Joe Biden: Nostradamus or Nut?

Nostradamus_by_Cesar23495344445_cb01041aeaThat seems to be the choice if you read accounts after President Donald Trump’s reckless tweet referring to a delay of the election.  While Trump last night stated that he is not seeking a delay in the election in his tweet, the tweet set off a firestorm. I was one of those who within minutes denounced the tweet as fueling a baseless conspiracy theory that Trump could delay the election. However, some writers claimed that Biden was right all along when he “predicted” that Trump would move to delay the election and noted that I made fun of him for warning voters of a move against the election.  I certainly did make fun of him, but it is worth noting that the column was not about whether Trump might suggest a delay but how such a delay could not happen. It is no “conspiracy theory” that Trump might suggest something outrageous on Twitter.  That is an established fact that occupies this blog on a daily basis. The theory was whether the election could be delayed by Trump unilaterally and it was alarming voters for no reason. I explained that the theory that the election would be canceled or stopped was “all the rage on the Internet” for months before Biden unwisely repeated it.

The April column, which I admit was caustic, expressed my frustration with the coverage over whether Trump was going to delay the election despite the lack of a factual or constitutional foundation.  I was equally caustic with Trump‘s reference to a delay. Notably, at the time of Biden’s sensational statement, other experts agreed that this was not a real possibility.  Yet, it served to send the media into a frenzy over a theory despite being as likely as Trump staying in office by adopting a Venusian calendar.

I later criticized Jared Kushner is equally harsh terms for suggesting that such a delay was a possibility.  Again, the criticism was focused on the constitutional impediments to such a delay and how it is not in the realm of possibilities with today’s Congress.

Critics have omitted that the April column was actually about an array of conspiracy theories on the Internet that have been given credence by the media.  It also clearly stated that I was not arguing that Trump would never adopt such conspiracy theories. To the contrary, I said that if he tried to do what Biden was suggesting and “tried to stay in office past noon on January 20 if he loses, he would have to join Biden on the subway and whisper to people that he is still the president.” The column was not on what Trump might claim but the realities of the law governing the election.

What is also striking is that the effort to claim that Biden is a seer  or Trump whisperer ignores what he actually said.  Biden was suggesting that Trump might unilaterally stop the election and was warning voters” “Mark my words, I think he is going to try to kick back the election somehow, and come up with some rationale why it cannot be held.”  He also however added the additional claim that the election might be stolen by the Postal Service: “Imagine threatening not to fund the post office. Other than trying to let the word out that he is going to do all he can to make it very hard for people to vote, that is the only way he thinks he can possibly win.” No one is mentioning that part.

As I explained:

“Let us address the mail connection. For years, Trump has been a critic of the Postal Service as being an institution that repeatedly required bailouts due to running huge deficits. He wants the Postal Service to agree to raise fees for mass shippers like Amazon before it can ask for another federal subsidy. That would have no impact on voting, including mail voting, in the election. Any change in its operations would not impact such things as regular mail this year.”

As an aside, this does not mean that we should not be focusing on the Postal Service. Trump is right that there will likely be an increase in challenges and problems as we move toward such a massive increase in mail in voting. I have covered presidential elections for the media for many years and every one has involved legal challenges on some level, including the traumatic and lingering challenges in 2000. The shift to mail in voting adds a new layer of possible problems and challenges and we need to be prepared for them. Trump is also right that counting all of the votes could be a problem and we need to clearly establish how the Postal Service will be handling these ballots. This includes a review of current changes in this Administration that could delay receipt of ballots. However, any sinister role of the Postal Service would immediately be subject to challenge. Moreover, even a delay of days will not prevent the counting of ballots so long as they are properly postmarked. Additionally, Trump predication of massive voter fraud is not supported by past uses of alternative mailing systems.

The main problem addressed in the April column was Biden repeating the Internet theory that the election might not be held.  Such sensational statements focuses people on a nonexistent threat and undermines the faith in our election process.  It is also simply wrong. There is no such possibility.

