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Bad move, Sen. Baucus

Suggestion for Sen. Max Baucus: How about, "I showed bad judgment."

The Montana Democrat at the center of the health-care debate found himself at the center of a juicier debate this weekend when reports surfaced that he had recommended a staffer-turned-girlfriend to be the U.S. attorney for Montana.

Let’s stipulate that the modern workplace can be a messy place. People work long hours in close quarters. Things happen. Marriages fail. Baucus says that he was separated from his wife, and that Melodee Hanes, his state director, was separated from her husband when they began dating last year. Both are now divorced and live together in Washington, in what Baucus spokesman Ty Matsdorf described as a "mature and happy relationship."

Let’s stipulate further that Hanes, a former state prosecutor, was, as Baucus said in a statement, "highly qualified" for the job. And that all sorts of factors come into play in recommending candidates to be U.S. attorney -- personal connections, political alliances, fundraising history.

But Max, Max, Max: You don’t push for your girlfriend. "Mel would have been an excellent U.S. Attorney for Montana," Baucus's statement said. "I for one did not want her relationship with me to disqualify her from applying for the position." Except it did. The flip side of accepting the occasional messiness of the workplace is recognizing that romantic entanglements can limit your career choices. It would have been perfectly acceptable for Baucus to urge that a longtime staffer be given the prosecutor post. That same recommendation becomes inappropriate when sex is involved.

Nepotism rules exist for a reason -- and sexual relationships can be even more complicated. Was their involvement public knowledge? Would Baucus have felt comfortable pushing his wife for the job, or a sibling? "As we grew closer and things progressed, we knew it was time to begin the process of Mel transitioning out of my Senate office," Baucus's statement said. Right -- but not into a job that you use your influence to help her get.

The choice of U.S. attorney is up to the president, but home-state senators -- especially ones as important to a White House as Baucus is to this one -- have a big voice. Baucus submitted Hanes's name along with five others to an "independent" reviewer -- i.e., a longtime campaign donor. The reviewer whittled the list to three, including Hanes, and Baucus sent that list, unranked, on to the White House. Shortly thereafter, Hanes withdrew from consideration and went to work in a political position at the Justice Department.

No harm, no foul, maybe, but another illustration of how public officials can be perfectly obtuse to the perfectly obvious. Then again, Baucus benefits from his enemies: Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele went, as usual, way too far, asserting that Baucus "used his Senate office to advance a taxpayer-funded appointment for his staff-member girlfriend" and demanding a Senate Ethics Committee investigation into "why Senator Baucus put his personal needs above those of the people of Montana."

Unfair -- and also just what Baucus should have expected from such a boneheaded move.

By Ruth Marcus  | December 6, 2009; 6:04 PM ET
Categories:  Marcus  | Tags:  Ruth Marcus  
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Nobody else seems to be bothered by the fact that the Obama administration ended up giving Sen. Baucus's live-in girlfriend a job at DOJ. The $100,000 or so she earns there is a pittance compared to the $100 million or more that it took to buy Sen. Mary Landrieu's vote, but as a Montanan I no longer believe that Baucus is representing me and my neighbors to the fullest.

Powell County voter

Posted by: Powell3 | December 6, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Remember the days when getting caught abusing your position for personal gain, being caught cheating on your spouse, cheating on your taxes where things that kept you out of Congress. Now the seem like must haves on your resume.

Spit in the face of your local congressperson next time you see them - they're scum. Just scum.

Posted by: majcsmith | December 6, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone remember Christine Niedermeier? I think Max owes her an apology. He ran her out of DC when she accused him off sexual harassment. Sounds like she was telling the truth.

Posted by: troubled2 | December 6, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

She's an attorney and he's a Senator and neither one "knew" that they should disclose a conflict of interest when she's living with the Senator who nominated her? That's so far below zero on the "We Believe" meter that it is just totally unbelievable.

Now we find that she was given a six-figure job in the Obama administration Dept of Justice? How can this be justified in an attorney who either did not recognize a blatantly obvious conflict of interest or did so but chose to cover it up and remain silent about it when she was nominated? It can't.

