Old Dudes With Money

     Every now and then I run across something that I didn’t know before, yet seems so right.
     See if you know the answer to this question: Who is the richest federal appellate judge?
     Take a wild guess.
     The answer turns out to be Donald Trump’s sister.
     Of course it is.
     I guess I’m not informed when it comes to wealthy people, but I didn’t even know Donald had a sister. How could I not know this?
     I know it now because the Center for Public Integrity has posted a list of the investments and outside income reported by federal appellate judges.
     Maryanne Trump Barry’s disclosure form is 229 pages long.
     I’m impressed.
     According to the Center, 349 individual reports show an average of $48,446 in “outside income.” I assume that means chopping trees or gardening.
     Turns out that figure is a little misleading – three of the judges make more than $1 million. I’m guessing those guys will hold anybody in contempt.
     The lower figures are the interesting ones.
     Judge Frank Easterbrook, for example, got $10 in royalties from West Publishing. He must have written an interesting word.
     Judge Thomas Griffith got $600 for teaching in China. I’m hoping that covered the long distance conference calls with the rest of his panels.
     Judge Paul Kelly got $1,200 from the “State of NM, Volunteer Firefighter Pension.” I had no idea volunteers got pensions.
     And, my favorite, Judge Stephen Trott, best known as a member of The Highwaymen, got $2,000 in “record sales and performance fees.” I’m hoping there wasn’t more than one performance.
     Then there’s the mysterious Judge Carlos Bea, whose income source of $73,415 has been redacted – from his “financial disclosure form.” Apparently, he’s a spy.
     Equally mystifying is the “partial honorary membership” in nothing listed, worth $1,800 on the gift page for Judge Ilana Rovner. Maybe it’s only a partial honor because the group refused to identify itself.
     You can have hours of fun with this.
     
     Sterling Idea: I don’t need to contribute anything to the discussion of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, but I do have a question: Why wasn’t he punished?
     Yeah, he was banned from the National Basketball Association and (as of this writing anyway) was being forced to sell his team, but so what?
     He’s still a really rich racist guy.
     In fact, because he has to sell the team, he’s going to be even richer, so he can afford more mistresses and continue his racism.
     Instead of banning Sterling, the NBA should have required him to show up at every game and dress and shower with his team.
     He should be required to sit between pairs of minorities and/or liberals during the games. To make it interesting, fans should be allowed to vote on the couple who surround him.
     One game it could be Neil deGrasse Tyson and Malcolm Gladwell.
     Another game it could be the Rev. Al Sharpton and one of the Real Housewives of Atlanta.
     I’d vote for Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj.
     And to make sure Sterling is living up to the terms of his sensitivity training, he should have to post pictures of the trio on Instagram.
     I’d also like to see him required to do at least one dance number each game with the Clipper Spirit.
     Exercise is good for old guys.

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