Archives for Capitol Hillbillies

Just another silly season in Congress

August is supposed to be quiet time in the national capital. Congress is in recess, the Supreme Court is adjourned and the president is usually at his ranch in Texas. Also gone are all their attendants. The place really does close up in August.

But this month is different. Even though Congress usually can't wait to get out of town, some members are refusing to leave.

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Irradiating our mail

Since the 2001 anthrax attacks, the feds have spent $75 million on nuking millions of pieces of mail sent to Congress, the White House and Cabinet departments, to protect against evildoers bent on sending poisonous organisms to bureaucrats and politicians via the post.

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An arrogant sense of entitlement

One of the hazards of being both powerful and in Washington a long time is arrogance and a sense of entitlement. How else to explain Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens' indictment for concealing gifts from an oil company that, considering the billions that the senator controlled from his seat on the Appropriations committee, amounted to a relatively paltry $250,000.

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Stevens: Another nail in GOP coffin?

The indictment of Alaska Republican Sen. Ted Stevens on charges that he lied about accepting gifts from an oil contractor only adds to his party's already bleak electoral prospects in November, and not simply because it could cost the GOP a Senate seat that should be safe.

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Housing bill goes to Bush

The US Senate on Saturday approved an elaborate housing rescue plan designed to help thousands of homeowners avert foreclosure and bolster mortgage finance giants that have struggled amid a volatile housing market.

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Gonna play, gotta pay

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- the government-chartered mortgage giants tumbling toward a taxpayer bailout -- have not been penurious about making campaign contributions and engaging top lobbyists to grease their way on Capitol Hill.

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Remembering the real Jesse Helms

In adulthood people will spend any amount of money, seek any therapy, and commit any act just to prove their parents were right. The pursuit to become what parents tell us we are is indelible on our lives.

You have to wonder with someone's passing -- especially someone who has whittled at the wood our society is made from -- whose instructions that person was following.

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Helms: Dead on the 4th of July

Former Sen. Jesse Helms (right), an unyielding champion of the conservative movement who spent three combative and sometimes caustic decades in Congress, where he relished his battles against liberals, Communists and occasionally a fellow Republican, died on the Fourth of July.
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