Have I told you how much I hate these people? - Mike Malloy. It is every thinking person’s responsibility not to side with his or her executioners. - Albert Camus. Popular democracy anywhere threatens fascism everywhere. - The Scallion. A fascist junta of neocons using George W. Bush as its shill has taken over America by bloodless coup. What will it take for us to stage a revolution and take our country back? - Dot Calm. Drive a hybrid. Leave a lighter footprint on the planet. - Dot Calm.
Like Granny D, I have watched my own beloved country change, and I am angry beyond words about what I see. I grew up seeing America as the equivalent of the movie good guy, the hero in the white hat who came to the rescue of those in need around the world. I have watched in silent horror as the corporations, the captains and the kings of industry, used a comparatively small outlay of cash to buy the Republicans to use as their shills. George W. Bush is the puppet cowboy-king of shills, the proverbial emperor with no clothes. Every day, I watch these evil men legalize, legitimize, and institutionalize robbing the poor to pay the rich. They are carving up America like a giant carcass and doling out choice chunks of its meat to themselves and their cronies. Since the Democrats have been sipping at the same corporate teat where the Republicans have been gorging for the past generation, the fascists are free to do their worst; there is no longer any opposition. There is no one left to stand up for the rights of the American people, the Constitution, or the democracy, which I fear will be replaced by a fascist dictatorship in my lifetime. Wake up, America: we need a REVOLUTION NOW!
Crooked, corrupt, lyin', cheating, greedy, thieving, stealing, delusional, embezzling Donald Trump embezzled from charity, and it-snot pretty!
Vreep-vreep-vreep!!! This just in! I just watched this segment of Stephen Colbert and went to https://gop.com/DEBATE-PREP-SURVEY/ and filled out the survey! It's FUN!! Go do it NOW!!!!! ...Actually, read this post first for ammunition--THEN go fill out the survey and give Trump HELL!!!!!
Greetings, fellow Dot Calm Readers, Freedom Fighters, and Truth Crusaders!
Here are some lovely dots for you to connect...
Self-dealing from his charitable (to him) foundation.
Converting campaign donations into personal and business profits.
3 wives, at least two of whom he committed adultery on, not to mention all the married women whose husbands he bragged about cuckolding in his book.
Foreign entanglements, including being the doe-eyed submissive in a bromance with Vladimir Putin, aggressively pursuing business dealings with dictator Moammar Gaddafi, and expressing outspoken admiration for dictator Kim Jong Un.
Multiple built-in conflicts of interest due to his heavy debts and foreign entanglements.
Chronic lying, including birtherism down to the last possible nanosecond--and then accusing Hillary of starting it.
Unleashing and normalizing arguably the worst racism, misogyny, bigotry, hate, and incivility this nation has ever known.
A commenter on Conservative Clown Car claimed that PolitiFact's comparison of Trump's vs Hillary's honesty is just a liberal effort to discredit Trump. I can't be the only one thinking, "D00d. Have you listened to Trump? Ever?!" I promise you, friend, that the liberal media has no need to discredit Donald J. Trump: he does it all day every day all by himself!
So let me tell you what's really on my mind: why isn't Donald J. Trump in jail yet? Why are we still seeing his bloated orange fish-lipped face all over our televisions? Why is he still even being allowed to run for public office? Why why why why why?
Somebody please tell me!
Don't forget to read Dot Calm's shadow's favorite independent sources of news and information:
Peas, friends. We will get through this together--I promise!
- Dot Calm's shadow
Consider the preemptive Blogger phuqued-up phormatting disclaimer to be in effect. Grrr. -- Dot Calm's shadow
Choo-choo time articles
Fortune: Donald Trump: The $500 Million Debt that He Isn't Talking About
...This article mentions $500 million in debt that Trump isn't owning up to. Teaser: "On the campaign trail, Donald Trump has said dealing with the nation’s $18 trillion debt will be easy. One reason: Trump could just choose to ignore it. That appears to be how Trump has dealt with some of the debt on his own balance sheet. ...What America needs isn’t a promoter but a fiscal pragmatist, and that isn’t Donald Trump." Although Trump's "creative accounting" regarding the mystery $500 million in debt is deeply disturbing, I'm more disturbed about his foreign debt and entanglements the impact they would have on his actions in the White House.
Politico: Trump's campaign paid his businesses $8.2 million
...Trump has, as he said, used his scam-paign to make himself money. He uses donor contributions to enrich his failing businesses. He's even charged the Secret Service for using his facilities when they protect him. What a piece of human filth Trump is!
