More to ignore, Book 105...

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Feb 6, 2014
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Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
111,594
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Ex-Trump Org CFO acknowledges Trump personally authorized shady, tax-dodging fringe benefits

Aldous J Pennyfarthing

If Donald Trump is running for president just to slither away from his pressing legal problems—as some have speculated—he better get moving before the gendarmes are at the door, because his circle of trust is starting to look like a parallelogram of perfidy. Turns out even Trump’s most loyal soldiers, like longtime—and now former—Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, have decided their loyalty ends at the jail cell door.

On Tuesday, Weisselberg, who pleaded guilty in August to a 15-count indictment connected to a series of untaxed benefits he received from the Trump Organization, stated that at least some of those payments were authorized by Trump himself, not by whoever Trump was planning to pin it on and then brutally murder in a Taco Bell Express parking lot. (Allegedly!)

“The rent was authorized by Donald Trump,” Weisselberg said of a New York apartment he’d occupied for free, courtesy of Trump’s company. The Manhattan District Attorney’s office is prosecuting the Trump Organization for tax fraud, partly in relation to the gratis fringe benefits Weisselberg reportedly received from the company.
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According to prosecutors, Weisselberg received approximately $1.7 million in untaxed benefits from the company. And while the Trump Organization, and not Trump himself, is currently on trial, Trump’s vanishingly small yet conspicuously unctuous fingerprints appear to be all over this scheme.

Rolling Stone:

Although Trump is not on trial, prosecutors have closely linked this alleged illegal activity to him. During opening statements on October 31, prosecutors said that from 2005 to 2017, “when most of the criminal conduct occurred,” these companies were “owned by Donald Trump.”
[...]
“The evidence will show that when Donald Trump was elected president at the end of 2016, these companies finally had to clean up these fraudulent tax practices,” [Assistant District Attorney Susan] Hoffinger argued. “There was concern about extra scrutiny of these companies because of Donald Trump’s election.”

The trial is rooted in the 2021 indictment of several Trump businesses, including The Trump Organization, for a purported 15-year-long tax fraud plot. The supposed financial misdeeds related to untaxed perks to Weisselberg in a “sweeping and audacious illegal payments scheme,” prosecutors have said.

Of course, this isn’t Weisselberg’s first eye-opening admission. In August, when asked if he’d schemed with the Trump Organization “to defraud federal, New York state, and New York city tax authorities,” he replied, “Yes, your honor.”

Weisselberg also noted that either he or Trump would sign the rent checks for the apartment he occupied. He allegedly received as much as $200,000 each year in untaxed benefits during the period in question, which continued from 2005 to 2017. Weisselberg also testified that if he’d simply asked for a raise, the company would have likely had to pay double the cost of the benefits to cover the tax bill. In addition, he acknowledged that he hid information about his income from the company’s accounting firm, Mazars USA. which later cut ties with the Trump Organization, saying it could no longer vouch for the financial statements it had prepared for the company.

So, yeah, that guy who refused to participate in the peaceful transfer of power, incited a violent insurrection, stole top secret nuclear documents, wanted to sic the military on American citizens, and loves dictators so much, he wants to be one when he grows up, also (allegedly) runs a crooked company.

By all means, let’s put that guy back in the Oval Office.

Psst, legacy media: It’s okay to state the obvious. From now on, whenever you write about Trump in relation to the 2024 election—assuming you even want to cover his latest lurid fail-a-thon—you should refer to him as “disgraced former president, insurrectionist, and semi-ambulant ketchup trebuchet” Donald J. Trump. Or something like that. Use your words! Balanced reporting is for people who didn’t literally get people killed while trying to end American democracy. But that’s just common sense, now isn’t it?
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Feb 6, 2014
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Republicans stumble over finish line to take the U.S. House

Joan McCarter

With the newly projected victory of Republican Mike Garcia in California’s 27th Congressional District, the U.S. House will flip to Republican control in the new session beginning on Jan. 3, 2023. The margin of the Republican win, however, will be so small that on any given day Democrats could have the majority of members present. Which is going to make the job of the inept and spineless Speaker Kevin McCarthy—if he actually manages to round up the votes to get it—even more difficult.

That bit about him rounding up the votes to win? He’s trying to nail that down right now, but the official vote isn’t until January when the new Congress convenes. For right now, he’s being pummeled by the Freedom Caucus maniacs who have no intention of making his leadership easy. Whether they’ll succeed in actually toppling him isn’t yet certain. A lot can happen between now and January.

