Posts tagged with "trump"

Trump Tax Findings posted by 360 MAGAZINE and illustrated by Rita Azar.

Trump’s Tax Records Exposed

By Hannah DiPilato

Recently The New York Times got ahold of President Donald J. Trump’s tax information and made the shocking discovery that he has not been paying his fair share of taxes. 

According to The New York Times in 2016 and 2017, Trump only paid $750 in taxes each year. Many working Americans pay much more than this and have an income that is far lower than Trump’s. The Times also reported Trump paid nothing for income takes for 10 of the last 15 years. 

“The Fake News Media, just like Election time 2016, is bringing up my Taxes & all sorts of other nonsense with illegally obtained information & only bad intent,” said Trump in a tweet today, September 28th. “I paid many millions of dollars in taxes but was entitled, like everyone else, to depreciation & tax credits….. Also, if you look at the extraordinary assets owned by me, which the Fake News hasn’t, I am extremely under leveraged – I have very little debt compared to the value of assets.” 

Although Trump is brushing this off as fake news, the evidence proves otherwise. Trump has hidden these records and sold others to the American people. Although he takes in hundreds of millions of dollars a year, Trump has claimed losses that gave him millions of dollars in tax refunds. 

This information is being revealed just 37 days before the presidential election where Trump appears to be just behind the democratic candidate Joe Biden. The first presidential debate is also coming up in two days, a debate that may need to question Trump’s behaviors regarding taxes. In the first debate in Cleveland, Ohio on Tuesday, Biden could easily interrogate Trump with these accusations. 

Alan Garten, a lawyer for the Trump Organization spoke on the findings in a letter. “Most, if not all, of the facts appear to be inaccurate,” said Garten and requested to see the documents that the accusations were based on. After seeing the records, Garten said that Trump “has paid tens of millions of dollars of taxes to the federal government.” However, by saying “personal taxes,” it appears that Garten is combining income taxes with various other federal taxes. 

The Twitter account “Team Joe” made a video comparing the tax returns of middle-class workers to those of Trump in 2019. They reported that the typical income tax for elementary school teachers was $7,239, for a firefighter the average was $5,283 and for a nurse it was common to pay $10,216. They then compared this to Donald Trump’s payment of $750.

Trump’s millionaire persona could be all about appearances. He is facing a lengthy audit battle with the Internal Revenue Service because of a $72.9 million tax refund that he claimed. The IRS is investigating the legitimacy of this claim which he received after declaring major losses. If the IRS finds this claim to be false, Trump could owe over $100 million. 

For example, Trump disclosed in 2018 that he had brought in at least $434.9 million, but his tax records show a loss of $47.4 million. Tax records are not specific enough to investigate all the business expenses that Trump uses to reduce his taxable income. For example, from 2016 to 2017 Trump’s Bedminster golf club in New Jersey showed expenses that increased fivefold. He has even previously boasted that getting away with paying fewer taxes makes him smart. 

The president also brings in a hefty income from overseas in various different countries. In his first two years in office, this revenue added up to $73 million. He paid more to other countries then he did to The United States, by thousands. 

Trump’s tax records can be compared to President Richard M. Nixon’s tax bill that showed in 1970 he paid $792.81 of taxes when his income was around $200,000. When this information was revealed there was an uproar from the American people and resulted in the decision that presidents and presidential candidates should allow their tax records to be shared. In 2014, Trump even agreed to this saying, “I would love the do that,” referring to revealing his tax records if he ran for office. Then when he ran, Trump mocked this idea and said he would make the records public if Hillary Clinton made her deleted emails public and if Barack Obama showed his birth certificate. 

This information could greatly impact the election coming up in November. Depending on how people that planned to vote for Trump take these findings into consideration. Biden has been previously leading the polls, so it will be interesting to see how things will play out in both the upcoming debates and the election.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 MAGAZINE.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

By Cassandra Yany

Ruth Bader Ginsburg died Friday after her long battle with cancer. The 87-year-old Supreme Court justice was a trailblazer who continuously worked to end gender discrimination and preserve our civil liberties. 