And now for this week's feature article, this time from WaPo
I slogged through the ads so you don't have to! Just kidding--WaPo isn't as heinous as News-squeak, which yaps at you. I just wanted to post the article here for your comfort and convenience with bold for emphasis. What the article shows is that Donald Trump cannot and will not follow rules and that Donald Trump has zero morals or ethics. He takes other people's money into the Trump Foundation and uses it as a slush fund--as he accused Hillary of doing--to pay his bills and buy himself trinkets. Profiting yourself personally or benefiting your business counts as self-dealing, which is not what charities are for, and Trump keeps the stupid ugly trinkets for himself instead of using them for charitable purposes, as the tax laws state. Trump is dishonest through and through and, as Harry Reid said, cannot be trusted to manage the nation's money honestly. I can't believe that Republicans aren't all over Trump for his swindling and his egregious sense of entitlement. I thot they didn't cotton to that shit. Oh wait...when it's one of their own, they lurve it. -- Dot Calm's shadow
The Washington Post's David A. Fahrenthold explains the latest revelations about how Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump may have violated the IRS's rules regarding charitable funds. ( Sarah Parnass / The Washington Post)
Donald Trump spent more than a quarter-million dollars from his charitable foundation to settle lawsuits that involved the billionaire’s for-profit businesses, according to interviews and a review of legal documents.
Those cases, which together used $258,000 from Trump’s charity, were among four newly documented expenditures in which Trump may have violated laws against “self-dealing” — which prohibit nonprofit leaders from using charity money to benefit themselves or their businesses.
In one case, from 2007, Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club faced $120,000 in unpaid fines from the town of Palm Beach, Fla., resulting from a dispute over the height of a flagpole.
In a settlement, Palm Beach agreed to waive those fines — if Trump’s club made a $100,000 donation to a specific charity for veterans. Instead, Trump sent a check from the Donald J. Trump Foundation, a charity funded almost entirely by other people’s money, according to tax records.
The check to charity from the Trump Foundation.
In another case, court papers say one of Trump’s golf courses in New York agreed to settle a lawsuit by making a donation to the plaintiff’s chosen charity. A $158,000 donation was made by the Trump Foundation, according to tax records.
The other expenditures involved smaller amounts. In 2013, Trump used $5,000 from the foundation to buy advertisements touting his chain of hotels in programs for three events organized by a D.C. preservation group. And in 2014, Trump spent $10,000 of the foundation’s money on a portrait of himself bought at a charity fundraiser.
Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) railed against GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump from the Senate floor Sept. 20. Reid accused Trump of being "incapable of making money honestly." ( / C-SPAN)
If the Internal Revenue Service were to find that Trump violated self-dealing rules, the agency could require him to pay penalty taxes or to reimburse the foundation for all the money it spent on his behalf. Trump is also facing scrutiny from the New York attorney general’s office, which is examining whether the foundation broke state charity laws.
More broadly, these cases also provide new evidence that Trump ran his charity in a way that may have violated U.S. tax law and gone against the moral conventions of philanthropy.
“I represent 700 nonprofits a year, and I’ve never encountered anything so brazen,” saidJeffrey Tenenbaum, who advises charities at the Venable law firm in Washington. After The Washington Post described the details of these Trump Foundation gifts, Tenenbaum described them as “really shocking.”
“If he’s using other people’s money — run through his foundation — to satisfy his personal obligations, then that’s about as blatant an example of self-dealing [as] I’ve seen in awhile,” Tenenbaum said.
The Post sent the Trump campaign a detailed list of questions about the four cases but received no response.
The Trump campaign released a statement about this story late Tuesday that said it was “peppered with inaccuracies and omissions,” though the statement cited none and the campaign has still not responded to repeated requests for comment.
The New York attorney general’s office declined to comment when asked whether its inquiry would cover these new cases of possible self-dealing.
Trump founded his charity in 1987 and for years was its only donor. But in 2006, Trump gave away almost all the money he had donated to the foundation, leaving it with just $4,238 at year’s end, according to tax records.
Then, he transformed the Trump Foundation into something rarely seen in the world of philanthropy: a name-branded foundation whose namesake provides none of its money. Trump gave relatively small donations in 2007 and 2008, and afterward, nothing. The foundation’s tax records show no donations from Trump since 2009.
Its money has come from other donors, most notably pro-wrestling executives Vince and Linda McMahon, who gave a total of $5 million from 2007 to 2009, tax records show. Trump remains the foundation’s president, and he told the IRS in his latest public filings that he works half an hour per week on the charity.
The Post has previously detailed other cases in which Trump used the charity’s money in a way that appeared to violate the law.
In 2013, for instance, the foundation gave $25,000 to a political group supporting Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi (R). That gift was made about the same time that Bondi’s office was considering whether to investigate fraud allegations against Trump University. It didn’t.
