Trump Tax Fraud being investigated…so it will be fascinating what other details can be found, & whether he’s still engaged in such fraudulent behavior to this day.  This is different from other potential crimes being investigated, like conspiracy, financial donations (bribery &/or money laundering) & obstruction over the Russian case, campaign finance violations over hush-money payments to women, or using charitable donations for personal gain, but this new revelation on Trump tax fraud that hit a week ago is more fodder adding to the overall narrative of Trump operating a criminal enterprise.  Trump called the Kavanaugh protesters a mob, but the actions of our own president actually look like nothing short of mob activity.  
 
This should have been a far bigger headline story last week, but the Kavanaugh drama sucked all the oxygen out of all other news stories.  The massive Trump tax fraud committed by the family has now been laid out in exhaustive detail, which requires a closer examination by authorities including a thorough review of Trump’s tax forms from these past two decades.  Here’s another detailed review of Trump’s financial/business background, showing how one set of crimes can lead to others: A-financial-history-of-Donald-Trump-From-daddy-s-little-boy-to-Putin-s-best-partner.  And those NY Times reporters who broke the original story a week ago promise more details yet to come.  Whenever those new reports do come out & especially when the current investigations report their findings, that news about the Trump tax fraud should hit the headlines in a big way!  And rest assured, those investigators are looking at his more current tax returns, since the same Trump tax fraud may have continued over the years right through today without running into the statute of limitations.    
 
 
Let’s review our tax laws & put the brakes on widespread cheating by the rich
 
Overall our system should not be so forgiving of business tycoons who routinely cheat the system, which such skirting of the rules do need a close examination as seen in trump-tax-story-prompts-dem-calls-to-revise-estate-rules & also in excerpts from are-americans-finally-ready-to-stop-treating-business-tycoons-like-superheroes:  
 

The New York Times published an extraordinary deep dive into the financial history of President Trump this week. The paper’s reporters spent more than a year hunting down and analyzing documents for the 14,000-word investigation, which accuses the president and his family of committing large-scale tax fraud over several decades. State and municipal authorities in New York are already indicating that they may have to take a fresh look at the president’s finances. Those of us who count ourselves among the Trump critics won’t be surprised to hear fresh evidence that he has cut moral and ethical corners in his business dealings. Those who adore the president, of course, will undoubtedly discount the Times’s findings as the product of liberal bias. So it is hard to predict what sort of bearing these new revelations will have on the president’s political future. But I continue to hope that the gradual accumulation of information about Trump’s dubious business practices — past and present — will ultimately have a transformative effect on American public opinion. Specifically, I hope that it will contribute to the end of our naive glorification of tycoons.

 

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t believe that most of our business leaders are corrupt or dishonest. What I object to is the American habit of turning business leaders into idols who stand beyond any sort of critical judgment. Anyone who enjoys enormous power should be regarded by the rest of us citizens with healthy skepticism. Yet, all too often we give our plutocrats a pass. Americans, of course, have a long history of respect for business success — it is part of what has made us the wealthiest country in the world. The idea that any American can rise to the top through hard work and smarts is a founding element of our national myth. That helps to explain why we tend to celebrate our business leaders to such an excessive degree. Yet, today — in an era when the gap between the wealthy and the less privileged has reached extremes reminiscent of the late 19th century — the risks of this mindset are becoming increasingly obvious.

 
 
More links to evidence of Trump tax fraud
 
There’s plenty more signs of funny business going on when we read the articles here:  
 
 
 
 

 

 
A Phony, A Fraud
 
Rather than just getting a $1 million loan from his father to start his real estate business as he has repeatedly claimed, instead through inheritance, tax fraud, devaluation of properties & other schemes, Trump in today’s dollars actually had nearly a half-billion passed down to him from his father’s business.  As that NY Times article from last Tuesday reported, Trump likely would have built a larger net worth by investing that money in a typically-performing index fund rather than building his businesses.  It appears Mitt Romney’s comments about Trump a couple years ago during the primary campaign do ring true, that Trump is a phony & a fraud.  So in light of this new information on Trump family finances, such wise words are worth revisiting in these brief clips from that Romney speech: mitt-romney-donald-trump-is-no-business-genius & also mitt-romney-donald-trump-is-a-fraud.
 
 
I’m too tough on Trumpeters?
 
Here was a recent reply I made to someone who had responded I may have been a little too hard on Trumpeters, even when I went so far as to use the word nefarious to describe their intentions.  So I said this: Nefarious is too strong?  Too extreme?  Ha.  How else would you describe those who support a leader who:
 
*There’s credible evidence his campaign aligned with the Russians who interfered in our election
*There’s credible evidence he engaged in a pattern of obstruction of justice in trying to derail the Mueller probe
*There’s credible evidence he sexually abused nearly 20 women
*There’s credible evidence he had a pattern of ripping off or suing business associates, employees or customers in his ruthless business dealings
*There’s credible evidence he diverted charitable contributions for his own personal gain
*Now there’s credible evidence he financed his real estate business through massive tax fraud
*Oh, & I believe there’s irrefutably credible evidence he’s a total scumbag
 
I would say based on the facts, nefarious is far too mild of a term to describe Trump supporters.  More accurately, we might look at them as enablers to a crime syndicate!  Look objectively at who this president truly is, & if these charges are indeed true, there’s nobody in their right mind who could support this pathetic excuse for a criminal & moral basket case!  America is a far worse place when ruled by a self-absorbed, divisive & autocratic demagogue, & those still supporting him are simply buying into the evil echo lies!  WAKE UP AMERICA!!!  We don’t need to turn into a totalitarian empire like China or Russia!!!  
 
We’re getting very strong signals he’s running roughshod over our democratic institutions, the Constitution & rule of law!  Trump is on a relentless campaign to control all the levers of power, seeking only total loyalists to run Congress, the courts, intelligence/security agencies & the media.  And he’ll stop at nothing to shut down the various investigations looking into any number of illegalities, hoping to pull the strings so the proof of his crimes stays hidden.  As I’ve often warned, the slide into fascism happens undercover, with a population being oblivious to what’s happening until it’s too late.  So when I use the term nefarious, it doesn’t really go far enough, since the terms to best describe him (& even his followers) aren’t suitable for print.


 
Russian Probe Updates
 
As Mueller’s team is working diligently behind the scenes, they’ve gotten a respite from the scrutiny, with the public’s attention diverted to all the other Trump drama & the midterms coming up.  It’s the way Mueller would want it, allowing his investigation to continue in secret until he’s ready to tell us what they found.  There are some recent public reports below in the links, showing plenty more suspicious activities that had gone on suggesting collusion with Russia.  Oh the web that some can weave: How-about-more-connections-with-Russian-oligarchs?.  The links below reveal Trump’s connections with a Russian bank, Rick Gates seeking numerous online aliases (working through an Israeli intelligence firm), & Peter Smith (who committed suicide more than a year ago) had raised money in order to buy the dirt on Hillary from the Russians.  So articles on those 3 topics are inside the links here, but keep in mind as you’re reading them, there’s no question Mueller is way ahead of us on what he knows & how all this fits together: 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Telltale signs of crimes normally come with a cover-up
 
Realize following the money on an international scale is painstaking, but it’s likely the path to follow in putting all these connections who conducted illegal activities in place.  There can’t possibly be this much circumstantial evidence with all this smoke without a fire, likely multiple fires!  I follow the Russian scandal closely & do believe there’s strong evidence of criminal activity between the Trump campaign & the Russians during the campaign, but I also believe when the Mueller findings do come out, the evidence will prove overwhelming.  Mueller’s team doesn’t leak, so when the time comes, prepare to be shocked!  And Trump knows it as well as anyone what really happened, which is why he keeps obstructing the investigation & bombards us with multiple distracting conspiracy theories.  These articles from Trump-s-lawyers-organized-a-concerted-effort-to-coordinate-with-targets-of-Mueller-s-probe & also kavanaugh-fbi-investigation reveal a coordinated effort to cover up the crimes before Mueller can put all the pieces to the puzzle in place.  And this coordination featuring JDAs including with Manafort looks like shady dealings: trump-attorneys-talk-mueller
 
 
This book/interview say a lot!
 
These excerpts spell out the topics in a book going into detail about the Russian election interference & perplexing Putin/Trump cozy relationship, which the interview with the author can be seen by clicking on pulitzer-winning-reporter-greg-miller-on-trump-and-russia-weve-all-seen-the-smoking-gun:
 

It might be the ultimate journalistic cliché to announce that Donald Trump’s presidency is not normal. Indeed, it’s just as likely that this is what normal looks like now, and that the naked power politics of Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation — embraced by Republicans for many reasons, but most of all as a smackdown to feminists and liberals and everyone else perceived as preachy and condescending and threatening to the old order — is a sign of the times. To use another overused phrase of the moment, conservatives will surely reap the whirlwind for this fateful decision, to an extent they cannot now imagine. They don’t appear to care. Meanwhile, the Republican Party as we once knew it — the party of middle American businessmen, upstanding New England ladies and the Presbyterian Church — has been fully digested by the Trumpian virus. Susan Collins, Ben Sasse and Jeff Flake make polite, mournful noises about this, but most Republicans appear to be delighted. All of that is the new normal too. Greg Miller’s painstakingly researched new book, “The Apprentice: Trump, Russia and the Subversion of American Democracy,” is an attempt to explain how we arrived at this new normal, and beneath the surface a lament for the old one. Numerous other books have been written about the history-shaping 2016 presidential election and Trump’s mysterious relationship to the Russian oligarchy and Vladimir Putin. Miller, who is a national security correspondent for the Washington Post, does not go nearly so far as some reporters in alleging conspiracy or — yes! — collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, or in building a thesis that Putin holds compromising personal information about Trump. (He raises a valid point, both in the book and in conversation: Given what we already know about the president, how bad could the kompromat we don’t know possibly be?)

