THE 10 BEST Atlantic City Casino Hotels of 2021 (with ...

@AP: RT @AP_Oddities: A waze off: Police say an ad in the Waze navigation app is misdirecting motorists headed to Atlantic City's Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa into the wilderness of New Jersey's Pinelands. https://t.co/1u1pF4B8Zn #odd

@AP: RT @AP_Oddities: A waze off: Police say an ad in the Waze navigation app is misdirecting motorists headed to Atlantic City's Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa into the wilderness of New Jersey's Pinelands. https://t.co/1u1pF4B8Zn #odd submitted by -en- to newsbotbot [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?”
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The next Detroit: The catastrophic collapse of Atlantic City

With the closure of almost half of Atlantic City's casinos, Newark set to vote on gambling and casinos or racinos in almost every state, it seems as if the reasons for the very existence of Atlantic City are in serious jeopardy.
Israel Joffe
Atlantic City, once a major vacation spot during the roaring 20s and 1930s, as seen on HBOs Boardwalk Empire, collapsed when cheap air fare became the norm and people had no reason to head to the many beach town resorts on the East Coast. Within a few decades, the city, known for being an ‘oasis of sin’ during the prohibition era, fell into serious decline and dilapidation.
New Jersey officials felt the only way to bring Atlantic City back from the brink of disaster would be to legalize gambling. Atlantic City’s first casino, Resorts, first opened its doors in 1978. People stood shoulder to shoulder, packed into the hotel as gambling officially made its way to the East Coast. Folks in the East Coast didn't have to make a special trip all the way to Vegas in order to enjoy some craps, slots, roulette and more.
As time wore on, Atlantic City became the premier gambling spots in the country.
While detractors felt that the area still remained poor and dilapidated, officials were quick to point out that the casinos didn't bring the mass gentrification to Atlantic City as much as they hoped but the billions of dollars in revenue and thousands of jobs for the surrounding communities was well worth it.
Atlantic City developed a reputation as more of a short-stay ‘day-cation’ type of place, yet managed to stand firm against the 'adult playground' and 'entertainment capital of the world' Las Vegas.
Through-out the 1980s, Atlantic City would become an integral part of American pop culture as a place for east coast residents to gamble, watch boxing, wrestling, concerts and other sporting events.
However in the late 1980s, a landmark ruling considered Native-American reservations to be sovereign entities not bound by state law. It was the first potential threat to the iron grip Atlantic City and Vegas had on the gambling and entertainment industry.
Huge 'mega casinos' were built on reservations that rivaled Atlantic City and Vegas. In turn, Vegas built even more impressive casinos.
Atlantic City, in an attempt to make the city more appealing to the ‘big whale’ millionaire and billionaire gamblers, and in effort to move away from its ‘seedy’ reputation, built the luxurious Borgata casino in 2003. Harrah’s created a billion dollar extension and other casinos in the area went through serious renovations and re-branded themselves.
It seemed as if the bite that the Native American casinos took out of AC and Vegas’ profits was negligible and that the dominance of those two cities in the world of gambling would remain unchallenged.
Then Macau, formally a colony of Portugal, was handed back to the Chinese in 1999. The gambling industry there had been operated under a government-issued monopoly license by Stanley Ho's Sociedade de Turismo e Diversões de Macau. The monopoly was ended in 2002 and several casino owners from Las Vegas attempted to enter the market.
Under the one country, two systems policy, the territory remained virtually unchanged aside from mega casinos popping up everywhere. All the rich ‘whales’ from the far east had no reason anymore to go to the United States to spend their money.
Then came the biggest threat.
As revenue from dog and horse racing tracks around the United States dried up, government officials needed a way to bring back jobs and revitalize the surrounding communities. Slot machines in race tracks started in Iowa in 1994 but took off in 2004 when Pennsylvania introduced ‘Racinos’ in an effort to reduce property taxes for the state and to help depressed areas bounce back.
As of 2013, racinos were legal in ten states: Delaware, Louisiana, Maine, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia with more expected in 2015.
Tracks like Delaware Park and West Virginia's Mountaineer Park, once considered places where local degenerates bet on broken-down nags in claiming races, are now among the wealthiest tracks around, with the best races.
The famous Aqueduct race track in Queens, NY, once facing an uncertain future, now possesses the most profitable casino in the United States.
From June 2012 to June 2013, Aqueduct matched a quarter of Atlantic City's total gaming revenue from its dozen casinos: $729.2 million compared with A.C.'s $2.9 billion. It has taken an estimated 15 percent hit on New Jersey casino revenue and climbing.
And it isn't just Aqueduct that's taking business away from them. Atlantic City's closest major city, Philadelphia, only 35-40 minutes away, and one of the largest cities in America, now has a casino that has contributed heavily to the decline in gamers visiting the area.
New Jersey is the third state in the U.S. to have authorized internet gambling. However, these online casinos are owned and controlled by Atlantic City casinos in an effort to boost profits in the face of fierce competition.
California, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Pennsylvania and Texas are hoping to join Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey and the U.S. Virgin Islands in offering online gambling to their residents.
With this in mind, it seems the very niche that Atlantic City once offered as a gambling and entertainment hub for east coast residents is heading toward the dustbin of history.
Time will tell if this city will end up like Detroit. However, the fact that they are losing their biggest industry to major competition, much like Detroit did, with depressed housing, casinos bankrupting/closing and businesses fleeing , it all makes Atlantic City’s fate seem eerily similar.
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Gaming in Las Vegas

Gaming in Las Vegas
https://preview.redd.it/0wb3j9p9sa561.jpg?width=990&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=7d06ce3035344c1fc7af37672915fcda78ff27b3
A casino is generally a place of gaming for particular sorts of gambling games. Casinos can be found close to indoors, or adjacent to popular resorts, tourist hotels, restaurants, cruise ships, retail shops, and a number of other tourist attractions. Cases in Italy include the Casino di Imperia in Triompany, Italy; the Casino delle Acqui e Coin in Acqui; the Casino Perloga at Piacenza, Italy; the Casino Corso Vittorio Emanuele in Anfi; along with the Casino degli Studi in Modena, Italy. The Venetian Casino stands at Pula, Italy. In United States, Las Vegas is frequently included within this category คาสิโน.
In the USA, there are roughly 700 licensed casinos, and almost as many unlicensed ones. In total, there are about two hundred accredited casinos, compared to one hundred or so unlicensed ones. Licensed casinos are subject to all applicable laws and regulations regarding gaming and bonded and insured providers and employees. Unlicensed casinos, on the other hand, are generally not subject to applicable laws regarding gambling and might operate almost everywhere.
The very best way to get into a casino from the United States or any other nation is to go through a few of the many foreign casinos which are based here. Back in Macau alone, there are just three casinos which are completely or partially open to everybody, including visitors from the mainland United States. The Bellagio Hotel and Casino, the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino, and the Monte Carlo Casino are located near the main section of Macau City. The Beach Resort Casino in Negril, Jamaica, is another casino that is open to people traveling in the USA. These casinos are fully-enclosed and equipped with all of the Most Recent gaming gear, such as Roulette, Baccarat, Blackjack, Sic Bo, Video Poker, Live Betting, Slot Machines, Roulette Tote, Wheel of Fortune, and more.
Las Vegas is home to a number of the most lavish gaming establishments on the planet. It has arguably the best set of gambling and entertainment facilities anywhere on earth. Obviously, like anywhere else, there are a number of low excellent gambling establishments too. A lot of people travel to Las Vegas in the United States do not recognize the legitimate casinos till they arrive at their hotel and begin to gamble. The ideal way to avoid being scammed is to make sure that you research any casino that you intend to visit before you leave on your trip. There are a number of good informational sites available to help you to get the info that you want.
Atlantic City is another fantastic destination for visitors looking to gamble their way to riches. The highly regarded Venetian Resort Casino is a landmark in Atlantic City. The hotel overlooks one of the most historic and beautiful squares in all of New Jersey. Another casino in Atlantic City is your Venetian Playhouse. This casino includes interactive displays, video games, roulette, slot machines, food courts, billiard tables, and much more. If you're interested in gaming, this is probably the best place in Atlantic City to see.
Several other casinos are located across the Atlantic city. In addition to the aforementioned casinos, Las Vegas Sands Corp. owns a number of places in Atlantic City. The company also owns the currently closed Harrah's Lake Bingo Casino. Along with these two possessions, the Atlantic city also has the Bellagio Hotel and the Monte Carlo Resort.
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Trump and the 14K Triad: "Asian Organized Crime: the New International Criminal (U.S. Senate Subcommittee)"

https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/Digitization/148449NCJRS.pdf
The 1992 U.S. Senate Subcommittee 218-page report entitled "Asian Organized Crime: the New International Criminal", linked Trump's businesses to Asian organized crime.[55]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_Rock_Hotel_%26_Casino_Atlantic_City#cite_note-ncjrs_1992-55
Specifically the Senate subcommittee named Danny Sau Keung Leung, who had been Trump Taj Mahal's VP Foreign Marketing since 2000, as an associate of the Hong Kong-based organized crime group 14K Triad"[56] linked to "murders, extortions and heroin smuggling".[57] Leung worked at Trump Taj Mahal from 1990 to 1995.[57] He was "known by law enforcement to be linked to organized crime syndicates"[58] and was investigated by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission in 1995 with hearings in Atlantic City regarding his "background and character".[57] "Mentions of Trump businesses" were "sprinkled throughout the 1992 Senate report on "Asian organized crime in the United States".[58] "Crime bosses who ran the Chinatown bus system put together trips to Trump businesses in Atlantic City.[58] "[O]ther people with links to organized crime booked shows at Trump venues and in 1987, one was indicted on a charge of providing kickbacks to executives at Trump Castle."[58] According to an Internal Revenue Service report cited in a 2016 Politifact article by Linda Qui,[56] Trump also worked closely with other members and associates of organized criminal enterprises, including Danny Leung, Felix Sater, Salvatore Testa, and Kenneth Shapiro".[56][59]:5 In 1984, Canadian police had identified Leung as "a major player in Toronto organized crime", yet in 1989, the New Jersey Casino Control Commission granted him the casino "key license reserved for executives"[57] and he began working for Trump Taj Mahal in 1990.[57] At the New Jersey Casino Control Commission hearing in 1994, Trump sent Taj President Dennis Gomes to "testify on Leung's behalf at the hearing New Jersey Casino Control Commission. In spite of an objection of the Division of Gaming Enforcement and the testimony of Canadian police, his casino key license was renewed. "Leung's lawyer, Guy Michael said, that the criminal allegations were "absolutely untrue. In August 2013, Leung requested to be placed on the Casino Key Employee Inactive List in August 2013 "in lieu of complying with the resubmission process".
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Lost in the Sauce: March 22 - 28

Welcome to Lost in the Sauce, keeping you caught up on political and legal news that often gets buried in distractions and theater… or a global health crisis.
Figuring out how to divide the COVID-19 content from the “regular” news has been difficult because the pandemic is influencing all aspects of life. Some of the stories below involve the virus, but I chose to include them when it fits into one of the pre-established categories (like congress or immigration). The coronavirus-central post will be made again this Thursday-Friday; the sign up form now has an option to choose to receive an email when the coronavirus-focused roundup is posted.
House-keeping:
  1. How to support: If you enjoy my work, please consider becoming a patron. I do this to keep track and will never hide behind a paywall, but these projects take a lot of time and effort to create. Even a couple of dollars a month helps. Since someone asked a few weeks ago (thank you!), here's a PayPal option and Venmo.
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Let’s dig in!

MAIN COURSE

Congress passes stimulus

Last week started out with a Republican-crafted stimulus bill that was twice-blocked by Senate Democrats, who objected to the lax conditions of aid to corporations, too little funding for hospitals, and a $500 billion “slush fund” for big companies to be doled out by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin with no oversight.
Conservative-Democrat Joe Manchin (WV) even criticized the GOP bill:
“It fails our first responders, nurses, private physicians and all healthcare professionals. ... It fails our workers. It fails our small businesses… Instead, it is focused on providing billions of dollars to Wall Street and misses the mark on helping the West Virginians that have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.”
Through negotiations, Democrats shifted the bill in a more-worker friendly direction. The version that passed includes the following Democrat-added provisions: expanded unemployment benefits, $100 billion for hospitals, $150 billion for state and local governments, direct payments to Americans without a phase-in (ensuring low-income workers get the full amount), a ban on Trump and his children from receiving aid, and oversight on the “slush fund” (see next section for more info). Senate Democrats also managed to remove a provision that would have excluded nonprofits that receive Medicaid funding from the small-business grants.
Echoing sentiments expressed during debate on the previous coronavirus bill (the second, for those keeping track), Republican senators derided the $600 a week increase in unemployment payments as “incentivizing” workers to quit their jobs. Sens. Ben Sasse (Neb.), Rick Scott (Fla.), Tim Scott (S.C.) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.) delayed passage of the bill in order to force a vote on an amendment removing the extra unemployment funding. "This bill pays you more not to work than if you were working," Graham said. Fortunately for American workers, the amendment failed and the improved bill passed the Senate and the House.

