Trump was luridly orange and sweaty at yesterday’s Loserpalooza rally in Sarasota. The location was fitting given the town’s history as the winter home of Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus, an organization whose leader famously understood that there’s a sucker born every minute.
Thousands of suckers flooded the county fairgrounds to mill around in the hot afternoon sun, where some collapsed from heat exhaustion before storms soaked the crowd and cooled things off. Grotesqueries like Matt Gaetz and Kimberly Guilfoyle were the warm-up act prior to Trump’s arrival at 8 PM.
The traditional Airing of the Grievances bit was expanded to decry recent tribulations. Not all of Trump’s complaints landed with the audience:
"You didn’t pay tax on the car or a company apartment…you didn’t pay tax, or education for your grandchildren — I, don’t even know what do you have to put? Does anybody know the answer to that stuff?"
Prosecutors call this an admission… pic.twitter.com/3Myuzy0cB9
— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) July 4, 2021
As Feinberg notes, this is an on-camera admission that the Trump Org evaded taxes by paying for luxury apartments, cars and fancy private schools for its CFO off the books. But perhaps even more baffling is Trump’s attempt to portray the prosecution of the crime as a relatable example of government overreach. Even the assembled super-suckers didn’t appear to bite.
Maybe it’s an opening for Democrats. People want law and order? Okay, let’s address the white collar crime wave that has allowed fat cats like Weisselberg make suckers of us all for far too long. Not just more investigations and prosecutions but also new legislation that addresses the fact that many of our laws and regulations were written by wealthy criminals to effectively decriminalize corruption.
In a first, MAGATS were crazy due a more reasonable explanation: the heat.
Beats meth, anyway.
“You didn’t pay tax on the car or a company apartment…you didn’t pay tax, or education for your grandchildren — I, don’t even know what do you have to put? Does anybody know the answer to that stuff?”
As always, the real crime is what IS legal. The tax code is not 10,000 pages long so that waitresses and mechanics can avoid paying their fair share.
Oh, he knew. The entire Trump crime family has been dodging taxes and creating illegal schemes for passing wealth to the next generation while avoiding taxes for many years. He knew.
I disagree, Steve M. He knows exactly what’s taxable. He’s just setting up his cult to defend his tax evasion. “You knew I was a snake…”
Absolutely he knew. There was no reason to keep 2 sets of books, other than he’s such a cheap motherfucker he wanted to make sure Weisselberg wasn’t getting a penny over the agreed-upon compensation. And him whining that it’s wrong to pay taxes on a company car? Dude, that’s THE LAW. As I was reminded today, he tweeted back in 2016 saying that he understood US tax law better than anyone else. While I doubt that’s actually true, he absolutely knew what they were doing was wrong. But his ex-friend Leona said, taxes are for the little people. Until you go to jail.
The wealthy are so fucking weird about taxes. Like, I swear half of them spend more in lawyer and accountant fees than just paying the damn taxes would cost.
@debbie: You knew I was a snake…
I don’t understand why he uses that; don’t his cult members cock their heads and think. “What???”
It’s just as odd as the wedding I attended when I was 15, where the groom sang “What Kind of Fool Am I?”
The trump family built their fortune on knowing what the laws were, and how much they could get away with.
He should have been nipped in the bud back in the 1970s/80s, but instead he was made into a celebrity.
Oprah and Barbara Walters had him on their shows in the 1980s and asked him when he would run for president. Because he was such a “brilliant” businessman with all those buildings and ghostwritten books.
@Van Buren: Bingo. We also need to take a look at anti-corruption laws for public service because an absurd amount of bribery and influence peddling is perfectly legal. The Bob McDonnell case really opened my eyes to how extensive it is.
This. Paying taxes means you have money and success. STFU already.
I cracked up when an old Tweet of his was dug up in which he boasted that nobody knew New York’s tax system as well as he did. That and his statement last night would appear to contradict each other, but I think Trump is so special that both of these are lies.
One can only try to imagine a scene of lawyers or accountants attempting to explain tax law to Trump. It would have to be the the cartoon version, I guess. ‘This is how it works. Now, just sign here’. It’s clear in any case that Trump Organization minions wouldn’t bother if they didn’t have to. And of course, Weisselberg is guilty as hell.
comrade scotts agenda of rage
Using this as an issue is great, it resonates…as do a crapton of other so-called librul issues that RWNJ voters routinely ignore because, yunno, skin color and owning the libs.
@Nicole: They do. My friend’s FIL does this. Hires a big time CPA and lawyer to avoid a measly amount of taxes. He pays through the nose for those guys to save him peanuts. I liken it to using a coupon for something to save $2 for shit you really don’t use.
@germy: I’d agree that Fred knew exactly what he was doing. For Donald… not so much.
That didn’t take long.
Breaking news: Democrats in charge of WH, Congress and the Senate are tripping over each other in a rush to submit legislation to reform and redress long overdue favoritism that allows for the rich to avoid paying their fair share.
It sure feels that way sometimes, but the (relatively) small ‘investment’ the rich and super-rich make in lawyer, accountant, and other fees (to say nothing of donations to PACs and politicians) are quite worth it to them.
“What are you complaining about, middle-class America? It was all perfectly legal!” Grrrrr
Hasn’t he skated for so long because he was a confidential informant for the FBI against the mob.
Longer than I expected, actually.
Well, the problem with Trump is way more with “us” (loosely defined) than with him. Yes, of course Donald Trump is a dishonest charlatan, and has been for many decades, but as an ex-President, he has a disgracefully easy excuse to deflect any criticism: dismiss it as “mere politics”, and his audience will eat it up and cheer.
The sort of folks who are willing to go and mill around in the Florida heat and rain to listen to The Orange Loser blather his stale nonsense over and over again know that he’s a dishonest charlatan, and THEY DON’T [expletive] CARE. And never have. As long as Trump can “own the libs”, and validate their hate, they’ll turn out in droves.
Let them fight:
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@debbie: I agree, criming (I love that trump-era neologism) is about the only thing trump fully understands, from his remarkable ability to avoid a written record, to his instinct for the grift
@Spanky: They probably didn’t realize it until today.
Mike in NC
So many people were responsible for turning this dim bulb piece of shit into a celebrity. Add Howard Stern and all of the late night TV talk show hosts who simply couldn’t resist giving him a platform to bloviate.
The only thing worse would be the bride singing, “I Don’t Know How to Love Him.”
@MattF: Yeah, that would not surprise me at all. Or possibly, took this long to admit it.
@Miss Bianca: “Why don’t we do it in the road”, sung by the best man?
Are you going tell us how long the marriage lasted??
@germy: Why would anyone bother?
Ceci n est pas mon nym
“And I’ve had so many men before, in very many ways. He’s just one more.”
As a musician, my wife has played plenty of inappropriate requests at weddings and kept a perfectly straight face. “Send in the Clowns” comes to mind. Fortunately she’s an organist, so at least the wedding party is spared the lyrics.
Everyone keeps saying TFG kept two sets of books. Does he actually say that in this clip? (I don’t want to hear that voice unless I know I’m going to get something good out of it.)
This is incoherent, even by low Trump standards. And I suppose that some of his supporters have businesses and such. But whining about a company apartment is not populist.
His dopes may still cheer for him, but some of them must be thinking, “WTF?”
I watched that rally on OAN for a short time (alas, we get OAN with basic cable). The hand-selected audience in the background mostly looked bored.
Sure, once and awhile they’d perk up. But only when Trump recited trigger lines like “crooked Hillary,” “lock her up” or “build the wall.” It’s almost like they’re waiting around for their cues like the audience at midnight showings of the Rocky Horror Picture Show (throw paper towels now…). Or politely sitting through the Bachman Turner Overdrive concert at the County Fair, waiting impatiently for “Takin’ Care of Business.”
I was mesmerized by a woman in a giant straw hat who rhythmically nodded her head throughout the speech, like a bobble-head dog in the rear dashboard window. Kool-Aid or meth, I suppose. It was more creepy than scary.
Major Major Major Major
Curious to see where this all ends up. Meanwhile, I dunno, we’ve been burned a few times on accountability for this guy lol.
Open thread? Today we will be celebrating capitalism and the true heroes of the revolution by getting brunch at a French restaurant.
@Betty Cracker: Another way of looking at your point is to hold accountable those who support laws that foster corruption by looking the other way or slow walking and killing any anti-corruption legislation. For example, the unwillingness of parties to do away with the carryover exemption.
They likely don’t. But they will spend a lot to not pay the tax rate they owe, even if that still leaves them extremely wealthy. The concept is that it’s their money, they
stoleearned it because they are smarter than the average dupe. And anyway it’s their’s. They can buy anything they need so government is just handing out THEIR money, to the undeserving. After all if those poor dumb shits were that deserving/smart/evil, they would be rich. And they get lawyers, accountants, hangers on to help them, by getting laws written that exempt them, by just not paying, by making it so expensive to collect that the government can’t put that much resources into it. The world would be better off if they paid, but they wouldn’t be as rich and they wouldn’t have pulled one over on the rest of us – so they are better, and did I say richer… They measure their lives by the size/number of their bank accounts/homes/yachts/jets. SFB had a 25+ yr old plane, 4th owner, retired from commercial passenger service, with his name on the side, in letters larger than any airline did, and he can’t afford to pay for another old engine to keep it flying. It is all about how they look in relation to other “riche riches,” and that’s always better than the poor slobs who actually work for a living. After all they have “the help.” Money is a necessary component of life, unless you can provide all the necessities with your own two hands. And you can’t. No one can do it all, modern life has too many moving pieces. Life long ago had too many moving pieces as well but then people died on average a lot sooner. And many of the “wealthy” don’t care or actually do care that they get to live to be older, and everyone else doesn’t. Life isn’t a contest, except to the wealthy like SFB, and his followers, who think a racist POS should be able to steal it all, have it all, just because. He justifies their racism. That’s what they see in him.
And if that doesn’t work, can a lack of competency argument be far behind?
@Nicole: Accountants and attorneys are the modern-day scribes that the nobility kept in ages past, and taxes are handouts to Those Other People™ (aka serfs). Any salary to the former beats doling out pittances to the latter.
Popehat and others have (as has been pointed out here in other threads) noted that one can interpret his comments as ignorance rather than a confession. But it’s also nonsensical. The amount of taxes involved were trivial, even for TFG’s tiny empire. Why would the CFO risk jail time for such tiny amounts?
The answer, of course, is entitlement and hubris and TFG tying his people into his schemes so that they have to be loyal to him or else.
It’s penny-ante mobster conman stuff.
The best thing that could come from this is changing the white collar crime laws so that the presumptions are different. The MotUs tell us they have to take so much of the economy because they’re so essential and important and brilliant. They need to be responsible if they want to claim that.
The Power Responsibility relationship is all out of whack and has been for far too long.
@Ken: 25-The-45 strikes again.
deleted. Another Scott just said it better as I was composing.
No argument from me. I’ve had to endure that asshole for more than 40 years. You should have seen the fawning of the NYC media. I still see Liz Smith’s smiling “What is our Donald up to today?”
I just finished watching that NYT 40-minute video. That there have been only a few hundred arrests is shameful. There should be tens of thousands. I did not see one single tourist.
@Spanky: They always expect that they’re Smarter™ and Better™ than their enemies, and they keep getting proven wrong, which to them means they were victims of Derp State and Illuminati and Soros and FSM knows what else. Because it’s never their fault for being naive and ignorant and careless and unprofessional and otherwise incompetent.
By eighth graders, I hope.
@stinger: Probably more like four sets of books: one for the IRS, one as slightly less untruthful for the IRS if the audits turn up irregularities, one for the accountants so they can lie convincingly, and one for the family.
@Miss Bianca: At one wedding I attended many years ago the DJ played, at the bride’s request, one of her favorite songs, “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor. I agree with her that that’s a great song, but not a particularly auspicious song to play at a wedding. (In case you’re wondering, she’s still married to that groom.)
The wealthy we are talking about, the SFB’s, they have to bury their income, often it is gotten by selling crap, like SFB selling his name, an absolutely worthless non asset, for prestige. What would those people on TV have to promote if it wasn’t the SFB’s of the world? And how would they have those shows if they didn’t promote worthless crap? People have some level of understanding value, they have to be sold worthless crap, to think worthless crap is far more valuable, so it can be sold. SFB is the perfect example of that. A hundred years ago it was the snake oil salesman, or the prestige cars, that normal people couldn’t buy, now it’s cars with 400 HP, sitting on the freeway in traffic, or 11 homes, or golf courses or personal jets and 600 million dollar yachts.
Did see a clip of lines of people filing out well before he had finished expostulating.
“Okay, Harold. You saw him. Now let’s go.”
Today’s the day for watching the Times 40 min video of the 1/6 insurrection,
If the Capital Police were willing to die, the least I can do is watch.
On YouTube, no paywall
@Ceci n est pas mon nym: When a friend of mine got married, his wife walked down the aisle to the tune of the Imperial March from Star Wars.
I grew up with NYC media. I agree with you, they couldn’t get enough of him. They saw him as an entertaining rogue.
To me, the more critical question is why Weisselberg isn’t flipping.
@germy: gettr done?
@boatboy_srq: Don’t forget the one for the investors, with financials likely lying on a polar opposite from the IRS books.
@opiejeanne: When my youngest brother got married, he and his bride initially planned to dance to Bon Jovi’s “Never Say Goodbye,” (the first song they ever danced to together, at a frat party) until one of my other brothers sent them the lyrics. They switched to “Strangers in the Night,” but you know, Jon Bon Jovi married his high school sweetheart and they’re still together so, in terms of best wishes for marriage longevity, I think it would have been a perfectly fine choice. Regardless of what happened in the back seat.
He’s guilty of enabling tax evasion?
Fear of Russian mobsters?
West of the Rockies
I truly don’t get how even his pea-brained fans can stand that whiny, wheezing, pissy voice… they are addicted to rage and grievance like they’re meth and Thunderbird.
@germy: has cnn already gone to bat for her, as they did for foxnews when obummer targetted the fnc white team fir exclusion?
@germy: That’s my thought.
@Ruckus: We’ll, yeah, but I’m sure he’d get off light for spilling on TFFG.
@Spanky: the best beatles song!
@Cameron: Trump did know how tax laws work: if you’re a big political donor with a number of lawyers ready to litigate everything, they don’t investigate you. Had Trump not run for President, this tax fraud would likely never have been discovered.
This is why Republicans defunded the IRS – makes it much easier for rich people to file fraudulent claims.
Yay. I agree. I know it hasn’t really hit as an issue yet, but it has the advantage of also being the absolute right thing to do so is worth fighting for. I think it has the POTENTIAL to be very good for Democrats but we’re going to have to sell it.
It is UNFAIR that we have two sets of rules. Voters will get that.
There’s a longer threat too and it’s profound. The threat is to “the civil order”. 99% of our system runs on consent. People consent to pay taxes and follow laws and rules. The lawbreakers are the outliers. If it becomes the norm for wealthy elites to break laws and rules with impunity that consent will break down. If Donald Trump can pay compensation to his low quality hires with an illegal tax free transfer then I can too. That’s what will happen and if it happens we won’t be able to stop it, because we can’t police our way out of 50 million tax scofflaws. Corruption spreads.
“And now the happy couple will take to the dance floor, to the strains of their favorite song.”
Sid Sowerbutz and His Jolly Gypsies launch into Push Push in the Bush.
“The next number will be ‘Somewhere My Love Lies Sleeping (with a male chorus)'”
@germy: If Trump seriously didn’t know, he should be screaming “embezzlement!” and under-busing the CFO.
99.9% of people who were entering the US capitol followed the rules. By consent. They didn’t break the windows, they didn’t attack the cops guarding the place, they stayed within the ropes on a tour. That’s good because there’s a lot of people in this country and if everyone behaved like the Trump supporters we couldn’t hire enough police to guard that building. It would have to be locked, always.
I’ll just ask my father’s question he asked when he wanted to shame us as kids for breaking a rule:
“what if everyone did that?” What if everyone pays their employees with tax free, illegal transfers? If everyone decides they too can be a white collar criminal we won’t be able to hold them all. The laws will essentially be dead letter- impossible to enforce.
@Suzanne: After trump’s performance last night, you know his attorneys are telling him be prepared for time behind bars. I wonder if he’ll last longer then Epstein.
@Ruckus: The rich use complex tax dodges to deter enforcement. If it looks so complex that the department’s entire budget would be consumed in the investigation, the tax authorities look elsewhere… typically for poor people claiming the earned income tax credit.
When I built my law office I followed the ADA regs and the local regs. I did that voluntarily. Most people do. We didn’t have to be fined- they told us the rules and we followed them. Can that flip? Can 90% of regular people operate corrupt business entities as the default assumption and just wait until the regulator eventually arrives and order us to comply?
This works on consent. if we have an entire group of elites who violate with impunity they are finally going to see some real trickle down. The majority will also stop consenting.
Thanks! I have a subscription, but for some reason I found their interface annoying. I will watch (when my husband’s out of the room, he can’t take it, native of DC and just can’t handle this whole thing).
We had this one:
Stupid sucker me, I have a grandchild and when I wanted to help fund her education I (stupidly, like a sucker) paid lawful taxes on my income and contributed thru a 529 plan. Because those are the rules.
Obviously what I should do is hide part of my income and pay it out as compensation in the FORM of tuition, which is illegal, but who gives a shit? It’s what elites do!
I watched it about an hour ago. I couldn’t stop myself from yelling at the idiots.
Call me un-patriotic but I despise the way the 4th of July is celebrated.
Until I became a Doggy Daddy, I was pretty much indifferent to the day. I always worked doing baseball or the Macy’s fireworks, so I enjoyed the holiday pay but in general I disliked the amateur fireworks and the “USA! USA! USA!” fetish.
However, when Bella, an abused Golden Retriever, came into my life and I saw the effects of assholish , excessive amateur fireworks on this frightened, sweet soul my dislike turned into revulsion. To see her trembling , panting and crying and trying to escape tore my heart out. A minimum of 75 milligrams of Acepromazine, administered 2 hours before dark on the 4th rendered Bella a drooling, bloodshot eyed zombie who was still terrified of each explosion. In addition, I would place my sleeping bag in the interior bathroom’s tub, wrap Bella in a Thundershirt and climb in the tub with her and cuddle her tight, for as long as possible.
