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The Soup Nazi 10.20.2020 03:52 AM

Speaking of...

The Worst Songs and Performances About COVID-19
Haven't we suffered enough?

!@#$%! 10.20.2020 08:39 AM

lmfao that old video of poor john lydon

history has proven him wrong

lol @ dotards in this thread, but don’t give them backlinks

choc e-Claire 10.20.2020 07:23 PM

Trump Records Shed New Light on Chinese Business Pursuits - The New York Times

Anyone wanna be a dear and copy the article (paywalled)?

!@#$%! 10.20.2020 07:54 PM

Trump Records Shed New Light on Chinese Business Pursuits
As he raises questions about his opponent’s standing with China, President Trump’s taxes reveal details about his own activities there, including a previously unknown bank account.

By Mike McIntire, Russ Buettner and Susanne Craig
Oct. 20, 2020Updated 7:50 p.m. ET

President Trump at a 2017 meeting with the leader of China, Xi Jinping. Mr. Trump has a long history of chasing licensing deals in the country.Stephen Crowley/The New York Times
President Trump and his allies have tried to paint the Democratic nominee, Joseph R. Biden Jr., as soft on China, in part by pointing to his son’s business dealings there.

Senate Republicans produced a report asserting, among other things, that Mr. Biden’s son Hunter “opened a bank account” with a Chinese businessman, part of what it said were his numerous connections to “foreign nationals and foreign governments across the globe.”

But Mr. Trump’s own business history is filled with overseas financial deals, and some have involved the Chinese state. He spent a decade unsuccessfully pursuing projects in China, operating an office there during his first run for president and forging a partnership with a major government-controlled company.

And it turns out that China is one of only three foreign nations — the others are Britain and Ireland — where Mr. Trump maintains a bank account, according to an analysis of the president’s tax records, which were obtained by The New York Times. The foreign accounts do not show up on Mr. Trump’s public financial disclosures, where he must list personal assets, because they are held under corporate names. The identities of the financial institutions are not clear.

The Chinese account is controlled by Trump International Hotels Management L.L.C., which the tax records show paid $188,561 in taxes in China while pursuing licensing deals there from 2013 to 2015.

The tax records do not include details on how much money may have passed through the overseas accounts, though the Internal Revenue Service does require filers to report the portion of their income derived from other countries. The British and Irish accounts are held by companies that operate Mr. Trump’s golf courses in Scotland and Ireland, which regularly report millions of dollars in revenue from those countries. Trump International Hotels Management reported just a few thousand dollars from China.

In response to questions from The Times, Alan Garten, a lawyer for the Trump Organization, said the company had “opened an account with a Chinese bank having offices in the United States in order to pay the local taxes” associated with efforts to do business there. He said the company had opened the account after establishing an office in China “to explore the potential for hotel deals in Asia.”

“No deals, transactions or other business activities ever materialized and, since 2015, the office has remained inactive,” Mr. Garten said. “Though the bank account remains open, it has never been used for any other purpose.”

Mr. Garten would not identify the bank in China where the account is held. Until last year, China’s biggest state-controlled bank rented three floors in Trump Tower, a lucrative lease that drew accusations of a conflict of interest for the president.

Trump Tower in Manhattan had a lucrative lease agreement until last year with China’s largest state-controlled bank.Dave Sanders for The New York Times
China continues to be an issue in the 2020 presidential campaign, from the president’s trade war to his barbs over the origin of the coronavirus pandemic. His campaign has tried to portray Mr. Biden as a “puppet” of China who, as vice president, misread the dangers posed by its growing power. Mr. Trump has also sought to tar his opponent with overblown or unsubstantiated assertions about Hunter Biden’s business dealings there while his father was in office.

“He’s like a vacuum cleaner — he follows his father around collecting,” Mr. Trump said recently, referring to Mr. Biden’s son. “What a disgrace. It’s a crime family.”

In a misleading claim amplified by surrogates like his son Donald Trump Jr. and his lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president has said the younger Mr. Biden “walked out of China” with $1.5 billion after accompanying his father on an official trip in 2013. Numerous news articles and fact-checking sites have explained that the huge figure was actually a fund-raising goal set by an investment firm in which Hunter Biden obtained a 10 percent stake after his father left office. The firm did receive financial backing from a large state-controlled bank, but it is not clear the fund-raising target was ever met, and there is no evidence Hunter Biden received a large personal payout.

As for the former vice president, his public financial disclosures, along with the income tax returns he voluntarily released, show no income or business dealings of his own in China. However, there is ample evidence of Mr. Trump’s efforts to join the myriad American firms that have long done business there — and the tax records for him and his companies that were obtained by The Times offer new details about them.

