81% of Republicans Trust Trump to Prevent Foreign Interference in Midterms because WHY?

So, Trump continues to trust Putin, hasn’t directed federal law enforcement or other departments to stop or counter Russian interference, and hasn’t imposed any sanctions. Yet, 81% of Republicans trust Trump to prevent foreign interference in the 2018 midterms. 

The survey results shown below (from Axios) illustrate the trust divide between American voters regarding Trump and his intent and/or ability to prevent meddling in the upcoming midterm elections. Specifically, 81% of all Republicans trust Trump to prevent Russian interference in the midterm, as compared to 11% of Dems and 35% of independents.

What’s remarkable about this, of course, is the overwhelming evidence that Russia did meddle, and that Trump has not done anything to curtail these activities. This isn’t from left-leaning, “fake news” sources, these are facts. I’m even citing Fox News where possible to limit these objections.

Here’s what we know.

– June 21, 2017 – Homeland Security official says Russian hackers targeted voting systems in 21 states.

– September 22, 2017 – Facebook turns over 3,000 ads tied to Russian accounts used in the 2016 election.

– November 11 – Trump says he believes Putin when he denied involvement in the 2016 election. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/11/putin-and-trump-want-political-solution-to-syria-conflict-kremlin-says

– February 16 – Mueller indicts 13 Russians and three Russian organizations in connection with attacks on the 2016 election, including a budget of $1.25 million dollars.

– February 27, 2018 – In February, both FBI Director FBI Director Christopher Wray and Cyber Command chief Adm. Mike Rogers say that they “have not been granted the authority by President Donald Trump to disrupt Russian election hacking operations where they originate.”

– The Trump administration has refused to implement new, legally mandated sanctions against Russia.

So, Trump continues to trust Putin, hasn’t directed federal law enforcement or other departments to stop or counter Russian interference, and though he has the power to implement sanctions, he has not. Yet, 81% of Republicans trust Trump to prevent foreign interference in the 2018 midterms. Hmm?

Yet again, Griffith proves that it’s more important for him to protect Trump than his constituents in the VA9th. Is anyone surprised? 

What about our staunch protector in the VA9th, Morgan Griffith? His last words indicate he believes that the highly discredited Nunes memo proves that Mueller’s investigation has no foundation. Yet again, Griffith proves that it’s more important for him to protect Trump than his constituents in the VA9th. Is anyone surprised?

None of this proves collusion between Trump and Russia. But at this point, proving collusion is secondary to preserving the integrity of our elective process.

(Author’s note: Axios has a fabulous daily newsletter that’s invaluable for those who want to stay on top of the news as efficiently as possible. It also has other newsletters covering other topics at other times. Check them out here.)

/ In Trump / By janozer / Comments Off on 81% of Republicans Trust Trump to Prevent Foreign Interference in Midterms because WHY?

Robert Mueller; A Formidable Opponent

A recent article in the Washington Post entitled Mueller and Trump: Born to Wealth, Raised to Lead. Then, Sharply Different Choices, revealed many interesting facts about Robert Mueller that many not know. This background should provide much insight into how Mueller will administrate the current Russia investigation.

In short, I’ll hearken back to perhaps the original bromance movie, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The two stars are being chased by a group of riders so talented, determined and implacable that one looks to the other and asked plaintively, “who are those guys? 

Robert Mueller is those guys. Here are the highlights from the Washington Post article:

  • Mueller’s father was an executive at DuPont, apparently wealthy. Mueller went to an exclusive all-boys prep school in New Hampshire where he was classmates with three boys who later ran for president, including John Kerry (none won). Mueller was captain of the soccer, hockey, and lacrosse teams.
  • He went to Princeton and majored in politics.
  • After Princeton, he enlisted in Marines, inspired by a lacrosse teammate who had been killed in Vietnam the previous year. This was in 1966, where most in the wealthy class did everything they could to avoid service. Mueller excelled at Officer Candidate School, performing so well that he also went through the Army’s Ranger and Airborne schools, which was highly unusual for Marines.
  • Mueller served in Vietnam and after one particularly harrowing battle, was awarded the Bronze Star medal with “V” distinction for valor. He was later shot in the leg and earned a Purple Heart. He doesn’t talk about his Vietnam experience. You can read about his military career here
  • Mueller went to law school at the University of Virginia.
  • He spent the first two decades of his career as a prosecutor in San Francisco and Boston, and later was an assistant attorney General heading the Justice Department’s criminal division under George H.W. Bush.
  • In 1995, he was earning $400,000 as an attorney in the Washington office of a Boston law firm, but hated defending people he thought might be guilty. So he called the local U.S. Attorney and asked for a job trying homicide cases in DC. This involved a pay cut of over 75%.
  • Mueller rose to U.S. attorney in San Francisco, and was nominated to direct the FBI by George W. Bush on September 4, 2001, seven days before 9/11. For the next 12 years, for Republican and Democratic administrations, Mueller led the FBI, reportedly working nearly round the clock. He’s a straight arrow who only dressed G-Man style, dark suits with white shirts.  
  • Mueller avoided the limelight, and “frustrated his speechwriters by crossing out every “I” in speeches they wrote for him. It wasn’t about him, he told them: “It’s about the organization.”
  • Mueller married his highschool sweetheart three months after graduating from college and is still married to her today.
  • Mueller is a lifelong Republican.

