Category Archives: Congress

Separation of Powers

separation of powers

In January 2014 President Obama decided to go it alone. He said he had a pen and a phone and if Congress wouldn’t act he would.

Congress refused to act to allocate funds to reimburse insurance companies for Obamacare costs. The president used his pen to sign an executive order to disburse the money anyway. The House of Representatives sued.

Separation of Powers

In House v. Burwell, Congress argued that the executive branch violated the Constitution’s separation of powers. District Court Judge Rosemary Collyer agreed. The case will be appealed.

Meanwhile the president is allocating school bathrooms.

 

Republican Losers

losers

The voters are angry because the Republican establishment consists of a bunch of losers who won’t change the status quo.

Made sense to me.

But WSJ establishment guy Bret Stephens doesn’t see it that way.  When President Obama came to power he had control of the House and Senate. He signed Obamacare without a single Republican vote. Stephens thinks Republicans have accomplished a lot since then:

These were significant political achievements, which only awaited a serious presidential candidate to lead to a sweeping Republican restoration.

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.

Reagan Legacy

reagan legacy

Daniel Henninger, of the WSJ,wrote a column about a column by Nicholas Confessore, of the NYT. The idea is the Republicans have killed the thing the Democrats never could – the Reagan legacy.

 

Ayatollah Banking Behavior

Ayatollah Banking Behavior

IBD had an editorial and the WSJ had an op-ed on Ayatollah banking behavior. Zany authoritarians worth billions who aren’t Donald Trump – I thought it was worth a cartoon.

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.