Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Vocabulary building: "The Wrong Stuff"

I just finished reading "The Wrong Stuff: The Extraordinary Saga of Randy 'Duke' Cunningham, the Most Corrupt Congressman Ever Caught," by Marcus Stern, Jerry Kammer, Dean Calbreath, and George E. Condon, Jr.

Here are some phrases I picked up from my reading:

1. Bribe menu: A list of bribe amounts and corresponding earmarks that Cunningham wrote on his Congressional stationery for co-conspirator Mitchell Wade's benefit over lunch at Georgetown's Daily Grill. It was the most damning piece of evidence introduced at Cunningham's trial.

2. Favor factories: Jack Abramoff's name for the Congressional Appropriations Committees.

3. Lifestyle audit: Investigative reporter Marcus Stearn's phrase for examining congressmen for impropriety by checking for upgrades in their lifestyles (e.g. new homes, expensive trips, luxury goods).

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