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🚨 Some Good News – September 16 2022


Happy Friday. A family in New York is suing the owners of the Hampton vacation home they rented because they were not allowed to lower the air conditioner by two degrees. Read the lawsuit below. Are these first world problems or a sign of the times? 

credit: new york state supreme court

In Case You Missed It. 

πŸ‘• Gap and Kanye West had a falling out and will no longer sell clothes from that collaboration. 

🌊 Deadly floods hit central Italy after over 400 millimeters of rain fell in about three hours.

🍟 The CEO of Mcdonald's says that rising crime in Chicago is a growing concern for his employees and stores. 

πŸ¦‰ A park in Washington suggests you wear a helmet in the area due to an aggressive owl

πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺ Germany has seized control of three Russian-owned oil refineries. That is one way to reduce dependence on Russian oil. 

πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¦ Ukraine has reportedly attacked a Russian city beyond its own borders. 















*Stock data as of market close, cryptocurrency data as of 5:00am ET. .


The Lead: Rail Catastrophe Averted

credit: ap

It seems the rail strike in the U.S. has been narrowly averted. The White House announced a “tentative” agreement on Thursday.

The sticking point was not only pay but also time off. The Labor Department was able to agree to pay increases of 24% but the attendance policies were what unions were calling “Draconian.” 

Workers are always on call and if they are called in, they have approximately 90 minutes to get to work or else risk point deductions. If they are called on a “high-impact day” such as a holiday or Super Bowl Sunday and cannot make it, they are deducted more points than normal. If their points fall below a certain threshold, they are suspended. They do not get a reprieve from this system for family obligations or any other humane reason and, after working through the pandemic where freight volume skyrocketed, they’re tired! 

Details of how this bit was worked out have not yet been announced but it was clear that the Biden administration was shaking in its boots about a potential rail strike at a time when the country could ill afford a slow-up of consumer goods. Especially not right before a midterm election! 

Why Moldova Matters

credit: tass

Moldova is a terrible example of what happens when countries get caught up in their own loyalties. Inflation is raging at 30% and gas prices are set to double. 

Moldova sits between Romania and Ukraine. Moldova is not in the European Union but it has a treaty called the Moldova-EU Association Agreement that establishes political and economic associations. So for the sake of geopolitics, it is politically tied to the EU therefore it is suffering just as much, if not worse than its neighbors due to political actions that are tanking economies. 

Moldova was given a fast-track application to the EU in June when it was announced that Ukraine would also get this fast track. So they have a lot to prove to the EU right now. 

But where does Moldova get a lot of its gas? Gazprom, the Russian-state energy company. The country is set to re-negotiate debt repayment with Gazprom by October 1 and the Prime Minister does in fact feel that this needs to be done, even as she asks her citizens to sacrifice and reduce consumption by 15%. 

And how are the citizens of Moldova taking all of this policy with European alliances? Protests. Just like in the Czech Republic and Austria and many other places, thousands in Moldova are protesting pro-western policy that they think are hurting them. We discussed it on Thursday’s episode of Redacted. Watch here and let us know what you think! 

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Trump's Special Master

judge raymond dearie credit: eagle

A special master has been appointed to serve on the case involving the raid on former President Trump’s home. Meet Raymond Dearie.

The Trump team proposed Judge Dearie and the Justice Department approved. He is *relatively* uncontroversial and well-respected. Of course, the cable networks may drag up people who think differently but it is telling that both sides in this legal battle approved of him. 

He was one of the judges who approved the investigation on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The search warrants on Page were later declared invalid because of mistakes and omissions by the FBI. Dearie served on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, or FISA. In this case, that is certainly relevant. 

The judge who approved Dearie also ruled that the Justice Department cannot continue looking through the documents they took. They also ruled that Trump’s team should get a copy of most of the documents they took, save 100 that they think are at the heart of their case. The Justice Department reportedly plans to appeal this ruling. 

This seems like a win in the Trump corner, although an expensive one. He will be sent the bill for Judge Dearie’s time although the hourly rate has not been reported. I assure you it won’t be cheap. 

What's Trending?

credit: twitter

#ItsAClock is trending because the album covers for Taylor Swift’s new album form a clock when put together. The album is called Midnights. 

Bezos is trending because Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was the special guest at the Kansas City Chiefs game on Thursday.

Roger Federer is trending because the tennis star announced his retirement on Thursday. 

News By The Numbers

1,250. That is how many employees of the IRS did not pay their taxes in 2019. How very meta. The Department of Treasury said that it will audit the IRS staff since over 300 employees are repeat non-payers. 

$75,000. That is how much it costs to get a leg lengthening surgery that makes one taller. Apparently it is popular amongst the wealthy Silicon Valley types but it is also painful. Have you ever seen Gattaca? No thanks! 

2. That is how many buses full of migrants from Texas were dropped off near the home of Vice President Kamala Harris. Texas Governor Greg Abbott has been sending migrants to areas with Democratic leaders as a political strategy to prove that dealing with the border crisis is not as easy as political gabber. 

Afghanistan's Stolen Money

credit: reuters

The United States still holds $7 billion in Assets that it stole from the Afghanistan government when it withdrew from the region last year. The U.S. says it will transfer half to a Swiss fund and the Taliban has condemned this move. 

Millions of people are starving and living in poverty in Afghanistan. This money was held by the Afghan central bank at the Federal Reserve in New York when the Taliban took over. It was the country’s emergency fund and by all measures, they are in an emergency. But the U.S. says that it does not trust the Taliban to use it in a way it deems acceptable so they will put half of it in a trust, overseen by a board of trustees. The U.S. says that the board will allow the money to be used for critical imports like electricity or debt payments. But feeding the needy? Not in the plans. 

And the other half of this money? The U.S. is going to hold on to that for now. The Biden administration has said that it would give it to the families of 9/11, even though a large group of 9/11 survivors has said that they don’t want it. 

The U.S. says that the fact that Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri was living in Afghanistan when the U.S. killed him in a drone strike is further proof that the Afghani government cannot be trusted so they need to hold on to their money for even longer. 

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