1) Linda Stasi is starting to piss me off…
Who is Stasi and why am I so pissed off?
Stasi writes for the New York Daily News and is as sarcastic as can be and is stealing my thunder as an adroit and pithy commenter on the things that happen in the world of us humans. And, she is damn good at it… most of the time anyway… sometimes she sucks at it… or, maybe it’s that sometimes I just don’t agree with her… I guess, kinda, sorta, like ya’ll out there feel when you read what I write… but, that’s no never mind…
Her latest comments about peeps coming into NYC (especially since there will be a voracious horde of folks coming to the NYC/NJ area due to the Super Bowl being held) are in fact insightful, sarcastic and damn funny at times… and, I wish I thought of them and wrote them first.
Here are some of her best comments on the Big Apple and what you can expect if you vist from out of town…
No, this ain’t Minneapolis so don’t expect anyone to greet you with open arms, care where you came from, have time to chat with you when you’re buying coffee, or, spend more than 30 seconds helping you pick out something nice for the folks back home.
Nobody cares what you buy — unless of course, you’re laying big money on more than your Super Bowl bet — like a Hermes bag.
It might be spelled like the city in Texas, but we don’t say “Houston,” we say “How-stin.” If you ask a cabbie to take you to “Houston” he may drive you cross-country — with the meter running.
If you start waving around like a crazed cheerleader for a cab, they’ll know you’re a tourist and take you the seven blocks to your destination via the GWB (George Washington Bridge and that’s probably gonna be way out of your way and triple the cost).
Pineapple on pizza is a mortal sin. Don’t do it. End of discussion.
A classic New York treat is an egg cream. It has neither eggs nor cream. It’s just chocolate milk with seltzer. And it’s delicious.
When ordering coffee at an outdoor cart, it’s “light,” “black” or “regular.” You can add “sweet” if you like sugar. You are even permitted to say “5 sugars,” or whatever. Nothing more is required. Period.
You can pay $10 for a cronut at a fancy bakery or you can pay a buck fifty for a donut and a croissant at Dunkin’ Donuts and smush them together. Up to you.
Our new traffic lanes are designed so that if you get out of a car on the left, you’ll get run down by a bike, and if get out on the right you’ll get run down by a car. Take the damned subway, OK?
If you ask for a blueberry bagel you might get beat up.
If you go to Little Italy and say “fuhgeddaboudit” you should get beat up.
Listen up: It’s pronounced “soda” — not “sowdaa.” Who talks like that?
See what I’m talkin’ ’boud?
2) John Boehner recently was on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and told Jay that his personal habits would prevent him from embarking on a White House run.
Jay asked, “Ever think of running for president?”
Boehner said “No!” Then he added, “Listen, I like to play golf, I like to cut my own grass, I do drink red wine, I smoke cigarettes—and I’m not giving that up to be president of the United States.”
Ahem… now, what on earth makes him think the Grand Old Party would even nominate him so that he could even have a chance to be in the Oval office as the sitting prez? And, even if they did, why in the hell does he think he could get elected?
Would never happen…
However, as much as I tend to not agree with the man, I do admit, I like his sense of humor… some of the time…. for instance, he also discussed on the show how his last name has been butchered in a sometimes X-rated way. (Some of us happen to say Bo-ner instead of Bay-ner.) However, he said he was grateful that his surname wasn’t Weiner… as in former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) who served with Boehner in the House before Tony-boy fell from grace over a sexting/tweeting scandal in 2011.
And, speaking of strange goings on with Republican type folks… Barbara Bush says she loves Bill Clinton… yes, that Barbara Bush. Damn Republicans. Them making like real people is scaring the bejesus out of me… Babs says she loves that old rapscallion Billy, and, that she, her hubby, George the First, and Bill often get together and have a grand old time… fact, Jack. They just don’t agree politically, so, they simply don’t talk politics.
Go figure… huh?