I would ask my neighbors to end their munitions jizzing at a reasonable hour, but often I was met with a fuck you, we will do what we want. The fucking Suffolk County Cops were indifferent to the backyard fireworks, at best, even after midnight .
When my Vet told me that one of her patients dropped dead from terror, that sealed my hatred of this ridiculous, faux-patriotic display of idiocy .
Fuck the 4th.
A lot of this stuff is not necessarily complex, but it may be time consuming. A substantial increase in the IRS budget would help. There is another problem with losing institutional expertise due to retirement, but you can build this up again over time.
This is not just about beating up poor people. There is a lot of fraud coming from unscrupulous and unlicensed tax preparers creating fraudulent tax returns and claiming the credit. But yeah, this is an easy audit because you are not looking at a lot of numbers in the tax return.
@stinger: I know for sure that they kept a separate spreadsheet where they listed the condo and all the other shit they paid for relatives, considered part of his compensation package – that wasn’t kept as part of the official books.
That alone could be considered two sets of books.
@Kay: My nephew is currently stationed in Japan. He knows that it’s not perfect there, but points out that great majority of the people live with the thought of making life easier, or at least not harder, for their fellow citizens.
Too many of our “elites” seem to revel in cheating and lying and making life difficult. It is not a good norm.
The Trumpy response to this always seems to be “that’s because he’s smart! Ain’t he a stinker?” with a wink and a grin. But I wonder how far it goes, this admiring indulgence of thieving zillionaires.
@Suzanne: Speculation before Thursday’s news was that Weisselberg figured he could either skate on the charges, or at most would have to do a year.
That seems to have changed since his arrest on Thursday and PopeHat (podcast) believes that the charges are a big deal.
It is a bad norm. Perp walks and trials for white collar criminals serve a social purpose. They reassure the public that we’re all following the same rules. We quite literally cannot allow this. It breaks down the social compact. It has bigger implications than whether Donald Trump goes to prison. Any indictment will read THE UNITED STATES v Trump Low Quality hire. Us. Not the Justice Department. Not the NY or NYC AG. All of us. The offense is to the public. They have to be OUTlaws. They can’t be the norm.
@Anotherlurker: When I was a kid I was scared of fireworks displays–I had an incredibly strong startle reflex–and didn’t really like to go see them, though it was a family ritual.
Later I came to like the fireworks. But the increasing post-9/11 tendency to accompany them with politically awful modern patriotic kitsch bothered me. “We’ll put a boot in your ass, it’s the American Way,” &c.
But my family these days generally doesn’t go to the fireworks for a very specific reason: my wife is in a wind band that (in the pre-COVID Before Times, and presumably again someday) performs in a bunch of local celebrations over the holiday weekend. On a normal July 4th, we’re normally running around all over to her band performances and we’re pretty finished with it all by the evening.
(I suppose a lot of that material is the 19th-/early-20th century equivalent of Toby Keith, but the historical distance defangs it somewhat.)
So… if the fireworks all went away, I’m not sure I’d miss them too much.
@Suzanne: I think Russian mob is scarier than club fed
@JPL: PopeHat said on his podcast this week that he thinks there is maybe a 10% chance, tops, that Trump would see the inside of a prison.
That was about 10% higher than I would have predicted, so I was encouraged!
Thank you very much for the link!
There’s a corruption case in Ohio that scares the shit out of me, because it is SO corrupt, so blatantly a violation of the public trust and it has so become the norm that is NO political price being paid for it.
This scam involved BILLING Ohio residents for the corruption. They sought to PUT THE PAY OFF on our utility bill. So far? The public have shrugged. “They’re all corrupt”. That’s terrifying if you value ordinary norms in a civil society. That’s a breakdown.
Insurrection video is grim going. Doing 10-12 minutes at a time.
Keep repeating over and over what we said while it was happening, “Where the F is the National Guard???”
May the committee go straight to Trump/DoD involvement on that.
One of the major beliefs of conservatives, especially evangelicals, is that they personally should be allowed to cheat because they deserve to win all the time at everything. Trump’s corruption validates them. The more they retreat into Us vs Them mode, the more they not only don’t mind their elected leaders being corrupt, they want it.
That’s the scandal. This is “developing nation” levels of corruption. They paid for it with increases on utility bills. They robbed us all in broad daylight.
There was no paywall at NYT when I watched it a bit ago. Let me know if you can figure out why someone in the crowd was carrying the Canadian flag.
I can’t help but think sometimes that our insistence on making a multiethnic, multiracial, pluralistic society is running up against some ineradicable human instinct to bigotry. Japan doesn’t really cotton to outsiders, and that makes it that much easier for them to live ideals of promoting the common good. White Christian Americans were mostly fine with collective welfare institutions until they learned they had to share them with people unlike themselves, then they all went laissez-faire and every-man-an-island and voted for Ronald Reagan. European social democracies seem to be gradually going right-wing in reaction as their populations un-whiten.
Some days I think our problem is that we’re trying something that is just impossible–human beings are too shitty to support it. But to me, being American means we keep beating our heads against that wall. And that’s my depressing 4th of July sermonette.
@zhena gogolia: Good luck. It is very hard to watch.
May the committee uncover Trump’s clear involvement. Impossible that there were no planned security or the hold off of the National Guard without him.
No argument here. I am angrier, though.
For a lot of reasons, some pretty good, people may be reluctant to see a former president go to prison. Some commenter even jokingly asked the good question, would Trump’s Secret Service detail also go to prison?
But I would love to see Trump have to pay back taxes and some hefty fines. Enough to put him out of business.
Dorothy A. Winsor
There’s something sick about rich people desperate not to pay taxes. They have enough money. They have enough that they have to look around for extra ways to spend it, and they still have enough. But for them, there is never enough.
There’s a hole inside them that cannot be filled.
Dorothy A. Winsor
@MazeDancer: I had to watch it in chunks too. The emotional vibe of the crowd was terrifying
@Dorothy A. Winsor:
There’s a whole theory on shoplifters that they are mostly not in fact people who need the stuff but instead are people who feel cheated unless they get something- an advantage, an extra that other people don’t get.
It’s mostly true of people who get involved in financial scams too, honestly, in my direct experience. They’re pitched by telling them they will get returns that exceed ordinary returns because someone has an edge- a connection, a magic formula, they “know a guy”. The conman needs a mark and the mark is often as compromised as the con. You find the mark immediately started cutting ethical corners to go along with the con because they were promised an edge. A special benefit.
