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More On The Bush/Abramoff Pictures

Already the media/leftist drum beat is starting up over the pictures of President Bush and Jack Abramoff together. This from Time sums the story up for me:

As details poured out about the illegal and unseemly activities of Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff, White House officials sought to portray the scandal as a Capitol Hill affair with little relevance to them. Peppered for days with questions about Abramoff's visits to the White House, press secretary Scott McClellan said the now disgraced lobbyist had attended two huge holiday receptions and a few "staff-level meetings" that were not worth describing further. "The President does not know him, nor does the President recall ever meeting him," McClellan said.

The President's memory may soon be unhappily refreshed. TIME has seen five photographs of Abramoff and the President that suggest a level of contact between them that Bush's aides have downplayed. While TIME's source refused to provide the pictures for publication, they are likely to see the light of day eventually because celebrity tabloids are on the prowl for them. And that has been a fear of the Bush team's for the past several months: that a picture of the President with the admitted felon could become the iconic image of direct presidential involvement in a burgeoning corruption scandal like the shots of President Bill Clinton at White House coffees for campaign contributors in the mid-1990s. . . .

Most of the pictures have the formal look of photos taken at presidential receptions. The images of Bush, Abramoff and one of his sons appear to be the rapid-fire shots--known in White House parlance as clicks-- that the President snaps with top supporters before taking the podium at fund-raising receptions. Over five years, Bush has posed for tens of thousands of such shots--many with people he does not know. Last month 9,500 people attended holiday receptions at the White House, and most went two by two through a line for a photo with the President and the First Lady. The White House is generous about providing copies--in some cases, signed by the President--that become centerpieces for "walls of fame" throughout status-conscious Washington.

As I pointed out yesterday, I'm not sure why this is such a big deal. Yeah, Abramoff is corrupt scum. Yes, President Bush took a lot of money from him. But outside of some legally accepted campaign contributions from someone who was, at the time, not suspected of any sort of criminal wrong-doing, there is absolutely nothing to connect President Bush with Jack Abramoff and his dealings in Congress.

After all, Jack Abramoff is not in trouble for the personal donations he made to Republican politicians. He is in trouble for directing contributions from his clients to politicians of both parties in Congress in return for political favors. He wasn't buying political influence with his own money, he was buying political influence with the money of his clients.

Could Abramoff have bought some favors from Bush with the money he contributed? It is possible. Do we have any evidence of that outside of the contribution itself and some campaign photos of Bush and Abramoff together? Nope. In fact, right now it would seem as though the only thing Abramoff purchased with these contributions was the chance to get his picture taken with the Pres. I'd even go so far as to speculate that the person peddling these pictures to the tabloids is probably Abramoff himself, looking to get some money from the media to pay some of his legal bills. But again, that is just speculation.

Is it regrettable that Bush posed for a picture with Jack Abramoff? Sure, but Bush poses for thousands of those sorts of photos every year. It seems kinda stupid to hold him responsible for the actions of these people. I'm guessing that Howard Dean is probably regretting getting his picture taken with a gay porn star/producer, but that's the breaks.

Update:

Franklin Roosevelt in cahoots with Stalin? The photo evidence says yes.

You can read more from Rob Port at SayAnythingBlog.com


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Comments (41)

Do you expect anything less... (Below threshold)
Scott Robinson:

Do you expect anything less from the left? Don’t worry about the pics, after the 30,000 layoff announcement from Ford this morning, the libs will quickly abandon this crusade to blame the layoffs on Bush. It's almost comical; they are so desperate and paralyzed with fear to the point of almost total ineffectiveness. Bush always has and always will run circles around the Dems.

It is one thing to donate c... (Below threshold)
Mikey:

It is one thing to donate cash within legal bounds; and later get time to bend a politician's ear on something that concerns your client. Donations get you access. All politicians know who their donors are, and make nice to them.

It's another thing to donate money and know you'll get something more substantive than a listen in return. That is a bribe. That is a "quid pro quo". That is illegal.

Gotta be able to show the quid pro quo if they want this to go beyond another "Bush is Evil" smear.

Hmmmm... Seems like old tim... (Below threshold)
DUDACKATTACK!!!:

Hmmmm... Seems like old times...

"..Ken Who?"


Then again, to accuse someone of lying you first have to prove that the accused knows what they are actually saying..

Let's not forget all the fu... (Below threshold)
Bob:

Let's not forget all the fun we had 10 years ago, over sex not corruption

http://www.ishipress.com/lew-1995.htm

I guess I am just completel... (Below threshold)
Santa Claus:

I guess I am just completely fucked, then.

I gotta tell you. I'd be m... (Below threshold)
LoadTheMule:

I gotta tell you. I'd be much more inclined to believe the photos are benign if I didn't know Gambonese President Bongo gave Abramoff $9-million to get him an audience with President Bush. Amazingly enough, Bongo--who has never been mentioned, much less feted by any previous American president--ended up visting the White House. Go figure.

Regards...

You actually believe that w... (Below threshold)
Rob:

You actually believe that we are supposed to just chalk this up to BUSH and Abramoff meeting because they are in the same circles? And that the "Lefties" are just making a big deal of it? It IS a big deal! That corrupt idiot had his hands in BUSH's pocket we all know that. With all the indictments and corruption in the White House how can we think otherwise? Not to mention BUSH denying he met Abramoff but it is a fact that he knows personal things about Abramoff - like the names of his kids.. Yes, us lefties will make a big deal of it becuase it is... corruption obviously goes all the way to the top!

A person is innocent until ... (Below threshold)

A person is innocent until he is proven guilty.
I am sure the President and the Whitehouse have something to say about this connection.
I would let him talk if he wishes to. Would he?

"I am sure the President... (Below threshold)
DUDACKATTACK!!!:

"I am sure the President and the Whitehouse have something to say about this connection.
I would let him talk if he wishes to. Would he?"

Nnnnope:

White House Silent on Abramoff Meetings

Nothing to see here. Move along...

With all the indictments... (Below threshold)

With all the indictments and corruption in the White House how can we think otherwise?

I thought we were talking about the Bush administration, not the Clinton indictment parade...did I miss a memo? How many indictments has the Bush administration racked up? One by an idiot that tried to cover up something that didn't need to be covered up? Heck the Clinton crew is still getting in trouble...although Sandy Burglar got off pretty light considering he stole top-secret documents.

Hmmmm.1. <blockquo... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmmm.

1.

Franklin Roosevelt in cahoots with Stalin? The photo evidence says yes

Funny enough there's actually historical evidence that Roosevelt admired Stalin and so gave away eastern Europe without even a whimper.

2.

Gambonese President Bongo

Is this before or after Secretary of State Colin Powell went to Gabon for a visit in 2002? I.e. was Abramoff paid after 2002 or not? Or was he paid for this at all?

Funny thing about this here web & internet thing. Generally when you make an assertion, a link would be nice.

3.

Amazingly enough, Bongo--who has never been mentioned, much less feted by any previous American president

That is so amazing. Particularly since Bongo is the 2nd President of Gabon in it's history and has been ruling for about 30 years. What? Not even one single visit in 30 years? Got proof of this or are you just pulling this out of your arse?

Um, are you going to prove ... (Below threshold)

Um, are you going to prove that Abramoff gave to both parties? Or just keep repeating it until it becomes true simply by sheer number of people who repeat it.

I could actually be impressed if you actually...oh, I don't know...backed it up. Maybe with something more than the op-ed of some loony hen. Even if her readers are taking it as gospel and running with it.

I think he contracted the job of democratic donations out to the Indians, but they didn't do it either. They hedged their bets with Abramoff. More donations to republicans...

I wouldn't be taunting the powder keg right now if I were you...

Unless you can show a quid ... (Below threshold)
mikey:

Unless you can show a quid pro quo, there is nothing there. Allegations are fun and all, but you really need evidence of actual wrongdoing, i.e., a crime and that all of the elements of the crime are met.

A donor meeting a politician he has donated to isn't exactly illegal. And not all donations to politicians are illegal. You have to show something more than he met the man and listened to him.

Hmmm.@ LoadTheMule... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

@ LoadTheMule

I gotta tell you. I'd be much more inclined to believe the photos are benign if I didn't know Gambonese President Bongo gave Abramoff $9-million to get him an audience with President Bush. Amazingly enough, Bongo--who has never been mentioned, much less feted by any previous American president--ended up visting the White House. Go figure.

Oh the frigging horrors! Pity it took about 2 minutes with Google to find out that President Jimmy Carter met with President Bongo of Gabon in 1977.

link

You jackhole.

President Bongo probably w... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

President Bongo probably wasted the 9 million he gave Abramhoff to arrange the meeting to receive Bush's advice or imprimatur. Bush, on the other hand, despite his well-publized trumpeting of democracies, might have been consulting Bongo on how he has retained executive power so easily in Bongoland or Gabon, for so long.

