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This morning opens with three BIG stories on the growing Abramoff Affair. It is time to demand a Special Prosecutor.

The LA Times and the NYT add new scandal details from the Saipan. And the AP adds to those details connecting the dots between Bush and Abramoff:

In President Bush's first 10 months, GOP fundraiser Jack Abramoff and his lobbying team logged nearly 200 contacts with the new administration as they pressed for friendly hires at federal agencies and sought to keep the Northern Mariana Islands exempt from the minimum wage and other laws, records show. [snip]

"Our standing with the new administration promises to be solid as several friends of the CNMI (islands) will soon be taking high-ranking positions in the Administration, including within the Interior Department," Abramoff wrote in a January 2001 letter....

There is more (much more)...

The Abramoff Affair is a big and growing scandal. There seems to be another story tied to every dollar Jack has touched over the last 25 years as a GOP bagman/activist.

The AP  story also had these gems:

The records from Abramoff's firm, obtained by The Associated Press from the Marianas under an open records request, chronicle Abramoff's careful cultivation of relations with Bush's political team as far back as 1997.

In that year, Abramoff charged the Marianas for getting then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush to write a letter expressing support for the Pacific territory's school choice proposal, his billing records show.

"I hope you will keep my office informed on the progress of this initiative," Bush wrote in a July 18, 1997, letter praising the islands' school plan and copying in an Abramoff deputy.

White House spokeswoman Erin Healy said Thursday that Bush didn't consider Abramoff a friend. "They may have met on occasion, but the president does not know him," she said.

As for the number of Abramoff lobbying team contacts with Bush officials documented in the billing records, Healy said: "We do not know how he defines 'contacts.'"

Sound like Jack is now in "Kenny-Boy-Land", but there was more:

The documents show his team also had extensive access to Bush administration officials, meeting with Cheney policy advisers Ron Christie and Stephen Ruhlen, Ashcroft at the Justice Department, White House intergovernmental affairs chief Ruben Barrales, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick, Deputy Interior Secretary Steven Griles and others.

Most of the contacts were handled by Abramoff's subordinates, who then reported back to him on the meetings. Abramoff met several times personally with top Interior officials, whose Office of Insular Affairs oversees the Mariana Islands and other U.S. territories.
In all, the records show at least 195 contacts between Abramoff's Marianas lobbying team and the Bush administration from February through November 2001.

At least two people who worked on Abramoff's team at Preston Gates wound up with Bush administration jobs: Patrick Pizzella, named an assistant secretary of labor by Bush; and David Safavian, chosen by Bush to oversee federal procurement policy in the Office of Management and Budget.

"We have worked with WH Office of Presidential Personnel to ensure that CNMI-relevant positions at various agencies are not awarded to enemies of CNMI," Abramoff's team wrote the Marianas in an October 2001 report on its work for the year.

The AP disclosed a jaw-dropping $50,000 contribution from Sweatshops to the National Republican Senatorial Committee:

Money also flowed from the Marianas to Bush's re-election campaign: It took in at least $36,000 from island donors, much of it from members of the Tan family, whose clothing factories were a routine stop for lawmakers and their aides visiting the islands on Abramoff-organized trips.

Two Tan family companies gave $25,000 each to the National Republican Senatorial Committee for the 2002 elections...

And who actually paid for Jack's lobbying on Saipan? You did:

Abramoff's team bragged to the cash-strapped Marianas government that the taxpayer money would cover its lobbying bill: "We believe that this additional funding - along with other funds we expect to secure by the end of the year - will make clear to even our biggest critics that we pay for ourselves," Abramoff teammate Kevin Ring wrote in October 2001, copying in Abramoff.

Both the the LA Times and the NYT have reporters on Saipan and mountains of documents to review. There are many new scandal details in both of their stories.

The LA Times adds new scandal details to tie DeLay, Abramoff and Sweatshops together. Like how Ed Buckham and Mike Scanlon traveled to the island to trade our money for votes:

Two former top aides of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's brokered a political deal here five years ago that helped land island government contracts worth $1.6 million for a Washington lobbyist now the target of a federal corruption probe.

