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November 15, 2006
Quick Hits On Ethics

Well, it's certainly been a fine day for ethics in government. Trent Lott returned to Republican leadership by 25-24 vote of the now-minority GOP caucus:

Mississippi Sen. Trent Lott, ousted from the top Senate Republican leadership job four years ago because of remarks considered racially insensitive, won election to the No. 2 post Wednesday for the minority GOP in the next Congress.

But Lott deferred to newly elected party leader Mitch McConnell when asked whether he feels vindicated by the 25-24 secret ballot. "The spotlight belongs on him," Lott said of his Kentucky colleague, unanimously chosen to succeed Sen. Bill Frist as the top-ranking Senate GOP leader.

But Lott's comeback-kid victory was generating the most buzz in the Capitol hallways. Lott, who was pressured to step down from the Senate's top spot more than four years ago, returned to the center of power by nosing out Sen. Lamar Alexander, who had made an 18-month bid for the post.

Earlier today, I endorsed Lott's opponent Lamar Alexander for the post. I only wish I'd known earlier that the Senate would vote today on these positions. In a series of e-mail messages between several members of the Porkbusters coalition, some argued that Lott may have been the lesser of the two evils, as Alexander also has an affinity for pork. All I can say is that if Trent Lott represents the lesser of two pork evils in the GOP Senate caucus, then we're going to lose more elections, and probably deservedly so.

However, not all is bleak. The Democrats have apparently adopted a strategy to make themselves look even worse than the GOP. John Murtha appeared on Hardball to declare his new Speaker's ethics legislation "total crap":

“Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) told a group of Democratic moderates on Tuesday that an ethics and lobbying reform bill being pushed by party leaders was ‘total crap,’ but said that he would work to enact the legislation because Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) supports it,” John Bresnahan reports for Roll Call.

“Even though I think it’s total crap, I’ll vote for it and pass it because that’s what Nancy wants,” Murtha said, three sources at the meeting told the Capitol Hill newspaper.

Hot Air has plenty more at this post. It seems that both parties are attempting to win a dumb-off, as Dean Barnett commented earlier today. I'm not sure which party will win, but the American taxpayer will be the loser no matter what. Unfortunately, neither party recognizes the damage they've done to themselves before the next session ever starts.

So what can we use to lift our spirits? Bill of INDC gives us a reason to believe. He's going to embed with the Marines in Iraq on behalf of the Examiner (to which I also contribute) and his own blog:

Starting in very late December, I'll be traveling to Western Iraq to embed with the Marines, publishing both independent blog items and op-eds for the Washington Examiner. Specific destinations (thus far) include Ramadi, Habbaniyah (the headquarters of the Iraqi First Army and several IA boot camps), Fallujah and Baghdad. Prioritized is an embed with Military Transition Teams advising First and Seventh Iraqi Army units[.]

Bill joins a robust cadre of embedded reporters dedicated to bringing America the true stories of combat and nation-building from the front lines. Bill's addition will bring the number of embedded journalists to a grand total of ... 10. Bill needs some assistance in getting the equipment he needs, so please visit and throw a few dinars his way. It's the one piece of good news that I've heard today.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 15, 2006 8:22 PM

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» Trent Lott? from Sensible Mom
Geez Louise, must they select Trent Lott for a leadership position? That man screams sleaze with his slick hair and attitude. I just don't understand why anyone would elect him given his toxicity. There are politicians, as I've said before, [Read More]

Tracked on November 15, 2006 9:32 PM

» Quick Hits On Ethics from Bill's Bites
Quick Hits On EthicsEd Morrissey Well, it's certainly been a fine day for ethics in government. Trent Lott returned to Republican leadership by 25-24 vote of the now-minority GOP caucus:Mississippi Sen. Trent Lott, ousted from the top Senate Republican... [Read More]

Tracked on November 15, 2006 10:02 PM

» In The Blog's-Eye: Trent Lott Is Back For More from Beltway Blogroll
Trent Lott once described himself as the "first pelt" of bloggers on the hunt for political victims. They are credited with driving the Mississippi Republican from the Senate majority leader's post in 2002 after he praised 1948 segregationist president... [Read More]

Tracked on November 16, 2006 9:43 AM

» Double Standards 101 from Blogmeister USA
Don't you just love it? In his first interview since reportedly calling a Democratic bill on lobbying and ethics "total crap," Rep. John Murtha told "Hardball" host Chris Matthews he meant it was "crap" to deal with ethics problems when... [Read More]

Tracked on November 16, 2006 10:27 AM

» Apprarently, Murtha Didn't Have The Votes After All from Iowa Voice
We heard yesterday how Murtha "had the votes" to be Majority Leader. Either that was an outright lie, or everyone was for him before they were against him: House Democrats picked Rep. Steny Hoyer to be majority leader on Thursday, spurning Rep. Nancy [Read More]

Tracked on November 16, 2006 1:32 PM


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