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NYT has the story that Abramoff may flip in the next 6 weeks.  Atrios notes this would nuke the GOP.

Many forces are bearing down on Mr. Abramoff. Last week, his closest business partner, Michael Scanlon, pleaded guilty to conspiracy in exchange for cooperating in the inquiry, being run by an interagency group, into whether money and gifts were used in an influence-peddling scandal that involved lawmakers.

Despite charging Indian tribes that were clients tens of millions of dollars in lobbying fees, Mr. Abramoff has told friends that he is running out of money. In a new approach that could contribute to the pressures, prosecutors are sifting through evidence related to the hiring of several former Congressional aides by a lobbying firm, Greenberg Traurig, where Mr. Abramoff worked from 2000 to last year, according to people who know about the inquiry. That course could impel a new set of Mr. Abramoff's former associates to cooperate to avoid prosecution.

Investigators are said to be especially interested in how Tony C. Rudy, a former deputy chief of staff to Representative Tom DeLay of Texas, and Neil G. Volz, a former chief of staff to Representative BobNey of Ohio, obtained lobbying positions with big firms on K Street.

The hiring pattern is "very much a part of" what prosecutors are focusing on, a person involved in the case said. Another participant confirmed that investigators were trying to determine whether aides conducted "job negotiations with Jack Abramoff" while they were in a position to help him on Capitol Hill.

Prosecutors are trying to establish that "it's not just a ticket to a ballgame, it's major jobs" that exchanged hands, the participant in the case said. Also under examination are payments to lobbyists and lawmakers' wives, including Mr. Rudy's wife, Lisa Rudy, whose firm, Liberty Consulting, worked in consultation with Mr. Abramoff, people involved in case said.

What began as an inquiry into Mr. Scanlon and Mr. Abramoff's lobbying has widened to a corruption investigation centering mainly on Republican lawmakers who came to power as part of the conservative revolution of the 1990's. At least six members of Congress are in the scope of the inquiry, with an additional 12 or so former aides being examined to determine whether they gave Mr. Abramoff legislative help in exchange for campaign donations, lavish trips and gifts.

It may be difficult for prosecutors to translate certain elements of the case into indictments. Bribery, corruption and conspiracy cases are notoriously difficult to prove. But the potential dimensions are enormous, and the investigation, at a time of turmoil for the Bush administration, threatens to add a new knot of problems for the party heading into the elections next year.

Several people involved in the case, insisting on anonymity because of the plea negotiations, said they anticipated that Mr. Abramoff would try to reach an agreement with the prosecutors in a rapidly closing window of time before he is scheduled to stand trial in a separate federal case in Florida.

Mr. Abramoff and another business partner, Adam Kidan, were indicted in August on charges of wire fraud and conspiracy for reportedly defrauding their lenders as they sought to buy a company in Miami, SunCruz Casinos, that operated a fleet of gambling boats.

That trial is to begin on Jan. 9.

We need to hit hard on this as a party and go after every possible seat in '06!

NOTE: THIS DIARY HAS BEEN SUPERSEDED BY A NEW DISCOVERY! BUSH ACTUALLY FIRED A PROSECUTOR INVESTIGATING ABRAMOFF IN 2002! GO HERE FOR THE MIND-BOGGLING DETAILS ON HOW BUSH PERFORMED AN OBVIOUS QUID PRO QUO FOR ABRAMOFF IN 2002!

Flipped Abramoff May Implicate Bush in 2002 Quid Pro Quo! (must-see)

Originally posted to Sherlock Google on Thu Dec 01, 2005 at 08:47 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  asdf (none)

    Daily Kos: turning unanimity into discord since...well...I frickin got here

    by AnnArborBlue on Thu Dec 01, 2005 at 08:45:06 PM PST

  •  K Street in jeopardy (4.00)
    prosecutors investigating Jack Abramoff, the Republican lobbyist, are examining whether he brokered lucrative jobs for Congressional aides at powerful lobbying firms in exchange for legislative favors, people involved in the case have said.
    Investigators are said to be especially interested in how Tony C. Rudy, a former deputy chief of staff to Representative Tom DeLay of Texas, and Neil G. Volz, a former chief of staff to Representative BobNey of Ohio, obtained lobbying positions with big firms on K Street.

    The hiring pattern is "very much a part of" what prosecutors are focusing on, a person involved in the case said. Another participant confirmed that investigators were trying to determine whether aides conducted "job negotiations with Jack Abramoff" while they were in a position to help him on Capitol Hill.

    Prosecutors are trying to establish that "it's not just a ticket to a ballgame, it's major jobs" that exchanged hands, the participant in the case said. Also under examination are payments to lobbyists and lawmakers' wives, including Mr. Rudy's wife, Lisa Rudy, whose firm, Liberty Consulting, worked in consultation with Mr. Abramoff, people involved in case said.


    LINK

    amazing shit.