Yep.. Boehner acting like a real guy on TV and Barbara Bush saying on C-SPAN: “I love Bill Clinton. Maybe not his politics, but I love Bill Clinton.”
Now don’t go and tell me Barack Obama and Joe Biden are gonna go out partying in Georgetown with Ted Cruz and Ron Paul… then, Michelle and Mama Grizzly are gonna do a sleepover. Nahhhhhh…
3) Snoops… he did it again…
Leave it to Snoop Lion aka Snoop Dogg aka Snoopzilla.. Seems his Snoopness was staying at a five star hotel in Melbourne, Australia and an alarm in his room went off. It just so happens that some Metropolitan fire brigade peeps were at the posh hotel (for some reason the name of the place is being kept a secret) for a false alarm and they rushed up to his room to investigate. They discovered there was smoke but no fire. Asked what type of fumes firefighters encountered in Snoop’s room, a spokeswoman said: “I don’t know what type of smoke, no.”
Now, it’s no secret that Snoop Dogg smokes a lot of weed. And, to set off a smoke alarm it had to be a damn lot of weed… hell, like a bale of the stuff…
After all was said and done, it appears the group… the firefighters, Snoop, and, his entourage… had a right good chuckle because one of the firefighters said, “He asked us for a photo because he said he always wanted to be a firefighter.” And, after a few selfies, Snoop posted the pics on his Instagram account.
However, not everyone is enamored of Snoop’s time in the Land Down Under as not only did that incident on Friday (1/24) but another incident earlier in the week is kind of pissing off some folks. Seems earlier in the week, Tuesday (1/21), Snoop caused some immigration type peeps’ feathers to get ruffled as he posted a picture (see left) of his raggedy old stoned butt sitting in a luxury suite in the Queensland Gold Coast’s famous Palazzo Versace (betcha that’s the place he was when that smoke alarm went off… huh?) beside a fruit platter and a bowl of marijuana buds.
Immigration officials said the picture may jeopardize any plans to visit in future.
4) Riddle me this: What happens when your the CEO and Chairman of a bank, let’s say, JPMorgan Chase, that agrees to pay $13 billion in a settlement with the Department of Justice and admits it lied to investors about the quality of risky mortgage-backed securities right before the 2008 financial crash took place? Then, add in, for that same bank, another $1.7 billion to settle criminal charges stemming from its failure to report its concerns about a certain Wall Street swindler’s private investment service… lets say his name is Bernie Madoff.
So, what happens when you’re that head of that bank?
If your name is Jamie Dimon, you get a raise… a freaking damn big raise in fact… from $11.5 million a year for 2012 to $20 million for 2013, consisting of $18.5 million in stock options and a base salary of $1.5 million. That’s what JP Morgan announced on Friday (1/24).
Because, despite all that monetary loss, JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s stock price climbed $14.51, or 33 percent, to $58.48 in 2013. And,while the bank’s net income fell 16 percent in 2013 from 2012, they still made $17.9 billion in 2013.
Bloomberg BusinessWeek adds “Net income (JPM:US) of almost $18 billion in the last four quarters is 29 percent more than second-ranked Citigroup, giving JPMorgan greater ability to withstand (legal) charges.”
In other words, they can take the chance of making ginormously big profits by doing some shady, and sometimes illegal, stufff because they make such really ginormous bucks… a lot more than any other financial insitution that plys its trade in US waters.
And, Conor Pigott, a credit analyst at Barclays Plc in New York, said, “When we talk about ability to absorb legacy settlement costs and other charges, no one’s better equipped to do that than JPMorgan because they can simply earn so much.”
Bloomberg added that “(JPMorgan) may produce an almost 11 percent return on equity this year, the highest estimate among competitors that may generate an average of 8.6 percent.”
So, JP Morgan might not be the most ethical bastards in the world but they are some of the most profitable bastards in the world, at least when it comes to banking and money laundering… I mean, lending.
