December 12, 2013 - The Constantine Report    
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March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

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March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
Image
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
Image
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
Image
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
Image
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading

Top Aide to GOP Senator Investigated for Child Pornography

This is a modified py-6 that occupies the entire horizontal space of its parent.

Agents searched the home of Senator Lamar Alexander’s chief of staff

CapitalCommentDecember 11, 2013

Senator Lamar Alexander’s chief of staff, Ryan Loskarn, is being investigated by law enforcement agents concerning child pornography, Alexander’s office announced. Loskarn was placed on leave without pay after authorities showed up at his Hill East home on Wednesday morning.

“I am stunned, surprised and disappointed by what I have learned,” Alexander, a Tennessee Republican, said in a news release. According to the Huffington Post, the US Postal Service is the lead agency looking into Loskarn.

Loskarn became Alexander’s top aide in October 2011. Before that he worked for Representative Marsha Blackburn, another Tennessee Republican. He was named to Roll Call’s “Fabulous 50” congressional staffers noted for their “mastery, influence, spin and access.”

Alexander named his legislative director, David Cleary, as his new chief of staff. “The courts will judge Mr. Loskarn’s guilt or innocence, but under these circumstances, he cannot continue to fulfill his duties as chief of staff of this office,” Alexander said. “Therefore, as of today, I have removed him from the payroll.”

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US News & World Report, December 12, 2013:Jesse Ryan Loskarn Had ‘Hundreds’ of Porn Videos of Young Boys, Girls, Police Say”:

A criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court Thursday says Jesse Ryan Loskarn attempted to hide an external hard drive loaded with “hundreds” of child porn videos when police knocked down his door with a battering ram.

Loskarn, 35, was fired by Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., on Wednesday after his arrest. As chief of staff since 2011, Loskarn directed the two-term senator’s Washington, D.C., staff.

The criminal complaint charging Loskarn with possession and distribution of child pornography offers graphic descriptions of children being sexually abused by older men in videos the longtime congressional aide possessed and shared.

Loskarn was arrested by U.S. Postal Inspection Service agents at his home in Washington, D.C. According to the complaint, he was first flagged by investigators as part of a joint U.S. Postal Service-Toronto police investigation into a company that produced videos primarily of nude boys.

“… In addition to The Four Seasons’ rise to fame, the musical also covers such largely unknown aspects of their lives as Devito and Massi’s time served in prison during the 1950s … the group’s ties to New Jersey Mafia boss Gyp DeCarlo; and the drug overdose death of Valli’s daughter, Francine. …”

Brotherhood, Mafia ties backbone of The Four Seasons’ story

By ANDREW S. HUGHES (Excerpt)

South Bend Tribune, November 26, 2013

During rehearsals for “Jersey Boys,” the cast visited the neighborhoods where Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons grew up. Jason Kappus says it helped the cast understand The Four Seasons’ lives and their music as they prepared for the national tour that Broadway Theatre League presents beginning Tuesday at the Morris Performing Arts Center in South Bend with Kappus playing Bob Gaudio.

“As well as the group being a product of the members, the members are a product of their neighborhood and background,” he says by telephone from North Charleston, S.C. “If they had been brought up in a middle-class suburb, they might have had the same talent but not the same drive to get out, and they wouldn’t have been able to write what they wrote about.”

Valli and Nick Massi were both born and raised in Newark and Tommy DeVito grew up in adjacent Belleville, all of them on the lower end of the economic ladder. …

With music by Bob Gaudio, lyrics by Bob Crewe and book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, “Jersey Boys” opened on Broadway in 2005 and won four Tony Awards in 2006, including for Best Musical. …

In addition to The Four Seasons’ rise to fame, the musical also covers such largely unknown aspects of their lives as Devito and Massi’s time served in prison during the 1950s; DeVito’s attempt to seduce Valli’s girlfriend, Lorraine; the group’s ties to New Jersey Mafia boss Gyp DeCarlo; and the drug overdose death of Valli’s daughter, Francine. …

“Sure, women go wild and love the dancing and singing,” Cosgrove says. “But we like to joke that this is a show that guys drag their wives to. You have ties to the Mafia, so it’s like ‘The Sopranos’; you have four cool guys who are slick; and they have heart. They’re willing to show their true selves, and I think that’s why men connect to it so well.”

http://www.southbendtribune.com/entertainment/inthebend/eventnews/article_89fbcb8c-54f7-11e3-b4f4-001a4bcf6878.html

Related: Christopher Walken cast as mobster Gyp DeCarlo in Clint Eastwood’s film version of hit musical Jersey Boys

Mob music: How the creators of the Jersey Boys got a call from the Mafia

By Rhoda Koenig (Excerpt)

The Independent, March 6, 2006

While other jukebox musicals have taken the route of hagiography (Buddy) or fantasy (Mamma Mia), Jersey Boys is a little bit different. Instead of using The Four Seasons’ catalogue to illustrate the triumph of talent and persistence, or a fictional romantic romp, Rick Elice and Marshall Brickman fashioned what The New York Times called “a no-holds-barred band biography”. Not only is it frank about the quarrels, betrayals, and sexual rivalries of the early Sixties doo-wop group, it also shows, for the first time, that Tommy DeVito, Nick Massi, Bob Gaudio, and Frankie Valli (né Castelluccio) had their brushes with the Mafia.

The boys whose soaring harmonies propelled “Sherry”, “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and dozens of other songs up the charts were not unusual in this respect among the citizens of New Jersey, the most notoriously corrupt of the 50 states. Organised crime may permeate Jersey life at every level – DeVito recalled that he would come across three or four craps games on the way to church, and there would sometimes be gambling in the church basement too – but the wealth does not trickle down to the mainly working-class populace. So, as DeVito tells us at the outset of Jersey Boys, “If you’re from my neighbourhood, you’ve got three ways out – you could join the army, you could get mobbed up, or you could become a star.” But you could not become a star in New Jersey nightclubs without the cooperation of the Mafia, which ran not only the clubs, but the food, drink, and linen companies that supplied them. …

When Valli is shaken down by two hoodlums, he appeals to DeVito, who tells us, “You wanted something done – or undone – in New Jersey, Gyp DeCarlo was the man.”

Specifically, Angelo “Gyp” DeCarlo was the man who ran the DeCavalcante family’s loan-sharking and illegal gambling operations in New Jersey. He died in 1973, but left associates who were keen to defend his reputation. When Elice and Brickman were trying out the show in a California theatre, they got a message that someone wanted to speak to them on the telephone in the car park. A man who did not give his name said that he had heard DeCarlo appeared in the show, and wished to ensure that he was portrayed in a favourable and respectful manner. Marshall Brickman says there was only one answer: “Of course!”

DeCarlo is indeed portrayed in a respectful and favourable manner – as a wise, kindly counsellor who helps the band with their problems. One of these is DeVito’s inability to repay the extortionate interest, or “vig” (short for “vigorish”, from the Yiddish for “profit”), on his debt to the moneylender Norm the Bag, thereby risking the loss of important anatomical features. Gyp makes sure he doesn’t get hurt – behaviour that was highly uncharacteristic for the real DeCarlo, a multiple murderer.

One debtor who got behind on the vig was badly beaten, then suddenly died of a stomach upset that turned out to have been caused by considerable quantities of arsenic. While the Four Seasons were recording their hits, DeCarlo was unwittingly doing some singing of his own – to the FBI, which bugged his headquarters for several years in the early Sixties. He was heard describing how he hit one victim with a gun butt and crowbar before setting fire to him, and how, feeling more sympathetic to another, he told him to stop struggling so he could take a clean, painless hit through the heart.

Convicted of extortion and conspiracy to commit murder, DeCarlo haughtily uttered the classic line: “It was a frame-up.” But if that made listeners howl, it was DeCarlo who had the last laugh. Less than two years into a 12-year sentence, he was pardoned by President Nixon after Sinatra made a large contribution to Nixon’s re-election campaign. While he was in the Atlanta penitentiary, The Four Seasons flew down to play a concert for the prisoners.

Why not put this in the show? “Because that’s not what the show is about, just like it’s not about the space programme or the opening of the West,” says Brickman. “It’s not The Sopranos set to music. We thought it would be counterproductive to introduce that level of reality.” Elice concurs, saying that the phone call did not change anything. “Whatever else he [DeCarlo] did, he was a good guy to The Four Seasons.”

DeVito’s troubles did not end when his loan was sorted out, or even after he was removed from the group and, at DeCarlo’s mandatory “suggestion”, from New Jersey. “Even when Tommy wasn’t hurting for money,” says Brickman, “he would do a little counterfeiting, a bit with bearer bonds. It was a habit.” He has lived for some time in Las Vegas, working for another graduate of the old neighbourhood, Joe Pesci.

The scene in Jersey Boys that seems too much of a cliché to be true is, say the writers, one of those things that’s a cliché because it’s true. The writers have stuck to the facts in portraying DeCarlo’s sentimental side, whatever its lack of objective correlative: he dissolves in tears when Valli sings, at his request, “My Mother’s Eyes” (“One bright and guiding light/ That taught me wrong from right”). The song fits the story because Valli had, early in his career, recorded it, but, in fact, DeCarlo’s favourite song was more subtly ironic. According to the singer Jimmy Roselli, DeCarlo, while driving, would croon “I Lost All My Love for You“, which includes the lines: “Revenge may be sweet after all I’ve been through/ But why should I hurt you? What good would it do?” If anyone is thinking about a musical version of The Sopranos, that could be a good place to begin.

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/theatre-dance/features/mob-music-how-the-creators-of-the-jersey-boys-got-a-call-from-the-mafia-791975.html

When Giannis Antetokounmpo was drafted to the NBA last year, no one knew quite what to expect. Before the draft, scouts had flocked to Greece to see the 18-year-old, born to Nigerian immigrant parents and taken under the wing of a Greek basketball coach. But it was still a big surprise when the Milwaukee Bucks drafted him with the 15th overall pick. Even Giannis wasn’t expecting it.

