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Congress

Has Alaska's history of having its congressional leadership so focused on so-called pork-barrel politics finally caught up with the state? The Wall Street Journal is reporting that veteran Republican Rep. Don Young of Alaska, "now is the subject of a continuing criminal inquiry involving possible political favors for a company in Alaska, people close to the case said. Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska, the powerful former chairman of the Appropriations Committee and the longest-serving Senate Republican, is also now under criminal investigation, these people said."

Pegged to yesterday's congressional Democratic news conference touting the increase in the minimum wage, the New York Times notes that Democrats are doing everything they can to avoid the "do-nothing" label. "Democrats hope to post more legislative victories in a few days, including enacting into law some of the remaining recommendations of the bipartisan Sept. 11 commission. They also want to pass a lobbying overhaul that was central to their campaign last year against the 'culture of corruption' so they can start their late-summer recess on a high note. Republicans agree it would represent real progress if Democrats could get those measures through and tee up a few others for the fall. But they are withering in their criticism of what the Democratic majority has — and has not — done since taking power in January."