Stuff to Read

I’m out of time to write today, but here’s the New York Times article you may have heard about, no paywall. If Trump Wins, His Allies Want Lawyers Who Will Bless a More Radical Agenda.

And here’s another tidbit about the deeply weird speaker of the House:

Newly elected Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) does not have a bank account.

At least, that’s what Johnson reports on years of personal financial disclosures, which date back to 2016 and reveal a financial life that, in the context of his role as a congressman and now speaker, appears extraordinarily precarious.

Over the course of seven years, Johnson has never reported a checking or savings account in his name, nor in the name of his wife or any of his children, disclosures show. In fact, he doesn’t appear to have money stashed in any investments, with his latest filing—covering 2022—showing no assets whatsoever.

Of course, it’s unlikely Johnson doesn’t actually have a bank account. What’s more likely is Johnson lives paycheck to paycheck—so much so that he doesn’t have enough money in his bank account to trigger the checking account disclosure rules for members of Congress.

House Ethics Committee filing guidelines state that members must disclose bank accounts they have at every financial institution, as long as the account holds at least $1,000 and the combined value of all accounts—including those belonging to their spouse and dependent children—exceeds $5,000. …

… Jordan Libowitz, communications director for watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, offered a more blunt assessment, saying that if Johnson truly doesn’t have any assets, it “raises questions about his personal financial wellbeing.”

“It’s strange to see Speaker Johnson disclose no assets,” Libowitz told The Daily Beast. “He made over $200,000 last year, and his wife took home salary from two employers as well, so why isn’t there a bank account or any form of savings listed?”

Johnson has also carried debts over for several years, which Libowitz said would sharpen the question.

“He owes hundreds of thousands of dollars between a mortgage, personal loan, and home equity line of credit, so where did that money go?” Libowitz said. “If he truly has no bank account and no assets, it raises questions about his personal financial wellbeing.”

The article goes on to say that the Johnsons have reported about $200,000 annual income for the past several years. They aren’t wealthy, but they shouldn’t be destitute.

8 thoughts on “Stuff to Read

  1. "If Trump Wins, His Allies Want Lawyers Who Will Bless a More Radical Agenda."

    Really? The only question is are there enough idiots to fill the spaces? If Stump gets elected it will look like the WWE in the cabinet and the rose garden! I saw an interview with a democratic congressman today, one who generally supports Israel but is an Iraq vet and had some less than favorable advice for the IDF. It was gentle but firm. Hopefully we are entering the stage where democrats will begin to ask for a cease fire. According to most accounts we have surpassed the twenty percent, five to one body count.  Has Israel had enough revenge yet?



  2. The Federalist Society (essentially) came out against Trump by backing the 14th Amendment argument that Trump is ineligible. No, it wasn't official but two senior lawyers for the FS wrote on the issue. Why? The FS wants to pull the strings to make money for fat cats. Trump wants to be dictator, in which case the FS would not be in charge.

    Trump's lawyers are going to prison. I don't think new fans of fascism will line up in great numbers. Look at how Trump abandoned all his crack lawyers (no paying for hi-dollar defenses.) I tend to think Trump leaked this story to tell the FS he doesn't need them. 

    • Trump is going down, one or another, but the white supremacist movement isn't. There's no shortage of people jockeying for his place. Even if TFG manages to skirt all his legal troubles, he's in his late 70s, the Grim Reaper is calling. TFG has served his purpose for the movement.

  3. Maybe he isn't destitute; maybe he's crooked. Maybe he has plenty of money, with which he pays mortgage, etc., but it's in illegal forms that he dare not make public. If so, then he's as stupid as Trump, for stepping out into the spotlight.


  4. "This is not an unusual thing with these kind of extreme churchers. Not trusting worldly institutions and whatnot. It doesn't mean they can't get their hands on plenty cash when they want to, though. It doesn't mean they're living small and humble. […] Maybe he 'banks' with his church but whenever he needs a house or a car or whatever, he gets $$ for it. Maybe a check, maybe cash." – Mother Bones (@[email protected]) on Twitter

  5. There *has* to be more to the story of Mike Johnson's financial situation – he's not cashing his payroll checks from the Federal Government at a pawn shop somewhere.

    My first guess would be some weird Church thing – something like a Credit Union, with some theological mumbo-jumbo to disguise the socialist aspect of collective ownership?  (and prolly some shady legal arrangements which will likely blow up soon; the Big Banksters won't put up with anyone else ruining their monopoly)

    OTOH, the article kinda seemed to disparage him for *not* playing the Stock Market game the way most Senators and Reps do; IMO, that's something which has become "normal" but which should clearly be illegal.

    OTOOH, I'd bet that Johnson doesn't need to worry about is 401k – his long-term financial needs (and desires) will be covered by GOP Zillionaires (see: Clarence Thomas).

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