I’ve largely passed on the Abramoff story since Jack’s decision to turn state’s evidence because for now, anyway, nothing is really happening. We’re stuck in the period after the witness has begun to cooperate but before we know where exactly the prosecution is headed. This might be one of the most entertaining games of musical chairs in history, with the White House on the run and the press desperate for excuses to call this scandal ‘bipartisan,’ but that’s all it is.
The political impact, of course, is enormous. People care about this story. The question of corruption resonates enough that Republicans and Democrats have fallen over each other to get out competing proposals to clean up DC, although it turns out that Republicans were just kidding about theirs. Two politicians in particular are looking at the sharp end of the public’s wrath over corruption in DC: Rick Santorum, whose dimming reelection prospects have forced him into an increasingly comical position of denying any knowledge his own K Street Project, and of course Tom DeLay. Not to be unfair to Santorum, I feel obligated to point out, via Carpetbagger, that DeLay also isn’t above denying the obvious.
A letter to Republicans in DeLay’s district, yesterday:
“A final word on Jack Abramoff: the notion that he was a close friend who wielded influence over me is absolutely untrue,” DeLay wrote. “As Whip and Majority Leader, I met with many people who brought issues before Congress and sought support of both Republicans and Democrats.”
DeLay added: “The reality is, Jack Abramoff and I were not close personal friends. I met with him only occasionally, in fact less frequently than numerous others who brought issues before Congress — never did he receive preferential treatment.”
Tom DeLay in 1997:
“When one of my closest and dearest friends, Jack Abramoff, your most able representative in Washington, D.C., invited me to the islands, I wanted to see firsthand the free-market success and the progress and reform you have made,”
Nice try, Tom. You don’t cure gangrene by washing your hands.
It sure looks like DeLay has shot, er, sprayed himself in the foot.
I’m sick of you and your truthiness, Tim.
Delay will just pull a Zell talking about Kerry and say that he was lying for political reasons when he said nice things about him before and is actually telling the truth now. And somehow, Blizter and the rest will take it in stride and believe him.
The Disenfranchised Voter
Nice catch, Tim.
Before I knew him, I had never met him before.
Although I guess he’s got an out: he was lying the first time. If I had to choose, I’d go with that. I mean, if I had to choose AND I lied for a living.
I love this quote. I am going to make use of it.
There’s no contradiction there.
In the first claim, Delay says that they weren’t close friends. In the second, he merely states that Jack was one of his closest friends. That doesn’t mean that they are close, it only means that Delay doesn’t have a lot of friends closer than Jack. Which is to say he doesn’t have many close friends, which I’m sure no one can doubt.
One of my fattest friends is 180 pounds. He’s not fat, though. See the difference? See?
You can read John’s take over at Red State. Of course, you’ll have to gouge your eyes out and drive a stake through your heart afterwards…
MacBuckets – You clever boots, you. Bet you $20 Delay will try to use that argument, too.
I’m guessing/hoping that Mac is being just as ironical as I am. Mac: you missed the opportunity to differentiate on personal. RUN with it!
All I can say is, don’t try that line of reasoning with a girlfriend. (“Sure, her ass is the *fattest* in that dress, but I didn’t call her fat…”)
John’s post () makes sense to me. If you have to wash your eyes out after visiting Red State then you’re really not ready for the kind of fever swamps that exist out on the fringe.
I think that this code was written specifically to punish Mac users. Fortunately, with rare exceptions, I’m not.
I was amused to see this on a conservative site: “Mr. DeLay ought to be able to receive the benefit of the doubt. This is America, where not only as a matter of law, but as a matter of general principle, we collectively agree that the presumption of innocence ought to precede criminal conviction.”
Of course, I shouldn’t be surprised or amused by that sentiment, obviously it comes up whenever I discuss the O.J. Simpson trial with my conservative friends.
