Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 26, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

GEORGE AND JACK....Over at The Corner, Kathryn Jean Lopez comments about George Bush and Jack Abramoff:

The Abramoff picture stuff is so ridiculous. Of course he has a ridiculous number of pictures taken all the time. That members of the press who bring relatives to the White House for pictures with the president as a matter of form would make such a ridiculous deal out of it is nonsense.

Normally I'd sort of agree with this. Even the fact that the White House is so assiduously keeping us from seeing all these routine pics doesn't necessarily mean much.

But when photo agencies go to the trouble of deleting pictures of Bush and Abramoff from their website, then deleting them permanently from their own CDs, and then claiming that they did it all on their own with no direction from the White House or anyone else well, that just starts to sound a little suspicious, doesn't it? If the White House isn't guilty of anything, why are they skulking around in shadows so much?

Kevin Drum 2:59 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (126)

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because they know all those pictures are going to show in campaign ads. hah.

ya lay down with snakes...

Posted by: cleek on January 26, 2006 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Well, obviously people should get copies of all the other photos *now* before the next scandal hits and the next set of photos dissappear.

Posted by: bemused on January 26, 2006 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

This administration keeps everything secret. They want to know everything about you but they don't think you deserve to know anything about them. I can't believe how many Americans think this is the way to conduct the government's business.

Posted by: zhoward on January 26, 2006 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

deleting them permanently from their own CDs

Huh? You don't have to be a tech genius to know that you can't delete images from a write-once CD. I suppose they could have a R/W CD archive, but that would seem a little weird, wouldn't it? So more than just deleting the images, it sounds like they actually re-created their archive CDs with the given pictures missing.

It's a small point, I suppose, but more work than pressing the "delete" button.

Or is it standard practice to use R/W CDs when archiving photographs?

Posted by: Dug Steen on January 26, 2006 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

Since it doesn't matter, it can't matter if they cover it up!

If the President does it, it is legal!

The Daily Show's take.

Posted by: Gore/Obama '08 on January 26, 2006 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

Its true that the mountains of evidence are far more damning than any campaign photos. Unfortunately, photos sometimes carry a lot more weight than abstract facts. Photos, if they exist, fly in the face of the President's public relations spin campaign.

In the case of Abu Gharib, a lot of people focused on the photos. The real problem was the torture, but so long as there was no pictures people could far more easily suspend belief and see the allegations as partisan allegations. Partisan allegations dont create photos.

No the photos shouldnt matter that much. The factual evidence is far more damning, but the reality is that for many people photos might actually get them to pay more attention to the facts and not just there background opinions.

Posted by: Catch 22 on January 26, 2006 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

I can completely believe they did it all on their own. That's how Republicans think, that's how they operate. Every little idiot doing his own little bit, each little bit not in itself illegal, all of it building up to a movement and absolute corruptedness.

Posted by: cld on January 26, 2006 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

The president of the company claims she did it on her own as a "business decision". To me, that says somebody told her, "If you ever want to work in this town again, you better make a 'business decision' and burn yourself a new archive CD."

Posted by: Royko on January 26, 2006 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

I understand this sort of thing happened quite frequently in the Soviet Union under Joe Stalin.

Posted by: ExBrit on January 26, 2006 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder if the guy who was tasked with deleting the photos was named Winston.

Posted by: Ron Carr on January 26, 2006 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

Did anyone else notice the resemblance to old Soviet tactics? Stalin used to have all the history books "reviewed" every year or so, and airbrushed out anyone who had become an embarrassment or a non-person. Now, they just make the entire photograph go away.

Also reminds me of the Dead Zone movie, when the candidate's thugs go after all the cameras that caught their man using a kid as a human shield.

Just sayin'.

Posted by: nightshift66 on January 26, 2006 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

The memory hole is one of the most cherished and necessary instruments for preserving truth and honesty in this country. [/chicken caesar

Posted by: bo on January 26, 2006 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

Simple reason really, either their journalists be spied upon, their phone calls be wire tapped, no access to WH anymore or delete the those pictures. Pick your your remedy? See the white house is reasonable after all.

Posted by: eq on January 26, 2006 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

Dug: Most likely they simply took the archived copies and made new ones (there would only have been a handful of CD's involved), only the new ones were missing a few photos.

Then you break the old ones. Ding. No more photos of Bush and yet another "good friend" who ended up a felon.

Posted by: Morat on January 26, 2006 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

Heh, ExBrit. They should erase any photos showing Bush with Leon Trotsky while they're at it.

Posted by: BarrettBrown on January 26, 2006 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

Dang it, ExBrit, I'm going to have to learn to type faster!

Posted by: nightshift66 on January 26, 2006 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

Well, the article is in reference to one photo agency, a Republican one at that. So this one agency obeying their Master's edicts isn't that surprising.

You also have to have a little admiration for such ruthlessly efficient control. The handlers decide that the photos must go, must be rooted out and destroyed, and everyone involved complies like perfect little lackeys.

It's Stalinist and frightening, yes, but it's still kind of impressive. And you wonder why Republicans win. It's because they always do what they are told.

Posted by: S Ra on January 26, 2006 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

S Ra, yep, they are G.W.Bush-worshipping cult, lemmings for the false religion.

Posted by: eq on January 26, 2006 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

...why are they skulking around in shadows so much?

When the pics capture Jack and George doing the double penetration of Lady Liberty whilst exchanging money and shitting on the Constitution, the pickys pose a problemo.

Posted by: ckelly on January 26, 2006 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

oh for goodness sakes, it's not as Chris Matthews likes to show Dan Milnamk with the annual oicture taking.

Abramoff was sitting in on staff meetings! That's a whole different level of access.

Posted by: andy on January 26, 2006 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

Good little Stalinists, all.
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on January 26, 2006 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

If the White House isn't guilty of anything, why are they skulking around in shadows so much?

Er, politics? Sort of a situationally naive question, Drum.

Posted by: Bill from INDC on January 26, 2006 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

The problem starts when Scott "Mcclellen"says Jack Aberdoff who.Scott and G.W. know darn well who Jack is,So why lie about it?

Posted by: pssst on January 26, 2006 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

It really goes without saying, but K-Lo is being a trifle disingenuous here. She knows perfectly well the political danger the photographs would represent.

If she needs clarification, perhaps she can imagine how she'd feel if a picture of Abramoff with Bill Clinton were to surface.

Posted by: Alek Hidell on January 26, 2006 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

No doubt the White House was simply doing their part to clean up pornography.

Posted by: bryrock on January 26, 2006 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

This presidency is ALL about PR. Of course they're going to get rid of pictures that might make them look bad even if they're innocent.

That reminds me of this quote:

"If you're so innocent, why won't you admit that you're not?"

...but I can't remember where it's from...The Daily Show, maybe....a little help?

Posted by: TheKongShow on January 26, 2006 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

It doesn't matter that we can't see perfect, undisputed documentation that Bush didn't do his duty in the Guard, because these people are scrubbers, and they have astroturf that will dispute anything they want disputed.

But it matters a lot that they can't get the US military, an organization with a pretty damn good reputation for conscientious record keeping, to cough up the slightest piece of documentary evidence that he did do his duty.

Stalin's airbrush brigades never had a patch on this bunch for redacting inconvenient facts.

Posted by: derek on January 26, 2006 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

If the photos weren't a big problem for the Pres, KJ wouldn't be playing it down. Those photos are the equivalent of Michael Dukakis in the tank.

Posted by: Steven Donegal on January 26, 2006 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

The RNC has issued an RFP for rewriting the history books to excise all references to the closeness of the 2000 election and to mano-de-mano incident in the life of our great leader.

Posted by: lib on January 26, 2006 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know why everyone is so worked up about those nude photos of George and Jack together. Jack and I used to do it all the time ....

Never mind.

Posted by: Grover Norquist on January 26, 2006 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

Yes the pictures would be embarrassing to Bush, but no, they do not prove any criminal activity. Come on: "If the White House isn't guilty of anything, why do why are they skulking around in the shadows"? That's the kind of thing people like William Safire used to say about Bill and Hillary Clinton. Yes, maybe getting things out in the open would alleviate suspicion, but since people suspect you of crimes anyway, why give them ammunition?

Posted by: Bob on January 26, 2006 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

No conspiracy.

It is just the 11th commandment:

Thou shalt bugger no other republican in public (Use the closet please).

Posted by: koreyel on January 26, 2006 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

abramoff wason the bush transition team and a bush "pioneer", for crying out loud! who cares if they took a picture together?

Posted by: benjoya on January 26, 2006 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

It doesn't really stretch the imagination to figure out why all of the photographic evidence of Bush's association with Abramoff is being destroyed. It will, if ever released into the world, bite the administration and the GOP in their figurative asses come November. That being said, I think it's totally believable that a Photog firm with a really plum GOP contract would, in fact, cleanse their archives of anything that incriminates the Golden Goose.

This isn't to say that they weren't directed by the goose to do so, just that sometimes folks do take initiative...

Posted by: DennisMillerH8er on January 26, 2006 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

They don't want to see anything comparable to Monica hugging Bill on the rope line coming out. Of course, eventually it will come out, but as Lanny Davis always observed (and was perenially frustrated about), Presidents NEVER realize that you should just release the embarrassing information quickly rather than covering it up.

Posted by: Dilan Esper on January 26, 2006 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

Haven't you found it just extraordinary that given his high profile and fondness for power that there would be no photos of Abramoff and the Bush just floating around? You'd think he'd have been the first to be handing them out.

It's as if he knew he was inevitably going to jail.

Or, -- is there someone else in the photos? A certain Jeff Gannon, perhaps?

Posted by: cld on January 26, 2006 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

And all the trolls think Nixon didn't say anything interseting in those 17 erased minutes.

Posted by: MobiusKlein on January 26, 2006 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

I can completely believe they did it all on their own. That's how Republicans think, that's how they operate.

I can completely believe that also. Since they're apparently a small business and they do business with the White House, why would they jeopardize future work by being a party to embarassing their best client?

-- Sign the Greg Gutfeld off Huffington Post! petition

Posted by: TLB on January 26, 2006 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

is there someone else in the photos? A certain Jeff Gannon, perhaps?

No wonder Pickles Bush always looks like someone goosed her with a feather....

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on January 26, 2006 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

Is the President looking at the photos and wondering whether to destroy them or not? Is Harriet Meiers recommending he turn them over to Arlen Specter? Probably not...just thought I'd mention it...

Posted by: parrot on January 26, 2006 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

As Mark Kleiman has noted, don't blame the skunk for stinking; it's his nature.

Don't blame the Bush administration for skulking (and lying and cheating and committing crimes); it's their nature.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 26, 2006 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

It really goes without saying, but K-Lo is being a trifle disingenuous

Yes, that goes without saying.

Posted by: Gregory on January 26, 2006 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

Liar! Liar! Pants on fire!

The Missing P Project

(steal the P that resident Bush never earned)

www.geocities.com/themissingPproject

Posted by: the Missing P Project on January 26, 2006 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

Tip to the editors of the monthly

Tech Tip:
You can't ever delete anything from recordable media. GET YOURSELVES A COPY OF THE DISK AND THEN GET SOME PORFESSIONALS TO EXAMINE IT AT THE MICROSCOPIC LEVEL AND YOU WILL BE ABLE TO RECONSTRUCT THE PHOTO.

Plus all the hard drives at the company that store pictures will also have a residual image forever. The photograph must be incredibly damaging, probably exchanging kisses or something. Any enterprising organization should be able to get these pictures onto the internet inside of a week.

Given that the pictures are worth multiple millions of dollars, it is amazing that private groups have not already acquired and published them.

Posted by: patience on January 26, 2006 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

Scrubbing a few Abramoff photos a piece of cake, after scrubbing awol's military records. cleve

Posted by: cleve on January 26, 2006 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

If the White House isn't guilty of anything, why are they skulking around in shadows so much?

Now that is a perfect example of begging the question.

Having the Bush/Abramoff photos would be nice, but the real issue is that Abramoff was able to promise his clients access to the president. How many Washington lobbyists have that kind of access?

Posted by: lucidity on January 26, 2006 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

What we're seeing is the political equivalent of trying to distance oneself from one's siamese twin.

Posted by: Royko on January 26, 2006 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK

Don't tell me the only photographs around of Jack and George are all owned by this Republican leaning company. They aren't. Newsweek's got them. NYTimes has got them. Will they publish?

Posted by: ExBrit on January 26, 2006 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

President of independent company, acting entirely on her own (from Josh): The photos were, she told me, "not relevant."

NYT Headline: Photos With Lobbyist Are 'Not Relevant,' Bush Says

Amazing how fast the terminology du jour filters gets down to the grass roots.

Posted by: Alan in SF on January 26, 2006 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

They're so worked up about the pictures because they're paranoid in the extreme. That's understandable when you consider what liars they are. Liars have to have awfully good memories or they trip themselves up and a large group of liars makes the problem even worse.

Posted by: bigapplegeorgiapeach on January 26, 2006 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

"If the White House isn't guilty of anything, why are they skulking around in shadows so much?"

We must all be careful what we say and do in these treacherous times, Kevin. Someone may be watching . . .

Posted by: Doofus on January 26, 2006 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

George and Jack went up the hill
To fetch a pail of money
Jack fell down and broke his crown
And George came tumbling after

Up George got and home did trot
As fast as he could caper
Called his pals to find the shots
to keep them out of the paper

Posted by: Rhymes on January 26, 2006 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

"No wonder Pickles Bush always looks like someone goosed her with a feather...."

My god, that's exactly what Pickles Bush always looks like!!

That's why she almost came unglued when some guy asked her about Brokeback Mountain.

Posted by: cld on January 26, 2006 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

How many times did we have to look at Bill and Monica in that video where he kissed her on the cheek? That's what that WAR CRIMINAL is afraid of.

Posted by: Stalin on January 26, 2006 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

Good Lord, Drum. You're quoting K-Lo? How ridiculous!

Posted by: SED on January 26, 2006 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

"deleting them permanently from their own CDs"

This photo company sells photos of Bush. The Bush/Abramoff photos have been removed from their website.

This photo company also sells CDs of photos of Bush. The Bush/Abramoff photos have been removed from the CDs available for sale.

The president of the photo company says she made the decision to remove these photos from sale because they're not relevant. But she didn't say what they were not relevant to.

Posted by: fracas_futile on January 26, 2006 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

Not relevant, I love that answer. Not relevant in respect to what!?

What a non-answer, answer.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on January 26, 2006 at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK

They can't really expect Gannon to cleanse his site of photos of Abramoff and other key White figures in the weekly Friday night "K Street Tumble." The guy does have to make a living since his promising J career went south.

Posted by: shortstop on January 26, 2006 at 6:25 PM | PERMALINK

"If the White House isn't guilty of anything, why are they skulking around in shadows so much?"

And why, sir, are you wearing that tin foil hat?

Posted by: Birkel on January 26, 2006 at 6:25 PM | PERMALINK

Er, that would be "White House figures." Although if they're working for Bush, they're white.

Posted by: shortstop on January 26, 2006 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

Good god damn lord, we really are screwed aren't we? When companies like this are far too willing to scrub incriminating pictures straight off the bat, using eerily similar language that the president uses to try and brush aside these photos, it seems like there's no one the adminstration can't simply bully, bribe, or otherwise quiet down to look good.

And the sad thing is, considering the state of the media right now, it'll work all too damn well.

Posted by: Kryptik on January 26, 2006 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

I didn't realize that Ralston was Abramoff's secretary before she was Rove's. Probably her mother knew someone whose son knew someone who knew Karlie and they got her the job, since Jack and Karl have never met and all.

Posted by: shortstop on January 26, 2006 at 6:31 PM | PERMALINK

I didn't realize that Ralston was Abramoff's secretary before she was Rove's. Probably her mother knew someone whose son knew someone who knew Karlie and they got her the job, since Jack and Karl have never met and all. Posted by: shortstop on January 26, 2006 at 6:31 PM

It's just a coincidence. Don't let it bother your pretty, little head none.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on January 26, 2006 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

It's just a coincidence. Don't let it bother your pretty, little head none.