“No. No. No,” he told AOL on draft night. “Let me tell you the truth: No. I did not think I would be in the NBA, it was just a dream. How could I think this would happen? And happen now? But I am here now. So I am happy.”

Giannis’s name (pronounced “YAHN-iss ahn-teh-toe-KUHN-poe”) is on the map now. But in a relatively small way. In the first four games he played, he averaged just 2 rebounds and 4.8 points.

But Giannis’ life has changed a lot since the Bucks drafted him.

Antetokounmpo grew up poor in a country that’s been one of the most tumultuous financial roller coasters since the 2008 global crash. He and his three siblings helped make his family’s ends meet by selling sunglasses and handbags on the street. The kids all slept in one room. They often had to make the choice whether to pay for food or electricity.

The challenges were especially great because both of Giannis’ parents were undocumented immigrants. In Greece, that means Giannis and his siblings were too. That made it hard to find work, even in the good times, but it also meant the family faced constant danger of being exposed, Giannis told OnMilwaukee in an in-depth profile piece recently:

“For 20 years they were illegal,” he continued. “It’s very hard to live for 20 years without papers. Very, very hard. You have children and you have to go out and work without papers. At any moment, the cops can stop you and say come over here and let me send you back to your country.

“For me, my parents, they are heroes.”

Things changed when Giannis was up for a spot the NBA. Mostly in good ways, but not all. Giannis’ notoriety brought money and, in fact, it brought him and his brother (also a basketball player) citizenship on May 9, 2013. But it’s also brought the attention of the head of the Golden Dawn, a neo-Nazi nationalist party that rose from the ashes of Greece’s financial ruin.

The Golden Dawn is the outlet of anti-immigrant, racist sentiment in Greece, brought on by a feeling that “non-Greeks” are responsible for the nation’s financial difficulties. The fascist group, which holds events where it plays the anthem of Nazi Germany and hands out food to “Greeks only,” gained control of 18 seats of the country’s parliament in the last election. They call immigrants “parasites.” The danger of the fringe group reached its apex over the last two months. In September, party supporters were accused of stabbing a prominent anti-fascist Greek rapper. Country officials are now looking to ban the party.

But the Golden Dawn still has a following and a leadership, and they have set their sights on Giannis’ family. In some ways he is their perfect villain: a young boy, not ethnically Greek, able to achieve success despite poverty and immigration status. He was even fast-tracked toward citizenship because “of special services to the country.”

Nikolaos Michaloliakos, leader of the Golden Dawn, called for Giannis’ deportation after that expedited process. When Giannis was drafted in June and cameras captured him celebrating by waving the Greek flag, Michaloliakos asked reporters, “If you give a chimpanzee in the zoo a banana and a flag, is he Greek?”

Greece’s prime minister jumped to Giannis’ defense, saying, “I thank you for honoring our national colors… I hope you drive them crazy with your slam dunks.”

But Michaloliakos lashed out again weeks later, insisting that Giannis and his family should have been arrested when they went to meet the prime minister at the Maximos mansion, the equivalent to the American White House. Michaloliakos also posited that Giannis made it onto the Bucks as part of a plot by “fanatical Jew and Zionist but also a big and active antifascist activist” Herb Kohl, the former senator who owns the team.

Michaloliakos is currently in jail. He was arrested last month and charged with running a crime gang. Tensions are still high, though, and on November 1st, two Golden Dawn members were shot and killed in a driveby outside of the party headquarters.

Giannis and his family are used to racially-charged bullying. They were the only black familywithin blocks of where they lived when the kids were growing up. An early article on Antetokounmpo and his brother reports, in a loose Google translation, that the brother was “scorned by the grandstand… in many stadiums in Greece” for being black, and that Giannis had been attacked by a group of racists. Violent anti-immigrant attacks are a signature of Golden Dawn’s members. Such beatings often go unpunished by police, and an investigation last month revealed that Golden Dawn had infiltrated Greek police forces.

But Giannis isn’t discouraged by the racial hostility in which he’s found himself in the center. In a testament to the patriotism of undocumented people everywhere, he told On Milwaukee, “It’ll be nice that family can be here and be away from anything that’s happening in Greece. But I love my country. Greece is my country. I’m going to go back home.”

For now, Milwaukee is Giannis’s home. He’s already got an affectionate nickname there — they call him “The Alphabet” for his mouthful of a name — and the adoration of his general manager, coach, and teammates.

“As a big brother to him, he is fun to be around and it takes me back,” Bucks small forward Caron Butler told The Sporting News. “I got a daughter who is 18 years old, so I look at him more like a son. His spirit is always great, he looks at this and thinks there is nothing he can’t do or be.”

http://thinkprogress.org/sports/2013/11/13/2917431/meet-nba-player-targeted-greeces-nazi-party/