Corporate income tax dodgers


Here's a fact: "Corporations are paying a smaller share of federal tax revenue than they did in the 1950s, dropping from one-third then to only one-tenth of the total today." Here's more from Americans for Tax Fairness...
"Yet, an army of lobbyists is pushing hard to convince Congress to cut the corporate income tax rate by nearly one-third — from the current 35% to 25%. This issue is at the epicenter of the coming battle over tax reform."
Bernie Sanders has been screaming this to anyone who would listen for his entire political career. Here are more facts...
Corporate share of federal tax revenue has dropped by two-thirds in 60 years — from 32% in 1952 to 10% in 2013.
Profitable corporations paid U.S. income taxes amounting to just 12.6% of worldwide income in 2010.
U.S. corporations dodge $90 billion a year in income taxes by shifting profits to subsidiaries — often no more than post office boxes — in tax havens.
Corporations complain about their tax rates but...
"The top statutory tax rate of 35% in the U.S. is somewhat higher than that of 30 other OECD countries, but the average effective tax rate — the actual rate paid after deductions and credits — is slightly lower than our competitors, according to the Congressional Research Service (CRS).
"Several studies have found that U.S. corporations pay a similar or a lower effective tax rate — the rate actually paid — than corporations in other countries."
Thanks to Donald Trump's new tax law...
"This ITEP (Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy) report provides the first comprehensive look at how corporate tax changes under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act affect the scale of corporate tax avoidance. The report finds that in 2018, 60 of America’s biggest corporations zeroed out their federal income taxes on $79 billion in U.S. pretax income. Instead of paying $16.4 billion in taxes at the 21 percent statutory corporate tax rate, these companies enjoyed a net corporate tax rebate of $4.3 billion."
 Go to this site for startling figures on who is not paying their fair share, as Bernie Sanders puts it. With escalating profits, conniving corporations leave it up to the American taxpayer to foot the bill, the ones who contribute to corporate profits. Legitimate deductions to decrease a fair tax is one thing, but in each case U.S. companies have an unfair advantage over the average taxpayer. This is why it is so important to elect Progressives to Congress and the White House.

Charley Manson's "Helter Skelter" is back


A young Charles Manson

The Manson family got its start in 1967, just north of where we lived in Canoga Park, Calif. We rode up there one day looking for Spahn Ranch where the Manson cult collected and did their evil business. We were almost immediately turned around by signs saying"No Admittance" accompanied by a heavy wire fence. Appropriately called the Spahn Movie Ranch, it was owned by George Spahn who willingly allowed Manson and his followers to live there.

The ranch had been the home for TV episodes of "Bonanza," "The Lone Ranger," and "Zorro." Although George Spahn wasn't involved in any of Manson's crime, his ranch was where the 'family' lived while committing the 1969 Tate-LaBianca murders in Los Angeles. A wildfire destroyed all of the Spahn Movie Ranch film set and buildings on September 26, 1970. The owner, George Spahn died on September 22, 1974. My thanks to Wikipedia.

With this background, you might remember the book, "Helter Skelter," written by Charles Manson's prosecutor, Vincent Bugliosi. It was Charley's term for the race war he intended to start between blacks and whites, expecting near annihilation after which he would lead his followers to take over the country. The words, from a Beatles' song, were written on the LaBianca's refrigerator door to instigate the race war. And that's a long way around to get to this...
"The Russians who interfered in the 2016 US presidential election are still at it — and this time, they’re trying to ignite racial violence in America and a partial collapse of the United States."
Looks like Charley Manson got in Vladimir Putin's head, assuming there is room next to Donald Trump. Here's the scenario from Vox...
"According to secret documents obtained by a Russian opposition group, hackers have discussed plans to stir up racial resentment in the United States in hopes of tearing American society apart. The operatives are apparently associates of Yevgeny Prigozhin, the man who set up a troll farm and was indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller for his role in 2016 meddling."
Someone has been reading "Helter Skelter." There's more...
"Prigozhin and his team of Russian trolls tried to inflame racial tensions during the 2016 cycle by operating several social media accounts that tried to discourage African Americans from voting, mainly by repeating messages of police violence and voter fraud."
But the "apparent new plot" originating as early as 2018, in preparation for the 2020 election, digs much deeper. The following is unbelievable...
"The documents reportedly contain shocking proposals such as sending black Americans to Africa “'for combat prep and training in sabotage,' as well as targeting people who have previously been incarcerated and people 'who have experience in organized crime groups ... for participation in civil disobedience actions.'”
Manson could take lessons from this guy, Yevgeny Prigozhin. Vox says...
"there is no indication of how seriously the documents — titled “Development Strategy of a Pan-African State on US Territory” — and the plan overall have been received in Russia. It’s possible the set of proposals went absolutely nowhere and were viewed as too extreme (or ridiculous) even for Moscow."

