North Dakota Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan has returned $67,000 in political loot that came to him via sleazy Jack Abramoff. Posturing aside, will the gesture do Dorgan any good -- or merely draw attention to how easily he could be swayed? Reports the Washington Post: "Aides conceded that the senator did advocate for programs pushed by Abramoff's clients around the time he was accepting tens of thousands of dollars from associates and clients of the lobbyist."
The Spectacle Blog
Lisa Myers and NBC have uncovered Pentagon investigations of anti-war protestors and potential threats to national security -- including a Quaker meeting. As if the left didn't already have enough to remind them of their glory days of the '60s, now they get to feel special since they're on the Defense Department's list. This comes on the heels of revelations about the government's contract with the Lincoln Group, paying for news stories to appear in Iraqi papers, and ethics investigations in Congress.
But Quakers? Maybe they were just wondering what on earth they discuss. Or maybe they're trying to find out just how they make that wholesome breakfast food.
The Senate is barely back, and people are wondering what is going to get done before the long Christmas break.
It now appears that Sen. Chuck Grassley has complicated the tax bill to the point where a major piece of legislation is stalled out until February -- the Senate returns to full action on January 31.
Leadership staff is said to be frustrated by the lack of pacing, but perhaps this is all a good thing given what the alternatives might be.
Jim Wallis and crew are hoping to get arrested as they pray in front of the Cannon House Office Building for no budget cuts. Specifically, they're protesting the cut of $50 billion over five years that would slow the rate of increase in Medicare and other mandatory spending. Such cuts, they say, are "unbiblical."
With this newfound love for the Biblical, especially the grey areas of cuts from government spending (missed that part), surely they'll be steadfast in opposing the clear Biblical violations. I guess that means we'll see them at the March for Life next month? Heck, they won't even have to get arrested.
Can Arnold ever go home again? The California governor's native Austria is leading the way in European outrage at Schwarzenegger's signing off on the execution of Tookie Williams earlier today. Its Green Party wants to strip him of his citizenship. "In Graz, Schwarzenegger's hometown," reports the Sacremento Bee, "local Greens said they would file a petition to remove the California governor's name from the city's Arnold Schwarzenegger Stadium. A Christian political group suggested it be renamed for Williams."
Sorry, James, but your attempt at comedy betrays a failure to take pain seriously. I'm currently on an SSRI (not Paxil) and an anti-convulsant. I've tried life off meds and on meds. When I read things like your column, I can't help but see a reader somewhere, in the kind of pain I've known, being encouraged to think that pain is normal and drugs are dangerous, and that the proper thing to do is suck it up and suffer. That's appalling, and not at all funny.
The aspiring Kansas City Athletics draftee, Gov. Bill Richardson, has a penchant for New Mexico's state police helicoptor. More than any other governor of a Western state, the Associated Press finds, Richardson uses the new search and rescue chopper for trips around the state large and small.