The giveaways in the bill

While Senate Democrats were able to add worker-friendly provisions, the bill still required bipartisan support to pass the chamber and some corporate giveaways remained in the final version.
Politico:

Trump’s signing statement

While signing the latest coronavirus relief bill, the president also issued a signing statement undercutting the congressional oversight provision creating an inspector general to track how the administration distributes the $500 billion “slush fund” money.
The newly-created inspector general is legally required to audit loans and investments made through the fund and report to Congress his/her findings, including any refusal by the executive office to cooperate. In his signing statement, Trump wrote that his understanding of constitutional powers allows him to gag the special IG:
"I do not understand, and my Administration will not treat, this provision as permitting the [inspector general] to issue reports to the Congress without the presidential supervision required" by Article II of the Constitution.
The signing statement further suggests that Trump does not have to comply with a provision requiring that agencies consult with Congress before it spends or reallocates certain funds: "These provisions are impermissible forms of congressional aggrandizement with respect to the execution of the laws," the statement reads.
While some have said that Congress fell short in this instance, one Democratic Senate aide told Politico that Congress built in multiple layers of oversight, including “a review of other inspectors general and a congressional review committee charged with overseeing Treasury and the Federal Reserve's efforts to implement the law.”
Legal experts have pointed out that a signing statement is “without legal effect.” But that ignores the fact that oversight is not equal to enforcement. The problem, in my opinion, isn’t that Congress won’t be notified of any abuses of power by Trump. The problem is that congressional Republicans and the judiciary have largely failed to hold him accountable and enforce our laws even after learning of his abuses.

Concerns about the IG

Another potential weakness in the oversight structure is the inspector general position itself. The special inspector general for pandemic recovery, known by the acronym S.I.G.P.R., is nominated by the president and confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate. As we’ve seen from Trump’s previous nominees, particularly judicial, many unqualified individuals have been confirmed. The Democrats will not have the power to stop the president and Mitch McConnell from jamming through a loyalist to fill the SIGPR role.
Former inspector general at the Justice Department Michael Bromwich: “The signing statement threatens to undermine the authority and independence of this new IG. The Senate should extract a commitment from the nominee that Congress will be promptly notified of any Presidential/Administration interference or obstruction.”
You may recall that Trump has already proven that he’s willing to interfere with the legally-mandated work of an inspector general. When the Ukraine whistleblower filed a complaint last year, the IG of the Intelligence Community, Michael Atkinson, investigated and determined the complaint to be “urgent” and “credible.” Atkinson wrote a report and gave it to Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire to hand over to Congress. However, the White House and DOJ interfered and instructed Maguire not to transmit the report to the Senate and House Intelligence Committees. Chairman Adam Schiff had to subpoena Maguire to turn over the report and testify before his committee.
Further, there are already five IG vacancies in agencies that have a critical role in responding to the pandemic. The Treasury itself has not had a permanent, Senate-confirmed IG for over eight months now, and Trump hasn’t nominated a replacement. The Treasury Dept. has taken a lead role in the coronavirus response, with Secretary Mnuchin handling most of the negotiating with Congress on Trump’s behalf. The fact that the lead agency doesn’t have IG oversight should be troublesome in itself; replicating the situation with a special IG doesn’t seem to be a promising solution.
UPDATE: The nation's inspectors general have appointed Glenn Fine, the Pentagon's acting IG, to lead the committee of IGs overseeing the coronavirus relief effort.
This is one of several oversight mechanisms built into the new law. They include:
A committee of IGs (now led by Fine), a new special IG (to be nominated by Trump), a congressional review panel (to be appointed by House/Senate leaders)

Direct payments

Included in the stimulus bill is a $1200 one-time direct payment for all Americans who made less than $75,000 in 2019 (less than $150,000 if couples filed jointly). More details can be found here. I have read that the Treasury will use 2018 information for those who have not filed yet this year, but I am not 100% sure that’ll happen.
Mnuchin has said that Americans can expect to receive the money within three weeks, but many experts expect that timetable to be pushed into late April. Additionally, that only applies to Americans who included direct deposit information on their 2019 tax returns. Those who did not include their bank’s information will have to be sent a physical check in the mail… which could take anywhere from two to four months.
Other options are being discussed, including partnering the Treasury Dept. with MasterCard and Visa to deliver prepaid debit cards. Venmo and Paypal are reportedly lobbying the government to be considered as a disbursement option.
Future payments?
House Speaker Pelosi is already planning another wave of direct payments to Americans, saying that the $1,200 is not enough to mitigate the economic effects of the pandemic: “I don’t think we’ve seen the end of direct payments.” Republicans, meanwhile, are taking a ‘wait and see’ approach, using the next couple of weeks to measure the impact of the $2 trillion bill passed last week.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy: “What concerns me is when I listen to Nancy Pelosi talk about a fourth package now, it’s because she did not get out of things that she really wanted...I’m not sure you need a fourth package...Let’s let this work ... We have now given the resources to make and solve this problem. We don’t need to be crafting another bill right now.”
For the fourth legislative package, Democrats have said they would like to see increased food stamp benefits; increased coverage for coronavirus testing, visits to the doctor and treatment; more money for state and local governments, including Washington, D.C.; expanded family and medical leave; pension fixes; and stronger workplace protections.
Trump’s signature
Normally, a civil servant signs federal checks, like the direct payments Americans are set to receive. According to a Wall Street Journal report, Trump has told people that he wants his signature to appear on the stimulus checks.

THE SIDES

War on the poor continues

Amid the coronavirus crisis, Trump has defended his continued support of a Republican-led lawsuit to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, which would result in 20 million Americans losing health insurance if successful. The Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments in the case this fall. Contrasting with his position that the ACA is illegal, Trump is considering reopening enrollment on HealthCare.gov, allowing millions of uninsured individuals to get coverage before potentially incurring charges and fees related to COVID-19.
Joe Biden called on Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who is leading the charge against the ACA, and President Trump to drop the lawsuit:
“At a time of national emergency, which is laying bare the existing vulnerabilities in our public health infrastructure, it is unconscionable that you are continuing to pursue a lawsuit designed to strip millions of Americans of their health insurance and protections under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including the ban on insurers denying coverage or raising premiums due to pre-existing conditions.”
The Trump administration is also pushing forward with its plan to kick 700,000 people off federal food stamp assistance, known as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). The USDA announced two weeks ago that the department will appeal Judge Beryl Howell’s recent decision that the USDA’s work mandate rule is “arbitrary and capricious."
Additionally: The Social Security Administration has no plans to slow down a rule change set for June that will limit disability benefits, the Department of Health and Human Services still intends to reduce automatic enrollment in health coverage, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development will continue the process to enact a rule that would make it harder for renters to sue landlords for racial discrimination.

Lawmakers’ stock transactions

The Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission are beginning to investigate stock transactions made ahead of the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. CNN reports that the inquiry has already reached out to Senator Richard Burr for information. “Under insider trading laws, prosecutors would need to prove the lawmakers traded based on material non-public information they received in violation of a duty to keep it confidential,” a task that won’t be easy.
Sen. Burr is facing another consequence of his trades: Alan Jacobson, a shareholder in Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, sued Burr for allegedly using private information to instruct a mass liquidation of his assets. Among the shares he sold were an up to $150,000 stake in Wyndham, whose stock suffered a market-value cut of more than two-thirds since mid-February.

Environmental rollbacks

Using the pandemic as cover, the Trump administration has begun to more aggressively roll back regulations meant to protect the environment. These are examples of what Naomi Klein dubbed “the shock doctrine”: the phenomenon wherein polluters and their government allies push through unpopular policy changes under the smokescreen of a public emergency.
On Thursday, the EPA announced (non-paywalled) an expansive relaxation of environmental laws and fines, exempting companies from consequences for pollution. Under the new rules, there are basically no rules. Companies are asked to “act responsibly” but are not required to report when their facilities discharge pollution into the air or water. Just five days before abandoning any pollution oversight, the oil industry’s largest trade group implored the administration for assistance, stating that social distancing measures caused a steep drop in demand for gasoline.
  • Monday morning update: In an interview with Fox News this morning, Trump said he was going to call Putin after the interview to discuss the Saudi-Russia oil fight. A consequence of this "battle" has been plummeting prices in the U.S. making it difficult for domestic companies (like shale extraction) to turn a profit. It's striking that the day after Dr. Fauci told Americans we can expect 100,000 to 200,000 deaths from COVID-19 (if we keep social distancing measures in place), Trump's first action is to talk to Fox News and his second action is to intervene in an international tiff on behalf of the oil and gas industry.
Gina McCarthy, who led the E.P.A. under the Obama administration, called the rollback “an open license to pollute.” Cynthia Giles, who headed the EPA enforcement division during the Obama administration, said “it is so far beyond any reasonable response I am just stunned.”
The EPA is also moving forward with a widely-opposed rule to limit the types of scientific studies used when crafting new regulations or revising current ones. Hidden behind claims of increased transparency, the rule would require disclosure of all raw data used in scientific studies. This would disqualify many fields of research that rely on personal health information from individuals that must be kept confidential. For example, studies that show air pollution causes premature deaths or a certain pesticide is linked to birth defects would be rejected under the proposed rule change.
Officials and scientists are calling upon the EPA to extend the time for comment on the regulatory changes, arguing that the public is unable to express their opinion while dealing with the pandemic.
“These rollbacks need and deserve the input of our public health community, but right now, they are rightfully focused on responding to the coronavirus,” said Representative Frank Pallone of New Jersey, the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Other controversial decisions being made:
  • A former EPA official who worked on controversial policies returned as Administrator Andrew Wheeler’s chief of staff. Mandy Gunasekara helped write regulations to ease pollution controls for coal-fired power plants and vehicle emissions in her previous role as chief of the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. In a recent interview, Gunasekara, who played a role in the decision to exit the Paris Climate Accord, pushed back on the more dire predictions of climate change, saying, “I don't think it is catastrophic.”
  • NYT: The plastic bag industry, battered by a wave of bans nationwide, is using the coronavirus crisis to try to block laws prohibiting single-use plastic. “We simply don’t want millions of Americans bringing germ-filled reusable bags into retail establishments putting the public and workers at risk,” an industry campaign that goes by the name Bag the Ban warned on Tuesday. (Also see The Guardian)
  • Kentucky, South Dakota, and West Virginia passed laws putting new criminal penalties on protests against fossil fuel infrastructure in just the past two weeks.
  • The Hill: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said Friday that it will extend the amount of time that winter gasoline can be sold this year as producers have been facing lower demand due to the coronavirus. It will allow companies to sell the winter-grade gasoline through May 20, whereas companies would have previously been required to stop selling it by May 1 to protect air quality. “In responding to an international health crisis, the last thing the EPA should do is take steps that will worsen air quality and undermine the public’s health,” biofuels expert David DeGennaro said.
  • NYT: At the Interior Department, employees at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have been under strict orders to complete the rule eliminating some protections for migratory birds within 30 days, according to two people with direct knowledge of the orders. The 45-day comment period on that rule ended on March 19.
  • WaPo: The Interior Department has received over 230 nominations for oil and gas leases covering more than 150,000 acres across southern Utah, a push that would bring drilling as close as a half-mile from some of the nation’s most famous protected sites, including Arches and Canyonlands National Parks… if all the fossil fuels buried in those sites was extracted and burned, it would translate into between 1 billion and 5.95 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide being released into the air. That upward measure is equal to half the annual carbon output of China

Court updates

Press freedom case
Southern District of New York District Judge Lorna Schofield ruled that a literary advocacy group’s lawsuit against Trump for allegedly violating the First Amendment can move forward. The group, PEN America, is pursuing claims that Trump “has used government power to retaliate against media coverage and reporters he dislikes.”
Schofield determined that PEN’s allegation that Trump made threats to chill free speech was valid, providing as an example the White House’s revocation of CNN correspondent Jim Acosta’s press press corps credentials:
”The threats are lent credence by the fact that Defendant has acted on them before, by revoking Mr. Acosta’s credentials and barring reporters from particular press conferences. The Press Secretary indeed e-mailed the entire press corps to inform them of new rules of conduct and to warn of further consequences, citing the incident involving Mr. Acosta… These facts plausibly allege that a motivation for defendant’s actions is controlling and punishing speech he dislikes.”
Twitter case
The president suffered another First Amendment defeat last week when the full 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals declined to review a previous ruling that prevents Trump from blocking users on the Twitter account he uses to communicate with the public. Judge Barrington D. Parker, a Nixon-appointee, wrote: “Excluding people from an otherwise public forum such as this by blocking those who express views critical of a public official is, we concluded, unconstitutional.”
Trump-appointees Michael Parker and Richard Sullivan authored a dissent, arguing the free speech “does not include a right to post on other people’s personal social media accounts, even if those other people happen to be public officials.” Park warned that the ruling will allow the social media pages of public officials to be “overrun with harassment, trolling, and hate speech, which officials will be powerless to filter.”
Florida’s felon voting
U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle ripped into Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s administration for failing to come up with a process to determine which felons are genuinely unable to pay court-ordered fees and fines, which are otherwise required to be paid before having their voting rights restored.
“If the state is not going to fix it, I will,” Hinkle warned. He had given the state five months to come up with an administrative process for felons to prove they’re unable to pay financial obligations, but Florida officials did not do so. The case is set to be heard on April 28 (notwithstanding any coronavirus-related delays).

