It’s the Republicans, stupid

Yeah, yeah… “liberal media” and all that. You know, liberal like the National Review Online:

The GOP now craves such bipartisan cover in the Jack Abramoff scandal. Republicans trumpet every Democratic connection to Abramoff in the hope that something resonates. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.), took more than $60,000 from Abramoff clients! North Dakota Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan used Abramoff’s skybox! It is true that any Washington influence peddler is going to spread cash and favors as widely as possible, and 210 members of Congress have received Abramoff-connected dollars. But this is, in its essence, a Republican scandal, and any attempt to portray it otherwise is a misdirection.

Abramoff is a Republican who worked closely with two of the country’s most prominent conservative activists, Grover Norquist and Ralph Reed. Top aides to the most important Republican in Congress, Tom DeLay (R., Tex.) were party to his sleazy schemes. The only people referred to directly in Abramoff’s recent plea agreement are a Republican congressmen and two former Republican congressional aides. The GOP members can make a case that the scandal reflects more the way Washington works than the unique perfidy of their party, but even this is self-defeating, since Republicans run Washington.

Ooops. Somebody strayed from the GOP talking points.

Comments

  1. 2

    Reality Check spews:

    This episode in our nation’s history will always be remembered as a GOP Moment. They will do all in their power to jump on the ‘but they did it too’ wagon and not even verifying what they are saying. The political tide is turning.

  2. 3

    My Left Foot spews:

    I guess we just sit back and wait for the RightWingNuts to self destruct. The Democratic leadership has a golden opportunity to cut deeply and, perhaps fatally, into the Republican demon that controls Washington,D.C., and to take back our government.

  3. 4

    Donnageddon spews:

    I wonder what the wingnut talking points about the National Review’s stand on the Republican Abramoff scandal is?

    Puddy?

  4. 5

    Libertarian spews:

    I’m hoping every politician guilty of wrongdoing with this Abramoff affair does some jail time. I mean EVERY oneof them, regardless of party. Let’s clean house and then get on with pusihing the crooks at Enron, Worldcom, et. al.

    2006 should be a good year for seeing politicians go down in flames.

  5. 6

    Janet S spews:

    This is a repub scandal because the repubs are in power. That is why it is important that reid not be omitted from the invesigation. As leader, he has significant power, and so his receiving money from Abramoff is relevant.

    I agree – anyone taking money in exchange for performance should be kicked out of congress. But that won’t stop these kinds of scandals. The only thing that will stop that is to reduce the size of the govt, and therefore reduce the power and influence that congress has.

  6. 7

    cougar spews:

    Janet S, that is a really stupid answer. Reducing government will make no difference, it will just get fewer politicians richer in the long run.

  7. 9

    Libertarian spews:

    windie @ 8:

    I remember a couple of Republican scandals:

    1. Trick Dick & Watergate
    2. Ron & Iran-contra

    I also remember a couple on the Dem side:

    1. Lyin’ Lyndon and Billy Sol Estes
    2. Lyin’ Lyndon and Bobby Baker
    3. Bill and Whitewater
    4. Bill and Travelgate

    All those above are just working from memory – there’s probably lots more out there if I looked hard.

    You’re right: the current flavor of scandal is Republican, but let’s see how many of the bums we can throw out of office and into prison!

  8. 10

    windie spews:

    lib:

    way to play the ‘fake clinton its a scandal because we say so’ card.

    I learned a new term the other day to cover what you’re saying here: Ad hominem tu quoque.

    “Ad hominem tu quoque (literally, “at the person, you too”) could be called the “hypocrisy” argument. It occurs when a person’s claim is dismissed or concluded as false either because the claim is about actions the claimant or another individual has engaged in too, or because the claim is inconsistent with other claims that the person has made. The tu quoque fallacy mimics the legitimate use of the principle of ethical symmetry. The error is that while expressing “fair play” sentiments, what the argument is actually advocating is “equal rights for foul play.” In “fair play”, if one reasoner is not entitled to use a particular appeal, then no other reasoner may use it either. It does not entitle reasoners to use illegitimate appeals because other reasoners have used, possibly without challenge, similar illegitimate appeals. That the illegitimate appeal has been used before does not make it legitimate.” (aah good ol’ wikipedia!)

    even if I were to let myself be distracted into once again protecting clinton from fake GOP “Scandals”… its 100% irrelevant to this one.

  9. 11

    GBS spews:

    The only thing that will stop that is to reduce the size of the govt, and therefore reduce the power and influence that congress has. Janet S. @ 6

    This is one of the quintessential lies told by conservatives to their base to garner support. So, too, was the “Contract with America” that would get rid of corruption in Washington D.C.

    I wouldn’t fault Janet S. and the other conservative followers, per se, for believing the RNC talking points because they “sound” right, but after all the well documented failures of Republican leadership the evidence is overwhelming that their true policies will eventually undermine America.

    Talking heads like Limbaugh, Hannity, O’Reilly, et al, are not interested in what is good for the middle class and America as a whole. They get behind conservative Republicans for their own enrichment, like tax breaks that benefit their high income tax brackets the most. They are like most con men and realize that if they fool enough people like Janet S. into believing in and supporting Republican causes, then they themselves will in turn become wealthier.

    What is important now for conservatives, like Janet S. and others, is to recognize they have been intentionally misled by their political leaders and the conservative talking heads. If they are true patriots of America, and not party loyalist, then they will reject the current Republicans in office and turn off Fox News and conservative talk radio.

    Now the question becomes:

    Are conservatives Good Americans, or Good Germans?

