Peer Reviewed: Casino Ownership and Health-Related ...
Directory of major casino companies and operators
Moonshine Metropolis Development HQ
This subreddit will have two main purposes. Firstly, to allow game developers to share ideas and content with one another. Secondly, to act as an interface between developers and those interested in the project.
@AP: RT @APEastRegion: "No one should have a license to strip money out of someone’s pocket." The biggest U.S. casino workers union is asking regulators in three states to protect employees from neglect by hedge funds seeking short-term returns from casino ownership. https://t.co/15rMdPRK1v
The Bill that could put a Casino on Hutchinson Island is alive again
I used to be a State House reporter and there's a good bit of rumors going around that Sen. Beach (R-Alpharetta) and Rep. Ron Stephens (R-Savannah) are getting some traction for the idea of a Constitutional Amendment to expand casino gambling. An unrelated effort for sports book betting is also gaining ground. The state is looking for more revenue and gambling has a lot of lobbying power. From what I'm hearing there will probably be a casino bill that would tie gambling revenue to rural healthcare and the Hope Scholarship. I'm a fairly avid amateur hold'em player and I'm not pro-casino, but a casino on Hutchinson Island doesn't seem like it would be a good fit. In my experience gamblers, and their revenue, mostly stays with casino ownership. When I go to Harrah's Cherokee I don't leave the casino, I only fill up the gas tank once. I've also been going to Cherokee long enough to say that you don't really see any positive effect of the casino money on the drive in from I-40. I might be in the minority on this, but I feel like the State needs the tax revenue more than Savannah needs a casino. To me the proposal the Atlanta Motor Speedway makes more sense, because there's nothing around the speedway. Also rural counties without interstate access would be good potentials if they wanted the casino. Senator Lester Jackson Represents much of Savannah and Hutchinson Island. http://www.senate.ga.gov/senators/en-US/member.aspx?Member=134&Session=27 Rep. Ron Stephens is pushing a bill in the house and represents a chunk of Savannah and west Chatham Countyhttp://www.house.ga.gov/representatives/en-US/member.aspx?Member=219&Session=27 If you want or hate the idea of a casino on the island please let them know what you think. This is could be a massive development for Savannah, as big as the cruise ship terminal was supposed to be, and the lawmakers need to hear from as many people as possible
Casino DLC: A musing on what it might be, and what I'd like.
So I know multiple people have posted similar, but, allow a man to dream. Whilst we know it's gonna come with another almighty drip feed...cars, perhaps gradually released missions, hell...there's talk of a heist maybe being added...aside from any of this I really want the experience in the casino to be engaging and worthy of GTA. What I don't want is for them to half ass it, turn it into another boring instalment of the same old overused mechanism: buy property / expensively (and possibly pointlessly) upgrade said property / source & deliver. It wouldn't be so bad if they facilitated a little extra individualism by way of more than 1 interior layout (looking at you nightclubs). Having said that, how are they actually going to make this dlc? I will say that thinking a little about it, I wouldn't mind and could get excited about the idea of owning a casino and therefore managing another revenue stream. I'm not going to flesh out what I'd like that to include mind you, because, I'd much prefer the casino to simply be an environment for us to visit and spend time in. Obviously though, where $ are involved R* will be looking for their own 'monei drop plz', being the shark card peddling deviants they are. And so, albeit without choice of location (a la Arena War), selling each of us the casino as a business opportunity makes sense. I very much doubt they will give us a fairly richly designed, engaging environment, just to try and make money from drip feed vehicles.
So despite my quite fancying casino ownership, this makes me sad...because what we are missing is places where as a user-base we can come together and be relatively civil and hang out. I'm quite happy for uncivil people to vent sheer anger down their headset as they bet it all on black, only for red to come in. But let's have somewhere to engage with each other or just the environment, in a less confrontational 'destroy everything' manner. The savagery that occurs down at Vanilla Unicorn sometimes...sheds tear. With this said, what doesn't seem viable though, is for us to walk up to the casino doors to then get 32 options of which one to enter! It seems that to encourage interaction there should be plenty of NPC's and up to 32 players entering the same, the only casino. So in my ideal world...what I would like from a non purchaseable casino dlc is:
1 - Poker: I haven't played RDR, so I don't know how that version plays...but am aware indeed that RDR was probably R*'s testing ground and that what is there...is probably what will get reskinned to GTA. For years I have pined for a poker minigame, not just an afterthought, but a well created one that immerses its players for as long as they wish. If Zynga can keep people logged into Facebook for full aeons of time, then, as with all good budding business ideas, why can't R* exclaim "why not" or "what if"...and end up with a decently functioning poker game that hooks its own player base? However, I can see it now: no differing stakes, max buy-in $20,000...just like the Premium Races; or $1000 like the normal betting on races! Ok, $1000 is stupidly low, so surely not. But they'll definitely want to prevent illegitimately gained money being dumped off to poor friends. They'll want to ensure people can't get wildly rich without having been driven to Sharkcard'ism. Good poker players can forget about making their GTA riches at the cloth. What would be a great feature, one that would bring new life to past content, would be allowing home games in your apartments. Pop up poker table, invite people over, and play away. Personalised tables, chip sets, a hot hostess bringing your drinks orders to the table. ...Perhaps I'm now taking it too far! To wrap up, a nice range of options for poker at the casino would be very welcome. I know tournaments are out of the question, even STT's. But a nice cash game poker room, with a choice of stakes, would be wonderful.
