COVID-19 survivors speak

Kellyanne Conway and Melania Trump, both recent victims of COVID-19, managed to recover sufficient lung capacity to speak in Pennsylvania recently. The video is on PBS and a transcript on Rev.

I had never seen a video of Melania Trump before and it was interesting to hear her perspective. Some excerpts:

For the first time in history, the citizens of this country get to hear directly and instantly from their president every single day through social media. I do not always agree with the way he says things but it is important to him that he speaks directly to the people he serves.

The Democrats have chosen to put their own agendas ahead of the American people’s wellbeing. Instead, they attempt to create a divide, a divide on something that should be nonpartisan and non-controversial.

While the President was taking decisive action to keep the American people safe, the Democrats were wasting American taxpayer dollars in a sham impeachment. They cared more about removing our elected president.

Joe Biden attacked President Trump’s decision to put the American people first and closing travel from China. He called it xenophobic hysteria. Now he suggest that he could have done a better job. The American people can look at Joe Biden’s 36 years in Congress and eight years in the Vice Presidency and determine whether they think he will finally be able to get something done for the American people.

Before my husband decided to run for President, the media loved him because they saw the man that I see every day. Someone tough, successful, and fair. … A man who sees potential in everyone he meets, no matter their gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation. … But when he decided to run for the President as a Republican, the media created a different picture of my husband, one I don’t recognize, and treated all his supporters with equal disdain. The media has chosen to focus on stories of idle gossip and palace intrigue by editorializing real events and policies with their own bias and agendas.

Apparently Melania has been paying close attention to events in Washington and beyond. She espouses a traditional (for American politicians) message of prosperity and security:

This election isn’t just about the next year. It’s about the next four years and beyond. It’s about continuing to set this country on a course of real prosperity and success. We can’t and we shouldn’t go backwards. Donald Trump is the man who will lead us and empower us to make that greater future together. Donald Trump will expand and grow the economy and keep us safe.

Joe Biden’s policy and socialist agenda will only serve to destroy America and all that has been built in the past four years. We must keep Donald in the White House so he can finish what he started and our country can continue to flourish.

And she’s kind of humble:

Thank you for taking time out of your day to be here with me.

Readers: Could Melania win a Senate race in her new home of Florida, for example? Rick Scott is 67, which is 20 years younger than Dianne Feinstein. On the other hand, maybe Scott would rather do something else in what would traditionally be considered his Golden Years.

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How did the Biden-Trump debate go?

I didn’t watch the debate (my vote is irrelevant here in Maskachusetts), but now it is time to look at the transcript

Trump and Biden on COVID-19:

[1:03] Trump: So, as you know, more 2.2 million people, modeled out, were expected to die. We closed up the greatest economy in the world in order to fight this horrible disease that came from China. It’s a worldwide pandemic. It’s all over the world. You see the spikes in Europe and many other places right now. If you notice, the mortality rate is down, 85%. The excess mortality rate is way down, and much lower than almost any other country. And we’re fighting it and we’re fighting it hard. There is a spike. There was a spike in Florida, and it’s now gone. There was a very big spike in Texas, it’s now gone…

In other words, humans are in charge of the virus.

[3:12] Biden: 220,000 Americans dead. If you hear nothing else I say tonight, hear this. Anyone who’s responsible for not taking control — in fact, not saying, I take no responsibility, initially — anyone who is responsible for that many deaths should not remain as President of the United States of America. We’re in a situation where there are thousands of deaths a day, a thousand deaths a day. And there are over 70,000 new cases per day. Compared to what’s going on in Europe, as the New England Medical Journal said, they’re starting from a very low rate. We’re starting from a very high rate. The expectation is we’ll have another 200,000 Americans dead by the time, between now and the end of the year. If we just wore these masks — the President’s own advisors told them — we could save 100,000 lives.