This is Chicago-style corruption of nepotism and hiring your relatives at its finest. Evidently Montana will tolerate their own version of Boss Tweed or Mayor Daley in Max Baucus.

And Charlie "Lying Tax Evader" Rangel is still not only not in prison, he's still in Congress and still Chairman of his committee. Crazy!

This is a completely corrupt government. Teapot Dome is nothing compared to the everyday inside deals in DC. How these crooks can cast stones at Wall Street when they are even bigger crooks themselves is hypocrisy taken to the limit. Now they want to usurp power over an additional one-sixth of the US economy by being able to wheel and deal over medical service and pharmaceuticals? Washington has become the equivalent of the Soviet Union's infamous apparatchiki culture. In order to do anything, you had to pay off the public officials who were in control. The political class is above all the rules that the peons are forced to live by. I am completely disgusted. Baucus should be forced to resign and his girlfriend should be tossed out of the DOJ for failure to disclose a material conflict of interest.

Posted by: mark_kaskin | December 6, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Excuse me...Steele may be a dolt, but how exactly was his statement "unfair"? Baucus IS using taxpayer money to give a plum job to his girlfriend. He obviously is using his "personal needs" to determine who is best qualified to serve Montana. He is hopelessly biased and conflicted, and can't exercise independent judgment. How do we know she didn't get nominated in exchange for promising that threesome that Max always wanted? Boy---a Democrat engages in blatant nepotism, and Ruth says its unfair to call it like it is.

Posted by: jacko1 | December 6, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

It's all about ethics and Senator Baucus has shown (again)that he thinks he's above ethics. His statement describing his relationship with a co-worker is arrogant and narcissistic .His recommendation of Hanes for the job is unprincipled.

What is it with these guys that they can't keep their pants zipped up at the workplace? Am I the only one that works at a corporation that prohibits romantic relationships at work?

As a life long Democrat who lives in Montana I am ashamed of the senator's behavior. Package this stunt with the slimy performance of the Democrats on the health care debacle and you know it’s nothing short of a fiasco.

At a minimum Baucus should focus on doing one part of his job within the normal ethical boundaries. Just one and 'we the people' would be better off.

Thanks for the article. You are one of the few reporters covering the story that has provided actual details.

Posted by: blenko2 | December 6, 2009 11:47 PM | Report abuse

The above is a diary at Daily Kos (I know, I know, most of them are awful) which details Hanes' questionable past as a prosecutor, including having a romantic relationship with the state medical examiner who was her star witness in a child abuse case.

As noted in the Kos diary, Hanes was criticized in a Court of Appeals decision for withholding evidence in a shaken baby case.
The court notes in a footnote that Hanes and Dr. Bennett were romantically involved during the case -- she being the prosecutor, he being the medical examiner.

Part of the opinion:

This is a sad and difficult case. A young boy is dead, while his father's conviction for the death rests on judicial proceedings that have raised multiple questions of fairness and just prosecution. Every court that has reviewed this case has been struck by certain aspects of the trial and actions of prosecutors that violate the fundamental notions of fair play on which our legal system is based. For example, the Iowa District Court for Polk County, addressing Morales's application for post-conviction relief, found prosecutor Hanes's instruction to withhold medical records from the defense team prior to the second autopsy "suspicious at best" and the prosecution-arranged meeting at which Kevin's treating physicians changed their opinions about the nature of Kevin's brain injury "questionable." *** We agree with the District Court that evidence of Dr. Bennett's marriage to prosecutor Hanes should have been permitted at trial to imply bias.

The Kos diary also links to a scathing, must-read LA Times article about Bennett and Hanes.

Posted by: strongerthandirt | December 6, 2009 11:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm one of those Progressive voters that believes the Democrats should dump turncoats like Baucus. His behaviour in the healthcare reform process has been a disgrace. His committee seemed to have no other goals than watering down the Public Option to the point of uselessness. Senators like Baucus, Nelson and Lincoln that do the republican's work for them by selling out their constituents and their party can expect to face primary challenges from real Progressives. Those challengers can expect donations from across the country, sent by progressive voters fed up with phony Democrats who vote republican and block progress. Incidents like this one with Baucus's girlfriend can only help convince voters to support the challenge and dump Max.

