Thanks for all the well wishes! While I'm still under the weather and, as is my custom on those very rare occasions when I'm sick, whiny as hell about it, I can get up and walk around and eat very bland food. Good enough! Come celebrate with me in Panda Party. Other reasons to celebrate: It's Friday, conservatives keep digging a hole on reproductive rights, Virginia backed off two "bitches ain't shit" bills, and this ELO/Olivia Newton-John collaboration never gets old.
Business guru Donald Trump's financial mismanagement cost him $40 million dollars on his overseas golf courses: report
According to a report from Insider, Donald Trump's bumbling mismanagement on the financing of his Scottish golf courses likely cost the former president $40 million due to how he took out his loans.
While there have already been reports that the Trump's golf resort properties have been money-losers for the Trump family, the new report states that he is taking an all-together different financial hit.
Insider reports that Trump properties Turnberry near Glasgow and Trump Golf Links International in Aberdeenshire are "dependent on loans from Trump and US-owned entities to stay afloat," and that some of those loans are problematic due to currency fluctuations.
"Turnberry's parent company Golf Recreation Scotland owes Trump, through various US-registered entities, a total of £113,425,000 (around $160,000,000), according to UK Companies House accounts filed in December." the report states. "Trump International Golf Club Scotland Limited, which owns his Aberdeenshire course, owes Trump £44,400,049, also issued in the form of interest-free loans, according to Companies House accounts."
"The problem is that Trump appears to have created those loans in British pound sterling — as evidenced by the fact they are all displayed as sterling loans on Companies House," Insider's Thomas Colson reported, adding, "Unfortunately for Trump, the British pound has declined significantly in value against the dollar in the period since Trump started issuing loans to his golf courses."
Due to the decline in value of the British pound, Trump's loans, when repaid, " ...to Trump in his native dollar currency, they are going to be worth considerably less than when he issued them."
According to Stephen Clapham, an investment analyst and founder of financial website Behind the Balance Sheet, Trump has been taking a major hit dating back to last year.
"The pound was worth $1.27 made those calculations, and it has since risen to $1.42 (as of June 9), meaning some of those losses will have been mitigated — but the current figure would still represent a loss amounting to tens of millions of dollars," the report continues. "Those losses, said Clapham, appear to have been the result of Trump's failure to 'hedge' the loans he created. In simple terms, hedging is a common business practice that offsets the risk of price movements like a drop in the value of a currency by fixing the repayment rate for a loan when it is created."
According to Clapham, "The most likely explanation is that Trump has made this loan and incurred a significant loss. It's the simplest explanation and probably the most likely."
The report notes that questions about the loans were not answered by Trump Org officials.
You can read more here.
According to a report from Politico, European leaders -- and their aides -- who are meeting with President Joe Biden at the G-7 conference in England are expressing open relief and joy that Donald Trump has been replaced but are also concerned that Trump may return one day due to the volatility of U.S. politics.
As Politico's Anita Kumar wrote, "Biden's predecessor spent four years disparaging world leaders — in public and on Twitter— accusing their countries of freeloading off the United States. He pulled out of international agreements, refused to sign others and scoffed at the trans-Atlantic alliances that served as a bedrock of U.S. foreign policy in the post-WWII era," before adding, "So many leaders at the latest G-7 meeting, including those from Germany, France and Canada, seemed simply eager to move past Trump this week; so much so that they greeted Biden like an old friend even when he wasn't."
Case in point, upon her arrival on Friday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel took a not-too-subtle jab at Trump, telling reporters, "Being able to meet Joe Biden is obviously important because he stands for the commitment to multilateralism, which we were missing in recent years."
With British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, considered to closer to Trump than the other, calling Biden "a breath of fresh air," one U.S. diplomat explained that the sense of relief is palpable.
"There's no way of describing our friends' relief at the change of administration. And not just because it isn't Donald Trump anymore," admitted Stephen Sestanovich, a former National Security Council advisor. "It's that the alliance has a backlog of real problems to address. The Biden administration wants to talk about how to develop cooperative responses to them in a way that the Trump administration couldn't ever be serious about."
However, there is some unease among European leaders about political instability in the U.S. where attempts are being made to not only overturn the 2020 presidential election but also create doubt about future elections.
Explaining the underlying worries, Alexander Vershbow, former deputy secretary of NATO remarked, "The allies do have lingering doubts about the forces that produced Trump's election in 2016 and are wondering whether those forces are gone for good, or that possibility that the US could shift back to a more contentious, more transactional approach to NATO in 2022, or 20 2024. I think this concern is real that, you know, the Trumpian trend tendencies in the U.S. could return full bore. And in the midterms, or in the next presidential election."
You can read more here.
According to legal analyst Danny Cevallos, before any criminal investigation is begun into charges that the Department of Justice was secretly investigating Democratic lawmakers during the Donald Trump administration, the DOJ needs to come clean over how extensive it was and if members of both parties received the same treatment.
With charges of political corruption being levied against attorneys general Jeff Sessions and Bill Barr -- both of whom have denied any knowledge of the demand for phone records of two lawmakers who have thorns in the side of ex-president Trump -- Cevallos claimed there is one big question hanging over the ongoing inquiry.
Noting that one of the targeted lawmakers, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) has called the report of seeking phone records a "terrible abuse of power," Cevallos suggested, "The investigation really needs to answer only one question: Were Republicans targeted as well? That's it. It's the only question that really matters."
Making his case, the legal analyst stated the inclusion of Republicans would indicate that the former president was weaponizing the DOJ to go after his political enemies on both sides of the aisle and not just going after two lawmakers he truly believed were leaking information.
"If Republicans were also targeted, then this could still have been a purely political investigation, depending on other facts. But if Republicans were not targeted, then that should be the end of the inquiry, at least as far as the public is concerned. If Trump's DOJ targeted only Democratic lawmakers, that's a politically motivated investigation—even if there is some arguable criminal activity afoot," Cevallos wrote for the Daily Beast. "Perhaps confusingly, even if the investigation was politically motivated, it is legally valid so long as there is at least probable cause that a crime was committed. The Supreme Court has suggested since at least 1996 that an investigation motivated by a bad reason is not invalidated if there is substantial evidence of an objective violation of the law."
Clarifying his point, he added, "It follows that Trump's DOJ could legally justify their investigation of only Democrats if they have enough evidence of criminal leaks by Democrats. In fact, even if the DOJ had evidence of Democrats and Republicans alike committing criminal leaks, the DOJ would technically, legally be permitted to choose to investigate only Democrats. There's not much to stop a politically motivated Attorney General who sees criminal activity from two parties choosing to only investigate one of them."
He added that the "Justice Department's Inspector General has announced an investigation into the subpoenas and the reasons they were issued," which is a good thing since it presumably precludes political influence, and urged the IG to clear up how far-reaching the DOJ's investigation into lawmakers went before any hearings or criminal investigations open.
You can read more here.
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