ChrisWeigant.com

My Take On Trump's Tax Return

[ Posted Thursday, March 16th, 2017 – 17:48 PDT ]

This was a tough choice to make, for a Thursday column. After all, this was a fairly big week in punctuation news, which normally would be catnip for a pedant such as myself. Not only was the president's spokesman trying to use the old "it was in quotes" defense (or should that be the "it was 'in quotes'" defense?), but there was a recent court ruling which actually hinged on the "Oxford comma." The plaintiffs won because they (correctly) argued that absent the final comma in a list, the final two items have to be taken as a single item, at least legally (it hinged on the phrase "loading for transport or delivery" -- which is different than "loading for transport, or delivery"). As you can see, I could easily have gotten a fun (to me, at any rate) column out of those juicy grammatical items alone.

Instead, we turn to the scintillating world of tax returns. Rachel Maddow has gotten some heat for her usual pedantic opening to the scoop on her show, but the only ones really surprised by it seem to be people who have never watched Rachel Maddow ever before. Putting that aside, I thought it'd be fun to go through Trump's 2005 tax return item by item. If that sounds to you like a less exciting prospect than watching paint dry, well then I'd have to advise you to stop reading right this very minute and go do something more interesting (hint: there are lots of very funny cat videos on the internet, for your endless enjoyment). Plus, this is going to be a fairly long article, even for me. You have been duly warned.

OK, who's still with me? Ready? Then let's dive in. I should mention that the actual origin of the scoop was DCReport.org, who has PDF versions of the Trump's Form 1040 available for viewing and download, if you want to play along at home. I should also warn everyone that I am by no means any sort of tax expert (nor do I play one on the web), but I have seen a tax form or two over my own long experience of filling out taxes. So this is all either from personal experience or sheer speculation.

The big problem with attempting any sort of analysis of Trump's tax form is that we only have Form 1040, which is really nothing more than where you add up the numbers from all the other (more-detailed) forms and schedules you fill out. It's a summary, at best -- the real meat of several issues (i.e.: "How much foreign involvement do Trump's businesses have?", "How much does he donate to charity?", etc.) cannot be determined from just Form 1040 alone.

There are a few interesting tidbits that do appear on Form 1040 and nowhere else, though, such as the interesting split between Donald and Melanija (that's how it's spelled on the form) over donating three bucks to the presidential election campaign fund (he did, she didn't). Humor aside, though, let's take a look at the real numbers on Trump's taxes.

 

Income

Donald Trump made a cool million bucks in wages. This is money you get from a paycheck, as an employee. He likely pays this to himself as a cost of doing business, or maybe it was from a salary from his television show (When did The Apprentice begin? I have no real idea, and am too lazy to look it up). But once you get to a certain point up the income scale, wages become one of the smallest portions of your income, because it's a lot easier to write stuff off from other types of income. This is why many corporate bigwigs make a big public show out of getting paid "one dollar per year in income" -- because they're still comfortably making millions off things like stock options. In Trump's case, he could have worked the deal for his television show so that the money came to him as royalties rather than wages. But I digress.

Trump, like many tycoons, makes much more money in other ways, as you can see on Line 8a, which is interest income. This is usually what people make on bank deposits, although I'm sure there are other creative ways to earn interest when you've got a pile of money to do it with. Trump clocks in at $9.5 million in interest. Now, an enterprising accountant might be able to roughly figure how much Trump had in the bank during 2005, by reverse-engineering that figure (figure the prevailing interest rate, then work backwards to find the deposit amount, in other words), but we'll leave that as an exercise for the types of people who have calculators which do this sort of thing on a regular basis (which, I have to say, mine doesn't).

Trump doesn't seem to own much stock, as Line 9a is fairly small (for his level of income), at only $314,000 in dividends. What's really tiny in proportion to his income is how small an amount Trump has in tax-exempt interest and dividends, though. I guess Trump doesn't have a whole lot of need for a 401K plan, in other words. Only $50,000 of almost $10 million in interest and dividends was tax-free.

Trump didn't have to adjust for his state income taxes, which is kind of curious, but we'd have to see "STMT 2" and "STMT 4" to find out why. Likewise "STMT 6" for the line about alimony.

But now we get to the real meat of Trump's income. So far, he's only made roughly $11 million through wages, interest, and dividends. But he made a whopping $42 million as a self-employed business (one assumes). Line 12 comes from Schedule C, which is the form self-employed people use to figure their profit (or loss). Note that: profit -- not income. When you are a business, the tax code starts working for you instead of against you in many ways, one of which is taking all the money you make on your own and then subtracting everything that is a valid "business expense." Whatever's left over is what is taxed -- again, the profit the business makes, not the income it generates. The categories of business expenses are wide and varied. The first time I ever filled out this form (I was 19 years old and an independent contractor for Apple Computers, so it was quite a while ago), I remember the instruction booklet used, as an example, how to write off a Super Bowl luxury box as a business expense. That was just their example, so you can easily see what else you can lump into this category. So while Trump made $42 million in profit, he easily could have made tens (or even hundreds) of millions more and then written them off.

Line 13 comes from Schedule D, which figures capital gains and losses. This is how rich people make money, for the most part, as opposed to peons. Making a killing on the stock market is "capital gains," not "income." Selling a big, beautiful building (with or without your name out front in gold letters) is also capital gains. Even getting in a cash-flow pinch and having to sell off valuable artwork (oh, the shame!) is capital gains, if you make a profit on it.

The biggest key to the disparity in our tax code -- the main reason why the income and wealth gap is getting wider and wider, in other words -- is the simple fact that, in the United States, capital gains are taxed at a much lower rate than income. This is not true in every country, I should add. Want to know how the rich screw the poor into paying twice the tax rate they do? It's right there for all to see. The "Warren Buffet problem" between a tycoon's tax rate and his secretary's? There it is. Schedule D.

Now, a real estate developer is going to make money from selling buildings, one assumes. But there's another big giveaway for landlords buried even deeper. The concept of "depreciation" means that -- unlike anything average people own, like a car or their own house -- when you own a building and rent it out, you are essentially allowed to claim it is worth less and less over time. Eventually (after 15 years or even 30), the property is worth nothing. What this does is convert a whole lot of rent (which would normally be straight income) into capital gains, over time, until the entire purchase price has been written off as a loss against rental income (it does later have to be claimed as a capital gain, but remember you pay a much lower tax rate for that).

Of course, all of this isn't totally obvious on Form 1040. They do try to make it as obscure as possible, in case the general public ever really caught on to the scam. More on that in a bit, when we get to how taxes are figured. For now, capital gains are totted up on Schedule D and entered as income.

Line 17 is where landlords report their earnings, as well as things like royalties (which Trump surely must charge for the use of his last name on various different products). Schedule E also adds up money from partnerships (of which I hear Trump has a few) and other entities like trusts. Not surprisingly, this is the largest category of income for Trump -- an impressive $67 million.

Line 21 is also an intriguing one, because we'd have to see "STATEMENT 1" to find out what it's all about. Trump writes off $103 million, which is about two-thirds of his overall income of $153 million. Think about that for a second. Two-thirds of the income Trump had to claim on his taxes was made to legally disappear, on a line marked "Other income."

This is where the Trump tax return that was leaked during the campaign (from back in the 1990s) comes into play, it is assumed, because Trump is probably using a tax dodge that very few average Americans even know about. If you have one spectacularly bad year, as a rich person, you are allowed to lessen your income taxes for the next twenty years. No, really. Say you make $50 million in income in one year, but you also have $750 million in losses (say, your casinos go bankrupt). Well, you can write off your entire income for that year, but it still leaves you with an extra $700 million in loss. Since you've written off your entire income, you won't be paying any taxes that year. But you can also "carry forward" the rest of that loss for up to two decades, and apply little pieces of it to any income you make in subsequent years. So Trump could still be writing off losses in 2005 that he incurred in the late 1980s. No matter when these losses actually happened, he still was carrying $100 million of them forward in 2005. Again, most Americans simply have no concept that things like this exist in the tax system, as written.

 

Adjustments

Line 27 was created by Congress a while back to address a real inequality in the tax code. It didn't fully do so, but at least it helps. If you are self-employed, then you have to make your own "payroll deductions" as your business pays you what is essentially a salary. This means you have to pay your own Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid taxes. When you are paid as an employee (something few are even aware of), you pay only half of these taxes from each paycheck, because your employer also matches this amount. When you are self-employed, you pay the full amount. This is somewhere (haven't checked the exact figures recently, these may be a tiny bit high) around 6.5 percent for the employee, 6.5 percent for the business, or the full 13 percent for self-employed people. Because wage-earners never even see this tax (the employer's half of it) even on their paycheck, many find this a big surprise when doing their first taxes as a self-employed business. But because you pay double the amount of wage-earners, you get to write off half of it against your income. Trump paid $1.9 million in self-employment taxes, so he wrote off half, or just under a million.

Trump filled out a Schedule A -- the most common schedule that average taxpayers are familiar with -- to itemize his deductions on Line 40. He wrote off $17 million in deductions, which (for his total earnings) isn't all that remarkable. Journalists would really like to see a Trump Schedule A, because this is where charitable giving is listed (how miserly is he?). Since we don't have the form, though, all we know is he gave from zero to $17 million in charity -- but this form also has things on it like property taxes and state taxes and mortgage interest paid, so Trump's charitable donations are probably nowhere near the full $17 million. Proportional to his total earnings, $17 million isn't that much; but proportional to what he's paying taxes on, Trump has written off 36 percent of his adjusted gross income here. That's more than a third of what's left after he already wrote off two-thirds of it on line 21.

One of the two bits of fairness on Trump's tax form is that he made too much money to claim any exemptions on line 42. This meant he had to pay taxes on $6,400 more in income (since he's married), which would be a substantial amount for most American families to bear -- but for Trump it's more like a rounding error.

 

Taxes

Line 44 is pretty straightforward for most people. You look at the total taxable income on Line 43, then you get out the tax tables and find the correct line and column, and there is the total amount of income tax you should have paid. If you make more money, you figure the same amounts (using the same rates) on a worksheet. Pretty simple.

For people with capital gains, though, you take a special detour, lined with velvet ropes. What basically happens is you separate your income into capital gains and everything else. You then use the "everything else" figure and look up this portion of your taxes in the tax tables. But all your capital gains are treated completely separately, meaning even if you made a million bucks in other income, the first $74,900 you made in capital gains are completely tax-free (at the zero percent rate, in other words). The top tax rate for capital gains is a political football that changes over time (and depending on which party is in charge of Congress), and has been as low as 15 percent, at times (while income taxes go above 39 percent for the top bracket). Currently, the top tax rate for capital gains is only 20 percent -- less than half the highest income tax rates.

This is largely hidden from view. There is no line on Form 1040 for "capital gains tax" -- because that might make people wonder, I suppose. Easier to shuffle it off to the "Qualified Dividends and Capital Gains Worksheet," which doesn't even need to be filed with the I.R.S. This is why if you attempted to figure Trump's taxes by just calculating it the way the tax tables do, you'd get a different figure. Trump has $31.5 million taxable income, but paid only $5.3 million in taxes on it. You have to figure the capital gains in to come up with that figure, otherwise it'd be a lot higher.

Line 45 is the second (and much more important) bit of fairness in the tax code. Today, you often hear stories of gigantic corporations paying exactly zero taxes, even though everyone can see how successful and prosperous they are. Many decades ago, this was also the case for people like Donald Trump, who could get away with paying next to nothing (or even absolutely nothing) in taxes on their incomes. Trump, after all, up to line 44, would have paid $5.3 million on revenue totaling $153 million -- a tax rate of less than 3.5 percent. Thankfully, to solve this problem, the "Alternative Minimum Tax" was created, for the Trumps (and the Romneys, for that matter) of the world. Trump is hit with an extra $31 million in tax, because he has written off too much, in essence. Trump, not surprisingly, is in favor of completely getting rid of the Alternative Minimum Tax.

There are a few other footnotes to Trump's taxes. He made some foreign income and paid some foreign income taxes, so he had to fill out the devilishly-hard Form 1116, where he claimed a relative pittance of $24,000 as a foreign tax credit. While this was subtracted, the full $1.9 million in self-employment taxes was added in to Trump's tax bill.

Trump filed for an extension in 2005, which isn't all that unusual, especially if your taxes are fairly complicated. This used to automatically give you until August 15 to file your taxes, just for filling out a single form saying: "I'm going to be late this year." It now is even more generous on the calendar, giving people until October 15 to file. But, importantly, while you have an extension of time to file, you don't get an extension of time to pay anything you owe. When the extension was requested, Trump sent in a check for $22.4 million. This got him fairly close to the final total (relatively, of course), and he only wound up owing $2 million out of his total tax bill of $38 million -- so he was off by less than ten percent.

But because he was months late in paying the last $2 million, you can tell at the very bottom -- in an addition made to his form by his accountant -- that he owed $88,000 in interest and $68,000 in penalties for 2005. Again, to any average American that's a whopping amount to pay the I.R.S., but for Trump it's a fairly small amount.

So that's my take on Trump's taxes. No real insights that other, more experienced people haven't already pointed out, but just wanted to write down my own reactions from reading over Trump's Form 1040. Because unless you've ever had to file some of these schedules and forms, you may have had no idea what most of the numbers on Trump's form even refer to. While I'm definitely not good enough to interpret Trump's taxes as whole, and while there are still enormous questions about Trump's business dealings (that only a full copy of his taxes would answer), at least I thought I'd share my own reactions to Trump's 2005 taxes. Hope it wasn't too mind-numbingly boring, but then again the subject was tax forms. I can tell you're now thinking that a column ranting about the Oxford comma wouldn't have been so bad, would it?

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

97 Comments on “My Take On Trump's Tax Return”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I can tell you're now thinking that a column ranting about the Oxford comma wouldn't have been so bad, would it?

    That's EXACTLY what I was thinking. Heh.

    Besides, I could always use a few tips on when not to use commas, when to use them and, when there are just too many of them ... fodder for another column!

  2. [2] 
    John From Censornati wrote:
  3. [3] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    JFC,

    You actually read it!?

    :-)

  4. [4] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  5. [5] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Your column would have been much better. :(

    I'll keep looking forward to it!

  6. [6] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    Hey Alto -

    I left a comment on what we were talking about the other day a couple of columns back...

  7. [7] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Why are you commenting on old columns?

  8. [8] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    LizM [3],

    Yes. Why?

  9. [9] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Because, it came with a warning ...

    I thought it'd be fun to go through Trump's 2005 tax return item by item. If that sounds to you like a less exciting prospect than watching paint dry, well then I'd have to advise you to stop reading right this very minute and go do something more interesting (hint: there are lots of very funny cat videos on the internet, for your endless enjoyment). Plus, this is going to be a fairly long article, even for me. You have been duly warned.

    That was enough for me. :)

  10. [10] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW: Donald Trump made a cool million bucks in wages. This is money you get from a paycheck, as an employee. He likely pays this to himself as a cost of doing business, or maybe it was from a salary from his television show (When did The Apprentice begin? I have no real idea, and am too lazy to look it up).

    I looked it up; the Apprentice first aired in January 2004, which would have been filmed in 2003. By 2005, they were most likely filming at least Season 3.

    On Trump's election financial disclosure form in 2015, he disclosed that he was paid $213+ million over 14 seasons.

    NBC/Universal renewed, at the upfronts this year, The Apprentice (for a 15th season), but Mr. Trump decided to turn them down in order to run for President of the United States. NBC was not happy. During the 14 seasons of The Apprentice, Mr. Trump was paid $213,606,575.

    This averages out to $15+ million per season. Obviously, he probably received variable amounts throughout the years, but it seems like he's either lying on the tax return or on the financial disclosure.

    Also, on a disclosure filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission by Trump Entertainment Resorts, Inc., Trump's compensation in 2005 was reported to the SEC as $2.2 million... $2,257,464 to be exact.

    https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/943320/000119312506061808/ddef14a.htm

    Even ignoring his salary from NBC, here are two widely different numbers being reported to the government as Trump's salary in 2005.

    So Trump is lying somewhere. Go figure!

  11. [11] 
    neilm wrote:

    Riveting. Would love to see Schedule D and for fun, Schedule A. Plus a few forms.

    Thanks CW.

  12. [12] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    LizM [9] -

    Hopefully, email between us has been restored, just as an aside...

    :-)

    As for the cat videos paragraph, you know I like to warn people up front of these sorts of columns. First-time readers may think this sort of thing is a light-hearted joke, but regulars will already know how serious I am about such warnings.

    So everyone, take heed! Those preliminary warnings mean exactly what they state! That's why they're there!

    :-)

    Kick -

    Yeah, but isn't he "Executive Producer" on the show as well? Don't know if he's always had that credit, but isn't what that usually means (and I don't know much about Hollywood, I'll admit) "guy who fronted the development money, and reaps the fattest profits if the show does well"? If so, Trump likely set up some sort of production company that he controlled, so the Apprentice money could have come in through Schedule E or even C. I think. There's all sorts of ways to turn "compensation" into "not actually a paid salary or wage." That's what CPAs are for, right?

    neilm [11] -

    I think I'd most like to see an itemized list of which banks he pays mortgage interest (or other loan interest) to... see if any of them are located in Moscow, for instance...

    Also, his Schedule C. That'd really be informative.

    Anyway, glad to see at least a few people wanted to wallow in the wonky details with me! Even if I may not know precisely what I'm talking about (but then that's nothing new, really...).

    :-)

    -CW

  13. [13] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Hopefully, email between us has been restored, just as an aside...

    That makes me very happy. :)

  14. [14] 
    TheStig wrote:

    A minor aside, but back in grade school I was taught NOT to use the Oxford comma. In terms of ambiguity I don't see a clear advantage to either option, but it seems I was assigned to the losing team.

    CW: This column was a heavy lift, but worth the effort.

    Alternative titles for the business tax code?

    Heads I Win, Tails I Win Even More

    or

    Fifty Million Shades of Grey

    If Trump leaked this document, it was probably a mistake. Real estate tax codes are like vampires, they don't do well in sun light. Nobody really knows what's legal, but what's fair is much clearer in the mind of the beholder.

  15. [15] 
    TheStig wrote:

    It's not just Fed Taxes. The Trump family has been putting their big thumbs on The NYC Tax code for decades.

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/10/trump-files-how-donald-screwed-over-new-york-city-his-tax-bill

    The above link to Mother Jones contains literally dozens of Trump Family related articles. All nicely sourced.

  16. [16] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @CW,

    just because you didn't write about the oxford comma yesterday doesn't mean you can't do it today. the story's still fresh after all.

    JL

  17. [17] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    RE: the oxford comma case

    there are so many exceptions to overtime rules now, they might as well just post those few remaining examples where people still CAN get paid overtime. the oxford comma interpretation was a neat legal trick, but the law was probably intended to exclude shipping and distribution as well as packing. fortunate for the dairy truck drivers that the lawmakers didn't proof the law for ambiguity.

    JL

  18. [18] 
    John M wrote:

    Elizabeth wrote:

    "You actually read it!?"

    I read it too Liz, and it made me realize just how unfair our tax code is here in the USA, since what I got from Chris's post was that I think that capital gains should be taxed at least at the same rate as income, if not in fact at an even higher rate, if we are ever going to solve the growing problem of the inequality gap between the rich and everybody else.

  19. [19] 
    altohone wrote:

    goode trickle
    delayed response to comment 70 "Everyone will be covered"

    Thanks for the heads up about your response... can you include the column name next time or just bring it forward?

    I think there are a couple of different videos of the incident.

    The one I saw showed the cop chasing the guy until he got down on his knees to surrender.
    When the cop got to him, instead of ordering him to lie face down and put his hands behind his back, the cop tackled him and started beating him immediately.

    That's the part I was taking issue with, and I'm not sure if what happened earlier is relevant. Playing keep away with the cop may have pissed him off, but still doesn't justify the beating.

    Again, I'm not sure how the guys previous record and neighborhood justifies the beating.
    The recent survey of police that Listen and I were debating about a month ago showed that a majority of police believe different tactics need to be used in different neighborhoods, and I disagree with the idea.

    A two tiered system for appropriate behavior by police can't serve justice equally.

    As for the onlookers moving closer for a better look, it may be foolish, but it's common, and even the article questioned the cop pointing his gun and cursing at them.

    As for your neighborhood, I'm glad you are seeing progress.
    The quote made it seem like you were responsible for there being a new police chief... but your story is a good one... not good that your actions were necessary mind you.

    Actually, you're lucky.
    A mail carrier I know has a meth house behind her property, and the sheriff allows it to operate because the guy is an informant for them. His customers cut through her property as a short cut, and the sheriff won't do anything.

    A

  20. [20] 
    altohone wrote:

    Hey CW

    There was an article yesterday on HP about Dems being willing to work with the Repubs on fixing Obamacare if they gave up on repealing it and sabotaging it.

    It's gone already so I can't link to it without digging, and I don't feel like digging. Maybe you saw it.

    But the problem the Dem mentioned (I think it was Patti Murray) was with the individual insurance market, and that leaves some of the other issues mentioned in the medical bankruptcy articles I linked to for you unaddressed.

    If Trumpcare crumbles away into nothing, Dems should be ready to offer solutions for all the problems in Obamacare... after a couple of months or whatever.

    The only "fix" for some of the problems is Single Payer, so I'm talking about the list that can be addressed.

    A

  21. [21] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    John,

    I'm sure it was a very informative piece.

    But, I take CW warnings very, very seriously. And, literally. :)

  22. [22] 
    Paula wrote:

    http://www.playboy.com/articles/life-in-a-purple-state

    Headline: Abandoned by Both Sides, a Secret Society of Trump Regretters Begins to Build

    Article is about a closed Facebook Group started by a Trump-regretter, as safe space where other "regretters" can share without getting beaten up by angry Trumpers or angry un-Trumpers like me.

    I'm glad some people are getting there.

  23. [23] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @CW,

    no ftp?

    JL

  24. [24] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    Alto-

    The one I saw showed the cop chasing the guy until he got down on his knees to surrender.
    When the cop got to him, instead of ordering him to lie face down and put his hands behind his back, the cop tackled him and started beating him immediately.

    It speaks somewhat to my point that I had previously made. The video does not show what happened previously. The incident started across the street and eyewitness statements indicate the individual refused to comply with the officers and also shoved the officer to the ground and decided to run. The gas station seen in the background of the video is where the incident started.

    That's the part I was taking issue with, and I'm not sure if what happened earlier is relevant. Playing keep away with the cop may have pissed him off, but still doesn't justify the beating.

    Again, I'm not sure how the guys previous record and neighborhood justifies the beating.

    Taking issue with the beating is something that we we should all do, but at the same token it is also incumbent upon all of us to also look at the facts and if there are insufficient facts hold our temper until the facts come to light. Conversely it also requires us to hold the department to the fire to get the facts out in public in a timely manner and transparent fashion that allow for healthy public discourse.

    A two tiered system for appropriate behavior by police can't serve justice equally.

    Agreed...

    As for the onlookers moving closer for a better look, it may be foolish, but it's common, and even the article questioned the cop pointing his gun and cursing at them.

    This is where the evaluation of the area comes into play. Again, the residential area is plagued by crime but not as much from those that live there but rather from the commercial area where this incident took place and the park across the street.

    While the officer arguably did not handle the situation of the onlookers well, we also do not know who was approaching and what was being said. I can't say for certain that if I had a person who was not yet in custody, who shoved me to the ground and started running which could be indicative of a weapon ( prior convictions and arrests factor in on this) and had people closing in on me that also could be armed ( afterall there is a high rate of crimes with weapons in the area.) I would not have reacted the same.

    Environment is a factor in almost every case, fortunately in this one it did not end up contributing to a worse outcome.

    As for your neighborhood, I'm glad you are seeing progress.
    The quote made it seem like you were responsible for there being a new police chief... but your story is a good one... not good that your actions were necessary mind you.

    My situation was just a contributor at the right time. Since the new chief has come in things seem to be heading in the right direction. Use of force is being investigated now, discipline handed out when appropriate, and the department in being much more transparent and interactive with the community not just for situations like this, but also in educating the citizens about what they can do to combat crime and partner better with the police.

    It is this new direction that has me supporting the PD in this circumstance. Now if it had been handled like the Romero shooting I would have a rather different opinion.

    A mail carrier I know has a meth house behind her property, and the sheriff allows it to operate because the guy is an informant for them. His customers cut through her property as a short cut, and the sheriff won't do anything.

    Your mail carrier friend should ask her route carrier if she is aware of any mail thefts. One of the related meth houses to the ones I was dealing with, it was kind of like an offsite liquor store for meth, had some of their fine clientele stealing mail...We formed a neighborhood watch group and purchased "ring" doorbells and hunting cameras to capture video evidence that we then turned over to the Mail Police. During the course of the investigation of course the drug activity was discovered so it was referred to the local DEA task force and as a result the local cabal that had been protecting them was over ruled and the house was taken out.

    All I can say is it takes time, lots of time and document, document, document the hell of the situation. a well organized group in the neighborhood can band together to take back what is rightfully theirs...a neighborhood that everyone can enjoy in peace and quiet.

  25. [25] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Joshua [23]

    What day is it today!?

    :-)

  26. [26] 
    neilm wrote:

    I'll bet Steven Miller was give the "1600 Daily" editor-in-chief role and somebody pranked him (probably Spicer):

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/03/white-house-links-washington-post-satire-236177

    The complete incompetence would be funny if these clowns weren't actually in 1600 Penn.

  27. [27] 
    altohone wrote:

    goode trickle
    24

    "Taking issue with the beating is something that we we should all do"

    A simple statement that requires pulling teeth sometimes.
    I appreciate it.

    "if there are insufficient facts hold our temper until the facts come to light."

    Not sure an online discussion is akin to losing your temper, but it should be noted that the argument you are making there is boilerplate, trotted out every time something like this happens.

    "A two tiered system for appropriate behavior by police can't serve justice equally.

    Agreed..."

    And yet, our society does indeed tolerate exactly that.
    I am pleased you agree with me.

    "While the officer arguably did not handle the situation of the onlookers well"

    But we'll give him the benefit of the doubt about the rest...

    Sorry.
    It had to be said.
    You didn't deserve it... that was for me.

    I will relay your advice to my friend.

    A

  28. [28] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    Alto-

    You should also have your friend look at this avenue as well. Specifically the Civil Abatement section.

    http://criminology.oxfordre.com/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780190264079.001.0001/acrefore-9780190264079-e-7

    If the house in question is a rental property this is another effective avenue for causing the removal of the problem.

    If the neighborhood is organized and documents every problem at the property, meth houses are like a cancer and seldom is one person effected in the area, and starts to file code complaints for various activities and or code violations they can file law suits in small claims court against the landlord which will have the cumulative effect of either causing the person to be evicted or the property sold ... in either case the people will be gone.

    It does require good coordination for filing the suits so that they are all filed on the same day with w request to be heard in the same court....

    The end result is well worth it...

  29. [29] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    Now to the subject at hand...

    After digesting this bit of tax wonkery... It occurs to me that the release of trumps complete tax returns will probably not show any of his foreign loans or payments from foreign powers as those would process through his TrumpCo filings, which are not required to be made public.

    So at the end of the day, this release and any future releases may have done nothing but given his loyalists the fodder of saying "see he has no foreign ties".

    At the end of the day my little lizard brain leads me to believe that this is just a test balloon floated by Trump to see what the reaction would be to better help him formulate a plan to control how to distract from the facts at hand regarding his business interests.

    Or, Am I completely off base here?...

  30. [30] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    GT,

    Trump is not required by law to release anything related to his taxes or TrumpCo filings or anything.

    That, of course, is not the point.

    As for Trump's distraction prowess ... he doesn't need any help with that.

    Wait until he must handle a real international crisis. Unfortunately, waiting until then to truncate this presidency will probably be too late.

  31. [31] 
    altohone wrote:

    goode trickle
    28

    Unfortunately, not only does the meth dealer own the house, business has been good enough that he bought the house next door too.

    We live in a semi-rural area.
    Going back to something you wrote earlier, gun shots are common here too... but because target practice in your back yard is legal.

    A

  32. [32] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    What happened to Friday? I feel like I've been stuck on Thursday for three days...

  33. [33] 
    dsws wrote:

    But because you pay double the amount of wage-earners, you get to write off half of it against your income.

    It's not about how much you pay. It's about how it would have been taxed if the business hadn't been in your name. If you're getting $100 in wages, $6.50 of it goes bye-bye in payroll tax. But your income is $100, and that's what you get charged income tax on. You don't get taxed on the $6.50 that was taken out before the money reached you. For every $93.50 you get, the government gets $13 in payroll tax plus whatever the income tax is on $100 -- not the income tax on $93.50 or on $106.50.

    That last sentence stays the same when you're self-employed: for every $93.50 of pre-tax income you get by paying yourself wages, the government gets $13 in payroll tax plus whatever the income tax is on $100.

    --

    Some other commentator, in the course of saying that the tax form doesn't tell us much, said that Trump "isn't secretly broke". I don't think we can tell. If he secretly owes ten billion dollars to the Russian mafia, via some complicated paperwork to make it look legal, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't show up on a 1040.

  34. [34] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    The Orange One is holding one of his Klan rallies here in town tomorrow evening. I would like to go and report on my experience, but I'm feeling intimidated and oppressed by the threat of Trumpthug violence. Their Dear Leader has made his contempt for disabled people known to them as well as his hatred for people who report the facts about his shows.

  35. [35] 
    michale wrote:

    Key Democratic Officials Now Warning Base Not to Expect Evidence of Trump/Russia Collusion

    Key Democratic officials are clearly worried about the expectations that have been purposely stoked and are now trying to tamp them down. Many of them have tried to signal that the beliefs the base has been led to adopt have no basis in reason or evidence.

    The latest official to throw cold water on the MSNBC-led circus is President Obama’s former acting CIA chief Michael Morell. What makes him particularly notable in this context is that Morell was one of Clinton’s most vocal CIA surrogates. In August, he not only endorsed Clinton in the pages of the New York Times but also became the first high official to explicitly accuse Trump of disloyalty, claiming, “In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.”

    But on Wednesday night, Morell appeared at an intelligence community forum to “cast doubt” on “allegations that members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.” “On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians here, there is smoke, but there is no fire at all,” he said, adding, “There’s no little campfire, there’s no little candle, there’s no spark. And there’s a lot of people looking for it.”

    Obama’s former CIA chief also cast serious doubt on the credibility of the infamous, explosive “dossier” originally published by BuzzFeed, saying that its author, Christopher Steele, paid intermediaries to talk to the sources for it. The dossier, he said, “doesn’t take you anywhere, I don’t think.”

    Morell’s comments echo the categorical remarks by Obama’s top national security official, James Clapper, who told Meet the Press last week that during the time he was Obama’s DNI, he saw no evidence to support claims of a Trump/Russia conspiracy. “We had no evidence of such collusion,” Clapper stated unequivocally. Unlike Morell, who left his official CIA position in 2013 but remains very integrated into the intelligence community, Clapper was Obama’s DNI until just seven weeks ago, leaving on January 20.

    Perhaps most revealing of all are the Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee — charged with investigating these matters — who recently told BuzzFeed how petrified they are of what the Democratic base will do if they do not find evidence of collusion, as they now suspect will likely be the case. “There’s a tangible frustration over what one official called ‘wildly inflated’ expectations surrounding the panel’s fledgling investigation,” BuzzFeed’s Ali Watkins wrote.
    https://theintercept.com/2017/03/16/key-democratic-officials-now-warning-base-not-to-expect-evidence-of-trumprussia-collusion/

    BBBWWWWAHHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA

    Who would have thunked that ALL the accusations of Russia/Trump connection would be overblown total and unequivocal bullshit...

    Who could have POSSIBLY called that!??

    Oh... Wait.. :D

  36. [36] 
    michale wrote:

    Key Democratic Officials Now Warning Base Not to Expect Evidence of Trump/Russia Collusion

    In other words.....

    "The accusations that there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia were total and complete bullshit designed to appease our rabid base..
    So, please.. Don't expect us to actually come up with any FACTS to support our bullshit claims..
    Thank you."

    -The Democrat Party

  37. [37] 
    michale wrote:

    TOP ECONOMIES YIELD TO US, DROP NO-PROTECTIONISM PLEDGE
    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_G20_GLOBAL_ECONOMY?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2017-03-18-14-53-34

    Only Nixon could go to China
    -Old Vulcan Proverb

    Only Trump could reign in the world's top economies and push them to accept the America First agenda... :D

  38. [38] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    OK, am I the only one who is a little worried by the lack of a posting from CW??? Hope everything is OK with him and his family.

    -Russ

  39. [39] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    The recent survey of police that Listen and I were debating about a month ago showed that a majority of police believe different tactics need to be used in different neighborhoods, and I disagree with the idea.

    A two tiered system for appropriate behavior by police can't serve justice equally.

    There is a neighborhood in our town that requires at least two officers to be sent to any calls dispatched there. Why? Because there are two people who live on the same street that have made threats against the police and have a history of violence. The situation requires that the police use different tactics for this neighborhood than what they use with the others.

    I don't know why you think that it is inappropriate for the police to plan out extra measures for areas that require them frequently, but this is how the police help keep the public safer.

    At the Devon's previous police department, language line had to be called anytime they were dispatched to one Russian neighborhood where virtually no one spoke English. Language line is used by law enforcement and 911 dispatchers to provide 24Hour translation of close to 50 different languages. Again, this meant things were done differently for this neighborhood than for others, but you think that this shouldn't be done! You interpreted the officers response to the survey as being an excuse to use more force, but as I have shown you that doesn't necessarily jive with reality.

  40. [40] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Russ,

    Last I heard, he was about to start celebrating St Patrick's Day ... and, now, I'm hoping everything is alright, too ...

  41. [41] 
    Kick wrote:

    A01 [20]

    There was an article yesterday on HP about Dems being willing to work with the Repubs on fixing Obamacare if they gave up on repealing it and sabotaging it.

    It's gone already so I can't link to it without digging, and I don't feel like digging. Maybe you saw it.

    Hey, Punk; I think this is the article you're talking about to CW:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/dems-trump-obamacare_us_58cb1bcfe4b00705db4dd7f3

    LWYH [38]

    OK, am I the only one who is a little worried by the lack of a posting from CW??? Hope everything is OK with him and his family.

    Sure hope CW is okay too. :)

  42. [42] 
    neilm wrote:

    Yup, 45 is so useless it didn't take him 100 days to become the first President since WW2 to lose the title of "Leader of the Free World".

    And, as I predicted, Angela Merkel took the title away from him:

    http://welcomebacktopottersville.blogspot.com/2017/03/yes-angela-we-all-feel-that-way.html

  43. [43] 
    michale wrote:

    And, as I predicted, Angela Merkel took the title away from him:

    According to who???

    Some Left Whinery rag???

    Nothing more than wishful thinking... Just like EVERYTHING is about President Trump around here.. :D

    I too, am getting concerned about CW....

  44. [44] 
    michale wrote:

    Yup, 45 is so useless it didn't take him 100 days to become the first President since WW2 to lose the title of "Leader of the Free World".

    But Neil.. Let's talk about how the Left Whinery has absolutely NO FACTS to support the incessant bullshit that Team Trump was in collusion with the Russians... :D

    Shirley, that is a much more interesting topic, eh??

    Being that ya'all have always claimed to be about FACTS and whatnot, eh?? :D

    But regardless.. No matter how much you want to deny it, the simple fact is, President Trump is the leader of the free world..

    He proved that at the latest G20 summit..

    These are the facts.. Deal with it...

  45. [45] 
    michale wrote:

    I don't know why you think that it is inappropriate for the police to plan out extra measures for areas that require them frequently, but this is how the police help keep the public safer.

    It shows complete and unequivocal ignorance of police procedures and tactics that someone would think that police must respond to every location in the exact same manner...

    When I was an USAF cop and we responded to loud noise complaints, if it was at the 702 barracks, one unit was enough.. When it was at the Marine Corps barracks, a dozen units MIGHT be sufficient.. :D

    Let me be clear. I am not belittling ignorance...

    "There is no dishonor in not knowing everything"
    -Subcommander T'al

    But to come to conclusions based on ignorance??

    Well, those conclusions just can't help but be totally and completely wrong...

    I wish that every anti-cop Lefty would get out of their cocoon and take a ride-along with an inner city patrol..

    It would be an eye-opener of colossal proportions...

  46. [46] 
    michale wrote:

    So, let's look ahead to the future..

    What do ya'all think the Democrat response to the GORSUCH hearing will be??

    The way I see it, the Dems have 2 choices..

    1. They can go all out and fight, prompting McConnell to nuke the filibuster completely...

    2. They can meekly accept Gorsuch and keep their powder dry for the next nominee...

    If the Democrats do 2, their base will crucify them and many Democrats will likely get primaried by un-electable Left Whinery zealots, thereby likely assuring a GOP Super Majority in the Senate....

    If the Democrats do 1, then they lose all chance of opposing 1, possibly 2 more nominees from President Trump, thereby assuring a total conservative SCOTUS for the rest of our lives...

    Not a pretty position the Democrats have maneuvered themselves into, eh? :D

    Which way do ya'all think the Dems will swing??

  47. [47] 
    michale wrote:

    Since we're talking about police actions..

    Standing by my opinion that ‘Hands up, don’t shoot’ was built on a lie
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2017/03/16/standing-by-my-opinion-that-hands-up-dont-shoot-was-built-on-a-lie/?utm_term=.4604a3df9ddd

    It's funny... Lies seems to be the topic dejour so often..

    But no one wants to talk about Left Whinery lies...

    "Gee! I wonder why that is!!!"
    -Kevin Spacey, THE NEGOTIATOR

  48. [48] 
    michale wrote:

    Democrats: Don't Use Republican Playbook on Gorsuch
    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-03-19/democrats-don-t-use-republican-playbook-on-gorsuch

    While this article is about the Gorsuch nomination, it also goes into detail about how the Democrats are adopting the GOP's PARTY OF NO mantra...

    It would be a big mistake for the Democrats to think they could use the GOP playbook and obtain the same results as the GOP...

    But making BIG MISTAKES is what the Democrat Party is all about these days...

  49. [49] 
    michale wrote:

    But no one wants to talk about Left Whinery lies...

    Notable Exceptions Noted....

  50. [50] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Let's hope Chris is just having computer issues or still dealing with the dreaded tax situation ...

  51. [51] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    I also hope everything is still okay in CW-world. as to the SCOTUS nomination, my view is that gorsuch should not get a vote until garland has had a vote. period, end of story. i'm okay with garland getting voted down and gorsuch being confirmed, but the refusal to even vote on garland was such a violation i think it needs to be rectified before the senate can move forward.

    JL

  52. [52] 
    michale wrote:

    I also hope everything is still okay in CW-world. as to the SCOTUS nomination, my view is that gorsuch should not get a vote until garland has had a vote. period, end of story.

    Elections have consequences...

    i'm okay with garland getting voted down and gorsuch being confirmed, but the refusal to even vote on garland was such a violation i think it needs to be rectified before the senate can move forward.

    It's politics...

  53. [53] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    It's politics...

    it's the constitution. article 2 section 2 clause 2.

    until the senate can give or withhold consent irrespective of which president did the nominating, they have not done their constitutional duty.

    JL

  54. [54] 
    michale wrote:

    until the senate can give or withhold consent irrespective of which president did the nominating, they have not done their constitutional duty.

    The Senate DID withhold consent...

    Basically, the GOP Senate did exactly what the Democrats threatened to do..

    It's nothing but partisan politics...

  55. [55] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    The Senate DID withhold consent...

    no, the majority leadership denied the ability of the full senate to consent or not. by denying due process, they stepped outside of mere partisan politics and into the murky waters of the unconstitutional.

    JL

  56. [56] 
    michale wrote:

    no, the majority leadership denied the ability of the full senate to consent or not. by denying due process, they stepped outside of mere partisan politics and into the murky waters of the unconstitutional.

    I disagree..

    The power to advise and consent is the power to NOT advise and consent..

    I am sure that, in the future, if the Democrats are in the same position, they will do exactly as the GOP had done..

    It's what they threatened to do in the past...

  57. [57] 
    michale wrote:

    {The President} shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States,

    Nothing in there that says the Senate HAS to provide advice and consent...

    Nothing in there sets a timeline on when such advice and consent must be forthcoming...

    The Senate can choose NOT to advise and consent...

    Which is exactly what the Senate did...

    Again, the Democrats threatened to do the EXACT same thing if the situation arose...

  58. [58] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    The Senate can choose NOT to advise and consent...
    Which is exactly what the Senate did...

    no, the Senate did not. one party did. one party, even if they are in the majority, does NOT a senate make.

    robert bork got an up or down vote, and thirty hours of hearings. THAT is an example of not giving consent. what the republicans did last year is refuse to allow the constitutional process to go forward, without discussion (by the way, that's what a filibuster is, discussion).

    JL

  59. [59] 
    michale wrote:

    no, the Senate did not. one party did. one party, even if they are in the majority, does NOT a senate make.

    The Majority Party speaks for the Senate..

    Just like Democrats did when THEY had the majority..

    what the republicans did last year is refuse to allow the constitutional process to go forward,

    And again, it's EXACTLY what the Democrats threatened to do if the situation arose when THEY were the majority...

    without discussion (by the way, that's what a filibuster is, discussion).

    No, a filibuster is a maneuver to PREVENT discussion of the topic at hand...

    A filibuster is a way to STOP discussion...

  60. [60] 
    michale wrote:

    Having said that, I do like your idea..

    If the Senate can vote down Garland's nomination without any waste of time or repercussions, they should do it..

    If only to silence the Left Whinery*.....

    *Present company excepted.. :D

  61. [61] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    A filibuster is a way to STOP discussion...

    You're wrong about that. In the most literal sense a filibuster is refusing to END discussion and vote, not refusing to START discussion.

    JL

  62. [62] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    The Majority Party speaks for the Senate..

    no, the majority party speaks for the majority, the senate speaks for the senate. the senate is not just its majority. the constitution doesn't say the advice and consent of 53% of the senate, it says the advice and consent of the senate. if framers of the constitution didn't mean the whole thing, they wouldn't have said so.

    JL

  63. [63] 
    michale wrote:

    no, the majority party speaks for the majority, the senate speaks for the senate. the senate is not just its majority. the constitution doesn't say the advice and consent of 53% of the senate, it says the advice and consent of the senate. if framers of the constitution didn't mean the whole thing, they wouldn't have said so.

    And yet, if only 53% of the Senate votes for a judicial nominee (sans SCOTUS nominee) then "the Senate" has approved the nominee..

    You are entering the area of semantics... Using your reasoning, "the Senate" doesn't pass anything unless each and every Senator agrees...

    That's not how it works..

  64. [64] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    the senate, and ESPECIALLY the senate, has always included its minority in the process. that's not just semantics, it's nearly 250 years of precedent in the interpretation of the constitution.

  65. [65] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    by the way, if you agree with me about holding a vote for merrick garland, whatever the reason, why not email your senators and say so?

  66. [66] 
    michale wrote:

    the senate is not just its majority. the constitution doesn't say the advice and consent of 53% of the senate, it says the advice and consent of the senate.

    And yet, if the Dem invoke the filibuster and McConnell drops a nuke, Gorsuch will be confirmed by "The Senate" even though only 53% of the Senate confirmed him..

    That's the way it works...

  67. [67] 
    michale wrote:

    by the way, if you agree with me about holding a vote for merrick garland, whatever the reason, why not email your senators and say so?

    I agree with you ONLY if those conditions (not wasting time and not impacting the nomination of Gorsuch) are met..

    I am not sure they can be..

    Time is a factor so Gorsuch should be confirmed without delay...

    Do you think that Democrats will confirm him??? Or force McConnell to nuke the filibuster?

    Either way, it's bad news for Dems..

  68. [68] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    And yet, if the Dem invoke the filibuster and McConnell drops a nuke, Gorsuch will be confirmed by "The Senate" even though only 53% of the Senate confirmed him..

    incorrect. even though only 53% voted YES, 100% VOTED. every single senator had the opportunity to make the decision one way or the other. protecting the right of the minority to dissent is a vital part of constitutional process, and has been since 1788.

    JL

  69. [69] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Time is a factor so Gorsuch should be confirmed without delay...

    why is time so much more of a factor now than it was a year ago?

    JL

  70. [70] 
    michale wrote:

    incorrect. even though only 53% voted YES, 100% VOTED. every single senator had the opportunity to make the decision one way or the other. protecting the right of the minority to dissent is a vital part of constitutional process, and has been since 1788.

    Again, semantics..

    "The Senate" confirmed the nominee, even though 100% of the Senate did not..

    We can argue the definition of 'is' until the cows come home.. But the simple fact is that the Majority Party speaks for the Senate... It was that way when the Dems were the majority, it is that way when the GOP is the majority...

    The Majority sets the agenda...

    The Majority says, "The Senate will work on this, the Senate will not work on that. The Senate will take up this, the Senate will not take up that."

    This is the reality of how our system works...

    I understand what you are trying to say.. The full Senate did not agree to NOT advise and consent on Garland...

    That is irrelevant to the issue..

    I also point out, once again, that if this situation had arose when the Democrats held the majority, they would have done the exact same thing the GOP did..

    And my response would have been the same..

    Partisan politics.. Nothing more, nothing less.

    And I likely would have found the majority here in Weigantia agreed with me.. :D

    Not saying YOU would have agreed with me.. But the majority would have.. :D

  71. [71] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @michale,

    the right of the minority to vote their dissent is not "semantics" nor is it the "definition of is" - minority dissent is a vital part of the bedrock of our government, no matter who is in the majority. that is why the entire senate is required by constitutional precedent to be able to deliberate and vote, even if the political will of the majority dictates otherwise.

    JL

  72. [72] 
    michale wrote:

    http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2017/03/20/man-claims-nyc-bar-denied-him-service-over-pro-trump-hat/

    Pure unadulterated bigotry...

    Welcome to the new Democrat Party....

  73. [73] 
    michale wrote:

    the right of the minority to vote their dissent is not "semantics" nor is it the "definition of is" - minority dissent is a vital part of the bedrock of our government, no matter who is in the majority. that is why the entire senate is required by constitutional precedent to be able to deliberate and vote, even if the political will of the majority dictates otherwise.

    I'll remind you of that if the Democrat Party ever becomes the majority in our lifetimes.. :D

  74. [74] 
    michale wrote:

    http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2017/03/20/man-claims-nyc-bar-denied-him-service-over-pro-trump-hat/

    Pure unadulterated bigotry...

    Welcome to the new Democrat Party....

    Or, I should just say...

    Democrats....

  75. [75] 
    michale wrote:

    FBI, NSA: ‘No evidence’ Russia manipulated US vote tallying
    http://www.theamericanmirror.com/fbi-nsa-no-evidence-russia-manipulated-us-vote-tallying/

    FBI, NSA has absolutely NO EVIDENCE that any votes were changed by Russian actors...

    Ya'all have been played....

    Pure and simple....

  76. [76] 
    michale wrote:

    Conservative students say they have been ‘violently threatened’ at Lutheran college
    http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/31735/

    Democrats.....

  77. [77] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Whether it would take a constitutional amendment or legislation what do you think of making future Supreme Court nominations have a three month time limit for the Senate to either vote the nominee up or down and if they do not provide a vote in the three months the nominee is automatically approved as the Senate would have had ample time to express their disapproval ?

  78. [78] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @don,

    i think that rule would be manipulated to get people automatically approved by refusing to hold deliberations, the opposite problem as last year. any rule, no matter how well crafted, can be bent to a nefarious political end if there's the will to do so and insufficient power aligned against such actions.

    JL

  79. [79] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    I'll remind you of that if the Democrat [sic] Party ever becomes the majority in our lifetimes..

    i expect no less. but as i said, the right of the minority to dissent is not the right to endlessly obstruct. if garland is entitled to be deliberated and voted on, gorsuch is entitled to be deliberated and voted on as well (and presumably voted in). i just think allowing a supreme court nomination to expire without a single minute of deliberation is a seriously bad precedent to set.

    JL

  80. [80] 
    michale wrote:

    i expect no less. but as i said, the right of the minority to dissent is not the right to endlessly obstruct.

    And now we begin with the qualifications...

    When does the right to dissent become endlessly obstructing??

    Who decides that???

    i just think allowing a supreme court nomination to expire without a single minute of deliberation is a seriously bad precedent to set.

    The last 8 years has been replete with seriously bad precedents...

  81. [81] 
    Paula wrote:

    Trump appears to be sticking his fingers in his ears and screaming "Nuh uhhhhhhhhhhh" as the Comey hearing goes on. Still insisting President Obama wiretapped him.

    GOP'ers dutifully calling out "leakers" instead of taking any interest in the possibility of Russian/Trump-team collusion. Cheating, obstruction -- that there's your GOP.

    However we can't know whether to trust Comey. Reporters have to stay on the story and continue their own investigations since the GOP will close ranks and try to cover-up for as long as they can get away with it. It cannot and should not come down to the words of one man because then whichever side "loses" won't know what to believe.

    Which can still be a problem even if real reporters do real reporting. But at least then the reality-based community will feel better -- Trump-loons going to froth their way to the bitter end regardless of things like "evidence".

  82. [82] 
    michale wrote:

    But let's talk about the OTHER big story today..

    There is NO FACTS to support the accusation that there was collusion between Team Trump and the Russians...

    Ouch!! That's GOTTA hurt.. :D

  83. [83] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    And now we begin with the qualifications...

    do i have to break out the picard quote again?

    there can be no justice so long as laws are absolute. Even life itself is an exercise in exceptions.

    When does the right to dissent become endlessly obstructing??

    when the right to be heard morphs into the right to be the only ones heard. i started out with a concrete example - if garland gets a vote (which would inevitably be a no), dems would have no leg to stand on in denying a confirmation vote to gorsuch, or anyone else. as things stand now, a filibuster would have legs, with legs to spare.

    JL

  84. [84] 
    michale wrote:

    when the right to be heard morphs into the right to be the only ones heard. i started out with a concrete example - if garland gets a vote (which would inevitably be a no), dems would have no leg to stand on in denying a confirmation vote to gorsuch, or anyone else. as things stand now, a filibuster would have legs, with legs to spare.

    In other words, two wrongs make a right...???

    Just want to make sure we're on the same page... :D

  85. [85] 
    michale wrote:

    Trump appears to be sticking his fingers in his ears and screaming "Nuh uhhhhhhhhhhh" as the Comey hearing goes on. Still insisting President Obama wiretapped him.

    Still insisting that Trump colluded with the Russians???

    However we can't know whether to trust Comey.

    You trusted Comey after he said NOT-45 committed no crime...

    What gives???

  86. [86] 
    Paula wrote:

    http://www.newsweek.com/kurt-eichenwald-twitter-seizure-arrest-john-rivello-569813

    Sent strobe tweets to induce epileptic seizures.

    Trumpers.

  87. [87] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    In other words, two wrongs make a right...???

    not at all. there's nothing inherently wrong with a filibuster if its purpose is to insist upon full deliberation. a filibuster only becomes wrong if the other side offers a substantial compromise and it is summarily ignored. so far only the republicans have done wrong on this supreme court vacancy, and that wrong would be compounded were it to go unanswered.

    JL

  88. [88] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Standing by my opinion that ‘Hands up, don’t shoot’ was built on a lie

    Good article. But I disagree that it was built on a lie... It was built on limited perspectives. There were a handful of witnesses that believed Brown was raising his arms and trying to drop to his knees when he was shot by Wilson. Those witnesses all shared one thing in common: they only became aware of the conflict AFTER they heard the first shot fired. None of them witnessed the struggle that had occurred prior to the shot being fired. Witnesses that saw the entire conflict from start to finish believed Brown was the attacker and Wilson was defending himself according to their testimony.

    One thing that I think most people failed to realize is that the witnesses who thought Brown was putting his arms up in surrender and the witnesses who thought Brown was charging at Wilson when Brown was shot are describing the same exact physical movements made by Brown. The actions described by both sets of witnesses were identical, only their beliefs of Brown's intentions differed. Both groups described Brown turning around to face Wilson as Wilson ordered him to stop. Brown then started moving forward (either to drop to a knee or to charge) while raising his arms forward.
    This was when Wilson shot Brown, killing him.

    Michael Brown was no martyr, and Black Lives Matter does a disservice to the Black community by insisting that he was one. Unless they are telling the children that what Brown did was wrong and he was responsible for his own death, then we can expect incidents like what occurred in Ferguson to continue.

  89. [89] 
    Kick wrote:

    Paula [81]

    Trump appears to be sticking his fingers in his ears and screaming "Nuh uhhhhhhhhhhh" as the Comey hearing goes on. Still insisting President Obama wiretapped him.

    But, but, but... Trump saw it on Fox News. The birther nonsense went on for years where Trump made up BS about Obama. This is just more of the same utter nonsense con artist bullshittery except now he's the President of the United States, and it doesn't just reflect on him but the entire country.

    PT has taken the stage in Kentucky to supposedly have a rally for Trumpcare. He's already admitted his voters will be hurt the most by the bill's passage, but what will he tell the sheeple?

    At what point do the sheeple catch on to the con?

  90. [90] 
    Paula wrote:

    [89] Kick:
    At what point do the sheeple catch on to the con?

    That's the big question, isn't it? Apparently a lot of people-who-voted-Trump are having regrets, but whether they realize they've been "conned" -- whether they understand they were being shamelessly played -- isn't clear.

    As for the core-Trumpers, its hard to say if any of them will ever get it. Coz they don't really have a clue about policies or the law or the constitution or separation of powers or how government works. The main thing they know is that Trump hates the same people they hate/fears the same people they fear. Or at least, he says he does -- who knows what he actually feels-thinks about anything? They may well decide he's been screwed over by name-your-scapegoat(s) and that everything would have been great if name-your-scapegoat(s) hadn't gotten in his way. Even if they, themselves, are hurt, they will try to find anyone else to blame besides their beloved.

    Sad.

  91. [91] 
    michale wrote:

    Sour Grapes With Crow Cream..

    Sad...

  92. [92] 
    michale wrote:

    They may well decide he's been screwed over by name-your-scapegoat(s) and that everything would have been great if name-your-scapegoat(s) hadn't gotten in his way. Even if they, themselves, are hurt, they will try to find anyone else to blame besides their beloved.

    Once again, you are describing Democrats and their messiah PERFECTLY!!!

    It's amazing!! :D

  93. [93] 
    michale wrote:

    Listen,

    Good article. But I disagree that it was built on a lie... It was built on limited perspectives.

    I see what you are talking about..

    When Michael Brown raised his arms to his shoulders as an expression of COME ON!! TAKE ME ON!!, some witnesses extrapolated that into he was raising his arms in surrender...

    But once the complete facts were known they should have admitted that they were wrong..

    While it may be too strong (but factually accurate) to say HANDS UP DON'T SHOOT was built on a lie, it's ALSO completely factual to say that the slogan was built on intentional mis-interpretation of the facts...

    Michael Brown was no martyr, and Black Lives Matter does a disservice to the Black community by insisting that he was one. Unless they are telling the children that what Brown did was wrong and he was responsible for his own death, then we can expect incidents like what occurred in Ferguson to continue.

    Yep....

  94. [94] 
    michale wrote:

    That's the big question, isn't it? Apparently a lot of people-who-voted-Trump are having regrets,

    And, of course, you have FACTS to back up your claim, right??

    Of course you don't...

    When it comes to hysterical hating Anti-President Trump minions, they live in a fact-free environment...

  95. [95] 
    michale wrote:

    And, of course, you have FACTS to back up your claim, right??

    Of course you don't...

    And, if you DO want to offer proof, it better be anything but some Left Whinery rag...

    If it's that, I shall taunt you a second time... :D

  96. [96] 
    michale wrote:

    EDITORIAL: Spring Breakers chanting “Build That Wall” in Cancun is unacceptable

    http://www.theyucatantimes.com/2017/03/editorial-spring-breakers-chanting-build-that-wall-in-cancun-is-unacceptable/

    Trumpers... :D

    So much for the claim that President Trump voters are experiencing buyer's remorse...

    No regrets there!!! :D

  97. [97] 
    michale wrote:

    "What the heck r they spraying over us?! It's been happening for years but only this extreme for the past few months."
    -Hayden Panettiere, talking about con-trails from high flying jets..

    Democrats.. :^/

    They wouldn't know science if it came up and bit them on the ass...

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