Using promises of U.S. tax dollars as bartering chips, Edwin A. Buckham and Michael Scanlon traveled to these remote Pacific islands in late 1999 to convince two local legislators to switch their votes for speaker of the territory's 18-member House of Representatives. They succeeded.

And the NYT details how Abramoff's long-time GOP activism helped him land work with Saipan back in 1995:

Mr. Abramoff won his contract with a long letter that noted his ties to power in Washington.

"Yesterday I had the opportunity to meet privately with Speaker Newt Gingrich and was able to raise the issue of the desire of the C.N.M.I. [Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands] for more latitude in dealing with its own affairs," he wrote in his sales pitch to Governor Tenorio. "The speaker responded favorably to the C.N.M.I.'s position, in keeping with his own belief in stronger local control."

"I had a direct role in shaping much of the agenda which ultimately brought the Republican Party to control of the Congress last year," Mr. Abramoff said in his proposal. "I have longstanding relationships with many of the Republican members of Congress."

With news organization in hot competition for new scandal details, the Abramoff Affair will continue to grow. I mean, they haven't even reported the Abramoff-Chinese connection yet.

Originally posted to dengre on Fri May 06, 2005 at 05:50 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Interesting parallel to Texas speaker race (4.00)
    <<    With promises of "dollars as bartering chips,"  2 former top aides to DeLay . . . traveled to these remote Pacific islands in late 1999 to convince two local legislators to switch their votes for speaker of the territory's 18-member House of Representatives. They succeeded.   >>

    It reminds me that  tactics used in Texas by Tom DeLay and his aides to help elect Tom Craddick to be speaker of the Texas legislature in 2003 are being investigated by county DA Ronnie Earle and a grand jury. The probe has been looking at whether TRMPAC's and business contributions were funneled to representatives' campaigns to secure their vote for Craddick to be speaker. (TRMPAC is DeLay's pac.)

    See the WaPo's July article about DeLay's channeling of corporate funds to help elect state legislators (such corp. funding is forbidden under Texas laws, a felony offense) who would enact his redistricting plan for Congress.

    The Texas lawmaker who played a critical role in the project was state Rep. Tom Craddick (R), a DeLay ally who was running for House speaker in 2002. On Oct. 21 of that year, TRMPAC sent checks for 14 Republican House candidates to Craddick's office; his office then mailed the checks. The grand jury is now looking into whether this or other actions taken in connection with the speaker's race amounted to using "money or things of value" to influence the outcome of the speaker's election, a violation of state law.

    Craddick's lawyer, Roy Minton, said that "there is absolutely nothing illegal" about any actions Craddick took in connection with the race.

    In all, 17 House members who received money from TRMPAC were elected. Craddick was elected speaker in a secret ballot, and in May 2003, as the redistricting plan came to the Texas House floor, he ordered state police to help track down Democratic lawmakers trying to boycott the vote. The effort was closely coordinated with DeLay, whose chief political aide Julie Ann Sullivan telephoned the Federal Aviation Administration to find a plane used by some of the Democrats.

         To me, DeLay's corrupt, allegedly illegal use of money and power to influence the Texas races and redistricting may be the most significant crime of all.

    •  At the End of the Day (4.00)
      Tom DeLay's fate will most likely depend on what happens with Ronnie Earle's investigations in Texas.  I have yet to see any indication that he's mishandling it in any way, either by rushing ahead recklessly or by veering off in some random direction.  Earle seems to be patiently building his case like a veteran prosecutor coordinating a long-term racketeering investigation.

      Earle is slowly working his way up the food chain, pursuing leads against the lower and mid-level operatives and lobbyists, obtaining their testimony against higher-ups in return for reduced charges and/or leniency.  Ultimately, he'll work his way to the top of the pyramid:  The Hammer himself.

      •  Yes, I think the power grab (none)
        and its illegal funding via Texas is the key.
        •  i live in Delay's district (22) (none)
          it's a fairly republican area.  however, there enough moderate repubs & independents that enough dirt on Delay will turn people off.

          a plurality of voters here want someone BESIDES delay.

          furthermore, there's a move by moderate well placed republicans to beat Delay in the primaries.

          i don't know if that will happen & i think Delay would win the primary anyway, but he would be weakened.

