News to start the new week is that Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS) is planning to leave the Senate. According to US News and World Report, the new ethics and lobbying rules had a major impact on that decision:
MSNBC reports this morning at about 7:15 AM, "NBC News has learned that Trent Lott's in the midst of informing close allies that he plans to resign his Senate seat before the end of the year. It's possible a formal announcement of his plans could take place as early as today."
The US News Political Bulletin has learned that Lott will make the announcement today at noon. According to a knowledgeable source, Lott is resigning by the end of the year to avoid new ethics rules that double the amount of time a retired lawmaker must wait before lobbying former colleagues. The former Senate majority leader had contemplated retiring prior to his last election, and is said to be eager to begin his post-Senate career while he is still relatively young.
Let this tidbit soak in your brain for a few minutes. The leader of the ReThugs in the Senate is taking his ball and going home because we insisted that he play a little more fairly. How much of an evil, corrupt, vial, so-and-so do you have to be that the watered-down "reforms" of 2006 crimp your style? It really does boggle the mind.