Go, Johnny, go!

Sen. Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonLobbying world Loeffler paints herself as 'more conservative than Attila the Hun' in new campaign ad Georgia GOP Senate candidates cite abortion in pushing Ginsburg replacement MORE didn’t get that bandage on his face in a bar fight, but he doesn’t mind if you thought that.
What actually happened was that the Georgia Republican had some cancerous cells removed recently that doctors missed in a previous surgery. “They got it all this time, so that’s good news,” said Isakson.

Still, the senator hopes the surgeon’s knife may also have given him the je ne sais quoi he’s been missing. Until now, Isakson has seemed meek compared to his oft-televised 2004 classmates, Sens. Tom CoburnThomas (Tom) Allen CoburnCOVID response shows a way forward on private gun sale checks Inspector general independence must be a bipartisan priority in 2020 Congress must protect federal watchdogs MORE (R-Okla.) and John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneOvernight Defense: Stopgap spending measure awaits Senate vote | Trump nominates former Nunes aide for intelligence community watchdog | Trump extends ban on racial discrimination training to contractors, military Remote work poses state tax challenges Senate GOP sees early Supreme Court vote as political booster shot MORE (R-S.D.).


“I need a scar on my face — it’ll make me look meaner,” Isakson said.

The way things are going for the immigration bill he has helped broker, he may need that display of meanness very soon.


What Jefferson (allegedly) was doing 4 summers ago

The recent indictment of Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) alleges that the lawmaker was on a corrupt business trip to Africa and England in July of 2003.

But when did Jefferson’s road trip start? “On or about July 20, 2003,” Jefferson was meeting with Nigerian business officials in England, according to the indictment.

OK, but two days before that meeting Jefferson missed every House floor vote, including Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) motion admonishing Rep. Bill Thomas (R-Calif.) for calling the Capitol Police to evict panel Democrats from the Ways and Means Committee library room.

Jefferson also missed a January 2002 floor vote when he was allegedly striking a shady deal in New Orleans.
But while Jefferson might have committed federal crimes, he didn’t miss any votes while allegedly stuffing bribe money into his freezer. The House was in recess at the time.

Jefferson’s spokesmen did not comment.



GAO to Finance Committee: ‘We love you’


Senate Finance Committee leaders wrote to U.S. Comptroller General David M. Walker on Tuesday to request that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) go find out why 12,748 companies say they are located in the same five-story building. Oh, and the building is in the Cayman Islands.

“We request that GAO travel to the Cayman Islands and visit the Ugland House to determine what sorts of transactions are being conducted in that building,” reads the letter, signed by panel Chairman Max BaucusMax Sieben BaucusBottom line Bottom line The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - George Floyd's death sparks protests, National Guard activation MORE (D-Mont.) and ranking member Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Ginsburg lies in repose Top GOP senators say Hunter Biden's work 'cast a shadow' over Obama Ukraine policy Read: Senate GOP's controversial Biden report MORE (R-Iowa).

We weren’t there when the letter was received at the GAO, but we can’t help but picture a lot of GAO offshore tax-evasion specialists jumping up and down and begging, “Me! Pick me!”

Tax Issues Director Michael Brostek insists that his staff is a little more dignified than that, but he said he was anticipating more than a few volunteers for the job.

“But you do have to realize that when we go to do work, we are working,” Brostek said. “For all we know, we could get hit by a tropical storm.”

Tax guys — they’re so negative.


Farrell evolves from journalist to author


Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and others who don’t believe in evolution probably won’t have it on their reading list, but Jack Farrell doesn’t care.

Farrell, who wrote a best-selling 2001 biography of the late House Speaker Tip O’Neill (D-Mass.) while reporting for the Boston Globe, is stepping down as Washington bureau chief for the Denver Post on June 15 to pen a biography of Clarence Darrow, the famed defense attorney in the 1925 Scopes “monkey trial.”

Although John Scopes, the Tennessee teacher accused of teaching the evolutionary origin of man rather than the doctrine of divine creation, was found guilty, it brought Darrow to national prominence.

Farrell is taking advantage of a Denver Post buyout offer to become “a writer-with-a-capital-W,” he told colleagues and friends in an e-mail.

He said he’s unearthed a wealth of fresh material on Darrow in archives, libraries and courthouses in 40 states, and “realized that my strategy to research and write a book while covering a presidential campaign for the Denver Post was not going to work.”

Too bad: He’ll miss the 2008 Democratic National Convention in the Mile High City.

Doubleday is publishing the book.

If looks could kill, Reid might need to get a hunting license

Journalists love to mention Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidThe Supreme Court vacancy — yet another congressional food fight Trump seeks to turn around campaign with Supreme Court fight On The Trail: Battle over Ginsburg replacement threatens to break Senate MORE’s (D-Nev.) short-lived amateur boxing career to explain his toughness. But that’s just because they haven’t seen his stink-eye.

Just ask Sen. Jon Kyl (Ariz). After the Republican Conference chairman had finished complaining to reporters Tuesday that the Senate would need more time to finish work on a comprehensive immigration overhaul bill, he moved off to the side to make room for the Democratic leader to have his say at the microphones. But Kyl didn’t go very far, and a massive crowd of reporters went with him, eager to talk more about the Republicans’ next move.

Even if Reid was not partially blocked by the crowd from speaking at the podium, few reporters were left to hear what he had to say. That’s when Reid hit Kyl with his 100-yard stare at close range.

“I saw the look, I think a lot of reporters saw the look,” said Kyl spokesman Ryan Loskarn, who was standing nearby.

But did the look hit Reid’s intended target?

Loskarn said Kyl didn’t mention the glare, but “he must’ve gotten a glimpse of it.”

And it worked. After Kyl took a few more steps away from the microphones, Reid looked out from the podium at the reporters and smiled.