Holy Christ. I could hear the voice of Dick Cheney saying that.

Y'know, everyone is assuming that the WH put the screws on this Reflections joint to ixnay the otosphay, but has it occurred to anyone that it could be Jack trying to squelch photos of himself with Smirky? Would you want to be seen with that guy?

Posted by: shortstop on January 26, 2006 at 6:45 PM | PERMALINK

If the Politburo says "not relevant" then not relevant it is.

I feel grateful to the president for saving me the trouble of formulating an opinion on the matter...

Posted by: obscure on January 26, 2006 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK

Yeeah, Jack Abramoff had the photos destroyed to raise the market value of the ones he's trying to sell to the National Enquirer... that's the ticket.

Posted by: melior on January 26, 2006 at 7:00 PM | PERMALINK

ROVE TO NATION:

Presidents numerous policy failures not relevant.

Posted by: Poot Smootley on January 26, 2006 at 7:03 PM | PERMALINK

Er, that would be "White House figures." Although if they're working for Bush, they're white.

You might want to go out and buy a color TV set.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 26, 2006 at 7:05 PM | PERMALINK

And hey, folks? Looking for shots that you saw online a short time ago and mysteriously disappeared? The secret words are "IE Temporary Files."

Posted by: tbrosz on January 26, 2006 at 7:10 PM | PERMALINK

I've long lamented that the NRO doesn't have comments. How much fun would it be to rebut KLo and Derbyshire, what weith their posts penned in crayon and spittle respectively.

I will say this Derbyshire will respond to your emails. And in a "you people" sort of vein. I argued with him over gay marriage and he responded with a few "you people" emails, assuming I was gay. Guess that says a lot about him: the homophobes can't even begin to imagine that a straight person might defend gay rights. You'd hafta be gay.

Posted by: Bob on January 26, 2006 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

How, exactly, do you delete stuff from a CD?

Posted by: scarshapedstar on January 26, 2006 at 7:44 PM | PERMALINK

And hey, folks? Looking for shots that you saw online a short time ago and mysteriously disappeared? The secret words are "IE Temporary Files."

...wow, Tbroz, that's about the worst argument for this I've ever heard of. You're actually comparing these pictures, taken by a professional company and previously archived to temporary picture files on a computer? That's so disingenious and stupid that I'm amazed you even said it.

Oh..wait, this must be that fake tbroz that's been around, isn't it?

Posted by: Kryptik on January 26, 2006 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

How many times did we have to see the film clip of Bill greeting/kissing Monica? No wonder the horseless cowboy is worried about stepping in the shit.

Posted by: horatio on January 26, 2006 at 7:55 PM | PERMALINK

He smirks and mumbles
He acts snide and stumbles
He confuses noun with predicate
Cowboy boots will do that to people from Connecticut

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 26, 2006 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

We've always been in war with Oceania!

Posted by: buck turgidson on January 26, 2006 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

Buck T. I just posted a piece over at my place. The title is "The Age of the "Thought Criminal" is upon us."

Thought I would toss that your way since you mentioned Oceania.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 26, 2006 at 8:48 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, the delightful Global Citizen.

Isn't it wonderful to see so many shills and liars throughout the MSM trying to make the case that Abramoff gave money to both Republicans and Democrats when it is demonstrably untrue?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 26, 2006 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, "not relevant" is Karl's talking point. Heard it on the radio and also from the president of that photo company.

Posted by: LizDexic on January 26, 2006 at 9:20 PM | PERMALINK

"If the White House isn't guilty of anything, why are they skulking around in shadows so much?"

I think they're guilty as hell. But managing visual images? The Bush administration is well aware most Americans get their "facts" from visuals -- it spends a lot of time, $$ and effort on arranging visuals.

We bookish, reading, writing liberals can natter on endlessly about What Bush Did, but if there isn't a picture more than half the country will think we made it up.

Might want to check and see how many photos are still circulating of Abramoff with a Democrat or two. Or at least ask someone over at the DNC whether they even thought of checking.

Posted by: PW on January 26, 2006 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK

Kryptik:

...wow, Tbroz, that's about the worst argument for this I've ever heard of. You're actually comparing these pictures, taken by a professional company and previously archived to temporary picture files on a computer? That's so disingenious and stupid that I'm amazed you even said it.

I'm not sure you understood where I was coming from. While Marshall, for some reason, has been being quite coy on his site about where these photos used to be on the "Reflections" site, it seems quite likely that he or his source viewed them on their computers at least once before deciding to order them for republication. If that's so, and their IE cache files are as extensive as mine are, the photo that appeared on their screen may still be in their computer somewhere. I tested this by pulling up a couple of random photos at "Reflections" up on my computer, and while you can't "right-click" them to copy them from that site, the photos settled in quite nicely in my IE cache folder.

Now, of course, you still can't legally publish them, but having them in your hot little hands is half the battle, right? Heck, you can't legally tell newspapers about NSA operations, either.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 26, 2006 at 10:03 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't it wonderful to see so many shills and liars throughout the MSM trying to make the case that Abramoff gave money to both Republicans and Democrats when it is demonstrably untrue?

