Why Did Dennis Hastert Pay All That Hush Money? Feds: "It Was About Sex"

Adam Weinstein · 05/29/15 03:10PM

After feds announced indictments against ex-House speaker Dennis Hastert yesterday for illegally funneling $3.5 million to an unnamed person from his past as a high-school wrestling coach, an obvious question lingered: What was the cash for? For covering up male-on-male sexual abuse, naturellement.

'A Death Star Isn't on the Horizon': The White House's Hilarious and Nerdy Response to the Star Wars Petition

Taylor Berman · 01/12/13 04:46PM

The White House crushed the dreams of thousands of Star Wars fans yesterday when they officially rejected a petition to start building a Death Star by 2016. The petition wasn't quite as successful as the idiotic one to deport Piers Morgan, but it did garner over 34,000 signatures, 9,000 more than necessary to receive an official response from the White House. So, good to their word, the White House responded yesterday via on a post on their website; in the post, resident nerd Paul Shawcross (official title: Chief of the Science and Space Branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget) gave some matter-of-fact reasons why a Death Star would be a bad idea for the country/universe in general:

We Will Avoid the Fiscal Cliff Because the Members of the House Are Tired and Want to Go Home

Jordan Sargent · 01/01/13 08:15PM

When I was in college I would do this thing where I would procrastinate on papers for days or weeks or months before finally buckling in and getting to work with, oh, 12 hours left before the thing was due. Then I would work furiously for a bit before giving up in the end and wrapping the paper up as sloppily as possible. It would be 3 a.m. and I would be in the library and I would say to myself, "I'm tired and I need to go home." I wasn't very good at college which is why I'm now a blogger — that's a lesson for you children.

Today's Song: Midnight Magic "Threshold" (Premiere)

Rich Juzwiak · 11/13/12 09:00AM

Brooklyn's Midnight Magic is a nine-piece contemporary disco band, complete with a horn section and a theatrical frontwoman, Tiffany Roth, whose combination of chops and camp resembles an off off off Broadway Bette Midler. Their debut album, Walking The Midnight Streets, is out today (via a PledgeMusic donation) and includes their best-known song "Beam Me Up," which has knocked around for over a year, though it sounds like it's been decades.

Today's Song: Company B 'Fascinated'

Rich Juzwiak · 04/13/12 03:55PM

Company B's weird freestyle/house hybrid "Fascinated" (from 1986) contains my second-favorite first line in pop music: "I want to play with you tonight." Really into the direct approach here. (The last line of the first verse is hilarious, too: "Maybe we could play tonight." I get the feeling that maybe this lady really wants to play?) And don't even get me started on the "love toy" part. This song is a national treasure.

Joe the Plumber Witnessed Doing Actual Plumbing (for a Photo Shoot)

Jim Newell · 01/24/12 04:11PM

Joe the Plumber, whom our senior citizen readers might remember as the guy who asked presidential candidate Barack Obama a tax question on YouTube and briefly became a conservative celebrity, has this new fundraising ad out for his congressional run in Ohio. By "fundraising ad," however, we mean "Facebook photo," and in this photo he appears to be doing plumbing work, something he hasn't had much time for in recent years between all the conservative conference guest gigs and wet t-shirt contest refereeing at radon-filled clubs.

House Republicans Finally Cave Under Ten Billion Tons of Pressure

Jim Newell · 12/22/11 04:56PM

Look, people, we appear to have figured out what it takes to get House Republicans to agree on something: Having every other person on the planet scream at them for several days! The official announcement will come at 5:00, but everyone's now reporting that House Republicans will agree to the Senate's bipartisan compromise to extend the payroll tax cut and assorted other things for two months, before resuming work on the full extension in 2012.

Why Republicans Are So Concerned about a Bust of Winston Churchill

Jim Newell · 12/20/11 01:16PM

Now this is strange. What compels a Speaker of the House, as he's (supposed to be) trying to reach a deal to preserve various expiring government goodies before Congress recesses for the year, to move a resolution that would "commission the placement of a bust of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in the Capitol"? Here he is, talking about it, softly crying, of course, but not in full Boehner Bawl mode. Winston Churchill, he was one helluva a guy. Anyway, this is all about race.

Barney Frank Has Liberated His Man Boobs

Jim Newell · 12/19/11 05:00PM

Theoretical question: What does a congressman who never bothered to tie his tie properly, comb his hair, or button his top shirt button even when he was trying to win elections dress like after he's announced his retirement and stopped caring entirely? It really is an interesting theoretical question.

We've Reached the 'Braveheart' Phase of Congress' Latest Apocalyptic Tango

Jim Newell · 12/19/11 04:10PM

We've been trying something different, as Congress has been pretending to nearly shut down the government or arbitrarily destroy the global economic system for the fourth time this year: Not biting! They'll always reach an agreement, after acting out a months-long scripted fight that we've seen before. But now we're at the stage when children lawmakers begin channeling action movies for inspiration, so we'll take that as our cue.

Congress Kills Another Balanced Budget Amendment, For Kicks

Jim Newell · 11/18/11 04:16PM

For whatever reason, the House chose to whip out ye olde Balanced Budget Amendment for another vote today, after it was voted down a couple of times this summer. It failed. The vote was 261-165 in favor of it, but—oops!—you need 2/3 support to amend the Constitution. That's because amending the Constitution should be hard, and not done whenever Eric Cantor and a few buddies think something on Fox News sounds cool.

Gabby Giffords' Husband Simply Does Not Care for John Boehner

Jim Newell · 11/15/11 04:39PM

What do you say to a harsh criticism from astronaut-hero Mark Kelly, husband of wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords? You can't call him a jerk or anything. He's astronaut-hero Mark Kelly, husband of wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords! You just have to take it. Hear that, John Boehner? You will just have to take it.

Match the Quote with the Political Sex Scandal

Jim Newell · 11/09/11 03:17PM

It's time to play Match the Quote with the Political Sex Scandal! Why? Well, why not? The rules are complex, but surely you all can figure it out: You match the name of a political figure involved in a sex(ual harassment) scandal with one of his quotes from the time! See? I knew you could figure it out.