You can see all the potential comparison points with Trump; military and public service, personal integrity, modesty, and marital fidelity, which the article goes into, but is pretty well covered ground, so I won’t bother.  

What were my takeaways?

  1. Mueller is a highly patriotic, dedicated, intelligent, and very, very serious man. He has earned our respect by risking his life for this country in a war he easily could have avoided, and by his subsequent years of dedicated and effective public service.  
  2. There is no bias in the Russia investigation. A man like Mueller doesn’t compromise an investigation because of disagreements over country club fees.
  3. Mueller will be scrupulously honest and exceeding thorough. He will do things by the book, dot every i, cross every t.
  4. Mueller will not be bullied or otherwise swayed by outside forces. You don’t voluntarily fight a war many scampered to avoid and then bow to political pressure.
  5. He is exceptionally qualified for this role, and should be trusted to see it through.
  6. At the end of the day, Mueller may or may not find that Trump colluded with the Russians, or committed another crime. But he’s not in it for political gain, and wouldn’t be wasting his time or the country’s money if there weren’t real issues worth exploring. The indictments he’s already filed and the guilty pleas he’s collected obviously prove that.

Trump Lies Yet Again (Regarding New York Times Story)

What’s become crystal clear in the painful 12 months that we’ve suffered through with Trump in office is that he lies by default and that any truth that makes it into his statements or tweets are purely accidental. He lies to inflame his base, he lies to feed his ego, he lies to attempt to diminish his enemies, he lies, he lies, he lies.

Here’s the latest in the form of a tweet.

So, Trump claims that :

  • The US bought phony secrets on Trump
  • For $1 million

Here’s what the story actually says.

  • The deal was made by American intelligence officials working through an American businessman attempting to recover secret hacking tools stolen from the NSA.
  • The Russian they were buying the information from promised “compromising material” on Trump, but was told, “they did not want the Trump material from the Russian, who was suspected of having murky ties to Russian intelligence and to Eastern European cybercriminals.”
  • They paid a $100,000 first installment on $1 million, but the first delivery of materials had nothing about the stolen tools, and consisted solely of “unverified and possibly fabricated information involving Mr. Trump and others, including bank records, emails and purported Russian intelligence data.”
  • The material was refused by the Intelligence officials and remained in Europe in the hands of the American businessman.
  • “The episode ended this year with American spies chasing the Russian out of Western Europe, warning him not to return if he valued his freedom.”

According to the Times story, “the Americans desperately wanted the hacking tools. The cyberweapons had been built to break into the computer networks of Russia, China and other rival powers. Instead, they ended up in the hands of a mysterious group calling itself the Shadow Brokers, which has since provided hackers with tools that infected millions of computers around the world, crippling hospitals, factories and businesses.”

So, the purpose of the operation was totally legitimate, the material on Trump totally incidental and refused by the Intelligence officials. The Times story specifically states, “The United States intelligence officials said they cut off the deal because they were wary of being entangled in a Russian operation to create discord inside the American government. They were also fearful of political fallout in Washington if they were seen to be buying scurrilous information on the president.”

What’s critical here is that Trump cites the New York Times story in his tweet, in essence saying that the story is factual. He’s not saying that the Times is wrong and the focus was entirely on obtaining negative materials on him. Rather, he’s totally misrepresenting (lying) about what the Times story actually says, secure in his belief that few if any of the 120,000 who liked or retweeted the story would actually read it.

So Trump lies, and in the process criticizes efforts made by intelligence officials to recover valuable NSA tools. Unfortunately, the most remarkable thing about this story is that it’s totally unremarkable. At this point, it would be more shocking if Trump actually told the truth.

