#CorkerKickback

Credit David Sirota and the folks at the IBTimes for blowing this wide open:

President Donald Trump has made tens of millions of dollars of a specific kind of income that could be subjected to a last-minute tax break inserted into the Republicans’ tax legislation released Friday, according to federal records reviewed by International Business Times. The same is true for Tennessee GOP Sen. Bob Corker — a commercial real estate mogul who suddenly switched his vote to “yes” on the tax bill after the provision was added to the legislation. Previously, Corker was the only Republican to vote against the Senate version of the bill.

Trump told a Missouri crowd on Nov. 29 that he would personally take a hit from the GOP tax plan. “This is going to cost me a fortune, this thing, believe me…I have some very wealthy friends. Not so happy with me, but that’s OK,” Trump said. But a variety of experts have concluded that the tax bill overwhelmingly favors the wealthiest Americans — especially those with complex real-estate investments.

The reconciled tax bill includes a new 20 percent deduction for so-called “pass-through” entities, business structures such as LLCs, LPs and S-Corporations that don’t pay corporate taxes, but instead “pass through” income to partners who pay individual tax rates on that money. The Senate version of the bill included safeguards that would only allow businesses to take advantage of the new break if they paid out significant wages to employees. But the new provision, which wasn’t included in either version of the bill passed by the House and Senate, and was only added during the reconciliation process, gives owners of income-producing real estate holdings a way around that safeguard, effectively creating a new tax break for large landlords and real estate moguls.

In the past, Republicans at least tried to have this shit below the surface and pretend to be principled. They just don’t give a shit anymore. Personally, I think they all see Trump going down and the party being wiped out in 2018 and 2020, and they’re just looting as much as they can in this smash and grab while they still can.






125 replies
  1. 1

    Personally, I think they all see Trump going down and the party being wiped out in 2018 and 2020, and they’re just looting as much as they can in this smash and grab while they still can.

    That’s my preferred read on the situation as well.

  2. 2
    Corner Stone says:

    I want my CorkerBack, CorkerBack, CorkerBack. I want my CorkerBack, CorkerBack, CorkerBack. Senate, CorkerBack Grifts, Senate CorkerBack Grifts. Barbecue sauce!

  3. 3
  4. 4
    Zelma says:

    I wish I had such an optimistic take on their motives. I think they are convinced that they have the levers of power firmly in their hands, that the 2018 election will be theirs by foul means, and that they can do whatever they damn please.

  5. 5
    Corner Stone says:

    John Dean‏Verified account @JohnWDean
    2h2 hours ago

    If this reporting is correct it reeks of bribery to get Corker’s vote while giving even more tax breaks to Trump. This is about as conspicuous as corruption can get. The GOP and Trump are shameless. Their base is too stupid to stop them!

    Ahhhh, John Dean. The Last Honest Man in DC. Thanks for your input, grandee.

  6. 6
    germy says:

    DELIBERATION, n.
    The act of examining one’s bread to determine which side it is buttered on.

    – Ambrose Bierce, Devil’s Dictionary

  7. 7
    Another Scott says:

    But Corker is mystified how the provision got into the bill!!11:

    Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) sent a letter on Sunday to Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) asking how a provision that would potentially benefit real estate moguls, including Corker, made it into the final version of the Republican tax-reform bill.

    “Because this issue has raised concerns, I would ask that you provide an explanation of the evolution of this provision and how it made it into the final conference report,” Corker wrote.

    The International Business Times reported Saturday that a provision added during the reconciliation process allows owners of income-producing real estate to take advantage of a 20-percent deduction for “pass-through” entities. The Senate version of the tax bill included rules that allowed the deduction to be claimed only by businesses that pay their employees significant wages.

    The provision would potentially benefit Corker and President Trump, among other real estate moguls.
    Corker said Sunday he did not have a role in writing the legislation, and asked Hatch, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, to explain how the provision made it into the final bill. He suggested it was in the House’s version of the tax bill, and remained in the final version after a conference committee sought to reconcile the House and Senate tax bills.

    […]

    It must have been those sneaky Congressmen – he had nothing to do with it!!11

    :-/

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  8. 8
    randy khan says:

    @Another Scott:

    It must have been those sneaky Congressmen – he had nothing to do with it!!11

    That’s got to be it.

    I do not expect this, but it would be a hoot if Corker felt compelled to vote against the bill because of it.

  9. 9
    Corner Stone says:

    Trump and his family are going to make billions off this bill. He may not be an actual one right now, but he will be shortly.

