Sometimes it only makes sense to focus our attention on those questions that are equal parts trivial and intriguing. And to that end I call your attention to the Campaign for America's Future (CAF) website and their list of political giving by Tom DeLay's leadership PAC, ARMPAC. (For some reason, whenever I write that name, I can't help but thinking 'armpit'. But perhaps that's my bias speaking.) The list is quite helpful in understanding the vote on the DeLay Rule, particularly up at the higher reaches where we find Rep. Mike Ferguson (#1) pulling down over $42,000 or Minnesota's John Kline (#10) raking in over $30,000.
But hop over to the list and scroll all the way down and you'll see a non-trivial number of reps. who got $20 or $14 or -- humiliation of humiliations! -- $6 from the Bugman.
Now, unfortunately, I suspect there must be some quite mundane explanation for these micro-payments. But such an explanations don't satisfy my curiosity. Some readers wondered too. "Of course, you have to wonder how that $20 was exchanged. Almost like a tip on the way out the door or something," one reader wrote.
And I'm thinking this may be right. Perhaps a tip? Or a generous payment for a shoe-shine? Or maybe like some congressional version of that weird thing your grandpa used to do just before you left when he'd put your hand in his and then suddenly that one dollar bill he'd furtively placed in his hand was in yours?