Wednesday, January 11, 2006

"Registered Republican" Lobbyist May Have Bribed Two Democrats

Abramoff probe focuses on 5 lawmakers

Well, looks like "registered republican" lobbyist Jack Abramoff who only focuses on Republicans "because they're the only ones who have positions of power" has pled guilty and accordingly, five lawmakers, three Republicans and two powerless Democrats are in the first tier of the probe. The two Dems, Harry Reid, and Byron Dorgan are in the cross-hairs of this "Republican Scandal."

How can this be? Are the Republicans corrupting the Democrats now too? And Harry said this was a Republican Scandal. He's such a kidder.

More to come, I'm sure. I can hardly wait. Be still my heart.


At 5:46 PM, Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...


You are stubborn. I know you want this to be a bipartisan scandal, but it just isn't. I know you won't believe me, but listen to one of your own and who writes from a conservative point of view:

Rich Lowry:

Richard Lowry graduated in 1990 from the University of Virginia where he studied English and History. As a student, he edited a conservative monthly magazine called the Virginia Advocate. Following college, he went on to work as a research assistant for Charles Krauthammer, then as a reporter for a local paper in Northern Virginia.

Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He writes a twice-weekly syndicated column for King Features and is a political analyst for Fox News. He has written for the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. He is the author of the New York Times best-selling book Legacy: Paying the Price for the Clinton Years.

And here's what he thinks of this REPUBLICAN SCANDAL:

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.

Republicans must take the scandal seriously and work to clean up in its wake. The first step was the permanent ouster of Tom DeLay as House Republican majority leader, a recognition that he is unfit to lead as long as he is underneath the Abramoff cloud. The behavior of the right in this matter contrasts sharply with the left's lickspittle loyalty to Bill Clinton, whose maintenance in power many liberals put above any of their principles. Next, Republicans will have to show they can again embrace the spirit of reform that swept them to power in 1994.

To this end, GOP lawmakers are rushing to introduce lobbying reform. Anything that increases transparency is welcome. But lobbying reform's animating pretense is that lawmakers are all upstanding — until they come under the corruptive spell of lobbyists. In every transaction, however, there has to be a willing buyer and seller.

There are two deeply rooted sources of corruption in Washington. One is that many members of Congress believe that they would be making much more than their $160,000-a-year salaries if they were in some other line of work. This sense is compounded when they watch their former 30-year-old aides go to work on K Street for $300,000 a year. This is how someone like Tom DeLay — otherwise a conviction politician — justifies playing the best golf courses in the world on someone else's dime and getting special interests to funnel easy money to his wife.

At 7:23 PM, Blogger Cranky Yankee said...

Simply put - No Democrats receive money from Abramoff. Some received money from Tribal groups he represented, but none received money from him. Rethugs on the other hand were more than happy to take his money directly and sell their votes.

Sorry, no bipartisanship here. It must suck to have to admit Howard Dean is right.

"DEAN: There are no Democrats who took money from Jack Abramoff, not one, not one single Democrat. Every person named in this scandal is a Republican. Every person under investigation is a Republican. Every person indicted is a Republican. This is a Republican finance scandal. There is no evidence that Jack Abramoff ever gave any Democrat any money. And we've looked through all of those FEC reports to make sure that's true.

BLITZER: But through various Abramoff-related organizations and outfits, a bunch of Democrats did take money that presumably originated with Jack Abramoff.

DEAN: That's not true either. There's no evidence for that either. There is no evidence...

BLITZER: What about Senator Byron Dorgan?

DEAN: Senator Byron Dorgan and some others took money from Indian tribes. They're not agents of Jack Abramoff. There's no evidence that I've seen that Jack Abramoff directed any contributions to Democrats. I know the Republican National Committee would like to get the Democrats involved in this. They're scared. They should be scared. They haven't told the truth. They have misled the American people. And now it appears they're stealing from Indian tribes. The Democrats are not involved in this.

At 7:24 PM, Blogger Saur♥Kraut said...

All politicians are corrupt, to one degree or another, or they would never have made it past local representatives...

At 10:35 PM, Blogger Chris said...

I suppose now probes are confirmation of guilt?

Of all the ongoing federal investigations/probes including Frist and his insider trading scam, Rove and his leaking of a CIA agent, Halliburton's no bid contracts, Bush and his wiretaps on American citizens; along with the indictments of Tom DeLay, Scooter Libby, Jack Abramoff and nearly the entire executive office of Enron, all of which is Republican, you purport that because one or two Dems who accepted campaign donations are proof that the Republican Party is not leading the corruption in Washington?

The facts are the Abramoff indictment never mentions Reid, it only mentions Republicans. An ongoing investigation, which is being fed by the Republican Abramoff, may include other members of Congress some of which will be Democrats. But most, nearly all will be Republican.

If we are to assume that probes now declare guilt then nearly the entire Republican leadership caucus is under investigation right now. Where does that lead the debate?

Your logic is flawed UL. You should change your name. If probes prove the focus of corruption, and according to you it does, then Rove, Libby, DeLay and Frist are all guilty.

I would love for you to find me one rich lobby that does not donate to both sides of party leadership. Find me one. If being mentioned in a federal investigation is all that it takes to warrant guilt then there would be no Republican in office today.

At 11:38 PM, Blogger Underground Logician said...


What do you mean it just isn't a bipartisan scandal. There are no democrats involved, including Harry Reid? There is no other party involved, just Repubs?

You, my friend, are stubborn, for you want this to end Bush's career.

I'll say it again, if ANY government official took bribes, they should be tried by the full extent of the law. Republican or Democrat. We will wait and see, won't we?

At 12:03 AM, Blogger Underground Logician said...


I'll keep the name. As to a probe being a confirmation of guilt, wha?

You miss my point. All along, Howard Dean, Harry Reid and Co. are saying this is a Republican scandal. Now, we see that there are two Democrats and three Republicans in the first tier of probes. So it is not this Republican only scandal. And yes, a probe implies a scandal according to Democrats. In fact, liberals see a probe as evidence for guilt, i.e. Rove, Libby et al. Allegations are equal to corruption according to liberals. So, now some Democrats are in the hot seat and you don't like it? Tough. Any lawmaker who takes bribes needs to tried to the full extent of the law.

As to Rove, Libby and DeLay, you libs have them making gravel on some chain gang and there hasn't been a conviction yet. As to Dorgan and Reid, there hasn't been a conviction yet. But this is not just a Republican scandal.

Oh, and mj, you certainly have me saying more than I do. Let me give you some advice: don't try to interpret me. You don't have what it takes, my own self-knowledge.

I was wondering when your comments were going to turn.

At 3:17 AM, Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...


I stand by what the conservative columnist, Rich Lowry, has written:

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

Trying to make this a bipartisan scandal is misdirection.

At 3:30 AM, Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...

Ooops, I forgot, UL.

There's more to this life than politics.

Check this out!

At 6:37 AM, Blogger Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Shaw Kenawe has you down you embitted Republican.

How do I know you were going to follow the neo-con herd and try and pin it on Dems.

There is little point engaging in dialogue when it is not 2 way but stubborn rebuttals.

At 6:56 AM, Blogger Cranky Yankee said...

I still don't see how you can say these democrats took money from Abramoff. It is just not true.

No one is investigating Reid. Maybe the goopers in congress are trying to whip together a hearing to get dems involed in trhe scandal, but in each criminal case involving Abramoff ONLY REPUBLICANS ARE NAMED.

At 7:24 AM, Blogger Underground Logician said...


Very cool! I'm still waiting for a message from outer space..."send more stuff from the "Rolling Stones!" *LOL* (you know, from the first deep space probe where NASA sent a disc with all sorts of stuff from our culture...I'm prattling on, I'm just feeling my age lately)

Daniel: I'm not so much an embittered Republican as perhaps an embittered citizen. Yes, I am stubborn, and as I see it from your side, I can be incorrigible. But, do not lose heart, my British friend, I can bend, if you stick to the argument.

As to joining the neo-con herd to pin it on Democrats, not so. Just because I see some Democrats involved and reject this scandal as a "Republican only" scandal, does NOT mean I am wanting the Democrats to go down and save the Repubs. I'll say it again, ANY lawmaker who takes bribes should be tried to the full extent of the law, beginning with innocent until proven guilty, whether Republican or Democrat. My focus is on the SPIN that is placed on this situation.