  10. 10
    hellslittlestangel says:

    … I think they all see Trump going down and the party being wiped out in 2018 and 2020, and they’re just looting as much as they can in this smash and grab while they still can.

    If that were the case, I think it would be worth it.

  11. 11
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Another Scott:
    Nobody believes you, Bob. If and when the revolution comes you’ll be among the first to up against the wall.

  12. 12
    Corner Stone says:

    @hellslittlestangel: They don’t know when it’s all going to crash down.

  13. 13

    Rs are behaving like the Muslim League was in 1940s when the Indian constitution was being drafted. They wanted no part of it and were throwing all kinds of procedural roadblocks and making impossible demands. What is the R endgame here?
    * Just finished watching the 9th part in the 10 part series of the making of the constitution of India.

  14. 14
    Corner Stone says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: He’s going to need the phonebooks. Or maybe a step ladder.

  15. 15
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @schrodingers_cat:
    The GOP end game is dictatorship in the guise of democracy ala the Russian Federation.

  16. 16
    Another Scott says:

    @randy khan: The final vote is supposed to be Tuesday. There’s still a chance to stop this monstrosity, but it would take a heroic effort with several other necessary pieces falling into place. If it does pass, it’s likely to be a continuing disaster because are so many mistakes in it that it’s unlikely to be fixed. Jonathan Bernstein says a 2018 bill to fix the errors likely couldn’t pass Congress.

    Yay. :-/

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  17. 17
    efgoldman says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    That’s my preferred read on the situation as well

    Yup, Occam’s politics.
    RWNJ politicians may not believe in Euclid or Newton, but they can count. I expect a record or near-record number of retirement, especially in the house.
    However before we go all ding dong the witch is dead, the consensus opinion immediately after Watergate was that the RWNJs would be out for a good long time. Really alll that happened were extremists taking full power in the party.

  18. 18
    Ruckus says:

    @Zelma:
    I’d bet a number of them do.
    But those who actually have two brain cells to rub together probably don’t. Most of these have been on the republican front lines for a while trying to make everything they are doing now happen. And they couldn’t get it done. They saw a lot of heat over the ACA and trying to undo it. They know that the news shows have been turning on them, very, very slowly mind you but they can see that and they get calls, faxes and letters. A lot of those contacts have been very against what they are doing. Doug Jones won in AL and that is major. Sure moore is a disaster both as a human being and as a politician but he lost, in AL. They may be republicans but they have played the game for a while and they know about drumpf and the investigation. The republicans have been trying to get this done since the 70s. They know this is probably the best chance to reward their paymasters they are ever going to get, in their lifetimes. And they know what this will mean to the average voter, no matter which way that voter leans.

  19. 19
    The Dangerman says:

    IMNSHO, bad call at end of Pats-Steelers tonight. Dude completed the catch, knee down, then fumbled on the stretch to the endzone. It was a fumble. I hate the Patriots so I may not be objective.

  20. 20
    Jay Noble says:

    “potentially benefit real estate moguls . . .” Potentially?

  21. 21
    Emerald says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: That’s it exactly. They think they’re going to win.

    And they might.

  22. 22
    gene108 says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    What is the series called? Where may one view it?

  23. 23

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: Well there are large population centers/states that don’t want that. It won’t be the cake walk they think its going to be. Its a vast country.

  24. 24
    Corner Stone says:

    @The Dangerman: Not what the rule says.

  25. 25
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Emerald: There’s a chance. But America is not Russia and the Democratic wins lately have been very encouraging. If the mid-terms go pear-shaped and the GOP wins things will become very very bad for them, because everyone will know they probably won by foul means and won’t accept it.

  26. 26
    gene108 says:

    @efgoldman:

    All that happens with Republicans is after every loss they move more radically to the right.

    For whatever reason it seems to be a long term winning strategy.

    Sure they will have set backs like 1992, 2006 and 2008, but becoming crazier and more radically far-right gets them wins in 1980, 1994, 2000, 2010, 2014, and 2016.

    Whatever demographic wave that is supposed to doom the Republican Party cannot get here fast enough. Only through a decade or two of Republican losses all over the country, can we hope to reform the Republican Party.

  27. 27
    Lapassionara says:

    @efgoldman: But there was a lot of money invested in making that takeover happen. There were think tanks, and Young Republicans, and the Federalist society, and all the Koch money, all to promote these reactionary ideas. Then there was Reagan, and then there was Fox. Where we are now is the culmination of a decades long effort, which the Dems did little to counter.