 

Miller builds an exhaustive and authoritative case, as suggested in his subtitle, that a Rubicon was crossed in American political history during that campaign, quite likely without anyone consciously intending to cross it. A mendacious demagogue with an incompetent, unprofessional campaign operation conquered a political party that had come untethered from its philosophical moorings, and then became both the target and the pawn of a highly capable foreign adversary who wanted to sow as much chaos as possible. We can all see the results around us in the ruined state of American political life and civic culture, and most of us would agree (Miller included) that this was the culmination of a long process for which Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin cannot be blamed. As “The Apprentice” makes clear, Trump’s presidency was born out of poisonous division, and all along that has been the core of his political brand. Virtually none of the incoherent promises he made to his followers will be fulfilled, but they are nonetheless delighted with his xenophobic vitriol and his sweeping contempt for all the formerly sacred norms and institutions of democracy. The Trumpian masses will evidently tolerate any number of betrayals and reversals, from selling out the country’s fiscal future to the richest of the rich to embracing a prep school graduate and Yalie from an ultra-privileged background as (in some symbolic way) a man of the people. But if their hero had tried to “pivot” himself into yet another vaguely benevolent White House father figure — that might have been the one thing they could not forgive. In Michael Moore’s famous phrase, they wanted to extend a giant middle finger to the American establishment, and didn’t much care about the details.

 

Even Miller would not claim that there are explosive new revelations about the Trump-Russia connections in “The Apprentice.” But it is researched and sourced at vastly more depth than any other book on the subject to date, and as Miller puts it, almost every page features a nugget of new reporting or reveals a previously hidden connection. If you had forgotten that the Russian spear-phishing attack on the Democratic National Committee began two or three hours after Trump invited the Russians, in July 2016, to release Hillary Clinton’s emails, that is documented here. If you didn’t know that circumstantial evidence strongly suggests that Trump knew about the infamous Trump Tower meeting of June 2016 in advance, and understood its intended purpose, that’s here as well. In the bigger picture, Miller means to banish any remaining doubt, on both the Trumpian right and the radical left, about whether Russian agents interfered extensively in the 2016 election with the aim of helping Trump, and about whether they succeeded. In the end, I believe that latter question remains subjective, and likely unanswerable. Given the flukish nature of the final outcome, it’s reasonable to claim that any one of dozens of marginal factors was decisive. Even Miller clearly agrees that to point the finger exclusively at Putin and his troll army is a way of avoiding the massive failures of American political culture and American society that made this possible in the first place. As for whether there was an active, conscious conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russians, or whether Putin is blackmailing Trump with the “pee tape” or a trail of bribes and payoffs or something else — as befits a journalist of his background and temperament, Miller gestures at all those things but renders no judgment. Instead he offers an Occam’s-razor explanation that’s about as good as any other that I have heard: The “smoking gun” that explains Trump’s obvious and puzzling subservience to Putin is no secret, and has been visible the whole time.

 

 
Dangers Ahead
 
I’m more open to the evidence climate change is happening, though I remain skeptical it can be conclusively tied to human activity.  I could be gradually convinced over time as more scientific findings come out: climate-scientists-warn-urgent-action-is-needed-to-avoid-planetary-calamity.  The current weather, a brief snapshot in time, makes for a poor example, but it has lately been near 90 around here in Ohio when normal highs should be in the 50’s.  I do definitely believe Trump should not be making a political weapon out of this, sabotaging alternative energy sources just to appease the energy & coal companies.  Plus pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord was likely a mistake, since can’t we at least make some minimal efforts to protect our environment as our allies are doing?  
 
But I adamantly maintain the nuclear danger is a far more imminent threat to our survival, even the increasing possibility of a hack attack sparking nuclear launches: hacking-nuclear-weapons-is-a-global-threat.  Russia proved two years ago how destructive hacking can be, so if it works to mess with an election, imagine the catastrophe that could come from messing with nukes?  And inside the next link, it’s not so much we need to drain the swamp as we need to make it younger: were-paying-too-little-attention-to-this-endangered-and-essential-national-resource.

Trumpian diplomacy leaves a lot to be desired.  International security demands we coordinate & collaborate a plan with our allies to push back against enemy states & terrorist organizations, a direction our current administration has been going the wrong way: a-national-security-imperative-bipartisan-cooperation.  With Trump taking America into a decidedly nationalistic/isolationist approach, we’re losing our moral values, our leadership authority, & our reputation while setting a poor example to the rest of the world.  It’s also putting a lot of desperate people in harm’s way, seen inside i-was-us-ambassador-six-different-countries-trump-ruining-americas-reputation.  
 
 
GOP Women
 
This is the VP candidate that helped propel the kind of crazy/nihilistic grievance politics that fueled the tea party & the rise of Trump: what-sarah-palin-understood-about-politics.  Nikki Haley just sprung this surprise that she’s leaving: https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/09/politics/nikki-haley-resignation/index.html & also why-nikki-haleys-resignation-is-no-surprisewhile Meghan McCain returns: meghan-mccain-hails-father-in-return-to-the-view.