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It seems to us . . . Congressional turnaround, a Kopp out and a Congress on the red and blue lines

TURNAROUND IS FAIR PLAY: Ralph Nader's advocacy group, Public Citizen, spent some time over the past several years complaining about outside influences on the Republican-controlled Congress. So who's the target of one of the first complaints about outside influence on the new Democratic Congress? You guessed it -- Public Citizen.

Congressional Quarterly notes that Public Citizen President Joan Claybrook got a letter recently from 47 conservative interest groups complaining that she was playing too great a role in helping House Speaker Nancy Pelosi draft new ethics guidelines on grass-roots lobbying, and bragging about that on the group's Web site. Sauce, goose, gander.


TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE: Anti-abortion activist James Kopp's apology to widow Lynne Slepian as he went on federal trial for the murder of her husband was hard to countenance, especially when he echoed the "respect life" theme by adding, "I respect you. I respect your family."

A true apology includes an attempt to repair damages. Any chance of that ended the moment the state-convicted Kopp squeezed the trigger more than eight years ago.


THE NO-PENALTY BOX: Minor league hockey's Lewiston Maineiacs took on the 109th Congress Lame Ducks recently and scored a goal top shelf, where momma hides the cookies.

In the last days of the last Congress, Maineiacs rooter and GOP Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and others won bipartisan support for an immigration amendment that expands the definition of "internationally recognized" athletes, entertainers and artists in a way that allows minor league sports teams, ice shows and the like to get quota-free guest worker visas instead of having to petition for Homeland Security quota waivers. Kind of assumes the referees will be watching, but we're OK with it so long as none of these Maineiacs ever terrorize the Sabres.

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