2 - House games / Slots: A nice large gaming floor, mezzanine levels, private high roller areas, a mix of the usual games...would all be appreciated. Let's make this building we've all been waiting for -> wishing for -> dreaming of -> given up hope of ... a magnificent building that we want to spend time in and explore.
3 - Entertainment: Remember the Perestroika from GTA 4? It would be great to have a stage with a few acts on, giving us another activity to experience. Now, obviously this is farrrrrr to much to expect...the all round design and labour on this is out of the question. But whilst we're dreaming...
4 - Music: The music in the GTA:San Andreas casinos was fantastic. It really provided a great fun feel when entering. Hopefully the music is similarly good, yet with a bigger playlist.
5 - Immersion: Onto smaller (and some dreamland) features now! I want the casino to be a place of no tryhards, no violence, no weapons. To be like the stripclub is not enough. No killing the doorman then letting guns blaze. No being like GTA:SA where you could survive whilst security and police come to gun you down. It should be like the security functions in the facility, guns disabled. Dreamland: An on-site restaurant. An apartment for overnight stays / comps. NPC's that get pissed off with our plays at the table that then follow us when we leave to teach us a lesson. Remember the taxi driver options of previous games, well how about a 'Be a dealer' minigame. A valet minigame as well.
6 - Dripfeed Content: Well, those better versed in culture than me could suggest vehicles of a casino related nature. I imagine that some of the cars associated with films that feature casinos should be an option; James Bond movies amongst many others. Besides the thematically related options I'll certainly look forward to an injection of new vehicles. My garages won't, but I think we're well beyond the days of wishing for increased garage space!! There's plenty of vehicles that different demographics of the user base would like. Personally, give me some more luxury sedans, some more JDM...starting with a Mitsubishi GTO/3000, along with an old style Honda NSX/Acura. Let's see some more clothing additions and perhaps a few new quick actions as well.
All in all I'm really looking forward to this DLC. I actually managed to curb my GTA addiction in recent months. Going from hours a day to minutes a month. Done right this DLC could have me chasing the dragon all over again - figuratively speaking, of course.
Beyond a Casino DLC....I still crave a pimping empire. Bring back looking after hoes. Let us go cruising for those ladies of the night, 'persuading' them to work for us...choosing their look...and putting them to work. My god, the possibilities..... Anyway......, I know I've verbal diarrhoea'd this post; but if you want similar stuff, or fancy things I've missed...then share away and let's start a convo, let's build up our anticipation for the release.
And if you got this far...then well...quick action double tap:Salute
@Reuters: From @Breakingviews: Casino operator Crown Resorts is under investigation in Australia over Chinese high-rollers and a busted stake sale to Melco. The inquiries may force billionaire founder James Packer to rethink his ownership, says @KatrinaHamlin https://t.co/JkEzFH68ls
The Times believes that Trump may not have abandoned his ownership in his Atlantic City casinos, generating losses. He walked away from them in 2009, telling the Securities and Exchange Commission that he was “hereby abandoning” his stake.
Unathi Kwaza RT from IOL News: Chile’s Nueva Inversiones Pacifico Sur Limitada has agreed to buy a 64.94 percent stake in casino operator Sun Dreams for $160 million (R2,76 billion) from Sun International to take full ownership of the business and settle a dispute.
Is there a connection between Native Americans and casinos that led to their widespread ownership of them?
As in, is it just the fact that there are different tax laws and other loopholes on Indian reservations that led to people deciding to build casinos on reservations and eventually leading to Native Americans being associated with them / owning them? Or is there some origin story like early Native American betting games that settlers partook in that led to the emergence of gambling saloons that eventually turned into bigger and bigger casinos? Asking out of genuine curiosity.
Remember Where You Park In The Vices Casino Parking Garage
Let’s set the record straight now, I’m not a gambler. When I arrived home from work on a dreary October evening the last thing I wanted to do was go out for a night of poor decision making. My idiot older brother, however, that’s a different story. I wasn’t too surprised to find a text message awaiting my attention as I settled into my couch. “Jimmy! How was work, bro?? They pay up yet?” I rub my temples at my brother’s choice of phrasing, “Mason just quit last week. I’m next in line. Trying to be patient,” I text back half heartedly. “Ah, corporate greed. You gotta love it,” he responds. I roll my eyes, not sure what that has to do with anything. I’m just waiting for the-- “So... there’s a new casino that just opened up in Atlantic City! I’m checking it out tonight,”And there it is. I’d seen a few ads about the place and I just knew my brother would be itching to go. Honestly, though, who would actually try to build in that money pit? The investors must be nuts, “I know you aren’t a fan of gambling, but Gary bailed on me and it’s no fun going alone I don’t see how losing a shit ton of cash is any better with friends, but I guess it makes the experience a little less… agonizing? As if sensing my hesitation, he adds, “Don’t forget, you owe me. You in, buddy?” Damn. I did owe him a favor. I was really hoping he had forgotten about that. A work trip came out of nowhere last month, and Phil volunteered to stay at my place for a few days to watch my dog. It was a lifesaver; the last thing I wanted to do was put the poor girl into one of those kennel cough infested boarding houses.. To be clear, Phil’s a good guy. He’s kind of a moron, but he’s family, you know? Still, I had no interest in spending my night in a casino. I let out a big, exaggerated sigh and let my head lull back on the top of the couch, contemplating the small crack in the ceiling. Maybe a night out wouldn’t be so bad after the week I’d had, but did I really want to do this? I mustered up the energy to lift my phone over my head and draft a response. “I don’t know, Phil. I’m really beat. Can we do it another time?” I didn’t even have time to put my phone down again before he started typing. “Come on! I’ll buy you a few drinks? Please,” he said. Wow, free drinks from a casino that gives out complimentary ones. Now I’m convinced. Forget it, this conversation is more stress than it’s worth, “Alright, I’m in.” “YES! The new casino’s called “Vices.” It’s all the way on the east end of the boardwalk. Meet you at the elevators at 9.” It was like he knew he’d wear me down. I’m such a pushover. I had no choice but to accept my fate. I pulled myself up off the couch, changed into something a bit more appropriate for what I was getting into and went on my way. Luckily, it’s not a long journey from my apartment to Atlantic City. It only takes me about 45 minutes if the traffic is kind to me. It wasn’t long before the blinding lights of the city started to assert themselves on the horizon. Vices may have been brand new, but I had no trouble finding it. One would be hard-pressed to miss such a gaudy empire of beaming lights and brilliant colors. Clearly no expense was spared for this one. I found the entrance for self-parking and my jaw dropped when I saw the price. 30 dollars for parking? Who do these people think they are? I muttered some choice words for my brother, the casino ownership, and the city under my breath and made my way up the ramp. The garage was huge but packed. You know, I don’t frequent casino parking garages but this one is... oddly lit? The whole garage seemed awash in this sickly greenish yellow hue – a little too dim to the point that it was remotely unsettling. Maybe they were some new kind of energy saving lights? Ah, whatever. ? I went up and up – wondering to myself if I was ever going to find a spot when I felt my phone vibrating in my pocket. A quick glance at the clock told me it was likely Phil as I was 20 minutes late. As I accepted the call, I noticed the reverse lights of a beat up white SUV flicker to life and I hit my brakes to claim the spot. I silently thank the parking gods as, Phil’s voice belted out of my car speakers and I could tell he had already taken advantage of the complimentary drinks. “Yoo little brother! Where you at? I came over to the elevators to wait for you, “ he slurs as I’m already mentally preparing for a long night, “I’m looking at a clock that says 9:20 and you aren’t here. What gives?” I start to answer but my attention is drawn to the uncomfortable stain on the front bumper of the SUV backing out. At first I thought it was mud, but it looks almost red and is that a--- “Hey? You with me?” my brother barked. The SUV speeds off and I blink myself out of my trance. I let out a quick, irritated sigh as I whipped into the now vacant spot and said, “I’m parking now, chill out. I’ll be down in a minute.” Phil started to whine but I quickly ended the call before I had to listen to any of it. I hurriedly swung my door open, nearly connecting with the car next to me. I cringed as I took in the pungent smell of the garage. You’d think it being brand new it wouldn’t have the smell of despair already infecting the place. I eagerly headed inside, taking a deep breath of sanitized air as I stepped inside the elevator. Typical elevator music droned on as I made my descent towards the casino floor. Accompanying the music was some pre-recorded audio of a woman welcoming guests and wishing them luck. “Hello and welcome to Vices casino and resort. We’re so glad to have you with us and we encourage you to check out everything we have to offer. Enjoy your stay, and may you be blessed with good fortune!” “Yeah, whatever you say, lady,” I said with a sigh, shoving my hands into my pockets. After a few moments the doors slid open just as the recording started to repeat. I shuffled out of the door and called over to Phil, who was leaning up against a wall with a goofy smile stretching across his face. “Hey Phil, sorry I’m late. That parking was a bitch. It took me forever to find a space. By the way, 30 dollars? Are you kidding me?” Phil continued smiling and rolled his eyes knowingly. It’s no secret that punctuality isn’t an area I excel in. I’m always the one who’s late to the party, late for work, or calling to move a reservation back. He shook his head at me and spoke up. “It’s fine, Jimmy boy! Let’s hit the Blackjack