News from the world of big profits

Two items from 538 Significant Digits:

$100 billion in profit

For the first time in history, the six biggest Wall Street banks — JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley — made $100 billion in profit in a year. “They have Republican tax cuts to thank,” wrote Bloomberg. [Bloomberg]


$1 to $2 increase

Over the next few months, Netflix will increase the prices of all of its subscription plays by $1 to $2. “A Christmas Prince 3: Trimming the Tree” won’t make itself for free, you know? Netflix stock jumped 6 percent on the news. [CNN Business]

Which reminds me: the next time I hear anything from anyone about how Democratic politicians are in the thrall of Wall Street, I’m coming to your house and I will swat you one.

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The Trump inauguration: where did all that money go?

The Times has a stomach-churning piece about this.

On your behalf — and as an ex-office administrator who knew where all the money went, to the penny and who filled out federal government expense reports — I’ve sacrificed myself to compile an accounting summary so you don’t have to read the entire story. Because I have a strong stomach and know how to cope.

I’ve highlighted my absolute fave item.

  • Blocks of hotel rooms for guests who didn’t use them because they booked their own accommodations. Miscommunication? Cost: $6.4 million.
  • Melania’s (ex)pal, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, [warning: if you click on this link you’ll have a UGE picture of Trump smiling in your face; you may not be able to take it, so…] formed a company, WIS Media, specifically to [mis]manage inaugural affairs. Fee paid to WIS: $20 million.
  • Brad Parscale’s firm paid to do online advertisements to “drum up inaugural crowds.” [We have seen photos attesting to his success.][Given his “expertise” in online ads & digital crap, I think he’s a great candidate for Russian Troll Farm connection to Trump campaign. Indictment in the works with his name on it?] Cost: $2 million.
  • Trump Int’l Hotel, for services “including the use of a ballroom, an ‘annex’ and a space called the townhouse. Cost: $1.5 million +.
  • WIS (remember them? See above) flew in 3 dozen staff members who stayed in DC for weeks, including a party planner, David Monn, who charged: $3.7 million.
  • Decorations for Union Station 1,500-guest candlelight dinner were determined not to be elegant enough so Monn (see above) did 7-foot-high wreaths, moss-covered obelisks, flowers, etc. to dress up Union Station [a landmark American treasure that does not need Trumpian “decoration”]. Cost for wreaths, moss, obelisks, etc: $924,000.
  • Makeup for 20 WIS staff members. Cost: $10,000.
  • Table menus, numbers, place cards and on-site calligrapher to “correct last-minute mistakes” for one inaugural dinner. Cost: $91 per person.
  • Aside from fixed per diems, WIS employees also got expenses for room service, cab rides (“for assistants who dropped off laundry”) and an order of McDonald’s. Cost: $227,511.
  • WIS hotel rooms for one partner. Cost: $31,000, including $18,000 at Trump Int’l Hotel.
  • Same partner Amtrak train ticket from NYC to DC. Cost: $560.
  • Same partner Amtrak first-class upgrade. Cost: $251.
  • Same partner Uber ride to get to plane of Trump pal. Cost: $100.


Posted in Strictly for bitter laughter, The Facts of Life, Trump Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nude restaurant, 9 bibles, Biden’s bro, stuff like that

From Harper’s Weekly Review:

The owners of O’naturel, Paris’s first nude restaurant, announced that it would close.

I’ve got so many questions about how this worked — a big coat check room? — but now that they’re closing, never mind.

The 70th governor of Ohio was sworn in on nine Bibles, which were held by his wife.

Did she build up her tri- and biceps in anticipation of holding them up? And what’s the deal with nine? Does this mean DeWine is holier than thee and me? Dunno.

Mike DeWine, center right, is sworn in as the 70th governor of Ohio alongside his wife Fran, right, son and Ohio Supreme Court Justice Patrick DeWine, left, and Judge Thomas Rose of the U.S. District Court Southern District of Ohio, center left, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019, in Cedarville, Ohio. The former U.S. senator took his oath in a private midnight ceremony at his Cedarville home ahead of a public inauguration planned Monday at the Statehouse.

Joe Biden’s brother stated that their family in Pennsylvania voted for Trump “because they felt slighted by Hillary and her campaign.”

I don’t want to read anything like this again. Ever. Ergo, Joe should not run. Don’t run, Joe, don’t run.

In Wichita Falls, Texas, a woman was banned from Walmart after drinking wine from a Pringles can while riding an electric shopping cart; she had been riding the cart for two and a half hours.

I want to read a lot of things like this — especially more such doings in Walmart. In Texas.

Posted in Strictly for bitter laughter, The Facts of Life, The god problem, Trump Stuff | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment