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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Trump’s Financial Disclosures Are Meaningless

President Trump has repeatedly argued that there is no need for him to release his tax returns because his financial disclosures give us the same information we would obtain from his tax returns. Specifically, Trump argues through his financial disclosure forms that because he is no longer listed as the head of his numerous companies, he doesn’t have any conflict of interest. Well, now we find out courtesy of CNN’s OutFront with Erin Burnett that Trump’s financial disclosures are deceptive and thus meaningless.

Erin Burnett citing a consumer advocacy group Public Citizen said, “Public Citizen did some digging by looking into Trump’s federal financial disclosures and found that Trump did remove his name as the owner of more than 500 assets once he became President but [that is] on paper, not in reality. The Truth, Public Citizen found, the assets Trump transferred ownership to can be traced back to one person and that one person is President Trump…..Which means Trump still has a vested interest in making sure his businesses are doing well, businesses that receive money every single day from people trying to influence or carry favor from the President.”

Bottom line folks, we do not need Erin Burnett to prove to us that Trump is in serious and constant violation of the constitution’s emoluments clause. The clamor for his tax returns should be an issue of the utmost urgency and Congress must deal ruthlessly with corrupt public officials like Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin who continue to abuse their positions to hide Trump’s tax returns. Time has come for Congress to exercise its rarely used powers and jail Steven Mnuchin for contempt of Congress!!

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Trump Says Ignoring Congressional Subpoenas Is Criminal

CNN’s OutFront with Erin Burnett yesterday aired a video clip of then presidential candidate Trump railing about the potential consequences of Hillary Clinton ignoring Congressional subpoenas. Trump is apparently on record saying, “You know when you delete something or when you don’t provide the documents requested after you get a subpoena from the United States Congress, that’s a criminal act.” This is shockingly the same conduct President Trump’s administration is currently engaged in, with seemingly not enough outrage from congressional Democrats and the mainstream media.

Bottom line House Democrats need to counter much harder Trump administration’s stone-walling or even outright rejection of congressional subpoenas and this eye-opening video from OutFront CNN showing Trump saying such conduct is criminal should feature prominently in the Dem counter message.

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Trump Family’s Deceptive Trade Practices

A CNN Special Report by Erin Burnett exposed some stunning deceptive practices employed by the Trump family in their real estate dealings. Some of the deceptive statements the Trumps used to lure in real estate investors are borderline criminal fraud. According to the CNN Special Report, the Trump family essentially embarked on real estate projects worldwide and then made false media pronouncements that their properties were sold out in an effort to lure in investors. Non-suspecting investors then pumped money into what they believed were very profitable Trump properties only to be hit by bankruptcy notices resulting in severe losses. The full CNN Special Report titled “The Trump Family Business” is available here but the relevant clip is below

In 2009 Ivanka Trump for example told CBS regarding the Trump Tower Toronto project, “We have projects all over the world that are incredibly successful and that are virtually sold out…from Hawaii to Toronto to Istanbul.” However according to Erin Burnett, bankruptcy papers filed for the Toronto project years later totally contradicted Ivanka’s statement to CBS. Turns out a whopping 75% of the “sold out” Toronto building remained unoccupied.

Similar shocking deceptive practices were also employed at Trump’s SOHO project where Ivanka told reporters in 2008 that 60% of the units had been sold. It later turned out upon further inspection that contrary to Ivanka’s assertion, only 15% of the units had been sold. Even more troubling about the SOHO project is the fact that there were email exchanges between Ivanka and Trump’s eldest son Don Jr showing that the two were willfully lying to investors about the occupancy rates at Trump SOHO. This apparently led to a lawsuit which the Trump family settled with the terms remaining secret.

Bottom line as Erin Burnett’s Special Report points out, a lot of these real estate investors who were lured into investing based on gross misrepresentations by the Trumps, ended up losing large sums of money. These were not just harmless sales gimmicks employed by the Trumps. Even though it is unlikely that any criminal prosecution could be initiated against Trump’s adult children(statute of limitations), the only decent cause of action for them given their current status in society(Presidential children) would be to make a public apology to the investors who got crushed by their deceptive trade practices.

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Trump’s Tariffs Bankrupting Rural Farmers

Rural farmers who overwhelmingly voted for Trump in 2016 in large part due to his promise to “Make Farmers Great Again” are apparently getting crushed by his decision to impose tariffs on China, one of America’s biggest importers of farm produce. In a recent OutFront segment, host Erin Burnett said quoting a Wall Street Journal piece, “Farmer bankruptcy filings in major farm states are now at their highest level in at least a decade.”

