Fact Finding on the Golf Course

A spokesman for lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who is under investigation for influence peddling by a federal grand jury and the Department of the Interior, complains that Abramaoff is "being singled out by the media for actions that are commonplace in Washington and are totally proper." Regarding the money spent by one of Abramoff's clients, the Tigua Indian tribe, on golf vacations in Scotland for House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) and Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio), the spokesman notes that "the tradition of lobbyists traveling with members of Congress to visit various jurisdictions so that they could learn about issues that impact the Congress and government policy is well known." In other words, the golf trips were fact-finding missions. Offhand, I can't think of any pressing legislative issues involving Scotland, but I guess if someone offered me a $100,000 trip I could come up with one.

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    Um, I was... um, I had to fly into Scotland, and um, yes, that's right, I wanted to see first hand how Scotland Yard handles airport security.

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    "a tribe spokesman has since testified to Congress that the 2002 trip was organized for Representative Bob Ney, an Ohio Republican and chairman of the House Administration Committee, and that "you know who" was a much more powerful Republican, Tom DeLay of Texas, the House majority leader and old friend of Mr. Abramoff's."

    So DeLay is Voldemort?! I KNEW IT!!

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    "In an interview on ABC, Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, the third-ranking Republican in the Senate, said Mr. DeLay needed to answer questions about his conduct. "I think he has to come forward and lay out what he did and why he did it and let the people then judge for themselves," Mr. Santorum said. "From everything I've heard, again, from the comments and responding to those, is everything he's done was according to the law.""

    Santorum is saying this?! When one of the biggest rats jump your ship, you're so fucked (proper). I wonder how easy it will be for DeLay to go after those "activist" Republican-appointed judges while his fucking house is on fire. What a douchebag.

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    Influence peddling...in DC? To the Batmobile!!!

    Please. I'm not defending this creep, but let's not be so naive as to even entertain the idea that this is anything less than commonplace. The old saying, "K Street: the other branch of government", didn't come about for no reason, folks. Call it "lobbying", call it "influence peddling", call it whatever you want. Me, I'll skip the niceties and just call it what it be: motherfuckin' BRIBERY. Put Jackoff Abram on trial, along with all the rest of the bribers and bribees...the people who wontonly buy and sell our tax dollars and our freedom. And then, when you can visit the Capitol and hear crickets chirp on the floor of Congress because all those bribe-accepting twats are in prison, then...I will be satisfied.

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    Santorum jumping ship is the clearest sign yet the White House wants the Bugman gone and replaced with a compliant empty suit. It's the Trent Lott thing all over again.

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    I'm not saying Tom Delay whores it like they do on East Colfax, I'm just saying we don't know.

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    Let's send every congressman to Scotland for about two years.

  • Warren||

    "I think he has to come forward and lay out what he did and why he did it and let the people then judge for themselves,"

    I say Rick, your leader, does he go eh? I bet he does! I bet he does! Layed out eh, know-what-I-mean [nudge nudge]? eh? Forward eh! [nudge nudge wink wink] Know-what-I-mean?

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    Tom DeLay must only surround himself with bible-beaters, in that he thinks their views are that of informed, rational people in a non-PVS condition.

    The fact that he thought he could reap political gold by declaring open war on the third branch of government is moronic, to say the least. The fact that this man is in any position of power is terrifying.

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    "The fact that he thought he could reap political gold by declaring open war on the third branch of government is moronic, to say the least."

    There's a pretty big echo chamber that likes to hear that position. I'm not entirely kidding when I say that I can see the day coming when nobody will have access to the federal courts except for special grants of jurisdiction for specific individuals and very narrowly defined categories of cases.

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    I'm not saying Tom Delay whores it like they do on East Colfax, I'm just saying we don't know.

    On behalf of whores everywhere I demand you retract that libel.

    How dare you defame our honorable profesion by associating us with Tom Delay. Ugh, I feel dirty after saying that name, he's so disgusting.

