Goose Meets Gander: Why Congress Should Include Its Own Tax and Travel Records In The Push For Disclosure

Below is my column in the Hill newspaper on the congressional push for past tax filings of President Donald Trump as well as investigations in the travel of Administration figures. I do not disagree with such public scrutiny, but Congress has conspicuously ignored past calls for the same transparency of its own practices and records.

Here is the column:

Congress has hit a new high in popularity with a 26 percent approval rating. That is right, the legislative branch finally gained the approval of one out of four citizens, a level that has not seen in years. Part of the alienation of the other three out of four Americans is that many believe Congress is incapable of doing the right thing, only the political thing.

But that is unfair. History shows Congress occasionally does the right thing, if it has no alternative. With controversies ranging from demanding the tax returns of President Trump to limiting the publicly funded travel of his administration officials, Congress could find itself dangerously close to doing the right thing, if the public leaves it with no other alternative.


The House Ways and Means Committee this week demanded the personal and corporate tax records of Trump. By refusing to release his records, Trump broke with decades of tradition in which presidents since Richard Nixon have recognized the legitimate public interest in seeing their taxes. However, lawmakers demanded six years worth of records while only vaguely stating a legislative purpose for its demand. If Congress wants to require all presidents to turn over their taxes, it can simply do so. It is, presumably, the absence of public disclosure, rather than the content, of the tax records of Trump that is the basis for the proposed legislation.

Federal law clearly favors Congress on such a demand, even though there are strong protections over the confidentiality of tax filings. Under the Tax Code, the Treasury secretary “shall furnish” such returns when demanded by certain committees. Yet, those committees may exercise that power only when they show a legitimate legislative purpose. Last year, the District of Columbia Circuit Court took pains to stress that exceptions to the rule of confidentiality are narrowly drawn and that the protections “extend to the ordinary taxpayer and the president alike.”

In Hallet Kilbourn versus John Thompson, the Supreme Court in 1881 held that Congress cannot demand private records without a legitimate purpose. More than 75 years later, the Supreme Court ruled again in John Watkins versus United States that Congress cannot use such powers for fishing expeditions and must have a clearly articulated purpose. The Supreme Court in Watkins drew this line to protect against the abuses of the House Un-American Activities Committee, warning that “there is no congressional power to expose for the sake of exposure.” It does not improve things to vaguely declare you are looking for un-presidential activities if you cannot articulate a “legitimate task of Congress.”

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal did not seek the tax records of Trump to investigate a specific criminal allegation falling under the jurisdiction of his panel. Instead, he described an effort to ensure the “accountability of our government and elected officials. To maintain trust in our democracy, the American people must be assured that their government is operating properly, as laws intend.” That sounds a lot more like a political pursuit rather than a legislative purpose. Moreover, the tax records issue could be tied up in the federal courts for months.

So here is an idea. Why not shove Congress over the public interest line and force it to disclose tax and investment information on all members, as well as presidents? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has steadfastly refused to turn over her own tax records despite cosponsoring a bill to require presidents to do so. Her deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, virtually mocked the suggestion by saying Pelosi “will gladly release her tax returns if and when she runs for president.” The problem is that Pelosi has great ability to advance her own financial interests in her position and is just two succession slots away from becoming the president during a crisis.

For years, I have argued for lawmakers to disclose their investments or, better yet, put their investments into “blind” funds. Currently, members of Congress can invest and legislate in the same areas, enabling them to make windfall profits as a result of inside information tied to upcoming legislation. It is time for the goose to meet the gander. We must require transparency from both political branches we elect to serve the nation.


Congress is investigating the publicly funded travel of administration officials from Cabinet members to Ivanka Trump. Congress rightly investigated former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt over his penchant for first class tickets and charter flights. This again puts Congress on the edge of doing the right thing.

For decades, I have called for the end of junkets allowing members of Congress to take thinly disguised vacations at public expense by holding a couple meetings on some perfunctory legislative subject. I also have called for a ban on travel paid by third parties, which is little more than legalized influence peddling. While lawmakers insist that flying to the Caribbean is key to planning legislation, it is abundantly clear that such information can be conveyed through material sent to their offices.

Lawmakers have refused, however, to give up being whisked around the world with an army of handlers and aides. The public pays millions of dollars for members of both parties to go on junkets, with the cost hidden in various budgets. Over two years, Pelosi spent more than $2 million on such trips. Her trips in 2015 cost the Air Force more than $184,500. She and nine other members of Congress were given tours of the Vatican and reported had meals costing up to $190 each. Of course, it was necessary to have family members along for the “education” to be complete.

In January, as federal employees went unpaid for weeks during the government shutdown, some 30 Democratic lawmakers took a chartered flight to sunny Puerto Rico with more than 100 lobbyists and corporate executives. On the itinerary was the educationally important stop to see the hit Broadway show “Hamilton” and attend a party with the cast.

The same is true of sponsored trips. Last December, Gregory MeeksBarbara LeeBobby RushTerri Sewell, and Hank Johnson used $60,000 from an outside group to fly to South Africa and attend a concert with Beyonce, Jay Z, Ed Sheeran, Pharrell Williams, and Chris Martin. These kinds of trips are a bipartisan scam by members of Congress emboldened by the silence of voters. We should send a clear message that they need to pay for their own tickets to faraway concerts or simply buy the album.

Of course, members of Congress have alternatives to legislating in the public interest as opposed to their own. Blinded by rage, most voters do not see, or want to see, the glaring contradictions in these proposals to pick apart the actions of the Trump administration while ignoring those of Congress. Rage rather than reason is the touchstone of our times. So unfortunately for citizens, lawmakers can no doubt rest easy that they are still short of that “no option” position of having to do the right thing.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

346 thoughts on “Goose Meets Gander: Why Congress Should Include Its Own Tax and Travel Records In The Push For Disclosure”

  1. Five Star Final … great film strip for today’s world.

    “While the newspapers await the details of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s report on President Trump, we went up on the Web to watch “Five Star Final.” That’s the classic movie about the genre of gutter newspapering that seeks to drive up circulation — or Web traffic — through the journalism of personal destruction. If ever there was a metaphor for our time, this is it.”…

  2. Is there even one Republican or Trump supporters here who thinks he should keep his promise to release his tax returns? So far they all appear to be stooges lacking the minimal self respect as voters to not accept happily being conned. It’s an embarrassment.

    1. ” they all appear to be stooges ”

      Anon, who are you calling a stooge? Your claims come fom a person who doesn’t have the integrity to admit when he is wrong.

      Here is a copy of a previous post where Anon makes a claim about another on the blog and when proved wrong Anon doesn’t have the integrity to admit or apologize. There is no change from his persona of Jan F.

      Allan says:
      “Allan seems to think that disputed charges irrelevant to the issue are therefore proof of a conspiracy for which he offers no evidence.”

      Anon, you can’t even repeat what another said on this blog correctly. Virtually everything you say is wrong. Where did I say “proof of conspiracy”? Actually I said the opposite and this demonstrates how twisted your arguments are and how wrong you are in almost everything you say.

      Here are my quotes with regard to conspiracy.

      “It seems that you can make up conspiracy when it suits you and deny conspiracy when it doesn’t.”… “The claims presently against McCabe do not involve conspiracy at this time, but we can see that you spread your fiction to justify what you want to see.”

      Take note that I denied conspiracy at this time. You either have trouble with the English language, make many mistakes or you are a liar. Tell me which one you are.

      1. What is wrong with this guy Allan. He offered irrelevant and disputed charges against two supposed members of the supposed Deep State as somehow evidence for that conspiracy. If that’s not what he was attempting to validate, WTF was he posting about?

        1. “What is wrong with this guy Allan. He offered irrelevant and disputed charges against two supposed members of the supposed Deep State as somehow evidence for that conspiracy.”

          Anon you are lying. I specifically said the opposite.and that remains on the blog. My statement was: “The claims presently against McCabe do not involve conspiracy”

          Take note of the word NOT.

          It seems nothing coming from your lips can be trusted.

          1. The entire context and thread of our conversation was about the supposed DS conspiracy. I don’t really care otherwise about McCabe our Clapper and seriously doubt you do either.

            1. Bull, Anon.

              You said ” as somehow evidence for that conspiracy” yet what I actually said was the opposite ““The claims presently against McCabe do not involve conspiracy” [DO NOT INVOLVE]

              Isn’t that clear enough for you? Of course not. Truth is meaningless to you as demonstrated in many of your responses. This isn’t the first time I have quoted prior statements to prove that your adherence to truth doesn’t exist.

    2. “Is there even one Republican or Trump supporters here who thinks he should keep his promise to release his tax returns? ”

      We want to see Hillary in prison

      Whats your next self-serving question?

      Lock her up!




    Today Professor Turley indulges in that favorite strategem of Trumpers known as ‘what aboutism’. What aboutism typically comes into play when Trumpers can’t possibly account for Trump’s latest display of arrogance or ignorance. At such moments Trumpers merely ask, “What about Hillary??”.

    The question is usually phrased with a growl of indignation. Like the Trumper shouldn’t have to even be asking. Like the cumulative number of outrages committed by Hillary Clinton is so overwhelming that it’s preposterous anyone would question Donald Trump. In fact, Trump’s entire presidency is staked on, “What about Hillary??”

    The beauty of what aboutistm is the flexibility. As a stratagem it can accommodate ‘any’ Democrat hated by consumers of right-wing media. “What about Eric Holder?” “What about Maxine Waters?” Or, “What about Nancy Pelosi??!” There’s someone to really hate: ‘Nancy Pelosi’, an aging liberal feminist from San Francisco yet!

    Pelosi’s raspy voice and haughty face make her so despicable she could be the super villain of a Marvel comic book. No wonder Professor Turley employed Pelosi for today’s column. Though admittedly the professor was subtle enough to make this piece more about ‘Congress in general’. But those of us alert enough can read the subtext here. The title could have easily been, “What about Nancy Pelosi??!”

    See how easy that is? Professor Turley doesn’t have to waste precious time explaining why a president with as many conflicts as Donald Trump should have to show his taxes. By trying to address such an obvious question, Turley would only be raising five additional questions for each one he answered. Smart columnists don’t get caught in quagmires like that. By resorting to what aboutism, Turley saved himself ‘hours of physical labor’.

      1. What a fool you are anonymous. Do you see him on the golf course with stars like Obama? No. More frequently than not he is doing business and doesn’t play that much and frequently doesn’t even finish his game.

        1. Who are you kidding? He spends half his day like an unemployed teenager, watching tv in his underwear. “Executive time”.

          PS He also plays golf with celebrities and cheats as frequently as he lies.

          1. He spends half his day like an unemployed teenager, watching tv in his underwear. “Executive time”.

            You all concoct fantasies, then you repeat them as if they were demonstrable facts.

            1. What, this wasn’t covered on Fox News?

              “A White House source has leaked nearly every day of President Trump’s private schedule for the past three months…..

              What the schedules show: Trump, an early riser, usually spends the first 5 hours of the day in Executive Time. Each day’s schedule places Trump in “Location: Oval Office” from 8 to 11 a.m.

              But Trump, who often wakes before 6 a.m., is never in the Oval during those hours, according to six sources with direct knowledge.
              Instead, he spends his mornings in the residence, watching TV, reading the papers, and responding to what he sees and reads by phoning aides, members of Congress, friends, administration officials and informal advisers….”


              1. ” he spends his mornings in the residence, watching TV, reading the papers, and responding to what he sees and reads by phoning aides, members of Congress, friends, administration officials and informal advisers….””

                The usual anonymous report from an anonymous poster who doesn’t seem to know much of anything. That is some of what Presidents do. They check out all sorts of media and discuss things with aids, administrative officials and members of Congress. Based on the report afterwards from sometime before 11AM he procedes to do other work. Strkes me as a very long day hard at work. Maybe Anon doesn’t know what hard work is when the brain has to be utilized.

              2. so what? he’s an executive. they have to talk to people. does it matter if he’s in his room or the office? you picking a bone with tons of people there buddy.

                1. So, you are seriously going to pretend that Trump is talking with his DoD and NSA Director about policy details, and not Hannity and Jeanne Pirro?

                  Give me a break.

          2. “He spends half his day like an unemployed teenager, watching tv in his underwear.”

            How does Anon know? He doesn’t. He makes things up. Truth doesn’t seem to matter.

            1. He got that information from a publication that got it from “a source”.
              And he knows that Axios is really unbiased😄 and if they print something that he likes, it must be true.

              1. Tom, I don’t think Anon knows what hard work is when it is the brain rather than the brawn being utilized. We see the results of this on the blog.

              2. Yeah, it’s not like we don’t have his real time tweets reacting to Fox.and Friends, and besides, he’s known for the hours he puts in reviewing and reading department reports and briefing papers.

                1. It’s not like he’s sitting around watching basketball and filling out his ‘brackets’ before wasting even more time doing his annual ‘presidential brackets’ segment on ESPN (which was Obama’s most watched ‘politics’ channel, btw).

                2. We’ll see from anon’s tweet record-keeping how well it pins down timelines of
                  Trump’s daily schedule.
                  If Trump spents an hour a day tweeting, we’ll learn from that what he does in the other 23 hours.😄

  4. If they want to change the law to make disclosure mandatory then let’s make it complete.

    Pelosi’s property taxes, Lizzie Warren’s for years working for a private firm. Biden and Son’s connection with the China deal. Then and only then they would have something but only after they have themselves first come clean.

    Or are they just after the little guy again and ‘as usual’ so they can pick the working citizens bones one more time for one more fleecing?

  5. Jon Turley: the reason for seeking Trump’s returns was stated as: ““accountability of our government and elected officials. To maintain trust in our democracy, the American people must be assured that their government is operating properly, as laws intend.”

    With all of the ties to Russian oligarchs, attempts to do business with Russia while campaigning and lying about it, all of the failed projects, bankruptcies, inability to borrow money in this country, a consent judgment with the Justice Department for engaging in housing discrimination and proof that Trump keeps 2 sets of records, you think that Congress should articulate something more specific as a reason to view Trump’s tax returns? Or, keeping with the theme that people go after Trump because they’re upset that he “won the victory”, you argue that others should also show their returns, plus you attack members of Congress for going on trips. A Kellyanne Pivot maneuver. No, Jon. The reason stated is sufficient, and you know it.

    BTW: HRC and Nancy Pelosi voluntarily disclosed their tax returns. Pelosi’s travel expenses are public record. Why didn’t you mention the travel expenses of McConnell, Graham or some Republicans, Jon?

