And the WaPo‘s anonymous sources say so:  Fusion GPS was paid by Marc E. Elias, a lawyer acting on behalf of the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee,

Fusion GPS hired dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with ties to the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community.

Elias and his law firm, Perkins Coie, retained the firm in April 2016 on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC.

How much? It’s unclear how much money went to Fusion GPS directly, but according to campaign records, the Hillary campaign paid Elias’s firm $5.6million legal fees from June 2015 to December 2016, while the Post states that the DNC paid Perkins Coie $3.6million in ‘legal and compliance consulting.’ Roughly $9 million. Under campaign rules, I assume that the amounts can be verified.

According to the post, there were three sources of funding.

The unknown first client:
The Post’s anonymous sources claim that (emphasis added)

Prior to that agreement, Fusion GPS’s research into Trump was funded by a still unknown Republican client  during the GOP primary.

IF the first client actually exists (and I’m not the only skeptic) it’ll be interesting to find out who the Republican (or not?) was, and why (s)he stopped funding it. Was there “no there, there “? Were they outbid by the Dems?

The second: Hillary/DNC,
Either way,

The Clinton campaign and the DNC through the law firm continued to fund Fusion GPS’s research through the end of October 2016, days before Election Day.

Aaron Blake notes that Steele was only funded by Democrats.

The third: The FBI, who apparently offered, but didn’t, pay
The Daily Mail reports that After the election the FBI agreed to pay Steele to continue gathering intelligence, but they reneged when he was identified. Paul Mirengoff explains,

The agreement reportedly was reached before the election. If Clinton won, as the parties to the agreement probably expected, the FBI would take over financial responsibility for the apparatus she was funding in order to discredit her political opponent, even after he was defeated. If Trump won, the FBI would take over financial responsibility for trying to discredit the president-elect.

My doubts:
Ace wants to know who the first client is, as Fusion fights a congressional subpoena to avoid disclosing that information,

But the first remains hidden — and if Fusion prevails in court, it will remain hidden.
. . .
Someone really doesn’t want Fusion to be compelled to open up its books and client list.

As I said above, IF the first client really exists, it may not be a Republican , because,

someone wishing to obscure the actual client would, of course, put out that kind of disinformation, anonymously.

Be that as it may,  while both sides paid Fusion GPS, Steele was only funded by Democrats, and Fusion GPS had the Kremlin as a client for . . . wait for it . . . a smear campaign against Russian whistleblower Sergei Magnistsky.

When asked about the original Russia collusion story, Hillary’s talking point/bromide – repeated by her minions on cable news interviews – is “it’s been debunked.”

This is a huge story, undoubtedly. We’ll see what kind of coverage it gets from the same reporters Hillary lied to, and what Congress does about it.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog

Daniel Webster School, a CPS school on the West Side

By John Ruberry

On Friday a friend of this very blogger forwarded a Chicago Tribune Breaking News Alert to me: Chicago Public Schools enrollment drops by nearly 10,000 students. And the year before CPS enrollment slid by 11,000.

There are 371,382 students taking classes in CPS schools  In 2002 there 438,589 kids running the halls, with some of them learning something.

So, taxes for schools will go down, right?

Not in the Prairie State, the home of “Illinois Math,” where two plus two equals five.

For a while, that is.

CPS is expected to raise property taxes soon–a state bill that will likely pass to pass gives them that power–by $120 million to pay for, wait for it, teacher pensions. That’s on top of $100 million in a tax jump already sanctioned

“Building a New Chicago” at Dunne School on the South Side, where your blogger attended kindergarten

The sad tale of the Chicago Teachers Pensions Fund [CTPF] goes back to 1981 when the Chicago Board of Education agreed to pick up most of the teachers’ obligation to pay into their pension plans. Out of sight–out of mind. Yes, Chicago Teachers Union, I’m looking at you! In 1995 a lost weekend of retirement funding began–it lasted ten years–and all of that money that was supposed to go to pensions instead went towards teacher salaries and nuts-and-bolts school expenses. Oh, don’t forget to throw in a calorie-loaded Chicago-style pizza buffet line of cronyism, giveaways, and malfeasance into this toxic dish.

