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Some Families Are More Equal Than Others



Sunday morning, after trying to hail a cab for far too long, I finally got to Grand Central and boarded the Metro North train to Connecticut with my Mother’s Day gift bag in one hand, a Starbucks’ coffee and muffin in the other and my backpack on my shoulder. Shortly after grabbing a seat on the crowded holiday train a family of five (young boy, young girl, mom, dad, and dog) spread out and grabbed various non-adjacent seats near me. I grabbed my weekend New York Times for cover.

Mom and son were right across from me, and her entire conversation with the five-year-old seemed focused on this choice or that choice. “Do you want your book now or candy now?” “Do you want the book about the train or the book about baseball?” An elderly passenger asked the boy how old he was. “Five and three quarters!” “Oh, you’re going to have a birthday soon! Are you going to have a party?” To which mom chimed in, “Well, he and his sister haven’t decided yet if it’s going to be Chuck E. Cheese or pizza.”

Of course the family-of-five got me thinking about how families have changed, so on the way home when I came across the Times piece, “Immigration Status of Army Spouses Often Leads to Snags,” I thought I was ready.

What I wasn’t ready for was the huge hypocrisy I was about to read.

It seems in today’s military, there are a fair number of servicemembers married to immigrants who are in the country, for one reason or another, “illegally.” (While I hate that term, in this context it’s fitting.) The military, it seems, is hard at work, on a case-by-case basis, trying to obtain legal status for some spouses.

Now, let me say this first: I think if someone is prepared to lay down their life to protect mine, they should be paid a lot of money, given free health care and college tuition and a job, for life. And if their spouse needs citizenship papers — or if they do — it should be automatic (unless they’re a convicted felon, perhaps.)

So, hooray for the military, trying to do the right thing. I hope they extend this treatment, given the excessive tours of duty our armed forces are being forced into, for wars we should not be fighting.

But the naked hypocrisy is mind-blowing. The Times explains,

Immigration lawyers and Department of Homeland Security officials say that many thousands of people in the military have spouses or close relatives who are illegal immigrants.

Today the issue is not only personal. “It is an issue of readiness for the American armed forces,” says Representative Zoe Lofgren, the Democrat from California who leads the House subcommittee on immigration. “We have many Americans who are afraid to deploy.”

Lieutenant Tenebro would like to make a career in the military, including new missions to Iraq or Afghanistan, but for now he is not stepping forward for an overseas deployment. “Our situation has kept me at bay because of the constant worry that something might happen to my family while I am away,” he said.

The issue is not only personal, it is an issue of readiness for the American armed forces. And there are far more lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender servicemembers – an estimated 65,000 — who are stepping forward, I might add, and serving in fear, not of their spouses being deported, but of dying and their not-illegal, just not-legally-recognized, spouses not knowing because their mere existence would be grounds for termination.

(There is, of course, also the matter of same-sex couples having one member in the armed forces, and the other an “illegal,” and because they are same-sex, there are few opportunities for them to marry. Even if they do, married same-sex couples are not recognized by the federal government, so their union will not stop a deportation from taking place. More hypocrisy and injustice. And another reason why so many same-sex couples are giving up their citizenship and moving to countries that do recognize their relationships.)

Picture the city cop on a beat whose wife knows every day he goes off to work he may not come home. Think of the daily fear she has of there being a knock on the door, and two officers standing outside. Now imagine what it must be like for a military wife, knowing that the last time she saw her husband, months ago, may have been the last. Then imagine that her “husband” is a woman, and the military won’t even contact her because she isn’t legally allowed to exist.

Imagine your husband or wife being killed for serving your country, and your country not ever even knocking on your door.

Yes, in today’s military, if you are a man married to woman who is “illegal,” the armed forces will work to obtain citizenship for your “illegal” spouse, but if you are a man in a relationship with another man, the military will fire you if they find out.

Imagine the Hell America puts its 65,000 gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender soldiers and their families through every single day.

