Thursday, February 25, 2021

Syria's As A Heart Attack, Con't

The more things change, the more some things stay the same, and they have for basically half my lifetime now.
The United States on Thursday carried out an airstrike in Syria against a structure belonging to what it said were Iran-backed militia, two officials told Reuters.

The strike comes after a series of recent rocket attacks against U.S. targets in Iraq.

The officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the strike was approved by President Joe Biden.


So yeah, that part hasn't changed one goddamn bit from Trump.

A Taxing Explanation, Con't

Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance now has Trump's tax returns and has had them since the Supreme Court made their decision earlier this week, and a massive trove of Trump Organization tax documents to boot.

Tax records that former President Donald Trump tried to keep secret for years are now in the hands of the New York district attorney. 
Prosecutors obtained the records on Monday, just hours after the US Supreme Court denied Trump's last-ditch effort to keep the records private, a spokesperson for the district attorney said. 
The millions of pages of documents, sources say, contain Trump's tax returns spanning from January 2011 to August 2019, as well as financial statements, engagement agreements, documents relating to the preparation and review of tax returns, and work papers and communications related to the tax returns. 
Though the documents handed off from Trump's long-time accounting firm Mazars won't be released to the public because they're subject to grand jury secrecy rules, their delivery caps off an extraordinary 17-month quest by the former President and his lawyers to block investigators from obtaining the records. 
New York District Attorney Cy Vance is investigating whether Trump and the Trump Organization engaged in tax fraud, insurance fraud and other schemes to defraud, including potentially providing false information to financial institutions or banks about the value of certain buildings and assets. 
With the records now in hand, Vance and his fellow prosecutors will be able to dig deeper into investigative theories, pursue interviews with key witnesses, and determine whether they believe any state laws have been violated. 
"Our office obtained the records on Monday," said Vance spokesman Danny Frost.
Mazars' spokesman didn't respond to a request for comment. 
The records may be critical to the investigation because they are likely to contain documents that reflect the decision-making behind valuations and tax write-offs, which may be important to determine whether there was intent to commit a crime. The investigators have wanted to review the documents before calling key witnesses before the grand jury, people familiar with the inquiry said.
As to what happens now, it could be months or years before Vance presses charges, if ever. The big question is who in Vance's office will leak the worst parts of Trump's returns, setting up a howling firestorm that will almost certainly set off violent Trump cultists to target Vance's office in Manhattan.
That leak is coming. I guarantee it.

A Stimulating Proposal, Con't

A new Morning Consult/Politico poll finds more than three-quarters of voters want the Democrats' COVID-19 stimulus package, including 60% of Republicans.

As the House prepares to pass President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package this week and the Senate readies to take it up for debate soon after, lawmakers are gearing up for another partisan fight.

While Republicans in Congress have balked at the overall price tag for Biden’s proposed package, new Morning Consult/Politico polling shows that the public — including Republican voters — overwhelmingly supports the legislation.

In the poll, which was conducted Feb. 19-22 among 2,013 registered voters and has a margin of error of 2 percentage points, 76 percent said they back the stimulus package, including 52 percent who said they “strongly” support the bill. Only 17 percent of voters said they oppose it.

Support is highest among Democrats, 70 percent of whom said they strongly back the legislation, which includes $1,400 in direct payments to some Americans, $350 billion in emergency funding for state and local governments, funding to support the reopening of K-12 schools and higher education and an extension of increased unemployment benefits until September. Nineteen percent said they somewhat support it.

A combined 71 percent of independents said they support the stimulus package, compared with 22 percent who oppose it.

While Republicans offered the lowest amount of support, more than half of GOP voters still back the stimulus package at 60 percent. Thirty percent said they somewhat or strongly oppose the package.

The stimulus package and Biden’s other economic plans have enjoyed support from voters so far. Sixty-four percent of voters said in January that they strongly backed additional economic stimulus, and 51 percent said in a separate poll that the federal government should continue spending even at the expense of the national debt.

As for individual measures, Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan garnered 56 percent support from voters, and 67 percent said they supported Biden’s executive order to expand access to food stamps.
So yes, GOP voters, and most voters, want the package passed. But this doesn't mean any Republicans will pay the price for voting against it, which they all most certainly will. After all, Republicans want things like universal background checks on firearms sales, and clean air and water, and working roads and bridges, but Republicans in Congress vote against that stuff all the time and they never pay a price for it.

This won't be any different, even when it passes 51-50 thanks to Madam Vice President.  But the economy will solely belong to Biden and the Democrats after that day, and the GOP will never miss an opportunity to attack them over it.


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