Rabbit Hole News

Item One. The New York Times has a new expose on Trump’s taxes. His taxes show a $21 million profit from sources that make no sense. This was while he was running for POTUS and his campaign funds were dwindling.

The bulk of the money went through a company called Trump Las Vegas Sales and Marketing that had little previous income, no clear business purpose and no employees.  …

…Experts in tax and campaign-finance law consulted by The Times said that while more information was needed to assess the legitimacy of the payments, they could be legally problematic.

“Why all of a sudden does this company have more than $20 million in fees that haven’t been there before?” said Daniel Shaviro, a professor of taxation at the New York University School of Law. “And all of this money is going to a man who just happens to be running for president and might not have a lot of cash on hand?”

Unless the payments were for actual business expenses, he said, claiming a tax deduction for them would be illegal. If they were not legitimate and were also used to fund Mr. Trump’s presidential run, they could be considered illegal campaign contributions.

The article goes into Trump’s business relationships in Las Vegas in depth, but it appears that one of Trump’s business partners, casino mogul Phil Ruffin, just dumped that money into the company where Trump had access to it. It doesn’t appear to have been earned through any business venture. There were other transactions that look fishy and seem to have been aimed at transfering large payments directly from corporate accounts into the Trump campaign.

Item Two: The Washington Post reports that in 2014 Trump got a $21 million tax break — $21 million seems to be a magic number today — on a property in New York. The tax break looks hinky and is being investigated by New York Attorney General Letitia James.

Item Three: Paul Waldman writes that Trump’s campaign is in a death spiral, and all of his frantic efforts to pull out of it are just making it worse. Refusing to do a virtual town hall is just the latest example.

So Trump is spending his time calling in to Fox programs, rage-tweeting madly, berating members of his own cabinet, and trying to convince people that Hillary Clinton framed him for the Russia scandal in 2016. He’ll be holding a “virtual rally” on Rush Limbaugh’s radio program Friday, then that evening he will go on Tucker Carlson’s show to get an on-air “medical evaluation” from a Fox News “doctor” best known for spreading misinformation on the pandemic.

How many swing voters do you think Trump is going to find that way?

Waldman points out that Trump is, bascially, running the same way he ran in 2016 — “His formula in that race was to capture the nomination by appealing to the ugliest impulses within his party, then win the general election by continuing to play on fear and resentment. Instead of working to win voters across the center, he found a latent Trump vote to activate.” The old formula just isn’t working this time. And, as many have pointed out, it was a lot easier to demonize Hillary Clinton than to tarnish Joe Biden.

BTW, Biden’s chances continue to improve at FiveThirtyEight. The nerds now give Biden an 85 in 100 chance to win, and Trump 15 in 100.

Item Four: It will not surprise you that in TrumpWorld, the terrorists who plotted to kidnap Gov. Whitmer are left-wing anarchists. Seriously. That’s because one of the plotters is in a video expressing opposition to Donald Trump. Apparently Trump isn’t fascist enough for him. One problem with this theory is that several other plotters were photographed in April taking part in the anti-covid-restriction demonstration at the Michigan capital. Remember this?

There’s two of them, first and third from the left.

I understand a couple other of the plotters are in other photos taken that day.

Some people don’t fit neatly into left-right boxes. I don’t doubt there are people out there with extremist right-wing views who don’t care for Donald Trump for various reasons. There are a few people who supported Bernie Sanders and then switched to Trump when Sanders wasn’t nominated. That makes absolutely no sense, but it happens. But if the meatballs who wanted to kidnap Gov. Whitmer are lefties, I’m Jason Momoa.