Well, I’m almost back to my version of live blogging. (This is being written in the afternoon of New Year’s Day.) What better time than the present to catch up on what transpired while I was “away”? (I never left the states of North Carolina and Virginia.)
What A Start
Today should be the “coronation” of Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House. It might well be but as of this writing it is anything but a sure thing. I would not be surprised if this topic gives me fodder for a future article(s).
Despite all his mounting troubles Donald Trump got another break when his taxes were released on the Friday of one of the biggest holiday weekends of the year. Remember things like Memorial Day are just American holidays; the New Year holiday is pretty much international.
The initial news, while not surprising, is very damning! Redacted returns for the years 2015 -2020 inclusive were released. That covers the years he was either a 2016 candidate or served as president. Two of the years he paid $750 in federal income taxes and one (2020) he not only paid zero he claimed a refund in excess of $5 million.
For decades the IRS has had a policy of auditing the sitting president’s taxes. This was not done to Trump in his first two years in office. You connect those dots.
Trump’s charitable giving was spotty and there was none claimed in 2020. I seem to remember a commitment he made to not keep his annual salary ($400,000) but donate it quarterly. Another set of dots for your contemplation and connection.
Here is something else for you to ponder before I move on: With the release of his taxes (which he fought) Trump has now approached Richard Nixon’s level of transparency. And it only took an act of Congress.
The Fall Guy?
I have to wonder if Mark “Burning Man” Meadows won’t end up being the fall guy for Trump. It certainly appears Trump – the great deflector that he is – is moving in that direction. Meadows dodged obvious voter fraud charges in North Carolina but that may well prove to be the least of his problems.
George Santos went from the answer to a trivia question to a household name in America while I was “away”. The Congressman-elect from the Queens-Long Island area has proven to make Trump look like a teller of the gospel truth. It certainly appears that he embellished (his word) his resume when it came to academic achievement, employment history and heritage. I was raised in the least wealthy and well-educated suburb of Buffalo. We were kind of crude and simple. We called it lying.
I’m not a forensic accountant but reconciling Santos’ financial actions and history is an impossible task if everything is above board.
All that said expect him to be seated today and given committee assignments. All he has to do is promise McCarthy his initial vote for the speakership. Today’s GOP is amoral to start with and the present House majority is so thin they certainly aren’t going to “get religion” now!
Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, despite obviously positioning himself to challenge Trump for the 2024 GOP nod, is stealing a page from Trump’s free media playbook. He has been on a “voter integrity” campaign that has conveniently and – in an effort to get the Bubba vote – targeted “those people”.
To date none of the charges have stuck. The lone “conviction” he claims was a plea of no contest that received no financial penalty or jail time. All other charges have been either dropped or dismissed in court.
Like Trump, DeSantis hopes his target voters just catch the initial reporting and never either follow up and/or believe his malarkey.
Oh, and to add insult to injury he is doing all this on the taxpayer’s dime (a/k/a your money).
A Couple Of Stiff Ones
Two of the ringleaders in the plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer have received prison sentences of 16 and 19+ years. While these sentences are serious, I have to ask when will we finally enact a federal domestic terrorism law with a minimum sentence of at least 20 years?
That’s enough for today but don’t be surprised if I do more “sweeping” before the week is out.
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