THE BIG NEWS
'My Civil Rights'! Trump Cries as Judge Rules He Led Multibillion-Dollar Fraud Over Years
The greatest Witch Hunt in history continues apace! New York Attorney General and Grand Inquisitor Letitia James scored a courtroom victory yesterday when Judge Arthur Engoron ruled in support of some key arguments in her civil fraud case against Donald Trump and his family-run white-collar crime outfit, the Trump Organization. Per the Associated Press, the ruling could ban Trump from operating in his home state:
Engoron ordered that some of Trump's business licenses be rescinded as punishment, making it difficult or impossible for them to do business in New York, and said he would continue to have an independent monitor oversee Trump Organization operations. ...
Beyond mere bragging about his riches, Trump, his company and key executives repeatedly lied about them on his annual financial statements, reaping rewards such as favorable loan terms and lower insurance costs, Engoron found.
The judge called the Trump Organization's wildly and consistently inflated real estate valuations, along with its other dodgy business practices, a product of Trump's "fantasy world, not the real world."
Speaking of fantasies: Trump's son, Eric, wrote after the ruling that his dad's inflated real estate valuations were totally truthful, and that Mar-a-Lago is "speculated to be worth well over a billion dollars making it arguably the most valuable residential property in the country." Similarly, Trump's lawyer claimed, falsely, that the judge's "decision seeks to nationalize one of the most successful corporate empires in the United States." Trump himself responded to the "un-American" ruling on Truth Social, and vowed to appeal.
"We are rapidly becoming a Communist Country, and my Civil Rights have been taken away from me," his wordy, ranting statement said. "My Civil Rights have been violated... If they can do this to me, they can do this to YOU!"
I don't know about you, readers, but I feel OK about my chances. Engoron's ruling sets the stage for the trial proper to kick off on Monday. Don't forget to wear your best pilgrim attire, and bring rotten produce, pitchforks and torches!
MORE STORIES TO WATCH
Amazon Monopoly Sued By FTC and 17 States
Federal Trade Commission chair Lina Khan is really on a roll. Her agency is leading a lawsuit with 17 state attorneys general against Amazon, "alleging that the online retail and technology company is a monopolist that uses a set of interlocking anticompetitive and unfair strategies to illegally maintain its monopoly power." Portions of the 172-page-complaint are redacted, but in summary, it says Amazon abuses its online retail monopoly to illegally control competitors' prices, meaning consumers pay more; it also coerces sellers into using its fulfillment services, likewise raising prices. "If we succeed, competition will be restored and people will benefit from lower prices, greater quality, [and] greater selection as a result," Khan said yesterday, per the New York Times. Amazon's general counsel moans that the FTC "has radically departed from its mission," but the opposite is true: the regulator is finally doing its job again.
Biden Endorses UAW Demands in Picket Line Visit
As Aerosmith and Kenny Loggins played in the background, President Joe Biden fist-bumped several striking United Auto Workers members during his brief but historic visit to the picket line outside a General Motors plant in Belleville, Michigan yesterday. Per the New York Times, Biden "spoke for only a couple of minutes" during his 15-minute campaign stop, but his message was on point:
"You've heard me say many times: Wall Street didn't build this country,” he said. "The middle class built this country. And unions built the middle class. That's a fact. Let's keep going. You deserve what you've earned, and you've earned a hell of a lot more than you get paid now."
UAW leaders and rank-and-file members alike seemed pleased with the recognition, according to the Washington Post, HuffPost, the Guardian, and the Associated Press. Also yesterday, five UAW picketers were hit by a vehicle leaving a General Motors plant near Flint; two reportedly had to be taken to the hospital. Meanwhile, 11,500 striking Writers Guild of America members return to work today following the unanimous approval by internal union boards of a tentative agreement with Hollywood studios. And in Nigeria, the two largest unions announced plans for a "total shutdown" strike next week in protest of the skyrocketing cost of living.
- Senate Passes Short-Term Spending Deal in Effort to Avert Shutdown House Speaker Kevin "McCarthy is unlikely to bring the Senate proposal up for a vote, since it would require Democratic support to pass," and that could prompt Republicans to oust him from leadership. via the Washington Post.
- Supreme Court Again Rejects Racist GOP Congressional Map in Alabama "The likely outcome is that next year, Alabama could elect a second Black Democrat to the House, along with five white Republicans." via the Los Angeles Times.
- More Than Half of Democratic Senators Have Now Called on Bob Menendez to Resign The New Jersey Sen.'s bribery "indictment sets up a potential political dilemma for Democrats, possibly turning a relatively safe seat for an incumbent into a competitive race." via the Post.
- Canadian House Speaker Steps Down After Leading Applause for Nazi Liberal leader Anthony Rota expressed "profound regret" for inviting to parliament the 98-year-old Waffen-SS veteran Yaroslav Hunka, one of some 2,000 Ukrainian Nazis admitted to Canada after WWII. via CBC News.
- Russia Shares Video of Top Admiral Ukraine Boasted of Killing Russian Black Sea Fleet Commander Viktor Sokolov appears but does not speak in a video dated Tuesday, prompting Ukraine to "clarify" its claim to have killed the admiral earlier in a Friday strike. via the New York Times.
- Federal Judge Strikes Down Texas Drag Ban U.S. District Judge David Hittner, who was appointed by Ronald Reagan, ruled that the GOP's Senate Bill 12 "impermissibly infringes on the First Amendment and chills free speech." via NBC News.
That's the minimum number of White House staff, mostly Secret Service agents, who have been bitten by the Bidens' 2-year-old German shepherd, Commander. The latest nipping incident took place Monday; the agent is reportedly "just fine."
ON THE SHOW TODAY
9/27: It's Hump Day! Sam speaks with Jarod Facundo, writing fellow at The American Prospect, to discuss his recent piece entitled "Rural Letter Carriers Push for Union Decertification." Then, he's joined by Dr. Sara Nur Yildiz, professor in history at Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey, to discuss the developing situation in the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.
DON'T MISS MR CLIPS
Tonight's the night, 9pm Eastern, tune in to MR.
Just when I had happily forgotten this choad!
"I know the difference between fascism and autocracy, and I'll take autocracy any time. Fascism is what the GOP is the architecture of, and autocracy is what the Democrats are practitioners of. But autocracy leaves an opening. They don't suppress votes. They don't suppress free speech."
-- Former Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader, 89, speaking to the Washington Post about why he is working behind the scenes to get President Joe Biden reelected in 2024 instead of endorsing a third party candidate or primary challenger.
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