This is all Inside Baseball stuff. Stuff only those within the Beltway care about. Trust me: with memories of the House banking scandal, Teapot Dome, and Tammany Hall still fresh in voters’ minds, there just going to see this as business as usual.
Redstate is the fringe. They just don’t use curse words. The propaganda about Redstate being some kind of “rational,” “conservative” website is just that: propaganda. Any doubt in anyone’s mind should have been erased by their festival of garment-rending during the Schiavo travesty.
If you want big-government, police-state, foaming antiabortion wingnuttery, Redstate is just the ticket. The regular Inquisition and banning they indulge in is just added entertainment value.
When they find Abramoff’s blood in Delay’s Bronco, you let me know…
What is the joke? “A conservative is a liberal who’s been mugged… and a liberal is a conservative whose friend got indicted.”
I think the part of Delay insanity being underreported is that the approprations seat he landed/reclaimed is part of the group that oversees the Department of Justice. No conflict of interest there seeing as the Abramoff case is an “ongoing investigation”, nahhhhhh.
So here’s the deal, since John’s righwing buddies are so pious and dainty, I’ll refrain from profanity.
At least as long as John does, and then I’ll only use only the naughty words he uses. Unless I’m quoting say, Dick “Go fuck yourself” Cheney. I think that’s a deal we liberals can live with.
I don’t give a rat’s postier region for what the wingers think, but there’s still work to do convincing the independents that the Republican party is the home of thieves, liars, incompetents, and homophobes.
John’s point is bizarre. He criticizes the reporter for not mentioning that DeLay was simply taking back his old committee assignment, but the linked article states quite clearly that DeLay “was a member until becoming majority leader in 2003.”
I think it’s pretty weak spin in any event. You can argue about whether the party should or shouldn’t let DeLay have that spot, but either way, they certainly have the power to give it to someone else if they wanted to.
re: cole’s redstate post…
correct me if I’m wrong, but committee assignments are given out at the beginning of each Congress — and Delay was majority leader from the beginning of the current Congress. In other words, although he may have given up a seat on the Appropriations committee to become majority leader after Dick Armey retired, it seems unlikely to me that he would have actually received an Appropriations Committee assignment in January 2005 at the start of the 109th Congress — and thus has no right to “reclaim” that seat…
re: The above —
well, I did a little research, and I was right — committee assignments are determined at the beginning of each Congress — and (as we saw with the ethics committee) if the Powers that Be don’t want you on a committee, you don’t get on that committee….
And, according to the House web site, Tom Delay has no committee assignments this year. So, he couldn’t “reclaim” squat, regardless of what Cole says….
It seems almost as if what’s going on with the modern day GOP is an environment, a cultivation, or one might say a culture, of some kind of malfeasance or unscrupulousness that could be construed as corruption. I need to re-read that Contract for America. I didn’t realize that somewhere sandwiched between The Fiscal Responsibility Act the Taking Back our Streets Act and the American Dream Restoration Act was the Create a Political Machine to Line your own Pockets and Stay in Power Act. Stupid fine print.
The issue here is not whether Tom DeLay engaged in improprieties while in Congress, it is who loves God more.
And obviously the answer to that one would be Tom DeLay.
End of discussion.
Using that baseline, please explain the “Bill or Hillary murdered or had someone murder Vince Foster” meme.
Of course, when we read the rest of the quote, we get this:
So DeLay said extra-sooper nice things about Abramoff to a group of Abramoff’s clients at an event sponsored by Abramoff on a trip paid for by Abramoff.
I guess members of the Democratic commentariat don’t get out much or are asked to speak in front of groups and say nice things about their host. I’m guessing many of you have never given a Best Man toast either. Or, if you did so, it was so truthful that the wedding was annulled.
The bigger issue than DeLay said nicer things then than now about Abramoff is the rest of the rest of the quote. Which is this:
Way to completely focus on the irrelevant there guys.
Did John get bopped on the head recently, or is he just really, really cranky after having not had his, er, ‘juice’ (hey, it’s from grapes…) for a while?
