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Just Who Does Trump Owe $421 Million? Is It Russia?

The bombshell New York Times piece which exposed the fact that self-proclaimed billionaire Donald Trump paid only $750 in income taxes in 2016 and 2017, and $0 in the preceding ten years, has sparked a serious debate as to how unfair the U.S. tax code is to working families. Reasonable people will agree that when working families earning less than $50,000 a year have to pay way more in income taxes than a billionaire like Donald Trump, then it’s time to reform the broken and immoral tax code.

The New York Times bombshell however revealed something much more serious than the broken and immoral U.S. tax code and that is, in 2016 when Trump was elected President, he was deep in debt, to the tune of some $421 million. Let that sink in. In 2016, the incoming President of the United States, owed some yet unnamed individuals or organizations or governments, as much as $421 million.

Naturally, this has raised all kinds of national security red flags because it is a well known fact in national security circles that a person deep in debt, is highly susceptible to manipulation or blackmail by his or her creditors. As a matter of fact debt is one of the main reasons most people are denied top security government clearances (cannot access top secret information). The simple reasoning is that a person susceptible to blackmail will be more prone to giving away government secrets.

In Trump’s particular case, there have always been rumors that he has business ties to Americas top geopolitical foe, Russia, which U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded, meddled in the 2016 elections to benefit Trump. The question as to whether Trump is either wholly or partially indebted to the Russian government or known agents of the state, is therefore a totally valid question.

Several leading Democrats are already raising this crucial national security question even though they are not going all the way and implicating Russia.

Trump’s Democratic challenger Joe Biden must really key in on this crucial national security question during their first televised debate scheduled for tonight. Biden must not only insist that Trump disclose his creditors before the elections, but specifically zero in on Russia. Is Trump indebted to Russian dictator Vladimir Putin? Is this the reason Trump refuses to condemn Putin for anything, even when there are credible allegations that he’s paying Afghans to attack U.S. troops, or that he is poisoning his political opponents? If not, Biden should force Trump to condemn Putin’s actions at the debate stage, with millions of viewers tuned in worldwide.

Bottom line folks, even though the New York Times bombshell exposes the glaring unfairness of the U.S. tax code, it is a much bigger deal for the grave national security questions it raises. One only hopes that at the presidential debate tonight, TeamBiden will vigorously and exhaustively pursue Trump over his $421 million debt, and the serious national security questions it raises, especially as it relates to Putin’s Russia.

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You may reach the author via email at author@grassrootsdempolitics.com or author@emolumentsclause.com

Judge Amy Coney Barret Does Not Think SCOTUS 5-4 Split Decisions Are A Sign Of Political Partisanship

Federal Appeals Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett At Hillsdale College In May 2019

In an interview at Hillsdale College in May 2019, Federal Appeals Court Judge and now Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett said she does not think the increasing 5-4 split decisions at the U.S. Supreme Court are a sign of political partisanship. This is a very strange assessment given the fact that much of the public angst against the U.S. Supreme Court can be attributed to the increasing number of these 5-4 split decisions between the 5 conservative and 4 liberal justices, which people have reasonably attributed to partisan political differences.

Judge Barrett’s strange position that Supreme Court 5-4 split decisions are not as a result of partisan political differences will certainly draw the attention of Democratic Senators at her confirmation hearings, which are already expected to be the most contentious Supreme Court confirmation hearings ever.

Bottom line folks, with Justice Amy Coney Barrett in the U.S. Supreme Court, Americans better get used to “non-partisan” 6-3 split decisions on ACA, voting rights, DACA, Trump’s tax returns, 2020 election challenges…….. Simply put, get used to “non-partisan” 6-3 split decisions on steroids!!

