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Friday, July 29, 2016

Japanese friends, rich friends who don't get audited, a friend who planned a trip to France...

Donald Trump has lots of imaginary friends. read more


Wouldn't they show how wealthy -- and patriotic and charitable -- he is? read more


Thursday, July 28, 2016

Steve Benen, MSNBC: [Donald] Trump's excuses in defense of secrecy have never made any sense, and the need for disclosure is now more acute. To be sure, even if these allegations about Russia trying to boost Trump's candidacy didn't exist, Trump would still have a responsibility to honor campaign norms. Indeed, the Russian story isn't the only controversy that Trump's tax returns can help resolve. Trump can make questions like these go away quickly by doing what every presidential candidate in the post-Watergate era has done. For reasons the Republican candidate hasn't explained, he continues to stick to secrecy.


Trump's reluctance to make his tax returns public implies that their contents are at best simply embarrassing and at worst outright damning. It is hardly a surprise then, that Moishe Mana, a top fundraiser for Clinton, has offered a $1 million gift to the charity of Trump's choice if he releases them.

"Through his financial documents, we are trying to break into the image that he's portraying to the American people," Mana, a Miami real estate developer, told the Associated Press. "He says he's a successful businessman who wants to do for the country what he did for his company. Well, go ahead, show me the money." read more


A new exploration of a legendary blue hole in the South China Sea has found that the underwater feature is the deepest known on Earth.

According to Xinhua News, Dragon Hole, or Longdong, is 987 feet (300.89 meters) deep, far deeper than the previous record holder, Dean's Blue Hole in the Bahamas. (That blue hole measures about 663 feet, or 202 m, deep.) According to Xinhua, local legend holds that Dragon Hole is mentioned in the Ming dynasty novel "Journey to the West," in which a supernatural monkey character gets a magical cudgel from an undersea kingdom ruled by a dragon.

It's interesting to see what actually lives in these blue holes," said Lisa Park Boush, a geoscientist at the University of Connecticut who studies blue-hole sediments in the Bahamas, who calls the environment of blue holes "cryptic."

(So, Trump is involved.) read more


Comments

As the author points out:

1. The tax returns would show us how rich and successful he really is. They'd show all the money he has coming in, and the tiny amount he is paying in, say, debt interest. And Donald Trump is very shy. He feels uncomfortable showing off his wealth.

2. The returns would show us how generous he is to charities. No one has yet been able to find any evidence that Trump gives money to charity, which he says he does. The tax returns would prove it. The donations would show up as itemized deductions. And it would just embarrass Trump too much.

3. The returns would prove he's not connected to Vladimir Putin or Russian oligarchs. Doubtless they would show no mysterious cash infusions from, or payments to, shady entities in Moscow or offshore laundromats in the Caribbean, Europe or Asia. But Trump feels it would be wrong to have to prove he isn't connected to the Russian mob. You should just believe him.

4. The returns would show he pays taxes as any patriot does. Donald Trump is running for president because he loves America. And that's why he pays a fortune each year in taxes -- supporting defense, Homeland Security, education, Medicare and so on. Given his campaign platform, he's especially proud of all the tax money he pays to support our troops, and our border patrols, and the fight against terrorism. But he's embarrassed to show it.

5. The returns would show he invests in the U.S.A. His tax returns would prove that he puts his money where his mouth is, and invests to create businesses and jobs right here in the U.S., and not in, say, low-wage sweatshops in Mexico and China. But if our enemies knew what a sentimental and patriotic guy he is, once he's president they'd take him to the cleaners. So Trump has to keep it secret -- sadly.

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