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October 15, 2020

Media Again Falsely Claim That Joe Biden's Intervention In Ukraine Was Innocent

Yesterday the New York Post posted a bombshell report related to Joe Biden's corrupt interventions in the Ukraine:

Smoking-gun email reveals how Hunter Biden introduced Ukrainian businessman to VP dad

Hunter Biden, Joe's son, was hired as lobbyist by the Ukranian gas company Burisma while his father, then Vice President of the United States, directed U.S. foreign policy with regards to the Ukraine.

Joe Biden famously ordered (vid) the Ukrainian President Poroshenko to fire his General Prosecutor Viktor Shokin. He threatened to otherwise withhold a $1 billion loan to the Ukraine. Biden's pressure to fire Shokin came ten days after Shokin had confiscated several house of Burisma owner Mykola Zlochevsky. Shokin was eventually fired, the loan to the Ukraine was released and the corruption case against Zlochevsky was buried.

Joe Biden has denied:

  • That he had talks with his son about Hunter's lobbying job for Burisma.
  • That he had ever any talk with Burisma related people.
  • That his insistence on firing Shokin was related to an investigation by Shokin into the owner of Burisma.

The emails the NY Post posted show that one of Burisma's managers thanked Hunter Biden for arranging a meeting with Joe Biden. The source of the emails is allegedly a laptop owned by Hunter Biden which was left at a repair shop.

Some Biden acolytes claim that the emails must have come from an alleged Russian hack of Burisma. But the NY Post also published private photos of Hunter Biden showing him smoking and passed out next to a crack pipe. The photos may well have been, as the Post claims, on a laptop Hunter Biden owned. It is extremely unlikely that they were hacked from Burisma severs.

The Biden campaign offered only a weak refutation of the NY Post claim that he met with the Burisma manager:

Biden’s campaign would not rule out the possibility that the former VP had some kind of informal interaction with Pozharskyi, which wouldn’t appear on Biden’s official schedule. But they said any encounter would have been cursory.

In an unprecedented manipulative act Facebook as well as Twitter censored links to the NY Post story:

Cont. reading: Media Again Falsely Claim That Joe Biden's Intervention In Ukraine Was Innocent

Posted by b at 15:46 UTC | Comments (146)

October 14, 2020

U.S. Fails To Find Allies For Waging War On China

The U.S. wants to counter China's growing economic and political standing in the world.

The Obama administration had attempted a 'pivot to Asia' by building a low tariff economic zone via the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). It would have excluded China. The Trump administration rejected the TPP and withdrew from it. It launched an economic war against China by increasing tariffs on Chinese products, prohibiting high tech supplies to Chinese manufacturers, and by denying Chinese companies access to its market. 

It has also tried to build a military coalition that would help it to threaten China. It revived the 2007-2008 Quadrilateral Security Dialogue and rebranded it as the U.S.-Australia-India-Japan Consultations Quad. The aim was to turn it into an Asian NATO under U.S. command:

The U.S. State Department’s No. 2 diplomat said Monday that Washington was aiming to “formalize” growing strategic ties with India, Japan and Australia in a forum known as “the Quad” — a move experts say is implicitly designed to counter China in the Indo-Pacific region.

“It is a reality that the Indo-Pacific region is actually lacking in strong multilateral structures. They don’t have anything of the fortitude of NATO, or the European Union,” U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun said in an online seminar on the sidelines of the annual U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum.

“There is certainly an invitation there at some point to formalize a structure like this,” he added.

But it turns out that neither Australia nor Japan nor India have any interest in a hard stand towards China. All look to China as an important trade partner. They know that any conflict with it would cost them dearly.

On October 6 Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flew to Tokyo for a meeting with the other foreign ministers of the Quad. He soon found that no one would join him in his militant talk:

Cont. reading: U.S. Fails To Find Allies For Waging War On China

Posted by b at 17:07 UTC | Comments (129)

October 13, 2020

Professor Chossudovsky Is Wrong - Here Is How PCR Tests Work

The website Global Research provides at times interesting reading. It is edited by Michael Chossudovsky, an emeritus professor for economics. Unfortunately he at times writes about issues that are beyond his horizon.

In a recent piece, The Covid-19 Numbers Game: The “Second Wave” is Based on Fake Statistics, he falsely claims that the tests which are globally used to detect SARS-CoV-2 infections also react to other viruses and thereby deliver false results.