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Amy Coney Barrett Feared “A Very Marked Shift” In SCOTUS Composition If Hillary Clinton Won In 2016

University of Notre Dame Law Professor Amy Coney Barrett giving a presentation at Jacksonville University On November 3, 2016 , five days before the general elections

An interesting presentation then Professor Amy Coney Barrett gave at Jacksonville University in November 2016, five days before the elections, begs for further scrutiny now that President Trump has formally nominated her to fill the U.S. Supreme Court seat left vacant after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In her hour long presentation at Jacksonville University, which reasonable people will agree was highly impressive, Professor Barrett delved into a whole host of issues dealing with the U.S. Supreme Court and its Justices. Of particular relevance today, is the fear Professor Barrett expressed of “a very marked shift” in the Supreme Court to the left, were Hillary Clinton to win the presidency in 2016.(see clip below)

Professor Barrett’s concerns in November 2016 are of particular concern today because the “very marked shift” in the U.S. Supreme Court she feared in 2016 has come to pass. The only difference is that the marked shift in the court has been to the right, with Trump as President. More importantly, the very concerns she had about a future President Clinton replacing Justice Scalia with a liberal, is the exact situation we currently find ourselves in, with President Trump getting ready to replace liberal Justice Ginsburg with her–a staunch conservative. Given her fears in 2016, should Trump have nominated someone more liberal to replace Justice Ginsburg? In other words, is Judge Amy Barrett only worried about the U.S. Supreme Court markedly shifting to the left but okay if the shift is to the right?

Specifically, then Professor Barrett argued in her presentation that whoever won the presidency in 2016, who she assumed like many would be Clinton, would have a chance to replace up to four Supreme Court justices, given their advanced ages. Clinton, she argued, would not only fill the vacant Scalia seat with a reliable liberal, tipping the balance of the court leftward, but would also likely replace Justices Ginsburg, Breyer and Kennedy with much younger reliable liberals, essentially turning the U.S. Supreme Court into a reliably liberal court. Trump on the other hand, Professor Barrett argued, would fill the vacancies with a “mixed bag” of justices resulting in a somewhat center-right court but definitely not a far right Supreme Court.

Reasonable people will agree that with the appointments of Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump has already shifted the U.S. Supreme Court to the right. Trump’s nomination of conservative Judge Amy Barrett to replace reliably liberal Justice Ginsburg will therefore lead to the very “marked shift” in the U.S. Supreme Court that then Professor Amy Barrett feared with a Clinton presidency. The question Democratic Senators need to confront Judge Barrett with at her confirmation hearings, is whether she is now comfortable with the marked shift in the Supreme Court to the right. Should Trump have nominated a Supreme Court justice more in the mold of Justice Ginsburg to prevent the marked shift to the right?

It bears pointing out however that Professor Barrett espoused an interpretation of the role of judges generally, and supreme court justices in particular, that many legal scholars will find very refreshing. She stated very clearly that the role of a judge is not to placate to the partisan political camps but rather to follow the law, wherever it leads. She illustrated her point with Justice Scalia, who sided with the liberal justices time and time again on criminal law issues even though as a conservative, Republican voters expected him to be a “law and order” judge, always siding with law enforcement in criminal cases. Professor Barrett said Justice Scalia did so not because he liked criminals, but because that was what the text of the constitution required him to do. This should be a warning shot to Trump Republicans who are fast-tracking her confirmation in the hopes that she will rubber stamp GOP policy positions at the Supreme Court.

Bottom line folks, as things currently stand, Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s ascension to the U.S. Supreme Court is all but certain. There’s literally nothing Democrats can do procedurally or otherwise, to stop her confirmation to the high court. One only hopes that during her confirmation hearings, Democratic Senators will confront her with tough questions, among them, her fears in 2016 of a “marked shift” in the composition of the U.S. Supreme Court. Specifically, Democratic Senators should ask Judge Barrett why she feared a marked shift of the high court to the left but is now seemingly comfortable with a marked shift to the right, thanks to her confirmation.

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Biden Scolds Trump Over Military “Suckers” And “Losers” Remarks And Shakes Up The 2020 Presidential Race

Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden

Ever since he became President in 2016, Donald Trump has repeatedly boasted about the overwhelming support he has among military families, often claiming without evidence, that he has “rebuilt the military” which was dilapidated under his predecessor Obama. However events spurred by a recent bombshell report on The Atlantic have turned Trump’s military talking points upside down, and now appear to be a serious threat to his presidency, with less than two months to go before the 2020 elections. The bombshell report on The Atlantic gives a picture of Trump that stands in stark contrast to his public pronouncements of affection towards members of the military, and instead provides troubling examples of how Trump privately harbors deep disdain for them, even referring to dead and wounded soldiers with demeaning terms like “suckers” and “losers”

In a 2018 visit to Paris for example, Trump reportedly told members of his administration accompanying him on the trip that he did not want to visit Aisne-Marne American Cemetery saying, “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.” Trump on the same trip, also reportedly referred to the 1,800 U.S. Marines who laid down their lives for the country at the battle of Belleau Wood in France, as “suckers”. These are the kinds of disgusting remarks you simply never expect to hear from an American Commander-in-Chief regarding American troops–dead, wounded or alive. As expected, Trump’s disgusting “suckers” and “losers” remarks have created a political firestorm which seriously threatens his chances for reelection because his remarks credibly call into question his fitness to serve as the U.S. Commander-in-Chief. Trump’s remarks have also thrown his 2020 reelection campaign into a tailspin with top surrogates uncomfortably trying to reassure the public that he loves service members despite his remarks.

One such top surrogate is Trump’s former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, whose attempt to defend Trump’s “suckers” and “losers” remarks was met with severe backlash on Twitter. Haley had tweeted a rare request to Trump’s Democratic challenger Joe Biden, asking Biden to take down a campaign ad saying Trump was unfit to be Commander-in-Chief based on the piece in The Atlantic. Twitter clearly did not take lightly to Haley’s request.

But as MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow correctly pointed out, Trump’s troubling behavior towards service members was evident way before the piece in The Atlantic came along. The bombshell piece in The Atlantic resonated with a lot of people because in many ways, it was simply a confirmation of Trump’s deep disdain for military service members, which many people had suspected all along. The 09/04/2020 edition of The Rachel Maddow Show took a deep dive into Trump’s troubling behavior towards service members and their families, the most notable one being his encounter with Myeshia Johnson, the wife of Sgt LaDavid Johnson, who was killed in Niger in late 2017.

The Maddow segment featured a clip from an October 2017 Good Morning America interview in which Myeshia Johnson lamented the cruel way President Trump had spoken to her on the phone regarding the death of her husband. Mrs Johnson said the phone conversation with Trump, which traditionally was meant to comfort/console military spouses who had lost loved ones, ended up being very traumatic, making her “cry even more” because Trump apparently said her dead husband “knew what he was signing up for.” Mrs Johnson was also distressed because Trump could not even remember her husband’s name, something she found very odd and annoying.

Maddow’s segment also delved into how Trump rudely dealt with Lt. Col Alexander Vindman, a wounded veteran who was a witness at Trump’s impeachment proceedings, especially the way Trump mocked his Army uniform and tweeted his rank in quotation marks, as if it was a fake title. Maddow also pointed out how Trump had derided Admiral Bill McRaven, a revered military figure most remembered for leading the attack that killed Osama bin Laden. Trump spoke disparagingly of Admiral McRaven saying he should have captured bin Laden sooner. There’s also the way Trump rudely dealt with Gold star father Khizr Khan who lost his son in combat in Iraq, and his infamous comments towards Senator McCain, suggesting that McCain was not a hero because he was captured. Simply put, even before the bombshell report on The Atlantic, there was already a mountain of evidence pointing towards the fact that Trump has very low regard for service members, especially the ones that end up wounded in combat, or dead.