The Supreme Court announced Friday that Ginsburg passed away at her Washington D.C. home due to complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer. She had previously overcome lung, liver and colon cancer. In July, she revealed that the cancer had returned, but that she would continue to serve on the Supreme Court.

Ginsburg’s revolutionary career started when she graduated at the top of her class from Cornell University, earning a Bachelor’s degree in government. Two years later, she attended Harvard Law School with her husband, Martin Ginsburg. There, she was one of only nine women in her class of over 500 students, according to NPR.

During their time at Harvard, Martin was diagnosed with testicular cancer, so Ruth would take notes for the two of them and help him with his work, all while trying to juggle being a new mom. When Martin landed a job at a firm in New York, the family packed up and Ruth finished her education at Columbia University. 

Once Ginsburg finished school, she began to experience the discrimination that came with being a female lawyer. According to TIME, she was unable to secure a position at a premier law firm or one of the Supreme Court clerkships, regardless of the fact that she had been the first students to serve on both the Harvard and Columbia Law reviews, and graduated at the top of her class. These jobs were instead easily given to males who had ranked lower than her in school. This led her to work a lower court clerkship and teach at the Rutgers Law Newark campus.

At Rutgers, she co-founded the Women’s Rights Law Reporter. While she was there, she learned that she wasn’t earning the same wage as one of her male counterparts. The dean attributed this pay disparity to the fact that the male professor had a family to support, while Ginsburg’s husband already had a good-paying job. This type of discrimination caused her to hide her second pregnancy.

After her son was born, Ginsburg began teaching at Columbia, becoming the university’s first tenured female professor. There, she also co-authored the first case book on discrimination law. She later went on to co-found the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union in 1972.

During her work as a lawyer, Ginsburg established that equal protection under the law, as stated in the 14th Amendment, should extend to gender. She won five out of the six cases that she argued before the Supreme Court on gender discrimination. She often chose to find this prejudice in cases where males were the plaintiffs being discriminated against, as seen in the 2018 film On the Basis of Sex. 

In 1980, Jimmy Carter appointed Ginsburg as a judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. She became the second woman on the Supreme Court, and the first Jewish justice since 1969 when she was appointed by Bill Clinton in 1993. During her time, she eliminated almost 200 laws that discriminated against women. 

Ginsburg also fought for the rights of immigrants, the mentally ill, and members of the LGBTQ+ community. She approved gay marriage in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, stating that if you can’t deny a 70-year-old couple the right to marriage due to their inability to procreate, you can’t deny a gay couple of that right either.

Ginsburg supported women’s reproductive rights, fighting for the coverage of contraceptives despite anyone’s religious beliefs. At the time of Roe v. Wade, she litigated a case where a pregnant Air Force captain was told she would have to have an abortion in order to return to her job. She noted the hypocrisy present in this case— that the U.S. government was encouraging abortion – and found that it served as a clear example of why women should have the right to make their own life decisions.

Ginsburg’s passing gives Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Trump the ability to appoint a new justice, despite her dying wish to not be replaced until after a new president is elected. This opportunity could make the Supreme Court more right-leaning and jeopardize cases like Roe v. Wade that are at the forefront of equal rights movements. 

This comes four years after McConnell’s 11-month Republican blockade of President Obama’s nominee for the court, where he argued “that a president shouldn’t be able to seat a new justice in the final year of their term.” Obama noted this in a statement released early Saturday, where he said “A basic principle of law— and of everyday fairness— is that we apply rules with consistency, and not based on what’s convenient or advantageous in the moment.”

After the news broke Friday night of Ginsburg’s death, hundreds of people gathered outside the Supreme Court to pay tribute and create a memorial on the building’s steps. Many signs have since been left outside of the court honoring her legacy.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday morning that there will be a statue built in Ginsburg’s hometown of Brooklyn to “serve as a physical reminder of her many contributions to the America we know today…”

Trump issued a proclamation Saturday ordering flags to be flown at half-staff until sunset on the day of interment “As a mark of respect for Ruth Bader Ginsburg…”

RBG will be dearly missed by Americans on both sides of the aisle. We have lost a longtime champion of equal rights, but her legacy will never be forgotten.