Humans are in charge and it is as simple as wearing masks (why are the fully-masked-for-months Europeans now suffering from exponential infection?). If true and if obvious, why does it matter what a U.S. President says and does? State governors and mayors can and did order masks (typically starting in April and May; see also Dr. Fauci on masks).

The moderator then asks about a vaccine and when it will show up. Is this a fair question for politicians with zero training in biology or medicine? They’re supposed to have special insight into when a drug or vaccine gets approval and whether the drug or vaccine is effective? Trump eventually gets around to something that a politician could potentially influence, i.e., distribution:

I think my timeline is going to be more accurate. I don’t know that they’re counting on the military the way I do, but we have our generals lined up, one in particular, that’s the head of logistics. And this is a very easy distribution for him. He’s ready to go as soon as we have the vaccine, and we expect to have 100 million vials as soon as we have the vaccine, he’s ready to go.

For Joe:

[6:12] Welker: Vice President Biden, your reaction? Just 40% of Americans say they would definitely agree to take a coronavirus vaccine if it was approved by the government. What steps would you take to give Americans confidence in a vaccine if it were approved?

[6:25] Biden: Make sure it’s totally transparent. Have the scientific world see, know, look at it, go through all the processes. And by the way, this is the same fellow who told you this is going to end by Easter last time. This the same fellow who told you that, don’t worry, we’re going to end this by the summer. We’re about to go into a dark winter, a dark winter, and he has no clear plan and there’s no prospect that there’s going to be a vaccine available for the majority of the American people before the middle of next year.

Why would a U.S. president need to be involved in “transparency” regarding vaccine trials. Isn’t it likely that most of the vaccines will be developed outside of the U.S. and the results published outside of the U.S.? We don’t have a monopoly on pharma research.

An argument about who wanted to shut down China earlier ensues. Trump then makes my Your lockdown may vary point!

We can’t lock ourselves up in a basement like Joe does. He has the ability to lock himself up. I don’t know, he’s obviously made a lot of money, someplace, but he has this thing about living in a basement. People can’t do that. By the way, I, as the president, couldn’t do that. I’d love to put myself in the basement or in a beautiful room in the White House and go away for a year and a half until it disappears. I can’t do that.

(See Town and Country for photos of Joe Biden’s mansions, the first of which was a 10,000 square foot former DuPont mansion purchased in 1974 “as a young senator”.)

Biden succumbs to gender binarism:

That man or wife going to bed tonight and reaching over to try to touch their, out of habit, where their wife or husband was, is gone.

What about spouses with the 48 other gender IDs who die from the Trump-caused Covid-19?

How about young slender healthy American Progressives voting themselves into another year or two of lockdown in order to protect old fat unhealthy Republicans?

[12:33] Welker: OK, let’s talk about your different strategies toward dealing with this. Mr. Vice President, you suggested you would support new shutdowns if scientists recommended it. What do you say to Americans who are fearful that the cost of shutdowns, the impact on the economy, the higher rates of hunger depression, domestic and substance abuse, outweighs the risk of exposure to the virus?

[12:51] Biden: What I would say is I’m going to shut down the virus, not the country. It’s his ineptitude that caused the country to have to shut down in large part — why businesses have gone under, why schools are closed, why so many people have lost their living and why they’re concerned. Those other concerns are real. That’s why he should have been — instead of in a sand trap at his golf course — he should have been negotiating with Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the Democrats and Republicans about what to do about the acts they were passing for billions of dollars to make sure people had the capacity.

[13:21] Welker: You haven’t ruled out more shutdowns

[13:24] Biden: Oh no, I’m not shutting down the nation but there are, look, they need standards. The standard is, if you have a reproduction rate in a community that’s above a certain level, everybody says, slow up. More social distancing. Do not open bars and do not open gymnasiums. Do not open until you get this under control, under more control. But when you do open, give the people the capacity to be able to open and have the capacity to do it safely. For example schools — schools, they need a lot of money to open. They need to deal with ventilation systems, they need to deal with smaller classes, more teacher, more pods, and he’s refused to support that money, or at least up to now

Is Biden disavowing his previous promise to listen to the Science Karens and shut down whenever they say to do so? (CNN, August 22, 2020) Also, if the schools needed better ventilation systems (like my idea!) and they are under state and local government control, why weren’t they already installed over the summer?

