August 30, 2006
PORKBUSTERS UPDATE: Daniel Glover has more on the secret hold:
Every August, lawmakers leave Washington for relaxing summer vacations, taxpayer-funded junkets abroad, low-key field hearings and high-dollar fundraisers. In even-numbered years, the few incumbents whose jobs are threatened have more hectic campaign schedules, but for the most part, lawmakers don’t have to answer tough questions in the month whose name is linked to external triumph and internal peace in the Roman Empire.
Not so this August — at least not for the 100 unfortunate souls who happen to hold U.S. Senate seats when bloggers across the political spectrum are in a feisty mood. Those bloggers are hot and bothered not by the temperature and summer humidity but instead by the time-honored Senate tradition known as the “secret hold,” and they are doing their best to break that hold against policymaking accountability.
The procedural hold in this case is on a bill that would create a public, searchable Web site of all federal grants and contracts in an effort to deter pork-barrel spending in lawmakers’ states and districts. Senate tradition allows senators to place such holds anonymously as a way to delay or prevent floor action.
Read the whole thing.
UPDATE: Ted Stevens?
ANOTHER UPDATE: William Beutler has much more on this.
MORE: Dave Weigel: “If earmarking was a 1970s adult film loop, Stevens would be John Holmes. (Robert Byrd could be Harry Reems.)”
So what, does that make Trent Lott Johnny Wadd?
MORE STILL: Reader Bill Gardner writes: “Under the heading of ‘embarrassing trivia I shouldn’t know,’ JW and John Holmes are the same person.”
You’re right, Bill. About all of it! And various other readers sent variations on “Please! No posts that cause us to imagine members of the United States Senate naked!” Good point.