Tag Archives: anyone

8 Years Ago I Warned the Government Lied About Afghanistan—Will Anyone Listen Now?

8 Years Ago I Warned the Government Lied About Afghanistan—Will Anyone Listen Now?It is time for U.S. troops to come home.



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8 Years Ago I Warned the Government Lied About Afghanistan—Will Anyone Listen Now?

8 Years Ago I Warned the Government Lied About Afghanistan—Will Anyone Listen Now?It is time for U.S. troops to come home.



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Ex-chief says he didn’t intentionally ‘deceive’ anyone

Ex-chief says he didn’t intentionally ‘deceive’ anyoneOusted Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said Tuesday that he didn’t “intentionally mislead or deceive” anyone about the mid-October night he was found sleeping behind the wheel of his SUV. Johnson, 59, released a statement through his attorney a day after Mayor Lori Lightfoot fired him for “ethical lapses,” just weeks before he was set to retire. Two Chicago newspapers published reports Monday night that seem to contradict Johnson’s public account in which he blamed an issue with his medication, saying he felt lightheaded while driving home and fell asleep after pulling over.



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The Trump Organization reportedly can't get anyone to fill retail space in its Chicago hotel

The Trump Organization reportedly can't get anyone to fill retail space in its Chicago hotelAny takers?Apparently not for the Trump Organization, which can't seem to find anyone to fill the street-level retail space at the Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago, The Washington Post reports.The hotel has reportedly been struggling on several fronts during Trump's presidency, with profits reportedly falling 89 percent between 2015 and 2018, but the vacant space is a stark reminder. The Post obtained documents the company filed with Cook County tax assessors showing how difficult it's been to fill the void, which is reportedly equivalent to the size of two Whole Foods stores.A firm hired by the Trump Organization to find tenants told the county it had reached out to 81 potential businesses across various industries, but no one said yes, the documents revealed.The Trump Organization had previously argued that the hotel's struggles were related to crime in Chicago, but that's probably not the case since the hotel's competitors have actually seen increases in room revenue. The Post reports that the company's lawyers told the county that they believed the hotel is "suffering from unfair political backlash" as a result of Trump's presidency. Read more at The Washington Post.



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'If anyone can do it, it's him': how Boris won a Brexit deal

'If anyone can do it, it's him': how Boris won a Brexit dealBRUSSELS/DUBLIN/LONDON(Reuters) – In 90 days as British prime minister, Boris Johnson has been humiliated in parliament, drawn mass street protests, tasted heavy defeat in the courts and suffered significant departures from his government, including his own brother. At home, he and his Brexit strategy remain under siege this week as his 11th-hour divorce agreement with the European Union hangs in the balance in a parliament outside his control. There is one place, however, where he has earned grudging respect over the past few weeks: Brussels.



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Trump Cheated (Shocker!) on Property Tax; But Will Anyone Go to Jail?

