Monday, August 11, 2008

when semantics matter

When is a junket not a junket? When you tote along a colleague from the other side of the aisle. While this article is over a year old, the same behavior keeps on happening.
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) led a group of mostly freshman senators on a global warming trip to Greenland to see melting glaciers last week. But it really sounds as if Reps. John Murtha (D-Pa.) and David Obey (D-Wis.) may have gotten the best gig.

Murtha and Obey led a bipartisan trip to France for the ostensible purpose of visiting the new Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial -- for which they had secured federal funding. They also had a brief stopover in Paris for a ceremony at the Suresnes American Cemetery and Memorial and briefings by embassy staff on the new French government.

The trip has caused something of a headache for Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) -- and not just from the wine. (Rehberg, some readers may recall, took a taxpayer-funded congressional delegation trip several years ago to Kazakhstan, where, after drinking several shots of vodka, he fell off a horse, got trampled by another, broke his ribs and allegedly called the locals "coneheads.") The Montana Democratic Party is attacking Rehberg for his participation in the week-long excursion to France and another trip this week to South America orchestrated by a group called the Montana World Trade Center (which also has hosted Democratic lawmakers in the past).
Thanks for journeying with me into the archives. Now resume your dog days of summer.

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