As with Russia, where he explored hotel and tower projects in Moscow without success, Mr. Trump has long sought a licensing deal in China. His efforts go at least as far back as 2006, when he filed trademark applications in Hong Kong and the mainland. Many Chinese government approvals came after he became president. (The president’s daughter Ivanka Trump also won Chinese trademark approvals for her personal business after she joined the White House staff.)

Trump trademarks that were approved by the Chinese government.Ng Han Guan/Associated Press

A trademark held by the president’s daughter.Mark Schiefelbein/Associated Press

In 2008, Mr. Trump pursued an office tower project in Guangzhou that never got off the ground. But his efforts accelerated in 2012 with the opening of a Shanghai office, and tax records show that one of Mr. Trump’s China-related companies, THC China Development L.L.C., claimed $84,000 in deductions that year for travel costs, legal fees and office expenses.

After effectively planting his flag there, Mr. Trump found a partner in the State Grid Corporation, one of the nation’s largest government-controlled enterprises. Agence France-Presse reported in 2016 that the partnership would have involved licensing and managing a development in Beijing. Mr. Trump was reportedly still pursuing the deal months into his first presidential campaign, but it was abandoned after State Grid became ensnared in a corruption investigation by Chinese authorities.

It is difficult to determine from the tax records precisely how much money Mr. Trump has spent trying to land business in China. The records show that he has invested at least $192,000 in five small companies created specifically to pursue projects there over the years. Those companies claimed at least $97,400 in business expenses since 2010, including some minor payments for taxes and accounting fees as recently as 2018.

[shit, this is longer than the epic of gilgamesh, i ran out of characters]

!@#$%! 10.20.2020 07:55 PM

But Mr. Trump’s plans in China have been largely driven by a different company, Trump International Hotels Management — the one with a Chinese bank account.

The company has direct ownership of THC China Development, but is also involved in management of other Trump-branded properties around the world, and it is not possible to discern from its tax records how much of its financial activity is China-related. It normally reports a few million dollars in annual income and deductible expenses.

In 2017, the company reported an unusually large spike in revenue — some $17.5 million, more than the previous five years’ combined. It was accompanied by a $15.1 million withdrawal by Mr. Trump from the company’s capital account.

On the president’s public financial disclosures for that year, he reported the large revenue figure, and described it only as “management fees and other contract payments.” One significant event for the company that is known to have occurred in 2017 was the buyout of its management contract for the SoHo hotel in New York, which Bloomberg reported to have cost around $6 million.

Mr. Garten would not comment on the specific amount cited by Bloomberg, but said that the contract buyout represented a “significant portion” of the company’s revenue and that the remaining money was not related to China.

Outside of China, Mr. Trump has had more success attracting wealthy Chinese buyers for his properties in other countries. His hotels and towers in Las Vegas and Vancouver, British Columbia — locales known for attracting Chinese real estate investors — have found numerous Chinese purchasers, and in at least one instance drew the attention of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

During the 2016 campaign, a shell company controlled by a Chinese couple from Vancouver bought 11 units, for $3.1 million, in the Las Vegas tower Mr. Trump co-owns with the casino magnate Phil Ruffin. The owner of a Las Vegas-based financial services firm told The Times he was later visited by two F.B.I. agents asking about the company behind the purchases, which he said had used his office address in incorporation papers without his knowledge. It is not known what became of the inquiry.


Protesters outside the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Vancouver, British Columbia, a property that has attracted Chinese buyers.Ben Nelms/Bloomberg
Mr. Garten said the Trump Organization had “never been contacted by the F.B.I. and has no knowledge of any investigation.”

In Vancouver, numerous Chinese buyers of units in Mr. Trump’s hotel and tower helped increase licensing fees from that project to $5.8 million in 2016, the year it was completed, according to tax records. The project was built by a Canadian-based firm controlled by the family of Malaysia’s richest man, Tony Tiah Thee Kian, who operates hotels in China and elsewhere. CNN reported in 2018 that the Vancouver operation was the subject of a counterintelligence review related to Ivanka Trump’s need for a security clearance.

And not long after winning the 2016 election, Mr. Trump reported selling a penthouse in one of his Manhattan buildings for $15.8 million to a Chinese-American businesswoman named Xiao Yan Chen, who bought the unit, previously occupied by Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, in an off-market transaction. Ms. Chen runs an international consulting firm and reportedly has high-level connections to government and political elites in China.

Mr. Trump’s tax records show that he reported a capital gain of at least $5.6 million from the penthouse sale in 2017, his first year as president.

Jo Becker contributed reporting.

The Soup Nazi 10.20.2020 11:52 PM

^ Regarding the tax topic (which sounds like last century's news given that nowadays the news cycle is measured in nanoseconds, but this couldn't be more relevant). From Washington Monthly:

Quote:

Whoever Owns Trump’s Enormous Debts Could Be Running the Country

At long last, the New York Times has Donald Trump’s tax returns. The picture they paint, put shortly, is one of epic financial malfeasance, likely criminal tax avoidance on a massive scale, probable bank fraud, opulent living at taxpayer expense, unethical self-dealing and wild recklessness more becoming a buffoonish French aristocrat or drunken sailor than a prudent businessman. Donald Trump’s approach to business and tax compliance appears to have been the same as his approach to politics: tell outrageous lies, play the government and creditors for fools, steal everything not nailed down today, figure out how to solve tomorrow’s consequences tomorrow, and already be onto the next con before anyone can catch him on the last one.

But despite its potential to land the entire Trump family in penury and jail, what is far more terrifying for the country isn’t what lies in his past of tax avoidance. It’s the time bomb of debt that lies in Trump’s very near future. It’s about the mystery of who owns Trump’s outlandish debts, and the degree of secret power they may be wielding over the country.

The particulars of the Trump grift are sickening in both the details and grand scope. It’s not just an issue of his class: the scale of his tax avoidance far dwarfs that of most others in his income bracket. Despite posturing as a billionaire, Trump paid only $750 in taxes for the years 2016 and 2017. He tried to use the same trick to offload tens of millions in tax burdens by claiming business losses twice in as many decades, except that the second time he actually still retained partial ownership of the underlying business, and has been in a $72 million battle with the IRS for a decade ever since–a battle he should lose by all rights. His daughter Ivanka was hired as a consultant for the same work she was doing in her main job–an obvious and incredibly stupid tax-avoidance grift that could easily land her jail. He (likely illegally) deducted $70,000 in hair care for his TV show. And so on.

Keep in mind, though, that this is just what we know of from his own personal reporting to the IRS. It’s not a forensic accounting document. These financial statements are Trump’s best foot forward to the government, with no knowing what criminal rot lies in the details.

Many rich tax cheats will tell the IRS they are broke while hiding their true wealth elsewhere. But Donald Trump isn’t just a tax cheat pretending to be broke for the feds. He appears to actually be broke. He inherited money from his father, squandered it on failed casino investments, offloaded the losses onto creditors, and then remade himself as a personal brand machine selling the rights to his name. He played a fake billionaire on TV and made significant money from doing that. Remarkably, adopting a fake reality TV show persona for public entertainment value may be the closest thing to honest work Trump has ever done. But rather than being content to invest those proceeds wisely, he went on another foolish real estate spending spree. His properties old and new are losing ridiculous amounts of money–he has lost a shocking $315 million dollars in the last 20 years at his golf courses alone.

One fact stands out far above all the others in its staggering implications: Donald Trump is personally responsible for $421 million worth of loans coming due in the next few years. Not his business. Him. Personally. He has no means of repaying them. He already refinanced his few profitable properties, and sold off most of his stocks to stay afloat. He appears short on liquidity. And we still don’t know to whom he owes the money.

This fact has frightening implications for public policy and national security. Even minor debts are a frequent reason for the government to deny a security clearance, for the obvious reason that indebted and financially desperate public servants make easy marks for bribery, blackmail and potential treason. The potentially destructive power of that sort of hold on a President of the United States is beyond comprehension. It is the stuff of nightmares, bad spy movie plots and otherwise outlandish conspiracy theory. Imagine if a president owed millions to the mob or to those with close ties to a foreign government, and those individuals both controlled the president’s financial future and knew of corrupt criminal activity. The president might act with otherwise strange deference to said mobsters and those connected to them, and bend public policy on their behalf. If they were tied to fossil fuel interests, the president might set the globe on fire rather than cross them. If his creditors were simply a wealthy set of Wall Street tycoons, he might rig all financial policy on their direct behalf.

What we do know is that beginning in the late 2000s, no one would lend to Donald Trump. His history of bankruptcies, combined with whatever horrors were on his personal and organizational financial statements, clearly made every bank run the other direction. Every bank but one, that is: Deutsche Bank. Donald Trump’s history with Deutsche Bank has always merited special scrutiny, but never more than now. The head honchos at Deutsche would have known just how desperate Trump’s financial position was. But they lent to him anyway. Why? It certainly looks even more ominous that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s son was managing the real estate division at Deutsche that lent to Trump, and that Justice Kennedy unexpectedly retired to ensure Trump could seat his replacement. And it looks triply suspicious that Deutsche Bank has been fined and sanctioned over multiple money laundering scandals, including $20 billion from Russian kleptocrats.

