Stop me before I kill again...

The Tribune printed a rather pious and self-serving article by Senate Minority Leader, Harry Reid (D-NV), this morning. (I can't find it online)

In the piece he lamented the 'corruption' in Washington, DC, fondly recalling his days of cleaning the Mafia out of Las Vegas and suggesting we can do the same today in Washington. He offered such dubious 'solutions' as 'reinvigorating' enforcement of ethics rules.

I have no beef with Reid's premise: the money in Washington is pervasive and provides a system of incentives geared away from, not toward, the so-called common man (us). What it really comes down to is the fact that the vast majority of people we send to the Capitol, despite their disavowals, go for reasons of self-interest, not the public interest. As soon as they land, they're thinking about how to stay, which means the next campaign, which means raising money, which means the lobbyists, which means we're hosed.

But in some ways, I think people like Reid are a bigger problem than those who sit back and blatently reap the rewards. His self-righteous rants are completely cynical and partisan, given that, in the 2004 election cycle alone, he received over $2,000,000 from business and special interest groups. In fact, he might even be linked to the Abramoff scandal providing the fuel for his newfound desire to clean up DC. So, while he's denouncing the behavior publicly, behind the scenes he's at the trough.

This fellow who claims to want to 'clean up' government, is actually providing cover for more abuse. He'll lead the charge with hearings and phony "reforms" and when all is said and done, he will have only enabled the next bunch of pigs.


SallyT said...

According to this FEC list, Reid took over $30,000 from Abramoff--not to mention all the unreported tribal donations, which you can be sure he's not gonna share with the FEC.

You've got it right when you note that Reid's 'providing cover'. It's what I call the Kennedy Corollary: the one who screams the loudest is likely most culpable. The goal is to focus our outrage on the screamer's opponent--and distract our attention from the screamer's behavior.

We've been watching the Democrats (with their willing accomplices in the media) do this to Conrad Burns. They basiclly dismissed Baucus's payoffs, mentioning them only when Baucus returned the money. Meanwhile, they've gone to great lengths to mention Burns in every Abramoff article, and vice-versa.

And then the Trib today reports the erosion of support for Burns, like it's due to Tester's & Morrison's efforts. Get real!

There's much conflicting info on Abramoff--here's an archive of the side of the story not getting much media attention.

Thanks for letting me vent.

5 said...

And vent you did, you lied too but whats the difference?

Anonymous said...

Come on Tony, you're the master of the hit and run. What lies are you claiming?

5 said...

Gee, whoever you are, here ya go....

WASHINGTON -- It is not healthy to blow your favorite evening beverage through your nostrils. But that's how surprised I was to hear Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean deny that any Democrats had taken money from Jack Abramoff, a formerly well-connected Republican who has pleaded guilty to federal charges tied to his lobbying operations. Right-wing bloggers and others pounced on Dean and flailed away, since a number of Democratic senators and representatives had already handed over their Abramoff-associated money to charity. How, then, could Dean say otherwise?

But I checked it out and, guess what? Dean was right. Although Democrats and Republicans did, in fact, receive money from Abramoff's clients, only Republicans received personal donations from Abramoff.

Yet some journalists, particularly in the shorthand of TV news, have given a different impression. Trying excruciatingly hard to sound fair and balanced, they have framed Abramoff's donations as bipartisan.

One example is in the question veteran CNN newsman Wolf Blitzer addressed to Dean: "Should Democrats who took money from Jack Abramoff ... give that money to charity or give it back?"



5 said...

And from that famous Right wing hack, here is a transcript.
Now, STFU.
BLITZER: Should Democrats who took money from Jack Abramoff, who has now pleaded guilty to bribery charges, among other charges, a Republican lobbyist in Washington, should the Democrat who took money from him give that money to charity or give it back?

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.

BLITZER: Unfortunately Mr. Chairman, we got to leave it right there.

Howard Dean, the chairman of the Democratic Party, always speaking out bluntly, candidly.

Appreciate your joining us on "Late Edition."

DEAN: Thanks, Wolf. Safe flight back.

BLITZER: Thank you very much.

Note old Wolfie cut it off there because, well, the Truth was out.
Never come to the table with RW talking points. Never.

SallyT said...

Ah, so a(n unnamed) columnist in the Chicago Tribune is more authoritative than the FEC? LOL

Besides, since when did indignation & denial replace proof? Oh, right...sometime during the Clinton administration...

As noted in my first comment, the FEC list is here:

Look at all those Democrats! Oh, my!

GeeGuy said...

Come on, Tony, Howard Dean as an unimpeachable source upon which you are going to F--- O-- the rest of us?

And are people under scrutiny for just taking Jack Abramoff's money, or for taking his dirty lobbying money?

I'll agree with you that it looks to be more prevalent on the GOP side, and I am disappointed in that, but to rely on the head of the DNC and claim your bunch is lily white is a bit silly.

So play nice.

XB234C said...

I think Harry received up to $60,000 in Abramoff money. Max Baucus also received $22,900