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The Sleuth: June 14, 2009 - June 20, 2009

Dan Burton, Protecting the House From Terrorists (Alone)

Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) is still tilting at windmills, or large fruit as it were. Burton, whose infamous conspiracy theories during the Clinton years earned him the nickname "Watermelon Dan," is at it again. Last night he tried to offer one of the wackier amendments to the legislative branch appropriations bill - a measure that would order a cost benefit analysis of building a...

By Mary Ann Akers  |  June 19, 2009; 1:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
 
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Ensign Interns Want Out

It would appear that the interns in Sen. John Ensign's (R-Nev.) office either aren't pleased with their boss's philandering ways or are worried about what kind of future they have in his office. The intern coordinator in Ensign's office sent out the following e-mail this afternoon at 4:02 p.m. with importance "high" attached to it: Good Afternoon- This is Jessica from Ensign's office. I...

By Mary Ann Akers  |  June 18, 2009; 4:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
 
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No Outrage From PETA Over Obama's Fly Killing

We expected more outrage from PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, over President Obama's brutal slaying of an innocent fly. Alas, the typically shrill group doesn't really seem to care. PETA's Alisa Mullins writes on the group's blog, "Believe it or not, we've actually been contacted by multiple media outlets wanting to know PETA's official response to the executive insect execution. In...

By Mary Ann Akers  |  June 18, 2009; 11:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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Why Now, John Ensign?

Nevada Sen. John Ensign. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken) Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) has yet to answer the most pressing question arising from his admission of an extramarital affair: why now, 10 months after his affair with a staffer ended, is he coming forward to air his dirty laundry? That question has been posed to him by his hometown paper, the Las Vegas Sun. But so...

By Mary Ann Akers  |  June 18, 2009; 9:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (51)
 
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Harry Reid Still Hearts Ensign, and Other Tales

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) isn't exactly shying away from his state's other senator, John Ensign (R), in this time of crisis for the Nevada Republican. Last night, Reid's spokesman, Jon Summers, deemed the revelation about Ensign's extramarital affair a "very personal matter" and said "Senator Reid's thoughts are with Senator Ensign and his family as they go through this difficult time." And today...

By Mary Ann Akers  |  June 17, 2009; 2:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Democrats to Donors: Be Very Afraid, Give Money

Democrats are rethinking the strategy of maligning Republicans as a band of dysfunctional losers, lest liberal loyalists let down their guard and hang on to their wallets. The executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, J.B. Poersch, sent out a fundraising e-mail to supporters today warning: "Don't believe what you've heard about a GOP in disarray. They're mad, they're organized, and they're determined...

By Mary Ann Akers  |  June 16, 2009; 3:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Progressive Group Will Still Honor Patrick Kennedy

Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) is making headlines again. (File photo, Nov. 4, 2008.) So what if he's in rehab? The 21st Century Democrats, a 527 special interest organization, is still honoring Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) at its annual gala tomorrow night. But don't expect to see Kennedy, who entered a medical treatment facility last week, at the dinner. An email sent today from the group's...

By Mary Ann Akers  |  June 16, 2009; 12:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Palin and Michelle Obama, Two Very Different Reactions

Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska and First Lady Michelle Obama are handling insensitivity in different ways. (Al Grillo/AP, Yuri Gripas/Reuters) Updated, 12:02 p.m. ET Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin isn't the only politician whose near and dear ones have been the butt of insensitive jokes. Michelle Obama was recently the subject of a racist comment made on Facebook by a Republican activist in South Carolina who...

By Mary Ann Akers  |  June 16, 2009; 11:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
 
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Byrd Turns to the More Youthful Inouye For Help

Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) remains hospitalized but has begun physical therapy with the hope of being released soon, his office announced today. And he has turned to a younger senator to execute his duties while he's away from Capitol Hill. "[Sen. Byrd's] spirits are extremely high and he continues to appreciate the well wishes from all, especially the people of West Virginia," read a statement...

By Mary Ann Akers  |  June 15, 2009; 5:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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