Depending on what happens in the next several weeks—including how much Democrats can do to bomb-proof government before the GOP majority takes over—we’ll have a better sense of who is actually going to be in control. But if McCarthy comes out the other side on top, you can bet that the maniacs are going to have him on an extremely short leash.

He will also be constrained by the reality that on any given day, there will be enough absences that he would have to try to get Democratic votes to get anything done. Given past performance, the likeliest outcome is two years of the House getting almost nothing done.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Trump is out for vengeance — and to protect himself from prosecution

.....He was always going to run. Absent incarceration or interment, and perhaps only the latter, he inevitably would seek the presidency again. His narcissism, his megalomania, his delicate yet illimitable ego, would have it no other way…

Donald Trump craves the power. Even more, he craves the attention. And more than ever — after an unprecedented two impeachments, a humiliating reelection defeat that he can’t even admit, and amid multiple criminal investigations and civil suits — he seeks vengeance. The l’état c’est moi president who apparently tried to sic the IRS on his enemies (and perhaps succeeded…
......
Trump won’t succeed...Too many Americans would crawl on broken glass to vote against him, no matter who his general election opponent may be. They have seen enough…

Trump can’t ruin a legacy he doesn’t have, but he could easily wreck something else: the Republican Party. Which is why so many in the GOP are, at long last, so alarmed….
......

...the right-wing donor class and so many Republican Party operatives seek an alternative. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, they hope, will save the day…
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Feb 6, 2014
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Ukraine update: What's left of Russia's sputtering offensive efforts are failing

kos

Let’s talk about Bakhmut.



Who knows if her platoon truly did what the tweet says it did, but it is true that women are deeply embedded in Ukraine’s armed forces—even in the darkest, most difficult corner of Ukraine. While Ukraine might be advancing everywhere else, Russia (and its Wagner war-criminal mercenaries) are still trying desperately to notch their victory in this godforsaken slice of the Donbas.

FhkDV63WYAUBXwC.jpeg


You might remember Popasna, to the east of Bakhmut, from way earlier in the war. Russia captured it on May 7. It is 32 kilometers from Popasna to Bakhmut, and yet here we are, more than six months later, and Russia is still banging its head against the town. And as we’ve mentioned time and time again, there isn’t even anything special or strategic about Bakhmut. It does literally nothing to advance Russia’s broader war aims. Thousands of soldiers have lost their lives, on both sides, for a plot of land that means nothing to the overall outcome of the war.

I’m bringing it up today because of this:



This is remarkable, but it’s not the first time this has happened. I was fooled almost exactly a month ago into thinking Russia’s Bakhmut campaign had culminated. In fact, it was just a short pause. This might be a short pause.

Ukraine has been rushing reinforcements from the new, victorious Kherson front to shore up this front. Russian sources report HIMARS have been working this front, which stymie their ability to properly resource any attacks. And 155mm barrel artillery will make it harder for Russians to surge forward in the no-man’s land between their positions and Bakhmut. It’s legit desolate, hostile terrain for any attacker:



We’ve oft celebrated the Ukrainian defenders on these difficult Donbas lines, as Ukraine first trained and equipped entire new brigades, then used them to launch successful counteroffensives in Kharkiv and Kherson oblast. It is fitting that those fighting around Bakhmut finally get their well-deserved reinforcements.

Wagner, for its part, is trying to explain away its failures.


A report on the ongoing battles of the Wagner Group for the liberation of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region. Someone, most of the opponents, has recently begun to jokingly say, well, how much longer will Wagner release him? In principle, against the backdrop of a number of large and lightning-fast successes of the enemy in the Kharkov and Kherson regions, the irony of the enemy is quite justified, only on those fronts where our allies retreated, the fighters of the “orchestra” did not conduct either offensive or defensive actions.
The “Wagner Group” has its own front and its own range of tasks, which is provided by the forces and means of the Office itself, for example, earlier, with the main participation, as well as all possible assistance from our republican allied forces, such large settlements as Severodonetsk (population ~105,000 people), Lisichansk (population ~98,000 people) and Popasnaya (population ~19,000 people). Having completed the above military campaigns, the “musicians”, by occupying approaches with other settlements, reached Bakhmut by July 29 (population ~ 73,000 people).
With its own forces, the Wagner Group ensures a slow but productive advance solely on its own, which is much smaller in relative comparison than the armed forces of Russia or Ukraine. In addition, both the leadership of the "orchestra" and its fighters have never said anything "hating" in relation to the enemy. On the contrary, it has been repeatedly stated that the Ukrainian side is putting up strong and worthy resistance there, realizing for its part the strategic importance of the city. In fact, Bakhmut has been turned into one big fortress, including its outskirts. Rotation after rotation of the enemy makes an attempt to hold the settlement and the front. So everything is known in comparison and objective analysis, for this reason, progress and results are on our side. At least no one from the Wagner Group spoke about Bakhmut for three days.

