As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

72 Responses to Sunday Open Thread || May 29, 2016

  1. It’s still technically Saturday here in flyover AZ, but….
    About MrTrump’s elusive tax returns: the Dems and some of their supporters in the media are still whining that they don’t have his tax returns to wallow in.
    As a small business owner in my tax-paying years, I can attest that we had professionals do our returns and the complexity of a very small business was daunting and mystifying to us.
    MrTrump’s personal tax return could be either simple or complex, depending on how he has his business structured. If he lost money, he would have no tax liability. If he showed income of any kind, a thousand different legal applications might keep him from owing any taxes, also.
    It’s possible for him to show NO income for last year – none, not one dime – if that’s how his interests in hundreds of corporations are structured.
    Short story – it would take a legion of tax accountants months to find that one or two things the Dems hope to use against the billionaire.

    • I suspect his tax returns are deliberately as complicated as possible. Hopefully, as complicated as is legally possible.
      In a country where college kids don’t know anything about our history, there would not be any comprehension of the details in said returns anyway.
      And in the ranks of those who continue to beat this dead horse, how many file returns themselves?

        • He is surrounded by brilliant tax accountants. His possible Supreme Court Justices are beyond reproach. I pray that he would bring that kind of talent as his appointees and nominees. No, he is not the brightest man in the world. As a Wharton School of Business graduate, I shudder at much of his use of the English language. To my knowledge, English is his first and only language. He will compensate for those shortcomings with brilliant people.
          He is the Republican nominee, and we cannot have Schillary.

        • Yes, you are correct Star. (No sarcasm). Still, I wonder how many college students remain on their parents return? I admit that I no longer know how long children can remain as a dependent on their parents’ returns.
          As AFVet noted below, I agree that Romney rolled over and played dead when his returns were demanded. And I know, as in the case of all private equity firms, they purchase businesses with one goal – to turn a profit via selling said business ASAP. There is no consideration for employees if said businesses other than they are the means to an end. So for me, Mitt is certainly no better than Trump. He is just more polished.
          I also agree with Girly1, Trump and presumedly, Clinton, need to be 100% vetted. Turn over every rock and let us all see what is buried. However, with the bias of the current MSM, I would question every thing they would bring to the light of day.
          As for me – you all know – I will vote for anyone rather than HRC.

    • Trump has already answered the question: “I just want to say that I worked hard to pay as little as possible”. That could mean little to nothing.

      I am confused as to why he can’t produce a few preceding years of tax returns. Surely they have finished the auditing.
      Heard him say a few days that he HOPED to get them out BEFORE the Nov. election.
      That tells me he is hiding something…and it’s not about ‘how little’ he paid.

      • “I am confused as to why he can’t produce a few preceding years of tax returns.”

        Of course he can, it’s none of their business.
        He was a private citizen then.

        I am of the opinion that he should produce them right after Obama releases HIS records.

        • Romney was a private citizen too. He finally released his returns in Sept. before the Nov. election.

          Tax returns and scholastic records = apples and oranges.
          After Obama, however, every candidate should be fully vetted from school records to taxes, IMO.

          Would love to see how much moola Trump made from that phony Trump University. And if there are more scams, they should be brought to light.

          • Who gives a crap about Romney ?
            Romney made a fortune taking over companies that were on their last legs.

            Obama is going to lease a 5 million dollar mansion with an income after leaving office of $200,000.
            Hey folks,….that won’t pay the rent.

            Obviously Girly1 you are not a Trump supporter, and neither is Star, but we all knew that.

            Bottom line is that Romney should have told them to pound sand.

            Why not go after Charlie Rangel’s tax returns ?

            How about Al Sharpten’s ?

            Reason, they’re black liberal democrats.

          • “Why not go after Charlie Rangel’s tax returns ?”

            Because they are not running for POTUS, AFVet. That’s the point – nothing should be off-limits, especially after Obama.

          • Rangel sits in congress.
            He is not a private citizen, he is a rep from N.Y.
            Then there’s that race baiter Sharpton.

            Do you want to defend him Star ?
            How about you Girly ?

            Star, I read what you read and make my own decisions.
            If you have more precise information, please feel free to present it.

          • For Pete’s sake, AFVet! Congress is full of crooks and liars. And Sharpton, a private citizen, is the worst of the worst.

            My point, again, strictly pertains to presidential candidates.
            The Clintons are by far the worst in history as far as morals and ethics are concerned; but Trump is also seriously flawed as far as his truthfulness, temperament, and leadership qualities are concerned. Con artist comes to mind.

            Unless Keith declares WHD to be a ‘Trump-only’ zone, I will continue to voice my opinion.
            My only concern is for the country – and what I consider to be a race to the bottom. It’s NOT personal!

