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View Diary: Is The Washington Post Online A Tool Of The Right Wing? (145 comments)

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  •  Can I Please Just Point Out (4.00)
    That Abramoff directed the Indian tribes TO REDUCE THEIR DONATIONS to Democrats and TO INCREASE THEM TO REPUBLICANS?

    Or does it really even matter any more.

    "We need a war to show 'em that we can do it whenever we say we need a war." -- Fischerspooner

    by bink on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 03:44:54 AM PST

    •  I pointed it out (4.00)
      You didn't read my notes?

      The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

      by Armando on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 03:47:49 AM PST

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      •  Ahhh (none)
        I had to go back and look again.  But I see it now.  Thank you.

        But does it even matter?

        "We need a war to show 'em that we can do it whenever we say we need a war." -- Fischerspooner

        by bink on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 03:48:36 AM PST

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        •  I Feel Despondant (none)
          These folks are obviously not able to face realities when they threaten their pride.  They'd last five minutes in my office.  My coworkers would chew them apart like mad dogs.

          "We need a war to show 'em that we can do it whenever we say we need a war." -- Fischerspooner

          by bink on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 03:49:23 AM PST

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          •  Don't Be Despondent (4.00)
            Stay On Top of their Asses.

            The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

            by Armando on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 03:51:43 AM PST

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            •  true, you said it clearly (none)
              But I liked seeing it again-- &-- in caps. (repetition is a powerful method & the mainstay of Rove's branding campaigns)

              btw, this post seems to me to be so important, I'd like to see it remain near the top of the fp all day.  (wishful thinking I know) All one has to do is compare the coverage of Gore's speech & of the Reid-Pelosi reform package with the wild headlines given Rove's speech yesterday-- it's practically a blueprint of media bias.

              Stunning post, big A.

      •  Source of "Directed" (none)
        Brady cites a 13 March 2005 Steno-Sue article that supports the claim that Abramoff "directed" Indian funds to Democrats.  Here are the passages of that article that talk about Abramoff "directing" donations:

        "in an attempt to influence the Interior Department -- which has the final say on a tribe's gambling ambitions -- Abramoff directed his tribal clients to give at least $225,000 to the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy, a conservative group that was founded by Gale A. Norton before President Bush chose her to be his interior secretary."

        " On March 6, Poncho, the Coushatta chief, approved cutting 61 checks to members of Congress and their political action committees, some for as much as $25,000, according to tribal and federal election records. The list labeled "Coushatta requests" was prepared by Abramoff, according to tribal representatives. "

        The 61 checks does include 11 Democratic recipients for a total of $29,000.  So it would appear that the WAPO only has documentation suggesting that Abramoff was involved in coordination donations to 11 Democrats, out of a total of 196,500 (source CapitalEye.com).  This is the source of the false equivalency Brady is drawing.

        Note that in the 13 march WAPO article, there is no documentary evidence directly cited for the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy donation.  This evidence is alluded to in the blanket statement "The story of what Abramoff did for the Louisiana Coushatta tribe provides the most complete picture yet of the role of the lobbyist at the center of a widening federal corruption investigation in Washington. It was reconstructed through interviews with tribal leaders, government officials and former business associates, as well as through Interior Department and other documents and e- mails obtained by The Washington Post."

        But as you can see, the story deals with only Coushatta donations, and the donations to Democrats were miniscule and few and it is not entirely clear that those 61 donations were all on the "Coushatta Requests" list Abramoff prepared.  

        The picture of who Abramoff directed to do what is muddy at best.  But the big picture in this story is something that we are all missing:  The more the issue becomes a petty squable over whether Democrats got money from Abramoff's clients the less it becomes a story about Abramoff, the K-Street Project, and Republican hegemony fueled by  dirty money.  We have to find a way to shift the debate and focus back to how the Republicans finance their party with illegal donations and how they run government on a play for pay basis.

        •  Excuse me (none)
          I like your nunaced take but I have to tell you straight, there is NOTHING there that indicates Abramoff directing a damn thing.

          You wrote:

          On March 6, Poncho, the Coushatta chief, approved cutting 61 checks to members of Congress and their political action committees, some for as much as $25,000, according to tribal and federal election records. The list labeled "Coushatta requests" was prepared by Abramoff, according to tribal representatives. "

          That he prepared a list does not in any way prove direction, even to Republicans. the EVIDENCE of direction is in OTHER documents. The fact that Abramoff was telling the tribes NOT to donate to Democrats is in other documents.

          The 61 checks does include 11 Democratic recipients for a total of $29,000.  So it would appear that the WAPO only has documentation suggesting that Abramoff was involved in coordination donations to 11 Democrats.

          Precisely. There is NO evidence WHATSOEVER that Abramoff directed donations to Dems. Indeed, it makes no fucking sense. Why would you steer money to ANY Dems if you are Abramoff?

          The Dem can not give you a gawddam thing.

          Look, it takes an idiot or a stenographer or both to buy this bullshit.