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    One might think that considering the way the way Rottenkowski(sic), Jim Wright, Tom Foley, Newt, Livingston etc were brought down, a guy as smart as Delay would know enough to try a bigger show of respectability.

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    a guy as smart as Delay

    Somebody's in a charitable mood this morning ;)

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    Crooks get cocky. That's the way it works. Once they've gotten away with a certain amount, they start to feel invincible, as if the combination of luck and caution that has protected them so far is actually a majic cloak of impunity. So they start taking stupid chances.

    It's true of campus dimebag sellers, it's true of stickup men, and it's true of corrupt Congressmen.

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    Isaac:

    Power, corruption, absolutes, all that.


    The current crop of Republicans is more evidence that term limitation is needed. I imagine that most of the Repubs that came to power with the '94 election were decent, honest, small-state believers. What we have now is a bunch of undead zombies, whose corruption can smelled from orbit (a particularly difficult trick, considering the lack of atmosphere up there). Clearly, 10 years is too long in the House.

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    corrupt Congressmen

    This phrase brought to you by the Department of Redundancy Department.

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    I hear you can surf off the coast of Scotland until midnight at this time of year, not just play golf. My tax dollars would be well spent on a video stream of Tom Delay and his entourage of lobbyists surfing.

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    a guy as smart as Delay

    Somebody's in a charitable mood this morning ;

    It was not intended to be a compliment. Intelligence does not always equal virtue. Delay didn't get where he was by being dumb.

    He got there playing hardball, dirty politics more effectively than anyone has in years.

    joe at April 11, 2005 01:46 PM, I agree completely. Let us hope this overreach will prove to be the cause of his undoing.

    This phrase brought to you by the Department of Redundancy Department.

    Guffaw, chortle.

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    By the way even Cheney seems to have issued Delay a rebuke of sorts.

    I can't find the link but I heard a report on NPR that Cheney had said something about there being a reason for an independent judiciary.

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    corrupt Congressmen

    Heh. Am I the only one hearing Jack Nicholson as Col. Jessup saying, "Is there any other kind?"

    A (very, very) few good men indeed...

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    "joe at April 11, 2005 01:46 PM, I agree completely. Let us hope this overreach will prove to be the cause of his undoing."

    I think you misunderstood. If 1994 was caused by Democratic "overreach," then Democrats would have been emboldened by their party's actions; they weren't, their turnout was way down. If 1994 was caused by "overreach," there would have been a large backlash from Republicans. There wasn't, their turnout and "anger" were, contrary to the press narrative, pretty much normal.

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    joe
    at 01:46 PM you wrote:

    Crooks get cocky. That's the way it works. Once they've gotten away with a certain amount, they start to feel invincible, as if the combination of luck and caution that has protected them so far is actually a majic cloak of impunity. So they start taking stupid chances.

    And that is what I replied to. I hope Delay is completely disgraced. Hell I hope he serves a long jail term. The 94 election is absolutely irrelevent to this.

    Your analysis of the 94 election is on a completely different thread*. It may well be correct, but my post had absolutely nothing to do with it.

    *http://www.reason.com/hitandrun/2005/04/should_anthony.shtml#009107

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    And I assumed your 01:46 PM post was a reply to my 01:19 PM post, since it fit.

    I say never let differences on some things keep you from making common cause when you actually agree on something. :)

  • Matt||

    Hey. Why not just LET THEM take bribes?

    I mean, unlike their supposedly "legitimate" duties, it's not like it's OUR money they're spending.

    A world in which lobbyists can send Congressmen to Scotland just to kiss up is significantly preferable, IMHO, to the current world in which lobbyists send Congressmen to Scotland and then those Congressmen feel the need to legislate about something they supposedly learned in Scotland.

    The bill for the legislation to turn a bribe into a fact-finding trip is always far bigger than the bill for the bribe itself, and unlike the bribe, the cost of legislation is paid by all of us.

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