Skip to main content

Why are the billionaires always laughing?

Because they know the corporate media will never call bullshit on their bullshit.

Why are the billionaires laughing?

It’s easy to laugh when the corporate press treats you as a glorious success instead of the epitome of a broken social order. Billionaires laugh because they know the corporate media prefers to fawn over them rather than hold them to account.

Today, we ask you to support our nonprofit, independent journalism because we are not impressed by billionaires flying into space, their corporations despoiling our health and planet, or their vast fortunes safely concealed in tax havens across the globe. We are not laughing.

We are hard at work producing journalism for the common good. With our Fall Campaign underway, please support this mission today. We cannot do it without you.

Support Our Work -- Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Every donation—large or small—helps us bring you the news that matters.

The Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. has been the site of regular anti-Trump demonstrations since President Donald Trump took office in 2017. (Photo: Ted Eytan/Flickr/cc)

'Not Above the Law': In Historic Ruling, Federal Judge Rules Corruption Suit Against Trump Can Proceed

A lawsuit alleges that the president is benefiting from foreign and state governments' stays at his hotel—a violation of "the nation's original anti-corruption law"

Julia Conley

A lawsuit alleging that President Donald Trump has violated constitutional law by profiting from his Washington, D.C. hotel will proceed, after a federal judge in Maryland rejected the Trump administration's bid to have the case thrown out on Wednesday.

The attorneys general of Washington, D.C. and Maryland allege that Trump is in violation of the Constitution's emoluments clauses, which bar the president from receiving gifts from foreign or state governments, by continuing to benefit from the business of the Trump International Hotel.

"If the president would like to avoid the case going further and curtail the serious harms caused by his unconstitutional conduct, now would be a good time to divest from his businesses." —Noah Bookbinder, CREW"The basic principal here is Donald Trump is not above the law, and the court recognized that and said that we can enforce the nation's original anti-corruption law," Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh told the Washington Post.

Foreign heads of state and state officials have stayed in and held events at the hotel frequently since Trump took office. Maine Governor Paul LePage stayed at the property last year just before the president included a national monument that LePage had opposed in a review of national parks. A public relations firm also spent $270,000 on behalf of the Saudi government at the hotel, as the country was fighting to roll back a law allowing the families of September 11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia for any alleged involvement in the attacks. 

Trump gave up running the hotel when he became president last year, but he still owns and can withdraw funds from his business at any time.

Though a similar ethics lawsuits against the president, filed by the Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington (CREW) was thrown out in December, the watchdog group  is now serving as co-counsel on the attorneys generals' suit.

The judge ruled that Maryland and the District of Columbia could reasonably claim to have been harmed by the business of the Trump International Hotel, which may have an unfair advantage over hotels and convention centers in the area.

If the ruling goes unchallenged, the plaintiffs could obtain financial records of Trump's business to determine exactly how much money the organization has received from foreign and state governments.

"The president's violations of the emoluments clauses are immediate and serious, and it was vital for civic-minded leaders inside and outside of government to take decisive action to protect the constitution and the interests of the people," said CREW's executive director, Noah Bookbinder, in a statement. "If the president would like to avoid the case going further and curtail the serious harms caused by his unconstitutional conduct, now would be a good time to divest from his businesses and end his violations of the emoluments clauses of the Constitution. We need to know that the president is acting in the best interest of the country, not his companies."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

'When We Organize, We Win': Ocasio-Cortez Joins India Walton at Rally in Buffalo

The two progressives joined striking hospital workers on the picket line at Mercy Hospital after the early voting rally.

Julia Conley ·


Fatal Film Set Shooting Followed Outcry by Union Crew Members Over Safety Protocols

"When union members walk off a set about safety concerns, maybe 'hiring scabs' isn’t the solution you think it is."

Julia Conley ·


New Whistleblower Sparks Calls to 'Crack Down on Facebook and All Big Tech Companies'

Hours after another ex-employee filed a formal complaint, reporting broke on internal documents that show the tech giant's failure to address concerns about content related to the 2020 U.S. election.

Jessica Corbett ·


'Catastrophic and Irreparable Harm' to Wolves Averted as Wisconsin Judge Cancels Hunt

"We are heartened by this rare instance of reason and democracy prevailing in state wolf policy," said one conservation expert.

Brett Wilkins ·


West Virginia Constituents Decry 'Immorality' of Joe Manchin

"West Virginia has been locked into an economy that forces workers into low-wage jobs with no hope for advancement, and after decades of this our hope is dwindling," said one West Virginian. "The cuts that Sen. Manchin has negotiated into the agenda hurt our state."

Julia Conley ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo