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Monthly Archives: September 2020


It should be clear now that we have a con man masquerading a the POTUS. This con has encompassed the Judicial and Legislative branches. The executive branch was lost on day one (1) in 2017. The phrase: ” promises made promise kept” was and is just another catch phrase used by a consummate liar and con man. TOTUS has assembled a cadre of followers to do his bidding and to propagate his web of falsehoods to spread over his loyal base. The recent “debate” showed how inept TOTUS is at his job but how great he is at the “con”. It is unclear to me how so many “loyal followers” fail to comprehend their duplicity in the con along with the GOP. It must be understood that the GOP is using the big con to run the smaller con of lining their pockets now and for later. We (voters) have the opportunity to remove this cancerous administration in about 30days. While we may have issues with the opposition, it is a much better choice than what we currently have.

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Prickly City Comic Strip for September 29, 2020
Stuart Carlson Comic Strip for September 28, 2020
Tom Toles Comic Strip for September 29, 2020 Drew Sheneman Comic Strip for September 28, 2020 Ken Catalino Comic Strip for September 28, 2020 Clay Bennett Comic Strip for September 29, 2020
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Of course we now know he misconstrued, conflated or Bernie Madoffed the truth. MA

Ben Werschkul

·DC Producer

Mon, September 28, 2020, 9:37 AM CDT

Over the years, President Donald Trump’s Twitter feed has featured messages slamming others for not paying taxes, bragging about how rich he is, criticizing those paying taxes overseas, and even claiming he pays “more taxes in one year than you pay in your entire life.”

It all reads differently now after The New York Times obtained decades of Trump’s tax information and found that he “has been more successful playing a business mogul than being one in real life.”

Perhaps nowhere is the disconnect between his public message and apparent private financial situation more stark than in the messages Trump has tweeted out over the years.

President Donald Trump looks at his phone during a roundtable discussion on the reopening of small businesses at the White House in June. (REUTERS/Leah Millis)

For the record, Trump has denied the report. “It’s totally fake news,” he said Sunday evening and added Monday morning that he “paid many millions of dollars in taxes but was entitled, like everyone else, to depreciation & tax credits.”

It’s often been noted that there’s “always a tweet” buried somewhere in Trump’s timeline that relates to the scandal of the moment. In this case there are scores of them. With an assist from the always helpful Trump Twitter Archive, here are some of the starkest examples.

Times he slammed others for not paying taxes

The key finding in the Times report was that he paid just $750 in federal income taxes the year he won the presidency and another $750 in 2017. He also paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years.

That didn’t stop him from attacking others for supposedly not paying enough in taxes. In 2012, he tweeted that then-President Barack Obama “only pays 20.5%” of his earnings in taxes.


Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

@BarackObama who wants to raise all our taxes, only pays 20.5% on $790k salary. http://1.usa.gov/HFZJKH Do as I say not as I do.

1:19 PM · Apr 13, 2012

13.6K

The same year, he sent along a story about Americans not paying taxes “despite crippling govt debt.”

These tweets came during a 2012 presidential campaign when tax avoidance was a big issue among Republicans. Later in the year, the Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, got into trouble after suggesting that the 47% of Americans who pay no income taxes were Obama supporters.

In more recent years, during his own run for president and since taking office, Trump has repeatedly gone after another perceived political enemy, Amazon (AMZN), for not paying its taxes.

Trump actually bragged about paying taxes in a few instances. In 2013, he retweeted an account that claimed “Trump is an American that will pay more taxes in one year than you pay in your entire life.”

@realDonaldTrump

@conservativeJT@bluejoni @realDonaldTrump Trump is an American that will pay more taxes in one year than you pay in your entire life.

5:50 AM · Mar 28, 2013


According to the Times report, 2013 was actually one of the years that Trump lost the most money and when he was likely able to avoid taxes. Trump National Doral, one of his Florida golf resorts, lost over $65 million in 2013 alone, according to the report.

 Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

@conservativeJT@bluejoni @realDonaldTrump Trump is an American that will pay more taxes in one year than you pay in your entire life.

5:50 AM · Mar 28, 2013


The next year, he retweeted a message telling Trump that since he pays his taxes, he “should be able to put up whatever signage you want.”