5) Per CBSSports.com (1/25), one extended forecast says there is a 70% chance of precipitation with possible ice pellets for Super Bowl XLVIII, and, another says a 40% chance for precipitation with a wintry mix… it’s close enough to New England for wintry mix to mean rain, snow, drizzle, sleet, hail and then be clear in the span of about three to four hours… with both predicting the obvious, that it will be cold.
They also say that the day before and the day after Super Bowl Sunday won’t be much better one way or the other. Both being possible alternatives to Sunday being game day.
They also point out the good old Weather Channel says “To be clear, we are not anticipating a major storm with heavy precipitation to affect the Northeast on Super Bowl weekend… However, we are expecting a frontal system to slide into the Northeast Saturday, possibly lingering into Sunday… (and) while most of our guidance suggests most of this precipitation may fall Saturday into the early part of Sunday, we still can’t rule out any lingering precipitation during the game itself.”
But, that is not why I bring this issue up, because, essentially, anyone who is following and/or anticipating Super Bowl Sunday is most likely aware of all these possibilities. The reason I bring the CBSSports.com piece up is that the guy who wrote the article, Will Brinson, concludes that “The official forecast from Weather.gov hasn’t come through yet. The responsible jerks at the government won’t do anything more than a 7-day forecast. We’ll know soon what they’re expecting.”
Now, I understand that government peeps, especially ones entrenched in the bureaucracy, can sometimes be, or at least seem, incompetent, and, I understand that we do get peeved at them more than most other bureaucratic peeps primarily because of what our elected folks do on a day to day basis, which, essentially seems like a whole lot of do nothing. But, to call some functionaries “jerks” in a department that tries to predict something as unstable as weather systems, especially more than seven days in advance, when some dumbass for CBS wants info for an article he is writing is simply uncalled for, and sort, of … aw, screw it… it is… damn right insulting.
And, ya’ll know what? Will Brinson is a jerk. I just decided… That seems harsh? Not when good old Will led his article off with these words: “Here’s the thing about weather forecasts: They like to change. And, believe it or not, weather is never the same.”
He bluntly admits that weather is an ever changing thing, so, if that be the case, then, why would anyone predict the damn weather more than seven days in advance? Odds are than its even money that they might be right and they might be wrong or any variation in between.
What galls me more is that if you click on CBSSports.com today (1/26); then click on NFL; then click on the pertinent article about the weather by Brinson… it is decidedly a lot less harsh, and, in fact, doesn’t even mention the Weather.gov peeps.
Two faced little dumbass.
6) On Sunday (1/26), the wire services were reporting that HSBC, in Britain, was asking some customers why they wanted to withdraw large sums from their own accounts. In addition, the bank was asking customers on what they were going to spend the money on.
The issue of the eyebrow raising activities came about as some customers contacted a BBC program, Money Box, and said that when they tried to draw out amounts of over $5,000, or more, from their own accounts, they were asked by banks officials why they needed the money. And, when people did offer reasons for wanting their own money, bank officials either did not believe the folks, or, they wanted further proof and went so far as to request letters from the persons involved.
HSBC said, “We ask our customers about the purpose of large cash withdrawals when they are unusual and out of keeping with the normal running of their account.” Simply put, HSBC says it’s all done in the name of customer protection.
“Ahhhh… I see”, said the blind man…
Okay… stop right here… now, I have no idea what the law is in the UK but here in the States if you conduct business transactions or banking transactions for more than $10,000, the business or bank you deal with must report that to the U.S. Treasury. And, if you enter the U.S. with more than $10,000 in cash, you must report that circumstance. There are no restrictions, per se, but if somebody wearing a suit and tie comes a-calling you best be able to explain where the money came from.
Now, I’m gonna guess the UK banks are bound by a very similar law so WTF is this shit telling folks they can’t have their money?
Being the dude that I am, my curiosity was piqued so I did some checking and… If you are an European Union (EU) citizen and travelling from within the EU you can bring in and take out bank notes aka money, travellers’ cheques, letters of credit, etc. in any EU currency and up to any amount.
