🇺🇸 Fraud Follies

Plus, canine road rage!

The Flag

Good morning, and happy Wednesday. A 104-year-old Chicago woman is hoping to be certified as the oldest person to ever skydive after leaving her walker on the ground and making a tandem jump in northern Illinois. 

Plus, police in Slovakia shared a traffic camera photo of a dog sitting behind the wheel of a speeding car.

Also, today’s sponsor can help you make your wishes come true for generations to come.


Left: The Supreme Court Is Not Done Courting Disaster Christian Farias, Vanity Fair

Left: Gaetz, MTG & Clown Caucus Aren't True Conservatives Ingrid Jacques, USA Today

Right: Ukraine Our New Forever War. How Does It End? Sen. Lee & Rep. Davidson, FOX News

Right: Why the Media's Lies About Bowman Should Concern You John Davidson, Federalist


McCarthy Ousted, Hunter Pleads Not Guilty, Butler Sworn In

US: McCarthy becomes first speaker removed by U.S. House vote (NPR)

US: Hunter Biden pleads not guilty to gun charges in Delaware court (Reuters)

US: Trump back in court for second day of New York civil fraud trial (Axios)

US: Laphonza Butler is sworn in, filling Dianne Feinstein's Senate seat (NBC News)

World: India police raid media office, journalists' homes in illegal funding probe (Reuters)


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Fraud Follies

On Monday, former president and GOP frontrunner Donald Trump appeared in New York court as his $250 million civil fraud trial kicked off.

Reporting from the Left: Trump’s Fraud Trial Starts With Attacks on Attorney General and Judge (The New York Times)

Reporting from the Right: Trump says Justice Department is behind New York fraud case against his business empire (The Washington Times)

From The Flag: New York Attorney General Letitia James is accusing Trump of inflating his net worth and the valuations of his properties to obtain better loan conditions and tax benefits. Last week, Justice Arthur F. Engoron ruled Trump is liable for fraud and canceled the Trump Organization’s business certification. Here’s what both sides are saying.


Trump Isn’t Taking It Well

  • Unlike his other civil trials, it’s notable that Trump has chosen to attend this one in person, revealing what the stakes are for him.

  • From the get-go, Trump has done everything he can to attempt to delegitimize this trial and cast himself as a martyr.

  • Trump is complaining that the trial is unfair because he doesn’t have a jury, but some experts say this was his lawyers’ fault for not asking.

Trump’s legal woes are bad. His New York civil trial is pure humiliation. Michael Conway, MSNBC: “And yet, clearly something about this trial seems to have gotten under his skin. As Lisa Rubin observed, unlike past court appearances, Trump’s fury was on full display on Monday. For one thing, it may be harder for Trump to argue he is the victim of a corrupt criminal justice system. Trump has systematically ridiculed criminal charges, spinning the indictments as illegal political prosecutions. And he has profited handsomely by fundraising on this theme, collecting more than $4 million after having surrendered and been booked in Georgia. … As we’ve seen repeatedly over the past decade, Trump is adept at dismissing and minimizing the many losses he has racked up as both a politician and a businessman. He plays the victim card; he attacks his prosecutors as corrupt. But there are some humiliations that aren’t so easily swatted away. And a case that could expose the lie behind his titan of industry persona is one of them.”

Cornered Trump Launches Panicked, Racist Attack as $100 Million Fraud Trial Begins Tori Otten, The New Republic: “Donald Trump’s fraud trial began Monday in New York, and the former president is handling it about as well as can be expected — which is to say, terribly. … Monday’s trial is to determine how much Trump owes New York in damages. He has spent the whole day accusing James, who is Black, of being racist against him and accusing Engoron of being a Democratic operative. … Speaking to reporters before entering the courtroom, Trump said, ‘They’re trying to damage me so I don’t do as well as I’m doing in the election. Our country has gone to hell.’ … He also repeated that the trial is ‘the single greatest witch hunt of all time,’ one of his favorite phrases, and one that he used multiple times on Truth Social throughout the day, as well. At midday, Trump accused Engoron of having ‘already made up his mind.’ ‘It’s ridiculous,’ Trump said. ‘He’s a Democrat judge, he’s an operative, and it’s ridiculous.’”


This Is a Witch Hunt

  • This trial is not about holding anyone accountable or upholding the law. It is about an abusive prosecution that seeks to discredit and damage Trump.

  • It is clear that Justice Engoron is an activist judge who used flimsy evidence and appraisals to deliver an unjust verdict against Trump.

  • This case is looking at inflated asset values and it is simultaneously one grounded in partisan politics.

With Trump Already Found Guilty, His New York Fraud Trial Begins Andrew C. McCarthy, National Review: “The Bolshevik bloc of the Democratic Party is having its fantasy prosecution of Donald Trump play out in real life in New York City. There, in state attorney general Letitia James’s civil fraud case against the former president, the trial will begin today even though Trump was already found guilty and sentenced to corporate death last week by a robed apparat named Arthur Engoron. … James, an ambitious progressive authoritarian who campaigned for office on a vow to weaponize the Empire State’s legal processes against Trump, decided to package the scraps into a lengthy civil complaint. After all, she had a secret weapon: New York’s Executive Law 63(12), which empowers an abusive prosecutor to put partisan enemies out of business without having to prove anything. …this was for political consumption and the burnishing of celebrity.”

Left-Wing Judge Who Devalued Mar-A-Lago Estate Smiles, Laughs At Start Of Trump Trial Tristan Justice, The Federalist: “The activist judge who issued a stunning devaluation of former President Donald Trump’s Florida Mar-a-Lago estate was in good spirits Monday before the New York fraud trial began. … Last week, 74-year-old Justice Arthur F. Engoron of the New York Supreme Court 1st Judicial District in Manhattan found the Republican presidential frontrunner liable for illegally inflating assets in a summary judgment. In his ruling, Justice Engoron claimed the former president’s finances ‘clearly contain fraudulent valuations.’ One such valuation, Engoron concluded was inflated, was the Trump palace at Mar-a-Lago, the only property at Palm Beach to face the waterfront on both the ocean and the waterway. … Engoron relied on an appraisal from the Palm Beach County Assessor to make his claim. Much smaller properties in Palm Beach, however, have sold for far more than the local assessor’s evaluation.”

One more opinion piece from the Right: Donald Trump’s Fraud Trial in New York, The Editorial Board, The Wall Street Journal


Trump’s Electoral Advantage Shrinking

In the lead to 2024, a poll from earlier in the month found that former President Donald Trump’s Electoral College advantage has faded.

In 2016, his advantage in the Electoral College was at 2.9 percentage points. In 2020 it rose to 3.8.

Presently, polling indicates that he has a significantly smaller advantage of 0.7 (New York Times).

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Sputnik 1, Empty Egypt, It’s All Greek to Me

A replica of Sputnik 1 stored in the National Air and Space Museum.

On This Day in 1957: The Soviet Union inaugurates the “Space Age” with its launch of Sputnik, the world’s first artificial satellite. The spacecraft, named Sputnik after the Russian word for “fellow traveler,” was launched at 10:29 pm Moscow time from the Tyuratam launch base in the Kazakh Republic.

Today I learned that Greece has the world's longest national anthem. It consists of 158 stanzas and would take around 55 minutes to sing in full.

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