Illinois still hasn’t completely recovered from the Great Recession–government corruption and incompetence, in my opinion, are the sole reasons for that–so naturally a partial CTPF “pension holiday” was declared from 2011-13 and the can was kicked down the potholed road again.

Chicago Public Schools bonds are rated as junk.

Two years ago Chicago property owners had to swallow the largest property tax hike in the city’s history to help shore up police and firefighter pension funds, which are even more underfunded than the teachers’ pensions. And last week Chicago’s embattled mayor, Rahm Emanuel, released his 2018 budget proposal, which of course includes tax increases. When asked if more tax hikes were coming, Emanuel dodged the question.

Chicago is the only large American city with a shrinking population.

As bad as Chicago’s financial situation is, the reality is probably far worse because Illinois Math is very likely disguising the wretched truth.

Decline and fall.

Blogger in downtown Chicago

Here is some more Illinois Math for you: The free-market Illinois Policy Institute says, “There are now more inactive employees and beneficiaries in CTPF than there are active workers paying into the pension fund.”

Someday there will be a new Illinois Math equation. Two plus two won’t equal five–it will equal just one.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

John Solomon and Alison Spann continue their reporting on the Clintons and Rosatom, the original Russia collusion story,
Bill Clinton sought State’s permission to meet with Russian nuclear official during Obama uranium decision

As he prepared to collect a $500,000 payday in Moscow in 2010, Bill Clinton sought clearance from the State Department to meet with a key board director of the Russian nuclear energy firm Rosatom — which at the time needed the Obama administration’s approval for a controversial uranium deal, government records show.

Arkady Dvorkovich, a top aide to then-Russian President Dmitri Medvedev and one of the highest-ranking government officials to serve on Rosatom’s board of supervisors, was listed on a May 14, 2010, email as one of 15 Russians the former president wanted to meet during a late June 2010 trip, the documents show.

Hillary was Secretary of State back then, but the State Department dragged its feet for a week or two, and apparently Bill decided to not meet with the 15 Russians on his list.

Rather, Bill cut to the chase (emphasis added),

Bill Clinton instead got together with Vladimir Putin at the Russian leader’s private homestead.

Back then Dmitri Medvedev was president of Russia, but

The head of Rosatom boasted in the report that the Uranium One deal was part of a larger Putin strategy to strengthen “Russia’s prestige as a leader of the world nuclear industry.”

Cornering one-fifth of the U.S.’s uranium supply fit nicely into that strategy, and with State Department approval, no less.

If that was not damning enough, Bill was allegedly wanting to use the trip for the $500,000 speech

to try to help a Clinton family relative “grow investments in their business with Russian oligarchs and other businesses,”

because apparently it wasn’t enough that the Clinton Foundation received $145 million in contributions from Uranium One shareholders. The Clinton relatives wanted in on Russia.

Never mind that being a Russian oligarch ain’t what it used to be,

Putin’s policy of “de-offshoring” has imposed such cumbersome controls on the business leaders of the 1990s that most have sold off their assets in Russia and decamped to London or Monaco. This trend has been accelerated by Russia’s lack of any real property rights, which has enabled the Kremlin to cut Russia’s wealthy down to size at will, often targeting the most law-abiding among them.

It makes you wonder if the emphasis would shift from “oligarchs,”  to  “other businesses,” whatever those may be.

I can’t figure out a reason for the Clintons’ boundless greed, other than perhaps they want to become the next George Soros.

They may get there yet.


Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog

In case you missed it while people hashtag “#MeToo“, John Solomon and Alison Spann report that in 2009 the FBI uncovered Russian bribery plot before Obama administration approved controversial nuclear deal with Moscow, Rosatom’s purchase of Uranium One.

Russia and the Clintons:

They also obtained an eyewitness account — backed by documents — indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow, sources told The Hill.
. . .
The Obama administration’s decision to approve Rosatom’s purchase of Uranium One has been a source of political controversy since 2015.