      1. Uh, Nona. There is NO dispute that Trump was attempting to work a Trump Moscow hotel deal after he got the nomination. It is not disputed that he has lied about this. It is not disputed that his son and other campaign officials met with Russians to get dirt on HRC that was illegally hacked, and that he lied out the reason for the meeting. He had Russian oligarchs in the White House with sensitive material in plain view. At Helsinki, he was deferential to Putin, and sided against American Intelligence that concluded that Russia interfered with the 2016 election. He refuses to take measures to secure future elections from Russian interference because by admitting this happened, it amounts to an acknowledgement that he didn’t “win the victory’ fair and square. He refused to join Teresa May in condemning the poisoning of a Russian and his adult daughter on British soil who had been critics of Putin. These are not delusions. They are facts. You are the one who is delusional.

        1. Yes, Anonymous, virtually everything you say is disputed. Why? Because you can seldom prove what you say and others offer proof that what you say isn’t true.

          1. Allan: do you live under a rock, or what? Did you see Michael Cohen’s testimony? He made clear that the Trump Moscow Hotel deal remained in the works until January, 2017. Did you see the interview with Trump where he denied that he knows any Russians, and then later on, after Cohen got into trouble, he admitted to continuing to work the hotel deal after the nomination because, after all, he might lose the election and wouldn’t want to lose the hotel deal just because he was a candidate? Have you seen the numerous reports about the e-mail to Don, Jr. where he was told that Russia had dirt on HRC, to which he responded “love it”, and subsequent interviews wherein Trump, Sr. lied and said the meeting was about Russian adoptions? Have you seen the testimony of Dan Coats, among others, who testified before Congress that there is no doubt that Russians interfered with our election, and also the interview with Trump in Helsinki, where he claimed that Putin denies this, and he chooses to believe Putin? Have you seen the photos of the Russian oligarchs in the Oval Office? Have you seen Trump joining Teresa May in condemning Russia for trying to murder the Russian opponent of Putin in London, plus his daughter, by poisoning them? No, because he refused to do it, which is unthinkable for a United States President. How could anyone “prove” anything to you, when you don’t watch the news and don’t research facts before accusing someone else of being delusional?

            1. Delusional Democrats are responsible for continuing mucking up Black cities in America. Liberals are self-absorbed power hungry zealots



              Baltimore City Council calls on embattled Mayor Catherine Pugh to resign immediately

              Mayor Catherine Pugh takes indefinite leave of absence amid book sales scandal.

              Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, who last week took an indefinite leave of absence from office amid an ongoing book controversy, has been called to step down immediately by the city council.

              The 14 members of the Baltimore City Council sent a two-sentence letter to Pugh on Monday urging her to resign, effective immediately. All members of the city council except acting mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young signed the letter.

              “The entire membership of the Baltimore City Council believes that it is not in the best interest of the City of Baltimore for you to continue to serve as Mayor,” the council members wrote to Pugh. “We urge you to tender your resignation, effective immediately.”

              Copies of the letter were also sent to City Solicitor Andre Davis, Pugh’s chief of staff Bruce Williams, the city’s senators and delegates in the Maryland General Assembly and Young.

              Pugh is under fire after she reportedly received $500,000 from the University of Maryland Medical System for her self-authored “Healthy Holly,” a children’s book series.

              The university paid Pugh for 100,000 copies of her books between 2011 and 2018 while she was on its board. The books were intended to go to schools and day care centers, however, some 50,000 copies remain unaccounted for and may never have been printed, the Baltimore Sun reported.

              The state prosecutor opened an investigation earlier this month into the books’ sales, the Baltimore Sun reported.

              Pugh announced last Monday she was taking an indefinite leave of absence to recover from a bout of pneumonia for which she was hospitalized for five days. Her spokesman told the Baltimore Sun on Saturday that Pugh intends to return to her post once her health has sufficiently improved.

              This statement appeared to prompt the City Council to urge her to step down.

              “Baltimore will continue to have a cloud over its head while the investigations into Mayor Pugh’s business dealings go on,” Councilman Brandon Scott said in a statement. “My colleagues and I understand the severity of the action we have taken, but know that it’s what’s the best for Baltimore.”

              Councilman Zeke Cohen said while the move was “unprecedented,” it is the best course for Baltimore.

              Pugh, at a news conference last week, described the book deal with the university-based health care system as a “regrettable mistake,” and apologized for “any lack of confidence or disappointment” citizens and colleagues may have felt.

              Pugh has not commented on the city council’s letter.

            2. Delusional and always wrong as usual Natacha. No use in correcting you since you run away to repeat the same nonsense.

              1. “No use in correcting you…”

                And yet here you are… — calling her “delusional and always wrong.”

                Allan just can’t help himself.

            3. so what? what’s wrong with planning a hotel in Moscow? big deal. he’s a developer. or is he only supposed to build in the US? is there a law against it?

              another nothingburger

              1. To quote myself:

                The issue isn’t whether making an effort to promote a hotel deal in Moscow is illegal – no one has said it was. The issues are that he lied about it during the campaign – why lie? – even though he was still pushing it right up to the GOP convention and that this may at least partly explain his behavior as a useful idiot or agent for Putin.

                Once again, Trump lies to you and you defend him. Beaten wife syndrome.

                1. Anon, let’s hear the questions and the answers all in context.

                  Do you not understand that one doesn’t always blame the answer. Sometimes one has to blame the question?

              2. Kurtz, Natacha keeps saying the same things. You can prove her wrong a thousand times and she will continue to say the wrong things. Her brain functions like the brain of a parrot and sounds like one too.

        2. Those are facts, and predictably Allan says otherwise without specificity.

          1. Anon, Tell us the exact facts not the facts being artificially created. Trump did not build a hotel in Moscow. He had no inappropriate conversations about building a hotel in Moscow. Do you wish to rescue your reputation? Provide proof.

              1. Anon, The above was mine, No you didn’t say he built a hotel. You didn’t say much of anything but you agreed with Natacha (“those are the facts”)

                I decided to cover all the bases in one clean sweep. Trump did nothing inappropriate and didn’t build a hotel. That covered almost everything.

                Now you can tell us what was illegal in Trump’s Moscow dealings. You can’t? How suprising. You seldom if ever have anything to back up errant statements that you make in most of your postings.

                1. The issue isn’t whether making an effort to promote a hotel deal in Moscow is illegal – no one has said it was. The issues are that he lied about it during the campaign – why lie? – even though he was still pushing it right up to the GOP convention and that this may at least partly explain his behavior as a useful idiot or agent for Putin.

                  Got it? You seem to need help a lot.

                  1. OK Anon, so you recognize that nothing having to do with any hotel in Russia during the campaign and during his presidency was illegal or inappropriate. No foul no problem.

                    Now you are discussing a question and the President’s response. First you have to provide a good question. The left wing media is not very good at that. If you asked me if I were involved in a piece of real estate in X location my answer might very well be no even though I had been there, looked at it at one time, still look at what is going on there etc. I am not involved. I have looked at hundreds of places and am not involved.

                    The problem is likely more with the question than with the answer. As the questions became more specific the answers changed since they were responding to new questions. But during that time period was he involved? I don’t think so.

                    Involvement would occur when significant money changed hands. I’ve been with realtors getting a broad picture of real estate and my name and some of the real estate is on the same page. I might even have had an email or two sent to me on a particular property at a later date, but was I involved in that later date? No.

                    It appears you need a lot of help and that is what I am doing right now. Helping you. Your nasty comment didn’t apply to me but apparently it applies to you.

            1. PS How does anonymous know whether Trump’s pursuit of getting in on a hotel in Moscow – gee didn’t build anything anymore, he sells his brand name and sometimes operates properties – included appropriate or inappropriate conversations?

              My reputation with most of this crowd is inversely proportional to my own self respect.

              1. A reputation is at least partially built on whether a person values accuracy and facts.
                There’s a reason why a liar like Anon is not found to be credible.
                But as long as he can counter that with an inflated and distorted self- image and remain anonymous, he’ll be just fine.

                1. Tom, explain why Anon’s a liar.

                  All I can see is Alan and Estovir creating a nonsensical discussion, then you jumping in to call Anon a liar.

                  1. Peter, on several occasions I have copied what Anon has stated and since he neither corrected his error or apologized one has to reckon with the fact that he lied.

                    1. Allan,……Maybe you need to repost that for Hollywood Hill in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS.

                    2. Allan,……Maybe you need to repost that for Hollywood Hill in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS.”


                  2. I’ve already done that, Hollywood Hill. As much as I enjoy exchanges with propagantists who like to waste my time, I’m not joining to repeat what I’ve previously written.

                    1. Well Tom, when you’ve got a windbag and some creepy nerd as your allies, ‘important points’ get lost. You might do better without Alan and Estovir. But that would be a different blog.

                    1. Peter, you are in good company with the other main propandist and a few other liars on these threads….great group you’ve aligned yourself with.
                      This blog…..not a “different blog” …is ideal for you. You can lie and propagandize to your heart’s content, and you know there’s nothing that prevents you and a few others from doing exactly that.
                      Best of luck with HHHNN.

                  3. There’s a scene in the excellent Western film “Nevada Smith” where the bad guy ( played by the superb Karl Malden) is trying to figure out who Max Sands ( played by Steve McQueen) is.
                    Malden is the last person on McQueen’s list marked for revenge after he’s already killed the 2 others who murdered his parents; Malden was the 3rd outlaw involved in that murder.
                    Malden suspects that Max Sands had infiltrated his gang and will kill him, too. But he can’t figure out which one is Max Sands
                    As Malden and his gang are riding into town, a friend of Max Sands who was also Sands’ mentor recognizes him, and yells out to him “Max…Max!
                    Max Sands” , and McQueen has to ignore him or blow his cover.
                    Karl Malden looks at his gang riding behind him, frantically trying to figure out which one is Max Sands.
                    It was a hilarious scene, perfectly played by a panicking Malden.
                    Next time I’m in the LA area, I’ll try to see if I can catch Peter walking down a busy street, and I’ll shout out “Estovir!” to see how he reacts trying to figure out if Estovir is nearby.😄
                    It looks like Peter’s dread of Estovir has him seeing Estovir everywhere.

                    1. Tom, I didn’t like how Nevada Smith got Suzanne Pleshette bitten by that swamp snake. Then he just left her to die. What a jerk!

                    2. As I remember it, she wanted McQueen to leave her there to die alone….McQueen reminded her of her “sins”….but McQueen stayed with her.
                      Been a long time since I’ve seen it, so next time it’s on TV I’ll try to catch it and watch that scene in the swamp again as she’s dying.

                    3. Try the men’s restroom at the Will Rogers Memorial Park in Beverly Hills.

                    4. Peter walks his shih tzu at the West Hollywood Park. They have designated areas for small dogs and for big dogs.

              2. “My reputation with most of this crowd is inversely proportional to my own self respect”

                Anon, you have an undeserved respect for your intellect on this blog and are getting a swollen head. We are all waiting for it to explode.

                  1. “Above from Allan”

                    A no brainer, Allan. (Tripped up by ye olde avatar.)

                    1. Unlike you who can’t maintain an avatar I try not to hide among others with the same identity so even though the Avatar was the same I made sure my name was posted.

                      The use of the generic avatar is not something that should be considered heroic or valuable..

              3. Fairly new here, but does Tom always spend most his time posting catty remarks about other posters, or does he actually ever add anything of substance to a conversation , not matter how debatable? This guy is like nosy neighbor talking over the back fence with Mrs Tutwiller.

                1. Anon, Tom’s an establishment Republican feeling awkward in the Trump era. That’s why he makes common use emojis; to deal with his anxieties. But Tom’s hipper than Alan and much saner than Estovir.

                2. There are certain people here who, fir fir various reasons, invite criticism and more.
                  Maybe Anon is new here….there’s no way of knowing what previous incarnations an anonymous jerk and liar like Anon might have had here.
                  It usually takes a while for a lying sack of **** like Anon to reveal themselves as such….in anon’s case, he came right out of the gate proving it.
                  His comment to Karen S. was one example that I noted that whicw revealed about what a classy guy Anon really is…about 4th class.
                  And yes, when I see that kind of slimey behaviour here from a few people, I will make note of it and give them the recognition that they deserve.
                  Trash like that are given pretty much of a free ride and a forum here….there’s really nothing to stop people like that behaving like low-life pigs.
                  The downside for these mostly anonymous pigs that some will point out that they are scum.
                  I don’t mind pointing that out when some anonymous coward like Anon shows up here.

                    1. PS Yes, I know it takes a lot of guts to post your real name – “Tom” – here and I think I speak for all here in saluting your bravery, “Tom”.

                      I’ll take solace in the fact that anyone still standing up for Trump has already disqualified themselves as a judge of human character.

                    2. No, I just make note of it when someone like Anon goes out of his way to prove what an ******* he is.
                      I can see why Anon would view that as “f***** up”.

                    3. If Anon behaves that way in everyday life, he’s undoubtedly heard very similar observations to the ones I’ve made about him.
                      It’s an open question whether one’s anonymous behavior here is mirrored in their offline life.

                    4. Yeah, nobody loves me “Tom”.

                      Boy, you see right into anyone not named Trump!

                  1. Tom, I am sure you know that Anon was previously known as Jan F. the “goodbye” boy from the past that in record time made himself into a total a$$. I’m trying not to call this alias of his names but it is very hard.

                3. Tom has content but is not afraid to state the truth about another person. Peter is probably right that Tom is hipper than I but on the sanity issue it appears Peter is paranoid over someone named estovir. I suggest Peter get a rubber sheet before he ruins his matress.

                  1. Peter’s buds are comme ci comme ca about Latex. Don’t think it’s happening.

    1. How many times has Nancy Pelosi taken a Congressional delegation to India to visit his Holiness the Dalai Lama and receive his personal blessing? Nice CODEL gig if you can get it. How about to the Vatican to meet with the Pope? Yes, Nancy Pelosi being personally blessed by spiritual leaders — that’s all very important work on behalf of the Amerian people there, Nancy.

      How many luxury military jetliners (besides Air Force One and Two) are available for use by Congressional delegations? Who in Congress is taking advantage of this “perk”?

      How does Nancy Pelosi travel back and forth between her million dollar California family vineyard or her ‘gated’ home in San Francisco to her “job” in Washington DC?

      Presidents come and go. Where else do you find people hanging out for decades wanting to continue “working hard” well into their 80s and even 90s? I can think of only one: Congress.

      A lifetime of “Public Service” pays pretty well for some. And the perks? Ask Harry Reid, or Maxine Waters….or Bernie Sanders how he can afford 3 homes. Or the Obamas. Or the Clintons. All of them went from dead broke to now being well on their way to living billionaire lifestyles. Trump came into office as a billionaire and is working FOR FREE on behalf of the American people. That’s the difference, dumbo.

      1. The Trump family made more on the tax cut than trump would make in 20 years salary as president, and we have no idea what deals are driving our foreign policy by these grifters.

        1. Fish, he’s even got them picking up the tab on the wall when he had them chanting “the Mexicans” would.

          Does absurd and Tom and Allan look Mexican to you?