We can only hope with Donald Trump in the White House.

Justin Amash run against Trump as Democrat?


Republican Rep. Justin Amash is taking a ton of flak from his party because he publicly condemned Donald Trump's actions saying the Mueller report "showed he committed impeachable offenses by obstructing justice. The Michigan congressman refuted...
Trump/Amash-Who will win?
"many of the mistaken and weak defense of Trump’s actions. Many have criticized the idea that an obstruction of justice charge could possibly be warranted." 
My gut tells me that a switch of parties is called for, as he faces what will probably be a major backlash by the GOP. What the hell, the Democrats need a fresh face, assuming Amash can abide a more liberal philosophy. But after looking at his position on the issues, that is not likely. That's all very well since the left can just use him to point out the many shortcomings of Donald Trump. He even shakes his fist at the GOP National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel.

Amash comments...
"the idea that 'there is no crime' in the Russia case is just false.

“In fact, there were many crimes revealed by the investigation, some of which were charged, and some of which were not but are nonetheless described in Mueller’s report.” 
This clearly shows one Republican has chosen to see the Mueller Report in the context that it was meant to be seen, information that was legally gathered pointing to the fact that Donald Trump did obstruct justice in the Russian 2016 election tampering and otherwise. Most other Republicans in Congress choose to see it as a threat to the Party, therefore protecting Trump. Some think GOP attacks on Justin Amash could doom Trump’s chances for re-election...
"The Michigan Republican finished reading special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, which he faulted other lawmakers for neglecting to do, and concluded the president had engaged in impeachable conduct — and Attorney General William Barr had misled the public about the investigation’s findings."
This is the opinion of New York Magazine‘s Jonathan Chait. He commented further...
"The Michigan Republican finished reading special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, which he faulted other lawmakers for neglecting to do, and concluded the president had engaged in impeachable conduct — and Attorney General William Barr had misled the public about the investigation’s findings."
Here are four excellent points from Chait...
Here are my principal conclusions:
1. Attorney General Barr has deliberately misrepresented Mueller’s report.
2. President Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct.
3. Partisanship has eroded our system of checks and balances.
4. Few members of Congress have read the report.

House minority leader Kevin McCarthy and Trump say Amash did it for attention, and, if so, he certainly accomplished his purpose. However, back to Amash challenging Trump, he was one of 13 Republicans "who voted to block Trump’s phony emergency declaration, reported by the Washington Post. I say let him run against Trump in the Republican Primary, where Trump will no doubt show his true self along with depleting his war chest for 2020.

Trump supporters don't want Iran war. Why does he?


Trump-Pompeo-Bolton- The 3 perpetrators
Trump_Pompeo_BoltonDonald Trump supporters loved it when he castigated "Washington’s regime-change wars and nation-building crusades." Republicans didn't like it, but he went on to slam Bush for the Iraq War and Afghanistan. Everyone in this country was sick of wars--except John Bolton, of course--with a peaceful outlook in the future. But not to be when T-rump starts sword rattling against Iran. Vox has 9 reasons, with John Bolton, even Mike Pompeo, expressing hate for Iran.

The Daily Beast reports...
"Three U.S. government officials familiar with the situation told The Daily Beast that officials in multiple U.S. intelligence agencies have assessed that Iran’s new, threatening activity–which the administration points to in justifying its military presence in the Persian Gulf–is in response to the administration’s aggressive steps over the last two months."
On Capitol Hill, lawmakers say...
"that Tehran’s aggressive moves—reportedly planning attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Iraq and loading missiles on fishing boats in the Gulf—appear to be in response to Washington’s moves to press the Islamic Republic and its leadership. The Trump administration’s decisions to tighten oil sanctions and to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist group, particularly provocative"
In my recollection, the nuclear treaty negotiated by former President Barack
Obama, while certainly not perfect, was at least progressing. Here's what National Security Adviser John Bolton previously said...
"the administration’s aggressive efforts aim to squeeze Iran 'until its leaders decide to change their destructive behavior, respect the rights of the Iranian people, and return to the negotiating table.' But the policy doesn’t appear to have put leaders there in a mood to make concessions."
The World Report gives a good documentation of human rights in Iran, and that is part of what the Trump administration is pissed off about. That and nuclear proliferation. The question is the correlation in Iran's aggressiveness and that of the United States. A British general said of Iran, “there’s been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces” in the region. Expounding further...
“We monitor them along with a whole range of others because that’s the environment we’re in,” said Maj. Gen. Chris Ghika, speaking via video from Baghdad. “If the threat level seems to go up then we’ll raise our force protection measures accordingly.”
 The U.S. Central Command issued a statement just hours later disputing Ghika’s comments repeating...
"John Bolton’s unsubstantiated claim that American intelligence has 'identified credible threats' from 'Iranian-backed forces' in Iraq and Syria."
Folks, I call your attention to the key word in the above, "unsubstantiated."