  28. 28
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Corner Stone: I did not see the play, but, as I understand it, control of the ball must be maintained all the way to the ground. The ball may move in the receiver’s hand but continued control must be obvious.

  29. 29
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Lapassionara:
    It helps when you have crazy billionaires (Which you sort of acknowledge) on your side and an authoritarian mindset to enforce the party line. Unfortunately a lot whites decided that racism was more important than holding the rich accountable and defending democracy. What could Dems have done differently?

  30. 30
    frosty says:

    they’re just looting as much as they can in this smash and grab while they still can.

    I’ve gotten to the point that I don’t care. Take the money, steal me blind, I hope you enjoy it (or don’t) just get the fuck out of my life and my government and disappear so I never hear from you again.

    Fuckem.

  31. 31
  32. 32
    debbie says:

    Forget Corker. Where are the Dem spokespeople loudly calling bullshit on Trump’s lie about not profiting?

  33. 33
    The Dangerman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    …control of the ball must be maintained all the way to the ground.

    True, but the play was actually two plays; one, the catch, and two, the stretch, as the defender didn’t touch him. Think if it this way, if the catch was made at the 5, the defender fell down, and the receiver rolled several times into the endzone untouched, at what point is it a catch and a stretch (or a roll in my example)?

  34. 34

    @schrodingers_cat: You answered your own question. The Muslim League’s endgame was always right out front: Pakistan. The Republican endgame is partition, a “two-state solution”; but it won’t be so neat, because there are no blue or red states; there are blue cities and red everywhere else.

  35. 35
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @The Dangerman: I did not see the play.

  36. 36
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @The Dangerman: @Corner Stone: @Omnes Omnibus:

  37. 37
    debbie says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    His tweets are something else. Maybe it has to get worse before it gets better.

  38. 38
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @debbie: Hopefully, it helps Iron Stache.

  39. 39
    Glidwrith says:

    OT: I am in Louisville KY for the week visiting family. Any Juicers game for a meet-up?

  40. 40
    Corner Stone says:

    @The Dangerman: Nope. Bullshit. A receiver has to make two steps and a football move before the catch is confirmed. Not a roll. That analogy is garbage.
    This receiver hit his knee to the ground and used momentum to lunge forward, without being touched. The ball was still live and no catch had occurred yet, according to the rules. The ball then obviously moved when he struck the ground.
    I personally think he controlled the ball to the ground. But the rules, as currently written, say that is a non-catch and a dead play. That rule has fucked every team in the league so far, as far as I can tell.

  41. 41
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: @debbie: He’s gone full white supremacist. Hangs out with the Rage Furby, the Holocaust denier who was involved with the Schumer hoax (as in he and Cernovich put the hoax together) and he decided to stalk and harass a sleeping Maxine Waters on her flight back to CA on Friday. Chucky is already on a Capital Police block list for trying to crash and harass a Boehner function a couple of years ago.

  42. 42
    khead says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Doesn’t matter. Given that no one knows what the hell to expect out of the current end zone and catch rules in the NFL it is now best to live by these rules:

    – Don’t reach for the goal line without securing the football against your body.
    – Don’t dive for the pylon without securing the football against your body.
    – Don’t jump and see if you can be Superman from the 5 yard line while scoring a TD WITHOUT SECURING THE FOOTBALL AGAINST YOUR BODY.

    Really, just don’t stretch out. It’s not worth the risk.

  43. 43
    chris says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Jesus! Nehlen’s twitter timeline is straight from r/The_Donald and 4chan. Seems like a good move…

  44. 44

    @gene108: Its called Samvidhaan*. Its made by Shyam Benegal for Rajya Sabha TV. Its available on YouTube. I loved how it brings alive historic figures that one has read about in history books like Ambedkar, Patel, Nehru, Govind Vallabh Pant, Maulana Azad etc. The focus is not just on one person, but the seminal debates that shape every nation. The Hindi/Urdu can sometimes get a tad dense and technical.

    Here is the link to the first episode.
    Sam which has the same root as Same (Our)
    Vidhaan = speech/statement

  45. 45
  46. 46
    Corner Stone says:

    @khead: But, but, but. How will they get their big $$$$ contracts if they don’t have the highlight reels to back it up??

  47. 47
    patrick II says:

    @The Dangerman:
    The rule used to be that if you had control of the ball as you passed the end zone line it was a touchdown. After some controversies with players just holding on to the ball for a split second they changed the rule so that a catch in the end zone must be able to be called a legal catch anywhere on the field. That “catch” would not have been called a completion anywhere because he was not down yet as he fell into the end zone, and as his hands came down to the ground it jostled the football — and was therefore an incomplete pass. Sorry.

  48. 48
    Lapassionara says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: Keep building local parties, as Dean did. Focus on state and local elections, especially in a redistricting year. The Republicans have played a long game. They are ready to dismantle SS and Medicare, which has been the “third rail,” but which they may successfully accomplish, with help from the Russians. We need to play a long game too, on all fronts.

  49. 49
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Lapassionara:
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that starting to happen?

  50. 50
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: I fucking posted the link. Why are you pasting it all back at me?

  51. 51

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: Why are you posting this garbage, over here?

    ETA: Can a FPer delete this hate speech? Thanks.

  52. 52
    Another Scott says:

    @khead: Football continues to be broken as a “sport”. There are too many arbitrary rules that are too inconsistently enforced in ways that too often affect the outcome of the game.

    The game deserves to fade into obscurity for this, and for destroying the bodies of too many players.

    My $0.02.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  53. 53
    khead says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Yeah I know. Just kinda funny to me that this shit boils over on a pass catch in a Steeler game after I have been yelling at the TeeVee for weeks at dumb fuckers who keep stretching for the pylon and end up with a fumble or a touchback. Stillers fans going all kinds of nuts on my FB page over a legal call – that wouldn’t have mattered if the dude had cradled the ball.

  54. 54
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    Could a front pager delete the comment at 47? I accidently pasted more than I intended and can’t edit anymore.

  55. 55
    The Dangerman says:

    @khead:

    Really, just don’t stretch out. It’s not worth the risk.

    Yup.

    The rule sucks (see Bryant, Dez, who caught the ball, too).

    ETA: The Patriots have had a nice run, but, sometimes, the rules seem to favor them unfairly. See the Tommy Tuck play in the Oakland game.

  56. 56
  57. 57
    Another Scott says:

    TheHill – Jared and Ivanka sued over their financial disclosure forms:

    Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are being sued for allegedly omitting information from their public financial disclosure forms, Politico reported Sunday.

    The couple, who are both serving as advisers in the White House, are facing a lawsuit from lawyer Jeffrey Lovitky, who claims they both didn’t include assets from 30 investment funds they are a part of.

    He also alleges they both didn’t identify the income they received from two other investment groups.

    “The failure of Defendants to provide the information as herein described deprived Plaintiff of (a) an opportunity to make an independent judgment as to whether Defendants are or reasonably could be influenced by conflicts of interests, (b) information required to evaluate and judge the performance of Defendants in their official duties, (c) information required to determine whether trust in the integrity of Defendants is warranted, and (d) information required to participate in the political process in an informed manner,” the complaint reads.

    Lovitky also states that for several investment funds, Kushner did not list the assets because of a “preexisting confidentiality agreement.”

    “The EIGA does not allow a reporting individual to refuse to disclose the underlying assets of an investment vehicle, on the basis that such disclosure would violate a pre-existing confidentiality agreement. Nor does the EIGA allow a reporting individual to refuse to disclose the amount of income derived from any underlying asset of an investment vehicle, on the basis that such disclosure would violate a pre-existing confidentiality agreement,” the lawsuit reads.

    Kushner has amended his financial disclosure form multiple times since taking office, revealing dozens of assets that were initially left off the form. He has said the assets were “inadvertently omitted.”
    Both Trump and Kushner have been fined for submitting late financial disclosure forms.

    The lawyer filing the suit, Lovitky, has also sued President Trump over his financial disclosure form, alleging Trump failed to show how responsible he was for debts he listed on a form he filed during the 2016 campaign.

    Follow the money…

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  58. 58
    khead says:

    @The Dangerman:

    I’m hoping to get a six figure job with an NFL team where I am giving out that advice.

  59. 59
    Duane says:

    @Corner Stone: Trump wanted to be President so his taxes would be lowered or eliminated. All the rest is bullshit to fool the rubes. He’s about to pull the biggest con this country has ever seen.