Like who doesn’t whine like a traitorous tax cheat to total strangers en masse?
@Dorothy A. Winsor:
I watched the whole thing. I was curious about members of the capitol police who posed for selfies and let the insurrectionists enter without a fight. The police who were later fired. But they were only mentioned very quickly in passing.
I was also curious about possible collaborators like Boebert and Greene, but they didn’t make the cut
Gosar got the attention he deserved, with his delaying speech.
@debbie: Was it William Shatner?
I simultaneously absolutely drool with joy at the thought of Trump going to prison, and I also think that the country probably would not survive it.
What he’s telling them, what all of these white collar criminals are telling them, is no one has to follow rules. “Who can figure out the rules? No one. No one should be expected to.”
Every self employed business person or small business person leaves a Trump rally believing rules and laws are for suckers, and the smart and savvy evade them.
We’ll pay for this. This is taking a sledgehammer to the foundation. You don’t get off scot free for this level of recklessness. You pay. And we will.
OT. Allen West, ex-chair of the Texas Republican Party, is now running for Texas governor. I’d normally think this would drive both West and Greg Abbott to the right, and so it would be good for Dems, but West (and the Texas GOP) is already loony, so who knows?
@Brachiator: I’d be fine with Trump getting a sentence that required checking in with a parole officer periodically. Let his kids go to prison if they committed tax fraud; let them be the example.
Seriously? He actually quoted Goebbels? Out loud? In public?
If you look more closely, you will find that Japan is not as monolithic as you think. And they have also had social classes designated as The Other who got fewer benefits than everyone else. And of course they have a demographic problem with an aging population that could be eased with a more liberal immigration policy.
America has always been more diverse than you suggest here. The problem, of course, was to stop screwing over people who were not white.
The trick for many empires is to acknowledge the contribution of those previously exploited and to decide to formally include them in the promise of future bounty.
@Almost Retired: Toilet paper. You throw toilet paper when Dr. Von Scott crashes through the wall and Brad yells “Great Scott!”
I once had to stomp out a fire at a showing 40 years ago when cigarette ashes lit the toilet paper on fire.
@Wapiti: It’s possible that even someone of TFG’s lack of cluefulness understands that doing so will pretty much instantly cause his former CFO to flip.
Right, the non-whites were always there. But the dawn of stronger civil-rights enforcement meant they could no longer be denied benefits they were excluded from before, so those benefits became politically unpopular.
@Dorothy A. Winsor:
Times did a great job of capturing the horror of the day.
Having a Brit/Irish accented guy narrate was a brilliant call.
Ending on a young redneck saying to the police “we’ll be back and we hope next time you’ll be with us” was not uplifting. One hopes the fines and prison sentences cut into that enthusiasm.
And how Michael Fanone maintains his sanity when in the presence of GOP is a mystery.
I have to say I’m with you.
The Hoarse Whisperer:
He gets carried away sometimes at these rallies.
Tax evasion by the wealthy is an abuse of the power that wealth can provide them. It’s morally akin, to varying degrees, to any other abuse of power, e.g to child sex abuse by clergy, and should be reviled as such.
(Much of high-level tax avoidance is similar, especially if it it is perpetrated by adjusting (through rules or enforcement changes) the system/laws for self-benefit.)
@MattF: West has had an interesting (for want of a better word) career. I can readily see him as either Governor or US Senator from TX. A primary with him and Cruz would be awesome: accused war criminal vs. suspected Zodiac Killer.
@Kay: That’s mind-blowingly egregious, and I agree it’s terrifying that it was met with a shrug. I don’t know if it’s possible to break the “they’re all corrupt” trope, but I believe it’s important to try.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Possibilities in my (non-lawyer’s) mind: trump is funding his defense with money grifted from teh rubes, some account has been established somewhere (a la Melania’s renegotiated pre-nup) and he’s betting based on the paper evidence that even if he’s convicted, good, aggressive lawyers and appeals can get him a non-jail sentence, probation, home-confinement? Somebody send up a bat signal for the erstwhile commenter who was (if memory serves) a Manhattan white collar defense lawyer. LAO? LAC?
@Brachiator: We really need to begin doing what other countries do, sending people a tax form prefilled with the information the IRS already knows so that all you have to do is offer corrections and amendments. This would relieve a burden from so many Americans, as well as cut out a great deal of fraudulent preying on the poor.
Yes, I know that this would not cover freelancers and small business owners, but we can start with the simplest case, and move on from there.
It was too corrupt for the GOP operative. He contacted the FBI. No one uncovered this. One of the participants turned in his co-conspirators. He was an unwitting organizer of the fake grass roots campaign. It’s developed enough that it’s partitioned- some of the participants are not in on the scam- the full plan is on a “need to know” basis. A full blown criminal enterprise run straight out of the Ohio legislature.
@Dorothy A. Winsor:
Some people are funny about money, and it’s not just the rich. Some get weirdly covetous about “their” money. They sometimes get worse when it is not really their money.
I have a friend who was executor of her father’s modest estate. She had some discretion over how and when payouts could occur. Her brother and a sister spent tons on legal fees to fight for more money and property.
Nan Whaley, a Democrat and mayor who is running for governor is pushing anti-corruption as an issue, so she’s a good test case.
In my experience, many family run business owners do not have a clear idea of what is and is not taxable.
The more scrupulous ones check with their accountants, before doing something like giving a company car to an employee, for example, regarding tax and record keeping issues.
Some just do what they want, and are upset when they run into issues.
re: fat cats like Weisselberg
I don’t think Weisselberg is a fat cat. Trump, yes.
But Weisselberg is basically Cohen IMO. A guy with info that maybe he can be convinced to share.
@West of the Rockies:
I think you just answered yourself.
With my luck, we’ll take corruption by the wealthy seriously just after I win the lottery.
Only if the parole officer is Hillary Clinton.
This is fought not just by the tax prep industry, but by some conservatives who want the tax system to be painful, so that the public will hate the system and the government. I am not exaggerating this. There was an NPR program about taxation a few years ago, that quoted anti-tax activist Grover Norquist and others about this issue.