Those capable of dealing with abstract thought are well aware of the differences and similarities between direct Abramoff contributions, about $200,000 to Republicans over the past three election cycles, and contributions directed by Abramoff, which add to to a lot more money, and donations to both parties. People will draw their own conclusions. Details will come out during the investigation.

A good source of information on this here.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 26, 2006 at 10:19 PM | PERMALINK

Have hot Abu Graib sex snaps...

Willing to trade for Bush/Jack-off pics.

Posted by: Christian Charlie's Ghost on January 26, 2006 at 10:19 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz,

Okay...

1/12/06 UPDATE: In our efforts to refine this list, we have further researched lobbying data and removed contributions from Indian tribes made before Mr. Abramoff's registration as a lobbyist for the contributor. Also, this list now includes contributions made by Michael Scanlon, an Abramoff associate who has also pleaded guilty to federal crimes. For more information about this data, our methodology and this refinement, see the answers to frequently asked questions.

So, after they continue to look at the difference between an Indian tribe giving a Democrat money and an Indian tribe giving a Republican money, how many more changes are they going to make?

Abramoff was a sworn enemy of the Democratic Party and funnelled no money to them.

It's all a load of crap.

How about we talk about this list:

http://www.capitaleye.org/abramoff_donor.asp

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 26, 2006 at 10:35 PM | PERMALINK

What about all the phone calls on the white house call logs to Abramoff's firm?

The photos thing is just bullshit.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on January 26, 2006 at 10:47 PM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider:

Okay, then we are talking a total of about $200,000 for the entire three election cycles, since nothing else counts, right?

Look, those tribes were paying Abramoff, Scanlon and others millions of dollars for something. There are copies of donation instructions from Abramoff to the tribes. Some have Democratic names on them. Why do that if the tribe was going to donate anyway?

And how do you explain Democrats donating their contributions to charity if they officially "never got any money?" Because they know damn well that the voters are going to perceive all that money as coming from the same source, and page-long explanations showing that only checks from Abramoff's bank account "count" as tainted money aren't going to help them come election time.

I've noticed that there has been no distinguishing legal contributions from illegal ones in this argument, so the "blurring" of categories seems to be working in both directions.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 26, 2006 at 10:56 PM | PERMALINK

Abramoff is a convicted felon who gets meetings with the White House. Of course, they want to hide the fact and the pictures are the best evidence that he was there. Pictures are a big deal and when they come out, and they will, it will be fun to watch.

Posted by: William Jensen on January 26, 2006 at 11:13 PM | PERMALINK

Kevine Drum wrote:

If the White House isn't guilty of anything, why are they skulking around in shadows so much?

Um, isn't that, like, a habit for them by now?...

Posted by: grape_crush on January 26, 2006 at 11:42 PM | PERMALINK

abramoff was on the bush transition team and a bush "pioneer", for crying out loud! who cares if they took a picture together?

Well, apparently Reflections Photography, for starters.

Posted by: Irony Man on January 26, 2006 at 11:53 PM | PERMALINK

1. Perhaps they just don't exist?

And the left is making up invisible conspiracy crap from nameless contacts as ususal. Its no like anyone with a photo couldn't make some cash by selling it to the news, regardless of copyright.

2. Bush is not backing down 'cos he sees potential that the left will go impeachment over NSA stuff which would backlash and hand huge swings in Congress over to the Republicans.

Warned you!

Posted by: Mca on January 27, 2006 at 12:16 AM | PERMALINK

McA snortin the draino again. That stuff will ruin your health. Warned ya!!

Posted by: morg on January 27, 2006 at 12:35 AM | PERMALINK

Here's the big picture of Bush, Abramoff and the Banana Republicans.

Posted by: AvengingAngel on January 27, 2006 at 12:45 AM | PERMALINK

President declared in the Press Conference today that the constitution is no longer operative as it was written over 200 years ago.

Posted by: lib on January 27, 2006 at 12:59 AM | PERMALINK

The obstruction of justice charge will no doubt come as a shock to Ms. Amos if Fitz or some other prosecutor decides he needs to look at those scrubbed photos: hope she kept a backup.

Posted by: Brian Boru on January 27, 2006 at 1:00 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you have not been posting much in the last few days. Generally you post about 2-3 pm EST and your posting trails off after that. What's going on--are you working on an article, guest-blogging somewhere, losing interest. The unwashed masses want to know.

Posted by: Ben on January 27, 2006 at 1:45 AM | PERMALINK

I'm not sure you understood where I was coming from. While Marshall, for some reason, has been being quite coy on his site about where these photos used to be on the "Reflections" site, it seems quite likely that he or his source viewed them on their computers at least once before deciding to order them for republication. If that's so, and their IE cache files are as extensive as mine are, the photo that appeared on their screen may still be in their computer somewhere. I tested this by pulling up a couple of random photos at "Reflections" up on my computer, and while you can't "right-click" them to copy them from that site, the photos settled in quite nicely in my IE cache folder.

Now, of course, you still can't legally publish them, but having them in your hot little hands is half the battle, right? Heck, you can't legally tell newspapers about NSA operations, either.

Aaaah, I see, my mistake. I gracefully retract my statement of disbelief.

Posted by: Kryptik on January 27, 2006 at 1:51 AM | PERMALINK

And...that second to last sentence should have been italicized as well. C'est la vie, I suppose.

Posted by: Kryptik on January 27, 2006 at 1:53 AM | PERMALINK

Has anyone seen the book "The Commissar Disappears"? It's a collection of official Soviet group portraits that get miraculoulsy smaller (and darker, from airbrushing) over the years. Fascinating stuff -- but just think if they had had Photoshop!

