The DC Morning: 3/10/2010
1.) Lawmakers: We don’t fight without putting clothes on first — “I don’t go in the shower. I don’t accost people,” Sen. Jon Tester told the Washington Post Tuesday. The denial follows former Rep. Eric Massa’s claims–reiterated Tuesday night on Larry King Live and the Glenn Beck’s show–that a naked and feisty Rahm Emanuel accosted Massa while the two were showering in the House gym. According to Sen. Jim DeMint, Massa broke the first rule of gym time: Never talk about gym time. “It’s protocol never to talk about what you talk about there,” DeMint told the Post. Other congressmen said funny things, too. “It’s the only place where you get to see a member in a different light,” Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy said. “Way too many middle-aged, overweight men walk around that locker room without any clothes on…I wish they would just drape themselves with towels,” added Joe Scarborough, who represented Florida in the House before making the move to television. FYI, these people are running things, so there’s that, too.
2.) Rubio revealed to be secret porker — If Florida Gov. Charlie Crist had a lick of political sense, he’d drop the haircut nonsense and focus on the vice that counts. Like this report from the St. Pete Times revealing that Senate candidate Marco Rubio funneled $250 million to the Miami area during his eight years in the Florida House, much of it to friends: “One appropriation for Miami-Dade County was sought by lobbyists who worked at his law firm. Another item aided a friend’s fight for a Florida Turnpike contract. Other proposals gave big sums to Florida International University and Jackson Memorial Hospital, where Rubio later worked as a consultant.” Par for the course in the Gunshine State? You betcha. Completely contrary to Rubio’s line as a fiscal conservative? That, too. But Rubio spokesman Albert Martines has an answer for everything it seems, including giving taxpayer money to Rubio’s friends: “Marco Rubio’s a limited-government conservative…He’s not a no-government conservative.”
3.) John Roberts ‘troubled’ by Obama’s bad manners during ‘political pep rally’ — “To the extent the State of the Union has degenerated into a political pep rally, I’m not sure why we’re there,” Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts told a room full of bright-eyed American youth on Tuesday. He added that “the image of having the members of one branch of government standing up, literally surrounding the Supreme Court, cheering and hollering while the court–according the requirements of protocol–has to sit there expressionless, I think is very troubling.” In response to Roberts’ comments, Robert Gibbs, ever the peacemaker, said, “What is troubling is that this decision opened the floodgates for corporations and special interests to pour money into elections.” Gibbs then said, “The president has long been committed to reducing the undue influence of special interests and their lobbyists over government. That is why he spoke out to condemn the decision and is working with Congress on a legislative response.” At which point, the cadre of Center for American Progress alumni currently wandering around the White House in Crocs and hemp sarongs, drawing paychecks and influencing policy, likely gave each other the thumbs up.
4.) Scott Brown to write pocket book about life — Despite having only been in office a little over a month, Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown has already lined up a publisher for his memory book, which drugstore book-dealers will affectionately refer to as a “memoir.” In a statement from publisher Harper Collins, Brown said, “I am humbled to have the opportunity to share my personal story in hopes to inform, encourage and inspire others.” The book will reportedly focus on what is now being called Brown’s “coup,” but is more popularly known among Massachusetts folk as “Martha Coakley’s failed attempt at doing something with her life besides making a mockery of the Massachusetts judicial system.”
5.) Illinois pledges to recklessly borrow its way out of debt — Not only does Gov. Pat Quinn plan to renew calls for higher taxes, but in the meantime, Illinois’ spendaholic in chief “unveiled a caustic budget plan that would borrow billions of dollars to stay afloat and push even more debt down the road,” reports the Chicago Tribune. Regardless of whether he gets his way, Quinn plans to fire roughly 13,000 public school teachers and eliminate a large chunk of social services. Writes the Tribune: “Overall, Quinn’s budget proposal forecasts a $4.7 billion operating deficit for the budget year that begins July 1, on top of $6 billion of debt from the current budget. Quinn would borrow to cover the operating shortfall, which would need to be repaid later on top of the $6 billion in lingering debt. At the same time, the state will face the loss of more than $1 billion in federal money that has been used to prevent cuts in education funding this year.”
6.) Americans still hate the people they voted for, study finds — “Americans have come to detest Congress ever more deeply as it nears the end of a nasty fight over health care,” reports the AP. “The latest Associated Press-GfK poll found that fewer people approve of Congress than at any point in Obama’s presidency. Support has dropped significantly since January to a dismal 22 percent as the health care debate has roiled Capitol Hill. Neither Republicans nor Democrats are safe; half of all people say they want to fire their congressman.”
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