tables before my buzz wears off!” “How’s it going?” I asked and he rubbed the back of his neck, still sober enough to notice how far he was in the hole, I see. “My luck’s about to change. You’ve always been my good luck charm!” he said. I wonder how much overtime he’s going to need to make up for tonight. What followed was a night predictably devoid of any kind of real enjoyment on my part, and a little too much enjoyment on Phil’s part. Again, I’m not a gambler, but I know enough to not make a fool of myself. We hung around until it was nearly closing time. Before we called it a night, I decided to try my luck on one of the slot machines. I sat there boredly playing for a bit while I nursed my last beer. Jackpot. Stunned, I remained seated as lights flashed and music chimed out of the machine. I had just won about 10,000 dollars. I’d gained a bit of an audience now made up of a few of the patrons that remained at this time of the night. Amongst the group was a large, brooding man who was wearing a uniform that gave him away as one of the casino employees. He didn’t look happy, but I certainly was. Phil wasn’t so lucky. He ended up out $800 by the time I finally convinced him to give it a rest. To make matters worse, his buzz had evolved into full blown drunkenness. Knowing that he was in no shape to drive, I used my winnings to put him up in a room for the night. After I made sure he was settled in I headed back for the elevators. I had consumed a few drinks myself over the course of the evening but dealing with Phil had left me fully sober by the time I was ready to drive home. Once inside the elevator I reached for the controls and realized I was missing some vital information. I didn’t remember what level I parked on. I started doing mental gymnastics trying to remember where my car was, but I couldn’t summon the memory. I had been so flustered by Phil’s phone call and my own lateness that I completely forgot to take note of where I landed in the massive garage. There were 12 levels. Anxiously, I settled on level 8 even though I wasn’t sure if that was right. It might have been lower. Or maybe I parked up a little higher? The elevator car ascended up towards its destination as the now familiar audio clip of the woman’s voice played once more and I started to zone out. “Hello and welcome to Vices casino and resort. We’re so glad to have you with us and we encourage you to check out everything we have to offer. Enjoy your stay, and may you never leave this place again.” The elevator chimed and the doors opened but I stood there for a moment with my mouth slightly agape. I muttered, “what did she just say?” The doors started to close again before I had any time to contemplate what I thought I just heard. I jolted out of my stupor and grabbed the door to stop it from closing and stumbled clumsily out into the garage. A large red number 8 greeted me and I started walking up the ramp looking for my car. “Okay, shake it off. I must have just misheard something.” Parking garages have always made me feel uneasy. They’re dark and dingy structures built hastily with no intent to comfort or impress. You’re meant to park your car and spend as little time in them as possible. The smell of exhaust wafts through constantly as everyone drives up and down the ramps between levels at a pace that usually falls on the opposite side of caution. This garage, regardless of its newly built status, was no different. Those who had probably taken the time to make a mental note of their vehicle’s whereabouts were flying past me as I walked up and down the paths leading to and from each level. I made my way up from level 8, scanning through level 9 as well but having no luck finding my car. It should be clear by now that I have an unfavorable opinion of these parking garages, but this was still more of an annoyance than anything. I’m not an idiot. I’d find it soon. From 9, I walked up to 10. Then, I tried level 11. Throughout this ordeal I was repeatedly hitting the lock button on my key fob to excersise the tried and true method of listening for a beep to get a lead on which direction to head in. I wasn’t hearing anything. This either meant that I wasn’t even close, or that my key fob’s signal was comically weak. I finished combing through 11. Nothing. I knew I didn’t park on the roof, so there was no reason to go all the way up to level 12. Now I was getting frustrated. My pace quickened and my leg muscles started to burn as I made a beeline for the elevator which was thankfully close by. I expected to hear more music along with the benign voice of the woman and her welcome message, but oddly enough there was no audio. I decided I would go all the way down to level 4 this time. There was no way I parked below 4, and I figured it would be a foolproof way of finding my car and getting the hell out of there. I was wrong. I got all the way back up to level 8 with no trace of my car. I stopped in front of the same red number 8 I had seen when I started. While standing for a minute to catch my breath, I looked around and noticed a detail that had somehow eluded my attention to this point. The walls of the garage were completely closed. Most of these buildings have large openings in the walls which I assume is a design choice meant to keep the air relatively ventilated. Here, there were no openings, only vents lining the sides of the ceilings. That must have been how this particular garage handled exhaust fumes. This realization unnerved me, and I could feel myself begining to panic. The garage was mostly empty now. The casino had closed over an hour ago. One might think there should still be a decent number of vehicles left that belonged to the resort guests, but resort guests had a separate parking garage located more conveniently toward the heart of the casino. I repeated my previous strategy a couple times while expanding my search to the lower levels of the building. I was still coming up empty. My legs were on fire, and the beginning stages of panic had elevated to near hysteria. Thinking my car might have been stolen and at a loss for what to do next, I pulled out my phone and dialed 911. Someone answered quickly. “911, what’s your emergency?” “Hello? I uh.. I think someone might have stolen my car. I’m in the Vices casino parking garage and I can’t find it,” I said with my voice shaking as I thought about how lame this probably sounded. “You think your car was stolen. Okay, are you sure you