          Delay is very vulnerable here.  VERY VULNERABLE.  Ronnie Earle doesn't have to prosecute the guy -- there's enough disgust here with him.

          But if Earle finds something, stick a fork in Delay.

          as it is, Delay is getting cooked pretty well right now.

          •  How did Delay (none)
            get reelected in Nov?  Weren't people in the district aware of his shenanigans?  What was the tipping point and why did it take so long?
            •  complex question (none)
              this is a very republican area.  people don't think frankly & just vote along party lines.  

              & that's not a "those damn hicks" insult -- it's just the truth.  

              the biggest reason why Delay won i think is b/c the opposition had no history & had not established itself.  Delay had basically been running unopposed.

              alot of Dems here are asleep.  they are waking up but alot of people saw no alternate & knew little about Delay to feel the need change ships.

              morrison, a great candidate, had A LOT of stationary inertia to move & it took about 2 years to do it -- just a few months too late unfortunately.

              i think that's probably true nationwide.  we were asleep too long.  

              •  Thanks for the reply (none)
                Delay has been on my watch list ever since Vanity Fair did an expose on him last year.  I couldn't believe his misdeeds (getting Texas redistricted and corporate contribution shakedowns) weren't getting a lot of play in your district.  Thanks for the explanation.
      •  Who is atop pyramid? (none)
        Perhaps Dick?  Or, W?

        25 April 05, Day 1321 ... Osama still "wanted dead or alive"

        by besieged by bush on Fri May 06, 2005 at 09:37:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  We were played for suckers (4.00)
    at the end of the Clinton Era when we stupidly went along with a plan to destroy the independent counsel laws.  The were used against us to maximum effect and then we unilaterally disarmed when they came to power.

    Since then its been feeding time at the trough

    Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

    by Magorn on Fri May 06, 2005 at 07:38:01 AM PDT

    •  I dunno (none)
      I'm just imagining investigation after investigation into subjects like: Swift Boat lies; Hillary hatred; Daschle nonsense; and 'do Democrats really eat Christian babies by the light of the Moon?', etc. etc.

      And oh my God, I just thought of that Schiavo mess the GOP pulled; I can only imagine what they could be like if they appointed some 'independent' counsel on it.

      Now if independent counsel meant they had to hire two investigators, with no political affiliations, and approved by both parties, that might be different.

      But while the GOP has any sort of a majority, I think it might not be so bad they don't have this stick to so easily whack the Dems with....

      "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton

      by jbeach on Fri May 06, 2005 at 08:29:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Indeed (none)
      I haven't any doubt that part of the reason for going after Clinton based on a "blow job" was intended to be so ridiculous that everyone would want the laws repealed. Afterall, these are the laws that almost brought down the previous Republican Cabal with their Iran-Contra treason.

      Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it. -Tom Paine

      by Alumbrados on Fri May 06, 2005 at 08:33:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And one should note (3.50)
        That Abramoff played a roll in Iran-Contra. As the head of Citizens for America, a lobbying arm of the Reagan White House, Jack worked with Ollie to line up the Contra speaking tour.
  •  Alright....can someone dumb this way down for me? (none)
    My eyes glaze over as I read this stuff...

    In the midst of life we are in debt, etc.

    by ablington on Fri May 06, 2005 at 08:05:40 AM PDT

    •  Short version (4.00)
      Abramoff has been all over the Bush Administration like white on rice.   He ain't just Timmy the Tool's personal friend, but has been very welcome in the executive branch as well.  When Timmy goes down, he's gonna attack Abramoff to save his skin,  Abramoff ain't gonna take it lying down and when he sings, all sorts of big time Republicans going all the way to the White House are going to get spattered in slime

      Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

      by Magorn on Fri May 06, 2005 at 08:11:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  amen and hallelujah, my friend! (none)

        "Oh, how I miss the days of Monica Lewinsky..."

        by LawSkoolPunk on Fri May 06, 2005 at 08:22:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Tks. So, the 'scandal' is that Abramoff knows (none)
        and/or is involved with the Bush campaign/administration, and Abramoff has a bad reputation so just knowing him ups the slime factor.