Maskachusetts is featured! We had a powerful shutdown in mid-March, masked city residents starting in April, and a statewide mask law with high compliance starting in early May. We’ve been at least as successful as the early-shut early-masked Peruvians!

[14:46] Welker: Let me follow up, President Trump. You’ve demanded schools open in person and insisted they can do it safely. But just yesterday, Boston became the latest city to move its public school system entirely online after a coronavirus spike. What is your message to parents who worry that sending their children to school will endanger not only their kids, but also their teachers and families?

[15:04] Trump: I want to open the schools. The transmittal rate to the teachers is very small, but I want to open the schools. We have to open our country. We’re not going to have a country. You can’t do this, we can’t keep this country closed. It is a massive country with a massive economy. People are losing their jobs, they’re committing suicide. There’s depression, alcohol, drugs at a level that nobody’s ever seen before. There’s abuse, tremendous abuse. We have to open our country.

Trump is totally out of step with his cower-in-place fellow citizens! He hits many of the same points as “The COVID-19 shutdown will cost Americans millions of years of life” (The Hill) without recognizing that Americans now care only about COVID-19 deaths, not deaths or loss of life-years from any other cause. Biden is more aligned with the American people that I recognize:

[15:51] Biden: Simply not true. We’re gonna be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. We ought to be able to safely open, but we need resources to open. You need to be able to, for example, if you’re gonna open a business, have social distancing within the business. You need to have, if you have a restaurant, you need to have plexiglass dividers so people cannot infect one another. You need to be in a position where you can take testing rapidly and know whether a person is, in fact, infected. You need to be able to trace. You need to be able to provide all the resources that are needed to do this and that is not inconsistent with saying that we’re going to make sure that we open safely. And by the way, all you teachers out there — not that many of you are going to die, so don’t worry about it.

In other words, trillions of dollars have been spent so far, but if Americans spend another few $trillion on Plexiglas, we will show coronavirus who is boss. Biden is also in sync with American priorities. Marijuana and liquor stores are essential and can never be closed. Schools should be the last institutions to reopen. (Contrast to Ireland; in the most severe lockdown so far, everything is closed except for schools, universities, and adult education.)

For a guy who owns hundreds of $millions of NYC real estate, Trump is not going to be selected by the Chamber of Commerce to promote the city:

[16:39] Trump: I will say this, if you go and look at what’s happened to New York, it’s a ghost town. It’s a ghost town. And when you talk about plexiglas — these are restaurants that are dying. These are businesses with no money. Putting the plexiglas is unbelievably expensive, and it’s not the answer. I mean, you’re going to sit there in a cubicle wrapped around with plastic? These are businesses that are dying, Joe, you can’t do that to people, which again, take a look at New York and what’s happened to my wonderful city. For so many years, I loved it. It was vibrant. It’s dying. Everyone’s leaving New York.

Joe Biden doesn’t see color:

[17:34] Biden: Take a look what New York has done in terms of turning the curve down, in terms of the number of people dying. And I don’t look at this in terms of what he does, blue states and red states. They’re all the United States. And look at the states that are having such a spike in the coronavirus. They’re the red states.

In other words, Biden beats up the red states (not that he looks at states in terms of “red” and “blue”) for doing exactly what the

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If Donald Trump is determined to stay in power, why hasn’t he started a war?

My Facebook friends confidently say that Donald Trump is a dictator who will stop at nothing in order to hold onto power. In this, they are backed up by U.S. media. See “Will Trump Ever Leave the White House?” (NYT, October 2019), for example:

Since 2015, we have been worrying about how much danger Donald Trump posed to democracy. Now, with the impeachment inquiry moving forward, a new question is rapidly gaining relevance: How and when will President Trump leave the White House?