That’s when conservative author Peter Schweitzer [sic] and The New York Times documented how Bill Clinton collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in Russian speaking fees and his charitable foundation collected millions in donations from parties interested in the deal while Hillary Clinton presided on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

How much? US$145 million.

Russian bribes and kickbacks endangering national security:

The case also exposed a serious national security breach: Mikerin had given a contract to an American trucking firm called Transport Logistics International that held the sensitive job of transporting Russia’s uranium around the United States in return for more than $2 million in kickbacks from some of its executives, court records show.

One of Mikerin’s former employees told the FBI that Tenex officials in Russia specifically directed the scheme to “allow for padded pricing to include kickbacks,” agents testified in one court filing.

Russia gets the uranium:

In 2011, the [Obama] administration gave approval for Rosatom’s Tenex subsidiary to sell commercial uranium to U.S. nuclear power plants in a partnership with the United States Enrichment Corp. Before then, Tenex had been limited to selling U.S. nuclear power plants reprocessed uranium recovered from dismantled Soviet nuclear weapons under the 1990s Megatons to Megawatts peace program.

“The Russians were compromising American contractors in the nuclear industry with kickbacks and extortion threats, all of which raised legitimate national security concerns. And none of that evidence got aired before the Obama administration made those decisions,” a person who worked on the case told The Hill, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution by U.S. or Russian officials.

Regarding that 2011 approval, Ed Morrissey notes that there were two deals: Rosatom’s 2010 purchase of Uranium One, and the 2011 “approval for Rosatom to vastly expand its sales of uranium inside the US through its Tenex subsidiary.”

The DOJ did nothing for years (emphasis added):

Rather than bring immediate charges in 2010, however, the Department of Justice (DOJ) continued investigating the matter for nearly four more years, essentially leaving the American public and Congress in the dark about Russian nuclear corruption on U.S. soil during a period when the Obama administration made two major decisions benefiting Putin’s commercial nuclear ambitions.

Solomon and Spann point out that

Then-Attorney General Eric Holder was among the Obama administration officials joining Hillary Clinton on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States at the time the Uranium One deal was approved. Multiple current and former government officials told The Hill they did not know whether the FBI or DOJ ever alerted committee members to the criminal activity they uncovered.

That smells like a political cover-up of the first magnitude.

Indeed, today  Solomon and Spann report that

An American businessman who worked for years undercover as an FBI confidential witness was blocked by the Obama Justice Department from telling Congress about conversations and transactions he witnessed related to the Russian nuclear industry’s efforts to win favor with Bill and Hillary Clinton and influence Obama administration decisions, his lawyer tells The Hill.

John Hinderaker asks,

who supervised the Russia investigation? Rod Rosenstein. Who was the FBI director when the Russia probe began in 2009? Robert Mueller. Who was running the FBI when the case ended with a whimper and an apparent cover-up? James Comey.

Rosenstein and Muller should resign over conflict of interest, but I’m sure they will not.

And these are not the only players in the case. Last year I posted on the Clinton’s Colombian Fondo Acceso partner Frank Giustra, whose mining company merged with three Kazakhstan mining companies, after which it was acquired by Rosatom. Guess who authorized that,

Because uranium is a strategic asset, the sale required (and received) approval from multiple U.S. agencies, including the Department of State, then run by Hillary Clinton.

Last night in Sean Hannity’s show (35 minutes into the video) Peter Schweizer, author of Clinton Cash, explained that Hillary knew that the Russians were trying to corner the uranium market, that the donations to the Clinton Foundation were hidden, and, as if things weren’t bad enough, that “Uranium One, now owned by Rosatom, is actually exporting yellowcake from the United States,” when the uranium is supposed to stay in the U.S.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has launched a probe into the case.

Don’t hold your breath on this story making it to the front pages.

UPDATE

Two and a half years ago at Da Tech Guy: Oh look, the guy behind the Clinton uranium deal was also the guy behind the Clinton FTA deal

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog

By John Ruberry

“And it was inevitable that some of these people pushed back…”
Ray Bradbury, The Martian Chronicles.

Overtaxed residents of Cook County, where Chicago is, are finally waking up. After decades of being slapped by tax after tax–folks are fighting back.

