Monday, April 23, 2018

Fox News Business Expert: Sean Hannity $10.00 Lawyer Connoisseur and Shell Corp. Guru

Hannity's Nickname: Legal Cut-Rate Sean— Just Ask Cohen
(Expression after checking his latest housing bank statement) 

The headlines very eye-opening:

“Sean Hannity has vast real estate holdings hidden with shell companies including deals funded by HUD”

Hannity slime ball deals with Cohen … reported on here from The Hill and here from Raw Story, and also from main story site below:

Sean Hannity “is linked to a group of shell companies that he set up and probably with Michael Cohen’s advice (that $10.00 Hannity payment, um?). Those shell companies spent some $90 million buying hundreds of homes across the U.S facing both bank and HUD foreclosures as reported on by The Guardian (main story link).

Also, reported on here by Axios: “Some of the property purchases were financed utilizing mortgage assistance from the HUD – FYI: Hannity was a vocal supporter of Ben Carson to head the agency without disclosing that connection to the agency Carson was to run and after he was appointed as HUD Secretary. 

These revelations surrounding Hannity’s property holdings highlight the ethical issues between his so-called “journalistic work” and his personal entanglements with the Trump administration via FOX – Trump’s fav show that Trump always professes.”

Coverage also here from Political Wire.

My 2 Cents: Disgusting but not surprising seeing and knowing what we have all these years about Hannity and his raw rabid approach to “news and politics and personal attacks and conspiracies, too” (all with a 100% hardcore ultra-right wing slant).

This is pretty low and disgusting to say the least.

FOX, if they had any honor, even an ounce, would fire Hannity at once, but knowing their track record, it will take a lot more than this. 

But, knows for sure and more from the Cohen raid may come out. We shall see.

Thanks from stopping by.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Memo for Michael Cohen: “We have an offer you can't refuse — So, Whatcha You Say, Mikey”

Cohen and BFF's spotted in Manhattan for cigar confab

The following is a very interesting story from an article in This Week along with a short video introduced by CNN and posted by TPM. 

It captures Cohen meeting with some “friends of ours” as one expression says and therefore is a very interesting clip to say the least. No audio, so imaginations are over the place.

My 2 Cents: So, will he even get a deal or not, and if so, will he take it or not, and if so who gets “ratted out” Trump, et al. Or will he go for a possible 30-year jail term to remain loyal to “The Don?”

Not a real hard choice is it, Michael? 

We shall see. Stay tuned.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Sean Hannity: The Haunting of Ugly Insulting News Past Comes to Home to Roost

Not a Happy Camper Look — Not One Bit 

Hannity Standing Next to His BFF: Attorney Michael Cohen
(His Lawyer for the nominal of a measly $10.00)

Monday (April 16) and after Michael Cohen’s infamous mystery client was revealed in court to be Fox News host Sean Hannity – excellent rundown from this relatively new site – and the facts are what they are as we know them right now.

(Note: Cohen’s attorneys had argued that revealing the name of the client, who the world now knows is Hannity, was “likely to be embarrassing or detrimental to the client.” However, the judge in the case ruled that embarrassment did not amount to a sufficient legal defense.)

That decision by the judge has led to plenty of jokes as Hannity’s radio program went dead silent while he undoubtedly scrambled to assess the potential damage of the revelation, as well as how to respond to it. When Hannity finally emerged from his cocoon, he offered a number of contradictory explanations for his name surfacing in open court as a client of a lawyer famous for arranging secret hush-payments to mistresses. Needless to say, many are speculating about exactly what the Trump “super fan is trying to hide.”

In a pair of tweets, Hannity:

First claimed that Cohen “has never represented me in any matter.” That is to say, Hannity says he never paid a retainer or other legal fees or even saw an invoice from Cohen. He did, however, admit to asking Cohen “legal questions” for “input and perspective.”

Then Hannity tweeted that he believed these discussions were “confidential,” but, he also insisted, “… to be absolutely clear they never involved any matter between me and a third-party.”

So, is Hannity truly Michael Cohen’s client? Short answer, yes.

Not only did Cohen’s lawyers state this fact in court, but Hannity admitted as much while also (weakly) attempting to deny it.

To clarify, Hannity both denied legal representation by Cohen while also admitting to asking him for legal advice and believing that — as with an attorney-client relationship — that these conversations would remain secret.

