Author Topic: United States of Russia?  (Read 104890 times)

DavidAnnArbor

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1200 on: January 07, 2018, 06:47:43 AM »
It wouldn't even surprise me if the Clinton foundation is also afoul of some tax laws.  Personal family foundations are, by their very nature, tax dodges.  The fact that Trump's was fined for tax evasion and Clinton's hasn't been yet doesn't really change my opinion on that matter.  I assume all family foundations are at least somewhat dirty, or else why have one?

I don't agree that family foundations are tax dodges, they are meant to disburse grants of money to worthy causes. My understanding is that the Clinton Foundation did very good work, and the State Department would work with private foundations to help get aid to desperate parts of the globe.
Foundation tax returns are public and can be studied.

The Trump Foundation is in a class by itself, as Donald Trump used foundation money to buy things for his own personal benefit, was caught by the IRS for doing this, and forced to backtrack the wrongdoing. Trump would also lie and say his foundation was funded by his own personal money, when it was funded by outside donors to the foundation.

sol

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1201 on: January 07, 2018, 07:56:39 AM »
The Trump Foundation is in a class by itself, as Donald Trump used foundation money to buy things for his own personal benefit, was caught by the IRS for doing this, and forced to backtrack the wrongdoing. Trump would also lie and say his foundation was funded by his own personal money, when it was funded by outside donors to the foundation.

As much as it pains me to say this, I feel like Donald Trump's defense in this case was valid.  He's just an idiot.  I think he genuinely didn't know that he couldn't use a charitable foundation to buy himself stuff, and I think that his business is structured in such a way that no lawyer or accountant was ever going to tell him.  Trump has always surrounded himself with the ultimate YES-men, people who will flatter his vanity without any argument.  I think he gets bad advice, and in this case no one told him he was committing tax fraud.

I mean if you still believe that Trump is some kind of super stable genius playing 3D chess, then sure you can fault him for tax evasion.  But that's not the portrait I see.  I see a 70 year old overweight white grandpa who is very set in ways and unlikely to listen to anybody about anything.  His family has always been rich so he grew up believing that rules didn't apply to him (in business, in sex, etc) and now that he's President his confirmation bias is overwhelming.  His twitter feed paints a picture of puppy dog, living moment to moment, without any forethought or memory of anything at all.

So yea, the Trump foundation is clearly fraudulent.  But even the Clinton foundation, which has legitimately dispersed billions of dollars to worthy causes, exists in a fuzzy grey area of tax law where you can pay no taxes on your income that you donate to it, while retaining control of the donated assets.  You can pay your children or relatives to work for the foundation, while avoiding the gift tax.  And you can solicit outside donations to the foundation, which presents the opportunity for people or nations to attempt to curry favor with you by giving you money.  It's legal, but still shady.

nereo

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1202 on: January 07, 2018, 08:05:44 AM »
The Trump Foundation is in a class by itself, as Donald Trump used foundation money to buy things for his own personal benefit, was caught by the IRS for doing this, and forced to backtrack the wrongdoing. Trump would also lie and say his foundation was funded by his own personal money, when it was funded by outside donors to the foundation.

As much as it pains me to say this, I feel like Donald Trump's defense in this case was valid.  He's just an idiot.  I think he genuinely didn't know that he couldn't use a charitable foundation to buy himself stuff, and I think that his business is structured in such a way that no lawyer or accountant was ever going to tell him.  Trump has always surrounded himself with the ultimate YES-men, people who will flatter his vanity without any argument.  I think he gets bad advice, and in this case no one told him he was committing tax fraud.


How much does this matter though? Certainly our laws consider intent during the punishment phase, but if Trump is the only voice who matters and he selected people who would let him do whatever he wanted and wouldn't stop him from violating tax law, he'd still be in the wrong. "I didn't know better" doesn't go far in our legal system.  What's worse for him is the literally dozens of statements he's made over the years that he would donate "my own money" and then didn't.  That's going beyond "I didn't know" to "I just didn't care".
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DavidAnnArbor

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1203 on: January 08, 2018, 07:00:48 PM »
  But even the Clinton foundation, which has legitimately dispersed billions of dollars to worthy causes, exists in a fuzzy grey area of tax law where you can pay no taxes on your income that you donate to it, while retaining control of the donated assets.  You can pay your children or relatives to work for the foundation, while avoiding the gift tax.  And you can solicit outside donations to the foundation, which presents the opportunity for people or nations to attempt to curry favor with you by giving you money.  It's legal, but still shady.

