Thursday, May 12, 2016

Trump's taxes: Update

Following up on our previous post, I must direct your attention to this fascinating article, written by someone who actually saw Trump's tax returns as of a decade ago, pursuant to a court case. Much of what Timothy L. O'Brien saw was redacted, and the terms of the settlement forbid him from discussing details. Still, he gives us a good idea of what Trump is hiding...
After Fortune’s Shawn Tully dug into Trump’s financial disclosures with the Federal Election Commission and an accompanying personal balance sheet his campaign released, he noted in March that Trump “appears to have overstated his income, by a lot, which could be the reason he has so far tried to avoid releasing his returns.” Tully said that Trump apparently boosted his income in the documents by conflating his various businesses’ revenue with his personal income. Trump didn’t respond to Tully’s assessment, but he could clear up all of that by releasing his tax returns.
Again, we must understand O'Brien's situation here: He is forbidden from revealing the details of what he saw. He can only hint. I think that, with these words, he has given us a very large and unmistakable hint.

Of course, we knew it all along, right? Donald Trump doesn't have ten billion dollars.
Trump has long claimed that his company, the Trump Organization, employs thousands of people. He has also criticized Fortune 500 companies for operating businesses overseas at the expense of jobs for U.S. workers. Trump’s returns would show how active he and his businesses are globally -- and would help substantiate the actual size and scope of his operation.
Trump has said that he’s a generous benefactor to a variety of causes -- especially war veterans -- even though it’s been hard to find concrete evidence to support the assertion. Other examples of major philanthropic largess from Trump have also been elusive. Trump could release his tax returns and put the matter to rest.
I love the way this guy writes: Technically staying within the limits of the court's orders, he nevertheless gives us a very clear idea as to what we may expect to see when -- if -- the returns become available.

(Of course, some of my regular readers just don't do subtlety, and possess a complete inability to read between the lines, even when the message is obvious. I'm looking at you, Stephen.)
There’s been global attention focused on the issue of how politicians and the wealthy use tax havens and shell companies to possibly hide parts of their fortunes from authorities. If released, Trump’s returns would make clear whether or not he used such vehicles.
And that brings us to the Panama Papers, does it not?
Trump is seeking the most powerful office in the world. Some of the potential conflicts of interest or financial pressures that may arise if he reaches the White House would get an early airing in a release of his tax returns.
This reminds me of a Roger Stone story. Why (you may have wondered) did Roger Stone stage the "Brooks Brothers riot" that got Dubya elected, even though Stone hates the Bush clan? Because Stone was rewarded with a perch at the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Why the BIA? Because he is in tight with Donald Trump, who owns casinos. Indian casinos compete with Trump casinos -- thus, for a while, Trump and Stone collaborated on ways to make life miserable for their Indian competitors. Eventually, Stone and Trump understood that it was safer to use Indian tribes as cut-outs. Such at least, is the purport of the all-important Stone bio available here (which you still haven't read). Also see here and here.

Side note: The last link goes to a Pando piece written by someone who has done the reading that I've been trying to cajole you people into doing. If you can't read the full book, then read Pando. That piece has Bernie written all over it. I guarantee: No matter how much you love Sanders, after you've read that piece, you'll understand the disgusting, hidden truth of his campaign.

Roger Stone has gotten three presidents elected: Nixon, Reagan, and Dubya. In all three cases, one of his primary tactics was funneling money and support to a "progressive" who would fracture the Democrats.

"Trump's going to win, thanks to Dirtbag Bernie, his zombie followers, and the legions of Clinton-phobic liars."

I don't follow the chain of logic here. If Clinton gets the Democratic nomination, are voters going to allow their memory of Sanders to nudge them into voting for Trump? For some reason, their attention spans are going to increase way past two minutes, past a week, to several months?

Is Clinton irreparably damaged? If so, why will it be her Democratic opponent's fault if the party chooses her?

The thesis might work better if Sanders were to become Clinton's running-mate, but for obvious reasons that seems extremely unlikely.

My sources in the US are telling me that the main reason why voters are supporting Trump is because they feel that he "liberates" them. They feel freed

* 1) to articulate the truth that conditions in the US have already gone to hell in a handcart (call it "glasnost" maybe?),

* 2) to put the blame on liberals, Muslims and foreigners (Europeans, Arabs, Mexicans, whoever), and on the years of not recognising reality, during which people had no hope and stumbled along as if they were waiting for a candidate like him to appear and "tell it like it is", and

* 3) to "believe" that if they support him, the US could be great again.

In short, they're backing him because they are as thick as pigshit, and because they love his "straight talking", i.e. his obnoxious big-swinging-dick spook-the-gooks "let's rise again and kick arse" shtick.

Will the Stone backing of Sanders have failed in its objectives or succeeded when he loses the battle for the Democratic nomination?

Whoever wins the nomination is going to get one hell of a lot of hatred poured on them by the Trump campaign. I think the possibilities for saying that the US needs a president with balls as big as coconuts and a mouth that's even bigger may make Clinton rather than Sanders the ideal Democratic candidate from the Repuglican point of view. The amount of hatred thrown at Clinton is likely to increase.

Just my tuppenceworth from the older side of the ocean, probably containing several misunderstandings.
Doesn't Trump have to reveal all of his business contacts just as Bill Clinton did regarding his foundation when Hillary Clinton first ran in 2008?
A popular Hillary-bashing Twitter account (@JeanetteJing) got taken down after it became quite popular with the Bernie crowd. Its censorship is being hyped-up (by bots? by real people?) as a free-speech outrage. Perhaps Twitter was right to take it down, having discovered it was an anti-Hillary sock-puppet, an obvious TOS violation or even a campaign law violation so they killed it?

I'd say this account is absolutely a sock-puppet.
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