WILL: I mean, this is -- there comes a point at which the tax writing committee should be headed by someone without these...
VARGAS: Well, and Speaker Pelosi and Steny Hoyer were all calling for Tom DeLay to relinquish his post when he was also admonished by the Ethics Committee.
KRUGMAN: Yes, this is -- you know, it's -- it is worth pointing out that none of these things actually seem to affect national policy. You know, when Billy Tauzin...
KRUGMAN: When Bill Tauzin basically wrote the drug -- the Medicare drug bill then left Congress to become head of the pharmaceutical lobby, that was much more serious, but it didn't actually violate House ethics rules.
So, yes, I'm unable with this. I wish Rangel would go away. But it's -- you know, it really has no national significance.
VARGAS: And now let's go to the New York governor, because the state of New York has quite a brouhaha playing out this weekend, the end of last weekend, this weekend. Governor David Paterson stepping down amid allegations that he and his state police contingent improperly tried to influence a woman involved in a domestic violence dispute with one of his closest aides.
ROBERTS: And to keep her from testifying against a man who had abused her. It's really...
VARGAS: And domestic violence was his signature issue coming into office.
ROBERTS: It's just unbelievable. The idea that he would use the state police and himself -- he called her himself to basically say -- or is alleged to have -- to say, "Don't show up in court to testify against my friend, who beat you up." You know, that is -- that is the worst kind of harassment of women who are already very reluctant to go the court on domestic violence issues.
VARGAS: He has said he will not run for election in November...
ROBERTS: Yes, because he couldn't win.
VARGAS: But this weekend, Democrats in New York are meeting because they're not sure he can govern for 10 more months.
DONALDSON: Well, that's a real question. You know, Basil Paterson, one of the great power brokers in New York...
ROBERTS: His father.
DONALDSON: ... Democratic politics, his father, is a man of great substance. His son has proved not to be. And I think one of the lessons here is, when you run -- because they run as a team in New York, governor and lieutenant governor -- you ought -- just like a president and vice president -- you don't put someone on the ticket because there's a political advantage who is not capable of stepping in, as he has proved not to be capable. And I think it's a real question whether he should serve out the rest of his term.
VARGAS: And, George, what a bumpy term for him. He's got terrible approval ratings, a huge budget problem, and he managed to infuriate the Kennedys by his mishandling of Caroline Kennedy's -- you know, when she -- when she tried to take over for Hillary Clinton's Senate seat.
WILL: You mentioned the budget problem. I mean, New York state spending has increased almost 70 percent in a decade. It is dead heat with California as to see which is the worst governed state right now. So a lot of New York's problems predate and will follow Mr. Paterson. Whether or not he should resign because he can't govern, who can govern that state? The state legislature governs that state badly.
ROBERTS: And locks people out and does all kinds of...