ICE, Jails, and COVID-19

ICE
One of the most overlooked populations with an increased risk of death from coronavirus are those in detention facilities, which keep people in close quarters with little sanitation or protective measures (including for staff).
Last week, U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee ordered the federal government to “make continuous efforts” to release migrant children from detention centers across the country. Numerous advocacy groups asked for the release after reports that four children being held in New York had tested positive for the virus:
“The threat of irreparable injury to their health and safety is palpable,” the plaintiffs’ lawyers said in their petition… both of the agencies operating migrant children detention facilities must by April 6 provide an accounting of their efforts to release those in custody… “Her order will undoubtedly speed up releases,” said Peter Schey, co-counsel for the plaintiffs in the court case.
On Tuesday, 13 immigrants held at ICE facilities in California filed a lawsuit demanding to be released because their health conditions make them particularly vulnerable to dying if infected by the coronavirus. An ACLU statement says the detainees are “confined in crowded and unsanitary conditions where social distancing is not possible.” The 13 individuals are all over the age of 50 and/or suffering from serious underlying medical issues like high blood pressure.
“From all the evidence we have seen, ICE is failing to fulfill its constitutional obligation to protect the health and safety of individuals in its custody. ICE should exercise its existing discretion to release people with serious medical conditions from detention for humanitarian reasons,” said William Freeman, senior counsel at the ACLU of Northern California.
Meanwhile, ICE is under fire for continuing to shuttle detainees across the country, with one even being forced to take nine different flights bouncing from Louisiana to Texas to New Jersey less than two weeks ago. That man is Dr. Sirous Asgari, a materials science and engineering professor from Iran, who was acquitted last year on federal charges of stealing trade secrets. The government lost its case against him, yet ICE has had him in indefinite detention since November.
Asgari, 59, told the Guardian that his Ice holding facility in Alexandria, Louisiana, had no basic cleaning practices in place and continued to bring in new detainees from across the country with no strategy to minimize the threat of Covid-19...Detainees have no hand sanitizer, and the facility is not regularly cleaning bathrooms or sleeping areas…Detainees lack access to masks… Detainees struggle to stay clean, and the facility has an awful stench.
Jails
State jails are making a better effort to release detained individuals, as both New York and New Jersey ordered a thousand people in each state be let out of jail. The order applied only to low-level offenders sentenced to less than a year in jail and those held on technical probation violations. In Los Angeles County, officials released over 1,700 people from its jails.
A judge in Alabama took similar steps last week, ordering roughly 500 people jailed for minor offenses to be released to lessen crowding in facilities. Unlike in New York and New Jersey, however, local officials reacted in an uproar, led in part by the state executive committee for the Alabama Republican Party and Assistant District Attorney C.J. Robinson. Using angry Facebook messages as the barometer of the community’s feelings, Robinson worked “frantically” to block inmates from being released.
  • Reuters: As of Saturday, at least 132 inmates and 104 staff at jails across New York City had tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus… Since March 22, jails have reported 226 inmates and 131 staff with confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to a Reuters survey of cities and counties that run America’s 20 largest jails. The numbers are almost certainly an undercount given the fast spread of the virus.

Tribe opposed by Trump loses land

On Wednesday, The Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs announced the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe’s reservation would be "disestablished" and its land trust status removed. Tribal Chairman Cedric Cromwell called the move "cruel" and "unnecessary,” particularly coming in the midst of a pandemic crisis. Rep. Bill Keating (D-Mass.), who last year introduced legislation to protect the tribe's reservation as trust land in Massachusetts, said the order “is one of the most cruel and nonsensical acts I have seen since coming to Congress.”
The administration’s decision is especially suspicious as just last year Trump attacked the tribe’s plan to build a casino on its land, tweeting that allowing the construction would be “unfair” and treat Native Americans unequally. As a former casino owner, Trump has spent decades attacking Native American casinos as unfair competition. At a 1993 congressional hearing Trump said that tribal owners “don’t look like Indians to me” and claimed: “I might have more Indian blood than a lot of the so-called Indians that are trying to open up the reservations” to gambling.
More than his past history, however, Trump has current interests at play in the Mashpee Wampanoag’s planned casino: it would have competed for business with nearby Rhode Island casinos owned by Twin River Worldwide Holdings, whose president, George Papanier, was a finance executive at the Trump Plaza casino hotel in Atlantic City.
In the Mashpee case, Twin River, the operator of the two Rhode Island casinos, has hired Matthew Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union and a vocal Trump supporter, to lobby for it on the land issue. Schlapp’s wife, Mercedes, is director of strategic communications at the White House.
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Lost in the Sauce: March 8 - 14

Welcome to Lost in the Sauce, keeping you caught up on political and legal news that often gets buried in distractions and theater. House-keeping:
  1. How to read: Since the coronavirus was the one big story last week, I’m going to do away with the “Main Course” division this week - these are all “sides” in the sense that I have a feeling many people missed these developments.
  2. How to support: If you enjoy my work, please consider becoming a patron. I do this to keep track and will never hide behind a paywall, but these projects take a lot of time and effort to create. Even a couple of dollars a month helps. Since someone asked a few weeks ago (thank you!), here's a PayPal option
  3. How to get notifications: If you’d like to be added to my newsletter, use this SIGNUP FORM and you’ll get these recaps in your inbox!
Let’s dig in!
Since the coronavirus was the one big story last week, I’m going to do away with the “Main Course” division this week - these are all “sides” in the sense that I have a feeling many people missed these developments.

Biden-probe subpoena

Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI) canceled a planned vote to issue a subpoena in its investigation into Hunter Biden and his work in Ukraine. Johnson informed the committee that instead of subpoenaing former consultant Andrii Telizhenko, he will issue a subpoena to the Democratic public relations firm he worked for: Blue Star Strategies.
Although Johnson said the subpoena vote was canceled to give senators time to “receive additional briefings,” a Ukrainian source (Chief editor of The Odessa Review Vladislav Davidzon) told CNN that the subject of the subpoena, Telizhenko, offered him cash to lobby Republican politicians to speak out against Ukraine’s anti-corruption efforts - specifically Ukrainian lawmaker’s attempts to censure two media networks for “broadcasting Russian propaganda.”
In October 2018, the same month that lawmakers voted in favor of a resolution to sanction the two stations, Telizhenko wrote to Davidzon, asking: "Have a question do you or your father have contacts with US Senators? I really need a favour for witch (sic) I can pay up to 5k."
...After expressing concerns about how the new Ukrainian proposals could shut the broadcasters down, Telizhenko then says: “My question is is it possible to get an official comment on a Senators (Rand Paul, Lindsey Graham for example) website next week about this situation of censorship in Ukraine? Really important for me and need fast.”
Ranking member on the committee, Sen. Gary Peters, opposed subpoenaing Telizhenko because he warned that the investigation could be tainted by Russian disinformation. The revelation that Telizhenko has indeed worked for Russian interests seems to substantiate his concerns.

Politicizing intelligence

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence provided its first briefing to Congress since the previous DNI, Joseph Maguire, was fired by Trump for allowing his aide to tell Congress that Russia was acting to boost his re-election chances. The current acting-DNI, Ric Grenell, backed out of briefing Congress himself, reportedly because he did not want to discuss issues that make President Trump angry. Instead, his office was represented by William Evanina, the top counterintelligence official at the ODNI.
The latest briefing provided information contradictory to Maguire’s briefing, confusing and frustrating House members. Grenell’s office told Congress that the Kremlin is not “directly aiding any candidate’s re-election or any other candidates’ election.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer reportedly confronted the ODNI officials, accusing them of politicizing critical intelligence and providing insufficient and contradictory information about Russia’s interference.

Russia ramps up interference

While the Trump administration continues to hide and spin intelligence, the media reports that Russia continues to interfere in the U.S. political system. According to seven current officials, the Kremlin is increasing efforts to inflame racial tensions in America as part of its ongoing operation to influence the November elections.
...Now, Russia is also trying to influence white supremacist groups, the officials said; they gave few details, but one official said federal investigators are examining how at least one neo-Nazi organization with ties to Russia is funded. Other Russian efforts, which American intelligence agencies have tracked, involve simply prodding white nationalists to more aggressively spread hate messages and amplifying their invective. Russian operatives are also trying to push black extremist groups toward violence...
Last week, Facebook and Twitter announced they had discovered a Russian-led network of professional trolls outsourced to operatives in Ghana and Nigeria. The network’s 71 Twitter accounts, 49 Facebook accounts, and 85 Instagram accounts were removed.
“These 71 removed accounts, operating out of Ghana and Nigeria and which we can reliably associate with Russia, attempted to sow discord by engaging in conversations about social issues, like race and civil rights,” said Twitter’s safety team in a statement.
Senate Democrats, including Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, sent a letter requesting that the EU introduce additional sanctions against “Putin’s Chef” Yevgeny Prighozin to deter him and the Kremlin from interfering in elections this year.
“As the presidential election in the United States draws closer, our concerns about foreign interference have intensified...The U.S. and European Union should be unified in facing this common threat and take concrete measures to isolate this malign actor and his affiliated firms. This includes sanctions, but also a joint diplomatic approach to urge that countries avoid engaging with Mr. Prigozhin, Wagner and any other organization associated with him."

Purge continues

Acting-DNI Ric Grenell imposed a hiring freeze at the ODNI starting last week, ordering a review of the agency’s personnel and mission:
Some current and former officials said they saw the effort as an attempt to oust intelligence officers who disagreed politically with Mr. Trump. Those officials questioned why Mr. Grenell, in the job temporarily, would undertake a large-scale reorganization, particularly one that previous directors had considered but put aside…Kashyap Patel, an aide in the director’s office who was transferred last month from the White House [and former aide to Representative Devin Nunes], is involved in the review…
The White House is also holding up the nomination of Kathryn Wheelbarger for one of the Pentagon’s top intelligence jobs because she is not considered sufficiently loyal to Trump. Wheelbarger, who has been serving as acting assistant secretary of Defense for international security affairs since November 2018, is nominated to become the deputy undersecretary of Defense for intelligence.
The post that Wheelbarger would fill is one of 21 senior positions at the Pentagon that are empty or filled on a temporary basis, a record high for the Trump administration.
In the middle of a global pandemic, one of the lead response agencies is losing its chief: Mark Green is set to resign from the U.S. Agency for International Development at the end of the month. Green will be replaced by USAID Deputy Administrator Bonnie Glick, a Trump loyalist.

FEC nominee confirmation

Last Tuesday, the Senate held a confirmation hearing for Trump’s nominee to the Federal Election Commission, James “Trey” Trainor. It’s been over two years since Trainor was first nominated to fill the seat left empty by Republican Commissioner Lee Goodman in 2018. Then, last year, the commission’s vice chairman, Matthew Petersen, resigned, leaving only three members in place. The FEC needs a minimum of four members to take actions like investigating campaign finance violations, enforcing rules, and issuing fines.
Trainor is a controversial nominee with a history of advancing partisan gerrymandering and past work for Trump. After the Supreme Court invalidated a key part of the Voting Rights Act, Trainor worked with gerrymandering expert and Republican strategist Thomas Hofeller to successfully implement redistricting maps in Texas that were previously ruled to be discriminatory. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said the following at Tuesday’s hearing:
“He has worked closely with Thomas Hofeller, notorious for masterminding Republican gerrymandering schemes, to redraw maps that significantly disenfranchise minority voters at the local level. Mr. Trainor’s former law firm described him as being ‘intimately involved’ in Texas’s 2003 redistricting, which the Supreme Court deemed in violation of the Voting Rights Act. Mr. Trainor has argued the Voting Rights Act has become a political tool.”
Schumer also quoted Trainor as saying in 2017 that political donations should be anonymous.
“The Republicans have nominated someone who wants to roll back Citizens United, which the overwhelming majority of the American people support, public disclosure of who’s giving,” Schumer said, adding: “It’s amazing.”
Trainor faced pressure to recuse himself from overseeing any campaign finance matters involving Trump, because he served as a legal adviser on Trump’s 2016 campaign team. Ranking Senate Rules and Administration Committee Member Amy Klobuchar pressed Trainor:
“So you’re not going to just recuse yourself from the beginning on a Trump matter?” Klobuchar asked, visibly surprised.
“No, not as a blanket recusal, and I don’t think that there is anyone at the commission currently who has a blanket recusal,” Trainor said. “I think we should all follow the same rules and guidelines.”

