In a short blog item in TPM, Josh Marshall reminds us of the illustrious past of Rep. Ralph Hall (R, Tex) who is taking over as chairman of the House Science and Technology Committee. A member of an illustrious extended lobbying family, informally known as "Team Abramoff," Hall was the beneficiary of a sun-and-fun junket to the Marianas Islands (CNMI). In return, he was a good soldier for Abramoff, defending the appalling labor practices of the CNMI (Abramoff's client at the time). Hall's lowest moment came when he attacked, in the Congressional Record, the statement of a young Philippina, known as "Katrina," who, at the age of 14, had been dragooned into prostitution in the CNMI.
"My main objective was to be a jazz-playing clown. That kind of worked out."