Trump’s tweet was worthy of condemnation and I was one of the first in line. He ended a tirade with “It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”  While he said later that he was only pointing out the likely delays and challenges to come from massive mail in voting, it was another reckless tweet that sent the country into a frenzy.  I wrote yet another blog column, again, pointing out that this is a baseless conspiracy theory and that our election will be held on November 3rd. Period.

So, to sum up. Biden did not just claim that Trump would raise a delay. As shown by the coverage in response to his statement, he was warning that Trump might unilaterally stop the election or steal it with the help of the Postal Service. Even before he denied wanting to move the election date hours later, Trump did not say that he was even contemplating a unilateral decision to halt the election. As my Biden column stated, Trump does not have that authority.  That is the conspiracy theory.

Thus, if Biden was merely predicting that Trump would say an outrageous thing, he is a Nostradamus but so is everyone else in the country. If he was really predicting that the election would be halted by Trump, he is a nut.  In my view, he is really neither. He is a politician who was fueling a conspiracy theory that was already all the rage on the Web.


149 thoughts on “Joe Biden: Nostradamus or Nut?”

  1. Neither one. he’s a neo aristocrat member of the establishment a statist corporatist and in no way a Constitutionalist.


    “Hong Kong delays election citing pandemic”

    July 31, 2020

    By Yanni Chow and Carol Mang

    HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Friday postponed a Sept. 6 election to the Chinese-ruled city’s legislature by a year because of a rise in coronavirus cases,

  3. As is so often the case, Allan fails to give us a link, just as he neglects to use quotation marks.

    1. Again, fixing this problem is not that challenging. The Democratic Party is s criminal organization and all Republican legislators do is fellate the Chamber of Commerce lobbyists.

    1. Cindy, there is now an election in NY that is in dispute. Treumendous mail in voter problems/ fraud. The election is now undergoing recounts and I don’t know if one of them is requesting a revote. We are seeing only the tip of the iceberg. We need voting at the precincts with ID’s and absentee voting that is limited to those in need and that needs to be double checked or the ballot voided. We need to redo our registration roles.

      Voting is a privilege. If one is unwilling to expend a bit of energy to vote one shouldn’t vote.

      1. Again, it’s not that difficult to improve ballot security elections administration generally. Legislatures are feckless and the Democratic Party is actively hostile because they’re a criminal organization.

  4. Is Trump Sabotaging The Post Office On Purpose?

    Spite Towards Jeff Bezos And Mail In Ballots Widely Suspected

    The U.S. Postal Service is experiencing days-long backlogs of mail across the country after a top Trump donor running the agency put in place new procedures described as cost-cutting efforts, alarming postal workers who warn that the policies could undermine their ability to deliver ballots on time for the November election.

    As President Trump ramps up his unfounded attacks on mail balloting as being susceptible to widespread fraud, postal employees and union officials say the changes implemented by Trump fundraiser-turned-postmaster general Louis DeJoy are contributing to a growing perception that mail delays are the result of a political effort to undermine absentee voting.

    On Thursday, Trump floated the idea of delaying the Nov. 3 general election, a notion that was widely condemned by Democrats and Republicans alike. He has repeatedly gone after the Postal Service, recently suggesting that the agency cannot be trusted to deliver ballots.

    DeJoy, a North Carolina logistics executive who donated more than $2 million to GOP political committees in the past four years, approved changes that took effect July 13 that the agency said were aimed at cutting costs for the debt-laden mail service. They included prohibiting overtime pay, shutting down sorting machines early and requiring letter carriers to leave mail behind when necessary to avoid extra trips or late delivery on routes.

    The new policies have resulted in at least a two-day delay in scattered parts of the country, even for express mail, according to multiple postal workers and union leaders. Letter carriers are manually sorting more mail, adding to the delivery time. Bins of mail ready for delivery are sitting in post offices because of scheduling and route changes. And without the ability to work overtime, workers say the logjam is worsening without an end in sight.

