Apparently Reid promised he could keep it, then caved under pushback from his caucus. Specter still seems to think he'll get it back after the 2010 elections. (Seriously? What possible benefit could there be to the Dem Caucus to give it back to you once you're safely re-elected.) Despite my previous defense of Specter, after his classy comments about the death of Jack Kemp, this news makes me very happy.
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.