Quick, you guys, finish admonishing the bank execs about those private planes; you've got to get home and get packed:
Hurry, hurry, hurry. Congress will begin its 2009 travel season in earnest this weekend with two spectacular codels -- trips for House congressional delegations -- that are not to be missed.
On Saturday, Rep. John Tanner (D-Tenn.), chairman of the House delegation to NATO's parliamentary assembly, and his wife will lead a delegation of 13 lawmakers -- plus 10 spouses -- on a fine nine-day jaunt starting at NATO's headquarters in Brussels.
Before you start scoffing about how this hardly compares to Tanner's post-election delegation to Valencia and Rome in November, we would point out that the next stop is, yes, the City of Lights, Paris, where one could have a nice late Valentine's Day moment.
From there we move on to Vienna for a little Sacher torte and then to review NATO's strategy to defend the Bavarian Alps, stopping in the lovely ski center of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, with its breathtaking views.
The huge number of members, spouses and staffers, plus military escorts, will require taking one of the bigger military jets, but we're told these trips are an important use of taxpayer money.
So vote to put our children deep into debt then pack!
If working on NATO matters is not for you, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is leading a delegation to Europe next week for some important meetings in -- where else? -- the Eternal City, Rome. Details are sketchy so far, but we're hearing that there's a meeting with Pope Benedict himself. (Hey, ask him about that Holocaust-denier guy if you get a chance.) Pelosi is apparently going to get an award from an Italian legislative group -- she's huge over there -- and then maybe do just a bit of NATO stuff. There may be some other stops....
Just noting the hypocrisy is all.
(BTW -- If this pope gives Pelosi the Eucharist, I'm switching back to Lutheran. You'll find my resignation nailed to the door)