And now the most absorbing two minutes in television, the latest from the political grapevine:
Jim Getting a Makeover?
When ex-Congressman James Traficant's appeals have been exhausted and he heads off to federal prison, he will look very different than the flamboyant man who has been so conspicuous in recent weeks. He won't have that Captain Kangaroo hairdo anymore.
In fact, he won't have that hair anymore. It turns out that Traficant wears a wig and has already had to remove it once, when he was searched for contraband at Summit County jail in Ohio. Federal prisons don't allow toupees, so he'll have to take it off for good when he starts serving his sentence for corruption.
Investigating the Investigators?
When news leaks led to the publication of excerpts from Al Qaeda radio messages intercepted by the highly secretive National Security Agency prior to the 9/11 attacks, congressional leaders asked the FBI to investigate. The leaks came just after top defense officials had testified to Congress about the intercepts, and the leaks — specific wording from them — were considered a particularly serious breach of security.
Now the FBI is indeed investigating. And Roll Call reports that some in Congress don't like it one bit. Tennessee Republican Sen. Fred Thompson, for example, is quoted as saying, "At a time when we're investigating the FBI, they're investigating us. It really bothers me."
Strictly Hush, Hush...
Democratic Sen. Robert Torricelli of New Jersey, who was severely admonished by the Senate Ethics Committee for taking gifts for a man for whom he did political favors, says he won't release the transcript of his testimony under that committee. So far, the committee has shown no willingness to release the record of its investigation either.
But now Mr. Reform himself, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, has weighed in… in favor of making the material public. He notes that was what was done in the Keating Five savings and loan case, which led to a mild rebuke of McCain by the committee, for what was called "poor judgment."
The Naked Truth... Exposed!
If you think Torricelli has headaches, consider Democratic House candidate Chuck Kalogianis, who is running for the House in the district north of Tampa, Florida. He's a successful lawyer who wants to focus his campaign on prescription drugs and Social Security.
But there was that two-year stint he did with the group Men in Motion, a troupe of male strippers, in which the would-be congressman wore a Big Bird suit that he ripped off, leaving him wearing only a French bikini thong. He was working his way through law school.