Last week the Cook County Board of Commissioners voted to repeal a hated penny-per-ounce sweetened beverage tax, one that until the repeal takes effect on December 1, places a 39 percent tax on a $4.88 12-pack of soda pop.

“The pop tax is dead, but the issue is bigger than the pop tax,” Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey (D-Chicago) told the Chicago Tribune’s John Kass last week. “The issue here is that the people of Chicago and Cook County are not used to having their voices heard and making a difference, with public outrage forcing an elected body to reverse course. This is something.”

Cook County Board President Toni “Taxwinkle” Preckwinkle (D-Chicago) last year had to issue a rare tie-breaking vote last year to enact the soda tax, which took effect two months ago. Last week commissioners voted 15-2 to kill it.

Over the years Cook County imposed with little pushback a 0.75 percent sales tax, along with tobacco, gasoline, and liquor taxes, as well as an additional one-percent sales tax. Okay, there was a rebellion with that last one. Taxwinkle defeated her unpopular predecessor in a Democratic primary on the promise to repeal it–and she followed through. Then five years later she led the effort to successfully bring it back.

Chicagoans pay the nation’s highest sales tax rate.

Meanwhile Chicago residents have been pulverized by repeated property tax hikes to mainly pay for underfunded municipal worker pensions. Illinoisans just got socked with a 32 percent income tax increase, much of that money will go to pension obligations. And Taxwinkle has said that some of that soda tax money is needed for county worker pensions.

Taxwinkle dismissed criticism of the pop tax, which she ludicrously claimed was a public health measure, as the message of Big Soda. Yes, the American Beverage Association’s Can the Tax Coalition did pay for television, radio, and internet ads calling for a repeal. But Taxwkinkle enlisted the aid of “Nanny” Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former New York City mayor, to pay for pro-soda tax ads. And after the Illinois Retail Merchants Association delayed imposition of the soda tax, Taxwinkle quickly sued the group for $17 million in lost revenue, exposing her “it’s for our kids’ health” argument as a lie.

Toni “Taxwinkle” Preckwinkle

No figures are available, but anecdotal evidence is abundant that Cook County residents in droves have been driving to collar counties and Indiana to purchase pop since collection of the soda tax began. And does anyone think they were only buying soda on these grocery runs? And gee whiz, do you think they noticed that gasoline, and well, a whole lot of other things are cheaper outside Crook County?

Fill ‘er up. Oh, grab a case of beer too! Oh, and buy that stuff as long as we are here. And this stuff too!

Democratic office holders–and not just county ones–heard the sharp message from ordinary citizens: get rid of this tax!

The repeal of the sugary drink tax repeal is a big victory for long suffering Cook County residents such as myself. Cook is heavily Democratic. Hillary Clinton won nearly three-quarters of the vote in last year’s presidential election. Cook County hasn’t had a Republican president of the Cook County Board in nearly five decades, which is when the county’s population peaked.

Yet people in one of America’s bluest counties screamed “Enough” and they pushed back.

But this victory is only partial. The soon-to-be-canned soda tax is only a symptom. Voters need to understand why Taxwinkle needs to spend so much. Pensions for unionized retirees are only part of it. Taxwinkle has been building a massive “free” public-health care network that caters to the jobless and Cook’s burgeoning illegal immigrant community since taking office seven years ago.

Chicago is a sanctuary city and Cook is a sanctuary county. And last month our state’s Republican governor, Bruce Rauner, signed a bill making Illinois a sanctuary state.

These may be the type of governments that Illinois voters want. If it is, then so be it. But prepare to pay dearly for it too.

John Ruberry, a fifth-generation Cook County resident, regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

The just-concluded Values Voter Summit in Washington D.C. was punctuated by standing ovations. Among them: a few for the President, who spoke decisively but without pugnacity; for Bannon and Gorka, the red-meat guys; for Alveda King, bringing the crowd to its feet to join her in song.

And then there was the one for Steve Scalise.

Months after a gunman’s savage and politically-motivated attack left him near death, Congressman Scalise made his way to the Values Voter podium last Friday to the sound of appreciative cheers. He moved with the aid of crutches, the only visible sign of his injuries. Once at the podium, he spoke in the strong and steady voice of a man eager to get to work.