Judges finally speak out

U.S District Judge Lynn Adelman, of Wisconsin, published an article in the Harvard Law and Policy Review titled “The Roberts Court's Assault on Democracy.” Adelman takes Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to task for joining the court’s hard right justices in “undermining American democracy” by “carrying out a sustained assault on the right of poor people and minorities to vote” and “reinforcing the enormous imbalance in wealth and political power that has developed in recent decades.”
He described Roberts' 2005 Senate confirmation testimony as "misleading" and declared that "the Roberts Court has contributed to insuring that the political system in the United States pays little attention to ordinary Americans and responds only to the wishes of a relatively small number of powerful corporations and individuals."
Adelman also attacks President Trump for helping the Republican party continue policies that worsen wealth inequality:
Although he ran as a populist and promised to promote policies that benefited ordinary people, upon taking office Trump almost entirely reversed course. He appointed mostly wealthy far-right Republicans and their supporters to his cabinet and to key positions in his administration… Trump also supported a tax bill that provided big benefits to the country’s largest corporations and wealthiest individuals and virtually nothing to the majority of American taxpayers.
...Because Congressional Republicans depend on a relatively small number of wealthy donors to stay in power, their major public policy goal is to do whatever makes such donors happy.
Last week, another prominent member of the judicial community publicly blasted the Chief Justice: Former Hawaii District Judge for 27 years James Dannenberg submitted his resignation from the Supreme Court Bar to Roberts. In a public letter, Dannenberg criticized Roberts for “allowing the Court to become an ‘errand boy’ for an administration that has little respect for the rule of law.”
“I have been a member of the Supreme Court Bar since 1972, far longer than you have,” Dannenberg’s letter to Roberts begins.
The Court, under your leadership and with your votes, has wantonly flouted established precedent. Your “conservative” majority has cynically undermined basic freedoms by hypocritically weaponizing others… More than a score of decisions during your tenure have overturned established precedents—some more than forty years old– and you voted with the majority in most. There is nothing “conservative” about this trend. This is radical “legal activism” at its worst.
...The only constitutional freedoms ultimately recognized may soon be limited to those useful to wealthy, Republican, White, straight, Christian, and armed males— and the corporations they control. This is wrong. Period. This is not America.
...I no longer have respect for you or your majority, and I have little hope for change. I can’t vote you out of office because you have life tenure, but I can withdraw whatever insignificant support my Bar membership might seem to provide.

Important court rulings

McGahn and border wall
The full bench of the powerful D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals announced on Friday that it will rehear the House’s appeal for Don McGahn’s testimony, vacating the three-judge panel’s previous ruling that judges can’t resolve subpoena disputes between the executive branch and Congress. Arguments are set for April 28.
The same court will also take on the House’s challenge of Trump’s emergency declaration to use over $6 billion of federal funds to fund his southern border wall even though Congress only appropriated $1.375 billion. Trump-appointed judge Trevor McFadden dismissed the House’s initial lawsuit last year.
Mueller’s grand jury
In a 2-1 ruling, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that the Justice Department must allow Congress access to secret material collected by Mueller’s grand jury in its Russian interference investigation. Judges Judith Rogers and Thomas Griffith - Clinton and W. Bush appointees, respectively - found that the House’s impeachment investigation is a legal judicial process that exempts Congress from secrecy rules that typically shield grand jury materials. The Appeals Court decision can be appealed to the Supreme Court.
Trump appointee Judge Neomi Rao dissented, saying the House did have legal grounds to ask the court to enforce the subpoena since the impeachment investigation has ended. Rao has taken Trump’s side in virtually every case she’s heard.
it’s hard not to see the trap Rao has built around Congress. Her Mazars opinion claims that Congress has only one path it can use to investigate President Trump. Then, when Congress traveled down the very same path that Rao identified in Mazars, Judge Rao invents a new limit — suggesting that Congress may only get one shot at an impeachment inquiry. Moreover, as Tatel suggests in the Mazars majority opinion, Rao appears to have invented the constitutional limit she placed on congressional investigations out of thin air.
The Atlantic’s David Frum wrote that Rao’s Mazars dissent was “wild talk that would shut down almost all congressional investigations.” Maybe that’s the point — at least as long as Trump is in the White House.
Food stamp cuts
Friday evening, U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell issued an injunction preventing the Trump administration from implementing a rule change that would force nearly 700,000 Americans off food stamps.
"Especially now, as a global pandemic poses widespread health risks, guaranteeing that government officials at both the federal and state levels have flexibility to address the nutritional needs of residents and ensure their well-being through programs like SNAP, is essential," Howell wrote.

Trump cases

The Washington Post reported that District Court Judge Lorna Schofield ordered Trump and his three adult children to “search through 15 years of business records for materials that could inform a lawsuit alleging they profited by promoting a marketing scam targeting vulnerable investors.”
Trump is being sued by four people who say they were duped into joining the multilevel marketing company ACN years ago because of his endorsement. The suit characterizes ACN as a pyramid scheme and accuses Trump of having made misleading claims as a paid pitchman prior to his presidency. All four say they suffered financially as a result.
...In this case, unlike in others, he has not asserted presidential immunity as a defense, and his legal team has already turned over a number of documents.
Atlantic City officials announced they will soon be filing an injunction in Superior Court to demolish the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino tower because it is an “imminent hazard.” The city’s mayor, Mary Small, told the press that chunks of the building’s concrete and stucco facade are actively raining onto nearby streets.
“We could have had a fatality,” Small said. “Things will not be tolerated in the city of Atlantic City.”
The crumbling building has been owned by billionaire and Trump-ally Carl Icahn since 2016, though it has been closed since 2014.
Icahn endorsed Trump for president in 2016 and financially supported his campaign. Icahn also served as special economic adviser on financial regulation to Trump briefly in 2017, leaving amid concerns of conflicts of interest. In one of many concerning incidents, it was reported that stock for CVR Energy, in which Icahn has 82% ownership, doubled after President Trump's election, increasing $455 million in value.
  • Don’t miss: Teen models, powerful men and private dinners: when Trump hosted Look of the Year. “In the early 90s, Donald Trump judged the world’s biggest modelling competition - since hit by allegations of abuse… The stories we have heard suggest that Casablancas, and some of the men in his orbit, used the contest to engage in sexual relationships with vulnerable young models. Some of these allegations amount to sexual harassment, abuse or exploitation of teenage girls; others are more accurately described as rape.”

Trump profiting off presidency: Week 164

  • CNN: Hotels, clubs and restaurants owned by Trump or bearing his name have billed various federal agencies and personnel more than $1 million since he became the Republican nominee for president...About half of the documented expenses involve the U.S. Secret Service, which has been charged more than $600,000 by various Trump properties between September 2016 and August 2019.
  • CREW: Taxpayers paid President Trump’s Doonbeg resort $15,144.94 for Secret Service lodging during Vice President Mike Pence’s September 2019 trip to Ireland… We can now say definitively that Pence’s detour not only cost taxpayers extra due to large transportation costs, but also that the bill subsidized one of Trump’s struggling businesses.
  • CREW: On March 7, less than two weeks after President Trump returned from an official visit to India, the business he still owns and profits from made an announcement: it would now ship Trump-branded products to India. This appears to be a clear violation of the Trump family’s pledge of no new foreign business during the Trump presidency, and an invitation for corruption... India is joined on the announcement by Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland (which we must note is still technically part of the United Kingdom) and Germany.
  • ProPublica: The Trump Organization paid bribes, through middlemen, to New York City tax assessors to lower its property tax bills for several Manhattan buildings in the 1980s and 1990s, according to five former tax assessors and city employees as well as a former Trump Organization employee. Two of the five city employees said they personally took bribes to lower the assessment on a Trump property; the other three said they had indirect knowledge of the payments.
  • New York Times summarized by HuffPo: President Donald Trump’s campaign manager is quietly channeling money to Eric Trump’s wife, Lara Trump, and Donald Trump Jr.’s girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle… The family benefits are linked to a network of politically connected private companies — operating with the support and help of Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner — that have charged roughly $75 million since 2017 to the Trump reelection campaign, the Republican National Committee and other Republican clients

States, elections, and environment

  • Ecowatch: A federal judge in Alaska ruled late Wednesday against a Trump administration plan to open 1.8 million acres of America's largest national forest to logging. The Forest Service plan targeted part of the Tongass National Forest on Prince of Wales Island.
  • Press release: The Center for Biological Diversity sued the Trump administration today for failing to decide whether 241 plants and animals across the country — from the Midwest’s golden-winged warbler to Venus flytraps in the Carolinas — should be protected under the Endangered Species Act. The lawsuit, filed in district court in Washington, D.C., is one of the largest ever under the Act and seeks to undo years of illegal inaction by the Trump administration.
  • NYT: A New York man who threatened to kill Representative Ilhan Omar in a hate-filled call to her office was sentenced to a year and a day in prison… Mr. Carlineo admitted to making the threatening call, and described himself as a patriot who loved Mr. Trump and hated “radical Muslims in our government,” according to the criminal complaint.
  • ProPublica: The Republican National Committee has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to contractors closely connected to the organization’s chairwoman, Ronna McDaniel. One contract went to her husband’s insurance company. Two others went to businesses whose executives recently donated to Ronna for Chair, a largely inactive political action committee that McDaniel controls.
  • CNN and NYT: Infowars founder and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was arrested in Texas on a charge of driving while intoxicated… [Also,] The New York State attorney general has issued a cease-and-desist order to Alex Jones, the conservative radio host, alarmed by false claims on his website that his diet supplements and toothpaste could be used to fight the coronavirus.

Immigration news

  • Politico: Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Tuesday he was unaware of any indication from his agency that physical barriers along America’s borders would help halt the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S. — contradicting an assertion President Donald Trump made earlier in the day.
  • The Guardian: Doctors are concerned the spread of coronavirus to the US’s prison-like immigration detention centers is inevitable and will hit a system blighted by overcrowding and medical negligence… Dr Josiah Rich, an epidemiologist at Brown University, said one tool the US government has to prevent the spread of coronavirus is to release some of the 43,990 people in immigration detention, while their legal cases are being processed. People are held in these detention centers for civil immigration violations, not criminal charges, and the government can release them unless they are considered a danger to the community.
  • NPR: The U.S. Supreme Court delivered the Trump administration another win on one of its signature immigration policies on Wednesday, allowing it to continue the controversial "Remain in Mexico" policy across the entire southern border. The policy, officially called the Migrant Protection Protocols, requires asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for their day in U.S. immigration court. That has led to roughly 60,000 migrants getting sent back across the border since MPP was first implemented in January 2019.
  • NPR: Hundreds of asylum-seekers who reach the Texas-Mexico border aren't getting a chance to make their case in U.S. immigration court. Instead, the migrants — mostly women and children — are put on planes to Guatemala and told to ask for asylum in that country.
  • CNN: In explosive audio obtained through the work of a leading human rights group and released by CNN, a Trump administration attorney is heard finally admitting what experts and advocates have been insisting from the start: Remain in Mexico, the administration policy forcing tens of thousands of vulnerable asylum-seekers to wait for their U.S. immigration court dates in Mexico, is in fact dangerous.
    • “I think what I’m hearing from the government is, and I’ll be honest, I don’t like it,” the judge said, according to the audio. “What I’m hearing is, that well everybody has to take that risk and that chance, and you get kidnapped, you get kidnapped, that’s the risk you take for being in Mexico, and wanting to apply for asylum here in the United States … I don’t think it’s humane. But we’re talking about human beings and lives. It’s not a piece of paper in my opinion. And I really don’t like what I just heard.”
  • Washington Post: Pregnant woman dies after falling from border wall, a sign of migrants’ desperation… A year ago, during the height of the family migration surge, the couple probably would have tried to turn themselves in to seek asylum, he said. But an array of new restrictions imposed by the Trump administration is driving border-crossers to take more risks, migrant advocates say.
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1990年著名杂志专访特朗普中英全文

