So, the truth is revealed. But of course, according to Trump, it is "fake news by the failing NY Times." A couple of minor points to consider:

1. The only things fake in this news are the lies Trump tells about his success as a business person and the size of his wealth. Being from NY originally, I have many contacts there in my former profession, banking. I can assure you that there is not a single US bank of any renown that for the last 25 years would lend Trump a nickel, let alone the hundreds of millions of debt he currently owes. He was always considered a bad joke in NY business and banking circles. He was never allowed to sit at the adult table there.

2. Trump is a fraud, a liar, a con, and a cheat just as Michael Cohan has said. And yes, he is a racist as well, which Michael Cohan has also said. Michael Cohan is no paragon of virtue, but on Trump, he has been and is now telling the truth.

3. Trump has repeatedly cheated his customers, his suppliers, tax authorities, shareholders, and business partners, and, oh yes, even his family members, including his former wives, likely Melania as well. He is now involved in his biggest con of all on the American people and in particular his followers who believe he is doing anything at all to help them. He is not. He cares only for one person in the entire world, himself, every minute of every day. He has no deeply held beliefs or moral values whatsoever.

4. He will not only go down in history as the worst President of all time, but a terrible business person, pathological liar, a crook, a cheat, a racist bigot, and a man with no moral core at all.

It is about time that we start to hear the chant of "lock him up" from those who have supported him. However, they have sold their souls to this devil and I expect they will continue to follow him into hell no matter the cost.

As for Republican legislators, they care only about power and preservation of their own positions. Do not expect them to display any convictions, moral courage, or commitment to our Constitution or democracy. That ship sailed long ago. The only answer is to replace them. Trump has so corrupted the entire Republican party that there are none left to save it. The best answer for Republicans is to burn the party down completely and start over with a new Conservative Center-Right Party. It should only take them a decade or two to repair their image following Trump's single term in office.

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As I read the NY Times story, (I got two thirds through it and gave it up as the plot line stayed more or less the same with different dates and details,) a picture grew in my mind that was bigger than the business/tax fraud history of Donald Trump.

This is also a story of how the very wealthy avoid paying taxes. A small army of dedicated tax lawyers and accountants use our unbeleivably complex and convoluted tax laws, rules, and regulations to help well-heeled clients avoid paying anywhere near the taxes the rest of us working slobs, the little people, pay. And, to add insult to injury, their fees are likely tax-deductible!

This is not a revelation; we all know this, but the NY Times story brings this into sharp focus again.

The NY Times Trump tax fraud story is a thunderously loud argument in favor of the Alternative Minimum Tax. And, just for me, you can throw in making tax lawyers' fees non-tax-deductable as well.

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I live in Europe so the NYT’s Trump Taxes story hit me this morning as I was firing up the laptop and brewing my first cup of coffee – woke me right up! I read it and the WP’s coverage as well, and none of it was surprising.

We knew he was a phony and that he would slide gains and losses around like a sidewalk three-card Monte huckster. It must be exhausting being Trump – just the hair & makeup odyssey each morning would bring most folks to their knees, but add to that the financial juggling and non-stop lying and it makes you wonder what the guy might be capable of doing if he just did his bloody job.

But the thing that stuck with me was the story of the codicil to his father's will that Trump attempted to foist on his aging father that would have given Donnie control over his father’s estate.

In a sworn deposition, Trump declared that he had no idea his father was struggling with dementia at the time Trump tried to trick him into signing the codicil. No idea, even though Trump senior had been tested and been found to be suffering early signs of dementia. The family knew this and yet Trump denied it.

This is the man he says he revered – whose picture sits behind the Resolute desk, the father who bailed Donnie out time and time again. This one episode speaks louder than most of the horrendous things we have heard from his own mouth or heard about from others like his niece.

Donnie was in debt, so he tried to trick his ailing father into signing a document to bail him out one last time.

Well, as we learned today, and suspected all along, Donnie is still in debt and one can only wonder (fear) who he has turned to for relief this time and what he might be willing to offer in return for that relief.

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Thank you Heather . As always you have done an exemplary job in laying out a roadmap for us on this rather exploding news day. With every nugget of news from yesterday, I find I am particularly repulsed by the fact that Trump only paid $750.00 in taxes for several years. Perhaps because that is less than the quarterly cost for just the 20 minute consult with my Oncologist. My testing every 3 months alone is more than 6 times what that derelict paid in yearly taxes. To me, the perspective is staggering.

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All of this--every word--is a must read. But for me, the sentence that was a personal gut punch was this: "It shows that he was deeply in debt in 2015, and was, as his former fixer Michael Cohen said, eager to rebuild his brand by running for the highest office in the land." Think about that. (pause)

This thoroughly lawless, corrupt, incompetent, narcissistic buffoon used and abused the United States of America as his last, best personal-centered hope for digging himself and his companies out of crushing debt. He is a lifelong, epic failure. It's appalling that, by extension, he also used and abused every tax-paying American and every American too poor to have to pay taxes.

trump has used the White House and every other place he has parked his privileged derrière as a showcase for (wait for it...) himself. He has done this at America's expense, literally and metaphorically. For four years, we have waited for verification of what we have long assumed to be true: donald j trump is (among other things) a tax-dodging weasel of the highest order.

Am I remembering correctly that it was tax evasion that brought down Al Capone? An apt comparison, since trump is a ruthless, amoral con man who has scammed our country from the get-go. If he has any remorse at all, it is only that he has finally been verifiably sniffed out. It's a very big stink.

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I found a post this morning on FB, I thought I'd share it here to see what people think about it.

Bill Svelmoe

A few thoughts on Amy Coney Barrett, our new Supreme Court justice.

- As noted above, she's a done deal. So Democrats should not waste time trying to besmirch her character, focusing on her religion, trying to box her into a corner on how she will vote on hypothetical cases.

The People of Praise is not a cult. I've had half a dozen of their kids in my classes, including some men who heard about me from their female friends. Almost without fail, these have been among the best students I've ever had. Extremely bright. Careful critical thinkers. Wonderful writers. I loved having them in class. So don't go after the People of Praise.

By all accounts Barrett walks on water. I've had that in a roundabout way from people I know at Notre Dame, including from folks as liberal as me, who actually look forward to seeing her on the court. I have no first hand knowledge of her, but take the above for what you will.

So Democrats should not take a typical approach with her.

- Stay focused on the election. If the election were tomorrow, Biden wins comfortably, and the Democrats likely take the Senate as well. The latest polls were taken after RBG's death. No gain for Trump. In fact the majority of Americans think the Supreme Court seat should not be filled until after the election. Watching Republicans ram Barrett through helps Democrats. So don't mess with her. Let Republicans do what they're going to do. As a great man once said, It is what it is.

If the Democrats take the presidency and the Senate, none of this matters much. A Democratic administration will not let a conservative court mess with Democratic priorities. Lots of avenues, including adding justices, passing a law that no act of Congress can be overturned by the Court except by a seven vote majority, etc. So keep the focus where it matters. On November 3.

So how should Democrats approach these hearings? I've seen one good suggestion today. Turn all their time over to Kamala Harris. I like that one.

Here's a few more suggestions.

- Don't show up for the hearings. There is no reason to dignify this raw exercise in political hypocrisy. Don't legitimize the theft of a Supreme Court seat with your presence. This also shows Barrett that the nation knows she is letting herself become a pawn in Trump's game. That in itself says something about character.

- Schedule high interest alternate programming directly opposite the hearings. Bring together all 26 of the women who have accused Trump of sexual assault. Let them tell their stories on air. Or interview liberal justices that Biden will add to the court next year. Hearings with only Republicans extolling Barrett's virtues will get low ratings. It shouldn't be hard to come up with something people would rather watch. Hell, replay the Kavanaugh hearings! Bring in Matt Damon to reprise his role on SNL! I'd watch that! How about a show "Beers with Squee"?!

- If Democrats do attend the hearings, they should not focus on Barrett's views on any future cases. She'll just dodge those questions anyway. They're hypothetical. She should dodge them. Don't even mention her religion.

Instead Democrats should focus on the past four years of the Trump administration. This has been the most corrupt administration in American history. No need for hypotheticals. The questions are all right there.

Judge Barrett, would you please explain the emoluments clause in the Constitution. [She does.] Judge Barrett, if a president were to refuse to divest himself of his properties and, in fact, continue to steer millions of dollars of tax payer money to his properties, would this violate the emoluments clause?

Then simply go down the list of specific cases in which Trump and his family of grifters have used the presidency to enrich themselves. Ask her repeatedly if this violates the emoluments clause. Include of course using the American ambassador to Britain to try to get the British Open golf tournament at a Trump property. Judge Barrett, does this violate the emoluments clause?

Then turn to the Hatch Act.

Judge Barrett, would you please explain the Hatch Act to the American people. [She does.] Judge Barrett, did Kellyanne Conway violate the Hatch Act on these 60 occasions? [List them. Then after Barrett's response, and just fyi, the Office of the Special Council already convicted her, ask Barrett this.] When Kellyanne Conway, one of the president's top advisors openly mocked the Hatch Act after violating it over 60 times, should she have been removed from office?

Then turn to all the other violations of the Hatch Act during the Republican Convention. Get Barrett's opinion on those.

Then turn to Congressional Oversight.

Judge Barrett, would you please explain to the American people the duties of Congress, according to the Constitution, to oversee the executive branch. [She does so.] Judge Barrett, when the Trump administration refuses time and again [list them] to respond to a subpoena from Congress, is this an obstruction of the constitutional duty of Congress for oversight? Is this an obstruction of justice?

Then turn to Trump's impeachment.

Read the transcript of Trump's phone call. Judge Barrett, would you describe this as a "perfect phone call"? Is there anything about this call that troubles you, as a judge, or as an American?

Judge Barrett, would you please define for the American people the technical definition of collusion. [She does.] Then go through all of the contacts between the Trump administration and Russians during the election and get her opinion on whether these amount to collusion. Doesn't matter how she answers. It gets Trump's perfidy back in front of Americans right before the election.

Such questions could go on for days. Get her opinion on the evidence for election fraud. Go through all the Trump "laws" that have been thrown out by the courts. Ask her about the separation of children from their parents at the border. And on and on and on through the worst and most corrupt administration in our history. Don't forget to ask her opinion on the evidence presented by the 26 Trump accusers. Judge Barrett, do you think this is enough evidence of sexual assault to bring the perpetrator before a court of law? Do you think a sitting president should be able to postpone such cases until after his term? Judge Barrett, let's listen again, shall we, to Trump's "Access Hollywood" tape. I don't have a question. I just want to hear it again. Or maybe, as a woman, how do you feel listening to this recording? Let's listen to it again, shall we. Take your time.

Taking this approach does a number of things.

1. Even if Barrett bobs and weaves and dodges all of this, it reminds Americans right before the election of just how awful this administration has been.

2. None of these questions are hypothetical. They are all real documented incidents. The vast majority are pretty obvious examples of breaking one law or the other. If Barrett refuses to answer honestly, she demonstrates that she is willing to simply be another Trump toady. Any claims to high moral Christian character are shown to be as empty as the claims made by the 80% of white evangelicals who continue to support Trump.

3. If she answers honestly, as I rather suspect she would, then Americans get to watch Trump and his lawless administration convicted by Trump's own chosen justice.

Any of these outcomes would go much further toward de-legitimizing the entire Republican project than if Democrats go down the typical road of asking hypothetical questions or trying to undermine her character.

Use her supposed good character and keen legal mind against the administration that has nominated her. Let her either convict Trump or embarrass herself by trying to weasel out of convicting Trump. Either way, it'll be great television ...

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Donald Trump has been robbing Peter to pay Paul his entire adult life. Lots of people do it; it's not a crime unless you commit crimes to try to get out of the economic corner you've painted yourself into. If you lie, cheat and steal to try to escape responsibility for your actions (instead of buckling down and earning or educating your way out) hopefully you just end up in jail, unless you owe money to the wrong people.

The fact that Mr. Trump has embroiled the American people in his epic financial failure while they are literally fighting for their own lives, is not only unforgivable, it is criminal.

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How did we create a tax system that let Trump and those like him generate such massive tax credits and such a loose definition of business losses that he could get away with paying practically no US taxes. That he severely bent the rules and that their must have been a certain amount of complicity on the part of the IRS people receiving his fancyfull tax returns would seem glaringly obvious. That he was allowed to get away with it for at least 18 years when the whole of NY knew that he was an unsuccessfull crook staggers belief. His last ploy to avoid criminal prosecution by hiding beneath the skirts of the Presidential role, while paying the Russian piper, and benefiting from DOJ protection has finally put him under the spotlight and revealed that "the emporer has no clothes" and I cannot say that I am in the least bit surprised.

The NYT journalists have once again done their job well when our legal system has failed us. I love the idea of a new Trump "taxless bankrupt, failed businessman" story coming out in the NYT every day or so alongside the WaPo's ongoing Woodward Tales of "What the President Should Not Have Said!

On the Supreme Court issue, I think that Biden is right firstly delay as much as possible and to go after issues such as abortion and healthcare in the confirmation process of Barrett and not her religious beliefs nor any personal political views that she has expressed. She is an erudite, if young, Ultra-Constitutionalist and will as such look at what the Constitution actually says and thus will require politicians to take their responsabilities with regard to social issue...and indeed all issues...by doing their jobs and passing new laws and/or making new changes to the Constitution. Judges making new laws does not make for a democracy. The people elect politicians to make laws and not the Supreme Court Justices who are named by politicians often in the expectation of political advantage for one side or the other. This, like the horrors of gerrymandering and denial of civic rights etc, must be dealt with by the elected representatives of the people...and they must be held accountable to the people for their acts. I think that, if Trump/McConnell are hoping that Barret will save them from a fate worse than death, they are going to be disappointed.

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Based on his tax returns, the Man with the $75,000 hairdo has turned everything he got involved with - from golf courses to hotels and beyond (to quote Buzz Lightyear)- into financial disasters, while at the same time cheating many of his contractors out of their just earnings. No wonder he is letting his Washington Hotel and Florida golf course charge the GOP campaign fund hundreds of thousands. His legal fees alone must be almost as large as the National Debt, but typically, he is getting the taxpayers to foot much of the bill.

Now he wants to do the same on a much larger scale. It is time that he be held accountable for all these potentially dishonest activities. (I hope Joe Biden is reading this; great fodder for the debate)

I wouldn't put this man in charge of the janitorial services for a local school, much less running the most important country in the world.

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Late night for you, Heather! Thank you, so much. It seems, from a presidential re-election campaign standpoint, the wheels are coming off, the train has left the tracks and the dumpster is ablaze. 20 or so years ago, there would be no doubt about the results of the upcoming election. As such, voter turnout would be historically low, but Biden would win in a landslide. It says something about the current political climate of our country that, even with the governing failures of the incumbent president, his impeachment and his personal scandals, voter turnout will have to be at an all time high just to squeak out an electoral college victory for Biden. So that is what we will do.

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I had to reread your comments about the SC candidate several times because they did not make sense to me. I too think that justices should not impose their private opinions on their decisions. Being an “originalist”, in my view, is a somewhat sneaky way of doing just that. Barrett is opposed to abortion for religious, hence private, reasons.

The justices interpret the law; thus in trying to stay with what they think the founders would have meant, they are still imposing their own views. Interpretation ALWAYS involves subjective reasoning. Thus ALL SC justices cannot help but impose their “views of social mores on the American people”.

That’s why I was confused because it seems to me that originalism itself is bunk, orcas Biden would say, malarkey.

I think it would be better for change to come from laws rather than the SC. But the Congress doesn’t do it’s job anymore, thanks to people like McConnell and his ilk.

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Morning, Dr. R! Morning, all! I started reading the NYT article last night and am only half-way through it. No expert when it comes to the nuts and bolts of our tax laws, but the lay explanations dotted throughout the article keeps this reader engaged. When news broke out about Deutsche Bank (last week, was it?) and several other related stories, I reposted them on my FB page with the title "Follow the Money?" Seems accurate in light of what is unfolding now.

I like to harken back to "famous lines" from movies that I have seen. In the original Die Hard movie (1988) there was the scene between Holly Gennaro McClane (Bonnie Bedelia) and Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) where she accuses him of being "nothing but a common thief," to which he replies that he is "an exceptional thief." Call me crazy, but this so resonates with me with every story that I am reading these days.

And finally, does having six Catholic Supreme Court judges truly represent the views of this diverse nation?

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I can’t say Trump’s taxes get me all that excited - the President isn’t as wealthy as he says he is, and his scummy accountants work hard to minimize his taxes? This isn’t surprising. I think of it as part of the whole package of psychopathy; this guy has said and done so many awful things that I can no longer conceive of the legal and ethical significance of any one act. He needs to be escorted from his castle as soon as possible, right into the welcoming arms of a paddy wagon. #January20MovingDay

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Assuming SCOTUS will give millions of Americans, including my daughters, a sabbatical from health care insurance during a pandemic, perhaps this is the opportunity for President Biden and Congress to address known flaws in the ACA and give Americans that better plan that another person has been promising as imminent off and on these last four or so years.

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Trump is deeply indebted. Someone, somewhere holds a lot of leverage over this president. Further complicating the story is this thread which suggests that the magnitude of the debt isn't a few hundred million, but more like a billion.


If nothing else the curtain is being pulled back on $1B of campaign contributions that appear so far to have failed to produce a desired result.

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I believe the New York Times will run additions to this story for the next 36 days! That anyone can still believe that he has the interests of his base in mind is beyond me. He can only think about his next "trick" to fool those to whom he owes tons of money. And, we know that there's more to come. Putin probably has tons of dirt on him, and it's now only a matter of time that people looking at this with a fine eye will start to draw lines directly between tRump and Putin. Bring it on. Pile on tRump as much shit as possible, and let him drown in it. He is the ultimate LOSER and the American people will tell him "you're fired" on Nov 3.

The nomination of Barrett is certainly scary, but the outright power play of the repubs is more scary and infuriating. I hope that the Dems on the Judiciary Committee will make her work for this. Ask hard questions (not about her religious beliefs), and make her defend her positions. Maybe there will be a repub or two who will see the iight and not vote not confirm. (I know.....wishful thinking, but one can always hope.)

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