Category Archives: cable tv
Two pages of the 2005 Donald Trump income tax return fell in to the hands of Rachel Maddow last week. On her show she played it for all it was worth. It turns out it was worth about $38 million to Uncle Sam in taxes paid on an income of $150 million. That’s an effective rate of about 25%. The revelation made The Donald look good compared to accusations that he doesn’t pay any income taxes at all.
It also made him look good compared to Barack Obama’s 2015 effective rate of 18.5%, Bernie Sanders 2014 effective rate of 13.5%, and Mitt Romney’s 2011 rate of 14.1%
Even Van Jones called it a good night for Donald Trump.
The purloined returns showed up in the mailbox of journalist David Cay Johnston. He says he knows nothing. Revealing private income tax information is a felony.
Trump denies that he had anything to do with it.
The right leaning New York Post, Townhall, and left leaning Nation editor and publisher, Katrina vanden Heuvel, writing in the Washington Post, have something in common. They all compare the senate Democrats’ obsession with Russians to McCarthyism of 50 years ago. Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?
It’s fitting and proper that a comedian got the ball rolling for the Jeff Sessions act in this Russian circus. Senator Al Franken based a question to Senator Sessions on a bogus story in Buzzfeed about a Russian dossier on Donald Trump. It claims Trump hired prostitutes to pee on a bed Barack and Michelle had slept on in a Russian hotel.
Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been?
Franken asked the senator what he would do if there’s any evidence of contact with Russians in the course of the Trump campaign. Sessions replied, “Senator Franken, I’m not aware of any of those activities. I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I didn’t have — did not have communications with the Russians, and I’m unable to comment on it.” You can roll the tape here on Politifact.
Then, as night follows day, two meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak surfaced. One was in Sessions’ senate office. The other was a group introduction at the RNC in Cleveland. Senator Sessions says those meetings were in the course of his role as a senator and didn’t involve the Trump campaign.
Senator Claire McCaskill insisted that sort of thing just isn’t done. But her twitter account says otherwise.
Media relations with President Trump hit a new low when he dubbed the press the enemy of the American People. Last August The Atlantic compared Trump’s authoritarian tendencies to the rise of Mussolini. And two days after the election in November the New Republic claimed Trump was already acting like an authoritarian.
But National Review says he’s less authoritarian than Obama.
Vox says authoritarian states ain’t so bad.
In his Super Bowl interview with President Trump, Bill O’Reilly accused the Russian President of killing people. Trump’s response? “You think our country’s so innocent?”
That made me think of one of my favorite exchanges between Michael Corleone and Kay Adams:
Michael: My father is no different than any powerful man, any man with power, like a president or senator.
Kay: Do you know how naive you sound, Michael? Presidents and senators don’t have men killed.
Michael: Oh. Who’s being naive, Kay?
Except Trump is president, not a mob boss. Now who’s being naive?
Anyway, I got the idea for this cartoon from a Holman Jenkins column in the WSJ.
His assessment of Trump’s comments was, “unwise, spoken by somebody with a thin grasp of his circumstances.” But he went on to say, “Trump, clumsily, was actually keeping up a longstanding U.S. policy of covering up for Mr. Putin.” Then Jenkins detailed the Ryazan bombing plot by Putin security thugs to frame Chechen terrorists. It rarely gets mentioned by American officials. Jenkins thinks that’s because everybody wants to make a deal with Putin.
He concludes, “Read a certain way, Mr. Trump’s comments make him the first U.S. president to address Mr. Putin’s real nature.”
Trump’s top adviser Steve Bannon told the press it should shut up and listen. The media took offense. Their right to not shut up is protected by the first amendment.
Media Opposition Party
But they don’t seem to have taken the listen part to heart. Bannon also said that the media had become the opposition party. On August 8 Jim Rutenberg of the New York Times agreed.