  2. For Memorial Day, honoring all vets and their families:

    The Hillsdale College Choir, recorded a few days ago, featuring Ronald Reagan at his best. Will we ever have another like him?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cL-xDkxg8pc

    Justice Thomas, delivering this year’s Commencement Speech at Hillsdale College, reminding us of what it means to be an American. Outstanding.

    http://www.c-span.org/video/?409477-1/justice-clarence-thomas-delivers-commencement-address-hillsdale-college#

  3. Am seeing a certain naivete about politicians and their tax returns here. Just take it as a given that all of us taxpayers wriggle and squirm to legally not have to pay taxes at all.

    Politicians and the so-called 1% are by no means alone. Think back to April yourself.

    • It’s OK not to pay more than you have to…and no one is saying Trump illegally evaded, but let’s see what’s what. I am sure his army of accountants ammassed carry-forwards, this that and the other to minimize his exposure…or may, more damaging, he took borderline charity donations or has money offshore (however legal, still iffy to many).

        • I mean things like “in kind” donations–such as donating rounds of golf at his functions (as has been established he has done). I would not say that was illegal–but it also is hard to estimate the value of and rules govern it. I want to see if he did that–remember when Bill Clinton donated used clothing incl underwear–that was a stretch.

      • The thing that really bothers me is his braggadocico attitude re the bankruptcies. He had the gall to say
        “I personally never lost money’! He crowed about it. He didn’t give a hoot about his investors, one of which was a guy we know who lost over a Million in one of his Vegas real estate scams. I won’t go into details, but it was dirty. Every investor lost over a Million.

        Sorry, I just don’t like the guy, to put it mildly. Same goes for Hillary! Therein lies the problem.

      • I am not that well-versed in ‘high finances’ but it seems to me that if you have enough losses to carry forward for umpteen years, you are not really that smart.

        • Or at least you might be using it as a hedge–remember the play THE PRODUCERS–they wanted a play so bad they would lose money as a tax advantage and then it was a success?

        • I had an uncle who was successful in business (he had a private audience with the Pope back in the day – just an interesting little factoid.)
          He told me that no successful businessman incurs a loss for the sole purpose of securing a tax write off.
          So if Trump has losses, it is because he and his peeps made mistakes.

    • Here’s an idea! How about we have Trump open up his accounting books (in effect, show his tax returns), and we have Hillary open up the Clinton Foundation accounting books. We know that Charity Navigator has already placed the Clinton Foundation on their “watch” list, so we know the Foundation’s accounting practices are, er, interesting.

      After that, we can go on to the important issues of the Nation.

  4. For the record.
    I don’t give a fat rats ass about ANYONES tax returns, especially Trumps.
    The same old Dem’s sad bag of tricks. Release your tax’s, release your tax’s, the battle cry of the left.
    How about Hillary releasing a forensic audit of the Clinton Foundation.
    Democrat’s pulled the same crap on Romney when dingy Harry said Romney didn’t pay taxs. His proof, some guy told another guy.

          • It was always this bad and often much worse. If you read the old newspaper columns, letters from politicians, political cartoons depicting one’s political opponent as some sort of animal (a monkey or baboon usually), essays by readers (who were paid to write them by politicians), you’d see how bad it got. Among competing politicians, there were also fistfights, challenges to duels at sunrise, the kidnapping a politician’s child by an opponent in one case– it was often much worse than it is now.

            Part of the reason is the culture and political use of newspapers in the early days of the Nation. Not every political interest was pleased about our having won independence, separated from Great Britain. Not all supported the US Constitution. In the immediate post-Revolutionary period 1783 to 1820, there were about 300 newspapers being published in the country. Of those, 80 percent were bankrolled by various political parties and interests of the day. Articles were written by politicians or their associates, rarely written by the publisher, and there was no such thing as a “reporter”.

            Politicians used “their” newspaper to constantly attack, lie and otherwise demean members of the other party, especially around election time, obviously. Some of what was written would scorch the hair off your head, it was so over the top. Amazingly cruel and insulting stuff. Later on–post 1820 or so–as the country grew in population, and the cylinder and rotary press was invented creating much faster printing times–, publishers realized they could sell more papers to more people. To do that and to appeal to the new readers, they had to stop being so obviously partisan (in order to sell more papers and appeal to a wider range of political interests). Thus was invented the concept of the “objective journalist” who promised to be fair and, well, objective in his/her reporting. It was then, as it is now, a complete ruse meant to cause readers (and viewers, now) to think, “Well, that’s an awful thing to write about someone, but this newspaper says they are objective, so it must be true.” Biggest journalistic snow job ever pulled on the American people. And it’s still going on today.