    Treason's Greetings from Karl Rove and Scooter Libby: Merry Fitzmas and Happy New Smear

    by seesdifferent on Thu Dec 01, 2005 at 09:04:14 PM PST

    •  Nevermind that (none)
      not only is that in jeopardy, but this could bring the entire GOP power center.

      I hope they keep feeding the investigation with ever more anonymous information.

    •  Like shooting fish in a barrel? (none)
      How very helpful of the GOP to have concentrated so much of their farm team in one small space with their K Street project.  Think about how much effort they've saved us!  It would have taken forever to track all of them down if they hadn't all gathered up there and started sending emails to each other.  

      That Grover Norquist is such a nice boy!
      </snark>

      Dear Senator Frist: I understand you may have been having some problems with your old asshole. I hope you enjoy the new one. Your friend, Senator Harry Reid

      by EeDan on Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 01:14:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Neil Volz (none)
    Is Neil Volz any kin to John Volz the federal attorney who wasted about a decade of his life going after LA governor Edwin Edwards?
  •  This diary is a dupe (none)
  •  Y'know, it occurs to me that... (none)
    ...if this was all about the Mob (well, yes, it is:  but a different Mob...), right about now is when people would mysteriously start to achieve negative bouyancy in the local river.

    These people have got to be nervouser than pigs in a frying pan full of bacon.

    JF

    Invest in your future - VOTE DIEBOLD!

    by Jaime Frontero on Thu Dec 01, 2005 at 09:19:30 PM PST

    •  enemy combatant (none)
      if Ashcroft hadn't been such an idiot and a blabbermouth, Padilla could be hidden away in an undisclosed location now and we wouldn't be the wiser.  It only takes one country that is still a willing participant in the extrodinary rendition program, and Jack will never be heard from again.  Happy days!
    •  Ya gotta wonder (none)
      if they'll prosecute under RICO. It would make sense to me.
    •  Well, the original Mob is involved here too. (none)
      Who did the Boulis hit?

      You gotta wonder, why aren't they bumping off potential witnesses now?

      •  You gotta wonder - (none)
        if they do, will the MSM find the 'nads to report it?  People are murdered every day in the good ol' USA.  How many do you hear about?

        Dear Senator Frist: I understand you may have been having some problems with your old asshole. I hope you enjoy the new one. Your friend, Senator Harry Reid

        by EeDan on Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 01:27:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  lysias, Fitz and others are so close to the top (none)
        there are only the guilty to shoot themselves
      •  Gambino guys charged in Boulis murder, (none)
        Links here:

        St. Petersburg Times
        and in
        Sun Sentinel  
        and
         here

        The Gambino and Genovese Crime families have alliance, sweetheart deal in in Pharmaceautical Benefits contracting also Florida FEMA lucre and Street money from '04. The most recent guy associated with these thugs in with Abramoff / Delay/ GOP Gravy Train  , to testify for feds in other corruption case, ended up here, Just Today.

        This case is actually being coordinated by the New York task Force Fitzgerald left before he was made U.S. attorney in Chicago. This is all tip of the spear kind of stuff. Wait till the blade runs through. The Fitz's of DOJ are doing their job. Will there be the will of the people to run out the crooks in '06 prior to trials?

    •  You are right (none)
      Goodfellas

      Henry Hill: If you're part of a crew, nobody ever tells you that they're going to kill you, doesn't happen that way. There weren't any arguments or curses like in the movies. See, your murders come with smiles, they come as your friends, the people who've cared for you all of your life. And they always seem to come at a time that you're at your weakest and most in need of their help.
  •  If Abramoff flips... (none)
    ...will there be any Repubs still in Congress?

    He better get in the Witness Protection Program.

  •  We only need 15 indictments/resignations (4.00)
    to take the house before next November.

    As a reporter on Newshour recently said:

    EAMON JAVERS: I have one source who says it could be as many as 60 members of Congress that they are looking at. That's just one --

    A fella can dream...

    •  I'm going to go on record (4.00)
      And say that if we don't get the House before November, we'll be damn close.  This has the potential to be as major as the S&L scandal, Abscam, and any other Congressional investigation all rolled into one.

      What the prosecutors are looking into is the SOP of the Republicans with regard to how they dealt with lobbyists.  If they rule the K Street Project illegal (which is really what they're investigating here), I don't see how a member of Congress gets spared.

      I really wanted to diary this myself, but alas I passed my limit today.  But this is bigger news than ANYTHING else right now, because of the potential to take down the entire GOP in Congress.  Yes, including Plame.

    •  holy Batman! (none)
      Republican scandals have gone from a drip..drip to a steady rain heading for a downpour.

      America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand-Harry S. Truman

      by wishingwell on Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 12:12:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  now you're counting, er, talking (none)
      that's a plan I could get into
    •  As many as 60 U.S. Congressmen may be implicated (none)
      "A reporter for BusinessWeek, on a television interview program, said that his Justice Department sources had told him that as many as 60 congressmen could be implicated in the bribery scandal-far more than enough to threaten control over the House of Representatives, where the Republican majority is 231-202, with one independent."