  10. 14

    Libertarian spews:

    windie PS – you didn’t say anything about Tricky Dick and Lyin’ Lyndon. They were into some good scandals! Clinton’s stuff was minor compared to those tow reprehensible presidents. Clinton’s biggest problem was that he couldn’t keep his zipper zipped up!

  11. 15

    LeftTurn spews:

    No matter how hard they try, Republicans will not be able to turn this into anything other than it is….dead on, absolute proof of the Republican culture of corruption.

  12. 16

    windie spews:

    lib@13

    Of course, but again, don’t fool yourself about this one… this scandal is firmly centered on the republicans.

    lib@14

    They’re good scandals… but irrelevant. Why’re ya bringing them up, its not like they matter to the nature or validity of this current scandal.

  13. 18

    Dr. E spews:

    “The only thing that will stop that is to reduce the size of the govt, and therefore reduce the power and influence that congress has.”

    Not necessarily. Making campaign contributions illegal, on the other hand, would definitely put a stop to this kind of corruption.

  14. 19

    GBS spews:

    @ 18

    A government of the people, by the people, and for the people should be financed by the people.

    It works in other countries like England, it would work here and put a stop the Republican Culure of Corruption at the same time.

  15. 21

    Voter Advocate spews:

    18, 19.

    Publically financed campaigns are the only way to at all reign in the corruption in D. C. and Olympia.

  16. 22

    Libertarian spews:

    Hey, let’s go with this publically financed campaign stuff AND institute term limits for the bozos. Whaddya think?

    On, windie, I bring up the past because I think it’s important to show that these guys and gals we elect are NOT saints even though they would have us believe they were. This is a REPUBLICAN scandal, but there’s lot of opportunity for the prosecutors in this one.

  17. 23

    Janet S spews:

    GBS – thanks for worrying so much about me. I am now enlightened. You really are a condescending piece of . . .

    You all need to go back and read the first amendment. It says that people have the right to petition their govt. The more power the govt has, the more the people need to petition. Special interests have a lot to more to gain than it will cost them to lobby, and it won’t significantly cost the general population. Therefore, there isn’t anyone to check the power to hand out goodies to these guys. The tribes are a case in point. Their businesses have been a tremendous benefit, and the costs to society have been widespread, but not enough for anyone to feel pain. As long as the feds have their tentacles into every piece of the economy, there will be those who petition them.

    Money will always exist in politics. You can call for public financing, but then you give the power to the govt to decide who gets to be there. There were no campaign contributions in the Soviet Union, but somehow the top govt officials became quite wealthy.

  18. 24

    windie spews:

    Lib: your comment at 22 is the ESSENCE of the tu quoque fallacy. Its also sometimes called the ‘and you lynch black people’ fallacy. Its about as valid to talk about problems with LBJ as it was for the Russians to talk about lynchings in the ’80s…

  19. 25

    Sven spews:

    Why isnt this also a firm indication that the current practices of financial campaign contributions and lobbyists is really the core of most corruption DC.

    Sure the republicans took more in contributions from this guy, but the democrats have their own sources including Abramoff, and in the end no matter which side of the aisle you like, the real controlling factor in DC is money.

    Change the campaign finance system and ban paid lobbyists.

  20. 27

    Voter Advocate spews:

    It seems to me that Buckley v. Vallejo eliminates the possiblity of removing either paid lobbyists or private campaign financing from our politics.

    I think that setting up a financing potential that makes it possible for a challenger to put up an effective campaign against an incumbent, coupled with enforcement of the criminal laws are a better solution than limiting terms of office.

    I think that Ted Stevens is a crook, but if the people of Alaska think he’s the best guy for the job and he isn’t breaking the law, my opinion shouldn’t limit their ability to elect him until he dies. But not afterward.

  21. 28

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    Fibbertarian@26 No, you do NOT get it. You are still striving for “ethical symmetry”
    This is not theology. It is politics. The sausage we made last week is NOT the sausage we make this week.
    Last week’s sausage is no s–it.

  22. 30

    Libertarian spews:

    OK Tree Frog Farmer, I understand: last week’s sausage is now sh*t, and this week’s sausage is yet to be eaten. You’re a psuedo-intellectual f**king idiot.

  23. 31

    Libertarian spews:

    BTW, all, term limits might be a way to stop some of this corruption. It would give the b****rds less tie to go corrupt!

    Just a thought…

  24. 32

    Nindid spews:

    Sven @25

    I’ll agree with your larger point about money being the problem and I think public financing of campaigns combined with some sort of requirement that free tv time be included in broadcast licenses would do wonders for our democracy.

    But… the statement below just can’t stand.

    “Sure the republicans took more in contributions from this guy, but the democrats have their own sources including Abramoff”

    Ok – one more time – Democrats received NO MONEY from Abramoff. None – zilch – nada. Abramoff is/was one of the biggest Republican figures out there, was the former head of teh College Republicans and he worked for many years to get Republicans in power.

    He was an arch-enemy of Democrats and to try and put a false equivalence to this story is beyond laughable.

  25. 34

    Libertarian spews:

    Tree Frog Farmer – No, I don’t curse at my intellectual betters. What do you think of the term limits idea?

  26. 36

    Nindid spews:

    Lib @33 I know you did not ask me, but I don’t think term limits make any sense without public financing of campaigns.

    The problem with term limits is that you end up having rookie legislators who are perpetually at the mercy of lobbyists and special interests to raise money. You would actually end up with more problems of money influencing votes rather than less.

    Now, with public financing, it may make sense. I would have some reservations still, but it is something that could probably be worked out for me anyway.

  27. 37

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    5

    “regardless of party”

    There is no “regardless of party” in this scandal, pal! This one is ALL YOURS!!! Enjoy.

  28. 38

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    9

    “Bill and Whitewater”

    I don’t remember a “Bill and Whitewater” scandal. All I remember is that Ken Starr spent $70 million of taxpayer money and found there was no Whitewater scandal.

  29. 39

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    13

    “we’re going after ALL the guilty parties in this scandal”

    Rest assured we are; and rest assured they all wear the “Made in
    GOP” label.

  30. 40

    Libertarian spews:

    Yeah, Roger, we know you hate the Republicans just for being alive.

    Nindid, what do you think?

  31. 41

    Daddy Love spews:

    Libertarian (and MTR, I guess)

    This is a Republican thing. The current party is completely corrupt at the federal level. Who knows if we’re going to see state-level investigations (I wouldn’t mind finding out what Chris and Dino did). But the targets of the feds are all GOP. Next year should be fun.

    BTW, if some dumb Democrat is snared taking a bribe (that Jefferson from LA seems a possibility, but do please note that he is totally unrelated to the GOP/Abramoff mess), let ‘em go down too!

  32. 42

    Daddy Love spews:

    RR

    Whitewater! Can you believe that they bring that up as though something happened? I think they all still beleive that Clinton was guilty of all that bullshit!

    BTW, guys, this scandal is also about things that are happening WHILE THE CURRENT GUYS ARE IN OFFICE. It’s not a 20-year-old dredging up of a non-event like Whitewater. These guys are taking bribes and moving slush fund money around on a daily basis. Wait ’til they get Tony Rudy to flip on DeLay!

  33. 43

    Libertarian spews:

    Daddy Love – sure whatever you say.

    Hey, Nindid, about this public financing thing. Where would the funding come from? Do you tnik it should be from general income taxes or something other?

  34. 44

    GBS spews:

    Lib @ 30

    Term limits are already in place now. It’s called voting. If you a politician does a poor job he gets voted out of office. That limits their term in public office.

    I am strongly against the idea of arbitrarily limiting the number of terms and elected official can serve (except the presidency).

    It’s hard enough these days to find a person who honestly wants to serve the publics best interest. Why would you want to prevent a good patriot from performing public good?

    You may not be in this camp, but most people argue that term limits prevents corruption. While it may accomplish that goal, you’re only treating the symptom and not the problem.

    The love of money is the root of all evil. Eliminating excessive special interest monies in Washington D.C., having an ethics committee that actually investigates improprieties, and levying severe penalties for those who would defraud the public are better steps to curing the conservative Culture of Corruption than a term limits.

  35. 45

    Donnageddon spews:

    “Libertarian” @ 36. you keep spinnning the same wingnut LIES (and yet you call yourself a “libertarian”)

    Here is the fact you can’t seem to get through that wingnut filter of yours.

    Abramoff did not give a single dime to ANY Democrat.

    But don’t let the truth bother you. Just keep repeating the wingnut talking points.

  36. 46

    GBS spews:

    Janet S. @ 23 wrote:
    There were no campaign contributions in the Soviet Union, but somehow the top govt officials became quite wealthy.

    Good point, conservatives are more like a dictatorial communist regime than a functioning democracy.

  37. 47

    Donnageddon spews:

    And all term limits do is let the (corrupt) politician know that near the end of their term they had better do everything they can to sweeten the deal for the private company they want hiring them after they lose their government job. After all they have nothing to lose.

    Term Limits is a recipe for corruption.

  38. 48

    Janet S spews:

    Libertarian – you need to change your name. Public financing and term limits are pretty much anathema to liberterian ideals. How about immediate reporting of all donations on the internet? Let people decide for themselves. What you propose is to have the govt finance incumbents for self-perpetuation.

    Again, there is corruption in dc because that is where the money is. Every time a congressman decides something is in his reach for regulation, he creates a new special interest and a new source of cash. Everyone wins – the politician gets to stay in office another term, the lobbyist gets his fee, and the special interest gets favored treatment. And when it comes time, these same groups decide who gets the free air time and who gets the public financing.

    Nice work if you can get it.

  39. 49

    Libertarian spews:

    Donnageddon, I’m kinda interested in this campaign finance thing with Nindid at the moment. A lot of Republicans are going to jail because of taking money form Abramoff, OK? And rightfully so.

    So, can we effectively clean up corruption with public financing of campaigns and term limits? That’s what I wanna know.

  40. 50

    Another TJ spews:

    Libertarian,

    I am as cynical as the next person regarding the “ethics” of politicians, but you should look into this particular scandal a little closer. I think if you look into the “K Street Project” in detail, you’ll find that it’s a severe shift in modern politics and that it is fundamentally corrupt. It’s something new, and the GOP owns it completely. This is not to say all Dems are pure as the driven snow, just that the Republican Party has corrupted itself completely. This is not a few rotten apples; it is a truly a “culture of corruption.”

  41. 51

    Donnageddon spews:

    “Libertarian”, I realize how badly you want to change the direction of this post, from “Republicans caught in largest and most corrupt scandal in recent memory” to : Lets stop all politicians from being corrupt. That is just a variation on the wingnut talking point.

    Fortunately, this ain’t your blog, and you ain’t the boss of me.

    So, FUCK YOU!

  42. 52

    Libertarian spews:

    Donnageddon – I have no fight with you. I’m not a Republican. In fact, i actually worked for the McGovern campaign back in 1972. I went over to the Libertarians in ’76 and stayed there. Yes, this ain’t my blog, and it ain’t your either.

    The Repuiblicans have been caught with their pants around their ankles with the Abramhoff affair.

    Is that clear enough for you all?

  43. 53

    GBS spews:

    Janet S.