It also bears pointing out that on a recent segment with Trump’s niece Mary L. Trump about her bestseller new book “Too Much And Never Enough”, Maddow brought up a section of the book which says Trump once threatened to cut his children off their inheritance if they ever enlisted in the military. The two also talked about Trump’s divorce papers with Marla Maples, Tiffany Trump’s mother. Apparently, there was a stipulation in the divorce papers that Trump would stop paying any further child support in the event Tiffany enrolled in the military. This is further damning evidence of Trump’s demonstrated disdain for the military and the people who enlist in the revered American institution as a sacrifice. It should be abundantly clear to everybody at this point that Trump’s only use for military service members, is as photo ops for his political campaign. He otherwise considers them “suckers” and “losers” for their sacrifice.

Bottom line folks, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden summed it all up with this powerful tweet, “Mr. President, if you don’t respect our troops, you can’t lead them.” Folks, if you don’t agree with Joe Biden on anything else, this should be your reason to vote for him on November 3, 2020. Our men and women in uniform deserve a Commander-in-Chief who gives a damn about them. Plain and simple!!.

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You may reach the author via email at author@grassrootsdempolitics.com or author@emolumentsclause.com

Russia Using Top GOP Senators For 2020 Election Meddling

Senator Ron Johnson(R-WI) and Senator Chuck Grassley(R-IA)

A bombshell segment on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow explored the fact that Russia (read Putin), is planning to meddle in the upcoming November 2020 elections in much the same way as it did in 2016–via a misinformation campaign. The only difference in the Russian misinformation campaign in 2020 however is that this time, instead of relying heavily on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, Putin is using two top GOP Senators namely Ron Johnson (WI) and Chuck Grassley (IA), to facilitate the misinformation campaign.

You’ll remember reports by right wing media outlets which suggested that former vice president Joe Biden’s son used his father’s influence to profit from corrupt deals in Ukraine. President Trump seriously played up this supposed Biden-Ukraine scandal in the hopes of knee-capping Biden’s 2020 presidential run, a scheme that didn’t work. As it became evident that Biden was poised to become the Democratic nominee for president in 2020, Senator Ron Johnson, who heads the Senate Homeland Security Committee, and Senator Chuck Grassley who heads the Senate Finance Committee, launched investigations into the Biden-Ukraine affair, investigations which many suspected were merely extensions of President Trump’s efforts to undermine Biden’s presidential campaign.

This week U.S. intelligence agencies, in addition to warning us of Russia’s attempt to meddle in our 2020 elections, specifically singled out Andriy Derkach, a pro-Russia Ukrainian parliamentarian, as the point man in the misinformation campaign. The shocking part, according to Maddow, is that the same Andriy Derkach, is the one feeding Senators Johnson and Grassley with misinformation about the Bidens for their supposed Senate investigations. In essence, Putin is running his misinformation campaign through two top GOP Senators.

Maddow specifically said, “He [Andriy Derkach] is spreading these claims by providing those claims to…the Republican U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, Ron Johnson, who heads the Senate Homeland Security Committee. The same pro-Russia Ukrainian parliamentarian named in today’s intelligence report also indicates to us that he is spreading these claims by providing them to..the Republican senior U.S. Senator from Iowa, Chuck Grassley, who runs the Finance Committee in the U.S. Senate. This is remarkable, the guy who is named by U.S. intelligence in the specific public warning today about what Russia is doing to interfere in the 2020 elections to try to reelect Trump, the way he’s been doing his work for the Russian government to mess with our election, is by feeding material to a purported investigation of Joe Biden by Senator Ron Johnson on the Homeland Security Committee and Senator Chuck Grassley on the Finance Committee in the Senate.”

Also crucially important per Maddow, is the fact that these two GOP Senators are scheduled to release the findings of their “investigations” into the Bidens, sometime in mid-September, right before the November elections. This leaves absolutely no doubt that Senators Johnson and Grassley are knowingly using their powerful U.S. Senate positions to facilitate a Russian misinformation campaign aimed at affecting the outcome of the 2020 U.S. presidential election. This is conduct quite unbecoming of U.S. Senators, and should result in their immediate resignation.

