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"New York attorney general refuses to accept Eric Trump’s claims that he’s “too busy” to be deposed
BY VINNIE LONGOBARDO
SEPTEMBER 21, 2020
The rich and privileged operate under different rules than ordinary Americans.
If you need proof of that statement, just try defying a subpoena some time or telling the court that your extensive travel schedule simply won’t allow you to turn up at the appointed time, but perhaps you could pencil them in sometime after election day.
That’s essentially what presidential spawn Eric Trump told New York State Attorney General Letitia James regarding the subpoena for his testimony about the financial and tax irregularities being alleged against the Trump Organization after the company’s former fixer Michael Cohen spilled the beans about the differing assessments of property values in their loan applications and tax filings.
Eric Trump’s attorneys argued in court that his “extreme travel schedule” campaigning for his father would prevent him from testifying anytime before the election in New York State’s civil investigation of the Trump Organization. The lawyers also claimed to want “to avoid the use of his deposition attendance for political purposes.”
Hmmm, isn’t all that campaigning Eric has on his calendar being done for political purposes? Why should his refusal to give a timely deposition be exempt from being fair game for political humiliation?
Attorney General James had a decidedly different view of the situation than the Trump scion’s lawyers.
“We won’t allow any entity or individual to dictate how our investigation will proceed or allow anyone to evade a lawful subpoena. No one is above the law, period,” James said in a statement responding to the attorney’s “Oh, he’s much too busy” excuse.
The younger Mr. Trump was originally scheduled for a voluntary interview with state officials to discuss the allegations that his family business lied about the value of its assets in order to get loans or tax benefits way back in July, but Attorney General James was forced to issue a subpoena for the slippery presidential offspring after Eric abruptly canceled that planned meeting.
The lawyers are trying to push the argument that most law-enforcement agencies should avoid taking any actions involving political figures during the 60 days before an election.
They seemingly forget the actions of former FBI Director James Comey, who sent a letter to Congress a week before the 2016 presidential election regarding the reopening of an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails.
“Eric Trump’s lawyers have proposed four dates for him to testify, the earliest being Nov. 19, which they contend is just 30 days after others are scheduled to be deposed in the investigation. They are also seeking assurances that the attorney general’s office won’t share testimony and evidence it collects with other law-enforcement agencies or regulators,” the Assoicated Press reports.
In the end, the scheduling of the deposition will be up to neither Eric Trump, his lawyers, nor the state attorney general.
A New York State judge will have the final say on the matter at a hearing scheduled for next Wednesday in state court in Manhattan.
Until then we can only speculate about whether Eric Trump’s multiple levels of privilege will allow him and his family to evade the consequences of a lawful subpoena — and the fallout from whatever revelations his testimony may generate — before the American people are asked to decide whether to give his father four more years in the White House rather than a lengthier prison sentence.
Let’s hope that Attorney General James’ assertion that “No one is above the law, period” proves to be true."
File under" the truth always gets out".......
"An Editor's Note on the Trump Tax Investigation
Today we are publishing the results of an examination of decades of personal and corporate tax records for President Trump and his businesses in the United States and abroad. The records stretch from his days as a high-profile New York real estate investor through the beginning of his time in the White House.
A team of New York Times reporters has pored over this information to assemble the most comprehensive picture of the president’s finances and business dealings to date, and we will continue our reporting and publish additional articles about our findings in the weeks ahead. We are not making the records themselves public because we do not want to jeopardize our sources, who have taken enormous personal risks to help inform the public.
We are publishing this report because we believe citizens should understand as much as possible about their leaders and representatives — their priorities, their experiences and also their finances. Every president since the mid-1970s has made his tax information public. The tradition ensures that an official with the power to shake markets and change policy does not seek to benefit financially from his actions.
Mr. Trump, one of the wealthiest presidents in the nation’s history, has broken with that practice. As a candidate and as president, Mr. Trump has said he wanted to make his tax returns public, but he has never done so. In fact, he has fought relentlessly to hide them from public view and has falsely asserted that he could not release them because he was being audited by the Internal Revenue Service. More recently, Mr. Trump and the Justice Department have fought subpoenas from congressional and New York State investigators seeking his taxes and other financial records."
By Dean Baquet
"Biden Endorsed by Group of Nobel Prize-Winning Economists
A group of 13 Nobel Prize-winning economists has announced their endorsement of Democrat Joe Biden in November’s general election.