    BTW having a strict constructionist conservative lecturing me about the Constitution is like having Scooter Libby lecturing Patrick Fitzgerald about lying.

    The First Amendment says, in part: “. . . , and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

    Since you brought it up, specifically, which grievance are you speaking of that needs to be litigated?

  44. 54

    RonK, Seattle spews:

    Pundit payola suspected in publication of the (single, eccentric Washington Times) claim that Reid and Dorgan are under investigation.

    Payola suspicions not conclusive, but highly indicative. DCCC survey post here.

  45. 55

    Daddy Love spews:

    Lib
    A lot of Republicans are going to jail because of taking money form Abramoff, OK? And rightfully so.

    ABSOLUTELY NOT.
    – Abramoff is going to jail because he pled guilty to conspiracy and wire fraud
    – Scanlon is going to jail because he pled guilty to conspiracy to violate criminal laws against bribing public officials
    – Kidan is going to jail because he pled guilty to conspiracy and wire fraud
    – Tom DeLay is going to go to jail for crminal conspiracy to violate Texas election law (until Tony Rudy sings)
    – Bob Ney is going to go to jail because he took bribes for legislative action
    – David H. Safavian is going to jail for lying and obstruction of justice in connection with the Abramoff investigation

    However, IF political action was expected in return for cash, a number of politicians may have committed crimes that warrant jail time. The Wall Street Journal stories, in addition to Ney and DeLay, mentioned Rep. John Doolittle (R., Calif.) and Sen. Conrad Burns (R., Mont.) as targets of the investigation.

  46. 56

    Libertarian spews:

    Daddy –

    “A lot of Republicans are going to jail because of taking money form Abramoff, OK? And rightfully so.

    ABSOLUTELY NOT.
    – Abramoff is going to jail because he pled guilty to conspiracy and wire fraud
    – Scanlon is going to jail because he pled guilty to conspiracy to violate criminal laws against bribing public officials
    – Kidan is going to jail because he pled guilty to conspiracy and wire fraud
    – Tom DeLay is going to go to jail for crminal conspiracy to violate Texas election law (until Tony Rudy sings)
    – Bob Ney is going to go to jail because he took bribes for legislative action
    – David H. Safavian is going to jail for lying ”
    ===========================================

    Yeah, you’re right: they’re going to jail because they did crooked things, and that doesn’t mean they took money directly from Abramoff. They could have done many other illegal things that had nothing to do with Jack A.

    I think you missed my point, though: I’m not a Republican, but I’m not a Democrat either.

  47. 57

    Dr. E spews:

    There goes your freedom of exrpession:

    Bush to criminalize protesters under Patriot Act as “disruptors”

    “Bush wants to create the new criminal of “disruptor” who can be jailed for the crime of “disruptive behavior.” A “little-noticed provision” in the latest version of the Patriot Act will empower Secret Service to charge protesters with a new crime of “disrupting major events including political conventions and the Olympics.” Secret Service would also be empowered to charge persons with “breaching security” and to charge for “entering a restricted area” which is “where the President or other person protected by the Secret Service is or will be temporarily visiting.” In short, be sure to stay in those wired, fenced containments or free speech zones.”

    This is disgusting. Tell me, wingers, are you all gonna just sit by and watch Georgie-boy rip up the Bill of Rights? And, since the average American never gets to see the bubble boy in person, what the hell is he so afraid of — someone giving him the finger as his limo rolls down an intersection 5 blocks away?

  48. 58

    Dr. E spews:

    If you wonder why an awful lot of intelligent, rational Americans are using the word “fascism” — and I don’t want to hear any of the bullshit troll ad hominem “you donks/moonbats/liberals/etc. can’t/don’t/won’t think/understand/etc.” responses here — I’ve thought this one through at length and would only use that term (“fascism”) if it really applied. Really, go ahead and challenge me on this one with a substantial defense with concrete examples of Bush administration policies, legislation, etc.

    I don’t really give a rat’s ass about what the Dems did under Clinton/LBJ/Carter/etc. They’re not governing this nation. This is a GOP problem. We have an administration crossing that dangerous line into fascism, whereby your civil rights can be usurped at a moment’s notice with no legal recourse. They’ve been crossing that line in increments for the past 4+ years; how many more times are they going to have to do it before you all wake up? If you continue to support the GOP, you are de facto endorsing this anti-American agenda.

  49. 59

    Libertarian spews:

    Dr. E. – Kind fo reminds me of the days of Tricky Dick. Now HE was the original dirty tricks guy! I think he was one of the guys that first tried using the IRS to attack his enemies.

  50. 60

    GBS spews:

    Dr. E @ 56:

    See that? Way over there. Look hard and you can see it.

    Reconginze it?

    Yep, that’s Civl War II on the horizion.

    Get ready, it’s gonna be a doozy.

  51. 61

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    Fibbertarian@57 Still spinning.zzzzzzzzzzz. Sorry to get your knickers in a twist but . . . .you fly under “false colors”.

    I propose a new entry to “The Devil’s Dictionary”:

    Libertarian: A form of political Hermaphrodite.

  52. 62

    proud leftist spews:

    Tree Frog Farmer @ 59
    In Libertarian’s defense, he actually does seem to be a true libertarian unlike those who claim to be libertarians–like Mr. Cynical, for instance–because they’re too embarrassed to come out of the closet and acknowledge their Republicanism. The libertarian position at least has the respectable attribute of internal consistency–small government means not just less bureaucracy, but staying the hell out of foreign conflicts and out of Americans’ bedrooms. Contemporary Republicans can claim no such internal consistency in their positions. They’re just for whatever Bush tells them they’re for. It seems to me that at this point in our nation’s history, the true libertarian should side more often with Democrats than Republicans.