Posted by: fredfawcett | December 7, 2009 12:54 AM | Report abuse

What's your opinion, Ms. Marcus, of the appointment of Liz Cheney to a Assistant Secretary of State position, apparently newly created for her, when her father was VP? Did you write anything critical of that appointment?
I think (though I have not yet read the info on Daily Kos), that criticizing this appointment-that-did-not-happen is rather a waste of your valuable time...
Could we perhaps focus on the legislative sausage-making going on in the Senate at the moment? If you want to criticize someone, how about that serial hypocrite Joseph Lieberman? (I'm a CT Democrat)

Posted by: mhd51 | December 7, 2009 12:59 AM | Report abuse

Baucus doesn't have many friends left.

He should get a dog.

Posted by: ihatelogins | December 7, 2009 1:46 AM | Report abuse

Is Ruth the Post's new "Affairs" reporter?

The Post can afford someone devoted full time to panting after beltway sexual indiscretions, but doesn't have the budget for a real science reporter? Instead we get Juliet Elperin falling for hyperventilating rightwing blogosphere interpretations of the hacked UK climatology emails? And readers are left with the dangerous misconception that "hiding the decline" meant something dishonest, when it most clearly did not. Sheesh.

I really hate the media in this illiterate country.

Posted by: B2O2 | December 7, 2009 1:48 AM | Report abuse

Senator Baucus again shows voters his true interests....He is only out to further his own interests. He could care less about the voters. His fight to water down the public option in healthcare reform shows the large sums of money from health insurance companies to his campaign coffers has bought his vote. And now he wants a high-paying government job for his girlfriend...I would toss this clown out for someone who really represents the people....

Posted by: jantigard | December 7, 2009 1:53 AM | Report abuse

This is such a non-story. No one abused anything. Baucus probably should have used better judgement prior to submitting her name which she promptly withdrew. Nothing happened. The media is so obsessed with the trivial and spin, information is hard to come by.

Posted by: xclntcat | December 7, 2009 5:18 AM | Report abuse

This guy believes we are stupid. But the truth is we can not do anything to stop this guy or what he did!

Posted by: robinhood2 | December 7, 2009 5:23 AM | Report abuse

The arrogance of Congress is a stench we must get rid of.

We need a way to stop the movement of representation from the people to the lobby groups.

Posted by: joelwisch | December 7, 2009 5:58 AM | Report abuse

I suspect the release of this information was just a shot across the bow of all of the Dems that are not supporting Obamacare by Rahm Emanuel. He wants them to know he has enough dirt of each of them to make life unpleasent. Otherwise it is just a non story. Bacus was probably a little short of cash and wanted some tail. Happens every day in Washington. Go look at Barney Frank's boy friends. They all have good government jobs.

Posted by: jdonner2 | December 7, 2009 6:13 AM | Report abuse

Let’s stipulate further that Hanes, a former state prosecutor, was, as Baucus said in a statement, "highly qualified" for the job.

Hard to believe under the current light of scrutiny.

Posted by: theFieldMarshall | December 7, 2009 6:40 AM | Report abuse

Can't we make chemical castration available for our many Congressmen, like Baucus, who just can't keep it in their pants?? Two marriages. Now promoting his much younger girlfriend. Great display of family values.

Posted by: roscoe911 | December 7, 2009 7:21 AM | Report abuse

Regardless of whether or not she was "highly qualified," Senator Baucus showed shockingly poor judgment. As a Democrat, I find this sort of thing totally unacceptable. What else don't we know about this man?

As for all the Repubs who are attacking the Dems here, you live in a glass house and therefore should not throw stones. Weed out your own corrupt and inept.

Posted by: MNUSA | December 7, 2009 7:24 AM | Report abuse

Was this leaked to smear Baucus and to coerce him into voting for the Obamacare bill? Sounds like Rahm Emmanuel at work here. Just askin.

