Afternoon News:

  • Roll Call reports that the Justice Department has broken new ground by charging former congressional staffers-turned-lobbyists Tony Rudy and Neil Volz with violating the one-year ban on lobbying their former employers.
  • The Los Angeles Times provides more information on the close relationship between former OMB and GSA employee David Safavian and criminal lobbyist Jack Abramoff. We are also reminded, through Safavian’s emails, that Safavian never stops kissing up to Abramoff ("Let me know if there is ANYTHING I can do to help.")
  • The Hill reports that 40 percent of earmarks would go unmarked and unnoticed thanks to loopholes in the lobbying and ethics "reform" bills passed by the Senate and the House.
  • Top Bush donor Tom Noe wants to change his "not guilty" plea to a "guilty" plea in a case where he is charged with illegally funnelling money to the President’s campaign, according to the Associated Press.
  • The Washington Times interviews anti-pork crusader Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK).