Capitol Hill Bureau Chief
Good morning, Capitolists! If you're fed up with profligate government spending, I have two tiny nuggets that may cheer you up. The first is news that the House voted against its annual automatic pay raise yesterday. (Where do I sign up for an automatic pay raise?)
The second is that President Obama skipped the fancy digs in Des Moines last night and stayed at the Hampton Inn during his trip to Iowa. And if my clocks are right this morning, he should be enjoying a delicious complimentary continental breakfast right about now.
After visits with real people in Iowa and Missouri today, POTUS will be back in D.C. tonight, and here's the news he'll come back to.
- Once More, With Feeling.
The Senate will take its third vote in three days to begin debating a bill to reform Wall Street's shady ways. Democrats can't get enough of seeing the GOP hang together to stall the bill, but Republicans like Susan Collins tell me their plan is working. "I believe we've had the desired result of forcing bipartisan negotiations to produce a comprehensive bill that will garner broad support," she said yesterday. Republicans say they're close to a deal, but not there yet, so expect the vote to fail again today unless something big changes.
- Dirty Business.
One of the most unusual features of yesterday's hearing with Goldman Sachs executives was repeated use by senators, including Carl Levin and Claire McCaskill, of the word "shitty," a first for me in more than 10 years of sitting through usually yawn-inducing panels. But the lawmakers weren't trying to make the witnesses blush -- they were just quoting the Goldman Sachs' execs own e-mails from the days when the whiz kids noticed "shitty" investments on their books and asked which customers they could sell them off to.
- Paterson Fighting for Furloughs.
Faced with a $10 billion shortfall, New York's Gov. David Paterson said yesterday that he'll propose a once-a-week furlough for the state's 100,000 government workers, reports the New York Post
. But a spokesman for the Democrat-controlled state legislature predicts, "It's not going to happen."
- Laura Bush Poisoned?
Possibly. In her new book, Mrs. Bush reveals that she, the president and several members of their delegation became mysteriously ill during a trip to Germany for a G-8 summit. The lovely former first lady delves into lots of other hot topics, according to the New York Times
, including a defense of her husband's handling of Hurricane Katrina, a smackdown for "graceless" Harry Reid, and her memory of a car accident when she was a teenager that left a high school friend dead.
- The Fix Is In.
And finally, a hearty Capitolist congrats to Chris Cillizza, the creator of the Washington Post's "The Fix" column and the nicest man in political reporting. The campaign Rain Man has been named managing editor for the Post's new politics website,
which we happily add to our morning reading, and you should too . . . after you read Politics Daily.