Barack Obama

Crony Capitalist Endorses Barack Obama

Rapper Jay Z profited from eminent domain abuse in Brooklyn.

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Bruce Ratner, Marty Markowitz, Jay Z

As the Washington Examiner's Tim Carney observed yesterday on Twitter, President Barack Obama has secured the endorsement of a well-known crony capitalist: the rap star Jay Z. As a part-owner of the New Jersey Nets basketball team, Jay Z profited at taxpayer expense when the state of New York abused its eminent domain powers to seize privately-owned homes and business and then handed that land over to fellow Nets owner and real estate tycoon Bruce Ratner, who built a new arena for the Nets to call home in Brooklyn.

A few months before the state-sanctioned bulldozers came through, Reason.tv visited Freddy's Bar, one of the many local establishments that was demolished for the economic benefit of folks like Jay Z and Ratner. Check that video out below.

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  1. Four more years!! As long as Ben can print it, we can steal it!!!

  2. He’s got 99 problems but government ain’t one?

    1. Damnit, beaten to it.

    2. He actually used the line “99 problems but Mitt ain’t one.” Fucking uncreative, uninteresting hack.

    3. Eminent domain abuse is Big Pimpin’ baby.

  3. Well just got back and my vote for Gary Johnson felt a lot better than the one I cast for Barr. Also made my first Green Party vote for Sheriff (there was no LP on ticket).

    1. Cops on bicycles, I like it.

  4. BwaHaHaHaw! Tha T-Woofs and their White Guys beat the Nets last nite!

    1. The Nets suck. And what is even better than the Nets sucking is the Lakers sucking. I think Dwight Howard’s back may be done.

      1. Dwight Howard isn’t the problem, it’s that the rest of team, including Kobe, is old as fuck and they don’t have anyone off the bench to compensate for it. And Mike Brown is a terrible coach.

        1. Signing a 38 year old point guard with more minutes on the odometer than nearly anyone else in the league is one thing. You can win with older players. But doing it without having a bench or anyway to manage his regular season minutes is just stupid. I never thought that was going to work.

        2. Brown is definitely a problem, but the issue is that they have had almost zero time together to learn how to play with their current roster (and they still haven’t had a chance with Nash out). Jumping to any conclusions 4 games into a season is a fool’s errand.

          1. I just don’t see how you can win a title with a starting five that old with no bench. Do you really think Nash and Bryant can each play 35+ minutes a game for the hundred games it takes to win an NBA title at their ages? I don’t. If they had a bench and could manages those guys’ and especially Nash’s minutes, I would be optimistic. But they don’t.

            Also, Nash is a horrible defender. I don’t see how they beat the Clippers or OKC in a seven game series with no one who can even slow down Paul or Westbrook. They are going to have to just out score people and that usually doesn’t work.

            1. If you weigh the current Lakers roster by expected minuets played, they’re younger than the 2011 Mavs and a year older than the 2010 Celts (in recent history). Nash doesn’t need to be a good defender. Howard raison d’etre is to cover for crappy defenders. He got the Magic to a Finals with 4 shitty perimeter defenders. Yeah, Russell Westbrook will be able to blow by Nash on the perimeter, but the second he penetrates, he won’t be able to get to the rim because Howard will be there to clean up.

              1. The 11 Mavs and the 10 Celtics were much deeper teams than the Lakers. And the Celtics had a young star in Rondo. Who is the Lakers’ young star? They don’t have one.

                Again, if the Lakers had depth, it could work. But you can’t win a title without youth or depth. You have to have one of them. And as I said above, Howard is not the player he was in 09. His back has not healed. Maybe it will before the playoffs, but that is a big if. Also, it is very hard to have Howard on the floor at the end of games because his free throw shooting is so bad. That is going to be a problem in the playoffs. You can only substitute offense for defense so much.

                Lastly, while Howard got the Magic to the finals, it was over a depleted East. Kevin Garnett got hurt that year and the Celtics were the only decent team in the east besides the Magic. This year’s west is a lot harder.

                1. The Cavs that year won more games and had a better winning percentage than any of Lebron’s Heat teams.

                  Meeks, Jameson and Hill are at least as good as Big Baby, Nate Robinson and Rasheed Wallace, if not better than them. Howard is still just 26, which is right at peak playing age .

                  1. Big Baby was very effective in the 2010 playoffs. And Rondo and Perkins were monsters. The 2010 Celtics were not that old. They had a veteran core but younger players to compliment it. Jameson and Hill are ancient. I get it that vets win. But you have to have some young stars.

                    And yeah, Howard is only 26. But he is coming off back surgery. There is nothing that says he will 100% by the end of the year. He is certainly not that now.

                    1. Rondo and Perkins are starters, not bench players. If you looked at the Celtics in weighted years (age*minutes played/total minutes), those Celtics were 29.5 years old. The current Lakers come out to 30.5 years old.

                      Hill is 25. How is that ancient? Big Baby was effective in a few games, but he’s still a mediocre bench player. He’s a young Jameson with worse shot selection and touch.

                      Who were the young stars on the Lakers teams in 2010 and 2009? Or the 2007 Spurs (avg. age 30.5)?

                    2. Howard has looked pretty good coming off surgery. I’m not concerned about him. I don’t know why you’re acting like he’s the problem

  5. Jay-Z owns about 1% of the Nets. If all you need to be a “part-owner” is a tiny sliver of the company, I’m part-owner of Apple.

    1. Wait I was wrong, Jay-Z owns one-fifteenth of one percent, while Mikhail Prokhorov owns 80% of the team.

      1. Wait I was wrong, Jay-Z owns one-fifteenth of one percent, while Mikhail Prokhorov owns 80% of the team.

        Opulence. He has it.

        But to be fair Jay-Z was a major advocate of the team moving to Brooklyn, so he clearly wanted the city to use its power to do so.

    2. Mo profits from Chinese factory workers being driven to kill themselves at Foxconn!

      1. Oppressor of Chinese Workers Endorses Gary Johnson

      2. Or I guess, to keep up with the analogy, it should be, “Mo drives factory workers to kill themselves at Foxconn!”

    3. Jay-Z takes offense to your statement:

      http://www.cbssports.com/nba/b…..ship-stake

      1. I am a very important owner, and my contributions are valued!!!!!

        -Jay Z

        Who?

        -Prokhorov

    4. You mean he doesn’t? Wow. Next you will be telling me Magic Johnson really doesn’t own the Dodgers.

  6. All he needs now is a midget with a broom.

    1. Is that an “O Brother Where Art Thou?” reference?

  7. Why, yes.

    Yes, it is.

    1. I think I’m starting to understand.

      You’re still protesting comment threading, too?

      1. Because I totally respect that.

  8. I see that picture, and all I can think is:

    SPOILER ALERT

    “Stringer? Stringer Bell? Dude, I thought you got capped!”

  9. The key to action is to ask: Would the world be a better or worse place if absolutely everybody followed my example? Which strongly suggests against such unprincipled self-serving activity.

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