Atlantic City Casino Last Minute Deals

Trump's Personal Wealth - A conspiracy dating back to 1976.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/trump-lied-to-me-about-his-wealth-to-get-onto-the-forbes-400-here-are-the-tapes/2018/04/20/ac762b08-4287-11e8-8569-26fda6b404c7_story.html?utm_term=.4e5c8e06303b
In May 1984, an official from the Trump Organization called to tell me how rich Donald J. Trump was. I was reporting for the Forbes 400, the magazine’s annual ranking of America’s richest people, for the third year. In the previous edition, we’d valued Trump’s holdings at $200 million, only one-fifth of what he claimed to own in our interviews. This time, his aide urged me on the phone, I needed to understand just how loaded Trump really was.
The official was John Barron — a name we now know as an alter ego of Trump himself. When I recently rediscovered and listened, for first time since that year, to the tapes I made of this and other phone calls, I was amazed that I didn’t see through the ruse: Although Trump altered some cadences and affected a slightly stronger New York accent, it was clearly him. “Barron” told me that Trump had taken possession of the business he ran with his father, Fred. “Most of the assets have been consolidated to Mr. Trump,” he said. “You have down Fred Trump [as half owner] . . . but I think you can really use Donald Trump now.” Trump, through this sockpuppet, was telling me he owned “in excess of 90 percent” of his family’s business. With all the home runs Trump was hitting in real estate, Barron told me, he should be called a billionaire.
At the time, I suspected that some of this was untrue. I ran Trump’s assertions to the ground, and for many years I was proud of the fact that Forbes had called him on his distortions and based his net worth on what I thought was solid research.
But it took decades to unwind the elaborate farce Trump had built to project an image as one of the richest people in America. Nearly every assertion supporting that claim was untrue. Trump wasn’t just poorer than he said he was. Over time I have learned that he should not have been on the first three Forbes 400 lists at all. In our first-ever list, in 1982, we included him at $100 million, but Trump was actually worth roughly $5 million — a paltry sum by the standards of his super-monied peers — as a spate of government reports and books showed only much later.
The White House declined to comment for this story. The Trump Organization did not respond to a request for comment.
I was a determined 25-year-old reporter, and I thought that, by reeling Trump back from some of his more outrageous claims, I’d done a public service and exposed the truth. But his confident deceptions were so big that they had an unexpected effect: Instead of believing that they were outright fabrications, my Forbes colleagues and I saw them simply as vain embellishments on the truth. We were so wrong.
This was a model Trump would use for the rest of his career, telling a lie so cosmic that people believed that some kernel of it had to be real. The tactic landed him a place on the Forbes list he hadn’t earned — and led to future accolades, press coverage and deals. It eventually paved a path toward the presidency.

Malcolm Forbes came up with the idea of the Forbes 400 in 1981 and assigned me to spend a year traveling around the country and interviewing wealthy people and those who worked with them about one another. The most challenging sector was private real estate wealth. My grandfather had been an accountant to a number of major New York developers, so I had the advantage of knowing many of the players there. But the reporting was opaque, because so few of the relevant financial documents were public; we relied disproportionately on what people told us. As the project progressed, other experienced reporters and editors joined what would become the most successful annual special issue in Forbes history.
From the beginning, Trump was obsessed. The project could offer a clear, supposedly authoritative declaration of his status as a player, and while many of the super-rich wanted to keep their names off the ranking, Trump was desperate to scale it.
When I first contacted him for the inaugural issue, Trump pulled out all the stops to convince me that he was the wealthiest real estate developer in New York. At an afternoon-long meeting in his cavernous Fifth Avenue office, he argued that his family was worth more than $900 million and deserved to be higher on our list than any of the far more accomplished developers (with names like Rose and Rudin) who had spent generations building top-tier housing in the golden borough of Manhattan. His father, Fred Trump, was well known for building nearly all the apartments that the Trump Organization owned before Donald even joined the company, so it amazed me when Donald claimed that he, and not his father, possessed 80 percent of the 23,000 apartments he said they had in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. He added that these were almost debt free and worth $40,000 each.
I questioned his valuation. Trump shrugged and said, “Okay, then $20,000 each.” That would mean his family was worth some $500 million, still atop our list for New York real estate tycoons.
But that figure seemed high. I estimated the apartments to be worth about $9,000 each: They could not easily be converted to lucrative co-ops, and Trump had falsely described the location of the Queens buildings. He’d claimed they were in Forest Hills when, in fact, they were in the far less valuable Jamaica Estates neighborhood a few miles away. Since Donald’s new projects were still in development or unproven, the outer-borough apartments formed the basis of a Trump family net worth estimate of $200 million.
Six weeks after my initial interview, I received a call at my desk from Trump’s secretary and gatekeeper, Norma Foerderer . She said she wanted my work address so Trump could send me an invitation to a company party. Then she abruptly added: “Oh, Donald was just passing by! He said that he wanted to have a few words with you.”
I switched on my audio recorder — my normal practice — as Trump expressed his concern for what he called “your little article.” He invited me for a follow-up interview with him because, he said, because he was richer than the rest. “I don’t think that you have your facts 100 percent correct” about his standing vis-a-vis other New York developers. I was contemplating a too-low appraisal of his net worth, he said. “You had us down in a certain category, and then you mentioned other names, and there’s no contest, you know. I mean, there’s no contest. So I just wanted to mention that.”
Trump knew I had doubts about his assertions, so he had his lawyer, Roy Cohn, call me. Cohn spent most of his time threatening lawsuits, schmoozing with mobster clients and badgering reporters with off-the-record utterances that made his clients look good and their enemies look bad. Cohn surprised me at my Forbes desk that summer: “Jon Greenberg,” a scrappy voice bellowed, before I could connect my tape recorder. I took notes by hand. “This is Roy. Roy Cohn! You can’t quote me! But Donny tells me you’re putting together this list of rich people. He says you’ve got him down for just $200 million! That’s way too low, way too low! Listen, I’m Donny’s personal lawyer, but he said I could talk to you about this. I am sitting here looking at his current bank statement. It shows he’s got more than $500 million in liquid assets, just cash. That’s just Donald, nothing to do with Fred, and it’s just cash.” He concluded: “He’s worth more than any of those other guys in this town!”
I offered to have a messenger pick up the bank statement at his office. Cohn protested that the document was confidential. “Just trust me,” he said. I told him I wouldn’t take his word without seeing the paperwork. “It’s confidential!” Cohn yelled.
My Forbes editors and I spent many hours deliberating about where to place Trump. Based on what little we knew — his claims; a 1976 New York Times profile that said the Trump Organization owned 22,000 apartments; and Fred’s reputation for housing a generation of working-class New Yorkers in Brooklyn and Queens — we ranked Donald and Fred in the bottom tier among major real-estate developers, each with half of a $200 million apartment empire.
Even though I learned later that this was far more money than Donald possessed, it did not satisfy him for the following year’s edition. During his 1983 interview, Trump claimed that there were actually 25,000 apartments and that his net worth had ballooned because of the success of his new projects, Trump Tower and the Grand Hyatt Hotel on East 42nd Street, as well as a pending casino deal in Atlantic City.
Then Cohn called again, this time to say Trump was worth more than $700 million. I recorded our chat. He opened with an outrageous claim that Trump had personally received $250 million from the recent sale of a 50 percent interest in his new project to build a Harrah’s casino in Atlantic City. “A certain amount was cleared, say, around a hundred million,” Cohn said. “. . . But the balance was used by him to liquidate certain other things, which made his overall position very impregnable. Trump Tower has been going like a house afire, and the profits on that are much higher than had been anticipated, and the same is true with Grand Hyatt. On top of which he’s been in a series of private transactions, and he files with banks for between $700 to $750 million, as well as with Equitable” — Equitable Life Assurance, the company that financed Trump Tower — “which backs him in all of his deals.”
Again, Cohn refused to show me a statement, but armed with misinformation about Trump’s casino payout and claims about cash flow at other properties, I inflated his (and his father’s) net worth to $200 million each. In retrospect, Fred Trump was probably worth half that amount, and Donald, once again, should not have been on the list at all.
The next year I received two calls from “John Barron,” the fictitious Trump executive who told me that Donald had taken “in excess of 90 percent” ownership from Fred. He also suggested that Trump was on track to earn a $50 million profit every year from his first Atlantic City casino. And so, in 1984, we increased Donald’s net worth estimate to $400 million and left Fred in, for his last year on the Forbes 400, at $200 million. (Barron also bad-mouthed the competition, saying that developer George Klein had struck a “bad deal” to redevelop Times Square — a bid Trump had lost — and was “going to go down the tubes.”)
Although Trump, posing as Barron, asked Forbes to conduct the conversation off the record, I am publishing it here. I believe an intent to deceive — both with the made-up persona and the content of the call — released me from my good-faith pledge. In a 1990 court case, Trump testified that he had used false names in phone calls to reporters. In 2016, when The Washington Post published a similar recording, Trump denied it was him.
Fred Trump turned down my attempts to interview him for the Forbes 400. He allowed Donald to say whatever he wanted about the family’s business. In the only major interview he gave after Donald seized the limelight, Fred told the New York Times in 1983 that “Donald has a competitive spirit and I don’t want to compete with him. . . . He amazes me. He’s gone way beyond me, absolutely.”

Eventually, nearly every one of Trump’s pronouncements about his wealth unraveled.
The number of apartments was the first problem. The commonly cited figure — that his family owned 25,000 units — began with the mention of 22,000 apartments in that fawning 1976 New York Times profile. In 1988, after I left Forbes, I counted the units and found fewer than 8,000. (I was working briefly on a documentary about Trump that was never completed.) Another Forbes reporter that year, John Anderson, found the same thing. He called the Trump residential management organization, he told me then, and asked an executive named Harry Green how many apartments the company owned. “About 10,000,” Green told him, meaning that our 1982 family valuation of $200 million should have been just $90 million (below the cutoff at that time for inclusion on the list). A few minutes later, Green called Anderson back and corrected himself: Now there were 25,000 again.
Another brazen claim was that Trump, not his father, owned the company’s outer-borough apartments, which his father built beginning in the 1930s. Based on what Trump said during our 1982 and 1983 interviews, I’d assumed that Donald and Fred each owned half, resisting the son’s insistence that he had purchased 80 percent of the units or consolidated the holdings himself. Still, this comment went into the Forbes 400 records, and in 1985, after I left the project, Trump was estimated to be worth $600 million, and his father was off the list.
It would be decades before I learned that Forbes had been conned: In the early 1980s, Trump had zero equity in his father’s company. According to Fred’s will (portions of which appeared in a lawsuit), the father retained legal ownership of his residential empire until his death in 1999, at which point he left it to be divided between his four surviving children and some of his grandchildren. That explains why, after Trump went bankrupt in the early 1990s, he borrowed $30 million from his siblings, secured by an estimated $35 million share of his future inheritance, according to three sources in Tim O’Brien’s 2005 biography, “TrumpNation.” He could have used his own assets as collateral if he’d had any worth that amount, but he didn’t.
The most revelatory document describing Trump’s true net worth in the early ’80s was a 1981 report from the New Jersey Casino Control Commission. O’Brien obtained a copy for his book. Trump had applied for an Atlantic City casino license, and regulators were able to review his tax returns and personal and corporate debt, giving them the most accurate picture of his finances. They found that he had an income of about $100,000 a year, while his 1979 tax returns showed a $3.4 million taxable loss. Trump’s personal assets consisted of a $1 million trust fund that Fred Trump provided to each of his children and grandchildren, a few checking accounts with about $400,000 in them and a 1977 Mercedes 450SL. Nowhere did the report list an ownership stake in the Trump Organization’s residential apartments. Trump also possessed a few parcels of valuable but highly leveraged real estate, financed with $22.5 million in debt, all of it secured by his father’s assets. He did not own a safe deposit box or stocks in publicly traded companies. In sum, Trump was worth less than $5 million, not the $100 million that I reported in the first Forbes 400.
During our first interview in 1982, Trump informed me that he had bought the Barbizon Plaza Hotel and the adjoining 110 Central Park West for just $13 million, a steal. While I was in Trump’s office, a broker supposedly called to offer him $100 million for the property. Trump refused the offer while looking me in the eye; he pointed out that his net worth should include an equity boost of $87 million profit. I believed then that he used a staffer to stage the call, and I resisted the fictitious valuation. But the $13 million price tag for a valuable parcel was recorded in Forbes 400 files, and it soon showed up in other publications, such as New York magazine . It remains on Wikipedia today. Yet tucked away on Page 63 of the Casino Commission report was a section describing Trump’s purchase of the property for $65 million, facilitated by a $50 million loan to Trump by Chase Manhattan Bank. As with many of his buildings, Trump’s debt was far higher, and his true equity far lower, than he claimed.
Roy Cohn had told me that Trump received $250 million from Holiday Inn for its half-interest in the Atlantic City casino. But according to O’Brien, Trump’s actual income from the deal was a construction and management fee (not profit) of about $24 million, while Holiday Inn financed the construction of the $220 million casino.
Later attempts by Trump to paint himself as fantastically wealthy were also duplicitous. In 1989, Trump sent Forbes journalist Harry Seneker a statement of his $3.7 billion net worth. I have obtained the letter. It indicated $900 million in liquid assets. “I am more liquid than any major developer in the United States,” Trump wrote, inducing the magazine to increase Trump’s listing from $1 billion in 1988 to $1.7 billion in 1989.
But according to the New Jersey Casino Commission, which issued another report in 1991, by the end of 1990 Trump’s entire cash position — in both his business and personal accounts — was just $19 million. The amount was insufficient to pay the debt on his over-leveraged casino and real estate holdings while still covering his personal expenses of $1 million per month. His net worth, the commission estimated, was $205 million — less than 6 percent of what he’d told Forbes. In 1990, the magazine dropped Trump from the list and kept him off it for five years.
Forbes declined to comment for this article, but its top editor, Randall Lane, interviewed then-candidate Trump for the Forbes 400 in 2015 and wrote about the magazine’s long struggle to accurately assess his net worth in an article titled “Inside The Epic Fantasy That’s Driven Donald Trump For 33 Years .” Of the 1,538 tycoons who had been on the “Rich List” through the years, Lane wrote, “not one has been more fixated with his or her net worth estimate on a year-in, year-out basis than Donald J. Trump.”

