Not a Shocker

Nope, not a shocker. Not a surprise. No wonder Trump has been so insistent on not releasing his taxes.

According to the New York Times, which has obtained Donald Trump’s tax information extending over more than two decades:

“The tax returns that Trump has long fought to keep private tell a story fundamentally different from the one he has sold to the American public. His reports to the IRS portray a businessman who takes in hundreds of millions of dollars a year yet racks up chronic losses that he aggressively employs to avoid paying taxes.

Now, with his financial challenges mounting, the records show that he depends more and more on making money from businesses that put him in potential and often direct conflict of interest with his job as president.”

The Times reported that Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes the year he won the presidency. In his first year in the White House, he paid another $750.” I bet most of you who are reading this post typically pay way more in federal taxes each year than $750. I know I do.

And Trump paid no income taxes whatsoever in 10 of the past 15 years, beginning in 2000, because he reported losing significantly more than he made.

Of course, Trump has denied that he paid only $750 in personal federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017, but did not provide evidence and again refused to release his tax returns.

Will these revelations have any bearing on the upcoming presidential election? Probably not. His supporters already know that he’s a liar, a conman, and a crook and they just don’t care.

As to the rest of us, we will just sit and stew and wring our hands and it will be business as usual.

What the fuck, America? How did we let this happen to us?

Who Won The Week? 09/27/2020

10CC3057-4EEA-4C80-B8C1-700C0FC6C906It’s time for another Who Won the Week prompt. The idea behind Who Won the Week is for you to select who (or what) you think “won” this past week. Your selection can be anyone or anything — politicians, celebrities, athletes, authors, bloggers, your friends or family members, books, movies, TV shows, businesses, organizations, whatever.

I will be posting this prompt on Sunday mornings (my time). If you want to participate, write your own post designating who you think won the week and why you think they deserve your nod. Then link back to this post and tag you post with FWWTW.

Before I reveal who won the week this week, I need to provide some background. So please bear with me for a moment.

Article 1, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution mandates that the federal government conducts a comprehensive and complete count of its population once every 10 years. This decennial process provides critical data that lawmakers, business owners, teachers, and many others use to provide daily services, products, and federal financial support for local hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, and other resources.

The results of the census also determine the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, and are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts. And even in the best of times, counting roughly 330 million people is a monumental task. In the middle of a pandemic, it becomes incalculably harder.

The Census Bureau anticipated this back in April, during the first wave of the coronavirus, when it requested from Congress a four-month extension to deliver its data. Current federal law requires the data to be turned in by Dec. 31st. The extension would have run through April 2021. As part of its request, the bureau said it would continue knocking on doors, trying to reach every person in the country, through the end of October.

So of course, Trump ordered the Census Bureau to conclude operations for the census a full month earlier than what the Census Bureau requested. With about four in 10 households yet to be counted, ending the crucial in-person canvas one month early would ensure a significant undercount of minorities, immigrants, as well as rural populations and other groups. Such an undercount would benefit the GOP for the next decade, at least.Okay, with that background out of the way, this week’s Who Won the Week winner is U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in California.

Judge Koh ordered a preliminary injunction to stop the 2020 census from finishing at month’s end and suspended a year-end deadline for delivering the numbers needed to decide how many seats each state gets in Congress. Koh said the shortened schedule ordered by the Trump administration likely would produce inaccurate results that would last a decade.

Naturally, the day after Judge Koh’s ruling, the Trump administration asked the Ninth Circuit Court to immediately suspend her ruling, arguing that the September 30 deadline must stand in order for it to be able to deliver final population counts to Congress by December 31, as it is required to do by federal law.

As Rachel Maddow is wont to say, “Watch this space.

What about you? Who (or what) do you think won the week?

Fandango’s Friday Flashback — September 25

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 25th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.

This was originally posted on my old blog on September 25, 2010.

Putting the Inmates in Charge of the Asylum

Seriously people, what is wrong with you? Many of you actually believe that Obama is a Muslim and that he wasn’t really born in the United States. Not an insignificant number of you buy into the ludicrous notion that 9/11 was a government conspiracy. And as the mid-term elections approach, you seem inclined to propel a bunch of nutcases into positions of power where they can potentially affect your destiny for years to come…assuming, of course, they don’t cause total Congressional gridlock, which is Senator Jim DeMint’s* ultimate goal.

Are you so disaffected that you want to give the keys to the asylum to the inmates? Because that’s exactly what you’re doing! Where is the sanity?Well, there’s one man who is taking steps to restore sanity to our political process. You may think of him as a comedian or funnyman, which he is, and not, therefore, take him seriously. But Jon Stewart is one smart guy and he speaks for those of us who have not yet lost our minds or our wits. He has scheduled his Rally to Restore Sanity in the shadow of the Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington, DC at the end of October.Of course, Stewart’s faux nemesis on Comedy Central, Stephen Colbert, has planned his own rally, the March to Keep Fear Alive, at the same place and at the same time. Does it get any better than that?

I can’t remember the last time I attended a political rally — or a rally of any kind, for that matter. However, this mild-mannered, middle-income, average American is inspired to stop the insanity that is eating away at our society. My wife and I are seriously considering heading to DC to participate in the Rally to Restore Sanity (and/or the March to Keep Fear Alive) at the end of October.

We may even carry a very civil protest sign or two — after we’ve finished our pre-rally brunch, that is.

Postscript: my wife and I did go to the rally and it was truly awesome.*In December 2012, Jim DeMint, a founding member of the far right Senate Tea Party Caucus, suddenly announced that he was resigning from the Senate to become president of the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank. He was ousted as president of the Heritage Foundation in May 2017 due to “significant and worsening management issues” within the organization. Oh snap!

Peaceful Demonstration

“How long have we been stuck in this stinking hellhole?” Barry asked.

“I don’t know, I’ve lost track of time,” Gary answered. “Days? Weeks?”

“This is all your fault, you asshole,” Barry said. “I didn’t want to go to that goddam anti-Trump rally in the first place, but you were vehement. You said it was our civic duty. You were always such a goddam idealistic dreamer.”

“How was I to know that Trump and Barr would call out some sort of secret paramilitary force and have them round us all up, arrest us, and toss us in jail?” Gary asked.

“You should have known, dammit,” Barry said. “As soon as you saw that group of armed counter protesters waving their confederate flags and marching almost arm-in-arm those federal stormtroopers, you should have seen the handwriting on the wall.”

“Look, Barry, you may be willing to wave your constitutionally guaranteed rights as a citizen to peacefully demonstrate?” Gary said, “That’s your choice. So go ahead and call the damn guard and denounce me and the rest of us as being guilty of sedition. But I’ll be damned if I’m going to stop fighting to restore what was once our free and fair country. I’d rather being hanged for sedition than live another day in Trump’s America.

Written for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (hole), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (vehement), The Daily Spur (dreamer), Word of the Day Challenge (wave), and Your Daily Word Prompt (sedition).