Posts Tagged ‘GOP’

Trump’s Tax Disclosure: Never Mind!

January 23, 2017

Trump's Tax Disclosure: Never Mind!
Presidential candidate Donald Trump repeatedly claimed that he would release his tax documents. He said it well before he threw his hat in the GOP ring, back in 2014. As the Republican candidate he came up with a lame excuse for avoiding the tax disclosures made by White House hopefuls since 1970: He said he couldn’t do it since he was under audit, a specious argument, as himself finally admitted. He even claimed he would release his tax forms after the election, if the audit took that long.

Sunday morning, on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” Trump spokescreature Kellyanne Conway admitted that it’s not going to happen, since voters already elected him without any tax facts. She say’s voters don’t care, but 74% of Americans — including half of Trump’s supporters — want him to release his tax forms.

Since inauguration Day, over 200,000 citizens have signed a We the People petition on the White House website asking the President to “immediately release Donald Trump’s full tax returns, with all information needed to verify emoluments clause compliance.” 100,000 signatures is enough to require an official response. It is doubtful that Ms. Conway’s raised middle finger meets that requirement.

What is Mr. Trump hiding? Perhaps:

— He hasn’t paid any taxes, as his previous state tax releases indicate

— He’s not as rich as he claims

— He hasn’t given as much to charity as he claims

— He has had previously undisclosed foreign business dealings, perhaps with Russia

Wikileaks, Trump’s best bud during the campaign, says it will release the new president’s tax returns for him if they can be obtained. “Trump’s breach of promise over the release of his tax returns is even more gratuitous than Clinton concealing her Goldman Sachs transcripts,” tweeted the organization.

UPDATE:

“Conway Backtracks On Trump’s Tax Returns, Saying He’s Still Under Audit,” Matt Shuham, TPM Livewire

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Rick Perry Named Secretary of ‘Oops’

December 14, 2016

Rick Perry Named Secretary of 'Oops'

President-elect Donald Trump nominated former Texas governor Rick Perry as Secretary of  Energy, a department GOP candidate Perry would have abolished if he could have remembered what it was:

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Trump Appoints ‘Foreclosure King’ As Treasury Secretary

December 2, 2016

Trump Appoints 'Foreclosure King' As Treasury Secretary

President-elect and self-proclaimed swamp-drainer Donald J. Trump has named Goldman Sachs alum and former hedge fund partner Steve Mnuchin as his Treasury Secretary. Mr. Mnuchin, who was finance chair of the Trump campaign and the producer of Suicide Squad, became infamous as the “Foreclosure King” when his OneWest Bank foreclosed on over 36,000 family homes during the financial crisis. OneWest specialized in “harsh, repugnant and repulsive” foreclosures on the homes of minority families and the elderly, and in one celebrated case foreclosed on a 90-year-old woman over a 27 cent error.

The Department of the Treasury controls mortgage guarantee agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and runs the MHA mortgage relief program and the Hardest Hit Fund, which helps homeowners most in danger of foreclosure due to the financial crisis. Oh, it also regulates banks.

More:

“Trump Treasury pick made millions after his bank foreclosed on homeowners,” Lorraine Woellert, Politico

“Steve Mnuchin: Evictor, Forecloser, and Our New Treasury Secretary,” Peter Dreier, American Prospect

“Trump Was Always Going to Be a Gift to Wall Street. His Pick for Treasury Secretary Proves It.,” Jordan Weissmann, Slate

“Donald Trump voter who lost her home to new Treasury pick Steven Mnuchin has ‘no faith in our government anymore,’” Josh Boak and Jeff Horowitz, AP via Salon

“Angus King: Trump’s not draining swamp, he’s adding alligators,” Mark Hensch, The Hill

Bonus:

“Before heading to the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin will grace the silver screen in ‘Rules Don’t Apply,'” Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times

“The fiancée of Trump’s twice-married new Treasury Secretary, 53, is 35-year-old actress who sparked fury after she ‘invented parts of her memoir about nearly being killed in Africa,'” Jennifer Newton, Daily Mail

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Ben Carson at HUD: Pyramid Scheme?

November 30, 2016

Ben Carson at HUD: Pyramid Scheme?
Last we heard of retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, he was proposed for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, presumably because he lives in a house and once lived in a city. We assume President-elect Trump will appoint a city planner as Surgeon General.

Dr. Carson’s fascination with Egyptian pyramids may influence U.S. cityscapes during the Trump administration. On the other hand, his spokesman told the press that Ben Carson thinks he’s unqualified to run a federal department. Any department. Oh, and the good doctor recently diagnosed the HUD-administered Fair Housing laws as “communist.”

More:

“Ben Carson Is Trump’s Pick for HUD Secretary, for Some Terrible Reason,” Eric Levitz, New York Magazine

“Ben Carson for HUD Secretary, Why?” Kriston Capps, CityLab

“Stop Treating HUD Like A Second-Tier Department,” Andrew Flowers, FiveThirtyEight

Update:

“Turns Out Ben Carson Didn’t Grow Up in Public Housing,” Adam K. Raymond, New York Magazine

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Mike Pence Casting Out the Lobbyists From the Trump Transition Team

November 18, 2016

Mike Pence Casting Out the Lobbyists From the Trump Transition Team
“Swamp-drainer” Donald Trump’s initial transition team was chock full of the very lobbyists he had railed against on the campaign trail. It was embarrassing, so the president-elect brought in holy warrior Mike Pence to drive the money changers out of Trump Tower. Trump Tower has revolving doors, but the new administration’s incoming officials will pledge to forego lobbying for 5 years. As we know, ethics are very important to the founder of Trump University.