(Author’s Note:  Image from the Daily Nooze)

Why Griffith Cares So Little About His Constituents (Hint: Follow the Money)

A recent letter in the Roanoke Times proclaimed “Griffith Represents Kock Brothers.” Easy enough to check, so I surfed over to www.opensecrets.org and confirmed that Griffith received $6,000 from Koch Industries in 2017-2018.

Check the total received and you see that Koch has contributed $41,000 to his four campaigns, a tidy sum, but trailing Alpha Natural Resources, who through the company, their PAC (political action committee), and wealthy individuals, contributed over $61,000. Alpha is a coal producing company, so if you’re wondering why Griffith supports coal so aggressively, well, there it is.None of this was really that surprising. However, when I surfed down to the total source of funds, I saw the chart below. This shows that only $15,083, or 3.8% of contributions to Griffith come from small individual donors. The rest comes from PACs, and large individual contributors, which are typically employees of large supporting organizations and PACs. 

For perspective, when Republican Devin Nunes published the Republican memo regarding Trump and Russia, his Democratic challenger received over $100,000 of contributions, with most coming from small contributors. That’s over six times the amount Griffith has collected in two days.

So if you’re wondering why Griffith spends so much time working for coal, oil, and gas companies, and so little time proposing legislation that helps his constituents, now you know.  He serves for those who fund his campaigns.

If you want to remove Griffith, you’re going to have to support his challengers, with your contributions, with your energy, and ultimately with your votes.

Here’s the website for Anthony Flaccavento – Flacc4Congress.com
Here’s the website for Justin Santopietro – Justin4VA.com

Your New Tax Bill at Work (Deficit to Near $1 Trillion in 2018)

Two quick takes on the new tax code. First is from the Congressional Budget Office telling us that the deficit will sky back to near $1 Trillion in 2018:

“Because the tax legislation reduced individual income taxes for most taxpayers, the Internal Revenue Service released new income tax withholding tables for employers to use beginning no later than the middle of February 2018. As a result of those changes, CBO now estimates that, starting in February, withheld amounts of individual income taxes will be roughly $10 billion to $15 billion per month less than anticipated before the new law was enacted. Consequently, withheld receipts are expected to be less than the amounts paid in the comparable period last year.”

According to the Washington Post, “The U.S. Treasury expects to borrow $955 billion this fiscal year. It’s the highest amount of borrowing in six years, and a big jump from the $519 billion the federal government borrowed last year.”

So, yes, Obama did borrow heavy to address the fiscal crisis and two wars Bush handed him but had reduced the deficit during his last six years. Republicans talk a good game, but deficits always seem to rise faster under their administrations, or when cleaning up messes from their administrations.

On a much brighter note, the much-heralded tax cut, which slashed the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21% (saving Apple $47 billion), and gave back an average of $51,000 to those in the top 1%, did result in a certain secretary getting $1.50 more per week in her paycheck. Join me in a slow clap.

Not surprisingly, after some reflection, Paul Ryan deleted his tweet about this fabulously fortunate woman already bearing her share of the benefits of trickle-down economics. Make America Great Again.

As we’ve said all along, the tax bill will deliver more money to the wealthy by raising deficits (borrowing money to give to the rich), while delivering next to no benefits to poorer people who really need the help.

Griffith Toes The Republican Party Line in Thoughtless Memo-Gate Blog Post – Is Anyone Surprised?

by Fayma Nye

Morgan Griffith’s blog post regarding Memo-Gate demonstrates his thoughtless regurgitation of whatever position the Republican Party directs him to try to cram down our throats. Entitled, Rogue Individuals at FBI Tilted the Scales of Justice, Griffith’s tagline sets the tone for yet another attempt by the majority party to create evidence of a grievous offense where none exists. The “evidence” offered and intended to “prove” the claim of “rogue individuals” and “political purposes” does exactly the opposite.

Read through to the last paragraph of the memo, and it contradicts its own assertions by stating (correctly) that Papadopoulos’ drunken bragging to an Australian diplomat about information the Russians had on Hillary Clinton is what triggered the Russia investigation. The diplomat contacted the FBI, and that, along with other evidence, convinced numerous attorneys and the judges on the FISA court that surveillance was, indeed, warranted.

Here’s what NPR had to say. “But what this line in the memo reveals is that the investigation was initially triggered not by the Steele dossier but by information about the activities of Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos.”

The Memo Doesn’t Dispute Collusion

It’s also interesting to note that the memo doesn’t address, in any way, whether any collusion existed between Russia and the Trump campaign. Trump and his minions have denied collusion from the start, but evidence of a clear connection have emerged as multiple Trump officials, including Popoadopulous and Michael Flynn have pled guilty to lying to the FBI about this very issue. It’s a thinly-veiled and frankly pathetic attempt to divert the Mueller investigation away from pursuing this critical issue that threatens to undermine our democracy (see Time Magazine, Donald Trump’s Lies Are Fatally Wounding Our Democracy).

Overall, the Republicans have become confident that their supporters will believe anything if they repeat it often enough, and Morgan Griffith’s comments are an example of this. Did he even read the memo through to the end? In his eagerness to “pile on” and revel in the sanctimonious glory of staking a claim on the moral high ground, he couldn’t take the time to read for himself the entire three and one-half pages.

Rather than prove their premise, the Republicans have shown, instead, that they have built an entire case on their lie that the FISA surveillance permit was granted based on the Christopher Steele dossier, which it was not.

Did Trump collude with the Russians? We still don’t know, and nothing about Memo-Gate offers proof one way or another. Sound far-fetched? Well, we absolutely do know that Trump’s son and son-in-law met with Russians claiming to have damaging information on Hillary Clinton, a meeting that Stephen Bannon (of all people), labeled treasonous. We know that Trump wrote a false memo on behalf of his son claiming that the meeting related to “a program about the adoption of Russian children.”

What Memo-Gate does prove is that Griffith and his Republican cohorts care more about protecting Trump than they do about the existential issue of whether the current president of the United States colluded with one or our principal enemies to get there. We in the VA9th deserve better.

Don’t be gullible. Make up your own mind. My mind is clear that if you simply substitute the words “Republican party” for “FBI” in the tagline, it reads true.

Read Griffith’s entire post here: Griffith: Rogue Individuals at FBI Tilted the Scales of Justice.

Read House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence memo and fact-checking comments here.

Flaccavento’s Rural Progressive Platform Highlighted in Yes Magazine Article

Many voters in the VA9th support Anthony Flaccavento because he has a realistic vision for how rural areas can pull themselves up by the bootstraps, not through food stamps and welfare, but through targeted investment. Flaccavento formalized his plans into the Rural Progressive Platform, upon which his candidacy is largely based. In a recent article, Why Rural America Isn’t a Lost Cause for Progressive Ideas, Yes! Magazine recognized the platform as a dynamic program that’s being adopted by candidates in other states like Pennsylvania and New York.

Describing the program, Yes! details, “The platform outlines a framework for progressive values within a rural context through the lens of three central elements: land, livelihood and community. It provides progressive policy examples that cater to each of those elements, including increased investment in sustainable farming, ending policies that undermine organized labor, and expansion of rural health clinics and addiction treatment centers.”

Largely based upon the platform, the article relates that rural politicians around the country are “buying into a new way of campaigning…talking about raising the minimum wage, universal health care, debt-free college and investing in local assets, like natural landscapes and small business development, instead of industrial recruitment.”

What have the Republicans offered to date? Tax cuts for the rich, and the busted promise of trickle-down economics. In the article, Flaccavento disagrees, stating, “Trickle-down economics has been a disaster for most rural places, and we need a bottom-up alternative,” which is a common refrain in his campaign speeches. On his website, Flaccavento further elaborates. “Forty years of cutting tax rates for the wealthiest people and the biggest corporations has not led to widespread prosperity.  On the contrary, it has made a few people unimaginably rich, while diverting resources away from fixing serious problems and building real wealth.  Nowhere could this be more true than in Southwest Virginia.

As the Yes! article points out, Flaccavento’s ideas are taking hold in other races. One example is Emily Martz, who is running for office in New York’s 21st Congressional District, who Yes! quotes as saying, “We absolutely have the power to create jobs that can sustain families if we invest in our two biggest assets, which are our people and our natural resources.” 

Our current representative, Morgan Griffith, hasn’t promoted a single cause not motivated by his corporate donors or Republican policies as spearheaded by President Trump. He’s a parrot for the wealthy and the Republican party, not an advocate for the VA9th. We need a Congressman with the ideas, energy, and focus to help the VP9th prosper. As Flaccavento’s ideas gain national recognition and acceptance, it becomes clearer that he is the best choice.

