Thursday, February 16, 2006

Democratic Wonderland

I've decided to try and buy a ticket to Wonderland or Shangri-La or Never Never Land, or wherever it is that the Democratic Party hunkers before hatching its wacky edicts. Life must sweet and easy in a place where contrary facts do not constrain hubris, intrude on reality, or result in even the tiniest glimmer of self-awareness:

According to the ASSOCIATED PRESS, thirty-one Senate Democrats on Thursday asked Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to remove himself from the investigation into the Jack Abramoff scandal, saying the lobbyist's dealings with President Bush and others in the administration should compel Gonzales to step aside.

In Wonderland, apparently, they suspend reality at sunrise and serve umbrella drinks spiked with Rohypnol. What else can explain why no one in this moralizing little 31-member confab objected to the fact that 28 of them weren't, like Gonzales, simply on the same organizational chart as someone who might have dealt with Abramoff, but instead took hundreds of thousands of Abramoff dollars, some in situations that look an awful lot -- okay, exactly like -- quid pro quo:

Abramoff client-tribes, including the Louisiana Coushattas and Mississippi Choctaw,

were trying to block the [competing tribe] Jena's gambling hall for fear it would undercut business at their casinos. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada sent a letter to [Interior Secretary Gale] Norton on March 5, 2002, that also was signed by Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev. The next day, the Coushattas issued a $5,000 check to Reid's tax-exempt political group, the Searchlight Leadership Fund.

A Wonderland spokeperson said there was no connection between the Norton letter and the Coushatta donation to Reid.

A second Abramoff tribe sent an additional $5,000 to Reid's group.

The Wonderland spokeperson said there was no connection between the Norton letter and the second tribal donation.

Reid ultimately received more than $66,000 in Abramoff-related donations between 2001 and 2004.

The Wonderland spokesperson said, "Gimme a break, will ya? That's what Reid told me to say and I just work here. Besides, there's this weird queen skulking around and screaming, 'Off with their heads or there'll be hell to pay!' I'm really creeped out and the pay here sucks."

For the blogosphere record, the following Wonderland campers also received their share of Abramoff largess:

Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) - $2,000
Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) - $21,765
Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) - $22,500
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) - $20,250
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) - $12,950
Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) - $14,792
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) - $14,000
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) - $2,000
Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) - $1,250
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) - $45,750
Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI) - $9,000
Sen. Jim Jeffords (I-VT) - $2,000
Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Chappaquiddick) - $3,300
Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) - $95,550
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) - $28,000
Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) - $6,000
Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) - $10,550
Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) - $78,991
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) - $20,168
Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) - $7,500
Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) - $2,300
Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) - $3,500
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) - $4,000
Sen. Ken Salazar (D-CO) - $4,500
Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) - $4,300
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) - $29,550
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) - $6,250