1990年著名杂志专访特朗普中英全文
原文载于1990年3月刊(点此可获取原刊PDF
转载请注明翻译者@hhgztom
图片源自网络
PLAYBOY INTERVIEW: DONALD TRUMP
a candid conversation with the decade's most flamboyant billionaire
on deal making, self-promotion, world affairs and how much is enough
《花花公子》专访:唐纳德·特朗普
与十年来最引人注目的亿万富翁的一次坦诚对话
谈交易、自我推销、国际事务以及多少钱才够
Donald Trump sits alone. He hasn't slept in 48 hours.
At six A.M., perched high, in the bronze-coated jewel of his empire, Trump Tower; he is bent over a mammoth Brazilian-rosewood desk, scrutinizing spread sheets.
No insomnia, no growing worries.
"Pressure," lie surmises, sipping an iced Coke, "doesn't upset my sleep,'' a standard four hours nightly.
"I like throwing balls into the air— and I dream like a baby."
Three hours later, blond hair marshaled, he announces, with standard chutzpah, his seven-and-a-half billion dollar bid to gobble down the nation's premiere airline, American. On the strength of his $120-a-share bid, the stock vaults from $16 to $99.The 43-year-old billionaire, who owns huge blocks of American Airlines stock ,smiles broadly.
A week later, with the market lumbling190 points, he withdraws his offer, perhaps temporarily. Despite some reports that insinuated his American raid was only cardboard, a poly to rattle up his stock, Trump stares into space:
"Nope, I want it."
Yup, If it's the best, and it's for sale, Donald Trump's stomach begins to growl.
He captured troubled Saudi financier Adnan Khashoggi's onyx-and-gold-plated yacht for a mere $29,000,000—now it's worth $100,000,000. Then he bought the Eastern shuttle for $365,000,000 and transformed it overnight into the Trump Shuttle, complete with comfortable cabins and stewardesses rustling in virgin wool and pearls.
唐纳德•特朗普独自坐着。他已经48小时没休息了。
早上6点,高耸的特朗普大厦,上面镶嵌着青铜涂层的宝石;他俯身在一张巨大的巴西木紫檀木办公桌前,仔细查看着那些表格。
没有失眠,没有烦恼。
“压力,”他一边喝着冰可乐一边揣测,“不会影响我的睡眠”,标准的每晚4小时。
“我喜欢把球扔到空中——我睡的像婴儿一样。”
三个小时后,整理了一下金发,用那标准的狂妄口吻,他宣布,以75亿美元的价格吞并美国航空公司。在他每股120美元的出价下,这家公司的股价从16美元升至99美元。这位43岁的亿万富翁拥有美国航空公司的大量股票,笑容满面。
一周后,当股市暴跌190点时,他撤回了自己的报价,或许是暂时的。尽管有报道暗示,特朗普的美式突袭只是一种叫“硬纸板”的保利,但他的目光却盯着天空:
“不,我想要它。”
是的,如果这是最好的,而且是待售的,唐纳德·特朗普的肚子开始咕咕叫了。
他仅以2900万美元的价格买下了陷入困境的沙特金融家阿德南·卡舒吉的镶有码瑙和镀金的游艇,现在这艘游艇价值1亿美元。然后,他以3.65亿美元买下了东方航天飞机,并在一夜之间将其改装为特朗普航天飞机,配备了舒适的机舱,空姐们穿着纯净的羊毛和珍珠沙沙作响。
A year earlier, he had bought the Plaza Hotel for $400,000,000 and is now lovingly restoring her without a name change. Her make-over will be surprised by the Czech mistress of Trump's kingdom, Ivana, a former Olympic skier and fashion model.
At home, Ivana presides over a 100-room Trump Tower triplex, recently expanded from 50 rooms ("Better closet space, "she jokes). Trump proud of the salmon-marbled atrium of Trump Tower, where no expense was spared, says, "I bought the whole damn mountain! You've never seen that color before. Ivana suggested it because it makes people look better."
The couple also has a 47-room country house on ten acres in Greenwich, Connecticut, and the well-publicized 118-room Mar-a-Lago Marjorie Merriweather Post estate in Palm Beach, their commute time shortened by the 727 jet and the French-made military Puma helicopter.
The Trump Princess, or the Khashoggi" boat", as Trump now calls it, has gotten cramped, so a Dutch shipyard is confecting not a Princess but a full-fledged Queen costing more than $175,000,000.
一年前,他以4亿美元的价格买下了广场酒店,现在,他很高兴在没有改名字的情况下恢复了它的光辉。它的装饰一定会让特朗普王国的女主人伊万娜大吃一惊的,她曾是捷克奥运会滑雪运动员和时装模特。
在家里,伊万娜管理着特朗普大厦一套有100个房间的三层公寓,该公寓是最近从50个房间扩建的(她开玩笑说,“壁橱空间更大了”)。特朗普对着大厦里鲑鱼似的大理石中庭感到自豪,他说,“我买下了整座山!你从来没见过那种颜色。伊凡娜建议这样做的,因为这样可以让人看起来更好看。”
这对夫妇还在康涅狄格州格林威治占地10英亩的乡间别墅中拥有47个房间,以及众所周知的位于棕榈滩的马拉歌庄园,拥有118个房间。727喷气式飞机和法国制造的军用“美洲狮”直升机缩短了他们的通勤时间。
“特朗普公主号”(特朗普此刻叫它卡舒吉的“小船“)已经变得破烂不堪,因此一个荷兰船厂现在要做的是要把这位公主打造成一位丰满成熟的价值超过1.75亿美元的女王。
Such ostentation, despite a catalog of charities and good deeds done for sick kids, has predictably yielded a rich crop of snipers. Spy magazine, the New York-based humor monthly, cheerfully carries a scabrous vendetta against the Trumps, comparing them to Dickension monsters. Time did s cover story on the decay of Atlantic City and chided Trump for helping create a crime-plagued urban blight divided between welfare cases and high rollers. On the upper West Side, Manhattanites attack him for his proclaimed desire to build an enormous complex, Trump City, complete with a 150-story skyscraper; Phil Donahue charges that Trump’s casinos pillage the gullible; an aide close to outgoing mayor Ed Koch calls Trump ”the most arrogant s.o.b who has ever stepped onto the earth.
Ah, well, To be young, blond and a billionaire.
It doesn’t seem to matter. The most daunting entrepreneur since the Astors, Vanderbilts and Whitneys, Donald John Trump has made his ”art of the deal” work—not just for making money but for crushing adversaries, too.
Case in point: Merv Griffin. Ten months after Griffin bought Trump’s Resorts International Inc for $365,000,000, for which Trump had paid $101,000,000 the year before, Griffin found himself holding a busted balloon. Not only had he inherited the hotel-casino’s $925,000,000 debt but he embarrassingly had to report first-half losses of $46,600,000. There’s now talk of a possible bankruptcy for Merv and a possible lawsuit against Trump.
Looking beyond his one-billion-dollar Taj Mahal opening in Atlantic City next month, Trump has plenty to consider. There are tumors of his building casinos in Nevada and his buying Tiffany’s, NBC, the New York Daily News or the Waldorf Hotel (“I’ve got to have the Waldorf,” he coos jokingly into the phone. ”I can’t sleep without it”).And the Presidency ?No, that takes an election, and it is clear that Trump is not that patient. Too much to do!
尽管为生病的孩子们做了一系列的慈善和好事,这样的炫耀还是不出所料地产生了大量的攻击者。总部位于纽约的幽默月刊《间谍杂志》兴高采烈地对特朗普家族进行了激烈的报复,将他们比作言辞恶毒的怪物。《时代》杂志做了一篇关于大西洋城衰败的封面报道,指责特朗普帮助打造了一个犯罪猖獗的城市颓势,这个颓势在福利案件和豪赌客之间一分为二。在上西城,曼哈顿人抨击他宣称要建造一个巨大的综合体——特朗普城,包括一座150层的摩天大楼;菲尔·多纳休指责特朗普的赌场掠夺易轻信的人;一位接近即将离任的市长埃德·科赫的助手称特朗普是“有史以来最傲慢的人。“
嗯,好吧,年轻的金发亿万富翁。
这似乎无关紧要。唐纳德·约翰·特朗普是继阿斯特尔家族、范德比尔特家族和惠特尼家族之后最令人畏惧的企业家,他的“交易的艺术”发挥了作用——不仅为了赚钱,也为了粉碎对手。
梅尔夫·格里芬就是一个很好的例子。格里芬以3.65亿美元的价格收购了特朗普的国际度假村公司,而特朗普在前年支付了1.01亿美元。10个月后,格里芬发现自己手里拿着一个破气球。他不仅继承了酒店赌场9.25亿美元的债务,而且还令人尴尬地报告了上半年4660万美元的亏损。现在有传言说梅尔夫可能会破产,特朗普可能会被起诉。
除了下个月在大西洋城开幕的泰姬陵酒店,特朗普还有很多事要做。他在内华达州建赌场,购买蒂芙尼(Tiffany)、NBC、纽约每日新闻或华尔道夫酒店,每件事都会有“麻烦”(“我一定要拥有华尔道夫酒店,”他对着电话开玩笑地说。“没有它我睡不着”)。那么总统职位呢?不,那需要一场选举,而特朗普显然没有那么耐心。要做的事情太多了!
“There has always been a display of wealth and always will be, until the depression comes, which it always does. And let me tell you, a display is a good thing. It shows people that you can be successful.”
“炫富一直存在,也总会出现,直到大萧条来临,大萧条也一直都有。”让我告诉你,炫富是件好事。它人们展示你可以成功。”
“We Americans are laughed at around the world for defending wealthy nations for nothing, nations that would be wiped out in about fifteen minutes if it weren’t for us. Our “allies” are making billions screwing us.”
“我们美国人因为毫无意义地保卫一些富裕的国家而被全世界嘲笑,如果不是我们,这些国家在15分钟内就会灭亡。我们的“盟友”正从我们身上赚取数十亿。
“I’ve always thought the ultimate job for me would have been running MGM in the Thirties and Forties. There was incredible glamour and style that’s gone now. And that’s when you could control situations.”
“我一直认为,对我来说,最佳的工作应该是在三四十年代经营米高梅。那些令人难以置信的魅力和风格现在已经逝去了。那个时候你可以控制整个局面。”
The billion-dollar baby was born in the exclusive Jamaica Estates in Queens, New York, on June 14,1946, to a mere millionaire, real-estate developer Fred Trump, who had racked up his $20,000,000 fortune building low-to-middle-priced homes and apartments in Brooklyn and Queens.
Among the five little Trumps, only Donald seemed to have a passion for mortar and bricks, riding around construction sites with his father—“who ruled all of us with a steel will”—and showing younger brother Robert, now a low-profile V.P. in the Trump organization, who was boss in their 23-room house.
At the age of eight, little Donald borrowed Robert’s cherished toy blocks, glued them together into one giant skyscraper and never returned them, thereafter exercising his fantasies about changing Manhattan’s skyline.
His father, who harped on the importance of ”knowing how to make a buck,” regarded mop-haired Donald as “rough and wild,” shipped him off to the New York Military Academy in Cornwall-on-Hudson and, some say, forever instilled in him a gnawing sense of inadequacy that fueled the boy’s ambition. There followed two years at Fordham and two years at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Finance, then a few years diddling in middle-income housing until, at the age of 28, Trump delivered the punch that launched him. Taking a hard look at Manhattan’s troubled fortunes, he fastened onto the bankruptcy of the Penn Central Railroad as his ticket into the big time and nimbly plucked options on Penn’s Hudson River Railroad yards, now the site of New York’s Convention Center, and its 59-year-old Commodore Hotel, now the Grand Hyatt.
The coup was in his persuading bankers to lent him $80,000,000 and in talking politicians into awarding him a $120,000,000 tax abatement.
Persuasion, hype and chutzpah thereafter defined the Trump style, welded to a scrupulous management technique.
1946年6月14日,这个亿万富翁宝宝出生在纽约皇后区的牙买加豪宅里,他的父亲是房地产开发商弗雷德·特朗普,他在布鲁克林和皇后区建造中低价位的住宅和公寓,积累了2000万美元的财富。
在五个小特朗普中,只有唐纳德似乎对灰泥和砖块很有激情,他和“用钢铁般的意志统治着我们所有人”的父亲骑行玩耍在建筑工地周围,并向弟弟罗伯特炫耀。罗伯特现在是特朗普集团一名低调的副总裁,掌管着他们23个房间的房子。
八岁的时候,小唐纳德借走了罗伯特心爱的玩具积木,把它们粘在一起变成了一座巨大的摩天大楼,从此再也没有归还,从此实现了他改变曼哈顿天际线的梦想。
他的父亲曾反复强调“知道如何赚钱”的重要性,认为头发乱蓬乱的唐纳德“粗鲁而狂野”,把他送到了位于哈德逊的康沃尔的纽约军事学院。有人说,父亲永远给他灌输了一种痛苦的不足感,助长了他的抱负。接下来在福特汉姆大学待了两年,在宾夕法尼亚大学沃顿金融学院待了两年,然后又在中等收入家庭的住房上瞎忙了几年,直到28岁时,特朗普打出了让他成功的一击。他认真审视了曼哈顿陷入困境的命运,选择了宾夕法尼亚中央铁路公司的破产作为自己进入大时代的入场证,并灵活地选择了宾夕法尼亚哈德逊河铁路公司和拥有59年历史的康姆多酒店,即如今的君悦酒店。这里现在是纽约会议中心的所在地。
他的妙招在于说服银行家借给他8000万美元,并说服政客给予他1.2亿美元的减税。
此后,说服、炒作和厚颜无耻定义了特朗普的风格,并融入了一丝不苟的管理技巧。
In 1979,at the age of 33,he snapped up the Fifth Avenue site of the old Bonwit Teller for $20,000,000,won a $140,000,000 tax abatement and three years later finished Trump Tower, a 68-story dazzler that includes a six-story atrium and today draws 100,000 visitors daily, with residents such as Johnny Carson and Steven Spielberg.
Amassing a fortune his father never dreamed possible—a cash hoard of $900,000,000,a geyser of $50,000,000 a week from his hotel-casinos, assets thought to total 3.7 billion dollars—Trump soon became as captivated by mystique-making as by money-making.
As the snooty ads running around New York proclaimed,”Everything does seem to be very Trump these days.” There are his residential buildings, Trump Parc and Trump Plaza and the soon-to-be-finished Trump Palace; Trump Castle in Atlantic City and the soon-to-be-finished Taj Mahal; his book “Trump: The Art of the Deal,” written with Tony Schwartz, which held on to the number-one spot on the New York Times best-seller list longer than any business book since “Iocacca”;his high-rise board game named—you guessed it—Trump(reported to be flop);his upcoming TV game show—you guessed it again—“Trump Card”; and the bike race named Tour de Trump, which, as he points out, sure beats its old name—Tour de Jersey. And—well—you get the picture.
“Vision is my best asset,” he says without a shred of modesty, ”I know what sells and I know what people want.”
Along the way, Trump even found time to attend the 1976 Montreal Olympics, marry his match, Ivana Zelnicek (who has vowed never to look a day over 29),and produce his own little Trumps—Donald Jr,12,Ivanka,eight,and Eric, six.
Notwithstanding the good fortune that seems to have attended Trump’s business moves, he and his family have not escaped life’s darker side. While sisters Maryane, a Federal judge in New Jersey, and Elizabeth, an administrative assistant for Chase Manhattan, have found their niches, Trump’s older brother, Fred, hated the real-estate business, became an airline pilot, took to drink and died an alcoholic in 1981 at 43.
Trump was also recently shaken when, last October, three key executives died in a helicopter crash; the boss reportedly narrowly missed death, deciding at the last minute that he was too busy to travel. ”I never realized,” says Trump today, ”how deaths outside the family could have such a profound effect on me. It’s a tragic waste.” As for himself, he’s fatalistic: ”I work, I don’t worry and I protect myself as well as anybody can. But ultimately we all end up going to hopefully greener pastures.”
1979年,33岁的他以2千万美元的价格收购了第五大道的老旧的保罗·邦威特百货商店,赢得了一份价值1亿4千万美元的减税和三年后完成了特朗普大厦,一座68层的焦点,包括一座六层楼高的中庭和现在每天吸引10万名游客,名人如约翰尼·卡森和史蒂芬·斯皮尔伯格。
特朗普积累了一笔他父亲做梦也想不到的财富—9亿美元的现金储备,每周从酒店赌场中获得的5000万美元的进账,以及估计总计37亿美元的资产—很快,他就像对着迷赚钱一样着迷于创造神秘。
正如纽约四处流传的八卦广告所宣称的那样,“这些日子,似乎一切都很特朗普。”“到处都有他盖的住宅,特朗普公园,特朗普广场和即将完成的特朗普宫殿,大西洋城的特朗普城堡和即将完成的泰姬陵;他和托尼•施瓦茨合作的书《特朗普:交易的艺术》紧紧锁定《纽约时报》畅销书排行榜第一的位置,除了“艾科卡”的书以外,比任何商业书籍都要长;他的高层棋盘游戏,取名“你猜-王牌”(据说失败了);他即将到来的电视节目,“你再猜-王牌”;和以他的名字命名的自行车赛“环特朗普”,他说,肯定比原来的名字“环泽西”要好。嗯,好吧,你已经有画面了。
“远见是我最好的资产,”他毫不谦虚地说,“我知道什么能卖出去,也知道人们想要什么。”
即使如此,特朗普还是抽时间参加了1976年蒙特利尔奥运会,迎娶了他的另一半伊万娜·泽尔尼切克(她发誓永远不让自己看起来超过29岁),还生下了自己的小特朗普——12岁的小唐纳德、8岁的伊万卡和6岁的埃里克。
尽管特朗普的商业举动似乎好运连连,但他和他的家人并没有摆脱生活的阴暗面。特朗普的姐姐玛丽安是新泽西州的一名联邦法官,另一个姐姐伊丽莎白是大通曼哈顿银行的一名行政助理,她们都有自己的事业,而特朗普的哥哥弗雷德讨厌房地产生意,后来成为一名飞行员,开始酗酒,并于1981年因酗酒去世,享年43岁。
特朗普最近还受到了打击,去年10月,三名关键高管死于一场直升机坠毁事故;据报道,那位老板侥幸脱险,他是在最后一刻做的决定,因为太忙没时间旅行。“我从未意识到,”特朗普今天说,“家庭以外的死亡怎么会对我产生如此深远的影响。这是可悲的浪费生命。至于他自己,他听天由命:“我工作,我不担心,我像任何人一样保护自己。”希望我们最终都会去天堂。”
To check out his present-day pastures, we sent New York Daily News celebrity interviewer and syndicated columnist Glenn Plaskin to talk with him. This interview had long been in the works, including two earlier starts. But Plaskin finally got Trump to sit down with him over a period of nearly 16 weeks. His report:
“For our first session at Trump Tower, after being visually frisked by a troop of basketball-player-tall bodyguards, I entered the inner sanctum. There was Donald Trump, as he would be for most of our sessions, slumped behind the cinnamon-colored desk, slung comically low in his chair, clipping his fingernails.
“I think best this way,” he’d deadpan.
“As the weeks went by, I found I liked poking through the hooded dare-me eyes with rapid-fire changes of topic, watching for surprise. Often he parried with rehearsed answers, but we spent enough time together that we entered genuinely fresh territory. When I asked for his stand on abortion, he frowned, pouted and asked ne to turn the recorder off. He didn’t really have an option—what the hell was mine? It was a very human moment.
“Supervising his office like an exceedingly well-run vaudeville show, executive assistant Norma Foerderer would wander in with another gold-framed magazine cover to put up on his wall—or with a seven-pound cheesecake or a stuffed skunk. Trump would take calls during our interview—never for more than a few minutes—that invariably ended with, ”Ok, baby, you’re the greatest.” Then secretary Rhona Graff would walk in, bearing little yellow slips of paper announcing calls waiting: down-on-his-luck financier Adnan Khashoggi, asking to have lunch; a hotel executive, dickering to sell yet another big hotel……By the time Duchess Fergie called about borrowing his brand-new accident-proof helicopter, and Don Johnson to borrow his city-size yacht, I was dizzy.
“To get away from it all, we began our first session hovering above the East River in the cobalt Darth Vader helicopter. Donald Trump was strapped into taupe leather, good-naturedly hyping his empire below.”
为了了解他每天的生活,我们请了《纽约每日新闻》的著名记者和专栏作家格伦·普拉斯金来采访他。这次采访已经进行了很长时间,包括之前的两次。但是普拉斯金终于让特朗普和他坐下来谈了将近16个星期。他的采访报告:
“关于我们在特朗普大厦的第一次采访,在被一群篮球运动员般高的保镖“虎视眈眈”之后,我进入了内部密室。那就是特朗普,在我们的大多数采访中,他都是这样的,耷拉在肉桂色的桌子后面,滑稽地低靠在椅子上,剪着指甲。
“我觉得这样很好,”他面无表情地说。
几个星期过去了,我发现自己必须从裹着头巾的瞪着我的眼睛里,并在话题的快速变化中,观察有没有惊喜。他经常回避事先排练过的答案,但等到在一起的时间足够长,我们进入了真正新鲜的领域。当我问他对堕胎的立场时,他皱着眉头,撅着嘴,让我把录音机关掉。他真的没有选择——我这是到底在干嘛?多么人性化的瞬间啊。
行政助理诺玛福尔德勒把他的办公室管理得就像管理得非常出色的杂剧表演,她会拿着另一个镶金框的杂志封面走进办公室,把它挂在墙上——或者拿着一个7磅重的芝士蛋糕或一只塞满臭鼬的什么东西。特朗普会在我们的采访中接听电话——从来不会超过几分钟——最后总是说:“好吧,宝贝,你是最棒的。”“然后秘书罗娜格拉夫会走进来,晃着小黄色便笺告诉他有电话在线上:倒霉的金融家阿德南·卡舒吉约吃午饭;一个酒店高管嚷嚷着要再卖一个大型酒店……同时,菲姬公爵夫人打电话要借他全新的直升机,唐·约翰逊借他的城市大小的游艇。我有点头晕了。
为了摆脱这些,我们开始了第一次空中采访,乘坐深蓝色的天行者直升机在伊斯特河上空转了一圈。唐纳德·特朗普被灰褐色皮革紧紧裹着,善意地炒作着他的帝国。”
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[FIGHT THREAD] Sergey Kovalev vs. Eleider Alvarez, Dmitry Bivol vs. Isaac Chilemba

