Morning News:

  • The San Bernardino Sun reports that two more cities have been subpoenaed in the federal investigation of Appropriations Chairman [sw: Jerry Lewis] (R-CA) and his ties to the lobbying firm Copeland Lowery Jacquez Denton & White. The subpoenas issued to the two cities, Loma Linda and Twentynine Palms, push the total number of subpoenas issued so far to six in the investigation of Lewis’ earmark practices.
  • David Safavian, aside from testifying that he is a doofus, also stated that he provided "a lot of insight and advice" to Jack Abramoff, according to the New York Times.
  • House Democrats are holding a steering committee meeting today that many expect to center on Rep. [sw: William Jefferson]’s (D-LA) seat on the Ways and Means Committee. Jefferson, facing an imminent indictment for his role in a number of crooked deals, was asked to step down by Minority Leader [sw: Nancy Pelosi] (D-CA) but refused. Pelosi is expected to ask the Democratic Caucus to remove Jefferson from his committee seat and possibly replace him with another member of the Congressional Black Caucus.
  • According to The Hill, [sw: Tom DeLay] (R-TX) will be leaving Congress this Friday and it looks like he’ll be slipping out the back door and not leaving with the bluster and pomp that he was known for during his tenure as one of the most powerful men on Capitol Hill.
  • The Hill reports that the oil and gas industry is ramping up the fear rhetoric after the House voted to force oil companies to renegotiate their oil leases signed in 1998 and 1999. The industry is declaring that if this law passes the Senate than it would increase foreign investment in the Gulf of Mexico. After the vote in the House I did a quick run-down on oil-and-gas contributions to the Republicans who voted "Yea" and found that they took a significantly less from the industry than the average Republican. My colleague Larry Makinson did a more extensive review of career numbers and found the same pattern.
  • And for some lighter news: "A struggling art galley is hoping a showing and possible sale of a pair of paintings by imprisoned ex-U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant Jr. will keep it open."