There are political forces at work here, and I refuse to be caught up in the sophistication. If Repubs took bribes and they are convicted, good riddance. I mean it. If Neocons are trying to get into office feigning Republican values only to get elected, they need to get out! I am watching them closely, for I am not a happy voter. I'm trying to maintain a clear head in all this.

If you see something that is clouding my judgement, bring it'll only make me a better person.

BTW, I am looking for a good English ale. I met some Brits at a local pub here in Oshkosh and they said most of our British imports are crap. Could you run a few brands by me so I can hunt them down?

At 7:29 AM, Blogger Underground Logician said...


Again, we shall see. And, everyone is innocent until proven guilty. A probe is a probe, not evidence of guilt. Allegations are simply allegations, not a sign of scandal.

What I'm doing is focusing on the SPIN, and if Dorgan and Reid did not take bribes, fine. If just Repubs took bribes, then it IS a Republican scandal. So be it. And they better watch out, for there will be a lot of Republican voters who will be mad as hell.

I find it interesting that Democrats are named in the probe, something that seems out of sorts with the Democratic spin-machine.
Let's wait and see.

At 7:47 AM, Blogger Underground Logician said...

To all:

I'm curious to the reaction of this post. When allegations arise against Republicans in this Abramoff scandal, many on the left believe this to be a sure sign of corruption. I name two Democrats in the probe and questioning the "Republican only" scandal tag that's placed on this situation, and you all react as if I consider only Democrats as guilty.

My advice, if Democrats are implicated in the scandal, take it like mature adults and wait for the outcome of the probes and any adjudication. What we see politicians doing within the press is this "playground" mentality that quickly blames the other side while taking no responsibility for themselves. And, if Repubs are trying to turn this into a Democratic scandal, shame on them!

Let's wait and see if this is a "Republican only" scandal.

At 10:44 AM, Blogger Chris said...

I admit I shouldn't write before I go to bed. But I don't think my comments have turned :)

Being mentioned in an investigation is far different than being the focus of an investigation such as Rove, Libby, Frist, Ney, DeLay, Abramoff, Duke Cunningham and Enron-- all Republican.

You are still confusing campaign donations with bribes. If Reid took bribes, then Bush's $120,000 plus from Abramoff is an exceeding bribe.

As for your own self-knowledge, I'll leave that up to you. But I can count numerous times when you have either printed false quotes from Lincoln trying to link those who disagree with Bush as traitors, or false information about Iraq and al Qaeda. Believe whatever you like, it doesn't matter to me. Though I am not a liberal so be cautious how you interpret me as well.

I do agree we all should wait before passing judgment about party scandals, you are correct and I couldn't agree with your "to all" comment any more than I already do.

At 4:14 PM, Blogger Underground Logician said...


As to your statements previously noting the difference between campaign contributions and bribes has been taken. Also, your point of my quote of Lincoln not being of Lincoln, I'm not ready to yield, though I am open.

As to those who disagree with Bush as traitorous, I guess that would depend on the disagreement. If it's done as a point in discussion to make us more vigilant in the War on Terror, all the better. If it is done to undermine the war effort itself by reducing troop morale, or jeopardize the security of our nation, or even falsely accusing the President of lying with the intel IS traitorous and seditious. On this point, I don't care what anyone thinks.

At 9:17 PM, Blogger Cranky Yankee said...

This might be off topic, but I'd like to get some clarification on your comment, "If it is done to undermine the war effort itself by reducing troop morale, or jeopardize the security of our nation, or even falsely accusing the President of lying with the intel IS traitorous and seditious."

I agree wholeheartedly with this statement. But something tells me we don't agree on the issue. That should come as no surprise. While I may agree it is only in the narrowest confines of your statement itself. It is either a vary narrow definition or a very wide net.

I'm curious as to whom you place in the category of those who are criticizing the President in order to undermine the war effort itself by reducing troop morale, or jeopardize the security of our nation, or even falsely accuse the President of lying with the intel? Also, who is criticizing and not traitorous and seditious? Are you basing this on a constitutional definition of treason or are they traitors in a general sense?