Then, I found that from June 2007 that if you are travelling to, or from, a country outside the EU, you will need to declare any sums of cash of 10,000 Euro or more (or the equivalent in another currency) to HM Revenue & Customs. Similar to the US.
So, I see nowhere that a bank in the UK can rightfully tell a person that they can’t have what is theirs to be taking. Me? You tell me I can’t have what is rightfully mine then I tell the person behind that teller window to give me every penny that I have in that bank right now because I am closing all of my accounts. If the answer is “no” then I start asking to see supervisors until some geek gives me my money. Still no cashish in my hand? I call the police and report a robbery.
I will get my money come hell or high water.
Now, I believe I know a reason, if not the reason, for HSBC’s strange and somewhat paranoid behavior… maybe it’s because of this NYDN article on December 11, 2012 ….”British banking giant HSBC will pony up a record $1.9 billion fine to avoid being prosecuted for turning a blind eye to laundering hundreds of millions of dollars in illicit drug profits, according to (unsealed) court papers… The deferred prosecution ends a long probe by federal and state prosecutors into not only the money laundering for drug dealers, but also HSBC’s practice of ‘knowingly and willfully’ permitting the movement of hundreds of millions of dollars through the U.S. banking system on behalf of banks in Cuba, Iran, Libya, Sudan and Burma.”
Specifically, two years ago HSBC got fined that $1.9 billion due to the fact it laundered $7 billion in Mexican drug cartel money and $19.4 billion in Iranian terrorist money.
At the time of the report, HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver said they were acknowledging their mistakes and that “HSBC of today is a fundamentally different organization from the one that made those mistakes.” The article also said, “… HSBC has put a new leadership team in place and undertaken extensive remedies. The bank has also ‘clawed back’ bonuses to compliance executives who failed to do their job.”
Then just a few months ago, HSBC did it again… From HuffPost (12/18/13): “(HSBC) has agreed to a settlement for transferring funds on the behalf of financiers for the militant group Hezbollah, the Treasury Department announced… Concluding that HSBC’s actions ‘were not the result of willful or reckless conduct,’ Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control accepted a $32,400 settlement from the bank. Treasury noted, as did HSBC, in a statement to HuffPost, that the violations were voluntarily reported.”
Regardless… a bank still cannot harass customers by unreasonably asking them to provide documentation on why they want large sums of their own money… especially, since those fuckups were of their own doing… I mean, if they ask why I want my money I say because I just do… I want my money because it’s mine… I intend to bury it in my damn yard because banks, and bankers, are greedy sobs who are incompetent boobs and pains in the asses. End of story.
But, as I was digging around I found this little factoid morsel of information on the Daily Kos website… “A Hong Kong-based research firm has warned investors that HSBC has overstated its assets by £50bn ($82,411,016,704.71 US) and will therefore need to inject £70bn ($115,375,423,386.59 US) worth of capital by 2020.”
The Kos then says: “If you find yourself short $80 billion, you might not want people to pull out their cash, and you might be more willing to look the other way when drug cartels and terrorist groups want to launder their money through your bank. One thing is for certain, if HSBC really is in trouble, it would be a shock to the system at least as big as Lehman Brothers.”
Ohhhhhhh… that does not sound real freaking good… do it?
7) The NYDN reported on Saturday (1/25), that Khloe Kardashian has sold the home she once brought and shared with estranged husband Lamar Odom. The News is reporting that TMZ is saying that newlywed Kaley Cuoco (Big Bang Theory) has purchased the mansion for $5.49 million.
Now just to be straight here: Kardashian and Odom purchased the opulent home in 2009 for a reported $3.95 million and listed their luxurious digs for $4 million.
Ummm… Cuoco paid $5.49 million… hmmmm…
Okay, Kaley… a little piece of advice here… when someone asks for $4 million and ya’ll get to haggling, you are supposed to go down in offering money and not up…. capiche?
