1.) Sheila Jackson Lee will eat your soul — Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Houston, Texas, regularly refers to the people who work for her as “stupid motherf*ckers,” according to an expose by The Daily Caller’s Jonathan Strong. Believe it or not, Lee’s staffers wish that were the worst of the congresswoman’s abuses. Lee caused one of her drivers to wreck her car by screaming into her ear, and threatened to call the police and report a kidnapping when a different driver told the congresswoman to either stop yelling, or walk. Another staffer had a phone thrown at him. Yet another was insulted by Lee in front of the staffer’s parents. A third was forced to write a memo in full view of her colleagues explaining why she was, in Lee’s view, incompetent. Perhaps even more impressive is Lee’s ability to fling crap upwards just as competently as she drops it on her underlings. She once kept Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood waiting for several hours in her office foyer for several hours while she likely watched TV. Another time, she threatened a secret service agent, but only after she instructed her driver to ignore the secret service vehicle that was attempting to pull them over. And while she may be an apparent insomniac who sucks the life out of her staff, it’s not likely that she’s a vampire, as Lee often asks staffers to bring her garlic supplements as late as 2 a.m.
2.) John Boehner likely clicking heels, wishing for lower expectations — House Republicans managed to squirrel $4 billion out of the continuing resolution extension and avoid a government shutdown. But excising $61 billion from a short-term budget that runs through September may be a different story. “I think all of us know that cutting spending in Washington, D.C. never happens, and so to think that we’re going to have significant cuts in spending levels is not going to be easy,” Speaker John Boehner told TheDC. “I understand that, Senator Reid understands that, but I think all of us know that we are going to cut spending.”
3.) Should federal employees have to pay taxes? — Theoretically, yes! But in reality, a lot of them don’t! A bill proposed by House Republicans could change that. “Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, introduced a bill Tuesday that would terminate the employment of federal employees and prohibit the hiring of future federal employees who have a seriously delinquent tax debt,” reports Fox News. “Chaffetz also introduced another bill that would prohibit anyone with a seriously delinquent tax debt from acquiring a federal government contract or grant – a measure that is similar to one introduced in 2007 by-then Sen. Barack Obama.” According to IRS data, “Nearly 100,000 federal civilian employees owed $1 billion in unpaid federal income taxes in 2009, according to the IRS. The number of delinquent federal employees has remained consistent since 2004, but the amount owed has soared nearly 70 percent from $600 million to $1 billion.”
4.) Pakistan’s only Christian cabinet member murdered by Islamic radicals — “Shahbaz Bhatti was traveling to work in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, when his car was ambushed by gunmen, who sprayed the vehicle with bullets,” reports McClatchy Newspapers. “Bhatti had campaigned for reform of the country’s draconian blasphemy law, which is used to victimize Christians and other minorities. Leaflets left at the scene of the killing threatened the same fate for anyone else who wanted to change the blasphemy law. The Pakistani Taliban reportedly claimed responsibility. In January, Salman Taseer, another prominent politician who’d opposed the blasphemy law, was gunned down by his own bodyguard after he’d called for the law to be amended.” Pakistanis are far from outraged by the killings, however, as “public opinion equates criticism of the blasphemy law as blasphemy in itself, an interpretation regarded as perverse by the few moderate religious scholars who dare to speak on the issue.”
5.) Charlie Rangel compares public sector unions to slavery, or something — Walking ethics fiasco Charlie Rangel compared the attempt to scale back public sector unions to slavery in a speech at a Congressional Black Caucus event Tuesday. “It doesn’t really make any sense at all for the president of the United States to talk about creating jobs in order to improve the economy and find out that mayors and governors are talking about laying off people,” Rangel said at the event. “Collective bargaining is something that is so close to slavery in terms of abolishing it, that it is not an American concept to tell people that they cannot discuss their economic position.”
6.) Politico has hackles up over Bardella emails — After Politico editor John Harris sent Rep. Darrell Issa an angry letter inquiring after allegations that Issa spox Kurt Bardella shared reporter emails with Mark Leibovich of the New York Times, the New York Times reported that John Harris’s publication had requested reporter emails under the Freedom of Information Act. “In a 2009 Freedom of Information Act request distributed to at least half a dozen cabinet departments, Ken Vogel, a Politico reporter, made a broad request for all government communications with reporters or editors of 16 news organizations,” the Times reports. Ultimately, Vogel’s “broad request was narrowed to a search for invitations from reporters to social events,” and no story was ever written. But the fact remains: Politico doesn’t believe allreporter emails to government officials are sacrosanct. So why is Harris outraged about Bardella’s betrayal? According to WaPo’s Dana Milbank, “The e-mails won’t look good for Politico if and when Leibovich releases them. There are expected to be many from [Mike] Allen and reporter Jake Sherman.”