There’s that lovely MetroNorth family-of-five, swimming in choice after blissful choice. There’s the dutiful, dedicated family serving their country, one spouse legal, one spouse not.

And then there are the 65,000 gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender soldiers serving their country, dutifully, dedicated, and what do they get?

A discharge.

This is just a small part of the tyranny that is “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” We must act, now, to repeal this law that unfairly treats so many thousands of honorable soldiers who are working to protect America.

Yes, in today’s America, some families are more equal than others.

Act now! Visit Veteran’s Lobby Day for more information, and contact your Senator!

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Trump Organization Given ‘Corporate Death Penalty’ and Ordered Dissolved by Judge After ‘Persistent Fraud’: Legal Experts



A New York judge has ordered Donald Trump’s business entities in the state of New York, including The Trump Organization, dissolved, and his business certificates canceled, according to legal experts, after ruling that the ex-president for years committed fraud and deceived banks and insurers by inflating the value of his assets.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron “has ordered cancellation of all [NYS] business [certificates] of ‘any entity controlled or beneficially owned by Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Jr, Eric Trump, Alan Weisselberg, & Jeffrey McConney. An independent receiver will manage the dissolutions,” writes former federal prosecutor Elizabeth de la Vega.

The Messenger reports Judge Engoron’s “blockbuster ruling found that the former president and his business leaders failed to correct course after warned of a ‘propensity to engage in persistent fraud,'” and ordered “a quick timeline to dissolve the Trump Organization and other corporate entities.”

READ MORE: House GOP Shutdown Demands Include Gutting Billions From Dept. of Education, Costing Over 200,000 Teachers Their Jobs

MSNBC legal analyst Lisa Rubin explains that the “New York trial court judge has found that Trump, his adult sons, and Allen Weisselberg engaged in a persistent, years-long fraud through ‘fantasy world’ valuations of core Trump assets, including his own residence and various golf courses and office buildings.”

“His decision not only eliminates the need for trial on that claim, but also orders fairly dramatic relief: the cancellation of New York business certificates for all of the entities named as defendants, ‘as well as any other entity controlled or beneficially owned by the individual defendants found liable,'” she adds.

“In addition to finding that Trump committed fraud, the judge canceled the certificates of various Trump businesses, appointed a former judge as an independent monitor of the Trump Organization, and will appoint receivers to manage the canceled LLCs,” writes former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti.

“This is a pretty big deal,” he adds.

Professor of law Ryan Goodman, the former Dept. of Defense Special Counsel says Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron ordered the “corporate death penalty” for the Trump organization. Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance also used the term “corporate death penalty.”

READ MORE: ‘Careening’ Toward ‘Risk of Political Violence’: Experts Sound Alarm After Trump Floats Executing His Former General

“The leading Republican candidate has been found liable for sexual assault and fraud, his companies found guilty of fraud, and he’s charged with 91 OTHER felony counts. That he is not dismissed politically out of hand says much more about us, than about him,” observes MSNBC’s Andrew Weissmann, the well-known former lead prosecutor in Robert S. Mueller’s Special Counsel’s Office and former FBI General Counsel.

Attorney, retired U.S. Air Force colonel, and former administrative law judge Moe Davis responding to the news, writes: “Trump is the eponymous fraudster. The name Trump is to fraud what Campell’s is to soup, Kleenex is to tissue, and ping is to pong.”


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Trump Committed Fraud and Deceived Banks While Growing His Real Estate Empire, Judge Says: Report



Donald Trump committed fraud, deceived banks, and inflated the value of his real estate holdings a judge said Tuesday, granting New York Attorney General Letitia James partial summary judgment in her civil case against the ex-president.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron “has ruled that Donald Trump committed fraud for years while building the real estate empire that catapulted him to fame and the White House,” The Associated Press reports. Judge Engoron “found that the former president and his company deceived banks, insurers and others by massively overvaluing his assets and exaggerating his net worth on paperwork used in making deals and securing financing.”

“The decision, days before the start of a non-jury trial in Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit, is the strongest repudiation yet of Trump’s carefully coiffed image as a wealthy and shrewd real estate mogul turned political powerhouse,” The AP adds.

Attorney General James “is seeking $250 million in penalties and a ban on Trump doing business in New York, his home state. The trial could last into December, Engoron has said.”

READ MORE: McCarthy Now Blaming Likely Shutdown on Fentanyl, President Biden, and His Own House Republicans
Image via Shutterstock

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McCarthy Now Blaming Likely Shutdown on Fentanyl, President Biden, and His Own House Republicans



Speaker Kevin McCarthy during a raucous gaggle with reporters Tuesday afternoon blamed the increasingly likely shutdown of the federal government on fentanyl, President Joe Biden, and his own House Republicans.

Political experts have said the Republican Speaker could avoid a government shutdown, which will happen at midnight on Friday if legislation is not passed, by making a deal with Democrats and a small number of House Republicans. Doing so would likely cost him his job.

Asked on Tuesday by CNN’s Manu Raju, “Are you ruling out a clean CR without any border security?” McCarthy immediately launched in to a diatribe.

“You know what’s so concerning here? What do you tell to the families that tomorrow morning are gonna wake up and their child’s dead? Because fentanyl came across?” he asked the CNN reporter (video below). “What do you tell to that border agent that you saw the other day? Now his network doesn’t believe it but he’s all in blood. Or the cartels, the billions of dollars that they’re making. Or to the young girls that get raped?”

READ MORE: House GOP Shutdown Demands Include Gutting Billions From Dept. of Education, Costing Over 200,000 Teachers Their Jobs

Another reporter, seemingly frustrated, interjected and asked, “But what do you tell the workers who are concerned they’re gonna get furloughed next week because there is no agreement in your chamber, sir?”

“Well, I know. It’s easy,” McCarthy claimed. “All the President has to do is say, ‘You know what, as one of my fundamental jobs as the President of the United States is to secure our border.'”

Another reporter, ignoring the Speaker’s apparent obfuscation, loudly asked, “Speaker McCarthy if we see the rule votes fail later today, is it possible to even move on to a CR [continuing resolution] for you?”

“Oh, yeah, I never give up,” McCarthy said smiling.

“I know that,” she replied, “but do you think you have the votes?”

Again, not delivering a straight answer, McCarthy smiled and replied, “Oh, I’ve got a lot of things I can try.”

READ MORE: ‘Height of Irresponsibility’: Top LGBTQ Civil Rights Group Slams House Republicans Over Shutdown and ‘Politics of Hate’

CNN’s Raju reported that McCarthy, when asked about the “math,” meaning if he has the votes to keep the government open, said: “What’s concerning to me is that there are people in the Republican Party who will take the position of President Biden against what the rest of Americans want.”

That could suggest some Republicans have indicated they would vote with Democrats on a bill to keep the government from shutting down.

Raju also reported he asked “Speaker McCarthy if he believes he could survive a vote to oust him from the speakership, as [Rep. Matt] Gaetz has threatened, and he said: ‘I don’t count that vote.'”

NPR’s Joel Rose has reported, “Close to 90% of … fentanyl is seized at ports of entry. Immigration authorities say it is smuggled mostly by U.S. citizens, as well as other travelers who are legally authorized to cross. Virtually none is seized from migrants who are seeking asylum.”

On Monday The Washington Post Editorial Board wrote: “The U.S. government will almost certainly shut down on Oct. 1, the work of ultraconservative holdouts who want to ‘burn the whole place down,’ as House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) put it. Yet, for now, Mr. McCarthy does not appear willing to take away the matches. He could sideline the objectors by calling House Democrats and agreeing to pass bipartisan legislation to fund the government.”

Watch McCarthy below or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Careening’ Toward ‘Risk of Political Violence’: Experts Sound Alarm After Trump Floats Executing His Former General

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