Detroit! Never boring, this city, and I mean never. The Wayne County prosecutor dragged the former mayor — the disgraced felon, that is — back from Texas, where he now lives, for a probation hearing, to answer questions about his finances, to wit: Why is he claiming poverty when it comes to paying his restitution to the city, while at the same time living in a mansion in the Dallas suburbs? He gets on the stand and drops the bomb: He was the recipient of a quarter-mil or so in “loans” from some of the city’s most respected businessmen, i.e. Roger Penske, Pete Karmanos, et al. The businessmen say the money was grease intended to slide the stubborn bastard out of office so the city could “heal,” etc. All released statements saying the balance owed “remains outstanding.”
But it gets better: Matty Moroun, the billionaire who owns the Ambassador Bridge, was even more generous, making his cash payment an outright gift. The Moroun prose style, revealed in the letter that accompanied the check, is a metaphor-mixin’ thing of beauty:
“My heart strings are tugged when I think of the storm your family has weathered, and my heart is heavy that you and your children have been harmed while doing everything possible to strengthen your family… Enclosed, please find a token of my affection for the Kilpatrick family.”
The letter goes on to state Moroun “thought long and hard” about “what I could do that would be an encouragement and help as you persevere and rebuild your family.” I can imagine that thought process: Fruit basket? Jelly of the Month Club? A subscription to Reader’s Digest? A free ticket to a motivational seminar? No, I know: Money.
Even better is the following paragraph in the News story:
Moroun’s spokesman on Thursday insisted that while Moroun is trying to win federal approval of a second span beside his bridge to Canada, the personal largess lavished on Kilpatrick’s wife and children wasn’t aimed at influencing Kilpatrick’s mother, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick.
No. No, I’m sure that had nothing to do with it.
Of course, 50 grand is a drop in the bucket for a family like the Kilpatricks:
Kilpatrick and his wife deposited nearly $1.2 million into their bank accounts after Kilpatrick was sent to jail on Oct. 28, 2008 — and have spent nearly all of it — according to a prosecutors’ analysis.
The analysis was contained in a two-page document which was entered into evidence. It says the Kilpatricks had no money in their joint account and in Carlita Kilpatrick’s account on Oct. 15, 2008.
By Oct. 13 of this year, they had deposited $1,160,374 and written checks or withdrawn $1,150,498, leaving a balance of $21,761.
Karmanos is already bruised for having given Kilpatrick a cushy sales job with his software company when he got out of prison, defending it on the grounds that the guy was worth it. I wonder if the family’s big-spending lifestyle is a rebuke of sorts to his benefactors, a certain “don’t expect to see your money again, suckers.” I guess that’s between the Kilpatricks, their lenders, and the consciences of all involved.
P.S. Kilpatrick took the fifth when asked about his tax returns.
I suspect Moroun doesn’t care about his reputation, but the rest — patrons of the arts, titans of the charity-ball circuit — surely do. It’s a pity the term has picked up racist connotations, because in the strictest possible sense, Kilpatrick is the embodiment of the character from the folk tale: The tar baby. Everyone who touches him becomes ensnared in his stickiness. I bet the brier patch sounds like a dip in a cool lake to those guys, right about now.
The ex-mayor is still a sharp dresser, however: That four-button suit is a thing of beauty, even on a big man.
So, then: I should pause a moment and thank all of you who’ve been shopping Amazon via my store. While not a cash bonanza accompanied by treacly notes from billionaires, the income generated makes Google Ads look like the crap they are. It’ll help with my Christmas shopping, much of which I’ll be doing through Amazon, so hey — it’s a loop of love.
Only the shopping I can’t do locally, that is. Now more than ever, Michigan needs every dollar, every sales tax penny, every warm body walking through the malls. But for some things, eh, I’m happy to support the big A. I’m a one-woman stimulus package.
And if that isn’t the title of a dirty movie yet, it should be: “The Stimulus Package.”