Breaking News by Nicole

The Rachel Maddow Show – Michael Cohen

Tonight on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show,” former personal attorney and ‘fixer’ to President Donald Trump Michael Cohen joined host Rachel Maddow for a one-on-one interview to discuss the explosive allegations in his new book and his time in the Trump organization.

Asked if the President’s financial records pose a threat:

“Yes, I think it poses a tremendous threat to the president, which, of course, is why he elected not to release his tax returns.” 

Asked to clarify his claim on the President’s arrangement to pardon himself should he lose the election, Cohen said:

“My theory is that, if he loses, there’s still the time between the election and the time that the next president would take office. And in — during that time, my suspicion is that he will resign as president, he will allow Mike Pence to take over, and he will then go ahead and have Mike Pence pardon him. And it’s a very — let’s just say it’s a very Nixon type of event.”

On Trump’s fascination with praising Vladimir Putin:

“Trump is keen on this power. And whether it’s Putin, Mohammed bin Salman, the Kim Jong-uns, the Maduros, it’s the power that he is so involved with and so in search of, that this is exactly what he believes.”

Cohen continued:

“He’s fixated on the wealth of Vladimir Putin and all of the opportunities that come with it. You have to remember — and I have said this many times, and I have said it under oath to the House and the Senate, as well as my open testimony — Donald Trump never thought he was going to win this election. He actually didn’t want to win this election. This was supposed to be — and it’s how we started it — the greatest political infomercial in the history of politics. So, if you take that line, and you — and you add to it the Trump Tower Moscow project, you will understand that this was a branding deal.”

Asked if Sen. Ted Cruz was aware that President Trump personally demanded that the photo of Cruz’s father appear on the front page of the National Enquirer in connection with Lee Harvey Oswald or the killing of JFK:

“He does now.”

Pressed by Rachel Maddow if the President approved it:

“Let me say this and I want to be clear to you and to the viewers and everybody.  Nothing happens without Mr. Trump’s approval at the Trump Organization. To the same extent, nothing happens without President Trump’s approval.  He micromanages everything, especially and including things that he doesn’t know anything about.”

Video for “Cohen: Trump 2016 campaign was just a branding opportunity” 

Video for “Cohen: Trump consulted on Enquirer stories to smear his opponents”

Credits to: MSNBC / “THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW”

Hiccup in COVID-19 Vaccine Development

By Althea Champion

In a statement from AstraZeneca, reported by STAT News, the biopharmaceutical company reported a halt in their global research trial. The company, which is working with the University of Oxford and is one of the few waist-deep in the process of developing a COVID-19 vaccination, reported that the halt is a “routine action which has to happen whenever there is a potentially unexplained illness in one of the trials.”

The company is in Phase 3 of their clinical trial in the U.S., as well as Brazil and South Africa, according to the New York Times, and in Phase 2/3 in England and India. AstraZeneca began the third phase of its clinical trial not much longer than a week ago, on Aug. 31.

Phase 3 efficacy trials involve thousands of volunteers, some of which are administered the vaccine in question, and others the placebo.

AstraZeneca and its most close competitors, Moderna and Pfizer, which have each been in phase 3 of their clinical trials since July 27, are backed by the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed, a targeted allocation of resources meant to hasten the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

The halt of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine—AZD1222—is the first made public by its drug maker, and will allow a safety review to take place. 

“A volunteer in the U.K. trial [of AZD1222] had been found to have transverse myelitis, an inflammatory syndrome that affects the spinal cord and is often sparked by viral infections,” reported the New York Times. “However, the timing of this diagnosis, and whether it was directly linked to AstraZeneca’s vaccine, is unclear.”

The vaccine was first developed by Oxford University’s Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group, according to nih.gov, and was then “licensed to AstraZeneca for further development.” Oxford-Astrazeneca began the third phase of its clinical trial not much longer than a week ago, on Aug. 31

The company stressed in its statement that the safety of their participants is a priority.