Should we really be investigating our leaders while we are at war? What kind of message does that send to our enemies? Earlier today, we learned that we were able to foil a plot to run a plane into a tower in LA with information obtained from government surveillance of PETA and the ACLU. Isn’t that sign that we should all just shut up and let our leaders do their job?
Tom DeLay may not be perfect but would you rather have Osama bin Laden or Saddam Hussein chairing the appropriations committee? That’s the “choice” the Dumborats offer.
Here’s another thing: Abramoff was an orthodox Jew, a really Jewy one like you might see in Crown Heights or Williamsburg. Would a backwoods fundie like DeLay hang out with a guy like that? I mean, what would they even talk about? How would the conversation even go:
DeLay: Jesus told me to follow him by killing termites. He was a carpenter.
Abramoff: The Torah tells me that Jesus was not really the Savior.
DeLay: Fuck you, motherfucker. You want to mess with the hammer?
You see, it just isn’t plausible that they could be friends.
Ok, so Delay-lite is the new majority leader [and if you didn’t see this gem, do so now]
and Mr. Mister himself, accused of money-laundering, is on the Appropriations Committee, taking over the seat of someone else that was booted for taking bribes.
Republican Reform? I want to laugh, but its just too sad.
Why is John posting about this at Redstate? Does he need a friendly audience?
His corporate masters made him do it:
“John,” they said, “You spend way too damn much time talking to liberals, Democrats, atheists, and other free-thinking menaces to hegemony. Your mind’s being warped. Shag your butt over to RS and post something there, to innoculate yourself against the motley crew that hands out at your blog.”
Now this is reform:
I’ll be interested to hear the arguments against such a bill.
You mean the bill Kerry calls the “Duke Cunningham Bill,” outrageously smearing a decorated combat veteran?
Funniest thing I’ve read on bj, nice one DougJ.
Good one Steve. Keep em coming.
t. jasper parnell
Fiddlesticks to “his corporate masters.” Enforced sobriety is something to be sypathized with not taunted about. Obviously, Mr. Cole is a close-minded fool, after all this post is proof of that. He may be wrong on occasion and might even deploy the occassional vulgarity or have friends I might cross the street to avoid, but whom among us is not, has not, or knows not something much the same? And whoever it was that pointed out the shifting sands of personal closeness are not the point is correct. Just as it is possible to sleep with the entity of your choice with out infusing the act with glow of true love, it is possible to be bribed and corrupted by those you despise.
jasper uses big words to try to justify his active campaign of ignoring the elephant in the room.
Let us know how that works for you. I’m glad you’re willing to look the other way for Republican corruption, would you do the same for a Democrat?
How is what DeLay did any different from the stuff Nero and Charlemagne did? Huh?
Nero? Bitch please.
Agamemnon’s court was rife with lobbyists. How do you think that cheese-eating duel-refuser (they named a city after him, for chrissake. If that doesn’t tell you all you need to know about the French…) ever got close enough to make out with his wife?
Bob In Pacifica
Mac Buckets, I’ll see you O.J. and raise you. I’ve been puttering around the internet about Abramoff’s partner Adam Kidan’s organized crime family (I mean, his dad was in organized crime, his mom was killed in a gangland murder) and stuff around the Gus Boulis murder (by a gangster) and the Abramoff/Kidan “acquisition” of SunCruz Corporation and its fleet of gambling ships and came across an interesting story reported in the papers down in Florida about a week and a half after 9/11 that some of the hijackers involved in 9/11 were caught on the security cameras on one of those SunCruz gambling boats a few days before the attack.
Now, if you’re a devout Muslim and you’re about to kill yourself for the greater glory of Allah, how come you’re liquoring and gambling on a SunCruz boat?
How embarrassing it must be. Even terrorists can’t get away from the taint of Abramoff.
t. jasper parnell
I am not a Republican and find the policies of the current administration beneath contempt and so on. I am not sure which words it was I used whose length violates some unstated standard. For that, of course, I appologize. As to rooms and elephants, I have absolutely no earthly idea to what you refer.