And now it’s 9 a.m. and time for me to do a few million chores I’ve been putting off. Hoping to get Kate her H1N1 vaccine today, if the doctor’s office has any left. I’m wondering if she may have already had it — her “chest cold” week before last was accompanied by a day of 102-degree fever, and for those who have been lucky enough to get the mild version of the virus, it sounds familiar. Probably too late to test for it, but if that’s what it was and that’s all it was, I’m grateful.
Have a great weekend, all.
Peter said on October 30, 2009 at 9:42 am
What I wouldn’t give for Kwame and Rod Blagojevich in Celebrity Cage Match. Throw in Sarah Palin and Tom DeLay for a tag team event extraordinaire. Or, better yet, the missus.
We were talking about it at work yesterday – this can be a banner year for costumes – one of my coworkers and his son is going as Balloon Boy and crazy dad.
coozledad said on October 30, 2009 at 10:08 am
Kwame will be a fine motivational speaker.
Dorothy said on October 30, 2009 at 10:23 am
I went to our employee luncheon on Tuesday and someone came as Octo Mom. She had a sling across her shoulders and belly, with 8 plastic babydolls (only 7 visible, we assumed one was hiding), big red fake lips and a long black wig. She won the prize for “most original.”
brian stouder said on October 30, 2009 at 10:35 am
Dorothy, that’s great!! Octo shoulda’ also had 2 or three American Girl-sized dolls…and she coulda’ had a Jon Gosselin-outfitted escort (all he needs is an Ed Hardy tee shirt and a flash camera, with which he constantly snaps pics of himself, while complaining about the paparazi (sic?)
Holly said on October 30, 2009 at 11:29 am
I work in a Catholic nursing home. Halloween is not allowed to be celebrated. If it was, I would love to dress up like a nun.
Dorothy said on October 30, 2009 at 11:32 am
Forgot I had a picture of it already posted at Flickr:
My son’s roommate has this comment on Facebook this morning: What do slutty nurses where for Halloween? I’m assuming he saw some costumed women in scanty nurse attire this morning at work.
Jolene said on October 30, 2009 at 11:33 am
Really? No Halloween party for the residents? Usually, nursing homes have parties for every conceivable occasion just to have a reason to make one day different from the others.
brian stouder said on October 30, 2009 at 11:36 am
Usually, Pam and I accompany the young folks all around the neighborhood, as they collect their Halloween treats, but this year their cousins are coming from Cass County. No doubt Pam will accompany her sister as our combined collection of scary/spooky youngsters scurry from house to house, while I man the homefront and give out the goodies.
Oddly enough, I’m really looking forward to this, this year! I think I should dress as something…maybe I’ll steal Dorothy’s colleague’s idea; God knows we have enough baby dolls around to pull it off!
btw – guess who our 11 year old daughter decided to dress as?
“Abby” from “NCIS”…who I had never heard of, before she said this. Then last night, whilst I was at Red Cross doing pheresis, the lady next to me (who had control of the TV) watched one episode after the next of that show on USA Network – and NOW I know. (And, I approve!)
Holly said on October 30, 2009 at 11:52 am
Jolene, They do have party’s for everything you can think of. The residents love them. Halloween is considered by Mother to be an evil day. The nun’s are funny about some things. But, on the other hand, one of the younger nuns came into my department very upset. She had gotten into a fight with one of the other nun’s. She showed us with her hands what she wanted to tell the other nun. I almost wet myself. It’s to bad that this sister can’t be in charge.
whitebeard said on October 30, 2009 at 12:01 pm
News to me from Canada from the Vancouver Sun in September, to wit:
Justice Robert Bauman was named chief of the B.C. Supreme Court by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, only 18 months after he was appointed to the province’s highest bench as an appeal judge.
A savvy jurist, Bauman has handled the highest-profile cases, parsed the most complex municipal law issues and played Solomon in difficult custody matters.
Back in 1998, he was at the centre of a bitter international custody battle and ruled a four-year-old native boy should be returned to his adoptive American grandparents. Bauman said he made his decision in part to remove the child from the media spotlight.
