The Center for Public Integrity has just put out a useful report showing that John Murtha's pattern of earmarking Pentagon dollars to defense contractors who give lots of money--or are represented by lobbyists who give lots of money--to his campaigns is pretty much par for the course on the defense appropriations subcommittee: Now, a computer analysis by the Center for Public Integrity has revealed that fully three-quarters of the subcommittee members have been involved in similar patterns of behavior — in circles of relationships fraught with potential conflicts of interest, involving former
TPM's Eric Kleefeld reports that Mark Foley, the former Florida Congressman who resigned in 2006 over lewd electronic messages he sent to teenage House pages, is re-entering public life, courtesy of a West Palm Beach A.M. radio station that has hired him to do a public affairs show.
It might just be the forthcoming Barney Frank: The Story of America's Only Left-Handed, Gay, Jewish Congressman. According to The Hill, Frank admits in the book that his ultimate political ambition is to serve as HUD Secretary, which would make him America's only left-handed, gay, Jewish cabinet member.
In Slate, Daniel Brook kicks off a multi-part series on Mohamed Atta's strangely ignored master's thesis in urban planning from the Hamburg University of Technology. The thesis was about the Syrian city of Aleppo, and Atta's plan to strip one of its neighborhoods of Western influences.
Good news: Joe Kennedy has decided not to run for Senate. Even if you put aside all the Chavez stuff, there was something profoundly undemocratic about the Kennedys treating that Senate seat as a family heirloom. As the Globe reports in its subhead, with Kennedy out of the picture, the "race is on." I'm still putting my money on Martha Coakley, especially if Lynch, Markey, and Capuano all run--thus making the women's vote that much more powerful in a Democratic primary.
Congressman John Murtha passed away today. Below, you'll find a recent magazine feature that we ran on him--and the town he represented for 36 years. One night last August, John Murtha, the U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania’s Twelfth Congressional District, paid a visit to the LBK Game Ranch, a private hunting camp in the hills above his home city of Johnstown. About 60 people had gathered in the ranch’s lodge--a luxury five-bedroom log cabin decorated with deer antlers and flat-screen televisions--to raise money for his 2008 campaign. There were two odd things about the event.
I've fallen victim to one of the classic blunders, right after never going in against a Sicilian when death is on the line, which is: don't get into an argument with a libertarian about anything, really, but especially about guns.
Of all the politicians I’ve encountered in the course of doing my job, there have been some that I’ve admired and some that I’ve loathed. But there’s only one politician I’ve ever pitied, and that’s Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy. I met Kennedy three summers ago when I was reporting a profile of Newt Gingrich and both politicians were giving speeches to a business conference in Newport, Rhode Island. Although I was there to hear Gingrich’s talk, it was Kennedy’s that made the bigger impression, if only because it was so bad.
Marc Ambinder and others are reporting that Michael Dukakis is the most likely placeholder Senator should the Massachusetts legislature grant Deval Patrick the power to make a temporary appointment until a special election can be held for Ted Kennedy's seat. That makes sense to me. Ambinder, however, raises the possibility that Patrick might pick an up-and-coming Democratic pol for the job and thus give him or her a major leg up in the special election.
Megan McArdle has responded to my earlier post criticizing her for her stand on guns at presidential events, although I think we may be talking past one another.