The method of the currently used SARS-CoV-2 test is based on the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The polymerase chain reaction can create millions of copies of RNA or DNA snippets fed into it:

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a method widely used to rapidly make millions to billions of copies of a specific DNA sample, allowing scientists to take a very small sample of DNA and amplify it to a large enough amount to study in detail.
Thermal cycling exposes reactants to repeated cycles of heating and cooling to permit different temperature-dependent reactions – specifically, DNA melting and enzyme-driven DNA replication. PCR employs two main reagents – primers (which are short single strand DNA fragments known as oligonucleotides that are a complementary sequence to the target DNA region) and a DNA polymerase.

A clinical probe is taken from a human who may have the virus. In a preparation phase the probe is chemically cleaned and the outer hulls of viruses in it get destroyed. What is left includes the genetic material of the virus.

The genes of the SARS-CpV-2 are an RNA sequence with roughly 30,000 nucleotides. It is like a book with 30,000 characters on how to build the virus. It is unique for this  virus. The researchers who developed the SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR test have selected several unique snippets of about 100 nucleotides long out of the much longer string. Complementary oligonucleotides of the same length will then get synthesized. These are the primers for all following PCR tests.

The cleaned sample (10 to 200 µL), the primers and the polymerase are fed into a machine. Repeated cycles of heating and cooling will each multiply the number of RNA snippets in the sample. Luminescent markers are added to get an automatically readable result. Typically some 20-25 cycles are needed to detect the virus RNA snippets of an acute infection. When more cycles (typically up to 40) are used even a minimal amount of a specific virus RNA snippet can be detected. The process is highly automated.

Chossudovsky has not understood how the above process works. Specifically he has not understood that the selection of the oligonucleotides for the primer is very specific to the type of virus the test is supposed to detect.

Thus he is wrong when he writes:

Cont. reading: Professor Chossudovsky Is Wrong - Here Is How PCR Tests Work

Posted by b at 19:34 UTC | Comments (191)

October 12, 2020

Not News But A Juicy Collection Of Narratives - How The New York Times Failed Its Readers

The New York Times star reporter Rukmini Callimachi had been widely criticized for her exaggerated reporting about the Islamic State and terrorism. But her editors kept supporting and promoting her stories. That finally ended when Canada recently indicted one Shehroze Chaudhry, also known as Abu Huzaifa, for falsely claiming to have been an ISIS member. Chaudhry had made up his blood dripping stories. He had never been with ISIS and had never been to Syria or Iraq.

But the unverified stories of Abu Huzaifa al-Kanadi had been the central element of the NYT's ten part Caliphate podcast by Rukmini Callimachi.

The failure of her reporting finally was so evident that the NYT had to allow its media columnist Ben Smith to write about the issue. Remarkably his reporting was published in the Business section of the paper.

An Arrest in Canada Casts a Shadow on a New York Times Star, and The Times

It is a pretty devastating report about the support Callimachi got from her editors even as an ever growing number of her colleagues criticized her over-sensationalized reporting. The root cause of the problem is the way in which the Times, as well as other news media, try to change from news providers to narrative creators:

The crisis now surrounding the podcast is as much about The Times as it is about Ms. Callimachi. She is, in many ways, the new model of a New York Times reporter. She combines the old school bravado of the parachuting, big foot reporter of the past, with a more modern savvy for surfing Twitter’s narrative waves and spotting the sorts of stories that will explode on the internet.
Ms. Callimachi’s approach and her stories won her the support of some of the most powerful figures at The Times: early on, from Joe Kahn, who was foreign editor when Ms. Callimachi arrived and is now managing editor and viewed internally as the likely successor to the executive editor, Dean Baquet; and later, an assistant managing editor, Sam Dolnick, who oversees the paper’s successful audio team and is a member of the family that controls The Times.
Ms. Callimachi’s approach to storytelling aligned with a more profound shift underway at The Times. The paper is in the midst of an evolution from the stodgy paper of record into a juicy collection of great narratives, on the web and streaming services. And Ms. Callimachi’s success has been due, in part, to her ability to turn distant conflicts in Africa and the Middle East into irresistibly accessible stories.

The highlighted sentence is the essence of the piece. It was even repeated in the caption of a picture accompanying it.