I was a leading New York real estate reporter through the 1980s. I left the Forbes staff in 1983 but continued to freelance for the magazine while writing major investigative features as a contributing editor for the new Manhattan, Inc. magazine, as well as New York, Avenue and New York City Business. I knew all the key players. I thought I had a handle on this material.
But Trump was so competent in conning me that, until 35 years later, I did not know I had been conned. Instead, I have gone through my career in national media with a misinformed sense of satisfaction that, as a perceptive young journalist, I called Trump on his lies and gave Forbes readers who used the Rich List as a barometer of private wealth a more accurate picture of his finances than the one he was selling.
The joke was on me — and everyone else. Trump’s fabrications provided the basis for a vastly inflated wealth assessment for the Forbes 400 that would give him cachet for decades as a triumphant businessman.
In truth, almost nobody had a clear picture of Trump’s books. In 1990, Trump brought in Steve Bollenbach as a new chief financial officer to respond to lender concerns about his crippling debt. “When Bollenbach began delving into the organization’s finances, he got a surprise,” The Washington Post’s Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher write in “Trump Revealed,” their comprehensive 2016 biography. “The small staff on the twenty-sixth floor of Trump Tower included three accountants. Each knew about pieces of the fraying empire — the casinos, for instance, or the condos. But no one knew the overall picture; there were no consolidated financial reports.”
In the absence of a functioning balance sheet, the list didn’t just make Trump feel like a winner, according to O’Brien; it may have provided some of the documentation he needed to borrow reckless sums of money — vast loans that he used, for years, to actually make him a winner. “The more often Forbes mentioned him, the more credible Donald’s claim to vast wealth became,” O’Brien said, arguing that Trump and the list were “mutually reinforcing”: “The more credible his claim to vast wealth became, the easier it was for him to get on the Forbes 400 — which became the standard that other media, and apparently some of the country’s biggest banks, used when judging Donald’s riches.”
Trump returned to the Rich List in 1996 with a reported net worth of $450 million and an editor’s note that he claimed to be worth $2 billion. He never fell off it again. In his book, O’Brien criticized Forbes for rewarding Trump’s fabrications, citing interviews with “three people with direct knowledge of Donald’s finances” who estimated his true net worth after debts to be “somewhere between $150 million and $250 million.” Trump, who had told O’Brien he was worth $6 billion, sued for libel — and lost. When he lost his appeal in 2011, a New Jersey appellate judge wrote, “The largest portion of Mr. Trump’s fortune, according to three people who had had direct knowledge of his holdings, apparently comes from his lucrative inheritance. These people estimated that Mr. Trump’s wealth, presuming that it is not encumbered by heavy debt, may amount to about $200 million to $300 million. That is an enviably large sum of money by most people’s standards but far short of the billionaires club.”
The opacity persists. In 2016, Trump’s presidential campaign put out a statement saying the candidate had a net worth “in excess of TEN BILLION DOLLARS.” But he has never released his tax returns, and he has said that the core Trump Organization asset is the ownership of his brand — an ineffable marketing claim that is impossible to substantiate or refute.
submitted by ShellOilNigeria to conspiracy [link] [comments]

Flashback: An interview has resurfaced on YouTube where a 44-year-old Donald Trump goes after CNN, then walks out of the interview.

YouTube video here.
A 1990 interview has resurfaced on YouTube, showing then-businessman Donald Trump doing an interview with CNN’s Charles Feldman, where’s he’s pressed over some of his casino dealings in Atlantic City.
Trump was facing questions about the future of the Taj Mahal casino, as analysts at the time were predicting it wouldn’t be able to survive.
“Most analysts believe it’s going to be very successful, there are always going to be analysts who say, ‘well, maybe not, who knows?'” Trump said. “I think it’s going to be so beautiful a building, and it turned out to be so beautiful a building, that everybody is going to come. The world is coming to see the Taj Mahal.”
“What was inaccurate so far?” Feldman asked Trump about the quality of the reporting on his Atlantic City ventures.
“I thought your demeanor was inaccurate … I think the questions themselves were put in such a way that made them statements,” Trump responded. “And they became statements as opposed to questions.”
Feldman then went on to discuss what other analysts and reporters have said about the real estate mogul, qualifying with “this is them saying it, not me.”
“This is them? What do you mean by them,” Trump interjected.
Trump then became frustrated with the line of questioning before taking off his mic and saying:
“Do the interview with somebody else. Really. You don’t need this. Do it with somebody else. Have a good time. Frankly, you’re a very negative guy, and I think it’s very unfair reporting. Good luck.”
He then walked out of the room.
In July 1991, the Trump Taj Mahal entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy but emerged from it later in October.
submitted by lacorte to lacortenews [link] [comments]

What's the deal with Trumps casino record in Atlantic City?

Supporter from the beginning, just looking for some facts and sources.
I was reading an article in USA Today about his troubles in AC and I was just curious what really happened?
Violations, illegal loans, and employee bias? Come on guys, what's the real story here and what is the media being cucks about?
submitted by ShootUpPot to AskTrumpSupporters [link] [comments]

@politico: 5/7 At Trump's Atlantic City casinos, he played a limited role in deal-making, often leaving it to his deputies without much oversight https://t.co/uvgT0Edal3

@politico: 5/7 At Trump's Atlantic City casinos, he played a limited role in deal-making, often leaving it to his deputies without much oversight https://t.co/uvgT0Edal3 submitted by -en- to newsbotbot [link] [comments]

As America Comes Apart, Robert Mueller’s Closing In on Donald Trump: A special prosecutor’s mission is to find something. That’s how an Arkansas land deal led to a blue dress led to perjury. Now it’s happening to an old Atlantic City casino magnate.

As America Comes Apart, Robert Mueller’s Closing In on Donald Trump: A special prosecutor’s mission is to find something. That’s how an Arkansas land deal led to a blue dress led to perjury. Now it’s happening to an old Atlantic City casino magnate. submitted by therecordcorrected to Impeach_Trump [link] [comments]

As America Comes Apart, Robert Mueller’s Closing In on Donald Trump: A special prosecutor’s mission is to find something. That’s how an Arkansas land deal led to a blue dress led to perjury. Now it’s happening to an old Atlantic City casino magnate.

As America Comes Apart, Robert Mueller’s Closing In on Donald Trump: A special prosecutor’s mission is to find something. That’s how an Arkansas land deal led to a blue dress led to perjury. Now it’s happening to an old Atlantic City casino magnate. submitted by therecordcorrected to EnoughTrumpSpam [link] [comments]

Trumps Russian Ties

Trump has been in Russia's pocket a long time here is more reading for those interested in the history.
Trump was over a billion in debt and the Russians bailed him out.
► Trump was first compromised by the Russians in the 80s. In 1984, the Russian Mafia began to use Trump real estate to launder money. In 1987, the Soviet ambassador to the United Nations, Yuri Dubinin, arranged for Trump and his then-wife, Ivana, to enjoy an all-expense-paid trip to Moscow to consider possible business prospects. Only seven weeks after his trip, Trump ran full-page ads in the Boston Globe, the NYT and WaPO calling for, in effect, the dismantling of the postwar Western foreign policy alliance. The whole Trump/Russian connection started out as laundering money for the Russian mob through Trump's real estate, but evolved into something far bigger.
► In 1984, David Bogatin — a convicted Russian mobster and close ally of Semion Mogilevich, a major Russian mob boss — met with Trump in Trump Tower right after it opened. Bogatin bought five condos from Trump at that meeting. Those condos were later seized by the government, which claimed they were used to launder money for the Russian mob. (NY Times, Apr 30, 1992)
► [Felix Sater](https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felix_Sater } is a Russian-born former mobster, and former managing director of NY real estate conglomerate Bayrock Group LLC located on the 24th floor of Trump Tower. He is a convict who became a govt cooperator for the FBI and other agencies. He grew up with Michael Cohen--Trump's former "fixer" attorney. Cohen's family owned El Caribe, which was a mob hangout for the Russian Mafia in Brooklyn. Cohen had ties to Ukrainian oligarchs through his in-laws and his brother's in-laws. Felix Sater's father had ties to the Russian mob. This goes back more than 30 years.
► Trump was $4 billion in debt after his Atlantic City casinos went bankrupt. No U.S. bank would touch him. Then foreign money began flowing in through Bayrock (mentioned above). Bayrock was run by two investors: Tevfik Arif, a Kazakhstan-born former Soviet official who drew on bottomless sources of money from the former Soviet republic; and Felix Sater, a Russian-born businessman who had pleaded guilty in the 1990s to a huge stock-fraud scheme involving the Russian mafia. Bayrock partnered with Trump in 2005 and poured money into the Trump organization under the legal guise of licensing his name and property management.
► In July 2008, the height of the housing bust, Trump sold a mansion in Palm Beach for $95 million to Dmitry Rybolovlev, a Russian oligarch. Trump had purchased it four years earlier for $41.35 million. The sale price was nearly $54 million more than Trump had paid for the property. Again, this was the height of the recession when all other property had plummeted in value.
► Semion Mogilevich was the brains behind the Russian Mafia. Mogilevich operatives have been using Trump real estate for decades to launder money. That means Russian Mafia operatives have been part of his fortune for years. Many of them owned condos in Trump Towers and other properties. They were running operations out of Trump's crown jewel.
► So many Russians bought Trump apartments at his developments in Florida that the area became known as Little Moscow. The developers of two of his hotels were Russians with significant links to the Russian mob. The late leader of that mob in the United States, Vyacheslav Kirillovich Ivankov, was living at Trump Tower
► According to a Bloomberg investigation (3/16/2017) into Trump World Tower, “a third of units sold on floors 76 through 83 by 2004 involved people or limited liability companies connected to Russia and neighboring states.”
► In 2013, Federal agents busted an “ultraexclusive, high-stakes, illegal poker ring” run by Russian gangsters out of Trump Tower. They operated card games, illegal gambling websites, and a global sports book and laundered more than $100 million. A condo directly below one owned by Trump reportedly served as HQ for a “sophisticated money-laundering scheme” connected to Semion Mogilevich.
► The Russia Mafia is part and parcel of Russian intelligence. Russia is a mafia state. That is not a metaphor. Putin is head of the Mafia. So the fact that they have been operating out of the home of the president of the United States is deeply disturbing.
► Rudy Giuliani famously prosecuted the Italian mob while he was a federal prosecutor, yet the Russian mob was allowed to thrive. Now he's deeply entwined in the business of Trump and Russian oligarchs. Giuiani appointed Semyon Kislin to the NYC Economic Development Council in 1990, and the FBI described Kislin as having ties to the Russian mob. Of course, it made good political sense for Giuliani to get headlines for smashing the Italian mob.
► A lot of Republicans in Washington are implicated. Boatloads of Russian money went to the GOP--often in legal ways. The NRA got as much as $70M from Russia, then funneled it to the GOP. The Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee lead by McConnell got millions from Leonard Blavatnik. In the 90s, the Russians began sending money to top GOP leaders, like Speaker of the House Tom Delay. Craig Unger's book alleges that most of the GOP leadership has been compromised by RU money.
► At the Cityscape USA’s Bridging US and the Emerging Real Estate Markets Conference held in Manhattan, on September 9, 10, and 11, 2008, Donald Trump Jr. was frank about the tide of Russian money supporting the family business, saying "...And in terms of high-end product influx into the US, Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets."
► Eric Trump told golf reporter James Dodson in 2014 that the Trump Organization was able to expand during the financial crisis because “We don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.”
► It's believed that Russian oligarchs co-signed Trump’s Deutsche bank loans.
Alex Navalny has insinuated Paul Manafort passed along Trump's campaign information to the Kremlin via Kilimnik. In a 25-minute Youtube video (Russian with subtitles), Navalny shows footage of Deripaska with Russian deputy prime minister Sergei Prikhodko on his yacht in Norway in August 2016. Based on that footage, he alleges that information about the Trump campaign must have passed between the two. Senate Intelligence Report I believe concluded Paul gave the information to known Russian asset but that we have no proof this asset gave the information to the Kremlin? Im hoping someone in the comments has some more on the Paul Manafort accusation to perhaps clear this bullet up in a future edit.

Trump now gleefully takes cues from Putin:
► Trump went against American intelligence on North Korean missiles. He told the FBI he didn't believe their intelligence because Putin told him otherwise. “I don't care, I believe Putin"
Trump met in secret with Putin at the G20 summit in November 2018, without note takers. 19 days later, he announced a withdrawal from Syria.
Trump refused to enforce sanctions legally codified into law - and in some cases reversed standing sanctions on Russian companies.
► He has denounced his own intelligence agencies in a press conference with Putin on election meddling - and publicly endorsed Putin's version of events.
Demanded Russia get invited back into G7
► Pushed the CIA to give American intelligence to the Kremlin.
► Withdrew from the Open Skies treaty

EDIT -
First want to say thanks for taking the time to read the post. Please take the time to also VOTE this election. Also thank you various users for the rewards and support.
On to actual edits :)
Firstly I've removed the link to Trump / Russian bounties allegations. Which was the last point in the post originally due to its lack of factual evidence.
Second I've changed a few points wording.
Third I've added a new bullet at the end that was passed a long to me yesterday by another user in another thread about Trump and his campaign manager.
Fourth I'd like to point out that this post is a collection of points from various other users in other threads and I personally don't want to take any credit for this post as I'm just carrying the torch with this post of several users before me who compiled many of these points.

submitted by idontneedjug to Keep_Track [link] [comments]

The Rothschilds - A Rational Overview

No discussion of Upper Class Billionaires would be complete without the Rothschilds.
A family dynasty synonymous with wealth.
But what is the true extent of this wealth?
Just how powerful is this relatively secretive family?
With various theories circulating on the Internet, can we reach a rational consensus?
Part 1/6 - The Architect?
Mayer Amschel is often cited as the founder of the Rothschild banking dynasty.
In 1770, he married Guttle Schnapper. This boosted Mayer's wealth, as he received a generous dowry of 2,400 gulden from her father (who worked as a court agent).
Mayer wouldn't forget this and, in his will, outlined strict, controversial provisions regarding Rothschild marriages.
Mayer was concerned that the family's fortune would be diluted as it grew through marriages. As such, his will "barred female descendants from any direct inheritance" and, in effect, provided incentives for intermarriages. Four of his granddaughters married grandsons (first cousins), while one married her uncle.
Now, is this really a tale of Started from the Bottom?
Or, much like Drake, is there a rich Uncle involved?
To answer that, we need to ask: who came before Mayer Amschel?
Well, his father, Amschel Moses had a business in goods-trading and currency exchange.
He was a personal supplier of collectable coins to the Prince of Hesse.
We'll come back to that shortly...
We know little about Mayer Amschel's grandparents and more remote ancestors.
The family did previously use the name "Bauer" - in fact the name Rothschild didn't really stick until Mayer Amschel's generation came along.
Benjamin Franklin once observed that in life only death and taxes are inevitable; they are also virtually the only things about which records survive for the earliest Rothschilds.
The most we can say about the early Rothschilds is that they were relatively successful small businessmen dealing in, among other things, cloth.
Five years before his death in 1585, Isak zum roten Schild had a taxable income of 2,700 gulden.
A century later his great-grandson Kalman, a moneychanger who also dealt in wool and silk, had a taxable income more than twice as large.
It seems that his son (Mayer Amschel's grandfather Moses) successfully developed his father's business, continuing the process of steady social ascent by marrying, successively, the daughters of a tax collector and of a doctor.
With the help of relatives, Mayer Amschel secured an apprenticeship under Jacob Wolf Oppenheimer, at the banking firm of Simon Wolf Oppenheimer in Hanover, in 1757, where he acquired useful knowledge in foreign trade and currency exchange, before returning to his brothers' business in Frankfurt in 1763.
He became a dealer in rare coins and, just as his father had done previously, won the patronage of the Prince of Hesse.
His coin business grew to include a number of princely patrons, and then expanded through the provision of financial services to the Prince of Hesse.
In 1769, Mayer Amschel gained the title of "Court Agent", managing the finances of the immensely wealthy Prince of Hesse who in 1785 became William IX, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel, and inherited one of the largest fortunes in Europe at the time.