        Are there any illegalities here?

        In the midst of life we are in debt, etc.

        by ablington on Fri May 06, 2005 at 08:25:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Bit more complicated than that (4.00)
          and Abramoff has been something a bit more than a typical Washington Lobbyist. He's a first class sleazebag, who also seems to have had unlimited access to the corridors of Republican power.

          there are three main thrusts of his story:

          1) He and his favored Lawmakers have not merely broken but shattered laws and rules like the Gift Ban:
          There have been repeated violations of law and ethics rules discovered so far.  Mostly of the variety of Abramoff paying for things he's not allowed to (expensive vacations for Delay, Use of his restaurant for free to other lawmakers for fund raising dinners, Free Skybox at MCI center for the same purpose etc.)  Lawmakers are forbidden by law to accept gifts over $25 from lobbyists and it appears that Abramoff has been secretly funneling tens of thousands to his favored few.

          2) Is  his personal ethics and unsavory choices of clients.  His actions in the Indian Casino mess  went from Lobbying to running a Long Con of a rich mark.  He hired a preacher (Ralph Reed) to gin up moral outrage that gots an Indian tribe's Casino shut down.  Then He went to the tribe and promised to use his Capitol hill connections to get the Casino re-opened.  In all he bled the Tribe for nearly 50 million, a fair amount of it getting funneled to Gop candidates, PACS and Causes.

          a) He's also taken On Clients like the Sweatshop owners of the Northern Marianas Islands who hold their workers in what amounts to slave-labor conditions, while being able to sew "Made in USA" on their clothing.  Clinton Admin tried to shut down the worst of  the abuses like slave labor, child Labor, forced prostitution, and nighttime incarceration of workers. (the NMI are a US protectorate).  Tom Delay blocked the administration from doing so.  Just before that Abramoff took him on an all expenses paid trip of the Island where Tommy stayed in 4-star hotels, played lots of Golf and declared the island a free-market paradise that he would protect to his last breath.

          3) This ties into #3 which is the apparent Quid-pro--quo relationship Abramoff has with a number of key Law makers.   It seems that after every one of these lovely favors Jack does, he get positive traction on his pet legislation.   Now I realize being shocked about this is like being shocked to find gambling in Casablanca; but rarely has the mutual back-scratching been so incredible apparent  or one of the participants been so ethically challenged.


          Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

          by Magorn on Fri May 06, 2005 at 08:55:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Nice rundown of Abramoff sleazeballery. (none)
            BUT...what is the Abramoff/Bush quid pro quo?  Is there something here that we KNOW could be illegal on the part of the Bush team?

            I think the association itself is quite damning, but I yearn for illegality.

            In the midst of life we are in debt, etc.

            by ablington on Fri May 06, 2005 at 09:42:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Does this mean Abramoff... (none)
        ..should not be allowed to travel by air anytime soon? Based on the way Bushco operates, it sounds to me like he is  man looking for a mishap.

        Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it. -Tom Paine

        by Alumbrados on Fri May 06, 2005 at 08:34:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  This is the key: (none)
        "Abramoff ain't gonna take it lying down..."

        And he knows enough to take these other bastards down with him.

    •  for a good summary (none)
      of the Northern Marianas incl. Taipan, Tan, Abramoff, DeLay, Enron (yup, they were there), sweat shops, Walmart, prostitution, etc go to The Texas Observer
  •  Somebody (4.00)
    had better put a padlock on Jack's passport, like yesterday.  There's always room for another bumper pool buddy in Marc Rich's bachelor pad.
    •  Somebody better put (4.00)
      a bullet proof vest on Jack right now. Cliff Baxter might be looking for company.

      Cliff Baxter was an Enron executive who stepped down before the collapse because of what he knew about the company's finances.

      From the Watkins memo:
      "Cliff Baxter complained mightily to (then-CEO Jeff) Skilling and all who would listen about the inappropriateness of our transactions with LJM," Sherron Watkins wrote. LJM is one of the partnerships apparently used to keep a half-billion dollars in losses off Enron's books.