When asked by Erin Burnett why Trump is subjecting rural farmers–his core base of supporters–to such economic misery via his tariffs, Kevin Hassett, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers at Trump’s White House responded by saying that even though the farmers are currently getting crushed by the tariffs, Trump is fighting for them and after the trade disputes are settled, the farmers will be better off. In essence, that farmers should hang in there because they will be better off in the long run.

Specifically, Chairman Hassett said, “Trade deals are moving forward, Ambassador Lighthizer and Secretary Mnuchin are still working on the deal with China, and we’ve got the USMCA deal that can pass and help farmers by opening up markets in Canada and so the President has been fighting for farmers and I think that as the trade deals are realized, we’re going to open up new markets to our farm products and we’ll see if those numbers[bankruptcies] reverse.”

Yours Truly is not an Economics expert and therefore will not weigh the merits and demerits of economist Kevin Hassett’s arguments as to whether rural farmers will be well off in the long run after Trump prevails in his “fight” for them. Reasonable people however will agree that if Trump’s tariffs are indeed forcing rural farmers into bankruptcy at an alarming rate as it is being reported, the bankrupt farmers will not reap any benefits from Trump “winning” any of his trade “fights” with foreign importers. For all we know, the farmers may have to sell their farms to settle their debts.

Bottom line Trump’s tariffs have produced a lot of very angry farmers in America’s heartland. You don’t have to take Yours Truly’s word for it, just look at the picture below.

As we approach the 2020 elections, Democrats must really work hard to earn the votes of these disgruntled farmers. Maybe, just maybe, these angry farmers are the key to Democrats capturing the House, Senate and the White House in 2020 and beyond. Someone at DNC should be working overtime on a sweet deal for these crushed farmers cheated by Trump and his GOP

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Individuals Shouldering 50% Of Tax Burden, Corporations Only 6%

CNN’s OutFront with Erin Burnett shared some stunning statistics yesterday showing that thanks to Trump’s/GOP’s tax cuts, individuals are now shouldering a staggering 50% of the tax burden as compared to corporations’ only 6%–a totally revolting, even immoral statistic

Erin Burnett posed the question to Kevin Hassett, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers at Trump’s White House, “Individuals are paying all the taxes to subsidize the corporate tax cuts?”

Kevin Hassett’s explanation was that as a result of Trump/GOP tax cuts, there has been a capital spending boom which has resulted in higher wages and therefore higher individual tax contributions. Specifically Hassett said in response to Erin Burnett’s question, “If there’s a big surge in wages, people pay tax on those wages and therefore the share of personal income goes up. So if you have a wage boom then you’re also going to have higher taxes on the personal income side and it’s not like a shocking terrible thing like you[Erin] portray it.”

Yours Truly is not an expert economist and will not play one today by analyzing the merits and demerits of Kevin Hassett’s explanation. Reasonable people will agree however that there’s something inherently wrong when individuals in a country that’s home to some of the world’s richest corporations shoulder 50% of the tax burden while the rich corporations shoulder only 6%.

Bottom line it is the height of inequity, even immorality for individuals in the world’s leading economy to shoulder 50% of the tax burden while corporations–some of the richest in the world–only carry 6%. This speaks of a growing trend among modern Republicans where corporate interests are placed ahead of the people’s welfare. Democrats must highlight this sickening GOP trend as we head towards the 2020 elections and upon winning, work towards a more moral/equitable economy that looks out for working Americans instead of exploiting them as Trump’s economy apparently is.

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Staggering $40 Million Of Trump’s Inaugural Funds Missing

President Donald J. Trump’s Inauguration Ceremony, Jan 20, 2017

In case you missed it, a stunning segment on OutFrontCNN with Erin Burnett said that a staggering $40 million dollars of Trump’s inaugural funds have just disappeared. Citing a Pro Publica report, host Erin Burnett said, “We know that they[Trump’s Inaugural Committee] raised $107 million from donors….Of the $107 million, we to this day do not know where $40 million of it went. How is that possible?” Erin Burnett is not alone in her outrage. A lot of Americans are shocked at how this level of public corruption has gone unanswered(no prosecution) for 2 years. The full OutFrontCNN segment is available here but the relevant clip is below.