“We are working to expedite the review of the single event to minimize any potential impact on the trial timeline,” said the company in their statement. “We are committed to the safety of our participants and the highest standards of conduct in our trials.”

Maria Soloman illustration for 360 MAGAZINE journalism article.

The War on Journalism

by Justin Lyons

What a time it is to be a journalist.

During an era in which news is a divisive, politicized topic, one man seems to have been spearheading the charge against modern media. That’s what a brand new documentary from Juan Passarelli aims to cover, at least in part.

“The War on Journalism – the case of Julian Assange” takes the case of the controversial WikiLeaks founder. Assange now faces 175 years after his site published leaked documents with information sensitive to the United States government. Now we face the never-ending battle of journalistic principles versus legality.

The thing that sticks out to me at first thought is the idea that leaks have existed as long as governments and corruption have existed, which dates back to the beginning of time. As a journalist myself, I think we consider our job as watchdogs one of the most important jobs in a functioning society. If journalists aren’t delivering news telling consumers what they need to know and why they need to know it, we’d be missing a huge opportunity to hold powerful figures accountable.

Theodore Roosevelt once called journalists “muckrakers” because they, well, rake through the muck. They dig through the dirt to find that key that might be even dirtier than the dirt itself. While it doesn’t sound like an endearing term, journalists seem to take it as a compliment.

This documentary looks at the realities of being a reporter in the middle of the action, and it seems to no longer be safe to gather information about government action. It opens with what looks like a reporter being pepper sprayed by police and proceeds to show government officials claim they will not agree to refrain from prosecuting journalists for doing their jobs.

Assange was indicted under the Espionage Act with 17 counts. The Espionage Act is a United States law published in 1917 that aims to prevent interference in foreign relations.

While it might seem that the First Amendment could guarantee freedom for press to publish information with the public good in mind, John Kiriakou, described as a CIA torture whistleblower, brought up a really interesting point.

Kiriakou was charged in the Eastern District of Virginia and hired the lawyer who won cases for O.J. Simpson and George Zimmerman. That lawyer decided that Kiriakou’s case was impossible to win in the Eastern District of Virginia. His jury would have comprised of members of the CIA, the FBI, the Pentagon, intelligence community contractors and the Department of Homeland Security.

The same applies to Julian Assange. He was charged in the Eastern District of Virginia, where Kiriakou said no national security defendant had ever won a case.

Journalists aren’t seeking more freedom than the average U.S. citizen, but they should be protected with clearly defined rights. When the Sixth Amendment guarantees the right to an impartial jury, it can make you wonder how Kiriakou’s story is possible in the first place. It seems that seeking protection for the government has overwhelmed the protection of journalistic freedoms.

Overall, the documentary is definitely an interesting looking glass into what it’s like to be a journalist right now. I also think it’s an interesting look at journalistic protections. When thinking about people like Assange or Edward Snowen, who also appears in the documentary, I wonder where their protections start and end and how those protections are recognized if we consider them journalists.

In 2020, anyone can be a journalist, and using that freedom of press for information of public interest is something that is quite clearly protected by the Constitution.

Now that Assange is appearing in court for his extradition case, I look forward to the outcome, as it could become another landmark case for journalism in the United States.

If you’re interested in seeing “The War on Journalism – the case of Julian Assange” for yourself, you can check it out right here.

Cruise illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Boats Sink at Pro-Trump Parade

On September 5, 2020, participants at the ‘Trump Boat Parade’ needed rescuing after at least four boats sunk around noon on Lake Travis in Texas.

The New York Times reported, “Boaters were set to travel around the lake, which is about 15 miles northwest of Austin, at 10 miles per hour.”
According to the events Facebook page, they wanted to “really make a statement,” but organizers did not expect the event to make national news for the reason it did.

A call came in around 12:10 pm to report the first boat was taking on water and subsequently more boats faced the same fate. After mulling over the audio from these emergency calls, ABC News reported, “At least three boats went down in 30 minutes, according to dispatchers, who reported several sinking boats around Paradise Cove.”

“Five boats sank, three of which were removed from the water, the sheriff’s office said in a Sunday release,” USA Today stated. “Two boats remained submerged, it said.”