Cont. reading: Not News But A Juicy Collection Of Narratives - How The New York Times Failed Its Readers

Posted by b at 16:14 UTC | Comments (97)

October 11, 2020

The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2020-81

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

Other issues:

Cont. reading: The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2020-81

Posted by b at 12:53 UTC | Comments (333)

October 10, 2020

The Ceasefire In Nagorno-Karabakh Is Unlikely To Hold

Armenia and Azerbaijan have agreed to a ceasefire in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The war over Nagorno-Karabakh was already near a stalemate. While the attacking Azerbaijani troops were able to gain a few uninhabitated villages in the southern lowlands success elsewhere was scarce. They compensated for that by using loitering ammunition from Israel and Turkey against badly camouflaged Armenian tanks and by shelling civilians in Stepanakert, the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Overview map

Iran and Georgia have both large Azeri and Armenian minorities within their territories.

Detail map


Russia decided that it was the right time to intervene. Yesterday the foreign ministers of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia met in Moscow. After 10 hours of talks they agreed on a ceasefire:

Cont. reading: The Ceasefire In Nagorno-Karabakh Is Unlikely To Hold

Posted by b at 14:53 UTC | Comments (61)

October 09, 2020

Europe And The New Sanctions On Iran

The U.S. has imposed new sanctions on Iran which will make ANY trade with the country very difficult:

[T]he Trump administration has decided to impose yet further sanctions on the country, this time targeting the entirety of the Iranian financial sector. These new measures carry biting secondary sanctions effects that cut off third parties’ access to the U.S. financial sector if they engage with Iran’s financial sector. Since the idea was first floated publicly, many have argued that sanctioning Iran’s financial sector would eviscerate what humanitarian trade has survived the heavy hand of existing U.S. sanctions.

Behind the move was pressure from the Zionist lobby. President Trump is in need of campaign funds and the lobby provides those. The move is also designed to preempt any attempts by a potentially new administration to revive the nuclear agreement with Iran:

This idea appears to have first been introduced into public discourse in an Aug. 25, 2020, Wall Street Journal article by Mark Dubowitz and Richard Goldberg urging the Trump administration to “[b]uild an Iranian [s]anctions [w]all” to prevent any future Biden administration from returning to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the nuclear accord between Iran and the world’s major powers on which President Donald Trump reneged in May 2018.

The new sanctions will stop all trade between the 'western' countries and Iran.

The Foreign Minister of Iran responded with defiance:

Javad Zarif @JZarif - 17:30 UTC · Oct 8, 2020

Amid Covid19 pandemic, U.S. regime wants to blow up our remaining channels to pay for food & medicine.

Iranians WILL survive this latest of cruelties.

But conspiring to starve a population is a crime against humanity. Culprits & enablers—who block our money—WILL face justice.

In response Iran will continue its turn to the east. Russia, China and probably India will keep payment channels with Iran open or will make barter deals.

The Europeans, who so far have not dared to counter U.S. sanctions on Iran, are likely to be again shown as the feckless U.S. ass kissers they have always been. They will thereby lose out in a market with 85 million people that has the resources to pay for their high value products. If they stop trade of humanitarian goods with Iran they will also show that their much vaunted 'values' mean nothing.

The European Union claims that it wants to be an independent actor on the world stage. If that is to be taken seriously this would be the moment to demonstrate it.

Posted by b at 16:37 UTC | Comments (148)

October 08, 2020

Why U.S. Elections Do Not Change Its Foreign Policies

John Kiriakou, who blew the whistle about CIA torture under the Bush regime, warns of the foreign policy a Joe Biden administration would pursue:

Literally the last thing I would do is to urge anybody to vote for Donald Trump. The president has been a disaster in every sense of the word and in both foreign and domestic policy. The country can’t take four more years of a Trump presidency. But Biden is no panacea. He’s a center-right placeholder. [..]

If you think things will change in foreign policy under a President Biden, think again. It’ll be the same old expansionist, militarist policy that we had under Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. So go into the voting booth with your eyes open.

In my view Biden is more right than center. Even his campaign slogan is shared with the British conservatives.

