As the former bag man for the Republican Party, Jack Abramoff, serves a federal jail sentence his wife and five kids are apparently languishing just above the poverty line in a house they can’t afford with a leaky roof.
The Washington Post reports tonight that Abramoff’s lawyers are petitioning the federal government to release – to them – a $500,000 tax refund owed Abramoff by the federal government. Ostensibly, this is so Abramoff can pay his bills. How much you want to bet that those first in line to be paid are Abramoff’s attorneys?
The Post also points out that Abramoff is under a court order to make restitution to Indian tribes he bilked out of tens of millions before any of his assets go anywhere.
Jack Abramoff and his lawyers should go pound salt. His wife and kids on the other hand, someone needs to sack up and take care of them.
How do you think it was in Abramoff’s heyday? Jack had all the access to most of the levers of power and was the crown prince of Tom DeLay’s K Street Project. He made a ton of money and he made a lot of other people money through opening doors and working his once ample Rolodex. Jack used his connections and when time and events were right, his connections used him.
I’m sure it was all smiles and backslaps and cocktails.
Fast forward to Abramoff’s undoing and in the time it takes to chomp the olive off the end of the little plastic sword, Jack’s got no friends.
Here’s an idea for Grover Norquist and Ralph Reed, former Abramoff confidantes and eternal fucknuts. Guys, why don’t you pull out your “family values” talking points, circa 1994, and begin calling your friends. Try Dr. Dobson, Tom DeLay, Newt — call ‘em all. Take up a collection, pass the hat. For goodness sake, take care of Jack’s wife and kids.
If you’re afraid firing up the old Christian Coalition phone bank will attract too much attention, how about the two of you pooling your resources and getting Mrs. Abramoff’s roof fixed?
You know, when I read the Post story tonight I wasn’t surprised about lawyers trying to bleed the last $500,000 out of Jack Abramoff. I guess I’m not surprised about the Republican “family” not helping out Mrs. Abramoff — just disgusted.
Last week the Pew Center for the People and the Press released the latest in a series of polls going back to the late eighties measuring political values and core attitudes in the American public. From business and Wall Street to social issues, the poll is a snapshot of where the polity stands today four months into a new presidency. One of the interesting points made by the report writers and the data is that the waning fortunes of the Republican Party do not necessarily mean the demise of conservatism in America. Go check out the entire report here.
In the partisan heat of Washington, our new president has gone to some lengths to take a log or two off the fire. Barack Obama has been met time after time with the back of the hand from the GOP. Now, days before Obama’s first nomination to the Supreme Court, Kyl is out there talking filibuster. Hell, he doesn’t even know who the nominee will be. For all he knows it will be Pat Buchanan. (Buchanan does show some empathy for the middle class.)
But no. Sen. Kyl is just unimaginative enough to grab a headline the easy way. He’s there in the middle of the Republican fire base cranking the air raid siren. Hopefully calling attention to nothing more than his brutish sense of politics.
The Senate’s No. 2 Republican on Sunday refused to rule out a filibuster if President Barack Obama seeks a Supreme Court justice who decides cases based on “emotions or feelings or preconceived ideas.”
Sen. Jon Kyl made clear he would use the procedural delay if Obama follows through on his pledge to nominate someone who takes into account human suffering and employs empathy from the bench. The Arizona Republican acknowledged that his party likely does not have enough votes to sustain a filibuster, but he said nonetheless he would try to delay or derail the nomination if Obama ventures outside what Kyl called the mainstream.
“We will distinguish between a liberal judge on one side and one who doesn’t decide cases on the merits but, rather, on the basis of his or her preconceived ideas,” Kyl said.
Sorry … took the video down because it plays automatically when page loads which is freakin’ annoying. If you want to watch the interview, go here.
If you want more fun and excitement visit the All That Natters homepage.
Former Secy of State Gen. Colin Powell is appearing on Face the Nation today. An advance by CBS contains the quotes that follow. Whatever. Powell still thinks of himself as a Republican. He should have hit back hard at Limbaugh and Cheney if he believes they are hurting his party. You can hit hard without stooping to their smug level. I wish Powell wasn’t so diplomatic.