If Trump wants to quarantine through January 2025 at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, why hasn’t he started any wars during his four years as Emperor? He has actually had some encouragement from the media and Congress, e.g., to intensify U.S. military involvement in various Middle Eastern morasses. (see, for example, “Trump’s Decision to Withdraw From Syria Is Alarming. Just Ask His Advisers.” (Editorial Board of the NYT, December 19, 2018))

The most obvious and easiest way for an American president to boost his/her/zir/their popularity is to become a wartime Commander in Chief. Look at FDR, re-elected in 1944 despite being 99 percent dead.

Trump hasn’t taken “the easy way in”. Why not? Democrats love to talk about how stupid Trump is. Are he and his advisors too stupid to realize the power-preserving value of a war?

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Does anyone know a former Trump voter who is now a Biden-Harris fan?

A friend’s Facebook post:

Nate Silver’s project 538 gives odds for Trump vs. Biden as 17 vs 82 … I am not a glorified data scientist with a bunch of other data scientists developing predictive models for me, but I dare to make a risky prediction contradicting Nate Silver’s. My “data model” is pretty simple, it is based on very subjective observations that I know/observed quite a few people who didn’t vote for Trump in 2016, or even voted for Clinton, and who are planning to vote for Trump now. And I am yet to encounter one, just ONE case when someone who voted for Trump in 2016 is going to vote for Biden. It looks like a very one-directional flow of votes.
Of course, it is very subjective and prone to some selective bias – thus I am curious if someone-somewhere knows ANYBODY who voted for Trump in 2016 and is going to vote for Biden now.

As there is nobody here in Maskachusetts who will admit to having voted for Trump, I want to bounce this question to the readers in other states, preferably swing states. (Nobody’s vote matters here, since the candidates are either running literally unopposed (no other choice) or practically unopposed (outcome already known).)

Has anyone met a person who said “I voted for Trump in 2016, but now I prefer the prospect of President Biden/Harris”?

Maybe the real answer is that nobody changes party affiliation and the only reason elections have different outcomes is turnout?

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Trump’s date with coronavirus proves that He gives shape and meaning to Democrats’ lives?

Donald Trump has given us additional evidence that the Swedish MD/PhDs were correct when they said, back in March, that nearly everyone in western countries would eventually be exposed to coronavirus and that shutdowns and hiding in bunkers merely delay the inevitable.

Unlike Jair Bolsonaro, however, Trump did not say “I gave the finger to the virus back in March so now I’m just going to recover at home.” Instead, by going to Walter Reed he is apparently hoping to prove that coronavirus is a mild disease from which anyone who has a helicopter, 50 physicians, and four experimental drugs with limited availability can easily recover.

The handful of Republicans with whom I communicate are generally sanguine about the prospect of Donald Trump living only four years beyond his Biblical allotment of 70. They don’t wish Trump any harm, certainly, nor do they hope that he will die, but they recognize that whether a virus decides to kill a human is typically beyond humanity’s control.

Democrats, on the other hand, seem to think of nothing else. Exhibit A: “Get Well, Mr. President,” from the Editorial Board of the New York Times. After four years of cautioning readers that Trump was the new Hitler, the NYT wants Hitler v2.0 to be in the best of health.

Democrat friends on Facebook have been posting obsessively. They are careful to point out that they don’t want Trump dead. They want him to live so that they can then concentrate on prosecuting and imprisoning him for his crimes in a multi-year process that will begin in January 2021. These folks say that every day Trump is in office, Americans die by the thousands because of his poor decisions and bad example to idiots in Red states whom they’ve never met. But they also want him to stay in office at least until January 2021 and then to live for decades beyond.

I wonder if hating Trump has given many Americans a purpose in life for the past four years. Perhaps their lives would be empty and meaningless without Trump and that’s why they are so concerned about his recovery. Yes, they hate Mitch McConnell too, but the guy apparently does not have sufficient personality for hatred against him to give shape and meaning to anyone’s life.

