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About Bingoloid

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    Ruler of the Wasteland

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  1. Rod had a strong beef because he had been under the impression the Clinton camp had guaranteed him their eventual support for the presidency. They were close. Bill had even sent him to Serbia to help Jesse Jackson negotiate a hostage release. In 2004, they put Obama up for the convention speech because Rod was already out of control and had to be sidelined. Obama ended up struggling to keep him at a distance for years because even then, everyone in politics knew what was going on and that it was just a matter of time before the arrest, but Blagojevich kept trying to find an angle to get close to the next White House. Apparently, he was still upset about it 2010 when he declared himself "blacker than Obama". If you dug through the archived history of his Wikipedia entry, you'd find some of my research for the GOP from back in the day cited about some of this. There were about a thousand different felony conspiracies they could have gone after him for, but this was just the one they ended up proving once the wiretaps were authorized. Some of his top fundraisers had already been arrested a couple of years before he was, and one of his closest associates committed suicide after his arrest, and Blagojevich went on the radio to more or less openly claim that the guy died to protect him. Like what Battisti could have been with a better law degree. At the end, I think he was probably a week away from barricading himself in his office with a bunch of tuna and a rifle. Crazy, crazy days and a crazy, crazy guy, but fun political history. The book "Golden" is mildly entertaining if you're interested in this.
  2. Only have time this morning to make this one post, but this is how Batman episodes start, with somebody breaking the Riddler out of Arkham. I used to be acquaintances with one of the top press people in the Illinois GOP, bounce ideas off each other. The last time we caught up, about five years ago, we were swapping war stories and he just got quiet and said "...Blagojevich, the way he is, when he gets out, he's going to try to make a comeback. He can't stop himself. You can count on it." I only met Rod once and can't speak to that, but he had hours and hours of face time with the guy and meant what he said. Time will tell if he was on target.
  3. Bingoloid

    Corona Virus

    I assume you're talking about the Malaysia Airlines that was shot down by guerillas over Ukraine, Ginger, which was actually mostly Dutch passengers coming from Amsterdam. Just like any other flight, many of them were business travelers. Others would have been coming home from university or visiting family. A lot of them would have only been on their way to Kuala Lumpur because it's a major hub for catching other flights, as is Amsterdam. I'm not sure what you mean about Tsarnaev. He was a Russian citizen who had jobs as a young man in America, like everybody else. Sketchy trip, but young people save up some money and go overseas all the time. Dagestan isn't exactly expensive. Chinese tourism has grown a lot in the past decade, but looking quickly, Chinese tourists spent about $257 billion overseas in 2017, American tourists $135 billion, German tourists $89 billion, and British tourists $71 billion. China is over 4x larger than the United States, 17x larger than Germany, and 21x larger than Britain, so it's nowhere near what you'd expect if their middle-class was anything like those in Western countries.
  4. Bingoloid

    Corona Virus

    ...and by the same token, just because Broome County is the way it is, it doesn't follow that that's what most of America is like. Wuhan is a little bigger than London or New York. Their GDP per capita is about a third of America's, but twice the average for China. Just like in the United States, lots of people in those cities have good jobs and disposable income. The undesirable factory and construction jobs tend to be filled by rural people who have migrated illegally, and because they have no legal right to live in the cities, they have problems getting access to basic services like healthcare and education. Basically, living illegally in a Chinese city as a factory worker is crap, but it's less crap than living legally in the Chinese countryside as a farmer or a miner, so they do it anyway. People who live in the cities legally are still poor by American standards, but better-off. In any case, we already provide almost no foreign aid money in China, less than one-tenth of 1% of our spend, and most of that looks like it's to support dissidents. There's nothing of consequence to cut off. https://explorer.usaid.gov/cd/CHN
  5. By the same token, in the unlikely event that he has to engage in official business because he's marooned somewhere with his personal vehicle, I'd be absolutely shocked if the department doesn't have the reimbursement policies worked out. LEOs in my family were only encouraged to run errands on either end of a shift if they had a marked take-home car, for visibility reasons, assuming the officer had some gear and was equipped to respond. It's a good way to get patrol cars to banks, gas stations, grocery stores, etc., off their usual route. It was definitely not intended as a personal convenience perk so that brass could drive cool SUVs they couldn't afford on their own dime to parties, especially political fundraisers. If this isn't a violation, it should be.
  6. I'm not disagreeing with that part, but Harder's just a woodchuck who never understood how to act in the first place. He was distributing cash prizes out of the evidence locker to friends and family a long time ago just because he thought he could. Debbie Preston had the same problem. Goofy chain-smoking yokel who got herself in a bind because she thought she could do whatever she wanted even way back in Conklin, unaware that just because she was raised ignorant trash didn't mean everybody else was, too. These are people who would barely be able to figure out how to earn a living at all if it weren't for public employment. (Is Preston still working at the Price Chopper?) Same class of bottom-feeders who birthed Akshar so he could run for office to banjo music. It's a shame that the Valley of Opportunity, which inspired hard-working people to travel halfway around the world to try to build something better for themselves in America, is in the hands of a bunch of lazy and ignorant bumpkins who couldn't imagine it. The working- and middle-class homeowners who put their foot down about Battisti need to speak up and take the county back from this crooked old hick, too.
  7. He can drive? Terrifying.
  8. Bingoloid

