Monday, November 21, 2016

Green Day

I never really liked the punk-pop band Green Day very much, but I do admire them for breaking into their variation on the "No Trump! No KKK! No Racist USA!" chant during last night's American Music Awards.  Here's how it's done down in Atlanta:

I've been wanting to use this space to point out Trump's many failures and shortcomings as already evidenced during his brief tenure as the President-elect but there are just so many that it's hard to choose where to start, but let's begin with his Trump "University" fraud cases. 

First a little bit of history: back in 2012, the Florida Attorney General's office received at least 22 fraud complaints about Trump "University," and the Florida A.G., Pam Bondi, announced that her office was going to look into joining a class action lawsuit against Donald Trump for tax fraud.  But four days after the announcement, And Justice For All, a SuperPAC supporting Bondi's reelection campaign, received a $25,000 donation from the Donald J. Trump Foundation.  A day later, Pam Bondi announced Florida would not be joining the lawsuit after all.

In 2016, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a complaint with the IRS, alleging that the Trump donation was a violation of Federal Tax Law. The Trump Foundation responded by saying the donation was made in error -- despite the fact investigators discovered Bondi herself had solicited the donation personally, had endorsed Trump for President, and made repeated public claims that she and Trump had been friends "for many years." The state had no choice but look into the matter.

Last September, investigators concluded the donation had indeed violated laws regarding political contributions from nonprofits such as the Trump Foundation. Trump was forced to reimburse the Foundation from his own money and pay a penalty to the IRS in the form of an excise tax.

Then, as we now know all too well, Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States. He lost the popular vote, but won the Electoral vote.  There are 19 Electors from the State of Florida, and all are expected to cast their vote for Donald Trump.  Pam Bondi, as it happens, is one of those Electors.  On November 20th, Pam Bondi joined the Donald Trump Presidential Transition Team. 

So much for draining the swamp.

A bit dated, but still makes its point.
But meanwhile, up in New York, some plaintiffs claimed that they had each paid up to $35,000 in tuition to Trump "University" for very little in return, and New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman filed a complaint.  Although he said he would never settle, in the end Trump finally had to agree to pay $25 million to settle the suit.  Following news of the settlement, Schneiderman said, 
"I am pleased that under the terms of this settlement, every victim will receive restitution and that Donald Trump will pay up to $1 million in penalties to the State of New York for violating state education laws.  The victims of Trump University have waited years for today’s result, and I am pleased that their patience — and persistence — will be rewarded by this $25 million settlement.”
However, Forbes Magazine today pointed out that most business settlements are fully tax deductible. The only part that arguably may not be is the $1 million in penalties, although many penalties can be deducted, too.   Despite their punitive sounding names, some fines and penalties are considered remedial and therefore deductible, and companies often deduct "compensatory penalties."  So Trump may be able to use the full $25 million settlement as a tax deduction, and possibly continue to avoid paying any taxes at all.  But at least he didn't use a private e-mail server like "Crooked Hillary."

It's going to be so much fun impeaching this bastard for high crimes and misdemeanors during his first month in office.

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