National Affairs: Bird Watching

Looking down from the U.S. Senate gallery, bird watchers often observe that Oregon's Senator Wayne Morse has a notably ornithic look—a sharp beak, darting, saucerish eyes, a tufted head. Since he became an independent last year, Senator Morse has been the busiest, noisiest jay in the Senate; he interrupts his chatter only to hop over to the press ticker to see what kind of coverage he's getting.

Last week Morse was at full voice. One day he blocked unanimous consent on an emergency bill making a technical change in the officer strength of the armed services. He didn't understand the bill, he...

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