    Edited From: “Postal Service Backlog Sparks Worries That Ballot Delivery Could Be Delayed In November”

    The Washington Post, 7/30/20


      More On Trump And Post Office From Same Article

      Trump has repeatedly gone after the Postal Service, calling it “a joke” and demanding it raise the rates it charges companies such as Amazon. (Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.) In recent months, the administration has sought to leverage the agency’s financial woes, made worse by the pandemic and declines in profitable first- and second-class mail. On Wednesday, the Postal Service agreed to give the Treasury Department information about its private-sector contracts in exchange for a $10 billion emergency loan authorized by Congress in an early round of coronavirus relief spending.

      Weeks after DeJoy took over, agency officials released an internal memo announcing a “pivot” for all employees.

      Traditionally, postal workers are trained not to leave letters behind and to make multiple delivery trips to ensure mail is delivered on time — which can incur extra costs in overtime hours, transportation and more.

      Officials laid out a shift away from this approach, saying that such practices cost the organization about $200 million in added expenses, according to the memo, which was obtained by The Post.

      Among the changes is a new, strict cutoff time in the morning for mail carriers to pick up items to deliver that day, several postal employees from three different states said.

      Edited From: “Postal Service Backlog Sparks Worries That Ballot Delivery Could Be Delayed In November”

      The Washington Post, 7/30/20

  5. Trump did not suggest the election be delayed. He asked a rhetorical question: “Should the election be delayed?” The obvious point being that nation-wide MAIL IN VOTING–advocated en masse by the Democratic Party–will IN FACT have the effect of delaying the election. The final vote count could be delayed weeks if not months after election day. That is the nature of mail-in balloting. The obvious answer to Trump’s rhetorical question is “No, the election should NOT be delayed.” Which necessarily implies wide spread nationwide mail in voting should NOT be permitted.

  6. The interpretation of Trump’s tweet about delaying the election, like so many things Trump-related, seems to depend critically on a) How one feels about Trump; and b) Where one lands on the issue he is discussing. There is much virulent irrational hatred of Trump in the land, most of it fueled by news sources that don’t even try to be objective. And on the other side, many rabid Trump supporters who agree with him uncritically. That’s point a. As for point b, there is a great deal of fear in the land about transmission of covid via voting in person. it’s not clear to me that this fear is justified but it’s being ginned up by many in the media & political landscape AND it’s being used as rationale for vote-by-mail. Concerns about vote-by-mail are justified by historical evidence and many who now promote it once spoke out against it (Jerry Nadler being one). Add in a little screaming pink-pussy-hat-wearing Trump derangement syndrome and several so-far-unsuccessful attempts to remove Trump from office, and well perhaps Trump and his followers can be seen as justifiably worried that this is just another attempt to get him out of Washington. He’s right in this way: If you truly believe that covid is a health threat to those who vote in person, then one way to fix it is to wait until voting can be done safely. Mr. Turley you wrote an excellent piece recently arguing that delay is CONSTITUTIONALLY IMPOSSIBLE given that Trump’s term ends on January 20, 2021 no matter what. So it’s ridiculous to even talk about. “Monkey’s paw” you said, brilliant! So I advance a third option: Trump’s doing what Trump does: Advancing a ludicrous suggestion for purposes of riling people up and for purposes of establishing an extreme negotiating position from which he can retreat a little bit, and still get what he wanted to begin with.

    1. Qi, well said, and I agree 100%.

      I would add that it has become very apparent that the vast majority of career politicians in the Republican Party in the House and Senate would also like Trump to get “out of Washington”. As he presents a clear and present danger to their personal interests.

      The establishment Democrats and Republicans are deeply afraid of populists, and populism. Which is really small l libertarianism.

      There’s nothing new about that reality. After all, FDR, Mussolini, and Hitler, hated “liberals” and liberalism. (Which was the term used for libertarians in the 1920’s and 30’s).

