Category Archives: Cabinet

Trump Income Tax Short Form

trump income tax

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.

Are You Now, Or Have You Ever Been, In a Russian Golden Shower?

are you now or have you ever been

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.

 

Trump Swamp Drainage Project

swamp drainage

Swamp drainage was at a standstill last week. The Washington wetlands are filled with protected species and the permitting process is more complicated than expected.

The Trump Media war ended the week in a standoff when the president took the offensive in an hour and fifteen minute press conference on Thursday.

Russian Election Hacking

Russian

In 2012 President Obama told Russian President Medvedev he would be much more flexible after the election. Obama thought his remarks were private but he was speaking into an open mic in front of tv cameras.

Lucky for him, there was no Republican narrative of Russian election hacking in 2012. It might have seemed plausible, considering the fact that Obama repeatedly mocked Romney for insisting that Russia was our number one enemy. Also, in 2009, Obama halted a missile defense system in Poland and The Czech Republic. Romney described that act as “a gift to Russia.”

Russian Hacking

If the Russians had any incentive to hack a U.S. election, 2012 would seem to be the ticket.  After that election they felt comfortable enough to invade Crimea without fear of U.S. sanctions. Obama only got tough with Russia on his way out the door in December 2016. He imposed sanctions after Hillary lost and the Russians were accused of hacking John Podesta’s emails. Which, btw, is the only reason we know Donna Brazile fed debate questions to Hillary.

Those sanctions are the ones Michael Flynn is accused of discussing in December with the Russian ambassador. We know about that, not through an open mic, but from leaked classified U.S. intelligence.

Betsy Devos Decimates Public School Singlehandedly

Betsy DeVos

Senator Chuck Schumer says Betsy Devos would “single handedly decimate public schools.” Made me think of the Obama line , “You didn’t build that…. somebody else made that happen.”