Reid’s Loose Lips

Posted September 24, 2007 at 6:33pm

OK, so you have a deep, dark secret you’re just dying to get off your chest. And you’re in search of a discreet confidante who will take it to the grave. HOH suggests that, under no circumstances, you confide in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who all but gave up the identity of a confidential confessor during a very public press conference last week. [IMGCAP(1)]

The Nevada Democrat divulged to reporters on Thursday that a certain Republican Senator had made a confession to him, presumably in what said Senator thought was in the proverbial vault, about a vote on the troop-reduction amendment by Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.). “One Senator — I talked to her, a Republican Senator — she said one of the biggest mistakes she ever made serving in the Senate was voting against Webb the first time,” Reid said. “Then she voted the same way the second time.”

Let’s see, that’s a female Republican, which narrows it down to only five possible names for the identity of our anonymous Sen. Doe. And once you toss the names of Maine GOP Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, both of whom voted for the Webb amendment the first time, we’re down to three possibilities: Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas), Elizabeth Dole (N.C.) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska). Given the usual lock step party loyalty displayed by Hutchison, that leaves us with only two candidates. Educated guesses have it Reid’s confidante was probably a Senator whose last name rhymes with Durkowski. And that’s all we’re saying.

VIP TP. For those who balk at the prices for that fancy three-ply, lotion-infused toilet paper, here’s something even more exorbitant (though perhaps less absorbent): a 20-inch length of toilet paper selling on online auction site eBay for upward of 20 bucks. However, the auction, which ends today, is not for an ordinary scrap of TP, but a bit of history. The seller claims the article comes directly from the stall of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, the scene of the arrest of Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) in June as part of a gay sex sting.

The item, billed as a “true political treasure” by seller “steviewonder2002,” had three bidders and a high bid of $20.34 as of HOH’s deadline on Monday night. And lest would-be bidders worry that the auction is an exercise in profiteering, steviewonder2002 has graciously promised to donate the proceeds to an undetermined charity.

Another piece of toilet paper from the same seller, this one measuring only 8 inches, went without a bidder in an auction Monday.

Hungry Like the Wolf. Nothing guarantees the interest of reporters quite like a press conference at which there is the possibility of carnage. And not the usual metaphorical or rhetorical kind, but the actual, red-in-tooth-and-claw variety. Which is why HOH can’t wait for a presser that Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) is holding today on the Cannon Terrace to talk about legislation that would ban the practice of aerial hunting, in which hunters shoot animals from airplanes. Miller’s scheduled guest is Atka, a 3-year-old Arctic grey wolf who is, presumably, opposed to aerial hunting.

In one of the funniest/scariest lines ever to grace a press release, attendees are thusly warned: “No food is allowed on the terrace when the wolf is present.” But a Miller staffer assures HOH that Atka, an “ambassador wolf” for the New York Wolf Conservation, is used to being in civilized settings and has behaved himself at community centers and schools around the country.

Still, not everyone is reassured. “Standing between Sen. Schumer and a camera is now the second most dangerous place in Washington,” one House staffer joked.

Forbidden Fruit. HOH was just sitting at her desk, cursing Washington’s smoking ban and savoring a steaming mug of tasty trans-fats, when an invitation she couldn’t resist arrived. Reason magazine is looking to hook in attendees for a symposium on Sept. 29 with the promise of a gluttonous menu of taboo treats. Attendees can graze on illicit snacks including “chicken wings, Twinkies, beer, wine, alcopops, and other soon-to-be-outlawed items” during the discussion with David Harsanyi, author of Reason magazine’s upcoming cover story titled “Prohibition Returns!” Harsanyi also will be discussing his book, “Nanny State: How Food Fascists, Teetotaling Do-Gooders, Priggish Moralists, and other Boneheaded Bureaucrats are Turning America into a Nation of Children.”

Pass the foie gras, please.

Emily Pierce contributed to this report.

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