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Daily Archives: January 5th, 2019


Excellent read and message.MA

Stephanie Ingersoll
10 hrs ago

CLARKSVILLE, Tennessee – Black men are more dangerous to other black men than white Ku Klux Klansmen ever were, Montgomery County Judge Wayne Shelton told a man accused of murder this week.
Shelton, presiding over the preliminary hearing of Vincent Bryan Merriweather on Thursday, said he’s sick and disheartened by what he sees as a lack of respect for human life, especially among young black men willing to shoot at one another for little or no reason.
“I grew up in a time where people wore white robes and they shot at black people,” Shelton said. “And now we see young black men wearing black hoodies shooting at black men – and doing much more effective job than the Klan ever thought about doing.”
Although Shelton has been saying that “black lives matter” for years, he lamented Thursday that no one is listening. “I’m sick of it,” he said.
Black Lives Matter: A primer on what it is and what it stands for
More: How social media has shaped Black Lives Matter, five years later
Witnesses testified Thursday that Merriweather and two other men exchanged gunfire between their car and another before Antorius Gallion was fatally shot in the head on Nov. 19.
According to Gallion’s brother and statements made to police, the altercation began at a middle school basketball game when two of the men’s feet brushed in the stands. That led to a stare-down and argument.
Shelton has given similar lectures in previous cases, comparing crime among young black men to KKK violence.
After two teenage brothers were accused of gunning down a young Clarksville man following a high school graduation party in May 2015, Shelton had stern words.
“What a horrible tragedy this is,” Shelton said at that hearing in June 2015. “Black lives matter.”
One of the suspects had just graduated high school and had a future ahead of him, as did the other two men. “That life mattered,” Shelton said as the victim’s family sobbed. “That black life mattered to them, and it matters to me.”
Shelton said he was upset that the shooting may have simply stemmed from a reaction of perceived “disrespect.” In years long past, the Ku Klux Klan would kill black people who they thought were disrespectful, he added.
“The Klan doesn’t exist anymore,” he said. “Who doesn’t care about black lives now? I’ll let you answer that. I’m tired of black men killing black men. If I offended anyone … I can’t help it.”
On Thursday after Merriweather’s hearing, Shelton told The (Clarksville, Tennessee) Leaf-Chronicle that while he “might look like the whitest man in the room,” he isn’t.
Shelton said his great-great-great-grandfather was a free man of color in the 1860s, and he is disgusted by what he sees as a lack of respect for human life, whether it be at the hands of a racist police officer or rival gang members.
“Black lives really do matter,” he said. “The total disregard of that fact by any in our society is totally reprehensible.”
Follow Stephanie Ingersoll on Twitter @StephLeaf
This article originally appeared on Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle: Tennessee judge goes on tirade about crime among black men being ‘more effective’ than KKK

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Two prominent Liars in Government. MA

By Ted Barrett and Clare Foran, CNN 11 hrs ago

While McConnell and Sen. John Thune, a South Dakota Republican and his new deputy in Senate GOP leadership, left the White House after the meeting, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Whip Steve Scalise stood behind Trump in the Rose Garden as the President boasted during a lengthy and far-reaching session with reporters that he could “call a national emergency” to build a border wall with Mexico — the issue at the center of the shutdown stalemate — without the approval of Congress if he wants, and defended the use of eminent domain, something that is unpopular with many conservatives, to facilitate construction.
At one point, a reporter explicitly asked the President, “Why is Senator Mitch McConnell not here? Why was he not invited to this?”
Trump replied that McConnell was not there “because he’s running the Senate,” despite the fact that the Senate adjourned for the weekend before the White House meeting started and will not be back in session until Tuesday.
The President also praised the Senate GOP leader, saying, “He’s been great. He’s been really fantastic.”
Trump also emphasized that McConnell had been at the meeting. “He was here. He was with us for hours at the meeting.”
Don Stewart, a spokesman for McConnell, told CNN that the two Republican senators left the White House after the meeting unaware a press conference was planned. They would have attended if asked, Stewart said.
McConnell told CNN on Thursday that he has not been “sidelined” in talks to reopen parts of the government, but asserted that he has “no particular role” to play in ending the standoff, a responsibility he argued falls to the President and congressional Democrats who wield expanded power in the new Congress now that Democrats have taken over the House majority.
The Senate majority leader did speak to reporters at the Capitol on Friday as he returned from the meeting at the White House, saying that it was a “spirited discussion as you can imagine.”
“I would say the news is that the President agreed to designate his top people to sit down with all the leaders’ staffs this weekend to see if we can come up an agreement to recommend back to us, the various leaders,” McConnell said.
He added that “the government couldn’t reopen until Tuesday anyhow because we don’t have people here to vote” since both chambers of Congress gaveled out of session on Friday and won’t return until Tuesday.