      Bella Ciao article: http://bellaciao.org/...

  •  things r getting very interesting-thanks-recommend (none)
  •  Why shouldn't Abramoff flip? (4.00)
    With Scanlon on the other side, bringing who knows what treasure troves of documentation to back up his testimony, Abramoff is utterly cooked.  If he's running out of money already, even before the first trial, it would appear he has no choice at this point but to spend his remaining legal budget on buying the best deal he can get.

    I worry a little that the focus on congressional aides might be a feint, to take the heat off Congresscritters, and am still suspicious that the Justice Dept. prosecutors are too susceptible to political pressure.  Democrats should be demanding that the Public Integrity unit be given formal special prosecutor status to insulate them from this.

    The main Democratic focus here needs to be on profound campaign finance reform, to dramatically reduce the power of lobbyists in government.  Since our folks have been completely frozen out of the K Street gravy train, what do we have to lose?  Oh yeah, those lucrative post-Congressional jobs our elected representatives count on.  To hell with that.  If Democrats can't find the gonads to be the Clean Government Party now, I will stop donating.

    -4.50, -5.85 "To initiate a war of aggression is ... the supreme international crime." ---Nuremberg Tribunal

    by Dallasdoc on Thu Dec 01, 2005 at 10:30:23 PM PST

    •  The really fun part is Abramoff has to worry (4.00)
      about Scanlon and Adam Kidan.  

      It sure looks like checks written by SunCruz, owned by Abramoff and Kidan, went to the folks suspected of killing Gus Boulis. Who wrote the checks?  Who authorized 'em.  Kidan is a low-life from way back - he'll take someone down with him.  

      It's almost enough to make the big, bad college republican scum to seek treatment for stress and depression:

      Court documents have revealed that both Abramoff and Kidan are undergoing mental health treatment and counseling. Abramoff is being treated for stress, and Kidan is receiving medication and treatment for depression.

      But Sonnett ruled out an insanity defense for Abramoff.

       link

      You know, the vile, reprehensible acts of these clowns kill me.  But there's something about these freaks taking refuge in "mental health issues" that makes me insane.  Something about the survival of the fittest scum going all soft that makes me sick in a way I can't even describe.

      •  Bush... (none)
        He's gettin' as crazy as they come.

        Really, I hope someone is thinking about what to do when he completely comes unglued. Think he can last three more years of this.

        What does the Constitution say about having a president who's as nutty as a fruit bat?

        •  There's an amendment about that... (none)
          ...isn't there?

          Sadly -- yet with a bit of schadenfraude (sp.?) -- I think it may come into play sooner rather than later.

        •  LOL (none)
          Yeah! I can hear this in a classroom studying American History and the Constitution.

          Little Johnny: Teacher what does the Constitution say we can do about a President who is nutty as a fruit bat?

          America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand-Harry S. Truman

          by wishingwell on Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 12:17:50 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •   3 years... (none)
          I think he is seriously on the edge. He is used to getting his way and being a bully. It is no longer working so he may just go over the edge one of these days. He never had to learn disappointment and to have people contradict him or correct him. His parents shielded him from the world. He looks like increasingly Nixonesque in the Paranoia Dept lately.

          America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand-Harry S. Truman

          by wishingwell on Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 12:21:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Particularly now that (4.00)
        ...the Sun-Sentinel reports:
        Moscatiello, 67, said Fiorillo also told him that Ferrari ordered the hit after getting a call from New York businessman Adam Kidan, according to court filings. Kidan had been fighting with Boulis for control of SunCruz Casino, a cruise ship gambling operation based out of Dania Beach.


        ...


        Kidan has not been charged in Boulis' killing. Beyond Fiorillo's third-hand account of what Kidan allegedly said, the court documents reviewed Wednesday by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel made no direct link between Kidan and the slaying.


        Kidan has yet to be charged formally but if what Moscatiello said is true, it won't be far off.
        •  Lot of 'mafia' in the Dania and Hollywood area (none)
          and don't forget a couple of the 9/11 hijackers lived in that area too.  
          •  9-11, Sun Cruz, Abramoff, PNAC (none)
            It's all connected. What better way to finanace a covert operation (9-11) thatn with casino skim?
            I only hope we can get to the bottom and bring all of this ungly mess into the light of day.
            As painful as it might be, they are all connected. We can no longer bury our heads in the sand.
            9-11 wasn't perpetrated by a bunch of "Islamic fanatics" who hate America. It was perpetrated by a bunch of middle eastern men, financed by a global consortium and the PNAC in their quest for complete global domination.
            sounds like fiction? Well, just remember that TRUTH is stranger than fiction.
            I hope they all fry.
      •  well therapy will help (none)
        i may be a dishonest, lying, cheating, stealing bastard...but...i own it now, and am ready to move on.  

        explain how letting gays marry will directly affect your own heterosexual relationship?

        by bluestatesam on Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 04:22:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Timing. (none)
        I still wonder how it happened that the Boulis hit was Feb. 6, 2001, just days after Bush became president.

        Is there a connection?

      •  When I read of what... (none)
        Bush is really doing in Iraq (running a massive false flag operation, which is resulting in flourishing death squad massacres), I'm not so taken in by the glee of watching all of these domestic criminal sideshows.

        It's absolutely horrible that our tax dollars are being funneled into US-funded and trained Death Squads who are intentionally engaging in random killings for the destabilizing effect on the country. THAT'S the real bloodletting behind all of the small cuts that the Bushies are suffering with the investigations and indictments. They'd gladly endure the trials and losses domestically, as long as they can pursue control of middle east oil.

        Bastards. All of them.

    •  Dumping staffers over the wall (4.00)
      Nothing will start a stampede of leaks and leaked documents like going after the kids.

      Everyone has a right to the orgasm of their choice. :)

      by cskendrick on Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 02:07:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  completely frozen out of the K Street gravy train? (4.00)

      In Search Of The Third Way
      The Centrist Democratic Universe Just Got a Little More Crowded

      If corporate membership is any key, the organization is off to a rousing start. Though it’s barely out of the gates, the group has already recruited about 40 sponsors — including such business stalwarts as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Petroleum Institute, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, insurance giant AIG and BellSouth. Most of these members ponied up $25,000, and with the help of some individual contributors, the group has managed to secure a $2 million budget for its first year.

      You may believe that none of these corporations are contributing to Democratic centrist "New 'Democrats'". Or, you can look up a few DLCers at OpenSecrets and find out who they're listening to instead of the base.

      Weird that journalistic sources keep calling Third Way a 'new' organization... Third Way is affiliated with the DLC as 10 seconds on google will uncover, wonder why they want to look like a "new" organization? I regard them as just a new brand name for a Democratic Leadership Council who has largely discredited itself, both by political positions and by losing both houses of Congress and the White House twice in a row.

      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 02:42:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  DLC (none)
        Democrats Led by Corporations.

        I hope a few of those clowns get swept up in the Abramoff net.  This shouldn't be entirely a Republican scandal, as there's plenty of corruption to go around.  Democrats need a good object lesson themselves, so they're not so quick to suck off the corporate teat.

        Our candidates better learn to dance with those what brung 'em.

        -4.50, -5.85 "To initiate a war of aggression is ... the supreme international crime." ---Nuremberg Tribunal

        by Dallasdoc on Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 04:21:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Democrats Led by Corporations? (none)
          Literally true, but while I'm moderately certain that some Democrats will be swept up in the net... while Dorgan looks like he was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, the kind of lobbying we know Abramoff's been doing sounds exactly like the sort of thing some Democrats would take advantage of if they thought they could get away with it... I'm not at all sure that diverting attention from GOP corruption is a good idea.

          Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

          by alizard on Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 04:31:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Doesn't matter what we think (none)
            You gotta know some Democrats have managed to get their mitts in the cookie jar.  I shudder to think what Murtha's been up to, for just one.  The entire system is corrupt and corrupting, and the system is what needs to change.

            Republicans didn't invent corruption in Washington, they just took greed and selfishness to new depths.  Any corruption investigation will catch a large majority of Republicans, so whatever the spin they'll be the big losers.  Personally, I'd rather see a clean Congress than an overwhelmingly Democratic dirty one.  Clean gives us a natural advantage.

            -4.50, -5.85 "To initiate a war of aggression is ... the supreme international crime." ---Nuremberg Tribunal

            by Dallasdoc on Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 04:36:20 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Even if (none)
              Even if some DLCers have tainted the whole party with this and it turns '06 into a "throw the bums out" kind of a year, it seems that would still be good for us.  Most of the seats we hold are solid or lean left, and are less likely to flip than all the swing seats that are currently in the crooks' hands.  On balance we should come out with a less corrupt and more liberal Congress.  If it gives us more legitimacy and moral authority, I'd put up with losing a few of the DINOs in the pocket of corporations.

              (-7.25, -5.85) "Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law." - Thomas Jefferson

              by Slartibartfast on Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 09:13:15 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  dlc didnt lose two presidential elections (none)
        gore and kerry did

        get off your high horse

        I believe in saving money. I believe in having a house. I believe in keeping things clean. I believe in exercising. www.walken2008.com

        by The Exalted on Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 10:12:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Gore and Kerry *did* lose (none)
          Who wrote the bulk of their political platforms?

          Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

          by alizard on Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 05:27:44 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  if you think gore's populist bs (none)
            was in the dlc's playbook, then think again

            I believe in saving money. I believe in having a house. I believe in keeping things clean. I believe in exercising. www.walken2008.com

            by The Exalted on Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 06:46:41 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  here's a better analysis than you're capable of (none)
              http://www.prospect.org/...

              "After his populist turn, Gore surged in the polls in August and early September, and many analysts credited his fiery attacks on pharmaceutical companies, HMOs and health insurers, Big Oil, and George W. Bush's tax cuts for the rich."

              The "centrist" bullshit spouted by the DLC and people like you who ought to know better would have resulted in a landslide rather than "almost winning", and people like you would be arguing that we should take the Democratic Party to the right of the GOP in order to "win".

              How the hell many elections do you idiots have to lose in order to get the point that America isn't a nation of wingnuts?

              If the DLC continues to mislead the party in 2006 and 2008, it'll be possible to put the 2012 Democratic national convention inside a phone booth... is that the Democratic "big tent" of your dreams? To go down in history with the Whigs and Prohibitionists?

              Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

              by alizard on Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 07:41:01 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  jesus (none)
                take the party to the right?

                wtf are you talking about, gore took it to the left

                if gore campaigned like clinton he'd have WON 2000 in a 10 point landslide

                instead he campaigned like william jennings bryan

                your little analytical box is entirely untrue

                gore surged due to the democratic convention and his inspiring (at the time) choice of lieberman

                I believe in saving money. I believe in having a house. I believe in keeping things clean. I believe in exercising. www.walken2008.com

                by The Exalted on Sun Dec 04, 2005 at 07:36:20 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  you found (none)
                  your little analytical box is entirely untrue

                  Prove it... there's plenty of information you can base such a proof on... from tracking polls to what Gore was saying in public appearances at the time. But you aren't going to try because your own memory tells you differently. At least it did if you were paying attention at the time. Were you?

                  You found Gore's choice of Lieberman inspiring? Would you have been more inspired if he'd chosen Zell Miller instead? How about James Dobson? David Metzger?

                  The Democratic Party isn't supposed to be about supporting whatever the corporate state wants to do, there's a GOP for that. Stop pissing into the big tent and find a party that includes your views... though you may find the GOP a bit left-wing for your tastes. How about the "American Constitutional Party"?

                  Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

                  by alizard on Sun Dec 04, 2005 at 08:57:56 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Because He Wants to Live (none)
      ....and prison can be a very dangerous place for a rat. On the other hand, if he flips and delivers, there's always Witness Protection.
  •  Make the move now. (none)
    This and the Viveca Novack revelations in one night...

    Woo...

    Tomorrow will be interesting...

    Dems need to press now...

    When you have your opponent turned... turn up the fury...

    •  And then there is this (none)
      What congressman is linked to the Abramoff scandal and linked to the defence contractors in the Cunningham scandal? Doolittle
      He came in 2nd to Cunningham as far as contributions from Wilkes and ADCS.
      Every response he has to the reports regarding the Abramoff scandal and then this one is just how ethical he is. Cunningham was saying the same thing in the beginning.
      http://www.sacbee.com/...
      •  If he could talk to the animals, just imagine.... (none)
        sorry everytime I see the Doolittle name, my brain bursts into song...
      •  Doolittle is next... (none)
        He is way involved with the Saipan/Enron/Vote-buying aspects of this scandal that are waiting to drop.
      •  Pelosi Urges Congressional Investigation (none)
         

        Pelosi Urges Congressional Investigation Into National SecurityImplications of Cunningham's Criminal Conduct

        WASHINGTON, Nov. 30 U.S. Newswire -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi sent the following letter to Speaker Hastert today urging him to support the creation of a bipartisan House committee to investigate Congressman Duke Cunningham's criminal activities as they pertain to his handling of highly classified information related to our national security.

        Below in link is the text of the letter:


        Link

        (-7.50 -6.31) If the Republicans will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them. --Adlai Stevenson

        by arkdem on Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 10:31:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Go Dems! Time to Kick some SERIOUS ass! (none)
  •  If Feeney manages to squirm his way out (none)
    of this something is really wrong.
  •  I hope he takes down evey last Republican (none)
    blowhard bastard in the House, but I also hope Democrats recognize today that congressional Democrats have a lower approval rating than Dick Cheney.

    "The cynics are right nine times out of ten." Mencken

    by thebluenomad on Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 12:18:09 AM PST

    •  there's good reason for this (4.00)
      "GOP-lite" isn't just an "inside baseball" perception, those poll numbers reflect that the American people see elected Democrats as holding essentially the same values as the GOP, though in fairness, minus the florid Religious Right flavor. Why?

      What kind of Democratic Party organization would be underwritten by the Bradley and Olin Foundations? (for those familiar with the financing of the right-wing noise machine... yes, that's two of the biggies)

      This is also the answer to the question "Why do congressional Democrats have a lower approval rating than Dick Cheney?" and you can find it in the links in the post upstream from here linked to below:
      completely frozen out of the K Street gravy train?

      Basically, the Democrats are expected to stand with the American people against corporations, not side-by-side with the GOP on economic issues. A feeling of betrayal tends to show up in one's polling numbers.

      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 02:54:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  How true (none)
        I hope dem congress critters are reading this.  Perception rules, and the perception among the populace is that we have the best congress money can buy. Happy speeches will not fix it. Crappy bills squeezing the middle class for the benefit of the uber wealthy and corporations will only deepen the disgust.
        •  Term limits. (none)
          If the Democrats run on term limits as an issue, and find some way to convince the voters they won't renege on them the way the Republicans did in '95, I think they can ride on popular disgust with politicians to victory.

          Although, personally, I would prefer a modified version of the Athenian system of appointing officials by lot to term limits.  That's how the Athenians appointed almost all their officials.  I would limit the mechanism to the lower houses of legislatures, including the U.S House of Representatives.  This would give to a body of average citizens at least a veto power over the actions of the professional politicians.

          •  well... (none)
            While publically taking Al From out, draping him in chains, dumping From + chains in a plastic bag, and dumping him in the Marianas Trench would get the point across to Democratic activists that there really is a new Democratic Party... too inside-baseball for the voters.

            The Democratic Party is going to have to deliver real change in a way that touches the lives of middle class voters starting in 2007. Only a little bit actually needs to be accomplished, the voters will understand that there's a boat anchor in the White House.

            In 2009-2010... either it's going to be obvious that there is real positive change in progress or I don't think there is going to be a Democratic Party in 2010, just a name discredited across the political spectrum and a lot of ex-Democratic elected officials looking for or trying to build a viable national party to fight the resurgent GOP.

            I do expect it to happen that fast. People who know history know how the Whigs imploded... imagine that collapse playing out in Internet time.

            Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

            by alizard on Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 05:25:52 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  I think that's right in some areas, but I also (none)
        think it's not that simple.

        Both parties have abandoned the American middle class, and they're starting to notice. Democrats in the senate gave the worst assault on middle class security in a generation - the bankruptcy bill - a filibuster proof majority. There was apologizing for it even here. Congressional Democrats haven't even made a real symbolic effort to overturn the new overtime rules, which deprive millions of private and public sector employees alike overtime pay. Middle class people really do perceive Democrats today as almost as in bed with corporations as their GOP counterparts, and for the first time in decades its starting to hurt.

        On the flip side, middle class voters also still don't trust Democrats not to dramatically raise their taxes, or to cut the extraneous growth of bureaucracy. In this respect, Bill Clinton really was "a different kind of Democrat," but that legacy of 1970s-era (irresponsible) tax and spend liberalism continues to haunt the Democratic Party.

        People really do want universal health care, but they're also very concerned about transferring the burden of paying for it fully to middle class taxpayers (who are now shouldering the burden of paying for medicare and medicaid but for the health care of most working age adults and children). That's why they opposed Hillary's health care plan in the 90s. They need to know that Democrats are committed to reducing costs by introducing genuine market forces into the system, even as they're committed to expanding coverage to everyone.

        Then there's the thorny and still probably overriding issue of national security. The war in Iraq is going more than a little shitty, but the Democrats have failed to articulate a broader strategy for bringing reform to the Arab-Muslim world and getting the hell out of there. John Kerry talked about "global tests" and "stability" in Iraq, which no doubt played well in Brussels, but the average middle class voter in Orange County or the Denver suburbs wanted to hear about democracy in (and even ultimate disengagement from) the Arab world, full energy independence for America, and a little idealism about global liberty and human rights wouldn't have been such a bad idea as well.

        In short, the American middle (and working) class wants to know how Democrats plan to bring reform to the Arab world, energy independence to us, maintain low taxes, fiscal solvency and economic opportunity in the context of an aging population, restore a fairer deal to the middle class (as in repeal the bankruptcy bill and new overtime rules), curb illegal immigration, and bring universal health care without breaking the bank. If they focus on these rather unglamorous issues they'll restore the trust of the broad center of the electorate.

        "The cynics are right nine times out of ten." Mencken

        by thebluenomad on Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 08:12:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I hope he's getting police protection (none)
    I hope Abramoff is getting police protection, because we know how these GOP "flippers" tend to commit "suicide".
  •  The THREE SCARIEST WORDS TO THE GOP: (none)
    "Plea Deals" & "Subpoena"

    --Liberate your radio--

    by Sam Loomis on Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 03:28:42 AM PST

  •  Will he show up in the East River (none)
    so to speak?

    Bush/Cheney want to stay in Iraq. The question is, why? Answer: 1 superembassy, 14 military bases, and oil.

    by lecsmith on Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 04:03:27 AM PST

  •  Its about the economy, stupid. (none)
    check today's employment figures.

    -9.0,-5.54 A real soldier died in his Hummer so you could play soldier in yours.

    by environmentalist on Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 05:50:32 AM PST

  •  Crooks are so tough (none)
    Until the noose tightens. Loss of freedom can make the toughest crook turn into a diva.

    "We must all hang together or assuredly we will all hang seperately." - Ben Franklin

    by RandyMI on Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 06:01:36 AM PST

  •  Murder in Florida (none)
    By the way, isn't Abramoff connected to a mob hit in Florida?

    "We must all hang together or assuredly we will all hang seperately." - Ben Franklin

    by RandyMI on Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 06:04:46 AM PST

  •  Na na na na na.... (none)
    Flip him good!

    Na na na na na...

