CS Monitor Puts The Pieces Together

Jack Abramoff, the the gift that keeps on giving:

Of all the pending controversies in Washington, few may be as perilous for the Republican majority as the one swirling around former powerhouse lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

At issue: Did he bilk, with partner Michael Scanlon, six Indian tribes of at least $80 million, evade taxes, and violate lobbyist disclosure rules? Mr. Abramoff has been indicted on fraud charges in Florida in a case related to his $147.5 million purchase of a gambling casino. He also faces probes by two Senate panels and a federal grand jury, which may yield criminal charges.

But what gives this scandal so much scope is the number of members of Congress, federal officials, and top conservative activists it potentially involves. More than just the saga of a rogue lobbyist, it opens a window on a high-stakes, high-fee lobbyist culture that is transforming Beltway business.

Not much new reporting, but you’ll find the meat in that last paragraph. Indicting Abramoff and unraveling his illegal network is tantamount to putting his entire way of doing business on trial, from Norquist’s insider dealing to Santorum’s K Street Project.






38 replies
  1. 1
    DougJ says:

    I’m frustrated that we’re not hearing any of the good news about the Abramoff probe.

  2. 2
    Steve S says:

    What about the schools? I heard Jack Abramhoff was building schools in bagdad with all this money.

  3. 3
    ppGaz says:

    How the HELL am I supposed to play the grenade-throwing curmudgeon if you are doing stand-up over here?

    Plus I spit soup on my laptop.

  4. 4
    DougJ says:

    Did anyone else hear enjoy the article in Slate where they called him Abraham Jackoff? Or am I the only one here who likes that kind of puerile humor?

  5. 5
    stickler says:

    Um, wasn’t it DeLay’s “K Street Project?” I didn’t know Santorum had the intellectual wattage to put something like that together.

    Oh, and if the Senate and House are investigating their own sugar daddy (Abramoff), what are the chances that anything will come of the investigations?

    If a crook falls in the forest, but all his cronies pretend not to hear it, does he make a sound?

  6. 6
    DougJ says:

    Um, wasn’t it DeLay’s “K Street Project?”

    Once again, the left resorts to lies and smears to advance their cause. Aaron Broussard, Joe Wilson, Tim F, traitors all of them.

  7. 7
    Tim F. says:

    Um, wasn’t it DeLay’s “K Street Project?”

    DeLay may have helped think it up, but Santorum took point. Added a link.

  8. 8
    Sine.Qua.Non says:

    What about the schools? I heard Jack Abramhoff was building schools in bagdad with all this money.

    Abramhoff was donating money to his kids private school – and it wasn’t in Iraq.

  9. 9
    Vladi G says:

    Are you sure you aren’t confusing DeLay’s K-Street project with Santorum’s K-9 project?

  10. 10
    demimondian says:

    DougJ, we prefer the term “reality based community” to the term “left”. “The left” has a certain physicality which tends to suggest that there is an actual reality with which we should be interacting. We consider that to be taking a faith-based position that tends to objectify the world while simultaneously marginalizing the Union of Concerned Solipsists.

    Besides, the levulodextrous caucus objects to the dextrocentrism of the older term.

  11. 11
    Horshu says:

    Which would you say is the worst: Santorum’s K-Street Project, DeLay’s K-Street Project, Steven Soderbergh/George Clooney’s K-Street Project?

  12. 12
    Steve S says:

    http://www.weeklyworldnews.com.....tics/61711

    PRESIDENT THRILLED WITH IRAN’S GIFT OF GIANT WOODEN CAMEL!

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — If President Bush appears to be in a better mood than usual, it could be due to Iran — or, more specifically, to the gift Iran recently offered the U.S.

    “The good people of Iran have presented us with a beautiful, giant, hand-carved wooden camel,” confided a White House spokesperson. “It’s 50-feet wide and 100-feet tall. The president is very excited and has sent Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to officially accept it and bring it home. He plans to display it on the White House lawn.”

    The White House is unconcerned that the camel is constructed of lightweight palm trees, yet weighs three tons.

    “There must be a heavy iron framework inside — or something,” said the White House spokesperson.

