Amen, Jerry

“Let’s stop trying to choose the political leaders who we believe are the most godly because, in reality, only God knows people’s hearts. You and I don’t, and we are all sinners.”

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25 thoughts on “Amen, Jerry”

  1. above quote found in this morning’s wapo story

    Cohen claimed he helped bury personal photographs for Jerry Falwell Jr. before the evangelical leader backed Trump

  2. pogo repost from last thread this a.m.:

    My guess for SFB’s taxes is that they would show that he paid no taxes. I am guessing that since he is in the businesses of primarily development and ownership of rental and residential properties as well as golf courses that his losses reflected on the tax returns are more than enough to offset the revenue from his businesses. And yes I believe there will be loans reflected in his Schedule Cs and Schedule A and the associated worksheets with banks that he would not want the American people to know that he does business with and that his income is nowhere near what he’s led American voters to believe.

  3. pogo, history of past taxes reported by NYTimes backs you up

    Decade in the Red: Trump Tax Figures Show Over $1 Billion in Losses
    […]

    Mr. Trump was propelled to the presidency, in part, by a self-spun narrative of business success and of setbacks triumphantly overcome. He has attributed his first run of reversals and bankruptcies to the recession that took hold in 1990. But 10 years of tax information obtained by The New York Times paints a different, and far bleaker, picture of his deal-making abilities and financial condition.

     

    The data — printouts from Mr. Trump’s official Internal Revenue Service tax transcripts, with the figures from his federal tax form, the 1040, for the years 1985 to 1994 — represents the fullest and most detailed look to date at the president’s taxes, information he has kept from public view. Though the information does not cover the tax years at the center of an escalating battle between the Trump administration and Congress, it traces the most tumultuous chapter in a long business career — an era of fevered acquisition and spectacular collapse.
    The numbers show that in 1985, Mr. Trump reported losses of $46.1 million from his core businesses — largely casinos, hotels and retail space in apartment buildings. They continued to lose money every year, totaling $1.17 billion in losses for the decade.
    In fact, year after year, Mr. Trump appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual American taxpayer, The Times found when it compared his results with detailed information the I.R.S. compiles on an annual sampling of high-income earners. His core business losses in 1990 and 1991 — more than $250 million each year — were more than double those of the nearest taxpayers in the I.R.S. information for those years.
    Over all, Mr. Trump lost so much money that he was able to avoid paying income taxes for eight of the 10 years. It is not known whether the I.R.S. later required changes after audits.

    [continues]

  4. pat, Thanks. I understand real estate depreciation losses as an offset to income. However…

    More from the Beuttner & Craig NYT piece, with additional reporting by Maggie Haberman”

    At his nadir, in the post-recession autumn of 1991, Mr. Trump testified before a congressional task force, calling for changes in the tax code to benefit his industry.
     
    “The real estate business — we’re in an absolute depression,” Mr. Trump told the lawmakers, adding: “I see no sign of any kind of upturn at all. There is no incentive to invest. Everyone is doing badly, everyone.”
     
    Everyone, perhaps, except his father, Fred Trump.
     
    While Donald Trump reported hundreds of millions of dollars in losses for 1990 and 1991, Fred Trump’s returns showed a positive income of $53.9 million, with only one major loss: $15 million invested in his son’s latest apartment project.

    Nothing to see here?  Flatus, I’m not so sure.

  5. According to a new report from the United Nations, our planet is in worse shape than at any other time in human history. The Trump Administration has done everything they can to do nothing about climate change. They just don’t listen to scientists. A lot of people don’t. Scientific fact is suddenly seen as some kind of partisan scare tactic. It endangers us all, so George Clooney is spearheading a new initiative to raise awareness of this foray into ignorance, and what he has to say is important.

  6. renee, really liked the way that op ed started off and this observation:

    In an administration full of grifters, back-biters, con artists, and convicted criminals is it any surprise that loyalty and fair dealing flowing from the top isn’t exactly the norm?

    […]

    The question isn’t who Trump has screwed over or fed to the wolves. It’s who he hasn’t.

  7. Alexandra petri:  Friends, Romans, countrymen: Case closed!

    Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me, Mitch McConnell, your ears! I come to bury Robert Mueller, not to praise him. The evil that men do lives on cable, whereas the good is often interred deep in the redacted portions of special counsel reports.

     

    I am sure he is an honorable man and made an honorable report.

     

    Yet is not also Attorney General William Barr an honorable man? Which is why it is so upsetting that these Democrat senators — honorable men, which is why I am referring to them with this slightly pejorative adjective — want to accuse him of perjury! Nay, more than that: They would say he did not accurately portray the conclusions of this report.

     

    But this report is done. It did not bear the bad news the Democrats did hope, and they are racked with grief. If I delighted in their grief, I would delight in the sight of them now. But I take no pleasure in thwarting them. I merely do it, at every possible turn, as a painful duty.

    Oh, could I but speak of what President Barack Obama did, that set these Russians on —

     

    Nay, I must speak! You have compelled me. I shall unfold you how he spoke to Mitt Romney — and this was what led them to interfere! It was his weakness set the Russians on! Nay, believe me, for I shall speak at length.

     

    Aye, rend your garments, Democrats! For see where Donald Trump’s reputation lies, stabbed through the heart by this vile insistence on continuing to follow up on the conclusions of the report.

     

    Yet Mueller is an honorable man. I would not criticize him, but — it was not good in him to say that Barr’s summary of his report was misleading.

     

    What! Accuse a man of misdirection, who did no more than release a letter saying that based on the report the president should be cleared of wrongdoing, though the report did not say so at all?

    If each redaction in this document but had a mouth, it would cry out, exonerating the president! I am sure of it.

     

    The real villain is Russia. Russia, that sought to slash and stab at the processes of American justice.

     

    But the real real villain is Democrats. Russia sought to do harm, but the Democrats divided us, claiming that Donald Trump — oh, I cannot continue. My heart has gone out of me to Donald Trump, and I must pause ’til it come back to me.

     

    While we wait for my heart to return, let me take this time to confirm seven new lifetime appointments.

     

    Partisan division wounds the heart of this country, which is why I needs must take this time to blame Russian intervention in our democratic processes on Barack Obama. Yet he is an honorable man, who stabbed the heart of this republic with his weak and weasel words to Mitt Romney! Nay, partisan division is the greatest harm, and the people who create partisan division are Democrats, the enemies of this nation.

    Let us cease this partisan division, then. Partisan division is wrought by those who cry out falsely, saying, “Obstruction!” as though it were a word whose meaning one was expected to understand. Sometimes, this word precedes “justice,” which I understand and know to mean: not bothering our marvelous, glorious, fearless leader any longer, a man right in all his judgments.

     

    We shall not see his like again. Case closed.

     

    Anyway, we ought to bury this report. That is why I am here, to bury this report. As I said.

  8. Bury Yurtle — I wonder if he gets extras from his wife when he says shit like that

  9. What upsets me is that virtually everyone in business knew that Trump was a conman and failure.  I don’t remember the source, but about the time of The Apprentice premier there was an article stating that the banks had Trump on an allowance that allowed him to have a public image of wealth but he was actually broke.  Disclosure of his true financial condition would threaten repayment of the outstanding real estate loans.

    Most of this was reflected in the recent article about how Burnett created the phony image for a TV show:  https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/01/07/how-mark-burnett-resurrected-donald-trump-as-an-icon-of-american-success

  10. Someone who likes Jim Jordan should have him institutionalized before he hurts himself

  11. My great suspicion is that after his debacle decade US investment banks would not do business with SFB and he had to turn to Deutsche Bank and other foreign sources of capital and that is why he is fighting every attempt to get any information about his finances.

    Based on the info in the NYT article, if I were SDNY or one of the other sources of prosecution that is ongoing against SFB and his companies, I’d be seeking information from the various states he did business in.  He’d have a tough time trying to block the release of his tax info in those states.

     

  12. pat, that’s one of Alexandra’s better pieces.

    Jennifer Rubin:

     

    Heading for constitutional convulsions

     
    We seem to be edging toward a constitutional collapse, if not a crisis. President Trump is ordering Cabinet officials and an ex-aide, over whom he has no legal control, not to appear before Congress and not to provide documents, in a blatant effort to thwart Congress’s power of oversight.

    If the House starts voting out contempt citations for Attorney General William P. Barr, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and former White House counsel Donald McGahn, but the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia refuses to enforce them in court, the House can roll over — or it can pursue several options. (House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler sent asharply worded letterto McGahn and his lawyer demolishing the executive privilege excuse and warning McGahn that he’d be held in contempt if he did not comply with the subpoena.)
    Before we get to those options, some of them severe, let’s take stock of the responsible parties.

    Let’s not forget that Barr, Mnuchin and McGahn are every bit as responsible for Trump’s brazen lawlessness as the president himself. Barr chose to misrepresent the Mueller report, to accuse the Justice Department and/or FBI officials of “spying” on Trump, to insert himself into a process by which Mueller (following the logical dictates of the Office of Legal Counsel memo) handed the matter back to Congress, to disregard ample evidence of obstruction, and to defy a House subpoena. (While Congress struggles to preserve our constitutional system, one would hope, at the very least, a professional ethics complaint has been filed against Barr with his state bar. No lawyer, let alone the attorney general, should be permitted to misrepresent facts under oath and defy a legal subpoena.)

    Mnuchin can read the law that states he “shall” produce the president’s tax returns. He chooses to ignore the law, he chooses to remain in his post, and he chooses to ignore an entirely proper oversight request.