    Binghamton University receives $60M donation to build new baseball stadium

    I'm not an expert on the tax rules at this level, but Stenger kept calling it a "donor family". Doesn't sound like one person's bequest. Since it's anonymous, it can't be a family foundation trying to meet their annual minimum disbursement. Those are open records. My guess is somebody's heirs inherited a donor-advised fund. You make contributions to those in any year for the tax deduction, but then you can't take the money out. You have no choice but to donate it eventually. Tens of billions get socked away in those every year. My guess is some alumnus had happy memories of playing ball at BU or was simply a massive baseball fan, had a successful career that involved a lot of stock options, and his heirs ran out of ideas. Very possibly just a small portion of whatever they're doing to dispose of the fund.
  9. Bingoloid

    Binghamton University receives $60M donation to build new baseball stadium

    I was looking at the map and thought the same thing. The South Side would be hopping for new businesses if it was convenient to hockey fans all winter, baseball fans all summer, and other Arena crowds year-round. I have fond memories of NYSEG Stadium but that neighborhood is a rough spot to ask people to gather.
  10. Not correct. DEC was able to begin imposing a fine only after the board failed to complete the project on the agreed-upon deadline, in 2017. This is a nearly-$300,000,000 project and the $15,000 monthly fines amount to about 1% of that. At one point, the plant was so far behind schedule that it was in danger of being fined as much as $37,500 per day. It's not unreasonable that local government be basically competent and move at a reasonable pace to minimize the dumping of human feces directly into the river like some third-world - literal - shit hole. This is water upstaters drink and that contaminates homes and streets when it rises. It's more like we have to keep some slugs on the payroll for as long as possible to keep the kickbacks to local politicians on track. I seem to recall Councilman Livingston pointing out one employee bragging on Facebook about how the construction was so bad that he was planning on getting paid twice - once to do it and once to fix it. You're certainly right that they're hoping people "forget". That's why Rich David was so desperate to have Livingston's original video pulled. In fact, I can't find any reporting about the DEC fines until this mess was exposed in 2019. They're doing everything in their power to bury their gross mismanagement and how hard it's going to hit ratepayers. Some interesting quotes from an article at that time: https://spectrumlocalnews.com/nys/binghamton/news/2019/07/26/sewage-treatment-project-delays-could-cost-more-money "Nobody's taking ownership; nobody's culpable for the problems. So I don't see it as anybody but the rate payer funding it and maybe years down the road, some legal settlement where a portion comes back that they split with the lawyers." - Joint Sewage Plant Business Manager Charles Pearsall "It's not just the rate payers of Binghamton and Johnson City, it's the rate payers of Vestal, the rate payers of the town of Union, the rate payers of Port Dickinson, it's rate payers of all municipal users." - Binghamton Councilman Dan Livington "[not available for comment]" - Binghamton Mayor Rich David "[not available for comment]" - Project Manager
  11. https://wbng.com/2020/02/11/state-government-auditing-city-of-binghamton-over-sewage-plant/ https://wnbf.com/nys-launches-audit-of-binghamton-jc-sewage-treatment-project/ "The city of Binghamton did not respond to a request for comment." The previous audit, in 2015, concluded that costs were already out of line, leading local officials to complain that the state was trying to create a "a false and unfavorable impression" of them and "kick ’em while they’re down". (Actual quote.) https://www.pressconnects.com/story/news/2015/12/22/audit-sewage-plants-costs-out-line-service/77764808/ At that time, the plant was supposed to be completed by 2017. To borrow a phrase from the Emperor of Japan after the atomic bombs dropped, the situation has developed not necessarily to Broome County's advantage.
  12. Bingoloid

    Binghamton University receives $60M donation to build new baseball stadium

    You know what? This is a really interesting idea that could have been a win for everyone involved. NYSEG Stadium is pushing thirty. If the terms of the donation allowed it, a shared-use facility close to campus would probably be a brilliant public-private partnership that would keep baseball in our community for a long time and not only bring more local baseball fans to Bearcats games, but also give BU parents something to do during campus visits that would put money back into the community. Of course, there's almost no real regional coordination so getting everybody together to think ahead like that would have been too much to ask. I wonder if "The Agency" even knew or if they found out about the announcement in the news like everybody else? As for it being a "waste", it seems like an odd choice, but let's remember that it's a private donor. They didn't owe the Binghamton region a dime, and their tax money probably already subsidizes this area.
  13. If you know a homeowner struggling with keeping an older home warm (or cool), this might be worth looking into: https://go.sealed.com/NYSEG/1/ I haven't dug too deep into it, but NYSEG sent me a mailer and it looked like it could be a good strategy for some people. The idea is that if you own a single-family home, you might be eligible for up to $6,500 in up-front financing for insulation, draft sealing, water heater replacements, etc., which is then repaid against the savings in your bill so that you don't have to go out-of-pocket.
  14. Bingoloid

    Kirk Douglas

    Forgotten smash hit, 1958's "The Vikings". All-star cast led by Douglas having fun taking a simple popcorn flick as far over-the-top as they could. "Look at him, how he hastens to his death! He can't wait to die!"
  15. Bingoloid

    Coronavirus - Hype? Or certain Death? 💀

    Starting a heavy international business travel schedule this week. If you don't hear back from me by the end of March, please make contributions to the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation in lieu of flowers.