Posted by: DaMan2 | December 7, 2009 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Here is the thing. All this issue proves is how corrupt Washington has become. When the Republican's had the power all you could read or hear is how corrupt they had become.

Now that the opposing party is in command why do we think that the temptation toward corruption and self enrichment would be a thing of the past? It is human nature.

Too much power, concentrated in a small place leads to corruption on the scale we see today, regardless of the parties in power.

We should withhold power from the federal government and return to states holding the power.

We the people have created this Obama Nation.

Posted by: kl305 | December 7, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Baucus has consistently submitted that the sick and the elderly should pay more for health care. Finding out that he submittted his girlfriend for a job SHOULD be less shocking.

What country is this?

Posted by: primegrop | December 7, 2009 8:31 AM | Report abuse

This is the Chicago Mafia (Rahm Emanuel) in the White House going after Baucus for not including the public option in his bill. Just look at the timing. It is that simple. Look for more smear tactics from the White House during the health care debate.

Posted by: hz9604 | December 7, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Maybe she should bail out of the party and go work for David Vitter. Melodee??? I'm sure her name would appeal to him.

Posted by: mom108 | December 7, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

He was screwing a woman while he and she were married to other people.
No wonder he's a conservative- "do as I say, not as I do"
He ought to resign in disgrace and shame.
Instead, he's a pompous prik

Posted by: tru-indy | December 7, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Interesting double standard here. I recall that Elizabeth Dole served as DOT Secretary while her husband was Senate majority leader. And didn't Mitch McConnell's wife serve as Labor Secretary? (Both, I might add, earning much better salaries than a DOJ attorney?
Why have you decided that Democratic bedfellows are bad but if Republicans do it, it is OK. Shame on you for ignoring this obvius double standard !

Posted by: jhoran1 | December 7, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Interesting double standard here. I recall that Elizabeth Dole served as DOT Secretary while her husband was Senate majority leader. And didn't Mitch McConnell's wife serve as Labor Secretary? (Both, I might add, earning much better salaries than a DOHJ attorney?
Why have you decided that Democratic bedfellows are bad but if Republicans do it, it is OK. Shame on you for ignoring this obvious double standard !

Posted by: jhoran1 | December 7, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Interesting double standard here. I recall that Elizabeth Dole served as DOT Secretary while her husband was Senate majority leader. And didn't Mitch McConnell's wife serve as Labor Secretary? (Both, I might add, earning much better salaries than a DOJ attorney?
Why have you decided that Democratic bedfellows are bad but if Republicans do it, it is OK. Shame on you for ignoring this obvious double standard !

Posted by: jhoran1 | December 7, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

And there you have it folks - the problem with our Federal Government - too many guys thinking with the wrong parts of their anatomy and too many gals using their bodies to advance their careers. Time to vote out of office as many as we can come November 2010 then work on getting a Constitutional Convention to the people.

Posted by: shangps | December 7, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Paul Wolfowitz, a Republican, stepped down from high office simply because he'd given his girlfriend a raise.

Let's see if Baucus is half the man.

Bet he's not.

Democrats are morally blind.

Posted by: muawiyah | December 7, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

I have lots of experience with nepotism rules. These rules generally prohibit family members being selected into positions where another family member is in the supervisory channel. Baucus does not supervise U.S. Attorneys and therefore this is a non-issue. I have no idea what happened in the respective marriage of Baucus and his friend but I do not believe a highly qualified women should be ruled out of consideration for a position because she was living with the Senator. It is up to the people of Montana to decide whether Baucus is doing a good job for them. If they think his personal life is more important than his job performance then they should not vote for him.

Posted by: cdierd1944 | December 7, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Typical statement when a Democrat has an affair it's "bad judgment". when it's a Republican it is evil and criminal!!

Posted by: jjcrocket2 | December 7, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Is it possible to conclude that she was qualified without considering her personal relationship to Baucus?

Besides, doesn't the woman have some responsibility also? Ruth says Baucus is bad guy for advancing the career of his girlfriend, but she is silent on whether the girlfriend is guilty of trying sleep her way to the top. That seems unbalanced.