          Sue Schmidt described.  Howell described. And now this latest buffoon.

          The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

          by Armando on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 06:48:53 AM PST

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          •  re: (none)
            "There is NO evidence WHATSOEVER that Abramoff directed donations to Dems. Indeed, it makes no fucking sense. Why would you steer money to ANY Dems if you are Abramoff?

            The Dem can not give you a gawddam thing."

            I think that is why I used the term "suggested".  It's more like evidence that there might be evidence.  The WAPO never closes the loop and gives us the real evidence

            But I think that you're incorrect in your last statement.  As FireDogLake has pointed out, the Democrats are the Native Americans' natural ally in Federal government.  Sure, Abramoff was primarily interested in securing money for Gooper causes, but even he had to recognize that Dems could help sway some votes or even help (through gooper subterfuge) secure more money from the Indians for Abramoff and GOP causes.  Maybe (if he did "direct" donations) it could be for cover for his real agenda.  The Dem donations helped to give legitimacy (in the client's mind) to the rest of the list.

            In a pure game scennario, yes.  There seems to be no good reason to argue that a Republican bag man would do anything to enrich Democrats, but it's not a pure game and there may be some reason to retain a semblence of bi-partisanship to the recipient list.

            •  Hmmm (none)
              I disagree to be honest. I think the giving was out of habit.

              I think except for earmarks, Dems have not been able to do a damn thing in the House.

              Abramoof was right sort of, it WAS dumb to keep giving money to Dems.

              The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

              by Armando on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 08:09:49 AM PST

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            •  quick follow-up (none)
              Just to wrap up:

              It is clear that Abramoff gave personal money only to Republicans. It is also clear that his Indian clients gave most of their donations to Republican clients.  Abramoff was involved in money laundering, bribery, false billing, and other criminal and unethical behavior and that the Republicans benefited from this behavior and build thier current majority using his talents and crimes.

              The story has shifted to focus on the degree to which Democrats also benefited from Abramoff money and the picture has been muddied by incomplete evidence and sloppy, self-reinforcing media accounts.  We need to move past the part were we are defending Democrats for their minor to non-existant involvement in the scandal and reinforce the real story:  The Republican majority owes its existence to a huge stack of illegally obtained donations.

              Maybe it will take the inevitable perp-parade of Republican representatives marching off to their indictments and the conspicuous absence of any Democrats in that line-up.  I am not optimistic that the press will present that image without its tendency to draw false equivalencies.  No doubt "unindicted co-conspirators" or "democrats also received donations" of "when will the Justice Department start investigating Democratic recipients" will continue to be a part of contemperanous reporting until the issue fades totally from the public consciousness.

        •  This evidence is laughable (none)
          Where in this story is it said that the recipients of all 61 checks were directed and/or suggested by Abramoff? Isn't it possible that the final list of checks sent were a combination of the recommendations of Abramoff and the tribes own decisions about who to contribute to?

          Or are they suggesting that indian tribes are incapable of making their own decisions about who to contribute their money to?

          Where is the evidence that Abramoff directed and/or even suggested that anyone give money to Democrats? Unless there is such evidence then any news reporting that suggests Democrats are dirtied by this scandal are simply repeating Republican spin.

      •  Read Wampum (none)
        Wampum, a blog about Native American issues (and other issues) actually digs much deeper than this.  Turns out that the Indian tribes that ostensibly were "clients" of Mr. Abramoff, also were clients of a number of other lobbying shops during the same time frame.  Indeed, some of the tribes never were represented by Mr. Abramoff for some time periods included in the numbers (although they were represented by affiliates of Mr. Abramoff like Kevin Ring).

        The issue behind all this is there is not that much evidence that Mr. Abramoff directed contributions by the Indian tribes to particular members of Congress (particularly Democratic members of Congress).  

        •  Well (none)
          I am not, I am ashamed to admit, that interested in the story.

          Truth be told, I am not that shocked by it and do think that this is business as usual with some zeroes added.

          The shocking thing to me is the idea that giving money to out of power Congressmen in the DeLay iron fist House, where a majority of Republicans have to agree to move any bill, is taken seriously.

          I mean please. how stupid are they? Or as the Howler always say, how stupid do the think WE are?

          The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

          by Armando on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 07:05:26 AM PST

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      •  Kos and Armando , (none)
        I would bring a defamation suit against these guys if I were you.

        Restore Democracy! Denounce the GOP (George Orwell's Party)!

        by high5 on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 07:17:25 AM PST

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    •  Link please n/t (none)

      When the rest of the world decides to take care of the bully, I hope I'm not in Columbine.

      by georgeNOTw on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 05:36:34 AM PST

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    •  Where does this documentation exist? (none)
      I haven't found it anywhere myself--but I have hardly been submerged in this story.

      I carried water for the elephant; Back and forth to the well I went; My arms got sore and my back got bent; But I couldn't fill up that elephant

      by Sylvester McMonkey Mcbean on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 09:04:16 AM PST

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