    “Secretary Rice sees the camel as a gracious peace offering, symbolizing the positive results of our military and occasional diplomatic efforts in the Middle East,” said a State Department spokesperson. “She can’t wait to help draw it along Pennsylvania Avenue as a testament to a superb and effective foreign policy.”

    LOL!

  13. 13
    stickler says:

    I stand corrected. My appreciation for Sen. Santorum’s wattage has increased. Incrementally.

    The Abramoff connections increasingly resemble that massive underground fungus they found in Wisconsin a few years back. It extended for hundreds of miles, and might be the largest living creature ever discovered.

    The Weekly World News story, though, has a sublime genius about it that defies description. How many WWN readers will get it?

  14. 14
    John says:

    I think it’s time John Cole finally admits that he’s a Democrat. The lie has gone on long enough.

  15. 15
    John S. says:

    The Weekly World News story, though, has a sublime genius about it that defies description. How many WWN readers will get it?

    That depends on how many WWN readers have read the Iliad (or at least seen the movie Troy).

    My guess is, it won’t be a very high percentage.

  16. 16
    Al Maviva says:

    Interesting that nobody is talking about the Senate Judiciary staffer who was leading an investigation into Abramoff. She was assaulted in her driveway by a hooded carrying a baseball bat. I believe she’s still in the hospital.

    And no, she is a majority staff investigator. She lives in a nice neighborhood in Northern VA where there isn’t any street crime.

    If I had to take odds on the attack, I’d say it was one of the casino interests that Abramoff represents, or represented. A local tribe where I used to live was bullied into opening up a casino by an organized crime front group that used a few peripheral tribe members as mouthpieces. Those in the tribal government who resisted had their homes burned, or they were beaten by masked armed thugs. The casino now takes in hundreds of millions of dollars, enough to give every member of the tribe living on the reservation several tens of thousands of dollars of income per year, yet the Indians on the reservation are just as poor as ever, near as I can see.

  17. 17
    Krista says:

    That depends on how many WWN readers have read the Iliad (or at least seen the movie Troy).

    My guess is, it won’t be a very high percentage.

    I’ve done neither, but one would really have to have been living under a rock to not get the reference.

  18. 18
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    Results are in on Bush’s Friday night “I Am Not A Liar” speech. After one full polling cycle Bush registers a 3 point drop at Rasmussen.

    http://www.rasmussenreports.co.....proval.htm

    Starting to get the feeling that the nation is not rushing to Bush’s side because of some of the things that have been writting about him at Daily Kos ….

  19. 19
    neil says:

    I didn’t realize that WWN did humor that high-brow. I mean, that’s practically Onion material — they didn’t even explain the joke! (Although I must say, I think most people know what the Trojan horse is. Then again, unless it’s on a standardized test somewhere, they probably stopped teaching it in school after No Child Left Behind.)

    I think it’s time John Cole finally admits that he’s a Democrat. The lie has gone on long enough.

    As long as Democrats continue to put beans in their chili, John Cole will never be a Democrat.

  20. 20
    neil says:

    There’s also this article:

    http://www.weeklyworldnews.com.....tics/61714

    President Bush is so worried that many of his top aides and associates in Congress will be imprisoned for assorted wrong-doing that he’s busily converting the West Wing of the White House into an “Arrest Wing” — a row of prison cells from which these aides can keep working if they’re ever convicted.
    […]
    Republican Senator Burt Stroud of Wyoming is greatly saddened by these plans.
    “I’m sure our Founding Fathers never envisioned the day when the White House would become the Big House,” he said.

    Sadly, the most unrealistic part of this article is the idea that a Republican Senator would criticize the plan, or at least not blame Democrats for forcing it by criminalizing politics.

  21. 21
    stickler says:

    I’ve done neither, but one would really have to have been living under a rock to not get the reference.

    Well, we’re talking about the Weekly World News here, so there’s no certainty. Either you know it’s utterly fake and you buy it for laughs, or you are stupid enough to also be living under a rock. I’m not sure I’ve ever actually seen anyone buy a copy, so I have no way of knowing which might be the case.