      Hitler’s Nazi Party and Mussolini’s Fascist Party were socialist. FDR’s New Deal was a socialist/fascist experiment here in the US. Which is why Mussolini and Hitler praised Roosevelt’s New Deal.

      All of which is why Antifa is actually Profa. Antifa is nothing more than a resurrection of the Black Shirts and Brown Shirts from that era, with an Orwellian doublethink twist.

      In the end, they will meet the same fate as the Nazi’s and Fascists, here in the US.

  7. Our politicians could have fixed this problem. They accomplish nothing.

  8. After several delays and modifications, the Trump administration struck a deal in April for the purchase of 43,000 Trilogy EV300 ventilators for $15,000 apiece, far more than other purchasers were paying the company, the report says.
    “Some small purchasers, buying as few as one unit, were able to negotiate prices as low as $9,327 per unit,” according to the report.
    “The Administration effectively disabled an Obama-era contract with Philips for ventilators and then struck a second contract with the company in which the Administration overpaid for nearly identical ventilators by as much as $500 million,” the report claims.
    The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report, which was developed by the oversight panel’s subcommittee on economic and consumer policy.

    Obama bad, Trump good. Yup. It could be the skin dye that’s seeping into his brain. Yup, that’s it. It has to be something because Trump is a blithering idiot.

  9. Jonathan: Trump’s tweet that he wanted to postpone the November elections has caused an uproar. As he often does Trump’s tweet was calculated misdirection–trying to divert attention away from the latest Commerce Department report, released the same day, that indicates the economy shrank by 33% in the second quarter. That’s bad news for Trump so he wanted to change the conversation.

    Your entire column appears to be an attempt to back peddle from your April 27 post criticizing Biden for his “conspiracy theory” that predicted that Trump would try to postpone the November elections. Biden’s prediction has proved prescient. As an aside, in the same column you peddled your own “conspiracy theory” that the coronavirus was cooked up in a Chinese lab in Wuhan because, as you said, “some intelligence officials believe the theory is credible”. Which “intelligence officials” you didn’t say. Which only shows that academics are not above still pushing unproven claims.

    Now everyone knows Trump can’t actually postpone the elections. The 20th Amendment stands in the way. Even Republican Senate Majority leader McConnell has shot down the idea. But Trump’s tweet has caused an enormous blowback–from all places–Steve Calabresi, co-founder of the right-wing Federalist Society that provided Trump with a list from which he selected two Supreme Court nominees. In a column in the NY Times Calabresi said that Trump’s “latest tweet is fascistic and is itself grounds for the president’s immediate impeachment…and his removal from office by the Senate”. Pretty strong language coming from someone who voted for Trump in 2016 and generally supports Trump’s policies.

    Trump probably knows he can’t cancel the November elections. The purpose of his latest tweet, and those before, is to sow suspicion around the elections among voters, that mail-in voting will result in “massive voter fraud” and use that as an excuse to challenge the election results if he loses. Trump has already taken steps to undercut mail-in voting. He had his crony at the US Postal Service, Louis DeJoy, who has made huge donations to GOP political committees, make cutbacks at the Service–like prohibiting overtime, shutting down sorting machines, etc., etc. With a huge deficit and the cornoavirus the Service is already experiencing delays in delivering the mail. Postal workers have complained that in key battleground states there are significant delays in delivering the mail. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Trump wants to spread the idea that voters can’t “trust” the Postal Service.

    And it is no “conspiracy theory” that Trump, his campaign and his Republican allies around the country, are working overtime to either prevent or curtail mail-in voting. GOP controlled state legislatures either oppose the counting of absentee ballots early or are pushing bills to prevent election officials from sending out ballots early. This is happening in Iowa, Georgia and Ohio.In Missouri, a red state that overwhelmingly voted for Trump in 2016, Governor Parsons isn’t taking any chances. While he signed a bill expanding vote-by-mail there is a hitch. Voters not considered “at risk” (over 65 or with a medical condition) must get their ballots notarized. So along with voter I.D. laws Trump and his Republican allies are doing their best to suppress the vote–especially in black and other minority districts.

