“Ultimately, Mr. Trump has been more successful playing a business mogul than being one in real life,” noted the New York Times in its blockbuster report about the president paying less federal tax than members of the White House’s housekeeping staff. The Times nailed it.


Trump’s tax dodge may be perfectly legal, according to Stuart Seigel, former chief counsel at the IRS and senior counselor at The Dilenschneider Group.

He said that many in the real estate business pay little or no federal taxes.

“I never came across anybody entitled to those losses who did not use them. Would you expect, for example, people to decline claiming allowable tax credits as a matter of perceived patriotism?,” Seigel wrote in a note to clients.

That misses the point. To paraphrase James Carville, “It’s the losses, stupid.”

How could Trump lose all that money?

The Times piece demolishes once and for all the idea that Trump is a successful businessman. Voters bought that con during the 2016 election. Hopefully, they won't buy it again.

Trump, in fact, is a business disaster. He chalked up $427M in earnings from playing the role of a business mogul on reality TV show "The Apprentice." But in the real world, he plowed that money into golf courses, casinos and hotels and lost his shirt.

Trump would call anyone with his lousy investment track record a “big loser” and a person unfit to serve as president of the US.

He’d be right.

Dear, dear, sensitive Melania… The State Department’s inspector general determined on Sept. 25 that the agency yanked an International Women of Courage award from Finnish journalist Jessikka Aro because she had criticized president Trump on social media. To make matters worse, the State Dept. tried to cover the sordid episode up.

Aro earned the IWOC award for her work exposing Russian propaganda and misinformation.

She was to be honored at the March 7, 2019, gala that was hosted by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and attended by First Lady Melania Trump.

After interviewing people involved in the selection process, the IG reported that State Dept. officials feared Aro might make some “political statements” at the event, which was held in the capital city of a nation blessed with the First Amendment.

Those words apparently would have upset the tender sensitivities of the First Lady.

Melania also may have been uncomfortable with Aro’s work in exposing Russian misinformation, which hits pretty close to home, since her husband relied on help from his buddy, Vladimir Putin, to win the 2016 election.

Of the event, the First Lady said:

“It is a great honor to meet and celebrate the incredible achievements of these women and the challenging endeavors they have undertaken. I am proud to be the First Lady of a country where our democracy not only allows, but empowers, the ability to defend and promote all of our rights. These women are beacons of hope for many around the world.”

Those are empty words.

An embarrassed State Dept. tried to cover up its effort to play lap dog to the Trump White House. It claimed that it made a mistake in notifying Aro that she earned the award.

The IG didn’t buy the cover-up.

Round up the journalists… Reporters Without Borders urges US law enforcement authorities to respect the rights of journalists to cover their activity without fear of retaliation.

The call follows the Sept. 22 arrest of April Ehrlich, reporter for an NPR affiliate, who was covering the eviction of homeless people from a park in Oregon.

Ehrlich was arrested after she refused to go to a “media staging area” and began to interview the people being evicted. She was charged with second-degree criminal trespassing, interfering with a police officer and resisting arrest.

The journalism advocacy group says it’s “appalling” that Ehrlich was arrested for reporting on a matter of public interest in a public park.

The US ranks 45th out of 180 countries in RWB’s world press freedom index. That's a disgrace.