Strangely enough, this wasn’t the first time a a pro-Trump boat parade ended in emergency calls. “A similar incident took place during a parade on the Willamette River in Portland last month,” according to Bloomberg. However, there was less damage done with only one boat reportedly sinking.

While the the day brought good boating conditions, the large number of boats all starting their trek around the lake at the same time caused unsafe water conditions, CNN stated.
Organizers still plan to hold more boat parades in the future disregarding the tragedies of the past two parades.

Trump Tax Findings posted by 360 MAGAZINE and illustrated by Rita Azar.

SSPBA endorses Donald Trump

Southern States Police Benevolent Association, Inc. (SSPBA) announced today that it is endorsing Donald Trump for President in the 2020 election. SSPBA board members and representatives met with Vice President Mike Pence in Raleigh today to announce the endorsement. SSPBA is composed of over 60,000 law enforcement officer members throughout the Southeast. This is the association’s first presidential endorsement in over twenty years.

“With the stakes as high as they are for the law enforcement profession today, we felt that we must speak up in support of the true law enforcement candidates,” said Chris Skinner, SSPBA president.

“President Trump has been unwavering in his support of law enforcement,” President Skinner continued.  “He has shown time and again that he stands behind the men and women who put on their uniform and badge and go to work each day,” President Skinner said.  “In these times when many are attacking the law enforcement profession, it is imperative that law enforcement officers know that they are not on their own as they face the dangers of their job.  We believe that President Trump and Vice President Pence have demonstrated that they understand and appreciate the honor and sacrifice of serving as a law enforcement officer.”

“The number one priority of government is to provide for safety and protection of the citizens. We are convinced that President Trump recognizes the fact that law enforcement and law enforcement officers are vital to the strength and stability of our communities,” President Skinner added. “We support President Trump and Vice President Pence because we know that they are the candidates who will continue to support us.”

Southern States Police Benevolent Association, Inc. is a non-profit professional organization dedicated to improving the law enforcement profession. PBA members are active or retired employees of federal, state, county and municipal law enforcement and correctional agencies. This professional association provides legal, legislative, disciplinary and other representation to member officers as well as a salary replacement death benefit to members’ beneficiaries. The PBA prohibits members from engaging in or condoning any strike by law enforcement officers, electing instead to represent members through aggressive political action. For more information, please visit our website at www.sspba.org.

Jacob Blake Shot by Wisconsin Police

In the most recent incident to incite protests against injustices across the nation this summer, a Black man has been shot in Wisconsin. Jacob Blake, witnesses said, was attempting to break up an argument between two women. Following this, he walked back towards his silver SUV this past Sunday, August 23rd while being trailed by a police officer involved in the confrontation. As three of his children watched from their vehicle, the police officer proceeded to fire seven times at Blake’s back and close range. One can only imagine the trauma for his sons. As of today, Blake remains hospitalized in serious condition, but is expected to survive.

The incident, caught on video, has gone similarly viral to other violent misconducts by the police over the course of spring and summer 2020. The officers involved in Blake’s shooting have been placed on administrative leave and have shocked the small city of Kenosha, Wisconsin. Protests across the city have motivated Governor Evers to call in the National Guard, though he attempted to assure constituents it was not in an effort to mimic clashes between protesters and servicemen in places like Seattle, Minneapolis, or New York. Minor confrontations have occurred over the past two days despite this.

Following George Floyd’s murder this past May, protests against the police and in favor of the movement Black Lives Matter have exploded across the country. Blake’s shooting has added fuel to the fire, inspiring renewed protests and calls to action all across the nation. The incident in Kenosha has furthered the call for cities to cut funding to police departments, restructure their legal practices, amongst other changes.

Governor of Wisconsin Tony Evers tweeted in support of Jacob Blake and in condemnation of the actions of police officers involved: “I have said all along that although we must offer our empathy, equally important is our action. In the coming days, we will demand just that of elected officials in our state who have failed to recognize the racism in our state and country for far too long. And we stand against excessive use of force and immediate escalation when engaging with Black Wisconsinites.” The Governor also signed an executive order into Wisconsin’s state legislature for a special session to pass legislation and police reforms for August 31st. The reforms are expected to be fought by the state’s Republican leadership.