    Flip him real good!

  •  Abramoff's Choice (none)
     Either . . .

    a  Spend many, many, many, many years in jail, and, maybe, be allowed by DeLay and the GOP Braintrust to do the "honorable thing" in the spirit of The Godfather II:


    "They went home and sat in a hot bath -- opened up their veins, and bled to death. And sometimes they had a little party before they did it."

      Pentangeli, in prison, to Tom Hagen

    -- or --

    b  Spend many years in jail.

      What to do?  What to do?

    BenGoshi
    __________________

    . . . religion is not a syllogism, but a poem. H.L. Mencken

    by BenGoshi on Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 06:29:01 AM PST

    •  They will never, ever say "die" (none)
      DeLay (for one) doesn't have the conscience or balls to admit his own corruption.  He will rattle his cage every day he spends in prison loudly proclaiming his innocence.

      Something tells me the Repugs will not go down quietly.  Somehow, some way, they have the whole country rigged to blow if their demise becomes imminent.

      "The American people will trust the Democratic Party to defend America when they believe that Democrats will defend other Democrats." Wesley Clark

      by The Termite on Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 07:45:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's rigged to blow, period (none)
        Everything they've done has made things worse.

        more terrorism danger
        more financial danger
        more ecological danger

        The US economy is rigged to blow, and take most of the world with it. For what gain?

        Money and power.

        Every [weapon] signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed. - Dwight D. Eisenhower

        by racerx on Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 08:28:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Good image (none)
        I like that image of Delay barking at the guards that he's a goddamn leader and I'll smear your whole family when I get out.  Don't you know who I am?

        Keep your constitution close my friends, and read it daily.

        by smokeymonkey on Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 11:01:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Here come Jackmas... (none)
    It is a season of giving that may last for 36 months, but kicks off with one large plea bargain.

    The Abramoff story is becoming the most competitive story in the MSM. Everybody knows this one is BIG and that the "average American" will understand pay-for-play. Exposing hypocrites is always good copy.

    The NYTs is coming late to the Abramoff story. Their involvement shows how big this scandal is becoming, but they are still way behind the Washington Post, Bloomberg, the AP, LA Times, TNR, blogs and many others. This is going to dominate domestic news in the 2006 cycle.

    If fact the easiest way to shut-up a wingnut is to say "Jack Abramoff". I Heard that happen on C-span yesterday during a a panel on "The Declining Bush Mandate".

    And the really interesting thing is that so far only the tip of the scandal has been reported.

    There are literally dozens of GOP office holders who need to sweat an Abramoff plea bargain. The Dems could take control of the House before the 2006 election if just another 15 are indicted and resign.

    Here is a short list (feel free to add names):

    1. George W. Bush
    2. Tom DeLay
    3. Bob Ney
    4. John Doolittle
    5. Dana Rohrabacher
    6. Chris Cannon
    7. Dan Burton
    8. Richard Pombo
    9. George Radanovich
    10. Robert Ehrlich
    11. Tom Feeney
    12. Rob Simmons
    13. Denny Hastert
    14. Ben Fitial (Governor-elect CNMI)
    15. Roy Blunt
    16. Conrad Burns
    17. Dennis Rehberg
    18. Jim Saxton
    19. Charles Taylor
    20. Mike Fitzpatrick
    21. Pete Sessions
    22. Tom Davis
    23. George Nethercutt
    24. Charles Pickering
    25. Kay Granger

    And of course there are more. This doesn't include every Congressman who got donations from Abramoff (let alone "Abramoff-related" donations).

    And the there are the non-office holders. Aides, lobbyists, Executive Branch employees and GOP gadflies. A short list might include:

    1. David Safavian
    2. Karl Rove
    3. Grover Norquist
    4. Ralph Reed
    5. Mike Scanlon
    6. Neil Votz
    7. Kevin Ring
    8. J. Steven Griles
    9. Ed Buckham
    10. Karl Gallant
    11. Ed Gillespie
    12. Tony Rudy
    13. Italia Federici
    14. Patrick Pizzella
    15. John Mashburn

    And oh so many more...

    There will be lots of deals cut. There are many more aides involved. And family members whose involvement may encourage more pleas. As Doolitlle's former Aide, Kevin Ring said about the first big Casino story to break in the WaPo:

    "I know more than the article and the truth is worse"

    Look out, Jackmas is coming!

    •  Jack flipping (none)
      would make Fitzmas look like Arbor Day.

      I carried water for the elephant; Back and forth to the well I went; My arms got sore and my back got bent; But I couldn't fill up that elephant

      by Sylvester McMonkey Mcbean on Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 06:51:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  "Jackmas"!?!? Poor choice of words! (none)
      A good idea, but Fitzmas is a time when the good Saint Fitz saves the country by tearing apart the mesh of deception that is BushCo...  Abramoff is just one of the deceptive wankers that is going to squeal to try to save his hide.  There is nothing "good" about Abramoff trying to sleaze out of responsibility for the rampant corruption he led for years.