My point was simply this, or intended to be simply this: Mr. Cole is not some brain-dead asshole endlessly burbling nonsense at the behest of some dangerous cabal (sorry group of Republithugs). Rather he seems to be, witness his inclusion of Mr. F in the highlarrity all here as well as his many and clear-minded posts on the rising tide of extremisms of various sorts, someone interested in and in possession of a widearray of ideas and opinions. Some those he holds may be wrong etc etc, but reasonable people can disagree.
DougJ: “Grasshoppper, as quickly as you can, snatch this pebble from my hand”
(Bob in Pacifica snatches pebble from DougJ’s hand)
DougJ: “Time for you leave”
(Bob in Pacifica begins roaming the Bulletin Boards of the internet dressed as a chinese monk)
first off, olde english died out a long time ago.
second, this isn’t a Cole posting, its a Tim posting.
Third, ignoring corruption and distinct facts that show a coverup of that corruption is ignoring an elephant in a room. Sooner or later you’re going to step in a huge pile of doodoo and you’ll have to admit that the tides of evidence were too overwhelming to continue to deny their conclusion.
Fourth: On 01/03/06, Tom Delay’s lawyer Dick Deguerin said that Jack and Tom were great buddies:
Dick: There’s no question that they are friends and Tom Delay’s not the kind of person that’s going to turn his back on a friend that’s in trouble—Tom Delay is not going to abandon Jack Abramoff just because Abramoff has done some illegal things…
Bob In Pacifica
Start here, Faux:
There are three ways I can end this thread:
1) This was so last week. We should be bitching over the Social Security Stealth Hack that Shrub is trying to pass through the budget.
2) Answer this: Ginger… or Mary Ann?
3) Look! Over there! Porno!
Think any of them will work, boss?
You don’t write for “Deadwood,” by any chance–do you?
How about you link to aforementioned Social Security Hack, Paul?
t. jasper parnell
As I think my response made clear, I am fully aware that this is Mr. F’s post. Had you bothered to follow the link to the Slate article, in a post above, you would have seen that the missing clause of the sentence quoted by Mr. F, to show bestest buddyhood between Delay and Abramoff, indicates that on his return from calling Mr. A his newest and bestest buddy, Mr Delay granted the group, to which he declared his undying friend ship for Mr. A, a desired form of legislative relief.
In other words, it is not a question of their bestest buddyness but rather that there is a suggestion that there was a potentially corrupt relationship between Mr. A and Mr. D. The relavant clause is “whom, upon his return to Washington, he helped win an extended exemption from federal immigration and labor laws.” How is this ignoring elephants, shit and so forth.
My point, as I believe was the point of the initial poster, that focusing on buddyhood related flip flopping is missing the larger issue, which is — ta da — a corrupt relationship between Mr. A and Mr. D.
Interesting stuff as is the Associated Press story now crossing the wire. It appears that Senator Reid is up to his ass in Abramoff slease, from taking money from Abramoff, Abramoff’s clients and performing quid pro quo tasks, such as intervening in regulatory issues affecting Abramoff’s clients. His top aide has also been found to have partaken of the Abramoff largesse, including overseas trips. Reid is separately reported to be a target of the Abramoff lobbyibg probe. Heh. Heh.
My apologies Bob, I wasn’t trying to call you out as a Troll. In fact I believed your post and thought it was so outstanding that you have surpassed DougJ by using truth which is in this case “stranger than fiction”. It was a great post.
Does the gambling and booze mean the terrorists didn’t get the 72 virgins?
Par, per par, offers nary a link.
Here is the link for that issue.
Additionally, here is a nice, big, fat gift to the drug companies, courtesty of Frist and Hastert.
So glad transparent government is important to those clowns.
