Top of the Morning:

  • TPM Muckraker reports (via the Washington Post) that Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA), already under fire for his relationships with crooked characters Jack Abramoff and Brent Wilkes, "has been paying for babysitters out of his campaign till". Doolittle has spent $5,881 of his PAC money on child care costs since 2001. At least that’s better than Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) who used his PAC to pay for groceries and Starbucks.
  • Hotline On Call Blog posts a quote from Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL)  pillorying the Senate for their profligant additions to the emergency supplemental bill. "Any calls from the Senate for an across-the-board cut to make room for a bloated supplemental will be met by a busy signal in the House. The House will not join a shell-game spending spree with taxpayer dollars."
  • The aforementioned Sen. Santorum seems to be in trouble again. Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington (CREW) has filed a complaint with the FEC alleging that two former staffers for Santorum "violated several provisions of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA)." I feel that someone should keep a tally of which legislator receives the most filed complaints against them by CREW in a given year.
  • The Los Angeles Times reports that Rep. Dana Rohrbacher (R-CA), once an aspiring screenwriter, "will return $23,000 he received for a screenplay option from a Hollywood producer who pleaded guilty Tuesday to defrauding dozens of people into investing in a bogus television series about the U.S. Department of Homeland Security." This happens to be one of the funnier tales of influence buying in the current Congress but it leaves one question. Why didn’t Rohrabacher sell his conservative themed script to his buddy Jack Abramoff, former movie producer? Abramoff produced the unbelievably bad conservative movie "Red Scorpion", why couldn’t he help make Rohrabacher’s tale of a grizzled war veteran who goes into Baja California with a stereotypical liberal straw man and hijinks ensue. I guess the answer is that if you want to make a wretched movie like that you need to have the backing of the secret intelligence service of an oppressive regime.