Salt Lake City leaders are giddy over Ryan Smith’s plans for downtown entertainment district | Opinion | Salt Lake City Weekly

Salt Lake City leaders are giddy over Ryan Smith’s plans for downtown entertainment district 

Smart Bomb: The completely unnecessary news analysis

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OK Wilson, when Salt Lake City taxpayers pony up $1 billion, what will they get for their money? It's a mystery—sort of.

The Salt Lake City Council, considering raising all that dough in taxes, held a public hearing so Salt Lakers could weigh in on the new hit to their wallets. A lot of people trudged down to City Hall to put in their 2 cents even though they didn't know what they were commenting on. It's all about this thing called the “entertainment district” that doesn't exist yet—plans remain floating somewhere in the ether.

Here's the deal, for this nebulous proposal the city would chip in about $1 billion and Jazz NBA owner Ryan Smith would put up $3 billion. The money would transform 100 acres around the Delta Center, Abravanel Hall and the Salt Palace Convention Center into something like the Eighth Wonder of the World. Call it “Smithland.”

There would be basketball, NHL hockey, music, culture, art, taco stands and a bunch of cool stuff you can't even imagine. It's kinda like Christmas come early, or more accurately, the Second Coming come early. Imagine Salt Lake City transformed into the next Orlando, Florida—sans Mickey, Goofy and the gang. City leaders are absolutely giddy—how often do you get to recreate the world in your own image.

Slurping up Truth, Justice and Democracy
We know you're not ready for this, Wilson—Rudy Giuliani now has his own brand of coffee. Yep, “Rudy Coffee” is here. “When I put my name on something you can trust it,” he says in a new TV commercial.

The ad dropped right after Giuliani pleaded not guilty in Arizona to charges of conspiring to overturn the 2020 presidential election. When you buy Rudy Coffee, you're not just getting great coffee, he says, “You're supporting our cause: Truth, justice and American democracy.” Yes Wilson, he really did say that.

Rudy was one of the so-called “architects” of the plan to keep Trump in power after he lost the election. Architecture, needless to say, is not what it used to be. In December, the one-time New York City mayor was ordered by a jury to pay $148 million in damages to former Georgia election workers Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, whom he defamed by saying they fraudulently counted votes for Biden. The pair received numerous death threats, among other things. Looks like Rudy is gonna have to sell a lot of that coffee.

Giuliani also faces a dozen charges in the racketeering case brought by the Fulton County district attorney in Atlanta, Ga. So get your Rudy Coffee today. Buy lots and lots of it to save our American democracy and Rudy Giuliani's ass.

Failed Plan to Assassinate Trump
If you think Donald Trump's “hush money” trial was nasty with cringeworthy sex scenes involving the former president and a porn star, listen to this: President Joe Biden planned to knock off the Donald at Mar-A-Lago in August 2022, when the FBI searched the Florida property for classified documents. How do we know this to be true? Because the right-wing echo chamber says so.

“This was an attempted assassination,” said former Trump advisor and pundit Steve Bannon. “The Biden DOJ and FBI were planning to assassinate President Trump and gave the green light,” said Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. “The Biden Administration authorized the use of deadly force at Mar-A-Lago,” said Fox talking head Sean Hannity.

Well, not exactly. The FBI waited until Trump was in New York City before executing the search warrant. Beyond that, the FBI's modus operandi forbids the use of force unless an agent's life is in imminent danger. On the other hand, Trump's lawyers argued before the Supreme Court that he had complete immunity as president and should be allowed to assassinate his political rivals without repercussions.

In Trump World, up is down and down is up. Hey, did you hear the FBI tried to assassinate Trump? It's true, we heard it on FOX.

Postscript—That'll do it for another gorgeous week here at Smart Bomb, where we keep track of who's getting raises so you don't have to. Hey Wilson, did you hear that Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall is asking for a $44,000 annual raise? Whoa baby, that's raising some eyebrows around town. Forty-four grand? Holy simoleons.

Presently, Mayor Erin's salary is 168,000 a year, or $14,000 a month. The raise would make it $212,000 a year, or $17,666 per month. We know Wilson, that's more than the entire income of the Smart Bomb Band. But you gotta admit she works a lot harder than you guys—plus, she has to dress up and sit through a lot of boring meetings. You guys could never do that. It's a special skill set. (Clever segue.)

Recently, the Presidential Greatness Project surveyed 154 historians and social science experts to rank all U.S. presidents. OK Wilson, guess who came in dead last? You got it, Donald Trump. Get this, he came in behind James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Franklin Pierce and Warren Harding.

As you may recall, Trump rated himself the greatest president ever, ahead of Abe Lincoln. Imagine that. Editor's note: Not included in the survey were Stormy Daniels, E. Jean Carroll or Karen McDougal—but they probably wouldn't have helped him much.

Poor old Rudy Giuliani, he was a brave crime fighter against the mob, became America's mayor after 9/11 and then buddied up with Donald Trump, lost his soul and turned into a creepy, old crazy guy. How far the mighty have fallen. So hey Wilson, do you and the guys in the band have anything in your repertoire for this once-great pathetic fool:

Shadows are fallin' and I've been here all day
It's too hot to sleep and time is runnin' away
Feel like my soul has turned into steel
I've still got the scars that the sun didn't heal

There's not even room enough to be anywhere
It's not dark yet but it's gettin' there.
Well, my sense of humanity has gone down the drain
Behind every beautiful thing there's been some kind of pain

She wrote me a letter and she wrote it so kind
She put down in writin' what was in her mind
I just don't see why I should even care
It's not dark yet but it's gettin' there.

Well, I've been to London and I been to gay Paris
I've followed the river and I got to the sea
I've been down on the bottom of the world full of lies
I ain't lookin' for nothin' in anyone's eyes

Sometimes my burden is more than I can bear
It's not dark yet but it's gettin' there.
I was born here and I'll die here against my will
I know it looks like I'm movin' but I'm standin' still

Every nerve in my body is so naked and numb
I can't even remember what it was I came here to get away from
Don't even hear the murmur of a prayer
It's not dark yet but it's gettin' there.
“Not Dark Yet”—Bob Dylan

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