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March 25, 2006

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» Buckham's Bucks Flowchart, DeLay/Abramoff/Ellis from Dispassionate Lib
It can be downright exhausting trying to follow the influence peddling and money laundering scandal that surrounds convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff and indicted former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's interlocking network of senior staffers, pay-as-... [Read More]

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hilzoy- Didn't care? :) Shameless corruption was Tom Delay's main qualification for Republican speaker.

Oops meant Majority leader

I hope Ronnie Earl really bends him over on this one, with lots of sand in the lube.

Our country is being run by an exceptionally ruthless political machine, and I get the sense that the great mass of voters really don't care all that much. There's the vague sense that, you know, if you read in the papers that so-and-so is corrupt then it's a bad thing, but most people really don't have the time to evaluate the details of the story and understand that Congress is, quite literally, for sale right now.

If anything is going to catch the attention of the apathetic public, I think it will be stories with the foreign angle. People don't really care, apparently, if government is run by the oil companies or the credit card companies or whoever - maybe their cynical assumption is that things just work that way. But when people hear enough stories about Tom DeLay taking money from the Russians, or the Bush family taking money from Egypt, Kuwait, Russia, and God knows who else, I think they may be a little more concerned. Particularly in these post-9/11 days when people are more wary of foreign influence.

But I mean, if people can care about Al Gore at the Buddhist temple, surely they can care about this stuff? Right?

It's all thesis and antithesis all the time. Just remember, schmucks are people too.

This was all on TPM months ago. Why did the Post pick this up now?

The other GOP congresspersons don't care because: a) they're getting theirs, too; and b) DeLay has a reputation for being a ruthless SOB. If the only reason you're in Congress is to line your own pocket (and your family's pockets, and your friends' pockets), why on earth would you go up against the Hammer?

The voters in DeLay's district haven't cared because, for every thousand or so dollars he keeps for himself, he rolls a few pennies to the folks back home. Plus, they agree with him on the issues. I don't see this changing, unless the voters get ticked off that they've gotten so little compared to what DeLay's pocketed. Then again, electing anyone else (esp. a Democrat) means no money train whatsoever.

cw: some of it was, but the Post now seems to have gotten hold of the charity's accounting records.

"This was all on TPM months ago. Why did the Post pick this up now?"

It's an interesting question, although I expect some of it is simply the normal pace of developing a story in-house, and tending (still) to ignore blogs.

I was a bit torn over how to both acknowledge, as Hilzoy did, that none of this is "news" in the sense that those of us paying attention haven't read most of these details long before, but also that most people haven't read about them, and so it's certainly a very good thing when an organization with the prominence of the WaPo turns the spotlight on.

"But I mean, if people can care about Al Gore at the Buddhist temple, surely they can care about this stuff?"

The Democrats seem to have great difficulty getting much attention when they talk about this stuff; I'm not entirely sure why, though I can add up a bunch of minor factors. (It doesn't help the "the media is all left wing" thesis, certainly, though a story like this will just be used as evidence of that by RedState types.)

The bit of news the other day out of the Houston Chronicle on Barbara Bush donating to her husband and Bill Clinton's Katrina charity with the provision that the money go to her failed-son's software company was pretty pathetic (Marshall also ran with that, of course, as he should, as Steve's link probably goes to).

Hilzoy: "And what does it say about them that, apparently, they didn't care?"

As I've been saying forever, the whole damn system is corrupt, and most of them are in on it. And Democrats are participating to some degree in a corrupt system, as well; just not at all as well.

Congress needs truly drastic reform; I'm not optimistic either party is capable of it.

But I'm not really sure how it might be possible to drastically get money out of the system, which is one way to go; money is the root problem, but in a capitalistic system, it's fungible, and tends to find a way to out. I'm doubtful that even making all Congressional elections publically funded and giving everyone huge salaries would go very far towards making the system less corrupt and lessening the power of money. I just don't know how you really lessen the power of money in a capitalistic system (and I'm mostly pro-capitalistic, mind, with a bit of very mild socialistic gloss).

ObSpelling: DeLay. Earle.

cw: the WaPo reported on this "charity" in December 2005, as a matter of fact...

"I don't see this changing, unless the voters get ticked off that they've gotten so little compared to what DeLay's pocketed."

DeLay isn't having an easy re-election; it's possible he may lose, though it's far too early to say. But the redistricting he rammed through wasn't personally helpful to him.

The bit of news the other day out of the Houston Chronicle on Barbara Bush donating to her husband and Bill Clinton's Katrina charity with the provision that the money go to her failed-son's software company was pretty pathetic

I'm sure Gary's seen this, but I loved this slice of life about Neil Bush and Ignite! over at TPM. The post immediately after it explains what info the WaPo article adds.

One night several months ago (maybe a year or so now?) I just couldn't sleep so I turned on the TV. On came "Save the Court" gospel series staring Tom DeLay. I had to smack myself awake because I thought it was a nightmare. Basically calling liberals biggots, liers, sinners... along with making religious sterotypes. Absolutely unimaginable...

Did anyone else see this program? Just curious.

hmmm. i've lost track -- are the US's actions in the Yugoslavian civil war "good war" or "bad war"?

because if that was a "good war", then DeLay's actions are actually far more treasonous than anything the democrats have done re: iraq.

so, is DeLay pro-Milosevic? a traitor? in pay of a foreign power? I've gotta hear the response of ObWi conservatives to these charges.

Last night on The Sopranos, Carmela tells Dr. Melfi that "there are far bigger crooks than my husband." Ain't that the truth.

I know corruption is an inevitable part of politics, and I probably wouldn't be as upset if the current incarnation of the Republican party wasn't so hypocritical about it. Family values, indeed.

I almost hope that the Democrats take over both the Congress and the Presidency, so that I can finally snark at them again. But I think what would really be best would be divided government, one party in the White House and the other in Congress. I don't care which.

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