LOL okay. “We’re not the Russian army, we’ve got our own corner, and we’re doing just fine, thank you.” I wonder what will happen when Wagner runs out of prison cannon fodder. Maybe that already happened. I do love how sensitive they are to being ridiculed for their failures. They deserve all the scorn headed their way.

Meanwhile, we recently took a look at Russia’s disastrous efforts to take Pavlivka, farther south on the Donbas front line.

pavl.png


See that east-west dark line, south of Pavlivka? That is the only rail line from Mariupol and the original Russian-held Donbas to Melitopol. It is currently under “fire control” from Ukrainian artillery. Speculation is that Russia is trying to move the Ukrainian front line farther north, away from that rail line.

Ukraine has plenty of ways to reach that rail line without its shorter-range 155mm howitzers, so it won’t be operational as long as Russia occupies that territory. But whatever their motivations, it looks as if the town is getting the Bakhmut treatment—wave after wave of Russian attacks. Here is yet another Russian column decimated on its approach to Pavlivka:




Indeed, both sides are now claiming that the town is a trap designed to continuously lull Russians into successive attacks. Ukrainians are gleefully celebrating the trap. Russians are… well, they are not.



Funny enough, propaganda Telegram sources have claimed Pavlivka conquered multiple times over the past week. Yet when the sun rises the next morning, there’s new video of yet another failed Russian assault. At worst, the rubble of the town is now a gray zone, with neither side occupying it, but with Ukraine holding advantageous defensive high-ground positions in next-door Vuhledar, bedeviling any Russian effort to move in or out.

Here is a Ukrainian soldier firing an anti-tank rocket in between three destroyed Russian armored vehicles we already saw destroyed in the previous Pavlivka post, underscoring Russia’s inability to advance:




Russian milblogger Alexander Khodakovsky, who has nearly 650,000 followers on Telegram, reports on Russia’s ongoing disaster:

I will continue the publication, moving from general reasoning to specifics - I will return to the ill-fated Pavlovka. When the idea was hatched, it was assumed that the offensive would go in two directions. The brigade commanders and I, discussing our ability to develop such an offensive at the current moment in time, came to the conclusion that it was unequivocally impossible to realize this plan: the reinforcements were not trained, no matter how they saved it, it was only enough for the first surge ... But the brigade commanders , who had to solve the problem, could not reach out to those who were above them - those who needed any result at any cost.
The superiors then [...] turned off the offensive plan in two directions and threw all the poor forces on Pavlovka, like in a furnace, without stretching the enemy and giving him the opportunity to concentrate all his attention on a narrow area. We have already learned that we have turned off the second direction in the process. And when I wrote that I consider the offensive premature, but I hope for success - we did not know this, and therefore ... we hoped, although we understood that there were not enough forces [...]
Now that planning errors have led to unjustified losses with a meager result, they want to blame the brigade commander of the fortieth, allegedly because he was too slow on his flank, which led to the losses of his colleagues from one hundred and fifty-fifth. They want to hang a criminal case on the peasant and make it extreme in a situation where it was clear to everyone that only those who formed the plan were guilty, and not the executors who fulfilled their duty to the end. It would be right for Commander-in-Chief Surovikin to study this episode in detail and not allow an innocent person to be devoured.

If you read my original story on Pavlivka, you might remember the 155th as the 155th Naval Infantry Brigade of the Russian Pacific Fleet, a more capable unit than your typical Russian cannon fodder. It had been half wiped out in this “furnace,” and it looks like they’re trying to scapegoat its commander, per this report.

So that’s what’s left of the Russian war effort—small, strategically irrelevant assaults in a handful of places, while Ukraine liberates entire oblasts. Russia celebrates tactical advances measuring in the dozens of meters, while Ukraine shapes the battlefield for gains in the thousands of square kilometers.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Feb 6, 2014
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The hydroxychloroquine crew is having a civil war because they've allegedly been grifting each other

Walter Einenkel


That's Dr. Simone Gold, founder of America's Frontline Doctors, with a bullhorn—working a little coup d'etat on Jan. 6, 2021.