Countering Republican Debate Tactics

For better or for worse, many of us find ourselves debating Republicans on Facebook and other forums. A brilliant video from John Oliver reveals the tactics used by Trump and his followers to distract and waste our time. I’ve embedded it below, and it will improve both your efficiency and effectiveness online.

If you prefer reading about it, Rolling Stone wrote about the video in an article entitled, Watch John Oliver Break Down Trump’s Three Dangerous Manipulation Tactics, which you can read or skim my thoughts below.

The three tactics are delegitimizing the press (Fake News), Whataboutism, and trolling. Here are some examples of how they’ve been used and some ideas on how to refute them.

Delegitimizing the Press (Fake News)

Republicans criticize every source of news that they disagree with. They don’t feel the need to cite alternative sources that contradict the facts, they just cry Fake News and act like they’ve proven their case.

On Facebook, I’ve had posters question Snopes.com, the Congressional Budget Office, FactCheck.org, the Guardian, Wikipedia, and many other sources. The best policy I’ve found is to cite original sources whenever possible. So don’t cite Wikipedia, cite the source cited by Wikipedia. Same with Snopes, or the Washington Post, or CNN.

When challenged, I ask whether they have any reputable sources that they can cite to disprove the facts I’ve stated. If they don’t cite any sources, I stop responding to their claims. “I’ll be glad to address any facts that you cite with sources, but otherwise, I’ll just stick with the position that I’ve proven.” 


The next tactic is “whataboutism.” One frequent use by Trump after the election was to repeat the lie about Clinton giving 20% of the US’ uranium to Russia in exchange for contributions to the Clinton Foundation, despite the fact that the claims are patently baseless, as detailed in this PolitiFact article.

The response is to steer the conversation back to the issue at hand. For example, “even assuming what you’re saying is true, which it’s not, you’re saying that it’s OK for Trump to have colluded with the Russians because Clinton did this?” The risk is that the Republican will claim a double standard, or that the media is only focused on the issue because it’s Trump.

The best thing to do here is to simply beg off. “I’m willing to talk about Trump’s many ties to Russia and the treasonous nature of the Trump Tower meetings (as Steve Bannon has pointed out), but I’m not going to respond to extraneous claims.” If you can then make an additional statement in support of your original argument, perhaps you can get the Republican back on track.

I’m not saying it’s easy, particularly when the claim is a whopper, but recognize that it’s a tactic, an attempt to divert your attention and wear you down. Don’t get sucked in.


The final tactic is trolling, or making provocative statements just to anger you and get a reaction. Call it another distraction technique. There are dozens of Trump examples, including his tweets about President Obama wiretapping his home in Trump Tower. The answer here is to just not engage. “Even if President Obama did wiretap Trump’s apartment, which I’m sure he didn’t, I don’t see how that’s relevant to discussing how the new tax bill benefits the rich.”

My favorite example from Facebook demonstrates all three tactics. In a discussion about healthcare (healthcare?!), a poster brought up that Hillary Clinton admired Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, who in 1924 spoke to a group of KKK women about birth control and once supported Eugenics. This is a clear example of both whataboutism and trolling. As you can see, I bit and found a Snopes article that refuted her claim, to which she used the first tactic, delegitimizing the press, of course citing no sources.  

The best response would have been, “Even if what you’re saying is true, which I’m sure it’s not, this has nothing to do with health care. Let’s stick to that, shall we?” Next time I’ll say that, and avoid getting pulled down the rabbit hole.

Many of us fighting the good fight have full-time jobs, and all of us have better things to do than waste time debating inefficiently. Watch for these tactics, recognize them when you see them and respond strategically.

I’m not a huge Oliver fan, but this bit is brilliant. Take five and have a look and listen.

Time to Move On From Coal

Few things in life are more distressing than losing a job or profession. But nothing is more wasteful than throwing good money after bad, or raising hopes that will never be fulfilled. So it is with coal in the VA9th.

Pictures are worth a thousand words. What the Virgina Coal Extraction image atop the page tells us is that:

  • Despite what Morgan Griffith has inaccurately labeled Obama’s war on coal, coal production in Virginia peaked in 1988 and started its precipitous decline under George H. W. Bush.
  • Coal production and the associated jobs aren’t coming back, despite claims by Griffith and Trump.
  • The best assistance we can provide to former minors is to find alternative opportunities, not make empty promises.

