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Let me get this straight.

Jack Abramoff is a convicted liar.  He is a felon.  He is a fraudster.

His name is synonymous with corruption.  He is also a lifelong Republican partisan hack.  His best buddy is Tom DeLay.

So, naturally, we have two Rec List diaries promoting his 'words of wisdom'and used as a thin pretense to broadly and dishonestly smear the Democratic party.

People are even saying that this is why OWS should be anti-Democrat as well as anti-Republican.

Excuse me, but that the f@ck?

As a reminder, there is no Democratic equivalent to the Abramoff crime syndicate.  

It doesn't exist.

Abramoff is a federal convict.

So is Bob Ney.

Tom DeLay is a convicted felon.

Almost a dozen others--all part of this single web of corruption--did hard time.

They swindled Native American tribes.

They actively aided and abetted sexual slavery and forced abortions in the Mariana Islands.

And, he gives one interview to 60 Minutes, and all of a sudden he's no worse than Nancy Pelosi?

Those who parrot the words of a lifetime Republican hack and convicted serial liar to attack the Democratic party are doing the truth a disservice.

Give me a break.  Read a book.  Or even a liberal blog.

P.S.  His big recommendation--to ban anyone who's worked in or for Congress from lobbying the federal government?  Almost certainly unconstitutional.  

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Comment Preferences

  •  Hear, Hear! Those who lionize Abramoff (6+ / 0-)

    forget that is someone who will do or say anything - as long he believes it will work to his own benefit.


    'I'm The 99%' T-shirt: Will donate from income on sales.

    by jan4insight on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:18:09 PM PST

  •  Well we don't need (8+ / 0-)

    a weatherman to know which way the wind blows, and we don't need a criminal to know the Democratic Party is corrupt.

    •  In the sense that every human institution (8+ / 0-)

      of a certain size is corrupt, sure.

      "Out of the crooked timber of humanity no straight thing was ever made."

      "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

      by Geekesque on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:22:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's too clever by half (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Johnny Q, 0wn, notdarkyet

        We've got former and future lobbyists writing bills, and they work for both parties. The banks are the most powerful interest group in both parties. You might dismiss this as inevitable, but I think you're too smart and no cynical enough to do so.


        •  The banks aren't the most powerful (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Onomastic, jan4insight

          interest group in the Democratic party.

          They don't need to be.

          So long as they own 100% of the Republicans, they only need to own 5-10% of the Democrats.

          Have you seen the banks' donations for the 2012 Presidential  campaign?

          "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

          by Geekesque on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:31:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  About that... (0+ / 0-)
            The president, however, has not shunned Wall Street. He has courted financial executives for campaign donations, including inviting them to a campaign gathering at the White House. He has attracted more money for his campaign and for the Democratic National Committee from financial firm employees than all of the GOP candidates combined — a total of $15.6 million.


            "My chief political consultant will be my conscience." - Theodore C. Sorensen

            by 0wn on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:40:27 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Are you aware of why (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              that's an inherently misleading comparison?

              "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

              by Geekesque on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:42:39 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Here's a more accurate comparison, btw: (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jj32, TFinSF, Onomastic, sc kitty, MrSandman

              Obama's top 20:

              Microsoft Corp  $170,323
              Comcast Corp  $116,155
              Harvard University  $94,225
              Google Inc  $90,166
              University of California  $83,679
              DLA Piper  $79,375
              Chopper Trading  $64,815
              Skadden, Arps et al  $64,162
              Stanford University  $62,928
              Ballard, Spahr et al  $61,300
              Time Warner  $60,050
              US Government  $57,430
              National Amusements Inc  $57,100
              Latham & Watkins  $54,582
              Arnold & Porter  $51,200
              Goldman Sachs  $49,124
              Exelon Corp  $48,625
              Mayer Brown LLP  $46,700
              Bank of America  $46,699
              Columbia University  $45,097

              vs Romney:

              Goldman Sachs  $354,700
              Credit Suisse Group  $195,250
              Morgan Stanley  $185,800
              HIG Capital  $176,500
              Barclays  $155,250
              Kirkland & Ellis  $129,100
              Bank of America  $121,500
              PricewaterhouseCoopers  $118,250
              EMC Corp  $117,300
              JPMorgan Chase & Co  $109,750
              The Villages  $92,500
              Vivint Inc  $88,250
              Sullivan & Cromwell  $78,750
              Marriott International  $75,837
              Bain Capital  $69,500
              UBS AG  $64,250
              Wells Fargo  $63,000
              Blackstone Group  $57,300
              Citigroup Inc  $56,550
              KKR & Co  $53,900

              "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

              by Geekesque on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:48:46 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  And Eve's diary (6+ / 0-)

      really just used the Abramhoff story as a hook -- didn't rely on what he said, just used it as a jumping off point.