How McConnell is handling the government shutdown fight
In recent days, McConnell has kept a relatively low-profile in the midst of the shutdown fight and distanced himself from negotiations to end the impasse.
McConnell had opposed shutting down the government, and in late December, it seemed briefly that a partial shutdown would be averted when Senate Republicans and Democrats joined together to pass a stop-gap funding bill that would have prevented a shuttering of roughly a quarter of the federal government.
When the Senate passed the measure, the proposal had the backing of congressional Democratic leaders and top congressional Republicans had indicated they were optimistic the President would sign it.
But the plan was upended a day later when it came time for the House to take up the legislation. After facing criticism from conservative allies who wanted to see him push for border wall funding, the President abruptly informed House GOP leaders that he would not sign the bill because it did not match up with his demands for the wall.
In a brief hallway interview on Thursday, McConnell explained that his role is now reversed from when he and then-Vice President Joe Biden worked to avoid a fiscal cliff and negotiated other tough issues during the Obama administration.
“Well, it’s not complicated. I was in this role when Obama was President, and Biden and I did deals because they needed some of our votes. So, now the role is reversed and ultimately the solution to this is a deal between the President and Nancy and Chuck because we need some of Chuck’s votes and obviously we need Nancy’s support,” he said, referring to newly installed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat.
“So, I haven’t been sidelined,” McConnell added. “It’s just that there’s no particular role for me when you have this setup.”
CNN’s Manu Raju contributed to this report.

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Bottom line is all Sears Holdings “owned” properties are worth triple as real estate, therefore ESL investments would get a bargain if the properties are sold as such.MA

Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY Published 1:20 p.m. ET Nov. 6, 2018 | Updated 3:50 p.m. ET Nov. 6, 2018

Sears Holdings chairman and investor Eddie Lampert may have profited from the company’s plunge into bankruptcy, a group of creditors alleged Tuesday.
A committee organized to represent the retailer’s unsecured creditors in court accused Lampert and his hedge fund ESL Investments of potentially structuring deals to gain an unfair edge as the company declined.
They “may have exercised undue influence to siphon value away from the Company on favorable terms,” the creditors group said in a court filing.
The group also said Lampert may have leveraged his “insider status to obtain an ever-increasing percentage” of Sears debt, allowing him to “obtain beneficial positions” in the retailer’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
USA TODAY reported in June that Sears was giving Lampert and his funds about $200 million to $225 million per year in debt payments.
Sears representatives declined to comment.
Lampert’s ESL said in a statement that the hedge fund “has consistently supported Sears Holdings in its efforts to transform and return to profitability during a period of rapid change and disruption in the retail industry.”

“We have every confidence that all transactions involving ESL and Eddie Lampert are valid and enforceable, based on fair and reasonable terms, which were approved by independent directors who were advised by independent financial and legal advisors and featured other appropriate corporate governance procedures,” the hedge fund said. “Any legal claims that attempt to challenge these transactions will have no merit and we will defend ourselves vigorously against any asserted claims.”
Lampert, who served as CEO from 2013 through the company’s bankruptcy filing last month, extended billions in financing to Sears. He also holds ownership stakes in various assets formerly owned by Sears, including valuable real estate spun off in 2015 into a real estate investment trust called Seritage Growth Properties.

“No one should be shocked that he is profiting off transactions to lend Sears money —the issue is, were those deals done at arm’s length and at commercially reasonable terms?” said Philip Emma, senior analyst at Debtwire, which provides news and analysis of corporate and municipal debt.
The Seritage deal was particularly suspicious, the unsecured creditors group alleged.
The committee said its examination of the deal shows it “appears to be at discounted prices” and that subsequent leaseback deals to Sears carried “unfavorable and burdensome terms” for the struggling retailer.
Sears was paying Seritage $90.8 million in annual rent for 151 leases, amounting to $4.73 per square foot, according to a Seritage public filing.
Seritage representatives were not immediately available for comment Tuesday.
The creditors group is asking a judge to force Sears to give up documents related to the deals in question, including $2.4 billion in debt held by Lampert through his investment funds, including ESL.
Debtwire’s Emma said creditors typically pull all available levers in bankruptcies in an attempt to get paid. So it’s “not unexpected” that they would make these accusations given Lampert’s history of lending to Sears.
What’s “pretty unusual,” he said, is that Lampert is acting simultaneously as debtor, investor, lender, landlord and vendor.
Sears filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October, hoping to shed debts and close more than 180 unprofitable stores in a bid to stay open as a smaller company. It had 687 stores when it filed, including its Kmart discount stores.
Lampert’s ESL owns nearly 50 percent of Sears. He engineered the company’s tie-up with Kmart in 2005 and has served on its board since. He gave up the CEO post when the company filed for bankruptcy.
In the final months leading up to the Chapter 11 filing, Lampert proposed that his hedge fund buy Sears appliance brand Kenmore, but a deal Never happened.

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