A Joe Biden administration would extend the hostile policies towards Russia and China and would continue to push for regime change in Venezuela, Syria, Iran and Belarus.  This even as the organ of U.S. foreign policy orthodoxy, Foreign Affairs, states that U.S. induced regime changes never achieve their aims:

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s repeated assertion around the time of the Iraq war that Washington’s pursuit of “stability at the expense of democracy” in the Middle East had produced neither was broadly true. But it turned out to have a corollary—that pursuing democracy at the expense of stability might also produce neither, but at even higher cost.
Regime change will always tempt Washington. [..] The long, diverse, and tragic history of U.S.-backed regime change in the Middle East, however, suggests that such temptations—like most quick fixes that come along in life and politics—should be resisted. The next time U.S. leaders propose intervening in the region to overthrow a hostile regime, it can safely be assumed that such an enterprise will be less successful, more costly, and more replete with unintended consequences than proponents realize or admit. So far, at least, it has never been the other way around.

U.S. foreign policy does not change from presidency to presidency. In a recent interview President Bashar al-Assad of Syria explained why that is the case:

Cont. reading: Why U.S. Elections Do Not Change Its Foreign Policies

Posted by b at 14:12 UTC | Comments (134)

"Global Condemnation"

The Guardian wrote yesterday:

Australia joins global condemnation of China over Xinjiang amid deteriorating ties

Australia has stared down a potential backlash from China by joining with nearly 40 countries to voice grave concerns about “gross human rights violations” in the Xinjiang region and call for independent observers to be granted unfettered access.

The United Nations has 193 member states. "Global condemnation" and "nearly 40 countries" thereby do not seem to fit well.

Indeed. After 16 paragraphs of dubious allegations against China we learn:

[China’s ambassador to the UN, Zhang Jun,] pointed to counter-statements, including one made by Pakistan on behalf of 55 countries that opposed interference in China’s internal affairs under the pretext of Hong Kong.

Cuba also issued a joint statement on behalf of 45 countries backing the Chinese government’s position that its actions in Xinjiang were related to counter-terrorism and de-radicalisation efforts.

I have failed to find the two counter-statements and to check how many states signed both. But Ambassador Zhang has said that nearly 70 countries had backed either or both.

That is not a majority of UN member states but it shows that 'global affirmation" for China's Xinjiang policy is a more truthful expression than the "global condemnation" the Guardian has chosen.

Posted by b at 13:08 UTC | Comments (43)

October 07, 2020

Open Thread 2020-80

Despite the best that has been done by everyone, today's post has developed not necessarily to the blog's advantage. It has thus been canned.

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b at 17:59 UTC | Comments (205)

October 06, 2020

Why Trump Returned To The White House

Yesterday President Donald Trump revealed this interesting re-election strategy:


This is a Hail Mary strike taken at high personal risk.

Trump was certainly not well enough to get released from the hospital.

It is not really known when Trump got infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus and when he fell ill with Covid-19. The treatments his doctors said they used with him are somewhat conflicting. After Trump was diagnosed with Covid-19 he was given a high dose of monoclonal antibodies which directly attack the virus and lessen the overall growth of viruses. The antiviral drug remdesivir which lowers virus RNA production was also given:

[I]t would seem that if you’re going to give monoclonal antibodies, that they would be best given early in the course of the disease, when therapy is still in antiviral mode. The addition of a five-day course of remdesivir to the treatment regimen fits that as well: both of these are designed to lower the amount of virus present and (in theory) keep the disease from progressing to a more severe stage.

Both therapies make most sense in the first phase of a virus infection when it is still only in the upper part of the respiratory system. In that phase the normal immune system is still building up its defenses. But Trump seems to have already been in the second phase of the infection where the virus is in the lungs and when the immune system starts to attack the body. He at least twice had too little oxygen in his blood likely without feeling it. This "happy hypoxemia" is typical for Covid-19:

Cont. reading: Why Trump Returned To The White House

Posted by b at 18:01 UTC | Comments (259)

October 04, 2020

The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2020-79

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

Other issues:

Cont. reading: The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2020-79

Posted by b at 13:33 UTC | Comments (328)

October 03, 2020

Is The War Over Nagorno-Karabakh Already At A Stalemate?

Seven days after Azerbaijan attacked the Armenian held Nagorno-Karabakh territory it has not made any territorial progress.

Overview map

Iran and Georgia have both large Azeri and Armenian minorities within their territories.

Detail map


The highlands of Nagorno-Karabakh are ethnically Armenian. The light blue districts were originally Azeri but have been ethically cleansed during the war in the early 1990s.