      Cliff Baxter's attorneys' were negoitiating with Congressional committees for immunity. Cliff Baxter was thinking about hiring a body guard.

      Then Cliff Baxter decided to get out of bed in the middle of the night and shoot himself.

      But not to worry, just hours after his body was discovered, local police concluded no foul play was involved.

      Sugar Land Police, that is.


      Somewhere around 2001, Mr. Spock grew a beard.

      by Olds88 on Fri May 06, 2005 at 11:08:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I would start investing (none)
    in shares of whichever company is responsible for printing out Presidential pardon slips.
  •  Abramoff is (none)
    the gift that keeps on giving. I'm starting to think you can count elected repubs, not tied to him (directly, or through DeLay) on one hand.

    More and more, it looks like a party-wide problem for the GOP.

  •  Does lobbying in general (none)
    have the sleaziness of this Abramoff character? Even when he's not explicitly doing something illegal, it seems like he'll represent pretty much anyone to advocate pretty much any agenda if it'll be profitable. And it appears to be a HUGELY profitable business. He absolutely gives me the creeps.
  •  Pizzella (none)
    in addition to his job in the Labor Dept as Assistant Secretary of Labor for Administration
    and Management, Patrick Pizzella is on the board of this entity:

    Overseas Private Investment Corporation (An Agency of the United States Government)

    I am a newbie at this stuff but from their website it would appear that they are some sort of mini-world bank kind-of-deal. Pizzella's portfolio and his prior connections would seem to put him a position to be helping the Marianas with their labor "issues." Am I wrong?

    •  OPIC hmmm (none)
      OPIC played a major role on behalf of President [G H W] Bush in supporting the Solidarity Union reform movement that ended communist rule in Poland. Following Poland, ...OPIC turned their attention to each Eastern European country that emerged from communist rule. Similar efforts were made in the Soviet Union, Nicaragua, and Panama.
      •  more OPIC (none)
        this is interesting. sort of. You don't need to read between the lines to see what OPIC does.

        OPIC's focus on promoting investment is understandable in the light of its unique role in providing insurance against political risk. As OPIC points out, all of its guaranty and insurance obligations "are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States of America," and the threat of U.S. government intervention is usually enough.
    •  Safavian's role at the WH (none)
      As noted in the diary above:
      Abramoff's team at Preston Gates wound up with Bush administration jobs: Patrick Pizzella, named an assistant secretary of labor by Bush; and David Safavian, chosen by Bush to oversee federal procurement policy in the Office of Management and Budget.

      I have posted some info on Pizzella's White House portfolio and potential interaction with Abramoff's projects.

      As procurement administrator, Safavian is the Bush administration's point man for its controversial competitive sourcing initiative which creates some sort of capability olympics, in which federal employees compete with private sector firms, to determine whether they will be able to keep their jobs.

      According to the Washington Post

      The initiative has thrown a scare into many federal workers, who are anxious about whether they will be forced to go to work for a private contractor or find themselves with no job at all. But the policy is especially vexing for employees with disabilities and their advocates. They fear that a strict economic comparison puts such workers at a decided disadvantage because they often require more supervision and extra help, and therefore cost more to employ.

      While the administration would doubtless argue that they are simply looking for efficiency, one would have to be naive not to realize the potential for politicization and corruption. Not to mention the effect on handicapped workers.

      Follow the money.

  •  Credit to Raw Story (none)
    This was broken by, the left site that is giving Drudge a run for his money.
  •  Bush has less to fear from ties to Delay (none)
    and more to fear from his ties to Abramoff, it would seem.

    No matter how many times you wash those dirty hands, they never quite feel clean, do they?

    spin positive... inspire change

    by missliberties on Fri May 06, 2005 at 09:21:05 AM PDT

    •  Bush-Abramoff-Tan axis (none)
      "Thanks to past trips the Commonwealth of Northern Marianas has many friends on the Appropriations Committees in Congress," Abramoff wrote to Hong Kong sweatshop mogul Willie Tan. The Tan-controlled newspaper, Saipan Tribune, responded with an article lauding Abramoff:

            "If [Abramoff's] past success in defending our interests is not enough reason to lock him into a long-term deal, the fact that George W. Bush is now the new President is yet another reason. [Abramoff] was able to defend us by educating powerful Members of Congress and arranging a trip to these islands by the most powerful member, Congressman Tom DeLay. Mr. Abramoff and his team have racked up win after win for these islands. (Saipan Tribune 2001 Editorial)

      •  Bush doesn't know Abramoff? (none)
        Seattle Weekly's Rick Anderson reports:

        Rabbi Daniel Lapin's nonprofit, founded with Abramoff and film critic/radio talker Michael Medved, promotes faith-based conservative politics in tandem with the religious right. Through Abramoff's considerable GOP connections, Lapin has brokered alliances with congressional and Bush administration officials as well. ...A radio host on KTTH-AM (770), Lapin is co-chair of the American Alliance of Jews and Christians, whose board includes Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. Lapin is involved in other religious/political alliances that worked to get George W. Bush elected and re-elected. Last year, Newsweek reported, "When fundraising began for Bush's re-election effort, Rabbi Daniel Lapin . . . urged friends and colleagues to steer campaign checks to Bush via Abramoff." President Bush recently reappointed Lapin to the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad, which helps preserve cemeteries, monuments, and historic buildings in Eastern and Central Europe. Donors to his charity, according to IRS tax filings, comprise the cream of the religious right, such as Lenore Broughton, the Carthage Foundation, and the Scaife Family Foundation. They have helped Lapin raise, on average, about $500,000 a year, based on filings from 1997 through 2003--money he uses to "educate the public through conventions, seminars, public speaking, and class studies on Judeo Christian values," he told the IRS. His religious beliefs include opposition to homosexuality. He speaks at the Eastside church of fellow KTTH talk-show host, the Rev. Ken Hutcherson, who recently waged an anti-gay-rights battle with Microsoft.

  •  Ummm... whatever happened to... (4.00)
    Plame... Wilson... Novak... Guckert/Gannon... and the Fitzgerald investigation?

    Scandal after scandal, apparent broken law after apparent broken law, impeachable offense after impeachable offense... and what has come of any of this?

    Where is Fitzgerald and the grand jury on the CIA leak? That one was treason!

    "We have the power. Sorry if you don't like the fact that we've decided to use it." Posted by Jeremey*in*MS at February 3, 2005 01:59 PM

    by Andrew C White on Fri May 06, 2005 at 09:22:40 AM PDT

    •  What it your read on the MSM in regard (none)
      to this issue as opposed to the earlier issues? This one seems to be getting more coverage, but I may be wrong about that.
      •  DeLay is getting (none)
        more coverage... and Abramoff... money seems to be a safe subject to air publicly... but Bush? Let's wait and see. And whatever did happen to the Plame investigation? That was a serious question. It was supposed to be near breaking back at election time.

        "We have the power. Sorry if you don't like the fact that we've decided to use it." Posted by Jeremey*in*MS at February 3, 2005 01:59 PM

        by Andrew C White on Fri May 06, 2005 at 12:14:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Plame as a single case is nothing compared (none)
          • clearcut evidence of illegal vote fraud and voter disenfranchisement in 2000 election, at least;

          • clearcut evidence of gross negligence/dereliction, at the least, and complicity at the worst, in the sequence of events that led to 911 attacks;

          • Carelessness/dereliction at the least, and outright deliberate fabrication and premeditated lying at the worst, to American people, Congress and other governments to justify attacking another country that resulted in  killing 100K's of non-combatants,10K's of combatants;

          • Hard evidence of a systematic and covert US torture policy ordered from the top, in contravention of international military and human rights treaties;

          • widespread cronyism, fraud, and profiteering and embezzlement by private contractors and Bush regime insiders and business interests  in connection with  Bushco-Neocon misadventures.

          No. I don't think Bush has anything to worry about over the latest outrage.
        •  I agree. We'll see what happens (none)
          with the Bush angle. Too early to celebrate just yet.

          Of course, with Plame, there doesn't seem to be anybody on the inside willing to talk. With Abramhoff, it seems someone or someones, perhaps even Abramoff himself, are willing to talk. But again, we'll have to wait and see.

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