That is, unless you’re using the New York Yankees’ method of closing the deal.
8) On Sunday (1/26) newswires, newspapers and web sites all over the damn place were reporting that Jonny Gomes was tweaking the Yankees for their recent spending spree and the fact that pennants and world championships are won on the field of play and not in winter.
Whatever… yeah, yeah, yeah (it is the Beatles 50th anniversary of coming to America….), he is right, but, who the hell is Jonny Gomes to be razzing on anybody… especially with his history of finding trouble and then that he simply was lucky enough that the Red Sox needed somebody to platoon in the outfield, sit on the bench, and, maybe do a little pinch hitting/DHing… To be fair, he does in his next breath compliment the Yanks’ organization, specifically Girardi and Cashman as well as some of the players but regardless… he’s one of them…
But, then his comments about the Yankees are small potatoes compared to what he had to say about Alex Rodriguez and his lawsuit against the baseball players’ union.
“He does steroids or whatever, it sucks. He does this or that, it sucks. He’s always in the news, it sucks. But this is the players’ union he’s going against. It’s all of us. Not a real good idea. I think what he had going on is pretty individual. He did it. It was his decision, his suspension. But I don’t think it’s really a good idea to go after our union. Down to my motherfucking (an educated guess on my part since every article has this word deleted) kids, down to the benefits we have, down to our retirement fund, the union makes our lives better. We pay dues to the union for our rights.”
“Him and the Yankees were butting heads last year. Whatever, don’t care. But he’s truly going against every single major league player, and every single major league player that’s played this game before. It brings a whole different light on things.”
Now, once again, he is right you don’t win championships in winter… and, he is certainly enitled to his opinion on ARod… and how he feels as a union member… and, if, I were a player and a member of the union, I’d probably have very similar feelings to one degree or another… Buttttttt…… Understand this about ARod’s lawsuit, if he didn’t include the union in the suit to overthrow his suspension… if, he didn’t say they were negligent then he would have less than a snowball’s chance in hell to even have the suit be credible. As it is, most so-called experts say the suit will not be successful, but, without the union being included in the suit he essentially had no leg to even theoretically stand on.
His beleaguered lawyer Joe Tacopina even admits that it’s a legal Hail Mary to ask the courts to overrule binding arbitration cases but he said, “If you read the cases that the judges have intervened to overturn labor arbitrations, it’s cases like this where the process wasn’t fair. The rules of baseball’s own CBA (collectively bargained agreement) and JDA (Joint Drug Agreement) weren’t adhered to.”
Per las-lec.org, aka, the Legal Aid Society Employment Law Center web site:
A union owes a duty of fair representation to all of the workers it represents. This duty requires that the union act fairly, impartially, and without ill will or discrimination when pursuing a worker’s grievance or when negotiating a new contract with the employer. The union is required to take reasonable steps to investigate a grievance and must represent members in more than a dismissive manner. It is illegal for a union to treat you in ways that are:
- arbitrary (e.g., a union refuses to pursue your grievance without reason);
- discriminatory (e.g., a union refuses to pursue the grievances of all of its non-white workers);
- or in bad faith (e.g., a union official fails to respond to your complaint just because he/she doesn’t like you).
However, the duty of fair representation does not require the union to pursue all grievances until the final possible stage of the grievance procedure or to take all the steps that the member might want it to. The duty of fair representation does not even require that the union do a particularly good job at representing grievances. Unions are only prohibited from acting in arbitrary or discriminatory ways, or in bad faith.
So the bottom line is, if ARod is to even have a case in court regarding his chance to overturn his suspension then the players union has had to act either in an arbitrary, discriminatory or bad faith manner towards his grievance hearing. And, I’m guessing he will try to lean heavily to saying that they acted in bad faith.