Part 2/6 - The Five Arrows
The Rothschild coat-of-arms includes a fist clutching five arrows, a reference to Mayer's five sons.
At the turn of the nineteenth century, Mayer sent his sons to establish banks in Frankfurt, Naples, Vienna, France, and London.
The release of the "Five Arrows" symbolises strength through unity, and marks the beginning of the Rothschild's global banking dynasty.

Part 3/6 - Nathan Mayer
Napoleon was on the march through Europe, and William gave his fortune to Mayer Amschel to protect it from being seized by Napoleon.
Mayer was able to hide the money by sending it to his son Nathan in London.
The London Rothschild office had to spend it somewhere, and loaned it to the British Crown, in order to finance the British armies fighting Napoleon in Spain and Portugal in the Peninsular War.
These savvy investments of William's money paid off handsomely, netting sufficient interest that their own wealth eventually exceeded that of their original nest-egg client (the nest-egg client who had inherited the largest fortune in Europe remember).
This marked the birth of the Rothschild banking dynasty.
Historian Niall Ferguson outlines the sheer scale of the Rothschild family's operations:
"For most of the nineteenth century, N M Rothschild was part of the biggest bank in the world which dominated the international bond market. For a contemporary equivalent, one has to imagine a merger between Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, J P Morgan and probably Goldman Sachs too — as well, perhaps, as the International Monetary Fund, given the nineteen-century Rothschild's role in stabilizing the finances of numerous governments."
Nathan pioneered the ingenious strategy of lending to governments during wartime.
This tactic, used when Nathan funded Wellington's army in 1814, is the primary cause of the explosion in the family's wealth during what proved to be 150 years of nearly chronic warfare.
Of course, the Rothschilds played no role in instigating said conflicts...
Continual war in Europe created excellent opportunities to profit from smuggling scarce consumer goods past military blockades. Since the Rothschilds often financed both sides in a conflict and were known to have great political influence, the mere sight of the red shield on a leather pouch, a carriage, or a ship's flag was sufficient to insure that the messenger or his cargo could pass through check points in either direction. This immunity allowed them to deal in a thriving black market for cotton goods, yarn, tobacco, coffee, sugar, and indigo; and they moved freely through the borders of Germany, Scandinavia, Holland, Spain, England, and France.
This government protection was one of those indirect benefits that generated commercial profits - of course they were also getting interest on the underlying government loans.
Even the friendliest of biographers admit that, for more than two centuries, the House of Rothschild profited handsomely from wars and economic collapses, the very occasions on which others sustained the greatest losses.

Part 4/6 - Nat
The Rothschilds tend to keep tend to keep out of the limelight.
One of the family’s grande dames said you should only appear in the newspapers on three occasions: hatch (aka birth), match (aka marriage) and dispatch (aka death).
Therefore, this makes the odd flamboyant Rothschild stand out even more.
One that springs to mind is Nat Rothschild (Jacob Rothschild's son) and ex Bullingdon Club member who in 2016 married former Page 3 model Loretta Basey.
According to Forbes, Nat's net worth was $1 billion in 2012, but he lost his official billionaire status the next year.
However, according to an article in the Observer in 2000, Nat's actual inheritance is hidden in a series of trusts in Switzerland and rumoured to be worth £40BN (i.e. $60 billion.)

Part 5/6 - Ghislaine Maxwell?
Alan Dershoiwtz, who once defended Jeffrey Epstein in court, writes:
"My wife and I were introduced to Ghislaine Maxwell by Sir Evelyn and Lady Lynne de Rothschild..."
Evelyn de Rothschild and his wife Lynn were introduced by none other than Henry Kissinger at the 1998 Bilderberg Group conference in Scotland. They married two years later, and were invited to spend their honeymoon at the White House by the Clintons.
I have an idea!
Let's type Rothschild into the WikiLeaks Hilary Clinton Email Archive.
Nice. 69 results. Let's check out the intercourse between Hilary and Lynn.
How about this one - Info For You on the 25th of September 2010?
In that email chain, we have the following message from Hilary to Lynne.
"Lynn,
I was trying to reach you to tell you and Teddy that I asked Tony Blair to go to Israel as part of our full court press on keeping the Middle East negotiations going. He told me that he had a commitment in Aspen with you two and the conference, but after we talked, he decided to go and asked me to tell you. He is very sorry, obviously, but I'm grateful that he accepted my request. I hope you all understand and give him a raincheck...Let me know what penance I owe you. And please explain to Teddy. As ever, H"

Part 6/6 - True Extent
We come to the kicker: what is true extent of the Rothschild's wealth?
Of course, it is impossible to pin down an exact number because of the level of diversification of their wealth and the secrecy with which the offshore infrastructure operates.
After all, we know what happens to those that try to expose this shady world.
Worryingly, Panama is only one of more than 90 financial secrecy jurisdictions around the world today, compared with just a dozen or so in the early 1970s.
Together, as of 2015, they hold at least $24 trillion to $36 trillion in anonymous private financial wealth, most of which belong to the top 0.1 percent of the planet’s wealthiest.
Of course, none of this offshore wealth belongs to the Rothschilds...
In 2003, the Sunday Times identified Jacob Rothschild as the secret holder of the large stake in Yukos that was previously controlled by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the oil company's chairman.
The size of this stake? £8 billion.
In 2003, the pound dollar exchange rate was 1.63 - therefore the dollar value of the stake was around $13 billion.
In 2017, Jacob's net worth was pegged at under one billion dollars.
No comment...
According to the Forbes List, the richest individual Rothschild is Benjamin de Rothschild, from the French branch of the family, with a net worth of $1.5BN.
This is despite the fact that Benjamin presides over the Edmond de Rothschild Group, which manages over $175 billion in assets. In August 2019, de Rothschild's family bought out the group's public shareholders.
But yes, of course Benjamin, supposedly the richest Rothschild, is worth 2/3 of Donald Trump.
Speaking of Donald Trump...
Trump at one time owned a quarter of Atlantic City’s casino market.
However, Trump was heavily in debt, and he started missing bond payments on his — and Atlantic City’s — largest casino, the Taj Mahal, in 1990.
Wilbur Ross, then an investment banker working for...you guessed it, Rothschild Inc., helped bondholders negotiate with Trump, whose finances were unraveling. The final deal reduced Trump’s ownership stake in the Taj but left him in charge, and bondholders were unhappy when Ross presented the plan.
“Why did we make a deal with him?” one bondholder asked.
Ross insisted that Trump was worth saving.
“The Trump name is still very much an asset,” he said.
In 2017, Ross became Secretary of Commerce.
Remember folks: Presidents are selected... not elected.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wbIGFgxJd0
submitted by financeoptimum to conspiracy [link] [comments]

Day 27 - Trying to look back

I don't exactly remember when I started gambling. I think the first thing that came close to it happened at this little carnival that used to come through town every summer. My parents had given me $10 or $15 that I could spend on whatever I wanted - rides, food, souvenirs, the usual. I remember spending every dollar right away at one of those game booths where you had to try to throw a ring around the neck of a bottle. I knew it was rigged but I kept going back to it, over and over again, all day. I didn't want to do anything else. I think I eventually won some kind of crappy toy or something, but I don't remember what it was. It wasn't about the prize, even back then. I just really needed to beat that stupid game. I was probably only about eight or nine at the time, but I remember being absolutely crushed when I ran out of money because it meant that I couldn't play anymore. I went to my first casino on my 21st birthday and didn't really get what all the fuss was about. I lost a couple of bucks, had a few watered down drinks and went home feeling pretty unimpressed. A few years later, I was waiting tables in a chain restaurant that stayed open late. I worked with a bunch of other aimless 25 year-olds and we started driving out to a nearby casino after work because it was the only thing to do at 2 in the morning. They were really small, harmless nights at first. Maybe I won $20 or $30, maybe I lost it, but it wasn't a big deal either way. I started making weekend trips with my friends to Vegas or Atlantic City once or twice a year, and even though I would definitely lose more on those occasions (maybe $200 or $300 over the course of a long weekend), I still usually felt like I had everything under control. Fast forward to last month. On the day of my last bet, I lost $700 in about 20 minutes. I don't remember when I started making multiple solo trips every week, and I don't remember when I started chasing my losses with all of those reckless, high limit bets. It's all just kind of a blur. I'm closing in on 30 days and I'm trying really hard to sort it all out. Looking forward feels a lot better than looking back, but I feel like I shouldn't let myself forget about any of it because I'm worried that I'll end up right back where I was if I do.
Today is Day 27. This has been an utterly bizarre month, but I'm definitely making progress. Wishing everybody a great New Year full of better things to come!
submitted by PlayerBreaks to problemgambling [link] [comments]

Rise of Hellion ch13 ( Barry Pepper fanart fiction inspiration)

Rise of Hellion ch13 ( Barry Pepper fanart fiction inspiration)

Rise of Hellion ch13 ( Barry Pepper fanart fiction inspiration)