It could all be a coincidence. But it probably isn’t.

Still, even if the darkest fears turn out to be unfounded, some group of individuals still owns Trump’s nearly half-billion dollar debts. They likely also know where many of his financial and legal skeletons are buried. Whoever they are, they have the capacity to be directly dictating to Donald Trump and he would be in no position to say no. That is an untenable place for the country to be in.

The New York Attorney General has even more dirt on the finances of the Trump Organization, and the New York Times will be releasing even more information on Trump’s taxes in the coming days. But even with just what we know now, the country faces an unprecedented policy and national security crisis. The situation is untenable. A man in Trump’s position simply cannot be allowed to continue as president.

Trump has already proven himself temperamentally and morally unfit for the job. But now, whether he wins or loses re-election, no responsible member of Congress should allow him to be re-inaugurated. The Republican Party could easily put Vice President Pence in his place and achieve the same policy goals. Trump must be impeached and removed, because the country faces grave risks every day he remains in power.

Bonus from The Guardian: Trump’s tax avoidance is a national disgrace. Don't let him blame 'the system'

h8kurdt 10.21.2020 01:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by choc e-Claire
Trump Records Shed New Light on Chinese Business Pursuits - The New York Times

Anyone wanna be a dear and copy the article (paywalled)?


You honestly expect the foot soldiers to read that many words?!

The Soup Nazi 10.21.2020 02:07 AM

Partially following on from what I wrote on the Biden thread a couple of days ago (having the conversation split like that is bullcrap, by the way - although, well, it's only a conversation when dotardist alternative facts don't make an appearance), here's a bit from the latest Zakaria Global Briefing. If, let's say, five years ago somebody had told me I'd be quoting a few conservatives in a positive light, I would have said... pass the angel dust! The emphasis is mine:

Quote:

Trump’s Enduring Appeal

At The Atlantic, Sarah Longwell of Republicans for the Rule of Law writes that she’s been conducting focus groups with Republicans throughout the Trump era. Looking at suburban women, Longwell writes that some kept supporting the president through much of his term despite disliking him, out of a greater antipathy toward Democrats. But while President Trump’s trampling over norms and institutions proved too abstract to change minds, the pandemic hasn’t, and some suburban women who stuck with Trump have now turned against him. (“The most common response is—seriously—a variation on the term shit show,” Longwell writes, of reactions in the last six months.)

“Nevertheless, the story isn’t a wholly good one for Democrats,” Longwell concludes. “Some meaningful number of voters who are clear-eyed about Trump and his manifest failures—even those who think he is plainly doing a bad job—will stick with the president because they believe Democrats are worse and the media aren’t to be trusted. And these aren’t voters who are glued to Fox News and reading Breitbart News. Often they don’t think about politics at all—and they certainly don’t follow the daily machinations of Washington. They’re typically not on Twitter. Instead they swim in a cultural soup of Trumpism, surrounded by friends, family, and social-media acquaintances who do live more exclusively in a right-wing-media ecosystem. Even if [Joe] Biden pulls off a landslide victory, that ecosystem will remain. And so will the dislike of Democrats and distrust of the mainstream media. Getting rid of Trump won’t end the opposition’s problems.”

h8kurdt 10.21.2020 04:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by choc e-Claire
Trump Records Shed New Light on Chinese Business Pursuits - The New York Times

Anyone wanna be a dear and copy the article (paywalled)?


Just read this and soup Nazi's post. Shocking thing is that it's not shocking. Yet some people on here maintain that Obama's administration is the most corrupt in history. Even though nothing has stuck on him.

Sad to think the odds of Trump winning the election must surely still be in his favour. The electoral college and gerrymandering is very much on the republicans side and it stinks. 2 more weeks to go.

Bytor Peltor 10.21.2020 02:55 PM

Senate Press Gallery tweet
“By a tally of 51-44 cloture was not invoked on the McConnell amendment #2652 (Republican Coronavirus proposal), in relation to the House message to accompany S.178 (shell).

This was a party line vote.“

Senator James Langford tweet
“It's extremely frustrating that Senate Democrats continue to choose politics over helping the American people. My statement on Democrat's blocking #COVID19 relief again today.“
 


Senator Ted Cruz tweet
“ I am confident Judge Barrett will be confirmed and that by Monday night she will be Justice Barrett.”
 