An even more troubling revelation from the bombshell OutFrontCNN segment is that Ivanka Trump who doubles up as Presidential daughter and Adviser apparently was in the middle of the price negotiations between the Trump Inaugural committee and the Trump Organization raising obvious conflict of interest questions–self-dealing. The Trump Organization apparently extremely overcharged the Trump Inaugural Committee for rooms, meals and event space at Trump Hotel in DC and there are emails showing that Ivanka Trump was in on the price negotiations.  

This is hands down one of the biggest stories of the week but it has strangely received very little mainstream media attention. It is mind-boggling how $40 million dollars can just disappear in thin air–outright theft/embezzlement– and two years later nobody is either sitting in jail for it, or fighting a criminal indictment. Can you imagine if this happened under the Obama administration and the Obama family was suspected of having embezzled inaugural funds? 

This is by all objective standards a shocking case of public corruption. But you don’t have to take Yours Truly’s word for it, listen to what Richard Painter, the Ethics Chief under the George W. Bush administration told OutFrontCNN host Erin Burnett; “It’s shocking. Somebody’s stealing money….somebody’s putting money in their own pocket…$40 million dollars unaccounted for, that is a telltale sign of fraud…criminal activity is very likely. If we had seen any amount of money missing in the Bush inaugural committee I would have called people into my office and said I want to find out exactly where that money is, and better find out fast because it could be a crime…..”

Bottom line folks when incidents of blatant corruption by public officials go on for this long without any legal consequences, the spotlight shifts from the corrupt act itself to who we are as a society. In this case it raises the question as to whether certain people are above the law. There is absolutely no way that two years after a suspected theft/embezzlement by members of any other previous U.S. administration, one that was widely reported by the mainstream media and has a lot of documentary evidence, would not have yielded indictments already.

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Did Russia Funnel Money To TeamTrump Through The NRA?

One of the biggest obstacles for Democrats, especially in the battle for control of State Legislatures has been the powerful gun lobby group National Rifle Association(NRA). Unlike other powerful lobby groups that influence both the Republican and the Democratic Party, the NRA literally has a stranglehold on the Republican party. NRA’s stranglehold on the GOP is so bad, even President Trump recently had to ask GOP Members of Congress not to be “afraid of” the gun lobby group when discussing sensible gun control proposals. Marion Hammer, a powerful NRA lobbyist in Florida for example is so feared by Florida State GOPers, that she’s dubbed “The Real Gov of Florida.” Such is the power the NRA wields over the GOP

https://youtu.be/L6I0zp-lAeo

The troubling news therefore that the FBI is investigating the NRA as a possible vehicle for funnelling Russian money to help Trump in the 2016 elections should be of great concern to Democrats. New York Times Columnist Frank Bruni said on CNN’s Outfront with Erin Burnett that the NRA spent a whopping $30M to help Trump get elected, which is more than they spent the last two Presidential cycles combined. A Russian banker Alexander Torshin who has ties to Putin is an NRA life member and the key suspect in the alleged funnelling scheme. Torshin apparently wanted to create a “back channel” between the Trump Campaign and Russia and one of his associates reportedly told a Trump campaign staffer that “Putin is deadly serious about building a good relationship with Mr. Trump.”(see YouTube video from 14:00 onwards)

Under normal circumstances this would be just another questionable daliance between a powerful U.S. gun lobby group and a foreign financier. However against the backdrop of an ongoing Special Counsel investigation into U.S. election meddling by the Russians, this strange relationship between the NRA and the Putin-allied Russian financier has become a much more serious issue, one that Americans trust Mueller and Co. will get to the bottom of.


It also bears pointing out, as New York Times Columnist Frank Bruni did that Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr, is a major NRA supporter and activist. Trump Jr you’ll remember is already in the middle of a very questionable meeting with Russian lawyer Natalya Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower. Veselnitskaya has since confessed that she’s an informant for Putin’s Kremlin

Simply put, the NRA-Russia story is a major story that could affect the Dem political fortunes from here on out. According to CNN Political Correspondent Sara Murray, the NRA is privately, very concerned about the FBI’s investigation into its ties to the Russian Banker(vid at 14:00). Obviously we Dems have to be patient and allow the feds to conduct their investigation into the NRA but just like Trump used the ongoing Clinton email probe to hamstring her 2016 campaign, there is no reason why the DNC should not pummel NRA-allied GOP candidates over Russian money as we head to Midterms 2018, the perfect target being Sen Ted Cruz

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