As House Majority Whip, he has the unenviable task of herding the GOP cats when it’s time for votes on the House floor. HIs position is probably what earned him an invitation to speak at Values Voter. He understands first things first, though. Before he spoke about policy, he spoke about gratitude.

After he was shot, while he was in the hospital, he and his family received countless prayers and good wishes, including messages from people who are not in political harmony with him. That touched him deeply. He understood that the messages were not merely routine.

“You knew that this was an attack on the values of our country….I cannot thank you enough for those prayers and that love.” This from a man who spent three and a half months in a hospital.

He was candid in his speech about the tough times past and to come, as he and his family face long-term challenges arising from his injuries. His candor made his enthusiastic demeanor all the more meaningful. “We have a great and mighty God,” he declared, “and I am a living example of the miracles he can produce.”

Then, and only then, he addressed specific policy initiatives. He said, “I came back with an even sharper focus” on family, friends and America.

He Considers the Pain-Capable Act a victory. That’s the measure to restrict abortions after 20 weeks, the point in pregnancy when science indicates that unborn children can feel pain. Passage of the measure was a near thing. “As Majority Whip, I had to put that coalition together. But we did.” Now, the bill is in the Senate, its prospects uncertain in view of the particular batch of Republicans now serving. “Tell your Senators to pass it,” Scales urged. The President “wants to sign this bill into law.”

The bill includes cutting federal funding to the nations’s largest abortion provider. That gives me pause, as voter who questioned (and still questions) the depth of the President’s roots on the life issues. Scalise has no doubts. “He wants to sign this.”

He’s determined to support the President’s tax reform proposals. I don’t think I’ve heard anyone give a snappier summary and smile while doing it: reduce personal rates; reduce business rates to encourage families to bring jobs back to this country; repeal the death tax, double the child tax credit (now there’s a pro-life initiative).

He did not dwell on the unhappy fate thus far of efforts to repeal Obamacare, beyond saying “let’s not give up fights. President Trump wants these on his desk.”

All this was said in a tone that most other speakers at Values Voters didn’t approach. He was passionate and determined without breathing fire. He didn’t sound as though we were all under siege; in fact he radiated hope, both political and personal.

HIs final words to the crowd, coming after all he has experienced these past months, rang with truth that brought the audience to its feet yet again: “It’s great to be alive.”

Ellen is a New Hampshire writer and pro-life activist. Read more by and about her at ellenkolb.com.

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While the Harvey Weinstein culture wars play out, I made a quick survey among friends, and asked, “When was the last time you went to see a movie in a theater?”

Out of ten people, only two had been to a movie theater in 2017. Three hadn’t been to a cinema for so long they didn’t even remember whether it was 5 years ago or longer. One replied,  “When Nixon was president.”

When I asked, “When was the last time you watched a movie at home?” nine of the ten had watched at least one film in the past week (the Nixonian had watched three) and the one who hadn’t was away on a business trip with no spare time.

I don’t know if this is because of our demographic (all surveyed are at least 40 years old), but you don’t go out on a limb when you surmise that the film industry will greatly continue to influence popular culture for the foreseeable future, regardless of cinema attendance.

Andrew Klavan believes that the whole Hollywood system is built to keep the silence.

Klavan adds,

“One of my big beefs against feminism is that it tells men that it’s sexist for them to feel protective towards women, so all you’ve left after that, is Harvey Weinstein and all the men that are too weak to stand up against them.”

It’s not just Hollywood.

Years ago I audited a class at Princeton University on the history of the American musical. One day a guest speaker, whose own show had been on Broadway, came for a question-and-answer session. When asked about the casting couch, he replied, “go for it.”

Auditors at PU are like children in Victorian times, “seen but not heard,” so I did not have the opportunity to express my disgust. I wonder what some of the parents dishing out $60,000+/yr for their PU student would think of the speaker encouraging their expensively-educated children to prostitute themselves.

