Maybe the ghosts of Mike Pence’s ancestors, or somebody’s, are getting stirred up in Ireland, because for a simple diplomatic visit, it has turned into a real can of worms. First, Pence got raked over the coals when his deputy press secretary touted the fact that Mike and Mother Pence would be having lunch with Leo Varadkar and his husband, ergo, Mike Pence is not anti-gay. Now, while that controversy was still smoking, more fat got thrown on the fire Tuesday morning, when it was learned that Pence will be staying at Donald Trump’s Doonbeg property, when his meeting with Varadkar is on the other side of Ireland, in Dublin. And guess who picks up the tab for the helicopters, security etc.? That’s right, moi et toi.

The Pences are from Doonbeg, eh? Well, who knows. Back when Brett Kavanaugh was getting confirmed I happened to encounter a Twitter thread of Esquire’s Charlie Pierce. Some people from Ireland were tweeting with Pierce and stating their opinion of how Kavanaugh’s ancestors used to steal sheep and then that led to a dialogue of how Mike Pence’s people were landlords for the British, and the Curse of Cromwell was upon him. There are enemies and there are enemies, and the enemy you wish the Curse of Cromwell upon is really your enemy.

In all events, Pence enriching Trump’s coffers is nothing new at all. His PAC, Great America Committee, has spent $224,000 at Trump properties, chiefly the Trump International Hotel and it’s steakhouse, and you’ll love this: his congressman brother, Greg, was illegally living there and the PAC was picking up the tab. Daily Beast:

Such spending appears to be a family affair. Pence’s brother, freshman Rep. Greg Pence (R-IN), has also dropped considerable sums at the Trump hotel. In fact, Rep. Pence’s campaign amended a number of FEC filings this year after USA Today noted that the campaign appeared to be illegally paying for the congressman to live at the Trump hotel. The Pence campaign said those expenses were reported incorrectly, and amended FEC filings accordingly.

As of March, when Rep. Pence’s campaign reported its latest Trump property expenditure, the campaign had spent about $45,000 at the president’s businesses.

The spending by the Pence brothers reflects a broader trend taking place throughout the Republican Party, where officials are doling out campaign cash to properties and businesses associated with the president. But the vice president is a particularly prolific Trump property patron. Only the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee have spent more at Trump businesses than Pence’s PAC during the 2020 election cycle.

This is standard operating procedure for Mike Pence. He illegally spent campaign contributions on his mortgage and groceries back in the day when he was a freshman congressman himself. This is what he knows. Plus, interestingly, he said Tuesday that his expenditure at Doonbeg was approved by the State Department. Now, that’s not surprising considering that William Barr just spent $30,000 reserving a holiday party at the Trump hotel. They’re all paying tribute to Trump, it would appear. This comment by David Frum says it all.

That’s the bottom line.

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  1. “That’s right, moi et toi.”

    Two points:

    #1. A nitpick. In French, it would be more accurate for that to read “That’s right, vous et moi.” “Toi” would be correct if you were engaged in a one-on-one conversation with a close friend or colleague but since you’re directing it at a non-specific, general reader, “vous” would be the better option. Just think of it this way: If you’d written that in English, would you have gone for the slightly archaic “thee and me” (or the less formal “me and thee”) or have stuck with “you and me” (or “me and you”)? Also, the French tend to adhere more closely to putting others first (in proper English, “I/me” should be the last element in a compound subject or object though in colloquial English, that rule generally falls by the wayside).

    #2. Since we’re talking about Ireland, it would’ve been better to go with “mise agus tusa” (or, more properly, “tusa agus mise”). That’s the Irish equivalent for “moi et toi” (or “moi et vous”).

    • Moi et toi rhymes and so it’s snarkier than vous et moi. Or, maybe I should have said “thee and me” because that would get the same meaning and sound across as well.

  2. A second, more direct comment to the meat of the story: Mike Pence shows EXACTLY what kind of “Christian” he is with his behavior as a freshman Congressman and his current actions on behalf of his brother. Who would’ve ever thought that one would take the usual church commentary on Cain’s retort to God (“Am I my brother’s keeper?”)* in such a potentially illegal fashion?

    *Most churches and synagogues tend to teach that we ARE “our brothers’ keepers” in the sense that each of us bears some moral responsibility for what happens to other people if we have the means to do so. I doubt, however, they would go so far as to expect us to use money raised for one purpose to fund some activity that has ZERO connection.

  3. Isn’t this also covered under Federal bribery statutes? No Federal employee can give their bosses any ‘gift or payment’ worth more than $10.00?

    • Let’s see now, do we get a discount for multiple impeachments at the same time? (less time in the Court room), less costs of transportation, common bus to prison …
      Grassley … time for him out on the pasture …

      Did I leave anyone out?


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