previous: https://www.reddit.com/BarryPeppecomments/koihsy/rise_of_hellion_ch12_barry_pepper_fanart_fiction/
The flight touched down, under the early morning sky. I could practically taste the Cinnabon frosting. It had been over a decade since I’d been on an airplane but I loved hanging around the terminals for the delicious overpriced food.
Baron placed his hand upon my shoulder. “What happens in Jersey stays in Jersey,” he said with a laugh.
“I thought you’d be bitter.” I leaned on his shoulder as we waited for the seatbelt light to turn off.
“You thought I’d be bitter about flying as a passenger instead of a pilot?” Baron shrugged, as he stretched his arms over his head. “I’ve always loved Alaska Airlines. And if I was flying the plane, I wouldn’t have been able to spend time with this little guy.” He tickled little Abby’s chubby arm causing the baby to smile.
“I can’t disagree.” In the weeks following our arrival at Dr. Toki’s DC bunker, Baron grew close to my son. The three of us shared a room; two cots on the floor with a padded plastic box for the baby. Like all babies little Abby cried; for food, diaper changes, or just out of loneliness. Nine out of ten times, I would awaken to find Baron holding my son. Sometimes he’d walk around the small room, other times he would sit cross-legged on his bed, but every night was a different story about Noah. I learned things I knew I was never meant to know about.
In the years they spent traveling the world as renowned criminal masterminds, Noah and Baron had become more than friends. They fell in love.
“You daddy was the greatest person I ever knew,” Baron often said as he rocked my son in his arms. “He was the last person I ever truly loved.”
I listened as Baron, by the light of the moon, told my infant son stories about his many adventures with Noah and Nash. Some boarded on the obscene; drugs, weapons trafficking, and all manner of sex. He never outright said they were lovers, only that they trusted each other with their mind body and soul.
“It tears me up inside knowing he’s gone. I know this is all my fault, his blood is on my hands. We should have died together. Noah died the way he lived; with honor and integrity. But then I never would have met you.”
That was how I knew Baron could be trusted; he loved Abby with every fiber of his soul.
“Yo, Nicki,” Baron said, tapping my arm. “The plane’s empty, time to go.”
“Oh,” I took a quick breath, forcing myself back to reality.
Baron grabbed our one piece of luggage, a plain black backpack with a limited number of supplies. Axel had passed it along to us before going through security, so I had to assume it contained no weapons.
We walked down the corridor to the gate at Atlantic City international airport. “Can I hold the bag?” I asked, since he was already holding the baby.
“Sure.” Baron took off the straps and tossed me the bag. It was lighter than I thought it would be. Inside was a lot of fabric; some rolled, some folded and some pieces were clearly hiding items made of plastic or metal. I figured I shouldn’t be examining its contents right away but with the chill of the airport I wanted to see if there were any extra clothes for my baby.
No, Abby was our baby. Seeing Baron holding the child in his arms, all I could feel was love. “Oh look!” I fished out a blue, baby t-shirt with a happy dolphin. “Let’s put it on him!”
Baron did as I asked, maneuvering Abby’s wiggly little body. With his fresh new shirt, he looked like a cute little tourist baby. In fact, we looked like a typical vacationing couple traveling with their newborn.
I knew that Axel and Dr. Toki were monitoring us from the safety and comfort of an unmarked medevac vehicle somewhere within a six-mile radius. Ideally, they would follow us, observe from a distance. If and when we found Tony, we could get the hell out (to the nearest TAC bunker.) Until then Baron and I were to look for clues along the boardwalk.
“Should we get a hotel room?” I asked.
“Certain military leaders didn’t give us any money, so unless you have a credit card?”
“I could probably pick pocket one.”
“Way to blow our cover,” he said with a laugh. “Nah, we can deal with the issue of housing when we need to. With any luck Axel and Dr. Toki have plans to get us out, so we don’t have to sleep on the streets with a baby.”
We walked a further, to the land of sun, sand and casinos, stopping to rest on a bench. “Let’s see what’s in the bag.” There were more shirts, pants, a few flattened bottles to collect water, or maybe even breastmilk. I placed each of the items neatly on my lap, hoping that I would not miss anything important. However, in the end, the only item of importance was a package of baby wipes. There wasn’t even any diapers. I had to assume, if I needed to change my baby, I was meant to use the extra clothing. (Same for first aid, due to lack of bandages.) “You really don’t have any money?”
“We can always shoplift,” Baron said cheerfully as he tossed the baby in the air.
Abby squealed with joy.
I could feel my heart flutter with joy. “That’s the New Jersey spirit!”
“There has to be a Walgreens around here someplace.”
We easily found a corner store with the iconic red signage. Baron picked up a basket and headed to the food section; packaged drinks, dried cereal, candy, etc.
“What do you think happened to Anya?” I asked, following close. “Since you’re the last person who saw her.”
“She’s going after Axel,” he answered casually.
“And you’re ok with that?”
“It’s her deal, her quest or whatever.”
“Or whatever?” I asked. His tone was really starting to piss me off. Axel was my friend, a human being. But so was Anya. And that was why my soul was being torn in half.
“Anya’s going to do what she has to do but for the sake of all of us she’s going to act alone. That way the blood will be only on her hands.”
I saw his point. If and when the time came, we were under no obligation to choose sides. “How thoughtful.”
“You need any diapers?” Baron asked. He was holding an open package of men’s shaving razors. Grabbing a single replacement head, Baron somehow managed to break the plastic apart without wounding his fingertips.
I assumed he was going to cut open a package. “No, I’m good. He has on a cloth diaper and I have enough supplies to make an extra. But I could use some soap.” I grabbed a package of off brand bar soap with an image of a happy Asian baby. Ideally, I could use this for washing both skin and clothing.
After easily leaving the store with everything we needed, we ran in the direction of the beach, hoping to get lost in the crowds. Suddenly out of nowhere the sky darkened and the clouds swelled with rain. The storm came down hard and fast, transforming from freezing rain, to pin-sized hail. In the distance there seemed to be a homeless encampment. Without any words spoken, we both knew to make a run for it.
The tent city consisted of a series of tarps connecting individual homes. There were a few spots that had people huddled around campfires. Men, women and children sat wrapped in dirty, wet blankets, as they struggled to stay warm. Not wanting to take any of their limited resources we walked until we found a sparse area with just a tarp surrounded by barrels and broken pallets. The space was just enough for Baron and I to sleep side by side, resting the baby on his chest.
“Here,” he said, sliding the backpack in my direction. “You can use the bag as a pillow.”
“Thanks.” Unable to comfortably sleep I found myself staring up at the blue tarp. As my mind started to float away my mouth spewed out the words that I thought I’d never say. “What happened between you and Noah?”
“What do you mean?” Baron asked in a whisper. He knew perfectly well what I meant.
“Feng told me he gave Noah the same opportunities he gave you. Yet somehow you ended up as his right-hand man with full access to his arsenal of weapons guns and even his appointment book.”
Baron swallowed a lump in his throat. “Your point?”
“Why didn’t you convince Noah to come with you?”
Baron went silent. He held the baby close, shivering. “You don’t think I tried?” He blinked tears from his eyes.
If he’d been angry, I would have continued the conversation; I would have wanted to know why he had the right to mourn the father of my child. But Baron wasn’t angry, he was in pain. “I think we should get some sleep.”
“Yeah, totally.”
I knew better then to try to ask for my son back. Abby was an emotional support baby and Baron needed him more. I made myself comfortable on my bed of plastic and leaves, pulling the tarp over my body for warmth. “Good night.”
There was a moment of silence before we were awoken by Abby’s cries. Baron sat up, rocking the small baby, attempting to keep him warm. “I think he’s hungry.”
“Give him here.” I had gotten better at breastfeeding, but with how cold it was I would have preferred to keep as covered as possible. “Can you help me with my tarp-blanket?”
“Sure.” Baron helped cover my body, allowing the baby warmth and privacy.
“Thanks.” I looked at Baron with genuine love in my heart. “Thank you for being my friend.” I couldn’t stop the tears from falling, mixing with the freezing cold rain. “Thank you for everything.”
Baron blinked tears from his own eyes as he crossed his arms over his chest. “You really want to know what happened to Noah?”
“Yeah, I do.” I looked down at Abby, who opened his eyes as he nursed. He had Noah’s courage and strength. “I can still remember that night. Even if it was for just a moment, I felt like I had friends, a real connection. That was never something that came easy for me.” Not that it mattered. It was yet another fleeting moment of happiness in my shit-show of a life.
Baron lowered his shirt, revealing his upper chest. “Feng gave me an augmentation; I have an inorganic core made of some kind of plasma. I used to think it was radioactive but I have reason to believe it was created as a means of unlimited projectiles.”
“And it keeps you warm?” That explained why Abby loved being held by him.
“Well, the power came with a complimentary suit of armor that allowed me to be the perfect little henchman.”
“You mean body guard?”
Baron shrugged. “I assumed that was Feng’s original plan.”
I swallowed the lump in my throat, mentally preparing for the worst. “And Noah?”
“He wasn’t down for it. The only reason he surrendered to Kitsune was to allow you and Anya time to flee.”
“Oh.” I felt like my heart stopped. I should have realized it from the beginning; that was the only reason we were allowed to live, because Noah truly loved me.
“We were turned over to Feng. I could only assume she thought Feng had the ability to extract Noah’s mind; his intellect, his secrets. But he didn’t. Feng needed Noah to volunteer information.” Baron paused, blinking tears from his eyes. “That was the difference between us. My most valuable asset was my combat ability, maybe my strategy skills. All I had to do was pledge my loyalty, and wear the armor, to gain Feng’s trust. For Noah, that was asking too much. His mind contained secrets that could change the world; info that could never and would never fall in to the hands of tyrannical psychopaths.”
“And that’s why he had to die.” Since I was finished breastfeeding, I handed the now happy, content infant back to Baron.
“Although if it was up to Feng (and it was) well, you’ve seen his set up.”
“Yeah,” I said with a nod. “I’m going to see that until the day I die.”
“All of his prized victims are kept alive, conscious as their forced to exist as hood ornaments. Feng wanted them to suffer for all eternity, or until their brains turn to pea soup.”
“Now I have a craving for split pea soup.” We laughed through our tears. In truth, I couldn’t close my eyes without seeing Noah’s remains.
“You hungry?” Baron dug in his pocket, producing a smashed-up Snicker’s bar.
“We can split it.” With food in our stomachs, we fell asleep to the sound of calming rain. For the first time since he’d been born, I had a vision of my son as a full-grown man.
The sound of rain grew louder, gradually transforming to gunfire. I awoke in what appeared to be a WW2 battle scene. Thankfully I was transparent; bullets passed through me like a virtual reality game, and the area around me felt comfortably warm despite the fact I was standing in snow. In the distance I could see a man leaning on a tree.
Eyes closed, he held a cross in his hand. I watched as he kissed the rosary pendent and said a simple prayer. “Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teaches my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.”
As I came closer, I could see he was gripping his shoulder while doubled over in pain. That raised the question: why was he reciting the prayer of a sharpshooter?
He moved his hand to his waist, slowly retrieving a pistol. “My goodness and my fortress.” He held the gun under his chin, cocking the barrel to his throat. “My high tower and my deliverer. My shield, and he in whom I trust.”
“No!” The sound came from behind me.
I turned to see a figure wearing pink-purple armor. It was in the same style as what Baron wore. And he or she wasn’t running, they were flying.
“Abby!” A female voice cried.
I followed as fast as I could, as she rushed to the man’s side.
“Lieutenant?” The man muttered, coughing up blood.
I now had a good view of his face. It was my son and he was dying. Before I could reach out my hand, the armored woman flew through me.
She fell to her knees, ripping off her helmet to reveal a young Hispanic face framed by lots of curly black hair. “Abby, Sir, I’m here. It’s going to be ok.” She pursed her lips, smiling at him, through visible tears.
Abaddon lowered his weapon. “You need to flee.” With trembling fingers, he lifted his free hand to cup her face. It was obvious that leaving was the last thing he wanted. “This is a battle we cannot win.”
“Not alone, Sir,” the soldier replied with confidence.
Why was she calling him Sir? I could barely make out a patch on his arm. It was possible he was an officer.
The young woman lifted his arm, adjusting him over her shoulder. “I’m not leaving you behind. The nearest medic station is about six kilometers south of here. We can make it.” Before he could reply, she lifted his broken body in her arms, flying off into the night.
The world started to spin as the scene changed.
We were now in a poorly lit underground hospital. I could tell it was underground since every few seconds the room shook with the sound of gunfire and other (louder, more violent) explosions. Abby was laying on a cot with his bare chest exposed. He had several fresh bullet wounds, as well as deep scars.
The woman was by his side, having taken off her armor she rested her head by his shoulder, holding his hand. “Why do you call me by my rank?”
“What should I call you?”
“My name is Sundra, but my friends call me Sunny.”
“Is that because you sparkle like sunshine?” he asked with a subtle smile. Abby moved his free hand to her cheek, brushing a lock of hair behind her ear. “You don’t have to stay, Sunny.”
“I want to stay. Call it my street gang code of honor; a little something, I picked up from my grandma.” She turned her wrist to reveal a tattoo. It was a stylized diamond with the words, ‘Lucy in the sky.’ Sunny started to softly hum the melody of the famous rock song. “Lucy in the sky with diamonds. Sorry, the title is the only part I know.” She kissed Abby on the forehead. “My papa’s name was Denny. He was the first of my family line born in America. You really remind me of him.”
A gang member named Lucy with a son named Denny? That couldn’t be a coincidence. I moved closer, to get a better look at her face.
She kissed Abby down his nose to his lips.
There were tears in his eyes. “I’ll never forget you.”
Sunny turned, briefly glancing in my direction. “Do you think she’s here, in the room?”
“I know she is,” Abby replied, looking up at the ceiling. “Even as a child, I could always feel my mother’s spirit watching over me.”
“Can she hear us?” Sunny asked, still looking in my path but not actually at me.
“If the calculations and the technology are correct.”
“Do you think she can save us?” Her large, emotional eyes, blinked back tears. With every blink she started to disappear, vanishing from reality like a spirit lost to time. When Sunny was completely gone, all that was left was my adult son. His arms were wrapped around the empty space.
All around me I could hear sobbing. I assumed this meant I was going to wake up. My baby son was probably crying for food or maybe because of the cold: but I was going to wake up. Right? I wanted so badly to wake up. Wake up! Wake up!
I felt a sharp pain. I awoke with a jolt under the tarp, to the collapsing of our little shelter. Touching my hip, I felt blood and splinters. All around me all I could see was tarp. I wanted to scream. Where was my son? Where was Baron?
I needed to calm down; breathe, just breathe. I opened my hands, placing them palms down as if I was going to attempt a snow angel. There was a secret, a lock. There had to be. I felt a strange crack in the pavement. Digging my fingertips in, the piece seemed to transform into a handle (or a lever.) Even if it was just a hand hold, it would be my ticket out of the tarp since I could use it to keep myself grounded in place (as opposed to flopping around like a dying fish.) Turns out, it was a handle. I found myself falling down a slide. At the bottom I finally managed to get free of the tarp.
Baron was sitting in a dark corner with a finger to his lips. “Shh, follow me. This is a mezzanine level.” He motioned towards what looked like a second series of tunnels. “I’m not sure how deep it goes. We’re not going to slide: we’re going to crawl. I’ll go first and you follow close. Do not lose sight of me. Understand?”
“Are you holding the baby?”
Baron nodded. “If shit goes bad, I want you to find my body. I’ll protect him with everything I have.”
I knew what he meant, and trusted him fully, but I was still afraid. “You’re a better fighter than me.”
“Yeah, that’s why I’m going to hold the baby.”
“Ok.”
Baron and I snuck down the tunnels, we emerged in an underground factory facility. “What is this place?”
“Trash processing facility,” Baron replied. “You head left I’ll head right.”
“Sure, I guess.” I went left until I saw what appeared to be a light source.
I passed between several cargo boxes, emerging in an open area. There was a series of large vats, bubbling with hot oil or (more likely) acid. “Acid?” I had never seen acid before but the scene looked like something out of a comic book.
“It is acid,” said a voice from a nearby balcony. “the typical use is to process heavy metals and other non-recyclable materials.”
“Faust?” I couldn’t actually see his location.
“Today we’re disposing of inorganic material of a different kind.” He hit a button causing a limp body to start to descend. It was clearly Tony, but I couldn’t tell if he was even alive. “Are you willing to make a deal; trade his life for the contents of the battery?”
“I don’t even know if the copy I have is real.” And there was also the fact that the infamous flash drive was in a van, in the care of Axel and Dr. Toki.
“The one that Baron put on the dark web? Trust me it’s the real deal.”
“So, what’s on it?” I blurted out the words, although I wasn’t expecting any kind of logical answer.
The man snickered. “Does it matter?”
“Yeah, kind of.”
“Look, do you want to know my entire evil plan or will you be a good girl and save your beloved boyfriend’s life?”
I looked over at Tony. I had no way of helping him. If he was still alive, he was more then capable of saving himself. I had to believe that. “Is it time travel?”
“What?” Faust asked with a laugh. “Seriously, what did you just say?” With a flash of light, Faust teleported, placing himself in front of me. He stood tall, in a tailored suit, staring me down with his creepy metallic eyes. “Answer me, little girl.”
Why did he look so much like the adult version of my son? Because he was a shape shifter? Or was there something else? “Time travel?”
The once stern man cracked a smile. “Time travel is the stuff of movies and fairytales. The contents of the battery will bring this world to its knees.”
“Yeah, I’ve heard.” I blinked my eyes as the pieces fell into place. There was a reason why my son had been able to communicate with me so clearly through dreams. “Selective telepathic time travel.”
Faust was no longer smiling. “Would you prefer that power fall to the hands of Kitsune? She and her brother, they’d use it to cause a gang war; an apocalypse of weapons and drugs. You wouldn’t want that blood on your hands.”
We he seriously trying to appeal to my humanity? “What about you? What’s your plan, to go back in time to give Hitler a migraine?” I knew what his plan was. Or at least I think I did. There was something about Lucy or maybe Denny. What I knew for certain was that the final goal was Sunny; her existence held the key.
“You’re not alone, are you? Such a pity.” Faust teleported off, in a blast of blue light.
I already knew where he was going and there was nothing I could do. Faust landed on top of Baron as he attempted to free Tony’s body. Both men were knocked in to the acid. There was no sound; no screams, or even cries.
Where was my baby?
Faust teleported in front of me, holding my son in his arms. “You might not have been willing to save your boyfriend, but perhaps you will be willing to trade for your child.”
My back hurt, my arms hurt and my head was pounding, but I ran straight at him, charging like a football player going in for a tackle.
I was blinded by a familiar blue light. We had teleported, but to where? I could hear Abby crying. He was alive and that’s all that mattered. I blinked my eyes once then twice.
“Fire?”
submitted by dourdan to BarryPepper [link] [comments]

An overview of Trump’s numerous ties to Russia

Trump was over a billion in debt and the Russians bailed him out.
► Trump was first compromised by the Russians in the 80s. In 1984, the Russian Mafia began to use Trump real estate to launder money. In 1987, the Soviet ambassador to the United Nations, Yuri Dubinin, arranged for Trump and his then-wife, Ivana, to enjoy an all-expense-paid trip to Moscow to consider possible business prospects. Only seven weeks after his trip, Trump ran full-page ads in the Boston Globe, the NYT and WaPO calling for, in effect, the dismantling of the postwar Western foreign policy alliance. The whole Trump/Russian connection started out as laundering money for the Russian mob through Trump's real estate, but evolved into something far bigger.
► In 1984, David Bogatin — a convicted Russian mobster and close ally of Semion Mogilevich, a major Russian mob boss — met with Trump in Trump Tower right after it opened. Bogatin bought five condos from Trump at that meeting. Those condos were later seized by the government, which claimed they were used to launder money for the Russian mob. (NY Times, Apr 30, 1992)
Felix Sater is a Russian-born former mobster, and former managing director of NY real estate conglomerate Bayrock Group LLC located on the 24th floor of Trump Tower. He is a convict who became a govt cooperator for the FBI and other agencies. He grew up with Michael Cohen--Trump's former "fixer" attorney. Cohen's family owned El Caribe, which was a mob hangout for the Russian Mafia in Brooklyn. Cohen had ties to Ukrainian oligarchs through his in-laws and his brother's in-laws. Felix Sater's father had ties to the Russian mob. This goes back more than 30 years.
► Trump was $4 billion in debt after his Atlantic City casinos went bankrupt. No U.S. bank would touch him. Then foreign money began flowing in through Bayrock (mentioned above). Bayrock was run by two investors: Tevfik Arif, a Kazakhstan-born former Soviet official who drew on bottomless sources of money from the former Soviet republic; and Felix Sater, a Russian-born businessman who had pleaded guilty in the 1990s to a huge stock-fraud scheme involving the Russian mafia. Bayrock partnered with Trump in 2005 and poured money into the Trump organization under the legal guise of licensing his name and property management.
► In July 2008, the height of the housing bust, Trump sold a mansion in Palm Beach for $95 million to Dmitry Rybolovlev, a Russian oligarch. Trump had purchased it four years earlier for $41.35 million. The sale price was nearly $54 million more than Trump had paid for the property. Again, this was the height of the recession when all other property had plummeted in value.
► Semion Mogilevich was the brains behind the Russian Mafia. Mogilevich operatives have been using Trump real estate for decades to launder money. That means Russian Mafia operatives have been part of his fortune for years. Many of them owned condos in Trump Towers and other properties. They were running operations out of Trump's crown jewel.
► From Craig Unger's AMA: "Early on, a source told me that all this was tied to Semion Mogilevich, the powerful Russian mobster. I had never even heard of him, but I immediately went to a database that listed the owners of all properties in NY state and looked up all the Trump properties. Every time I found a Russian sounding name, I would Google, and add Mogilevich. When you do investigative reporting, you anticipate drilling a number of dry holes, but almost everyone I googled turned out to be a Russian mobster. Again and again. If you know New York you don't expect Trump Tower to be a high crime neighborhood, but there were far too many Russian mobsters in Trump properties for it to be a coincidence."
► So many Russians bought Trump apartments at his developments in Florida that the area became known as Little Moscow. The developers of two of his hotels were Russians with significant links to the Russian mob. The late leader of that mob in the United States, Vyacheslav Kirillovich Ivankov, was living at Trump Tower
► According to a Bloomberg investigation (3/16/2017) into Trump World Tower, “a third of units sold on floors 76 through 83 by 2004 involved people or limited liability companies connected to Russia and neighboring states.”
► In 2013, Federal agents busted an “ultraexclusive, high-stakes, illegal poker ring” run by Russian gangsters out of Trump Tower. They operated card games, illegal gambling websites, and a global sports book and laundered more than $100 million. A condo directly below one owned by Trump reportedly served as HQ for a “sophisticated money-laundering scheme” connected to Semion Mogilevich.
► The Russia Mafia is part and parcel of Russian intelligence. Russia is a mafia state. That is not a metaphor. Putin is head of the Mafia. So the fact that they have been operating out of the home of the president of the United States is deeply disturbing.
► Rudy Giuliani famously prosecuted the Italian mob while he was a federal prosecutor, yet the Russian mob was allowed to thrive. Now he's deeply entwined in the business of Trump and Russian oligarchs. Giuiani appointed Semyon Kislin to the NYC Economic Development Council in 1990, and the FBI described Kislin as having ties to the Russian mob. Of course, it made good political sense for Giuliani to get headlines for smashing the Italian mob.
► A lot of Republicans in Washington are implicated. Boatloads of Russian money went to the GOP--often in legal ways. The NRA got as much as $70M from Russia, then funneled it to the GOP. The Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee lead by McConnell got millions from Leonard Blavatnik. In the 90s, the Russians began sending money to top GOP leaders, like Speaker of the House Tom Delay. Craig Unger's book alleges that most of the GOP leadership has been compromised by RU money.
► At the Cityscape USA’s Bridging US and the Emerging Real Estate Markets Conference held in Manhattan, on September 9, 10, and 11, 2008, Donald Trump Jr. was frank about the tide of Russian money supporting the family business, saying "...And in terms of high-end product influx into the US, Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets."
► Eric Trump told golf reporter James Dodson in 2014 that the Trump Organization was able to expand during the financial crisis because “We don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.”
► Russian oligarchs co-signed Trump’s Deutsche bank loans.
Trump now gleefully takes cues from Putin:
► At the end of 2018, Putin and his allies started making a strong push for a resolution that would justify their country’s 1979 invasion of Afghanistan and reverse an 1989 vote backed by Mikhail Gorbachev that condemned it. The Putinists’ goal was to pass the resolution by Feb. There is no one on this side of the Atlantic who thinks the USSR was justified in invading Afghanistan. And out of nowhere, on January 2nd, Trump came out strongly supporting Russia's 1979 invasion of Afghanistan.
► Trump went against American intelligence on North Korean missiles. He told the FBI he didn't believe their intelligence because Putin told him otherwise. “I don't care, I believe Putin"
Trump met in secret with Putin at the G20 summit in November 2018, without note takers. 19 days later, he announced a withdrawal from Syria. As a note, Trump conducted FIVE completely private meetings and conferences with Putin, and has gone to great lengths to prevent literally anyone, even people in his administration, from learning what was discussed.
Trump refused to enforce sanctions legally codified into law - and in some cases reversed standing sanctions on Russian companies.
► He has denounced his own intelligence agencies in a press conference with Putin on election meddling - and publicly endorsed Putin's version of events.
► Trump pulled out of the INF treaty with no explanation, which allows Putin to create long-range hypersonic missiles that threaten Europe with impunity. The US already has all the weaponry that the INF would ban the development of, so this offers us literally nothing, while allowing Russia to develop powerful new weapons to challenge our allies.
Demanded Russia get invited back into G7
► Pushed the CIA to give American intelligence to the Kremlin.
► Withdrew from the Open Skies treaty
Received intelligence in 2019 that Russia was paying bounties for dead American soldiers, and hasn't done anything about it by the time of this writing.
Announced troop withdrawal from Germany (America's missile defense from Russia and forward operating base against Russian aggression)
► And of course, Trump continues to threaten to pull out of NATO, a move so catastrophically stupid, so inconceivably cosmically myopic, I truly can't express the profundity of the idiocy. Suffice to say, pulling out of NATO would be like the only guy in a prison yard with a shotgun just throwing it over the fence for absolutely no reason, suddenly giving the people with crude homemade shivs complete power.
Trump commuted the sentence of Roger Stone, a former advisor convicted several charges, including lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstructing a congressional committee proceeding, as part of former special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.
Edit: thanks for the awards, credit should also go to u/victorvictor1 who originally composed this list. Also, please share so that more people can see this
submitted by Tobert420 to Keep_Track [link] [comments]

The Rothschilds - A Rational Overview

No discussion of Upper Class Billionaires would be complete without the Rothschilds.
A family dynasty synonymous with wealth.
But what is the true extent of this wealth?
Just how powerful is this relatively secretive family?
With various theories circulating on the Internet, can we reach a rational consensus?
Part 1/6 - The Architect?
Mayer Amschel is often cited as the founder of the Rothschild banking dynasty.
In 1770, he married Guttle Schnapper. This boosted Mayer's wealth, as he received a generous dowry of 2,400 gulden from her father (who worked as a court agent).
Mayer wouldn't forget this and, in his will, outlined strict, controversial provisions regarding Rothschild marriages.
Mayer was concerned that the family's fortune would be diluted as it grew through marriages. As such, his will "barred female descendants from any direct inheritance" and, in effect, provided incentives for intermarriages. Four of his granddaughters married grandsons (first cousins), while one married her uncle.
Now, is this really a tale of Started from the Bottom?
Or, much like Drake, is there a rich Uncle involved?
To answer that, we need to ask: who came before Mayer Amschel?
Well, his father, Amschel Moses had a business in goods-trading and currency exchange.
He was a personal supplier of collectable coins to the Prince of Hesse.
We'll come back to that shortly...
We know little about Mayer Amschel's grandparents and more remote ancestors.
The family did previously use the name "Bauer" - in fact the name Rothschild didn't really stick until Mayer Amschel's generation came along.
Benjamin Franklin once observed that in life only death and taxes are inevitable; they are also virtually the only things about which records survive for the earliest Rothschilds.
The most we can say about the early Rothschilds is that they were relatively successful small businessmen dealing in, among other things, cloth.
Five years before his death in 1585, Isak zum roten Schild had a taxable income of 2,700 gulden.
A century later his great-grandson Kalman, a moneychanger who also dealt in wool and silk, had a taxable income more than twice as large.
It seems that his son (Mayer Amschel's grandfather Moses) successfully developed his father's business, continuing the process of steady social ascent by marrying, successively, the daughters of a tax collector and of a doctor.
With the help of relatives, Mayer Amschel secured an apprenticeship under Jacob Wolf Oppenheimer, at the banking firm of Simon Wolf Oppenheimer in Hanover, in 1757, where he acquired useful knowledge in foreign trade and currency exchange, before returning to his brothers' business in Frankfurt in 1763.
He became a dealer in rare coins and, just as his father had done previously, won the patronage of the Prince of Hesse.
His coin business grew to include a number of princely patrons, and then expanded through the provision of financial services to the Prince of Hesse.
In 1769, Mayer Amschel gained the title of "Court Agent", managing the finances of the immensely wealthy Prince of Hesse who in 1785 became William IX, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel, and inherited one of the largest fortunes in Europe at the time.

Part 2/6 - The Five Arrows
The Rothschild coat-of-arms includes a fist clutching five arrows, a reference to Mayer's five sons.
At the turn of the nineteenth century, Mayer sent his sons to establish banks in Frankfurt, Naples, Vienna, France, and London.
The release of the "Five Arrows" symbolises strength through unity, and marks the beginning of the Rothschild's global banking dynasty.

Part 3/6 - Nathan Mayer
Napoleon was on the march through Europe, and William gave his fortune to Mayer Amschel to protect it from being seized by Napoleon.
Mayer was able to hide the money by sending it to his son Nathan in London.
The London Rothschild office had to spend it somewhere, and loaned it to the British Crown, in order to finance the British armies fighting Napoleon in Spain and Portugal in the Peninsular War.
These savvy investments of William's money paid off handsomely, netting sufficient interest that their own wealth eventually exceeded that of their original nest-egg client (the nest-egg client who had inherited the largest fortune in Europe remember).
This marked the birth of the Rothschild banking dynasty.
Historian Niall Ferguson outlines the sheer scale of the Rothschild family's operations:
"For most of the nineteenth century, N M Rothschild was part of the biggest bank in the world which dominated the international bond market. For a contemporary equivalent, one has to imagine a merger between Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, J P Morgan and probably Goldman Sachs too — as well, perhaps, as the International Monetary Fund, given the nineteen-century Rothschild's role in stabilizing the finances of numerous governments."
Nathan pioneered the ingenious strategy of lending to governments during wartime.
This tactic, used when Nathan funded Wellington's army in 1814, is the primary cause of the explosion in the family's wealth during what proved to be 150 years of nearly chronic warfare.
Of course, the Rothschilds played no role in instigating said conflicts...
Continual war in Europe created excellent opportunities to profit from smuggling scarce consumer goods past military blockades. Since the Rothschilds often financed both sides in a conflict and were known to have great political influence, the mere sight of the red shield on a leather pouch, a carriage, or a ship's flag was sufficient to insure that the messenger or his cargo could pass through check points in either direction. This immunity allowed them to deal in a thriving black market for cotton goods, yarn, tobacco, coffee, sugar, and indigo; and they moved freely through the borders of Germany, Scandinavia, Holland, Spain, England, and France.
This government protection was one of those indirect benefits that generated commercial profits - of course they were also getting interest on the underlying government loans.
Even the friendliest of biographers admit that, for more than two centuries, the House of Rothschild profited handsomely from wars and economic collapses, the very occasions on which others sustained the greatest losses.

Part 4/6 - Nat
The Rothschilds tend to keep tend to keep out of the limelight.
One of the family’s grande dames said you should only appear in the newspapers on three occasions: hatch (aka birth), match (aka marriage) and dispatch (aka death).
Therefore, this makes the odd flamboyant Rothschild stand out even more.
One that springs to mind is Nat Rothschild (Jacob Rothschild's son) and ex Bullingdon Club member who in 2016 married former Page 3 model Loretta Basey.
According to Forbes, Nat's net worth was $1 billion in 2012, but he lost his official billionaire status the next year.
However, according to an article in the Observer in 2000, Nat's actual inheritance is hidden in a series of trusts in Switzerland and rumoured to be worth £40BN (i.e. $60 billion.)