Didn't Bush dine with a por... (Below threshold)
jp2:

Didn't Bush dine with a porn star? (Yes)
He also drove while drunk.

Just because <a href="http:... (Below threshold)
B Moe:

Just because people pose for pictures together, does not imply a real relationship.

Well, no its not the left o... (Below threshold)
d2e2:

Well, no its not the left or right on this. It is all of us. Abramoff, now a known criminal, had a great deal more personal interaction than most Americans. We were told that the President never met the man.

Then we found out he was a Bush Pioneer. How many Bush Pioneers are there. That means Abramoff raised, through various means, at least $100,000.00 in campaign funds for Bush. When the White House was asked about this, we were told Bush never met Abramoff and the $6,000.00 Abramoff gave was returned. How nice! What happened to the other $94,000.00.

Now we see pictures, lots of pictures of Bush and Abramoff. By the way Clinton was impeached for lying, not sex!

Fraud and falsehood only dr... (Below threshold)
Ginifer:

Fraud and falsehood only dread examination. Truth invites it. (Samuel Johnson)

You're right. Bush posing f... (Below threshold)
Chris:

You're right. Bush posing for a picture with Abramoff means nothing. That's not the issue. Bush claiming not to know one of his big findraisers whom he has met several times means the President is lying to the American people. I thought you guys took that seriously. And no, it hasbn't been proven yet, but it's early in the game. Bush is a man of weak character, and his reflex reaction was to lie.

Wasn't Abramoff a member of... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

Wasn't Abramoff a member of the Bush White House transition team? Didn't Abramoff's business partnership in the SunCruz casino scam end with a bullet for the other guy a few months later? Doesn't the White House staff read the newspapers? If so, what was Jack'off doing anywhere NEAR the oval office?

Indiangiver,I don't ... (Below threshold)
The Real Steve:

Indiangiver,
I don't think that you will consider as proof all of the Democrats who have received money from Abramoff clients publicly announcing that they will not give back one red cent. Harry Reid comes to mind, as does Pelosi, etc., etc., etc.

Then we found out he was... (Below threshold)
B Moe:

Then we found out he was a Bush Pioneer. How many Bush Pioneers are there.(?)

285, It is entirely feasible Bush would not know everyone personally.

That means Abramoff raised, through various means, at least $100,000.00 in campaign funds for Bush. When the White House was asked about this, we were told Bush never met Abramoff and the $6,000.00 Abramoff gave was returned. How nice! What happened to the other $94,000.00.

The other money was not donated by Abramoff personally, like you said.

Bush claiming not to know one of his big findraisers whom he has met several times means the President is lying to the American people.

No, it means the President was busy being President and members of his campaign team were managing the campaign.

Wasn't Abramoff a member of the Bush White House transition team?

Not that I can find, cites?

Didn't Abramoff's business partnership in the SunCruz casino scam end with a bullet for the other guy a few months later? Doesn't the White House staff read the newspapers? If so, what was Jack'off doing anywhere NEAR the oval office?

Isn't hind sight and wild speclulation a wonderful political tool if you have no platform?

"when the republicans stop ... (Below threshold)
bamabarrron:

"when the republicans stop lying about democrats; democrats can stop telling the truth about republicans" adlai stevenson


I would tend to think this was no "big deal" if the right wing wasn't protesting so much ... makes me wonder ... if itsn't such a big deal, why protest so much?

Furthermore, Why do BUSH and his people always respond so hysterically ... good god, you would think by now they would have grown up and figured it out ... it comes with the office. Get over it george!

Why do BUSH and his peop... (Below threshold)
mesablue:

Why do BUSH and his people always respond so hysterically ... good god, you would think by now they would have grown up and figured it out ... it comes with the office. Get over it george!

Where?

They understand the situation for what it is.

The only people that are getting hysterical are those that can't fit their brains around the truth.
That members of both parties are tainted.

Good riddance to bad rubbish for whoever gets caught in this no matter what party they are from. I don't want them representing me.

I don't hear that concept from anyone on the left.

I guess it just depends on the definition of what the word "is" is.

B MoeYou obviously... (Below threshold)
Chris:

B Moe

You obviously did enough research to find out how many Bush Pioneers there were, but then you stopped. This Washington Post story might answer somne of your questions

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/05/AR2006010501903.html

If you look at the second to last paragraph you'll see that Abramoff was indeed on the Interior Department transition team. Gee, the Interior Department. I'm sure they have nothing to do with Indian tribes.

You'll also note that Abramoff raised $100,000 for Bush in 20000. But I guess Bush probably didn't meet him then, either because he was too busy doing what? Being Governor of Texas? Yeah, cause those candidates always stay a million miles away from their biggest fundraisers.

And mesablue, since you seem to think saying members of both parties are tainted constitutes some sort of argument, perhaps you could point out which Democrats fit that description. And remmember, no fair trying the old "anyone who took Indian money is tainted" ruse. I mean actual indications of wrongdoing. You name some Democrats, and I'll name some Republicans. Bet you finish first.

Hmmmm.I w... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmmm.

I would tend to think this was no "big deal" if the right wing wasn't protesting so much ... makes me wonder ... if itsn't such a big deal, why protest so much?

If you read carefully you'll see we're not spending much time defending Bush. We're mostly spending our time countering the bullshit being spread by uninformed liberals.

edIt's funny to he... (Below threshold)
Chris:

ed

It's funny to hear you talk about uninformed liberals. I've posted a boatload of information on this topic and have yet to see anyone dispute any of it. It's all just unsupported assertions and claims that it's a "bipartisan scandal." If we're so uninformed, how about a smidgen of facts?

uninformed liberals - ... (Below threshold)

uninformed liberals -

Present some ideological diversity and intellectual honesty besides bloviating that "Republicans are BAD Democrats are ANGELIC" and maybe we can all have a serious discussion. Until then, prepare to have your propaganda spanked around like the BS it is.

Did anyone read the Barrett Report, by the way? 447 page report with 120 pages of redacted materials ordered that way by a three-judge panel (and hindered for 10 years by the Reno team at the DoJ). Part of the Clinton Culture of Corruption. Nary a mention by you "corruption crusaders."

Where are all you outraged lefties on this stinking incident of Nixonian corruption?

Exactly.

Hmmm.1. <blockquot... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

1.

Bush claiming not to know one of his big findraisers whom he has met several times means the President is lying to the American people.

You're misrepresenting the facts yet again. Bush has stated he doesn't remember meeting him, not that he doesn't know who he is. Get your facts right.

2.

Bush is a man of weak character, and his reflex reaction was to lie.

You liberals always trying to get back for Clinton. You just cannot accept that Clinton was as dirty as the day is long. But you go right ahead and push this cart as much as you like. It'll go down the tubes just like the RatherGate.

And quite frankly anyone who seriously tries to claim that Bush is a man of "weak character" has a screw loose. If anything he's got too much character. Personally I'd prefer him to give up this guest worker program but that doesn't seem likely.

3.

If you look at the second to last paragraph you'll see that Abramoff was indeed on the Interior Department transition team. Gee, the Interior Department. I'm sure they have nothing to do with Indian tribes.

So what? All you've done is insinuated that Abramoff was interested in being connected to the people who regulated his clients. You know. Like a lobbyist is supposed to? If you actually have an allegation to make rather than an extremely weak assertion then let's hear it. All you've done is parrot a few facts but you haven't actually done anything with them.

4.

You'll also note that Abramoff raised $100,000 for Bush in 20000.

If Bush were a Congressman then that might mean something. But the 2000 election cost in the tens of millions. So the guy convinced his clients to pony up $100,000. So frigging what?

Again you post a factoid without anything else and you try and insinuate that there's something corrupt. You try and get the reader to use his imagination to fill in the massive holes in your logic. It doesn't wash. Either you have something or you don't.

And yet again you don't.

5.

But I guess Bush probably didn't meet him then, either because he was too busy doing what?

And again Bush says he doesn't remember meeting him, not that he doesn't know who he is. Consider the thousands of people Bush meets every month since he started campaigning in 2000. If Bush stated that he has never met Abramoff then you might have something. But Bush hasn't said that has he?

So yet more liberal bullshit.

6.

I mean actual indications of wrongdoing. You name some Democrats, and I'll name some Republicans.

Unlike you I'm waiting to see what falls out of this investigation.

....

So you posted a lot of facts eh? Congratulations! You still haven't accomplished anything more than man vague random insinuations with nothing more than a wink and a nod.

Thank you for wasting my time.

Why won't you just acknowle... (Below threshold)
Blind Howling Moonbat:

Why won't you just acknowledge that Bush is so retarded he is a genius? Him and Rove do deep background checks on EVERYBODY that work for them. They know EVERYTHING about EVERYBODY and NOTHING is done without their approval. They thought up EVERYTHING EVIL IN THE WHOLE WORLD. THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL THAT IS WRONG.