As confirmation, in a recent study, Indiana University researchers found that “Current federal efforts to revive the coal industry will likely do more harm than good to fragile Appalachian communities transitioning from coal as a major source of employment.”  The study’s key conclusions were:

  • Rolling back environmental regulations will not lead to a significant resurgence of the coal industry because those regulations played only a minor role relative to slowing demand for electricity and a surge in cheaper, cleaner sources of energy.
  • Promising coal communities a return of their jobs has the potential to fill them with false hope, which can threaten the very progress that has been made in launching job training programs and other transition steps.
  • Government programs should focus on helping communities find and harness new economic and human development opportunities with a focus on health and education, professional growth, and public services.

It’s natural to feel empathy towards those who have lost jobs through no fault of their own. But the correct focus is on finding new jobs, not promising the return of jobs that will never come back.

Data Sources:

The chart atop the page is from David Roper, Professor Emeritus at Virginia Tech.

You can find data sources for the image here.


Trump Family Values (The Grift is in)

Congress is working on tax cuts, the benefits of which will largely go to the very wealthy. Some small benefits may accrue to parts of the middle class, but these will be temporary, They will sunset in no more than ten years. Other middle-class folks may find that their taxes will increase.

In eighteenth-century England at the time of the Revolution, the upper class thought it was their due that the wealth of the nation should flow primarily to them. We now have a President and a wealthy Republican donor class that seems to hold similar values. Given the massive gift Congress is about to bestow on the Trump family and other billionaires, it is an opportune time to explore how the Trumps gained their wealth.

According to Trump family biographer Gwenda Blair, Friedrich Trump, the President’s grandfather, immigrated to the US in 1886 to avoid conscription into the Germany army. He bounced around New York a few years and then headed to the gold fields of Washington State and later the Klondike. In both places, he operated restaurants, hotels, and bordellos. He sold his establishment in the Klondike just before the Mounties rode in to close the place down. Now wealthy, he returned to Bavaria for a period and married. He lost his Bavarian citizenship for evading the draft and for not paying taxes. He was then forced to return to America. Settling in Queens, he began dabbling in real estate.

Fred Trump, Friedrich’s son, and the President’s father, became a builder and real estate developer as a young man. He was successful and attained great wealth during and immediately after the Second World War. During the war he built barracks and apartments for Navy personnel and after the war federally subsidized housing for returning veterans. In the early fifties he was investigated for war profiteering. He was accused of pocketing payments earmarked for architectural and contracting services and also pocketing the excess funds from overestimating construction costs. He slickly evaded culpability by saying that keeping these funds was not strictly illegal and it was necessary to get the work done fast.

Donald Trump’s ethically challenged business practices are too numerous to fully list here, but they include lying to the New Jersey Casino Control Commission to get his gaming licenses, being fined for money laundering at his casinos, bilking investors out of their life savings for condos that were never built, and promoting dubious schemes like Trump University. He has a decade’s long history of not paying subcontractors and suppliers, some of whom were forced into bankruptcy. Unable to get loans from most American banks after several bankruptcies, he turned to Putin-connected oligarchs for financing.

On October 4, 2017, the New Yorker published the results of its probe (done with Pro Publica and WNYC) into a criminal investigation of two Trump children. From 2010 to 2012 the Major Economic Crimes Bureau of the Manhattan DA’s office built a criminal fraud case against Ivanka and Donald Jr. There was evidence that the two had conspired to use false information to lure prospective buyers into purchasing condos in the Trump Soho South project. An indictment seemed likely when the case was inexplicably dropped after Marc Kasowitz, Donald Trump’s personal attorney, visited the DA, Cyrus Vance, Jr., and made a substantial contribution to Vance’s reelection campaign.

Grifting seems to be an inherited talent in the Trump clan, and now, the biggest scam of all is being foisted on the American people. This is the proposition that there is anything good for most Americans in the proposed Republican tax cut. Independent analyses concur that huge benefits will flow to the one-percent and that the federal deficit will explode.

This is all supposed to work out because corporations and the rich will use their windfall to reinvest in the economy and spur growth. It does not, however, take a degree in economics to know that this is blather. After the Reagan tax cuts, hundreds of thousands of manufacturing enterprises moved offshore, and the Bush tax cuts led to financial speculation and the Crash of 2008. Indeed, if the Reagan and Bush tax cuts had worked, there would be no need for Trump tax cuts. That is obvious common sense. So, why are the Republicans doing this? To paraphrase Senator Lindsey Graham, they need to deliver for their wealthy donors, and as for the Trump family, millions will flow into their pockets. The grift is in.

(Editor’s note: Image is from here, another great article on how Trump is destroying the presidency.)