What’s Going on This Morning?


The above image is of the Connecticut legislature hard at work. I spot one game of free cell, one game of solitaire and one guy reading ESPN.com. This may be why they don’t allow computers on the floor of the House or Senate. Then again, you can always play crossword puzzles during committee hearings.

The New Republic has an excellent profile of Rep. John Murtha and the city of Johnstown, PA. This is one of the better pieces about the scandals swirling around the powerful Defense Appropriations Chair. This section stood out to me:

After much trial and error, in the mid-1980s, Murtha and Johnstown’s civic and business leaders finally arrived at an effective economic rescue strategy: leveraging Murtha’s position on the defense appropriations subcommittee to build a defense industry in Johnstown. For Murtha, it was a perfect solution–resolving the tension between foreign policy and local politics that had come to define his career. And it turned out to be a pretty good deal for Johnstown as well. “I remember being at some kind of party around 1983, and I met the head of economic development for the Pittsburgh region. And I said to him, ‘What would you do if you were running economic development here?’ ” recalls Mark Pasquerilla, who was then working for his father Frank, a shopping mall and hotel magnate and the richest man in Johnstown. “And he said–I remember this quote–‘I’ll tell you one thing that I would do: I’d grab onto Murtha’s coattails so tight, and I’d never let go.’ ”