NEWS AND OPINION:
Former President Donald Trump is still “extremely rich,” according to Forbes, which also has some news about his stature in the world of the wealthy.
“The New York attorney general hit Donald Trump with a $250 million lawsuit last week, accusing the real estate mogul of engaging in financial fraud by lying about the value of his assets. But make no mistake, Trump is extremely rich. In fact, the former president climbs back onto The Forbes 400 this year after dropping off 12 months ago, with his estimated net worth jumping from $2.5 billion to $3.2 billion, enough to qualify for No. 343 on the ranking of America’s richest people,” reported Dan Alexander, a senior editor at Forbes who often covers Mr. Trump’s business dealings.
He cited the Trump Media and Technology Group as a positive factor in Mr. Trump’s gains, along with Truth Social — his answer to Twitter — and the sale of the Trump International Hotel in Washington.
“Through a series of other deals, Trump refinanced or paid off another half dozen loans, leaving his balance sheet in a stronger position today than it has been in years, with roughly $375 million of cash, up an estimated $79 million from a year ago,” Mr. Alexander wrote.
Meanwhile, do you wonder about those at the peak of the “top 400” richest people in America? Forbes has released the new list, and here is a handy summary:
“Few have been spared from the pain of soaring inflation and sputtering markets this year, including the billionaires perched at the top of Forbes’ 41st annual list of the 400 richest Americans. As a group, this year’s top 20 are worth $1.6 trillion – $235 billion less than a year ago, accounting for nearly half of the $500 billion lost by the entire Forbes 400,” the news organization said.
Forbes announced that Mr. Trump had fallen off the list for the first time in 25 years on Oct. 5, 2021.
The Republican Party introduced its “Commitment to America” this week — it is a vow to shore up the economy and national security, secure the U.S. border, lower inflation, and emphasize freedom and an accountable government.
President Biden called the idea a “thin series of policy goals with little or no details.” News organizations sneered at the plan — the Washington Post called it “substance free,” and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch referred to the GOP concept as “a list of platitudes, not plans.”
Republican lawmakers, however, are pushing back. House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, Republican Whip Steve Scalise, and House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik stepped up Thursday to have a say.
“I am standing here with my colleagues because Republicans have a new direction for America,” Mr. McCarthy said at a press conference at the U.S. Capitol.
“It’s time to get our country back on track,” he noted.
“Families are struggling. What President Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have done in the last two years to ram through trillions in spending, mountains of heavy regulation, and more big-government socialism,” Mr. Scalise said.
“It’s hurting the lower-income families of America. It’s costing people their jobs and it’s making it harder for them to put food on the table. People are saying, ‘Enough is enough,’ and they’re losing hope,” he added.
And he had one more proposal.
“Speaker Pelosi says it’s ‘MAGA extremism’ to lower energy costs and secure America’s border. Speaker Pelosi actually says it’s extremism to let parents be involved in their kids’ education. Well, you know what? If that’s what she thinks is extremism, maybe it’s time for Pelosi to go,” he later summarized.
“We’re going to fire Pelosi. We’re going to actually go and fight for the American people — to restore that hope with the ‘Commitment to America’ and show that there is a better way to get this country back on track and restore the American Dream for generations to come,” Mr. Scalise vowed.
NEW JOB DESCRIPTION
The State Department has announced the creation of a new diplomatic spot of note, and here it is: Special Envoy for Biodiversity and Water Resources.
“Secretary of State Antony Blinken has designated Monica P. Medina as the United States’ Special Envoy for Biodiversity and Water Resources, signaling the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to resolving the world’s intertwined biodiversity and water crises,” the agency said in a statement.
Ms. Medina is currently assistant secretary of state for oceans and international environmental and scientific affairs and will take on the Special Envoy designation in addition to her current duties, the agency advised.
Not everyone is feeling warm and cuddly about this.
“Earth saved — by DC grifters!? U.S. State Dept. appoints the first ever ‘diplomat for plants & animals’ — and she just happens to be the wife of Biden’s Chief of Staff!” tweeted Marc Morano, founder of the Climate Depot, a watchdog organization.
Ms. Medina is indeed married to White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain.
“Why on Earth would such a diplomatic position be created? We already have wildlife and conservation agencies,” pointed out podcaster and outdoors writer Gabriella Hoffman, also in a tweet.
WEEKEND REAL ESTATE
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POLL DU JOUR
• 72% of registered U.S. voters say things in the country have “pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track.”
• 94% of Republicans, 78% of independents and 48% of Democrats agree.
• 75% of women and 69% of men also agree.
• 28% of registered U.S. voters overall say things in the country are “going in the right direction.”
• 6% of Republicans, 22% of independents and 52% of Democrats agree.
• 25% of women and 31% of men also agree.
SOURCE: A Politico/Morning Consult poll of 2,005 registered U.S. voters conducted Sept. 23-25.
• Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin