Tightening Legal Noose Around Donald Trump And His Crime Family

The news came late on Tuesday night. For some in the nation, it may have seemed just another legal news story. In fact, the news was most worthy of headlines as it put Donald Trump and his crime family into a great deal of legal uncertainty.

New York State Attorney General Letitia James made a direct accusation at Donald J. Trump’s family business for knowingly and repeatedly misrepresenting the value of its assets to bolster its bottom line. For my conservative readers let me punch down on the bottom line. Such “fraudulent or misleading” practices run counter to the laws of New York and the nation.

The law does apply to would-be-autocrats and the family.

The document released on Tuesday made it clear that the Trump operation had produced misleading statements about the value of at least six Trump properties. The properties included golf clubs in Westchester County, N.Y., and Scotland, flagship buildings such as 40 Wall Street in Manhattan, and Mr. Trump’s own penthouse home in Trump Tower.

What that means is the company misstated the value of the properties to lenders, insurers, and the Internal Revenue Service. Maybe Trump supporters who find this nothing more than just ‘partisan politics’ might try to go way out of the box when filing their taxes this year and find, too, the power of the law. Trump, again and again, had a pattern of inflating figures about his net worth.

This is like so many others parts of Trump’s life. He is a liar. (Even telling people his New York penthouse had 33,000 square feet when in reality it is 11,000. Or continually claiming that the building had 68 stories when in reality it has 58.) Who acts like this for decades on end?

This time, however, the fraudulent actions and perversion of truth by Trump will carry legal consequences.

This is really not rocket science for the rank and file in the nation. The rules are simple. Don’t lie about your assets and don’t lie about your revenue. Most honest people not only understand those rules but live them.

And for those who do not there are legal actions that will bring compliance.

And so it goes.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo Will Not Act Like Brett Kavanaugh

If you wonder what it might be like for a polar bear to be stranded on a drifting and melting slab of ice look no further than the bedraggled face of Governor Andrew Cuomo. His political crisis can hardly get worse following the news that both United States senators from New York have thrown the once most powerful man in the state into the cold waters. The quickening pace of the almost surreal series of events in Albany has caught the attention of the country.

It comes as no surprise at the gleeful ease so many have piled onto Cuomo. Having a long track-record of being harsh with his foes and friends, alike, there are not many who now will expend any of their own political capital to defend the charges being made against him. It would seem, however, someone with heft in the city might offer some pushback, given the all-of-a-sudden rush by a number of people to all at once speak out about his boorish behavior. That is not to say Cuomo did not act as he is being accused, but no one can miss the amazing orchestration of this political take-down.

That is what has this blogger watching hour-by-hour for the next development. I simply do not see how Cuomo can stay in office following the events in the past 36 hours.

But it needs noting that the other reason the nation is watching–apart from the need to see the crash occurring in slow motion–is how this event is in such stark contrast to other women making charges against other powerful men. If you are keeping score of the women who have spoken out concerning the sexual predator who sat in the Oval Office over the past four years it would total twenty-six. The severity of many of their allegations against Trump makes Cuomo appear to be a choir boy.

But unlike the avalanche of Democrats who have called for Cuomo to step down, there were only crickets to be heard when Republicans were asked to hold their leader accountable. We recall the indignant nature of the ever-single and womanless Senator Lindsey Graham when confronting the accuser of Brett Kavanaugh. Gone were the stern words from a conservative about personal responsibility as the senator all but licked the shoes of the nominee to the high court.

So it is newsworthy that Democrats are the ones showing what consistency looks like with this issue to a nation that has not seen much of that from the other party. Democrats are demonstrating they have the same concerns be it a Republican, or not, who faces the allegations. And I suspect that theme continues in the days to come, with Cuomo meeting his call to his larger duty.

Kavanaugh should have acted like a man with some shred of decency and removed himself from the nomination. That would have been best for the court. Unlike that episode, I predict Cuomo writes a powerful statement and removes himself from office. Knowing that is what a man does who understands amends must be made, and how a pol acts for the greater good.

And so it goes.

Someone Needs To Tell Gov. Cuomo It Is 2021

I very much frown on the ‘good-ole-boy’ way of treating women in the workplace as it is offensive. Period.  There is just no other way to say it.  Once again, the nation is talking about this issue as New York Governor Mario Cuomo is needing to respond to the third charge of sexual harassment as it places his political life in turmoil.

The news concerning Cuomo is truly distressing.  I come from the point of view that when a woman makes a claim of misconduct by a man, we should trust her statement.  But I also know that any time there is a ‘she said, he said’ type of case it is very hard in a legal sense to prove.  I am not a lawyer so cannot weigh into the definition of what constitutes sexual harassment.  That does not mean, however, the comments by Cuomo did not happen, but the bar of justice is set at a degree to make sure fair outcomes can be most times attained.

What is so continually frustrating is that once again it appears that a man who reaches a level of power somehow believes he becomes entitled to make moves on women and treat them as nothing more than sex objects. And once again, it is so unbecoming to hear of a statement from the offender about being ‘misunderstood’.

This matter is far more than just one about a Democratic politician as this type of bad behavior happens in a wide array of professions.  In each case, however, the bottom line is the same. Powerful men seem to think they should be able to act as they wish.   And not be held accountable.

As a gay man, it has made me more sympathetic to the way women might feel in the workplace with out-of-bound comments.  There were times the social dynamics that were brought into the workplace concerning women were unsettling for me to witness. I was more aware of the banter in the workplace given my own desire to not be the recipient of odd comments about my personal life.  Since words, both in radio broadcasting and in my other positions, have always been central to what I do hearing how they were used was something I naturally tuned into.  

The larger national conversation about Cuomo as it relates to how women are treated is one we need to continue having in our society.  But we need to be consistent in how we view this matter.  When it comes to other public cases of this type of harassment, we are left to ask why some politicians who have clearly harassed women get a free pass?  How can conservatives pile onto Cuomo when there is an audio recording of Donald Trump talking about how he groped women and they viewed it as acceptable?  How can conservatives lick their chops at the news from New York when they championed a president who used hush-money payments to a porn star while cheating on his third wife?

My bottom line on the matter is that sexual harassment is a most serious offense, and in politics it can be even more troubling.  What makes it even more problematic is that the tone-deaf defense from Cuomo with his trite comments makes him appear more out of touch than anyone should be in 2021.

Bringing Gun-Toters Into Line–One Law At A Time

This blog has championed gun control over the past thirteen years.  But my interest in this matter goes back 40 years when my first-ever letter to the editor of a newspaper advocated for needed gun reform.  I take this matter most seriously.

And when progress is made–even at the margins–I applaud the efforts.  Such as the new law in New York.

A new law expanding the time to perform a background check for a firearm purchase in New York has taken effect.  Previously, a weapons purchase could proceed after three days even if a background check was inconclusive, but the measure from Democratic state lawmakers allow for 30 days to complete the review. The legislation was signed in July by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Why this matter is elevated to a post on Caffeinated Politics is that this issue of background checks was highlighted by the Gifford Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.  They noted that Dylann Roof, the perpetrator of a mass shooting in Charleston, would have been denied the ability to purchase a weapon if there was sufficient time for a background check.

The working at the fringes of needed gun control laws might seem slow and stodgy but as we see from the data there is merit.  There is so much to do to bring the gun-toters into line in this nation.  But as this New York effort proved we can make progress.  We only need the will of the elected class to make it happen.  The people want these laws and are desiring more such efforts be made.