Part 5/6 - Ghislaine Maxwell?
Alan Dershoiwtz, who once defended Jeffrey Epstein in court, writes:
"My wife and I were introduced to Ghislaine Maxwell by Sir Evelyn and Lady Lynne de Rothschild..."
Evelyn de Rothschild and his wife Lynn were introduced by none other than Henry Kissinger at the 1998 Bilderberg Group conference in Scotland. They married two years later, and were invited to spend their honeymoon at the White House by the Clintons.
I have an idea!
Let's type Rothschild into the WikiLeaks Hilary Clinton Email Archive.
Nice. 69 results. Let's check out the intercourse between Hilary and Lynn.
How about this one - Info For You on the 25th of September 2010?
In that email chain, we have the following message from Hilary to Lynne.
"Lynn,
I was trying to reach you to tell you and Teddy that I asked Tony Blair to go to Israel as part of our full court press on keeping the Middle East negotiations going. He told me that he had a commitment in Aspen with you two and the conference, but after we talked, he decided to go and asked me to tell you. He is very sorry, obviously, but I'm grateful that he accepted my request. I hope you all understand and give him a raincheck...Let me know what penance I owe you. And please explain to Teddy. As ever, H"

Part 6/6 - True Extent
We come to the kicker: what is true extent of the Rothschild's wealth?
Of course, it is impossible to pin down an exact number because of the level of diversification of their wealth and the secrecy with which the offshore infrastructure operates.
After all, we know what happens to those that try to expose this shady world.
Worryingly, Panama is only one of more than 90 financial secrecy jurisdictions around the world today, compared with just a dozen or so in the early 1970s.
Together, as of 2015, they hold at least $24 trillion to $36 trillion in anonymous private financial wealth, most of which belong to the top 0.1 percent of the planet’s wealthiest.
Of course, none of this offshore wealth belongs to the Rothschilds...
In 2003, the Sunday Times identified Jacob Rothschild as the secret holder of the large stake in Yukos that was previously controlled by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the oil company's chairman.
The size of this stake? £8 billion.
In 2003, the pound dollar exchange rate was 1.63 - therefore the dollar value of the stake was around $13 billion.
In 2017, Jacob's net worth was pegged at under one billion dollars.
No comment...
According to the Forbes List, the richest individual Rothschild is Benjamin de Rothschild, from the French branch of the family, with a net worth of $1.5BN.
This is despite the fact that Benjamin presides over the Edmond de Rothschild Group, which manages over $175 billion in assets. In August 2019, de Rothschild's family bought out the group's public shareholders.
But yes, of course Benjamin, supposedly the richest Rothschild, is worth 2/3 of Donald Trump.
Speaking of Donald Trump...
Trump at one time owned a quarter of Atlantic City’s casino market.
However, Trump was heavily in debt, and he started missing bond payments on his — and Atlantic City’s — largest casino, the Taj Mahal, in 1990.
Wilbur Ross, then an investment banker working for...you guessed it, Rothschild Inc., helped bondholders negotiate with Trump, whose finances were unraveling. The final deal reduced Trump’s ownership stake in the Taj but left him in charge, and bondholders were unhappy when Ross presented the plan.
“Why did we make a deal with him?” one bondholder asked.
Ross insisted that Trump was worth saving.
“The Trump name is still very much an asset,” he said.
In 2017, Ross became Secretary of Commerce.
Remember folks: Presidents are selected... not elected.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wbIGFgxJd0
submitted by financeoptimum to Money [link] [comments]

[WTS] U.S. Trade tokens, type coins, Morgans, invasion money, mint/proof sets, Eisenhower dollars, and other graded U.S. silver/gold coins.

MAKE OFFERS. I'm selling off a chunk of my collection so I can justify buying other stuff I want, and I'm trying to price it to move. Proof: https://imgur.com/a/RHJaHkN

Shipping will be $8 for Priority Mail small flat rate box (or at cost for larger flat-rate boxes), or $4 if you are at less than 10 oz total and want the First Class Mail option. If you want to buy multiple pieces, feel free to make an offer. Worst I can say is no. Obviously the grades listed are my own opinions - see pics to verify for yourself.

Payment options accepted (in order of preference): Venmo, Google Pay, Cash App, PPFF, Zelle, PPG&S (add 4%).

RAW MORGAN DOLLARS:


RAW U.S. COINS FROM 1800s:


GRADED U.S. COINS:


Wartime notes / Invasion money:


Eisenhower dollars:


Silver commemoratives:


Mint / proof sets:


Trade tokens ($3 each):

submitted by joshwahhh to Coins4Sale [link] [comments]

The Rothschilds - A Rational Overview

No discussion of Upper Class Billionaires would be complete without the Rothschilds.
A family dynasty synonymous with wealth.
But what is the true extent of this wealth?
Just how powerful is this relatively secretive family?
With various theories circulating on the Internet, can we reach a rational consensus?
Part 1/6 - The Architect?
Mayer Amschel is often cited as the founder of the Rothschild banking dynasty.
In 1770, he married Guttle Schnapper. This boosted Mayer's wealth, as he received a generous dowry of 2,400 gulden from her father (who worked as a court agent).
Mayer wouldn't forget this and, in his will, outlined strict, controversial provisions regarding Rothschild marriages.
Mayer was concerned that the family's fortune would be diluted as it grew through marriages. As such, his will "barred female descendants from any direct inheritance" and, in effect, provided incentives for intermarriages. Four of his granddaughters married grandsons (first cousins), while one married her uncle.
Now, is this really a tale of Started from the Bottom?
Or, much like Drake, is there a rich Uncle involved?
To answer that, we need to ask: who came before Mayer Amschel?
Well, his father, Amschel Moses had a business in goods-trading and currency exchange.
He was a personal supplier of collectable coins to the Prince of Hesse.
We'll come back to that shortly...
We know little about Mayer Amschel's grandparents and more remote ancestors.
The family did previously use the name "Bauer" - in fact the name Rothschild didn't really stick until Mayer Amschel's generation came along.
Benjamin Franklin once observed that in life only death and taxes are inevitable; they are also virtually the only things about which records survive for the earliest Rothschilds.
The most we can say about the early Rothschilds is that they were relatively successful small businessmen dealing in, among other things, cloth.
Five years before his death in 1585, Isak zum roten Schild had a taxable income of 2,700 gulden.
A century later his great-grandson Kalman, a moneychanger who also dealt in wool and silk, had a taxable income more than twice as large.
It seems that his son (Mayer Amschel's grandfather Moses) successfully developed his father's business, continuing the process of steady social ascent by marrying, successively, the daughters of a tax collector and of a doctor.
With the help of relatives, Mayer Amschel secured an apprenticeship under Jacob Wolf Oppenheimer, at the banking firm of Simon Wolf Oppenheimer in Hanover, in 1757, where he acquired useful knowledge in foreign trade and currency exchange, before returning to his brothers' business in Frankfurt in 1763.
He became a dealer in rare coins and, just as his father had done previously, won the patronage of the Prince of Hesse.
His coin business grew to include a number of princely patrons, and then expanded through the provision of financial services to the Prince of Hesse.
In 1769, Mayer Amschel gained the title of "Court Agent", managing the finances of the immensely wealthy Prince of Hesse who in 1785 became William IX, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel, and inherited one of the largest fortunes in Europe at the time.

Part 2/6 - The Five Arrows
The Rothschild coat-of-arms includes a fist clutching five arrows, a reference to Mayer's five sons.
At the turn of the nineteenth century, Mayer sent his sons to establish banks in Frankfurt, Naples, Vienna, France, and London.
The release of the "Five Arrows" symbolises strength through unity, and marks the beginning of the Rothschild's global banking dynasty.

Part 3/6 - Nathan Mayer
Napoleon was on the march through Europe, and William gave his fortune to Mayer Amschel to protect it from being seized by Napoleon.
Mayer was able to hide the money by sending it to his son Nathan in London.
The London Rothschild office had to spend it somewhere, and loaned it to the British Crown, in order to finance the British armies fighting Napoleon in Spain and Portugal in the Peninsular War.
These savvy investments of William's money paid off handsomely, netting sufficient interest that their own wealth eventually exceeded that of their original nest-egg client (the nest-egg client who had inherited the largest fortune in Europe remember).
This marked the birth of the Rothschild banking dynasty.
Historian Niall Ferguson outlines the sheer scale of the Rothschild family's operations:
"For most of the nineteenth century, N M Rothschild was part of the biggest bank in the world which dominated the international bond market. For a contemporary equivalent, one has to imagine a merger between Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, J P Morgan and probably Goldman Sachs too — as well, perhaps, as the International Monetary Fund, given the nineteen-century Rothschild's role in stabilizing the finances of numerous governments."
Nathan pioneered the ingenious strategy of lending to governments during wartime.
This tactic, used when Nathan funded Wellington's army in 1814, is the primary cause of the explosion in the family's wealth during what proved to be 150 years of nearly chronic warfare.
Of course, the Rothschilds played no role in instigating said conflicts...
Continual war in Europe created excellent opportunities to profit from smuggling scarce consumer goods past military blockades. Since the Rothschilds often financed both sides in a conflict and were known to have great political influence, the mere sight of the red shield on a leather pouch, a carriage, or a ship's flag was sufficient to insure that the messenger or his cargo could pass through check points in either direction. This immunity allowed them to deal in a thriving black market for cotton goods, yarn, tobacco, coffee, sugar, and indigo; and they moved freely through the borders of Germany, Scandinavia, Holland, Spain, England, and France.
This government protection was one of those indirect benefits that generated commercial profits - of course they were also getting interest on the underlying government loans.
Even the friendliest of biographers admit that, for more than two centuries, the House of Rothschild profited handsomely from wars and economic collapses, the very occasions on which others sustained the greatest losses.

Part 4/6 - Nat
The Rothschilds tend to keep tend to keep out of the limelight.
One of the family’s grande dames said you should only appear in the newspapers on three occasions: hatch (aka birth), match (aka marriage) and dispatch (aka death).
Therefore, this makes the odd flamboyant Rothschild stand out even more.
One that springs to mind is Nat Rothschild (Jacob Rothschild's son) and ex Bullingdon Club member who in 2016 married former Page 3 model Loretta Basey.
According to Forbes, Nat's net worth was $1 billion in 2012, but he lost his official billionaire status the next year.
However, according to an article in the Observer in 2000, Nat's actual inheritance is hidden in a series of trusts in Switzerland and rumoured to be worth £40BN (i.e. $60 billion.)

Part 5/6 - Ghislaine Maxwell?
Alan Dershoiwtz, who once defended Jeffrey Epstein in court, writes:
"My wife and I were introduced to Ghislaine Maxwell by Sir Evelyn and Lady Lynne de Rothschild..."
Evelyn de Rothschild and his wife Lynn were introduced by none other than Henry Kissinger at the 1998 Bilderberg Group conference in Scotland. They married two years later, and were invited to spend their honeymoon at the White House by the Clintons.
I have an idea!
Let's type Rothschild into the WikiLeaks Hilary Clinton Email Archive.
Nice. 69 results. Let's check out the intercourse between Hilary and Lynn.
How about this one - Info For You on the 25th of September 2010?
In that email chain, we have the following message from Hilary to Lynne.
"Lynn,
I was trying to reach you to tell you and Teddy that I asked Tony Blair to go to Israel as part of our full court press on keeping the Middle East negotiations going. He told me that he had a commitment in Aspen with you two and the conference, but after we talked, he decided to go and asked me to tell you. He is very sorry, obviously, but I'm grateful that he accepted my request. I hope you all understand and give him a raincheck...Let me know what penance I owe you. And please explain to Teddy. As ever, H"

Part 6/6 - True Extent
We come to the kicker: what is true extent of the Rothschild's wealth?
Of course, it is impossible to pin down an exact number because of the level of diversification of their wealth and the secrecy with which the offshore infrastructure operates.
After all, we know what happens to those that try to expose this shady world.
Worryingly, Panama is only one of more than 90 financial secrecy jurisdictions around the world today, compared with just a dozen or so in the early 1970s.
Together, as of 2015, they hold at least $24 trillion to $36 trillion in anonymous private financial wealth, most of which belong to the top 0.1 percent of the planet’s wealthiest.
Of course, none of this offshore wealth belongs to the Rothschilds...
In 2003, the Sunday Times identified Jacob Rothschild as the secret holder of the large stake in Yukos that was previously controlled by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the oil company's chairman.
The size of this stake? £8 billion.
In 2003, the pound dollar exchange rate was 1.63 - therefore the dollar value of the stake was around $13 billion.
In 2017, Jacob's net worth was pegged at under one billion dollars.
No comment...
According to the Forbes List, the richest individual Rothschild is Benjamin de Rothschild, from the French branch of the family, with a net worth of $1.5BN.
This is despite the fact that Benjamin presides over the Edmond de Rothschild Group, which manages over $175 billion in assets. In August 2019, de Rothschild's family bought out the group's public shareholders.
But yes, of course Benjamin, supposedly the richest Rothschild, is worth 2/3 of Donald Trump.
Speaking of Donald Trump...
Trump at one time owned a quarter of Atlantic City’s casino market.
However, Trump was heavily in debt, and he started missing bond payments on his — and Atlantic City’s — largest casino, the Taj Mahal, in 1990.
Wilbur Ross, then an investment banker working for...you guessed it, Rothschild Inc., helped bondholders negotiate with Trump, whose finances were unraveling. The final deal reduced Trump’s ownership stake in the Taj but left him in charge, and bondholders were unhappy when Ross presented the plan.
“Why did we make a deal with him?” one bondholder asked.
Ross insisted that Trump was worth saving.
“The Trump name is still very much an asset,” he said.
In 2017, Ross became Secretary of Commerce.
Remember folks: Presidents are selected... not elected.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wbIGFgxJd0
submitted by financeoptimum to investing_discussion [link] [comments]

What A Day: Crash in Toomey by Sarah Lazarus & Crooked Media (12/18/20)

"Lindsey’s been a personal disappointment." - Joe Biden, in the words of so many before him
What a year! We'll be on hiatus until Monday, January 4. Safe and happy holidays, and see you around the inbox in 2021.