Why not name names? The Wa... (Below threshold)

Why not name names? The Wash. Post did. For instance:

"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."

There's a lot more in the article (including a 'giving' breakdown: 2/3 Republican, 1/3 Democrat), but let's not pretend that Democrats haven't been getting similar donations from Abramoff's group and tribes under his direction.

Not that any of it proves anything at this point (I'm pretty sure that's what trials are for), but let's stop the BS about how no Democrats have even received any money.

FalzeThis is exact... (Below threshold)
Chris:

Falze

This is exactly my point. Patrick Kennedy has been receiving significant donations from Indian tribes since before Abramoff came on the scene, because he's active in Indian affairs. Now Abramoff's on the scene, and suddenly the money is being given at "Abramoff's direction?" That's pure assumption that is not borne out by the facts. Please read the Bloomberg article and then tell me I'm wrong. Abramoff directed money away from Democrats, not to them. Just because Ken Mehlman says something doesn't make it true. And the Republicans can yell about the liberal media all they want, but this kind of reporting by the Post and others is a perfect example of how the media repeats Republican spin.

And ed, I find it interesting that you choose to refute the parts where I offered an opinion, and ignore the facts I presented. I think Bush is a man of weak character, you think he's not. Those aren't facts to be refuted. I point out how Abramoff directed money away from Democrats, you're strangely silent.

And it's amusing how you can assert that Democrats are just as guilty as Republicans, and when I ask you to name names you insist that you're "waiting to see what falls out of this investigation." How noble of you. But it doesn't seem to have stopped you from declaring the Democrats equally guilty. Which is it?

As for some specifics, I pointed out that Abramoff raised $100,000 in 2000, making him a Bush Pioneer, because B Moe tried to make the argument that Bush was too busy being President in 2004 to meet his major donors. My point was that he wasn't too busy being President in 2000. And I find it hard to beleive you're so naive as to think that a sitting President running for re-election just worries about governing and leaves the campaign up to his managers. Do you really think that the candidates don't spend an incredible amount of time with their major donors? And yes, $100,000 is a major donor. Does someone sit with you while you're watching TV to explain everything that's going on?

As for the Interior Department, another commenter said he was on the transition team, B Moe asked for a cite. I provided it. Then you say "All you've done is insinuated that Abramoff was interested in being connected to the people who regulated his clients. You know. Like a lobbyist is supposed to?" Since when (other than under the current Administration) do lobbyists put themselves on transition teams because it helps thei clients? The Bush administration put a lobbyist for Indian tribes on the Interior Department transition team. Of course that's what a lobbyist's supposed to do. I wasn't blaming Abramoff, for God's sake. I keep forgetting you need everything spelled out.

And this one kills me. "Bush has stated he doesn't remember meeting him, not that he doesn't know who he is." Here's the quote from Scott McClellan: "The President does not know him, nor does the President recall ever meeting him." A distinction without a difference.

And please refute the fact that Abramoff directed money away from Democrats.

This is exactly my point... (Below threshold)

This is exactly my point. Patrick Kennedy has been receiving significant donations from Indian tribes since before Abramoff came on the scene, because he's active in Indian affairs. Now Abramoff's on the scene, and suddenly the money is being given at "Abramoff's direction?"

This raises a good question: how much of the money Republicans have been receiving from "Abramoff-related sources" were they already receiving before Abramoff got involved?

Every argument on this is a two-edged knife, skinning both ways.

'repeating Republican spin'... (Below threshold)

'repeating Republican spin'? That's pretty funny...the article I quoted from was, while pointing out Democratic ties to Abramoff, defending each point as they made it, something completely lacking with each and every Republican mention. In fact they go to several Democrats' spokesmen for comment and rebuttal, while doing so for no Republicans. In other words...you're 100% wrong...at least about this article.

Let's move beyond Kennedy, though, since you've decided he's clearly in the clear...

"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."

Recall, we're only talking 'taint' here since nobody's gone to court (except Abramoff), and the Democrats have it in spades...defend them all you want, the Post does and that's fine, I'm not arguing that you shouldn't or can't, but if all you want to do is say 'they met Abramoff' or 'an Abramoff-represented tribe gave them money', well, the taint goes both ways if that's how you define it. Feel free to rebut something I haven't said...

I think that Howard Dean po... (Below threshold)
Joe N. Smith:

I think that Howard Dean posing with a "gay porn-star" pales in comparison with Jeff Gannon who ran a "gay dating service" being allowed a White House press pass and asking "soft-ball" questions that put the Bushies in a good light.

Nice non sequitur, Joe. An... (Below threshold)

Nice non sequitur, Joe. Any tom, dick, or harry could get the type of 'press pass' he got and he was occasionally allowed to ask 'soft-ball' questions at the end of Q&As when all the big names news stars had left and the cameras were already off. Big whoop. How often did you see him asking a question on the Nightly News? And while we're at it, how about the actual daily coverage (as opposed to the "Jeff who?" nature of this 'story') of soft-ball questions to the Clinton team? Or, if you want to really get off course, how about Barney Frank having a gay prostitution ring run out of his house? What about that, Joe? That has a lot to do with Abramoff, too, right?

Using an 'if X posing with Y is a big deal, then why isn't Z posing with Q a big deal?' argument is logical, your careering slide off course isn't.

Hey FalzeI've been... (Below threshold)
Chris:

Hey Falze

I've been very clear about the fact that I don't see either side taking money as a crime in and of itself. But so far the only ones implicated in a criminal way are Republicans, specifically Abramoff, Ney, David Safavian and some others who have been implicated but not charged yet. I can't respond to the specific Washington Post article because you have now twice characterized what was in the article without specifying which article you meant, so I can only comment on the ongoing Post reporting I've read, which definitely reflects Republican spin.

As for whether Republicans were getting money from Indian tribes before Abramoff, that question is pretty clearly answered in the Bloomberg article, as well as in many of the e-mails that have been released as part of the investigation. I've given you the link to the Bloomberg article; I'm still waiting for someone to refute it.

And I still don't get your point about Ayoob. See, it's helpful if you're going to quote a newspaper article to then point out why it supports your case, instead of presuming the truth is so blindingly obvious that you don't need to say anything.

Chris: sorry, I suppose I c... (Below threshold)

Chris: sorry, I suppose I could have given the exact citation, I guess I assumed someone reading the first WaPo link would realize that that stuff I was quoting certainly wasn't in there but was from a different article...my bad for overestimating intelligence, I guess. I was quoting from a June 3, 2005 article by Birnbaum and Willis (before the spinning REALLY started and indictments started to fly), page 1 of the WaPo.

The Ayoob point, which seemed pretty clear to me (I could try to put together a puppet show I guess to explain it better...picture a little set that is Abramoff's office and a little Reid puppet and his former veteran aide puppet, Ayoob, who is now an Abramoff lobbyist, and they're having a little fundraiser with other puppets in Abramoff's office and Reid is saying "I don't know Abramoff") is that it puts to the test Democratic (in this case, specifically Reid's) assertions that they don't even know Abramoff, even though a former Reid employee was holding fundraisers for Reid at Abramoff's offices. Fine, you say you didn't directly deal with the man Abramoff, we get it and understand it and might even believe it, all well and good, but to deny that there is even a reason to investigate as part of a widespread investigation...?

That's all, short and simple point, that's all I've been trying to say all along, simple point that the arguments Democrats and their backers are making about how they're all removed from the Abramoff taint isn't true when similar tenuous links can be made between them and Abramoff and his firm as to some Republicans (always allowing for the fact some links on one or both sides of the aisle are more than tenuous) doesn't hold a lot of water. That's all there is to my 'point'.

Same thing with Kennedy...when you have what looks like a very widespread investigation, to ignore Kennedy, who took money from Abramoff-represented tribes, just because he was taking money from them before Abramoff came along, seems a little soft-headed. Would you agree to let all Republicans who know some tribe people off the hook as easily as Kennedy? "Hey, I met one of them tribe representatives back in '83, he thought I was a great guy and decided to funnel a boatload of money my way." "OK, you're clean." That'd go over real well, right?

One flaw in your argument i... (Below threshold)
tommygun:

One flaw in your argument is that the libs have been wailing about Tom Delay for several years and Bush has done nothing but hug him and love him. The danger isn't to Bush as much as it is to the Republican Congress but Bush can hardly step in as a neutral party above the fray because he's already declared Delay innocent -- rather than distancing himself early -- he looks like he and other Repubs have turned a blind eye to Delay cause he was succussful. It won't hurt Bush so much but it will erode the ground that he stands on.

I have heard Repub's defend... (Below threshold)
B Moe:

I have heard Repub's defending Delay against that bullshit Ronnie Earle is peddling, and rightly so. But I haven't heard anybody say he is innocent regarding Abramoff. I don't much care for him, and if he is guilty of taking bribes from Abramoff then he needs to go. But that doesn't excuse Ronnie Earle from the crap he has pulled.




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