  60. 60
    Lyrebird says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: Can’t help with clean up, but I am standing near you also staring in horror… I did click over, and I guess other than the white supremacy crap, there’s also insights into what the crazy 27% are saying about the Mueller investigation (transition team as wronged) and Roy Moore, further comparisons to Jesus. (something like, gee just like they called for Barabbas, they called for Doug Jones)

    Vomit!

    As a primary challenge, though, could hardly happen to a nicer guy (Paul Ryan). But I would like to see Ryan just out and out defeated by Mr. Ironstache!

  61. 61
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    David Leonhardt‏Verified account @ DLeonhardt
    Most members of the middle class and poor pay a higher total tax rate than they did a half century ago. The rich pay a much lower rate.
    The G.O.P. tax bill will aggravate the situation and turbocharge inequality.

  62. 62
    randy khan says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Considering that the play-by-play team figured out what the call was going to be before it was made, I’d say it was fairly obvious to the extent that you knew the rule.

  63. 63
    efgoldman says:

    @gene108: @Lapassionara: All true. But as the crazies slide farther and farther to the right, they nominate crazier and crazier candidates which are a trestle too far for the general electorate. Add to that the record incompetence and unpopularity of president asshole, regardless of what comes of Mueller’s probe.
    The key is to keep all those angry people mobilized – a reverse 2010/

  64. 64
    The Dangerman says:

    @khead:

    I’m hoping to get a six figure job with an NFL team where I am giving out that advice.

    Course, the downside is, if the player cradles it and the play is still alive (player not touched yet), some defender might come in and drill him to down the play.

    If I have it right, the Steelers were 2.5 point dogs, so this play cost Vegas a lot of money.

  65. 65
    Gravenstone says:

    Football related, just saw a blurb that Jerry Richardson will sell the Carolina Panthers due to his being embroiled in an ongoing sexual misconduct investigation (which the NFL has now taken over from the team, btw).

  66. 66
    ZyklonBeaArthur says:

    @Duane:

    I disagree, actually; Trump wanted to be president so Daddy Vlad would love him.

    The tax scam is just gravy.

  67. 67
    efgoldman says:

    @Corner Stone:

    the rules, as currently written, say that is a non-catch and a dead play. That rule has fucked every team in the league so far, as far as I can tell.

    Hell, I’m a Pats fan, and in the moment, I was sure it was a TD

  68. 68
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Corker has a choice, now.

    Vote against this bill as his much vaunted “integrity” would insist.

    Or be a very expensive whore.

    Up to you, Bob.

  69. 69
    eclare says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I plan to call him tomorrow to tell him exactly that.

  70. 70
    Corner Stone says:

    @efgoldman: I thought it was a catch. And I said so at the time. I admitted that I have had no idea what an actual catch is for at least two years now, according to the NFL rules.
    But looking at that play, if they called that a catch, then a thousand prior “non-catches” would be storming their ass.
    I say make it easy to tell. Change the F’ng rule.

  71. 71
    Corner Stone says:

    @The Dangerman: If he is not ruled down, and a whistle has not blown, then getting nailed is a reasonable outcome to expect. He is not giving up his body, no whistle has blown.

  72. 72
    tobie says:

    @Another Scott: Is Lovitzky filing these suits alone? I looked up his law firm online and evidently he is the only attorney in the practice.

  73. 73
    Corner Stone says:

    What a stupid spot.

  74. 74
    Duane says:

    @gene108: I don’t want the Republican party reformed. The confederacy was supposed to be reformed after the war, that didn’t work well. They need to be broken into pieces and set on fire. People should curse and spit on the ground when they hear republican.

  75. 75
    PJ says:

    It’s interesting to see that, after calling for Al Franken to resign, and probably winning only due to Roy Moore’s sexual misconduct, Doug Jones thinks we should all “move on” with regard to Trump’s sexual harassment on women. https://www.buzzfeed.com/tasneemnashrulla/doug-jones-doesnt-think-trump-should-resign?utm_term=.no0rwQl37d#.mnLN3YZxmL

  76. 76
    Corner Stone says:

    @Duane: I want to burn them down to the ground. Sift the ashes and find the ocean.

  77. 77
    Another Scott says:

    @ZyklonBeaArthur: It’s not about “love” – it’s all about money. Vlad and his minions and hangers-on have money they need to launder. Trump and his minions apparently have been more than willing and anxious to do so, and have (apparently) become dependent on dirty Russian money. CAP:

    Russia’s favorite investment

    The tangle of President Donald Trump’s Russia connections is long and complicated, but the evidence all points in the same direction: Trump has been fundamentally corrupted by Russian money and influence. Consider the comments from Richard Dearlove, the former head of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, known as MI6: “What lingers for Trump may be what deals—on what terms—he did after the financial crisis of 2008 to borrow Russian money when others in the west apparently would not lend to him.”