  53. 63

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    @60 Oh, come now, and look at your defense. Look at his posts today. They don’t square with that description.
    And. . . begging a moral equivalency of Whitewater to the present dustup is ‘way past disengenous. . .much more like your description of the Puh-Suedo-Libertarians.

  54. 64

    Daddy Love spews:

    Lib
    My point, of course, was that campaign donations aren’t the story. Goldy’s new post about things like “not accepting paid travel from lobbyists,” is more to the point, but beyond that there’s this huge Republican slush fund of phony charities, fraudulent organizations, offshore funds, off-the-books favors, and other ways THEY have been using to grease legislators and to enforce the famous GOP party “discipline,” which turns out not to be a character trait or a response to principled leadership at all, but rather a white-knuckled clinging to the gravy train.

  55. 65

    GBS spews:

    You know the neo-convicts are on the wrong side of history when there are only 3 apologists on the thread: Janet S., Libertarian, and Sven.

    Where’s prr, Righton, Mr. Cynical, ChristmasGhost, marks, NoWonder, Rujax, IDGAF, Mark The Redneck, Karamlyzed, pbj, Puddybud, Sharkansky, HowCanYouBeProudToBeAnAss, JCH, PacMan???

    I’m sure I’m missing a few, but where are the apologists now?

  56. 66

    Sven spews:

    31,

    Ok – one more time – Democrats received NO MONEY from Abramoff. None – zilch – nada. Abramoff is/was one of the biggest Republican figures out there, was the former head of teh College Republicans and he worked for many years to get Republicans in power.

    He was an arch-enemy of Democrats and to try and put a false equivalence to this story is beyond laughable.

  57. 67

    Sven spews:

    nice, it ate my response….

    What I said was it is laughable to excuse the democrats for not taking money specifically from him, hwne they gladly took millions from foundations he controlled and at his direction.

    Sophistry, pure and simple.

  58. 68

    HowCanYouBePROUDtobeAnASS spews:

    Where’s prr, Righton, Mr. Cynical, ChristmasGhost, marks, NoWonder, Rujax, IDGAF, Mark The Redneck, Karamlyzed, pbj, Puddybud, Sharkansky, HowCanYouBeProudToBeAnAss, JCH, PacMan???
    I’m sure I’m missing a few, but where are the apologists now? -Comment by GBS— 1/12/06 @ 3:41 pm

    Since December 12th I have been flying back and forth between Seattle and Tampa to spend time with my Father who was gravely ill and in CICU for 20 days.

    He passed away on January 5, 2 days after being moved back home. He would have been a still young 79 in July.

    He was a good, loving man, married for over 50 years when he lost his wife, our Mom, who died far too young at 73 in 2002.

    We take comfort in the belief he is now back home with the God he loved and the woman he adored.

    Rest in peace, Dad, we love you always.

    This time of emotional highs and lows, sharing memories and grief with family and friends puts into perspective the nonsense that attempts to pass for serious discourse on these boards. It’s all great fun and really quite humorous, but this last, long month has given me time to reflect on the crassness and hatefulness of the strident and mostly immature rantings of the folks that post here – admittedly, on both sides.

  59. 70

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    ProudAss–
    Sorry to hear about your Dad.
    You are right about the immature rantings here on HA.
    I will admit I do it to attempt to understand what makes LEFTIST KLOWNS tick and where their weaknesses are.
    Their weakness is clearly an oh so serious and oh so self-righteous attitude couple with no sense of humor.
    These Blog is emotional….based on raw feelings.
    Goldy does get an acorn once in awhile…every blind pig does!
    I think the unrestrained discourse here is really a release for folks with strongly held beliefs. This Blog is not for everyone, that’s for sure.
    Are you telling us you are permanently retiring to the sidelines?
    If so, I’ll join you.
    Perhaps all the folks who are RIGHT will say good-bye and allow the choir to sing to itself! Unabashed.
    You make the call ProudAss…………………

  60. 71

    marks spews:

    GBS @63

    Where’s prr, Righton, Mr. Cynical, ChristmasGhost, marks, NoWonder, Rujax, IDGAF, Mark The Redneck, Karamlyzed, pbj, Puddybud, Sharkansky, HowCanYouBeProudToBeAnAss, JCH, PacMan???

    That is quite the list, most of which are honorable despite your opinion (but JCH remains a racist fuckbag). Here is my “fuck you” to your list of “apologists”:

    You see, I was first, and your buddy Roger smeared me for it, yet Goldy posts it two days later.
    RR sez,This is classic Rovian playbook – their standard defense is offense – but this time, the GOP turkey ain’t gonna fly” You see, RR thinks I’m some sort of righty automaton. I guess if one happens to be to the right of RR, one is a righty automaton.

    So, was I honorable in posting what I believe? Are you honorable in posting your side? I do happen to be a trusty Shellback, ya know….

  61. 72

    My Left Foot spews:

    Proud to Be,

    I am very sorry to hear of your loss. There is nothing any of can say to ease your pain. But I will offer you the works of my father when my mother passed away,(paraphrased) “As long as you are alive, where ever you go, a part of your parents will be alive within your heart. Don’t forget this and live a life that they would be proud of.”

  62. 73

    Donnageddon spews:

    sven @ 65

    What I said was it is laughable to excuse the democrats for not taking money specifically from him, hwne they gladly took millions from foundations he controlled and at his direction

    Again with the wingnut BULLSHIT! No money was transferred to any Democratic candidate from foundations under the direction or control of Abramoff!

    sven, get that thru your kool-aid drunk mind. And stop making a fool of yoourself by repeating the same discreditied wingnut lies.