Bottom line folks, America is still coming to terms with the effects of Russian meddling in the 2016 elections. Congress has expended a lot of time and energy trying to figure out a way of preventing any future foreign meddling in our elections. Where, as here, top U.S. Senators are the ones responsible for facilitating such foreign meddling in our elections, the only solution is for them to resign from the U.S. Senate. Simply put, Americans have a right to free and fair elections, and any U.S. Senator working to deny them of such a right, does not belong in the U.S. Senate.

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You may reach the author via email at author@grassrootsdempolitics.com or author@emolumentsclause.com

Kushner Nixed National Testing Strategy Because he Thought Covid-19 Would Only Ravage Dem States

A troubling Vanity Fair report says that at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner cobbled together a team which actually managed to come up with a decent national testing strategy for covid-19. Shockingly however, instead of the plan being rapidly deployed nationwide to curb the spread of the deadly virus, Kushner and some White House political operatives decided it would be politically advantageous for Trump, if they shelved the testing plan because the virus at that time was only ravaging blue/Democratic states like New York.

As unbelievable as this sounds, Kushner and the White House operatives believed it would be politically advantageous for Trump if they let people die in blue/Democratic states because they could turn around and blame Democratic Governors for incompetence in the run up to the November elections. The author of the Vanity Fair piece, Katherine Eban, told CNN’s Erin Burnett;“There was a shared feeling which turned out to be spectacularly wrong, that the virus was receding, it was going to be under control, and at the time it was just the blue states where the virus was surging. So the idea was, why go through all the effort to surge up a national plan? It wasn’t going to have political resonance, and if there was a political response that was needed, the blue state Governors could just be blamed..”

You’ll remember a recent Washington Post piece which said Trump, who had previously downplayed the seriousness of covid-19, even calling it a hoax at one point, changed his attitude towards the deadly virus only after senior White House officials presented him with data and maps showing that the virus is beginning to ravage “our people”–Trump’s base of rural White voters in Republican states. This means Trump’s bungled covid-19 response, which has led to more than 150,000 deaths so far and counting, is not only the result of a callous political decision by his son-in -law Kushner, but also the administration’s deep seated racism towards communities of color who Trump considers not “our people”, and who data has consistently shown to disproportionately bear the brunt of covid-19, both in infection rates and deaths. A sad state of affairs indeed.

Bottom line folks, as it currently stands, the coronavirus pandemic is arguably one of the biggest crisis ever to befall the United States, especially if you consider the fact that it has claimed more than 150,000 lives in the U.S. in less than six months, led to levels of unemployment most of us have never witnessed in our lifetimes, dealt a severe blow to the U.S. economy leaving economic giants such as the airline industry teetering on the brink of collapse, changed the manner and format of our beloved professional sports leagues, just to mention but a few. Reasonable people will agree that given the seriousness of covid-19, the American public is totally justified in expecting that the Trump administration, without regard to partisan politics or race, will spare no resources, and do everything in it’s power to fight the deadly coronavirus pandemic. Sadly, the Vanity Fair piece saying Kushner shelved a covid-19 national testing strategy for political reasons, and the Washington Post piece saying Trump has not been serious about the pandemic because it’s not ravaging “our people”, prove beyond any reasonable doubt that partisan politics and racism are guiding Trump administration’s covid-19 response. All Americans of good conscience must loudly rebuke this immoral and callous disregard for people’s lives. We owe that to the families of the 150,000-plus people who have needlessly succumbed to covid-19.

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Handy List Of Iowa GOP State Senators Mad About Record Voter Participation Due To Mail-In Voting

Iowa witnessed record voter participation in its June 3rd primary elections as a result of a provision that allowed the secretary of state to mail absentee ballots to all registered voters due to the covid-19 pandemic. The noble goal of this provision was to save Iowa voters from going into crowded polling centers which would have increased their chances of contracting the virus. Given the ease and convenience of voting by mail, Iowans voted in record numbers, much to the delight of democracy lovers. Well, it turns out republicans were not happy with the record voter participation. They quickly moved in the Iowa state legislature to prevent universal voting by mail in the November elections–a clear cut effort at voter suppression.