Death Panel Truck
It’s the principle of the thing. They’ll happily pay the fees rather than see their tax dollars go to health care for “those people.”
Cynicism is not our friend.
Yeah, there is some of this. They think that things can be informal, even as they get bigger. I have known some people who don’t even have a bookkeeper and only keep haphazard records. Sometimes they don’t know what’s taxable because they have never taken the trouble to find out.
This is somewhat equivalent to someone who learned to drive a vehicle on the family farm and then are shocked to find out that there are traffic laws when they drive on city streets.
How long did he enable SFB?
We don’t know the total extent of SFB’s tax transgressions. We do know that he’s been doing it for a long time and that Weisselberg was his brains in this department, because SFB sure wasn’t. Does that make him guilty of federal crimes? IANIAWAL so I don’t have a clue, but if it does, he’s in a heap o’shit. And he got paid well to keep his mouth shut, maybe paid way too well. I suspect there is a lot here we don’t know, except for the fact that it’s likely not good.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Wikipedia says he’s 73 and has been working for TFG’s family since 1973 (started with Fred).
Presumably he’s holding out to protect the rest of his family. Since he got federal immunity earlier, he may think he can get it this time too, but will demand a very high price.
The trend is not good. In 2007 in Ohio GOP operatives and donors went to prison because of a campaign finance scam- maybe 5 million dollars in donations laundered thru strawman donors. In 2011 there was a 60 million charter school scandal – no one was held accountable. Now there is a 1.2 billion dollar scandal. How far, exactly, will they be permitted to go?
Meanwhile I see people who have $12,000 dollar state tax in arrears and they move swiftly to a judgment entry and garnish. At least get the money back! Take the money from them! I’m not even hoping for a criminal conviction. I’d settle with being made whole.
@Brachiator: Yes, that is a really common attitude. And it’s bullshit and I have no sympathy for it. Hire professionals. Oh, you don’t want to spend that money? Then learn how to do it yourself, and none of this “ignorance is an excuse” nonsense.
Much of what professionals charge handsomely for is risk-taking. If you want to save that money, you accept that risk yourself.
They also have high paid accountants and lawyers on retainer to obfuscate any request and delay any court time, will bring in as many accountants and lawyers as it takes to delay proceedings. The longer they delay, the more they make it cost to actually catch them, the more work their books take to decipher, the more they jam the process, the less return per dollar that the government gets. At some point the process costs far more and is far less worth the time. Which is of course what we are both saying. Cutting down the IRS budget is entirely part of this, so purchasing politicians is de rigueur.
@Brachiator: Speaking of being covetous about money, that’s what I remember about being HOA president when big repairs were needed, and I see in an earlier thread the same issue with people working to delay raising the funds to repair the condo in FL that collapsed by sandbagging the pro repair board members at every turn. I suspect there’s a bit of that in everyone, and it may be that our ever more tattered safety net leads many to a lifetime of IGMFY. It might be easier to have a country that puts greater value on helping those that need it if being in need wasn’t so precarious. How many people are a pay check or two from homelessness, and how has that increased since the Reagan years?
I can’t help but think that Weisselberg isn’t flipping because he can’t afford to. So much of his compensation is in lifestyle amenities, that would vanish if he flipped and was fired. Has he been doing the prudent thing and saving up and investing for a retirement, or has he just been living on his income, as everyone around him does? Not to mention the fact that if he flipped and was booted from Trump Org, you can bet the farm that his sons would be booted as well – what would they live on then? That one son was paid remarkably well for managing an ice skating rink! Those incomes would be hard to replace.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
you mean he’s holding out for immunity for his sons? That at least would make sense, more sense than loyalty to trump, but… trump does seem to have a strange effect on even some seemingly unlikely people. I mean, Lindsey Graham, I get, Gym Jordan, Lauren Boebert, whatshername from GA, of course, but… Hope Hicks?
West of the Rockies
@Dorothy A. Winsor:
It’s a much smaller tax evasion, but my evangelical sister and BIL bought a ritzy RV to live in on the Santa Barbara coast. Parked in in Arizona for three months to avoid paying taxes. Oh, they soak up tax-based benefits, of course, but as a banker and legal secretary, they’re above the rules governing other people. They have think of themselves as “the beautiful people.”
@West of the Rockies:
Reminds me of a prayer I heard somewhere – ‘God grant me the self-esteem of a mediocre white male.’
@Anotherlurker: This is our first Fourth in the new city. I have seen a few of the free yard signs the local fire district gives away. They’re more polite, but basically, “Think about the poor pets you’re going to terrorize before you set off your illegal fireworks.” Didn’t hear any last night. Last year’s fire season might have helped. The two biggest wildfires in Colorado history not that many miles to the west, and we all breathed smoke for two months.
The GOP says that Dems are just as guilty and happily took the money Householder gave them. I can’t imagine this is true, but do you have any actual, non-GOP filtered information about this?
Shots fired across the boarder!
US/Canadian war over the longest lobster roll!
@debbie: Then the Dems need to go to prison too. Corruption is not only on one side (although one side has it almost cornered.)
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: I honestly don’t have any idea what they’re thinking. But there doesn’t seem to be any benefit in him flipping early. They know he knows a lot, so his price will be high (even with all the paperwork they now have). My guess anyway, IANAL.
As for the rest, remora gotta find a bigger fish to attach to. It’s their role.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
Happy 4th of July, a day not celebrated in this Vicksburg, Mississippi Dinner…
Also when mom did the books for dad’s business and used the accountant she chose it cost us thousands a year and the return was about 20 pages. When I did the books the report to the accountant took 2 pages, cost us about 1/4 of the cost, the returns and taxes were the same.
The difference is of course that I didn’t do a lot of work that did nothing and wasn’t required, because it wouldn’t change anything. The wealthy people like SFB do all that work because it’s relatively cheap and it gets them out of paying as much tax. Well that and the bought and paid for politicians who don’t think that people that support them should pay their fair share of taxes. Warren Buffet once stated that he pays a smaller tax rate than his secretary, even as he makes hundreds of millions a year and she makes less than $60,000. And that is bullshit.
Agreed, but I’d like some actual information. The news outlets around here have said zip.
By the way, thanks for linking to a war I can happily support!
Having worked for a few obscenely wealthy individuals, obsession with tax avoidance was a common theme.