And if you look at the Form 990 for the Clinton Foundation, you can see all the hours of work that the Clintons did for this charity, but they were paid nothing for their work.
Any instrument of tax can be abused, the devil is in the details. What did the Trump Foundation do, what did the Clinton Foundation do. But, it's more sexy to find a scandal with the Clintons, when nothing of the sort ever existed. That the Clintons must be committing some sort of wrong doing is just sloppy thinking that was propogated by not just Fox News but the mainstream media. In the meantime Trump's wrongdoing bordered on criminality.

http://990s.foundationcenter.org/990_pdf_archive/311/311580204/311580204_201512_990.pdf

Wexler

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1204 on: January 09, 2018, 12:18:44 PM »
Fusion GPS interview transcript:

https://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/3/9/3974a291-ddbe-4525-9ed1-22bab43c05ae/934A3562824CACA7BB4D915E97709D2F.simpson-transcript-redacted.pdf

Why was Grassley so adamant about keeping this private?  Is there any new information?  What was his end game with his criminal referral of the Fusion GPS head?  From what I understood, he was basing the criminal referral on information the FBI itself gave him. 

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1205 on: January 09, 2018, 12:21:18 PM »
  But even the Clinton foundation, which has legitimately dispersed billions of dollars to worthy causes, exists in a fuzzy grey area of tax law where you can pay no taxes on your income that you donate to it, while retaining control of the donated assets.  You can pay your children or relatives to work for the foundation, while avoiding the gift tax.  And you can solicit outside donations to the foundation, which presents the opportunity for people or nations to attempt to curry favor with you by giving you money.  It's legal, but still shady.

And if you look at the Form 990 for the Clinton Foundation, you can see all the hours of work that the Clintons did for this charity, but they were paid nothing for their work.
Any instrument of tax can be abused, the devil is in the details. What did the Trump Foundation do, what did the Clinton Foundation do. But, it's more sexy to find a scandal with the Clintons, when nothing of the sort ever existed. That the Clintons must be committing some sort of wrong doing is just sloppy thinking that was propogated by not just Fox News but the mainstream media. In the meantime Trump's wrongdoing bordered on criminality.

http://990s.foundationcenter.org/990_pdf_archive/311/311580204/311580204_201512_990.pdf

I think the phrase is FAKE EQUIVALENCY.

DarkandStormy

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1206 on: January 09, 2018, 12:33:03 PM »
Fusion GPS interview transcript:

https://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/3/9/3974a291-ddbe-4525-9ed1-22bab43c05ae/934A3562824CACA7BB4D915E97709D2F.simpson-transcript-redacted.pdf

Why was Grassley so adamant about keeping this private?  Is there any new information?  What was his end game with his criminal referral of the Fusion GPS head?  From what I understood, he was basing the criminal referral on information the FBI itself gave him.

Just doing the dirty work for Trump - trying to undermine a (not THE) source of the investigation into Trump.
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nereo

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1207 on: January 09, 2018, 12:49:22 PM »
Fusion GPS interview transcript:

https://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/3/9/3974a291-ddbe-4525-9ed1-22bab43c05ae/934A3562824CACA7BB4D915E97709D2F.simpson-transcript-redacted.pdf

Why was Grassley so adamant about keeping this private?  Is there any new information?  What was his end game with his criminal referral of the Fusion GPS head?  From what I understood, he was basing the criminal referral on information the FBI itself gave him.

Just doing the dirty work for Trump - trying to undermine a (not THE) source of the investigation into Trump.

Seems like it.  As long as the transcript remained private critics could basically whisper anything they wanted about Fusion GPS. The less the public knew for sure the more doubt they could cast over the entire episode. Now that it's public Feinstein is clearly hoping that this uncertainty will deminish somewhat. 

Of course the release of more information won't influence many - most still inaccurately equate Edward Snowden with Wikileaks.  Still, this is a battle for the 15-20% of the population that still might be budged.
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DarkandStormy

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1208 on: January 09, 2018, 12:51:00 PM »
Feinstein is a patriot and a GD hero.

So far, this only confirms that the GOP were trying to play obstruction politics.  There's not much here, other than A LOT of what is out there publicly (including the non-pee tape parts of the Steele dossier) were ALREADY CONFIRMED BY THE FBI.

Many in the intel community believe Trump or those close to him are being blackmailed by the Russians...most likely because of the pee tape, according to Simpson's testimony.

Grassley committed to making this public until it was politically inconvenient do so and backtracked.  **** him.
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DarkandStormy

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1209 on: January 09, 2018, 01:02:27 PM »
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/twitter-misses-deadline-information-u-190415824.html

Thanks, Twitter.  You idiots.