Posted by: Kenji on January 27, 2006 at 3:18 AM | PERMALINK

http://news.yahoo.com/photo/060119/ids_photos_wl/r1213422750.jpg;_ylt=AnVrXWxaCPj4WcbewBaTGQppaP0E;_ylu=X3oDMTBjZmlzODllBHNlYwNzc2lncm91cA--

Panda sex photo! Way better than Abramoff.

If its a real photo, you can find it fast. Heck, if Abramoff had a picture with Bush, he'd have a copy.

I laugh at liberal desperation.

I would note that it's a Male and Female Panda.

Posted by: McA on January 27, 2006 at 3:38 AM | PERMALINK

Normally you'd agree with this? I continue to ask how anyone can consider Kevin Drum a liberal.

Posted by: Farinata X on January 27, 2006 at 7:57 AM | PERMALINK

Those capable of dealing with abstract thought are well aware of the differences and similarities between direct Abramoff contributions, about $200,000 to Republicans over the past three election cycles, and contributions directed by Abramoff...

Those of us capable of dealing with a concept called "proof" remain skeptical regarding "directed" donations. Please show how Mr. Abramoff "directed" the tribes to donate to dems. Provide e-mails, testimony, photos, anything. So far all we have is this shallow pathetic assertion, the logic of which is utterly laughable.

Posted by: bobbyp on January 27, 2006 at 8:26 AM | PERMALINK

Fifty-eight percent of those polled said Bush's second term has been a failure so far, while 38 percent said they consider it a success. A smaller number -- 52 percent -- consider his entire presidency a failure to date, with 46 percent calling it successful.

majority of Americans are more likely to vote for a candidate in November's congressional elections who opposes President Bush, and 58 percent consider his second term a failure so far, according to a poll released Thursday.

Fewer people consider Bush to be honest and trustworthy now than did a year ago, and 53 percent said they believe his administration deliberately misled the public about Iraq's purported weapons program before the U.S. invasion in 2003, the CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll found.


Yep. The liberal strategy of truthfully calling the president a liar and the GOP corrupt isn't working a bit. Liberals should abandon the strategy as soon as possible, like the conservative lemmings who post here helpfully recommend.

Not.

Hardee, har, har.

I LOVE IT!

More dishonest conservative lemming recommendations designed to con liberals into giving up their most effective weapon - the truth - please!

Your knee-jerk, boot-licking, goose-stepping suggestions dig the hole even deeper.

I LOVE IT!

So, keep it up rdw and gang!

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 27, 2006 at 9:59 AM | PERMALINK

GDP posts smallest gain in 3 years

The GOP continues to strangle the economy with special interest (lobbiest) driven tax cuts.

Five straight tax cuts, no more disasters or 9/11 to blame.

It's all GOP economic policy, whose chickens are coming home to roost, now.

Bush is a failure.

I LOVE IT!

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 27, 2006 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

Two things really bother me about this story...first, in an apparently unscripted candid moment, Bush said yesterday something to the effect that photos of him and Abramoff would be used "politically"...despite the contention that he "doesn't know the guy!". It's quite fascinating to have that right out there...when we all know that Republicans just don't use things like that against people politically...wink,wink! And more importantly...people who aren't troubled by the scrubbing of information/photos/ANYTHING that was once available and unclassified but now deemed "hurtful" to this president and administration are in the "I don't care if they spy on me - I'm not doing anything wrong" category...just too stupid to be guaranteed their freedom!

Posted by: Dancer on January 27, 2006 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

"Abramoff was a sworn enemy of the Democratic Party and funnelled no money to them."~Pale Rider

What's your answer to this, tbrosz? No obfuscating!

Posted by: Ace Franze on January 27, 2006 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

This administration keeps everything secret. They want to know everything about you but they don't think you deserve to know anything about them. I can't believe how many Americans think this is the way to conduct the government's business. I can completely believe they did it all on their own. 888 That's how Republicans think, that's how they operate. Every little idiot doing his own little bit, each little bit not in itself illegal, all of it building up to a movement and absolute corruptedness.

Posted by: 2howard on January 27, 2006 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

This is not a Democratic scandal too, as ABC tried to imply this morning with Tim "I Couldn't Find My Ass With Both Hands" Russert.

Abramoff pled guilty to crimes associated with his lobbying of members of the GOP.

Abramoff, a convicted criminal, gave money in connection with his illegal activities only to members of the GOP.

Lobbying is not the scandal; criminal acts by lobbiests in connection with their lobbying is the scandal.

Abramoff's clients haven't been charged with, much less convicted of, crimes associated with lobbying members of Congress.

Lobbying by Abramoff's clients is not a scandal, because it has not been shown to have been infused with criminality.

Receiving money from Abramoff clients, therefore, is not part of the scandal, which is confined to Abramoff's criminal lobbying activities and does not extend to lobbying in general or lobbying by Abramoff's clients.

Lobbying in general may be an important issue and may be an area of concern, but it isn't a scandal.

The scandal is the criminal acts committed by Abramoff while lobbying.

That scandal doesn't touch the Democrats and to pretend or represent that it does is lying and bad reporting.

The GOP wants to make the scandal about lobbying in general so they can dishonestly level the playing field.

