Category Archives: Government

Hastert Hush Money

hastert hush money

I was wondering how it was possible that I was watching Donald Trump, the Republican “presumptive nominee” for president of the United States, giving a foreign policy speech yesterday afternoon.

Then news broke that former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert had been sentenced to fifteen months in prison and fined $250,000. He was guilty of  structuring bank withdrawals to hide the fact that he was taking out millions in cash.

How is it possible that a former politician and high school wrestling coach was able to withdraw $3.5 million in cash? The former Speaker had parlayed his status as an elite Washington insider into a job as a high paid Washington lobbyist.

Hastert Hush Money

The cash was hush money Hastert paid to a former high school wrestler whom he had molested when he was his coach. The judge called him a “serial child molester.”

Here’s the story in the NY Times. Here’s a National Review story about Hastert’s rise from suburban Chicago high school teacher to Washington insider.

Trump Evolves, Lying Ted Colludes

lying ted

Donald Trump’s new advisor, Paul Manafort, told party leaders they would see his man evolve into a candidate of more “depth“.  That was until The Donald decided Lying Ted and John Kasich were colluding against him. He said, “it shows how pathetic they are.”

I got the idea for this one when I heard Rush Limbaugh ruminating on how Ted Cruz must feel to find himself outflanked by Trump and joined at the hip to cranky Kasich the insider.

Cruz was the original outsider candidate. There’s a Senate full of Republicans who hate him as proof.

Jeffrey Lord, a Cruz fan, has a column about this came to pass. He thinks Cruz should have teamed with Trump. Instead he blew it by going mainstream with Kasich.

Obama Bashes Brexit

brexitPresident Obama threatened Britons who favor a Brexit. A Brexit would be a British exit from the European Union in a referendum coming up June 23. Obama said if the UK leaves the EU it would have to move the back of the queue if it wants to do a trade deal with the US.

Obama prefers to deal with undemocratic bureaucrats in Brussels rather than Britons who prefer to retain their sovereignty in London. He claims it could take 10 years to reach a trade deal with an independent UK.

Obama’s intervention enraged London Mayor Boris Johnson who claimed Obama’s Kenyan background makes him hostile to the British Empire. That remark hi-lighted the special relationship between American and British students. Johnson was disinvited from a debate on the Brexit. British students also favor “safe spaces” to protect them from unpleasant ideas.

The Wall Street Journal points out that what Obama thinks may not matter since he’s a short termer.

Trump Lights Lamp

trump lights lamp

Trump lights the lamp in the New York Primary. The Donald won 89 delegates with 60.4% of the vote. Kasich won 4 delegates with 25.1%, and the senator formerly known as Lying Ted won zero delegates with 14.5% of the vote.

Pope Prop

pope

In the heat of the New York Democratic primary, Bernie Sanders hopped on a charter Boing 767-300 and burned a carbon footprint to the Vatican.

The Week has a good account of Sanders’ “awkward” campaign detour.

He claimed he was invited by the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences to give a speech on morality in the world economy. The president of that group, Margaret Archer, says, “Sanders invited himself.”

A Vatican spokesman said Sanders would not meet the pope. But meet he did.

Bernie managed to bump into the Holy Father’s as he was leaving for Greece. He gushed:

 “It was a real honor for me, for my wife and I to spend some time with him. I think he is one of the extraordinary figures not only in the world today but in modern world history.”

Here’s the pope’s description of the encounter:

“This morning when I was leaving, Sen. Sanders was there, he had come to the convention,” the pope said. “He knew I was leaving at that time and he had the courtesy to greet me. I greeted him, his wife, and another couple who were there and were sleeping in Santa Martha,” the hostel where Francis also lives. “When I came down, I greeted him, I shook his hand, and nothing more. This is called good manners and it is not getting involved in politics…. If anyone thinks that greeting someone is getting involved in politics, I recommend that he look for a psychiatrist.”