- - Sunday, December 16, 2012

Even in retirement, Barney Frank plans to antagonize conservatives.

The 72-year-old Massachusetts congressman leaves office in less than three weeks after more than three decades on Capitol Hill. He announced last year that he wouldn’t seek a 17th term.

Mr. Frank’s days on C-SPAN may be almost over. He’s already moved out of his Capitol Hill office and Washington apartment. But he will not go quietly.

He has retained a Hollywood agent to ensure he is a paid fixture on cable television, the lecture circuit, in bookstores — and maybe the occasional sitcom or Broadway show.

Known for his quick wit, Mr. Frank has become a polarizing figure on the national stage. He’s celebrated by liberals and hated by conservatives.

Mr. Frank says the hatred is a source of pride.


Big inauguration tab not passed on to taxpayers

The pomp surrounding the inauguration of the president of the United States carries a hefty price tag, from the glitzy galas to all those inaugural balls.

But taxpayers aren’t on the hook for the fun stuff such as the balls.

A big chunk of the tab for the 57th inauguration next month will be picked up by loyal supporters and other private donors.

In 2009, then President-elect Barack Obama raised $53 million in private money for his first inauguration, but his second inaugural is expected to be smaller.

The other gigantic part of the tab is security, which is picked up by taxpayers.

The government reimbursed the District of Columbia $44 million in 2009. Much of that was inaugural security, but doesn’t include Secret Service or military personnel costs.


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