If the standard by which you label as traitorous and seditious those who criticize the president and policies on Iraq is the motivation of their criticism then that is fair enough. But if you present the criticism itself as evidence of this motivation then I think you are selling your argument short and it looks a little circular. Is there some other evidence of this motivation that would allow us to see the criticism in another light? Are there other ways those whom you accuse of treacherous motivations have acted put of this motivation that we can apply as a "like" case?

To me it seems like a cop out to attribute a specific motivation for an action based on your opinion of the action itself. Do you really think someone like John Murtha would be motivated to critical dissent by a desire to jeopardize the security of our nation or to reduce troop morale? Do you consider John Murtha a traitor and is that based on his criticism or on the motivation behind his criticism?

I was upset when democrats like Murtha, an admittedly long list, supported the invasion of Iraq and I railed against them loudly. The extent to which I criticized his motivation was mostly political in that it was my opinion he was, as many were, following a popular trend that played well with his constituency. The fact is Murtha has always been a hawk and his support for the invasion based on the intel received from the executive branch is consistent with his record. Calling him a political sellout for supporting the invasion would be wrong. It would not be wring in many other cases, but that's not the point.

With all that said, I am not eliminating the possibility that someone criticizing the president over Iraq has the goals you cite. In fact I can probably name a few myself. They are enemies of America, for whatever reason, and have a stated interest in our failure. I can't think of any Americans off hand, but I'm not ruling out the possibility.

So, my long winded agreement will end with a question restated so that I can better understand your position. Who do you put in the category quoted above?

At 7:48 AM, Blogger Underground Logician said...


I see what you mean. Thank you for pointing it out. It is circular. A pox upon me! My emotions blanked out my brain! Oh well, I'm learning.

I may have to do a rethink here, but as I respond to your comment off the cuff, there is no way that I can know if these people want to undermine America in the war effort per se, that would be indeed traitorous and seditious. I do see that the false accusations of lying with false intel, the statements against our troops, Murtha, Kennedy, Durbin, et al, damage our resolve in this War effort and hurt our troop morale all for the sake of what? My conjecture is that it is to get at Bush. The effects of their actions are stark and for the sake of future American lives, they better back off.

I'll do more reflecting on this, but thanks to you, Yank, I may be seeing a little more clearly here.

At 6:10 PM, Blogger Bujutsu Blogger said...

Hey there. I saw you on that other page (Progressive Eruptions). It seems you and shaw have friendly debates often. That is always a good thing.

My father went to Marquette in the 70s (his side of the family is from Wisconsin).

At 2:28 PM, Blogger Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...


I doubt you'll be able to get them over there, mostly on tap you have Bass and Boddingtons in the US from my past experience.

And you don't have pumps do you? As in hand pumps to draw up the beer which is the only way it can be served.

But if you can try Timothy Taylor, Spitfire, London Pride and The Dog's Bollocks.

At 3:08 PM, Blogger Chris said...

After reading Yankee's comment, I must admit he has changed my views about the topic. Very well written.

Personally I don't think it was Murtha's intention to lower troop morale, or Durbin's intention either. Troop morale isn't all that high right now any way. And certainly sending them into battle with not enough manpower and not enough protective elements (i.e., armor) of itself doesn't do much to keep morale high. Also, sending the troops to two and three tours does more to lower morale than anything. But with saying that, I'm not stating that Bush's actions of an ill-planned invasion is treasonous; I'm simply stating that there are many ways in which troop morale can be exposed to negatives, even by those who seemingly think they support the war.

In addition to Yankee's comment about the Constitutional definition of treason: It must be noted that according to the Constitution we are not at war. By not officially being at war, it allows this administration to lable any dissent as unpatriotic and un-American; and thus as being treasonous activity. The administration and all those who support this war, and yet won't go fight it themselves, can base their claims of treason loosely and without any Constitutional basis. It's always easier to make claims without merit, than to actually follow law.

So many loose definitions of Bush's entire foreign policy results in a very chaotic reality. For example, the Bush administration's definition of "terrorist" is applied so vaguely that it can be assigned to anything Bush deems necessary. Not only is it bad policy to not have a standard, but it results in a three year war that this administration thought would only last a matter of weeks. Lack of planning and prudence is an understatement, and allows lots of room for dissent that should not be labeled anti-American or other nonsense.

UL, you always get good discussions on here.


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