Tag Archives: politics

Twissblog Lithuanian politics special: “Algirdas Butkevicius is making Rolandas Paksas look like Augustinas Voldemaras”

22 Jun

(Editor’s note: as you may know, the entire staff of Twissblog has been on strike for over a month due to Donald Trump’s success in the Republican primaries. In fact, the only people still working in the building are our CEO, Sumner Redstone, and our Lithuanian exchange-student intern, Elona Norvaisaite. While Mr. Redstone is keenly across every detail of our operations, his long days setting strategy and meeting with the press leave him no time to write articles. We have therefore asked Elona to step in and fill the gap, writing on any political topic she would like. Over to you, Elona!)

 
VILNIUS–in a stunning broadside, Seimas opposition leader Andrius Kubilius today declared that Prime Minister Butkevicius “is going to make Rolandas Paksas look like Augustinas Voldemaras.”

 

While the audacious claim was itself enough to garner headlines worldwide, Kubilius went on to level a series of devastating attacks on the conduct of Brazauskas’s government. These included such well-worn topics as mishandling the relationship with Rospotrebnadzor in the days leading up to Russia’s ban on the import of Lithuanian dairy products as well as less obvious complaints such as the handling of the Seimas vacancy following the death of Juozas Palionis. In a naughtier tone, he twice “mistakenly” referred to Algirdas Butkevicius as “Aligirdas Brazauskas,” a heavy-handed joke that had many in the audience rolling their eyes.

 
Butkevicius, as you would of course have expected, fired back angrily, saying that “Andrius reminds me more of Boguslaw Radziwill,” a clever and cutting riposte that reinforced doubts many Lithuanians had about Kubilius’s foreign policy inclinations.

 

A face so familiar it needs no caption.

Donald Trump humiliated by not being in Mossack Fonseca documents

7 Apr

PANAMA CITY–embarrassed that his name was nowhere to be found among the leaked Mossack Fonseca files, Donald Trump today insisted that “I’m absolutely shielding huge amounts of money offshore–I just used a different Panamanian law firm.”

 
The Mossack Fonseca leak has revealed the names of thousands of wealthy clients who used the Panamanian firm to create dummy corporations to shield their money from tax authorities. The names included many world leaders as well as wealthy businessmen from the US and elsewhere, but Trump was not listed anywhere.

 
“Listen, I’m just like all those guys. I’m shielding millions–billions, actually–of dollars offshore. They just haven’t found me yet,” said Trump.

In response to questions as to why he didn’t use Mossack Fonseca, the market leader in concealing ill-gotten wealth, Trump seemed defensive.

“Listen, I used only the best firm, okay? The firm I used is way bigger and way better at tax dodging than these Mossad Canseco guys.”

Pressed for the name, Trump said he couldn’t remember it. “I talk to literally thousands of law firms every day,” said the Republican presidential candidate. “All the best ones. I can’t remember every single name.”

John Kasich confident he will start to beat Marco Rubio “soon” in primary voting

25 Mar

COLUMBUS, Ohio–a few days after finishing fourth in the Arizona Republican primary, behind Marco Rubio who had already dropped out of the race, John Kasich announced today that “we absolutely have Marco in our sights, and we’re going to overtake him very, very soon.”

While some experts doubt that Kasich, who has only won his home state to date and whose appeal to Republican voters has proved extremely limited, will ever beat Rubio, the campaign issued a list of talking points explaining why they “believe John can get it done.”

The list notes that Rubio has removed his name from most of the remaining ballots, and that he has widely publicized his decision to drop out of the race.

“We’re pretty sure that when they know their candidate is completely out of the race, some voters might consider John Kasich, if they don’t want to vote for Trump or Cruz, or if they have eyesight problems, or shaky hands,” said a spokesman for the Kasich campaign. “That’s our target demographic.”

Republican leadership trying to remember why they thought voting was such a good idea

17 Mar

DALLAS–speaking at a closed-door session of Republican donors and activists today, RNC chairman Reince Priebus tried to lay out the case for why the party moved away from smoke-filled rooms towards primaries where people can vote.

“It had something to do with…it wasn’t justice, exactly, but it was something like–I think maybe there was a tax angle to it?” Priebus finally said, scratching his head in puzzlement.