Trump Cheated (Shocker!) on Property Tax; But Will Anyone Go to Jail?Chip SomodevillaProPublica published a piece Wednesday that put the spotlight once again on some questionable financial practices of the Trump Organization, which showed one set of books to banks (inflating value) and another to New York City tax authorities (deflating value).Is this just the usual Trump mendacity, or can prosecutors see this as part of a pattern? And if so, could it be prosecuted? Who would be tagged as the defendant(s)? If not, what more is needed to bring the guilty parties to justice?Before we explore these questions, let’s look at the facts. Both versions of them.ProPublica obtained property tax docs for four Trump properties. These docs became public when Trump appealed the tax bills, and the loan records became public when Trump’s lenders sold the debt on the properties. Significant discrepancies were unearthed between the tax records and loan records for two of the properties: Trump International Hotel & Tower, on Central Park West, and 40 Wall St.Tax and loan documents for 40 Wall St. showed significant discrepancies in how certain costs such as insurance were reported. Further, Trump representatives reported different occupancy rates to lenders and tax officials: 81 percent to lenders (rising later to 95 percent), and just 59 percent to tax authorities. Rising occupancy rates are valued by lenders because they are indicative of rising income level which is material to securing refinancing, while lower rates, of course, mean lower taxes.Meanwhile, documents for the Trump International Hotel & Tower showed that city tax officials were advised that this property made about $ 822,000 in 2017 from renting space in the building to other businesses, while loan officials were told that the building made about $ 1.67 million. ProPublica further notes that Trump appeared not to report income from leasing space for television antennas on tax documents but did report the income on loan docs.Each of the above-noted discrepancies is indicative of potential fraud. But do they represent instances of a prosecutable case?The short answer is: not yet. The discrepancies do reflect a situational ethics approach toward financial obligations and responsibilities. But more evidence will be needed to prosecute anyone should criminal prosecution be considered by the authorities.Who might be prosecuted here? It is unclear just who is responsible for submitting the doctored financial statements to the lending authorities and tax officials. Were the folks who submitted the documents the same folks who prepared them? If so, what were their marching orders? Who directed the Trump Organization officials to tailor the financial statements to minimize property taxes or maximize occupancy rates to obtain loans?Investigators need to home in on the work papers prepared to support the finagled financial statements in order to determine “willful intent,” or “mens rea” that James Comey so infamously referenced. Such evidence may well be found at Mazars USA—the Trump Organization accounting firm that is the subject of intensive litigation with regard to subpoenas served by both the U.S. Congress and the Manhattan DA’s office.Accountant work papers have been found to be beneficial when uncovering evidence of intent to defraud in case after case of white-collar fraud, specifically tax fraud. In fact, accountant work files and testimony provided critical evidence leading to the conviction of Paul Manafort in the Mueller investigations and prosecutions. It should be noted that tax fraud, bank fraud, and the falsification of business records may result in felony charges that could be contemplated by the Manhattan DA and provide for prison sentences that could lead the convicted defendants to land in Rikers Island for a stretch with the aforementioned Manafort. Evidence of corrupt intent to defraud either a financial institution or a public tax authority is critical to a successful criminal prosecution. The use of a double or triple set of books and records by company officials for fraudulent purposes is a terrific example of overt acts of corrupt intent. But further evidence will be needed here to link all those involved in each of the instances denoted above. Email, texts, voice mail, notes to the file and other evidence of directions to finagle the financial docs are needed. Further forensic analysis of the documents, for example fingerprint analysis, ink chemistry analysis and handwriting analysis are investigative tools available to the prosecutors to tighten the vise and provide the links in the chain of potential targets.Cohen was reportedly debriefed in detail recently by the Manhattan DA’s office. His testimony will be needed to outline just who in the Trump Organization was responsible for the preparation of the questionable documents referenced above. Cohen’s credibility will clearly be attacked in court by the defendant(s) and will become a question for the jury to grapple with. Cohen provided the Southern District of New York with a prosecutive path for those responsible for cooking the books at the Trump Organization with regard to the reimbursement of “hush money” payments to Cohen. That path is now available to the Manhattan DA. Add Cohen’s now corroborated congressional testimony outlining the transactional financial ethics referenced above, used by the Trump team in their shady business dealings and the jury will likely be sitting on the edge of their seats. All the DA needs to do now is fill in some blanks in combination with demonstrating a pattern of fraud over time—the closing argument is shaping up to be very persuasive.The allegation that the Trump Organization appeared not to report income from leasing space for television antennas to tax authorities but did report the income on loan docs revives memories of the landmark New York Times tax fraud series on Fred Trump and Donald Trump’s financial shenanigans in the ’90s wherein the Times detailed multiple instances of unreported income streams tailored by Fred Trump for the Donald. While the statute of limitations has long expired with regard to the multi-million dollar gift tax evasion schemes entered into by Donald Trump, prosecutors can use evidence of historical frauds to depict a pattern of fraudulent conduct on the part of a defendant no matter how long ago the fraud occurred. It goes to willfulness or corrupt intent exhibited by Individual-1.The Manhattan DA’s case against the Trump Organization may appear to be on its surface just a mundane business fraud type of case. But fraudulent documents don’t change stories, particularly when there are witnesses available to tie the documents and the corrupt intent together. Add the historical pattern of fraud engaged in by Individual-1 and the Manhattan DA’s case appears to be silently moving along like a stealth nuclear submarine under the radar and there are no available defenses available like an Office of Legal Counsel opinion to protect the prospective defendants from a potentially lethal prosecutorial attack.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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White House 'surprised that anyone would be blindsided' by U.S. withdrawal from northern Syria

White House 'surprised that anyone would be blindsided' by U.S. withdrawal from northern SyriaA senior White House official suggested that the “blindsided” comment originated from disgruntled government employees.



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Trump threatens to ‘use power the likes of which the United States has never used before’ on anyone who strikes America in rambling 9-11 speech

Trump threatens to ‘use power the likes of which the United States has never used before’ on anyone who strikes America in rambling 9-11 speechDonald Trump threatened to “use power the likes of which the United States has never used before” against anyone who strikes America.In a speech on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks, he said: “If anyone dares to strike our land, we will respond with the full measure of American power and the iron will of the American spirit and that spirit is unbreakable."



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U.S. Treasury warns anyone fueling Iran tanker risks being blacklisted

U.S. Treasury warns anyone fueling Iran tanker risks being blacklistedThe U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday warned that anyone around the world who helps fuel Iranian vessels blacklisted by Washington runs the risk of being designated as well. The Treasury Department blacklisted the Adrian Darya, a tanker at the center of a confrontation between Washington and Tehran, on Aug. 30. Washington has warned that it would regard any assistance given to the ship as support for a terrorist group, namely, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.



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The Problem Facing Anyone Who Wants Single-Payer Health Care

The Problem Facing Anyone Who Wants Single-Payer Health CareEarlier this week, Senator and presidential candidate Kamala Harris (D-CA) released an outline for her version of “Medicare For All.” The plan would give everyone the immediate right to buy into Medicare as an alternative to private insurance, then would gradually transition everyone into an “expanded Medicare system” over the course of ten years.Though Harris says that she would guarantee “universal coverage,” her end goal is not technically a single-payer system because individual health consumers could still choose private Medicare plans similar to today’s Medicare Advantage plans. But the Harris plan is still likely to significantly expand the number of Americans with public insurance.Not long after Harris released her proposal, the Daily Beast published an array of quotes from rival campaign operatives and from former Obama administration officials, who took issue with her ten year roll out. As Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) campaign manager Faiz Shakir put it, “if President Obama had passed a health-care bill that called for a 10-year horizon, he would have left it to Donald Trump to execute.” (Shakir is a former editor of ThinkProgress.)He has a point. One of Obamacare’s biggest vulnerabilities is that it became law in 2010, but didn’t take full effect until 2014. That gave Republicans nearly four years, a presidential election cycle, and a full round of Supreme Court litigation to attack the law before most people saw any benefits from it.



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