It looks as though someone in Trent Lott's office may have complained to NBC News about the way they initially framed his announcement that he intends to retire by the end of the year. In an early version of the story linked to by Balloon Juice, NBC noted:

While the exactly reason Lott is stepping down before he finishes his term is unknown, the general speculation is that a quick departure immunizes Lott against tougher restrictions in a new lobbying law that takes effect at the end of the year. That law would require Senators to wait two-years before entering the lucrative world of lobbying Congress.

The current version of the piece, however, skips the speculation over Lott's departure, leaving just his non-explanation explanation:

"It's time for us to do something else," Lott said, speaking for himself and his wife Tricia at a news conference...."There are no problems. I feel fine," Lott said. 

So is Trent Lott insufficiently venal to quit his term early to avoid lobbying restrictions? Or is he venal enough to do just that and then complain when anyone takes note of it? You be the judge. For my part, I enjoy envisioning him paraphrase Homer Simpson on the subject of handgun waiting periods: "Two years? But I'm greedy now."

--Christopher Orr