“While each of us has different views on the particulars of various economic policies, we believe that Biden’s overall economic agenda will improve our nation’s health, investment, sustainability, resilience, employment opportunities, and fairness and be vastly superior to the counterproductive economic policies of Donald Trump,” they wrote.
Elsewhere, they praised Biden for his science-based approach: “Throughout the coronavirus crisis, Biden has recognized that science-based, public health solutions are critical not only to saving lives, but to any viable strategy to restore economic confidence, recovery, and jobs. Similarly, on issue after issue, Biden’s economic agenda will do far more than Donald Trump’s to increase the economic strength and well-being of our nation and its people.” - PoliticusUSA
You can't fool economists. When government runs up the red ink in deficits, now about $7T in 4 years, during economic expansion, it's nothing more than a smoke screen. The economy is on government welfare and cannot sustain itself, i.e. tRump's economy is a sham."
Edmund Phelps, the 2006 Nobel laureate in economics and director of the Center on Capitalism and Society at Columbia University, endorses Joe Biden........
"Dr. Ali Nouri
Sep 28, 2020
Good news from @WHO: rapid test approved, will start delivering to low/middle-income countries. It's a 15 min test and costs $5.
Road to safe reopening runs through each of us taking daily tests to determine if we go out or stay home
This is great start, needs more $ to ramp up
Dr. Ali Nouri
Rapid antigen test now approved by @WHO & set for delivery to low/middle income countries gives results in 15 min, works best when individual has high viral load and likely to be in the more contagious phase of infection. Need to ramp this up so everyone can be tested regularly."
Pelosi Statement on New York Times Report on President Trump’s Taxes
SEPTEMBER 27, 2020
"Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi released this statement on the New York Times report on President Trump’s tax information:
“The New York Times reporting provides a window into the extraordinary measures that President Trump has used to game the tax code and avoid paying his fair share of taxes, while hard working Americans are.
“This report provides further evidence of the clear need for the Ways and Means lawsuit spearheaded by Chairman Neal to access Trump’s tax returns and ensure the presidential audit program is functioning effectively, without improper influence.
“With the leadership of Representatives Anna Eshoo, Bill Pascrell, Lloyd Doggett and John Sarbanes, the House passed a requirement that presidents disclose their personal and business tax returns as part of our H.R. 1, the For The People Act. "
"Wyden: RonJohn Stumbled Upon Evidence Of Trump Corruption In Ukraine Probe
September 23, 2020 3:57 p.m.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) accidentally revealed more evidence of corruption in the Trump administration’s dealings with Ukraine in the course of his investigation into Hunter Biden, according to a letter from Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR).
In an unbelievable twist of irony, the corruption allegation has to do with a cabinet-level Trump official pressuring the Ukrainian government to alter the composition of the board of a Ukrainian energy company.
Lawmakers came across the evidence last week during the testimony of Amos Hochstein, who serves on the supervisory board of state-owned Ukrainian oil and gas holding Naftogaz.
Hochstein told the investigation that former Energy Secretary Rick Perry “inappropriately pressured the Ukrainian government” to place a Houston-based businessman named Robert Bensch on the board of Naftogaz, while other DOE officials pressed Kyiv to sign an agreement with a “private business entity connected to Mr. Bensh,” the letter reads.
Wyden addressed the letter to the Department of Energy Inspector General. He noted that the Senate Homeland Security and Finance Committees “are concluding an investigation into potential conflicts of interest related to executive branch officials who are responsible for carrying out the United States Government’s foreign policy in Ukraine.”
Dangerous consequences of politicizing National Intelligence.......
"The CIA has made it harder for intelligence about Russia to reach the White House, stoking fears among current and former officials that information is being suppressed to please a president known to erupt in anger whenever he is confronted with bad news about Moscow.
Nine current and former officials said in interviews that CIA Director Gina Haspel has become extremely cautious about which, if any, Russia-related intelligence products make their way to President Donald Trump’s desk. Haspel also has been keeping a close eye on the agency’s fabled “Russia House,” whose analysts she often disagrees with and sometimes accuses of purposefully misleading her.
Last year, three of the people said, Haspel tasked the CIA’s general counsel, Courtney Elwood, with reviewing virtually every product that comes out of Russia House, which is home to analysts and targeters who are experts in Russia and the post-Soviet space, before it “goes downtown” to the White House. One former CIA lawyer called it “unprecedented that a general counsel would be involved to this extent.”