DATE: Saturday, August 4th, 2018
LOCATION: Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA
TELEVISION: HBO in the US and various outlets internationally.
TIME: 10:00 PM EST, 7:00 PM PST, 2 AM GMT

Sergey Kovalev vs. Eleider Alvarez

12 Rounds

Light Heavyweight Division (175lb. limit)

World Boxing Organisation World Light Heavyweight Title

Dmitry Bivol vs. Isaac Chilemba

12 Rounds

Light Heavyweight Division (175lb. limit)

World Boxing Association World Light Heavyweight Title

Join the live /boxing Discord voice and text chat: https://bxng.co/2zg0ACK
RESULTS
submitted by Tom_Cody to Boxing [link] [comments]

Eric Zaun commits suicide

I go to seaside (OR) every year and watched this dude play in the finals twice (winning it last year) and compete at such a high level. Met him once and he was a super nice guy. Young up and coming star playing in the AVP tour and this is just devastating to hear.
Be humble and kind everyone, you don't know what anyone is going through in life.

https://www.everydaydevotional.com/news/news/eric-zaun-death-obituary-man-jumps-from-borgata-hotel-and-casino-atlantic-city-news-jersey/

https://www.monstersandcritics.com/people/eric-zaun-death-pro-beach-volleyball-player-dead-from-apparent-suicide-at-age-25/
submitted by ehanda324 to volleyball [link] [comments]

Unibet getting a Midwestern foothold

https://www.gambling.com/news/unibet-entering-indiana-and-iowa-sports-betting-markets-2207600
Unibet is coming to Indiana and Iowa. And in effect, it’s coming to the state wedged between them: Illinois.
Kindred Group on Tuesday announced a 10-year agreement with Caesars Entertainment to gain market access into Indiana and Iowa – and “potentially other states,” according to a news release – to operate both online sports betting and gaming through its Unibet brand.
Kindred, through Unibet, can immediately begin seeking licenses in both states, which would double its footprint in the United States. Unibet currently operates in New Jersey and Pennsylvania sportsbooks. Its online Pennsylvania sportsbook is operated in partnership with Mohegan Sun.
Unibet’s New Jersey sportsbook is through a deal with Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City.
In Indiana, Unibet will ally with a Caesar’s Horsehoe Hammond property less than 30 miles from Chicago, giving it a key outpost to tap into an Illinois market left fallow because of regulatory delays.
Most important, the deal will bring mobile and online betting options to a property battling to compete financially without it.

Unibet Can Tap Into Chicago Market

Sports betting was legalized in Illinois in June, but a launch date remains nebulous and seemingly far-off. So Illinois bettors continue to pour over the Indiana border from the city of 2.7 million to patronize the likes of Horseshoe Hammond and DraftKings-affiliated Ameristar East Chicago.
Ameristar’s January sports betting handle of $73,037,356 led all 13 Indiana providers – $170,813,254 was collected in the state – with $65,993,539 coming from that sportsbook via mobile. Caesars never launched a mobile product for Horseshoe Hammond, negating its proximity as the nearest Indiana sportsbook to the Chicago metropolitan area.
Unibet’s Iowa peg will be at Harrah’s Council Bluffs, which is just across the Missouri River from Omaha, Nebraska, and nestled in the metropolitan statistical area of nearly a million. Mobile betting accounted for about 59% of Iowa sports betting handle in January. Ten of 19 Iowa sportsbooks offer mobile or online sports betting.
Kindred US senior vice president Manuel Stan said he was “thrilled” to expand the company’s American presence with Caesars.
submitted by brantjames to SportsBettingBiz [link] [comments]

After winning $1.3 Million at a Casino, Why does a man cover himself in Gasoline and drop a lit Match?

Myra Kindle is an independent investigative reporter.
Her other reports:

Boardwalk Attraction

What drives a person to cover themselves in gasoline and drop a match by their feet?
That was the question that ran through the minds of many in a crowd outside the Borgata Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey on March 23rd, 2019.
At approximately 7:45PM on that cold spring eve, a Mr. James Ferdini, age 47, covered himself in gasoline and was prepared to drop a match in the fuel.
As the crowd shouted for him to stop and several witnesses called the police, Mr. Ferdini reportedly stood unfazed, simply grinning and appearing to revel in the crowd’s shock.
“It was a suicidal action but it didn’t look like a suicidal person,” says Sam Kenset, an eyewitness to the incident. “I guess I don’t really know what a suicidal person looks like, but his movements and the way he was talking -- he just didn’t seem like a man down on his luck.”
Ms. Kenset is quite astute in her observation -- Mr. Feredini was certainly not down on his luck. In fact only moments before covering himself in gasoline, Mr. Ferdini had cashed out more than $1.3 million in winnings from the Borgata Hotel and Casino, making his suicidal action all the more puzzling.
However dangerous, Mr. Ferdini’s gasoline soaked stunt would not lead to his death on March 23rd, but his life was not long for this world either. Three days later on March 26th he would be found dead from an entirely different cause.
In Mr. Ferdini’s incredible winnings and suicidal tendencies leading up to his unusual and grizzly death on March 26th, many questions remain. Who was James Ferdini? What happened to his more than million dollars in winnings? And what was the lead up of events that caused his demise?
Based on interviews with management at the Borgata Hotel and Casino, local police and investigators, and corroborated with eyewitness accounts, independent investigative reporter Myra Kindle, for the first time, brings you a report on the man who nearly bankrupted a casino, and whose luck seemed to make him invincible until his highly improbable death.

What are the Odds?