Quote
Twitter Inc. missed a deadline on Monday to provide the U.S. Senate Intelligence committee with information about alleged Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election, a spokeswoman for the committee's top Democrat, Senator Mark Warner, said on Tuesday.
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DarkandStormy

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1210 on: January 10, 2018, 08:34:14 AM »
https://www.thedailybeast.com/white-house-official-floated-withdrawing-us-forces-to-please-putin

Quote
A member of Trump’s National Security Council staff had a radical notion: to pare back American troops in Europe as a way to curry favor with the Kremlin
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Aelias

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1211 on: January 10, 2018, 10:32:54 AM »
Just gonna leave this here.

US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations - Minority Staff Report: "Putin's Asymmetric Assault on Democracy in Russia and Europe: Implications for US National Security:

"Following attacks like Pearl Harbor and 9/11, U.S. presidents have rallied the country and the world to address the challenges facing the nation. Yet the current President of the United States has barely acknowledged the threat posed by Mr. Putin’s repeated attacks on democratic governments and institutions, let alone exercised the kind of leadership history has shown is necessary to effectively counter this kind of aggression. Never before in American history has so clear a threat to national security been so clearly ignored by a U.S. president."

https://www.foreign.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/FinalRR.pdf

Here's the Cliff's Notes:  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/10/us/politics/trump-russia-election-interference.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fpolitics&action=click&contentCollection=politics&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=4&pgtype=sectionfront

MDM

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1212 on: January 10, 2018, 10:44:39 AM »
...Minority Staff Report....

...www.nytimes.com....
Shocking that Senate Democrats and the NY Times would say bad things about Trump. ;)

Kris

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1213 on: January 10, 2018, 10:49:49 AM »
...Minority Staff Report....

...www.nytimes.com....
Shocking that Senate Democrats and the NY Times would say bad things about Trump. ;)

And we wonder why Trump gets away with it...
Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

nereo

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1214 on: January 10, 2018, 11:18:41 AM »
...Minority Staff Report....

...www.nytimes.com....
Shocking that Senate Democrats and the NY Times would say bad things about Trump. ;)

Political posturing is like farting - everyone does it but  pretend they don't; some spend most of their time alerting the transgressions of another to anyone who will listen, but ultimately it dissipates and what's left can't be covered up by more farting.
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MDM

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1215 on: January 10, 2018, 11:30:52 AM »
...Minority Staff Report....

...www.nytimes.com....
Shocking that Senate Democrats and the NY Times would say bad things about Trump. ;)

And we wonder why Trump gets away with it...
Substitute
- Republicans for Democrats
- Fox News for the NY Times
- Obama for Trump
and we would have analogous observations to a paper critical of Obama, correct?

nereo

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1216 on: January 10, 2018, 11:34:59 AM »
Well DJT has now turned his anger on Senator Feinstein.  She's now "sneaky".
... not the most damaging adjective used against a political opponent.

Quote from: Trump
The fact that Sneaky Dianne Feinstein, who has on numerous occasions stated that collusion between Trump/Russia has not been found, would release testimony in such an underhanded and possibly illegal way, totally without authorization, is a disgrace. Must have tough Primary!
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Kris

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1217 on: January 10, 2018, 12:44:17 PM »
...Minority Staff Report....

...www.nytimes.com....
Shocking that Senate Democrats and the NY Times would say bad things about Trump. ;)

And we wonder why Trump gets away with it...
Substitute
- Republicans for Democrats
- Fox News for the NY Times
- Obama for Trump
and we would have analogous observations to a paper critical of Obama, correct?

Lol
Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

DarkandStormy

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1218 on: January 10, 2018, 12:48:56 PM »
She released de-classified testimony.  Nothing illegal or unauthorized.

Trump is a snowflake in need of a safe space, apparently.
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MDM

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1219 on: January 10, 2018, 12:53:44 PM »
- Fox News for the NY Times
Lol
True, The Gray Lady ain't what she used to be, so maybe it isn't fair to hold Fox to such a low bar. ;)

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1220 on: January 10, 2018, 01:31:23 PM »
Ooooohhh... now there IS collusion...
...but it's between the Democrats and Russia. 
Or so says DJT today addressing reporters at the WH.

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Kris

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1221 on: January 10, 2018, 01:32:01 PM »
- Fox News for the NY Times
Lol
True, The Gray Lady ain't what she used to be, so maybe it isn't fair to hold Fox to such a low bar. ;)

It's funny how "troll" seems to be the default setting of more and more conservatives. It's quite striking.
Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

MDM

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1222 on: January 10, 2018, 01:46:00 PM »
- Fox News for the NY Times
Lol
True, The Gray Lady ain't what she used to be, so maybe it isn't fair to hold Fox to such a low bar. ;)
It's funny how "troll" seems to be the default setting of more and more conservatives. It's quite striking.
Diversity of opinion is a good thing, correct?  But ad hominem, not so much.

It is unfortunate that most "news" sources really aren't, but rather are businesses looking to attract ad revenue by attracting an audience.  Different sources aim to attract different audiences.   Real Clear Politics often has amusing (if one can see beyond a far-left or far-right bubble) juxtapositions of articles on exactly the same subject, but with very different slants.

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1223 on: January 10, 2018, 01:56:48 PM »
- Fox News for the NY Times
Lol
True, The Gray Lady ain't what she used to be, so maybe it isn't fair to hold Fox to such a low bar. ;)
It's funny how "troll" seems to be the default setting of more and more conservatives. It's quite striking.
Diversity of opinion is a good thing, correct?  But ad hominem, not so much.

It is unfortunate that most "news" sources really aren't, but rather are businesses looking to attract ad revenue by attracting an audience.  Different sources aim to attract different audiences.   Real Clear Politics often has amusing (if one can see beyond a far-left or far-right bubble) juxtapositions of articles on exactly the same subject, but with very different slants.
Thus the danger of people believing there is a (false) equivalence between news and propaganda.

MDM

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1224 on: January 10, 2018, 02:27:30 PM »
- Fox News for the NY Times
Lol
True, The Gray Lady ain't what she used to be, so maybe it isn't fair to hold Fox to such a low bar. ;)
It's funny how "troll" seems to be the default setting of more and more conservatives. It's quite striking.
Diversity of opinion is a good thing, correct?  But ad hominem, not so much.

It is unfortunate that most "news" sources really aren't, but rather are businesses looking to attract ad revenue by attracting an audience.  Different sources aim to attract different audiences.   Real Clear Politics often has amusing (if one can see beyond a far-left or far-right bubble) juxtapositions of articles on exactly the same subject, but with very different slants.
Thus the danger of people believing there is a (false) equivalence between news and propaganda.
Agreed.  If only there were a foolproof way to distinguish between those.

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1225 on: January 10, 2018, 02:31:05 PM »
- Fox News for the NY Times
Lol
True, The Gray Lady ain't what she used to be, so maybe it isn't fair to hold Fox to such a low bar. ;)
It's funny how "troll" seems to be the default setting of more and more conservatives. It's quite striking.
Diversity of opinion is a good thing, correct? But ad hominem, not so much.


Nope. I'm calling out a behavior. An action. Because people who are trolling don't actually believe what they are saying/writing. They're just saying it to be provocative and get an emotional reaction out of people.

That's the charitable interpretation. Because the other interpretation would be that you actually believe that Fox and the NYT are equivalent. Which... well, I'll stop there, because there aren't a lot of charitable ways to put that...
Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

PathtoFIRE

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1226 on: January 10, 2018, 02:36:51 PM »
Diversity of opinion is a good thing, correct?  But ad hominem, not so much.

Be the change you wish to see in the world...

Shocking that Senate Democrats and the NY Times would say bad things about Trump. ;)

Or not.

Not that any of us are really expecting you to, your history in this thread is evident, but I'd like to point out that you didn't actually address any of the facts in the two links, instead just resorted to a form of ad hominem yourself.

ad ho·mi·nem
ˌad ˈhämənəm/
adverb & adjective
adverb: ad hominem; adjective: ad hominem

    1. (of an argument or reaction) directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining.

MDM

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1227 on: January 10, 2018, 03:22:49 PM »
I'm calling out a behavior. An action.
If disagreement merits "calling out", then so be it.

Quote
That's the charitable interpretation. Because the other interpretation would be that you actually believe that Fox and the NYT are equivalent. Which... well, I'll stop there, because there aren't a lot of charitable ways to put that...
Equivalent?  That's a subjective metric.  There are times that one is more accurate than the other, and vice versa.  Would you agree to that?

MDM

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1228 on: January 10, 2018, 03:33:01 PM »
Shocking that Senate Democrats and the NY Times would say bad things about Trump. ;)
Or not.

