone for financial firms, according to data from Bloomberg.

    From 2015 to 2020, JPMorgan underwrote 138 Texas bond deals, raising $19 billion for the state, and generating nearly $80 million in fees for the bank, according to Bloomberg data. But the bank has been shut out of working for the state since the law went into effect in September. This month, JPMorgan submitted a bid to underwrite a $3.4 billion bond issue for utilities, the largest in the state’s history. It would not be able to secure that contract until it is certified under the new law, known as S.B. 19.

    As large companies grapple with how to respond to national tragedies and looming social issues, including the debate over gun control or abortion, laws like S.B. 19 make it harder to take a stance. The result is a corporate tug of war playing out across the country, as companies try to appease large, vocal employee bases and advocacy groups without alienating customers and advocates on the other side of the political spectrum — all while trying not to run afoul of local regulations that could hurt their bottom line.

    (source: New York Times DealBook)

  • May 31, 2020 07:31 PM
    Last: 17hr

    Two reporters from The Washington Post released a book titled, "His Name is George Floyd" earlier this year.

    I finished reading it this afternoon.

    Because the book goes into a lot of detail about the history of racism going back to 1619, it gets off to a slow start, but the pace picks up later on, and finishes with a compelling ending.

    Two years to the anniversary of Floyd's death, Joe Biden signed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.

    The order creates a national registry of officers fired for misconduct and encourages state and local police to tighten restrictions on chokeholds and so-called no-knock warrants. It also restricts the transfer of military equipment to law enforcement agencies and mandates all federal agents wear activated body cameras.


  • Apr 05, 2013 07:34 PM
    Last: 2d

    Shortly after George Floyd was killed, his family field a civic lawsuit against the city of Minneapolis, 9 months later, they were awarded $27 million. It was the largest amount ever paid by the city for a police-related incident.

    In February of 2022, families in Sandy Hook won an award of $73,000,000 against sun manufacturer Remington - even though the company was bankrupt.


    The solution in Texas is simple.

    Sue the bastards.

    The family of the victims in Texas need to file a class action suit against the state of Texas for a sizable amount, and a good starting point would be $100,000,000.

    They also should demand an immediate repeal of the law that allowed an 18 year old kid to buy 2 assault weapons shortly after he turned 18.

    The suit won't be settled as quick as the Minnesota case, but it should not take as long as the Sandy Hook case.

  • Apr 05, 2013 07:34 PM
    Last: 2d

    Ramos bought the rifles from a store in Uvalde County earlier this month.

    ​​”It was the first thing that he did on his 18th birthday,” Gutierrez said, according to NBC News. “It’s astounding to me.”

    A day later, Ramos bought 375 rounds of ammunition, according to NBC News.

    The 2021 Texas law allows people who are 18 years old or older to legally purchase any kind of firearm and carry them without a license.

    Authorities have not yet confirmed whether the two rifles were the same weapons used by Ramos in the shooting at the Robb Elementary School, but they said they recovered two AR-15 style rifles from the scene at the primary school, the Houston Chronicle reported.

    President Joe Biden addressed the topic of assault weapons in his emotional speech to the nation on Tuesday.

    “The idea that an 18-year-old kid can walk into a gun store and buy two assault weapons — it’s just wrong,” Biden said. “What in God’s name do you need an assault weapon for, except to kill someone


    In April, O'Rourke was within 2 points of Abbott.


    As of May 16, Abbott is leading O'Rourke 46-39.

    According to the poll, which was released Sunday, Abbott comfortably leads the former Texas congressman 46-39%. Among Republicans, Abbott has 85% support. Among Democrats, O’Rourke is favored with 82% support.

    Things get a little murkier when it comes to state issues and leadership. When asked if Texas is headed in the right direction, 56% of respondents showed they don’t think it is.

    Most respondents, 48%, blame the Biden administration and Congress for inflation and the high cost of living in Texas right now, but a majority, 40%, hold Abbott and Texas legislators responsible for the state’s high property taxes.

    Those polled indicated they approve of Abbott’s job performance by a slim margin.

    When it comes to O’Rourke, 22% of respondents showed they have a very favorable impression of him, 20% marked somewhat favorable, 9% said unfavorable, 35% marked very unfavorable, and 9% indicated they don’t have enough information.

    Embattled Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is fighting off a challenge from George P. Bush in the May 24 primary runoff election. Those polled indicated that with 28% overall support they approve of the job he is doing, but most respondents do not believe he possesses the integrity to serve as attorney general.

  • Jun 21, 2016 07:37 AM
    Last: 15hr

    Ten years after Sandy Hook, Republicans still continue to fight sensible gun reform, and Joe Biden's impassioned speech last night is not likely going to change that.

    The NRA is holding its annual convention in Friday of this week.

    Trump, Cruz, and Abbott are some of the featured speakers.

    The Washington Post this morning went into detail about the shooter, who had a trouble childhood and a mother who used drugs. In addition to the people at the school, he also shot his grandmother.

    The loose gun laws in Texas allowed him to buy two AR-15 guns a few days after his 18th birthday.

    Arizona representative Ruben Gallego said out loud what a lot of us are thinking:

    “F--- you @tedcruz you care about a fetus but you will let our children get slaughtered,” Gallego tweeted. “Just get your ass to Cancun. You are useless.”

    Gallego also hurled F-bombs at the gun lobby and at California U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa:

    “F--- your prayers. They haven’t worked for the last 20 mass shootings / how about passing laws that will stop these killings.”

