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Questions About Carroll's Captivity

"This is a day that we should celebrate Jill Carroll's courage. She put herself in danger to try to give the world a more accurate picture of Iraq. It is totally inappropriate to assume that her description of how she was treated is motivated by anything other than a desire to tell the truth."

Little Green Footballs drips with disdain: "She says the terrorists treated her well. Her interpreter, murdered during the kidnapping, was not available for comment."

Meanwhile, the GOP's split over immigration seems to be getting worse:

"House conservatives yesterday issued a dire warning to President Bush and Republican leadership that they will pay a devastating political price if they proceed with a guest-worker program or anything resembling amnesty for illegal aliens before securing the borders and enforcing existing immigration laws," says the Washington Times .

" 'They will remember in November,' Rep. J.D. Hayworth, Arizona Republican, said of voters nationwide. 'And many of those who have stood with our Republican majority in the last decade are not only angry, many of them plan to be absent from the polls' this year when the entire House and one-third of the Senate is up for re-election."

And guess which Republican is taking it on the chin?

"As he prepares to leave the Senate and position himself for a presidential bid, Bill Frist faces mounting criticism that he has proved an ineffectual majority leader whose legislative agenda increasingly is dictated by his White House ambitions," says the Los Angeles Times .

"Complaints about the patrician Tennessean by fellow Republicans intensified this week, sparked by his decision to force Senate debate on illegal immigration. Some GOP lawmakers say his move spotlighted a squabble within the party over a hot-button issue in an election year."

Frist's Senate, you may recall, passed a pretty weak lobbying bill the other day. Arianna Huffington has her own ideas about lobbying reform and makes "a very simple suggestion, one most Americans can relate to -- and I do mean relate: Let's make it illegal for family members of legislators to work as lobbyists. The last few years have seen a surge in registered lobbyists with blood or marital ties to our nation's leaders. . . .

"To guarantee success they want their All Access Passes to include admission to the bedrooms and kitchen tables of those in power. Which is why a lobbyist's strongest resume-builder is not some relevant degree or work experience, but sharing DNA or a primary residence with a Capitol Hill power player. Among those lobbyists making friends and influencing family members in our nation's capital are Scott Hatch, and Joshua Hastert, the sons of Senator Orrin Hatch and House Speaker Denny Hastert; Abigail and Amy Blunt, the wife and daughter of GOP Whip Roy Blunt; Kimberly Dorgan and Bob Dole, the spouses of Senators Byron Dorgan and Elizabeth Dole; and Phyllis Landrieu, Sen. Mary Landrieu's aunt.

"The silliest symptom of this epidemic of nepotism on the Potomac has got to be the unlikely rise of Chet Lott, the son of erstwhile Majority Leader Trent Lott. Before getting into the lobbying game, Chet worked as a Domino's Pizza franchisee -- world renowned as the perfect training ground for future Washington power brokers. Harvard, Yale, Georgetown, Domino's. Now instead of taking orders for extra cheese, he pushes the piping-hot agendas of clients like BellSouth, munitions maker Day & Zimmerman, and the National Association of Air Traffic Specialists."

Of course, it's probably unconstitutional to deprive someone of earning a living. And what do you do about a professional lobbyist who happens to marry a congressman?


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