Calls from the countries Democratic leadership have come again for immediate reform, including the voice of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden as he “wakes up yet again with grief and outrage that yet another Black American is a victim of excessive force.” President Trump has not commented directly on the shooting, but Vice President Pence made a statement yesterday emphasizing the administration’s loyalty to their men and women in blue.

The situation involving the shooting of Jacob Blake and ensuing actions in Kenosha, Wisconsin continues to develop.

U.S. Postal Service In Danger

By Eamonn Burke

The coronavirus has ravaged the United States in the past six months, hitting small private businesses, especially minority -owned, very hard. There is also a major public service that has taken a devastating hit from the pandemic, and now from debates over mail-in voting.

A comprehensive detailing of the damages done to the Postal Service by the New York Times, including a daunting warning that the agency could run out of funds by the fall. The decision of whether to aid the service financially became a partisan one, in which the differing opinions on government interference came into play.

“The Postal Service is a joke,” said President Trump, who’s administration called off a potential $13 billion relief bill for the USPS and believes that the agency is responsible for its own financial issues, unless they comply with a series of alterations that would benefit private competitors.

Democrats were backed by large corporations that benefit from the USPS in their fight to save it. “We are for the public having the Postal Service meet the public interest, not some special interest” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

It may not be as divisive an issue as it seems, however. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka pointed out that the benefit on both sides of the aisle from the USPS would indicate that the fight to save it may not be so evenly split between the two parties.

Delays in mailing have been experienced throughout the country since the pandemic broke, in cities like Philadelphia. Mail workers in the city say that the new pressures to cut spending, staff, and work hours are causing backlogs of mail. These can be a huge problem when the mail contains essential items like food or medicine. “I try to stay by him and pray for life that I have what I need to take care of him,” says Valerie Rice of her young grandson whom she orders medicine for. Meanwhile, a USPS spokesman assures that the agency is “flexing our available resources to match the workload created by the impacts of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic” and that they “appreciate the patience of our customers.”

The public has started to act, helping to fund the service indirectly through purchases of stamps and other USPS goods from the UPS gift shop. Hashtags like #SaveUPS and #DontDefundUPS have gone around Twitter.

The latest development surrounding the USPS is the controversy over mail-in voting, which Trump has sworn will rig the outcome of the election in November, even though evidence has proven this claim wrong. The new guidelines imposed by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy are opposed by the union as they slow down mail and have been criticized as a way for Trump to impair mail-in voting.

As a public service that cannot conserve funds by decreasing production, the agency is in a tough spot and faces an uncertain future.

Mask illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

Indiana School Quarantines on First Day

By Eamonn Burke

Greenfield Central Junior High School in Indiana opened on Thursday, as one of the first high schools to do so in the country. Within hours, the school had to quarantine when a student tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. It appears that the student was tested days before and went to school without knowing the results.

The emergency “Positive COVID-19 Test Protocol” that went into action following the testing involved isolating the student and a two week quarantine order for those who had come in contact. The schools superintendent, Harold E. Olin, knew the situation was coming but was “shocked it was on Day 1.” Nonetheless, Olin said in a letter that “It was very evident today that nearly all of our families and students were prepared to properly follow the safety protocols we have established”.

This comes amidst a national debate over the re-opening of schools in the fall. While most major school districts have announced a remote start, some in places like Texas and Florida, where the virus is running rampant, plan to open in the fall. Teachers unions have been vehemently opposing an in-person opening, threatening and executing lawsuits and strikes to make their point. They put pressure on Trump’s administration, who is urging for children to get back to school.

Further complicating matters is a study from Northwestern and a Chicago Pediatric Hospital found that children five years and younger carry the virus in high concentrations, although a study on their transmission rate has not been conducted.

On top of all the virus concerns is that of the mental health and success of students who are learning virtually. This spans everything from eye health to sleep patterns to ability to socialize. In addition, it can be harder for many students to pay attention and retain material when studying from home.