As the match fell to James Ferdini’s feet outside the Borgata Hotel and Casino, the crowd stood agasp as they waited for the inevitable fire and horrible death of a gas soaked man. This moment would never come however, and the match reportedly landed in the puddle of gasoline meeting it as though it were water.
“The crowd started to look away the moment he dropped the match,” says Matthew Gershowitz, a witness to the event. “I couldn’t though -- I needed to see what would happen. I mean we all thought we were witnessing a suicide or something, but the guy was jovial, happy, making jokes with the crowd before he lit the match. And then when it hit the gas, it just burned out, and the man started laughing. We were all amazed. It was like a miracle -- we thought he’d die for sure.”
While it’s quite understandable that the crowd believed they had witnessed a miracle when James did not burst into flames, professor of organic chemistry at Villanova University, Marcy Li, says the odds of Mr. Ferdini’s death were far less than certain.
“Gasoline is certainly flammable, but not like in the way shown in movies and TV,” says professor Li. “It’s the layer of vapor above that gasoline that is most likely to combust. There could be a number of factors like wind, humidity and temperature that improved Mr. Ferdini’s chance of avoiding being burned alive. I would certainly say he’s lucky, but I wouldn’t say it’s a miracle he didn’t burst into flames.”
If Mr. Ferdini relied on luck that day to survive, it would appear to have been with him in spades for quite some time.
Having just come from the Borgata casino floor, James was reportedly on a ‘hot-streak’, winning tens of thousands of dollars an hour over the preceding two days.
“You have to imagine we were pretty happy when he left the casino,” says Richard Markelson, a floor manager at the Borgata. “Normally we want customers to stay as long as possible so the house can win our money back, but Mr. Ferdini never had a bad roll, spin, or lever pull the whole 40 consecutive hours he was gambling at the Borgata. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Mr. Markelson was able to confirm through cash-logs and casino surveillance that Mr. Ferdini had indeed won big at the Borgata, and records show his total winnings amounted to $1,348,427.
Mr. Markelson said of the winnings: “It was enough of a loss over a short period of time that the owners of the casino were worried our insurance premiums were gonna jump. A casino in Atlantic City simply doesn’t lose that much money in such a short time, at least not to a nobody, and Mr. Ferdini was certainly a nobody.”

A Career Loser

While management at the Borgata Hotel and Casino did not know Mr. Ferdini prior to his 40 hour lucrative gambling binge, many on Atlantic City’s boardwalk have been acutely aware of James for years.
For example after James’s stunt with the gasoline, he was arrested and taken to the Atlantic City jail and held on the possible charge of disorderly conduct, but was released after the charges were dropped. The reason? The police had a long record of interactions with Mr. Ferdini and thought of him only as a minor risk.
“We were more worried about the guy’s mental health than him causing a scene on the boardwalk,” says Atlantic City officer Paul Stevenson. “We’ve known James for years -- I mean he’s a loser. Is it a shock to me that he would try and commit suicide like that? Absolutely not.”
When asked why the police did not opt to commit Mr. Ferdini to a hospital on a psychological evaluation, officer Stevenson replied: “The plan was to have him committed, but some lawyer showed up and we didn’t want a legal fight, so we decided to release him instead. I felt a bit mixed about it. I mean the guy was clearly suicidal -- why else would you douse yourself in gasoline?”
When told that Mr. Ferdini was reportedly jovial and happy during the gasoline incident, and that he had in fact won more than a million dollars immediately prior to the event, officer Stevenson struggled with the narrative: “That doesn’t sound like the James Ferdini I know. He’s always been a depressed gambler, and never won a game in his life as far as I know. He couldn’t win a hundred bucks, let alone a million. I can’t even believe they let him into the Borgata in the first place, but I guess the cash winnings explains the lawyer.”
Officer Stevenson asked if I could confirm the details of the winnings and that Mr. Ferdini was in a jovial mood during the gasoline incident. When I showed documentation of Mr. Ferdini’s winnings provided by Mr. Markelson and relayed several eyewitness accounts as to his temperament, officer Stevenson replied: “I don’t get it. So, why’d he try to burn himself alive?”

The ‘Cooler’

Perhaps no individual has a better sense of who Mr. Ferdini is and what happened to him than the floor manager at the Borgata, Mr. Markelson.
For 40 hours prior to the gasoline incident, Mr. Ferdini bet heavily at the Borgata casino, and Mr. Markelson was in close proximity for much of his hot-streak.
“I was actually supposed to be on vacation that week,” says Mr. Markelson, “but I got called in because the other cooler was sick.”
A ‘cooler’ as Mr. Markelson explained, is a relic of old casinos that today is rarely used, however some establishments still invest in what could be called ‘charms’ to bring bad luck to high rollers.
“I got hired because I’m unlucky,” explains Mr. Markelson. “I can do the job of floor manager just fine -- don't get me wrong -- but it was my knack for bad luck that got me the job for sure.”
A cooler operates by simply being present around those that are on a run of good luck. In Mr. Markelson’s account, he says that being around him will bring such bad luck to any gambler that their cards will go cold, their lever pulls result in no winnings, and their wheel spins doomed to lose money.
“It’s a talent I’ve had since, well, forever,” says Mr. Markelson. “If I just stand near someone, they’ll start to have bad luck like me. I know it sounds crazy, and sometimes I don’t believe it myself, but it’s true. I mean, like I said, I think that’s why the casino hired me. They could count on me to go onto the casino floor and bring bad luck to anyone that’s winning a bit too much. Best part, since it’s based on superstition, it’s completely above board.”
With James Ferdini, Richard Markelson found that his power did not work however.
“I don’t know about before I showed up, but for when I was watching him, that man could not lose. The casino made me stay multiple shifts, I’m talking nearly 40 hours to watch him and were hoping I’d bring him bad luck, but it never happened. He just kept on winning no matter what game he played.”

An Escalation of Bets

In attempting to find James Ferdini’s state of mind prior to the gasoline incident, floor manager Richard Markelson provided unfettered access to video of the casino floor, even though he realized he could be breaking several state gambling commission laws by allowing a reporter to look at such surveillance. In fact, more than taking the risk, it was Mr. Markelson that called me and led me to this story in the first place.
“The police didn’t send him to the hospital after the gas thing I’ve been told. I figured the truth has to be somewhere and when police won’t do their job, I guess it’s reporters that have to step in,” says Mr. Markelson. “The most important thing to be me personally is finding out why he died just a few days later in that horrible freak accident -- the one on March 26th.”
When asked if Mr. Markelson had any interest in finding Mr. Ferdini’s still missing $1.3 million, he replied: “Of course, but that’s not my primary concern here. I just want to know what the fuck happened. How does a guy who should have felt on top of the world go to dousing himself in gasoline, and then ends up dead a few days later? I really want to know.”
In the video access provided by Mr. Markelson, I managed to find new clues that might be able to explain Mr. Ferdini’s downward spiral.
It could best be described as an escalation of bets that appeared to take place soon after Mr. Ferdini began his run of good luck. According to video of the casino floor, around the time manager Richard Markelson appeared, Mr. Ferdini started his miraculous winning streak.
The video shows Mr. Ferdini starting with craps, moving to baccarat, then slot machines, and followed by a long run at twenty-one. He continues to gamble for 40 straight hours, much of it with Mr. Markelson in close proximity.
“I was the only cooler around, so the higher ups at the Borgata made me stay the whole time. I got a lot of overtime that week,” says Mr. Markelson.
Curiously, the video shows that at around the 25 hour mark Mr. Ferdini attracts something of a crowd. While the video offers no sound, it appears as though Mr. Ferdini is making several wagers with his new found groupies.
At first a few in his new entourage gamble him directly in casino floor games like Texas Holdem, but it appears as though they make several bets outside of the casino games as well.
In one instance Mr. Ferdini appears to bet that he can drink boiling hot water. The video shows him drinking a scalding hot cup and immediately receiving a small payout from several people he was talking to before beginning the stunt.
It became clear to me after reviewing the video surveillance that for this story, I would need to speak to at least one of the people who witnessed Mr. Ferdini taking on these non-casino game bets. Thankfully, with Mr. Markelson’s help I was able to track down Maria Nowak, who in the video appears to spend several hours with Mr. Ferdini.
A resident of Atlantic City, Ms. Nowak was able to confirm that Mr. Ferdini was taking part in what she describes as “extreme behavior”, and that he was seemingly willing to bet on anything and everything. Even games that were clearly not of chance, like drinking boiling hot water.

”For $500, Right?”

Why did Mr. Ferdini cover himself in gasoline and drop a match? It’s a question essential to understanding his mindset, and one for which the answer appears to be quite simple.
After tracking down Ms. Nowak, a long time resident who often partakes in long gambling binges herself, she claims Mr. Ferdini covered himself in gasoline and dropped a match in the fuel simply because of a wager.
“We had been doing side bets for hours,” says Ms. Nowak, who agreed to meet me at Hayday Cafe, a local coffee shop. “I was with a group of friends and we noticed that this guy [Mr. Ferdini] had not been losing any bets for hours. The guy was pretty much throwing money around and that type of attitude attracts the crowd I was with. So, we started making small talk and then made a few bets, dumb, small ones to start.”
When asked what bets her group made with Mr. Ferdini, Ms. Nowak replies: “At first it was things like, how many casino chips he could fit into his mouth. But then it escalated pretty quickly, like soon we were betting on how much money he could win in an hour. Then a bit after that he did this really stupid boiling hot water challenge -- he simply bet he could drink boiling hot water without having to go to the hospital. The bet didn’t make any sense, but like everything else, he won.”
“The gasoline challenge was the craziest though,” she continues. “It was clearly a joke when my friend suggested it, but James took him up on it right away. The challenge was, like, ‘can you cover yourself in gasoline, drop a match, and survive?’ James said he would do it for $500, and we just assumed he was kidding, but sure enough he was dead serious.”
Ms. Nowak claims that she too was present in the crowd outside the Borgata when Mr. Ferdini made good on the gasoline bet, and that immediately prior to him dropping the match, he said to her and the rest of the gambling entourage, “This is for $500, right?”
“He said it but I’m not too sure how many people heard it,” Ms. Nowak says. “I mean the whole crowd was screaming for him to stop. They all thought the guy wanted to kill himself. I guess one of us nodded our heads to James’s question, and then he dropped the match. I’ll be damned, but he won that bet too. We gave him $500 alright, not that he needed it after making all that money at the Borgata.”
When asked if Ms. Nowak saw Mr. Ferdini after he was released from the police station, she responds: “Yea, we hung out for the next two or three days -- all of us -- the gambling group that had formed at the casino, James Ferdini, and then, oh yea, that guy Richard Makel-something. I think he worked at the Borgata but he hung around with us for a couple days while we partied at a different hotel. It was around the time Richard and the rest of us left that James was in that freak accident.”

Richard Markelson

The details of Ms. Nowak’s account have confirmed two things to this reporter.
One, Mr. Ferdini’s suicidal gesture to cover himself in gasoline was nothing more than a bet to earn more money. Feeling high from his good luck at the casino, it would appear Mr. Ferdini thought himself invincible and was willing to take on any challenge, even if it put his life on the line.
Two, Borgata floor manager and ‘cooler’ Richard Markelson has not been fully forthcoming in his account of what happened. For example, he never mentioned spending time with Mr. Ferdini after leaving the Borgata.
Confronting Mr. Markelson, I ask him for a more accurate account of what happened after Mr. Ferdini’s gasoline soaked stunt. Mr. Markelson is nervous in his reply, realizing he’s been caught withholding valuable information.
“You have to understand that James is not particularly good with money,” starts Mr. Markelson. “I know I’m saying that having really only met the guy at the Borgata casino, but you could just tell he was something of a loser. Maybe other people told you that too, I don’t know. My point is James was destined to spend that money on drugs and alcohol, and well, we all kind of just tagged along for the ride.”
Mr. Markelson goes on to describe a drug fueled binge that lasted from Saturday March 23rd until sometime before Mr. Ferdini’s death on Tuesday, March 26th.
“James and I had been awake for more than 40 hours when he left the casino, and I was going to go to bed, but somehow I got roped into his entourage he found at the Borgata when he was raking in cash. I would’ve gone home, but free cocaine is free cocaine. I’m not particularly proud of saying that, but it’s true -- I really like the drug.”
Richard Markelson says that in addition to drugs, Mr. Ferdini hired prostitutes and strippers for the group’s amusement.
“I’m not into all the seedy stuff, but we had been awake for a long long time and on so much shit. I mean we were taking meth rips and stuff. Yea, it’s weird now that I look back on it, but a binge can be like that sometimes.”
The most important question to this reporter is what happened in the final hours of Mr. Ferdini’s life. In this respect, Mr. Markelson claims to know nothing.
“I left before he died on Tuesday,” says Mr. Markelson. “It doesn’t surprise me that he died though. The gasoline bet was just the beginning of it. That girl, Maria Nowak, the one that told you I was hanging out with the impromptu entourage -- it was her boyfriend that really stepped things up in a pretty violent way in terms of betting.”
When asked what he means by “violent”, Mr. Markelson responds: “I mean they were actually gambling on Russian roulette in the hotel room when I left.”