Foreign entanglements

Another revelation in The New York Times story is Trump’s foreign entanglements. His financial ties in places like Turkey are more extensive than previously known, and there are a host of countries where he actually paid more taxes than in the U.S.

As the story by Russ Buettner, Susanne Craig and Mike McIntire says, “The president’s $750 contribution to the operations of the U.S. government was dwarfed by the $15,598 he or his companies paid in Panama, the $145,400 in India and the $156,824 in the Philippines.”

But in 2012, he asked whether Obama was the first president “who earned over 1/3 of his income from foreign sources and paid taxes to another country?”


Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Have we ever had a POTUS before @BarackObama who earned over 1/3 of his income from foreign sources and paid taxes to another country?

12:29 PM · Jul 12, 2012


Trump also sent many many tweets touting his foreign properties from Turkey to Panama to the Philippines to India.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

I just had an amazing day in Mumbai, India. Building an almost 80 story building, super luxury, which is doing great! Press is going wild.

5:58 PM · Aug 12, 2014 from Navi Mumbai, India

231

244 people are Tweeting about this

Other revelations

The report details a range of other findings from Trump’s use of “consultant fees” to give money to people like his daughter Ivanka to the ongoing IRS audit that could cost him $100 million to the staggering amount of personal debt he reportedly currently holds.


Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

I am “the king of debt.”That has been great for me as a businessman, but is bad for the country. I made a fortune off of debt, will fix U.S.

11:55 AM · Jun 21, 2016

16.3K

8.3K people are Tweeting about this

As the Times report says, “Within the next four years, more than $300 million in loans — obligations for which he is personally responsible — will come due.”

As for consultants, the president has often dismissed them in tweets, calling out the Republican party’s “consultant class of losers” in 2013.

On the audit process — which Trump has used as a shield to avoid releasing his taxes — he called the process “routine” in tweets and comments. Trump’s own IRS commissioner has confirmed that there is no rule precluding the president from releasing his tax returns while under audit.

On his propensity for loans, Trump has actually been somewhat open about that:

On Monday, he claimed that he was under leveraged. “I have very little debt compared to the value of assets,” he tweeted.

But what The New York Times story doesn’t reveal — and what Trump is widely expected to try to keep secret — is who precisely holds the loans that he has personally guaranteed.

If Trump wins, the story notes, “Lenders could be placed in the unprecedented position of weighing whether to foreclose on a sitting president.”Ben Werschkul is a producer for Yahoo Finance in Washington

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POLITICS 

09/24/2020 07:22 pm ET Updated 1 day ago

Slogans and toothless executive orders don’t pay anyone’s doctor bills.

By Jeffrey Young

President Donald Trump really, really wants to fool voters into thinking he has a plan to make the health care system great again. But he really, really doesn’t.

In Charlotte, North Carolina, on Thursday, Trump signed executive orders he claims address two of the biggest concerns Americans have about the health care system: coverage for people with preexisting conditions and surprise medical bills.

The orders don’t do anything about anything, though. It’s just more vaporware from the Trump administration. Slogans, lies and exaggerations aren’t policies. Trump pitched his phantom plan by saying it rests on three pillars: “more choice,” “lower costs,” and “better care,” and that it would “put patients first.”

Those focus-group-tested slogans sound great! Except they’re hogwash.

The truth is that, like in so many other areas, Trump doesn’t want to do the work. After all, as Trump once said, health care is “complicated!” Who needs the headache when there are people of color to insult and golf to play?

Executive orders like these are little more than campaign press releases printed on fancier stationery. Since Trump doesn’t have the interest or patience to actually work with Congress to make laws, he tosses off toothless executive orders and farms out his Obamacare repeal efforts to a court system he’s packed with his own judges.

There’s no evidence that Trump cares about health care at all beyond his intense desire to undo anything President Barack Obama did in office. Has there been anything about Trump’s response to the novel coronavirus pandemic to suggest that the health and well-being of Americans is a priority for him? Two hundred thousand dead say otherwise.

Trump barely engaged in the 2017 legislative fight to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a GOP plan that would have kicked tens of millions of Americans off their health care. After that failed, he gave up even trying to legislate on health care, and instead, his administration turned its focus to sabotaging the ACA’s health insurance marketplaces, imposing onerous new requirements on Medicaid beneficiaries, promoting the sale of junk health insurance policies that, unlike ACA plans, do exclude people with preexisting conditions, and getting the courts to kill the ACA for him.