Somewhere between the Judiciary Committee confirming Judge Barrett tomorrow (Thursday) and the full senate confirming her on Monday (October 26), look for Vomit Pelosi to pull some sort of WAIT-WAIT-WAIT we need to vote on this relief bill......the American people desperately need it!

 

!@#$%! 10.21.2020 03:02 PM

is pork memer meming again?

let me guess...

h8kurdt 10.21.2020 04:35 PM

Quote:

"To anyone unburdened by the delusion that "balance" is a more important journalistic principle than truth, it was always obvious that Republicans were the reason no coronavirus bill was getting passed. For one thing, House Democrats already passed a robust relief bill in May, which*Senate Republicans have basically ignored while*avoiding any substantive efforts at negotiating a bill that can pass both houses. For another thing, there are*obvious ideological differences between Democrats, where even the party's*"moderate" wing supports increased social spending, and Republicans, whose only real goal is moving as much wealth as possible from the hands of working people to the rich."

You gotta look at your boy McConnell, Bytor. His bill ain't got a penny in stimulus checks in there. Plus right now the reps are more bothered about getting that shit stain Barret in more than anything else. That includes helping the public.

The Soup Nazi 10.21.2020 06:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by h8kurdt
You gotta look at your boy McConnell


Christian Bale's Golden Globe Awards acceptance speech for his portrayal of Dick Cheney: "I will be cornering the market on charisma-free assholes. What do you think, Mitch McConnell next? That could be good..."

Bytor Peltor 10.22.2020 01:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by h8kurdt
You gotta look at your boy McConnell, Bytor. His bill ain't got a penny in stimulus checks in there. Plus right now the reps are more bothered about getting that shit stain Barret in more than anything else. That includes helping the public.


You don’t think they care about the public, do you?

McConnell warns White House against making stimulus deal as Pelosi and Mnuchin inch closer

“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) revealed that he has warned the White House not to strike an agreement with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi before the Nov. 3 election.“

“McConnell told his colleagues that Pelosi (D-Calif.) is not negotiating in good faith with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and that any deal they reach could disrupt the Senate’s plans to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court next week.“

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bytor Peltor
Somewhere between the Judiciary Committee confirming Judge Barrett tomorrow (Thursday) and the full senate confirming her on Monday (October 26), look for Vomit Pelosi to pull some sort of WAIT-WAIT-WAIT we need to vote on this relief bill......the American people desperately need it!


Low and behold......

Alex Mohajer tweet
“BREAKING: Chuck Schumer has announced that Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee will boycott tomorrow's vote on Amy Coney Barrett, effectively denying Republicans a quorum.

Mitch McConnell will be forced to change Senate rules in order to move forward the nomination.“

!@#$%! 10.22.2020 07:04 AM

pork memer 2: regurgitation

Bytor Peltor 10.22.2020 10:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bytor Peltor
Low and behold......

Alex Mohajer tweet
“BREAKING: Chuck Schumer has announced that Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee will boycott tomorrow's vote on Amy Coney Barrett, effectively denying Republicans a quorum.

Mitch McConnell will be forced to change Senate rules in order to move forward the nomination.“


So much for that......

President Donald Trump tweet
“Judiciary Committee approves Judge Barrett. Moves to full Senate for final vote. Big day for America!“

!@#$%! 10.22.2020 10:56 AM

pork memer, porking it up

h8kurdt 10.22.2020 11:20 AM

Bytor, do you think Barrett is a good move for America?

The Soup Nazi 10.22.2020 11:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by h8kurdt
Bytor, do you think Barrett is a good move for America?


I say fuckin' A he is!

 


Oh, wait - you meant Amy the Handmaid... No, obviously she's not, but what the flying fuck do you care what the braindead clown thinks? Fuck him.

ETA:

 


Yes, it's obviously a pic doctored for comedic effect - AT LEAST I ACKNOWLEDGE IT.

Bytor Peltor 10.22.2020 11:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by h8kurdt
Bytor, do you think Barrett is a good move for America?


Great question!

Was Justice Scalia?

You see, Scalia and RBG disagreed on many things and their approach to the law was different, however, Scalia and RBG were fast friends.

Barrett clerked for Scalia and is extremely qualified, but I doubt she and Justice Scalia would agree on everything.

YES - I think Amy Coney Barrett is just as good for America in 2020 as Ruth Bader Ginsburg was when she became Supreme Court Justice in 1993.


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