From a neighbor’s house, 2 out of 5 signs on the same theme:


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Melania and Donald testing positive reveals that Americans believe themselves to be firmly in control of the coronavirus

My Facebook feed is alive with gleeful Democrats posting about (a) their hopes that Donald Trump will die, (b) their satisfaction that Trump’s actions have led to his downfall (i.e., infection), and (c) how events comport with religious beliefs, e.g., in a just God and/or karma.

[Democrat 1] So the fuckface in the White House has Covid. It couldn’t have happened to a bigger piece of human shit. … With any luck–or, as some would have it, any God–the shitbird-in-chief will be confirmed for Hell before the election. Godspeed, you treasonous piece of trash.

[Democrat 2] i just tested asympathetic.

[Democrat 3] I don’t understand how Trump could get Covid. He’s an idiot but the Secret Service is not. Trump probably overrode the SS.

I.e., humans can control whether or not infection occurs. The Great Father in Washington could have protected His children from this virus. The Secret Service, in turn, could protect the Great Orange Father and Slovenian Mother (not a lot of fun compared to the Secret Service lifestyle during the Obama administration).

I’m not sure I believe it. It may be a way for him to avoid the debates, and hide in his twitter bunker for two weeks, and then come out “looking strong” because he beat this thing that only kills the weak. Ya know: “It isn’t so bad.” It knocks his support for white supremacists and his debate performance off the news cycle, and once again he controls the narrative.

Trump is an idiot, except when he is a mastermind!

From an aircraft mechanic:

Trump finally passed a test without cheating

From the bête noire himself:

Responses to the above reproduction of Trump’s tweet:

Finally a Donald Trump tweet that warms the heart.

Tell me this is real. I wish no one to die or be ill… But…

Whoo Hoo!! The Cheeto just tested positive! Maybe now his dumbass followers will believe it!

How did Melania catch it given that she barely looks in his direction? Or maybe she gave it to him. On purpose??

RBG protects us, even from among the shades.

Looks like RBG successfully argued her first case before God

Melania has been an awesome First Lady due to her more or less public acknowledgment of the absurdity of the position and refusal to engage with the U.S. media, so I’m praying to our most recent god (RBG) for Melania’s swift recovery. If 50+ years of fast food haven’t killed The Donald, I’m not going to worry about him.

Readers: Are you seeing the same thing? People who think that Trump and Melania could easily have avoided coronavirus if they’d behaved in some different way? (and therefore the rest of us get to choose whether or not we become infected)


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Did Joe Biden do well enough in the debate that companies might start hiring older workers?

Workers older than 40 are inferior, according to the Federal government, which is why employers need to be bludgeoned into hiring them. From the EEOC:

Age discrimination involves treating an applicant or employee less favorably because of his or her age.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) forbids age discrimination against people who are age 40 or older. It does not protect workers under the age of 40, although some states have laws that protect younger workers from age discrimination. It is not illegal for an employer or other covered entity to favor an older worker over a younger one, even if both workers are age 40 or older.

Discrimination can occur when the victim and the person who inflicted the discrimination are both over 40.

Joe Biden will turn 78 in November (unless IHME is correct and COVID-19 kills most Americans before then) and is therefore the oldest person ever to run in a U.S. presidential election. If he impresses viewers with his keen mind and quick wit, might that be enough to get American employers to question the official government position that older = inferior?

Second question: If your opinion, did Biden impress in this first debate?

Also, does at least one candidate get the questions in advance? The debates are moderated by TV journalists. One thing that we’ve learned since 2016 is that people whose job is to report the “news” actually yearn to editorialize regarding how Americans should vote. If they’re not afraid to present facts selectively, twist facts, and otherwise mislead readers/viewers, why wouldn’t at least one person within a news organization that is moderating a debate leak the questions to the candidate whom he/she/ze/they favors?

(A Democrat affiliated with CNN leaked “town hall” questions to Hillary Clinton in advance back in 2016 (Snopes).)