remember where you parked it?” “No, I don’t remember where I parked it. Sorry, I just can’t find it and I’ve been looking around for over an hour and – …” the operator cut me off. “Sir, this line is for emergencies only. If you have actual reason to believe your vehicle was stolen, I reccommend calling your local police station and filing a report with them. Please don’t waste our time again unless you are in immediate danger. Thank you.” She hung up before I could get another word in. Great. Now I felt like an even bigger idiot than I did before. I didn’t have much time to feel sorry for myself, however, as just then a loud bang reverberated down the garage from somewhere several levels above me followed by the sound of a man screaming in pain. Without giving my worsening situation much thought, I started running up to see if someone needed help. I was mostly out of energy, but my adrenaline was carrying me forward. The sounds of the screaming man had returned until I was sure I had reached the same level he was on. I kept running in the direction of the screams until what I saw stopped me in my tracks. I put both hands on my head and winced hard. The man had been pinned to the wall by a white SUV – the same beat up old SUV that had given up it’s spot to me earlier in the night. Perhaps he had gone into shock, because he wasn’t screaming anymore. He was only moaning in pain. His eyes darted over to me and we made eye contact. “For God’s sake, HELP ME!” That immediately brought me back from my frozen state of disbelief and I quickly made my way over to him. I stammered out, “holy… who did this to you?!” “I don’t know,” the man replied in a wet, garbled voice. “The guy came out of nowhere… Don’t move me… just… call 911. Please.” I snatched my phone out of my pocked and dialed 911. The operator wouldn’t be able to scoff and hang up on me now. Something was wrong. I wasn’t getting a dial tone. My screen showed 911 with the call timer ticking away underneath, but my phone stayed silent. “I… I don’t know what’s going on. My phone’s not working,” I said in a panic stricken voice. The man said nothing. He was only able to cough up blood and mutter something unintelligible in response. “Sir, I’m going to go get help. I’m going to run down to the bottom and get out of this place so I can get you some medical attention.” There was no saving this man. A cursory glance at his injuries told me that much. His torso had been pancaked into the concrete wall and a pool of blood was rapidly growing underneath him. Despite this, I couldn’t just leave him there without saying anything. With that, I sprinted off back down the ramp. Momentum was carrying me down the levels with surprising speed. I surmised that my car was stolen by the man in the white SUV and nothing mattered more than getting out of that parking garage now. The large red number 8 went by my peripheral vision in a blur and I almost tripped over my own feet making the turn to head down the next ramp. I reached level 7, then level 6, and finally level 5 before my progress was halted by every single eerily colored light in this God forsaken place shutting off at once. A loud “click” resonated throughout the building and suddenly I was surrounded by complete darkness. I fumbled around for my phone and activated the flashlight function. It only provided a laughable amout of light but at the very least it let me see a couple feet in front of me. My pace had slowed to a brisk walk due to my sudden lack of vision but I kept making progress until I had reached level 4. Another faint bang and scream echoed down to me. This time it wasn’t followed by any more shouts of pain. The sound of squealing tires and an engine roaring down the garage came instead. The white SUV had finished the job and now it was after me. Abandoning any caution I was taking before, I raced through levels 4 and 3 in record time. Then I made it to 2. I could hear the vehicle’s engine firing up every time it cleared a turn. It was getting louder and louder until I finally reached the bottom and dashed out the exit. I flattened myself against the outer wall of the parking garage with my eyes pointed toward the exit. I was expecting the SUV to careen out at full speed, but it never did. The garage fell silent, and I collapsed onto the ground and faded out of consiousness. If you’re planning on going out for a night of gambling, make an effort to remember where your car is parked. Better yet, just stay away from the Vices parking garage.
ICONbet: How it is different from a traditional online casino - ownership and transparency
How is ICONbet different from typical online casinos? 1.) This is the first time you can get ownership in a casino by playing in the casino. The more you play the more ownership you get.
There are 625,000,000 TAP tokens which represent the ownership of ICONbet. For the first 500 days ICONbet team will give away 1,000,000 TAP tokens per day to the players.
The more you play the more ownership you get is explained by the formula: Distribution to Individual Player = (Individual Player’s Betting Volume on Day_n / Total Betting Volume on Day_n) x 1,000,000
This also means that, whether you win or lose, you still get tokens based on your betting volume. When you earn more ownership of the platform, you earn more ICX dividends based on the income of the ICONbet platform.
2.) We also understand a lot of you do not trust online gambling, which is why we have decided to make the game open source and transparent.
Randomization: The stopping point of the Roulette wheel is completely random. It is generated using the secure hashalgorithm of a seed, which is totally unpredictable because of the incorporation of the block timestamp which is not determined until the block containing the transaction is assembled on one of the nodes.
The four smart contracts that maintain the ICONbet platform and the codes for the smart contracts will be publicly shared once the platform is live. Any developer can look at the code to clearly see how the outcome of each bet was determined
Lost in the Sauce: Trump, Cruz, and Gohmert team up to incite election-related violence
Welcome to Lost in the Sauce, keeping you caught up on political and legal news that often gets buried in distractions and theater… or a global health crisis. Housekeeping:
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I put the latest info on Trump's phone call to Raffensperger in this comment.