Try this Link, Poop:
Let’s look at Par R’s contention and then the story he linked:
Par R wrote:
You are either a liar or need a lesson in reading comprehension. The article you linked never says he took money from Abramoff.
No one has ever said that the Republicans who took money from A’s clients did anything wrong. It was the fact they got money from Abramoff’s own pocket that was the problem. Contributions from the tribes was not illegal in any way, shape or form.
Yet, for some odd reason, you forgot to mention that the trip was cleared by the Senate Ethics Committee. Why did you leave that important part out, Par? I know why and so does everyone else.
Really? Where’s the link? Because this isn’t in the article you cited.
jasper: I see this kind of post as follow ups making sure people realize that Delay is a liar, plain and simple.
Its also an emotional plee, as in those that can conveniently forget their friends can no longer be trusted in any responsibility or post.
This is just another nail, albeit small, in Delay’s political coffin.
Following are excerpts from the aforementioned Associated Press article, with the Link to the full story provided above:
Reid, D-Nev., has led the Democratic Party’s attacks portraying Abramoff’s lobbying and fundraising as a Republican scandal.
But Abramoff’s records show his lobbying partners billed for nearly two dozen phone contacts or meetings with Reid’s office in 2001 alone.
Most were to discuss Democratic legislation that would have applied the U.S. minimum wage to the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. territory and Abramoff client, but would have given the islands a temporary break on the wage rate, the billing records show.
Reid also intervened on government matters at least five times in ways helpful to Abramoff’s tribal clients, once opposing legislation on the Senate floor and four times sending letters pressing the Bush administration on tribal issues. Reid collected donations around the time of each action.
Ethics rules require senators to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest in collecting contributions around the times they take official acts benefiting donors.
Abramoff’s firm also hired one of Reid’s top legislative aides as a lobbyist. The aide later helped throw a fundraiser for Reid at Abramoff’s firm that raised donations from several of his lobbying partners.
And Reid’s longtime chief of staff accepted a free trip to Malaysia arranged by a consulting firm connected to Abramoff that recently has gained attention in the influence-peddling investigation that has gripped the Capitol.
Abramoff has pleaded guilty in a fraud and bribery case and is now helping prosecutors investigate the conduct of lawmakers, congressional aides and administration officials his team used to lobby.
End of excerpts. Boy, that Democratic “culture of corruption” is a real bitch!
t. jasper parnell
Sorry, I assumed that telling me I missed the elephant and his or her, for that matter, shit and suggesting that I was “excusing” Republican corruption, to say nothing of pointed remarks about my prose, was a way of calling me a some kind of an illinformed reprobate and a pompous ass. Just as I mistakenly assumed that refering to Mr. Cole’s corporate overlords, or whatever it was, was intended to impugn his integrity. Language, even that which avoids the cumbersome constructions of — what you so wittily called — olde english, can be so very complicated
The Disenfranchised Voter
You don’t need to pay any attention to Par R. This is the guy who was blabbering about the left spitting on soldiers.
He’s one of those retards who is still stuck in the 60’s.
Bob In Pacifica
I was against the Vietnam War and I was also in the army at the time. Did I spit on myself? I don’t remember. Maybe that’s because it was the sixties.
“…The question of corruption resonates enough that Republicans and Democrats have fallen over each other to get out competing proposals to clean up DC….”
I likely missed it, or am forgetting due to lack of sufficient sleep, but did you post on the McCain explosion at Obama over this?
The Captain of the O
DeLay must have no soul at all.
The Captain of the O
DeLay must have no soul at all.
You lose. At least Darrell is partially original with his diarhetic spew. You, not so much. But keep trying, some day we can have a real flame-war. But I’ll wait til you upgrade from the squirt pistol.
Poophead, you are one funny fellow…that you are. Just out of idle curiosity, are you in high school yet?
The lawyer in me has only one response
“res ipsa loquitor”
Well, Poop, the lawyer in me says that you are probably just one nickle short of disbarment.