So, Hannity is attempting to claim the benefits of attorney-client privilege while also insisting that Cohen was not his attorney. Hannity’s obviously trying to have it both ways, essentially saying: “Michael Cohen has never been my lawyer, but anything we discussed should be kept private because of attorney/client privilege.”

Then on his radio show, Hannity admitted that he “might have handed Cohen $10 bucks” and then quickly added: “I definitely want your attorney-client privilege on this’ … something like that.”

So, in this way, Hannity is admitting that he paid Cohen (at least) a nominal amount of money (that $10 bucks), which has been ruled in loads of cases to be enough financial consideration (that is, the amount agreed upon by two parties) to create the basis of an implicit contract. So, even without an invoice and even if Hannity and Cohen only agreed verbally on $10 for his legal services, this exchange of money only further proves that Hannity was indeed Cohen’s client.

There’s also the question of why Hannity, who reportedly made $36 million in 2017, was seeking essentially pro bono legal services from Cohen, which only adds another shady layer to this spectacle. As for Hannity’s wish to remain a secret client and his vehement protests upon revelation, well, that presents another bad look.

Story continues at the link above – a pretty good read.

My 2 Cents: Hannity is dumb and I’ve always said now his digging his hole deeper as a legal novice. The outcome should be very interesting to say the least.

In simple language, Hannity is in a sh*t sandwich to coin a catchy phrase, so whatever is in play or falls out I hope he is nailed and nailed good – he has earned it for all the crap he dishes out as a staunch Trump loyalist on Fox’s “news” platform that is ugly, nasty, and insulting, which Trump has said many he likes what Hannity does on his show – apparently it and Fox and Friends are Trump’s BFF’s.

Stay tuned and thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

"The Wrath of Don" — Open Season on Anyone, Anywhere, and Anytime for Any Reason

Self-Evident - Art of the Don’s Con 

The Don's Latest Target 
(Jeff Bezos and his Amazon successes)

Trump continues to rail against Amazon, falsely claiming the company fails to pay state and local sales taxes on online shipments.
But it turns out the Trump Organization retail website collects sales taxes only on goods shipped to two states — while Amazon collects sales taxes in 45 states.

The website sells Trump-labeled glassware, baseball caps, luggage tags, spa slippers and key chains, among several other items. It collects sales tax only on orders shipped to buyers in Florida and Louisiana, according to the company’s own website, the Wall Street Journal was the first to point out on Friday., which touts itself as the “official retail website of the Trump Organization,” doesn’t even pay sales taxes on its online shipments in New York, according to the information on its site. Its physical store and headquarters are located in the Trump Tower in Manhattan.
Trump, who maintains his ownership of the Trump Organization even while president, has been slamming Amazon on Twitter for dodging sales taxes. He has called it a “no-tax” company and has blasted Amazon for paying “little or no taxes to state & local governments.”
According to regulatory filings, Amazon paid a combined total of $412 million in federal, state, local and foreign taxes last year. In 2015, it paid $273 million. Amazon currently charges consumers sales taxes in all 45 states where such taxes exist, plus Washington, D.C. All states except Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon collect sales tax.
Typical Trump: It’s impossible to know what state and local taxes the TrumpStore has paid because it’s a private company and Trump has not released any tax information.

FYI: Amazon doesn’t have to pay all those taxes. A 1992 Supreme Court ruling effectively restricts states from forcing online retailers to pay state and local sales taxes if the company has no physical presence or employees in the state. Amazon reportedly also supports legislation that would require all online retail operations — such as — to pay local taxes so companies operate on a level competitive playing field.  

My 2 Cents: Nothing more to add to this other than what is posted above.
Sad commentary isn’t it? The brilliant businessman in total control, right? Yeah, right.
Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Trump Wants U.S. Military on Our Southern Border: To Ensure Safety No Matter the Cost

Land the Landing Force; Leave it to the Marines; Hell Bent for Leather 
(Our New National Motto)

Trump wants U.S. military on the border from two sources:  
Here and here

Trump’s recent call to redirect money from the military budget towards his border is fraught with obstacles. 
#1: It’s the legislative branch’s constitutional right to allocate government funding (and it’s illegal to use federal funds for anything other than what Congress appropriates it for). Ergo: Trump is legally limited.
Like Obama and Bush, Trump could call on the National Guard to go down to the border. But if that directive comes from the federal government, the guards legally can’t act as law enforcement - why not? 
The Posse Comitatus Act forbids using the military in civilian law enforcement. It leaves Trump two options: have states send down their guards, which means states would have to foot the bill, or have guards on the border in non-law enforcement roles.
For example in 2010, when Obama deployed 1,200 National Guard troops to the border, they fixed infrastructure, worked on surveillance, and processed arrests. 
That was similar to Bush’s 2006’s Operation Jump Start. But even this was very expensive and was largely criticized for being ineffective. 
“Critics of the deployment include budget hawks, who say it is a waste of money, and residents here along the border, who say they are tired of seeing armed troops in their back yard,” the Washington Post reported at the time. “The 1,200 National Guard troops have helped Border Patrol agents apprehend 25,514 illegal immigrants at a cost of $160 million — or $6,271 for each person caught.”