According to experts, Trump’s conduct has potential criminal exposure:
A federal statute makes it a crime when one “knowingly and willfully … attempts to deprive or defraud the residents of a State of a fair and impartially conducted election process, by … the procurement, casting, or tabulation of ballots that are known by the person to be materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent under the laws of the State in which the election is held.” A Georgia statute similarly provides that a “person commits the offense of criminal solicitation to commit election fraud in the first degree when, with intent that another person engage in conduct constituting a felony under this article, he or she solicits, requests, commands, importunes, or otherwise attempts to cause the other person to engage in such conduct.” …The hard part for prosecutors would be proving Trump’s state of mind, because the statutes require proof of knowledge and intent. Prosecutors would have to show that Trump knew that Biden fairly won the election, and Trump was asking for Georgia officials to commit election fraud. And it’s not clear prosecutors could make that case.
At least 12 Republican senators plan to challenge Biden’s Electoral College win on Jan. 6, when Congress is set to officially count the votes. The effort is being led by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and includes Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), and Mike Braun (R-Ind.), as well as new Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.). Separately, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) is pursuing a similar plan.
"Congress should immediately appoint an Electoral Commission, with full investigatory and fact-finding authority, to conduct an emergency 10-day audit of the election returns in the disputed states. Once completed, individual states would evaluate the Commission’s findings and could convene a special legislative session to certify a change in their vote, if needed," the senators said in a joint statement. “Accordingly, we intend to vote on Jan. 6 to reject the electors from disputed states as not ‘regularly given’ and ‘lawfully certified’ (the statutory requisite), unless and until that emergency 10-day audit is completed."
Their plan is not going to succeed in preventing Biden from taking office, as majorities in both the House and the Senate would need to support a challenge against a state’s electoral votes. For an objection to be made, at least one member of both the House and Senate would need to submit it in writing. Then, the House and Senate separately convene to consider the issue. Debate is limited to two hours for each objection. After debate concludes, the House and Senate vote to uphold the objection and throw out the state’s votes. If the majority of the House AND the majority of the Senate does not uphold the objection, the state’s electoral votes are counted as cast.
Vice President Mike Pence’s role is simply to preside over the joint session, opening and presenting the certifications from each state. In his absence, the Senate pro-tempore Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) will lead the session. At the end of the process, the presiding officer announces who has won the majority of votes for president and vice president.
The most immediate danger from Trump and Cruz’s doomed election gambit is rightwing terrorism and general violence: Trump, in particular, is inciting his supporters to swarm D.C. on Jan. 6. “JANUARY SIXTH, SEE YOU IN DC!” Trump tweeted last week. Four rightwing rallies are scheduled, including one headlined by George Papadopoulos and Roger Stone. The Proud Boys and other extremists are planning to attend the rallies and may set up an “armed encampment” on the National Mall, according to the Washington Post. On social media platform Parler, the leader of the Proud Boys said that members will be there “incognito” and may “dress in all black” to impersonate leftwing protestors.
Enrique Tarrio: "The ProudBoys will turn out in record numbers on Jan 6th but this time with a twist...We will not be wearing our traditional Black and Yellow. We will be incognito and we will spread across downtown DC in smaller teams."
Rep. Louie Gohmert has more explicitly tried to incite violence, saying the failure of his legal challenge to the election means “you gotta go the streets and be as violent as Antifa and BLM.” (clip)
At the same time, pro-Trump lawyer Lin Wood suggested that Pence could “face execution by firing squad” for “treason” if he doesn’t go along with the attempt to subvert the election.
Obstructing the transition
Biden’s transition director has accused the Office of Management and Budget of stonewalling the incoming administration’s team. OMB Director Russ Vought is not allowing key staff to meet with the transition team to help prepare the president-elect’s first annual spending plan, a move that could delay major proposals. Vought pushed back on the charges, saying that his agency needs to focus on finalizing the Trump administration’s regulations before the president leaves office.
“OMB leadership’s refusal to fully cooperate impairs our ability to identify opportunities to maximize the relief going out to Americans during the pandemic, and it leaves us in the dark as it relates to Covid-related expenditures and critical gaps,” [Biden transition Exec. Dir. Yohannes] Abraham said.
Earlier last week, Biden himself said Trump officials are not cooperating with his team, singling out the Defense Department for obstructing information on crucial national security issues. “Right now, we just aren’t getting all the information that we need from the outgoing administration in key national security areas. It’s nothing short, in my view, of irresponsibility,” Biden said. The Defense Dept. finally scheduled meetings with the incoming team this week, after not briefing the transition for weeks.
The timing of the resumption in meetings is notable because it comes after the one year anniversary of the U.S. assassination of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani on Jan. 3. NATO officials are reportedly worried about the lack of coordination from the Trump administration: "We need the incoming Biden administration to be fully briefed and ready to deal with these very dangerous issues facing NATO's security."
Sabotaging the Biden Administration
U.S. Agency for Global Media CEO Michael Pack is taking steps to keep control of Radio Free Europe and Radio Free Asia during the Biden administration. As chairman of the boards of Radio Free Europe and Asia, Pack and his fellow members have added binding contractual agreements that will make it impossible to remove him or other pro-Trump allies from the board in the next two years.
In other words, although President-elect Joe Biden has already signaled he intends to replace Pack as CEO of the parent agency soon after taking office in January, Pack would maintain a significant degree of control over the networks.