Tax laws say nonprofit groups such as the Trump Foundation may not make political gifts. Trump staffers blamed the gift on a clerical error. After The Postreportedon the gift to Bondi’s group this spring, Trumppaid a $2,500 penalty taxand reimbursed the Trump Foundation for the $25,000 donation.
In other instances, it appeared that Trump may have violated rules against self-dealing.
In 2012, for instance, Trumpspent $12,000of the foundation’s money to buy a football helmet signed by then-NFL quarterback Tim Tebow.
And in 2007, Trump’s wife, Melania, bid $20,000 for the six-foot-tall portrait of Trump, done by a “speed painter” during a charity gala at Mar-a-Lago. Later,Trump paidfor the painting with $20,000 from the foundation.
In those cases, tax experts said, Trump was not allowed to simply keep these items and display them in a home or business. They had to be put to a charitable use.
Trump’s campaign has not responded to questions about what became of the helmet or the portrait.
After the settlement, Trump put a slightly smaller flag farther from the road and mounted it on a 70-foot pole as seen in this Nov. 1, 2015, photo. (Rosalind Helderman/The Washington Post)
The four new cases of possible self-dealing were discovered in the Trump Foundation’s tax filings. While Trump has refused to release his personal tax returns, the foundation’s filings are required to be public.
The case involving the flagpole at Trump’s oceanfront Mar-a-Lago Club began in 2006, when the club put up a giant American flag on the 80-foot pole. Town rules said flagpoles should be 42 feet high at most. Trump’s contention, according to news reports, was: “You don’t need a permit to put up the American flag.”
The town began to fine Trump, $1,250 a day.
Trump’s club sued in federal court, saying that a smaller flag “would fail to appropriately express the magnitude of Donald J. Trump’s . . . patriotism.”
The town waived the $120,000 in fines. In September 2007, Trump wrote the town a letter, saying he had done his part as well.
“I have sent a check for $100,000 to Fisher House,” he wrote. The town had chosen Fisher House, which runs a network of comfort homes for the families of veterans and military personnel receiving medical treatment, as the recipient of the money. Trump added that, for good measure, “I have sent a check for $25,000” to another charity, the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial.
Trump provided the town with copies of the checks, which show that they came from the Trump Foundation.
In Palm Beach, nobody seems to have objected to the fines assessed on Trump’s business being erased by a donation from a charity.
“I don’t know that there was any attention paid to that at the time. We just saw two checks signed by Donald J. Trump,” said John Randolph, the Palm Beach town attorney. “I’m sure we were satisfied with it.”
Excerpt from a settlement filed in federal court in 2007.
In the other case in which a Trump Foundation payment seemed to help settle a legal dispute, the trouble began with a hole-in-one.
In 2010, a man named Martin Greenberg hit a hole-in-one on the 13th hole while playing in a charity golf tournament at Trump’s course in Westchester County, N.Y.
Greenberg won a $1 million prize. Briefly.
Later, Greenberg was told that he had won nothing. The prize’s rules required that the shot had to go 150 yards. But Trump’s course had allegedly made the hole too short.
Eventually, court papers show, Trump’s golf course signed off on a settlement that required it to make a donation to a group of Greenberg’s choosing. Then, on the day that the parties informed the court they had settled their case, a $158,000 donation was sent to the Martin Greenberg Foundation.
That money came from the Trump Foundation, according to the tax filings of both Trump’s and Greenberg’s foundations.
Greenberg’s foundation reported getting nothing that year from Trump personally or from his golf club.
Both Greenberg and Trump have declined to comment.
Several tax experts said that the two cases appeared to be clear examples of self-dealing, as defined by the tax code.
The Trump Foundation had made a donation, it seemed, so that a Trump business did not have to.
Rosemary E. Fei, a lawyer in San Francisco who advises nonprofit groups, said both cases clearly fit the definition of self-dealing.
“Yes, Trump pledged as part of the settlement to make a payment to a charity, and yes, the foundation is writing a check to a charity,” Fei said. “But the obligation was Trump’s. And you can’t have a charitable foundation paying off Trump’s personal obligations. That would be classic self-dealing.”
In another instance, from 2013, the Trump Foundation made a $5,000 donation to theD.C. Preservation League, according to the group and tax filings. That nonprofit group’s support has been helpful for Trump as he has turned the historic Old Post Office Pavilion on Pennsylvania Avenue NW into aluxury hotel.
The Trump Foundation’s donation to that group bought a “sponsorship,” which included advertising space in the programs for three big events that drew Washington’s real estate elite. The ads did not mention the foundation or anything related to charity. Instead, they promoted Trump’s hotels, with glamorous photos and a phone number to call to make a reservation.
“The foundation wrote a check that essentially bought advertising for Trump hotels?” asked John Edie, the longtime general counsel for the Council on Foundations, when a Post reporter described this arrangement. “That’s not charity.”
The last of the four newly documented expenditures involves the second painting of Trump, which he bought with charity money.
It happened in 2014, during a gala at Mar-a-Lago that raised money forUnicorn Children’s Foundation— a Florida charity that helps children with developmental and learning disorders.
The gala’smain eventwas a concert by Jon Secada. But there was also an auction of paintings by Havi Schanz, a Miami Beach-based artist.
One was of Marilyn Monroe. The other was a four-foot-tall portrait of Trump: a younger-looking, mid-’90s Trump, painted in acrylic on top of an old architectural drawing.
Trump bought it for $10,000.
Afterward, Schanz recalled in an email, “he asked me about the painting. I said, ‘I paint souls, and when I had to paint you, I asked your soul to allow me.’ He was touched and smiled.”
A few days later, the charity said, a check came from the Trump Foundation. Trump himself gave nothing, according to Sharon Alexander, the executive director of the charity.
Trump’s staff did not respond to questions about where that second painting is now. Alexander said she had last seen it at Trump’s club.
“I’m pretty sure we just left it at Mar-a-Lago,” she said, “and his staff took care of it.”
The website TripAdvisorprovides another clue: On the page for Trump’s Doral golf resort, near Miami, users posted photos from inside the club. One of them appears to show Schanz’s painting, hanging on a wall at the resort. The date on the photo was February 2016.
David A. Fahrenthold covers the 2016 presidential campaign for The Washington Post. He has been at the Post since 2000, and previously covered Congress, the federal bureaucracy, the environment, and the D.C. police.
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Short attention span (as in, no way am I gonna read all those articles) and/or ICYMI Seth Meyers video on Trump's foundation shenanigans
Here's another take from Seth Meyers on "pay to play"
--Hillary's mythical vs Trump's actual
Seth "interviews" teh Donald's "doctor":
"Democracy Now!" played this one morning: "American Skin (41 Shots)" by Bruce Springsteen. "The Boss" is one of my heroes. He always has been a hero of mine as a local boy who made good under our fond and watchful gaze, but I stand in even more awe of him for writing this amazing, moving song about the police killing of Amadou Diallo in 1999. The only media coverage I'd seen on Diallo has been on "Democracy Now!" It felt as if the commercial media couldn't be bothered to cover the hysterically brutal killing by police of an unarmed Black man. This song is as timely as ever with the recent deaths of Tyre King and Keith Lamont Scott, not to mention the rest of the Black men, women, and children abused, brutalized, and murdered by out-of-control police. No one is safe. I weep for dead and scarred and their families.
*sigh*...so depressing. How about a little Cat Stevens to brighten up the mood? As part of my recent "tour" to go hear all the bands who contributed to the soundtrack of my youth, I got to go see Cat Stevens. He is amazing--his voice is as beautiful and rich as it was some 40 years ago. But it makes me sad that he became Muslim. I mentioned this to my Tea Party Christian friend, saying how sad it is to see someone I otherwise respect take such a wrong path. He agreed (there's an irony alert right there, friends), saying that (to quote Donald Trump without quoting him directly) all the Muslims came out and cheered when the towers fell on 9/11. They didn't. Nonetheless, I told my dad what my crazy friend said, and my dad wrinkled his nose and said hogwash: "Nobody was more surprised than Osama bin Laden when the towers went town." The "old man" has quite a memory--hope I grow up to be just like him someday. But first, I plan to ask my Tea Party Christian friend if there's anything Donald Trump says that he doesn't believe. But getting back to Cat Stevens, my Tea Party Christian friend recalled that Stevens had joined the call for Salman Rushdie's death under the Ayatollah's fatwa. I said, yeah, that's what happens when you believe in such a puny god--you have to protect him because he's too puny to do anything for himself. Without batting an eyelash, my friend agreed, not realizing that his own religion is just another side of the same Abrahamic coin. My friend then lamented the apparent lack of protest from so-called moderate Muslims to acts of extremism. I agreed, saying that, even if they don't agree with what the extremists are doing, moderates give the extremists cover just by being. And again, without batting an eyelash, my Tea Party Christian friend--who never made a peep of protest when Robert Louis Dear shot up the Planned Parenthood in Colorado--agreed. That there is an excellent example of compartmentalization and double standards, friends, if ever I saw one. I wish there were a mirror strong enough to give my poor deluded friend a good look at himself someday.
...My introduction to this song, "If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out," came from the movie "Harold and Maude," which is one of my all-time favorite movies.
...If you haven't seen it, you need to. It's dark, but it's also uplifting. Public Service Announcement: don't eat or drink during the movie unless you want to spew stuff out your nose laughing. You have been warned!
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