          1. Anon, Like their Dear Leader they have become increasingly unhinged.

            1. I guess you never boxed FishShill because you just stepped right into this one. As imperfect as our “Dear Leader” is, at least we have one who does what he says he is going to do (except give his tax returns to you loons). Now please indicate who is your “Dear Leader” and what is his/her strategy/vision for running the country? You loons are big on destruction and lean on game.

              1. Yeah Bill, I’m especially enjoying our free wall on the southern border, a great health care, diminishing trade balance, balancing the budget, and draining the swamp.

        2. When you say ‘we have no idea what deals are driving our foreign policy’…..which ‘grifters’ are you referring to? Hillary’s pay to play operation she ran out of the State Dept?

          1. TBob, on the one hand Anon appears to be claiming Trump doesn’t pay much in taxes. On the other hand he complains that the Trump family is making a bundle off of the tax cut.

            Trump should have excluded from the tax bill his personal taxes on all the properties he owns including his $100Million (?) apartment in NYC.

            Anon is talking out of both sides of his mouth.

            Nunes is about to release names to the justice department for potential prosecution. We haven’t heard from Hillary in awhile. Is she in hiding?

          2. Anon….speaking of ’embarrassing’ …. who voted for Hillary so she could move her family pay to play scam from the State Dept. to the White House?

            THAT’s worse than embarrassing….

          3. Unlike the Trump family, the Clinton’s receive zippo, nada, no enumeration from their A rated charity.

            1. Anon, That is because you don’t know what what you are talking about or the English language.

              Look up the words remuneration and enumeration

            2. ha you don’t get how it works with NGOs
              and if you don’t keep the general ledger then you don’t really know do you

        3. You wouldn’t know a K-1 from a hole in the ground. keep on talkin fool

  6. The hypocrisy from the right-wing on this issue, is laughable. Plain and simple, Trump does not want his rubes to know who has been keeping him afloat in business. He owes somebody for the loans he got, and it was not from our banks. And if this was a Democrat President lying repeatedly about why he can’t release them, it would be a whole different story. He said he would release them after the 2016 election, the same way he said he alone would fix health care in 2016, now he said he alone would fix health care after 2020. A good con-man always knows his mark, and he’s got them by the b****.

      1. FishWings knows that you can’t cheat an honest man. Trumpeters have come to regard Trump as a mythical folk hero like The Trickster, Iktome. Trumpeters no longer care about being cheated. If they ever did. The more they’re cheated, the more Trumpeters worship The Trickster, Trump.

        1. we never heard of Inktomi but we heard of LOKI

          try and connect with something people may be familiar with eh? that is if you want to communicate much

    1. he doesnt owe banks huh

      who do you think is even able to loan large sums, if not banks?
      some shylock on the corner

      oy, trump owes the vig to POOOOOOTIN~~~~~~~~~~~

      1. Kurtz, Fish is all confused and absent the facts has to make things up.

          1. Perhaps the Kennedys owe the Vatican Bank?
            Perhaps Chuck Schumer owes Israeli banks?
            Perhaps AOC owes a Mexican cartel loans too?
            Maybe Giuliani owes a crime family some vig?
            We can just sit around and make up “perhapses” all day long

            But latent in every Russia this and that speculation is the insinuationg that a Russia is per se bad. That’s an ethnic and national smear.

            Coming from Democrats who are always supposedly against hate, I wonder, why do you guys hate Russians so much? Why is hate against Russians ok?

            Well, keep on smearing Russians all the time then be ready for some other oxes to get gored too.

            1. Kurtz, my section of Hollywood is home to more Russians than any neighborhood east of Brooklyn. It’s not like I have no connection to them. But this idea that Democrats are engaged in a smear campaign at the expense of innocent Russians is utterly absurd. It’s just a strained, stilted effort to extend the culture of victimhood to people who don’t even know they’re victims.

              1. P. Hill, they are becoming increasingly unhinged. Maybe we should step aside and watch them call each other commies. Because with that crowd, it’s only a matter of time before they need someone else to blame for their willful ignorance.

                  1. Intended for FishWings . . . and P. Hill . . . and Anon . . . and Natacha . . .

                1. That’s right, Fishy. As if you and your (Russia! AG Barr Cannot be Trusted! Mueller will SAVE US!) conspiracy theory pals don’t come across as unhinged at all. Riiiight. 😉

                  And speaking of ‘watching them call each other commies’… was actually your Messiah BJO (Baby Jesus Obama) doing what he does best — which is of course lecturing others — in this case Germans (why??) about how the Democrat party needs to be careful about getting themselves into a ‘circular firing squad’ over here in America. Super helpful advice, huh? 😉

              2. You lie 25/8, Peter Shill.
                You are a paid to troll and whats more you recently lied about the Nigerian brothers who aided Jussie Mullet as being illegal aliens in America. They are actually US born citizens with Nigerian descendants

                Peter Shill lies because thats all he knows how to do

                1. Peter Shill lies about everything



                  Peter Shill: “As I noted yesterday, they could be in the country illegally.”

                  They are American citizens you dumb ass.

                  You are a pathetic troll. For all the crying you, Diane, Natacha, et al do about some politicians lying, you lie effortlessly, and like Bill and Hillary, smile about it

                  1. Here again is Estovir playing his usual dirty tricks. This time he’s ‘Nona’ and ‘Good Anon’.

                    What a loser!

              3. just out of curiosity is this the place?


                West Hollywood’s Fairfax Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard area had become home to many Russian-speaking expats — the majority of them Jews who fled anti-Semitism in former Soviet republics — between the 1970s and the 1990s. Others came to the region during the breakup of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s.

                Many of those who moved to Los Angeles sought assistance from Jewish nonprofit organizations, which helped the newly arrived families navigate government programs, locate affordable housing and find social security programs near their offices in West Hollywood.

                Roman Finarovsky and his Russian friends play chess in Little Odessa, a West Hollywood area undergoing a demographic shift.EXPAND
                Roman Finarovsky and his Russian friends play chess in Little Odessa, a West Hollywood area undergoing a demographic shift.Olga Grigoryants
                As more Soviet expats settled in the area, Russian-owned businesses started popping up along Santa Monica Boulevard between La Brea Avenue and Crescent Heights Boulevard. The storefronts of restaurants, bakeries and pawn shops announced themselves with signs and posters in Cyrillic. The smell of freshly baked potato bread spread along the street. The grocery stores offered rye bread, pierogis and caviar, often streaming Russian MTV for their customers.

                In his 2003 book West Hollywood (Images of America), author Ryan Gierach writes, “The predominantly renter, Jewish, gay and senior citizen residents of the progressive-minded area determined to step out of the shadows of nearby communities and create a city of their own. West Hollywood has been a beacon of hope, drawing refugees from Russia and around the world to its tolerant streets.”

                Over the years, the neighborhood offered everything a Russian soul could ever ask for. A Russian version of sauna, known as banya, became a place to socialize and discuss news with fellow expats. Several associations, social and literature clubs emerged to cater to Russian-speaking engineers, veterans and writers. After spending several decades in West Hollywood, the majority of immigrants continued to watch Russian television and read Russian newspapers. Many never learned English.

                Victoria Corbett, 40, who owns Victoria’s Touch apparel store near the intersection of Santa Monica Boulevard and Gennesee Avenue, says that every year, she sees fewer Russians in her shop.

                Her family moved from Ukraine in 1980. About 20 years ago, her mother opened the store, which sells women’s apparel, kitchenware and souvenirs. The family enjoyed a prosperous business until recently, when the stream of customers declined.

                “We used to see a crowd of customers on Fridays and Saturdays, and now our store is half empty on weekends,” says the Beverly Hills resident, adding that her business has experienced a 40 percent decline in revenue over the last four years. “Many Russians moved to the [San Fernando] Valley and Marina del Rey. Russian businesses are dying in this area.”

                Michelle Vishnevskiy, who was raised in West Hollywood, says she also has noticed her neighborhood has lost its familiarity, especially as it begins appealing to new residents.

                “West Hollywood is becoming a prime location,” says Vishnevskiy, who now lives in the Hollywood Hills. “It’s becoming the city center. The prices are so high that Russians are forced to move to the [San Fernando] Valley and other places.”

                An employee of Royal Gourmet Deli in West Hollywood shows off some smoked salmon.
                An employee of Royal Gourmet Deli in West Hollywood shows off some smoked salmon.Jared Cowan
                On a recent sunny afternoon, babushkas in colorful scarfs strode along Santa Monica Boulevard pushing wheeled bags between doctors’ offices and grocery stores, searching for a snack of herring and pickled cabbage.

                A tiny door in a stucco building led to Odessa Grocery, near the intersection of Santa Monica Boulevard and Ogden Drive. A row of cardboard boxes, stuffed with apples and tomatoes, sat on the floor. Glass shelves held a stack of oversized chocolate boxes, instant coffee and cigarettes. Several matryoshkas, or stacking dolls, decorated a shelf next to trays with homemade cakes and blinis. A paper sheet made out of Russian rubles dangled from the ceiling next to a sign that read “Insured by Mafia.”

                For some Russian expats, the Santa Monica Boulevard area is associated with the Soviet era, faceless storefronts and outdated buildings that are long overdue for reconstruction.

                Igor Lerman, who has been running Heaven Books on Santa Monica Boulevard for 21 years, says he is not surprised young people leave Little Odessa.

                “Many Russians avoid this place because they see it as mestechko, a ‘province,’” says Lerman, a 66-year-old Russian Jew, who moved from Ukraine 24 years ago.

                Many U.S.-born children of Russian immigrants assimilate and speak fluent English, he says, and avoid associating with the Russian-speaking neighborhood.

                “Many Russians who were born here don’t want to speak Russian,” Lerman says. “That generation is lost for us.”

                Justin Brezhnev’s parents immigrated from Ukraine in 1989, but the 24-year-old was raised in West Hollywood. He decided to leave after graduating from UCLA.

                “West Hollywood doesn’t have an entrepreneurship community and a lot of co-working space,” he says. “That’s why I decided to move to Venice.”

                Ilya Netes, a pharmacy technician at Spaulding Pharmacy next to Studs Theatre, a complex that streams gay porn, says the growing LGBTQ community is prompting some Russians to leave.

                “I don’t care if you’re straight or gay,” the 23-year-old resident of West Hollywood says. “But older Russians judge gay people before getting to know them. Some of them, especially the elder [Russians], don’t want to live here because of gays.”

                Among Studs’ neighbors down the street is Russian grocery store Teremok Deli. Its owner, Irina Riskopina, says she doesn’t want her children to be exposed to the gay culture.

                “There are a lot of billboards in this area with male couples,” the 52-year-old Burbank resident says. “I feel uncomfortable when they advertise that. I don’t want my children to see that. It’s one thing when you were born with it and another thing when someone tries to bring you into it.”

                But Omar Fiori, a manager at Studs, says Russians and gays live in harmony, adding that the misunderstanding between two groups is in the past.

                “Older Russians used to be not very friendly,” he says. “They would look at you like, ‘What are you doing here?’ But that has changed. They are friendly now.”

                Still, not everyone agrees that West Hollywood has lost its appeal to Russian speakers.

                Vishnevskiy says she regularly visits her former neighborhood for grocery shopping.

                “Only here can I buy this food,” Vishnevskiy says, as she filled a plastic bag with frozen pelmeni, a Russian version of dumplings. “This place feels like home.”

                SHOW ME HOW
                Alexander Gurfinkel, a political consultant who graduated from University of Southern California’s Price School of Public Policy a few years ago, says he had no hesitation moving back to his native neighborhood from the USC campus.

                “I shop a lot at the Russian stores and I enjoy the food,” the 27-year-old says. “Some stores have a basic representation and very Soviet in their nature, but they appeal to certain people who don’t necessarily care about it. Many of my relatives live in West Hollywood, and to me that was an obvious choice to move here.”

                Even so, many agree the change in West Hollywood’s Russian community is inevitable. Lerman of Heaven Books stood in the middle of his store, holding a glass of whiskey, on a recent Friday afternoon, looking out the window over the Hollywood Hills. He said he planned to retire soon.

                “Once this area was run by Polish Jews, and then they were gone,” Lerman says. “Everything changes, and the Russian neighborhood will change, too. But the show must go on.”

              4. Peter, based on that article, it may be that the Russians you know are not like the Russians I know. The Russians I know are generally Orthodox – Christians, not Jews. There may be a big divergence in the general feelings about Trump between the goyische immigrant Russians and the Jewish ones. Given historical tendency of migrant Jews from various places overseas to support the Democrat party once here, it is not likely they will like Trump. Although, he does have some strong Jewish support from the pro Israeli faction.

                If you are interested in the Russian Jewish migrant community to the US, there is a good book out there, and I don’t mean to offend any Jews by mentioning it, but i suspect some of them don’t like it. It’s about the Brighton Beach New Jersey Russian-Jewish Mafia


                I don’t mean to suggest all Russian Jewish migrants are “mafia” that would be as wrongful as suggesting all the older generation of Jewish or Italian migrants were part of the prohibition era mafias. even though a lot of them were. lol

                1. Kurtz, that story on West Hollywood sounds about right. Not all of West Hollywood is gay. In fact, the famous gay community is closer to Beverly Hills. The eastern half is more like the urban flatlands of Hollywood. I’m not quite in that zone but there are still a lot of Russians near me. Though ‘less’ than there was 20 years ago. Most of this area is getting quite expensive.

                  1. I’ll have to check it out. I have some kin who got lost and wandered out to California. Besides the beaches, I hear there are some good casinos in LA which may be worth a visit. hollywood is not on my list for the moment.

            2. Kurtz, I’m all with you in demanding your Democratic boogeyman release their tax returns if they run for president and would support a law requiring that information from all nominees to federal office.

              On the other hand, and even though my picture is in the dictionary for “white guy”, I don’t share your white power fealty to Russia.

              1. I don’t share your white power fealty to Russia.

                You never stop playing games, do you? (Well, you do when you get frustrated and the mask slips).

                Russia’s a source of irritation, not a source of peril. Its objects abroad are circumscribed. Its ruler is a stone-cold Machiavellian and it’s business, not personal, with him. Internally, it’s a messy, crooked, pluralistic, political machine state, no more severely governed than Mexico ca. 1980 (but with a lower homicide rate). Trump hasn’t had any untoward dealings with Russian officialdom or Russian business; it was all a scam cooked up by operators in the FBI. Deal with it.

                1. Kurtz has plainly stated his white power position here in the past. This is not conjecture or hyperbole on my part. If only…

                  1. I am a white goy native born American. I identify with my own identity. What can i say. Sue me for it if you like but you won’t get too far. If a black guy or an “Asian American” or a “Latino” can have a racial identity and legitimate social and political interests as a member of their racial group, then I can have one as a member of mine.

                    There is nothing illegal, unethical, or illegitimate necessarily implied by this.

                    You are free to demean me for that. I celebrate your freedom to express yourself even as you demean me for doing the same.