Another option is to tap into the emergency military construction funding known as MILCON. Up to $50 million can be used without congressional approval in cases of national security or to protect U.S. military officers, but using MILCON funding is also guaranteed to make members of Congress particularly angry, because it would be the military construction projects in their districts that would be directly losing money to the wall.
Not to mention that $50 million won’t get Trump much mileage on the border. For context, Congress appropriated $445 million for 25 miles of levee fencing in the Rio Grande Valley and $251 million to replace 14 miles of existing secondary fencing in the San Diego sector. Using the military on the border would be a “big step” towards border security, Trump said, but reality is very different picture.

MILCON Note: MILCON appropriation accounts receive considerable attention from Congress, and are enacted separately from the Defense Appropriations Act. 

These appropriations fund the costs of major construction projects such as bases, facilities, military schools, for troops and their families, etc.

My 2 Cents: So will this fly – will this all GOP-run Congress relent and Kowtow to Trump for what he wants (unquestioned support, blind loyalty) and all the money he demands for his damn wall, and even if he violates the trust of his office as he violates several laws outlined above?
Recall this promise and pledge to the public?

That is the $64,000 question isn’t it as always, stay tuned since this is going to get real ugly and really fast – or is he bluffing to the deal wants for bragging rights as usual? 
We are about to find out this very critical “plan” he has as some sort of revenge against Mexico.
Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

"Drain the Swamp" or Keep Filling It: The Smartest Man Doesn't Even Know the Difference

Hire only the best, um, Mr. President – okay

True to his word - the source of his expert best hires
(Whoop Dee Doo)

Classic Trump: “I will drain the swamp.” But, instead he is filling the swamp with more greedy bastards like these big names: Price (HHS), Mnuchin (Treasury), Zinke (Interior), Carson (HUD), Shulkin (VA), and now another biggie Pruitt at EPA (seems like he was on the take). Then add in Flynn, Spicer, Priebus, Scaramucci, Porter, Hicks, Bannon, McMaster, and the biggest, Rex Tillerson (Secy of State).

Video here is most-revealing reminder from Chris Hayes on his show at MSNBC
click here ... 

Also, an excellent story from Esquire here in reference to an excellent ProPublica research report.

Trump filling the administration with huge variety of different phyla of swamp critters – of the human, money-grubbing kind. Here’s some of what ProPublica found:

·        At least 187 Trump political appointees have been federal lobbyists.
·        Many of them are now overseeing the industries they once lobbied on behalf of.
·        Also, discovered numerous ethics waivers that allow Trump staffers to work on subjects in which they have financial conflicts of interest have been requested, received, or still pending.
·        At least 254 appointees affiliated with Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and at least 125 staffers from prominent conservative think tanks are now working in the Federal government.
·        Drilling down even further, at least 35 Trump political appointees worked for or consulted with groups affiliated with the billionaire libertarian brothers Charles and David Koch, who also have a network of advocacy groups, nonprofits, private companies, and PAC’s.
·        At least 25 Trump appointees came from the influential Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank founded in 1973, and at least two came from Heritage Action, its related political nonprofit. Heritage says the Trump administration, in just its first year, has enacted nearly two-thirds of its 334 policy recommendations.

·       Also, found — for the first time — were dozens of special-government employees, or SGEs, who work as paid consultants or experts for federal agencies while keeping their day jobs in the private sector.
My 2 Cents: Apparently, the swamp is generous to Trump’s critters – soon there’re be no room for decent people that Trump promised – remember that quote reminder time:
History in Review as it Were 

Related and finally, people who were in and now are out the scoreboard – probably not up to date can be seen here – enjoy – even the disgusting manner in which our country is being run or should I say being ruined?

