Jim Traficant, the tufted former Ohio Democratic congressman is a free man again and I would think that it should be worrisome to the quotable crackpots in our midst. No sooner did Traficant start showing up in the national media after a 7-year prison term for public corruption than he started dropping massive boulders into Capitol Hill's downspouts, one of which referred to Congress as a "big whorehouse" while apologizing to hookers for the unseemly reference to their line of work. On the stimulus package, he advised President Obama to "stimulate this" and said he wanted to kick the IRS in the crotch. He is obviously mad as hell, spending some of his time at Tea Parties. Democrats should be worried, too. He says he may run for office again, and the reports from the Youngstown area indicate he has an overwhelming following there. How will the Dems manage to live with that?
No wrapup of loony moments can ignore Sarah Palin, who was on a handsomely underwritten visit in Hong Kong, slamming the American government's way of doing business these days to a world conference of well-heeled investors. She wanted them to know that she was delivering the honest-to-God goods from "Main Street USA" - her latest geographical point of departure now that it has been proven that you can't see Russia from her front porch. She seems to be preparing more and more for a third-party presidential candidacy. We can hope.