    Trump was not always reflexively pro-Russia, and the roots of his embrace of Moscow are relatively recent. And, like throughout so much of his business career, Trump’s interest in Russia likely grew from financial desperation. As Fortune Magazine notes, during the 1990s, Trump found himself more than $4 billion in debt to more than 70 banks, and a series of bankruptcies, heavy financial losses, and debt restructuring lead almost all major American banks to simply refuse to do business with him. Consequently, beginning in the 2000s, he began to rely very heavily on foreign banks for his lending, and Russia—with its inner circle of wealthy oligarchs close to President Vladimir Putin and lax financial integrity laws—must have seemed like a cash cow to Trump.

    As reported in Slate, on at least five separate occasions, Trump has attempted to launch large projects in Russia, including hotels, spas, and apartment buildings. Both Trump and his son Donald Trump Jr. have made several trips to Moscow in efforts to ingratiate themselves. After one such trip, the senior Trump boasted that “Almost all of the oligarchs were in the room” for one of his meetings. Yet all of these attempts to launch major developments in Russia fizzled, and Donald Jr., who traveled to Moscow six times in one 18-month period alone, was left to observe of the Russian business environment: “It is a question of who knows who, whose brother is paying off who.”

    While Trump’s attempts to develop projects in Russia did not pan out, Russians did become an important wellspring for his financial backing. In essence, Trump was not able to invest in Russia; rather, dark Russian money began investing in him. Trump has tried to deflect criticism of his deep Russian ties, once tweeting, “I have ZERO investments in Russia.” But Trump has steadfastly refused to release his taxes or other verifiable information that would detail the level of Russian-linked investment in him and his companies.

    […]

    Putin has had his claws in Donnie for a long time, Vlad picked Donnie’s campaign people and had Assange and Guicifer 2.0 feed the press all kinds of juicy “news” that strengthened Donnie and damaged Hillary, etc., etc. Donnie winning the Electoral College seemed like hitting the Powerball jackpot. Vlad was sure he would get the sanctions lifted, he was sure that NATO would be weakened, he was sure that State would be weakened with his buddy Tillerson at the helm, etc., etc. I’ve said before that the only threat to Putin’s power is the weakness in the Russian economy, so as long as the sanctions are in place and oil and gas prices stay low, then Putin is vulnerable and could be contained. But now…

    Donnie hasn’t been able to do everything that Vlad wanted – he is a brain-damaged idiot after all – but it’s not from lack of trying.

    There’s much, much more going on here than just feeding Donnie’s ego.

    Grrr.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  78. 78
    efgoldman says:

    @Corner Stone:

    But looking at that play, if they called that a catch, then a thousand prior “non-catches” would be storming their ass.

    Hidden on an upper floor of NFL HQ, there’s an unmarked office known only to the commissioner and the league senior VP. It is the office of ever more obscure, incomprehensible, and confusing rules….

  79. 79
    Corner Stone says:

    @PJ: It’s Alabama.

  80. 80
    Another Scott says:

    @tobie: Dunno. I assume it’s a nuisance lawsuit, but it’s important. I wish him success in his efforts, but suspect it will be thrown out on “standing” or some similar grounds. IANAL.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  81. 81
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Duane: Agreed. They need to go the way of the NSDAP and the CPSU.

    Oblivion.

  82. 82
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @PJ: Would you rather that Roy Moore won? That is the only issue.

  83. 83
    Corner Stone says:

    @efgoldman: They have that door triple chained. The locks have no keys. Only Wizards and Dragons can access the Room Of Irregular Rules at this point.
    I tried and forgot where I parked my car for a week or so.

  84. 84
    The Dangerman says:

    @Corner Stone:

    ….then getting nailed is a reasonable outcome to expect.

    True, but on a goal line play like tonight, the nailing/drilling is going to be particularly violent (particularly since it meant the game and home field for the playoffs, probably). I’m looking at possible bad outcomes of playing it safe and crading the ball as opposed to going for it and extending. I suppose part of that could be covered with the targeting rule to protect the offensive player. I’m not advocating flag football here, I’m just trying to avoid an unnecessary Daryl Stingly (sp?).

  85. 85
    Corner Stone says:

    Dude, Corker is getting soooo much money in this Tax Bill. It’s nuts if you just think about it.

  86. 86
    Corner Stone says:

    @The Dangerman: He grabs the ball, lays still or rolls forward. The Stillers have everything they need to try to get 6.
    The rules say he fucked up. I don’t agree but it happened.

  87. 87
    PJ says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Not at all. Just remarking because it seems a curious position to take after Jones has won, and four years before his next election (which is four times the amount of time it takes the average American to forget a major offense by a politician). I mean, yes, the voters have spoken regarding Trump, and he’s never going to resign because of any sexual misconduct, but it doesn’t mean he shouldn’t have his nose rubbed in his behavior.

  88. 88
    Corner Stone says:

    @PJ:

    but it doesn’t mean he shouldn’t have his nose rubbed in his behavior.

    Can you please clear up the pronouns here?

  89. 89
    SFAW says:

    @The Dangerman:

    The Patriots have had a nice run, but, sometimes, the rules seem to favor them unfairly. See the Tommy Tuck play in the Oakland game.

    GMAFB, that was 15 years ago. The rule was changed as a result, etc.

    JFC. I’m a Jets fan, but even I know when to let it fucking go.

  90. 90
    Corner Stone says:

    TOUCHBACK!

  91. 91
    Corner Stone says:

    So fucking stupid. Dumb ass.

  92. 92
    Corner Stone says:

    Why would you do it? Just take the yards, you fucking loser. Just cost them their season by being stupid.

  93. 93
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Didn’t they also have the guy come out and clear snow for their kicker? Taping the Rams before the Super Bowl, too (it was claimed). Curious.

  94. 94
    Duane says:

    @khead: If you thought that Steeler’s non- touchdown was bad, get a load of Derek Carr fumbling out of the end zone just now. HA!

  95. 95
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Yeah, Jones was never going to be an Elizabeth Warren-type senator. More like Joe Manchin without coal.

  96. 96
    catclub says:

    @debbie:

    Where are the Dem spokespeople loudly calling bullshit on Trump’s lie about not profiting?

    I think if the things that specifically benefit Trump were pulled out he would veto the bill. There are many things – like this pass-through taxes item, that are written for him.

  97. 97
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @PJ: Come on… Think about things…

  98. 98
    PJ says:

    @Corner Stone: Trump’s nose, Trump’s behavior.

  99. 99
    PJ says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I guess I’m missing the subtlety in Jones’ opinion. If Moore had won, would he have said,”Well, the voters have spoken, let’s drop harping on his behavior with underage teens”?

  100. 100
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @PJ: Jones won.

  101. 101
  102. 102
    Chet Murthy says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I’m surprised too, that Jones took this position. It seems odd: he’s not going to win over any (and I mean *any*) Trumpists, regardless. And he *did* win over mothers with teenage children. It seems like he’s spitting in the faces of at least part of his coalition, and …. to what end?

    Don’t get it, I really don’t. That said, as someone remarked someplace else: as long as he caucuses with and votes with the Dems, I couldn’t care less what he *says*. Still perplexing.

  103. 103
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Another Scott:
    I was wondering about exactly that: this lawyer’s standing to sue: It didn’t seem to me that he had suffered or might suffer any harm attributable to Javanka’s poor skills at filling disclosure forms.

  104. 104
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Chet Murthy: Jones won. End of story for me.

  105. 105
    Corner Stone says:

    @Chet Murthy: Jones has made his point. He now has to focus on kitchen table issues for Alabama voters. Not go after Moore, Trump, Franken, Farenthold.
    He’s doing exactly what he needs to.

  106. 106
    SenyorDave says:

    Trump Shouldn’t Resign Over Sexual Misconduct Allegations and Congress Should Focus on ‘Real Issues,’ Doug Jones Says.

    Thanks a lot, try telling that to all the African-American women who got you elected. What’s next, compromise with the Republicans. Oh wait, he already is moving in that direction. Because that has worked so well the last 20 years.

    I’m guessing we’ll find out that the “real issues” are what is important to white voters in Alabama. Couldn’t he have waited a couple months before throwing his core constituency under the bus?

  107. 107
    Corner Stone says:

    @SenyorDave: Let us know when you decide to stick your dick in the window and start pissing into the Doug Jones HQ. I want to be there to take pics.

  108. 108
    SenyorDave says:

    @Corner Stone: I love people whose response to a comment they disagree with is to insult the person. I guess tomorrow you can get a laugh about it with the other sixth graders during homeroom.

