"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
-Oscar Wilde
Brilliant at Breakfast title banner "The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
"...you have a choice: be a fighting liberal or sit quietly. I know what I am, what are you?" -- Steve Gilliard, 1964 - 2007

"For straight up monster-stomping goodness, nothing makes smoke shoot out my ears like Brilliant@Breakfast" -- Tata

"...the best bleacher bum since Pete Axthelm" -- Randy K.

"I came here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I'm all out of bubblegum." -- "Rowdy" Roddy Piper (1954-2015), They Live
Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Sing! Sing! Sing!
Posted by Jill | 8:25 AM

Like the proverbial canary:

Jack Abramoff will plead guilty to three felony counts in Washington on Wednesday as part of a settlement with federal prosecutors, ending an intense, months-long negotiation over whether the Republican lobbyist would testify against his former colleagues, people involved with the case said.

Mr. Abramoff, 46, is pleading guilty to fraud, public corruption and tax evasion, setting the stage for prosecutors to begin using him as a cooperating witness against his former business and political colleagues. In exchange, Mr. Abramoff faces a maximum of about 10 years in prison in the Washington case.

After entering his guilty plea in United States District Court in Washington, Mr. Abramoff will also announce a plea agreement in a related Florida case, in which he was indicted last year. In that case, he is pleading guilty to fraud and conspiracy in connection with his purchase of the SunCruz casino boat line, and will face a maximum of about seven years' prison time.

Mr. Abramoff has been talking to investigators in the corruption case for many months, participants in the case said, giving them a full picture of what evidence he could offer against other suspects. His participation in Washington has taken place mostly below the radar, as prosecutors made the Miami case the focus of their public work and as Mr. Abramoff and his associates claimed they were preparing to stand trial, facing up to as many as 30 years in prison.

Mr. Abramoff will enter separate pleas in both locations. But the deal reached with the Justice Department is all-encompassing, reducing the severe penalties Mr. Abramoff could have faced in either investigation, in exchange for his inside knowledge of certain lobbying work and legislative actions. One element of the deal is that any he can serve prison time in the two cases concurrently, although the sentencing will not take place until much further along in the investigation.

Now, after more than two years of investigations, prosecutors have developed a list of at least a dozen lawmakers, congressional aides and lobbyists whose work appears suspect and who are now at the core of the case. With Mr. Abramoff's cooperation, the Justice Department will have a potentially critical witness to alleged patterns of corruption or bribery within the Republican leadership ranks, which in some cases they believe also took the form of campaign donations and free meals at Mr. Abramoff's downtown restaurant, Signatures.

Now, the wingnut spin is going to be a combination of the standard "Everyone Does It", in an attempt to trivialize the corruption within the Republican Party; and "Democrats got money too", citing Sen. Max Baucus, who received $19,000 in Abramoff money. By the time this is over, the MSM, let by Chris Matthews, are going to be painting this as an exclusively Democratic scandal. The NRSC has started already:

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) is planning a public-relations offensive tying leading Democrats to lobbyist Jack Abramoff in an effort to neutralize accusations that Republicans have been embroiled in a “culture of corruption.”

The campaign will zero in on Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.); Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin, both Michigan Democrats; and the Democratic Senatorial Committee (DSCC), among others, for taking money from Abramoff’s former clients.

Stabenow is up for reelection next year; Reid and Levin are not. With the entry of Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard (R) into the Senate race in Michigan, many leading Republicans believe they have a reasonable chance of unseating the first-term senator.

Republicans have spent months trying to blunt Democratic ethics charges. But the new communications blitz — which will include disseminating talking points to Capitol Hill Republicans and flooding local media with information linking Democrats to Abramoff — marks a more coordinated effort to halt the anti-GOP tide.

NRSC spokesman Brian Nick said the campaign committee would “be getting the resources” not only to senators up for reelection but to all members of the Republican Conference “so that they can offensively message that Democrats are playing partisan politics with an issue that involves all of Congress.”

Note what's bolded above: the Democrats are accused of taking campaign contributions from Abramoff clients, but if you look here, Abramoff's direct contributions are all to Republicans.

Such subtleties aren't going to matter when the spin machine gets going, however. And certainly no one is claiming that the Democrats are above being bought either. (I'm talking to YOU, Sen. Biden.) But I have seen too many Republican scandals over the last five years to believe that any of them will ultimately stick.
Bookmark and Share