You can file this under stuff that we more or less knew already, but the NYT has a brief preview of indictments-to-come:
Testimony in the trial of a former White House budget aide accused of lying about his contacts with the lobbyist Jack Abramoff is expected to result in new scrutiny of Representative Bob Ney, an Ohio Republican caught up in the influence-peddling scandal centered on Mr. Abramoff.[…]Mr. Ney’s former chief of staff, Neil G. Volz, who has pleaded guilty to conspiring with Mr. Abramoff to give illegal gifts to Mr. Ney, has been called to testify this week at the trial of David H. Safavian, the White House aide. Mr. Volz is expected to describe how Mr. Abramoff organized a $130,000 golf trip to Scotland by private jet in August 2002 for a group that included Mr. Ney and three House aides. […]Mr. Volz’s testimony is scheduled to take place in the wake of several embarrassments for Mr. Ney, who is facing a difficult re-election fight this fall. These include the disclosure last week that his current chief of staff and another former House aide were resisting defense subpoenas and threatening to assert their Fifth Amendment rights against compelled self-incrimination if called to the stand in Mr. Safavian’s trial.
To sum up: Abramoff is cooperating, Ney’s former chief-of-staff has already plead guilty to funneling illegal contributions to Ney, most of Ney’s staff plans to plead the Fifth and the Ken Lay/Jeff Skilling trials just proved that you should probably just give up if your only option is to play the blind-as-a-bat defense. If I was a prominent GOP campaign contributor I have no idea why I would donate to a campaign that would most likely end up using my cash for a legal defense. Maybe he’s calling the same suckers who gave to DeLay.
On a similar note the AP’s John Solomon has another story purporting to make Harry Reid look bad. Just like before, there’s no meat in that bun. For the seocnd time running Solomon’s story boils down to Reid accepting a gift that breaks no legal or ethical guidelines and then voting against the people who supposedly bought his influence.
Let’s hold a brief ethics seminar for the slow and hackish. In order for a gift to raise eyebrows it has to break the existing rules, as was the case with the Safavian/Ney affair described above. In order for a gift to break the law it has to involve a clear quid pro quo where quo is a legislative favor offered in return for the illicit quid. Jack Abramoff, for example, gave a swank golf trip in return for inside information on government land and no expansion of workplace protections for his clients in the Marianas Islands.
Interestingly the recent Hastert indictment story has at least one important scoop that doesn’t involve whether Dennis Hastert is in legal trouble – prosecutors have decided that perfectly legal campaign contributions may constitute an illegal quo if they can attach it to a specific quid. That expands the potential reach of the Abramoff affair dramatically and may well wreck the entire K Street model of doing business. The LA Times:
[S]ome long-established practices — including one known as earmarking, where lawmakers slip favored legislation into spending bills — are coming under scrutiny. There is concern that they are being used for self-enrichment or payback to supporters and campaign contributors.
“In the past, the Justice Department turned its eye away from official conduct linked to campaign contributions. Now that premise is being questioned,” said Abbe Lowell, a Washington defense lawyer who has represented many members of Congress. He also represents Abramoff.
“It is a huge policy issue,” Lowell said. “It goes to the heart of the private [campaign] contribution system.”
This news no doubt has a pork king like Don Young shaking in his bed. For Reid, who did the opposite of what his solicitors wanted, not so much. Given Reid’s rectitude in an age of payback it seems like Solomon has chosen a strangely inappropriate target for smearing.
It’s all just a hatchet job ginned up by Democrats trying to Criminalize Politics®, and only a wacko leftist would think otherwise.
Please put some money into the hats being passed around by Darrell, Sherard, Brian and ParR.
Thank you for your patriotism.
Not to worry, John S., Darrell and Co. will be here shortly to talk about the evil that Harry Reid is engaged in by accepting tickets to a boxing match. You know, the Nevada senator taking tickets from a Nevada political subdivision for a Nevada boxing match held in the State of Nevada?
All of it is legal, doesn’t violate Senate ethics rules, and Reid wasn’t being courted by the political subdivision. But, hey, we need a diversion from a corrupt gasbag like Ney, so…
Look! A Jackalope!
(Sigh). Both John and Ancient Purple have already taken the fun out of this thread. As soon as I read it I was eager to hear Darrell, Brian, et. al. start braying like the jackasses they are about Harry Reid’s free tickets to a boxing match.
Thank God for RedState.com I will go over there to watch them drink the KCN Grape Kool Aid over and over again.
Darrell is having his breakfast …. a big load of Purina Jackass Chow … and he’ll be here any minute to start the lambasting of Reid & Company.
It’s clearly all part of Hary Reid’s devious plan. By voting against the interests of the boxing commission, he was making himself look independent minded and unbribable, so that later on the boxing commission could get him to … uh … Darrell? Little help?
the real story here is lobbying. aside from the fact that it’s specifically allowed and encouraged by the constitution, it has gotten out of control. how to remedy is the question.
campaign finance reform did nothing of the sort. it only changed where the money goes, hiding where it came from and moved the more agressive lobbyists underground.
More restrictions on lobbying will only drive it underground more. money is speach. bring it back out into the open.
Gee, you think? Good thing the LA Times is out in front on this breaking news.
Hey, did somebody get the license plate on that Jackalope?
Wow. Nice work pp, OM and tBone. Nothing to add…
[sitting back waiting for the line to move as Darrell and Brian circle the bait]
Tim F. is a spoof!
Oh wait, not my line, sorry.
Be vewy, vewy quiet. We’re hunting jackawopes.
See? Those traitorous Democrats can’t even be trusted to stay bribed like loyal Republicans!
Emerald ash borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire, is an exotic beetle that was discovered in southeastern Michigan near Detroit in the summer of 2002
Tim F.: “For Reid, who did the opposite of what his solicitors wanted, not so much. Given Reid’s rectitude in an age of payback it seems like Solomon has chosen a strangely inappropriate target for smearing.”
Nah. Just another presstitute making sure that there’s at least one Democratic politician included, lest an article be ‘unbalanced’.
The Other Steve
I used to play this game as a kid.
When my brother would tell mom I was picking on him, I’d point out that my brother hadn’t yet done his homework.
Taught my brother that he ought to stay quiet, or face trouble from mom himself.
Hmmm…the fish aren’t biting today.
J. Michael Neal
The funny thing, if I may change the subject slightly, is that I agree with the Nevada State Athletic Commission. A national commission isn’t going to do very much to clean up boxing; most of the major problems aren’t related to the commissions, but rather with the alphabet sanctioning bodies and the promoters. There just isn’t that much that the national commission can do about these.
Now, a national commission would help in places where the state or local commission is completely incompetent (Michigan, for instance) or corrupt (some of the Indian tribes, and would a national commission be able to put them out of operation?). Definitely some improvemtn.
However, the NSAC, under Marc Ratner, is the best in the business, though Ratner is stepping down from the post next month. I very seriously doubt that a national commission will be close to as competent as the NSAC, or the New York commission, or probably even California. In order to get better conditions in fringe states, we’re going to get *less* qualified commissions in the states where the biggest fights happen.
Count me out. I’m glad that Harry Reid isn’t corrupt, but he voted the wrong way.
But should the Federal government really be involved in regulating boxing?
Tell me that certain folks wouldn’t be up in arms the first time a Hispanic Los Angelino showed up for a title fight rapped in Mexican flag in a government sponsored bout…
No, that’s real. Perhaps wrestling would be a more appropriate target for their legislative skillsets.
They don’t have the time for such trivialities, what with all the flag-burning gay adoptive Mexican parents out there for them to stand guard against.
Um, I think JMichael’s point is that no, they shouldn’t, but Reid felt otherwise.
And you really must not watch much boxing if you think your flag scenario has never happened before.
I know it has happened, but can you imagine Michael Buffer up there announcing “under the auspices of the Federal Bureau of Boxing we bring you Irish Joe McNaughty [wrapped in half-US, half-Irish flag, even though the kid is probably really named Michael Stevens and is of mixed Scandanavian heritage] vs. Paco “El Loco Latino” Trujilio [Mexican flag of course]”
The next day, Malkin asks why the federal goverment is subsidizing this symbol of reconquistas, etc…
how odd that reid, a former boxer and ring judge, would accept free boxing tickets. stone the crows, the missus will never believe this ‘un.