And the job is in Helena, Montana. If Baucus had tried to get his girlfriend from Helena into a Washington-based position then it would look differently. You don't send it to the artic north if you want it nearby.

Posted by: blasmaic | December 7, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Not much different than the Shaha Riza and Paul Wolfowitz/World Bank story from April 2007.


Posted by: laloomis | December 7, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Its time for the people of Montana to bring Mr. Baucus home for good. As a matter of fact its time for a new group of people to take over the reins of the legislative branch of government. Term limits will never come about so we had better start electing new blood into politics. People not poisoned by special interest and lobbyist who have perverted democracy. Never wait for tomorrow for what you can do today. Change change change
tom mcmahon
millis ma

Posted by: tommic856 | December 7, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Sen Jon Tester, a dailyKos wanna-be leftist, helped Baucus place his mistress in a job......

democrats are trash

Posted by: georgedixon | December 7, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Please jjcrocket, it's rightwingnuts who use words like evil.

As for criminal, what guys like Craig, Vitter, and Foley did: criminal.

At least Dem horndogs usually -- I said usually -- go in for normal sex with adult women.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | December 7, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

This should cost him by guaranteeing he'll support a public option in the health bill.

Posted by: theobserver4 | December 7, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

This is puritanical, sanctimonious crap! I don't care is Baucus made is house-boy a federal judge! What is he supposed to do? Serve the idiot voters?!? Scr@w that! Nepotism is the AMERICAN WAY! Deal with it!

Posted by: repubsux | December 7, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

She was highly qualified for the job and what, she can't have it because of who she's sleeping with? The issue here isn't Baucus' ethics it's the blatant sexism of a society that denies a job to a well qualified woman over a personal matter. Some shame is in order.

Posted by: destor23 | December 7, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

The good people of Montana are sure it was a simple coincidence...

Posted by: Phil6 | December 7, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Oh please. This is a nothing story about a nothing issue.
The tiniest amount of smoke and you'd think the universe was on fire.
Anything to divert attention from the real issues....

Posted by: TOMHERE | December 7, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

do not nominate,

anyone you inseminate.

Posted by: ProCounsel | December 7, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

The continuing saga that is Congress.

Posted by: jckdoors | December 7, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Baucus is no favorite of mine.

But the specter of Marcus clucking about it like a sillly old hen is toooo easy.

Opportunist, bizy body, etc. There are plenty of problems in congress, let her
look at something with a little more heft, some real heft!
Maybe some AIPAC stuff?

Posted by: whistling | December 7, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Senator Baucus is, famously, one of the dimmest bulbs in the Senate. Why do voters elect really stupid people to represent them?

Perhaps every legislature in both houses should be required to take an "IQ" test before being seated, and repeat same at the beginning of each session.

I am so angry to see so many up there who wouldn't qualify to manage a hamburger stand if they were forced out of their cushy nests in Washington and required to earn a living.

Really, the nation would be better off if every goddam incumbent in the country were vote out. Every last one of them.

Posted by: Casey1 | December 7, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I would point out that, over the entire history of our nation, the First Lady has held her office by having a sexual relationship with the President...

Posted by: jerkhoff | December 7, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Michael Steele says a lot of dumb things, but I don't see where what he has to say about Baucus is off base. Baucus pretty clearly did use his taxpayer-funded office to advance an appointment for his girlfriend, and put his personal needs about those of Montanans.

Posted by: dakotadoug83 | December 7, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Marcus, are you implying that Baucus, "Did it for love" ? Hahahaha, good call.

Posted by: truthhurts | December 7, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Wow, so he really thought he could just recommend her without any reprocussions? Since when did we start putting idiots in elected positions?

Wait, never mind. I seem to remember a dullard holding a pretty high office not too long ago.

Oh well. Democracy, you had a good run, but I'm afraid the people are no longer qualified to rule themselves.

Posted by: joshlct | December 7, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

It must be that ethereal realm that upper echelon elected official occupy that turns off their ability to distinguish between proper and improper. Some of these people could seriously benefit from term limitations. Unhappily, there are other members of Congress who behave like adults and accumulate valuable knowledge and expertise that would be lost. Maybe members should sit an examination to determine whether they are eligible to have their individual term limitations waived. The number of stupid moves like the one Baucus tried to pull would lower the mark proportionately.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | December 7, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

"Spit in the face of your local congressperson next time you see them - they're scum.
Just scum."
Posted by: majcsmith | December 6, 2009 7:55 PM
That's a blanket, very immature broadside, don't you think, Smitty?
Tell me something:
Have you been making sure some of your family members are living pure lives?
How 'bout your boss -- or your boss's boss?
How 'bout the president of the company you work for?
Are you absolutely certain that no one in your circle of friends, including your pastor, if you attend a church, or any major church worker, isn't violating their marriage vows, or checking out local airport bathrooms, or piddling with underage kids?
In this age of hyperactive papparatzia, you're certainly able to check out every member of the human race, including the kids that work at the gas stations or supermarkets or restaurants you frequent, to make sure that all your human contacts are "pure" ones, don't you?
I am not defending Max Baucus, or Larry Craig, or John Ensign or Gov. Sanford; I'm just saying don't paste the whole Congress, the entire administration or the court system with such a broad brush, for pete's sake.
If you worked in Washington and you applied for a better job, you would be crazy NOT to include a recommendation from your Congressman or Senator.
So drop that broad brush back in your bucket and slink away, like the teabagger you are, please.

Posted by: Judy-in-TX | December 7, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

However bad nepotism is I'm sure she is far better qualified than some Bush appointee with a degree from Falwell's Liberty University or Pat Robertson's Regent University.

Posted by: MerrillFrank | December 7, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

We love our Senator Baucus in Montana!
they saw that the republicrite naysayers would make an issue out of it and withdrew, subject closed!

We are lucky to have Senator Baucus in Montana!

Posted by: philosopherkingtomas | December 7, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Us Montanans love our Senator!

Posted by: philosopherkingtomas | December 7, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

the real issue is the timing.....

all the dems in wash are morally degenerate on their best day--

but yesterday this is on the wash po

who is delivering a dead fish to baucus

and why???

Posted by: ProCounsel | December 7, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Operation: CLEAN SLATE

Objective: 1.To throw out every incumbent (Republican and Democrat) in the 2010 election cycle.

Objective: 2.To continues to toss every incumbent out every election cycle until they realize that they represent "We the people" not the lobbyist throwing out the most cash.

Objective: 3. to repeal Nafta and make free trade actually work for our benifit

Objective: 4. to restore sanity to our immigration nightmare

Objective: 5. to impose tariffs on countries that cheat the system by artificially holding down the value of their currency (china)

Objective: 6. bring before the courts any American citizen who knowingly sold out their allegiance to the American people for money from a foreign government.

Objective: 7. Bring before the courts any American politician who sold his allegiance to the American people by accepting money from lobbyist and then going against the wishes of his constituency and voting in favor of his lobbyist companies.

Objective: 8. Term limits of no longer than 2 terms

The day of the career politician must end if we ever want sanity to prevail in our country

Posted by: scon101 | December 7, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

"Michael Steele went, as usual, way too far"

No, he said it plainly. Only in washington is telling the truth going "way too far".

She screwed a powerful old man, and in return he got her a job as a lawyer. And pointing that out is going way too far in your book.

Ruthie, give us all a break.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | December 7, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

I'd say all those clowns, regardless of party affiliation, should undergo a mandatory castration. The morale and integrity of their respective offices will skyrocket, as they will be concentrating on serving the people, i.e. what their election slogans said. Imagine no more in-office blow jobs to keep their vital signs up...And their procedures could be paid out of that Public Option of theirs. Imagine how much dough will be saved, once they realize that they no longer need to fly personal jets at tax payers expence to get laid....

Posted by: valbmet | December 7, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Remember the days when getting caught abusing your position for personal gain, being caught cheating on your spouse, cheating on your taxes where things that kept you out of Congress. Now the seem like must haves on your resume.