More:

“Donald Trump’s Lobbying Ban Effectively Bans Very Little,” on Schwarz, The Intercept

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‘Downton Abbey’ Ex-Congressman Indicted on 24 Counts

November 16, 2016

'Downton Abbey' Ex-Congressman Indicted on 24 Counts

A federal grand jury has indicted former Congressman Aaron Schock on 24 criminal counts that include theft of government funds, wire fraud, making false statements, and filing false tax returns. Once a Republican star, he used federal and campaign funds to support a lifestyle of personal trainers and personal photographers, a stylish wardrobe, charter plane and helicopter trips for Hawaiian surfing, tango-dancing in Bueno Aires, glacier jumping in Patagonia and a plush Downton Abbey-themed Capitol Hill office with a $5,000 chandelier.

The Washington Post ran a feature on the office, and questions were raised. Mr. Schock resigned from Congress during an ensuing ethics inquiry, but an FBI investigation followed, and the Bureau’s findings were sent to the grand jury which has now returned the indictments. Looks like media coverage of Aaron Schock will be resuming shortly. Hope he’s still got the wardrobe for it.

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Trump Has An Enemies List. Are You On It?

November 14, 2016

Trump Has An Enemies List. Are You On It?
While President-elect Donald Trump has sounded gracious, magnanimous and conciliatory after his election victory, his advisors have not. At the Trump election night party, African-American Outreach Director Omarosa Manigault, Mr. Trump’s fellow reality TV star (Fear Factor, Girls Behaving Badly, The Apprentice, The Surreal Life, Celebrity Apprentice) told the Independent Journal Review:

“It’s so great our enemies are making themselves clear so that when we get in to the White House, we know where we stand …. But let me just tell you, Mr. Trump has a long memory and we’re keeping a list.”

In a campaign not noted for consistency, Ms. Manigault told PBS Frontline the same thing back in September:

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Judge Orders Bottled Water Delivery To Flint Residents

November 11, 2016

Judge Orders Bottled Water Delivery To Flint Residents

Federal Court Judge David M. Lawson has ordered Michigan state and local governments to provide home delivery of at least four cases of water a week to each resident of Flint, unless officials verify that the household has a properly installed and maintained water filter. Deliveries must continue until the city’s water lead hazard ends.

Bottled water had previously been available for pick-up at various locations throughout the city, but restrictive access hours and limits per family placed the burden on residents, 40 percent of whom live below the poverty line. Many do not own cars, and had to walk to and from the water supply centers.

As Judge Lawson observed:

“In modern society, when we turn on a faucet, we expect safe drinking water to flow out. As the evidence shows, this is no longer the case in Flint. The Flint water crisis has in effect turned back the clock to a time when people traveled to central water sources to fill their buckets and carry the water home.”

The water became tainted with lead in 2014 when the Republican state government privatized Flint’s water utility, which then instituted cost-cutting measure while charging residents some of the highest rates in the nation.

More:

“Federal judge orders delivery of bottled water in Flint,” Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press

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Trumpismo Grabs America By the … Throat

November 9, 2016

Trumpismo Grabs America By the ... Throat
American voters have elected the honorable demagogue Donald J. Trump as the next president of the of the United States, and the news has been greeted with glee by strongmen, dictators, authoritarian leaders and far-right politicians across then globe:

“Russia’s Putin pleased as Trump win shocks world,” Nicole Gaouette, Elise Labott, CNN

“Philippines’ President Duterte says his country can enhance relations with the US and congratulates Trump, a month after telling Obama to ‘go to Hell,'” Jay Akbar, Daily Mail

“China Just Won The U.S. Election,” James Palmer, Foreign Policy

“Prime Minister Viktor Orban congratulated Donald Trump on his victory,” Jay Akbar, Daily Mail

“French far-right leader Le Pen hails Trump victory,” RFI

“Dutch extremist Geert Wilders expects Trump win to boost Europe’s racist right,” Reuters via Raw Story

“Nigel Farage and other far-right leaders hail Trump’s ‘historic’ US election win,” Toby Meyjes, Metro

“Why authoritarian leaders worldwide may be thrilled with Trump’s win,” Patrick Winn, GlobalPost

“The world’s demagogues offer simple solutions and a strong hand. Trump’s victory has been the latest reminder of this.” David Motadel, History Today

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Hot Election News

November 8, 2016

Hot Election News

There is a God, and She has a great sense of humor:

Steve Bannon, the chief executive officer of Donald Trump’s campaign, literally found his pants on fire during a campaign stop in New Hampshire last month, according to a report in the New York Times.

Bannon, who previously served as the executive chairman of Breitbart News, was traveling with Trump on Oct. 28 when FBI Director James Comey sent a letter to lawmakers alerting them that the bureau found emails potentially ‘pertinent’ to the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server.

While working with other aides to concoct a script for Trump’s teleprompter, Bannon realized that a hot TV light had caused his pants to began to burn.

‘I think my pant leg is on fire,’ said Bannon, according to the New York Times.”

—  “Trump campaign executive’s pants literally caught on fire: report,” Mallory Shelbourne, The Hill [links added]

Related:

“All ‘Pants on Fire!’ statements involving Donald Trump,” Politifact

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