  63. 74

    Donnageddon spews:

    @ wherever it turns up, the post I made that is in the filter shoul have this addendum:

    * Unless sven thinks that the tri*bes are a foundation controlled and under the direction of Abramoff. And if sven thinks so, he is more of a wingnut than puddy, MTR and Cyn-Irr combined.

  64. 75

    Sven spews:

    Donna,

    I thought it was common knowledge from the congressoinal testemony that the tribes donated to the groups and candidates he recommended…..

    Sorry, the facts are pretty clear that he manipulated the purse strings and a lot of people on both sides benfitted.

    And there is nothing intrinsically wrong with that, because donating is in and of itself perfectly legal. No one has yet been indicted except him.

    What has yet to be proven is any manner of influence that was due to the donations, and the beneficiaries of his money on both sides still stand innocent uneil proven guilty there.

    So I dont know what has got your knickers in a knot.

  65. 76

    Mark The Redneck spews:

    You have to be totally ignorant, like DonDon, to think that there is no link between a lobbyist and the money that the lobbyist represents. One of the lobbyist’s main jobs is to tell clients where to spend their money to buy influence. That’s what they DO. They buy influence. That’s their whole fucking reason for existing.

    You guys can claim it ain’t so, but to do so highlights your complete ignorance of the political procecss as practiced today.

  66. 77

    Donnageddon spews:

    sven

    I thought it was common knowledge from the congressoinal testemony that the tribes donated to the groups and candidates he recommended…..

    That is so fucking absurd as to hardly warrent being pissed on. You actually think all the soverign nations of the Amer-Indians sang to the tune of Abramoff? He controlled contributions for scams involving cas*ino laws, and manipulating gam*bling. He used particular *REPUBLICAN* congresspeople to do the favors and funneled money to those congresspeople in return.

    That is not the only issue for Amer-Indians, you fucking asshole. And for you to insinuate it is, is a racist slur or worse just an ignorant attempt to cover for the sleaziest congressional (REPUBLICAN) culture or corruption in recent memory.

    I don’t wear knickers, so they ain’t notted, asswipe. But when jerks like you think you can slur a whole group of people in an attempt to cover for the Republicfuckers, it makes me a bit angry.

  67. 78

    Donnageddon spews:

    sven

    beneficiaries of his money on both sides
    keep chanting the talking points ( make sure you say that both sides are involved.. ) . Ain’t gonna do you any good when the jail doors slam shut.

  68. 79

    HowCanYouBePROUDtobeAnASS spews:

    Thank you very much Marks, Cynical and Left Foot for your kind words and thoughts.

    LF, your Dad’s words are terrific words to live by, thanks for sharing them with me.

    Cyn, right now I don’t know what I’m going to do… I have to get throught the memorial services then begin sorting through 50+ years of our parents married life… everything else seems pretty inconsequential.

    I agree this blog is a release for folks. I sincerely doubt that anyone of us with strongly held beliefs will ever convince another of them in this atmosphere, nor will problems be solved or viable solutions get an honest hearing. The grand “we” of all of us that post here will never move forward as long as each side just taunts the other and the ante of ugliness keeps going up. If there is an idea or person we could agree on, we still wouldn’t, strictly on the principle of the ‘them vs us’ mentality fostered here …and sadly all of us lose in that situation, because ocassionally we do indeed see the kernels of great ideas from both sides. I just don’t have the energy or inclination for pointless verbal brawls right now.

  69. 81

    karl spews:

    75,

    The tribes used Abramoff as an advisor and donated at his direction to various organizations, including democrats.

    You should watch cspan sometime.

  70. 82

    karl spews:

    78

    who said he controlled all of their contributions? What a tangent.

    Yes he gave directly to republicans, but as a lobbyist and advisor, he directed plenty to both sides by recommendatoins and or direction to his organizawtions

    yes the republicans got more, but the Democrats got their share.

    http://www.theolympian.com/app.....6/60104061

    Get over it. Some democrats accepted legal donations from a source that was determined to be tainted after the fact . Why the rationalization and denial?

  71. 83

    Reality Check spews:

    HowCanYouBePROUDtobeAnASS my sincere condolences. I can only guess at the gried you are passing through in these days. I am fortunate that both of my parents are still here. Not in the best of shape (80 and 78) but still as active as can be expected and mentally sound. They say time heals all wounds. You should take time with you and your family just to be close. Best of luck, today and always

  72. 84

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    ProudAss-
    My Dad passed away 8 years ago. He was only 67. The grieving process is interesting and painful.
    This Blog is a microcosm of America.
    People with deeply held beliefs talk right past each other.
    One of the key principals on HA is that everybody posts at once with little or no regard for opposing opinions.
    The difference for me is the LEFTISTS promote tolerance and diversity….yet obviously hate it.

  73. 85

    For the Clueless spews:

    Bozo @ 85

    Tell you what. Take all your bullcrap comments, substitute rightist for leftist and post on your favorite blog (un)SP. See how long you last before getting banned.

    After being on the wrong side of the issues and losing time after time – you have nothing to show for it but a history of name-calling drivel.

  74. 86

    GBS spews:

    HowCanYouBePROUDtobeAnASS:

    Sorry to hear about the passing of your father. Having lost my mother two Thanksgivings ago, I think I might understand some of the feelings your are experiencing.

    To me, death is the birth into eternal life where we all yearn to be, with our Heavenly Father. While it is sad that your father cannot be with you here, take comfort in the fact that he is in the presence of Grace.