“I am still a Republican. I’d like to point out that in the course of my 50 years of voting for presidents, I have voted for the person i thought was best qualified at that time to lead the nation.
Last year I thought it was President-now Barack Obama,” Powell said.
Powell said the Republican party needs a new look if it wants to stay relevant.
“I think the Republican party has to take a hard look at itself and decide what kind of party are we?” he said.
“I have always felt that the Republican party should be more inclusive than it generally has been over the years.
Powell also addressed criticism from conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, saying his assertion that Powell only voted for President Obama because “he is black” was “unfortunate.”
Ron Brownstein and the National Journal tackles with data what most of us who follow politics know – the Grand Old Party is moving toward becoming a regional political party.
A look at the 2008 final electoral map is telling, but one can’t make a sweeping pronouncement based on one election. Brownstein’s well-researched, thoughtful piece is worth a read. Along with the graphic below, there is an interactive chart where you can pick an era and see the Republican Party’s share of the vote inside and outside the South.
The Internets buzzed a bit about this video which was released during the past week by the Republican National Committee. The video was pulled off of YouTube after the media coverage. Of course, someone copied it and here it is if you missed it.
(Source: NBC’s Meet the Press)
MR. DAVID GREGORY: Our issues this Sunday: warring parties. Democrats and Republicans at odds over the economy, national security, abortion and health care. This morning, whether President Obama’s agenda is the blueprint for lasting Democratic rule or an example of overreach that will allow Republicans to chart the course back to power. With us for their first Sunday morning showdown as party chairs, the Democratic National Committee’s Tim Kaine and the Republican National Committee’s Michael Steele square off on the many issues that divide their two parties.
Bloomberg reports today that Congressional Republicans may actually try to get beyond the theocrats’ iron grip on their party.
California Representative Kevin McCarthy, the chief recruiter for House Republicans, said he wants his party to select candidates based less on ideology and more on their chances of winning. The goal, he said, is to seek out prospects who are ethnically diverse, female, less partisan and even supportive of abortion rights. So far, these efforts are more concept than reality. …
…“Have you read ‘The Thumpin’?” McCarthy, 44, asked, citing a book about Emanuel’s brass-knuckles approach to winning control of the House for Democrats in 2006. “This isn’t original thought.”
In the 2006 election, Emanuel, 49, recruited anti- abortion, pro-gun candidates such as Brad Ellsworth, 50, a sheriff in Indiana, and Heath Shuler, 37, a former NFL quarterback, in North Carolina. The premise: identify candidates whose views best mirror those of their districts’ constituents rather than Democratic Party orthodoxy.
The only way Democrats are in trouble in 2010 (given today’s landscape) is if the GOP resists continuing on as the Scopes Monkey Party.
Most Americans don’t spend their days obsessing over imposing Christian shari’a law on their neighbors, abortion and whether there’s a run on 7.62 mm down at the local gun store.
I sucked it up and clicked a link taking me to … dread … World NetDaily.
Pat Buchanan, GOP thinker, Conservative activist, and MSNBC talker spouts off today in a column where he calls for codifying the ‘Party of No’ lack of strategy.
Rather than debating what the national party position should be on foreign policy, health care, education, or social issues – which the party will decide when it chooses a nominee in 2012 – the GOP should focus now, and unite now, on what it will stand against.
I thought Pat was a bit more thoughtful than that …
- Specter joins Democrats – New York Times
In a statement issued about noon as the Capitol was digesting the stunning turn of events, Mr. Specter said he had concluded that his party had moved too far to the right, a fact demonstrated by the migration of 200,000 Pennsylvania Republicans to the Democratic Party.
“I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans,” Mr. Specter said, acknowledging that his decision was certain to disappoint colleagues and supporters.
