Sometimes you just have to applaud the clever ways that lawmakers can come up with to get around burdensome ethics rules. Take Rep. Chip Pickering (R-Miss.), one of a few retiring lawmakers who is making an end run around a rule that would require him to recuse himself from voting on issues affecting firms that he is negotiating with for future employment. See, Pickering can claim that he isn’t actually negotiating with potential employers because he has hired an intermediary to do it for him. Ana Radelet writes about it in the Clarion Ledger.