Spit in the face of your local congressperson next time you see them - they're scum. Just scum.

Posted by: majcsmith | December 6, 2009 7:55 PM


Which country do you speak of? It's not the US.

Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin ... you can go all the way back to the Founding Fathers fooling around on the side.

The thought that at any time in history that people of power anywhere were always virtuous is just silly.

Posted by: James10 | December 7, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

A Position for a Submission

There was an old Senator named Baucus,
Who's late midlife behavior got raucous,
All the girls on his staff
Would often whisper and laugh,
When he'd invite them to bed for a caucus.

Soon Max saw what blind men can see,
The fact that old guys don't get it for free
If you want to impress 'em
So that you can undress 'em
Tell her you'll make her the U.S. Attorney!

When the press learned about Max's scheme,
They decided to play on his team,
So they kept the story quiet,
'Til Max couldn't deny it,
Then the hypocrites started to scream.

They pretended that they didn't know
That Max left his wife for a pro,
But they'd known for a year,
And soon Montana would hear,
They were shacked up in Max's chateau!

So the next time you do something rash,
And you don't want your dentures to gnash,
Remember - the Senator who gets lecherous,
Causes the press to get treacherous,
So don't pay with a job, just use cash!

Poetically Yours,

Charles Ulysses Feney
Livingston, Montana

Posted by: ChuckFeney | December 7, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

All of Mr. Baucus' actions should now be questioned, because of this perfect example of how he conducts the business of government.

What other relationships are coloring his judgement? Regarding his objection to the best interests of his constituents, and competition for the nation's insurance industry vis-a-vis the public option?

Do tell.

Posted by: onestring | December 7, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

The sense of entitlement of our members of Congress is truly amazing. The recent stories of how their stock portfolios perform at suspiciously better rates than everyone else's is the best example of how they place themselves above the laws and rules that govern the rest of us. Insider trading? Illegal for the "little people" but not for Congress. I have a standing yearly bet that once a year, buried in some unrelated bill, Congress will vote themselves a hefty pay raise. Haven't lost yet. But the American people lose every day with what we have running our lives. Our vote counts for less and less every election.

Posted by: tvanzandt | December 7, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Well, why not? He's in bed with the insurance companies, so he naturally assumed...

Posted by: raschumacher | December 7, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

The only screwing I'm worried about is the screwing he is doing to me on health care.

Posted by: rusty3 | December 7, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Baucus deserves what he gets. He not only lied to his superiors and cheated, but also used his position to exploit tax payers by blocking the public option from his bill. He is a DINO in Republican clothing and manners, and don't mean that as a compliment.

Posted by: Single_Payer | December 8, 2009 1:01 AM | Report abuse

Baucus deserves what he gets. He not only lied to his superiors and cheated, but also used his position to exploit tax payers by blocking the public option from his bill. He is a DINO in Republican clothing and manners, and I don't mean that as a compliment.

Posted by: Single_Payer | December 8, 2009 1:03 AM | Report abuse

Was this the article for the "babe in the woods" commenters? Only DaMan2 and jdonner2 (and me, of course) got it. This thing with Baucus goes on dozens of times per DAY!!! Half the Dems in the House including Representative-for-Life Jim Moran are under investigation for ethics violations. Since Baucus's lady got another job courtesy of the White House, this is a non-issue.

This is a smear campaign against Baucus by the Chicago Mafia in the White House for Baucus's failure to support the public option.

By the way, Michael Steele missed it too. He had a chance to finger the WH Chicago Mafia and did not do it.

Posted by: hz9604 | December 8, 2009 7:39 AM | Report abuse

By the way, Michael Steele missed it too. He had a chance to finger the WH Chicago Mafia and did not do it.
* * * * * * * * * * * *

Michael Steele is a schmuck. I am telling that to you as a Republican. If the GOP bosses truly wanted to clean up the mess that -W- left, they should have offered the NRC Chairman position to Powell. That's the guy I respect. No BS - just deeds.
It looks that our Government succeeded in defying the laws of anatomy by the way what organs they use for thinking....

Posted by: valbmet | December 8, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

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