Category Archives: Congress
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.”
Now that the mullahs are getting their moola back, possibly 100 billion in frozen assets thanks to the Iran nuclear deal, they want to be able to move it through the U.S. banking system. That’s been a no-no in the past. Apparently it would make it easier to launder money for terrorism. On the other hand it could make it easier for U.S. intelligence to keep track of Iran’s money.
Ayatollah Banking Behavior
Anyway, last summer Adam Szubin of the Treasury Department told Congress, “Iran will not be able to open bank accounts with U.S. banks, nor will Iran be able to access the U.S. banking sector.” Now Treasury Secretary Jack Lew seems less committal saying the administration is trying “to make sure Iran gets relief.”
Since the Iran nuclear deal isn’t a signed treaty, Iran could walk away if it doesn’t get what it wants.
Alive or dead, the constitution gives Obama the right to appoint a successor to Scalia. It also gives the Senate the right to ignore him or turn him down. Obama agreed with that back when he was opposed to executive overreach. As a senator, he called Alito un-American and filibustered Bush’s appointment of him.
At the time, Obama told ABC News that he supported the filibuster”because I think Judge Alito, in fact, is somebody who is contrary to core American values, not just liberal values.” Obama said the court needed to “provide some check on the executive branch, and he has not shown himself willing to do that repeatedly.”
The Wall Street Journal ran a story last week about the US spying on our allies. The main ally in question was Israel as Benjamin Netanyahu prepared to make a speech before a joint session of Congress criticizing the Iran deal. The kicker was that in the process of spying on Bibi the NSA listened in on confidential conversations between him and members of the US Congress.