Four of the people said the change has resulted in less intelligence on Russia making its way to the White House, but the exact reason for that — whether Elwood has been blocking it, or whether Russia officers have become disillusioned and are producing less, or even self-censoring for fear of being reprimanded — is less clear."
"Trump’s health care sham
by Rick Newman
Fri, September 25, 2020T
More than three and a half years into his four-year term, President Trump has finally revealed something he calls his health care plan. The upcoming election against Democratic nominee Joe Biden might have something to do with it.
Part 1 of Trump’s plan is an executive order declaring Trump’s support for a law that already exists. On Sept. 25, Trump signed an order declaring that it’s the policy of the U.S. government to protect people with preexisting conditions. But the Affordable Care Act, which Congress passed 10 years ago, already prohibits insurers from charging people more if they have preexisting conditions, or denying them coverage. Trump’s order doesn’t enhance that in any way, and it has no legal standing.
Part 2 of Trump’s health care plan is a request to Congress to pass legislation banning surprise medical bills, like those some patients get when they unknowingly get “out of network” care that’s not covered by their insurance. If Congress doesn’t pass such a law by the end of the year—which it won’t—Trump will try to ban surprise billing by executive order, which won’t work because the president can’t enact laws on his own.
Part 3 is some free money for seniors, if Trump can find $6 billion somewhere and reappropriate it without provoking a lawsuit. Trump says he’ll send 33 million seniors a $200 discount card to defray the cost of prescription drugs. If this actually happens, you can bet the cards will have the Trump name on them, to remind recipients who’s giving them the free money. The money would supposedly come from the savings from another dubious program that hasn’t gone into effect yet, suggesting seniors may never see the discount cards. Trump could try to divert the $6 billion from some other program, but that would likely produce litigation and long delays.
There are other plans Trump has rolled out before to import drugs from Canada—where prices are substantially lower—and allow some Americans to buy cheaper health insurance with fewer benefits. Add it all up and Trump can claim that as his first term ends, he finally has a health care plan that ought to earn him a second term.
‘Overblown’ and ‘bizarre’
But Trump’s plan is unlikely to change anything at all. In an analysis of the Trump announcements, Beacon Policy Advisors called the new measures “several of the most bizarre executive orders that he has yet released. Regarding pre-existing conditions, Trump’s order is perhaps the most overblown of his whole term thus far. While these executive orders may give the president ammunition to use against Biden during the upcoming presidential debates, we expect that it will only appeal to the lowest of low information voters.”
The backdrop for Trump’s anemic health care plan is a Supreme Court case that could kill the ACA and leave millions of Americans exposed to exorbitant health care costs. Trump has sided with the plaintiffs in the case, who argue that a change to the individual mandate Congress passed in 2017 should invalidate the entire law. The Supreme Court will hear the case on Nov. 10—one week after Election Day—and probably rule in June of 2021. If the court strikes down the whole law, insurers could once again charge people more if they have a history of cancer or heart disease or any other illness, or deny them coverage altogether.
Republicans in Congress have proposed legislation to protect the 54 million Americans under 65 who have preexisting conditions, if the ACA dies. But those bills aren’t as thorough as the ACA and there’s no guarantee Congress could even pass health care legislation, given how contentious the issue is. The quick demise of the ACA would probably throw the health care system into turmoil and leave millions newly vulnerable."
Voter suppression, a core GOP value.....
UK's Channel4News has obtained Trump campaign plans showing 'deterrence' of 3.5 million Black voters
"JUST IN: The United Kingdom's Channel 4 News has obtained leaked documents from the Trump campaign that lists 3.5 million Black Americans as "Deterrence" and outlined efforts to stop them from voting."
Trump / GOP failed response is being documented........
"A Young Kennedy, in Kushnerland, Turned Whistle-Blower
When Robert F. Kennedy’s grandson Max volunteered with Jared Kushner’s COVID-19 task force, he likened the Trump Administration’s pandemic response to “a family office meets organized crime, melded with ‘Lord of the Flies.’ ”
Months before Bob Woodward’s book “Rage” documented President Trump’s efforts to deceive Americans about the peril posed by Covid-19, Robert F. Kennedy’s twenty-six-year-old grandson tried to blow the whistle on the President’s malfeasance from an improbable perch—inside Trump’s coronavirus task force.
