News Roundup for 2/9/11

Man drinks beer on couch
House GOP's work ethic

-Headline of the day-
"Will the 112th Congress work hard -- or hardly work?"

I know what you're thinking; congress hardly worked before. But this is different. As is fitting for a new House Speaker with a fun in the sun, Tom Collins by noon work ethic, there's a new schedule for all those congress critters eager to earn the tax payer's money. And boy, are they ever not going to earn it.

Asks the editorial board of the Christian Science Monitor, "Would you like to earn a week's vacation for every two weeks you work? If so, you should run for Congress. According to the restructured legislative calendar that new House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R) of Virginia has set, House lawmakers in Washington will generally stay in session for two consecutive weeks, then get a week off."

Slick deal, huh? And, if you think about it, it's sort of a backdoor pay raise, since those Reps get paid the same amount regardless of how long they work. On a per hour basis, congressional pay just increased 33%. Yay!

And what are they going to do with all this extra time? Imagine a compound word incorporating "fund" and "raising" and you get the idea. (Christian Science Monitor)

-Not exactly blinded by love-
The new healthcare reform law is almost certain to wind up before the Supreme Court. At this point, the only way I can think of that it wouldn't would be if the court refused to hear the case -- or cases, as those case may be.

So the fact that Ginni Thomas, wife of SCOTUS guy Clarence Thomas, is opening a lobbying shop to give "voice to... the tea party movement in the halls of Congress" has people wondering if Clarence can be all that fair a judge here. In fact, the conflict of interest would be so clear that 74 members of congress are asking him to recuse himself from the case before there even is a case, just to be on the safe side.

"As Members of Congress, we were surprised by recent revelations of your financial ties to leading organizations dedicated to lobbying against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," they wrote to Clarence in a letter. "We write today to respectfully ask that you maintain the integrity of this court and recuse yourself from any deliberations on the constitutionality of this act."

They go on to say that "there is a strong conflict between the Thomas household's financial gain through your spouse's activities and your role as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. We urge you to recuse yourself from this case." In fact, hearing the case would stand a damned good chance of violating federal law.

But don't worry, Thomas would probably take any charges against him all the way to the Supreme Court, where we all know he'd dispassionately dispense justice upon himself. (ThinkProgress)

-Bonus HotD-
"Rep. Chris Lee Sending Half-Naked Pics To Ladies On Craigslist."

Care to take a stab at which party he belongs to and how he says he feels about the "sanctity of marriage?"

Got it in one, didn't you? (Wonkette)

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