    It doesn’t take a Nostradamus to figure out what Trump is up to. Instead of making voting easy and safe Trump wants to suppress the vote. Like Nostradamus I will make my own prediction. If mail-in ballots are delayed in being counted in November due to mail delivery delays (caused by Trump’s own actions) Trump will challenge those votes That is his only chance of prevailing. This is what authoritarian types do in third-world countries. This should not be happening here!

  10. Most certainly, delaying elections during natural disasters or other Acts of God must be debated by Members of Congress and the President.

    An election must be held at a time, in a place and in a manner.*

    The U.S. Mail is not “a place” or traditional and customary manner.

    “Holding elections” means citizens must present themselves and be identified as eligible to vote.

    Congress may alter the times, places and manner of voting by law.

    The legislation may be vetoed by the President.

    Article 1, Section 4

    The Times, Places and Manner of holding** Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of choosing Senators.

    Article 1, Section 7

    Every bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a law, be presented to the President of the United States;…


    “…put inside a mud pot for counting.”

    “…to deposit in ballot boxes.”

    Manner of Voting

    A ballot is a device used to cast votes in an election and may be found as a piece of paper or a small ball used in secret voting.[1] It was originally a small ball (see blackballing) used to record decisions made by voters in Italy around the 16th century.[2] Each voter uses one ballot, and ballots are not shared. In the simplest elections, a ballot may be a simple scrap of paper on which each voter writes in the name of a candidate, but governmental elections use preprinted ballots to protect the secrecy of the votes. The voter casts their ballot in a box at a polling station. In British English, this is usually called a “ballot paper”.[3] The word ballot is used for an election process within an organization (such as a trade union “holding a ballot” of its members).

    In ancient Greece, citizens used pieces of broken pottery to scratch in the name of the candidate. The first use of paper ballots to conduct an election appears to have been in Rome in 139 BC, following the introduction of the lex Gabinia tabellaria. In ancient India, around 920 AD, in Tamil Nadu, palm leaves were used for village assembly elections. The palm leaves with candidate names were put inside a mud pot for counting. This was called Kudavolai system.[5][6][7]

    The first use of paper ballots in America was in 1629 within the Massachusetts Bay Colony to select a pastor for the Salem Church.[8] Paper ballots were pieces of paper marked and supplied by voters. Before the introduction of the secret ballot, American political parties distributed ballots listing their own candidates for party supporters to deposit in ballot boxes.



    hold verb

    Definition of hold

    transitive verb


    a : to assemble for and carry on the activity of held a convention

    b : to cause to be carried on : conduct will hold a seminar

    c : to produce or sponsor especially as a public exhibition will hold an art show

  11. I think Turley is missing something important here about Trump’s reckless tweets about postponing or cancelling the election, regardless of whether doing either would be illegal: Trump would clearly WANT the election to be cancelled if he could make that happen. This is so obvious that it does not require further comment. He is accordingly keeping the idea, however murky, however varying it might be between “cancel” and “postpone”, alive as an ongoing trial balloon toward making one or the other outcome (preferably, in his mind, cancellation) politically possible, even if it presently seems unlikely, even if doing so would be illegal or unconstitutional. His narcissistic, dictatorial instincts are so transparent in this case, so brazenly disrespectful of constitutional authority, that it would be impeachable in a country that was properly suspicious of political ambition, as the political culture in the United States once was. Legal blog though this may be, I’d expect Turley to be spending at least as much intellectual energy on the megalomaniacal tendencies of a would-be autocrat who seeks to make the law irrelevant as he spends on the technical issue of whether carrying out his political desires can be squared with the law that the crypto-autocrat is indifferent to