    One can imagine the chaos that might ensue from an effort to put two Cabinet officials behind bars [an option pointed out by Carl Levin in the piece and his own op-ed], but it does seem time for the House to take some measure(s) at least as dramatic as Trump and his Republican sycophants’ blatant, repeated violations of the rule of law.

    Pursue crushing civil fines against recalcitrant witnesses, impeach Mnuchin and Barr, seek sanctions to punish lawyers for ethics violations and, yes, if need be, try to lock them up. Perhaps if Democrats start wielding their power, some Republicans (just a few) will recognize the gravity of the situation they have created and head off the administration before a true constitutional calamity ensues.

    Ultimately, however, it will be for the voters to throw out Trump and dislodge the Republican Senate majority. Republicans richly deserve an electoral thrashing.

    As Kilgore Trout would say, “So it goes.”

  13. the hill:

    A group of religious leaders and judges has renewed its push to revoke the Trump International Hotel’s liquor license on the basis of its owner’s “character” as the license comes up for renewal, according to the Washingtonian.

    The group, the Campaign for Accountability and Transparency Inc., is the brainchild of Arizona Republican activist and philanthropist Jerry Hirsch. The coalition initially filed a complaint with the Washington, D.C., liquor board last summer, claiming the hotel’s owner, President Trump, did not meet the “good character” qualification that D.C. law requires.

    The liquor board said last September that it typically only holds hearings when a license holder is up for renewal, leading the campaign to renew its complaint this spring.

    “Last fall, the Board said the time to take up the question of Mr. Trump’s character would come when the hotel seeks a renewal of the license. That time has come. The hotel has applied for renewal, and no reasonable person could find that Mr. Trump is ‘of good character,’” the group’s attorney, Joshua A. Levy, told the publication. “Whether it’s the thousands of lies he’s told, the criminal hush money payments to women, his emoluments issue, his racism and xenophobia, or his alleged sexual assault over a dozen women, Mr. Trump does not meet the statutory requirement of ‘good character.’”

    The complaint would be an unprecedented interpretation of the provision, according to the Washingtonian, which notes it has typically been used in connection with serving minors or violence in the establishment and usually only comes up in relation to a business’ other violations.

    The hotel did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

  14. also from the hill:

    Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) on Wednesday introduced a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling, which eliminated restrictions on corporate campaign spending.

    The amendment would allow Congress and states to put limits on campaign contributions, according to a statement from Schiff’s office.

    “The Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United overturned decades of legal precedent and has enabled billions in dark money to pour into our elections,” Schiff said in a statement.

    The amendment would also allow states to enact laws creating public financing of campaigns.

    “Amending the Constitution is an extraordinary step, but it is the only way to safeguard our democratic process against the threat of unrestrained and anonymous spending by wealthy individuals and corporations,” he added. “This amendment will restore power to everyday citizens.”

    Schiff also announced the amendment on Twitter.

    “Our democracy is not for sale,” he wrote. “We must stop the flood of dark money from drowning out the voices of everyday citizens.”

    [continues]

  15. We don’t need an amendment. Just overturn the 1881 law that imbued businesses with personality, and forbid non-humans from giving money to campaigns. We should probably think ahead to the next repub grift, and make it illegal for dead humans to give money to campaigns.

  16. XR, I appreciate the optimism – and I agree with your suggestion, but …  Not sure how Congress would do that with Mertle leading the charge in the Senate and SFB sitting behind the Resolute desk (and for sure SCOTUS wouldn’t take a case and rule that way).

  17. Mr Pogo,

    We need the sort of energy in 2020 that we harnessed in 2018, Sir. Who can do that,  and sew on coat tails that can wrap around the nation’s midsection ?

     

  18. Flatus – at one or two times in the past couple of years I thought of offering my services as a guard to schools, churches, synagogues, mosques whatever.  I have the great reflexes I used to have, but those do not make my hands or feet work at the same speed.  I can barely hold a cup of coffee in my right hand, I have not tried to use a handgun at the range lately.  I can’t run, I do walk a few feet at a burst.  But, I do have the spirit to help.

  19. New York legislature advances bill that would allow release of Trump’s state tax returns

     

    Hey, are they reading my stuff?

    Based on the info in the NYT article, if I were SDNY or one of the other sources of prosecution that is ongoing against SFB and his companies, I’d be seeking information from the various states he did business in.  He’d have a tough time trying to block the release of his tax info in those states.

    NYS legislature is paving the way.

    Where are my royalties?

    XR, your last question is a great one. Would that I had an answer. Regardless who my choice is at this point that is the person I want on the ticket.and at the top of it.

  20. That was my thinking, Mr P. Even the least of the Dem candidates could beat the malevolent slug in 2020, but I want someone heading the ticket who can sweep the board – or as near as makes no difference.

    I also want the Dem caucuses to have the legislative agenda done before the new congress convenes, so that the House can impeach the entire WH & cabinet remnant immediately after the swearing-in, and the Senate can convict and remove before lunch. If roberts can’t get there in time, he can watch it on his phone.

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