Personally, I think he never gets to second base with the lawsuit and overturning the suspension, but, if, he does have a chance it is with the bad faith argument. That’s his snowball’s chance in hell of winning and overturning the suspension. Good luck with that…
So… he had no choice but to include the union in the lawsuits. And, piss off all of his so-called brother union members in the process.
9) And, another reason I am pissed towards Linda Stasi… “Why in hell was Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman fined $7,875 for unsportsmanlike conduct on Friday, while the guy who displayed really unsportsmanlike conduct, San Fran’s Michael Crabtree, wasn’t? Sherman had extended his hand to Crabtree — and was met with a shove in the face by Crabtree, which caused Sherman to fake a choking gesture. So remember, kids — shoving is fine, threatening isn’t.”
She wrote that in Sunday’s NYDN (1/26)… And, in the process, beat me to the punch… the damn wench…
And, for the life of me, I don’t understand why I keep reading about what Sherman did but little to nothing about what Crabtree done did. And, personally what Crabtree did was a lot worse, and, in fact, probably instigated Sherman to do what he did in return… You see, it wasn’t so much what Crabtree said that pissed Sherman off, as it was what Crabtree did that pissed him off so much that he ranted on National TV and then made the choke sign towards the San Fran bench, supposedly toward Kaepernick.
Here is my view of what happened and film seems to support it: After the play, Sherman ran after Crabtree, patted his ass and then tried to shake his hand while saying “Good game! Good Game!” (that’s what Sherman says he said) and Crabtree pushed Sherman in the face. Now why should we believe Sherman at all about what he said? Because, Sherman wore a microphone for the game and his words to Crabtree were featured on “Sound FX.”
Here they are: “Hell of a game! Hell of a game!” That’s close enough for government work, and, for me.
I gotta tell you that I see players all the time congratulate one another after games, even physically embrace, so what Sherman did was not that much out of the ordinary… Crabtree was frustrated… fine… maybe he was even pissed that his team just lost the game and he got beat on the play that cost them the game… fine… but in no way what he did was warranted. And, to tell the truth I’m kinda surprised, given the situation and the rebuke… the physical rebuke… by Crabtree, that Crabtree didn’t get a freaking helmet over his head, followed by a kick in the ass.
I think Sherman’s diatribe on national TV was pretty mild compared to what Crabtree deserved… Seems to me, all Sherman did was talk some well deserved smack.
So, maybe the NFL needs to go back and do some more reviewing of the tapes and assess another fine? Ya think?
10) Back last Wednesday (1/22) Kathy Lee Griffin and Hoda Kotb who have a column in the NYDN, as well as their TV spot, said that “New York Fashion Week doesn’t get underway till February, but we’re stuck on the fanny packs and kneepads we saw as part of Chanel’s haute couture show this week.”
Hoda Kotb (HK) : What were the kneepads for?
Kathy Lee Griffin (KLG): Hoda, you know what kneepads are for.
HK: Sick. You know what? You’re sick.
KLG: What? It’s time for the Super Bowl; it’s for football players, isn’t it?
HK: That’s not what you were thinking.
Well, I just gots to ask… what are the kneepads for?
10A) I am going to just mention this once and then let it go because I really don’t want to, or like to, dwell on pop tarts, be they female or male… but, Justin Bieber is all over the place, and, for all the wrong reasons everybody’s talking about him… Some criticisms are warranted and some are just pop psychology and some are in his defense.
Now, LL Cool J is chiming in: Cool is urging folks to ease off when it comes to judging the Bieb: “At the end of the day, I mean, he’s 19 years old. You gotta cut the guy some slack.”
No we do not, nor, should we… Stop fucking enabling this young dude… You may just enable the poor sucker into a coffin.
And… the gratuitous photos of the week… Katy Perry…
and, a picture is worth a thousand words…
And, before I go… a couple of innocuous, but poignant, illustrations…
So, as an old DJ friend of mine used to say… and, for all I know he still says it… take it easy, but take it…
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