Daily Archives: July 26, 2009

The house on C Street and its secrets

Recently Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina and Senator John Ensign of Nevada made news with their sexual indiscretions.  The private emails between Sanford and his Argentine mistress, and his childish protestations of finding his soul mate probably kept him in the news longer than a run-of-the-mill affair might have.  The payments from Ensign’s parents did the same favor of keeping him in the news longer.  Then Michael Jackson died and news outlets were distracted by this new bright and shiny object.

Underlying the Ensign affair was news of a C Street House, a Capitol Hill townhouse inhabited by an all-male group of right-wing Republican congressmen belonging to The Fellowship, an evangelical group.

Greater detail about the people and activities of The Fellowship could come from a diary Max Blumenthal tells us about in his piece — The Secret GOP Sex Diary.

While former Rep. Chip Pickering of Mississippi allegedly carried on an extramarital affair with Elizabeth Creekmore Byrd, he recorded details of his exploits in a secret diary, including the dates and locations of his adulterous encounters.

Pickering, a Republican, described several assignations he had with Creekmore Byrd inside the C Street House, a Capitol Hill townhouse inhabited by an all-male group of right-wing Republican congressmen belonging to The Fellowship, an evangelical group, according to a person familiar with the diary’s contents.

And according to a divorce filing by Pickering’s estranged wife, Leisha, the former congressman’s diary reveals the identities of several men who enabled his adulterous trysts and helped him cover his tracks.

After serving 12 years in Congress, he announced his intention not to seek re-election suddenly in August 2007.  Chip Pickering’s wife had announced she would divorce him by the time he resigned from Congress, but her motivation for the divorce was unknown at the time, leaving Pickering’s resignation shrouded in mystery.  When she attempted to introduce her husband’s diary as evidence during a divorce hearing in Mississippi, Pickering’s lawyers demanded Judge Cynthia Lee Brewer keep them under seal.

His affair only came to light when Leisha Pickering sued her husband’s alleged mistress, Creekmore Byrd. Mississippi is one of four states that allow such lawsuits, justifying them on the grounds that sabotaging a marriage represents deliberate interference with a legally binding contract. To represent her, Leisha Pickering has tapped two high-powered local lawyers who are both former state Supreme Court justices.

A source close the case told me the judge presiding over the lawsuit could rule to make the Pickering diary public, thereby voiding Brewer’s decision in the divorce court. So long as the judge’s decision is pending, the diary represents a ticking time bomb—with the potential to rock corridors of conservative power from Jackson, Mississippi, to C Street in Washington.

Stay tuned!  This diary kept by one of the C Street adulterers could shed much light on The Fellowship. We may yet learn many more details about this C Street house, the people there and the activities they keep so secret.

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Filed under Religion, Republicans, Wingnuts!

Snail Mail

US-Mail-Box_webDid you know this well-known, reliable blue drop box is becoming an endangered species?  Across the country, stalwart blue “collection boxes” are disappearing. In the past 20 years, 200,000 mailboxes have vanished from city streets, rural routes and suburban neighborhoods — more than the 175,000 that remain, according to an article in The Washington Post.

The U.S. Postal Service says it removes “underperforming” mailboxes — those that collect fewer than 25 pieces of mail a day — after a week-long “density test.” Snail mail is a dying enterprise because Americans increasingly pay bills online, send Evites for parties and text or give a quick call on a cellphone rather than write a letter.

The situation is so dire that the Postal Service, which is projecting a $6 billion shortfall by the end of September despite a recent postage rate increase, will go to Congress this month to seek emergency relief, looking to cut home mail delivery from six days a week to five.

“We’re like air,” said Postal Service spokeswoman Deborah Yackley. “People just take it for granted that we’re always going to be there. Well, if you want to keep your collection box, would you mail a letter, please!”

Do you write letters to anyone?  Do you still write out checks to pay your bills and post them?  Do you think we’ll see an end to snail mail?

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Filed under Economics, History, Technology

Sunday, 07/26/09, Public Square

socialism

Sometimes the world makes less sense than other times.  Am I the only one who thinks this?  How is everyone?

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Filed under The Public Square