    1. Worst man berg,

      Your convoluted, erroneous prevarication has nothing to do with law. Obamacare and DACA by Obama are but two examples of wholly and irrefutably unconstitutional acts by a president (in Obama’s case, an ineligible facsimile). If President Trump should follow Obama’s actions, President Trump would declare elections postponed by executive order. Your “…megalomaniacal tendencies of a would-be autocrat…” are actually the very debate and legislation prescribed by the Constitution in Article 1, Sections 4 and 7. As far as I am able to discern, Professor Turley “spends” his intellectual energy applying the “manifest tenor” of the law, which you ignore. You by contrast, fritter your infinitesimal intellectual energy as a charlatan defrauding, misrepresenting and positing nothing of the truth and/or facts; nothing that bears.

  12. Allan,
    The expecting we’ll have free and fair elections are as likely as expecting the government will maintain itself within their constitutional limits. It’s not in their nature. It never was and never will be. When it comes to power, we should always effort towards a more robust system of checks on how government acquires it and uses it. It’s also not in our nature to do that. As Bastiat points out, it’s in our nature find the easiest path towards what makes us the most happy. The path of least resistance would be to elect those to government that promise and perhaps deliver that happiness; by whatever means necessary. Here’s Bastiat on this Fatal Tendency of Mankind:

    But there is also another tendency that is common among people. When they can, they wish to live and prosper at the expense of others. This is no rash accusation. Nor does it come from a gloomy and uncharitable spirit. The annals of history bear witness to the truth of it: the incessant wars, mass migrations, religious persecutions, universal slavery, dishonesty in commerce, and monopolies. This fatal desire has its origin in the very nature of man — in that primitive, universal, and insuppressible instinct that impels him to satisfy his desires with the least possible pain.


    “Hong Kong delays election citing pandemic”

    July 31, 2020

    By Yanni Chow and Carol Mang

    HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Friday postponed a Sept. 6 election to the Chinese-ruled city’s legislature by a year because of a rise in coronavirus cases,

  14. Biden reminds me of Peter Sellers character , Chance the Gardener , in the film Being There (1979)

    1. He reminds me of a skeevy salesman, now hopelessly confused in senescence. Obama, on whom people projected all sorts of unwarranted things, might be closer to Chance (but not that close).

    2. “It’s Money That Matters”

      Biden reminds me of every sleazy, perverted, bought-off, corrupt politician who has ever walked the earth.

      Joe Biden is a “Sinator” from Delaware.

      Joe Biden cares not a lick for the principles of constitutional American freedom.

      Joe Biden cares about the dollars from global corporations.

      Joe Biden is not smart enough to establish and perpetuate the principles of American freedom.

      Joe Biden is dumb enough to be of “servitude” to global corporations.

      “How Delaware Thrives as a Corporate Tax Haven – June 30, 2012 – WILMINGTON, Del.”