- Sen. Specter will switch parties – Philadelphia Enquirer
- Dems near filibuster-proof majority in Senate – Washington Post
- Wake up call for GOP – Washington Post
Ostensibly on Fox News Sunday to talk about re-branding the Republican Party, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich let the world know today that he’s still just as faux-intellectually nutty as ever.
You see, Gingrich would have just blown that pesky North Korean rocket off the launch pad two or three days ago. From a transcript of the show:
WALLACE: … Mr. Gingrich, before today’s launch, you said the North Koreans should not be allowed to fire a missile and that the U.S., quote, “should take whatever preemptive actions are necessary.” Are you saying that “President Gingrich” would have taken out that missile on the launch pad?
GINGRICH: Yes, I’m saying if you look at the new book by my co- author Bill Fortune called “One Second After,” and you look at electromagnetic pulse capabilities, which can take out — one weapon could take out a third of the electric generating capacity of the United States.
We do not appreciate the scale of threat that is evolving on the planet, and North Korea is a totally irresponsible dictatorship run by a person who is clearly out of touch with reality, and I think to say, you know, we’re now going to have another meeting at the U.N. to have another paper resolution that has meaningless effect is very dangerous.
I think both with Iran and with North Korea, you have countries which could decide at any morning to try to actually use their weapons.
WALLACE: So you’re saying that “President Gingrich” would have taken out that…
GINGRICH: There are — there are three or four techniques that could have been used, from unconventional forces to standoff capabilities, to say we’re not going to tolerate a North Korean missile launch, period.
I mean, the world’s either got to decide that North Korea is utterly dangerous — and again, I’d recommend — look at electromagnetic pulse, which changes — which we’ve known about since 1958. It changes every equation about how risky these weapons are.
Ahh, Newt. That same smug, all-knowing air is still all about him. Just like 1994, only this time he’s expounding on actions that could put us at odds with China and see North Korea’s million-man army pouring into downtown Seoul.
U.S. Representatives John Boehner and Mike Pence put out some BS marketing document last week regarding the Republican budget alternative. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-WI, is the ranking minority member of the House Budget Committee. All along he’s been working on a serious proposal. It’s serious in that it has numbers. It’s not serious in that it doesn’t deliver the change in policy we voted Obama in to deliver. At any rate, if you want both sided of this issue go to this page for all the info on Ryan’s alternative. Click the pdf below for the summary.
Today’s flailing about by Congressional Republicans while trying to get their stuff together on the budget is telling.
These poor folks haven’t figured out that we don’t really care what their plans or blueprints are to solve America’s biggest problems. They had their chance and they blew it. With the exception of allowing more permissiveness by bankers and brokers, President Barack Obama is doing what we elected him to do – big things like health care, a new energy future and long overdue tax breaks for the middle class.
The one thing they could be making political hay on but are as missing in action as Democrats, is the patent injustice in how Wall Street continues to be taken off the hook for totally screwing up the entire world economy. Perhaps they’re as beholden to the campaign cash that flows from the nation’s financial districts as the Democrats are – that’s the only plausible reason for such an unfair state of affairs.
My advice to Republicans goes like this: If you are serious about being the loyal opposition and doing something worthwhile for America, fight these bailouts. I don’t know a single soul in myown life that believes there is any accountability being sought from the AIGs and Citis of the world from the Obama Administration. The TALFs, PPIPs, TARPs and other assorted bailouts have one thing in common – when they fail taxpayers’ funds are gone. Even Treasury’s latest toxic asset program floats the private sector our money with no downside risk to investors.
Republicans have made a generation’s worth of headlines fighting the culture war, battling over ridiculous things like Terri Schiavo and homosexuality. How about if Republicans stood up for some values that truly all Americans believe in – fairness, level playing fields and consequences for companies that screw the entire country over.
The fact is, the GOP has no credibility on most public policy. However, there is a vacuum of representation in Washington for ordinary Americans and their money when it comes to bailing out the financial services industry. I would cheer a loyal opposition that doesn’t roll over and play dead for corporate bailouts even if they politically postured on everything else. I sure as hell wouldn’t become a Republican, but I’d at least respect the once respectable GOP.