Turkey is supporting Azerbaijan by supplying it with Turkish drones and with 'moderate Syrian rebel' mercenaries from Syrian and Libya. All are flown in through Georgian air space. Other mercenaries seem to come from Afghanistan. Additional hardware comes by road also through Georgia. Another supporter of the attacker is Israel. During the last week Azerbaijani military transport aircraft have flown at least six times to Israel to then return with additional Israeli suicide drones on board. These Harop drones have been widely used in attacks on Armenian positions. An Israeli made LORA short range ballistic missile was used by Azerbaijan to attack a bridge that connects Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia. Allegedly there are also Turkish flown F-16 fighter planes in Azerbaijan.

Cont. reading: Is The War Over Nagorno-Karabakh Already At A Stalemate?

Posted by b at 17:28 UTC | Comments (128)

October 02, 2020

U.S. President Trump Has Caught 'The Flu'

U.S. President Donald Trump and his wife tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Both do not (yet) show symptoms.

The immediate index case is likely one of his top aides:

News of the Trumps' positive tests came just hours after it was reported that the president's top aide Hope Hicks had tested positive for the coronavirus. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has tested negative for the virus, a senior White House official told CBS News.

Trump and his aide have had lots of recent contacts:

There is no one closer to Mr. Trump than Ms. Hicks, who returned to the White House this year after leaving her position as communications director in 2018, and on Wednesday traveled with the president on Air Force One to Minnesota. She began feeling sick around the time of the campaign rally he held there, according to one person familiar with the events, and was quarantined on the return flight to Washington, where she disembarked from the back entrance of the plane.

Her positive diagnosis came on Thursday, according to the person familiar with her case, but the White House made no announcement about the situation, and Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary, who had also been on the plane and exposed to Ms. Hicks, then held a briefing with reporters without mentioning it or wearing a mask.

Only after Bloomberg News reported Ms. Hicks’s condition did Mr. Trump confirm it during an appearance on Thursday night on Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News, where he said he was waiting for his own test results.

Despite knowing that his aide had tested positive and had probably already infected him Trump still held a fundraiser:

"After White House officials learned of Hicks’ symptoms, Trump & his entourage flew to New Jersey, where he attended a fundraiser & delivered a speech. Trump was in close contact with dozens of other people, including campaign supporters at a roundtable."

There will probably be a whole cluster of infected people around the president:

Eric Feigl-Ding @DrEricDing - 7:48 UTC · Oct 2, 2020

BREAKING—we now know Hope Hicks’s testing timeline:
📌 Tuesday before debate: NEGATIVE
📌 Wednesday morning: NEGATIVE
📌 Wednesday mid day illness onset
📌 Wednesday mid day: POSITIVE
📌 Thursday evening Trump and FLOTUS: POSITIVE
Incubation period thread below. #COVID19

The White House has been using a relatively unreliable quick tests and additional RT-PCR testing when the quick test showed a probably positive case. The wording of the White House physician statement seems to say that Trump has had both tests:

Cont. reading: U.S. President Trump Has Caught 'The Flu'

Posted by b at 11:00 UTC | Comments (337)

October 01, 2020

Open Thread 78

News & views ...

Posted by b at 14:05 UTC | Comments (178)

September 30, 2020

DNI Letter Supports Allegation That Hillary Clinton Created 'Russiagate'

Were the allegations that Russia intervened in the 2016 presidential elections made up by the Clinton campaign?

A letter sent by Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe seems to suggest so:

On Tuesday, Ratcliffe, a loyalist whom Trump placed atop U.S. intelligence in the spring, sent Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) a letter claiming that in late July 2016, U.S. intelligence acquired “insight” into a Russian intelligence analysis. That analysis, Ratcliffe summarized in his letter, claimed that Clinton had a plan to attack Trump by tying him to the 2016 hack of the Democratic National Committee.
Ratcliffe stated that the intelligence community “does not know the accuracy of this allegation or to the extent to which the Russian intelligence analysis may reflect exaggeration or fabrication.”


The letter says that then CIA Director John Brennan briefed President Obama on the intelligence. He reported that the Russians believed that Clinton approved the campaign plan on July 26 2016.

So U.S. intelligence spying on Russian intelligence analysts found that the Russians believed that Clinton started a 'Trump is supported by the Russian hacking of the DNC' campaign. The Russian's surely had reason to think that.

