Daily Summaries

Trump Daily 9/28/2020

A federal judge recently ordered that the census could not move their deadline for collecting data from October 31 to September 30. Response rates are still low, exacerbated by the pandemic. Commerce Secretary Ross wanted to end collection efforts at the end of this month, despite the fact that we know a large number of people have not yet responded. Today the Census Bureau announced they want to stop collecting on October 5. There is a technicality here the Commerce Department may be relying on in that the original order merely undid moving the deadline to September 30. The judge ordered the Commerce Department to explain what happened here and one government lawyer said there was no paper trail and the tweet announcing the change was the only thing written about the new policy. It’s unlikely the judge finds this acceptable, but watch this space.

The defense team for Michael Flynn submitted documents which were altered. The documents in question were memos from Peter Strzok and they had handwritten dates that were added and/or changed. (Strzok produced the original documents for comparison.) Flynn’s lawyers may not be the ones who changed the memos, but they were definitely altered by someone.

Twitter has added yet another disclaimer to one of the president’s tweets attacking mail-in voting. He said that mail-in ballots cannot accurately be counted. This is a lie. There are multiple states where mail-in ballots are the ONLY way to vote and they have been conducting their elections without issue for years. The primary source for attacking the integrity of the US election is the president.

CDC Director Redfield was overheard on the phone saying of White House coronavirus advisor Scott Atlas, “everything he says is false.” Redfield admitted to the statement. Dr. Atlas, who has zero experience in virology, epidemiology, or public health, has largely replaced Drs. Fauci and Birx at meetings and in public appearances of the task force. Atlas has pushed for removing Covid-19 restrictions and using herd immunity to stop the spread of the virus instead. Waiting for herd immunity will result in millions of deaths. Atlas has falsely claimed that children are not affected by the virus, among other lies.

The Trump campaign and its surrogates accused Hunter Biden of receiving $3.5 million from Yelena Baturina, the wife of former Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov. Hunter Biden’s connection to the company is in dispute (a Biden lawyer said Hunter had nothing to do with the company’s founding) but regardless of that, there’s an issue that keeps coming up in the Trump smears of Hunter Biden. The COMPANY received $3.5 billion. Hunter Biden did not. When there isn’t a pandemic, I work for a large multi-billion dollar corporation. When that company receives money, an entire zero dollars of that goes to me personally. (I’ve been looking into changing that but so far the board has not expressed interest.) As every accusation Donald Trump makes about someone turns out to actually be something he’s done, Trump tried to develop properties in Moscow working with Luzhkov in the 90s. This is yet another business relationship Trump was pursuing in Russia without disclosing anything about it.

Channel 4 News in the UK (a publicly owned station separate from the BBC) got ahold of a database from the 2016 Trump campaign. 3.5 million African American voters are labeled as “deterrence.” (The label was not solely used for black voters.) Brad Parscale, who ran the 2016 digital operation, testified before congress that the campaign never targeted African Americans. That appears to have been a lie. Ads ran to discourage black voter turnout.

The New York Times has received several years’ worth of the president’s taxes. I want to note that almost immediately, right wingers began circulating that publishing this data or even possessing it is a violation of the Privacy Act of 1974. This isn’t true. The act criminalizing releasing certain private records. That only applies to a government agent releasing the records. The article does not identify the source – it may be any number of people from outside the government. Even if this did come directly from someone at the IRS, that employee committed a crime, but the New York Times has not. Issues like this have long since been settled law thanks to The Pentagon Papers case.

As to the meat of the article, it reveals several details about the president’s financial situation:

  • In 11 out of 18 years, the president paid zero federal income tax. In two of those years, he paid $750. Trump in the past has attacked Romney and Obama for their effective tax rates which we now know are orders of magnitude higher than Trump’s.
  • Nearly every business the president owns is losing a gargantuan amount of money.
  • The president is receiving a large amount of money from foreign sources, including foreign governments.
  • He has roughly half a billion in personally backed loans coming due in the next two years. His income stream does not support any ability to pay these loans. Every commercial bank but Deutsche Bank has refused to loan Trump any money for some time now. The commercial division at DB flagged him as a risk and stopped giving him loans. The personal division at DB flagged him as a risk but continued to loan him money, despite his default on a $600+ million loan from the bank. We do not currently know why DB overrode their own internal process saying not to loan money to Trump. The bank has recently been found guilty of laundering $20 billion for sanctioned Russian entities.
  • Trump used numerous questionable and outright illegal deductions. He deducted $750,000 in consulting fees paid to Ivanka while she was an employee of the company. He deducted the legal expenses incurred by Donald Trump Jr during the Mueller investigation. (Jr’s role in the Mueller investigation was solely related to his campaign activities and therefore cannot be deducted.)

In summation, the president typically pays almost nothing in federal income taxes, is likely using illegal deductions, has large business entanglements with foreign countries, and is massively in debt with no revenue to repay those debts and no banks willing to refinance it.

Standard
Daily Summaries

Trump Daily 7/14/2020

  • White House Trade Adviser Peter Navarro has published an op-ed attacking Dr. Fauci. I’m not sure we have seen anything like this in modern US history – a White House official is publicly attacking a top government scientist. Before diving into the details, I want to compare their credentials. Dr. Fauci has been the lead infectious disease expert in the US for thirty six years. Before that he was a research scientist and a director of multiple government medical science organizations. Fauci has been heavily involved with, if not directly overseen, every major outbreak in the country across four decades. He is arguably the most experienced infectious disease expert on the entire planet. Peter Navarro has an economics degree. He ran for mayor of San Diego and lost, ran for city council and lost, ran for the board of supervisors and lost, ran for congress and lost, then finally ran for city council again… and lost. He has otherwise been a professor and author, but before joining the Trump campaign, was most known as a political pundit. He has zero medical, public health, or scientific experience. I’ll dive into his op-ed in the next bullet point.
  • The president turned what was supposed to be a press conference about Hong Kong into a campaign speech, speaking for nearly an hour and taking only three questions at the end, one of which was the softball “Do you see yourself as an underdog?” This was a particularly abnormal event, as you are not legally allowed to use White House resources to campaign. While talking about trade with China, Trump said the country was “taking money from the treasury.” In Bob Woodward’s book, he described economic adviser Gary Cohn trying to explain to Trump that trade deficits do not cost anything, but Trump insisted a trade deficit meant money was being taken from the US government. This is absolute nonsense. The president still believes it after several years in office. In the rest of his long incoherent rant, the president said the Paris Climate Accords required the country to close 25% of businesses, a lie, that Biden supported carbon regulations that would result in banning windows, a lie, and asked why Biden didn’t fix our highways while vice-president. Congress appropriates infrastructure spending. The president still does not have a basic grasp of how the government works. He threw in the typical attacks on Hunter Biden and mail-in voting. This was an event about Hong Kong.
Standard
Daily Summaries

Trump Daily 7/8/2020

Standard