          • Noma, I’ve seen the cane Senator Brooks used in that beat down, seems like it was in the Smithsonian, but not absolutely sure where. They had a display of Sumner’s office, I think his actual desk etc, and there was the cane. Pretty fancy cane, as I remember. ;+} Interesting event for sure.

    • Reid admitted he outright lied. Let’s not go thru that again–certainly not with Star here (no financial genius) trying to explain the tax code…Let’s see the returns. Sure, let’s see Hillary’s speeches–tho I doubt she told the bankers keep this on the downlow, I have your back…or anything like that. I have seen people here cite Obama’s earnings on his book etc–should he not have submitted any returns?

  5. Yes Marcus, looking back American politics has been mean and nasty.
    The political cartoons of Lincoln and those of Teddy Roosevelt come to mind right away. Heck I think over in England John Bull was portrayed in not so nice a manner.
    Nasty business I guess.

    • Yep. It’s a nasty business since the days of the Greek and Roman empire and way before that, no doubt. Part of the reason I suppose is that there’s a lot at stake for the politicians–power and money, mostly. Also, a lot of really nasty people (not all, obviously) are attracted to a career in politics. It satisfies an unhealthy and weak ego “I must really be a great person (not the schmuck I really think I am deep down) because all these people are voting for me”. It draws too many people who lack the basic virtues–truth telling, honesty, courage, diligence, forbearance, honor, general integrity, etc. I could go on.

      It seems like we, the citizenry, are simultaneously fed up with politics and yet interested in “what’s next in this clown rodeo”. That’s a weird and uncomfortable place to be and there’s probably a word for that state of mind some smart wordsmith can come up with.

      I think political campaigns, as we now experience them, ought to be limited to six months before the election. Period. Have your ads, the debates, the speeches, all of it, in a six month period. Leave us alone the rest of the time. These two and three year long campaigns are driving us all nuts.

      • A GRAND IDEA!
        2 and 3 year ccampaigns, getting beat on the head every day, no matter who’s side your on, day in, day out.
        But if one doesn’t keep track of events, you start to wander, I think.
        Marcus, I think that’s why I feel tired, not so much physically, but just crapped out from all this intensity, arguments, friends, family being divided over politics.
        I’m beginning to think, lay back dude, you’re wasting your time.
        Maybe I’ll stay out of the mix for awhile, we’ll see.

        • I understand completely. On my side of the family, we are all pretty much Republicans, conservatives, some libertarians. So we can talk politics– and we have some differences– without playing gotcha, or insulting one another’s integrity or intelligence, or making enemies of family members.

          On my wife’s side, it’s another story. They mostly are raving pro-Hillary or pro-Sanders enthusiasts. They seemed stunned, amazed, confused, and angry when we don’t agree with them completely or have a different opinion. On our side, there have been a mix of Trump, Cruz, Rubio, Fiorina, Bush, etc. supporters. That’s perfectly fine. We don’t get mad or insult one another over it. We all have our preferences. That’s why we have different flavors of ice cream. But trying to have a reasonable political discussion with a Hillary or Sanders supporter is like wrestling with a pig. The pig enjoys it, and you just get mud and dirt all over your clothes. ;+} But you’re right. You have to know when to hold em and when to fold em in these political discussions.

      • I agree Marcus, 6 months is about right.
        It has been said that about 30% of their time is spent on fund-raising.
        That tells me that there is an awful lot of people out there trying to buy influence.

        • There sure are. It’s influence peddling (think K Street) at its worst. And there are foreign influences–money from the Middle East (for Obama’s campaign, remember), and China (in Hillary’s campaign) and who knows who else. Bad way to elect a President.

          • Now he is trying to raise money, too…This never ends. And I concede politics has always been nasty and personal–but with the 24 hrs news cycle it is really different this time out… It is like being bludgeoned everyday.

  6. Question: The White House doesn’t have Obama’s Memorial Day schedule up. Nothing there. Does that mean The One will once more skip laying the wreath at Arlington and they don’t want to highlight that?
    https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog#

    This blog notes there will be a wreath laying at Arlington, but no mention of Obama or who will lay the wreath. Seems like if Obama was going to lay the wreath and honor the vets, the WH would blast it all over the news. Wouldn’t they? Probably trying to avoid the vets who fought the Japanese Empire and who are buried there. Wouldn’t want to upset his new friends in Japan.

    http://dc.about.com/od/hoildaysseasonalevents/a/MemorialDay.htm

    Oh, yes, he skipped the wreath laying in 2010. Too busy, you see. All those golf courses, so little time left.

    http://michellemalkin.com/2010/05/25/ap-obama-to-skip-arlington-memorial/