Night Of The Living Fed

Say what you will about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, but it takes a special kind of work ethic to spend the weekend before Christmas holding up coronavirus relief for nefarious political reasons, while taking just one quick break to get a vaccine in short supply. Sorry, not work ethic—what’s the phrase?—moral bankruptcy.
In their mad scramble back to Austerity Mode, Republicans have held off calls for larger direct payments from (checks notes) Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) and (squints at notes, dons bifocals) President Donald Trump.
The embarrassing stimulus package that Senate Republicans will eventually, begrudgingly agree to is only on the table because they worry they’ll lose both Georgia Senate runoffs next month if they don’t pass something. Imagine what relief efforts will look like if Mitch McConnell is still in power in the new year without his majority at stake, then grab a shift to help Georgia voters send him packing.

Look No Further Than The Crooked Media

Unholier Than Thou just released a very special episode with Crooked Media alum Brittany Packnett Cunningham. Phill and Brittany discuss the idea of Jesus Christ in the modern context as a social justice warrior. With Christmas fast approaching, the discussion around the identity (as a brown man, inmate, undocumented immigrant, etc.) of the holiday’s namesake is more relevant than ever. Take a listen, and make sure to subscribe to Unholier Than Thou wherever you get your podcasts

Under The Radar

Here, we got you a little Christmas grift: Jared Kusher helped create a shell company that funneled millions of dollars in campaign funding to Trump family members. American Made Media Consultants Corporation, whose creation Kushner approved, has spent approximately half of the Trump campaign’s $1.26 billion in total funds since 2019. The company allowed the Trump campaign to shield details of its spending, and while earlier reporting pinned the whole scheme on former Trump Campaign Manager Brad Parscale, we now know that the family was directly involved: Lara Trump was AMMC’s president, Vice President Mike Pence’s nephew was (fittingly) veep, and Trump campaign CFO Sean Dollman was treasurer and secretary. Nothing a last-minute blanket pardon won’t clear up!

What Else?

The Trump administration has abruptly halted defense briefings for Biden’s transition team. After Axios reported that Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller had ordered Pentagon officials to stop cooperating with the transition, Miller explained that it was just for a wildly unusual holiday break. Here’s Biden transition director Yohannes Abraham: “Let me be clear: there was no mutually agreed upon holiday break."
The Supreme Court delayed a ruling on whether Trump can exclude undocumented immigrants from the Census count. The three liberal justices disagreed that it was “premature” to rule that the policy is unconstitutional.
Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA), an incoming White House senior advisor, has tested positive for coronavirus after campaigning alongside Biden in Georgia on Tuesday. Biden tested negative on Thursday.
Former national security advisor Michael Flynn has continued calling for Trump to institute martial law to remain in power, arguing that military coups are actually no big deal in a Thursday appearance on Newsmax.
Rupert Murdoch has received his first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, while Tucker Carlson goes on his network and scares the shit out of people with vaccine disinformation.
New York City’s Department of Investigation released a report outlining the many ways the NYPD screwed up during the George Floyd protests, resulting in excessive use of force.
The New York Times has retracted the reporting of its Caliphate podcast and will return the Peabody award it won, acknowledging that the central figure’s account of acting as an ISIS executioner in Syria couldn’t be substantiated.
The Space Force announced that its members will be called “Guardians,” and that this was the result of a year-long naming process, and that it is “a name chosen by space professionals, for space professionals,” and that Guardians will be hired based on resemblance to Chris Pratt, and only that last part is made up.
Atlantic City is auctioning off the opportunity to blow up Trump’s casino. If that’s out of your price range, keep in mind that tweeting “lol remember when you lost” at the president is both legal and free.
We normally wouldn't amplify vaccine misinformation, but this is important.

Be Smarter

The extensive Russian hack of federal networks that the president has yet to acknowledge keeps getting more alarming. At least six government departments were breached in an operation that went undetected for eight months. DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency warned that malware-infused software updates from SolarWinds may not have been hackers’ only access point to government networks, and restoring security to those networks may take months. It’s still unclear how many total agencies were affected or what data may have been stolen. Anyway, remember three decades ago, in 2018, when the Trump administration eliminated the cybersecurity coordinator role on the NSC, and then spent 2019 bullying a whole bunch of cybersecurity experts out of the government? Seems like that might be worth a second look.

What A Sponsor

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Is That Hope I Feel?

The FDA has authorized Moderna's coronavirus vaccine.
Nearly 76,000 new voters, a majority of them under the age of 35, have registered in Georgia since the November election.
A federal judge has rejected a lawsuit from Sens. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) and David Purdue (R-GA) aiming to get those new voters’ ballots thrown out.
More than 1.1 million people in four countries have received their first coronavirus vaccine shots, according to a Bloomberg vaccine tracker that’s deeply soothing to stare at.
Look at you. Thank you. Keep it going.

Enjoy

Netflix Is A Joke on Twitter: "We asked @KeatonPatti to force a bot to watch over 1,000 hours of holiday movies and then asked it to write a holiday movie of its own. Then we animated it. Here it is"
submitted by kittehgoesmeow to FriendsofthePod [link] [comments]

A list of ties between Russia and the President

Trump has been in Russia’s pocket for a long time:
► Trump was over a billion in debt and the Russians bailed him out.
► Trump was first compromised by the Russians in the 80s. In 1984, the Russian Mafia began to useTrump real estate to launder money. In 1987, the Soviet ambassador to the United Nations, Yuri Dubinin, arranged for Trump and his then-wife, Ivana, to enjoy an all-expense-paid trip to Moscow to consider possible business prospects. Only seven weeks after his trip, Trump ran full-page ads in the Boston Globe, the NYT and WaPO calling for, in effect, the dismantling of the postwar Western foreign policy alliance. The whole Trump/Russian connection started out as laundering money for the Russian mob through Trump's real estate, but evolved into something far bigger.
► In 1984, David Bogatin — a convicted Russian mobster and close ally of Semion Mogilevich, a major Russian mob boss — met with Trump in Trump Tower right after it opened. Bogatin bought five condos from Trump at that meeting. Those condos were later seized by the government, which claimed they were used to launder money for the Russian mob. (NY Times, Apr 30, 1992)
► [Felix Sater](https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felix_Sater } is a Russian-born former mobster, and former managing director of NY real estate conglomerate Bayrock Group LLC located on the 24th floor of Trump Tower. He is a convict who became a govt cooperator for the FBI and other agencies. He grew up with Michael Cohen--Trump's former "fixer" attorney. Cohen's family owned El Caribe, which was a mob hangout for the Russian Mafia in Brooklyn. Cohen had ties to Ukrainian oligarchs through his in-laws and his brother's in-laws. Felix Sater's father had ties to the Russian mob. This goes back more than 30 years.
► Trump was $4 billion in debt after his Atlantic City casinos went bankrupt. No U.S. bank would touch him. Then foreign money began flowing in through Bayrock (mentioned above). Bayrock was run by two investors: Tevfik Arif, a Kazakhstan-born former Soviet official who drew on bottomless sources of money from the former Soviet republic; and Felix Sater, a Russian-born businessman who had pleaded guilty in the 1990s to a huge stock-fraud scheme involving the Russian mafia. Bayrock partnered with Trump in 2005 and poured money into the Trump organization under the legal guise of licensing his name and property management.
► In July 2008, the height of the housing bust, Trump sold a mansion in Palm Beach for $95 million to Dmitry Rybolovlev, a Russian oligarch. Trump had purchased it four years earlier for $41.35 million. The sale price was nearly $54 million more than Trump had paid for the property. Again, this was the height of the recession when all other property had plummeted in value.
► Semion Mogilevich was the brains behind the Russian Mafia. Mogilevich operatives have been using Trump real estate for decades to launder money. That means Russian Mafia operatives have been part of his fortune for years. Many of them owned condos in Trump Towers and other properties. They were running operations out of Trump's crown jewel.
► So many Russians bought Trump apartments at his developments in Florida that the area became known as Little Moscow. The developers of two of his hotels were Russians with significant links to the Russian mob. The late leader of that mob in the United States, Vyacheslav Kirillovich Ivankov, was living at Trump Tower
► According to a Bloomberg investigation (3/16/2017) into Trump World Tower, “a third of units sold on floors 76 through 83 by 2004 involved people or limited liability companies connected to Russia and neighboring states.”
► In 2013, Federal agents busted an “ultraexclusive, high-stakes, illegal poker ring” run by Russian gangsters out of Trump Tower. They operated card games, illegal gambling websites, and a global sports book and laundered more than $100 million. A condo directly below one owned by Trump reportedly served as HQ for a “sophisticated money-laundering scheme” connected to Semion Mogilevich.
► The Russia Mafia is part and parcel of Russian intelligence. Russia is a mafia state. That is not a metaphor. Putin is head of the Mafia. So the fact that they have been operating out of the home of the president of the United States is deeply disturbing.
► Rudy Giuliani famously prosecuted the Italian mob while he was a federal prosecutor, yet the Russian mob was allowed to thrive. Now he's deeply entwined in the business of Trump and Russian oligarchs. Giuiani appointed Semyon Kislin to the NYC Economic Development Council in 1990, and the FBI described Kislin as having ties to the Russian mob. Of course, it made good political sense for Giuliani to get headlines for smashing the Italian mob.
► A lot of Republicans in Washington are implicated. Boatloads of Russian money went to the GOP--often in legal ways. The NRA got as much as $70M from Russia, then funneled it to the GOP. The Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee lead by McConnell got millions from Leonard Blavatnik. In the 90s, the Russians began sending money to top GOP leaders, like Speaker of the House Tom Delay. Craig Unger's book alleges that most of the GOP leadership has been compromised by RU money.
► At the Cityscape USA’s Bridging US and the Emerging Real Estate Markets Conference held in Manhattan, on September 9, 10, and 11, 2008, Donald Trump Jr. was frank about the tide of Russian money supporting the family business, saying "...And in terms of high-end product influx into the US, Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets."
► Eric Trump told golf reporter James Dodson in 2014 that the Trump Organization was able to expand during the financial crisis because “We don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.”
► Russian oligarchs co-signed Trump’s Deutsche bank loans.
Trump now gleefully takes cues from Putin: ► Trump went against American intelligence on North Korean missiles. He told the FBI he didn't believe their intelligence because Putin told him otherwise. “I don't care, I believe Putin"
Trump met in secret with Putin at the G20 summit in November 2018, without note takers. 19 days later, he announced a withdrawal from Syria.
Trump refused to enforce sanctions legally codified into law - and in some cases reversed standing sanctions on Russian companies.
► He has denounced his own intelligence agencies in a press conference with Putin on election meddling - and publicly endorsed Putin's version of events.
Demanded Russia get invited back into G7
► Pushed the CIA to give American intelligence to the Kremlin.
► Withdrew from the Open Skies treaty
Received intelligence in 2019 that Russia was paying bounties for dead American soldiers, and hasn't done anything about it
Compiled by u/Torbert420.
submitted by readwritethink to conspiracy [link] [comments]