Hollywood may have lost the right to lecture anyone, but Michelle Goldberg wants to get rid of the men, “If there must be bosses, fewer of them should be men.” In case you must put up with men, they should be gay, because,

Obviously, female bosses can be abusive and can create cultures where abusive behavior toward underlings is tolerated. But women may face less harassment at companies with fewer straight men at the top.

What about men being harassed by gay men, men harassed by women, or women harassed by lesbians, then? I guess she’d just stick to “If there must be bosses, fewer of them should be men” as a cure-all.

Goldberg suffers from what I call toxic feminism, which solves nothing.

The answer to evildoing by predators is integrity and respect – and law-abiding good men (and women) who stand against the predators and their enablers.

Now. that would be a long-term win in the culture wars.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog

As you may recall, now-President Trump went to Mexico during last year’s campaign, and, after he took over the press conference, both Pres. Peña Nieto and he stated that NAFTA should be renegotiated.

If you look up the history of NAFTA, you find:

The United States commenced bilateral trade negotiations with Canada more than 30 years ago, resulting in the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement, which entered into force on January 1, 1989. In 1991, bilateral talks began with Mexico, which Canada joined. The NAFTA followed, entering into force on January 1, 1994.

Considering the changes in technology and global markets that have taken place during the past 23 years, it’s not unreasonable to take a second look at the treaty.

The next round of talks starts today (emphasis added)

One provision designed with that objective is a “sunset” clause that would force Nafta’s expiration in five years unless all three countries act to renew it, said people briefed on the plan.

Other proposals, these people said, would weaken or eliminate the mechanisms aimed at settling disputes between the three countries and curbing the unilateral threats and sanctions that frequently roiled trade ties in earlier years.

More importantly,

None of the U.S. proposals would alter the specific trade terms that have spurred a quarter-century of commercial integration between the U.S., Mexico and Canada, such as tax-free trade across borders.

The Trump administration’s goal appears to be to reduce the incentive to outsource by watering down the pact and reduce its influence on American companies through measures such as undoing the current policy of treating the three economies – Canada, U.S, Mexico – as one, narrowing the amount of U.S. federal spending to the same dollar amount as the trading partners (“dollar for dollar”), and requiring that some products contain not just a certain level of Nafta-regional content, but U.S.-specific content.

This goal goes hand-in-hand with the administration’s deregulation strategy to improve U.S. manufacturing. And, as the WSJ said in the above article, “None of the U.S. proposals would alter the specific trade terms.”

Since the new round of talks starts today, this of course does not mean that is what NAFTA will look like at the end.

However, I would love to see – if only once – an international treaty with an actual sunset clause.

A woman can dream.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog

By John Ruberry

Last week I wrote this in my own blog about a scandal-plagued state university in Kentucky: “Is Louisville a college with an athletic program? Or is it an athletic program that offers some college classes?”

Late last month the shadowy and corrupt realm of NCAA men’s college basketball, whose players are nominally amateurs, was shattered by the revelation of an FBI investigation of payments to recruits that allegedly comes from Adidas. Ten people have been arrested, including four assistant coaches at Power Five college hoops programs. More arrests are expected.

But most of the media focus on the scandal is on the the University of Louisville, where no one so far faces charges. Allegedly an AAU coach, Jonathan Brad Augustine, whose team is sponsored by Adidas, boasted to an undercover FBI agent about the reach of Cardinals coach Rick Pitino–who is identified as “Coach-2” in court records–and how Pitino could get James “Jim” Gatto, the director of global sports marketing for basketball at Adidas, to send $100,000 to the family of a Louisville recruit. That athlete, Brian Bowen, enrolled at Louisville. But now he’s been suspended from the team.

Oh, the first “A” in AAU stands for “amatuer.”

“No one swings a bigger d–k than [Coach-2],” Augustine reportedly said after learning that Gatto had difficulty in allegedly sending the $100K to Bowen’s family. He added that “all [Coach-2] has to do is pick up the phone and call somebody [and say], ‘These are my guys–they’re taking care of us.'”

Those remarks appear to have been lifted from a Sopranos script.

Pitino, and Louisville’s athletic director, Tom Jurich, were suspended by the university the day after the scandal broke. Both of them are expected to be fired but in the meantime they are the highest paid persons in their positions in college sports.

But despite its success on the field–Louisville has a pretty good football team by the way–the athletic department loses money. Apparently Louisville manages its athletic department as poorly as the state of Kentucky runs its public-worker pension programs.

Pitino is the only NCAA men’s basketball coach to win national championships at two universities, Kentucky and Louisville. But four months ago the Cardinals program landed on NCAA probation because of a prostitution scandal involving recruits, some of whom were underage. Uh, where are the Louisville Police? The NCAA suspended Pitino for five games and Louisville will have to vacate some victories–and possibly its 2013 NCAA title. Pitino claims ignorance of the hiring of these “dancers” by the program. He also claimed to be simply a put-upon victim in a extortion attempt by a woman, Karen Sypher, who alleged that Pitino raped her. The Basketball Hall of Fame coach, who is married, admitted to consensual sex with Sypher–she later went to prison. Pitino also admitted to paying for her abortion.

Because Louisville’s men’s hoops program is already on probation, it’s likely that the Cardinals are eligible for the NCAA “death penalty” if they are found to be a two-time offender. The death penalty allows the NCAA to shut down a program for at least a year.

I say cut down the nets and turn off the lights for Louisville basketball, preferably for several years. The possibility of the death penalty has holders of the junk bonds financing the stadium where the Cardinals play understandably a bit nervous.

At the very least Louisville needs a fresh start, but so far it’s off to a dreadful one. Pitino’s interim replacement is one of his former players, David Padgett, who until two years ago was director of basketball operations at Louisville. Was Padgett a glorified clerk? Or a figurehead?

Louisville has other problems and one of them involves Adidas. Of the money from the current marketing contract the shoe giant has with the basketball team, reportedly 98 percent of it goes to Pitino. Shouldn’t the general revenue fund of this taxpayer-supported college get at least a healthy cut?

Jurich, the money-losing suspended athletic director, likely earned more money annually than the budgets of four Louisville academic departments.

This scandal has legs longer than those of the late Manute Bol–and I’m predicting not only will it spread to other colleges and AAU programs but to high school hoops as well, starting with the Chicago Public League. Lack of payments probably explains why the Chicago recruiting apparatus for years shuts out basketball programs such as DePaul and the one at my alma mater, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Both schools are natural fits for Public League talent and both of them used to recruit very successfully in Chicago.

Do you have a better explanation?

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Remember last year’s Rio Olympics?

They started with a lame Marxist opening ceremony (complete with video that included the flooding of South Florida and other areas), had mishaps involving underwater sofas tripping kayaks, accusations against Ryan Lochte, plus Zika and security worries, but evolved relatively well.

The country could hardly afford the games, but, as Frances Martel put it,

The IOC chose Brazil at a time in which the nation had swung radically left, and comments by IOC officials at the time indicate that they were more interested in rewarding Brazil for making Lula their head of state than rewarding the nation with the best bid to host the Olympic Games.

More than just a symbolic reward was involved: Carlos Nuzman (emphasis added), The man in charge of last year’s Rio Olympics was arrested yesterday as it was alleged 16 gold bars worth $2m (£1.53m) that were stored in a bank in Switzerland were among his hidden assets.

Sixteen bars of gold; had Nuzman been listening to William Devane’s ads?

But I digress.

The Guardian reports that Nuzman allegedly served as Olympic bag man,

Nuzman, a well known figure in Olympic circles, is suspected of acting as a facilitator, organising a $2m payment made by a wealthy Brazilian businessman into the account of Papa Massata Diack just two days before Rio won the right to stage the Games.

Massata Diack – who recently lost an appeal against a life ban from athletics over corruption allegations – is the son of the disgraced former IOC member Lamine Diack, who it is believed voted for Rio to host the Summer Games at an IOC session in Copenhagen in 2009 in exchange for the money.

As it turns out,  it’s not just Brazilian prosecutors looking into the case,

They are coordinating efforts with French authorities investigating corruption surrounding the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Olympic bids.

Small wonder that people want to end the Olympics.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog