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by Bjinse on Mon Jun 12th, 2017 at 08:59:54 PM EST
Maryland and District of Columbia Sue Trump Over His Businesses - NYT


In a new legal challenge to President Trump, the Democratic attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit on Monday claiming that the president's failure to shed his businesses has undermined public trust and violated constitutional bans against self-dealing.

The complaint, filed in a Maryland federal court, makes many of the same arguments as a lawsuit filed this year by a Washington watchdog organization in a New York federal court. But some legal experts said the new suit may progress further because the plaintiffs were government entities, which could have stronger standing to sue the president.

It is part of a broader effort by Mr. Trump's critics to force him to defend his continued ownership of his business empire. Some congressional Democrats are expected to file a third suit as early as this week arguing that his behavior is also unconstitutional.

The Constitution prohibits federal officials from accepting gifts or emoluments from foreign governments. It also prohibits the president from accepting economic benefits or emoluments from the federal or state governments, other than his salary. But in 230 years, no court has interpreted what exactly constitutes an emolument.

Brian E. Frosh, the Maryland attorney general, said if the lawsuit progressed to the discovery phase, he and Karl Racine, the attorney general for the District of Columbia, would seek to obtain the president's tax returns to gauge the extent of his business dealings.

"It is unprecedented that the American people must question day after day whether decisions are made and actions are taken to benefit the United States or to benefit Donald Trump," he said. "The president's conflicts of interest threaten our democracy."

Complaint file

by Bjinse on Tue Jun 13th, 2017 at 09:11:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One significant flaw in the complaint exposes the standing of the gov't.s of MD and the D.C. to dismissal: The complaint does not refer to any material evidence of loss, or injury, to their sovereign rights that instantiates "unfair competition" enjoyed by the defendant at their expense and that of their um "residents" and casinos.

For example, plaintiffs have not submitted gross tax receipts in the period at issue --at least Nov 2016 to present-- with the claims to the court as exhibits. Such exhibits typically would be cited in the brief, if they support prima facie claim of harm(s)including but not limited to racketeering, for instance, and do not rely on court-ordered discovery of defendant's business records or personal income tax documents filed with state and federal treasuries.

Instead the brief relies in the main on press reports, the Comey Method rather than Federal Rules of Evidence. Not a constructive strategy for a "landmark" decision.

"Prayer for Relief"
Plaintiffs principled arguments of harm, suborned by the defendant's alleged violations of federal and state emolument prohibitions, however, tend to undermine the foundations of capitalist enterprise that ordinary "residents" hold dear, namely usufruct, personalty, and realty in the private domain; or advocate for another coat of socialist profit atop public-private-partnership that the office of the POTUS purportedly represents.

I look forward to that remedy which the solomonic court of the united states will propose ... with the advice and consent of the several landowners populating congress.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Jun 13th, 2017 at 02:13:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Trump Reveals Flat Revenue at Controversial Washington Hotel

Attys-general for the state of MD and District of Columbia presented this hotel as an exemplar in their complaint of injuries (primarily future tax losses, possibly tax avoidance) induced by Mr Trump's violations of emoluments clauses. I implied the brief is weak. Bill and Caleb try to help out with a bolluxed application of GAAP to US "disclosure" forms. These in no way resemble either financial reports or statements required of publicly traded firms (which "Trump" is not) by the SEC or corporate and individual income (hold that thought) tax returns required by the IRS.

Plaintiffs' Damage Control: Revenue is not income?

The disclosure form, the first Trump has filed since taking office, says that his hundreds of holdings produced at least $528.9 million over a 15 1/2-month period that ended in April. That number appears to mix revenue with income, as Trump's previous disclosures have.

Pedantry

Revenue is income. Turnover is income. The top-line of any profit and loss (P&L) statement, "gross revenue" or "gross income" or "earnings," is the sum of all monies  produced by any enterprise/activity in a specific period EXCEPT unearned income. Unearned income of an enterprise --be that of an individual or corporation-- is money produced by title of a security (an ownership interest in indenture or debenture) issued by a third-party enterprise.

Both IRS and SEC reporting forms segregate gross income from gross unearned income amounts by line item. Unearned income is far down the list and not detailed, altho' the earnest reader may read footnotes for clues. where the reporter adds back profit (loss) to EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest Tax Depreciation Amortization less all expenses) in order to calculate net income. Which is similar to Adjusted Gross Income amount on yer individual income tax filing form.

What Bill and Caleb should have said is, disclosure reporting provides no means to differentiate income produced by corporate and individual activities, because "Trump" and the corporate enterprise are one and the same, as the story goes. Let's carry on. The public of liberal liberals hope to impeach The Man rather than the company for alleged violations of emoluments clauses. Institutions of capitalism must prevail. Therefore The Man must somehow be isolated from the body of the corporation --all the employees EXCEPT the Russian ones-- in order to ascertain the depth of The Man's depravity, personalty, profit (loss) from "holdings". That is The Man's unearned income ... regardless of enterprise profit (loss) reporting.

Private Equity Investors Shocked

The financial disclosure forms that U.S. officials are required to file offer only an imperfect window into Trump's assets, debt and income.
[...]
The ranges listed for liabilities were largely unchanged from prior disclosures.
[...]
Three lawsuits claim that Trump's businesses [?]-- including the hotel -- violate the U.S. Constitution's "emoluments clause," which bans U.S. officials from accepting payments or gifts from foreign governments or from U.S. state and local governments.

ooo boy


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat Jun 17th, 2017 at 02:40:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Trump's 'been clear to me' to try to rebuild Russia ties: Tillerson

By Ana Nicolaci da Costa and Charlotte Greenfield

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump told his top diplomat that the dispute over probes into links between his inner circle and Russia should not undermine U.S. efforts to rebuild relations with Moscow, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Tuesday.

Speaking in New Zealand after a trip to Australia, Tillerson reiterated the U.S. commitment to the Asia-Pacific region as global leaders have expressed growing mistrust over the Trump administration, which has withdrawn from key international agreements since taking office.

At home, Trump's administration has been plagued by questions over links to the Russian government. Tillerson said Trump told him to try to improve ties with Russia regardless of the U.S. political backdrop.

"I can't really comment on any of that because I don't have any direct knowledge," Tillerson told a news conference in Wellington, when asked how worried he was that the U.S. political crisis could take down the Trump administration.

by Zwackus on Wed Jun 14th, 2017 at 03:23:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
US considers sanctions on North Korea trade allies

The US is considering sanctions on countries that do illegal business with North Korea, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has warned.

He said the White House would soon have to decide whether to impose "secondary sanctions" on those nations.

The Trump administration has sought to increase pressure on North Korea over its nuclear and missile activities.

Pyongyang's recent missile tests - which are banned by the UN - have sparked international alarm.

North Korea is believed to be making progress toward developing a ballistic missile capable of reaching the US.

by Zwackus on Wed Jun 14th, 2017 at 03:25:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Truth About Jeremy Corbyn's Triumph Staring Us Smack in the Face | Alternet -
This experience should haunt Democrats as they pursue a byzantine investigation into Trump's alleged Russian ties. In a world that still hasn't recovered from the 2008 crash, most voters simply do not care about geopolitical conspiracy theories; they want politics that will make a difference to their own lives. And the Democrats can't offer that either: whatever its merits, the Russian probe offers a distraction from the fact that the mainstream offers no ideological alternative to Trumpism. After all, if Trump is impeached, the country is left with Mike Pence, and then after him a catalogue of further monstrosities, degenerating and without end. Even if the collusion narrative is true--and it's become so vast and convoluted it seems unlikely to prove Trump's undoing--this is not the terrain on which modern conservatism should be fought. Political change doesn't come out of Senate hearings; it comes from the people, and people are far more receptive to good progressive policies than they are to shrieking about treason.
by generic on Wed Jun 14th, 2017 at 11:25:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But the DNC and DCCC have already set their face against the Sanders revolution and are going again to the same Clinton Wall St agenda.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jun 14th, 2017 at 12:27:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Which is why only little bits of social progressive items will ever come from the Democrats - as currently constructed. They are, effectively, a patronage network owing allegiance to billionaires, some of whom are socially progressive.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Jun 14th, 2017 at 04:42:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Big Fat Compendium Of Russiagate Debunkery - Hacker Noon -
NSA Director Mike Rogers asserted that his agency "watched" Russia hack the French election infrastructure. For the last month establishment media outlets and establishment loyalists have been repeating this allegation as unquestionable fact, in the exact same way they repeat the Russian hacking narrative of the 2016 US elections as an unquestionable fact. And yet they were all dead wrong. Guillaume Poupard, the head of France's cyber security agency, told the Associated Press that there was "no trace" of Russian meddling and that the hack of the Macron campaign "was so generic and simple that it could have been practically anyone."

Links in the original. There are some dubious points before this for example Snowden's assertion that the NSA is absolutely certain to have evidence proving Russian involvement if there exists such evidence (How? suppose they track the hackers to an internet cafe in front of the Kremlin. Does that prove without a doubt that the Russian government is involved?), but this is spot on.

by generic on Wed Jun 14th, 2017 at 04:14:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Good collection. Some arguments weaker than others, but overall a handy collection of links.

Regarding XKEYSCORE, if there was hackers and they did anything except hacking the DNC on those laptops in that cyber cafe, there is a chance they accidentally identified themselves. I think.

Anyway, I support Snowden (and other former analysts) in their demand to see the proof. Right now it's like a break in at the surveillance camera factory and the company won't show the surveillance tapes, but they gladly offer a bunch of circumstantial evidence all pointing to a competing firm. Yes, maybe the perpetrators were masked, but do present the tapes.

by fjallstrom on Thu Jun 15th, 2017 at 09:01:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by generic on Thu Jun 15th, 2017 at 05:36:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sanders
"On a day when Iran has been attacked by ISIS, by terrorism, now is not the time to go forward with legislation calling for sanctions against Iran," Vermont's Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders said on the floor before the Senate did just that. "Let us be aware and cognizant that earlier today the people of Iran suffered a horrific terror attack in their capital, Tehran."
So on a day when Iran hasn't been attacked, it's fine? No idea if he voted for sanctions, or was the one missing from that 92-7 vote.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Jun 15th, 2017 at 05:44:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by generic on Thu Jun 15th, 2017 at 06:19:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]

It's easy to be the sanest Senator I suppose.

by generic on Thu Jun 15th, 2017 at 05:04:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Who does this sound like?

Malignant narcissism is a psychological syndrome comprising an extreme mix of narcissism, antisocial personality disorder, aggression, and sadism.[1] Often grandiose, and always ready to raise hostility levels, the malignant narcissist undermines organizations in which they are involved, and dehumanizes the people with whom they associate

From wikipedia.

And this clown has the nuclear buttons.  Feel better now?

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Jun 15th, 2017 at 07:00:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Donald Trump 'yells at TVs in the White House' about Russia investigation
Donald Trump has reportedly been yelling at TV sets in the White House as he becomes "increasingly angry" about an investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the US presidential election.

The US leader thinks he is the victim of a conspiracy aimed at discrediting his leadership and ending his time in the White House, according to the Associated Press.

Confidants and advisers close to Mr Trump said his fury was mounting at the probe and he had been yelling at TV sets about its press coverage.

by Bernard on Sat Jun 17th, 2017 at 05:54:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's okay donny, I shout at the TV all the time

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jun 17th, 2017 at 07:24:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Sat Jun 17th, 2017 at 07:51:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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