Saturday, October 1, 2016

Last Call For Trumped By The Press

If it's October, it must be time for that famous Surprise we keep hearing about in politics, and wouldn't you know it, Donald J. Trump got a hell of one in the NY Times this evening.

Donald J. Trump declared a $916 million loss on his 1995 income tax returns, a tax deduction so substantial it could have allowed him to legally avoid paying any federal income taxes for up to 18 years, records obtained by The New York Times show.

The 1995 tax records, never before disclosed, reveal the extraordinary tax benefits that Mr. Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, derived from the financial wreckage he left behind in the early 1990s through mismanagement of three Atlantic City casinos, his ill-fated foray into the airline business and his ill-timed purchase of the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan.

Tax experts hired by The Times to analyze Mr. Trump’s 1995 records said tax rules that are especially advantageous to wealthy filers would have allowed Mr. Trump to use his $916 million loss to cancel out an equivalent amount of taxable income over an 18-year period.

Stop. Rewind. Playback.

Which means Trump most likely skipped 18 years of income taxes.

Eighteen.  Years.

Although Mr. Trump’s taxable income in subsequent years is as yet unknown, a $916 million loss in 1995 would have been large enough to wipe out more than $50 million a year in taxable income over 18 years.

The $916 million loss certainly could have eliminated any federal income taxes Mr. Trump otherwise would have owed on the $50,000 to $100,000 he was paid for each episode of “The Apprentice,” or the roughly $45 million he was paid between 1995 and 2009 when he was chairman or chief executive of the publicly traded company he created to assume ownership of his troubled Atlantic City casinos. Ordinary investors in the new company, meanwhile, saw the value of their shares plunge to 17 cents from $35.50, while scores of contractors went unpaid for work on Mr. Trump’s casinos and casino bondholders received pennies on the dollar.

“He has a vast benefit from his destruction” in the early 1990s, said one of the experts, Joel Rosenfeld, an assistant professor at New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate. Mr. Rosenfeld offered this description of what he would advise a client who came to him with a tax return like Mr. Trump’s: “Do you realize you can create $916 million in income without paying a nickel in taxes?”

Mr. Trump declined to comment on the documents. Instead, the campaign released a statement that neither challenged nor confirmed the $916 million loss.

Trump was such an awful businessman, that he lost nearly a billion dollars on casinos and real estate, but hey, he got to use that to skip out on nearly two decades of taxes.

But he's a man of the working class.

So how did the Times get a hold of Trump's 1995 returns, anyway?

The documents consisted of three pages from what appeared to be Mr. Trump’s 1995 tax returns. The pages were mailed last month to Susanne Craig, a reporter at The Times who has written about Mr. Trump’s finances. The documents were the first page of a New York State resident income tax return, the first page of a New Jersey nonresident tax return and the first page of a Connecticut nonresident tax return. Each page bore the names and Social Security numbers of Mr. Trump and Marla Maples, his wife at the time. Only the New Jersey form had what appeared to be their signatures.

The three documents arrived by mail at The Times with a postmark indicating they had been sent from New York City. The return address claimed the envelope had been sent from Trump Tower.

So somebody with access to Trump's documents in Trump Tower sent this to the Times in order to do him in. He has a mole in the campaign and they just torched him.

Enjoy your weekend, Don.

The Other Side: She's A Master Baiter

The post-debate spin cycle that Trump was expected to try to recover from and move on to next week's Veep match-up and town hall debate a week from Sunday instead turned into several days of Hillary Clinton using the same tactic that worked so effectively in the debate itself against Donald Trump, and even the folks on the right like Hot Air's Jazz Shaw are wondering how much of a beating Trump's numbers will take due to his inability to prevent himself from taking Clinton's bait on former Miss Universe Alicia Machado.

The problem here is that this is absolutely working for Hillary Clinton and she’s jumping on the bandwagon as hard as she can. (It also reinforces her “man who can be goaded by a tweet” theme.) And why wouldn’t she? The debate probably didn’t go as well for Trump as it might have, but up until that point Clinton was on the ropes. There was one bad story after another about her with many of them being serious enough that the MSM couldn’t avoid talking about them. Her numbers were tanking nationally and in multiple swing states. Trump fans had reason to be at least cautiously hopeful because it wasn’t as if she was going to unveil yet another policy initiative which was suddenly going to turn the electorate around.

And then this happens. Some dusty old story about about a beauty pageant contestant who is far from a role model but does happen to hit the media narrative bullseye of being both Hispanic and in possession of two X chromosomes. And because Donald Trump apparently can’t stand seeing a moment of the day when everyone isn’t talking out him he decides to hoist this flag up to the yardarms and go charging into battle in the middle of the night. The major problem here is that having the media talk about somebody else (specifically Hillary) was actually working for Trump. We were at a point where all he needed to do was keep looking at least marginally serious about some significant campaign issues, even if they seemed a bit dry and boring, and allow Clinton to collapse into a pile on her own.

Now the worm has turned for the umpteenth time in this election and the cable news networks have a new shiny object to play with. Clinton’s numerous flaws and ethics problems slink off to the back burner again and the remaining undecided voters are handed a new reason to question Trump’s seriousness and credibility. It’s time to get off this Miss Universe train let the news about Clinton’s many problems pull her under. Can Donald do it? I’m starting to have doubts.

Trump's ego has always been his weakness, especially when the person attacking it is a woman.  It's a tactic Clinton saved until the final six weeks of the election and it was a smart move.  Trump can't help himself.  That "a man who can be baited by a tweet" line so perfectly encapsulates The Donald that it's comical to see him fall for it like a dipstick time and again.

The reason why it's so destructive is that as with any bully, once you rob them of the power to harm you, they end up looking like sputtering fools.  That's exactly what Clinton did here, and Donald can't shut up about calling women fat now on national television.  Before, taking Trump seriously was something that the Village media failed to do at their own peril, and it helped lead us directly to the moment we're in now.  But now everyone's laughing at him, and Trump cannot stand it.

He looks like a loser, the worse sin possible in the Book of Trump.  And Clinton's living rent-free inside his nightmares, exactly where she wants to be.

The Orange And The Red, Con't

Looks like The Donald's Russian friends didn't take too kindly to Newsweek's Thursday story about Trump breaking America's embargo with Cuba in the late 90's, as on Friday hackers mysteriously swamped the magazine's website and took it down.

"We don't know everything. We're still investigating," Newsweek editor in chief Jim Impoco told POLITICO. "But it was a massive DDoS attack, and it took place in the early evening just as prominent cable news programs were discussing Kurt Eichenwald's explosive investigation into how Donald Trump's company broke the law by breaking the United States embargo against Cuba."

A DDoS attack, or distributed denial of service attack, is when an attacker attempts to overwhelm a website or server with traffic, rendering it unable to function reliably. 
As of Friday afternoon, Impoco told POLITICO that the main IP addresses involved in the hack were Russian, but that there was "nothing definitive" about the ongoing investigation. 
The magazine’s cover story, “How Donald Trump’s company violated the United States embargo against Cuba,” was posted online around 5:30 AM on Thursday. By Thursday evening, a "fairly sophisticated" attack took Newsweek’s website down "for hours," Impoco said. Newsweek's IT team worked through the night to get the website back online, he said. 
"It would either be a big coincidence, or it had to do with this story," Impoco said Friday. " ... We were fortunate that some other sites picked up the story so that people could still read it."

So if you had trouble getting to the story yesterday in the post above, there's your answer.

The Orange and the Red, indeed.

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