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Cue the Laughter: The Real Impact of the Trump-GOP "Tax Cut/Reform Create Jobs Bill"

Believe us, trust us, vote for us: Our tax bill solves everything
(Wink/Wink - Nod/Nod)

Bill passage dinner - come see how the bill works
(Have a seat enjoy)

Laughable introduction from this fine article (my spin and emphasis added - call it: the chickens come home to roost): 

When Republicans were promoting this monster of a tax cut last year, they repeatedly claimed it would help middle-class Americans. Treasury Secretary Steven “With Arrogant Greedy Wife” Mnuchin argued the middle class would benefit, while the rich would receive “very little cuts or, in certain cases, increases.” This was laughably untrue.

Some of the arguments verged into this parody wherein Ivanka “Here is my latest design bracelet” Trump-Kushner (newest West Wing Ad) claimed that the plan would “create simplification” for Americans.

What a remarkable statement considering the bill was passed with so little deliberation that it’s now becoming clear a huge number of “errors and ambiguities” are causing problems for large and small businesses alike.

A recent poll released from CNBC’s All America Economic Survey, conducted by Hart Research Associates and Public Opinion Strategies in mid-March, found that only a third of the Americans have noticed more money in their paychecks because of $1.5 trillion Trump tax cuts. 

More than half — 52 percent — say they’ve seen no change at all

The extra take home pay is so inconsequential to most people that, of the minority who says they’ve noticed the extra funds, a little less than 40 percent say it’s improved their finances “a great deal” or “a fair amount,” with the remainder saying it the money either helps a small amount or not at all. The tax bill, as we all know, was a major gift to corporations and the wealthiest of the wealthy, who received the lion’s share of the $1.5 trillion cuts.

The cuts the typical American received, on the other hand, are relatively minor. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimated that the typical middle-income household would see an after-tax gain of $930 in 2018 as a result of the new law. Assuming a one-paycheck household, that adds up to a little less than $18 a week.

Super article conclusion: Republicans also argued voters would reward them come this November for the extra money in their paychecks. This data shows that’s an increasingly unlikely possibility. 

Perhaps the GOP will take comfort from the long view: Individual tax cuts are set to expire at the end of 2025, even as the corporate cuts, which overwhelmingly benefit the wealthy, continue. 

So, maybe ordinary voters won’t notice that their tax cut disappeared even as those enjoyed by the rich live on in perpetuity. 

Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your $20 weekly increase…!!!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Trump Appointee and Nominee Stream Flows from White House Annex AKA: FOX News

From FOX’s Greenroom” to White House Oval Office 
(Great gig for those who hang on)

As special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian election interference gets closer to Trump, he is shaking up his defense team more so now that lead lawyer John Dowd resigned. Trump wanted to add Victoria Toensing and hubby, Joseph DiGenova – now it seems he backtracked on their appointment and that from Jay Sekulow, Trump’s personal attorney.

Noteworthy on all this: All three of them, (Sekulow, DiGenova, and Toensing pictured above) share a common thread: All of them have made regular appearances on Fox where they have vigorously defended Trump and attacked Mueller and the Russia probe.

Fact or Opinion or Educated Guess: This is the legal team Fox News host Sean Hannity built as well as ensuring that Fox has remade itself into a “pro-Trump propaganda machine, working to delegitimize Mueller’s probe and defend the president on all counts and now Trump appears to be tearing down his legal team and reassembling it with lawyers pulled from the Fox greenroom.

For example: Jay Sekulow, a longtime fixture on right-wing TV,  was reportedly hired to serve as “the omnipresent TV face of Trump's defense” because the president liked the way that Sekulow, who had characterized the president as the victim of a “deep state bureaucracy” and a “shadow government,” defended Trump in cable news appearances.

Conclusion: Toensing and husband, Joe DiGenova probably have their jobs for the same reason — both are conservative activists who regularly use Fox appearances to offer a staunch defense of the president and lash out at the president’s investigators in ways that mirror Trump’s own attacks on the FBI and special counsel. 

For example: DiGenova has argued that Trump was framed by FBI officials and the DOJ while Toensing has called for the appointment of a second special counsel to investigate Mueller himself (over the Uranium-One/Clinton “pay to play” rightwing BS myth that Toensing now pushes – see here more on that topic). 

So, adding them to his team may signal that the president wants to engage in a scorched-earth offensive and that does not bode well for the country – although Fox and Fiends are surely delighted. 