    Heaven is eternal and the concept of time is just a moment that only exists in the minds of humans. We are all traveling along the same stony path, we all falter at times and get stuck for a moment. Bear in mind it’s just a moment, and this too, shall pass.

    Peace be with you and your family. Amen.
    GBS

  75. 87

    GBS spews:

    marks The Trusty Crusty Shellback @ 72.

    I stand corrected and retract your name from the list of apologists. Truth be told I was just running through my mental rolodex of conservative posters on HA that I saw as MIA.

    PS: Being that you’re a Shellback the honor part applies to you without saying.

  76. 88

    Donnageddon spews:

    marks “Some democrats accepted legal donations from a source that was determined to be tainted after the fact . Why the rationalization and denial? ”

    You really need to step away from CSPAN for a little while.

    1. The Tribes have a TON of issues (besides cas*inos), and they lobby for them and make political contributions to Politicians they see as having a favorable attitude toward them.

    2. Abramoff’s influence relates to a few tribes, and on the issue of how to corrupt the cas*ino lobby. That is the end all of his influence on some of the Tribes political lobbying.

    It is patently racist and frankly STUPID fo anyone to suggest a political contribution from a Tribe is in any way related to the REPUBLICAN Abramoff scandal, or a cas*ino issue.

    Time to back away from the TV Box and just do a little common sense thinking.

  77. 89

    GBS spews:

    Mr. Cynical @ 71

    I invite you to stay around on HA blog even if HowCanYouBeProudToBeAnASS decides to leave. At least stay until December 1, 2006.

    After all is said and done, I’d like to get the biggest “I TOLD YOU SO” in after Republicans get hammered at the ballot box this fall for the Culture of Corruption you’ve helped create.

  78. 90

    Sven spews:

    Wake up. Its old news.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....02158.html

    Democrats Also Got Tribal Donations
    Abramoff Issue’s Fallout May Extend Beyond the GOP

    By Jeffrey H. Birnbaum and Derek Willis
    Washington Post Staff Writers
    Friday, June 3, 2005; Page A01

    Lobbyist Jack Abramoff and an associate famously collected $82 million in lobbying and public relations fees from six Indian tribes and devoted a lot of their time to trying to persuade Republican lawmakers to act on their clients’ behalf.

    But Abramoff didn’t work just with Republicans. He oversaw a team of two dozen lobbyists at the law firm Greenberg Traurig that included many Democrats. Moreover, the campaign contributions that Abramoff directed from the tribes went to Democratic as well as Republican legislators.

    Graphic http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....60305.html

    Among the biggest beneficiaries were Capitol Hill’s most powerful Democrats, including Thomas A. Daschle (S.D.) and Harry M. Reid (Nev.), the top two Senate Democrats at the time, Richard A. Gephardt (Mo.), then-leader of the House Democrats, and the two lawmakers in charge of raising funds for their Democratic colleagues in both chambers, according to a Washington Post study. Reid succeeded Daschle as Democratic leader after Daschle lost his Senate seat last November.

    Democrats are hoping to gain political advantage from federal and Senate investigations of Abramoff’s activities and from the embattled lobbyist’s former ties to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.). Yet, many Democratic lawmakers also benefited from Abramoff’s political operation, a fact that could hinder the Democrats’ efforts to turn the lobbyist’s troubles into a winning partisan issue.

    “It wouldn’t surprise me to see the Abramoff controversy impact both parties,” said Tony Raymond, co-founder of PoliticalMoneyLine.com, which gathers lobbying and campaign finance information.

    Democratic lawmakers who responded to inquiries for this article said that any money they received from the tribes had nothing to do with Abramoff. They were quick to say they did not know the man.

    Federal investigators are examining the millions of dollars in lobbying and public relations fees that Abramoff received from the tribes. They are also looking into his dealings with members of Congress and their staffs, lawyers involved in the inquiry said.

    Most lobbying firms here are bipartisan, to give their clients access to key lawmakers of both major parties. Abramoff’s group was no exception. Although he was recognized as a Republican lobbyist who was close to DeLay and other party leaders, Abramoff was careful to add at least two Democratic lobbyists to his group during his five years at Greenberg Traurig. By the end, seven of his lobbyists were Democrats.

    “Lobbying shops typically direct contributions to both parties because they want contacts on both sides of the aisle,” said David M. Hart, a professor of public policy at George Mason University. “Lawmakers in the minority can also have a lot of clout.”

    According to documents and tribal officials familiar with the Abramoff team’s methods, the lobbyists devised lengthy lists of lawmakers to whom the tribes should donate and then delivered the lists to the tribes. The tribes, in turn, wrote checks to the recommended campaign committees and in the amounts the lobbyists prescribed. The money went to incumbents or selected candidates in open seats.

    Because of the makeup of his team and the composition of Congress, the Abramoff lobbyists channeled most of their clients’ giving to GOP legislators, according to a review of public records. Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.), chairman of an Appropriations subcommittee that frequently deals with Indian matters, received the largest amount from the tribes as well as from the Greenberg Traurig lobbyists who helped direct those donations: $141,590 from 1999 to 2004, the study showed.

    But Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy (D-R.I.) ran second, with $128,000 in the same period. From 1999 to 2001, Kennedy chaired the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which solicited campaign donations for House candidates.

    The Indians’ largess flowed to higher-ranking Democrats as well. Senate Democratic leaders Reid and Daschle each received more than $40,000 from the tribes and from lobbyists on Abramoff’s team during the period. Gephardt got $32,500.

    Of the 18 largest recipients of tribe contributions directed by Abramoff’s group, six, or one-third, were Democrats. These included Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.), who chaired the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee from 2001 to 2002, and Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (N.D.), a leader in Indian affairs legislation.

