This story neatly encapsulates so much of what’s wrong with our current leadership:
I’ll summarize: At the behest of the Heritage Foundation, Malaysian Prime minister Matahir Mohammed, who used a sham company called the American International Center to retain the services of Jack Abramoff, paid Abramoff $1.2 million to arrange a single meeting with Bush via Karl Rove.
The Daily Muck at TPM Cafe does a good job of summarizing the essential background reading.
It would take a while to properly unpack all of the ridiculousness in this story.
For example, Bush defenders will read this and go on thinking that there was no significant link between Abramoff’s shady activities and the White House because, see, we don’t have a picture yet. Well we do but it isn’t very convincing. So there. Never mind that Rove borrowed his personal assistant Susan Ralston directly from Abramoff.
This might help to explain why Scotty Mac sincerely pledged to deliver a list of Abramoff’s contacts with the White House then thought better of it. I know it sounds crazy, but maybe Matahir Mohammed isn’t the only person who paid Abramoff to arrange a meeting with Bush. The South African Apartheid regime was already gone by then so they’re probably out, but plenty of other clandestine Abramoff clients exist and most of them probably have a working phone (that’s a hint for reporters reading this).
What is the Heritage Foundation doing advising Malaysia? I suppose that you could make some convoluted argument about free enterprise zones and import/export policies. Were they above a little investing, Pat Robertson-style? We don’t know yet, but they sure didn’t mind each other’s company.
Of course there’s the pay-to-play angle. You all remember the tremulous outrage over Bill Clinton renting out the Lincoln bedroom to campaign donors. Is it worse when the cash comes extralegally and explicitly goes towards influencing policy? The screen fades to good-government activist Rep. Dick Cheney, standing on a windswept field and shedding a single, silent tear.
We could play ‘imagine if Clinton…,’ but get real. People kept guns in the basement in case Clinton did stuff like this.
That never, ever stops being funny.
My favorite line.
Just curious are the apologists ever going to get tired of trying to cover this Administration?
But Harry Reid got money from some Native Americans!
How long until Cheney shoots someone else to distract us?
How come we never hear about all the foreign leaders who met with Bush without having bribed Jack Abramoff? The media doesn’t want you to know about them, because it would undermine the whole “Bush is evil” meme that they’re always pushing.
We’re taking bribes over there so we don’t have to…
You mean like Bill Clinton, Lorel and the Chinese Waiver?
Clinton Defends China Satellite Waiver
Thanks for the link to Clinton doing something similar. Now we can truthfully say that Bush=Clinton.
Corruption in Washington?
Well, Bush already has his lines for such a happenstance:
“Bring it on!”
“I am not really that concerned with it!”
“Corruption is in its last throes.”
“It was just an unfortunate accident.”
And the blogs are ready:
“The press has overplayed this story.”
“How long before the Dems overplay their hand on this?”
“Bush did have quid pro quo with that man, Jack Abramoff!”
“Bush did not have quid pro quo with that woman, Jackie Abramoff.”
The Other Steve
Oh come on. Jack Abramhoff took money… This isn’t like Bush took a bribe himself.
The Other Steve
So that’s the source of the Republican moonbat accusations against Clinton that he sold military secrets to China. All these years I’ve been trying to figure out what the hell you guys were talking about.
Sheesh. Talk about blowing something out of proportion.
the funniest thing about this whole story is that the prime minister of malaysia had to pay money to meet with the president of the US.
The real outrage here is how the Democrats are trying to politicize this issue.
In the end, though all of this is inside the beltway stuff: million dollar bribes, money laundering, possible links to gangland style executions. Until the Democrats step up and deal with the real issues facing the country — runaway brides, the war on Christmas, outrageous remarks by Bryant Gumble — they won’t start winning elections.
The Republicans really overplayed their hand here. Yup.
That and Johnny Chung/Charlie Trie
Ex-Democratic fund-raiser Johnny Chung to testify before House committee
Charlie Trie Indicted
CHARLIE TRIE PLEADS GUILTY TO FEDERAL CAMPAIGN FINANCE VIOLATIONS
You mean like the Quail-gate/Cheney Hunting Accident?
$1.2 million to meet with the president? How many sweatshop t-shirts do you think that works out to?
The Other Steve
Well, obviously. Also Chappamoonbat, and the other faux outrage Republican generated scandals.
I’m glad we got that covered, now hopefully you’ll start acting like an intelligent adult and now bring these things up again.
Spit my coffee, worth 5 points right there.
That’s a lotta dough just to meet the Prez. Seems like the guy could’ve saved himself some money by simply making a donation to the RNC, or becoming a Bush Pioneer.
Can anyone believe this deal to let the UAE run our ports? I simply cannot believe it.
No Sheik Left Behind
No one ever talks about the ports the UAE doesn’t run.
I think a far more interesting issue would be to predict which of our BJ posters – both left- and right-wing – will support Bush’s position. There is always one “reasonable Democrat,” and there is always at least one Bushbot.
No. They are never going to get tired of it. Without Bush the whole dike collapses and the sea rushes in.
If UAE doesn’t get the port deal, the terrorists win.
“Imagine if Clinton?” Imagine if Clinton got extralegal money for a policy quid pro quo? I’ll raise you with the fact that the quid pro quo hurt national security and strengthened the offensive missile capability of the Communist Chinese government!
“Get real,” right back atcha, Tim. Compared to the policy impact of Clinton’s boys and the Chinese satellite deal, the Jack Abramoff affair is extremely, extremely tiny potatoes.
Imagine if Saddam Hussein were still in power. And imagine that Iraq had control of our ports. Wouldn’t that be a lot worse than having the UAE in charge of them?
DougJ is right. The world is better off without Saddam Hussein in charge of our ports.
I hate being predictable.