Weekend Reads: Lautenberg Loves Lady Gaga, a Tea Party Game and More

Some political odds and ends for your weekend reading pleasure:

Thanks to the Washington Post’s Al Kamen, we now know that Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) is a big Lady Gaga fan.

In fact, the 86 year old Lautenberg is inviting potential donors to join him (for only $2400) in a “private suite” for the oddball pop idol’s September 7 show at Washington’ Verizon Center.

The Senator, t seems, is a big fan. Who knew? Kamen can’t resist the temptation to get in a dig or two about the senator’s age.

“If she wanders by the suite, someone had better get the EMT paddles ready,” he writes.


Over at Real Clear Politics, Tom Bevan offers the latest installment in one of Washington’s longest-running political soap operas – the “Russ Feingold Struggles to Win Reelection” serial.

Feingold is in the “fight of his life” against Ron Johnson, the likely GOP nominee, and his poll numbers are looking grim.

Pardon me if I yawn; we’ve heard this story every six years since 1992 and Feingold – the quirkiest and possibly most liberal member of the Jewish delegation in the Senate – always manages to survive.

Still, it could be different this time around. Wisconsin’s economy stinks, and Feingold continues to get a lot of flack on his votes supporting President Obama’s economic stimulus plan and the Democratic health care plan. In 1992, he unseated former Sen. Bob Kasten, a Republican, with an offbeat, populist campaign. Could Feingold be vulnerable to the same kind of challenge in 2010?

Still, this is one scrappy politician; don’t bet the rent money against Feingold.

The Jewish Funds for Justice continues ragging on Fox News host Glenn Beck and the Tea Party movement.

This week the liberal group launched a new Web site, “Scapequote: The Fun New Game of Intentional Misrepresentation!”

The target: Tea Party leaders the group says use intentional misrepresentations and outright lies.

“Tea Party leaders continue to aggressively pursue an agenda that makes it nearly impossible for the government at all levels to take the steps necessary to help our country get back on its feet again,” the group writes in announcing its “Solutions, Not Scapegoats” project. “Their views may be outrageous, but if we don’t start to respond now they could be the only voices many voters hear before Election Day.”

The JFSJ gimmick: an online game featuring “real” misrepresentations by Tea Party leaders – and fake ones offered up by readers. Right answers give you a shot at the “leaderboard” – the list of top scorers.

A cute gimmick that should get lots of attention – like the group’s earlier “Haik U, Glenn Beck” poetry contest.

Check it out here.

Over at Commentary, blogger Jennifer Rubin ha a nice item criticizing the move by some conservatives to amend the 14th Amendment to ban “birthright citizenship,” and praising Fox News host and possible 2012 GOP presidential contender Mike Huckabee for agreeing with her.

“It is rather strange to see so many conservatives blithely suggesting a major Constitutional revision for a problem that stems from the failure of the federal government to carry out its duties under existing law,” she writes.

Amending the amendment would be a “radical change” that conservatives should think twice about, she said, and adds this: “Nor should conservatives underestimate the possibility that once the 14th Amendment is put into play, liberal interest groups would seek to expand and extend the amendment in a number of ways that conservatives would certainly find objectionable. The prospect of a Constitutional free-for-all should alarm sober conservatives.”

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.