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Gender: Male
Hometown: Chicago
Home country: USA
Current location: Chicago
Member since: Wed Dec 4, 2019, 08:03 PM
Number of posts: 6,477

Journal Archives

SCOTUS Confirmation Hearings in Peril before election?

Seems like it's something to consider...

The whole "savvy business people game their taxes" thing doesn't play when there's outright fraud

There are at least three disturbing cases of out-and-out tax fraud suggested (if not definitively proven) in the NY Times report:

1) Trump claimed to have "abandoned" his Atlantic City casino businesses in order to book them as a loss that he then subsequently used to avoid income taxes. But he collected payouts from those properties subsequent to have declared them abandoned. He would therefore be able to report no more than $3000 a year in losses from those properties. The matter is currently with the IRS and the Congressional panel that makes judgments on these issues, but if found that he collected even one red cent from the businesses subsequent to have declared them abandoned, he stands to owe $72 million plus interest (estimated $100 million). Declaring assets to be abandoned for the purposes of writing off losses, then collecting revenue from them is not "gaming the system." It's out and out fraud.

2) He double paid his family and otherwise used supposed consulting fees for write offs when there was no consulting. The Times article is pretty definitive on this, even matching payouts to the dollar in consulting fees to payments received by Ivanka Trump. She was working for the Trump Org and should have been receiving salary, but was also presumably received these consulting fees. Nice gig if you can get it, but that's double booking the same work where any of us come from, with the advantage of adding a business write-off line for the Trump Org. The Times also documents several projects where consultants are listed as paid on the tax form, but nobody involved in the project remembers any consultants, and several participants scoff at the idea that there were consultants. These write-offs are outright fraudulent, not savvy gaming of the tax system. You don't get to invent consultants or double book expenses even with our fucked up tax system.

3) The treatment of the Seven Springs estate - which Trump has claimed is "land conservation" for charity as well as an investment property, though the Trumps have always treated it as a personal home, and are even on record saying that. It's clownish misstatement. They've reaped over $20 million in write-offs from this mislabeling. It's fraud.

There are more cases in the Times article, but these are three that popped out at me. None of this is "savvy" use of the tax system. They're outright lies. People have gone to federal prison for less than this.

Counterpoint: The election will be called for Biden the minute West Coast polls close

Trump will slink off into obscurity with his whole fucked up family, and even half the Red Hats will deny ever having supported him the way people deny having bought Vanilla Ice's To the Extreme which sold 15 million copies.

Just as a reminder, Brett Kavanaugh, as a 17 year-old, attempted to [trigger warning]

hold down and rape a 15 year-old girl, together with his drunk friend. They pulled her into a room, slammed and held the door, pushed her on to a bed, and tried to rape her.

Everybody knows it.

They voted for him anyway, and pretended to be sniffy about it. Don't expect any Senate GOPers to do the right thing. They will do the worst of things every single time.

Trump to visit Northwest Ohio Monday

Shoring up support outside Toledo? Oh my.

There is Zero Chance that a Kenosha County jury (or any Wisconsin jury) convicts Kyle Rittenhouse

of first degree intentional homicide. It's at best an opening negotiating position for the DA, who will be lucky to get a plea deal to second degree reckless homicide (more or less a manslaughter charge) in this case.

It's gonna be a real shit show.

Illinois restricts youth sports for Fall - no competitive football or hockey (Pritzker on now)

No contact practices and team scrimmages only for soccer.

Can't find the references grid.

Baseball, tennis, golf OK for competitive games, as lowest risk.

Do "Flood the Zone" Police Tactics Actually Enable Looting in Large Cities?

I'm not asking a question I know or even expect a particular answer to. It's a genuine question. We've all by now experienced or seen images of massed police - sometimes seemingly 70, 80 deep - "facing off" against massed protesters. Or, massed or semi-massed police converging on an area in rapid speed, or engaged in kettling operations that flank and enclose protest crowds. I won't pretend to know about policing tactics. It does seem to me, however, that massing police in this manner is not the ordinary course of policing large urban areas, and that police are thereby spread thin, as it were. This would be especially the case for opportunistic looters who are going to go where the police aren't. There was some discussion of this when the Loop got completely shredded in Chicago on Saturday, and certainly it seemed to be the looters' tactic in Manhattan yesterday.

Is it possible that one factor contributing to the widespread, devastating looting is that police tactics are particularly ill-equipped to handle large protests, and that the current "flood the zone" and "massed police" tactics are deeply counter-productive?

Protests are complicated

Some people who are breaking shit and setting stuff on fire may be infiltrators, either right wing, white supremacist, or police.
Some people who are breaking shit and setting stuff on fire may be experienced non-local left protesters who view it as a useful tactic (i.e., Black Bloc).
Some people who are breaking shit and setting stuff on fire may be local left protesters who view it as a useful tactic.
Some people who are breaking shit and setting stuff on fire may be local folks who are just fed up and angry and want to smash shit.
Some people who are breaking shit and setting stuff on fire may be local folks who just let themselves get carried away in a crowd.
Some people who are breaking shit and setting stuff on fire may be local folks who just want to get some shit for free.
Some people who are breaking shit and setting stuff on fire may be just the usual kind of people who like to fuck shit up for fun.

It's quite likely that all of the protests have some mixture of all of these kinds of people. There's a lot of wishful thinking going on here and it goes like this: The people who are doing the stuff I disagree with are not on my side. It's a seductive idea, and one that we'll cling to any evidence to support. But we're all grown ups here, right?

Life is complicated. Protests are complicated. Motives and tactics and actions in the heat of the moment are complicated.

It's never all one or the other.

Whatever one thinks about the protests, one thing is absolutely clear

They completely dwarf - in size, scope, organization - the "Lockdown Protests" that garnered so much attention in April and May. The Lockdown Protests look rather piddling in comparison. A few hundred people here or there? That's one block of protesters in Minneapolis. There were more protesters in Atlanta last night than in most of the Lockdown Protests combined.
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