Multiple perspectives from Facebook:

  • I can’t believe the s**t that Trump is having to put up with tonight. Wallace lets Biden talk over him all the time. Nauseating.
  • Chris Wallace did an abysmally awful job. He’s more left-wing than I previously thought. His lack of knowledge is shocking. Wallace doesn’t know the basics.
  • Biden was such a terrible moderator of the Trump-Wallace debate
  • The debate. Trump hit a new low. Biden hit a triple: he acted like an adult, he didn’t get flustered, and he reached out to families around the country. I would not have been able to keep my temper that well. Oh, and Chris Wallace shamed himself.
  • (from a socialist Democrat) TBH, I think Trump did better than Biden in this debate. He was more cogent and concrete, Biden was too much “c’mon man” and just not hitting his target.
  • (from a cower-at-home schoolteacher who otherwise posts on the dangers of COVID-19, the hazards of school reopening, the merits of RBG, the stupidity of the unmasked, etc.) This is an absolute disgrace. How could we possibly expect our children to respect this President? Politics aside, the teacher in me would like to park his bully self in our class Think Tank to fill out a Reflection Sheet regarding his behavior. He is a bully, he is flagrantly ignorant of the facts, and he’s disrespectful in every way possible. HOW can we not be embarrassed and WHY are we tolerating it.


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Under a fair tax code, Trump should have paid $0 in income tax…

… because he would have paid all of his taxes via a land value tax.

My Facebook feed is alive with people complaining that Trump hasn’t paid sufficient taxes over the past decades for which the NYT has obtained his personal tax returns (see Holy Grail attained: NYT gets hold of Trump’s tax returns). Essentially they are complaining that the real estate industry is not taxed properly. For the first 39 years, for example, depreciation may cancel out much of the rental revenue (and this clock can be accelerated by the sophisticated, as I learned from a friend who owns a huge office building and will pay no taxes for the first 15 years). As with Warren Buffet’s fortune, as long as assets aren’t totally cashed out, any tax on capital gains can be deferred for decades or perhaps centuries.

Maybe this is the nudge that the U.S. needs to move to what might be a much better and fairer tax, i.e., one on the value of land. This won’t discourage investment in nice buildings because the value of the building isn’t taxed. As the U.S. gets bulked up via immigration to a Chinese level of population density, land per person should become more scarce and valuable. Already we’ve seen that much of the fruits of economic growth in the U.S. have ended up accruing primarily to property owners (i.e., as soon as wages rise in a city, rents rise so that landlords soak up most of the increase and leave the workers with little additional spending power).

An advantage of the land value tax is that the U.S. could shut down its income taxation scheme, thus encouraging people to work more. Note that everyone who isn’t homeless, unhoused, or living in a car would end up paying the land value tax directly (homeowner) or indirectly (renter). It is also easy for governments to collect property-based taxes. The government knows where all of the land is and who owns it. In the hysteria around Trump and his taxes, one thing that I haven’t seen mentioned is the extent to which the hated dictator has paid 50+ years of property tax on the various properties that he owns. According to the NYT, Trump is an arch criminal and a mastermind at tax evasion (so much so that the IRS hasn’t actually changed his tax liability, though supposedly such as finding by the IRS will come any day now). Yet there is no indication that Trump or his companies have managed to escape paying property tax every year.

What’s not to love about a tax that even Donald Trump is not smart enough to avoid?

(A federal land value tax might be awesome for redressing income inequality. Wealthy coastal elite states have a lot of valuable land so they would pay more than states where median incomes are low. Uber rich Californians who may be paying almost nothing in property due to Proposition 13 could finally be taxed on the rise in land value to which they contributed nothing.)


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Holy Grail attained: NYT gets hold of Trump’s tax returns


The Times obtained Donald Trump’s tax information extending over more than two decades, revealing struggling properties, vast write-offs, an audit battle and hundreds of millions in debt coming due.