    We already have more guns in this country than people, far more per capita that any other country in the world. Canada is a very distant second in that category, and guns are virtually nonexistent in Japan.

    Naturally, the conservatives who work for the Arizona Republic think that Gallego was over reacting.

    "Gallego proves he doesn't get the gun problem

    Further, he proved through his juvenile antics that he doesn’t understand the gun problem. Rampage shooting represents about 1% of America’s gun violence. The greater part of gun homicide in America is happening daily in our urban centers and near beyond.

    Every day roughly 96 Americans die by firearms, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. If Gallego is going to shriek and carpet bomb social media every time gun violence erupts in this country, he should have started long ago and kept up with it every day. Because every day is gun carnage day in America."


    Mr. Boas, the fact that 96 Americans die by firearms every day is PRECISELY why we need stronger gun laws.

  • May 04, 2022 03:11 PM
    Last: 3d

    Vindman's book is worth reading.

    Although Alexander Vindman retired last summer, his twin brother was likely going to be promoted for full colonel in March of this year. Alexander is currently working on a doctorate

    American Marxism by Mark Levin remained #1 in nonfiction last week, selling more than 57,000 copies. The Truth About Covid-19 by Joseph Mercola, released in April, had a big week, with sales rising to 21,500 from under 2,000 in the prior week, putting it in second place on the adult fiction list. Alexander Vindman’s Here Truth Matters was third on the category list, selling almost 16,000 copies in its first week on sale.


    The fact that a garbage book by a conspiracy theorist outsold a novel by a Purple Heart veteran says a lot about our country.

    Levin has been described as "right-wing" by The New York Times, CNN, NPR, and Politico.[6][7][8][9] He is known for his strident criticisms of Democrats and encouragement of primary challenges to congressional Republicans that he considers to be "Republican In Name Only" (RINO). He endorsed Ted Cruz in the 2016 Republican presidential primary and declared himself "Never Trump", but reluctantly endorsed Donald Trump after Trump won the Republican nomination.[10] Since the start of the Trump presidency, Levin's commentary has become strongly pro-Trump.


  • Mar 10, 2014 09:03 AM
    Last: 4d

    The CPAC met in Hungary last week.

    If you read through the article below, you'll realize that there is very little difference between Viktor Orban, Trump, and DeSantis.

    The secret to Mr. Orban’s longevity in office has been using those rules in ways that go far beyond social-conservative culture. He has also deployed his own rules in the realm of material benefits. He has effectively used political payback to inflict economic pain on his opponents while bestowing financial benefits on loyalists.

    In 2010, Republican political consultants helped engineer Mr. Orban’s 2010 election victory, and they continued to assist Mr. Orban even while their team branched out to help organize the Trump 2016 campaign. Mr. Trump surrounded himself with Mr. Orban’s friends in Washington, such as Sebastian Gorka and Kurt Volker.

    As president, Mr. Trump was accused of political partisanship in many cases affecting blue-state voters and governments. He refused to greenlight the New York Gateway tunnel project. His administration initially refused to provide wildfire assistance to California and was accused of raising hurdles in distributing hurricane relief in nonvoting Puerto Rico. When the media reported unfavorably on Mr. Trump’s presidency, he — like Mr. Orban — picked fights with perceived opponents, repeatedly threatening Amazon in order to punish Jeff Bezos, owner of Amazon and The Washington Post, and openly criticized the merger of AT&T and CNN’s owner at the time, Time Warner.

    Probably the best-known recent efforts have come from Florida, where Republican lawmakers voted to revoke Disney’s special tax status after the company condemned Gov. Ron DeSantis’s education law (known by critics as “Don’t Say Gay”). This sounded familiar. Last summer, Mr. Orban passed a law banning the display of L.G.B.T.Q. content to minors.


  • May 04, 2022 03:11 PM
    Last: 3d

    I just figured out that I have read 20 books about Trump so far. The only one that had good things to say about him was the book written by Corey Lewandowski.

    The rest of them describe Trump as ignorant, dishonest, vindictive, dangerous, or mentally ill, or some combination of those.

    Every time I finish reading a book about him, I vow not to read any more, but then another book grabs my attention, which is why I just finished reading Alexander Vindman's book.

  • May 09, 2022 02:37 PM
    Last: 6d

    When I saw the notice about the fact that my privacy could be in jeopardy, I thought it wise to stay off the site for a while.

    Now that I few people have jumped back on, I'll drop a few comments again from time to time.

  • Apr 10, 2020 11:12 AM
    Last: 24d

    People across the political spectrum are accusing conservative justices of lying under oath about their intentions regarding Roe v. Wade. But one justice, in particular, is being singled out by both Democrats and Republicans: Brett Kavanaugh.

    In the wake of the leaked Supreme Court draft ruling and reports that Kavanaugh voted to overturn the 1973 landmark decision, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) called into question Kavanaugh’s honesty, saying that he assured her in 2018 that he considered Roe v. Wade “settled law.”

    The Maine Republican said she was “shocked” that he would lie to her.

    “When I met with Justice Kavanaugh before his confirmation hearings, he looked me in the eye and said that he considered Roe v. Wade the law of the land,” she said. “Nothing in his confirmation hearings suggested that he would ever be less than trustworthy with a woman.”

    Meanwhile, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, of West Virginia, is questioning Kavanaugh’s truthfulness when he spoke to him about Roe back in 2018.

    “We are going back through all the things we have — we had meetings with him — to find out what he said and how it was actually presented to us,” Manching said, according to CNN’s Manu Raju.

    Could this lead to Kavanagh's impeachment??