  109. 109
    Corner Stone says:

    @SenyorDave: That might be fun, I guess. Doug Jones is starting what he has to do in AL. What do you think is going on there? Just random pissing off of Democratic voters?

  110. 110
    TenguPhule says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    What is the R endgame here?

    What it has always been.

    IGMFY.

    They will surrender their ill gotten gains over their dead bodies.

    I find their terms acceptable.

  111. 111
    Mike J says:

    Sports Illustrated @SInow 2h
    Diddy wants to buy the Panthers and says he would ‘immediately’ sign Colin Kaepernick

  112. 112
    SenyorDave says:

    @Corner Stone: Jones has to know that his statements will piss off a lot of the same people who helped get him elected. If I was an AA voter, especially a woman, I really would not want to hear Jones give a pass to Trump less than a week after the election. Democratic African-Americans. particularly women, loathe Trump. He treats AA women like the hired help. Jones could have easily waffled on the question, say that the allegations are very serious, and then moved on. I saw the clip and he pretty much dismissed them outright., saying the people have spoken. He knows that a lot has changed in the last few months regarding allegations of sexual harassment/molestation, and what was troubling in 2016 can easily be career-ending now (see Franken, Al, whose resignation Jones called for).

  113. 113
    SFAW says:

    @TenguPhule:

    I find their terms acceptable

    While I agree with the sentiment, be careful that you don’t overuse the phrase. Also. Too.

  114. 114
    SFAW says:

    @Mike J:

    Diddy wants to buy the Panthers and says he would ‘immediately’ sign Colin Kaepernick

    Hey, Sean: go back to being Puffy, buy the Jets instead, then bring in Kap. Or at least get a GM who can draft an actual QB, as opposed to a “No Hit Wonder” like Hackysack.

    I swear, the feckin’ Jets, left to their own devices, would try to sign JaMarcus and Ryan Leaf.

  115. 115
    Mike J says:

    @SFAW: The Jets aren’t for sale, The Panthers are.

  116. 116
    Mike J says:

    @Mike J: And don’t complain to me about the performance of your team today.

  117. 117
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @SenyorDave: How are you getting from “Trump shouldn’t resign and Congress should spend time on real issues” to “treating black women like hired help”? Do you think the black women of Alabama disagree with the statement that Congress should spend time on real issues? This feels like another one of these NORTHAM JUST BLEW THE ELECTION BCAUSE OF SOMETHING SOMETHING SANCTUARY CITIES I THINK dustups with a peculiar tempest-to-teapot ratio.

  118. 118
    SFAW says:

    @Mike J:

    The Jets aren’t for sale, The Panthers are.

    Everything is for sale, for the right price.

    Corker wasn’t for sale, until he was.

    @Mike J:

    And don’t complain to me about the performance of your team today.

    Guessing you’re a Steelers fan?

  119. 119
    NobodySpecial says:

    @The Dangerman: They are marketing darlings. ‘Not a catch’ only seems to apply if you’re the smaller market (See Johnson, Calvin)

  120. 120
    Yutsano says:

    @SFAW: Bloody hell Seahacks. I’m ready for the Bowl Games now.

  121. 121
    fuckwit says:

    @gene108: The South did the same thing in the many decades running up to the First American Civil War. They’re still doing the same thing today, on the run up to the second round.

  122. 122
    Anne Laurie says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:

    Could a front pager delete the comment at 47? I accidently pasted more than I intended and can’t edit anymore.

    Done, and good on you for asking!

  123. 123
    efgoldman says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while):

    Didn’t they also have the guy come out and clear snow for their kicker

    Jesus H Unitas on Vince Lombardi’s grave,
    That was nineteen fuckin’ etghty two! They were the laughing stock of the league- Belichick was a defensive assistant with the Giants; Brady was in grade school,
    I bet your mother nags you about something you did in middle school, too.

  124. 124
    Mike J says:

    @SFAW: Seahawks. A safety for intentional grounding was really the capping insult after already being down 40-7.

  125. 125
    mardam422 says:

    “and they’re just looting as much as they can in this smash and grab while they still can.”
    This is exactly correct. Paul Ryan is already looking for the exit, and there are multiple others who have already said they will not run in 2018, and there will be more…many more if they are able to “reform” Social Security and Medicare. They’re going to loot the economy and destroy the social safety net and run as fast as their grifting legs will carry them.

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