Finally all of the Trump-haters’ questions will be answered? Sadly, no. Much additional forensic accounting remains to be done.

By their very nature, the filings will leave many questions unanswered, many questioners unfulfilled. They comprise information that Mr. Trump has disclosed to the I.R.S., not the findings of an independent financial examination. They report that Mr. Trump owns hundreds of millions of dollars in valuable assets, but they do not reveal his true wealth. Nor do they reveal any previously unreported connections to Russia.

If the tax returns don’t reveal Trump’s true wealth “by their very nature,” why was it so important to obtain and review them?

I’ve read through this article once and can’t find anything interesting. Trump seems to have had some winners and losers among his properties and took all of the deductions that good tax lawyers (such as RBG’s husband, a specialist in limiting payments to the government that RBG sought to expand) could find.

Actually, a close reading of the article reveals that Trump should actually be rich, as you might expect with someone who uses a Boeing 757 as a personal/family aircraft:

The newer tax returns show that Mr. Trump burned through the last of the tax-reducing power of that $1 billion in 2005, just as a torrent of entertainment riches began coming his way following the debut of “The Apprentice” the year before.

For 2005 through 2007, cash from licensing deals and endorsements filled Mr. Trump’s bank accounts with $120 million in pure profit. With no prior-year losses left to reduce his taxable income, he paid substantial federal income taxes for the first time in his life: a total of $70.1 million.

According to some previous articles that I’ve read, due to some crazy favorable contract terms and tax laws it seems that Trump was able to deduct losses on real estate that were actually incurred by partners (i.e., the $1 billion in losses for him might have been taken after only a $50 million personal loss). So if he chewed through this $1 billion with profits, that likely means that he actually earned $1 billion in profit circa 1995-2005 and didn’t have to pay income tax on that profit (due to the losses carried forward from the previous ventures in which he had not actually lost $1 billion of his own money).

Is it fair to say that the NYT’s long hunt for Trump’s tax returns has merely revealed that Trump was making roughly $100 million per year in a volatile industry and that his tax lawyers have been aggressive with the deductions? Who was a primary enabler of Trump being able to keep most of this $100 million/year?

Business losses can work like a tax-avoidance coupon: A dollar lost on one business reduces a dollar of taxable income from elsewhere. The types and amounts of income that can be used in a given year vary, depending on an owner’s tax status. But some losses can be saved for later use, or even used to request a refund on taxes paid in a prior year.

Until 2009, those coupons could be used to wipe away taxes going back only two years. But that November, the window was more than doubled by a little-noticed provision in a bill Mr. Obama signed as part of the Great Recession recovery effort. Now business owners could request full refunds of taxes paid in the prior four years, and 50 percent of those from the year before that.

What about the New York Times’s passion for learning more about how American women make money with their, um, natural assets?

The data contains no new revelations about the $130,000 payment to Stephanie Clifford, the actress who performs as Stormy Daniels — a focus of the Manhattan district attorney’s subpoena for Mr. Trump’s tax returns and other financial information.

How about the proven (by the NYT) fact that everything Trump has done has been bankrolled by Russia?

No subject has provoked more intense speculation about Mr. Trump’s finances than his connection to Russia. While the tax records revealed no previously unknown financial connection — and, for the most part, lack the specificity required to do so — they did shed new light on the money behind the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, a subject of enduring intrigue because of subsequent investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

The records show that the pageant was the most profitable Miss Universe during Mr. Trump’s time as co-owner, and that it generated a personal payday of $2.3 million…

So the guy who was earning $100 million per year from 1995-2005 added $2.3 million to his fortune via an event that occurred in Moscow?

Here’s the most shocking section to me:

Likewise the cost of haircuts, including the more than $70,000 paid to style his hair during “The Apprentice.” Together, nine Trump entities have written off at least $95,464 paid to a favorite hair and makeup artist of Ivanka Trump.

That’s a lot of hair-related expense!

Readers: What new and important information did you take away from this article?

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