We, the American grandparents, above, liked his reasoning, and so did the Supreme Court of Canada, ruling against the British Columbia Appeals Court that had reversed Justice Bauman’s decision.
Sue said on October 30, 2009 at 12:03 pm
The cream sometimes actually rises to the top, whitebeard. Good for him. How’s your grandson doing these days? Haven’t heard much from you lately.
ROgirl said on October 30, 2009 at 12:27 pm
Kwame’s answer to the judge about who’s paying for the expensive rental home he’s living in is priceless:
“I guess it’s a lease home, but I’m not a party to that lease.”
“Someone else is paying the rent?” Groner asked.
“I assume that my wife is paying the rent.”
“And why do you assume that?” Groner asked.
“Because I’m not.”
He also said he doesn’t know whether or not his wife has a job.
beb said on October 30, 2009 at 1:04 pm
I didn’t hear what all when on in the courtroom yesterday. It sounds like an incredible display of studious opaquacy not rivaled since Alberto Gonzalzes couldn’t remember anything when testifying before congress. Kwame reminds me of OJ who has been living the high life despite the enormous judgment against him. Throwing either back in prison will never repay the money they owe, will prevent them from earning any money to repay their debts but their behavior is so in-your-face insulting that I’d rather pay to keep them prisoners for life and deny them that freedom.
brian stouder said on October 30, 2009 at 1:13 pm
Dorothy – your Flickr picture of Octo still has me chuckling! BTW – I think we catch a slight glimpse of the ‘missing’ baby – right after the second one in from the left
Jolene said on October 30, 2009 at 2:11 pm
This guy may be a little too into Halloween.
brian stouder said on October 30, 2009 at 3:13 pm
Jolene, that was good stuff!
I’m a one-woman stimulus package. And if that isn’t the title of a dirty movie yet, it should be: “The Stimulus Package.”
I’d rent it! Maybe the matinee could include Fannie Mae’s Super Tight Liquidity Squeeze, or Credit-Default Swap’s in the Upside-Down Suburbs; as long as we start with hot babes frantically manipulating their Blackberries as they lose their shirts, and end with huge amounts of stimulus everywhere, and lots of consumer confidence and recovery – then it’s a sure hit!
Jolene said on October 30, 2009 at 3:19 pm
Wanda Sykes had a special on HBO in which she made a lot of jokes about her appearance at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, including one about Barack Obama asking Michelle whether he could show her his “stimulus package”.
For more Obama porn, check out this great photo, posted by the WH on Facebook today.
Jolene said on October 30, 2009 at 3:29 pm
Dorothy, I hope you won’t mind that I looked at some of the other photos in your flikr photostream. Looks like you have had some fun times w/ your foreign students. I have friends who’ve been “parents” to Wooster College students from many different countries, and they’ve found it very rewarding. Have had lasting relationships w/ some and traveled to visit others when they returned to their home countries.
But what is the Apple Corps Alliance? Looked like they were having fun too.
brian stouder said on October 30, 2009 at 3:48 pm
Unrelated – but my FIL is in the pork producing industry, and this article caught my eye. Cliking it, there is a photo right at the start, which hung me up
It sort of clashes with the optimistic headline
Dorothy said on October 30, 2009 at 4:06 pm
Jolene I’m drawing a blank. Were there pictures in my stream referencing the Apple Corps Alliance? I don’t recall what that is!!!
Of course I don’t mind you looking. If I didn’t want anyone to see my pictures I’d never share the links to them.
EDIT: Now I remember!! The Apple Corps Alliance is part of the barbershoppers conference held every summer at Kenyon. We go to hear them sing – I swear it’s a fantastic time. You wouldn’t think people who love rock ‘n roll and jazz would like barbershop quartet music. But that place is ROCKING when those guys come to Gambier!! One of the best things to do on campus, I swear, in the summer!
brian stouder said on October 30, 2009 at 4:19 pm
Say Dorothy, I learned a little tidbit regarding Kenyon College. Burlingame’s big Lincoln biography mentioned that Judge/friend of Lincoln on the Illinois prairie/Justice/Senator* David Davis graduated from there – and I thought of you.
*can’t imagine resigning a United States Supreme Court seat to be a Senator, but he did that. Definitely a different age
Sue said on October 30, 2009 at 4:31 pm
Over at Balloon Juice one of the discussions going on right now covers the Pope’s invitation for Anglicans unhappy with their gay bishop/female priest controversy to join the One True.
Favorite comment among many good ones:
“Hell, my faith was created due to a fat man’s inability to get a divorce. The Anglican communion was founded on sexual deviancy.”
Jolene said on October 30, 2009 at 6:18 pm
This is kind of fun. A set of short videos by the Washington Post about style in DC. Well done w/ good lighting and music. They give a nice sense of life in the city (mostly among the young and hip) that doesn’t have to do w/ monuments or politics.
Thanks for the background on the Apple Corps people, Dorothy. They really do look like they’re having fun and putting on a great show. Kenyon College looks like a pretty nice place too.
brian stouder said on October 30, 2009 at 8:00 pm
Here is a story from our neck of the woods in Indiana, which has gone national, regarding the nexus of MySpace and privacy and school discipline.
I cannot offer a definite opinion on this, as I found out this morning when our 14 year old son expressed a very libertarian reaction to the story (he thinks the school is ENTIRELY WRONG!!) and Pam expressed a decidedly authoritarian one (she thinks the girls are ENTIRELY WRONG!!)
The girls, identified only by their initials in the suit, took the photos during a sleepover with friends before school started this summer and posted them on their MySpace pages, setting the privacy controls so only those designated as friends could view them. In the photos, the girls wore lingerie and pretended to lick a penis-shaped lollipop. None of the photos made any reference to the school. Weber declined to say how the photos reached Couch, but the suit contends that someone copied the pictures and shared them with school officials, and they eventually were given to the principal. Couch initially suspended both girls from all extracurricular activities for the year but reduced the penalty to 25 percent of fall semester activities after the girls completed three counseling sessions and apologized to the coaches board.
(About the only thing I offered was a flat-footed opinion about the silliness of a name like “MySpace” when you post things onto the World Wide Web.)
beb said on October 30, 2009 at 8:19 pm
brian Stouder: My long held position has been to never post something on the web that you don’t want anyone to steal and distribute. That includes anything from stories to art work to intimate photos of you or your friends. At some points are going to have to learn that, or people are going to have to become less up-tight about what they see.
brian stouder said on October 30, 2009 at 10:49 pm
beb- you got that right. And if you’re a teenager, posting or trafficking in kiddy-porn (whether you recognize it as such or not) may well cost you. A person might never know why a potential employer didn’t pick them.
Another non-sequitur: even if you have zero-interest in Formula One racing, tune into qualifying or the race for a minute or two this weekend, just to see the the track at Abu Dhabi. It is literally new ‘from the ground up’ – situated on a man-made island (Yas Island) in the Persian Gulf. It looks like something out of a movie – one with lots of computer-aided imagery.
You’d think money just flows like a river there – which in fact it does!
crazycatlady said on October 31, 2009 at 12:18 am
Nancy, Remember when Kwame Kilpatrick proclaimed himself Detroit’s first Hip-Hop Mayor? Turns out he was just a Thug-Life mayor.
Ricardo said on November 1, 2009 at 12:52 am
One of my pals from high school is running for Detroit City Council this cycle. He is honest, a dedicated progressive, a regular guy, and doesn’t have any relatives that are politicians. I know him as Mike, but he is using his given name Muhammad Okdie. Worth a look if you live in the city. He is on the Detroit Police Board and the EMU Board of Directors.
beb said on November 1, 2009 at 11:00 pm
I’ve had a regular stream of political phone calls this Sunday. But what really grinds my gears is that not one of these calls came up on Caller-ID with a name, any name. They’re all “out of area” or “cell phone call” or some other anonymous heading. What are these people thinking? They want the people they call to vote for them so why don’t they at least tell them when they call who they are? What have the got to hide? Why are they hiding from their constituency?