“I think the county government has, really without too many false starts, risen to the occasion and stuck to our principles,” Page said. “And that’s making decisions based on science, following the advice of public health experts delivering our resources based on need — and doing all that with as much transparency as an urgent situation would allow.”

He said the sports protests were “50% parental frustration and 50% partisan politics in an election year, and probably 50% denial.”

Page chalked up the acrimony in local government to the national political climate. On Tuesday, in the third hour of the council’s weekly marathon videoconference, Councilman Mark Harder, R-7th District, asked Page a question while the county executive’s video was turned off. Page didn’t respond, indicating he wasn’t there, which was Harder’s point.

It was an especially cutting maneuver by Harder, one of the ringleaders of dissent against Page. Just last year, Harder and Page had worked together to ask the prosecuting attorney to kick Stenger out of office for skipping meetings. Page has missed only a few of the council’s weekly meetings since that time.

Page said last week that he had turned his attention on Tuesday to the presidential debate, which he called “a reflection of where we are as a country, how partisan we’ve become and how acrimonious we’ve become.… I expect that we’ll be able to get past the partisan political environment that we’re in and govern responsibly over the next few years.”

Source Article

PAUL BRANDUS



Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: President Trump


© Getty Images
President Trump

When it comes to the Trump presidency, every day is Groundhog Day. We keep hearing the same things over and over again.

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We’ve always known that Donald Trump is a billionaire. Forbes magazine puts his net worth at $2.5 billion, making him the 339th-wealthiest person in the U.S.

Yet we’ve also known that Trump has a prodigious knack for destroying value. His business career is littered with bankruptcies and failures, most famously his bad timing on Atlantic City casinos as Las Vegas ascended. It’s a fascinating contrast and makes you wonder how much wealthier the president, now 74, would be if he had been as smart of a businessman.

Read: Some wealthy Americans are already prepping their finances for a Joe Biden presidency — here’s how

Such failures help explain Sunday’s New York Times report showing “deep, chronic losses and years of tax avoidance” by Trump. The report, from leaked documents, say that in 2016, Trump paid only $750 in federal taxes, which is $750 more than he paid in 10 of the 15 years before that. His federal income tax bill from 2000 to 2017 was an annual average of $1.4 million, the Times said.

So Trump sometimes doesn’t have to pay taxes? Haven’t we always known this? The Times, after all, reported just last year that in 1987 — when his “The Art of the Deal” hit bookstores — that Trump “was already in deep financial distress, losing tens of millions of dollars on troubled business deals, according to previously unreleased figures from his federal income tax returns.”

And it was the very same Times reporters who also wrote that much of the money Trump came into earlier in life came via “dubious tax schemes,” including “instances of outright