My view: Rough days lie ahead under this president who has one desire as I’ve said before: To be a one-man dictator-in-charge of America… that is patently obvious from ever turn and decision he makes. So, stay tuned.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Someone, Anyone Please Show Jared Kushner the Nearest Exit and the Sooner the Better

Kushner's Fav Doc for Info to Give to Foreign Governments 

Kushner's Fav Saudi BFF to pass along classified info
(MBS says he has Kushner in a nice warm spot, too)

Lead into a critical story – Kushner leaking PDB information (highly classified) to the Saudis (media sources: The Intercept; the Business Insider; and the Washington Post)

The PDB must be taken very seriously; sometimes not always, e.g., Geo. W. Bush was told a month before the 9/11 attacks, in his August 6 PDB, that bin-Laden planned attacks with explosives and hijacked planes while at he was at his ranch in Crawford, TX.
Note: Does Mr. Trump take the PDB serious as it written and orally presented, or is it “soft-balled” prepared and presented to keep him happy and content? One look inside here.

INTRODUCTION: Until he was stripped of his top-secret security clearance in February, Jared Kushner was known as one of the most voracious readers of the President’s Daily Brief (PDB), highly classified document of latest hi-level intelligence for the president and his closest advisers.

THE STORY: In June, Saudi prince Mohammed bin Salman (referred to as “MBS” in the PDB) ousted his cousin, then-Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, and took his place as next in line to the throne, upending the established line of succession.

In the months that followed, the PDB contained information on the Saudi’s evolving political situation, including a handful of names of royal family members opposed to the crown prince’s power grab.
In late October, Jared Kushner made an unannounced trip to Riyadh, catching some intelligence officials off guard. “The two [MBS and Kushner] are said to have stayed up until nearly 4 a.m. several nights, swapping stories and planning strategy,” the Washington Post’s David Ignatius reported at the time.

What exactly Kushner and the Saudi royal talked about in Riyadh may be known only to them. But after the meeting, Crown Prince Mohammed told confidants that Kushner had discussed the names of Saudis disloyal to the crown prince, according to three sources who have been in contact with members of the Saudi and Emirati royal families since the crackdown.

Kushner, through his attorney’s spokesperson, denies having done so, who added:
“Some questions by the media are so obviously false and ridiculous that they merit no response. This is one. The Intercept should know better.” [Peter Mirijanian said in a statement as spokesperson for Kushner’s lawyer Abbe Lowell].

On November 4, a week after Kushner returned to the U.S., the crown prince, known in official Washington by his initials MBS, launched what he called an anti-corruption crackdown.

The Saudi government arrested dozens of members of the Saudi royal family and imprisoned them in the Ritz-Carlton Riyadh, which was first reported in English by The Intercept. The Saudi figures named in the President’s Daily Brief were among those rounded up; at least one was reportedly tortured.

Important Note: It is likely that Crown Prince Mohammed would have known who his critics were without Kushner mentioning them, a U.S. government official who declined to be identified pointed out. 

The crown prince may also have had his own reasons for saying that Kushner shared information with him, even if that wasn’t true.  Why? To send powerful message give the appearance to the crown prince’s allies and enemies that his actions were backed by the U.S. government.

One of the people MBS told about the discussion with Kushner was UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed. MBS bragged to the Emirati crown prince and others that Kushner was “in his pocket,” the source told The Intercept.
Noteworthy: Access to the President’s Daily Brief is tightly guarded.

(1) However, as President, Trump has the legal authority to allow Kushner to disclose information contained in it.

If Kushner did discuss names with MBS of dissidents within the PDB acting against him, as an approved tactic of U.S. foreign policy with Trump’s okay, then that move would be a striking intervention by the U.S. into an unfolding power struggle at the top levels of an allied nation, or…

(2) If Kushner discussed the names with the Saudi prince without Trump’s okay, then Kushner may have violated federal laws around the sharing of classified intelligence.

My 2 cents in conclusion:  First, it is noted that on November 6, two days after Saudi detentions began and a week after Kushner’s trip, Trump tweeted his defense of the Saudi crackdown. So, any goal, tie, or link in all this? My first guess would be big Saudi money that Kushner badly needs to help in his heavy debt load.

Overall, this is serious national security business and not private ore personal business related. 

The whole driving force apparent to me and others who dig into Kushner’s money woes is that he is buying friendship to gain loans for his heavy debt at the expense of possible national security.

So, what lies ahead (no pun intended) – well, Kushner lost his high-level security clearance, so now it's time to show him the damn door and get him out of government, and forever would be my suggestion. This is pitiful.

Thanks for stopping by.