In April, Max Kennedy, Jr., despite having signed a nondisclosure agreement, sent an anonymous complaint to Congress detailing dangerous incompetence in the Administration’s response to the pandemic. On the phone recently from Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, Kennedy explained why he’d alerted Congress. “I just couldn’t sleep,” he said. “I was so distressed and disturbed by what I’d seen.”
How did a Kennedy end up in a sensitive role in the Trump Administration? After graduating from Harvard, in 2016, Kennedy did some time at consulting and investment firms; he planned to take the LSAT in March, but the pandemic cancelled it. At loose ends, he responded to a friend’s suggestion that he join a volunteer task force that Jared Kushner was forming, to get vital personal protective equipment, such as masks, to virus hot spots. Kushner, he was told, was looking for young generalists who could work long hours for no pay. “I was torn, to some extent,” Kennedy, a lifelong Democrat, said. “But it was such an unprecedented time. It didn’t seem political—it seemed larger than the Administration.” And he knew people who’d been sick. So in March he volunteered for the White House Covid-19 Supply-Chain Task Force, and drove to Washington.
On his first day, he showed up at the headquarters of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and joined around a dozen other volunteers, all in their twenties, mostly from the finance sector and with no expertise in procurement or medical issues. He was surprised to learn that they weren’t to be auxiliaries supporting the government’s procurement team. “We were the team,” he said. “We were the entire frontline team for the federal government.” The volunteers were tasked with finding desperately needed medical supplies using only their personal laptops and private e-mail accounts."
"WAPO: Trump attempted to exploit his elderly father in order to save himself from financial ruin
Donald Trump, facing financial ruin, sought control of his elderly father’s estate. The family fight was epic.
“It was basically taking the whole estate and giving it to Donald,” Trump’s sister said in secretly recorded audio
By Michael Kranish
Sept. 27, 2020
Donald Trump was facing financial disaster in 1990 when he came up with an audacious plan to exert control of his father’s estate.
His creditors threatened to force him into personal bankruptcy, and his first wife, Ivana, wanted “a billion dollars” in a divorce settlement, Donald Trump said in a deposition. So he sent an accountant and a lawyer to see his father, Fred Trump Sr., who was told he needed to immediately sign a document changing the will according to his son’s wishes, according to depositions from family members.
It was a fragile moment for the senior Trump, who was 85 years old and had built a real estate empire worth hundreds of millions of dollars. He would soon be diagnosed with cognitive problems, such as being unable to recall things he was told 30 minutes earlier or remember his birth date, according to his medical records, which were included in a related court case.
Now, those records and other sources of information about the episode obtained by The Washington Post reveal the extent of Fred Trump Sr.’s cognitive impairment and how Donald’s effort to change his father’s will tore apart the Trump family, which continues to reverberate today."
"It is a sign of President Trump’s disdain for America’s working families that he has spent years abusing the tax code while passing a GOP Tax Scam for the rich that gives 83 percent of the benefits to the wealthiest 1 percent."
"Heads up - anybody in this country who has had COVID, or ever tests positive for the COVID antibodies, has a preexisting condition.
And when Trump rams through an anti-health care judge, and the ACA is eliminated, your rates are going through the roof. "
Just got an alert before the bell on MS from (
). You think it will move the stock?
Run but you can't hide.............
NY AG James
"BREAKING: A judge just ruled that Eric Trump can no longer delay an interview under oath with my office as part of our ongoing investigation into financial dealings of the Trump Organization."
Eric Trump must interview with my office by October 7th, 2020."
11:51 AM · Sep 23, 2020
Trump Taxes -first potential crime , more to come with analysis..
"SUN, SEP 27TH, 2020 BY JASON EASLEY
Ivanka Trump Could Be Going Down Thanks To Her Dad’s Tax Fraud
Donald Trump’s tax returns show that he paid his daughter Ivanka as a consultant, even though she is a member of the company which is against IRS rules.
Via The New York Times:
Mr. Trump reduced his taxable income by treating a family member as a consultant, and then deducting the fee as a cost of doing business.
The “consultants” are not identified in the tax records. But evidence of this arrangement was gleaned by comparing the confidential tax records to the financial disclosures Ivanka Trump filed when she joined the White House staff in 2017. Ms. Trump reported receiving payments from a consulting company she co-owned, totaling $747,622, that exactly matched consulting fees claimed as tax deductions by the Trump Organization for hotel projects in Vancouver and Hawaii.
Ms. Trump had been an executive officer of the Trump companies that received profits from and paid the consulting fees for both projects — meaning she appears to have been treated as a consultant on the same hotel deals that she helped manage as part of her job at her father’s business.
Fake consulting deals with members of a company that is also managing the same project are a big red flag to the IRS. Trump hid income by listing his own daughter a consultant on projects that she was managing. In other words, Ivanka Trump and her father were cheating the United States government, and the American people to hide income and avoid paying taxes.
The implications of Trump’s tax returns go far beyond his lies about his wealth and the potential tax fraud that he has committed for decades. It turns out that cheating the American people is part of the family business.
Ivanka Trump has already been under investigation for potential tax crimes related to the 2016 presidential inauguration, but the scheme with her father could have greater implications. It clear that out of the Trump children Ivanka is the favorite who is being groomed as the political and business heir apparent to Trump."
Trump / GOP policies continue to slaughter Americans.........
" Dr. Scott Atlas joins Trump in spreading lies that will absolutely cause more people to die.
The most horrible thing about this pandemic is not how many people have died, but how many people have died unnecessarily because of decisions made by Donald Trump. What may be even worse is that Trump is still making these decisions. He knows that if there was a national mask mandate, implemented right now, in a period of about six weeks the number of new cases would be so reduced that it might actually be possible to have kids return to school safely. Masks combined with rapid tests that should finally reach the market in quantity over that same period should make it possible for many sporting events to resume, for businesses to return to something close to normal, and for families to gather at Thanksgiving.
But for that to happen with anything approaching safety it has to start now, and Trump is not going to do that. He is utterly wedded to decisions he made explicitly because he thought they would result in more deaths in blue states.
Instead, Trump has found himself an “expert” in the form of Scott Atlas, a retired radiologist with absolutely no experience or expertise in infectious disease. Now, after having discarded NIH director Dr. Anthony Fauci, undermined Dr. Robert Redfield who Trump appointed to head the CDC, and sidelined even White House loyalist Dr. Deborah Birx, Trump is going to ride Atlas all the way down. And he may generate as many American deaths in the next three months as in the whole year up to now, because this thing is not over. As NBC News is reporting, a phone call between Dr. Robert Redfield and a colleague at the CDC made it clear just how the director of that agency feels about Atlas and the advice he’s been providing on COVID-19.
"Everything he says is false," said Redfield, and when discussing Atlas’ claims that the pandemic was all but over, the CDC director made it clear. “We're nowhere near the end.”
On CNN, Dr. Anthony Fauci made it clear that he was concerned, because the things Atlas says are “really taken either out of context or actually incorrect.” While Fauci said that he was willing to sit down with Atlas to talk through areas of concern, he made it clear that on the subject of masks —which Atlas has repeatedly disparaged—his position is firm..“Masks are critically important in preventing the transmission and acquisition of SARS coronavirus 2."
The reports come just days after Deborah Birx was reportedly distressed over the way that Atlas has taken over the coronavirus task force meetings and, with Trump’s support, shouldered everyone else aside. "The President has found somebody who matches what he wants to believe," said a source close to Birx. Birx is said to be upset that Atlas is telling Trump what he wants to hear about masks and social distancing, even if it’s all lies.
The difference between having COVID-19 as a regular, endemic disease and having COVID-19 as a rare occurrence that doesn’t regularly spread across the population isn’t going to be through vaccination alone..Even as Atlas is bringing back the terrifying idea of “herd immunity,” new test results have shown that less than 10% of Americans have been exposed to COVID-19. That means that 90% of the population is still vulnerable to the disease. The rate of hospitalizations, heart attacks, strokes, nerve damage, heart damage, kidney damage, lung damage, and deaths from COVID-19 could all be nine times higher than they have been to date..."
James Martin, SJ
"Pope Francis: Tax evasion is part of a "structure of sin." He also quoted this article: "It has become evident that those who do not pay taxes do not only commit a felony but also a crime: if there are not enough hospital beds and artificial respirators, it is also their fault."
"U.S. current account deficit jumps 52.9% as COVID-19 disrupts trade
SEPTEMBER 18, 202010:02 AM UPDATED AN HOUR AGO
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. current account deficit soared to its highest level in nearly 12 years in the second quarter as the COVID-19 pandemic weighed on the export of goods and services, offsetting a shrinking import bill.
The Commerce Department said on Friday the current account deficit, which measures the flow of goods, services and investments into and out of the country, jumped 52.9% to $170.5 billion last quarter. That was the biggest gap since the third quarter of 2008 when the economy was working its way through the Great Recession."
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