But it’s not just the wealthy. Talking with my niece’s 30 year old boyfriend about places to move from Chicago next year (because of weather, high cost and crime), he named off several places in the south and mid Atlantic. When I asked him the why of say, Austin, his response was no state income tax. Yeah, and no reliable power grid, large numbers with no healthcare coverage, toll roads everywhere, high property and sales taxes…I asked him why do you want to live in a place that can’t afford to maintain and improve its infrastructure (in the broadest sense of that term)? It galls me that this anti-tax sentiment is so mainstream. Ties into this morning’s conversation about HOA’s and how no one wants to pay for anything until it’s breaking bad.
Thanks for the advice to watch the NYT video 10 minutes at a time. That’s about all I can take. It’s terrifying. They’re all still here in this country of ours . . . .
This is true, but if you fund the IRS and change some procedures, it will be easier to go after big dollar tax frauds.
And people who try to get around the IRS sometimes find that the California Franchise Tax Board is just as smart and more aggressive. And they will publicize the crooks they reel in.
Here in grand ol southern CA the fireworks start on the third, in the early afternoon and run to about 1am. They will start again in the afternoon and run till at least 1am today, the actual 4th. And as we officially celebrate on Monday, I expect them then as well. I can hear them from miles away, that truck of theirs that the police blew up because some asshole bought thousands of dollars of high explosive in NV to breakdown and resale for many more thousands of dollars wasn’t cheap and a number of people got injured.
@Immanentize: Oh, the other border! Not my first thought. :-)
@Mike in NC: Granted, I’m something of a Stern fan, so I’ll note that he never took him seriously, like the others did.
In fact, he made some of his most outrageous statements (like wanting to ____ Ivanka) on his show.
I also remember a segment Stern replayed where he asks Ivanka and Don Jr some pretty basic math questions, like additions, subtraction, multiplication, that they couldn’t answer.
Stern also said repeatedly that there was no way he should be president, and played similar clips multiple times to prove it.
Also somewhat off the subject, listen to his interview with Hillary Clinton if you get a chance. It was captivating and had a lot of his white guy fans calling and messaging about how wrong they were about her and how they felt dumb for hating her.
Liberals want to make life better for everyone, that everyone is equal. At least that is at the base of liberal thought.
Conservatives can’t see how making everyone equal helps them, they need to see some as less than them. Their political concept is that there isn’t enough in the world for everyone so someone else has to suffer, just so they have less or are/seem worth less as humans – racism, and taxing everyone else at a higher rate.
Villago Delenda Est
TFG shouldn’t have any disposable income, because every fucking farthing that comes into the coffers of the Trump Organization should be taxed around 90%. Not marginal, from the getgo. And Weisselberg’s problem is that he has a choice here: up the river, or sleep with the fishes.
Also, too, what Ruckus said at 163.
Chacal Charles Calthrop
@Brachiator: I’m going to disagree. A lot of people want to run their own business just because it means that “you’re not the boss of me.” That attitude extends to the the government and the tax man.
Villago Delenda Est
@Sure Lurkalot: The baby Jeebus gifted all of our infrastructure out of the sky, so why pay taxes?
These people are incapable of critically thinking about anything at all.
“A conservative is someone who can’t enjoy a meal unless he knows that someone somewhere is going hungry.”
@Chacal Charles Calthrop:
“You are not the boss of me,” is part and parcel of conservatism, it reflects that they can have more than normal, whatever more and normal is. And being the “boss” of someone is power, the power of making someone else less. That’s the basis of conservatism. And racism. Slavery is being the boss without even paying a fair amount for that labor. Being taxed at a higher rate is also against that concept of being better and of course money really is the root of all evil, because not having enough is because someone else is better than you.
@Villago Delenda Est: Critical thinking, next on the agenda for when they get tired of attacking Critical Race Theory.
So, anyway, to your list of things not to do, add this:
City of Alexandria & Mayor have made postings boasting of the illegality of fireworks in the city (omitting the surrounding Fairfax County part of Alexandria), begging people not to do it, but no, the assholes started up last night. I concede that the ka-BOOMs were distant. Nonetheless, the increase in lost dog reports this morning was disheartening, including the one of the service dog with his owner. Dog was a bulldog in a thundershirt and on a leash, and they were at some kind of event where noise was prevalent, “dog ran, scared by fireworks” in the ad. WTF? A service dog is an expensive, carefully trained animal, and this is what you do? I hope the dog is okay.
@Ruckus: Yeah, “…but I AM the boss of you”.
The bill sucked and no Democrat should have voted for it- however- that’s different than engineering a whole racketeering scheme.
I’m not the first to notice that money, racism, conservative are all parts of the same disease.
I’ve told the story here before about when I worked in professional sports, one of the top participants would treat spectators extremely well, because it was them that got someone to pay him extremely well for doing something he was good at, and treated me like racists treat the subjects of their racism because I had the power to make him a non participant or to participate and be discredited for the effort, even if I never did that to him and only did so to people who first earned it, which was my job.
J R in WV
OK — that’s the greatest wedding story I’ve ever heard! Thanks for sharing.
@TomatoQueen: I hope the pup is OK.
My Bella bolted during a thunderstorm by ripping at the baffles of a window mount air conditioner until the A/C unit fell out of the window frame. She jumped thru the opening, 5′ above grade level. My petsitter forgot to dose her, in anticipation of the storm.
We found her cowering in a neighbor’s utility shed.
@J R in WV: At my sister’s memorial service, the background music was the Worlds of Warfare soundtrack. It was Jane’s favorite.
Money itself, even having piles of money, is ethically neutral. The actual Bible quote wisely points to a different problem.
It is in the fruitless pursuit of money above anything else that leads some people to see themselves as better or more deserving as others. And so it’s weird to see evangelicals to make an idol of Trump, who is a soulless grifter.
@Brachiator: The CFB returns are more expensive to prepare than federal. They, and I’d add MA and NJ, are very much “fuck around and find out” states.
MS, not so much.
J R in WV
That is so thoughtful and sweet!
Regarding July 4th and fireworks, I hate the loud booms, but love the flashing sparkling multi-colored events in the sky. Would pay extra to not have loud fireworks, but just to have visually stunning temporary artifacts in the sky. Way extra!