  22. 22
    Krista says:

    I proudly admit that I buy it for laughs. Not every week of course. But once or twice a year, the cover story is so off-the-wall, I have to check it out.

  23. 23
    ppGaz says:

    Interesting that nobody is talking about the

    ppGaz’s eigth rule of Internets commentary:

    Any sentence that begins with the word “interesting”, won’t be.

    Thanks for illustrating the point!

  24. 24
    Krista says:

    Actually, I did find that kind of interesting. Scary, and not all that surprising (sadly enough), but interesting.

  25. 25
    ppGaz says:

    Actually, I did find that kind of interesting. Scary, and not all that surprising (sadly enough), but interesting.

    8-)

  26. 26
    DougJ says:

    We’ve turned the corner in the war on ethics, or WOE, as many are calling it. (There was a move under way to rename it the GSAFE — Global Struggle Against Financial Ethics, but it didn’t take.)

  27. 27
    DougJ says:

    Anybody who wants to prosecute crimes in Washington will be found and smeared on Fox News. There are some that feel like if they convict us that we may decide to leave prematurely. They don’t understand what they are talking about if that is the case. Let me finish. There are some who feel like the conditions are such that they can put us in jail. My answer is, bring ’em on.

  28. 28
    ppGaz says:

    Well, Doug, what the Democrats are trying to do here is to criminalize corruption. I doubt that the American people reall want that.

  29. 29
    demimondian says:

    Why do the Democrats always want to regulate the market? For God’s sake, all that’s happening here is that the Republicans are trying to get the best possible deal for their votes, and, by extension, for their voters. It’s not like the Republican party has a monopoly on the three branches of government, after all.

    Next thing you know, the Democrats will be trying to make sure that individual voters do not sell their votes. Darn it, it’s your vote, not the Government’s vote. All the government has is a bunch of paper ballots that represent votes you all have given to it.

  30. 30
    ppGaz says:

    Next thing you know, the Democrats will be trying to make sure that individual voters do not sell their votes

    It’s not whether you sell your vote. It’s to whom you choose to sell it.

    That’s the secret. That’s why the Founders didn’t want women voting, they feared that women might sell their votes to anyone, for the wrong reasons. When honorable men only sold their votes to other honorable men, property owners, for example, everything worked fine.

    Now we have Democrats trying to criminalize some vote-selling because some votes have been sold to the wrong interests. In order for the free market to work, votes have be bought and sold freely. When the free vote market is interrupted, then bad things begin to happen.

  31. 31
    Otto Man says:

    Abramoff simply wanted the best government oversight that money could buy. What’s wrong with that?

    Dirty commies.

  32. 32
    ppGaz says:

    Yes, but when you try to criminalize corruption, or what I would call, Benevolent Corruption, which is corruption that is serving a higher purpose, then that’s when bad things start to happen. Benevolent corruption has been the bedrock of the American system for two hundred years.

  33. 33
    demimondian says:

    It was an oversight. No one could have foreseen that the tax levies would fail.

  34. 34
    demimondian says:

    This is just another example of the War on your Neighbor. If people have something to sell that other people want, then no amount of government “regulation” will make a difference. In fact, the cost of such “regulations”, both in a social and a financial sense, usually drawfs any putative social benefit they occasion.

    This is really just a racist war on rich white middle-class men.

  35. 35
    ppGaz says:

    See, this is all so unfair.

    When Tom Delay went before Ronnie “Mad Dog” Earle’s grand jury, he consulted his lawyer first to make sure that what he was going to tell them was not going to get him into trouble.

    Now, Tom’s lawyer is the same fellow who told Tom, earlier this year, that the courts are run by judges who want to take power away from the people. Tom, he says, the real high court is the Congress, that’s the Court of the People. The Court of the People has the ultimate power, that’s the way the Founders intended it. So go down there to Washington and let the Court of the People decide the Terri Schiavo case. The people will love you for it.

    Well, I guess in some parts of Texas, they still don’t know that the power doesn’t live with judges and prosecutors. Ultimately the people will take back control, and the money will flow freely again.

  36. 36

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