      But if you, Geek, want to elaborate on your charge that Eve was being dishonest, I'm all ears.

      •  Eve told this bald-faced lie: (7+ / 0-)
        Jack played dirty with with Republicans, but let's be clear, there is virtually identical corruption deep within the Democratic Party-- and it pains me to have to point out the obvious.

        Virtually identical corruption--only if you're willing to ignore what Abramoff actually did and who his dance partners were within the Republican party, the Republican leadership in the House, and the Bush administration.

        "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

        by Geekesque on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:29:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Isn't that like the number one thing that most (5+ / 0-)

      citizens agree on?  Everybody knows both parties and almost all politicians are unduly influenced by money and special interest lobbyists as the 90% disapproval rating shows.  

      •  But that doesn't make it true. Democrats are not (6+ / 0-)

        just as bad as anti-choice, pro-theocracy, anti-science, pro-drill-baby-drill, anti-clean air, clean water and right-to-know-law Republicans.

        "They're all the same"  is the same lazy, tar-with-the-same brush attitude that allows news media to report climate change stories with two "scientists" giving opposite points of view--as if it's about opinions, and lets voters off the hook to investigate the POLICIES of the candidates.

        They can just not bother to vote because "they're all just the same."

        Except, they are NOT.

        Okay, the Government says you MUST abort your child. NOW do you get it?

        by Catskill Julie on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:47:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Please, do not drag out the opinion of "most (4+ / 0-)

        citizens" as some sign of accuracy.

        "Most citizens" elected Ronald Reagan, twice. "Most citizens" thought invading Iraq was a swell idea.

        "Most citizens" in 2010 elected to office the traitorous batch of Republicans in Congress that are holding all of us hostage.

        Most citizens get their info from MSM, and saying both parties are alike is a MSM meme.

        If corporations are people, then I want to see some birth certificates and talk to their parents.

        by Onomastic on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 04:31:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  It seems Abramoff was playing a double game (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Geekesque, Southside, sc kitty, Onomastic

    while his crimes were fraud and money laundering, double billing, and all of that, he didn't go on tv to talk about that, but rather "access."  Leslie Stahl didn't press him on the partisan affiliations of the 100 or so offices he "owned," but unless he can come forward with a name of a Dem staffer who stayed on board in the House while taking an offer with a lobbying firm in name only, there is no false equivalence.  At root, this is because Republican House staffers do not see a difference between representing corporations' interests and serving their member, nor does their member.  The only issue is which ones.

    I think Dem staffers who do go into lobbying understand that they are setting aside their personal preferences in doing so (as any staffer must deal with when working for a member) -- for Abramoff, he said he saw himself as ethical because legislation to the highest bidder was what he actively believed in.  Dem members, too, understand that raising money is a necessary evil, by and large.  There's no sense of they're in congress as mere conduits, at least to those willing to be somewhat fair.

    "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

    by Loge on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:21:17 PM PST

  •  They're felons because they were caught. nt (5+ / 0-)

    May as well say Boehner and Cantor are squeaky clean if only a felony conviction is evidence of political corruption.

    •  There's sleazy and distasteful, and then (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catskill Julie, Onomastic, sc kitty

      there's the outright criminal.

      Any group of 435 pols (or lawyers, or bankers, or gas station attendants for that matter) is going to have its share of sleazebags.

      Abramoff was a much different thing--it was an organized crime syndicate-- and those suggesting that Pelosi's folks belong in the same category are, well, misinformed at best.

      "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

      by Geekesque on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:26:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm waiting for primary Obama with Abramoff (5+ / 0-)

    Diary next.

    The usual suspects can't wait to tarnish the Democratic Party, even when as you say they have to resort to dishonesty.


  •  One can forfeit the right to lobby Congress (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    0wn, Johnny Q, averageyoungman, buddabelly

    for a lifetime if one agrees to become a congressional employee. Similar to the way one forfeits free speech by gaining a Top Secret security clearance.

    I don't see a constitutional problem here.

    •  So, we'd send former Congressional (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TFinSF, Onomastic

      aides to jail if they called their current Congressman or wrote their Senator letters asking her to vote a certain way?


      "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

      by Geekesque on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:33:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sure. (4+ / 0-)

        I'd have no problem with six months in jail for that, first offense. One isn't forced to go work for Congress. Wouldn't be difficult to enforce either.

        Like I treat them the same way you treat people with a Top Secret security clearance. The government has a compelling interest in protecting the integrity of the political process. Allowing former Congressional staff to earn a million bucks lobbying Congress is incredibly corrupting.

        Private business should be able to buy talent. But access? No. Let them write letters like everyone else.

        •  Federal courts would have a mighty big problem (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          brooklynbadboy, Onomastic

          with it.

          It would get body-slammed in any district court, any federal appeals court, and 9-0 at the Supreme Court.

          There's no First Amendment right to leak classified documents.  There is a first amendment right to petition the government.

          "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

          by Geekesque on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:51:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Federal employees are already (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Onomastic, Geekesque

            banned from most forms of political activity, even on their own time. I work for a nonprofit that has a federal grant, and the terms of the grant are such that we lose a fair amount of our constitutional free speech rights, again even on our time. The precedent is there, but as I stated above, I believe that in your favor there might be a distinction between the limitation while you are working as a federal employee, versus after you leave.

  •  Damn! Missed those diaries... (4+ / 0-)

    Fuck Jack Abramoff. That guy is as rotten and scummy as they come. Thanks for this diary.

  •  I think one point of those diaries is that... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Geekesque, Onomastic

    The system corrupts, and if you're a public representative who's making questionable decisions and gaming it, you should be held accountable regardless of what party you're allied with.
    The bullsh*t may be thick these days but that just makes it all the easier to smell.

    I understand the point of the diary though, and although I agree with some comments above about the distinction being getting caught, the lack of equivalency in that context is noted.

    Slap happy is a platform.

    by averageyoungman on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:59:41 PM PST

  •  Falsehoods in your diary. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    notdarkyet, roseeriter

    A rule of thumb about accusing people is to not be guilty of the very thing.

    The first thing that I noticed was your statement:

    we have two Rec List diaries promoting his 'words of wisdom'

    Checked the diary linked. It did not call Abramhoff talk "words of wisdom." You just put words in the diarist's mouth.

    So I back up to your premise:

    Jack Abramoff is a convicted liar.  He is a felon.  He is a fraudster.

    But of course for those reasons he is being quoted. He is being quoted because he's spilling the beans. But you turn it around and make it look like the first diarist is calling them "words of wisdom." A lie. Then you say the second diary uses your made-up reason to "broadly and dishonestly smear the Democratic party." Except that is also false. The diary talked about the support for the Affordable Care Act, and in no way broadbrushed the entire Democratic Party.

    So right off the bat with so many falsehoods, you lose me and any chance at convincing people, owing to the lack of credibility you just established for yourself.

    So again, if you're going to cast stones, don't do it from a glass house.

    •  Yes, he is 'spilling the beans' (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Onomastic, sc kitty

      by spinning stupid progressives into pushing the same "both sides do it equally" bullshit David Broder pushed in his heyday.

      And, yes, Eve did directly state that Pelosi et al are as bad as Abramoff.

      Which means she either is pig ignorant about what Abramoff did or a liar.

      "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

      by Geekesque on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 04:32:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  POT. KETTLE. BLACK. (0+ / 0-)

        Like I said, careful when you accuse others of that which you are guilty.

        •  Dengre said it better than I could (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Onomastic, Drewid

          just think you are exceptionally wrong (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:Geekesque
          to compare the ACA to Abramoff and his doings. Yes, it helps you make the point that you want to make, but it is dishonest. The connection is one of spin and not fact.

          This is why scandals never get exposed and/or ran to ground. Too many special interests love the myths more than the truth. And the truth always gets buried in the competing myths. And in the cloud of dust raised by this myth spinning, folks like Abramoff, Reed and Norquist are renewed, refreshed, and get to to it all over again. They get the free pass, while we attack each other.

          Still, this kind of thing is auto rec bait. One can never go wrong making common cause with winger talking points to sell a Diary. The idea that the ACA was a horrible betrayal of all things American is now a well worn left/right data point of agreement. The reasons for the conclusion vary, but the message is the same.

          I have trouble with that meme, but so what. It doesn't matter. Folks will do what they will do. But I do know a few things about the Abramoff scandal and your use of the Abamoff scandal to sell your spin is deceptive and wrong.

          I'm also certain that to point this out places me at odds with your talking points. And I expect that folks will rush in to tell me all of the ways that I am wrong. This is very predictable.

          No wonder Grover and his pals rule the world.