But the scandal is not about lobbying in general - the scandal is about Abramoff's criminal activities which directly involved members of the GOP and only members of the GOP.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 27, 2006 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

I seem to recall a lot of discussion of the photos of President Clinton and Jorge Cabrera, later convicted for drug dealing. In fact, those pictures convinced my wife to vote for Ralph Nader in 1996. Was K-Lo complaining about the use of those pictures?

Posted by: PetervE on January 27, 2006 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

PetervE: I seem to recall a lot of discussion of the photos of President Clinton and Jorge Cabrera, later convicted for drug dealing.

Was Clinton accused of buying drugs or having dealings involving drugs with Cabrera?

Was Cabrera a member of Clinton's transition team?

Did Cabrera lobby Clinton or bilk clients on the promise of lobbying Clinton?

Was Cabrera convicted of any crime that was connected to his activities with Clinton or the Democratic party?

This is a false analogy. Hugely false.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 27, 2006 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

"Abramoff was a sworn enemy of the Democratic Party and funnelled no money to them."~Pale Rider

Ace:

What's your answer to this, tbrosz? No obfuscating!

That it's not true. Straight enough?

From the Washington Post:

But there is no doubt about the campaign contributions that were directed to lawmakers of both parties. Records from the Federal Election Commission and the Center for Public Integrity show that Abramoff's Indian clients contributed money to 195 Republicans and 88 Democrats between 1999 and 2004. The Post also has copies of lists sent to tribes by Abramoff with his personal directions on which members were to receive what amounts.

The graphics links provided in that column show pictures of such lists, and who was involved. I suggest a look at all the links there.

The Left responded to the Post's story the same way they respond to unpleasant facts from any quarter: scream and leap on the messenger.

If the Democrats had any brains they'd be running with the fact that Abramoff-linked money went mostly to Republicans, which is true, and not that surprising since lobby money always flows to the party in power.

But no, like with every other issue they've tried to nail the Republicans with, they have to go overboard, and in this case they declared Democrats as pure as the driven snow in lobbying issues, which would make anybody who knew anything about politics laugh until they got the hiccups.

If you read the polls, the Democrats are getting as much mud on themselves with this as the Republicans.

And grow up, guys. No lobbyist worth what he's getting paid is the "sworn enemy" of any political party if there's something he wants from them.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 27, 2006 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

And grow up, guys. No lobbyist worth what he's getting paid is the "sworn enemy" of any political party if there's something he wants from them.

This is a distraction. Lobbying isn't illegal. Campaign contributions aren't illegal.

The scandal is about illegal behavior by Abramoff and his associates, who are ALL Republicans. No Democrat has been indicted. No Democrat has been arrested. No Democrat went on golf trips to Scotland. No Democrat went to Guam with Abramoff. No Democrat was involved in the K Street Project, how could they be?

Furthermore, if you look at the long term record of giving, you will find that the annual giving of Indian tribes to Democrats hasn't changed much in 10-15 years. So that memo was just Abramoff telling them to do what they always do.

Posted by: Doctor Jay on January 27, 2006 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

I can understand why you are running from Abramoff, tbrosz, I'm just sorry you don't have enough sense to run from Bush. Abramoff is Republican right down to his hooves; he doesn't-and never has-do things for dems.

Posted by: Ace Franze on January 27, 2006 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK


the 1/19/06 edition....of the wa-po....


The GOP has received nearly two-thirds of the campaign donations from Abramoff's lobbying team and Indian tribal clients, and 100 percent of his personal donations.

Federal prosecutors looking into the Abramoff case have so far implicated only a Republican lawmaker, a Bush administration procurement official and GOP aides in charging documents. - WASH. POST 1/19/06


Posted by: thisspaceavailable on January 27, 2006 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

Records from the Federal Election Commission and the Center for Public Integrity show that Abramoff's Indian clients contributed money to 195 Republicans and 88 Democrats between 1999 and 2004.

OK, so we're ignoring the specific donor list that shows that Abramoff only gave money to Republicans.

Let's parse the above correctly:

Abramoff's Indian clients

Could very well have been clients of other lobbying firms. That is not unheard of. The entity known as an Indian tribe would be like any other 'special interest' group that lobbies Congress. The fact that they were clients of Abramoff means they wanted Republicans to get them favors; the fact that they also gave money to Democrats means that they wanted to get additional support from those lawmakers.

contributed money to 195 Republicans and 88 Democrats between 1999 and 2004.

Well, it's a free country. An Indian tribe can give money to whoever they want to give money to. The fact that, by an over 2 to 1 margin, they gave money to Republicans is also meaningless--they're allowed to give money to whoever they want to.

Now, let's revisit the link/url that I posted:

http://www.capitaleye.org/abramoff_donor.asp

Abramoff and Scanlon never gave a dime to Democrats; the SunCruz Casinos and the Indian tribes made donations to politicians of both parties.

There's a difference, and I apologize for being so doggone reality based about it.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 27, 2006 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

Now, to further muddy the waters:

Why weren't Abramoff and Scanlon smarter?

If they had simply thrown a few thousand towards a couple of Democrats--and, as far fetched as it may seem, there are Democrats out there who regularly vote with the Republicans on matters of public and fiscal policy--that would have provided them the perfect measure of cover.

If they would have done at least that--and it is clear that Abramoff and Scanlon never gave a dime to Democrats--they would have covered their asses and this would not be such a clear cut issue. Their ideology comes into play here and neither of these two individuals has demonstrated that they are smart enough to cover their tracks and spread the money around. My original statement--that Abramoff was a sworn enemy of the Democratic party and wouldn't give them money stands.

