The Daily Muck


Former Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-LA) has been identified (sub. req.) as the unnamed lawmaker in Rep. William Jefferson’s (D-LA) indictment. While chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Tauzin wrote a letter praising iGate, the company that Jefferson allegedly funneled contracts while in office. (Roll Call)

Rep. David Obey (D-WI), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, is insisting that all members of Congress list and sign all earkmarks one month before the bill comes up for final approval. Meanwhile, channeling his inner elementary school teacher, Obey has announced that there “will be no earmarks for anybody” if Republican members criticize individual earmarks to score political points. (NY Times)

About one-quarter of the flight hours logged on the only FBI plane that can make international trips- a plane that was requested to fly counterterrorism agents on missions to Iraq- are attributed to Director Robert Mueller, who uses the plane to get to speaking events and to visit field offices. (Washington Post)Another blow to the judicial system constructed around Guantanamo detainees came yesterday when a federal appeals court ruled that United State’s citizens residing in the country cannot be seized and labeled enemy combatants. (Wall Street Journal)

As a measure of the close relationship between government and industry, the FDA met 112 times with industry representatives while revising their drug-review policy. During the same time, the FDA met with consumer and patient groups only five times. (USA TODAY)

The Department of Veteran Affairs claimed earlier this year that 95% of their patients schedule medical appointments within 30 days, a sign that the department is doing well. However, according to McClatchy Newspapers, this success rate is overstated, with the true percentage of appointments closer to 75%.

James Baker and Lee Hamilton questioned yesterday whether the original withdrawal date of March 2008 advocated in the Iraq Security Group was still feasible, given that a policy of future withdrawal has not been adopted in the six months since they first made the recommendation. (Associated Press)

The push from former Defense Secretary Rumsfeld to encourage “jointness” of the military has diminished the Army’s influence in key decision making, despite its dominant role in the missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Associated Press)

A Floridian columnist is hopping mad about Rep. Don Young’s Coconut Road. (Miami Herald)

Are you a congressional staffer? Are you worried your boss is no longer on the straight and narrow? The Politico can help you determine if you work for a crooked lawmaker.

The Office of Special Counsel sent a letter to the President yesterday arguing that GSA Administrator should be punished to the “fullest extent” for violating the Hatch Act. (Associated Press)