Cont. reading: DNI Letter Supports Allegation That Hillary Clinton Created 'Russiagate'

Posted by b at 16:04 UTC | Comments (141)

September 29, 2020

Election Debate

Anyone watching the presidential election debate tonight?

Wrong time zone for me but if you do please leave your impression in this thread.

And don't follow Matt Taibbi's debate drinking game rules. You would likely end up totally drunk after just 30 minutes and permanently ruin your health :-).

Posted by b at 20:00 UTC | Comments (143)

Strategic Aims Behind The War On Armenia

On Sunday Ilham Aliyev, the longtime dictator of Azerbaijan, launched a war on the Armenian held Nagorno-Karabakh area. That he dared to do this now, 27 years after a ceasefire ended a war over the area, is a sign that the larger strategic picture has changed.

When the Soviet Union fell apart the Nagorno-Karabakh area had a mixed population of Azerbaijani (also called Azeri) Shia Muslims and Armenian Christians. As in other former Soviet republics ethnic diversity became problematic when the new states evolved. The mixed areas were fought over and Armenia won the Nagorno-Karabakh area. There have since been several border skirmishes and small wars between the two opponents but the intensity of the fighting is now much higher than before.

Source: Joshua Kushera - bigger

In 2006 Yasha Levine wrote about his visit to Nagorno-Karabakh for The Exile. He described the uneven opponents:

Cont. reading: Strategic Aims Behind The War On Armenia

Posted by b at 18:04 UTC | Comments (82)

September 28, 2020

Trump's Tax Filings Do Not Reveal What Democrats Had Hoped For

Lots of pages have been filled with rumors about President Trump's income tax filings. The Democrats had hoped that they would reveal criminal behavior or at least prove that Russia had illegitimate influence over him:

Trump says his tax returns reveal nothing that is not already disclosed on his official candidate financial disclosure, called Form 278e. As ethics counsels to the past two presidents, we dealt with both their tax filings and their Form 278's and so we know that Trump is wrong. His tax filings have an enormous amount of additional information which, in this case, could be critically important to determining whether his business overseas might affect his decision-making as president. That is because Trump’s 12,000-page tax return may tell us a great deal about his Russian and other foreign business ties that is not on his 104-page campaign financial disclosure. It’s now more vital than ever that we get that information in light of Trump's embrace of Russian hacking, leaking and interference in our election.

Now the New York Times has obtained Trump's tax filings. It has made a huge splash out of them.


The story starts with this:

Donald J. Trump paid $750 in federal income taxes the year he won the presidency. In his first year in the White House, he paid another $750.

He had paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years — largely because he reported losing much more money than he made.

However, down in paragraph 78(!) it reports:

Mr. Trump was periodically required to pay a parallel income tax called the alternative minimum tax, created as a tripwire to prevent wealthy people from using huge deductions, including business losses, to entirely wipe out their tax liabilities.

Mr. Trump paid alternative minimum tax in seven years between 2000 and 2017 — a total of $24.3 million, excluding refunds he received after filing.

Reading the details of the 11,000(!) words story one finds that it is largely a bummer for the 'resistance', not so much for Trump.

It essentially says:

  • Trump is a quite rich international real estate investor.
  • U.S. tax laws allow investors to minimize their reported income by claiming various kinds of deprecations and other gimmicks.
  • Tax regulations that allows investors to carry forward leftover losses to reduce taxes in future years are especially helpful.
  • Trump has good accountants and tax lawyers and has used the laws to their full extent to minimize his tax payments.

Is any of the above something we did not already knew?

What the Times story does NOT say is:

  • Trump's tax record reveal that he did something illegal.

The paper had surely hoped for more. It must have been especially bitter for its authors to write this paragraph:

By their very nature, the filings will leave many questions unanswered, many questioners unfulfilled. They comprise information that Mr. Trump has disclosed to the I.R.S., not the findings of an independent financial examination. They report that Mr. Trump owns hundreds of millions of dollars in valuable assets, but they do not reveal his true wealth. Nor do they reveal any previously unreported connections to Russia.

This is a dud. It is certainly not the campaign ammunition the Democrats had hoped for.

Posted by b at 11:31 UTC | Comments (123)

September 27, 2020

The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2020-77

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

Other issues:

Cont. reading: The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2020-77

Posted by b at 12:58 UTC | Comments (126)