Day of the Friedmanite

A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song to sing.

Today's quote is from Maya Angelou, which seemed appropriate given the day's Bird Droppings.

Golden-crowned Kinglet, Fort boreale de la Haute-Côte-Nord, Sept-Rivières, Quebec, Canada

Political "So many of the social reactions that strike us as psychological are in fact a rational management of symbolic capital." -Pierre Bourdieu, Classification Struggles

The Constitutional Order (Eighth Amendment)

Engoron's penalty seems so obviously excessive it could be grounds for appeal under the Eighth Amendment, but IANAL and no appeal has actually been filed. If in fact no Constitutional issues are involved, I'll move this story to the Trump section under campaign 2024, with the rest of the lawfare stuff.

Trump quotes the Eighth Amendment:

DJT reads the Eighth Amendment pic.twitter.com/n4w4tHUstt-- QuickWitNitWit 🔍 (@Quickwitnitwit) February 21, 2024

Not seeing any lawyers jumping on the bandwagon (though see the Federalist Society's Calabresi below).

"Dissolving Trump's business empire would stand apart in history of NY fraud law" [Associated Press]

From January 29. "An Associated Press analysis of nearly 70 years of civil cases under the law showed that such a penalty has only been imposed a dozen previous times, and Trump's case stands apart in a significant way: It's the only big business found that was threatened with a shutdown without a showing of obvious victims and major losses... AP's review of nearly 150 reported cases since New York's 'repeated fraud' statute was passed in 1956 showed that nearly every previous time a company was taken away, victims and losses were key factors. Customers had lost money or bought defective products or never received services ordered, leaving them cheated and angry. Businesses were taken over almost always as a last resort to stop a fraud in progress and protect potential victims. They included a phony psychologist who sold dubious treatments, a fake lawyer who sold false claims he could get students into law school, and businessmen who marketed financial advice but instead swindled people out of their home deeds. In Trump's case, his company stopped sending exaggerated financial figures about his net worth to Deutsche Bank and others at least two years ago, but a court-appointed monitor noted that was only after he was sued and that other financial documents continued to contain errors and misrepresentations."

"Donald Trump Faces Potential 'Fire Sale' of His Prized Business Assets" [Newsweek]

"Former President Donald Trump could face many of his properties being sold by the government at 'fire sale prices' if he refuses to pay the fine issued to him following his civil fraud trial in New York, a former White House counsel said. 'Can he stiff them? No,' John Dean, who served under Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal, told CNN on Saturday. 'What's going to happen is the attorney general will come in, they'll seize the properties and they will liquidate them at fire sale prices--and that will take more buildings than he could probably negotiate.' 'This isn't something that he can just sit on. Even if he appeals, the rate apparently goes on and on. So this is growing debt.'..."

"Pay to Play: Trump Faces a Staggering Cost for Appeal" [Jonathan Turley]

"The expectation is that Trump can make the deposit or secure a bond to avoid what some gleefully called a 'fire sale' on this properties. The deposit is now being celebrated as an added indignity and penalty. However, as New Yorkers cheer this moment, many business are likely wondering 'but for the grace of God go I.' Undervaluing or overvaluing property is a common practice, particularly in real estate. That is why representations, like the one made by the Trump Corporation, come with a warning that estimates are their own and that the banks need to make their assessments. Faced with high crime and high taxes, the spectacle in Manhattan is only likely to accelerate the exodus of businesses and high-earners from the city. That prospect has already alarmed Gov. Kathy Hoch

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