                    1. By demean, you mean not agreeing with your every last utterance? Are you agreeing with mine?

                      This is very confusing Kurtz, though I appreciate your partially explaining your white power position, which also includes – as I recall – banding together with other whites because we just can’t trust those other guys.

                      Our military may have a problem with this concept however.

                  2. I am white, Christian, male, heterosexual, and a proud native born American. Nonetheless, I am a peaceful and law abiding tax paying American.

                    I freely associate with non-white people in many social activities some of which are very personal.

                    The non-white people with I associate, do not hold it against me that I have an affinity for my own kind. Perhaps, they find it refreshing and normal that a white person can openly enjoy their own social identity, just as they do?

                    I find that a lot of middle class Americans are afraid to self identify as liking their own kind. This is regrettable, timid behavior. It usually signifies someone who is overly concerned about upward social mobility. Oftentimes, these people are in a precarious financial position, vis a vis their employers or other social contacts. I am lucky in that I am well off, modestly employed in a secure manner, and socially content with my humble place in the cosmos.

                    Democrats and Republicans alike have both kinds of white people. People like me who are comfortable with who we are, and the parvenues and graspers who are always worried about what other people think of them.

                    Perhaps you should read the Great Gatsby and gain some insight into what exemplifies social anxiety, versus a healthy sense of social belonging.

                2. The FBI did not force Trump to pursue Russian business and personal connections to Trump for at least 3 years leading right up to the GOP convention, or acting as either a useful idiot or Russian asset by carrying Russian water on NATO and the EU, our democratic allies in keeping the peace and furtherance of democracy since WWII.

                3. Anon, this has nothing to do with the military. You called me out for a “white power position” and you mean to do so as an insult and to discredit me. I only explain my sense of social affiliation to engage in constructive discussion.

                  Your version of this discussion is one in which you are a saint and I am a sinner. You are free to moralize and laud yourself. I am free to claim my humble position where I am.

                  However, given that you do not even want to stake out a Nom De Plume, here, I sense that you are not very content with your own status. Feel worried much?

                  Come one out to flyover and enjoy life as a midwestern cracker like me. Trust me, I can hook you up with plenty of foreigners here too if you need a steady dose of diversity. Again, they find me ok, it’s the upwardly mobile white people with heavy credit card debt who generally get scairt of being called a racist.

                  1. I stated a fact and related it to your seeming affinity to Russia. Am I wrong to think that like Steve Bannon you see them as a fellow white tribe and bulwark against dark – and muslim – hoards approaching?

                  2. Thanks for the invite and I already enjoy some midwestern cracker relatives, but I assure you I very comfortable in my skin. I think I stated my position clearly below. I would note however, that your posts are less than fair minded in regard to me, so if you wish to start a detente, OK, I’m happy to, but that has not been the rule for either of us to this point.

              2. I did not call on Democrat POTUS candidates to release their tax returns. I don’t feel this is indicated for Trump or Democrat candidates either. Put me down on record about that, trust me I am consistent on this topic. I do a lot of tax related work and I find that people generally don’t understand taxes and make too much negative implications about other people’s tax returns when they see them. It is extermely distasteful conduct to me, to pry into other people’s taxes

                1. 1. You did not have to call on Democratic candidates to release their tax returns.

                  2. It is true that people misjudge other’s tax returns and harshly, which is why the Presidency has been vacant since Carter. All these candidates who released theirs were subsquently rejected at the polls until Trump broke the spell.

      2. Kurtz: let’s get the tax returns and find out who he’s in bed with.

        Meanwhile, he fired his bottle blondie Kjersten because even though she was separating young children from their parents, she put the kids in cages to sleep on the floor under mylar blankets and she locked up the parents, she still wasn’t being mean enough. The surge in migration is the fault of Trump’s inability to lead and his threats to close the border, so because he’s looking bad, someone has to walk the plank.

        1. Anonymous, Doll baby — He’s been paying taxes for over 50 years. But now? the Dems/media insist, it’s a real urgent priority to find out ‘who he’s in bed with.’ Ok, sure. And just to keep up…Are you still freaking out over some AG Barr/Mueller report conspiracy theory? Or have you simmered down, now?

          1. He and his father have been illegally avoiding taxes for 50 years and he promised to release his returns during the campaign.

            Yeah, I know, you like it when tells you lies and now want to pay for his wall too.

            Are you Mexican?.

            1. “He and his father have been illegally avoiding taxes for 50 years”

              Prove it, Anon. If you can’t then people are entitled to call you a liar. You are also loose with the number of years since his father has been dead for 20.

                1. PS I am not a liar, as you falsely allege, while you are demonstrably a stooge.

                  1. “PS I am not a liar”

                    Anon, what do you call a person who knowingly doesn’t tell the truth?

                      That “I am not a liar” claim reminded me of a similar claim…it had a real familiar ring to it ….but I can’t think of a similar statement that was as unintentially humorous as that one.
                      It was well over 45 years ago….I’ll think of it in a few minutes.

                    2. That New York Times piece represented extensive work by the reporters. The entire Trump family empire was built on tax avoidance. It’s in Trump’s blood. He learned it from Dad.

                      And that alone is good reason to look at Trump’s tax returns. They could tell us a lot! Only the most incurious of Trumpers would not want a look at Donald’s tax returns.

                    3. “was built on tax avoidance…that alone is good reason to look at Trump’s tax returns.”

                      What a nutcase Peter is. The law taxes earnings and then reimburses for things Congress or cities decided were good. In other words if a builder gets a tax abatement or permission to build higher if he includes a public park you are saying the builder shouldn’t build the public park?

                2. The NYTimes has libeled a lot of people but they didn’t even use the term “illegal”. Only you have the audacity to alter the written word on a regular basis.

                  It’s difficult to get you to tell the truth.

                  1. I’m not going to try to explain to people like Mr. Hill the difference between the claim of “illegally avoiding taxes for 50 years” and “tax avoidance schemes”….that is way, way beyond his ability to either grasp or concede.
                    Those accusation made by anonaliar and the statements that I followed up with should be clear enough for most. Now, let’s see how much effort Hollywood Hill and others will but into trying to sufficiently obfuscate the obvious with more weasel words.
                    Hollywood Hill and Anon are very, very well-suited for each other; they make a nice couple.

                    1. The NYTs in depth reporting found numerous illegal tax scams run by the Trumps, the statute of limitations unfortunately past.

                      Still no Trumpsters or GOP loyalists here displaying the minimum self respect required to not want to be lied to again?

                    2. “The NYTs in depth reporting found numerous illegal tax scams run by the Trumps, the statute of limitations unfortunately past.”

                      Where did the NYTimes make the claim of “numerous illegal tax scams run by the Trumps”? You are lying again and changing words to meet you desires. Trump’s been audited and the IRS didn’t find illegality so to make that claim one has be engaging in libel or stupidity.

                3. Ha NYT liars too. use of fractional interests in estate planning to minimize estate and gift tax is PERFECTLY LEGAL

                  “. He and his siblings set up a sham corporation to disguise millions of dollars in gifts from their parents, records and interviews show. Records indicate that Mr. Trump helped his father take improper tax deductions worth millions more. He also helped formulate a strategy to undervalue his parents’ real estate holdings by hundreds of millions of dollars on tax returns, sharply reducing the tax bill when those properties were transferred to him and his siblings.

                  These maneuvers met with little resistance from the Internal Revenue Service, The Times found. The president’s parents, Fred and Mary Trump, transferred well over $1 billion in wealth to their children, which could have produced a tax bill of at least $550 million under the 55 percent tax rate then imposed on gifts and inheritances.”

                  This is nonsense. obviously they were using FLPS and “fractional interest valuation.”

                  It’s tax avoidance not tax evasion. Tax avoidance is legal. Textbook stuff from estate and gift tax class in law school.

                  Rev. Rul. 59-60 go ahead and look it up. if you can wrap your head around it

                  1. Mr. Kurtz,
                    There are a couple of other interesting facets of the New York Times article about theTrumps’ “dubious tax schemes” and “tax dodges”.
                    The NY Times states that its investigation was based on “a trove of confidential tax returns and financial records”.
                    And that those “confidential tax records” include “over 200 tax returns filed by Fred Trump”.
                    It would be really interesting to learn how and where they obtained those “confidential” documents
                    The other interesting aspect is that for c.20 years ( or 30, or 50, or whatever) the Trump family allegedly, according to some, illegally billed the U.S. Treasury and New York State out of huge amounts of tax dollars they were legally required to pay.
                    For the sake of argument, let’s say that the most damning accusations and suspicions are true. And that the Trump et. al no longer have any criminal liability soley because of the statute of limitations.
                    And that it took a New York Times investigation to finally uncover all of this years later. If that is the case, the federal and state ( and, I suppose, New York City) overlooked or missed tax fraud for decade after decade, and it took a newspaper to finally figured that out.
                    Anything is possible, but that seems pretty farfetched. Now in Manafort’s case, he was convicted of crimes back to at least 2008 that were prosecuted only AFTER his involvement in the Trump campaign. There may be perfectly acceptable reasons for that, but it does raise the question of whether he would have been prosecuted ( or as aggressively prosecuted) absent his role in the Trump campaign.
                    Trump has been a nationally known figure for at least 35 years, and as surprising as it may seem now😉, he rubbed a LOT of people the wrong way. There was no lack of incentive to “go after” Trump going back to the early-to-mid 1980s.
                    Obviously, most presidents’ pasts are heavily scrutinized. But in spite of all of the factors I mentioned about, it took a newspaper to come up with these conclusions about dubious tax schemes. And that happen after Trump REALLY pissed a lot of people off by a stunning upset victory.
                    I don’t think that the House will succeed in forcing Trump to turn over his tax returns. If they do, it’s probably just a matter of time that the returns ( or the contents of the returns) are leaked to the public; shocking 😳 that a leak would come from Congress, but “it could” happen.
                    If they don’t get the tax returns ( I think there’s maybe a 40/60 chance that the House will succeed, they can always go to the New York Times. Which apparently IS able to obtain “confidential tax returns”.

                4. Let’s make a distinction between the claim of “illegally avoiding taxes for 50 years”, and what that article actually says.
                  “Dubious tax schemes” and “tax dodges” do not support the sweeping claim about “illegally avoiding taxes for 50 years”.
                  Now I don’t expect someone like “Anon” to know the difference between an accusation and actual evidence.
                  It would be pointless trying to explain such a foreign concept to “Anon”, but for those who can grasp it, I thought I’d point out the distinction .

                5. Excerpted from the article to which Anon linked above:

                  President Trump participated in dubious tax schemes during the 1990s, including instances of outright fraud, that greatly increased the fortune he received from his parents, an investigation by The New York Times has found.

                  Much of this money came to Mr. Trump because he helped his parents dodge taxes. He and his siblings set up a sham corporation to disguise millions of dollars in gifts from their parents, records and interviews show. Records indicate that Mr. Trump helped his father take improper tax deductions worth millions more. He also helped formulate a strategy to undervalue his parents’ real estate holdings by hundreds of millions of dollars on tax returns, sharply reducing the tax bill when those properties were transferred to him and his siblings.

                  These maneuvers met with little resistance from the Internal Revenue Service, The Times found. The president’s parents, Fred and Mary Trump, transferred well over $1 billion in wealth to their children, which could have produced a tax bill of at least $550 million under the 55 percent tax rate then imposed on gifts and inheritances.

                  The Trumps paid a total of $52.2 million, or about 5 percent, tax records show.

                  [Repeated for emphasis] . . . including instances of outright fraud . . . sham corporation to disguise millions of dollars in gifts from their parents . . . improper tax deductions worth millions more . . . undervalue his parents’ real estate holdings by hundreds of millions of dollars . . . transferred well over $1 billion in wealth to their children . . . paid a total of $52.2 million, or about 5 percent, tax records show.

                  [end excerpt]

                  Meanwhile, The Lord Chancellor of High Dudgeon said, “I’m not going to try to explain to people . . . the difference between . . . “illegally avoiding taxes for 50 years” and “tax avoidance schemes”…. Well, well, well . . . If His Lordship is going to call Anon a liar, then His Lordship had damned well better explain the sodding difference between a bloody tax avoidance scheme versus outright fraud, sham corporation, improper deductions and undervalued real-estate resulting in $52.2 million taxes paid a tax bill of at least $550 million. But of course The Lord Chancellor of High dudgeon is not going to explain the difference any more than the tax cheat Trump is going to explain the difference.

                  1. “Dubious tax scheme” in that instance clearly meant using FLPs and other corporate structures to effectuate fractional share discount valuations. Which is perfectly lawful and common for those with considerable wealth and real estate investments. Layered corporate structures are very useful in real estate enterprises for a variety of non-tax reasons as well such as asset protection and managerial convenience.

                    If you have had an opportunity to be involved with management of complicated real estate investments and the multigenerational transfer of wealth, which I have had the good fortune to be involved with, these “dubious tax schemes” that ignorant reporters talk about are quotidian, boring, completely kosher and lawful stock in trade.

                    But, jealous people always find them “dubious schemes” and so forth.

                    The same kind of reporters that don’t like licensed massage facilities, asssuming every Asian owned shop is stocked with “trafficked persons,”

                    The same kind of reporters who assume every accused person is guilty,

                    the thing to understand here is how our trashy yellow journalism muckracking mass media “works>” It is a systematic exercise in barely-lawful activity itself– the offense being daily, continuous, false light defamation of public figures and whomever runs afoul of the police and media bosses.

                6. IMO, the distinction between “legal” and ‘illegal” is not “inconsequential”.
                  But hey, that’s just me. If it’s a trivial matter for “Anon”, I think he should go with that.

            2. ha ha here are guys thoroughly scrutizined by the IRS and paid gobs of taxes and over decades had countless issues accepted by the IRS no problemo and maybe had some tussles. But do you think the courts dont give the IRS a fair shake in court? get real

              this is just propaganda. you are now repeating tired old falsehoods even you don’t believe.

              or maybe you do believe this like many a nitwit that just assumes rich people don’t pay enough in taxes habitually regardless of facts or law?

              1. $52.2 million taxes paid a tax bill of at least $550 million. That’s not an assumption. It’s a fact. Now who is merely assuming that that fact somehow conforms to law? What law? The assessed rate was 55 percent. The amount paid was only 5 percent. This facile presumption that the facts do conform to the law is The Three-Card Monte Dealer’s handiwork. You people actually want The Trickster to get away with breaking the law. You need Trump to be the greatest stinking cheater who ever came down the turnpike. If Trump’s tax avoidance schemes conformed to the law, Trump’s iconic status as a folk hero would be evaporate like the morning dew.

                1. Well I guess you know better than the IRS and the tax court judges huh? Foolish remarks

            3. Anon — What does asking me if I am Mexican have to do with anything? So you can put me in a Deplorable ‘Mexican’ basket? Last I checked, the Deplorables all go into ONE big basket. It’s you Dems who separate and divide everyone up by identity and category. You might want to check the approval numbers Trump has from Latino voters. It’s higher than you think, mi amigo.

              PS…if Trump and his father have been “illegally” avoiding taxes for 50 years, then I’d say the IRS isn’t doing a very good job, is it? I think you just made a good argument for smaller government… 😉

              1. Anon says: April 8, 2019 at 6:32 PM

                Yeah, I know, you like it when [Trump] tells you lies and now [you] want to pay for his wall too.

                Are you Mexican?.

                TBob says: April 8, 2019 at 9:16 PM

                Anon — What does asking me if I am Mexican have to do with anything?

                Trump repeatedly asked his cult worshippers, “What are we going to do?” And they’d answer “Build a wall.” And then Trump would ask them, “And who’s going to pay for it?” And they’d answer, “Mexico.” But now that TBob is the one paying for Trump’s wall (assuming that Trump’s going to build it), TBob pretends that Anon’s pointed question to him is somehow irrelevant. But Mexico is not paying for Trump’s wall. TBob is paying for Trump’s wall. And TBob is probably not Mexican. I mean, really. What Mexican would choose TBob as an alias?

                1. A Dominican named Roberto might choose the alias TBob if his surname was Alou.

                  1. L4D — it’s actually a Nordic name (and I am still a natural blonde) which I’m told makes me a rare Mexican bird 😉

                  2. Thinking of changing my alias to Badass BobAlou. Thanks for the suggestion L4D 😉

              2. As someone who I assume is eager to pay for the wall I figure you must be Mexican, right?

          1. She’s 46. If the blonde in her hair isn’t coming out of a bottle, she is one rare bird.

      1. You haven’t been here long enough to throw yourself back into the sardine can the hard way.

        1. Diane supports failed South Bend Mayor Buttigieg.
          Who would have thunk?


          Mayor Buttigieg Runs for President While His City Bleeds
          What the media isn’t reporting about a 2020 candidate from a failed city.

          On March 31, a South Bend grandma brought her grandson to the hospital. The 11-month-old baby boy had been shot. His grandmother’s car had also taken fire. It was another early morning in South Bend.

          Around the same time, Mayor Buttigieg, was toting up the $7 million in donations from his charm offensive as his bid for the 2020 Democrat nomination got underway. The national media never bothered reporting the shooting of an 11-month-old boy in the city he was supposed to be running, but instead confined its coverage of South Bend matters to a publicity stunt wedding officiated by Buttigieg.

          The horrifying shooting of an 11-month-old boy on the millennial mayor’s watch was not an unusual incident. In the last few days, even as the media was gushing over Buttigieg’s presidential ambitions, two Indiana University South Bend players were injured in a shooting on Notre Dame Avenue, a blind date ended in a shooting, and yet another shooting added to the bloody toll in the real South Bend.

          Those are quite a few shootings for a city of barely 100,000 people. But South Bend is a violent place.

          While Chicago is notorious for its murder rate, in 2015, Buttigieg’s South Bend actually topped Chicago’s 16.4 homicides per 100,000 people with a homicide rate of 16.79 per 100,000 people. Those numbers put Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s city on the list of the top 30 murder capitals in the country for the year.

          In January, three shootings in one week killed two teens and left a woman paralyzed from the waist down. In one summer week, the casualties included a 12 and a 13-year-old. Last year, a man shot 6 people when he opened fire on 50 partygoers in a house and was sentenced to 100 years in jail.

          By 2017, shootings had risen 20% on Mayor Buttigieg’s watch. Rapes increased 27% and aggravated assaults rose from 183 in 2013, the year before Buttigieg took office, to a stunning 563 assaults.

          It’s hard to know which are flying faster, bullets in South Bend or dollars into Buttigieg’s campaign.

          Some of these stories, particularly the recent shootings of two baseball players which shocked Indiana University, should have been covered by the national media, which instead chose to broadcast Buttigieg’s publicity stunt of officiating at a pregnant woman’s wedding in a hospital. Had the media stuck around, it could have reported on the trail of shooting victims making their way into the hospital.

          But reporting on an 11-month-old being shot in their hot new candidate’s city wouldn’t be as much fun.

          The media’s bias has never been subtle, but its disinterest in a presidential candidate’s track record has never been this blatant. Mayor Buttigieg’s candidacy is being covered as if he weren’t the mayor of an actual city with actual problems. Instead his prospects have been covered purely in terms of his identity, a gay millennial, his past career before taking office, and his current witticisms and applause lines.

          At no point in time does the media stop to tell the viewers and readers it is regaling with stories of Mayor Buttigieg’s charm that he runs the most dangerous city in Indiana, recently rated as one of the “worst cities to live”, where nearly half the residents live at the poverty level, and even the water is bad.

          These are significant data points in the track record of a politician aspiring to run the entire country.

          The media keeps asking Mayor Buttigieg which of its wishlist of radical socialist policies he’s willing to sign on to, the Green New Deal, eliminating private health insurance, and freeing more convicts, rather than asking him which policies he used to try and solve problems in South Bend. And how they worked.

          Mayor Pete Buttigieg has tried to pass off South Bend’s crime problem as a national issue. But South Bend’s violent crime rates, double the Indiana and American average, run counter to national trends.

          Buttigieg responded by doubling down on Group Violence Intervention, a trendy community outreach strategy to gang members, which despite being widely touted by the media, doesn’t work. Gimmicks, ranging from AI to wonkery, were rolled out and the shootings, the rapes and assaults have continued.

          Mayor Buttigieg excels at buzzwords and gimmicks. He’s just terrible at actually running a city.

          That’s why property crime in South Bend is rising. It’s why the city is overrun with gangs. It’s why South Bend is poor, blighted and miserable. Violence is just one of the many symptoms of Buttigieg’s failures.

          South Bend’s top employers are the local schools and hospitals, and the local government. And a local casino. Unemployment and taxes are higher than average. Meanwhile the average income is below $20,000. The poverty rate is 25%. African-American poverty rates are double. Hispanic poverty rates are 10% higher than the national average. And even Asian-Americans are poorer than usual in South Bend.

          Buttigieg’s failed city is a tragic counterpart to Lake Wobegon where everything is below average.

          The media has ignored the reality in South Bend while touting Buttigieg as a rival for the hearts of Rust Belt voters. But Buttigieg hasn’t won by winning over traditional Rust Belt voters. South Bend’s white population has dropped steadily on his watch and the city is on track for majority minority status. The remaining white population is skewed toward a white lefty elite coming for its educational institutions.

          South Bend isn’t a typical Rust Belt city. It’s a typical blue city, divided sharply between poor minorities and a leftist elite without any of the culture or tech industries that keep New York or Los Angeles going. Its traditional population has been leaving steadily and that departure only accelerated during Buttigieg’s disastrous time in office.

          Much has been made of Buttigieg winning reelection by 80%. This isn’t a testament to his unique charisma. Democrats have had a lock on the mayorality in South Bend for two generations.

          The media cheers that Buttigieg won 80% of the vote. It neglects to mention that it was 8,515 votes. That’s about the 8,369 votes that came in during the primaries. Buttigieg raised $337,161 dollars while his Republican opponent, Kelly Jones, had raised $584 dollars. The millennial wunderkind needed $40 bucks a vote while his unknown Republican opponent managed at around a quarter a vote.

          Like South Bend’s poverty and crime statistics, these are figures that the media doesn’t report because it would reveal that their shiny new candidate is a hollow façade with nothing inside except spin.

          Mayor Buttigieg isn’t winning 80% because he’s universally beloved. That percentage isn’t a testament to his popularity, but to a political system in which hardly anybody except a few lefties bothers to vote.

          The truth about “Mayor Pete” is that he’s the son of a Marxist prof working in Notre Dame who used the death throes of a dying city to polish his brand and then jump into the 2020 race over dead bodies.

          South Bend is a human tragedy. And while Buttigieg isn’t solely responsible for his woes, he has exploited it, instead of trying to fix it, using buzzwords and gimmicks to build a national brand.

          That’s something he has in common with fellow failed hipster mayor and 2020 candidate, Cory Booker.

          But Senator Booker was at least clever enough to put a little distance between his tenure in Newark and his 2020 bid. Mayor Buttigieg is betting that the national media won’t bother looking at South Bend.

          So far he’s been proven right.

          The media keeps touting Buttigieg’s Ivy League credentials, his identity as a gay politician, and his charm. When it mentions South Bend, it’s only to claim that he “turned it around” and that he won his last election by 80%. South Bend hasn’t been turned around. Downtown has gotten a hipster revamp, while the rest of South Bend chokes on crime, violence and misery. But Buttigieg knows that the national media will never bother doing more than reporting on new bike paths and an organic grocery.

          The 11-month-old boy who came into the hospital with a wound in his shoulder won’t catch their eye. But as Mayor Buttigieg keeps raising money hand over fist, South Bend continues to bleed and die.

          And Buttigieg is hoping that he can sneak into the White House before the blood gets on his hands.

          * * *

          1. Be A Straw-Man (Estovir/Nona) supports failed FakeNews reporter Daniel Greenfield, recipient of Pants-On-Fire Awards too numerous to tally.

            1. I just watched Buttigeig hit an out-of-the-park grand slam home run on the TeeVee. It was totally awesome. That man’s a keeper. Just. Like. Barack.

          2. I am in the midwest and know the place. it’s true it has a violence problem, and it pretty much has had a violence problem since the 1960s race riots. this is not Pete Butt… whatever.. this is not his fault. However, perhaps we might ask if the “recovery in the rust belt” narrative is oversold. ?

            from Chicago to Detroit, it is indeed a Rust Belt. and so remains. Gay lib has not turned NW Indiana into Cupertino. Midwesterners are not really interested in gay stuff one way or another. it’s a fringe issue.

            That’s why so many people in the midwest support Trump, even Democrats, who lie about it to their friends but like him in their hearts, with his fair trade over free trade policies, and his sensitivity to labor supply issues like … yes….. like immigration.

            Not much to say about Pete, except that he lays it on too thick about the religious stuff. Big church guy, gay church whatever, count me out. It puts me off as much as Pence’s Bible thumping stuff does. I try and ignore the religiosity stuff these days, and tend to assume they are all pious frauds.

            I like Tusli Gabbard best on the Dem side, hands down. But in all seriousness recently I am taking a good long at Andrew Yang. Hey speaking of which look who likes Yang, lol


            You have to admire him for telling folks that AI is going to be a problem. Yep, bye bye jobs, if you thought offshoring was bad, just wait !

    2. Fishy, when you continue to call Trump supporters names like, “rubes” and “idiots” and “brain-dead” etc, it is really starting to piss me off. You were one of the idiots cheering (along with the sycophantic media) for the Obama’s going on yet another “well deserved” luxury family vacation, weren’t you? Year after year, luxury trip after luxury trip, I bet you cheered them on.

      And I’m sure you had no problem with Barack and Michelle hanging with Eric Holder (Barry’s Attorney General and self-described ‘wingman’) along with his wife (who happens to be good pals with Michelle O) as they spent the month of August on vacation hobknobbing with the rich and famous on Martha’s Vineyard, right? No problem at all. Because, as the Obama-loving-media told us over and over again: presidents are always working, no matter where they are. So good for the Obama family to be on yet another well-deserved vacay.
      And you laugh about hypocrisy? You talk about a ‘con job.’ Who’s the “rube,” again, Fishy?

      1. hey Fishy….I’m guessing it went right over your head why I chose to comment on all the many Obama vacations…and then asked you ‘who’s the rube?’…it did, didn’t it? 😉

    3. I want to know what is keeping Trump “afloat in business”.
      Fishwings evidently has that knowledge, and I think she should share that knowledge with others.
      Goldman Sachs and other financial institutions that I’ve mentioned before are not foreign sources of financing.
      But if Fishwings needs to “relocate” them and claim that they’re based overseas, I think she should have that leeway if it helps her to make a point.

  7. Obama administration weaponized the IRS, thus Trump’s constant audits. If they had found something illegal, trust me, Trump would have been charged prior to even running for President. This is just political harassment of Trump. Gives them some hope to hang their hats on.

    If the Democrats are so big on character why not release the names of the members that used Congress’s sexual harassment slush fund?

  8. 1. Each and every candidate for any Congressional office or for the President office should disclose their tax return or not be eligible to run for office in my state. NC: do this now!
    2. Congress needs to give up its free medical care for itself.
    3. Congress needs to pass a law outlawing the sale of poisons like tobacco, vapers, and opioides.
    4. Trump needs to stay out of Mar A Lago and keep our security costs down.
    5. The Capital of the U.S. is in DC. Not New York. Tell the media to quit spending so much time talking about New York and it’s Dorks.

    1. “4. Trump needs to stay out of Mar A Lago and keep our security costs down.”

      Trump is the first president to NOT take a pay check. He gives his paycheck to needy departments or charities.

      Trump has not gone on vacation since taking office. Not even over the Christmas and New Years holiday last year. If he wants to go to his own FREE house in Florida, he should be able to. Just as Bush did in Texas. Don’t worry about his security detail. I’m sure you didn’t worry about Obama’s security detail while traveling all over the world on vacay. And who’s paying for Obama’s foreign trip security right now? We are. What a waste of money.

        1. So? Golf at your own club isn’t a vacay. It’s like working in your yard like Bush did.
          Why not tally up obama’s golf counts? Of course you wouldn’t. He’s above criticism.

      1. I think JFK was another president who did not take a paycheck.
        His salary was probably a pittance to him, so I don’t think he was hurting without it

  9. Conspicuously missing from today’s column is any mention of The Obama’s $100 million dollar vacation tab, including Michelle’s little mother daughter excursion to Spain complete with four bottles of maple syrup and a package of pancake mix costing $57.68, Mickey and Barry’s million dollar date night and Mrs. Obama’s side-trip to Dublin, Ireland, during the 2013 G-8 conference in Belfast, when she and her entourage booked 30 rooms at the five-star Shelbourne Hotel, and where she stayed in the 1500 square-foot Princess Grace suite at a cost of $3,500 a night.
    Grand total for Irish Jaunt? $7,921,638.66.

    1. He also forgot to mention the Moon landings, the Great Depression, the Gilded Age, and the Second Great Awakening. Conspicuous, eh?

      1. The subject is taxes and abuses of travel privileges by politicians Anonymous, NOT the Moon Landing, the Great Depression, the Gilded Age and the Second Great Awakening. Try to stay focused and keep up.

    2. She had a 30 man entourage? Not too prudent. That’s what killed Aaliyah.

  10. If he keeps this up, Professor Turley will have to sit by himself in the faculty lunchroom.

    1. Collecting checks from AEI, Heritage, and The Federalist society. He’s gone past just whataboutism….

        1. I think it depends on what he has to say, Allan. If the speeches contain views not shared by Fishwings, then he deserves no speaking fees😉.

        2. Exactly. Allan has defended Bill Clinton getting speaking fees in Russia as being irrelevant to the U-1 deal, so he is consistent.

          1. The problem with the speaking fees and the U-1 deal was that Hillary was Secretary of State at the time. The speaking fee should have been declined because there were too many connections to the U-1. There was a lot more than just the speech.

            The Obama Administration’s Uranium One Scandal
            Andrew C. McCarthyOctober 21, 2017 8:00 AM

            Secretary of State Clinton with President Obama at a Cabinet meeting in 2012. (Reuters photo: Larry Downing)
            Not only the Clintons are implicated in a uranium deal with the Russians that compromised national-security interests.
            Let’s put the Uranium One scandal in perspective: The cool half-million bucks the Putin regime funneled to Bill Clinton was five times the amount it spent on those Facebook ads — the ones the media-Democrat complex ludicrously suggests swung the 2016 presidential election to Donald Trump.

            The Facebook-ad buy, which started in June 2015 — before Donald Trump entered the race — was more left-wing agitprop (ads pushing hysteria on racism, immigration, guns, etc.) than electioneering. The Clintons’ own long-time political strategist Mark Penn estimates that just $6,500 went to actual electioneering. (You read that right: 65 hundred dollars.) By contrast, the staggering $500,000 payday from a Kremlin-tied Russian bank for a single speech was part of a multi-million-dollar influence-peddling scheme to enrich the former president and his wife, then–secretary of state Hillary Clinton. At the time, Russia was plotting — successfully — to secure U.S. government approval for its acquisition of Uranium One, and with it, tens of billions of dollars in U.S. uranium reserves.

            Here’s the kicker: The Uranium One scandal is not only, or even principally, a Clinton scandal. It is an Obama-administration scandal.

            The Clintons were just doing what the Clintons do: cashing in on their “public service.” The Obama administration, with Secretary Clinton at the forefront but hardly alone, was knowingly compromising American national-security interests. The administration green-lighted the transfer of control over one-fifth of American uranium-mining capacity to Russia, a hostile regime — and specifically to Russia’s state-controlled nuclear-energy conglomerate, Rosatom. Worse, at the time the administration approved the transfer, it knew that Rosatom’s American subsidiary was engaged in a lucrative racketeering enterprise that had already committed felony extortion, fraud, and money-laundering offenses.

            The Obama administration also knew that congressional Republicans were trying to stop the transfer. Consequently, the Justice Department concealed what it knew. DOJ allowed the racketeering enterprise to continue compromising the American uranium industry rather than commencing a prosecution that would have scotched the transfer. Prosecutors waited four years before quietly pleading the case out for a song, in violation of Justice Department charging guidelines. Meanwhile, the administration stonewalled Congress, reportedly threatening an informant who wanted to go public.

            Obama’s ‘Reset’

            To understand what happened here, we need to go back to the beginning.

            The first-tier military arsenal of Putin’s Russia belies its status as a third-rate economic power. For well over a decade, the regime has thus sought to develop and exploit its capacity as a nuclear-energy producer. Naïvely viewing Russia as a “strategic partner” rather than a malevolent competitor, the Bush administration made a nuclear-cooperation agreement with the Kremlin in May 2008. That blunder, however, was tabled before Congress could consider it. That is because Russia, being Russia, invaded Georgia.

            In 2009, notwithstanding this aggression (which continues to this day with Russia’s occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia), President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton signaled the new administration’s determination to “reset” relations with Moscow. In this reset, renewed cooperation and commerce in nuclear energy would be central.

            There had been such cooperation and commerce since the Soviet Union imploded. In 1992, the administration of President George H. W. Bush agreed with the nascent Russian federation that U.S. nuclear providers would be permitted to purchase uranium from Russia’s disassembled nuclear warheads (after it had been down-blended from its highly enriched weapons-grade level). The Russian commercial agent responsible for the sale and transportation of this uranium to the U.S. is the Kremlin-controlled company “Tenex” (formally, JSC Techsnabexport). Tenex is a subsidiary of Rosatom.

            Tenex (and by extension, Rosatom) have an American arm called “Tenam USA.” Tenam is based in Bethesda, Md. Around the time President Obama came to power, the Russian official in charge of Tenam was Vadim Mikerin.

            The Obama administration reportedly issued a visa for Mikerin in 2010, but a racketeering investigation led by the FBI determined that he was already operating here in 2009.

            The Racketeering Scheme

            As Tenam’s general director, Mikerin was responsible for arranging and managing Rosatom/Tenex’s contracts with American uranium purchasers. This gave him tremendous leverage over the U.S. companies. With the assistance of several confederates, Mikerin used this leverage to extort and defraud the U.S. contractors into paying inflated prices for uranium. They then laundered the proceeds through shell companies and secret bank accounts in Latvia, Cyprus, Switzerland, and the Seychelle Islands — though sometimes transactions were handled in cash, with the skim divided into envelopes stuffed with thousands of dollars in cash.

            The inflated payments served two purposes: They enriched Kremlin-connected energy officials in the U.S. and in Russia to the tune of millions of dollars; and they compromised the American companies that paid the bribes, rendering players in U.S. nuclear energy — a sector critical to national security — vulnerable to blackmail by Moscow.

            But Mikerin had a problem. To further the Kremlin’s push for nuclear-energy expansion, he had been seeking to retain a lobbyist — from whom he planned to extort kickbacks, just as he did with the U.S. energy companies. With the help of an associate connected to Russian organized-crime groups, Mikerin found his lobbyist. The man’s name has not been disclosed, but we know he is now represented by Victoria Toensing, a well-respected Washington lawyer, formerly a federal prosecutor and counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

            When Mikerin solicited him in 2009, the lobbyist was uncomfortable, worried that the proposal would land him on the wrong side of the law. So he contacted the FBI and revealed what he knew. From then on, the Bureau and Justice Department permitted him to participate in the Russian racketeering scheme as a “confidential source” — and he is thus known as “CS-1” in affidavits the government, years later, presented to federal court in order to obtain search and arrest warrants.

            At the time this unidentified man became an informant, the FBI was led by director Robert Mueller, who is now the special counsel investigating whether Trump colluded with Russia. The investigation was centered in Maryland (Tenam’s home base). There, the U.S. attorney was Obama appointee Rod Rosenstein — now President Trump’s deputy attorney general, and the man who appointed Mueller as special counsel to investigate Trump.

            Because of CS-1, the FBI was able to understand and monitor the racketeering enterprise almost from the start. By mid-May 2010, it could already prove the scheme and three separate extortionate payments Mikerin had squeezed out of the informant. Equally important: According to reporting by John Solomon and Alison Spann in the Hill, the informant learned through conversations with Mikerin and others that Russian nuclear officials were trying to ingratiate themselves with the Clintons.

            Uranium One, Russia, and the Clintons

            There is no doubt that this extraordinarily gainful ingratiation took place. I outlined some of it a year ago in suggesting that the Justice Department should be investigating the Clinton Foundation, and its exploitation of Hillary Clinton’s influence as secretary of state, as a potential racketeering case.

            In 2005, former President Clinton helped his Canadian billionaire friend and benefactor, Frank Giustra, obtain coveted uranium-mining rights from Kazakhstan’s dictator. The Kazakh deal enabled Giustra’s company (Ur-Asia Energy) to merge into Uranium One (a South African company), a $3.5 billion windfall. Giustra and his partners thereafter contributed tens of millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation. Besides the valuable Kazakh reserves, Uranium One also controlled about a fifth of the uranium stock in the United States.

            Alas, Putin, the neighborhood bully, also wanted the Kazakh uranium. He leaned on Kazakhstan’s dictator, who promptly arrested the official responsible for selling the uranium-mining rights to Giustra’s company. This put Uranium One’s stake in jeopardy of being seized by the Kazakh government.

            As Uranium One’s stock plunged, its panicked executives turned to the State Department, where their friend Hillary Clinton was now in charge. State sprung into action, convening emergency meetings with the Kazakh regime. A few days later, it was announced that the crisis was resolved (translation: the shakedown was complete). Russia’s energy giant, Rosatom, would purchase 17 percent of Uranium One, and the Kazakh threat would disappear — and with it, the threat to the value of the Clinton donors’ holdings.

            For Putin, though, that was just a start. He didn’t want a minority stake in Uranium One, he wanted control of the uranium. For that, Rosatom would need a controlling interest in Uranium One. That would be a tall order — not because of the Kazakh mining rights but because acquisition of Uranium One’s American reserves required U.S. government approval.

            Uranium is foundational to nuclear power and thus to American national security. As the New York Times explained in a report on the disturbing interplay between the Clinton Foundation and the transfer of American uranium assets to Russia, the United States gets a fifth of its electrical power from nuclear energy, but only produces a fifth of the uranium it needs. Consequently, a foreign entity would not be able to acquire rights to American uranium without the approval of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

            CFIUS is composed of the leaders of 14 U.S. government agencies involved in national security and commerce. In 2010, these included not only Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who had cultivated a reputation as a hawk opposed to such foreign purchases, but Attorney General Eric Holder, whose Justice Department (and its lead agency, the FBI) were conducting the investigation of Rosatom’s ongoing U.S. racketeering, extortion, and money-laundering scheme.

            In March 2010, to push the Obama “reset” agenda, Secretary Clinton traveled to Russia, where she met with Putin and Dimitri Medvedev, who was then keeping the president’s chair warm for Putin. Soon after, it emerged that Renaissance Capital, a regime-tied Russian bank, had offered Bill Clinton $500,000 to make a single speech — far more than the former president’s usual haul in what would become one of his biggest paydays ever. Renaissance was an aggressive promoter of Rosatom. The Clinton speech took place in Moscow in June. The exorbitant speech fee, it is worth noting, is a pittance compared with the $145 million Newsweek reports was donated to the Clinton Foundation by sources linked to the Uranium One deal.

            The month before the speech, the Hill reports, Bill Clinton told his wife’s State Department that he wanted to meet while in Russia with Arkady Dvorkovich, who, in addition to being a top Medvedev aide, was also a key Rosatom board member. It is not known whether the State Department gave clearance for the meeting; the question appears to have become moot since the former U.S. president met directly with Putin and Medvedev. You’ll be comforted, I’m sure, to learn that aides to the Clintons, those pillars of integrity, assure us that the topics of Rosatom and Uranium One never came up.

            Keeping Congress in the Dark

            Meanwhile, congressional opposition to Russia’s potential acquisition of American uranium resources began to stir. As Peter Schweizer noted in his essential book, Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, four senior House members steeped in national-security issues — Peter King (R., N.Y.), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R., Fla.), Spencer Bachus (R., Ala.), and Howard McKeon (R. Calif.) — voiced grave concerns, pointing out that Rosatom had helped Iran, America’s sworn enemy, build its Bushehr nuclear reactor. The members concluded that “the take-over of essential US nuclear resources by a government-owned Russian agency . . . would not advance the national security interests of the United States.” Republican senator John Barrasso objected to Kremlin control of uranium assets in his state of Wyoming, warning of Russia’s “disturbing record of supporting nuclear programs in countries that are openly hostile to the United States, specifically Iran and Venezuela.” The House began moving a bill “expressing disfavor of the Congress” regarding Obama’s revival of the nuclear-cooperation agreement Bush had abandoned.

            Clearly, in this atmosphere, disclosure of the racketeering enterprise that Rosatom’s American subsidiary was, at that very moment, carrying out would have been the death knell of the asset transfer to Russia. It would also likely have ended the “reset” initiative in which Obama and Clinton were deeply invested — an agenda that contemplated Kremlin-friendly deals on nuclear-arms control and accommodation of the nuclear program of Russia’s ally, Iran. That was not going to be allowed to happen. It appears that no disclosure of Russia’s racketeering and strong-arming was made to CFIUS or to Congress — not by Secretary Clinton, not by Attorney General Holder, and certainly not by President Obama. In October 2010, CFIUS gave its blessing to Rosatom’s acquisition of Uranium One.

            A Sweetheart Plea Helps the Case Disappear

            Even though the FBI had an informant collecting damning information, and had a prosecutable case against Mikerin by early 2010, the extortion racket against American energy companies was permitted to continue into the summer of 2014. It was only then that, finally, Mikerin and his confederates were arrested.

            Why then? This is not rocket science. In March 2014, Russia annexed Crimea. Putin also began massing forces on the Ukrainian border, coordinating and conducting attacks, ultimately taking control of territory. Clearly, the pie-in-the-sky Obama reset was dead. Furthermore, the prosecution of Mikerin’s racketeering scheme had been so delayed that the Justice Department risked losing the ability to charge the 2009 felonies because of the five-year statute of limitations on most federal crimes.

            Still, a lid needed to be kept on the case. It would have made for an epic Obama administration scandal, and a body blow to Hillary Clinton’s presidential hopes, if in the midst of Russia’s 2014 aggression, public attention had been drawn to the failure, four years earlier, to prosecute a national-security case in order to protect Russia’s takeover of U.S. nuclear assets.

            The Obama administration needed to make this case go away — without a public trial if at all possible.

            Think about this: The investigation of Russian racketeering in the American energy sector was the kind of spectacular success over which the FBI and Justice Department typically do a bells-n-whistles victory lap — the big self-congratulatory press conference followed by the media-intensive prosecutions . . . and, of course, more press conferences.

            Here . . . crickets.

            As the Hill reports, the Justice Department and FBI had little to say when Mikerin and his co-conspirators were arrested. They quietly negotiated guilty pleas that were announced with no fanfare just before Labor Day. It was arranged that Mikerin would be sentenced just before Christmas. All under the radar.

            How desperate was the Obama Justice Department to plead the case out? Here, Rosenstein and Holder will have some explaining to do.

            Mikerin was arrested on a complaint describing a racketeering scheme that stretched back to 2004 and included extortion, fraud, and money laundering. Yet he was permitted to plead guilty to a single count of money-laundering conspiracy.

            Except it was not really money-laundering conspiracy.

            Under federal law, that crime (at section 1956 of the penal code) carries a penalty of up to 20 years’ imprisonment — not only for conspiracy but for each act of money laundering. But Mikerin was not made to plead guilty to this charge. He was permitted to plead guilty to an offense charged under the catch-all federal conspiracy provision (section 371) that criminalizes agreements to commit any crime against the United States. Section 371 prescribes a sentence of zero to five years’ imprisonment.

            The Justice Department instructs prosecutors that when Congress has given a federal offense its own conspiracy provision with a heightened punishment (as it has for money laundering, racketeering, narcotics trafficking, and other serious crimes), they may not charge a section 371 conspiracy. Section 371 is for less serious conspiracy cases. Using it for money laundering — which caps the sentence way below Congress’s intent for that behavior — subverts federal law and signals to the court that the prosecutor does not regard the offense as major.

            Yet, that is exactly what Rosenstein’s office did, in a plea agreement his prosecutors co-signed with attorneys from the Justice Department’s Fraud Section. (See in the Hill’s report, the third document embedded at the bottom, titled “Mikerin Plea Deal.”) No RICO, no extortion, no fraud — and the plea agreement is careful not to mention any of the extortions in 2009 and 2010, before CFIUS approved Rosatom’s acquisition of U.S. uranium stock. Mikerin just had to plead guilty to a nominal “money laundering” conspiracy charge. This insulated him from a real money-laundering sentence. Thus, he got a term of just four years’ incarceration for a major national-security crime — which, of course, is why he took the plea deal and waived his right to appeal, sparing the Obama administration a full public airing of the facts.

            Interestingly, as the plea agreement shows, the Obama DOJ’s Fraud Section was then run by Andrew Weissmann, who is now one of the top prosecutors in Robert Mueller’s ongoing special-counsel investigation of suspected Trump collusion with Russia.

            There was still one other problem to tamp down. That was the informant — the lobbyist who alerted the FBI to the Russian racketeering enterprise back in 2009. He wanted to talk.

            Specifically, as his attorney, Ms. Toensing, explains, the informant wanted to tell Congress what he knows — about what the FBI and the Justice Department could already have proved in 2010 when CFIUS signed off on Russia’s acquisition of American nuclear material, and about what he’d learned of Russian efforts to curry favor with Bill and Hillary Clinton. But he was not allowed to talk.

            It turns out, the lawyer explains, that the FBI had induced him to sign a non-disclosure agreement. The Justice Department warned him that it was enforceable — even against disclosures to Congress. (Because, you know, the FBI is opposed to all leaks and disclosures of confidential investigative information . . . except those initiated by the FBI, of course.) In addition, when the informant was primed to file a federal civil lawsuit to recover his own losses from the scheme, he claims that the Justice Department threatened him with prosecution, warning that a lawsuit would violate the non-disclosure agreement. The Hill reports that it has obtained emails from a civil lawyer retained by the witness, which describe pressure exerted by the Justice Department to silence the informant.

            What a coincidence: That was in 2016, the stretch run of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

            This stinks.

            1. McCarthy leaves out:

              1. The SD was 1 of 9 cabinet level departments that had to sign off on the deal. Hillary did not control the decision and it is questionable if she ever involved herself in it.
              2. The Clinton’s receive no money from the Clinton Foundation, which is an A rated charity by the 2 main independent non-profits who rate them for donors.
              3. Bill’s fee for the Russian speech was in line with other amounts he has received and less than some. Speaking fees are the main source of income and wealth for the Clintons.
              4. Giustra (sp?), Bill’s buddy, divested his interest in U-1 a year and a half before Hillary became the SoS.
              5. The uranium is non-weapons grade, under the control and regulation of the NRC, and though a limited amount went to Canada at one point, it is not supposed to leave the US.

              1. Anon all of your arguments made above are close to trash. You obviously didn’t read what McCarthy said and the evidence behind what his conclusions indicate. You are a time waster because your answer doesn’t take into account anything anyone says. Your answer is merely your usual list of prdigested talking points. I will however provide you with a portion of the McCarthy report that deals directly with your most important talking point. The rest you can find for yourself. I am not trying to convince you or the doofuses that believe you know what you are talking about so you and they can remain ignorant on the rest.

                ***** It appears that no disclosure of Russia’s racketeering and strong-arming was made to CFIUS or to Congress — not by Secretary Clinton, not by Attorney General Holder, and certainly not by President Obama. In October 2010, CFIUS gave its blessing to Rosatom’s acquisition of Uranium One.*****

                There is much more to read on this one subject but I am not going to waste my time when all Anon knows are the talking points we have discussed before and are mostly invalid.

              2. Anon, your efforts are greatly appreciated. But don’t waste your time with the windbag and his nerdy sidekick. Believe me they’re not worth it.

                1. Thanks, but I’m not writing for Allan or Tom. That would be a waste of time.

    2. Unusual amount of rancor on the message board today. You’d think the Professor went full Alan Dershowitz.

  11. There’s nothing inherently presidential about Trump’s decision to fight the Committee’s request for his tax returns. He’s in the same position as any other American in that regard. But the statute in question gives Congress the clear authority to request the returns. The Congressional request, moreover, is narrowly tailored to serve a legitimate Congressional purpose, which is to determine whether an Executive agency (the IRS) is able to carry out its audit function fairly, fully and impartially when the taxpayer is the head of the Executive Branch (the President). Although Professor Turley may find the Committee’s purpose “vague,” the courts will not. The request falls squarely within Congress’s oversight powers. Further, the request is clearly not a “fishing expedition” as the President’s lawyers claim. Instead, Chairman Neal has limited his request to returns and related documents that serve his stated purpose. it would be pure politics for the courts NOT to uphold the Committee’s request.

    1. Repeated for emphasis from the comment above:

      The Congressional request, moreover, is narrowly tailored to serve a legitimate Congressional purpose, which is to determine whether an Executive agency (the IRS) is able to carry out its audit function fairly, fully and impartially when the taxpayer is the head of the Executive Branch (the President).

      [end excerpt]

      That is a fine argument. Who else has the power to fire employees of the IRS?

      1. The Secretary of the Treasury has the power to fire employees of the IRS. Presumably there’s some sort of Director of the IRS who has the power to fire IRS employees. But what about The Speaker of The House or The House Ways and Means Committee Chairman? I don’t think that any Member of Congress has the power to fire IRS employees. So let’s see Steve Mnuchin’s tax returns along with the tax returns of whoever the Director of the IRS is and Trump’s.

  12. Trump promised during the election that he’d turn over his tax returns WHEN Hillary turned in her missing 33,000 emails. Promises made, promises kept.

  13. three out of four Americans is that many believe Congress is incapable of doing the right thing, only the political thing. … But that is unfair. History shows Congress occasionally does the right thing, if it has no alternative.

    IOW, when the right thing is the political thing.

    Our real problem is the decline in the moral quality and civic spirit of our professional-managerial class conjoined to screens and subcultural feedback loops which put the worst of them in public office.

    What’s Jerrold Nadler done with his life? His capsule biographies don’t list any occupation antedating public office. He is 71 years old and has occupied public office continuously since he was 29. He didn’t complete his law degree until after he was elected to the state legislature and never built a law practice.

    First things first: set screens on running for public office which exclude the Nadlers. To with, in order to run for public office, you must meet the following criteria.

    1. Be a citizen of these United States

    2. Sign formal, sworn renunciation of any claim you may have on the citizenship of a foreign country.

    3. Not be incarcerated on probation, on parole, under an order of civil commitment, or under a guardianshp

    4. Have been a free, lawful and palpable resident of the United States or its abiding possessions for the majority of your natural life. Time spent abroad in the Armed Services or as a citizen in the employ of the United States government would be deemed of equivalent value to palpable residency. “Free and lawful’ residency means you are in the country legally and not incarcerated, on probation, on parole, or under an order of civil commitment or guardianship.

    5. Have spent at least 8 years of your life as a free, lawful, and palpable resident of an electoral canton touching on the constituency in which you are running. By default, your ‘electoral canton’ would be the state (or territory) in which the constituency nestles, but state legislatures would be free to subdivide the state, provided that the number of cantons therein does not exceed the number of dense urban settlements of a certain threshold population. (Set the threshold at 50,000).

    6. Be a palpable resident of the constituency in which you are running. The candidate can demonstrate that by having a property deed or a rental agreement as a proof and by filing his federal and state income tax returns from said address.

    7. Be a registered voter at said address ‘ere the petition period for primary elections commences.

    8. Be in the age range wherein it is permissible to run for public office. For any office one would have to be between one’s 39th birthday and one’s 72d birthday by default, with some dispensations permissible. For seats on conciliar bodies In jurisdictions with fewer than 1,000,000 residents, one might be as young as 25 or as old as 86, with the precise range determined by a formula in which the population of the jurisdiction was an argument. Ditto specialized executive positions (e.g. town clerk) in jurisdictions with fewer than 100,000 residents. Ditto general executives (mayor, county executive) in jurisdictions with fewer than 50,000 residents. Standing for municipal court might be permissible for those having reached the age of 35.

    9. Be in compliance with rules pertaining to tainted occupations. To wit, any person in a tainted occupation running for public office would have circulate petitions or stand as a candidate at a caucus or convention conjoined to an understudy who was not tainted. At the conclusion of the nominating processes, a count would be taken across all constituencies of tainted candidates nominated under each party banner. Should the tainted candidates exceed in number 20% of the full set, the board or elections or secretary of state or local clerk would have to hold a drawing among tainted candidates to replace some of them with their understudy to get that proportion under 20%. Tainted occupations would be (1) member of the bar, (2) public employee, (3) employee of a political party, registered lobby, or registered advocacy group. And should one resign from said occupation, one would retain the taint for a period of time – say, one month for every four months one was in said occupation.

    10. Be in compliance with rules on rotation in office or mandatory retirement. (a) the general run of officials would be elected for four year terms; none could hold a given office for more than 10 years in any bloc of 12, nor stand for election if they would hit that wall in the midst of their four year term. (b) judges would not be subject to rotation-in-office rules but they would be subject to mandatory retirement, compelled to vacate office on a standard date the calendar year they reach the age of 76.

    1. great ideas and we should have locked them in before the 65 immigration reform act. now forget it no way too many foreigners here. never happen,.

      and why? money is why. making money depends on cheap labor and migrants are always an easy replentishable source of new cheap labor and demand inflation. from day one of the Republic.

      the “creedal nation” has as its binding creed, gain, within the broad boundaries of a liberal capitalist order. it has always been inhospitable to natural sources of identity like nativity and blood relations. that was baked into the rebellion against England.

      but, peasants like me keep on recognizing that these natural sources of identity and social affiliation have meaning, in spite of the “creedal nation” and its blindness towards them

    2. Triply Absurd said, “Tainted occupations would be (1) member of the bar, (2) public employee, (3) employee of a political party, registered lobby, or registered advocacy group.”

      I see what you’re doing with that proposal. You’re going to count convicted criminals as members of the bar. Aren’t you? You’re going to count journalists as employees of a political party. Aren’t you? And then you’re going to count NFL players as public employees. Aren’t you? I’m on to you. Aren’t I?

    3. Absurd obviously lacks historical perspective, which is why he thinks today’s office holders are not of the same quality as the mix of scoundrels and statesman from our past, and displays the short common sightedness of many if not most humans in imagining how our times are both the worst and most important our species has experienced.

      If one were to wish for the most effective change to our system it might be a more discerning electorate, given the beyond stupid election of Trump, except the people didn’t elect him, nor do they support him now, or the many short sighted ego trips he pretends are policy. As has been the case many times in our history, the most effective changes available would include numerous process reforms aimed at increasing voter participation and the destruction of turf guarding by political groups. Specifically, we should end or reform the winner take all electoral college – which has thwarted the will of the people with associated damage to the SC twice in 16 years – require states to apportion congressional and state districts by non-partisan committee and subject to review and take various steps to increase voter turn out like automatic registration and increased access to polls.

      1. I read something about John Dingell writing an op-ed on that topic. Where did I read that? The author was complaining about an essay on the rise of authoritarian leaders by some historian named Robert Kagan. Supposedly Dingell’s recommendations were a far sight better than Kagan’s. Can you imagine how galled Triply Absurd will be merely to read the name John Dingell? Ha-Ha! I wonder from which “tainted occupation” Dingell hailed.

        1. Excerpted from The John Dingell opinion editorial linked above:

          My friend Norm Ornstein, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, sees a demographic shift coming that will effectively transform us into two countries. He tells me that “in 2050, 70 percent of Americans will be living in just 15 states. That 70 percent will then have 30 senators, and the remaining 30 percent of the people, mainly those living in the smallest and poorest states, will have 70 senators.”

          1. Thank God for that!

            If you don’t like it then you can plan your attack. Presumably that will involve the federal Legions somehow. Assuming that they will execute orders to invade and forcibly occupy the heartland in favor of California and New York. I find that a dubious notion. Do you really think the middle and low level comm officers let alone noncoms of the US Army will take such orders? lol

            But our plan is that the denizens of the vast concrete jungles in which no food grows will come to heel very quickly once food shipments are interrupted for 7 days.

            Do you imagine that your federal army legions of mercenaries will be able to occupy and force production and shipment of food in the vast reaches of flyoverland?

            The USSR was sufficiently organized to accomplish that against the Ukraine in the 1930s. But they had the Communist party cadre and you do not. And we have the Second Amendment and the kulacks did not.

            Think this one out carefully before you presume to reorganize and deprive flyover land of our senators. It will definitely come to blows.

            Trust me the electoral college is here to stay too. DOA any plan to change these two things.

            1. There’s not a lot of oil refineries in the big cities either. 135 to be precise. These are not under the control of the urban lumpen nor will they ever be. There is heavy private security and the contiguous areas are generally not conducive to walk-in mobs.

              If the big cities make too much trouble in America, the plan is not to pacify the heartland. The plan is actually to pacify the big cities.

              Lights out and the water stops flowing. We don’t have to wait a week for the riots to start. 24 hours is good enough for that. Within 48 hours of no fresh water any urban area can be pacified regardless of any other political conditions.

              Understand why the bugout plan for the really rich liberals in Silicon Valley is New Zealand. Understand why they have a bugout plan in the first place.
              Understand why so many people who used to live in places like Chicago or California, now, don’t.

              Understand why in the 80s some notorious people liked places like Couer d’Alene Idaho, and now so many more people have come since then

              “the Big Sort.,” its inexorable. read the writing on the wall.

          2. Diane, we’re at that point about right now 75% of America lives in the 20 most populous states. Which means that only 25% of the country has 60 senators. That explains how conservatives hold onto power.

            1. Peter, when will you start to learn that it isn’t good to have two foxes and a chicken deciding what to eat for dinner.


      1. Trump actions = crazy like a fox, not drug related. Drug test might detect caffeine from Diet Coke consumption but that’s likely all that can be found. Now that you mention it, I would like to see results from Nancy P drug test.

  15. It’s fair that theses Dem reps should release their 6 years tax returns too:

    Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Maxine Waters, Adam Schiff & Jerry Nadler

  16. JT rides in again on his white steed and with his “What About….?” banner fully unfurled. Way to purposely miss an important question. While the House may affect an actual change in transparency rules for Presidents, JT’s proposal for a complete make over in DC is both unrealistic and buzz killing for those who may want to start with a president obviously hiding something. I’ll support the make over for Congress, but later buddy….. we’re kind a busy right now.

    1. Quest for tax returns meant to embarrass president just like they did to Clinton back in the day when they scrutinized unit value placed on his used undershorts donated to charity. No policy reason at all. Witch Hunt 2.0

      1. The part where the IRS investigated Al Capone but didn’t investigate Donald Trump. Or did they? Really?

    2. “a president obviously hiding something.”

      Anon, your accuracy in reporting things is extremely low. On the other blog you accused me of saying something and I quoted what I said which was exactly the opposite.

      One has to doubt anything you say except if you can provide a good source to prove what you are saying is true and not out of context.

  17. Amazing. Trump is always excused. Guess what he’s the president. He needs to turn over his records regardless of what members of the House or senate do. Other presidents have released their tax returns. Why won’t he?

    1. Hey Holmes, there is no legal requirement for Trump to turn over tax returns and Dems claiming “policy” as an excuse for trying to obtain them is a joke. No probable cause justifying congressional overreach – the word is not “policy” but another P words “politics”. This is all part of a political product “upgrade” by Dems & lefty loons i.e. Witch Hunt 2.0

      1. How a self respecting voter comes to defend Trump not producing tax returns is beyond me. He told us he’d love to but but but but …audit. BS If he’s not hiding something it’s the best impersonation of it since John Lovitz.

        Trump will be gone sooner rather than later and you may want to bash some democrat for not releasing tax returns or declaring national emergencies to fund whatever he wants. It’ll be too late.

        1. Anon, A few weeks back you showed some signs of fairness when you agreed that Up or Down for Trump should be decided at ballot box in 2020. But immediately after that you snapped back into form. This “self respecting voter’ does defend Trump not turning over tax returns – especially at this moment – when such request is clearly politically motivated with intent to cherry-pick and embarrass president heading into 2020 election. Hopefully that clarifies for you this “self respecting voter[‘s]” view on this matter. Funny how we did not hear cries for Trump’s tax returns when Dems believed Muler had Trump cornered. “Things that make you go Hmmm?”

          1. Absent new evidence that would switch Senate sentiment toward a vote to remove Trump, I oppose impeachment. Nothing has changed in my opinion on this.

            Of course it is political to try and force Trump into releasing his returns. As L4 has said, “this ain’t no disco”. The way to make it not political is for him to release them and steal the fire – or maybe burn his house down. I’m OK with either, the former as reaffirming a matter of principle our contemporary presidential candidates have all adhered to until now, and which we should all hope continues voluntarily, but by law if not, and the latter…. well, my glee at that prospect needs no explanation.

            The cry for Trump to release his tax returns has continued unabated since he refused to do so. I don;t think you have heard all “Dems” on this issue, let alone even House leaders who announced right after the election that they would pursue his returns.

            1. Your circular logic’s got you running around in circles Anon. And I am calling bullshiite on your statement…”The cry for Trump to release his tax returns has continued unabated since he refused to do so.” No Siree, the House Ways & Means Committee requested 6 years of Trump’s tax returns on April 3, 2019, a mere 10 days or so after the Barr letter released on March 24, 2019. Perhaps you can try to explain this away as being coincidental, but I am going to follow the immortal words of Steve Marriucci: “Believe what you see”, and this man believes recent request for Trump’s tax returns is all part of the Resistance’s Witch Hunt 2.0

              1. Pretty thin reed your placing your argument on. Note the date:

                “By BRAD TUTTLE Updated: February 7, 2019

                Nearly two-thirds of registered voters say they want Donald Trump’s tax returns released—and a Congressional hearing today is taking one step in a multi-prong effort to obtain the president’s tax returns and make them public…..

                …Now Democrats, who took over control of the House after a wave of 2018 election wins, have made promises of their own — to get their hands on President Trump’s tax returns one way or anther, review them for conflicts of interest and other wrongdoing, and possibly make them public….

                On Thursday, the House Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing discussing broad ethics reform legislation that could include a provision requiring Trump and presidential candidates to release 10 years of tax returns….”

                Plenty more where that came from, Google it.

                1. Dude, I cited two precise dates/actions i.e. House request for tax returns April 3 and Barr letter March 24th, and you go searching for a google article to backfill your partisan argument with an article that concludes with reference to discussions “about broad ethics reform legislation that could include a provision requiring Trump and presidential candidates to release 10 years of tax returns….” The House Dems request on April 3rd had nothing to do with new legislation but was rather another attempt to disrupt and embarrass president shortly after release of Barr letter on March 24th. Bang bang.

                  1. You stated that Democrats are only now focusing on Trump tax returns now because of the Barr report – an inconsequential statement even if true – are you shocked that Democratic politicians practice ……. politics? – and I supplied you with reporting from 2 months ago, long before the Barr report showing the groundwork being laid. There is even a quote there and in another article about Pelosi’s comments early on about carefully laying the legal groundwork for what would be a legal battle.

                    Google it and then come up with another excuse for having no principles that don’t include carrying Trump water.

                    1. Dude, You are wordsmithing like an MSNBC “commentator”. I never stated that Dems “are only now focusing on Trump tax returns” – that has always been a menu item at their Hate Trump Restaurant. I boiled it down to this now being a retaliatory action action by House on April 3 immediately following revelation on March 24th that Trump-Russia collusion was a hoax. Occasional political rhetoric about Trump tax returns since 2016 election but no formal action by Dems until formal request sent to IRS 10 days after Barr letter. So easy, even a caveman could figure out what is going on here.

                    2. So, you are shocked that politics is being practiced right in Washington DC, even if your premise of sudden interest is false as I have demonstrated above, and that is somehow justification for your abandoning any tradition of transparency on the part of our presidential candidates. OoooKKkkkk.

                      Is it your assertion also that Trump and the GOP is not playing politics and therefore occupy a higher moral ground you are defending? Surely you don’t think that.

                    3. The Simple Caveman said, “. . . revelation on March 24th that Trump-Russia collusion was a hoax.”

                      That’s not even what Barr said, let alone what Mueller said. It is, however, what Trump has been saying since January of 2017. This is the problem with caveman simplicity. It’s far too simple just to put Trump’s words into Mueller’s mouth and hope that nobody else notices the difference. Letting people read the Mueller report for themselves is way far too complicated for a simple caveman.

        2. “How a self respecting voter comes to defend Trump not producing tax returns is beyond me.”

          Because you have a problem with the facts and understanding the law.

      2. Hey Bill, why won’t he? Other presidents have. One thing about Trump he was right when he said his supporters would continue supporting him no matter what he did.

        1. I think none of the presidential candidates should disclose their private tax returns to the public.

          1. Well, consistent at least, and I emphasize the “at least” part of that. What makes me doubt that Bill will not defend President AOC hiding her tax returns in 2029?

            1. Not interested in how AOC might have under-reported tips as bartender. That is job of IRS to determine if any issues with her return. If however the Dems force issue with Trump in court then that would be legal precedent to scour AOC’s tax returns to study her reported tip income and deductions. If Dems do press this and win in court, then what is stopping Reps from using that as precedent to go after Nancy P’s tax returns? Both are elected Federal officials – where would the line be drawn? This is just another silly diversion by Dems.

              1. AOC does not have the power to fire IRS auditors. Trump does. And so does Mnuchin. Jared Kushner has the power to cause Trump to fire whosoever Kushner tells Trump to fire. Except for Members of Congress–so far.

        2. Because he doesn’t have too. He sent them to the only place that requires them, the IRS.

      3. Bill Martin, there is no legal requirement that a sitting President can’t be indicted, it’s DOJ “policy”

        1. What is the effing point you are trying to make here FishSticks? Are you flailing again?

            1. No I am not going to “Read what you wrote… earlier.” State your point concisely, or drop it.

              1. I pointed out what you said, no legal requirement for releasing tax records. It was policy. I said there is no legal requirement that a sitting President can’t be indicted, it’s DOJ policy. Take a breath, and get fresh air…

                1. “Methinks the lady doth protest too loudly” regarding need to “get fresh air”. By the way releasing tax records for presidents or presidential candidates has never been “policy”, it has become something of a voluntary tradition but not policy. Trump has opted out for good reason – knows full well that tax returns would be nit-picked in endless pursuit to embarass him heading into 2020 election.

                  1. Yes, yes, yes, Beak Guitar. It has become something of a “voluntary tradition” to refrain from indicting a sitting president–but not “policy.”

                    (Perhaps you should study Anon’s “wordsmithing” more closely.)

                    1. Late4Yoga: You provide support for my assertion that Trump should buck “tradition” and not release his tax returns for lunatic lefty loons like you to pick through them and spin, insinuate, infer relentlessly. Thank you.

                    2. FishWings says: April 8, 2019 at 10:55 AM

                      Bill Martin, there is no legal requirement that a sitting President can’t be indicted, it’s DOJ “policy”

                      You provide support for FishWing’s implication that Mueller could have bucked “tradition” and indicted Trump.

                2. Fish, your understanding of what different words mean is very incomplete. Poicy is different from tradition. It’s not DOJ policy rather what the law says.

                  Such abominations of the English language and the understanding of law makes you look very foolish when you argue with others.

                  1. Policy…Principle of action adopted or proposed. So your telling me that candidates for President have NOT adopted the tradition of showing taxes? This coming from you that tried to tell me that fascism started from communism. By the way, It is policy not law that DOJ says you cannot indict a sitting President.

                    1. “So your telling me that candidates for President have NOT adopted the tradition of showing taxes?”

                      Yes. (Though I am happy to see that you are engaging in thought)

                      They **voluntarily** adopted and that voluntary action did NOT create a legal obligation. When Trump won the Presidency the voters had more than adequate opportunity to consider this factor when they put Trump in office.

                      “This coming from you that tried to tell me that fascism started from communism.” the ideas behind communism and socialism.

                      Read your history and read the history behind the leader Mussolini. It was Giovani Gentile (not Mario) who was strongly influenced by Karl Marx. and Hegel who influenced Marx (not Groucho 🙂 .

                      ” It is policy not law that DOJ says you cannot indict a sitting President.”

                      Policy is created from law.

                    2. He Who Blows It Out His Backside said, “It was Giovani Gentile (not Mario) who was strongly influenced by Karl Marx. and Hegel who influenced Marx . . . ”

                      Hegel’s philosophy was historical idealism. Hegelian dialectic was dialectical idealism. Marx’s philosophy was a historical materialism. Marxian dialectic was dialectical materialism. The only thing that Hegel and Marx shared in common was the dialectical assumption that history supposedly proceeds from a conflict between theses versus antitheses generating syntheses that become new theses. Of course, the dialectical assumption remains a crock of cockamamie under both the Hegelian idealist regime and Marxist materialist regime. Meanwhile, Giovanni Gentile was explicitly a Hegelian idealist. Consequently, He Who Blows It Out His Backsides’ argument can be formally reduced to the following instance of logical flatulence:

                      H influenced M. And H influenced G. Therefore, M influenced G. Except that, M repudiated H. And G explicitly adopted H. Therefore, G explicitly adopted that which M had repudiated. In which case, M did not “influence” G. Instead, G reacted against M in a way antithetical to M’s reaction against H. And the whole world ended up in the crock of cockamamie.

                  2. Allan says: April 8, 2019 at 12:24 PM

                    “Fish, your understanding of what different words mean is very incomplete. Poicy is . . .”

                    Allan, that was the worst possible place to put a typo. Unless of course you have an understanding of the word Poicy. Well . . . Do you have an understanding of the word poicy, Allan?

                    1. Anon, So what? Watching what has happened if I were him I would release nothing I wasn’t legally obligated to release. He also has a right to change his mind.

                      BUT the quote from his spokesperson was: “Mr. Trump has always said that when the routine audit is complete he would release his tax returns.”

                      That once again conflicts with your rhetoric unelss you can find another quote that conflicts with what the spokesperson said. This is such a boring issue yet you make so much to do about it. If this is the most important thing against Trump one has to consider that he is one step away from being Jesus.

                      Think of all the statements you have made that were totally untrue. Then think of this complaint and one knows immediately that you are not a serious person.

                    2. He Who Is Unbelievably Oblivious To Himself said, “. . . [O]ne has to consider that he [Trump] is one step away from being Jesus . . . and one knows immediately that you [anon] are not a serious person.”

                      Jesus of Nazareth was not a Holy Tax Martyr. Holy Tax Martyrdom is not “one step away” from being a soter/savior God. Trump couldn’t redeem his own sins if his life depended upon it. Which, fortunately for Trump, is not the case. He who worships Trump worships a false idol.

                3. IT’s DOJ policy for two really good reasons that will never change.
                  these will continue to apply forever regardless of party wins. to wit:

                  a) nobody worth a darn would want the job if their own DOJ could ram it up their own backside in the middle of the term.

                  b) the whole idea of a bureaucracy like the DOJ is that it is part of the executive branch as such which means the POTUS is in fact the boss of all bosses ergo it is senseless to pretend that the boss will indict himself. duh. why is that so hard for you guys to understand?

                  1. I wonder if that bit about “false idols”is the official doctrine of L4B’s coven, or if she’s just free-lancing.

                4. its part of the inherent logic of separation of powers fish. seriously this is not even a partisan issue. it is simple governmental structure. the boss does not indict himself and it would be a nonsensical policy to try and establish otherwise which nobody would accept least of all any president or any heads of any political party. you are banging your head on a wall on this thing.

    2. He did turn them over, to the IRS, the only place he needed to. Sorry, individual privacy trumps your witch hunt.

      1. Your situational position on this issue is duly noted. I’m sure we can count on you to encourage all candidates in the future to stonewall inquiries into their finances, regardless of party.

          1. Stopped reading after “in today’s dollars”. Again, if there was really something there, the IRS would have blown the whistle. Face it, you have nothing.

        1. Correct, I don’t care if any candidate turns over their tax returns. I only care about the actual requirements unlike you. If there is wrong doing, the IRS will point it out.

        2. Are you the one who counseled Bernie Sanders (#1 in the prog polls) to withhold his taxes, exactly like the much-hated alleged zombie “ORANGE MAN?”

          Gee, I wonder if his secrecy correlates to the fact that Zlimy ZanderZ is a multi-millionaire hypocrite masquerading as a socialist wanna-be…or that his wife single handedly drove her ex-employer College into bankruptcy, while lying to the banks (a felony), inflating the value of the College’s “assets.”

    3. because he doesn’t have to, and you clowns who don’t know diddly about taxation of real estate will have a rhetorical field day exagerrating and making things up about him that few will be qualified to correct. in short, it just gives free grist for the mill of the mass media which is full of millers who simply hate his guts and have bad faith and no credibility. Trump is not stupid as you think he is.

      This is pure manipulation. These are the people looking at the mote in his eye when they have a beam in their own. that may have been what Turley was getting at, but you guys are just here to flame him any time he says somethingly mildly beneficial to Trump. you sound like a bunch of lickspittle bootlackeys of the mass media. At least they pay their journalists cruddy wages, what do you get out of being shoeshine boys?

    4. “Trump is always excused.”

      Holmes, That is a lie for which another with a similar problem has provided you a +1.

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