Obama To Get Two Puppies, At Least One More Scandal

Although Crappy Hour has died, that doesn't mean you don't need all your Grabbyhanded, Burris-y Frankenstein goodness, which is why, in the spirit of the Inaugural concert series, we're inaugurating something of our own.

(Only, you know, with fewer guests, and, since I don't manicure as regularly as Barbra Streisand, with way worse cuticles.)

The thing about politics, like the news in general, is that it's subject to the butterfly effect and, no, I'm not talking about that shitty movie with Ashton Kutcher. Some minor news story one day takes down a politician the next which, of course, brings us to the death of Bill Richardson's cabinet appointment. Not even a month ago, there was a little-noticed story about how a federal grand jury was investigating possible pay-for-play with contracts in New Mexico and just about everyone yawned and figured Richardson and Obama's vetters weren't that stupid and went back to Christmas shopping. Everyone was just focusing on Blago and the smoking-hot Patrick Fitzgerald and how no one could possibly be stupid enough to accept a Blagojevich appointment to the Senate until, of course, Roland Burris, who now considers himself the junior Senator from Illinois, did.

And, let's stop and talk for just a second about Roland Burris, whose zeal for higher office has never once been thwarted by a desire to do what was, you know, right. Just ask Rolando Cruz, who sacrificed more than a decade of his own life at the altar of Burris' political ambitions — let alone two of Burris' own prosecutors who quit rather than do something they knew was wrong. Harry Reid might faux-fight that shit all he wants (which, given that it's Harry Reid, isn't much — the man would rather watch a few boxing matches on the industry's dime than get all pugilistic up in the Senate). Burris knows he played by the rules and bought that seat fair and square just like he bought those contracts from the Blago administration and he's going to take his rightful place by hook, crook, lawsuit or race card, because that's how "vetting" is done in Chicago.

But back to Chicago, which Obama left yesterday with a tear in his eye, leaving his staff claiming that Richardson stonewalled them on the pay-for-play case — which begs the question: why did you then let him have the job, idiots? Even letting loose the info that Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, once thought a potential VP candidate, is only getting the DNC Chairmanship as his consolation prize (note to others: don't talk about Axelrod's combover) isnt' going to stop the Richardson trainwreck, especially as he's withdrawing from the Obama Administration and returning to run his own.

His state, like most of 'em, is probably deep in the hole and they'd like a trillion dollars from the federal government or else they've got these mutated, ill-tempered sea bass with fricking laser beams on their foreheads, see? And the overseer of the financial crisis might want to steer clear of state capitals once he loses that Secret Service Protection in 10 years because sea bass and governors tend to live for a while (everywhere but in Virginia, where Tim Kaine is about to be term-limited out anyway).

But there are some people that will be coming to Washington, including Al Franken, who will supposedly be declared the winner of the Minnesota Senate race today and Denver school superintendent Michael Bennet, who is reportedly Colorado Governor Bill Ritter's choice to replace Ken Salazar in the Senate. New York Governor David Paterson is still denying that Caroline Kennedy is the front-runner to replace Hillary Clinton in the Senate despite Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver flip-flopping on Kennedy last week for just that reason, so either her people have plants in the governor's office leaking this or it's all just a big show on Paterson's part to make him look so pressured that he doesn't have another choice. She might be able to make nice with either Harvard law dean Elena Kagan or Stanford law dean Kathleen Sullivan, both of whom are tops on the short list for Solicitor General and either of whom would be the first woman to hold the position.

In the meantime, troopers are alleging that the investigation into Levi Johnston's Oxy-Mom was delayed for political reasons, a bunch of anti-Bush activists are forced to cope with the fact that one of their own was an FBI plant, which makes me wonder after last spring's Elle story of another FBI plant how many anarchists we really have who aren't working for the federal government. There's also another sketchy Bill Clinton donor story out there which should make for 3 minutes of questioning during Hillary Clinton's confirmation hearings next month, assassinated Pakistani politician Benazir Bhutto's daughter has a new rap song out which is probably more ripe for parody than Rachel Maddow but SNL's Michaela Watkins of the terrible Arianna impression will try one anyway.

Oh, and not to be trumped by the damn Bidens, the Obamas will be getting their girls two puppies, too, and someone will be having a very stern talk with Joe about upstaging the boss.