Failure to properly examine the information, which of course was provided by Mr. Brosz, is the fault of the media, not Mr. Brosz.

I really thing that the MSM is willfully ignorant and lazy. If the silly, biased and mistake-prone Pale Rider, who often makes mistakes and has to own up to them, can see this then why can't they see this?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 27, 2006 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

I really thing that the MSM is willfully ignorant and lazy. If the silly, biased and mistake-prone Pale Rider, who often makes mistakes and has to own up to them, can see this then why can't they see this?

See?

Should be 'think.'

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 27, 2006 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider:

Check out the additional information and graphics links on that Washington Post column. Abramoff and his crew gave the tribes lists of politicians, with amounts. Mostly Republicans, but not all. The word "directed" has an exact meaning. You can bet that if the parties were reversed in this situation, that level of linkage would get a lot more play.

"thisspaceavailable" has a much more realistic set of talking points.

There's a new poll out. A lot of interesting information there, but in the context of this thread, pay particular attention to questions 50 through 55.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 27, 2006 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

Abramoff and his crew gave the tribes lists of politicians, with amounts. Mostly Republicans, but not all. The word "directed" has an exact meaning. You can bet that if the parties were reversed in this situation, that level of linkage would get a lot more play.

Well, I'm not going to quarrel with you on that. And, to be quite honest, if the situation were reversed--and all I have to go on is the history of Newt Gingrich as Speaker of the House--there would be no shortage of hypocrisy.

You make a good point. I think Democrats should give money back to all Indian tribes--they are, after all, separate nations from the US.

When do we get to see the pictures of Bush and Abramoff, since this is a nothing scandal?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 27, 2006 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK


tbroz....they are not a talking points...

they are facts....


The GOP has received nearly two-thirds of the campaign donations from Abramoff's lobbying team and Indian tribal clients, and 100 percent of his personal donations. - wapo 1/19/06


its specifically pertinent because abramoff is the only one of the 3-entities to have been charged....or pled guilty....

.

Federal prosecutors looking into the Abramoff case have so far implicated only a Republican lawmaker, a Bush administration procurement official and GOP aides in charging documents. - WASH. POST 1/19/06


there are no dems in the charging documents of abramoff.....did you see any in scanlons?

inform us...

Posted by: thisspacevailable on January 27, 2006 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

thisspaceavailable:

Sorry, but for me there's nothing about the term "talking points" that implies that the points aren't factual, and I never said yours were not.

Now that I think about it though, the way the term "talking points" is usually used in a debate, the implication of "lies" is in there, isn't it?

It wasn't intended, and you're welcome to substitute another term. "Items for discussion?"

Posted by: tbrosz on January 27, 2006 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz: But no, like with every other issue they've tried to nail the Republicans with, they have to go overboard, and in this case they declared Democrats as pure as the driven snow in lobbying issues, which would make anybody who knew anything about politics laugh until they got the hiccups.

The issue and the scandal isn't lobbying tbrosz so you are either lying or being disingenous.

The issue and the scandal is illegal, criminal acts committed in furtherance of lobbying and those illegal and criminal acts implicate the GOP and only the GOP.

It is irrelevant whether the Democrats are pure as the driven snow when it comes to lobbying or dirty as coal, because LOBBYING IS NOT ILLEGAL.

The criminal acts committed by Abramoff, in connection with his personal lobbying efforts with members of the GOP, never with members of the Democratic party, were illegal.

Your disingenuity on this issue notwithstanding, only the GOP is implicated by Abramoff's criminal activities.

Regular lobbying is not a scandal nor part of "the" scandal involving Abramoff.

That you want to make it appear so doesn't make it so.

So, quit lying about it.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 27, 2006 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz: There's a new poll out.

Translation: polls are meaningless when cited by liberals, but meaningful when cited by a conservative.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 27, 2006 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz: No lobbyist worth what he's getting paid is the "sworn enemy" of any political party if there's something he wants from them.

Well, we certainly know that conservatives aren't the "sworn enemies" of terrorists when they want something from the terrorist.

They arm and negotiate with them all the time behind the scenes, then publically deny doing so.

Like releasing Iraqi women held prisoner as the hostage takers in Iraq have demanded, all the while denying that anything is amiss, but there's that timing thing again that tbrosz is so consumed with when the timing favors his own meme, but ignores here.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 27, 2006 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

Or was that "conspiracy nut" who was obsessed with "timing" when it suits him, but not when it doesn't.

It's so hard to distinguish between Bush's pet parrots sometimes.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 27, 2006 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

the donations of Abramoffs tribal clients to Democrats dropped by nine percent after they hired him, while their donations to Republicans more than doubled, increasing by 135 percent after they signed him up

see here

Posted by: cq on January 27, 2006 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

TheKongShow:
That reminds me of this quote:

"If you're so innocent, why won't you admit that you're not?"

I, too, am reminded of another quote from another administration: "Is it irresponsible to speculate? It would be irresponsible not to!"

Oh, but of course, that was then (i.e. the dreaded Rope Line Days of our 8-year National Nightmare), and this is now (i.e. 9/11 Changed Everything).

So you see, using the blank check of 9/11, the cover story goes something like, "If you keep asking about Jack Abramoff, the terrorists win."

Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Move on.

Posted by: freq flag on January 29, 2006 at 2:46 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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