      NOTHING about 1209 North Orange Street hints at the secrets inside. It’s a humdrum office building, a low-slung affair with a faded awning and a view of a parking garage. Hardly worth a second glance. If a first one. But behind its doors is one of the most remarkable corporate collections in the world: 1209 North Orange, you see, is the legal address of no fewer than 285,000 separate businesses. Its occupants, on paper, include giants like American Airlines, Apple, Bank of America, Berkshire Hathaway, Cargill, Coca-Cola, Ford, General Electric, Google, JPMorgan Chase, and Wal-Mart. These companies do business across the nation and around the world. Here at 1209 North Orange, they simply have a dropbox. What attracts these marquee names to 1209 North Orange and to other Delaware addresses also attracts less-upstanding corporate citizens. For instance, 1209 North Orange was, until recently, a business address of Timothy S. Durham, known as “the Midwest Madoff.” On June 20, Mr. Durham was found guilty of bilking 5,000 mostly middle-class and elderly investors out of $207 million. It was also an address of Stanko Subotic, a Serbian businessman and convicted smuggler — just one of many Eastern Europeans drawn to the state. Big corporations, small-time businesses, rogues, scoundrels and worse — all have turned up at Delaware addresses in hopes of minimizing taxes, skirting regulations, plying friendly courts or, when needed, covering their tracks. Federal authorities worry that, in addition to the legitimate businesses flocking here, drug traffickers, embezzlers and money launderers are increasingly heading to Delaware, too. It’s easy to set up shell companies here, no questions asked. “Shells are the No. 1 vehicle for laundering illicit money and criminal proceeds,” said Lanny A. Breuer, assistant attorney general for the criminal division of the Justice Department. “It’s an enormous criminal justice problem. It’s ridiculously easy for a criminal to set up a shell corporation and use the banking system, and we have to stop it.”
      In these troubled economic times, when many states are desperate for tax dollars, Delaware stands out in sharp relief. The First State, land of DuPont, broiler chickens and, as it happens, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., increasingly resembles a freewheeling offshore haven, right on America’s shores. Officials in other states complain that Delaware’s cozy corporate setup robs their states of billions of tax dollars. Officials in the Cayman Islands, a favorite Caribbean haunt of secretive hedge funds, say Delaware is today playing faster and looser than the offshore jurisdictions that raise hackles in Washington.
      And international bodies, most recently the World Bank, are increasingly pointing fingers at the state. Of course, business — the legal kind — has been the business of Delaware since 1792, when the state established its Court of Chancery to handle business affairs. By the early 20th century, the state was writing friendly corporate and tax laws to lure companies from New York, New Jersey and elsewhere. Most of the businesses incorporated here are legitimate and many are using all legal means to reduce their tax bills — something that most stockholders applaud. President Obama has criticized outposts like the Caymans, complaining that they harbor giant tax schemes. But here in Wilmington, just over 100 miles from Washington, is in some ways the biggest corporate haven of all. It takes less than an hour to incorporate a company in Delaware, and the state is so eager to attract businesses that the office of its secretary of state stays open until midnight Monday through Thursday — and until 10:30 p.m. on Friday. Nearly half of all public corporations in the United States are incorporated in Delaware. Last year, 133,297 businesses set up here. And, at last count, Delaware had more corporate entities, public and private, than people — 945,326 to 897,934. One Delaware company was used last year to make an anonymous $1 million donation to Restore Our Future, a super PAC that favors Mitt Romney for president. Restore Our Future ultimately disclosed that the money came from a former Bain Capital executive. The Romney campaign declined comment, and Restore Our Future did not return calls. Delaware’s tax laws are a bonanza for the state. At a time when many states are being squeezed by a difficult economy, Delaware collected roughly $860 million in taxes and fees from its absentee corporate residents in 2011. That money accounted for a quarter of the state’s total budget. “Companies choose our state and we are proud of it,” said Richard J. Geisenberger, Delaware’s chief deputy secretary of state and its leading ambassador to business. “We spend a lot of time in the United States and traveling internationally to let people know that Delaware is a great place to do business.” It is also a great place to reduce a tax bill. Delaware today regularly tops lists of domestic and foreign tax havens because it allows companies to lower their taxes in another state — for instance, the state in which they actually do business or have their headquarters — by shifting royalties and similar revenues to holding companies in Delaware, where they are not taxed. In tax circles, the arrangement is known as “the Delaware loophole.” Over the last decade, the Delaware loophole has enabled corporations to reduce the taxes paid to other states by an estimated $9.5 billion. State lawmakers in Pennsylvania are now trying to close the loophole, arguing that their state is being robbed of its tax dollars. Of particular concern is that many companies involved in drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale region of Pennsylvania are, in fact, incorporating in Delaware instead. “Delaware is an outlier in the way it does business,” said David E. Brunori, a professor at George Washington Law School and an expert on taxation. “What it offers is an opportunity to game the system and do it legally.” WHAT does it take to incorporate a company in Delaware? Not a lot, tax experts say. Shell companies — those with no employees, no assets and, in fact, no real business to speak of — are remarkably easy to establish here, and it doesn’t always matter who you are or what business you are in. Viktor Bout, the Russian arms dealer known as “the merchant of death,” used two Delaware addresses. In April he was sentenced to 25 years in prison on terrorism charges resulting from an American sting operation. Jack Abramoff, the former Washington lobbyist jailed on corruption charges, set up a sham Delaware corporation to hide millions in payments and circumvent federal laws. Mr. Subotic, the Serbian businessman who was tried in absentia last October for his role in a cigarette smuggling scheme and sentenced to six years, used three airplanes that were registered in Delaware, including two at 1209 North Orange. Mr. Subotic lives in Geneva and denies the charges. The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, an international group based in Sarajevo, has identified other Eastern Europeans with Delaware links. Among them is Laszlo Kiss, an Romanian accountant and author of “United States, Tax Heaven — Uncle Sam Will Fight Your Taxes!” that praised the state’s lax rules. He is now awaiting trial in Bucharest on charges of helping embezzle and launder $10 million through Delaware shells.
      “Delaware is the state that requires the least amount of information,” says David Finzer, the chief executive of Capital Conservator, a registration agent that sets up accounts in Delaware and elsewhere for non-United States citizens. “Basically, it requires none. Delaware has the most secret companies in the world and the easiest to form.”

      – N.Y. Times

  15. Claims that a sitting president was going to “declare martial law” and not have or delay an election are as old as the hills. They’re nothing new. What is new is that we now have a (created) crisis that might actually be a basis for delaying the election indefinitely. Elections were originally based on voters actually going to a polling place and casting their ballot. Absentee voting was more recently granted for people who couldn’t vote in person such as people in the military or were unable to get to the polls. Democrats want to go to mail-in paper ballots because they know they are the easiest to manipulate. Election fraud has been rampant in this country since the founding. It’s just rarely prosecuted because it’s hard to prove and locally elected judges play party politics. Personally, I think Turley needs to learn not to comment on everything Trump tweets. There are more important issues to consider, such as the rioting that’s going on all over this country and being passed off by Democrats as “peaceful protests.” There are also actions by county judges and mayors that are a threat to the Constitution. My local county commissioners court just passed an ADL-sponsored “resolution” that ignores the First Amendment. The county judge is an Indian immigrant who has been in the United States since 1992. He got upset because of Facebook posts on his account that took issue with his actions and attributed them to his race and status as an immigrant. That’s the kind of think Turley should be commenting on.

  16. JT does another face plant trying to mitigate the ridicule he rightly received for the “what about Joe” column yesterday. He compounds the idiocy by ignoring the fact that Trump recently appointed a hack crony to head the Post Office, and he’s knee-capping it to the alarm of long time employees and anyone who wants it to be able to handle what will surely be more mail in ballots in Novemeber, regardless ao any policy changes.. Yesterday:

    “The U.S. Postal Service is experiencing days-long backlogs of mail across the country after a top Trump donor running the agency put in place new procedures described as cost-cutting efforts, alarming postal workers who warn that the policies could undermine their ability to deliver ballots on time for the November election.

    As President Trump ramps up his unfounded attacks on mail balloting as being susceptible to widespread fraud, postal employees and union officials say the changes implemented by Trump fundraiser-turned-postmaster general Louis DeJoy are contributing to a growing perception that mail delays are the result of a political effort to undermine absentee voting.

    The backlog comes as the president, who is trailing presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in the polls, has escalated his efforts to cast doubt about the integrity of the November vote, which is expected to yield record numbers of mail ballots because of the coronavirus pandemic….”

    Maybe JT should pull his head out Barr’s butt, quit trying to help stifle the vote, and read a newspaper. Biden reads them, called this shot months ago and JT still hasn’t caught up.

    1. Oh look!

      By the Book is getting very nervous, and losing his faux cool.

      Your beloved political Party’s nominee has Dementia, so you should be very nervous.

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