Capitol Hillbillies

Vitter has long history with prostitutes

Disgraced Louisiana Republican Conservative Senator David Vitter not only liked high-priced call girls in Washington, DC, but frequented a pricey brothel in his hometown of New Orleans and had a “Tuesdays and Thursdays” fling with another prostitute in the 1990s.

But Republican officials in Louisiana helped cover up Vitter’s dalliances with prostitutes, saying “it’s very sleazy, and it’s illegal. But, OK, it doesn’t apply to senators. They’re an elite group.”

Politicians won’t fix immigration

Here’s the real story about why we’re not going to solve the problem of illegal immigration in this country. The politicians who have the power to fix it don’t want a solution because they make points exploiting the issue.

There’s something for everyone to demagogue. Why would a class of people who make their livelihoods out of offering false claims about controversial problems want to give up an issue that’s so easy to manipulate?

GOP Senator used prostitute service

Republican Senator David Vitter, a Lousiana politician who campaigned on a record of “family values” paid for prostitutes from the service of the infamous “DC Madam,” Deborah Jeane Palfrey.

Vitter admitted Monday night that he has committed “a very serious sin in my past” after his telephone number appeared on Palfrey’s call list.

Vitter’s spokesman, Joel Digrado, confirmed the statement in an e-mail sent to The Associated Press.

Let the battles begin

Congressmen returning from their Independence Day break are ready for battle with the White House, with Democrats decrying President Bush’s commutation of former aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby’s prison sentence and fighting Bush’s latest claim of executive privilege.

Both events occurred around Congress’ vacation, inflaming an intense battle between Democrats and Bush over his use of executive power. There was relatively high tension on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue as majority Democrats — and increasing numbers of Republicans — challenged Bush’s Iraq war policy.

More Republicans bail on Bush’s war

The tide of Republican defections from President George W. Bush’s camp swelled Saturday when two more US senators joined the chorus of critics of his Iraq policy, demanding change.

But while expressing sharp disagreement with the strategy of “surging” the number of US troops in Iraq, Senators Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Judd Gregg of New Hampshire stopped short of backing legislation that would force the White House to begin a drawdown of US troops in Iraq.

“It should be clear to the president that there needs to be a new strategy,” said Alexander told The Los Angeles Times. “Our policy in Iraq is drifting.”

Who’s next to defect on Iraq?

After the recent defection of prominent Republicans on the Iraq war, the big question in Washington is who might be next.

More than a dozen Republican senators who are running for re-election next year head the list of lawmakers to watch. But others, too, have expressed concerns that the GOP has grown increasingly vulnerable on the issue. As the clock ticks toward Election Day, voter pressure is building against any lawmaker still standing with President Bush on the war.

DC madam can now tell all

A woman accused of running a prostitution ring in the nation’s capital is free to distribute thousands of pages of phone records after a federal judge lifted a restraining order on Thursday.

U.S. District Court Judge Gladys Kessler’s order granted the request of Deborah Jeane Palfrey, 51, of Vallejo, Calif., to quash restrictions by government prosecutors that prohibited her from giving away the list.

“As a result, Jeane has determined to release those records under certain conditions to qualified individuals or organizations,” wrote her attorney, Montgomery Blair Sibley, in an e-mail.

Lieberman may back Republican

U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, an independent who supports Democrats in Congress despite his backing of the Iraq war, said on Thursday he was not ruling out endorsing a Republican in the White House race.

The 2000 Democratic vice presidential candidate said he also wants to see if an independent enters the crowded field of 2008 presidential hopefuls.

“I’m going to chose whichever candidate that I think will do the best job for our country, regardless of the party affiliation of that candidate,” the Connecticut senator told reporters in the state capital Hartford.

Another GOP Senator breaks with Bush

Another veteran Republican senator Thursday broke with President George W. Bush over Iraq, days before a new war powers tussle was due to start in Congress.

New Mexico Senator Pete Domenici, a senator for more than three decades, up for reelection in 2008, was the third Republican elder statesman to publicly turn against the president’s troop ‘surge’ policy within 10 days.

“I am unwilling to continue our current strategy,” Domenici said at a news conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico, blaming the Iraqi government for not making sufficient progress to merit the sacrifices of US troops.

Bush, Democrats share in hypocrisy

The hypocrisy is unpardonable. President Bush’s decision to commute the sentence of a convicted liar brought out the worst in both parties and politics.

In keeping I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby out of jail, Bush defied his promise to hold wrongdoers accountable and undercut his 2000 campaign pledge to “restore honor and dignity” to the White House. And it might be a cynical first step toward issuing a full pardon at the conclusion of his term.

Democrats responded as if they don’t live in glass houses, decrying corruption, favoritism and a lack of justice.