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Coming Attractions: Trump, Taxes, January 6

Maggie Haberman writes that the coming week may be among the most consequential in the life of Donald Trump. First, the January 6 Committee meets today on the teevee to debate and vote on criminal referrals. Hints have been dropped that there will probably be criminal referrals for Trump. That’s 1 pm EST, folks. I’ll be watching.

Then, the taxes:

On Tuesday, the House Ways and Means Committee will meet privately to discuss what to do with the six years of Mr. Trump’s tax returns that it finally obtained after nearly four years of legal efforts by Mr. Trump to block their release.

The committee could release them publicly, which would most likely be done in the final days of Democratic control of Congress.

This is from Politico:

Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal won access to Trump’s filings in November, after a long court fight, but they remain closely held, with only a handful of lawmakers and aides allowed to examine them. They’re still protected by strict privacy laws that make it a felony for anyone to divulge even basic details about Trump’s taxes.

But there is a way around those rules: Neal’s committee could vote privately to make them public, and that’s what the Massachusetts Democrat wants his colleagues to consider in a closed-door meeting now set for Tuesday at 3 p.m.

Go for it, folks. And then Wednesday the J6 Committee is expected to release its final report.

Some long reads worth reading:

Putin’s War: The Inside Story of a Catastrophe in the New York Times. No paywall.

‘THE central issue’: How the fall of Roe v. Wade shook the 2022 election in Politico.

How Trump jettisoned restraints at Mar-a-Lago and prompted legal peril at the Washington Post. No paywall. Trump sounds truly pathetic in this one.

On some quiet days, another aide, Molly Michael, who served as Trump’s assistant in the White House, has called around to Trump’s network of allies across the country requesting that they dial the former president to boost his spirits with positive affirmations. There’s nothing going on, she has told them, adding that his friends know how restless he gets when nothing is going on, according to people who have heard her appeal. …

… A longtime Trump confidant termed his Mar-a-Lago existence, where he has tried to re-create the trappings of the presidency, as “sad.” Comparing it to life at the White House, this person added, “It’s like a Barbie Dream House miniature.” …

…Trump took time to readjust to his post-presidential life. He was surprised by how much his Secret Service detail and motorcade had shrunk. He no longer had use of a major aircraft; Air Force One was unavailable to him, and his company’s TRUMP-emblazoned Boeing 757 was in the shop — repairs that took years, with delays that infuriated him. His living spaces were far smaller than the White House. And he was annoyed that his statements to the press were not getting much attention, four advisers said.

At one point in early 2021, Trump asked a team of advisers if he could summon a press pool — like the contingent of reporters, photographers and videographers who travel with the president — for an event at his Florida club. But there was no pool on call because he was no longer president.

“We had to explain to him that he didn’t have a group standing around waiting for him anymore,” one former aide said.

Trump Campaign’s Big Idea: Get the NFT-Hawking Former President to Focus on “Policy” by Eric Lutz at Vanity Fair.

Perhaps more than at any point of his political career — even more than after the time he actually lost election — the guy just looks like a loser

Fortunately for him, the brains at Trump campaign headquarters have a plan to reverse his fortunes: According to the Wall Street Journal, advisers to the former president are preparing to send him out early next year on a tour of “policy events” across the country in order to “remind voters of the ideas Mr. Trump advanced during his time in office.” 

“If he runs on his record,” Republican Representative Randy Weber told the paper, “he’s got a lot to run on.” …

… There are, of course, a couple big problems with this policy-centric campaign strategy. 

The most obvious is he doesn’t have any real policy ideas. Oh, sure, he has opinions — let’s buy Greenlandlet’s build a big beautiful walllet’s re-run the election from two years ago, and so on. But none of that is really policy, and unless he’s spent his month in Mar-a-Lago exile doing a hell of a lot of cramming, it’s hard to imagine him suddenly changing. Susie Wiles, his incoming campaign manager, is just the latest to indulge in the delusion of a more disciplined Trump — and, like the others who have sought to keep him focused, it’s only a matter of time before she collides head-first with the reality of who he is. 

That wouldn’t necessarily be a problem, politically. While he proved a useful means to an end for other Republicans’ agendas — mostly related to tax cuts, the judiciary, and the border — Trump’s appeal on the right has never actually been about policy, but about his unique ability to inflict pain on the people they don’t like. The trouble is, he even seems to be losing his knack for that. Yes, the demagoguery is still there. But none of it, in the early-going here, has seemed to burn with the same intensity it once did. His act has gotten old, the far-right has found new vessels for its cruelty, and the reek of his desperation is becoming intolerable — even, it seems, to some in his base. “i can’t believe i’m going to jail for an nft salesman,” white nationalist internet personality Baked Alaska, who is facing six months of prison time for his role in the January 6 attack on the Capitol, tweeted after Trump’s pathetic “major announcement” Thursday.  

I wonder how people have failed to notice this.

11 thoughts on “Coming Attractions: Trump, Taxes, January 6

  1. “remind voters of the ideas Mr. Trump advanced during his time in office.”

    Ignorance Ignorance Ignorance

    Me Me Me Me

    Hate Hate Hate Hate

  2. According to the Wall Street Journal, advisers to the former president are preparing to send him out early next year on a tour of “policy events” across the country in order to “remind voters of the ideas Mr. Trump advanced during his time in office.” 

    What they mean is, Trump sits in a room while people tell him what a great job he did.

    Whatever their title is, the real job of anyone in Trump's orbit is geriatric nurse.

  3. Criminal referrals to DOJ for indictments on four charges; they say he did it.

    In other breaking news, water is wet!

  4. Uhm…

    tRUMP doesn't understand music, so he doen't have a record to stand on.

    He also doesn't have a cassette-tape or CD to stand on!

    And definitely no newer digital audio technology.

    Oh, you mean his POLITICAL record?!?

    Well, he also doesn't have any record, politically,either.

    But tRUMP WILL have a record!


    A PRISON record!!!

  5. It's been obvious to me since he lost the election. The midterms only confirmed it. Trump's The Man Who Came to Dinner; he just won't leave.

    The inevitability of this was apparent in the 2018 midterms, and it was confirmed in 2020. Which made these elections just past so risible. It seems half the Republicans realize this, while the other half can't admit it, and they fall back on nonsense hysteria and slander. It's all they've got.     

  6. T***p: "Why is almost everyone instantly turning against me?"

    Almost everyone: "Saves time, Donald".

  7. I was down at the airport last week and a conservative friend was sporting a 2024 MAGA hat. *sigh* I'm not surprised but the most recent polls suggest Republicans are switching to DeSantis. I'm cautiously accepting the numbers because I didn't think the cultists would easily switch because cultists are, well, a cult.

    Perhaps the pin that burst the bubble (and the primary hasn't started yet) is the perception of weakness. Not insurrection, or taxes, or Covid, or indictments, or rape scandals. What in hell was(is) the feature(s) or combination of vices that Republican voters find so attractive. (And the voters have not changed – nor has Trump.)  So what did?

    I'm at a disadvantage for not ever watching an episode of "Apprentice." But from what I gather the schtick they wrote for Trump was that he was a genius business mogul who 'owned' the domain of NYC economically and politically. I'm suggesting the implicit reputation that bureaucrats quaked at his approach. Trump was so highly regarded and feared that no one would oppose Trump. He was invincible because his wealth was its own armor. He'd get things done because wealth is its own get-out of-jail-free card. 

    I suggested in a comment a few weeks ago that the Confederacy was built as much on adoration of the wealthy in the deep south as it was contempt of slaves. The "system" was one of small kings and kingdoms built by slaves and sustained in a "democracy" by a voting class who were not slaves and benefited in small ways from the institution of slavery and the tease that they could own slaves and maybe become kings. (See the true story of the Alamo.)

    Trump is the unabashed king almost eliminated by the Civil War. On that reputation, Trump took potshots at Obama – outside the TV show but built on that reputation of being an aristocrat. This was the dog whistle that he wasn't like other aristocrats – he "got" the subliminal power structure that the conservative GOP had become. (And I credit Rush Limbaugh here for stoking resentment of Democrats putting limits on big business for decades.)

    Problem: Trump lost the election. Trump failed in the insurrection. Trump's most loyal mobsters are going to jail, the militia leaders for years. Trump hasn't vanquished any of his enemies in two years. The midterms were a disaster. (Democrats were saved by Trump's US Supreme Court and reversing Roe, which Republicans have to take the blame for. Dog catches car.) Trump seems to be getting credit for the erosion of women's rights. 

    Trump looks like a pre-Civil-war slave running across a field pursued by dogs you can see and the torches of the white rabble you can't see. The list of agencies and persons who are dragging Trump into court throughout next year is bad enough. There's the likelihood that DoJ will file federal criminal charges. Trump looks weak – instead of kicking ass, he's getting his ass kicked at almost every turn. The bubble has burst. It remains to be seen if Trump can leverage victimhood to recover lost support but if criminal charges make Trump look more vulnerable, it won't create momentum. 

    DeSantis has a problem the media hasn't identified. DeSantis has no discernable personality. Once he declares the spotlight will be on a mechanical person programmed to manifest through politics (in Florida) using the power of the state to persecute political enemies. DeSantis is losing in court frequently – that will be a problem. DeSantis is running to the right of Trump – I think Florida will enact a six-week ban on abortion. DeSantis is going after Evangelicals and they are responding. That might get DeSantis through the primaries but it will doom him in the general.

    Popcorn please. 

  8. I checked out the article about Russian failure. This is what you get from kleptocratic oligarchs running government. Putin is nothing but a second rate bureacrat not a soldier no military back ground not genius. All he did was bomb apartments and blame terrorists to rise to power. 

    Oligarchs steal from tax money. Most of socalled conservatism is based on this and only this. This is what we fight every day in this country. If you want to end up a hollowed out mess like russia just keep on the path we are on.


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