Saturday, November 26, 2005

Abramoff Corruption Probe Widens


The Justice Department's wide-ranging investigation of former lobbyist Jack Abramoff has entered a highly active phase as prosecutors are beginning to move on evidence pointing to possible corruption in Congress and executive branch agencies, lawyers involved in the case said.

Prosecutors have already told one lawmaker, Rep. Robert W. Ney (R-Ohio), and his former chief of staff that they are preparing a possible bribery case against them, according to two sources knowledgeable about the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The 35 to 40 investigators and prosecutors on the Abramoff case are focused on at least half a dozen members of Congress, lawyers and others close to the probe said. The investigators are looking at payments made by Abramoff and his colleagues to the wives of some lawmakers and at actions taken by senior Capitol Hill aides, some of whom went to work for Abramoff at the law firm Greenberg Traurig LLP, lawyers and others familiar with the probe said.

Former House majority leader Tom DeLay (R), now facing separate campaign finance charges in his home state of Texas, is one of the members under scrutiny, the sources said. Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.), Rep. John T. Doolittle (R-Calif.) and other members of Congress involved with Indian affairs, one of Abramoff's key areas of interest, are also said to be among them.

Prosecutions and plea deals have become more likely, the lawyers said, now that Abramoff's former partner -- public relations executive Michael Scanlon -- has agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy and to testify about gifts that he and his K Street colleagues showered on lawmakers, allegedly in exchange for official favors.

Friday, November 25, 2005

The Defense of Christmas Begins Today

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friday random ten

Photo by Ryan McManus

Friday Random Ten: Broncos 24, Cowboys 21 Edition

"Don't Turn Away" - SOUND Team
"Vous Faites" - Josephine Baker
"Every Step" - Standing Waves
"I Just Want Something To Do" - The Ramones
"Freakshow" - Ani DiFranco
"A Pair of Brown Eyes" - The Pogues
"Philly Dog" - The Mar-Keys
"Sissyneck" - Beck
"Sometimes" - My Bloody Valentine
"Exiles" - King Crimson

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

wednesday morning reads

Robert Jensen - No Thanks to Thanksgiving

Molly Ivins on bush's spin machine

Murray Waas - Key Bush Intelligence Briefing Kept From Hill Panel

The Mad Scientist: PZ Meyers