The band of medical grifters known as America’s Frontline Doctors (AFLDS) have been following the same toilet bowl-draining trajectory as their MAGA cult leader Donald Trump over the past year, with founder Simone Gold, a Beverly Hills physician, being sentenced to prison for her part in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol building in Washington, D.C.


Now, VICE is reporting that the group is suing its leader Gold only a few months after she was released from prison. Cue your violins to the song “Thoughts and Prayers” by Sebastian Laughing-my-Bach-off. The lawsuit was filed on Nov. 4 in Florida, hoping to stop Gold from draining the AFLDS bank accounts.

One such use of donated money to the nonprofit, according to the lawsuit, took place just last year, when Gold allegedly “signed a contract listing herself as buyer of a residential property in Naples, Florida, for the purchase price of $3,600,000 (the “Naples home”). Gold purchased this home with AFLDS funds without authorization or approval by the Board of Directors and in violation of Internal Revenue Code.” This reportedly happened about a month after Gold got out of prison.

Hold on one second while I grab some water and collect myself. I think I might have passed out from laughing hysterically.

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According to the report, the infighting at the AFLDS began once Gold got out of the clink and wanted to regain control over her non-profit bank account the organization. Standing in her way was former boxer-turned-lawyer-turned-chairman of Americas Frontline Doctors, Joseph Gilbert. This turned into Gold alleging that Gilbert had participated in some “wrongdoing,” but she didn’t specify what that was. At the same time, Gilbert and the AFLDS claim that while Gold was running her tin cup against the bars of her prison cell, the organization hired a forensic auditor to figure out exactly what Gold had been spending the group’s money on before going to do her time.

Wait. Give me a second. I need more water. I didn’t know I could cry so much from laughing!


At or around this same time, Gold purchased three vehicles including a Mercedes Benz Sprinter van, a Hyundai Genesis, and a GMC Denali, using AFLDS funds for her own personal transportation needs.
After Gold took possession of the Naples Home she began using AFLDS funds to pay a personal security officer $12,000, a personal housekeeper $5,600 month, and otherwise spending money for personal items on AFLDS credit cards at a rate of nearly $50,000 per month. Additionally, the Naples Home was used by GoldCare employees.

Teehee.

An AFLDS employee named John Strand lived with and continues to live with Gold at the Naples Home and was not only paid $10,000 a month as an employee, but was given access to AFLDS credit cards at Gold’s direction and spent between $15,000 and $17,000 a month on those credit cards. Mr. Strand’s employment was terminated by AFLDS in the summer of 2022.

My face hurts. There are even more claims of misuse of the money on Gold’s part. Now, according to The Daily Beast, the rest of the charlatans over at the AFLDS cannot even get people the one piece of nothingness they offer: prescriptions for drugs that will not help you treat or prevent the things you are worried about.

“None of us really know what’s going on, and pretty much we’ve all lost the ability to do our jobs,” said Amanda Kaiser-Johnston, an AFLDS employee who was locked out of her email account amid the feud and has been accused by her coworkers of being a “spy” for one faction.

Meanwhile, the organization says that Gold and her boyfriend tried to cut very lucrative “consulting” deals with the group and then harassed her replacement until that replacement executive resigned a month later. Then operations director Kristine Lutzo resigned, saying she felt that “criminal activity was happening financially.”

It has been more than a year since reporters broke the story of the shysterism and sordid realities of AFLDS. This group of so-called medical professionals promoted every anti-public health proposal possible, despite the better judgement of the world’s entire scientific community, to promote magic bullet remedies for COVID-19. The best known of these grifts was horse dewormer ivermectin and malaria drug hydroxychloroquine. These once-fringe snake oil salesmen had their bogus claims magnified by the then-president of the United States, and this led to a lot of MAGA-supporting, Joe Rogan-listening, anti-vaxxer Americans to die needlessly from COVID-19.

The whole time it was clear to many Americans, and every single progressive, that this was all in service of money. In the face of an incompetent and unsympathetic ruling class controlling the government, figuring out a way to keep the money moving was the only motivation forward for the Republican Party as they approached a presidential election year. America’s Frontline Doctors was the semblance of “scientific” coverage the libertarian and right-wing grifter world used for most of their activities. And that network of health care providers made millions while AFLDS pulled in millions selling bogus consultations and worthless prescriptions.
 

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