          "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

          by Geekesque on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 04:51:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for this needed dose of reality Geek. (4+ / 0-)

    Saw one of those diaries, ignored the other.

    Same old, same old.

    Yep - Al Franken, Barnie Franks, et al are just like Abramoff! And you just wait, Elizabeth Warren will be too, because she's......::gasp!:: running as a Democrat.

    Oh, the shame! the shame!

    I'm seriously tired of such lazy, ego gratifying, simplistic, thinking.

    Anyone who wants to appoint Abramoff as a purveyor of truth needs to start applying some critical thinking to reality.

    If corporations are people, then I want to see some birth certificates and talk to their parents.

    by Onomastic on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 04:24:36 PM PST

  •  I agree with this.. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Geekesque, dougymi, Onomastic, sc kitty
    there is no Democratic equivalent to the Abramoff crime syndicate

    At this point, far more people have now been arrested for protesting Wall Street's mortgage fraud crimes than have been for committing and presiding over them.

    by joedemocrat on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 04:31:16 PM PST

  •  Why would that be unconstitutional? (0+ / 0-)

    Serious question. I don't see why banning former federal employees from working as registered lobbyists would have to be unconstitutional. Maybe there might need to be a grandfather clause for those currently holding the job, but federal employees sacrifice quite a few constitutional rights already, so I'm not sure why this would be anything different. I guess maybe the argument is that it's one thing to lose your rights while you are employeed, and another to lose them afterwards. Maybe.

    I've seen similar statutes at the local level, so I assume those held up. I dunno . . .

    •  It's a restriction on 1st amendment rights. (0+ / 0-)

      Fair game as a contemporaneous employment, but not thereafter.

      I suppose the house and senate can regulate their own members' conduct and prohibit them from being lobbied by former members, but that would be prone to loopholes, etc.

      "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

      by Geekesque on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 07:19:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Oh noes, we musn't criticize the Democratic Party! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pot, Johnny Q

    Democratic congress has placed the tool for obstruction directly in the hands of the Republicans. Republicans can force a 60-vote threshold on every vote without having to pay a political price for it.

    We are all determined to find lessons in our experiences that confirm our biases and support our agendas.

    by cjenk415 on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 05:40:09 PM PST

  •  Four years wasn't enough. That sucker should (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Geekesque, Onomastic, Johnny Q

    still be in prison.

  •  Reps can't even launder money right (0+ / 0-)

    And this is the party that wants to run the economy?

    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. -Frank Zappa

    by TheGrandWazoo on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 09:04:31 PM PST

  •  Lord Vetinary, fictional ruler of Ankh-Morpork in (0+ / 0-)

    Terry Pratchet's Disk: world series, has this bit of wisdom:

    'I believe you find life such a problem because you think there are the good people and the bad people. You're wrong, of course. There are, always and only, the bad people, but some of them are on opposite sides.'

    I don't buy this.  At least not completely.  But sometimes you need to nimbly switch your support from bad guy to bad guy until they have all clobbered each other.

    This is fairly easy to do when your opponents are competing corporations that will gladly cut each other's throats before they cooperate.

    For  an Alinsky-inspired example single out one truly egregious banking company for the following action:

    1.  Get a group to open accounts one day for the minimal possible amount.  
    2.  Next day, everyone go close them
    3.  Rinse and repeat.  Beats a boycott because you  are just customers (assuming the police don't arrest you without grounds, as has been happening lately, but you get the picture).  

    This kind of action can be done with almost any business, from gas stations (pull into every offending station to buy $1 of gas, creating a line that deters higher-paying customers) to retail (shop all day and buy a piece of gum)

    Point is, the competition is likely to take advantage of the business you target.
    Let them, you can switch targets later.

    Divide and conquer.

    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. -Frank Zappa

    by TheGrandWazoo on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 09:16:52 PM PST

  •  I read them. the ACA-themed one was (0+ / 0-)

    particularly odious to me.  

    I saw in the comments that someone was crowing about how nobody HRed it and that was a sign that the site had been cleaned up.

    NO, its a sign that those of us who completely disagree with diaries like that don't care much anymore about whether diaries like that are seen by kossacks or not.  as self-styled DFH's told me all year, this site doesn't matter enough to worry about stuff like that.

    anyway good diary, but I'm pretty sure I was just as pissed at you as you are at those diaries just last week (or maybe the week before).  you did do that "another capitulation" diary, right?

    This comment is dedicated to my mellow Adept2U and his Uncle Marcus

    by mallyroyal on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 09:09:34 AM PST

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