The State Department is likely to designate Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism “as an 11th hour effort to create hurdles for the incoming Biden administration.” The label, which requires the approval of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, would undo a major accomplishment of the Obama administration. To take Cuba back off the list, the Biden team would need to conduct a formal review, a process that might take several months.
Such a designation would impose restrictions on US foreign assistance, a ban on defense exports and sales, certain controls over exports and various financial restrictions. It would also result in penalization against any persons and countries engaging in certain trade activities with Cuba.
The Trump administration has been rushing to finalize a myriad of rules before Biden’s inauguration. Since Election Day, the Trump administration has issued about three to four times as many new regulations as it did during other periods of Trump’s presidency. Rules that haven’t been finalized or taken effect can be suspended by an incoming president, which Biden has said he intends to do. By contrast, rules that are finalized can take months, or even years, to undo.
“As a general rule, it takes at least as much process to undo or modify a rule as it does to put the rule in place,” said Jonathan H. Adler, a professor and an administrative law expert at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. “The Trump administration is magnifying that challenge for the Biden administration.”
Trump loyalists are urging the president to stymie Biden’s efforts to rejoin the Paris climate agreement and the Iran nuclear deal. Sens. Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham are working to get the agreements submitted to the Senate for ratification, requiring a two-thirds vote, with the goal of failure. While such an outcome wouldn’t prevent Biden from rejoining the accords, Cruz and Graham hope it would make their resurrection more problematic.
A vote against them would signal GOP opposition to the world and, they hope, undermine any unilateral action by Biden to rejoin the agreements. One senior congressional aide told RCP that sending them to die in the Senate “would be the final nail in the coffin.”
Further reading: “Biden To Be Saddled With Trump’s Payroll Tax Deferral Mess,” Forbes. Further reading: Biden will inherit a backlog of tens of thousands of visa requests from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — and a bureaucratic tangle that refugee advocates say President Trump ignored or made worse.
Trump money and properties
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance is employing forensic accounting specialists to examine Trump’s finances and business operations. Vance is looking “for anomalies among a variety of property deals” and trying to determine “whether the president’s company manipulated the value of certain assets to obtain favorable interest rates and tax breaks”.
The analysts hired by Vance probably have already reviewed various bank and mortgage records obtained from Trump’s company as part of the ongoing grand jury investigation, and they could be called on to testify about their findings should the district attorney eventually bring criminal charges
In yet another shady business deal connected to Trump, the United States sold the ambassador’s residence in Israel for more than $67 million. The person who bought the residence is none other than Trump mega-donor Sheldon Adelson. The property only became available due to Trump's controversial decision to relocate the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to contested Jerusalem. Furthermore, State Dept. representatives reportedly lied to Congress about the sale, perhaps to hide that Adelson purposefully overbid.
For now, there is no alternative residence for the ambassador, David Friedman, Trump’s former lawyer, who currently uses a suite at Jerusalem’s King David Hotel or rooms at the former Jerusalem Consulate General when he spends nights in Jerusalem… As a result, the United States appears likely to end up leasing the residence it has owned since 1964 from the GOP-affiliated casino mogul. “It is very strange that we are now paying Sheldon Adelson,” a congressional aide told The Daily Beast. “It is not above board. We have a number of questions. Did they get two independent appraisals? Was it a sweetheart deal? Was Adelson the highest donor? Was there a reason to sell it now?”
Trump’s businesses have taken in $10.5 million of donor money over the course of his presidency. $8.5 million came from the Trump campaign and related entities that Trump controls directly; $2 million came from other Republican candidates and committees. The biggest beneficiary was Trump’s NYC hotel, taking in $3,039,979 over the four years of his presidency, with $891,003 of that in just the final four months of the campaign. Trump’s DC hotel is ramping up room prices and requiring a two-night minimum stay for two key events this month, as the president tries to squeeze more profit out of his office. On Jan. 6, when Congress is set to formally count the votes cast by the Electoral College, room rates are listed at over eight times the price of surrounding dates. Trump is encouraging his supporters to attend a protest of Biden’s win on the 6th. A room during the inauguration costs five times the normal rate, at $2,225 per night. Trump’s Turnberry Resort in Scotland posted a £2.3 million ($3.1 million) loss in 2019, marking the sixth year in a row it has failed to turn a profit under his ownership. Since Trump took over the historic property in 2014, its losses now total nearly £45 million ($61.5 million).
The fact Turnberry remains in the red comes in spite of significant tranches of payments it has received from the US government during Mr Trump’s single term in office… the US Secret Service spent nearly £25,000 to accommodate its agents at the resort during business trips by Mr Trump’s son, Eric, an executive vice-president of the family firm. Since Mr Trump’s election, the property has received close to £300,000 from the Secret Service, US State Department, and US Defence Department
A Florida state lawmaker is calling for Mar-a-Lago to be penalized - and possibly shut down - for flouting coronavirus restrictions during a New Years Eve party. While Trump and the first lady did not attend, son Don Jr., attorney Rudy Giuliani, Rep. Matt Gaetz, and Fox News personality Jeanine Piro were captured on video among the maskless crowd. Guests paid as much as $1,000 for access to the ballroom to be entertained by Vanilla Ice.