The Defenders are suffering from CFS (Conservative Fatigue Syndrom). It’s like PTSD. Being a member of the 82nd Chairborne is hard work. I’d imagine alot of the conservatives are at the VA, lining up for their free mental health treatments. Little do they know the administration is going to send them back to the front lines (their computer chairs) even though they are suffering from CFS.
Just to be clear upfront, I don’t think what Reid did is any big deal. However, to set the record straight, it should be noted that Reid did NOT vote contrary to the wishes of his benefactor in this case:
“Boxing reform blocked by Reid, McCain alleges”
By Tony Batt Las Vegas Review-Journal February 4, 2004
WASHINGTON — A feud between Sens. John McCain and Harry Reid over boxing reform intensified Tuesday when McCain accused Reid on a nationally syndicated radio program of stalling efforts to clean up the sport.
Appearing on the Don Imus show, which is simulcast on MSNBC, McCain promoted his bill to empower a national boxing commissioner.
“It’s being held up by Sen. Harry Reid,” said McCain, R-Ariz. “(Promoters) Don King and Bob Arum don’t want boxing reform, but we’re going to win because there are going to be more scandals.
P.S. though: What the heck does Congress have to do with boxing?
Reid’s answer : “This is a multimillion-dollar industry and it needs federal oversight.”
Is CFS like IBS? Like, you’re a full-of-shit gasbag?
Wow .. exciting stuff. If there is one thing the world needs right now, it’s fucking boxing reform.
I can understand why heavyweights (pardon the expression) like Reid and McCain are all over it.
And Perry, your most recent post …. gold.
The last line in my earlier comment omitted the embedded Link to the lengthier newspaper story, in which Reid explains his changed view of the issue. I still feel that this whole boxing ticket story is not a serious matter for Reid. The value of the tickets was only about $4500, and Reid has a long association with boxing, including time as a boxer, referee, and Nevada regulatory official.
excuse me, but in the absence of ppgaz, I feel compelled to remind everyone that until all the evidence is in, we can’t really make any judgements on this topic.
Why would the absence of facts or the incompleteness of a story stop you now?
I guess the Reid boxing tix story doesn’t sound that bad…until you hear that it was a secret boxing match in Prague between Mohamed Atta and Ali Hussein.
And in other news, Bush is still having trouble with the truth:
Meanwhile, back at the ranch…
Of course, Darrell will tell us that the President only “misinformed” the public because he didn’t want the markets to fail. Because of course, the public’s faith in this administration is so great that the resignation of the Secretary of Treasury would cause another Black Tuesday.
And if everything was kosher with those boxing tix, then why was Dingy Harry hiding them in his freezer? And why is he so worried that his phone might be tapped if he’s really innocent here?
Ah, come on John, you know telling the truth is HARD WORK!
Can you imagine if Clinton had done this, it would have been news 24/7…
Thanks, p.lukasiak! And I was about to accuse Reid of murdering civilians. Screw due process.
When Clinton lied, it WAS on the new 24/7.
Damn that liberal media.
DougJ…Jesus, man, don’t you know anything about fight tickets? They’ve got to be kept cold, or they turn as rotten as the rest of the “sport”.
C’mon, John, get some perspective! The forced departure of a Treasury Secretary can affect the financial markets worldwide, but an adulterous blow job is titillating! Of course lying about a private matter like that ought to create more news!
Solomon investigates Reid and all he can come up with is that Reid legally accepted tickets from a government agency and then voted against said agency’s interests. Wow! I only wish the Republicans were corrupt like Reid!
Now THAT’S funny. Choke-on-my-Cheetos funny.
The Other Steve
Hate to break it to you… but Robert Rubin already left treasury back in ’99.
Hey, isn’t that a boxing reform jackalope? Because nobody in government would want you to know about this, would they?
Tim, have you gotten any free boxing tickets recently? With that good press, I kind of wonder.
Tom in Texas
From your own snip, scs — different highlight:
Ya see, in this case the gift clearly did not elicit favorable action. Which was clearly stated in the post. Which you would know if… never mind.
Technically SCS is right, if this ticket was an attempt to actively influence Reid, then he should not accepted, even if it was a failed attempt.
However, to decide whether this was an active attempt, we would need to see several years of ticket gifts. If they establish a pattern of “Boxing Legislation then give Reid ticket” then perhaps a call of an attempt to influence, however poorly, can be made; however, if they are just a regular gift given to VIP and emeritis of the various boards, then it is just that, just a regular, automated thing.
I’m afraid that doesn’t matter. Even if free boxing tickets have been given out since George Washington, that was a year, or time period, that boxing legislation was being worked on. In other words, the “motivation” of the givers was to influence favorably the legislators and so Reid shouldn’t have accepted it during that time. Tim’s point that Reid voted agaist the bill does not count exactly. After all, Reid operates in a party environament, and is not exactly free to flip flop his vote at his own free will. Instead we would have to determine if Reid may have taken some small actions to benefit his gift givers, i.e. the boxing commissions and Indian tribes, such as delaying legislation, adding on some language, or watering it down, that he might not otherwise have done. Of course, the “pro quo” part would be very hard to prove, so hence, that’s why the Senate ethics guidelines were set up to dissuade all gift accepting from interested parties during the creation of legislation in the first place. A rule that Reid seems to have some trouble following for some reason. And that kind of seems a smoke and fire thing to me. If he can’t follow this simple rule, inspite of being not just some podunk Congressman, but the head of the Dem’s who knows he will get plenty of scrutiny for every little action he makes, what other rules isn’t he following?
These are the two most incredibly stupid sentences I have seen posted in a long time.
When you’re trying to buy influence, the relevant matter is whether or not the influence was bought. There can be no quid without the quo. And sorry, but Reid isn’t a Republican. Therefore he is free to break ranks with his party and vote however he pleases. Democrats do it all the time – sometimes to their detriment.
Now please crawl back under your ‘gosh I don’t get it’ rock, and let the adults continue having their conversation.
Is everything about the clenis these days?
Completely off topic, but Darrell, if you’re out there, you should look at this. Remember when we had the discussion about healthcare and wait times, etc? Turns out that it’s not anywhere near as bad as it’s made out to be. It’s an interesting read, anyway, for anybody who thinks that nationally-funded healthcare can’t work.
There’s another report on that study, which gives much more info about the “wait times” issue, but I can’t seem to get the link embedded properly.
So if you go to http://news.sympatico.msn.ca/Home/ , then click on “National” in the left-hand toolbar, and it’s the fourth news item down, you’ll see it.
I find these ‘OMG, somebody waited months for (elective) surgery!’ stories to be endlessly amusing. I’m expecting hip surgery. I was referred in February, and should have the surgery in August. This is in the USA. The only reason that I can have the surgery at all is that I have some extremely good insurance coverage; most people in my situation would be SOL. On the bright side, their waiting time wouldn’t be counted at all, so they should cheer up.
In my experience, it usually takes several months to get signficant elective surgery. Surgeons are kept booked up, and emergency/critical operations fill in any empty spcaes.
Darrell cannot comment on somethat that is the subject of an ongoing investigation.
Wow! Talk about pure ignorance. We don’t have the parliamentary constraint on senators voting how ever the hell they want to like they do in, say, Britain where the party leader has to give permission to the bloc to vote their conscience. Reid can vote one way today and another way tomorrow. Party leadership (which he is a member of) can express their disdain all they wish, but there is no party obligation to vote bloc. If that were the case, Alito would have either been filabustered or gotten a unanimous vote.
However, if you want to maintain that senators cannot flip-flop on votes, please do. Then also note that John Kerry was wrongly accused of flip-flopping because he couldn’t do so due to party environment.
Many Canadians retire to FLA, but all of them make sure they are in Canada for 6 months and 1 day because they want to keep their Canadian health insurance.
My wife is Canadian and has first hand knowledge of the quality of care under both systems… I’ve had good coverage and now have not so good coverage.. Quite frankly the level of care is better in Canada… and the wait times are similar. I’d have a real tough time coming up with an advantage I have with Aetna or Blue Cross over the Canadian system… umm I think my mental health coverage is marginally better.
That’s what cheeses me off, though — you get people who see reports of wait times for elective surgery, and they crow, “See! That socialist health care model of yours doesn’t work! We’re MUCH better off with private insurers.” Just ’cause our system isn’t 100% perfect doesn’t mean it still isn’t a good model. It works, and it works pretty darned well, and I think it’s a shame that you guys don’t have it. (Once again, REALLY sorry for the threadjack, but I wanted people to see the article, and had no idea when this topic might come up again.)
Twenty years of relentless and effective propaganda from BigPharma and BigHMO, and one of the most powerful lobbying machines in the country, have made it so. This machine is so powerful now that it can tell any lie and have it circulated as truth by a flaccid media that has no desire to do any actual work and get actual facts.
See WaMo and Kevin Drum’s very recent piece (currently at the top of his blogpage) on the myth of malpractice suits. When I say “myth” I mean manufactured lie, pimped to the point where it’s widely accepted as fact.
If you want to take comfort in the long-term lack of viability of the Republican view of government, look no further than the gigantic clusterfuck called Our Healthcare System … and the disasters that it wreaks daily on middle class Americans. The only thing out there more stupifying than this mess is the complete failure of the media and press to cover the story. It’s amazing and breathtakingly bad. Believe me when I tell (from personal experience) that every person in this country is 48 hours away from financial ruin thanks to a broken healthcare system. That’s 48 hours, without warning, and without recourse. Boom, you’re fucked. Just. Like. That.
“every person …. is potentially 48 hours away …”
That’s more accurate.
One layoff or one one underinsured family, and one medical event. Two or three nights in a hospital and a couple of invoices later, ruined.
Last time I looked, the number of uninsured was at around 50 million and climbing. Climbing, not declining.
That’s middle class working families.
Man, are you ignorant. While of course Senators are technically free to vote however they want, party politics usually get in the way. Especially when we are talking about the party leadership in the Senate, where the membership is smaller and the two sides are closer in number as compared to the larger, less hetereogenous Congress. And they usually vote in a block. For instance, TimF made a big deal of Reid “co-sponsoring” legislation agains the Indian tribes last time, but if you looked at the numbers, it was something like 35 out of 45 Senators “co-sponsored” the bill. So the Senate is pretty much a team sport. If you don’t know that, you don’t know anything. And the “adult” phrase is typical DougJ. Get a life please DougJ. All I can do is ask, since John C won’t control you.
This is the third most idiotic sentence I have seen posted. Keep up the good work.
And by the way, scs, I am not DougJ.
John Cole can confirm that.
Perhaps the typical “adult” phrase comes up so often because your posts read like a child wrote them.
Thanks for the link. I was just having this debate with one of my colleagues, and now I can pass this info along to him. This is what we’re all going to have to do to get a broader perspective these days–it’s not like the corporate-owned media is going to help us make an informed decision on these sorts of things.
In a surprising turn of events, scs is wrong:
And I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn I want to sell you.
Um, uh huh. Not tickets, people – merely “credentials” that let you into the game. Wow. That was some creative language there. And the meaning of “is” is not “is”, right?
Man does that make me laugh. DougJ has really done a number on you, sweetie. Do you see little spectres of DougJ everywhere? Does he haunt your dreams?
Clearly he must.
But believe whatever you want, toots. Whatever gets you through the day. Oh, move this paranoid comment of yours to the top of the stupid comment list. Or start a paranoid comment list – whichever you prefer.
No, but unfortunately, he haunts this damn blog. Got to give you credit for your stamina though.
I find this fantasy of yours hilarious. Probably because I am in the unique position – with the exception of DougJ, of course – to have the knowledge of what a loopy person you really are.
The funny thing about law is that words matter. If you act like you don’t know that, and then you use your lack of knowledge as the basis for a fallacious appeal to incredulity, then you’re mostly indicting yourself.
No problem. That “wait times” meme is really pervasive, isn’t it? Speaking as a person who has no private coverage, though, I’m damn glad that I at least have that basic safety net there.
Please TimF, please cite the Nevada statute that states it is not legal to pay for “credentials”, I would be curious to see if there actually is one. And besides, we are not talking about the Nevada law here Tim, we are talking abouit Senate ethics guidlines, the ones that say you are not supposed to take anything even remotely of value from an interested party during the time of legislation crafting. You seem to have as much trouble understanding that rule as Harry Reid. Maybe you should run for the Democratic congress too. Honestly Tim, it is moments like this that betray your total lack of fairness in these matters if you can’t admit that what Reid did was at best not wise and at worst wrong.