That Other Roulette

Once again reaching out to Ms. Nowak, I ask her about Mr. Markelson’s description of partying and gambling in a hotel with Mr. Ferdini.
It was at this point that Ms. Nowak declined any further questions, only providing the statement: “I’ve said everything I’m going to say.”
While this seemed like a certain dead end to discovering what happened in the final hours of Mr. Ferdini’s life and also possibly to tracking down what happened to his $1.3 million in winnings, I by luck received a phone call shortly before I was ready to call it quits on this investigation.
The phone call was from one Mr. Samuel Howlser, boyfriend to Ms. Maria Nowak.
Mr. Howlser said he wished to speak with me to clarify a few details that Ms. Nowak had shared with me and to dispute any “lies” stated by Mr. Markelson.
“Me and Maria didn’t steal nobody’s money and we’re not gonna get in trouble for what Richard Markelson or anyone in that entourage might be telling you,” Mr. Howsler said to me in a phone interview.
When asked about details of the drug fueled gambling binge shared by Mr. Markelson and Ms. Nowak, Mr. Howsler mostly confirms their accounts, however his description of floor manager Makelson is less favorable than what Mr. Markelson told me himself.
“He was the craziest fucker of the bunch, definitely,” says Mr. Howlser. “He knew the hookups for the crystal and coke, got us ketamine too. But the nuttiest thing about him is what the fuck he’d bet on. Like if Ferdini thought he was invincible, doubly so for that manger from the Borgata. Markelson was the one that brought out a revolver for Russian roulette too, and they played like dozens of games.”
Russian roulette, a lethal game of chance that has the player hold a loaded pistol to their head and fire, is an extremely dangerous game that has been popularized in media and fiction for decades. The game requires a loaded revolver to have at least one bullet chambered before firing, with the odds of death usually being one in six.
“It was fucking crazy when Markelson said he’d play it, but the dude was having as good luck as Ferdini so he thought he could do it,” says Mr. Howlser. “So they load a pistol with a bullet and start playing each other cause they were the only two fuckers crazy enough to do it. They play one round, but no winner so they go again. Second round, no winner so a third. Eventually they play enough rounds where they figure they gotta up the odds. So instead of loading one bullet, they load two. They play round after round with two out of six chambers loaded with bullets, spinning the revolver cylinder each time before they pull the trigger. This goes on for a while right, and then they load another fucking bullet. Each round now these guys have a one-in-two chance of blowing their brains out, but they keep playing.”
In Mr. Howlser’s recounting over the phone, I hear he is deeply disturbed by this story and ask why him and everyone in the gambling entourage continued to sit in the hotel room. In response he says, “We had been up for days smoking crystal and doing other shit. We were fuckng zombies. It’s only looking back now, sober, that I can see how crazy it was.”
But the game of lethal roulette was not over yet. Mr. Howlser claims that Mr. Ferdini and Mr. Makelson continued to play round after round, occasionally loading another bullet until finally the revolver was fully loaded.
“With six out of six chambers loaded, the odds of them dying on the next trigger pull was 100%,” says Mr. Howsler. “And I’ll damned, but they both went, and they both fucking lived. Somehow, they both got dud cartridges. After that, they both just had huge laugh for a while. A little bit later, Richard Markelson leaves and James Ferdini and the rest of us stay doing drugs for a bit until the rest of us guests leave too.”
Before Mr. Howlser ends the phone call, he stresses again the reason for contacting me.
“What happened is a messed up story, I know, but the point is that me and Maria don’t know anything about James Ferdini’s death or where his money is. Once we were sober enough to leave that seedy hotel outside Atlantic City, we left along with the rest of the people that were following James. And when we left, he was alive, and he had his money.”

Bad Luck

While Mr. Markelson, Mr. Howlser, and Ms. Nowak all say they only know the most basic details of how James Ferdini died, his death has actually been well documented by investigators and the coroner's office for Atlantic City.
Prior to this report, it was the mindset of Mr. Ferdini that was previously unknown. Sill up in the air is the whereabouts of his $1.3 million. But from what I've found, the report on his death is fully accurate, and even clears any of the entourage that was following him from being involved in any possible wrongdoing related to James Ferdini’s death.
On Tuesday March 26th at approximately 4:30AM, it would appear Mr. Ferdini’s luck simply ran out.
In that early morning hour, someone on Mr. Ferdini’s floor had ordered room service. As the porter was delivering the food, he slipped and fell outside of Mr. Ferdini’s room.
The noise from the fall awoke Mr. Ferdini who opened his door to find the porter picking up a tray of food in the hallway.
Upset at the disruption and the clanging of silverware outside his room, Mr. Ferdini proceeded to yell at the porter, pushing him against the wall in the hallway.
The confrontation ended when Mr. Ferdini told the porter that he was so upset that he was going to go down to the lobby and speak to management about the disruption.
Heading to the elevator, the porter told Mr. Ferdini that it was out of service. Frustrated, he turned to the stairwell and began walking downstairs.
Mr. Ferdini would never make it to the lobby however.
What Mr. Ferdini didn’t know was that the porter had also used the stairs to walk up to his floor, and that along the way he had spilled a small dish of ketchup.
When Mr. Ferdini walked across the spot where the porter had dropped the ketchup, he slipped and fell, falling down the stairs and knocking himself unconscious on the ground floor.
While in bad shape, investigators say that Mr. Ferdini was still alive at this moment, but what came next would be the fatal blow, or series of blows.
With the elevator out, the stairwell was the only way up and down the hotel floors. While Mr. Ferdini was unconscious on the ground, he blocked the entryway to the stairwell from the ground floor. A guest a moment later would attempt to open the door to the stairwell, but found that it was blocked by some obstruction that he could not see. Bothered and wanting to get to his room, the guest then started slamming on the door, thrusting it open with all his energy. He did not realize it, but the door he was thrusting over and over was slamming into the left side of Mr. Ferdini’s temple. The heavy metal door banged away over and over again, causing Mr. Ferdini’s brain to hemorrhage, and eventually doing enough damage that it would kill him fully.
The guest only stopped thrusting as the porter came back down the stairs to see Mr. Ferdini with his head being repeatedly bashed in by the door.
The porter screamed and soon the guest was made aware that he had accidentally killed Mr. Ferdini.
In this unusual and grizzly death, a confluence of bad luck came together to end Mr. Ferdini’s life.
If the elevator had not been out. If a guest on Mr. Ferdini’s floor had not ordered room service. If the guest had not ordered a dish that came with ketchup. If the porter had not spilled ketchup in the stairwell or dropped plates outside Mr. Ferdini’s room. If Mr. Ferdini had not waken up. If he had not confronted the porter and decided to go down to the lobby. If he had not slipped in the stairwell. If a guest on the ground floor did not repeatedly try to enter the stairwell. If any of these things had gone slightly differently, Mr. Ferdini would still be alive.
It could be said that Mr. Ferdini had finally found a run of bad luck, and incredible bad luck at that.

Double Negative

I cannot speak to Mr. Ferdini. He died long before I came to Atlantic City. For this story I’ve had to rely on the video surveillance from the Borgata casino and several eyewitness accounts of the drug fueled binge at the seedy hotel outside Atlantic City.
In those accounts from Mr. Ferdini’s hotel room, I’m left with conflicting views and shattered narratives.
It is clear to me that Ms. Nowak, Mr. Howlser, and Mr. Markelson cannot be trusted to give a full accounting of what happened. In my mind, the clearest liar of them is Mr. Markelson, who both omitted his story of seeing James after the gasoline incident, and also whose story is in direct conflict with Mr. Howsler and Ms. Nowak. While Mr. Markelson claims it was Mr. Howlser that had a revolver to play roulette, Mr. Howlser and Ms. Nowak both say it was Mr. Markelson.
Embedded in these lies and less than full accounts is a still missing $1.3 million. Something I believe Mr. Markelson is desperate to try and find, and for which was his original impulse to contact this reporter.
Now with an understanding of James Ferdini’s mindset leading up to his death, I am left with the unanswered question of what happened to Mr. Ferdini’s missing money.
I head back to where this story started, the Borgata where the gambling binge took fold. I seek an interview with Bill Hornbuckle, President of MGM resorts and a majority stakeholder in the Borgata Hotel and Casino. He agrees to speak with me and provides a full record on floor manger Richard Markelson.
I start the interview by asking if he’s aware if Richard Markelson owns a handgun, and in particular a revolver. In response, he says: “Our records indicate Mr. Markelson has a concealed carry license from the state of New Jersey for a Ruger LCR Six-Shot revolver. We have this in our records because Mr. Markelson is authorized to carry the weapon on the premises.”
Mr. Hornbuckle asks if I believe Mr. Markelson was involved in Mr. Ferdini’s death, to which I tell him I do not believe he is. I give the accounts of Mr. Markelson, Mr. Howlser, and Ms. Nowak, and while Mr. Hornbuckle is disturbed by the story, he agrees that Mr. Markelson has done nothing strictly illegal outside of drug use. He does add however: “The story with Russian roulette, if true, would certainly make us reconsider allowing Mr. Markelson to carry a weapon in the casino.”
Confirming that Mr. Markelson was the owner of the revolver has led me to believe Mr. Howlser and Ms. Nowak’s account over Markelson’s. It seems likely now that like Mr. Markelson did indeed play a dangerous game of Russian roulette with Mr. Ferdini, and that it was he who provided the gun to use.
Before I leave the Borgata, I ask Mr. Hornbuckle about another detail Mr. Markelson told me that I am no longer sure is true. I ask if a ‘cooler’ is something casinos really use, and if specifically Mr. Markelson is designated as one at the Borgata.
His response is to laugh at first, but he goes on to say: “Yes, a cooler is a real term. I actually believe in them myself. Luck is real. It’s a tangible thing that follows people around -- good luck and bad luck. I believe coolers have saved my casinos a lot of money over the years, and Mr. Markelson certainly fits that role at the Borgata. He's terribly unlucky, couldn't win a game of cards if his life depended on it. Still, he's invaluable at cutting the luck high rollers short."
He pauses before continuing: “There is of course the problem of the double negative, or when two coolers are together. It happens when a cooler is around someone who has luck just as bad as him or her. Like two positive or negative charges on a magnet, they repel each other, and the cooler’s effect instead of bad luck is one of incredible good luck. I’ve never seen it myself, but I’ve heard that even the most unlikely people on earth can have incredible runs of good luck if someone as equally unlucky as them is near.”
I propose the idea that maybe Mr. Ferdini was as unlucky as Mr. Markelson, and that together they achieved this ‘double negative,’ bringing them good luck while they were together.
“Yes,” Mr. Hornbuckle says. “I suppose that’s possible. It’s a very dangerous situation though for an unlucky person to suddenly be met with non-stop good luck. It could make you think yourself invincible, unable to be defeated in any challenge. You might even start to take on bets on things that aren’t real games of chance, like harming yourself by drinking boiling water. There’s also the danger of what happens when the double negative effect is over. One cooler parts ways, then each would fall into their own run of terrible luck, not realizing that their hot-streak has ended.”
As the interview concludes and I leave the Borgata, I think about the good luck Mr. Ferdini and Mr. Markelson had. I consider the incredible odds that both survived firing a loaded gun to their temples only for each to find a dud cartridge. I ponder the unfortunate series of events that would kill Mr. Ferdini after Mr. Markelson left his hotel room.
Lastly, I think about Mr. Markelson’s own luck since March 26th. Maybe it hasn’t been as bad as Mr. Ferdini's, but I know he contacted a reporter and as a result management at his casino will be looking into his behavior. I consider and think, that is not too lucky.

Porter

What was meant to be a short report about an unusual death in Atlantic City has grown into something longer. This is now a meandering investigation with unreliable characters, newly discovered details, and a still missing $1.3 million.
Before I leave New Jersey and return to New York, I go to the seedy hotel where Mr. Ferdini and his entourage consumed drugs and played Russian roulette, and where he would eventually die. It is my hope that I can speak to the porter -- the last person to ever see Mr. Ferdini alive.
At the hotel I speak to the manager and ask her who was the porter in the early morning hours of March 26th. The manager tells me that the porter no longer works for the hotel, and that in fact he had quit the very same day Mr. Ferdini died.
“After the police left, he flipped us all off,” the manager says. “That son of a bitch quit in style, telling us he didn’t need to work here no more. He said he was set and that we can kiss his ass goodbye.”
I ask the manager if they knew where the porter could have gone, to which she replies: “No idea. After he was done talking to the police about the death in the stairwell, I think he was out of New Jersey for good. He used to live nearby so I saw him when he left. He was fully packed. Had all of his stuff with him and three really full duffel bags I’d never seen before. He really didn’t seem like he was coming back -- had everything with him.”
Like the porter, I load my bags and finally prepare to leave New Jersey. As I do a thought pops into my mind: Could the porter that night have discovered Mr. Ferdini’s $1.3 million in three duffel bags in his room? I consider and think, maybe, and if he did, maybe this porter is the luckiest man in Atlantic City.
Myra Kindle is an independent investigative reporter. She covers tech, law, politics, and other stories that would be impossible to write about in more traditional outlets.
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