Tag Archives: Rachel Maddow

Trump tax return reveals … that he’s real rich!

The release of one year of Donald J. Trump’s tax returns has a kind of Al Capone’s vault feel to it.

Remember when Geraldo Rivera found the vault of the late mobster? He opened it and found — nothin’ man!

So, now we know that in 2005, the president made about $150 million and paid $38 million in federal taxes. Yes, the guy who told us during the 2016 presidential campaign that he worked to pay “as little as possible” in taxes actually paid a lot of them.

That was a dozen years ago.

What about the more recent returns? What about the money he was making while running for president? And what about those international business interests?

Americans haven’t seen the more relevant tax information from the president of the United States.

He told us he would release the returns once the Internal Revenue Service completed its “routine audit.” Except we don’t even know for certain whether the IRS is actually auditing Trump, who’s provided no proof or evidence that an audit even ongoing.

The White House decided to seek to get ahead of a story that had been hyped by MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, who tonight released the 2005 returns.

As it has been reported, the 12-year-old returns constitute a “nothing burger.”

Where’s the beef? I suspect it lies somewhere within the more recent returns that the president of the United States continues to refuse to release to Americans — such as yours truly — who want to know what is in them.

Hey Democrats, get ready for softballs


A reader — and an occasional critic — of this blog has just given me a valuable piece of intelligence that, frankly, got past me.

I chided Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz for suggesting that future GOP presidential debates be “moderated” by folks more friendly to their cause.

This reader said I got my “tighty whiteys” into a knot over it. Then he informed me that the next Democratic event, which occurs this Friday night at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C.,  will be “moderated” by Rachel Maddow. It’s being filled as a “forum,” and not a “debate” sponsored by the Democratic National Committee.

Whatever. It serves the same purpose.

You know who she is, right? Maddow is an MSNBC commentator and host of a nightly cable TV talk show. She’s a flaming liberal. I mean, man, that she’s on fire with her progressive views.

She’ll have three Democratic candidates standing in front of her Friday night: Hillary Rodham Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley.

All three of those folks are tacking left — to their party’s base — just as the still-huge GOP field is tacking right, to its party’s base.

Should we expect Maddow to get tough with the candidates on the debate stage later this week? I’m not holding my breath. Put me down as one who doubts Democratic Party primary voters are going to learn a single new thing about any of the candidates.

Just as the Republican candidates were whining about the questions they got at their most recent joint appearance, if only the Democrats would be subjected to the same level of scrutiny and occasional harshness their GOP colleagues got.


VA scandal far from ‘overstated’

veterans affairs

Hillary Rodham Clinton could not be more wrong than she was the other night when she said that the Department of Veterans Affairs health care scandal was “overstated.”

You’ll recall the VA matter. Veterans seeking medical care in Phoenix were made to wait for too long for the care — and then some of the died while waiting.

Meanwhile, the VA cooked the books, so to speak, and hid that information from agency watchdogs in order to protect the medical staff at the VA medical center in Phoenix.

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki had to quit and the agency went under the microscope to correct the hideous situation that resulted in the veterans’ deaths.

News flash to Hillary: None of it — zero — was “overstated.”

Veterans should be offended by what the Democrats’ leading presidential contender told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow the other evening. I know I am.

Yes, Clinton is right to say that most veterans get good health care. I can attest to the quality of care I am getting in Amarillo at the Thomas Creek VA Medical Center. Then again, I enjoy good health.

My hope is that when I do need some specialized care that it will be available to me in a timely fashion. I damn sure don’t want to die waiting to receive it.

Most veterans do receive good care. The veterans who have died because of too-long wait times, though, did not.

For the Democrats’ leading presidential candidate to suggest it’s all “overstated,” overblown and overplayed is dishonest on its face.

Here we go again, Gov. Perry

Rachel Maddow is no fan of former Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

There. I’ve stipulated what many folks know already about the liberal commentator for MSNBC.

That all said, she noted Friday night that Perry is about to break another “glass ceiling” for Republican presidential candidates. He’s about to become the first candidate under felony indictment to seek his party’s presidential nomination. He’ll make his announcement on June 4.

The Texas Tribune has posted a fascinating analysis on the pluses and minuses of a Perry presidential campaign.


You remember the indictment, yes? A Travis County grand jury indicted Perry in 2014 on charges of abuse of power and coercion when he tried to get the Democratic Travis County district attorney to resign after she pleaded guilty to drunken driving; if she quit, he’d then let the DA’s Public Integrity Unit have the money appropriated by the Legislature. She didn’t quit. So Perry vetoed the money.

The grand jury said that sequence constituted an indictable offense.

Hey, that doesn’t matter. He’s going to run for the presidency a second time, hoping that all will be forgiven from his first — and disastrous — run for the White House in 2012; he actually lasted only a few days into 2012, as he dropped out of the race in January of that year.

Will the indictment hold him back? Will it matter to GOP voters who are looking for a right-wing darling to embrace as an alternative to squishy moderates such as Jeb Bush, Rob Portmand, John Kasich, Lindsey Graham or Chris Christie? All of those guys — and the others who already have declared their intentions to run or are about to declare them — will seek to paint themselves as hard-core conservatives.

Perry, though, is the real thing … he says.

He’s got this chink in his conservative armor, however. It’s immigration. You see, as the governor of a border state for a bazillion years, he has this idea that we really ought to have immigration reform. He also favors something akin to President Obama’s DREAM Act, which grants amnesty to illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States by their parents, when they were children. And … he also favors granting in-state college tuition waivers to those very illegal immigrants.

That area is where I happen to agree with the former governor.

The rest of it? No thanks.

Plus, he’s got that indictment matter to settle before he thinks about taking the presidential oath on Jan. 20, 2017.

Something tells me it won’t come to that.


Well, that clears it up: Jeb wouldn't go to war

Jeb Bush has set the record straight … I think.

He now says he wouldn’t have gone to war in Iraq if he and the rest of the world knew then what we know now — which is that Saddam Hussein didn’t possess weapons of mass destruction.

Does that clear it up for you? The former Republican Florida governor — and likely GOP presidential candidate — surely hopes so.


He went from “yes I would” go to war, to “mishearing” the question from Megyn Kelly of Fox News, to “misinterpreting” the question to now reversing himself completely.

MSBNC’s Rachel Maddow — and I’m acutely aware that she is no fan of any of the Republicans running, or thinking of running, for president — pointed out an important element of the botched answer to a simple question. She said Thursday night that Jeb Bush, whose brother George W. Bush, invaded Iraq in 2003, should have been aware that the question would come and he should have had his answer down pat.

He didn’t. He either hasn’t done his homework on the nuts and bolts of running for president, or doesn’t quite understand how the media work. Reporters are going to ask him repeatedly about the Iraq War and whether it was a good or bad idea for the United States to invade another country.

Jeb Bush remains one of the frontrunners for the GOP nomination, whenever he declares his candidacy.

I actually want him to do well as the nomination campaign ramps up.

But, oh man, he must stop fumbling the questions everyone in America knows he’s going to get.

Perry IDs critical '16 campaign issue

It’s always a cold day in hell when former Texas Gov. Rick Perry draws praise from anyone on the left end of the political spectrum.

He’s done it, though, with an observation about what he believes is the most critical issue of the 2016 campaign for the presidency.

It involves the Supreme Court.


Steve Benen, writing a blog for lefty commentator Rachel Maddow’s blog, notes:

“But over at Bloomberg Politics, Sahil Kapur reported over the weekend on a South Carolina event, where former Gov. Rick Perry (R) highlighted a central national issue that doesn’t generally get as much attention.
“Something I want you all to think about is that the next president of the United States, whoever that individual may be, could choose up to three, maybe even four members of the Supreme Court,” he said. “Now this isn’t about who’s going to be the president of the United States for just the next four years. This could be about individuals who have an impact on you, your children, and even our grandchildren. That’s the weight of what this election is really about.”
“That, I will suggest to you, is the real question we need to be asking ourselves,” he continued. “What would those justices look like if, let’s be theoretical here and say, if it were Hillary Clinton versus Rick Perry? And if that won’t make you go work, if I do decide to get into the race, then I don’t know what will.”
The next president likely is going to get a chance to appoint several justices to the highest court in the land. And those appointments always seem to outlast the presidencies of those who select them.
Perry knows a thing or two about these kinds of legacies. He built one himself as the longest-serving governor in Texas history. He appointed several justices to the state Supreme Court and judges to the Court of Criminal Appeals.
As Benen states: “Purely on institutional grounds, Perry is absolutely right – the makeup of the high court will likely give the next president a unique opportunity to shape much of American public life for a generation.”

What say you, Col. North?

Allow me to stipulate right off the top that I am acutely aware that the source of this blog post is an admittedly progressive pundit who routinely criticizes conservatives on her nightly TV talk show.

However, the point made here is a valid one.


Many Americans are steamed over the terms of the deal that brought about the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. One of them — are you ready? — who’s really angry about it is former Marine Corps Lt. Col. Oliver North, the former principal character in another hostage-release deal that, um, drew a lot of attention to a Republican president.

As it is stated in the link attached here, it is almost beyond comprehension that this guy, of all people, would have anything to say at all publicly about a deal that involves “negotiating” with enemy agents. He was involved up to his armpits in precisely such a deal. It brought shame and, yes, scandal to President Reagan’s administration. He also was actually convicted of a crime, although his conviction was overturned on appeal.

Still, for Ollie North to weigh in … well, there’s your benchmark for absurdity.