WHO'S THE BOSS? According to the visitors' guide, Bill Frist The U.S. Senate may be in love with its own rich history, but senators (a majority, no less) might be miffed to know ushers are still giving visitors booklets on the One Hundred Ninth Congress.
A full three months after the midterms, a booklet distributed in the congressional visitors' gallery lists 55 instead of 49 Republicans, including such midterm casualties as Virginia's George Allen, Montana's Conrad Burns, and Bill Frist of Tennessee, who's listed as majority leader. (Democrat Harry Reid now has the title; no word back from his office on how he feels about Frist's on-paper reprieve.)
A spokesman for the Senate Rules and Administration Committee says the use of dated materials isn't evidence of some conspiracy by stubborn conservatives. "There was a delay because the inside has the floor seating chart and the floor staff is still finalizing seating," he explains. Perhaps they've been waiting to see if South Dakota Democrat Tim Johnson, who suffered an aneurysm in December, will stay in office? (It's looking like he will.)