State Rep. Omari Hardy: “My constituents are not snowbirds like @DonaldJTrumpJr & @kimguilfoyle. My constituents live here. This is their home, and they're going to have to deal w/ the consequences of a potential super-spreader party at Mar-a-Lago long after Junior & wife leave here on their private jet.”
Are you ready for a Donald J. Trump Airport? According to the Daily Beast, Trump has been asking aides about the process of naming airports after former U.S. presidents. Further reading: “Jared Kushner’s family real estate business wants to raise at least $100 million in capital through Israel’s bond market… Kushner has helped spearhead a series of moves that have been applauded by the conservative pro-Israel community, including moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv and recognizing Israeli sovereignty in disputed areas such as the Golan Heights. Kushner also has close ties to Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.”
The Census Bureau missed it’s end-of-year deadline to produce numbers that determine representation in Congress and the Electoral College for the next decade. The agency is working toward Jan. 9 as an internal target date for completing the current stage of processing records. "If we miss Jan. 9, it's hard to envision that we would get apportionment done before inauguration," a Census employee told NPR.
The final timing of the 2020 census results' release could undermine President Trump's efforts to make an unprecedented change to who is counted in key census numbers before leaving office… If the first census results are not ready until after Trump's term ends on Jan. 20, it would be President-elect Joe Biden, not Trump, who would get control of the numbers, which are ultimately handed off to Congress for certification.
Any other urban planners/policy folks play this game? I’m an urban planning student who has spent too many quarantine hours playing SDV and at the risk of deeply questioning how I spend my time, I’ve been thinking about it from a planning perspective. Please tell me someone else has thought about this. Pelican Town (pop. ~35) is a small, rural town within a few hours of the nearest big metropolitan area. The town appears to have had an industrial past, with all the decayed mining infrastructure. Like many rural towns that were once anchored by industry, Pelican Town has struggled to rebuild its post-industrial economy and identity. The Mayor’s strategy is to look towards tourism, culture, and recreation for the town’s future. He holds an abundance of traditional festivals to preserve the town’s cultural identity and market its quaint, rural character to visitors from neighboring areas. He hopes the farmer’s high-quality local produce and artisan products will contribute to Pelican Town’s renewal. He also thinks the arts could drive the town's revitalization (Leah's art show). The town also has an abundance of natural assets, although I'd worry about point source pollution from the sewer pipe and the quarry is totally a brownfield site. Encouraging tourism is a sound strategy in Pelican Town, but it’s not a panacea - it won’t necessarily increase the tax base to help the town’s financial problems, and the jobs created will mostly be in the service sector. The neighboring town, Calico Desert, is another post-mining economy that is looking to tourism and has opened a casino. Economy: [EDIT: I did not do the math here. The unemployment rate is higher. Still not sure if the wizard has a job.] The unemployment rate is only about 3% (this is arguable. does the Wizard have a job?), indicating that the economy is basically at capacity. The jobs are not well-paying, though (the town was chosen for a discount Jojamart, like many rural towns attract dollar stores). Without good jobs for young people and lacking educational opportunities, the town is at risk of losing the younger population to other towns/the city. There’s potential for more small businesses if tourism increases, or for more remote work (though it doesn’t seem like Pelican Town has good internet infrastructure and computer ownership is low.) Transit: The town also suffers from a lack of transportation. Vehicle ownership is low (just the Mayor and Sebastian’s motorcycle, I think), the town is looking for private investment to restart bus service (should really form a regional transit authority with Calico Desert and get government funding), and though the train with the platform hints that there may have once been commuter rail, it’s currently only used for freight. Population: Pelican Town’s population, as it stands, will decline. There are only 2 children (Vincent and Jas) but close to 20 residents who are 40+. There are 12 residents in the 20-40 age group (the bacheloettes), who need to stay in Pelican Town and start families to reverse the decline. As in many rural areas, substance abuse is a problem in Pelican Town. There are a few alcoholics and I’m not gonna get on Sebastian’s case for smoking a little weed and who knows what’s in Pierre’s stash, but there’s clearly little else to do in town besides hang out at the Saloon. Housing: If young people choose to marry and stay in Pelican Town, where will they live? The vacancy rate is 0 and most bacheloettes live with their families. New housing will need to be built to retain them, but most probably cannot afford to build a house. The town will also need to carefully choose areas for development to maintain the natural assets that draw tourists. The town seems to use a form-based code in the town center (two-story mixed-use buildings). Solutions: The town is relying on the goodwill and prosperity of a private citizen (the farmer) to revitalize the Community Center, build houses, etc. - Mayor Lewis should rely less on one-time private investments and focus on more reliable funding sources and economic growth that will increase the tax base. The town is facing a housing crisis and should consider mixed-use development/apartments in the Community Center neighborhood to prevent sprawl. The town needs to invest in transportation and communication infrastructure to improve access to jobs and education. The vacant land near the train station is a great spot for a TOD and some denser development if the Valley could start commuter rail service, but I bet Robin & Demetrius would be NIMBYs who don’t want development near their mountain home. TL;DR: Mayor Lewis is making you do the flower dance to stimulate the economy.
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