They've got muck; we've got rakes. TPM Muckraker

The Daily Muck

The dismal irony of the crooked system is that Republicans -- who still manage to mumble the words "smaller government, lower taxes" through mouthfuls of pork -- are the greatest abusers of the system. Since taking control of Congress in 1994, earmarking has exploded. It's a shame, really; this is one area where a devout conservative could really do some good. (The Hill)

Idaho Senator Popular in the Virgin Islands

More popular than in Idaho, anyhow. Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID), received "more than twice as much money in donations from people in the U.S. Virgin Islands than from his home state last year, according to the Federal Elections Commission." That's $39,000 from the Virgin Islands and $22,000. $39,000 is pretty remarkable for a population of 110,000 - about $.35 from each Virgin Island resident. What are they so into Crapo about? "Lobbyists for the islands are trying to reduce the number of days a person must remain on the islands to be considered a resident, an issue that could have tax benefits." (AP)

Kempthorne in at Interior

More news from Idaho. Gov. Dirk Kempthorne of Idaho has been picked to head up the Department of the Interior, and it should be no surprise that his record on the environment is, well, underwhelming. The League of Conservation Voters has awarded him with the lifetime score of 1% - better than nothing! (NYT, AP, The Stakeholder)

Claude Allen - He Learned from The Master

"But the more we hear about what Allen is accused of, the less it sounds like kleptomania and the more it sounds like an application of Bush economic policy." (Slate)

Ashcroft Cashes In

The NY Times talks to him about his new lobby shop. The first Attorney General ever to go on to be a lobbyist, he sounds a bit defensive about his choice to guide contractors to the sweet Homeland Security honey pot. "In the hourlong interview, Ashcroft used the word 'integrity' scores of times." (NYT)

Gen. Myers Cashes in

The former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has landed a sweet gig at defense contracting giant Northrop Grumman on its board of directors. $200,000 a year (half in stock) - eight scheduled meetings a year, two by phone. Sweet, sweet retirement. (The Swamp)

Reform

Another plan has entered the House fray:

Reps. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) have become the latest entrants into the Congressional ethics reform debate, with the introduction of their bill to abolish the House ethics committee and replace it with an "Independent Ethics Commission" made up of 11 former Members of the House.

(Roll Call)

Boom Time for Defense Contracting

The stock of the Pentagon's two largest contractors, Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin, are at all time highs. (Marketwatch)

Katherine Harris Second-Guessed

Is $10 million going to do it? The consensus seems to be...no. no. no. (The Hotline, Washington Post, The Ledger

DeLay's Sore Losers

It still stings for the three Republicans who were trounced by an indictee earlier this month in the primary election - and counter to party decorum, they're refusing to endorse DeLay. (The Hill)

Covered Yesterday

Duke Cunningham briber / crooked defense contractor Mitchell Wade's tentacles extended to counterintelligence services with the Department of Energy...(link)

Whatever Happened to the Senate Intel Iraq Probe...(link)

Claude Allen - Spin Master...(link)

Thompson Facing Conflict of Interest?...(link)