People like trains. Whether taking a long trip or making the daily commute, riding the rails, without the hassles of airports and the tensions of driving, can be the most sensible and pleasurable way to get from here to there.
Newt Gingrich is back! Just three months ago, the presidential campaign of this corrupt, super-bloated-ego-on-legs had imploded, and commentators like me lost a sure-fire source of goofy material. Lo and behold, though, as Rick Perry stumbled over his own brain and as Herman Cain fumbled with Libya and several women--the Newt has been ascendant, now topping some polls in the GOP contest.
Explaining this exalted status, the former House Speaker was typically modest: "I don't think there's anybody in the race with [my] background," he bloated. "I have a PhD in American history, I've written 24 books, seven documentary films." Yes, and he's also been fined $300,000 by his own House ethics committee for official corruption.
Speaking of which, after his unceremonious exit from Congress, Gingrich parlayed his legislative connections into the lucrative life of a Washington influence peddler, carrying water for such corporate favor-seekers as IBM and Microsoft. Now we learn that he also quietly did chores for mortgage giant Freddie Mac--a firm he had blasted publicly. He even condemned Barack Obama in 2008 for taking campaign donations from the corporation's executives.
He recently tried to dismiss his own involvement with Freddie Mac, saying his role there was short and minor. Really? No. It turns out he worked with them for six years and was paid at least $1.6 million. Newt insists that voters will actually appreciate his work as a hired huckster for corporate interests--"It reminds people that I know a great deal about Washington," he said.
Thank you, political gods --this is going to be fun!
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