LATE BREAKING: Trump walks out on Pelosi/Schumer meeting


Trump walks out of Pelosi/Schumer meeting
Speaker Nancy Pelosi called it "very, very, very strange," adding, "sad" referring to a meeting at the White House with Donald Trump, which included Sen.Chuck Schumer. Pelosi described Trump's walking out of the meeting as "an orchestrated — almost to a 'poor baby' point of view" situation."

Here is Trump's tweet retort...
"So sad that Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer will never be able to see or understand the great promise of our Country."
 In another, he warns, "You can’t investigate and legislate simultaneously - it just doesn’t work that way."
Later trump heard Pelosi accused him of "engaging in a cover up," and apparently he went postal. One of his minions said...
"Bottom line: if Nancy Pelosi had not come out this morning and said what she said about "cover up," they would still be in there right now meeting on infrastructure." 
According to CNN, What Pelosi said: Pelosi on Monday night said the committees were on course to be successful and Democrats' message must be "No one is above the law," and that they are witnessing "the cover-up." The California Democrat also said they all agreed they needed to get to the truth, but that the public believes kitchen table issues must also be dealt with.


What's going on in left field


LIBERALS ARE BEAUTIFUL
You can deprogram Trump supporters? Let's do it now...Mike Pence bombs at commencement speech...What is rape if not rape?...Trump tells McGhan to be tardy for House...Ex-congressman calls Trump "dishonest tyrant," blasts "pathetic"Republicans...How long do they let Facebook getaway with this?...

Will Deutsche Bank be Trump's nemesis?


The culprit
It is pathetic that a bank would have an "anti-money laundering" department but in my naive moment there is the realization that these are the times and all we can do is cope with it. Deutsche Bank employees in that section reportedly...
"recommended turning over information about transactions by entities owned by President Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to a government watchdog in 2016 and 2017, but the bank's executives apparently declined to do so."
It had to do with transactions connected to the now-dissolved Trump Foundation, discovered by the bank's computer system, designed to reveal illegal activity. Five current and former employees were involved, which led to a later report they thought should be sent to the Treasury Department for investigation. It wasn't. The transactions weren't spelled out...
"some of them involved money going between the entities and foreign companies or individuals."
The NYT says it ain't necessarily true because "sometimes complete large cash transactions that can cause a review to be triggered without any actual wrongdoing." Thus, the reason for no report. Apparently Deutsche Bank treads lightly on this kind of issue according to Tammy McFadden, a former Deutsche Bank employee who looked into some of the transactions. She continued, “It’s the D.B. way. They are prone to discounting everything.”

The Hill reported...
"McFadden told the Times that she was fired after she questioned the bank's practices and has since filed complaints to regulators about what she sees as its lack of enforcement."
Well now, that doesn't seem kosher, and is it just another example of the shady deals of the Trump family? The Hill also says...
"Deutsche Bank has loaned billions of dollars to the Trump and Kushner companies. Federal and state authorities are currently reviewing the bank's relationship with President Trump."
The NYT also revealed the...
"staff of Deutsche Bank were hired especially for their expertise of money-laundering."
Now doesn't that beat all. Trump biographer David Cay Johnston said...
“We know for a fact that Donald Trump has been involved in money laundering in the past, fined for it. We know that Deutsche Bank is fined over $600 million just for laundering money for Russian oligarchs and are nondenial denials. The Trump Organization said we never heard of this. Why would you? It was locked up in the bank. The bank said we didn’t stop anyone. The story makes it clear.”
Finally, from the Times...
“So, in addition, The Times has a pregnant line in it. It says that is there are other, ‘politically connected people’ who also were swept up,” Johnston said. 'It’s clear that David Enrich, a very good reporter at The New York Times has seen these documents and other people whose money laundering suspicion of money laundering activities were also apparently quashed by the people at the private banking unit of Deutsche Bank in New York. This is for Donald Trump a really serious problem.'”
We can only hope that David Cay Johnston's assessment is correct.

Corporate income tax dodgers

Here's a fact: "Corporations are paying a smaller share of federal tax revenue than they did in the 1950s, dropping from one-thir...