Aquaman #37: Headline

Aquaman #37: Headline

<< | < | >
Author: Predaplant
Book: Aquaman
Arc: Breach
Set: 54
“Great to finally meet you, Your Majesties.” the man in the suit said, nodding to Orin and Mera. “My name is Dr. Stephen Shin. I’m an expert on Atlantis; or, at least, an expert on surface perceptions of your fine nation. I’ll be interviewing you today.”
“Nice to meet you, Dr. Shin.” Mera sat with her legs folded and her hands clasped lightly on her lap.
Orin sat next to her. They were in plain wooden chairs that he was finding very uncomfortable. He had no idea how Mera was able to look so composed; he couldn’t stop fidgeting. “Likewise. I assume you’ve been very busy these past few months.”
Shin smiled. “That would be correct. But for you two, there’s always time. Shall I start with my questions?”
Nodding, Orin tried to force a smile. He had heard smiling helped people feel more relaxed. He had spent the last few weeks travelling, meeting with international delegates, and it had worked wonders for him. “Go ahead, Doctor.”
Clearing his throat, Shin held his papers up to his eye level, peering through his bifocals. “You may have fully revealed yourself to the world recently, but a few years ago, Your Majesty, you showed yourself and your abilities to us as a member of the Justice League. Have you noticed any difference in treatment now that the world knows you’re a king, as opposed to when you were strictly considered a hero?”
“There is a bit of a difference. People still do their best to treat me well, and people are still wary of how powerful I am. But it’s a different type of power.” Orin tapped his foot as he thought. “I’d say the biggest difference isn’t across time, but across space. In Atlantis, I’m the king. That’s what I’m known for. Here... people look at me, they see Aquaman, not King Orin. So getting past that impression is the hardest part for me when trying to be taken seriously.” He glanced down at his clothes before laughing. “Maybe I should be wearing a suit instead of these scales. That might command more respect.”
∿∿∿∿∿∿∿∿
Orin tried to look nonchalant, the blond-haired white man in Tokyo thumbing through a tankōbon with somebody who looked an awful lot like him on the cover. He had started a world tour of sorts. His travels hadn’t started out that way. At first they were just a few visits to individual countries. However, it seemed whenever he got around to visiting a country there were three more invitations waiting for him back in Atlantis, so it got to the point where he simply wanted to do all of them in one fell swoop.
And when he got to Japan, it only made sense that he should go and check out his manga. The temptation to see what the world thought of him was too alluring.
He couldn’t read Japanese, but flipping through it it was obvious that the mangaka had taken some... creative liberties.
When he reached the drum-playing octopus he had to back out.
Sliding the tankōbon back on the shelf, he headed back to the entrance, sliding past a couple teens, whose mouths gaped open. “Aquaman...” he heard one of them whisper.
He nodded in their direction as he exited the store. They followed, pulling out their phones and taking pictures. Orin waved his hand as he speed-walked away. “No pictures, please.”
They kept following him. As he walked, a few people turned to stare at him. They recognized him. Blub.
He took a deep breath as he headed for Tokyo Bay. Looking over his shoulder, there were now around a dozen people following him, and as the noise behind him grew louder he broke into a run. The bay was within sight, with only one street between him and the harbour.
The light turned red just a second too late, the intersection in front of him filling up with cars. He was swarmed by more camera flashes and people reaching towards him with pen and paper, looking for autographs.
There was nothing for him to do but give the crowd what they wanted.
Two hours later he finally made it the last hundred metres to the Bay, slipping into the water softly. Hopefully wherever he headed next, he wouldn’t be as much of a celebrity.
∿∿∿∿∿∿∿∿
Chuckling, Shin lowered his papers for a second. “Maybe. So Your Majesty Queen Mera...”
“Just Mera is fine.” she broke in. “I personally don’t mind, for the purposes of this interview. Do you mind if he uses your name, Orin?”
“Fine by me if you call me Orin, Dr. Shin.”
Shin nodded, glancing down at his papers. “Alright then. Mera, this has been your first major exposure to the surface and surface life. Have you been experiencing culture shock?”
Mera absentmindedly twirled her hair around her finger. “I don’t think culture shock’s quite the right word for it. Orin’s told me all about his life growing up, so I had a good idea of what the surface is like. And I don’t spend much time there anyways, since Orin’s much better suited to deal with our foreign relations considering his upbringing. From what I’ve seen, however, it seems like a very nice place, though it is very strange in some ways.”
∿∿∿∿∿∿∿∿
Orin strolled down the boardwalk, holding Mera’s hand lightly in his. It had been a while since they’d had any real alone time that wasn’t taken up by the whale in the room of governing Atlantis.
He had wanted to bring her to the surface for a while, and Atlantic City was as good a place as any. Whenever they wanted to leave, they had an easy path to the sea, and he had never been as a child.
“So you’re telling me these casinos... people go there knowing that they’ll probably lose money?”
“Yeah,” Orin nodded. “But there’s a chance they might win. So they’ll keep trying.”
“People will do anything for a chance to win, huh?” she noted.
Orin turned to face her, pushing her scarlet hair back over her shoulder. “Maybe that’s what we’ve been doing, too. Trying to stare down the rest of the world and win.”
“We have a superhero, we can manage that.” Mera buried her face in his chest as she gave him a hug.
“Thanks for the support.” Orin said, stroking her hair. “Now come on, let’s get some taffy.”
Mera looked up at him from the hug. “Taffy? Some surface food, I presume.”
“You got it. It’s good, you have to try it. Nothing like this in Atlantis, I can promise you that.” Orin had been counting the taffy stalls as they had been walking, and he had gotten up to almost fifty. Spotting one just ahead of them, he pointed as he said “Let’s go to that one.”
As they approached, the man behind the counter smiled at them. “You want some taffy?”
“We’ll take a bag.” Orin said.
“What is this... taffy... exactly like?” Mera asked cautiously.
The taffy maker smiled. “You’ve never had saltwater taffy before?”
“No, this’ll be my first time.”
He stared off into space. “Ah, if only I could experience having taffy for the first time again...” He turned back to Mera, a grin on his face. “You’re in for a treat.”
Mera nodded. “Thank you very much.”
Orin paid for the taffy, and they made their way to a nearby bench. Sitting down, with his arm around Mera’s shoulder, Orin opened the bag.
Taking a piece, Mera popped it into her mouth, chewed slowly, and swallowed. Her face lit up. “This is really good!”
“I’m really happy you like it. Here, take another.” Orin smiled as he unwrapped the taffy.
∿∿∿∿∿∿∿∿
“Well, I’m very glad to hear you think that about us.” Shin turned back to face Orin. “Do you think Atlantis has anything to be afraid of from the surface? Or vice versa, of course.”
“If we had to fear anything from the surface it would be surface weaponry, and surface heroes. Just knowing that we exist makes us a much easier target to hit.” Orin said. “After all, it seems like there’s a threat to civilization as we know it a couple times a month, so that in itself is a terrifying proposition for a nation to face for the first time, or at least be made newly aware of.”
Mera squeezed Orin’s hand, the signal to let her take over. Looking over to her, she smiled at him. “As for the surface being afraid of us, I wouldn’t be too worried. We’re relatively small, and while many of us do have... powers, we will do our best to keep our citizens in line. Rest assured that we have no intentions of attacking the coastal nations of the world.”
Shin smiled at her. “Thanks for the reassurance.”
“The Justice League trusts me.” Orin said calmly. “If you trust them, then you can trust me.”
∿∿∿∿∿∿∿∿
Having imagined England as an alternative magical world as a child, Orin was disappointed, to put it mildly, as he made his way through the streets to the rendezvous point.
It just looked like the US, except the street was mirrored.
And it was a lot more rainy.
Head down, still hoping that he’d stumble across something out of one of the imported picture books he read as a kid, Orin turned into a small alcove and knocked on a plain, unassuming, dark blue door, paint faded from what seemed to be long years of neglect.
The door opened, and Orin walked through, head still down.
He found himself in a plain foyer that had a few hallways branching off of it. Using his powers to push the rain off of himself, he collected it into a ball and used the water to give the plants in the corner of the room a light shower before walking down the hallway with the gold carpeting.
Fifth door on the right. Knock four times. Orin stood around in the hallway for a few seconds, tapping the shoes he had purchased the day before in Ottawa. Shoes didn’t keep long underwater; he’d gone through three or four pairs already since he had started his tour.
Orin looked around the room. Three diplomats, there to greet him. They shook hands, gave him their names. Plus a hero in the corner, as always, this one dressed in a Tower Guard outfit. Nobody bothered to tell Orin the hero’s name; it was like he wasn’t there.
It wasn’t actually that bad. They didn’t have too many questions for him, especially compared to some of the other NATO countries he had visited, and said they could use a similar contract to the one Atlantis had used with the US. Plus he didn’t have to worry about his words going through an interpreter, which was a nice bonus.
After only an hour and a half he was ready to leave. It was short, as these meetings went. As he turned to go after shaking hands, one of them tapped on his shoulder.
Stopping, he looked back at her. She was shorter than average, with green eyes and blonde hair that was tied back in a bun. Her name had been given as Stubbs. “Can we speak in private? It won’t be long.”
“Alright, you know somewhere here that’s private?” Orin asked.
She nodded. “Just through here.” Moving quickly, she pulled open the door to the hall. Orin followed and stuck his head around the corner to see her unlocking another door a couple doors down.
He followed her as she pushed the door open to reveal a bare room with a couple chairs. Closing the door, she moved to lock it behind her. Orin grabbed her hand.
“I’d rather not be locked in here with somebody I don’t trust, Stubbs.” Orin said quietly. “Please leave it unlocked, if you can’t leave it open.”
She paused, and looked up at him for a second, casually leaning against the door. “OK” she replied.
“So what is it you wanted to ask me?” he asked. “Must be pretty important if you need so much privacy.”
She looked around the room, drawing a shaky breath and letting it out before responding. When she did, it was in a hesitant tone. “Have you heard about N.E.M.O.?”
Orin scratched his head. “No? Should I have?”
Stubbs smiled for a moment. “If you had I’d be surprised. But you should know about them and that’s why I’m telling you. They’re an organization that seeks to gain control over the oceans. I have a... family connection to them. I know they’re trying to destroy you and Atlantis as a whole.”
He nodded, pushing past her to grab the door handle. “Thanks for letting me know. Hope you have a good day, any other hobby groups you want to let me know about?”
“No, you don’t understand, they’re going to destroy Atlantis!” she repeated, placing her hand over his, struggling to prevent him from moving the handle.
Orin sighed. “Listen, Stubbs, there are always going to be groups wanting to destroy you. You learn that, as a king. Almost none of them are going to be able to make any serious attempt. I’ve learned to let it go.” He opened the door. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I’d like to make it back to Atlantis for dinner.”
∿∿∿∿∿∿∿∿
“That leads me to another question.” Shin pulled out a pen and scribbled down a few words on his paper. “Has the Justice League said anything to you about your reveal? After all, it has made a pretty big splash.” He sat in silence for a few moments. “Pardon the pun.”
“Any conversations I’ve had with any other members of the Justice League are between us, Dr. Shin. That being said, it’s nice to be able to be more open. You might see me helping the League more often in the future; I know I haven’t been the best teammate.” Tapping his finger on the arm of his chair, Orin gazed at a fixed point in space. “Leading Atlantis has and will always come first, and I trust my teammates to handle crises.”
∿∿∿∿∿∿∿∿
There was a quick knock on the door before Dolphin came rushing in on a cold current. Orin and Mera were eating dinner together, Orin having just returned from another surface visit. “We’ve got mail!!” She swooped down in front of her foster parents. “Got a few letters from your Templar friends, Mera. And something that is apparently top secret for you, Orin.” She squinted at a package she was carrying about the size of her fist, that had been stamped with a Top Secret stamp on five of the six sides. Tentatively, she placed it in front of him.
“Thanks, Dolphin.” He stared at the box as it sat on the table. He hesitated to open it. The sixth side bore a different stamp. The Justice League one.
“You gonna open that now?” Mera asked.
Orin looked at the box for a few more seconds before answering. “I might leave it for a few days. Let it sit a bit, you know?”
“You should probably open it now.” she said, showing him a letter she had received.
It simply stated, in letters big enough for him to read it from across the table:
TELL ORIN TO OPEN HIS JL BOX ASAP!
“Alright, fine, I’m doing it!” Orin said as he dug his nail into the box, prying it open.
Inside was a Justice League communicator and a note. Picking up the scrap of paper, Orin squinted at the tiny writing:
 Hi Orin, We didn’t know if your communicator got lost or broken, since the originals weren’t pressure-tested, so here’s a new one that should work even down in Atlantis! We haven’t heard from you in a while and you’ve been on our minds recently so here’s a token of appreciation! Btw I rigged it so I get a notification if you broke the seal, so you should receive a call from me soon! All the best, Watchtower 
(Then there were two lines below that were even tinier, each in their own handwriting:)
 + Wonder Woman And Wonder Girl! 
The communicator buzzed. Staring warily at it, Orin pressed the button with one finger.
“Hello? This is Watchtower calling Atlantis? Anyone there?”
Clearing his throat, Orin responded. “Hi Watchtower! This is Aquaman speaking from Atlantis.”
“Oh good, we were able to reach you! I was worried it would get intercepted somewhere along the line. So, how have you been doing?” Watchtower’s voice sounded out across the dining hall with just a hint of static.
“We’re doing good! Yeah...” Orin looked across the table at Mera, staring at him as she slowly chewed her greens. “We’re eating dinner right now, though. Can we call you back later?”
“Yeah, sure. Whatever works for you guys. I always forget about time zone differences. Just give me a shout when you’re available.”
“Will do. Talk soon.” Orin turned the communicator over in his hand.
“Alright, talk then!” The absence of the voice somehow made the hall seem that much emptier.
“So... who was that?” Dolphin asked, grinning.
∿∿∿∿∿∿∿∿
“I don’t think any of us fault you for your devotion to Atlantis, Orin. It is a truly incredible place.” Shin said as he flipped over his page. “One last question for the night. Would you say that you’ve met with any... complications with your arrival into the larger global marketplace?”
Mera replied, her quiet voice resonating in the mostly empty room. “Things have been mostly smooth. We’ve been opening up in stages, and things have been running smoothly. The biggest complication has been sorting out the mess of requests for surface visits and trade that we’ve had since we’ve started opening up. Turns out when a whole world suddenly opens up, people want to see it.”
∿∿∿∿∿∿∿∿
The first requests for visas to Atlantis had come in the day before, and Swatt was a bit swamped, to say the least. He was surprised he had found enough filing cabinets in all of Atlantis to keep things in order; he hadn’t bothered to count the requests, but there must have been at least a few hundred. And each one had to have a reason for visiting that had to be corroborated with some Atlantean contact, and they had to have a background check from their associated government... it had sounded good at the time, but he didn’t know that there would be so much work.
Knocks sounded on the door to Swatt’s office. Fast, three times. Grumbling, Swatt got up and opened the door to find Tula waiting for him. “We’ve got a disturbance out at the trading point. Your assistance is needed as soon as possible.”
“Is that supposed to mean now?” Swatt asked.
“Yes” Tula replied.
“Alright, I’m coming, I’m coming.” Swatt followed Tula, the door left open behind them. Blub the visas, they could wait until another day.
It took a while to reach the outer limits of Atlantis, where the trading point was located. Swatt wished he was able to talk to Tula, but due to only being half-Atlantean he was marginally slower than her, and his breathing was strained just trying to keep up.
A lot of the other Drift soldiers tended to look down on him. It happened, especially considering his origins and relative lack of skill, but Swatt had helped train Tula when she was just a kid coming up through the ranks, and he hoped that she still thought well of him. At least she remembered to go slowly.
When Swatt finally surfaced and pulled himself over the edge of the sea platform that served as the hub, the problem wasn’t immediate. There was no man standing over a bomb, nor was there a boat full of rice that needed to be paid for, cash on delivery.
As he clambered onto the platform, everything looked normal. That is, until Tula brought him over to a Black woman with two young children, standing together next to a speedboat at the edge of the platform. “I’ve been here an hour waiting for someone who can see to let us know if you guys can take us as immigrants yet. Couldn’t find anything saying for sure online so I just figured I’d come and see what you guys can do.”
There was a hiss as Swatt removed his helmet. “We don’t have anything set up in stone yet, but we might be able to work with existing laws, set something up real quick. I’ll talk to the king, see what I can do.”
She nodded, optimism tinging her voice. “Thank you. I don’t want a part in any country that’s gotten to the point that Lex Luthor might turn out as president.” She spat out Luthor’s name spitefully.
Swatt pulled his helmet back on and dove into the ocean.
A couple hours later, he returned. “Alright, I’ve drafted up this basic immigration law, nothing fancy but it’ll do, and I got the Queen to sign it. I’ve got somebody to bring up suits for you and your children. Had to guess at the sizes, but they should be close. Is it alright if you come to my office for some forms?”
She nodded, a smile on her face. “Thank you so much for all of this, I never meant to cause so much trouble, I swear.”
“We needed immigration law anyways, ma’am. Don’t worry too much about it.” Swatt looked at the setting sun across the waves. Another day gone. But at least he had gotten something done, helped somebody out. In the end, wasn’t that always the goal?
∿∿∿∿∿∿∿∿
“I’ll end it here then. Orin, Mera, I’m glad to have met you. Hopefully I can come visit your great civilization soon.” Shin stood up, holding his papers under his arm.
“We’ll be happy to have you.” Orin said, stretching.
After Shin left the room, Orin turned to Mera. “So, what’d you think?”
“Easier than you were making it out to be.” She headed for the exit.
“Come on, Mera, you’re telling me you weren’t nervous?” Orin followed after her.
She punched his arm. “Don’t take it so seriously, I was just joking. Yes, I was nervous. But thank you, for taking the lead.”
Rubbing his arm, Orin grinned. “Alright then, let’s head back to Atlantis. Can’t let the work pile up too much.”
Mera smiled. “Lead the way.”
NEXT TIME
Orin and Garth have both been manipulated by N.E.M.O., despite their best efforts. Backed into a corner, they need to decide their next courses of action. Will they join together, or will rising tensions force them apart? Breach reaches its conclusion!
Coming December 1 in Aquaman #38!
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