Fortunately here in the wooded hillsides we can barely detect the professional fireworks in town, and the small local fireworks are nothing like enough to scare our critters. Not nearly as noisy as opening day of turkey or deer seasons, for example.
@germy: Someone on the twitter was pointing and laughing at Allen West’s campaign announcement video because he kept repeating the phrase “secure our children’s future” (or something to that effect) . I’m stunned that in 2021 anyone is unfamiliar with the effectiveness of repetition in making people believe something. Similarly, lots of people are amazed that so many believe crime rates are at a high even though they’re close to a 20-year low.
It’s the r-e-p-e-t-i-t-i-o-n.
I will never understand how humanity has reached the advanced level it has achieved given the basic stupidity of so many.
@Kay: I’m guessing that Ohio Governor DeWine was not in on the graft. But if he signed legislation, Amy Acton will be justified in figuratively beating him over the head a lot with this issue.
I wonder if the ten Democrats will face primary challenges. If I were an Ohio Democrat, I’d consider them expendable. Ohio’s legislative districts will be in a state of flux anyway, given a new redistricting system. I’ve read of speculation by Republicans that the next legislature will be less Republican. That’s why gun rights advocates are trying to push through permitless concealed carry this session.
Thanks for this information. Except for a couple of them, the contributions seem small. It’s disappointing to see any Democrat voted for Householder as Speaker.
Half of humans are stupider than the median. And that isn’t that high, nor does it take much to be in the lessor category.
\\@WhatsMyNym: I have no idea. The bride was the child of a family friend. I didn’t know them, my parents did. We went to so many weddings of their friends’ children when I was in HS that I don’t remember who they were.
So many of those weddings had Marines as the groomsmen, just about to leave for Vietnam, he might not have come back.
James E Powell
Agree. “Rich pay their fair share” has to be part of our brand.
James E Powell
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
The psychological bond might be so strong that reality cannot overcome it. There are people who lived through the Waco disaster who still believe in David Koresh.
@trollhattan: Good. One down, about 5,789,087 helmetless, brainless, soulless, bi-pedaled fools with no concern for others to go. And the Uber and Amazon delivery thugs.
NYC is uninhabitable. The motor bikes have now taken over the sidewalks. Vehicles run lights. Cops are on strike since they can’t kill the Blahs anymore without some criticism. It’s every pedestrian for him/herself and the bi-pedalists and motorists against all.
“We give it a 55, Dick. Good beat but you can’t dance to it.”
Most of us are born into families. For most of our history the family, as crappy as some of them are, was the first group, and maybe one of the only groups we were in. From there you maybe became part of a bigger group, hometown HS graduates, Yale graduates. For many, likely the majority, you then repeated this and your kids repeated this. You didn’t travel far because that was hard and because you had to spend so much time just living. And then, about 150-200 yrs ago (like yesterday in civilization time) things began to change. The world became more mechanized. Labor was less laborious, more productive. People had more or actual free time. Money was earned from their labor, rather than just food or shelter. Many more people could have more than just the minimum stuff required to exist and didn’t have to make some or all of it. Not to say there weren’t those who have always earned from the sweat of others, and taken advantage of them, it just became easier to do. And now, most of us have to work, for money, to pay for a place to live, to travel to that job, for food. It’s what 5% of the people who raise and prepare most of the food we eat, while it used to be the majority. The rest of us do as I’ve done for 60 yrs, make things that make our lives easier or more fun. I’ve made molds for Barbie dolls, made aircraft parts and tooling that allows others to make airplanes. Molds for nozzles so you can fertilize your lawn, or snorkels so you could watch fish, or so many other things. Some are medical people, docs, nurses, living assistants, accountants, computer programers, etc. We work so that we can have a life, and many think that for that life to have meaning we have to be mean to someone else, so they can be more important. I’d bet that there have always been people who think they are better than someone else, but they have to do that by hate because they have no other way of judging. Religion, land ownership, skill in killing, being a member of a superior (for some asinine reason) group. We’ve had wars waged by people who think they are members of a superior group, and in all of our lifetimes. Many people don’t think they can survive without hating some group, having some superiority, real or imagined.
That’s them being successful. The corruption is so widespread that many people are accepting it, rather than being totally pissed off about it. But look at the people that support SFB. How many of them are actually successful? Have actual skills or talent other than screwing other people? The few trumpers that I’ve known weren’t successful people, they are people who live on the edge of successful down to people who are in no way successful. Those with money support him for one of two reasons, they are no better than him and can’t afford to rock the boat in any way, and unsuccessful people who see someone just like them that made something of himself. That it’s a caricature of human being is OK, so are they.
@Brachiator: All the more reason for the Dems to push for this.
My guess is that there are two schools of thought on this among the Trumpers:
#1 goes against the “he’s a genius businessman”. This is his CFO, not Brad in marketing. You don’t know this shit is going on?
#2 is probably more prevalent. I get the sense a lot of Trump supporters are the heralded and sainted “small business owners”. I do not want to paint with a broad brush…but I will – these people also cheat on their taxes, all the time, just on a smaller scale. For them, shady “write offs” are just business as usual. They probably write off boat parades as a business meeting.
They’re just all irredeemable. There’s thinking that they’re rubes, being had by con man. Not so. They wish they could cheat as bigly as daddy and get away with it like he does. To coin the old phrase, a feature, not a bug.
I still think the best possible song at a wedding reception is the “Reynes of Castamere.”
@Major Major Major Major:
With Vance Jr out of the way (eventually), something might actually come of it. Although there’s plenty of time (between now and when he leaves office) for him to fuck with the indictments and evidence, I imagine. Had he done his fucking job early on, we might never have had Trump on the political scene. But instead, that sweet campaign cash had its desired effect.
I’ve predicted before, and will again, that TFG will never see the inside of a jail cell. I’m not so bold as to predict he’ll never get indicted, but I think the likelihood is greater than 50 percent that he doesn’t.
They might well, and here’s why: after a certain point, dollars don’t mean a better life, they’re just a high score … and they view this as “dammit, I’m not letting the people (ie government) take any of my score away!”
@J R in WV:
Need more lighted-drone-based shows.
Interesting. So instead of explosions, we’ll have an aerial kazoo “wall of sound”? Except without as much tonal change.