As Donald Trump continued his run of successes in the Republican primaries, party leaders have been checking the fine print on what exactly winning primary elections means.

“Look, I’ve checked, and presidential primaries aren’t mentioned even once in the Bible,” said Sen. Mike Lee (R–UT). “To my mind, then, they are null and void.”

Lee’s sentiment was widely shared by party leaders. “Sure, we have these votes, but I always like to think of them as purely advisory,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan (R–WI). “The party can pick anyone it wants to run for president. If they want to ditch Trump and go with–for example–a young Midwestern congressman who seems reasonable and really would like to be President but doesn’t like the work involved to get there–that’s up to them.”

Priebus closed his speech by noting that “sometimes the votes go your way, and sometimes they don’t. And when the latter happens, we like to go to Plan B.”

  
Not that Plan B.

Donald Trump clarifies that he was talking about former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich

12 Mar

NEW YORK–seeking to clear up a misunderstanding, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump explained that his comments last week were an endorsement “of my good friend Robert Reich,” referring to the Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration.

“I know it’s fanciful, but I think it would be great if Robert Reich lived for a thousand years,” explained Trump. “I don’t know what you guys thought I was talking about.”

Trump also explained that he liked the Secretary so much that instead of candles on his next birthday cake, “we should all parade around with torches–that’s how excited I’ll be to celebrate.”

Finally, Trump expressed surprise that “anyone cares about how big my living room is. So I want to expand it a little–what’s the big deal?”

  
“So they’re waving,” said Trump. “What’s the big deal?”

Rubio: “Everything is going exactly according to plan”

9 Mar

MIAMI–Marco Rubio, fresh off two last-place finishes and two third-place finishes in Tuesday’s voting, announced to an excited crowd here today that “Everything is going exactly according to our plan,” and predicted a strong surge in performance in the coming weeks.

“Last night, America took another big step towards saying yes to President Rubio,” the candidate said, as the Hilton housekeeping staff vacuumed around him. “What are the two elections that everyone says really matter in the first half of the primary? Minnesota and Puerto Rico. Did we win Minnesota and Puerto Rico? Yes, we did.”

Rubio later assured major donors that his surprising collapse in support over the past two weeks, as he has fallen from a strong second-place finisher in most elections to a distant third or fourth, “is all part of the plan.”

“It’s hard to explain exactly what the plan is,” he explained on a conference call. “But we’ve got ’em exactly where we want ’em.”

“We got two third-place finishes last night,” added Rubio later in the call. “You know what they call someone who gets third place in the Olympics? A medallist, that’s what.”

Later in the day, the Rubio campaign unveiled a powerful new slogan, “The best alternative to Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, except for maybe John Kasich.”

  
“What a lot of people don’t yet understand is that I really, really want to be president,” said Rubio.

Rubio’s Minnesota-only strategy pays off handsomely

2 Mar

ST. PAUL, Minnesota—putting all doubts about his candidacy to rest, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) swept to victory last night in the Minnesota caucuses, with more than 41,000 votes and a solid margin of victory over Ted Cruz and Donald Trump.

“They said we couldn’t do it,” Rubio announced to an ecstatic crowd at his victory party here. “They said our exclusive focus on Minnesota would backfire, that we didn’t have a viable path to the nomination. And you know what I say to those people?” he continued, looking around for dramatic effect. “I say…twelve delegates in the bag.”

Terry Sullivan, Rubio’s campaign manager, was in a similarly upbeat mood. “There’s still some mopping up to do,” said Sullivan this morning in an exclusive interview with twissblog. “We need to win, you know, all the other states. But with Minnesota firmly in our column, I don’t think anyone has any doubts.”

Republican party elders, worried about the rise of Donald Trump, seemed immensely relieved by the results. “When I saw the AP call Minnesota for Marco, it was like a whole weight was lifted off my chest,” said Mitch McConnell. “Either that, or my heart attack was going away.”

Rubio renewed his appeal to Ted Cruz to drop out of the race. “I salute Ted’s service to the American people,” said Rubio towards the end of his speech. “But at this point in the race, he’s only won four states, and has less than twice the number of delegates I do. It’s time for the party to come together behind me.”

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