Not that any of us are really expecting you to, your history in this thread is evident, but I'd like to point out that you didn't actually address any of the facts in the two links, instead just resorted to a form of ad hominem yourself.

ad ho·mi·nem
ˌad ˈhämənəm/
adverb & adjective
adverb: ad hominem; adjective: ad hominem

    1. (of an argument or reaction) directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining.
Why, yes, that is the definition.  See also "irony" - "the expression of one's meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect."

I realize that the majority of people commenting in this forum don't like Trump's politics.  Probably an even larger majority (one that includes me) think he's not a particularly nice person.  But I also think a theme in this thread, that Trump did something traitorous with the Russians, is incorrect.  If and when Mueller or others demonstrate otherwise, I'll stand corrected.  Until then, however....

nereo

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1229 on: January 10, 2018, 03:58:34 PM »

I realize that the majority of people commenting in this forum don't like Trump's politics.  Probably an even larger majority (one that includes me) think he's not a particularly nice person.  But I also think a theme in this thread, that Trump did something traitorous with the Russians, is incorrect.  If and when Mueller or others demonstrate otherwise, I'll stand corrected.  Until then, however....
yup - we shall see.
For now all we can say for certain is that four members of his campaign have been indicted and two are cooperating with the special prosecutor. Whether this extends to DJT himself is still publicly unknown.  If we make the jump that it does extend to DJT it will interesting to see what transgressions took place, and when.  Was it something boneheaded where the denial and attempts to conceal were far worse than the original transgression (the coverup was worse than the crime), or are there serious transgressions afoot? What-if all violations were before he became a candidate (a-la Manafort)?

The what-if game can be fun to play, but also would like the re-emphasize 'wait and see'....
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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1230 on: January 10, 2018, 04:07:47 PM »

I realize that the majority of people commenting in this forum don't like Trump's politics.  Probably an even larger majority (one that includes me) think he's not a particularly nice person.  But I also think a theme in this thread, that Trump did something traitorous with the Russians, is incorrect.  If and when Mueller or others demonstrate otherwise, I'll stand corrected.  Until then, however....
yup - we shall see.
For now all we can say for certain is that four members of his campaign have been indicted and two are cooperating with the special prosecutor. Whether this extends to DJT himself is still publicly unknown.  If we make the jump that it does extend to DJT it will interesting to see what transgressions took place, and when.  Was it something boneheaded where the denial and attempts to conceal were far worse than the original transgression (the coverup was worse than the crime), or are there serious transgressions afoot? What-if all violations were before he became a candidate (a-la Manafort)?

The what-if game can be fun to play, but also would like the re-emphasize 'wait and see'....
Well said - I can agree with that!

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1231 on: January 16, 2018, 11:17:46 AM »
Bannon has been subpoenaed by Mueller's Grand Jury.

It's also worth noting that Bannon has the same lawyer (not just firm--same lawyer) as Priebus and McGahn.  Meaning their interests likely align or at least are not in conflict.

I see a tweetstorm a-brewin'.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/16/us/politics/steve-bannon-mueller-russia-subpoena.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1232 on: January 16, 2018, 07:07:19 PM »
Bannon has been subpoenaed by Mueller's Grand Jury.

It's also worth noting that Bannon has the same lawyer (not just firm--same lawyer) as Priebus and McGahn.  Meaning their interests likely align or at least are not in conflict.

I see a tweetstorm a-brewin'.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/16/us/politics/steve-bannon-mueller-russia-subpoena.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

Trump needs to learn not to piss on people right before they're headed to a Grand Jury about Trump.

I doubt Bannon will roll, or even if he has to, but he could have some juicy tidbits about Trump Jr and the Russians.

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1233 on: January 16, 2018, 07:44:27 PM »
when testifying, both lying and omitting the truth is a federal crime. Importantly, Bannon doesn't know what other members of team Trump have already said under oath - if he tries to lie he risks being charged himself

Interestingly, I've heard several legal opinions that subpoenaing Bannon is a crafty legal move by Mueller to give Bannon political cover for talking to the special council.  Basically he can now say "hey I didn't want to share intimate details of the campaign on the record but I had no legal option but to do so."

...somehow Bannon doesn't strike me as the sort of fellow that would be willing to go to prison for it.
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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1234 on: January 16, 2018, 09:20:39 PM »
The timing is sure interesting. Is it too much of a stretch to think that Mueller knew he wanted Bannon, but intentionally chose to wait until his estrangement from Trump was well and truly complete? The breakup was brewing for months, so it's not like anyone was surprised.
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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1235 on: January 16, 2018, 09:32:12 PM »
Trump will just end up hanging himself by burning bridges with everyone around him.