On 6/10/2020 a bill that prohibits Iowa’s secretary of state from mailing absentee ballots to all registered voters for the November general elections passed the Iowa state senate by a vote of 30-19. Needless to say, all the 30 state senators who voted for this voter suppression bill were republicans. Because this is one of the most brazen acts of official voter suppression to date, we have no choice but to name and shame these 30 GOP state senators using our famous “handy list”.

Here’s a handy list of the 30 shameful Iowa GOP state senators who are mad that mail-in voting allowed record voter participation in the June primary elections, and are on a mission to prevent that from happening again this November.

Bottom line folks, there’s no longer any doubt that the unpopular policies of the republican party are increasingly turning it into a marginal/regional party. Republican party leaders have long realized that their only chance of clinging to power is to make sure as few people as possible vote, especially minorities who traditionally vote against them. Where, as here, we witness such a brazen attempt at voter suppression by elected officials, we have no otherwise but to loudly call them out.

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You may reach the author via email at author@grassrootsdempolitics.com or author@emolumentsclause.com

GA Governor’s Former Campaign Manager Is A Lobbyist For Voting Machine Company Responsible For GA Voting Debacle

Tuesday night’s edition of MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show(TRMS) featured a segment about the numerous problems voters experienced when trying to cast their ballots in Georgia’s primary elections. As usual, the voting problems were concentrated in democratic party strongholds–urban areas where minorities live. The Maddow segment however threw in an interesting tidbit into the story and that is, the lobbyist for the voting machine company(Dominion) at the center of Georgia’s primary voting debacle is none other than the former campaign manager for Georgia’s Governor Brian Kemp. The full Maddow segment is available here but the relevant clip is below.

Maddow specifically said, “An electronic voting machine company[Dominion Voting Systems] hired [Governor] Brian Kemp’s former campaign manager to be it’s lobbyist, and then the Brian Kemp administration in Georgia, hired that company to replace all of the voting machines in every city, town and county in Georgia, all in record time–literally record time. The state had this board of evaluators that was looking at the various companies who were trying to get that voting machine contract. This board of evaluators looked at the different bids from the different companies and what they were offering. They did not pick the company that Georgia ultimately went with. They picked a different company altogether. But no, the state administration instead decided they would go with the company that Brian Kemp’s campaign manager was the lobbyist for. The company had never had a job this big ever, in fact there has never been a bigger job in U.S. election history. As the Atlanta Journal Constitution pointed out last November, what Georgia was trying to roll out here, was the largest and fastest roll out of elections equipment in U.S. history.”

Maddow’s segment raises the prospect that the Tuesday primary election debacle we witnessed in Georgia may not have been the result of some random or unforeseeable technical difficulties but rather, a well orchestrated plan of voter suppression by Georgia Republicans. Governor Brian Kemp is no stranger to allegations of voter suppression. As a matter of fact Kemp has been a constant target of election integrity/security advocates like Jennifer Cohn for years.

This troubling revelation that Kemp’s former campaign manager is the lobbyist for the voting machine company at the center of Georgia’s voting debacle should be cause for a complete and thorough voter suppression investigation. We simply cannot afford to wait until the November general elections to be “surprised” by the same voting machine problems.

Bottom line folks, there’s no longer any doubt that the unpopular policies of the republican party are increasingly turning it into a marginal/regional party. Republican party leaders have long realized that their only chance of clinging on to power is to make sure as few people as possible vote, especially minorities who traditionally vote against them. What we witnessed in Georgia’s primary elections was just the latest example of GOP voter suppression but it definitely will not be the last. If we are going to have free and fair election this Fall, it is imperative that the mainstream media and members of congress take voter suppression allegations like the ones in Georgia very seriously. Simply put, Governor Kemp must not be allowed to orchestrate yet another voting “debacle” in November for GOP’s benefit.

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You may reach the author via email at author@grassrootsdempolitics.com or author@emolumentsclause.com