Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
The hits keep coming for Congressman Charlie Rangel. The New York Post reports the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee has been using a congressional parking garage for years as free storage for his old Mercedes-Benz.
The Post reports the 1972 sedan is partially covered with a tarp and has no license plates. State records indicate the vehicle's registration expired in 2004.
House rules forbid using the garage for long-term storage. Other House rules say all cars must have license plates and a valid parking permit. And under IRS regulations, the free parking is considered "imputed income" and must be declared to the IRS. FOX News has learned that Rangel had the car towed this afternoon.
Rangel is already under investigation for his use of four rent-controlled apartments in Harlem and unreported rental income from a villa in the Dominican Republic. So far, House Democrats have blocked all efforts to get Rangel to give up his seat during those investigations.
Taking Care of Business
Despite the financial crisis, Congress will not delay its upcoming recess and is likely to wait until next year to take any action. The House is scheduled to adjourn September 26, and the Senate will skip town a week later.
Bloomberg News says Democrats have not ruled out a return to Washington after the November elections, but would only do so if Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke ask for help.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defended the decision, Wednesday, saying lawmakers could return "if there is a need to do so."
But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid cited what may the more compelling reason for leaving town — "No one knows what to do."
Picture Not So Perfect
The photographer who admitted to deliberately trying to make John McCain look as bad as possible in The Atlantic magazine has been dropped by her photo agency. Jeffrey Goldberg at The Atlantic says reports Jill Greenberg was let go by Bill Hannigan of the Vaughan Hannigan photo agency are true. Hannigan says he and Greenberg had "different views on how to conduct business."
Greenberg came under fire after she wrote on her Web site that she asked McCain to stand over a strobe light to deliberately cast shadows on his face. She also admitted she failed to significantly retouch any of the photos.
An editor at The Atlantic called Greenberg's actions "incredibly unprofessional," but the magazine still used one of the photos which was deemed "respectful" for its cover.
Greenberg photoshopped some of the images and posted them on her Web site. One shows McCain with shark's teeth and blood-smeared lips and a caption that reads, "I am a bloodthirsty warmongerer."
Thanks, But No Thanks
Actress Lindsay Lohan — whose many exploits include a recent attack on Sarah Palin — had been hoping to campaign for Barack Obama. But the Chicago Sun-Times reports the Obama camp turned down Lohan's offer due to her wild ways. An Obama aide told the paper that Lohan is "not exactly the kind of high-profile star who would be a positive for us."
But Lohan's father is not happy about the snub. In an e-mail to FOX News he says, "For Barack Obama to condemn my daughter for past indiscretions when he admitted to the exact same himself is indicative of what kind of president he would be... it is looking beyond the difficult times and letting go of the past. Obviously, Obama can do this for himself and not others."
— FOX News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy contributed to this report.