      People can come up with a better slogan if others don't try to preempt with copycat efforts.

      Glad they are all going down.  I want to see Abramoff tied to the AIPAC scandal, and find out more about Atta's stay on the gambling cruise line the week before 9/11...NOW that would be good!!

      Happy weekend Kossacks!!

      Styve

      REVOLUTION is in the air!!

      by Styve on Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 07:30:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wow (none)
      Definitely a lot of Republicans on that list.  I would imagine in the end though, the one's that actually get caught up in an investigation will be just a handful.  Roy Blunt seems pretty entrenched in his leadership position right now and less connected to Abramhoff than Delay, so it will probably be a few random, scattered Representatives.
  •  Hero Bureaucrat (4.00)
    I nominate J. Steven Griles, a "senior Interior Department official."  According to the second page of the NYT story Abramoff offered him a job at Greenberg Taurig in exchange for favors, but he turned it down and made a report to the DOI ethics office.  (Wanted to do a text box, but the instructions seem to have vanished from the website.)

    Take Back the House in 2006!

    by Rona on Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 07:26:51 AM PST

    •  Here's your text box. (none)
      The Senate hearings uncovered many patterns of Mr. Abramoff's activities, including his offering favors to officials while making deals on government work. In one case, a former senior Interior Department official, J. Steven Griles, testified that Mr. Abramoff had offered him a position at Greenberg Traurig while Mr. Griles was in a position to affect decisions involving Mr. Abramoff's Indian clients. Mr. Griles said he reported the offer to his department's ethics division and rejected it.
    •  blockquote (none)
      Instructions for quote boxes:

      < div class="blockquote" >< /div >

      Just take out the spaces I added near the brackets.

      Keep your constitution close my friends, and read it daily.

      by smokeymonkey on Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 11:06:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Calling All Cars (none)
    The news might be bad. Suppose Abramoff doesn't sing and is given a whopper prison sentence... and then George the Lame just pardons him? Next thing you know JiveAss Jack gets a syndicated radio show.

    "The skeleton in the closet is coming home to roost!" Tom Stoppard

    by Apotropoxy on Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 07:31:45 AM PST

  •  Be still my heart (none)
    Let the Lipless Lobbyist flip away. The old truism of all politics being local could be put to rest next year by the stench of the Repub party. The 52 all-Joker house of cards may come tumbling down. Wow.
  •  Better than just Congress (none)
    Ralph Reed and Grover Norquist are crapping their pants right now. What this is too is a cry for help. Jack is saying buy my silence with donations to a defense fund or else. One last shakedown from the master.

    Everyone who has ever attended one of Grover's Wednesday Meetings is implicated in this scandal.

    When people stop going to the meetings then the machine will have completely broken down.

  •  What I want to know (none)
    is what prosecuters are doing this?  I would have bet a million dollars that the Repub controlled Justice Dept would have avoided going after this thug at all costs.  Hell, it is obvious that Rove initially perjured himself when he was testifying to Asscrack's grand jury, knowing full well that Asscrack would never go after him and would drop the Plame matter eventually.  Rove must have shit himself when Asscrack recused himself.  The current AG is no better.  So, WHO is behind all of these investigations???  Is it state AGs?  Someone with balls, anyway.
  •  The Tom Delay Scandal Resource Center (none)
    For the latest news, documents and updates on The Hammer, check out:

    The Tom Delay Scandal Resource Center.

  •  Abramoff flipping!! GOP crashing!! (none)
    Santa Claus coming!!  Tooth Fairy came last night, and I didn't even lose a tooth!!  Don't even get me started on the Easter Bunny.

    Good Tidings of Great Joy, sure.  But let's not get too excited.  This battle is far from over, in fact I might go as far as saying that it's just starting.  Gird your loins, folks.  You ain't seen dirty fighting till we trap one in a corner...

    Dear Senator Frist: I understand you may have been having some problems with your old asshole. I hope you enjoy the new one. Your friend, Senator Harry Reid

    by EeDan on Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 09:40:02 AM PST

  •  Full List? (none)
    Has anyone compiled a full list of all the Rethugs embroiled in this thing?  Do we even know?

    I'd love to see the entire hit list.

  •  I have calculated the math on this... (none)
    Rat + Sinking ship = Jump.

    NO PARDONS FOR TRAITORS. -3.75, -5.49

    by Bob on Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 10:17:04 AM PST

  •  I would pay Jack Abramoff $1,000,000 to flip... (none)
    if I had $1,000,000.

    Jack Abramoff, like most Republicans, is a greedy bastard.  Some rich Democrat (George Soros, are you listening?) should offer to slip Abramoff millions of dollars to make it worth his while to flip.  Abramoff is the kind of guy who'd do anything for the right amount of money.

  •  True (none)
    He might do a little time for a hit... but that would just give the man more leverage with Clear Channel.

    "The skeleton in the closet is coming home to roost!" Tom Stoppard

    by Apotropoxy on Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 01:40:44 PM PST

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