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“Given the billions of dollars at stake, and number of people involved, this is easily the worst instance of government misconduct that POGO has seen.”

Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project On Government Oversight, referring to documented evidence made public this week that employees at the Interior Department’s Minerals Management Service accepted gifts, ski vacations and sex from oil and gas industry personnel.


Inside the Beltway reader Stan Welli of Aurora, Ill., writes: “One of the vice president’s duties is to preside over the U.S. Senate. He (or she) may vote to break a tie. It’s fascinating to visualize the organizational and personal dynamics of a body over which Sarah Palin would preside.

“This would be a Senate having Harry Reid as the likely majority leader. And it would include such familiar names as Joseph Biden, Robert ‘I’m old enough to be your grandfather’ Byrd, Hillary Clinton, Christopher Dodd, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry and Barack Obama. ‘The Senate will be in order and there will be no more moose jokes!’”

John McCaslin can be reached at 202/636-3284 or