Thursday, June 07, 2007

a day in the life, republican-style

Another update on Republican corruption, cupidity, and sleaze...

Nobody can be surprised that another Republican operative connected to Jack Abramoff is in legal trouble. The poetically named Italia Federici (who was "romantically linked" with Steve Griles while he was the deputy at the Department of Mining And Logging I mean Interior, even as Abramoff and she were trying to influence Griles on behalf of Abramoff's Indian tribe clients, talk about full service lobbying) will plead guilty on tax evasion and blocking a congressional investigation. But the true scandal in this Washington Post article is the headline: "GOP Environmentalist Linked to Abramoff to Plead Guilty".

Federici is an environmentalist in the same way that John Yoo is an advocate for the rights of the accused. Her "nonprofit" organization, the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy, was founded by Bush Environmental Protection Agency chief (and really, doesn't that say it all?) Gale Norton and that Reagan-loving drowning-government-in-the-bathtub- advocating hypocritical anti-all-taxes maggot Grover Norquist, for pete's sake. Not exactly Sierra Club material. By "environmental advocacy," these sorts of Republicans mean advocating FOR big businesses like clear-cutting loggers, wetlands-clearing developers, groundwater- polluting mining outfits and other commercial interests AGAINST environmental protection measures. I suspect CREA never met an environmental law or regulation that it liked. No, Federici isn't an environmentalist. The Post shouldn't sully that word by inaccurately applying it to her.

Turning to the ongoing scandals at the Department of Justice, turns out that Dick Cheney tried to roll Justice into approving the wiretapping program that John Ashcroft refused to approve on his sickbed. What a surprise. Cheney also denied a promotion to a career professional at Justice who was in his eyes too closely linked to the anti-wiretapping effort. Yes, the Vice President reached deep into a cabinet agency to stop a promotion of a qualified career civil servant, Patrick Philbin. And Alberto Gonzales, that paragon of integrity, didn't support his employee and cancelled the promotion. That'll build morale!

If we now know that the VP was involved in this issue to this level of detail, even to the point of exacting revenge against civil servants, is there any reason to give the White House any benefit of the doubt about their knowledge of the ongoing effort to politicize the Department of Justice (and stop eligible citizens from voting), via the Great US Attorney Massacre among other tactics? Of course not.

And now word that Alaska Senator Ted Stevens (a Republican of course) has gotten that most dreaded of requests from the FBI to please "preserve records." That ranks up there with "60 Minutes on line two, sir" as something you don't want to hear. It's all about a big political bribery and corruption scandal in Alaska that surprise, surprise, Ted Stevens' son Ben, the Senator's political buddies and his moneymen are involved in.

Stevens is famous for bringing home absurd amounts of Federal tax dollars to Alaska, the state that has no income tax, that gives a fat check drawn on oil revenues to its residents every year, and STILL has the nerve to beg for rivers of money from the Federal budget to do various pork-barrel projects while still loudly proclaiming its rugged independence. Alaska -- as independent as a three-month-old baby sucking at its mother's teats. And apparently not as pure as the driven snow.

So with all this going on, it's hardly a surprise that the Republican presidential hopefuls at the debate were all at pains to distance themselves from the de facto Bush Administration...

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