“Sex And The City” Star Cynthia Nixon Running Far Behind In New York Gubernatorial Primary

“Sex and the City” star Cynthia Nixon is running in the New York primary for governor. It has been a lively race against Gov. Andrew Cuomo. I am one who thinks experience matters–so the person I support in the September primary is clear. The long article today are for those who love a great political read–from a state with a storied past when it comes to great political events.
Mr. Cuomo’s team has alternated between projecting nonchalance about the challenge — while taking care to highlight his success with left-leaning causes like marriage equality and raising the statewide minimum wage — and casting Ms. Nixon as a clueless entertainer.
“It’s clear that voters don’t believe she has the chops,” said Lis Smith, a Cuomo campaign spokeswoman.
Questions about her experience are both fair, Ms. Nixon said, and plainly gendered.
“If I were a man with exactly the same résumé, I would not be getting this question to the extent that I am,” she said.
She acknowledged that her campaign operation, with a few dozen paid staff members, the majority of them female, is the largest entity she has overseen. In a 40-minute interview, Ms. Nixon initially laughed when asked to describe her management style, before settling on “collaborative” and “opinionated.” Her critics have been less generous, though at times their efforts have backfired. When a Cuomo supporter, Christine C. Quinn, the former City Council speaker, called Ms. Nixon an “unqualified lesbian” — Ms. Quinn is also a lesbian — Ms. Nixon’s campaign printed the phrase across official T-shirts. It became a best seller.

For Those Who Love Political Fights On A State-Wide Stage

Having grown up in Wisconsin, and listening to Chicago radio most of my life, the image of real political brawling is the type exhibited by Windy City pols.  But the master of the craft are in New York!

If you want to read an article (and it is a sizable one) that will make you know how tame your politics are–regardless of where you might reside in the nation–well, take the time to read this story.

The idea of Mr. de Blasio and Mr. Cuomo ever collaborating on anything seems almost unfathomable nearly 16 years later. The two Democrats are now engaged in a feud so nasty, petty and prolonged that even in the cutthroat politics of New York, few can remember ever seeing anything quite like it.

The two men have sparred over substance, silliness and everything in between: public housing and private workout routineshomelessness and topless women in Times Square, taxing millionaires and euthanizing a deerLegionnaires’ disease outbreak and state troop deploymentsschoolssnowstorms and the subways — even naps.

“I’m not a napper, really,” Mr. Cuomo volunteered last year after reports of the mayor’s alleged penchant for napping. “I never have been.”

17-Year-Old Seeking State Senate Seat in New York


Tahseen Chowdhury, a seventeen-year-old student at Stuyvesant High School, isn’t into skateboards or video games. He spends his weekends running for New York state senator, in the September Democratic primary, against the incumbent, Jose Peralta. “It’s not that difficult,” Chowdhury said one day at the school, referring to his grassroots campaign. “All you need are competent people.” His team consists of about twenty advisers, most of whom have curfews. His treasurer, Tymur Kholodnyak, is seventeen. “He just read a bunch of books and figured out how to track our campaign donations and expenses,” Chowdhury said.

Chowdhury was at school last Halloween, the day that a truck driven by a terrorist mowed down civilians on a nearby bike path, and he knows that the attack reinforced Americans’ fears of radical extremism. “As a Muslim candidate, I will continue to stand by the Muslim community, as it is one that stands by progressive American beliefs,” he said.

So far, Chowdhury’s age hasn’t been an obstacle. “Some people think I’m not mentally capable of holding the position because my brain hasn’t developed enough,” he said. But his greenness has an upside. While most politicians are perceived as having an agenda, Chowdhury hasn’t been around long enough to be compromised. “Like, literally, I haven’t been on the planet long enough,” he said.

Barn-Burner Of An Election For Mayor Of New York City, Bill de Blasio Can Not Be Stopped


This is simply delightful.  Especially considering the plans and ideas that Bill de Blasio has spoken about during his campaign.

Bill de Blasio “is poised to win the race for mayor of New York City by a historically large margin, powered by optimism that he will bring about change and by overwhelming voter disapproval of the Republican Party,” the New York Times reports.

A new New York Times/Siena poll finds de Blasio leading Joseph Lhota  by a mere 45 points among likely voters, 68% to 23%.

“That lead, which has remained remarkably consistent in multiple polls over the last six weeks, suggests that Mr. de Blasio could win the most sweeping victory in a mayor’s race since 1985, when Edward I. Koch was re-elected to a third term with a crushing 68-point margin of victory over his opponents.” <!–