Empty Promises And Falsehoods

Trump rattled off a litany of policies his administration has implemented or proposed, ranging from relaxing health insurance regulations to attempting to lower drug prices, few of which have amounted to anything.

In fact, some of his supposed accomplishments further give the lie to his claim that he supports protections for preexisting conditions. The Trump administration has expanded access to several kinds of health “insurance” that aren’t available to people with preexisting conditions, like short-term health plans.

The term “gaslighting” gets overused these days, but there’s no better way to describe what Trump is perpetrating. His claims about these executive orders are entirely detached from reality and his claims about his own record on health care range between completely made-up to highly exaggerated. 

A president whose primary health policy objective is scrapping his predecessor’s law that brought the uninsured rate to a historic low can’t plausibly claim to be fixing the health care system. “Obamacare is bad” is not a policy, and anyone who expected Trump to finally, at long last, explain to the public how he would replace that law ― if such a person still exists ― has been disappointed yet again.

It’s worth being extremely clear about why anyone is worried about people with preexisting conditions in the first place. After all, it’s been a full decade since the Affordable Care Act made it illegal for health insurance companies to deny coverage or charge higher rates to people based on their medical histories.

Well, it turns out that protection might disappear, along with the rest of the ACA, because Trump and the Republican Party want it to. 

These pieces of paper won’t make your health insurance, medical bills or prescription drugs any cheaper.

Trump is part of a lawsuit the Supreme Court is scheduled to take up in November (after Election Day, of course) that could eliminate the whole law. This, in fact, is Trump’s “vision” for health care reform, not whatever bogus claims he makes to get him out of a political jam he put himself in by joining a legal case originated by a bunch of Republican state officeholders.

If the Republican plaintiffs win ― an outcome made more likely by the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last week ― an estimated 20 million people would lose their health coverage, and everyone with a preexisting condition, no matter how minor, would be at risk. 

There is nothing on the table to mitigate the vast harm that ruling would create, despite assertions from Trump like this: “If we win, we will have a better and less expensive plan that will always protect individuals with preexisting conditions.”

So, again, his plan is to not have a plan. If he had one, he would tell us.

“The president is declaring that it is the policy of the United States to provide protections to ensure that Americans with preexisting conditions are protected regardless of whether the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional and its protections for preexisting conditions invalidated,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said during a conference call with reporters prior to Trump’s speech.

“The policy of the United States” is an empty phrase. It’s not a law. It’s not even an actual policy. Also, the current real policy of the United States on this issue is encoded in a law called the Affordable Care Act that Trump is trying to get rid of.

Simply declaring in an executive order that people with preexisting conditions should be able to buy health insurance if the high court knocks down the ACA is entirely meaningless. If it were that simple, some other president would have done it already and become extremely popular. More than that, no president can just order an entire industry to not do something. That’s why there’s a Congress that passes laws.

The term “gaslighting” gets overused these days, but there’s no better way to describe what Trump is perpetrating. His claims about these executive orders are entirely detached from reality and his claims about his own record on health care range between completely made-up to highly exaggerated.

Almost unbelievably, Trump’s action on surprise billing is even more fake than his preexisting conditions nonsense. “We will end surprise billing,” he said. No, they won’t.

Surprise bills are one of the worst aspects of the U.S. health care system, and that’s really saying something considering how awful it is in so many other ways. Over the past couple of years, Congress has tried and failed to devise a solution to this problem that would protect patients from unexpected bills from out-of-network providers the patients often don’t even know treated them. 

But Congress and the administration failed to come to a deal after intense lobbying by hospital and physician groups, and the private equity companies that own medical practices that make tons of money from surprise bills.

Trump’s new solution? An executive order that directs the Department of Health and Human Services to start coming up with some kind of plan next year if Congress doesn’t pass a bill by Jan. 1, 2021. “He will instruct me to investigate executive actions and regulatory actions that we can take that will ensure that patients are nonetheless protected against surprise medical bills,” is how Azar described it.

That’s not a plan. It’s a plan to come up with a plan that won’t work because the White House can’t just order hospitals not to bill people. Again, that’s why lawmaking exists.

Lies About Biden

Trump also took aim at Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s health care plan ― or a caricature of it, anyway.

“The [Democratic] Party is pushing a socialist nightmare. Their plans will result in rationing care, denying choice, putting Americans on waitlist, driving the best doctors out of medicine permanently and delaying cures,” Trump said.

This will be shocking news to Biden, who won the Democratic primary by opposing the kinds of health care reforms, like “Medicare for All,” that his progressive opponents favored and that also wouldn’t do what Trump says they would. Instead, Biden is running on a potentially consequential but also kind of boring plan to make Obamacare coverage cheaper.

Election Day is 40 days away, and Trump knows he’s on the wrong side of public opinion on health care. He’s going to keep repeating falsehoods and misrepresentations about his health care record and agenda. But the totality of his actions as president makes very clear that his promises of better, cheaper health care are extremely hard to believe.

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I have noticed that when a statement starts with “I’M Just”, there is an alibi or justification for an action following. That phrase is a way to push the onus of the action or statement off the person making the statement or doing the action and on to someone or something else. This is how TOTUS is justifying his rush to announce a nominee for the high court. While it is duty and right according to the Constitution, the basis for the selection has possibly a more personal slant. First to bolster his image in the electorate (gain more votes), appease and join with Conservative Christians (gain more votes) and to hopefully gain an edge in case he is prosecuted for his actions while president should he lose the Presidency. I’m JUST SPECULATING!

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Does TOTUS Know:

He is the President of the UNITED STATES?-this means ALL citizens with no distinction between them.

His Leadership (?) shapes the health of the country financially and Physically.

To be the President requires advice from the smartest people he can find, not Toadies to carry his water.

Respect for the Congress (such as it is)

The Justice department is not his personal lawyer

Our NATO allies are really allies not enemies.

The bad actors in the world are not our friends but we need to engage them to keep an eye on them

Our borders while relatively secure do not require an expensive “wall” but regular maintenance.

We need to reform our emigration policies rather than saddle our Southern allies with migrants and outstripping their resources.

We need to join our allies in propping up the poorer Nations so their residents can remain in their own country.

He is not the star of the show, just a temporary lead to keep the show going.

He should not be the Liar-in-chief, chief medical officer or major propagandist.

He should be aware that what is done to the least of us, is done to to ALL of us.

News programs are not a good source for information used to govern-That’s why you have a cabinet.

Finally no matter what a new job entails, there is always a learning curve

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Kevin Kallaugher Comic Strip for September 25, 2020
Tom Toles Comic Strip for September 25, 2020
Chris Britt Comic Strip for September 24, 2020
Clay Bennett Comic Strip for September 25, 2020
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AARP Fraud Alert
Two things have been certain during this pandemic: People have been home more than ever, and they’ve been using technology more than ever to stay connected to the outside world. Scammers are keyed into these facts and are taking advantage. It’s the classic tech-support scam, and it is running rampant right now.
  
How It Works•You receive a phone call from what appears to be Microsoft or another big tech company, claiming they detected a virus on your device that requires your immediate attention.•Or you sit down to your device to find a pop-up message warning that your device is infected and you need to call the number in the message or click a link right away.•A “technician” explains the severity of the issue, requests remote access to your device and then shows you “the problem.”•The “technician” can fix your problem for a fee, and then may offer you a monthly subscription to keep your device safe.•The “technician” often calls back months later, offers you a refund and asks for your bank account information to deposit the money.
 
What You Should Know•Big tech companies say they don’t call customers to warn of problems on their devices.•The supposedly problematic files the “technician” shows you on your device are completely benign.•The scammer may ask you to pay by credit card or may direct you to purchase a gift or reloadable card and provide the account number and PIN (this is always a red flag).•The “technician” may install malware on your device while they have access to harvest usernames and passwords to exploit your accounts.
 
What You Should Do•Screen phone calls with an answering machine or voicemail, and once you listen to the message, decide if it warrants a callback.•If the caller claims you have a problem with your device, don’t believe it.•If you think your device is infected, get it checked out by a reputable source; most big-box electronics retailers offer tech-support services.•If you get a pop-up that freezes your screen, shut down your computer and restart it to make it go away.•If you realize you’ve fallen victim to this scam and paid by credit card, contact your financial institution to dispute the charge and cancel any monthly fees you may have agreed to.
 
When it comes to fraud, vigilance is our number one weapon. You have the power to protect yourself and your loved ones from scams. Please share this alert with friends and family and visit the Fraud Watch Network.Sincerely,Kathy StokesAARP Fraud Watch Network
P.S.
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Is it possible that we as people have lost the ability to understand when we are being conned? Look back 3 years with the advent of TOTUS. The economy was approaching a normalcy after the big hit. TOTUS took on the mantle of making the economy great and promptly ran it down with a touted ” tax reform”. This tax reform benefitted the top 1 or 2 % of Americans and corporations while pushing the middle class and lower income into an even lower income status. With the onset of a what would have been a “manageable” health situation if our “leader” had made the necessary moves required. What we got was an inept ego driven child who was concerned about his image. What ensued is a national pandemic that could have been constrained with the Federal government taking the lead (how much of an ego boost that would have been) but TOTUS chose the low road and placed the burden on the States and down played the deaths related with the disease while blaming the Governors and offering no real help beyond voodoo cures which were unproven. Then TOTUS brought medical experts before the public who when telling the truth were sidelined with TOTUS voicing his own voodoo cures. Currently on top of all 3 plus years of this administration is now pushing the idea that voting by mail is not secure and demanding that the election will be rife with fraudulent voting, this after he put a long time political backer and campaign contributor in the postmaster general position where he (the Postmaster) began to dismantle machinery required to sort mail and cutting overtime for postal employees (the post office is grossly under staffed). This tampering with the Postal System would serve to bolster the false claims presented by TOTUS regarding the post office and so called “mail fraud”. It is incumbent on ALL of us to vote and ignore the line of misinformation emanating from the current administration. We must look at the facts that our Congress and the administration are both ignoring the ongoing probes by outside actors into our election electronically. This fact alone makes our mail service more secure. Our power is to elect someone competent to lead in the White House and the Congress for the sake of our country. Remember the party’s are not as important as the people we select to represent us, a criminal or miscreant remains a criminal or miscreant once elected.

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Khristopher J. Brooks  9 hrs ago

America could have been $16 trillion richer if not for inequities in education, housing, wages and business investment between Black and White Americans over the past 20 years, new research concludes. 

The study, released this week by Citigroup, is the latest in a body of research that attempts to quantify the economic impact of systemic racism. Citigroup arrived at its $16 trillion figure after estimating that:

  • Black workers have lost $113 billion in potential wages over the past two decades because they couldn’t get a college degree.
  • The housing market lost $218 billion in sales because Black applicants couldn’t get home loans.
  • About $13 trillion in business revenue never flowed into the economy because Black entrepreneurs couldn’t access bank loans. 

What’s more, the U.S. could have $5 trillion in gross domestic product over the next five years if those gaps and others were closed today, the study indicated. 

“Racial inequality has always had an outsized cost, one that was thought to be paid only by underrepresented groups,” Citigroup Banking Chair Raymond McGuire said in a statement. “What this report underscores is that this tariff is levied on us all.”

Federal Reserve data show that White households’ net worth grew 43%, to $61,200, between 1995 and 2016, while it remained flat at $35,400 for Black families. Moody’s Investor Service found that 44% of Black households owned their homes in 2019, compared with 74% of white households.

The study also highlights the “real costs of long-standing discrimination against minority groups, especially against Black people and particularly in the U.S.,” Citigroup economist Catherine Mann said in a statement. 

A McKinsey study released last year explored how these and other inequities have reduced the nation’s wealth. The nation’s GDP — the total value of goods and services — could be up to 6% higher by 2028 if the racial wealth gap is closed, the consulting firm concluded. Lawmakers must pass targeted policies that boost household income for Black Americans in order to address the issue, McKinsey said.

illion dollagain from the effort,” the McKinsey study concluded. 

Incarceration rates among Black Americans, voter suppression efforts and conscious bias in hiring all play a role in hindering the U.S. from making strides in closing this gap, Citigroup said. 

Separately, the financial giant on Wednesday said it would direct $1 billion toward helping close the racial wealth gap, including investing $550 million over the next three years in encouraging homeownership for people of color. Another $50 million will go toward capital investments for Black entrepreneurs. 

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