    Over that period, while Abramoff and his lobbyists directed nearly $4 million in funds from the tribes to lawmakers, they also gave from their own pockets. Two-thirds of the total went to Republicans and one-third was handed out to Democrats, according to The Post’s calculations.

    The six wealthiest tribes that had hired Abramoff’s group were the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, the Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana, the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana and the Tigua Indian Reservation.

    Greenberg Traurig declined to comment. An Abramoff spokesman said: “Each tribe has its own protocol for approving political contributions made by the tribe. Mr. Abramoff and his team provided recommendations on where a tribe should spend its political dollars, but ultimately the tribal council made the final decision on what political contributions to make.”

    Democratic lawmakers sought to distance themselves from Abramoff.

    A spokesman for Kennedy said the congressman’s donations from the tribes “have nothing to do with Abramoff.” Kennedy traces the money’s genesis to his family’s long-standing commitment to Indian causes, to the fact that he co-founded the Congressional Native American Caucus in 1997, and to his personal relationship with Mississippi Choctaw Chief Philip Martin, whom Kennedy met in 1999 on a fundraising trip for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “They just became close friends,” said Kennedy spokesman Sean Richardson.

    James Patrick Manley, Reid’s spokesman, also asserted that Reid’s connection to tribes was remote from Abramoff. He said that Reid does not know Abramoff. But Abramoff did hire as one of his lobbyists Edward P. Ayoob, a veteran Reid legislative aide. Manley acknowledged that Ayoob helped raise campaign money for his former boss. Lawyers close to the Abramoff operation said that Ayoob held a fundraising reception for Reid at Greenberg Traurig’s offices here.

    “There’s nothing sinister here,” Manley said. Reid is a member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee with strong relations with Indian tribes, he explained.

    Daschle was familiar with another of Abramoff’s Democratic lobbyists, Michael Smith. According to Steve Hildebrand, who was Daschle’s campaign manager last year, Smith “helped with a lot of Democratic campaigns.” In addition, Daschle was a favorite of Indian tribes and received donations from 64, including five Abramoff clients. “We took about $150,000 in this last election cycle from Indian tribes around the country,” Hildebrand said. “Tom is viewed as a champion of Indian issues. We have nine tribes in South Dakota, and they worked hard for him.”

    Murray also was said to have never laid eyes on Abramoff. “Our office has not had any contact with Jack Abramoff,” said the senator’s spokeswoman, Alex Glass. “She’s been active in Indian health care and in supporting their sovereign governments; that is why they decided to contribute to her. They see her as an advocate.”

    During the time Murray chaired the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Abramoff’s major tribes were significant contributors. Election reports show that the grand total from the tribes to that committee in 2001-2002 reached $175,500.

    In March 2001, Dorgan held a fundraising event during a hockey game in a skybox leased by an Abramoff company at MCI Center. But the senator said he believed that the box was controlled by Greenberg Traurig. The event was organized by Smith, the Democratic fundraiser, he added.

    “I was unaware that Abramoff was involved,” Dorgan said.

    Speaking of Dorgan….

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....01582.html

    Democrat on Panel Probing Abramoff to Return Tribal Donations

    Nuff said.

  79. 91

    marks spews:

    donna @89

    You attribute this statement to me:

    “Some democrats accepted legal donations from a source that was determined to be tainted after the fact . Why the rationalization and denial? ”

    My memory is not as robust as it once was, so can you point out where I said it?

  80. 93

    marks spews:

    Thank you, Donna. I was trying to figure out when I would ever use rationalization and denial in a question.

    karl,

    The Abramoff issue is simply this:

    reveal which politicians and lawmakers were paid, how much they were paid, and what they understood was required of them in return. If political action was expected in return for cash, a number of politicians may have committed crimes that warrant jail time.

    From Wikipedia (search Jack Abramoff)

  81. 94

    Sven spews:

    Marks,

    Exactly….did you hear this about Dorgan then?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....01582.html

    “Aides conceded that the senator did advocate for programs pushed by Abramoff’s clients around the time he was accepting tens of thousands of dollars from associates and clients of the lobbyist.”

    Was that undo influence? Was that a bribe?

    The problem is that in the case contributions versus bribes, the intention factor is nearly impossible to prove.

    I personally say that in Dorgan’s case, it was not, or at least not without a whole lot more supporting evidence of intent.

    Taking a position that mirrors the position advocated by a campaign contributer is not specifically illegal, unethical or immoral. Of course someone is going to support a candidate that supports their needs.

    But, exchange the name Dorgan for Delay, and I bet you would get a different answer, particularly here…..

  82. 95

    marks spews:

    Sven,

    The real problem as I see it is what or who will Abramoff finger as his primary beneficiaries? As a further point, how do we know Abramoff will have acted faithfully to discharge his onus? He is, by definition, an accused criminal (Mark1, this is where the credibility thingy becomes important)…

  83. 96

    Donnageddon spews:

    this is, in its essence, a Republican scandal, and any attempt to portray it otherwise is a misdirection.

    – National Review Online, as quoted in Goldy’s original post.

    But don’t let that stop you, sven. Misdirect away!

  84. 97

    Donnageddon spews:

    BTW, sven, your status as am “independent”, “Moderate” lasted about 14 seconds before it became clear you are a neocon hack.

  85. 99

    antidote spews:

    One thing Sven is absolutely correct about: The Democrats received perfectly legal campaign contributions by tribes that were victims of Abramoff’s scheming with the Republicans. So the Repubs are trying to make the tribes victims yet again. Is there any end to Republicans’ denial and perfidy?